|The Life of JOHN STOW. ||xiv
of St. Mary Woolnoth, which was 7s. and 6d. with the Churchwarden's Name
He died April the 5th following, that is, within less than Six Months after, of
Cholick: So that it is to be feared, the poor Man made but little Progress in
'Tis strange to me, that the City of London, to which he had done such Service
Honour, in writing such an elaborate and accurate Survey thereof; nor the
Company of Merchant-Taylors, of which he was a worthy and creditable Member; nor
lastly, the State, in grateful Remembrance of his diligent and faithful Pains,
an excellent History of the Kingdom, neither of them had allotted him some
Pension during his Life. He being arrived at the Age of 80 Years, deceased, and
buried towards the upper End of the North Isle of St. Andrew Undershaft Church,
which Parish he had lived many a Year; and hath a decent Monument there on the
Wall, set up by his Wife, with a good Effigies of himself sitting in a Chair as
it were in his
Study, with a Book before him, reading; and Books in Shelves about him: And this
His Death, and Monument,
Resurrectionem in Christo hic expectat JOANNESS STOWE, Civis LONDINENSIS. Qui
in antiquis Monumentis eruendis accuratissima diligentia usus, ANGLIÆ
Civitatis LONDINI Synopsin, bene de sua, bene de postera ætate meritus,
scripsit; Vitæq; stadio pie & probe decurso, obijt ætatis Anno
LXXX. die 5.
ELIZABETHA Conjux, ut perpetuum sui amoris testimonium, dolens
This Figure of STOW, which seems to be Stone, I have been told by an ingenious
in Antiquities, to be nothing else but Clay burnt, and painted; a fine Art,
practised in former Times. Of this sort, there were several Effigies in
Churches before the
great Fire. One of these was the Head of Dr. Colet, set up both in St. Paul's
whereof he was Dean, and in his School hard by, founded by him; which I well
since I was a Scholar there, divers Years before the Fire: But now there be
Remainders of that Kind, except this of STOW, standing in a Church that escaped
spreading Conflagration, Anno 1666. wherein so many Churches were demolished.
By the above Inscription, it appeareth he was married; but what Sons he had,
Daughters, as this Monument mentioneth none, so neither can I learn.
Had a Wife and four Daughters.
To conclude; as for his Person and Temper, he was (as he is described by one
knew him) tall of Stature, lean of Body and Face; his Eyes small and
Christalline; of a
pleasant and chearful Countenance; his Sight and Memory very good, and retained
Use of all his Senses unto the Day
of his Death. He had an excellent Memory; was very sober, mild, and courteous,
that required his Instructions. He always protested never to have written any
for Envy, Fear, or Favour, nor to seek his own particular Gain or Vain-glory:
and, that his
only Pains and Care was, to write Truth.
Edm. Howes's Chron.
BUT before we can fully finish Mr. Stow's Character, we must know more
what he was, as well as what he did; and see him within, as well as without; I
Disposition, Inclination, and Endowments of his Mind, as well as his visible
And that which in this Consideration of him, first offereth it self to us to
relate, is, that he
was an earnest Student and Lover of the Antiquity of his own Country; which was
great, that it made him at length lay aside his own secular Trade and Business,
might wholly addict himself to it. He was an unwearied Reader of all Authors of
History, whether printed, or in MS. and a Searcher into Records, Registers,
Original Charters, Instruments, &c. as may be seen by the large Catalogues
of them set
down both in his Annals and Survey, as consulted by him, and from whence the
and Authority of those his Books were taken; as Testimonies of his Truth and
Studious of Antiquity.
And it contented him not to have the reading of Books and Writings of this kind,
was greedy of making himself Possessor of them, as of a great Treasure. By the Year
1568, he had furnished himself a considerable Library of such; as appears from
of Mr. Watts, Archdeacon of London, the Bishop of London's Chaplain, who was
search his Library, viz.
"That he had a great Collection of old Books and MSS.
sorts, but especially relating to Chronicle and History both in Parchment and
that there was abundance of Matter collected for History, Fundationes
Monasteriorum, &c. Flores Historiarum, and such like."
And the Rarity of
was, that it was not only stored with ancient Authors, but Original Charters,
Chronicles of particular Places; such as, the Register of Bermondsey, the
Register of St.
Edmunds Bury, of the new Abby near the Tower, of St. Bartholomew Smithfield, of
Friars Minors of London, &c. these in Latin; other Registers in English; as,
a Register of
the Knights of the Garter, a Register of the Maiors of London. He also had old
London, Records of St. Asaph, Chronicles of St. Albans, Arnold's Chronicles,
the Monastery of Hyde, &c. Most of which, I suppose, he had purchased, or
some way or
other procured, with considerable Charge and Cost (no question) out of his own
And he had the greater Opportunity to furnish himself with these things, living
in the Times
when they were dispersed and scattered abroad, and conveyed away