|Towers and Castles. Bridewell, Barbican, &c.||63
For I read, that in the Year 1087. the 20th of William the First, the
City of London, with the Church of S. Paul being burned, Mauritius
then Bishop of London, afterward began the Foundation of a New
Church, whereunto King William (saith mine Author) gave the
choice Stones of this Castle, standing near to the Bank of the River
of Thames, at the West End of the City. After this Mauritius,
Richard his Successor purchased the Streets above Paul's Church,
compassing the same with a Wall of Stone, and Gates. King Henry
the First gave to this Richard, so much of the Moat or Wall of the
Castle, on the Thames side to the South, as should be needful to
make the said Wall of the Churchyard, and so much more as
should suffice to make a way without the Wall on the North side,
In Vita Arkenwald.
This Tower or Castle being thus destroyed, stood, as it may seem,
in Place where now standeth the House called Bridewell. For
notwithstanding the Destruction of the said Castle or Tower, the
House remained large, so that the Kings of this Realm long after
were lodged there, and kept their Courts. For in the Ninth Year of
Henry the Third, the Courts of Law and Justice were kept in the
King's House, wheresoever he was lodged, and not elsewhere. And
that the Kings have been lodged, and kept their Law Courts in this
Place, I could shew you many Authorities of Record; but for a
plain Proof, this one may suffice: Hæc est finalis Concordia,
facta in Curia Dom. Regis apud Sanct. Brigid. Lond. à Die
Sancti Michaelis, in 15 Dies, Anno Regni Regis Johannis septimo;
Coram G. Fil. Petri, Eustacio de Fauconberg, Johanne de Gestlinge,
Osbart Filio Hervey, Walter de Crisping, Justiciar. & aliis Baronibus
Situate near Bridewell.
The King's House by S. Brides in Fleetstreet.
Lib. Burton super Trent.
More, (as Matthew Paris hath) about the Year 1210, King John, in
the Twelfth Year of his Reign, summoned a Parliament at S. Brides
in London; where he exacted of the Clergy, and Religious Persons,
the Sum of One Hundred Thousand Pounds: And besides all this,
the White Monks were compelled to cancel their Privileges, and to
pay 40000l. to the King, &c. This House of S. Brides (of later Time)
being left, and not used by the Kings, fell to Ruin; insomuch that
the very Platform thereof remained (for great part) waste, and as
it were, but a Lay-stall of Filth and Rubbish, only a fair Well
remained there. A great Part whereof, namely on the West, as
hath been said, was given to the Bishop of Salisbury; the other
Part toward the East remained waste, until King Henry the Eighth
builded a stately and beautiful House thereupon, giving it to Name
Bridewell, of the Parish and Well there. This House he purposely
builded for the Entertainment of the Emperor Charles the Fifth;
who in the Year 1522 came into this City, as I have shewed in my
Summary, Annals, and large Chronicles.
Mat. Paris. Manuscript.
Parliament at S. Brides.
Bridewell builded by K. Henry VIII.
On the North West side of this City, near unto Redcross Street,
there was a Tower, commonly called Barbican, or Burhkenning; for
that the same, being placed on an high Ground, and also builded of
some good Height, was (in old Time) used as a Watch Tower for
the City; from whence a Man might behold and view the
whole City towards the South, and also see into Kent, Sussex and
Surrey, and likewise every other way, East, North, or West.
Barbican or Burhkenning.
Some other Burhkennings or Watch Towers there were of old
Time, in and about the City, all which were repaired, yea, and
others new builded by Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Glocester, in the
Reign of King Henry the Third, when the Barons were in Arms, and
held the City against the King. But the Barons being reconciled to
his Favour, in the Year 1267, he caused all their Burhkennings,
Watch Towers, and Bulwarks, made and repaired by the said Earl,
to be plucked down, and the Ditches to be filled up, so that nought
of them might be seen to remain. And then was this Burhkenning,
amongst the rest, overthrown and destroyed; and altho' the Ditch
near thereunto, called Houndsditch, was stopped up, yet the Street
(of long Time after) was called Houndsditch, and of late Time
(more commonly) called Barbican. The Plot or Seat of this
Burhkenning, or Watch Tower, King Edward III. in the Year 1336,
and the Tenth of his Reign, gave unto Robert Efford, [or Ufford]
Earl of Suffolk, by the Name of his Manor of Base Court, in the
Parish of S. Giles without Cripplegate, of London, commonly called
Burhkennings, or Watch-Towers in the City.
The Destruction of the Barbican.
Tower Royal was of old time the King's House; King Stephen was
there lodged; but since called the Queen's Wardrobe. The Princess,
Mother to King Richard the Second, in the Fourth Year of his Reign,
was lodged there; being forced to fly from the Tower of London,
when the Rebels possessed it. But on the 15th of June, (saith
Frosard) Wat Tyler being slain, the King went to this Lady Princess
his Mother, then lodged in the Tower Royal, called the Queen's
Wardrobe; where she had tarried two Days and two Nights: Which
Tower (saith the Record of Edward the Third, the Thirty sixth
Year) was in the Parish of S. Michael de Pater noster, &c.
In the Year 1386, King Richard, with Queen Anne his Wife, kept
their Christmas at Eltham; whither came to him Lion King of
Ermony, under Pretence to reform Peace betwixt the Kings of
England and France. But what his Coming profited, he only
understood. For, besides innumerable Gifts that he received of the
King, and of the Nobles, the King lying then in this Tower Royal, at
the Queen's Wardrobe in London, granted to him a Charter of a
Thousand Pounds by Year, during his Life. He was, as he affirmed,
chased out of his Kingdom by the Tartarians. The rest concerning
this Tower shall you read, when you come to the Vintry Ward, in
which it standeth.
Lib. S. in Eborum.
The King of Ermony came into England.
Richard II. lodged in the Tower Royal.
Serne's Tower, in Bucklersbury, was sometimes the King's House.
Edward the Third, in the Eighteenth Year of his Reign, appointed
his Exchange of Monies therein to be kept; and in the Two and
thirtieth, he gave the same Tower to his free Chapel of S. Stephen
Serne's Tower in Bucklersbury.