Cousen's Lane - Crachemilles

A Dictionary of London. Originally published by H Jenkins LTD, London, 1918.

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Henry A Harben, 'Cousen's Lane - Crachemilles', in A Dictionary of London( London, 1918), British History Online [accessed 13 July 2024].

Henry A Harben, 'Cousen's Lane - Crachemilles', in A Dictionary of London( London, 1918), British History Online, accessed July 13, 2024,

Henry A Harben. "Cousen's Lane - Crachemilles". A Dictionary of London. (London, 1918), , British History Online. Web. 13 July 2024.

In this section

Cousen's Lane

See Cousin Lane.

Cousin Lane

South out of Upper Thames Street, at No. 83, to the Thames (P.O. Directory). In Dowgate Ward.

Earliest mention : O. and M. 1677.

Other forms of name : "La Cosyneslane," 1305-6 (Ct. H.W. I. 175). "Cosyngeslane," 1321 (Cal. L. Bk. E. p. 144). "Cosineslane," 1338 (Ct. H.W. I. 430). " Cosynes lane," 1345 (ib. 479). "Cosynlane," 1379 (Cal. L. Bk. II. p. 136). "Cuflyn lane," 1510 (Lond. I. p.m. H. VIII. I. p. 74). "Cossen Lane," I and 2 P. and M. (1554) (ib. 133). "Cosin Lane" (S. 234), 1603. "Couzens Lane," "Cousens Lane" (Strype, ed. 1720, I. ii. 207). "Cousens Lane" (Rocque, 1746).

Stow says that this lane was named after "William Cosin that dwelled there in the fourth of Richard the second, as divers his predecessors...had done before him. William Cosin was one of the sheriffs in the yeare 1306." These could hardly have been the same persons.

Peter Cusyn had a wharf in the parish of All Hallows at the Hay in the Ward of Dowgate, 6 Ed. I. 1278 (Cal. L. Bk. B. p. 279), and the lane probably took its name from the family.

Cousin Lane Stairs

At the south end of Cousin Lane. In Dowgate Ward (Bacon, 1912).

First mention : O.S. 1848-51.

Former name : "Dowgate Stairs" (Rocque, 1746).

Probably on or near the site of the wharf, which was the property of Peter Cusyn, 6 Ed. I. 1278 (Cal. L. Bk. B. p. 279).

Covent Garden, East Smithfield

Inhabited by foreigners in 1635 (L. and P. Chas. I. Dom. S. 1635, p. 594).

Not mentioned in any of the old maps, etc., but probably erected on the site of the Convent garden of St. Mary Graces mentioned in the grant to Sir Arthur Darcy in 1542 (ib. Hen. VIII. Dom. S. XVIII. Pt. 1, p. 446).

Covent Rentes, East Smithfield

Messuage called "le Covent Rentes" in Estsmythfeld in parish of St. Botolph without Algate belonging to the Convent of St. Mary Graces, 1544 (L. and P. H. VIII. Dom. S. Vol. XIX. Pt. 2, p. 74).

Site now covered by the Royal Mint.

Cow Cross, Cow Cross Street

See John (St.) Street.

Cow Lane

West out of West Smithfield to Snow Hill, in Farringdon Ward Without (Elmes, 1831).

First mention : 1416 (Ct. H.W. II. 410).

A place noted for Coachmakers and Harness makers (W. Stow, 1722).

Now King Street (q.v.).

Stow identifies this lane with Cowbridge Street (q.v.), but Cow Lane is shown in all the old maps as meeting Snow Hill at Holborn Conduit, and unless its course had been diverted it could never have touched the "River of Wells."

The maps show the Chick Lane bridge as the next bridge northward of Holborn Bridge, and no street or lane between the two, where a bridge could have been. It is difficult therefore to see where the Cow Bridge could have been situated, unless it was identical with the Chick Lane bridge, or stood further north. It seems more likely that Chick Lane was identical with Cowbridge Street, not Cow Lane.


A bridge over the River of Wells by Cowbridge Street or Cow Lane, decayed lately and another made further north by Chick Lane (S. 27).

Mentioned in the Register of Clerkenwell Priory. (Cott. MSS. Faust, A. III. fo. 104). Some land described as "versus pontem de Holburne," et extendit se in longitudine a vico regio usque ad aquam currentem per 'Cubreg.'"

In O. and M. and other maps Cow Lane meets Snow Hill at right angles with the continuation of Holborn, one hundred yards east of Holborn Bridge. Unless therefore the course of Cow Lane was diverted, it never touched the Fleet, so could hardly be described as "by the bridge." Possibly Cowbridge Street was distinct from Cow Lane.

Cowbridge Street

Houses in "Coubrugestret" towards Smethefeld, 1331 (Ct. H.W. I. 370).

Tenement in Hollebourne in "Cowebreggestrete," 1352 (ib. 663). "Coubryggestrete," in the suburb of London, 1407 (ib. II. 375). "Coubriggestrete," 1458 (Cal. L. Bk. K. 393).

See Cow Lane.

Cowden's Rents

West out of Little Trinity Lane and north to Huggin Court (O. and M. 1677-Boyle, 1799). In Queenhithe Ward.

See Shaw's Court.

Cowface (The)

A shop so called in Chepe, 1537 (L. and P. H. VIII. XII. Pt. 2, p. 434).

In the parish of St. Mary le Bowe, 1594 (Lond. I. p.m. III. 182).

It was formerly known as the Tannersseld (q.v.).

Cowper's Court

See Hooper's Court.

Cowper's Court

South out of Cornhill at No. 33 (P.O. Directory). In Cornhill Ward.

First mention : "Coopers Court," (Boyle, 1799).

Called "Fleece Tavern" (Strype, ed. 1720-Rocque, 1746). Called "Fleece Yard" (Lond. Guide, 1758).

So called from Sir Wm. Cooper, a large householder in the parish of St. Michael Corn-hill, temp. Jas. I.

Extensive vaults under the Court said to have been vaults and underground passages belonging to his house.

Coxe's Passage

West out of Aldersgate Street, a little south of Long Lane (Strype, 1720 and 1755).

The site is now occupied by the eastern end of Newbury Street.

Cox's Court

North-east out of Little Britain at No. 25, in Aldersgate Ward Without (P.O. Directory).

First mention : Horwood, 1799.

The eastern continuation to Cross Key Square was, until 1899, called Montague Place, but in that year the name "Montague Place" was abolished, and the whole street from Little Britain to Cross Key Square is now called Cox's Court.

Named after the owner or builder.

Cox's Court

West out of Aldersgate Street, at 160, in Aldersgate Ward Without (Strype, ed. 1720-Elmes, 1831).

The site is now occupied by offices and business houses.

Cox's Quay

On the south side of Lower Thames Street at No. 6 (P.O. Directory). In Billinesgate Ward, adjoining Fresh Wharf on the west.

Former name : "Cocks Key." Act of Parliament 1539, when it was appointed a general place for lading and discharging goods (Strype, ed. 1720, I. ii. 49 ; and in Leake, 1666).

It seems to be placed further west in some of the maps.

It is interesting to note that in temp. Henry VI. "Drynkwater Wharf" is described as alias "Cokkeswharf," but it seems to be too far west to be identified with the present "Cox's Quay."

Demised by Richard Coke to Anne Cooke, widow, temp. Q. Elizabeth (Proc. in Chancery, II. 107).

Named after an owner.

Cox's Rents

In St. Catherine's precinct (P.C. 1732-Boyle, 1799).

Not named in the maps.

Crab Court

See Clothier Street.


Apparently two mills so called belonging first to the Priory of Holy Trinity and afterwards to the Abbey of Grace on the Thames' bank, on the boundary of the parishes of St. Botolph Aldgate and St. Mary Whitechapel, near the Swan's Nest, a hermitage in East Smithfield.

The earliest mention of them appears to be under the name "mill of Crassenie lane" in a dispute concerning tithes between the Convent of Holy Trinity and the Rector of Stepney in 1233 (H. MSS. Com. 9th Rep. App. p. 49), when it is described as on the borders of the parishes of St. Botolph Aldgate and Stepney.

Called "la Cressemilne," 49 H. III. (Cal. L. and M. Ft. of Fines, I. 43).

In 49 Ed. III the mills were in the possession of John de Peckebrigg, and were specifically excepted from a grant of land in Eastsmithfield made by him at that time to the abbot and convent of the new abbey de Gracus (Cal. Anc. Deeds, A. 2559).

But in 34 H. VIII., 1542, they are described as the Abbey of Graces' mills, called Crasshmylls " near the Swan's Nest (L. and P. H. VIII. Dom. S. XV. II. pp. 39-400).

The Swan's Nest was a hermitage in 49 Ed. III. (Anc. Deeds, A. 2559), and may well have been The Hermitage, from which the Bridge derived its name. This would correspond with the position of the mills as set out in the documents quoted above.

Mention is also made of "Crasshemyll Meadowe" abutting on Nightingale Lane east, 35 II. VIII. 1543, which also belonged to St. Mary Graces (L. and P. H. VIII. Dom. S. XVIII. p. 363).

In the Middlesex Sessions' Rolls they are described as divers mills called "crash milles" belonging to the Lord King in the two parishes of St. Botolph without Aldgate, and Whitechapel through which water ran from the Thames, 5 and 6 Jas. I. (II. 32 and 40).