LONDON BRIDGE. Accidents on the Bridge. 56

LONDON BRIDGE. Accidents on the Bridge.

and behold it; suddenly the North Part, by blowing of the South Wind, was also set on fire; and the People which were even now passing the Bridge, perceiving the same, would have returned, but were stopped by the Fire: And it came to pass, that as they stayed, or protracted the Time, the other End of the Bridge also, namely, the South End, was fired; so that the People thronging themselves between the Two Fires, did nothing else but expect present Death. Then there came to aid them many Ships and Vessels, into which the Multitude so unadvisedly rushed, that the Ships being thereby drowned, they all perished. It was said, that through the Fire and Shipwrack, there were destroyed above Three Thousand Persons, whose Bodies were found in part, or half burned, besides those that were wholly burnt to Ashes, and could not be found.

Liber Dunmou.

Guil. Covent.

W. Packenton.

London Bridge perished by Fire.

About the Year One Thousand Two Hundred Eighty two, through a great Frost and deep Snow, Five Arches of London Bridge were born down, and carried away.

Five Arches of London Bridge born down.

In the Year 1289, the Bridge was so sore decayed for want of Reparations, that Men were afraid to pass thereon; and a Subsidy was granted towards the Amendment thereof, Sir John Britain being Custos of London, Anno 1381, a great Collection or Gathering was made, of all Archbishops, Bishops, and other Ecclesiastical Persons, for the Reparations of London Bridge.

The Bridge repaired.

Patent the 14. of Edw. II.

The same Year, Wat. Tyler, and other Rebels of Kent, by this Bridge, entred the City; as ye may read in my Summary and Annals.

Wat Tyler enters by this Bridge.

In the Year 1395, on S. George's Day, was a great Justing on London Bridge, betwixt David Earl of Craford, of Scotland, and the Lord Wells of England: In the which the Lord Wells was, at the Third Course, born out of the Saddle: Which History proveth, that at that Time the Bridge (being coaped on either side) was not replenished with Houses builded thereupon, as since it hath been, and now is.

A Justing on the Bridge.

The next Year, on the 13th of November, the young Queen Isabel, commonly called the Little, (for she was but Eight Years old) was conveyed from Kennington, beside Lambeth, through Southwark, to the Tower of London; and such a Multitude of People went out to see her, that on London Bridge Nine Persons were crowded to Death; of whom the Prior of Tiptre, a Place in Essex, was one, and a Matron on Cornhill was another.

Nine Persons crowded to Death on London Bridge.

The Tower on London Bridge, at the North End of the Draw-bridge, (for that Bridge was then readily to be drawn up, as well to give Passage for Ships to Queenhith, as for the Resistance of any foreign Force) was begun to be builded in the Year 1426, John Reinwell being Maior.

Tower on London Bridge builded.

Another Tower there is on the said Bridge, over the Gate at the South End towards Southwark; whereof in another Place shall be spoken.

In the Year 1450, Jack Cade, and other Rebels of Kent, by this Bridge entred the Citie; he strake his Sword on London Stone, and said himself then to be Lord of the Citie; but they were by the Citizens overcome on the same Bridge, and put to flight, as in my Annals.

Jack Cade entred the City by the Bridge.

In the Year 1471, Thomas the Bastard Fawconbridge besieged this Bridge, burned the Gate, and all the Houses to the Draw Bridge, being at that time Thirteen in Number.

Bastard Fawconbridge besieged the Bridge.

In the Year 1481, an House called the common Stage on London Bridge, fell down into the Thames, through the Fall whereof Five Men were drowned.

An House on the Bridge fell down.

In the Year 1553, the Third of February, Sir Thomas Wyat and the Kentish Men marched from Deptford towards London, after knowledge whereof, forthwith the Draw Bridge was cut down, and the Bridge Gates shut. Wyat and his People entred Southwark, where they lay till the 6th of Feb. but could get no Entry of the City by the Bridge, the same was then so well defended by the Citizens, the Lord W. Howard assisting; wherefore he removed towards Kingston, &c. as in my Annals.

Sir Tho. Wyat lay in Southwark, at the Bridge Foot.

The Draw-Bridge cut down.

To conclude, I affirm of this Bridge over the said River of Thames, as in other my Descriptions, that it is a Work very rare; having with the Draw Bridge Twenty Arches made of squared Stone, of Height Sixty Foot, and in Breadth Thirty Foot, distant one from another Twenty Foot, compact and joyned together with Vaults and Cellars. Upon both Sides be Houses builded; so that it seemeth rather a continual Street than a Bridge. For the continual Fortifying whereof against the incessant Assaults of the River, it hath Overseers and Officers, viz. Wardens, as aforesaid, and others.

This Bridge a Work very rare, described.

This Bridge, with a Chappel on the Eastside, and a Gate on the South end, being thus Built all of Stone, as aforesaid, and Houses of Timber over the Stone Peers and Arches on both Sides thereof; yet there were and still are in the whole Length of the Bridge, three Vacancies, with Stone Walls and Iron Grates over them, on either side opposite to each other; through which Grates, People, as they pass over the Bridge may take a view of the River both East and West; and also may go aside more to each Side out of the Way of Carts and Coaches, the Passage being but narrow, and not only troublesome but dangerous. These three Vacancies are over three of the middle Arches, for all the Peers are not of a like Thickness, nor stand at equal Distance one from the other; for those under these three Vacancies are much wider than the rest, and are called the Navigable Locks; because Vessels of considerable Burthen may pass through them. One of these is near unto the Gate, and is called the Rock Lock. The Second is under the Second Vacancy, where the Draw Bridge antiently was, and is called the Draw Bridge Lock. And the Third is near the Chapel, and is called St. Maries Lock. There is a Fourth between St. Magnus Church, and the first Vacancie, and is called the King's Lock, for that the King in his Passage through Bridge in his Barge goes through this Lock. And in this Condition was the Bridge, until the Year 1632.

R. B.

Three Vacancies on the Bridge.

Three Navigable Locks.

Rock Lock.

Draw-Bridge Lock.

S. Mary Lock.

King's Lock.

At the latter End of which Year, viz. on the 13th Day of February, between Eleven and Twelve at Night, there happened in the House of one Briggs, a Needlemaker near St. Magnus Church, at the North End of the Bridge, (by the Carelesness of a Maid Servant, setting a Tub of hot Seacoal Ashes under a Pair of Stairs) a sad and lamentable Fire, which consumed all the Buildings before Eight of the Clock the next Morning, from the North End of the Bridge, to the first Vacancy on both sides, containing Forty two Houses; Water then being very scarce, the Thames being almost frozen over. Beneath, in the Vaults and Cellars, the Fire remained glowing and burning a whole Week after.]

Anno 1632. A Third Part of the Bridge burnt.

After which Fire, this North End of the Bridge lay unbuilt for many Years; only Deal Boards were set up on both sides, to prevent People's falling into the Thames; many of which Deals were by high Winds oft blown down, which made it very dangerous in the Nights, although there were Lanthorns and Candles hung upon all the cross Beams that held the Pails together.

But about the Year 1645, the North End of this Part last burnt began to be rebuilt; and in the Year 1646, was finished: The Building was of Timber, very substantial and beautiful; for the Houses were Three Stories high, besides the Cellars, which were within and between the

Partly rebuilt 1646.

Peers.