Gates. ALDGATE. 15

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Here just South, going down divers Stone Steps, is the excellent Postern Spring, with an Iron Bowl and Chain fastened to catch the Water that runs from a small Spout. Not only the said Gate, but the Wall thereabouts is quite taken away for some Space, and some Houses built in the Place. The Stones and Rubbish lye there which make a very great Heap. The Wall here was about 6 or 7 Foot in Breadth, and cemented together with irregular Pieces of Stone like a Rock.

The Postern Spring.

There is a Yard hard-by called George-Ally, built on each side with Dwelling Houses, and is a a Passage to Tower-hill through the Wall, that was beat down since the Fire of London, remaining in the Fashion of an Arch, through which Carts might pass: But now also the Arch is demolished, and all the Wall quite taken away. Here one may take a View of the Inside, and of the Breadth of London-Wall: It appears like a natural Rock with the Stones so cemented into the Work, that nothing but the greatest Violence can separate them. On the West-side, about 14 or 15 Foot high are seen several old Roman Bricks put into the Work, between the Stones.]

An Arch made in the Wall hereabouts for passing.



The next Gate in the East is called Aeldgate, of the Antiquity or Age thereof. This is one and the first of the Four principal Gates, and also one of the Seven double Gates, mentioned by Fitz-stephen. It hath had two pair of Gates, though now but one, the Hooks of them both remain.


Also there hath been two Portcloses. The one of them remained till the new building of the Gate. The other wanteth, and the Place of letting down was manifest. For Antiquity of the Gate, it appeareth by a Charter of King Edgar to the Knights of Knighton Guild, that in his Days the said Port was called Ealdgate, as you may read in the Ward of Portsoken. Also Matilda the Queen, Wife to Henry the First, [in the Eighth Year of his Reign] having founded the Priory of the Holy Trinity, within Aelgate, gave unto the same Church, to Norman the first Prior, and the Canons that devoutly served God there-in, the Port of Aeldgate, and the Soke or Franchise thereunto belonging, with all Customs, as free as she held the same, &c. In the which Charter she nameth the House Christ-Church, and reporteth Aelgate to be of her Demain.

The Gate.

Lib. Trinit.

Soke or Court.

More, I read in the Year 1215, that in the Civil Wars between King John and his Barons, the Londoners assisting the Barons Faction, who then besieged Northampton, and after came to Bedford Castle, where they were well received by William Beauchampe, and Captain of the same: Having then also secret Intelligence, that they might enter the City of London, if they would, they removed their Camp to Ware, from whence in the Night coming to London they entred Aeldgate, and placing Guardians or Keepers of the Gates, they disposed of all Things in the City at their Pleasure.

Mat. Paris.

They spoiled the Fryars Houses, and searched their Coffers; which being done, Robert Fitzwater, Jeffrey Magnavile, Earl of Essex, and the Earl of Glocester, chief Leaders of the Army, applyed all diligence to repair the Gates and Walls of this City, with the Stones taken from the Jews broken Houses; namely, Aeldgate, being then most ruinous, (which had given them an easy Entry) they repaired, or rather newly builded, after the manner of the Normans, strongly Arched, with Bulwarks of Stone brought from Cane in Normandy, and small Brick, called Flanders Tile, was brought from thence, such as hath been here used since the Conquest, and not before.

Radul. Cogsh.

Aldgate new Builded.

In the Year 1471, the 11th of Edward the IVth, Thomas the Bastard Fawconbridge, having assembled a riotous Company of Shipmen and others in Essex and Kent, came to London with a great Navy of Ships near to the Tower; whereupon the Maior and Aldermen, by consent of a Common-Council, fortified all along the Thames side, from Baynard's-Castle to the Tower, with Armed Men, Guns, and other Instruments of War, to resist the Invasion of the Mariners. Whereby the Thames, side was safely preserved and kept by the Aldermen and other Citizens, that assembled thither in great Numbers. Whereupon the Rebels being denyed Passage thorough the City that way, set upon Aeldgate, Bishopsgate, Creplegate, Aldersgate, London-Bridge, and along the River of Thames; shooting Arrows and Guns into the City, fired the Suburbs, and burned more than threescore Houses. And further, on Sunday the Eleventh of May, Five Thousand of them assaulting Aelgate, won the Bulwarks and entred the City; but the Portclose being let down, such as had entred were slain; and Robert Basset, Alderman of Aeldgate Ward, with the Recorder, commanded in the Name of God to draw up the Portclose; which being done they issued out, and with sharp Shot and fierce Fight, put their Enemies back so far as St. Buttolph's Church. By which time the Earl Rivers, and the Lieutenant of the Tower, was come with a fresh Company; which joyning together discomfited the Rebels, and put them to flight; whom the aforesaid Robert Basset, with other Citizens, chased unto the Miles-end, and from thence, some to Popular, some to Stratford; slew many, and took many of them Prisoners. In the mean while, the Bastard having assayed other Places upon the Water-side, and little prevailing, fled towards his Ships.

W. Dunthorne.

Thomas L. Fawconbridge set upon Aldgate.

Suburbs burnt.

Rebels won the Bulwarks of Aelgate.

Lieutenant of the Tower assisted the Citizens against the Rebels.

Add concerning Aldgate, that near it antiently on the Wall was a Turret; whereon was placed an Hermitage; which in the Reign of Edward I. was presented to the King's Judges at an Inquisition in the Tower: Hermitagium situm est in Turretto muri Civitat. Lond. prope Algate: & edificatur 4 ped. extra Turretum muri predict. in via regia, being built Four Foot without the Turret in the King's Way.

Turret on the Wall near Aldgate.

J. S.

Baga Quo Warr. Lond.

Pet. Le Nev. Nor.

From this Gate towards Bishopsgate was a Passage or Lane, between the Wall and the Priory of the Holy Trinity, about 13 Foot Broad, which the Prior and Convent stopp'd up with a Wall of Earth, in the troublesome Times of Henry III, who was angry with the City, and took away their Privileges. In the beginning of the Reign of his son K. Edward it was presented to the Judges Itinerants by the Citizens. And it was informed that so it had been stopt up for Seven Years, ad ex heredationem Reg. & lesionem Civitat. London, i.e. to the hurt of the City, and the disinheriting of the King: for so they called it, when the King's High-way was encroached upon.]

The Lane from this Gate by the Wall stopt.


Thus much for Algate as it was and continued in those Elder Days; but the new Building thereof remaineth, till I come to speak of the Ward wherein the same Gate is situated.

Aldgate taken down.

R. B.

This Gate being very old and ruinous, began to be taken down, Anno 1606, and in the taking down of which, and searching the Foundation for the Erecting a new one, divers antient Pieces of Roman Coin were found amongst the Rubbish, two of which Mr. Martin Bond (a worthy Citizen, and one of the Surveyor's of this Work) caused to be carved in Stone (according to their true Form and Figure) and fixed on either side of the Gates Arch without Eastward. The rest of these Roman Coins were sent for by the Lord Maior and Court of Aldermen to the Guildhall where they still remain.

Antient Roman Coins found there.

Upon the 10th of April, 1607, the aforesaid Mr. Bond laid the first Foundation Stone of this

Began to be New Built.