- The word "liberty" is frequently used to denote the privileged areas also known as "precincts," which are dealt with under that head.But the word "liberties" is also used to denote the outlying areas not included within the City walls, which extended from the Wall and the Gates to the Bars and were originally known as the "portsoken," the soke or liberty without the gate. In London this term "portsoken" came to be exclusively applied to the eastern suburb, but in other large cities it was used indifferently to denote all or any of the suburbs lying outside the city gates. In early deeds relating to London, however, such land is generally referred to as "in suburbio London,"Thus we find described : "Messuage with curtilage in the suburb of London without Allgate adjoining St. Botolph's churchyard," 52 H. III. (Anc. Deeds, A. 2587). "Rents in the suburb of London without Bysshopesgate," 41 Ed. III. (ib. B. 2300). "Land, etc., in Secollane in the suburb of London in the ward of Faryngdon Without" (ib. C. 3580). "Messuage apud Flete in Suburbio London" (Ch. I. p.m. 23 Ed. III. No. 127). "Tenement in the suburb of London without Crepelgate in Everardeswellestrat within the bar" (Anc. Deeds, A. 11861). "Messuage in Fletestrete in parish of St. Bridget in the suburbs of London" (Ch. I. p.m. 28 Ed. I. 77). "Same collectors appointed for the collection of murage, etc., in the suburbs without the gates as for the gates themselves," 10 Rich. II. 1386-7 (Cal. L. Bk. H. p. 300).These outlying districts came in course of time to be attached to the nearest adjoining ward within the City walls, forming thenceforth an integral portion of such ward, which was thenceforth distinguished by the terms "Within" and "Without," thus "Bishopsgate Within and Without," "Cripplegate Within and Without," "the Ward of Farriagdon Within and Without" was temp. Richard II. separated into two distinct wards, with separate Aldermen.These liberties are still included within the boundaries of the City area, while the term "suburb" has been indefinitely extended to embrace the outlying districts, which formerly existed as separate villages but are now united to form the County of London and the area of Greater London beyond. The Liberties correspond to the "pomerium," or "territorium" of the Roman city states, the unbuilt on territory appertaining to the City.
A Dictionary of London. Henry A Harben. 1918.