- It is so universal a practice in the present day for all classes of trades to be carried on in the same street, that one is apt to forget that in early days it was the custom for men of a particular trade to congregate together and to have their special locality, street, or quarter in a town, as in the East at the present time, with the result that in course of time the street or quarter came to be designated by the name of the particular trade exercised there. These trade designations survive in London in Ironmonger Row, Wood Street, Milk Street, Poultry, etc. Trades in those days were in some ways more jealously regulated and guarded than they are now, and it was not possible for a man to engage in, a trade unless he had been carefully trained for it and was duly qualified to practise it. There was no place for bad or inefficient workmen, who would bring discredit on the trade. Hence the tendency for men of a particular trade to congregate together for strength and security.The nature of a trade may have also sometimes made it desirable that it should be carried on in some particular locality, and certain methods practised in common. Thus we find in London the Goldsmithery, where the Goldsmiths practised; the Ironmongery, the quarter inhabited by the Ironmongers, now Ironmonger Row; the Poultry for the poulterers; the" bocherie "for the butchers at Eastcheap and at Newgate; the Ropary, and so on. It is possible that if the subject could be followed up more closely, the early records of the City would yield further interesting information and would show more clearly what were the localities occupied by the various traders at different dates.
A Dictionary of London. Henry A Harben. 1918.