|Of the Wells, Conduits, Rivers, &c.||22
Passage to the Thames, and is called Ebgate-Lane, but more commonly the Old
Then is there a Watergate at the Bridge Foot, called Oistergate, of Oisters that
there (of old Time) commonly to be sold; and was the chiefest Market for them,
other Shell Fish. There standeth now an Engine or Forcier, for the winding up
Water to serve the City, whereof I have already spoken.
The next is the Bridgegate, so called of London-Bridge, whereon it standeth.
one of the four first and principal Gates of the City, and was long before the
when there stood a Bridge of Timber; and is the Seventh and last principal Gate
mentioned by W. Fitz-Stephen; which Gate being weakly made, when the Bridge was
builded of Stone, hath been oftentimes since repaired. This Gate, with the
it, in the Year 1436. fell down, and two of the farthest Arches Southwards also
therewith, and no Man perished or was hurt thereby. To the repairing whereof,
wealthy Citizens gave large Sums of Money, namely, Robert Large, sometime Maior,
gave to that Work 100 Marks, Stephen Forster, 20l. Sir John Crosby Alderman,
&c. But in the Year 1471. the Kentish Mariners, under the Conduct of
Fauconbridge, burned the said Gate, and thirteen Houses on the Bridge, besides
Beer-Houses at St. Kaherines, and many other in the Suburbs.
The Bridge-Gate oftentimes repaired by divers good Benefactors.
Gate at the Bridge-Foot. burned.
The next is Buttolphs Gate, so called of the Parish Church of St. Buttolph near
adjoining. This Gate was sometime given, or confirmed by William Conqueror, to
Monks of Westminster, in these Words. Will. Rex Angliæ, &c. William
England, sendeth Greeting to the Sheriffs, and all his Ministers; as also to all
Subjects, French and English, of London. Know ye, that I have granted to God
St. Peter of Westminster, and to the Abbot Vitalis, the Gift which Almundus, of
Port of St. Buttolph, gave them, when he was there made Monk; that is to say,
Lord's Court, with the Houses, and one Wharf, which is at the Head of London-
Bridge, and all other his Lands which he had in the same City, in such sort, as
Edward more beneficially and amply granted the same. And I Will and Command,
they shall enjoy the same well, and quietly, and honourably, with Sake and Soke,
King William the Conqueror his Gift of the Gate.
The next is Belinsgate, now used as an especial Port of Harbour for small Ships
Boats coming thereto, and is now the largest Watergate on the River of Thames,
therefore most frequented, the Queenes-Hith being almost forsaken. How this
took that Name, or of what Antiquity the same is, I must leave uncertain, as not
read any ancient Record thereof, more than that Geoffrey Monmouth writeth, that
Belin, a King of the Britans, about 400 Years before Christ's Nativity, builded
Gate, and named it Belinsgate, after his own Name; and that when he was dead,
Body being burned, the Ashes in a Vessel of Brass were set in a high Pinacle of
over the same Gate. But Cæsar, and other Roman Writers, affirm of Cities,
and Gates, as ye have before heard; and therefore it seemeth to me not to be so
but rather to have taken that Name of some later Owner of the Place, haply named
Beling; as Somer's Key, Smart's Key, Fresh Wharf, and others thereby, took their
Names of their Owners. Of this Gate more shall be said when we come to speak of
Belin's Urn of Brass.
Then have you a Watergate on the West side of Wool-Wharf or Customer's Key,
is now of late most beautifully enlarged and built. This Gate is commonly
Watergate, as being at the South End of Water-Lane.
Watergate by the Custom-house.
One other Watergate there is by the Bulwark of the Tower; and this is the last
farthest Watergate Eastward on the River of Thames, so far as the City of LONDON
extendeth within the Walls; both which last named Water-Gates be within the
Watergate by the Tower.
Besides these common Water-Gates, were divers private Wharfs and Keys all along
from East to West, on the Banks of the River of Thames. Merchants of all
Landing Places, Warehouses, Cellars, and Stowage of their Goods and
as partly shall be touched in the Wards adjoining to the said River. And
concerning these Gates, let this suffice.
Wharfs and Keys.
Now for the ordering and keeping of them in the Night Season, it was appointed
Year of Christ 1258. by K. Henry III. in the 42. of his Reign, that the Ports of
should be strongly kept, and that the Gates of London should be newly repaired,
diligently watched in the Night, for fear of French Deceits: Whereof one writeth
The Gates to be kept and watched.
Per noctem Portæ clauduntur Londoniarum,
Mœnia ne fortè Fraus frangat Francigenarum.
Of the Ancient and present Rivers, Brooks,
Bournes, Pools, Wells and Conduits of fresh Water, serving the City . And particularly the New River ,
and Thames Water; The present State of the City, as to
AS the Walls of this City are for Strength and Ornament,
and its Gates for Conveniency, so for Conveniency also, together with Health and
the Benefits of Life, another Thing is requisite, viz. Water. And therefore the
next Matter to be treated of concerning LONDON is, how it hath been, and is watered.]
Anciently, until the Time of the Conqueror, and two hundred Years after, this
City of London
was watered, (besides the famous River of Thames on the South Part) with the
River of the Wells (as it was then called) on the West, with a Water called Walbrook
running through the midst of the City into the River of Thames, severing the Heart
thereof; and with a Fourth Water, or Boorn, which ran within the City through Langboorn Ward,
watering that Part in the East. In the West Suburbs was also another great
London how watered.
The River of the Wells.