Glyn • Link
Steve: Two taverns called the Mitre
There certainly still is a pub called the Old Mitre Tavern at Ely Place EC1, which is very near Hatton Garden (where all London's best jewellers and goldsmiths have their shops). It certainly is very historic, and gives visitors a leaflet about the history of the place. Perhaps someone who works locally could pop into the place and check it out.
http://www.billingsgate-market.org.uk/history/i... for the history of Billingsgate market.
the current fish market is in Poplar.
The Billingsgate of 1749 is in the north east corner of this map:
just below, i.e. downstream of, London Bridge.
On a modern map it was where the FB Office is in this map:
Billingsgate, a river, gate, wharf, and fish-market, on the Thames, a little below London Bridge, the great fish-market of London. In very early times Queenhithe and Billingsgate were the chief City wharfs for the mooring of fishing vessels and landing their cargoes. The fish were sold in and about Thames Street, special stations being assigned to the several kinds of fish. Queenhithe was at first the more important wharf, but Billingsgate appears to have gradually overtaken it and eventually to have left it hopelessly in the rear, the troublesome passage of London Bridge leading ship-masters to prefer the below bridge wharf. Corn, malt, and salt, as well as fish, were landed and sold at both wharfs, and very strict regulations were laid down by the City authorities as to the tolls to be levied on the several articles, and the conditions under which they were to be sold.
The coarse language of the place has long been notorious. "One may term this the Esculine Gate of London," says old Fuller. "Here one may hear linguas jurgatrices;" and he places "Billingsgate language" among his proverbs.
At this rate there is not a scold at Billingsgate but may defend herself by the pattern of King James and Archbishop Whitgift. —Andrew Marvell, The Rehearsal Transprosed, 1672.
The style of Billingsgate would not make a very agreeable figure at St. James's. —E. Smith, On John Philips, the poet.
---London, Past and Present. H.B. Wheatley, 1891.
A BILLINGSGATE, a scolding impudent slut.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1731.
The Other Day, the great Charpentier fell into such a Passion about a Trifle, that he reproach'd the Learned Taleman of being the Son of a broken Apothecary at Rochell, to which Taleman with as much heat reply'd, Charpentier was the Son of a poor hedge Ale-draper at Paris. From this Billingsgate Language they came to Blows.
---Letters from the dead to the living. T. Brown, 1702.
The work in question [The Dictionary of the French Academy] was attacked by songs, epigrams, libels, private letters, and in conversations. It is interspersed, was it said on these occasions, with all the filth of Billingsgate and with quibbles of every kind.
---A general dictionary. P. Bayle, 1741.
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.