The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from:

1893 text

In the Strand; built, under the auspices of James I., in 1608, out of the stables of Durham House, the site of the present Adelphi. The New Exchange stood where Coutts’s banking-house now is. “It was built somewhat on the model of the Royal Exchange, with cellars beneath, a walk above, and rows of shops over that, filled chiefly with milliners, sempstresses, and the like.” It was also called ” Britain’s Burse.” ” He has a lodging in the Strand … to watch when ladies are gone to the china houses, or to the Exchange, that he may meet them by chance and give them presents, some two or three hundred pounds worth of toys, to be laughed at”—Ben Jonson, The Silent Woman, act i. sc. 1.

This text comes from a footnote on a diary entry in the 1893 edition edited by Henry B. Wheatley.

4 Annotations

Paul Brewster  •  Link

Wheatley: The New Exchnage on the south side of the Strand, built on the site of the stables of Durham House. The first stone was laid June 10th, 1608, and the new building was named by James I. "Britain's Burse." It was a much frequented place after the Restoration, and the destruction of the Royal Exchange in the Great Fire caused it much prosperity for a time. It was taken down in 1737.

Pedro  •  Link

The New Exchange.

"At that time there was, on the south side of the Strand, a kind of bazaar called the New Exchange; the buildings of the Adelphi now cover its site. It was opened in 1608 by James I, who named it 'Britain's Burse,' but in popular parlance it never received any other designation than the New Exchange. It consisted of four rows or walks--two on the ground-floor, and two upstairs, each being lined with small shops, where all kinds of fancy articles were sold. As a place to lounge in, to walk, and talk, and hear the news, as our American cousins say, the New Exchange succeeded to Paul's Walk; but, with this difference, Paul's Walk was only used by gentlemen; while the shops in the New Exchange being especially devoted to the sale of gloves, perfumes, fans, and other feminine necessities or luxuries, its walks were frequented by the gay and fashionable of both sexes. Many scenes in our old comedies are laid in this place; and most old libraries contain whity-brown pamphlets, entitled News from the New Exchange, or New News from the New Exchange; but as in most of these scurrility and indecency take the place of wit and humour, the less we say about them the better."

Bill  •  Link

New Exchange, a kind of bazaar on the south side of the Strand, was so called in contradistinction to the Royal Exchange; by James I. it was named Britain's Burse. It was built on the site of the stables of Durham House, directly facing what is now Bedford Street, its frontage extending from George Court to Durham Street —or from 52 to 64, according to the present numbering, Messrs. Coutts's bank occupying nearly the centre of the site.
At the Restoration, when London was as large again as it had been in the early part of the reign of James I., Covent Garden became the fashionable quarter of the town—the merchants' wives and daughters aped the manners of the West End ladies—and the New Exchange in the Strand supplanted the Old Exchange in the City. So popular was it at this time that there is scarce a dramatist of the Charles II. era who is without a reference to the New Exchange—one indeed, Thomas Duffet by name, was originally a milliner here before he took to the stage for subsistence. It ceased, however, to be much frequented soon after the death of Queen Anne, and in 1737 it was taken down. A memory of its existence was preserved in Exchange Court immediately opposite.
---London, Past and Present. H.B. Wheatley, 1891.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.