Survey of London: Spiritual Government of London

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Spirituall Gouernor. Gouernors of the Citie of London, and first of the Ecclesiasticall, Bishops, and other Ministers there.
HAuing thus run thorow the description of these cities of London and Westminster, as well in their Originall foundations, as in their increa
ses of buildings and Ornamēts, togither with such incidēts of sundry sorts, as are before, both generally and particularly discoursed: It re
maineth, that somewhat bee noted by me, tou
ching the policie and gouernment, both Ecclesi
asticall and Ciuill, of London, as I haue already done for West
, the order wherof, is appointed by late Statute, euen as that of London is maintained by the customes therof,
Antiquities of Glasto.
most laudably v
sed before all the time of memorie. And first, to begin with the Eccle
siasticall Iurisdiction, I read, that the Christian faith was first prea
ched in this Iland (then called Britaine) by Ioseph of Aramathia, and his brethren Disciples of Christ, in the time of Aruiragus, then Gouernor here, vnder the Romane Emperor: after which time, Lucius (King of the Britaines) sent his Ambassadors Eluanus, and Meduuinus (two men learned in the Scriptures) with letters to E
Lib. consti L. Eleutherius died in the yeare, 186. when he had sitten Bishop 15 yeares.
Bishop of Rome, desiring him to send some deuout and learned men, by whose instruction he and his people might be taught the faith and religiō of Christ. Eleutherius baptised those messēgers, making Eluanus a Bishop, and Meduuinus a Teacher, and sent o
uer with them into Britaine, two other famous Clerkes, Faganus and Deuuianus, by whose diligence, Lucius and his people of Bri
, were instructed in the faith of Christ, and baptised: the Tem
ples of Idols, were conuerted into Cathedrall churches, & Bishops were placed where Flāmines before had bin: at London, Yorke, and Carleon vpon Vske, were placed Archbishops, &c. The Epistle said to be sent, by Eleutherius to king Lucius, for the establishing of the faith, ye may read in my Annalles, Sommaries, & Chronicles, truly translated & set downe, as mine author hath it,
Liber albus constitut.
for some haue curtol
led and corrupted it, and then fathered it vpon the reuerend Bede, who neuer wrote word thereof, or otherwise, to that effect.

Gouernment Spirituall.
But to my matter of our London Bishops, as I finde it written: First, there remaineth in the Parish church of Saint Peter vppon Cornhill in Londō, a Table, wherein is written, that Lucius foun
ded the same church to be an Archbishops See, and Metrapolitane, or chiefe church of his Kingdome, and that it so indured the space of foure hundred yeares, vntill the comming in of Augustine the Moonke, and others, from Rome, in the raigne of the Sax
The Archbishops names, I finde onely to be set downe by Io
of Furdes
, in his book of Brittish Bishops, and not elsewhere.

Gouernment Spirituall.
he writeth not himselfe Archbishop, and therefore maketh the matter of Archbishops doubtfull, or rather ouerthroweth that opinion.
The Saxons being Pagons, hauing chased the Brittons, with the Christian Preachers, into the Mountaines of Wales and Corne
: and hauing deuided this Kingdome of the Brittons amongst themselues, at the length (to wit, in the yeare 596.) Pope Gregorie moued of a godly instinction (sayeth Bede) in the 147. yeare, after the arriual of the Angles (or Saxons) in Britaine , sent Augustine, Miletus, Iustus, and Iohn, with other Moonks, to preach of Gospel, to the said Nation of the Angles in Britaine: these landed in the Ile of Thanet, and were first receiued by Ethelbert, King of Kent, whom they conuerted to the Faith of Christ, with diuers other of his people in the 34. yeare of his Raigne: which Ethelbert gaue vnto Augustine, the Citie of Canterburie.
This Augustine in the yeare of Christ, 604. consecrated Meli
, and Iustus Bishops, appointing Melitus to preach vnto the East Saxons, whose chiefe Citie was London: and there King Sebert Nephewe to Ethelbert by preaching of Melitus, receiued the word of life: the then Ethelbert (King of Kent) builded in the Citie of London, Saint Pauls,
Saint Pauls Church in London first founded.
Church wherein Melitus began to bee Bi
shop, in the yeare, 619.
1. Melitus first Bishop of Lon
, 619.
and sate fiue yeares. Ethelbert by his Char
ter, gaue lands to this Church of Saint Paule: so did other kings after him: King Sebert through the good life and like preaching of Melitus, hauing receiued Baptisme, To shew himself a Christian, builded a Church, to the honour of God and S. Peter, on the West side of London, which Church is called Westminster, but the Successors of Sebert (beeing Pagannes) expelled Meli
2. Iustus, 624.
the second, Bishop for a time, and then Melitus againe: after whose decease, the seate was voyde for a time: at length Si
(sonne to Sigebert, brother to Sebert) ruled in Essex, heh became a Christian, and tooke to him, a holy man named Cedde, or (Chadde) who wan many by preaching, and good life to the Chri
stian Religion.
3. Cedde, B. of London, 658. Ithancaster and Tilberrie.
Cedde or (Chad) was by Finan consecrated Bishop of the East Saxons, and he ordered Priests and Deacons in all the parts of Essex, but especially at Ithancaster, and Tilberry.

Gouernment Spirituall.
This Citie (saith Raphe Cogshall) stoode on the banque of the Ri
uer, Pont that runneth by the Maldun in the hundred of Danesey, but now that Citie is drowned in Paute, so that nothing remaineth but the ruine of the Cittie in the Riuer, Tilburie (both the West and East) standeth on the Thames side, nigh ouer against Graues
4. Wina, 666.
expelled from the church of Winchester, by Cenewalche the King, was adopted to be the fourth Bishop of London, in the raigne of Wolferus, King of Mercia, and sat 9. yeares.
5. Erkenwald 680.
(borne in the Castle, or towne of Stallingborough in Lindsey) first Abbot of Crotesey, was by Theodore, Archbishop of Canterburie, appointed to be Bishop of the East Saxons, in the Citie of London. This Erkenwald in the yeare of Christ, 677. (be
fore that he was made Bishop) had builded two Monasteries, one for himselfe (being a Monke) at Crotsey
Crotesey, or Chartesey.
in the Ile of Crote, in Sur
, by the Riuer of Thames, and an other for his sister Edilburge, being a Nun, in a certaine place, called Berching in Essex: he decea
sed at Berching, in the yeare, 697. and was buried in Pauls church, and was from thence, translated into the newe Church of Saint Paule, on the eightéenth kallendes of December, in the yeare, 1148.
6. Waldhere 697.
Bishop of London, Sebba King
King Sebba became a Monke in Pauls church.
of the East Sax
ons, came to this Waldhere, Bishop of London, and at his hands receiued the habite of a Monke (for at that time, there were Monkes in Pauls Church, as writeth Radulphus Dedicato, and others) to this Bishop he brought a great summe of money, to be bestowed and giuen to the poore, reseruing nothing to himselfe, but rather desired to remaine poore in goods, as in Spirit, for the Kingdome of Heauen: when he had raigned 30. yeare, he deceased at Powles, and was there buried, and lyeth now in a coffin of stone on the North side of the Ile next the Quire.
Ingwaldus the Bishop of London, was at the Consecration of Tatwine, Archbishop of Canterbrie: and hee confirmed the foundation of Crowland in the yeare, seuen hundred sixtéene, (saith Ingulfus) and deceased in the yeare, 744. as saith Ho
This much for the succession of the Bishops of London, whose Diocesse containeth ye city of London, ye whole shyres in Middlesex and Essex, & a part of Hartfordshyre. These Bishops haue for As
sistants in the cathedrall Church of S. Paules, a Deane, a Chaun
ter, a Chauncelor, a Treasurer, 5. Archdeacons, to witte, Lon
, Middlesex, Essex, Colchester
and S. Albons, and 30. pre
bendaries: there appertaineth also to the said Church for furniture of the Quire in diuine seruice, and ministration of the sacraments, a Colledge of xij.petychanens, 6. vickars, choral & Queristars. &c.
This Dyocesse is diuided into Parishes, euery Parish hauing his Parson, or vicar at the least, learned men for the most part, and sufficient Preachers to instruct the people. There were in this city & within the suburbs thereof in the raign of Henrie the 2. (as wri
teth Fitz Stephens) 13. great conuentuall Churches, besides the lesser sort called Parish Churches, to the number of 126. all which conuentuall Churches, and some others since that time founded, are now suppressed and gone, except the cathedrall Church of S. Paule in London, and the colledge of S. Peter at Westminster: of all which Parish Churches though I haue spoken, yet for more ease to the reader, I will here againe set them downe in manner of a Table, not by order of Alphabete, but as they bee placed in the wards and suburbes.


  1. Overinking. (SM)

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MLA citation

Stow, John, and William fitz Stephen. Survey of London: Spiritual Government of London. 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: Spiritual Government of London. 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: Spiritual Government of London. In J. Jenstad (Ed), The Map of Early Modern London. Victoria: University of Victoria. Retrieved from

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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  - fitz Stephen, William
ED  - Jenstad, Janelle
T1  - Survey of London: Spiritual Government of London
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: Spiritual Government of London
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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