The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 3

Allen, Thomas


Sir R. Whittington's House.



In a small court leading out of Grub-street, called Sweedon's passage, was the above building, traditionally said to have been the residence of sir Richard Whittington in the reign of Henry IV., and of sir Thomas Gresham in that of Elizabeth. Mr. Smith, who inspected it in , says,

It must have been the mansion of some opulent person; and sir Thomas Gresham, who is said to have been an inhabitant, might have altered it ; for of all the houses


even inspected in London, none were so substantially built. The timbers were oak and chestnut, and used in the greatest profusion. The lower parts of the chimnies, on the ground floor, were of stone, in some instances blocked up, and in others considerably lessened. The rooms had been contracted, as the wainscot portions in


instances divided the ceilings, which, when whole, must have been ornamented in a regular manner, as large masses of the cornice were visible in some of the modern closets. Upon an examination of the upper part of the house, it was discovered that a portion of the building towards the north had been taken down.

This curious building, with the singular projecting staircase, was pulled down in , and small houses occupy the site; upon is the following inscription:--

Gresham House,

Once the residence of

Sir Richard Whittington,

Lord Mayor








In , on the east side of this street, was the house traditionally said to have been formerly occupied by general Monk, who was created duke of Albemarle, for his services in restoring king Charles II. This house, which was principally built of oak and chestnut, was pulled down in -, and brick houses erected on its site. Farther to the north is Sun-alley, which forms the boundary of the city on this side.

Proceeding westward, the next street is , which is of considerable length; but this ward only takes in a small part of it. In this street was an hospital of St. Giles, founded in the reign of Edward I.; but, being a cell to a French priory, it was suppressed, among other foreign foundations, by Henry V., in the year of his reign, who soon afterwards re-founded it for a domestic fraternity of St. Giles, and reserved the appointment of a custos to himself and his successors.

This and Redcross-street, derived their names from a white and red cross, which stood in .

On the west side of this street is the


[] Ancient Topography, p. 41.

[] The curious portal of this house is engraved in Smith's Topography of London.

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 Title Page
 CHAPTER I: The site, extent, buildings, population, commerce, and a view of the progressive increase of London
 CHAPTER II: List of the parishes and churches in London, with their incumbents, &c
CHAPTER III: History and Topography of Aldersgate Ward
CHAPTER IV: History and Topography of Aldgate Ward
CHAPTER V: History and Topography of Bassishaw Ward
CHAPTER VI: History and Topography of Billingsgate Ward
CHAPTER VII: History and Topography of Bishopsgate Ward, Without and Within
CHAPTER VIII: History and Topography of Bread-street Ward
CHAPTER IX: History and Topography of Bridge Ward Within
CHAPTER X: History and Topography of Broad-street Ward
CHAPTER XI: History and Topography of Candlewick Ward
CHAPTER XII: History and Topography of Castle Baynard Ward
CHAPTER XIII: History and Topography of Cheap Ward
CHAPTER XIV: History and Topography of Coleman-street Ward
CHAPTER XV: History and Topography of Cordwainer's-street Ward
CHAPTER XVI: History and Topography of Cornhill Ward
CHAPTER XVII: History and Topography of Cripplegate Ward Within
CHAPTER XVIII: History and Topography of Cripplegate Yard Without
CHAPTER XIX: History and Topography of Dowgate Yard
CHAPTER XX: History and Topography of Farringdom Ward Within
CHAPTER XXI: History and Topography of Farringdon Ward Without
CHAPTER XXII: History and Topography of Langbourn Ward
CHAPTER XXIII: History and Topography of Lime-street Ward
CHAPTER XXIV: History and Topogrpahy of Portsoken Ward
CHAPTER XXV: History and Topography of Queenhithe Ward
CHAPTER XXVI: History and Topography of Tower Ward
CHAPTER XXVII: History and Topography of Vintry Ward
CHAPTER XXVIII: History and Topography of Wallbrook Ward