The City of WESTMINSTER.78


Reader must be satisfied with the Description only.

St. James's-street beginneth at the Palace of St. James's, and runs up to the Road against Albemarle Buildings, being a spacious Street, with very good Houses well inhabited by Gentry: At the upper End of which towards the Road are the best, having before them a Terrace Walk ascended by Steps, with a Freestone Pavement. Out of this Street, on the West Side, it hath a Passage into these Places, fronting the Pall Mall. A Passage to Cleaveland Court, formerly one large House, and called Berkshire House; which being purchased by the Dutchess of Cleveland, took her Name; now severed into several Houses, the chief of which is now inhabited by the Earl of Nottingham; and here are two other small Courts against the Earl of Bath's. Then in the said Street is a large Yard for Stablings, with some Houses, which run down to St. James's Park Walls. St. James's Place, a good Street; which towards the upper End, openeth wide, and receiveth a fresh Air out of the Park: The Houses are well built, and inhabited by Gentry, especially the upper Part, where the Houses are larger and better built and inhabited.

St. James's-street.

Cleaveland Court.

St. James's Place.

Park Place, a handsome, open, broad Street, with good Buildings, fit for Gentry.

Park Place.

Benet-street, broad, but short, falleth into Arlington-street, which is a very good Place, with well built Houses, much inhabited by the Nobility and Gentry, especially the West Side, which affords larger Houses, having Gardens behind, as far as the Park Wall: And the Enjoyment of so good a Prospect and free Air, makes them to be taken up by Persons of Quality. This Street falleth Northwards into the Road to Hide Park.



Albemarle Buildings, so called, as being the Seat of the Duke of Albemarle, who bought it of the Earl of Clarendon, and before called by his Name: Which said House and Gardens being sold by the said Duke, was, by the Undertakers, laid out into Streets, who not being in a Condition to finish so great a Work, made Mortgages, and so intangled the Title, that it is not to this Day finished, and God knows when it will. So that it lyeth like the Ruins of Troy, some having only the Foundations begun, others carry'd up to the Roofs, and others covered, but none of the Inside Work done: Yet those Houses that are finished, which are towards Pickadilly, meet with Tenants. In this Building, which takes the general Name of Albemarle Buildings, are these Streets, viz. Bond-street; at the upper End of which, in the Fields, is a curious, neat, but small Chapel, serving as a Chapel of Ease for the Inhabitants of these Parts: Which said Chapel was built by King James the Second, at Hounslow Heath, for his Use, when he had his Camp there, and was by the late King William given to the Inhabitants, who here erected it. Albemarle-street, in the Midst, which fronts St. James's-street. Dover-street, the best of all for large Buildings, and hath the most finished and inhabited Houses for Gentry, especially the West Side. Stafford-street, which butts against Bond-street and Dover-street, and crosseth Albemarle-street.

Albemarle Buildings.





Berkeley House, built by the Lord Berkeley, a curious large Building, with a spacious Court before it, and stately Gardens behind. Some Part of this Ground was taken away, and laid into a Street, called Berkeley-street, which hath but one Row of Buildings, and those front the Garden; which renders them very pleasant and airy, and occasions the Street to be better inhabited.

Berkeley House and Street.

Stretton-street hath also but one Row of Buildings, and that fronts Berkeley House and Garden; whch are very gentilely built, and well inhabited, having small Gardens behind them.


Beyond this Street there is a continued Row of Buildings, which runs Westward almost to Hide Park on the North Side, the South having the Park Wall. These Houses, for the generality, are Inns or publick Houses of Entertainment, except some few by the Bridge, where there is a Passage or Street called which leadeth to Tiburn Lane, by Hide Park, a Place but of ordinary Buildings. Then overagainst Hide Park are several Houses new built, which in a short Time are likely to run to Knightsbridge, several of them being pretty Houses, with small Gardens behind them, and of a pleasant Situation.

This Parish ends its Bounds by the Bridge, some Distance from Knightsbridge, where there is a small Chapel of Ease built on the Side of Hide Park.

In this Parish of St. Martin's in the Fields, was a Field, called St. James's Field, and a Hill, called Mellehille, and a Place called The Doune. As I find in Record, six Acres of Land in St. James's Field, and Mellehille, three Roods of Land, and one Acre apud Le Doune in S. Martin. in campis, granted to Stephen Chise, 9. Rich. 2. This Downe was a large Place, and Part thereof was in St. Giles's Parish. For I find also five Acres of Land, Sur le Doune in St. Giles's, were granted to John de Bellomonte, Kt. 20. Rich. 2. with one Toft and one Croft, near Charing Cross, and eight Acres of Lane near the Mewse, and three Acres near the Hospital of St. James, in the Parish of St. Margaret Westminster, and three Acres in the Parish of Tyburn, granted to the same Person.

St. James's Field.


The Doune.

Record. Turr.

J. S.

Within this Parish of St. Martin's, and that of St. Margaret's Westminster, formerly was large Commoning for the Benefit of those Parishes, of Lands laid open, according to ancient Custom, from Lammas-day; which were, in Q. Elizabeth's Reign, enclosed with Gates and Hedges, so that the Inhabitants were deprived of that Benefit, which occasioned their Complaint, in the Year 1592, to the L. Burghley, High Steward of Westminster, and a Petition to him in that Behalf. Whereupon he gave Order to Mr. Tenche, his Under-steward, to impanel an Inquest for Enquiry into this Matter, which seemed to favour them: And the Parishioners, having, as they supposed, that Lord's Countenance, sent divers Persons on the 1. of August, being Lammas-day, who, with Pickaxes, and such like Instruments, pulled down the Fences, and brake the Gates, having with them the Bailiffs and Constables, to keep the Peace.

Lammas Grounds in this Parish and St. Margaret's, enclosed.

Of this there was presently a grievous Complaint made to the Lord Burghley, by such, especially, as held those Lands of the Queen, claimed by the Inhabitants to lye open for Common: Particularly these,

Eubery Farm}430}
The Neat}108}
St. James's Farm} Containing100} Acres
Divers Parcels of the Possession of Burton St. John Lazarus, of Jerusalem}50}

The said Lord, upon this Report brought him, immediately sent Orders to the Under-steward, to enquire diligently into this Matter; who, August the 3d, gave his Lordship this Answer: Which will shew us the State of the Cause;

"That whereas upon Petition of the Inhabitants of St. Martin's in the Fields, concerning their ancient Commons, called Lammas-Grounds, complained to be enclosed, that it pleased his Lordship to direct his Letters to him, [his Under-steward] for the impanelling of an In-"

Account of the breaking down those Enclosures.

MSS. pen. me.