Strype, Survey of London(1720), [online] (hriOnline, Sheffield). Available from:
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The Stuart London Project, Humanities Research Institute, The University of Sheffield,
34 Gell Street, Sheffield, S3 7QY


The City of WESTMINSTER.62


The present State of this City. The Government of it. St. Margaret's Parish: With the Streets and Places therein. New Chapel. St. Martin's in the Fields.

BUT now we are to shew the modern and present State of this City, which is grown vastly populous and improved within less than this hundred Years. For whereas anciently it was about a Mile from London, Fields lying between, except Houses thinly built in the Road from one City to the other, now all is built contiguously, in Length and Breadth containing a great Compass; and that with very noble and magnificent Structures. This City is of great Renown for containing two Royal Palaces, namely, Whitehall, and St. James's, the ordinary Places of Residence for the Kings and Queens of England; likewise many other noble Palaces for the Habitation of the Peers, and Persons of the highest Rank in the Kingdom: Famous also for the Tribunals, and publick Courts of Justice; where the Lord Chancellor, the Lords Chief Justices, and the rest of the King's Judges sit, to hear and determine the Causes of the People of the Land, according to Equity and Truth, and the Laws, Statutes, and original Customs: And lastly, a City of peculiar and extraordinary Honour for the Parliament Houses of Lords and Commons situate here; whereby is occasioned a frequent Resort hither of all the great Estates of the Kingdom.

Westminster in its modern State.

J. S.

Two Royal Palaces here.

Something shall be here said, first, of the present Government of it: And then, to describe particularly and distinctly the several Parts, Parishes, and Places of it, as they now are.

The Manner of the Government hath been spoken of before; and it is now as in former Times. Its Chief Officer is the High Steward, and he usually a Personage of the highest Rank of Nobility. He is chosen by the Dean and Chapter of Westminster, being an Officer belonging to that Church, and holds his Office for Life. The Nature of this Office is not much unlike the Chancellorship of an University. The present High Steward of Westminster is his Grace the Earl of Arran.

The Governours.

High Steward

Angl. Notitia.

The High Steward hath his Under Steward: Who is likewise an Officer of considerable Reputation, and is instead of a Sheriff. He also holds his Place for Life. Charles Bonython, Esq; Serjeant at Law, now doth, or lately did, enjoy this Place.

Under Steward.

There is also an High Bailiff, named by the Dean; and holds his Place for Life. It is an Office of Honour as well as Profit. The present, or late, High Bailiff is Thomas Knipe, Esq;

High Bailiff.

The City hath also twelve Burgesses, which govern and oversee the twelve Wards. Out of which are yearly chosen two Chief or Head-Burgesses: Which have the chief Authority in the two Precincts, which this City contains.

Twelve Burgesses.

Two Chief.

The Dean and Chapter of Westminster also have both an Ecclesiastical and Civil Jurisdiction; and not only within the City, but within the Precincts of St. Martin's le Grand in London: And some other Places. For Ecclesiastical Causes, and Probate of Wills, here is a Royal Jurisdiction. Dr. Edisbury is Commissary; from whom there is no Appeal to the Queen, but in her High Court of Chancery.

Dean and Chapter.

But now to descend to a particular Description of the several Parts and Places of this City, according to the present Condition of it. Here are now seven Parishes, St. Margaret's, St. Martin's in the Fields, St. James's, St. Anne's, St. Paul Covent Garden, St. Clement's Danes, and St. Mary Savoy, besides the Chapel beyond Tuthil-street. Of which seven, that of St. Paul Covent-Garden a good while ago, St. James and St. Anne of later Times, have been, by Acts of Parliament, taken out of St. Martin's Parish, having been too large and populous for one Parish.] But first, of the Parish of

Seven Parishes in Westminster.



This Parish is of large Extent, and bounded mostly with the Parish of St. Martins in the Fields, except on that Side which is washed with the River of Thames. But within its Bounds it takes in the Privy Garden of Whitehall; and crosseth St. James's Park, down by Rosamond's Pond. Thence through Tart-hall and the Garden into the Fields: And so by the Neat Houses, taking in all Tuthil Fields. And thence to the Thames beyond Peterborough House, at the upper End of the Mill Bank: And down along by the Thames unto Whitehall. And from Tuthill Fields it runs cross the Fields, and takes in Knightsbridge, and the Chapel of Ease, lately new built.

The Bounds.

R. B.

And now from the Bounds we lead the Passenger into the Streets, Lanes, Alleys, and Courts of this Parish.

The Streets, Lanes, &c. of it.

King-street beginneth at the Confines of the Palace of Whitehall, and leadeth from thence to Westminster Abbey: And by a turning Passage Eastward through the Gatehouse, leadeth into the New Palace Yard. Which is a spacious Place, convenient for the Reception and Standing of Coaches in the Term Time, and Sessions of Parliament; and is graced with good Buildings well inhabited. Here is the common Entrance into Westminster Hall, where the Judges sit: And here is Westminster Bridge, for taking Boat, for such as are minded to go to London or elsewhere by Water. On the South is a narrow Passage into Channel [or Chanon] Row. Out of this New Palace Yard is a Passage on the West through St. Margaret's Lane, North into the Old Palace Yard, a spacious Place also well built. [Here, toward the East, the Lords of Parliament, brought in their Coaches or Chairs, go up to their House, as do the Kings and Queens, when they go to Parliament. More on the left Hand is a narrow and darkish Passage, in which is Cotton House, wherein is kept that invaluable Collection of Manuscripts, known by the Name of the Cotton Library. A little farther in this Passage on the Left, is a Pair of Stone Stairs leading up to St. Stephen's Chapel, now the House of Commons. By the same Passage we are led into Westminster Hall, entering Northward. In this Old Palace Yard, in the North-West Corner, is an House, where the Originals of the Rolls of Parliament are reposited. Westward from this Palace Yard is a Passage along by King Henry the Seventh's Chapel into Westminster Abbey, by the little East Door.]

New Palace Yard.

Old Palace Yard.

J. S.

Cotton House.

House for the Original Rolls of Parliament.


© hriOnline, 2007
The Stuart London Project, Humanities Research Institute, The University of Sheffield,
34 Gell Street, Sheffield, S3 7QY