Skinner's Alley - Smither's Coffee House

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

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Skinner's Alley

East out of St. Katherine's lane (Survey of. St. Katherine's, 1686, Sloane MS. 3254, A. I).

Site now covered by St. Katherine's Docks and the adjacent warehouses.

Skinner's Alley, Houndsditch

See Skimmer's Alley.

Skinners' Company

The sixth of the twelve great Livery Companies. Mentioned as a trade guild 1319. Incorporated 1327, governed by a master, four wardens, and Court of assistants. Called the Pellipers or Skinners (Cal. L. Bk. E. 226).

Hall in Dowgate Hill (q.v.). Elections to the Mistery of Skinners were made 1328 (ib. 233).

Fraternities of Corpus Christi and of Our Lady in the Guild in 14th to 16th centuries. Ordinances of the Company set out in Trans. L. and M. Arch. Soc. V.p. 104 et seq.

Skinners' Hall

On the west side of Dowgate Hill at No.8, on the boundary of Dow-gate and Vintry Wards (P.O. Directory).

First mention: S. ed. 1598, p.192.

Former name: "Copped Hall" (q.v.).

The property appears to have been in the possession of the Company from the time of H. III. although afterwards alienated, so that in 19 Ed. II. it belonged to John de Cobham. Ed. III. reinstated the Skinners in their property.

Burnt in the Great Fire and rebuilt, some of the old walls remaining. The East India Company met in this Hall at one time. Present front added 1790 by Jupp. Dining-hall rebuilt 1847-50.

Skinners' Place

East out of Size Lane, between Queen Victoria Street and Budge Row. In Cordwainer Ward (O.S. 1880).

First mention: Elmes, 1831.

Described by Elmes as a mansion, belonging to the Skinners' Company on the eastern side of Size Lane, recently converted by the Company into sets of commercial chambers.

Skinners' Place

At the east end of Bull's Head Passage, adjoining Leadenhall Market (Lockie, 1810-O.S. 1880).

The site is now occupied by the Market as reconstructed 1879-80.

The Herb Market occupied the site in the I17th and 18th centuries.

Called Skinners' Place from the Skin market in the vicinity (Elmes, 1831).

Skinners' Rents, Bishopsgate

See Pindar Street.


A tenement so called without Ludgate, 1566 (Lond. I. p.m. II. 53). Not further identified.

Skomer (The)

A messuage so called in Birchin lane in parish of St. Michael in Cornhill, 1543 (L. and P. H. VIII. XVIII. (1), 199).

No later reference.

Skuttes Key

Rauff Skuttes key in London, 26 H. VIII. (L. and P. H. VIII. VIII. 129).

Not identified.

Slade's Buildings

West out of Angel Square, north of Smith's Buildings, in Bishopsgate Ward Without (Horwood, 1799-Elmes, 1831).

Former name: "Hoare's, Hoar's Yard" (Rocque, 1746-Boyle, 1799).

The site is now occupied by Liverpool Street Station and the railway lines.

Named after the owner or builder.

Slaper's [Sloper's?] Lane

In the parish of St. Bartholomew the Less, 1316-17 (Ct. H.W. I. 269).

Not further identified.


See Sloper's Lane.

Smale Lane

In the parish of St. Sepulchre in the suburb of London, 49 H. III. (Anc. Deeds, A. 2391).

Perhaps identical with the " little lane leading to the water of Fleet " mentioned in A. 2331.

Qy.=Fleet Lane (q.v.).

Small Alley

South out of Great Eastcheap. In Candlewick Ward (Strype, 1720 and 1755).

Used for stables in Strype's time (ed. 1720, I. ii. 190). Seems to occupy the site of Star Court (q.v.).

Smart's Key

On the south side of Thames Street, fronting the river, east of Billingsgate, in parish of St. Mary at Hill in Ward of Billingsgate, on the boundary of the ward and parish (S. 207-Elmes, 1831).

First mention : " Mr. Smerttes key," 1512-13 (Records of St. Mary at Hill, p.283) Smarte's Key," 1559-60 (Ct. H.W. II. 673).

Made a general place for lading and discharging goods 1559 by Act of Parliament. Width 27 ft.

Its position is not quite accurately given in all the maps, being placed further east in O. and M. 1677, and Rocque, 1746, etc., the site of Smart's Key in these maps being occupied by "Great Dice Key."

So named of Smart, some time owner thereof (S. 207).

Now belongs to the Commissioners of Customs, and the site is covered by the Custom House.

Smethe Lane

House in " Smethe lane," 1282 (Ct. H.W. I. 60).

Tenement in " Smethe lane" in parish of All Hallows de Berkyngecherche, 1325 (ib. 314).

Qy. = Siuethelane = Seething Lane.

Povah in his Annals of St. Olave Hart Street (p.3), says he found in the will of Tromy, 1463, P. Ct. Cant. wills, a reference to " Hertstrete " also called " Smythes-strete," but the Smethe lane mentioned above cannot be identified with Hart Street, as no part of that street, or of the adjacent houses is in the parish of All Hallows Barking.


See West Smithfield.

Smethfeld Del Barbican

In the ward of Cripplegate, in presentment of jury, 3 Ed. I. (Strype, ed. 1720, I. iii. 88).

Qy. = Part of West Smithfield.

Smither's Coffee House

A Court so called north out of Thames Street with a passage east to Water Lane. In Tower Ward (Strype, 1720 and 1755).

Site occupied by the Old Trinity House and Custom House Chambers in O.S.