|Tower Street Ward. Modern State thereof. ||52
Porters Key: Then Galley Key, where the Galleys were used to
unlade, and land their Merchandizes and Wares; and that part of
Thames street was therefore of some called Galley Row, but more
commonly Petty Wales.
Porters Key, or Porters Lane.
On the North Side, as well as on the South of this Thames street,
are many fair Houses, large for Stowage, builded for Merchants,
towards the East End thereof, namely, over against Galley Key,
Wool Key, and the Custom House. There have been of old time
some large Buildings of Stone, the Ruins whereof do yet remain,
but the first Builders and Owners of them are worn out of
Memory: Wherefore the common People affirm Julius Cæsar
to be the Builder thereof, as also the Tower it self; but thereof I
have spoken already. Some are of another Opinion, and that a
more likely, that this great Stone Building was sometime the
Lodging appointed for the Prince of Wales when they repaired to
this City, and that therefore the Street in that Part is called Petty
Wales, which Name remaineth there most commonly until this
Day; even as where the Kings of Scotland were used to be lodged
betwixt the Charing cross and Whitehall, it is likewise called
Scotland: And where the Earls of Britain were lodged without
Aldersgate, the Street is called Britain Street, &c.
Stone Buildings here.
Julius Cæsar's House by the Tower.
Princes of Wales their Lodging.
Britain Street, or Little Britain.
The said Building might (of old time) pertain to the Princes of
Wales, as is aforesaid, but is since turned to other Use.
It is before noted of Galley Key, that the Gallies of Italy, and other
Parts, did there discharge their Wines and Merchandizes brought
to this City. It is like therefore that the Merchants and Owners
procured the Place to build upon for their Lodgings and Store
Houses, as the Merchants of the Haunce of Almaine were licensed
to have an House, called Guilda Teutonicorum, the Guild-Hall of the
The Merchants of Italy, their Lodging by their Gallies.
Also the Merchants of Burdeaux were licensed to build at the
Vintry strongly with Stone, as may yet be seen, and seemeth old,
though often repaired. Much more Cause have these Buildings in
Petty Wales (though as lately builded, and partly of the like Stone
brought from Cane in Normandy) to seem old, which for many
Years, to wit, since the Gallies left their course of landing there,
hath fallen to Ruin, and been letten out for Stabling of Horses, to
Tipplers of Beer, and such like. Amongst others, one Mother
Mampudding (as they termed her) for many years kept this
House, or a great part thereof, for victualling; and it seemeth, that
the Builders of the Hall of this House were Shipwrights, and not
House Carpenters: For the Frame thereof (being but low) is raised
of certain principal Posts of main Timber, fixed deep in the
Ground, without any Groundsel, boarded close round about on the
Inside, having none other Wall from the Ground to the Roof; those
Boards not exceeding the length of a Clap-board, about an Inch
thick, every Board with ledging over other, as in a Ship or Galley
nailed with Ship Nails called rough and clenches, to wit, rough
Nails with broad round Heads, and clenched on the other side with
square Plates of Iron. The Roof of this Hall is also wrought of the
like Board, and nailed with rough and clench, and seemeth as it
were a Galley, the Keel turned upwards; and I observed that no
Worm or Rottenness is seen to have entred into either Board or
Timber. And therefore, in mine Opinion, of no great Antiquity.
Merchants of Burdeaux in the Vintry.
No Gallies landed here, in memory of Men living.
A strange kind of building by the Shipwrights or Galley-men.
I read in the 44th of Edward III. that an Hospital in the Parish of
Barking Church was founded by Robert Denton Chaplain, for the
Sustentation of poor Priests, and other both Men
and Women, that were sick of the Phrenzy, there to remain till
they were perfectly whole, and restored to good Memory.
An Hospital for Lunatick or Phrenzy People.
Also I read, that in the sixth of Henry V. there was in the Tower
Ward a Messuage, or great House, called Cobham's Inn; and in the
37th of Henry VI. a Messuage in Thames street, pertaining to
Richard Longvile, &c. Some of the Ruins before spoken of may
seem to be of the foresaid Hospital, belonging peradventure to
some Prior Alien, and so suppressed among the rest, in the Reign
of Edward III. or Henry V. who suppressed them all.
Now for the modern State of this Ward, in relation to the Streets,
Passages, and Places of Habitation, since the Fire of London. It
contains these principal Streets and Lanes, as hath been taken by
a careful Survey; viz. Tower Street, Thames Street, Mark Lane,
Mincing Lane and Seething Lane, St. Olave Hartstreet; then Idle
Lane, St. Dunstan's Hill, Harp Lane, Water Lane, and Beer Lane, in
which Places are several Courts and Alleys.
Its principal Streets and Lanes.
Tower Street, of which there is the Great and the Little; of which
latter, but some part is in this Ward, beginning about the middle
near unto St. Margaret Pattons Church, and falls into great Tower
Street, which runs Eastwards unto Tower Hill, or Dock, and is a
spacious Street, well built and inhabited by able Tradesmen, and
the rather as being so great a Thorough-fair to and from Wapping,
the Tower, St. Katharine's, and those Parts bordering upon the
Thames, replenished with Seafaring Persons.
The Courts in this Street are, Mercers Court, seated on the North
Side, very long, with turning Passages, and but indifferently
inhabited. Carpenters Hall Court, a square Place, with an open
Passage into it, sufficient for a Cart. Fowks Court, very handsome
and open, with a Free Stone Pavement, and hath good Houses,
which are well inhabited. Black Swan Court, a pretty handsome
open Place, with indifferent Houses. Red Cross Court also pretty
good. Beckford Court, a very handsome, airy Place, with large
Houses, well inhabited, especially the upper End. White Lyon
Court, seated over against Barking Church, is both small and
ordinary, and hath a Passage into Chitterling Alley. Priests Alley,
both narrow and ordinary, which with a turning Passage falls into
Tower Dock: In this Alley are two small Courts, very ordinary, and
without Names. Rose Alley, over against Barking Church, being
long and ordinary, and hath a Passage down Steps into Chitterling
Alley, as also into Glocester Court. Then Barking Church, a Peculiar
to the Archbishop of Canterbury; to which Church the Abbot of
Barking was anciently Patron. The Dismes 10s. 8d.
Carpenters Hall Court.
Black Swan Court.
Red Cross Court.
White Lyon Court.
On the back side of Barking Churchyard is an Alley, or Passage
into Tower Hill, with Houses on the one Side, which have a
Prospect of the Church and Churchyard; and on this part, being the
North side, was anciently the fair Barking Chapel, long since
dissolved. On the South East Corner of Tower Street is a Row of
Houses fronting the Tower, and leadeth to Thames Street, being
pleasantly situated, having also the Prospect of the Thames.
Thames Street is a Place of considerable Trade, and taken up by
great Dealers, as well by Wholesale as Retale: And altho' the Street
(since the new building of it) is broad enough; yet, by reason of
the Custom House, and the several Keys and Wharfs, is extremely
pester'd with Cars, to the great Annoyance of the Inhabitants and
Paasengers through it. This Street runneth a very