Abchurch Lane, EC4

The following entry appeared in the Victorian publication London, Past and Present  by Henry Benjamin Wheatley (1838-1917)

Publication date: 1891
Publisher London : John Murray, Albemarle Street

Abchurch Lane connecting LOMBARD STREET with CANNON STREET, was so named from the parish of St. Mary Abchurch, or Upchurch, as Stow says he had seen it written. Mr. John Moore, “author of the celebrated worm-powder” (d. 1737), lived in this lane.

Oh learned friend of Abchurch Lane,
Who sett’st our entrails free !
Vain is thy art, thy powder vain,
Since worms shall eat e’en thee. – POPE.

In the open square called Abchurch Yard, at the junction of Sherborne Lane, is the church of St. Mary Abchurch, designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1686.

Here, in the house of Thomas Shepherd, ” a merchant upon Change,” in the reign of Charles II., William Lord Russell, Algernon Sidney, the Duke of Monmouth, and others opposed to the party of the Duke of York, were accustomed to meet. The Mother Wells, whose cakes or “pasties” are celebrated in Webster’s Northward Ho (1607) and Haughton’s Englishman for my Money (1616, acted 1598), had her establishment in this lane. Burn describes a token of John Lucas at the White Bear “in Abchurch Lane, 1665, his half-peny.” The White Bear was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. Five and twenty years later Abchurch Lane could boast of a still more celebrated tavern and eating-house.

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