The City of WESTMINSTER.54


and purchased Lands, were within the Survey and Governance of this Court. This was dissolved, and a new Court of Augmentations was erected by the Letters Patents of the King, 38. H.8. Queen Mary, in the first of her Reign, did, by Letters Patents dated Jan. 23, dissolve the said Court, according to Power given her by Act of Parliament holden the same Year: And the next Day, by other Letters Patents, united the same to the Exchequer, which was utterly void, because she had dissolved the same before: And so resolved all the Judges, Dier. 4, Eliz. 16.]

St. STEPHEN's Chapel.


Then for St. Stephen's Chapel, of old Time founded by King Stephen; King John, in the seventh of his Reign, granted Baldwinus de London, Clerk of his Exchequer, the Chapelship of St. Stephen's at Westminster, &c.

This Chapel was again since (of a far more curious Workmanship) new builded by King Edward the Third, in the Year 1347, for thirty eight Persons, in that Church, to serve God; to wit, a Dean, twelve secular Canons, thirteen Vicars, four Clerks, five Chorists, two Servitors; to wit, a Verger, and a Keeper of the Chapel. He builded [Lodgings] for them from the House of Receipt, along nigh to the Thames, within the same Palace, there to inhabit. And since that, there were also Buiding for them, betwixt the Clock-House and the Wool staple, called the Wey House, [still called Chanon-Row.]

New built by K. Edw. 3.

[Philip, Wife of this King, also was a great Benefactor to the Chanons of this Chapel.]

He also builded to the Use of this Chapel (tho' out of the Palace Court) some Distance West, in the little Santuary, a strong Clochard of Stone and Timber, covered with Lead, and placed therein three great Bells, since usually rung at Coronations, Triumphs, Funeral of Princes, and their Obits. Of those Bells Men fabuled, that their ringing sowred all the Drink in the Town. More, that about the biggest of which was written;

Little Sanctuary.

King Edward made mee     
thirtie thousand and three,
Take me down and weigh mee,     
and more shall ye find mee.

But these Bells being taken down indeed, were found all three not to weigh twenty thousand.

True it is, that in the City of Roan, in Normandy, there is one great Bell that hath such an Inscription as followeth:

Je suis George d'Ambois,

Qui trente cinq mille pois
Mes lui qui me pesera,
Trente six mille me trovera.

I am George of Ambois,
Thirty five thousand in pois;
But he that shall weigh me,
Thirty six thousand shall find me.

The said King Edward endowed this Chapel with Lands to the yearly Value of five hundred Pound. Doctor John Chambers, the King's Physitian, the last Dean of this College, builded thereunto a Cloister, of curious Workmanship, to the Charges of eleven thousand Marks. This Chapel, or College, at the Suppression, was valued to dispend, in Lands, by the Year, One thousand eighty five Pound, ten Shillings, five Pence, and was surrendered to Edward the Sixth: Since which Time, the same Chapel hath served as a Parliament House.

Cloister of St. Stephen's Chapel builded.

There is to be seen in the Monasticon, K. Edward the Third's Charter for St. Steven's Chapel: And by Patent dated 22. of his Reign, he gave to it his great House in Lumbard-street, London, with some Advousons. By another Patent 32. of his Reign, he gave the Dean and Canons a Tower in Bokelesbury, London, called Sewtes Tour, with the Appurtinences. In the 43. of his Reign, he gave them another House in London called The Reol. And in further Augmentation of the said Foundation, he granted them all the Ground from the said Chapel Northward, to the Receipt of the Exchequer, between Westminster Hall and the Thames, for making a Cloister and other necessary Buildings; with free Entrance Day and Night at the Gate adjoyning to the King's Bridge: Also a Chamber within the said Gate, formerly belonging to his Clerk of the Kitchen, with the Houses formerly used for Stables of War-Horses, and other Horses; and with a free Passage to the said Chapel, by Daylight, through the Great Hall. And lastly, he exempted the said Dean and Canons, and all their Lands, from the Payment of any Aids or Taxes whatsoever. Richard the Second compleated the full Endowment of this College, by settling on it divers Lands and Manours in Kent, according to the Direction and Desire of his Grandfather in his Testament.

Grants of K. Edw. to this Chapel, Vol III.

J. S.

It was called The Free Chapel of St. Mary the Virgin, and St. Stephen. The Dean was commonly of great Confidence with the King, and often preferred to some Bishoprick. Such was Sampson, Bishop of Litchfield and Coventry. It was richly endowed, but the Revenues were made away, and alienated upon the Dissolution of religious Houses. Among which was a Messuage called The Helmet in King's-street, belonging to it, which was granted to Richard Audely and John Rede, in the 2. Edw. 6. There were also certain Manours and Lordships belonging to it, called The Manours and Lordship of Esshetisford, alias Asheford, in the County of Kent; which, with other Lands, were sold to Sir Anthony Aucher and Henry Polstred, Esquires, in 3. Edw. 6.

The Deans commonly of great Account with the King.

The Revenues.

Since the Dissolution, the same Chapel hath served as a Parliament-House: The High Court of Parliament, consisting of Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of Parliament, was formerly in the Chapter House of the Abbot of Westminster: And this continued till the Statute of 1. Edw. 6. which gave to the King Colleges, Free-Chapels, &c. Whereby the King enjoyed to his own Use this ancient Free-Chapel of St. Stephens. Since which Time it hath served, by the King's Permission, for the House of Commons to sit in.]

St. Stephen's Chapel now the Parliament-House.

By this Chapel of St. Stephen, was sometime one other smaller Chapel, called our Lady of the Piew. To the which Lady great Offerings were used to be made: Amongst other Things I have read, that [Richard the Second, upon the coming of the Rebel Wat Tyler, with his Rout of Kentish Men in Armes to London, went first to Westminster, to the High Altar there, and offered; and after that, confessed himself to an Anchorite. And then betook himself to this Chapel of our Lady in the Pew, and there said his Devotions, and then went to Smithfield to meet this Fellow and his Company.]

Chapel of our Lady in the Pew.

King Richard the Second makes his Devotion at this Chapel.

J. S.

After the Overthrow of Wat Tyler, and other the Rebels, in the fourth of his Reign, he went to Westminster, and there giving Thanks to God for his Victory, made his Offering in this Chapel: But as divers have noted, namely, John Pigot, in the Year 1252, on the seventeenth of February, by Negligence of a Schollar, appointed by his Schoolmaster to put forth the Lights of this Chapel, the Image of our Lady, richly decked with

John Pigot. Ann. 1452. First Edit.