A Dictionary of London. Originally published by H Jenkins LTD, London, 1918.
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Fountain called "Snekockeswelle" in field called "Lollesworthe" in parish of Stepney, granted by the bishop of London to the new Hospital of St. Mary without Bishopsgate to be enclosed with a stone wall and the water led underground along the bed of the old ditch which runs westward almost to the south corner of the garden of the Hospital, 1279 (Hist. MSS. Com. 9th Rep. App. p. 29).
The site seems to have been occupied in the 16th century by a large house known as the "Lumberd's house" or "Lumberds place," the property of Sir Wm. Chester, Lord Mayor in 1560 (H. Co. Mag. No. 27, p. 198).
Lombard Exchange and Reading Room
Referred to elsewhere as : "Langburnestrate," 14 Ed. I. (Ct. H.W. I. 74). "Langebournestrete," 5 Ed. II. (Cal. L. Bk. D. p. 249). "Longbord strete," 14th cent. (Lansd. MS. 448, F. 8). "in vico Lumbardorum," 6 Rich. II. (Harl. Ch. 56, F. 18).
Whether the street actually gave its name to Langbourn Ward or not, it is certain that both the names are traceable to a common origin, and that they are derived from the Lombards, a Germanic race originally settled in the district of the Lower Elbe, who extended their borders from time to time and even penetrated as far south as Northern Italy.
The early forms of the name were : "Langobardi," "Longobardus," "Lombardo," and the name has been variously described as compounded of "longus" and "bardus"=long beard ; "Lange Borde"=a long fertile plain beside a river, the word "borde" being used in this sense in the Lower Elbe district. "Longa parta" or" barta"="long battle-axe."
In the 12th century the ward of Langbourn is called "Ward of Langebord," and the names "Langebord" and "Longebrod" occur more than once in early records in the description of property in this neighbourhood.
These Langobards or Lombards early distinguished themselves as merchants and traders, and came over to England in considerable numbers, settling in London and elsewhere not later than the 12th century and carrying on a thriving business as bankers and moneylenders.
Many of them, as for instance the Society of the Bardi (q.v.), had their houses in and around the present Lombard Street, and in these circumstances it is not surprising that the street and district in which so many of them resided and carried on their business should have been named after them.
In the course of digging for a sewer in 1786 a Roman pavement was found under Nos. 82-85, near Sherbourn Lane, 12 ft. from the surface, measuring 20 ft. from east to west, and a pavement of small rough stones at a depth of 9 ft. A Roman wall was also found near the pavement eastward, 10 ft. high and 18 ft. long, the top of the wall being 10 ft. below the surface of the street (Arch. VIII. 118, XXXIX. 492). Pavements were also found under Nos. 72 and 82 in 1786, and another Roman wall near the Post Office, 14 ft. below the surface (ib. VIII. 127) and under other houses in the street.
The soil under Lombard Street seems to consist of four strata : Uppermost, 13 ft. 6 in. of made ground ; second layer, 2 ft. of brick, apparently ruins ; third layer, 3 in. of wood ashes, having the appearance of the remains of a town built of wood and destroyed by fire ; below is the Roman pavement at a depth of 13 ft. 6 in. (ib. XXXVI. 206, VIII. 132. R. Smith, 59).
Lombard Street Ward
Lombard Street, Whitefriars
It is interesting to note that "Gabryell lombarde" is mentioned as a tenant in "botoll lane" (Botolph Lane), pp. 112 and 114. Possibly he is to be identified with the Gabriel de Urs above mentioned, and the house may have been named after him.
The first authentic mention of "Londinium," as it was called by the Romans, occurs in Tacitus, Annales, Lib. XIV. c. xxxiii. A.D. 61, "At Suetonius mira constantia medios inter hostes Londinium perrexit, cognomento quidem coloniae non insigne, sed copia negotiatorum et commeatum maxime celebre."
Stow says it was originally called Troynouant or Trenouant as set down in Geoffrey of Monmouth, and the "cittie of Trinobantes" by Caesar. But there does not seem to be any testimony to support the truth of these statements as to the original name of the City, for the evidence of such a writer as Geoffrey of Monmouth is valueless and there is nothing in Caesar's writings to indicate that the city of the Trinobantes was London. Indeed, it seems more than likely that London, if it existed at all in Caesar's time, was not a place of much importance. Had it been a city of so much strength and beauty as Geoffrey of Monmouth would have us believe, it is probable that some authentic description of it would have come down to us from earlier writers and that Caesar himself would have referred to it by name.
During the interval that elapsed between Caesar's expeditions and the time when Tacitus wrote his Annals, London had apparently become an important centre of trade. This fact makes it difficult to accept one of the more modern theories relating to the origin of London, namely, that put forward by Dr. Guest before the Archaeological Institute in 1866 and reprinted in his "Origines Celticae," II. 405, in which he suggests that there was no British town on the site and that Aulus Plautius founded it in A.D. 43 as a Roman Camp.
In classical authors it is never dignified by the name of a "colony." Tacitus (A.D. 62), Eumenius (c.296) and Ammianus Marcellinus (4th century) all refer to it as an "oppidum," and Ptolemy (A.D. 120) describes it as the "city" of the Cantii. Camden is of opinion that it never was a "colony," and he says it was not to the interest of Rome that a mercantile city should be either a "Municipium" or a "Colonia," and he imagined it to have been a "Praefectura," a name given to cities where fairs were held and justice administered, but which were subject in respect of taxes, tributes and tolls, etc., to the Senate of Rome.
Under the Roman rule the city seems to have increased rapidly in trade and influence, so that it was styled by later Latin writers "Londinum Augusta," while the numerous Roman remains of walls, pavements, baths, hypocausts, etc., discovered from time to time prove that the city was both flourishing and important.
As to the extent of the City, various theories have been put forward with reference to the original site, and they are discussed at length in Roach Smith's "Illustrations of Roman London," in the "Archaeologia," in "Victoria County History of London," I., and elsewhere. It seems most probable that this site was to the east of Walbrook, with London Bridge as the centre, but it is difficult in view of the scanty evidence existing in historical records, to determine the site with certainty, and the rapid growth of the City soon called for the extension of its boundaries east and west. There is no authentic record of the inwalling of the City, and the original site was probably protected by a ditch and palisadoed bank only, while the wall was erected after the extension of the City, when its natural defences afforded less protection and its extended area rendered it more easy of attack. This inwalling is attributed by Henry of Huntingdon to Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, in 306, but there is no evidence to support this theory, and the original wall may have been erected in even earlier times. In any case it seems probable that the line of the Roman wall was at least in later times similar in extent to that of the walls of Alfred's day, and that it enclosed an area of about 380 acres, extending from Aldgate on the east to Ludgate on the west and north to Aldersgate (See Wall of London).
Considerable difference of opinion exists as to the condition of the City in the unsettled period that followed the departure of the Romans. While some are of opinion that it remained desolate and deserted for a considerable time without continuity of government and institutions, others maintain that the citizens were sufficiently imbued with the Roman spirit and ideals to preserve their traditions unbroken through times of stress and difficulty until they could re-establish them in their integrity in more peaceful days. Although the area of the City within the walls has not increased appreciably since Roman times, the growth of the population in the suburbs immediately without the walls rendered it desirable in course of time that these suburbs should be included within the Liberties of the City and brought under its control and government, although not included within its immediate area. These suburbs answered to the "territorium" of the old Greek and Roman city states, remaining unbuilt on for many years after the Roman occupation.
In connection with this growth of the City it may be noted here that so long ago as 1304-5 the term County was applied to London in a Royal Commission appointing assessors of a tallage to be levied in the cities, boroughs and loyal demesnes within the Counties of Kent, Middlesex, London, Surrey and Sussex (Cal. L. Bk. C. 136).
The references to London in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle are somewhat scanty, but the "Judicia Civitatis Lundoniae" and the "De Institutis Lundonie," set out in Thorpe's "Ancient Laws and Institutes," afford a glimpse of the social conditions prevailing in the City in Saxdon times, and suggest the continuance and expansion of its commercial prosperity.
The City has been several times either in whole or in part destroyed by fire, as in 982 (A. S. Chron. Thorpe, II. 103), 1077 (ib. p. 186). Again in 1137 it was consumed by a fire which extended as far as London Bridge on the one side and to the church of St. Clement Danes on the other (MSS. Corp. of Axbridge, H. MSS. Com. 5th Rep. 300).
The latest visitation of the kind was the Great Fire of 1666, which laid waste nearly the whole City, and destroyed countless remains of ancient architecture, ecclesiastical and domestic (See Fire of London).
"The chief city of England, and in my opinion the greatest of Europe but one (Paris), is London. Theires nothing heare but hansome. Hansome inhabitants, rich shopps, two rare exchanges ; noble palaces upon the river side ; streets both large and long, neat buildings and walks of the Inns of Court, curious feilds on all sides of it, exquisit markets in it well stored with all provisions : the commodity of the river and boates, the prodigious bridge ; the dew and dayly visit of the ebbing and flowing of the sea in the Thames, which visiting London dewly once a day, either bringeth to it or carryeth from it all merchandize the world can afford it, or it the world. The greatest ships that ride upon the sea come and unload in London in the very harte of the towne" (H. MSS. Com. Var. Coll. II. 202).
There is abundant evidence in old records, maps and documents that down to the middle or end of the 18th century the citizens of London loved and appreciated the great City and lived in the very heart of it. Their houses were large and spacious, beautiful and noble buildings, with courtyards and gardens such as Crosby Place, Gresham House, Sir Paul Pindar's, Sir John Frederick's, and these houses enriched and beautified the City, as it was fitting they should do. It was to the removal of these houses, or to their conversion into small tenements, that must be attributed the number of small courts and back alleys that disfigured the City towards the end of the 18th century and at the beginning of the 19th century.
During the 16th and 17th centuries the population and buildings were rapidly increasing, with the result that laws were passed both in the time of Queen Elizabeth and of Charles II. restricting the multiplicity of buildings in and around the City.
It is the streets and buildings of the City proper, including the Liberties without the walls, that are treated of in this work, but not those that lie in the Metropolitan boroughs, nor in the larger area of Greater London beyond.
The real meaning of the word is unknown, as the original form of the name does not appear. The first syllable may be a variant of the Welsh word, "lli"="water," the second syllable is the Celtic word "dun," of very frequent occurrence in place-names, signifying "hill-fort," and it is to be found in the names of many places both in England and on the Continent. Thus : "Taodunum," now Dundee, was a British fort occupied by the Romans. "Sorbiodunum," now Old Sarum. "Braunodunum," now Brancaster. "Lugdunum," now Lyons. "Laudunum," now Laon. "Melodunum," now Melun. "Verodunum," now Verdun, were all old Celtic hill-forts. This would give the meaning of a "fort or settlement on the water."
Auguste Brachet suggests that the Latin form was "Londinum," not "Londinium," because "ni" followed by a vowel would become in French "gn," as "Colonia "= Cologne, "Bononia"=Boulogne. In the form "Londinum," "u" would be substituted for "o" and "e" for "i," giving the O.E. form "Lundene." The form "Londene" occurs 945. This would become "Londoniae" in later Latin documents and "Londres" in French.
London and Continental Steam Wharf
London and St. Katherine's Dock Co.'s Warehouses
London and St. Katherine's Docks
Many works on this subject have been produced from time to time, and valuable bibliographies are available at the present day in such works as the following : The General Catalogue of the British Museum, London Library Catalogue, and other similar publications of learned societies, libraries, etc.
It is made of granite, with 5 elliptical arches (Gent. Mag. Lib. XV. p. 318), and was erected 180 ft. west of the old bridge, which extended from Fish Street Hill and St. Magnus Church, and which was left in position until the new bridge was ready for use.
The site of the old timber bridge is said to have lain still further east, and to have extended across the river from Botolph's wharf (S. 23, 18), but the ancient foundations discovered about 1830 during the construction of the new bridge tend to discountenance this theory and to place the timber bridge on the same site as the old stone bridge.
The earliest mention of a bridge over the river is contained in a charter of King Edgar's time 963-975, in which mention is made of the drowning of a woman "at Lundene brigce" (Kemble, Cod. Dip. III. dxci.).
It is also referred to in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle under the date 1013, when Swein besieged London and many of his men were drowned in the Thames "because they regarded not the bridge" (Thorpe, I. 271, and II. 119).
In the "Heimskringla " II. 264, about 1010-12, the bridge is described as so broad that two waggons could pass each other on it ; it had towers and parapets, and was supported by piles driven into the bottom of the River.
It was, however, speedily rebuilt, and is referred to in 1114 at the time of the great ebb-tide, when men could walk and ride over the river to the east of the bridge (Thorpe, Ang.-Sax. Chr. II. 212).
Besides the Bridge Gate and the Chapel of St. Thomas erected on it, there seem to have been other buildings and houses, for in 1213, not many years after its completion, a fire broke out in the church of St. Mary Overy, Southwark, which extended across the Bridge, destroying three of the arches, the Chapel "et omnes domus supra pontem" (Annales Londoniensis, I. p. 15).
The Bridge seems always to have been a costly structure to maintain, partly on account of the storms and fires that desolated it from time to time, and partly on account of the weight of the buildings erected on it. From early times rents and lands were appropriated for its repair and upkeep (Anc. Deeds, D. 240, Ch. I. p.m. 20 Ed. I. 118), while the bequests made for this purpose by the citizens of London were surprisingly numerous and munificent (Ct. H. Wills). These gifts and bequests have assisted to form the property now known as the Bridge House Estate, and a list of the principal benefactions made to the work of the Bridge from the 12th century to 1675 is given in Welch's History of the Tower Bridge (p. 263).
Queen Eleanor, wife of Henry III., was granted the custody of London Bridge 1265, after the battle of Evesham, and continued to enjoy the rents and lands for six years, during which time the bridge fell into disrepair. In 1271 it was restored to the citizens (Cal. L. Bk. C. p. 61 and note).
In 1287 provision was made for the guarding of the City Gates, and guardians were appointed for the Bridge Gate, as well as for the others (Cal. L. Bk. A. 228), while, at an early period in its history, the management of the estates appertaining to the Bridge, together with its repair and maintenance, had been entrusted to Wardens specially elected for the purpose (See Letter-Books [not found]).
In 1306 and several succeeding years the bequests for repairs are particularly numerous (Ct. H.W.) and suggest that extensive works were in progress at this time. In 5 H. VI. the tower on the drawbridge was commenced (Gregory's Chronicle, p. 162).
The Bridge seems to have been again in a somewhat ruinous condition in 1435-7 (Cal. L. Bk. K. 191), as the Gate at the Southwark end fell down with two arches 1436-7 (Chr. of Lond, Kingsford, 142 and 311).
By 1481, partly in consequence of the weight of the houses and buildings erected on it, which now formed a continuous street, it had become necessary to take stringent measures for the preservation of the structure, as it was found that great damage was done to the Drawbridge Tower and other arches and piers of the bridge by vibration occasioned by carts, etc., going over the bridge, and it was ordained in consequence that no "shod" carts should go over, and that the drawbridge should only be raised in times of real necessity, and not for vessels to pass under, as had been done previously (Cal. L. Bk. L. p. 180-1). It was further provided that Fishermen were not to cast their nets near the starlings or foundations, and that ships were not to be anchored near them or under the bridge (Cal. L. Bk. L. p. 180-1).
It was no easy matter in those days to pass under the bridge, owing to the narrowness of the passage between the piers, and passengers frequently had recourse to the stairs near at hand to avoid the necessity of shooting the bridge (H. MSS. Com. 6th Rep. IV. 154).
In 1503 the houses on the northern side of the bridge were burnt (Chr. of Lond., Kingsford, 260) and again in 1632. They were rebuilt by 1645, but were again destroyed in the Great Fire 1666 (Strype, ed. 1720, I. i. 56).
It had been in contemplation to rebuild also the houses at this southern end, but the increasing trade and importance of the City made the narrowness of the Bridge, caused by the encroachment of the houses over the roadway, a very serious inconvenience, and it was eventually decided to enlarge the passage of the Bridge by the removal of the houses 1757-8, this improvement being carried out in 1761.
In 1759 the middle pier was also removed, leaving 19 arches, the span in the centre being 70 ft., with a width of 48 ft. In 1826-7 two other arches were removed, one on the northern and one on the southern side for the purpose of clearing the waterway, thus leaving only 17 openings.
The bridge had three openings over the three widest arches, called the navigable locks, one of which was blocked up by the fall of the arches in 1436-7 and was called the Rock Lock (Gent. Mag. Lib. I. 304).
During the excavations for the new London Bridge in 1830-1, 20 ft. under the southern abutment of the land arch, a line of embankment formed of oak trees was found, apparently Roman (Arch. XXIV. 191, and XXV. 601), and a second embankment of elm piles 60 ft. north from the Thames (ib. XXV. 601). Roman and other coins, bronzes, etc., were found in the bed of the Thames during the progress of the work of the Bridge.