Portsoken Ward. Bounds and Limits. 28

Portsoken Ward. Bounds and Limits.

Hog Lane, is near unto Whitechapel Bars, and runs Northwards towards St. Mary Spittle. In ancient Times on both Sides of this Lane were Hedge Rows and Elm trees, with pleasant Fields to walk in.

Insomuch that some Gentlemen of the Court and City built their Houses here for Air. Here was an House on the West Side, a good way in the Lane, which, when I was a Boy, was commonly called the Spanish Ambassadors House, who in King James I.'s Reign dwelt here: And he (I think) was the famous Count Gondamer. And a little way off this, on the East Side of the Way, down a paved Alley, (now called Strype's Court from my Father who inhabited here) was a fair large House with a good Garden before it, built and inhabited by Hans Jacobson, a Dutchman, the said King James's Jeweller, wherein I was born. But after, French Protestants, that in the said King's Reign, and before, fled their Country for their Religion, many planted themsleves here, viz. in that Part of the Lane nearest Spittle-Fields, to follow their Trades, being generally Broad Weavers of Silk, it soon became a contiguous Row of Buildings on both Sides of the Way.]

J. S.

So that of later Years all is converted into Buildings, even all the Spittle Fields, wherein are several Streets, with Courts and Alleys, replenished with Inhabitants, especially Silk Throwsters and Weavers, and Dependents on them; of which many are Wallons, and Refugee French. This Lane hath the West Side in this Ward, the East being part in the Parish of Whitechapel, and part in the large Parish of Stepney. In this Petticoat Lane are divers Courts and Alleys, most of which on the West Side, which are in this Ward, have their Passages into, or out of Gravel Lane, where they have been treated of. But these that have not, are five; Inkhorn Court, a pretty open Place, with indifferent Inhabitants. Near unto this Court is White Hart Court, which is but indifferent. Bates Yard very mean. And Red Cross Court, which hath a Passage into Whitchapel Street, where it is treated of. This Part of the Lane coming out at the Bars is not over well inhabited; and those of most account are Horners, who prepare Horns for other petty Manufactures; as for those that make Lanthorns, Inkhorns, Giggs, Spoons, small Dishes, and other things of Horn.

R. B.

Inkhorn Court.

White Hart Court.

Bates Yard.

Red Cross Court.


The Minories, of which there is the Great and the Little; the Great is a broad and spacious Street, into which you enter out of Aldgate Street over against St. Botolphs Church, and runneth Southward into Little Tower Hill; having on the West Side London Wall, where anciently the City Ditch went, as in Houndsditch, and used for the casting of Filth thereon; and so lay open: Which being found incovenient, noisome, and dangerous, it was filled up, and the Ground converted to other Uses; there being now a Row of Buildings next the Wall, and made use of for Stablings and Coach Houses, with Rooms over them: And in short being on either Side, being on the Back of the Minories, it is become a fair Street, and bears the Name of Vine Yard; and hath a broad Passage into it out of the Minories called Vine Street, which hath good Buildings pretty well inhabited; as is the Minories: Which is of chief note for the Gunsmiths there inhabiting, and driving a considerable Trade.


Vine Yard.

Vine Street.


The Little Minories are the Buildings erected upon the Site of the Abby of Nuns, called Minorites, containing two or three Courts, all pretty well inhabited: And here also is the Trinity Minories Church, which pretends to Privileges, as marrying without Licence: Out of this Place is a Passage into Heydon Yard.

Little Minories.

Near unto this Nunnery, or Little Minories, was a large Field, which belonged unto it, called by the Name of Goodmans Fields, (the Reason whereof was shewn before) which name it yet retaineth, although the Field is now converted into fair Streets, with very good brick Houses well inhabited by several Merchants, and Persons of Repute; but the said Goodmans Fields, not being in this Ward, belongs not to our present Cognizance. To return therefore to this Street called the Minories: Therein are several Courts or Alleys; beginning towards Aldgate there is Black Boy Court, being long, narrow, and ordinary. Maidenhead Alley, small, nasty, and beggarly. Three Kings Alley, pretty large, containing two Courts, one within another, and both indifferent good. Fountain Alley, very mean. Ship Yard, an indifferent large square Court, but very mean with old Houses. Well Alley, but small, with a long and narrow Passage to it. Shippeys Yard, indifferent large, and pretty good, especially the upper Part. Heydon Yard, being broad enough for Coach or Cart; at the upper end is a good large Square, or open Place railed about, with a Row of Trees, very ornamental in the Summer Season, having on the East Side Coach Houses and Stables, on the West Side a very handsome Row of large Houses, with Court Yards before them, and are inhabited by Merchants, Persons of Repute: On the North a Square of good brick Houses; out of this Yard, on the West, is a Passage into the Little Minories, on the East another into Goodmans Fields. Browns Yard, indifferent good, with a Passage down Steps into some part of it. Squirels Alley, pretty well built, with a narrow paved Passage that goes down Steps. Swan Alley, long, nasty, and narrow, hath a Passage into Mansel Street. Goodmans Yard, very large, and leads into Goodmans Fields, almost over against Peasecod Street hath pretty good Buildings, and indifferently well inhabited. Red Lion Alley, long and narrow, with old built Houses. Red Gate Court, but small, with a Passage down Steps into Heathen Court. Wheelers Yard, a pretty open Place. Bullocks Court, a very handsome open Place, having at the lower end a Timber-Yard. Hammersmith Alley, very ordinary, with a Passage to it down Steps. Walls Court, a pretty handsome Place, with a Passage to it paved with Pebble Stones. Black Horse Alley, containing two small Courts, which are but ordinary. Eales Court, pretty open, with a Passage for a Cart, and the Houses are indifferently well inhabited. Weedens Rents, with a descending steep Passage, very mean. GoodingsYard, a pretty handsome open Place, indifferently well built. Bellowes Yard, indifferent, with a Passage to it down Steps. Star Alley, but ordinary, at the lower end is another Court down Steps, also very mean. Three Crown Court, also but ordinary, both as to House and Inhabitants.

Goodmans Fields.

Black Boy Court.

Maidenhead Alley.

Three Kings Alley.

Fountain Alley.

Ship Yard.

Well Alley.

Shippeys Yard.

Heydon Yard.

Browns Yard.

Squirrels Alley.

Swan Alley.

Goodmans Yard.

Red Lyon Alley.

Red Gate Court.

Heathen Court.

Wheelers Yard.

Bullocks Court.

Hamersmith Alley.

Walls Court.

Black Horse Alley.

Eales Court.

Weedens Rents.

Goodings Yard.

Bellowes Yard.

Star Alley.

Three Crown Court.

This Portsoken Ward hath an Alderman and his Deputy.

The State of the Ward.

6 Common Council Men.

4 Constables.

4 Scavengers.

18 for the Wardmote Inquest, and a Beadle.

To the Fifteen it is assessed 4l. 10s.

There are to watch at the several Stands within this Ward, every Night, besides a Constable and the Beadle, 60 Watchmen.

But in Stow's Edition it was 9l.


R. B.

The Jury Men returned by the Wardmote Inquest for this Ward, are to serve as Jurors in the several Courts in Guild Hall in the Month of January.


The Alderman of this Ward is John Green Esq;