The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 3

Allen, Thomas
1827

Tun Prison.

Tun Prison.

In the year 1282, a conduit was first built of stone by Henry Wallies, mayor, to be a prison for night walkers and other suspicious persons, and was called the Tun upon Cornhill, because the same was built somewhat in form of a tun standing on one end.

Without the west side of this tun was a well of spring water, curbed round with hard stone. This spring is in use at the present time, being preserved by a handsome pump at the south-east corner of the Royal Exchange.

To this prison of the Tun, the night watch committed not only night-walkers, but also other persons, as well spiritual as temporal, whom they suspected of incontinency, and punished them according to the customs of this city; but complaint thereof being made about the year of Christ 1297, king Edward I. forbade the imprisonment of the clergy therein.

About the year 1299, several of the principal citizens of London, viz. T. Romane, Richard Gloucester, Nicholas Faringdon, Adam Helingbury, T. Saly, John Dunstable, Richard Ashwy, John Wade, and William Stratford, broke open this prison, and took out certain persons confined therein; for which they were severely punished by long imprisonment and great fines. It cost the citizens, as some have written, more than twenty thousand marks, which they were amerced in before William de March, treasurer of the king's exchequer, to purchase the king's favour and the confirmation of their liberties.

In the year 1383, the 7th of Richard II., the citizens taking upon them the rights that belonged to their bishops, first imprisoned such as were taken in fornication or adultery, in the said Tun; and after bringing them forth to the sight of the world, they caused their heads to be shaved, after the manner of thieves, whom they called Appellators, and so to be led about the city, in sight of all the inhabitants, with trumpets and pipes sounding before them, that their persons might be the more largely known. Neither did they spare such kind of men a whit the more, says Mr. Maitland, but used them as hardly, saying, they abhorred not only the negligence of their prelates, but also detested their avarice that studied for money, omitted the punishment limited by law, and permitted those that were found guilty to live favourably by their fines; wherefore, they would themselves, they said, purge their city from such filthiness, lest, through God's vengeance, either the pestilence or sword should swallow them. In a charge of the wardmote-inquest, about this period, in every ward in this city were these words:-- If there bee any priest in service within the ward, which before-time hath beene set in the Tunne in Cornebill for his dishonesty, and hath forsworne the city, all such shall be presented.

John Atwod, draper, dwelling in the parish of St. Michael upon Cornhill, directly against the church, »having a proper woman to his wife, such an one as seemed the holiest among a thousand, had also a lusty country priest of the said parish church repairing to his house, with the which priest the said Atwod would sometimes after supper play a game at tables for a pint of ale. It chanced on a time, having haste of work, and his game proving long, he left his wife to play it out, and went down to his shop. But returning to fetch a pressing-iron, he found such play (to his misliking) that he forced the priest to leap out at a window over the pent-house into the street, and so to run to his lodging in the church-yard. Atwod and his wife were soon reconciled, so that he would not suffer her to he called in question; but the priest being apprehended and committed, I saw his punishment to be thus, says Stow: He was on three market-days conveyed through the high street and markets of the city, with a paper on his head, whereon was written his trespass. The first day he rode in a carry; the second on a horse, his face to the horse's tail; the third, led betwixt two, and every day rung with basons, and proclamations made of his fact at every turning of the streets, and also before John Atwod's stall, and the church door of his service, where he lost his chauntry of twenty nobles the year, and was banished the city for ever.

In the year 1401, the Tun was made a cistern for sweet water, conveyed by pipes of lead from Tyburn, and was from thenceforth called the conduit upon Cornhill. Then was the well planked over, and a strong prison made of timber, called a cage, with a pair of stocks set upon it, and this was for night-walkers; on the top of which cage was placed a pillory, for the punishment of bakers offending in the assize of bread, for millers stealing of corn at the mill, and for bawds and scolds, and other offenders.

The conduit upon Cornhill was, in the year 1475, repaired by Robert Drope, draper, mayor, who then dwelt in that ward. He enlarged the cistern of this conduit with an east end of stone and lead, and castellated it in comely manner.

In the centre of the four streets, at the eastern extremity of Cornhill, stood the

In the year , a conduit was built of stone by Henry Wallies, mayor, to be a prison for night walkers and other suspicious persons, and was called the Tun upon , because the same was built

somewhat in form of a tun standing on

one

end.

Without the west side of this tun was a well of spring water, curbed round with hard stone. This spring is in use at the present time, being preserved by a handsome pump at the south-east corner of the .

To this prison of the Tun, the night watch committed not only night-walkers, but also other persons, as well spiritual as temporal, whom they suspected of incontinency, and punished them according to the customs of this city; but complaint thereof being made about the year of Christ , king Edward I. forbade the imprisonment of the clergy therein.

About the year , several of the principal citizens of London, viz. T. Romane, Richard Gloucester, Nicholas Faringdon, Adam Helingbury, T. Saly, John Dunstable, Richard Ashwy, John Wade, and William , broke open this prison, and took out certain persons confined therein; for which they were severely punished by long imprisonment and great fines. It cost the citizens, as some have written, more than , which they were amerced in before William de March, treasurer of the king's exchequer, to purchase the king's favour and the confirmation of their liberties.

In the year , the of Richard II., the citizens taking upon them the rights that belonged to their bishops, imprisoned such

465

as were taken in fornication or adultery, in the said Tun; and after bringing them forth to the sight of the world, they caused their heads to be shaved, after the manner of thieves, whom they called

Appellators,

and so to be led about the city, in sight of all the inhabitants, with trumpets and pipes sounding before them, that their persons might be the more largely known.

Neither did they spare such kind of men a whit the more,

says Mr. Maitland,

but used them as hardly, saying, they abhorred not only the negligence of their prelates, but also detested their avarice that studied for money, omitted the punishment limited by law, and permitted those that were found guilty to live favourably by their fines; wherefore, they would themselves, they said, purge their city from such filthiness, lest, through God's vengeance, either the pestilence or sword should swallow them.

In a charge of the wardmote-inquest, about this period, in every ward in this city were these words:--

If there bee any priest in service within the ward, which before-time hath beene set in the Tunne in Cornebill for his dishonesty, and hath forsworne the city, all such shall be presented.

John Atwod, draper, dwelling in the parish of St. Michael upon , directly against the church, »having a proper woman to his wife, such an as seemed the holiest among a , had also a lusty country priest of the said parish church repairing to his house, with the which priest the said Atwod would sometimes after supper play a game at tables for a pint of ale. It chanced on a time, having haste of work, and his game proving long, he left his wife to play it out, and went down to his shop. But returning to fetch a pressing-iron, he found such play (to his misliking) that he forced the priest to leap out at a window over the pent-house into the street, and so to run to his lodging in the church-yard. Atwod and his wife were soon reconciled, so that he would not suffer her to he called in question; but the priest being apprehended and committed,

I saw his punishment to be thus,

says Stow:

He was on

three mark

et-days conveyed through the high street and markets of the city, with a paper on his head, whereon was written his trespass. The

first

day he rode in a carry; the

second

on a horse, his face to the horse's tail; the

third

, led betwixt

two

, and every day rung with basons, and proclamations made of his fact at every turning of the streets, and also before John Atwod's stall, and the church door of his service, where he lost his chauntry of

twenty

nobles the year, and was banished the city for ever.

In the year , the Tun was made a cistern for sweet water, conveyed by pipes of lead from Tyburn, and was from thenceforth called the conduit upon . Then was the well planked over, and a strong prison made of timber, called a cage, with a pair of stocks set upon it, and this was for night-walkers; on the top of which cage was placed a pillory, for the punishment of bakers offending in the assize of bread, for millers stealing of corn at the mill, and for bawds and scolds, and other offenders.

466

 

The conduit upon was, in the year , repaired by Robert Drope, draper, mayor, who then dwelt in that ward. He enlarged the cistern of this conduit with an east end of stone and lead, and castellated it in comely manner.

In the centre of the streets, at the eastern extremity of , stood the

 
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 Title Page
 Dedication
 CHAPTER I: The site, extent, buildings, population, commerce, and a view of the progressive increase of London
 CHAPTER II: List of the parishes and churches in London, with their incumbents, &c
collapseCHAPTER III: History and Topography of Aldersgate Ward
collapseCHAPTER IV: History and Topography of Aldgate Ward
collapseCHAPTER V: History and Topography of Bassishaw Ward
collapseCHAPTER VI: History and Topography of Billingsgate Ward
collapseCHAPTER VII: History and Topography of Bishopsgate Ward, Without and Within
collapseCHAPTER VIII: History and Topography of Bread-street Ward
collapseCHAPTER IX: History and Topography of Bridge Ward Within
collapseCHAPTER X: History and Topography of Broad-street Ward
collapseCHAPTER XI: History and Topography of Candlewick Ward
collapseCHAPTER XII: History and Topography of Castle Baynard Ward
collapseCHAPTER XIII: History and Topography of Cheap Ward
collapseCHAPTER XIV: History and Topography of Coleman-street Ward
collapseCHAPTER XV: History and Topography of Cordwainer's-street Ward
collapseCHAPTER XVI: History and Topography of Cornhill Ward
collapseCHAPTER XVII: History and Topography of Cripplegate Ward Within
collapseCHAPTER XVIII: History and Topography of Cripplegate Yard Without
collapseCHAPTER XIX: History and Topography of Dowgate Yard
collapseCHAPTER XX: History and Topography of Farringdom Ward Within
collapseCHAPTER XXI: History and Topography of Farringdon Ward Without
collapseCHAPTER XXII: History and Topography of Langbourn Ward
collapseCHAPTER XXIII: History and Topography of Lime-street Ward
collapseCHAPTER XXIV: History and Topogrpahy of Portsoken Ward
collapseCHAPTER XXV: History and Topography of Queenhithe Ward
collapseCHAPTER XXVI: History and Topography of Tower Ward
collapseCHAPTER XXVII: History and Topography of Vintry Ward
collapseCHAPTER XXVIII: History and Topography of Wallbrook Ward
This object is in collection:
Edwin C. Bolles papers
Subjects
London (England)--History
Antiquities
Permanent URL
http://hdl.handle.net/10427/44306
ID: tufts:UA069.005.DO.00068
To Cite: DCA Citation Guide
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