Portsoken Ward. 2

Portsoken Ward.

as Liquorpond Street, &c The Great and Little Lincoln Inn Fields, all Covent Garden, and the several Streets abutting thereon, the several Streets in Cock and Pye Fields; also York Buildings, Beauford Buildings, Salisbury Buildings, Durham Yard, Exeter Buildings, Arundel Buildings, all Norfolk Buildings, Essex Buildings; the several Streets by Clare Market: All which are very populous, and full of Courts and Alleys; and in the East and North Parts, the Spittle Fields, Goodman's Fields, with divers other Places too tedious to name. All which were only Fields and waste Grounds. Besides these, there hath been a very great Encrease of BUILDINGS, in converting of Gardens and great Houses into Courts, Squares, and Alleys, throughout the whole City.]

But now to shew how London was anciently, and to this Day divided.

The ancient Division of this City was into Wards, or Aldermanries: And therefore I will begin at the East, and so proceed through the high and most principal Streets of the City to the West, after this manner.

The City of London divided from East to West into a South half and a North half.

First, Through Aldgate Street, to the West-Corner of St. Andrew's Church, called Undershaft, on the Right Hand, and Lime Street Corner on the Left; all which is of Aldgate Ward. From thence through Cornhill Street to the West Corner of Leadenhall; all which is of Lime Street Ward. From thence, leaving the Street that leadeth to Bishopsgate on the Right Hand, and the Way that leadeth into Grasse Street on the Left, still through Cornhill Street, by the Conduit, to the West Corner against the Stocks; all which is in Cornhill Ward. Then by the said Stocks (a Market Place both of Fish and Flesh standing in the midst of the City) through the Poultry (a Street so called) to the great Conduit in West Cheap, and so through Cheap to the Standard, which is of Cheap Ward, except on the South Side from Bow Lane to the said Standard, which is of Cordwainer Street Ward. Then by the Standard to the great Cross, which is in Cripplegate Ward on the North Side, and in Bread Street Ward on the South Side: And to the little Conduit by Paul's Gate, from whence (of old time) the said High Street stretched strait on to Ludgate, all in the Ward of Farringdon within, then divided truly from East to West: But since that, by means of the burning of Paul's Church, which was in the reign of William the First, surnamed Conqueror, Mauricius, then Bishop of London, laid the Foundation of a new Church, so far in Largeness exceeding the old, that the Way towards Ludgate was thereby greatly straitned as before I have discoursed.

The high and principal Street.

The Stocks Market the midst of the City.

St. Paul's Church burned in the Conqueror's Time.

Now, from the North to the South, this City was (of old time) divided, not by a large High Way, or Street, as from East to West, but by a fair brook of sweet Water, which came from out the North Fields, through the Wall and midst of the City, into the River of Thames; and which Division is (till this Day) constantly and without Change maintained. This Water was called (as I have said) Walbrooke [not Gallus Brook, of a Roman Captain, slain by Asclepiodatus, and thrown therein, as some have fabuled, but] of running through, and from the Wall of this City. The Course whereof, (to prosecute it particularly) was and is from the said Wall to St. Margaret's Church in Lothberry; from thence beneath the lower part of the Grocer's Hall, about the East Part of their Kitchen, under St. Mildred's Church, somewhat West from the said Stocks Market: From thence through Buckelsberry, by one great House builded of Stone and Timber, called the Old Barge, because Barges out of the River of Thames were rowed up so far into this Brook, on the back Side of the Houses in Walbrooke Street, (which Street taketh Name of the said Book) by the West End of St. John's Church upon Walbrooke, under Horshoe Bridge, by the West Side of Tallow Chandler's Hall, and of the Skinner's Hall, and so behind the other Houses to Elbow Lane, and by a part thereof, down Greenwich Lane into the River of Thames.

The City divided from North to South into an East half and a West half.

The Course of Walbrooke, and Reason of the Name.

This is the Course of Walbrooke, which was (of old time) bridged over in divers Places, for Passage of Horses and Men, as need required: But since, by means of Encroachment on the Banks thereof, the Channel being greatly straightned, and other Annoyances done thereunto; at length the same (by common consent) was arched over with Brick, and paved with Stone, equal with the Ground where- through it passed, and is now in most Places builded upon, that no Man may by the Eye discern it. And therefore the Trace thereof is hardly known to the common People.

The Course of Walbrooke arched over.

This City being thus divided from East to West, and from North to South; I am further to shew how the same was (of old time) broken into divers Parts, called Wards, whereof Fitzstephen, more than four hundred Years ago, writeth thus: This City (saith he) even as Rome, is divided into Wards; it hath yearly Sheriffs instead of Consuls; it hath the Dignity of Senators in Aldermen, &c.

This City divided into Wards.


The Number of these Wards in London, were both before, and in the Reign of Henry III. 24 in all; whereof 13 lay on the East Side of the said Walbrooke, and 11 on the West of the same. Notwithstanding, these 11 grew much more large and big than those on the East: And therefore in the Year of Christ 1393, the 17th of Richard II. Faringdon Ward, which was then one entire Ward, but mightily encreased of Buildings without the Gates, was by Parliament appointed to be divided into twain, and to have two Aldermen, to wit, Faringdon within, and Faringdon without, which made up the Number of 12 Wards on the West Side of Walbrooke; and so came the whole Number of 25 on both Sides.

Wards in London 24. Patent Record.

Moreover, in the Year 1550, the Maior, Commonalty. and Citizens of London, purchasing the Liberties of the Borough of Southwark: appointed the same to be a Ward of London; and so became the Number of 13 Wards on the East, 12 on the West, and one on the South of the River Thames, lying in the said Borough of Southwark, in the County of Surry; which in all arise to the Number of 26 Wards, and 26 Aldermen of London to govern them.

Wards in London 25.

Wards in London and the Borough of Southwark, 26.

The Names of the Wards on the East Part of Walbrooke are these:


1. Portsoken Ward without the Walls.
2. Tower Sreet Ward.
3. Ealdgate Ward.
4. Lime Street Ward.
5. Bishopsgate Ward, within the Walls and without.
6. Broad Street Ward.
7. Cornhill Ward.
8. Langbourne Ward.
9. Billingsgate Ward.
10. Bridge Ward within.
11. Candlewick Street Ward.
12. Walbrooke Ward.
13. Downgate Ward.

Names of Wards in London.

These Wards on the West Side of Walbrooke are these:


14. Vintry Ward.
15. Cordwainer Street Ward.

16. Cheap