Of Orders & Customes.
OF Orders and Customes in this Citie of old time
Fitz Stephen saith as followeth: Men of all
sellers of all sortes of wares, labourers
in euerie worke, euerie morning are in their
distinct and seuerall places: furthermore, in
London vppon the riuer side, betweene the
wine in shippes, and the wine to bee solde in Tauernes, is a
common cookerie or cookes rowe, there dayly for the season
of the yeare, men might haue meate, rost, sod or fried: fish,
flesh, fowles, fit for rich and poore. If any come sodainely to

Of Orders and Customes.
any Cittizen from a farre, wearie and not willing to tarry till
the meate be bought, and dressed, while the seruant bringeth
water for his maysters handes, and fetcheth bread, hee shall
haue immediately from the riuers side, all viandes whatsoe
uer he desireth, what multitude soeuer eyther of soldiers or
straungers doe come to the Citie, whatsoeuer houre day or
night according to their pleasures may refresh themselues, &
they which delight in delicatenesse may bee satisfied with as
delicate dishes there, as may be found els where. And this
cookes rowe is very necessarie to the Citie: and (according to
Plato in Gorgias) next to Phisicke, is the office of cookes,
as part of a Citie.
Without one of the gates is a plain field,
Smithfield for
a plain smooth
ground, is cal
led smeth and
both in name and
deede, where euery fryday (vnlesse it bee a solemne bidden
holy day) is a notable shew of horses to bee sold, Earles, Bar
rons, Knights, and Citizens repayre thether to see, or to buy:
there may you with pleasure
Market for
horses and o
ther cattell.
see amblers pacing it deli
cately: there may ye see trotters fit for men of armes, sitting
more hardly: ther may you haue notable young horse not yet
brokē: there may you haue strong steeds wel limmed, geldings
whom the buyers do especially regarde
Marchants of
all nations tra
ded at this Ci
ty, & had their
seuerall Keyes
and wharfes.
for pace, and swiftnes:
the boyes which ride these horses, sometime two, sometime
three, doe runne races for wagers, with a desire of praise, or
hope of victorie. In an other part of that field are to be sold
all implements of husbandrie, as also fat swine, milch kine,
sheepe and oxen: there stand also mares and
The Authors
opinion of this
Citie, the anti
quitie thereof
after some au
thors which
he had reade.
horses, fitte for
ploughes and teames with their young coltes by them. At
this citie Marchante strangers of all nations had their keyes
and wharfes: the Arabians sent gold: the Sabians spice and
frankensence: the Scithian armour, Babilon oile, Indian
purple garments, Egipt precious stones, Norway and Russia
Ambergrese, & Sables, & the French men
This Citie de
uided into
Wardes more
then 400 years
since, and also
had then both
Aldermen and
wine. According
to the truth of Chronicles, this Citie is ancienter then Rome,
built of the auncient Troians and of Brute, before that was
built by Romulus, and Rhemus: and therefore vseth the aun
cient customes of Rome. This Citie euen as Rome, is diui
ded into Wardes: it hath yearely Shiriffes in steed of Con


Of Orders and Customes.
sulles: it hath the dignitie of Senators in Aldermen. It hath
vnder Officers, Common Sewers, and Conduictes in streetes,
Customes of
to the qualitie of causes, in hath generall Courtes:
and assemblies vpon appointed dayes. I doe not thinke that
there is any Cittie, wherein are better customes, in frequen
ting the Churches, in seruing God, in keeping holy dayes, in
giuing almes, in entertayning straungers in solemnizing Mar
riages, in furnishing banquets, celebrating funerals, and bury
ing dead
Casualtie of
fires when
houses were
couered with
The onely plagues of London, is immoderate quassing a
mong the foolish sort, and often casualties by fire. Most part
of the Bishops, Abbots, and great Lordes of the land haue
houses there, whereunto they resort, and bestow much when
they are called to Parliament by the king, or to counsell by
their Metropolitane, or otherwise by their priuate businesse.
Thus far Fitzstephen of the estate of these things in his time,
whereunto may be added the present, by conference whereoThis text has been supplied. Reason: Type not (sufficiently) inked. Evidence: The text has been supplied based on guesswork. (KL)f, the
alteration will easily appeare.
Men of trades and sellers of wares in this City haue often times
since chaunged their places, as they haue found their best aduan
tage. For whereas Mercers and Haberdashers vsed to kéepe
their shoppes in West Cheape, of later time they held them on
London Bridg, where partly they yet remayne. The Gold
of Gutherons lane, and old Exchaunge, are now for the
most part remoued into the South side of west Cheap: the Pepe
and Grocers of Sopers lane, are now in Buckles berrie, &
other places: the Drapers of Lombardstréete and of Cornehill,
are seated in Candlewickstréete and Watheling streete: the
Skinners from S. Mary Pellipers, or at the Axe, into Budgerow
and Walbrooke: The Stockefishmongers in Thames stréete:
wette Fishmongers in Knightriders stréete, and Bridge stréete:
The Ironmongers of Ironmongers lane, and olde Iury, in
to Thames stréete: the Uinteners from the Uinetrée into di
uers places. But the Brewers for the more parte remaine
néere to the friendly water of Thames: the Butchers in East
, and S. Nicholas Shambles: the Hosyers1 of olde time in
Hosyer lane, neare vnto Smithfield, are since remoued into Cord

Of Orders and Customes.
wayner stréete, the vpper part thereof by Bow Church, and last
of all into Birchouerislane by Cornehill: the Shoomakers and
Curryars of Cordwaynerstreete, remoued the one to S. Martins
Le Graund
, the other to London wall neare vnto Moregate, the
Founders remayne by them selues in Lothebery: Cokes, or
Pastelars for the more part in Thames street, the other dispersed
into diuers parts. Powlters of late remoued out of the Powltry
betwixt the Stockes and great Conduite in Cheape into Grasse
and S. Nicholas Shambles: Bowyars, from Bowyer
by Ludgate, into diuers places, and almost worne out
with the Fletchers: Pater noster Beade makers and Text Wri
ters2 are gone out of Pater Noster Rowe into Stationers of
Paules Church yard
: Patten makers of S. Margaret Pat
tens lane
, cleane worne out: Laborers euery worke daye are to
bee found in Cheape about Sopars lane ende, horse coursers and
Sellars of Oxen, Sheepe, Swine, and such like, remaine in their
olde market of Smithfilde &c.
That Marchants of all Nations had their Keyes and wharfes
at this City whereunto they brought their Marchandises before,
and in the raigne, of Henry the second mine author wrote of his
owne knowledge to be true, though for the antiquitie of the citie,
he tooke the common opinion. Also that this citie was in his time
and afore deuided into wards, had yearly Sherifs, Aldermen, ge
neral courts, and assemblies, & such like notes by him set down, in
commendation of the cittizens (whereof there is no question) hee
wrote likewise of his owne experience, as being borne & brought
vp amongst them.
And concerning Marchandises then thither transported (wher
of happily may bee some argument) Thomas Clifforde (before
Fitz Stephens time) writing of Edward the Confessor, saith to
this effect: King Edward intending to make his Sepulcher at
Westminster, for that it was neere to the famous citie of Lon
and the Riuer of Thames, that brought in all kinde of Mar
chandises, from all parts of the world &c. And William of Malms
, that liued in the raygne of William the first and seconde,
Henry the first, and king Stephen, calleth this a noble Citie, full
of wealthie cittizens, frequented with the trade of Marchandises

Of Orders and Customes.
from all parts of the world. Also I reade in diuers records that of
olde time no woade was stowed or harbored in this Citty but all
was presently solde in the ships, except by licence purchased of the
Sheriffes, till of more latter time, to wit, in the yeare 1236. An
drew Bokerell
being Mayor, by assent of the principall Citizens,
the Marchants of Amiens, Nele and Corby, purchased letters
insealed with the common seale of the Cittie, that they when they
come, might harborow their woades, and therefore should giue
the Mayor euery yeare 50. markes starling: and the same yeare
they gaue 100.£ towards the conueying of water from Tyborne
to this Citie. Also the Marchants of Normandie made fine for
licence to harbor their woads, till it was otherwise prouided. In
the yeare 1263. Thomas Fitz Thomas, being Mayor, &c. which
proueth that then (as afore) they were here, amongst other nati
ons priuiledged.
It followeth in Fitz Stephen, that the plagues of London
in that time were immoderate quaffing among fooles, and of
ten casualties by fire
. For the first, to wit of quaffing, it conti
nueth as afore, though greatly qualified among the poorer sort not
of any holy abstinencie, but of méer necessitie, Ale and Béere being
small, and wines in price aboue their reach. As for preuention of
casualties by fire (the houses in this citie being then builded all of
timber and couered with thatch of straw or réed) it was long since,
thought good policie in our forefathers, wisely to prouide, namely
in the yeare of Christ 1189.
Li. Constitu
the first of Richard the first,
Li. Horne.
being then Mayor,
Li. Clarken
that all men in this cittie shoulde
build their houses of stone vp to a certaine height, and to couer
them with slate, bricke or tyle: since the which time (thanks be
giuen to God) there hath not happened the like, often consuming
and deThis text is the corrected text. The original is n (SM) u ouring fiers in this cittie as afore. But now in our time
in steade of these inormities: others are come in place no lesse meet
to be reformed: and first, and namely, Purprestures,
Purpresture in
and about
this citie.
W. Patten.
Carres and
Drayes not
well gouerned
in this Citie,
daungeroThis text is the corrected text. The original is n (SM) u s.
or incroch
ments on the high wayes, lanes, and common grounds, in and a
bout this citie, wherof a learned & graue citizen hath lately written
& exhibited a booke (as I heare) to the Mayor and communaltie.
Then the number of Carres, Drayes, and Coatches, more
then hath béene accustomed, the streetes and lanes being strength

Of Orders and Customes.
ned, must needes be daungerous, as dayly experience proueth. I
know that by the good lawes and customes of this cittie, shodde
cartes are forbidden to enter, except vpon reasonable causes, (as
seruice of the Prince, or such like) they be tollerated. Also that the
forehorse of euery cariage should bee lead by hande: but these good
orders are not obserued. Of old time coatches were not knowne
in this Island, but chariots, or Whirlicotes, and they onely vsed
of Princes or great estates, such as had their footmen about them:
I reade that Rychard the second being threatened by the rebelles
of Kent, rode from the Tower of London to the Myles end,
L.S. Mary
with him his mother in a Wherlicote,
Riding in
the Earls of Buckingham,3
Kent,4 Warwicke,5 and Oxford,6 Sir Thomas Perie, Sir Ro
bert Knowles
, the Mayor of London, Sir Auberie de Vere,
that bare the Kinges sword, with other Knightes and Esquires
attending on horsebacke. But in the yeare next following the said
King Richard tooke to wife Anne daughter to the King of Bo
,7 that first brought hither the riding vpon side saddles,
Riding in side
saddles, that
were wont to
ride a stride.
Riding in
and so
was the riding in Wherlicoates and chariots forsaken, except at
coronations and such like spectacles: but now of late yeares the
vse of coatches is taken vp, and made so common, as there is ney
ther distinction of time, nor difference of persons obserued.
Last of all mine Author in this Chapter hath these words: Most
part of the Bishops
, Abbots, and great Lordes of the land, as
if they were Citizens & free men of London, had many fayre
houses to resort vnto, and many rich and wealthy gentlemen
spent their money there
. And in an other place hee hath these
words: Euery Sonday in Lent a fresh company of young men
comes into the fields on horsebacke, and the best horsemen
conducteth the rest: then martch forth the Citizens sonnes,
and other young men with disarmed launces and shieldes, &
practise feates of warre: many Courtiers likewise and atten
dants of noble men repaire to this exercise, & whilst the hope
of victorie doth enflame their mindes, they doe shewe good
proofe how seruiceable they would be in martial affaires &c
Againe he saith: This Citie in the troublesome time of King
shewed at a muster 20000. armed horsemen, and
40000. footemen, seruiceable for the warres. &c
. All which

Of Orders and Customes.
sayinges of the said Author well considered, do plainely proue, that
in those dayes, the inhabitantes & repayrers to this Citie of what
estate soeuer, spirituall or temporall, hauing houses here, liued to
gether in good amitie, euery man obseruing the customes and or
der of the Citie, and chose to be contributarie to charges here, ra
ther then in any part of
The causes of
great shewes
and musters
in this citie of
old time, more
then of late.
the land wheresoeuer: This cittie being
the hart of the Realme, the Kinges chamber, and Princes seate
whereunto they made repayre, and shewed their forces, both of
horses and of men, which caused in troublesome time (as of king
) the Musters of this Citie to be so great in number.
And here to touch somewhat of the great families and housholds
kept in former times I reade that in the 36. of Henry the sixt, the
great estates being called vp to London, the Earle of Salesbury8
came with 500. men on horsebacke, and was lodged in the Her
: Richard Duke of Yorke with 400. men lodged at Bay
nards Castle
: the Dukes of Excester,9 and Sommerset10 with
800. men. The Earle of Northumberland,11 the Lord Egre
,12 and the Lord Clifford13 with 1500. men. Richard Ne
Neuill Earle of
R. Fabian
of Warwicke with 600. men, all in redde iackets, im
brodered with ragged staues before and behind, and was lodged
in VVarwicke lane: in whose house there was oftentimes sixe
Oxen eaten at a breakefast, and euery Tauerne was full of his
meat, for he that had any acquaintance in that house, might haue
there so much of sodden and roste meate, as hee coulde pricke
and carry vpon a long dagger. Nicholas VVest Bishoppe of
Liber Ely.
West Bish. of
in the yeare 1532. kept continually in his house, an hun
dred seruants giuing to the one half of them 53. SMALL LATIN LETTER S WITH TILDE ABOVE; ABBREVIATION FOR SHILLINGs. foure pence the
peece yearely: to the other halfe each 40. SMALL LATIN LETTER S WITH TILDE ABOVE; ABBREVIATION FOR SHILLINGs. the péece: to euery
one for his winter gowne, foure yardes of broad cloth, and for
his sommer coate three yardes and a halfe: hee dayly gaue at his
gates besides bread and drinke, warme meat to two hundred poore
people. The house kéeping of Edward late Earle of Darby
Earle of Darby14
not to be forgotten who had 220. men in Checke Rolle: his fée
ding aged persons, twice euery day sixtie and odde, besides all com
mers thrice a wéeke, and euery good Fryday 2700. with meate
drinke and money.
Thomas Audley Lord Chauncelor, his family of gentlemen,

Of Orders and Customes.
before him in coates garded with Ueluet, and chaines of Golde:
his yeomen after him in the same liuery not garded. VVilliam
Lord great mayster, Marquis of Winchester, kept the
like number of Gentlemen and yeomen in a liuery of Reding
Tawney. Thomas Lord Cromwell Earle of Essex kept the
like or greater number in a liuerie of gray marble, &c. the gen
tlemen garded with Ueluet, and the yeomens with the same
These, as all other of those times gaue great reliefe to the
poore, and I haue oft séene at that Lorde Cromwels gate, more
then two hundred persons serued twice euery day with breade,
meate, and drinke.
Edward Duke of Sommerset
Edw. Duke of
was not inferior in kéeping a
number of tall Gentlemen and yeomen. These (I say) and all
other men of honour and worshippe then lodging in this Citie, or
within the liberties therof, did without grudging, beare their part
of charges with the Citizens, according to their estimated estates,
without the which, those musters of old time could not haue béene
so great.
And thus I end touching vsuall Orders and Customes of this


  1. According to the Merchant Taylors’ Company’s website, the Hosiers merged with the Merchant Taylors’ Company in 1551 (Company History). (JZ)
  2. The Paternosters, Beadmakers, and Text Writers were makers of Catholic icons. Outlawed under Edward VI and Elizabeth I, the guild was briefly revived in the reign of Mary I and subsequently dissolved. (ML)
  3. I.e., Thomas of Woodstock. (JZ)
  4. I.e., Thomas Holland. (JZ)
  5. I.e., Thomas Beauchamp. (JZ)
  6. I.e., Sir Aubrey de Vere. (JZ)
  7. I.e., Charles IV of Bohemia. (JZ)
  8. I.e., Richard Neville. (JZ)
  9. I.e., Henry Holland, the third Duke of Exeter. (JZ)
  10. I.e., Henry Beaufort. (JZ)
  11. I.e., Henry Percy. (JZ)
  12. I.e., Thomas Percy. (JZ)
  13. I.e., John Clifford. (JZ)
  14. I.e., Edward Stanley. (JZ)


Cite this page

MLA citation

Stow, John, and William fitz-Stephen. Survey of London (1598): Orders and Customs. The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0, edited by Janelle Jenstad, U of Victoria, 05 May 2022, mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/7.0/stow_1598_orders.htm.

Chicago citation

Stow, John, and William fitz-Stephen. Survey of London (1598): Orders and Customs. The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0. Ed. Janelle Jenstad. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed May 05, 2022. mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/7.0/stow_1598_orders.htm.

APA citation

Stow, J., & fitz-Stephen, W. 2022. Survey of London (1598): Orders and Customs. In J. Jenstad (Ed), The Map of Early Modern London (Edition 7.0). Victoria: University of Victoria. Retrieved from https://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/editions/7.0/stow_1598_orders.htm.

RIS file (for RefMan, RefWorks, EndNote etc.)

Provider: University of Victoria
Database: The Map of Early Modern London
Content: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

A1  - Stow, John
A1  - fitz-Stephen, William
ED  - Jenstad, Janelle
T1  - Survey of London (1598): Orders and Customs
T2  - The Map of Early Modern London
ET  - 7.0
PY  - 2022
DA  - 2022/05/05
CY  - Victoria
PB  - University of Victoria
LA  - English
UR  - https://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/7.0/stow_1598_orders.htm
UR  - https://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/7.0/xml/standalone/stow_1598_orders.xml
ER  - 

TEI citation

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