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Whereupon it followed that the said river was at that time cleansed, these mills removed, and other things done for the preservation of the course thereof, notwithstanding never brought to the old depth and breadth; whereupon the name of river ceased, and it was since called a brook, namely, Turnmill or Tremill brook, for that divers mills were erected upon it, as appeareth by a fair register-book, containing the foundation of the priory at Clarkenwell, and donation of the lands thereunto belonging, as also divers other records.

This brook hath been divers times since cleansed, namely, and last of all to any effect, in the year , the 17th of Henry VII. In the year was granted a fifteenth, by a common council of the city, for the cleansing of this brook or dike; the money amounting to a thousand marks, was collected, and it was undertaken, that by drawing divers springs about Hampstead heath into one head and course, both the city should be served of fresh water in all places of want; and also, that by such a follower, as men call it, the channel of this brook should be scowered into the river of Thames; but much money being therein spent, the effect failed, so that the brook, by means of continual encroachments upon the banks getting over the water, and casting of soilage into the stream, is now become worse cloyed and choken than ever it was before.

The running water, so called by William the Conqueror in his [15] said charter, which entereth the city, etc. I have read in a book [22] entitled the Customs of London, [23] that the prior of the Holy Trinity within Aldgate ought to make over Walbrooke in the ward of Brod street, against the stone wall of the city, viz.

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Also that the prior of the new hospital, St. Mary Spittle without Bishopsgate, ought to make the middle part of one other bridge next to the said bridge towards the north: and that in the twenty-eight year of Edward I. Stephen upon Walbrooke ought of right to scour the course of the said brook, and therefore the sheriffs were commanded to distrain the said parishioners so to do, in the year The keepers of those bridges at that time were William Jordan and John de Bever.

This water-course, having divers bridges, was afterwards vaulted over with brick, and paved level with the streets and lanes where through it passed; and since that, also houses have been built thereon, so that the course of Walbrooke is now hidden underground, and thereby hardly known. Langborne water, so called of the length thereof, was a great stream breaking out of the ground in Fenchurch street, which ran down with a swift course, west, through that street, athwart Gra street, and down Lumbard street, to the west end of St.

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Mary Wolnothes church, and then turning the course down Shareborne lane, so termed of sharing or dividing, it brake into divers rills or rillets to the river of Thames: of this bourn that ward took the name, and is till this day called Langborne ward. This bourn also is long since stopped up at the head, and the rest of the course filled up and paved over, so that no sign thereof remaineth more than the names aforesaid.

Oldborne, or Hilborne, was the like water, breaking out about the place where now the bars do stand, and it ran down the whole street till Oldborne bridge, and into the river of the Wells, or Turnemill brook. This bourn was likewise long since stopped up at the head, and in other places where the [16] same hath broken out, but yet till this day the said street is there called High Oldborne hill, and both the sides thereof, together with all the grounds adjoining, that lie betwixt it and the river of Thames, remain full of springs, so that water is there found at hand, and hard to be stopped in every house.

The first, to wit, Holy well, is much decayed and marred with filthiness purposely hid there, for the heightening of the ground for garden-plots. The fountain called St.

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The said church took the name of the well, and the well took the name of the parish clerks in London, who of old time were accustomed there yearly to assemble, and to play some large history of Holy Scripture. Also in the year , the 10th of Henry IV. There were to see the same the most part of the nobles and gentles in England, etc. In place whereof the wrestlings have of later years been kept, and is in part continued at Bartholomew tide.

Somewhat north from Holywell is one other well curved square with stone, and is called Dame Annis the clear, and not far from it, but somewhat west, is also one other clear water called Perillous pond, because divers youths, by swimming therein, have been drowned; and thus much be said for fountains and wells.

Horsepoole, in West Smithfield, was some time a great water; and because the inhabitants in that part of the city did there water their horses, the same was in old records called Horsepoole; it is now much decayed, the springs being stopped up, and the land water falling into the small bottom, remaining inclosed with brick, is called Smithfield pond. By St. I read in the year that Anne of Lodburie was drowned therein; this pool is now for the most part stopped up, but the spring is preserved, and was coped about with stone by the executors of Richard Whittington.

The said river of the Wells, the running water of Walbrooke, the bourns aforenamed, and other the fresh waters that were in and about this city, being in process of time, by incroachment for buildings and heightenings of grounds, utterly decayed, and the number of citizens mightily increased, they were forced to seek sweet waters abroad; whereof some, at the request of King Henry III. The first cistern of lead, castellated with stone in the city of London, was called the great Conduit in West Cheape, which was begun to be built in the year , Henry Wales being then mayor.

The water-course from Paddington to James head hath rods; from James head on the hill to the Mewsgate, rods; from the Mewsgate to the Cross in Cheape, rods. Water was first procured to the Standard in West Cheape about the year , which Standard was again new built by the executors of John Welles, as shall be shown in another place. King Henry VI. The Conduit in Aldermanbury, and the Standard in Fleet street, were made and finished by the executors of Sir William Eastfield in the year ; a cistern was added to the Standard in Fleete street, and a cistern was made at Fleetbridge, and one other without Cripplegate, in the year Conduits of Thames water, by the parish churches of St.

Mary Magdalen, and St. Nicolas Colde Abbey near unto old Fish street, in the year Thus much for waters serving this city; first by rivers, brooks, bourns, fountains, pools, etc. And now some benefactors to these conduits shall be remembered. In the year certain merchant strangers of cities beyond [19] the seas, to wit, Amiens, Corby, and Nele, for privileges which they enjoyed in this city, gave one hundred pounds towards the charges of conveying water from the town of Teyborne. Robert Large, mayor, , gave to the new water conduits then in hand forty marks, and towards the vaulting over of Walbrooke near to the parish church of St.

Margaret in Lothbery, two hundred marks. Dame Thomason, widow, late wife to John Percivall Taylor, mayor, in the year gave toward the conduit in Oldbourne twenty marks.

Barnard Randulph, common sergeant of the city, , gave to the water conduits nine hundred pounds. The ditch, which partly now remaineth, and compassed the wall of the city, was begun to be made by the Londoners in the year , [28] and was finished in the year , the 15th of King John.

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This ditch being then made of feet broad, caused no small hindrance to the canons of the Holy Trinity, whose church stood near unto Aldgate; for that the said ditch passed [20] through their ground from the Tower of London unto Bishopsgate. This ditch, being originally made for the defence of the city, was also long together carefully cleansed and maintained, as need required; but now of late neglected and forced either to a very narrow, and the same a filthy channel, or altogether stopped up for gardens planted, and houses built thereon; even to the very wall, and in many places upon both ditch and wall houses to be built; to what danger of the city, I leave to wiser consideration, and can but wish that reformation might be had.

Richard II. Ralph Joceline, mayor, , caused the whole ditch to be cast and cleansed, and so from time to time it was cleansed, and otherwise reformed, namely, in , the 10th of Henry VIII. The chief ditcher had by the day seven pence, the second ditcher six pence, the other ditchers five pence. And every vagabond for so were they termed one penny the day, meat and drink, at charges of the city. In my remembrance also the same was cleansed, namely the Moore ditch, when Sir William Hollies was mayor, in the year , and not long before, from the Tower of London to Aldgate.

It was again cleansed in the year , Henry Amcotes being mayor, at the charges of the companies. Before the which time the said ditch lay open, without wall or pale, having therein great store of very good fish, of divers sorts, as many men yet living, who have taken and tasted them, can well witness; but now no such matter: the [21] charge of cleansing is spared, and great profit made by letting out the banks, with the spoil of the whole ditch.

I am not ignorant of two fifteenths granted by a common council in the year , for the reformation of this ditch, and that a small portion thereof, to wit, betwixt Bishopsgate and the postern called Mooregate, was cleansed, and made somewhat broader; but filling again very fast, by reason of overraising the ground near adjoining, therefore never the better: and I will so leave it, for I cannot help it. The original foundation of London bridge, by report of Bartholomew Linsted, alias Fowle, last prior of St.

Mary Overies church in Southwark, was this: A ferry being kept in place where now the bridge is built, at length the ferryman and his wife deceasing, left the same ferry to their only daughter, a maiden named Mary, which with the goods left by her parents, and also with the profits arising of the said ferry, built a house of Sisters, in place where now standeth the east part of St.

Mary Overies church, above the choir, where she was buried, unto 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 shown.

But first of the timber bridge, the antiquity thereof being great, but uncertain; I remember to have read, [29] that in the year of Christ , Sweyn, king of Denmark, besieging the city of London, both by water and by land, the citizens manfully defended themselves, and their king Ethelred, so as part of their enemies were slain in battle, and part of them were drowned in the river of Thames, because in their hasty rage they took no heed of the bridge.

Moreover, in the year , Canute the Dane, with a great navy, came up to London, and on the south of the Thames caused a trench to be cast, through the which his ships were towed into the west side of the bridge, and then with a deep trench, and straight siege, he compassed the city round about. Also, in the year , Earl Goodwin, with the like navy, taking his course up the river of Thames, and finding none that offered to resist on the bridge, he sailed up the south side of the said river. Furthermore, about the year , William the Conqueror, in his charter to the church of St.

We read likewise, that in the year , the 14th of Henry I. In the year , the 22nd of Henry I. George, in Southward, and five shillings rent by the year, out of the land pertaining to London bridge. I command by my kingly authority, that the manor called Alcestone, 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.

Witness, William de Pontlearche, at Byrry. In the year , the 1st of king Stephen, [31] a fire began in the house of one Ailewarde, near unto London stone, which consumed east to Aldgate, and west to St. Now in the year , the same bridge was not only repaired, but newly made of timber as before, by Peter of Cole church, priest and chaplain.

Thus much for the old timber bridge, maintained partly by [23] the proper lands thereof, partly by the liberality of divers persons, and partly by taxations in divers shires, have I proved for the space of years before the bridge of stone was built. This work; to wit, the arches, chapel and stone bridge, over the river of Thames at London, having been thirty-three years in building, was in the year finished by the worthy merchants of London, Serle Mercer, William Almaine, and Benedict Botewrite, principal masters of that work, for Peter of Cole church deceased four years before, and was buried in the chapel on the bridge, in the year King John gave certain void places in London to build upon the profits thereof to remain towards the charges of building and repairing the same bridge: a mason being master workman of the bridge, builded from the foundation the large chapel on that bridge of his own charges, which chapel was then endowed for two priests, four clerks, etc.

And now to actions on this bridge. About the year , through a great frost and deep snow, five arches of London bridge were borne down and carried away.

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In the year , the bridge was so sore decayed for want of reparations that men were afraid to pass thereon, and a subsidy was granted towards the amendment thereof, [38] Sir John Britain being custos of London. In the year , on St. The next year, on the 13th of November, the young Queen Isabell, commonly called the little, for she was but eight years old, was conveyed from Kenington besides Lamhith, through Southwarke to the Tower of London, and such a multitude of people went out to see her, that on London bridge nine persons were crowded to death, of whom the prior of Tiptre, a place in Essex, was one, and a matron on Cornhill was another.

The Tower on London bridge at the north end of the draw-bridge for that bridge was then readily to be drawn up, as well to give passage for ships to Queenhithe, as for the resistance of any foreign force , was begun to be built in the year , John Rainwell being mayor. Another tower there is on the said bridge over the gate at the south end towards Southwarke, whereof in another place shall be spoken. In the year , Jack Cade, and other rebels of Kent, by this bridge entered the city: he struck his sword on London Stone, and said himself then to be lord of the city, but were by the citizens overcome on the same bridge, and put to flight, as in my Annals.

In the year , Thomas, the bastard Fawconbridge, besieged this bridge, burnt the gate, and all the houses to the draw-bridge, that time thirteen in number. In the year , a house called the common siege on London bridge fell down into the Thames; through the fall whereof five men were drowned. In the year , the 3rd of February, Sir Thomas Wyat, and the Kentish men, marched from Depeford towards London; after knowledge whereof, forthwith the draw-bridge was cut down, and the bridge gates shut.

Wyat and his people entered Southwarke, where they lay till the 6th of February, but could get no entry of the city by the bridge, the same was then so well defended by the citizens, the Lord William Howard assisting, wherefore he removed towards Kingstone, etc. To conclude of this bridge over the said river of Thames, I affirm, as in other my descriptions, that it is a work very rare, having with the draw-bridge twenty arches made of squared stone, of height sixty feet, and in breadth thirty feet, distant [26] one from another twenty feet, compact and joined together with vaults and cellars; upon both sides be houses built, so that it seemeth rather a continual street than a bridge; for the fortifying whereof against the incessant assaults of the river, it hath overseers and officers, viz.

Fleete bridge in the west without Ludgate, a bridge of stone, fair coped on either side with iron pikes; on the which, towards the south, be also certain lanthorns of stone, for lights to be placed in the winter evenings, for commodity of travellers.


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Under the bridge runneth a water, sometimes called, as I have said, the river of the Wels, since Turnemill brooke, now Fleete dike, because it runneth by the Fleete, and sometimes about the Fleete, so under Fleete bridge into the river of Thames. This bridge hath been far greater in times past, but lessened, as the water course hath been narrowed. It seemeth this last bridge to be made or repaired at the charges of John Wels, mayor, in the year , for on the coping is engraven Wels embraced by angels, like as on the standard in Cheape, which he also built.

Thus much of the bridge: for of the water course, and decay thereof, I have spoken in another place. Oldbourne bridge, over the said river of the Wels more towards the north, was so called, of a bourn that sometimes ran down Oldbourne hill into the said river. This bridge of stone, like as Fleet bridge from Ludgate west, serveth for passengers with carriage or otherwise, from Newgate toward the west and by north.

Cowbridge, more north, over the same water by Cowbridge street or Cowlane: this bridge being lately decayed, another of timber is made somewhat more north, by Chick lane, etc. But one other there is of timber over the river of Wels, or Fleet dike, between the precinct of the Black Friers, and the house of Bridewell.


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There have been of old time also, divers bridges in sundry places over the course of Walbrooke, as before I have partly noted, besides Horseshew bridge, by the church of St. John Baptist, now called St. I read, that of old time every person having lands on either side of the said brook, should cleanse [39] the same, and repair the bridges so far [27] as their lands extended.

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More, in the 11th of Edward III. Also, that in the 3rd of Henry V. For order was taken in the 2nd of Edward IV. And thus much for bridges in this city may suffice. Gates in the wall of this city of old time were four; to wit, Aeldgate for the east, Aldersgate for the north, Ludgate for the west, and the Bridgegate over the river of Thames for the south; but of later times, for the ease of citizens and passengers, divers other gates and posterns have been made, as shall be shown. In the reign of Henry II. It may therefore be supposed, he meant for the first, the gate next the Tower of London, [40] now commonly called the Postern, the next be Aeldgate, the third Bishopsgate, the fourth Ealdersgate, the fifth Newgate, the sixth Ludgate, the seventh Bridgegate.

source link Now of every of these gates and posterns in the wall, and also of certain water-gates on the river of Thames, severally somewhat may, and shall be noted, as I find authority, or reasonable conjecture to warrant me. For the first, now called the postern by the Tower of London, it showeth by that part which yet remaineth, to have been a fair and strong arched gate, partly built of hard stone of Kent, and partly of stone brought from Caen in Normandy, since the Conquest, and foundation of the high tower, and served for passengers on foot out of the east, from thence through the city [28] to Ludgate in the west.

The ruin and overthrow of this gate and postern began in the year , the 2nd of Richard I.