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Historical Localities

B. Historical Localities. — Many sites, buildings, and objects associated with historical events, or with curious and, bygone phases of the city, have been incidentally noticed in the course of the preceding historical sketch, and many more will be found noticed, in a variety of connections, in the sequel of the present article and in other articles. But many others not noticed elsewhere may be noticed here, and likewise some of those noticed elsewhere may, for the sake of further particulars, be also noticed here.

The rising ground in the Tower, near the chapel of St Peter-ad-Vincula, was the place of execution of Queens Anne Boleyn, Katharine Howard, Lady Jane Grey, and others. Tower Hill, at the open area outside of the fortifications, was the usual place of execution for state criminals, and long had a permanent scaffold. Great Tower Street, running westward thence, is noted for Peter the Great having there, at the " Czar's Head," been accustomed to smoke tobacco and drink beer and peppered brandy. Little Tower Street was the place where the poet Thomson wrote his "Summer." The Minories, running northward from the Tower, took its name from a convent of the Nuns of St Clare, or Minoresses, founded in 1293 near the spot now occupied by Trinity Church. Eastcheap, westward from Great Tower Street, contained the Boar's Head Tavern, which was made famous by Shakespeare, rebuilt after the Great Fire, and removed at the making of King William Street to London Bridge. Cannon Street, on a line thence westward, was the place, at the London Stone, where Jack Cade proclaimed himself in 1450. Leadenhall Street, going eastward on a line with Cornhill, took its name from Leaden (roofed) Hall, on the site of the present meat market; contained the seat of the Nevilles, which passed to Lord Mayor Whittington and to the city; contained also the Old King's Head Tavern, where the Jacobite plotters met in the time of William III.; contained likewise the deathplace of Stowe; and retains underground structures which were crypts of St Michael's and St Peter's. Gracechurch Street, connecting the E ends of Eastcheap and Leadenhall Street, took its name from St Benet's Church, which was called the Grass Church on account of a vegetable market being adjacent, and it includes the place where George Fox died. Lombard Street, going westward on a line with Fenchurch Street from the middle of Gracechurch Street, took its name from the Lombardy goldsmiths who settled in it; retains till the present day its prestige for money transactions by being the site of banks and insurance offices, and was the residence of Jane Shore's husband, of Guy the founder of Guy's Hospital, and of the poet Pope's father. Bishopsgate Street, on a line with Gracechurch Street northward, was the residence of Sir John Crosby, of Richard Crookback, of Sir Thomas Gresham, of Sir Paul Pindar, and of Sir H. Pallavicini, which last collected Peter's pence in the time of Mary, and gave entertainment to Elizabeth in 1559. In this street is found the ancient Priory Church of St Helen's side by side with the parish church, under the same roof, which has been called the "Westminster Abbey of the City " from the number and importance of its monuments.

Cornhill, connecting Leadenhall Street with the Poultry, took its name from a corn market of very early origin; was long the quarter for dealers in old clothes; had a prison for night-walkers called the Tun Prison, built in 1283, somewhat in the form of a tun standing on end; had also a conduit of sweet water, constructed in 1401, and "castellated, in the midst of the street;" had likewise the standard for water from the Thames constructed in 1582, and spouting water in four different directions at every tide; contained a house of King John, the Pope's Head Tavern, and the birthplace of the poet Gray, and was the place where Jack Cade beheaded Lord Saye. The Poultry, connecting Lombard Street and Cornhill westward with Cheapside, contained Compter. Prison., from which G. Sharpe liberated the negro slave Somerset; had a house of 1688-89 built by Wren and occupied for years by Tegg the publisher, and was the birthplace of Thomas Hood. Cheapside, connecting the Poultry with Newgate Street and St Paul's Churchyard, and one of the most crowded thoroughfares in the metropolis, was famous in early times for its cross, its conduit, and its standard, and, in later times, for its silk mercers, its linen-drapers, and its hosiers. The cross stood at the corner of Wood Street; was built in 1290 by Michael de Cantuaria as one of Edward I.'s celebrated crosses in memory of Queen Eleanor; was rebuilt in 1441; was repaired and gilt in 1552 at the visit of Charles V.; was adorned again, at successive times, in honour of Anne Boleyn, of Edward VI.'s coronation, and of Mary's marriage to Philip, and was taken down in 1643. The conduit stood near Foster Lane and was supplied by Tyburn. The standard occupied the spot where Bishop Stapleton was burnt in 1236. A tournament took place in Cheapside, in front of Bow Church, in 1331, and was witnessed by Edward II. and Philippa. The Solemn League and Covenant was burnt here in 1661. The Lord Mayor's pageant, as planned by the last city poet, Elkanah Settle, passed along Cheapside in 1702; was witnessed here from a balcony by Queen Anne, and is pictured as entering Cheapside in the concluding plate of Hogarth's "Industry and Idleness." Llewelyn was beheaded in Cheapside in 1282, and Perkin Warbeck and Defoe were pilloried in it, the former in 1497, the latter in 1703. Old 'Change was the residence of Lord Herbert of Cherbury. Queen's Arms Inn Passage was the place where Keats wrote some of his pieces.

Old Jewry, going northward from the W end of the Poultry, took its name from being settled by Jews under William the Conqueror; contained the Old London Institution where Porson died as librarian, and also the princely mansion of Sir Robert Clayton. Bucklersbury, going from the S side of the Poultry, was noted for the sale of spices, simples, or herbs, and herb-drinks; figures in connection with those in Shakespeare's "Merry Wives of Windsor," and was the residence of Sir Thomas More. Bread Street, going off the S side of Cheapside, contained the house where Milton was born, and which was destroyed by the Great Fire, and contained also the Mermaid Tavern, which was frequented by Shakespeare, Raleigh, and Ben Jonson. Coleman Street, going northward, nearly on a line with Old Jewry, was the residence of Ben Jonson and of Cowley, who wrote "the Cutler of Coleman Street," and contained the Star Tavern, which was visited by Cromwell. Swan Alley was the residence of Venner, the fifth-monarchy man; and the Great Bell Yard was the residence of Bloomfield the poet when a shoemaker. The Artillery Ground, 5 furlongs N of Coleman Street and adjacent on the W to Finsbury Square, was formed by the London train-bands, afterwards called the Hon. Artillery Company, who had their first grounds near Spitalfields, and who numbered John Gilpin as one of their captains, and it was the place from which Lunardi made his balloon ascent in 1784. Grub Street, now called Milton Street, commencing not far from the SW corner of the Artillery Ground and going from Chiswell Street to Fore Street, took its present name from the circumstance that Milton lived near it; was the place where A B C books were written after the invention of the art of printing, and was long noted as the retreat of poor authors. Hanover Square, in the vicinity of Grub Street, was the residence of Monk. Beach Street, connecting Chiswell Street westward with Barbican, had a residence of the abbots of Ramsey, which was occupied by the Drurys and Prince Rupert. Barbican, on a line with Beach Street westward, took its name from a watchtower on the ancient city wall, and had residences of the Suffolks, the Willoughbys d'Eresby, and Spelman the antiquary.

Aldersgate Street, going southward from the W end of Barbican, and forming part of a main thoroughfare to St Paul's Churchyard, was long a fashionable quarter, and contained mansions of the Dorchesters, the Westmorelands, the Lauderdales, and other nobles. The wits met at the Half-Moon Tavern there in the time of Charles II.; the Tuftons, the Ashley-Coopers, and others lived in Shaftesbury House there, a mansion with a front by Inigo Jones, which afterwards was occupied by a grocer; the Pierreponts lived there in Peter House, which passed to the bishops of London, and Milton's "pretty garden-house," where he kept school, was there on the ground afterwards occupied by the Literary Institution. Little Britain was long the chief place for the sale of books and pamphlets, and there the Earl of Dorset, when "beating about for books," drew to light Milton's "Paradise Lost," which the vendor told him " lay upon his hands like waste paper." Artillery Walk, near Bunhill Fields, was the place where Milton finished his "Paradise Lost." Smithfield, 2 1/2 furlongs W of Aldersgate, was the scene of the awful victim-burnings in the time of Henry VIII. and Mary; was previously the scene of tournaments in 1357, 1362, 1369, 1374, 1393, 1409, and 1467, and was the place of the roisterings of Bartlemy Fair, degenerated from Bartholomew Fair. The Elms at Smithfield was the spot where Sir William Wallace was beheaded in 1305. Cloth Fair, adjacent to Smithfield, was long the appointed and customary place for the sale of cloth. Cock Lane, running westward from Giltspur Street, near Smithfield, was noted for a ghost-cheat in, 1762. Chick Lane, or West Street, going from Smithfield across Victoria Street, went down to Fleet ditch, and was the place of the Red Lion Tavern, Hogarth's "Blood-bowl House," the haunt of thieves and other bad characters, taken down in 1846. Giltspur Street was the site of a compter, taken down in 1855. Aldermanbury was the site of the Guildhall till 1411. Bartholomew Close was the residence of Dr Caius, the founder of Caius College, Cambridge; of Milton after the Restoration; of Le Sotur the sculptor; and of Benjamin Franklin when a journeyman printer.

Friday Street, off Cheapside, contained the Nag's Head Tavern, in which, according to the Roman Catholics, Archbishop Parker is said to have been consecrated, and which figures in the curious evidence of the poet Chaucer on the Scrope and Grosvenor controversy. Arthur Street, off Fish Street Hill, contained a house in which Edward the Black Prince was lodged. Turnwheel Lane, off Cannon Street, contained the Herbert Inn, which belonged to Edward III. Petticoat Lane, off Whitechapel, contained the house where Strype the antiquary was born, and near it was the residence of Gondomar, the Spanish ambassador to James I. Sweedon's Passage, off Cripplegate, contained a house in which Whittington and Gresham lived, and which was taken down in 1805. Playhouse Yard, in Whitecross Street, near Cripplegate, contained the Fortune Theatre, which was pulled down by the Puritans in 1649. Throgmorton Street contained the residence of T. Cromwell, the vicar-general of Henry VIII. Seething Lane, adjacent to Tower Hill, contained the old navy office and the residences of Pepys and Sir F. Walsingham. Dowgate, going northward from Upper Thames Street toward the Poultry, contained the residence of the Duke of Buckingham in the time of Charles II. after nearly all the rest of the nobility had migrated to the suburbs. Upper Thames Street contained the residence of the Norfolks and the Talbots, on ground afterwards occupied by Calvert's brewery, and had on a spot near its junction with Earl Street the castle of Bainardus, the companion of William the Conqueror. That edifice came to be called Baynard Castle, and the locality now called Bayswater, adjacent to Kensington, also took its name from Bainardus, and was originally called Baynard's Water.

St Paul's Churchyard, around St Paul's Cathedral, had at its NE corner St Paul's Cross, where the sermons against Popery were preached in the time of Henry VIII. A plot around the centre of the site of St Paul's Cathedral contained the tomb of John of Gaunt and the first Duke Humphrey's Walk. Ludgate Hill, going westward from the S side of St Paul's Churchyard, was the place of Wyatt's arrest in the progress of his insurrection, and is noted for the Belle Sauvage or Belle Savage Inn, belonging to the Cutlers' Company, in a court where G. Gibbons resided, and where he carved a pot of flowers which shook with the vibration of passing carriages. Paternoster Row, somewhat on a line with Cheapside westward, and somewhat parallel to St Paul's Churchyard and the upper part of Ludgate Hill, took its name from the sale in it of paternosters, aves, credos, and similar things, in pre-Reformation times; retains its ancient prestige as a place of publication; and is noted as the site of great publishing establishments. Amen Corner, continuous with Paternoster Row, was a place for silk mercers and similar dealers before the Great Fire, and contained the house of Harvey which he lent to the Physicians' College. Ave Maria Lane, going northward from Ludgate Hill to Paternoster Eow, took its name from resident " text writers " who sold aves and credos. Old Bailey, going northward from Ludgate Hill toward Smithfield, was the residence or haunt of Jonathan Wild, and includes Green Arbour Court, where Goldsmith wrote his " Traveller " and some others of his works. Blackfriars, between the line of Ludgate and the river, took its name from the Blackfriars' monastery, removed hither from Holbom in 1276, patronized and enriched by Edward I. and his queen— an edifice so stately that parliaments were held in it, Charles V. resided in it during his visit to Henry VIII., and Cardinal Campeggio heard in it Henry's suite for a divorce; an edifice which passed after the Reformation to the royal printers, gave rise then to the name of Printing-House Square to the place around it, and was superseded by the printing offices of the Times newspaper, which still cover some traces of its foundations, but the hall and abbot's house of which were converted by Henry VIII. into a palace and its church taken down. Blackfriars contained also a theatre erected in spite of opposition by the city authorities, highly associated with Shakespeare and with the acting of James Burbage and others, and which has bequeathed its name to Playhouse Yard. Blackfriars likewise contained the residence of the Hunsdons, and those of Ben Jonson, C. Jansen, and Vandyck, and it contains Chatham Place, named after Earl Chatham, and where Lady Hamilton lived in Dr Bird's house as, a nurserymaid.

Fleet Street, on a line with Ludgate Hill westward to Temple Bar, took its name from the Fleet river or Fleet ditch, which runs from Hampstead Hill and under the line of Farringdon Street to the Thames at Blackfriars Bridge. That stream for a time was first a useful water supply to the ancient city and next a useful branch of the harbour, made navigable for small craft to Holborn Bridge; but it afterwards became a great and increasing nuisance as a filthy common sewer, and ultimately was arched over and made to serve partially as a building site. A bridge crossed it at the foot of Fleet Street, and the first knife factory in England stood there. A conduit stood a little above the foot of the street, near Shoe Lane. The notorious Fleet Prison for debtors also stood near the foot of Fleet Street, on the E side of Farringdon Street: was rebuilt after the Great Fire, and again in 1781-82; had among its many prisoners Surrey, Donne, Bishop Hooper, Lord Falkland, Prynne, Wycherley, Savage, W. Penn, E. Lloyd, and J. Howell; was the place where Howell wrote some of his " Letters;" was noted also for secret marriages, registers of which, from 1674, are pre-served at Doctors' Commons, and was taken down in 1844. Fleet Street contains few historical localities in its immediate front lines, but it flanks many along both sides. Salisbury Square, off the lower part of the S side, was the residence of the poet Dryden, the novelist Richardson, and the actor Betterton. Dorset Street, to the S of Salisbury Square, was the residence of Locke; contained the house of Bishop Jewel, which he gave up to the Sackvilles, and had a theatre which was built by Wren for Davenport, and was taken down in 1709. Whitefriars precinct, approached by Whitefriars Street and Bouverie Street, contained the residence of Selden, the old George Inn, and a theatre taken down in 1613; was one of the political sanctuaries which came to be vastly abused by the influx and riotousness of bad characters; bore then the cant name of Alsatia, and figures graphically in Sir Walter Scott's "Fortunes of Nigel." The Mitre Tavern, in Mitre Court, near the approaches to Whitefriars, was the place where the Royal Society used to dine, and a resort of Dr Johnson and Boswell. Peterborough Court was a residence of the Bishops of Peterborough. Inner Temple Lane, Johnson's Court, and Gough Square were residences of Johnson, and in the last he wrote much of his dictionary. The W corner house of Inner Temple Lane was the place where Pope and Warburton first met. The Temple, occupying large space between Fleet Street and the Thames, was settled by the Knights Templars in 1184 removing to it then from Holborn; was given by Edward II. at the downfall of the Templars in 1313 to Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke; passed at the Earl's death to the Knights of St John; was Teased by them to the students of the common law; remained with the students, after lapsing to the Crown at the dissolution of religious houses, and was given permanently by James I. to the law benchers. The Temple Gardens, between the Temple buildings and the river, are set down by Shakespeare as the place where the Yorkists and the Lancastrians first assumed their distinctive badges of the white rose and the red rose. The Devil Tavern stood at the head of the S side of Fleet Street, on the site of Child's banking office, the oldest banking house in London; was the place where Ben Jonson often met the Apollo Club, and where the laureates recited their odes, and was taken down in 1788. Shoe Lane, going from the lower part of Fleet Street northward to Holborn Hill, contained the seat of the Bishops of Bangor, afterwards Bentley's printing ofiice, and was the birthplace of Cowley, the deathplace of W. Lilly and Lovelace, and the residence of Michael Drayton, Praise-God-Barebones, Wynkin de Warde, E. Curll, B. Lintot, and the publisher Murray. Bolt Court, to the W of Shoe Lane, was the residence and deathplace of Dr Johnson, and the residence of the printer Bentley, the astronomer Ferguson, and William Cobbett; and Johnson's house in it was taken down in 1784. Crane Court, still farther to the W, was the meeting-place of the Royal Society from 1701 till 1782 in a house built by Wren. Fetter Lane, still farther to the W, and going northward to Holborn, includes Salisbury Court and Lovell's Court, where Richardson resided, and in the latter of which he wrote his "Pamela" and his "Grandison." Chancery Lane, also going from Fleet Street to Holborn, was the birthplace of Strafford and the residence of J. Tonson and Isaak Walton.

Newgate Street, going west-north-westward from the N end of St Paul's Churchyard, somewhat on a line with Cheapside, had in Bath Street the Bagnio or Old Royal Baths, built in 1679 by the Turkey merchants; in Bull Head Court, a bas-relief of the giant William Evans, 7 1/2 feet high, and the dwarf Sir Jeffrey Hudson, 3 3/4 feet high; in lvy Lane, the rite of the King's Head Tavern, in which the Ivy Lane Club met, with Dr Johnson for a member; and in Warwick Lane, a wall-effigies of 1688 of Earl Guy, the old College of Physicians built by Wren after the Great Fire, and the Bell Inn where Archbishop Leighton died. Christ's Hospital, on the N side of Newgate Street, occupies the site of the Greyfriars Monastery, was founded by Edward VI. ten days before his death, and has many historical associations. The Charter House, 5 furlongs N of Christ's Hospital and adjacent to Aldersgate Street, occupies the site of a Carthusian Monastery founded in 1371 by the Flemish knight Sir Walter Manny; was erected as an hospital, chapel, and schoolhouse in 1611 by Thomas Sutton, retains considerable remains of the original monastery; and was originally surrounded by awild waste tract which was purchased by Bishop Stratford as a burial-place for victims of the plague. Moorfields, not far eastwards, was then a fen; was made passable by causeways so late as 1415; was laid out with public walks for the use of the citizens in 1606; began to be edificed after the Great Fire; became the site of Old Bethlem Hospital and of Killigrew's nursery for players, and was long a place for sports and for old bookstalls. Picthatch, nearly opposite the Charter House end of Old Street Road, figures in Shakespeare as Pistol's "Manor of Picthatch." Clerkenwell, to the NW of the Charter House, took its name from a well frequented by the incorporate clerks of the city; was long famous for other wells, some of them medicinal; and had at St John's Square a commandery of the Knights of St John, a gateway of which continued to stand after the demolition of the rest of the edifice in the time of Edward VI., became Cave's printing office, whence he issued the Gentleman's Magazine, and which is still in existence.

Holborn Hill, Holborn, and High Holborn, westward on a line with Newgate Street, took their name by corruption from the Hole Bourne, a name given, in this quarter, on account of its steep clay cliffs, to the Fleet river or river of Wells; they were the route of criminals from the Tower and from Newgate to the gallows at Tyburn, the route of Lord William Russell on his way to the scaffold in Lincoln's Inn Fields, and the route of the whippings of Titus Oates, Dangerfield, and Johnson, from Aldgate to Tyburn. Gray's Inn Lane, off the N side of Holborn, was the residence of Hampden and Pym, where they held their consultations for resisting the ship money impost; and Fox Court, off Gray's Inn Lane, was the birthplace of the poet Savage. Drury Lane, going south-south-eastward from the junction of High Holborn and Broad Street, contains or adjoins the birthplace of Nell Gwynn, in Coal Yard; the site of Nell Gwynn's lodging, when Pepys saw her watching the milkmaids on May-day; the place of Lord Mohun's seizure of Mrs Bracegirdle; the site of Cockpit Theatre, the original of Drury Lane Theatre in Pit Place; the site of Craven House, in which the Queen of Bohemia died in 1662; and Lewkner's Lane or Charles Street, long a haunt of very bad characters. Great Queen Street, going north-eastward from Drury Lane to the NW corner of Lincoln's Inn Fields, is joined there at right angles by Little Queen Street, down which Lord William Russell went to the scaffold; was built, along all the SE side, by Inigo Jones; was one of the most fashionable parts of the metropolis from 1630 to 1730; and contained the house in which Lord Herbert of Cherbury died, a house occupied for the last twenty years of his life by Sir Godfrey Kneller, and a house which was inhabited by Lord Chancellor Somers and the Duke of Newcastle in the time of George II.

The Strand, going west-south-westward, in a line with Fleet Street, from the vicinity of Temple Bar to Charing Cross, was long little else than an open road between London and Westminster; was not paved till after the passing of an act for the purpose in 1532; became from end to end a place of noble, prelatic, and wealthy mansions, and is now a brilliant portion of one of the great business arteries of the metropolis. Peter of Savoy, uncle of Henry III., obtained a large tract on its S side to the Thames in 1245, and was one of the earliest settlers in it; the bishops and other ecclesiastical dignitaries numerously followed him, insomuch that nine bishops had mansions on its S side at the time of the Reformation; and nobles, contemporaneously or afterwards, settled in such numbers as eventually to give their names to most of the numerous streets which now run from the Strand to the river. Essex House stood at the E extremity of the S side. Essex Street, named from that mansion and running to the S, contained the residence of Lady Primrose, where the young Pretender lay concealed in 1750. Devereux Court, farther W, contained the Grecian coffee-house. Arundel House stood farther E. Somerset House, erected in 1776-86, and occupied chiefly as Government offices, is on the site of Protector Somerset's palace. The building No. 141 occupies the site of Tonson's shop. The Savoy was the site of the Earl of Savoy's palace, and the place of the famous conference for the revision of the liturgy at the restoration of Charles II., and it still has the Savoy chapel—which was attached to the hospital of St John the Baptist, and which was burnt in 1864, but so interested the Queen that she undertook to have it restored at her own expense. The Beaufort Buildings occupy the site of Worcester House. Cecil Street was the site of the New Exchange, and adjoins the site of Salisbury House. The Adelphi Terrace, facing the Thames, and reached through Adam Street, was the death-place of Garrick. A spot between Adam Street and Buckingham Street was the site of Durham House, and the residence of Sir Walter Raleigh. Buckingham Street and Villiers Street are on the site of the Duke of Buckingham's mansion and gardens, and a house in one of them was the birthplace of Lord Bacon. Maiden Lane, running westward from Southampton Street to Bedford Street, was the residence of Andrew Marvell and the lodging-place of Voltaire.

Charing Cross, the last place at which the coffin of Eleanor, queen of Edward I., rested on its way to Westminster Abbey, was the site of the last of the splendid crosses erected by Edward to her memory, and was the place of execution of the regicides of Charles I. Whitehall, going southward from Charing Cross, was the site of Cardinal Wolsey's York House—afterwards the Whitehall Royal Palace from the time of Henry VIII. till that of William III.; was the site also of Cockpit, in which Oliver Cromwell resided, and was the scene, in front of Whitehall banqueting-house, of the execution of Charles I. King Street, deflecting south-south-eastward from the foot of Whitehall, was the deathplace in deep poverty of the poet Spencer. Parliament Street, St Margaret Street, and Old Palace Yard, southward on a line with Whitehall, abound in historical associations connected with governmental occurrences, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Hall, and the old houses of Parliament A room in the Colonial Office, in Downing Street, was the place where Nelson and Wellington had their casual and only meeting. Palace Yard was the place of Sir Walter Raleigh's execution. Westminster Hall was the place of the trials of Earl Strafford, Charles I., and Warren Hastings, and was long the home of the principal courts of justice, now more worthily housed. The Houses of Parliament cover the site of the Star Chamber, the Painted Chamber, and Guy Fawkes Cellar. The Almonry, in Westminster, was the place where Caxton erected his printing press.

Pall Mall, communicating through Cockspur Street with Charing Cross, and going west-south-westward to the foot of St James' Street, took its name from a game introduced to England either in the time of James I. or in that of Charles I., and contains a house on the site of that in which Nell Gwynn died, and Marlborough House, not visible from the street, the deathplace of the great Duke of Marlborough, the residence for a time of Prince Leopold, the residence of the Dowager-Queen Adelaide, and now the residence of the Prince of Wales. St James' Square, off the N side of Pall Mall, is notable for Johnson and Savage having often walked throughout the night in it for want of a bed, and contained the house in which Lord Castlereagh resided, and Norfolk House in which George III. was born. St James' Street, going north-north-westward to Piccadilly, was the scene of Blood's attempt on the Duke of Ormond, and contained the house in which Lord Byron lodged in 1811, the site of the house in which Sir Richard Steele lived, and the site of that in which the historian Gibbon died. These streets are the famous " Clubland " of London. St James' Place, off the W side of St James' Street, contains the house in which the poet Rogers lived. St James' Palace, near Marlborough House, a little to the SW of Pall Mall, occupies the site of an hospital founded about 1190 for lepers, and purchased in 1532 by Henry VIII., and now retains little of the structure erected by Henry. Regent Street, commencing in Waterloo Place in the E part of Pall Mall, and going north-north-westward through the Quadrant and across Oxford Street into junction with Portland Place toward the Regent's Park, was designed and constructed by the architect Nash during the regency of George IV.; formed much the grandest improvement in the metropolis after the time of Wren, and served as a strong stimulus to quicken the migration of the higher classes to the West.

Piccadilly, going from Regent Circus at the intersection of Regent Street, west-south-westward to Hyde Park corner, was long a short and indifferent street extending no farther than to the foot of Sackville Street, appears first on record under its present name in 1673; is supposed to have got that name from the sale in it of stiff collars called pickadilles, much worn from 1605 to 1620. Burlington House and Burlington Arcade, at its N side between Sackville Street and Bond Street, were named after Boyle, Earl of Burlington. Devonshire House, between Berkeley Street and Stratton Street, occupies the site of Berkeley House, which belonged to Lord Berkeley of the time of Charles II., and in which the first Duke of Devonshire died. Bath House, at the corner of Bolton Street, occupies the site of a mansion of the statesman William Pulteney, Earl of Bath, and is noted for frequent meetings of Moore, Rogers, Chantry, Wilkie, Hallam, and Sydney Smith. Apsley House, at Hyde Park corner, took its name from Baron Apsley, Earl Bathurst; was built in 1785 near the site of a once famous inn called the Hercules Pillars, and was purchased and reconstructed by the great Duke of Wellington and occupied by him during the last thirty-two years of his life. The house No. 80 was the residence of Sir Francis Burdett and the place where he was arrested to be taken to the Tower. The house No. 94 was successively Egremont House, Cholmondeley House, and Cambridge House, and was the deathplace of the Duke of Cambridge, youngest son of George III., and the residence of Viscount Palmerston.

Bond Street was named after Sir Thomas Bond of Peckham ; Albemarle Street, after the second Duke of Albemarle; Dover Street, after Lord Dover, who died in 1708; Berkeley Street and Stratton Street, after Lord Berkeley of Stratton, the lord deputy of Ireland in the time of Charles II.; Clarges Street, after Sir Walter Clarges, the nephew-in-law of General Monk; Half Moon Street, after the Half Moon Tavern; Whitehorse Street, after the White Horse Tavern, which was on its site in 1720; Hamilton Place, after James Hamilton, the ranger of Hyde Park in the time of Charles II.; Jermyn Street, after Henry Jermyn, Earl of St Alban's, who died in 1683; Arlington Street and Bennet Street, after Henry Bennet, Earl of Arlington, one of the Cabal. Coventry Street, on a line with Piccadilly eastward, took its name from Coventry House, the residence of Secretary Coventry in the time of Charles II., and was the site of a building known as the Piccadilly gaming-house. Haymarket, going southward from Coventry Street to Pall Mall, took its name from a market for hay formerly held in it, and was the scene of the murder of Mr Thynne by hirelings of Count Koningsmarck. Panton Street, off Haymarket, contained a house in which Addison wrote his "Campaign." Constitution Hill, leading from Hyde Park corner to St James' Park, was the place where Sir Robert Peel got his fatal fall from his horse. Grosvenor Place, confronting Buckingham Palace Gardens, takes its name from the Grosvenor family, the owners of the ground; and was edificed during the Granville administration, when Granville, in opposition to George III., refused to purchase the site. Grosvenor Square, nearly three-quarters of a mile to the NE, takes its name also from the Grosvenor family, and was the residence of Lords Rockingham and North when they were prime ministers. Hyde Park, entered at the W end of Piccadilly, was part of the ancient manor of Hyde, belonging to Westminster Abbey; was enclosed by Henry VIII.; was noted In the time of Elizabeth for royal deer hunts, and in the time of Charles I. for foot, horse, and coach races, and was the scene of a doubly fatal duel in 1712 between the Duke of Hamilton and Lord Mohun. Prince Leopold and Princess Charlotte resided at Camelford House, Park Lane, which runs along the E side of Hyde Park from Piccadilly to Oxford Street.

Covent Garden was built in 1630 by Inigo Jones, and has at one corner the site of Will's Coffee-house, in another place the site of Button's Coffee-house, and in another the house where Dr Johnson and Boswell first met. Covent Garden Theatre is the third theatre on the same spot, and occupies the site of places inhabited by Dr Radcliffe, Wycherley, and many other wits, from 1646 till 1735. Bow Street takes its name from curving in the form of a bent bow. It was in the police office at Bow Street that Fielding (then magistrate there) wrote his "Tom Jones." The house at the corner of King's Arms Court was the residence of Grinling Gibbons. Rose Alley, off King Street, Covent Garden, was the scene of the beating of Dryden by hirelings of the Earl of Rochester. Berkeley Square was the deathplace of Horace Walpole, the great Lord Clive, and Lady Ann Lindsay. A detached house at Berkeley Street was the residence of Mrs Montagu, and the place of her blue-stocking parties. Hanover Square was the deathplace of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. Holles Street was the birthplace of Lord Byron, and the residence of the painter Romney, and of Sir M. Archer Shee. Leicester Square was the residence of Hogarth, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and Dr John Hunter. St Martin's Court contained the house and the observatory of Sir Isaac Newton. Soho Square was originally occupied along all its S side by the palace of the Duke of Monmouth. Bloomsbury Square contained Lord Mansfield's house, demolished in the riots of 1780, and Bedford House, taken down in 1800, and was the residence of Isaac Disraeli. Russell Square was the deathplace of Sir Thomas Lawrence, and the residence of Justice Talfourd and Lord Chancellor Loughborough. Duke Street, off Lincoln's Inn Fields, contained a Roman Catholic chapel which was the first building demolished in the "No-popery " riots of 1780. A house in Portsmouth Street, Clare Market, was the resort of Joe Miller, and the scene of a famous escape of Jack Sheppard from the emissaries of Jonathan Wild. Mark Lane was frequented by Cyriac Skinner, the friend of Milton, and was a preaching place of Isaac Watts. A house in Ireland Yard, Blackfriars, was purchased in 1612 by Shakespeare, and the deed of it is preserved at the Guildhall.

Many other historical localities are noticed in the articles on the districts of London in other portions of this work, and some will be referred to in connection with notices of public buildings. It may be noted that many of the present names of streets and other localities are corruptions of ancient names. Dowgate was anciently or properly Dwrgate or Dourgate, signifying water-gate. Mincing Lane was Mincheon Lane, named from property of the Mincheons or nuns of St Helen, whose convent stood in Bishopsgate. Gutter Lane was Guthurim's Lane, named from its first owner, a wealthy citizen. Finch Lane was Finke's Lane, named from a family who owned it or resided in it. Billiter Lane was Belzetter's Lane, named from its first builder or owner. Crutched Friars was Cruciati or Crossed Friars, named from a monastery founded in 1298. Bridewell was St Bridget's Well, from a spring dedicated to St Bride or Bridget. Lad Lane was Lady's Lane, named from some image or oratory of the Virgin Mary. Holeborn was the Hole Bourne, as has already been explained, the Fleet river here flowing in a deep hole between steep cliffs. Smithfield was Smoothfield, named from the flatness of the place as an open public ground. Cree Church was Christ Church. Nightingale Lane was Knighten-guild Lane. Mark Lane was Mart Lane. Deadman's Place was Desmond's Place. Tooley Street was St Olave Street. Fetter Lane was Fewtor Lane, named from " fewtors," faitowrs, or defaulters who haunted it. Marylebone was Mary-on-the-Bourne, named from a church on a bourne or rivulet.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1894-5


Last Updated: 18th November 2010