- A water-gate to the Thames near where the Walbrook entered the river. In Dowgate Ward.Earliest mention: "Duuegate." In charter of William I. 1067 (apparently forged, though probably of early date), confirming certain property to Westminster Abbey, mention is made of a wharf and land "apud duuegate" (Cott. Ch. VI. 3, B.M.).The port of "Duuegate" belonged to the men of Rouen in the time of King Edward the Confessor, as set out in a charter 1150-i (Cal. Doc. in France, ed Round, I. p. 32).In a charter of H. II. 1174-5, it is described as their "werfum" at "Duuegate" (ib. 34).Other forms : "Duuegate," 1236 (Anc. Deeds, A. 1716). "Douegate," 1271 (Ct. H.W. I. 10). "Douuegate," 22 Ed. I. (Ch. I. p.m. 22 Ed. I. 149).It appears from the Liber Albus I, 241, that the same customs were observed at "porta de Dowgate" as in "Ripa Reginae" (Queenhithe), and Stow argues from this that Dowgate was at one time a part of Queenhithe (S. p. 42). If, by this statement, he means that it was part of the royal demesne, he may be right, for from the foregoing charters, it appears that these early grants of Dowgate were all made by the king himself.There are frequent ordinances in the City records for the cleansing of Dowgate.The site is now occupied by Dowgate Dock (q.v.).It will be seen from the foregoing references that the usual form of the name in the 12th and 13th centuries was "Duuegate," "Douuegate," or "Douegate," and that the second "u" has been mistaken by Stow for an "n," giving the form "Downgate" or "Doungate," and he explains it as "so called of the sodaine descending or going down of that way from St. John's Church upon Walbrooke unto the river of Thames" (S. 41).This is obviously an error, but the name "Duuegate" or "Douegate" might be derived from an O.E. name "Duua," which is, however, of very rare occurrence.
A Dictionary of London. Henry A Harben. 1918.