A Dictionary of London (1918)

A Dictionary of London by Henry A Harben contained historical notes of streets and buildings in the City of London, including references to other relevant sources. It was originally published by H Jenkins Ltd., London, 1918.

Abbot of St. Alban’s Inn

This was the town house of the Abbots of St. Albans, prior to the dissolution of the monasteries in the time of Henry VIII.

It stood at the east side of Old Broad Street, to the north of St. Anthony’s School, and was purchased by Edward Ketcher, pewterer of Thomas Leighe about 1544. By his will, dated 5 Elizabeth, the property was devised by Edward Ketcher to his son John (Inq. p.m. Lond. II. 38), who was Alderman of Cripplegate Ward, 1588-96.

It seems probable that Cushion Court and Adams Court, Old Broad Street (q.v.), now occupy the site approximately.

Abbot of Waltham’s House

See Abbot’s Inn.

Abbot’s Inn

The town house of the Abbots of Waltham. On the west side of St. Mary At Hill (Street), south of the church. In Billingsgate Ward.

There is a long account of the house in the Archæologia XXXVI. ii. pp. 400-10, from which it appears that the land on which the house was erected was acquired by the Abbey of Waltham during the 12th century from various owners for the purpose of erecting a residence for the Abbots, when occasion required that they should be in London.From the Minister’s accounts in the Augmentation Office, temp H. VIII., it seems to have been an extensive and considerable mansion.

In 1218-21 the Abbots had erected a chapel in their court adjoining the church of St. Mary de la Hille (H. MSS. Com. 9 Rep. p 17, MSS. D. and C. of St. Paul’s). In 1500-1 the site of the Kitchen of the house was acquired for the church of St. Mary at Hill from the Abbot of Waltham, and the south east aisle of the church was erected upon it. The quit rent of this aisle after the dissolution of the monasteries was payable to the king. (Records of St Mary at Hill, I. 240, 391, E.E.T.S. ed.) After the dissolution of the monastery, the Inn known as Waltham or Abbot’s Inn passed into private hands and was in existence until destroyed in the Great Fire, 1666 (L. and P. H. VIII. D.S. Vol. x. p. 530 and Lond. I. p.m.2 and 3 P. and M. 138).

A chamber in the Inn was used as a school house in 1523-4 (Rec. of St. Mary at Hill I. 321).

The Abbots also possessed property on the other side of the street.

Abbot’s Lodging

A messuage called “le Abbottes Lodgyng” in parish of St. Sepulchre, between St. Sepulchre’s Churchyard south, and Cockes Lane north, tenement of late prior of St. Bartholomew’s and the vicar of St Sepulchre’s east, and the garden pertaining to the “Sarsons Head” west (36 H. VIII. 1545. L. and P. H. VIII. XX. (1) p. 124).

The messuage must have stood on the west side of Giltspur Street, north of St. Sepulchre’s Church and Churchyard in Farringdon Ward Without, and east of the Saracen’s Head, so that the site is easy of identification, but it does not appear what Abbot had his lodging here.


See St. Mary (Abchurch).

Abchurch Lane

South out of Lombard Street at No. 15 to 133 Cannon Street (P.O. Directory). In Langbourne, Candlewick and Walbrook Wards.

Earliest recorded form of name: “Abbechurche lane,” 20 Ed. I. (Anc. Deeds, A. 1887).

Other forms: “Abcherchelane,” 1313 (Ct. H. W. I. 239). “Lane of St Mary de Abbechirche,” 1346-7 (ib. I. 492). “Abchurch lane,” 1557 (ib. II. 666).

The street was cut into two portions by the formation of King William Street, 1831, and a considerable number of houses in the centre of the street were demolished for this purpose.

Named after St. Mary Abchurch, situated on the western side of the lane.

Abchurch Yard

On the north-west side of Abchurch Lane at No. 17, south of St. Mary Abchurch, to Sherborne Lane, at No.14 (P.O. Directory). In Candlewick and Walbrook Wards. First mention: (P.C. 1732). In O. and M. 1677, the site is occupied by St Mary Abchurch Churchyard, hence the name.

Abergavenny House

See Stationers’ Hall and Pembrook’s Inn.


See Turnmill Brook.


See Addle Hill. Probably the “c” is a misreading for the” t” of the manuscripts.

Acorn Alley

, Court.-See Acorn Street.

Acorn Street

,-West out of Bishopsgate at No.128 (P.O. Directory). In Bishopsgate Ward Without.

First mention: (Lockie, 1816).

Former names: “Acorn Alley” (O. and M. 1677-Lockie, 1810). “Acorn Court” (Strype, 1720, I. ii. 108).

It seems to have been rebuilt since 1799 and widened. Elmes in 1831 also mentions “Acorn Court” at No.125, and so does Lond. Guide, 1758.

The street is much shorter now than as it is shown in O.S. 1880, in consequence of the Metropolitan Railway extensions, and there are only a few houses in it.

Dodsley says it was named after the” Acorn,” which stood on the site of the present King’s Arms Tavern, No.128, Bishopsgate, and see N. and Q. II S. III. p.3.

Adam and Eve Alley

See Adam and Eve Court, West Smithfield.

Adam and Eve Court

North out of Angel Alley, Bishopsgate Street Without, near Skinner Street (Lockie, 1810-Elmes, 1831).

Name derived from the sign, which was a favourite trade sign and the arms of the Fruiterers’ Company.

Site now covered by the Metropolitan and Great Eastern Railway lines, etc.

Adam and Eve Court

,-West out of Petticoat Lane in Portsoken Ward, in the parish of St. Botolph, Aldgate (P.C. 1732 -Boyle, 1799). Not named in the maps.

Adam and Eve Court

South-west out of Duke’s Place, through New Court to King Street. In Aldgate Ward (Lockie, 1810-Elmes, 1831).

Former name: “Adam’s Court” (Rocque, 1746 -Boyle, 1799).

Named after a sign, as in previous case. Removed for the formation of Mitre Street

Adam and Eve Court

North out of West Smithfield to the City boundary in Farringdon Ward Without (Horwood, 1799).

Former name: Adam and Eve Alley” (O. and M. 1677-Dodsley, 1761). The site is now occupied by Smithfield Meat Market.

Adam Court

, Old Broad Street.-See Adam’s Court.

Adam’s Court

East out of Foster Lane, in Aldersgate Ward (Strype, ed. 1720, I. iii. 120). No further reference, and not named in the maps.

Adam’s Court

South out of Dunnings Alley in Bishopsgate Ward Without (Strype 1720). Probably named after the builder or owner. The site is now occupied by the lines of the North London and Great Eastern Railway Companies.

Adam’s Court

, Duke’s Place. – Adam and Eve Court.

Adam’s Court

,-East out of Old Broad Street at No.11 (P.O. Directory). In Broad Street Ward.

First mention: “Adam Court” (O. and M. 1677).

Seems to occupy part of the site of the old inn or town house of the Abbots of St Albans (q.v.).

Adbryght Lane

” Tenement in parish of Aldermanbury being the 18th of twenty, counting from the Church of Aldermanburye to Adbryght Lane,” 36, H. VIII. (H. MSS. Com. 9th Rep. p.17).

In Cripplegate Ward Within. Perhaps identical with Addle Street, but possibly lying further north.


See Addle Street.

Addle Hill

South out of Carter Lane at No. 51 to Knightrider Street in Castle Baynard Ward (P.O. Directory).

First mention: 1649 (L. and P. Commonw. 1.523).

Former names: “Adling Hill,” 16oo, “Shoemakers’ Holiday,” printed there, 1648 {L.C.C. Deeds, Harben Bequest, 1600 -1700, No.132). “Adlestreete” (S. 365). ” Adlingstreat,” 1585-7, in parish of St. Andrew in “le Wardroppe ,’ (London, I. p.m. III.105). “Adlyns Street,” at the further end of the street called Knightrider Street, 12 Eliz. (ib. II.125).

The earlier forms are : ” Athelstrete,” 1392 (Cal. P.R. Ric. II. 1391-6, p. 185). Athelestrete,” 1334 (Ct. H.W. I. 399). ” Athelingestreet,” 1283-5 (MS. D. and C. St. Paul’s, Press A. Box 4, 109). ” Adhelingestrate,” in parochia sancti Benedicti a la Huthe, 1244 (MS. D. and C. St. Paul’s, Press A. Box 4, 688). ” Athelingestrete” in parochia sancti Andr. de Castro baynardi, 1272-80 (ib. Box 2, 313). ” Achelingestrete,” 1349 (Ct. H.W. I.606). “Achelingestrete,” 1285 (D. and C. St. Paul’s Lib. L. f. 93).

In former times the street extended south to Upper Thames Street, so that some portion of the eastern side lay in the parish of St. Benet, Paul’s Wharf. This southern end was demolished for the formation of Queen Victoria Street.

The earliest form of the name seems to be ” Adhelingestrate” or ” Athelingestrete,” and it can easily be seen from the foregoing examples that the present name is a corruption from the earlier forms.

The name may have been derived from the old English “ethel” = home, dwelling. from “etheling ” = noble, prince, or from the Saxon name “Athel,” which seems to be the more probable derivation.

Addle Street

West out of Aldermanbury to Wood Street at No.43 and to Silver Street (P.O. Directory). In Cripplegate Ward Within.

First mention : ” Addlestreete ” (S. ed. 1598, p.231). Earlier names and forms : ” Adelane ” or ” Adeistrete,” 1556 (Ct. H.W. II. 66o). ,”Addelane,” 33 Ed. I. (Anc. Deeds, A. 2451).

Described elsewhere in deeds relating to the same property as” The lane leading from Aldermanburi,” 31 Ed. III. (Anc. Deeds, A. 2457 and 2459).

“Adelane,” 4 Ed. III. (ib. 2452). “Adellane,” 34 Ed. III. (ib. 2455). “Athelane,” 1367 (Ct. H.W. II. 105). “Adlyngstrete,” 1400 (Cal. P.R. H. IV. 1399-1401, p.193).

It seems probable from the description of the property at the last-named reference, as situated “between the church of St. Mary at the end of Stanynglane end and Adlyngstrete,” that this latter street is to be identified with Addle Street.

Adlane,” alias ” Adellane,” 2 Eliz. (1560). (Lond. I. p.m. I.202). “Adlestreete,” 1611 (Ct. H.W. II.734). ” Adle Street,” Leake, 1666.

Stow says he does not know the origin of the name.

Inhabited by Joiners (Strype, ed. 1720, I. iii. 90).

In 1633 ed. of Stow’s Survey it is suggested that the name is derived from King Adelstane, who is said to have had a house with an entrance in Adel Street, and that in evidences the street is called ” King Adel Street.” There do not appear, however, to be any records giving this form of the name. The Saxon word” Atheling “means” noble,” the word” ethel “=home, dwelling, etc. The earlier forms set out above suggest the derivation from the personal names “Ade,” “Adel,” or ” Æthel,” ” Adda,” all of which occur in early records.

Adelaide Buildings

In Adelaide Place, London Bridge (P.O. Directory). A block of buildings adjoining London Bridge. Named after Adelaide Place.

Adelaide Place

South from King William Street at No.40 to London Bridge (P.O. Directory). In Bridge Ward Within. Erected about 1835 as part of the scheme for the formation of the approaches to the New London Bridge, opened in 1831. Named after Queen Adelaide, consort to William IV. The site is occupied in the maps of the 17th and 18th centuries by small courts and alleys, ” Churchyard Alley,” ” Red Cross Allev,” Graves’ Wharf,” ” Gulley Hole,” etc. Contains ” Adelaide Buildings,” the houses adjoining London Bridge.

Adelaide Place

See Silk Street, Cripplegate.

Adelane (Adel Lane)

See Addle Street.

Adelburga (St.)

See Ethelburga (St.).


See Addle Hill.

Adle Streete

See Addle Hill and Addle Street.

Adling Hill

See Addle Hill.


See Addle Hill.

Adlyngstrete, Adlyns Street

See Addle Street and Addle Hill.

Aernselde (or Berneselde)

A tenement so called in possession of William de Wynton in parish of St. Peter de Wodestrete in Westchepe, 1349 (Ct. H.W. I.555).

In 1380 it was in possession of Richard de Kyllyngworth (ib. II.216).

Not further identified. See article on ” Selds.”

Africa House

On the south side of Leadenhall Street, Nos. 44 to 46, east of Billiter Street. In Aldgate Ward.

First mention: ” African House” (O. and M. 1677). Part of the site was then occupied by Whitchurch House. Strype calls it” Royal African House” (ed. 1720 and 1755).

Originally the offices of the Royal African Company, a trading Company formally established by Act of Parliament, 23 George II. The Company seems to have been formed as early as 1588, and before coming to Leadenhall Street, they had their offices in Warnford Court, in Broad Street Ward (L. and P. Chas. II.1672, D.S. XII. p.87). The original Company got into debt and surrendered their Charter to the Crown, assigning their estates to a new company incorporated in 1672 as the Royal African Company. The house in Leadenhall Street was pulled down in the 18th century to enlarge the East India Warehouse in Billiter Lane and in 1766 the offices were in Cooper’s Court, Cornhill, being removed later to 3 Suffolk Lane, Cannon Street. The Charter was recalled in 1821 and the Company’s possessions on the west coast of Africa incorporated into the colony of Sierra Leone. Strype says that Sir Nicholas Throgmorton lodged in the house in Leadenhall Street before the Company went to it (Strype, ed. 1720, I. ii. 54). Now occupied as warehouses, etc.

African House

See Africa House.

Aggate, Aggat’s passage

See Borer’s Passage.

Agnes (St.)

In Aldersgate Ward. It seems at any rate in later times to have been identified with the church of St. Anne (q.v.) and to have been calied sometimes “St. Agnes,” sometimes ” St. Anne,” and sometimes ” St. Anne and St. Agnes.”

First mention: “St. Agnes de Aldredesgate,” 1 Rich. I. (H. MSS. Com. 9. Rep. p.2).

Other forms : ” St. Agnes,” 52 H. III. (Anc. Deeds, A. 1515). ” St. Agnes” by Aldrethes-gate,” 54 H. III. (ib. A. 1530). ” St. Agnes near Aldresgate,” 1281 (Ct. H.W. I.52). ” St. Agnes infra Aldresgate,” 1291 (Anc. Deeds, A. 9528 and 10,412). Latest mention: “St. Agnes within Aldrichesgate,” 6 Rich. II. (ib. B. 2007). Patrons:

Dean of St. Martin le Grand, 31 Ed. I. (Lib. Cust. I.235). See St. Anne and St. Agnes.

Alam (Alarm) Yard, Crutched Friars

See Allum Yard.


Source: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/dictionary-of-london

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