Horsmylle (le) - Hucker's Court, St. Nicholas Lane

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

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Horsmylle (le)

See Horse Mill (The).


A brewery in St. Botolph Alegate parish at Tourhulle, extended from land called "Horssleggesforlong" on the east to the high road on the west, 20 Ed. III. (Anc. Deeds, A. 2643).

Not further identified.

Horsshoe Passage

North-east out of Blow Bladder Street (Newgate Street), in Farringdon Ward Within ; leading to Round Court and St. Martin's le Grand (P.C. 1732-Elmes, 1831).

Not named in the maps.

Hosier Lane

West out of West Smithfield, at No. 24, to 7 King Street (P.O. Directory). In Farringdon Ward Without.

First mention : "Hosiereslane," 1328 (Ct. H.W. I. 332).

Other forms : "Hosyereslane," 1332 (ib. 379). "Hosierlane," 1365-6 (ib. II. 92).

One house in this street has an oak beam still in use, dated 1583 (N. and Q. 11th S. vii. 249).

There are numerous references in old records to Hosiers living here, and Stow says they gave their name to the lane.

Hosier Lane

Identified with Bow Lane (q.v.).

Earliest mention : "Hosihereslane," 1365 (Ct. H.W. II. 88).

Other forms of name : "Hosierlane," 1394 (Cal. L. Bk. H. p. 413). "Hosyer lane," 1482 (Ct. H.W. II. 583). "Hosier Lane, alias Bowelane," 36 Eliz. (Lond. I. p.m. III. 177).

So called of the Hosiers carrying on their trade there for a time.


Elections made to the Mistery of Hosiers, 1328 (Cal. L. Bk. E. p. 233).

Hospital (New)

See Mary (St.) Bethlehem, and New Hospital without Bishopsgate.

Hospital for Diseases of the Skin

On the east side of New Bridge Street, in Farringdon Ward Within (O.S. 1880).

Hospital for Lunatics, Barking Church

Hospital founded in parish of Barking church, 44 Ed. III., for poor priests and others sick of the phrenzie (S. 139).

Stow suggests that the Hospital may have belonged to an Alien Priory and been suppressed by Ed. III. or Henry V. (ib.), as there appears to be no further record of it.

Hospital Passage

Leading from Christ's Hospital into Butcherhall Lane (Dodsley, 1761).

Not identified in the maps.

Hot Water Court

North out of Fann Street at No. 49.

A portion only within the City boundary (P.O. Directory).

First mention : L.C.C. List, 1901.

Hott Howse (The)

Lands at Quenehyth called the "Hott Howse," 1 Eliz. (Lond. I. p.m. I. 168).

See Stew Lane.


West from Nos. 4 and 5 Aldgate High Street to No. 126 Bishopsgate (P.O. Directory). In Portsoken Ward and Bishopsgate Ward Without.

This is the extent of the present street of this name, but in former times it was the name given to the City Ditch surrounding the wall from the Tower to the Fleet and especially to that part of it extending from Newgate to Cripplegate.

First mention : "Hondesdich," 1282 (Ct. H.W. I. 58). "Hundesdiche," 1304 (Cal. L. Bk. B. p. 141). "Houndesditch," 1315 (H. MSS. Com. 9th Rep. p. 8).

This City Ditch was commenced about 1213 (Ann. de Berm.) under date 1211 in Ann. de Dunstaplia, but recent excavations have shown that there was previously to this date a ditch round the City made by the Romans as part of the fortifications, which had in course of time become filled up and obliterated. This ditch has been laid open and examined at Christ's Hospital, at Aldersgate, New Broad Street, and at America Square, and the remains suggest that in later times they constructed a second and wider ditch for defensive purposes, about 75 ft. in width. Considerable portions were obliterated in later times by the construction of the medieval City Ditch. An excellent account of the remains and excavations is contained in Arch. Vols. LX. and LXIII.

The Danes under Cnut dug a ditch round the City in 1016, so that no one could go in or out (A.S. Chron. Earle and Plummer, p. 22).

The City Ditch was sometimes also called the "Town Ditch" (q.v.).

Houses were soon erected on the bank of the City Ditch, and it became a receptacle for a good deal of filth and rubbish, so that it constantly had to be cleansed and scoured. By Stow's time it had become completely filled up in this way, constituting a grave danger to the health of the City.

Writ of Privy Seal issued to the Mayor and Sheriffs, 28 Ed. III., directing them to cleanse the Town Ditch (Cal. L. Bk. G. p. 27). Cleansed 16 Ed. IV.

In 1595 the question of properly stopping it up and levelling the ground was seriously considered and arguments adduced in favour of this course, such as :

The saving of the expenses of cleansing that would be effected thereby.

Avoidance of a source of infection.

The conversion of the ground into gardens and walks for the citizens (L. and P. Ed. VI. and Eliz., IV. 45).

These improvements seem to have been carried out within a few years, according to Stow's description (S. 130).

The street was first paved about 1503.

Stow says the street known as Barbican was formerly called Houndesditch, but it seems to lie too far north from the line of the ditch.

Stow suggests that the name was derived from filth and dead dogs thrown into the ditch, and this may be correct if, as is most probable, the name grew up by degrees and was only generally adopted after the lapse of time (p. 129).

Another derivation suggested is "Hunes-dic," as being a defence raised against the "Huns," or alien population of the forests and marshes round the capital. But this presupposes an early form "Hunes," for which there does not appear to be any authority, the earliest form of the name being, as shown above, "Houndesdich."

Moreover the ditch does not appear to have been called by this name until after its reconstruction in the 13th century.

It is difficult to suggest any satisfactory derivation of the name, as in early times it seems to have been spoken of as "the ditch" only, or the "City Ditch," and not to have had any other distinctive appellation.

Behind Nos. 58 and 60, remains of the Roman Wall were found cased up between other walls, the top being 71/2 feet above the level of the street. The depth of the City Ditch here was at 18 feet, being at a distance of about 60 feet from the wall.

Housewife's, Housewives' Alley

North out of Bethelem, in Bishopsgate Ward Without (O. and M. 1677-Boyle, 1799).

"Housewife's" or "hussy's alley" in old bedlam (P.C. 1732).

The site is now occupied by Broad Street Station.

Howard House

Some of the buildings of the late dissolved Charterhouse were so named by Thomas Howard in 1569 and 1603 (H. MSS. Com. Var. Coll. IV. 322, and MSS. Bath II. 51).

Howford Buildings

North out of Fenchurch Street at 148 (P.O. Directory). In Langbourn Ward.

First mention : O.S. 1875).

Former names : "Howford's Court" (P.C. 1732-L. Guide, 1758). "Howford Court" (Boyle, 1799-Elmes, 1831). "Holford Court" (Rocque, 1746). "Hartford Court" (Stryp, ed. 1720). "Christal Court" (O. and M. 1677).

Named after the owner or builder.

Howford Court

Out of St. Nicholas Lane (W. Stow, 1722-L. Guide, 1758).

"Howard's Court" in Boyle, 1799.

Not named in the maps.

Hoyle's Court

East out of Noble Street, in Aldersgate Ward (O. and M. 1677-Boyle, 1799).

Site rebuilt as offices and warehouses.

Named after an owner or builder.

Hubbart's Rents

In Houndsditch (Dodsley, 1761).

Not named in the maps.

Hucker's Court, St. Nicholas Lane

See Hooker's Court.