Standard in Westcheap

Standard in Westcheap
   In the middle of Cheapside, nearly opposite the south end of Honey Lane, east of Bread Street (Leake, 1666), at the western boundary of Cheap Ward (S. 261, 267, 273).
   Earliest mention: " The Standard," 19 Rich. II. 1395-6 (Cal. L. Bk. H. p.427).
   Stow speaks of it as a water standard or conduit, and says that executions were held there as early as 1293 (p.267), but he gives no authority for this statement.
   In 21 H. VI. 1443 licence was given to pull down" le Standard in Chepe," where divers xecutions of the law have been made hitherto, which is now of wood, weak and old, wherein is a conduit, and to set up a new standard of stone with a conduit therein (Cal. P.R. H. VI. 1441-6, p. 161).
   This work had been commenced by John Wells, according to Stow, about 1430, and in his Will (Ct. H.W. II. 499) he made a bequest of 50 marks towards the completion of the work, which was carried out by his Executors in accordance with the licence of Henry VI. above mentioned.
   From this licence it appears that there had been a conduit in the old Standard for the supply of water, but it does not seem clear whether this was actually the purpose for which it was originally erected, although it probably was. But it had certainly obtained notoriety as the place where executions were held, proclamations made, etc.
   An attempt has been made to identify the Standard with the Great Cross in Cheap at the southern end of Wood Street. But if so, the site of the Standard must have been changed when it was re-erected in 1442-3, and there is nothing in the Patent of Henry VI. or in the other records relating to it to suggest that any change of site was in contemplation.
   The Standard was not re-erected after the Fire.

A Dictionary of London. . 1918.

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