A Dictionary of London. Originally published by H Jenkins LTD, London, 1918.
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Botolph (St.) Aldersgate
St. Botoph was a hermit-abbot of the 7th century, and founded a monastery at Ikanho, a little village in Suffolk. But beyond this, little is known of his life and work. It is interesting to note that of the four churches dedicated to him in London, three stand near to the sites of three of the principal gates of the City on the high roads leading north and east out of the City.
Botolph (St.) Aldgate
The church stood outside the City walls, and being dedicated to St. Botolph, the designation "without Alegate" was added to indicate its proximity to the City gate so called, and to distinguish it from the other City churches, dedicated to St. Botolph.
The parish, as at present constituted, lies partly within the Liberties of the City of London in the Ward of Portsoken, and partly outside the Liberties in Middlesex. The portion within the Liberties comprises the whole of the Portsoken Ward, sometimes called the upper end, or upper precinct ; the other portion includes the Lordship of East Smithfield, together with the parish or precinct of St. Katherine near the Tower of London, and also the parish of Holy Trinity Minories, reunited to St. Botolph's parish in 1899.
At the date of the gift of the property of the Knightengild to the Prior and Convent of Holy Trinity in 1125, the parish was co-terminous with the ward of Portsoken, and included all the outlying districts above mentioned. How these came to be gradually alienated from the ward and from the parish is related in the account of Portsoken Ward (q.v.). But it will be seen from this account and from its present extent, that while the parish has been restored almost to its original dimensions, the ward has suffered considerable curtailment.
The bounds of the parish are set out in detail by A.M. in Strype, ed. 1720, I. iii. Hatton, 1708 ; and in the Parish Clerks' Account of London, pub. 1732 ; and these descriptions are particularly interesting as showing in some instances the names and occupations of the residents in those houses, which were situated on the boundaries at various dates.
Botolph (St.) Aldgate Charity School
Founded in 1673 for the parish of St. Botolph's. The first Protestant parochial charity school in London, and the first to adopt the national system of education. The freehold was purchased in 1792, and the school erected for 60 boys and 40 girls.
These buildings were occupied until 1901, when the children were moved to Sir John Cass' Institute (End. Ch. Rep. p. 45, St. Botolph Aldgate Parish), the site being required to make the Tower Bridge Northern Approach.
Botolph (St.) Aldgate Churchyard
Botolph (St.) at Retheresgate
Botolph (St.) Billingsgate
Forms of name : "St. Botolph, Billingesgate," temp. John (Anc. Deeds, A. 1666). "S. Botolph towards Billingesgate," 1279-80 (Ct. H. W. I. 46). "S. Botolph without Billyngesgate" (ib. 115), 1294. "Sci Botulphi de Billingesgate," 1285 (MSS. D. and C. St Paul's, Lib. L. ff. 115-18). "S. Botolph at Retheresgate," 1296 (Ct. H.W. I. 129). "S. Botolph apud Billingesgate," 31 Ed. I. (Lib. Cust. I. 228). "Sancti Botulphi super Thamisiam," 1325 (Cal. P.R. Ed. II. 1324-7, p. 132).
The existence of St. Botolph's gate on the Thames in the time of William the Conqueror suggests that the church may have been erected long before the earliest record given above, as it seems more probable, as Stow suggests, that the gate or wharf should be named from the church, than that the church should be named from the gate.\Repaired and beautified 1624. Destroyed in the Great Fire and was to be rebuilt. Part of the site was, however, required to be thrown into the passage leading to St. Botolph's Wharf and part for the widening of Thames Street, 1668, so that it was decided eventually not to rebuild the church (L. and P. Chas. II. 1667-8. p. 182), and the parish was united to St. George, Botolph Lane.\A vicarage. Patron : the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's.\The church seems to have come into the hands of the Dean and Chapter in the 12th century by the gift of Orgar the deacon, who gave them the churches of St. Martin and St. Botulf (H. MSS. Com. 9th Report, 16 and 63).\Site now covered by warehouses.
Botolph (St.) Billingsgate, Churchyard
East out of Botolph Lane, south of Botolph Alley. In Billingsgate Ward (Strype, 1720 and 1755, and Rocque, 1746).\Between Botolph Lane and Love Lane.\In 1392, 16 Rich. II., a cemetery was to be made for the burial of parishioners of St. Botolph by Billyngesgate (Cal. P.R. Rich. II. 1391-6, p. 141), but the patent does not say where it was situated.\Site now occupied by the Billingsgate Ward School, and Storay Steps Warehouse (End. Ch. 1903, p. 5).
Botolph (St.) Bishopsgate Churchyard
Botolph (St.) in Thames Street
Botolph (St.) without Aldersgate Churchyard
Botolph (St.) without Bishopsgate
Botolph Wharf Gateway
It seems to have been first called "Botolph Lane" in 1313 (Ct. of H.W. I. 243), but it was more usually referred to as "St. Botolph's Lane" until the 16th century, when the name "Botolph Lane" came into general use. "Seynt botulfes lane," 1348-9 (ib. 539).
The charters containing the confirmation are in Cott. MS. Faust, A. III. f. 64, and in Cott Charter VI. 3. In these charters the name of the wharf is not given, only its description "ad caput pontis" and the name of the original donor, "Aluuoldus de porta sancti botulfi." The gift would appear to have been made in the time of King Edward, who is mentioned in the charter, but whether it actually relates to St. Botolph's Gate or not, the early mention of the name in these charters is of great interest, as evidence of the gate at that date.
If the wharf referred to in the charters was St. Botolph's Gate, then in later times it had, by some means or other, passed out of the possession of the abbey, for in the numerous entries relating to the wharf in later records, no mention is ever made of the ownership of the abbey, but it seems to have been at one time in the hands of the Crown and to have been restored to the Commonalty of London 26 Ed. I. 1297 (Cal. L. Bk. B. p. 243), at which time it is described as in a ruinous condition. There are frequent references to it in the Letter Books, showing that it was let out by the City to private persons for fixed periods at an annual rent.
It is difficult to determine whether the gate was in existence first and gave its name to the church, or whether it was named after the church. The latter view would seem to be the more natural, although there does not appear to be any record of the existence of the church prior to the 12th century.
There is an interesting record relating to the church and wharf in the will of William Stafford, who in 1480-1 left to the church of St. Botolph near Billyngesgate a piece of land, described as parcel of the said church, on which at one time stood a house, parcel of a wharf called "Botolphiswharf" (Ct. H.W. II. 581).
The wharf has been rebuilt from time to time and is somewhat wider in extent than it appears to be in the maps of the 17th and 18th centuries. The removal of London Bridge further west has also altered the present position of the wharf in relation to the Bridge, so that it could no longer be described as at the head of the Bridge, although not very far to the eastward from it.