The towne Ditch without the Wall of the citie.
Lib. Dunstable. Ditch about London 200. foote broade. Lib. Trinitatc.
The Ditch which partly now remaineth, and compassed
the wall of the Citie, was begun to be made by the Londoners, in the yere 1211. & was finished in the yeare 1213.
the 15. of King Iohn, this Ditch being then made of 200. foot
broad, caused no small hinderance to the Canons of the
holy Trinitie, whose Church stood neare vnto Aldgate, for that
the saide ditch passed through their ground, from the Tower
of London, vnto Bishops gate. This Ditch being originally
made for the defence of the Citie, was also long togither,
carefully clensed and maintained as neede required, but now of
late neglected and forced either to a verie narrow, and the same
a filthie chanell, or altogither stopped vp for Gardens planted,
and houses builded thereon, euen to the verie wall, and in
many places vpon both ditch & wall houses to be builded, to
what danger of the Citie, I leaue to wiser consideration: and
can but wish that reformation might be had.
Ditch of the Citie ouerflowed the banke, into the Tower ditch.
In the yeare of Christ, 1354. the 28. of Edward the third,
the ditch of this Citie flowing ouer the banke into the Tower
ditch, the king commaunded the said ditch of the Citie to be
clensed, and so ordered, that the ouerflowing thereof should
not force any filth into the Tower ditch.
Anno 1379. Iohn Philpot Maior of London, caused this
ditch to be cleansed, and euerie houshold to pay v.d. which
was for a dayes worke towards the charges thereof. Richard
the 2. in the tenth of his raigne, granted a Toll to bee taken
of wares solde by water, or by lande for ten yeares, towardes
repayring of the wall, and clensing of the ditch.
Thomas Fawconer Maior 1414. caused the ditch to be
Ralf Ioceline Maior 1477. caused the whole ditch to be cast
and clensed, and so from time to time it was clensed, and
otherwise reformed, namely, in 1519, the tenth of Henrie 8. for
clensing and scowring the common ditch betweene Aldgate
and the Posterne next the Tower ditch. The chief ditcher
had by the day vij.d. the second ditcher vi.d. the other ditchers
v.d. And euery vagabonde (for so were they termed) one
pennie the day meate and drinke, at charges of the Citie.
XCV.li. iij.s. iiij.d.
In my remembrance also the same was clensed, namely the
Mooreditch, when sir William Hollies was Maior, in the yere
1540. & not long before, from the Tower of London to
Plentie of good fish in the Towne ditch.
It was againe clensed in the yeare 1549. Henrie Amcotes
being Maior, at the charges of the Companies. And againe
1569. the II. of Queene Elizabeth, for clensing the same ditch
betweene Ealdgate and the Posterne, and making a new
sewere, and wharf of tymber from the head of the Posterne
into the towne ditch, viii.C.xiiij. pound, xv.s. viij.d. Before
the which time the saide ditch lay open, without wall or
pale, hauing therein great store of verie good fish, of diuerse
sorts, as many men yet liuing, who haue taken and tasted them
can well witnes: but now no such matter, the charge of
clensing is spared, and great profite made by letting out the
banks, with the spoyle of the whole ditch.
I am not ignorant of two fifteenes graunted by a common
Councell in the yeare 1595. for the reformation of this ditch,
and that a small portion thereof, to wit, betwixt Bishopsgate,
and the Posterne called Mooregate, was clensed and made
somewhat broder: but filling againe very fast, by reason of
ouerraysing the ground neare adioyning, therefore neuer the
better: and I will so leaue it, for I cannot helpe it.