Survey of London (1633): Antiquity of London

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Containing the Originall, Antiquity, Increase, Mo
derne Estate, and Description of that Citie.
AS the Romane
Writers, to
glorify the Ci
tie of Rome,
drew the Ori
ginall thereof
from gods &
demygods, by
the Trojan pro
genie: so Geoffrey of Monmouth, the
Welsh Historian, deduceth the founda
tion of this famous Citie of London, for
the greater glorie thereof, and emulati
on of Rome, from the very same Origi
nall. For he reporteth, that Brute line
ally descended from the demy-god Æ
, the sonne of Venus, daughter of Iu
, about the yeere of the world 2855.
and 1108. before the nativity of Christ,
builded this Citie neere unto the River
now called Thames,
TrinobantThis text has been supplied. Reason: The text is not clear for some reason not covered by other available values. Evidence: The text has been supplied based on evidence internal to this text (context, etc.). (CH) hath the written copie. Livie.
and named it Troy
, or Trenovant. But herein, as Li
(the mow famous Historiographer
of the Romanes) writeth, Antiquity is
pardonable, and hath an especiall priviledge,
by interlacing divine matters with humane,
to make the first foundation of Cities more
honourable, more sacred, and as it were, of
greater Majestie
King Lud (as the aforesaid Geoffrey
of Monmouth
noteth) afterward, not on
ly repaired this Citie; but also increa
sed the same with faire Buildings, Tow
ers and Walls, and after his owne name,
called it Caire-Lud,
Caire Lud, the Citie of Lud, but Luds-towne is a Saxon word.
as Luds Towne, and
the strong Gate which he builded in the
West part of the Citie, he likewise (for
his owne honour) named Ludgate.
This Lud had issue two sonnes, An
, and Theomantius, or Tenanticus,
who beeing not of age to governe at
the death of their Father; their Vncle
Cassibelan tooke upon him the Crowne;
about the eighth yeere of whoſe reigne,
Iulius Cæsar arrived in this Land, with a
great power of Romanes to conquer it.
The manner of which Conquest, I will
summarily set downe out of his owne
Commentaries, which are of farre bet
ter credit, than the relations of Geoffrey
The chiefe government of the Britains,
sars cō
mentaries, lib. 5.

and ordering of the Warres, was then (by
common advice) committed to Cassibelan,
whose Signiorie was separated from the Ci
ties towards the Sea-coast, by the River cal
led Thames, about 80. miles off from the
Sea. This Cassibelan in times past, had
made continuall warre upon the Cities ad
joyning; but the Britains being moved with
the Romanes invasion, had resolved in that
necessity to make him their Soveraigne and
Generall of the Warres. sar having know
ledge of their intent, marched with his Army
to the Thames,
The River of Thames to be pas
sed afoot in sars time.
into the Signory of Cassibe
. This River can be passed but onely in
one place on foot, and that very hardly.
When he came thither, he saw a great power

Antiquity of LONDON.

of his enemies in battaile array, on the other
side of the River. Now was the Banke stick
ed full of stakes, sharpned at the end; and
likewise other stakes (of the same making)
were driven into the Channell, and hidden
with the water. sar having understan
ding thereof, by his Prisoners and Runne
awaies, sent his Horsemen before, and com
manded his Footmen to follow immediately
after them. But the Romane Souldiers
went with such speed and force, having no
more than their heads onely above the water:
that the enemy being not able to withstand
the violence of the Footmen, and the men of
Armes, forsooke the banke, and tooke them
to flight. Cassibelan despairing of his good
successe, by fighting in plaine battaile, sent
away all his greater powers,
The poli
cie of Cas
on his ill successe.
and keeping still
about foure thousand Waggoners, watched
which way the Romanes went, and drew
somewhat aside out of the way, hiding him
selfe in cumbersome and woody places. And
wheresoever hee knew the Romanes should
march, hee drave both Cattell and people
thence into the Woods. When the Romanes
Horsemen ranged any thing freely abroad
into the fields for forrage, or to harry the
Countrey: he sent his Waggoners by all waies
and paths out of the woods, upon their men
of Armes,
His advā
tage a
gainst the Romane horsemen.
and encountred with them to their
great prejudice, through the feare whereof,
he kept them short from ranging at their
So the matter was brought to this passe,
that sar would not suffer his Horsemen
to stray any farnesse from his maine Battaile
of Footmen, and adventured no further to
annoy his enemies, in wasting their fields,
and burning their houses, than he could com
passe by the travaile of his Footmen, as they
were able to journey.
In the meane while,
Trinobants Citizens of London.
the Trinobants,
which was the strongest Citie, wel-neere, of
all those Countries, and out of which Citie, a
yong Gentleman called Mandubrace, upon
confidence of sars helpe, comming unto
him into the maine Land of Gallia, now
called France, had thereby escaped death,
which he should have suffered at Cassibe
hand, (as his Father Imanuence had
done, who had reigned in that Citie:) sent
Ambassadours to sar,
and the Trino
yeeld to sar, and he de
fended them.
promising to yeeld
unto him, and to doe what hee should com
mand them. Instantly desiring him, to pro
tect Mandubrace from the furious Tyranny
of Cassibelan, and to send him into the City,
with authority to take the government there
of upon him. sar accepted the offer, and
appointed them to give unto him 40. Hosta
ges, and withall to finde him graine for his
Armie, and so sent hee Mandubrace unto
When others saw that sar had not only
defended the Trinobants against Cassibe
, but had also saved them harmlesse from
the pillage of his owne Souldiers: then
also did the Cenimagues, Segontians,
Aucalits, Bibrokes
, and Cassians like
wise submit themselves unto him,
Cassibelans Towne west from London, for sar saith, 80. miles from the Sea.
and by
them he learned, that not farre from thence
was Cassibelans Towne, (fortified with
woods and marish grounds) into the which
he had gathered a great number both of men
and cattell.
For the Brittans call that a Towne,
Cities of the Britains were cum
bersome woods for
they have fortified a cumbersome wood with
a ditch and Rampire, and thither they resort
to eschew the invasions of their enemies. To
this place therefore marched sar with his
Legions; hee found it excellently fortified,
both of nature, and by mans advice: never
thelesse, he resolved to assault it in two seve
rall places at once; whereupon the Britaines
being not able to endure the force of the Ro
, fled out at another part, and left
the Towne unto him: a great number of cat
tell he found there, and many of the Bri
he slew, and others hee tooke in the
Whilest these things were a doing in these
quarters, Cassibelan sent messengers into
Kent, which lyeth upon the Sea, and in which
there reigned then foure particular Kings,
named, Cingetorix, Carvil, Taximagul,
and Segonax, whom he commanded to raise
all their forces, and suddenly to set upon,
and assault the Romanes in their Trenches
by the Sea side: the which when the Ro
perceived, they sallied out upon them,
slew a great sort of them, and taking Cin
their noble Captaine prisoner, reti
red themselves to their Campe in good safe
When Cassibelan heard of this, and had
formerly taken many other losses, and found
his Countrey sore wasted, and himselfe left
almost alone, by the defection of the other Ci
ties, he sent Ambassadours by Comius of
to sar, to intreat him concerning
his owne submission: the which sar did
accept; and taking Hostages, assessed the
Realme of Britaine to a yeerely Tribute,

Antiquity of LONDON.

to be paid to the people of Rome,
Britaine sessed to pay a yeerely tribute to Rome.
straight charge to Cassibelan, that he should
not seeke any revenge upon Mandubrace,
or the Trinobants, and so withdrew his Ar
mie to the Sea againe.
Thus farre out of sars Commenta
ries, concerning this History, which
hapned in the yeere before Christs nati
vity, 54. In all which processe, there is
for this purpose to be noted, that sar
nameth the Citie of Trinobantes, which
hath a resemblance with Troy nova, or
Trinobantum, having no greater diffe
rence in the Orthography, than changing
(b) into (v), and yet maketh an errour,
whereof I will not argue. Onely this I
will note, that divers learned men doe
not thinke Civitas Trinobantum, to bee
well and truely translated, the Citie of
the Trinobantes
: but it should rather bee
the state, communalty, or Signiorie of
the Trinobantes, for that sar in his
Commentaries useth the word Civitas,
onely for a people living under the selfe
same Prince and Law. But certaine it
Cities of the Britains not artifi
cially buil
ded with houses, nor walled with stone
that the Cities of the Brittaines were
(in those daies) neither artificially buil
ded with houses, nor strongly walled
with stone, but were onely thicke and
cumbersome Woods, plashed within,
and trenched about: and the like (in ef
fect) doe other the Romane and Greeke
Authors affirme, as Strabo, Pomponius
, and Dion, a Senator of Rome, which
flourished in the severall reignes of the
Romane Emperours, Tiberius,
, and Severus: to wit, that be
fore the arrivall of the Romanes, the Brit
had no Townes, but called that a
Towne, which had a thicke intangled
Wood, defended (as I said) with a ditch
and banke, the like whereof the Irishmen,
our next neighbours, doe at this day call
Fastnes. But after that these hither parts
of Britains were reduced into the forme
of a Province, by the Romans, who sowed
the seeds of civility over all Europe; this
Citie, whatsoever it was before, began
to be renowned and of fame.
London most fa
mous for merchants and enter
For Taci
, who first of all Authors nameth it
Londinium, saith, that in the 26.1 yeere
after Christ, it was, albeit no Colonie
of the Romanes, yet most famous for the
great multitude of Merchants, provisi
on, and entercourse. At which time, in
that notable revolt of the Britaines from
Nero, in which threescore and ten thou
sand Romanes and their confederates
were slaine; this Citie, with Verulami
, neere Saint Albans, and Maldon in
Essex, then all famous, were ransacked
and spoiled. For Suetonius Paulinus, then
Lieutenant for the Romanes in this Ile,
abandoned it, as not then fortified, and
left it to the spoile.
Shortly after,
The Bri
had no houses, but cotta
Iulius Agricola, the Ro
Lieutenant, in the time of Domiti
, was the first that (by adhorting the
Britaines publikely, and helping them
privately) wonne them to build houses,
for themselves, Temples for the gods,
and Courts for Justice, to bring up the
Noble mens children in good Letters,
and humanity, and to apparell them
selves Romane like.
The Bri
went naked, their bo
dies pain
Whereas before (for
the most part) they went naked, pain
ting their bodies, &c. as all the Romane
Writers have observed.
True it is, I confesse, that afterward
many Cities and Townes in Britaine,
under the Government of the Romanes,
were walled with Stone, and baked
Richborrow in Kent.
or Tyles; as Richborrow, Rypta
in the Ile of Thanet, till the chan
nell altered his course;
besides Sand
in Kent,
Verulamium, besides Saint
Albanes in Hartfordshire,
Cilcester in
Wroxcester in Shropshire,
in Herefordshire, there miles
from Hereford Towne; Ribcester, seven
miles above Preston, on the water of
Rible; Aldeburge, a mile from Borrow
, or Wathelingstreet, on Vre River,
and others.
And no doubt but this Citie of Lon
was also walled with Stone,
Of the wal about Lon
in the
time of the Romane Government here,
but yet very lately. For, it seemeth
not to have beene walled in the yeere of
our Lord 296. because in that yeere,
when Alectus the Tyrant was slaine in
the Field, the Franks or Franconians ea
sily entred London, and had sacked the
same, had not GOD (of his great
favour) at the very instant, brought
along the River of Thames, certaine
Bands of Romane Souldiers, who
slew those Franks in every street of the


  1. In 1598, Stow notes this as the year 62 after Christ. (ML)

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MLA citation

Stow, John, Anthony Munday, Anthony Munday, and Humphrey Dyson. Survey of London (1633): Antiquity of London. 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): Antiquity of London. 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): Antiquity of London. In J. Jenstad (Ed), The Map of Early Modern London (Edition 7.0). Victoria: University of Victoria. Retrieved from Draft.

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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): Antiquity of London
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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