|The Life of JOHN STOW. ||xx
Stow thought it worthy the transcribing and entring it into his Survey.
He was also acquainted with another learned Herald, William Segar, alias
Officer of Arms with the Earl of Leicester, Governor of the Low Countries; who
Stow a Relation of the Manner of keeping the Feast of St. George at Utrecht:
from the said Portclose a true and faithful Description of it. This Herald gave
him also an
Account of the French King's investing with the Order of the Garter. The same
told Stow, that Martin Skinke, a valiant Dutch Captain (who was Knighted by
the foresaid Feast) had promised to shew him Seventy Ensigns that he had won in
Acquainted with Segar, the Herald, Annal. p.
Annal. p. 1290.
His firm Judgment was, that the Arms of the City of London was ever born with a
in the first Quarter, which was the Sword of St. Paul: and that it was at first
only the Red
Cross, till the Dagger was added, upon Walworth's valiant killing Jack Straw, in
honourable Memory thereof to the City, was all Fable, as shewed before.
St. Paul's Sword, not Walworth's Dagger, born
in the City Arms.
And he was of the same Opinion afterwards, when Mr. Smith, the abovesaid
had told him, that in our Lady Church of Antwerp he had seen in the Windows, the
of King Edward III. and of his Son, and also the Arms of divers Cities of
among the rest a Coat with a red Cross, and the Letter L in the first Quarter;
therefore thought might be the Bearing of the City London in those Times; Mr.
not be so persuaded, but affirmed it to be always as it was. This Coat stood
then in the
uppermost North Window of that Church.
The last Time the Parish Church of St. Botolph Aldgate was rebuilt, was between
300 Years ago. In this Church our Antiquarian observed a Coat of Arms engraven
Stone Work; which he knew to be the Arms of the Trinity Priory. And hence
those of the Priory to be the Builders: as indeed the Prior was the Patron
The Builders of Algate Church discovered by
Stow was true Antiquarian, in that he was not satisfied with Reports, or with
the Credit of
what he found in Print; but had recourse to Originals. He knew how much
commonly thrust upon Readers, either by the Carelessness of Authors, or by
things too credulously, and upon slight Grounds, or upon Hearsays and the Credit
others. But Stow made use of his own Legs (for he could never ride) travelling
on Foot to
many Cathedral Churches, and other Places, where ancient Records and Charters
with his own Eyes to read them. Wherein he seemed to be very expert, as appears
Multitude of Quotations and Transcriptions out of Chartularies, Registers,
Instruments, Muniments belonging to Monasteries, that shew themselves in his
especially in his Survey. Therein he speaks somewhere (where he is treating of
Charter-House) of his reading Charters in King Edward the Third's Days. He
conversed in the Records of the Tower, and speaking once of the
that by Records of the Tower he could prove they sometime had no less than Six
mentioned many ancient Wills that he read, where he found charitable Gifts
generous spirited Citizens. He seemed to have perused all the Monuments and
Inscriptions throughout all the Parishes of London. He read Records Four
before his own time, which he occasionally once mentioned where he writeth of
Shoreditch; Which Place in his own Editions he always called Soersditch: and so
prove it writ in Records for 400 Years, as he noted in his Margin. Where, by
A.M. the Editor of his Survey after his Death, hath utterly falsified his
Author. For where
the true reading of Stow's Margin was, SOERSDITCH, so called more than 400 Years
since, as I can prove by Record; the after Editions read, SHORESDITCH, so called
than 400 Years since, &c. And so spoiling Stow's Sense and Meaning. And
every where those Editions read Shoresditch where the former Editions set forth
himself read Soersditch. Many such Errors crept into the last Editions of
to the great Wronging of the accurate Author.
Diligent and conversant in old Charters.
There is a Volume of these his Notes and Collections, which first came into the
of Sir Simmonds Dews Kt. and afterwards procured by Mr. Harley, now Earl of
and Mortimer; and placed in his own exquisite Library. Whence I transcribed
follows, concerning the old Tradition of a Flitch of Bacon due from the Prior of
in Essex, to him that had lived Seven Years with his Wife without any
between them; if he should come and demand it at the Priory there upon his Oath,
"Three Persons at several Times came thither and required a Flitch of Bacon;
sworn had them. Which John Stow told to one who thus subscribed. Has notas
Johanne Stow, Anno 1604. These Notes were as follows.
A Note of Stow taken of a Custom of the Priory
Memorandum quod Stephanus Stannel de Ayston parva in Com. Essex, Husbandman,
venit, &c. to the Priory of Dunmow, die nativitatis Be' Marie, the 7th Year
of Edw. 4. and
asked pmam. Baconis. And being sworn before Roger Bulcot, then Prior, and the
Convent of that Place, and a Multitude of other Neighbours, there was delivered
to the said
Stephen one pma. of Bacon.
Anno Dom. 1510, Thomas Leyfuller of Coggeshull in the County of Essex, came and
asked one pmam of Bacon of Dunmow, viz. the 8th Day of September 2. H. 8. "