The Wood-Michell estate
Princelet Street west of Brick Lane

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English Heritage

Publication

Author

F. H. W. Sheppard (General Editor)

Year published

1957

Supporting documents

Pages

184-189

Addenda / corrigenda

Any material between chevrons <> has come to light since publication. Anyone interested in the sources for this new material should contact the Survey of London

Citation Show another format:

'The Wood-Michell estate: Princelet Street west of Brick Lane', Survey of London: volume 27: Spitalfields and Mile End New Town (1957), pp. 184-189. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=50168 Date accessed: 25 July 2014.


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Princelet Street West of Brick Lane

No street is shown here on Gascoine’s map of 1703, but the easternmost four houses on its north side (Nos. 21–25 (odd) Princelet Street and No. 65 Brick Lane) and buildings at the eastern end of the south side, on the site of No. 26 Princelet Street and No. 63 Brick Lane, were probably built in about 1705–6 (see below).

The first known designation of this short eastern part of the street was in April 1713, as ’Princesse Street’. (ref. 62) The same form of the name occurs in September and October 1718, and May, July and September 1719, and occasionally after wards. There seems to be no obvious reason for this form of the name. In January 1717/18 this end of the street was described as ’laid out for a new street called or then intended to be called Princes Street’, the name by which it was sub sequently known. (ref. 63) The first building by Wood and Michell probably began in the summer of 1718 on the north side of the street, the south side being completed by January 1723/4. (fn. a)

Nos. 2 and 4 Princelet Street

Formerly Nos. 1 and 2 Princes Street

These two houses, on the south side of the street, were the last of the original houses to be built in Princelet Street. The builder was Samuel Worrall of Spitalfields, carpenter, under ninety-nine-year leases granted by Wood and Michell on 27 January 1723/4, the houses having by then been built. (ref. 64) The site had been vacant in Feb ruary 1721/2. (ref. 65) The leases also included No. 6 Wilkes Street, which was built at the same time. The lease of No. 2 was witnessed by Marmaduke Smith, carpenter.

In June 1724 Worrall assigned his leases of No. 2 and of No. 6 Wilkes Street to a glover for £756. (ref. 66) No. 4 was occupied in 1724 by Benjamin Truman. (ref. 43)

No. 2, the south-west corner house,contains three storeys and a roof loft. The building is one room deep and has a frontage four windows wide, with the doorway in the second opening from the left. Although the original fenestration pattern remains, the front has been refaced, or altered, and covered with stucco, probably around 1860. The ground storey is channel-jointed and the upper part coursed in imitation of stonework. The door way, and the one opening on to Wilkes Street, have cornice-hoods resting on moulded consoles. The interior appears to be largely original. The hall is lined with plain rebated panelling finished with a box-cornice, and the dog-leg staircase has closed strings, turned balusters, column-newels, and moulded straight handrails.

As originally built, No. 2 was uniform with No. 4 which survives in a much less altered state. Each of the upper two storeys of No. 4 has four evenly spaced windows, with a blind window against the party wall to complete the even rhythm across the two fronts. The ground storey has a stucco facing of about 1820, with Doric pilasters supporting a plain entablature. The rest of the front is of yellow brick, with red brick jambs and high segmental arches to the windows, which now contain wooden casements with hoppers. A brick bandcourse underlines the parapet which is finished with a stone coping. One small hipped-roofed dormer lights the loft. The interior finishings are similar to those in No. 2, but in far better order.

Nos. 6 Princelet Street

Formerly No. 3 Princes Street Rebuilt

This was the only house on the estate to have been built by William Goswell, the carpenter who was so prominent on the Tillard estate (but see Nos. 23 and 25 Fournier Street). Wood and Michell granted him in February 1721/2 a sixty-one-year building lease of the site, on which he had erected a house with a ’work house’ behind it. (ref. 65) The site had in August 1721 been agreed to be let to Goswell. (ref. 67)

In June 1722 he assigned the lease to a framework knitter. (ref. 68) In 1846 the occupant was rated for both house and warehouse. (ref. 43)

The house has been rebuilt together with-Nos. 8 and 10 as a single building of no interest.

Nos. 8–12 (even) Princelet Street.

Formerly Nos. 4 and 5 Princes Street Nos. 8 and 10 rebuilt with No. 6

Nos. 8 and 10 were originally one house. The two houses were built by John Edding (or Eding), citizen and carpenter of London, to whom Wood and Michell granted sixty-one year building leases in August 1721, he then having built the houses, with a warehouse behind No. 8/10. (ref. 69) No. 12 at least was already built in May 1721. (ref. 70) In January 1724/5 Edding assigned his lease of No. 8/10, together with land in Bunhill Fields, to a cutler. (ref. 71)

In 1831 and 1846 No. 8/10 was used as a police station. (ref. 43)

No. 12 (Plate 70a) is a single-fronted house, two rooms deep, with cellar-basement, three storeys, and a roof garret. The ground storey, with the doorway on the left of two windows, has been faced with stucco to the same Doric design as No. 4, but the upper two storeys are original and faced with yellow brick. Each storey has three evenly spaced windows, with jambs and gauged flat arches of red brick, and exposed flush frames containing sashes with slender glazing bars. The vertical face of the garret storey is entirely windowed.

Nos. 14–24 (even) Princelet Street

Formerly Nos. 6–11 (consec.) Princes Street No. 24 rebuilt

All these houses, with the possible exception of No. 18, were built by Samuel Worrall under building leases granted him in 1721 by Wood and Michell (Plate 70a). Those of Nos. 14 and 16 were granted in May for sixty-one years and those of Nos. 20–24 in August for ninety-nine years, in all the leases the houses being described as already built. (ref. 72)

In May of 1723 Worrall surrendered his lease of No. 14 to Wood and Michell who granted it to the occupant, a dyer. (ref. 73) In October 1726 Worrall assigned his leases of Nos. 20 and 24 for £600 to a physician (ref. 74) who in 1736 was granted the freehold of these houses and of No. 22 by Wood and Michell. (ref. 75)

No. 16 was occupied in 1736 and 1750 by John Sabatier, who in the latter year also occupied No. 14 (ref. 43) (see page 217). In 1825 its basement area was said to be lined with Dutch tiles. The house was doubtless refronted by H. J. Tolley of 17 Hanbury Street, a builder, shortly before he was granted the lease of it in November 1825, to run from 1822, he having been at the expense of ’repairing and improving’ the premises.

No. 20 was occupied in 1783 and 1793 by the Rev. François Gauteral, minister of the French Churches of La Patente and the Artillery. (ref. 76)

Nos. 14, 16, 20 and 22 were built as a uniform range, but No. 20 alone preserves to a marked degree its original appearance. All are single-fronted houses, two rooms deep, but No. 20 is wider than the others as its upper part extends over the passage entrance to No. 18, which lies behind No. 16. Each house contains three storeys, Nos. 14 and 16 have weavers’ garrets, and all, except No. 20, have cellar-basements. The fronts of Nos. 14 and 22 have three windows in each upper storey, and No. 20 has four. The facing is of yellow brick relieved by the red brick jambs and gauged flat arches of the windows, those of the second storey having raised brick keyblocks. The windows have wooden sills and exposed flush frames, but the sashes at No. 20 are modern. The wooden doorcase of No. 20 resembles that of No. 9, on the north side, and its architrave head, plain frieze and cornice-hood are carried across the passage entry to No. 18, originally linking, no doubt, with a similar doorcase at No. 16, a house refronted in the style of the 1820's, with only two windows in each upper storey of its yellow brick face. At No. 16 all the windows have gauged flat arches, but those of the second storey are set in shallow recesses with arched heads and underlined by a stucco bandcourse. The ground storey of No. 14 is faced with channel-jointed stucco, with triple keyblocks to the door and window openings. The original front door remains, surmounted by a later metal fanlight. The upper part is unchanged and the windows have sashes with slender glazing bars. The same applies to No. 22, where the ground storey is faced with plain stucco and the door has a simple doorcase of wood, probably of early nineteenth-century date. The interiors of all these houses were finished in the same style as No. 2, noted above.

No. 18, which was occupied in 1723 and 1759 as a dwelling-house by Samuel Worrall and in 1773 by Elizabeth Worrall, (ref. 77) stands at the back of these houses, approached by a doorway and passage between Nos. 16 and 20. It looked east on to a yard which in 1738 ’ was heretofore and is in part now used’ by Worrall as a carpenter's yard. When Church (now Fournier) Street was built to the south, a passageway was also made into the yard from that side, between the present Nos. 33 and 35 Fournier Street (ref. 78) (fig. 58). In Rocque's map of 1746 the yard is shown as a timber-yard. The gateway, passage and yard were included in the building lease of No. 20 in August 1721: (ref. 79) the house is not then mentioned but was occupied by Worrall by April 1723. (ref. 80)

It is a free-standing house, similar in size and plan to the average double-fronted house in this neighbourhood, containing a cellar-basement and three storeys, each with one room on either side of the staircase. The east-facing front has been refaced with yellow brick, but the original pattern remains, with two windows on each side of the doorway and five windows in each upper storey. The doorway retains its wooden doorcase, a Doric example with plain-shafted columns supporting a triangular pedimented entablature. The back wall is without windows other than the small ovals lighting the staircase. The rooms inside are finished in a simple style, with plain rebated panelling and chimneypieces of wood or stone. The dog-leg staircase has closed strings, turned balusters of simple profile, column-newels, and moulded straight handrails.

No. 26 Princelet Street and No. 63 Brick Lane

Formerly No. 12 Princes Street and No. 188 Brick Lane Rebuilt

The corner house was occupied in 1706 by Henry Coates, a dyer, who in that year was given leave to make a drain for his house and dyehouse in Brick Lane. (ref. 81) The house was probably newly built at that time, like those on the opposite side of Princelet Street. In 1717 Coates was said lately to have erected a ’mancion house’ and dyehouse on the site: in that year he granted a mortgage lease of it, the further assignment of which in 1727 was witnessed by Samuel Worrall. (ref. 82) In 1721 Coates's garden occupied the site of No. 26, between his house and the easternmost house built by Wood and Michell. (ref. 83) On Rocque's map the garden is built over but with a passageway to a yard at the back. The premises were occupied by dyers until at least the 1830's. The site is now occupied by buildings of no interest.

Nos. 1–5 (odd) Princelet Street

Formerly Nos. 26–24 (consec.) Princelet Street

These houses are on the north side of Princelet Street; like Nos. 8–12 (even) Wilkes Street to their north, they were built by Marmaduke Smyth (or Smith), citizen and blacksmith of London, under ninety-nine-year building leases granted to him by Wood and Michell in February 1721/2, the three-storeyed brick houses being then already built. (ref. 84)

Marmaduke Smith, a carpenter, who was active elsewhere on the estate, and who is perhaps identifiable with this lessee, lived at No. 5 in 1724 and 1725. (ref. 53)

In 1743 and 1750 both Nos. 3 and 5 were occupied by clergymen.

No. 1 is a double-fronted house, one room deep and four storeys high, the fourth being, presumably, a mid-nineteenth-century addition, replacing the original roof garret. The front, which is five windows wide, appears to have been rebuilt on the lines of the original work, in yellow brick with gauged flat window arches of red brick, but the face has been stuccoed up to the cornice below the fourth storey. The original front door is framed by a Victorian Classical doorcase in cement.

Nos. 3 and 5 are paired single-fronted houses, two rooms deep, with rebuilt fronts of yellow brick, three storeys high and three windows wide. The original weather-boarded face of the garret storey can be seen rising behind the parapet.

Nos. 9–19 (odd) Princelet Street, including Synagogue (No. 19)

Formerly Nos. 23–18 (consec.) Princes Street No. 11 rebuilt

These six houses were built under contracts each relating to an individual house, between 1718 and 1720. They were, with the houses on the south side of Hanbury Street, on to which they backed, the first to be built on the estate. The easternmost two houses, Nos. 19 and 17, formed part of the only two plots that ran back to include a northern frontage on Hanbury Street, and were disposed of by Wood and Michell outright instead of in the usual manner by a building lease to the person responsible for erecting the house who would then assign it to the occupant or to a mortgagee.

No. 9 was leased in August 1720 by Wood and Michell for ninety-nine years to Samuel Worrall, (ref. 85) who in July 1724 assigned the lease to Michell's son and heir, Richard Michell. (ref. 86) In 1750 and 1759 it was occupied by Peter Lewis Saubergue, a silk broker and a trustee under the Local Act of 1772. (ref. 87) In 1812 and again in 1831 it was occupied by ministers, probably of the French Church in Brown's Lane. (ref. 43)

It is a three-storeyed house, one room deep, with a roof garret. The front, probably refaced, is of yellow brick with red brick jambs and segmental arches to the windows, of which there are two in the ground storey, on the right of the door, and four evenly spaced in each upper storey. The wooden doorcase has a moulded architrave flanked by narrow panelled pilasters with fluted consoles supporting a cornice-hood. There is a similar doorcase at No. 20 on the south side of the street.

No. 11 was in part erected by Daniel Bray, citizen and painter of London, in June 1719 when he was granted a sixty-year building lease by Wood and Michell. In September Bray made a mortgage assignment to a soapmaker of St. Martin in the Fields, to secure £105. (ref. 88) In 1724 the house was occupied by a clergyman, probably the minister of the French Church in Brown's Lane, on which its back garden abutted, and in 1766 was occupied by Alexander Christie, perhaps the carpenter who proposed to rebuild Nos. 37–41 (odd) Hanbury Street in 1750. (ref. 43)

The house has been rebuilt and is of no interest.

No. 13 was said to be ’in building’ by Edward Buckingham in February 1718/19 (ref. 89) and to be in part erected by or at the charge of Buckingham, who was a mason of St. Clement Danes, in June 1719, when he was granted a sixty-year building lease by Wood and Michell. (ref. 90) In 1728 the lease was assigned to a tailor by Jeremiah Buckingham, Edward Buckingham's son, also a mason of St. Clement Danes. (ref. 91) It was occupied in 1850 by a clergyman, probably a minister of the French Church in Brown's Lane. (ref. 43)

Like No. 15, the house was perhaps rebuilt shortly before 1812. (ref. 43) A single-fronted house, two rooms deep, it has a front of three storeys, three windows wide, that has been rebuilt in hard red brick. The segmental-headed windows have modern or refaced flush frames with modern sashes. The interior retains some plain rebated panelling and the hall ends with a plain arch rest ing on consoles. The dog-leg staircase has closed strings, turned balusters and newels with similar profiles, and moulded straight handrails.

No. 15 was said in September 1718 to be newly built by Worrall, (ref. 92) but the uncertainty about the actual responsibility for building is very apparent here. Like No. 17 it was still said to be partly erected in February 1718/19, when a sixty-year building lease of it was granted by Wood and Michell to ’John Vunmandine’ (elsewhere Ummandine), citizen and glazier of London. (ref. 89) In May 1719 it was still said to be in part erected when Ummandine mortgaged it, to secure £272, to Worrall and Samuel Phipps, the mortgage being discharged in November. (ref. 93) It was still said to be ’in building’ by Ummandine in June. (ref. 90) In September he assigned the lease to a vintner who in January 1719/20 assigned it to Peter Bourdon, the weaver who was responsible for the building of No. 27 Fournier Street. (ref. 89) In 1724 and 1759 it was occupied by Daniel Pilon, who in 1745 undertook to raise a body of forty-nine of his workmen to resist the Young Pretender. (ref. 94)

It has a rebuilt front of about 1800 in yellow brick with gauged flat arches of red brick to the two windows of each upper storey. The original six-panelled door, surmounted by a metal fanlight, is framed by a Victorian doorcase of cement, set against the stuccoed ground storey.

No. 17 was said in September 1718 to have been built by Samuel Phipps, bricklayer, who then, together with Wood, Michell, Haulsey, Hatton and Worrall, conveyed it by a lease and release to Daniel Lee of Stepney, weaver. The site at the back, including No. 28 Hanbury Street, also built by Phipps, was included in the conveyance. The house was apparently built by Phipps under an agreement with Worrall made in September 1717, Worrall having come to an agreement with Wood and Michell probably relating to the whole or greater part of the estate in the previous month. (ref. 95) The house was, however, still described as ’in building’ by Phipps in February 1718/19. (ref. 89) In 1724 Daniel Lee was the occupant. (ref. 43) In 1769, 1773 and 1783 the house was occupied by Samuel Ireland, junior, a weaver, (ref. 96) whose uncle was in 1769 a member of Christ Church Vestry. The occupant was probably a relation of the Samuel Ireland of Wheler Street, bricklayer, who is known to have been active in Spitalfields in about 1738–58, and also of Samuel Ireland (d. 1800), the engraver, collector and topographical author, who began life as a weaver in Spitalfields. (ref. 97)

The easternmost house, No. 19, abutting east on the houses already built by Joseph Truman on his part of Joyce's Garden, was said in September 1718 to have been built by Samuel Worrall, (ref. 92) to whom it was conveyed in July 1719 by a lease and release from Wood and Michell together with their trustees, Edward Haulsey and Richard Hatton of Lincoln's Inn: the conveyance also comprised a site at the back, including No. 30 Hanbury Street, likewise built by Worrall. (ref. 98) In February 1721/2 Worrall conveyed the ground, probably as a mortgage, to a drugster, a draper and a glover, (ref. 99) and these, together with Worrall, made a further conveyance to a needlemaker in December 1722. (ref. 100) In 1743 and 1750 it was occupied by Peter Abraham Ogier who in 1745 undertook to raise a body of twenty-eight of his workmen to resist the Young Pretender. (ref. 94) This house, with a building at the back, is now a synagogue (see below).

Nos. 17 and 19 are paired houses, single-fronted and two rooms deep, with cellar-basements, three storeys, and roof garrets. Above the altered and stucco-faced ground storey the fronts are uniform and resemble those of Nos. 12, 14, 20 and 22 on the south side. They are of yellow brick, and the three windows of each storey have red brick jambs and gauged flat arches with raised keyblocks to the first-floor windows only. The stucco-faced ground storey of No. 19 has three rusticated arches, contrived, no doubt, to provide an imposing frontispiece to the synagogue built at the back of the house.

The synagogue is said to have been founded here in 1862 on migration from Fashion Street. (ref. 101) It first appears in the Post Office Directory in 1871, as the United Friends' Synagogue. The synagogue, built at the back, was reopened after alterations in March 1893, and was thereafter known as the Princes (now Princelet) Street Synagogue.

Nos. 21–25 (odd) Princelet Street

Formerly Nos. 17–15 (consec.) Princes Street

These houses (Plate 70b), together with Nos. 32–38 (even) Hanbury Street and Nos. 65–79 (odd) Brick Lane, were originally built in 1705–6 by Joseph Truman, the brewer, on a piece of Joyce's Garden bought from Samuel Hannott and his wife Elizabeth in 1705. (ref. 102) In December 1705 the eight houses fronting Brick Lane were newly built, when Truman applied to the Tower Hamlets Commissioners of Sewers for leave to make a drain from the house-cellars into the ’Great Sewer’ in Booth Street (now Princelet Street east of Brick Lane). (ref. 103) The Princelet Street and Hanbury Street houses were doubtless built at the same time. This part of Princelet Street was built by April 1713. (ref. 104)

No. 21 was occupied in 1750 by Daniel Gobbee, who in 1745 had undertaken to raise a body of seventy of his workmen to resist the Young Pretender. (ref. 94) In 1836 and 1841 it was used as a police station. (ref. 43)

No. 23 was occupied in 1724 by Colonel Thomas Exelbee, who had been admitted a member of the Honourable Artillery Company in 1714, as of Phoenix Street, Spitalfields, and who was from 1724 to 1727 a lieutenant-colonel in the Tower Hamlets Trained Bands. (ref. 105) In 1729 he was warden of the Weavers' Company. (ref. 106)

No. 25, the largest house of the three, was occupied between at least 1743 and 1793 by a ’ John Baker’, described at the earlier date as’Esquire’. (ref. 43) This name probably represents successive occupants. John Baker was described in 1740 and 1744 as a merchant (ref. 107) and in 1763 as a gold and silver brocade and flowered-silk weaver. (ref. 108) He was a trustee for the Spitalfields almshouses in 1744, (ref. 38) and a John Baker was a trustee or commissioner under the Local Acts of 1753, 1772 and 1782. The occupant of No. 25 in the 1740's was probably the John Baker of Spitalfields who undertook in 1745 to raise a body of seventy-five of his workmen to resist the Young Pretender and who, as ’Mr. Alderman Baker’, presented to the King a declaration of loyalty by a Spitalfields association. (ref. 39) <The identification of John Baker as the Alderman Baker who presented the declaration to the King is incorrect. The latter was William Baker (information supplied by the V and A Textiles Department, May 1958).>

The group of houses in Princelet Street, Brick Lane and Hanbury Street of which these form a part was built in uniform style. Nos. 21 and 23 are single-fronted and two rooms deep, No. 25 is double-fronted and one room deep, and all have cellar-basements and four storeys. The fronts were originally uniform and are built of yellow brick, red brick being used for the bandcourses between the storeys, and for the jambs and gauged flat arches of the windows. These are evenly spaced, the single-fronted houses having three in each upper storey, and the double having five. In addition there are narrow blind windows on the extreme right of the second and third storeys of No. 25. All the windows, except those in the rebuilt top storey of No. 25, have exposed flush frames, generally with modern sashes. There are, however, some late eighteenth-century sashes with slender glazing bars at No. 21. The front was originally finished with a moulded wooden cornice. (ref. 109) Wooden doorcases, still existing at Nos. 21 and 25, were probably standardized for all these houses. The tall rectangular door opening has a moulded architrave frame, flanked by narrow panelled pilasters with carved consoles supporting the cornice-hood, this last being missing from No. 21. The back elevation, also of yellow brick, has bandcourses between the storeys, but the flush-framed windows have segmental arched heads. The interiors were simply finished, the rooms being lined and partitioned with plain rebated panelling.

Footnotes

a Horwood seems to be mistaken in showing a grass plot between the back gardens of the houses on the north side of Princelet Street and of those on the south side of Hanbury Street. The sites comprised in the building leases reached back to the centre line between the streets, to which line the building of the French Church in Brown's Lane (not shown on Hor wood’s map) extended, and there is no present trace between the houses of any central plot of ground.

References

38. M.L.R. 1745/1/91.
39. The London Gazette, 5 Oct. 1745.
43. R.B.
53. M.L.R.1725/5/375–8; R.B.
62. Ibid., 1713/2/21–2.
63. Ibid., 1727/5/315–17.
64. Ibid., 1723/3/37I–3.
65. Ibid., 1722/4/79.
66. Ibid., 1724/2/121.
67. Ibid., 1724/2/179.
68. Ibid., 1722/4/79; 1722/5/61.
69. Ibid., 1724/2/178–9.
70. Ibid., 1721/2/40.
71. Ibid., 1724/3/437.
72. Ibid., 1721/2/40–1; 1721/4/264–6.
73. Ibid., 1723/1/60; R.B.
74. Ibid., 1726/3/281.
75. Ibid., 1735/5/351–2.
76. Procs. Hug. Soc, vol. xi, 1917, p. 279; R.B.
77. M.L.R.1723/5/66; R.B.
78. Ibid., 1735/2/36–7.
79. Ibid., 1721/4/266.
80. Ibid., 1723/5/66.
81. L.C.C.R.O.,Tower Hamlets Commissioners of Sewers Minutes, 28 Nov. 1706.
82. M.L.R.1727/5/315–17.
83. Ibid., 1721/4/264.
84. Ibid., 1721/4/271–2, 274.
85. Ibid., 1720/3/250.
86. Ibid., 1724/4/180.
87. The Universal Director… by Mr. Mortimer; R.B.
88. M.L.R.1719/1/150.
89. Ibid., 1720/2/174.
90. Ibid., 1724/6/296.
91. Ibid., 1728/3/105.
92. Ibid., 1718/2/190–1.
93. Ibid., 1719/2/103.
94. The London Gazette, 5 Oct. 1745; R-B.
95. M.L.R. 1718/2/190–1; Herts. County Record Office, deed of Mr. Hugh Crallan.
96. Christ Church vestry safe, Vestry Minutes 1767–73, passim; R.B. and Kent's Directory.
97. D.N.B.
98. M.L.R. 1719/2/104–5.
99. Ibid 1721/4/287–8.
100. Ibid., 1722/5/211–12.
101. Information supplied by the secretary of the Synagogue Trustees.
102. P.C.C. 71 Shaller.
103. L.C.C.R.O., Tower Hamlets Commissioners of Sewers Minutes, 17 Dec. 1705.
104. M.L.R. 1713/2/21–2.
105. Procs. Hug. Soc., vol. xv, 1937, p. 308.
106. Guildhall Library, MS. 4655/12.
107. Complete Guide… to London
108. The Universal Director…by Mr. Mortimer
109. Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, East London, 1930, pp. 100b, 101a. A photograph of the houses showing the cornice is possessed by the Commission.