Cheape Ward. [St. Mildred.] 30

Cheape Ward. [St. Mildred.]

To the Clark and Sexton of the

This is paid out of Houses in Whitecross street.

The Parsonage House lies on the Northwest Corner of St. Pancrace Lane, in Queenstreet; let by Lease for Forty Years, from Christmas, 1670. at 2l. per Ann.]


Then is a part of Sopars Lane, turning up to Cheap. By the Assent of Stephen Abunden, Maior, the Pepperers in Sopar Lane were admitted to sell all such Spices, and other Wares, as Grocers now use to sell; retaining the old Name of Pepperers in Sopars Lane: 'Till at length, in the Reign of Henry VI. the said Sopars Lane was inhabited by Cordwainers and Curriers; after that, the Pepperers or Grocers had seated themselves in a more open Street, to wit, in Buckles bury, where they yet remain.

Pepperers in Sopar Lane.

Cordwainers and Curriers in Sopar Lane.

By a passage in an old Book, printed in King Henry the VIIIth's Reign, I gather, that Sopers Lane was a noted Place where Pies were made, and set forth to be sold; when Spices were so near at hand. Thou must, at Eastre "receive the God of Antichrist; and thou must buy it, and pay for it, as Men sometme bought Pies in Soper Lane."

Pies sold in Sopar Lane.

Lamentation against the Cit. of Lond. Printed 1545.

J. S.

Chaundlers antiently had their Shops also hereabouts; the smell of whose Trade, it seems, was so nauseous in the Chief street of the City, that they were appointed to remove thence, and remain elsewhere in the City.

Chaundlers here.

At the upper end of this Sopars Lane, in Cheapside, was the common place of standing in great Shows passing by: As when Kings and Queens, Princes, or Foreign Ambassadors past along towards Westminster, or from Westminster through London, towards the Tower. Here I find a parcel of Land, called The great Field in the Street, sometime in the tenure of the Lady Katherine Dormer, Widow. This, under that Name, together with other things, was sold to Sir Robert Cholmly, Kt. in the 2d of Edward VI. But, I doubt, whether it were a great Field in that Kings Reign; but it seems antiently to have been so, though in Cheapside or very near it.] Thus much for the South Wing of Cheap Ward.

Sopar Lane a great place of Standing.

J. S.

Now to begin again on the Bank of the said Walbrook at the East end of the High street, which is the main Body of this Ward. First, over against the Parish Church of S. Mildred, on the South side of the Poultry, up to the great Conduit, have ye divers fair Houses, sometimes inhabited by Poulters, now by Grocers, Haberdashers, and Upholders. At the West end of this Poultry, on the South side, have ye the great Conduit, which is the beginning of West Cheap. This Conduit was the first sweet Water that was convey'd by Pipes of Lead, under Ground, to this Place in the City, from Padington. It was castellated with Stone, and cesterned in Lead: Which was begun in the Year 1285, Henry Waleis being then Mayor. This Conduit was again new builded by Thomas Ilame, one of the Sheriffs, in the Year 1479.

Poultry; the South side.

Great Conduit in Cheape.

Beyond this Conduit, on the South side of Cheap, be now fair and large Houses; for the most part possessed of Mercers, up to the North corner of Cordwainer street, corruptly called Bow lane: Which Houses, in former times, were but Sheds or Shops, with Solars over them; as of late one of them remained at Sopers Lane end; wherein a Woman sold Seeds, Roots, and Herbs. But those Sheds or Shops, by incroachments on the High street, are now largely builded on both sides, outwards, and also up- ward towards Heaven, some three, four, or five Stories on high, &c.

South side of Cheape, beyond the Conduit.

Sheds on the South of Cheapside.

The Parish Church of St. MILDRED.


On the North side of the Poultry, is the proper Parish Church of St. Mildred.

It beareth the Name of St. Mildred in the Poultry, the Virgin. Which Name was given, surely for distinction, not for Superstition, for s was the Custom of the Kingdom (and yet is) in building these Things for the Service of God; that the Founders called them by the Name of some Apostle, Saint, Martyr, or Confessor, as best liked their own Conceit at the present time, to distinguish them from others.

St. Mildred.

A. M.

Who this Mildred was, whether she was that eldest Daughter of Mervaldus, King of West- Mercians, as some think; or that she was Daughter of Ethelbert, King of Kent, one the Founders of Paul's Church, I find no Record to specify, neither is it much material. But it is probable, that she was some holy and devout Maid, which the People of that Age held to be a Saint afterward in Heaven.

Who Mildred was.

Here the Saint, to which this Church was dedicated, had her Shrine or Tabernacle, as it was called. And one Christopher Suliok, who willed his Body to be buried here, bequeathed to the gilding of the Tabernacle of St. Mildred, in the Church abovesaid, five Marks. And towards the edifying and reparation of Corpus Christi Chappel, in the Parish aforesaid, five Marks.

St. Mildred's Tabernacle.

J. Worthing.

This Will was made August 11. 1500.]

In what Years this Church was first erected or who was the first Founder of it, we find not. But it appeareth by some ancient Evidences of the said Church, that from the beginning, it had not so much spare Ground about it, as to make a Church yard of; until in the Year of our Lord God 1420, and the Eighth of King Henry the Vth, Thomas Morsted, Esq;, and Chirurgeon to the Kings, Henry the IVth, Henry the Vth, and Henry the VIth: (And afterward in Anno Dom. 1436. was Sheriff and Alderman of London) gave unto the Church a parcel of Ground, lying between his dwelling House and the said Church, (and adjoining into the said Church, toward the North) to make a Church yard of, for the burial of their Dead: Containing in length, from the Course of Walbrook, toward the West, forty five Foot; and in breadth, from the Church, toward the North, thirty five Foot.

A. M. differs from Mr. Stow in the date of this Gift.

Morsted a Benefactor.

The Churchyard given.

Within short time after, some body, of religious and charitable Disposition, erected upon the sides of the said Church Yard, but upon Posts and Pillars, with Cloysters underneath, toward the West, a Parsonage, or Mansion and free dwelling of the Ministers and Rectors of the said Church: And toward the East, four Chambers, then called the Priests Chambers; now converted into a Tenement or dwelling House, and demised for yearly Rent. But the Church Yard is much abridged, and, of late, fouly defaced, and the Light of the said Parsonage hindered, by addition of pieces to the said ancient Chambers, which ought not to be.

The Parsonage House and Chambers.

Church taken own and new built.

After some Years expired, the Parson and Parishioners, as it seemeth, seeing the Church to be very old, purposed to take it down, and to build it new again: Which they began to do, about the Year of our Lord God 1456. At what time, Robert Snell and John King were Churchwardens, and continued in the Office, till the end of the Year 1467. Toward the which Building, as it may appear by their Accompts, John Saxton, being Rector or Parson of the