Portsoken Ward. Aldgate. 24

Portsoken Ward. Aldgate.

with professed and ignominious Stain of lewd Life; because (within the Limits of Houndsditch) dwell many a good and honest Citizen, that will never endure such scandalous Neighbourhood: Yet there are crept in among them a base kind of Vermin, well deserving to be ranked and numbered with them, whom our old Prophet and Countryman Gyldas, called ætatis atramentum, the black Discredit of the Age, and of the Place where they are suffered to live. Or rather (as St. Bernard thinks it more convenient to term them) Baptisatos Judæos; who take themselves to be Christians, when they are worse (indeed) than the Jews ever were for Usury.

The unconscionable broking Usurers their Living.

These Men, or rather Monsters in the Shape of Men, profess to live by lending, and yet will lend nothing but upon Pawns; neither to any, but unto poor People only, and for no less Gain than after fifty or threescore Pounds in the hundred. The Pawn of the poor Borrower must needs be more than double worth the Money lent upon it, and the Time of Limitation is no longer than a Month; albeit they well know, that the Money needs not be repayed back until a Twelvemonth's end. By which time the Interest grows to be so great, that the Pawn, which (at the first) was better than twice worth the Money borrowed on it, doth not (in the end) prove to be valuable to the Debt, which must be payed before the poor Party can redeem it. By which extorting Means of proceeding the poor Borrower is quite cheated of his Pawn, for less than the third part, which it was truly worth indeed.

The Jews were never any such gripple Extortioners.


Such Gains are the greedy Usurers Glory.

It is a great Error (in my poor Opinion) that in so ancient and famous a City, abounding (otherwise) in most Christian Alms and Works of Mercy, that among so many worthy Liberalities bestowed on the Poor in divers and distinct Parishes, no Order is taken for such a publick Stock for the truly poor; that when in their urgent Necessity either by want of Means, Sickness, and other Hindrances, their Pawns may not go to the Cut-throat Usurer; but remain to their own good (living or dying) or to theirs, without any other Benefit, than that it may still serve for the like Relief.

A publick Stock would do well for the Poor in every Parish.

And let me not here be mistaken, that I condemn such as live by honest buying and selling, and make a good Conscience of their dealing: No truly, I mean only the Judas Broker, that lives by the Bag, and (except God be more merciful to him) will follow him that did bear the Bag.]

On the Ditch Side of this Street, the Mud Wall is also (by little and little) taken all down, the Bank of the Dich being rased, made level Ground, and turned into Garden Plots and Carpenters Yards, and many large Houses are there Builded. The Filth of which Houses, as also the Earth cast out of their Vaults, is turned into the Ditch: By which means the Ditch is filled up, and both the Ditch and Wall so hidden, that they cannot be seen of the Passers by.

Here, according to my Purpose in all other Wards and Parishes, I mean not to forget God's Blessings bestowed by the Hands and merciful Minds of charitable Benefactors. In this Parish of St. Botolph's without Aldgate, these Persons following do justly deserve Memory.

Benefactors in this Ward.

A. M.

Benefactors to the Poor.


Mr. William Newton, Citizen and Sadler of London, gave divers Tenements in the High Street.

For Relief of the Poor in the Parish of St. Botolphs without Aldgate.

Mrs. Mary Bristow gave a Tenement to the Poor, the yearly Rent being 3l. 6s. 8d.

Mrs. Joyce Ripton gave the Sum of 40l. that Fuel may be given twice yearly for ever to the Poor.

Mr. William Cowch (of whom we have already spoken) gave 5l. yearly to the Poor, and for a Sermon also 10s.

Mr. Anthony Duffield gave the Sum of 20l. to have 400 of good Faggots yearly given to the Poor.

Mrs. Joan Duffield gave 10l. to have 200 of good Faggots given yearly to the Poor.

Mr. John Frank gave an Annutity of 20s. yearly for ever to the Poor.

Mrs. Margaret Holigrave gave the like Sum of 20s. and for the like Intent yearly to the Poor.

Mr Bernard Williamson gave yearly a Sum of Money, (which since is made up to 20l. that a Load of Charcoals, and a certain Sum of Money, may yearly for ever be given the Poor.

Mr. Toby Wood Esq; gave a Tenement of 6l. Rent yearly; the Rent whereof is quarterly given to the Poor, and for four Sermons.

Mrs. Anne Clarke Widow, of Houndsditch, gave 40l. to have four Sermons yearly, and a certain Allowance of Bread given to the Poor.

Mr. Henry Jorden, some time Citizen and Fishmonger of London, gave an Annuity of 20s. yearly for ever, to be given in Fuel to the Poor.

Mr. George Palin, Girdler, gave 10l. for ever, to be employed for the Benefit of the Poor.

Mr. Robert Rogers, late Citizen and Leatherseller, gave 20l. to be laid out yearly in Coals: that the Poor may have them at a reasonable Price in Winter.

Mr. Stephen Scudamour, late Citizen and Vintner, gave 20s. yearly for ever, to be given in Fuel to the Poor.

Mr. Francis Tirrell, late Citizen and Grocer, gave 10l. in Money to the Poor, and five Chaldrons of Coals yearly for ever.

Mr. Robert Dow, a great Benefactor, both in his Life time, and for ever after his Death: As also Mr. George Clarke, and Mr. Robert Coxe. Of whom we have spoken before.

To which I will subjoin a more modern Account of the Benefactors to this Parish, as it was given in by the Church Wardens upon a Parochial Visitation of London, Ann. 1693. and is extracted out of the very Visitation Book.

A Table of Benefactors to Aldgate.

J. S.

Gifts and Charitable Bequests.


William Newton, per Ann. for ever, forty Dozen of Bread: For a Sermon 10s. To the Clerk ans Sexton 6s. 8d. In all 2l. 16s. 8d.

Edward Alexander, Regist. Ep. Lond.


Anne Clarke gave forty Dozen of Bread: Ten Dozen every Quarter. Four Quarterly Sermons 20s. Clerk and Sexton 4s. In all 3l. 4s.

William Green gave to 25 poor People, Quarterly, 12d. a piece out of his Rent in Harrow Alley. In all 5l.

Tobias Wood gave to the Poor, Quarterly, 20 Dozen of Bread. For a Sermon 10s. per Quarter. In all per Ann. 6l.

Joyce Ripton gave 2l. 8d. to be laid out yearly in Faggots by the Renter Warden for the Use of the Poor.

Francis Tirrel appointed the Grocer's Company to send five Chaldron of Coals yearly to the Use of the Poor.

Robert Dawes [Dow] gave to Sixty poor People 6s. 8d. a piece. To the Minister for reading the Exhortation 1s. To the Clerk for writing their Names, and warning them, 2s. 6d. To the four Church Wardens 4s. To the Sexton 6d. All yearly to be paid by the Merchant Taylors. In all 20l. 8s.