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levelled, is now annexed to the southern church-yard of St. Andrew's.
Opposite Bangor Court, on the east side of Shoe Lane, was an old house, called “Oldborne Hall,” which, even in Stow's time, “ was letten out in divers tenements.” Its last remains were occupied a few years ago, as a coal shed and broker's shop. Almost all the buildings between that spot and Stone-cutter Street, have been very recently demolished, to make room for the new Fleet Market, which is now in a rapid course of erection.
THAVIE'S INN, HOLBORN.
THAVIE'S INN, which appears to have been the most ancient of all the Inns of Court, or Chancery, was, in the reign of Edward the Third, the hospitium or mansion of John Thavy or Tavye, a citizen and armourer, and was rented of him by Apprentices of the Law.” On his decease, he bequeathed it, together with his own tenement and three shops, to Alice, his wife, directing the whole to be sold after her death; the produce of the Inn to be appropriated to find a chaplain in St. Andrew's Church, to pray for the souls of himself, and his wife, and of all the faithful deceased, for ever; and that of his House, &c. to the repairs of St. Andrew's Church.* In the reign of
* The site of this property is now covered with ten respectable houses, besides the small paved square near the Church, called St. Andrew's Court. Its present rental is about £800 per
When St. Andrew's Church was rebuilt in 1670, the expense is said to have been principally defrayed with the proceeds of Thavie's bequests.
Edward the Sixth, Thavie's or Davey's Inn, as it was then called, came into the possession of Gregory Nicholas, citizen and mercer, of whom it was purchased by the Benchers of Lincoln's Inn, and constituted one of the Inns of Chancery; "the Principals and Fellows of which," says Dugdale, in his "Origines Juridiciales," "paid them the annual rent of iii l. vi s. viii d. as an acknowledgement."
Thavie's Inn remained in the possession of that Society till the year 1771, when the Lord Chief Justice Mansfield, and other feoffers, sold and conveyed it to Thomas Middleton, Esq., who resold it to Arthur Jones, Esq. from whom the titles of the present owners of the houses here are considered to be derived. Soon afterwards the old Inn was destroyed by fire. Its site is now occupied by a double range of brick buildings, principally inhabited by professional gentlemen and hardware merchants from the towns of Sheffield and Birmingham.*
* Several lawsuits have been instituted in respect to the liability of Thavie's Inn to assessments for the Poor Rates; but the issue has been favourable to the inhabitants; in memorial of which, the following inscription, on a small brass plate, has been recently fixed up against the first house on the west side:
"Thavie's Inn, founded by John Thavie, Esquire, in the reign of Edward the Third; Adjudged to be Extra-parochial, in the Court of King's Bench, Guildhall, in the Causes, Fraser against the Parish of St. Andrew, Holborn, on the 7th day of July, 1823, and, Marsden against the same Parish, on the 17th day of October, 1826. This Memorial of the antiquity and privileges of this Inn, was erected during the Treasurership of Francis Paget Watson, Esq. Anno Domini MDCCCXXVII. Lex amicus est."
BILLINGSGATE was anciently one of the water gates of the city, which Geoffrey of Monmouth, with bis usual love of the fabulous, attributes to Belin, a King of Britain, about four hundred years before the birth of Christ; and says, that “ when he was dead, his body being burned, the Ashes, in a vessell of Brasse, were set upon a high pinnacle of stone ouer the same Gate.” This place has for several centuries been used as a market to supply the metropolis with fish; but it was first made a free port for that purpose by Act of Parliament in 1699.
Stow says,* “ it is a Port or Harborough for ships and boats, commonly arriving there with fish, both fresh and salt, shell fishes, Salt, Orenges, Onions, and other fruits and roots, Wheate, Rie, and Graine of diuers sorts for seruice of the City, and the parts of this Realme adjoining. This gate is now more frequented than of old time, when the Queenes Hith was used, as being appointed by the Kings of this Realme, to be the speciall or only Post for taking vp of all such kind of Marchandises brought to this City by strangers and Forrenners; because the Draw-bridge of timber at London Bridge, was then to be raised, or drawne up for passage of ships without tops thither."
* “ Survey of London," p. 390. In the “Chronicon” of John Brompton, is the following list of the Tolls to be given at
Bylyngesgate.” “ If a small ship come up to Bylyngesgate, it shall give one halfpenny of toll: if a greater one wbich bath sails, one penny: if a small ship, or the bulk of a ship, come thereto, and shall lie there, it shall give four pence for the toll. For ships which are filled with wood, one log of wood shall be given as toll. In a week of bread toll shall be paid for three days; the Lord's day, Tuesday, and Thursday."
Very considerable improvements have been made at Billingsgate of late years, both in the quay or wharf, for unloading, and in the houses and stands of the market place. The management, also, both of the market and its frequenters, has been subjected to some excellent regulations, under the superintendence of the City authorities.
The abusiveness of the Billingsgate fishwomen is proverbial; coarse invective, and clamourous, rude scolding, having for ages been colloquially termed Billingsgate. In Lupton's “ Country and City Carbonadoed,” is the following whimsical character of the
Fisherwomen. “ These crying, wandering, and travelling creatures, carry their shops on their heads: and their store-house is ordinarily Billingsgate, or the Bridge-foot; and their habitation Turn-again-lane. They set up every morning their trade afresh. They are easily set up and furnished; get something, and spend it jovially and merrily. Five shillings a basket, and a good cry, is a large stock for one of them. They are merriest when all their ware is gone. In the morning they delight to have their shop full; at even they desire to have it empty. Their shop's but little; some two yards compass, yet it holds all sorts of fish, or herbs, or roots, strawberries, apples or plums, cucumbers, and such like ware. Nay, it is not destitute