Survey of London: Honour of Citizens

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Honor of Citizens, and worthinesse of men in the same.
THis Citie (saith Fitzstephen) is glorious in manhoode: furnished with munitions: populous with inhabitants, insomuch that in the troublesome time of king Stephen , it hath shewed at a muster twentie thousand armed horsemen, and threescore thousande footemen, seruiceable for the warres. More
ouer saith hee, the Citizens of London,
The modest matrons that haue beene and ought to be.
wheresoeuer they become, are notable before all other Citizens in ciuillitie of manners, attire, table, & talke. The matrons of this ci
tie are the very modest Sabine Ladies of Italy. The Londi
sometime called Trinobantes, repelled Cesar,
Worthines of men Citizens of London.
which alwaies made his passage by shedding blood, whereupon Lucan song.
Territa quæsitis ostendit terga Britannis.
The citie of London hath bred some, which haue subdued ma
ny kingdomes, and also the Romaine Empire. It hath also brought forth many others, whome vertue and valour hath high
lie aduanced, according to Apollo, in his Oracle to Brute, sub occasu solis: &c. In the time of christianitie, it brought foorth that noble Emperor Constantine, which gaue the cittie of Rome and all the emperiall ensignes to God, S. Peter and Pope Sil
: choosing rather to be called a Defendor of the church, then an Emperour: and least peace might be violated, and their eyes troubled by his presence, he retired from Rome, and built the cittie of Constantinople. London also in late time hath brought forth famous kinges: Maude the Empresse, king Henry, sonne to Henry the second &c. thus far Fitzstephen: whereunto may bee added innumerable persons of honor, borne in London, and actions done by worthie citizens,
Honorable actions done by the worthie Citizens.
whereof I will onely note a few best knowne to the comminalty.
In the yere, 1216. the Londiners: sending out a Nauie, tooke 65. ships of Pirates and sea robbers: besides innumerable others

Honor of Citizens,& worthinesse of men in the same.
that they drowned, which had robbed on the riuer of Thames. In the yeare 1235. Walter Brune, a Citizen of London, and Rosia his wife founded the Hospitall of our Lady, called S. Ma
the Spittle
without Blshopsgate 1 of London, a house of such releefe to the needy, that there was found standing at the suppres
sion thereof, ninescore beds well furnished for receipt of poore peo
ple. In the yeare 1247. Simon Fitzmary, one of the Shiriffes of London, founded the Hospitall of S. Marie called Bethleme, also without Bishopsgate. In the yeare 1283. Henry Wallice, then Maior, builded the Tunne vpon Cornhill, to be a prison for night walkers, and a market house called the Stockes, both for fish and flesh, standing in the midst of the Citie. In the yeare 1332, William Elsing Mercer of London, founded Elsing spittle
Elsing Spittle for 100. poore blinde men.
within Criplegate, for sustentation of 100. poore blind men, & be
came himselfe the first Prior of that Hospital, In the yere 1363.
Patent recorde.
Henry Picad
Henry Picard Maior of Lon
feasted foure Kinges. in one day.
sometime Maior, in one day royally feasted Edward the thirde, king of England, Iohn king of France, Dauid king of Scots, the king of Cipres, (then ariued in England) Edwarde Prince of Wales, with many other noble men, and after kept his hall for all commers that were willing to play at Dice, and ha
sarde. In like manner the Lady Margaret his wife, kept her Chamber to the same intent &c. In the yeare 1378. Iohn Fil
Iohn Filpot. a most famous Citizen.
sometime Maior, hyred with his owne money, 1000. Soul
diers, and defended the Realme from the incursions of the enne
mie, so that in a small time his hired men tooke Iohn Mercer, a sea-rouer, with al his Shippes, which hee before had taken from Scarberow, and fifeteene Spanish ships laden with great riches. In the yeare 1380. Thomas of VVodstocke, Thomas Percie, Henry Calueley2, Robert Knowles, and others, being sent with a great power to aide the Duke of Britaine, the saide Iohn Fil
hyred ships for them of his owne charges, and released the Armour, which the souldiers had pawned for their victuailes, more then 1000. in number. This most noble Citizen (saieth Thomas VValsingham) that had trauelled for the commoditie of the whole Realme, more then all other of his time, had often releeued the king, by lending him great sommes of money, and o
therwise, deceased in anno 1384. after that he had assured Lands

Honor of Citizens and worthinesse of men.
to the City for the reliefe of 13. poore people for euer. In the yere 1381. William Walworth
William Wal
s Vali
then Mayor a most prouident, valiant and learned Citizen, did by his arrest made vpon VVat Ty
(a presumptuous Rebell, vpon whome no man durst lay hands) deliuer the king and kingdome from the danger of most wicked Traitors, and was for his seruice knighted in the fielde.
William Wal
and o
ther knighted in the field.
Nicholas Brembar, Iohn Filpot, Robert Laund, Nicho
las Twiforde
, and Adam Francis, Aldermen were then for their seruice likewise knighted, and Sir Robert Knoles, for assisting of the Maior was made free of this Citie. This Sir Roberte Knoles thus worthilie enfranchised a Citizen, founded a Colledge with an Hospitall at Pontfract, and hee also builded the greate stone bridge at Rochester, ouer the riuer of Medway, &c. In the yere 1391. Adam Bamne Maior, in a great dearth procured corn from parts beyond the seas, to be brought to London in such aboundance as sufficed to serue the Citie, and the Countries nere adioyning, to the furtherance of which good woorke, he tooke out of the Orphants chest in the Guildehall, 2000. Markes to buy the saide corne and each Alderman laide out 20.l. to the like pur
pose. In the yere 1415. Thomas Faulconer Maior, lent to king Henry the fift towards the maintenance of his wars in France, 10000.
Marks vpon Iewels. In the yeare 1420. Richarde Whitington Maior founded Whitingtons Colledge for the poore, with diuinitie lectures to be reade there, for euer: Hee also builded Newgate &c. In the yeare 1427. Iohn Rinwell Maior gaue to discharge certaine wardes of London, from fiftéenes, and other payments. In the yeare 1432. Iohn Wels Maior conuey
ed fresh water from Teyborne to the Standardein3 west Cheape for seruice of the Citie. In the yeare 1438. William Eastfielde Maior, conueyed water to the Conduite in Fleetestreete to Al
, and to Criplesgate. In the yeare 1439. Stephen Brown Maior sent into Prussia,⎜and caused corne to bee brought thence to London in greate quan titie, whereby he brought down the prize of wheate from iij..the Bushell, to lesse then halfe that money. In the yeare 1446. Simon Eyre Maior, builded the Leaden hall, for a common Grayner of corne to the vse of this Citie, and left 5000. markes to bee bestowed in charitable

Honor of Citizens and worthinesse of men.
actions for releefe of the poore. In the yeare 1471. Iohn Stoc
Maior, and 11. Aldermen of London, with the Recorder were all made knightes in the fielde, by Edwarde the fourth, for their good seruice done vuto4 him. In the yeare 1483. Edmond Shaa Maior, builded Criplesgate. In the yeare 1491. Hugh Cloptō Maior, builded the great stone arched bridge at Stratford vpon Auon. In the yeare 1494. Robert Fabyan,
Robert Fabian labored and spent his time and goods in writing for posterities.
Alderman and one of the Shiriffes gathered out of diuers good Authors, as
well Latine as French, a large chronicle of England and France, which hee published in English to his greate charges, for the ho
nor of this citie, and common vtilitie of the whole Realme. In the yeare 1554, Sir Thomas VVhite Maior founded S. Iohns Colledge in Oxforde, and gaue greate summes of money to di
uers Townes in England for releefe of the poore. In the yere 1566. Sir Thomas Gresham Mercer, builded that stately Ex
change Royal
in London, and left his dwelling house in Bishops
gate streete
, to be a colledge of readings &c. as in my summary.
About the yeare 1570. Margaret Dan, widowe to William Dan, late one of the Sheriffes of London gaue by her testament more then 2000. pound to charitable actions.
Also about the yeare 1577. Dame Mary Ramsey wife to Sir Thomas Ramsey Mayor, being seased of landes in fée simple of her inheritance to the yearely value of 243. pound, by his consent gaue the same to Christs Hospitall in London, towardes reliefe of poore children there, and otherwise, as in my summarie and a
bridgement I haue expressed, and as farith by monumentes erected in Christes Hospitall: which gift she afterward in her wi
dowhode confirmed, and greatly augmented.
In the yere 1577. William Lamb Clothworker builded a wa
ter Conduite at Oldbourne Crosse, to his charge of 1500.l. and did many other charitable acts, as in my summarie.
In the yeare 1582. Iohn Haydon Alderman, gaue large Legacies, and more then 3000.l. for releefe to the poore. In the yeare 1583. Barnalde Randulph, common Serieant of London, gaue and deliuered with his hand 906.l. towardes the building of water Conduites, which was performed. Moreouer he gaue by his Testament 1000.l. to bee imployed in deedes of charity, but that money being left in holdfast hands, I haue not

The Citie deuided into partes.
heard how it was bestowed.
Thus much for the worthinesse of Citiizens in this Citie, touching whom Iohn Lydgate a Monke of Bury, in the raigne of Henry the sixt made (amongst other) these verses following.
Of Seauen thinges I praise the Citie.
Of true meaning and faithfull obseruance.
Of righteousnes, truth, and equity.
Of Stablenes aye kept in Legiance.
And for of vertue, thou hast suffisance,
In this lond here, and other londs all,
The kinges Chamber, of Custome men thee cal.


  1. I.e.Bishopsgate (SM)
  2. Henry Calveley is most likely Sir Hugh Calveley.
  3. I.e. Standarde in (SM)
  4. I.e. vnto (SM)

Cite this page

MLA citation

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