Reparation of the Wall. 10

Reparation of the Wall.

the City both by Land or Water, towards the Reparation of the City Walls, Forts, Ditches, and such like.

As for those Letters of King Richard II. in the 10th of his Reign, which laid the like Custom upon Goods, Merchandizes and Packs brought into London; and that to endure for Ten Years, for Reparation of the said Walls and Ditches; it ran to this Tenor.

Letters of K. Richard II. to the Maior, &c.

"Rex dilectis Majori & Aldermannis, &c. i.e. The King to his beloved the Maior and Aldermen, and the rest of the Citizens of London, sendeth Health. Know yee, That whereas as well the Walls, and other [Afforciamenta] Forts of the said City, be old and weak, and for want of Repair, are fallen down in some Places: As also, the Ditches of the same City are exceedingly filled with Dirt, Dunghills, and other Filth, and with Grass growing in the same, not only to the evident Danger of the said City and Inhabitants thereof, (and chiefly at this present Time of War) but also to the manifest Disgrace and Scandal of Us and the whole City, &c. " And then the King grants the said Maior and Aldermen a Power, to endure for Ten Years, to take of all kind of Victuals and saleable Merchandizes brought to the City by Land or Water, coming within the Liberty, the Customs underwritten, viz. For every Hundred of Wax 4d. &c. and upon abundance of other Wares certain Duties were set and fixed.

De Muragio pro Civit. London Pat. 10. R. 2. ps. 1. M. 31. in the Tower.

Yet this Murage was not so precisely to be applied for the Reparation of the Walls, but that upon occasion the King would command some part of it to other Uses: As once King Edward II. in his Sixth Year, appointed the Reparation of Newgate to be made good from thence. Thus in a Record in the Tower, 6. Edward II. Rafe S----, Keeper of Newgate, was appointed by the King to repair the Chamber and Enclosure [Clausuram] of Newgate de Exitibus Muragii & Pannarii, i.e. out of the Issues of Murage and Pannage; and a Mandate was given to the Maior and Sheriffs for that Purpose. And in the same Record mention is made de sistendo de Cathenis ex transverso vicorum ibid extendend. i.e. Of stopping People that brought in Commodities, by Chains to be laid cross the Streets there, till the said Customs appointed were paid.]

In the Seventeenth of Edward IV. Ralph Josceline, Maior, caused part of the Wall about the City to be repaired, to wit, between Aldgate and Aldersgate. He caused also the Moorefield to be searched for Clay, and Brick thereof to be made, and burnt. He likewise caused Chalk to be brought out of Kent, and to be burnt into Lime in the same Moorefield, for the more Furtherance of the Work.

Brick and Lime made in Moorefields for Reparation of the Wall.

Then the Skinners, to begin in the East, made that Part of the Wall betwixt Aldgate and Buries Marks, towards Bishopsgate; as may appear by their Arms in Three Places fixed there. The Maior, with his Company of the Drapers, made all that Part betwixt Bishopsgate and Alhallows Church in the same Wall; and from Alhallows toward the Postern, call'd Mooregate. A great Part of the same Wall was repaired by the Executors of Sir John Crosby, late Alderman; as may appear by his Arms standing in Two Places there fixed. Other Companies repaired the rest of the Wall to the Postern of Cripplegate. The Goldsmiths repaired from Cripplegate towards Aldersgate; and there the Work ceased.

The Companies repair the decayd Wall.

In a Record which I have seen, and affirmed also by John Rouse, and after him, by Raphael Hollinshed, I find thus written.

A Record of the said Reparations.

John Rouse, Ralph Hollinshed.

A. M.

"Anno MCCCCLXXVII. by the Diligence of Ralph Josceline, Maior of London, the Wall about London was new made betwixt Aldgate and Crepplegate. He caused the Moorefields to be searched for Clay, and Brick to be made and burnt there. He caused Chalk also to be brought out of Kent, and in the same Moorefields to be burnt into Lime, only for the Furtherance of that Work. The Maior, with his Company of Drapers, made all that part betwixt Bishopsgate and Alhallows Church in the same Wall. Bishopsgate its self was new built by the Merchants Almains of the Stillyard. And from Alhallows Church in the Wall toward toward Mooregate, a great Part of the same was builded of the Goods, and by the Executors of Sir John Crosby, sometime an Alderman, and Maior of London, as may appear by his Arms thereon fixed in Two Places."

Bishopsgate, new built, 1477.

"The Company of Skinners made that Part of the Wall between Aldgate and Buries Marks, towards Bishopsgate; as may appear by their Arms in Three Places fixed. The other Companies of the City made the other Deal of the Wall; which was a great Work to be done in One Year."

An ingenious Account of these ancient Walls of London, and the Manner and Matter of their Building, the Learned Dr. Woodward of Gresham College, Professor of Physick there, hath given in Writing, occasioned by some Digging near the Wall at Bishopsgate for Foundations of certain new Houses to be erected there in the Year 1707. On which Occasion the Wall was broke up, and Part of the Materials applied to the raising of the new Building, which gave him Opportunity of observing the Fabrick and Composition of it. The Foundation of the Wall here lay Eight Foot beneath the present Surface; and from that up to almost Ten Foot in Height, it was compiled of Rag-Stones, with single Layers of broad Tiles interposed, each Layer at Two Foot Distance. To this Height the Workmanship was after the Roman manner. And these were the Remains of the ancient Wall, supposed to be that built by Constantine the Great. In this it was very observable, that the Mortar was (as usual in the Roman Works) so very firm and hard, that the Stone it self as easily brake and gave away, as that.

The Fabrick of the Walls about Bishopsgate.

J. S.

Dr. John Woodward.

Confer. Camd. Britann. in Middles. p. 312, and Burt. Comment. on Antonin. Itiner. p. 165

It was thus far from the Foundation upwards, Nine Foot in Thickness; and yet so vast a Strength and Bulk had not been able to secure it from being beat down, and near levelled with the Ground.

Thickness of the Wall.

Those broad Tiles mentioned above, were all of Roman Make. The Romans used commonly two sorts of Tiles, viz. Tegulæ bipedales & sesquipedales, i.e. Two Foot Tiles, and Tiles a Foot and an half. Those of this Wall were of the latter Sort. Each of them is in English Measure one Inch and 1/10 in Thickness, Eleven Inches 6/10 in Breadth, and Seventeen Inches 4/10 in Length.

Roman Tiles in the Wall.

The old Wall having been demolished, as above, was afterwards repaired again, and carried up of the Thickness of the former underneath, to Eight or Nine Foot in Height; or if higher, there was no more of that Work now standing. All this was apparently additional, and of a Make later than the other Part underneath. It is compiled chiefly of Rag-stone; only in the Sides were interposed a few Bricks uncertainly, and without any stated Method. On the outside, the Stone was squared, and wrought into Layers of Five Inches in Thickness. Between these were alternately interposed two Course of Bricks, of the same Form with those on the inside. These were very large, being of the Shape of the Modern; but Eleven Inches in Length, and Five in Breadth, and Two and a half in Thickness. There was not one of the above mentioned Tiles in all this Part; nor was the Mortar here near so hard as in that lower.

Repaired and raised higher.

As the Fund and Ground within the City hath by Rubbish, and the Ruin of Houses, been successively raised and heightned every Age, it was requisite the Wall without should rise likewise in Proportion; and by reason thereof, in Tract of

The present City Wall.

Time,