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

Allen, Thomas


Portsoken Ward lies wholly without the city, properly so called, but includes an extensive plot of ground, extending


from to Whitechapel Bars, eastward, and from Bishopsgate to the river Thames, north and south. This Portsoken, says Stow, which

soundeth as much as the

Franchise at the Gate,

was some time a guild, and had this beginning as I have read in the

Liber Trinitate

. In the daies of king Edgar, more than


yeres since, there were


knights, or soldiers, well-beloved of the king and realm (for service by them done) which requested to have a certain portion of land on the east part of the citie, left desolate and forsaken by the inhabitants, by reason of too much servitude. They besought the king to have this land, with the liberty of a guild for ever, and the king granted their request, on condition that each knight should victoriously accomplish




above the ground,


under ground, and the thirde in the water; and after this, at a certain day in

East Smithfield

, they should run with spears against all commers; all which was gloriously performed; and the same day the king named it Knighten Guilde, and so bounded it from Ealdgate to the place where the bars now are toward the east, &c. and again toward the south unto the river of Thames, and so far into the water, as a horseman entering the same may ryde at a low water, and throw his speare; so that all

East Smithfield

, with the right part of the street that goeth to Dodding Pond into the Thames, and also the hospital of St. Katherin's, with the mils that were founded in king Stephen's daies, and the outward stone wall, and the new ditch of the Tower, are of the saide fee and libertie.-These knights had as then none other charter until the time of Edward the Confessor, whom the heirs of those knights humblie besought to confirm their liberties, which he did by a deed, written in the Saxon letter and tongue, as appeareth in the booke of the late house of the Holie Trinitie.

Edward's grant was confirmed by William Rufus and Henry the , in the latter of whose reign (in ), the entire Soke, and its appurtenances, were given by the then brethren of the guild, who are called burgesses of London, and whose names are recorded by Stow, to the church of the Holy Trinity within , which had been recently founded by Matilda, Henry's queen. This gift was confirmed by a royal charter, and the deed granted by the Confessor, together with

the other charters they had thereof,

was solemnly placed by the knights upon the altar in , and full possession was afterwards given to the brotherhood of the Holy Trinity, of all the possessions of the guild, the final investiture being attended with much ceremony. The prior was also

for him and his successors, admitted as


of the aldermen of London, to governe the same land and soke; and according to the customes of the citie, he did sit in court and rode with the maior, and his brethren the aldermen, as


of them in scarlet, or other livery, as they used, till the year



when the priory was


surrendered to Henry VIII. Since that period, this ward has been governed in a similar manner to the other parts of the city, viz. by an alderman and common councilmen.

It is bounded on the east by the parishes of Spitalfields, Stepney, and in the east; on the south by ; on the north by Bishopsgate ward, and on the west by ward. This ward is divided into the precincts of , , the Bars, , and Convent-garden, and contains church,


[] Stow's Lond. pp. 85, 86, Edit. 1597.

[] Ibid.

[] Stow's Lond. p. 88, Edit. 1597.

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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