Ealdgate Ward. St. Andrew Undershaft. 66

Ealdgate Ward. St. Andrew Undershaft.

As ye would bear
the great SHAFT of Cornhill.
Lord, so merrily
crowdeth then your Croke,
That all the Street
may hear your Body Cloke.

This Shaft was not raised at any time since evil May Day (so called of an Insurrection made by Prentices, and other young Persons against Aliens, in the Year 1517.) but the said Shaft was laid along over the Doors, and under the Pentises of one Row of Houses, and Alley Gate, called of the Shaft, Shaft Alley, (being of the Possessions of Rochester Bridge) in the Ward of Lime Street.

As hath been at large before declared.

It was there, I say, hanged on Iron Hooks many Years, till the third of King Edward VI. that one Sir Stephen, Curate of St. Katharine Christ's Christ, preaching at Paul's Cross, said there, that this Shaft was made an Idol, by naming the Church of St. Andrew, with the Addition of Under that Shaft: He perswaded therefore, that the Name of Churches might be altered: Also, that the Names of Days in the Week might be changed, the Fish Days to be kept any Days, except Friday and Saturday, and the Lent any time, save only betwixt Shrovetide and Easter. I have oft times seen this Man, forsaking the Pulpit of his said Parish Church, preach out of an high Elm Tree in the midst of the Church Yard: and then entring the Church, forsaking the Altar, to have sung his high Mass in English, upon a Tomb of the Dead towards the North. I heard his Sermon at Paul's Cross, and I saw the effect that followed: For in the Afternoon of that present Sunday, the Neighbours, and Tenants to the said Bridge, over whose Doors the said Shaft had lain, after they had dined, to make themselves strong, gathered more help, and with great labour raising the Shaft from the Hooks (whereon it had rested two and thirty Years) they sawed it in pieces, every Man taking for his Share, so much as had lain over his Door and Stall, the length of his House, and they of the Alley, divided amongst them so much as had laid over their Alley Gate. Thus was this Idol (as he poor Man termed it) mangled, and after burned.

Shaft or May-pole preached against at Paul's Cross.

Sir Stephen, the Curate.

The said Elm Tree his preaching Place is lately taken down.

Shaft or May-pole sawed in pieces and burnt.

Soon after was there a Commotion of the Commons in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, and other Shires. By means whereof streight Orders being taken for the suppression of Rumours, divers Persons were apprehended and executed by Marshal Law; amongst the which, the Bayliff of Rumford in Essex was one, a Man very well beloved: He was was early in the Morning of Mary Magdalen's Day (then kept Holiday) brought by the Sheriffs of London, and the Knight Marshal, to the Well within Ealdgate: there to be executed upon a Gibbet set up that Morning, where being on the Ladder, he had Words to this Effect:

Bayliff of Rumford executed within Ealdgate for Words spoken to the Priest of the Parish.

Good People, I am come hither to die, but know not for what Offence, except for Words by me spoken Yesternight to Sir Stephen, Curate and Preacher of this Parish, which were these: He asked me, what News in the Country? I answered, Heavy News. Why, quoth he? It is said, quoth I, that many Men be up in Essex, but thanks be to God All is in good quiet about us: And this was all, as God be my Judge, &c. Upon these Words of the Prisoner, Sir Stephen to avoid reproach of the People, left the City, and was never heard of since amongst them to my knowledge. I heard the Words of the Prisoner, for he was executed upon the Pavement of my Door, where I then kept House.

Thus much by Digression: Now again to the Parish Church of St. Andrew Undershaft, for it still retaineth that Name, which hath been new builded by the Parishioners there, since the Year 1520. every Man putting to his helping hand, some with their Purses, other with their Bodies. Stephen Jennings Merchant Taylor, sometime Maior of London, caused (at his Charges) to be builded the whole North Side of the great middle Ile, both of the Body and Quire, as appeareth by his Arms over every Pillar graven, and also the North Ile, which he roofed with Timber and cieled: Also the whole South Side of the Church was glazed, and the Pews in the South Chapel made of his Costs, as appeareth in every Window, and upon the said Pews. He deceased in the Year 1524. and was buried in the Grey Friers Church. John Kirby, Merchant Taylor, sometime one of the Sheriffs, John Garland, Merchant Taylor, and Nicolas Levison, Mercer, Executor to Garland, were great Benefactors to this Work: Which was finished (to the glazing) in theYear 1529. and fully finished 1532.

Parish Church of St. Andrew Undershaft new builded.

This Church was again repaired and laudably trimmed and beautified, at the Cost and Charge of the Parishioners in the Year of our Lord God, 1627.

Repaired again.


Church Wardens.
William Bargins
Simon Farewel

Then, I say, trimmed and beautified; altho' for some few Years before and since, to this present Year 1633. the Care and Cost of the Parishioners have been still employed in the supplying and furnishing of it with such things, as either for Necessity or Beauty, their love to God's House should find wanting. Among other things, these; they have raised their Chancel; adding to that Cost a Communion Table with a very fair Frame about it. They have made many new Pews, a fair Alabaster Font, and a Clock, a necessary thing that in the Memory of Man this Parish hath not had, nor the eldest Parishioner ever heard of.

They have also in this Church (much commending the Founders and Continuers of it) at the lower End of the North Ile, a fair Wainscot Press full of good Books, the Works of many Learned and Reverend Divines; offering at seasonable and convenient times, the benefit of reading to any that shall be as ready to embrace it, as they and their Maintainers to impart it.]

A Press of Books in this Church.

In the East Window are Images painted in Glass in full Proportion, and in their Robes; representing several Kings, viz. King Edward VI. Q. Elizabeth, and the three succeeding Kings.

J. S.

This Church was again beautified Anno 1684. by Strangways Mud, Church Warden. Again in the Year 1704.]

The MONUMENTS of the Dead buried in this Church are these:


Philip Malpas, one of the Sheriffs in the Year 1539. buried in the old Church. This Man gave by his Testament to the poor Prisoners 125l. to other poor every Year, for five Years together, 400 Shirts and Smocks, 150 Gowns, and 40 pair of Sheets: To poor Maids Marriages an 100 Marks: To Highways an 100 Marks; and to 500 poor People in London, every one 6s. 8d. besides 20s. the Year, for twenty Years, to the Preachers of the Spittle, the three Easter Holidays. Beside 20 Marks the Year to a Graduate to preach abroad in the Countries.

The Monuments in this Church.

This Account of the large Charities of this Man is left out in the two last Editions, and placed elsewhere.

Sir Robert Dennie Knight, and after him Thomas Dennie his Son, in the Year 1421.

Thomas Stokes Gentleman, Grocer, 1496.

In the new Church, John Michell Merchant Taylor, 1537.