Page:Chronicle of the Grey friars of London.djvu/29

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xxv
PREFACE

In the course of four months the repairs at the Grey Friars were completed, and on the 23d of November the poor children were received, to the number of almost four hundred.[1] When the lord mayor and aldermen rode to Saint Paul's on the afternoon of the following Christmas day, all the children stood in array from Saint Laurence lane in Cheap towards Paul's, being 340 in number, attired in one livery of russet cotton,[2] the boys with red caps, and the girls with kerchiefs on their heads, having a woman-keeper between every twenty children, and accompanied also by the physicians and four surgeons, and the masters of the hospital—who were some of the most eminent citizens.[3]

On the 10th of April, 1553, the lord mayor was summoned to the court at Whitehall, where he received from the king's mouth an intimation that the appropriation of the royal manor-house of Bridewell place to the objects of a House of Occupation, or workhouse, would be conceded, and that further the king would grant for the maintenance of that house, and for the hospital which the city had already undertaken at Saint Thomas's in Southwark, all the rents belonging to the Savoy hospital, which amounted to about 700 marks per annum, and also the beds and furniture of the Savoy,— which had been converted into a hospital by Henry the Seventh, but was now to be resumed by the crown.[4] This grant was accomplished

  1. Stowe: see also the present Chronicle, p. 76.
  2. At the following Easter, Stowe described the boys as "all cloathed in plonket coates and red caps, and the mayden children in the same livery." Plonket was a blue colour: as Stowe himself explains this passage in his Survay—" and in Easter next they were in blue at the Spittle, and so have continued ever since."
  3. Stowe; the present Chronicle, p. 76; and Machyn's Diary, p. 28.
  4. The excuse made for discontinuing the hospital at the Savoy was that, though intended for the lodging of pilgrims and strangers, it "was now made but a lodging of loyterers, vagabondes, and strumpets that lay all day in the fieldes, and at night were harbored there; the which was rather the maintenaunce of beggery than the reliefe of the poore." Grafton's Chronicle.