|The Life of JOHN STOW. ||ij
dreadful Tempest of Thunder and Lightning happened, while the Ringers were
And suddenly there came in at the South Window an ugly-shapen Sight, and Light
North Side. Presently the Ringers, for Fear, let go their Bells, and all fell
down, and lay as
dead for the Time. And when they came to themselves, they found certain Stones
North Window to be razed and scrat, as if it had been so much Butter, printed
Lion's Claw, as Stow's Expression is. One of these Ringers, who was alive when
was a young Man, often verified the same to him as a Truth.
These Stones were fastened there again, and so remained long after: Which Stow
often saw, and put a Feather or small Stick into the Holes where the Claws had
found them two or three Inches deep.
His Mother was Margaret Stow: Who made her last Will, June the 27th, 1568.
Thirteenth of October following. Therein it appeareth, that she had Sons, two
whereof was her Eldest Son, and both alive when she made her Will, (to whom she
Legacies) and Thomas, whom she made her Executor, and William Stow: Her
Johan, Margaret, Alice.
His Mother, Margaret Stow. Her Will. Regist.
She bequeathed her Body to be buried by her Husband, in the Parish of St.
Cornhill, in the Cloister: And Thirty Shillings, to bury her decently. Ten
her Children and Friends, to drink withal after her Funeral. To the Poor, in
Shillings. To the Company of Tallow-Chandlers, to follow her Corps to the
Shillings and Eight Pence: With these pious Words for her Soul, void of the
commonly used in those Times:
"I bequeath my Soul unto Almighty God, my Maker
and Creator; and to his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, my only Saviour and
with the Holy Ghost; and into the Fellowship of the Holy Host of Heaven."
She had a Son, named Thomas Farmer.
To all her Children she gave Legacies: But unto John, the Eldest, the least;
In this Parish then, we take for granted, Stow was born; and that about the Year
the 17th of Henry VIII. His Godfathers were, Edmund Trindel and Robert Smith;
Margaret, the Wife of William Dickson, Godmother. For so he himself sets it
down in the
First Edition of his Survey, tho' left out afterwards: Whose said Godfathers had
Monuments in the said Church of St. Michael; as his said Godmother and her
in the Cloister belonging to that Church, lying once under a fair Monument set
up for them,
but since defaced. These, no doubt, were wealthy Tradesmen, and his Father's
Neighbours in Cornhill. Who tho' he lived here for the Sake
of his Calling, yet was of such Rank and Estate, that he had a Garden to retire to for his
Pleasure and Diversion, situate on the Backside of Throgmortonstreet, in
Ward; near to that Place which is now the Drapers Hall: Which then was the House
Thomas Cromwell, K. Henry the Eighth's Great Minister and Secretary of State.
which Garden he paid 6s. 8d. yearly Rent; and it consisted of about Four and
forty Foot in
His Father's Garden.
Here a remarkable Matter happened, which his Son John somewhere relateth,
Power and arbitrary Proceedings of the Great Men in those Times. The Business
A Garden-House, close by his South Pale or Wall, stood somewhat in
Cromwells way, and obstructed his Convenience: Therefore,
without any more
ado, or having the Leave of the Proprietor, his Workmen loosed it from the
and bare it upon Rollers, and ran it Two and twenty Foot into Mr. Stow's Garden,
he heard any thing of it. Who afterwards speaking to the Surveyors of
had nothing but this Answer given him; That Sir Thomas commanded them to do it:
none durst argue the Matter. Notwithstanding his Father was fain to continue to
old Rent, without any Abatement for his Garden, tho' Half of it was in this
John Stow seemed to follow his Father's Trade and Calling, whatever it were. In
of Grindal, Bishop of London, to the Privy Council, concerning a Search that was
his Chaplain in Stow's House, for Papistical Books, he called him Stow the
Which perhaps might be more than barely relating to the Company of Merchant
whereof he was free: It might bespeak him a Taylor by Trade: Since in former
Cornhill, Men of that Occupation lived, and had their Shops; who were then of
Reputation and Wealth than of later Times those of that Calling are.
Stow, his Trade.
One Peter Mason, a Taylor, lived in this Street, and was a good Benefactor to
Cornhill. And one Atwood, Draper, that lived over against St. Michael's Church,
Stow's Time, and (as it seems) a Man of Credit and Wealth, was of this Trade,
and had his
Stall, as well as his House there. Whose Wife, a Chantry Priest (belonging to
Church) debauched; which the Husband, coming up to fetch a Pressing-Iron,
But he was even with him, by making him to leap out of a Window, as well as
Shame and Punishment taken on him.
These Shopkeepers, as they sold Cloth out of the Piece, so they seemed also
make and fit it up for wearing. And in Birching-Lane, and along thence in
Westward, lived Upholders, or Frippers; that is, such as sold Apparel and old