These properties occupied the N.W. corner of the block bounded by Cheapside, Ironmonger Lane, Old Jewry, and the lane, now known as St. Olave's Court, which runs E./W. between the last two streets. It seems probable that the lane evolved as a public right of way through the two adjacent churchyards of St. Martin Pomary and St. Olave Old Jewry. In the 13th century the properties were acquired by the hospital of St. Thomas of Acre, and their eastern ends appear to have been incorporated within the hospital precinct. The remaining parts, which fronted on to Ironmonger Lane, were let by the hospital as private houses.
In 1858 the property was nos. 4-8 Ironmonger Lane.
Twelfth to fourteenth century
In the later 12th century there appear to have been two properties on this site. The more northerly of these was the land next to the cemetery of St. Martin which c. 1200 or before Robert son of Ernisius Rufus granted to Norman Albus and his heirs in return for a gersum of 12d. and a rent of 3s. p.a. This was probably the land of Sleuia daughter of Potelin which in 1206-7 adjoined the S. part of 13-15. She was probably sister of Elias Episcopus, also known as Slema the widow, who had died by 1246, when the three pentices she had built in Ironmonger Lane were reported to the itinerant justices. (fn. 1)
The south part of 13-15 was the land which Brunus the Jew purchased from Arnulf son of Alutus (possibly a clerical error for Alulfus) and his son John. Before 1206-7 Ralph Beniamin quitclaimed in this land to Brunus in return for payments of 30s. to himself and 12d. to his kinsman Herbert. This land seems to have passed to the descendants of Brunus, for in 1206-7 Cyionia daughter of Leo Blundus, a Jew of London, and her husband, Ursellus son of Brunus, sold and quitclaimed to Ralph Eswy, alderman of Cheap ward, land here which was charged with a rent of 9d. p.a. to the lords of the fee, in return for a payment of £19. 6s. 8d. and two gold bezants. The land measured in width 39 ft. (11.89 m.) of the feet of St. Paul and in length on the S. side 77 ft. (23.47 m.); it was bounded by the N. part of 13-15 (see above) on the N., and properties representing 16 in this parish, 16-18 in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch, and parts of the later site of the hospital of St. Thomas of Acre on the S. and E. (fn. 2)
A third part of the same property may have been a messuage in Ironmonger Lane reported to the itinerant justices in 1244. This had belonged to Ralph Eswy (the first) and had been taken into the king's hands on the grounds that at the beginning of the barons' war (i.e. c.1215) the Jew, Joce son of David, had collusively handed it to Ralph who might vouch for it against the barons. Ralph then held on to the property so that Joce could not recover it. (fn. 3)
There may be another reference to a part of this property in 1217-18, when Ralph Asswi paid the king 13 marks to have the land in Ironmonger Lane which had once (in the 12th century) belonged to Aaron the Jew of Lincoln, and which was now worth only 5s. a year. (fn. 4) Aaron's land, however, may have been elsewhere in Ironmonger Lane, where many Jews held properties at this period. He had also owned a house and land a short distance away on the east side of Old Jewry (see 132/1).
Ralph Eswy or his successor of the same name acquired the whole of 13-15 and on the N. part of the property had a capital messuage which included a stone gateway on its S. side next to Ironmonger Lane and a kitchen on the S. side towards the rear. The S. part of the property consisted of a piece of land with buildings on it, measuring 29 ft. 6 in. (8.99 m.) in width and 88 feet (26.82 m.) in length, and bounded by 16 in this parish and by 16-18 in St. Mary Colechurch parish on the S. In 1246 13-15, or a part of the property, were probably in the possession of Master Thomas Eswy, who had a jetty in his solar causing a nuisance in Ironmonger Lane. Thomas was a clerk and was also known as Thomas son of Roger. Ralph Eswy's sons, Adrian and William, were his brothers. Adrian and William granted to Thomas the land representing the S. part of 13-15, which their father had held, in return for a gersum of £10 and a rent of 10s. This transaction was witnessed by Ralph Aswy and probably took place in the 1240s. Ralph Aswy had bequeathed the capital messuage to Adrian's brother Henry, who then granted it at will to Adrian, who in turn quitclaimed his right there to Master Thomas Eswy. Adrian mortgaged to Peter Frowik a quit-rent of 40s. from a house in Ironmonger Lane held of him in fee by Frowik (he also held 16-18) in return for a loan of £15 repayable at the Octave of Easter 1250. John Adrian, draper, appears to have had a claim to 6s. 8d. of this 40s. rent. In 1250-1 Adrian son of Ralph Eswy granted the capital messuage and adjacent land representing 13-15 to Master Thomas Eswy in return for a payment of £60 and a rent of 1/2 lb. of cummin. At about the same time Adrian granted to Thomas a quit-rent of 40s. from the capital messuage (probably identical with rent earlier mortgaged to Frowik) in return for a payment of £30 and rent of 1d. In 1256-7 Walter, son of Reginald le Paumer, and his wife Clemencia granted to Thomas Eswy the right they had in the tenement which Peter de Frowyk had held from Adrian. In 1257 Agnes widow of Adrian Aswy renounced her right of dower in the house which Thomas held. (fn. 5)
Peter de Frowyk probably died in the 1250s, and it appears from an undated inquisition concerning his lands that he had once been possessed of the capitalis domus representing the whole or a substantial part of 13-15. According to the inquisition Master Thomas Eswy held the house which he had recovered against Peter in Husting by the king's writ and by Peter's default. The house was let for £5 a year and the following rents were due: £2. 7s. to the lords of the fee, 6s. 8d. to John Adrian, and 3 1/2d. to the king for socage. The Frowik family, however, seems to have had a reversionary interest in this property or to have reestablished its claim, for in 1267 the king granted to John de la Lynde the former houses of Thomas Eswy in Ironmonger Lane which had come into his hands on account of the apostasy of Henry Frouwyk. In 1267-8 John son of Adrian Eswy quitclaimed to Sir John de la Lynde in this messuage, and in 1268-9 Robert (probably a clerical error for John) de la Lynde quitclaimed in the property to Richard de Ewell and his heirs and assigns. Adrian Eswy's sons Thomas and Stephen quitclaimed in the property to Richard de Ewell, the former in return for a payment of £7. 6s. 8d., and in or before 1274-5 de Ewell granted the house to the master and brothers of St. Thomas of Acre. In 1276-7 and again in 1288-9 Adrian Eswy's son John quitclaimed to the master and brothers in the same property. (fn. 6)
A part of this property may have been the house held by Adrian Eswy in the vicus Sancti Martini which was reported to the itinerant justices in 1244. Before the barons' war it had apparently belonged to Joce the Jew who had granted it to Adrian's ancestor. Adrian produced starrs of both Joce and Joce's daughter Floria in evidence of this. These was also a question as to whether Joce had been in debt to King John and whether the house was burdened with the debt. (fn. 7)
There are then very few references to the property before the 16th century. In 1330 the master and brothers of St. Thomas of Acre charged this and their other houses adjacent to their church and precinct with a rent of £4 in support of a chaplain celebrating in the parish church of St. Thomas the Apostle for the souls of John de Bureford, citizen and mercator, and his wife Rose. By the time the hospital was dissolved the rent had ceased to be paid. Henry atte Roche, a citizen and chandler, who died in December 1348-January 1349, was probably tenant of 13-15, or a part of it and by his testament gave up the property he held from the hospital, except for the house where he lived within the gate (i.e. probably within the hospital precinct, cf. 18) which his executors were to hold for the remainder of the term of his lease. (fn. 8)
c.1500 to c. 1645
The hospital of St. Thomas of Acre was dissolved in 1538 and in 1542 the Mercers' Company purchased the site and the adjoining houses from the Crown. (fn. 9)
13 and 14
In the fifteenth century these properties occupied the corner site on the N. and E. sides of 15, which seems at times to have been part of the same house, and adjoined 105/16 on the S. In the early 16th century 14, which occupied the S. part of the Ironmonger Lane frontage, was let separately.
13 was a great tenement with a chapel, cellars, solars, shops, and warehouses on the S. side of the parish church of St. Martin. It had a great gate on the Ironmonger Lane frontage and there was also an entry leading from the lane to the great warehouse. At some date before 1512 the hospital let this property to John Kyrkeby, citizen and merchant tailor, by indenture at a rent of £5. An earlier tenant was Ralph Tylney, who had had a lease for 80 years, after 20 years of which he died. Tylney was said to have paid £13. 6s. 8d. rent, but this may have been for 13-15 as a whole. In 1512 the hospital let 13 to John Thomas, citizen and mercer, for a term of 20 years from 1514 at £6. 13s. 4d. rent; the landlord was to be responsible for repairs, but both parties to the lease were to share the cost of cleansing the latrines. In 1518 Thomas Walshe, gentleman, held the property. By 1519 the wife of John Walsshe held under the lease granted to John Thomas. John Walsshe was named as tenant in 1522-4 and John Walsshe, esquire, in 1524-7. It is possible that these tenants represent two generations of the same family and that John Thomas alias Thomas Walshe alias John Walsshe was followed by his widow and then by John Walsshe. Edward Rest, grocer, was tenant from 1527 to 1533, when he was succeeded by Ambrose Barker, grocer. Rest and Barker were said to be dwelling in the house in 1530 and 1537 respectively, although in 1535 Nicholas Withers was named as tenant perhaps as undertenant or representative of his friend Ambrose Barker (cf. 95/2). Barker was living in the parish c. 1522-3 and in 1544.
There was a shop next to 13 let for 10s. rent. It was said in 1519 to have been let to Ralph Tylney and was now in the tenure of William Bery as part of the great tenement. Dorothy Gatley paid the rent between 1519 and 1526, Richard Chamley 1527-8, John Sowthake between 1528 and 1533, and William Mace between 1533 and 1537. Both Ambrose Barker and Mace failed to pay a part of their rent in 1534-5, when the 20-year lease of 13 came to an end. In 1537 Barker took a new lease of 13 (including the chapel) and this shop, which was now occupied by John Theer, leatherseller, for a term of 99 years at £5 rent. The tenant was to pay the quit-rents and to be responsible for repairs, except those concerning the timberwork, leads, and gutters. From 1527-8 onwards 13s. 4d. p.a. was allowed on the hospital rent account for the decay of the farm of a chapel in this parish, which was presumably part of 13.
14 can first be identified as the shops, tenements, and solars on the S. side of the great gate of 13 and over its entry, which in 1512 were excepted from the lease of 13. Subsequently it was described as two tenements annexed to 13 for which Henry Carvill paid £1. 6s. 8d. rent between 1517 and 1526. William Foster, citizen and brewer, paid the same between 1527 and 1538 and inhabited the property. In 1538, when he was said to inhabit 13, Ambrose Barker took a 99-year lease at 20s. rent of 14, now described as a tenement with shop, cellars, and solars. The conditions were the same as those in his lease of 13. Barker also held 16 under lease from the hospital, and by royal grant in 1540 was allowed to hold these three properties rent-free for the term of his life. (fn. 10) 13-15 were regarded as the gift to the Mercers' Company of William Daunteseye, who put up some of the money for the purchase from the Crown as an endowment for an obit. The company initially received no rent from 13- 14, but in 1549-50 and 1550-1 Daunteseye's executors made payments to the company of £5. 6s. 8d. and £2. 13s. 4d., respectively, apparently in lieu of the full rent of £6 p.a. which would be due after Barker's death. In 1571 the Crown granted 13-15 to Thomas Jennyns and Edward Forthe as 'concealed lands' which ought to have been in the Crown's possession since they formed the endowment of Daunteseye's obit, but there is no sign that the title of the Mercers' Company was affected by this. (fn. 11)
In 1559-60 the company decided to attempt a suit at law against Barker to try out his exemption from rent, and Anne Warcupe, widow, seems to have had hopes of obtaining a lease of Barker's house. The attempt was cut short by Barker's death, and for the last term of 1560-1 his widow paid the £1. 10s. rent now due for 13 and 14. (fn. 12) At about this time there was a controversy between the company and the parishioners of St. Martin over the northern part of the property. In 1559 viewers decided that a little house over the highway from Ironmonger Lane to Old Jewry, and apparently adjoining both 13 and the church, belonged to the company together with a wall on the S. side of the highway; this little house was probably identical with the chapel forming part of 13, which in 1562 was said to sail over the alley above a gateway. In 1564 the parishioners were demanding from the company 10s. rent for the chapel and 'little low rooms' partly fixed into the church wall, which they alleged had been paid by the tenants of 13. (fn. 13)
From 1561 to 1572 Walter Copinger, mercer, held and inhabited 13-14 as the assign of Ambrose Barker and paid the £6 rent. In 1572-3 Lady North held the house, where she sought to alter some rooms, as Coppinger's assign. John Payne, mill-maker, held it as Lady North's assign in 1573-4, and Stephen Ducket held it as her assign between 1574 and 1576. James Mounseye, grocer, held it as Ducket's assign between 1578 and 1586, and Robert Chamberlyn held it as the assign of Stephen Duket and Susan Mounseye between 1586 and 1595. At some time during this period the house was probably inhabited by William Munseye, ironmonger and resident of this parish, who died in 1583-4. William was brother of James Mounseye, husband of Susan Mounseye, who survived him, and had a brother (presumably step-brother or brother-in-law) called Chamberlyn (probably Robert Chamberlyn). Between 1595 and 1597 the property was in the tenure of William Romney, whose widow, Lady Rebecca Romney, was living there in 1634-5 in a substantial house set back from the Ironmonger Lane frontage (13A; cf. below and Figs. 3-4). It is likely that William Romney used this house as a residence until his death in 1611. His son Daniel, a merchant adventurer who died in 1634-5, was born in this parish, probably in this house. William Romney's name is not entered in the Mercers' Company rent accounts concerning this property after 1595, but he probably held the house as undertenant of those who were named as paying the £6 rent for the mansion house in Ironmonger Lane and certain tenements adjoining. These rent payers probably held the lease by assignment and their names were as follows: Robert Chamberleyne, from 1597 to 1607; Richard Chamberleyne, from 1607 to 1627; Thomas Chamberlen, 1623- 4; John Chamberlen from 1624 to 1627; Hugh Windam, from 1627 to 1633; and from 1633 to 1635, John Skinner, the clerk of the Mercers' Company. For much, if not all, of this period the houses next to the street (13B, 14, and 15) were in separate occupation from the mansion house behind (13A), and in 1610 the S. part of the property next to the street (14) was a tenement occupied by John Walton, mason. (fn. 14)
The leases under which 13 and 14 were held from the Mercers' Company were due to expire in 1636 and 1637, respectively. In 1634 John Skinner sought a new lease of the house where Lady Romney dwelled (13A), together with the tenement adjoining on its N. side and over its doorway (13B). These two houses evidently represented 13, and from a subsequent reference it is clear that the tenement on the N. side and over the doorway (13B) was occupied by James Ellis, cook. The two houses were described in views taken during May 1634. The house on the S. side of the doorway or great gate (14) was described in a view of April 1635, when it was said to be James Ellis's tenement, although in 1636 it was said to be occupied by Ellis and Elizabeth Dixon, widow. An earlier occupant of the house had probably been Henry Dixon, citizen and cook of this parish, who had died in 1617 leaving the residue of his goods, including his leases, to his wife Elizabeth, evidently the Elizabeth Dixon who occupied the house, or a part of it, in 1636. In his will Henry Dixon mentioned his 4 children, all under age, and 2 apprentices, so that in 1616-17 the house (14 and perhaps also 13B) was occupied by at least 8 persons apart from servants. (fn. 15) Some aspects of the arrangement of these houses, both in plan and in elevation, can be reconstructed from the 3 views of 1634-5 and from a view of 1639 concerning 15 (see below) and are shown in Figs. 3 and 4. Unfortunately the views rarely specify on which floor individual rooms were situated, so that the arrangement of the upper rooms and the intermixtures between the 3 houses at that level remain uncertain.
Lady Romney's house (13A) occupied the rear part of the property and was bounded by 13B, 14, and 15 on the W. It was served by two entries from Ironmonger Lane: a great gate on the N. side of 14 which apparently led into the yard; and another entry between 14 and 15 which led into the structure known as the old warehouse. The warehouse occupied the whole of the S. part of the property; there was a substantial cellar below it and the main residential rooms of the house were probably above it. The lower parts of this structure may have originated in the 13th century and would have occupied the greater part of the land acquired by Ralph Eswy in 1206-7 (cf. above). North of the old warehouse was a yard. There was probably a structure, including a counting-house, on the E. side of the yard. A stable and other offices probably occupied the N. side of the yard. The rooms listed in the view of 1634 were as follows: a cellar, 50 ft. (15.24 m.) by 33 ft. (10.06 m.), of which 11 ft. (3.35 m.) of the breadth was under the gallery; a vault 22 1/2 ft. (6.86 m.) by 17 ft. (5.18 m.); a second vault 19 ft. (5.79 m.) by 17 ft. (5.18 m.); the entry 18 ft. (5.49 m.) by 8 1/2 ft. (2.59 m.); the yard 35 ft. (10.67 m.) by 26 1/2 ft. (8.08 m.); an open gallery on the S. side, 49 1/2 ft. (15.09 m.) by 12 ft. (3.66 m; presumably on the S. side of the yard and over the cellar); the entry to the old warehouse, 16 ft. (4.88 m.) by 8 ft. (2.44 m.); the old warehouse, 53 ft. (16.15 m.) by 23 ft. (7.01 m.; the 'main house' jettied out 3 1/2 ft. (1.07 m.) N./S. in addition to this breadth on the N. side); a counting-house at ground level, 21 1/2 ft. (6.55 m.) by 8 ft. (2.44 m.); a warehouse 21 ft. (6.4 m.) by 17 1/2 ft. (5.33 m.); a stable, 20 1/2 ft. (6.25 m.) by 14 ft. (4.27 m.); a yard, 30 1/2 ft. (9.3 m.) by 4 ft. 8 in. (1.42 m.; to judge from the view of 1649 (cf. below), this was probably next to the alley now known as St. Olave's Court); a hay room, 25 ft. (7.62 m.) by 11 1/2 ft. (3.51 m.); a 'hostry', 5 1/2 ft. (1.68 m.) by 4 1/2 ft. (1.37 m.); a kitchen paved with freestone, 16 ft. 4 in. (4.98 m.) by 16 ft. (4.88 m.); a wainscoted parlour, 19 ft. (5.79 m.) by 17 1/2 ft. (5.33 m.); a kitchen 'in the second storey' (i.e. at first-floor level) paved with freestone, 23 1/2 ft. (7.16 m.) by 15 1/2 ft. (4.72 m.); a pantry adjacent, 10 1/2 ft. (3.2 m.) by 5 ft. 2 in. (1.57 m.); a buttery adjacent, 11 ft. (3.35 m.) by 6 1/2 ft.(1.98 m.); a passage, 5 1/2 ft. (1.68 m) by 4 ft. (1.22 m.); a closet 10 1/2 ft. (3.2 m.) by 7 1/2 ft. (2.29 m.); a wainscoted chamber, 22 1/2 ft. (6.86 m.) by 20 ft. (6.1 m.); a chamber within it, 18 ft. (5.49 m.) by 10 1/2 ft. (3.2 m.) an open gallery in the second storey, 30 ft. (9.14 m.) by 4 1/2 ft. (1.37 m.); a corner westward out of the gallery, 6 1/2 ft. (1.98 m.) by 3 1/2 ft. (1.07 m.); a wainscoted dining chamber, 25 ft. (7.62 m.) by 21 ft. (6.9 m.); a staircase next to the chamber, 6 ft. (1.83 m.) by 4 ft. (1.22 m.); a chamber, 17 1/2 ft. (5.33 m.) by 11 ft. (3.35 m.); a passage and house of office, 17 1/2 ft. (5.33 m.) by 3 1/2 ft. (1.07 m.); a wainscoted chamber, 33 ft. (10.06 m.) by 15 ft. (4.57 m.); a laundry, 19 ft. (5.79 m.) by 12 1/2 ft. (3.81 m.); a chamber and closet 21 ft. (6.4 m.) by 19 ft. (5.79 m.); two garrets, each 14 ft. (4.27 m.) by 11 ft. (3.35 m.); leads, 34 ft. (10.36 m.) N./S. by 3 1/2 ft. (1.07 m.); leads, 22 1/2 ft. (6.86 m.) in length by 4 1/2 ft. (1.37 m.); a wainscoted chamber with a closet and cupboard, 24 ft. (7.32 m.) by 22 ft. (6.71 m.); a divided garret, 25 ft. (7.62 m.) by 22 1/2 ft. (6.86 m.); a house of office and passage, 7 1/2 ft. (2.29 m.) by 7 1/2 ft. (2.29 m.).
The tenement (13B) on the N. side of and over the great gate of Lady Romney's house apparently had 4 storeys, excluding garrets, over a cellar and contained the following rooms: a cellar, 16 1/2 ft. (5.03 m.) by 15 ft. (4.57 m.); a cellar below Lady Romney's gate; a shop, 16 ft. (4.88 m.; probably E./W.) by 13 ft. (3.69 m.); a passage up, 16 ft. (4.88 m.) by 3 1/2 ft. (1.07 m.); a hall (probably on the first floor), 18 1/2 ft. (5.64 m.) by 13 1/2 ft. (4.11 m.); a chamber and counting-house, 20 ft. (6.1 m.) by 13 1/2 ft. (4.11 m.); a kitchen 'in the third storey' (i.e. on the second floor), 14 ft. (4.27 m.) by 10 1/2 ft. (3.2 m.); a chamber over Lady Romney's house, 18 1/2 ft. (5.64 m.) by 12 ft. (3.66 m.); a garret and house of office, 23 1/2 ft. (7.16 m.) by 20 ft. (6.1 m.); a kitchen, 12 1/2 ft. (3.81 m.) by 12 ft. (3.66 m.); a staircase, 6 ft. (1.83 m.) by 4 1/2 ft. (1.37 m.); a passage into the next house (probably 14), 6 ft. (1.83 m.) by 5 ft. (1.52 m.); a passage in the third storey, 4 ft. 9 in. (1.45 m.) by 5 ft. 3 in. (1.6 m.); a chamber, 20 ft. (6.1 m.) by 10 1/2 ft. (3.2 m.); a house of office, 7 ft. (2.13 m.) by 6 ft. (1.83 m.); a chamber, passageway, and buttery in the fourth storey (i.e. the third floor), 21 ft. (6.4 m.) by 10 1/2 ft. (3.2 m.); a chamber and passage in the fifth storey (probably at garret level, within the roof space), 21 ft. (6.4 m.) by 10 1/2 ft. (3.2 m.).
James Ellis's tenement (14) in 1635 contained the following rooms: the cellar, 20 ft. (6.1 m.) by 9 ft. (2.74 m.); a little cellar under Lady Rumney's house (13A), 9 ft. (2.74 m.) by 7 ft. (2.13 m.); the shop, 29 ft. (8.84 m.) by 14 ft. (4.27 m.); a hall and staircase (probably on the first floor), 18 ft. (5.49 m.) by 18 ft. (5.49 m.); a house of office nailed up, 5 1/2 ft. (1.68 m.) by 4 ft. (1.22 m.) 'by guess'; a room open to the hall, 14 1/2 ft. (4.42 m.) by 11 ft. (3.35 m.); a passageway and staircase at the N.E. end of that room, 18 ft. (5.49 m.) by 8 ft. (2.44 m.); a chamber (probably on the second floor), 20 ft. (6.1 m.) by 11 1/2 ft. (3.51 m.); a chamber above it with a counting-house, 20 ft. (6.1 m.) by 11 ft. (3.35 m.); a garret, passageway, and staircase, 20 ft. (6.1 m.) by 11 ft. (3.35 m.); a kitchen, 17 1/2 ft. (5.33 m.) by 11 1/2 ft. (3.51 m.); a washhouse, 7 1/2 ft. (2.29 m.) by 6 1/2 ft. (1.98 m.); a chamber, 14 1/2 ft. (4.42 m.) by 10 ft. (3.05 m.); a passage and staircase 9 ft. (2.74 m.) by 5 ft. 4 in. (1.63 m.); a counting-house, 5 1/2 ft. (1.68 m.) by 4 ft. (1.22 m.); a chamber 'in the fourth storey' (i.e. on the third floor), 15 ft. (4.57 m.) by 10 ft. (3.05 m.); a house of office 5 ft. (1.52 m.) by 4 1/2 ft. (1.37 m.); and a divided garret, 20 ft. (6.1 m.) by 20 ft. (6.1 m.). This tenement appears to have consisted of two more or less self-contained parts, each with its own staircase. According to the reconstruction adopted in Figs. 3 and 4, the smaller one of these parts would have lacked a kitchen and so was probably that part of the tenement occupied by James Ellis along with the tenement on the N. side of Lady Romney's gate. The remainder of the tenement was presumably occupied by Elizabeth Dixon.
Following these views it was decided that the property should not be leased since it might prove necessary to add more rooms to the house then occupied by Ellis. Early in 1636 the tenements represented by 13 and 14 were reckoned to be worth a fine of £360 for a 21-year lease at £6 rent. Francis Flyer then petitioned for a lease, which was granted to him for a term of 21 years from 1637 at £6 rent and for a fine of £400 of which £100 was paid in 1636 and the remainder was to be paid in annual instalments of £100. Flyer also covenanted to spend £500 on repairing the property within the 5 years following the death of Lady Rumney, or 7 years before the expiry of the new lease, whichever was the sooner. Lady Rumney died early in 1644. (fn. 16)
In 1638 Lady Rumney was a tithe-payer in this parish for 13A, which was assessed as worth £37 rent. Ellis was a tithe-payer for a house, probably represented by 13B and 14, worth £14 rent. (fn. 17)
Early in the 16th century this property consisted of 2 tenements at one time held together with 13 and formerly held by William Veer for £1. 12s. rent. Between 1517 and 1543 Thomas Starkey (or more than one person of that name) held them from year to year at £1. 13s. 4d. rent. During this period the tenements seem to have formed a single house. Starkey seems frequently not to have paid the full rent: 8s. 4d. were allowed for a vacancy in 1518, 6s. 8d. in 1529-30, 6s. 8d. in 1534-5, 8s. 4d. in 1535-6, and a share of 8s. 4d. in 1540-1. In 1543 the Mercers' Company let the tenement here to Thomas Starkeye, citizen and leatherseller, who inhabited the property, on a repairing lease for a term of 31 years at £1. 13s. 4d. rent. Starkey was described as a point-maker in 1549-50 and held the tenement until his death in 1557, when he was succeeded by Roger Francke, tailor, who was described as Starkey's assign. The lease would have terminated in 1574. Francke then continued to hold as a tenant at will. He was too poor to pay a fine for a new lease and in 1581- 2 paid an increased rent of £2. 8s. 4d., further raised to £2. 13s. 4d. in the following year. He held at this rent until his death in 1589. The tenement was then granted on lease at the same rent to Roger Healey, mercer, who was to pay a fine of £13. 6s. 8d. and spend £30 on repairs within 2 years. In 1592 Healey was allowed £6. 13s. 4d. of his fine in consideration of his expenditure, and in 1594 he was allowed to sub-let. Healey's assigns paid the rent from 1598 onwards and William Rumney, described as Sir William Rumney, knight, from 1603, paid it as Healey's assign between 1600 and 1619. (fn. 18) Rumney presumably used the property in connection with his warehouse (13A) which adjoined it to the E.
In 1610 Thomas Lea, citizen and haberdasher, began a 30-year lease of this messuage at £5 rent, paying a fine of £30 and in consideration of his expenditure on building and repairs. The messuage was now known as the Maidenhead and had been known as the Red Lion; it was bounded by the great warehouse occupied by Sir William Romney (part of 13A) on the E. Lea paid this rent until 1634 when, on paying a brace of bucks to the wardens of the company, he assigned the lease to Nicholas Williams, haberdasher. In 1638 Williams was a tithepayer in this parish for a house probably represented by 15, which was said to be worth £14 a year rent. (fn. 19)
In 1639, when the lease of 15 was nearing its term, the company decided that, since part of the cellar of Williams's house underlay the adjoining property to the N. (13 and 14), a new lease should not be granted, although Williams was to remain as tenant for the time being. The reason for this was probably that Francis Flyer had begun or was planning to begin rebuilding the adjacent houses (13 and 14). A view taken on this occasion revealed that the house included 3 storeys, excluding garrets, over a cellar. Their probable arrangement is shown in Figs. 3 and 4. The rooms were listed as follows: a part of the cellar beneath the rooms (14) of James Ellis, 8 ft. (2.44 m.) by 8 ft. (2.44 m.); another part of the cellar beneath Lady Romney's gate (13B), 8 1/2 ft. (2.59 m.) by 8 ft. (2.44 m.); another part of the cellar beneath Williams's own house (15), 14 ft. (4.27 m.) by 8 ft. (2.44 m.); a warehouse, 16 ft. (4.88 m.) by 10 1/2 ft. (3.2 m.); an entry and staircase 16 ft. (4.88 m.) by 3 1/2 ft. (1.07 m.); a buttery 8 1/2 ft. (2.59 m.) by 6 1/2 ft. (1.98 m.); a passage 9 ft. (2.74 m.) by 6 1/2 ft. (1.98 m.); a hall, 19 ft. (5.79 m.) by 11 ft. (3.35 m.); a counting-house, 8 1/2 ft. (2.59 m.) by 5 ft. (1.52 m.); a kitchen, 18 1/2 ft. (5.64 m.) by 5 ft. (1.52 m.); a chamber with a closet, 22 ft. (6.71 m.) by 11 ft. (3.35 m.); a garret with a ceiling, 11 ft. (3.35 m.) by 11 ft. (3.35 m.); a garret, 19 ft. (5.79 m.) by 11 1/2 ft. (3.51 m.); and another garret, 9 ft. (2.74 m.) by 8 1/2 ft. (2.59 m.). Williams again sought a new lease in 1643, but his petition was rejected on the grounds that Flyer could not complete his building of the adjacent house (13-14) without having a lease of this one. Williams continued to be recorded as paying the £5 rent for 15 until 1646, when the house was in the possession of Edward Moore, cooper, and was said to contain the following rooms: a cellar, 32 ft. (9.75 m.) by 7 1/2 ft. (2.29 m.); the shop and staircase, 15 1/2 ft. (4.72 m.) by 14 ft. 2 in. (4.32 m.); several rooms at the first stairhead, 22 1/2 ft. (6.86 m.) by 18 ft. (5.49 m.); the rooms 'on the floor 2 story high' (i.e. on the second floor), 22 1/2 ft. (6.86 m.) by 19 1/2 ft. (5.94 m.); the rooms on the third storey (sic, meaning the third floor), 24 ft. (7.32 m.) by 10 1/2 ft. (3.2 m.). In August 1646 Francis Flyer was granted a lease of this house for the term he had in 14 at the old rent of £5 and on condition that he spend £60 on repairs and that he eject Moore from the property in the name of the Mercers' Company. (fn. 20)
c.1645 to 1666
From 1646 onwards Francis Flyer held 13-15 from the Mercers' Company for a total of £11 rent. After the rebuilding undertaken by Flyer the property still consisted of 4 tenements, 3 on the Ironmonger Lane frontage and a fourth behind, although several of the earlier intermixtures had been eliminated. Their probable arrangement is shown on Figs. 3 and 4. The 3 houses on Ironmonger Lane (13B, 14, and 15) appear to have occupied virtually the same frontages as before, but two of the houses (14 and 15) seem to have been enlarged at the expense of the house behind (13A). Each of these three houses now consisted of 3 storeys with garrets above ground and a cellar below ground.
Flyer's rebuilding was not accomplished without difficulties. One of them concerned a jetty, apparently on the N. side of the new structure which overhung a piece of ground (probably a part of the churchyard or the modern St. Olave's Court) which was claimed by the parish as its inheritance. Early in 1648 it was agreed with the parishioners that they should convey the jetty, which measured 24 ft. (7.32 m.) in length and in width 3 ft. 3 in. (990 mm.) at its E. end and 4 ft. (1.22 m.) at its W. end, to the Mercers' Company, that Flyer should contribute to the poor and to paving in the parish, and that the parishioners should be allowed to take new deal boards to replace those which had been damaged. (fn. 21) The other difficulties were financial. In 1647, when Flyer complained that he had suffered a hard bargain and that to rebuild one of the houses alone had cost him £200, the company encouraged him to carry on and agreed to consider his lease favourably when his expenditure was complete. In November 1648, when the work appears to have been nearly finished, Flyer sought an extension to the term of his lease and in February 1649 this was made up to 26 years from the following Lady Day. Further expenditure on building followed, and in October 1649 Flyer was granted the property for a term of 31 years at £11 rent. In February 1657 Flyer surrendered his lease to the company, which by agreement immediately granted leases of the separate parts of the property to Flyer's undertenants for the remainder of the term which would have been due to him. Each of the undertenants rendered a fat buck to the wardens of the company for this assignment of the leases. (fn. 22)
In 1649 this was a mansion house in the possession of Nathaniel Manton. A view of that year shows that the house was arranged in much the same way as before the recent rebuilding, except that it had fewer rooms, occupied a more constricted site, and no longer had an entry leading from Ironmonger Lane into the warehouse. Fig. 4 shows a possible reconstruction of the building. The view lists the following parts of the house: the gateway, 24 ft. (7.32 m.) by 7 1/2 ft. (2.29 m.); the yard, 29 ft. (8.84 m.) by 25 ft. (7.62 m.); the gallery by the yard, 36 ft. (10.97 m.) by 12 ft. (3.66 m.; presumably on the S. side of the yard); the warehouse within the gallery, 25 ft. 10 in. (7.87 m.) by 10 1/2 ft. (6.25 m.; part of the former 'old warehouse'); a cellar on the S. side of the house, 31 ft. 4 in. (9.55 m.) by 25 ft. (7.62 m.; below the warehouse and probably extending in part beneath the yard at the back of 15); a vault on the N. side, 34 ft. (10.36 m.) by 16 1/2 ft. (5.03 m.; probably beneath the gallery); a warehouse with 2 ('to') partitions E., 26 ft. (7.92 m.) by 20 1/2 ft. (6.25 m.; probably on the E. side of the yard); a warehouse on the N. side of that, 23 1/2 ft. (7.16 m.) by 12 1/2 ft. (3.81 m.); a house of office, 6 ft. (1.83 m.) by 5 ft. (1.52 m.); a stable and stair foot, 19 ft. (5.79 m.) by 14 ft. (4.27 m.); a yard next to the little alley (now Church Passage), 30 ft. (9.14 m.) long by 5 ft. 10 in. (1.78 m.) at the E. end and 2 ft. 10 in. (864 mm.) at the W. end; a lower kitchen, buttery, and passage, 18 ft. (5.49 m.) by 14 ft. (4.27 m.); a parlour, 19 ft. (5.79 m.) by 16 ft. (4.88 m.); a staircase of 2 storeys, 12 ft. 9 in. (3.89 m.) by 8 1/2 ft. (2.59 m.); the great kitchen, 24 ft. (7.32 m.) by 14 ft. 8 in. (1.42 m.); 2 little larders by the kitchen, 12 ft. (3.66 m.) by 9 ft. (21.74 m.); 2 rooms on the N. side of the house, 30 1/2 ft. (9.3 m.) by 19 1/2 ft. (5.85 m.); the hall, wainscoted, 25 ft. 4 in. (7.72 m.) by 20 ft. (6.1 m.); 2 rooms over the gallery, richly wainscoted, 19 ft. (5.79 m.) by 14 ft. (4.27 m.); another room and house of office on the E. side of the last, 17 ft. (5.18 m.) by 14 ft. (4.27 m.); a room over the hall with a wainscoted closet, 23 ft. 3 in. (7.09 m.) by 20 1/2 ft. (6.25 m.) a room at the stair head with a counting house and staircase, 20 ft. 4 in. (6.2 m.) by 18 ft. (5.49 m.); a chamber to the E. of that room and the staircase, 27 ft. (8.22 m.) by 11 ft. (3.35 m.); a garret to the W. of the stairhead chamber, 21 1/2 ft. (6.55 m.) by 14 ft. (4.27 m.); a leaded gallery on the N. side of the house with rails and bannisters 31 1/2 ft. (9.6 m.) by 3 ft. 3 in. (11.89 m.); a garret at the E. end of the house with a closet, 24 ft. (7.32 m.) by 22 ft. (6.41 m.); and a staircase and house of office, 9 ft. (2.74 m.) by 7 1/2 ft. (2.29 m.). (fn. 23)
In February 1657, when the Mercers' Company agreed to grant a lease of the house to Flyer's undertenant for £4 rent, 13A was held by Captain Nathaniel Manton. Later in the same month Manton was succeeded by Henry Norton, citizen and mercer, who took the lease for a term of 23 years. Peter Birkenhead, mercer, purchased this lease from Norton in 1659, although Nathaniel Manton was still living in the house in 1662-3, when it had 9 hearths. Birkenhead died in August or September 1666 and in the Hearth Tax assessment of that year the house of 9 hearths was listed as empty. (fn. 24)
In 1649 this house was in the possession of Ralph Russell. A view of that year listed the following rooms (cf. Figs. 3 and 4): a cellar next to the street, 23 ft. (7.01 m.) by 15 ft. (4.57 m.; this presumably extended below the entry to 13A); a back cellar, 18 ft. (5.49 m.) by 6 1/2 ft. (1.98 m.; this may have extended below part of 13A to the E.); a shop and staircase, 16 1/2 ft. (5.03 m.) by 16 ft. (4.88 m.); a hall, 18 ft. 3 in. (5.56 m.) by 15 1/2 ft. (probably on the first floor); a kitchen and staircase 18 ft. 2 in. (4.72 m.) by 15 ft. (4.57 m.; probably also on the first floor); 2 rooms over the hall and kitchen, 29 ft. (8.84 m.) by 17 1/2 ft. (5.33 m.); a room behind those rooms, 18 1/2 ft. (5.64 m.) by 10 ft. 3 in. (3.12 m.); and a garret, 29 ft. (8.84 m.) by 18 ft. (5.49 m.). Russell, a citizen and cook, took a lease of this messuage from the Mercers' Company in 1657 for a term of 23 years at £2 rent, and continued to live there until the Great Fire. His house had 10 hearths in 1662-3 and 8 hearths in 1666. (fn. 25)
In 1649 this house was in the possession of John Clarke. A view of that year listed the following rooms (cf. Figs. 3 and 4): a cellar, 25 ft. (7.62 m.) by 20 ft. (6.1 m.); a warehouse, parted, 22 ft. (6.71 m.) by 22 ft. (6.71 m.); an entry and staircase, 22 ft. (6.71 m.) by 4 ft. (1.22 m.); a kitchen and staircase, 25 ft. (7.62 m.) by 9 ft. (2.74 m.); a hall, 25 ft. (7.62 m.) by 14 ft. (4.27 m.); 2 chambers over the hall, 25 ft. (7.62 m.) by 14 ft. (4.27 m.); a chamber and staircase over the kitchen, 25 ft. (7.62 m.) by 9 ft. (2.74 m.); and a garret, parted, and staircase, 25 ft. (7.62 m.) by 24 ft. (7.32 m.). In 1657 the Mercers' Company granted a lease of this messuage for a term of 23 years at £2 rent to John Clarke junior, stationer. He continued to live there until the Fire and in 1666, when he was described as bookseller, his house had 6 hearths. (fn. 26)
In 1649 this house was in the possession of Robert Westerne. A view of that year listed the following parts of the house, which seems to have been intermixed with 13A to the rear (cf. Figs. 3 and 4): a vault under the yard and a little cellar at the end of it, 34 1/2 ft. (10.52 m.) by 12 ft. (3.66 m.); a staircase in the cellar, 9 ft. (2.74 m.) by 8 ft. (2.44 m.); a cellar next to the street, 29 1/2 ft. (8.99 m.) by 23 ft. (7.01 m.); the yard 15 ft. (4.57 m.) by 11 1/2 ft. (3.51 m.); a little counting-house, 12 ft. 3 in. (3.73 m.) by 7 ft. 8 in. (2.34 m.); the warehouse and entry with partitions, 30 1/2 ft. (9.3 m.) by 25 ft. (7.62 m.); a stair and passage into the cellar, 10 ft. (3.05 m.) by 8 ft. (2.44 m.); a hall next to the street 25 ft. (7.62 m.) by 16 1/2 ft. (5.03 m.); a kitchen and passage into the hall, 25 ft. (7.62 m.) by 16 ft. (4.88 m.); a little room by the kitchen, 12 ft. 3 in. (3.73 m.) by 7 ft. 8 in. (2.34 m.); 2 rooms over the hall with a partition, 25 1/2 ft. (7.77 m.) by 18 ft. (5.49 m.); a room over the kitchen with a passage, 25 ft. 2 in. (7.67 m.) by 18 ft. 9 in. (5.72 m.); and a garret, parted, 32 1/2 ft. (9.91 m.) by 25 ft. (7.62 m.). In 1657 Westerne, a citizen and haberdasher, took a lease of this house from the Mercers' Company for a term of 23 years at £3 rent. He continued to live in the property until the Great Fire, when his house had 10 hearths. (fn. 27)
After the great fire
In 1667-8 Ralph Russell paid the Mercers' Company £12 for two years rent of the ground where his dwelling house (13B) and part of the mansion house of Mr. Birkenhead (13A) had stood before the Fire. From 1680 onwards he was to pay £7 a year for the same property. Russell evidently intended to build a new house on the site of 13B and that part of 13A which lay directly to the E. of it, for this was the area covered by the foundation surveyed for John (probably an error for Ralph) Russell in November 1668. Birkenhead's interest in 13A passed to Sir Theophilus Biddulph, from whom Ralph Russel acquired it. In September 1668 Russell conveyed his interest in the ground apparently representing the S. part of 13A to Sir John Frederick, whose newly-built mansion house on the site of the precinct of the hospital of St. Thomas of Acre lay to the E. The other bounds of this ground were said to be the new buildings of the Mercers' Company to the S., a toft belonging to Russell (13B) to the W., a tenement being built by Robert Westerne (15) to the W., and Church Alley (now St. Olave's Court) to the N. Church Alley cannot have bounded this ground on the N. if the survey of November 1668 is correct; alternatively, Frederick may have conveyed the N. part of 13A back to Russell so that he could erect his house there. (fn. 28)
In 1668 John Clarke paid the arrears of his rent to the Mercers' Company for the site of his former dwelling house (14), which he was to hold for a term of 53 years from 1667, paying £3 rent from 1680 onwards. A foundation surveyed for Clarke in 1669 occupied virtually the same site as his house before the Fire. A foundation on the site occupied by 15 immediately before the Fire was surveyed for Robert Westerne in 1667. Westerne paid his arrears of rent in 1670-1 and was to hold the property for 61 years from 1667 at £4 rent to 1680 and then at £4 10s. rent. (fn. 29)