A Survey of London. Reprinted From the Text of 1603. Originally published by Clarendon, Oxford, 1908.
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The Citie of London divided into parts
The Auncient diuision of this Cittie, was into Wardes or Aldermanries: and therefore I will beginne at the East, and so proceede thorough the high and most principall streete of the cittie to the west after this manner. First through Aldgate streete, to the west corner of S. Andrewes church called Vndershaft, on the right hand and Lymestreete corner on the left, all which is of Aldgate Warde: from thence through Cornhill streete, to the west corner of Leaden hall, all which is of Lymestreete Warde: from thence leauing the streete, that leadeth to Bishopsgate on the right hande, and the waye that leadeth into Grasse streete on the lefte, still through Cornhill streete, by the conduite to the West corner against the Stockes, all which is in Cornhill Warde, then by the said Stockes (a market place both of fish and flesh standing in the midst of the cittie) through the Poultrie (a streete so called) to the great conduite in west Cheape, and so through Cheape to the Standarde, which is of Cheape Warde, except on the south side from Bowlane, to the said Standard, which is of Cordwayner streete ward. Then by the Standard to the great crosse, which is in Cripplegate ward on the North side, and in Bredstreet ward on the South side. And to the little Conduit by Paules gate, from whence of olde time the saide high streete stretched straight to Ludgate, all in the ward of Faringdon within, then diuided truly from East to West, but since by meanes of the burning of Paules Church, which was in the raigne of William the first, Mauricius then Bishop of London layd the foundation of a new Church, so farre in largenesse exceeding the olde, that the way towards Ludgate. was thereby greatly streightned, as before I have discoursed.
Now from the North to the South, this Citie was of olde time diuided not by a large high way or streete, as from East to West, but by a faire Brooke of sweete water, which came from out the North fields through the wall, and midst of the Citie, into the riuer of Thames, which diuision is till this day constantly and without change maintained. This water was called (as I haue said) Walbrooke, not Galus brooke of a Romane captaine, slaine by Asclepiodatus, and throwne therein, as some haue fabuled, but of running through, and from the wall of this Citie. The course whereof, to prosecute it perticularly, was and is from the said wall, to Saint Margarets Church in Lothberrie: from thence beneath the lower part of the Grocers hall, about the East part of their Kitchen, vnder Saint Mildreds Church, somewhat west from the said Stockes market: from thence through Buckelsberry, by one great house builded of stone and timber, called the old Bardge, because Barges out of the riuer of Thames were rowed vp so far into this Brooke on the backside of the houses in Walbrooke streete (which streete taketh name of the said Brooke) by the west end of Saint Iohns Church vpon Walbrooke, vnder Horshew Bridge by the west side of Tallow Chandlers hall, and of the Skinners hall, and so behinde the other houses, to Elbow lane, and by a part thereof downe Greenewitch lane, into the riuer of Thames.
This is the course of Walbrooke, which was of old time bridged ouer in diuerse places, for passage of horses, and men, as neede required: but since by meanes of encrochment on the banks thereof, the channel being greatly streightned, and other noyances done thereunto, at length the same by common consent was arched ouer with Bricke, and paued with stone, equall with the ground where through it passed, and is now in most places builded vpon, that no many may by the eye discerne it, and therefore the trace thereof is hardly knowne to the common people.
This Citie was diuided from East to West, and from North to South: I am further to shew how the same was of olde time broken into diuerse partes called wardes, whereof Fitzstephen more then foure hundred yeares since writeth thus. This Cittie (saith he) euen as Rome, is diuided into wardes, it hath yearly Shiriffes in Steade of Consuls. It hath the dignitie of Senators in Aldermen, &c. The number of these wardes in London were both before, and in the raigne of Henrie the third 24. in all: whereof 13. lay on the East side of the sayd Walbrooke, and II. on the West: Notwithstanding these II. grew much more larger then those on the East: and therefore in the yeare of Christ, 1393. the 17. of Richard the second, Faringdon warde, which was then one entire warde, but mightily increased of buildings without the gates: was by Parliament appointed to be diuided into twain, and to haue two Aldermen, to wit, Faringdon within, and Faringdon without, which made vp the number of 12.wards on the west side of Walbrooke, and so the whole number of 25. on both sides: moreouer in the yeare 1550. the Maior, Communalty, and Citizens of London, purchasing the liberties of the Borough of Southwarke, appointed the same to be a warde of London, and so became the number of 13. wardes on the East, 12. on the West, and one south the riuer Thames in the said Borough of Southwarke, the Countie of Surrey, which in all arise to the number of 26. wards and 26. Aldermen of London.
1 Portsoken ward without the walles.
2 Towerstreete warde.
3 Ealdegate warde.
4 Limestreete warde.
5 Bishopsgate warde within the walles, and without.
6 Brodestreete warde.
7 Cornehil warde.
8 Langbourne warde.
9 Billingsgate warde.
10 Bridge warde within.
11 Candlewicke streete warde.
12 Walbrooke warde.
13 Downgate warde.
14 Vintry warde.
15 Cordwainer streete warde.
16 Cheape warde.
17 Colmanstreete warde.
18 Bassings hall warde.
19 Cripplegate warde within and without.
20 Aldersgate warde within and without.
21 Faringdon ward within.
22 Bredstreete warde.
23 Queenehith warde.
24 Castle Baynarde ward.
25 Faringdon ward without the walles.