East Smithfield
   A district lying just outside the walls of London, east of the Tower, stretching south to the Thames, and east to Nightingale Lane, while to the north it extended itself into the parish of Whitechapel.
   In early days it constituted a Manor and was the property of the Prior and Convent of the Holy Trinity, but was originally included within the limits of the ward of Portsoken (q.v.). In course of time, owing to the establishment of religious foundations within its bounds and to the privileges accorded to them, much of the district became alienated from the ward and from the jurisdiction of the City. (This question is discussed at length in the notice of Portsoken Ward (q.v.)).
   Down to the middle of the 16th century the district remained for the most part open country, and in Agas' map, c. 1570, there are but few houses and buildings to be seen, except those connected with the religious houses which had stood there.
   But the succeeding years, as Stow complains (ed. 1603, p. 425), saw a rapid increase in the population and buildings in the district, so that by the middle of the 17th century it seemed to contain almost as thick a network of courts and alleys as the City within the walls.
   The district is now occupied by the Royal Mint, the St. Katherine Docks, etc., and is a busy centre of commerce and industry.
   Described by Dodsley as a small square near Little Tower Hill, surrounded with but indifferent buildings.
   The earliest forms of the name are : "Smethefel extra Alegate" (Chancery Inq. p.m. 18 Ed. I.). "Estsmethefeud " I Ed. I. (Anc. Deeds, A. 7830-1). "Estsmethefeld" (56. H. III., ib. A. 1512 and 21 Ed. I. Chanc. I. p.m.) ; the latter being the most usual form of the name and in use down to a late period.
   The word "Smithfield" is generally interpreted as "Smoothfield," the "campus planus re et nomine" of Fitzstephen (quoted by Stow, ed. 1603, p. 573), lying outside the City walls, the designation "East" being added to it to distinguish it from a district similarly named outside the western walls of the City.
   The history of the street of East Smithfield in which the name survives is given under Upper East Smithfield and Lower East Smithfield (q.v.).

A Dictionary of London. . 1918.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • East Smithfield — is the name of a road in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in East London. It is part of the A1203 road, and historically referred to the surrounding area as well.The route of both the London Marathon and the London Triathlon pass along East… …   Wikipedia

  • East Smithfield Public Library — The East Smithfield Public Library is a public library in the village of Esmond, Rhode Island in the town of Smithfield.HistoryThe East Smithfield Public consists of two former libraries sponsored by a local mill. These libraries are the Bernon… …   Wikipedia

  • East Smithfield Double Passage —    On Tower Hill (Dodsley, 1761).    Not named in the maps …   Dictionary of London

  • East Smithfield School —    Founded 1673 by Sir Samuel Sterling for sixteen poor boys of the parish of St. Botolph, Aldgate (Dodsley, 1761) …   Dictionary of London

  • Upper East Smithfield —    East from Littie Tower Hill to Dock Street (P.O. Directory).    Earliest mention: Lockie, 1810.    Former name: East Smithfield (O. and M. 1677 Horwood, 1799).    Hatton (1708) says it was so called from its being in the east part of London,… …   Dictionary of London

  • (St.) Katherine's Street, East Smithfield —    East from the Tower to Hermitage Bridge (Lockie, 1810).    Former name : St. Katherine s (O. and M. 1677 Horwood, 1799).    It seems to be referred to as Thames Street in 1763 in L.C.C. Deeds, Harben Bequest, 1700 1800, No. 99.    Removed for… …   Dictionary of London

  • Butcher Row, East Smithfield —    South east from Upper East Smithfield to Lower East Smithfield (Lockie s Topog. 1810 Elmes Topog. Dict. 1831).    Earliest mention: Hatton, 1708.    Site covered by the St. Katherine s Docks and adjacent warehouses 1827.    Possibly the street …   Dictionary of London

  • The Katherine Wheel, East Smithfield —    West of Hermitage Dock (Rocque, 1746). A tenement called le Katheryn Whele in East Smithfield was in the time of Henry VIII situated between the Three Kings beer house west and the Mille Dock of the Abbey of Graces east, the Thames south and… …   Dictionary of London

  • Red Lion, East Smithfield —    Brewhouse so called, which belonged to St. Mary Graces, near the brewhouse called Le three Kyngs, and the messuage called Le Katherine Wheele, 31 H. VIII. 1540, 37 H. VIII. and 39 Eliz. (Cal. L. and M. Ft. of Fines, 11.64; L. and P. H. VIII.… …   Dictionary of London

  • Swan Street, Upper East Smithfield —    North east from Butcher Row to East Smithfield at No.102, with a branch to Nightingale Lane (Lockie, 1810).    Former names: Swann alley, 1641 (Ct. H.W. IT. p.760). Swan alley (W. Stow, 1722 Horwood, 1799).    Removed for the erection of St.… …   Dictionary of London

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”