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Story Of London

The City Wards in 1731: IX


Our next instalment from the Gonzales guide to London in the early part of the 18th century explores the three small wards of Bread Street, Queenhithe and Baynard’s Castle. Bread Street Ward lies immediately south of the western end of Cheapside and includes the birth place of Milton. Queenhithe Ward is named after the major port which was first established by Eleanor of Aquitane. Baynard’s Castle Ward is named from the Norman castle in which Edward IV was proclaimed king and the crown was offered to Richard of Gloucester.

Baynard's Castle from a 1775 print. © Bill McCannBaynard’s Castle from print of 177522. Bread Street Ward contains Bread Street, Friday Street, Distaff Lane, Basing Lane, part of the Old Change, part of Watling Street, part of Old Fish Street, and Trinity Lane, and part of Cheapside.The only public buildings in this ward are the churches of Allhallows, Bread Street, and St. Mildred, Bread Street.23. Queenhithe Ward includes part of Thames Street, Queenhithe, with the several lanes running southward to the Thames, Lambeth Hill, Fish Street Hill, Five Foot Lane, Little Trinity Lane, Bread Street Hill, Huggin Lane, with the south side of Great Trinity Lane, and part of Old Fish Streets.Queenhithe lies to the westward of the Three Cranes, and is a harbour for barges, lighters, and other vessels, that bring meal, malt, and other provisions down the Thames; being a square inlet, with wharves on three sides of it, where the greatest market in England for meal, malt, &c., is held every day in the week, but chiefly on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. It received the name of Queenhithe, or harbour, from the duties anciently paid here to the Queens of England.24. Baynard’s Castle Ward contains Peter’s Hill, Bennet’s Hill, part of Thames Street, Paul’s Wharf, Puddle Dock, Addle Hill, Knightrider Street, Carter Lane, Wardrobe Court, Paul’s Chain, part of St. Paul’s Churchyard, Dean’s Court, part of Creed Lane, and part of Warwick Lane.Herald's College before it was truncated by Queen Victoria Street. © Bill McCannHerald’s College before it was truncated by Queen Victoria Street.The public buildings in this ward are Doctors’ Commons, the Heralds’ Office, the churches of St. Bennet, Paul’s Wharf, St. Andrew, Wardrobe, and St. Mary Magdalen, Old Fish Street.Doctors’ Commons, so called from the doctors of the civil law commoning together here as in a college, is situated on the west side of Bennet’s Hill, and consists chiefly of one handsome square court. And here are held the Court of Admiralty, Court of Arches, and the Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Near the Commons are the Prerogative Office and Faculty Office.The Heralds’ College or office is situated on the east side of Bennet’s Hill, almost against Doctors’ Commons. It is a spacious building, with a square court in the middle of it, on the north side whereof is the Court-room, where the Earl Marshal sits to hear causes lying in the court of honour concerning arms, achievements, titles of honour, etc.