Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
The King’s Head in New Fish Street was one of the oldest taverns in London, having been traced back to as early as 1417. It appears in the Elizabethan ballad “News from Bartholomew Fair” in the lyrics: “The King’s Head in New Fish Street where roysters do range” (what does this mean?).
It was close to the northern edge of London Bridge and the stairs leading down to the river at Billingsgate Fish Market. In Pepys’ time, its tavern sign showed the old king Henry VIII, and it was owned by Robert Cradock from at least 1659 to 1667, who married his wife Barbara some time during this period. The tavern finally closed in 1898 after serving drinks for perhaps 500 years.
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