Survey of London: Bread Street Ward

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BRedstréete Ward beginneth in the high stréete of West Cheape, to wit, on the South side, from the Standard, to the great Crosse. Then is also a part of Watheling stréet of this ward, to wit, from ouer against the Red Lyon on the North side vp almost to Powles gate, for it lacketh but one house of S. Augustins Church. And on the South side, from ye Red Lyon gate to the Old Exchaunge, and down the same Exchaunge on the East side, by the West end of Mayden Lane, or Distar Lane, to Knight
rydars stréete
, or as they call that part thereof, Old Fishstréete. And all the North side of the said Old Fishstréete, to the South ende of Bredstréete, and by that still in Knightridars stréete, till ouer against the Trinitie Church, and Trinitie Lane. Then is Bredstréet
it selfe so called of bread in old time there sold: for it appeareth by records, that in the yeare 1302. which was the 30. of Ed. the 1. The Bakers of London were bounden to sell no bread in their shops or houses, but in the Market, and that they should haue 4. Hall motes in the yeare, at foure seuerall termes, to determine of enormities belon
ging to the said Company.
This stréete giuing the name to the whole Warde, beginneth in West Cheape, almost by the Standard, and runneth downe South, through or thwart Watheling stréete, to Knightridars stréet aforesaid, where it endeth. This Bredstréete is wholly on both sides of this Warde. Out of the which stréete on the East side, is Basing Lane, a péece whereof, to wit, too and and ouer against the backe gate of the Red Lyon in Watheling stréete, is of this Bredstréete Warde.
Then is there one other stréete, which is called Friday stréete, and beginneth also in West Cheape, and runneth downe South through Watheling stréete, to Knightrider stréete (or Old Fishstréet) This Friday stréete is of Bredstréete Warde, on the East side from ouer against the Northeast corner of saint Mathewes Church, and on the West side from the South corner of the said Church, downe as aforesaid.

In this Fryday stréete on the West side thereof, is a Lane, com
monly called Mayden Lane, or Distaffe Lane, corruptly for Distar Lane, which runneth West into the olde Exchange: and in this lane is also one other Lane, on the South side thereof, likewise called Di
star Lane
, which runneth downe to Knightriders Stréete, or olde Fishstréete: and so be the boundes of this whole Warde. The Mo
numents to bee noted here, are first, the most bewtifull frame and front of faire houses and shops, that be within all the walles of Lon
, or elsewhere in England, commonly called Godsmithes rowe, betwixt Breadstréet end, and the Crosse in Cheape, but is within this Breadstréete Warde: the same was builded by Thomas Wood Goldsmith, one of the Sheriffes, in the yeare 1491. It continueth in number, tenne faire dwelling houses, and fouretéene shops, all in one frame vniformely builded, foure stories high, bewtified towards the stréete, with the Goldsmithes Armes, and the likenesse of wood
men (in memorie of his name) riding on monstrous beasts, all which is cast in Leade, richly painted ouer, and guilt: these hee gaue to the Goldsmithes, with stockes of money to be lent to young men, ha
uing those shops &c.
This said Front was againe new painted and guilt ouer, in the yeare 1594. Sir Richard Martin being then Maior, and kéeping his Maioraltie in one of them, and seruing out the time of Cutbert Buckle in that office, from the second of Iulie, til the 28. of October. Then for Watheling Stréete, which Leyland calleth Atheling or Noble stréet: but since he sheweth no reason why it was so called, I rather take it so named of the great high way of the same calling. True it is, that at this present as of olde time also, the inhabitants thereof were and are, wealthy Drapers, retailors of woollen cloathes both broad and narrowe, of all sortes, more then in any one stréete of this Citie. Of the olde Exchange, heere I haue noted in Faring
don Warde
: wherfore I passe downe to Knightriders stréet,
Knightriders Streete.
of I haue also spoken in Cordwainer stréete Ward, but in this part of the said Knightriders stréete, is a fishmarket kept, and therefore called olde Fishstréete, for a difference from new Fishstréete.
In this olde Fishstréete,
Fishmarket called olde Fishstreete.
is one rowe of small houses, placed along in the middest of Knightriders stréete, which rowe is also of Bredstréete Warde, these houses now possessed of Fishmoongers, were at the

first but mooueable boordes (or stables) sette out on market dayes, to shewe their fish there to be sold: but procuring license to set vp sheads, they grewe to shops, and by litle and litle, to tall houses, of thrée or 4. stories in heigth, and now are called Fishstréete. Bredestréet, so cal
led of bread solde there (as I sayd) is now wholely inhabited by rich Marchants, and diuers faire Innes be there for good receipt of car
riers, and other trauellers to the citie. On the East side of this stréet, at the corner of Watheling Stréete, is the proper church of Alhal
lowes in Bred street
, wherin are the monuments of Iames Thame Goldsmith, Iohn Walpole Goldsmith 1349. Thomas Bea
Alderman, one of ye Sheriffes, 1442. Sir Richard Chaury Salter Maior, 1509. Sir Thomas Pargitar Salter Maior, 1530. Henry Sucley Marchantailor, one of the Sheriffes 1541. Richard Reade Alderman, that serued & was taken prisoner in Scotland, 1545 Robert House one of the Sheriffes, 1586. William Albany : Richard May1, and Roger Abde Marchantaylors. The stéeple of this church had sometime a faire spéere of stone, but taken downe vpon this oc
casion. In the yeare 1559. the fifth of September, about noone or mid
day, fell a great tempest at London, in the ende whereof, happened a great lightening, with a terrible clap of thunder, which strooke the said speere about nine or tenne foote beneath the top thereof:
Speare of Al
hallowes stee
ple taken downe.
out of the which place fell a stone, that slew a dogge, and ouerthrew a man that was playing with the dogge: the same speere being but litle damnified hereby, was shortly after taken downe, for sparing the charges of reparation. On the same side is Salters Hall, with sixe almes houses in number, builded for poore decayed brethren of that company: This Hall was burned in the yeare 1539. and againe ree
Lower downe on the same side, is the parish church of Saint Mildred the Uirgine. The monuments in this Church bee of the Lord Trenchaunt, of Saint Albons knight, who was supposed to be eyther the new builder of this Church, or best benefactor to the works therof, about the year 1300. & odde. Cornish gentleman 1312. William Palmer Blader a great benefactor also 1356. Iohn Shad
Mayor, 1401. who gaue the parsonate house, a reuestry, and Churchyard, in the yeare 1428. and his monument is pulled down.

Stephen Bugge Gentleman, his Armes be 3. water bugges, 1419 Roger Forde Uintoner, 1440. Thomas Barnwell Fishmonger, one of the Sheriffes, 1434. Sir Iohn Hawlen Clarke, Parson of that Church, who built the Parsonage house newly, after the same had bene burned to the ground, togither with the Parson and his man also, burned in that fire,
Parson of S. Mildred and his man bur
1485. Iohn Pranell 1510. William Hurstwaight Pewterer to the King, 1526. Christopher Turner Chirurgian to King Henry the 8. 1530. Raphe Simonds Fishmon
ger, one of the Sheriffes, in the yeare 1527. Thomas Laugham gaue to the poore of that Parish foure Tenements, 1575. Tho
mas Hall
Salter, 1582. Thomas Collins Salter, Alderman. Sir Ambrose Nicholas Salter, Maior, 1575. was buried in Sir Iohn Chadworths Uault.
Out of this Bredstréet, on the same East side, is a Basing lane, a part whereof (as is afore shewed) is of this Warde, but howe it tooke the name I haue not read: other then that in the 20. yeare of Richard the second, the same was called the Bakehouse:
Basing Lane called the Bakehouse.
ment for the Kings Bakehouse, or of Bakers dwelling there, and baking bread to serue the Market in Bredstréete, where the bread was solde, I knowe not: but sure I am, I haue not reade yet of a
ny Basing, or of Gerrarde the Gyant, to haue any thing there to doo.
On the South side of this Lane, is one great house, of old time builded vpon Arched Uaultes, of stone, and with Arched Gates, now a common Ostrey for receit of Trauellers, commonly and corruptly called Gerardes Hall, of a Gyaunt saide to haue dwel
led there.
A Pole of 40. foote long, and 125. inches about, fabuled to be the iu
sting staffe of Gerarde a Gi
In the high Rooffed Hall of this house, sometime stood a large Firre Pole, which reached to the roofe therof, and was said to be one of the staues that Gerarde the Gyant vsed in the warres, to runne withall. There stoode also a Ladder of the same length, which (as they say) serued to ascende to the toppe of the Staffe. Of later yeares this Hall is altered in building, and diuers roomes are made in it. Notwithstanding the Pole is remoued to one cor
ner of the Hall, and the Ladder hanged broken vp on a Wall in the yarde. The Hostelar of that house saide to me, the Pole lacked halfe a foote of fortie in length: I measured the compasse,

and founde it to bee fiftéene inches. Reason of the Pole, coulde the maister of the Hostrey giue me none, but badde me reade the great Chronicles, for there he had heard of it. Which aun
swere séemed to me insufficient, for hée meant the description of Brittaine, before Reinwoolfes Chronicle, wherein the Authour writing a Chapter of Gyaunts, and hauing béene deceiued by some Authours, too much crediting their smoothe spéeche, hath set downe more matter then troth, as partly (and also against my will) I am enforced to touch. R. G.3
R.G. A stone said to be a toothe, and so by con
iecture, a man to be 28. foote of height.
in this briefe collection of Histories hath these wordes. I the writer hereof, did sée the tenth day of March, in the yeare of our Lord 1564. and had the same in my hande, the Toothe of a man, which waighed tenne Ounces of Troy waight. And the skull of the same man is extant and to be seene, which will holde fiue Peckes of wheate. And the shinne bone of the same man is sixe foote in length, and of a maruellous greatnesse. Thus farre of R. G. 4 Wherevn
to is added in the saide discription, that by coniecturall simetrie of those partes, the bodie to be twentie eight foote long or more. From this hee goeth to an other matter, and so to Gerard the Gyant and his staffe. But to leaue these fictions and to return where I left, I will note what my selfe haue obserued concerning that house.
I reade, that Iohn Gisors
Gisors Hall restored to his old name.
Mayor of London, in the yeare 1245. was owner thereof, and that Sir Iohn Gisors Knight Mayor of London, and Constable of the Tower, one thousand thrée hundreth and eleuen. And diuers others of that name and family since that time owed it. For I reade that William Gi
was one of the Sheriffes, one thousand thrée hundreth twen
tie nine
. More, that Iohn Gisors had issue, Henry and Iohn. Which Iohn had issue, Thomas. Which Thomas deceasing in the yeare one thousand thrée hundreth and fiftie, left vnto his sonne Thomas, his Messuage called Gysors Hall, in the Parish of Saint Mildred in Bredstréete: Iohn Gisors5 made a Feofment thereof, one thousand thrée hundreth eightie sixe, &c.
Gerards Hall ouerthrowne with Gerard the Giant, and his great spear.
So that it appea
reth that this Gisors Hall of late time by corruption hath bin called Gerards Hall, for Gisors Hall, as Bosomes Inne for Blossoms In.

Beuis Markes, for Buries Marke. Marke Lane, for Marte Lane: Belliter Lane, for Belsetters Lane: Gutter Lane, for Guthuruns Lane: Cry church, for Christes church: S. Mihell in the Querne, for Saint Mihell at Corne, and sundrie such others. Out of this Gisors Hall, at the first building thereof, were made diuers Arched doores, yet to be séene, which séeme not sufficient for any great monsture, or other then men of common stature to passe through, the Pole in the Hall might be vsed of olde time (as then the custome was in euery parish) to be set vp in the streete, in the Summer as a Maypole, before the principall Hall, or house in the parish, or streete, and to stand in the Hall before the scrine, decked with Holme & Iuie, all the feast of Christmas.
Euery mans house of olde time was dec
ked with holly and Iuie in the winter, especi
ally at Christ
The lader serued for decking of the May
pole, & Roofe of the Hall. Thus much for Gisors Hal & for ye side of Bredstreet, may suffice. Now on ye West side of Bredstréet, amongst diuers fayre and large houses for merchants, and faire Innes for passengers, had yee one prison house pertaining to the Sheriffes of London, called the compter in Bredstréete: but in the yeare 1555 the prisones were remooued from thence, to one other new Compter
Coumpter in Bredstreete.
in Woodstréete, prouided by the cities purchase, and builded for that purpose: the cause of which remooue was this. Richard Husband Pastelar, kéeper of this Coumpter in Bredstréet, being a wilful and headstrong man, dealt for his owne aduantage, hardly with the pri
Prisoners re
moued from the Coumpter in Bredstreete to a new coumter in Woodstreete. Keeper of the counter sēt to Newgate.
vnder his charge, hauing also sernants such as himselfe liked best for their bad vsage, and woulde not for any complaint bee refor
med: wherèupon in the yeare 1550. Sir Rowland Hill beeing Mayor, by the assent of a court of Aldermen, he was sent to the gayle of Newgate, for the cruell handling of his prisoners: and it was cō
maunded to the kéeper of set those irons on his legges, which are called the widows almes: These he ware from Thursday, till Sun
day in the afternoone, and being by a court of Aldermen released, on the Tuesday, was bound in an hundred markes, to obserue from thenceforth an act made by the common councell, for the ordering of prisoners in the Compters: all which notwithstanding, hee continued as afore: whereof my selfe am partly a witnesse: for be
ing of a Iurie to enquire against a Sessions of Gayle deliuerie, in the yeare one thousand fiue hundred fiftie two, wee found the pri
soners hardly dealt withall, for theyr achates and otherwise,
Quest of in
quirie indight the keepers of the gayles for dealing hard
ly with their prisoners.

that théeues and strumpets were there lodged for foure pence the night, whereby they might be safe from searches that were made a
They indigh
ted the bow
ling Allies, &c.
for the which enormities, and other not néedfull to bee reci
ted, he was indighted at that Session, but did rubbe it out, and could not be reformed, til this remoue of ye prisoners for the house in Bred
was his owne by Lease, or otherwise, so that he could not bee put from it. Such Gaylors buying their offices, will deale hardly with pittifull prisoners. Now in Fryday stréete, so called of Fish
moongers dwelling there, and seruing frydayes market, on the East side, is a small parish church, commonly called S. Iohn Euangelist, the monuments therein, be of Iohn Dogget Marchantaylor, one of the Sheriffes, in the yeare 1509. Sir Christoper Askew Draper, Mayor, 1533. Then lower downe, is one other parish church of S. Margaret Moyses, so called (as séemeth) of one Moyses, that was founder, or new builder thereof. The monuments there, bee of sir Richard Dobbet Skinner, Mayor, 1551. William Dane Iron
moonger, one of the Sheriffes, 1569. Sir Iohn Allet Fishmoonger, Mayor 1591.
On the West side of this Fryday stréete, is Mayden Lane, so named of such a signe, or Distaffe Lane, for Distar Lane, as I reade in record of a Brew-house, called the Lambe in Distar Lane, the sixtéenth of Henry the sixt. In this Distar Lane, on the North side thereof, is the Cord-wayners, or Shoomakers Hall, which com
pany were made a brotherhood or fraternitie, in the eleuenth of Hen
the fourth
. On the South side of this Distar Lane, is also one o
ther Lane, called Distar Lane: which runneth downe to Knightri
ders stréete
, or olde Fishstréete, and this is the ende of Bredstréete Warde: which hath an Alderman, his Deputie, Common Councell tenne. Constables ten. Skauengers eight. Wardmote Inquest thir
téene, and a Beadle. In standeth taxed to the fiftéene in London, at thirtie seuen pound, and in the Exchequer at thirtie sixe pound tenne shillings.


  1. Evidence links to RMAY1 (JB)
  2. Unclear; context obvious. (SM)
  3. I.e., Richard Grafton. (JB)
  4. I.e., Richard Grafton. (JB)
  5. John Gisors died in 1351. See Kingsford (1908) 349, l. 36 for a note about this transaction. (JB)

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MLA citation

Stow, John, and William fitz Stephen. Survey of London: Bread Street 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: Bread Street 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: Bread Street 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: Bread Street 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: Bread Street 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

<bibl type="mla"><author><name ref="#STOW6"><surname>Stow</surname>, <forename>John</forename></name></author>, and <author><name ref="#FITZ1"><forename>William</forename> <surname><nameLink>fitz</nameLink> Stephen</surname></name></author>. <title level="a">Survey of London: Bread Street Ward</title>. <title level="m">The Map of Early Modern London</title>, edited by <editor><name ref="#JENS1"><forename>Janelle</forename> <surname>Jenstad</surname></name></editor>, <publisher>U of Victoria</publisher>, <date when="2018-06-20">20 Jun. 2018</date>, <ref target=""></ref>.</bibl>





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