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The Historians of the Metropolis have hitherto passed over the subject of this work far too slightingly: it will be my most ample praise to have endeavoured to supply that deficiency, by these. The very first question he speered was about the auld Draw-Brig, that has been at the bottom of the water these twal-score years.

And how the Deevil suld he ken ony thing about the auld Draw-Brig, unless he were a Virtuoso? What with pullings-down, and buildings-up; the turning of land into canals, and covering over old water-ways with new paved streets; erecting pert plaister fronts to some venerable old edifices, and utterly abolishing others from off the face of the earth; London but too truly resembles the celebrated keepsake-knife of the sailor, which, for its better preservation, had been twice re-bladed, and was once treated with a new handle.

Alas for the day! Moorgate is not, and Aldgate is not! Aldersgate is but the shadow of a name, and Newgate lives only as the title of a prison-house! It was but recently, in my return from visiting the spot last mentioned, that I betook me to a Tavern where I was erst wont to indulge in another old-fashioned luxury,—which has also been taken away from me,—that of quaffing genuine wine, drawn reaming from the butt in splendid silver jugs, in the merry old Shades by London Bridge.

It was a most lovely moonlight night, and I placed myself in one of the window boxes, whence I could see the fastly-ebbing tide glittering with silvery flashes; whilst the broad radiance of the planet, cast upon the pale stone colour of the Bridge, strikingly contrasted with the gas star-like sparks which shone from the lamps above it. In modern eyes, indeed, these may seem of little value, but unto Antiquaries, even the rudest resemblance of that which is not, is worth the gold of Ind; and Oh!

It was at this part of my reverie, that the Waiter at the Shades touched my elbow to inform me, that a stout old gentleman, who called himself Mr. Barnaby Postern , had sent his compliments, and desired the pleasure of my society in the drinking of a hot sack-posset.

My visitor, as he entered, did not appear any thing very remarkable; he looked simply a shrewd, hale, short old gentleman, of stiff formal manners, wrapped in a dark-coloured cloak, and bearing in his hand a covered tankard, which he set upon the table betwixt us; after which, making a very low bow, he took his seat opposite to me, and at once opened the conversation.

Geoffrey Barbican , as a London Antiquary, is not unknown to me; and I have sometimes pleased myself with the thought, that you must be even a distant relation of my own, since tradition says, that the Barbicans and the Posterns originally received their names from having been gate-keepers in various parts of this fair city: but of that I will not positively speak.

Howbeit, I am right glad of this fellowship, because I have some communications and reflections which I would fain make to you, touching the earlier days of that Bridge, under which the tide is now so rapidly running. Barnaby, as much description, and as many rich old sketches, as you please, but no reflections, my kinsman, no reflections. Drink, then, worthy Mr. The second property of your excellent Sherris is,—the warming of the blood; which, before cold and settled, left the liver white and pale, which is the badge of pusillanimity and cowardice: but the Sherris warms it, and makes it course from the inwards to the parts extreme.

It illumineth the face; which, as a beacon, gives warning to all the rest of this little kingdom, man, to arm; and then, the vital commoners, and inland petty spirits, muster me all to their Captain, the heart; who, great, and puffed up with this retinue, doth any deed of courage; and this valour comes of Sherris: so that skill in the weapon is nothing, without Sack: for that sets it a-work: and learning, a mere hoard of gold kept by a devil, till Sack commences it, and sets it in act and use. Truly, indeed, I felt all those effects in myself; [7] whilst my visitor appeared to be so inspired by it, that, as if all the valuable lore relating to London Bridge had been locked up until this moment, he opened to me such a treasure of information concerning it, that, I verily believe, he left nothing connected with the subject untouched.

He quoted books and authors with a facility, to which I have known no parallel; and, what is quite as extraordinary, the same magical philtre enabled me as faithfully to retain them. Indeed, the posset and his discourse seemed to enliven all my faculties in such a manner, that the very scenes of which my companion spake, appeared to rise before my eyes as he described them.

When Mr. Postern had pledged me, therefore, by drinking my health, in a very formal manner, he thus commenced his discourse. Samuel Pegge, published in London, in the year , in quarto. Ever, Mr. Barbican, while you live, ever quote from the [8] editio optima of every author whom you cite; for, next to a knowledge of books themselves, is an acquaintance with the best editions. But to return, Sir; in those woody groves of yew, which the old citizens wisely encouraged for the making of their bows, were then hunted the stag, the buck, and the doe; and the great Northern road, which now echoes the tuneful Kent bugle of mail-coach-guards, was then an extensive wilderness, resounding with the shrill horns of the Saxon Chiefs, as they waked up the deer from his lair of vert and brushwood.

In good time, however, the Romans, to commemorate their own successful landing there, built a Trajectus , or Ferry, to convey passengers to their famous military road which led to Dover. But history is not wholly without the mention of a Bridge over the Thames near London, even still earlier than this period; for, when Dion Cassius is recording the invasion of Britain by the Emperor Claudius I. The Gauls, however, again setting sail, and some of them having passed over by the Bridge, higher up the River , they set upon the Britons on all sides with great slaughter; until, rashly pursuing those that escaped, many of them perished in the bogs and marshes.

Before we finally quit Roman London, however, I must make one more historical remark. The inscription on the monument [11] which I quoted from Pannier Alley, is dated August the 27th, ; and if even at that period ,—through all the mutations of the soil, and more than sixteen centuries after the Roman Invasion,—the ground still retained its original altitude, it yet further proves on how admirable a site our ancient London was originally erected:—well worthy, indeed, to be the metropolis of the world. This also is remarked by honest Bagford, in his work already cited, where, at page lxxii.

John of Jerusalem, as also the Friars, to settle in most of the Roman buildings, as well private as public, which thing, if duly considered, will be found to be a main reason why we have so few remains of them. Geoffrey Barbican, my service to you. Postern thus continued. Here, according to the season, you may find victuals of all kinds, roasted, baked, fried, or boiled. Fish, large and small, with coarse viands for the poorer sort, and more delicate ones for the rich, such as venison, fowls, and small birds.

No number so great, of knights or strangers, can either enter the city at any hour of day or night, or leave it, but all may be supplied with provisions, so that those have no occasion to fast too long, nor these to depart the city without their dinner. To this place, if they be so disposed, they resort, and there they regale themselves, every man according to his abilities. It is a public eating-house, and is both highly convenient and useful to the city, and is a clear proof of its civilization. London, , folio, volume i. I would you could but have seen the curious boat in which, for many years, Audery the Ship-wight, as the Saxons called him, rowed his fare over those restless waters.

It was in form very much like a crescent laid upon its back, only the sharp horns turned over into a kind of scroll; and when it was launched, if the passengers did not trim the barque truly, there was some little danger of its tilting over, for it was only the very centre of the keel that touched the water. But our shipman had also another wherry, for extra passengers, and that had the appearance of a blanket gathered up at each end, whilst those within looked as if they were about to be tossed in it. His oars were in the shape of shovels, or an ace of spades stuck on the end of a yard measure; though one of them rather seemed as if he were rowing with an arrow, having the barb broken off, and the flight held downwards.

And King Ethelred received him at Episcopal hands, and honoured him with royal presents. In return Anlaf promised, as he also performed, that he never again would come in a hostile manner to England.

Chronicles of Strathearn

A Bridge of any kind is not so small a concern but what one might suppose you could avoid running against it, and yet William of Malmesbury, the Benedictine Monk, who lived in the reign of King Stephen, and died in , says, that, in , King Sweyn of Denmark, the Invader, ran foul of it with his Fleet. Against their ferocious assailants, the Danes, they were supported by their virtue, and the hope of glory. The Citizens rushed forward even to death for their liberty; for none could think himself secure of the future if the King were deserted, in whose life he committed his own: so that although the conflict was valiant on both sides, yet the Citizens had the victory from the justness of their cause; every one endeavouring to shew, throughout this great work, how sweet he estimated those pains which he bore for him.

The enemy was partly overthrown; and part was destroyed in the River Thames, over which, in their precipitation and fury, they never looked for the Bridge. John Entick, London, , folio, volume i. He, most probably, took this circumstance from Marianus Scotus, a Monk of Mentz, in Germany, who wrote an extensive History of England and Europe ending in , but, of this, only the German part has been printed, although it was amazingly popular in manuscript. There was, at that time, a Bridge erected over the River between the City and Southwark, so wide, that if two carriages met they could pass each other.

At the sides of the Bridge, at those parts which looked upon the River, were erected Ramparts and Castles that were defended on the top by penthouse-bulwarks and sheltered turrets, covering to the breast those who were fighting in them: the Bridge itself was also sustained by piles which were fixed in the bed of the River.

Listen to Just Sayin’ now.

An attack therefore being made, the forces occupying the Bridge fully defended it. King Ethelred being thereby enraged, yet anxiously desirous of finding out some means by which he might gain the Bridge, at once assembled the Chiefs of the army to a conference on the best method of destroying it. It being ordained then in council, that the army should be marched against the Bridge, each one made himself ready for a simultaneous movement both of the ships and of the land forces. Geoffrey Barbican, to follow the old Norwegian through the consequent battle; for although he gives us no more scenery of London Bridge, yet he furnishes us with a minute account of its destruction, and of a conflict upon it, concerning which all our own historians are, in general, remarkably silent.

Snorro Sturleson then, having cleared the way for the forcing of London Bridge on the behalf of King Ethelred, thus begins his account of the action, entitling it, in the Scandinavian tongue, Orrosta, or the fight. The Fleet, as well as the forces, being now ready, they rowed towards the Bridge, the tide being adverse; but no sooner had they reached it, than they were violently assailed from above with a shower of missiles and stones, of such immensity that their helmets and shields were shattered, and the ships themselves very seriously injured.

Many of them, therefore, retired. But Olaf the King and his Norsemen having rowed their ships close up to the Bridge, made them fast to the piles with ropes and cables, with which they strained them, and the tide seconding their united efforts, the piles gradually gave way, and were withdrawn from under the Bridge. Numbers, however, were left to seek refuge by flight: some into the City, others into Southwark. In remembrance of this expedition thus sang Ottar Suarti. Many were the shields which were grasped sword in hand to the mighty increase of the conflict; but by thee were the iron-banded coats of mail broken and destroyed.

By thine aid is he advantaged, and made strong by thy valour and prowess: Bitterest was that Battle in which thou didst engage. Now, in the presence of thy kindred the adjacent lands are at rest, where Edmund, the relation of the country and the people, formerly governed.

And in so doing, I pray you to observe that I am not wandering from the subject before us; for that Church is one of the Southern boundaries of London Bridge, and, as such, possesses some interest in its history. The other, on the same side, is the Monastery of St. Mary Overies, of the which I shall hereafter discourse; whilst the two Northern ones are St. It was after [26] these exploits that he came to England, and remained here as an ally of King Ethelred for three years, expelling the Danes from the Cities, Towns, and Fortresses, and ultimately returning home with great spoil.

He was recalled to England by Emma of Normandy, the surviving Queen of his friend, to assist her against Knute; but as he found a paction concluded between that King and the English, he soon withdrew, and was then created King of Norway by the voice of the nation. To strengthen his throne, he married the daughter of the King of Swedeland; but now his strict adherence to the Christian faith, and his active zeal for the spread of it, caused him to be molested by domestic wars, as well as by the Danes abroad: though these he regarded not, since he piously and valiantly professed, that he had rather lose his life and Kingdom than his faith in Christ.

Upon this, the men of Norway complained to Knute, King of Denmark, and afterwards of England, charging Olaf with altering their laws and customs, and entreating his assistance; but the Norwegian hero was supported by a young soldier named Amandus, King of Swethland, who had been bred up under Olaf, and taught to fight by him. He, at first, overthrew the Dane in an engagement; but Knute, having bribed the adverse fleet, procured three hundred of his ships to revolt, and then attacking Olaf, forced him to retreat into his own country, where his subjects received him as an enemy.

His feast is commemorated on the fourth of the Kalends of August, that is to say on the 29th of July; for Grimkele, Bishop of Drontheim, his capital City, a pious priest whom he had brought from England to assist him in establishing Christianity in Norway, commanded that he should be honoured as a Saint, with the title of Martyr.

His body was buried in Drontheim, and was not only found undecayed in , but even in , when the Lutherans plundered his shrine of its gold and jewels; for it was esteemed the greatest treasure in the North. Such was St. Olave, Southwark. It stands, as you very well know, on [28] the Northern side of Tooley Street; and although many people would think St. Tooley to be somewhat of a questionable patron for a Church, yet I would remind you that it was only the more usual ancient English name of King Olave, as we are told on good authority, by the Rev. Thorn, you may remember, was a Monk of St.

And now I will say no more of St. Chapter of the Statutes there given, is the following passage. For ships which are filled with wood, one log of wood shall be given as toll. Whoever shall come to the Bridge, in a boat in which there are fish, he himself being a dealer, shall pay one halfpenny for toll; and if it be a larger vessel, one penny.

Afterwards they trenched the City without, so that no man could go in or out, and often fought against it; but the Citizens bravely withstood them. The proofs of this hypothesis were great quantities of fascines of hazels, willows, and brushwood, pointing northward, and fastened down by rows of stakes, which were found at the digging of Rotherhithe Dock in ; as well as numbers of large oaken planks and piles, also found in other parts.

The tale is much the same in each, but perhaps the latter is the best authority, and it runs thus. When he had arranged his whole expedition, then came the flood, and they soon weighed anchor and steered through the Bridge by the South side. Savile, folio b , line Barbican, before we enter upon the conjectures and disputes relating to the real age and founders of the first Wooden Bridge over the Thames at London, let me give you a toast, closely connected with it, in this last living relique of old Sir John Falstaff.

You must know, my good Sir, that when the Church-Wardens and vestry of St. Postern having made a low bow of acknowledgment for my compliance, thus continued. John Stow, however, in volume i. Mary Overies Church, above the choir, where she was buried. Unto the which house she gave the oversight and profits of the Ferry. But afterwards, the said house of Sisters being converted into a College of Priests, the Priests built the Bridge of Timber, as all the other great Bridges of this land were, and, from time to time, kept the same in good reparations.

Till at length, considering the great charges of repairing the same, there was, by aid of the Citizens of London, and others, a Bridge built with arches of stone, as shall be shewed. Surrey,—for you know the book is unpaged and arranged alphabetically under Counties, of which Pennant heavily complains,—is inclined to think that Stow was in the right, although he had not discovered any thing either in print or manuscript to support his narrative.

He is also willing to believe, that Bishop Giffard did not do more for St. Mary Overies, than rebuild the body of the Church: and, certainly, that he did not, in , place Regular Canons there, since he refers to Matthew of Westminster to prove that they were then but newly come into England, and placed in that Church; whilst Bishop Giffard was himself in exile until the year King Edward held it on the day he died. From the profits of the Harbour, where ships were moored, the King had two parts. U u 2; Notes r, and s. Mary; and on page 44 of his work, already cited, he thus gives the reasons for his non-conformity.

And, consequently, that Linsted and his followers exceed the truth, by ascribing all the praise of so public a benefaction to a small House of Religious; who, with greater probability, only consented to the building of this Bridge, upon sufficient considerations and allowances, to be made to them for the loss of their Ferry, by which they had been always supported. We may add too, that, as the Priests of St. Mary were Regular Canons of St. Austin, by their rule they were not permitted to be wealthy, but were to sell the whole of their property, give to the poor, have all things in common, and never be unemployed.

Prating Vergers and Sextons commonly tell you, that the persons whom these figures represent, endeavoured to fast the whole of Lent, in [39] imitation of the great Christian pattern, and that dying in the act, they were reduced to such a cadaverous appearance at their decease. There has, however, been a new legend invented for this sculpture, as it is commonly reported to be that of Audery, the Ferryman ,. Mary Overies. Where it will be removed [40] to hereafter, time only can unfold, for, as yet, even the Churchwardens themselves know not. And of his daughter Mary, who caused the Church of St.

Mary Overs in Southwark to be built; and of the building of London Bridge. Price six pence. This Ferry was rented of the City, by one John Overs, which he enjoyed for many years together, to his great profit; for it is to be imagined, that no small benefit could arise from the ferrying over footmen, horsemen, all manner of cattle, all market folks that came with provisions to the City, strangers and others.

Having procured his daughter to consent to this plan, even against her better nature, he was put into a sheet, and stretched out in his chamber, having one taper burning at his head, and another at his feet, according to the custom of the time. When, however, his servants were informed of his decease, instead of lamenting, they were overjoyed; and, having danced round the body, they brake open his larder, and fell to banqueting.

The estate of Overs then fell to his daughter, and her lover hearing of it, hastened up from the country; but, in riding post, his horse stumbled, and he brake his neck on the highway. The Friars of Bermondsey Abbey were, however, prevailed upon, by money, their Abbot being then away, to give a little earth to the remains of the wretched Ferryman. The Ass proceeded with a gentle and solemn pace through Kent Street, and along the highway, to the small pond once called St.

Mary Overs, extremely distressed by such a succession of sorrows, and desirous to be free from the importunity of the numerous [44] suitors for her hand and fortune, resolved to retire into a cloister; which she shortly afterwards did, having first provided for the foundation of that Church which still commemorates her name. The figure, itself, is of the third form of the classes of Sepulchral Monuments, invented by Maurice Johnson, Esq. However this may be, as I am laying before you all the illustrations of Bridge history, both authentic and traditional, which are now to be found, I must not omit to add, that the supposed effigy of Audery is six feet eight inches in length; and represents his decayed body lying in its winding-sheet.

Concannen, [45] Junior, and A. Geoffrey Barbican, for recalling me to the subject of our conversation; for this is the very point at which I would proceed with my history. The Charter to which I have now referred you, chapter xliv. And I defend them that none shall do them any injury. Mary le Bow, in Cheapside. The roof was carried to a considerable distance, and fell with such force, that several of the rafters, being about twenty-eight feet in length, pierced upwards of twenty feet into the ground, and remained in the same position as when they stood in the Chapel.

Thomas Gale, volume ii. And afterward, in the winter, ensued a sudden frost; whereby the great streams were congealed in such a manner that they could draw two hundred horsemen and carriages over them; whilst at their thawing, many bridges, both of wood and stone, were borne down, and divers water mills were broken up and carried away! Of this I shall give you several instances, as we get lower down the stream of time; and now only remark, in chronological order, that on the 6th of the Ides of October, videlicet the 10th, in the 15th Year of the reign of Henry I.

The same historian, also, records, on the same page, that in the year , the winter was so severe, that all throughout England the Bridges were broken by the ice. Remember too, that sixpence by the week was then a living stipend to an ordinary labourer; that the Black Book of the Exchequer—which was written about the reign of Henry I. It is a rather small quarto volume, of 71 written leaves, delicately paged by some later hand; and the passage occurs on the reverse of folio This was granted by King Henry I. I command by my kingly authority, that the manor called Alceston, which my father gave with other lands to the Abbey of Battle, be free and quiet from shires and hundreds, and all other customs of earthly servitude, as my father held the same, most freely and quietly; and namely, from the work of London Bridge , and the work of the Castle at Pevensey: and this I command upon my forfeiture.

Erkenwald, in St. However, a couple of boats full of young men is placed, one on each side of the target, so as to be ready to take up the unsuccessful adventurer, the moment he emerges from the stream, and comes fairly to the surface. The Bridge, and the balconies on the banks, are filled with spectators, whose business it is to laugh. The first of these was engraved by Strutt in the work which I have before referred to, and gives a very perfect idea of the River Tilting of the Twelfth Century ,.

The other, which has also been engraven in the same work, page , plate xv. Clement Danes. It was probably in the Register of Trinity Priory, that Stow found a notice that London Bridge was not only repaired, but a new one erected of elm timber, in , by the most excellent Peter of Colechurch, Priest and Chaplain; since I find it in none of the historians with whom I am acquainted. Geoffrey Barbican, your very good health.

The person to whom was entrusted the building of the first stone Bridge at London, was, as I have already told you, named Peter, a Priest and Chaplain of St. This Chapel, of which the skilful Peter was Curate, was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, and was famous as the place where St. Edmund and St. The property of Peter of Colechurch, however, would not stand Bridge-building by itself; and therefore the present will be the most fitting place, to give you some account of the other contributors to this great national work.

Upon which the domestics of Richard, the mild and amiable Archbishop of Canterbury, took him thence by force, and in the ensuing scuffle he was beaten, and turned out of the assembly, with his episcopal robes sadly rent. This truly valuable volume was presented by our late good King George the Third to the British Museum, and formerly belonged to Queen Elizabeth.

The arms, however, were Azure, three Mullets in bend, between two Cottises Argent; and whenever you turn to this volume, on which the ancient Art of Illuminating shed its latest rays, I pray you fail not carefully to inspect it: for you will find it a copy of that edition printed at his own palace, by John Day; with many leaves impressed on vellum, and the whole of the book carefully ruled with red-ink lines, the initials coloured and gilded, and all the Armorial Ensigns, with the Frontispiece, excellently well emblazoned.

And I pray you also, forget not well to note the binding; since a richer, or more fancifully embroidered covering there are few tomes which can exhibit. The ground of it is green velvet, intended to represent the vert of a park, and it is surrounded by a broad border of pales with a gate, worked in brown silk and gold twist; whilst within are trees, flowers, shrubs, tufts of grass, serpents, hinds, and does, all executed in richly coloured silks, and gold and silver wire.

I am, however, myself rather surprised at the manner of his decease, when it is allowed by all his biographers, that he was a man so charitable, of such benefit to the revenues of the church, and was so liberal both to the poor, the [65] nation, the King, and even the Pontiff himself. In the morning betime, the Archbishop got him up, and taking his iourney toward Rochester, related this fearfull vision vnto a friend of his by the way.

Hee had no sooner told the tale, but hee was taken suddenly with a great cold and stifenesse in his limmes, so that they had much adoo to get him so farre as Haling, a house belonging to the Bishop of Rochester. There he tooke his bed, and being horribly tormented with the cholike, and other greefes, vntill the next day, the night following, the 16th of February, hee gaue vp the ghost, anno The names of all the Benefactors to London Bridge, indeed, were fairly painted on a tablet, and hung up in St.

Full text of "Chronicles of Oklahoma"

He is there speaking, you know, of the taking away of evil tolls and customs, and he observes, that some have supposed that there was a tribute due to the King by the Common Law, upon all wools, wool-fells,—that is, the undressed sheep skins,—and leather, to be taken as well of the English as of strangers, known by the name of Antiqua Custuma. This amounted to half a mark, or 6 s. But even this his Lordship also endeavours to prove a recent custom, by a Patent Roll from the Exchequer, of the 3rd of Edward I.

But shortly previous to the final confirmation of the Great and Forest Charters, however, in the 25th of Edward I. There appears to me, however, even a still nearer connection between the Duties raised for the building of London Bridge, and the xxiii. Ere that period, however, the charitable Priest who designed it, the learned Architect and wise builder who watched its progress, went the way of all flesh; as we shall find hereafter, in , and not, as Maitland erroneously says, in the third of King John, A. The Letter is as follows:—.

Considering how the Lord in a short time hath wrought in regard to the Bridges of Xainctes and Rochelle, by the great care and [71] pains of our faithful, learned, and worthy Clerk, Isenbert, Master of the Schools of Xainctes: We therefore, by the advice of our Reverend Father in Christ, Hubert, Walter Archbishop of Canterbury, and that of others, have desired, directed, and enjoined him to use his best endeavour in building your Bridge, for your benefit, and that of the public: For we trust in the Lord, that this Bridge, so requisite for you, and all who shall pass the same, will, through his industry, and the divine blessing, soon be finished.

Wherefore, without prejudice to our right, or that of the City of London, we will and grant, that the rents and profits of the several houses which the said Master of the Schools shall cause to be erected upon the Bridge aforesaid, be for ever appropriated to repair, maintain, and uphold the same. And seeing that the requisite work of the Bridge cannot be accomplished without your aid, and that of others, we charge, and exhort you, kindly to receive and honour the above-named Isenbert, and those employed by him, who will perform every thing to your advantage and credit, according to his directions, you affording him your joint advice and assistance in the premises.

For whatever good office or honour you shall do to him, you ought to esteem the same as done to us. But, should any injury be offered to the said Isenbert, or to the persons employed by him, which we do not believe there will, see that the same be redressed so soon as it comes to your knowledge. In the first place, the reference to the Close Rolls is erroneous, for the writ is to be found on the 15th Membrane, there being no such article as c.

The actual words of the writ are, in English, as follow. And, therefore, we command you that they give the whole to these men, like as Peter, the Chaplain of Colechurch, possessed the same from them. Witness for the same, the Prior of Stoke, at Marlebridge, the 15th day of September. James Peller Malcolm, London, , 4to. He seems to have delighted in the number of his piers, which amounted to nineteen; and he was so ignorant of the true principles by which he should have been governed, that the centre was swelled into a Chapel, reducing the adjoining arches to half the diameter of the remainder.

Indeed, it is wonderful that those piers maintained their situation, when we reflect how the torrent now rushes through, hurling heavy laden barges along as if they were feathers on the stream, when every practicable remedy to enlarge them has been applied. The Author observes, at page 9, that the whole breadth of the River from North to South is nearly feet, and that in his time there were eighteen solid piers of different dimensions, varying from 34 to 25 feet in thickness. The third reason was, that he had an opportunity to shew his piety, having a situation for erecting a Chapel, which was done, and his body deposited in it.

Robert Mylne, in his Answers to the Select Committee of the House of Commons, for improving the Port of London, dated May the 15th, and October the 30th, , printed in the Fourth Report of that Committee, states the following particulars. The original Piles, under the original stone-work of a very narrow Bridge, between the two modern sides and extreme parts, by cutting into the sides of the piers, and by one old being opened up, and totally removed, have been found composed of Sapling Oak and some Elm, carelessly worked, neither round nor square, but much decayed.

Here let me for a moment interrupt the narrative of Mr. Ground plan of the first stone Bridge At London: commenced A. Vertue makes the extreme length of this Pier but feet only. Vertue makes this space 30 feet broad. The Piers and Arches were both measured from the squares of the latter, the triangular ends being left un-noticed, [83] excepting in the instance of the Great Pier. The length of the whole Bridge was feet; its height, 60; and the breadth of the Street over it, 40 feet.

Thomas of the Bridge. This was erected upon the Tenth, or Great Pier, which measured 35 feet in breadth, and from point to point; whilst the edifice itself was 60 feet in length, by 20 feet broad, and stood over the parapet on the Eastern side of the Bridge, leaving a pathway on the West, about a quarter of the breadth of the Pier, in front of the Chapel.

The face of the building itself was forty feet in height, having a plain gable, surmounted by a cross of about six feet more; whilst four buttresses, crowned by crocketted spires, divided the Western end into three parts. The wide centre contained a rich pointed-arch window, of one mullion, with a quatrefoil in the top; and the two sides were occupied by the entrances to the Chapel from the Bridge-Street, each being ascended by three steps. The Upper Chapel was lofty, being supported by fourteen groups of elegant clustered columns, and lighted by eight pointed-arch windows divided by stone mullions into a double range of arches, surmounted by a lozenge.

Beneath each of the windows were three arched recesses, separated by small pillars; and the roof itself was also originally formed of lofty pointed arches; though, when this magnificent fane was transformed into a warehouse, a wooden ceiling, with stout beams crossing each other in squares, was erected, [85] which cut off the arches where they sprang from the pillars, and divided into two parts the Interior of the Upper Chapel of St.

The Eastern extremity of this building formed a semi-hexagon, having a smaller window in each of its divisions, with richly carved arches under them, corresponding with the series already mentioned on the side: and the architectural lightness and elegance of the whole, meriting the highest encomium. Beneath this principal edifice, was a short descending passage, having, on the left hand, a stone basin cut in a recess in the wall, for containing Holy Water, and leading, through the solid masonry of the Pier, into [86] the Lower Chapel of St.

Thomas , which was constructed in the Bridge itself. The Lower Chapel, which—even decorated as that was, in my estimation, very far exceeded the upper one in architectural beauty,—was about 20 feet in height, and its roof supported by clustered columns, similar to those I have already described; from each of which sprang seven ribs, the centre, and the two adjoining it in every division, being bound by fillets with roses on the intersections; whilst the great horizontal ribs had clusters of regal and ecclesiastical masks, producing an effect little to be expected in such a structure, in such a situation; though [87] I may trust to your correct taste, my good Mr.

Barbican, for duly appreciating it. There was also a rich Series of Windows in the Lower Chapel ,. There was, indeed, neither brass plate, nor inscription, nor carving found about the sepulchre, when Mr. Reader, if you seek his monument, look around you! James in Bristol, who then travelled from that City to St. Thomas the Martyr, upon London [89] Bridge, is about twenty yards; having an under Chancel in the vault, with a choir, but the length of the nave of the said Chapel contains fourteen yards. The width of the middle steps is one yard.

The length of the Bridge on the South, from the posts to the first gate newly founded by Henry the Cardinal, unto the two posts erected near the Church of St. Magnus, consists of five hundred of my steps. Vice-President of the Society of Antiquaries. Vertue, in Brownlow-Street, Drury-Lane, Published and sold by G. I must observe, also, that, in the large interior View on that plate of Vertue last-mentioned, there are introduced the portraits of the learned Samuel Gale, and the eccentric Dr.

The former, by whose patronage and assistance Vertue produced these prints, is standing on the left hand, holding a plan of the Chapel, and listening to an outlandish-looking man, designed for Peter of Colechurch; whilst the latter Antiquary is employed in measuring. London, , 8vo. Barbican, as touching the Chapel which I have thus described to you, that the custom of erecting Religious Houses on Bridges, is certainly of great antiquity. A notable instance of this kind was on the Bridge at Droitwich, where the road passed through the Chapel and separated the congregation from the reading-desk and pulpit.

This beautiful fane, you know, was built by King Edward IV. Somewhat like our shrine of St. Thomas, however, as it belonged [92] to the poor of the town, it was, about , converted into a dwelling-house, and let at a small annual rent to a retail dealer in old clothes!

I desire to know but of one; for, by its having existed, we are sure that there might have been some sort of custom for their erection; and, as old Chaucer saith,. You will, however, I dare say, allow me to remark, that Plutarch denies the derivation of the word Pontifex [93] from the old Roman custom of sacrificing on Bridges, which might, nevertheless, be the origin of Chapels being built upon them.

Langhorne, in his very popular translation of the old Classic, from the edition of Mr. Archdeacon Wrangham, London, , 8vo. Some say, they were called Pontifices , as employed in the service of those powerful gods that govern the world; for potens , in the Roman language, signifies powerful.

Others, that they were ordered by their law-giver to perform such offices as were in their power, and standing excused when there was some great impediment. But most writers assign a ridiculous reason for the term, as if they were called Pontifices , from their offering sacrifices upon the Bridge, which the Latins call Pontem ; such kinds of ceremonies, it seems, being looked upon as the most sacred, and of the highest antiquity. These Priests, too, are said to have been commissioned to keep the Bridges in repair, as one of the most indispensable parts of their sacred office.

The reason whereof is, that the sands have raised the channel, and, consequently, the tides must rise higher in proportion, than they did formerly; and unless some care is taken to cleanse the River, the buildings on the same level with the floor of Westminster-Hall, will not be habitable much longer, as the sand and ouse are still daily increasing, and choking up the bed of the River.

The celebrated Sir Christopher Wren was of opinion, that when the foundation of London Bridge was laid, the course of the River was not turned, but that every pier was set upon piles of wood, which were drove as far as might be under low-water mark, on which were laid planks of timber, and upon them the foundation of the stone piers: the heads of the said piles have been seen at a very low ebb, and may be so still when some of the chalk or stone is removed to mend the Sterlings. Secondly, the charge of such an immense work is next objected to; as the cost of the ground intended for the trench, the embankment of it, and the damming off the River itself, must have amounted to at least treble the sum which would otherwise have been required to erect the Bridge.

The total silence of those Historians who mention the construction of London Bridge, upon the subject of so great a work as the turning of the River, is next insisted upon: and, finally, the length of time which the building [97] occupied,—thirty-three years,—is adduced as alone sufficient to overthrow the whole hypothesis.

Bartholomew Sparruck, the Water-Carpenter of the same; and that he observed in many places,—where the stones were washed from the sterlings,—the mighty frames of piles whereon the stone piers or pillars were founded; the exterior parts of which, consisted of huge piles driven as closely together as art could effect. Sparruck informed him, that he and the Bridge-Mason had frequently taken out of the lowermost layers of stones in the piers, several of the original stones, which were laid in pitch instead of mortar; and that from this circumstance they imagined, that all the outside stones of the piers, as high as the sterlings, were originally bedded in the same material, to prevent the water from damaging the work.

This labour was, he thinks, continued at every ebb tide, until the piers were raised [98] above high-water mark; and hence he argues, that if the Thames had been turned, there would not have been any occasion for the use of pitch, and that Plaster of Paris was not then in use in this country. These are the principal heads of the dispute concerning the turning of the River: to which I only add my own settled conviction, that the course of the Thames was not altered. London once had its walls and towers in like manner on the South, but that vast River, the Thames, which abounds with fish, enjoys the benefit of tides, and washes the City on this side, hath, in a long tract of time, totally subverted and carried away the walls in this part.

A sort of Barbican, Mr. Geoffrey, such as you derive your name from; for you remember the essential importance which such buildings were of, and how Bagford speaks of them in his Letter to Hearne, which I have already quoted, page lxii. In short, it was a Watch-tower by day; and at night, they lighted some combustible material on the top thereof, to give directions to the weary traveller repairing to the City, either with provision or on some other occasion.

It consists of a miscellaneous collection of notes, in the hand writings of Stow, Camden, and perhaps Sir Henry Savile; transcribed upon old, stained, and worn-out, paper. London was burned and the Brydge also, and many peryshed by violence of the fyre. Then there came to aid them many ships and vessels, into which the multitude so unadvisedly rushed, that the ships being thereby drowned, they all perished.

It was said, that through the fire and shipwreck, there were destroyed above three thousand persons, whose bodies were found in part or half burned, besides those that were wholly burned to ashes, and could not be found. It is esteemed chiefly for its elegant diction; and the best edition of it is considered to be that printed at Leyden, in , octavo; though the foregoing reference is to the last impression of the Basil folio, A.

Witness Myself at the Tower of London, on the 18th day of December, in the 15th year of our reign. Of events which particularly concern this place, I shall, however, speak more fully in their proper order of time. We command that without delay, you take into your hands our City of London, with the County of Middlesex, and London Bridge in like manner: so that the issues of the same be answered for to us at our Exchequer at our pleasure.

And all the aforesaid shall be in safe custody, until the receipt of another mandate from us. Know ye that we engage for the protection and defence of our Brethren of London Bridge, and their men, lands, goods, rents, and all their possessions. And therefore we command, that they, the Brethren, and their men, lands, goods, rents, and all possessions, in their hands, ye should hold protected and defended. Nor shall any bring upon them, or permit to be brought upon them, any injury, molestation, damage, or grievance.

And if it be that any thing hath been forfeited by them, amendment shall be made without delay. And we also desire of you, that when the aforesaid Brethren, or their Messengers, shall come to you for your alms for their support, or for that of the aforesaid Bridge, ye shall courteously receive them, and cause them to be so received in all your Churches, Towns, and Courts; and that ye will bestow upon them of your goods according to your charity and the sight of our precept, the alms which they desire. So that in reward thereof ye may be worthy of all the blessings of mercy, and our special thanks shall be due unto you.

Witness the King at Portsmouth, the fifteenth day of July. Barnaby, is little less than miraculous! Why, it must be like a chain cable, to hold together the contents of all these musty Patent Rolls, with their endless repetitions. Beggars all! Postern bowed as I drank, and after having followed my example, thus continued. The event to which I allude was, that as the Queen was going by water to Windsor, just as her barge was preparing to shoot the Bridge, the populace intercepted her progress, attacked her with vehement exclamations and reproaches, and endeavoured to sink her vessel, and deprive her of life by casting heavy stones and mud into her boat.

It was in the latter end of the same year, that Simon de Montfort, the sturdy Earl of Leicester, and the Baronial leader, marched his forces through the County of Surrey towards London, in the hope that his friends, Thomas Fitz-Richard, then Lord Mayor, Thomas de Pynlesdon, Matthew Bukerel, and Michael Tony, with whom was connected an immense multitude of the common rabble, would open the Bridge Gates to him. During the fight, therefore, some of the Royalists, and especially one John Gisors, a Norman, perceiving that the City was in motion to assist De Montfort, locked up the Bridge Gates, and threw the keys into the Thames.

So prompt an action had nearly proved fatal to the Earl of Leicester, who had approached the Bridge with only a few soldiers, lest his designs should be discovered; but at length the Gates were broken open, the Citizens rushed out in multitudes to his rescue; King Henry was obliged to retreat, and De Montfort entered the City. Thomas of the Bridge; and the idea is somewhat supported by the Protection to which I referred you but a short time since. Catherine, concerning the Custody of London Bridge, with all the rents thereof for the space of five years. Thomas upon London Bridge, the other inhabitants upon the same Bridge; and to all others to whom these letters shall come, Greeting: Know ye, that we commit unto the Master and Brethren of the Hospital of Saint Catherine near to our Tower of London, the Custody of the aforesaid Bridge with all its appurtenances, as well the rents and tenements thereof, as of others which belong to the aforesaid Bridge, within and without the City: to have and to hold by the said Master and Brethren for the space of five years.

Yet so that out of the aforesaid rents, tenements, and other goods of the aforesaid Bridge, the repair and support of the Bridge is to be looked for, and to be done, from henceforth from that place as it shall be able, and as it hath been accustomed. And therefore we command you, that to the said Master and Brethren, as well as to the keepers of the aforesaid Bridge, all things belonging to that custody be applied, permitted, and paid, until the term aforesaid. Witness the King at Westminster, on the sixteenth day of November. The term for which the Hospital of St.

Catherine was to enjoy the custody of London Bridge, wanted, however, more than a whole twelvemonth of its completion, when a new Patent was issued by Henry III. I shall therefore, my good friend, take the freedom to put the proceedings between the Queen and the Citizens in somewhat more particular a form, illustrating them by the very records from whence we derive our information; for to these let me say, that neither of the authors whom I have mentioned give you any reference. Previously to commencing, however, I must entreat you to bear with me, Mr.

Barbican, if my proofs cited [] from the ancient Rolls of the Kingdom be dull and formal; and to remember that they are often the only fragmenta we possess of past events. Now, almost the whole of the reign of Henry III. Such was the state of English affairs at the return of King [] Edward I. For this purpose, as the next circuit of the Justices Itinerant was not expected for six years then to come,—as they generally travelled it but once in seven,—the King issued his Letters Patent under the Great Seal, dated from the Tower of London, on the 11th of October, , appointing Commissioners for each County in England, to make this important inquisition.

Whence danger may easily arise, very much to the damage of the King and of the City. They said also, that the same Bridge is greatly and perilously decayed through defect of keeping, which is to the great peril of our Lord the King and his City, and all passing over it. The only information we gain from the Jurors of the Ward of Dowgate, Membrane 16, and page , column 2, is, that Brother Stephen, Bishop of Waterford, was custodier for Queen Eleanor, whilst their evidence on [] the Bridge dilapidations is quite as full as that of the other Wards.

This, probably, was the phrase which led Maitland astray; added to which, he cites at page the Quo Warranto Bag of the 3rd year of Edward I. There came twelve for the Burgesses of Southwark.


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Barbican, that in the olden time, Bridges were applied to many purposes which now seem altogether foreign to such edifices. Leufred and the Great Arch, as it was anciently accustomed to be. He adds also, that the word Bru , which is unquestionably the most ancient etymon of the term Bridge, signifies that coronal of stone with which the large burial-places, or tumuli , in fields, were encircled.

With what great propriety then, did the blessed Peter of Colechurch confide his fame to, and rest his most excellent bones, in London Bridge! This is the first Ordinance of the Common Council we find on record, concerning the regulation and appointment of Markets in this City. Now this same White Book, which I imagine to have been so called from its having once had a cover of cream-coloured calf, was a most curious and elaborate work, compiled, as it is supposed by Strype, by one J. Carpenter, who was Town Clerk in the reign of Henry V. The volume then, in which this very ancient order of the Common [] Council is really contained, is a small folio of a moderate thickness, cased in boards, covered with white leather, having a coating of rough calf over it.

The outside is garnished with bosses and clasps, now black with age; and in the centre, a metal border holds down a piece of parchment, on which is written in Latin the title of the volume, in a clear black letter, guarded by a plate of horn: informing us that it was begun in the 4th year of the reign of Edward I.