Eagle and Child Alley - Ebenezer Square

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

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Henry A Harben, 'Eagle and Child Alley - Ebenezer Square', in A Dictionary of London, (London, 1918) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/dictionary-of-london/eagle-and-child-alley-ebenezer-square [accessed 21 May 2024].

Henry A Harben. "Eagle and Child Alley - Ebenezer Square", in A Dictionary of London, (London, 1918) . British History Online, accessed May 21, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/dictionary-of-london/eagle-and-child-alley-ebenezer-square.

Harben, Henry A. "Eagle and Child Alley - Ebenezer Square", A Dictionary of London, (London, 1918). . British History Online. Web. 21 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/dictionary-of-london/eagle-and-child-alley-ebenezer-square.

In this section

Eagle and Child Alley

East out of Shoe Lane at No. 39 to Fleet Market at No. 61, in Farringdon Ward Without (Elmes, 1831).

First mention : 1654 (L. and P. Commonwealth VII. 146).

Part of the site is now covered by Farringdon Avenue.

Eagle and Child Alley, St. Katherine's

See Bleek's [Black's?] Rents.

Eagle and Child Court

West of Panier Ally, in Farringdon Ward Within (Strype, ed. 1720 and 1755).

No later mention.

Eagle Court

South from Little St. Thomas Apostles to Great St. Thomas Apostles (Strype, ed. 1720 and 1755). In Cordwainer Ward.

Mentioned 1676 (L. and P. Chas. II. D.S. XVIII. 262).

No later reference.

Eales Yard

See Angel Court, Minories.

Earl Street

At the western end of Upper Thames Street, in Castle Baynard Ward and Farringdon Ward Within, to Blackfriars Bridge (O.S. 1880).

First mention : Horwood, 1799.

The site is occupied by "Banister Lane" in O. and M. 1677-P.C. 1732.

Spelt "Bannisters Lane" in Hatton, 1708.

Other names : "Holland Street" in Rocque, 1746 ; "Bannister Yard" in Boyle, 1799 ; "Printing House Street" in Strype, 1720-1755.

Renamed Upper Thames Street in 1877.

East Harding Street

East out of Great New Street, at No. 12, to Gunpowder Alley (P.O. Directory). In Farringdon Ward Without.

First mention : O. and M. 1677.

The south side from 9 Great New Street to Gunpowder Alley, Shoe Lane, was called "Goldsmith Row" in Lockie, 1810, and Elmes, 1831.

East India Avenue

South out of Leadenhall Street between Nos. 15 and 16 (P.O. Directory). In Lime Street Ward.

Erected about 1863-4.

Site formerly occupied by the East India House (q.v.).

East India Chambers

On the south side of Leadenhall Street at No. 23, opposite St. Mary Axe (P.O. Directory).

First mention : Lockie, 1810.

East India House

At the north-west corner of Lime Street (Horwood, 1799), extending to Leadenhall Market. In Lime Street Ward. The offices of the East India Company.

The original edifice only occupied the western portion of the area eventually covered by the House, and is shown on O. and M. map, 1677, at some little distance from Lime Street corner. Strype says the house was formerly Sir William Craven's, "with spacious rooms, very commodious for such a Publick Concern," and was let to the East India Co. by the Earl of Craven at a yearly rent (ed. 1720, I. ii. 88 and 89). It is shown in the same position on Strype's maps as on O. and M. and also on Rocque's map, 1764. Rebuilt 1726.

It was enlarged and an eastern wing added by Jupp in 1799. This extension, as shown in Horwood, embraced the site of Benbridges' or Penbrigges' inn (q.v.).

Called "India House," Horwood.

The East India Co. was incorporated by charter in 1600 and dissolved 1858.

The House was sold and taken down 1861 and East India Avenue, etc., erected on the site 1863-4.

East Passage

West out of Cloth Street to Cloth Fair and New Court, with a passage north into Long Lane. In Farringdon Ward Without (L.C.C. List, 1912).

First mention : Lockie, 1810.

Inscription on one of the houses bears date 1790.

East Smithfield

A district lying just outside the walls of London, east of the Tower, stretching south to the Thames, and east to Nightingale Lane, while to the north it extended itself into the parish of Whitechapel.

In early days it constituted a Manor and was the property of the Prior and Convent of the Holy Trinity, but was originally included within the limits of the ward of Portsoken (q.v.). In course of time, owing to the establishment of religious foundations within its bounds and to the privileges accorded to them, much of the district became alienated from the ward and from the jurisdiction of the City. (This question is discussed at length in the notice of Portsoken Ward (q.v.)).

Down to the middle of the 16th century the district remained for the most part open country, and in Agas' map, c. 1570, there are but few houses and buildings to be seen, except those connected with the religious houses which had stood there.

But the succeeding years, as Stow complains (ed. 1603, p. 425), saw a rapid increase in the population and buildings in the district, so that by the middle of the 17th century it seemed to contain almost as thick a network of courts and alleys as the City within the walls.

The district is now occupied by the Royal Mint, the St. Katherine Docks, etc., and is a busy centre of commerce and industry.

Described by Dodsley as a small square near Little Tower Hill, surrounded with but indifferent buildings.

The earliest forms of the name are : "Smethefel extra Alegate" (Chancery Inq. p.m. 18 Ed. I.). "Estsmethefeud " I Ed. I. (Anc. Deeds, A. 7830-1). "Estsmethefeld" (56. H. III., ib. A. 1512 and 21 Ed. I. Chanc. I. p.m.) ; the latter being the most usual form of the name and in use down to a late period.

The word "Smithfield" is generally interpreted as "Smoothfield," the "campus planus re et nomine" of Fitzstephen (quoted by Stow, ed. 1603, p. 573), lying outside the City walls, the designation "East" being added to it to distinguish it from a district similarly named outside the western walls of the City.

The history of the street of East Smithfield in which the name survives is given under Upper East Smithfield and Lower East Smithfield (q.v.).

East Smithfield Double Passage

On Tower Hill (Dodsley, 1761).

Not named in the maps.

East Smithfield School

Founded 1673 by Sir Samuel Sterling for sixteen poor boys of the parish of St. Botolph, Aldgate (Dodsley, 1761).

East Street

East out of Finsbury Circus at No. 21 to Blomfield Street (P.O. Directory). In Coleman Street Ward.

First mention : O.S. 1848-51.

Seems to be shown in Greenwood 1829, but not named.


East from No. 48 Gracechurch Street and Fish Street Hill to Great Tower Street (P.O. Directory).

In Billingsgate, Bridge Within and Candlewick Wards.

The name is used to denote both the street and the market.

Earliest mention of name : "Estchep," 15 John (Anc. Deeds, A. 6884). "Street called Estchepe," 1246 (Cal. Ch. Rolls. I. 309).

This is the usual form in early records.

The street has varied considerably in extent and in designation from time to time.

From the early allusions to St. Michael Crooked Lane as "St. Michael Candlewick Street," or "near Candlewick Street," it seems probable that in the 12th and 13th centuries at any rate, the street at least as far as Crooked Lane was known as Candlewick Street, and that the designation "Eastcheap" for the western portion of the street to Clement's Lane did not come into use until a later date, probably about the 14th century.

The name "Eastcheap" was in use for the whole of the street as late as the 16th century, including those portions known subsequently as Great Eastcheap, Little Eastcheap and Little Tower Street.

The name "Great Eastcheap" appears first in a will of 1569, in which a messuage in St Clement's Lane is described as near Great Eastcheap (Ct. H.W. II. 691).

Stow mentions Great Eastcheap and Little Eastcheap (S. 218 and 207).

In Leake's map, 1666, the eastern portion of the street extending from Tower Street to St. Mary Hill is unnamed, the portion from St. Mary Hill west to Botolph Lane is named "Smithers Lane," from Botolph Lane west to Fish Street Hill "Little Eastcheap," and from Fish Street Hill to St. Clement's Lane, "Great Eastcheap."

In connection with this name "Smithers Lane" it is interesting to note that in a London I. p.m. 6 Eliz. mention is made of messuages in Smyth Lane and Philpott Lane and otherwise described as "near little Estchep," and the context suggests that the portion of Eastcheap designated by Leake "Smithers Lane," may in 1564 have been called "Smyth Lane."

In O. and M. 1677 and Rocque, 1746 the name "Smithers Lane" has entirely disappeared and the various portions of the street are designated respectively Little Tower Street, Little Eastcheap and Great Eastcheap, the eastern end from Tower Street to St. Mary Hill being called "Little Tower Street," the portion extending from St. Mary Hill to Fish Street Hill "Little Eastcheap," and the western end from Fish Street Hill to St. Martin's Lane "Great Eastcheap."

In 1799, in Horwood's map, the only change to be noted is at the western end, Great Eastcheap not extending as far west as in the earlier maps, but ending at Crooked Lane, which agrees with the description given by Lockie in 1810.

Some few years later, as shown in Greenwood's map, 1827, the name Great Eastcheap has disappeared and has given place to "Eastcheap," extending west as formerly to Clement's Lane, the eastern portion from Fish Street Hill remaining unaltered in extent and designation.

Soon after this date, however, namely about 1831, the extent of the street at its western end underwent considerable curtailment, and a great portion of it was swept away for the formation of the approaches to the New London Bridge. The western end indeed ceased to exist, and the eastern portions were known respectively as Eastcheap and Little Tower Street, "Eastcheap" extending from Fish Street Hill to St. Mary Hill, and Little Tower Street from St. Mary Hill to Great Tower Street as shown in the O. S. 1848-80.

In 1884 the whole street was widened under the Metropolitan and District Railways (City Lines and Extensions) Act, 1882, and all subsidiary designations being abolished, the whole extent of the street became known once more as "Eastcheap" as at the present time.

The dates of these various designations may be given approximately as follows : "Eastcheap" temp. H. III. to the 16th century, and again from 1827 to the present time. "Great Eastcheap" occurs 1569-1827, "Little Eastcheap " 1564-1831, "Little Tower Street" 1677-1884, "Smithers Lane" 1666, "Smyth Lane" 1564.

From the early records it appears that Eastcheap was one of the places in the City specially set apart for the butchers, and that they had their shops and stalls here, and it is to be noted that in these early records the name is perhaps more often used to denote the "macellum" or " butchery" than the street. Indeed the earliest reference given above relates to rent from a stall at the butcher's market (apud macellum), Estchep, and shows that the butchers sold meat here as early as the reign of King John.

A patent 17 Ed. II provides that a market for flesh and fish should be kept in Estchepe as of old (Cal. P.R. Ed. II. 1321-4, p. 425).

As Stow says, "The street is so called of the market there kept in the east part of the Citie, as West Cheape is a market so called of being in the West" (S. p. 218).

The market was afterwards removed to Leadenhall, but the butchers still sold meat in Easteheap in Strype's time (ed. 1755, I. 509).

The statue of King William IV. at the junction of King William Street and Gracechurch Street marks approximately the site of the famous Boar's Head Tavern (q.v.) in Eastcheap.

During the excavations in 1831 for the formation of the approaches to the New London Bridge there were found at the north-east corner of Eastcheap two Roman wells and remains of some Roman building, coarse tesserae, vessels, etc. (Gent. Mag. Lib. XV. p. 41).

Roman relics of various kinds found near the end of Clement's Lane in the course of excavations in 1834 (Arch. XXVI. 462). A raised bank of gravel 6 ft. deep and 18 ft. wide, 5 ft. below the surface of the modern pavement (ib. 192). A tessellated pavement was found in 1834, 12 ft. below the present surface, adjoining the church of St. Clement (ib. XXVII. 141).

A Roman road was found across the end of Great Eastcheap to Gracechurch Street at a depth of 3 ft. made of concrete gravel resting on a bed of loam (1 ft. thick) at a depth of 10 ft. 6 in., the gravel below extending to a depth of 20 ft. The road tended from Cannon Street towards Little Eastcheap (Hist. St. Michael's Crooked Lane, p. 21).

Foundations of houses found throughout Little Eastcheap, towards the Tower, 18-20 ft. deep (Arch. XXIX. 154).


See Mary (St.) of Graces.


A water gate on the Thames near to St. Lawrence Pountney, but within the parish of St. Martin Orgar (S. 42). In Dowgate and Bridge Wards Within.

Earliest mention : "Ebbegate," 1246 (Cal. Charter Rolls, H. III. Vol. I. p. 304).

Other forms : "Ebegate," 1295-6 (Ct. H.W. I. 124). "Ebbergate," 1363 (Cal. P.R. Ed. III. 1361-4, p. 347). "Ebgate," alias Oystergate, 3 H. V. (Cal. L. Bk. I. p. 138). But in 1312 they were enumerated separately (L. Bk. D. fo. cxlii., quoted in Riley's Mem., p. 95).

In 1377 the Alderman of Dowgate Ward was to keep guard over the wharves between Ebbgate and Douegate (Cal. L. Bk. H. p. 65).

A water gate of old time called "Ebgate," since Ebgate lane, and now the "olde swan," which is a common stayre on the Thames, but the passage is very narrow by meanes of encroachments " (S. 215).

See Swan Lane.

Ebbgate Lane

See Swan Lane.

Ebenezer Square

East out of Gravel Lane and extending south-east to Meeting House Court. In Portsoken Ward (Horwood, 1799-O.S. 1880).

It seems to have been in course of formation in 1799.

Removed for the formation of Artizan Street and the City of London Artizans' Dwellings ; commenced in 1884.