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Fulwoods rents, a passage between Holborn and Grays inn

I received an request for information about a Sun [Sunn] named in 1692 in the will of James Duppa, in Fullers rents :

"Doe devise the same and also the Messuage Tenement on Tavern & wherein I now dwell called or known by the name or sign of the Sunn and situate att ffullers Rentsend in Holborne with all the edifices buildings and hereunto appurtenances belonging unto my said Dear Wife Sarah Duppa for the terme of her naturall life."

"And whereas I pay thirty pounds & Inn for the rent of the said Tavern unto Mrs Dorothy Booth during her life I doe hereby direct and appoint my said wife to pay the same during the joint lives of her and the said Mrs Booth. And in case my said wife shall happen to survive the said Mrs Booth then I doe hereby charge the same Tavern & with the payment of the like sum of thirty pounds per Ann Quarterly by equall portions unto my eldest sonn John Duppa hereafter named towards the mainteynance and education of my three younger children, viz Sarah, Thomas and Elizabeth and the survivors and survivor of them in equal portions during the life of my said wife."

When James Duppa’s daughter Elizabeth was married (July 1704, Charterhouse Chapel, Finsbury) her dowry included the two houses in Bedford Row and a Tavern in Holborn referred to as The Griffin. This could have been The Golden Griffin which had access to Fuller’s Rents or was there another Griffin in the area.

Richard Noyes’ will of 1721 states that he was the husband of Elizabeth Duppa, James Duppa’s daughter. In the will he leaves her the dowry he received on their marriage and mentions the Griffin by name.

Strypes survey describes the Golden Griffin as being on the west side of Fulwoods rents - see below.

Early detail come from 'Old London taverns' by Callow, who probably repeats large parts of Strypes survey of London in 1720. Here is the entirety of one of my pages on the Squires coffee house ; and large tracts copied into this page:

Fullers Rents, Holborn & Grays Inn in 1746

Fullers Rents, Holborn & Grays Inn in 1746

The N is the last letter of Holbourn, and Chancery lane is the larger road opposite on the south side, the other being Southampton buildings.

In Fulwood's (vulgo Fuller's) Rents, in Holborn, nearly opposite Chancery-lane, in the reign of James I., lived Christopher Fulwood.

 Strype describes the Rents, or court, as running up to Gray's-Inn, " into which it has an entrance through the gate ; a place of good resort, and taken up by coffee-houses, ale-houses, and houses of entertainment, by reason of its vicinity to Gray's-Inn. On the east side is a handsome open place, with a handsome freestone pavement, and better built, and inhabited by private house-keepers. At the upper end of this court is a passage into the Castle Tavern, a house of considerable trade, as is the Golden Griffin Tavern, on the West side."

Here was John's, one of the earliest Coffee-houses ; and adjoining Gray's-Inn gate is a deep-coloured red-brick house, once Squire's Coffee-house, kept by Squire, "a noted man in Fuller's Rents," who died in 1717.

We may here describe another of its attractions, the Tavern and punch-house, within one door of Grays Inn, apparently the King's Head. From some time before 1699, until his death in 1731, Ward kept this house, which he thus commemorates, or, in another word, puffs, in his London Spy : being a vintner himself, we may rest assured that he would have penned this in praise of no other than himself:


In 1810, John Lockes descriptive guide of London refers to "Gray's Inn Gardens, on the W. side of part of Gray's inn lane, extending N. to the King's road, the principal entrance is at the N. end of Fullwood's rents, from 31, Holborn."

This is where it gets interesting, as both Old Holborn and Grays Inn are fairly busy thoroughfares in their own rights. This Fulwood or Fullwoods rents links the two with up to about 25 premises along the [narrow] passage.

Prior to this piece of  research I had recorded just one public house in Fulwoods rents, named the Blue Posts. It is listed in the 1841 census of Holborn, and closes soon after; and is listed as number 4 Fulwoods rents in  various trade directories of the time. There is also a beer house at number 1 Fulwoods rents, and although un-named, it is also listed in the 1841 census, and directories.

The St Andrews Holborn 1841 census appears to cover the entirety of the Fulwoods rents. The enumerator of the census also appears to start from Old Holborn end, before entering Fulwoods rents.

My take on this is that 33 Old Holborn is at the corner of Fulwoods rents, i.e. the Six Cans, when in the 1788 fire insurance record: Six Canns, corner of Fulwoods Rents. The numbering then leads up the left hand side and back down the right, making the low and high numbers near the Holborn end.

Actually, the 1799 map actually shows the numbering, with 1-13 on the left and 14-25 on the right, exactly as described!

I have so far located other pubs, i.e. the Lamb is at 17 Fulwoods rents, and the Welch Harp (sometimes just called the Harp), is at 20 Fulwoods rents, the latter is listed in the 1832 street directory of Fulwoods rents; and around 1789 there is also a Swan, Fulwoods Rents.

#Modern detail:

Fulwood place is noted on the 1940 map, and equates to this passage. The numbering is now entirely different, as are the buildings.


#Tradesmens tokens in London between the years 1648 and 1672  - In the British Museum lists many of these taverns. Examples are:


966 At the Sun Tavern. The Sun - reverse in Hye Holborn. In the field A.B.C

938. THO. PIGETT AT YE . A griffin rampant. R. TAVERN IN HIGH HOLBVRN. In the field, HIS HALFE PENY.

976. THE GOLDEN GRIFFIN. A griffin. R. TAVERN IN HOLBORNE. In the field, T. S. P.

And Last updated on: Monday, 13-Jun-2022 15:00:52 BST