The street of Austin Friars, off Old Broad Street, takes its name from the Augustinian Priory that once stood nearby. The priory was originally built by Humphrey de Bohun, Constable of England, in around 1253, the priory church incorporating the existing parish church of St Peter-le-Poer as a private chapel; and it was extended in 1354. The priory was attacked during the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, when 13 Flemings were dragged from its sanctuary and beheaded. Many of the barons killed at the Battle of Barnet in the Wars of the Roses in 1471 were buried here. Erasmus of Rotterdam, the Dutch priest, theologian and philosopher, the so-called “Prince of the Humanists”, lodged here in 1513, complained about the quality of the wine on offer, and left without settling his bill! Miles Coverdale worked on his translation of the Bible here in 1529. And Thomas Cromwell, the lawyer, banker and soldier, and sometime statesman, Vicar-General and Vice-Regent in Spirituals to Henry VIII, lived here from the 1520s until his execution for treason and heresy in 1540.
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.