Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from:
Map location is based on ‘Mitre Court’ on this 18th century map.
The map link above points to Wood St. The Latham Companion describes the Mitre's position as being "on w. side of Great Wood St (north out of Cheapside), roughly opposite the Compter".
The Mitre must have been an especially large establishment because it had no less that 29 fireplaces (according to the Hearth Tax list of 1665) so there would have been plenty of small, cozy rooms to conduct your affairs in as well as comfortable nooks and crannies. I imagine it was on several floors, with customers able to dine in private rooms with food and drink brought up from downstairs, as well as large rooms downstairs with several fires in each of them in winter. The Mitre was particularly known for serving fine wines and its owner, William Proctor, was also a respected member of the Vintners Company, and the Vintners held several ceremonial dinners at the Mitre.
William Proctor owned the Mitre from 1635, and he and his wife Elizabeth had 10 children baptised at their local church between 1639 and 1654. He died of the Plague in 1665 (see Pepys entry for 31 July 1665): parish records show that he and his son George were buried together in a single grave, so they must have died on the same day.
After that a man named Thomas Ailey was the owner for the rest of the period covered by the Diary and for some years afterward until 1681.
The Mitre was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666 but then rebuilt, and was a popular tavern for many more years thereafter.
Location on the Rocque map could be either:
At the top left corner just north of Cheapside there is a small street called Mitre Court.
If not there then Wood Street continues north from Cheapside onto the next section of the map:
On the lower left corner.
The location of the Mitre would be slightly more than a mile from SP's home on Seething Lane.
Is this the same Mitre that is mentioned in British History on-line?
Mitre Tavern in Wood Street, was kept in Charles II.'s time by William Proctor. He died insolvent in 1665. The tavern was destroyed in the Great Fire of the year following.---London, Past and Present. H.B. Wheatley, 1891.
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