House of Friars' Preachers.
This order at first had their house in Oldborne, where they remained for the space of fifty-five years. In the year 1276, Gregory Rocksley, mayor, and the barons of this city, granted and gave to Robert Kilwarby, archbishop of Canterbury, two lanes or ways next the street of Baynard's-Castle, and also the tower of Mountfichit, to be destroyed; in the place of which the said Robert built the church of the Blackfriars, and placed them therein. King Edward I. and Eleanor his wife, were great benefactors, and were reputed the founders. This was a large church, and richly furnished with ornaments; wherein divers parliaments, and other great meetings were held; namely, in the year 1450, the twenty-eighth of Henry VI. a parliament was begun at Westminster, and adjourned to the Blackfriars in London, and from thence to Leicester.
In the year 1522, the emperor Charles V. was lodged there.
In the year 1524, the 15th of April, a parliament was begun at the Black-friars, wherein was demanded a subsidy of 800,000l.; to be raised of goods and lands, 4s. in every pound; and in the end was granted 2s. in the pound, of their goods and lands that were worth 20l. or might dispend 20l. by the gear, and so upwards, to be paid in two years.
The parliament was adjourned to Westminster, amongst the black monks, and ended in the king's palace there, the 14th of August, at nine o'clock at night, and was therefore called the black parliament.
In the year 1529, cardinal Campeius, the legate, with cardinal Wolsey, sat at the Black-friars; where before them, as legates and judges, was brought in question the king's marriage with queen Catharine, as to its unlawfulness; and before whom the king and queen were cited and summoned to appear, &c.
The same year, in the month of October, began a parliament in the Black-friars, in the which cardinal Wolsey was condemned in the premunire.
This house, valued at 104l. 15s. 5d. was surrendered the 12th of November, the 30th of Henry VIII.
King Edward VI. in the fourth of his reign, of his special favour, granted to sir Thomas Cawarden, knt. the whole house, site or circuit, compass, and precinct, of the late friar-preachers within the city of London, and divers other lands and tenements in London. The patent was dated the 12th of March; the yearly value being reckoned at 191. But the hall, and the site of the prior's lodgings, within the precinct of Black-friars, was sold, in the first of king Edward VI. to sir Francis Brian, knt. being valued at 40s. per annum.
In this house of the friar-preachers of London, the ancient kings of this land had their records and charters kept, as well as at the Tower of London, and other castles in England, as appears by this patent following, of the sixteenth of Edward II.
Rex omnibus ad quos, &c. Sal. Sciatis quod assignavimus dilectos Clericos nostros Robertum de Hoton, & Thomam de Sibthorp, ad scrutand. arraiand. & recto ordine ponend. Chartas nostras de Pontefracto, Tutbury & Tonnebrug, [i. e. Tunbridge,] existentes; nec non illas quae de novo venerunt, & sunt in Custodia Custodis Turris n«rae London. & etiam oia illa [scripta] quae sunt in Domo Frum« Pradicatorum infra Civitat. London. In cujus Testimonium Rex apud Aldewerck xxiv Julii.
Et mandatum est Custodibus & Constabularis Castrorum praedictor. ac Priori Ordinis Frum« Praedicator. London. quod ipsos Robertum & Thomam Castra Turrim & domum doctor« Frum« ex causa praedict. ingredi permittant.
Several seals of this friary exist; one is of an oval form, small, and represents St. John, in his right hand a label, and in his left a club. He is standing on the back of an eagle. The legend is, S« ORDINIS FRATRVM PREDICATORVM LONDONIENSIS.Cart 14 Edw. I, Duchy of Lancaster office.
Another represents the Crucifixion, between two female figures, above which is a neat pointed canopy. The legend is S« CONVEN- TVS FRATRVM PREDICATORVM LONDONIENSIS.Attached to the surrender, 12th Nov. 30th Hen. VIII. in the Augmentation office.
A third is similar to the last, only with adouble legend, the outer as follows: S« CONVENTVS FR«M PREDICATOR, LVNDONIENSIS. The inner is ECCE FILIVS TVVS ECCE MATER TVA.Duchy of Lancaster office.
In the reign of Elizabeth this precinct was much inhabited by noblemen and gentlemen.
In 1586, the city and the owners of Black and White-friars in London, had a great contest. The former claimed the liberties of both these friars, upon such arguments as these, which their council urged: That the precincts of the said friars were in London, and therefore claimed the like liberty in them as in the rest of the city; and that divers felons, for felonies within the two precincts, were, in the friars times, indicted, arraigned, and tried in London. They claimed now to have from her majesty all waifs, strays, felons goods, amerciaments, escheats, &c. the execution of all processes, the expulsion of all foreigners; the assize of bread, beer, ale, and wine; the wardmote-quest, and such other jurisdictions as they had within the rest of the city. But the counsel against the city answered these allegations, and produced some other proofs for the better confirmation of the said liberties. They denied not the friars to be in London, but they affirmed them to be not of London, no more than St. Martin's-le-Grand, Creechurch, St. Bartholomew's, &c.
From the abstract of matters shewed before the lords chief justices by the council against the city, it appeared that,
Robert Kilwerbie, cardinal, surrendered unto king Edward I. the suite of Baynard's-castle, in London; whereupon the said Edward did graunt the graunt of the same to the friars-preachers to build the church there, &c. and also graunted it liberam et puram Eleemosynam
The Black-friars founded the 7th of Edward I.
Thomas de Bustings, of London, surrendered unto king Edward I. a messuage next to Baynard's-castle; the which the said king Edward graunted to the prior, to the enlargeing of the said Baynard's castle, to hold it of the said king Edward and his heirs.
King Edward I. did graunt to the friars-preachers, that they might bring their conduit-water thorowe Smythefield unto their howse at Baynard's-castle.
King Edward I. did graunt unto the prior all the tenements, &c. with howse thereon built, that came unto him by the surrendour of Will Dale, to the enlarging of their howses.
King Edward I. did graunt unto the prior, that he should hold all the tenements within the precincts bounding to the same, to him and to his successors.
King Edward II. did graunt unto the prior a messuage called Okeborne, in the ward of Baynard's--castle, to the enlarging of their howse, with a confirmation of all the former graunts unto them. And further granting unto the prior and convent, that they and their successors should be discharged of tenths, fifteenths, subsidies, quotas, tallages, or other burthens whatsoever, graunted, or to be graunted, to the clergie or commons, &c.
An exemplification of an indenture made in French, between the maior of London and the prior, in Henry the third's time.
The same incorporated by parliament, in the fifth of Henry VI.
In 1484, John Alford, of the Black-friars, was executed for felonie; whose goods the sheriff of London would have had, but the prior answered the same to the lord of S. Johnes, of whom the scite was holden, and who did make the bridge at the Thames.
In the 22nd of Henry VIII. ten serjeants would have served a writ on six priests in the Black-friars, and were resisted.
The prior was by law constrained to pave the streets without the wall joining to the precinct; whereupon a cage being set up by the citie, he pulled it down, saying, That since the citie forced me to pave the place, they shall set no cage there on my ground.
Sir John Portynarie reported, in his life, that, immediatelie after the dissolution, the maior pretended a title to the liberties but king Henry VIII. informed thereof, sent to him to desist from meddling with the liberties, saying, he was as well hable to keep the liberties as the friars were. And so the maior no further meddled, and sir John Portynarie had the keyes of the gates delivered to him, and a fee for keeping the same.
The maior's officers arrested no person within the precinct in the friars' time.
The fowre gates, enclosingthe precinct with walls, were in the friars tyme, and sithence to this present, kept shut from the citie by a porter.
Malefactors found within the friars, were examyned by sir Will. Kingston, and others of the precinct, and not otherwise.
The precinct never entred by the citie, nor watch there kept.
Rogues, and such like, punished in the prior's stocks, at his commandment.
The precinct inhabited by artificers not free, using their arts without controlment.
Carpenters, masons, &c. have been fetched out of the countrie, and worked there without impeachment.
The inhabitants never charged with any imposition to the citie.
If any be slaine there, the coroner of the verge inquiered the deodands; which the lord of St. Johnes have.
In king Edwardthe sixth's time, five citizens, committing a riott within the verge within the Friars, were indicted before sir Nicholas Hare, then justice of the same: and the maior then calling a sessions to inquire thereof in the citie, was, by two several letters from the council, inhibited to deal therein, to the infringing of the king's liberties: whereupon he desisted.
In queen Marie's tyme the maior sought the liberties by act of parliament; but was rejected upon argument, and not brought to the question.
The felon's goods, waifes, bloodsheds, fynes, forfeitures, amerciaments, and eschets, are still due to her majesty; which she should loose, yf the citie enjoy the liberties.
All friars, and other spiritual precincts, were privileged from temporal jurisdiction through the realme, by divers statutes of this realme.
All castles privileged; and the Black-friars was the scite of Baynard's-castle.
Divers statutes, confirming the liberty of religious howses, especiallie in the 28th of Henry VIII. cap. 16.
All liberties of suppressed houses vested in the king, by the statutes of 31 Hen. VIII. ca. 13, Hen. VIII. ca. 20.
Larger liberties, than are now claimed, allowed in king Edward the sixth's time, to Robert Fitz-Waters, for the Black and White-friars. Which was since the liberties granted to the city.
The Black-friars were of the fee of St. Johnes, and thereby greatlie privileged.Maitland, vol ii. p. 954.
Among other privileges Black-friars and the other exempt places claimed, was, that they would not contribute to the musters, when the militia was raised in the city; as it was in the year 1585, sir Thos. Pullison, mayor, who was therefore obliged to make a complaint to the court thereof, praying, that, by their authority, Blackfriars, and the other privileged places, might also bear their burthen in musters, as well as other inhabitants of the city. Advertising the lord treasurer, «That whereas the Black-friars, St. Martin's, White-friars, and other exempt places, were appointed to he contributory to this charge, they refused to be taxed, and would not yield to pay any thing, unless they had directions from the lord treasurer, or other of the lords of her majesty's privy-council, for the doing thereof: wherefore, and for that the service fell out to be of far greater charge than was expected, he humbly besought his lordship's order and commandment to those exempt places, for contribution.
Ministers Accots London and Middlesex, 32 Henry VIII.
Lands and possessions of the house or priory of Friars Preachers, within the city of London.
These possessions consisted of tenements and gardens within the city, the rents of which amounted to9334
Tenements'within the parish of St. Andrew by the Wardrobe14148
Rents arising from anniversaries5568
Among the above possessions was a rent from the lady Grey, widow, for a tenement or mansion within the site of the late house, (of Friars) at the end of the great dormitory, with a garden belonging to the same, let to sir Edward Benyngfeld, knt. 5l. 6s. 8d.
Also a rent of 2l. 13s. 4d. from the lord Parre, for the firm of a tenement in the great cloister there. 5l. rent from sir William Kingston, knt. for a tenement in the garden, near the little cloister. 6l. 13s. 4d. of sir Thomas Chenye, knt. lord of the Cinque Ports, for a tenement newly built, in which he now dwells. 5l. 6s. 8d. for a tenement or mansion, with a garden, let to lord Cobham, called Larks Lodgyng.
2l. for a tenement situated near the church gate, called the Comtes Lodging, in the tenure of the chancellor of Rochester.
The ancient church belonging to the Black-friars, London, was, before the dissolution of religious houses by king Henry VIII. one of the most spacious and fair churches in London. But the friars being put out, the church, together with other buildings, was utterly demolished.
Among the eminent persons buried in this church were the following :
Margaret, queen of Scots.
Hubert de Burgo, earl of Kent, translated from their old church by Old Bourne.
Robert of Artois, earl of Bellimon.
Dame Isabel, wife to sir Roger Bygot, earl marshal.
William and Dame Jane Huse, children to Dame Ellis, countess of Arundel. And by them lieth Dame Ellis, daughter to the earl of Warren, and afterwards countess Arundel.
Dame Ide, wife to sir Walter--, daughter to the lord Ferrars of Chartley.
Richard de Brewes.
Dame Jone, daughter of Thomas , wife of sir Guidon Ferrers.
And by the right hand of sir Guidon, lay dame Jone Huntingfeld.
Sir John Molins, knt.
Richard Strange, son to Roger Strange.
Elizabeth, daughter to sir Bartholomew Badlesmere, wife to sir William Bohun, earl of Northampton; Marsh; the earls of March and Hereford; and Elizabeth, countess of Arundel.
At dame Elizabeth's head, lay dame Joan, daughter to sir John Came, first wife to sir Gwide, or Guy, Brian.
Hugh Clare, knt. 1293, lay by her right side.
The heart of queen Elianor, the foundress.
The heart of Alfonce, her son.
The hearts of John and Margaret, children to William Valence.
John of Eltham, duke of Cornwall, brother to king Edward III. Upon his tomb was hung up a table of his noble pedigree; which is still preserved among the Cotton MSS.Julius. B. vii. 45.
The daughter of Geffrey Lucie, wife of sir Thomas Peverels.
Sir William Thorpe, justice.
The lord Liothe of Ireland.
Dame Maude, wife to sir Geffrey Say, daughter to the earl of Warwick. And with her Edmund, related to king
Dame Sible, daughter to William Patteshule, wife to Roger Beauchampe. And by her sir Richard, or Roger, Beauchampe.
Dame Jane Boteler.
Lord Scrope, of Upsal.
Sir Fanhope, Lord S. Amand, and dame Elizabeth, his wife, daughter to the duke of Lancaster.
Richard S. Amand, Lord S. Amand, bequeathed his body to be buried in the church of the Blackfriars, next Ludgate, June 12, 1508.
Sir Stephen Collington, knt.
King James of Spain.
Sir William Peter, knt.
The countess of Huntington.
Duchess of Exeter,
Sir John Cornwall.
Lord Fanhope died at Ampthill, in Bedfordshire, and was buried
Caveston Talbot, esq.
Sir John Tiptoft, earl of Worcester, who was beheaded in 1470.
And by him, in his chapel, James Turchet, lord Audley, who was beheaded in 1497.
William Paston, and Anne, daughter to Edmond Lancaster.
The heart of sir Westye.
The heart of dame Margaret, countess of the Yle.
The lord Beaumont.
Sir Edmond Cornewall, baron of Burford.
The lady Nevil, wedded to the lord Dowglas, daughter to the duke of Exeter.
Richard Scoope, esq.
Dame Catharine Vaux.
Sir Thomas Browne, and dame Eleanor, his wife.
Sir George Browne, and dame Elizabeth, his wife.
John Mawsley, esq. 1432.
John de la Bere, Nicholas Carre, Geffrey Spring, and William Clifford, esqrs.
Sir Thomas Brandon, knight of the garter, 1509. This noble knight, by his last will, dated June 11, 1509, bequeathed his body to be buried at the Friars Preachers, London, as near unto the sepulchre of sir John Wingfield, knt. as might be. He was uncle to the famous Charles Brandon, afterwards duke of Suffolk, that married the queen dowager of France. To him, by his said will, he left 300 marks of his plate. He also gave to the friars Austins, London, 60l. for a perpetual memorial to be had of the lord marquis Berkley, and the lady marchioness, late his wife. And to the lady Jane Gylford, widow, he bequeathed his place in Southwark, with his lease, which he had of the lord bishop of Winton.
William Stalworth, merchant-taylor, 1518.
William Courtney, earl of Devonshire, nominated, but not created, the third of Henry VIII. &c.
Elizabeth, lady Scrope, of Upsal and Marsham, widow, who by her will bequeathed her body to be buried in the Black-friars, London, by the side of her husband, lord Thomas Scrope, of Upsal and Marsham. By which will, dated the 7th of March, the 5th of Henry VIII., she appointed the trentals to he sung in the church of Blackfriars, for the soul of the said lord, her husband, and Alice, their daughter; for sir Henry Wentworth's soul, and for the soul of the lord her father, John, marquis of Montague, and her mother, the lady Isabel, his wife. She willed also, that a stone should be prepared with three images, one of her husband, another of herself, and a third of their said daughter; and their arms upon the said stone, and Scripture, making mention what they were, to the value of 10l.She willed, moreover, a tomb to be made over sir Henry Wentworth, knt. late her husband, lying in Newton-abbey, in Lincolnshire, to the value of 20l. sterling; and a tomb likewise to be made over the lord her father, and her lady mother, lying buried in Bisham-abbey, in Berkshire, to the value of 20l.
Sir Thomas Parr, father to Catharine, king Henry's last wife, was also buried here, according to his will, dated November 9, the 9th of Henry VIII. bequeathing his body to lie in Black-friars, London, if he chanced to die within twenty miles thereof. He willed, that all his lands that descended to him, as heir to sir William Parr, his father, should remain to Maud, his wife, for her jointure. He willed his daughters, Catharine and Anne, to have 800l. between them; except they proved to be his heirs, or his son's heirs; and then they should not: but willed the said monies to be laid out for copes and vestments, to be given to the house of Clervaux, &c. and 100l. to be bestowed upon the chantry of Kendal. He willed his son William to have his great chain, worth 140l. which the king's grace gave him. He made Maud, his wife, and Dr. Tunstal, master of the rolls, his executors. This will was proved in the year 1517.
Dame Maud Parr, widow to the above-named sir Thomas, and mother to queen Catharine, by her will, bearing date May 20, the 21st of Henry VIII. bequeathed her body to be buried in this church. In this will she mentioned her son and heir, William Parr, for whose preferment she had indebted herself, as she said, both to the king, for his marriage, and to the earl of Essex, for the matching with the lady Bourcher, daughter and heir apparent to the said earl. She mentioned also Anne, her daughter, and Catharine Borough, her daughter, and sir William Parr, her brother, and
Thomas Pickring, esq. her cousin, steward of her house. This will was proved 1531, December 14.
Roger de Swillington, knt. (whose will was proved 1417.) willed that the Friars Preachers at Ludgate, London, should have 40l. pro anniversariis diebus annuatim tenend. of him the said Roger, and Joan, his wife, for one time, when it happened, to pray for their souls, and for Robert Swillington, his father. And that two nuns, sisters of Thomas de Swillington, should have 13s. 4d.
Mr. Maitland notices a curious circumstance that occurred in Blackfriars, soon after the fire of London. Some workmen digging in a place where the convent was formerly situated, to clear it from the rubbish, they came to an old wall in a cellar, of great thickness, where appeared a kind of cupboard; which being opened, there were found in it four pots or cases of very fine pewter, very thick, with covers of the same, and rings fastened to the top, to take up or put down at pleasure. The cases were flat before, and round behind. And in them were deposited four human heads, unconsumed, preserved, as it seems, by art ; with their teeth and hair, the flesh of a tawny colour, wrapped up in black silk, almost consumed. And a certain substance, of a blackish colour, crumbled into dust, lying at the bottom of the pots.
One of these pots, with the head in it, Mr. Strype says, he saw in October, 1703, being in the custody of Mr. Presbury, then soap-maker, in Smithfield: which pot had inscribed, in the inside of the cover, in a scrawling character, which might be used in the times of king Henry VIII. J. CORNELIUS. This head was without a neck, having short red hair upon it, thick, and that would not be pulled off; and yellow hair upon the temples: a little bald on the top, perhaps a tonsure; the fore part of the nose sunk, the mouth gaping, ten sound teeth, others had been plucked out; the skin like tanned leather, the features of the face visible. There was one body found near it buried, and without any head; but no other bodies found. The other three heads had some of the necks joined to them, and had a broader and plainer razure, which shewed them priests. These three heads are now dispersed. One was given to an apothecary, another was entrusted with the parish clerk, who got money by shewing of it. It is probable they were at last privately procured, and conveyed abroad; and now become holy relics.
Who these were, there is no record, as I know of; nor had any of them names inscribed but one. They seem to have been some zealous priests or friars, executed for treason ; whereof there were many in the rebellion in Lincolnshire, anno 1538; or for denying the king's supremacy, and here privately deposited by these Black-friars.
The ample privileges, which the inhabitants of Black-friars formerly enjoyed, have been for many years lost; so that now the sheriff's officers can arrest there; the shop-keepers are obliged to be free of the city; and it now forms part of the ward of Farringdon-within.
The parishioners of this precinct, who had been accommodated for their religious rites in the priory church, on the demolition of the establishment, were left without a place of worship: they complained thereof in queen Mary's reign, and sir Thomas Corden, being obliged to find a church for the inhabitants, allowed them a lodging-chamber above stairs; which, in the year 1597, fell down. Then the parishioners purchased an additional piece of ground to enlarge their church, which they rebuilt by subscription, and it was consecrated and dedicated to St. Anne, on December 11, A. D. 1597, and ordained to be thenceforward called The church or chapel of St. Anne, within the precinct of Black-friars. This precinct increased so much with inhabitants, that, in the year 1613, they found it necessary to enlarge their church ; and, for that purpose, purchased so much housing on the south side thereof, as enlarged the church 35 feet 11 inches in breadth, and 54 in length; whereon they built an aisle, as an addition to it, and also a vault for a burial-place beneath; having before purchased the church, churchyard, porch, and parsonage-house, with the right of patronage, from sir George Moore. But it had no tythes belonging to it.
This church, which was a donative or curacy, was burnt down in the general conflagration of the city, and the parish was annexed to St. Andrew's Wardrobe.
Near to the north-west corner of Newgate-street stood the