SEing that of euery of these Wardes: I haue
to say somewhat: I wil beginne with Port
soken warde
, without Ealdgate.
This Portsoken, which soundeth as
much as the Franchise at the gate, was
Liber Trinitate
Knighten Guilde.
sometime a Guilde, and had this beginning,
as I haue reade. In the daies of king Edgar,
more then 600. yeres since, there were thirteene Knights (or sol
diers) welbeloued to the king and realme (for seruice by them done)
which requested to haue a certain portion of land on the East part
of the Citie, left desolate, and forsaken, by the inhabitants, by rea
son of too much seruitude. They besought the king to haue this
land, with the Libertie of a Guilde for euer: the king granted to
their request with conditions following: that is, that each of them
should victoriously accomplish thrée combates, one aboue the
ground, one vnder ground, and the thirde in the water, and after
this at a certaine day in East Smithfield, they should run with
speares against all comners, all which was gloriously performed:
and the same day the king named it knighten Guilde, and so boun
ded it, from Ealdgate to the place where the bars now are toward
the East, on both the sides of the streete, and extended it towardes
the North, and the gate now since called Bishopsgate, vnto the
G 3

house then of VVilliam Presbiter, after of Geffery Tannar,
and then of the heires of Coluer, after that of Iohn Esseby, but
since of the Lord Bourchier,&c. And againe towardes the South
vnto the Riuer of Thames, and so far into the water, as a horse
man entering the same may ryde at a low water, and throw his
speare: so that all East Smithfielde, with the right part of the
streete that goeth to Dodding Pond into the Thames, and also
the Hospitall of S. Katherins, with the Mils, that were founded
in king Stephens daies, and the outward stone wall, and the new
ditch of the Tower are of the saide Fee and Libertie : for the saide
wall and ditch of the Tower, were made in the time of king Rich
, when he was in the holy Land, by William Longshamp
Bishop of Ely, as before I haue noted vnto you. These knightes
had as then none other Charter, by all the daies of Edgar, Ethel
, and Cnutus, vntil the time of Edward the Confessor
, whom
the heires of those knightes humblie besought to confirme their
Liberties, whereunto he gratiously graunting, gaue them a deed
Liber Trinitate
thereof, as appeareth in the booke of the late house of the holie
, written in the Saxon letter and tongue. After this king
the sonne of William the Conqueror, made a confirma
tion of the same Liberties, vnto the heires of these knightes, in
these wordes. Wiliam king of Englande to Maurice Bishop
and Godfrey de Magum, and Richarde de Parr, and to his
faithfull people of London, greeting, know yee mee to haue
graunted to the men of Knighten Guilde, the Guilde that
belonged to them, and the Land that belonged thereunto,
with all Customes, as they had the same in the time of king
, and my Father. Witnesse Hugh de Bucke: at Rething
After him, king Henry the first confirmed the same by his Char
ter, to the like effect, the recitall whereof, I pretermit for breui
ties sake. After which time, the Church of the holy Trinitie
within Ealdgate of London, being founded by Queene Matilde
wife to the saide Henry, the multitude of Brethren praising God
day and night therein, in short time so increased, that all the Citie
was delighted in the beholding of them: insomuch that in the yere
1115. certaine Burgeses of London, of the progeny of those noble
English knightes to wit Radulphus Fitzalgod, Wilmarde le

Deuereshe, Orgare le Prude, Edward Hupcornehill, Black
the Canons
of the holy
and Alwine his kinsman, and Robert his brother, the
sonnes of Leafstanus the Goldsmith, Wizo his sonne, Hugh Fitz
, Algare Secusme, comming together into the Chapter
house of the saide church of the Holy Trinity, gaue to the same
Church and Canons seruing God therein, all the Landes and
Soke called in English Knighten Guilde, which lieth to the
wall of the Citie, without the same gate, and stretcheth to the ri
uer of Thames
, they gaue it, I say, taking vpon them the Brother
hoode and participation of the benefites of that house by the hands
of Prior Norman. And the better to confirme this their grant,
they offered vpon the Altar there, the Charter of Edwarde toge
ther with the other Charters, which they had thereof: and after
warde they did put the foresaide Prior in seisine thereof, by the
Church of S. Buttolphes which is builded thereon, and is the
head of that land: These things were thus done, before Barnarde
Prior of Dunstable, Iohn Prior of Derland, Geffery Glinton
Chamberlain, and many other Clarks and Laymen, French &
English, Orgar le Prude (one of their Companie) was sent to
King Henry, beseeching him to confirm their gifte, which the king
gladly granted, by this deede following. Henry king of Eng
to R B. of London; to the Shiriffes, and Prouost, and to al
his Barons, and faithfull people, French and English, of London
Barons of
and Middlesex, greeting. Know ye me to haue granted, and con
firmed to the Church and Canons of the Holy Trinitie of Lon
, the Soke of the English knighten Guild, and the land which
pertayneth thereunto, and the Church of S. Buttolph, as the
men of the same Guilde haue giuen, and granted vnto them: and
I will and straightlie commande that they may holde the same
well and honorably and freely,|with sacke, and soke, Toll, and
Thea, infangthefe and all customes belonging to it, as the men of
the same Guilde in best sort had the same in the time of king Ed
, and as king William my Father, and brother2 did grant
it to them by their writs. Witnesse A. the Queene Geffery Glin
the Chauncelor, and VVilliam of Glinton at Wodstocke.
Al these prescribed writinges (saith my booke), which sometime be
longed to the Priorie of the Holy Trinitie, are registred in the end

of the booke of Remembrances of the Guildhall of London,
marked with the Letter C. folio 134. The king sent also his
Shiriffes to wit, Albert de Vere, aud Roger nephew to Hubert
which vpon his behalfe should inuest this Church, with the pos
session hereof which the saide Shiriffes accomplished comming v
pon the ground, Andrew Bucheuite, andthe forenamed witnes
ses, and other standing by, notwithstanding Othowerus Acoli
ui3llus Otto, and Geffery Earle of Essex, Constables of the
Tower, by succession, withheld by force, a portion of the saide land
Constables of
the Tower.
as I haue before deliuered. The Prior and Chanons of the Holy
, being thus seised of the saide Land and Soke, of Knigh
ten Guilde
Parte of
held by4 the
Constables of
the Tower.
, a parte of the Suburbe without the wall, (but within
the Liberties of the Citie) the same Prior was for him, and his
Successors, admitted as one of the Aldermen of London, to go
uerne the same Land and Soke: according to the Customes of the
Citie, he did sit in Courte and road with the Maior, and his Bre
thren the Aldermen, as one of them in Scarlet, or other Liuery,
Prior of the
Trinitie an
Alderman of
as they vsed vntil the yere the which time, the said Prio
ry by the last Prior there, was surrendred to king Henry the eight,
in the 23. of his raigne
. Who gaue this Priorie to Sir Thomas
, Knight, Lord Chauncelor of England, & he pulled down
the church. Sithens the which dissolution of that house, the said
Ward of Portsoken, hath been gouerned by a temporall man one
of the Aldermen of London, elected by the Citizens, as be the Al
dermen of other wardes. Thus much for the out boundes of
Cnitten Guilde, or Portsoken Warde, and for the antiquitie
and gouernment thereof.
Now of the parts therein, this is specially to be noted. First
the East part of the Tower standeth there, then an Hospitall of
S. Katherines
founded by Matilde the Queene, wife to king
, by licence of the Prior and Couent of the Holy Trinitie
in London on whose ground shee founded it. Helianor the Queen
wife to king Edward the first, appointed there to bee a Maister,
three Brethren Chaplens, and three Sistars. ten poore woemen,
and six poore Clarkes, Queene Philip5 wife to king Edwarde
the third
, founded a Chantry there, and gaue to that Hospitall
x £. land by yeare, it was of late time called a free chappell, a col

ledge, and an Hospitall for poore Sisters. The Quire which of
late yeares was not much inferior to that of Paules, was dissolued
by D. Wilson a late maister there, ye brethrē & Sistars remaining:
this house was valued at 315.£.14..ij.pence, being now of late
yeres inclosed about (or pestered with small tenements, and home
ly cottages, hauing inhabitants, English and strangers, more in
number then some Cittie in England. There lye buried in this
Church the Countesse of Huntington, Countesse of the March,
in her time 1429. Iohn Holland Duke of Excester and Earle
of Huntington 1447. in a fayre tombe on the North side the
quire, Thomas Walsingham Esquire, and Thomas Ballarde
Esquire by him 1465. Thomas Flemming Knight 1466.
On the East and by North of the Tower, lieth Eastsmithfield
and Tower hill, two plots of ground so called, without the wall
of the Citie, and East from them both was sometime a monaste
rie called new Abbey, founded by King Edward the third, in the
yeare 1359. vpon occasion as followeth.
In the yeare 1348.the 23. of Edward the third, the first great
pestilence in his time beganne, and increased so sore, that for want
of roome in Churchyardes to burie the dead of the citie, and of the
Buriall for the
dead, prepared
in time of pe
suburbes, one Iohn Corey clearke, procured of Nicholas Prior
of the holy Trinitie within Ealdegate, one Toft of ground néere
vnto Eastsmithfield, for ye burial of them that died, with condition
that it might be called the Church yard of the holy Trinity, which
ground he caused by the aide of diuers deuout citizen to bee inclosed
with a wall of stone. Robert Elsing sonne of VVilliam Elsing
gaue fiue pound thereunto: and the same was dedicated by Raph
Bishop of London, where innumerable bodies of the
dead were afterwards buried, & a chappell built in the same place,
to ye honor of God: to the which, K. Edward setting his eie (hauing
before in a tempest on the sea and perill of drowning made a vowe
to build a monastery to the honour of God, and our Lady of grace,
if God would graunt him grace, to come safe to land) builded there
a monasterie, placing an Abbot, and monkes of the Cistercian (or
white) order. The boundes of this plot of grounde together with
a decrée for Tythes thereof, are expressed in the Charter, the effect

whereof I haue set downe in an other place. This house at the
late generall suppression was valued at 546.£.x.ď. yearely, it was
surrendered in the yeare 1539. the 30. of Henry the eight, since
the which time, the said monastery being cleane pulled downe, by
Sir Arthur Darcy knight and other, of late time in place there
of is builded a large Store house for victuailes, and conuenient O
uens are builded there, for baking of bisket to serue her Maiesties
shippes. The groundes adioyning belonging to the saide Abbey
are imployed in building of small tenementes: for Tower hill, as
the same is greatly diminished by building of tenements & garden
plottes, &c. So it is of late, to wit in the yeare of Christ 1593. on
the North side thereof, and at the West end of Hogstréete, beauti
fyed by certaine fayre Almes houses. there strongly builded of
Bricke and timber & couered with slate for the poore, by the Mar
chant Taylors
of London, in place of some small cottages, giuen
to them by Richard Hilles sometime a Maister of that company
certaine timber for that vse, being also giuen by Anthonie Rad
of the same societie Alderman. In these Almes houses 14.
charitable brethren of the said marchant Taylors yet liuing haue
placed 14. poore sole women, which receiue each of them of their
founder sixtéene pence (or better) wéekely, besides viii.£.xv .
yearely, paide out of the common Treasurie of the same corpora
tion, for fewell.
Frō ye west part of this Tower hil, towards Ealdegate being a
long continual stréet, amongst other smaller buildings in that row
there was sometimes an Abbey of Nunnes of the order of Saynt
Abbey of
Saint Clare
Nunnes called
the Minories.
Clare, called the Minories, founded by Edmund Earle of Lan
, Leycester and Darbie, brother to King Edward the first,
in the yeare 1293, the length of which Abbey contayned 15. per
ches and seuen foote, neere vnto the kings stréete, or high way, &c.
as appeareth by a déede dated 1303. This house was valued to
dispend 418.£.8..v.ď. yearely, and was surrendered by Dame
Elizabeth Saluage
, the last Abbeyes there, vnto King Henry
the eyght
, in the 30. of his raigne
, the yeare of Christ 1539.
In place of this house of Nunnes, is now builded diuers faire
and large store houses, for armour, and habiliments of war, with
Store house
for armour.
diuers worke houses seruing to the same purpose: there is a small

parrish Church for inhabitants of the close, called S. Trinities.
Parish church
of S. Trinitie
A farme by the
Néere adioyning vnto this Abbey on the South side thereof,
was sometime a Farme, belonging to the said Nunnerie, at the
which I my selfe in my youth haue fetched many a halfe pennie
worth of milke, and neuer had lesse then thrée Ale pints for a half
penie in ye sommer, nor lesse then one Ale quart for a halfpennie in
the winter, alwaies hot from the cow, as the same was milked
and strained. One Trolop, and afterwardes Goodman, were
the Farmers there, and had 30. or 40. kine to the payle. Good
being heyre thereof, let out the ground first for gra
zing of horse, and then for garden plottes, and liued like a gentle
man thereby. On thother side of that stréete, lyeth the ditch with
out the walles of the citie, which of old time was vsed to lie open,
and was alwaies from time to time cleansed from filth and mud,
as neede required, and was of great breadth and so déepe, that di
uers watring horses, where they thought it shallowest, were
drowned both horse and man. But now of latter time, the same
ditch is inclosed, and the bankes thereof let out for garden plottes,
carpenters yardes, bowling Allies, and diuers houses bee thereon
builded, whereby the ditch is filled vp, and made shallow enough.
From Ealdegate East, lyeth a large stréete, and high way,
sometime replenished with few, but fayre and cleanly buildinges:
on the North side whereof the first building was the parish church
of Saint Buttolph
, in a large cemitorie, or church yarde. This
church hath beene lately new builded at the speciall charges of the
Priors of the holy Trinitie, patrons thereof, as it appeareth by
the Armes of that house engrauen on the stone worke. The pa
rishioners of this parish being of late yeares mightily increased,
the church is pestered with lofts & seates for them. Monuments in
this Church there are few: Iohn Romany Ollarie & Agnes his
wife were buried thereabout 1408. Richard Chester Alderman,
one of the Sheriffes 1484. Thomas, Lord Darcy of the North,
knight of the Garter beheaded 1537. Sir Nicolas Carew of Be
in Surrey, knight of the Garter beheaded, 1538. Sir Ar
thur Darcy
, youngest sonne to Thomas Lorde Darcie, decea
sed at the newe Abbey on the Tower hill, was buried there.
East from this parrish church there were certain fayre Innes, for

receipt of trauellers, repayring to the citie, vp towards Hog lane
end, somewhat within the Barres, a marke shewing howe farre
the liberties of the Citie do extend.
This Hogge lane stretcheth North to Saint Mary Spittle,
without Bishopsgate, and within these fortie foure yeares last, had
on both sides fayre hedgerowes of Ealme trées, with bridges and
easie styles to passe ouer into the pleasant fieldes, very commodi
ous for citizens therein to walke, shoote, and otherwise to recre
ate and refresh their dulled spirites in the swéete and wholesome
ayre, which is now within few yeares made a continual building
throughout, of garden houses, and small cottages: & the fields on ei
ther sides be turned into garden plottes, teynter yardes, bowling
Alleyes, and such like, from Hounds ditch in the West, so farre
as White chappel, and further in the East. The South side of the
high way from Ealdegate had some few tenements thinly scatte
red here and there, with much voyde space betweene them, vp to
the said Barre, but now that stréete is not onely fully replenished
with buildings, outwarde, and also pestered with diuers Allies,
on eyther side to the Barres, but also euen to White chappell,and
From Aldegate Northwest to Bishopsgate, lyeth the ditch of
the citie in that part called Hounds ditch, for that in old time when
the same lay open much filth (conueyed forth of the citie) especial
ly dead dogges was there laid or cast: wherefore of latter time a
mudde wall was made inclosing the ditch, to kéepe out the laying
of such filth as had beene accustomed. Ouer against this mudde
wall on the other side of the stréete, was a fayre fielde, sometime
belonging to the Priory of the Trinitie, and since by Sir Tho
mas Audley
giuen to Magdalen Colledge in Cambridge: this
field (as all other about the citie) was inclosed, reseruing open pas
sage there into, for such as were disposed. Towards the stréet were
some small cottages, of two stories high, and little garden plottes
backewarde, for poore bedred people (for in that stréete dwelt none
other) builded by some Prior of the holy Trinitie, to whom that
ground belonged. In my youth I remember, devout people as
Bedred peo
ple in Hounds
well men as women of this citie, were accustomed oftentimes e
specially on Frydayes weekely to walke that way purposely, and

there to bestow their charitable almes, euery poore man or wo
man lying in their bed within their window, which was towards
the streete open so low, that euery man might see them, a cleane
linnen cloth lying in their window, and a payre of beades to shew
that there lay a bedred bodie vnable but to pray onely. This stréet
was first paued in the year 1503. about the later raign of Henry
ye eight
, thrée brethren that were Gunfounders surnamed Owens6,
Brasse ordi
nance cast in
Hounds ditch.
gate ground there to build vpon and to inclose for casting of brasse
These occupied a good part of ye stréet on the field side, and in short
time diuers other also builded there, so that the poore bedred people
were worne out, and in place of their homely cottages, such houses
builded, as do rather want roome, then rent. The residue of the field
was for the most part made into a garden, by a Gardener, named
Casway, one that serued the markets, with hearbes and rootes,
and in the last yeare of King Edward the sixt, the same was par
celled into gardens, wherein are now many fayre houses of plea
sure buildéd. On the ditch side of this streete, the mudde wall is
also by little and little all taken downe, the banke of the ditch be
ing raysed made leuel ground, and turned into garden plottes, and
Carpenters yardes, and many large houses are there builded, by
which meanes the ditch is filled vp, and both the ditch and wall so
hidden that they cannot be seene of the passers by. This Port
hath an Alderman and his deputie, common coun
sellors sixe, Constables foure, Scauengers foure, for the
Wardemote inquest eighteene, and a Beadle, to at
tend vpon them all, to the Fiftéene it is
ceased at ix.pound.


  1. Letter missing; context obvious. (SM)
  2. I.e William II. (SM)
  3. Underinking. (SM)
  4. Unclear; context obvious. (SM)
  5. I.e. Philippa (SM)
  6. I.e. John Owen and Robert Owen (KL)

Cite this page

MLA citation

Stow, John, and William fitz Stephen. Survey of London: Portsoken Ward. The Map of Early Modern London, edited by Janelle Jenstad, U of Victoria, 20 Jun. 2018,

Chicago citation

Stow, John, and William fitz Stephen. Survey of London: Portsoken Ward. The Map of Early Modern London. Ed. Janelle Jenstad. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed June 20, 2018.

APA citation

Stow, J., & fitz Stephen, W. 2018. Survey of London: Portsoken Ward. In J. Jenstad (Ed), The Map of Early Modern London. Victoria: University of Victoria. Retrieved from

RIS file (for RefMan, 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: Portsoken Ward
T2  - The Map of Early Modern London
PY  - 2018
DA  - 2018/06/20
CY  - Victoria
PB  - University of Victoria
LA  - English
UR  -
UR  -
ER  - 


RT Web Page
SR Electronic(1)
A1 Stow, John
A1 fitz Stephen, William
A6 Jenstad, Janelle
T1 Survey of London: Portsoken Ward
T2 The Map of Early Modern London
WP 2018
FD 2018/06/20
RD 2018/06/20
PP Victoria
PB University of Victoria
LA English
OL English

TEI citation

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