|Suburbs. St. Dunstans Stepney, Antiquities thereof ||48
fore to return for Stepneys Sake, which mourned for his Absence, no less than
Children did for the Absence of their loving Mother."
Country Houses were also within this Parish built in Spittle Fields, Mile End,
Bethnal Green, Bow, and Old Ford. In Bethnal Green, I read of a fair House
Queen Elizabeths Reign by one John Kirby. Fleetword Recorder of London, in a
writ about 1578. to the Lord Treasurer mentioned the Death of certain rich
Fairfax, and Bowres, and of John Kirby, that built the fair House upon Bethnal
Which House, lofty like a Castle, occasioned certain Rhimes, abusive of him and
other City Builders of great Houses, and had prejudic'd themselves thereby.
[or Kirbies] Castle, and Fishers Folly, Spinola's Pleasure, and Megses Glory,
And this Kirbies House I make no doubt, is that now called, The blind Beggars
there. Perhaps Kirby beggered himself by it.
A fair House there.
The North west Parts of this Parish, (Spittle Fields and Parts adjacent,) of
became a great Harbour for poor Protestant Strangers, Waloons and French: Who as
former Days, so of late, have been forced to become Exiles from their own
their Religion, and for the avoiding cruel Persecution. Here they have found
Security, and settled themselves in their several Trades and Occupations;
especially. Whereby God's Blessing surely is not only brought upon the Parish,
receiving poor Strangers. (Come ye Blessed of my Father, &c. For I was a
and ye took me in:) but also a great Advantage hath accrued to the whole Nation,
rich Manufactures of weaving Silks and Stuffs and Camlets: Which Art they
along with them. And this Benefit also to the Neighbourhood; that these
serve for Patterns of Thrift, Honesty, Industry and Sobriety, as well
A Harbour for Protestant Strangers.
It is to be further remarked of this Parish of Stepney, on the Southern Parts of
specially, that it is one of the greatest Nurseries of Navigation, and Breeders
in England, the most serviceable Men in the Nation; without which England could
be England. For they are its Strength and Wealth. And by how much the more
and Use our Mariners are to us, so much the greater Fame deservedly accrues unto
Parish, that breeds and brings them up in such great Numbers.
Stepney breeds many Mariners.
Stepney anciently was both a Parsonage and a Vicarage, to be held by two
Persons. And the Parson or Rector had a Right of Patronage to present a Vicar.
find an old Letter from King Richard the Third to Thomas Kemp, Bishop of London;
wherein William Kemp, Deacon, Rector of the Parochial Church of St. Dustane of
Stepnethe is called Verus Patronus Vicariæ humoi. Ecclesiæ; i.e.
Patron of the Vicarage of this Church. Which William had granted to Nicholas
Sudbury, Haberdasher of the City of London, the next Advowson or jus Patronatus,
the said Vicarage; one Richard Luke, Clark, being then actually Vicar. Upon
Richards Death, the said Sudbury presented Degory Watur, Priest, Bachelour of
Decrees. But this gave Occasion to a Contest about the Year 1484. For then the
Bishop of London had a Mind that another should enjoy the said Vicarage, namely
Richard Fox [the same, as it seems, that was afterwards Bishop of Winchester and
Keeper of the Great Seal] who then was a Student in Paris, and a great Friend to
Ap Tudder, Earl of Richmond, which the said King Richard called his Great Rebel.
The Endeavour to prefer him shewed, that Bishops secret good Will to the said
his Cause. Hence when the said Watur came to the Bishop for his Institution and
Induction to the Living, he delayed and put him off, till it was lap-
sed. Watur upon this made Complaint to the King and his Council, and prayed His
Highness for Remedy to assist him in his just Cause. Whereat the King sent once
again to the Bishop in the said Clarks Behalf, that he would institute and
lawfully presented into the said Vicarage. But the Bishop making Answer by a
Messenger, named John Asheby, one of the Clarks of the Signet, that if indeed it
found and proved, that the said Fox were with the Kings Traitors, then he
committed his Right and Authority to the King, and he might himself present a
as he thought good. The King seeing these Delays, he had the Presentation put
Hands by the Patron. And then by a third Letter the King let the Bishop
further, of the Certainty of Fox's consorting with his Traytor: and that he
Patron both by the Bishops Concession, and the said Nicolas Sudburies Right, did
present the said Watur his Clark, and desired him, canonically to institute him
said Vicarage, all Exceptions and Delays laid aside. Dated from the Kings Place
Wardrobe in the City of London, 22d of January 1484.
Stepney Parsonage, and Vicarage.
Ledger King Richard III.
One of the Vicars of this Church named Jerom, was burnt in Smithfield in King
the Eighth's Time, for the Profession and Love of the Gospel, about the Year
Jerom Vicar of Stepney burnt.
Another, and, as it seems, the next that succeeded, had been Abbot of the Abbey
Tower-Hill, and put in here upon the Dissolution and Surrendry of his House. He
a stout Papist, as his Predecessor was a stedfast Gospeller. In his Time there
Quire and singing in this Church, and an excellent Ring of Bells. And when any
Sermon had been preached there, which he did not like, as girding upon any
Errors and Corruptions, or commending the Evangelical Doctrin; he would
stand up, and presently command the Bells to ring, or the singing to begin in
while the Sermon was preaching; and sometimes he would interrupt the Preacher in
midst of his Discourse. There were many Persons in this Parish well disposed to
Gospel, who being grieved with this Vicar, for these and the like Doings,
of him to Archbishop Cranmer. And being cited before him at Croyden, under King
Edward VI. the good Archbishop gave him a gentle Reprimand, and sent him home.
An Abbot Vicar here.
Anno 9 Regin. Annæ 1711. An Act was made for confirming to the Principal
Scholars of Kings Hall and College of Brazen Nose in the University of Oxford,
Purchase of the Advowsons of Stepney, and other Churches, as Whitechapel,
for settling the same to the Benefit of the said College.
Advowson of Stepney in Brazen Nose College.
This Parish is to partake of the Benefit of the Act, 9 Reg. Ann. cap. 22. for
Fifty New Churches. Whereof one is now building, and in great forwardness, near
Limehouse, and another in Brick-Lane near Spittle fields; and another in Wappin
Stepney. And in the Act there is a Proviso, That in every new Church and Parish
erected, pursuant to an Act made in the second Session of this Parliament,
Stepney Parish, the first Rector shall be nominated and appointed by the
Scholars of Brazen Nose College, Oxon: And also in every Chapel in Stepney,
shall be converted into a Parochial Church.
Now to point to a few Places in this Parish of some Antiquity or Remark.
North from the Church lieth Mile End, being the great Thorowfare to the East
from London. so called from its Distance from the middle Parts of London. Here
anciently an Hospital of poor Lazars, called the House of our Saviour Jesus
An Hospital of Lazars at Mile End.