|Portsoken Ward. Bounds and Limits. ||28
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
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.]
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.
White Hart Court.
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.
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.
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.
Black Boy Court.
Three Kings Alley.
Red Lyon Alley.
Red Gate Court.
Black Horse Alley.
Three Crown Court.
This Portsoken Ward hath an Alderman and his Deputy.
The State of the Ward.
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.
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;