Survey of London: Cordwainer Street Ward

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THe next is Cordwainer street warde, taking that name of Cordwainers, or Shoemakers, Curriars, and workers of Leather dwelling there: for it appeareth in the records of H.the 6. the ninth of his raign, that an order was ta
ken then for Cordwainers and curriars in

Corney streete, and Sopars lane.
This warde beginneth in the East, on the west side of Wal
, & runneth west through Budge Row (a street so called of the Budge Fur, and of Skinners dwelling there) then vp by Saint Anthonines church through Aetheling (or Noble streete) as Leyland termeth it, commonly called Wathling streete, to the Red Lyon, a place so called of a greate Lyon of Tymber placed there at a gate, entering to a large Court, wherein are diuers fayre and large shops well furnished with brode clothes, and o
ther draperies of all sortes to be solde, and this is the farthest west part of this warde.
On the South side of this streete from Budge Row, lieth a lane turning downe by the west gate of the Tower Royall, and to the south end of the stone wall, beyond the said gate is of this ward, and is accounted a parte of the Royall streete, against this west gate of the Tower Royall, is one other lane, that run
neth west to Cordwainer streete, and this is called Turnebase lane: on the south side whereof is a peece of Wringwren lane to the northwest corner of S. Thomas church the Apostle. Thē againe out of the high streete called Wathling, is one other street which runneth thwart the same, and this is Cordwainer streete whereof the whole warde taketh name, this streete beginneth by west Cheape and Saint Mary Bow church is the head there
of on the west side, and it runneth down south through that part which of later time was called Hosiar lane, now Bow lane, and then by the west ende of Aldmary church, to the new builded houses, in place of Ormond house, and so to Earlicke hill, or hith, to Saint Iames church, the vpper part of this streete towardes Cheape was called Hosiar lane of Hosiars dwelling there in place of Shoomakers: but now those Hosiars being worne out by men of other Trades (as the Hosiars had worne out the Shoma
kers the same is called Bow lane of Bow church. On the west side of Cordwainers streete is Basing lane, right ouer against Turne basse lane. This Basing lane west to the backe gate of the Red Lion, in Wathling streete, is of this Cordwainers streete warde.
Now againe on the North side of the high street in Budge Row, by the East ende of S. Anthonines church, haue ye S. Sithis lane

so called of S. Sithes church (which standeth against that lanes end: and this place is wholly of Cordwayner stréet warde: and also the south side of Needlers lane, which reacheth from the north end of S. Sithes lane, West to Sopars lane. Then somewhat west from S. Anthonines church is that Sopars lane, which took that name not of making sope there, as some haue supposed, but of one Alleyne le Sopar, in the 9. of Edward the second. Then in Bow lane (as they new call it) is Goose lane by Bow church, W. Essex Mercer had tenemenies there in the 26. of Edward the 3.
Then from the south end of Bow lane, vp Watheling streete, till ouer against the red Lyon: And these be the bounds of Cord
wayner stréet warde
. Touching monuments therein, first you haue the faire parish church of S. Anthonines in Budge rowe, on the North side thereof. This church was lately reedified by Tho
mas Knowls
Grocer Mayor, & by Thomas Knowles his sonne, both buried there, with Epitaphes, of the father thus.
Here lyeth grauen vnder this stone,
Thomas Knowles,
Epitaph of Tho. Knowles
both flesh and bone
Grocer and Alderman, yeares fortie
Sheriffe, and twice Mayor truly,
And for he should not lie alone,
Here lyeth with him his good wife Ioane,
They were together sixtie yeare,
And nineteene children they had in feere &c.
Thomas Holland Mercer was there buried 1456. Thomas Windent Mercer Alderman, and Katherine his wife, Thomas Hind Mercer, 1528. He was a benefactor to this church, to Aldemary church, and to Bow: Hugh Acton Merchantaylor buried 1520. He gaue 36. pounde to the repayring of the steeple of this church: Simon Streete Grocer lyeth in the Church wall toward the south, his armes be thrée Colts, and his Epitaph thus.
Such as I am, such shall you be,
Grocer of London sometime was I,
The Kings Wayar more then yeares twentie,
Simon Street
Simon Streete his Epitaph.
called in my place,
And good fellowship faine would trace,
Therefore in heauen, euerlasting life
Iesu send me, and Agnes my wife:

Kerlie Merlie, my wordes were tho,
And Deo gratias I coupled thereto,
I passed to God in the yeare of grace
A thousand foure hundred it was, &c.
William Dauntsey Mercer one of the Sheriffes buried 1542. Henry Collet Mercer Mayor, a great benefactor to this church, the pictures of him, his wife, ten sonnes, and tenne daughters remaine in the glasse window on the North side of the church: but the saide Henry Collet was buried at Stebun
hith. Henry Halton Grocer, one of the Sheriffes, deceased 1415. Thomas Spight Merchantaylor 1533. and Roger Martin Mercer Mayor deceased, 1573. Next on the south side of Budge rowe by the West corner therof, and on the East side of Cordwayner stréete, is one other faire church, called Aldemary church, because the same was very old, and elder then any church of Saint Mary in the cittie, till of late yeares the foundation of a very faire new church was laide there by Henry Keble Grocer, Mayor, who deceased 1518. and was there buried in a vault by him prepared, with a faire monument raysed ouer ouer him on the North side the quire, now destroyed and gone, he gaue by his te
stament 1000. £. towards the building of that church, Richarde Chawcer
Richard Chau
father to Geffrey Chaucer the poet,2 as may be sup
Uintner gaue lands to that church, & was there buried, 1348. Iohn Briton, Raph Hollande Draper one of the She
riffes deceased 1452. William Taylor Grocer Mayor deceased, 1483. He discharged that ward of fiftéenes to be paid by the poore, Thomas Hinde Mercer buried in S. Anthonines, gaue 10. fodar of lead to the couering of the middle Isle of this Aldemary church, Charles Blunt Lord Montioy was buried there, about the yeare 1545. he made or glased the East window, as appeareth by his Armes: his Epitaph made by him in his life time thus.
Willingly haue I sought, and willingly haue I found,
The fatall end that wrought thether as dutie bound:
Discharged I am of that I ought to my cuntry by onest woūd
My soul departed Christ hath bought, the end of mā is groūd.
Sir William Laxton Grocer Mayor, deceased 1556. was buried in the vault, prepared by Henry Keble principall founder of that church for himself but now his bones are vnkindly cast out, his monuments pulled downe, and the bodies of the said Sir Wil

Laxton and of Sir Thomas Lodge Grocer Mayor, are laid in place, with monuments ouer them for the time, till an other giue money for their place, and then away with them.
At the vpper end of Hosiar lane towards west chepe, is the fayre parish church of S. Mary Bow, called de Arcubus, of the stone Arches or Bowes on the top of the stéeple, or bell Tower thereof, which arching was aswell on the old stéeple, as on the new for no other part of the church séemeth to haue béene arched at any time, yet hath the said church neuer beene knowne by any other name, then S. Mary Bow, or le Bow: neither is that church so called of the court there kept, but the said Court taketh name of the place wherein it is kept, & is called the court of the arches, but of what antiquitie or continuation I cannot declare.
This church is of Cordwayner stréet ward, and for diuers ac
cidents happening there hath beene made more famous then any other parish church of the whole Citie or suburbes. First we reade that in the yeare 1090. and the thirde of VVilliam Rufus, by tempest of wind the roofe of the church of S. Mary Bow ion Chepe was ouerturned,
Roofe of Bow church ouer
turned by tempest.
wherewith some persons were slaine, and foure of the Rasters of 26. foote in length with such violence were pitch
ed in the ground of the high stréete, that scantly foure foote of them remained aboue ground, which were faine to be cut euen with the ground, because they coulde not bee plucked out (for the Citie of London was not then paused.)
In the yeare 1196. VVilliam Fitz Osbert, a seditious trai
tor, tooke the steeple af Bow,
Bow steéple fortified with munitions.
and fortified it with munitions and victuailles, but it was assaulted, and William with his complices were taken, though not without bloodshed, for hee was forced by fire and smoke to forsake the church, and then by the Iudges con
demned, he was by the héeles drawne to the Elmes in Smith field and there hanged with nine of his fellowes. Such was the end of this deceauer, a man of an euill life, a secrete murtherer, a filthie fornicator, a polluter of concubines, and (amongst other his dete
stable factes) a false accuser of his elder brother,
A false accuser of his elder brother in the end was han
ged: God a
mend or shortly send such an end to such false brethren.
who had in his youth brought him vp in learning, and done many thinges for his preferment.
In the yeare 1271. a great part of the stéeple of Bow fel down
Bow Steeple fell downe,

and slew many people men and women. In the yeare 1284. the 13. of Edward the first. Laurence Ducket Goldsmith, hauing grieuously wounded one Raffe Crepin in west Chepe, fledde into Bowe church, into the which in the night time entred certaine e
uill persons, friendes to the said Raffe, and slew the said Laurence lying in the stéeple, and then hanged him vp, placing him so by the window, as if he had hanged himself, and so was it found by inqui
sition: for the which fact Laurence Ducket
Laurence Ducket hanged in Bow steeple.
being drawne by the féete was buried in a ditch without the Citie, but shortly after by relation of a boy, who lay with the said Laurence at the time of his death, and had hid him there for feare, the truth of the matter was disclosed, for the which cause a certain woman named Alice, that was chiefe causer of the said mischiefe was burned, and to the number of 16. men were drawne and hanged besides others, that being richer, after long imprisonment were hanged by the purse.
The church was interdicted,
Bow Church interdicted.
the dores and windowes were stopped vp with thornes, but Laurence was taken vp, and ho
nestly buried in the churchyarde.
This parish church of S. Mary Bowe by meane of incroch
ment and building of houses without, wanteth roome in their Church yard for burial of their dead. Iohn Rotham or Rodham citizen and Taylor, by his testament dated the yeare 1465. gaue to the Parson and Church wardens there for euer, a certaine gar
den in Hosiar lane, to be a churchyard, which so continued neare 100. yeares. But now is builded on and is a priuate mans house. The old stéeple of this church was by little and little reedified, and new builded vp, at the least so much as was fallen downe, many men giuing summes of money to the furtherance thereof, so that at length, to wit, in the yeare 1469. it was ordayned by a common counsaile, that the Bowe bell shoulde bee nightly rong at nine of the clocke.
Bow bell to be rong night
ly at nine of the clocke.
Shortly after, Iohn Doune Mercer, by his testament dated 1472. according to the trust of Reginald Longdon, gaue to the Parson and churchwardens of S. Mary Bowe, two tene
ments with the apurtenances, since made into one, in Hosiar lane, then so called, to the maintenance of Bowe bell, the same to bee rong as aforesaid, and other things to be obserued, as by the will appeareth. Robert Harding Goldsmith, one of the Sheriffes

1478. gaue to the newe worke of that stéeple 40. £. Iohn Haw Mercer 10. £. Doctor Allen 4. £. Thomas Baldry 4. £. and other gaue other summes, so that the said worke of the stéeple was fini
shed in the yeare 1512. The Arches or Bowes
Bowe or Ar
ches on Bow steeple.
thereupon, with the lanthornes, fiue in number, to wit, one at each corner, and one on the top in the middle: vpon the arches were also afterward fini
shed of stone, brought from Cane in Normandy, deliuered at the Customers Key for iiij..vjď.the tunne, William Copland Taylor, the kings Merchant, and Andrew Fuller Mercer, being churchwardens, 1515. and 1516. It is said that this Copland gaue the great Bell, which made the fift in the ring, and to be cal
led the Bow bell, and so to bee vsed to bee rong nightly at nine of the clocke. I haue also beene informed, that this bell was first rong as a knell at the buriall of the same Copland. It sée
meth that the lanthornes on the top of this stéeple, were meant to haue béene glased, and lights in them to haue béene placed night
ly in the winter, whereby trauailers to the Cittie might haue the better sight thereof, and not to misse of their wayes. In this pa
rish also was a Grammer schoole
Grammer schoole in Bow church
by commandement of king Hen
the sixt
, which schoole was of olde time kept in an house for that purpose prepared in the churchyard, but that schoole being decayed as others about this cittie: the schoole house was let out for rent, in the raigne of Henry the eight, for iiij..the yeare, a sellar be
longing to the parsonage for ij..the yeare, and two vaults vnder the church for 15. both.
The monuments in this church be these: viz. of Sir Iohn Co
Mercer Mayor, 1425. Richard Lambert Alderman, Nicholas Alwine Mercer Mayor, 1499. deceased 1505. Robert Harding Goldsmith one of the Sheriffes 1478. Iohn Loke one of the Sheriffes 1461. Edward Bankes Alderman Haberdasher 1566. Iohn Warde, VVilliam Pierson Scriuener, and Attur
ney in the common place. In a proper Chappel on the south side the church standeth a tombe, eleuate & arched, of some vnknowne founder. Ade de Buke Hatter glased the chappell and most parte of the church, and was there buried: all other monuments be defa
ced. Without the North side of this church of S. Mary Bow, to
wards west Chepe standeth one faire building of stone, called in record Seldam, a shed,
A shed or standing for the king cal
led crowne silde.
which greatly darkeneth the said church,

for by meanes thereof all the windowes and dores on that side are stopped vp: This building was made by K. Edward the third, vpon this occasion. In the raigne of the sayde king diuers iustings were made in London betwixt Sopars lane and the Crosse in Chepe:
Iusting in west Cheape.
for the standard stoode not then in place where now it is, namely one great iusting was there in the yeare 1330. the fourth of Edward the third, whereof is noted thus. About the feast of S. Michæl there was a great and solemne iusting of all the stout Earles, Barons and nobles of the realme, at London in West Cheape, betwixt the great crosse and the great conduit, nigh So
pars lane
, which iusting lasted thrée daies: where Quéene Philip with many Ladies fell from a stage of timber, notwithstanding they were not hurt at all: wherfore the Quéene tooke great care to saue the Carpenters from punishment, and through her prayer (which she made on her knées) she pacified the king and counsaile, and thereby purchased great loue of the people. After which time the king caused this silde or shede to bee made, and strongly to bee builded of stone, for himself, the Quéene, and other estates to stand in, and there to behold the iustings and other shewes at their plea
sure. And this house for a long time after serued to that vse, name
ly in the raigne of Edward the third, and Richard the second, but in the yeare 1410. Henry the fourth, in the 12. of his raigne, con
firmed the said shed, or building, with all shops, sellers, and edifices whatsoeuer appertaining, called Crounsilde (and in the 8. of the same H. called Tamarside) situate in the Mercery in west Chepe, in the parish of S. Mary de Arcubus in London, and a certaine shop in the said parish, betweene the same shed and the kings high way of west Cheape, annexed to the said shed, with two shops, sel
lers and edifices whatsoeuer, as well builded, or any way being o
uer the said shop, as ouer the entry of the said shed, which were hol
den of him in burgage, as all the Cittie of London is, and which were worth by yeare in all issues, according to the true value of them, vij.pound xiij..iiijď.as was founde by inquisition thereof before Thomas Knowles Mayor, and Eschetor in the said Citie. Notwithstanding which graunt the kings of England, and other great estates, as wel of forrein countries repayring to this realme, as inhabitantes of the same, haue vsually repaired to this place, therein to behold the shewes of this Citie, passing through West

Cheape, namely the great watches accustomed in the night, on the euen of S. Iohn Baptist, and S. Peter at Midsommer, the ex
amples wherof were ouer long to recite, wherefore let it suffice briefly to touch one. In the yeare 1510. the 2. of Henry the eight,
K. Henry the eight came in the likenesse of a yoman of his guard, to the kings head in Cheap
on S. Iohns euen at night, the king came to this place, then called the kings head in Cheape, in the liuerie of a yoman of the garde, with an halberd on his sholder, (and there beholding the watch) departed priuily, when the watch was done, and was not knowne to any but to whom it pleased him, but on S. Peters night next following, hee and the Quéene came royally riding to the said place, and there with their nobles beheld the watch of the Ci
tie, and returned in the morning. This church of S. Mary, with the saide shede of stone, all the housing in or about Bowe Church yard, & without on that side the high stréet of Cheape to the stan
darde be of Cordmayner stréet warde. These houses were of old time but shedes: for I read of no housing otherwise on that side the stréete, but of diuers shedes from Sopars lane to the standard, &c. Amongst other I reade of thrée shops or shedes, by Sopars lane pertaining to the Priorie of the holy Trinity within Aldegate: the one was let out for 28. . one other for 20. . and the third for xij. . by the yeare: Moreouer that Richard Goodchepe Mercer, and Margery his wife, sonne toIordain Goodchepe, did let to Iohn Dalings the yonger Mercer, their shed and chamber in west Cheape, in the parish of S. Mary de Arches, for iij..iiijď.by the yeare. Also the men of Bredstréete ward contended with the men of Cordwayner street ward, for a selde or shede, opposite to the standard on the South side, and it was found to be of Cordwainer street ward, W. Waldorne being then Mayor, the 1. of Henry the 6. Thus much for Cordwainer stréet warde: which hath an Alderman, his Deputie, Common Counsellors 8. Constables 8. Scauengers 8. Wardemote inquest men 14. & a Beadle. It stan
deth taxed to the fiftéene in London at 72. £. 16. . in the Exche
quer at 72. pound.


  1. number reads 198 (NAP)
  2. The Life of Geoffrey Chaucer, by Sir Harris Nicholas, notes the contentious nature of Geoffrey Chaucer’s parentage, particularly page 119. (BT)
  3. number reads 203 (NAP)

Cite this page

MLA citation

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