|The Life of JOHN STOW. ||xxiij
gregation: But the Husband once coming up, made him leap out of the Window, and
afterwards caused him to be Punished three Market Days; being conveyed through
Streets and Markets of the City, with a Paper on his Head; wherein his Trespass
and each Day rung with Basins, and Proclamation of his Fact at the turning of
and also before Atwoods Stall, (that was the Husband's Name) and
Door where he used to perform his Divine Service. And lastly, was deprived of
of his Chauntry, and banished the City for ever. Thus Stow spared not to expose
Priests, and to applaud the Punishments of Shame executed on them.
And, indeed, on all Occasions, he shewed great Dislike of all Immorality,
Wrongs, Frauds, Unfaithfulness, Falshood, and Treachery; which shewed, that Stow
an honest and good Mind. And he spared not to expose the more scandalous Sorts
that fell in his Way, as unclean Priests (one whereof we have heard him telling
without Disguise) unfaithful Executors, Abusers of charitable Donations, false
Cheats, and Impostors, Extortioners and cruel Oppressors, Violators of Monuments
Dead, and Exalters of themselves above their Neighbours.
An Exposer of scandalous Men.
And this might be the Reason, why this good Man had the Mishap sometimes to fall
scurrilous and calumniating Tongues: One among the rest (whereof he was forced
publick Complaint to the Magistrate) had (upon what private Disgust, I know not)
intolerably railed upon him, even at his Shop Door, reflecting upon his
upon his Trade, as a Taylor; and chiefly upon his Integrity and Truth in his
Writings, as tho' they were but Lies: Nay, and besides abusive Language, there
Assault and Battery added, together with all the Signs of Rage and Madness. All
after much Patience and Forbearance, able no longer to endure it, he made his
the Magistrate: Which he drew up in this Manner.
Stow slandered, and abused by a foul
"Pleaseth it your Worship to understand, how your poor Orator, JOHN STOW, hath
late been more than too too much abused by one William Ditcher, alias Tetford,
The Process whereof is too long to write; but briefly to
touch some Parts
thereof. He spake much of this Man's railing at him, and of his Apprentice's
Stow's Apprentice; and that he calld him Pricklouse Knave, and
Knave, and Rascal Knave; and that he made a Chronicle of Lies. That he said to
Parson of the Parish, and to the Deputy of the Ward, that there came nothing but
and Rascals, and the vilest of the Land to Stow's House. Which Rascals had him
Alehouse to Alehouse every Night and Morning. That William's Wife, before the
the said John, railed against him more than a long Hour;
but that he, John Stow, kept himself above Stairs, without any Answer making.
Day the said William leapt in his Face; and that he feared he would have digged
Eyes; foully scratched him by the Face, drew Blood of him, and was pulled off by
Neighbours. That the said William threw Tilesheards and Stones at Stow's
he had driven him off the Stall from his Work. And then the said William came
Stall, and said, if he could catch the said Apprentice, he would cart him; and
would accuse him to have killed the Man on the Miles End in Whitson Week; [that
was found dead there.] He also said, that Stow's Wife had two Children by one
before she was married, to the great Slander of the said John Stow, and
Hindrance of their
Children; being Four Daughters marriageable, and in Service with Right
Personages. Further, that he caused one John Snelyng, being drunken, to come to
of the said Stow, and there to call him by such a Name, as himself better
deserved. And at
another Time called him, the falsest Man in England, and threatned to cart him,
if he could
get him out of his Door; called him also Common Proctor, Common Barator, Common
Drunkard, Rascal, Villain, &c.
Makes his Complaint to the Magistrate.
It is no marvel, if this honest Man, for his Hatred of vicious and base Actions,
exposing them, might thus be served. To give then some Instances hereof, as I
observed them here and there in his Writings.
He often took occasion to rebuke such as were false to their Trusts, and
Performance of the Wills and charitable Donations reposed in them; which, by his
Experience, were most wretchedly abused sometimes by Executors putting the
Lands, or Houses into their own Pockets; or converting them some other ways.
the Gifts given for the finishing Guildhall, London, he mentioned Nicholas
Grocer, sometime Maior; who, by his last Will, about 1505, gave 73l. 6s. 8d. for
Hanging of Tapistry, to serve for principal Days in Guildhall: But how that Gift
performed, he had not heard; a modest Expression, importing, that they the
not perform'd it; and then more roundly he speaks it out in generals, For the
our Time, having no Conscience, (I speak of my own Knowledge) prove more
than they perform.
Rebuked unfaithful Executors.
Alwyn's Charity not performed;
And before him, Simon Eyre, [or L'eyre, as he is written] a Draper, sometime
built the Granary and Chapel in Leadenhall; and deceased 1459, gave by his last
(which Stow said he had read) many most noble Charities; and amongst the rest, he gave
the Drapers 3000 Marks, on Condition to establish in his Chapel a Master or
Secular Priests, six Clerks, and two Queristers, to sing daily Divine Service.
Master with an Usher for Grammar, one Master for Writing, and the third for
Nor the Gifts of Eyre.
Lime Street Ward.