Gates in the wall of this Citie.
Gates of London 4. north, south, east, and west, & other as shall be shewed.
Gates in the wall of this Citie of olde time, were foure: to
wit, Aeldgate for the east, Aldersgate for the North, Ludgate
for the West, and the Bridgegate ouer the riuer of Thames for
the South, but of later times for the ease of Citizens and
Passengers, diuers other gates and posterns haue beene made,
as shall be shewed.
Seuen double gates in the wall of this Citie.
In the raigne of Henrie the second (saith Fitzstephen) there
were seuen double gates in the wall of this Citie, but he nameth
them not. It may therefore be supposed, hee meant for the first,
the gate next the Tower of London, now commonly called
the Posterne: the next to be Aeldgate, the third Bishopsgate,
the fourth Ealdersgate, the fift Newgate, the sixt Ludgate, the
seuenth Bridgegate. Since the which time hath beene builded,
the Posterne called Mooregate, a Posterne from Christs Hospitall, towards S. Bartholomewes Hospitall in Smithfield, &c.
Now of euerie of these gates, and posterns in the wall, and also
of certaine water gates on the riuer of Thames, seuerally, somewhat may, and shall be noted, as I find authoritie, or reasonable
coniecture to warrant me.
Posterne by the Tower.; Wall imbattelled about the Tower of London. Ditch about the tower.; Posterne fell downe.
For the first now called the posterne by the Tower of
London, it sheweth by that part which yet remaineth, to
haue beene a faire & strong arched gate, partly builded of hard
stone of Kent, and partly of stone brought from Cane in
Normandie, since the Conquest, and foundation of the high
tower, and serued for passengers on foote out of the East,
from thence through the Citie to Ludgate in the West. The
ruine and ouerthrow of this gate and posterne, began in the
yeare 1190. the second of Richard the first, when William
Longshampe Bishop of Ely, Chancellor of England, caused a
part of the Citie wall, to wit, from the said gate towards the
riuer of Thames, to the white tower, to bee broken downe, for the
enlarging of the said Tower, which he then compassed farre
wide about with a wall embattelled, and is now the outer
wal. He also caused a broad and deepe ditch to be made
without the same wall, intending to haue deriued the riuer of
Thames with her tydes, to haue flowed about it, which would
not be. But the Southside of this gate being then by undermining at the foundation loosed, and greatly weakned, at
length, to wit, after 200. yeares and odde the same fell downe
in the yeare 1440. the xviij. of Henrie the sixt, and was neuer
since by the Citizens reedified. Such was their negligence
then, and hath bred some trouble to their successors, since
they suffered a weake and wooden building to be there made,
inhabited by persons of lewde life, oft times by inquest of
Portesoken ward presented, but not reformed: whereas of
former times, the said Posterne was accompted of as other
gates of the Citie, and was appointed to men of good credite.
Amongst other, I haue read, that in the 49. of Edward the
third, Iohn Cobbe was admitted Custos of the said Posterne, and
all the habitation thereof, for tearme of his life, by William
Walworth, then Maior of London, &c. More, that Iohn Credy
Esquire, in the 21. of Richard the second, was admitted
Custos of the said Posterne & appurtenances by Richard
Whittington Maior, the Aldermen and Communaltie, &c.
Aldgate.; Lib. Trinitate.; Soke or court.
The next gate in the East is called Aeldgate, of the antiquitie or age thereof. This is one and the first of the foure
principall gates, and also one of the seuen double gates, mentioned by Fitzstephen. It hath had two paire of gates, though
now but one, the hookes remaineth yet. Also there hath
beene two Portcloses, the one of them remaineth, the other
wanteth, but the place of letting downe is manifest. For antiquitie of the gate, it appeareth by a Charter of king Edgar to
the knights of Knighton Guild, that in his dayes the said port
was called Aeldgate, as ye may reade in the warde of Portsoken. Also Matild the Queene wife to Henrie the first,
hauing founded the Priorie of the holie Trinitie within Aeldgate, gaue vnto the same Church, to Norman the first Prior,
and the Chanons that devoutly serued God therein, the Port
of Aeldgate, and the soke or franches thereunto belonging,
with all customes as free as shee held the same: in the which
Charter, she nameth the house Christs Church, and reporteth
Aeldgate to be of his demaine.
Mathew Paris.; Ranulph Cogshall.; Aldgate new builded.
More, I reade in the yeare 1215. that in the ciuill warres
betweene king Iohn and his Barons, the Londoners assisting
the Barons faction, who then besieged Northampton, and after
came to Bedford Castell, where they were well receyued by
William Beauchampe, and captaine of the same: hauing then
also secrete intelligence that they might enter the Citie of
London if they would, they remoued their campe to Ware,
from whence in the night comming to London, they entred
Aeldgate, and placing gardians or keepers of the gates, they
disposed of all thinges in the Citie at their pleasure. They
spoyled the Friers houses, and searched their Coffers, which
being done, Robert Fitzwater, Giffrey Magnauile Earle of
Essex, and the Earle of Glocester, chiefe leaders of the armie,
applied all diligence to repaire the Gates and walles of this
Citie, with the stones taken from the Jewes broken houses,
namely, Aeldgate being then most ruinous, (which had giuen
them an easie entrie) they repayred, or rather newly builded
after the manner of the Normans, strongly arched, with bulwarks of stone brought from Cane in Normandie, and small
Bricke called Flanders Tile was brought from thence, such as
hath beene here vsed since the Conquest, and not before.
William Dunthorne.; Thomas lord Fawconbridge set vpon Aldgate.; Suburbs burnt.; Rebels wan the bulwarkes of Aldgate.; Lieutenant of the Tower assisted the Citizens against the Rebels.
In the yeare 1471. the xi. of Edwardthe 4. Thomas the
bastard Fawconbridge, hauing assembled a riotous companie of
shipmen and other, in Essex, and Kent, came to London with
a great nauie of ships, neare to the Tower, whereupon the
Maior and Aldermen, by consent of a common Councell, fortified all along the Thames side, from Baynards castell to the
Tower with armed men, & Gunnes, other instruments of war,
to resist the inuasion of the Mariners, whereby the Thames
side was safely preserued and kept, by the Aldermen and
other Citizens, that assembled thither in great numbers.
Whereupon the Rebels being denied passage through the
Citie that way, set vpon Aeldgate, Bishopsgate, Creplegate,
Aeldersgate, Londonbridge, and along the Riuer of Thames,
shooting arrowes and Gunnes into the Citie, fiered the suburbs,
and burnt more than threescore houses. And further, on
sunday the eleuenth of May, fiue thousand of them assaulting Aeldgate, wan the Bulwarkes, and entered the Citie, but
the Porteclose being letten downe, such as had entered were
slaine, and Robert Basset Alderman of Aeldgate ward, with
the Recorder, commaunded in the name of God to drawe vp
the Porteclose, which being done, they issued out, and with
sharpe shot and fierce fight, put their enemies backe so farre
as S.Bottolphs Church, by which time the Earle Riuers, and
the Lieutenant of the Tower was come, with a fresh companie,
which ioyning together discomfited the Rebels, and put them
to flight, whom the saide Robert Bassett, with the other Citizens, chased to the Miles ende, and from thence, some to
Poplar (fn. 1) some to Stratford, slue many, and tooke many of
them prisoners. In which space the Bastard hauing assayed
other places vpon the water side, and little preuailed, fled
toward his ships: thus much for Aeldgate.
Bishops gate.; Lib. Trinitate.
The third and next toward the North, is called Bishopsgate,
for that (as it may be supposed) the same was first builded by
some Bishop of London, though now vnknowne, when, or by
whom: but true it is, that this gate was first builded for ease
of passengers towarde the East, and by North, as into Norffolke, Suffolke, Cambridgeshire, &c. The trauellers into
which partes before the building of this gate, were forced,
passing out at Aeldgate, to goe East till they came to the
Miles ende, and then turning on the left hand to Blethenhall
greene, to Cambridge heath, and so North, or East, and by
North, as their iourney lay. If they tooke not this way,
by the East out at Aeldgate, they must take their way by the
North out at Aeldersgate, through Aeldersgate streete, and
Goswelstreete towardes Iseldon, and by a crosse of stone on
their right hand, set vp for a marke by the North ende of
Golding lane, to turne Eastward through a long streete, vntill
this day called Alderstreet, to another crosse, standing, where
now a Smiths forge is placed by Sewers ditch Church, and
then to turne againe North towardes Totenham, Endfield,
Waltham, Ware, &c. The eldest note that I reade of this
Bishopsgate, is that William Blund, one of the Shiriffes of
London, in the yere 1210, solde to Serle Mercer, and William
Almaine, procurators, or Wardens, of London bridge, all his
land with the Garden in the Parish of Saint Buttolph without
Bishopsgate, betweene the land of Richard Casiarin, towardes
the North, and the land of Robert Crispie towards the South,
and the high way called Berewards lane on the East, &c.
Bishopsgate street without. Charter.
Next I reade in a Charter dated the yeare 1235. that
Walter Brune, Citizen of London, and Rosia his wife, hauing
founded the Priorie or new Hospitall of our blessed Lady,
since called Saint Marie Spittle without Bishopsgate, confirmed
the same to the honour of God and our blessed Ladie, for
Also in the yeare 1247. Simon Fitzmarie one of the shiriffes
of London, the 29. of Henrie the third, founded the Hospitall
of Saint Marie, called Bethlem without Bishopsgate. Thus
much for antiquitie of this gate.
Lib. Customs. London.; Bishopsgate repayred by the Marchants of the Haunce. Bishopsgate was builded.
And now for repayring the same, I find, that Henrie the
third confirmed to the Marchants of the Haunce, that had an
house in the Citie called Guildhalla Theutonicorum, certaine
Liberties and Priuiledges. Edward the first also confirmed
the same. In the tenth yere of whose raigne, it was found
that the said Marchants ought of right to repaire the said gate
called Bishopsgate. Whereupon Gerard Marbod, Alderman
of the Haunce and other, then remaining in the Citie of
London: for themselues, and all others Marchants of the said
Haunce, graunted 210. Markes sterling to the Maior and
Citizens. And couenanted that they and their successors
should from time to time repaire the same gate. This gate
was againe beautifully builded in the yeare 1479. in the
raigne of Edwarde the fourth, by the saide Haunce Marchaunts.
Bishopsgate prouided to haue beene new builded.
Moreouer, about the yeare 1551. these Haunce Marchants
hauing prepared stone for that purpose, caused a new gate to
bee framed, there to haue beene set vp, but then their liberties
through sute of our English Marchantes, were seazed into the
Kings hande, and so that worke was stayed, and the olde Gate
Posterne of Moregate.
Postern called Mooregate.
Touching the next Posterne, called Moregate, I finde that
Thomas Falconer Maior about the yeare 1415. the thirde of
Henry the fift, caused the wall of the Cittie to be broken
neare vnto Colemanstreete, and there builded a Posterne, now
called Moregate, vpon the Moore side where was neuer gate
before. This gate he made for ease of the Cittizens, that way
to pass vpon causeys into the fielde for their recreation: For
the same field was at that time a Marrish. This Posterne was
reedified by William Hampton Fishmonger, Mayor, in the
yeare 1472. In the yeare also 1511. the third of Henry the
eight, Roger Achely Mayor caused Dikes and Bridges to bee
made, and the ground to bee leuiled, and made more commodious for passage, since which time the same hath beene
heighthened. So much that the Ditches and Bridges are
couered, and seemeth to me that if it be made leuell with the
Battlements of the Cittie Wall, yet will it bee little the dryer,
such is the Moorish nature of that ground.
Posterne of Cripplegate.
Postern of Cripplegate. Abbo Floriacensis. Burcharde.; Lib. S. Bartholomew.
The next is the Posterne of Cripplegate, so called long before
the Conquest. For I reade in the historie of Edmond king of
the East Angles, written by Abbo Floriacensis, and by Burchard somtime Secretarie to Offa king of Marcia, but since
by Iohn Lidgate Monke of Bery, that in the yeare 1010. the
Danes spoiling the kingdome of the East Angles, Alwyne
Bishoppe of Helmeham, caused the body of king Edmond the
Martyre to bee brought from Bedrisworth, (now called Bury
Saint Edmondes,) through the kingdome of the East Saxons,
and so to London in at Cripplegate, a place sayeth mine Author
so called of Criples begging there: at which gate, (it was said)
the body entering, miracles were wrought, as some of the
Lame to goe vpright, praysing God. The Body of King
Edmond rested for the space of three yeares in the Parrish
Church of Saint Gregorie, neare vnto the Cathedrall Church
of S. Paule. Moreouer the Charter of William the Conqueror,
confirming the foundation of the Colledge in London, called
S.Martin the greate, hath these wordes. I doe giue and
graunt to the same Church and Canons, seruing God therein,
All the land and the Moore, without the Posterne, which is
called Cripplegate, on eyther part of the Posterne. More,
I reade that Alfune builded the parish Church of S.Giles,
nigh a gate of the Citie, called Porta contractorum, or Criplesgate, about the yeare 1090.
Cripplegate a prison for trespassors.; Record.; Criplesgate new builded.
This Posterne was sometime a prison, whereunto such Citizens and others, as were arrested for debt, or common trespasses, were committed, as they be now to the Compters,
which thing appeareth by a writte of Edward the first in
these wordes: Rex. vic. London, Salutem: ex graui querela B.
capt. & detent. in prisona nostra de Criples gate pro x.l. quas
coram Radulpho de Sandwico tunc custod. Ciuitatis nostræ
London & I. de Blackwell ciuis recognit. debit. &c. This gate
was new builded by the Brewers of London, in the yeare, 1244.
as sayth Fabians Manuscript. Edmond Shaw Goldsmith,
Maior, in the year 1483. at his decease appoynted by his
testament his executors, with the cost of 400. Markes, and the
stuffe of the old gate, called Cripplesgate, to build the same
gate of new, which was performed and done, in the yeare
Ældersgate.; In a booke called Beware the cat.
The next is Ældresgate, or Aldersgate, so called not of
Aldrich, or of Elders, that is to say, auncient men, builders
thereof, nor of Eldarne trees, growing there more aboundantly
then in other places, as some haue fabuled, but for the very
antiquity of the gate it self, as beeing one of the first 4 gates
of the city, & seruing for the Northerne parts, as Aldegate for
the East, which two gates being both old gates, are for difference sake called, the one Ealdegate, and the other Aldersgate.
This is the 4. principall gate, and heath at sundry times beene
increased with buildinges, namely on the south or innerside,
a great frame of timber hath beene added and set vp, contayning diuers large roomes, and lodgings: also on the East
side, is the addition of one great building of Timber, with one
large floore paued with stone, or tile, and a Well therein
curbed with stone, of a great depth, and rising into the said
roome, two stories high from the ground: which Well is the
onely peculiar note belonging to that gate, for I haue not
seene the like in all this Citie, to be raysed so high. Iohn
Day Stationer, a late famous Printer of many good books, in
our time dwelled in this gate, and builded much vpon the
wall of the Citie towards the Parish Church of S. Anne.
Posterne out of Christs hospitall.
A posterne out of Christes Hospitall.
Then is there also a Posterne gate, made out of the wall
on the North side of the late dissolued cloyster of Friers
minors, commonly of their habit called Gray friers, now
Christs Church, and Hospitall. This Posterne was made in
the first yeare of Edward the sixt, to passe from the said
Hospitall of Christs Church, vnto the Hospitall of S. Bartlemew
Newgate. Powles church in London new builded.; Newgate first builded, and the cause why.; Close role. Newgate a iayle or prison house. The king repayred it.
The next gate on the West, and by North, is termed Newgate, as latelier builded then the rest, and is the fift principall
gate. This gate was first erected about the raigne of Henrie
the first, or of king Stephen, vpon this occasion. The Cathedrall Church of saint Paule, being burnt about the yeare
1086, in the raigne of William the Conquerour, Ma<u>ritius
then Bishop of London, repayred not the olde Church, as
some haue supposed, but began the foundation of a new worke,
such as men then iudged would neuer haue beene performed,
it was to them so wonderfull for height, length, and breadth,
as also in respect it was raysed vpon Arches or vaults, a kind
of workmanship brought in by the Normans, and neuer knowne
to the Artificers of this land before that time, &c. After
Mauritius, Richard Beamore did wonderfully aduaunce the
worke of the said Church, purchasing the large streetes, and
lanes round about, wherein were wont to dwell many lay
people, which grounds he began to compasse about with a
strong wall of stone, and gates. By meanes of this increase
of the Church territorie, but more by inclosing of ground for
so large a cemitorie, or churchyard: the high and large street
stretching from Aldegate in the East, vntill Ludgate in the
West, was in this place so crossed and stopped vp, that the
cariage through the citie westward, was forced to passe without
the said churchyard wall on the North side, through Pater
noster row: and then South downe Aue Mary lane, and againe
West through Bowyer row to Ludgate: or else out of Cheepe,
or Watheling streete to turne south, through the old Exchange,
then west through Carter lane: againe north vp Creede lane,
and then west to Ludgate. Which passage, by reason of so
often turning, was very combersome, and daungerous both for
horse and man. For remedie whereof a new gate was made,
and so called, by which men and cattell, with all manner of
carriages might passe more directly (as afore) from Aldegate,
through west Cheepe by Paules, on the North side, through
saint Nicholas shambles, and Newgate market to Newgate, &
from thence to any part westward ouer Oldborne bridge, or
turning without the gate into Smithfielde, and through
Iseldon to any part North and by West. This gate hath of
long time beene a Gaile, or prison for fellons and trespassers,
as appeareth by Records in the raigne of king Iohn, and of
other kings, amongest the which I find one testifying that in
the yeare 1218. the third of king Henrie the third, the king
writeth vnto the shiriffes of London, commaunding them to
repayre the Gaile of Newgate, for the safe keeping of his
prisoners, promising that the charges layd out should be
allowed vnto them vpon their accompt in the Exchequer.
The Shiriffes of London prisoners in the Tower for escape of a prisoner out of Newgate.
Moreouer in the yeare 1241. the Jewes of Norwich were
hanged for circumcising a Christian child, their house called
the Thor was pulled downe and destroyed. Aron the sonne
of Abraham a Jew, at London, and the other Jewes, were
constrayned to pay twentie thousand markes at two termes
in the yeare, or else to be kept perpetuall prisoners in Newgate of London, and in other prisons. 1255. King Henrie the
third lodging in the Tower of London, vpon displeasure conceyued towards the citie of London, for the escape of Iohn
Offrem a prisoner beeing a Clearke conuict, out of Newgate,
which had killed a Prior that was of alliance to the king, as
coosen to the Queene: he sent for the Maior and shiriffes to
come before him, to answere the matter: the Maior layd the
fault from him to the shiriffes, forsomuch as to them belonged
the keeping of all prisoners within the citie, and so the Maior
returned home, but the shiriffes remayned there prisoners, by
the space of a Moneth and more, and yet they excused themselues in that the fault chiefly rested in the Bishops officers:
for whereas the prisoner was vnder custodie, they at his request had graunted licence to imprison the offender within the
Gaile of Newgate, but so as the Bishops Officers were charged
to see him safely kept. The king notwithstanding all this,
demaunded of the citie 3000. Markes for a fine.
The Kinges Chancellor prisoner in Newgate.; Prisoners in Newgate and Ludgate dyed.
In the yeare 1326. Robert Baldoke the kings Chancellor was
put in Newgate, the third of Edward the 3. In the yeare,
1337. sir Iohn Poultney gaue foure Markes by the yeare, to the
reliefe of prisoners in Newgate. In the yeare 1385. William
Walworth gaue somewhat to relieue the prisoners in Newgate,
so haue many others since. In the yeare 1414. the Gaylers
of Newgate & Ludgate died, and prisoners in Newgate to the
number of 64. In the yere 1418. the person of Wrotham in
Kent was imprisoned in Newgate. The yeare 1422. the first
of Henrie6. licence was granted to Iohn Couentre, Ienken Carpenter, and William Groue, executors to Richard whittington,
to reedifie the Gaile of Newgate, which they did with his
Newgate new builded.; Water conueyed to Newgate and Ludgate.; Prisoners of Ludgate remoued to Newgate.; L. Egremonde & other broke prison out of Newgate.
Thomas Knowles Grocer, sometime Maior of London, by
licence of Reynold Prior of saint Bartholomews in Smithfield,
and also of Iohn wakering, maister of the Hospitall of saint
Bartholomew, and his brethren, conueyed the waste of water
at the Cesterne nere to the common fountaine, and Chappell
of saint Nicholas (situate by the saide Hospitall) to the Gailes
of Newgate, and Ludgate, for the reliefe of the prisoners.
Tuesday next after Palme sunday, 1431. all the prisoners of
Ludgate were remooued into Newgate by Walter Chartesey,
and Robert Large, shiriffes of London. And on the 13. of
Aprill, the same shiriffes (through the false suggestion of Iohn
Kingesell Gailer of Newgate) set from thence eighteene persons free men, and these were led to the Compters pinioned
as if they had been fellons, but on the xvi. of June, Ludgate
was againe appoynted for free men prisoners for debt, and the
same day the sayd free men entered by ordinance of the
Maior, Aldermen and Commons, and by them Henrie Deane
tayler was made keeper of Ludgate prison. In the yeare
1457. a great fray was in the North country, betweene sir
Thomas Percie Lord Egremond, and the Earle of Salisburies
sonnes, whereby many were maymed and slaine; but in the
end the Lord Egremond being taken, was by the kings counsell found in great default, and therefore condemned in great
summes of money, to be payed to the Earl of Salisburie, and
in the mean time committed to Newgate. Not long after sir
Thomas Percie Lord Egremond, and sir Richard Percie his
brother beeing in Newgate, brake out of prison by night, and
went to the king, the other prisoners tooke the Leades of the
gate, and defended it a long while against the shiriffes, and all
their Officers, insomuch that they were forced to call more
aide of the Citizens, whereby they lastly subdued them, and
laid them in irons: and this may suffice for Newgate.
Ludgate.; Roger of Wendouer. Mathew Paris.; Ludgate new builded.; Jewes houses spoyled.; Patent.; Ludgate again new builded.; Ludgate inlarged in the raigne of H. the sixt.
In the West is the next, and sixt principal gate, and is called
Ludgate, as first builded (saith Geffrey Monmouth) by king
Lud a Briton, about the yeare, before Christs natiuitie 66. Of
which building, and also of the name, as Ludsgate, or Fludsgate,
hath beene of late some question among the learned, wherefore I ouerpasse it, as not to my purpose, onely referring the
reader to that I haue before written out of Cæsars Commentaries, and other Romaine writers, concerning a towne or
Citie amongst the Britaines. This gate I suppose to be one
of the most auncient: and as Aldgate was builded for the
East, so was this Luds gate for the West. I reade, as I tolde
you, that in the yeare 1215. the 17. of king Iohn, the Barons of
the Realme, being in armes against the king, entred this Citie,
and spoyled the Jewes houses, which being done, Robert Fitzwater, and Geffrey de Magna villa, Earle of Essex, and the
Earle of Gloucester, chiefe leaders of the Armie, applied all
diligence to repayre the gates and wals of this Citie, with the
stones of the Jewes broken houses, especially (as it seemeth)
they then repayred or rather new builded Ludgate. For in
the yeare 1586, when the same gate was taken downe, to bee
newe buylded, there was founde couched within the wall
thereof, a stone taken from one of the Jewes houses, wherein
was grauen in Hebrewe caracters, these wordes following.
[Hebrew text]. Hæc est statio rabbi Mosis filii
insignis Rabbi Isaac: which is to say, this is the Station or
ward of Rabbi Moysis, the sonne of the honourable Rabbi
Isaac, and had beene fixed vpon the front of one of the Jewes
houses as a note, or signe that such a one dwelled there. In
the yeare 1260. this Ludgate was repayred and beautified with
Images of Lud, and other Kings, as appeareth by letters
pattents, of licence giuen to the Citizens of London, to take
vp stone for that purpose, dated the 45. of Henrie the third.
These Images of Kings in the raigne of Edward the sixt had
their heades smitten off, and were otherwise defaced by such
as iudged euery Image to be an Idoll, and in the raigne of
Queene Marie were repayred, as by setting new heades on
their olde bodies, &c. All which so remayned vntill the yeare
1586. The 28. of Queene Elizabeth, [when] the same gate
being sore decayed, was cleane taken downe, the prisoners in
the meane time remaining in the large Southeast quadrant to
the same gate adioyning, and the same yere the whole gate
was newly and beautifully builded, with the Images of Lud,
and others, as afore, on the East side, and the picture of her
Maiestie, Queene Elizabeth on the West side. All which was
done at the common charges of the Citizens, amounting to
1500. poundes or more.
Ludgate a free prison. Record, Guilde hall.
This gate was made a free prisone in the yeare 1378. the
first of Richard the second, Nicholas Brembar being Maior.
The same was confirmed in the yeare 1382. Iohn Northampton
being Maior, by a common Councell in the Guild hall: by
which it was ordained, that all freemen of this citie, should for
debt, trespasses, accounts, & contempts, be imprisoned in
Ludgate, and for treasons, fellonies, & other criminall
offences committed to Newgate, &c. In the yeare 1439, the
tenth of king Henrie the sixt, Iohn Wels being Maior, a court
of common Councell established ordinances, (as William
Standon, and Robert Chicheley, late Maiors before had done)
touching the guard and gouernment of Ludgate, and other
Also in the yeare 1463, the third of Edward the fourth,
Mathew Philip, being Maior, in a common Councell, at the
request of the well disposed, blessed, and deuout woman
Dame Agnes Forster, widow, late wife to Stephen Forster Fishmonger, sometime Maior, for the comfort and reliefe of all the
poore prisoners, certain Articles were established. Imprimis,
that the new workes then late edified by the same Dame
Agnes, for the enlarging of the prison of Ludgate, from thenceforth should be had and taken, as a part and parcell of the
said prison of Ludgate, so that both the old and new worke of
Ludgate aforesaid, be one prison, gailekeeping, and charge
The said quadrant strongly builded of stone, by the before
named Stephen Forster, and Agnes his wife, containeth a large
walking place by ground of 38. foot, & halfe in length, besides
the thicknesse of the walles, which are at the least sixe foote,
makes all togither 44 foote and a halfe, the bredth within the
walles is 29. foote and a halfe, so that the thicknesse of the
walles maketh it 35. foote and a halfe in bredth. The like
roome it hath ouer it for lodgings, and ouer it againe faire
Leades to walke vpon well imbattailed, all for fresh ayre, and
ease of prisoners, to the ende they should haue lodging, and
water free without charge, as by certaine verses grauven in
Copper, and fixed on the saide quadrant, I haue read in
Deuout soules that passe this way,
for Stephen Forster late Maior, heartily pray,
And Dame Agnes his spouse, to God consecrate,
that of pitie this house made for Londoners in Ludgate,
So that for lodging and water prisoners here nought
as their keepers shal all answere at dreadful doomes
This place, and one other of his Armes, three broad Arrow
heades, taken downe with the old gate, I caused to be fixed
ouer the entrie of the said Quadrant, but the verses being
vnhappily turned inward to the wall, procured the like in
effect to be grauen outward in prose, declaring him to be
a Fishmonger, because some vpon a light occasion (as a
maidens heade in a glasse window) had fabled him to bee
a Mercer, and to haue begged there at Ludgate, &c. Thus
much for Ludgate.
A breach in the wal again. Bridewell.
Next this, is there a breach in the wall of the Citie, and
a bridge of timber ouer the Fleet dike, betwixt Fleetebridge
and Thames directly ouer against the house of Bridewel.
Thus much for gates in the wall.
Water gates on the bankes of the Riuer Thames haue beene
many, which beeing purchased by priuate men, are also put
to priuate vse, and the olde names of them forgotten, but of
such as remaine, from the West, towards the East, may be
sayde as followeth.
Blacke Fryers stayers.
The Blacke Friers stayres, a free landing place.
Then a water gate at Puddle wharfe, of one Puddle that
kept a wharfe on the West side thereof, and now of Puddle
water, by meanes of many horses watred there.
Then Powles wharfe, also a free landing place with staires,
Then broken wharfe, and other such like.
But Ripa Reginæ, the Queenes Banke, or Queene Hithe,
may well be accounted the verie chiefe and principall watergate of this citie, being a common strand or landing place,
yet equall with, and of olde time farre exceeding Belins gate,
as shall be shewed in the warde of Queene Hithe.
A lad of 18 yeares olde drowned in a Channell at Downgate.
The next is Downe gate, so called of the sodaine descending,
or downe going of that way from Saint Iohns Church vpon
Walbrooke vnto the riuer of Thames, wherby the water in
the chanell there hath such a swift course, that in the yere
1574. on the fourth of September, after a strong shower of
raine, a lad of the age of xviii. yeares, minding to haue leapt
ouer the channell, was taken by the feete, and borne downe
with the violence of that narrowe streame, and caried toward
the Thames with such a violent swiftnesse, as no man could
rescue or stay him, till hee came against a Cart wheele, that
stoode in the watergate, before which time hee was drowned
and starke dead.
Marchantes of the Haunce, landed their corne betwixte their house & the blackfryers.
This was sometime a large water gate, frequented of ships,
and other vessels, like as the Queene Hith, and was a part
thereof, as doth appeare by an inquisition made in the 28.
yeare of Henry the third, wherein was found, that aswell
corne as fish and all other thinges comming to the Port of
Downegate, were to bee ordered after the customs of the
Queenes Hith, for the kings vse, as also that the corne
arriuing between the gate of the Guild hall of the marchants
of Cullen: the (Styleyeard) which is East from Downegate,
and the house then pertayning to the Archbishoppe of
Canterbury, west from Baynardes Castle, was to be measured
by the measure, and measurer of the Queenes soke, or
Queene Hith. I reade also in the 19. of Edward the thirde,
that customs were then to be paid for ships & other vessels
resting at Downegate, as if they roade at Queene Hith, and
as they now doe at Belingsgate. And thus much for Downegate may suffice.
Wolfes gate in the Ropary. Lib. Horne. Lib. S. Albani.
The next was called Wolfes gate in the roparie in the
Parrish of Alhallowes the lesse, of later time called Wolfes
lane, but now out of vse: for the lower part was builded on
by the Earle of Shrewsburie, and the other part was stopped
vp and builded on by the Chamberlaine of London.
Ebdgate. Lib. trinitate. Lib. S. Albani. Record E. 3.
The next is Ebdgate, a Watergate, so called of old time, as
appeareth by diuers records of tenements neare vnto the same
adioyning. It standeth neare vnto the church of S. Laurence
Pountney, but is within the parish of S. Marten Ordegare.
In place of this gate, is now a narrow passage to the Thames,
and is called Ebgate lane, but more commonly the Old
Then is there a water gate at the Bridge foote, called
Oyster gate, of Oysters that were there of old time, commonly
to be sold, and was the chiefest market for them, and for
other shell fishes. There standeth now an engine or forcier,
for the winding vppe of water to serue the cittie, whereof
I haue already spoken.
Bridge Gate.; W. Dunthorn. gate at the bridge foote burned.
The next is the Bridge gate, so called of London Bridge,
whereon it standeth: This was one of the foure first and
principall gates of the cittie, long before the conquest, when
there stoode a Bridge of timber, and is the seuenth and last
principall gate mentioned by W. Fitzstephen, which Gate
being newe made, when the Bridge was builded of stone, hath
beene often times since repayred. This gate with the Tower
vpon it, in the yeare 1436. fell down, and two of the farthest
Arches Southwardes also fell therewith, and no man perished
or was hurte therewith. To the repayring whereof, diuers
wealthy Citizens gaue large summes of money, namely Robert
Large sometime Maior 100. Markes, Stephen Forster 20 l. Sir
Iohn Crosbye Alderman 100 l. &c. But in the yeare 1471. the
Kentish Marriners vnder the conduct of Bastard Fauconbridge
burned the said Gate, and xiii. houses on the Bridge, besides
the Beere houses at Saint Katherines, and many other in the
The next is Buttolphes gate, so called of the parrish
Church of S. Buttolph neare adioyning. This gate was
sometime giuen or confirmed by William Conqueror to the
Monkes of Westminster in these wordes: "W. rex Angliæ, &c.
William King of England, sendeth greeting to the Shiriffes
and all his Ministers, as also to al his louing subiectes, French
and English of London: Know ye that I haue granted to God
and S. Peter of Wistminster & to the Abbot Vitalis, the
gift which Almundus of the port of S. Buttolph gave them,
when he was there made Monke: that is to say, his Lords
Court with the houses, & one Wharfe, which is at the head of
London bridge, and all other his lands which hee had in the
same Cittie, in such sort as King Edward more beneficially,
and amply granted the same: and I will and command that
they shall enioy the same well and quietly and honourably
with sake and soke." &c.
Belinsgate.; Geffrey of Monmouth.
The next is Bellinsgate, vsed as an especiall Porte, or
Harborow, for small shippes and boates comming thereto,
and is now most frequented, the Queenes Hith being almost
forsaken. How this Gate tooke that name, or of what
antiquity the same is, I must leaue vncertaine, as not hauing
read any ancient recorde thereof, more than that Geffrey
Monmouth writeth, that Belin a king of the Britans, about
400. yeares before Christes natiuity builded this Gate, and
named it Belins gate, after his owne calling: and that when
he was dead, his bodie being burned, the ashes in a vessell of
Brasse, were set vpon a high pinacle of stone ouer the same
Gate. But Cæsar and other Romane writers affirme of
Citties, walles, and gates, as yee haue before heard, and
therefore it seemeth to me not to be so auncient, but rather
to haue taken that name of some later owner of the place,
happily named Beling, or Biling, as Somars key, Smarts key,
Frosh wharfe, and others thereby tooke there names of their
owners: of this gate more shall be said when we come to
Belins gate ward.
watergate by the custome house.
Then haue you a water gate, on the west side of Wooll
wharf, or Customers key, which is commonly called the
Water gate, at the south end of Water lane.
watergate by the Tower.
One other water gate there is by the bulwarke of the
Tower, and this is the last and farthest water gate Eastwarde, on the Riuer of Thames, so farre as the Citie of
London extendeth within the walles: both which last named
water gates bee within the Tower ward.
wharfes and keyes.; Mathew Paris. Gates of London to be kept and watcht.
Besides these common Water gates, were diuerse priuate
wharfes and Keyes, all along from the East to the West of
this Citie, on the banke of the Riuer of Thames: Marchants
of all nations had landing places, Warehouses, Cellers, and
stowage of their goods and Marchandises, as partly shall
bee touched in the wardes adioyning to the said Riuer: now
for the ordering and keeping these gates of this Citie in the
night time, it was appoynted in the yere of Christ, 1258. by
Henrie the 3. the 42. of his raigne, that the Ports of England should be strongly kept, and that the gates of London
should bee new repayred, and diligently kept in the night,
for feare of French deceytes, whereof one writeth these verses.
Per noctem portae clauduntur Londoniarum,
Moenia ne forte fraus frangat Francigenarum,