People Property and Charity

The Clothworkers' Company 1500-1688

All Hallows Lane

William Gardiner's Will, Book of Deeds and WillaWilliam Gardiner bequeathed property to The Clothworkers’ Company in Haywharf Lane, later known as All Hallows Lane. Gardiner made his will on the 23 March 1480 and appointed both his wife, Margaret, and his brother, Richard, as executors.[1] The property appears to have come into his hands by virtue of both a demise, and later, by deeds of release. He notes how he, along with a number of other prominent Londoners, gained possession of the property by a grant and deed enrolled at the Court of Hustings by Thomas Bryan, gentleman; Geffery Boleyn; Richard Lee, Alderman; Thomas Eyre, Draper; Thomas Burgoyne; Thomas More; John Lamborne and William Light, Gentleman. Through both the deaths of his co-grantees and deeds of release, Gardiner gained sole control of the properties at Haywharf Lane.[2]  In his will, he bequeathed the properties to his wife, Margaret Gardiner, to remain in her hands until she remarried or failed to keep an obit in his name.[3] If either occurred, Gardiner instructed that the properties were to pass to the Company of Fullers in the City of London.[4]

The bequest to the Company of Fullers came with specific instructions that they were to use the monies generated from these properties to pay the specific bequests in his will, including his obits and masses in the Friary of St. Augustine and the parish church of All Hallows, and to fund the continued repairs and maintenance of the lands and tenements. Gardiner gave detailed instructions regarding these property repairs.[5] He stated that if the Company failed to undertake any necessary renovations at the properties within one year of them falling into disrepair, then the Company would be warned by the Chamberlain of the City. If they continued to fail to repair them, he willed that the bequest would be void, and the properties would pass towards sustaining of the water conduits in the City.[6] The Company retained the Haywharf Lane properties until the nineteenth century, when they were sold.[7]

Gardiner’s Haywharf Lane properties are commonly referred to as ‘All Hallows’ Lane’ throughout the Company records. Schofield acknowledged the changing name of the small lane, noting that it ‘was known as Haywharf Lane in the fourteenth and possible fifteenth centuries, but as Church Lane of Allhallows Lane during the sixteenth century’.[8] The Company’s entire All Hallows Lane property portfolio comprised c.7 tenements, alongside a steelyard and the Clothworkers’ Stairs, which led from the lane towards the River Thames. It is not clear whether the Company obtained all three elements from Gardiner, but he most certainly granted the tenements. All three elements of the property – the tenements, the Steelyard and the Stairs – were frequently recorded in the Company Court Orders.

The Steelyard property at All Hallows Lane was continuously recorded in the Court from the 1540s.  The first reference to the Steelyard in the Company Court Orders came in 1540, when a Thomas Lord was offered a grant of occupancy of a tenement at the Steelyard for his lifetime.[9] In March 1550, the Company sold the lands at the Steelyard under an eighteen year purchase to Mr. Armeston.[10] Armeston paid £180 to the Company in the following July.[11] The Company surveyed the Steelyard properties, as part of their annual survey. In 1566, for example, the viewers noted that ‘two houses there laks grousellyng’.[12] In 1575, the Company surveyors determined that ‘the Armes of the companie’ should be set on one of the tenements there.[13] While little reference is made to the Steelyard in the Company Court Orders beyond the annual survey, in 1661 the Steelyard still impacted on events at All Hallows Lane. During this year, the Company informed the Lord Mayor of an encroachment made by the Master of the Steelyard on their adjoining properties at All Hallows Lane.[14] They requested the Lord Mayor to intervene and put a stop to the rebuilding works, which were causing offence.[15]

The Clothworkers’ Stairs were also noted frequently in the Court Orders. As Schofield also acknowledged, the Stairs seemed to be constantly under repair in the sixteenth century.[16] In 1574, for example, the Company ordered repairs to be made to the stairs under the direction of Warden Hawes.[17] By 1594, the Company had requested further repairs to the property, while in May 1595 they directed the rebuilding of the stairs completely.[18] The Court Orders noted that John Auncell, the Company carpenter was appointed and directed 'to provide sufficient timbber to ly a seasoninge until the next spring, then to build the Clothworker’s stairs newe the next year, and in the men time, now to amend the same stairs aswell as they may be done for the service of the Company and further that the old  timber may be reserved to build some conveinent roome for the keepe of the stairs or some other over the Pue there to dwell in.[19]

The Clothworkers’ Stairs contained a tenement adjoining the actual stairs to the river. These tenements were referred to frequently in the Court Orders, as leases and repairs were conducted. In 1599, John Bowre, Beadle of the Yeomanry, made suit to the Court for a grant of the two upper rooms in the tenement at the Stairs.[20] The ground floor was occupied by Thomas Peadle and his wife.[21] The Company ordered that if Bowre paid 26s. 8d. to Peadle annually, and allowed his wife to remain in the lower rooms in her widowhood, then he could have a grant of the upper rooms and later, the whole tenement, when Mrs. Peadle died.[22] His grant was later passed over to the new Beadle of the Yeomanry, Peter Wilkinson in December 1603.[23] By 1606, the Company was enabling continued development at the Clothworkers’ Stairs. In January 1606, one of the Company’s tenants on All Hallows Lane, Mr. John Hodgeson, made suit ‘to make a bridge over the fleet ditch from the common stairs there over to his own garden’, which was granted by the Company.[24] By the following month, however, the Company had received complaints from the other tenants at All Hallows Lane, who stated that the new bridge did not allow them the use of the stairs to wash their clothing in the river.[25] The Company continued to grant leases of the tenements attached to the Stairs at All Hallows Lane in the early seventeenth century. One such lease was granted to Widow Constantyne in 1609 at an annual rent of 40s.[26]

The tenements at All Hallows Lane appear frequently in the Court Orders from 1608. In May 1608, John Wachendorfe, Merchant Stranger, who lived in the tenement close to the Steelyard was asked to come to Court to explain whether he wished to take a new lease of his property or not.[27] Wachendorfe requested permission to refrain from giving an answer until midsummer.[28] In March 1609, the Company granted a new lease of a tenement at All Hallows Lane to Abraham Clarke.[29] This lease was similar to others granted across the Company’s property portfolio. It offered Clarke the property for a twenty-one year term at £7 a year and on receipt of a £30 fine. Clarke undertook to bear all the costs of repairs.[30] On the same day the Company offered further leases of a tenement at All Hallows Lane to Edward Moreton for twenty-one years at £9 rent annually and a fine of £30.[31] The Company also had strict control over their leaseholders at All Hallows Lane. One tenant, Anthony Reyner, Silkthroster, had failed to bring in a £20 fine or to pay an annual rent. The Company told him to ‘leave the house by Michaelmas’.[32] By 1611, Edward Moreton who had received his lease in March 1609 was also asked to vacate his property over his failure to pay his fine or rent.[33]

In 1612, Treswell included the All Hallows Lane properties in his survey of the Clothworkers’ properties. Treswell described the site of the Lane and the All Hallows Lane, Treswell Surveyproperties noting that they included ‘seauen Tenements lyeing all togeather on the west syd of Alhallowes lane with the Clothworkers staires at the south end of the sayed Tenements All which are lyeing and being in the Parish of Greate Alhallowes aforesayed, Alhallowes Lane Leading out of Thames streate towards the Thames against the East, The River of Thames against the south, The sayed River of Thames against the south, The sayed river of Thames and the Stilliard against the west’.[34]

The properties all comprised two to three storeys, the ground of which was always a shop front. Edward Moreton’s property, for example, contained three storeys. The second storey included a chamber with a chimney, and a third storey with two garrets and a chimney.[35] Despite what appears to be favourable reports of All Hallows Lane in Treswell’s survey, two disputes emerged in 1612 between the Company and their tenants in the lane. Widow Reviere, for example, who took over Moreton’s property, was warned about the need to repair her tenement in March 1612.[36] In September, the Company entered into a dispute with William Campion, who was their tenant in the adjoining Haywharf Lane. The Company were concerned about the possibility of an ‘encroachment on the passage or high way at the end of All Hallowes Lane near the Clothworkers’ Stairs, which is intended by William Campyon for the supporting of the part of the house next the stairs, which is in danger of falling namely to set forth the foundation of his said howse 14 inches further into the said lane’.[37] The main concern was that the additional inches to the foundations of Campion’s house would not allow for space at the site for existing fullers to carry their wet woolen cloth from the river and up the stairs.[38] The dispute was settled later in the month when the Company offered him license to conduct the repairs.[39]

Over the ensuing decades, the Company continued to offer new leases of properties at All Hallows Lane. Emmanuel Hayward, for example, received a twenty-one year lease of a tenement in 1629, for which she was asked to pay an annual rent of £5 6s. 8d. and a fine of £20.[40] Another tenant, John Mountford received a lease of a tenement in 1639.[41] Mountford took the lease as a tenant at will, with a number of covenants attached.[42] These included the annual rent of 40s.; the keeping of the property in good repair; and the freeing of the Company for any tax or assessment liability in the parish.[43] The Company Court Orders also expose something of the social conditions of early modern London in their descriptions of All Hallows Lane in the 1640s. The 1640s saw the arrival of plague to London and a number of entries in the Court Orders record the disease that ravaged the City. In November 1641, for example, the family of one tenant, Meredith Phillips, were noted as having ‘fled after he died of plague and given the keys of the house to the churchwardens in the parish of All Hallows’.[44] In January 1642, Mr. Bridgeman and Mr. Holmes made suit for tenements, ‘which had been shut up because of plague’.[45] The Court Orders noted that ‘the tenements [could not] be viewed because of this’.[46] The effects of these social conditions persisted throughout the 1640s. Emmanuel Hayward, for example, was requested to avoid her tenement in July 1645 due to arrears of rent.[47] The Company requested a ‘quiet removal’.[48] Despite this request for her avoidance, Hayward remained in the property. By 1648, she was a widow and Company pensioner.[49] The Company requested her neighbour and later the property holder, Thomas Boulton, to undertake repairs.[50] He was required ‘to re-tile the roof; to cause the floor of the house to be raised and made even, when he repairs the next house’.[51]

The All Hallows Lane properties were destroyed during the Great Fire of London. In its aftermath, the Company attempted to rebuild the properties through a series of long leases, with specific rebuilding clauses as part of them. In May 1668, for example, Richard Harris received a lease of a plot of land for eighty-two years.[52] He agreed to pay the old rent, any rent arrears and taxes, and to ‘carry the funnel of the house of office upstairs to be made of lead’.[53] His lease was made up from thirty-two to eighty-two years with this fulfillment of these clauses.[54] In March 1669, Thomas Langbridge, another Company tenant at All Hallows Lane, made suit to the Company ‘for a lease; offering £25 per annum, which being taken into consideration, it was adjudged his proposition were to law and therfore would have no further treat with him about the same’.[55]

The Company retained the All Hallows Lane properties in their property portfolio until the nineteenth century. By 1870, these properties were integrated into 177, Upper Thames Street.[56] They were sold post-1878.[57] The All Hallows Lane properties were noted extensively in the Company accounts. Taken at twenty year intervals the monies accrued from the property can be noted. In 1620, the annual rental income from All Hallows Lane was £40 6s. 8d.[58] In 1640, the annual income from All Hallows Lane was £8 15s.[59] By 1660, the annual income was £34 with expenditure reaching c.£1 16s.[60] By 1680, the Company was receiving c. £34 annually from the All Hallows Lane properties, with expenditure of c.£5 17s.[61]


[1] The Clothworkers’ Company Archive (hereafter CCA), CL Estate/38/1A/1, Will of William Gardiner, 23 November 1480.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] J. Schofield, The London Surveys of Ralph Treswell (London, 1987), p. 116.

[9] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/1, f. 70v, Occupancy granted to Thomas Lord, 9 August 1540.

[10] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/1 f. 160v, Grant to Mr. Armeston, 28 March 1550.

[11] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/1, f.173v, Payment by Mr. Armeston, 1 July 1550.

[12] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/2, f. 87r, Survey at the Steelyard, 20 March 1556.

[13] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/2, f. 193r-192v, Survey at the Steelyard, 14 March 1575.

[14] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/9, f. 168v, Encroachment at All Hallows Lane, 30 April 1661.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Schofield, The London Surveys of Ralph Treswell, p. 116.

[17] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/2, f. 187v, Repairs ordered at the common stairs, 30 September, 1574.

[18] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/3, f. 138v, Repairs ordered at the common stairs, 26 September 1594 and  CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/3, f. 143v, Rebuilding of the common stairs,  20 May 1595.

[19] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/3, f. 143v, Payments for repairs at Clothworkers’s Stairs, 20 May 1595.

[20] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/3, f. 191v, Grant to Mr. Bowre, 21 August 1599.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Ibid.

[23] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/3, f. 230v, Grant to Peter Wilkinson, 16 December 1603.

[24] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/4, f. 3v, Suit for a licence from John Hodgeson, 20 January 1606.

[25] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/4, f. 3v, Complaints at All Hallows Lane, 3 February 1606.

[26]CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/5, f. 38v, Lease of tenement at the Clothworkers’ Stairs, 3 February 1609.

[27] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/5, f. 23v, John Wachendorfe appears at Court, 4 May 1608.

[28] Ibid.

[29] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/5, f. 39v, Lease to Abraham Clarke, 7 March 1609.

[30] Ibid.

[31] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/5, f. 39v,  Lease to Edward Moreton, 7 March 1609.

[32] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/5, f. 37v, Anthony Reyner warned to avoid his property, 3 February 1609.

[33] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/5, f. 70v, Edward Moreton warned to avoid his property, 16 January 1611.

[34] All Hallows Lane, Treswell Survey, 1612.

[35] Ibid.

[36] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/5, f. 106v, Warning to Widow Reviere to repair her tenement, 17 March 1612.

[37] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/5, f. 122v, Dispute with William Campion, 3 September 1612.

[38] Ibid.

[39] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/5, f. 123v, Dispute with William Campion, 14 September 1612.

[40] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/6,  f. 83v, Lease to Emmanuel Hayward, 14 April 1629.

[41] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/7, f. 140v, Lease to John Mountford, 20 February 1639.

[42] Ibid.

[43] Ibid.

[44] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/8, f. 47r, Meredith Phillip’s property at All Hallows Lane, 16 November 1641.

[45] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/8, ff 51v-52r, Petition for lease from Bridgeman and Holmes, 19 January 1642.

[46] Ibid.

[47] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/8, f. 118r, Emmanuel Haywayrd requested to avoid, 15 July 1645.

[48] Ibid.

[49] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/8, ff 196r-196v, Request for repairs at the property, 17 October 1648.

[50] Ibid.

[51] Ibid.

[52] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/10, p. 94, Lease of a plot of land to Richard Harris, 1 May 1668.

[53] Ibid.

[54] Ibid.

[55] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/10, p. 172, Suit by Thomas Langbridge, 19 March 1669.

[56] A. Buchanan, ‘The Sources of the Wealth of The Clothworkers’ Company’, unpublished paper.

[57] Ibid.

[58] CCA, Renter Warden Accounts, CL/D/5/5, Section 16, The Renter Warden accounts of Daniel Hall, 1620, f. 3v.

[59] CCA, Renter Warden Accounts,  CL/D/5/8, Section 4, The Renter Warden accounts of William Harris, 1640, f. 3v.

[60] CCA, Renter Warden Accounts, CL/D/5/10, The Renter Warden accounts of Dennis Gawden, 1660, f. 2 and f. 26.

[61] CCA, Renter Warden Accounts, CL/D/5/12, The Renter Warden accounts of Robert Stevenson, 1680, f. 1 and f. 19. The income figures cannot be accurately calculated due to damage to the originals.