Fleet Bridge - Fleur de lis Court

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

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Fleet Bridge

Over the Fleet River between Fleet Street and Ludgate Hill, near Fleet Prison, in Farringdon Ward Without (Rocque, 1746).

First mention : " Ponte de Fleete," 1197 (Mag. Rot. 9 Rich. I.).

Other forms of name : "Pontem de Flet," 15 H. III. (Cal. Cl. Rolls, H. III. p. 525). "Flete bridge," 1274 (Ct. H.W. I. 19). "Fleotebrug," 1311 (Dugdale, II. 304). "Fleet bregge," 1318 (Ct. H.W. I. 278).

In 1307 order was made for the Wardens of Flete prison to repair and construct the woodwork of Flete Bridge, and the Sheriffs of London to pave the bridge, I Ed. II. (Cal. L. Bk. C. p. 240).

In 1356 it was alleged that the King ought to make and repair the bridge (Cal. L. Bk. G. p. 65).

Made of stone before the Fire, afterwards much enlarged and beautified (Strype, ed. 1720, I. iii. 280).

One of the walls left in 1761 for the security of passengers, but no longer a bridge (Dodsley).

Fleet Conduit

See Conduit in Fleet Street.

Fleet Ditch

See Fleet (The). So called as early as the 13th century.

Described by Hatton (1708) as in his time a spacious street and indeed like two large streets, divided by the ditch. A fine market house for corn there, erected about 1703.

In Strype's maps shown extending from Ludgate Hill south to the Thames on the western boundary of Farringdon Ward Within.

The portion between Holborn Bridge and Fleet Street was arched over 1737.

Fleet Ditch Side

By Fleet Ditch (P.C. 1732).

Fleet Lane

West out of Old Bailey at Nos. 45 and 25 to No. 16 Farringdon Street (P.O. Directory). In Farringdon Ward Without.

First mention : "Fletlaune," 1544 (Lond. I. p.m. II. 93).

Other forms : "Flete Lane," 1562-3 (Ct. H.W. II. 680).

Perhaps identical with "a lane without Newgate going towards the Fleet," 49 H. III. (Anc. Deeds, A. 2328).

"High street by which one goes to the prison of Flete," 23 H. VI. (ib. B. 2176).

The lane was cut in two in the 19th century by the formation of the L.C. and Dover Railway lines.

In Stow's time the eastern end out of Old Bailey to Seacole Lane was called "St George's Lane." New Inn formerly stood here. But being decayed was moved near Clement's Inn (S. 374-5 and 391).

Named from the Fleet (q.v.).

See Smale Lane.

Fleet Market

Erected over the course of the Fleet or New Canal, after it had been enclosed and arched over, above Fleet Bridge, 1737 (Rocque, 1746-Greenwood, 1827).

It had stood formerly on the bank of Fleet Ditch (Hatton, 1708).

For corn, etc.

Removed about 1829-30, for the formation of Farringdon Street.

Fleet Prison

On the eastern bank of the Fleet, and afterwards of the Canal and Fleet Market, in Farringdon Ward Without (Elmes, 1831), south of Fleet Lane.

First mention : Custody "gaiolae de Ponte de Fleete" in hands of Nathaniel de Leveland and Robert his son, 1197 (Mag. Rot. 9 Rich. I.).

Called "le Francheprison" (q.v.), 1349.

"Caroone House," alias the Fleete, 1670 (H. MSS. Com. 12th Rep. V.17).

Burnt in the Fire and rebuilt. Destroyed in riots 1780 and rebuilt 1781-2.

Used for Star Chamber prisoners and afterwards for debtors, bankrupts, etc.

The Register books of the Fleet are at Somerset House.

Marriages in Fleet Chapel prohibited 1711. Continued to be celebrated within the Liberties of the Fleet until 1774, when they were declared null and void.

Purchased by the Corporation of London 1844, and used as the City Stone-yard. Site sold 1864 to the London, Chatham and Dover Railway Co. for the formation of their lines, and a portion of the site occupied by the Memorial Hall and Library in Farringdon Street.

Named after the Fleet River.

The Liberties of the Fleet included the north side of Ludgate Hill and the Old Bailey to Fleet Lane, down that lane to the market, and on the east side along by the Fleet prison to the bottom of Ludgate Hill.

Fleet Street

West from Ludgate Circus to the Strand at Temple Bar (P.O. Directory). In Farringdon Ward Without.

First mention found in records : "Fletestrete," 1274 (Ct. H.W. I. 19).

Other forms : "In vico de Fletebrigge," 12 H. III. (Lib. Albus, I. 86). "In Vico de fleta," 1285 (MS. D. and C. St. Paul's, Lib. L. f. 93). "King's highway" of Fleet, 13 Ed. I. (Cal. Close R. 1279-88, p. 376).

In the 14th century in 7 Rich. II. a grant of pavage for three years was made for paving and repair of Fletestrete from Temple Bar to the Savoye (Cal. P.R. Rich. II. 1384, p. 411), and it appears from this and other records that in early times Fleet Street was more extensive than at present and stretched from Ludgate to the Savoy, occupying the site both of the present Ludgate Hill and of the Strand.

See Ludgate Hill.

Stow says that in excavations made in Fleet Street in 1597 piles of timber were found, black as pitch, proving the marshy nature of the ground (S. 296-7), and after the Fire tile levels of the street and quays, etc., were raised, 1668 (L. and P. Chas. II. 1667-8, p. 526).

The "Menterhous" was in this street in early times, 1309 (Cal. L. Bk. C. p. 183), probably belonging to the Meneters or Mintors, and it has long been the resort of well-known Bankers, and Banking-houses, some of which are still to be found rebuilt on their old sites.

The street was always celebrated for its taverns and sign-boards. But perhaps the most interesting house now existing in the street is No. 17, over the Inner Temple Gateway, sometimes called the Inner Temple Gate-house, which was acquired by the London County Council in 1898-9 and restored so that the upper portion of the old front, which had been covered over, is now disclosed to view as it existed on the rebuilding of the premises in 1611. The staircase and many architectural details in the upper rooms belong to the same period.

The ground floor is modern, as in rebuilding it was set back to widen the thoroughfare.

The house is frequently referred to in deeds preserved in the Inner Temple records, and allusions in these records, together with the fact that the ceiling of the front room on the first floor was designed in honour of Prince Henry, son of James I., has led to the belief that this room was used as the Council Chamber for the Duchy of Cornwall at that date. It is described in 1621 as "His highness Counsell Chamber in Fleetestreete" (H. MSS. Com. 15th Rep. 282).

This room is now preserved and set apart for the use of the public. An interesting account of the house will be found in H.C. Mag. Vol. II. Nos. 7 and 8.

Fleet Street was greatly altered in the 18th century by the removal of Temple Bar and the widening of the thoroughfare which was then carried out.

A tradesman's token issued 1666-72 is inscribed "New Fleete Street." Probably the term was applied to the new buildings east of Fetter Lane, re-erected after the Fire of 1666.

The Great Fire 1666 stopped at Fetter Lane, and Nos. 184-5 Fleet Street were left standing as noteworthy examples of Tudor domestic architecture.

Named after the Fleet (q.v.).

Fleet Street Court

In Fleet Street (Dodsley, 1761).

Not named in the maps.

Fleet Street Hill

Mentioned 1653 (L. and P. Commonw. 1653-4, p. 198).

Qy.=Ludgate Hill.

Fleet Street Ward

Ward of Flete.

See Farringdon Ward Without.

Fleet Wharf

Dwelling-house of John Hadon, draper, situate near the road leading to the hostel of the Abbot of Wynchecombe by Fletewharf in the parish of St. Brigid, 1426-7 (Ct. H.W. II. 441).

No later reference.

Flemings' Church Yard

A street east out of Little Tower Hill to St. Katherine's Lane (Burn, 1649-72, p. 87, to Lockie, 1810).

Called : "Flemish Churchyard" (1649-72. Rocque, 1746). "Flemish Courtyard" (Lond. Guide, 1758). "Flemings Churchyard" (Horwood, 1799). "Flemish Street" (Lockie, 1810).

Strype says the Churchyard (from which the street derived its name) lay behind Hangman's Gains, and was appropriated for the burial of those of Hammes and Guisnes and other poor Flemings, who came over under Q. Elizabeth, and is still a Churchyard for the poor (Strype, ed. 1720, I. ii. 8).

Removed for the formation of St. Katherine Docks and the adjacent warehouses 1827.

Flemish Churchyard, Flemish Courtyard, Flemish Street

See Flemings' Church Yard.

Flesh Market

See Leadenhall.

Fleshambles (le), lez Flesshe Shamelles

See Shambles (The).

Fletchers' Hall

On the east side of St. Mary Axe (Elmes, 1831).

First mention : "le Fletchers Hall," 30 H. VIII. 1538 (L. and P.11. VIII. XIII. Pt. 2, p. 193). Belonged then to the Priory of Holy Trinity (ib.).

Now let by the Company as a warehouse (Elmes, 1831).

The Fletchers' Company was in early days united to the Bowyers. They were made a Company by prescription, receiving a grant of arms in 1467.

The thirty-ninth of the City Companies.

Name formerly spelt "Flecchere," "flecher" derived from Fr. "fleche"=an arrow.


Premises in Fletestrete and Fletealle in parish of St. Bridget, 9 and 10 Eliz. (Cal. L. and M. Ft. of Fines, II. 146).

Not further identified.

Fleur de lis Court

East out of Fetter Lane at No. 9, and north to Trinity Church Passage (P.O. Directory). In Farringdon Ward Without.

First mention : "Flower de luce Alley" (O. and M. 1677).

Other forms : "Flower de Luce Court," "Flower de lyz Court" (Hatton, 1708-Strype, ed. 1720, and P.C. 1732). " Flower de lis Court" (Rocque, 1746).

In the I 17th and 18th centuries this was a long court extending south to Fleet Street, but when the southern end of Fetter Lane was widened, this southern portion of the court was absorbed into Fetter Lane, as clearly shown in O.S. 1848-51.

In Lockie, 1810, it is described as at 179 Fleet Street, behind the houses Nos. 1-16 on the east side of Fetter Lane.

In 3 Ed. VI. there was a house in the parish of St. Dunstan, Fleet Street, called the "Flowerdeluce" (Lond. I. p.m. II. 88). This may well have given its name to the court.

It does not seem to have been a desirable locality in the 18th century, for Strype describes it as of some note for the Mousetrap House, a receptacle for lewd persons (ed. 1720, I. iii. 277).

Dryden resided in the Court at No. 16, and there is an interesting description of the contract for the erection of this and the two adjoining houses in 1670 in H. Co. Mag. No. 25, p. 70.

Fleur de lis Court

South out of Carter Lane at No. 79 (P.O. Directory).

Formerly "Shoemaker Row."

In Farringdon Ward Within, within the former precinct of Blackfriars.

First mention : "Flower de lis Court" (O. and M. 1677).

Name derived from the sign of the Fleur de lis. Said to have been taken from the quartering of the French arms with the English, or set up as a compliment to private families who bear this charge in their arms, or as a crest.