Black Friars
   A house of Dominican Friars near Ludgate on the site known later as the precinct of Blackfriars.
   Founded in 1221, by Hubert de Burgh, who gave the Friars land in Holborn for their house. Gift confirmed to the Canons of the Preaching Friars in 1224 by John Bokointe (Duchy of Lanc. Anc. Deeds, L.S. 59). In 46 Hen. III. licence was granted to them to enclose a lane for the enlargement of their house in Holborn (I. p.m. 42).
   In 1278 the Friars received a grant of the site of Castle Baynard for the erection of a church and cloister and other buildings (Cal. Chart. R. II. 211), and the old site in Holborn was sold to Henry de Laci, earl of Lincoln (Cal. P.R. Ed. I. 1279-88, p. 428).
   Permission was given to the Friars to pull down a portion of the City wall for the erection of their house, and in 1283-4 the King directed that the wall should be rebuilt by the City (Cal. L. Bk. B. p. 56) outside the Friars' precincts.
   In 1294 a quay was in course of construction on the Thames at their house (Cal. Close R. 1288-96, p. 373).
   By 1315 the City wall was still incomplete and customs were granted by the King in aid of the work, so that it might be completed, between the river Flete and the house of the Preaching Friars as far as the Thames, and also for the erection of a new turret adjoining the wall (Cal. L. Bk. E. 63).
   The site of the monastery comprised the small parish church of St. Ann, the splendid coventual church, the churchyard and cloisters, the chapter house and priory buildings, and extended from the Wall of London and Bridewell Ditch west to Puddle Dock east and from the Thames north to the Wall of London, just south of Ludgate Hill.
   It is frequently referred to in records as used for public purposes.
   Divers Parliaments met there and the Emperor Charles V. was lodged there in 1522 (S. 341).
   It was surrendered to the King 30 H. VIII. and portions of the site were granted by him to various persons. The site of the priory was given by Ed. VI. to Thomas Cawardine in 1549-50, and a description of the house and precinct with measurements is given in the Inquisition, 2 Eliz., taken at his death (Lond. I. p.m. I. 191).
   There was an Anker's cell within the precincts.
   The special privileges granted to the monastery continued to be enjoyed by the inhabitants living within the precincts of the Black Friars for many years after the dissolution of the monastery and the destruction of the conventual buildings, etc., and were abolished until 1735.
   The famous Blackfriars theatre was erected on part of the site about 1596, in spite of protests from some of the inhabitants (L. and P. Ed. VI. iv. 310), but pulled down 1655, and the site converted into tenements.
   The Times newspaper office now occupies a considerable portion of the site, besides numerous streets, as Printing House Square, Glasshouse Yard, Playhouse Yard, Ireland Yard.
   There is an interesting Survey of the Blackfriars, made in 1548, amongst the Loseley MSS. catalogued in H. MSS. Com. 7th Rep. and printed in Gent. Mag. Lib. XV. pp. 48 et seq.
   In 1900 some remains of the priory of 13th-century work were brought to light between Friar Street and St. Anne's churchyard (Lond. Topog. Rec. I. 1).

A Dictionary of London. . 1918.

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