Tea Party

Lesley and Judy’s Macmillan Fund Raising Tea PARTY

By kind invitation of TUDOR ROSE COURT

21st September 2018 – 2-4pm

at Tudor Rose Court, 35 Fann St, London EC2Y 8DY


Sir William Paulet

1st Marquess of Winchester KG, PC (c. 1483/1485 – 10 March 1572), styled Lord St John between 1539 and 1550 and Earl of Wiltshire between 1550 and 1551., was an English Lord High Treasurer, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, and statesman. Paulet was the eldest of four sons of Sir John Paulet and his wife Alice of Basing Castle at Old Basing, near Basingstoke, in Hampshire and Nunney Castle in Somerset. Basing House was obtained through his grandfather.

There is some disagreement over his date of birth, with different authorities quoting 1483 or 1485. A claim that he was ninety-seven at his death would place his birth in 1474 or 1475. There is also uncertainty about where he was born, but most sources agree Fisherton Delamere in Wiltshire, one of his father’s manors.

His father, who had held a command against the Cornish rebels in 1497, was the head of a younger branch of an ancient Somerset family who gained th at Nunnery Castle estate from Edward 1V.

William Paulet’s early life is obscure but after school he went to Thaives Inn and then Inner Temple. He became a protégé of William Fox, Bishop of Winchester and was an executor of his will and came to the attention of Cardinal Wolsey.

He married Elizabeth, who pre-deceased him by 14 years and she was the daughter of Sir William Capel, Lord Mayor of London in 1503, and by her had four sons and four daughters, the eldest son becoming the 2nd Marquess of Winchester.

Important offices came his way and during his long career Paulet held numerous offices which included:-.

Paulet’s political career began, when he was elected knight of the shire for Hampshire in 1511.He accompanied King Henry VIII to Calais, France, and the following spring, he accompanied the Duke of Norfolk to join King Francis I of France in a proposed audience with the Pope, to discuss Henry’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon. On 9 March 1539 he was created Baron St John. He became steward of the bishopric of Winchester, and became a close associate of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey and a friend of Thomas Cromwell. He was also Comptroller of the Royal Household, and held many other high positions.

In 1535 and 1536, he served as one of the judges for the trials of John Fisher, Sir Thomas More, and the alleged accomplices of Anne Boleyn; in 1535, he became Lord Chamberlain. He partially led the royal forces against the Pilgrimage of Grace, a rebellion that broke out in the autumn of 1536 and during this period was on the Emergency Council. In 1538, he became Treasurer of the Household. In 1540, he became the master of Henry’s Court of Wards and Liveries, a Knight of the Garter in 1543, and Governor of Portsmouth and Lord Steward of the Household in 1545. In 1546, he became Lord President of the Council. With Norfolk he made all the arrangements for Jane Seymour’s funeral and was present at the baptism of Elizabeth 1 and Edward V1, as they became. In 1547, he was an executor of the will of King Henry VIII. He spent much of his time at Court and was an intimate councillor of the King. By this time he was wealthy and his landed estate alone was at least £1,000 per annum.

It was at the time of the Dissolution,(1538) that Paulet, purchased part of the site of the Augustine Friars house and church. He pulled the building down and erected a great house on the site of the domestic buildings, on the northern part of the site, called ” Paulet House ” and afterwards “Winchester Place” The house was pulled down in1839, and “Great Winchester Street,” “Little Winchester Street” were afterwards built on and now occupy the site. (Great Winchester Street was later developed over its garden). A portion of the old house was in existence in 1844. The Pay Office for the Navy was here at one time. In 1657, it was called ” Winchester House ” and was occupied as a Glass House by the Spanish Ambassador and for the Excise Office

Paulet conducted the royal administration with Somerset of Edward’s early reign but continued his political manoeuvres in 1549 by supporting the Earl of Warwick against Somerset. In reward, on 19 January 1550 he was given the Earldom of Wiltshire and Somerset’s position of Lord Treasurer. In the following month Warwick took over the post of Lord President of the Council. When Warwick was created Duke of Northumberland on 11 October 1551, Paulet received the Marquessate of Winchester. Six weeks later, he served as Lord High Steward in the Duke of Somerset’s trial. He did however try to get Somerset’s heir some of his inheritance.

It was said that Northumberland and Winchester “ruled the court” of the minor King Edward VI. But on his death he sided with the Marion camp and Mary I affirmed him in all of his positions including Privy Councillor and Lord Treasurer. After her death, he remained Lord Treasurer under Elizabeth and retained many of his other positions, and even at an advanced age (in 1559, he was over seventy years old), he showed no signs of declining. He was Speaker of the House of Lords in 1559 and 1566. He remained in good standing with the English monarchs. Late in life, he opposed any military support of Continental Protestantism, as he feared it would cause a breach with strongly Catholic Spain. Elizabeth however had to dismiss him in the end as Speaker of the Lords because of his “considerable decay of his memory and hearing”. At the end of his life the government were undergoing financial problems which Paulet as Lord Chancellor seemed to escape blame owing to his age!

Paulet was still in office when he retired to Basing House in 1570 and died, a very old man, on 10 March 1572, a house that he helped d to rebuild and fortify. Basing House was the largest private residence in England at that time. His tomb is on the south side of the chancel of Basing church.

Paulet enjoyed a remarkably long career during the English Reformation. His greatest achievement was his rise from obscurity to great status. Starting out as a Catholic, he was quickly persuaded to see things Henry’s way once the breach with Rome had been decided on. A Henrician Catholic he was rewarded with former Church properties following the dissolution of the monasteries. Under Edward VI he became an evangelical Protestant and persecuted Roman Catholics and Henrician Conservatives alike. On the accession of the Catholic Mary he announced his reconversion and commenced persecuting his former Protestant co-religionists, even denouncing Bishop Bonner for “laxity in prosecuting the heretics.” On Elizabeth’s succession, he once again shifted his sails and became an advocate of middle road Anglicanism. All in all, he professed five changes in religious course. Once, when asked how he managed to survive so many storms, not only unhurt, but rising all the while, Paulet answered: “I was made of pliable willow, not the stubborn oak.”


Photo wiki


Sandeman’s Port and The Don

From 1798 for more than 200 years, the premises at Numbers 20 and 21 St Swithins Lane were the home of the Sandeman Port and Sherry Company. They shipped barrels of wine from Spain and Portugal to be bottled and then dispatched across the world. The wooden barrels were sailed up the Thames, and then rolled up an ancient Roman tunnel which led from the river to the mediaeval cellars below St Swithin’s Lane. That tunnel was first discovered by, The Worshipful Company of Drapers, one of the City’s oldest livery companies, when they occupied 20 St Swithin’s street.

With the help of City Conservation and English Heritage the mediaeval cellars and the adjoining vaults have been restored. They are now an integral part of the Don restaurant and their private dining rooms.

There are strong historic links between Britain and Portugal and port could be described as a British invention. The treaty of 1654 between Oliver Cromwell and King Joao IV of Portugal granted commercial and religious privileges to English communities that began to settle in Northern Portugal and around Oporto. Although red wine has been produced in the region since Roman times in the 17th century the Portuguese wines were of poor quality, low alcohol content and did not travel well. British shippers began to fortify the barrels with grape spirit and with flavour absorbed from the oak barrels the contents were more acceptable to the British palate. In 1678, a Liverpool wine merchant sent two new representatives to Viana do Costelo, north of Oporto, to learn the wine trade. Whilst travelling in the Douro, the two gentlemen visited the Abbot of Lamego, who treated them to a “very agreeable, sweetish and extremely smooth” wine, which had been fortified with a distilled spirit. The two Englishmen were so pleased with the product that they purchased the Abbot’s entire lot and shipped it home.

Port became very popular in England after the Methuen Treaty of 1703, when merchants were permitted to import it at a low duty. Alcohol consumption in England was mostly class based with labouring classes drinking beer and later gin. The upper classes drank French wines such as claret and burgundy. Wars with France deprived English wine drinkers of French wine and consuming it was seen as unpatriotic, particularly by the Whig party.

Glass technology improved in the 17th century and by Georgian times the old pint (473ml) bottle with a replaceable cork stopper had become commonplace in social clubs. Georgian wine glasses were very small and only held 66ml. Excessive consumption of alcohol was tolerated and even a matter of pride with social clubs touting membership of ‘three bottle men’ or those who were able to drink at least three bottles of port in one sitting. Notable men boasting of this accomplishment were William Pitt the younger and the playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan.

British shippers continued to exert considerable influence over local wine producers in Portugal. They had their own consul and John Whitehead who was consul in 1756 who was actually able to influence local architecture in Oporto. This was during the rule of the Marquis de Pompal. Under his auspices the Douro Wine Company was founded to guarantee the quality of the product and secure fair price for the customer. Port is one of the oldest examples of a consumable product with protected geographical status.

Many young Englishmen made their fortunes shipping port in the 18th century and their names can be seen in the names of many shippers and brands: Cockburn, Croft,Dow, Taylor and Sandeman to name a few.

Brothers George and David Sandeman from Perth founded the company in 1790 with a loan of £300. David left the company in 1798 to found the Commercial Bank of Scotland leaving George in sole charge.

Initially passed to his nephew, George Glas Sandeman, Sandeman remained a family business until bought out by the drinks company Seagram in 1979. In 2001 the operation was sold to Sogrape by Diageo and Pernod Ricard who had acquired it from Seagram. A descendent, George Thomas David Sandeman is a member of the board of Sogrape Vinhos S.A.

Family descendents remained owners of the wine business until 1993. In the nineteenth century the family became associated with Hayling Island coming to live at Westfield House in West Town, Hayling Island and with a family grave in St. Mary’s Church. The Hayling Golf Club was founded by Fleetwood Sandeman in 1883.

Lea & Sandeman is an independent wine merchant formed by Patrick Sandeman and Charles Lea in 1993. Patrick was a member of the Sandeman family who had initially worked for Seagram. He died in a skydiving accident in 2012 and his wife Katie succeeded him as a director.

Albert George Sandeman (21 October 1833 – 6 January 1923) was an English businessman and the 100th Governor of the Bank of England.

The famous logo of the figure wearing a student cape and a large brimmed hat were part of an advertising campaign in 1928. The Sandeman Company were one of the first to introduce the branding and labelling of barrels with the company logo.

In the latter part of the 19th century many Portuguese vineyards were devastated by an infection with phylloxetera. Many producers had to sell their vineyards or attempt to grow other crops. Eventually the disease was treated with carbon disulphide and the terraces replanted with American vines resistant to phylloxetera. Many of the vineyards had been bought by Britons blurring the traditional lines between growers and shippers.

The big port houses continue to thrive in the Douro valley with strong Anglo-Portuguese links.


Loriners Livery Company

The Loriner makes and sells bits, bridles, spurs, stirrups and the minor metal items of a horse’s harness, together with the saddle tree.

The word Loriner is derived from the Latin Lorum, a thong, bridle or reins, and seems to have entered the English language, from the French, as Lorimer.

The craft has long since disappeared from the City of London. The last working Loriner in London, Mr Chavasse of St Martin’s Lane (outside the City), was made an Honorary Freeman of the Company in the late nineteenth century.

It supports organisations including the Riding for the Disabled Association, the Pony club and has a strong relationships with the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, the Household Cavalry.

A set of stirrups for the State Coach’s postilion riders was presented to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during the Golden Jubilee Year of 2002 and a specially commissioned bridle was presented to Her Majesty for her Diamond Jubilee.

HRH The Princess Royal, was Master in 1992.

The overseas market was almost as important as the home market for the prosperity of the saddlery and harness making trade in the nineteenth century. Large consignments were regularly sent all over the globe Britain’s …best customers, especially India, Canada, the South African Cape and Australia & South America all of them depended on the Walsall area for their saddler and harnesses.

However from the 1880s thro to 1890s , trade both with Europe and the colonial markets began to dwindle.

Now let s go back to its early history

The Company’s first Ordinances were granted in 1261,

In 1320 the Saddlers took advantage of a period of revolution to persuade the Mayor, Hamo de Chigwell, to have the Loriners’ Qrdinances publicly burned in Cheapside. But no sooner had Chigwell’s mayoralty come to an end, in 1327, that we find the Joiners, the Painters and the Loriners in both iron and copper up in arms against the Saddlers.

On Ascension Day in that year there was an affray in Cheapside and Wood Street between the allied crafts and the Saddlers in which several were slain and many wounded. All the contestants were summoned to Guildhall, to explain themselves to the Mayor and Sheriffs.

The Loriners and their allies said that the battle had been started by the Saddlers, who owed various members of the crafts almost £300 and who wanted to compel the craftsmen to deal exclusively with them.

The Mayor appointed six Aldermen to decide who was in the right. The first hearing was adjourned in some confusion, so many members of all the crafts having turned up. The next day the Aldermen decided the matter in favour of the Loriners and their allies, the Saddlers being obliged to promise to conspire no more against the three crafts, or else pay ten tuns of wine to the Commonalty of London


Occupational Surname:-

Maxwell George Lorimer, known as Max Wall(1908–1990), English comedian and actor

Kings Cross and Google

Google’s building

Running alongside the railways tracks from Kings Cross station is the site of the London headquarters of Google. This will be Google’s ‘groundscraper’, a long but relatively low-rise building that scrapes the ground – as opposed to a skyscraper that scrapes the sky. The Google groundscraper will be as long over the ground as the Shard is high.

Designed by Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick, the building will be 11 storeys high and have a total space of 93,000 square meters (1 million square feet), of which 60,000 square meters will be office space. It will include a three lane 25m long swimming pool, a multi-use games area and gym on its upper floors and an events centre occupying the lower ground, first and second floors. The roof will have a landscaped garden.

Google and Facebook

Everyone has heard of Google. It is best known for its search facilities but is also the provider of the Android mobile phone operating system, installed on over 2 billion devices world-wide. Its activities further include advertising services, Gmail, security tools, mapping products, statistical tools, hardware and services, advanced developments like self-drive cars. The development of Google’s artificial intelligence system for playing the game of GO (DeepMind AlphaGo) is managed out of Kings Cross. The system beat the World’s number one (human) Go Champion in 2017.

Google started life when its search algorithms were defined in 1996/97 by two Computer Science PhD students at Stanford University – Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Google/Alphabet now has 85,000 employees world-wide. Together with two other existing Google buildings, there will be 7,000 Google staff working at Kings Cross.

Facebook is also expanding in Kings Cross, with the acquisition of buildings near the Siamese triplet gasometers. It will then have 65,000 square metres of office space, tripling its footprint in London. Facebook has about 30,000 employees worldwide. 2,300 employees are expected in London by the end 2018.

Google’s and Facebook’s major source of revenue has brought controversy – they use our data to enable advertisers to reach us. The big issue is data privacy. It is said that Google knows what we’re doing and Facebook knows what we’re thinking.

Knowledge Quarter and Silicon Roundabout

Standing in Granary Square you might not realise that you are in the middle of London’s Knowledge Quarter (KQ), an area around King’s Cross, Euston Road and Bloomsbury. In KQ’s words, the area is the “focal point for one of the greatest knowledge clusters anywhere in the world”. London boasts another high-tech focal point in the form of Silicon Roundabout, which is a high-tech hub for the information technology industries and in particular those involved in the web.

Neither area should be confused with the former Knowledge Corner, which was in nearby Penton Street and provided services for aspiring taxi drivers learning The Knowledge of London streets.


The Francis Crick Institute

The Francis Crick institute is a collaborative venture between the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Institute, Kings College, University College and Imperial College. The building opened in 2016 and the institute has around 1500 staff making it one of Europe’s largest centres of biomedical research.

The institute is housed in a striking new building designed by international architects HOK (originally Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum) with PLP architecture. The building was designed with input from scientists, local residents and community groups with the aim of providing a harmonious link with local historic buildings and to promote community engagement. The masonry and the distinctive vaulted roof echo features of St Pancras station. The vaulted roof is arranged in 2 shells which besides being decorative hide the cooling and ventilation systems as well as solar panels. One third of the building is below ground to reduce visual impact at street level. Large cantilevered bay windows along with tall glass atria flood the building with natural light and make the building feel welcoming.

Within the building, the laboratories are arranged over 4 floors. A typical floor consists of four interconnected blocks which bring together staff working in different fields, in recognition that great ideas are often generated by spontaneous conversations over coffee. The laboratories are designed to be adaptable to change as new scientific opportunities emerge in the future.

The building is named after Francis Crick (1916-2004) and no other British scientist played a more central role in the biological revolution of the 1950s and 1960s than he did.

Francis Harry Compton Crick was born near Northampton in 1916, the son of a shoe factory manager. He studied physics at UCL and by the outbreak of World War II he had begun a PhD on the viscosity of water. He was summoned to do war work for the Admiralty and did important work on the development of mines for the Royal Navy. During his war service he read ‘What is Life’ by Erwin Schrodinger and decided to switch from Physics to Biology. In 1950 he began another PhD at the MRC unit in the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge where Max Perutz, a German refugee, was doing ground breaking work on the molecular structure of proteins using X-ray diffraction.

A year later a 23year old geneticist named James Watson arrived from the USA and he and Crick worked together to try to determine the structure of DNA, the molecule fundamental to heredity. Model building and mathematics revealed the double helical structure of DNA. Crick and Watson published their classic paper in Nature in 1953. They could not have deduced the structure of DNA without the experimental work of Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin from Kings College London. Wilkins had initiated the analysis of fibres of very high quality DNA by a variety of techniques. Rosalind Franklin, a gifted x-ray crystallographer, also worked at Kings College. Unfortunately, she and Wilkins did not get along. There had been a misunderstanding about their respective roles and there was a total mismatch between their personalities. Today much is made of the fact that Wilkins shared the critical photograph (51) of DNA taken by Franklin with James Watson without her consent or knowledge. It was this photograph that produced the ‘light bulb moment’ for James Watson when he realised that DNA was a double helix. Maurice Wilkins carried out the experimental work subsequent to Crick and Watson’s 1953 paper that convinced the world their theoretical model was correct.

Crick, Watson and Wilkins shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1962. Rosalind Franklin died aged 37 from ovarian cancer. The Nobel Prize cannot be awarded posthumously. She remained on good terms with Crick and his wife often spending time with them when she was receiving chemotherapy.

In his subsequent career Francis Crick worked on how genetic information was coded and how that information was used to manufacture proteins. Crick was primarily a theorist, leaving it to others to confirm his ideas through experiment, but his restless imagination and gift for collaboration proved central to the solution of both problems. In the 1970s he became interested in the neural basis of consciousness and moved to the Salk Institute in California where he remained for the rest of his life.

The Crick Institute runs many projects at the cutting edge of experimental biology but it also prides itself on community outreach and a commitment to the public understanding of science. The institute collaborates with artists, local schools and runs ‘Meet a Scientist’ sessions. They stage frequent exhibitions that are open to the public.


www.crick.ac.uk,  https://wellcomelibrary.org/collections/ francis crick, james Watson, Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind franklin.



German Gymnasium

Designed by Edward Gruning, the German Gymnasium was the first purpose-built gymnasium in England and was influential in the development of athletics in Britain. It was built in 1864-65 for the German Gymnastics Society. This sporting association was established in London in 1861 by Ernst Ravenstein.

Built by Piper and Wheeler, this 212-story multi-coloured stock brick building has a roof constructed from laminated wood trusses with cast iron fillets. The roof is an important early example of the use of laminated timber to give broad spans. The roof trusses – some 20m wide – are as experimented with but replaced at nearby King’s Cross Station. Part of the western end of the building was lost to make way for the construction of the new international rail terminal of St Pancras. A new end wall has been created in keeping with the rest of the structure.

The building was Grade II listed by English Heritage in January 1976.

The building cost £6,000 and was funded solely by the German community in London. The National Olympian Association held the indoor events of the first Olympic Games here in 1866. These games continued annually at the German Gymnasium until the White City games in 1908.

The main exercise hall was a grand and elegant space with a floor to ceiling height of 57ft. Long forgotten sports were practised here, including Indian club swinging and broadsword practice. The German Gymnastics Society had a forward-thinking approach to women’s exercise, with classes taking place here from as early as 1866.

The building ceased to be used as a gymnasium some time pre-war and after then was used as offices, storage and exhibition space.

This beautiful building is now home to German Gymnasium Restaurant. The restaurant is styled after the grand cafés and brasseries of Europe. Many of the original features remain, such as the vast laminated timber roof trusses, and the original cast iron hooks from which budding Olympians swung. Even the menu is a nod to the building’s German heritage.


Photo  bam.co.uk


Tokenhouse Yard

Was built in the reign of Charles I, on the site of a house and garden of the Earl of Arundel (removed to the Strand), by Sir William Petty, an early writer on political economy, and a lineal ancestor of the present Marquis of Lansdowne. Petty was born May 26, 1623 in Romsey, Hampshire and died on December 16, 1687 in London.

His main contribution to political economy, Treatise of Taxes and Contributions (1662), examined the role of the state in the economy and touched on the labour theory of value. He had become a mariner who was abandoned in Normandy and joined a Jesuit college. Petty then studied medicine at the Universities of Leiden, Paris, and Oxford! He was successively a physician, a professor of anatomy at Oxford, a professor of music in London, inventor, surveyor and landowner in Ireland, and a Member of Parliament. He went abroad during the Civil War and returned to do well under the Commonwealth. Through Ireland he remained influential reaching a peak under the reign of James 11.

As a proponent of the empirical scientific doctrines of the newly established Royal Society, of which he was a founder, Petty was one of the originators of political arithmetic, which he defined as the art of reasoning by figures upon things relating to government. His Essays in Political Arithmetick and Political Survey or Anatomy of Ireland (1672) presented rough but ingeniously calculated estimates of population and of social income. His ideas on monetary theory and policy were developed in Verbum Sapienti (1665) and in Quantulumcunque Concerning Money, 1682 (1695).

Petty originated many of the concepts that are still used in economics today. He coined the term full employment, for example, and stated that the price of land equals the discounted present value of expected future rent on the land.

There is a plaque to Charles Brooking at the Lothbury end of the yard and he (c.1723–59) was an English painter of marine scenes.It is highly probable that Brooking’s father was a Charles Brooking who was recorded as employed by Greenwich Hospital between 1729 and 1736 as a painter and decorator as on 27th November 1732 “Master Charles Brooking” was recorded as an apprentice, one of two taken on by Brooking senior on that date An anecdote related by the marine artist Dominic Serres about Brooking is that he worked for a picture dealer in Leicester Square, who exploited him until his “discovery” by Taylor White, the Treasurer of the Foundling Hospital.

Brooking became much more widely known in 1754, when as a result of his “discovery” he was commissioned by the Foundling Hospital to paint what is now titled A Flagship Before the Wind Under Easy Sail, following which he was elected a Governor and Guardian of the institution. Brooking is said to have died of consumption on 25 March 1759, reportedly leaving his family destitute.

Brooking’s earliest known works are two pictures, one depicting a moonlit harbour scene and the other a burning ship, which he signed and inscribed with his age, 17, and thus datable to 1740. Since he was described as a “celebrated painter of sea-pieces” in 1752, he had evidently been producing work for at least 12 years before that date. He has paintings in the Greenwich Maritime Museum.

Brooking’s accuracy and exceptionally careful attention to detail manifest his intimate knowledge of maritime practice and naval architecture, as well as his remarkably close observation of the ocean conditions of wave and wind. Contemporary accounts suggest that he had been “much at sea” and he certainly owned a small yacht. In his early years he was evidently employed in some maritime capacity, possibly in a pilot boat at Gravesend. The National Maritime Museum holds 23 of his oil paintings, a complete set of 28 engravings after his works, and 4 drawings bequeathed by the U.S. President, J.F.Kennedy. The plaque to Brooking in this yard was unveiled by the Lord Mayor of the City of London in October, 2008.

Tokenhouse Yard takes its name from a house where farthing tokens were coined. These were traditionally issued by many city tradesman. Copper coinage, with very few exceptions, was unauthorised in England till 1672. Edward VI coined silver farthings, With very few exceptions copper coins were not widely circulated in England until 1672-Elizabeth 1 was particularly prejudiced against what was called black money. The silver halfpenny, though inconveniently small, continued down to the time of the Commonwealth. In the time of Elizabeth, besides the Nuremberg tokens which are often found in Elizabethan ruins, many provincial cities issued tokens for provincial circulation, which were ultimately called in. In London no less than 3,000 persons, tradesmen and others, issued tokens often made of lead, for which the issuer and his friends gave current coin on delivery. In 1594 the Government struck a small copper coin, “the pledge of a halfpenny,” about the size of a silver twopence, but Queen Elizabeth could never be prevailed upon to sanction the issue.

By 1607 it was reported that some £15,000 worth were in circulation in the City and in 1613 King James was urged to issue official farthings in order to stem the flow of what was in effect a private currency. Charles 1 followed suit, but during the Civil War a shortage of copper meant that tokens again sprang to prominence. Later Charles 11 had new halfpenny and farthings struck at the Tower using Swedish copper, declaring these to be legal tender in 1672 so that the tokens gradually fell into disuse.

Defoe, who, however, was only three years old when the Plague broke out, has laid one of the most terrible scenes in his “History of the Plague” in Tokenhouse Yard. Defoe is not the most trustworthy source however!

Token House is a stunning Grade 2 listed building. It was built in 1871by E. A. Gruning and was originally the headquarters of the merchant bank Frederick Huth & Co. In 1937 it became the headquarters of the Cazenove Group, old established investment bankers whose liveried footmen greeted visitors to the office; it is now a serviced office within the Lenta Business Centres portfolio.

Steve Welsh


St Mary Spital

In 2013 tooth enamel analysis of led to the identification of the first person from Rome known to have been buried in Britain, a 25-year-old woman buried in a lead-lined stone sarcophagus. It was dated to around the middle of the 4th century A.D and it was found here!

So the first known human use of the area is a Roman cemetery which was to the east of the Bishopsgate thoroughfare, which roughly follows the line of Ermine St, the main highway to the north from Londinium.

The presence of a Roman cemetery here was noticed by John Stow as far back as 1576.

In 1197 the site of the cemetery became an Augustinian priory called “The New Hospital of St Mary without Bishopsgate”, latter called St Mary Spital. According to various dictionaries, “spital” is an archaic slang form of “hospital.”

The Priory was founded by Walter Brunus and his wife Roisia. The grounds of St Mary Spital are located on the fringes of medieval London in an area referred to as The spitel Fyeld on the Civitas Londinium, or Agas, map, now known as Spitalfields.

The most significant part of the site was the infirmary. It was the largest infirmary in medieval London, with a total of 180 beds with two patients in each. It was run by the twelve lay brothers and lay sisters under the supervision of a prior and was responsible for tending to pilgrims, the sick, pregnant women, and orphans (particularly children whose mothers had died during childbirth) until they reached the age of seven.

There was a large medieval cemetery, which included a stone charnel house and mortuary chapel. The charnel house has recently been uncovered by archaeologists and is preserved for public viewing.

Sadly, like so many others, the Priory fell foul of Henry the Eight.

In June 1534 the prior and eleven other members of the house subscribed to the acknowledgement of the royal supremacy, but after the Dissolution at Christmas 1539 the first pensions assigned for payment were made only to the prior, the president, five priests and two sisters. What can only speculate as to what happened to the others?

By 6 July 1540 over twenty-five tons of lead had been received by James Needham, surveyor of the King’s manors, from St. Mary Spital for the repair of ’Westminster hall Rouff’, but the sick continued to occupy the hospital in December 1540, when a lease of the former priory excepted ’the buildings in which the infirm there lie for term of their lives’.

The cemetery at St Mary Spital became the focus of a major archaeological excavation in the 1990s, following the redevelopment of Spitalfields Market and is responsible for providing some of the most significant bioarchaeological insights about health in medieval London, with a total of 10,516 bodies unearthed.

The majority of burials after1250 are of patients who died at the infirmary, others are monastic burials of the canons regular and lay brothers and sisters. The types of burials in the cemetery range from single inhumations to mass burial pits.

– Two types of multiple burials were also found within the cemetery: inhumations of two to seven bodies stacked in a horizontal layer and inhumations of two to eleven bodies stacked on top of each other. The reasons for these types of multiple burials are often attributed to the multiple deaths that inevitably occurred within a large infirmary; often, patients died on the same day, or within two days of each other, which resulted in the types of burials that required the bodies being stacked in such a manner.

– Single burials are typically found closer to the chapel and the priory. Popular opinion is that these burials are of royal servants, like Edward III’s yeomen, and St Mary Spital’s wealthy benefactors, who were treated in the infirmary or wanted to be buried on the grounds. There were at least twenty-five single inhumations within the priory itself, two of which are thought to have uncovered the remains of Walter Brutus and his wife. It is also likely that the canons regular, lay brothers, and lay sisters constituted a large portion of these single inhumations.

– The mass burial pits account for some 4,000 bodies. These were located on the periphery of the site, and are multilayered and contain anywhere between eight and forty-five bodies.

These mass burial pits predate the Black Death and likely coincide with periods of increased mortality. There is evidence that the deceased who were buried in this mass grave were not carelessly disposed of but had received dignified burials, as at Broad Street, The bodies found within the pits are often in a supine extended position, arranged horizontally with a layer of soil between them, with a row of bodies above them, demonstrating a high respect and care for the deceased even during times of high mortality rates. These burial pits date somewhere between the early- to mid-thirteenth century, which makes it likely that these mass burials were a result of the famines of 1252 and 1257-58.

In the churchyard there was an outdoor pulpit where sermons were preached to the Lord Mayor and Alderman at Easter. It is called the Spital Sermon and has been preached every year since the late 14th Century.  The object of the sermons was to attract attention, and so alms and bequests to the hospital.  The Sermon is preached by a bishop invited by the Lord Mayor and the Court of Aldermen and in the recent years this has moved from the second Thursday after Easter each year to a date in February or March, coinciding with a meeting of the Court of Common Council.  In 2018 it was on Thursday 8th March – 2019 date is yet to be announced. Historically, the subject was The Resurection, but more recently, the theme has been The Spread of Truth

The sermons were formerly attended by the Lord Mayor, the Court of Aldermen and the governors of the Royal Hospitals (i.e. St Bartholomew’s, Bethlem, Bridewell, Christ’s and St Thomas’).  Since the City’s links with Barts, Bethlem and St Thomas’ were severed by the National Health Act of 1946, the Sermon is now attended by the Lord Mayor, the Court of Aldermen, Common Councilmen and the governors of Bridewell and Christ’s.  Pupils of Christ’s Hospital and King Edward’s School Witley alternate in providing reader and the choir for the service.

After the Pulpit Cross in the churchyard of the priory at Spital Square was destroyed during the Civil War, the sermons were preached in different City churches; after the Restoration until 1797 at St Bride’s, Fleet Street; and subsequently at Christ Church Newgate Street.  Since the Second World War, the sermon has been preached in St Lawrence Jewry.

www.medievallondon.ace.fordham.edu/exhibits/show/medieval-london-sites/stmaryspitalcemetery,  www.stlawrencejewry.org.ukwww.british-history.ac.uk/survey-london/vol27/pp21-23

Drawing from https://medievallondon

Judy Guy Briscoe





Dr Butlers Head


This is one of the oldest pubs in the City, allegedly first built in 1610, with some parts dating back to the 17thcentury. It was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666 and rebuilt. The current building is mostly 19th century. Despite this long history the governors of Christ’s hospital applied in the 1970s for a demolition order. Luckily they were unsuccessful.

It has been a Shepherd Neame house since 2002. This is England’s oldest brewery being founded in 1698 in Faversham Kent.

The pub sign shows a picture of Dr William Butler (1558-1618) although there is no direct link between Dr Butler and the pub. It was probably a place where Dr Butler’s ale could be bought and consumed.

In some blogs and histories Dr Butler is referred to as a quack and tales of his extreme cures such as firing pistols behind people to cure epilepsy are written about. I cannot find a reliable source for these stories.

Butler was born in Ipswich and matriculated from Peterhouse College, Cambridge, in 1558 (BA 1561, MA 1564, Fellow 1561). In 1572 he was elected a Fellow of Clare Hall Cambridge (later Clare College), and was granted a license to practise physic by the University. According to the 17th-century antiquary John Aubrey, he lived at an apothecary’s shop at Cambridge with a servant, an “old mayd” named Nell whose job it was to fetch him home each night from a tavern.

He first came to notice, Aubrey writes, in 1603 when he revived a local clergyman from an opium induced coma by the unorthodox method of slaughtering a cow and placing the senseless parson inside the “cowes warme belly’’. Although he had no medical degree, Butler was appointed a court physician by King James 1 and attended the King’s eldest son during his fatal illness of November 1612.

Butler is believed to have been an “empiric” physician who based his treatments not on any theory but purely on reasoning and experience. He opposed the common practice of blood-letting and the then novel use of dangerous chemical remedies. Medicine is a very old profession but it is only recently that it has become a safe and effective one. During the 17th century the practice of medicine in London and within a 7 mile radius was controlled by the Royal College of Physicians. In practice the rules were almost impossible to enforce and many alternative practitioners practiced freely. A conventional physician would have based his practice on traditional Greek ideas and remedies would have included enemas, emetics and bloodletting. Dr Butler’s remedies might have seemed no more obscure to his patients than treatments offered by conventional physicians.

Some of Butler’s papers are preserved at Clare College and show that he sometimes gave medical advice by letter.

Butler is credited with inventing a medicinal drink; Dr Butler’s purging ale that was popular in 17th-century England. It was made by immersing a thin canvas bag containing   senna, poltpont of oak, agrimony, maidenhair fern and scurvy grass in a barrel of strong ale. In reality it was a powerful laxative. Years after his death it was sold for years at public houses well into Charles 11’s time with the sign of “Dr Butler’s Head” and called Dr Butler’s ale.

Shortly before his death he bequeathed ₤260 to Clare College for the purchase of “finest gold” from which a communion cup and paten were made. The plate is still owned by Clare College.

Dilys Cowan