Click a green square to see the Latin text. Click a red square to see a textual note. Click on a blue square to see a commentary note.
HEY whom Caesar calleth Trinobantes, Ptolomee and Tacitus Trinoantes, were next neighbours to the Cattieuchlani, inhabiting in those countries which, now having changed their names, are commonly termed Middlesex and Essex. Whence that ancient name sprung I dare not verily so much as guesse, unlesse it come of the British word tre-nant,which is as much as towns in a vale. For this whole region in a maner lieth low in a valley upon the Tamis. But I doe not greatly please my selfe in this my conjecture. And yet they that inhabited Galloway in Scotland, lying altogether lowe in vallie, were of old time in the British tongue called Noanes and Novantes, and in the Vale of Rhein, in French named Le Vaule, the people in old time called Natuantes had both their aboade and their name thence, so that this conjecture of mine may seeme as probable as that of other who over curiously have derived Trinobantes of Troy, as a man would say Troia Nova, that is, New Troy. But I wish them well, and that heerein they may please themselves. These were in Caesars time of all the countries well neere the strongest City or State (for evermore he termeth by the name of civitas a whole people living under the same lawe), and their king in those daies was Immanuentius, who being slaine by Cassibelinus, his sonne Mandubratius, saving his life by flight, went into Gaule to Caesar, and, putting himselfe under his protection, returned with him into Britaine. At which time those Arniobantes petitioned Caesar by their Ambassadors that he would defend Mandubratius from the injuries of Cassibelinus and resend him to the State, that he might be governour and beare rule over them. Which being done, they gave forty Hostages and were the first of all the Britans that yeelded themselves under his allegeance. This Mandubratius, that I may note so much by the way, is evermore called by Eutropius, Bede, and the later writers Androgeus. But whence this diversitie of name should arise I am altogether ignorant, unlesse that bee true which I have learned from a very skilfull man in the British historie and language, that this name Androgeus was given unto him for his lewdnesse and perfidious treason. For the signification of wickednese doth most plainly shew it selfe in it. And in the Booke of Triades, among the three Traitours of Britaine, he is counted the most villanous, in that he was the first that made way to bring the forraine Romans unto Britaine, and betraied his country. After Mandubratius, when as now by reason of hote civill wars, Britain was neglected by the Romans and left unto his own Princes and lawes, certaine it is that Cunobeline ruled as King in these parts, of whose coine I exhibit heere unto you one or two peeces, although I have already shewed the very same and others heeretofore.
2. Adminus this mans sonne, banished by his father, fled with a small retinue about him to the Romane Emperour Caius Caligula, and yeelded himselfe. Which so puffed up the young Emperours minde that, as if all the Iland had absolutly and wholly yeelded into his hands, he sent glorious [vainglorious] letters to Rome, admonishing oftentimes the bearers thereof not to deliver them unto the Consuls but in the Temple of Mars, and in a frequent [full] assembly of the Senate. When Cunobelinus was dead, Aulus Plautius by commission from Claudius the Emperour set upon this country. One of Cunobilinis his sonnes named Togodumnus he slew, and another called Catacratus he overthrew in the field, over whom also, as we finde in the Capitollin Record of the Romane Triumphes, he rode Ovant in triumph; and that with so great honour, as Suetonius writeth, that Claudius the Emperour went side with him both in his going to the Capitoll and also in his returne from thence. And he himselfe, shortly after transporting his forces hither, brought these parts within few Monthes into the forme of a Province. Thence-foorth the Trinobants rested a while in peace, but that under the Empire of Nero they privily entered into a conspiracy with the Iceni to shake off the Romans yoke. But Suetonius Paulinus, as Tacitus recordeth, quickly quenched this flame of sedition with a great effusion of Britans bloud. When the Romane Empire was at length come to an end in Britaine, Vortigern the Britain gave to the Saxons (who kept him prisoner) for his ransome this country with others, as Ninnius writeth, and it had his peculier Kings for a long time together, but such as held by homage sometimes of the Kentish Kings, sometimes of the Mercians. Among whom Sebert in the yeere 603 was the first that became a Christian, and Suthred the last King, who being vanquished by Egbert in the yeere 804, left the Kingdome unto the West-Saxons. But heereof elsewhere more largely. Now let us survey the very Country.
IDLESEX taketh name of the Middle-Saxons, because the inhabitants thereof were in the mids betweene East-Saxons, West-Saxons, South-Saxons, and those whom that age called Mercians. It is severed from Buckinghamshire by the river Cole, which the Britains called Co, on the West-side, from Hertfordshire, on the North-side by a knowen crooked limite, from Essex on the East with the river Lea, from Surrey and Kent on the South by the Tamis. It being comprised within short bounds lieth out at length where it is longest twenty miles, and in the narrowest place it is scant twelve miles over. For aire passing temprat, and for soile fertile, with sumpteous houses and prety townes on all sides pleasantly beautified, and every where offereth to the view many things memorable. by the river Cole, where it entereth first into this shire, we saw Breakspear, an ancient house belonging to a family so surnamed, out of which came Pope Hadrian the Fourth, of whome ere I spake; then Heresfeld, in old times Herefrelle, the possession in King William the Conquerours day of Richard the sonne of Counte Gislebert. More Southward, Uxbridge, anciently Woxbridge, a towne of later time built, and fulle of Innes, stretcheth out in length. Beneath which is Draiton, reedified by the Barons Paget; Colham, which from the Barons Le Strange came to the Earles of Darby; and Stanwed, ever since the Normans comming in unto our fathers daies the habitation of the family of Windesore. And not far from hence Cole, after it hath made certaine scattering medow Ilands, at two small mouthes falleth into Tamis. Along the side whereof, as a Germane Poet in this our age pretily versified,
So many fields and plesant woods, so many princely Bowres,
And Palaces we saw besides, so many stately towres,
So many gardens trimly dressed by curious hand which are,
That now with Romane Tyberis the Tamis may well compare.
2. At the very first entrance, Stanes, in the Saxon tongue Stana, offereth it selfe to our sight, where Tamis hath a wooden bridge over it. This name it tooke of a meere-stone [boundary stone] heere in times past set up to marke out the jurisdiction that the Citie of London hath in the river. Neere unto this stone is that most famous Medow Runingmead, commonly called Runimed, in which the Baronage of England assembled in great number in the yeere 1215 to exact their liberties of King John. Whereof it The Marriage of Tame and Isis the Poet wrote thus, speaking of the Tamis that runneth hard by:
Hence runnes it hard by Medow greene, in English Renimed,
Where close in counsell sat the Lords, as well for armour dred
As ancient yeeres right reverend, who sought their soveraigne King
John to depose from regall throne, whiles that they ment to bring
(Contemning Prince) S. Edwards lawes and liberties againe
In use, which had long time forlet and quite forgotten laine.
Hence more than civill warres alowd the trumpets ganne to sound,
Hence Lewis of Fraunce, who soone retir’ d, set foot on English ground.
From thence it passeth by Coway-stakes at Lalam, where we said that Caesar crossed over the Tamis, and the Britans fensed the banke and fourd against him with stakes, whereof it had the name. Tamis, passing downe from thence seeth above it Harrow, the highest hill of all this country, under which Southward there lie for a long way together exceeding rich and fruitfull fields, especially about 3, a small village that yeeldeth so fine flour for manchet [bread] that a long time it hath served for the Kings mouth. Within a little of it is Hanworth, where stands a prety house of the Kings, which King Henrie the Eighth took exceeding delight in, as being a retiring place for his solace and voluptuous pleasure. Afterwards it runneth hard by Hampton Court, a royall palace of the Kings, a worke in truth of admirable magnificence built out of the ground by Thomas Wolsey Cardinall, in ostentation of his riches, when for very pride, being otherwise a most prudent man, he was not able to mannage his minde. But it was made an Honor, enlarged, and finished by King Henrie the Eighth so amply as it containeth within five severall inner Courts passing large, environed with very faire buildings wrought right curiously and goodly to behold. Of which Leland writeth thus:
A Stately place for rare and glorious shew
There is, which Tamis with wandring streame doth dowsse.
Times past by name of Avon men it knew,
Heere Henrie the Eighth of that name built a house
So sumpteous, as that on such an one
(Seeke through the world) the bright Sunne never shone.
And another in The Nuptiall Poeme of Tame and Isis:
He runnes by Hampton, which for spatious seat
Seemes Citie-like. Of this faire courtly Hall
First founder was a Priest and prelate great,
Wolsey, that grave and glorious Cardinall.
Fortune on him had pour’ d her gifts full fast,
But Fortunes Bliss, Alas, proved Bale [doom] at last.
3. And now with a great winding reach the river bendeth his course Northward by Gistleworth, for so was that called in old time which now is Thistleworth, where sometime stoode the palace of Richard King of Romans and Earle of Cornwall, which the Londoners in a tumultuous broile burnt to the ground. From hence Sion sheweth it selfe, a little Monasterie so named of the most holy mount Sion, which King Henrie the Fifth, when he had expelled thence the Monkes aliens, built for religious Virgins to the honor of our Saviour, the virgine Marie, and Saint Briget of Sion, like as he founded another on the rivers side over against it for the Carthusian Monkes, named Jesu of Bethelem. In this Sion he appointed to the glorie of God so many Nuns, Priests and lay brethren devided apart within their severall wals, as were in number aequall to Christ his Apostles and Disciples: upon whom when he had bestowed sufficient living, he provided by a law that, contenting themselves therewith, they should take no more of any man, but what overplus soever remained of their yeerely revenew, they should bestow it upon the poore. But after that in our fathers time those religious Votaries were cast out and it became a retiring house of the Duke of Somerset, who plucked downe the Church and there began a new house. Under this the small water Brent issueth into the Tamis, ‡which, springing out of a pond vulgarly called Brownswell for Brentwell, that is, in old English, Brig-well, passeth downe betweene Hendon, which Archbishop Dunstan, borne for the advauncement of Monkes, purchased for some few golden Bizantines, which were Imperiall peeces of gold coined at Bizantium or Constantinople, and gave to the Monkes of Saint Peter of Westminster, and Hamsted-hilles (from whence you have a most pleasant prospect to the most beautiful Citie of London and the lovely countrie about it). Over which the ancient Roman militarie way led to Verulam or Saint Albans by Edge-worth, and not by High-gate as now, which new way was opened by the Bishops of London about some 300 yeere since. But to returne, Brent, into whom all the small rillets of these parts resort, runneth on by Brentstreat, an Hamlet to whom it imparteth his name, watereth Hunger-wood, Hanwell, Oisterly Parke, where Sir Thomas Gresham built a faire large house, and so neere his fall into the Tamis giveth name to Brentford, a faire throughfaire and frequent market.‡ Neere which in the yeere 1016 King Edmond, surnamed Ironside, so fiercely charged upon the Danes, whom he compelled by force to retire from the siege of London, that as fast as their horses could make way they fled, not without great losse. From Stanes hither to, all that lieth betweene London highway (which goeth through Hounslow) and the Tamis was called the Forrest or Warren of Stanes untill that King Henrie the Third, as in his Charter we read, Disforrested and diswarened it. Then by the Tamis side is Fulham, in the English Saxon tongue Fullonham, that, is, The place of Foules, the greatest credite and honor whereof is the Bishop of Londons house standing there conveniently not farre from the Citie, albeit not so healthfully. Also Chesley, so named of a shelfe of Sand in the river Tamis, ‡as some suppose, but in Records it is surnamed Chelche-hith,‡ a place garnished with faire and stately houses by King Henrie the Eighth, by William Powlet, the first Marquesse of Winchester, and by others.
4. But London, the Epitome or Breviary of all Britain, the seat of the British Empire and the Kings of Englands chamber, so much overtoppeth all these as, according to the Poet, inter viburna cupressus, that is, the Cypress-tree among smal twigges. Tacitus, Ptolomee and Antonine call it Londinium and Longidinium, Ammianus Lundinium and Augusta, Stephan in his Cities ΛΙΝΔΟΝΙΟΝ , our Britains Lundayn, the old Saxons Londen-ceaster, Londen-byrig, London-ryc, strangers Londra and Londres, the inhabitants London, fabulous writersTroia Nova, that is, New Troy, Dinas Belin, that is, Belins City, and Caer Lud of King Lud, whom they write to have reedified it and given it the name. But these new names and originall derivations together with Erasmus his conjecture, who deriveth it from Lindum, a Citie in the Isle Rhodes, I willingly leave to such as well like it. For mine owne part, seeing that Caesar and Strabo doe write that the ancient Britains called those woods and groves by the names of Cities and Townes which they had fenced with trees cast downe and plashed to stoppe up all passage, seeing also I have understood that such woods or groves are in the Brittish tongue named llhwn, I encline a little to the opinion that London thence tooke name, as one would say, by way of excellency, The City, or A Citie thicke of trees. But if heerein I faile of the truth, let me with good leave give my conjecture (and heere would I have no man to charge me with inconstancy while I disport in conjecture), that whence it had the fame, thence also it tooke the name, even from ships, which the Britains in their language call lhong. For the Britains tearme a City dinas, whence the Latines have fetched their dinum. and hence it is that else-where it is called Longdinium, and in the funerall song or Dump of a most ancient British Bard Lhong-porth, that is, an harbour or haven of ships, and by this very terme Bononia or Bolen in France, which Ptolome calleth Gessoriacum Navale, in the British Glossarie is named Boulong-long. For many Cities have drawn their names from Ships, as Naupactus, Naustathmos, Nauplia, Navalia Augusti &c. But of these none hath better right to assume unto it the name of a ship-Rode or Haven than our London. For in regard of both Elements most blessed and happy it is, as being situate in a rich and fertile soile, abounding with plentifull store of all things and on the gentle ascent and rising of an hill, hard by the Tamis side, the most milde Merchant, as one would say, of all things that the world doth yeeld: which swelling at certaine set houres with the Ocean-tides, by his safe and deepe chanell able to entertaine the greatest ships that be, daily bringeth in so great riches from all parts that it striveth at this day with the Mart-townes of Christendome for the second prise, and affordeth a most sure and beautiful road for shipping. A man would say that seeth the shipping there, that is is, as it were, a very wood of trees disbranched to make glades and let in light, so shaded it is with masts and sailes.
5. Who was the first founder is by long time growen <out> of knowledge, and in truth very few Cities there are that know their owne first founders, considering they grew up to their greatnesse by little and little. But as other cities, so this of ours fathereth her originall upon the Trojanes, as verily beleeving that Brutus the Nephew in the third descent of Great Aeneas was the builder thereof. But whoseover founded it, the happie and fortunate estate thereof hath given good proofe that built it was in a good houre, and marked for life and long continuance. And that it is for antiquity honorable Ammianus Marcellinus giveth us to understand, who called it in his times, and that was 1200 yeares agoe, an olde towne; and Cornelius Tacitus in like manner, who in Nero his daies 1540 yeares since reported it to have been a place very famous for fresh trade, concourse of Merchants, and great store of victuals and all things necessary. This onely at that time was wanting to the glory thereof, that it had the name neither of Free City nor of Colony. Neither verily could it have stood with the Romans profit if a City flourishing with merchandize should have enjoyed the right of a Colonie or Free City. And therefore it was, as I suppose, that they ordained it to be a Praefecture: for so they tearmed townes where Marts were kept and Justice ministred, yet so as that they had no Magistrates of their owne, but rulers were sent every yeere to governe in them, and for to minister law, which in publike matters, namely of tax, tributes, tolles, customes, warfare &c. they should have from the Senate of Rome. Hence it cometh that Tacitus, the Panegyrist, and Marcellinus calle it onely a Towne. And although it was not in name loftier, yet in welth, riches, and prosperity it flourished as much as any other, yea and continued in maner alwaies the same under the dominion of Romans, English-Saxons, and Normans, seldome or never afflicted with any great calamities. In the reigne of Nero, when the Britains had conspired to recover and resume their liberty under the leading of Boadicia, the Londoners could not with all their weeping and teares hold Suetonius Paulinus, but that after he had levied a power of Citizens to aide him, he would needes dislodge and remove from thence, leaving the City naked to the enemie; who foorthwith surprised and slew some few, whom either weaknesse of sex, feeblenesse of age, or sweetnesse of the place had deteined there. Neither had it susteined lesse losse and misery at the hands of the French, if it had not soddenely and beyond all expectation by Gods providence beene releeved. For when C. Alectus had by a deceitfull wile made away C. Carausius, a Clive-lander, who taking vantage of our rough seas, of Dioclesians dangerous warres in the East, and withall presuming of the French, and most venterous Mariners and servitours at sea, had withheld to himselfe the revenewes of Britaine and Holland and borne for the space of six yeeres the title of Emperour Augustus, as his coines very often found heere doe show, when M. Aurelius Asclepiodotus likewise had in a battaile slaine Alectus in the third yeare now of his usurpation of the imperiall purple and state, those French who remained alive after the fight, hasting to London, forthwith would have sacked the Citie, had not the Tamis, which never failed to helpe the Londoners, verie fitly brought in the Romane souldiers, who by reason of a fogge at sea were severed from the navie. For they put the Barbarians to the swoord all the Cittie over, and thereby gave the Cittizens not onely safety by the slaughter of their enemies, but also pleasure in the beholding of such a sight.
6. And then it was, as our Chronicles record, that Lucius Gallus was slaine by a little brookes side which ran though the middle almost of the City, and of him was in British called Nant-Gall, in English Walbrooke, which name remaineth still in a street under which there is a sewer within the ground to ridde away filth, not far from London-stone, which I take to have been a Militarie or Milemarke such as was in the mercat place of Rome, from which was taken the dimension of all journeys every way, considering it is in the very mids of the Citie, as it lieth in length. Neither am i perswaded that London was as yet walled. Howbeit within a little while after, our Histories report that Constantine the Great, at the request of his mother Helena, did first fense it about with a wall made of rough stone and British bricks, which tooke up in compasse three miles or thereabout, so as it enclosed the modell of the Citie almost foure square but not equall on every side, considering that from West to East it is far longer then from South to North. That part of this wal which stood along the Tamis side is by the continuall flowing and washing of the river fallen downe and gone, Yet there appered certaine remaines thereof in King Henry the Seconds time, as Fitz-Stephen, who then lived, hath written. The rest now standing is stronger toward the North, was which not many yeeres since was reedified by the meanes of Jotceline Lord Major of London, became of a sodaine new, as it were, and fresh againe. But toward East and West, although the Barons in old time during their warres repaired and renewed it with the Jewes houses then demolished, yet it is all throughout in decaie. For Londoners, like to those old Lacedemonians, laugh at strong walled cities as cotte houses [cottages] for women, thinking their owne City sufficiently fensed when it is fortified with men and not with stones. This wall giveth entrance at seven principall gates (for wittingly I omit the smaller), which as they have beene newly repaired, so they have had also new names given unto them. On the West side there be two: to wit Lud-gate of King Lud, or Flud-gate, as Leland is of opinion, of a little floud running beneath it (like as the Gage Fluentana in Rome), built againe of late from the very foundation, and Newgate, the fairest of them all, so called of the Newnesse thereof, whereas before it was termed Chamberlangate, which also is the publicke Gaoll or Prison. On the Northside are foure: Aldersgate of the antiquity, or as others would have it, of Aldrich a Saxon; Creple-gate, of a spittle [hospital] of lame creples sometime adjoining thereunto; More-gate of a moorie ground hard by, now turned into a field and pleasant walkes, which gate was first built by Falconer Lord Maior in the yeere of our Lord 1414; and Bishopsgate, of a Bishop, which gate the Duch Merchants of the Stiliard were bound by covenant both to repaire and also to defend at all times of danger and extremity. On the East side there is Aldgate alone, so named of the oldnesse, or Elbegate, as others terme it, which at this present is by the Cities charge reedified. It is thought also that there stood by the Tamis beside that on the bridge two gates more, namely Belings-gate, a wharfe now, or key for the receit of ships, and Douregate, that is The Water-gate, commonly called Dowgate.
7. Where the wall endeth also toward the river there were two very strong forts or Bastilions, of which the one Eastward remaineth yet, usually called The Tower of London, in the British tongue Bringwin or Tourgwin of the whitenesse. A most famous and goodly Citadell, encompassed round with thicke and strong walles, full of loftie and stately Turrets, fensed with a broad and deepe ditch, furnished also with an armorie or magazine of warlicke munition, and other buildings besides, so as it resembleth a big towne, and a man may truly suppose that those two Castles which Fitz-Stephen recorded to have beene at the East-side of this Citie went both to the making of this one. The other Fort was on the West side of the Citie, where Fleete, a little riveret (whence Fleetestreete tooke name), now of now account but in times past able to beare vesselles, as if I have read in the parliament Rolls, sheddeth it selfe into the Tamis. Fitz-Stephen called this the Palatine tower or castle, and they were that in the reigne of William the Conquerour it was consumed by fire. Out of the ruins whereof both a great part of Paules Church was newly built, and also in the very plot of ground where it stood Robert Kilwarby Archbishop of Canterbury founded a religious house for Dominican Freers (whereupon we call the place Blacke Freers). Whereby a man might easily guesse of what bignesse it was. Howbeit there stood in that place in the daies of King Henrie the Second (Gervase of Tilburie in his book entituled Otia Imperialia is mine author) two forts or castles built with wals and rampiers, the one whereof belonged to Bainard, the other to the Barons of Montfichet by right of succession. But nothing remaineth of them at this day. Yet some thinke that Pembroch House was a peece of them, which we terme Bainards Castle of William Bainard, a noble man, Lord of Dunmow, whose possession sometime it was, whose successours the Fitz-walters were in right of inheritance the Ensigne bearers of the Citie of London, ‡and amongst them Robert Fitz-walter had licence of King Edward the First to sell the site of Bainards Castle to the said Archbishop Robert.‡
8. Neither was this Citie at that time walled onely, but also when the Flamen or Pagan priest was taken away and Christian religion established under that good Emperour, a Bishop was enstalled in his roome. For it appeareth that at the Counsell of Arles, which in the yeere of grace 314 was held under Constantine the Great, the Bishop of London was present. For he subscribed, as is to be seene in the first Tome of the the Councels in this manner: Restitutus Bishop in the Citie of London, out of the Province of Britaine, which Restitutus and his successors had theirs seat and residance, as some affirme, at Saint Peters in Cornhill. Heereafter, London flourished in such honor that it beganne to be called Augusta, and by that name was famous under the Emperor Valentinian. For Ammianus Marcellinus in his 27 booke writeth thus: And going forward to London, an ancient towne which the posterity called Augusta, and in the 28 booke, He went from Augusta, which men of old time called Lundi, whence it came that when after Constantines time there was a mint appointed therein (for we read in his peeces of mony, which he stamped in honor of his father Constantius, and in others, this inscription, P. LON. S., that is Pecunia Londini signata, that is, Monie stamped at London), he that had the charge and over seeing thereof under the comes sacrarum largitionum, is in the booke of Notice termed praepositus thesaurorum Augustensium in Britania, that is, Provost of the Treasury of Augusta or London in Britaine. For this name Augusta was a name full of much dignitie, full of Majestie. And both founders and repairers of Cities, when they either hoped or wished that such Cities would become flourishing and powerful, gave them significative names of good fortune. But among the most auspicious names that be, none is more magnificent, none more auspicate than Augusta. For this of Augustus, that most gracious and mighty Emperor Octavianus tooke unto himselfe, not without the judgement of the best learned. Surnamed he was, saith Dio, Augustus, as one of great Majestie above the nature of man. For what things be most honorable and sacred are called Augusta. Neither had London this name for so high an honor without the Licence of the Romane Emperours. For that name could not be imposed to cities without licence, Virgill noteth in that verse of his:
The Citie, by permission, Acesta they did name.
9. But as continuance of time hath out worne this so honorable a name of Augusta, so it hath confirmed that other more ancient name, Londinum. Whiles it enjoied the foresaid name Augusta, it scaped faire from destruction by a rebellious rout of ransackers: but Theodosius the father of Theodosius the Emperour did cut them in peeces whiles they were encombred with their spoiles, and entred, as Marcellinus saith, with exceeding great joy in triumphant maner into the Citie, distressed before and overwhelmed with grievous calamities. And marching with his armie from thence, he by his valiant prowesse so freed Britain from those intolerable miseries and dangers wherewith it was beset that the Romans, as witnesseth Symmachus, honored him, among other ancient worthies and men of honourable renowne, with the statue of a man of armes. Not long after, when the Romans Empire in Britaine was come to an end, in that publicke destinie and fatall fall of the whole State, it fell into the English-Saxons hands. But in what sort, it is not agreed upon among writers. For mine owne part, I am of opinion that Vortigern, to redeeme himselfe, being taken prisoner, delivered it for his ransome unto Hengest the Saxon, considering that it belonged to the East Saxons, whose country, as writers doe record, Vortigerne upon that condition made over unto Hengist. At which time the state of the church went to wrake and endured sore afflictions, the pastours were either slaine or forced to flie, their flockes driven away, and after havock made of all, as well church goods as others, Theon, the last Bishop of London of British bloud, was faine to hide the holie reliques of Saints for a memoriall (as mine author saith) and not for an superstition. But although those daies of the English Saxons were such as that a man might truely say Mars men brandished and shooke his weapons, yet was London neverthelesse, as Bede testifieth, a towne of trade and traffique, frequented with many nations resorting thither by sea and land. But afterwards, when a more gracious gale of peace brethed favourably upon this wearied Island, and the English Saxons beganne to professe Christianitie, it also beganne afresh to flourish againe. For Athelbert King of Kent, under whom Sebert reigned in this tract, as it were, his vassal and by courtesie, founded heere a Church and consecrated it to Saint Paul, which beeing eftsoones reedified and repaired, became at length most stately and magnificent, endowed also with faire livings and revenews, wherewith are maintained a Bishop, a Deane and Chapter, a Chancellour and a Treasurer, five Archdeacons, thirty Praebendaries, and divers others. The East part of this Church, which seemeth to bee the newer and curiously wrought, having under it a verie faire arched vault, which also is Saint Faithes Church, was begunne of the ruines of that Palatine Castle (which I spake of) by Maurice the Bishop about the yeare of our Lord 1086, when as before time it had beene consumed by a wofull accidentall fire, whereof William of Malmesburie writeth thus: The beautie thereof is so magnificent that it deserveth to bee numbered in the ranke of most excellent edifices, so large is that arched vault underneath, and the Church above it of such capacity that it may seeme suffitient to receive any multitude of people whatsoever. Because therefore Maurice carried a minde beyond all measure in this project, he betooke the charges and cost of so laborious a peece of worke unto those that came after. In the end, when B. Richard his successours had made over all the revenewes belonging unto the Bishoprick to the building of this Cathedrall Church, susteining himselfe and his familie otherwise in the meane while, hee seemed in a manner to have done just nothing, so that hee spent his whole substance profusely hereabout, and yet small effect came thereof. The West part, as also the Crosse-yle, are spatious, high built, and goodly to be seene by reason of the huge pillers and a right beautifull arched roufe of stone. Where these foure parts crosse one another and mete in one, there riseth uppe a mightie bigge and lofty towre, upon which stood a spire steeple covered with leade, mounting up to a wonderfull height, for it was no lesse than five hundred and foure and thirty foote high from the ground, which in the yeare of our Lord 1087 was set on fire with lightning and burnt, with a great part of the Cittie, but being rebuilt, was of late in mine owne remembrance when I was but a Child, fired againe with lightning, and is not as yet reedified. The measure also and proportion of this so stately building I will heere put downe out of an old writer, which you may, if it please you, reade. Saint Pauls Churche conteineth in length six hundered ninetie foote: the breadth thereof is one hundered and thirtie foote: the height of the west arched roufe from the ground carrieth a hundered and two foote: and the new fabrique from the ground is foure score and eight foote high. The stoneworke of the steeple from the plaine ground riseth in height two hundered and threescore foote: and the timber frame upon the same is two hundered seventy foure foote high, &c.
10. That there stood in old time a Temple of Diana in this place some have conjectured, and arguments there are to make this their conjecture good. Certaine old houses adjoining are in the ancient records of the Church called Dianaes Chamber, and in the church-yard, while Edward the First reigned, an incredible number of Ox-heads were digged up, as wee finde in our Annals, which the common sort at that time made a wondring at, as the Sacrifices of Gentiles, and the learned know that Taurapolia were celebrated in the honour of Diana. I my selfe also when I was a boy have seene a stagges head sticking upon a speare-top (a ceremony suiting well with the Sacrifices of Diana) carried roundabout within the verie Church in solemne pompe and procession, and with a great noise of Horne-blowes. And that Stagge or Hart which they of the house de Bawde in Essex did present for certaine lands that <they> there held, as i have heard say, the Priests of this Church, arraied in their sacred vestiments and wearing garlands of floures upon their heads, were wont to receive at the steps of the quire. Now whether this were in use before those Bawds were bound to exhibite such a stagge, I wote not, but surely this rite and ceremony may seeme to smell of Dianas worship and the gentiles errours more than of Christian religion. And verily no man neede to doubt that from them certaine strang and foraine and heathenish rites crept into Christian religion. Which ceremonies the first Christians (as mankind is naturally a pliant sectary to superstition) either admitted, or else at the first tolerated, thereby to traine and allure the Heathen from Paganisme by little and little to the true service and worship of God.
11. But ever since this church was built, it hath beene the See of the Bishops of London, and the first Bishop that it had under the English (about fiftie yeares after that Theon of the British nation was thrust out) was Militus, a Romane consecrated by Austin Archbishop of Canterbury. In honour of which Austin, flat against the decree of Pope Gregorie the Greate, the ensignes of the Archbishopricke, and the Metropolitane See were translated from London to Canterbury. Within this Cathedrall church (to say nothing of Saint Erkenwald and the Bishops) there lie buried Sebba King of the East Saxons, who gave over his kingdome for to serve Christ, Etheldred or Egeldred, who was an oppressour rather than a ruler of this kingdome, cruell in the beginning, wretched in the middle, and shamefull in the end, so outrageous hee was in his connivencie to a parricide committed, so infamous in his flight and effeminacie, and so miserable in his death. Henry Lacy Earle of Lincolne; John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster; Sir Simon de Burlie a right noble knight of the Garter, executed by encroched authority without the kings assent; Sir John de Beauchamp, Lord warden of the Cinque-ports; John Lord Latimer; Sir John Mason knight; William Herbert Earle of Pembroch; Sir Nicholas Bacon Lord keeper of the great Seale of England, a man of a deepe reach and exquisit judgement; Sir Philip Sidney and Sir Francis Walsingham, to famous knights &c., and Sir Christopher Hatton Lord Chancellour of England, for whose perpetuall memorie Sir William Hatton his Nephew by sister, descended from the auncient familie of the Newports, whom he adopted into the name of Hatton, dutifullie erected a sumpteous monument, wel beseeming the greatnesse of his adoptive father.
12. Besides this church, there is not to my knowledge any other worke of the English Saxons extant in London to be seene. For why? They continued not long in perfect peace, considering that in a short space the West-Saxons subdued the East-Saxons, and London became subject of the Mercians. Scarcely were these civill warres husht when a new tempest brake out in the North, I meane the Danes, who piteously tore in peeces all this country,and shooke this City sore. For the Danes brought it under their subjection, but Aelfred recovered it out of their hands, and after hee had repaired it, gave it unto Aetheldred Earle of the Mercians, who had married his daughter. Yet those wastfull depopulators did what they could afterwards many a time to winne it by siege, but Canut especially, who by digging a new chanell attempted turne away the Tamis from it. Howbeit evermore they lost their labour, the Citizens did so manfully repulse the force of the enemie. Yet were they not a little terrified still by them, untill they lovingly received and saluted as their King William Duke of Normandie, whom God destined to bee borne for the good of England against those spoilers, Presently then the windes were laid, the clowds disparcled, and golden daies in deed shone upon it. Since when it never susteined any great calamity to speake of, but through the speciall favour and indulgence of Princes obteined verie large and great Immunities, beganne to be called The Kings Chamber, and so flourished anew with fresh trade and traffique of merchants, that William of Malmesburie, who lived well neere about that time, tearmed it a noble and welthie Citie, replenished with ritch Citizens and frequented with the commerce of occupiers and factors comming out of all lands. And Fitz-Stephen, living also in those daies, hath left in writing that London at that time counted a hundered and twentie two parish-churches and thirteene Covents of religious Orders; also that when a muster and shew was made of able men to beare armes, they brought into the field under collours fortie thousand foote men and twentie thousand horsemen. Then it was enlarged with new buildings, and the spatious Suburbes stretched forth from the gates a great length on every side, but westward especially, which are the greatest and best peopled. In which are twelve Innes, ordeined for students of our common law, whereof foure beeing verie faire and large, belong to the judiciall Courts, the rest to the Chancerie, besides two Innes moreover for the Serjeants at Law. Heerein such a number of young gentlemen doe so painefully plie their bookes and the studie the law, that for frequencie of students it is not inferiour either to Augiers, Cane [Caen], or Orleance it selfe, as Sir John Fortescue in his small treatise of the lawes of England doth witnesse. The said foure principall houses are The Inner Temple, the Middle Temple, Graies Inne, and Lincolns Inne. Those two former named stand in the verie place where in times past, during the reigne of King Henrie the Second, Heraclius Patriarch of Jerusalem consecrated a Church for Knights Templars, which they had newlie built according to the forme of the Temple neere unto the Sepulchre of our Lord at Jerusalem. For at their first institution, about the yeare of our Lord 1113, they dwelt in part of the Temple hard by the Sepulchre, whereof they were so named, and vowed to defend Christian religion, the Holy-land, and Pilgrimes going to visite the Lords Sepulchre, against all Mahometans and Infidels, professing to live in chastitie and obedience. Whereupon all men most willingly and with right loving hearts embraced them, so that, through the bounteous liberality of Princes and devout people, having gotten in all places verie faire possessions and exceeding great wealth, they flourished in high reputation for piety and devotion; yea and in the opinion both of the holinesse of the men and the place, King Henrie the Third and many Noble men desired much to bee buried in their Church among them. Some, of whose Images are there to bee seene with their legges acrosse. For so they were buried in that age that had Taken upon them the Crosse (as they then termed it) to serve in the Holy-land, or had vowed the same. Among whom was William Marshall the elder, a most powerfull man in his time, William and Gilbert his sonnes, Marshalles of England and Earles of Penbroch. ‡Upon William the elder his tombe I some yeares since read in the upper part Comes Penbrochiae, and upon side this verse:
Of Mars I was a doughty night,
Mars vanquished many a man in fight.‡
‡But in processe of time, when with insatiable greedinesse they had hoorded great wealth by withdrawing tithes from churches, appropriating spirituall livings to themselves, and other hard meanes, their ritches turned to their ruine. For thereby their former pietie was after a manner stifled, they fell at jarre with other religious orders, their professed obedience to the Patriarch of Jerusalem was rejected, envie among the common sort was procured, which hope of gaine among the better sort so enkindled that ‡in the yeare of our salvation 1312 this order was condemned of impiety, and by the Popes authority utterly abolished. Howbeit their possessions were by authority of the Parliament assigned to the Hospitalier Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, least that such lands given to pious and good uses against the Donours will should be alienated to other uses. And yet it is apparent out of ancient writings that this place, after the expulsion of the Templers, was the seat and habitation of Thomas Earle of Lancaster, and of Sir Hugh Spenser, King Edward the Second his minion; afterwards of Sir Aimer de Valence Earle of Pembroch, and in the end turned into two Colledges or Innes of Lawyers. Of the rest of these Innes, I have found nothing at all by reading. But the generall voice goeth that the one was the dwelling house of the Lord Greis of Wilton, and the other of the Earles of Lincolne.
13. Nere unto this King Henrie the Third erected betweene the New and the Old Temple an house of Converts for the maintenance of those that were converted from Judaisme to the Christian truth, which King Edward the Third appointed afterwards for rolls and records to be kept therein, and thereof at this daie it is called The Rowls.
These suburbes with houses standing close together, and stately habitations of the nobles and great men of the land along the Tamis side reach out as farre as to Westminster. Among which these are the most memorable here: Bride-well, where King Henry the Eighth built a roiall house for the entertainment of Charles the Fifth, Emperor, but now it is a house of correction. Buckhurst House, or Salisbury Court, belonging somtime to the Bishops of Salisbury. The White Freers or Carmelite Freers. The Temples whereof I speake. Then without the Bars, Essex House, built by the Lord Paget. Arondel House, before called Hampton Place, and Somerset House, built by Edward Semer Duke of Somerset. The Savoy, so named of Peter Earle of Savoy, who there dwelt, which Queene Aeleonor wife to King Henrie the Third purchased of the fraternity of Mont-joy, and gave it to her sonne Edmund Earle of Lancaster. Whose posterity dwelt in it a long time untill that King Henrie the Seaventh dedicated it as an hospitall for the poore. Worcester house, late Bedford House. Salisburie House. Durham House, built by Antonie Becke Bishop of Durham and Patriarch of Jerusalem and thereby the onely ornament of this part. The Britain-Burse, built by the Earle of Salisburie, and so named by King James. Yorke House, in times past Bath House, ‡and Northampton House, now begun by Henry Earle of Northampton.‡ But what meane I to name these places?
None claime they wholy for their owne:
Fortune disposeth them every one.
14. By this surburbes Westminster, which some time was more than a mile distant, is conjoined so close unto the City of London that it seemeth a member thereof, whereas it is a City of it selfe, having their peculiar magistrates and priviledges. It was called in times past Thorney of Thornes, but now Westminster of the West situation and the Monastery. Most renowned it is for that Church, the Hall of Justice, and the Kings palace. This Church is famous especially by reason of the Inauguration and Sepulture of the kings of England. Sulcard writeth that there stood sometimes a Temple of Apollo in that place, and that in the daies of Antoninus Pius Emperor of Rome it fell downe with an earth-quake. Out of the remaines whereof, Sebert King of the East-Saxons erected another to Saint Peter, which beeing by the Danes overthrowne, Bishop Dunstane reedified and granted it to some few Monkes. But afterwards King Edward surnamed the Confessor, with the tenth penny of all his revenewes, built it new for to be his owne sepulture, and a Monastery for Benedictine Monkes, endowing it with livings and lands lying dispersed in diverse parts of England. But listen what an Historian saith who then lived: The Devout King destined unto God that place, both for that it was neere unto the famous and welthy citie of London, and also had a pleasant situation amongst fruitfull fields and greene grounds lying round about it, and withall the principall river running hard by, bringing in from all parts of the world great variety of wares and merchandize of all sorts to the citie adjoyning. But chiefly for the love of the chiefe Apostle, whom he reverenced with a speciall and singular affection, he made choise to have a place there for his own sepulchre. And thereupon commanded that of the tenthes of all his rentes the worke of a noble edifice should be gone in hand with, such as might beseeme the Prince of the Apostles, to the end that he might procure the propitious favour of the Lord after he should finish the course of this transitory life, both in regard of his devout piety, and also of his free oblation of lands and ornaments wherewith he purposed to endow and enrich the same. According therefore to the Kings commandement, the worke nobly began and happily proceeded forward. Neither the charges already disbursed or to be disbursed are weighed and regarded, so that it may be presented in the end unto God and S. Peter worth their acceptation. The forme of that ancient building read if you please out of an old Manuscript booke: The principall plot of the building, supported with most lofty arches, is cast round with a foure square worke and semblable joincts. But the compasse of the whole, with a double arch of stone on both sides is enclosed with joind-worke firmely knit and united together every way. Moreover the Crosse of the church, which was to encompasse the mid quire of those that chaunted unto the Lord, and with a twofold supportance that it had on either side, to uphold and beare the lofty top of the tower in the mids, simply riseth at first with a low and strong arch. Then mounteth it higher with many winding staires artificially ascending with a number of steps. But afterward with a single wall it reacheth up to the roofe of timber well and surely covered with lead. But after an hundred and threescore yeeres King Henry the Third subverted this fabrick of King Edwards and built from the very foundation a new Church of very faire workmanship, supported with sundry rowes of marble pillars, and the rowfe covered with sheetes of lead, a peece of worke that cost fifty yeeres in building. Which Church the Abbots enlarged very much toward the West end, and King Henry the Seventh for the burial of himselfe and his children adjoyned thereto in the East end a Chappell of admirable artificiall elegancy (the wonder of the world Leland calleth it), for a man would say that all the curious and exquisite worke that can be devised is there compacted wherein is to be seene his own most stately magnificall monument al of solid and massie copper. This church, when the Monkes were driven thence, from time to time was altered to and from with sundry changes. First of all it had a Deane and Prebendaries: soone after one Bishop and no more, namely THomas Thurlebey, who having wasted the Church Patrimony surrendred it to the spoile of Courtiers, and shortly after were the Monks with their Abbot set in possession by Queene Mary: and when they also within a while after were by authority of Parliament cast out, the most gracious Prince Queene Elizabeth converted it into a Collegiat Church, or rather into a Seminary and nurse-garden of the Church, appointed twelve Prebendaries there, and as many old soldiers past service for Almes-men, fourty scholers, who in their due time are preferred to the Universities, and from thence sent foorth into the Church and common-weale &c. Over these she placed Dominus Bil Deane, whose successour was Dominus Gabriel Good.man, a right goodman indeed and of singular integrity, an especiall Patron of my studies.
15. Within this Church are entombed (that I may note them also according to their dignity and time wherein they died) Sebert the first of that name and first Christian King of the East Saxons; Harold the bastard sonne of Canutus the Dane, King of England; S. Edward King and Confessor, with his wife Edith; Maud, wife to King Henry the First, the daughter of Malcolme King of Scots; KIng Henry the Third and his son KIng Edward the First, with Aeleonor his wife, daughter to Ferdinando the first King of Castile and of Leon; King Edward the Third and Philippa of Henault his wife; King Richard the Second and his wife Anne, sister to Wenzelaus the Emperour; King Henry the Fifth with Catharine his wife, daughter to Charles the Sixth King of France; Anne, wife to King Richard the Third, daughter to Richard Nevill Earle of Warwicke; King Henry the Seventh with his wife Elizabeth, daughter to King Edward the Fourth, and his mother Margaret Countesse of Richmond; King Edward the Sixth; Anne of Cleve the fourth wife of King Henry the Eighth; Queene Mary. And whom we are not to speake of without praise, the love and joy of England, Queene Elizabeth of Sacred memory, our late Soveraigne and most gratious Lady, a Prince matchlesse for her heroicke vertues, wisdome, and magnanimity above that sex, rare knowledge and skill in the tongues, is heere intombed in a sumptuous and stately monument, which King James of a pious minde erected to her memory. But alas, how little is that monument in regard of so noble and woorthy a Lady, who of her selfe is her owne monument, and that right magnificent! For how great she was, RELIGION PERFORMED, PEACE WEL GROUNDED, MONEY REDUCED TO THE TREW VALEW, A NAVIE PASSING WEL FURNISHED IN REDINESS, HONOUR AT SEA RESTORED, REBELLION EXTINGUISHED; ENGLAND FOR THE SPACE OF XLIIII YEERES MOST WISELY GOVERNED, ENRICHED AND FORTIFIED, SCOTLAND FREED FROM THE FRENCH, FRAUNCE RELIEVED, NETHERLANDS SUPPORTED, SPAINE AWED, IRELAND QUIETED, AND THE WHOLE GLOBE OF THE EARTH TWISE SAILED ROUND ABOUT, may with praise and admiration testifie one day unto all posterity and succeeding ages.
16. Of Dukes and Earles degree, their lie heere buried Edmund Earle of Lancaster, second sonne of King Henrie the Third, and his wife Aveline de Fortibus Countesse of Albermarle; William and Audomar of Valence of the familie of Lusignian, Earles of Pembroch; Alphonsus, John, and other children of King Edward the First; John of Eltham Earle of Cornwall, sonne to King Edward the Second; Thomas of Woodstocke Dike of Glocester, the youngest sonne of Edward the Third, with other of his children; Aeleanor daughter and heire of Humfrey Bohun Earle of Hereford and of Essex, wife to Thomas of Woodstocke; the young daughters of Edward the Fourth and King Henrie the Seventh; Henrie a child two moneths old, sonne of King Henrie the Eighth; Sophia, the daughter of King James, who died, as it were, in the very first day dawning of her age; Philippa Mohun Duches of Yorke; Lewis Vicount Robert of Henault in right of his wife; Lord Bourchier; Anne the young daughter and heire of John Mowbray Duke of Norfolke, promised in marriage unto Richard Duke of Yorke, younger sonne to King Edward the Fourth; Sir Giles Daube.ney Lord Chamberlaine to King Henrie the Seventh, and his wife of the house of the Arundels in Cornwall; John VIcount Wells; Francis Brandon Dutches of Suffolke; Mary her daughter; Margaret Douglasse Countesse of Lennox, grandmother to James King of Britaine, with Charles her sonne; Winifrid Bruges Marchionesse of Winchester; Anne Stanhop Dutches of Somerset and Jane her daughter: Anne Cecil Countesse of Oxford, daughter to the Lord Burghley Lord high Treasurer of England, with Mildred Burghley her mother; Elizabeth Berkley Countesse of Ormund; Francis Sidney Countesse of Sussex; Thomas Butler, Vicount Thurles sonne and heire to the Earl of Ormond. Besides these, Humfrey Lord Bourchier of Cromwall; Sir Humfrey Bourchier sonne and heire to the Lord Bourchier of Berners, both slaine at Bernet Field; Sir Nicholas Carew; Baron Carew; Baronesse Powisse; Lord Wentworth; Thomas Lord Wharton; John Lord Russell; Sir Thomas Bromley Lord Chancellor of England; Douglas Howard, daughter and heire generall of Henry Vicount Howard of Bindon, wife to Sir Arthur Gorges; Elizabeth daughter and heire of Edward Earle of Rutland, wife to William Cecil; Sir John Puckering Lord Keeper of the great seale of England; Francis Howard Countesse of Hertford; Henrie and George Cary, the father and sonne, Barons of Hunsdon, both Lords Chamberlaines to Queene Elizabeth; the heart of Anne Sophia the tender daughter of Christopher Harley; Count Beaumont Embassadour from the KIng of France in England, bestowed within a small guilt Urne over a pyramid; Sir Charles Blunt Earle of Devonshire, Lord Leiftenant generall of Ireland. And (whom in no wise we must forget) the prince of English Poets Geffrey Chaucer; also he that for pregnant wit and an excellent gift in Poetry of all English Poets came neerest unto him, Edmund Spenser. Beside many other of the Cleargie and Gentlemen of qualitie.
17. There was also another College or Free-chappell hard by, consisting of a Deane an.d twelve Chanons, dedicated to Saint Stephen, which King Edward the Third in his princely magnificence repaired with curious workmanship and endowed with faire possessions, so as hee may seeme to have built it new what time as he had with his victories overrunne and subdued all France, recalling to minde (as we read <in> the Charter of the foundation) and pondering in a due waight of devout consideration the exceeding benefits of Christ, whereby by His owne sweet mercy and pity He preventeth us in all occasions, delivering us, although without all desert, from sundry perils, and defending us gloriously with His powerfull right hand against the violent assaults of our adversaries with victorious successes; and in other tribulations and perplexities wherein we have exceeding much beene encombred, by comforting us and by applying and impowering remedies upon us beyond all hope and expectation. There was adjoining heereto a Palace, the ancient habitation of the Kings of England from the time of King Edward the Confessor, which in the reigne of King Henrie the Eighth was burnt by casuall fire to the ground. A very large, stately, and sumpteous Palace this was, and in that age for building incomparable, with a vawmure [outer fortification] and bulkwarks for defense. The remaines whereof are the Chamber wherein the King, the nobles, with the Counsellors and officers of state, doe assemble at the high court of Parliament, and the next unto it, wherein anciently they were wont to beginne the Parliam.ents, knowen by the name of Saint Edwards painted chamber, ‡because the tradition holdeth that the said KIng Edward therein died.‡
18. But how sinfull an act, how bloudy, how fowle, how heinous, horrible, hideous, and odious both to God and man certaine brute and savage beasts in mens shape enterpriseth of late, by the devise of that Archtraitour Robert Catesby, with undermining and placing a mighty deale of gunpowder under these edifices against their Prince, their country, and all the States of the Kingdome, and that under an abominable pretence of religion, my very heart quaketh to remember and mention; nay, amazed it as and affronted but to thinke onely into what inevitable darknesse, confusion, and wofull miseries they had suddenly in the twinckling of an eie plunged this most flourishing realme and common-welth. But that which an ancient Poet in a smaller matter wrote, we may in this with griefe of mind utter:
That cursed day forgotten be: no future age beleeve
That this was true. Let us also at least wise now that live
Conceale the same, and suffer such designes of our owne nation
Hidden to be, and buried quite in darknes of oblivion.
19. Adjoyning unto this is the Whitehall, wherein at this day the Court of Requests is kept. Beneath it is that Hall which of all other is the greatest and the very Praetorium or haul of Justice for all England. In this are the Judciall Courts, namely The Kings Bench, The Common Plees, and The Chancery. And in places neere thereabout, The Star-chamber, the Exchequer, Court of Ward, and Court of the Dutchy ....of Lancaster, &c. In which at certaine set times (we call them Tearmes) yearely causes are heard and tried: whereas before King Henry the Third his daies, the Court .of common Law and principall Justice was unsetled and alwaies followed the Kings court. But he in the Magna Charta made a law in these words, Let not the Common Pleas follow our Court, but be holden in some certaine place. Which notwithstanding some expound thus, That the Common please from thenceforth be handled in a court of the owne by it selfe apart, and not in the Kings Bench, as before. This Judgement Hall which we now have King Richard the Second built out of the ground, as appeareth by his armes engraven in the stone-worke and many arche beames (when he had plucked downe the former old Hall that King William Rufus in the same place had built before) and made it is owne habitation. For Kings in those daies sat in judgement place in their owne persons. And they are indeed the δικάσπολοι, that is, Judges whose mouth (as that Royall writer saith) shall not erre in judgement. But the foresaid Pallace, after it was burnt downe in the yeere of our Lord 1512, lay desolate, and King Henry the Eighth translated shortly after the Kings seat from thence to an house not farre of, which belonged but a while before to Cardinall Wolsey, and is called White Hall. This house is a Princely thing, enclosed of the one side with a Park that reacheth also to another house of the Kings named S. James (where anciently was a spitle [hospital] for maiden lepres), built by King Henry the Eighth, on the other side with the Tamis. A certaine poet termed the foresaid house according to the English name thereof Leucaeum in Latine, as appeare.th in these verses:
To Roiall Palace Kings enter in, sometime Lucaeum hight
(This famous name those Courts it gave that shone with marble white.)
Hard under it with low-found streame Tamis down apace doth glide,
A river feeding swannes, wherein he takes especiall pride.
20. Hard by, neere unto the Mues, so called for that it served for to keepe Hauks, and now is become a most faire stable for the Kings horses, there remaineth a monument in memoriall of that most pious and kind Queene Aeleonor, erected by the King Edward the First her most deerely beloved husband, and certes the memorie of her loving kindnesse shall remaine worthy to be consecrated to aeternity. For she, the daughter of Ferdinand the Third, King of Castile, being given in marriage to Edward the First King of England, accompanied him into the Holy land, where, when as he was secretly forelaide [ambushed], and by a certaine Moore wounded with an envenomed sword, and by all the remedies that Phisitians could devise was not so much eased as afflicted, she tooke her to a cure, strange I must needs say and never heard of before, howbeit full of love and kind affection. For her husbands wounds, infected with the poison, and which by reason of the malignitie thereof could not be closed and healed, she day by day licked with her tongue and sucked out the venemous humor which to her was a most sweet liquor. By the vigour and strength whereof, or to say more truely, by vertue of a wives lovely fidelity, she so drew unto her all the substance of that poison, that the wounds being closed and cicatrized [scarred over], hee became perfectly healed, and she caught no harme at all. What they can be heard more rare, what more admirable than this womans faithful love? That a wives toung thus annointed, as I may so say, with faith and love to her husband, should from her wellbeloved drawe those poisons which by an approved Physitian could not be drawne, and that which many, and those right exquisit, medicines effected not, the love onely and piety of a wife performed. Thus much of Westminster jointly with London (although, as I have said, it is a Citie by it selfe, and hath a severall jurisdiction from it), because with continued buildings it so joineth thereto that it may seeme to be one and the same Citie.
21.Moreover, at the West end of the Citie other Suburbs runne a great way in length, with goodly rowes of houses orderly ranged, as namely Holborne, or rather more truly Oldborne, wherein stood anciently the first house of the Templers onely in the place now called Southampton House. But now there stand certaine Innes or Colleges of students in the Comon law, and a Citie-habitation of the Bishops of Ely, well beseeming Bishops to dwell in, for which they are beholden to John Hotham, Bishop of Ely under King Edward the Third. At the North side likewise there bee suburbs annext to the City, wherein Jordan Briset, a man verie wealthie and devout, built an house for the knights Hospitalers of Saint John of Jerusalem, which grew in time so great that it resembled a Palace, and had in it a very faire church and a tour-steeple raised to a great height with so fine workemanship that while it stood it was a singular beauty and ornament to the City. These knights Hospitalers at their first institution, about the yeare 1123 and long after, were so lowly all the while they continued poore, that their governor was stiled Servant to the poore servitours of the hospital of Jerusalem, like as the master of the Templars, who shortly after arose, was termed The humble Minister of the poore Knights of the Temple. ‡This religious order was instituted shortly after Geoffrey of Bollen had recovered Hierusalem. The brethren whereof ware a white crosse upon their upper blacke garment, and by solemne profession were bound to serve pilgrimes and poore people in the Hospitall of Saint John at Hierusalem, and to secure the passages thither, they charitably buried the dead, they were continuall in praier, mortified themselves with watchings and fastings, they were curteous and kinde to the poore, whom they called their Masters and fed with white bread, while themselves lived with browne, and carried themselves with great austerity.‡ Whereby they purchased to themselves the love and liking of all sorts, and through the bounty of good Princes and private persons admiring their piety and prowesse, they rose from this low degree to so high an estate and great riches, that after a sort they wallowed in wealth. For they had about the yeere of our Lord 1240 within Christendome nineteene thousand Lordships or Manours, like as the Templars nine thousand (the revenewes and rents whereof in England fell afterwards also to these Hospitaler). And this estate of theirs growen to so great an height made way for them to as great honours, so as their Prior in England was reputed the Prime Baron of the land and able with fulnesse and adboundance in all things to maintaine an honourable Port, untill that King Henry the Eighth, advised by them which respected their private profit, gat their lands and livings into his owne hands, like as he did of the Monasteries also. Albeit it was then declared that such religious places, being of most pious intent consecrated to the glory of God, might have been according to the Canons of the Church bestowed in exhibition and almes for Gods Ministers, releefe of the poore, redemption of Captives, and repairing of Churches. Neere unto it, where is now to be seen a sightly circuit of faire houses, was the Charter-house, founded by Sir Walter Many of Henault, who with singular commendation served under King Edward the Third in the French wars, and in that place heeretofore was a most famous cemitery or buriall place in which in a plague time at London were buried in the yeere 1349 more than 50000 persons, a thing recorded to posterity by an inscription which continued there a long time engraven in Brasse.
22. On this North-west side likewise, London hath other great suburbs,and there stood in old time a watchtowre or militarie fore-fence, whence the place was of an Arabick worde called Barbacan, and by the gift of King Edward the Third became the dwelling house of the Uffords, from whence by the Willoughbies it came to Sir Peregrine Bertey, Lord Willoughby of Eresby, a man noble and generous, and one of Mars his brood. Neither lesse suburbs runne out on the North-east and East. In the fields of which suburbs, whiles I was first writing these matters, there were gotten out of the ground many urnes, funerall vessells, little Images, and earthen pots, wherein were small peeces of mony coined by Claudius, Nero, Vespasian &c. Glasse vials also and sundry small earthen vessels, wherein some liquid substance remained, which I would thinke to bee either of that sacred oblation of wine and milke which the ancient Romanes used when they burnt the dead, or else those odiferous liquors that Statius mentioneth:
And liquid baulmes from Aegipt-land that came,
Did wash his haire that redy was for flame.
This place the Romanes appointed to burne and burie dead bodies, who according to the law of the xii tables carried coarses out of their Cities and enterred them by the high waies sides, to put passengers in minde that they are, as those were, subject to mortalitie. Thus much of that part of the Citie which lieth to the land.
Now for that side where the river runneth, toward the South banke thereof the Citizens made a bridge also over the water reaching to that large Burrough of Southwarke whereof I have already spoken. First of wood, in that place where before time they used for passage a ferry bote in stead of a bridge. Afterwards, under the reigne of King John they built a new bridge with admirable workmanship of stone hewen out of the quarry, upon 19 Arches, besides the draw-bridge, and so furnished in both sides with passing faire houses joining one to another in manner of a street that for bignesse and beauty it may worthily carrie away the prise from all the Bridges in Europe.
23. In this Burgh of Southworke, to speake onely of things memorable, there stood sometimes a famous Abbay of Monkes of Saint Benets order, called Bermondsey, consecrated in times past unto our Saviour by Aldwin Childe Citizene of London. Also a Statly house built by Charles Brandon Duke of Suffolke, which having served his turne but small time was shortly after pulled downe. These are extant: Saint Thomas Hospitall, reedified, or founded rather, by the Citie of London for the sustenance of feeble and impotent persons. The Priorie of the blessed Virgine Marie called Saint Marie Over Rhe because it standeth beyond the river of Tames in regard of London, erected by William Pont del Arche, a Norman, for blacke Chanons. The Bishops house of Winchester built by William Giffard, Bishop, for his successors, about the yeere of our Lord 1107. From which along the Tamis banke their runneth Westward a continued raunge of dwelling houses, where within our fathers remembrance was the Bordello or Lupanarie, for so the Latines terme those little roomes or secret chambers of harlots wherein they filthily prostitute their bodies to saile, because they after the maner of ravening she-wolves catch hold of silly wretched men and plucke them into their hools [stews]. But these were prohibited by King Henrie the Eighth, at which time England was growen to excessive lasciviousnesse and riot, which in other nations are continued for gaine under a specious shew of helping mans infirmity. Neither of these strumpets and brothel-houses doe I thinke that this place in our tongue tooke the name Stewes, but of those Ponds or Stewes which are heere for to feed Pikes and Tenches fat, and to scoure them from the strong and muddy fennish tast. Heere have I seene pike-panches opened with a knife to shew their fatnesse, and presently the wide gashes and wounds come together againe by the touch of tenches, and with their gluttinous slime perfectly healed up. Among these buildings there is a place in maner of a Theater for baiting of Beares and Buls with Doggs, and certaine Kenels appointed severally for Band-doggs or Mastives, which are of that strength and so sure of bit that three of them are able to take and hold downe a beare, and foure a Lion, so that the Poet in old time reported truly of our dogges in these words:
The British dogges are able well
To breake the neckes of buls so fell.
Like as he that said they were more fierce than the dogges of Arcadian kind, which are thought to be engendred of Lions.
24. What time as the bridge was thus made betweene London and this Burrough, the Citie was not onely enlarged, but also an excellent forme of Common-welth was therein ordeined, and the Citizens reduced into certane distinct Corporations and Companies, the whole City divided into six and twenty wards, and the Counsell of the Citie consisted of as many ancient men, named of their age in our tongue Aldermen, as one would say, Senatours, who each one have the overseeing and rule of his severall ward, and whereas in ancient time they had for their head-Magistrate a Portreve, that is, a governour of the City, King Richard the First ordeined two Ballieves. Instead of whome soone after King John granted them liberty to chuse by their voices yeerely out of the twelve principall companies a Maior for their chiefe Magistrate; also two Sheriffes, whereof one is called the Kings, the other the Cities Sherife.
25. This forme of common wealth being thus established, it is incredible how much London grew, and groweth still in publike and also privat buildings, whiles all the Cities of England besides decrease. For, to say nothing of that beautifull peece of worke the Senate house, named Guild Hall, built by Sir Thomas Knowles, Maior, Leaden Hall, a large and goodly building, erected by Simon Eire to be a common Garner in time of dearth to pull downe the price of courne, the merchantes meeting place standing upon Pillars, which the common people call the Burse and Queen Elizabeth with a solemn ceremony named The Royall Exchange, for the use of Merchants and an ornament to the citie, set up by Sir Thomas Gresham Citizen and Knight, a magnificent worke verily, whether you respect the modall of the building, the resort of Merchants from all Nations thither, or the store of wares there. Which Sir Thomas Gresham, being withall an exceeding great lover of learning, consecrated a most spatious house, his owne habitation, to the furtherance of learning, and instituted there professours of Divinity, Law, Physicke, Astronomie, Geometrie, and Musicke, with liberall salaries and stipends, to the end that London might be a place not onely furnished with all sorts of traficke, but also with the liberal arts and sciences. To passe over the House of the Society of the Hanse, commonly called the Stiliard, as the Easterlings yard, and the waters conveighed by pipes under the ground into all parts of the Citie, and very goodly conducts or cesterns castellated to receive the same, also the new conveiance of water devised by the skilful travell of Peter Maurice a German, who by meanes of a forset or wheele, with pipes placed at at a certaine levell, brought water of late out of the Tamis into a great part of the city; to omit all these, I say, it is so adorned every where with churches that Religion and Godliness seeme to have made choise of their residence heerein. For the churches therein amount to the number one hundred twenty one, more verily than Rome it selfe (as great and holy as it is) can shew. Besides Hospitals for diseased persons, it maintaineth also six hundered Orphane children or thereabout in Christs-Church Hospital, and poore people, upon contribution of Almes, about 1240 &c. A long time it would aske to discourse particularly of the good lawes and orders, of the laudable government, of the port and dignity of the Major and Aldermen, of their forward service and loialty to their Prince, of the citizens courtesie, the faire building and costly furniture, the breed of excellent and choise wits, their gardens in the Suburbs full of dainty arbours and banqueting rowmes, stored also with strange hearbs from forrain countries, of the multitude, strength and furniture of their ships, the incredible store of all sorts of merchandise (two hundred thousand broad clothes, beside other, Antwerp alone hath received from hence every yeere), and of the superabundance of all things which belong to the furniture or necessity of mans life. For right truely wrote that Hadrianus Junius in his Philippeis:
Thicke built with houses London is, with riches stuffed full,
Proud (if we may so say) of men that therein live and dwell,
Where in most plentious wise abound all things that tongue can tell.
And Julius Scaliger in his Poem of Cities:
For peoples, courage, numbers, powre, it is a city strong.
26. An other Poet hath powred out these verses also concerning London, if you deigne to read them:
Along both bankes outstretched farre the City London lies,
Resembling much her mother Troie, aloft she lifts her eies,
Whiles on a gentle rising hill she beareth toward the East:
A City pleasant for her site, in aire and soile much blest.
Religious and populous, and hence she looks on hie,
And well deservs for to be cal’ d the Britans Britainie.
For learning new Lutetia, Ormus for traffique mich [much],
A second Rome for valiant men, Chrysae for metals rich.
In this maner likewise versified Henry of Huntingdon in praise of London, while King Stephen reigned, about 400 yeeres since.
Thou also shalt of verses ours, Rich London, have thy part.
For why? We cannot thee forget, so great is thy desart.
When I thinke of thy stately towres, they faire and spacious wall
Which I have seene, me thinks therewith I see no lesse then all.
This pratling fame that’ s borne to prate, and talk’ d she not would die,
In all the praise that goes of thee hath bash’ d to tell onely.
Another Poet in like maner pleasantly plaied upon London in this sort:
This is that City strong to which three gifts are given by three:
By Bacchus, Ceres and Phaebus, Wine, Wheat and Poetree.
This place sterne Pallas, Juno Queene, Diana Hunters-seer
Adorns, enricheth, and doth feed, with towers, with wares, with deere.
27. But in a more grave not and serious stile, a friend of mine and a praise worthy person, Master John Johnson, professour of divinity in the Kings University of S. Andrewes:
This City well Augusta call’ d, to which (a truth to say)
Aire, Land, Sea, and all Elements shew favour every way.
The wether no where milder is, the ground, most rich to see,
Doth yeeld all fruits of fertill soile, that never spent will bee.
And Ocean, that with Tams streame his flowing tyde doth blend,
Conveis to it commodities, all that the world can send.
The noble seat of Kings it is for port and roialty,
Of all the realme the fense, the heart, the light, and lightsome ey.
The people ancient, valorous, expert in chivalry,
Enriched with all sorts and meanes of Art and mysterie,
Take heedfull view of every thing, and then say this in briefe,
This either is a world it selfe, or of the world the chiefe.
But of these and such like particulars John Stowe, Citizen of London and a famous Chronicler, hath discoursed more at large, and more exactly in that his Survey of London which hee lately published. Now will I take my leave of my deere native country, and bid London adiew, after I have given this onely note, that the Pole is here elevated fiftie one degrees and foure and thirty scruples, and the Meridian distant from the farthest West-point three and twentie degrees and five and twenty scruples. That the Fidicula symbolizing in nature with Venus and Mercurie is the Tropick starre, which glanceth upon the Horizon but never setteth, and the Dragons head is reputed by Astronomers to bee the Vertical starre over head.
28. From London the Tamis, watering Redcliff, so called of the Red-cliffe, a prety fine towne and dwelling place of sailers, as hee fetcheth almost a round compasse with a great winding reach, taketh into him the River Lea at the East bound of this Country, when it hath collected his divided streame and cherished fruitfull marsh-medowes. Upon which there standeth nothing in this side worth the speaking of. For neither Aedelmton hath ought to shew but the name, derived of Nobility, nor Waltham, unless it bee the Crosse erected there for the funerall pompe of Queene Aeleonor wife to King Edward the First, whereof also it tooke name. Onely Enfeld, a house of the Kings, is here to be seene, built by Sir Thomas Lovel knight (of the order of the Garter and one of King Henrie the Seaventh his privie counsell), and Durance, neighbour thereunto, a house of the Wrothes of ancient name in this Countie. To Enfeld-house, Enfeld-chace is hard adjoining, a place much renowned for hunting, the possession in times past of the Magnavils Earles of Essex, afterwards of the Bohuns who succeeded them; and now it belongeth to the Duchie of Lancaster, since time that Henry the Fourth King of England espoused one of the daughters and co-heires of Humfrey Bohun Earle of Hereford and Essex of that surname. And there are yet to be seene, in the midest well nere of this chase, the rubbish and ruines of an an old house which the vulgar sourt saith was the dwelling place of the Magnavills Earles of Essex. ‡As for the title of Midle-sex, the Kings of England have vouchsafed it to none, neither Duke, Marquis, Earle, or Baron.‡
In this County, without the City of London are reckoned Parishes much about 73. Within the City, Liberties and Suburbes 121.
Go to Essex