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The London Wards - Broad street in 1756

Broad street and Cornhill Wards  in 1756 neatly engraved from a New Survey

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Index of London wards in 1756 by William Maitland

CHAP. XIII.
Of BROAD STREET WARD.

With a Plan, neatly engraved from a New Survey.

Broad street ward in 1756


The Derivation of its Name. Bounds and Contents. present State. Aldermen and Common Council. Winchester Place. St. Augustin's Priory. The Dutch Church. The French Church. Scalding house. Carpenters, Drapers, Merchant Taylors, and Pinners Halls. The Bank of England, and Directors. The South Sea house, Company and Directors. The Pay Office. Gresham Almshouse, and the Ward School.

This Ward derives its Name from that Part of it called Broad street, which lies almost in the Centre thereof, and in ancient Times was peculiarly distinguished from the rest of the Streets in this Metropolis by the Name of Broad, there being few before the Fire of London of such a Breadth within the Walls.

It is bounded by Bishopsgate Ward on the East and North, on the West by Coleman street Ward ; and on the South by Cornhill Ward; and extends from the East Corner of Helmet court, in Wormwood street, Westward, on both Sides of the Way, to the Iron Grate over the Common Sewer near to the Back Gate of New Bethlem Hospital, and its Extent from North to South, from the East Corner oftner Allhallows Church yard in Wormwood street, where new Broad street begins, some what South, to the Parish Church of St. Peter the Poor, on both Sides. And then by the South Gate of the Augustine Friers, West, down Throgmorton street, by the Drapers hall, into Lothbury, to another Grate of Iron over the Channel there, whereby the Water runneth into the Course of Walbrook, under the East End of St. Margaret's Church. Certain Posts of Timber are there set up, which is the farthest West Part of this Ward, in the said Street. Out of which Street, it runs up Bartholomew lane, South, to the North Side of the Exchange: Then, more East, out of the former Street, from over against the Friers Augustines Church South Gate, it runs up Pig street, which is another Part of Broad street, South, to a Pump over against St. Bennet's Church.
Then have ye one other Street, called Three or Theadneedle street, beginning at the Well with two Buckets, now a close Pump, by St. Martin's Outwich Church wall. This Street runneth down on both Sides to Finch or Finke's lane, and half Way up that Lane, to a Gate of a large house on the West Side, but not so far on the East. Then the aforesaid Street, from this Finke's lane, runneth down by the Royal Exchange, to the Stocks, and to a Place formerly called Scalding house, or Scalding wick, but now Scalding alley ; by the West Side whereof, under the Parish Church of St. Mildred, runneth the Course of Walbrook : And these are the Bounds of this Ward.

The Streets, Lanes, Courts, Alleys, and Places now contained in this Ward, are,
Threadneedle street, on both Sides of the Way, from the North West Corner of Cornhill, near St. Christopher's Church, to St. Martins Outwich Church at the Corner of Bishopsgate street ; Bartholomew lane, Prince's street, almost as far as Catharine court ; the North End, next to Lothbury, being in Coleman street Ward, Lothbury, on both Sides, from the Grate by St. Margaret's Church to Bartholomew lane End. Throgmorton street, on both Sides, unto Broad street.
Broad street, on both Sides, from St. Bennet fink Church to London wall. Winchester street, Augustine fryars, Wormwood street, as far as Helmet court in the East ; London wall street, from a little Eastwards of Cross keys court, or Helmet court, unto the Beginning of Wormwood street, by Broad street End.

In the Streets and Lanes are several Courts and Places, in the Description of which we shall begin with London wall street, and so come Southward :

London wall street, so called, from having the City Wall running along the North Side. It is a Street of old Buildings, and they, for the most Part, but ordinary, and inhabited by Curriers, Innholders, Chandlers, &c.
This Street, extending beyond this Ward, is very long, taking its Beginning from Cripplegate : The Alleys, Courts, &c. beginning West, are these, Little Bell alley, or Back alley, narrow, seated on the Back side of Coleman street : This Alley is very long and well built, but the Part in this Ward begins on the East Side, over against Swan alley; and from thence falls down into Thompson's rents, which is very narrow, dark, and an ill Passage, to London wall; Three pigeon alley, very ordinary, White horse Inn, a Place for Stabling, all these three fall into Bell alley. Ball alley, very ordinary. The Boarded entry, but indifferent. Three tun alley, large, and indifferently built and inhabited. Maidenhead court, somewhat long, but narrow, except at the upper End, which is wider and better built, with a Free stone Pavement.
Wrestler's court, very long, with only houses on the West Side, the East being the Back side of Carpenter's hall. White hart Inn, indifferent large, chiefly for Coaches, and Stabling for Livery Horses.
This Street, to Broad street, is called Allhallows in the Wall, from the Church of that Name there seated, very dirty and of no Trade.
Here on the South is Winchester street, the Great and the Little.
Great Winchester street comes out of Broad street on the East, and after some Space, turning Northwards, falls into London wall street : It is an open broad Street, graced with good and some capital Buildings, which are well inhabited by Merchants and Persons of Repute : Where it looks Northward, it is called Little Winchester street, and leadeth to London wall, where Little Moorgate, or postern, formerly flood, and opened into the South East Corner of Moorfields.
This Little Winchester street is not so broad, nor so well inhabited, as the Great. Out of Great Winchester street on the South is a Passage paved with Free stone, but very narrow, and leads into St. Augustine fryars. Along from Allhallows Church Wall is Wormwood street, of small Account for houses, or Inhabitants. In this Street are Alms houses for twelve poor Women, erected by Mr. Kemp, each having 12 d. a Week in Money, besides some other Perequisites : And in this Street also are these Places ; Hand alley, but small ; Queen's head alley, very ordinary, both as to its houses and Inhabitants ; this Alley with a turning Passage falls into a broad or open Place, out of which is a Passage into Bishopsgate street ; Helmet court, but indifferent, which ascending up Steps comes into Sutton court, which hath a Passage into Bishopsgate street ; it is a pretty handsome new built Court, with a Free stone Pavement, and well inhabited, but this Court is in Bishopsgate Ward ; betwixt Helmet court and Queen's head alley is Cock yard, a Place of ordinary Account.

Now going back again, we turn South into Broad street, very spacious, graced with good street Buildings, which are well inhabited ; which said Street from London wall runs Southwards, till, bending West, it falls into Throgmorton street, and more South into Pig street, or Little Broad street, and thence into Threadneedle street. In this Broad street are these Alleys, Courts, and Places of Name, beginning next to London wall; first White horse court, large, well built and inhabited, nigh unto which is White horse yard, only for Stablings, Vine court, well built ; Bull alley, but narrow and ordinary.

At the South West Corner of Great Winchester street, already mentioned, is Pin maker's alley, a pretty handsome Place, with a Free stone Pavement ; Crown court, still more South, a handsome broad Place, with good houses, well inhabited by Merchants and others.
On the East Side of this Street, hereabout, is the back Part of Gresham College, which has some Part in this Ward, but is most of it in Bishopsgate Ward, as already described. Here stand Gresham's Alms houses, and near unto them is a Yard for Livery Horses ; adjoining to which is Sun yard, a Livery Stable, having some houses in it, and is a Thoroughfare into Bishopsgate street. Next to this is the South Sea house, spoken of before in Bishopsgate Ward.

Opposite to this Office is the Parish Church of St. Peter's Poor, with a Dial hanging over the Street. A little beyond the Church is a Place called Augustines friars, now built into several large houses, inhabited chiefly by Merchants.
Over against Augustine fryars Gateway, is Little Broad street, or Pig street, much narrower than the other, wherein are these Places ; Adam's court, pretty large, well built and inhabited, Cushion court, pretty handsome, but small, containing only two good houses, Britain's yard, but small, having but one house ; French court, indifferent well inhabited, with a Free stone Pavement.

Throgmorton street begins at the Austin fryars, and runs West to Lothbury ; it is very well built and inhabited ; the chief Place here is the house and Gardens belonging to the Drapers Company. In this Street are these Courts, and Places of Name, viz. Red lion court, both small and ordinary, New court, a pretty handsome square Place with good houses ; Shorter's court, a very neat square Place, with an open Passage, the houses well built and inhabited ; St. Bartholomew 's court, but mean ; Angel court, very large and handsome, with good Buildings, the Habitation of Merchants and People of Repute, Copt hall court, a large and handsome open Place, with houses fit for good Inhabitants ; Warnford court, a good large Place, very well built and inhabited.
Next Throgmorton street, West, is Lothbury, a well built Street of pretty good Trade, formerly for Founders, who made Candlesticks, Bells, and divers Utensils of Brass and Copper, but at present for divers other Trades, and Merchandize. The Part of this Street, which is in this Ward, goeth but to the East Corner of St. Margaret's Lothbury.
The Courts in this Part are, Green's court, but ordinary, Prince's court, likewise but ordinary ; Falcon court, but small, with a Free stone Pavement, Token house yard, a large Place, with well built houses, fit for good Inhabitants ; the Row on the East Side, have Court Yards, with Brick Walls before them ; at the Upper End of this Yard is a narrow Passage into Bell alley in Coleman street Ward ; this Place took its Name from an old house there standing, which anciently was the Office for delivering out of Farthings, which were called Tokens ; Whalebone court, large, with a Free stone Pavement, hath good houses, pretty well tenanted.

Coming back we pass up Bartholomew lane, which runs up to the North Side of the Royal Exchange ; a Place well built and inhabited, and of a good Trade for several Callings, being a great Thoroughfare, to and from the Exchange, to the North Parts of the City : In this Lane are Black Swan yard, formerly called Ship yard, which hath a wide Entrance ; it is replenished with good Buildings, spacious, well inhabited, and it hath a Free stone Pavement. Facing it is the Back Gate of the Bank of England.

Bartholomew lane brings us into Threadneedle street ; which takes its Beginning on the West, at the Corner of St. Mildred's in the Poultry, and passing by St. Bartholomew lane, and leaving Little Broad street on the North Side, and Finch lane on the South, falleth into Bishopsgate street, at the East End : In this Street are several good Buildings, well inhabited, with divers noted Places, with Taverns, Coffee houses, and other publick Places of Entertainment. Near the West End of this Street is Prince's street, which, with a winding Passage, falls into Lothbury ; and is very well built and inhabited ; in the Part in this Ward is Draper' s court, which is pretty handsome, with a Free stone Pavement, and turns by a Triangle into Lothbury. Catharine court, which is but small and ordinary.
But to go back again into Tbreadneedle street; near the End of Prince's street is Three nun court, pretty large, and indifferent good, with a Free stone Pavement.
At the East End of this St. Christopher's Church is a narrow Alley, which bears the Name of St. Christopher's alley : At the upper End whereof, going down Steps, is a handsome open Court, with good houses, having also the same Name.

More Eastward is Castle alley on the South Side, which falls into Cornhill, filled with Eating houses, Stationers, and Offices depending on the Change, further to the East, are Sweeting' s rents and alley, both narrow Places, with Freestone Pavements ; which also give Passages into Cornhill, being Places taken up by Coffee houses, Eating houses, and Shops of divers Sorts, as Watchmakers, Stationers, &c.
Still further East, on the same Side, is Finch, or Fink lane, which falls into Cornhill ; and is a Place of good Trade. On the West Side is Spreadeagle court, but ordinary, which with a turning Passage falls into Threadneedle street, against Pig street.
Hatton court, a handsome square Place, well built and inhabited ; Crown court, small, and but indifferent.
There are to watch at the several Stands in this Ward, every Night, a Conftable, the Beadle, and thirty Watchmen.

The Jurymen returned by the Wardmote Inquest for this Ward, are to serve in the several Courts in Guild hall in the Month of August.
This Ward hath an Alderman, with his Deputy, and nine other Common Councilmen, ten Constables, eight Scavengers, thirteen Men for the Wardmote Inquest, and a Beadle. It is taxed to the Fifteenth in London at 27 l. and accounted in the Exchequer after the Rate of 25 l.

The Alderman of this Ward is Thomas Rawlinson, Esq , late Lord Mayor of London ; Mr. John Clark, Deputy, Mr. John Cotterel, Mr. John Ellis, Mr. Thomas Warren, Mr. Samuel Guillum, Mr. Timothy Helmsley, Mr. Henry Kent, Mr. John Weare, Mr. Francis Magnus, and Mr. Samuel Dolby, are the Common Councilmen.

On the Spot where Great and Little Winchester streets now stand was a large house (Part of which is the present Pay Office;) and Garden, divided from Carpenters hall on the West by a high Stone Wall ; the Property of and built by Sir William Pawlet, Knight, created Earl of Wilts, and Marquis of Winchester, Lord High Treasurer of England under K. Edw. VI.

Through this Garden was a Foot way, leading by the West End of the Augustine fryars Church, strait North, and opened somewhat West from Allhallows Church, against London wall, towards Moorgate ; which Footway had Gates at each End, locked up every Night : The great house joining to the Gardens stretched to the North Corner of Broad street, and then turned up the said Street to the East End of Augustine fryars Church, which the Lord Winchester pulled down, except the West End thereof, inclosed from the Steeple and Choir, which was in the Year 1550 let to the Dutch Nation in London, to be their Preaching Place.

On that Spot of Ground still retaining the Name, stood a Convent of Augustine fryars, called properly Fryars Eremites of the Order of St. Augustine. They were Mendicants. The house was a Priory, founded A. D. 1253, by Humfrey Bohun, Earl of Hereford and Essex, and at its Dissolution, 26 Hen. VIII. a great Part of it was granted to William Pawlet, Lord St. John, afterwards Marquis of Winchester.

The most remarkable Things in this Ward at present are,

First, Six. Churches. (1.) Allhallows in the Wall. (2.) St. Peter's le Poor. (3.) St. Martin's Otes wich or Outwich. (4.) St. Benedict, alias Bennet Finck or Finch. (5.) St. Bartholomew Exchange, or Little. (6.) St. Christopher's. Of which more particularly in the parochial History.

Secondly, Four Halls. (1.) Carpenters Hall situate almost facing the East End of Bethlehem, on the South Side of London wall street, in a Court or Yard called Carpenters Hall yard, to which we enter through a large Pair of Gates. The Buildings in this Yard, and the Hall itself, are ancient Timber and Plaster, in the Manner of the like Sort that escaped the Fire of London. This Hall was formerly bounded on the East by a high Stone Wall belonging to the Garden of the Marquis of Winchester, and on the South it is now joined by Drapers Gardens. This Hall, though very old, and chiefly Timber, is not without its peculiar Ornaments.

(2.) Drapers Hall, situate on the South Side of Throgmorton street, in the Parish of St. Peter le Poor, is built upon the Ruins of a noble Palace erected on that Spot in the Reign of King Henry VIII. by Thomas Lord Cromwell, Earl of Essex, which upon his Attainder and Execution for High Treason devolving to the Crown, was purchased by the Company of Drapers for the Uses to which it is now applied. It was burnt down in the Fire of London 1666, and since magnificently rebuilt partly by Subfcription ; towards which, one Member, then in the East India Service, gave 6000 l. if we are rightly informed.
It is a very spacious noble Building, containing the four Sides of a Quadrangle, each Side elevated on Columns, and adorned with Arches, by which there are constituted Piazzas, and between each Arch is a Shield, Mantling, and other Fret Work. To this Hall belongs a large and pleasant Garden, with Walks, much frequented by genteel Citizens at convenient Hours. The Room called the Hall is adorned within with a stately Screen, Enrichment and fine Wainscot, the
Pictures of King William III. King George I. King George II. at full Length , and a three Quarter Length, an ancient Picture, of Henry Fitz Alwins, a Draper, and first Lord Mayor of London : And there are several large Rooms wainscotted with Oak ; such as the Court Room, so called, at the West End of which hangs an original Picture of the unfortunate Mary Queen of Scots, at full Length, with King James her Infant Son in her Hand ; supposed to be a Picture of great Value.
This leads into a long Gallery at the South End whereof is a Door into the Apartments for the Clerk and Offices : At the North End, a folding door opens into a grand square Room, called the Ladies Chamber, where the Company used, a few Years ago, to entertain their Wives and Friends with a Ball at certain Seasons, especially on the Day of declaring the Election of their Master and Wardens. In the Center of this Chamber hangs a large and beautiful Crystal cut Chandelier, a present from the late Sir Jofeph Eyles, when he served the Office of Sheriff. And over the Chimney piece is a fine Picture of Sir Robert Clayton, Lord Mayor of London in 167— . Out of the West Side of this Room, a Passage leads to a Place called the Record Room ; the Door to which is of Iron. It is very strongly built over the Passage that leads into the Garden, and covered with a Cittern, containing such a Body of Water, as at any Time to be ready and sufficient to defend this Apartment from Fire that might spread from the adjacent Buildings.

(3.) Merchant Taylors Hall, situate near the South East Corner of Threadneedle street, and in the Parish of St. Martin Outwich, is built upon the Site of an ancient house possessed by one Edmund Crepin, or Dominus Crepin, who in the Year 1331 sold it to John of Takesley, the King's Pavillion maker, for the Use of the Linnen Armourers, or Taylors, of the Guild and Fraternity of St. John Baptist, who at that Time met at a house or Hall on the Back side of the Red Lion in Basing lane.
This Merchant Taylors Hall is a spacious Building, having at the Entrance, in the Front, a handsome large Door Cafe, adorned with two Demy Columns, their Entablature and Pediment of the Composite Order ; and the Inside is adorned with Hangings, which contain the History of their Patron St. John Baptist ; and which, though old, are very curious and valuable.

(4.) Pinners or Pinmakers Hall, situate at the S. E. Corner of Great Winchester street. It is most noted for being let out for a Meeting of Independents, whose Lectures are preached here with great Applause.

Thirdly, Publick Offices. (1. The Bank of England, which is situate close to the East End of St. Christopber's Church, on the Site of the late house and Garden of Sir John Houblon, and some other Tenements, to make its Way backward into Bartholomew lane. It stands in too narrow a Place, near to the confined West Extremity of Threadneedle street, but it is a most magnificent Structure; the Front next the Street is about eighty Feet in Length, adorned with Columns, Entablature, &c. of the Ionick Order. There is a handsome Court yard between this and the main Building, which, like the other, is of Stone, and adorned with Pillars, Pilasters, Entablature, and triangular Pediment of the Corinthian Order.
The Hall is 79 Feet in Length, and 40 in Breadth, is wainscotted about eight Feet high, has a fine Fret work Ceiling, and a large Venetian Window at the West End of it. Beyond this is another Quadrangle, with an Arcade on the East and West Sides of it ; and on the North is the Accomptant's Office, which is 60 Feet long, and 28 Feet broad. There are handsome Apartments over this and the other Sides of the Quadrangle, with a fine Stair cafe adorned with Fret work, and under it are large Vaults, that have very strong Walls and Iron Gates for the Preservation of the Cash.
The back Entrance from Bartholomew Lane is by a grand Gateway, which opens into a commodious and spacious Court yard for Coaches or Waggons that come frequently loaded with Gold and Silver Bullion.
The Bank was established by Act of Parliament, Anno 1693, 5 and 6 William and Mary, Chap. 20. for a Loan of 1,200,000 l. subscribed and paid in to the Government at several Times ; which Act laid an additional Duty on Tonnage, Excise, &c. which it was proposed would bring into the Exchequer 140,000 l. per Ann. of which 100,000 l. was secured to the Bank, as Interest, for the said 1,200,000l. viz. 96,000 l. Interest, at eight per Cent, per Ann. and the 4000 l. for Salaries and Incidents ; upon which Bafis the Governor and Company of the Bank of England were incorporated, with a Power to make By Laws, and act in all other Respects as a legal Corporation for thirteen Years.
By their Charter they were constituted a Governor, Deputy Governor, and twenty four Directors, thirteen of whom, whereof the Governor, or Deputy Governor, to be one, made a Court ; who were invested with the Power of Management, except at General Courts of all the Members, which were to be held four Times a Year, or oftner, if demanded by nine Members, who had then each 500 l. Stock. And the Sum of 4000 l. in Capital Stock qualified a Member for Governor ; 3000 l. for Deputy Governor, and 2000 l. for Director : And the Appointment of Officers, and their Salaries, was by the Majority of such Members as had in this Stock 500 l. and the Choice to be annually.

Upon this Foot the Bank continued till the Year 1696, when, by reason of the ill State of the Coin, the selfish Practices of some Persons, &c. the Credit both of the Exchequer and Bank were low, greater Demands being made upon the latter than they were able to answer , and the Tallies going at 50, or upwards, per Cent. Discount, an Act was made Anno 1696, 8 and 9 Will. III. Chap. 20. for restoring Credit to both, whereby any Person might make new Subscriptions to the Bank, which was obliged to take them four Fifths in Tallies (upon a Par) and one Fifth in Bank Notes, by which Means the Capital Stock of the Bank was enlarged, the Demand on their Notes lessened, their Credit revived, and the Discount on Tallies reduced much lower, the Government allowing eight per Cent, for all subscribed as abovesaid, until the Funds might come in, which would pay off in Course such Tallies, and the Bank was to make a Dividend of the Principal to the Members, as those Tallies were from Time to Time paid off.
2 The South Sea house, which is situate at the N. E. Extremity of Threadneedle street, and Part in Bishopsgate Ward, faces the Parish Church of St. Martin Outwich forward, and the Parish Church of St. Peter le Poor in Broad street with its back Front, which was once the only Office of this Company ; and, before its Institution, this Part was the Excise Office. As to the new Building, it is a most magnificent Structure of Brick and Stone, about a Quadrangle, supported by Stone Pillars of the Tuscan Order, which form a fine Piazza. There is a beautiful Front of the Dorick Order in Threadneedle street. The Walls are of a very great Thickness, and there are Vaults underneath the house, arched over, to preserve their Treasure and rich Merchandize from Fire. The several Offices for the Business of the Company are admirably well disposed ; and the great Hall for Sales, the Dining Room, Galleries, and Chambers, are hardly to be paralleled.
The Transactions of the South Sea Company having made so much Noise in the World, and the Consequences of them having been so fatal to a great Number of People, of which many yet feel the unhappy Effects, a distinct Account of its Foundation, &c. cannot be thought improper in such a Collection as this :

(3.) The chief Penny Post Office, situate at the North Side of St. Christopher's Church yard, Threadneedle street, is a Place of Eminence on Account of its extensive Communication with all Parts of the City, and ten Miles round ; but has no Appearance of a publick Building, being only a private Dwelling house hired for that Purpose.

(4.) The Pay Office, situate on the West Side near to the Corner of Great Winchester street, in Broad street, is a large house, and the only Remains of Winchester Place. Here are made all Payments for the Service of the royal Navy. The present Treasurer of the Navy, who is always at the Head of this Office, with a Salary of 2000 l. per Annum, is the Right Honourable George Grenville, Esq; The Paymaster is James Wallace, Esq ; 500 l. and the Cashier and Accomptant is Richard Berenger, Esq; 400 l.
Fifthly, An Alms house in Broad street, at the Back part of Gresham College, founded by Sir Thomas Gresham, Knt. for eight decayed Citizens, who are paid 61. 13 s. 4 d. per Annum each, quarterly, out of the Chamber of London; and have also once a Year a Load of Coals, and a Gown once in two Years.

We conclude the Account of this Ward with Mention of the Free School belonging to it for the Education of 50 Boys and 30 Girls. It is Free, taught in an old house facing the Back gate of Bethlehem Hospital in London wall Parish and Street, and supported by private Subscription.

And Last updated on: Sunday, 25-Oct-2020 15:27:24 GMT