Monday, March 28, 2011
Ellen Empson (Childe) 1570-1616
A view of St Botolph's Without-Aldgate Church from the North West Corner of the Minories and Aldgate. ____________________________________________________________________________________________ William Pearson, Old Houses on the North West Corner of the Minories and Aldgate. c.1810. British Museum, Binyon 22, Crace XXIII.92. © Trustees of the British Museum.
St Botolph Aldgate; Cary's New And Accurate Plan Of London And Westminster c.1795. Introduction: Straddling the eastern boundary between the City of London and Middlesex, St Botolph was a large and densely packed parish. Already substantially built up by the late seventeenth century, it experienced modest population growth in the eighteenth century in the form of an increasing density of persons per house, reflecting in turn a decline in the social status of its residents. The parish suffered considerable poverty, disease and poor housing, but there was also a significant minority of wealthier inhabitants, substantial poor relief and a high level of charitable giving. Despite the deprivation, crime does not appear to have been a significant problem, or at least the inhabitants appear to have been able to resolve their difficulties without frequent resort to the courts. Overall, despite its poverty and divided government, the parish seems to have experienced social stability. Location St Botolph Aldgate is located on the eastern edge of the City of London, straddling the border with Middlesex; part of the parish was in the City (in Portsoken Ward), and part in Middlesex (East Smithfield). A long, thin parish, it stretched from Gravel Lane (off Houndsditch) in the northeast all the way to the Thames in the south. The northern part of the parish, located in the City, was bordered by Petticoat Lane, Somerset Street and Mansell Street on the northeast side, and Houndsditch and Vine Street on the west, continuing south down the Minories and bypassing the Liberty of Trinity Minories towards Tower Hill and Rosemary Lane. The southern part, only attached to the rest of the parish across a short stretch of Rosemary Lane, was in Middlesex, and located east of the Tower of London and the parish of St Katherine by the Tower. With King Street and Ditch Side on its western border, its eastern boundary went along Darby Street, Church Yard Alley, Black Dogg Alley, and Nightingale Lane down to the Hermitage Dock. On the west, it was bordered by East Smithfield (the street), Butcher Row, and Red Cross Street.