Survey of London (1633): Billingsgate Ward

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BElinsgate Ward be
ginneth at the
West end of Tow
Thames street, a
bout Smarts Key,
& runneth downe
along that street,
on the South side, to Saint Magnus
at the Bridge foot, and on the
North side of the said Thames street,
from over against Smarts Key, till over
against the North-west corner of Saint
Magnus Church
On this North side of Thames street
is S. Mary Hill lane, up to Saint Marga
, and then part of S. Mar
garet Pattens
, at the end of Saint
Mary Hill Lane
. Next out of Thames
is Lucas lane, and then Buttolph
, and at the North end thereof Phil
: Then is there Rother lane, of
old time so called, and thwart the same
lane is Little Eastcheape: And these bee
the bounds of Belinsgate Ward.
Touching the principall Ornaments
within this Ward: On the South side
of Thames street, beginning at the East
end thereof, there is first the said Smarts Key, so called, of one Smart, sometime
owner thereof.
The next is Belinsgate, whereof the
whole Ward taketh name, the which
(leaving out of the fable thereof, fai
ning it to be builded by King Belinus, a
Britaine, long before the incarnation of
Christ) is at this present a large Water
gate, Port or Harborough for Ships and
Boats, commonly arriving there with
Fish, both fresh and salt, Shell-fishes,
Salt, Oranges, Onions, and other Fruits
and Roots; Wheat, Rie, and Graine of
divers sorts for service of the Citie, and
the parts of this Realme adjoyning.
This Gate is now more frequented than
of old time, when the Queenes Hith
was used, as being appointed by the
Kings of this Realme, to be the speciall
or onely Port for taking up of all such
kind of Merchandises, brought to this
Citie by strangers and Forrainers; be
cause the Draw-bridge of timber at
London Bridge, was then to bee raised,
and drawne up for passage of Ships
with tops thither.
Touching the ancient customes of
Customes of Belins
in the Reigne of Edward the
, every great Ship landing there,
paid for standage, two pence; every lit
tle Ship with Orelockes, a penny; the
lesser Boat, called a Battle, a halfe-pen
ny. Of two quarters of Corne measured,
the King was to have one farthing; of a
Combe of Corne, a penny; of every
weight going out of the Citie, a halfe-penny;
of two quarters of Sea-coales
measured, a farthing; and of every Tun
of Ale going out of England beyond the
Seas, by the Merchants stranger, 4. pence;
of every thousand Herring, a farthing,
except the Franchises, &c.
Next to this is Sommers Key, which
likewise tooke that name of one Sommer
dwelling there, as did Lion Key of one
Lion, owner thereof, and since of the
signe of the Lion.
Then is there a faire Wharfe or Key,
called Buttolphs-gate, by that name so
called in the time of William the Con
, and of Edward the Confessor,
as I have shewed already in the descri
ption of the Gates.
Next is the Parish Church of Saint
, a proper Church, and hath had
many faire Monuments therein, now
defaced and gone: notwithstanding, I
finde by testimonies abroad, that these
were buried there, to wit:
Andrew Pikeman, and Ioane his wife,
Nicholas Iames, Ironmonger, one of
the Sheriffes, 1423.
William Rainwell, Fishmonger, and
Iohn Rainwell his sonne, Fishmonger,
Maior, 1426. and deceasing, 1445. bu
ried there, with this Epitaph:
Citizens of London,
Iohn Rain
His Epitaph.
call you to remembrance
The famous Iohn Rainwell,
sometime your Maior,
Of the Staple of Callis,
so was his chance.
Here lyeth now his corps,
his soule bright and faire,
Is taken to heavens blisse,
thereof is no despaire.
His acts beare witnesse,
by matters of accord,
How charitable he was,
and of what record:
No man hath beene
so beneficiall as he,
Vnto the Citie
in giving liberally, &c.
He gave a stone house to be a Reve
stry to that Church for ever:
Belinsgate Ward, Downegate Word, and Ealdgate VVard dischar
ged of all Fifteens.
More, hee
gave Lands and Tenements to the use
of the Communalty, that the Maior
and Chamberlaine should satisfie, unto
the discharge of all persons, inhabiting
within the Wards of Belinsgate, Downe
, and Ealdgate, as oft as it shall hap
pen any Fifteene, by Parliament of the
King to be granted. Also to the Exche
quer, in discharge of the Sheriffes, ten
pounds yeerely, which the Sheriffes u
sed to pay for the Farme of Southwarke,
so that all men of the Realme, comming
or passing with carriage, should be free
quitted and discharged of all Toll and
other payments, aforetime claimed by
the Sheriffes.
Further, that the Maior and Cham
berlaine shall pay yeerely to the She
riffes eight pounds, so that the Sheriffes
take no manner Toll or money of any
person of this Realme, for their Goods,
Merchandises, Victuals and Carriages,
for their passages at the great Gate of
the Bridge of the Citie, nor at the Gate
called the Draw-Bridge, &c.
The over-plus of money comming of
the said Lands and Tenements, divided
into even portions, the one part to bee
employed to instore the Grainaries of
the Citie with Wheat, for the reliefe of
the poore Communalty; and the other
moity to cleere and cleanse the shelves,
and other stoppages of the River of
, &c.
Stephen Forster, Fishmonger, Maior
in the yeere 1454. and Dame Agnes his
wife, lye buried there.
William Bacon, Haberdasher, one of
the Sheriffes, 1480. was there buried;
besides many other persons of good
worship, whose Monuments are all de
stroyed by badde and greedy men of
This Parish of S. Buttolph is no great thing;
The num
ber of strangers lately in
creased in this Citie.
notwithstanding divers Stran
gers are there harboured, as may ap
peare by a presentment, not many yeers
since made, of Strangers inhabitants in
the Ward of Belinsgate, in these words:
In Belinsgate Ward were one and fiftie
housholds of Strangers; whereof thirty of
these House-holders inhabited in the Parish
of Saint Buttolph
, in the chiefe and prin
cipal houses, where they give 20 pounds a yere
for an house lately letten for foure Markes.
The neerer they dwell to the water side, the
more they give for houses, and within
thirty yeeres before, there was not in the
whole Ward above three Netherlanders, at
which time, there was within the said Pa
rish levied for the helpe of the poore, seven
and twenty pounds by the yeere; but since
they came so plentifully thither, there cannot
be gathered aboue eleven pounds: for the
Stranger will not contribute to such charges
as other Citizens doe.
Thus much for that South side of
this Ward.
On the North side is Bosse Alley, so
called of a Bosse of Spring water conti
nually running, which standeth by Be
, against this Alley, and was
sometimes made by the Executors of
Richard Whittington.
Then is S. Mary Hill lane, which run
neth up North from Belinsgate, to the
end of S. Margaret Pattens, commonly
called Rood lane, and the greatest halfe
of that lane is also of Belinsgate Ward.

In this S. Mary Hill lane, is the faire
Parish Church of S. Mary, called, on
the Hill
, because of the ascent from Be
This Church hath beene lately buil
ded, as may appeare by this that follow
Richard Hackney, one of the Sheriffes
in the yeere 1322. and Alice his wife,
were there buried; as Robert Fabian
writeth, saying thus:
In the yeere 1497. in the moneth of A
Alice Hack
found uncorrup
ted, more than 150. yeers after she was buried.

as labourers digged for the foundation
of a wall, within the Church of Saint Mary
, neere unto Belinsgate, they found a
Coffin of rotten timber, and therein the
Corps of a woman, whole of skinne, and of
bones undissevered, and the ioynts of her
armes plyable, without breaking of the skin,
upon whose Sepulcher this was engraven:
Here lye the bodies of Richard Hackney,
Fishmonger; and Alice his wife: The
which Richard was Sheriffe in the 15.
of Edward the second.
Her body was kept above ground 3.
or foure dayes, without noyance; but
then it waxed unsavourie, and was a
gaine buried.
Iohn Mordant, Stock-fishmonger,
was buried there, 1387.
Nicholas Exton, Fishmonger, Maior,
William Cambridge, Maior, 1420.
Richard Goslin, Sheriffe, 1422.
William Philip, Sergeant at Armes,
Robert Revell, one of the Sheriffes,
1490. gave liberally toward the new
building of this Church and steeple,
and was there buried.
William Remington, Maior, 1500.
Sir Thomas Blanke, Maior, 1582.
William Holstocke, Esquire, Controller
of the Kings Ships.
Sir Cuthbert Buckle, Maior, 1594.
Here lyeth a Knight in London borne,
A faire Tombe in the east end of the Chancell.
Of honest birth, of Merchants trade,
A man of worthy fame.
Religious was his life to God,
To men his dealing iust:
The poore and Hospitals can tell
That wealth was not his trust.
With gentle heart, and spirit milde,
And nature full of pitie,
Both Sheriffe, Lord Maior and Alderman;
He ruled in this Citie.
The Good Knight was his common name,
So cal’d of many men:
He lived long, and dyed of yeeres,
Twice seven, and six times ten.
Obiit 28. Octob. An. Dom. 1588.
An Epitaph upon the death of
Dame Margaret Blancke, who depar
ted this life the second of Febru
ary, An. Dom. 1596
DEath was deceiv’d,
On the other side of the Tombe, southward▪
which thought these two to part:
For though this Knight
first left this mortall life,
Yet till she dyed,
he still liv’d in her heart.
What happier husband,
or more kinder wife?
Whom foure and forty
changes of the Spring,
In sacred wedlocke,
mutuall love had linkt:
The deare remembrance
of so deare a thing,
Was not by death
in her chaste breast extinct.
Building this Tombe
not long before she dy’d,
Her latest duty
to his Funerall Rite,
Crown’d with her vertues,
like an honest Bride,
Here lyes at rest
by her beloved Knight.
Though worthy Blancke
her name it still endures,
Yet, Traves, boast,
her birth was onely yours.
Beati qui moriuntur in Domino.
Here lye intombed the bodies of Sir Robert
A very faire Monumēt in the South wall of the Quire.
Knight, and Alderman of
London; who deceased the 2. day of May,
. in the 50. yeere of his age: And
of Dame Katharine his wife, at whose
charge this Monument is erected. They
had issue, nine children, whereof foure
are living. The said Dame Katharine
deceased, &c.

This Lane on both sides is furnished
with many faire houses for Merchants,
and hath at the North end thereof one
other Lane, called S. Margaret Pattens,
because of old time Pattens were usual
ly there made and sold: but of latter
time this is called Roode lane, of a Rood
there placed, in the Churchyard of S.
, whilest the old Church was
taken downe, and againe new builded;
during which time, the oblations made
to this Rood, were imployed towards
building of the Church. But in the yeer
1538. about the 23. of May in the mor
ning, the said Roode was found to have
beene in the night preceding (by peo
ple unknowne) broken all to pieces, to
gether with the Tabernacle, wherein it
had beene placed.
Also on the 27. of the same moneth,
in the same Parish, amongst the Basket-makers,
Fire in Reod lane.
a great and sudden fire happned
in the night season, which within the
space of three houres, consumed more
than a dozen houses, and nine persons
were brent to death there. And thus
ceased that worke of this Church, being
at that time nigh finished to the steeple.
The Monuments that I finde in this
Parish Church, are these following:
Here lyeth buried Mr. Reginald West,
In the midst of the Chan
cell, under the Com
munion Table a faire pla
ted stone.
Batchelor in divinity, and late Parson of
this Parish, who deceased the second day
of October, Anno Domini, 1563
. for
whose sincere, pure and godly Doctrine, as
also his vertuous end, the Lord be praised
for evermore.
Here-under lyeth buried Thomas Gelson,
The like stone, and neere to the other.
Citizen and Grocer of London, who de
ceased the 16. day of September, Anno
Dom. 1563
. And in the same Church
also lyeth buried Jane his wife: for whose
vertuous lives and godly departing, God
be praised for ever.
Here lyeth buried the body of Richard Glo
A very
faire stone
well pla
ted by the
Citizen and Pewterer of London,
who was twice Master of his Companie,
and one of the Common Councell of this
Citie: Having two wives, Elizabeth,
and Mary; and had issue by his first wife,
three sonnes; and by his second, hee had
eight sonnes and foure daughters. He de
ceased the 16. day of August, An. Dom.
. being aged 59. yeeres.
The Lane, on both sides beyond the
same Church, to the mid-way towards
Fen-church street, is of Belinsgate Ward.
Then againe, out of Thames street, by
the West end of S. Mary Hill Church,
runneth up one other Lane, of old time
called Rope Lane, since called Lucas lane,
of one Lucas, owner of some part there
of, and now corruptly called Love lane;
it runneth up by the East end of Saint
Andrew Hubbert
, or S. Andrew in East
. This Church, and all the whole
Lane called Lucas Lane, is of this Belins
Then have ye one other Lane out of
Thames street, called Buttolph lane, be
cause it riseth over against the Parish
Church of S. Buttolph
, and runneth up
North by the East end of Saint Georges
, to the West end of S. Andrews
, and to the South end of Phil
pot lane
This Parish Church of S. George in
Buttolph lane, is small, but the Monu
ments (for two hundred yeeres past) are
well preserved from spoile.
Whereof one is of Adam Bamme, Mai
or, 1397.
Richard Bamme, Esquire his sonne, of
Gillingham in Kent, 1452.
Iohn Walton, Gentleman, 1401.
Marpor, a Gentleman, 1400.
Iohn Saint-Iohn, Merchant of Levant,
and Agnes his wife, 1400.
Hugh Spencer, Esquire, 1424.
William Combes, Stocke-fishmonger,
one of the Sheriffes, 1452. who gave
forty pounds towards the Workes of
that Church.
Iohn Stocker, Draper, one of the She
riffes, 1477.
Richard Dryland, Esquire, and Katha
his wife, daughter to Morrice Brune,
Knight of Southukenton in Essex, Stew
ard of the houshold to Humphrey Duke
of Glocester, 1487.
Nicholas Partrich, one of the Sheriffs
1519. in the Churchyard.
William Forman, Maior, 1538.
Iames Mountford, Esquire, Surgeon
to King Henry the eighth, buried, 1544.
Thomas Gayle, Haberdasher, 1340.
Nicholas Wilford, Merchant-Taylor,
and Elizabeth his wife, about the yeere
Edward Heyward, 1573. &c.

Roger Delakere, founded a Chauntrie
Then have ye one other Lane, called
Rother lane, or Red Rose lane, of such a
signe there; now commonly called Pud
ding lane
, because the Butchers of East-Cheape
have their Scalding-house for
Hogs there, and their Puddings, with
other filth of Beasts, are voided downe
that way to their dung-boats on the
This Lane stretcheth from Thames
to little East-cheape, chiefely inha
bited by Basket-makers, Turners, and
Butchers, and is all of Belinsgate Ward.
The Garland in Little East-cheape,
sometime a Brewhouse, with a Gar
den on the backe-side, adjoyning to the
Garden of Sir Iohn Philpot, was the
chiefe House in this East-cheape: It is
now divided into sundry small Tene
ments, &c.
This Ward hath an Alderman and
his Deputie; Common Counsellors, 7.
Constables, eleven; Scavengers, sixe;
for the Ward-more Inquest, foureteen,
and a Beadle, it is taxed to the Fifteene
in London, at two and thirty pounds;
and in the Exchequer, at one and thir
ty pounds, tenne shillings.

Cite this page

MLA citation

Stow, John, Anthony Munday, Anthony Munday, and Humphrey Dyson. Survey of London (1633): Billingsgate Ward. The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0, edited by Janelle Jenstad, U of Victoria, 05 May 2022, Draft.

Chicago citation

Stow, John, Anthony Munday, Anthony Munday, and Humphrey Dyson. Survey of London (1633): Billingsgate Ward. The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0. Ed. Janelle Jenstad. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed May 05, 2022. Draft.

APA citation

Stow, J., Munday, A., Munday, A., & Dyson, H. 2022. Survey of London (1633): Billingsgate Ward. In J. Jenstad (Ed), The Map of Early Modern London (Edition 7.0). Victoria: University of Victoria. Retrieved from Draft.

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  - Munday, Anthony
A1  - Munday, Anthony
A1  - Dyson, Humphrey
ED  - Jenstad, Janelle
T1  - Survey of London (1633): Billingsgate Ward
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  -
UR  -
ER  - 

TEI citation

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