- Bassishaw Ward
- One of the smallest of the twenty-six wards of the City, bounded north by Cripplegate Ward Without, east by Coleman Street Ward, west by Cripplegate Ward Within and south by Cheap Ward.First mention: "Warda de Bassingeshol." "Warde de Bassyeshawe," 3 and 4 Ed. I. (Rot. Hund. I. 403).See Wards.Other forms : Ward of Bassyngeshawe, 13 Rich. II. (Cal. L. Bk. F. p. 273). Ward of Bassynges Halle, 1549 (Lond. I. p.m. I. 109).Seems to be sometimes referred to as "Bassishaw" (q.v.).Riley suggests in his Memorials that "Bassishaw" and "Basinghall" are probably names of different origin, the former being derived from the "haw" or " laugh" of the Bassets there and not from the family of Basing (p. xix.).But the evidence of the records is against this view, for the two forms seem to have been in use concurrently and interchangeably from the 12th century, the earliest instance of the name being "Bassingeshage."See under Bassishaw.Stow says the ward taketh name of Bassingshall, the principall house of the Basinges, the builders thereof and owners of the ground near adjoining. He identifies it with Bakewell hall.See Blackwell Hall.It seems probable that in this case Stow's derivation is correct and that the Basings, who were an influential family in the City from early times, may have had their principal house and property in this part of the city. "Bassingeshage" would be the "hawe" or enclosure of the Basings, and the omission of the "ng" in later writings might come about from the use of the contracted form "Bassishaw" for "Bassingshawe."It is to be noted that in the early lists of wards, it is referred to by this title and not, as in the case of most of the other wards, by the name of the Alderman of the Ward for the time being.The ward contained in Stow's time : One parish church-"St. Michael Bassishaw." Part of the Guildhall. Bakewell or Blackwell Hall. Four Halls of Livery Companies : Weavers, Girdlers, Masons, Coopers.The church of St. Michael Bassishaw was taken down 1896-7 and the parish united to St. Laurence Jewry.The Halls remain except Blackwell Hall and Mason's Hall (q.v.).
A Dictionary of London. Henry A Harben. 1918.