Taylor's Court - Temple Stairs

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

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Taylor's Court

In Lambeth Hill, two doors from Old Change (Lockie, 1816).

Not named in the maps.

Taylor's Court

East out of Bow Lane at No.30. In Vintry Ward (Strype, ed. 1720-Elmes, 1831).

Site now occupied by business houses.

Telegraph Street

East out of Moorgate Street, at No.12, to Copthall Avenue (P.O. Directory). In Coleman Street Ward.

First mention: O.S.1875.

Formerly called " Great Bell Alley " (q.v.).

Telegraph department of the Post Office was removed from here to St. Martin's le Grand 1873, but the name of the street still commemorates the original establishment of the department.

Pottery and other remains found here at a depth of 10 feet.

Telephone House, Avenue

On the Victoria Embankment between Carmelite Street and Temple Avenue (P.O. Directory). In Farringdon Ward Without.

First mention: " Telephone Avenue" (L.C.C. List, 1901).

Tellyns (St.)

An error for Helens (St.) (q.v.).


See Thames Street.


Called " Fratres Militie Templi in Anglia" (Ch. I. p.m. 28 Ed. I. 59).

Order dissolved and subsequently possessions assigned to Order of St. John of Jerusalem, 9 Ed. III. 1335 (Cal. P.R. Ed. III. 1334-8, p. 158).

See Temple (The).

Temple (The)

On the south side of Fleet Street, extending south to the Victorla Embankment, and from Temple Lane east to the City boundary west, in Farringdon Ward Without (P.O. Directory).

It consists of two Societies, known respectively as the Inner Temple and the Middle Temple, being two of the four Inns of Court established from early times for the study and practice of the law. Originally formed one Society, the separation having taken place in the time of Henry VI. First mention of Inner Temple 1440, both mentioned 1451 (Paston Letters).

The two Societies are of equal importance and distinction, entirely independent of each other, and are presided over by different bodies of Benchers and have their separate Halls, Libraries, etc.

The site was originally occupied by the chief house of the Knights Templars in England, erected temp. H. II. and called the New Temple to distinguish it from the first house of the Order in London erected near Holborn Bars and known as the Old Temple.

The Order was founded c. 1118 for the rescue and preservation of Jerusalem and the Holy Temple from the hands of the Saracens, and the house in Holborn now covered by Southampton Buildings was erected shortly after this date.

The circular foundations of the old church were found in the course of excavations-for the London and County Bank, Nos. 324-5 Holborn.

In a MS. c. 1115-30 relating to lands of St. Paul in London preserved among the archives of the Dean and Chapter, mention is made of the" Old Temple." It is the last-entry in the MS. and in a later handwriting than the rest of the MS.

On what occasion the Templars obtained the grant of the new site on the Fleet does not appear, but from charters dated not later than 1162 it appears that they received from Henry II. a grant of land on the Fleet, together with the course of the water to make a mill there, so that the foundation of this second house was probably prior to that date. Moreover, by a charter of the same date, the grant was made to the church of St. Mary of Lincoln and Bishop Robert of houses which belonged to the brethren of the Temple in the parish of St. Andrew of Holborn, with the chapel and garden, while in the 16th century the house of John bishop of Lincoln in Holborn was still designated the Old Temple (L. and P. H. VIII. VI. 274, and Cott. MS. Vesp. E. XVI. f. 14b.).

In course of time, possibly out of jealousy of their enormous wealth and influence, grave abuses were alleged against the Order, with the result that it was finally dissolved by decree of the Council of Vienna in 1324 and the lands of the Order were granted to the Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem.

The Order was suppressed in England as early as the 8th Ed. II. and its possessions declared forfeited to the Crown. In the same year a grant of the manor of the Temple was made to Thomas, earl of Lancaster (Cal. P.R. Ed. II. 1313-17, p.184).

After his attainder it was bestowed on Adomar de Valence and afterwards on Hugh le Despenser (Cal. Charter Rolls, III. 203).

In 1324, after the decree above referred to, the King, at the instance of the Pope, made a grant of the site and manor to the Knights Hospitallers, who on their part gave permission to Hugh le Despenser to retain possession of the property.

There are some interesting details relating to the cemetery and cloisters in an Inq. p.m. Jo Ed. III.

The New Temple was burnt and its records destroyed in 1381, but from destruction by this and subsequent fires the beautiful round church and the old Halls have been pre-served, and the church remains in its original style of architecture to the present day.

Stow says that the Hospitallers made a grant of the Temple to the students of the Common laws of England in the reign of Edward III., but owing to the destruction of the records above mentioned there is no deed in existence relating to this grant, and after the dissolution of the Monasteries in the time of Henry VIII., when the estates of the Hospitallers passed to the Crown, although the two Societies continued in undisturbed possession of the New Temple, yet no lease, grant, or other document appears to have been executed in their favour, and their title was for some time a precarious one. However, in the reign of James I., in 1608, they obtained a patent from the King confirming: them in possession of the property and in the rights, franchises and privileges granted originally to the Templars and Hospitallers and enjoyed subsequently by the two legal Societies. These privileges included the right to hold a court leet, rights of sanctuary, etc.

In 1668-9 the privileges above mentioned were seriously challenged by the attempt of the Lord Mayor to assert his authority over the Temple precincts. The claim was energetically repudiated and one of the arguments adduced in support of the rights and privileges of the Societies was, that whilst the Charter of James I. to the City granted subsequently to that bestowed upon the Societies expressly confers upon the Lord Mayor jurisdiction over the precincts of Elackfriars, Whitefriars, Coldharbour, and Smithfield, no such jurisdiction over the Temple precincts was conferred by this grant.

This claim was again raised in 1678-9, but meeting with no greater success it was then definitely abandoned.

These privileges of sanctuary, when the restraints imposed by the monastic authority and discipline were removed, became greatly abused and their final abolition, 9 George I., came as a relief to the inhabitants of the privileged areas.

The Temple escaped complete destruction in the Great Fire, but King's Bench Office and Walk, Crown Office, Alienation Office, Exchequer Office, Fuller's Rents, Tanfield Court, Fig Tree Court, and the Master's House were destroyed.

Subsequently to the year 1666 two other serious outbreaks of fire occurred within the Temple precincts in 1677 and 1678, which destroyed many of the Courts and chambers and necessitated the rebuilding of most of them, so that the church and the two Halls, the Cloisters and a small chamber under the buttery, possibly a small refectory, alone preserve their original style and characteristics.

The Inner Temple occupies the eastern portion and the Middle Temple the western portion of the precincts, and the limits of the two estates are determined by a Deed of Partition made 1732 (Baylis, 59). The church serves for and is maintained by both Societies.

In common with the other Inns of Court certain Inns of Chancery were attached to the two Temples, viz. to the Inner Temple, Clifford's Inn, Clement's Inn, Lyon's Inn; to the Middle Temple, New Inn, and Strand Inn.

Among the Courts, etc., contained within the Temple precincts are the following: Kings Bench Walk, The Terrace, Crown Office Row, Fig Tree Court, Elm Court, Pump Court, Fountain Court, Tanfield Court, Garden Court, Brick Court, Essex Court, New Court, Middle Temple Lane, Inner Temple Lane, Temple Gardens, Goldsmith Buildings or Court, Hare Court, the Temple Church, Inner Temple Hall, and Middle Temple Hall

Temple Bar

At the western end of Fleet Street on the boundary of Farringdon Ward Without (O.S.1848-50).

A gateway separating Fleet Street from the Strand and forming the western boundary of the City Liberties.

First mention: " Barram Novi Templi," 21 Ed. I. (Cal. I. p.m.). Other forms : " La Temple barre," 1351 (Ct. H.W. I. 653).

Strype says in old times there were only posts, rails, and a chain there as at Holborn, and that the Gate was a later erection, first of timber, but after the Fire much larger and of Stone with side posterns (ed. 1720, I. iii. 278). It is referred to as "the gate called "Templebarre," 1353 (Cal. P.R. 1350-4, pp.528-530).

There was a prison there as well as at Neugate and the Flete, 1351 (Ct. H.W. I. 653).

Removed 1878 as obstructing the traffic. The Griffin now marks the site of the Bar.

After the removal of the gateway in 1878-9 remains were found of a staircase and chambers, proving that the gate had been intended originally to accommodate a custodian and had possibly been designed as a guard-house (Trans. L. and M. Arch. Soc. VI. 235).

Temple Bar has always possessed a unique interest, as being the point at which the sovereign entered the City in state, receiving from the Lord Mayor the sword of the City, which the sovereign restored into his keeping forthwith.

Temple Bridge

Order for repair of the Bridge of the New Temple by which persons coming to Parliament and Councils at London commonly cross to Westminster from the City and suburbs, II Ed. III. (Cal. Close Rolls, Ed. III. 1337-9, p.218).

"Temple brigge " on the river-side, 48 Ed. III. (Cal. L. Bk. G. p.325).

Order for its making 1576 (L. and P. Ed. VI., etc., I. 528).

Rebuilt 1584 (Mid. Temple Records, p.23). Temple to bear one-half of cost.

The first entry seems to relate to a bridge over the Fleet, the last suggests a wharf on the Thames.

In 1802 the remains of a stone bridge were discovered dating from Ed. III.'s reign covered with rubbish to the east of St. Clement Danes, possibly this was the "Templebrigge."

New bridge and stairs built 1620-I (Inner Temple Records, II. p. xxxv.).

Repaired 1702-3 (ib. III. p.375).

Temple Chambers

On the west side of Temple Avenue, in Farringdon Ward Without (P.O. Directory).

First mention: L.C.C. List, 1912.

Temple Church

On the south-east side of Inner Temple Lane, in Farringdon Ward Without (P.O. Directory).

The old Church of the Knights Templars erected at their new house in Fleet Street 1185, the choir being completed 1240 (M. Paris, ed. 1640, p.526).

The Round Church is a beautiful specimen of the Norman architecture of the period and is one of the famous round churches of the Templars, while the choir is Early English of somewhat later date.

It seems to have been dedicated to St. Mary, 1235 (Cal. Ch. Rolls I. 210).

Arnold in his list of churches mentions " St. James in the Temple " (p.76), but there is no other reference to it under this name.

Stow speaks of "S. Petronilla in the Temple."

There was a chapel of St. Thomas near the hall, 1334-8 (Cal. P. Rolls, Ed. III. 1334-8, p.314).

A chapel of St. Ann in the 17th century. Probably erected soon after the choir was finished (Inner Temple Records).

The church serves both the Inner and Middle Temples; north side being set apart for the use of the Middle Temple, the south for the Inner Temple.

In 1608 it was in grave disrepair, and considerable sums were expended in repairs during the reign of Jas. I. (I. T. Rec. II.).

It escaped destruction in 1666 and in subsequent fires 1677 and 1678.

Shops against the Church not finally removed until 1819 (ib.).

Right of presentation preserved to the Crown by charter of James I. 1608.

The chapel of St. Ann was on the south side of and adjoining the round church, and seems to have been erected about the same time as the oblong church.

The remains, which were considerable, were pulled to the ground in 1825, and seven large slabs cover the ruins of the foundations, columns, arches, etc. Steps led down into the Chapel from the Church, and a door from the Chapel communicated with the Cloisters, Fratery, etc. (Baylis, 53-4, and I. T. Records, III. xlix.).

The entrance porch at the west door of the church formed one of the bays of the old cloisters.

Church restored 1839-42.

Temple Court

East out of Inner Temple Lane, within the Temple precincts (Lockie, 1810-Elmes, 1831).

Not named in the maps.

Temple Gardens

On the south side of the Temple precincts, fronting the Victoria Embankment and the river.

For the use of the inhabitants of the precincts.

Temple Lane

South out of Thames Street to the Thames, east of Billingsgate (Hatton, 1708).

Leading to Temple Stairs.

Not named in the maps.

Temple Lane

South out of Essex Street to Tudor Street at No.36, in Farringdon Ward Without, east of the Temple precincts (P.O. Directory).

First mention : P.C. 1732.

Temple Mews

South from Silver Street to Dogwell Court, in Farringdon Ward Without (P.C. 1732-Boyle, 1799).

The site is now covered by Bouverie Street.

Temple Pier

On the Thames at the western boundary of Farringdon Ward Without (P.O. Directory).

First mention : O.S.1875.

Temple Quay

See Ralph's Quay.

Temple Stairs

South out of Thames Street at No.22, on the east side of Billings-gate (Lockie, 1810-16).

Not named in the maps, but See Ralph's Quay.

Temple Stairs

At the south end of Middle Temple Lane, in Farringdon Ward Without (Strype, ed. 1720-Elmes, 1831).

A landing-place within the Temple precincts.

The possessors of the Temple had to maintain a jetty on the Thames.

First mention: "Temple Steares," 1585 (H. MSS. Com. Rutland, IV. 389).

See Templegate and Templebrigge.