Tag Archives: Great Fire of London

Edward Shrawley at The Crown in Creechurch Lane

A penny token issued in the name of Edward Shrawley of Creechurch Lane, London

A penny token issued in the name of Edward Shrawley of Creechurch Lane, London

The above copper penny token measures 24.1 mm and weighs 4.95 grams. It was issued in 1669 in the name of Edward Shrawley who operated his business at the sign of the Crown in Creechurch Lance in the Aldgate Ward of the City of London. The design of the token may be formally described as follows;

Obverse: (rosette) EDWARD. SHRAWLEY . AT . YE . CROWN , around twisted wire inner circle, a crown within.

Reverse: (rosette) IN. CEEECHVRCH . LANE . 1669, around twisted wire inner circle, legend within three lines reads HIS / (rosette) I D (rosette) plus triad below comprising E |(rosette) S (rosette) | (rosette) I.

A similar design of half penny token is also recorded with the issue date of 1666.

Creechurch Lane, Aldgate Ward, London (c.1720)

Creechurch Lane, Aldgate Ward, London (c.1720)

Based on a review of surviving London parish registers plus the apprenticeship registers of the Worshipful Company of Vintners it appears highly likely that Edward Shrawley was born in 1644 and baptised on 3rd November of that same year in the church of St. Mary at Hill, Billingsgate . His parents were Thomas and Sarah Shrawley. Thomas Shrawley was a grocer and citizen of London.

At the age of fifteen Edward was bound apprentice by his father to Brian Appleby, a London Vintner. It is likely that Edward served a typical seven-year apprenticeship before gaining his freedom and becoming a Vintner in his own right at the age of twenty-two.

Edward obviously had ambitions and a new what he wanted from life. Within less than a year of striking out on his own he was married and within three years it appears he was the proprietor of the Crown (we must assume a tavern) in Chreechurch Lane in the Aldgate Ward of the city of London.

On 4th April 1666/7 the parish register of St. James Dukes Place show Edward marrying Josinah Minshull. The initial I/J in the triad of issuers’ initials on the above token’s reverse is obviously that of his wife’s christian name.

A year after their marriage Edward and Josinah had their first child, a son who was baptised Edward at the neighbouring church of St. Katherine Cree, located on the corner of Leadenhall Street and Creechurch Lane. This part of the city was spared from destruction during the Great Fire of London in early September of 1666 and property prices and associated rents in the area at this time must have been at premium levels.

In 1681 Edward and Josinah had a second son. He again was baptised as Edward at the parish church of St. Katherine Cree. In the parish register the baby’s farther is recorded as Captain Edward Shrawley. It is possible that Edward had become a member of the local city militia or “trained bands”. As will become apparent later this is a title that Edward appears proud to have used until at least the early 1683.

The Parish Church of St Katharine Cree at the junction of Chreechurch Lane and Leadenhall Street in the Aldgate Ward of the city.

The Parish Church of St Katharine Cree at the junction of Chreechurch Lane and Leadenhall Street in the Aldgate Ward of the city.

A copy of Edward Shrawley’s Last Will and Testimony exists in the collections of the Metropolitan Archives and Guildhall Library (London) and is dated 6th August 1690. The cover of the Will bears the note that it had passed probate by 5th February 1694/5. His Will confirms the name of his wife still as Josinah, and his profession as a London vintner. It also confirms the then existence of two surviving children, a son Edward and a daughter Martha.

The signature and seal of Edward Shrawley, taken from his Last Will & Testimony of 6th August 1690.

The signature and seal of Edward Shrawley, taken from his Last Will & Testimony of 6th August 1690.

As yet the current writer has found no references to a Crown Tavern in Creechurch Lane or any reference to Edward Shrawley in the city Hearth Tax returns of the 1660s. In the 18th century there is a recorded trade sign in Creechurch Lane of “Three Sugar Loaves and Crown” which may have been related to a nearby Crown Tavern? To the south-west of Creechurch Lane on the southern side of Leadenhall Street (see location 20 on the above plan) there was a “Crown Tavern” but again there is no reference to a Mr. Shrawley in that street in the Hearth Tax returns of the 1660s.

Over the course of his career Edward took on apprentices of his own. At least two indentures exist prepared under the seal of The Worshipful Company of Vintners and dated 1672 and 1674 contracting two separate boys to the terms of seven and eight years respectively as apprentices to Edward Shrawley.

A vintner by the name Edward Shrawley was buried in St. Saviours parish church in Southwark on 2nd November 1694. Given the deceased stated profession in the burial register plus the close proximity of his burial date compared to the probate date on the Will of Edward Shrawley the token issuer, we must assume they are one and the same person and that Edward died a day short of his fiftieth birthday.

According to the apprenticeship records of the Worshipful Company of Vintners, Edward Shrawley’s surviving son, Edward, followed in his farther’s footsteps. Two years after his father’s death young Edward was bound as an apprentice to Thomas Harris, a London vintner.

It is not clear what became of Josinah after Edward’s death. However, listings exist of a widow Shrawley living in the district of Cripplegate Within in 1703 and 1704 and a further record of the burial of a Mrs. Josina Shrawley at All Saints Church, Edmonton. It is almost certain that the latter was Edward’s widow as there is a least one other know link between the Shrawley family and this area of Middlesex. In the churchyard of what was once Weld Chapel, a former chapel of ease to the church of All Saints, Edmonton and now the site of Christ Church, Southgate, can be found the grave marker illustrated below. It records the death of Rebecca Shrawley, the daughter of Captain Edward Shrawley, who died on the 9th September 1683, at the age of 4 months and 6 days. It appears that the Shrawley family has strong connections with the Edmonton area and may even have had a second home there. It was not uncommon in the 17th century for wealthier trades and business men to have a second home in rural Middlesex within easy communication with the city.

The 1683 grave marker of Rebecca Shrawley in the churchyard of Chrish Church, Southgate, Middlesex.

The 1683 grave marker of Rebecca Shrawley in the churchyard of Christ Church, Southgate, Middlesex.

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Daniel Burry of Cousin Lane

A farthing token issued in the names of Daniel Burry of Cousin Lane, London

A farthing token issued in the names of Daniel Burry of Cousin Lane, London

The above copper farthing token measures 15.9 mm and weighs 0.76 grams. It was issued in the name of Daniel Burry of Cousin Lane, Dowgate. Cousin Lane was located in the Dowgate Ward of the city and ran off the south side of Thames Street down to a slip way and wharf on the River Thames. This lane formed the western boundary of Steelyard (or Steel / Still Yard) and was located in an area containing several warehouses and goods storage yards all of which backed onto the north bank of the River Thames.

The design of the token may be formally described as follows;

Obverse: .DAN . BURRY WOODMVNGR , around twisted wire inner circle, depiction of four barred gate within.

Reverse: .CVZEN LANE . AT . DOWGAT, around twisted wire inner circle, a triad within reads D|.B.|M below (.)

On stylistic grounds this farthing token appears to date from the mid 1650s t0 the early 1660s.

Cousin Lane from John Ogilby & William Morgan's 1676 Map of the City of London

Cousin Lane from John Ogilby & William Morgan’s 1676 Map of the City of London

Daniel Burry (or possibly Berry) was a woodmunger, or domestic fuel (i.e. wood and coal) salesman. He probably traded at the sign of the gate in the terrace row which ran along Cousin Lane and backed onto Dowgate Dock. The properties on the eastern side of Cousin lane backed onto Steel Yard. In the 1662 Hearth Tax returns his property is listed as having 5 hearths.

On 2nd September 1666 this area of the city was destroyed during the first morning of the Great Fire of London. In the first of his famous diary entries (reproduced in part below) which document the progress of the fire  Samuel Pepys described its progress that first morning and how he witnessed it engulf the warehouses and storage yards in the vicinity of Steel Yard. These contained a plethora of combustible goods including, brandy and spirits, rope and cord, tallow and wax, wool and cloth, pitch and tar plus coal and (in the case of our particular token issuer) wood.

(Lord’s day). Some of our mayds sitting up late last night to get things ready against our feast to-day, Jane called us up about three in the morning, to tell us of a great fire they saw in the City. So I rose and slipped on my nightgowne, and went to her window, and thought it to be on the backside of Marke-lane at the farthest; but, being unused to such fires as followed, I thought it far enough off; and so went to bed again and to sleep. About seven rose again to dress myself, and there looked out at the window, and saw the fire not so much as it was and further off. So to my closett to set things to rights after yesterday’s cleaning. By and by Jane comes and tells me that she hears that above 300 houses have been burned down to-night by the fire we saw, and that it is now burning down all Fish-street, by London Bridge. So I made myself ready presently, and walked to the Tower, and there got up upon one of the high places, Sir J. Robinson’s little son going up with me; and there I did see the houses at that end of the bridge all on fire, and an infinite great fire on this and the other side the end of the bridge; which, among other people, did trouble me for poor little Michell and our Sarah on the bridge. So down, with my heart full of trouble, to the Lieutenant of the Tower, who tells me that it begun this morning in the King’s baker’s house in Pudding-lane, and that it hath burned St. Magnus’s Church and most part of Fish-street already. So I down to the water-side, and there got a boat and through bridge, and there saw a lamentable fire. Poor Michell’s house, as far as the Old Swan, already burned that way, and the fire running further, that in a very little time it got as far as the Steeleyard, while I was there. Everybody endeavouring to remove their goods, and flinging into the river or bringing them into lighters that layoff; poor people staying in their houses as long as till the very fire touched them, and then running into boats, or clambering from one pair of stairs by the water-side to another. And among other things, the poor pigeons, I perceive, were loth to leave their houses, but hovered about the windows and balconys till they were, some of them burned, their wings, and fell down. Having staid, and in an hour’s time seen the fire: rage every way, and nobody, to my sight, endeavouring to quench it, but to remove their goods, and leave all to the fire, and having seen it get as far as the Steele-yard, and the wind mighty high and driving it into the City; and every thing, after so long a drought, proving combustible, even the very stones of churches…..”

The neighbourhood of Steel Yard on the north bank of the River Thames, London. (c.1540).

The neighbourhood of Steel Yard on the north bank of the River Thames, London. (c.1540).

After the Great Fire it appears that Daniel Burry re-built his property in Cousin Lane and is recorded as having paid for the staking out of foundations associated with the re-building of at least four other properties in the vicinity of Dowgate. The receipts, each for 6s and 8d, for staking out these various properties were received from Daniel Burry by the city authorities on the following dates;

  1. Cozen (Cousin) Lane, near Dowgate – 14th December 1667
  2. Dowgate Hill, at ye west Corner Hill – 7th April 1668
  3. Dowgate Hill, at ye west Corner Hill – 7th April 1668
  4. Dowgate Hill, east side – 4th September 1668
  5. Dowgate Hill, east side – 4th September 1668

The last four of these foundations were surveyed by the famous Robert Hooke under his post Great Fire role of Surveyor of the City of London.

No further information has yet come to light regarding Daniel Burry or his wife (possibly Margaret or Mary) or business post the Great Fire although the present writer has been discovered a burial register entry, dated 23rd February 1698, for a Daniel Burry in the parish registers of All-Hallows-the-Great. This church was situated on Thames Street just east of Steel Yard. It was one of the many parish churches re-built by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire. This church would almost certainly have been that to which Daniel Burry, the woodmunger of Cousin Lane from the 1650s and 60s, would have attended.

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The Three Mariners in Boss Alley

A farthing token issued in the name of the Three Mariners in Boss Alley, London

A farthing token issued in the name of the Three Mariners in Boss Alley, London

The above brass farthing token measures 15.9 mm and weighs 1.17 grams. It was issued in the name of Three Mariners  in Boss Alley in 1653. The design of the token may be formally described as follows;

Obverse: (star) AT.THE 3.MARINERS, around edge. Within centre field a depiction of three sailors standing. The centre one smoking a clay pipe (?).
Reverse: (star) IN.BOSS.ALLEY.1653 , around twisted wire inner circle. Triad W | .R. | C within.

There are two alternatives for the location of Boss Alley and both lead off Thames Street. The first of these options is in Billingsgate Ward to the north of  Thames Street, east of St. Mary Hill and the south of Cross Lane. The second possibility, and the one normally accepted, is in Queenhithe Ward. This option runs off the south side of Thames Street,opposite Green Dragon Court and running parallel to Trig Lane.

Queenhithe showing the location of Boss Alley from John Ogilby & William Morgan's 1676 Map of the City of London

Queenhithe showing the location of Boss Alley from John Ogilby & William Morgan’s 1676 Map of the City of London

As yet the issuers of this farthing token , Mr. W.R. and Mrs. C.R., have not been identified. The Three Mariners was possibly a tavern. Its location between Thames Street and the north bank of the Thames, made it very accessible to passing trade moving to and from the nearby watermen’s stairs  or boat landing stage known as Trig Stairs. Here boats could be hired to cross the river or navigate to one of the many other river stairs located both up and down stream along both banks of the Thames.

The sign of the Three Mariners was common along the banks of the Thames. There are at least a dozen other examples of this sign known from 17th century London.

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Henry Morrell in Hartshorne Lane, Westminster

A half penny token of Henry Morrell of Hartshorne Lane, Westminster

A half penny token of Henry Morrell of Hartshorne Lane, Westminster

The above copper half penny measures 21.0 mm and weighs 1.22 grams. It was issued in the name of Henry Morrell.

Obverse: (rosette) HENRY.MORRELL.AT.YE.LIME , around twisted wire inner circle, H M E inter spaced with three rosettes with two sets of three dots arranged in triangular form below with a fourth rosette in between.

Reverse: (rosette) WHARF.IN.HART.HORNE.LANE , around twisted wire inner circle, HIS/ HALFE /PENNY /1667 in four lines plus six dits arranged in an elongated cross pattern within.

Hartshorne Lane, Westminster (1720)

Hartshorne Lane, Westminster (1720)

Lime wharf was a but busy wharf on the River Thames at the bottom of Harshorne Lane, which ran south off the Strand to the west of where the present day Charing Cross Station is located. This part of the city was outside of the area affected by the Great Fire of 1666.

As yet I’ve been unable to find any record as to the trade or further background details of Henry Morrell or his wife whose name , based on the reverse triad of initials, was presumably Elizabeth? Henry Morrell is not listed in the Hearth Tax records for 1662, 1664 or 1666. However, there is a record of the marrige of a Henry Morrell and an Elizabeth Estridge in the parish registers of St. Gregory by St Paul’s on 12th May 1664.

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Anthony Poole of Foster Lane

A half penny of Anthony Poole of Foster Lane, London

A half penny of Anthony Poole of Foster Lane, London

The above copper half penny measures 20.1 mm and weighs 1.86 grams. It was issued in the name of Anthony Poole, an ironmonger, who by the emblem on his token, appears to have traded under the sign of the Nag’s Head in Foster Lane. Foster Lane ran north off Cheap Side through the Aldersgate Ward of the city and into Farringdon Ward Within. This lane was traditionally the home of the goldsmith trade in London.

Obverse: (rosette) ANTHONY. POOLE. IRONMONGR around inner circle; a nag’s head within. Behind the Nag’s head the bridle appears to be held in a gloved hand.
Reverse: (mullet) IN.FOSTER.LANE.1668 (four pellets arranged in a diamond pattern) around inner circle; HIS / HALFE / PENY in four parallel lines within central field.

It is likely that Anthony Poole traded from a plot and under a trade sign that had previously been used by Samuel Dawson prior to the destruction of Foster Lane by the Great Fire of London. Samuel Dawson issued his own half penny trade tokens under the sign of the Nag’s Head in Foster Lane in 1666.

Anthony Poole was born in 1643 and died in 1679. He was buried in the churchyard or possibly the ruins of St Leonard’s in Foster Lane. St. Leonard’s Church was destroyed in the Great Fire and never re-built. Its ruins were later used as an extension of the churchyard for burials.

St. Leonard's Church, Foster Lane before the Great Fire of 1666

St. Leonard’s Church, Foster Lane before the Great Fire of 1666

I have been unable to find any further contemporary references to Anthony Poole other than in a printed transcription of the records of Worshipful Company of Clockmakers of the City of London (1) to which guild Anthony Poole was presumably a member. In an entry for 21st February 1671/2 we find Anthony being reprimanded for having “faulty goods”, in the form of folding brass tipped wooden rules, for sale in his shop in Foster Lane.

“At a search made the 21st day of February 1671, upon and for the concerns onely of the Mathematicall instrument Makers:
Present;
Nicholas Coxeter – Master
Samuell Horne & Jeffery Bayley – Wardens
John Nicasius, John Browne, Walter Hayes, Richard Ames – Assistants

There was seized in Shopps, within the limitts of the search of the Company, of severall Tradesmen who buy and sell and severall persons who make Mathematical measures and instruments, the workes and measures hereafter particularly expressed for that they are (as the said Walter Hayes, and John Browne, who are Mathematicall Instrument Makers and carried with them the company’s standards sealed in his Majesties Exchequer to trye and prove the same, doe finde and affirme them) not agreeable to the said standards and the rules and proportions of art, but are faulty and therefore not fitt to be put to sale (vizt.)

…Of Mr. Anthony Poole, Ironmonger in Foster Lane, seized two plaine joynted two foot Rules and five plaine two foot Rules foure of them being tipped with Brasse and one untipped.

…And upon the same day the said Mr. Anthony Poole appeared at the Court then holden and being fully satisfied upon tryall and proofe by the standards that the measures which were seized from him were faulty, one of them the most faulty was then broken by him and the rest were delivered back to him upon his promise not to put them to sale till made perfect.”

References:

1) Atkins, S.E. & Overall, W.H. Some Account of the Worshipful Company of clockmakers of the City of London (London. 1881).

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Bartholomew Fish of Queenhithe

A half penny token of Bartholomew Fish of Queenhithe, London

A half penny token of Bartholomew Fish of Queenhithe, London

The above half penny copper token measures 20.4 mm and weighs 2.21 grams. It was issued in the name of Bartholomew Fish of Queenhithe in 1667. The design of the token may be formally described as follows;

Obverse: (rosette) BARTHOLLOMEW.FISH , around twisted wire inner circle, three fishes within.
Reverse: (rosette) AT.QVEENEHITHE.1667, around twisted wire inner circle, HIS / HALFE / PENY , in three lines. Below a rosette flanked by two sets of three dots each arranged in a triangle.

Bartholomew Fish is recorded as a fletcher living in St. Michael’s Parish, Queenhithe. This was a dock on the north bank of the River Thames. It was bordered by Thames Street to the north, Brookes Hill Wharf to the west and Towns End Lane to the east.

Queenhithe from John Ogilby & William Morgan’s 1676 Map of the City of London

Queenhithe from John Ogilby & William Morgan’s 1676 Map of the City of London

In the 1662 Hearth tax return Bartholomew is recorded as occupying a property in the third precinct of St. Michael’s, Queenhithe Ward, having five hearths.

This area the city was totally consumed by the Great Fire of 1666. In “The survey of Building Sites in the City of London after the Great Fire of 1666” an entry is recorded on the 21st June 1671 for the receipt of money for staking out the foundations of a property in Queenhithe belonging to one Bartholomew Fish.

Bartholomew Fish was married to Martha Fish and between them they are recorded as having four children – Elizabeth, Martha, Mary and Rebecca.

A copy of Bartholomew’s will, dated 1676, is held in the National Achieves (Kew) in which he leaves his estate to his wife and four daughters. By this date two of his daughters had married, Martha to Nathaniel Mason and Elizabeth to William Noble. His will was witnessed by Edward Reeve and Jeremy Holmes.

At further farthing token is recorded bearing the obverse device of three fish and carrying the reverse issuers’ initials of B. M. F. The obverse and reverse legends this token attest to the issuers trading at the sign of the Nobel Garter in Queenhithe. This token was almost certainly issued by Bartholomew and Martha Fish.

The obverse device of three fish on this token is probably a play on words given Bartholomew’s surname.

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