Story Of London

A London Chronology: The Twelfth Century

A London Chronology: The Twelfth Century
Posted on Jun 17, 2002 – 03:29 AM by Bill McCann

This series of articles presents a basic chronology of London but will also contain references to national events where these are important in the development of the London area. Wherever possible, the precise dates and days of the week on which the events here recorded took place are noted. The series is an organic one and will change frequently as new events or dates are extracted from our sources.

You can either jump to the chronology for a specific century using the following table of links or scroll through the centuries sequentially by following the links at the bottom of the page.

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The Twelfth Century

The murder of Thomas a Becket in Canterbury Cathedral

1101Archbishop Anselm, newly returned from exile with his head full of the Gregorian reforms refuses to do homage to Henry I. In particular, he objected to the ceremony of lay investiture in which a new abbot or bishop received the ring and staff of office from the lay prince who had appointed him.
1101JulyRobert Curthose, Duke of Normandy and elder brother of William Rufus returns to England and claims the crown. A negotiated settlement is reached and Robert, as Duke of Normandy, received an annual pension of £2,000.
1106To put an end to political instability, Henry I invades Normandy. At the battle of Tinchebray, Robert Curthose is captured and Henry takes Normandy.
1106Death of Mauricius, Bishop of London.
1107The problem of lay investiture was solved by means of a compromise. Henry renounced lay investiture but prelates were to continue to do homage for their fiefs.
1110William Baignard was deprived of his inheritance by Henry I. Baynard’s Castle was given to Robert fitzRichard de Clare.
1110-13The earliest documentary reference to the river Fleet.
1110-33Stones for the building of St Paul’s were landed on the Fleet bank
1117Friday December 21Birth of Thomas a Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury.
1118The Knights Templars were founded in Jerusalem by Hugh de Payan and Godfrey de St Omer. Baldwin II gives them a residence near the Temple of Solomon.

Henry the First.

1120Saturday November 20The ship Blanche Nev carrying Henry’s only legitimate son, William, his half-brother Richard and their sister Adela sruck a rock off Barfleur and sank with the loss of all on board save for Berauld the butcher.
1123Building of St Bartholomew’s Priory and Hospital.
1125Death of Henry V of Germany, the husband Henry’s only surviving legitimate child, the Empress Matilda. She was immediatley brought back to England.
1128JuneEmpress Matilda was unwillingly married to Geoffrey Plantagenet, the 14 year old heir to Fulk V of Anjou. An anti-Angevin party immediately developed at Court.
1128Henry I addressed a precept to the Sheriff of London requiring him to ascertain through reliable men of the ward whether that the hithe of the Fleet held by Henry Arborarius and used by the ships of St Paul’s for stone, belonged to St Paul’s or the king, and whether the ships of St Paul’s should go there free of tolls and customs.
1128Hugh de Payan visited England and the Templars become established there under the patronage of Henry I who had received Hugh in Normandy and sent him to England. They settled in Chancery Lane. Their rule, formulated by Bernard of Clairvaux, was ratified at the Council of Troyes.
1130Earliest reference to the warden of Fleet Prison. The annual fixed fee was paid to Radulfus Arborarius. This was recorded on the earliest extant Pipe Roll.
1130First record in the Pipe Rolls of an allowance of £3 0s 10d to “the king’s goldsmiths” of London. The grant was from “the farm of London for the purchase of charcoal”.
1130The Pipe rolls record a payment of £16 by Robert, son of Leuestan, on behalf of the gild of weavers.
1130Monday September 29(Michaelmas) the Sheriff of London rendered account of £99 0s 12d as a result of a riot in London. Thirteen persons, including, both Englishmen and foreigners, are recorded as implicated in the riot.
1133Saturday March 25Birth of Henry II.
1133A great fire sweeps through London at Pentecost.
1135Sunday December 1Death of Henry I.
1135Sunday December 1Following the death of Henry I, a dispute over the succession broke out between Matilda, Henry’s daughter and Stephen of Blois, his nephew.
1135Accession of Stephen.

King Stephen.

1135Wednesday 25 December.Coronation of Stephen.
1136The king’s council at St Paul’s give judgement that the lordship of the water of Thames between Baynard’s Castle and Staines belongs to the lord of Baynard’s Castle as the king’s standard-bearer and procurator of the city.
1136A fire, starting at London bridge, sweeps through the city, demolishing St Paul’s and most of the timber buildings as far as St Clement Danes. When the new city was built most of the wealthier citizens took the precaution of building their houses in stone and tile.
1139A full scale civil war breaks out as the Angevin party challenge Stephen in Matilda’s name.
1140Tuesday February 6Death of Thurstan archbishop of York, who had battled with Canterbury for the Primacy of England.
1140The Priory of St John of Jerusalem was established at Clerkenwell.
1141Sunday February 2Stephen was captured at Lincoln and later exchanged for Robert of Gloucester.
1141The Commune of London was formed.
1141Geoffrey Plantagenet begins his conquest of Normandy.
It is complete by 1145.
1143Friday September 24Death of Pope Innocent II

The wooden effigy of Henry II on his tomb at Fontrevault.

1152Sunday May 18Henry of Anjou, son of Geoffrey and Matilda, marries Eleanor, of Duchess of Aquitaine and annulled of Louis VII of France.
1153Henry of Anjou arrives in England and comes, in the Treaty of Westminster, to amicable terms with Stephen who recognises him as his successor.
1154Monday October 25Death of Stephen and peaceful succession of Henry II.
1154Friday December 4The only Englishman to become a pope, Nicholas Breakspear, was elected as Adrian IV.
1154Sunday December 19Coronation of Henry II.
1154The Weavers of London received a charter from Henry II confirming their gild to them with all the liberties which they had possessed in the reign of Henry I. The charter forbids anyone not of their gild to occupy himself in their craft in London, Southwark, or other places belonging to London, save in so far as had been customary in the time of Henry I. For this privilege the king stipulated that the weavers should pay two marks of gold, annually, at Michaelmas.
1155Repairs to the Fleet prison, which was referred to as the “Gaol of London”. £10 was paid to Henry Arborarius for the purpose. He was also paid a warden’s fee of 114s.
1155The Vintner’s Company was granted a charter.
1155The Templars begin their move to New Temple south of Fleet Street. The original property was sold to the Bishop of Lincoln for 100 marks plus a small annual rent. The sale was witnessed by Thomas Becket on behalf of the King. The move was completed in 1162
1156The “bolengarii” or bakers of London are mentioned in the Pipe Rolls as owing a mark of gold.
1156Henry Arborarius, warden of the Fleet Prison was paid an annual fee of £7 12s 1d until 1161.
1157Sunday September 8Birth of the Richard I (the Lion Heart)
1158Tuesday September 23Birth of Henry’s youngest son, Geoffrey
1159Tuesday September 1Death of Pope Adrian IV, the only English pope
1159Grants of land to the Templars on the east bank of Fleet. Henry grants them “a place on the Fleet, next Castle Baynard, and all the course of water of the Fleet, to make a mill. Walter FitzRobert, the then Lord of Baynard’s Castle, also gave the Templars a piece of land, 80 ft. x 34 ft., under the castle wall, to supplement or confirm the Royal gift.” Henry II also granted them a messuage on the Fleet next Fleet Bridge at the same time. This was the Earliest reference to Fleet Bridge.
1161Radulfus Gaal or Gaol in receipt of the warden’s fee at the Fleet Prison until 1163.
1162Saturday June 2Thomas a Becket ws ordained a priest
1162Sunday June 3Thomas a Becket was consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury.
1162Pope Alexander III, in the Bull Omne datum optimum raises the Templars to a position of extraordinary privilege. They are now immune from all jurisdiction, lay or ecclesiastical, other than that of the Holy See.
1163Tuesday October 1At a meeting of the Great Council at Westminster, Archbishop Becket refused Henry’s demand for the punishment of clergy in secular courts.
1163Sunday October 13In the presence of Henry and Becket, the body of Edward the Confessor was translated to a new shrine.
1164Sunday January 25Henry convoked the Council of Clarendon and demanded that the clergy agree to a new code of sixteen laws, the “Constitutions of Clarendon”. After much hesitation Becket endorsed them and immediately regretted his decision. This brought him into conflict with the other bishops, many of whom considered him unfit for his office.
1164Monday September 14Becket was summoned to a royal court to answer a charge of denial of justice in the episcopal court which was brought by John FitzGilbert the Marshall. Becket refused to attend.
1164Tuesday October 6The council of magnates met at Northampton to consider the matter. Becket was ordered to come to Northampton.
1164Thursday October 8Becket, in his capacity of Baron, was charged with contempt of the king for refusing to attend the royal court in September. He was also called on to account for his management of the royal finances when he was chancellor of England.
1164Tuesday October 13The Bishops urge Becket to submit to the king. Becket refused and, when found guilty, furiously denounced the court and the king in robust and abusive terms.
1164Saturday November 2Becket slips away into voluntary exile and out of Henry’s jurisdiction.
1166The hide of Wideflete demised to the Templars by the Monks of Bermondsey with its men, mills, waters and ponds at an annual rent of 10 marks sterling.
1167Monday February 27Death of the English philosopher Robert van Melun, bishop of Hereford.
1169The English conquest of Ireland begins.
1170Sunday June 14Henry’s elder son, Henry, was crowned as the “Young King” at Westminster by the Archbishop of York.
1170Tuesday December 1Thomas a Becket returns from exile on board a ship especially provided by Henry.
1170Monday December 29The murder of Thomas a Becket at Canterbury.
1170Earliest references to prisoners in the Fleet Prison. The prisoners came from all parts according to the Pipe Rolls of the Exchequer.
1172A sum of £11 17s was spent on repairs to the Fleet Prison, Ailnoth (Alnod) being named as surveyor.
1173Rebellion in London probably led by Gilbert de Munfichet aided by his cousin Walter fitzRobert fitzRichard de Clare.
1176Building of London bridge
1178Sunday June 18A possible meteor impact on the moon was witnessed from southern England about an hour after sunset.
1180The Population inside the City walls reached c.40,000.
1180The Pipe rolls record nineteen “adulterine” gilds owing varying sums as amercements because they were formed without warrant. They included three gilds “of the bridge” plus gilds of pepperers, goldsmiths, butchers and cloth-dressers.
1180William FitzStephen writes the first description of the mediæval city.
1180First mention of the Goldsmith’s Company
1183Saturday June 11The “Young King”, Henry’s elder son died of dysentery and fever. Richard became his heir.

Richard I from his effigy at Fontrevault.

1184A sum of £28 was paid for repairs to the Fleet prison.
1185A sum of £25 11s 6d paid for repairs to the Fleet Prison.
1185Sunday February 10The New Temple Church was dedicated.
1189Saturday January 21Henry II, prince Richard and Philip II of France agree to undertake the third Crusade.
1189Saturday February 4Death of Gilbert of Sempringham, founder of the Gilbertine order in Lincolnshire.
1189Monday February 6The fierce anti-Jewish riots in Lynn, Norfolk, spread to Norwich and other towns in England.
1189Thursday July 6Death if Henry II and Accession of Richard I.
1189Henry fitzAilwin, first Mayor of London, issues a town planning act with regulations regarding party-walls, which must be built of stone, 16 feet in height and 3 feet in breadth, the construction of privies, protection of ancient lights etc. The ordinance was to be carried out by the mayor and 12 specially elected persons who were to act as arbitrators in cases of dispute.
1189Sunday September 3Coronation of Richard I.
1189Osbert de Longchamp receives from Richard a grant of the custody of the Gaol of London (i.e. the Fleet Prison) and the Palace of Westminster. The grant was not quite regular and every annual payment to Osbert was entered in his own name and not that of his office with the words per cartam regis appended.
1190Wednesday July 4Richard sets off on Crusade with Philip of France. He is later joined by his Mother Eleanor of Aquitaine. John is left as regent in England.
1191Sunday August 18Henry II’s youngest son, Geoffrey, is consecrated archbishop of York at Tours and prepares to return to England despite a promise to Richard to stay out of the kingdom for three years.
1191Saturday September 14Geoffrey lands at Dover and is confronted by the sister of Chancellor William Longchamp (bishop of Ely) and wife of the castellan of Dover. She demanded that Geoffrey swear an oath of allegiance to the king and to the chancellor. Geoffrey refuses the latter and takes sanctuary in the priory of St Maetin.
1191Thursday September 19To the outrage of the people, Geoffrey is dragged by the arms and legs from the altar and pulled through the mud to imprisonment in Dover castle. Longchamp is widely blamed and Geoffrey is hailed as a new Becket.
1191Sunday September 22The bishop of Lincoln excommunicates the castellan of Dover and his wife. An alarmed Longchamp orders the release of Geoffrey who is brought to London in triumph.
1191SeptemberPrince John and the barons take advantage of the situation. William de Longchamp is summoned to meet John at Reading. Instead, Longchamp fled to the Tower which he had already strengthened by rebuilding part of its curtain wall, and attempting to flood the surrounding ditch.
1191Saturday October 5The Great Council heard the charges against Longchamp and ordered that he be removed from office. As John advanced on London. At an assembly of the citizens at the Guildhall, Henry of Cornhill argued in favour of supporting Longchamp and closing the gates on John but Richard FitzReiner pointed out that to bar the city’s gates against the king’s brother and heir might have dangerous consequences. He offered to negotiate with John, with whom his family was financially involved, and his advice was taken.
1191Monday October 7During the night John enters the City and was welcomed by at least a section of the population who came to meet him with lanterns and torches. The following day a great concourse of citizens, ecclesiastics and nobles met in St Paul’s. Walter of Coutances, Archbishop of Rouen arrived from Richard with the news that he had been appointed by the king to replace Longchamp.

John’s charter to the City of London.

1191Tuesday October 8The meeting decides to deprive Longchamp of all authority and accept Walter of Coutances in his stead. John assumes the title “supreme governor of the whole realm”. John and Walter, together with a number of other justices, then grant the commune to the citizens of London, including the right to elect a Lord mayor annually. The bishops and secular magnates swear that they will maintain it, as long as it pleased the king. In return, the citizens promised the king and his heir faithful service and agreed, if Richard died without lawful children, to accept John as king. In token of this they swore, saving their loyalty to Richard, to support him against all men.
1191Tuesday Ocotber 29Longchamp was transferred from the Tower to Dover castle. He escaped from the latter disguised as a woman but was discovered on the beach when a fisherman made an attempt at rape.
1191Sunday November 2Geoffrey was solemnly and magnificently enthroned as Archbishop of York.
1192Monday December 21On his way back from Crusade, Richard I was taken hostage by Duke Leopold of Austria.
1194Friday February 4The Regents, led by Eleanor of Aquitaine, finally raise, by heavy taxation in both England and the Angevin, the £100,000 to ransom Richard I.
1194Saturday March 12Richard I, accompanied by his mother who had delivered the ransom money, landed at Sandwich.
1196Name of “Fleet Prison” comes into general use with the building of Newgate Prison as the Gaol of London.
1196From this date, the wardenship of the Fleet Prison was almost always linked with the serjeanty of keeping the king’s Palace of Westminster. The latter was not only the royal residence but, by this date, also the usual seat of the Exchequer and its court.
1197Nathaniel and Robert Leveland claim the wardenship of Fleet prison “which had been their inheritance since the conquest of England.” Their claim was successful.
1199Friday March 26At the siege of Chalus, Richard I is wounded in the arm by an arrow. The wound putrifies and turns gangrenous and Richard suffers blood poisoning.
1199Tuesday April 6Death of Richard I and accession of John.
1199Wednesday May 26King John arrives in London.
1199Thursday May 27First Coronation of King John
1199John issues the first Royal building regulations for London.
1199The concession to the warden of the Fleet Prison of control of the customs on the Fleet is mentioned for the first time.
1200Robert Leveland succeeds his father as warden of the Fleet Prison. He went on crusade and the king allowed the custody of the Fleet, and Robert’s son and heir, to be held by Simon, Archdeacon of Wells, who subsequently signed himself Simon of the Gaol. However, Robert received the usual fee from 1202-1205. In 1206-8 the payments were made to Reginald of Cornhill, one of the king’s justices (possibly a temporary grant of the office).

Eleanor of Aquyitaine on Crusade.

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