Suburbs. St. Dunstans Stepney. Antiquities thereof. 49

Suburbs. St. Dunstans Stepney. Antiquities thereof.
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SPITTLE FIELDS AND PLACES ADIACENT
  SPITTLE FIELDS AND PLACES ADIACENT ]

and Mary Magdalene at Mile End of Stephenhuch in the County of Middlesex. To them a Protection to beg was granted by King Edwards Letters Patents dated Febr. 18. 1551. and John Mills appointed their Proctor. As I find it in the Journal of Goodrick Bishop of Ely, Lord Chancellor.

Further, towards London on the North side of the Road are several handsome well built Alms Houses belonging to certain Companies of London. One whereof much exceedeth the rest, and is indeed a beautiful Structure, having a very fair Entrance at two Gates, and a Chapel at the further End; founded by the Trinity House, for the Dwelling of Sea Captains, or Ship Masters come to Decay; or their Widows. Which hath been spoken of in the first Book.

Trinity Hospital at Mile End.

Nearer the City, entring into Dog-Row is situate Captain Fishers Alms House, built 1711. having four Rooms with Cellars for as many Sea Commanders Widows. Their Allowance paid them from Trinity House is Six Pound per Ann. to each: and Twenty Shillings more to each for Firing: and Gowns every Second Year. The Captains Daughter is yet living, and sent them last Christmas Crowns apiece.

Captain Fishers Alms House.

Further Northwest lie Spittle fields, within this Parish, formerly, in the Memory of some, pleasant Fields for the Citizens to walk in, and for good Housewives to whiten their Cloths: Now all built into Streets, with a very convenient Market-place, and a Tabernacle for Divine Worship. It was very antiently a great Burying Place, and fourscore Years ago, more or less, were many Roman Urns digged up here. Whereupon Learned Men, (and particularly Dr. Merick Casaubon) have made their Observations. Which hath been noted in Bishopsgate Ward.

Spittle Fields.

But to pass from these North Parts of the Parish to the Southern, there lay formerly a great Marsh, or Marshes, called Stebunhith Marsh, and Poplar Marsh. But it was found by a Jury upon Inquisition to be one and the same Marsh, and not divers. I find a Manour anciently called Pountfrets Manour lying in Stebunhith Marsh.

Stebunhuth Marsh.

In the 4th of Henry VIII. the Abbot of Grace, or de Gratiis [which was an Abbey near the Tower] demised to the Bishop of London, for the Term of Fourscore Years, all his drowned Ground, lying in the Marsh called, The Wet Marsh of Stebunhith and Poplar, in the County of Middlesex, for the only consideration of Twenty Shillings yearly Rent. King Edward VI. by Letters Patents granted unto the old Lord Wentworth and his Heirs the Manour of Stebunhith, and all the Marsh Ground in Stebunhith. By which general Words the Lord Wentworth claimed the foresaid Abbots Lands, demised to the said Bishop, which Lands letten by the Abbot were rated as Parcels of his Value. In Queen Elizabeth's Days one Hyde a Servant of the Lord Chief Baron Manwood, pretending that the whole Wet Marsh, being worth now 160l. by Year, should be the Abbots Land, and letten by him by the aforesaid Lease for Twenty Shillings Rent. But he did not demise the Wet Marsh, but all his drowned Ground lying in the Wet Marsh. And pretending that the said Wet Marsh should lie in Poplar Marsh, and not in Stebunhith Marsh. Therefore all the same Lands so letten by the Abbot were suggested to be concealed from her Majesty. Hence Letters Patents were procured thereof unto Mr. Farnham, and his Heirs sixteen Years past.* Whose Estate therein Hyde purchased. The Lord chief Baron Manwood, and Sir Thomas Bromley Lord Chancellor, examined the Title of the Lord Wentworth shortly after, upon an Information of Intrusion before the chief Baron. And albeit her Majesty had before departed with her Right and Interest therein, there was by Tryal and Judgment as much Land recovered from the said Lord as was worth fourscore Pounds by Year; over and beside a great Sum of Money due for Arrerages of the same.

Belonged to Abby of Grace.

Granted to Lord Went.

Grace.

*Viz. About the Year 1570. and odd.

Which Judgment, examined and called in Question by Writ of Error before the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Treasurer Burghley, and other her Majesty's Justices, was reversed and made void. After, a new Information of Intrusion was exhibited before the said Baron for those Lands. Where upon Complaint unto the Queen for the Chief Barons partial Dealings, and that he was no competent Judge for the Cause, She commanded her Attorney and Sollicitor that no further Proceeding in Suit should be in her Name before the said Chief Baron. And that if Hyde so would, a new Information should be exhibited in her Name before her Justice of her Common Pleas, or her Bench (at Hydes Election) of the same Lands, with good Regard, that there might be Proceeding therein (in Favour of Hyde) with all Indifferency. Whereupon an Information was exhibited in the King's Bench, and the Matter at Issue, special Choice was made of a Jury by the Attorney in the Presence of the said Hyde (not any one being admitted, against whom he did except.) Which Jury returned, the Matter was deliberately heard before the Justice there; Mr. Attorney and Mr. Sollicitor being there for her Majesty, and Hyde to inform them. The Jury found, that the Lands demised by the Abbot was twenty Acres; and that the Marsh wherein the same lieth was known as well by the Name of Stebunhuth Marsh, as Poplar Marsh: and that they were all one, not divers. Upon which Verdict so found, Judgment was afterwards solemnly pronounced for the Lord Wentworth; after that all the Judges had severally; upon solemn Argument in open Court, shewed their Opinion to be very clear, that those twenty Acres past for the King by Letters Patents made unto the Lotd Wentworth.

Lands in this Marsh recovered from the Lord Wentworth.

The Judgment reversed.

Sithence which Time, the Matter was called in question in the Star Chamber. And sithence that Time, a new Suit by Information of Intrustion was commenced before her Majesty's Justice of Common Pleas. All this I have out of a Breviate drawn by the Lord Wentworth, Grandson to the first Lord Wentworth, to whom King Edward granted it.

The Matter called in question again.

In the Reigns of Queen Elizabeth, and King James I. Contests happened between the Lords Wentworth, Lords of this Manour of Stepney, and of a Manour next adjoining upon it at Hackney, and the Copyhold Tenants; concerning their Customs and Privileges. Which at last was adjusted and agreed by Covenant between them, several Thousands of Pounds being paid by them to the said Lords. An Abstract of which Covenant, and of the Customs and Orders established, being too large to be here inserted, is reserved for a Chapter by it self at the End.]

A Contest between the Lord Wentworth, and his Tenants.

Now again from Aldgate Northwest to Bishopsgate, lieth Hounds Ditch, and so to Bishopsgate.

Suburb without Bishopsgate.

North and by East from Bishopsgate, lieth a large Street or High Way, having on the West side thereof, the Parish Church of St. Buttolph.

Then is the Hospital of St. Mary of Bethlem, founded by a Citizen of London, as before is shewed. Thence up to the Bars, without the which is Norton fall Gate, a Liberty so called, belonging to the Dean of Pauls. Here was first of all set up a Charity School, by a voluntary Combination of well disposed Gentlemen; whereof Mr. Seimour, Mr. Turner, &c. were chief: out of Compassion towards those poor People inhabiting in that Liberty, without any Parish, and so void

Bethlem.

Norton fall Gate.

A Charity School here.

J. S.

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