The following turned up when I was doing some reading at our local lending library recently, so I thought I would share it with you good folks 'cos it is about one of the earliest Marrow references that I have come across so far:
The William Marrow (Marowe) who was Mayor of London in 1455 spelt his surname as Marwe in connection with one of his properties called "The Galeykey" (yes, a galley quay in modern parlance). The following is a quote from 'Medieval England. A Social History and Archaeology from the Conquest to 1600 AD' by Colin Platt (ISBN 0 7100 8815 9):
"However, a good indication of the amount the towns themselves were prepared to invest has survived to us in a contract, dated 1432, by which John Marwe, freemason and citizen of Norwich, bound himself to rebuild in stone the decaying common quay of his city. In works that were to be completed within ten months, Marwe undertook to remove the old timbers of the original construction, using a crane where necessary. He agreed to provide a new foundation of timber piles and planks, setting on this his ashlar wall, and filling-up behind with layers of rammed gravel and marl. With Marwe's own remuneration, the new quay at Norwich cost the common purse the then considerable sum of £53 6s. 8d".
That book also has some photos and excellent line drawings of some of the medieval Thames wharf archaeological sites examined by that most excellent organisation, the Museum of London. They include the Trig lane (late 14th century), Seal House (13th century) and Custom House (14th century) dig discoveries. Marrowes Key (quay) at St Mary at Hill by Billingsgate must have been constructed in a similar manner to the last named.
The Norwich quay cost three times as much as that committed by the dean and chapter of St. Paul's in 1347 to a similar Thames-side project of their own, although in this case their wharf was of timber - so hardly comparable to the craftsman-like job that Mr. Marwe was contracted to build for his city.
I have no evidence that William and John were related or even that they knew of each other's existance - William being a very rich merchant, politician and man of affairs while John was a freeman and craftsman. I hope someone else finds the above as interesting as I did.
Best regards to one and all,
Peter Charles Marrow
(in snowy Edinburgh, Scotland)
Researching MARROW, Staffordshire 18th and 19th centuries;
BEER, SQUIRE and LARK in Cornwall 18th century to present.
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