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I S, II . Q 



Made and printed in Great Britain at 
The Mayflower Press. Plymouth. William Brendon & Son, Ltd. 






IN dealing with the early history of London there are many 
points which are controversial and some that are speculative. 
In the case of controversial questions I have not considered 
it necessary to combat the views from which I dissent, and 
have been content to give my own interpretation of the 
evidence, or else to adopt the views of those with whom I 
agree. Speculation is unavoidable where direct evidence 
fails and resort has to be had to analogy. This is so with 
regard to the study of the administration of London during 
the Saxon period. For this reason the subject has been 
avoided hitherto. Research, however, seems to point to the 
elucidation of many of the difficulties of this time by the 
study of the institutional history of Scandinavia and Denmark. 
Norsemen and Danes were the principal traders for two 
centuries before the Conquest, and London, essentially a 
trading town, was strongly influenced by them. Further 
research in this direction is needed to understand the later 
government of London, for it would seem there was no clean 
sweep of English institutions immediately after the Conquest. 
The Roman and Norman periods of the history of London 
have attracted many students. Most important for the 
history of the Roman period is the scholarly work of the late 
Prof. F. Haverfield, to whom and to Sir Arthur Evans for 
his most suggestive numismatic discoveries and to my 
colleagues working on the Romano-British chapter in the 
Victoria County History of London, I am much indebted. For 
the Norman and Angevin periods I have received guidance 


from the works of Dr. Horace Round, to whom all students 
of these times owe much. To the researches of the late 
Miss Mary Bateson and Mr. C. L. Kingsford, which are so 
illuminating, I am also much indebted. 

The chapter on the Sokes of London is based upon an 
article which I contributed to the Nineteenth Century and After, 
and I have to thank the editor and proprietors of that 
magazine for permission to adapt the article to its present 
use, and for leave to reproduce the sketch map which 
accompanied it. 

I am under a deep debt of gratitude to Dr. Horace Round 
and Professor Tait for reading the proofs of the chapters 
on Norman London and Early Government, and for various 
corrections and suggestions which they made. I wish also 
to express my thanks to Miss M. V. Taylor for reading the 
proofs of the chapter on Roman London ; to Mr. A. H. Thomas, 
Keeper of the City of London Records, for the use of notes 
regarding the early charters of the City ; to Miss N. O'Farrell, 
for searches at the Public Record Office and elsewhere, and 
to Miss Isabel Slater for careful translations from Norwegian 
and Danish works. 



















INDEX 255 



OF SOKES, c. 1150 133 







THE site of London seems originally to have formed a part of 
the great forest area which covered what is now the county 
of Middlesex and extended into Hertfordshire and Essex. 
Although implements used by the people of the Stone and 
Bronze Ages during the long period they occupied the 
country, have been discovered scattered over these lands, they 
do not necessarily indicate any settlement at London as has 
been suggested, 1 and indeed the site of London was not a 
position that would be attractive to such people. Coming to 
the Celtic period, there are some indefinite evidences of pile 
dwellings at the mouth of the Fleet and at Finsbury which 
are, however, of uncertain date and are situated outside the 
walls of the city. 2 

It is not until the very end of the late Celtic Age that we 
have some shadowy idea of the existence of a settlement at 

1 Gomme, The Making of London, 24, 33, 34. 

* The piles found at the Fleet and Finsbury may possibly have been 
those upon which Roman buildings were erected. Sir Lawrence Gomme 
imagined that a Celtic stronghold must have stood on Ludgate Hill, but 
no evidence of it seems to have been found. Ibid., 18, 20. 


London. The objective of Caesar's march at the time of his 
invasion of 54 B.C. was the " oppidum " or stronghold of 
Cassivellaunus, the head of the confederated tribes of south- 
east Britain. There can be little doubt that this stronghold 
was Verulamium, 3 near St. Albans, for here was the seat of 
government of his successor Tasciovanus, the capital of the 
south-east, if not of all, Britain, and here was a place which 
answered in all respects to the description given by Caesar of 
the " oppidum " of the British prince. The trade route from 
the Kentish ports and so from the Continent consequently 
seems to have followed a course which had this capital town 
for its objective. It would therefore make for the lowest safe 
ford across the Thames which gave convenient access to 
Verulamium, and such a ford was apparently found from 
Lambeth to Westminster, whence the road followed a north- 
westerly course to St. Albans. On the death of Tasciovanus, 
however, in A.D. 5, his successor Cunobeline, the Cymbeline 
of Shakespear, transferred his seat of government to Camulo- 
dunum or Colchester. 4 This change required a rearrangement 
of the trade route to the new capital, as the old road crossing 
the river at Westminster would take the traveller far out of 
his way. A new passage over the river was therefore found 
further to the east between what are now Southwark and 
London, from which a road was apparently made direct to 
Colchester. A ford at this point, although it would be passable 
at low water, 5 would be dangerous and insufficient for the 

Cf. V.C.H. Herts, iv, 121. 

4 Evans, Coins of the Ancient Britons (1864), p. 289 
6 In the Anglo-Saxon Chron. under the year 1114 it is recorded as an 
extraordinary occurrence that there was so great an ebb of the tide that 
men went riding and walking over the Thames eastward of London Bridge, 
a thing that no man remembered before. 


traffic. Hence a timber bridge was, probably erected either 
at the time of the divergence of the road or during the Claudian 
invasion. The construction of such a bridge would present 
only slight difficulties even to the Britons, for the river here 
is narrow and of no great depth, but considering the strong 
Roman influence which had been established at the court of 
the British princes Tasciovanus and Cunobeline, after the 
invasion of Caesar, it is quite conceivable that Roman en- 
gineers were employed on the work. 6 


We know that a bridge over the Thames existed in this 
neighbourhood at the time of the Claudian invasion of A.D. 43, 7 
and there is a strong presumption that this bridge connected 
South wark and London. In confirmation of this theory it is 
recorded that when taking down old London Bridge a series 

We have some idea of the intimate intercourse with the Roman Empire 
at this time by the adoption of Latin inscriptions upon British coins and 
the costly importations from Italy which have been found. V.C.H. Herts, 
iv, 122, 126, 130, 166. 

7 Dion Cassiua, Bk. Ix, cap. 20. 


of Roman coins dating from the time of Augustus (31 B.C. to 
A.D. 14) was discovered in the bed of the Thames, and there 
can be little doubt that these coins were dropped by pas- 
sengers crossing the river. Further than this, pottery, at- 
tributed to the early part of the first century, has been found 
at or near to the approaches to the crossing on either side of 
the river. 8 Settlements would arise both at the north and 
south ends of the crossing, each owing its origin to the 
passage across the river. Possibly, and perhaps naturally, 
South wark being nearer to travellers from abroad, was the 
earlier settlement, and the pottery discovered here seems to 
indicate that this was so. 9 The northern end of the crossing 
may thus have been claimed as the " bridgehead " to the 
southern settlement, and this may possibly account for the 
fact that in early times London is referred to as in the territory 
of the Cantii or people of Kent. 10 But the advantages of the 
high lands of London over the marshes of Southwark would 
soon be recognized, besides which they formed the only 
ground for many miles to the east which rose to any height 
above the swamps which border the lower parts of the left 
bank of the Thames. The river also at this point provided 
an excellent anchorage-ground for ships, while the mouth of 
the Walbrdok was a safe harbour, and the somewhat high 
banks to the east of it afforded good positions for wharves. 
Thus London, though not in the middle of Britain, was by 
reason of its bridge and its advantages as a port, a convenient 

V.C.H. London, i, 106, 109 ; V.C.H. Surrey, iv, 371-8. 
' Haverfield, Roman London, 146. 

10 Ptolemy so places London (Geographia, ii, 3, 12) ; London was the 
place of refuge of the men of Kent after the Battle of Crayf ord in 457 (Anglo- 
Saxon Chron. sub anno) ; and Saebert early in the seventh century held 
London under l>>s uncle Ethelbert of Kent (Ibid., anno 604). 


centre for the distribution and collection of overseas and 
inland traffic. Such a position could not fail to attract mer- 
chants and others, and a trading town quickly rose to pros- 
perity and wealth. 

The name London is Celtic, and therefore it may be argued 
that at least the site was of sufficient importance to have had 
a name before the Roman conquest of A.D. 43. n The coins, 
pottery and other objects of the late Celtic period found both 
in London and Southwark all belong to the first century, 
and it is to the early part of this century that we may possibly 
attribute the foundations of the settlements both at London 
and Southwark. 12 This date would agree with the views of 
the late Professor Haverfield, whose knowledge of Roman 
Britain was supreme and whose deductions are invariably 
sound. His opinion was that " either there was no pre- 
Roman London or it was a small and undeveloped settlement 
which may have been on the south bank of the Thames." 

Camulodunum, as already stated, having become the chief 
town of south-eastern Britain, was the objective of the Roman 
invaders of A.D. 43. Aulus Plautius, the Roman general, 
landed on the Kentish coast with three legions and marched 
inland by a route that approximately followed the line of 
Watling Street. The Britons again adopted the tactics they 

11 Of. Haverfield, op. cit., 145. 

14 Too much stress must not perhaps be laid on the sporadic finds of 
coins of Augustus (31 B.C. to A.D. 14) and Claudius (A.D. 41 to 54), but a 
collection of iron coins plated with silver, forming part of a forger's appara- 
tus, the latest coin of which is one of Claudius, found in King William 
Street, cannot have been later than that date ( V.C.H. London, i, 106. Cf. 
the account of the forged coins of Claudius found at Gloucester. S. Lysons, 
Rdig. Brit., ii, pi. xv and text). The discovery of late Celtic objects included 
bronze spoons at Brick Hill Lane and the Thames, a helmet at Moorgate 
Street, a bronze fragment, a coin of Cunobeline and a bronze enamelled 
shield. (Haverfield, op. cit., 145n.) 


had used at Caesar's invasion nearly a century before and are 
used in nearly every war in which the physical features of the 
country are suitable. They concentrated their forces behind 
a river which there can be little doubt was the Medway, and 
being driven from their position there retired to the Thames 
" where it discharges itself into the ocean and becomes an 
estuary at high tide." 13 This they crossed with ease, being 
well acquainted with the parts where the river was fordable, 
and took up a position on the north bank. With the Roman 
army were some auxiliaries from Gaul who were apparently 
accustomed to fighting in the Low Countries, and they, by 
swimming the river, were able to turn the British left flank. 
In the meantime the main Roman army forced the passage 
of a bridge that lay a little way up stream and thus the Britons 
found themselves attacked on both flanks. After heavy losses 
the Britons fled towards Colchester, and in the pursuit many 
of the Romans, not knowing the country, perished by " wan- 
dering into the pathless marshes." The site of this engage- 
ment was possibly in the neighbourhood of Tower Hill, the 
marsh-lands being perhaps where Wapping, Shadwell and the 
London and St. Katherine's Docks now lie, and the bridge no 
other than a predecessor of Old London Bridge, presumptive 
evidence of whose existence at this time has already been 
shown. This is the only district which seems to fit the re- 
quirements of Dion's description. Tower Hill would be a 
good tactical position with sufficient room for manoeuvring 
an army of those days. It would have the wet marshes to 
the east into which the Britons apparently enticed their 
Roman pursuers. There could scarcely have been a bridge 
lower down the Thames than London, and to find a spot higher 
13 Dion Cassius, loo, cit. 


up that would suit the narrative we should have to go beyond 
Westminster and Fulham. 

When Aulus Plautius had gained a footing on the north 
bank of the Thames he did not feel that his force was strong 
enough to advance further ; he therefore consolidated his 
position and, according to Dion, waited with the main part 
of his army on the south side of the Thames for the Emperor 
Claudius to come with reinforcements. This took some time, 
and it was probably not until the following year that the 
advance on Colchester began. In the meantime it would 
seem probable that the Romans occupied London, for a settle- 
ment there, which the Romans could not have ignored, seems 
proved by coins and pottery. Presuming the bridge men- 
tioned by Dion was at London, it would have been necessary 
to secure the bridgehead in order to retain the foothold on 
the north bank of the river and to maintain the line of com- 
munication with the base at the Kentish ports and with the 

Claudius joined the forces which awaited him near the 
Thames. He then crossed the river and must have passed 
through London on his way to Camulodunum. With the fall 
of that town the whole of the south-east of Britain passed 
under Roman dominion. 14 The legions then marched on to 
the conquest of the rest of the country, the second legion to 
the south-west, the fourteenth and twentieth to the midlands 
and north-west, and the ninth to Lincoln and the east. 

The eastern part of Britain northward to the Wash was 
soon brought under Roman dominion. Prasutagus, king of 
the Iceni, a tribe occupying approximately Norfolk and Suffolk, 
made terms with the Romans and was allowed to retain his 

Mommsen, Provinces of the Roman Empire, ii, App., pp. 347-8. 


kingdom. On his death he left as a matter of policy one-half 
his possessions to the Emperor and the other to his daughters. 
The Roman officials, on the pretext of acting in the Emperor's 
interest, seized all his property. The relatives of Prasutagus 
disputed the Roman claim, and for their opposition to the 
arbitrary action of the Romans, Boadicea, widow of Prasu- 
tagus, was scourged, hie daughters ravished and his relatives 
enslaved. 15 This brought the Iceni to arms, and the smoulder- 
ing embers of discontent caused by the overbearing behaviour 
of the veterans planted as a colony at Camulodunum, burst 
into flame. In A.D. 60 Camulodunum fell an easy prey to the 
Britons, who massacred the inhabitants. Suetonius, then 
governor of Britain, who was with the army in North Wales, 
hurried with a small body of men to London, which is now 
mentioned for the first time in history. 16 Here he proposed 
to set up his head-quarters in order to secure his line of com- 
munication with the Continent. The Britons, seeing the im- 
portance of the position, threatened London with all their 
forces. London at that time, like Camulodunum, being with- 
out defences, Suetonius saw it would be impossible to hold 
it with the small body of men at his disposal. He was there- 
fore reluctantly compelled to abandon it as the only means 
of saving the whole province, and having made that decision, 
neither the supplication of the men nor the tears of the women 
of the Roman and Romano-British inhabitants, could move 
him to alter it. Taking with him those among the citizens 
who could stand the campaign, he set out to rejoin the main 
body of his army then marching from Wales, leaving London 

18 Tacitus, Annals, Bk. xiv, cap. xxxi. 

[ 1B It was at that time probably on his direct route to Colchester; 
Mommsen, op. cit., ii, 349. 


with its old men, women and children to its fate. The Iceni 
and the confederated tribes almost immediately fell upon the 
defenceless city, destroyed it and killed all whom they found 
there. The same disaster befell Verulamium, and in these 
three Romanised towns there were massacred, it is said, 
70,000 persons. 17 In them the Roman government of south- 
east Britain was largely concentrated. Camulodunum was a 
" colonia " inhabited by Roman veterans, Verulamium was 
a " municipium " with privileges only granted to highly 
Romanised towns, and London, most Roman of the three, 
was the centre of trade and commerce, of which the Britons 
were no doubt jealous but quite unfitted to practise. With 
the destruction of these towns the Britons imagined that 
their freedom from the Roman yoke would be obtained. 

Suetonius with his flying column, followed by the full force 
of the Britons, was able to retire on his main army which was 
probably marching along the line of Watling Street. At a 
point which has not been identified, a battle was fought in 
which the Britons were beaten and fled in disorder. After 
her defeat Boadicea, who led the Britons, ended her life by 
taking poison. 

London must have greatly prospered after these events. 
Tacitus describes it as a place not dignified with the name of 
a colony, but the chief residence in Britain of merchants 
and the great market for trade and commerce. 18 From 
pottery, coins and other archaeological evidence it would 
appear that it made a speedy recovery from the damage done 
by the Iceni and their confederates. We know that at this 
time it covered a very small part of its later area, and the 

17 Tacitus, loc. cit. These numbers must be taken with caution. 


extent of this limited district has been very ingeniously 
ascertained by Mr. R. A. Smith, who shows that at the head 
of the bridge there is a small district approximately bounded 
by the Walbrook on the west, St. Mary-at-HUl and Rood 
Lane on the east, Cornhill on the north and Thames Street 
on the south 19 within which no burials have been found, but 
without it, yet within the area later enclosed by the walls, 
burials both by incineration or after reduction to ashes, and 
inhumation or interment, are numerous. The conclusion to 
be drawn from this is that whereas by the Roman sanitary 
laws no burials were permitted in urban areas, the district 
without burials around the bridgehead will approximately 
give us the extent of the earliest town. 20 

It is a recognised rule that in the development of towns the 
plans of those which are laid out at one time are rectilinear 
or of a gridiron form, and those which grow gradually are 
concentric or of a spider's web arrangement. Most of the 
Roman sites are of the former plan, the ramparts and ditches 
of the British cantonal towns such as Leicester, Silchester, 
Chichester, Aldborough and many others were adopted as 
the bounds and defences of the Roman towns, and the areas 
within them were laid out at one time with that chess-board 
regularity which is usually to be met with on Roman sites. 
But London was not a cantonal town, and was for a long time 
unrestricted by ramparts and ditches. The selection of the 
site was for trading purposes, and the small original settle- 
ment gradually grew outwards from the bridgehead as a 
centre. Its plan may therefore have been rather concentric 
than rectilinear, which would account for the shape which 

19 These streets will be seen on map, p. 175. 
" V.C.H. London, i, 42. 


the line of the walls assumed. The evidence of the remains 
of streets and buildings is insufficient to decide this point, 
but it is probable that roads ran from the bridge to the gates 
which would make it difficult to fit in a rectilinear plan. 

Unfortunately the numerous burials within the walls do 
not give much help in assigning any reliable date to the ex- 
tension of the city. There is but one recorded cinerary urn 
containing a coin, that of Claudius (A.D. 41-54), as the fee of 
Charon, the ferryman over the Styx, which was found at 
Warwick Square just within the western wall, and one skeleton 
discovered at Bow Lane that held in his teeth for a like fee 
a coin said to be of Domitian (A.D. 81-96). 21 These burials 
only show that the extension of the city had not reached the 
western side of the Walbrook in the first century, which is 
corroborated by the discovery of kilns apparently of that 
date in St. Paul's churchyard. 22 

As might be expected, the most densely inhabited part of 
the city was the original settlement at the bridgehead, and 
the houses become more scattered towards the outskirts of 
the town. The foundations of Roman houses at Warwick 
Square and other outlying parts suggest villas in a district 
which was at one time suburban and later became incorporated 
in the city. Thus we must assume that the expansion of Lon- 

81 Mr. R. A. Smith on the evidence of Abbe Cochet suggests that in- 
humation was not practised by the Romans until the second half of the 
third century, but if the attributed date of this coin is correct, it seems to 
have been in use much earlier in London. Burials in stone sarcophagi were 
not made around London until the fourth century, and none have been found 
within the walls. V.C.H. London, i, 18, citing Normandie Souterraine (1855), 
ed. 2, 29, 165 ; Proc. Soc. Antiq., xix, 209. 

2 V.C.H. London, i, 92. Such kilns would not have been allowed in 
urban areas. The discovery of clay and rubbish pits in the outer parts of 
London indicate that these districts were not inhabited. Arch, txiii, 285 ; 
xvi, 238, 270, 272. 


don gradually continued until it was arrested by the building 
of the city walls, the date of which again is a matter of con- 
troversy. Mr. F. W. Eeader and others argue from the 
evidence of coins found in the Walbrook that they were built, 
at the latest, by the middle of the second century ; Mr. K. A. 
Smith, on the other hand, attributes them to the fourth 
century ; while the late Prof. Haverfield would place them at 
the end of the third century. 23 The arguments in favour of 
the last-mentioned time seem perhaps the most plausible. 
This date would agree with the constructional details, and 
it was a period when the building of city walls in the western 
provinces of the empire had become a customary precaution 
against the raids of the barbarians. In Britain it was a neces- 
sity during the lack of authority and the constant disturbances 
caused by the usurpations of Postumus, Tetricus, Bonosus, 
Proculus and others who claimed this country as part of their 
dominions. This period, too, is probably the most usual for the 
depositing of hoards of Romano-British coins, a sure indica- 
tion that property was insecure and the country disturbed. 24 
A hoard of about 500 denarii found in Lime Street must have 
been buried a little after 250, 25 and another containing a 
smaller number of coins found between two skeletons at Ewer 
Street, South wark, is some twenty years later. 26 

The walls enclosed about 322 acres, an area far exceeding 
any other Romano-British site and indeed larger than most 
towns of the Roman period in north-west Gaul, the extent of 
land enclosed being another argument against the early date 
of the walls. The material of which the walls were built was 

23 Haverfield, op. cit., 168 

24 V.C.H. Leicester, i, 180-1, whore a list of such hoards ia given. 
26 V.C.H. London, i, 108. Ibid., 137. 


rubble faced with local Kentish stone with bonding courses 
of two or three layers of tiles at intervals of about 3 feet. 
The thickness was about 8 feet 6 inches towards the base and 
the height probably from 20 feet to 25 feet. The bastions, 
which have the appearance of having been built hastily of 
any material that came to hand, are of a late period of the 
Roman occupation. Outside the walls was a berme or plat- 
form about 15 feet wide, and then a ditch of varying width 
and depth but of slight dimensions in comparison with those 
of other Romano-British towns where, having at one time no 
masonry walls, they depended solely upon their earthen 
defences. The River Walbrook passed through the wall by 
culverts protected by iron bars. Either during the Roman 
occupation or a little after, the culverts became blocked, 
causing the formation outside the wall of a morass which was 
later known as the Moor, a name that still survives in Moorgate 
and Moorfields. 27 There were apparently four gates, approxi- 
mately on the sites of Newgate, Aldersgate, Bishopsgate and 
Aldgate, and a postern at Ludgate. Of these, Newgate is the 
only gate of which we have a plan and to which we can assign 
with certainty the exact locality. 28 It consisted of a double 
gateway between two flanking towers. 

No definite evidence of the actual lay-out of the town nor 
of the position of a forum, basilica, temples or theatre has 
come to light, but the foundations of walls which from their 
size and substantial character apparently belonged to public 
buildings have been found near Leadenhall Market. It has 
been suggested that they formed a part of the basilica and 

27 Arch., xxix, 152 ; Ix, 177. 

!8 The defence of the walls was in the hands of a civil militia ; there is 
no trace of a garrison. Haverfield, op. cit., 165. 


forurn of the town in its later period, but the remains dis- 
covered are too fragmentary to indicate definitely what they 
were. They show traces, it is said, of four conflagrations, and 
buildings near by in Leadenhall Street and in Lombard Street 
gave signs of like catastrophes and of a sufficient interval of 
time between them for the accumulation of a considerable 
amount of soil. 29 From this fact it has been thought that at 
some period of its history all Koman London was destroyed 
and rebuilt, but there seems to be little evidence of such a 
disaster elsewhere than on this site. 

Outside the walls the land was little occupied, but there 
was a villa, perhaps, in the Strand where its bath still survives, 
and another at Holborn, and some buildings at Westminster 
possibly in relation to the crossing of the Thames there. 30 

The early buildings and other remains in Roman London 
denote wealth and prosperity. The tessellated pavements far 
outnumber those discovered in other Romano-British towns, 
and they and the wall-paintings equalled or surpassed in 
quality those found elsewhere. 31 The houses, as might be 
expected, were supplied with hypocausts, baths and other 
luxuries. Those in the outer parts were pleasantly situated 
among gardens and orchards and frequently adjoined the 
numerous streams that intersected the land. The pottery, 
sculpture, bronzes and other objects of the earlier period all 
tell of culture and opulence, indeed all the early remains dis- 
covered point to a highly Romanised if not Roman population, 
with little or no Celtic influence. 32 Celtic traditions and asso- 
ciations were continued in towns like Camulodunum and Veru- 

29 V.C.H. London, i, 74, 107, 109 ; Arch., Ixvi, 225. 

30 Ibid., 82. 81 Haverfield, op. cit., 168-62. 

32 Haverfield, op. cit. The skulls found in and around London are said 
to be mostly Roman in type. 


lamium for the reason that they owed their early importance 
to the tribal organizations which the Romans found there 
and adopted for the purposes of government. These towns 
existed as administrative centres and as the markets for the 
corn, wool, hides and other commodities raised in the tribal 
district dependent upon them. But in the south-east of Britain 
the tribal organization gradually became weakened after the 
Roman conquest, and so these towns declined. London, 
however, so far as we know, had no tribal area attached to it, 
and the wooded district around could have supported no 
population, even if there was space for such an area between 
the land of the Trinobantes on the east and that of the Catu- 
vellauni on the west. 

London's importance originated entirely from its position 
as the centre of traffic of Britain. It was the place of nodality 
of the province, the knot in the cord, the strands of which 
stretched into every part of the country. With its wharves 
lying along the Thames bank eastward of the Walbrook and 
the Bridge, the remains of which have been found, 33 and 
possibly with its little harbours or hithes, it formed a port for 
shipping the wheat, wool, hides, lead and slaves exported from 
Britain, and for unloading the wine, oil, pottery, cloth and 
other goods imported from abroad. But it was mainly by its 
position as the road centre of the province, just as it is to-day 
the centre of the railway system, that it obtained its chief 
fame and wealth, for probably the greater part of the traffic 
with the Continent passed by the shorter sea route through 
the Kentish ports of Lympne (Portus Lemanus), Dover 
(Portus Dubris) and Richborough (Portus Ritupis). 34 Roads 

* V.C.H. London, i, 128. 

84 We know, however, that there was a certain amount of direct traffic 
from the Rhine to Colchester and from Gaul to the north of Britain. 
Haverfield, op. cit., 114. 


from all these ports met at Canterbury (Durovernum) whence 
the only way inland was by the road that became known as 
Watling Street, the line of which, as already stated, was ruled 
by the crossing of the Thames. After London had been 
founded at the crossing place for Watling Street over the river 
all the traffic by the Kentish ports, civil, military and commer- 
cial, in fact the bulk of the continental traffic, passed through 
it. At first, it would seem, the roads leading out of London 
from the north side of the Thames were those to Verulamium 
and Camulodunum, which probably existed as tracks before 
the Claudian invasion and were improved, straightened and 
extended by Koman engineers. Possibly during the latter 
part of the first century, or early in the second century, Ermine 
Street to Lincoln and the North and the road to Silchester 
and the West were laid out, while a little later still the Stane 
Street from Southwark to Chichester was constructed. By 
these roads and their extensions and subsidiary roads London 
was connected with every part of Britain and became the 
centre of the road system of the country. 

The inhabitants of London who depended upon this traffic, 
like those of to-day, were merchants and financiers who specu- 
lated in the products of the country and in imported goods, 
dealt in Government contracts and lent money, 35 for there 
were then no industries in London as we understand the term. 
So far as our evidence shows, London took no part in the 
important manufacture of cloth which was carried on in South 
Britain, 36 a trade which is referred to in the Eastern Edict of 
Diocletian. 37 Eemains have been found which suggest per- 

35 Haverfield, op. cit. 

36 This is indicated by the dye works discovered at Silchester and 
fulling mills at Chedworth in Gloucestershire, Darenth in Kent and Titsey 
in Surrey. 87 Haverfield, Romanization of Roman Britain, 57. 


haps the making of glass at St. Clement's Lane and Southwark 
Street 5 s8 but the small bronze objects such as pins and needles 
discovered at Blackfriars, 39 and jewellery in Lombard Street, 40 
probably only represented tradesmen's shops. That the women 
of London wove and spun cloth for home consumption is 
testified by weights for looms, spindle whorls and other im- 
plements found. 41 Pottery kilns discovered under St. Paul's 
Cathedral supplied some of the rougher household crockery. 42 
The immense quantity of potsherds of the red glazed ware, 
the earlier with embossed designs of flowers and figures and 
the later plain, which was known as Gaulish or Samian ware, 
shows that there was a large importation of this pottery from 
Central Gaul from the first century to the middle of the third, 
when its manufacture ceased. Fragments of this ware dating 
from the second century are still washed up near Whitstable 
at the mouth of the Thames, where it is evident that a ship 
bound for London laden with this pottery was wrecked in the 
second century. Of the British-made pottery, which took the 
place of the Gaulish in the third century, the largest amount 
brought to light in London is that of the black Upchurch ware, 
while a smaller quantity of the blue or grey slip ware made at 
Castor in Northamptonshire and a comparatively few pieces 
of the New Forest ware have been found. Many of the mor- 
taria used by the Romans for pounding their food, which have 
been discovered in London, bear the name of Albinus, a potter 
traced to Gaul. 43 The number of fragments of amphorae, or 
earthen jars with two handles at the neck, suggest a large 
importation of wine. 44 On the whole there is, as might be 

38 V.C.H. London, i, 98. 3 Ibid., 90. Ibid., 109. 

41 Ibid., 104, 121, 126. 42 Ibid., 124. " Ibid., 97. 

44 Ibid., 98. 


expected, evidence of a considerable trade between London 
and the Continent in these and other goods. 

Of the amusements of the people we know little. Dice and 
draughtsmen 46 have been found, telling of domestic games, 
but no remains have been discovered of either a theatre, such 
as there was at Verulamium (St. Albans), or of an amphi- 
theatre which existed outside most Roman towns, although 
Roach Smith thinks that the depression bounded by the Old 
Bailey, Fleet Lane, Seacoal Lane and Snow Hill may indicate 
its site. 46 

The speech of the people of London was Latin, as apparently 
it was with all the inhabitants of Southern Britain. Evidence 
of this is shown by the habit of bricklayers scribbling in Latin 
on their bricks. On a tile in the city wall at Warwick Lane was 
scrawled in Latin " Austalis goes off on his own every day for 
a fortnight," 47 a custom of workmen not confined to the 
Romano-British era. We know that Agricola during his 
governorship of Britain in the second half of the first century 
encouraged the spread of education among the Britons, 48 and 
the ability of bricklayers to read and write shows a standard 
of education in the Roman Empire which was not attained 
again until a comparatively recent time. 49 

To return to the sequence of historical events relating to 
London. The peace which came gradually after the revolt 
of the Iceni and the confederated tribes was not disturbed in 
Southern Britain by the difficulties which arose elsewhere in the 
Empire on the death of Nero in A.D. 69. The rebellions, how- 

46 V.C.H. London, 93, 99, 114. 

46 London and Midd. Arch. Trans., i, 32, 195. 

47 Austalis dibus viii vagatur sibi cotidim V.C.H. London, i, 133. 
Haverfield, Roman London, 168. 

48 Tacitus, Agricola, cap. xxi. 49 Haverfield, op. cit., 168. 


ever, in the north of the Island absorbed all the attention of 
historians for a long time. Tacitus in the life of his father-in- 
law Agricola, governor here from A.D. 78 to 85, makes no men- 
tion of London, though Agricola must have frequently passed 
through it and probably encouraged its trade. The Emperor 
Hadrian, with a part of the expeditionary force he brought 
over to quell^the insurrection in Northern Britain in A.D. 120, 
visited London on his march northward which resulted in the 
building of the Roman wall from the Tyne to the Solway. It 
may have been to commemorate this occasion that a colossal 
bronze statue of the Emperor was erected in London ; the 
splendid head of such a statue found in the Thames at London 
is now preserved in the British Museum and forms one of 
the finest pieces of Roman art discovered in the country. 50 

The troubles which beset the Roman Empire at the latter 
part of the second and the beginning of the third century 
must have had their reflection on London, but no evidence 
either written or archaeological throws any light on the sub- 
ject. 51 The usurpation of Albinus (193-7) under which 
Britain became a detached empire, so far as we know, left no 
mark upon London. The division of Britain into two parts, 
Upper and Lower, and the visit of the Emperor Severus to 
superintend the campaign in Scotland, and his death at York 
in 211, have in like manner left no trace in the history of 
London, although we may be pretty sure the Emperor rested 
there on his journey to the north. There is the same lack of 
information with regard to the various usurpations which 
occurred throughout this time. 

Hitherto the province of Britain had only been troubled by 

M V.C.H. London, i, 109. 

81 A hoard ending A.D. 161 was found in Jewin Street. Ibid., 133. 


internal disturbances, as the coasts had for a long time been 
effectually guarded from Frankish and Saxon pirates by the 
Classis Britannica. In the latter part of the third century, 
however, for some unknown reason these marauders began to 
infest the shores of Britain and Gaul. Their raids became so 
troublesome that the fleet had to be increased, and thus 
strengthened was placed under the command of Marcus 
Aurelius Carausius, possibly a Celt from North Gaul. 52 At 
first he carried out his duties with great success, but after a 
time he was accused of collusion with the pirates, and fearing 
punishment he persuaded his followers to proclaim him 
emperor. He landed in Britain in 286, 53 where, his claim being 
recognised, he commenced a vigorous rule of the province 
which he was able to maintain owing to his command of the 
fleet. As " the first sea king of British History " he overcame 
the new Roman fleets which were sent against him. 54 Dio- 
cletian, then emperor, at length in 289, or early in 290, was 
compelled to acknowledge him as a colleague ruling over 
Britain 65 and the port of Boulogne (Gessoriacum), the Gaulish 
base of the fleet. 

Carausius was the first, since the Claudian invasion, to 
establish a separate coinage for Britain, and from this date 
much of the history of London is obtained from numismatic 
evidence. The establishment of a mint was necessary to enable 
him to pay the fleet and carry out the spirited policy he de- 
signed for governing Britain, for it must be remembered that 
he was cut off from the Gaulish mints at Treves, Lyons and 
Aries. Mints were established at Camulodunum, the ancient 

62 He came from Menapia in the Low Countries. Aureliua Victor, 
De Caeaaribua, cap. xxxix. 63 Ibid. 

64 Oman, Engl. before the Norman Conq., 165. 

65 Eutropius, Hist., Bk. x. 


capital of the south-eastern tribes, and at London now fast 
superseding it as the chief town of Britain, a position there is 
reason to think it finally attained at this date. The London 
mint was the more important of the two, both in the output 
and value of the coins. Only copper coins of the time of 
Carausius can be traced to Camulodunum, while those of gold, 
silver and copper are assigned to London, and these have been 
found in comparatively large numbers in London itself. His 
earliest coinage was very roughly struck on old coins of 
earlier emperors and was obviously made to meet the 
emergency caused by the revolt. These early coins are in 
strong contrast to the finely minted specimens which were 
issued from London after the peace with Diocletian and Maxi- 
mian that surpassed in purity the debased coinage of the rest 
of the empire. 56 

Carausius was an energetic and popular ruler, and it was 
perhaps unfortunate that in 292 Diocletian and Maximian, 
his fellow-emperors, broke the peace made only a couple of 
years before by sending an expedition under the command of 
Constantius Chlorus to subdue Britain. The power of the 
British fleet, however, rendered the efforts of the Romans 
abortive. The war had continued for two years when Carausius 
met the fate of most usurpers and was murdered by Allectus, 
one of his household. The murderer immediately proclaimed 
himself emperor, but being a man wanting in personality and 
popularity, his rule was one of tyranny and disorder. 57 He 
continued the mints at London and Camulodunum, 58 and 
there is reason to think that he made London a base for the 

56 Webb, Reign and Coinage of Carausius, Numismatic, Chron., Ser. 4, 
vol. vii, pp. 41-52 ; De Salis, Roman coins struck in Britain, Ibid. Ser. 2, 
vol. vii, pp. 57, 323. 

57 Aurelius Victor, loc. cit. * Ibid. 


fleet upon which his power depended. In 296 the Romans 
fitted out two expeditions, the one from Boulogne under Con- 
stantius Chlorus and the other from the mouth of the Seine 
under the praetorian prefect Asclepiodotus. It is evident 
that the objective of both forces was London. The expedition 
from the Seine was to engage the British fleet lying off the 
Isle of Wight, but missing it in a fog the imperial forces 
effected a landing on the mainland, burnt their boats and 
marched on London. To intercept the invaders and secure 
London, Allectus hastened to attack the Roman imperial 
forces with his marines, possibly near Woolmer Forest. Here, 
however, he was defeated and fell in the battle, the remnant 
of his followers, chiefly Franks, fled to London, whither their 
fleet had apparently gone. 

In the meantime the expedition under Constantius Chlorus 
from Boulogne seems to have landed one division in Kent, 
while another sailed up the Thames. On arriving at London, 
Constantius found it in the hands of the unruly Frankish 
forces of Allectus, who were plundering the citizens and pre- 
paring to embark for the Rhine with their booty. The Romans 
attacked these fugitives and defeated them with great 
slaughter, and there can be little wonder that the Londoners 
hailed Constantius as their deliverer. 59 A Roman boat with 
which were associated coins of Carausius and Allectus, found 
under the New County Hall on the south side of Westminster 
Bridge, may be a relic of this fight. It had obviously been 
sunk in a fight as the damage to it shows. 60 

Britain was thus once more a part of the Roman Empire. 
In order to prevent these repeated usurpations Diocletian, 

** Eumenius, Constantius Chlorus, caps, xvi, xvii, xviii. 
M Gomme, The Making of London, 62. 


about 296, reorganised the local governments of the Empire. 
He divided his dominions into four parts, of which he took the 
principal, with his seat of government at Rome, the other 
three being ruled by his colleagues or junior emperors. Gaul 
and Spain, in which division Britain was included, went to 
Constantius Chlorus, whose chief seat of government was at 
Treves. Britain itself was subdivided into four districts, 61 
namely Britannia Prima, Britannia Secunda, Maxima Csesarien- 
sis and Flavia Caesariensis. In each district the civil authority 
was separated from the military, the former being exercised 
by a president who was answerable to a governor-general. 
The president of one of these districts, probably, as Prof. 
Haverfield thinks, Flavia Caesariensis, 62 had his residence at 
London, 63 and it would seem probable that London was also 
the head-quarters of the governor-general, as here we know 
was the office of a treasury official, and here was the most 
likely place for the residence of other provincial officers. 64 
The mint at Camulodunum was closed after the death of 
Allectus, but the London mint was continued for bronze coins 
by Diocletian and his colleagues. The London mint, however, 
was closed by the Emperor Constantine with the mints of 
several other cities of the Empire in 326. 65 
The good rule of Constantius and the succeeding emperors 

81 Britain had already been divided by Severus (193-211) into Superior 
and Inferior. 

* 2 Prof. Haverfield suggests that Prima was in the S.W. of Britain, 
Secunda in the S.E., Flavia Csesariensis N. of the Thames, Maxima N. of 
Flavia, probably N. of the Humber. Arch. Oxon, 224-6. 

13 Tiles have been found at Blomfield St., Cannon St., London Wall, 
Lothbury, the General Post Office and Wood St. bearing " P.P. BR.LON." 
for Publican! provinci Britannia? Londinienses." V.C.H. London, i, 90, 
96, 111, 113, 122, 134 ; Corpus Inter., vii, 1235. 

" Notitia Dignitatum (Booking Ed.), p. 48. 

" Numismatic Chron., Ser. 4, vol. xv, p. 478. 


of the West gave peace and prosperity to Britain for the next 
half century. This peace apparently brought wealth to Lon- 
don, judging from the numerous coins of this period that have 
been discovered there. Constantius and his more famous son 
Constantine the Great paid many visits to Britain and must 
have frequently passed through London. 

One of the results of this period of peace was the spread of 
Christianity. Londoners had hitherto followed the religion 
of Rome. They worshipped Diana, 68 as is shown by the altar 
bearing her figure found in Foster Lane, and also in all prob- 
ability Jupiter, Apollo, Mercury, Venus and other Roman 
gods, judging from the statuettes found in different parts of 
the city. 67 Sculptures of Mithras, whose cult was followed by 
the Roman army, have been discovered in London 68 and 
testify to the exercise of Roman religious rites, while those of 
the " Deae Matres " indicate the introduction of a Celtic cult 
which spread over Europe during the second century. 69 Chris- 
tianity was introduced apparently at the end of the third 
century but made little progress until the early part of the 
fourth century, and from that time probably to the end of 
the Roman rule Christian and Pagan worship continued side 
by side. By 314 the new religion had become so well estab- 
lished that we have reference to Restitutus, Bishop of London, 
who with Bishop Eborius of York and Adelphius, perhaps 
of Lincoln, attended the Council of Aries in that year. 70 The 
presence of a bishop in London would imply the existence of 
one or possibly more churches, for so far as we have any 
evidence on the point the Romano-British churches were 

68 V.C.H. London, i, 102-3. 

67 Ibid., 110, 112-114, 116, 127. M Ibid., 110, 131-2. 

Ibid., 93, 104, 135 ; Arch, miana, xv (1892, 314) ; Arch., Ixix, 
183, 209. 70 Haddon and Stubbe, Councils, i, 7. 


quite small. A bishopric continued probably until the depar- 
ture of the Roman legions in 410, and perhaps later, for there 
ia mention in the so-called martyrology of St. Jerome of 
Angulus, Bishop of Augusta, the name which London at one 
time bore. 71 The spread of Christianity is testified by fourth- 
century burials immediately around London which show the 
adoption of the faith by some of the higher officials of the 
city. 72 Many objects also of this date bearing Christian 
emblems 73 point to the increase of the Church. The virility 
and perhaps aggressiveness of the Christians are suggested by 
some statuettes of Jupiter, Apollo, Mercury and Ganymede 
found in the bed of the Thames 74 which show signs of inten- 
tional damage caused, it is thought, by early Christians whose 
abhorrence of idols made them deliberately break the figures 
and throw them into the river. 

This peaceful epoch was broken about the middle of the 
fourth century by usurpations and by raids of the northern 
barbarians. 75 In 360 the incursions of the Picts and Scots 
became so serious that assistance had to be despatched from 
the central government. Lupicinus was sent from Gaul with 
reinforcements, and, landing at Richborough in the winter of 
that year, marched at once to London, apparently to consult 
with the local officials on a plan of campaign. 76 The ex- 
pedition had little permanent effect and the raids continued. 
The Picts and Scots were shortly afterwards joined by the 

71 The martyrology was compiled from fifth-century material, see Oman, 
England before the Conquest, 178. 
78 V.C.H. London, i, 12 et seq. 

73 Ibid., 25 ; Lethaby, London before the Conquest, 27-8. 

74 V.C.H. London, i, 110. 

75 A hoard found in Throgmorton Avenue ending in Constantiua II 
(337-40) may be the result of this disturbed period. Ibid., 112. 

78 Ammianus Marcellinus, Bk. xxvi, cap. i. 


Saxons and Attacotti, another northern people. 77 The 
Emperor Valentinian sent one general after another who 
could make no progress with the situation until the province 
was handed over in 368 to Theodosius, a Spaniard, father of 
the emperor of the same name. Landing in Kent with a large 
body of troops he cleared the country of the bands of robbers 
that infested it. He then, with all the pomp of his race, made 
a triumphal entry into London, 78 which had been brought 
to dire extremities by the barbarians. The event was one 
of great rejoicing, and it is supposed, with considerable 
probability, that the occasion was marked by giving to 
London the additional name of Augusta, 79 and with this title 
it probably gained a new dignity if not a fresh legal status. 80 
It is clear that London was called by its old name in 360, 
and some eight years later it was described as " Augusta which 
was formerly known as London." Sir Arthur Evans has made 
some interesting numismatic discoveries on the subject, and 
almost conclusively proves that the London mint was re- 
opened in 368 and coins struck to commemorate the Quin- 
quennalia or quinquennial renewal of the vow to Rome of 
the Emperor Valentinian. 81 . These coins bore the mint mark 
of " London Augusta." Again the mint was opened in 373 82 
to commemorate the " Decennalia vota " of Valens, and the 
coins then struck bore on the inscription the name Augusta 
alone, which name of Augusta remained in use probably 
until the withdrawal of the Roman authority in 410. Possibly 

77 Ammianus Marcellinus, Bk. xxvi, cap. iv. 

78 Ibid., Bk. xxviii, cap. iii, viii. Numismatic, Chron., Ser. 4, vol. xv, 
p. 481. 79 Ibid. 

80 Haverfield, Roman London, 152. 

81 Numismatic Chron., Ser. 4, vol. xv, p. 482-5. 

82 Ibid., 486. 


the mint was at work throughout this period, but even if it 
were not, it probably carried out its duties of assaying and 
weighing silver ingots from the Mendip mines, of which there 
was a large exportation to continental mints. 83 

The reopening of the London mint became essential to 
the administration of the country during the usurpation of 
Magnus Maximus which began in 383, as for a short time he 
ruled in Britain alone and was cut off from the supply of 
coins from the Continent. The mint remained open through- 
out his reign, which ended by his death in 388, and during 
the latter part of the rule of Theodosius (06., 395), the coins 
struck at this time bearing the mint mark P. Aug(usta). 84 

Before the severance of Britain from the Roman Empire 
there were many signs of a weakening of the bond between 
it and Rome. After the death of Theodosius anarchy pre- 
vailed throughout the land and Britain fell a prey to one 
usurper after another. Stilicho, the general in whom Theo- 
dosius had placed his trust, did what he could to reorganise 
the defences of the country at the beginning of the reign of 
the youthful Honorius, but in 402-3 one of the two Roman 
legions stationed in Britain, no doubt with its auxiliaries, 
was withdrawn to defend Italy from the Visigoths. In 407, 
Constantius, a Briton, usurped the rule and, like other 
usurpers here, seems to have reopened the London mint. 
Had he been content to restrict his rule to Britain he might 
have had some success, but in attempting to extend his 
dominions to Gaul he probably took with him the remaining 
legion and other troops, leaving Britain defenceless from 
attacks of raiders on all sides. This state of affairs'encouraged 
other usurpers and a bronze coin found at Richborough bears 

* Ibid., 488. " Ibid., 487-8. 


the stamp of a second Carausius, probably a Briton, who 
appears about 409. 85 It is probable that this coin was struck 
at London where, so far as we know, there was the only mint 
at that time in Britain. If so, London, the possession of 
which was sought by all usurpers, must have been in his 

Until the final withdrawal of the Komans in 410 London 
remained the chief town and centre of administration for all 
Britain. Here the official of the treasury of the Empire, 
the " praepositus thesaurorum Augustensium in Britannis " 
had his residence. 86 A silver ingot associated with coins of 
Arcadius (383-408) and Hontfrius (395-42S) 87 found at the 
Tower and a similar half ingot discovered at Bentley Priory 
near Stanmore, Middlesex, of about 408-11, show that this 
official was still performing his duties up to 410, when 
Honorius abandoned the Britons and bade them defend 
themselves. Some of the Koman officials then left, among 
them no doubt the officers of the treasury in London. 

For some years after this event, which closes the period 
of Roman rule, an impenetrable darkness hangs over the 
history of London. 

85 Sir Arthur Evans, Numismatic Chron., Ser. 4, vol. xv, 504-8 

86 Ibid., 508-19. 

87 V.C.H. London, i, 130 ; Corpus Inscript. Cat., vii, 1196 ; Ephemeris 
Epigraphica, ix, p. 640. 



THE veil which obscures the history of London for nearly 
two centuries after the withdrawal of the Roman legions, 
is only once partially raised ; but all forms of government 
cannot have ceased immediately after Honorius in 410 bade 
the Britons defend themselves. His message must have been 
delivered to an official, either Koman or British, who would 
pass it on to local and municipal authorities. That official 
probably had his residence in London, which for some time 
had been the chief seat of the Imperial Government for the 
whole province of Britain. The decay of London was, we 
may imagine, gradual, and had begun before the recall of the 
Roman legions. The process of devolution, the usual prelude 
to an empire's downfall, had already commenced in the 
Roman Empire, and had developed in Britain into a form 
of disintegration more in keeping with Celtic traditions. 
Small kingdoms probably arose in the south as we know 
they did in the north, and London and other walled towns 
being no longer maintained as administrative centres became 
merely cities of refuge. Such was the case apparently when 
in 457 the Britons of Kent fled to London after their defeat 
by Hengist and his son Ochta at the battle of Crayford. 1 
From this isolated fact, which alone emerges for a period of 

1 Anglo-Saxon Chron. Sub anno. 


some two hundred years of complete obscurity, we may 
perhaps assume that London was not yet deserted ; that it 
was still in the hands of the Britons, and that the bridge 
whereby the British refugees could only have had a direct 
route to it, had been maintained. The London of that date, 
however, must have been a mere shadow of what it had been 
fifty years before. Britain being cut off from intercourse 
with the Continent, London would lose the foreign trade 
upon which its prosperity so largely depended. The Koman 
merchant, no longer able to carry on his overseas trade, for- 
sook Britain for more profitable fields for his energy, and the 
few Komanised inhabitants that remained in London con- 
tinued a precarious existence on such chance home trade as 
might happen to come their way. 

We can only conjecture how long the Britons kept posses- 
sion of London, for all written evidence fails us at this period. 
The archaeological remains which have survived are extremely 
scanty. A bronze enamelled plaque in the form of an altar, 
of semi-classical style, which was found in the Thames, may 
belong to the time of the departure of the Romans or shortly 
afterwards ; a bronze buckle of Gallo-Roman type found 
at West Smithfield, may be assigned to a little later date, 
and a bronze cruciform brooch said to be of Wessex type, 
found in Tower Street, can be referred to the fifth or early 
sixth century. 2 These objects throw little or no light on the 
history of London. We have no numismatic evidence, nor 
have we any record of the discovery in the London district 
of those richly furnished graves of the pagan Saxon period 
which are so numerous around Canterbury and elsewhere. 
The inference to be drawn is that during the latter part of 

* V.C.H. London, i, 127, 148, 149. 


the fifth and early sixth centuries, London was deserted, 
except perhaps for a few fugitive Britons hiding amongst 
its ruins. The theory that there was a period during which 
London lay waste is further supported by the facts that the 
medieval streets seem to have been laid out irrespective 
of their Roman predecessors, 3 and that the culverts by 
which the Walbrook passed through the city walls were 
allowed at some time to become so choked that a great marsh 
or moor was formed, which could scarcely have happened 
had there been continuity of habitation. Besides this it 
would seem unlikely that the Saxons, who were at this time 
swarming over the districts later known as the counties of 
Kent, Essex and Hertford would have permitted a walled 
city like London, standing in their midst, to remain in the 
hands of an enemy. We are driven to the conclusion either 
that London was voluntarily deserted and lay desolate, or 
that it had been taken by the Teutonic invaders and left 
waste. The lack of evidence points rather to the former 
solution, for the fall of a place having the history and position 
of London, would hardly fail to find a record in the Anglo- 
Saxon Chronicle or some other history, had it occurred. 

There can have been no room in the wild and stormy times 
of the late fifth century for a trading community such as 
London had nurtured, and the probability is that the city 
remained desolate until it re-arose as the capital of the 
newly erected kingdom of the East Saxons about 527, when 
Aescwin assumed the kingship. 4 For a long time after this 
date its population must have been quite insignificant, as 

* More discoveries of foundations of Roman buildings have been made 
in the roadways of London than in other parts, showing that London was 
laid out afresh irrespective of the lines of Roman streets. V.C.H. London, 
i, 80. * Oman, Engl. before the Norm. Conq., 222. 


throughout the account of the fighting between the West 
Saxons and the men of Kent to the west and north of the 
city, and even when Ethelbert of Kent was in 568 defeated 
as near as Wimbledon, no mention of it is made. From this 
we must infer that the military importance of London was 
then considered negligible. 

x / 7 This was the position of London at the time that St. 
Augustine landed in Britain in 597, when Saebert, possibly 
the grandson of Aescwin, 5 was king of the East Saxons and 
probably had his residence in the city. By this time London 
may have regained something of its importance, for we 
learn that Pope Gregory had intended it, and not Canterbury, 
for the archiepiscopal See of Southern Britain. In a letter 
dated 22 June, 601, to St. Augustine, outlining the organisa- 
tion of the new church of the English, Gregory directed that 
there should be two metropolitan Sees, one at London and 
the other at York, and assumed that Augustine had been 
consecrated to the former. 6 It must be remembered, how- 
ever, that the seats of early bishoprics were placed beside the 
king's residences, and when St. Augustine arrived in Britain 
he found Ethelbert, King of Kent, residing at Canterbury, 
the capital of his kingdom, and Saebert, King of the East 
Saxons, with London as his chief town, ruling over a king- 
dom subordinate to Ethelbert. Augustine therefore had no 
alternative but to establish his archiepiscopal See at the 
capital of the Kentish king then the superior lord. 

London, however, did not remain long without a bishop. 
In 604 Augustine and Ethelbert sent Mellitus to preach the 

5 Oman, Eng. before the Norm Conq., 222. 

Bede, Ecdes. Hist, Bk. i, cap. xxix. The fame of Londinium probably 
survived at Borne while Durovernum (Canterbury) was unknown. See 
note in Plummer's edition of Bede, vol. ii, p. 52. 


Gospel to Saebert, son of Ethelbert's sister Ricola, whom he 
had made King of the East Saxons, 7 , and in London, it is 
said, the Kentish king built the church of St. Paul as the 
cathedral for the first Saxon bishop of the See and his suc- 
cessors. Near by was the royal residence, which by tradition 
was also built by him. 8 Christianity was perhaps little more 
than the religion of the court, for on the death of Ethelbert 
in 616 and shortly afterwards of Saebert, the men of Kent 
and the East Saxons relapsed into paganism, and Mellitus 
fled to France. Kent returned to Christianity when Eadbald, 
son of Ethelbert was converted by Laurentius, successor of 
Augustine ; 9 but the East Saxons remained pagan until 
they were converted in 633 by a holy man called Fursey, 
from Ireland, and Cedd became their bishop. 10 It is probable 
that London formed a part of that portion of the East Saxon 
kingdom under the rule of Sebbi, which did not return to the 
worship of idols, when, in fear of the plague which swept 
the land in 664, the eastern part of the kingdom under Sighere 
again became pagan. 11 Cedd himself fell a victim to the 
plague and was succeeded by Wine, who purchased the See 
of London from Wulfhere, King of Mercia, to whom Essex, 
with London, had now become subject. On the death of 
Wine, about 675, Archbishop Theodore appointed Earcon- 
wald as " bishop of the East Saxons in the city of London," 
and he ruled the bishopric until his death in 693. Very little 
is known of this saintly bishop, but there are many traditions 
of his holy life. The influence of his name lived in London 
to the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and in a hymn 

7 Anglo-Saxon Chron. Anno 604. 

8 Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix, p. 44a. Ibid., 616. 

10 Bede, Ecclesiastical Hist., Bk. iii, cap. xix. 

11 Ibid., cap. ixx. 



addressed to him, he is described as the "Light of Lon- 
don." 12 

Throughout the seventh century we have few historical 
references to London other than those relating to its bishops. 
The kingdom of the East Saxons remained subject and unim- 
portant. The superior lordship passed from Kent to Wessex, 
then to Northumbria (about 653) and Mercia (about 664), 
then to Wessex again (at the end of the seventh century) and 
once more early in the eighth century to Mercia. 13 London, 
the capital of the East Saxon kingdom, grew but slowly, for 
commerce, the essence of its prosperity, did not advance 
much with the early Saxon settlers, who were not traders ; 
besides which, the peace necessary for the development of 
trade, was wanting throughout the land. The establishment 
of a mint in London during the early part of the seventh 
century is, however, a sign of commencing importance, 14 
and it is evident from the Laws of Hlothaere and Eadric 15 
(c. 680-5) that London was a centre of trade to which the 
men of Kent resorted. Bede, writing about 731, described 
it as a market of many nations who came by sea and land, 16 
and the importance of its oversea trade is further shown by 
the privileges conferred by royal charters for the entry of 
ships into the port, free of dues. Thus in 734 the Bishop of 
[Rochester was given the right to send a ship into the port, 17 
and about 744 the Bishop of Worcester was forgiven the 
dues on two ships sent into " Lundentunes Hythe." 18 Again 

12 V.C.H. London, i, 172-3. 

13 C. Oman, Engl. before the Norman Conq., 284, 286, 287, 327, 330. 

14 A catalogue of Engl. coins in Brit. Mus. (Keary and Poole), vol. i, 
p. xiv-vi. 

18 Thorpe, And. Laws (Rec. Com.), 11. 

18 Bede, op. cit., Bk. ii, cap. iii. 

17 Kemble, Cod. Diplom., No. 78. " Ibid., No. 95. 



in 747 the abbess of Thanet received a charter which was 
confirmed in 761, giving her the right to send two ships 
freely into the port of London. 19 

After the battle of Burford in 752 the overlordship of the 
East Saxon kingdom passed to Wessex only to be once more 
attached to Mercia by 773. Offa, then king of Mercia, and 
Coenwulf who succeeded on the death of Egfrith in 796, 
apparently made London their chief residence and the capital 
of their kingdom. There are records of gemotes held here in 
790 and 811, at the latter of which it is described as a most 
renowned place and a royal town, by which description a 
residence of the Mercian kings may be implied. 20 The cordial 
relations between Offa and Charlemagne encouraged a great 
intercourse between England and France, and the trade it 
brought for the most part probably passed through London. 
Although the East Saxons still had their sub-king Sigred who 
attended the Mercian gemote, lands in London were disposed 
of by Coenwulf of Mercia. 21 Sigred was the last sub-king of 
the East Saxons, and with the Battle of Ellandune in 825, 
which brought about the fall of Mercia and established Egbert 
of Wessex as King of all England, the history of London enters 
upon a new phase. 

It was well that the country at this time was brought under 
one rule, for that great struggle against an external foe which 
continued for nearly two centiiries was already beginning. 
The Danes commenced their plundering raids in 834, and Lon- 
don was too tempting a morsel to be left untouched. In 839 
we find they visited London, Canterbury and Rochester, and 

" Ibid., No. 97 and 106. 

* Kemble, Cod. Dip., 159, 197, 220. 

" Thorpe, Dipl. Angl. cevi Sax., pp. 57, 73 and 74. 


fought there with great slaughter. 22 It is probable that this 
was only a plundering expedition, but unfortunately no details 
survive. In 851 Eorik the Dane with 350 ships raided Canter- 
bury. He then came up the Thames and attacked London, 
which was held by Beorhtwulf of Mercia, and eventually 
captured it, putting Beorhtwulf 's army to flight. 23 The Danes 
made the city for a time a base for further raids to the north 
of it and into Surrey. Their defeat at " Aclea " 24 later in the 
same year probably caused the Viking host to retire overseas 
with their ships, for if any reliance can be placed on a charter 
of Burhred sub-king of Mercia, of doubtful authenticity, 
London was apparently in his hands in 857. 25 It probably 
fell to the Vikings again in the spring of 871, when the Danish 
army under King Halfdene marched from East Anglia to 
attack the West Saxons. We know that the Danes took up 
their winter quarters here in that year, when the Mercians 
made peace with them and Alfred paid them tribute. King 
Egbert had established a mint in London which Halfdene 
maintained and in 872 issued the first of that series of coins 
bearing the well-known monogram of London. The Danes 
probably held London until 873, when Burhred apparently 
bribed them to vacate it and they went to Northumbria. 26 
It was not long before it was again in the hands of the North- 
men for, as the road-centre of the country and commanding 
the lines of communication on all sides of it, Guthrum with 
his base in East Anglia could not have ignored it in his ex- 

22 Anglo-Sax. Chron, and Flor. of Wore., 839 ; C. Oman, Engl. before 
the Norman Conquest, 421. 

28 Anglo-Sax. Chron. ; Flor. of Wore., 851. 

24 Possibly Oakley in Hants ; another suggested site is Ockley in Surrey 
near Dorking. 

26 Kemble, Cod. Dipl., No. 280. 

29 Anglo-Sax. Chron. and Flor. of Wore. 


pedition to Wessex. The defeat of the Danes, however, at 
Ethandune in 878 and the conversion of Guthrum to Chris- 
tianity brought peace for a short time to Southern Britain, 
and in the following year Guthrum went so far as to persuade 
a Viking host which had sailed up the Thames and encamped 
at Fulham to retire to the Continent. 27 Another host landing 
at Rochester in 885 received a severe handling before it retired 
overseas, and some naval engagements on the East Coast 
showed that it was only with Guthrum that peace could be 
relied upon. 28 

In 883 Alfred besieged and took London, 29 which after half 
a century of Danish raids and intermittent occupation had 
fallen into a deplorably ruinous condition. That it had been 
the scene of much fighting is evidenced by the numerous 
Viking swords and other weapons of the ninth and tenth 
centuries found in the city and in the Thames. 30 The fairly 
numerous objects of domestic use, such as personal ornaments, 
combs and draughtsmen, of the Viking period, found in Lon- 
don, also show that it had a considerable Danish population 
at this time, some of whom from the form and position of their 
tombstones were apparently Christians. The insecurity of 
property during this disturbed period must have driven away 
both native and foreign traders who frequented the markets 
of London. No doubt many of the houses, unsubstantial 
structures as they were, had fallen into ruin and the inhabited 
part of the city shrank to the area at the bridgehead. 

After the long strain and anxieties of war the country could 
not go back to its old conditions. All the movements which 
had been gradually growing were suddenly brought to a head 

7 Anglo-Sax. Chron,, 879. M Ibid., 885. 

Ibid., 883. V.C.H. London, i, 147-70. 


and a new England was arising very different from that which 
had preceded it. The separate petty kingdoms and family 
independences of the earlier Teutonic settlers were unsuited 
to the maintenance of a force strong enough to repel invasion. 
Unity of command and consolidation of the landed interest 
had become essential for the protection and prosperity of the 
country, and a new middle class was being absorbed into the 
thegnhood. The fatal Celtic characteristic of disintegration 
which followed the crisis consequent on the Roman with- 
drawal, was avoided under the capable administration of 
Alfred, whose tact and wisdom enabled him to carry out the 
reforms which his policy of consolidation necessitated. 

Since the death of Sigred, the last sub-king of the East 
Saxons, London had nominally been considered a part of 
Mercia, but Alfred, foreseeing its importance as the commer- 
cial metropolis of England, determined to detach it from any 
sub-kingdom. With his usual tact he appointed about 886 a 
governor of the city and gave the post to Ethelred, chief 
ealdorman of the Mercians, whom he had married to his 
daughter Ethelfleda. 31 Thus while maintaining a connexion 
with Mercia he broke the dependence of London upon that 
earldom. He endowed the new governor and his wife with a 
district in London bordering upon the Thames from the 
Walbrook on the east to the lands of St. Paul's on the 
west, where Ethelred built the important harbour which as 
Ethelred's-hithe and later as Queenhithe gave its name to the 
district. 32 

When Alfred turned his attention to the condition of London 
in 886 it is said that he fortified it and. rebuilt it in a splendid 

31 Anglo-Sax. Chron., 886 ; Will. Malms. Oesta Regum (Rolls Ser.), i, 128. 
" See p. 130-2. 


manner and made it fit for habitation. 33 The process of rebuild- 
ing was probably gradual, for we find that the question of re- 
storation was still a pressing matter in 898, when a council was 
held by the King at Chelsea to discuss it. Besides the King 
there were present at this meeting Ethelred and his wife, 
Plegmund Archbishop of Canterbury and Werefrid Bishop of 
Worcester. The chief matter discussed seems to have been the 
development of the shipping trade of London and the desira- 
bility for further accommodation for vessels coming into the 
port. Probably Ethelred's-hithe was built in consequence of this 
council. A little to the west of it pieces of land were granted 
to the Archbishop of Canterbury and Bishop of Worcester 
with special privileges for the erection of quays for the mooring 
of ships. Paul's Wharf had been no doubt constructed at an 
early date for the unloading of building material and stores 
for the community at St. Paul's, and we know that wharves 
on both sides of the bridge and on the banks of the Walbrook 
had existed from the Roman occupation. Eastward the hithe, 
similar to Queenhithe at Billingsgate, may be of this time, for 
the tradition of its early existence has no surer foundation 
than the very uncertain derivation of its name. It is probable 
also that the grant of " Weremansacre," now represented by 
Tower Ward, supposed to have been made to Alfred's other 
daughter ^Elfthryth, had for its object the extension of trade 
with Flanders and the building of quays along the river front. 
Whether the law that the merchant who had fared three times 
over the high seas at his own expense was to be considered 
thegn-right worthy, 34 which would probably affect London 
more than any other port, can be carried back to Alfred's day 

* Flor. of Wore., 886 ; Roger de Hoveden (Rolls Ser.), i, 48 ; Anglo-Sax. 
Chron., 886. " Thorpe, And. Laws and Instil. 


is uncertain. Such an encouragement to trade is quite typical 
of the time when shipping was so urgently needed. 

Thus London became the principal shipping centre of the 
country and had superseded Dover, Sandwich and the other 
south-eastern ports for continental traffic on account of its 
greater facilities for distribution. Alfred's policy for the en- 
couragement of overseas trade necessitated the reorganization 
and augmentation of his fleets, which were probably used both 
for military and mercantile purposes. A number of ships of a 
new type, carrying sixty oars or more and so larger and swifter 
than the Danish ships, was added to the naval force of the 
country. 35 These new vessels for a time rendered the sea safe 
for trade and the coasts free from raids. Peace and security 
of property, so essential to trade, were established at London 
by strengthening its fortifications and perfecting its military 
establishment. These together made it an impregnable city 
which never again yielded to a siege. It is thought that to the 
rebuilding and repair of the walls at this time, Cripplegate 
owes its origin. 36 

The organization and training of the citizens of London for 
military purposes under Ethelred its governor enabled it to 
perform gallant service in the campaigns against the Danes in 
894 and 896. At the time of the former of these expeditions 
the king had to hurry westward to relieve Exeter, but left a 
small force to deal with the Danes encamped at Benfleet in 
Essex. This force being too weak to encounter the Danes 
retired to London, where, being joined by a large body of the 
citizens, it completely routed the enemy, destroyed their forti- 
fications and brought back in triumph to London much booty 
and many captives, including the wife and two sons of Hasting, 

36 Anglo-Sax. Chron., 897. " Loftie, Hitt. of London, i, 65. 


the Danish chieftain ; these important captives, however, 
were soon released, the two boys being the godsons of Alfred 
and Ethelred. 37 The Danish ships which could not be brought 
up the Thames to London or up the Medway to Rochester 
I were destroyed. 

No doubt London troops were with Ethelred when the 
Danes were again in the same year beaten in the West of 
England. After an expedition into Cheshire and North Wales 
the Danes once more wintered in Essex, towing their ships up 
the Thames and Lea to a point some twenty miles north of 
London, probably near Ware, where they enclosed them in a 
fortification. In the summer of 896 the citizens of London 
[with others made an attack upon the Danish encampment 
but were driven back ; four of the king's thegns, probably 
[burhthegns of London, being killed in the action. 38 Fearing 
the Danes might follow up their victory by cutting off supplies 
for London, Alfred brought up his army and encamped out- 
side the walls that the people might harvest the crops of corn, 
vegetables and other food raised on the lands dependent upon 
the city. The harvest having been gathered, reconnoitring 
parties, or as Florence of Worcester tells us the King himself, 
observed a place where the water of the Lea could be diverted 
BO as to leave the Danish ships stranded. This ingenious 
enterprise was successfully carried out, and the Danes were 
compelled to flee westward to the Severn, pursued by the 
English. In the meantime the citizens brought all the Danish 
ships that could be moved as prizes to London and destroyed 
the remainder. 

Alfred died in 899. 39 The wealth of London and the art of 

7 Flor. of Wore., 894. " Ibid., 895-6. 

Engi. Hut. Rev., riii, 71-77. 


his day is illustrated by a fine circular enamelled brooch used 
for fastening, on the right shoulder, the mantle then in fashion, 
which was found at Dowgate Hill and is now in the British 
Museum. In the middle of the brooch is the representation 
of the crowned head and bust of a king, probably intended for 
Alfred, which is surrounded by an openwork gold border. It 
is perhaps the work of one of the foreign artists employed by 
Alfred who was possibly maintained at his royal residence in 
London. Other similar brooches, but of less finished work- 
manship, have also been found in London. 40 

On the death of Ethelred in 912 King Edward the Elder 
took London and Oxford into his hands, 41 so that the sub- 
ordination of London to Mercia disappears. Henceforth 
London became directly attached to the crown of England 
and the rival of Winchester for the position of the capital of 
the kingdom and the principal place for holding gemotes. 42 
It grew in power and importance, but was doubtless affected 
by the Danish raids which again menaced the land at the end 
of the tenth century. A brief entry in the Chronicle states 
that London was burnt in 982, whether by the enemy or by a 
chance fire there is nothing to indicate. Ten years later the 
English fleet, composed of the strongest ships from every 
port of England, then assembled at London, was baulked of 
its prey by the treachery of ^Elfric, ealdorman of Wessex, who 
commanded the English forces. 43 He traitorously joined 
the enemy with all his men ; but a little later the English 
again engaged the Danes, defeated them and took ^Ifric's 
ship, from which he himself barely escaped. Freeman con- 

4 V.C.H. London, i, 158-60. Anglo-Sax. Chron., 912. 

42 See list of gemotes held in London. Kemble, Saxons in Engl., ii, 241 
et seq. 

* 3 Anglo-Sax. Chron. and Flor. of Wore., 992. 


sidered that ^Elfric's purpose was to betray London to the 
enemy. 44 

It was during the next quarter of a century, however, that 
London was to receive the supreme test of its strength and 
stubbornness. On the feast of the Nativity of St. Mary, 994> 
Olaf Tryggveson of Norway and Sweyn of Denmark, in their j 
campaign for the conquest of England, came up the Thames / 
with ninety-four ships to lay siege to London and to attempt / 
its destruction by fire. The citizens with great valour drove ' 
the enemy back, " the Holy Mother of God on that day in her 
mercy helped the citizens and rid them of their enemies." 
Olaf and Sweyn had to sail away " in wrath and sorrow." 45 
Thus London saved itself ; and had a stronger hand than that 
of Ethelred held the power, this victory might have saved 
England also. After doing great damage in the southern 
counties, Olaf met King Ethelred at Andover, where he was 
converted to Christianity and baptised. 46 After receiving a 
tribute of 16,000 he vowed that he with his Norwegians would 
not attack England again. London was left unmolested for 
some fifteen years, although the Northmen continued to 
plunder other parts of the southern counties. 

In 1008 a systematic endeavour was made to build up a 
navy sufficiently strong to repel the raiders, and a law was 
passed that every district_pf 310 bides of ]and was to provide 
agaUey. The new fleet was ready in the following year, and 
never before, the chronicler states, were there so many ships 
in England. 47 No sooner had this great fleet been assembled 
at Sandwich than twenty of the ships were enticed away by 

44 Freeman, Norm. Conq., i, 346-7. 

45 Anglo-Sax. Chron. and Flor. of Wore. 

48 Will. Malms., Gesta Beg. (Rolls Ser.), i, 187-8. 
47 Anglo-Sax. Chron., 1008-9 ; Flor. of Wore., 1008. 


Wulnoth, father of Earl Godwin and nephew of the traitor 
Earl Edric of Mercia, who by means of them began to plunder 
the south coast. The remaining eighty ships put out in pur- 
suit, but being driven ashore in a gale, many of them were 
destroyed by Wulnoth, and the remainder, it is said, were 
rowed back to London, implying that they had originally 
started from that city as their naval base. " Thus lightly did 
they suffer the labour of all the people to be in vain, nor was 
the terror lessened as all England hoped." 48 

This disaster to the English navy was at once taken advan- 
tage of by the Norse Earl Thurkill, who landed an army in 
the same year at Sandwich, where he was joined by a 
Danish fleet and marched on Canterbury. Here was renewed 
the fatal policy of buying off the enemy and so Canterbury 
was spared. The army then went into Sussex, Hampshire and 
Berkshire. It eventually took up its winter quarters on the 
lower banks of the Thames in Essex and Kent, whence " it oft 
fought against " the city of London ; " but glory be to God 
that it yet standeth firm," for the Northmen ever met with 
" ill fare " there. 49 In the campaign of 1010, although Thurkill 
harried the country all around, he avoided London itself. It 
is evident that an attack on London from both the north and 
south sides was intended in the early part of the year ; but 
hearing of the preparations made against them by the citizens 
the Danes returned to their ships. 

The country was falling to pieces for want of a strong ruler. 
It required another Alfred to carry it through its difficulties. 
During the terrible years of 1010 and 1011 all southern Eng- 
land, including the home counties, had been plundered and 

48 Anglo-Sax. Chron., 1008. 

** Anglo-Saxon Chron. and Flor. of Wore., 1009. 


harried by Thurkill. London, an island in the midst of this 
desolation, alone had retained any military organization, and 
for this reason and on account of the strength of its walls it 
was saved the miseries wrought by the Danish raiders and 
again became a refuge for those driven from their homes out- 
side. In despair the people once more resorted to the expedient 
of buying off their enemies. The Easter gemote of 1012 met in 
London and ealdonnan Edric, the evil genius of the period, 
and all the oldest councillors of England, clergy and laity, 
made arrangements for the payment of 48,000 as a tribute 
to the enemy. 50 Ethelred, who spent a great part of his 
in London, does not seem to have been present at the gemote ; 

at all events he is not mentioned in the Chronicle amongst 
those who were assembled there. It was at this time that the 
Northmen who held Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, a 
prisoner, brutally murdered him in a drunken orgy at theii 
busting at Greenwich, but they allowed his body to be brought 
for burial with great honour to St. Paul's. 

Although after the payment of the tribute to Thurkill the 
Norwegians became the allies of the English, the land had no 
peace. In August, 1013, Sweyn of Denmark and his son Cnut 
landed with an army at Sandwich, and later took up his head- 
quarters in East Anglia. Sweyn then marched by Oxford to 
Winchester, which he captured, and afterwards made his way 
towards London. It would seem that his army attacked the 
city from the south, as it is said that the Danes lost many 
who were drowned in the Thames " because they kept not to 
any bridge." 51 King Ethelred was at the time in London, 
and Thurkill with his Norwegians, who was there also, helped 

* Anglo-Saxon Chron., 1012. 

" Will Malms., Ge*ta Reg., i, 208. 


in the gallant defence against the Danes, who were success- 
fully driven off. The country was now quite exhausted from 
the constant harrying, and after further defeats in Wessex 
" all the people held Sweyn for full king." The Londoners, 
finding themselves isolated and being deserted by Ethelred 
and Thurkill, who had retired to the ships at Greenwich, and 
by their bishop Elthun, who had been sent by Queen Emma 
with the two ethelings, Edward and Alfred, to her brother 
in Normandy, made submission. They feared lest Sweyn 
should " utterly undo them," or, as Florence of Worcester 
puts it, should deprive them of their property and either 
cause their eyes to be put out or their hands or feet to be 
amputated. 52 

Sweyn did not long survive his triumph and died at Gains- 
borough in February, 1014. The fleet elected his son Cnut as 
the new king, but the Witan would not acknowledge him, and 
invited Ethelred, who had fled to Normandy, to return. On 
his arrival Ethelred was well received in London and im- 
mediately marched to Gainsborough against Cnut, where he 
compelled the Danes to retire with their ships to Denmark. 63 
The great opportunity of re-establishing a strong and pros- 
perous England was again lost by incompetence, treachery 
and internal disorders. The King, weak and undecided, lay 
ill ; his eldest son Edmund was in open opposition to him, 
and his favourite minister Edric Streona, earldorman of 
Mercia, was in treacherous communication with the enemy. 
Cnut in 1015 landed at Sandwich and after being joined by 
the traitor Edric subdued all Wessex. In the following year 
Edmund the Etheling raised an army which " could avail him 

62 Anglo-Sax. Chron. and Flor. of Wore., 1013. 
48 Freeman, Norm, conq., i, 405. 


nothing unless the King were there and they had the assistance 
of the citizens of London." As this assistance was not avail- 
able " each man betook himself home." 54 Ethelred seems to 
have been in London all this time, and on a further levy of 
an army by Edmund, the King collected forces in the city and 
joined the Etheling with them. Again the army refused to 
fight, and Ethelred fearing treachery sought safety again in 
London. 55 Afterwards the fighting was moved to the midlands 
and north, but little progress was made. Edmund, probably 
hearing of the state of his father's health and of Cnut's 
designs on London, hastened there and arrived only a short 
time before his father's death. After the burial of Ethelred at 
St. Paul's the magnates of the kingdom chose Cnut for their 
king, but the citizens of London, who formed a centre for 
loyalty and patriotism, elected Edmund Ironside. 56 The new 
king, whose kingdom scarcely extended beyond the walls of 
his chief town, at once set about putting the city in a state of 
defence. He assembled there all the troops that he could 
collect in order to be prepared for the attack he knew was 

Cnut arrived at Greenwich with all his ships early in May 
and reached London shortly afterwards. Here the bridge, 
which was no doubt strongly fortified, formed a barrier to his 
progress, and to avoid it he cut a deep trench on the south side 
of the river through which he dragged his ships to the western 
side of the bridge, where they rejoined the Thames. Cnut is 
said also to have dug a trench round the city to prevent anyone 
from entering or leaving it. But the efforts of the Danes were 
of no avail, for the strength of their city walls and the excel- 
lence of their military training enabled the Londoners to re- 

* Anglo-Saxon Chron., 1016. " Ibid. 5 Ibid. 


pulse assault after assault and eventually to drive the enemy 
so far back that the siege had to be abandoned. So confident 
was Edmund of the strength of the city that, evading the 
vigilance of the Danes, he went out to collect an army to 
attack them in Wessex, and after defeating them there he 
marched north of the Thames into Essex and relieved London 
from the east side, driving the enemy back to their ships. 
Another army, however, menaced London from the west 
which Edmund engaged and defeated at Brentford. Again 
relying on the strength of London, he left it to collect a fresh 
army in Wessex. The Danes, taking advantage of his absence, 
immediately returned and assaulted the city both by land 
and water. Once more they were repulsed by the valour of 
the citizens, and were so badly beaten that they were com- 
pelled to retire with their ships to the Orwell. 57 

Edmund's successes were, however, only short-lived. His 
defeat at Ashingdon (Assandun) in Essex in the autumn of 
that most eventful year (1016), again caused by the treachery 
of Edric, brought about the division of the kingdom. London 
formed a part of Cnut's portion, 58 and the citizens had to make 
their peace and purchase their security from their new Danish 
sovereign. Possibly to overawe them the Danish ships took 
up their winter quarters there. 

On the feast of St. Andrew (30 Nov.) Edmund Ironside died 
in London, the city that had so loyally clung to him through- 
out all his misfortunes. Surrounded by treachery and incom- 
petence, it was only his capacity and indomitable perseverance 
that enabled him to save the country from a complete sub- 
jection to the Danes. Had he lived he might have been recog- 
nised as a second Alfred. After his death Cnut laid claim to 

67 Anglo-Saxon Chron., 1016. " Florence of Wore., 1016. 


the whole kingdom of England, and at a Witenagemot held in 
London at Christmas he was unanimously elected king, to the 
exclusion of Edmund's sons and brothers. 

After the long period of misfortune that the country had 
suffered by the ravages of war, it required reorganization, a 
task that Cnut at once set to work to accomplish. He divided 
England for purposes of government into four parts : Wessex, 
the kingdom of the English royal house, he kept to himself ; 
East Anglia went to Thurkill ; Mercia, which would include 
London, to the ealdorman Edric ; and Northumbria to Eric. 
his brother-in-law. The traitor Edric probably took up 
his residence in London, and there at the Christmas gemote 
of 1017 he with three other Englishmen, Ethelward, son of 
Ethelmar, Brihtric, son of Alphege of Devonshire, and North- 
man, son of the ealdorman Leofwine, were tried and executed. 59 
We do not know of what crime they were accused, but doubt- 
less they suffered for participation in some plot against Cnut, 
hatched by the treacherous and restless Edric. 

The wealth and prosperity of London were not diminished 
by the change from English to Danish rule. Cnut probably 
respected it for the repeated defeats it had inflicted upon him 
and his countrymen. The wealth of the city is shown by its 
contribution to the tribute paid to the Danes in 1018, which 
amounted to one-eighth of the sum levied upon the whole 
country. The Danes were essentially a seafaring and trading 
people, just the qualities required for the advancement of a 
place holding the position of London. The most important 
body of citizens during the first half of the eleventh century 
was the lithsmen and butsecarles, the shipmasters or overseas 

* Anglo-Saxon Chron. and Flor. of Wart., sub anno 1017 ; Freeman, 
Son*. Conq., i, 486. 


merchants, who seem to have been mostly Danes. Their ships 
were adaptable for military or mercantile purposes, trading 
or raiding as might be required, for almost every outlawed 
Dane became a pirate. * The King engaged these lithsmen for 
the protection of the coasts or for naval expeditions, and so 
soon as such duties were completed they were discharged and 
returned to their more peaceful occupation of traders. The 
naval base continued to be at London, where their engagement 
and discharge took place. 61 It was the lithsmen of London 
who at Oxford represented the city when Harold, son of Cnut, 
was elected king ; and it was they who travelled down all the 
way to Dartmouth to see to the honourable burial at Win- 
chester of the Danish seafaring Earl of Mercia, Beorn, brother 
of the King of Denmark, who had probably at one time been 
their leader and perhaps staller of London. 82 It was again 
the butsecarles of London who at a later date attended the 
gemote that elected Edgar the Etheling to the throne. This 
Danish influence was naturally encouraged by Cnut, and it is 
not surprising to find the names of important Danish ministers 
such as Osgod Clapa, Tofig the Proud and his grandson Ansgar, 
all holding the office of staller, taking a prominent position in 
the government of London. Ulf, probably a Dane, was por- 
treeve of London, and Earl Godwin, of Danish extraction and 
sympathies, held Southwark. So numerous were the Danes 
that they had their own burial ground, for it must be remem- 
bered that the early Danish settlers were pagans and conse- 
quently could not be buried in Christian churchyards. Their 
cemetery lay to the west of London, where after their conver- 

60 Cf. The cases of Osgod Clapa, Godwin and his sons and many others. 

61 Cf. Anglo-Sax. Chron., 1047. 

2 For the office of staller see Chapter VII. 


sion the church of St. Clement Danes was apparently built. 
Upon the accession of Cnut as a Christian king, churches were 
built by Danes, several of them being dedicated in honour of 
St. Olaf or Olave, King of Norway, killed in 1030 and recog- 
nised as a saint in the following year. If these churches indi- 
cate Norse settlements it is interesting to note that they are 
scattered over London and not confined to any particular 
district. This large Danish population, however, soon became 
absorbed, and we find that the sons and grandsons of these 
settlers were the staunchest supporters of Harold and the 
English party at the time of the Conquest. 

London not only increased in wealth but became more and 
more prominent as the centre of the kingdom. It was the 
most appropriate place for holding the gemotes, having almost 
impregnable defences, almost unlimited accommodation for 
visitors, and, most important of all, being the centre of the 
Roman road system, still the principal means of communica- 
tion in the country. This was the prosperous condition of 
London during the earlier half of the eleventh century. The 
chroniclers tell us very little about it, but the lack of historical 
references implies perhaps an uneventful and peaceful period. 
Cnut and his two sons were, we know, in London from time to 
time, and it is more than likely they were frequently resident 
here. 63 

On the death of Cnut in 1035 a gemote was held at Oxford 
where Leofric, Earl of Mercia, and almost all the thegns north 
of the Thames and representatives from London assembled 

83 Cnut was present at Christmas, 1017, at the trial and execution of 
Edric of Mercia. Rich, of Cirencester, Speculum Hist. (Rolls Ser.), ii, 172 ; 
Matth. Paris, Chron. Maj., i, 500, and at the translation of the body of the 
martyred Archbishop Alphege from St. Paul's to Canterbury in 1023. 
Anglo-Sax. Chron., 1023. 


and chose Harold Harefoot as king. 64 Earl Godwin, however, 
and the men of Wessex would not agree, and it was eventually 
arranged that Queen Emma, widow of Cnut, and Harthacnut 
their son should hold Wessex, with Godwin as their minister. 
The attempt by the etheling Alfred, son of Ethelred, to re- 
cover his father's kingdom was frustrated by the treachery 
of Godwin, and the etheling, by the King's orders, was blinded 
and sent to Ely, where he shortly afterwards died. His 
followers were sent to the King at London ; some, it is said, 
were disembowelled, others imprisoned and the remainder 
sold as slaves. Probably, as a result of this conspiracy, Emma 
had to fly from the country and did not return until after the 
death of Harold Harefoot. He died at Oxford in 1039 and was 
buried at Westminster, which is the first reference to this 
monastery in the Chronicles. 

Harthacnut's insistance on the payment of a large gratuity 
to each member of the crews of his sixty ships that brought 
him to England is not likely to have made him popular, and 
was the cause of riots and bloodshed in the West of England. 
This act of extortion was followed by the desecration of the 
body of his brother, which he caused to be dug up, decapitated 
and thrown into the Thames. Here it was found by fishermen 
and buried by some Danes in their burial ground outside the 
city, probably at St. Clement Danes. 65 Harthacnut seems to 
have spent most of his reign in London, and was probably 
residing there at the time of his death in 1042, which was an 
appropriate ending to a dissipated life. At the wedding feast 
at Lambeth of Tofig the Proud, a Danish magnate, with 

84 Anglo-Sax. Chron., 1035. 

66 Will. Malms., Gesta Reg. (Rolls Ser.),i, 228; Gerv. Cant., Qesta Reg., 
(Rolls Ser.), ii, 57. 


Githa, daughter of Osgod Clapa, he fell in a fit " as he stood 
drinking." 66 

Immediately after Harthacmit's death the people met 
together in London and elected as their king Edward, later 
known as the Confessor, son of Ethelred the Unready and 
Emma. The youthful training of Edward at the court of his 
uncle Richard, Duke of Normandy, naturally imbued him 
with Norman ideas, and consequently he felt more at home 
among Normans than with his English and Danish subjects. 
This preference soon began to influence his court. Already 
in Cnut's reign Normans, although then a small minority, had 
been taking a prominent position in London, and among them 
was Hugolin, a minister of Cnut and later chamberlain of 
Edward, who was a burhthegn of London. 67 A more important 
act of favouritism to a Norman was the appointment of 
Robert, abbot of Jumieges, as Bishop of London at a witen- 
agemote held in London in 1044, and this was followed in 1047 
by Robert's advancement to the archbishopric of Canterbury 
at another gemote held in London. Other Normans took 
similar important positions, while Godwin and his family 
became the leaders of a strong party in London opposed to 
foreign influence. There are signs of disturbances in the 
kingdom, but what they were the chroniclers do not tell us. 
The banishment for an unknown misdemeanour in 1046 of 
Osgod Clapa, the staller, who had a close connexion with 
London, may have been the result of these disturbances. He 
was joined as a sea rover by Sweyn, son of Godwin, who for 
the seduction of Edgifu, abbess of Leominster, had also been 

* 6 Flor. of Wore., 1042. The site of this event may have been at Clapham 
in Lambeth which it is thought took its name from Osgod Clapa. 
" Kemble, Cod. Dip., iv, 809, 810, 904 


outlawed. Sweyn's lands were divided between his brother 
Harold and his cousin Beorn, Earl of Eastern Mercia, who 
refused to give them back to their outlawed relative. Sweyn 
in revenge enticed Beorn, the darling of the Londoners, to 
his ships and then murdered him. 

The unpopularity of the French influence was brought to 
a crisis in 1051 by the arrogance of the retinue of Eustace of 
Boulogne towards the burgesses of Dover. In the riots which 
ensued many were killed on both sides, and Godwin, as Earl 
of Kent, was called upon to punish the burgesses. His refusal 
was considered rebellion, which Edward had no alternative 
but to suppress. Godwin collected what forces he could from 
his earldom of Kent, including Kent, Sussex and Wessex ; 
his eldest son Sweyn, as Earl of South- West Mercia, called 
up his men from Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, 
Somerset and Berkshire ; and Harold, as Earl of Essex, 
brought a contingent from Essex, East Anglia, Huntingdon- 
shire and Cambridgeshire. The immense power which the 
house of Godwin thus attempted to wield caused the other 
magnates some anxiety, and the northern earls rallied to the 
King's help for this reason rather than their sympathy with 
the King. It was only by the intervention of Earl Leofric of 
Mercia that a battle was prevented. Both parties moved to 
London ; the King with a largely increased army taking up 
his quarters there, and Godwin and his sons with a rapidly 
decreasing force, at their residence at Southwark. Godwin, 
finding himself deserted, failed to appear at the gemote which 
it had been arranged to hold at London, and seeing his danger 
fled with his wife Judith, daughter of Baldwin, Count of Flan- 
ders, and his sons Sweyn and Gurth to " Baldwin's land," 
where all the disaffected congregated. His sons Harold and 


Leofwin went to Ireland. The whole family was banished ; 
even Edith, Godwin's daughter and Edward's queen, was 
dismissed with only one attendant and placed in the custody 
of the abbess of Wherwell. 

Thus the triumph of the Norman party seemed complete. 
No sooner had Godwin fled than William of Normandy, 
probably the instigator of the quarrel, arrived with a great 
retinue of Frenchmen on a visit to his cousin Edward, then 
apparently in London. It is generally supposed that it was 
on the occasion of this visit that William extracted the pro- 
mise of the reversion to the throne of England, which led to 
his claim in 1066. According to William's story the promise 
was confirmed by the witan then sitting at London. 68 After 
being sumptuously entertained he returned to Normandy 
ladan with presents. 

In 1052 the f eeling against the Normans increased, and many 
throughout England looked to Godwin to save them from 
the arrogance of the foreigners. Godwin set sail with a small 
fleet, probably with the intention of passing up the Thames 
to London. The King, however, tried to intercept him from 
Sandwich, but the royal ships being storm-bound and Godwin 
having returned to Bruges, the King's forces went to their 
base at London and later dispersed. In the meantime Godwin 
sailed to the Isle of Wight, where he was reinforced by Harold 
with his ships from Ireland. In September Godwin and Harold 
sailed up the Thames to Southwark. Here they found the 
King and his earls with a fleet of some fifty ships, and an 
engagement seemed imminent. The tide being too low for 
Godwin's ships to proceed, they anchored and Godwin got 
into touch with both the King and the citizens of London. 

68 Script. Reg. Gest. Witt. Cong., 47-8. 


He prayed the King that he might be restored to the dignities 
and possessions of which he had been deprived. The King 
hesitated, and seeing the strength of his opponents, tried to 
bring up reinforcements. He appealed to the citizens, but 
they at once declared themselves on the side of Godwin. 
Thus the hours passed while the water rose, and Godwin found 
it difficult to restrain his men from beginning an attack. So 
soon as there was sufficient water Godwin's ships weighed 
anchor and steered through the bridge along the south side 
of the river until they came to Southwark. Here apparently 
his sympathisers from the southern shires had assembled and 
such land forces as were on the ships, being landed, the 
southern bank of the Thames was manned. Godwin then 
formed his ships in a diagonal line across the river with a view 
apparently of a turning movement against the King's ships. 
Thus we have the curious spectacle of two opposing forces of 
Englishmen each in sympathy with the other. On the south 
side the men were full of enthusiasm for the earl who was to 
deliver them from the intrigues of the King's Norman minis- 
ters, while on the north were those who held the same views 
and consequently had no heart for their work. Why, the 
latter argued, should Englishmen destroy each other that the 
land might be further exposed to the hated foreigner ? These 
and other like murmurings among the King's troops were told 
to Godwin by his friends in London. It was clear the King's 
policy was so unpopular that it was unlikely he could rely on 
his troops. Godwin, knowing all this, could afford to be 
magnanimous and humbly suggested a conference. 

Under the influence probably of the Londoners the King 
was reluctantly brought to see the necessity of accepting 
Godwin's offer. Bishop Stigand and other wise men were 


sent as an embassy to Godwin and agreed to hold a gemote 
on the following day and to give hostages. So soon as the 
Frenchmen at Edward's court heard that terms were likely 
to be made they became alarmed and fled in all directions. 
The feeling in London against them evidently ran very high, 
for Robert of Jumieges, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Ulf, 
Bishop of Dorchester, with their companions had to cut their 
way through a party of young men who opposed them at 
Aldgate, and many were killed and wounded. The bishops 
fled to Walton-on-the-Naze. where they took ship to Normandy. 
Among those who took flight was William, the newly appointed 
Bishop of London. 69 

On the following day (15 September) a gemote was held by 
Edward " outside the walls of London," probably at West- 
minster, at which all the earls and the best men of the land 
attended. Godwin proved his own innocence and that of his 
family of the crimes laid to their charge. After this Arch- 
bishop Robert and all the Frenchmen were outlawed and 
Stigand was made Archbishop of Canterbury. The gemote 
seems to have been held in the open air, and after Godwin 
had received back his arms he and the King went together 
apparently into the newly built palace at Westminster. 70 

Godwin only survived his restoration a few months and 
died from a seizure at Winchester at Easter 1053. The story 
of his death is probably apocryphal ; it does not occur in the 
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and has several counterparts in Saxon 
history. It is said that the King withheld his reconciliation, 
believing that Godwin was implicated in the death of his 
brother Alfred. The King and Godwin being in church at 

* Anglo-Sax. Ckron. and Flor. of Wore., anno 1052. 
70 Ibid. See note in Freeman, Norm. Conq., ii, 601-2. 


the time of Mass, the latter took the chalice and swore he had 
no share in Alfred's death. Later in the day the King being 
still suspicious, Godwin, while they were at dinner, prayed 
God that if he had done aught against Alfred the morsel he 
was eating might choke him. Whereupon the morsel choked 
him and he died. 71 

It was about this time that Edward began rebuilding West- 
minster Abbey Church as an obligation for the dispensation 
of his vow to make a pilgrimage to Kome, which the Pope 
granted him in 1050. For the purpose of superintending the 
work he built his palace at Westminster ; and it is important 
to fix this date, as it probably marks the time at which he 
transferred his residence from London to Westminster, a point 
which is so material in the development of London. The new 
church was completed in 1065, and at Christmas Edward kept 
his court at Westminster and was present on that day at the 
hallowing of the church around which the history of the land 
has since largely centred. There was a great gathering of the 
witan at the court for the occasion : the two archbishops, 
Stigand of Canterbury and Aldred of York, and practically 
all the other bishops, many abbots, the King's chaplains, 
Eeinbald his chancellor, Harold, Leofwin and Gurth, sons of 
Godwin, the two great northern earls Edwin and Morkar, 
many thegns, including Ansgar the staller, and other lesser 
folk. 72 Edward was too ill to be at the ceremony of conse- 
cration, at which his place was taken by Queen Edith, and he 
died on the eve of the Epiphany. 

Edward had no children, and the nearest heir was his 
nephew Edgar, the etheling, son of Edward, younger son of 

71 Will. Malms., Gesta Meg. (Rolls Ser.), i, 240. 

72 Kemble, Cod. Dip., iv, pp. 180, 189. 


Edmund Ironside, who had been sent for safety as a baby to 
the court of Hungary. Edgar's mother, Agatha, was a Hun- 
garian, and his father only returned to England in 1057 and 
died immediately on his arrival in London and was buried 
in St. Paul's Cathedral. Edward the Confessor never seems 
to have recognised Edgar as his heir. He was a mere boy, 
and possibly foreign in his appearance and character. Harold's 
prominent position in the country during the later years of the 
Confessor's reign encouraged perhaps the idea of his being a 
candidate for the coming vacancy of the throne, and he was 
intriguing no doubt for this position. It is probable that 
during Edward's last illness, when it was clear he could not 
recover, debate took place as to the succession among the 
members of the witan then in London, which was composed 
of those strongly favourable to the house of Godwin. The 
King was no doubt urged to name a successor, and it is said 
with every probability that when at the point of death, he 
called upon Harold to undertake the care of the kingdom. 

The day following the King's death (6 January) was perhaps 
the most remarkable in the memorable history of Westminster. 
Within a few hours it saw the burial of the King with all the 
pomp that a royal funeral entails, amid the manifestations of 
sorrow by the people ; the meeting of the witan and election 
of Harold as King of England ; and then, in the same church, 
the coronation of the new King with all the pageantry atten- 
dant to the occasion and the acclamations of the people who 
had so recently poured out their lamentations there. 

Harold immediately saw there was no chance of a peaceful 
succession for him or, for that matter, for any claimant to 
the crown. He remained for a short time at Westminster, 
and then made a progress to the North to ingratiate himself 


with the Northumbrians, who had been but slightly repre- 
sented at his election. He arrived back in time to keep his 
Easter court in London and remained there for some time 
collecting the greatest naval and military forces that had ever 
been brought together in the land, for he knew that an in- 
vasion by William was now inevitable. 

Tostig, his younger brother, with whom he had quarrelled, 
had been banished, and while abroad had married Judith, 
sister of Baldwin of Flanders and aunt of Matilda, wife of 
William of Normandy. Tostig naturally became the ready 
tool of William, who no doubt supplied him with forces 
with which he raided the southern coast of England. 
Harold heard of his arrival at Sandwich, while in London, and 
hastened down to the Kentish port, but Tostig retired. The 
English fleet cruised about the Channel all the summer, but 
in September the men could not be kept from the harvest 
and so the ships returned to their base at London. 73 

No sooner had Harold arrived in London than William's 
plan of campaign opened. The English seas being no longer 
guarded by the fleet, Tostig, now joined by Harold Hardrada, 
King of Norway, landed an army in Northumbria. Here they 
defeated the earls Edwin and Morkar and seized York. This 
diversion in the North effected what William desired by 
drawing off all available English forces from the southern 
coast. Notwithstanding a severe illness, from which he 
recovered, as the chronicler tells us, " by the prayers of King 
Edward," Harold assembled his army and by forced marches 
reached York on 25 September. On the following day he 
fought the battle of Stamfordbridge in which he was com- 
pletely victorious, and Harold Hardrada and Tostig were slain. 

73 Anglo-Sax. Chron., 1066. 


By a preconcerted plan William of Normandy landed at 
Pevensey on the Sussex coast on 28 September. Harold heard 
the news at York on 1 October and he immediately com- 
menced the return march of about 190 miles southward to 
London. He probably rode ahead of his army and reached 
London about four days later. As soon as he arrived he began 
to collect all the additional forces he could from the southern 
shires. This occupied some six busy days in London, a totally 
insufficient time when we consider the means of communication 
then available. 

Gurth, one of Harold's brothers, pointed out how inadequate 
and unprepared the English forces were to meet William's 
trained and fully equipped army. He urged Harold to remain 
in London and to let him lay waste all the land between 
Pevensey and London that William might be starved out ; 
then, if necessary, he would engage the Normans while Harold 
collected more forces. Harold, however, would not listen to 
any such advice, and about 11 October marched out of London 
with the host that had assembled there at his call. The Lon- 
don contingent, led by Ansgar or Esgar the staller, had the 
place of honour to guard the King's person and his standard. 74 

It is unnecessary to enter into details of the Battle of 
Hastings, which was fought on Saturday, 14 October, 1066. 
Had Harold listened to the advice of his brother the well- 
known result might have been different. " There were slain 
King Harold and Leofwin his brother and Earl Gurth his 
brother with many good men : and the Frenchmen gained 
the field of battle, as God granted them for the sins of the 
nation." Few of the Londoners can have survived, for the 
hottest part of the battle was around the King's ^andard, 

74 Freeman, Norm. Cong., iii, 424. 


where Harold fell, a spot that was later marked by the high 
altar of Battle Abbey Church. 75 Ansgar the staller, severely 
wounded, was carried back to London with the remnant of 
his company to bring the news of their defeat. 76 

76 Freeman, Norm. Conq., iv, 405. 76 Ibid., iii, 525. 



Byjthe time that Ansgar the staller and the fugitives from 
Hastings had brought news of the defeat of the English and 
the death of Harold, the northern earls, Edwin and Morkar, 
had arrived in London ; probably they had been unable to 
collect and bring up their levies, disorganized by their defeat 
in the North, in time to march with Harold into Sussex. Most 
of the magnates of the kingdom and many who had fled from 
Hastings were seeking the safety of the city walls, so that 
London must have been full to overflowing. 1 Harold was 
dead and William was not yet recognised as his successor, so 
that the land was without any central governing authority. 
The country, as on former occasions, looked for a lead to Lon- 
don, where the principal Englishmen were congregated, and 
it did not look in vain. Ansgar seems to have been the leading 
spirit of the city notwithstanding his wounds. It was he, 
probably, who called a gemote about the end of October to 
consider the situation. This meeting was attended by Aldred, 
Archbishop of York, possibly Stigand, Archbishop of Canter- 
bury, the earls Edwin and Morkar, together with the citizens 
and " butsecarles " or ship masters of London. 2 At this 
assembly Edgar the Etheling, grandson of Edmund Ironside, 

1 Freeman, Norman Conq., iii, 525, quoting Roman de Eou, 13, 9S6 ; 
Flor. of Wore., 1066 ; Will, of Malm., iii, 247. 
* Flor. of Wore., 1066. 



who was heir to the throne, was elected king, those present 
at the election thinking that William would not challenge the 
right of one whose claim, unlike that of Harold, was so much 
stronger than his own. Edgar seems to have been in London 
or Westminster at the time, where probably he performed his 
only recorded act of sovereign power by confirming the elec- 
tion of the abbot of Peterborough. 3 The Londoners seemed 
inclined to maintain their choice of a king by hazarding 
another battle with the invaders, but the withdrawal of the 
forces of Edwin and Morkar made such a step impracticable. 4 
William was somewhat alarmed at the news of the election, 
but he could do nothing for the moment, as he had to secure 
his base in Kent and Sussex, await reinforcements and combat 
disease which had appeared in his camp. 5 It was 1 December 
therefore before he began his march along Watling Street 
towards London. A reconnoitring party of fifty knights 
seems to have been sent forward and occupied Southwark, 
from which an unsuccessful attempt to dislodge them was 
made by the citizens of London. The knights, however, 
merely burnt Southwark and retired. 6 William made no 
further demonstration on London, but continued his march 
along the south side of the Thames until he came to Walling- 
f ord, where he passed over the river. It would seem probable 
that the fifty Norman knights who reconnoitred London had 
reported the difficulties which were likely to arise if an attack 
were made from the south bank of the Thames. The citizens 
had had time to make preparations, as they were well able to 
to from the experiences of former enterprises of a similai kind. 

8 Anglo-Sax. Chron., 1066. 4 Flor. o\ Wore., 1066. 

6 Script. Rerum Oesta, Will. I, 45-6. 

6 Ibid., 140-1 ; Freeman, Norm. Conq., iii, 542. 


The bridge was capable of being strongly fortified, so that 
without a large fleet of specially constructed boats any attempt 
to cross the river would have been fraught with great danger. 
Defeat or delay which might result from such an undertaking 
would at that moment have lost all that had been gained at 
Hastings. Besides, there was no necessity to hazard such a 
danger. As William knew full well there were no organized 
forces to oppose him in the South of England outside the city, 
and those within were not strong enough to attack in the 
open, although they could hold London for a considerable 
time. He therefore adopted the surer and more cautious 
method of isolating London by wasting the lands around it 
and cutting ofi its communication with the rest of the country. 
These tactics proved successful, and made it evident to the 
Londoners that further resistance was useless. 

By the encircling movement which William adopted he 
passed on with his army from Wallingford through Bucking- 
hamshire into Hertfordshire and made his head-quarters at 
Berkhampstead, where he entered upon negotiations with the 
magnates in London. It has been assumed that the place 
where these conferences were held was Great Berkhampstead, 
but the Hon. F. Baring contends that the site of this important 
event was Little Berkhampstead on the other side of the 
county. 7 He traces in the Domesday Survey the devastations 
made by William's army through Hertfordshire to Hertford, 
near to which Little Berkhampstead lies ; he calls attention 
to the remark of William of Poitiers that the negotiations took 
place within sight of London, and the statement by Florence 
of Worcester that William wasted Kent, Middlesex and Hert- 
fordshire until he came to "Beorcham." There can be no 

7 Engl. Hist. Rev., xiii, 17. 


doubt, both from the evidence deduced from Domesday by 
Mr. Baring and from the necessities of military strategy, that 
the encircling of London was carried to Hertford, but William 
of Poitiers' remark is merely figurative, for London is not 
visible from Great or Little Berkhampstead. 8 The chronicler 
further points out that William's troops continued wasting 
the country while the negotiations were in progress. 9 From 
this it would seem that during the somewhat lengthy negotia- 
tions with the magnates of London, William took up his head- 
quarters probably at Great Berkhampstead, while a force was 
pushed forward to continue the devastations eastward to 
Hertford. Great Berkhampstead, the head of a Saxon lord- 
ship, was a market town of some importance, having the 
residence of a wealthy thegn which would afford a habitation 
for William while treating with the Londoners. 10 It was a 
more appropriate place for William's head-quarters than 
Little Berkhampstead, which was then and has remained an 
unimportant village. 

The Conqueror reached Berkhampstead about the middle 
of December, and at this point it is difficult, between the bald 
and prosaic account of the Chronicle and the poetic effusion 
of Guy of Amiens, to arrive at a true estimate of what really 
occurred in London. According to the much fuller story of 
the latter authority, Ansgar the staller, who had led the Lon- 
don host at Hastings, was the hero of the occasion. Badly 
wounded and unable to walk or ride, he had to be carried 
about in a litter ; nevertheless he was the centre of activity 
within the city. It would seem that William got into com- 

8 There is high land between Little Berkhampstead and London which 
obscures the view, and Great Berkhampstead is thirty miles from the 
metropolis. * Anglo-Sax. Chron., 1066. 

w V.C.H. Herts, ii, 165, 171 ; iii, 428. 


munication with Ansgar regarding the surrender of London. 
According to Guy's somewhat improbable story, William 
pointed out the advantages to the kingdom if he were acknow- 
ledged king, and threw out the hint that if he were but so 
recognised the affairs of the realm might be administered by 
Ansgar. On receiving the message Ansgar called together the 
elders of the city, and indicating the seriousness of the situa- 
tion, advised caution. The elders agreed to all he proposed, 
and arranged to select the fittest among them to take a reply 
to William. The messenger who was sent returned with a 
glowing description of William, how that he was a very David 
and Solomon and that he only placed his title to the crown 
on the gift of the kingdom by Edward, to which he contended 
the Londoners had given their approval. 11 The witan after 
consideration acknowledged William's claim, and disavowed 
the election of Edgar the Etheling. Further, they determined 
to offer William the crown and to submit themselves to him. 
The chronicler observes that they were ill-advised not to 
have done this before " seeing that God would not better 
things for our sins." 12 

There is some uncertainty as to the persons who went from 
London to make their submission at Berkhampstead. The 
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states that the party consisted of 
Aldred, Archbishop of York, Edgar, " cild " or the etheling, 
Earl Edwin and Earl Morkar and all the best men of London. 13 
To this list Florence of Worcester adds Wulstan, Bishop of 
Worcester, and Walter, Bishop of Hereford. 14 Professor 
Freeman doubts the presence of Edwin and Morkar, who on the 

11 See p. 55. 

12 Will of Poitiers, Script. Rerun Oett. Will. I, 142. Anglo-Sax. Chron., 

" Anglo-Sax. Chron., 1066. " Flor. of Wore., 1066. 


authority of William of Poitiers, he suggests, made their sub- 
mission at Barking after William's coronation. On the same 
authority he thinks that Stigand, Archbishop of Canterbury, 
was with the party, 15 but William of Poitiers implies that 
Stigand submitted at Wallingford, 16 and from what we know 
of the archbishop it is quite conceivable that he was anxious 
to come to terms with the winning side at the earliest oppor- 
tunity and was already with William at Berkhampstead. 

The meeting which followed was one of the most dramatic 
and far-reaching episodes in the history of this country. It 
completed what the Battle of Hastings had begun. Possibly 
this momentous meeting was held in the house of Edmer 
Atule, a wealthy thegn uncler Harold, who had held Berk- 
hampstead, and the hall of his house was the " aula regis " 
mentioned by Guy of Amiens, 17 for Berkhampstead Castle 
can scarcely have been sufficiently advanced to have afforded 
the shelter of even a wooden building. The delegates were 
admitted to William's presence and the formalities of swearing 
oaths of allegiance and giving hostages were gone through. 
The Conqueror first greeted young Edgar the Etheling with 
great friendliness, and gave him the kiss of peace, then turn- 
ing to each of the other members of the mission he greeted 
them in a like manner. 18 Later apparently he addressed them 
and promised to be a good lord to them, although, as the 
chronicler remarks, in the midst of his promise his army was 
plundering the countryside. After consideration he decided 
to accept the offer of the crown, and appointed the Christmas 
festival, then only a few days off, for the date of his coronation 

16 Script. Rerum Oest. Witt. I, p. 148. 

16 Ibid., 141 ; Freeman, op. cit., iv, 767. The evidence is very obscure 

17 Script. Rerum Qest. Witt. I, 48. " Ibid. 


at Westminster. In the meanwhile military precautions were 
taken at London by sending a force to erect fortifications to 
overawe the citizens, but of what those fortifications consisted 
the passage in William of Poitiers is too obscure to determine. 

William apparently took up his residence at the palace 
built by Edward at Westminster. On Christmas Day, less 
than a year after the coronation of Harold, in the same church, 
the Conqueror was consecrated King of the English. After he 
had taken an oath to maintain the laws and rule righteously, 
the coronation ceremony was performed by Aldred, Archbishop 
of York. Stigand, Archbishop of Canterbury, was present, 
but owing to his doubtful ecclesiastical position he took but 
a secondary part in the service. 19 An unfortunate incident 
occurred in the middle of the ceremony ; the acclamations of 
the sovereign by the people, which still form a part of the 
coronation service, being mistaken by the Norman guards at 
the entrance to the church for cries of rebellion, and in alarm 
they set fire to the houses around. The people, fearing a general 
pillage of the neighbourhood, rushed out to protect their 
property, leaving the church deserted except for the ecclesi- 
astics and the King. 

Thus by the submission of London the settlement of the 
crown upon William was assured. From the position of an 
invader he had become the constitutionally elected and con- 
secrated ruler of the land, and thereafter any opposition to 
him was treason. 

William seems to have left Westminster early in 1067 and 
to have gone to Barking. 20 It is evident he did not trust the 
Londoners, who, as we have seen, had strongly favoured the 

" Will, of Poitiers, Script. Serum Qe*t. Will. I, 143. 
" Ibid., 147-8. 


house of Godwin. He therefore set about selecting a site for 
a fortress which would answer the double purpose of over- 
awing the citizens and protecting the city. The most natural 
position for such a fortress was on the banks of the Thames 
at the eastern extremity of the city. Any attack from outside 
at that date would be expected from Scandinavia, and a castle 
in the position of the Tower of London would command the 
approach from the east by land and water, and would control 
the passage of ships up and down the Thames. Work on the 
new castle, to be built after the Norman fashion, was begun 
at this time, and William found Barking more convenient 
than Westminster for superintending the preliminary work. 
About this time also he probably arranged with Half Baynard 
for the erection of a castle on the western side of the city in 
the corresponding position to that of the Tower. 

William found much to be done in taking the submission of 
the conquered and in the distribution of their lands among his 
followers. We are at a disadvantage in examining this ques- 
tion owing to the lack of any return of London in the Domes- 
day Survey. So far as our evidence goes, William seems to 
have carried out the policy here which he adopted elsewhere 
in the country, the larger Saxon landowners, the holders of 
London sokes and manors, were dispossessed to make room 
for his Norman followers, but the smaller people were not 
disturbed. The custom for a Norman to take all the lands of 
a disinherited Englishman, however scattered they might be, 
helps us but slightly in determining the distribution of the 
larger holdings in London. The properties of ecclesiastics such 
as the pre-Conquest sokes of the Archbishop of Canterbury, 
the Bishop of London, the Deans and Chapters of St. Paul's 
and St. Martin's-le-Grand, the abbots of St. Albans, West- 


minster, Chertsey, Walt-ham, Ramsey and others would merely 
pass from Saxon to Norman rule by replacing a Saxon ecclesi- 
astic by a Norman without any dispossession. But with lay 
fees the matter was different, for although documentary 
evidence does not enable us to trace exactly the change in 
their ownership we know that the Saxon holders were dispos- 
sessed, because their fees appear at a little later date in the 
hands of William's followers. 

The London fiefs were, however, not all confiscated at once. 
Ingelric, one of the King's clerks, serving both Edward and 
William, probably continued to hold his soke of Aldersgate 
as late as 1069, when he attested a royal charter relating to 
Exeter. 21 His soke in London and lands in Essex did not 
pass to Count Eustace of Boulogne until some time after the 
Count had made peace with William. 22 It is possible that 
when William pronounced his interpretation of the law that 
all the land of England had been forfeited to him and gave 
the English the opportunity of redeeming their property, 23 in 
many instances he returned the estate or part of it for the life 
of the holder, as seems to have been the case with regard to 

It would have been impolitic on William's part to have 
driven out all the merchants and traders who had fought for 
Harold ; their wealth would no doubt have been worth con- 
fiscation, but by seizing it he would have destroyed a source 
of revenue and power and a steadying influence in the kingdom 
which it would have taken a long time to restore. Moreover, 
it is probable that the Londoners, when they submitted to 
William at Berkhampstead, made terms with him for the 

J1 Bound, Commune of London, 36; Davis, Regesta Begum, i, No. 22, 28. 
" Cf. Freeman, op. cit., iv, 745-7. Possibly Eustace's reconciliation did 
not take place until 1069-70. Ibid., iv, 23-6. 


retention of their property and privileges as was customary 
on such occasions. The charter which William granted to 
the citizens is probably the outcome of such negotiations. It 
may well have been granted at Westminster after the corona- 
tion or during William's stay at Barking. 24 The use of English, 
which gave way to Latin in royal charters shortly after the 
Conquest, and its general form both indicate a date during the 
first few years of his reign. 25 Its terms are those which might 
have been arranged at Berkhampstead. They consist of three 
clauses only, namely, (1) that the laws of King Edward's day 
should be continued ; (2) that every child should be his father's 
heir, after his father's day ; (3) that the King would suffer no 
man to do the citizens wrong. The charter simply guaranteed 
the continuance of the conditions which prevailed before the 
Conquest. This small slip of parchment containing only four 
lines and a word or two forms one of the most precious docu- 
ments which the citizens possess, for it is their earliest charter 
and was granted to them at that critical moment when the 
existence of their much-prized independence was seriously 
threatened. 26 The charter is addressed to William, the bishop, 

24 It must have been granted before 1075 when William, Bishop of 
London, to whom it is addressed, died. Mr. H. W. C. Davis (Beg. Regum 
Anglo-Norm., No. 15) is of opinion it was issued at or shortly after the 
coronation of the Conqueror. A reference to it, he points out, may be traced 
in Orderic's account (vol. ii, 64) of the measures taken by the King after 
his coronation : " prudenter, juste, clementerque disposuit quaedam ad 
ipsius civitatis commoda vel dignitatem." 

" Royal charters in English are scarce after the first eight or ten years 
after the Conquest. Cf. Davis, op. cit. 

26 There is some unsatisfactory evidence that William granted another 
charter to London in which he gave to the citizens the shrievalty and all 
appurtenances, things and customs. There may be some confusion with a 
grant to Geoffrey do Mandeville of the shrievalty which we know was 
farmed by him. Sharpe, London and the Kingdom, i, 37n., quoting Letter 
Bk. K, fol. 120b. See also Davis, op. cit., No. 85. 


and Gosfregd, the portreeve, and all the citizens (burhwaru) 
within London, French and English. The bishop was William 
the Norman, who was consecrated to the See of London in 
1051 ; the portreeve is probably no other than Gosfrid or 
Geoffrey de Mandeville, who we know was portreeve or sheriff 
of London and Middlesex during the reign of the Conqueror 27 
or Rufus, or both. William, after his coronation (25 Dec., 
1066) and before leaving England for Normandy (21 Feb., 
1067), arranged for the peaceful settlement of London, 28 and 
nothing is more likely than that he would place it under the 
rule of his faithful follower Geoffrey de Mandeville, and endow 
him with the possessions and possibly the office of staller, 
which had been formerly held by London's chief citizen 

William remained in Normandy until the beginning of 
December, and on his return he seems to have taken up his 
residence at Westminster, where he kept his mid-winter court 
(1067-8), at which Eustace of Boulogne was tried and con- 
demned for the revolt in Kent. It was at this court that 
William made an important grant to St. Martin's-le-Grand, 
founded by his clerk Ingelric, 29 whose soke of Aldersgate and 
property elsewhere in England Eustace later held. 

The early part of the year was occupied by the siege of 
Exeter and reduction of the West of England, in which prob- 
ably a contingent from London was employed, as we know it 
was against the revolt in Somerset and Dorset in the following 
year. William was back in London for his Whitsuntide court, 
when Queen Matilda was crowned at Westminster by Arch- 

27 Round, Geoff, de Mandeville, 439 ; Davis, loc. cit. ; Stow, Surv. of 
London, i, 287 ; iii, 148, 382. 

83 Orderic, loc. cit. "* Round, Commune of London, 34. 


bishop Aldred in the presence of a great assembly of both 
French and English. 30 At this time the custom was established 
of keeping the Christmas court at Gloucester, that of Easter 
at Winchester, and that of Whitsuntide at London, 31 but it 
was of course impossible to adhere absolutely to such a rule, 
and courts were held at London or Westminster at other feasts 
than Whitsuntide. It was apparently to the Whitsuntide 
court 1069 that Aldred, Archbishop of York, hastened in great 
anger because, as he complained, William had supported his 
sheriff of Yorkshire in seizing certain wheat and stores belong- 
ing to the archbishopric. He refused the royal greeting and 
told the King that when God for the sins of the nation had 
given the Normans victory, he blessed the King and placed 
the crown upon his head, but now he cursed him as an oppres- 
sor of the ministers of God and a breaker of his oath. William , 
it is said, fell contrite at the prelate's feet and made full 
restitution that the blessing which the archbishop had given 
him might not be turned into a curse. 32 

Beyond the occurrences of the Whitsuntide courts, the trial 
of Waltheof in ^076, and ten years later the dubbing Henry, 
the King's son, a knight, 33 we have little information about 
London during the remainder of the Conqueror's reign. On 
14 August, 1077, there was one of those terrible fires which 
periodically afflicted the city, when the chronicler asserted 
that there never had been so great a fire since London was 
built. 34 In the following year Gundulf, Bishop of Rochester, 

30 Round, Commune of London, 34. 

31 Chron. of Steph., Hen. II and Rich. I (Rolls Ser.), iv, 44 ; Will, of 
Malmesbury, Gesta Reg. (Rolls Ser.), ii, 335. 

32 Act. Pont. Ebor. x Script., 1703-4 ; Freeman, op. cit., iv, 264-5. 
13 Anglo-Sax. Chron., Petcrboro Chron. and Flor. of Wore., 1086. 

34 Anglo-Sax. Chron. 


came to London to reside with his friend Edmer in order to 
begin the superintendence of building the White Tower, 
which, although he lived some thirty years after, he never 
saw completed. 

The year of the Conqueror's death (1087) was full of disas- 
ters, storms, fires and pestilence. St. Paul's and many other 
minsters were burnt in London and again the greater part of 
the city was destroyed. 35 This gave the opportunity of re- 
building the cathedral on a grander scale. William Rufus was 
crowned at Westminster on 26 September, 1087, and kept his 
Christmas court there, entertaining a large concourse of mag- 
nates. 36 He spent a great part of his reign at Westminster, 
where he kept both his Whitsuntide and Christmas courts. 
In 1088 when the conspiracy of Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, and 
others to place Robert of Normandy, the King's brother, on 
the throne, broke out in Kent, 37 Rufus collected his forces at 
London, which he made his head-quarters. While laying siege 
to Pevensey Castle, Odo's garrison at Rochester attacked 
London and Canterbury, where they carried fire and sword 
against the inhabitants. It would seem, however, that there 
was a strong and organized party both in Canterbury and 
London favourable to Robert and Odo. William de St. Calais, 
Bishop of Durham and minister of William Rufus, in his 
remonstrance for the seizure of the lands of his bishopric for 
his adherence to Bishop Odo in 1089, refers to this incident. 
He declared that whe^n London rebelled he kept it to its fealty 
and took twelve of the better citizens with him to the King 
in order that he might influence the rest through them, and 

" Anglo-Sax. Chron. and F lor. of Wore., 1087. 

Chron. Steph., Hen. II and Rich. I (Bolls. Ser.), iv, 46. 

37 Flor. of Wore., 1088. 


he could prove this by the testimony of their barons. 38 It 
was probably to this rebellion and the disturbed condition of 
the city at the time that two large and important hoards of 
coins can be referred, the one, from the evidence of the coins, 
was deposited after 1075 and the other, consisting of over 
7000 coins, was of about the same time. 39 

William's attraction to Westminster was largely no doubt 
on account of the building operations he was carrying out. 
His hall there was finished in 1099, and at Whitsuntide in that 
year he held his court in it for the first time. 40 The impress- 
ment of labour and the collection of money from the counties 
near London for building this hall, for erecting the wall round 
the Tower and for building operations at London Bridge 41 
had become intolerable, and the outcry towards the end of 
his reign grew dangerously loud. Anselm felt so strongly the 
necessity for reformation with regard to these and other 
burdens that he asked for leave to visit the Pope and consult 
with him. After, two refusals he departed in November, 
1097. 42 These heavy burdens and the effects of a devastating 
fire in 1092, 43 which destroyed almost the whole city, made 
the close of the eleventh century a calamitous time for 

On the death of William Rufus in the New Forest by the 
arrow of Walter Tyrell on 2 August, 1100, Henry, his brother, 
was elected king at Winchester on the following day. Two 
days later (5 August), after taking an oath to annul all the 
unrighteous acts of his brother and maintain the best laws 

38 Symeon of Durham (Rolls Ser.), i, 189. 

39 V.C.H. London, i, 159, 181. 

40 Anglo-Sax. Chron., 1099. 41 Ibid,, 1097. 

42 Chron. of Steph., Hen. II and Rich. I (Rolls Ser.), iv, 56. 
3 Flor. of Wore., 1092. 


that were in force in any king's time, 44 he was crowned at 
Westminster by Maurice, Bishop of London. Although West- 
minster was intimately connected with all the important 
domestic events of Henry's reign it was only for the first ten 
years that he " bare his crown " and kept his Christmas and 
Whitsuntide courts with regularity there. Shortly after his 
coronation he married at Westminster amidst great rejoicings 
Maud or Matilda, daughter of Malcolm, King of Scotland, and 
Margaret his wife, granddaughter of Edmund Ironside. 
Nine years later, at his Whitsuntide court at London, or more 
probably Westminster, Maud, the daughter of this union, who 
had been born in London, 45 was betrothed at the age of seven 
to the Emperor Henry V of Germany. In another nine years 
(1 May, 1118) Queen Maud, who had lived for many years in 
great state at Westminster, died there and was buried in the 
Abbey. 46 

After the disaster to the White Ship and the death of 
Henry's only son William, the King called together the 
nobles of the kingdom at London, as the chronicler says, but 
probably meaning Westminster, on 6 January, 1121, and 
taking their advice " that he might no longer lead an improper 
life," he determined to marry Adelaide, daughter of Guy, Duke 
of Lorraine, " a maiden adorned with the comeliness of a 
modest countenance." 47 This marriage unfortunately brought 
no male heir to the throne, and at the Christmas court, 1126, 
held at Windsor and adjourned to London on 1 January, 1127, 
an oath was administered to those present to accept the 

41 Anglo-Sax. Chron. and Flor. of Wore., 1100; Matth. Paris (Hist, 
Angl., i, 176) states he promised to restore the laws of Edward the Confessor 
5 Mun. Gild. Lond. (Rolls Ser.), ii, pt. i, 15. 
Will, of Malmesbury, Geata Reg. (Rolls Ser.), ii, 494-6. 
47 Flor. of Wore., 1121. 


Empress Maud as the sole legitimate representative of her 
grandfather, uncle and father. 48 

Besides the royal courts held at Westminster during the 
earlier part of the reign, London, or perhaps Westminster, 
became the recognised place for holding ecclesiastical councils 
such as those dealing with the question of the marriage of 
the clergy (1102), ecclesiastical investiture (1107) and im- 
portant synods in 1125 and 1127. 

Very little is recorded of what was happening in London 
during the reign of Henry I. One of the worst of the frequent 
fires occurred in May, 1132, when a great part of London was 
consumed, including the church of St. Paul, 49 which had suf- 
fered from a like calamity less than fifty years before. Mr. 
Loftie gives the date of this latter fire as 1136 and traces its 
course from Londonstone westward to St. Paul's, then east- 
ward to Aldgate and southward to the bridge. 50 As a conse- 
quence of this disaster we begin to find reference more often 
to stone houses, and probably as a further result more stringent 
building regulations were enforced. 

Although our information on the point is slight, there can 
be little doubt that important internal developments were 
taking place in London at this time. Throughout a great part 
of Europe there had been a wave of commercial prosperity 
which naturally centred in the towns. The constant warfare 
between neighbouring states meant the purchase of large 
stocks of military stores, which brought wealth to the burghers. 
The cost of the wars also necessitated the borrowing of money 
from the same source. With the independence which grew 

48 Will, of Malmesbury, Gesla Beg. (Rolls Ser.), ii, 495, 628. . Round 
Oeoff. de Mandevitte, 31, 32. 

Flor. of Wore., 1132. * Loftie, Hist, of London, i, 101. 


prosperity, the burghers desired greater 
.freedom, and particularly the government oitheir towns by a 
Jbody of councillors selected by themselves and a separate 
judiciary. These desires being formulated into demands were 
refused by the lords of such towns. Thus there came into 
existence the sworn "^Commune " or association of burghers 
whose object was to wrest these privileges from their lords 
and when obtained, such a commune became the governing 
body of the town. iAs in all such movements there were 
gradual and divergent stages of development which can be 
discerned in this instance. In its final state the commune as 
known on the Continent was a " seigneurie collective popu- 
laire," a corporate feudal entity or free vassal of the king or 
other lord, that was only liable collectively to the incidents 
of a feudal lordship. Its tendency was oligarchic and not 
democratic, being represented probably by a council, at4iie 
head of which. .was usually a mayor. As a popular conspiracy, 
revolutionary in character, it was naturally hated by all 
existing authorities. 

It is unlikely that London remained for long untouched by 
this movement. During the Anglo-Saxon rule, particularly 
under the influence of Cnut and Edward the Confessor, its 
citizens were independent, respected and attained high 
positions in the country. Under Norman rule, however, it is 
more than likely that repressive measures were brought to 
bear. The territorial aristocracy in whose hands the govern- 
ment of the city then largely lay consisted of Norman absentees 
who delegated their authority to the reeves of their sokes ; the 
reeves naturally carried out their administrative duties in a 
narrower spirit than would animate their masters. The sokes 
came to be looked upon solely as sources of profit by their 


owners, who had little interest in the welfare of their tenants. 
Another grievance was the heavy burdens already referred to, 
which the early Norman monarchs laid upon London and the 
district, to enable them to carry out their vast building schemes, 
while the increased farm of the county that Henry I imposed to 
pay for his wars in France, had ultimately to be obtained from 
the pockets of the citizens. These grievances raised a spirit 
of discontent and led to the creation of two parties, the one 
aristocratic, that desired to conserve the existing conditions, 
* and the other oligarchic, that aimed at a municipal form of 
government such as was afforded by the communes then being 
established abroad. 

Besides these influences, London was becoming more and 
more cosmopolitan. Its prosperity, notwithstanding these 
burdens, was attracting enterprising merchants from all parts 
of Europe : Frenchmen, Normans, Flemings, Danes, Nor- 
wegians, Germans, Italians and Spaniards can all be traced 
among the citizens of London at this time. It is noteworthy 
with regard to this point of mixed nationalities how quickly 
these foreigners became absorbed by marriage and common 
interests into the general body of citizens. 51 In the case of 
the Normans this might perhaps be expected, but it was the 
same with those from other nations. Not only were they 
absorbed in this way, but almost from their first arrival they 
were eligible for administrative advancement. We are told 
by one of the historians of Becket that many natives of Kouen 
and Caen, the principal cities of Normandy, settled in London, 
because it was more convenient and better adapted for trade 
than their own towns. Amongst them were Gilbert Becket, 
a merchant of Rouen, and Rose his wife, of burgess rank from 
61 Cf. Round, Geoff, de MandeviUe, 304. 


Caen, parents of the martyred archbishop. They arrived here 
during the first few years of the twelfth century, and Gilbert 
so prospered that he soon rose to be portreeve of London. 52 
Similar stories could be told of many other Normans, of the 
Bocoints and Buckerells, Italian financiers, of the Lorengs 
from Loraine, de Hispanias, the Flemings and numerous others. 
It is unlikely that, these merchants settling in London would 
keep silence on the question of municipal government that was 
so keenly debated at the places whence they came ; in fact, 
we know that they cannot have done so, for it is a matter that 
colours almost every event in the history of London through- 
out the latter two-thirds of the twelfth century. We have 
some indication of it perhaps during the eleventh century in 
he influence of the citizens of London in the rebellion of Odo,' 
bishop of Bayeux, of 1089, as shown by William de St. Calais' 
emonstrance already referred to. 

The leading influence of the aristocratic party in London 
was, there can be little doubt, the Mandeville family. As has 
already been suggested, Geoffrey or Goisfred de Mandeville 
ippears to have succeeded to the lands and office of Ansgar 
.he staller, immediately after the Conquest. His soke probably 
adjoined the Tower, and at one time may have included a part 
of the site of the Tower itself. Writs and charters are addressed 
to him as chief official of London until the close of the reign 
of William Rufus. 53 He was a man of great wealth, having 
considerable estates lying in eleven different counties at the 
rime of the Domesday Survey (1086). 54 Besides being sheriff 

62 Material* for Hist, of Archbp. Thos. Becket (Rolls Ser.), iii, 14; 
v, 81. 

53 See the address of the charter by Will, n to the Cnihtengild, Dugdale. 
Man. Angl.,vi, 156 ; Lond. and Midd. Arch. Soc., v, 488. 

54 Bound, Geoff, de Mandeville, 142, 166j 


of London and Middlesex he was also sheriff of Essex and 
Hertfordshire. 55 It is not known whether he had the custody 
of the Tower, which was held by his son William in 1101, 56 and 
probably for some years before and after. Mr. Kound calls 
attention to the association of the shrievalty with the custody 
of the castle of the county town which occurs in other counties, 57 
and Geoffrey's connexion with the stallership and the soke 
which occupied the Tower ward points to the possibility of his 
having had charge of the Tower of London. It is quite likely, 
however, that William de Mandeville was the first custodian 
of the Tower, the work upon which was scarcely advanced 
enough to require such an officer before the end of the eleventh 

It would seem that Geoffrey de Mandeville, although he lived 
until about 1113, 58 ceased to be the chief officer in London at 
the time of the outcry against the burdens that were placed 
upon the citizens at the end of the century, and was succeeded 
by Hugh de Buckland. His son William, so far as we know, 
never held either the office of justiciar or sheriff, but continued 
to have the custody of the Tower possibly until his death about 
1129-30, when he was apparently succeeded by his son, the 
infamous Geoffrey, who was created Earl of Essex. The 
offices of justiciar and sheriff, which had been held together 
by the first Geoffrey de Mandeville, were separated early in the 
twelfth century, but the exact date of their severance is un- 

As Mr. Eound has pointed out, there was no alteration in 

46 Round, Geoff, de Mandeville, 142, 166. 

46 Ordericus Vitalis (Soc. de 1'histoire de France), iv, 108. 

67 Kound, Oeoff. de Mandeville, 439. 

68 Armitage Eobinson, Gilbert Crispin, 150-1. See also Round, Geoff, 
de Mandeville, 38n., quoting charters in Abingdon Cart., ii, 73, 85, 116. 


this state of affairs up to the time of the earliest and unfor- 
tunately isolated Pipe Roll made up at Michaelmas, 1130. 59 
At some time after the date of this roll Henry granted an 
important charter to London. It is undated, but was issued 
from Westminster. As Henry was abroad from the summer 
of 1130 to August, 1131, and on 2 August, 1133, crossed the 
seas never to return alive to England, the date is narrowed to 
two years. The entry in the Pipe Roll for 1129-30, 60 that the 
men of London paid 30 on account of 100 marks of silver for 
having the election of their sheriff, Mr. Round thinks, indi- 
cates an arrangement that was preliminary to the leasing of 
the farm in perpetuity, a concession which was granted by this 
charter. Mr. Farrer, by careful comparison of this charter 
with others, places it in the first half of 1132, 61 when Henry 
was at Westminster, which is a date that would well suit it 
and one we can probably accept. This charter gave no new 
constitution to London and probably created no new office. 
It seems to be rather a codification of the existing laws and 
customs of old time recognised in London, laws and customs 
which in most instances went back to a date before the Con- 
quest. The right of farming the county at a fixed sum of 300 
which was confirmed to the citizens had already been given 
to Geoffrey de Mandeville, 62 and by the privilege of electing 
their own sheriff it would follow that the citizens would be 
responsible for the farm which that officer had to pay. The 
practices of electing a sheriff at the f olkmote and of farming 

4 Bound, Geoff, de Mandeville, 365. 

Rot. Magn. Pip. (Bee. Com.), 148. 

" Engl. Hist. Rev., xxxiv (1919), p. 566. Henry was at Westminster 
again before Easter in 1133 and later in the year. Ibid., 569. 

" Bound, Geoff, de Mandeville, 141-2, 166. The farm had been raised 
to 500 in 1130. Ibid., 366. For text of Charter see App. No. I. 


a county, according to Dr. Stubbs, 63 go back probably to a 
time before the Conquest and, although the former practice 
was not in force in London in the reigns of William I and 
William II, for all we know to the contrary they may both 
have been used in the time of Edward the Confessor, a period 
to which the citizens refer as the time of their greatest free- 
dom. 64 The remaining clauses contain nothing but what prob- 
ably was already in force before the charter was granted. 

Henry I died in Normandy on.l December, 1135, and his 
body was buried at the abbey of Beading. His nephew 
Stephen, son of his sister Adela, who was Count of Boulogne 
in right of his wife Maud, daughter of Count Eustace of 
Boulogne, hastened to England to claim the kingdom not- 
withstanding that the English magnates had recognised the 
late king's daughter Maud as heir-apparent. Some perhaps 
thought that the rule of a woman was incompatible with the 
anxieties of those strenuous days. Stephen received no 
welcome at Dover or at Canterbury, but he hurried on to 
London, where the citizens assembled to greet him. Again the 
citizens made terms with their future sovereign, and Stephen 
was compelled to come to an agreement (mutuum juramentum) 
that in return for accepting him as their king he would under- 
take to rule the kingdom peacefully. No doubt also he pro- 
mised to preserve their liberties as recognised in the charter 
of Henry I or perhaps allow them the liberties used in the 

83 Constit. Hist., i, 126, 131, 410. In the early part of the thirteenth 
century it was not uncommon for the men of a county to elect their 
sheriff. Cf. Cal. of Pat. Rolls, 1225-32, p. 45, for Somerset and Dorset; 
p. 472, for Notts and Derby; Ibid., 1216-25, p. 554, for Devon. The 
election of the sheriff at the folkmote points to an early origin for the 
practice as the busting was taking the place of the folkmote after the 

Flor. of Wore., 1141. For text of charter of Henry I, see App; Ne. I. 


time of Edward the Confessor, which the citizens claimed were 
greater than Henry had given them. 65 After this preliminary, 
the elders, possibly the aldermen (majores natu), and as many 
magnates of the land as could be brought together, elected him 
king, probably at the folkmote. 66 Mr. Round calls attention 
to the resemblance of this agreement to that exacted in similar 
circumstances by those foreign towns which enjoyed the rights 
^of a commune, and he suggests that " what the Londoners 
really claimed in 1135 was not the right to elect a king of all 
England but to choose their own lord independently of the 
rest of the kingdom and to do so by a separate negotiation 
between himself and them." 67 After his acceptance as king 
in London, Stephen went on to Winchester, where his brother 
Henry was bishop, and here again he was well received by the 
citizens. He then returned to London and was crowned at 
Westminster about 22 December. After his coronation he 
made a progress through the land, first to Reading for the 
burial of the late king and then to the North, and returned to 
London in time to hold his Easter court (1136) at Westminster. 
This court was of great splendour and was intended to impress 
the country with his power and popularity. At it the Queen 
was crowned in the presence of the archbishops of Canterbury 
and York and seventeen bishops, Henry de Sully, son of the 
King's brother William, Henry, son of the King of Scots, and 
a host of English magnates. 

For two years Stephen sat more or less securely on his throne, 
but in 1138 movements began in favour of the Empress Maud. 
Stephen, never wanting in personal bravery, was a weak king. 
Rebellions arose and were put down, but no punishments were 

s Ibid. s Gesta Stepkani (Rolls Ser.), 6. 

ej 247^9. 


exacted ; hence it was seen that crimes could be committed 
with impunity. The natural result of such a policy was 

The landing of the Empress Maud at Arundel on 30 Sep- 
tember, 1139 ; Stephen's chivalrous if weak decision to send 
her with an escort to her half-brother Kobert, Earl of Glou- 
cester, at Bristol ; and the defection of his adherents, are 
matters which belong to the history of the nation. It was, 
however, in consequence of these events that Geoffrey de 
Mandeville began those intrigues for his own advancement 
which played so important a part in the history of Stephen's 
reign, and particularly in the history of London. The power 
he held as constable of the Tower and that he acquired from 
his possessions in the eastern counties, made him a formidable 
enemy and a powerful friend. It was probably as a reminder 
to Stephen of this power that in the spring of 1140 he seized 
Constance, daughter of the King of France, who had lately 
been married to Stephen's son Eustace, and detained her in 
the Tower. 68 Stephen, although he was compelled to over- 
look the outrage for reasons of policy, never forgave it. 
At the same time it had the effect of hastening the grant 
of the earldom of Essex which Stephen conferred upon 
Geoffrey in the latter part of 1140 in order to retain his 
services. 69 

Stephen kept his Whitsuntide court (26 May, 1140) at the 
Tower, where he entered into negotiations with the Empress 
as to terms of peace. 70 During these negotiations, and for 
some time afterwards, he had his head-quarters in London 

68 Will, de Nevjburgh (Rolls Ser.),i, 45; Bound, Geoff, de Mandeville, 47. 

69 Round, op. cit., 49. 

70 Will, of Malmesbury, Gesta Reg. (Rolls Ser.), ii, 564. 


and she had hers at Winchester. It was while keeping his 
Christmas court at London in 1140 that Stephen received 
news of the seizure of Lincoln Castle by Randle, Earl of 
Chester. He at once started off on that fatal expedition 
which led to the Battle of Lincoln on 2 February, 1141, in 
which he was defeated by the Earl of Gloucester and taken 

J3y_tjie King's capture the government of the country was 
paralysed. The Empress, doubting her reception in London, 
hastened to Winchester to consult with Henry de Blois, Bishop 
of Winchester and papal legate. Here she was received as the 
Lady of England (Domino, Anglice), for she had not yet been 
elected and crowned ; and many things had to be arranged 
before those ceremonies could be carried out. On 8 April a 
council, mainly of ecclesiastics, was held under the presidency 
of the Bishop on behalf of the Empress. Stephen, the Bishop 
maintained, had forfeited the crown by his bad government. 
Those assembled, the clerical party that Stephen had offended, 
were ready enough to applaud this speech ; but the Bishop 
remembered that the Londoners, who had elected Stephen 
and consistently supported him, had not been consulted, and 
it was necessary to obtain their concurrence to any settlement. 
He therefore sent messengers to summon representatives of 
the citizens of London, " who were as aristocrats (optimates) 
on account of the greatness of their city." The representa- 
tives arrived on the following day (April 9), and being intro- 
duced to the assembly stated that they had been sent from 
the commune which they call London (a communione quam 
vacant Londoniarum) not to contest the points but to offer 
prayers for the release of their lord the King from captivity 
and this all the barons (meaning perhaps the barons of 


London) 71 who had been received into their commune (in 
eorum communionem) earnestly entreated from the legate, the 
archbishop and the rest of the clergy who were present. The 
Bishop replied that it ill became the Londoners, who were con- 
sidered in England as peers, to favour those who deserted 
their lord in battle, by whose counsel the King had dishonoured 
the Church and who only curried favour with the Londoners 
in order to fleece them of their money. A similar request for 
the release of the King was then made by Stephen's queen, 
through one of her clerks, and received a like refusal. On the 
following day the council was dissolved and the Londoners 
returned home. 72 

It would appear from these negotiations that the Lon- 
doners, taking their opportunity from Stephen's embarrass- 
ments, had established a commune, in which Stephen had 
possibly acquiesced. Communes no doubt, like all such con- 
stitutions, varied. in their degree, and there is no reason to 
suppose that the Londoners were able to set up a full com- 
mune of the continental form with its mayoralty. It ig_ 
probable, on the other hand, that they obtained the recognition 
of some form of municipal organization with an elected 
council which could then be more easily formed as the control 
of the justiciarship and shrievalty was in their hands by the 
charter of Henry I. Whether the address of a letter of Hugh, 
Archbishop of Kouen, to the commune (commune) of London 
of this time, thanking the citizens for their fidelity and sted- 
fastness to Stephen, refers to the commune in this sense or 

71 Cf. Bound, Geoff, de Mandeville, 117. Mr. Bound takes barones to be 
the barons of the realm, but the barons of London as a body were 
probably more likely to be received into the commune of London. 

72 Will. Malms. Oesta Beg. (Bolls Ser.), ii, 576-7. Sharpe, London and the 
Kingdom, i, 49. 


merely to the body of citizens, as Mr. Round thinks more 
probable, it is impossible to decide. 73 

After the meeting of the council at Winchester the Empress 
felt that it would be necessary for her to be elected in London 
and crowned at Westminster, and therefore started on a 
leisurely journey towards London. Apparently the slowness 
of her progress was caused by the disinclination of the Lon- 
doners to receive her. Very little light can be thrown on the 
happenings in London at this time, but what little we know 
points to a violent dispute between Geoffrey de Mandeville 
and the citizens. Geoffrey, although he had received many 
favours from Stephen, was secretly endeavouring to get more 
power and wealth from the Empress. It was well known that 
the Empress would have nothing to do with the party favour- 
able to a commune, and Geoffrey no doubt attempted to sup- 
press it. This probably led to the riots that we know took 
place in London, in which Aubrey de Vere, Geoffrey's father- 
in-law and formerly sheriff and justiciar, was killed on 9 May. 74 

The Empress reached St. Albans in June, where she was 
received by processions from the Abbey amid great rejoicings. 
Here she gave audience to a deputation from London regard- 
ing the surrender of the city to her. Again the Londoners 
made terms with the incoming sovereign. 75 We do not know 
what those terms were ; it may be that the aristocratic party, 
led by Geoffrey de Mandeville, had temporarily got the upper 
hand. Later the Empress set out in state for London. At 
Knightsbridge she was greeted by the citizens, as was cus- 
tomary, and arrived at Westminster a few days before 24 June, 

" Round, Geoff, de Mandeville, 116, quoting Harl. MS. 1708, fol. 113. 
Petit-Dutaillis, Studies on Stubbs' Conttit. Hint, (transl. W. E. Rhodes), 94. 

74 Round, Geoff, de Mandeville, 81, citing Matth. Paris, Chron. Maj. 
(Rolls Ser.), ii, 174 ' Flor. of Wore., 1141. 


where she was met by processions from the Abbey. 76 Her 
court here was not large, for her arrogance and want of tact 
had alienated many from her cause. It consisted of Henry de 
Blois, Bishop of Winchester, brother of Stephen ; the Bishops 
of Lincoln, Hereford, Ely, St. David's ; William the Chan- 
cellor ; Earl Eobert of Gloucester, the Empress' half brother ; 
Earl Baldwin ; Earl William of Mohun ; Brian Fitz Count 
and some nine others. Among other business transacted 
during her residence at Westminster, the Empress confirmed 
the election of Kobert de Sigillo to the bishopric of London. 77 
In the meantime Queen Maud, wife of Stephen, who had 
collected forces in Kent and had possibly obtained reinforce- 
ments from abroad, marched on Southwark, ravaged the 
country round and sent raiding parties into London. She 
petitioned her cousin the Empress for the release of her hus- 
band, whom she undertook to persuade to serve God as a 
monk or a pilgrim. The petition was backed up by the greatest 
nobles of England, who offered valuable securities, but the 
Empress would not give way. Then the citizens of London 
prayed that they might be permitted to observe the laws of 
Edward the Confessor and not those of Henry her father, 
which were too severe, but again the Empress would not listen 
to them and demanded further money. 78 The crowning point 
of her folly was her grant to Geoffrey de Mandeville, who had 
now openly espoused her cause, of the hereditary wardenship 
of the Tower of London with power to strengthen it at his will. 
This set London aflame. To have Geoffrey, the oppressor, the 
man who was without scruples, moral or religious, perpetually 

76 Will. Malms., Gesta Reg. (Rolls Ser.), ii, 577. 

77 Round, Geoff, de Mandeville, 93. 

78 Flor. of Wore., sub anno 1141. 


over them could not be tolerated. We may be quite sure that 
Geoffrey had strongly opposed every attempt at the estab- 
lishment of their much cherished commune. The very day 
the grant was made (24 June) the folkmote bell was rung to 
call the citizens together, and having hurriedly taken an oath 
to expel the Empress, and having issued an order for her 
apprehension, they flew to arms. They then marched out of 
the gates towards the palace of Westminster and were joined 
on the way by the Queen's forces from Southwark. The Em- 
press, however, had been warned by some of the citizens, and 
she and her attendants made an ignominious flight. So 
precipitate was it that they had to leave all their apparel 
behind them. 79 Thus the Empress by her arrogance to the 
Londoners lost all that she had gained, and her coronation, 
for which she had come to Westminster, never took place. 
Again the weight of London turned the scale in the national 

The citizens now threw in their lot completely with Stephen 
and gave their promise to the Bishop of Winchester to assist 
in effecting his brother's release. They and the Queen's 
forces then blockaded Geoffrey de Mandeville, who had just 
joined the Empress' party, in the Tower. 80 Geoffrey, how- 
ever, now seeing he was on the losing side, at once joined the 
citizens against the Empress and seized her agent, the new 
Bishop of London, at his palace at Fulham, keeping him 
prisoner until he ransomed himself. 81 

Stephen's queen, who had more of the ruling spirit than 
her husband, tried to ingratiate herself with all who could 

79 Flor. of Ware., 1141. Will, of Malmesbury (Rolls Ser.), ii, 578. Geata 
Stepkani, (Rolls Ser.) 78. 

80 Round, Geoff, de Mandeville, 118. " Ibid. 


advance her cause. We know she borrowed money from 
Gervase of Cornhill, then justiciar of London, 82 and there 
can be little doubt from the evidence adduced by Mr. Hound 
that she confirmed to Geoffrey de Mandeville all his honours, 
lands and offices in order to obtain his full support. 83 It is 
possible that he and the Londoners had for a time made up 
their differences, for when the Bishop of Winchester, then 
favourable to his brother's interest, was besieged in his castle 
at Winchester, Geoffrey marched with a thousand Londoners 
to his rescue. This timely help from London again turned the 
scale in Stephen's favour. The forces of the Empress were 
routed at Winchester, where the Londoners are said to have 
pillaged the city without mercy. 84 

As a result of this defeat the Empress fled to Gloucester 
and the King was released from imprisonment on 1 November. 
At a council held at Westminster on 7 December he was again 
recognised as King. From Westminster he went on to Canter- 
bury, where he kept his Christmas court, 1141, and it is 
thought that he, like Richard I, was there crowned a second 
time in consequence of the disgrace of his captivity. It was 
at this Christmas court, as Mr. Round points out, that Stephen 
gave his second charter to Geoffrey de Mandeville 85 as some 
reward for what Geoffrey and his Londoners had done to turn 
the tide of battle at Winchester. We may be sure that the 
price of his defection from the Empress had been fixed before 
he started upon the enterprise, for the possession of the Tower 
of London enabled him to dictate his terms, which involved 
the placing of London, the chief and wealthiest city in the land, 

88 Round, Geoff, de Mandeville, 120. Ibid., 119. 

81 Gesta Stephani (Rolls Ser.), iii, 84. 
88 Geoff, de MandeviUe, 138-9. 


completely in his power. Not only was the custody of the 
Tower and its fortifications granted to him and his heirs, but 
he was to have the justiciarship and shrievalty of London and 
Middlesex in fee and inheritance at the same farm as Geoffrey 
his grandfather held them, to wit 300. By this means he 
obtained the judicial and fiscal authority over London. 
Besides these most valuable gifts Geoffrey's wealth and power 
were enormously increased by this charter, the twenty knights 
granted by the Empress were increased by Stephen to sixty, 
and so in other matters. 86 Stephen sacrificed the interests of 
London to the avarice of the Earl. Such a grant meant the 
relinquishing of the Londoners' dream of a commune and any 
form of municipal government that had been acquired during 
the earlier part of Stephen's reign, a condition to which it is 
unlikely that they would quietly submit. Stephen's illness 
and reported death in April, 1142, probably encouraged 
Geoffrey de Mandeville to enter into fresh negotiations with 
the Empress. He appears to have offered her the support of 
himself and his brother-in-law, Aubrey de Vere, in return for 
a further charter from her, far more ample than that so re- 
cently obtained from Stephen. The additional lands and 
powers to be granted in the new charter lay outside London, 
but there were to be confirmed to him the hereditary warden- 
ship of the Tower and the fortifications around it with power 
to strengthen it at his will ; also he was to have the shrievalty 
of London and Middlesex at the farm of 300, as his grand- 
father held it, and the hereditary justiciarship of London 
and Middlesex and of Essex and Hertfordshire, so that no 
other justiciar (nulla alia justida) might plead in these 
shrievalties. 87 

Ibid., 140-4. Ibid., 166-72. 


We have no actual record of what was happening in London 
at this time, but it is perfectly clear from the Empress Maud's 
charter that further violent disputes and quarrels were in 
progress between the Londoners and Earl Geoffrey. That the 
Earl was determined to crush the citizens is shown by a 
curious compact in the charter, whereby it was agreed that 
neither the Count of Anjou, the Empress, nor their son, the 
future King Henry II, should make any peace or concord 
with the burgesses of London except with the consent and 
assent of the Earl, because, as it is expressly stated, they were 
his mortal enemies. 88 Fortunately for the Londoners this 
charter never came into operation, for the power of the 
Empress had gone, but it shows the intensity of feeling 
that existed between them and the Earl. 

There can be no doubt that Geoffrey de Mandeville was a 
party to the conspiracy to bring over the Count of Anjou with 
an army to help his wife, the Empress, and this charter was 
the price of his assistance. Stephen, however, anticipated 
their designs by seizing their stronghold at Wareham. Eventu- 
ally he besieged the Empress in the castle of Oxford, from 
which she had to escape by being let down from the Norman 
tower, clothed in white so as to be indistinguishable from the 
snow which was then on the ground. She was accompanied 
by only three knights in her flight to Wallingford, where she 
met her son the future king, then aged nine and a half years. 

Geoffrey de Mandeville's treachery gradually leaked out, 
and in the autumn of 1143, while the court was at St. Albans, 
he was accused of treason and offered the choice customary 
at the time, of death or surrender of his castles. He chose the 
latter and was taken to London and there compelled to order 

M Round, Geoff, de Mandeville, 168. 


his garrison at the Tower to surrender to the King. He then 
gave up his other castles and fled to Ramsey, where he fortified 
the abbey and lived on plundering the district. Frightful 
cruelties which he and his followers perpetrated in the Fen 
district are recorded. He spared neither men, women nor 
children, ecclesiastics nor laymen. " In the groans of the 
sufferers, in the shrieks of the tortured, men beheld the fulfil- 
ment of the words of St. John the Apostle : ' In those days 
shall men desire to die and death shall flee from them.' " 89 
At length in the autumn of 1144 he was killed by the arrow 
of one of the King's bowmen at Burwell near Fordham. It 
cannot be wondered that such a traitor and oppressor of men 
was the mortal enemy of the Londoners, ever the upholders 
of freedom. 

The fall of the Earl of Essex must have been a great relief 
to the Londoners, but it is doubtful whether his fate brought 
them any nearer to their much-desired independence. We find 
they supplied troops at the capture of Farringdon from the 
Earl of Gloucester in 1145, 90 but who took the place of the Earl 
of Essex as constable of the Tower and leader of the hosts is 
not known. 

Stephen pressed the recognition of his son Eustace as heir 
to the throne in 1150, and despatched the Archbishop of York 
to obtain the sanction of the Pope. Papal permission, how- 
ever, was decidedly withheld after some months of negotiation. 
Notwithstanding such refusal Stephen called a council in 
London early in April, 1152, to consider the acknowledgment 
of Eustace as heir and his consecration as king. The lay 
barons swore allegiance to Eustace, which was all that they 

*> Ibid., 219, citing Historia Eliensis, 623. 
90 Will, of Newburgh (Rolls Ser.), i, 48. 


could do, but the prelates, acting on the papal prohibition, 
totally refused to consecrate him. Stephen, in a rage, im- 
prisoned them, but to no effect, and the matter had to be left 
in abeyance. 

It was probably the pressure by Stephen to procure the suc- 
cession to the throne of his son Eustace which brought Henry 
of Anjou with an army to England in January, 1153, and, after 
taking Malmesbury Castle, Stephen and Henry agreed to a 
truce. Eustace, annoyed at this, left his father and, as it is 
said, in punishment for laying waste the lands of St. Edmund, 
he was smitten with madness and died on 17 August, 1153. 
The death of Eustace paved the way for an agreement with 
Henry, for William, second son of Stephen, seems to have had 
no ambition for the crown. On 6 November it was agreed at 
Winchester that Henry should be recognised as heir to the 
throne, and Stephen should remain king for the rest of his life. 
From Winchester Stephen and Henry with their courts moved 
on to London, where they were received with great rejoicing 
by the citizens. 

Henry had not long to wait for the crown, as Stephen died 
on 25 October in the following year (1154). Henry did not 
arrive in England until 8 December. He went direct to 
Winchester and then on to Westminster, where he was 
crowned in the Abbey on 19 December. 

At the accession of Henry II there was no bargaining by 
the Londoners for new liberties. Although Henry granted a 
commune to Rochelle and Rouen c. 1175, 91 and perhaps to 
other towns that were under his dominion on the Continent, 
\Q had no intention of extending such a privilege to London. 
In or about 1155, possibly at the coronation festivities in 

91 Round, Doc. France, p. 453 and Pref. p. xxiii. 


December, 1154, or at his courts at London and Westminster 
held in March and at Christmas in the following year, Henry 
granted the citizens a charter, 92 but it omitted important 
clauses contained in the charter of his grandfather and fell far 
short of what the citizens tried to extract from Stephen. The 
principal omissions were the privileges of the election by the 
citizens of their sheriff, of their holding London and Middlesex 
at a fixed farm of 300 and of their quittance from scot, lot 
and danegeld. There is no reference to the customs and rights 
of the soke owners, to the folkmote nor to the office of jus- 
ticiar. 93 Henry was by character opposed to the ambitious 
ideals of the citizens for self-government, and the citizens 
had had sufficient experience of the want of a strong central 
authority during Stephen's reign to be too particular as to 
privileges which came into conflict with the royal prejudice. 
Besides his aversion to municipal independence, Henry's great 
need for money compelled him to obtain resources by every 
means in his power, and hence we find the omission in his 
charter of the clauses inserted in that of his grandfather, 
exempting the citizens from royal taxation. But the fact that 
in 1184-5 London was called upon to pay an aid, the assess- 
ment for which was made by wards and the amount approved 
by the justices, 94 tends perhaps to show that Hejuy acknow- 
ledged the independence of the citizens_by imposing an aid and 
not a tajlage. The reimposition of the danegeld, if the clause 
of the charter of the first Henry discharging the citizens from 
its payment was ever in force, must have been a bitter dis- 
appointment to the citizens, and although the geld was levied 

2 Round, Geoff, de Mandeville, 367n. 

93 Ibid., 368-9 ; Petit-Dutaillis, op. cit,, 95. 

94 Pipe Rott Soc., vol. xxxiv (31 Hen. II), p. 219. 


for the last time in 1162 its place was taken by aids. This 
latter form of taxation being j.seessed upon the taxable 
capacities of a district shows conspicuously the great wealth 
of London over other towns. In 1159 London paid an aid of 
1000, while Norwich paid 400, and York, Lincoln and North- 
ampton only 200 marks apiece. 95 But notwithstanding his 
arbitrary methods, Henry encouraged commerce and looked 
after the interests of his traders. He could therefore always 
rely on the citizens of the cities under his rule, whereby he 
secured an immense advantage when he was confronted with 
some sudden difficulty. When an accusation arose in 1170 
of the extortions of the sheriffs he at once held an inquiry 
and deposed the delinquents, but the London sheriffs were 
some of the few who retained their office. 

Although Henry proved a good and strong ruler of a king- 
dom he was quite unable to control his own family. So soon 
as his sons were old enough they raised rebellions against their 
father which caused disturbances throughout his dominions. 
The King's eldest son, Henry, had received the fealty of the 
magnates of England at a council held at Westminster in 1162, 
over which Becket presided, and in order to secure the succes- 
sion the King caused him to be crowned at Westminster in 
1170 by the Archbishop of York. Great preparations were 
made for the event, and the citizens of London provided most 
of the robes and other necessaries for the occasion. 96 Becket 
considered it a slight that he, as primate of all England, had 
not been called upon to perform the ceremony, and the 
episode increased the bitterness between him and the King. 
The murder of Becket at the end of the year does not im- 

95 L. F. Salzmann, Henry II, 203. Pipe Roll Soc., i, 2. 
6 Pipe EM Soc., xv (10 Hen. II), 16. 



mediately concern London, but it produced an ill-feeling 
towards Henry which made it easier for his son, the young 
King, to raise the standard of rebellion in 1173. The young 
King's party was not strong in this country, his chief adherents 
being the King of Scotland and the Earl of Leicester. London 
was, however, to some extent affected by the revolt, for we 
know that Gilbert Montfichet was fortifying his tower there 
against the King, and the Earl of Clare, who had interests in 
the city, was plotting with him. From the disorders which 
come with such a war, the whole country was brought into a 
disturbed condition. The streets of London were unsafe after 
dark and anyone going out at night was liable to robbery and 
murder. Houses also were attacked and robbed by bands of 
young men, sons of the leading citizens. In illustration of the 
lawless condition of the time a case is recorded of a burglary 
in London which occurred about 1174 or possibly a little 
earlier. One of these bands broke into the stone-built house 
of a wealthy citizen by making a hole in the wall with crow- 
bars. The wealthy citizen, however, who had had warning, 
armed himself and called to his assistance his friends and 
servants. So soon as one of the robbers got through the hole 
the citizen rushed on him with a brazier full of burning coals 
and wax and recognised him as Andrew Bocointe, one of the 
family of wealthy Italian financiers in London. To defend 
himself Bocointe drew his knife and aimed a blow at the 
citizen which was warded off by his shirt of mail. The citizen 
raised the cry of Thieves ! Thieves ! and attacking the in- 
truder with great fury, cut oS his hand. Thereupon the rest 
of the robbers fled, but Bocointe was secured. On the following 
day, being brought before Richard de Luci, the justiciar, he 
turned king's evidence. Among his accomplices who were 


arrested was John Viel (Senex, Vetus or Vetulus), a member 
of one of the wealthiest families in London, who, being unable 
to clear himself by ordeal of water, 97 offered the King 500 
marks of silver for his life. The King, however, refused the 
bribe and he was hanged. Another accomplice was John 
Lafaite, the scion of another wealthy family, who escaped by 
flight with only the loss of his goods. 98 

The King, who was in Normandy, saw that his presence was 
necessary in England, and arriving at Southampton on 8 July, 
he went to Canterbury to do penance for the murder of Becket 
and then came on to London. Here he found the majority of 
the citizens were loyal and showed their loyalty by a gift of 
1000 marks besides smaller sums which they contributed 
individually. 99 While Henry was in the city news was brought 
him at the end of July of the capture of King William of Scot- 
land. The messenger arrived in the middle of the night, and 
recognising no ceremony rushed into the room where the 
King was in bed asleep to give him the good news. 1 The next 
day all the bells of London were set ringing and there were 
great rejoicings. Although the capture of the King of Scotland 
brought the rebellion in England virtually to an end, the dis- 
turbances in London did not cease. It is evident that these 
riots were instigated by antagonism to the Crown and probably 
the desire for municipal independence, for the King seems to 

97 In the ordeal by water the accused was bound hand and foot and 
thrown into a pond ; if he floated he was guilty, but if he sank his innocence 
was proved. 

98 Oesta Hen. II and Rich. I (Rolls Ser.), i, 156 ; cf. Round, Commune of 
Lond., 112-3. John Viel (Vetus) was possibly a son of William Viel, who 
paid a fine for having the house which was of John Viel in 1185. Pipe Roll 
Soc., xxxiv, p. 220. 

99 Round, Commune of London, 232. 

1 Will, de Newburgh (Rolls Ser.), i, 189. 


have taken the liberties of the city into his hands, and from 
24 June, 1174, until Michaelmas, 1176, London was held, as 
it was under like circumstances in the reigns of Henry III and 
Edward I, by keepers or bailiffs in the place of the regular 
sheriffs. 2 In 1177 the King was much angered by the murder 
of Lord Ferrers' brother apparently while attending one of 
the numerous councils which were held in London in that 
year. 3 

Another result probably of these disturbances was a general 
inquiry as to the gilds of London. We know that the gild of 
weavers existed in London as an authorized society from 1130, 4 
and it is possible that the goldsmiths 5 may have had an 
equally early existence. In 1156 the weavers and bakers 
each owed money to the exchequer for their gilds. 6 The 
inquiry of 1179-80, however, disclosed the fact that there were 
no less than nineteen adulterine or unauthorized gilds in the 
city. Only four of them were returned as trade gilds, namely 
the goldsmiths, which, judging by the fine of 45 marks im- 
posed upon it, must have been far the wealthiest ; then the 
grocers or pepperers, who were fined 16 marks, and the 
butchers and cloth- workers, each with a paltry fine of a mark ; 
five were gilds of the Bridge erected in 1176, two of which were 
fined 15 marks, one 10 marks, and the remaining two 1 mark ; 
the gild of St. Lazarus was fined the substantial sum of 25 
marks, the gild of Pilgrims 40s. and the gild of Haliwell 20s. 
The rest were only distinguished by the names of their alder- 

5 Pipe Roll Soc., xxi, 8 ; xxii, 15 ; xxiii, 11. Round, Geoff, de Mank- 
ville, App. 297. 

3 Gesta Hen. II and Rich. I (Rolls Ser.), i, 155. 
* Rot. Magn. Pip. (Rec. Com.), 31 Hen. I, 144. 

5 Ibid., 126. Under Berkshire there is a pardon of 14s. 3d. to the gold- 
smiths of London. 

6 Great Roll of the Pipe (Rec. Com.), 2, Hen. II, p. 4. 


men, but some of them were evidently rich, such as that of 
which Goscelin was alderman, which was fined 30 marks, and 
that of which William de Haverhill was alderman fined 10 
marks. Of the remainder one was fined 2 marks, four 1 mark 
and one \ mark. The gilds do not seem to have been sup- 
pressed, as the amounts of their fines continue on the Pipe 
Rolls year by year. 7 As it was the conspiracy, the secret oath, 
that was considered so dangerous in the commune, so the 
gilds were doubtless looked upon as secret societies, dangerous 
to the community, and it was thought desirable to license 
them before allowing them to be established. There is nothing 
to show what was the nature of the gilds of which we have 
only the names of the aldermen, but probably they were 
social and religious. There was, however, naturally a feeling 
of danger with- regard to such combinations in that restless 
age, for the confidence in gilds as a part of the government of 
the city did not come for many years. 

England had little share in the first Crusade of 1096, but in 
the second of 1146-7 a fleet of 164 ships assembled at Dart- 
mouth, which was composed of English, Germans and Flemings, 
to which London sent a contingent under Andrew of London. 
The ships were delayed at Lisbon, where the English were 
induced to assist in driving out the Moors. 8 More interest was 
taken in the third Crusade. On 18 March, 1185, a council, 
attended by the magnates of the realm, was held at Clerken- 
well to consider the question of the deliverance of Jerusalem, 
and a resolution was made to consult Philip, King of France. 9 
Although neither Henry nor Philip was anxious to enter upon 

7 Pipe Roll Soc., xxx, 159 ; xxxi, 161 ; xxxii, 163 ; xxxiv, 219, et eeq. 

* Memar. of Rich. I (Rolls Ser.), i, p. cxliv. 

Qesta Hen. II and Rich. I (Rolls Ser.), i, 336. 


a crusade at the time, the Church pressed for it and created a 
great popular enthusiasm in its favour. Two hundred of the 
wealthiest citizens of London were elected in the spring of 
1188 to collect the tax called the Saladin tithe in London, 
while in York the collectors numbered only one hundred. 
Thus the numbers being appointed in proportion to the popu- 
lation, it is shown that there were twice as many people in 
London as there were in York. 10 Special services were held 
and daily prayers offered in St. Paul's Cathedral for the de- 
liverance of the Holy Land, and much interest was manifested 
in the preparations for the expedition. 

In the midst of all the preparations Henry II died at Chinon 
on 6 July, 1189, separated from his wife and deserted by all 
his sons, whose rebellions, and particularly that of the 
youngest, John, had broken his heart. Richard had already 
settled to go on the Crusade, which was to start in the spring, 
so that he had little time to arrange the affairs of his new 
kingdom. He made provision for his mother, a prisoner since 
1173, and gave John his brother the daughter of the Earl of 
Gloucester, with the earldom of Gloucester and all the lands 
of William Peverel of Nottingham, including the Peverel soke 
in London. After attending John's marriage at Marlborough 
he came on to London, and on 3 September was crowned at 
Westminster amid a great concourse of prelates and nobles. 
At the coronation banquet the citizens of London served in 
the butlery and the citizens of Winchester in the kitchen. 11 

During the coronation festivities, by an unfortunate mis- 
understanding, a raid was made on the Jews of London, in 
which many of them were killed. The Jews had greatly in- 
creased since their first arrival in this country as dependents 

10 Ibid., ii, 33. " Chron. Bog. de Hoveden (Rolls Ser.), iii, 12. 


of the Norman kings. Having no scruples regarding the lend- 
ing of money on usury, a trade that was supposed to be denied 
to Christians, they made large profits and were naturally dis- 
liked. The Jewry of London, to which their residence was 
restricted, was situated between Westcheap or Cheapside and 
Poultry and the G-ildhall. 12 It was a large and wealthy com- 
munity, which prospered under the privileges that Henry II 
granted generally to the Jews. Henry's dealings with them 
and the fines he imposed upon them ran into many thousands 
in the course of a year. 13 Partly as a result of their being a 
privileged class and partly on account of their extortions and 
wealth, and perhaps to a certain extent owing to the wave of 
enthusiasm for the Crusades, the popular aversion to the 
Jews increased during the latter part of the twelfth century. 
Fearing witchcraft, Eichard had forbidden any woman or 
Jew to attend his coronation, but some Jews unaware of the 
order seem to have gone to Westminster for the purpose of 
making offerings to the new King. The courtiers and others, 
mistaking their intentions and incensed by their presence, 
threw them out of the court with such violence that some were 
killed and others wounded and left half dead. The people of 
London, hearing of the disturbances, made an attack on the 
Jewry, burnt several of the houses, robbed and killed many 
of the inmates of both sexes. Some of the Jews sought refuge 
in the Tower and others in the houses of friends. One of them, 
Benedict, the Jew of York, in fear of death was baptised by 

12 See Pipe Roll for 6 Rich. I, where under London and Middlesex the 
names of many of the Jews and the situations of their houses are given. 
Amongst them were houses in the parishes of St. Olave, St. Lawrence, St. 
Mary ad Fontem, St. Mary in Cuninghope and Westcheap and in the fee 
of the Earl of Gloucester. 

13 Of. Pipe Rolls for Hen. II and Rich. I. 


William, prior of St. Mary's of York, who was apparently at 
the coronation and perhaps knew Benedict as a fellow-citizen. 
On the following day the King, hearing of what had happened, 
sent for Benedict and asked him if he were a Christian. To 
which he replied that he only permitted himself to be made a 
Christian in order to escape death. The King thereupon asked 
the Archbishop of Canterbury what should be done in the 
matter, to which he bluntly replied that if Benedict was un- 
willing to be a man of God then let him be a man of the Devil ; 
and so he was returned to the Jewish law. But the King was 
annoyed by the ill-treatment of his dependents and caused an 
inquiry to be made regarding the riots, as a result of which 
several persons were arrested and three hanged. 14 This was 
only preliminary to a general attack upon the Jews throughout 
the country, but the massacres recorded by the Chroniclers 
seem to be somewhat exaggerated, judging from the increasing 
dealings with Jews which are shown on the Exchequer accounts 
throughout this time. 

The coronation festivities being over, Richard was im- 
patient to begin his journey to Palestine, but it was not until 
June, 1190, that the expedition, like that of the second 
crusade, sailed from Dartmouth. Londoners contributed a 
large contingent and provided a ship for themselves. When in 
the Bay of Biscay they were caught in a storm and it was feared 
they would perish. In the midst of their peril St. Thomas of 
Canterbury, it is said, appeared to William Fitz Osbert, who 
attained further fame later, and Geoffrey the Goldsmith, 
citizens of London, telling them not to be afraid, and shortly 
afterwards they arrived safely at " Silvia " in Portugal. Here 
the Londoners were persuaded to wait for a time to assist the 
" Gesta Hen. II and Bieh. I (Rolls Ser.), ii, 79. 


King of Portugal to expel the Emperor of Morocco from his 
lands. 15 

Richard's adventures and hardships need not be referred to. 
His hurried departure from his new kingdom left it a prey to 
bitterly opposed factions. He knew little of England and 
looked upon it mainly as a source from which to draw the large 
sums he required for the Crusade. He endeavoured to obtain 
money by every means in his power, and boasted that if he 
could only find a buyer he would sell London itself. 16 As was 
customary at the time, he sold the chancellorship, the pur- 
chaser being William Longchamp, who became Bishop of Ely. 
When the King went abroad he left the new chancellor and 
Hugh de Pudsey, Bishop of Durham, the justiciars, in charge 
of the kingdom with five assistants, including William Marshal 
Earl of Pembroke, and Geoffrey Fitz Piers. 

With the object probably of extracting more money from 
the city, instead of appointing, as usual, sheriffs at a farm of 
500, Richard, at Michaelmas, 1189, put in keepers (custodes). 17 
These keepers or wardens in their endeavour to obtain all the 
profit it was possible to secure, farmed everything that was 
likely to yield any return, such as the tron or great beam for 
weighing heavy goods and the standard measure (sextarium), 
the customs of Billingsgate, Botolphsgate near the Bridge and 
Gracechurch market and the King's exchange, and at the 
same time exacted very large sums from the Jews. 18 Their 
methods, however, did not apparently answer, and at Michael- 
mas 1190, no doubt for a substantial sum and possibly by the 

16 Gesta Hen, II and Rich. I (Bolls Ser.), ii, 116-18. A similar story is 
told of the Londoners who took part in the second crusade. 

16 Chron. of Steph., Hen. II and Rich. I (Rolls Ser.), iii, 388. 

17 Great Roll of the Pipe, 1 Rich. I (Bee. Com.), p. 223. Bound, Commune 
of London, 234. 

" Pipe Boll 2 Bich. I ; ibid., 3 Bich. I (Lond. and Midd.). 


endeavour of Longchamp to gain the favour of London in his 
quarrel with the barons, the citizens as a body obtained the 
farm of London and Middlesex at a fixed rent of 300, which 
had been granted to them under the charter of Henry I. This 
privilege would naturally carry with it the right of electing 
the sheriffs, and the citizens chose William de Haverhill and 
John Bocoint, two well-known Londoners, to act for them. 19 
It was during the shrievalty of these sheriffs that the disputes 
between the justiciars caused by the arrogance of Longchamp 
brought about a political crisis in the country. John, who 
now arrived on the scene, posed as the champion of the people, 
while Longchamp proclaimed him as a usurper. The chan- 
cellor secured the royal castles by replacing the King's officers 
with his own followers. 20 At the Tower of London, the cus- 
tody of which Richard had given him, he appointed William de 
Pointel, one of his adherents, as constable. He strengthened 
the defences with a deep moat and increased the supply of 
military and other stores. 21 About the same time he made 
Osbert Longchamp, his brother, custodian of the Palace of 
Westminster. 22 

The city was still divided in politics. The aristocratic party 
that favoured Longchamp was led by Henry de Cornhill, and 
the municipal party that looked to John took Richard Fitz 
Reiner as their leader. It is curious to observe that these 
two leaders had been intimately associated in the government 
and trade of the city. They were joint sheriffs in 1187-9, and 
together had many trading transactions with the King by 

" Pipe Roll 3 Rich. I (Lond. and Midd.). 

10 Oesta Hen. II and Rich. I (Rolls Ser.), ii, 101. 

11 Ibid. (Rolls Ser.), ii, 106. 

11 Pipe Rolls 2 Rich. I and 3 Rich. I (Lond. and Midd.). For relationship 
see Ralph de Diceto (Rolls Ser.), ii, 100. Another brother Robert was prior 
of Ely and abbot of St. Mary of York. 


supplying him with robes, cloth and goods of various kinds. 
Henry de Cornhill, besides being a great merchant, acted as a 
justice, and we find him administering the law in Kent, Sussex, 
Hants, Dorset, Wilts, Somerset and Devon. He was sheriff 
of Kent and Surrey, and had been a trusted minister of 
Henry II. A strong feeling seems to have been raised against 
him in the city, possibly on account of his adherence to the 
hated Longchamp and by his opposition to the farming of the 
shrievalty to the citizens. At the end of the term of office 
which he held with Richard Fitz Reiner there was a debt of 
192 Is. 10d., half of which was set upon each sheriff. Henry 
de Cornhill paid his part at once out of the surplus of his farm 
of Surrey and from sums owing for arms, cloth, wine, etc., 
supplied to the King, but Richard Fitz Reiner's debt was 
carried forward. 23 So soon as Henry de Cornhill had relin- 
quished the office of joint sheriff he received on 11 October, 
1189, a confirmation of the bailiwicks and custodies of all the 
cities which he held under Henry II except the bailiwick or 
shrievalty of London, apparently on account of his disfavour 
with the citizens. 24 In 1191 he was appointed keeper of the 
Exchanges of the whole of England except Winchester, in 
which office he had to deal with very large sums of money. 25 
He seems to have died in 1193, when Ralph and Reginald his 
brothers owed 100 marks for having the custodies and baili- 
wicks which he had held, 26 and in the following year Ralph 
alone is set down as owing a further 100 that the King would 
receive his account of the debts and goods of his brother sine 

23 Great EM of the Pipe, I Rich. I (Rec. Com.), 225. 
" Harl. Ch. 43 C. 29. 

25 Pipe Roll 3 Rich. I (Lond. and Midd.). The farm of the exchanges 
went to Guy de You in 1197. Ibid., 9 Rich. I. 
Ibid., 5 Rich. I. 


ira et indignatione." These entries are continued for some 

Richard Fitz Reiner, on the other hand, was intimately 
connected with John, who was apparently being financed by 
both Richard Fitz Reiner and Henry his brother. So soon as 
John was granted the honour of Peverel of Nottingham, on 
the accession of Richard I, he conveyed certain lands of the 
honour to the Fitz Reiners in payment of a debt, 28 and about 
the same time granted the soke of Peverel of Nottingham in 
London to Richard Fitz Reiner, probably for a like reason. 29 
After the death of Richard Fitz Reiner, which apparently took 
place at the end of 1191, * John presided at a court of arbitra- 
tion for the division of his property between his brothers 
William and Henry. 31 

In the summer of 1191 the whole country was in a disturbed 
condition owing to the disputes between John, with whom 
Hugh Pudsey, Bishop of Durham, sided, and Longchamp, the 
chancellor. It would appear that there was rioting in London 
about this time and in consequence the custody of the city 
and the Tower were held by Earl William Marshal for thirty 
days. 32 Matters were made worse in September by the arrest 
of Geoffrey, Archbishop of York. Fearing that difficulties 
would arise by the presence of his near relatives in England, 

" Ibid., 6 Rich. I and following years. In 1197 we find that Ralph de 
Cornhill owed 2000 marks for having the lands of which he was disseised 
and for the King's benevolence. Ibid., 9 Rich. I. 

24 Maitland, Bracton's Note-book, case no. 994. 

" Harl. Ch. 43 C. 32. 

30 See Pipe Roll for 3 Rich. I, in which William and Henry Fitz Reiner 
answer for the old farm of London in the place of Richard. 

S1 Rot. Cur. Beg. (Rec. Com.), i, app. cv. 

Pipe Roll 3 Rich. I (Lond. and Midd.). Gilbert Carburnel owed 
25 10s. of the farm of London, then held by the citizens, for the thirty 
days the custody of London and the Tower was held by Earl William. 


Richard had exacted an oath from John, Count of Mortain, 
and his half-brother Geoffrey, Archbishop of York, to absent 
themselves from England for three years. John, however, was 
released from his oath at the request of his mother, and 
Geoffrey, considering such release should apply to him also, 
returned. Longchamp at once sent down William de Pointel, 
constable of the Tower, and Aubrey de Marines or Marney, an 
Essex knight, to arrest him at Dover. 33 Shortly afterwards 
Geoffrey was released and came to London, where he was well 
received and where he and six other bishops excommunicated 
Longchamp, Aubrey de Marney and Alexander de Pointel, 
evidently a relation of the Constable of the Tower. 34 John 
took up the quarrel of his half-brother and summoned the 
chancellor to meet him at Reading. On the failure of Long- 
champ to appear, John set out for London and the chancellor, 
who was at Windsor, also hurried to the city and shut himself 
up in the Tower, preparing for a siege. 35 A skirmish seems to 
have taken place between the retinues of the two leaders, in 
which one of John's knights was killed. John and Longchamp 
and almost all the magnates of the realm arrived in London 
on 7 October, 1191, and John stayed at the house of his friend 
and supporter Richard Fitz Reiner. 36 Here apparently on 
that memorable evening terms were drawn up whereby John 
should receive the support of the citizens and in return he 
promised to acknowledge a commune in London. On the fol- 
lowing day John, the Archbishop of Rouen and all the bishops, 
earls and barons and the citizens of London with them, 
assembled at St. Paul's, being summoned by the great bell 

83 The hire of their horses to go to Dover is entered on Pipe Boll 3 
Rich. I (Lond. and Midd.). 

34 Ralph de Diceto (Rolls Ser.), ii, 98. 

s6 Ibid. (Rolls Ser.), ii, 99. ae Und. 


which called the citizens together. 37 They accused the chan- 
cellor of many misdemeanours, principally that he refused to 
take counsel with those who had been associated with him by 
i the King. Then the Archbishop of Rouen and William Mar- 
; shal showed letters from Richard when at Messina, declaring 
> that if the chancellor did anything to the detriment of the 
i kingdom he should be superseded by the Archbishop of Rouen. 
i Longchamp was thereupon deposed and the Archbishop of 
! Rouen made governor in his place. After this John and the 
magnates there assembled granted the citizens of London 
their commune and swore to maintain it and the authority of 
the city unsullied during the King's pleasure. 38 Then came 
the other part of the agreement and the citizens and magnates 
swore fealty to King Richard, saving the fealty to John 
whom they would receive as their lord if the King should 
.die without issue. By this oath Arthur, John's nephew, 
was passed over in the succession to the Crown. The 
chancellor on the following day at a meeting on the east side 
of the Tower swore to surrender his castles and gave up the 
Tower and Windsor. 39 On 11 October he went to Bermondsey 
and gave as sureties for the surrender of his other castles his 
brothers Henry and Osbert. The next day he fled to Dover, 
accompanied by Gilbert, Bishop of Rochester, and Henry de 
Cornhill, the leader of the aristocratic party in London and 
then sheriff of Kent. At Dover he tried to cross overseas 
dressed as a woman and was discovered, but eventually 
escaped to France. 40 

37 Balph de Diceto says in the chapter house (ii, 99). Benedictus says 
in atrio ecclesie. 

M Balph de Diceto (Rolls Ser.), ii, 99 ; Gesta Hen. II and Rich. I (Rolls 
Ser.), ii, 214 ; Roger of Hoveden, Hi, 141. 

Ralph de Diceto (Rolls Ser.), ii, 100. Ibid., 101-2. 


Lack of information prevents us from following the course 
of events in London at this time. The grant of the commune 
did not amount to more than a promise under oath and con- 
ditional on the pleasure of the absent king, that John and the 
barons of the realm would make no opposition to the develop- 
ment of a communal organization by the citizens. No charter 
granting a commune was demanded or ever granted. It has 
been stated by London chroniclers, who wrote, however, long 
after the event, that the date of the election of Henry Fitz 
Ailwin, the first mayor, was in the year beginning Michaelmas, 
1188. 41 But this date is obviously wrong ; for one reason the 
commune was not conceded to London until three years later, 
and there is evidence to show that Henry Fitz Ailwin was not 
mayor on 30 November 1191. 42 The exact date of his election 
is not recorded. It is probable that the office of mayor would 
have fallen to Richard Fitz Reiner, who had negotiated the 
recognition of the commune, had he not died almost immedi- 
ately after the compact. His death may have caused a delay. 
There is evidence that the mayor had become a well-recognized 
officer by the spring of 1193, 43 and the form of oath to the 
commune is extant which it is said was imposed while Richard 
was a prisoner in Germany during the summer of that year. 
By this oath the person to whom it was tendered swore to be 
faithful to the King and obedient to the mayor and echevins 

41 Liber de Antiquis Legibus (Camden Soc.), p. 1 ; Hun. Gild. Land. 
(Rolls Set.), i, 319. Cf. the evidence on the point set out by Sharpe, London 
and the Kingdom, i, 66. 

42 Liber de Antiquis Legibus, p. iii, iv, and see article by Mr. Round in 
Academy, 12 Nov., 1887, vol. xxxii, p. 320. 

43 Roger de Hoveden (Rolls Ser.), iii, 212. See also reference to a deed 
made in the full husting before Henry, Mayor of London, and William Fitz 
Isabel and William Fitz Alulf, sheriffs. These sheriffs were appointed at 
Michaelmas, 1193, and continued in office a year (Colchester Cliart.) 
(Roxburgh Club), ii, 297. 


nd pay respect to the good men (probi homines) of London. 44 

lus the date of election is reduced to a period of under two 

,ars, and as the election of a mayor has always been held in 

e latter part of the year, we may perhaps assign it with 

me degree of probability to the autumn of 1192. It is 

mlikely that the mayor was at first able to exercise full 

thority, for so long as the sheriffs were appointed by and 

sponsible to the Crown they would be unwilling to relinquish 

y of their powers, and indeed it would not be fair to expect 

em to do so as they had to pay the yearly farm for such 

jhts. It was not until after Kichard had confirmed the 

harter of his father in 1194 that the citizens as a body were 

gain allowed to hold the farm ; 45 having gained this privilege, 

e full authority of the mayor could be exercised. 

It is unfortunate that during these few years, which form 

ne of the most important periods in the constitutional de- 

lopment of London, our information of passing events is so 

eagre. There is no record of anything of importance happen- 

ig in London during 1192. William de Pointel, Longchamp's 

ominee, was superseded in the constableship of the Tower by 

oger Fitz Reinfred, and probably other adherents of the 

hancellor were removed. The year 1193 was, however, 

itical. News reached England early in the year that Richard 

ad been taken prisoner by the Emperor Henry of Germany. 

ohn, who had gone to France in the previous year to plot 

ith King Philip against his brother, immediately returned 

ith an army of mercenaries for the purpose of seizing the 

ngdom and fortified himself at Windsor Castle. London, 

Bound, Commune of London, 235-6 ; Petit -Dutaillis, Studies Supple- 
entary to Stubbs' Const it. Hist., 96. 
45 Pipe Boll, 4 Rich. I (Lend, and Midd.). 


notwithstanding its negotiations with John a little more than 
a year before, remained loyal to Richard. Mangonels and other 
siege engines were sent down from London to Windsor to 
overawe the castle there, and the Tower of London was put 
in a state of defence, large sums being spent on its repair. 4 ' 
The efforts of the citizens were effectual, and John, seeing that 
under the vigorous administration of Hubert Walter he was 
unlikely to meet with any success, retired to France. 

The absorbing question of the time was the means of 
collecting the sum demanded for the King's ransom, and it is 
in connexion with this that we have the first official recognition 
of a mayor of London. The treasurers appointed in the spring 
of 1193 for the sum to be collected, were Hubert Walter, Arch- 
bishop-elect of Canterbury, Richard Fitz Neale, Bishop of 
London, the Earls of Arundel and Warren and the Mayor of 
London. 47 This recognition of the Mayor of London was a 
brilliant stroke of policy of Hubert Walter, Richard's emissary 
for the collection of the ransom and the new justiciar, for by 
it he bought the goodwill of the Londoners. Collectively and 
individually they heartily responded to the appeal. 

Towards the end of 1193 the collections for the King's ran- 
som were sufficient to secure Richard's release, and he arrived 
back in the spring of 1194, reaching London on 16 March. 
Almost at once he started for Nottingham, where John's 
adherents still held out in the castle there. The siege engines 
which had been sent from London to Windsor were now 
transferred to Nottingham. 48 Richard took Nottingham 
Castle and sent up a number of prisoners to the Tower who 

48 Pipe Roll, 5 Rich. I. (Works of the Tower of London. Separate 

47 Roger de Hoveden (Rolls Ser.), Hi, 212. 

48 Pipe Roll, 6 Rich. I (Lond. and Midd.). 


were afterwards distributed among the castles of Canterbury, 
Rochester and Chilham. 49 He then held a council at Notting- 
ham and went on to Winchester, where he was crowned a second 
time, to renew the office of King after his captivity. While at 
Winchester, on 23 April, he confirmed his father's charter to 
London. It is important to notice that the charter ignores all 
that had happened in October, 1191. There is no mention of 
a mayor nor of the commune, the clauses in the charter of 
Henry I granting to the citizens the farm of the city and county 
at a fixed rent of 300, and the election of the sheriffs, privi- 
leges which had already been allowed for a year during his 
reign (1190-1), are omitted. The charter of Richard follows 
clause by clause that of his father, no more and no less. 
Richard, like all the rulers of his time, hated any claim to 
municipal independence by the cities under his rule. John, 
irresponsible at the time, had sworn to uphold the commune 
and persuaded the barons to do the same in order to win over 
the citizens in his disputes with Longchamp and for his recog- 
nition as heir to the throne, but it must be remembered that 
their oath was only to remain in force during the King's 
pleasure. 50 Richard, who was always begging for loans and 
gifts, had no opportunity of suppressing the concession which 
had been made in his absence, but he never recognised it. 
Neither King Richard nor his father King Henry, said Richard 
of Devizes, would have permitted it for a million marks of 
silver, and goes on to describe the commune as tumor plebis, 
Hmor regni, tepor sacerdotii. 51 

Richard left England in less than three weeks, never to 
return, so that he did not hear the disappointment which 

4 Pipe Roll, 6 Rich. I (Lond. and llidd.). See pp. Ill, 112. 
41 Chron. Steph. Hen. II and Rich. I (Rolls Ser.), iii, 416. 


the charter must have been to the Londoners. It is clear that 
expostulations were made, however, and Richard, being in 
serious financial straits owing to the French wars in 1195, was 
obliged to listen to them. In that year we find by the Pipe 
Roll that the citizens of London made a gift of 1500 marks 
for the benevolence of the King and for preserving their 
liberties and for aid for the redemption of the King. Various 
citizens individually also gave sums from 100 marks to 500 
marks for the like benevolence. It was probably as a result 
of these gifts that at Michaelmas, 1195, Richard, no doubt 
with great reluctance, permitted the citizens to farm London 
and Middlesex and elect their own sheriffs to account at the 
Exchequer for them. 52 The citizens indeed seem to have taken 
over the farm some weeks before Michaelmas as they made 
themselves responsible for 61 3s. lOd. of the old farm of the 
year just past. From this date the citizens from year to year 
farmed London and Middlesex at the fixed rent of 300 until 
the charter of John in 1199 granted them the shrievalty, and 
then, except for seizures by the Crown, continuously there- 

The confusion caused by the overlapping of the offices of 
sheriff and mayor from the time of the election of the first 
mayor, probably in 1192, until the autumn of 1195 when the 
citizens had the farm of the shrievalty, apparently gave rise to 
disturbances. It was a period of extremely heavy taxation 
for the redemption of the King, and later for his wars in 
France, which severely affected every class. The oligarchic 
party of traders was now triumphant. The members of it 
had obtained what they had so long fought for in the commune, 
such as it was. The old aristocratic party, comprising what 

" Pipe Roll, 8 Rich. II (Lond. and Midd.). 


remained of the soke-owning class, was fast disappearing, and 
a new democratic party at the other extremity of the social 
order was arising, which eventually became representative of 
the craftsmen and was hereafter to play so important a part 
in the history of London. Riots arose in 1194-5 owing to the 
alleged unfair incidence of taxation which it was complained 
fell more heavily upon the poor of London than upon the rich. 
William Fitz Osbert, called Longbeard, who was the leader of 
the popular party, had been a captain in the London con- 
tingent of the third Crusade. He was apparently back in 
London in 1190 when he obtained a writ against Adam de 
Sudwerck. 53 In 1194 he denounced his brother Richard for 
treasonable language, accusing him and others of saying that 
come what may, the Londoners will never have any other 
king than the mayor of London. 54 This Richard Fitz Osbert 
was apparently a wealthy man, and may be identified with the 
sheriff of Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire of the same name. 
If the accusation against him is true he was evidently an ardent 
partisan of the communal party, to which Longbeard and his 
followers were obviously opposed. Longbeard went to France 
to lay his grievances before the King, to whom as a Crusader 
he was possibly known. He appealed against the enmity of the 
authorities of London towards him ; but Richard had suffi- 
cient trouble on his hands without burning his fingers in the 
fiery disputes then rife in London, and it is evident that 
Longbeard got little sympathy. He had a large following in 
London, which is given at the impossible number of 52,000, 55 

53 Pipe Roll, 2 Rich. I (Lond. and Midd.). 

54 Stubbs, Select Charters, 8th Ed., p. 308 ; Palgrave, Rotvli Curiae 
Regis (Rec. Com.), i, 69, pref., p. vii et seq. William may have had a grudge 
against his brother regarding the distribution of their father's property. 
See Pipe Roll Soc., xxxvi, 53. 

&s Gcsta Rerum Anglicarum (Rolls Ser.), ii, 468. 


but in any case it was sufficiently menacing in 1195 for Arch- 
bishop Hubert Walter, the justiciar, to demand hostages for 
the good behaviour of the people. In consequence of his in- 
flammatory speeches, Longbeard was summoned and appeared 
guarded by his followers. Two citizens with an armed band 
were sent to arrest him, and in a fight which ensued one of the 
citizens was killed. Longbeard and his associates took sanc- 
tuary in the tower of Bow Church, which by order of the Arch- 
bishop was set on fire. The refugees tried to escape, but 
Longbeard, after being stabbed by the son of the citizen who 
had been killed, was taken prisoner, and he and nine others 
were executed on 6 April, 1196. 56 The whole proceedings 
caused a considerable stir at the time. There was a strong 
feeling in favour of the rioters, Longbeard being reckoned a 
martyr and his relics being held to have performed miraculous 
cures. The Archbishop was drawn into a long dispute with 
the dean and chapter of Canterbury for breaking the sanctuary 
of Bow Church. The King also seems to have been displeased 
about the matter and disowned a writ that was issued for the 
seizure of Longbeard's house, 67 and some leading citizens were 
fined. Most important, however, is the evidence apparently, 
of a party in London strong in number, which was unfavour- 
able to the commune, indicating the rise of a democracy 
eventually to supersede the failing influence of an aristocracy 
as opponents to the oligarchical party. 

At the time of the death of Kichard at Chalus on 6 April, 
1199, John was in Brittany and did not reach England until 
25 May. Two days later (Ascension Day) he was crowned at 
Westminster by Hubert Walter, Archbishop of Canterbury. 

88 Palgrave, Rotuli Curiat Regis (Rec. Com.), i, f>9, and pref. vii. 
57 Pipe Roll, 9 Rich. I (Lond. and Midd.). 


ASairs in France called for John's presence there, but before 
his return, while he was at Shoreham on 17 June, waiting to 
cross over, he granted two charters to the citizens of London. 
The one was a confirmation of the charters of Henry II and 
Richard I, which, except for an extension of the rights of 
London with regard to payment of tolls beyond the sea, waa 
an exemplification of those charters, and the other a con- 
firmation of Richard's charter for the removal of weirs in the 
Thames. Apparently these charters did not satisfy the 
Londoners, for in less than a month (5 July) at Bonneville-sur- 
Touques in Normandy, John granted a further charter giving 
them the sherifiwick of London and Middlesex at a farm of 
300 a year, with power to make sheriffs whom they would 
among themselves and amove them at their will. The 
amount of the farm was, it is said, fixed at 300, because it was 
in ancient times farmed for that amount. It is curious to 
notice the reluctance of John to grant the privileges contained 
in the last charter, although they had been fully exercised for 
the four previous years. Amongst the witnesses to the charter 
is Robert Fitz Walter of Castle Baynard, by whose influence it 
may have been granted, but it was perhaps more likely that 
the gift of 3000 marks which the citizens made " for the 
confirmation by the King of their liberties 5>58 had a stronger 
influence upon the royal bounty. 

John's quarrels with Philip of France and the Pope occupied 
all his attention during the earlier years of his reign. These 
disputes, however, caused the expenditure of large sums from 
an already depleted treasury, the consequence being the im- 
position of taxation so high that it became difficult to collect. 
London suffered equally if not more than the rest of the 

M Pipe Roll, 2 John (Lend, and Midd.). 


country. A tallage was imposed apparently in 1205, and in 
1206 William de Wrotham, Archdeacon of Taunton, and 
Keginald de Cornhill, justices of the King, held an eyre at the 
Tower 59 at which it appeared that disturbances had occurred 
with regard to the assessment and collections of this tax. 
It was a repetition of the outcry of Fitz Osbert ten years 
before regarding the unfair incidence of the tallage compared 
to the aid. As a consequence a writ dated 4 February, 1205-6, 
was issued to the barons of London which recited that it had 
come to the notice of the King and his justices that the city 
was much damaged by default of the elders (superiores) in the 
administration of the law and in the assessment and collection 
of tallages, and in giving information to the King and his 
justices as to purprestures. Further, that money had been 
paid by the people of London to certain of the elders for the 
King's use which had not been delivered to the King. It 
was therefore ordered that to avoid dissensions which had 
apparently arisen in the city, the barons by their common 
counsel and assent (per commune consilium vestrum et assensum) 
should, within fifteen days, cause twenty-four of the more 
lawful, wise and discreet citizens to be elected before William 
de Wrotham and Eeginald de Cornhill who should see to 
the better ordering of the city and its restoration to the 
fealty of the King. 60 There can be no doubt that Wrotham 
and Cornhill, who were attached to John in many of his 
arbitrary acts, would see that those elected were subservient 
to their will. The matter, however, seems to have been com- 
promised and on May 25 following, the barons of London 
submitted themselves to the King at Porchester and made 

59 Stow, op. cit., i, 50 ; Pipe Roll, 62 (8 John), m. 6. 

60 Rot. Litt. Glaus. (Rec. Com.), i, 64a. Cf. Finance and Trade under Edw. 
Ill (Manchester Univ. Hist. Ser., XXXII), pp. 13, 18. My attention was 
kindly drawn to this writ by Prof. Tait. See App. No. III. 


payment of 400 by the hands of Constantine Fitz Alulf , Ralf 
Aswy and Serlo Mercer in part payment of a debt of 2000 
marks, 61 the sum apparently assessed on London for a tallage. 62 
Although London played an important part in the disputes 
between the Crown and the barons, the history of the quarrels 
belongs to that of the nation rather than the city, and would 
carry us beyond the limits of this work. The old political 
divisions still remained, but the aristocratic party favouring 
the King became smaller and smaller until it was almost 
negligible. At length the baronial party in London was so 
strong that an agreement was made that neither the barons 
of the realm nor the Londoners would make terms with the 
King without the consent of the other. 63 Robert Fitz Walter, 
lord of the soke of Castle Baynard, banneret of London, and 
one of the most prominent men of the day, was appointed to 
command the army of the barons under the high-sounding 
title of Marshal of the Army of God and of the Holy Church. 
He made London his head-quarters, and it so remained 
throughout the negotiations for the Great Charter. In 
January, 1215, the barons of the realm who were assembled 
in London demanded the confirmation of the charter of 
Henry I. John asked for time until Easter (26 April) to con- 
sider the matter, and during this period he was ready to do 
anything to avoid granting the popular demands. As Easter 
approached the barons saw no prospect of a decision in their 
favour and brought their army to Northampton. John asked 
for an exact statement of their demands, and the barons 
returned a schedule of articles upon which the Great Charter 
was based. These articles were emphatically refused. 

81 Ibid., 71. Madox, Hist, of Excheq., i, 712. 

" Annal* of Wavertey (Rolls Ser.), ii, 283. 


Both sides saw the desirability of obtaining the adherence 
of London, whose wealth and influence was of the utmost 
importance. The barons of the realm relied upon the un- 
doubted feeling in their favour, and John thought he could 
secure the support of the citizens by bribery. On 9 May he 
granted them the privilege or regularised the practice which 
the barons of London had probably exercised for some twenty- 
two years, of electing a mayor from among themselves. 64 By 
the terms of the charter thus granted, the barons of London 
were to have the right to elect the mayor yearly and retain 
him in office if they wished. The mayor so elected was to be 
presented to the King, or to the justiciar in his absence, and 
should swear fealty to the King. The charter concludes with 
a general confirmation of the rights of the barons of London, 
saving to the King the chamberlainship of London. It is 
interesting in this connexion to compare a draft of some 
headings evidently intended for a general charter to the 
citizens at this date with the charter as granted. These 
headings deal with the city's rights in the Thames, customs, 
tallages, the exchange, the walling of the city, and foreign 
merchants and their debts. But perhaps the most significant 
heading is one for having a mayor from year to year to be 
chosen at the folkmote and sworn. 65 This heading points to 
an attempt to transfer the election of the mayor from the 
barons at the misting, their select court, to the body of 
citizens at the folkmote, their popular court at which they 

94 Mr. W. S. McKechnie in Magna Carlo, p. 34, says that apparently no 
price was paid for the charter, but on the Pipe Boll for 16 John is a payment 
of 2000 marks as a gift to the King, which may have reference to this 

66 Mary Bateson, London Municipal Collections, Engl. Hist. Rev., xvii, 


elected the sheriffs. This attempt was probably one of the 
last efforts of the aristocratic party in London which never 
reached fruition. 

The charter had little influence with the Londoners as 
regards their adherence to the baronial party. On the day 
following its delivery John proposed an arbitration, to which 
the barons of the realm would not listen and marched with 
their army to London, which they reached on 24 May. The 
citizens welcomed them, and the strength which the adhesion 
of London gave them was followed by a great defection from 
the King's party. The lead of London was not only followed 
by other towns but by the magnates of the realm, who had 
hitherto been hesitating how they should give their support. 
John saw that his cause was hopeless, and on 8 June entered 
upon negotiations with the barons of the realm who went to 
him from London and encamped at Runnymede. The Articles 
were then presented to him, and on 15 June he set his seal to 
the Great Charter at Runnymede. By the terms of the 
charter the barons obtained the custody of London and the 
Tower, and Robert Fitz Walter and the mayor were amongst 
those who were to see the terms of the charter duly carried out. 

So far as the charter directly affected London the existing 
liberties of the city were confirmed under Chapter XIII, 
whereby the city of London was to have all its ancient liberties 
and free customs as well by land as by water, but the citizens 
received no additional privileges, which they might well have 
expected for the support that they had given to the baronial 
cause. It is even suggested by Mr. McKechnie 66 that the 
barons sacrificed the interests of London to the insistence of 
John, and that whereas under the thirty-second article of the 

6 Mr. Sharpe McKechnie, Magna Carta, 117. 


Articles previously submitted by the barons, London was to 
receive relief as regards both " tallage and aids," under the 
charter itself (Chapter XII) it obtained relief in respect of 
aids only. 67 Prof. Gr. B. Adams, on the other hand, suggests 
that the omission of tallage in the relief clause implies that 
the citizens had been raised to the position of crown vassals, 
and thus the King recognised London as a commune in the 
strict sense. He points out further that on the reissue of 
the charter in 1216, after the death of John, clause XII being 
omitted, " London's legal right to a commune fell to the 
ground." 68 

As we have already seen, Londoners had been obtaining 
their independence bit by bit. In the time of Henry I 
and Stephen their desire was to have a commune in all its 
fulness. Although their efforts to wrest all they wanted 
from the Crown were unsuccessful, they were able from time 
to time as opportunities occurred to procure one concession 
after another, until at the end of the twelfth or beginning of 
the thirteenth century their outstanding claim centred round 
the important question of taxation. It became a fight for 
tallages or aids. London had, we know, from time to time 
been subject to both forms of taxation. The disturbances 

67 Aids were in the nature of freewill offerings which the citizens could 
name, and if the amount were approved they could assess and collect 
themselves as they pleased ; but tallages were exactions imposed upon all 
tenants, servile or otherwise, on the royal demesnes, of which towns pos- 
sessing royal charters were considered to form a part, and assessed by the 
King's justices per capita on individual citizens and collected by the King's 

68 London and the Comjnune, by Geo. B. Adams, Engl. Hist. Rev., vol. 
xix (Oct., 1904), p. 702-6. M. Petit-Dutaillis (p. 104-5) criticises this 
view and states that the Londoners never dreamed of asserting that they 
constituted a commune ; that because of this they owed nothing but a 
feudal aid, and that there is nothing of the kind in the text of the 
Charter. Mr. Adams' argument therefore he claims will not hold water. 


already referred to as having taken place in 1 194-5 69 and 
1206 70 were caused apparently by the assessment and collec- 
tion of tallages. A tallage of 2000 marks was levied upon it 
in 1214-15 71 and the Pipe Rolls give evidence of the numerous 
aids to which it was liable. Although the right to be subject 
only to, aids increased the dignity of the city and gave the 
citizens the privilege of agreeing the sum to be raised, yet 
these advantages had to be paid for mainly by the wealthy 
burgher class, the tax being assessed and collected by the alder- 
men according to the capacities of those taxed, and not, as 
in the case of a tallage, levied at a rate per capita on rich and 
poor alike and collected by an officer of the Crown. The 
tallage therefore was more favourable to the rich than to the 
poor, and its inequitable incidence was probably the cause of 
the Fitz Osbert riots when the outcry was that the poor were 
taxed more heavily than the rich. The demands of the Crown, 
however, had to be met whether by aids or tallages, and 
although the former were nominally voluntary and the latter 
compulsory the freedom of the one and arbitrariness of the 
other had become limited. Consequently as the leading citizens 
t'ojind that tallages were less burdensome to them than aids, 
they were probably not particularly anxious for them to be 
superseded as the full privileges of the commune would require. 
In the headings for a charter attributed by Miss Bateson to 
1215, already referred to, there is one for the withdrawal of all 
tallages except those imposed by the common consent of the 
kingdom and city. 72 No attention, however, was paid to this 
proposal in the charter which John granted to the city shortly 

" See account of Fitz Osbert's riots, p. 117. 

70 Rot. Litt. Claus. (Rec. Com.), i, 64a. See p. 120. 

71 Madox, Hist, of Excheq., i, 712. 
'* Engl. Hist. Rev., xvii, 726. 


afterwards. Again, in the thirty-second article of the Articuli 
Baronum it was once more proposed that no tallage nor aid 
should be placed on London except by the common council of 
the realm, but in Magna Carta itself relief is given from aids 
only. It, is clear that the demand for exemption from tallage 
either received strong opposition from the Crown or was 
pressed only with lukewarmness by the Londoners, for the 
claims of London for recompense at this time were very strong 
and could not have been withheld if forcibly urged. The 
question remained in dispute until 1255, when it was finally 
determined at law and the city was obliged to withdraw its 
claim to exemption and confess itself a domain town. 

The Londoners perhaps never acquired a full seigneurie 
collective populaire such as existed in France and elsewhere 
on the Continent, but it obtained a form of municipal inde- 
pendence suitable to its development whether under the name 
of a commune or not. 74 No doubt the growing democratic 
feeling which is shown by the riots led by Fitz Osbert in 1194-5, 
followed by those in 1205-6, influenced the lines of develop- 
ment of the municipality. It must be remembered also that 
the commune was foreign to this country, and unless granted 
by charter as a new constitution, as it was to continental cities, 
it would be difficult to fit it, in its entirety, into a constitution 
which had grown up gradually during centuries of slow de- 
velopment. Eichard and John merely tolerated it as a matter 
of expediency for their personal and temporary ends, and it 
was never fully acknowledged by any charter. 

MM ^ MMMMMMMM ***MM^^M W * H V^V^**'*^* l **>VMJb MH " l M'"* BM m> ^* 

73 Engl. Hist. Rev., xix, 706. 

74 Cf. Petit-Dutaillis, op. cit., 106. On this point M. Petit-Dutaillis says: 
" Without doubt we attach too much importance to words which we have 
made technical terms for the convenience of our historical studies." 



THE^sokes of London 1 the districts over which private juris- 
dictions were exercised were of gradual growth. When the 
King wished to develop the forests and marshes and other 
waste places of his kingdom he granted tracts of such lands 
to powerful laymen and ecclesiastics, the capitalists of early 
days, that they might clear or drain them and bring them 
under cultivation. The endowments of many of our great 
monasteries were of this nature : Ely, Peterborough and 
Croyland thus had great districts of the fen-land ; Canterbury 
had the Romney Marshes ; Worcester, Pershore and West- 
minster had the forests of Worcestershire ; St. Albans, West- 
minster and Ely had the forests of Western Hertfordshire and 
Middlesex, and so on. There was no doubt an implied obli- 
gation to develop the lands, which naturally included the 
maintenance of law and order ; for a grant from the Crown 
in the ninth and tenth centuries usually carried jurisdiction 
" as a matter of common form." 2 It is doubtful, however, 
whether there was any acknowledgment of specific rights of 
jurisdiction until the tenth or eleventh century. 

The early development of London was carried out in a 

1 This chapter is based upon an article on The Early Development of 
London by the author, which appeared in the Nineteenth Century and After 
for June, 1920, pp. 1042-56. 

* Maitland, Domesday k. and Beyond, 282. 



manner somewhat similar to this. The system there used was 
in more recent times adopted for the purpose of colonisation, 
grantees brought settlers from their lands elsewhere in this 
country and abroad ; and this is probably a reason for finding 
at a later date parcels of land in London attached to manors 
far away in the country. The system was particularly adapted 
for the establishing of trading communities in which compli- 
cated and diverse interests could be guarded and organized. 

The centre of the trade and traffic of London lay at the 
Bridge, on either side of which were the wharves for overseas 
trade, and just inland was the market of Eastcheap. It was 
the lands surrounding this area that were still largely agri- 
cultural even in the tenth century, which Alfred and other 
kings proposed to develop. 3 A clear space would have to be 
left on each side of the wall ; on the outside in the suburb to 
prevent cover and concealment for an enemy, and on the 
inside for the manoeuvring of troops and their easy transfer 
from one spot to another. The greater part of this open land 
on the west side of the Walbrook 4 had apparently been in the 
hands of the King and the community at St. Paul's since the 
foundation of the East Saxon kingdom and bishopric. There 
is ample evidence from the Chronicles and other sources that 
Saxon and Danish kings resided from time to time in London. 
The King's hall in London is referred to in the laws of Hloth- 
here and Eadric (680-5), 5 and there was a tradition recorded 
in the thirteenth century by Matthew Paris that the church 
of St. Alban, Wood Street, had been the chapel of Offa's 

3 Thorpe, Anct. Laws and Inst. (Rec. Com.), 97 ; Gross, Gild Merchant, 
i, 3n. 

4 The lands at Vintry and inland had by Alfred's time probably been 
settled by the burgesses. 

6 Thorpe, Anct. Laws and Insl. (Bee. Com.), p. 16. 


palace. 8 Newcourt goes further and asserts that the royal 
house was east of St. Alban's Church with a door into " Adel- 
street," 7 which is said to take its name from Atheling, while 
Gutter Lane near by, formerly called Guthron Lane, preserve 
the name of Guthrum, to whom London was assigned in 878. 
Moreover, we have the legend of the time of Henry VIII that 
some " old ruinous houses and ground in Aldermanbury " 
which were then being cleared were " sometime the place 
(palace) of St. Ethelbert King, founder of St. Paul's." 8 Although 
it is unlikely that the buildings referred to were actually built 
in the time of Ethelbert, Bong of Kent, who founded the 
bishopric of London in 604, yet it is highly probable that they 
were on the site of his residence and that which formed the 
royal dwelling in London for the next four and a half centuries. 
That the King's house should adjoin the cathedral further 
strengthens the argument, for the practice of establishing the 
bishop's church, his house and community of priests near the 
King's palace, can be traced in almost all ancient episcopal 
cities in this country and abroad. 9 

When Alfred began his scheme for the development of 
London, St. Paul's was in possession of the block of land of 
the width of the precincts as they now are and extending 
from Westcheap to the Thames, leaving a space between its 
lands and the wall on the west. The land northward of West- 
sheap probably formed the demesne of the King's residence. 
Of the lands to the east of the Walbrook surrounding the 
central part of the city, the Bishop of London probably held 
the portion from the Walbrook to St. Mary Axe ; and the 

Geata Abbatum S. Albani (Rolls Ser.), i, 55. 

7 Repertorium, i, 236. Newcourt gives no authority, but his assertion 
s borne out by later evidence. See p. 142. 

8 Hist. MSS. Com. Hep., ix, p. 44a. See Appendix No. H. 


section further east, which was the most vulnerable part of 
the city, Alfred probably kept in his own hands to be utilised 
for military purposes. Outside the wall was an undefined 
district or suburb over which it would seem the owners of the 
lands adjoining within had rights, if not ownership. Thus all 
the suburb on the west and north from the river to the Wai- 
brook was at this time in the hands of the King. From the 
Walbrook eastward the Bishop held the suburb, as far as his 
lands extended within the walls, as part probably of the 
twenty-four hides of land, free from all gelds and customs, 
which William the Conqueror confirmed to St. Paul's and are 
described as near the wall of the city and of the gift of King 
Ethelbert. 10 Eastward of the Bishop's soke the suburb was, 
with the lands within the wall, in Alfred's time, probably in 
the hands of the Crown. 

Such was, we may imagine, approximately the condition of 
London when Alfred took possession of it in 883. As already 
stated, he began to develop London by granting out blocks of 
more or less vacant land between the central settlement and 
the walls. The desire of all the grantees, both then and at a 
later date, was to have access to one or other of the two 
great markets and to wharfage on the Thames, one or both 
of which privileges, it will be noticed, went with almost every 
London soke. Towards carrying out his scheme for the 
development of London, Alfred apparently gave to Ethelred, 
husband of Ethelfleda his daughter, the lands extending 
eastward from the property of St. Paul's, later known as the 
soke of St. Bennet, to the Walbrook, 11 with the valuable 

10 Cartae Antiquae, A, No. 2. 

11 That Ethelredshithe or Queenhithe originally extended to the western 
boundary of the ward is shown by the grants to the Archbishop of 
Canterbury and Bishop of Worcester of lands on the west of Ethelredshithe, 


frontage on the Thames and going back probably to the present 
line of Knightrider Street, Great Trinity Lane, Great St. 
Thomas the Apostle and Cloak Lane. Here Ethelred began 
to develop the district by building the dock, called after him 
Ethelredshithe or Edredshythe, which survives as Queenhithe, 
a name it acquired when given to Matilda queen of Henry I. 
The further development of this district soon followed. In 
899 King Alfred held a council at Chelsea for the restoration 
of London at which were present Plegmund, Archbishop of 
Canterbury, Werefrid, Bishop of Worcester, and Ethelred, 
Duke of Mercia. The condition of Ethelredshithe was ap- 
parently considered, and the eastern part of it, with the con- 
sent of Ethelred and Ethelfleda, was divided between the 
Archbishop of Canterbury and Bishop of Worcester. The 
piece of land granted was probably of the width of the parish 
of St. Mary Somerset and in length from Knightrider Street 
to the river. It is described as two jugera, divided from one 
another by a lane running up from the Thames ; the western 
part was granted to Canterbury and the eastern to Worcester. 
Each plot extended from the Roman wall on the Thames 
front, then standing, and each grantee was to have mooring 
for ships on the Thames bank outside the wall as far as his 
land extended within the wall. 12 Much importance cannot be 
attached to the use of the word " jugerum," an area equal to 
240 square feet. 13 It is here apparently used merely to indi- 
cate a piece of land of uncertain size. Although it is clear 
that the transcript of this charter which alone exists, is inac- 

hereafter referred to, and to the Walbrook by the fact that rights of the 
soke of Queenhithe extended from Dowgate and Vintry to the soke of the 
Archbishop of Canterbury. Liber Albus (Rolls Ser.), i, 240-1. 

1S Kemble, Cod. Dipl., v, mbodv, p. 141. 

18 Seebohm, English Village Community, 387. 


curate, there is no need to discard it as entirely untrustworthy. 
It probably gives the effect of a true grant and represents the 
conditions at the time at which the gift was made. We know 
that the Archbishop of Canterbury for long afterwards had a 
soke here, and although we lose sight of a definite holding by 
Worcester, the Bishop had a soke in London 13 * and continued 
to receive rents from lands in the neighbourhood. 

It would seem that Alfred granted the land of " Werernan- 
nesaker " on the east side of the bridgehead to another 
daughter, J]fthryth, or in the Latinised form of her name, 
Elstrudis, wife of Baldwin the second, Count of Flanders. 

The position of Weremansacre has been the cause of 
much speculation, but some deeds of the twelfth century 
belonging to the New Hospital of St. Mary outside Bishopsgate 
enable us to give it with some certainty. One of these deeds 
refers to land in Blanchappleton in the parish of All Hallows 
Staining, which had a northern boundary along Fenchurch 
Street ; it is described as being in the fee of Strodes and paying 
rent to that fee. Another deed relates to land in the parish 
of St. Gabriel, Fenchurch Street, immediately to the west of 
All Hallows, which was also bounded on the north by Fen- 
church Street ; and adjoining the last-mentioned land on the 
east other land is described as parcel of the soke of " Waremans- 
haker," and as paying a rent to the church of St. Peter of 
Ghent. 14 Thus the position of the northern part of Weremans- 
acre is clearly fixed, and as wharfage and landing rights were, 
as we shall see, granted with the soke, it must have extended 
southward to the Thames. If further we can identify the fee 
of Strodes with that of Alfred's daughter Elstrudis or 

13a Harl. MS. 43 I., 35. 

14 Dugdale, Mon. Angl., vii, 624. 


^Elfthryth, we have, apparently, in Blanchappleton a portion 
of the land of the Counts of Flanders. 

The early history of the soke in very obscure. It appears 
that in 918 JElfthryth with her sons Arnulf and Adelolf 
granted Lewisham, Greenwich and Woolwich to the monastery 
of St. Peter of Ghent, which grant, as will be shown, probably 
included a part of Weremansacre. It is possible that there 
were strained relations between King Edwy and his kinsman 
Arnulf of Flanders in the middle of the tenth century, when 
Dunstan took refuge at the church of St. Peter of Ghent. 
The lands of St. Peter were apparently at this time seized, and 
perhaps Arnulf's soke of Wermansacre was also taken into 
the King's hands ; the English possessions of the monastery 
were, however, returned by Edgar in 964 at the prayer of 
Dunstan, but those of the Count of Flanders, including 
perhaps " Weremansacre," were probably retained. On the 
accession of Cnut, Flanders being again the refuge for dis- 
affected Englishmen and therefore unfriendly to the Danish 
king, the possessions of St. Peter of Ghent in England were 
once more seized. Edward, who was at the time living in the 
monastery of Ghent, promised in 1016 that if he ever ascended 
his father's throne he would make restoration to the abbey. 15 
After his accession he fulfilled his promise by the gift of a 
charter dated 1044, whereby he confirmed the monastery's 
lands in Kent and added a part of the land in London which 
was called " Werman Echer " with the wharf pertaining to it. 16 
This is the first mention we have of Weremansacre. William 
the Conqueror gave a very full confirmation in 1081 elaborat- 

18 The early history of the lands of St. Peter of Ghent is shown in Round, 
Col/ of Doc. France, pp. 600-3. 
Dugdale, Mon. AngL, vii, 988. 


ing the grant of the portion of " Waremanni Acra " given by 
Edward, with which were included its wharf, market rights, 
stalls and shops and the right of all merchants to land " in the 
soke of St. Peter " and use the stalls and wharf. Thus far it 
would seem that Ghent's part of Weremansacre was obtained 
by the gift of Edward. 17 A confirmation charter of Henry the 
First (1103-9), however, describes the land of Weremansacre 
in London as " belonging to Greenwich," a description which 
appears in subsequent documents. 18 This statement, taken 
with the evidence of the fee of Strodes or Elstrudis, suggests 
that the western part of Weremansacre may have been in- 
cluded in the grant of Greenwich by .ZElfthryth to Ghent 
in 918. 

It would seem probable that Weremansacre originally 
included the soke of Aldgate, and comprised the area later 
occupied by Tower ward and Aldgate ward. This suggestion 
is strengthened by the fact that the Portsoken, which was 
granted, possibly by Edgar, to the Cnihtengild, extended 
along that part of the wall upon which the sokes of Were- 
mansacre and Aldgate both adjoined inside, and it was cus- 
tomary for rights over the lands outside the walls to pass 
with lands immediately adjoining inside ; it may also be seen 
from the scanty evidence available that the early descents of 
the two sokes seem to be similar. The sections of the wall 
upon which these sokes abutted would be those upon which 
attacks would be most frequent, and with this in view it is 
probable that these sokes would be placed in the hands of 
some military authority. This theory is perhaps supported by 

17 Bound, op. cit. 

18 Rotuli Chartarum (Rc. Com.), John, pt. i, p. 184 ; Charter Holla, 
13 Hen. Ill, m. 9. 


the name Weremansacre or Warmansacre which may possibly 
be interpreted as the warriors' or soldiers' land. 19 During the 
troublous times of the last quarter of the tenth century and 
the first few years of the eleventh century Weremansacre, 
including Aldgate and Portsoken, may have been held by the 
Cnihtengild. The military organization of London at this 
time was so perfect that it was able to defy the continued 
assaults of the Danes and Norsemen, hence it might well be 
that this most important military position was in the hands of 
" cnihts " or military commanders. Cnut seems to have con- 
firmed the Portsoken to the Cnihtengild, 20 and it may be sug- 
gested that he granted the whole of Weremansacre, including 
Aldgate and the lands of St. Peter of Ghent then seized into 
his hands, to his favourite minister, Tofig the Proud, who was 
apparently a staller of London, an office that was mainly 
military in character and therefore one to which Weremanaacre 
may well have been attached. Tofig, who lived at Waltham, 
attached Aldgate and the land adjoining it to his manor of 
Waltham and built a church at Waltham for the reception of 
the miraculous cross found at Montacute in the county of 
Somerset. It was possibly he who thus created the separate 
soke of Aldgate. His son Athelstan forfeited his property, 
except that of the stallership, at the beginning of the reign of 
Edward the Confessor, which may have enabled Edward the 
Confessor to grant, or rather perhaps re-grant, the western 

19 The name Warmansacre or Weremannesacre is corrupt so that it is 
difficult to draw any conclusion as to its origin. Mr. W. H. Stevenson, M.A., 
thinks this interpretation of Warrior's Acre unlikely, as Weremannesacre 
has the genitive singular termination " es " which was not extended to the 
plural until late Middle English times, and " war " is a loan word from the 
Norman " werre " or French " guerre " occurring in the early part of the 
twelfth century. He thinks it is from an English personal name. 

20 Trans. Lond. and Midd. Arch. Soc., v, 481. 


part of Weremansacre to the monastery of St. Peter of Ghent 
in 1044. The manor of Waltham, to which Aldgate was 
attached, was given to Harold, who founded there the priory 
of Waltham in 1060. 21 The western part of Weremansacre 
anciently belonged perhaps to St. Peter of Ghent, but the 
eastern or main part of the soke was possibly parcel of the 
possessions of the stallership of London and so would pass to 
Athelstan's son Ansgar, who appears as staller of London at 
this time. Geoffrey de Mandeville was the Norman successor 
to all the possessions of Ansgar, including the office of staller ; 
and Blanchappleton, a part of Weremansacre, as will be 
shown later, can be traced as a part of his fee. 

No doubt the policy of Alfred for the development of 
London was followed by his descendants, but we have no 
knowledge of further development until the time of his 
great-grandson Edgar (957-75), who, we know, endeavoured to 
advance the foreign trade of London. He probably estab- 
lished the wine merchants of Rouen at their settlement later 
called the Vintry, on the west side of Dowgate, and on the 
last he placed the merchants of Cologne, later known as the 
Hanse merchants, who imported their Rhine wines and other 
commodities at their house which became the Steelyard. 
These communities received many trade privileges, and by 
the time of Edward the Confessor the merchants of Rouen 
had built a dock or port on the west side of Dowgate, and in 
it they had the right to order the removal of any ship after a 
flood and an ebb ; if their order was not obeyed they might 
cut the mooring ropes and set the ship adrift without any 
liability for damage. 22 In the time of King Ethelred II (978- 

21 Fran. Michel, op. cit., ii, 227. 

" Round, Col. of Doc. France, 34, 35. 


1016) the men of Flanders and Ponthieu traded to London 
and probably brought their goods to the wharf of the soke of 
St. Peter of Ghent at Weremansacre. 23 Among the Danish 
settlements was one at a riverside dock in the parish of St. 
Mary Somerset called Daneburghgate. 24 But the Danes were 
becoming absorbed into the population of London so that their 
separate settlements are few. A Christian Dane of the eleventh 
century might build a church and choose the dedication of 
St. Olave or other Norse saint, but such a choice did not imply 
that the church was for the use of a Danish settlement sur- 
rounding it, any more than it would be if a Scotchman built 
a church and chose the dedication of St. Andrew. 

It is probable there was a fort on the western side of London. 
It is recorded by somewhat doubtful evidence that Cnut spent 
Christmas there in 1017, where he caused Edric of Mercia to 
be put to death. 25 Possibly Edric held this fort and the soke 
attached to it, as Earl of Mercia, and after his death it was 
possibly granted to Osgod Clapa, a staller. 26 This fort was 
apparently rebuilt by Kalf Baynard, a follower of William the 
Conqueror, and from him was called Castle Baynard. Half was 
sheriff of Essex, and had a considerable fief in that county 
with Little Dunmo was his seat. Castle-guard to Castle Baynard 
was due from Little Baddow 27 and Mowden-in-Ulting 28 in Essex 
and Hadestone, Merton 29 and Kiston 30 in Norfolk. The soke of 

23 Thorpe, And. Laws and Inst., i, 127. 

24 Missenden Chartulary, Harl. MS. 3688, fol. 152-3 ; Hundred RoUs 
(Rec. Com.), pp. 418, 433. I am indebted to Mr. C. Vellacott for these 

25 Rich, de Cirencester, Speculum Historiale (Rolls Ser.), ii, 172 ; Matth. 
Paris, Chron. Majora, i, 500. " See post. 

27 Col. of Inq. P.M., Edw. II, vol. vi, p. 19 ; Edw. Ill, vol. vii, p. 318 ; 
vol. viii, p. 482. 28 Ibid., Edw. I, vol. iv, p. 98. 

29 Ibid., p. 206. M Ibid., Edw. II, vol. iv, p. 393. 


the castle was coterminous with the parish of St. Andrew. 31 
Its privileges are referred to later. Kalf's son Geoffrey was 
succeeded by his son William, who forfeited his lands early in 
the reign of Henry I for his part in the rebellion of the Count 
of Maine. Castle Baynard was for a time, between 1100 and 
1106, in the hands of Henry I, who granted a part of the ditch 
of the castle to the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's in order 
that they might build a precinct wall there. 32 It was after- 
wards held for a short time by Eustace Count of Boulogne, 
who was holding it in 1106. 33 Later in the reign of Henry I 
it passed to Robert, said to be a younger son of Richard Fitz 
Gilbert, steward of that sovereign; and his widow Maud, 
daughter of Simon de St. Liz, dealt with lands in London held 
in dower, with the consent of her son Walter. 34 Robert's 
grandson Robert Fitz Walter was the well-known marshal of 
the Baronial army, and for his opposition to John, Castle 
Baynard was destroyed in 1213. By licence of Edward I, 
Robert Fitz Walter sold the site of the castle to Robert, 
Archbishop of Canterbury, 35 and in 1276 it was acquired by 
the Black Friars who built their monastery upon it. 36 The 
little castle or tower of Montfichet beside Castle Baynard 
which belonged to the Montfichets suffered the same fate and 
for the same reason. 

The principal development of the sokes of London was during 
the Conquest period. The prosperity of the city as a trading 
centre was rapidly growing during the eleventh century, and 

31 Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 472. 

32 Mun. Gild. Lond. (Rolls Ser.), voL ii, pt. i, pp. 339-40. 

33 Hist. MSS. Com. Sep., ix, p. 49a. 

34 Engl. Hist. Rev., xvii, 485 ; HarL MS. 56 G., 9. 

35 Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 459. 

3 Chron. Edw. I and Edw. II (Rolls Ser.), vol. i, pp. 9, 15, 87, 88. 


the demand for land and consequently its value were increas- 
ing ; hence the early sokes were subdivided and new fiefs 
created. The abandonment by Edward the Confessor of the 
royal residence in the north-west quarter of London in favour 
of his new palace at Westminster, probably about 1060, 
released a large area for development and division into 
new sokes. The royal residence, we are told, was neglected 
and encroachments were made upon it by the citizens so that 
it became much reduced in size, although the ancient liberties 
of the site were maintained. 37 It seems clear that the King's 
Bury became the Alderman's Bury, but it is difficult to decide 
who the alderman was from whom it took its new name. 
The evidence points to the transfer having taken place before 
the date at which the aldermen of the wards, so far as we 
know, were appointed ; and therefore we can only conjecture 
that he was the alderman of the Frith Gild of the city. 38 
Within his soke, it may plausibly be suggested, he built the 
hall of his gild almost on the site where its successor still stands. 
The earliest references as yet discovered to the soke of Alder- 
manbury and the Gildhall is about 1130, but they are merely 
incidental and give no indication as to the owner of the 
property ; nor do they preclude the supposition of an earlier 
existence. The fate of the Frith Gild and its aldermen is not 
known, probably it was dissolved like the Cnihten Gild, 39 
being out of keeping with the ideas of the time, and its hall 
voluntarily surrendered to the municipal authority to be 
referred to later. 

37 Gesta Abbatum S. Albani (Rolls Ser.), i, 55 ; Matth. Paris, Vitae S. 
Albani Abbot, (ed. Watts), p. 50. 

38 Cf. Green, The Conquest of England, pp. 460, 462. Green did not 
recognise that Aldermanbury was the site of the King's residence. 

39 For the history of the frith gild and cnihten gild see Chapter VII. 


About 1136-8 we have mention of Keiner de Aldermanbury 40 
who received, probably early in the reign of Henry II, a royal 
confirmation of liberties over his lands in the city of London, 
including soc and sac and thol and theam, freedom from soc 
and geld, tallages, aids of all sheriffs and all their ministers 
and of shires and hundreds, suits, assizes, and exemption from 
being put in plea of any land or tenure except it be against the 
King or his chief justice. 41 Reiner had two sons, Simon and 
John (known as John de London), and probably a third named 
Alan. Simon, who inherited the soke, married Margaret, 
daughter of Baldwin Crisp, served as sheriff in 1201 and died 
about 1204. As in settling his property he made provision 
only for the life interest of his wife, 42 it may be inferred that 
he died childless ; and as Gervase, son of Alan de Alderman- 
bury, probably his nephew, obtained a confirmation of 
liberties in Aldermanbury from Richard I, he must have en- 
tered into possession in the lifetime of Simon. 43 Gervase, who 
was chamberlain of London from 1196 to 1199, married about 
1205 Agnes, daughter of Roger de Somery, the divorced wife 
of Hamo de Valoynes. 44 About 1246 Gervase and his sons 
Gervase and Alan conveyed to Adam de Basing the house in 
Aldermanbury with the lands attached and the advowsons of 
the churches of St. Mary Aldermanbury, St. Mary Magdalene, 
Milk Street, and St. Michael Bassis-Haw, which are later 
described as appurtenant to the same house, thus indicating 
perhaps by the areas of their parishes the extent of the soke. 
Basing received a confirmation of all the liberties which were 

40 Cat. of And. Deeds, iv, A 7309 ; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix, p. 67. 

41 Cartae Antiquae, Hen. Ill, L. No. 13. 

" Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix, p. 9a ; Rot. CanceUarii (Rec. Com.), p. 99 

43 Cartae Antiq., L. 13. 

44 Bracton's Note-Bk. (ed. Maitland), No. 550, 1001. 


attached to the soke. 45 The old house of Aldermanbury, the 
site probably of the King's residence, apparently stood near 
the church of St. Mary Aldermanbury on the west side of the 
street called Aldermanbury with an entrance from Wood 
Street. Adam de Basing built a new house on the east side of 
Aldermanbury which ran through into Basinghall Street, to 
which his house or hall gave the name. It is evident he 
endeavoured to unite the two houses by blocking Alderman- 
bury, for which obstruction he and his sons were time after 
time presented. 46 

The exact position of the soke of the Earl of Gloucester is 
not very certain, but there was a soke in the parish of St. 
Lawrence Jewry that, from its position, was apparently 
carved out of the soke of Aldermanbury which may be identi- 
fied as having belonged to the Clares. The first reference to 
the soke of the Earl of Gloucester is in the survey of the lands 
of St. Paul's about 1130, 47 and we may perhaps assign the 
date of its creation into a separate soke to about 1121, when 
Henry I made Kobert, his illegitimate son, Earl of Gloucester 48 
and possibly endowed him with this soke. On the death of 
Robert's son William in 1183 his property passed to his 
daughter Amice, wife of Richard de Clare. The soke in the 
parish of St. Lawrence Jewry was in the hands of the Abbey 
of St. Sauve and St. Wynewall of Montreuil about 1189, 49 when 
it became known as the soke of St. Wynewall. 50 The Clares 

46 Cartae Antiq., L. 13. 

48 Hundred Rolls (Rec. Com.), i, 403 et seq. 

47 Price, Description of the Gildhatt, p. 16. 

48 Bound, Geoff, de Mandeville, pp. 432-4. 

49 The Earls of Gloucester, however, still had a soke in London in 1275. 
Hundred Rolls (Rec. Com.), p. 405 ; and in 1307, Riley, Pleadings in Parl., 
p. 371. 

60 Price, Description of Gildhatt, p. 40 ; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., iv, 449 
et seq. 


founded a cell of Montreuil at Wereham in Norfolk, and this 
soke may have been a part of the endowment. It eventually 
passed to Balliol College, Oxford. 51 

Of the other sokes which came into existence by the aban- 
donment of the King's residence, that of the monastery of 
St. Martin le Grand originated by the purchase from the Crown 
by Ingelric and Eirard or Edward his brother of land here 
whereon they founded the monastery about 1056. Ingelric 
was one of those successful clerks in the households of King 
Edward and the Conqueror who amassed great wealth and 
influence. 52 Like all such clerks he took minor orders early in 
life, and after founding St. Martin's he was ordained priest 
and became the first dean of that monastery but retained his 
official position as King's clerk. 53 This soke, known as Alders- 
gate Soke, 54 approximately covered what was later Aldersgate 
Ward. The monastery became the " capnt " of Ingelric's 
great fief in Essex, 55 and when his lands passed after the 
Conquest to Eustace of Boulogne the courts of the Honour 
of Boulogne were held at St. Martin's. 56 Ingelric attested two 
charters in 1069, 57 and then we lose sight of him, possibly he 
became implicated in one of the many risings which marked 
this unsettled period ; all we know is that in 1087 his lands 
were held by Count Eustace. 

81 Ibid. 

52 Charter Boll, 2 Edw. II, No. 4 ; Pat. Roll, 1 Hen. IV, pt. 13, m. 4; 
see the paper on William's charter in Engl. Hist. Rev., xi, 738, by W. H. 
Stevenson, and note thereon by J. H. Bound in ibid., xii, 105. The monas- 
tery has a fabulous history, but this is the story given in William's charter 
of 1068, only a few years after the events recorded. 

83 Bound, Commune of London, p. 28 et seq. 

54 Mun. of Dean and Chapter of Westminster, London, B. Box 2 (1). 

85 V.C.H. Essex, i, 341-3. 

" Col. of Ing. P.M., Edw. I, vol. ii, pp. 38, 359, 386 ; Edw. II, voL v, 
P- 282. Bound, Commune of London, 36. 


William I at Christmas, 1067, M augmented the endowment 
of the monastery of St. Martin's by the grant of the extra 
mural soke of Cripplegate, the north-eastern portion of the 
suburb which surrounded the King's lands within the walls. 
The soke extended from the Walbrook to the Kiver of Wells 
(Rivulus Foncium), a line which was probably marked by the 
boundary, afterwards used for Aldersgate Ward, which may 
have followed the course of a small stream here, but the slope 
of the land falling westward to the Fleet or Holborn would 
not permit of a watercourse much larger than a ditch. 59 

The most important soke created out of the lands of the 
King's residence next to Aldermanbury was that of the King 
of Scotland, which corresponded approximately in area to 
what became the Ward of Farringdon Within. It was attached 
to the Honour of Huntingdon, and may have been granted to 
Earl Waltheof when he married Judith the Conqueror's niece 
in 1070. David, King of Scotland, who was married to Maud, 
daughter of Waltheof and Judith, was holding the soke in the 
early part of the twelfth century, and a writ addressed to his 
soke-reeve there (1108-24) is still extant. 60 On the forfeiture 
of William the Lion of Scotland in 1174 the soke went with the 
Honour of Huntingdon to Simon St. Liz, grandson of Simon 
St. Liz, first husband of Maud, daughter of Waltheof. The 
younger Simon gave the soke to Roger Fitz Reinfred, probably 
the well-known justice of Henry II, and his grant was con- 
firmed by the King as the soke of the Honour of Huntingdon 
in London. 61 Although, as we shall see later, this grant may 
have given rise to the claim of the Arderna to the hereditary 

M As to the date of this charter see Bound, Commune of London, 34. 
58 See Engl. Hist. Rev., xi, 738 et seq. 
80 Col. of Doc. Scotland, i, p. 1. 
" Harl. Charters, 43, C. 26. 


aldermanry of Newgate or Farringdon, the soke appears to 
have reverted to the honour, which was conveyed by William 
the Lion of Scotland to his brother David. There are references 
to the soke of the King of Scotland in 1228 and 1275. 62 It 
passed in the same way as Tottenham, and eventually, like 
bhat manor, became divided among the representatives of the 
three sisters of John le Scot. The Balliol lands in Middlesex 
were granted in 1307 to John de Britannia, Earl of Kichmond, 63 
who took as the Balliols' share of the soke the north-eastern 
portion, where he had a great house at the north end of Ivy 
Lane, which was subsequently called Level's Inn. He built 
the nave of the church of the Grey Friars which stood within 
his portion of the soke. The Bruce third, which we must 
place in the parish of St. Owen, seems to have continued in 
the hands of the Crown. The remaining part of the soke, 
belonging to the Hastings family, was in the parish of St. 
Martin the Less or Ludgate, where their house, known as 
Pembroke or Bergavenny Inn from the titles they later 
acquired, stood at the north end of Ave Maria Lane. 64 

The other sokes carved out of the lands of the King's 
residence are less important and more obscure. The Bishop 
of Ely had a soke in Gutter Lane, formerly Godrunne or 
Guthrum Lane, where he had a soke-reeve. 65 Adjoining it was 
the fee of the abbots of St. Albans in Wood Street, which 

* Liber de Antiquis Lcgibua (Camden Soc.), xxriv, 243 ; Hand. Rolls 
(Rec. Com.), 405. 

" Charter Roll, 1 Edw. II, m. 13, No. 45. 

84 Stow, Surv. of London (ed. Kingsford), i, 339, 343 ; ii, 350, 388 ; Riley, 
Memorials of London, 98 ; Sharpe, Col. to Letter-Bk. D., 291 ; ibid. G., 132. 
Stow has confused the two houses. There is nothing to substantiate his 
statement that Britannia held Pembroke Inn. 

45 Hist. MS8. Com. Hep., ix, p. 21b ; Norman Moore, Hist, of St. Barts, 
i, 214, 300-1 ; Cat. And. Deeds, iv, A 7843, v, A. 11681. 


probably originated with the grant from the Crown to St. 
Alban's Abbey of the church of St. Alban, Wood Street, at 
the end of the eleventh century. The fee, which was later 
conveyed to Westminster, 68 apparently included in area the 
land on either side of Wood Street from the northern boundary 
of the parish of St. Alban to Westcheap. 67 

The three remaining fees formed out of the King's lands 
which may be considered sokes are Lothbury, Bocointe and 
Bucklersbury, but unfortunately we have little definite in- 
formation of any of them. Albert of Lorraine (Loteringus, 
Lothariensis, Lotharingius), a Domesday tenant in Bedford- 
shire and other counties, held land in London in " the ward 
of Haco " according to the survey of St. Paul's lands of about 
1130. 68 Haco's ward appears to have been that of Coleman 
Street in which Lothbury is situated, and it seems probable 
that Albert gave his name to the fee. 69 Albert, like Ingelric, 
the founder of St. Martin's, was a king's clerk who prospered 
under Edward and William, and in 1087 was holding con- 
siderable estates in Herefordshire, Bedfordshire, Middlesex, 
Rutland, Surrey and perhaps Kent. 70 Unlike Ingelric, he 
apparently remained in minor orders and did not forfeit his 
lands. It is probable that he married and passed on his 
possessions to his descendants. Three out of his four Bedford- 
shire manors passed to the Loring (le Lohereng, le Lotaring) 

66 Gesta Abb. S. Albani (Rolls Ser.), i, 55. 

67 Cat. And. Deeds, A 2124, Norman Moore, op. cit., i, 118, 141 ; Stow 
MS. 942, fol. 138 ; Tax. Pope Nick. (Rec. Com.), 11 ; Plac. de Quo Warr. 
(Rec. Com.), 463. 

68 Price, Gildhall, p. 16 ; Round, Commune of London, 36-7. 

69 C. L. Kingsford in Engl. Hist. Rev., xxiv, 137. Lottie's identification of 
the Ward of Haco with Broad Street Ward is probably incorrect. 

70 Round, Commune of London, 36-38. He was possibly one of the 
Lotharingians encouraged and promoted by the house of Godwin ; Free- 
man, Norm, Conq., ii, 80. 


family and a messuage and land in the parishes of St. Law- 
rence Jewry and St. Mary Aldennanbury near to, if not part 
of the fee of Lothbury, were conveyed by Walter Loring, 
nephew of Robert Fitz Walter, lord of Baynard Castle, and his 
brother Peter Fitz Walter, the sheriff, to King Richard's 
celebrated chancellor William de Longchamp, Bishop of Ely? 
and about 1190 sold by him for the large sum for those days 
of 90 to Geoffrey Blund. 71 It is possible the vendor, Walter 
Loring (Loereyng), was the abbot of Malmesbury of that name 
who died in 1222 and was commemorated for his munificence 
to the abbey. Lothbury seems to have become divided at an 
early date, and Walter de Loring's holding was only a portion 
of it, while the Bocointe fee in the parish of St. Mildred 
Poultry may have formed another part. 

The origin of Bucklersbury is difficult to trace. Geoffrey 
Buckerel, apparently an Italian financier, was sheriff in 1130, 72 
and was possibly an ancestor of Andrew, son of Stephen 
Buckerel and Sabella his wife, who was sheriff in 1173-4- 
Andrew appears to have died on a pilgrimage, and his widow 
Idonea sold his soke in London, possibly at Bucklersbury, to 
Hasculf de Tania about 1183. 73 

With the sokes thus enumerated, all the lands which became 
ripe for development by the abandonment of the King's resi- 
dence have been accounted for, except some of those in the 
parish of St. Olave, Old Jewry, and its chapelry of St. Stephen, 
Coleman Street. The King kept the Jewry in his own hands, 
and the lands of the chapelry of St. Stephen were probably 
marsh owing to the overflow of the Walbrook. 

71 Round, Commune of London, 253. 

7 * Rot. Magn. Pipae, 31 Hen. I (Rec. Com.), 146. 

" Pipe Roll Soc., xxxiv, 221. 


Southward of Cheapside, on this side of the Walbrook, was 
the soke of St. Saviour's, Bermondsey, in the parish of St. 
Nicholas Cold Abbey. This soke represents perhaps the twelve 
burgesses in London that according to the Domesday Survey 
belonged to Bermondsey manor, which in the twelfth century 
passed to St. Saviour's Priory. 74 Chertsey Abbey had a soke 
near the church of St. Nicholas Olave, and not far off was the 
manor of the Montalts, afterwards of the Bishops of Hereford, 
in the parish of St. Mary Mounthaw. Possibly these were 
subinfeudations by the Archbishop of Canterbury and Bishop 
of Worcester from their sokes. In or near to Queenhithe 
Hasculf de Tania had a soke in addition to that already men- 
tioned, much of the land of which was held by Eichard de 
Umfraville. Richard granted his holding to Geoffrey Blund, 
whose wife Ida was Richard's daughter or sister. 75 Gilbert de 
Toeni held another small soke here. 76 

The positions of the two important fiefs of Peverel of 
London and Peverel of Nottingham are not known, but the 
fact that the church of St. Martin, Vintry, with lands adjoining, 
belonged to Ranulf Peverel of London, 77 and the soke of 
Peverel of Nottingham passed to Richard Fitz Reiner, some 
of whose property was situated in Vintry and Queenhithe 
Wards, 78 suggests that the two Peverel sokes were there. The 
Honour of Peverel of London must, from its distinctive title, 

74 Norman Moore, Hist, of St. Barts., i, 405 ; Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. 
Com.), p. 453 ; Hundred Bolls (Rec. Com.), ii, 405 ; V.C.H. Surrey, i, 296b ; 
iv, 19. Southwark held part of the Bishop of Worcester's soke. Harl. 
MS 43, 1, 35. 

75 Pipe Roll Soc., xxxiv, 221 ; Cat. of And. Deeds, A. 6128. 
78 Engl. Hist. Rev., xvii, 484 

77 Hist, and Cart. Mon. de Olouc. (Rolls Ser.), i, 94, 224, 390-2 ; ii, 127 ; 
iii, 2, 11, 14, 32. 

78 Norman Moore, Hist, of St. Barts Hasp., i, 88. Henry Fitz Reiner, 
who was one of the heirs of Richard Fitz Reiner his brother, held land in 
Vintry and Queenhithe Wards. 


have had its caput in London. It was held by Ranulf Peverel, 
one of the Conqueror's followers, whom he rewarded with a 
great fief in Essex and the eastern counties. Ranulf died about 
1090 and was succeeded by his son William, who gave the 
priory of Hatfield Peverel, founded by his mother Ingelrica, to 
St. Alban's Abbey. He died in the reign of Henry I, probably 
without issue, when his lands escheated to the Crown. It was 
Ranulf who, with the consent of his son William, gave the 
church of St. Martin Vintry to the Abbey of Gloucester which 
held it for many years. 

The Honour of Peverel of Nottingham, 79 best remembered 
in connexion with Scott's Peveril of the Peak, was held by 
William Peverel, baron of the Cotentin and a famous general 
much trusted by the Conqueror and his eldest son. By his 
wife Adelina, who survived him and died in 1119, he had a 
son William and a daughter Adeliza, the wife of Richard de 
Redvers, Earl of Devon. William, the son, forfeited his lands 
for his complicity in the murder of Ranulf, Earl of Chester, in 
1155. The Honour remained in the hands of the Crown until 
Richard the First gave it to his brother John, Count of Mortain, 
on his marriage with Isabella of Gloucester in 1189. John in 
the same year granted the soke in London pertaining to the 
Honour to Richard Fitz Reiner, 80 a prominent citizen with 
whom, as has already been stated, he was intimately asso- 
ciated politically and financially. John, we know, was in debt 
to the Fitz Reiner family, 81 and it was no doubt in part 
payment of his debts that he granted to Richard Fitz Reiner 
the soke of Peverel. 

7> The third Honour of Peverel, that of Dover, was held by William 
Peverel, who spent most of his time in Normandy. He had three sons, 
William, Hamon and Payn. 

80 Harl. Charters, 43, C. 32 ; Matth. Paris, Chron. Majora (Bolls Ser.), 
ii, 347-8. " Maitland, Bracton'a Note-Book, No. 994. 


On the east side of the Walbrook developments were pro- 
ceeding in a similar manner during the Conquest period. The 
manor of Walbrook occupying the parishes of St. Stephen, 
Walbrook, and St. Mary, Newchurch or Woolchurch, is traced 
to Hubert de Eyes, the companion of the Conqueror who came 
from Preaux near Bayeux. At his death before 1086 it passed 
to his son, Adam Fitz Hubert, who held also several manors 
in Kent of the Bishop of Bayeux, which owed suit at the court 
of Walbrook. 82 Adam was succeeded in 1098 by his brother 
Eudo Dapifer, a favourite minister of the Conqueror, and his 
two sons. Eudo held it until his death in 1120, when it re- 
verted to the Crown. It was granted about the middle of the 
twelfth century to Henry Fitz Gerold, the King's chamberlain, 
whose ancestor had come over in the Conqueror's household. 83 
Walbrook passed by the marriage of Margaret, daughter of 
Warine Fitz Gerold, to Baldwin de Kedvers, Earl of Devon. 
By the marriage of her granddaughter Isabella to William de 
Fortibus, eighth Earl of Albemarle, the court of Walbrook and 
the Kentish fees of Adam Fitz Hubert were attached to the 
Honour of Albemarle, and the court became known as the 
court of the Honour of Albemarle. 84 Isabella died without 
issue, and the soke passed in 1310 to Robert Lisle of Rouge- 
mont, whose grandfather Robert had married Alice, daughter 
of Henry Fitz Gerold. The manor had extensive rights in the 
Stocks Market, and its stone house stood next the church of 
St. Mary, Woolchurch. This house was granted in 1119 by 
Eudo Dapifer to the abbey of St. John of Colchester, 85 and the 

" Cf. Col. Inq. (P.R.O.), Edw. I, vol. iii, p. 453 ; vol. iv, p. 274 ; Edw. 
II, vol. v, p. 3 ; vol. vii, p. 313. 

83 Bed Bk. of the Excheq. (Rolls Ser.), i, 354-5. 

84 See Cal. Inq. (P.R.O.), loc. cit. 

" Cartul. of St. John's of Colchester (Roxburgh Club), i, 3. 


courts were afterwards held at a house in Walbrook belonging 
to the Hospital of St. Thomas of Aeon. 86 

If the Bishop of London held the land north of the central 
settlement at the bridgehead he must have disposed of a part 
of it before the Conquest, and was left with the important 
soke of Cornhill which included a considerable length of the 
market-place. Here the courts for all the Bishop's sokes 
.in London were held, and malefactors condemned at them 
were executed at the Bishop's gallows at Stepney or Finsbury. 87 
Shortly after the Conquest the eastern portion of this soke 
seems to have been subinfeudated and formed into a new soke, 
which later took the name of Leadenhall. Mr. Round has 
worked out the early history of the Cornhill family which held 
this fee. 88 He traces it back to Edward de Cornhill, a member 
of the Cnihtengild 89 living in 1125. His daughter Agnes 
married Gervase, son of Roger, who took the name of Cornhill. 
Their son Henry, who married Alice de Courci, had an only 
daughter Joan, who married Hugh de Neville, forester of 
England, by whom and his descendants the manor or soke of 
Cornhill was afterwards held. 

Weremansacre was another of the great sokes which became 
split up by subinfeudation during the Conquest period. As 
we have already seen, it had become divided into two parts. 
The abbey of St. Peter of Ghent which held the western por- 
tion received confirmation of its rights here from time to time 
down to the thirteenth century, although it had parted with 
most of its lands. Shortly after the Conquest we find the part 
of St. Peter's soke which lay between Tower Street and the 

88 Rot. Orig. Abbrev. (Eec. Com.), ii, 298. 
87 Plac. de Quo Warr. (Eec. Com.), p. 456. 
M Geoffrey de Handeville, p. 310. 

89 As to the Cnihtengild, see Chapter VII. 


river, had become the soke of the Archbishop of Canterbury, 90 
who about the end of the eleventh century obtained the 
advowson of the church of St. Dunstan in the East. 91 Robert 
de Turri, the Mantels 92 and Roger Blund 93 also held small 
fees near Mincing Lane. 

The soke forming the eastern part of Weremansacre has 
already been traced down to the Conquest period. 94 The 
northern part of the soke adjoining Fenchurch Street was 
known as Blanchappleton, and to the court held here the 
lords of some seven manors belonging to the fee of the Bohuns, 
Earls of Hereford, who inherited them from the Mandevilles, 
owed suit, namely : North Mymmes, 95 Bushey 96 and Hinx- 
worth 97 in Hertfordshire, South Mymmes 98 and Enfield" in 
Middlesex, Clapham 1 and Carshalton 2 in Surrey. It may per- 
haps be assumed that as the lands owing suit at Blanchapple- 
ton at one time belonged to the Mandevilles, Blanchappleton 
itself belonged to them. As in the case of the court of the 
Honour of Boulogne at St. Martin's le Grand and that of the 
Honour of Albemarle at Walbrook, although the soke of 
Blanchappleton had been granted to Robert de Valognes 
before 1177, 3 courts of the Honours of Hereford and Essex 
were held there for some four centuries. The Valognes estates 
were divided among co-heirs on the death of Christina, widow 
of William, sixth Earl of Essex, and wife of Raymond de 

90 Guildhall MS. 122, ff. 174, 863. 

91 Cott. MSS. Faustina B., vi, fol. 100. 

92 Cartul. of St. John's of Colchester, ii, 590. William Martel also had a 
soke which was in 1205 held by William de Wrotham, Archdeacon of 
Taunton. Rot. Litt. Glaus. (Rec. Com.), i, 18. t3 Ibid., 299. 

94 See pp. 132-7. 95 Col. Inq. P.M., Edw. I, vol. ii, p. 359. 

9 Ibid., Edw. I, vol. iv, p. 254. 97 Ibid., Edw. Ill, vol. viii, p. 416. 

98 Ibid., Edw. I, vol. iii, p. 180. " Ibid., Edw. I, vol. ii, p. 442. 

1 Ibid., Edw. I, vol. iii, p. 60. 2 Ibid., Edw. Ill, vol. viii, p. 428. 

3 Cat. of And. Deeds, iv, No. A 7295. 


Burgh, granddaughter of Robert de Valognes. We next find 
Blanchappleton in the possession of John de Vaux, who died 
seised of it in 1287, when it again passed to co-heirs. 4 The 
southern portion of this part of Weremansacre was probably 
held by the abbey of Barking, which had a soke in London 
in 1275. 5 As early as the time of Edward the Confessor the 
abbey had twenty-eight houses and a moiety of a church in 
London which rendered yearly 6s. 8d. 6 This church was 
apparently that of All Hallowes, Barking, which in 1291 still 
paid a pension of 6s. 8d. to the abbey. 7 

The early history of the soke of Aldgate, whose area 
approximately corresponded to the ward, 8 has already been 
referred to. At the Conquest, however, the gate and twelve 
houses in London belonging to the manor of Waltham, which 
no doubt represented the soke, were granted to Walcher, 
Bishop of Durham, 9 and the monastery of Durham had 
property there in the early years of the twelfth century. 10 
Henry I gave the manor of Waltham to his Queen Maud, who 
exchanged certain mills there with the Dean and canons of 
Waltham for the site of the priory of Holy Trinity, Aldgate, 
which she founded in 1108. 11 As owner of Waltham manor, 
the Queen acquired the gate and soke of Aldgate which was 
attached to it, 12 and obtained certain lands in the soke which 
had belonged to Ramsey Abbey. With all of these she en- 

Cal. of Inq. P.M., Edw. I, vol. ii, p. 404. 
Hundred Rolls (Rec. Com.), 405. 
Domesday Bk. See V.C.H. Essex, i, 448. 
Pope Nich., Tax. (Rec. Com.), p. 19b. 

For bounds see Transcript of Chart, of Holy Trinity, Guildhall MS. 
122, f. 13. 

Domesday Bk., Translation in Y.C.H. Essex, i, 446. 

10 Proc. Soc. Antiq., 1921, p. 145. 

" V.C.H. Essex, ii, 166 ; V.C.H. London, i, 465. 

11 Dugdale, Mon, Angl., vi, 153, 155. 


dowed the priory of Holy Trinity. 13 The soke was afterwards 
freed from all claims of the Bishop of Durham, the abbot of 
Eamsey and the dean and canons of Waltham. 14 

Within the soke of Aldgate there seems to have been a hold- 
ing called Colemanhaw from which All Hallows, Colemanchurch, 
and St. Katherine, Colemanchurch, may have taken their names. 
We learn by a charter of Burhred (c. 837), King of the Mer- 
cians, of which we have only a corrupt copy, that he gave to 
Alhun, Bishop of Worcester, land called Ceolmundingehaga 
situate near the west gate of London. 15 It seems probable 
that the copyist has made a mistake by writing west gate for 
east gate, for there is no place of this name so far as we know 
near Newgate, and Colemanhaw was close to Aldgate as we 
learn from a series of conveyances from Holy Trinity Priory 
to Sir John Sandale, a minister of Edward I and Edward II. 16 
Although there were liberties attached to this land it was not 
a soke. 

The Cnihtengild which held Portsoken was in existence in 
Edgar's reign. Edward the Confessor ordered that their soke 
within the city and without should be held by the gildsmen 
who should retain the good laws they had in the time of King 
Edgar, and in that of his father and King Cnut. 17 From this 
charter it would appear that the lands of the gild lay both 
within the city walls and without, for the idea that the city 
extended to the bars was not recognised until some time after 
the Conquest. Confirmations in similar terms were made by 

13 Ibid. Grant of the Gate of Algate with the soke belonging to the 

14 Dugdale, Mon. Angl., vi, 154 ; Ramsey Chart. (Rolls Ser.), i, 133 ; 
Anct. Deeds (P.R.O.), A 6690. " Thorpe, Diplom., 118. 

16 Guildhall MSS., 122, fol. 55 ; Anct. Deeds (P.R.O.), A 1495, 1994, 
2008. Sir John Sandale had a house with a chapel here. Reg. Pal. Dunelm, 
ii. 747, 749. 17 Trans. London and Midd. Arch. 8oc., vol. v, 481. See p. 136. 


William II and Henry I. 18 In 1125 some fifteen burgesses 
representing the Cnihtengild attended at the chapter house of 
the monastery of Holy Trinity and gave to the prior and con- 
vent their land and soke adjoining the wall outside Aldgate 
and extending to the Thames. 19 Thereupon they offered the 
charter of St. Edward and the other charters upon the high 
altar and gave the prior seisin by the church of St. Botolph 
which was the head of the soke. They then sent Ordgar le 
Prude, one of their number, to King Henry asking him to 
confirm the gift, 20 which the King did. 21 The soke was 
frequently confirmed to the monastery and was held by it 
until the Dissolution. 22 

Besides the larger sokes in London there were from an early 
date the town houses of ecclesiastics and others, in which 
separate jurisdictions were claimed under the terms of charters 
granting the owners soc and sac throughout their lands. 
Such were the sokes of the abbot of Waltham Holy Cross at 
St. Mary at Hill near the quay, called " Holyroodwharf," 
which was acquired in the latter part of the twelfth century 
and held until the Dissolution. 23 Another was a house and 
quay at the head of London Bridge called St. Botolph's Gate, 
which was granted to Westminster by Almund when he became 
a monk there, and was confirmed by William the Conqueror. 24 
The house at Londonstone on the site of Salters Hall, adjoining 
St. Swithin's Church, which was held by Henry Fitz Ailwin, 
the first mayor, was also probably one of the lesser manors or 
sokes of London. 

18 Ibid., 479, 488. 

" For bounds see Sharpe, Col. of Letter-Bk. C., p. 225. 

10 Trans. London and Midd. Arch. Soc., v, 477-8. " Ibid., 479. 

11 Dugdale, Man. Angl., vi, 153 et seq. 
13 Archaeologia, xxxvi, p. 400. 

** Stow, Surv. of London (ed. Kingsford), i, 43. 


With the transfer of the royal residence to Westminster 
there was an extension of London westward shortly after the 
Conquest, and the lands of Westminster Abbey formed a 
great soke covering the ancient parish of St. Margaret. As 
early as the Domesday Survey (1086) William the Chamber- 
lain held a soke outside Newgate which was at one time called 
Chamberlainsgate. 25 The soke of Fleet was probably the same 
as the manor of Bridewell. 26 In the twelfth century the steady 
development of this western district began. London was 
becoming too crowded for new ecclesiastical or lay establish- 
ments and so they overflowed into the suburb. The first 
house of the Templars at Holborn, founded in 1118, probably 
necessitated a road from the Thames along New Lane, now 
Chancery Lane, for the carriage of stone and other material 
for building the preceptory. This New Lane gave an oppor- 
tunity for erecting at a little later date houses with their sokes 
on either side of it. The Templars' new house, built in 1184, 
established a soke on the south side of Fleet Street, partly 
within and partly without what was later the city liberty. 
Another important foundation with its soke was that of the 
Priory of St. Bartholomew at West Smithfield, established in 
1123. From the account of the foundation of this priory it 
would seem that its site was then a forsaken spot, marshy and 
full of pools of water, and the place of execution of criminals. 
The King's foundation charter to the priory included soc and 
sac and all liberties which went to make a soke, and here the 
prior claimed his soke and had his soke-reeve. 27 

At a later date the Bishop of Salisbury claimed soc and sac 

26 Stow, Surv. of London (ed. Kingsford), ii, 361. 
Col. Inq. P.M., Edw. I, ii, No. 356. 

" Dugdale, Mon. Angl, vi, 292-7; Hundred Soils (Rec. Com.), 405; 
Norman Sh-xw Hist, of fit. Barts, i, 430. 


at his London house in Fleet Street, now Salisbury Square, 
under a general charter of King John of 1200. 28 The land 
upon which the house was built was acquired by him in 1189 
from the Hospitallers. 29 Later still, and outside the juris- 
diction of the city, was the manor or soke of the Savoy which 
originally stretched south of the Strand to the Thames and 
from the west side of the Temple to Ivy Bridge, 30 which was 
destroyed in building an extension of the Hotel CeciL Early 
in the thirteenth century the Savoy was in the hands of 
Brian de Insula, a justice of assize in the reign of Henry III. 
Here apparently he was building a house in 1223 when he 
received a gift of timber from Windsor Forest for his house in 
London. 31 Brian evidently belonged to the family of Lisles 
of the Isle of Wight, for we find his heirs holding land in 
Hampshire and the Island, of Baldwin de Insula, Earl of 
Devon. 32 He married Grace, daughter of Thomas, son of 
William de Saleby of Saleby in Lincolnshire, 33 and died 
apparently without issue in 1234. His heirs were Thomas, 
son of William Briton of Sydeling in Wiltshire and Alice his 
wife, William de Glamorgan of the Isle of Wight and Ralph, 
son of Brian de Stopham of Stopham in Sussex, a minor. 34 These 
heirs were possibly representatives of sisters. They received 
seisin of only part of his lands, as he died in debt to the Crown. 
In 1235 Briton and his wife and Glamorgan conveyed their two 

" Charter Roll John (Rec. Com.), 67 ; Plot, de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 

* Sarum Charters and Doc. (Rolls Ser.), pp. 46, 71. 

30 Stow, Suro. (ed. Kingsford), ii, 91, 372. 

" Close Rolls, Hen. Ill (Rec. Com.), 557. 

V.C.H. Bants, v, 25 ; Col. Inq. P.M., Hen. m, No. 86, p. 175. 

33 Close Rott (Rec. Com.), 17b. Fosse gives his wife's name as Maud, 
but this is an error. (Col. of Charter Rolls, i, 35 ; Bracton's Note-BL, No. 
1205, 1496 ; Excerpta E. Rot. Fin., ii, 297.) She died in 1259. 

14 Excerpta E. Rot. Fin. (Rec. Com.), 265. 


parts of a messuage, opposite the church of Holy Innocents in 
the suburb of London, to Kalph Neville, Bishop of Chichester, 
then chancellor. 35 The Stopham share being held by a minor 
was probably not conveyed until later. The chancellor seems 
to have surrendered the holding to the King, and he, in 1246, 
granted it to the Queen's uncle Peter of Savoy, 36 from whom 
it became known as the manor of the Savoy. It was after- 
wards attached to the Duchy of Lancaster. 

Further west and in the north-west at Clerkenwell and 
elsewhere more sokes were created at a later date. To the 
north outside the walls the soke of Cripplegate has been 
already alluded to. The marsh land or moor at the Walbrook, 
partly in the soke of Bishopsgate and partly in Cripplegate 
soke, took the name of Finsbury or Vinesbury. It was prob- 
ably reclaimed at the end of the eleventh century, as we have 
reference to the prebend of St. Paul's of this name early in the 
next century. 37 

Other sokes arose in and around London during the thir- 
teenth century until the legislation of the Edwards brought 
the practice of creating them to an end. 

35 Feet of Fines, London and Midd., Hen. Ill, No. 117. 

38 Col. Charter Roll, i, 292 ; Charters of Duchy of Lane., Deputy Keeper's 
Rep., xxxi, p. 8. 

37 Newcourt, Repertorium, i, 159. Fin or Phin the Dane was a Domesday 
tenant in Essex who may have given his name to this bury. 



THE ecclesiastical development of London probably followed 
the course it took elsewhere. Originally no doubt the cathedral 
church of St. Paul served the whole of the city ; the Whit- 
suntide processions to it from all the city churches, as to their 
mother church, 1 being perhaps an indication of this condition. 
With the development of sokes under Alfred it is probable 
that an ecclesiastical expansion also began. The lords of 
sokes would desire to have churches or minsters (monasteria), 
then usually founded on important thoroughfares, to serve 
their liberties. Each of these churches, according to the cus- 
tom of the time, would be served by a small community of 
two or more priests. In this way we may perhaps have in the 
tenth century or later the church of St. Michael, Queenhithe, 
on Thames Street, serving the soke of Queenhithe ; the church 
of St. Mary Magdalene, Milk Street, on the old northern boun- 
dary of Westcheap, described as a minster, 2 serving the lands 
of the King's residence ; the church of St. Martin Vintry, 
serving the soke possibly to be identified with Peverel of 
London ; the church of St. Peter Cornhill, serving the bishop's 
soke of Cornhill ; the church of Holy Cross, later Holy Trinity, 
serving the soke of Aldgate ; the church of St. Dunstan in 
the East serving the soke of St. Peter of Ghent ; and the church 

1 Biley, Memorial* of London, pp. 466, 651. 
1 Hist. MSS. Com. Sep., is, p. 18. 



of All Hallows, Barking, serving the eastern part of the soke 
of Weremansacre. 

Besides the churches of the sokes there were other early 
churches outside the areas of the sokes within the city, also 
of the nature of minsters. Amongst them were the churches 
of St. Mary Aldermary 3 and St. John the Baptist, Walbrook, 4 
which are definitely described as monasteria. The former of 
these, St. Mary Aldermary (Elderemaricherche), or the older 
church of St. Mary, stood on Watling Street and possibly served 
the district which later formed a part of the Deanery of the 
Arches. This church was superseded in importance by the 
church of St. Mary le Bow, which was said to be built in the 
time of William I and to be so called from being the first 
church in London to be erected upon arches or a crypt. 5 St. 
Mary le Bow was founded in Cheapside, which had become a 
more important thoroughfare than Watling Street, and so it 
took the place of the older church of St. Mary, which became 
known as " Eldermaricherche " in consequence. The fact 
that Bow Church supported one of the three principal schools 
in London in the twelfth century tends to show that it was 
still at that time a minster with a small community of priests. 
The church of St. John the Baptist, Walbrook, formerly 
fronting on Watling Street, also described as a minster, has a 
further claim to antiquity by the discovery in its churchyard 
of a cross-head which is attributed to the latter part of the 
tenth or early part of the eleventh century. 6 At St. Bennet 
Fink 7 a grave slab of the same period has been found, which 
again indicates an early date for the establishment of the 

s Dug. Mon. Angl., i, 109. Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix, 13. 

5 Stow, Surv. of London (ed. Kingsford), i, 253. 

8 V.C.H. Lond., i, 169. 

7 Ibid., 170. So called from its thirteenth-century rcbuilder. 


church. It is perhaps from the middle or latter part of the 
tenth century that the foundation of these minsters or mother 
churches can be assigned ; and although St. Peter's Cornhill 
has a fabulous origin, this date or one perhaps a little later will 
apply to most of the others. St. John the Baptist, Walbrook, 
and St. Bennet Fink, from the fragments found in their 
churchyards, may well be of this period ; Holy Cross, Aldgate, 
from its dedication, was probably founded in the eleventh 
century when Aldgate was held with the manor of Waltiiam 
Holy Cross ; St. Martin's Vintry is mentioned in the same 
century, and although the earliest reference to the other 
churches is in the twelfth century they were probably founded 
before that time. Some of these minsters were refounded and 
endowed as regular monasteries, as for instance Holy Cross, 
which became the priory of Holy Trinity, founded by Queen 
Maud, the wife of Henry I ; the priories of St. Martin le 
Grand and St. Helen, Bishopsgate, were possibly other 
examples. Such a development accounts for many of the 
traditions of the early existence of monasteries before the date 
of their reputed foundation, and among them perhaps the 
stories of Westminster and St. Martin's. The other minster 
churches became reckoned among the ordinary parish churches, 
but it is evident that Fitz Stephen, in his account of London 
of about 1185, included some of these churches in his total of 
thirteen greater conventual churches (tresdecim majores ecdesice 
conventuum) in London and the suburb, otherwise this number 
cannot be accounted for. 8 Without the walls each soke had 

Lives of Thorn. Beket (Bolls Ser.), iii, 3. Strictly speaking there were 
only six full conventual churches in Fitz Stephen's time in London and the 
suburb, namely St. Paul's, St. Martin's, Holy Trinity, St. Bartholomew's, 
the Temple and Southwark, but he may have included by the word suburb 
the immediate neighbourhood of London. 


its church, placed immediately outside the gate. St. Sepulchre 
at Newgate, perhaps for the Chamberlain's soke ; St. Botolph 
at Aldersgate, and at a later date St. Giles at Cripplegate, for 
St. Martin le Grand's soke of Cripplegate ; St. Botolph at 
Bishopsgate for the Bishop of London's extra mural soke of 
Bishopsgate ; and St. Botolph at Aldgate for the Cnihten- 
gild's soke of Portsoken. 

With the subinfeudations of the Conquest period we have 
the manorial and more modern type of parish church built by 
the lord of the manor or soke adjoining to his house, a con- 
dition which naturally applied originally to lay holdings only. 
It is difficult to trace this type of development in the parishes 
of London, as the evidence of a manorial system which existed 
for so short a time, has been largely lost. Instances of these 
churches, however, will be found in St. Andrew by the Ward- 
robe adjoining the site of Castle Baynard, where the soke of 
the Castle and the parish of St. Andrew were coterminous ; 9 
in St. Mary Woolchurch, which was built by Hubert de Eyes 
shortly after the Conquest, next the house of his manor of 
Walbrook; 10 in St. Mary Mounthaw, built next the site of the 
manor house of the Montalts, 11 later of the Bishops of Here- 
ford, where the parish and manor are practically coterminous ; 
in the church of St. Mary Aldermanbury which adjoined the 
Alderman's bury or manor house ; in St. Michael Bassishaw 
which adjoined a house built here by the Basings, whose parish 
is coterminous with the ward of Bassishaw ; in St. Swithin 
which adjoined the house of the Fitz Ailwin family at London 
Stone, the advowson of which church belonged to them ; 12 in 

9 Mun. Gild. (Rolls. Ser.), vol. ii, pt. i, 160. 

10 Cart, of St. John's of Colchester, i, 3. 

11 Stow, Surv. of London, ii, p. 4. 

12 Liber de Antiq. Leyibus (Camden Soc.), p. Ixxiv. 


St. Margaret, Lothbury, that seems to have been the church 
of the manor or soke of Lothbury ; in St. Mildred Poultry, 
possibly the church of the manor of the Bocointes here ; in 
St. Mary Colechurch that of the manor of Bucklersbury ; in 
All Hallows Staining or, as it was sometimes called, All 
Hallows Blanchappleton, that of the manor of Blanchapple- 
ton ; in All Hallows the Less that of the manor of Coldharbour ; 
and in St. Mary at Hill that of the manor of the Abbot of 

There can be no doubt that pious and wealthy citizens who 
had no manors or sokes also built churches, particularly in the 
crowded central part of London, where the churches are most 
numerous and the parishes and churches the smallest. We 
know that there was a system that prevailed in London during 
the eleventh and twelfth centuries of building churches either 
that the founders themselves might be ordained to serve them, 
or that they might give them to a relative or friend to serve. 
This gave a special incentive to church building in London. 
Sometimes the gift was made in perpetuity and at others for 
life or lives. It usually happened that the incumbent entered 
religion at a monastery to which he gave the church on his 
admission ; it was in this way that most of the London 
churches fell into the hands of religious houses. Thus during 
the eleventh and twelfth centuries the church of St. Paul's 
seems to have obtained the churches of St. Botolph, Billings- 
gate, and St. Martin, Candlewick Street, from Ordgar the 
deacon ; 13 St. Edmund the King from Daniel the priest, with 
a provision that his son, Ismael, should hold it for life ; 14 St. 
Giles, Cripplegate, from Aelmund the priest, the friend of 
Rahere, who built it ; 15 St. Helen, Bishopsgate, from Ranulf 

" Hist, MSS. Com. Rep., ix, p. 63a. " Ibid., 64b. " Ibid., 62a. 


and Robert his son ; 16 and St. Michael le Querne from Nicholas, 
son of Algar. 17 Westminster Abbey acquired the churches of 
St. Anne and St. Agnes from Godric Kolbe (?) ; and St. 
Magnus the Martyr from Living and his son, when the 
grantors became monks. 18 St. Martin's le Grand received St. 
Botolph, Aldersgate, from Turstan the priest. 19 Holy Trinity, 
Aldgate, obtained St. Mildred Poultry from Sparkling, the 
priest, on becoming a canon there. Christ Church, Canter- 
bury, was given the churches of St. Dionis Backchurch by 
Godwin the clerk, called " Bak " ; 20 St. Dunstan in the East 
and St. Alphage, by Andrew the clerk ; 21 and St. Pancras, 
Soper Lane, by Lifric the priest, when the donors became 
monks. 22 These gifts, however, somewhat obscure the early 
history of the churches and the parishes they served, for the 
records of the monasteries to which they were granted, give 
the name of the priest, who was the donor of the church, 
but not that of the builder and owner of the land which 
formed the parish. 

Many of these livings were frequently held by clerical 
members of well-known London families and were often 
handed down from father to son, for the celibacy of the clergy 
was not as yet enforced. Ordgar the deacon, of a good London 
family, gave the churches of St. Martin Orgar and St. Botolph, 
Billingsgate, to St. Paul's on condition that he should hold 
them for life, and after his death his sons Walter and Hervey 
should have them for their lives, and then a son of Walter and 
a son of Christina, daughter of Ordgar, should hold them. 23 

16 Hist. MSS. Com. Hep., ix, p. 64b. " Ibid. 

18 Dep. Keeper Sep., xxix, p. 36. 

19 Doc. Abb. and Conv. of Westm. London B. Box 2 (1). 

20 Cott. MS. Faustina B., vi, fol. 100. Ibid. " Ibid. 
" Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix, p. 63. 


Another instance of a family living is that of St. Michael le 
Querne which was leased by St. Paul's to Nicholas, son of 
Algar, the parish priest, with a covenant that at his death it 
should go to a son of Ralph Fitz Herlwin, who had married 
^Ifgar's niece Mary. 24 In the same way Aelmund the priest 
and a brother of the church of St. Paul gave the church of St. 
Giles to the canons of St. Paul's to be received after the death 
of his only son Hugh. 25 In 1148 St. Paul's granted the church 
of St. Augustine, Watling Street, to Edward the priest for 
20s. a year, undertaking to build or rebuild the church in 
six years, and after that term for the remainder of Edward's 
life at a rent of a mark of silver. 26 Similar leases for lives were 
made by the canons of St. Paul's of the churches of St. 
Anthony, St. John upon Walbrook, St. Edmund and others. 27 
It is quite likely that the practice was adopted by other monas- 
teries besides St. Paul's. 28 

There seems to be evidence that with a few exceptions all 
the hundred and twenty closely packed churches of London 
were originally built before 1200 ; and indeed we may assert 
with some confidence that the majority of them were founded 
during the two centuries before that date. The dedications 
of the churches may perhaps throw light on this point. 
Although we have record of a few changes of dedication, such 
as St. Olave to St. Nicholas or St. Nicholas Olave, Holy Cross 
to Holy Trinity, and St. Agnes to St. Anne and St. Agnes, St. 
Werburg to St. John, and perhaps St. Edmund to St. Sepulchre, 
the practice was comparatively rare and the cases are probably 

" Round, Geoff, de Mandeville, 309 ; Hist. JfSS. Com. Rep., ix, p. 20a, 
64a. Ibid., 64. * Ibid., 63a. Ibid., 63, 64. 

M About 1150 Peter the priest gave St. Mary Bothaw to Canterbury 
upon condition he should remain vicar. Litt. Cantuar (Bolls Sen), iii, App. 


known. Besides the churches of apostolic dedication it may 
be pointed out that the cults of St. Anthony of Vienna, St. 
George, St. Margaret and St. Nicholas did not reach this 
country until the eleventh century ; it was the translation of 
St. Dunstan in 1012, St. Edmund the King in 1020, St. Mildred 
in 1033 and St. Owen in 1016, which brought these saints into 
notoriety, and St. Alphege did not die until 1012 and St. Olave 
until 1030. It is unlikely, therefore, that the numerous churches 
in London of these dedications would have been built before 
the eleventh century. 

{Owing to the practice of dedicating so many churches to 
the same saint it was found necessary to make some distinc- 
tion amongst them by means of a personal or topographical 
suffix. The personal names usually represent the owners, 
donors or benefactors, such as St. Bennet Fink, after Robert 
Fink who rebuilt the church ; St. Bennet Sherehog, from a 
family of that name who were probably benefactors ; St. 
Dionis Backchurch, after Godwin the clerk called " Bak," who 
gave it to Canterbury ; St. John Zachery, from Zachery a 
priest, to whom it was given i St. Margaret Moses, in like 
manner from Moses the priest ; St. Margaret Paten, probably 
from its benefactors Ranulf and Robert Patin ; St. Martin 
Orgar, from Ordgar the deacon, who gave it to St. Paul's ; 
St. Martin Outwich, from a benefactor named Martin Otes- 
wich ; St. Mary Mounthaw, from the patronage being with 
the Montalts ; St. Mary Somerset, supposed to be from the 
family of Somery ; St. Mary Woolnoth from Wulfnoth de 
Walebrok, and many others, the origin of the suffixes of which 
is more uncertain. fCne topographical suffixes merely indicate 
the positions of the churches, as St. Michael, Queenhithe, or 
St. Michael, Wood Street.^ 


The churches outside the gates, established probably for 
the use of travellers, have already been noted. To those 
previously mentioned may be added that of St. Magnus out- 
side the city wall at the entrance from old London Bridge. 
Not only were there churches outside each of the gates of the 
city, but we find them at two of the entrances to the precincts 
of St. Paul's, namely St. Augustine, Watling Street, or St. 
Augustine at Paul's Gate or at St. Augustine's Gate at Wat- 
ling Street, and St. Michael le Querne or St. Michael at Paul's 
Gate or at North Gate. Again, St. Alban's, Wood Street, 
seems to have been at the entrance to the King's residence in 
London. Besides the churches outside the gates, there 
appear to have been corresponding churches inaide, as St. 
Anne at Aldersgate, St. Ethelburga at Bishopsgate, Holy 
Trinity at Aldgate and St. Margaret, Fish Street, at the 

It is probable that the parish boundaries were not originally 
fixed with the precision of modern times. Although there 
were orchards and gardens sufficient to grow vegetables and 
fruit, herbs and flowers, attached to the houses, and in the 
outer parts of London possibly pasture and even arable land, 
yet praedial tithes were so slight as to be practically negligible. 
The services of the churches were therefore maintained from 
endowments, fees, oblations and personal tithes. In an action 
as to the tithes of St. Dunstan in the West in 1343 it was 
argued that oblations were as certain as tithes, and in cities 
and boroughs were paid by reason of residence ; and there 
were no other tithes in the parish of St. Dunstan. 29 This 
argument applied particularly to London, where the privy or 
personal tithes took the form of a customary rate on the rent 

fear Bk., 16 Edw. HI (Rolls Ser.), pt. ii, p. 282. 


of each house. Such a levy was made at the rate of a farthing 
on every ten shillings' rent, for every Sunday and apostle's 
feast day. In 1228 Koger Niger, Bishop of London, con- 
firmed this custom and made it obligatory. 30 Up to this date 
the boundaries of the parishes had probably been more or 
less fluid. When a church was built it was endowed with the 
tithe from lands allotted by the builder, in the same way as 
the churches elsewhere in the country were endowed. This 
area became the parish, but in London and other large towns 
small parcels of land frequently passed from an owner in one 
parish to an adjoining owner in another. Such parcels before 
Bishop Roger's order would probably be annexed to the parish 
to which they were attached, and hence perhaps the irregularity 
of the London parish boundaries. Some of the parishes, par- 
ticularly those in the outer parts of London, seem to have 
been formed for a particular street and have their boundary 
running at the ends of the yards or gardens of the houses on 
either side of the street. Instances of this are St. Michael's 
Bassishaw that served a parish formed for Basinghall Street 
(see map, p. 177) ; St. Alban's Wood Street, St. Michael's 
Wood Street, and St. Peter's Cheap, that appear to be 
parishes formed for Wood Street, St. Alban's being possibly 
at one time the sole church for the street ; St. Botolph's, 
Aldersgate Street, which served a parish formed in the same 
way for Aldersgate Street ; and All Hallows, Bread Street, 
and St. Mildred's, Bread Street, were likewise parishes 
formed to serve Bread Street. 

The church was the source of all education, and it must be 
remembered that few people save the clergy could read or 
write. All clerks, whether they kept the accounts and per- 

30 Will. Easterby, Law of Tithes in England, p. 103. 


formed the clerical duties for a king or a merchant, were 
ordained in minor orders. Andrew Bocointe, the justiciar of 
London in 1137 and a merchant, had a favourite clerk, Bald- 
win, afterwards the priest of St. Stephen's Church, Walbrook, 
who besides the ordinary clerical services which he gave to 
Bocointe, appears to have acted as tutor to the justiciar's son 
John. 31 We can well see how the claims of such a trusted 
family servant influenced a patron in making the presenta- 
tion to a church. Again, we know that Thomas Becket 
acted as clerk to his wealthy kinsman, Osbert Huitdeniers, 
who succeeded Bocointe as justiciar. 32 

London in the twelfth century was an important centre of 
education. Fitz Stephen states that the three principal 
schools were at St. Paul's, Holy Trinity and St. Martin's, but 
other schools were allowed by permission. 33 A mandate of 
about 1141 was issued by the Bishop of Winchester during a 
vacancy of the See of London to the chapter of St. Paul's and 
William the archdeacon to pronounce sentence of anathema 
against those who presumed to teach (kgere) in the city of 
London without the licence of Henry, master of the schools, 
except those who kept the schools of St. Mary le Bow and St. 
Martin le Grand. 34 This mandate gives the names of the three 
great schools at that time in London. Probably Fitz Stephen 
made a slip in giving Holy Trinity in the place of St. Mary le 
Bow as one of the three privileged schools, for we have refer- 
ence elsewhere to the latter school. The principal school was 
that of St. Paul's, where not only was the youth of London 

31 Cart, of St. John's of Colchester (Roxburgh Club), ii, 294. 
38 Round, Commune of London, 113-14. 
Mun. Gild. Land. (Rolls Ser.), ii, pt. i, p. 5. 

34 Hist. M8S. Com. Rep., be, p. 45b. Cf. Round, Commune of London, 
p. 117. 


instructed in elementary education, but there was a university 
curriculum including faculties in law, grammar, rhetoric, logic 
and divinity. Here Thomas Becket, the celebrated archbishop, 
about 1127, before going on to the university of Paris, and 
other famous Londoners, received their education. Fitz 
Stephen describes how about this time the scholars of St. 
Paul's and the two other schools met on saints' days ; the 
elder boys contending in logic and rhetoric, and the younger 
in grammar, epigrams, rhymes and metres. Shrove Tuesday 
was celebrated by a cockfight in the morning, followed by a 
great game of ball, perhaps football, at Smithfield. The 
chancellor of St. Paul's was the master of the schools (magister 
scolarum) and had charge of them. Bachelors' degrees were 
apparently granted, 35 and from St. Paul's School came moat 
of the clergy of the diocese, many of the lawyers and judges, 
and the sheriffs, mayors, barons and other officials and mer- 
chants of London. 

The school of law seems to have been particularly strong at 
St. Paul's. Two chancellors of the cathedral in the early part 
of the thirteenth century, Henry de Cornhill and John 
Mansell, 36 were eminent judges, and some dozen equally 
famous lawyers were canons during the twelfth and thirteenth 
centuries and possibly lectured on law in the schools. 37 In the 
previous century London turned out a very large number of 
lawyers who by their judgments were building up the law of 
the land. Such men as the two Cornhille, merchants, poli- 

35 Leach, Schools of Medieval England, 186. 

39 Newcourt, Eepertorium, i, 108. Newcourt also gives William de 
Sanctae Mariae Ecclesia, a lawyer, among the chancellors, but it is doubtful 
if he held the office. 

37 Dugdale, Origines Juridiciales, 21 ; Foss, Lives of the Judges, under 


ticians and judges ; Ralph de Ardern, son-in-law of Glanville ; 
Henry Fitz Ailwin, the first mayor ; Henry de London ; Brian 
de Insula ; the Rengers, father and son, sheriffs and alder- 
men, and many others who gained fame by the administration 
of the law, probably had their early education at St. Paul's. 
Apparently to foster the law schools he had founded at Oxford, 
Henry III in 1234 forbad the teaching of law at the law 
schools in the city of London. 38 Although these schools were 
thus driven out of London, still more important and lasting 
institutions were established outside its gates. Law students, 
after attending the schools, had hitherto obtained their train- 
ing as clerks to judges or other legal magnates. In this way 
the judge, William de Insula, began his career in the service 
of Reginald de Cornhill ; 39 another judge, Martin Pateshull, 
rose as a clerk to Simon Pateshull, and the great Bracton as 
a clerk to Raleigh. 40 Others began their careers as clerks in 
the chancery, which until the end of the twelfth century 
travelled about with the King's household. The chancellor's 
household was later separated from that of the King, and 
eventually at the end of the thirteenth century became 
stationary at the " Domus Conversorum " or the Rolls House 
on the site of the Public Record Office. This was the first of 
the Inns of Chancery which were to bring back the fame of 
London as a centre for legal education. Clifford's Inn and 
Thaive's Inn were taken by the apprentices of the law, the 
barristers of to-day, in the middle of the fourteenth century. 
There the apprentices established themselves until they found 
better accommodation at the Temple a few years later, when 

38 Col. of Close, 1234-7, p. 26. 

39 Foes, Judges of Engl., ii, 373. 

40 Pollock and Maitland, Hist, of Engl. Law, i, 169, 205 


Clifford's Inn and Thaive's Inn became Inns of Chancery. In 
this manner the Inns of Court and Chancery, so great a feature 
of London life and so important a school for legal education, 
developed partly within and partly without the city boun- 



LIKE moat English institutions, the present ward system of 
London grew out of a pre-existing organization. There is 
ample evidence that the wards in towns and in the northern 
counties, like the hundreds in rural districts of the south, 
were originally devised for military purposes. 1 We know 
that the military organization of London enabled the city to 
become almost impregnable and that its military host proved 
itself the moat efficient force in the land on many occasions 
during the tenth and eleventh centuries. Probably ten of the 
intramural wards of London correspond in area to the ancient 
sokes of the city, namely the Wards of Queenhithe (the soke 
of Ethelredshithe), Castle Baynard, the ward of the Bishop, 
or St. Paul's Ward (the combined sokes of Castle Baynard, 
St. Paul's precincts and St. Bennet), Ludgate and Newgate 
or Farringdon (the King of Scotland's soke), Aldersgate (the 
soke of St. Martin le Grand), Cripplegate (the soke of the 
King's residence), Cornhill (the soke of the Bishop of London), 
Bishopsgate (another soke of the same bishop), Aldgate (the 
soke of Holy Trinity Priory), the Tower (the soke of Were- 
mansacre) and Walbrook (probably the soke of Walbrook). 
This list shows the sokes existing at about the time of the 
Conquest after Edward the Confessor had abandoned the royal 

1 Engl. Hist. Rev., xvii, 727-8 ; see pp. 211-13. 


residence in London for the Palace of Westminster and before 
the multiplication of smaller sokes by subinfeudation or 
otherwise. It is likely enough that each of the soke owners, 
the barons who held sokes, or their soke-reeves, had to supply 
a quota of men from his soke under the command of a " cniht " 
for the defence of the city. In the central part around the 
bridgehead inside the ring of eokes, which was the most 
populous district of London, the King's port-reeve would have 
to arrange for the supply of men ; and in order to carry out 
this duty effectively, the area in his jurisdiction would have 
to be divided into districts corresponding, at all events 
approximately, to the wards. 

The wards that do not represent sokes were formed from 
streets or centres of trade, and the lands on either side sub- 
servient to them. Thus there were formed the wards of Bread 
Street, Cordwainer Street, Vintry, Cheap, Coleman Street, 
Broad Street, Candlewick Street, Bridge, Billingsgate and 
Lime Street. The watchmen, we are told in some orders of 
the time of King John, were especially directed to go out 
peacefully to watch throughout the night and safely to guard 
the street (vicum) or chief thoroughfare of the ward. 2 Even 
in the case of the wards formed from sokes there was usually 
one important street which the watchman would patrol, such 
as in Farringdon Ward there was Newgate Street ; in Cripple- 
gate Ward, Wood Street ; in Bassishaw Ward, Basinghall 
Street (see map, p. 177 ) ; in Bishopsgate Ward, Biehopsgate 
Street ; in Aldgate Ward, Leadenhall Street ; and in Tower 
Ward, Tower Street. 3 It is probable that at one time the 

* Round, Commune of London, 255, quoting Add. MS. 14,252, fol. 106. 
8 In Winchester the aldermen were called after the streets, such as the 
alderman of Tanner Street, etc. V.C.H. Hants, v, 29, 44. 


ward took its topographical name from the place of meeting 
of the Wardmote, naturally the street which was the centre 
of the ward, in the same way as the rural hundreds took their 
names from the meeting places of the hundred court. 

From the first extant list of the wards of London which 
appears in a survey of the lands of St. Paul's, made in or about 
1130, we have reference to twenty wards. The list is probably 
complete, 4 but it is difficult to identify the modern topo- 
graphical names of the wards owing to the practice of the 
twelfth and thirteenth centuries of describing the wards by 
the names of their aldermen. The twenty wards referred to 
in this list may perhaps be identified as follows : On the west 
side of the Walbrook, Aldersgate (probably Warda Brichmari 
Monetarii), Bread Street (Warda Herberti), Castle Baynard 
(Warda Episcopi), Cheap (Warda Fori), Coleman Street 
(probably Warda Haconis), Cordwainer Street, Cripplegate or 
Wood Street (probably Warda Alwoldi), Farringdon or Lud- 
gate and Newgate, Queenhithe (Warda Hugonis filii Ulgari), 
and Vintry (Warda Osberti Dringewinne). On the east side of 
the Walbrook the ten wards seem to have been Aldgate 
(Alegate), Billingsgate, Bishopsgate (with Lime Street), 
Bridge, Broad Street, Candlewick Street, Cornhill (probably 
Warda Radulphi filii Livivce), Langbourne or Lombard Street, 
Tower and Walbrook (with Dowgate). 

Three additional intramural wards (Lime Street, Dowgate 
and Bassishaw) were formed probably before the end of the 
twelfth century, and a complete list of the twenty-four wards, 
comprising twenty-three intramural wards and Portsoken 

4 It is printed in Price, Account of the Gildhall, p. 16. The document is 
itself incomplete, but there is apparently nothing lost from the part 
relating to the wards. 


John Swain Son. 




occurs in 1228. 5 If we are to accept Miss Bateson's theory 
that the twenty-four, whose oath (dated 1205-6) she quotes, 
refer to the twenty-four aldermen, the wards must have been 
made up to this number before that date. 8 

As regards the development of the ward system without 
the walls, it has already been pointed out that the sokes 
within the walls seem originally to have had rights over the 
land immediately outside. It is doubtful, however, whether 
the jurisdiction of the city courts extended at first beyond 
the walls. The charter of Henry I of about 1132 provides 
only for the lands within the walls, the citizens, it declares, 
were not to plead outside the walls, and the rules given as to 
the lodging of strangers apply only to the district within- the 
walls. 7 Between this date and the charter of Henry II 
(c. 1155) the Portsoken was recognised as an adjunct to the 
city, to which certain privileges enjoyed by the city extended. 
It was not until Henry Ill's charter of 1268 that there 
is a reference in a royal charter to the city jurisdiction 
extending to the suburb. From this time the suburb is 
frequently referred to in charters, but the city within the 
walls continued to be considered distinct from it, and the 
city's privileges were only gradually extended to the suburb. 8 
By Henry's charter of 1268 the right of the citizens to dis- 
charge themselves from pleas of the Crown was carried to the 
suburb, but the citizens were still exonerated from pleading 
outside the walls and the acquittance of murder was confined: 

5 Beaven, op. cit., 366, citing Pipe Roll of 12 Hen. III. 

8 Engl. Hiat. Rev., xvii, 507-8. Round, Commune of London, 237. 

7 Appendix, No. I. 

8 Engl. Hiat. Rev., xvii, 507-8. See also the form of plea in an assize ; 
of novel disseisin (Mun. Gild. London (Rolls Ser.), i, 195 ; iii, 27) and thej 
constitution that the whoremonger taken a third time should be put out of j 
the gates, a rule only intended for the city. (Ibid., iii, 180.) 


to the city and Portsoken. 9 It is at about this time we have 
the earliest reference to the Liberty of London, meaning the 
district over which the city courts had jurisdiction including 
the city, suburb and Portsoken. 

At first possibly the suburb was an undefined area kept 
open for purposes of defence and cultivated by the citizens, 
the fertility of its fields are referred to by Fitz Stephen in 
he latter part of the twelfth century. Those who in the 

elfth century wished to find sites for the foundation of 
ew religious houses or for building themselves mansions 

ith grounds, had to seek for land outside the walls. So soon 
it became inhabited, the suburb had to be limited by 
ixjundaries, which was done by means of bars or barriers 
.-reeled at the entrance to the suburb on the main roads 
jonverging on the city. We find these bars existed as early as 
?he end of the twelfth century. 10 Except in the sense that 

me of the sokes were manors, the lands within the bars 

ere not manorialised, but immediately outside them were 
he manors of Westminster, Holborn, Finsbury, St. Pancras, 
'ortpool and East Smithfield, all of which and possibly some 
.ers extended up to the bounds of the suburb. 

In the thirteenth, and possibly in the twelfth century, the 

.ermen of the wards next the city wall, in the same way 
s the soke-owners, seem to have had jurisdiction over 

e lands outside the wall which adjoined their wards. Thus 

Birch, Hist. Charters of the City of London, 38-42. 
10 See reference to bars at Smithfield and outside Aldersgate in 1197 
feet of Fines Lond. and Midd., 8 Rich. I, No. 18), and to the bar of the Old 
iple in Holborn in 1203-4 and that of the New Temple in 1272 (Ibid., 
i. ELI, No. 509), to the bar at Cripplegate in 1293 (De Banco Roll, No. 
3, m. 69). Cripplegate Bar was also known as the Bar of the Red Cross, 
am which Redcrouch Street took its name. Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix, 


Farringdon, Aldersgate, Cripplegate and Bishopsgate Wards 
each had its outer and inner districts which, owing to the in- 
creasing population in the fourteenth century, were made 
into separate wards. The first extramural ward to be thus 
formed was the great district on the west side of the city 
known as Farringdon Without or Fleet or Fleet Street Ward, 
and before 1335 Aldersgate Without and Cripplegate Without 
were separated from their intramural wards. 11 

There seems to be little evidence that the early alder- 
manries were hereditary, as has been asserted by some of 
the historians of London. It is possible that the " cnihts " 
who, it would seem, organised the military levies, were 
selected for the sokes at the sokemotes and for the districts 
outside the sokes at a court of the portreeve ; for 
election was in accordance with Saxon and Scandinavian 
practice. With the appearance of ward aldermen some 
' time before 1111, when we have the earliest reference 
to one of them, 12 it is probable that the elective method 
was in use and was subsequently maintained. It was the 
established mode of selection in 1319, the election being 
usually on the feast of St. Gregory the Pope. 13 The supposi- ; 
tion that the office was hereditary has arisen from the fact 
that it was frequently held for long periods by one man, and ] 
in some instances a son followed his father in the office. Inj 
the cases also of Portsoken and Farringdon the elective] 
system was not in use for a time. It is probable that the] 

11 Lay Subsidy Bdle., 144, No. 8. 

12 Tursten alderman de la Ward witness to a deed dated 14th of the , 
Kalends of August, 1111, as to lands in or near the parish of St. Benedict: 
on the Thames (St. Bennet Paul's Wharf), which would be in Castle Baynard ; 
Ward. Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix, 67b. 

13 Mun. Gild. Lond., ii, pt. i, p. 268. 


aldermen, like the early mayors and elected sheriffs, held 
their offices by a tacit understanding that they should con- 
tinue in them perhaps for life, at all events for so long as it 
was pleasing to the electors and elected. Upon the point 
of a son succeeding his father, which is only of rare occur- 
rence, we know this frequently happens at the present day 
in the case of parliamentary constituencies, and Mr. Beaven 
has called attention to the fact that in 1912 there were three 
members of the Court of Aldermen itself, who, in the ordinary 
course of election, had succeeded their fathers, and certainly 
had no proprietary interest in their wards. 14 

With regard to the case of Portsoken, the prior of Holy 
Trinity, Aldgate, was ex-officio alderman of the ward, as 
successor to the alderman of the " cnihtengild," the former 
owners of the soke, which gild, according to the custom of the 
[time, would elect their alderman as the head of both gild 
[and soke. When the soke was handed over to the prior in 
1125, he, as elected head of the monastery, would take the 
I place of alderman of the ward. 

The question of the hereditary succession to the alder- 
Imanry of the Ward of Ludgate and Newgate, later called 
jFarringdon, which was maintained for some twenty-eight 
[years, is more difficult of solution. From the early part of 
I the thirteenth century, when we first get the name of an 
(alderman of the ward, until 1265, when Michael Toni, who 
jhad sided with Simon de Montfort, was deposed from his 
)ffice of alderman of the ward, there seems to have been no 
[claim to any proprietary right to the aldermanry. But at 
date we find the ward within and without the walls in 

le possession of Thomas, son of Ralph de Arderne. Ap- 

11 BcaTen, Aldermen of London. Introd., xv. 


parently he never performed the duties of alderman, but 
about 1269 he leased the office for life to Anketin de Auvergne, 
who died in 1277. Just before Anketin's death Thomas de 
Arderne granted the reversion of the office in fee to Kalph 
le Fevre or Faber, at the rent of a gillyflower and a fine of 
20 marks. Ralph le Fevre held the office for a year and 
died in 1278, when his son John granted the aldermanry to 
William Farringdon or Farndon, citizen and goldsmith of 
London, and his heirs. William Farringdon held the office 
for some fifteen years and died in 1294, having in the year 
before his death granted it to Nicholas le Fevre, apparently 
a son of Ralph le Fevre. Nicholas, who had married Farring- 
don's only child Isabel, 15 took his father-in-law's name. He 
held the office until his death in 1334, but made no claim to 
any hereditary right, and, notwithstanding the conveyance 
to him of the aldermanry, he was elected or re-elected alder- 
man in the same year (1293). 1 * Possibly the claim to the 
hereditary right was challenged and a compromise made, 
whereby Nicholas Farringdon or le Fevre was elected and 
allowed to serve the office for life. Nicholas, however, left 
the aldermanry to John de Pulteney who, it appears, never 
held it, and Richard Lacer became the next alderman of the 
ward, whether by election or purchase there is no evidence to 
show. He held the office for twenty-three years, and after 
him his successors were elected in the ordinary way. 17 

The origin of this temporary and somewhat shadowy claim 
possibly arose from the grant of the soke of the King of 

15 This descent has been taken from Stow, Survey of London (ed. Kings- : 
ford), i, 310-11 ; ii, 343-4 ; Sharpe, Col. of Letter-Bk. A, p. 226. 

18 Sharpe, Gal. to Letter-Bk. C, p. 11. 

17 Beaven, op. cit, p. xv, quoting Busting Eoll 62 (102) and Letter-Bk. 
G, fol. 66. 


Scotland or of the Honour of Huntingdon, which occupied 
the area of the ward, to Roger Fitz Reinfred in the latter 
part of the reign of Henry II, already recorded. Possibly 
what were granted were the rights of jurisdiction, and not 
the lands of the soke, which we know remained with the 
Kings of Scotland and their successors. 

Probably the grantee of the soke was Roger Fitz Reinfred, 
an eminent justice, who is said to have been the brother of 
Walter de Coutances, Archbishop of Rouen and justiciar of 
England. 18 It appears that he was twice married, first to 
Rohaise, widow of Gilbert de Gant, Earl of Lincoln, and 
niece of Ranulf, Earl of Chester, by whom he had a son, 
Gilbert Fitz Reinfred, who married in 1189, Helewise, 
daughter of William de Lancaster. Gilbert Fitz Reinfred 
held many offices under Henry II, Richard I and John, and 
died in 1220. He had a son, William de Lancaster, a justice, 
who took his mother's name and married Agnes de Brus. 
At his death without issue in 1246 his estates passed to his 
nephews, Peter, son of his sister, Helewise, and her husband, 
Peter de Brus, and Walter, son of another sister, Alice, and 
her husband, William de Lindsay. 19 Roger Fitz Reinfred 
married secondly Alice, niece of Ralf Briton, by whom he 
had three sons, Reinfred Fitz Roger, also known as Reinfred 
de Bruera, Henry Fitz Roger and Ralf de Bruera, 20 but by 
descent from none of these families can any connexion with 
the Arderns be found. It is conceivable perhaps that Roger 
Fitz Reinfred conveyed the soke to his well-known fellow- 

18 The Fitz Reinfred descent is not clear and it may be there was 
another Roger Fitz Reinfred in London at this time. 

19 This descent is given in V.O.H. Lane., i, 361-4. 

20 Abbrev. Plac. (Roc. Com.), 82. V.C.H. Lane., i, 358. Norman Moore, 
Hist, of St. Barts, i, 95, 96, shows a son Henry. 


justice, Ranulf Glanville, 21 who left by his wife Bertha, 
daughter of Theobald de, three daughters, Maud, 
who married Sir William de Auberville, Amabilia, who 
married Ralf de Arderne, and Helewise, who married Robert 
Fitz Robert. The heirs of Maud and Helewise seem after a 
generation or two to have passed into the female line, but 
the Ardernes flourished for several generations. 22 They 
were apparently London landowners. Thomas de Ardern 
and Thomas his son gave the church of St. George in South- 
wark to Bermondsey priory in 1122, 23 and the church of 
St. Olave Jewry and two parts of the chapel of St. Stephen, 
Coleman Street, were within their fee. 24 They also held 
property in the parish of St. Nicholas Shambles, which was 
within the soke of the King of Scotland. 25 Ralf and Amabilia 
died during the last few years of the twelfth century, and 
were succeeded by Thomas, their son, who died between 
1228 and 1233. 26 He and his wife Lucy left a son Ralf, who 
married before 1217 Alina, one of the co-heirs of Stephen de 
Beauchamp of Essex, 27 and was sheriff of Essex and Herts 
in 1254. Alina died after 1241, and Ralf in his old age seems 
to have married Ernburga and had by her a son and heir, 
Thomas. Ralf died before 1275, as we find his widow was 
then the wife of Richard de Cole worth. 28 It was Thomas 

21 He and Glanville were constantly associated on the bench, Pipe Roll 
Soc., vol. xvii (16 Hen. II) and subsequent volumes. He had charge of the 
King of Scotland after he was taken prisoner at Alnwick in 1174. 

22 Foss, Judges of Engl., i, 376. 

23 Annales Mon. (Rolls Ser.), iii, 433. 

24 Newcourt, Repertorium, i, 512. 

25 Norman Moore, Hist, of St. Barta, i, 225. 

26 Bracton's Note-Book (ed. Maitland), Nos. 284, 738. 

27 Close Roll, 2 Hen. Ill, m. 27d ; Pipe Roll Soc., Rot. de Dominabus, 61, 
68 ; Cal. of Doc. Scotl., i, 1536. 

28 Cal. Close Roll, 1275, p. 252. 


their son who, apparently, first laid claim to the hereditary 
aldermanry, and leased it for life to Anketin de Auvergne 
and sold it in 1277 to Ralf le Fevre. 

Whatever the nature of the claim by the Ardernes to the 
aldermanry may have been, it was only temporarily successful 
and had no permanent effect on the ward itself nor upon any 
other ward, saving that it has given the only personal name 
to a London ward which has survived. 



THE development of the government of London is an obscure 
and difficult subject to explore, the sources of information 
being few and of an indefinite character. Our earliest evidence 
of Saxon admioistration goes back to the seventh century, 
when London was the chief town of the East Saxon kingdom 
and the residence of the King and Biphop, who together had 
the direct rule over it. As the place of the King's residence 
it would be under the special protection of his peace and 
the maintenance of that peace was in the hands of the King's 
reeve, appointed presumably by the Crown. The earliest 
reference to this officer, described as the King's wic-gerefa, is 
in the latter part of the seventh century, when we find that 
he supervised the markets and held his courts in the King's 
hall. 1 

The area of the jurisdiction of the King's reeve probably 
extended far beyond the city. All the larger towns, both 
in this country and on the Continent, had varying degrees 
of authority over wide tracts of land outside their walls. 
The districts dependent upon Bath, Winchester and South- 
ampton, as Mr. Chadwick points out, were as large as counties, 
while that dependent upon Wallingford seems to have been 
identical with Berkshire. 2 The settlement of the district which 

1 Thorpe, Anct. Laws and Instil. (Rec. Com.), p. 14. 

2 Chadwick, Studies on Anglo-Saxon Institutions, 236. 



Middlesex covers was late, the land being forest, over which, 
and in the Chi Item district and in Surrey, the citizens of 
London had their chaces and enjoyed privileges of hunting 
down to the time of Henry I and later. 3 In the twelfth 
century, and probably long before, the citizens also had 
rights over the Thames from the county boundary at Staines 
to the Medway. Some sort of jurisdiction would undoubtedly 
go with these rights, so that when the government of LondoE 
was given by Alfred to his son-in-law Ethelred, Middlesex, 
although never apparently a kingdom, formed a convenient 
area for a shire and one of the smaller earldoms attached 
to the earldom of Mercia. 4 In the eleventh century Middle- 
sex reverted to its old associations with Essex and its earldom 
was given to Harold, who held it with that of Essex. 5 Harold 
was succeeded in both the greater and lesser earldoms by his 
brother Leofwine, 6 who fell with him at the Battle of Hastings. 
William the Conqueror kept the earldom of Essex in his own 
hands, and it was not granted out until Stephen created 
Geoffrey de Mandeville earl in 1140, but Middlesex had then 
ceased to be attached to it. 

On the formation of the great earldoms in the tenth 
century, it was found necessary, as Mr. Chadwick thinks, to 
appoint a sheriff to take the place of the earl in each shire. 7 
Middlesex, which may well have been the district dependent 

3 Birch, Hi^t. Charters, p. 4. Fitz Stephen, writing in the latter part 
of the twelfth century, adds Hertfordshire and part of Kent to the water 
of Cray. Mun. Gild. Lond. (Rolls Ser.), ii, pt. i, p. 14. 

* Ante pp. 38-9, chap. ii. It was the land of the Middle Saxons, sur- 
rounded by the lands of the East Saxons or Essex, the men of Kent, the men 
south of the River or Surrey, the South Saxons or Sussex, the West Saxons 
or Wessex and the Mercians. It is first mentioned under 851. Asser, 
Life of Alfred, chap. ii. 

* Kemble, Cod. Dip., iv, No. 855. Ibid., Nos. 858, 860. 
7 Chadwick, op. cit., 230-3. 


on London and already in the jurisdiction of the portreeve, 
became at this time a shire, and therefore the portreeve of 
London would merely change the name of his office to " shire- 
reeve " when acting outside the city. The identity of the 
portreeve of London with the sheriff of Middlesex, a point 
that has solved many difficulties with regard to the early 
administration of London, has been proved by Mr. Bound. 8 
Thus we can show that Ulf, sheriff of Middlesex about 1045, 
the earliest whose name has survived, was the same person 
as Ulf, the portreeve of London. 9 

The portreeve remained the chief official of London until 
probably the time of Cnut, when an important alteration 
seems to have taken place in the government, not only of the 
city but of some of the counties in the south-east of England. 
This change was effected by the introduction of the staller 
(steallhere or lord of the stable) whose office, as its title implies, 
resembled that of the Norman constable (comes stdbuli). 10 

To understand the position of the staller we must go to the 
source whence the office is derived. In Scandinavia the staller 
was one of the highest officials of the King's " hird " or court. 
At first he ranked after the " Isendermaend " or baronage, but 
eventually he was admitted to that body. Although originally 
the duties of the staller, like those of the constable, were to 
look after the king's horses and arrange for his journeys as 
the master of the stable, yet, like all other offices of personal 
service to the king, its importance constantly grew. The 
staller as one of the " Isendermaend " had the right to bear the 
king's sword in processions when the King wore his crown or 

8 Round, Geoff, de Mandeville, 347 et seq. 
Kemble, Cod. Dip., iv., Nos. 843, 872. 
10 Stubbs, Constit. Hist., i, 383ni. 


garland on high feast days, if it was not so borne by an earl. 11 
In England it was the special duty of the staller to act as the 
king's banner-bearer (regni vexiUifer), 12 but in Scandinavia 
this office was performed by the " merkesmen " who held rank 
next below the stallers. 13 The staller in Scandinavia also had 
his " stallara-stol " on the lesser high seat opposite the King, 
and spoke on behalf of the king at the " thing " and " hird- 
steona " or meeting of the " hird " or court, and kept order 
in the courts. 14 These latter duties in England would corre- 
spond perhaps to the staller's office of keeper of the King's 
hall (regie procurator aide) 15 . From the number of stallers and 
the manner in which they are referred to, it would seem obvious 
that in England, at all events, the staller had a local position. 
As, after the Conquest, each castle had its constable, so, before 
that event, certain counties in the south-east of England, as 
military centres, seem to have had their stallers or leaders of 
the host whose office included a wide sphere of duties. Thus 
we find reference to stallers for London and Middlesex, 16 
Herts, 17 Essex, 18 Kent, 19 and Hampshire, 20 and several per- 

11 P. A. Munch, Det. Norslce Foils Hutorie, 1868, ToL i, pt. iv, 
pp. 598-9. 

" F. Michel, Chran. Angl. Norm., ii, 234. 

13 Munch, op. cit., pt. ii, p. 992. 

14 Ibid., pt. iv, pp. 601-2 ; pt. ii, 992 ; Keyser, EfterladU Skrifte, 1866, 
p. 78. 

15 Michel, loc. cit. ; Cod. Dip., iv, No. 813, in which Ansgar or Esgar 
the staller is so described. 

16 Kemble, Cod. Dip., 855, 872. Charters addressed to Bishop, Earl, 
Esgar the staller and all thegns, etc., of Middlesex or burhthegns of London. 

17 Ibid., 864. To Bishop, Earl, Esgar the staller and all thegns, etc., of 

18 Ibid., 859. To Bishop, Earl, Robert the staller and all thegns in Essex. 

19 Ibid., 828. To Archbishop, Bishop of Rochester, Earl, Esgar the 
staller and Robert son of Wymarc staller and all thegns of Kent. 

* Ibid., 845. To Archbishop, Earl, Eadnoth the staller and all thegns-, 
etc., of Southampton. 


sons described as stallers whose office is not located. 21 The 
rank of these stallers is shown by the addresses of the writ 
form of Saxon charters in which they precede 22 or take the 
position of sheriffs. 23 Their military duties corresponded to 
those of the constable, for like that officer they carried the 
king's banner 24 and led a host in battle as a constable did his 
" constabulary " of ten knights. 25 Like the constable also 
they had their judicial and administrative duties. 26 

A full description of the privileges and duties of a staller of 
London seems to be found in the claims of Kobert Fitz Walter 
of Castle Baynard, made, but not allowed, in 1303. 27 All his 
rights are based upon his claim to be chief banneret or banner- 
bearer of London, and such rights were probably exercised by 
the lords of Castle Baynard before they parted with the site 
of their castle in 1275. In the time of war he with nineteen 
attendant knights, twenty in all, equalling two constabularies 
of ten knights each, had to attend mounted and caparisoned 
at the great gate of St. Paul's with his banner bearing his 
arms displayed. At St. Paul's he was met by the mayor, 
sheriffs and aldermen armed, the mayor carrying the banner of 
London, bearing the figure of St. Paul in gold, holding a sword, 
with the feet, hands and head of the figure in silver, all on a 

21 Freeman, Norm. Conq., ii, 52-3. 

22 Kemble, Cod. Dip., No. 843. Charters addressed to Rodberd the 
bishop, Osgod Clapa, Ulf the sheriff, all thegns and friends. 

23 Ibid., Nos. 828, 845, 855, 859, 864, 872. Charters addressed to Bishop, 
Earl, staller and thegns. 

24 Fran. Michel, Chronique Anglo-Normandes, ii, 233. 

26 Bound, Geoff, de Mandeville, 155. 

28 Cf. W. Stubbs, Lectures on Early English History (ed. A. Hassall), 
p. 330. The constable of the Tower as King's representative seems to have 
had certain judicial duties. Mun. Gild. Lond. (Rolls Ser.), vol. ii, pt. i, p. 288. 

27 The history of the claims are set out by H. T. Riley in his Introduction 
to Mun. Gild. Lond. (Rolls Ser.), vol. ii, pt. i, pp. Ixxvi-lxxxiv. 


field of red. Robert then dismounted and saluted the mayor, 
saying, " Sir Mayor, I am come to do my service that I owe 
to the city," and the mayor, sheriffs and aldermen replied, 

We deliver to you here, as to our banneret in fee of this city, 
this banner of the city to bear, carry and govern to the honour 
and profit of our city to the best of your power." Robert then 
retired to the gate of St. Paul's, where the mayor and sheriffs 
presented him with a horse of the value of 20, furnished with 
a saddle bearing his arms, which he mounted, carrying the 
banner of London. A marshal was chosen from the host, and 
the communal bell or the great bell in the belfry in St. Paul's 
churchyard was rung to summon the citizens to assemble and 
follow the banner. Robert, carrying the banner, led the host 
to Aldgate. The banner was then handed to one of the host 
and Robert, the mayor and two wise men from each ward 
went to the Priory of Holy Trinity to provide for the guarding 
of the city in the absence of the banneret and the host. For 
every city or castle that the host of London besieged Robert 
should have 100s. for his trouble and no more. 28 These war- 
time services of the lord of Castle Baynard, as banner-bearer 
and leader of the host, would seem to be in accordance with 
the duties of a staller and a constable. 

In the time of peace Fitz Walter held his soke, covering the 
parish of St. Andrew, and had there his sokeman or soke- 
reeve. If any one of his soke was impleaded in the Gildhall, 
upon any indictment other than that for an assault on the 
mayor or sheriffs, the mayor and citizens on demand of his 
soke-reeve were bound to give him a court, a rule which was 
possibly common to all the older and larger sokes. Robert 
had his stocks and prison in his soke ; offenders, however, 

Mun. Oild. Lond. (Rolls Set.), voL ii, pt. i, pp. 147-9. 


were tried before the mayor at the Gildhall, but sentenced in 
the court of the soke. The punishment for anyone convicted 
of treason, a particularly heinous offence in a military soke, 
was to be bound to a pillar for mooring ships in the Thames 
at Wood Wharf and left there for two floods and two ebbs. 29 
A robber taken in the soke was to be hanged at the Elms at 
Smithfield. Kobert had the privilege of being invited to the 
meeting of the Great Council of the city and to be sworn a 
member of it. When he entered the husting in the Gildhall 
the mayor rose to do him honour and gave him a seat beside 
him. So long as he remained in the Gildhall all judgments 
were given by his mouth. 30 

Here we have perhaps the survival of the position of the 
Scandinavian staller who was the mouthpiece of the King in 
the "thing" and at the meetings of the " hird." 31 The 
position of the lord of the soke of Castle Baynard was, it 
would seem, that of the pre-Conquest staller and post-Con- 
quest constable and local justiciar, the duties of which last 
office, like those of the justiciar of England, were military, 
judicial and administrative. 32 

With regard to the areas of the authority of the stallers, 
we know that immediately after the Conquest there were 
two castles at London, the Tower to protect its eastern ap- 
proaches and Castle Baynard those on the west. It seems 
probable, and there is some slight evidence, that forts existed 
on these sites at an early date ; 33 indeed, when the south 

29 Riley points out that a similar punishment, of Scandinavian or 
Teutonic origin probably, was inflicted upon the freemen of the Cinque 
Ports. Ibid., p. Ixxxiv. 30 Ibid,, pp. 149-51. 

31 P. A. Munch, op. cit., pt. iv, 601-2 ; pt. ii, 992 ; Keyser, op. cit., 78. 

" Stubbs, Constit. Hist. (4th ed.), i, 374-80. 

" [ a * Witt, of Poitiers (Caxton Soc., pp. 147-8) refers to fortifications possibly 
at the eastern side which had been made in the city when William I first 


wall was breached or demolished, as it must have been for 
access to the increasing number of wharves and the develop- 
ment of shipping, 34 forts here would be necessary for the safety 
of the city. From an early date there was an eastern and 
western district in London which may indicate the division 
between two stallerships. The lordship of the Thames above 
London to Staines with the right to the weirs there, was 
claimed by Robert Fitz Richard, lord of Castle Baynard, in 
1136 as the king's banner-bearer (which office, as we have 
seen, belonged to the staller) and as guardian of the whole city 
of London. 35 Rights in the weirs, and therefore apparently in 
the lordship of the river below London and in the Medway, 
i seem by the charters of Richard I in 1197 and of John in 1199 
to have belonged to the office of warden or constable of the 
Tower of London. 36 Further, we know that the Walbrook, 
which would well form the division between the two staller- 

I passed through it. There is a story that Cant spent Christmas, 1017, at a 
|fort on the site of Castle Baynard, where he caused Edric of Mercia to be 
it to death. Rich, of Cirencester, Speculum Historiale (Rolls Ser.), ii, 172 ; 
itth. Paris, Chron. Majora, i, 500. 

84 The south wall was standing at Queenhithe in the time of Alfred 
p. 131), but it was probably demolished shortly afterwards. It could 
ly have existed when the churches of St. Magnus and All Hallows the 
it were built outside the line of it, and they are both probably pre- 
iquest churches (Dep. Keeper's Rep., xxix, 35 ; Col. of Charter Rolls, 
p, 490). 

Mary Bateson, A London Municipal Collection (Engl. Hist. Rev., xvii, 
>, July, 1902). 

Birch, Charters of the City of London, pp. 9, 13. The charter of 1197 
quitclaims to the citizens all that the warden of the Tower was wont to 
sive yearly from all weirs in the Thames. The charter of 1199 extends 
le privilege to receipts which the wardens of the Tower of London were 
it to have from weirs in the Thames and Medway. As the lordship of 
Thames above Castle Baynard belonged to the Fitz Walters these 
Charters must refer to the river below London. In 1382 the rights of the 
mstable of the Tower extended to London Bridge. Gal. of Close Rolls, 
lich. II, 1381-5, p. 178. 


ships, divided London into two very distinct and almost equal 
districts. Each of these districts had its separate market- 
place, its separate wharves with different customs, and its 
different rules for bakers and sellers of other provisions ; and 
each side supplied eighteen sworn men to form the thirty-six 
selected for the purgation by the Lex Magna of those accused 
of the greater crimes. 37 More important perhaps was the 
division which the Walbrook afforded for separating the wards 
into two groups for assessments and other purposes, 38 a system 
which was in use as late as the time of Stow. 39 In this way 
London, like many French cities, was, before the eleventh 
century, composed of the " cite " with its royal residence and 
cathedral establishment on the west, and the " bourg " with 
its mercantile population and institutions on the east. 

Attention has already been called to the position of the 
staller in the addresses of the writ-form of charters of the 
Anglo-Saxon period. In the like charters of the latter part of 1 
the eleventh century and first half of the twelfth century a j 
similar position, as has been pointed out by Mr. Round, was \ 
occupied by the local justiciar. 40 This position is shown in 
five charters to St. Martin's le Grand confirmed by Edward III 
which are addressed in slightly varying forms by Henry I and 
Stephen to the Bishop of London and the justiciar and sheriff 
and all barons and faithful subjects of London or Essex 
(episcopo et justicie et vicecomiti et omnibus baronibus et fidelibus* 
suis)* 1 In the majority of the charters of this nature, however, 

37 Mun. Gild. London (Rolls Ser.), i, p. 56 ; ii, pt. i, p. 321. 

38 Sharpe, Col. to Letter-Bk. L., 143-4. 

89 Stow, Surv. of London (ed. Kingsford), i, 118, 238. See also summc 
of twelve men from every ward " as well this side of the Walbrook 
beyond." Col. of Pat., 1247-58, p. 160. 

40 Round, Commune of London, 109 ; Oeoff. de Mandeville, 110-111. 

Col. of Charter Eotts, 1341-1417, pp. 16-18. 



the name of the justiciar is given without description, and 
the charters are addressed to the bishop, then to a person who 
in many cases can be shown to have been the local justiciar, 
then to the sheriff usually by name and description, and 
finally in general terms. 

It is difficult to make a differentiation between the duties 
of the staller, the local justiciar and the sheriff, except 
perhaps that the duty of leading the host and carrying the 
King's banner is especially assigned to the staller. In each 
case the office was judicial, military and administrative. It 
might perhaps have been suggested that the military, judicial 
and administrative duties belonged to the staller and justiciar 
and the financial responsibilities fell to the sheriff, did we 
not find by the Pipe Roll of 1130 that Fulcred Fitz Walter, a 
|justiciar, was responsible for a part at all events of the farm 
>f London. 42 No doubt these offices had their origin in that 
stem of double administration which Dr. Stubbs, in dealing 
ith the relation of the sheriff to the ealdorman, points out 
ras almost peculiar to England. 43 Before the Conquest the 
leriff was the deputy in a shire to the earl who ruled several 
and later to the staller who also in some instances 
>verned two or three shires. After the Conquest the local 
biciar seems to have occupied the position of the staller, 
id like him frequently ruled over two or more counties at a 
le. But the new military organization, caused by the intro- 
luction of Norman castles, which brought with it the new 
kffice of constable of the castle, gave rise to a difficulty as to 
le military command. For a time this difficulty was over- 
)me, in some counties at all events, by making the local 

41 Sot. Magn. Pip., 31 Hen. I (Bee. Com.), 144. 
43 Conetit. But. (4th ecL), i, 127. 


justiciar or sheriff, the constable or warden of the county 
castle. 44 The sheriff still remained subordinate to the staller's 
successor, the justiciar, until the end of Stephen's reign, when 
in London, both offices being filled from the same class and 
occupying the same position, were merged into the shrievalty. 

This theory gives a reason for the confusion which it will be 
seen existed in London and elsewhere regarding the two offices. 
Writs were addressed indiscriminately to the staller and later 
to the justiciar, or to the sheriff or to one or other of them ; 
and those who are known to have been justiciars are not 
infrequently described in such addresses and otherwise as 
sheriffs. Again, in some charters to Holy Trinity Priory, 
Aldgate, granted by Henry I, Stephen and Henry II, the 
address is to the Bishop of London, the sheriff and reeve and 
all barons and faithful subjects of London and Middlesex 
(episcopo London' et vie' et preposito et omnibus baronibus, etc.)* 5 
Here apparently the sheriff and reeve represent the justiciar 
and portreeve or sheriff, or, as they are called by Stow, 46 the 
portgrave, portreeve or sheriff and the provost. As will be 
noticed, all these terms are used throughout the twelfth 
century and also before and after, with considerable looseness. 

Probably the earliest reference to a staller of London is in 
the reign of Cnut, when Tofig the Proud, a Danish magnate j 
and standard bearer to the King, seems to have had the office] 
to which, at his death, his son Athelstan succeeded. 47 Toi 

44 Mr. Round calls attention to the association of the custody of the cast 
in the county town with the shrievalty. Oeoff. de Mandeville, 439. 

45 Rymer, Fcedera (ed. 1816), pp. 11, 17, 41. In the first and last we ha 1 ? 
vie' et preposito, and in the second vicecomitibus et prepositis. See al 
Chron. Hon. de Abingdon (Rolls Ser.), i, 76. 

46 Stow, op. cit., ii, 147-8. 

47 Dugdale, Hon. AngL, vi, 56 ; Franc. Michel, Chron. Anglo-Norm., ii 


lived at Waltham, and married in 1042, as his second wife, 
Githa, daughter of Osgod Clapa, also a staller, apparently of 
London and Middlesex. 48 Athelstan forfeited his lands, 
probably by joining his stepmother's father, Osgod, in his 
rebellion at the beginning of the reign of Edward the Con- 
fessor, but, we are told, he retained the stallership. 49 His son, 
the famous Ansgar or Esgar the staller, was apparently 
exercising the office of staller before his father's forfeiture 
and at the same time as Osgod Clapa. A charter, the date of 
which must be assigned to 1042-4, is addressed by Edward 
the Confessor to ^Elfward the bishop (of London) and " Esgar " 
(or Ansgar) the staller and all the burhthegns of London, con- 
firming to St. Peter of Westminster the land and wharf which 
Ulf, the " porterif," and Kenegif, his wife, had given for the 
health of their souls. 50 In this it will be seen that Ansgar or 
Esgar is addressed as staller, and although Ulf is mentioned as 
portreeve, he does not appear in the address. Wulfgar, the 
portreeve, mentioned in a corrupt charter of 1042-3 to the 
cnightengild, is possibly the same person as Ulf. 51 Another 
charter, the date of which must be between 1044 and 1046, is 
addressed to Robert (de Jumieges), Bishop (of London), Osgod 
Clapa, Ulf, the sheriff, and all the thegns in Middlesex. 52 In 
[this again we find that Osgod Clapa, who we know was a 
ler, 53 takes the position assigned to that officer before the 

1 Anglo-Saxon Chron., 1046 ; Kemble, Cod. Dip., iv, No. 843, where he 
s the position of a staller of Middlesex. He is a witness (wrongly tran- 
iribed Osgod Clawe) to a charter of about 1035-8. Dugdale, Hist, of St. 
Paul's, p. 296. 

* 9 Fran. Michel, op. cit., 227. 

50 Cod. Dip., No. 872. The date is fixed as Edward came to the throne 
in 1042, and Bishop ^Elfward retired in 1044. 
61 Midd. Arch. Soc. Trans., v, 480-1. 

" Cod. Dip., No. 843. Bishop Robert did not succeed until 1044 and 
Osgod was outlawed in 1046. 53 Anglo-Sax. Chron., anno 1046. 


sheriff Ulf, who was still in office. Ansgar held the stallership 
probably continuously until after the Conquest ; at first 
perhaps only for the eastern part of London, but later, 
probably after the forfeiture of Osgod, for the whole city. He 
appears again as staller in a Middlesex charter of 1052-3, in 
its address to William, the Bishop (of London), Harold, the 
Earl (of Middlesex) and " Esgar " the staller and all the King's 
thegns and friends of Middlesex. 54 We know he acted as 
staller of London 55 at the time of the Conquest. He was also 
staller of Hertfordshire 56 about 1057 and of Kent 57 in 1066 ; 
he was further described as minister of the King (minister 
regis) 58 and keeper of the King's hall (regie procurator aule) bg 
an office belonging to the stallery. 

During this period there is no complete list of sheriffs or 
portreeves of London and Middlesex, but we have mention 
later of ^Elfget " sirefa " 60 (1051-66), Suetman portreeve 61 
(1058-66) and Leofstan and Msig " porterefan " 62 (1051-66). 
Leofstan was portreeve in 1054, probably continuing in office 
until about 1065, 63 and may be the same as Leofstan, the 
reeve, who is entered in Domesday Book as holding lands in 
Essex in the time of King Edward. 64 All these sheriffs appear 
in the addresses of charters with the bishop and sometimes 
with the earl, but except for the instance of Ulf, already 
quoted, not with the staller, although Ansgar was apparently 
staller contemporaneously. 

William, we may be sure, would have had no sympathy 

54 Cod. Dip., iv, No. 855. "Seep. 61. 

" Cod. Dip., iv, No. 864. 67 Ibid., 828. 

83 Ibid., 801, 806, 810, 811, 824, 825. 59 Ibid., 813. 

60 Ibid., 858. Ibid., 856. 2 Ibid., 857, 861. 

63 Dugdale, Mon. AngL, i, 97. Freeman, Norm. Conq., v, 469. 
" V.C.H. Essex, i, 554b. 


with the Scandinavian organization which the office of staller 
represented, and probably about the middle of his reign, or 
earlier, abolished it and introduced in its place the Norman 
offices of constable and local justiciar. The constableships of 
the castles at London, Colchester, Hertford and elsewhere 
were, by reason of their Norman origin, new offices, but carried 
with them some of the duties and privileges of the staller. 
William therefore appointed to the offices of both constable 
of the county castles and local justiciar his representatives in 
the counties who claimed the office of staller. Thus we can 
trace the existence of local justiciars in some of the south- 
eastern counties where stallers previously existed. In Essex, 
Robert Fitz Wimarc, who was staller in the reigns of Edward 
the Confessor 65 and William I, was succeeded by his son 
Sweyn, whether by hereditary right we do not know. 66 Ralf 
Baynard of Castle Baynard, who held office in Essex as well 
as in London, was succeeded at the time of the Survey by 
Peter de Valognes, and he was followed probably by Geoffrey 
de Mandeville (I), who held the offices of justiciar and sheriff 
of Essex towards the end of the eleventh century, as recited 
in the charter to his grandson. 67 At the beginning of the next 
century Hugh de Bocland or Buckland, who died about 1115, 
was justiciar of Essex, 68 and was followed by Richard de Lucy 
in the reign of Stephen. 69 In Hertfordshire, another county 

65 Cod. Dip., iv, 859. 

66 V.C.U. Essex, i, 345. Sweyn had a son Robert of Essex whose son 
Henry of Essex carried the royal standard, apparently as staller, and for 
losing it in battle forfeited his lands to Henry II. Armitage Robinson, 
Gilbert Crispin, 50. 

67 Round, Geoff, de Mandeville, 142. 

Cart, of St. John's, Colchester (Roxburgh Soc.), i, 24, 27. 

" Round, Commune of London, 109. See writ addressed Ricardo de 
Luci et vicecomiti Essexie. See also a like address by Maud the Queen in 
a confirmation to St. Martin's. Col. of Charter Rolls, 1341-1417, p. 18. 


in which Ansgar was staller before the Conquest, Peter de 
Valognes was in 1080-6 addressed in the style belonging to a 
justiciar. 70 Geoffrey de Mandeville afterwards held the offices 
of justiciar and sheriff of this county, 71 and was again succeeded 
by Hugh de Buckland. 

In London we can trace the early administration under 
justiciars and sheriffs, or as Stow calls them portgraves and 
provosts. There can be little doubt that Gosfrid, the portreeve 
or sheriff of London and Middlesex referred to in early Norman 
charters, 72 was no other than Geoffrey de Mandeville, who 
continued to hold the office of portreeve or sheriff throughout 
the Conqueror's reign. What happened with regard to the 
stallership immediately after the Conquest is uncertain. It 
may well have been in abeyance for a time after the forfeiture 
or possibly the death of Ansgar, and the constableship would 
not come into existence until the works at the Tower and 
Castle Baynard were sufficiently advanced to make that office 
necessary. Shortly after the Conquest, however, we find 
Geoffrey de Mandeville occupying the position assigned to the 
pre-Conquest staller and post-Conquest justiciar. We know 
he succeeded to the property of Ansgar, and probably claimed 
to hold Ansgar's office of staller in London which we are told 
was held by his great-grandson William, Earl of Essex. 73 The 
position of the first Geoffrey de Mandeville as local justiciar 
is shown in four royal charters all relating to Westminster, for 
only one of which, unfortunately, the genuineness can be 
vouched. The address of these charters runs, to the Bishop 

70 Davis, op. cit., i, 235. 

71 Round, Geoff, de Mandeville, 142. 

72 Davis, op. cit., i, NOB. 15, 39, 265 ; see also addresses in Nos. 89, 93, 
144, 202, 216, 278, 306, 444. Bound, Geoff, de Mandeville, 439. 

73 Fran. Michel, loc. cit. 


of London and Geoffrey de Mandeville and the sheriff and all 
ministers, etc., of London or Middlesex (Gosfrido de Magna 
Villa et vicecomiti omnibusque ministris et fidelibus suis Francis 
et Anglis in Middelsexan)." 1 * By these addresses it will be 
seen that Geoffrey de Mandeville held a position above and 
distinct from that of the sheriff, which is the place of a local 
iusticiar. At the same time we find Ralf Baynard, lord of 
)astle Baynard, addressed as the principal official of London 
in a charter of a date between 1075 and 1085 to St. Martin's 
e Grand on the western side of the city, 75 while in 1100-1 
Elugh de Buckland and William Baynard are jointly addressed 
in a similar manner in a charter made by Henry I to Anselm, 
Archbishop of Canterbury, as to rights in London. 76 Thus 
>erhaps we have two justiciars representing two earlier 
Btallerships, the one on the eastern and the other on the 
western side of London. This arrangement did not, however, 
ast for long, and was probably unworkable. 

William, having abolished the stallerships of London, 
apparently appointed, during pleasure, the owners of the 
sokes to which the stallerships had been attached to the new 
offices of constable and justiciar as a matter of pob'cy and con- 
venience. The less important castle on the west was held in 
ee by the Baynarda and later by the Fitz Walters, so that 
they were as a matter of right constables of it ; and although, 
as we have seen, they made claim to rights over London, such 
claims do not seem to have been pressed and were never 

7 * Davis, op. cit., Nos. 89, 144, 216, 306. Armitage Robinson, Gilbert 
Crispin, pp. 129, 137. 

'* Davis, op. cit., No. 211 ; Col. Charter Bolls, 1341-1417, p. 16. 

" H. Rex Anglorum Hugoni de Bocland et Will' Baignardo et omnibus 
ministris meis Londonie. Rymer, Fcedera (ed. 1816), p. 12. As Hugh, 
Earl of Chester, was a witness the date is limited to 1100-1. 


pursued in opposition to the interests of the citizens. As we 
have seen, however, both Half and William Baynard probably 
for a short time acted as justiciars of London. The Tower of 
London, on the other hand, was a royal castle built partly on 
the soke of Weremansacre, which was apparently held by the 
Mandevilles as successors to Ansgar, who seems to have had 
an hereditary right to the stallership. There is no evidence 
whether the first Geoffrey de Mandeville ever had the con- 
stableship of the Tower, but we know that his son held it 
during his father's lifetime and his grandson followed in the 
office. It would appear that the first Geoffrey was unable to 
obtain recognition of a claim to the office of justiciar of London 
as successor to Ansgar the staller, but for a time, probably at 
the end of the reign of the Conqueror and the beginning of 
that of Rufus, 77 he succeeded in obtaining the justiciarship 
and shrievalty of the whole of London and Middlesex at farm, 
as we learn from a charter to his grandson. 78 He himself took 
the superior office of justiciar and apparently appointed a 
deputy in that of sheriff or portreeve. We have reference to 
Roger, sheriff of Middlesex, in 1086, 79 and to R. Delpare or 
Richard de Par or del Pare who seems to have been sheriff 
during Geoffrey's justiciarship in the time of William II, but 
we have no further information about either of them. 80 

The disturbances in London of 1088-9 attributed to the 
rebellion of Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, a somewhat remote 
cause, may have had their origin in Geoffrey's aggressive 

77 It must have been between the dates of the charters addressed to 
the two Baynards already referred to. 

78 See recital in charter to Geoffrey de Mandeville the grandson in 
Round, Geoff, de Mandeville, 141-2. 

79 Domesday Bk. (Rec. Com.), 127. 

80 Davis, op. cit., No. 444. Stow, op. cit., ii, 148, 382. The name is 
probably corrupt. 


methods. Towards the end of his reign, Ruins was in great 
straits for money to pay for his extravagant building schemes 
at the Tower, London Bridge and Westminster. It would 
seem probable that the citizens did what they so frequently 
did later, and took the opportunity of relieving the crown 
of its embarrassments by the purchase of liberties or relief 
from oppression. In any case Geoffrey de Mandeville ceased 
to hold the office of justiciar and sheriff at this time. He 
was succeeded as justiciar by Hugh de Buckland, whom we 
find addressed late in the eleventh century in the manner 
customary to that office. 81 For a short time the office 
of justiciar of London was perhaps held jointly by Buck- 
land and William Baynard, but this dual office does not 
appear again after the forfeiture of William Baynard. A 
little later (between 1103 and 1109) Robert Fitz Hamon 
and Hugh de Buckland are described as sheriffs of London 
and Kent. 82 

Towards the end of the eleventh century the works at the 
Tower of London were becoming sufficiently advanced to 
require a constable, and in 1101 William, son of Geoffrey 
de Mandeville, was holding that office, 83 probably in the 
place of his father, who may have been abroad. William de 

81 Davis, op. cit., No. 455 ; Armitage Robinson, Gilbert Crispin, p. 138. 
Charter, 1087-1100, of William II addressed to Hugh de Bockland and the 
sheriff of Middlesex. Geoffrey de Mandeville is one of the witnesses. See 
also charter of 1102-6 addressed in similar way. Mun. Gild. Lond. (Rolls 
Ser.), voL ii, pt. i, p. 340 ; and Chron. Hon. de Abingdon (Rolls Ser.), i, 76. 

82 Round, Doc. France, p. 503. Probably the order of names should 
be reversed. 

83 Ordericus Vitali*, iv, 108 ; Round, Geoff, de Mandeville, 38. A charter 
was addressed (c. 1100-1) by Henry I to Hugh de Buckland, William the 
Chamberlain and William de Mandeville and all faithful subjects French 
and English of Middlesex, but there is nothing to indicate in what capacity 
Mandeville was so addressed unless as constable of the Tower. Armitage 
Robinson, Gilbert Crispin, 142. 


Mandeville, so far as we know, had no other connexion with 
London, but his son, the second Geoffrey de Mandeville, held 
the constableship of the Tower with his other offices in 

There is some uncertainty as to the succession of the 
justiciars and sheriffs of London from this date. Hugh de 
Buckland apparently continued to hold the office of justiciar 
into the early years of the twelfth century, possibly till his 
death about 1115, 84 and Reiner the reeve (praepositus) or 
portreeve of London is addressed with him in a charter of 
between 1100 and 1115. 85 

We have references to William de Einesford as sheriff 
about 1120, with John his undersheriff, and Gervase his 
clerk ; 86 Aubrey de Vere, perhaps as sheriff, but probably as 
justiciar, 87 and with him Roger, nephew of Hubert, as sheriff, 88 
holding office before 1125. Stow also gives Robert Bar 
Querel (Buckerel ?) as provost or sheriff serving with Aubrey 
de Vere. 89 Ralf Fitz Everard was sheriff about 1125-8 90 
and Fulcred Fitz Walter at Michaelmas 1 128-9 91 but he 

84 See evidence of date of his death in 1115 in Armitage Robinson, 
Gilbert Crispin. Select charters, Nos. 37, 38. Diet. Nat. Biog. gives 1119. 
In evidence of his retention of the office of justiciar may be quoted a charter 
to St. Paul's addressed to him which has Randulph the chancellor as a wit- 
ness and cannot therefore be much earlier than the date of his death. 
Dugdale, Hist, of St. PauFs, 305. 

86 Chron. Mon. de Abingdon (Rolls Ser.), i, 76. Stow, op. cit., ii, 148, 
gives Leofstan the goldsmith as " provost " or sheriff serving with him, 
but he has apparently confused two persons of this name. 

86 Ramsey Cart. (Rolls Ser.), i, 139. 

87 Dugdale, Mon. Angl., vi, 155. 

88 Round, Oeoff. de Mandeville, 309. 

89 Stow, op. cit., ii, 148. See also Armitage Robinson, Gilbert Crispin, 

90 Magn. Rot. Pip. (Rec. Com.), 144 ; Engl. Hist. Rev., xxxvii, 74. 


also held the office of justiciar with Eustace as his sheriff.' 2 
In 1130 William Lelutre, Geoffrey Buckerel, Ralf Fitz 
Herlwin and William de Balio were sheriffs. 93 Andrew 
Bocointe was justiciar about this time. We know he held 
office in 1137 and apparently vacated it in 1139. 94 He was 
succeeded in the justiciarship by Osbert Huitdeniers, the 
relative of the Beckets, who employed the murdered arch- 
bishop when a young man as his clerk. A charter, probably 
of 1139, is addressed to Huitdeniers by King Stephen in the 
manner already referred to, namely, " to Osbert Huitdeniers 
and all the barons and sheriffs of London," 95 and again in 
1141 " to Osbert Huitdeniers and the sheriff and citizens of 
London." 96 Huitdeniers may have had his relative Gilbert 
Becket, father of the archbishop, as his sheriff or portreeve 
during his justiciarship, for we know that Becket held that 
office. 97 In 1141 Huitdeniers was succeeded by Gervase de 
Cornhill, who is described as justiciar in a charter made to 
him in that year by Maud, Queen of Stephen. 98 At Christmas 
following (1141) Stephen granted the justiciarship and 
shrievalty of London to Geoffrey de Mandeville in fee and 
inheritance. We find Geoffrey, like his predecessor Ansgar, 
leading the host of London when it engaged the forces of the 

* Chron. abb. Sameseia (Bolls Ser.), 280, where Hen. I addresses his 
charter to Fulcheso flio Walteri et Eustachio Vicecomiti suo. There is a 
reference to Eustace, nephew of Folcred in 1142-3. Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., 
ix, 62a. Leuric the reeve holding lands in Castle Baynard Ward, c. 1130, 
may have been a sheriff. Price, Account of Gildhall, p. 16. 

Magn. Rot. Pip., 149 ; Engl. Hist. Rev., xxxvii, 74. 

94 Round, Geoff, de Mandeville, 309 ; Commune of London, 98, 108, 113 ; 
Andrece Buchuinte et Vicecomiti et civibus suis Londonie. Ibid., 110. 

95 Bound, Commune of London, 114. 
Ibid., 116. 

7 Materials for Life of Beket (Bolls Ser.), ii, 359. 
w Bound, Geoff, de Mandeville, 120-1. 


Empress Maud at Winchester in 1141." He held the justiciar- 
ship in his own hands, and described himself as justiciar of 
London in a charter of 11 42-3. l Gilbert Prutfot served with 
him as sheriff at this time. 2 In 1143 Geoffrey forfeited his 
lands and surrendered his castles and offices. The office of 
justiciar of London seems to have been continued until the 
end of Stephen's reign, for we find references to it in 1152-3 
in a charter to St. Martin's le Grand. 3 It was about this 
time abolished or merged into the office of sheriff. 4 The 
administrative and other duties were taken over by the two 
or more sheriffs thereafter appointed, until the establishment 
of the mayoralty altered the form of the city's government. 

It will be noticed from this incomplete list of justiciars of 
London that there was a change in the nature of the office 
during the reign of Henry I, both as regards the rank of the 
holder and the tenure of the office. It is known that a part 
of Henry's policy was to raise men of lowly origin who were 
compliant to his wishes to the position of ministers and 
justices in order to counteract the powers of the feudal lords. 5 
It may have been so in the case of London, but the change 
is perhaps more likely to have been brought about by pressure 
from the citizens themselves. The first Geoffrey de Mandeville, 
Hugh de Buckland, Aubrey de Vere and perhaps William de 
Einesford were feudal magnates holding high positions with 

99 Liber de Antiquis Legibus (Camden Soc.), 201. 

1 Bound, Commune of London, 118. 

2 Hist. MSS. Com. Sep., ix, 62a ; Bound, Commune of London, 118. He 
held lands in Coleman Street Ward about 1130. Survey of St. Paul's lands. 
Price, Account of the Oildhall, p. 16 et seq. 

8 Col. Charter Rolls, 1341-1417, p. 17. See p. 196. 

4 Petit-Dutaillis thinks that the judicial part of its duties were under- 
taken by the justices in eyre, brought into existence about this time. 
Studies Supplementary to Stubbs' Constit. Hist. (Transl. W. E. Bhodes), 95. 

6 Cf. Bound, Oeoff. de Mandeville, 110-11, quoting famous passage from 
Ordericus (xi, 2) describing Henry's ministers. 


considerable power outside and entirely distinct from London ; 
they held their office also, so far as our information goes, for 
several years consecutively. Such men could have given 
very little personal attention to the afiairs of London, and 
being constantly in attendance on the King and having 
duties to perform elsewhere in this country and abroad, they 
could have had very slight sympathy with the aspirations and 
ambitions of the citizens. 6 Their successors, Bocointe, Huit- 
deniers and Gervase de Cornhill, on the other hand, were 
leading citizens of burgess origin, whose tenures of office 
were of short duration ; such men would be in touch with 
all the movements then agitating London. 

The sheriffs acting with the justiciars seem to have been 
of burgess rank, or possibly of the clerical class of that date. 
Those of the time of the earlier justiciars, if they did not 
continuously carry out the duties of the two offices, would 
take the lead in all civic functions during the frequent and 
prolonged absences of the justiciars, thus making the positions 
of both officers anomalous. The change in the condition of 
the justiciars may be consequent on this anomaly and suggests 

The position of Hugh de Buckland was an interesting case in point. 
In the Abingdon Chronicle it is said that Buckland was sheriff of eight 
counties, and we can trace him holding the office of sheriff or that of justiciar 
in seven, namely Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hert- 
fordshire, London and Middlesex, and Oxfordshire. The eighth county 
may perhaps have been Sussex. (Compare Bound, Doc. France, p. 40.) Of 
these counties there is evidence of his having been justiciar of London and 
Middlesex, Essex, Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire (Chron. Man. de Abingdon 
(Rolls Ser.), i, 84), probably of Berkshire (Cf. addresses in Ibid., 87, 90, 93), 
and possibly for the other counties. It is further stated in the Abingdon 
Chronicle that he held certain lands at Hanney in Berkshire as sheriff and 
because he had been made publicarum, justiciarius compellatianum by 
William II. The meaning of this phrase is obscure, but it points to the 
appointment of Buckland as justiciar or sheriff to all these counties for 
some special purpose, which may have been for the quieting of the people 
during the time of the heavy taxation of 1096. Cf . Engl. Hist. Set:, xxvi, 490. 


perhaps an alteration in the administration of the city. The 
substitution of citizens of London for feudal magnates, 
implies an increase of power by the former ; and it is possible 
that the citizens had obtained the privilege of choosing their 
justiciar and sheriff before the date of the charter of Henry I, 
if indeed they had not elected their sheriff at a still earlier 
date. As will be shown later, there are indications of a 
further reorganisation of London government at this time, 
or perhaps at a little earlier date, by the institution, possibly, 
of aldermen of wards. 

Although the shrievalty carried with it position and power 
it was an unenviable post for a Londoner. As the King's 
officer the sheriff had to exact all he could to enable him to 
pay his farm, and as a citizen he desired to keep in favour 
with his fellow-townsmen. Consequently there was usually 
a balance on the wrong side of his account at each Michaelmas, 
and for this reason two or more sheriffs were often appointed 
that they might share the deficit amongst them. 7 Yet 
so burdensome was the office that the four sheriffs appointed 
in 1130 paid fines that they might relinquish it. 8 These hard- 
ships formed one of the reasons, but not the chief, in favour of 
the citizens farming the shrievalty as a body. 

This view of the early history of these offices may throw 
some light upon the events of Stephen's reign. Mr. Kound 
has pointed out the tendency to set up quasi-hereditary 
claims. 9 Geoffrey de Mandeville probably had Ansgar's 
title to a stallership, 10 which was of this nature, and upon it 

7 Round, Commune of London, 231. 

8 Magn. Rotul. Pip., 31 Hen. I (Rec. Com.), 149. 

9 Round, Geoff, de Mandeville, 154. 

10 De inventione sanctae crucis Walthamensis. Fran. Michel, Chron. 
Norm.,ii, 227, where Geoffrey's descendant is said to hold the office of staller. 


he no doubt based his claims to the constableship of the 
Tower and justiciarship of London. He wanted, however, 
to obtain the feudal lordship over London which only the 
possession of the shrievalty also could give him. The 
Londoners strongly resisted his attempts to place them 
under his rule, with the results that have already been 

The staller, as we have seen, was the military commander 
of London, and under him possibly were knights or 
captains, already referred to, 11 who later perhaps formed 
two constabularies of ten knights each. The reorgani- 
sation of the city militia must be assigned to Alfred. He 
at was who instilled into the ranks of the middle classes 
phe nobility of military service and the duty of defending 
ttheii homes. He, probably, encouraged merchants to become 
ihegns and " cnihts " or knights, a rank but slightly sub- 
te to a thegn, both of whom had to follow the King to 
ar when he raised his banner. The gild of these " cnihts " 
hich existed in London cannot be traced back to Alfred's 
y, but a similar gild is apparently found at Canterbury as 
,rly as the reign of his elder brother Ethelbert (860-6). 12 
London the earliest evidence of the existence of the cnihten- 
ild is in the time of Edgar (959-75), but considering the 
ater population and wealth of London compared with 
.terbury, the probability is that the gild existed there 
efore this time. Besides those at London and Canterbury 

11 See p. 190, 

11 Kemble, Cod. Dipl., ii, No. ccxciii (taken from Cart. Cantuar., M. 369). 
'he charter is mutilated and the place to which it refers is obliterated, but 
seems to form one of a group of four charters relating to Canterbury, and 
ve out of its eleven witnesses sign also for the three charters which un- 
oubtedly refer to Canterbury. 


there were cnihtengilds at Winchester, Exeter and Cambridge 13 
and probably at other important towns. We know very 
little of the organisation of these gilds, but their existence 
goes to show that there were " cnihts " or soldiers trained as 
leaders of those owing military service for the protection of 
the towns where they were established. They had the usual 
rules common to most gilds of that date, as to feasting, pro- 
tection and mutual help in cases of misfortune. The military 
obligations of the gildsmen were probably considered so 
obvious that they are not referred to in the rules and other 
evidences of their existence which have come down to us. 
The London cnihtengild held Portsoken, the soke of the port 
or city, which was situated on the eastern or most vulnerable 
side of London. Here, as might be expected, the city wall was 
most strongly fortified, which is shown by the greater number 
of bastions in comparison with other parts of the wall, and 
here, on the gild's land outside the walls, the " cnihts " and 
their men probably erected outworks. The southern end of 
this soke William chose for the site of his Tower or castle, 
and one at least of the tenants of the Portsoken, a successor 
perhaps of a " cniht," held by the service of castle-ward at ' 

the Tower. 14 

The cnihtengild was encouraged by Edward the Confessor, 
who confirmed its liberties in 1042-3, and it was maintained 
by the early Norman kings, William Kufus giving it a charter 
and Henry I confirming its rights by a charter dated between ' 
1100 and 1107. 15 But the Norman system of military defence, , 

13 At Cambridge there were ten wards which, if there was a knight fo 
each, would form one constabulary. 

" Hundred Rolla (Eec. Com.) 413. 

18 Trans. Land, and Midd. Arch. Soc., v, 483, 488-9. Much of the ir 
formation here used is taken from Mr. Coote's valuable paper on the gild. 


particularly in towns, differed materially from that of the 
English. When the two Norman castles in London were com- 
pleted and were manned, not by the citizens but by those 
owing the service of castle-ward from lands outside the city 
area, the military forces of London had to be reorganised. 
The English organisation was not, however, swept away, but 
was adapted to the Norman system. The citizens still had the 
charge of the walls and gates and the maintenance of law and 
order, and occasionally gave their service in the field. The 
English " cnihts " and their companies, as the first line of 
defence, were superseded by the garrisons at the two castles, 
and so they were demobilised and their gild dissolved. It 
would seem probable that their places were taken during the 
first quarter of the twelfth century by aldermen of wards, who 
ake their appearance at this date, 16 and whose duties, as we 
.all see, were chiefly military. In 1125 fifteen burgesses of 
>ndon, survivors or representatives of the English Cnihten- 
;ild, granted Portsoken, which comprised all the land of the gild, 
iutside the wall from Aldgate to the Thames, to Christchurch 
Holy Trinity Priory, Aldgate. 17 Out of these fifteen 
[esses, viz. : Ralf son of Algod, Wulward le Doverisshe, 
le Prude, Edward Up Cornhill, Blackstan, Alwyn 
ikstan's cousin, Alwyn son of Leofstan, Robert son of 
istan, Leofstan the Goldsmith, Wyzo son of Leofstan, 
.ugh son of Wulgar, Orgar son of Derernan, Algar 
ecusenne, Osbert Drinchewyn and Adelard Hornewitesune, 
ive namely Ralf son of Algod, Blackstan, Hugh son of 
ulgar, Algar Fecusenne and Osbert Drinchewyn can be 

16 Earliest reference to an alderman of a ward is in a deed dated 1111 
lut. M88. Com. Hep., ix, 67b, 68a. 

Tram. Lond. and Midd. Arch. Soc., v, 477-8. 


shown to have been aldermen of wards. 18 The remainder 
came from the governing and aldermanic families of London, 
and may very well have been aldermen also, but evidence of 
the aldermen at this date is scanty. 

Professor Maitland suggests that we have in the alderman 
of the ward the military captain of the burgmen. 19 That this 
was so in London is shown by an account compiled probably 
about 1215 of the military organization of London at that 
date, but evidently based on a much earlier system. Each 
alderman was to call together to his wardmote all the men in 
his ward over fifteen years of age, who were to pay 2d. in the 
pound on the value of their movable chattels and debts, and 
3d. in the pound for rents, with larger sums from foreigners, 
towards the defence of the city. Each alderman was to see 
to the arms of the men in his ward, and the names of all those 
whose arms were defective should be handed to the mayor 
and barons. As many of the men as were able were to be 
mounted. The unit of assembly was the parish, and every 
parish was to have a pennon and each alderman a banner, the 
men of each parish being grouped around the pennon of that 
parish and the whole ward was to follow the banner of the 
alderman to whatever place it should be appointed to go for 
the defence of the city. 20 Although no record of the duties 
of the Saxon " cnihts " has been preserved, they cannot, wej 
imagine, have been very different from those performed by these 
aldermen. Thus we should have a well-organized military force, 
such as we know existed in London during the eleventh and 

18 For Blackstan see Anct. Deeds, A. 2419, and the rest appear in the! 
St.! Paul's list of wards of 1130. Price, Account of the Gildhall, p. 10. 

19 Township and Borough, 50. 

20 Mary Bateson, London Municipal Cott. of the time of John, Eng, HittM 
Rev., xvii (Oct. 1902), pp. 727-8, quoting Add. MS. 14,252. 


twelfth centuries. The unit would be formed by the men of 
a parish under an officer carrying the pennon of the parish. 
The men of the parishes were grouped under wards, each ward 
under the command of an alderman, or at an earlier date 
probably a " cniht," carrying the banner of the ward, which 
wards, at one time, apparently numbering twenty, 21 would be 
again grouped possibly into two stallerships or constabularies 
each of ten knights under a staller or banneret carrying the 
banner of London. 

With regard to the courts which maintained the jurisdiction 
of the officials of London, it would seem that they developed 
on the system of the shire, which system was being formed in 
the southern parts of England at the end of the ninth century. 
The wic-gerefa and his court probably remained unchanged 
until this time, when a reconstruction of the civic adminis- 
tration was begun as a result of Alfred's reorganization of 
London. This work was entrusted to the able hands of 
Ethelred, son-in-law of Alfred. It was doubtless a gradual 
process, carried out probably by the adaptation of the then 
existing institutions of early origin. This system, ""as it had 
developed in London by the early part of the eleventh century, 
consisted of the courts of the folkmote, the husting, and 
probably the wardmote and the sokemote, which courts 
approximately corresponded to the folkmote, shiremote and 
hundred and manor courts of the southern shires. 

The folkmote may have keen the descendant of the witen- 
agemote of the kingdom of the East Saxons and became the 
popular court to which all the freemen of London were ad- 
mitted. Like the national gemote and the burhgemote of 
Edgar's laws, it had its three principal meetings in the year, 

11 See p. 176. 


which, we find at the beginning of the thirteenth century, 
were fixed for Christmas to arrange the wards for the purpose 
of keeping watch and ward, Midsummer for the protection of 
the city from fire 22 and Michaelmas for the election of sheriffs 
and to hear the charge ; 23 but the court could be summoned 
on any emergency. Its meetings were held in the open air, 
like all early Anglo-Saxon courts, in order to avoid the in- 
fluence of spirits, which were thought to pervade a building. 
The place of assembly was on a piece of land to the south of 
Westcheap and north-east of St. Paul's Cathedral, where 
stood the belfry, to which the citizens had access in order to i 
ring the great bell which summoned the freemen to the meet- j 
ings. The citizens should be summoned by the beadle of the j 
ward, but failing such notice there could be no excuse, as the 
ringing of the great bell was sufficient summons for all toj 
attend. 24 The court was presided over by the Bishop of 
London and the King's reeve or portreeve, and was attended j 
by the burhware or body of citizens, to which three categories! 
of bishop, reeve and citizens, writs to be proclaimed in thisj 
court were addressed. 25 At the end of the reign of Stephen] 
the bishops of London fell out of the addresses of the writs j 
and probably ceased to attend the courts. 26 The proceedings ] 
of the court, like those of the folkmote of the shire, were! 
principally administrative, and laws were promulgated andjj 
proclamations, particularly those of outlawries, were made at 

22 The fixed Midsummer meeting probably took the place of the mov-1 
able Whitsuntide meeting of the national assembly. 

23 Engl. Hist. Rev., xvii, 502. 

34 Mun. Gild. Land. (Rolls Ser.), i, 118 ; ii, pt. i, p. 33S-43 ; iii, p. 15. I 
26 The writa addressed to the bishop, reeve or sheriff and burhthegns on 

barons were apparently intended for the busting. 

Cf. addresses of charters to Holy Trinity Priory, Dugdale, Mnn. Angl. 

vi, 152-6. 


its meetings. 27 Dr. Stubbs thinks that possibly the sheriffs 
were at one time elected at the folkmotes of the shires, 28 and 
they may perhaps have been so chosen at the folkmotes of 
London before the Conquest. One of the chief privileges 
granted about 1132 to the citizens by the charter of Henry I, 
mainly a confirmation of existing rights, was that of the elec- 
tion of their sheriff, which we know was afterwards made at 
the folkmote. When the citizens were negotiating with the 
Empress Maud in 1141 they petitioned that they might be 
permitted to observe the laws of King Edward which were 
good, and not those of Henry, her father, which were severe. 29 
It is hardly likely that the citizens would have petitioned for 
a reinstatement of Edward's laws if they contained anything 
less than had been granted to them by Henry I 30 with regard 
to such an important matter as the election of the sheriff. 

The folkmote gradually declined after the appointment of 
a"rSayor, and its business became absorbed into the courts 
"Held at the Gildliall. In 1248, when the King seized the liber- 
ties of London, he commanded the barons of London not to 
admit new sheriffs should the citizens elect them at the follow- 
ing Michaelmas. 31 The final abandonment of the court came 
at that period of change during which the Crown held the 
liberties of London for thirteen years beginning in 1285. The 
principal assembly of the folkmote was at Michaelmas, for the 
election of the sheriffs, and as the Crown, while the liberties 

17 Mun. Gild. London (Rolls Ser.), i, 113. 

M Stubbs, Constit. Hist., i, 126. See pp. 83, 84. 

19 Flor. of Wore, under 1141. 

30 The charter of Henry I to London forms an important part of the 
Leges Henrici Primi. Dr. Beinhold Schmid, Die Getetze der Angdaachsen, 
pp. 434-5. 

11 Col. of Pat. Soil, 1247-58, p. 26. The sheriffs were elected at the 
Michaelmas folkmote. 


of London were in its hands, appointed the bailiffs, who took 
the place of the sheriffs, there would be no necessity to sum- 
mon the court, and so it fell into disuse. After the citizens 
regained their liberties in 1298, the sheriEs_were elected at 
the Gildhall and the folkmote ceased to meet. 32 By about 
1310 the dean and chapter of St. Paul's had enclosed and 
built over the land where the court had been held, and the 
folkmote is heard of no more. Possibly the sheriff's court is 
the sole survival of the folkmote. At this court were heard 
pleas of covenants, debts, contracts, trespasses and pleas 
de vetito namio and like pleas by a sheriff without any aldermen 
or suitors. 33 The right to this court, it was claimed, went 
back to a period before the time of King Richard, to the " time 
whereof memory of man runneth not to the contrary," or time 

The origin of the court of busting of London is unknown. 
It was in existence at the latter part of the tenth century, 
when it is referred to in a grant by Ethelgiva, wife of Earl 
Ethelwine of East Anglia (968-85), in which she gave to Ram- 
sey Abbey two silver cups of twelve marks adpondus hustingicB 
Londoniensis. 3 * From this it would appear that the court was 
then a well-recognized institution, which had probably been 
in existence for some time and had standard weights. Its 
name, the hus-thing, or court held in a house or building, 36 
distinguishes it from the folkmote which was held in the open 
air, and denotes an origin, perhaps Danish or Norse, 36 at a 
time when the influence of the northmen was strong. 

32 Mun. Gild. Land. (Rolls Ser.), ii, pt. i, p. 338 ; Hist. MS3. Com. Rep., 
ix, 49. 3S Mun. Oild. London (Rolls Ser.), ii, pt. i, 323. 

84 Chron. Abb. Ramesiensis (Rolls Ser.), p. 38. 
38 Maitland, Domesday Bk. and Beyond, 211. 
38 References to hustings are frequently to be met with in Scandinavia. 


With the iqcreas.]jag_xQluiQe of trade of the late ninth 
or early tenth century a want must have been felt for a speedier 
and more effective administration of the law than that which 
was afforded by the folkmote with only three regular meetings 
in a year. In the jurisdictions of the sokes surrounding the 
central and moat important part of London, later known as 
the King's soke, a more expeditious system for the time had 
probably been established under the soke-reeves, and it would 
therefore become imperative to create a new court under the 
king's pnTt-rfiftv^ for this rv.ntral diatridi in,ghioh the greater 
pajrt of the trade of London was transacted. With a view to 
carry out this object a body of citizens, probably the principal 
.erchants of London, seem to have formed themselves into a 
ild for mutual help in cases of theft and robbery and for 
.ealing possibly with disputes among traders, as was the cus- 
in the tenth century. It would appear that in the time of 
thelstan (924-40) the members of this gild, known as the 
ith fl-iy, fad authority to hold a monthly court, as we may 
.ppose at their gildhall, 37 where the business of the gild would 
discussed and justice administered. The digest of the laws 
parently in force at that court is contained in the document 
own as the Judicia Civitatis Lundonice, the preamble of 
hich states that " this is the ordinance which the bishops 
d the reeves belonging to London have ordained [which 
as] confirmed with pledges among our frith gildsmen as well 
eorlish ' as ' ceorlish ' in addition to the dooms which were 
inacted at [the witenagemotes at] Greatley, Exeter and 
'hundersfield." 38 The clauses which follow relate to the 

17 Sharpe, London and the Kingdom, i, 15. The gildhall at this date 
rould probably be in the central district of London. 
Thorpe, Anct. Laws and Insiit., p. 97. 


duties of the gildsmen, mostly with regard to theft and robbery, 
and are based upon public laws. As Mr. Gross points out, 39 
these laws are more than the ordinances of a frith gild, and 
the inference from the preamble is that they do not form a 
complete code in themselves, but are merely an addition to 
the national dooms enacted at the witenagemotes mentioned. 
These national and local laws would together form a system 
of law evidently intended to be administered at a court of 
recognized legal standing. The erection of such a court was 
no revolutionary proceeding even at the time of the Conquest, 
and would be less likely to be noticed a century or more 
earlier. 40 We know nothing more of this gild or its court, but 
the place of assembly of the husting of London as far back as 
our information goes was the gildhall, which it is supposed 
was the hall of the frith gild or its successor. 41 Further than 
this we learn from the preamble to the ordinances already 
quoted that the frithgildsmen were both " eorlish " and 
" ceorlish," terms which are used as qualifying descriptions 
of the thegns of Kent, who, at a gemote at Faversham, con- 
firmed the laws enacted at Greatley. 42 Again Cnut, between 
1013 and 1020, addressed the authorities of Kent as his 
thegns " twelfhynde " and " twihynde," 43 which in other 
words signified " eorls " and " ceorls." Thus it may appear 
that the qualifying description used with regard to the frith- 
gildsmen of London was that applied to the men of the rank 
of thegns. This leads to the suggestion that possibly the 
London frithgildsmen of Athelstan's day corresponded in 

39 Gross, Gild Merchant, i, 171, 178-82. 

40 Maitland, Domesday Book and Beyond, 102. 

41 Green, Conquest of England (ed. 1899), i, 255. 
Stubbs, Constit. Hist., i, 129-30. 

43 Kemble, Saxons in England, ii, 234 n, citing Cod. Dip., No. 731. 


rank to the burhthegns to whom Edward the Confessor 
addressed his charters. These burhthegns, as will be shown, 
were the same as the barons of London, whose court it would 
seem by later evidence was the husting. Perhaps we may 
take a step farther and suggest that in the court of the frith- 
gildsmen, or of the members of the gild for the maintenance 
of the frith or peace, we have the germ of the husting, for, as 
Dr. Stubbs remarks, the administration of the peace is 
inseparable from the exercise of jurisdiction. 44 

Like the shire mote or county court, both the court of the 
frithgild and the husting were held before the bishop and earl 
and his shire-reeve or port-reeve in order, as it is stated in the 
laws of Edgar, 45 that both the law of God and the secular law 
might be expounded. 

The jurisdiction of the husting extended to both civil and 
criminal actions ; at it transfers of land were witnessed and 
orders made. With the bishop and reeve attended the thegns, 
or burhthegns as they were called in London. The identity 
of the burhthegns and barons is proved from the various 
charters which have survived in both Anglo-Saxon and Latin, 
which the Latin barones is merely the translation of the 
Anglo-Saxon thegn or burhthegn. 46 Both terms had an 
elastic significance, and no definition of a baron was evolved 
before the thirteenth century. Theoretically barons were 
tenants in chief, but in practice the importance of their hold- 
ing, rather than their services, determined their status. Every 
barony had a court holding pleas of the Crown with view of 
Erankpledge and infangenthef, and was in the nature of a 

Stubbs, Comtit. Hut. (4th ed.), i, 202. 

** Cf. Laws of Edgar in Thorpe, And. Laws and Instil., 113. 

Cf. Kemble, Cod. Dip., vol. iv, Nos. 888, 902, 905. 


hundred court in private hands. 47 The duties of a baron were 
to give counsel and military aid to the King or, in the case of 
London, to the port-reeve as the King's representative. 

At first no doubt the burhthegns or barons who attended 
the husting were the principal merchants and traders who, by 
reason of having fared thrice across the seas, or on account of 
their wealth and services, were considered thegn-right worthy. 48 
They were usually men who, besides their position in London, 
had considerable property and authority in the home counties, 
particularly in Essex. The wealth of Ansgar the staller, who 
there can be no doubt was a burhthegn, has already been re- 
ferred to ; Hugeline the " bourtheine " 49 was chamberlain and 
a highly trusted minister of Edward the Confessor. Of the 
four principal barons of London to whom about 1114-20 a 
charter from Ramsey Abbey was addressed, 50 Hugh de Buck- 
land was a well-known minister of Henry I, justiciar of 
London, Essex and many other counties ; 51 Roger (nephew of 
Hubert) was sheriff of London with Aubrey de Vere in 1125, 52 
and Leofstan (the goldsmith) and Ordgar (le Prude) were two 
members of the cnihtengild who with others conveyed the 
soke of that gild to Holy Trinity Priory in 1125. 53 

47 Barony and Thanage by B. B. Beid in Engl. Hist. Rev., xxxv, 161 el aeq. , 
For further as to Barons see P. Vinogradoff, Engl. Soc. in the Eleventh Cent., 
42, 138, 214 ; Holdsworth, Hist, of Engl. Law, 38 ; J. F. Baldwin, Kings 
Council in Engl., 91 ; W. B. Anson, Law and Custom of the Constit., 182-3 ; 
Lapsley, Co. Palatine of Durham, 67, 108-9 ; Pollard, Evolution of Parl., 88. 

48 Thorpe, And. Laws and Institutes, p. 81. 

49 Kemble, Cod. Dip., iv, p. 243, where he appears as witness. 

60 Chron. Abb. Eamesiensis (Bolls Ser.), 237, 240 ; Cart. Man. de Sam. 
(Bolls Ser.), i, 130. The charters are dated by the editor 1114-30, but they 
are evidently earlier than this. 

61 Bound, Geoff, de Mandevitte, 328, 355. See p. 207n. 
" Ibid., 309. 

53 The English Gild of Knights, by H. C. Coote in Trans. Lond. and Midd. 
Arch. Soc., v, 477-8. 


We have mention of two classes of burhthegns or barons, 
namely eorls, comites or majores barones and ceorls, vittani or 
minores barones : 54 but we have no information to show what 
was the distinction between them, or indeed whether the 
terms had any specialised meaning. 55 In the case of the 
majores barones quoted by Mr. Round, the persons indicated 
were those who testified to a deed before the chancellor in 
the Tower of London and consequently may have been the 
doomsmen of the husting. 

At some uncertain time the soke-owning barons were ad- 
itted to the body of burhthegns or barons and to the husting 
order to avoid the confusion which must have been created 
y the numerous and overlapping jurisdictions of the sokes. 
his confused condition of jurisdictions could only exist while 
e population was small and the inhabitants were content to 
.ve in separate communities. Its disadvantages would soon 
)ecome apparent, for a misdemeanour could be committed 
with impunity by an offender passing from one liberty to 
mother. The soke-owners after the Conquest, however, were 
nostly absentees, and their claims as barons were not ap- 
jarently pressed. A further cause of confusion was the varying 
legree of autonomy enjoyed in the different jurisdictions. 
Che soke-mote was in the nature of an ordinary court baron, 
fcut while the powers enjoyed in the older sokes, such as those 
f)f the Bishop of London, the dean and chapter of St. Paul's 
ind Castle Baynard, were so extensive as to include the right 
o gallows, in others the jurisdiction was restricted to merely 
ninor offences. It would be unsafe, however, to argue that 

M See the preamble in the Anglo-Saxon and Latin forms of the ordinances 
f the Frithgild ; Thorpe, Anct. Laws and Instil., p. 97 and charter cited by 
lound, Commune of London, pp. 252-3. 

16 Round, loc. cit. 


every soke had even a court of its own, a remark which applies 
particularly to the later-formed sokes, that were usually sub- 
infeudations, and to those which were little more than the 
town houses of ecclesiastics and others. In such cases the 
lord was satisfied by claiming the fines and forfeitures of his 
men which had been imposed in the husting. 56 

Gradually there was evolved an organized system defining 
the legal status and powers of the soke-mote and its relation 
to the husting. As early as the time of the laws attributed 
to Edward the Confessor there was an appeal, in case of 
default of justice, from the court of the soke to the sheriff 
sitting in the city court, 57 otherwise the husting. 58 A soke- 
owner could distrain for his land-gafol or socage rent on the 
goods of his tenant found within his franchise, but, failing 
such distraint, he had to proceed by writ of gavelot 59 which 
was pleaded by his soke-reeve in the husting. A soke-reeve 
could claim no jurisdiction over a foreign merchant or one 
living outside his franchise, but an action against such a person 
had to be taken to the jhusting ; nor could a soke protect any- 
one from an attachment in a plea of affray with bloodshed or 
visible wounds. 60 All soke-reeves had to be admitted by the 
husting before undertaking the office of keeping the soke and 
collecting the rents. 61 This subordination of the sokes to the 
husting must, it may be imagined, have been made by the 
mutual consent of the soke-owners in order to obviate the 

56 Cf. Maitland, Domesday Book and Beyond, 95, 97. 

57 Thorpe, And. Laws and Instil., p. 200. 

68 This seems to be so from M un. Gild. Lond. (Rolls Ser.), i, 62-^ ; Engl. 
Hist. Rev., xvii, 714. 

89 Ibid. A form of writ in use in London for the recovery of rent. (A.-S. 

60 Engl. Hist. Rev., xvii, 487, 490, 992-5. 

61 Ibid. 


confusion and lawlessness which would result from a number 
of small closely packed liberties. 

A civic administration of London for making of bye-laws 
for its good government, apart from or in conjunction with 
the judicial authority, must have existed at an early date. 
It was probably at first divided between the folkmote and 
the husting, an arrangement which would naturally be fraught 
with confusion. The municipal party represented by the 
barons was gradually attracting all administrative power to 
the husting, and it was probably from this development that 
a court of common council arose. The claim of the citizens 
of London in 1244 that the articles of the eyre should be re- 
ceived by the mayor, and that he with the counsel of the seniors 
and discreets and the sheriff should answer without oath, as 
was done in the time of King John, King Richard and King 
Henry II, 62 suggests the existence of a council in the reign of 
the last sovereign. Perhaps it may be carried some years 
earlier, and Miss Bateson suggests that the twelve mdiores 
cives who answered for the city in the time of Rufus may 
have been a municipal governing body. 63 With the inter- 
mittent exercise of municipal rights, the constitution of 
London may well have changed from time to time. As 
has already been suggested, during the first half of the 
twelfth century there were great changes which must have 
affected the constitution of London. These changes indicate 
a movement towards municipal independence ; the first step 
in this direction was a " communitas " with its common 
council to regulate the affairs of the city. It may be 

" Mun. Gild. Lond. (Rolls Ser.), i, 78 ; a like claim was made by the 
Mayor and Alderman in 1321 and abandoned. Ibid., ii, pt. i, 299, 300. 
Engl. Hist. Rev., xvii, 719. 

" Ibid., 730 n. 


that the meaning of the statement by the Londoners at the 
council at Winchester in April, 1141, that the barons who 
had entered the commune of the city begged for the release 
of Stephen, 64 was that a " communitas " with its council had 
been formed and joined by all the barons of London. Such 
an assembly could speak in the name of London. It would 
be presided over by the justiciar or sheriff, both of whom were 
apparently elected by the citizens for a short time after the 
charter of Henry I. This legislative body, the chief authority 
of the city, would lose its independence when later, in 1141, 
the right of the citizens to the election of their chief officers 
was withdrawn and the offices themselves granted to Geoffrey 
de Mandeville in fee and inheritance. After Geoffrey's down- 
fall in 1143 the Crown seems again to have appointed the 
justiciar until the office was abolished about ten years later, 
and the privilege of the election of the sheriff was not at once 
regranted to the citizens. Hence the desire of the barons, the 
oligarchic party in London, to obtain the control of their 
council by the recognition of a mayor elected from among 
themselves. The mayor, so elected, took over many of the 
duties of the defunct office of justiciar and held a position 
above the sheriff appointed by the Crown or chosen by the 
citizens. When Kichard I, in 1195, permitted the whole body 
of citizens to have the farm of London and Middlesex, and 
consequently the choice of their sheriff, and John granted 
them this right by charter in 1199, the barons had already 
obtained the choice of the mayor. 

It would seem that the whole body of barons formed a 
court, probably that of the Great Council, as appears from the 
numerous writs which are addressed to the mayor and barons 

WilL of Malms., Hiet. Nov., ii, 676. 


of London during the reigns of John 65 and Henry III 66 
regarding the collection of aids, tallage, murage and other 
taxes, and such matters as would naturally go before the 
council. The barons were also addressed as the recognised 
authority in 1248, when they were ordered to prevent the 
citizens from electing new sherifEs at the following Michael- 
mas, 67 In the record of the proceedings of the eyre at the 
Tower in 1320-1 the terms probi barones and probi homines 
had become interchangeable, 68 and when the commonalty 
(communitas) of London was summoned to answer a plea by 
what warrant they claimed to elect every year from among 
themselves a mayor, they pleaded the charter of John granting 
to the barons (barones) the right to elect a mayor from among 
themselves. 69 From this it would appear that at that date 
the barons and the commonalty of London were considered 
one and the same body, which is the condition that possibly 
prevailed some centuries earlier. 

The number of the barons was at first probably unlimited, 
but such an increasingly large body must have become un- 
wieldy. Eventually the mayor's council, an inner body of 
the whole or Great Council, was composed of the mayor and 
aldermen, but it is uncertain when this arose. From the first 
establishment of a council a large proportion of its members 
were doubtless aldermen, for aldermen could speak with 
authority as representatives of separate bodies of citizens. 
Except three, about whom there is no evidence one way or 

* Patent Roll, John (Rec. Com.), i, 137. Close Roll, John (Rec. Com.), 
ii, 195. 

S-Ce.o/ Pat. Rote, 1225-32, p. 104 ; 1232-47, pp. 22, 275, 452 ; 1247- 
54, pp. 591, 613. 

67 Col. of Pat. Rolls, 1247-58, p. 26. 

68 Mun. Crdd. London, ii, pt. i, p. 289. 
"Jbid., 308, 314. 


the other, 70 all the mayors of London from 1192 to the present 
day can be shown to have been aldermen, and under the 
charters of John and Henry III they must have been barons. 
The Assize of Building of 1189, 71 as it has come down to us in 
the city records, is probably, from internal evidence and for 
the reasons set out by Miss Bateson, 72 a compilation of a later 
date, but in the heading of the third clause the granting of the 
assize is stated to be made in the assembly of the mayor and 
aldermen (in congregations majoris et aldermanorum) which is 
the term used later for the common council. If reliance can 
be placed on this document it would appear that as early 
as the time of Henry Fitz Ailwin, the common council 
seems to have included the aldermen of the wards. We 
know that in the time of King John, and probably long 
before, these aldermen sat in the husting and declared the 
law there. 73 They were apparently the echevins (skivini) 
mentioned in the oath of the commune of about 1193, 74 and 
were probably the same as the twenty-four aldermen who 
rendered an account of the tallage of their wards in 1227, 76 
the twenty-four aldermen by whom and the mayor an ordin- 
ance as to wages was made in the reign of Edward I 76 and 
those who with the mayor went into the chancery in 1299 and 
made recognizance in 2000 marks for the payment of a fine 
for a renewal of the liberties of the city. 77 

70 The three are Serlo le Mercer (1214, 1217-22), William Hardel (1215) 
and Solomon de Basinges (1216). They were all of the aldermanic class. 

71 Mun. Gild. Lond. (Rolls Ser.), i, 319. 

72 Engl. Hist. Rev., xvii, 506. 

73 Ibid., 493 ; Petit-Dutaillis, op. cit., 99. 

74 For the oath see Bound, Commune of London, p. 237, quoting from 
Add. MS. 14,252. 

76 Engl. Hist. Rev., xvii, 508.* 

76 Mun. Oild. Lond. (Bolls Ser.), vol. ii, pt. i, p. 99. 

" Col. Pat. Rolls, 1292-1301, p. 412. 


The writ of 1206, already referred to, 78 may perhaps throw 
some light upon this point. It is addressed to the Barons of 
London, who as a body, there can be little doubt, formed the 
Great Council of London. They were ordered to cause the 
election before the justices, of twenty-four lawful, wise and 
discreet citizens to supersede the elders (superiores) who had 
made default in administering the law, in the assessment and 
collection of tallages and paying over the money received 
from them, and in the presentment of purprestures before 
the King and his justices. Now all the duties in which these 
elders are said to have failed were among those performed by 
the aldermen. 79 They, with the mayor, administered the law in 
the husting, they assessed, collected and paid over the money 
for the tallages, and they, with the mayor, received the 
articles of the eyre of the King's justices and made answer 
regarding the purprestures set out in them. We may perhaps 
assume, therefore, that the defaulters were aldermen, and that 
the twenty-four new men who were to be elected to take the 

78 Rot. Lift. Claus. (Bee. Com.), i, p. 64a. See p. 282. 

79 Pipe R<M Soc., xxxiv. (31 Hen. II.), p. 219; Mun.Gild. Land. vol. ii. 
pt. i. pp. 193-5. Loftie's statement (Hist, of Lond. i, 190), quoted by 
Round (Commune of Lond., 239), that the number of counsellors did not 
agree with the number of wards in 1206, does not seem to be based in 
evidence. In 1130 there is mention of twenty wards. Portsoken was 
added shortly afterwards, and by 1228 there were twenty -four. The pro- 
bability seems to be that three wards were made during the period of 
change at the end of the twelfth century. A further point to be raised is 
that the aldermen of Farringdon Ward and Portsoken were not elected as 
required by the writ. In Farringdon Ward it has been shown that at the 
date of the writ the alderman was elected, and there may be a doubt 
whether this was not so regarding Portsoken ; at all events the Piior of 
Holy Trinity did not always serve the office. In a grant of lands hi Port- 
aoken Ward, to which Mr. Round suggests the date of 1144, in the time 
of Norman, the first prior, one of the witnesses is Edmund, alderman of 
the ward (Commune of Lond. 101), and in 1264 Eustace the Prior is said 
to have appointed Theobald Fitzlvo to serve as alderman (Stow, op. cit., 

. 140). 


places of, presumably, a similar number of superseded officials 
and to carry out the same duties, were aldermen also. A 
difficulty arises, however, with regard to the order that the 
barons were to see that the elections were to be made before 
the King's justices, as the elections of the aldermen were held 
at the various wardmotes. The interpretation of the order 
with regard to these elections may be that the' wardmotes 
were to come before the justices, or the justices would appoint 
representatives to attend the wardmotes, in order to secure 
the election of men ready to carry out the King's wishes. 
There can be little doubt that the twenty-four citizens 
formed a governing body, and it is probably more than a 
coincidence that we have the oath of the twenty-four dated 
in the same year as the writ, and it might be suggested, 
perhaps, that it was composed for the men to be elected 
under the writ. The oath is simple and merely insists upon 
the administration of the law of the King according to the 
custom of London, the acceptance of no bribes from those 
pleading in the city, nor any reward to relieve an injury or to 
evade the law, on pain of losing the freedom of the city and 
of expulsion from the society of the twenty-four. 80 The 
oath, so far as it goes, is consistent with the duties of an 

"In the oath of the commune to be administered to the 
freemen, obedience is required to the mayor and echevins 
and respect to the mayor, echevins and good men (probi 
homines) who were with them. Here we probably have 
reference to two councils, the Lesser Council of the mayor and 
twenty-four and the Great Council of the mayor, twenty-four 
and the barons who, as has been shown, were the probi 
80 Round, Commune of London, 237. See App. No. III. 


homines. It will be noticed that the sheriffs, the King's 
officers, are ignored in the oath. 

According to Thedmar, the chronicler of London, twenty- 
five of the more discreet men of the city were elected in 1200 
and sworn to take counsel on behalf of the city, together with 
the mayor, 81 but this is not a particularly good authority and 
the entry itself is a little obscurely worded. Shortly after the 
middle of the thirteenth century the term aldermen was 
beginning to appear in the addresses of writs ; 82 and after the 
seizure of the liberties of the city in 1285, it not only takes the 
place of the word " barons " but is placed before the sheriffs. 83 
The advance of aldermen in the governing body of London 
was probably a gradual process which began in the twelfth 
century. At first it was only a matter of convenience and 
custom, but it eventually grew into a rule. 

81 it&er dc Afiliquis Legibm (Camden Soc.), p. 2. See on the subject 
Miss Bateson in Engl. Hist. Rev., xvii, 507-8, and App. No. Ill, p. 281. 

82 Col. of Pat. Bolls, 1247-58, p. 117; ibid., 125S-6ti, p. 434; ibid., 
1292-1301 et seq. 

83 Ibid., 1292-1301, p. 418 ; ibid., 1301-7, p. 153. 



IT has already been shown how cosmopolitan the population 
of London has always been. This phase of the development 
of London was no doubt gradual, but it is very noticeable 
even before the Conquest, and became more marked after the 
introduction of Norman rule. The reason for it is that the 
Anglo-Saxons, although an industrial people, were not traders, 
and so it was left to the Danish invaders and other foreigners 
to revive that commercial prosperity which had spread over 
the land during the Roman occupation. Throughout the 
tenth and the earlier half of the eleventh century, Danish and 
Norse influence prevailed in the city ; and from the slight 
glimpses we get of London society at this time it would 
appear that the leading families came originally from Denmark 
and Scandinavia. In Edward's reign there can be little doubt 
that the house of Godwin, of Norse extraction, had more 
credit in London than the royal family. Edward attempted 
to overcome this influence by introducing Norman settlers, 
and from this circumstance we have the origin perhaps of the 
two contending parties which, under different names and from 
different motives, divided London for centuries. In the earlier 
period of this division, the one side clung to the free institutions 
of Scandinavia, and the other upheld the feudal theories of 
Normandy. Like so much else in the development of this 



country, it was the merging of the peoples and their institu- 
tions upon which the continuance and increase of the pros- 
perity of London depended. The extremes of the one would 
have led to anarchy and of the other to revolution. 

Even in the eleventh century and earlier there was an east 
and west end of London. It will be noticed that the west end 
was the wealthier, and was the quarter in which the majority 
of the governing families lived. But London families seldom 
continued for any length of time as residents of the city, and 
a long descent is rare. The successful, after two or three 
generations, left the city to found county families in other 
parts of England, and those that failed suffered the penalty 
of failure and became lost among the many undistinguished 
members of the community. The Londoners strongly 
favoured the Baronial party, and numerous families fell into 
poverty during the Barons' Wars ; and by their exclusion 
from the terms of the Dictum of Kenilworth many were 
brought to ruin and extinction. 

There is little to be gathered from the Saxon chronicles 
and charters regarding the leading London families, and for 
the most part merely the incidental mention of their names 
has come down to us. To Tofig the Proud and Osgod Clapa, 
Scandinavian stallers, reference has already been made. 
Hugeline, the burhthegn, probably a French retainer of King 
Edward, who may have acquired a soke in London, was the 
King's chamberlain, an office which compelled constant 
attendance at court, as is shown by the frequent appearance 
of his name among the witnesses to royal charters. Ulf, the 
portreeve or sheriff, the first in that office whose name is 
known to us, and Kinegif his wife may have been of Danish 
extraction. They were benefactors to Westminster Abbey in 


the early years of Edward's reign, when the idea of refounding 
the Abbey was first mooted by the King. 1 The shrievalties 
of -iElfget, Swetman, Mlsig and Leofstan 2 indicate perhaps 
the rise of an English party, which was made possible by the 
quarrels between the Danish and French citizens in the latter 
half of Edward's reign. This English party was formed by a 
coalition of the Anglo-Saxon and Danish factions, and was led 
in London probably by Ansgar the staller. It arose appar- 
ently at the time of the downfall of the Frenchmen or foreigners 
at Edward's court after Earl Godwin's rebellion in 1052-3. 
Notwithstanding that Harold had obtained Ansgar's ancestral 
property at Waltham after the forfeiture of Athelstan his 
father, Ansgar throughout his career remained a faithful 
adherent to the house of Godwin. Like Harold he was of 
Danish or Scandinavian extraction, his grandfather, Tofig the 
Proud, being a minister of Cnut. Ansgar's wealth was con- 
siderable, his estates at the time of the Conquest extending 
into eight counties. 3 He held the position of staller of London 
from 1042, but it is not until about 1055 4 that he appears at 
Edward's court, and from this date to the time of Edward's 
death his constant attendance there is shown by the attesta- 
tions to royal charters. 6 He was present at Edward's last 
gemote, and was probably one of the electors of Harold to the 
English throne. At the Battle of Hastings he was banner- 
bearer and commander of Harold's bodyguard. Later he 

1 Kemble, Cod. Dip., vol. iv, No. 872. 

2 Suetman, ^Elsig and Leofstan are names of London moneyers in the 
time of Edward the Confessor. B.M. Cat. of Brit. Coins, ii, 329-33. 

3 V.C.H. Essex, i, 343. 

4 Kemble, Cod. Dip., iv, No. 801. 

8 Ibid., Nos. 801 to 872 passim; 801, 806, 808, 810, 811, 813, 824, 826, 
828, 855, 864, 872. A witness to a royal charter dated 1060 is " Asgcerus 
regis dapiferus," but it is doubtful if he can be identified with Ausgar. 


became the negotiator with William for the surrender of 
London, as has already been pointd out. We have no in- 
formation as to his end ; probably he died from his wounds 
received at Hastings, and his vast estates, being confiscated, 
passed to Geoffrey de Mandeville. Nothing is known with cer- 
tainty of his descendants, but a widow, the wife of " Ansgar," 
who held a manor in King's Walden in Hertfordshire at the 
time of the Domesday Survey, may be the staller's widow. 6 
It has been thought that Godwin son of Esgar, an alderman, 
possibly of Tower ward, c. 1130, was his son, but if this was so 
he must have been a very old man at that date. 7 

Geoffrey, or Gosfrid de Mandeville, who received the vast 
estates of Ansgar and much more, took his name from Mande- 
ville near Trevieres in the Bessin, but the chief seat of the 
family, according to Mr. Stapleton, was in the Cotentin at 
Ollonde in the commune of Canville. 8 Geoffrey's first wife 
was Adelais, possibly Adelais de Balte (Baupte), who had 
land at La Fevrerie, part of the Honour of Plessis held by 
Richard who was called Turstin, brother perhaps of Adelais. 9 
This lady accompanied her husband to England, and died here 
before 1086, and was buried in the cloister at Westminster. 10 
He married as his second wife Leceline, of whom nothing is 

Geoffrey must have been a comparatively young man when 
at the surrender of London he was given the important posi- 
tion of portreeve of that city. The citizens were wealthy and 
independent, with a strong anti-French feeling surviving 

6 V.C.H. Herts, i, 302b. 7 Price, Hist, of Gildhatt, p. 16. 

8 Thorn. Stapleton, Ratiili Scaccarii Normanice (Soc. of Antiquaries), ii, 
p. cbcxxviii. Ibid. 

10 Armitage Robinson, Gilbert Crispin, pp. 127, 139. Davis, Regesta 
Regum Anglo- X or manorum, No. 209. 


from the time of Godwin's rebellion some fifteen years earlier. 
William therefore looked for a man who would overawe rather 
than conciliate the Londoners, and the qualities which he 
required were no doubt found in Geoffrey. According to 
Professor Freeman, he was present with William in London 
immediately after the coronation of the Conqueror, 11 when he 
received a grant of the manor of Moze in Essex. 12 The ap- 
pointment of Gosfrid or Geoffrey de Mandeville as portreeve 
was apparently one of William's measures for the peaceful 
ordering of the affairs of London after his coronation. 13 At 
the same time probably the King granted his charter of 
liberties to London, which was addressed to his new portreeve. 
That Geoffrey was a faithful and favourite minister of William 
there can be no doubt, from the immense grants of land 
which he obtained, his frequent presence at the royal court 
as a witness to charters, and his employment as messenger of 
the King to negotiate matters beyond the sea. 14 That his 
absence abroad must have been prolonged is shown by the 
confusion that arose with regard to his property in conse- 
quence. 15 Besides being justiciar and sheriff of London he 
held the same offices for Essex and Hertford. 16 From these 
few facts we have of him it is clear that he cannot have 
devoted much time to the interests of London, and the duties 
attached to his various offices must have been performed by 
subordinates. He founded Hurley Priory and was a bene- 
factor to Westminster Abbey and other monasteries. 17 He 
witnessed a charter as late as 1113, but he must have died 

11 Freeman, op. cit., iv, 19. " V.C.H. Essex, i, 507b. 

13 Ordericus Vitalis, ii, 64. 14 Freeman, op. cit., v, 746. 

16 Ibid. ; Domesday Book (Rec. Com.), i, 130d. 

16 Round, Oeoff. de Mandeville, 141-2. 

17 Ibid., 38. 


shortly afterwards, probably at an advanced age, 18 leaving his 
son William his heir. 

Beyond holding the office of constable or warden of the 
Tower, William de Mandeville seems to had little con- 
nexion with London. He died about 1129, 19 and was succeeded 
by his infamous son Geoffrey de Mandeville, who was created 
Earl of Essex, the incidents of whose life, as far as they relate 
to London, have been given elsewhere. He married Rohese, 
daughter of Aubrey de Vere, 20 chamberlain to the King, and 
justiciar of England. Aubrey was apparently justiciar of 
London, and was killed in the London riots of 1141. His son 
Aubrey was created Earl of Oxford. 

The successor to the first Geoffrey de Mandeville, not only 
in the justiciarship of London but in several similar offices, 
was Hugh de Bocland, or Buckland. He was a tenant of the 
abbot of Abingdon at Buckland, four miles from Abingdon, 
whence he took his name, and of land elsewhere in the county. 
He was what was termed a king's clerk, the civil servant of 
the time, and rose to fame towards the end of the century 
when William Rufus was endeavouring to exact the heavy 
taxation, imposed for a loan to his brother Robert and other 
purposes. As has been shown, Buckland was made local 
justiciar or sheriff to some eight counties about this time, 
and was employed in other offices by the Crown. 21 It was 
evidently for his capacity as an administrator that he was 
appointed to London, where special difficulties had apparently 
arisen. As a justiciar of London he would naturally be a 
baron of the city, and is so referred to in a charter to Ramsey 

18 Armitage Robinson, Gilbert Crispin, pp. 150-1. He died probably in 
1113 or 1114. " Round, Geoff, de Mandeville, 40. 20 Ibid., 390. 
21 Bound, Doc. France, p. 40. 


Abbey early in the twelfth century. It was he, apparently, 
that held land in London at Ludgate, which the Bishop of 
Salisbury granted to Geoffrey the Constable. 22 He also held 
a wharf of the Abbot of Westminster, probably at London 
Bridge. 23 His death occurred about 1115, when he left a son, 
William de Buckland. 24 Foss asserts that he became a canon 
of St. Paul's, but the identity of the Hugh de Bocland con- 
nected with that house at a little later date, with the justiciar 
and sheriff, has not been proved. 25 

Two of the most important families of London of the early 
part of the twelfth century were apparently of Italian origin. 
The Bocointes (Bucca uncta, or oily mouth) and Buckerels 
(BuchereUi), financiers, bankers and moneylenders, probably 
settled in London at the end of the previous century. Andrew 
Bocointe, the first and most famous of his family of whom we 
have record, appears in connexion with the transfer of the 
English Cnihtengild's soke of Portsoken to Holy Trinity 
Priory in 1125, when he was one of the principal parties to 
the conveyance. He was also a witness to the agreement 
between Ramsey Abbey and the same priory as to their 
properties in London, the date of which Mr. Round places 
between 1125 and 1130. 26 From the Pipe RoU of 1130 we 
learn that he accounted for the lands of Roger, nephew of 
Hubert, 27 and an allowance from the debts of Roger's son 
Gervase was made to him. 28 In 1137 he was holding the 

22 Hist. MSB. Com. Rep., ix, 25b. 

23 Armitage Robinson, Gilbert Crispin, p. 155. 2 * Ibid., p. 154. 

25 Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix, 25b, 62b. There was a Hugh de Bocland, 
prebendary of Harlesden belonging to St. Paul's, about this time who may 
have been the justiciar. Dugdale, Hist, of St. Paul's, 249. 

28 Pipe RoU Soc., x (Anct. Charters), 24. 

27 RotuluB Magn. Pipce (Rec. Com.), 145. 

28 Ibid., 147. See also p. 243. 


important and responsible post of justiciar of London, 29 a 
position he had probably occupied for some years before that 
date. He had land and a furnace (fornax), possibly in con- 
nexion with coining for he seems to have been a moneyer 
in the parish of St. Stephen Walbrook, and here probably he 
lived. 30 His death apparently occurred in the reign of 
Stephen. He had three sons, John, who, with his wife Adela, 
endowed Colchester Abbey 31 and St. Bartholomew's Hospi- 
tal, 32 and served the office of sheriff of London from 1169 to 
1173 ; Ralph, of whom we know nothing more than he was a 
witness to various deeds ; 33 and Humfrey, who had lands at 
Edgware, and carried on a long suit with William Reimes 
from 1169 to 1175 as to property there and in Essex, which 
he tried to bring into the city court. 34 Humfrey had a son 
Andrew and a daughter Lucy. 35 Andrew was apparently the 
man of his name who committed the outrageous burglary in 
London already referred to. 36 The date assigned to this 
crime is 1174, but there is a good deal of doubt as to the exact 
year, and an entry on the Pipe Roll for 1171 of an account 
rendered by the sheriff of 12s. of the chattels of three fugitives 
at Edgware for the death of the son of Humfrey Bocointe, 37 
suggests the murder of Andrew by his accomplices, after, as 
has already been shown, he had given information against 
them, whereby one of their number, at least, was hanged. 
This theory seems to be strengthened by the fact that the 

29 Round, Commune of London, 108. 

30 Cart, of St. John's of Colchester (Roxburgh Soc.), ii, 294. 

31 Ibid., 293, 294. 

82 Norman Moore, op. cit., i, p. 121. 
33 Round, Commune of London, 108. 

* Pipe Soil Soc., 15 Hen. II, p. 173 ; 17 Hen. II, p. 150 ; 18 Hen. II, 
p. 42. Anct. Deeds, A. 2024. 

See p. 99. Pipe Rott Soc., xvi (17 Hen. II), p. 150. 


Edgware property went to Humfrey's daughter, Lucy, who 
married Waleram. 38 Lucy and Waleram had two daughters, 
Cicely and Lucy, the former of whom married Andrew Blund 
and had a daughter Joan, who became the wife of Robert de 
Covele. 39 Lucy, the second daughter of Waleram and Lucy, 
married Sir John de Guland. 40 

The earliest of another branch of the family was Lawrence 
Bocointe, possibly a brother or son of the first Andrew. 41 
He appears as a witness to two deeds of 1142. His wife, 
Sabeline, was evidently a lady of importance, as their two 
sons, William and Geoffrey, describe themselves indifferently 
by their father's surname or as sons of Sabeline. William 
granted land in the parishes of St. Mary le Bow and St. 
Lawrence Jewry to Holy Trinity or Christchurch Priory for 
the souls of himself, Agnes, his wife, Lawrence, his father, 
Sabeline, his mother, and Geoffrey, his brother. 42 By his wife, 
Agnes, he had probably a daughter Beatrice Bocointe, who 
married and had a daughter Hersent, who became the wife of 
Geoffrey de St. Loy. 43 It would seem that William Bocointe 
or Fitz Sabeline married a second time, a lady named Alice, by 
whom he had a son John, who, like his father, sometimes took 
the family name of Bocointe and at others that of Fitz Alice 
after his mother. 44 He married Dionisia, daughter of Chris- 
tina, daughter of Ordgar, and they together released all 

38 Anct. Deeds, A. 2156. 3 Ibid., A. 2033, 2310, 2320. 

40 Ibid., A. 2567. 41 Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix, pp. 40b, 67b. 

4 * Anct. Deeds, A. 1474, 1788. This William Fitz Sabeline has been 
identified with William Fitz Isabel who was for so many years sheriff of 
London, but this is probably an error. 

43 Norman Moore, op. cit., i, 132. The seals of the parties to the deed 
referred to are extant at St. Bartholomew's. 

* Pipe Roll, 9 Rich. I (Lond. and Midd.) ; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix, 
p. Ib. 


claim to the churches of St. Martin Orgar and St. Botolph, 
Billingsgate, to the Dean and Canons of St. Paul's about 
1180-7. 45 William Fitz Alice, an alderman, 46 may have 
beeD a brother of John. 

The other son of Lawrence Bocointe and Sabeline, Geoffrey, 
was fined 100 marks for an unknown offence, possibly arising 
out of the Fitz Osbert riots, in 1197, 47 and again in 1207 he 
had to give ten goshawks as an amercement. 48 He held lands 
at Ginges in Essex. 49 His son John married Juliana, daughter 
of William Fitz Reiner. It was probably this John, and not 
his cousin of the same name, who was sheriff in 1190-1, for 
his cousin, evidently to make a distinction, is referred to on 
the Pipe Rolls as John Bocointe son of Alice. The heavy 
fine of 100 marks was also imposed on him in 1197. 50 He was 
alive in 1219-20, when he contributed towards the mainten- 
ance of a lamp for the sick in the Hospital of St. Bartholomew 
at the church of St. Andrew Holborn. 61 

An Adam Bocointe had a son Henry, who married Grace 
de la Donne. 52 Their son Ranulf, who was living in the reign 
of Henry III, had three daughters, Joan married to Richard 
Kyppetre, Margaret and Margery. 53 The Bocointes seem 
to have dropped out of the history of London about this 

The other Italian family which settled here, probably at 
the end of the eleventh century, was that of Buckerel, a name 
which seems to have become corrupted into Buckler. The 

* 8 Ibid., 16b, 26, 63. Ibid., 22b. 

47 Pipe Roll (Lond. and Midd.), 9 Rich. I. Ibid., 9 John. 

* Ibid., 9 Rich. I; Anct. Deeds, A. 2113, 6081. 

M Pipe Roll, 9 Rich. I (Lond. and Midd.). 

51 Norman Moore, op. cit., p. 69. Anct. Deeds, A. 7271, 2314. 

" Ibid., A. 1568, 1588, 2298. " Ibid. 


first member of the family of whom we have record was a 
Warine Buckerel, who appears as a witness to a charter of 
St. Paul's of 1104, 54 and on the Pipe RoU of 1130 we have 
reference to Thomas, son of Odo Buckerel, and a William 
Buckerel as pledges for Fulcred Fitz Walter, a former justiciar 
or sheriff, 55 from which it may be inferred they were men of 
substance. Geoffrey Buckerel appears about this time. He 
was evidently a moneyer, and he and Adelulf of Flanders each 
paid a fine that the agreement as to an exchange, possibly a 
mint, which had been made between them, might be annulled. 56 
He was a joint sheriff in 1130, when he and three others paid 
a fine that they might go out of office. 57 Geoffrey Buckerel 
does not appear on the Pipe Rolls for Henry II, so we may 
perhaps suppose he was dead before that time. Stephen 
Buckerel, from his date, may well have been his son, but so 
far no evidence of their relationship has been found. He and 
Sabella or Isabella, his wife, had a son Andrew, who was sheriff 
in 1172-4. Andrew was a benefactor to St. Bartholomew's 
Hospital about 1182, and directed that if he should die on a 
pilgrimage he was then about to undertake, the hospital should 
for ever have a rent of 6s. which it paid him for an orchard 
on the east side of the hospital. The brethren were to hold 
this rent for the love of God and for the welfare of the souls 
of his father Stephen, his mother Sabella, and of his own soul 
and that of his wife Idonea and their children. 58 Andrew 
seems to have died on his pilgrimage in or before 1183. 59 He 
held a soke, possibly Bucklersbury, which he sold to Hasculf 

64 Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix, p. 61b. 

55 Rot. Magn. Pipce (Eec. Com.), 145, 146, 149. 

66 Ibid., 145. " Ibid., 149. 

58 Norman Moore, Hist, of St. Barts., i, 269. 

58 Pipe RoU Soc., 29 Hen. Ill, p. 166. 


de Tania, the payments for which were not completed until 
the beginning of the thirteenth century. 60 

Andrew and Idonea had two sons, Andrew 61 and Thomas, 62 
and probably Stephen Buckerel was a third. 63 All three men 
distinguished themselves. They were all sheriffs and alder- 
men, and Andrew was mayor in 1231-5. Andrew had lands 
and possibly a country residence, like so many other London 
magnates, at Edmonton, and held property in various parts 
of London. He probably died without issue, and was suc- 
ceeded in some of his lands by his nephew Thomas, son of 
his brother Thomas. 64 Thomas, the son, died about 1270, 65 
and his daughter Alice married John de Aspale. 66 Stephen 
was alderman of Cripplegate " Within the bar " 67 and sheriff 
in 1227. It was probably his son Stephen Buckerel who in 
1268 was attached to answer John Renger for having raided 
his houses at Enfield, Edmonton, Mimms and Stepney and 
carried away his goods and done damage to the value of 100. 
Stephen, evidently an adherent to the baronial party, pleaded 
that he and all his possessions had been given to Edward, 
the King's son, and he had bought his freedom and a pardon 
for all transgressions against the King, Henry III, and Edward 
his son. John Renger, however, pleaded that the pardon did 
not affect the matter as the citizeos of London were excepted 
from the Dictum of Kenilworth. 68 The result of the action 
is not given. Isabella, widow of Stephen Buckerel, founded 

60 Pipe Rolls ; see yearly from 1184-5 till 1201. 

61 Anct. Deeds, A. 2039, A. 2448, B. 2339, B. 2348. 

62 Ibid., B. 2337. 

83 Norman Moore, op. cit., i, 271. 
64 Anct. Deeds, B. 2337. 

* He was witness to a deed of 1269, Anct. Deeds, C. 850, and is described 
as dead in Ibid., C. 1172. Ibid., C. 1172. 

7 Ibid., A. 2490, A. 11862. M Abbrev. Plac. (Rec. Com.), 175. 

242 LONDON ^ 

a chantry in St. Paul's for the souls of Stephen and their 
children Stephen, Andrew and William Buckerel. 69 

We have mention of a Matthew Buckerel, who was sheriff 
in 1255-6 and alderman of Candle wick Street Ward about 
1270. 70 A Peter Buckerel brought an action against Hacon 
the Dane in 1207, 71 and appears to have held a tenement next 
Ebbgate of Simon, son of Marcian, which eventually went to 
St. John's Abbey, Colchester. 72 

The family of Cornhill, unlike the Buckerels, were leaders of 
the aristocratic party both in national and municipal politics. 
Mr. Round has carefully worked out their pedigree, and shows 
that on his mother's side Gervase de Cornhill was descended 
from the Fitz Herlwin family, 73 doubtless of Norman origin. 
Herlwin had three sons, Ralf Fitz Herlwin, William Fitz 
Herlwin and Herlwin Fitz Herlwin, and a daughter, Ingenolda, 
all of whom are referred to in the Pipe Roll of 1130. 74 Ralf 
Fitz Herlwin was one of the four sheriffs in this year, and had 
three sons, Robert, William and Herlwin. Robert Fitz Ralf 
married Mary, daughter of Baldwin de Arras, and with her 
he inherited from her maternal uncle, Nicholas Fitz Algar, 
the church of St. Michael Cheap, of which church Nicholas' 
father, Algar Colessune, had been priest before him. Ingenolda 
married Roger, nephew of Hubert, who was sheriff with 
Aubrey de Vere in 1125 and apparently died on a pilgrimage 
to Jerusalem before 1130. Roger was evidently a man of 
considerable wealth, holding, besides property in London, the 

li9 Dugdale, Hist, of St. Paul's, 19. 
" Anct. Deeds, A. 1800, A. 11606. 

71 Pipe Roll, 9 John (Lond. and Midd.). 

72 Cart, of St. John's, Colchester (Roxburgh Soc.), i, 256 ; ii, 304, 305, 306. 

73 Round, Geoff, de Mandeville, 304-12. 

74 Rot. Magn. Pipes Hen. I (Rec. Com.), 147, 149; Hist. MSS. Corn. 
Rtp., ix, 20a. 


manor of Chalk in Kent. Probably when starting on his 
pilgrimage he placed his property in the hands of Half, son of 
Everard, who was sheriff about 1125-8, and died before 1130, 
when John his son received a grant of his father's debts. 
This John and his brother Robert took over the trust of the 
property of Roger, nephew of Hubert, and rendered an 
account to the heir. Roger and Ingenolda had two sons, 
Gervase and Alan. Gervase married Agnes, daughter of 
Edward de Cornhill, who under the name of Edward Hupcorn- 
hill appears as one of the members of the Cnihtengild who 
surrendered their property to Holy Trinity in 1125. Edward's 
wife, Godeleve, was daughter of Edward de Southwark, who 
with his son William was a witness to the same deed of sur- 
render. Apparently Agnes was an heiress, and, as was not 
unusual at the time, her husband took her name and became 
mown as Gervase de Cornhill. The wealth, fame and industry 
of Gervase as a merchant, judge and Crown minister have 
already been alluded to. 75 His properties extended into Essex, 
Suffolk and Cambridge. 76 

We know nothing of Alan, brother of Gervase, but Mr. 
Round suggests that he was the father of Roger Fitz Alan who 
succeeded Henry Fitz Ailwin as mayor in 1212, 77 but it seems 
perhaps more probable that Roger Fitz Alan was son of Alan, 
brother of Henry Fitz Ailwin. 78 Gervase and Agnes had three 
sons, Henry, Reginald and Ralf . Henry de Cornhill succeeded 
his father as a merchant, judge and Crown minister. He 
married Alice de Courci, heiress of the English branch of her 
family, and they had an only daughter Joan, who married 

73 See p. 205. 

Red Bk. of Excheq. (Rolls Ser.), 347, 406, 582. Sheriff of London 
1155-6 with John Fitz Ralf. 

" Round, Geoff, de Mandenlle, 311. '* See p. 252. 


Hugh de Nevill, forester of England. Reginald de Cornhill, 
apparently second son of Gervase, was sheriff of Kent, and had 
a son of the same name, known as Reginald de Cornhill, 
junior. 79 Of Ralf, the third son, we know little. 

The joint sheriff with Henry de Cornhill, his partner in many 
business transactions and his leading opponent in national 
and municipal politics, was Richard Fitz Reiner. Richard 
was a member of one of the most interesting of early London 
families which generally goes by the name of Fitz Reiner, but 
as a matter of fact, like many others, had no surname, each 
member being described merely as the son of his father. The 
Fitz Reiners were probably Norman immigrants, coming per- 
haps in the retinue of one of the early Norman bishops of 
London. A Berengar, servant of the Bishop of London, was 
witness to a deed concerning land in the soke of St. Bennet 
Paul's Wharf in 11 II, 80 and a little later there are references 
to a Henry, son of Berengar, the turner, living next the 
market-place (West Cheap) in the parish of St. Mary Mag- 
dalene, Milk Street. 81 This Henry was possibly brother of 
Reiner, son of Berengar, who was a witness to a deed as to 
lands in the same district. 82 In the Exchequer accounts for 
1156 there are payments to this Reiner Fitz Berengar under 
Essex, 83 a county so strongly connected with London. 
Reiner had evidently prospered, and two years later he 

79 Bound, loc. cit. 

80 Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix, 26a. 81 Ibid., 61b, 68a. 

82 Ibid., 68a. In the V.C.H. Herts, ii, 268, the writer stated on in- 
formation given him that Reiner's father was Hugh de Bifield, but there is 
ample evidence among the Anct. Deeds to show he was son of Beiengar. 
Cf. Anct. Deeds, A. 2025, 2176. 

83 Pipe Roll, 2 Hen. II (Rec. Com.), pp. 17, 18. We have an entry of a 
Berengar as tenant at Hanningfield under Ralf Baynard and another of 
Berengar, a man of Earl Eustace of Boulogne, holding at Ongar in the j 
Domesday Survey (V.C.H. Essex, i, 524, 674). 


appears as the first of the five sheriffs of London for that year 
(1158). 84 The same sheriffs continued through the next year, 85 
after which they went out of office. In 1163 Reiner Fitz 
Berengar and William Fitz Isabel became sheriffs and held 
office jointly for seven years. Reiner was like his eldest son, 
Richard, probably a general merchant. He had property in 
Friday Street which he purchased from Roger Bigod, 86 where 
probably he lived. Being a man of substance and repute, he 
was of sufficient importance to have a seal of his own, an im- 
pression of which showing him in armour on horseback with 
the legend SigiUum Reineri filii Berengarii is preserved among 
the muniments of St. Bartholomew's. 87 He was living in 
1174. 88 He had by his wife Alice three sons, Richard, Henry 
and William. Richard, the eldest, evidently had a large 
Dusiness, mostly in cloth. He with Henry de Cornhill probably 
succeeded Edward Blund as the King's butler and chamber- 
ain, for from 1182 we find them providing wine, cloth, furs, 
saddles and stores of all kinds, in the same way as they had 
been purveyed by Blund. Richard Fitz Reiner had the cus- 
tody of several forfeited estates, and was a frequent witness 
x) deeds concerning lands in London. With Henry de Cornhill 
served the office of sheriff from 1187 to 1189. Richard 
accumulated considerable property in London and Hertford- 
shire. In London his lands lay in Friday Street, which he 
probably inherited from his father ; in Candlewick Street 
[Cannon Street), and adjoining the river in Vintry, described 
as lands, houses and quay in the parish of St. Martin " Bare- 

8 * Pipe SoU Soc., 4 Hen. II, p. 112. 

9i Ibid., 5 Hen. II, p. 1. 

" Anct. Deeds, A. 2176. 

!T Norman Moore, Hist, of St. Boris. Hosp., i, 264. 

88 Pipe Boa Soc., xxi (20 Hen. II), p. 12. 


manecherche." 89 In Hertfordshire he purchased the manor 
of Shenleybury with the advowson of the chapel, from William 
Chenduit. 90 He died in 1191, apparently unmarried, leaving 
his two brothers his heirs. He directed by his will that a 
chantry should be founded at Colney Chapel in Shenley for 
the benefit of the souls of his father, Keiner, and Alice, his 
mother, and of himself. 91 The property which he left was 
very considerable, and it was found necessary to have a 
solemn agreement, dated the feast of St. Andrew, 3 Richard I 
(30 Nov., 1191), between the two surviving brothers. This 
agreement was made in the Court of Exchequer before various 
justices, John, Count of Mortain (later King John), Henry de 
Cornhill, Henry Fitz Ailwin, 92 Geoffrey Bocoint and other 
citizens of London. Under this agreement William Fitz 
Reiner took the lands at Edmonton, Newland, Wittlesham, 
" Hamme " and " Newentun," and in London the capital 
messuage, probably on his property in the Vintry, with all the 
close and the land which German held, and the cellars where 
the Lorrainers were accustomed to come together, with many 
rents from houses in London. Henry Fitz Reiner was to have 
the property at Duston in Northamptonshire, held of the 
Honour of Peverel of Nottingham, the property at Shenley in 
Hertfordshire, and in London a messuage next the church of 
St. Mary Woolnoth and other lands and rents. 93 William 
Fitz Reiner had a son William, who was living in 1224, when 
he acted as attorney for hie cousin Saer, son of Henry, regard- 
ing lands in the Strand, 94 after which we lose sight of him. 

89 Norman Moore, op. cit., i, 88. 

90 V.C.H. Herts, ii, 268. 91 Ibid. 

92 Henry Fitz Ailwin comes towards the end of the witnesses and is not 
described as mayor. 

93 Rot. Cur. Regis (Rec. Com.), i, App.'cv. 

9 * Feet of Fines (Lond. and Midd.), Hen. Ill, No. 51. 


Juliana, daughter of William Fitz Reiner, married John, son 
of Geoffrey Fitz Isabel. Henry Fitz Reiner, an alderman 
possibly of Queenhithe or Vintry Ward, where his property 
lay, married Joan, daughter of Geoffrey Blund. He built 
himself a hall probably in one of these wards, towards which 
his wife's relative Robert Blund contributed a beam. 95 He 
died before 1219, and his widow survived him until after 
1224. 9S He left a son, Saer, known as Saer, son of Henry de 
London, and a daughter, Salveya. 

The Fitz Reiners were keen politicians, and it was to politics 
that their downfall was due. The story of Richard Fitz 
Reiner's association with John, Count of Mortain, and John's 
indebtedness to the family, and the part the Fitz Reiners 
played in obtaining the Commune, has already been told. 
Notwithstanding the services of the family to John before he 
ascended the throne, he seized the lands of William Fitz 
Reiner for his adherence to the Barons, and they were not 
returned to him until 1217, when Henry III had become 
King. 97 He had to pay heavily for obtaining this pardon, 
and we find him selling land probably for the purpose of 
discharging his debts. We hear little of the family after 
this, and it seems likely that the younger William died early 
without issue. 

Henry Fitz Reiner was also heavily fined by King Richard 
in 1197, probably for matters arising out of Longbeard's 
riots. 98 Saer his son followed in his father's footsteps and, 
owing apparently to his political views, got hopelessly into 
the hands of the Jews. His son, John, became still further 

5 Anct, Deeds, A. 1803. 

Bratton's Sote Bool: (ed. Maitland), 994. 

97 Close. BoU, John and Hen. Ill (Rec. Com.), p. 325. 

98 Pipe Roll 9 Rich. I (Lond. and Midd.). 


involved after the battle of Evesham in 1265, when he and the 
other citizens of London engaged in it, being excluded from 
the Dictum of Kenilworth, were put to ransom." To add to 
his difficulties the Jew of whom his father had borrowed died, 
and John, son of Saer, had to sell all his estates, now heavily 
mortgaged, to Adam de Stratton, that greatest of medieval 
scoundrels. Stratton made it a practice to buy up the debts 
due to Jews and bleed the victims who thus came into his 

Less impulsive than the Fitz Reiners, but of the same politi- 
cal party, was the family of Henry Fitz Ailwin, the first mayor 
of London. Its members were derived from an ancestry that 
blended English and Norman blood, and perhaps for this 
reason were more far-sighted and better able to keep their 
estates throughout the turmoil of the end of the twelfth and 
beginning of the thirteenth century. Their pedigree can be 
carried back perhaps to a Hertfordshire origin. The manor 
of Watton at Stone, together with Walkern and Sacombe, 
all in that county, was held in the time of Edward the Con- 
fessor by Ailwin Home, a thegn of the King who owned lands 
also in Middlesex and Bedfordshire. 1 We know nothing of 
Ailwin beyond the fact that he was a thegn of King Edward 
and lived probably at Walkern. He was succeeded at Walkern 
and Sacombe by Derman, a thegn of King William, and at 
Watton at Stone by Derman and Alward, the latter also a 
thegn of the King. It is possible that Ailwin was the father 
of Derman and Alward, for it is unlikely that English holders 
would succeed an Englishman at this date, unless by descent. 
A Derman is referred to in the Cartulary of St. John's of Col- 

9 Col. Pat. Rolls, 1266-72, p. 209. 
1 V.C.H. Herts, i, 285, 342 ; iii, 138, 152, 159 ; iv, 291. 


Chester, 2 whose manor, given to Eudo ' Dapifer,' Mr. Round 
shows was Walkern. 3 This being so, the Derman here referred 
to must be the Domesday tenant of Watton at Stone, Sa- 
combe and Walkern. 4 He was apparently succeeded by his 
brother Leofstan, who was possibly the portreeve of London 
of that name who ruled just before, and possibly at the time 
of the Conquest. He is mentioned in the charter of Henry I 
confirming the rights of the Cnihtengild to Holy Trinity as a 
contemporary of the King's father and brother. 5 Stow states 
that Leofstan, the provost or portreeve, was buried in Ber- 
mondsey priory church in 1115, 6 but it is not clear to which 
Leofstan he refers. The portreeve of that name, who is the 
best known of the Leofstans of the time, held office just before 
the Conquest, so that he must have been a very old man if 
he died in 1115. Leofstan the goldsmith was alive in 1125, 
consequently the reference cannot be to him. Leofstan was 
not an uncommon name in London at this time, and there 
may have been another portreeve of this name holding office 
under the justiciarship of Geoffrey de Mandeville or Hugh de 

Leofstan, brother of Derman, has been supposed to be the 
grandfather of Henry Fitz Ailwin the mayor, but as such a 
descent would allow about 126 years for less than three 
generations 7 the supposition is scarcely likely to be correct. 

1 Cart, of St. John's of Colchester (Roxburgh Club), i, 28. 

V.C.H. Herts, i, 286 n. 

4 It is curious to note that a royal charter of 1081 confirming lands in 
London to St. Peter of Ghent, Derman, Leofstan and Alfward Grossus of 
London are together witnesses. Round, Doc. France, 502-3. As to Alfward 
Grossus see Armitage Robinson, Gilbert Crispin, 158. 

Trans. Land. Midd. Arch. Soe., v, 479. 

6 Stow, op. cit., ii, 67. 

7 Taking from 1086 the date of Domesday when Derman his brother was 
living to the death of Henry Fitz Ailwin in 1212. 


As we have the mayor, who was of a London family, described 
as Henry Fitz Ailwin Fitz Leofstan, 8 and we know that 
Orgar, a wealthy Londoner, had a son Leofstan who had a 
son Ailwin, we are tempted to suggest that this Orgar was 
great-grandfather of the mayor and a son of Leofstan, brother 
of Derman, who held lands in Hertfordshire afterwards in the 
possession of the mayor. 9 Taking Orgar's descent, we find he 
had a sister " Eadilda," who was alive in 1132 10 but had died 
before 1142-3, previous to which latter date Orgar himself 
was also apparently dead. 11 He had a son Leofstan and a 
daughter whose name is not known, who were both living at 
this latter date. Leofstan's two sons, Ailwin and Robert, 12 
were parties to the surrender of the Cnihtengild's soke of Port- 
soken to Holy Trinity in 1125, 13 and are referred to in the 
above-mentioned deed of 1 142-3. 14 This deed is of especial 
interest, as it sets out the relatives of Orgar who had a share 
in an acre of land adjoining the church of St. Margaret, and 
among them were Gilbert Prutfot, the sheriff, and Azo, the 
alderman. 15 Robert was probably alderman of the gild of 
weavers for which he answered in 1130. 16 

With regard to Ailwin, father of the mayor, the frequency 
of the name at this time is the cause of much uncertainty as 
to his identity. He may have been the Alf win son of Leofstan, 
at whose house the husting met about 1120, 17 but he must 

8 Anct. Deeds, A. 2103, A. 2507. 

9 But compare Round, Commune of London, 105. 

10 Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix, 62a, 67b. 

11 Ibid., 62a. See also for lands of Edilda in Survey of St. Paul's lands. 
Price, Hist, of Oildhall, p. 16 et seq. 

12 Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix, 31b, 62a, 68a. 13 See p. 155. 
14 Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix, 62a. 15 Ibid. 

16 Rot. Magn. Pip. (Bee. Com.), 144. 

17 Chron. Abb. Rame'seia (Rolls Ser.), 248. 

then have been a very young man. Many deeds were wit- 
nessed by Ailwin son of Leofstan and Ailwin the parmenter. 
with whom he has been identified. 18 He died about 1165, 
when Henry and Alan, sons of Ailwin, son of Leofstan, paid 
a fine for lands in Essex or Herts, or perhaps in both, possibly 
those of their father. 19 

Henry Fitz Ailwin married a lady named Margaret, but we 
do not know her parentage. They lived at a house adjoining 
St. Swithin's church, near London Stone, from which Henry 
sometimes took his name. Besides his property in Hertford- 
shire he held lands in Kent and Surrey. 20 In a deed of 1177 
we have a reference to Henry the alderman, son of Ailwin, 21 
and other references to Henry the alderman, 22 all of which 
probably refer to the first mayor. The date of the beginning 
of his mayoralty has already been discussed. 23 He continued 
to hold office until his death in 1212. He had four sons, 24 
Peter, Alan, Thomas and Richard. Of the three younger little 
is known. Thomas inherited his father's lands at Watton at 
Stone, called " Northberi," and Richard took some of the 
lands in London, 25 and Alan seems to have had land at 
Edmonton. Alan died before June, 1222, without issue, and 
as his land went to the second husband of his niece Joan, we 
may suppose the other members of the family had predeceased 
him. Peter Fitz Henry, the eldest son, married Isabel, 
daughter and heir of Bartholomew de Chesney, who died 

18 Norman Moore, op. cit. 

" Pipe Boll Soc., viii, 18 ; ix, 124 ; x, 154. 

20 Liber de Antiq. Leg. (Camden Soc.), xii. 
41 Anct. Deeds, A. 7295. 

22 Norman Moore, op. cit., i, 103. " See pp. 112-3. 

21 The descent of Henry Fitz Ailwin is set out very carefully with docu- 
mentary evidence by Thomas Stapleton in his preface to the Liber de Antiq. 
Leg. (Camden Soc.), from which this account of the family is largely taken. 

:i Pipe Roll, 15 John (Lond. and Midd.). 


before 1203 and was buried in the priory of Bermondsey. By 
her he had two daughters, 26 Margaret, who married Kalf de 
Clere and appears to have died about 1215 without issue, and 
Joan, whose first husband was Ralf le Parmentier, a king's 
sergeant, who died before 1212. Joan married secondly 
William Aguillun, who died before October, 1244. Eobert 
Aguillun, son of William and Joan, had an only daughter 
Isabel, who married Hugh Bardolf, with whose descendants 
the manor of Watton at Stone and other property of Henry 
Fitz Ailwin passed for many generations. 

Henry Fitz Ailwin's brother Alan was, it would seem 
probable, the father of Roger Fitz Alan, the second mayor of 
London (1212-13), and of Peter, William and Richard, 
brothers of Roger Fitz Alan. 27 Roger was associated with 
Henry Fitz Ailwin as a witness to a very large number of 
conveyances, and the frequency of these associations is 
remarkable. He was sheriff of London in 1192-3, the year in 
which Henry was, we may suppose, elected mayor. Before 
that date he appears as alderman, when again he is associated 
with Henry the alderman. 28 He is later mentioned as an 
alderman, probably of Coleman Street Ward, while he was 
serving the office of mayor. 29 It is possible that the escheated 
land of Robert Fitz Edith for which Roger, with Richard Fitz 
Reiner, and later Roger, with Alan Fitz Peter, possibly his 
nephew, were answerable in 1185 30 and subsequently, was 
that of the son of " Eadilda," sister of Orgar, son of Leofstan, 
their supposed ancestor's sister. Roger Fitz Roger, mayor in 

26 Pipe Roll, 5 John (Sussex), m. 15d. 

27 Hiat. MSS. Com. Rep., ix, 25b. Norman Moore, op. cit., i, 77, 84. 

28 Ibid., 103. 8 Ibid., 544. 

30 Pipe Soil Soc., xxxii, 29 Kich. II, p. 166 ; Pipe Roll, 6 John (Lond. 
and Midd.). 


1249, may have been Roger Fitz Alan's son. Peter Fitz Alan, 
brother of Roger, held lands at Queenhithe, 31 and was alder- 
man of one of the adulterine gilds of the Bridge, which was 
fined in 1179-80. 32 He had three sons, Alan, Goscelin and 
Gervase, 33 who together owed the large sum of 100 to Aaron 
the Jew in 1202. Alan seems to have had a son, Peter, who 
had a son, John. 34 William and Richard, the other brothers 
of Roger Fitz Alan, we only trace as witnesses to charters. 

There were moneyers bearing the name of Leofstan from 
the time of Cnut 35 to that of Stephen. One of these, Leofstan 
the goldsmith, is mentioned as a leading baron of London, 36 
and he and his son Wyzo were among those who gave up the 
lands of the Cnihtengild in 1125. Leofstan was dead before 
1130, 37 when Wyzo gave half a mark for the land and office, 
that of moneyer, of his father. 38 Wyzo is later described as a 
goldsmith, and had a brother Edward and a son John. 39 

Another man who gives rise to confusion in the descent of 
Henry Fitz Ailwin is Dennan of London, who held land at 
Islington at the time of the Domesday Survey (1086). 40 He 
had a son Terri who succeeded to his father's property. 41 
This Terri had a son Bertram, known as Bertram de Barwe, 

51 Norman Moore, op. cit., 77. ** Pipe Soil Soc., xxix, 153. 

33 Pipe Roll (Lond. and Midd.}, 9 Rich. I ; Rot. CanceUarii 3 John (Rec. 
Com.), 102. 

34 Norman Moore, op. cit., ii, 101. The Fitz Alan lands were in the 
parish of St. Margaret Lothbury, where also lay the property of Eadilda 
and Orgar. 

35 B.M. Cat. of Engl. Coins, ii, 229. 

36 Round, Commune of London, 309. 

17 Rot. Mag. Pipce Hen. I (Ree. Com.), 145. M Ibid. 

39 Round, Commune of London, 106. 

40 Hist. M8S. Com. Rep., ix, p. 63b. 

41 Cart, of St. John's of Colchester, ii, 293. A Dennan of London had a 
son Ordgar and three daughters whose grant of lands was confirmed to 
Westminster, c. 1107-1115. Armitage Robinson, Gilbert Crispin, 147-8. 


from the manor of Newington Barrow in Islington, and a 
daughter who married William Blemond, from whose " bury " 
or house Bloomsbury takes its name. William had a son 
Terri. 42 

Another early alderman of London who must have been 
almost a contemporary of Turstin, the first of whom we have 
mention, is Ulgar, the alderman, who was a witness to a 
charter of the early part of the twelfth century. 43 He seems 
to have had three sons, Hugh, Walter and Guy, who all appear 
on the Pipe Koll for 1130. 44 Hugh son of Ulgar was one 
of the fifteen burgesses who granted Portsoken to Holy 
Trinity Priory, Aldgate, in 1125. 45 He appears as an alder- 
man of a ward in the St. Paul's list of 1130, 46 and witnessed a 
charter of Geoffrey, Earl of Essex, in 1142-3. 47 His son 
Walter, a benefactor to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, is the 
last of the family that has been traced. 48 

The members of the family of Fitz Isabel, holding property 
in the Old Fish Market near St. Paul's, were probably fish- 
mongers. 49 The first of whom we have reference was William 
Fitz Isabel, who was sheriff in 1156 and held the same office 
at intervals to the time of his death in 1195. 50 He married 
Dionisia, 51 and had three sons, Eoger, 52 William 53 and 
Martin, 54 and a daughter, Margaret. In 1185 he was fined the 

*- This pedigree is taken from Round, Communt oj London, 106. 

43 Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix, 62b. 

44 Rot. Magn. Pipce, Hen. I (Rec. Com.), p. 46. 

45 See p. 155. 4S See p. 17>. 

47 Round, Commune of London, 118. 

48 Norman Moore, op. cit. i, 139, 220. 

49 Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix, pp. 19a, 22a, 24a. 

50 Pipe Roll 7 Rich. I (Lond. and Midd.). 

51 Anct. Deeds, A. 1641. 

52 Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix, 19a, 22a ; Anct. Deeds, A. 2182. 

53 Rot. Cancettarii, 3 John (Rec. Com.), p. 30. " Ibid. 


large sum of 1000 marks, equal to many thousand pounds at 
the value of to-day, for not taking sufficient bail from a 
prisoner and so allowing his escape, while he was sheriff. 55 
The money was paid off gradually, but it indicates the immense 
wealth of which he was possessed, and shows the methods 
employed by the Crown for relieving the citizens of their 
accumulated riches. His sons do not seem to have distin- 
guished themselves. Roger apparently dwelt in the parish of 
St. Margaret, Friday Street. 56 Margaret, his daughter, prob- 
ably married twice, first to Roger Pentecost, who held property 
in the parish of St. Mary, Somerset, 57 by whom apparently she 
had no children. 58 She married secondly William le Viel, and 
one of their daughters, Dionisia, married Ernulf Ruffus or 
Fitz .A lull Dionisia had two daughters, Alice and Desiderata, 
the latter of whom married Adam de Basings. 59 

The Fitz Isabels were thus related to the Fitz Alulfs, le 
Viels and Basings, and Dionisia in her widowhood gave a 
warehouse in Cheap to her cousin Stephen Buckerel and 

nother to her son-in-law, Adam de Basings. 60 
The Fitz Alulfs, with whom the Fitz Isabels intermarried 

nd a good deal of whose wealth they inherited, apparently 

ived not far from the Fitz Isabels on the north side of Cheap. 

'hey also had property at Acton in Middlesex. 61 The earliest 
member of the family of whom we have reference is Fromond, 

n alderman, who was living in the middle of the twelfth 

6 Pipe RoU Soc., xxxiv, p. 222. 56 Anct, Deeds, A. 2182. 

7 Norman Moore, op. cit., i, 292. 

* Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix, p. 24a. 

9 Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix, 5a, 25a, 29b, 51a. Dep. K. Rep., xxxv 
barter of Duchy of Lane., Nos. 186-9. See later, p. 259. 

60 Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix, p. 51a ; see also p. 25a. How the relation 
lip between the Fitz Isabels and Buckerels arose, is not shown. 

61 Ibid., pp. 31a, 34a. 


century. 62 He had two sons, Alulf and Pentecost. There 
were two or three Pentecosts at this time in London, Pentecost 
the goldsmith, Pentecost the draper, and the Roger Pentecost 
already referred to. It is doubtful if any of these can be 
identified with Pentecost Fitz Fromond, who held land in the 
parish of St. Nicholas, Flesh Shambles. 63 Alulf Fitz Fromond 
is a frequent witness to deeds relating to lands in the north- 
west of London. He had a large family, the eldest of whom, 
probably, was William Fitz Alulf, who was sheriff with 
William Fitz Isabel in 1193-4, and a constant witness to 
charters with his brothers. 64 He had a son Peter, who held 
land and perhaps lived at Acton about 1221-8 and later. 65 
Possibly the second son was Ernulf, Arnulph or Arnold, who 
was known both as Fitz Alulf and Ruffus or Rus. He married 
Dionisia, daughter of William le Viel and Margaret his wife, 
daughter of William Fitz Isabel, whose father's wealth she 
seems to have inherited. The descendants of Ernulf and 
Dionisia have already been given. 66 Ernulf lived perhaps in 
the parish of St. Lawrence Jewry, where he granted to the 
abbot of Bee an earthen wall in order that the abbot might 
build a wall of masonry between their adjoining lands. 67 He 
served the office of sheriff in 1198-9. 

The most famous of the family was Constantine Fitz Alulf, 
whose name frequently occurs as a witness to the conveyance 
of lands in the same quarter of London. He was sheriff ii 
1197-8, and evidently took a leading part in the politics 

62 Norman Moore, op. cit., i, 264, 303. 

83 Norman Moore, op. cit., i, 303. 

64 Norman Moore, op. cit. ; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix. See Index 
to each. 65 Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix, 31b, 34a. 

46 See p. 255. On the Pipe Roll for 8 Rich. I (Lond. and Midd.) is an 
entry that Jordan, nephew of Gervase, rendered account for the wife 
Ernalf Ruffus. ' Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix, p. 353. 


the day, being, like so many Londoners, a strong supporter 
of Louis of France and the Baronial party in London. 
In 1221 some ill-feeling, which spread to a political riot, 
arose regarding a wrestling match held at St. Giles in the 
Fields, between the champions of London and Westminster. 
The Londoners were victorious, and the Westminster men, 
resenting their defeat, challenged their neighbours to anoth.r 
match. According to the story, the Westminster men, instead 
of carrying out the match fairly, collected a number of roughs 
who attacked the Londoners and drove them with bloodshed 
into the city. The folkmote bell was rung, and on the assembly 
of the people, the mayor, Serlo le Mercer, urged moderation, 
and recommended that a claim should be made for damages 
against the abbot of Westminster. Constantino, although he 
must have been beyond middle age and past the hot-headed- 
ness of youth, incited the people to attack the houses of the 
abbot of Westminster and his steward, probably near London 
Bridge. For this purpose he led a mob to the abbot's property, 
shouting " Mountjoie ! Mountjoie ! " the war-cry of the King 
of France. Hubert de Burgh, the justiciar of England, whose 
house was at Westminster, had Constantine and his nephew, 
Constantino the younger, son of his sister Alice, wife of 
Richard de Heregard, 68 and some others, arrested. Constan- 
tine, " ever constant in sedition and yet more constant in his 
replies," as Mathew Paris, glad of the pun, said of him, and 
his companions, were sent to the Tower. They set up a claim 
to immunity under the promise of Henry, made in 1217, that 
no partizan of France should be prejudiced by his partizanship, 
but their plea was of no avail. Without trial they were taken 

88 Norman Moore, op. cit., i, 299, 300 ; Stow, Surv. of London (ed 
Kingsford), i, 50. 


from the Tower in the morning after their arrest, and hanged 
by Faulk de Breaute, the most cruel of John's lawless com- 
panions. Breaute then seized several other citizens and 
punished them by cutting of! their hands and feet. Probably 
on the night before his execution, Constantine granted lands 
to St. Bartholomew's Hospital for prayers for his soul and the 
souls of Katherine his wife and their family. 69 This hasty and 
unjust act of Breaute later raised diplomatic questions with 
Louis of France. 70 

The other sons of Alulf were Fromond, of whom we know 
little, and Adam, who married a lady named Agnes. Probably 
it was Constantine, son of Adam, who was a witness to a deed 
by which John, son of John, son of Nigel, granted lands in the 
parish of St. Sepulchre to Martin de Limoges, son of Guy de 
Limoges. 71 

The le Viels (Wyel, Senex, Vetus) were another family 
which intermarried with the Fitz Isabels. The earliest of 
them of whom we have record is Richard le Viel or Vetulus, 
who was sheriff in 1157-8 and 1158-9. We find another 
member of the family, Reginald le Viel, holding the same 
office in 1179-80, who had a daughter Rose married to Robert 
Fitz Peter. 72 His property lay about Bishopsgate and Cheap- 
side. 73 

The John le Viel, already referred to, who was hanged in 
1174, was probably a son of William le Viel, who obtained his 
house in 1186 by payment of four marks. 74 

69 Norman Moore, op. cit., i, 299, 305. 

70 Liber de Antiq. Leg. (Camden Soc.), 204-5. 

71 Norman Moore, op. cit., 317-1. John Fitz Nigel, an alderman, and 
sheriff in 1177, had another son Thomas. Ibid., 67, 123, 247, 356, 357. 

72 Norman Moore, op. cit., ii, 102. 

73 Ibid., i, 82, 277. 

74 Pipe Boll Soc., xxxvi, 51. 


John le Viel, who was sheriff in 1219, and whose wife 
Margery was the plaintiff in the celebrated case of dower 
during the shrievalty of her son, 75 had two sons, John, 76 an 
alderman 77 and sheriff in 1241, whose daughter Isabel married 
Nicholas de Basings, 78 and William, also an alderman 79 and 
sheriff in 1247-8. William was the second husband of Mar- 
garet, daughter of William Fitz Isabel, the sheriff. William 
and Margaret apparently had three daughters, Dionisia, who 
married Ernulf Fitz AluH 80 or Ruffus, by whom she had two 
daughters, Desiderata, who married her kinsman Adam de 
Basings, and Alice, of whom we know nothing ; 81 Alice, the 
second daughter of William and Margaret, who married John 
de Marisco de Evesend, 82 and a third daughter, who married 
a man named Richard. 83 

Some of the many Blund or le Blond families in London 
were possibly connected with Robert Blund, apparently, from 
his name, a fair-haired Norman who probably settled here in 
the tune of King Edward, whose family made their peace 
with William after the Conquest. Robert Blund was tenant 
in chief of the King in Suffolk 84 and Middlesex, 85 and held 
lands of Aubrey de Vere in Essex. 86 His chief residence was 

75 Liber de Antiq. Leg. (Csmden Soc.), xxxiv, 12-15. 

76 Hist. MSS. Com. Sep., ix, 28a. 

77 Norman Moore, op. cit., i, 402. 

78 Hist. MSS. Com. Sep., ix, Ib ; Anct. Deeds, A. 2574. 

79 Norman Moore, op. cit., i, 426. 

80 Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix, 5a, 25a, 29b, 51a. 

81 Dtp. K. Rep., xxxv ; charters of Duchy of Lane., Nos. 184-9 ; Anct. 
Deeds, A. 2430. 

8t Hist. MSS. Com. Sep., ix, 4b, 5b. 

8 * Norman Moore, op. cit., ii, 137. 

84 V.C.H. Suff., i, 572-L 

86 Dom. Bk. (Rec. Com.), 130 dors. 

86 V.C.H. Essex, i, 533, 574. The eastern county Blonds married into 
the London family of Colechurch. Rot. de Dominabus (Pipe Roll Soc.), 
pp. 47, 63. 


apparently at Ixworth in Suffolk, and here we find that one 
of his tenants had land which the famous Ansgar the staller 
had held in commendation. This land Ralf Blund, Robert's 
brother, had at his death, and Robert afterwards received it 
from the King. 87 The earliest of the London Blunds was 
Edward Blund, who was a man of importance in the time of 
Henry II. He was perhaps the son of John Blund, whom he 
succeeded in certain land in the parish of St. John Walbrook, 88 
and had a brother Walter, apparently a wealthy fishmonger. 
He was sheriff of London, and served the office of butler and 
chamberlain to the King in London, and was surveyor of the 
King's works at Windsor in 1169-70, at Westminster in 1167, 
at the Tower in 1172, and at Waltham in 1181. We find that 
he and William Magnus provided wine, food, stores and clothes, 
both robes and cloth to be made up into garments, for the 
King and Queen and their children, for the King's mother and 
the daughter of the King of France and her household. He 
provided the trousseau for the King's daughter, Maud, on her 
marriage with the Duke of Saxony in 1 166, and the tents for her 
retinue. He also obtained falcons for the King, and on one 
occasion was called upon to superintend the salting of a 
sturgeon at the Tower. These varied duties brought him 
wealth and position, which enabled him to establish his 
family in prosperity at London. He died probably about 1181, 
when his name ceases to appear on the Pipe Rolls. 89 He had 
by his wife Alice 90 a son, Peter, who had land in the parish 
of St. Olave " Mukewellestrate," later Silver Street. Peter 

87 V.C.H. Suff., i, 574. 

88 Anct. Deeds, A 2492 ; see endorsement. 

89 The above details are taken from entries in the volumes of the Pipe ' 
Boll Soc. 

90 Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix, p. 23a. 


married Aubrey, probably daughter of Geoffrey le Bursier 
(d. 1195), who with Marsilla, wife of Hugh Ruffus, probably 
her sister, paid 1000 marks for the lands which had belonged 
to Alan le Bursier (Burearius), perhaps their brother, in 1212. 91 
He may have been the Peter Blund described as alderman of 
Tower Ward, 92 who had a son Richard. 93 

Walter Blund, fishmonger, brother of Edward, had land in 
the Fish Market and in Newgate and Ludgate Ward, 94 now 
Farringdon Ward. He had a son Walter, who seems to have 
followed his father's trade. By his wife Maud, he had a 
daughter Helen, who in the second quarter of the thirteenth 
century made a grant of a rent in the parish of St. Mildred, 
Bread Street, to Holy Trinity Priory. 95 

Geoffrey Blund may very well have been a brother of 
Edward and Walter, but there is no proof of it. He was alder- 
man probably of Queenhithe, where his land lay. 96 He bought 
from Richard de Umfraville the soke of Hasculf de Tania in or 
near to Queenhithe, 97 and from Robert Briton the vili of 
Brentford, 98 which was confirmed to him by Richard I. It is 
clear he was a wealthy man, and contributed 100 marks in 
1195 to the benevolence towards King Richard's ransom. 99 He 
married Ida, sister of Richard de Umfraville, and had a son 
Thomas, 1 who gave a rent from land in St. Mildred's parish to 
St. Paul's for prayers for the soul of Geoffrey his father and 
Richard de Umfraville his uncle, 2 and others. Hi daughter 

n Pipe Roll, 7 Rich. I and 14 John (Lond. and Midd.). 
* Cart, of St. John's of Colchester (Roxburgh Club), ii, 299. 
* Ibid., 590, 592. M Hist. MSS. Com. Sep., ix, pp. 22b, 66, 80. 
* Anct. Deeds, A. 1695 ; A. 2479 ; A. 2510. 
* Norman Moore, op. cit., i, 209. 

7 Anct. Deeds, A. 6128. Ibid., A. 5437. 

* Pipe Rolls, 7 Rich. I ; 9 Rich. I ; 3 John (Lond. and Midd.). 
1 Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix, p. 2a. * Ibid., 22a. 


Joan married Henry Fitz Keiner, and he endowed her on her 
marriage with 10 marks rent in Brentford. 3 

Henry Blnnd was another contemporary, and was probably 
a kinsman of Edward and Geoffrey. He provided the King 
with a hawk in 1166. 4 He had two sons, Kichard and Henry, 
who in 1203 granted a rent in Aldermanbury to Holy Trinity 
Priory. 5 We hear no more of the son Henry, but Richard 
became a distinguished man. He was a goldsmith and 
moneyer of considerable wealth, and served the office of sheriff 
in 1199. Norman Blund, whom we find associated with him 
as witness to a deed as to land in the parish of St. Michael, 
Wood Street, a draper, 6 who served as sheriff in 1201-2, 7 may 
have been another brother. 

A branch of the Blund family living in the same part 
of London was that of Bartholomew Blund, who married 
Salerna, daughter of Gilbert Blund, 8 possibly Gilbert Blund 
of Ixworth in Suffolk, a large landowner, whose son William 
married Alice, daughter of Richard de Colechurch, perhaps of 
London origin. 9 Bartholomew and Salerna had three sons, 
Robert, a timbermonger, John, a goldsmith, and Walter. 
Robert was an alderman, possibly of Bread Street Ward, 10 
and a sheriff in 1196-7. He held Blunt's manor in Sawbridge- 
worth, 11 and purchased land in Ginges in Essex in 1197, 

3 Anct. Deeds, A. 7311 ; Norman Moore, op. cit., i, 328. 

4 Pipe Roll Soc., ix, 130. 

5 Anct. Deeds, A. 1502-3, A. 1951. 

8 Anct. Deeds, A. 2718 ; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix, 14a. 

7 Pipe Roll, 4 John (Lond. and Midd.). 

8 Anct. Deeds, A. 2688. 

9 Rot. de Dominabus (Pipe Roll Soc.) 47, 63. It is he probably who was 
referred to as William Blund of London in 1211-12. Red Bk. of Excheq. 
(Rolls Ser.), ii, 577. 

10 Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix, 22a ; Anct. Deeds, A. 1474. 

11 V.C.H. Herts, iii, 342. 


adjoining land of Geoffrey Bocointe. 12 Andrew Blund, 
possibly his son, married Cicely Waleram, 13 granddaughter 
of Humphrey Bocointe, with whom he acquired property at 
Edgware and other places. Robert married Avice, 14 and 
apparently lived in Essex, where his interests lay. He had a 
daughter, dementia, who married Richard de Hispania, and 
had a son, Peter. The Fitz Reiners, who were also in the 
timber trade, were connected with Robert Blund, whose wife 
Avice may have been a Fitz Reiner. 15 John Blund, the gold- 
smith, another son of Bartholomew, 18 got into trouble as a 
moneyer in 1181 and his goods were seized by the sheriffs. 17 
He had a shop in the " Goldsmith's Market," probably in 
Aldersgate. 18 Walter, a third son of Bartholomew Blund, was 
probably a timber merchant, as he had dealings with Henry 
Fitz Reiner with regard to property at Queenhithe, the centre 
of that trade ; 19 but he is difficult to identify out of the 
numerous people of this name at that date. 

A family of Blund, traders in London, but connected with 
Edmonton, the home of so many Londoners at this time, were 
living at the beginning of the thirteenth century. Richard, 
son of William Blund, endowed the monastery of Holy 
Trinity with lands at Edmonton, 20 and his sons, Geoffrey, 
a carpenter, with his wife Sabina, and Thomas, also gave 
land there to the same monastery. 21 Geoffrey was living 
in 1281-2. 22 There was also an Adam le Blund or de 
Fulham. a fishmonger, living in the reign of Edward I, who 

1S Pipe Roll, 9 Rich. I (Load, and Midd.). Ginges now Butebury. 

13 Anct. Deeds, A. 2033, 2310. lt Ibid., A. 2624. 

14 Ibid., A. 1621 ; 1803 ; 2688 ; 11609. " Ibid., 2756. 

17 Pipe RoU Soc., xxx, p. 159. " Anct. Deeds, A. 1641. 

Ibid., 1803. Ibid., A. 1699; 1703. 

11 Ibid., A. 1700. " Ibid., A. 1820. 


had a daughter, Joan, a nun at Clerkenwell, and a sister 
Joan. 23 

The Haverhill family first comes into prominence in London 
in the middle of the twelfth century. Brichtmar de Haverhill 
was sheriff with four others in 1157-8, 1158-9, and with Peter 
Fitz Walter as warden (custos) in 1174r-6. He was a general 
merchant, and perhaps in the capacity of Chamberlain supplied 
Henry II and his family with large quantities of cloth of gold, 
robes, cloth, wine, etc. 24 With others he had charge of the 
works at the Tower in 1178. 25 He probably died about 1180, 
and was succeeded to his property, which lay in the north- 
west quarter of London, by his son William. We find William 
de Haverhill buying two hawks for Kichard the King's son 
in 1170, 26 and he appears as alderman of an adulterine gild 
in 1180. 27 He frequently witnessed charters relating to 
land in and around Wood Street, and endowed the Hos- 
pital of St. Bartholomew with various rents from properties 
in the neighbourhood. He was alderman of Cripplegate Ward 
and soke-reeve of the Bishop of Ely's soke in Wood Street. 
He served the office of sheriff in 1189-90, and in 1190-1 he 
was warden (custos) for the Crown, and in the next year 
sheriff, appointed by the citizens ; he also farmed the customs 
of Billingsgate and Botolphsgate from 1196 to 1201. 28 His 
wife's name was Alice, and he had by her three sons, Thomas, 
Richard and James. 29 William de Haverhill seems to have 
become a canon of St. Paul's in the latter part of his life, like 
many other citizens of London, and an obit was sung for his 

23 Anct. Deeds, A. 2038, B. 2041, 2841, 2064. 

24 Pipe Rott Soc., vii, 20 ; ix, 130 ; xv, 15. 

25 Ibid., xxvii, 127. 26 Ibid., xv, 15. Ibid., xxix, 154. 

28 Pipe Roll, 8 Eich. I and 3 John (Lond. and Midd.). 

29 Norman Moore, op. cit., i, 214 ; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix. See Index. 


soul at the altar of St. Chad in the Cathedral. 30 His son 
Thomas was alderman apparently of Cripplegate Ward and 
was sheriff in 1203-4. Thomas' two brothers, Richard and 
James, frequently witnessed deeds relating to lands in Cripple- 
gate Ward, 31 but they do not seem to have held any public 
office. Richard had a daughter, Dionisia. 32 

The Basings probably settled in London late in the twelfth 
century. Solomon de Basings and Hugh de Basings were 
joint sheriffs in 1214-15. There was a Nicholas de Basings 
contemporary with them who may have been a brother. A 
Thomas de Basings was succeeded by Solomon as tenant of 
a house in Friday Street, 33 so that it is possible he may have 
been Solomon's father, and perhaps father of Hugh and 
Nicholas. Solomon was mayor in 1216. He married Avice, 
with whom he received some land near St. Bartholomew's 
Hospital, where bodies had been buried during the Interdict. 34 
This land he conveyed to the hospital in 1222. He was the 
father of Adam de Basings, warden of the Hospital of St. 
Giles, 35 sheriff in 1243 and mayor in 1251. Adam purchased 
Aldermanbury and gave his name to Basinghall Street. By 
bis wife Desiree or Desiderata he had a son Thomas, 36 bailiff 
of London in 1269, 37 who married Alice, called " la Blunde," 
whose son Peter was dead in 1275, 38 and a daughter Avice, 
who married William de Hadstock, 39 a member of another 
aldermanic family, by whom she had a son Augustine. 40 
We know little of Hugh, but Nicholas, as has already 

so Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix, 2a. 

31 Ibid., and Norman Moore, Hist, of St. Barts. See Indices. 

32 Ibid., i, 57. 33 Norman Moore, op. cit., ii, 82. 
34 Ibid., i, 323. 3S Ibid., 285. 

36 Anct. Deeds, B. 2378. 37 Norman Moore, op. cit., i, 432. 
38 Anct. Deeds, A. 2142. 3 Ibid., B. 2364. Ibid. 


been stated, married Isabel, daughter of John le Viel the 
younger. 41 

From the foregoing descents of some of the governing 
families of London it is interesting to notice how much these 
families intermarried. At first the practice had the advantage 
of blending the blood of the different races which made up 
the cosmopolitan population, but it had a tendency later 
towards making the ruling body exclusive and preventing 
the introduction of new men. As a consequence probably it 
led to the formation of a democratic party which eventually 
brought about the changes of the thirteenth and fourteenth 
centuries. The wealth of the Londoners, however, soon 
attracted feudal families outside, and we find citizen heiresses 
marrying into such families as the Nevilles, Bardolphs and 
the like. The effect, however, was rather to carry wealth 
from London than to bring new blood into the governing body. 

41 See p. 259. 



IT is probable that the earliest settlement in London was at 
Dowgate at the mouth of the Walbrook. Here on the wooded 
banks of the creek formed by the estuary of the stream, 
running down the valley between Ludgate Hill and Tower Hill 
and Cornhill, was the little village out of which eventually 
grew the present metropolis. Its earliest inhabitants prob- 
ably lived by fishing and ferrying travellers across the Thames 
to and from the Kentish ports on the one side and Camulo- 
dunum (Colchester) or the north on the other ; and perhaps 
by acting as guides and porters. Then came the bridge over 
the Thames, which shifted the centre of population a little to 
the east and brought to London the importance that a bridge- 
head usually supplies. Thus the British village erpanded into 
the Roman town, the centre of trade, and communication for 
the whole island. The growth of Roman London has already 
been traced, and, as has been shown, its plan had probably 
become obliterated when the Saxons settled within its defences. 
The bridge, however, remained, and, as in the period of the 
Roman occupation, was the determining feature in the lay-out 
of the Saxon settlement. Around its northern head arose the 
new town on the ruins of its Roman predecessor, which again 
became the centre of traffic and population for the whole 
country. From the approach to the bridge three streets 



diverged to the three principal gates, namely, Newgate or the 
west gate, Bishopsgate or the north gate, and Aldgate or the 
east gate. At an early date the two great market-places were 
established, the Eastcheap at the entrance from the bridge 
to serve the burgesses and the Westcheap at the entrance 
from the west gate to serve the households of the King and 
the monastery of St. Paul's. In the course of time these two 
great open market-places, through which the streets from the 
bridge to Newgate and Aldgate ran, caused the displacement 
of the roadways by the encroachments to which most market- 
places have been subject. The temporary stalls and booths 
gradually gave place to fixed buildings and ultimately to 
shops and houses, so that the traffic became confined to a 
definite line of roadway. Thus both these streets were thrust 
northward until at some period before the eleventh century 1 
they reached the position they now occupy, meeting at a little 
less than half-way up the street from the bridge to the north 
gate or Bishopsgate, which had continued in its ancient course. 
In this way a west to east traffic was developed by an irregular 
line of road from Newgate to Aldgate, with the relief road 
formed probably later by Cornhill and Leadenhall Street 
which avoided the loop made by Lombard Street and Fen- 
church Street. Other main roads running west to east 
followed at an early date, namely Ludgate to the Tower by 
the present Watling Street, Cannon Street and Eastcheap, and, 
after the ninth century, a third east to west road was formed 
by Thames Street which takes the line of the demolished 

1 The diverting of the western of these roads called Watling Street 
must have taken place before the building of the church of St. Mary le Bow 
which is said to be of the time of the Conqueror, on its south side, and that 
of St. Peter, Wood Street, which is mentioned in a deed of about the end of 
the twelfth century, on the north side. See map, p. 175. 


south wall. These and the chief roads through the sokes are 
generally in medieval documents described as streets, while 
the subsidiary lines of communication connecting them were 
usually called lanes. 

The growth of the London streets and lanes was gradual, 
but the general plan, with the exception of a few well-known 
alterations, had, there can be little doubt, acquired its 
present form before the Conquest. In any case when, in the 
twelfth century, we obtain the help of deeds to enable us 
to know what streets were then in existence, we find that 
all the main arteries and many of the lesser lanes were well 

Of the two great market-places, Eastcheap was at first 
probably the more important. It seems originally to have 
extended from the Bridge to Cornhill, for there is evidence 
that the market existed in Gracechurch Street and that there 
were stalls belonging to St. Peter of Ghent in Tower Street. 2 
From evidence of the streets and churches it is clear that the 
eastern market-place had been largely built over in or before 
the twelfth century, while the western market-place seems 
to have remained open until a much later period. The latter 
was divided into places for the buying and selling of different 
articles, the names of which are still retained in Wood Street, 
Milk Street, Ironmonger Lane, Poultry, Sopers Lane, etc. 
The absence of such names in Eastcheap indicates perhaps 
that the market-place was covered by buildings before the 

2 Whether the markets at the Stocks Market and Cornhill on the east 
side of the Walbrook formed a part of Eastcheap or were a later extension 
of the Westcheap is uncertain. Probably the Walbrook was lost sight of 
as a dividing line when it ceased to be an open watercourse here and the 
western market overstepped its limit. We know the Stocks Market was 
not established until the thirteenth century. (Stow, Surv. of Land., ed. 
Kingsford, i, 225 ; ii, 317.) 


time that distinctive positions were assigned to different 

Some of the food sold in these markets was brought, no 
doubt, from the lands immediately outside the walls, which 
was cultivated by the citizens. But these lands soon after 
the Conquest began to be built over, and the supply of produce 
from them became inadequate at an early date, so that pro- 
visions had to be brought by road and river from the country 
beyond. Corn was landed at Queenhithe and Billingsgate. 
That coming from Cambridge, Bedford, Huntingdon and Ware 
was sold at Gracechurch Market, a part of Eastcheap ; that 
from Barnet and the west was sold at Westcheap. The corn 
was ground by horse mills, of which there were many in the 
city. Besides the bread made in London we find that supplies 
were also brought from Stratford by Bow, Bromley by Bow, 
Stepney and St. Albans. Fish, a staple article of food, was 
landed on the Thames quays and sold in both markets. 3 

London of the thirteenth century was much like a modern 
country town. Within was a good deal of open land, which, 
near the Walbrook in Coleman Street and Broad Street Wards, 
was probably pasture. These pasture lands may have occa- 
sioned the orders against allowing cattle, sheep and swine to 
wander about the streets. Orchards and shrubberies or copses 
were attached to many of the larger houses in the twelfth and 
thirteenth centuries, and most houses had gardens. 4 Outside 
the gates, houses of magnates and religious communities were 
arising with their grounds of meadow land and trees. Here 

3 Mun. Oild. Lond. (Boll Ser.), i, pref. Ixv. 

* See Dep. Keeper's Rep., xxxv, p. 18 ; Sharpe, Cal. to Letter-Bk. A, 159 ; 
and numerous references to gardens, orchards, shrubberies in Price, Hist, 
of Oildhall, p. 16 (Survey of lands of St. Paul's) ; P.E.O. Ancient Deeds ; 
St. Paul's MSS., Hist. MS8. Com. Rep., ix, etc. 


also we learn from Fitz Stephen were corn-fields and pastures, 
with streams, of which the names of Moorfield and the two 
Smithfields are still reminiscent. Beyond on the north were 
the woods and forest lands 5 of St. John's Wood, Hampstead, 
Highgate, Hornsey, etc., and, further out, of Enfield Chace, 
in all of which were birds and beasts of the chase, for 
Londoners were great sportsmen. 

Again, we ascertain from the deeds of the thirteenth century 
that there was about that time an increase of building, and 
that timber and framed houses thatched with straw or reeds, 
were giving way to stone and tiled buildings. 6 In 1212 pro- 
clamation was made that every person who should build a 
house, was to take care, " as he loved himself and his," that 
he did not cover it with reeds, rushes, stubble or straw, but 
only with tiles, shingles, board or lead. 7 The order was made 
on account of the series of disastrous fires about this time, 
but the practice no doubt grew by reason of the increased 
wealth of the city. 

Although most of the main thoroughfares were of a fair 
width, the side streets and lanes were narrow, and were 
made narrower and darker by the projecting upper stories of 
many of the houses, these projections having but a limit of 
eight feet from the ground, according to the assize of building 
supposed to be of 1189. The houses were usually of only one 
storey above the ground floor, the upper storey occasionally 
forming a separate tenement which was reached by a staircase 
outside the building. 8 The windows were closed by shutters, 

5 Mun. Gild. Land. (Rolls Ser.), voL ii, pt. i, p. 4. 

* See references to stone houses in Ancient Deeds. For houses specially 
mentioned as tiled, see Anct. Deeds A. 1710, 1849. 

7 Mun. Gild. Lond., vol. ii, pt. i, p. xxxii. 

8 Cf. Anct. Deeds A. 2019. 


glass being used only in the houses of wealthier citizens. 
Charcoal and faggots were the usual fuel, sea coal, as it was 
termed, not being in use in London until the end of the 
thirteenth century ; as a consequence, chimneys were not 
common, the charcoal being consumed in open braziers. The 
water supply was drawn from wells or springs and from the 
Thames, provision being made for citizens to have access to 
the river for drawing water at certain quays and bridges or 
stages. The system of conduits is of a later date. The sanitary 
arrangements were simple, each house having its privy with a 
cesspool, apparently detached from the house. The shops and 
warehouses or selds were open rooms on the ground floor, with 
stalls for exposing goods for sale outside in the street, over 
which pentices were occasionally erected. 

The maintenance of the city walls, originally built by the 
Romans, was a source of constant anxiety. It is possible that 
the early sokes were established with a view to keeping them 
in repair, but there is little evidence on the point. The south 
wall seems to have been demolished in the tenth century. A 
portion of it existed in the ninth century, 9 but must have been 
pulled down soon afterwards, for the purpose of giving access 
to the increasing number of quays. The existence of the four 
churches, namely, All Hallows the Great, 10 All Hallows the 
Less, St. Magnus 11 and St. Botolph, Billingsgate, 12 outside the 
south wall, indicates that the wall here was destroyed before 
the Conquest. The general development of the extra mural 
district, however, on this side, except as giving access to the 
quays, did not come until the end of the thirteenth or begin- 

See p. 131. 

10 Confirmed to Tewkesbury Abbey in 1107, Col. of Charter Soils, ii, 490. 

11 Confirmed to Westminster Abbey in 1067, Dep. Keeper's Rep., xxix, 35. 

12 Belonged to St. Paul's in 1181, Hist. MSS. Com. Rep., ix, 16. 


ning of the fourteenth century. It may perhaps be assumed, 
by the charter to the Archbishop of Canterbury and Bishop of 
Worcester of 898, that the owners of the land within the south 
wall had rights over the land outside so far as their land 
extended along the wall inside, including the right of mooring 
ships. 13 These rights, outside the line of the southern wall, 
are shown perhaps by the parish boundaries which mark the 
limits of early ownership. It will be noticed that they are 
quite irregular northward of Thames Street, which marks the 
line of the city wall, but southward of that street they run in 
straight lines to the mid-stream of the river. The rights of 
way and other easements were claimed by the commons of 
London over parts of the lands south of Thames Street as late 
as 1343, and an inquiry at that date shows that the majority 
of the lanes here leading to the river were then of recent 
formation, and were claimed as the property of the owners of 
lands adjoining on the north side of Thames Street. 14 

The Tower and Castle Baynard blocked the approaches 
east and west at the southern ends of the wall, so that after 
Castle Baynard was destroyed in 1213 and the house of the 
Blackfriars had been built on the site, it became necessary to 
complete the defences by enclosing an additional piece of 
land. London had still for many years to depend on the 
strength of its walls, notwithstanding the change in the 
methods of warfare, and the impediments which the buildings 
around the walls must have been to its effective defence. 

" See p. 131. 

14 Mun. Gild. Lond. (Rolls Ser.), pt. ii, vol. ii, p. 446. 




HENRICUS del gratia Rex Angl' archiepiscopo Cantuar' et 
Episcopis et abbatibus et comitibus et baronibus et justiciariis 
et vicecomitibus et omnibus fidelibus suis Francis et Anglicia 
totius Anglic Salutem. 

Sciatis me concessisse civibus meis Londoniarum tenendum 
Middlesex' ad firmam pro ccc libris ad compotum ipsis et here 
dibua suis de me et heredibus meis ita quod ipsi cives ponent 
vicecomitem qualem voluerint de seipsis et justitiarium quem- 
cunque vel qualem voluerint de seipsis ad custodienda placita 
corone mee et eadem placitanda et nullus alius erit justiciarius 
super ipsos homines Londoniarum. 

Et cives non placitabunt extra muros civitatis pro nullo 
placito et sint quieti de echot et de loth de danegeldo et de 
murdro et nullus eorum faciat bellum. 

Et si quis civium de placitis corone implacitatus fuerit per 
sacramentum quod judicatum fuerit in civitate se disrationet 
homo Londoniarum. 

Et infra muros civitatis nullus hospitetur neque de mea 
familia neque de alia vi [nisi] alicui hospitium liberetur. 

Et omnes homines Londoniarum sint quieti et liberi et omnes 

1 This charter is taken from the original Inspeximus of 25 May, 
1 Hen. IV A.D. 1400, which is at the Guildhall, London. The original 
charter was then probably lost, for in the case of other charters, the 
charters themselves are said to be inspected, but for this ' the tenor of the 
charter' only, it is stated, was inspected. For convenience in reference 
this charter has been divided into paragraphs. 



eorum res et per totam Angliam et per portus maris de theloneo 
et passagio et lestagio et omnibus aliis consuetudinibus. 

Et ecclesie et barones et cives habeant et teneant bene et in 
pace socas suas cum omnibus consuetudinibus ita quod hospites 
qui in sokis suis hospitabuntur nulli dent consuetudines nisi illi 
cujus soka fuerit vel ministro suo quern ibi posuerit. 

Et homo Londoniarum non judicetur in misericordia pecunie 
nisi ad suam were scilicet ad c solidos dico de placito quod ad 
pecuniam pertineat. 

Et amplius non sit miskenninge in hustengo neque in folkesmot 
neque in aliis placitis infra civitatem. 

Et hustingum sedeat semel in ebdomada videlicet die Lune. 

Et terras et vadimonia et debita civibus meis habere faciam 
infra civitatem et extra. 

Et de terris de quibus ad me clamaverint rectum eis tenebo 
lege civitatis. 

Et si quis theloneum vel consuetudinem a civibus meis Lon- 
doniarum ceperit cives Londoniarum in civitate capiant de 
burgo vel de villa ubi thelonium vel consuetude capta fuerint 
(sic) quantum homo Londoniarum pro thelonio dedit et proinde 
de dampno ceperit. 

Et omnes debitores qui civibus Londoniarum debita debent eis 
reddant in London' vel inLondoniissedisrationent quod nondebent. 

Quod si reddere noluerint neque quod non debent ad disration- 
andum venire tune cives Londoniarum quibus debita sua 
debentur capiant namia sua in civitatem London' de burgo vel 
villa vel de comitatu in quo manet qui debitum debet. 

Et cives Londoniarum habeant fugationes suas ad fugandum 
sicut melius et plenius habuerunt antecessores eorum scilicet 
Chiltre et Middlesex et Surreie. 

Testibus Episcopb Wintoniense Roberto filio Eichiero et 
Hugone Bigot et Aluero de Toteneis et Willelmo Alba Spina et 
Huberto Regis camerario et Willelmo de Mountfichet et Hangulf o 
de Tanei et Johanne Bellet et Roberto filio Sywardi Apud West- 



HENRICUS Rex AngP et dux Norm' et Aquit' et comes Andeg' 
archiepiscopis episcopis abbatibus comitibua baronibus justiciariis 
vicecomitibus ministris et omnibus fidelibus suis Francis et 
Anglicis tocius Anglie Salutem. 

Sciatis me concessisse civibus meis Lundoniarrtm quod nullus 
eorum placitet extra muros civitatis Lundoniarum de ullo placito 
preter placita de teneuris exterioribus exceptis monetariis et 
ministris meis. Concessi etiam eis quietanciam murdri et infra 
urbem et in Portsoca et quod nullus eorum faciat duellum. 

Et quod de placitis ad coronam pertinentibus se possunt 
disratiocinare secundum antiquam consuetudinem civitatis. 

Et quod infra muros civitatis nemo capiat hospitium per vim 
vel per liberationem marescalli. 

Hoc etiam eis conceSsi quod omnes cives Lundoniarum sint 
quieti de theoloneo et lestagio per totam Angliam et per portus 
maris et quod nullus de misericordia pecunie judicetur nisi 
secundum legem civitatis quam habuerunt tempore Regis 
Henrici avi mei. Et quod in civitate in nullo placito sit 

Et quod hustingum semel tantum in ebdomoda teneatur. 

Et quod terras suas et teneuras et vadimonia et debita omnia 
juste habeant quicunque eis debeat. 

Et de terris suis et teneuris que infra urbem sint rectum eis 
teneatur secundum consuetudinem civitatis. 

Et de omnibus debitis suis que accomodata fuerint apud 
Lundonias et de vadimoniis ibidem factis placita apud Lundonias 

Et siquis in tota Anglia theoloneum et consuetudinem ab 
hominibus Lundoniarum ceperit postquam ipse a recto defecerit 
vicecomes Lundoniarum namium inde apud Lundonias capiat. 

* This text is taken from the original charter, which is preserved in 
duplicate at the Guildhall, London. For convenience in reference the 
charter haa been divided into paragraphs. 


Concede etiam eis quod habeant fugationes suas ubicumque 
eas habuerunt tempore Regis Henri ci avi mei. 

Insuper etiam ad emendationem civitatis eis concessi quod 
omnes sint quieti de brudtolle et de childwite et de jeresgieve 
et de scotale ; ita quod vicecomes meus Lundoniarum vel 
aliquis alius ballivus scotale non faciat. 

Has predictas consuetudines eis concede et omnes alias liber- 
tates et liberas consuetudines quas habuerunt tempore Regis 
Henrici avi mei quam (qfi) meliores vel liberiores habuerunt 
Quare volo et firmiter precipio quod ipsi et heredes eorum hec 
omnia predicta hereditarie habeant et teneant de me et de meis 
heredibus Testibus T. Archiepiscopo Cantuar', R. Episcopo 
Lundon', Philippe Episcopo Baiocense, Ernulfo Episcopo 
Lexoniense, T. Cancellario, R. de Novo Burgo, R. de Sancto 
Walero, R. de Waren, Walchelino Maminot, Ricardo de Luci, 
Guarino filio Geroldi, Manas' Biset, Loc' de Baillolio Apud 
Westmonasterium. 3 

* A fragment of the great seal is attached to each of the two copies of 
this charter at the Guildhall. 



AT the period of the conversion of the Saxon kings to Christianity 
it was customary for the bishop's chair to be set up adjoining 
the royal residence. This practice was the outcome of the 
patriarchal idea then and for long afterwards prevalent, that 
the King was the temporal father of the people and not lord of a 
territory, he was King of the East Saxons or of the Mercians, 
not King of Essex or of Mercia. In the same way, the bishop 
was considered the King's chief priest and bishop or spiritual 
father of the people. Mellitus is described not as Bishop of 
London, but as Bishop of the East Saxons. Together the king 
and bishop formed the supreme authority, both temporal and 
spiritual. This is the reason for establishing sees and build- 
ing cathedrals adjoining the royal residences at Dorchester, 
Sherborne, Lichfield, Selsey and Lindisfarne, places which would 
not have been chosen for their importance otherwise. The 
proximity of the cathedral to the royal residence can be traced 
at Canterbury, York, Winchester, and probably at all the earliest 
English sees. On the Continent, where the kings' residences 
were almost always established in cities, the same plan existed. 
Charlemagne built the cathedral at Aachen (Aix la Chapelle) 
next the palace in which he was born and died. We find the 
same arrangement at Cologne, Treves and other episcopal cities. 
In England as continental practices spread to the country, the 
inconvenience of establishing sees in villages or small towns 
became recognised in the eleventh century, and at the Council 
of London of 1075 these sees were ordered to be moved to cities. 



Thus the bishopric of Elmham was transferred to Norwich, 
Crediton to Exeter, Selsey to Chichester, Sherborne to Old 
Sarum, Lichfield to Chester, Dorchester to Lincoln, and BO on. 

In London we can trace the same development. The cathedral 
of St. Paul and the ecclesiastical establishment of the bishop 
adjoined the royal residence, whose site was afterwards called 
Aldermanbury, until Edward the Confessor built his palace at 
Westminster adjoining his monastery there, and a royal residence 
in London, except at the Tower, was abandoned. 



THE commune was granted to London on 8 October, 1191, but 
there was some delay in adopting it. In 1193, during the early 
part of Richard's detention in Germany, we have the first official 
recognition of the mayor, as one of the treasurers for the collection 
of the King's ransom. At the same time we have a record of the 
oath of the commune to be taken, apparently, by the freemen 
(Additional MS. 14,252, fol. 112d, printed by Mr. Round in 
Commune of London, 235), as follows : 

Sacramentum commune tempore regis Ricardi quando detentua 
erat Alemaniam [sic]. 

Quod fidem portabunt domino regi Ricardo de vita sua et 
de membris et de terreno honore suo contra omnes homines 
et feminas qui vivere possunt aut mori et quod pacem suam 
servabunt et adjuvabunt servare et quod communam tenebunt 
et obedientes erunt maiori civitatis Lond[onie] et skivin[is] 
ejusdem commune in fide regis et quod sequentur et tenebunt 
considerationem maioris et skivinomm et aliorum proborum 
hominum qui cum illis erunt Salvo honore dei et sancte ecclesie et 
fide domini regis Ricardi et salvis per omnia libertatibus civitatis 
Lond[onie]. Et quod pro mercede nee pro parentela nee pro 
aliqua re omittent quin jus in omnibus rebus prosequentur et 
teneant pro posse suo et scientia et quod ipsi communiter in fide 
domini regis Ricardi sustinebunt bonum et malum et ad vitam 
et ad mortem. Et si quis presumeret pacem domini regis et regni 
perturbare ipsi consilio domine et domini Rothomagensis et 
aliorum justiciarum domini regis juvabunt fideles domini regis 



et illos qui pacem servare volunt pro posse suo et pro scientia sua 
Salvis semper in omnibus libertatibus Lond[onie]. 

Thedmar, in his chronicle of the Mayors and Sheriffs of London, 
states under the year Michaelmas, 1200, to Michaelmas, 1201 
(Liber de Antiquis Legibus, Camden Soc., p. 2) : 

Hoc anno fuerunt xxv electi de discretioribus civitatis et jurati 
pro consulendo civitatem una cum Maiore. 

On 4 February, 1205-6, a writ was issued to the Barons of 
London for the election of twenty-four of the more lawful, wise 
and discreet citizens to consult about the amendment of the city 
(Printed in Rotuli Litterarum Clausarum, Rec. Com., 64a, 7 John) : 

Rex Baronibus suis Lond[onie] etc. Datum est nobis intelligi 
quod civitas vestra Lond[onie] multum deterioratur et de die in 
diem sustinet detrimentum per defectum eorum qui hucusque 
fuerunt superiores in jure civitatis tractando et in tallagiis 
assedendis et ad opus nostrum colligendis et solvendis et in pur- 
presturis civitatis vestre nobis vel justiciariis nostris <fonfitendis 
et docendis et ex eo quod multa pecunia a communi populo 
civitatis quibusdam superiorum ad opus nostrum soluta est que 
adhuc nobis debetur Quia igitur juri et honori nostro et com- 
muni utilitati civitatis vestre de cetero providere volumus et pro 
defectu consilii nostri et juste corrections nostre aliqua inter vos 
oriatur dissencio Vobis mandamus quod statim visis et auditis 
litteris istis per commune consilium vestrum et assensum eligi 
faciatis coram W. de Wrothfam] archidiacono Taunton' et R. de 
Cornhiir xxiiij de legalioribus et sapientioribus et discrecioribus 
concivibus vestris qui melius sciant et velint consulere juri et 
honori vestro et emendationi civitatis vestre in jure civitatis 
tractando et in dampnis vestris restaurandis et in emendationibus 
civitatis vestre ad fidem nostram faciendis. Et faciatis nobis 
habere nomina et cognomina illorum qui electi fuerunt ad omnia 
predicta expedienda per predictos W, et R, ndeles nostros et 


dilectos infra xv dies postquam has litteras susciperitis et audi- 
eritis Teste me ipso apud Lexinton iiij die Februarii. 

It was possibly for the twenty-four elected under the above 
writ that the following oath, dated in the same year, was compiled 
(Additional MS. 14,252 fol. 110, printed by Mr. Round in Com- 
mune of London, 237) : 

Sacramentum xxiiij or factum anno regni regis Johannis vij. 

Quod legaliter intendent ad consulendum secundum suam 
consuetudinem juri domini regis quod ad illos spectat in civitate 
Lond[onie] salva libertate civitatis et quod de nullo homine qui 
in placito sit ad civitatem spectante aliquod premium ad suam 
conscientiam reciperent Et si aliquis illorum donum aut pro- 
missum dum in placitum fatiat illud nunquam recipient neque 
aliquis per ipsos vel pro ipsis Et quod illi nullum modum premii 
accipient nee aliquis per ipsos vel pro ipsis pro injuria allevanda 
vel pro jure sternendo Et concessum est inter ipsos quod si 
aliquis inde attinctus vel convictus fuerit libertatem civitatis 
et eorum societatem amittet. 

Mr. Round (Commune of London, 235-45) discards the view 
that the twenty-four, whose oath is given above, were aldermen, 
assuming on a statement by Mr. Loftie that their number could 
not be that of the wards. On the analogy of the constitutions of 
Rouen he suggests that the twenty-four of London comprised 
twelve skevini and an equal number of councillors. This body, 
he thinks, formed the germ of the common council. " The vital 
distinction to be kept in mind is that the Alderman was essentially 
the officer in charge of a ward, while the common council, as one 
body, represented the city as a whole." He further points out 
that the twenty-four of Winchester were not aldermen. 

Miss Mary Bateson (in English Historical Review, XVII, 507-8) 
argues that the twenty-four were chosen to exercise judicial as 
well as consultative duties, whereas the common council had 
no judicial function, and hence a difficulty arises in discarding 


the identity between the twenty-four and the aldermen. The 
fact that the aldermen co-operated as givers of judgment in the 
husting, deserves further consideration as an argument in favour 
of the belief " that the twenty -four councillors in judgment were 
the twenty-four aldermen of wards, twenty-four men who in 
11 Henry III rendered the account of the tallage of their wards." 
The alderman's oath, she asserts, more nearly resembles the oath 
of the twenty-four than that of the common councillor, for the 
alderman took part with the mayor in assizes, pleas and judg- 
ments of the husting and gave counsel touching the common 
profit of the city. 



Aachen (Aii la Chappelle), 279 

Aaron the Jew, 253 

Abingdon, abb. of, 235 

" Aclea," battle of, 36 

Acton (Midd.), 255, 256 

Adel Street. 129 

Adelaide, w. of Hen. I, 77 

Adelolf , s. of ^Elfthryth d. of Alfred, 


^Ifget, sheriff, 198, 232 
^Ifric, E. of Wessei, 42, 43 
^Elfthryth or Elstrudis, d. of Alfred," 

39, 132, 134 
^Elsig, portreeve, 198 
Aescwin, K. of E. Saxons, 31 
Agatha, m. of Edgar Etheling, 59 
Aguillun, Rob. and Isabel his d., 

252 ; Will, and Joan his w., 

Aids. 97, 98, 120, 124, 124n., 125, 

126. 225 

Alba Spina, Will, de, 276 
Albemarle, hon. of, 150, 152 
Albinus, 19 
Aldermanbury, 140, 142, 162, 262, 

265, 280 ; aite of royal residence, 

129, 142 ; soke of, 140, 141, 142 
Alan de, 141 ; Alan, a. of 

Gervase de, 141 ; Gervase, s. of 

Alan de, 141 ; Gervase B. of 

Gervase de, 141 ; John de, 141 ; 

Reiner de, 141 ; Simon de, 141 
Aldermen, 24, 85, 125, 178, 179, 180, 

208, 212, 225, 226, 227, 229; 

elective, 180, 227n., 228 ; not 

hereditary, 180; office of, 212, 

228. See also Twenty-four 
Aldersgate, gate of, 13 ; soke of, 

71, 73, 143, 173; street, 168; 

Ward, 144, 173, 176, 180 

Aldgate, gate of, 13, 57, 78, 155, 161, 
211, 268; soke of, 135, 136, 137, 
153, 154, 159, 181 ; Ward of, 135, 
153, 173, 174, 176 

Alfred, K., 36, 37, 41, 42 ; policy 
towards London, 38, 39, 4G_ 129, 
137, 187 ; residence of, 42 

s. of K. Ethelred r 46,52,) 57, 


Alfward, 248 ; Grossus, 249n. 

Allectus, 21, 22 

All Hallows, Barking, 153, 160 
^Bread Street, 168 
~^- Colemanchurch, 154 

the Great, 193n., 272 

the Less, 163, 272 

Staining or Blanc hap pie ton, 

132, 163 

Almund (Jlmund), the monk, 155 ; 
the priest, 163, 165; Hugh his B., 

Alwyn, Blackstan's cousin, 211 

Andrew, the clerk, 102 ; of London, 

Anjou, Hen. of, 96 

Ansgar (Esgar), the staller, 50, 68, 
61, 62, 63, 66, 67, 73, 137, 189, 
197, 198, 200, 202, 205, 208, 
220, 232, 233, 260 ; banner bearer 
and leader of the host, 61, 232 ; 
widow of, 233 

Arcadins, Emp., 28 

Arches, deanery of, 160 

Arderne, Amabilia w. of Ralf de, 
184 ; Ernburga w. of Thorn, de, 
184 ; Ralf de, 171, 184 ; Thorn, 
de, 182, 184 ; Thorn, s. of Thorn, 
de, 184 ; family, 144 

Aristocratic party in London, 107, 
116, 117, 118, 121, 123 

Arnulf B. of -flUlfthryth d. of Alfred, 




Arras, Baldwin de, 242 ; Mary his 

d., 242 

Arthur, nephew of K. John, 111 
Articuli Baronum, clauses relating to 

London, 121, 126 
Arundel, 86 

Earl of, 114 

Asclepiodotus, 22 

Ashingdon (Essex), battle of, 48 

Aspale, John and Alice his w., 241 

Aswy, Ralf, 121 

Athelstan, s of Tofig the Proud, 136, 

137, 196, 197 
Auberville, Sir Will, and Maud his 

w., 184 

Augusta, name for London, 25, 26 
Augustine, St., 32 
Aulus Plautius, 5, 7 
Auvergne, Anketin de, 182, 185 
Ave Maria Lane, 145 
Azo, the alderman, 250 


Baddow, Little (Essex), 138 

Baillol, Loc' de, 278 

Bakers, gild of, 101 

Baldwin, priest of St. Stephen 

Walbrook, 169 

E. of Flanders, 90 

Balio, Will, de, 205 
Balte (Baupte), Adelais de, 233 
Banner of London, 190, 191 
Banner-bearer or Banneret of 

London, 61, 189, 190, 191, 193, 

195, 196, 213, 232 See Staller 
Bardolf, Hugh and Isabel his w., 252 
Barking, 68, 69, 70, 72; soke of 

abbey of, 153 
Barnet (Herts), 270 
Barons of London, position and 

duties of, 88, 120, 219, 220, 221, 

224, 225, 227 ; majores and 

minores, 221 
Bar Querel, Rob., sheriff, 204. See 


Bars of London, 179, 179n. 
Barwe, Bertram de, 253 
Basinghall Street, 142, 168, 174, 265 
Basings, Adam de, 141, 255, 269, 

265 ; Alice w. of Thorn, de, 265 ; 

Avice d. of Thorn, de, 265 ; Avice 

w. of Solomon de, 265 ; Desider- 
ata w. of Adam de, 265, 259, 265 ; 

Hugh de, 265 ; Isabel w. of Nich. 

de, 259, 266 ; Nich. de, 259, 265, 

266; Peter de, 265; Solomon de, 

265 ; Thorn, de, 265 
Bassishaw Ward, 162, 174, 176 
Bateson, Mary, theory as to the 

Twenty -four, 283 
Battle Abbey, church of, 62 
Bayeux, bp. of, 150 ; Odo, 76, 202 ; 

Phil., 278 
Baynard, Geoff., 139 ; Ralf, 70, 138, 

139, 199, 201, 202; Will.. 139, 

201, 202, 203 
Beauchamp, Steph. de (of Essex), 

184 ; Alina his heir, 184 
Bee, abb. of, 256 
Becket (Beket), Gilb, portreeve, 80, 

81, 205 ; Rose his w., 80, 81 ; 

Thorn, archbp., 98, 169, 170, 205, 


Bedfordshire, sheriff of, 207n. 
Belfry of St. Paul's, 191, 214 
Bellet, John, 276 

Benedict, the Jew of York, 104, 105 
Benfleet (Essex), 40 
Beorhtwulf of Mercia, 36 
Beorn, E. of East Mercia, 60, 54 
Berengar, 244 

Berengaria, Q. of Rich. I, 103 
Bergavenny Inn, 145 
Berkhampstead, Great, 65, 66, 67, 


Little, 65, 66 

Berkshire, sheriff of, 207 
Bermondsey, 111, 148 ; priory, 148, 

184, 249, 252 ; soke of, 148 
Bifield, Hugh de, 244n. 
Bigod (Bigot), Hugh, 276 ; Roger, 


Billingsgate, 39, 106, 264, 270 
Biset, Manser, 278 
Bishopsgate, 13, 258, 268 ; soke of, 

162 ; street, 174 ; ward of, 173, 

174, 176, 180 
Blackfriars, 17, 139, 273 
Blackstan, 211 
Blanchappleton, 132, 134, 152, 153, 

Blemond, Terri s. of Will., 264; 

Will., 254 



Bloomsbury (Blemondsbury), 254 

Bluud (Blond), Adam le, 263; 
Alice w. of Edw., 260 ; Alice w. 
of Will., 262 ; Avice w. of Bob., 
263 ; Andrew, 238, 263 ; Aabrey 
w. of Peter, 261 ; Bart., 262 ; Cicely 
w. of Andrew, 238, 263 ; dementia 
d. of Rob., 263 ; Edw., the king's 
butler and chamberlain, 245, 260, 
261, 262; Geoff., 147, 148, 247, 
261, 262, 263 ; Gilb., 262 ; Helen 
d. of Walter, 261 ; Hen., 262; 
Ida w. of Geoff., 148, 261 ; Joan 
d. of Adam, 263 ; Joan d. of 
Andrew, 238 ; Joan d. of Geoff., 
247 ; Joan d. of Thorn., 261, 262 ; 
John, 260, 262, 263 ; Maud w. of 
Walter, 261 ; Norman, 262 ; 
Peter, 260, 261 ; Ralf, 260 ; Rich, 
s. of Hen., 262; Rich. s. of 
Peter, 261 ; Rich. s. of Will., 263 ; 
Rob., 247, 259, 262, 263 ; Roger, 
152; Sabina w. of Geoff., 263; 
Salerna w. of Bart., 262 ; Salerna 
d. of Gilb., 262; Thorn, a. of 
Geoff., 261 ; Thorn, s. of Rich., 
263 ; Walter bro. of Edw., 260, 
261 ; Walter s. of Bart., 262, 263 ; 
Walter s. of Walter, 261 ; Will., 

Boadicea, 8, 9 

Bocointe, Adam, 239 ; Agnes w. 
of Will., 238 ; Alice w. of Will., 
238; Andrew, justiciar, 169, 205, 
207, 236, 237; Andrew a. of 
Humf., 99, 236, 237 ; Beatrice d. 
of Will., 238 ; Dionisia w. of John, 
238 ; Geoff., 238, 239, 243, 263 ; 
Hen., 239 ; Hersent d. ofBeatrice, 

238 ; Humf., 237, 263 ; Joan d. 
of Hen., 239; John, 107, 169, 
237, 238, 239 ; Juliana w. of John, 

239 ; Lawr., 238, 239 ; Lucy d. 
of Humf., 237, 238; Margaret 
d. of Hen., 239; Margery d. 
of Hen., 239 ; Ralf., 237 ; Sabel- 
ine w. of Lawr., 238, 239 ; Will., 

Bocointe'a manor or soke, 146, 147, 


Bohuns, E. of Hereford, fee of, 152 
Bonosus, 12 

Boulogne, Count Eustace of, 71, 73, 

139, 143 

Hon. of, 143, 162 

Bracton, Hen., 171 
Bread Street, 168 

Ward, 174, 176, 262 

Breaute, Faulk de, 258 
Brentford (Midd.), 48, 261, 262 
Bridewell, manor of, 156 
Bridge Ward, 174, 176 
Brihtric s. of Alphege of Devons., 49 
Bristol, 86 

Britain, R. gov. of, 23 
Britannia, John de, Earl of Rich- 
mond, 145 
Briton, Alice w. of Thorn., 157 ; 

Ralf, 183 ; Rob., 261 ; Thorn, e. 

of Will., 157 

Broad St. Ward, 174, 176, 270 
Bromley by Bow, 270 
Bruera, Ralf de, 183 ; Reinfred de, 

Brus, Agnes de, 183 ; Helewise w. 

of Peter de, 183 ; Peter de, 183 
Buckerel, Alice d. of Thorn., 241 ; 

Andrew, }147, 240, 241, 242; 

Andrew s. of Andrew, 241 ; 

Geoff., 147, 205; Idonea w. 

of Andrew, 147, 240, 241 ; 

Isabella (Sabella) w. of Steph., 

147, 240, 241, 242 ; Matth., 242 ; 

Peter, 242 ; Rob., 204 ; Steph., 

147, 240, 255 , Steph. a. of Steph., 

241, 242 ; Them; s. of Andrew,' 

241 ; Thorn, a. of Odo, 240 ; 

Thorn, s. of Thorn., 241 ; Warine, 

240; Will., 240 

Buckinghamshire, sheriff of, 207n. 
Bnckland (Bocland), Hugh de, 82, 

199, 200, 201, 203, 204, 206, 207n., 

220, 235, 236, 249; Will. B. of 
Hugh, 236 

Bucklersbury, manor or soke of, 146, 

147, 163, 240 
Burford, battle of, 35 
Burgh, Hubert de, 257 ; Raymond 

and Christina his w., 152, 153 
Burhred, K. of Mercia, 36, 154 
Burhthegns of London, 219, 220, 

221. See Barons 

Bursier, Alan le, 261 ; Aubrey le, 
261 ; Geoff, le, 261 



Bushey (Herts), 152 
Butchers, gild of, 101 
Butler of London, 245, 260 
Butsecarles or shipmasters of 
London, 49, 50, 63 


Caen, 80, 81 

Caesar, Julius, invasions of, 2, 3 

Cambridge, Cnihtengild of, 210 

Camulodunum, 2, 5, 20, 21, 23, 267. 
See Colchester 

Candlewick St., 245 

Ward, 174, 176 

Canon St., 268. See Candlewick St. 

Canterbury, 35, 36, 44, 75, 84, 92, 
100, 279 ; castle of, 115 ; Cnihten- 
gild of, 209 ; mon. of, 118, 127, 
164, 166 

archbps. of, 148 ; Alphege, 

archbp. of, 45 ; Anselm, 76, 201 ; 
Augustine, 32 ; Baldwin, 105 ; 
Dunstan, 134; Hubert Walter, 
114, 118; Laurentius, 33; 
Plegmund, 39, 131, 273; Bob. 
of Jumieges, 53, 57 ; Rob. 
Kilwarby, 139 ; Stigand, 56, 57, 
58, 63, 68, 69 ; Thorn. Becket, 98, 
169, 170, 205, 278; sokes of 
archbps. in London, 39, 130n., 
132, 152 

Carausius, 28 ; Marcus Aurelius, 20, 

Carburnel, Gilb., 109n. 

Carshalton (Surrey), 152 

Castle Baynard, 119, 138, 139, 162, 
190, 192, 199, 273 ; castle-guard 
at, 138 ; soke of, 121, 138, 139, 
162, 173, 191, 221 ; ward of, 173, 

Chalk (Kent), 243 

Chamberlain of London, 122, 245, 
260, 264 ; soke of, 162 

Hubert the, 276; Will, the, 

156, 203n. 

Chamberlains' Gate, 155. See also 

Chancery, Inns of, 171 

Chancery Lane, 156 

Charlemagne, 35, 279 

Charters to London, Hen. 1, 178, 275 
(text); Hen. II, 97, 178, 277 

(text) ; Hen. Ill, 178 ; John, 119, 
122, 123, 193 ; Rich. I, 115, 193 

Cheapside, 104, 148, 160, 258 

Cheap Ward, 176 

Chelsea, councils at, 39, 131 

Chenduit, Will., 246 

Chertsey Abbey, soke of, 148 

Chesney, Earth., 251 ; Isabel his d., 

Chester, 280 

Randle or Ranulf, E. of, 87, 

149, 183 

Chichester, 280 

Ralf Neville, bp. of, 158 

Chilham Castle, 115 

Chiltern district, 187 

Christina, d. of Ordgar, 164 

Churches of London, 159 ; dates of, 
163, 165; dedications, 166; at 
gates, 167 

Cinque Ports, 192n. 

Clapham (Surrey), 53n., 152 

Clare, Rich, de, 99, 142 

Classis Britannica, 20 

Claudius, Emp., invasion of, 5, 6, 7 

Clere, Ralf de, and Marg. his w., 252 

Clerkenwell, 102, 158 ; priory, 264 

Clifford's Inn, 171, 172 

Cloak Lane, 131 

Cloth manufacture, 16, 17 

Cloth-workers, gild of, 101 

" Cnihts " of London, 136, 180, 212 

Cnihtengild of London, 135, 136, 
151, 154, 155, 162, 181, 197, 209, 
210, 211, 220, 249, 250 ; soke of, 
220. See Portsoken 

Cnut, K., 45, 46, 47, 48, 50, 61, 51n. 

Coenwulf, K. of Mercia, 35 

Colchester, 2, 7, 8, 9 ; Constable- 
ship of Castle of, 199 ; priory of 
St. John, 150, 242. See Camulo- 

Coldharbour manor, 163 

Colechurch, Alice d. of Rich, de, 
262 ; fam. of, 259 

Colemanhaw, Ceolmundingehaga, 

Coleman St. Ward, 146, 174, 176, 
252, 270 

Colessune, Algar, 242 

Coleworth, Rich, de, 184 

Colney Chapel (Shenley, Herts), 246 



Cologne, merchants of, 137, 279 

Commonalty of London, 22U 

Common Council of London, 223, 

Commune of London, 79, 85, 87, 88, 
89, 91, 93, 96, 112, 115, 116, 
124, 126, 247 ; acknowledged, 88, 
110, 111 ; oath of, 112, 113, 226, 
228, 281 (text) 

Constable, office of, 188, 190, 195, 
199, 200 

Constabulary, 190, 209 

Constance d. of K. of France, 86 

Constantino, Emp., 23, 24 

Constantius, usurper, 27 ; Chlorus, 
21, 22, 23, 24 

Cordwainer St. Ward, 174, 176 

Cornhill,267,268,269; sokeof, 151, 
159 ; Ward, 173, 176 
Agnes w. of Gervase, 243 ; 
Alice w. of Hen. de, 151, 243; 
Edw., 151, 211, 243; Gervase, 
92, 151, 205, 207, 242, 243; 
Godelive w. of Edw. de, 243; 
Hen. de, 107, 108, 111, 151, 170, 
243, 244, 245, 246; Joan d. of 
Hen., 151, 243; Ralf de, 108, 
109n., 243, 244; Reginald de, 
108, 120, 171, 243, 244, 282; 
Reginald s. of Reginald de, 243, 

Coronation service of Londoners, 

Courci, Alice de, 151, 243 

Crayford, battle of, 29 

Crediton, 280 

Cripplegate, 40 ; soke of, 144, 158, 
162 ; ward of, 173, 174, 176, 180, 
264, 265 ; ward without, 180 

Crisp, Baldwin, and Marg. his d., 

Croyland, mon. of, 127 

Crusades, London's part in, 102, 103, 
105, 106 

Cunobeline, 2, 3 


Danes in London, 50, 138 ; raids by, 

3, 36, 40, 41, 42, 43, 47, 48 
Daneburghgate, 138 
Danegeld, 97 

Daniel the priest and Ismael his s., 


Delpare, Rich., 202 
Democratic party in London, 117, 

118, 122, 126, 266, 279 
Derman of London, 253 ; Terri his 

s., 253 ; thegn of K. Will., 248 
Diocletian, Emp., 20, 21 
" Domus Conversorum," 171 
Dorchester, 280 ; Ulf, bp. of, 57 
Dover, 40, 84, 110, 111 
Doverishe, Wulward le, 211 
Dowgate, 137, 267; Dock, 137; 

Hill, 42 ; Ward, 176 
Drinchwyn, Osbert, 176, 211 
Dunmow, Little, 138 
Durham, bp. of, 154 ; Hugh Pudsey, 

106, 109; Walcher, 153; Will. 

de St. Calais, 75 ; mon. of, 153 
Duston (Northants), 246 

Eadbald, s. of Ethelbert, 33 
Eadilda, sis. of Orgar, 250 
Eadnoth the .s taller, 189n. 
Eastcheap, 128, 268, 269, 270 
East Saxons, bps. of the. See London 
East Smithneld, 271 ; manor of, 


Ebbgate, 242 

Echevins (skivini), 112, 113, 226, 228 
Edgar Etheling, 58, 59, 63, 64, 67, 68 
Edgifu, abbess of Leominster, 53 
Edgware (Midd.), 263 
Edith, Q. of Edw. Conf., 55, 56 
Edmer Atule, 68 

Edmonton (Midd.), 241, 251, 263 
Edmund (Etheling or Ironside), 46, 

47, 48, 49, 77 
Edric, E. of Mercia, 44, 45, 46, 48, 

49, 138, 193n. 
Edward, Confessor, 53, 58, 59, 90, 

134, 154; the Elder, 42; the 

priest, 165; s. of Edm. Ironside, 


Edwin, E., 68, 63, 64, 67 
Edwy, K., 134 
Egbert, K., 35, 36 
Egfrith, K., 35 
Einesford, Will, de, 204, 206 



Eirard or Edward, bro. of Ingelric, 


Ellandune, battle of, 35 
Elmham (Norf.), 280 
Ely, abbey, 127 

bp. of, 90; Will, de Long- 
champ, 106, 107, 109, 110, 111, 

115, 147 ; soke of bps. in London, 

145, 264 

Emma, Q., 46, 52 
Enfield, 152, 271 
Eric, bro.-in-law of Cnut, 49 
Essex, E. of, 187. See Harold, 

Leofwin, Mandeville 

Hen. of, 199n. ; Rob., 199n. 

justiciar of, 93, 199, 234; 

sheriff of, 138, 207n., 234 ; staller 

of, 189 
Ethelbert, K. of Kent, 32, 33, 129, 


Ethelfleda, d. of Alfred, 38, 130, 131 
Ethelgiva, w. of Ethelwine, E. of 

East Anglia, 216 
Ethelred, K., 43, 45, 46, 47 
Ethelred of Mercia, governor of 

London, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 130, 

131, 187, 213 

Ethelredshithe. See Queenhithe 
Ethelward, s. of Ethelmer, 49 
Ethelwine, E. of East Anglia, 216 
Eudo Dapifer, 150, 249 
Eustace, the sheriff, 205n. ; s. of 

Stephen, 86, 95, 96; Constance 

his w., 86 

Evesham, battle of, 248 
Ewer St., Southwark, 12 
Exeter, 71, 73, 280 ; Cnihtengild of, 

210 ; gemote at, 217 


Farm of London and Midd., 83, 93, 
97, 107, 113, 115, 116, 119, 202, 

Farringdon (Berks), 95 

or Ludgate andNewgate Ward, 

144, 174, 176, 180, 181, 227n., 
261 ; Without or Fleet Ward, 180 

or Farndon, Nich., 182 ; Will., 


Faversham (Kent), gemote at, 218 

Fecusenne, Algar, 211 

Fenchurch St., 132, 152, 268 

Ferrers, Lord, bro. of, 101 

Fevre or Faber, Nich. and Isab. his 
w., 182 ; Ralf, 182, 185 

Fin or Phin the Dane, 158n. 

Fink, Rob., 166 

Finsbury, Vinesbury, 1, 151, 158, 

Fish market, 261 

Fitz or son of Ailwin, Alan, 251, 
252; Hen., 112, 155, 171, 226, 
243, 246, 248, 249, 250, 251, 252, 
253 ; Marg. his w., 251 ; Alan, 
Peter, Rich, and Thorn., his sons, 

Alan, Peter, 252, 253 ; Rich., 

252, 253 ; Rog., 243, 252, 253 ; 
Will., 252, 253 

Algar, Nich., 164, 165, 242 

Algod, Ralf, 211 

Alice, John and Will. See 


Alulf , Adam, 258 ; Agnes w. 
of Adam, 258 ; Constantine, 121, 
256, 257, 258 ; Constantine, the 
younger, 257 ; Ernulf (or Ruffus 
or Rus), 255, 256, 259 ; Dionisia 
w. of Ernulf, 255, 259 ; Frornond, 
258 ; Kath. w. of Constantine, 
258; Will, and Peter his s., 

Ansgar, Esgar, Godwin, 233 

Berengar, Alice w. of Reiner, 
245, 246; Hen., 244; Reiner, 
244, 245, 246 

Count, Brian, 90 

Derman, Orgar, 211 

Edith, Rob., 252 

Everard, John and Rob. s. of 

Ralf, 243 ; Ralf, 204, 243 
Fromond, Alulf, 256 ; Pente- 
cost, 256 

Gerold, Alice d. of Hen., 150 ; 
Hen., 160 ; Marg. d. of Warine, 
150 ; Warine, 150, 278 

Gilbert, Rich, and Rob. his s., 


Hamon, Rob., 203 

Henry, Alan, 251 ; Isabel w. 
of Peter, 251 ; Joan and Marg. 
d. of Peter, 252 ; John s. of Saer, 



247,248; Peter, 251 ; Saer, 246, 

Herlwin, Herlwin, 242 ; In- 

genolda. 242; Ralf, 165, 205, 

242 ; Will., 242 

Hubert, Adam, 150 

Isabel Dionisia w. of Will., 

254; Geoff., 247; Marg. d., 

Martin, Roger, Will, sons of Will., 

254, 255, 256; Will., 245, 247, 

254, 256, 259 

Ivo, Theobald, 227n. 

Leofstan, Ailwin, Alfwin, 211, 

250, 251; Eadilda (?), 252; 

Orgar (?), 252 ; Rob., 211, 250 ; 

Wyzo, 211 

Marcian, Simon, 242 

Nigel, John, 258 

Orgar, Leofstan, 250 

Osbert, Rich., 117; WilL 

(Longbeard), 105, 117, 118, 120, 

125, 126, 239 
Peter, Piers, Alan 252, 253 ; 

Geoff., 106; Gervase, 253; Gos- 

celin, 253 ; Peters, of Alan, 253 ; 

Rob., 258 ; Rose w. of Rob., 258 ; 

Will., E. of Essex, 152 
Ralf, Herlwin, 242 ; John, 

243n. ; Mary w. of Rob., 242 ; 

Rob., 242; Will., 242 
Reiner, Hen., 109, 109n., 247, 

262 ; Joan w. of Hen., 247, 262 ; 

Juliana d. of Will., 239, 247; 

Rich., 107, 108, 109, 109n., 110, 

112, 244, 245, 247, 248, 249, 252, 

263; Saer s. of Hen., 247; 

Salveya d. of Hen., 247 ; Will., 

109n., 239, 246, 247 ; Will. s. of 

Will., 246 
Reinfred, Alice w. of Roger, 

183; Gilb., 183; Roger, 113, 

144, 183 ; Rohaise w. of Roger, 

Richard, Rob., of Castle 

Baynard, 193 

Richer, Rob., 276 

Robert, Rob. and Helewise 

bis w., 184 

Roger, Alan, 243 ; Gervase, 
151, 243 ; Hen., 183 ; Reinfred, 
183 ; Roger, 252 

Sabeline, Agnes w. of Will., 

238; Geoff., 238; WiU.,238. See 


Stephen, Will., 161 

Syward, Rob., 276 

Terri, Bertram, 253 

Ulgar, Wulgar, Guy, 254; 

Hugh, 211, 254; Walter, 254; 

Walter s. of Walter, 254 
Walter, Fulcred, 195, 204, 

205n., 240; Peter, 147, 264; 

Rob., of Castle Baynard, 119, 121, 

123, 139, 147, 190, 191, 201 

William, Peter, 256; Roger 

and Marg. his d., 255 
Wimarc, Rob., 189n., 199; 

Sweyn s. of Rob., 199 
Flanders, Counts of, lands of, in 

London, 134 ; Adelnlf de, 240 ; 

Arnulf of, 134; Baldwin Count 

of, 132 
Flavia Caesariensis, president of, in 

London, 23 
Fleet, R.. 1, 144; soke of, 156; 

Street, 156, 157 ; Ward, 180 
Folkmote, 97, 122, 213, 214, 215, 

217, 223 ; bell of, 91, 110, 191, 

214, 257 ; election of sheriffs at, 

83, 84n., 214, 215 
Fortibus, Will, de and Isab. his w., 


Foster Lane, 24 

France, Phil. K. of, 102, 113, 119 
Friday St., 245, 265 
Frithgild, 140, 217, 218, 221n. 
Frithgildsmen, status of, 217 
Fromond, an alderman, 255 
Fnlham Palace, 91 
Fursey, an Irish missionary, 33 


Gainsborough, 46 
Gates of London, 13, 211 
Gavelot, writ of, 222 
Geoffrey the Goldsmith, 105 
Gervase, clerk to sheriff, 204 
Ghent, mon. of St. Peter of, 134, 135, 

136, 137, 249n., 269 ; soke of, 138, 

151, 159 

Gilds of London, 101, 102, 107 
Gildhall, 104, 140, 191, 192, 217 



Ginges (Butsbury, Essex), 239, 262 
Githa d. of Osgod Clapa, 53, 197 
Glamorgan, Will, de, 167 
Glanville, Ranulf and Bertha his 

w., 184 

Glass-making in R. London, 17 
Gloucester, 92; abbey, 149; 

Christmas courts at, 74 
Isabella of, 149 ; John, E. of, 

103 ; Rob., E. of, 86, 87, 90, 94, 

142 ; Will. E. of, 142 ; soke of 

E. of, in London, 104n., 142 
Godwin the clerk called Bak, 164, 

166 ; Earl, 50, 52, 53, 55, 56, 57, 

58, 230, 232, 234 
Goldsmiths, gild of, 101 ; market, 


Goscelin, alderman of gild, 102 
Gosfrid the portreeve, 72, 200 
Gracechurch market, 106, 270 ; St., 

Great Charter, its effect on London, 

121, 123, 126 

Great Council of London, 192, 224-8 
Greatley, witenagemote at, 217, 218 
Great St. Thomas the apostle, 131 
Great Trinity Lane, 131 
Greenwich, 45, 46, 47, 134, 135 
Gregory, Pope, 32 
Greyfriars, church of, 145 
Grocers' or Pepperers' gild, 101 
Gurth, s. of Godwin, 54, 58, 61 
Guthrum, 36, 37, 129 
Gutter or Guthron Lane, 129, 145 


Hacon, the Dane, 242 

Hadestone (Norf.), 138 

Hadrian, Emp., statue of,in London, 

Hadstock, Avice w. of Will, de, 265 ; 

Augustine s. of Will, de, 265 ; 

Will, de, 265 
Half dene, K., 36 
Haliwell, gild of, 101 
Hampshire, staller of, 189 
Hampstead, 271 
Hanse merchants, Steelyard, 137, 

Harold, E. and K., 51, 54, 55, 58, 59, 

61, 137, 187, 198, 232 ; Hardrada, 

60; Barefoot, 52 
Harthacnut, 52, 53 
Hasting, a Danish leader, 40, 41 
Hastings, battle of, 61, 232 

fam. of, 145 

Hatfield Peverel, Priory of, 149 
Haverhill, Alice w. of Will, de, 264 ; 

Briohtmar de, 264 ; Dionisia d. 

of Rich, de, 265 ; James de, 264, 

268 ; Rich, de, 264, 265 ; Thorn. 

de, 264, 265 ; Will, de, 102, 107, 


Hengist, 29 
Henry I, 74, 76, 77, 84, 153, 155 ; 

charter to London, 83, 90, 275 
II, 94, 96, 98, 99, 100, 103 ; 

charter to London, 97, 277 ; dis- 
like of commune, 97, 115 
Ill, prohibited law schools in 

London, 171 

V, Emp. of Germany, 77 

s. of Hen. II, 98, 99 

s. of K. of Scots, 85 

Hereford, bp. of, 90 ; Walter bp. >'f, 

67 ; manor of bps. of, in London, 

148, 162 
and Essex, courts of Honour of 


Heregard, Rich, and Alice his w., 257 
Horlwin, 242 
Hertford, 66 
Hertfordshire, constableship of, 199 ; 

justiciar of, 93, 199, 200, 234; 

sheriff of, 207n., 234 ; staller of, 


Highgate, 271 
Hinxworth (Herts), 152 
Hispania, Rich, de and dementia 

his w., 263; Peter their s., 


Hlothere and Eadric, laws of, 128 
Hoards of Roman coins, 12 
Holborn, 144 ; manor of, 179 ; R. 

villa at, 14 
Holy Cross, Aldgate, 159, 161. See 

Holy Trinity 

Holy Innocents, Strand, 158 
Holyroodwharf, 155 
Holy Trinity or Christchurch, Aid- 
gate, priory of, 153, 154, 155, 164, 

165, 167, 169, 173, 181, 191, 196, 



211, 220, 227, 238, 249, 250, 261, 
262, 263; Eustace, prior of, 
227n. ; Norman prior of, 227n. 

Honorius, Emp., 27, 28, 29 

Home, Ailwin, 248 

Hornewitesune, Adelard, 211 

Hornsey, 271 

Hospitallers, knights, 157 

Hugeline, burgthegn, chamberlain, 
53, 220, 231 

Huitdeniers, Osbert, 169, 205, 207 

Huntingdon, Honour of, 144, 183 

Hurley Priory, 234 

Busting, court of, 122, 192, 213, 
216, 218, 219, 221, 222, 223, 226 ; 
early ref. to, 216 

Iceni, British tribe, 8, 9 

Ingelric, king's clerk, 71, 73, 143, 

Inns of Chancery, 171, 172 

Court, 172 

Insnla, Baldwin de, E. of Devon, 

157; Brian de, 157, 171. See 


Ironmonger Lane, 269 
Islington, 253 
Ivy Bridge, 157 
Ivy Lane, 145 
Ixworth (Suff.), 260, 262 

Jewry and Jews of London. 103, 104, 

104n., 105, 106 
John, K . 118 ; charter to London, 

119; writ to London, 120. See 

Mortain, John, Count of 
Judith, w. of Godwin, 54 ; w. of 

Tostig, 60 ; w. of Waltheof, 144 
Justiciarship of London, 93, 97, 192, 

194, 195, 199, 202, 204, 208, 224 

Keiiilworth. Dictum of, Londoners 

excluded from, 231, 241, 248 
Kent, staller of, 189 
King's Walden (Herts), 233 

u 2 

Knightrider St., 131 
Knightsbridge, 89 
Kolbe(?)Godric. 164 

Lacer, Rich., 182 

Lafaite, John, 100 

Lambeth, 52 

Lancaster, Will, de, 183 ; Helewise 

hisw., 183 

Langborne or Lombard Ward, 176 
Lea, R., 41 
Leadenhall, market, 13 ; soke, 151 ; 

St., 14, 174, 268 
Leicester, E. of, 99 
Lelutre, Will., 205 
Leofric, E. of Mercia, 51, 54 
Leofstan, bro. of Dennan, 249, 250 ; 

the goldsmith, 204,n., 211, 220, 

249, 253 ; the sheriff or portreeve. 

198, 232, 249 
Leofwin, E., s. of Godwin, 55, 58, 61, 


Leuric the reeve, 205 
Lewi sham. 134 
Liberty of London, 179 
Lichfield, 279, 280 
Lifric the priest, 164 
Lime St., 12 ; Ward, 174, 176 
Limoges, Guy de, 258 ; Martin de, 

Lincoln, 280 ; battle of, 87 ; castle, 

bp. of, 90 ; Adelphius, bp. of, 


Gilb. de Gant, E. of, 183 

| Lindisfarne, 279 

1 Lindsay, Alice w. of Will., 183; 

Walt, de, 183 ; Will, de, 183 
Lisbon. 102 
Lisieux (Lexoniensis) Ernulf, bp. of, 

Lisle of Rougemont, Alice w. of 

Rob. ? 150; Rob., 150; fam. of, 

157. See also Insula 
Lithsmen of London, 49, 50 
Living, 164 

Lombard St., 14, 17, 268 , Ward, 176 
London, Londoners, cosmopolitan 

character of, 80, 81, 230, 266: 

Danish influence in, 50, 69, 70, 



230, 232 ; early government of, 
186-229 ; fires in, 42, 74, 75, 76, 
78 ; gemotes and councils at, 45, 
49, 51, 53, 54, 57, 59, 63, 67, 
95, 279; liberties of seized, 42, 
101, 109 ; naval base, 39, 40, 42, 
44, 50, 60 ; Norman or French 
influence in, 36, 53-5, 56-7, 232 ; 
raids and attacks on, 35, 36, 37, 
41, 43, 47, 90; road centre, 
15, 51 ; services at coronation, 

London Bridge, 47, 56, 65, 76, 78, 
101, 128, 151, 155, 167, 174, 
193n., 203, 267, 268, 269 ; gilds 
of, 101 

London Stone, 78, 155, 162, 251 

London, Andrew of, 102 ; Hen. de, 

or the E. Saxons, bp. of, 151 ; 

^Ifward, 197; Angulus, 25; Cedd, 
33 ; Earconwald, 33 ; Elthun, 46 ; 
Maurice, 77 ; Mellitus, 32, 33, 279 ; 
Bestitutus, 24 ; Rich, de Belmis, 
178 ; Rich. Fitz Neale, 14 ; Rob. 
de Jumieges, 53, 197 ; Rob. de 
Sigillo, 90, 91 ; Roger Niger, 168 ; 
Stigand, 51 ; Will., 57, 72, 73, 
198; Wine, 33; soke and land 
of bps. in London, 129, 130, 173, 

Longbeard. See Fitz Osbert, Will. 

Longchamp, Hen. de, 111 ; Osbert 
de, 107, 108, 111 ; Will, de, bp. of 
Ely, 106, 107, 109, 110, 111, 115, 

Loring (Lorraine), Albert, 146, 147 ; 
fam., 146, 147 ; Walter, 147 

Lothbury, soke or manor of, 146, 
147, 163 

Level's Inn, 145 

Luci, Rich, de, justiciar, 99, 199, 

Ludgate, 13, 236, 268; Hill, In., 
267 ; Ward, 173 

" Lundentunes Hythe," 34 

Lupicinus, 25 


Magnus, Will., 260 
Maximus, 27 

Malmsbury, Castle, 96 ; Walter 

Loring, abb. of, 147 
Maminot, Walcheline, 278 
Mandeville, Adelais w. of Geoff, de 

(I), 233 ; Geoff, de (I), 73, 81, 82, 

83, 137, 199, 200, 202, 203, 204, 

206, 233-5, 249 ; Geoff, de (II), E. 

of Essex, 82, 86, 89-95, 152, 187. 

204, 205, 206, 208, 224, 235, 254 ; 

Leceline w. of Geoff, de (I), 233 ; 

Will, de, s. of Geoff, de (I), 82, 203, 

204, 235 ; Rohese w. of Geoff, de 

(II), 235 

Mansell, John, judge, 170 
Mantel, fee of, in London, 152 
Maresco, John de, and Marg. his w., 

Marines or Marney, Aubrey de, 

Markets, 130, 186, 194, 268, 269. 

See also Eastcheap, Westcheap 
Marlborough, 103 
Marshal, Will., E. of Pembroke, 106, 

109, 111 
Maud, Matilda, d. of Hen. I, the 

Empress, 77, 84, 85, 86, 87, 89, 92, 

94; d. of Hen. II, 260; Q. of 

Hen. I, 77, 131, 161; Q. of 

Stephen, 84, 90, 205 
Maximian, 21 
Mayor, mayoralty of London, 112, 

114, 115, 116, 117, 122, 123, 190, 

191, 192, 215, 227; elected 

from barons, 122, 224 ; drawn 

from aldermen, 225, 226; first 

established, 112, 113, 114 
Medway, 6, 41, 187, 193 
Mercer, Serlole, 121,257 
Merton (Norf.), 138 
Middlesex, settlement of, 127, 

186, 187, 187n. ; shrievalty, 93, 


Milk St., 269 
Mincing Lane, 152 
Mint, at Camulodunum, 20, 21, 23 ; 

at London, 21, 23, 26, 27, 28, 34, 


Mohun, Will., E. of, 90 
Montacute (Somerset), cross found 

at, 136 

Montalt, manor of, 148, 162, 166 
Montfichet, tower of, 99, 139 



Montfichet Gilb., 99 ; Will, de, 276 

Montfort, Simon de, 181 

Montr euil, abb. of, 142 

Moorfield, 13, 271 

Moorgate, 13 

Morkar, E., 58, 63, 64, 67 

Mortain, John, Count of, 103, 107, 

109, 110, 114, 115, 139, 149, 246, 

247. See John, King 
Moses the priest, 166 
Mowden in Ulting (Essex), 138 
Moze (Essex), 234 
Municipal party in London, 107. See 

Oligarchic party 
Mymmes, North (Herts), 152 
South (Midd.), 152 


Nephew of Gervase, Jordan, 256n. 
Hubert, Ingenolda w. of Roger, 

242, 243 ; Roger, 204, 220, 236, 

242, 243 
Neville, Hugh de and Joan his w., 

151, 243, 244 ; Ralf de. 158 
Newgate, 13, 154, 155, 174, 268; 

Ward of, 145, 261, See also 

Farringdon Ward 

Newington Barrow in Islington, 254 
Northampton, 121 
Northman s. of E. Leofwine, 49 
Norwich, 280 

Nottingham, 115; Castle, 114 
Novo Burgo, R. de, 278 

Ochta s. of Hengist, 29 

Offa, K. of Mercia, 35 

Olaf Tryggveson of Norway, 43 

Old Fish Market, 254 

Old Sarum, 280 

Oligarchic party in London, 116, 


Ordeal by water, 100, lOOn. 
Ordgar, Orgar, 238, 250, 253n. ; 

the Deacon, 163, 164, 166; le 

Prude, 155, 211, 220 
Osgod Clapa, 50, 53, 138, 197, 198, 

Oteswich, Martin, 166 

Oxford, 45, 51 ; Balliol Coll., 143 ; 
Castle, 94 ; law schools at, 171 ; 
sheriff of, 207n. 

Parish boundaries of London, 167, 

Pannentier, Ralf le, and Joan his w., 

Pateshull, Martin, 171 ; Simon, 


Patin, Ranulf, 166 ; Rob., 166 
Paul's Wharf, 39 

Pembroke or Bergavenny Inn, 145 
Pentecost the Draper, 256 ; the 

Goldsmith, 256; Marg. w. of 

Roger, 255 ; Roger, 255, 256 
Pershore, abb., 127 
Peter the priest, 165n. 
Peterborough Abbey, 127 ; Abbot 

of, 64 

Peverel of Dover, Hon of, 149n. 
Hamon, 149n , Payn, 149n. ; 

Will., 149n. 
Peverel of London, soke of, 148, 

Ingelrica w. of Ranulf, 149 ; 

Ranulf, 148, 149 ; Will., 149 
Peverel of Nottingham, soke of, 103, 

109, 148, 149, 246 
Adelina w. of Will., 149; 

Adeliza d. of Will., 149: Will., 

149 ; Will. s. of Will., 149 
Pilgrims, gild of, 101 
Pointel, Alex, de., 110 ; Will, de, 

107, 110, 113 
Porchester, 120 

Portpool (Midd.), manor of, 179 
Portreeves of London, 174, 180, 187, 

198, 217. See Sheriffs 
Portsoken, 135, 136, 154, 162, 179, 

180, 181, 211, 212, 227n., 250, 254 ; 

Edm. alderman of, 2~21n. 
Portugal, Londoners drive out 

Moors, 105, 106 
Postumus, 12 
Poultry, The, 104, 269 
Prasutagus, K. of Iceni, 7, 8 
" Probi barones " and " probi 

homines " of London, 225, 228 



Proculus, 12 

Prutfot, Gilb., sheriff, 206, 250 

Pulteney, John de, 182 

Queenhithe, Ethelredshithe, Ede- 
redshithe, 38, 39, 130n., 131, 173, 
247, 253, 263, 270 ; soke of, 148, 
159, 193n. ; Ward of, 148, 173, 


Rahere, 163 

Ramsey Abb., 153, 154, 216, 236 

Ranulf and Rob. his s., 163 

Reading, 84, 85, 110 

Redvers, Baldwin de, E. of Devon 

and Marg. his w., 150 
Reinbald, chan. of Edw. Conf., 58 
Reiner the reeve, 204 
Renger, John, 241 
Richard I, 103, 105, 114, 115; 

charter of, 115; coronation, 103, 


Duke of Normandy, 53 

Richborough, 25, 27 

Ricola, sis. of K. Ethelbert, 33 

Riots in London, 89, 109, 117, 120, 

125, 144 

Riston (Norf.), 138 
Robert of Normandy, 75 
s. of Wimarc the staller, 


Rochelle, commune at, 96 
Rochester, 35, 37, 41, 75 

Gilb., bp. of, 111 ; Gundulf, 74 

Roger, sheriff of Midd., 202 
Roman remains in London, 10-15 
Rorik the Dane, 36 
Rouen, 137 ; commune at, 96 
archbp. of, 110, 111; Hugh, 

88 ; Walt, de Coutances, 183 
Round, J. H., views of, on common 

council, 283 
Royal residence in London, 33, 35, 

58, 128, 129, 130, 140, 159, 167, 

Ruffus, Hugh and Marsilla his w., 


Runnymede, 123 
Rus, Ernulf, 256 
Ryes, Hubert de, 150, 162 


Sacombe (Herts), 248, 249 
Saebert, K. of E. Saxons, 32, 33 
St. Albans, 2, 89, 94, 270 ; Abbey, 

127,149; fee of abbey in London, 

145, 146 
Wood St., 128, 129, 146, 167, 


St. Alphege ch., 164 
St. Andrew's, Holborn, 239 
by the Wardrobe, 139, 162, 


St. Anne's, Aldersgate, 167 
St. Anne and St. Agnes, 164, 165 
St. Anthony's, 165 
St. Augustine, Watling St., 166, 

St. Bartholomew's Hosp., 239, 264, 

265 ; Priory, 156 
St. Bonnet, soke of, 130, 173, 244 
St. Bennet Fink, 160, 161, 166 

Sherehog, 166 

St. Botolf, Aldersgate, 162, 164, 168 

Aldgate, 155, 162 

Billingsgate, 163, 164, 239, 272 

Bishopsgate, 162 

St. Botolf's gate, London Bridge, 

106, 155, 264 
St. Clement Danes, 51, 52 

Lane, 17 

St. David's, bp. of, 90 

St. Dionis Backchurch, 164, 166 

St. Dunstan in the East, 152, 159, 


in the West, 167 

St. Edmund's, 163, 165 

St. Ethelburga, Bishopsgate, 167 

St. Gabriel, Fenchurch St., 132 

St. George, Southwark, 184 

St. Giles, Cripplegate, 162, 163, 165 

in the Fields, 257 

St. Helen's, Bishopsgate, 161, 163 
St. John Bapt., Walbrook, 160, 161, 

165, 260 

or St. Werburg, 165 

Zachery, 166 



St. John's Wood, 271 

St. Katherine, Colemanchurch, 154 

St. Lawrence Jewry, 104n., 142, 

147, 238, 256 

St. Lazarus, gild of, 101 

St. Liz, Maud d. of Simon de, 139 ; 

Simon de, 139, 144 
St. Loy, Geoff, de, and Hersent his 

w , 238 
St. Magnus the Martyr, 164, 167, 

193n., 272 
St. Margaret, Fish St., 167 

Friday St., 255 

Lothbury, 163, 250, 253n. 

Moses, 166 

Paten, 166 

Westminster, 156 

St. Martin, Candlewick St., 163 
le Grand priory, 143, 152, 161, 

164, 201, 206; school at, 169; 

soke of, 143, 162, 173 

the Less, 145 

Orgar, 16, 164, 239 

Outwich, 166 

Vintry or Baremancherche, 

148, 149, 159, 161, 245, 246 

St. Mary Aldermanbury, 141, 147, 


Aldennary, 160 

Axe, 129 

outside Bishopsgate, Hosp., 


Bothaw, 165n. 

le Bow, 118, 160, 169, 238, 


Colechurch, 163 

in Coninghope, 104n. 

ad Fontem, 104n. 

at Hill, 155 

Magdalene, Milk St., 141, 159, 


Monnthaw, 148, 162, 166 

Somerset, 131, 138, 166, 255 

Woolchurch or Newchurch, 
150, 162 

Woolnoth, 166, 246 

St. Michael Bassishaw, 141, 161, 168 

Bread St., 168 

Cheap, 242 

Queenhithe, 159, 166 

le Qnerne, or at Paul's Gate, 

164, 165, 167 

St. Michael, Wood St., 166, 168, 

St. Mildred, Bread St., 261 

Poultry, 147, 163, 164 

St. Nicholas Cole Abbey, 148 

Olave, 148, 165 

Shambles, 184, 256 

St. Olaf or Olave, K. of Norway, 

St. Olave Jewry, 104n., 147, 184 

Silver St., 260 

St. Owen, 145 

St. Pancras, manor of, 179 

Soper Lane, 164 

St. Paul's Cath., 33, 45, 78, 103, 110, 

129, 139, 158, 159, 163, 164, 165, 

166, 167, 173, 214, 239, 280; 

altar of St. Chad in, 265 ; great 

gate of, 190, 191 ; lands of, 38 ; 

Roman kiln found at, 11, 17 ; 

school, 169-71 
St. Peter Cheap, 168 

Cornhill, 159 

Wood St., 268n. 

St. Sauve and St. Wynewall, Abbey 

of, 142 
St. Saviour's, Bermondsey. See 


St. Sepulchre, 162, 165, 258 
St. Stephen, Coleman St., 147, 184 

Walbrook, 150, 169, 237 

St. Swithin, 155, 162, 251 

St. Thomas of Aeon, Hosp., 151 

St. Walery, R. de, 278 

St. Werburg or St. John, 165 

St. Wynewall, soke of, 142 

Saladin tithe in London, 103 

Saleby, Thorn, s. of Will, de, and 

Grace his d., 157 
Salisbury, Sq., 157 

bp. of, 156 

Salters Hall, 155 
Sandale, Sir John, 154, 154n. 
Sandwich, 40, 43, 44, 46, 55, 60 
Savoy, manor or soke, 157 

Peter of, 158 

Schools of London, 160, 168-72; 

of law, 170-2 

Hen. master of the, 169 

Scot, John le, 145 

Scotland, K. of, David, 144, 145; 

Will., 99, 100, 144, 145; soke 



of K. of, 144, 145, 173, 182, 183, 


Sebbi, K. of E. Saxons, 33 
Selsey, 279, 280 
Severus, Emp., 19 
Shadwell, 6 
Shenley (Herts), 246 
Sherborne (Dors.), 279, 280 
Sheriff, shrievalty of London and 

Middlesex, office of, 83, 93, 97, 

107, 108, 115, 119, 188, 195, 196, 

198, 202-8, 214-6, 224 ; Court of 

the, 216. See Portreeve 
Sigred, K. of E. Saxons, 35, 38 
Soke-motes, 213, 217, 221, 222; 

jurisdiction of, 217, 221, 222 
Soke-owners of London, 97, 117, 

127-58, 179, 180, 221, 222 
Soke-reeves, 191, 217, 222 
Sokes, 79, 127-58, 174, 269; 

churches of, 160 ; the King's, 

217 ; relation to wards, 173 ; vary- 
ing jurisdiction, 221 
Somery, Agnes d. of Roger de, 141 ; 

fam. of, 166 
Sopers Lane, 269 
Southampton, 100, 186 
Southwark, 2, 3, 50, 54, 55, 64, 90, 

91 ; Street, 17 
Adam de, 117 ; Edw. de, and 

Godeleve his d., 243 
Sparkling the priest, 164 
Staines (Midd.), 187, 192 
Staller, stallership, office of, 50, 136, 

137, 188-201, 208, 209, 213 
Stamfordbridge, battle of, 60 
Stanmore (Midd.), ingot found at, 28 
Steelyard, 137 
Stephen, K., 84, 85, 86, 92, 93, 96 ; 

courts of, 85, 86 ; crowned, 85, 92 ; 

elected by Londoners, 85 
Stepney, 270 ; gallows at, 151 
Stilicho, Rom. general, 27 
Stocks Market, 150, 269n. 
Stopham, Ralf s. of Brian de, 157 
Strand, The, 157, 246 ; R. villa in, 


Stratford by Bow, 270 
Stratton, Adam de, 248 
Streets, parishes and wards formed 

from, 168, 174 ; and lanes, 269 
Strodes, fee of, 132, 135 

Suburb, 130, 178, 179, 272 
Sudwerck, Adam de, 117 
Suetonius, gov. of Britain, 8, 9 
Sully, Hen. de, 85 
Sussex, sheriff of, 207n. 
Swetman, sheriff, 198, 232 
Sweyn of Denmark, 43, 45 ; s. of 
Godwin, 53, 54 


Tallage, 97, 120, 121, 124, 125, 126, 
225, 226, 227 

Tania, Hasculf de, 147, 148, 240, 
241, 261, 276 ; soke of, 148 

Tasciovanus, British Prince, 2, 3 

Temple, The, 156, 171 

Tetricus, usurper, 12 

Thaives Inn, 171, 172 

Thames, R., 2, 22, 30, 41, 43, 44, 47, 
56, 119, 129, 130, 270; bridge 
over, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7. See London 
Bridge ; lordship of, 122, 187, 193 

St., 159, 268, 273 

Thanet, abbess of, 35 

Theodosius, Emp., 27 ; father of 
Emp., 26 

Throgmorton Avenue, R. hoard in, 

Thundersfield, witenagemote at, 217 

Thurkill, E., 44, 45, 49 

Tithes in London, 167, 168 

Toeni, Gilb. de, soke of, 148 

Tofig the Proud, 50, 52, 136, 196, 
231, 232 

Toni, Mich., 181 

Tostig and Judith his w., 60 

Toteneis, Aluero de, 276 

Tottenham, 145 

Tower of London, 28, 70, 75, 76, 81, 
82, 86, 92, 93, 104, 107, 109n., 110, 
111, 114, 192, 200, 202, 203, 210, 
258, 260, 264, 268, 273; con- 
stable or warden of, 82, 86, 90, 
93, 95, 107, 113, 193, 202, 203, 

Tower Hill, 6, 267 ; Street, 30, 151, 
174,269; Ward, 39, 135, 173, 174, 
176, 233, 261 

Treves, 279 

Tron, the, 106 



Turn, Rob. de, 152 
Turstan the priest, 164 
Turstin, alderman, 180n., 264 
Twenty-four or Lesser Council of 

London, 120, 178, 227, 228, 281 ; 

oath of, 228, 283 
Tyrell, Walt., 76 


Ulf, bp. of Dorchester, 57 

portreeve or sheriff of London, 

50, 188, 197, 198, 231 ; Kinegif 

his w., 197, 231 
Ulgar, Wulfgar, alderman, 254 ; 

portreeve, 179 
Umfraville, Rich, de, 148, 261 ; Ida 

his sis., 261 
Under-sheriff of London, John, 204 

Valens, Emp., 26 

Valentinian, Emp., 26 

Valognes, Hamo de and Agnes his 

w., 141 ; Peter de, 199, 200 ; Rob. 

de, 153 ; Theobald de, 184 
Vaux, John de, 153 
Vere, Aubrey de, 89, 95, 204, 206, 

220, 243, 259 

Verulamium (St. Albans), 2, 9 
Viel, Alice le, 259 ; Dionisia le, 256, 

259 ; Isabel le, 266 ; John le. 100, 

258, 259, 266 ; Marg. w. of Will. 

le, 255, 259 ; Reginald le, 258 ; 

Rich, le, 258; Rose le, 258; 

Will, le, 255, 256, 258, 259 
Vintry Ward, 137, 148, 176 


Walbrook, R., 4, 11, 13, 31, 38, 39, 
128, 130, 144, 147, 148, 150, 193, 
267, 269n., 270 ; dividing London, 
128, 129, 193, 194 ; manor or soke 
of, 150, 151, 152, 162, 173 ; ward 
of, 173, 176 

Wulfnoth de, 166 

Waleram and Lucy his w., 238 
Walkern (Herts), 248, 249 
Wallingford, 64, 65, 68, 94, 186 

Walls of London, 12, 13, 122, 

128, 129, 193n., 211, 269, 272, 

Waltham Holy Cross (Essex), 136, 

137, 153, 161, 197, 260 
monastery, 153, 154, 155; 

manor of, in London, 155, 163 
Waltheof, E., 74, 144 ; Judith his 

w., 144 
Wapping, 6 
Wards, 173-85, 227n. ; beadle of, 

214 ; divided by Walbrook, 194 ; 

relation to sokes, 173 ; wardmotes 

176, 213, 228 
Ware (Herts), 41 
Wareham (Dors.), 94 
Warren, E. of, 114 : R. de, 278 
Warwick Sq., 11 
Watling St., 2, 5, 9, 16, 160, 268, 

Watton at Stone (Herts), 248, 249, 

251, 252 

Weavers, gild of, 101 
Wereham (Norf.), 143 
Weremansacre, soke of, 39, 132, 134, 

135, 136, 136n., 137, 138, 151, 152, 

153, 160, 173, 202 
Westcheap, 104, 129, 146, 159, 214, 

268, 270 
Westminster, 2, 70, 77, 78, 83, 91, 

104 ; gemotes or councils at, 57, 

58, 98 ; manor or soke of, 156, 

179 ; R. buildings at, 14 
Abbey, 58, 59, 69, 75, 127, 146, 

155, 156, 161, 164, 197, 231, 233, 

234; Harold crowned at, 59; 

Hen. I crowned at, 77 ; Hen. II 

crowned at, 96 ; John crowned at, 

118; Matilda Q. of Will. I 

crowned at, 73 ; Maud Q. of 

Steph. crowned at, 85; Rich. I 

crowned at, 103 ; Steph. crowned 

at, 85 ; Will. I crowned at, 69 ; 

Will. II crowned at, 75 ; wharf of, 

Hall, 76 ; Palace, 57, 58, 69, 

69, 73, 89, 90, 91, 97, 140, 174, 

203, 260, 280 

West Smithfield, 30, 156, 192, 271 
Wherwell, abbess of, 55 
Wic-gerefa of London, 186, 213 
William I or of Normandy, 55, 60, 



61, 63, 64, 68, 69, 234 ; charter to 

London, 72 ; policy towards 

London, 67, 70, 71 
William II, 75, 76 

s. of Hen. I, 77 

s. of Steph., 96 

the Chancellor, 90 

Wimbledon (Surr.), 32 
Winchester, 42, 45, 74, 85, 87, 88, 89, 

96, 115, 186, 279; castle of, 92; 

cnihten gild at, 210 ; exchange 

at, 108 ; Rich. I crowned at, 115 ; 

wards of, 174n. 
bp. of, 92, 276; Hen. de 

Blois, 85, 87, 90, 91 
Windsor, 110, 114; castle, 11, 113, 

114, 260 ; forest, 157 
Wood St., 142, 145, 146, 168, 174, 

264, 269 
Worcester, bp. of, 131, 148, 273; 

Ahun, bp. of, 154 ; Werefrid, 39, 

131 ; Wulatan, 67 ; soke of, in 

London, 130n., 132 
Wrotham, Will, de, archd. of 

Taunton, 120, 282 
Wulfhere, K. of Mercia, 33 
Wulnoth, father of Godwin, 44 
Wyzo the goldsmith, 253 ; Edw. his 

bro., 253 ; . John his s., 253 ; 

Leofstan his f., 253 

York, 103, 279 ; See of, 32 

archbps. of, 95, 98; Aklred, 

58, 63, 74 ; Eborius, 24 ; Geoff , 

109, 110 
Will, prior of St. Mary of, 105 

Zachery the priest, 166 




Page, William 

London, Its origin and 
P3 early development