Middlesex Street

Middlesex Street
   North out of Aldgate High Street to Bishopsgate, the northern end of Widegate Street having been absorbed into it. The western side is in Portsoken Ward, the eastern in the parish of St. Mary Whitechapel (P.O. Directory).
   Former names : "Hog Lane" (Stow, p. 128), 1603 ed. Forty years previously had hedge rows of elms on both sides. "Pettycoatelane" (2 Chas. I. Midd. Sessions Rolls, III. 13). "Peticote Lane" (Ryther's map. 1608). "Petticoat Lane" (O. and M. 1677. to Lockie, 1810).
   Extended as far as Widegate Street only in these maps, etc.
   Seems to have been first named Middlesex Street about 1830. Elmes, writing in 1831, says it is now called Middlesex Street, but it is still known as Petticoat Lane in the neighbourhood.
   The French weavers settled in this part when they came over in the 17th century owing to the religious persecutions, but their place has been gradually filled by Jews, many of whom are sellers of old clothes, etc., and the street has a low reputation. It has been greatly improved by modern rebuilding and widening.
   Widened to 40 ft. between Whitechapel High Street and Wentworth Street in 1883 in connection with clearances made under the Artisans and Labourers' Dwellings' Improvement Acts.
   It is interesting to note in connection with the changes that have taken place in London streets and localities that the Spanish ambassador had his house in Middlesex Street in James I.'s reign.
   Derivation of names : Hog Lane, Strype suggests, may have been named from the hogs that ran in the fields there (Strype, ed. 1720, I. ii. 22). Bakers were allowed to keep bogs in streets without the City (ib.). The name was probably changed to Petticoat lane as the buildings became more numerous from the sellers of old clothes, etc.
   See Sandy's Row.

A Dictionary of London. . 1918.

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