The Parish of St. JAMES CLERKENWELL
|Suburbs without Aldersgate. St. James Clerkenwel. ||63
thereof. And for their good Service was so highly esteemed, that when the Order of
Templers was dissolved, their Lands and Possessions were, by Parliament, granted
unto these: Who after the loss of Jerusalem recovered the Isle of Rhodes from the Turk,
and there placed themselves, being called thereof, for many Years, Knights of the
Rhodes. But after the loss thereof, 1523, removed to the Isle of Malta, manfully
opposing themselves against the Turkish invasions.
The Lands of the Templers given to this
Knights of Rhodes.
In the Year 1401 one Grendon was Prior of this Hospital, who took upon him to go to
Rhodes, to fight, according to his Vow, in defence of the Holy Mother Church, &c.
against Turks and Saracens. To whom King Henry IV. gave his Letters
Commendatory to all Foreign Princes, with a Character of high Respect for him.
Which was to this tenor:
A Lord Prior goes to Rhodes.
"Rex universis & singulis, Regibus, Princibus, Ducibus, Marchionibus, Comitibus,
Nobilibus, Admirallis, Justiciariis, Scabinis, Custodibus Castrorum, Fortalitiorum, ac
Portuum maris, & aliorum Locorum maritimorum, ac Populis cujuscunque
StatÛs, GradÛs, Dignitatis, Conditionis, RitÛs seu sectæ
fuerint, per universum Orbem, tam per terram quam per Mare constitutis,
præsentes Literas inspecturis, Salutem in omnium Salvatore. Sciatis quod, cum
dilectus nobis in Christo WALTERUS GRENDON, Prior Hospitalis Sancti Johannis
Jerlem. in Anglia, Vir Militiæ nobilis, & Religionis suæ Cultor profundus,
nobis insuper & toti Regno nostro suis exigentibus Meritis satis carus, Capto bono &
laudabili Proposito, a Deo & a cunctis Principibus Catholicis meritò
commendando, se ad partes de Rodes in proximo divertere, & ibid. per certum tempus
jam futurum (adjutorio Altissimi, a quo omnis Gratia procedit) pro defensione &
salvatione Sanctæ Matris Ecclesiæ, ac Fidelium & innocentium
Christianorum, contra inimicorum Christi Saracenorum & Turcorum proterviam,
moram trahere & conversari intendat, nostra licentia mediante; NOS, volentes eo
desiderabiliùs & avidiùs ad laudem Dei & Propositi prædicti
Complementum, pro majori securitate & relevamine ipsius Prioris, dum sic in remotis
stelerit, prospicere & providere, quo hujusmodi Propositum commune commodum
omnium & singulorum Christianorunt concernere dinoscatur.
Fœdera, &c. Accurante
Vestram igitur Universitatem, multipliciter honorabilem, & quamlibet vestrÛm per
se, attentius efficacius & affectuosius quo possumus, tenore Præsentium,
requirimus & rogumus, quatenus, præmissis condigne consideratis, ipsum
Priorem, qui versus partes prædictas (ut prædictum est) per tempus
prædictum ibid. moraturus, & exinde versus regnum nostram Angliæ
reversurus, suos gressus dirigit in præsenti, cum prædictum Priorem, qui
se, suos, & sua, propter honorum prædictorum expletionem, spe mercedis
æternæ, laboribus & periculis ponere non evitat, per regna, Dominia,
Passus, Districtus, Pontes, loca, jurisdictiones, Potestates aut territoria vestra, seu
alicujus vestrÛm, cum triginta Personis, triginta Equis, vel paucioribus, Valesiis,
jocalibus, auro, argento, Robis & Vestimentis, ac aliis Bonis, Rebus & Hernesiis suis
quibuscunque, & quocunque nomine censeantus, transire, reverti, seu inibi morari
contigerit, Nostri StatÛs intuitu, & harum precum nostrarum spetiali interventu,
ac Contemplatione nostra propensius recommendatum habentes, eundem Priorem, cum
Persenis, Equis, Valesiis, &c. transire, reverti, & morari liberè,
pacificè, expeditè, & absque impedimento, molestiâ, gravamint,
seu perturbutione, quacunque, ac sine solutione alicujus Daeii, Tributi, impositionis aut
alicujus alterius exactionis, seu Demandæ, necnon absque apertione Mauticarum,
Valesiorum, aut Hernesiorum suorum quoruncunque, benevolè & favorabiliter
The like safe Conduct the King at this time
granted to a Brother of the same House, called, Frater Petrus Holt, Tricoplarius Rodi ac
miles noster Familiaris, taking upon him the same Adventure.]
The Rebels of Essex and Kent 1381, set fire on this House, causing it to burn by the
space of seven Days together, not suffering any to quench it; since the which time, the
Priors of that House have new builded both Church and Houses thereunto appertaining.
Which Church was finished by Thomas Docwray, late Lord Prior there, about the Year
1504, as appeareth by the Inscription over the Gatehouse, yet remaining. This House
at the Suppression in the 32 Henry VIII. was valued to dispend in Lands 3385l. 19s.
8d. yearly. Sir William Weston being then Lord Prior, died on the same 7th of
May on which the House was suppressed. So that great yearly Pensions being granted
to the Knights by the King, and namely to the Lord Prior, during his Life, 1000l. but
he never received Peny. The King took into his hands all the Lands that belonged to
that House, and that Order, wheresoever in England and Ireland, for the augmentation
of his Crown.
This House burnt 1381.
New builded by Tho. Docwray, Lord Prior.
This House dissolved.
Sir W. Weston last L. Prior.
This Priory, Church and House of St. John was preserved from Spoil or down pulling,
so long as King Henry the Eighth Reigned, and was imployed as a Store House for the
King's Toyls and Tents for hunting, and for the Wars, &c. But in the third of King
Edward the Sixth, the Church for the most Part, to wit, the Body and side Iles, with the
great Bell Tower, (a most curious Piece of Workmanship, graven, gilt, and inameled,
to the great beautifying of the City, and passing all other that I have seen) was
undermined and blown up with Gunpowder, the Stone thereof was imployed in
building of the Lord Protector's House at the Strand. That Part of the Quire which
remained, with some side Chapels, was by Cardinal Pool (in the Reign of Queen Mary)
closed up at the West End, and, and otherwise repaired; and Sir Thomas Tresham,
Knight, was then made Lord Prior there, with Restitution of some Lands; but the same
was again suppressed in the first Year of Queen Elizabeth.
The Use this this House was put to after its
Sir Tho. Tresham new L. Prior.
There was buried in this Church, Brethren of that House, and Knights of that Order,
William Bagecote, Richard Barrow *, John Vantlay, Thomas Launcelen, John Mallore,
William Turney, William Hulls, Hills or Hayles, John Weston, Redington †,
William Longstrother †, John Longstrother, William Tong, John Wakeline.
Then of other; Thomas Thornburgh, Gentleman, William West, Gentleman, John
Fulling, and Adam Gill, Esquires, Sir John Mortimor, and Dame Eleanor, his Wife,
Nicholas Silverston, William Plompton, Esquire, Margaret Tong, and Isabel Tong,
Walter Bellingham, alias Ireland, Keeper of Arms of Ireland, Thomas Bedle *, Gent.
Katharine, Daughter of William Plompton, Esq; Richard Turpin, Gent. Johan, Wife to
Alexander Dikes, John Bottle and Richard Bottle †, Esquires, Rowland Darcy,
Richard Sutton, Gent. Richard Bottil, Gent. Sir William Harpden, Knight, Robert
Kingston, Esq; and Margery his Wife, John Roch, Richard Cednor, Gent. Simon
Mallory, 1442. William Mallory, Robert Longstrother, Ralph Asteley, Esq; William
Marshal †, Esq; Robert Savage, Esq; Robert Gondall, * Esq; and Margery his
Wife, William Babthorpe, Baron of the Excehquer, 1442.
Buried in this Church.
All these were written Friars on their Tombs, to
The Parish of St. JAMES CLERKENWEL.
Beyond this House of St. Johns, was the Priory of Clerkenwel, so called of Clarks
Well adjoining. Which Priory was also founded about the Year 1100. by Jorden
Briset, Baron, the Son of Ralph, the Son of Brian Briset: Who gave to Robert a Priest,
Priory of Clerkenwel, called St. James at