Roman Bath Street - Rose Alley

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

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Roman Bath Street

North out of Newgate Street at No.76 (P.O. Directory). In Farringdon Ward Within.

First mention : 1885.

Former names: " Bath Street" in O.S. 1848-50, so named 1843. " Bagnio Street" c.1840. " Bagnio Court" (Rocque, 1746-Elmes, 1831). "Royal Bagnio Court" (P.C. 1732). " Bagnio Lane " or " Pentecost Lane" (P.C. 1732). " Pincock Lane" (O. and M. 1677-Strype, ed. 1720). "Bagnio Yard," 1723 (L.C.C. Deeds, Harben Bequest, 1700-1800, No.46). " Pentecost Lane" (q.v.).

In the 18th century there were some famous baths here, described by Strype as follows: "Near unto Butcher Hall Lane is the Bagnio, a neat contrived Building after the Turkish mode for that purpose; seated in a large handsome Yard, and at the upper end of Pincock Lane. . . . Much resorted unto for Sweating, being found very good for aches, etc., and approved of by our Physicians" (Strype, ed. 1720, I. iii. 194).

Hence the name " Bagnio Court."

Opened 1679. Name changed to" Bath Street," 1843. Houses on east side removed 1869 for new Post Office buildings.

The name "Roman Bath Street" seems to be somewhat misleading, as it suggests the site of a Roman bath here, for which there does not seem to be any foundation.

Romayn's Rent

On the south side of the church of St. Mary Aldermary, being lands and tenements so called, devised 1434 by Henry Barton to the rector of St. Mary's (End. Ch. St. Mary Aldermary, 1902, p. 1).

No later mention.

Probably in Aldermary Churchyard.

Romeland, Billingsgate

A large open space at the head of Billingsgate Dock, in the parish of St. Mary at Hill, in Billingsgate Ward.

In the 28 H. VIII. "le Romland" is said to have belonged to the parish church of St. Mary at Hill (L. and P. H. VIII. D.S. X. p.530).

In the records of the church it is several times referred to, as in 1496-7. For the expenses of taking rubbish to the Romeland (p.223).

In 1559 the images and other things taken out of the church were burnt there (p.412).

"Receipts for Rowndland. Of a spanyerd for lying his shipp there, 1547-8, vij.s. viij.d." (p.385).

Paid to the king for Romeland, 1549-50, x. li. (p.389).

In 37 H. VIII. it was declared by a decree in Chancery that the land belonged to the citizens of I,ondon and not to the parishioners of St. Mary at Hill, on the ground that it was the common wharf of Billingsgate, which had always belonged to the citizens and on which they had held a market time out of mind. It was contended that the key belonging to the parson of St. Mary at Hill adjoined the Romeland, but was quite distinct from it and that the parishioners could not provide any evidence in support of their claim The Boss of Billingsgate was erected on the Romeland by Whittington.

It has been suggested that the "Romeland" belonged at one time to the Abbot of Waltham, whose town residence was in the parish of St. Mary at Hill, and that it was connected with the Romeland in front of the Abbey at Waltham, which was used as a market place.

See Romelands.

Romeland, Queenhithe

A large open space at the head of Queenhithe Dock, in the soke of Queenhithe.

Collectors appointed to collect tolls for cost of cleansing and repairing the " Roume-land," 41 Ed. III. (Cal. L. Bk. G. p.221).

"Romelond " at Queenhithe, 1374 (Ct. H.W. II. 161).

"Roomland in Thames Street, near Townsend Lane, in Queenhithe Ward " (P.C. 1732).

"Roomland Lane" (L. Guide, 1758-Boyle, 1799).

It is stated in a decree of Chancery 37 H. VIII., relating to the Homeland at Billingsgate, that a public market had been held on both these open spaces time out of mind.

See Romelands.

Romeland, Tower

The whole ditch and plain without the Tower within the Postern,. called Romeland; in and of the City (Cal. L. Bk. K. p.83), c. 1428.

First mention : " le Roumelond," near the Tower, 1330 (Ct. H.W. I. 358).

See Romelands.


There seem to have been several of these open spaces in different parts. of the City in early days, as, for instance, in Tower Ward, in Billingsgate Ward, in Dowgate Ward, in Queenhithe Ward.

Wheatley says that in front of the larger monastic establishments, as at St. Albans,. Bury St. Edmond's, etc., there were large open spaces railed oft, used at any rate at Waltham as a market place, and he suggests that they may have been generally so used in early times.

It is interesting to note that in a decree of Chancery 37 H. VIII., confirming to the citizens the possession of the Romeland at Billingsgate, it is expressly stated that markets had been held time out of mind on both the Romelands at Billingsgate and at Queenhithe..

Dr. Sharpe says that it was a name given to an open space near a dock where ships could discharge (Cal. L. Bk. F. p.175, note).

A writer in the Archæologia, XXXVI. Pt. 2, 410-12, suggests that the rents of these lands were appropriated to the use of the See of Rome, and so were called" Romelands," as Peter's pence was called " Rome-scot."

It seems probable that the word is derived from the A.S. "Ram "= open, cleared, roomy, and that they were, as Dr. Sharpe suggests, large open spaces that could be used for the purpose of discharging a cargo, etc., or as a" market" place for the dis posal of these cargoes or other wares.

It should be noted that all the Romelands mentioned were in close proximity to what were the principal wharves of the City in early times.

Rood Lane

South out of Fenchurch Street, at No.23, to 41 Eastcheap (P.O. Directory). In Billingsgate and Langbourn Wards.

Earliest mention : S. 204.

Former names: " St. Margaret Pattens Lane." " Lane of St. Margaret atte Patynes,"1293-4 (Ct. H.W. I. 111). " Street of S. Margaret Patinis," 1348-9 (ib. 528). " Lane called Margarete atte Patyns," 1454 (ib. II. 526). " St. Margaret Pattens," commonly called " Roode Lane" (S. 210).

Lane called S. Margaret Pattens because of olde time Pattens were there usually made and sold, but of latter time this is called Roode Lane, of a Roode there placed in the Churchyard of Saint Margaret .... broken to pieces 1538 (S.211).

Ropary (The)

A part of Thames Street in the parishes of All Hallows the Great and All Hallows the Less, and perhaps including All Hallows lane, which was not called by that name until the 16th century. There seem to have been two portions of the street, one called "Roperia" or "la Roperie," 1307 (Cal. L. Bk. C. p.207, and Ch. I. p.m 46 Ed. III. 62), and the other" Parva Roperia" (Ch. I. p.m. 49 Ed. III. 74).

First mention " Roperestrete," 56 H. III. (Anc. Deeds, A. 10402).

Other names and forms: "Vicum regium cordariorum," 1280 (Ct. H.W. I. 99). The Ropery" (Corderia), 30 Ed. I. (Cal. L. Bk. C. 112). Street called " La Roperie," 1307 (ib. 207). "La Corderie," 1308 (Ct. H.W. I. 199). " The Ropery" (Roperii), 1310-11 (Cal. L. Bk. D. p.136). " Ropereslane," 1313 (Ct. H.W. I. 242). "Street of the Corders," 1326 (ib. 318). " Roperia," 46 Ed. III. (Ch. I. p.m. 62). "Parva Roperia," 49 Ed. III. (Ch. I. p.m. 74). " La Roperye," 1379 (Ct. H.W. II. 208).

The name " Roperestrete " is found as late as 1456 (Cal. P.R. 34 H. VI. 1452-61, p. 284).

The early form of the name in Latin documents was "vicum regium cordariorum," being that quarter of the city mainly inhabited in early times by the corders or rope-makers, and called from that circumstance both " Cordaria," " Corderie," " Roparia," "Roperie," etc. The street seems also to have been known as " Roperestrete," or "Ropereslane," but it must not be overlooked in this connection that the second " e" in the names would be sounded, giving the pronunciation" Roperystrete" or" Roperylane."

In 1408 mention is made of the Ward of Ropery, which suggests that the name indicated not merely a street, but the whole area inhabited by the corders (Cal. P.R. H. IV. 1408-13, p.38).

As indicated above, the name" Cordery "is derived from the Latin word" cordarius," Coderius," while "ropary" comes from the English equivalent "roper" or "Rope-maker," derived from O.E. "ráp "= rope.

Other districts were named in a similar way after the traders who inhabited them, as the " Mercery," the " Goldsmithery," the " Poultry," the " Frippery," etc. (q.v.).

Ropemaker Street

East from Moor Lane, at No.34, to 99 Finsbury Pavement (P.O. Directory).

The south side of the street in Cripplegate Ward Without and Coleman Street Ward, the northern side outside the City boundary in the borough of Finsbury.

First mention: There was a Presbyterian Meeting house in "Ropemakers Alley" in 1672 (L. and P. Chas. II. XII. 273).

Called " Ropemakers Street,' (Horwood, 1799).

"Ropemakers Alley" (Hatton, 1708-Boyle, 1799).

Ropemakers' Alley

West out of Little Moorfields, a passage to Grub Street (Hatton, 1708-Boyle, 1799).

Through a house called "Farthing Latch," because the passenger paid a farthing to

The tenant of the house for the privilege of making use of the passage (W. Stow, 1722).

See Ropemaker Street.

Ropere Lane or Roppe Lane

See Love Lane, Billingsgate.

Ropereslane, Roperestrete

See Ropary (The).

Roper's Buildings

North out of White Street, Houndsditch. In Portsoken Ward (Horwood, 1799-O.S. 25 in. 1880).

Former name: " Black Horse Yard," Harrow Alley (O. and M. 1677-Rocque, 1746).

Cleared away for Met. Railway extensions (O.S. 1894-6).

Rose (le) Aleye

An Alley called" le Rose Aleye " near the graveyard of the Charter house, 22 Ed. IV. (Anc. Deeds, B. 2166).

Not further identified.

Rose (The)

On the boundary of St. Katherine Creechurch parish (Strype, ed. 1720, I. ii. 64).

Not otherwise identified.

Rose (The)

A tenement so called in parish of St. Benedict, in the ward of Barnard Castell, 1566 (Lond. I. p.m. II. 53).

Mentioned 36 H. VIII. 1544 (L. and P. H. VIII. XIX. (2), p.189).

No later mention.

Rose (The)

A tenement so called in the parish of St. Giles without Cripplegate, 1544 (L. and P. H. VIII. XIX. (2), p.409, and 9 Eliz.) (Lond. I. p.m. II. p.54).

Not further identified.

Rose (The), Manor of

On the west side of Laurence Pountney Hill, extending to 8uffolk Lane. In Dowgate Ward (S. 239). Part of the site being afterwards occupied by Merchant Taylors' School.

Called "Redde Roos," "Red Rose," 13 and 30 H. VIII. (L. and P. H. VIII. III. (1), 508 XIII. (2), 395).

By careful study of old records it appears that this place was, in the 14th century, the principal residence of Sir John Poultney, and for this reason designated " Poulteney's Inn." It has been on this account confused with his other London mansion of Cold harbour, but the two were distinct residences and are referred to separately in his Will (Ct. H.W. I. 609).

The first reference to it seems to be in the 15 Ed. III., when Sir John de Pulteneye obtained permission to crenelate or fortify his mansion in London (Cal. P.R. Ed. III. V.331), and it is certainly depicted in Van Wyngaerd and Agas' views of London as an embattled mansion.

By his will 23 Ed. III. (Ct. H.W. I. 669-10) Sir John de Poulteney left this residence to his widow and son, and failing them to his College of Corpus Christi, to whom eventually it passed and who by royal licence exchanged it with the Earl of Arundel for the church at Napton (Arch. LVII. p.267).

The next notice of it is contained in an Inquisition 29 H. VI. 1450, in which it is referred to as " messuagium sive hospitium vocatum Poultenaysin."

It had belonged to John Holland, Duke of Exeter, who disposed of it to W. de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk. On his attainder it passed to the Crown, but belonged to his son John in 1483 at the time of his attainder, when it again reverted to the Crown. It was restored in 1495 to Edmund de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk. During his tenure of it, it is referred to in Holinshed's Chronicle and in Shakespeare's H. VIII. Act I. Sc. I. as "the Rose" in the parish of St. Laurence Poultney.

In 10 H. VIII. the King gave the mansion to Henry Courtenay, Earl of Devonshire and Marquis of Exeter, and after his execution for high treason it was granted to Robert Reddiffe, Earl of Sussex, by whose descendants it was sold to John Hethe, citizen of London and Cooper. He divided it into two moieties and sold one to Richard Botyl, Merchant Taylor, and the other to Wm. Beswicke, draper. The moiety sold to Ric. Botyl comprised the west gate house, long Court or yard, and part of the chapel, etc. Botyl had only purchased it for the Merchant Taylors' Company, to whom it was conveyed 1561, and appropriated for the erection of the Grammar School, which they then founded and which occupied this site as the Merchant Taylors' School, until its removal to the Charter house in 1875.

The other moiety was occupied by the residence of Sir Patience Ward (q.v.), and afterwards by Laurence Pountney Place. Beneath the residence of Sir John Poultney was a beautiful crypt, extending east and west from Laurence Pountney Hill to Suffolk Lane, in the style of the late 13th or early 14th century, so that if the mansion was built by Sir John Poultney the crypt itself may have been earlier in date than the rest of the house. The crypt was under No.3 Laurence Pountney Hill, and there are admirable illustrations of it in Archæologia, LVII. p.271, etc. The crypt was in existence until 1894, when it was swept away for the erection of new buildings (ib.).

The origin of the name " The Rose is wrapped in obscurity, and, at any rate, it seems to be late in date and not the original designation of the mansion.

The word" manor here seems to be used in the sense of" messuage" or" mansion and not in its original feudal signification.

Rose Alley

East out of Bishopsgate, at No.178, to New Street (P.O. Directory) In Bishopsgate Ward Without.

First mention: O. and M. 1677.

Other name: " Rose Court" (Rocque, 1746).

In 1720 it appears to have been only partly built (Strype, ed. 1720, I. ii. 108).

Named after the sign.

Rose Alley

In Fleet Lane (P.C. 1732-Boyle, 1799).

Not named in the maps.

Rose Alley

See Rose Court, Upper East Smithfield.