Ealdgate Ward. St. Andrew Undershaft. 65

Ealdgate Ward. St. Andrew Undershaft.

North, through a Lane between Heneadge House and the Dukes Place to Buries Markes. Then West by Heneadge House, to the Wall of Sir James Lancaster's House, sometime belonging to Sir Francis Walsingham; where they go back, and cross the way to London Wall to the compast Place, where stands the City's Armes. Thence forward by the Wall to the outer part of Ealdgate, and so South towards the Crotched Fryers, to the House of Mr. Peers, where a piece of an Iron Gun stands fixed in the Ground.

Then back, crossing the Street to the House of Mrs. Smith, going forward to the Bell Tavern, and so up to the Sign of the Rose, ending where Thomas Shepheard did dwell. My help here was by Mr. Stephen Denison, Minister, but more esecially by John Beard, Clarke.]

The Foundation of this now famously finished House of God, was begun to be laid upon the 23d Day of June, in the year of our Lord God 1628.

The first Brick, as also the first Stone in this Foundation, was laid by Mr. Martin Bond of this Parish, Aldermans Deputy of the Ward, and one of our City Captains. The Brick was laid (as is aforesaid) the 23d of June, and the Stone (a principal corner Stone) the 28th of July following.

The Foundation of this new Church.


Many of the Parishioners (following this worthy Leader) laid every Man his Stone, with which they laid something else, which the Workmen took up very thankfully.

On the back side of the North Wall of the old Church was a Cloister, the breadth of it seven Foot and above. Which Cloister, by the taking down of that Wall, being taken into the Church, gave it all its breadth to enlarge it.

A Cloister in the old Church.

In digging under this Wall, there was found the Figure of half the Face of a Man, cast in Lead, the Mould setting likewise upon it this Word, Comes.

Antiquities found in the old Church.

Digging under the South Row of Pillars, they found the Skull of a Man, the thickness of which was three quarters of an Inch and better, measured by many, and admired by all that have seen it.

A strange Skull.

At the West End of this Church, adjoyning to the Steeple, stands a Pillar of the old Church, as it stood, and was there erected: This Pillar (from the Basis, or Foot, to the Chapiter or Head, upon which the old Arch was raised) being 18 Foot high, and but three to be seen above ground, shews the Measure or Height to which the Floor of this new Church hath been raised above that of the old, which is, the hidden part of the Pillar, or the 15 Foot of it buried.

An old Pillar.

This Structure, not of Brick, but built from the Ground with the choicest Free Stone might be got, without, within, and in every part of it supplied, furnished, and enriched, with whatsoever might add to its greatest Grace and Lustre, was finished in the Year of our Lod God 1630.

In this Year (accounting from March to March) upon the 16 th Day of January, it was Consecrated by the right Reverend Father in God, William Lord Bishop of London. And upon the same Day (as on such it is usual with us) were the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, and the Sacrament of Baptism administred.


In this Church the Pulpit and Communion Table are pure Cedar, and both the Gift of Mr. John Dyke, a Merchant, living in this Parish.

A very fair Gate built at the East End of the South Wall, was the Gift of William Avenen, Citizen and Goldsmith of London, who died in December 1631.

Queen Elizabeth's MONUMENT.


Spain's Rod, Rome's Ruin,
Netherland's Relief,
Heaven's Jem, Earth's Joy,
Worlds Wonder, Nature's Chief.

Britain's Blessing, England's Splendor,
Religion's Nurse, the Faith's Defender.

Many Daughters have done vertuously, but thou excellest them all.

I have fought a good Fight, &c.

If Royal Vertues ever crown'd a Crown,
If ever Mildness shin'd in Majesty,
If ever Honour honour'd true Renown,
If ever Courage dwelt with Clemency,
If ever Princess put all Princes down,
For Temperance, Prowess, Prudence, Equity,
This, this was she, that in despight of Death,
Lives still admir'd, ador'd, ELIZABETH.

This Table of Queen Elizabeth, one of the fairest that I have seen in this City, was the Gift of one that is a Stranger to this Parish; at least to any, to be the Bestower of it. He is yet concealed, and still desirous so to be.

That, of that great number of so great and magnificent Benefactors, that joined to the making up of this great, and (in our time) unparalell'd piece of Work, I have only touched upon these, may no doubt seem strange, there being none in this number, whose liberal Hand and Heart deserves not a Golden Character. I confess it. To all that may be said, my Answer is briefly this: Being doubtful of getting all, or all of those I might get, and loth of great things to speak to little Purpose, I only took these that offered themselves by the way; leaving the rest to the Register of the Giver of their Means to give: With whom all good Deeds are recorded, and undoubtedly shall be rewarded.]

Benefactors to the new Church.

There is no Parsonage House or Glebe belonging to this Parish; nor was before the great Fire. The whole Tythe is 35 or 36l. per Ann. The Parish pay 25l. per Ann. to Magdalen College in Cambridge, to which the Tythes belong; and the Remainder is paid to the Minister, whose Allowance is augmented by voluntary Gift. The Minister is in the Election of the Parish. A Register is kept of the Benefactors, and an Account of what Legacies have been left.]

Parsonage and Tythe.

Visitation Book.

J. S.



At the North West Corner of this Ward in the said high Street, standeth the fair and beautiful Parish Church of St. Andrew the Apostle, with an addition, to be known from other Churches of that Name, of the Knape or Undershaft, and so called St. Andrew Undershaft, because that of old time, every Year (on May Day in the Morning) it was used, that an high or long Shaft, or May Pole, was set up there, in the midst of the Street, before the South Door of the said Church. Which Shaft when it was set on end, and fixed in the Ground, was higher than the Church Steeple. Geffrey Chaucer, writing of a vain Boaster, hath these Words, meaning of the said Shaft.

Parish Church of St. Andrew Undershaft.

A Shaft or May-pole higher than the Church Steeple.

Right well aloft,
and high ye bear you Head,
The Weather Cock with flying,
as ye would kill,
When ye be stuffed,
bet of Wine, than Bread,
Then look ye,
when your Womb doth fill,


Chance of dice.