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

8 Annotations

Martin K. Foys  •  Link

Gray's Inn
Though the founding date of Gray's Inn is unknown (all records before the 1560s burned), by Queen Elizabeth's reign this one of the four Inns of Court was quite popular, and known for its lavish parties.

A full history, as well as maps and descriptions of individual buildings, may be found at:

Pauline  •  Link

Gray's Inn
One of the four principal inns of court; on the w. side of Gray's Inn Lane (now Gray's Inn Rd) in grounds that stretched north as far as Theobalds Rd. The tree-lined walks in the grounds, reputedly designed and planted by Francis Bacon when Treasurer, provided a pleasant and fashionable promenade, with a view over Gray's Inn Fields of the countryside to the north as far as Highgate and Hampstead.

L&M Companion

Glyn  •  Link

Gray's Inn Walks were in what is now Gray's Inn Gardens which are a sort of small park or large garden enclosed by walls. It is open to the public only Mon-Fri 12

Bill  •  Link

Gray's Inn Walks, or Gardens; a large open plot of ground, laid out in lawns and gravel walks, and planted with trees, extending northwards from South Square, Gray's Inn, to the King's (now Theobald's) Road. It was laid out as a garden and planted with trees when Bacon was Treasurer of Gray's Inn, and he has always been credited with having devised and directed the operations. The older trees are said to have been planted by him, but none of them are as old as his time.
In Charles II.'s time Gray's Inn Walks were a fashionable promenade on a summer's afternoon or evening, and, like the Zoological Gardens in our own time, most fashionable on the Sunday. In a curious debate in Parliament on a "Bill for the Lord's day," one speaker said, "there may be profaneness by sitting under some eminent tree in a village, or an arbour, or Gray's Inn Walks."
Gray's Inn Walks became the constant resort not only of fine ladies but of ladies of questionable character, and a favourite place for assignations. The obscene pages of Ned Ward, Tom Brown, The Holborn Drollery, and like publications, and a well-known epigram on the Four Inns of Court, afford ample evidence, though not always of a quotable kind. At this time, the principal entrance from Holborn was by Fulwood's Rents. The gardens remained open and retained their popularity to the days of The Tatler and The Spectator.
---London, Past and Present. H.B. Wheatley, 1891.

Bill  •  Link

Gray's Inn, an Inn of Court, with two Inns of Chancery attached - Staple Inn and Barnard's Inn; "a goodly house," says Stow, "by whom built or first begun I have not yet learned, but seemeth to be since Edward III.'s time." The early records of the Society are lost, but Pearce quotes a MS. in the Harleian Collection to the effect that William Skepworth was the first reader at Gray's Inn, and he was Justice of the Common Pleas in the reign of Edward III. The manor of Portpoole, otherwise called Gray's Inn, four messuages, four gardens, the site of a windmill, 8 acres of land, 10 shillings of free rent, and the advowson of the chantry of Portpoole were sold in 1505, by Edmund, Lord Gray, of Wilton, to Hugh Denny, Esq., his heirs and assigns. From Denny's hands the manor passed into the possession of the prior and convent of East Sheen, in Surrey, by whom it was leased "to certain students of the law," at an annual rent of £6:13:4; and the same lease was renewed to the students by Henry VIII., when at the dissolution of religious houses Gray's Inn became the property of the Crown. The name of Portpoole survives in Portpoole Lane (running from the east side of Gray's Inn Road into Leather Lane), and Windmill Hill still exists to mark the site of the windmill mentioned in the deed of transfer from Lord Gray. When the first hall was built is unknown; but Dugdale records the erection of the present hall between the years 1555 and 1560.
---London, Past and Present. H.B. Wheatley, 1891.

Bill  •  Link

Gray's Inn, on the north side of Holborn, near the Bars, is so called from its being formerly the residence of the ancient and noble family of Gray of Wilton, who in the reign of Edward III. demised it to several students of the law. It is one of the four Inns of Court, and is inhabited by Barristers and Students of the law, and also by such gentlemen of independent fortune, as chuse this place, for the sake of an agreeable retirement, or the pleasure of the walks.
---London and Its Environs Described. R. Dodsley, 1761.

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