Streets Named After People

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Influential citizens and property owners are commemorated in a number of the present street names. Bucklersbury tells of the Bucherelli who came here from Italy more than 800 years ago, and whose descendants, under the Anglicised name of Bukerel, appear in the early lists of Sheriffs and even Mayors of London; their mansion, or "bury," in the thirteenth century was "Bukerelesbury."

Basinghall street and Basing lane remind us of the almost equally ancient family of Basinges, or Bassinges; Philpot lane of that distinguished citizen, Sir John Philpot, or Phillepot, Alderman and Sheriff, and Mayor in 1378; and Laurence Pountney lane of Sir John de Pulteney, or Pounteney, Mayor in 1334, whose benefactions to his parish and church led to the addition of his name to its dedication.

Finch lane recalls the Finches, or Fynckes, family who were residents and proprietors here 750 years ago, and whose name is commemorated in that of their parish, St. Benet Fink, because they rebuilt the church; and "Gutter" lane veils the name of a lady Godrune, or Cudrune, which has become distorted and debased during the later centuries.

In Warwick lane was the house of Thomas de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, who died in 1369; at the Newgate street corner of the neighbouring Rose street stood the Rose Inn in the sixteenth century, and "the tenement called la Rose" for more than 100 years previously; while across Newgate street Roman Bath street wafts memories, not of a bath built by the Romans, but of a seventeenth century bagnio, or hot air bath.

This brief outline may conclude with two instances from more recent history. Queen Victoria Street was built when the Thames Embankment was formed and was fittingly named after the reigning monarch; while King William street is a similar reminder that Queen Victoria's uncle, King William IV., was reigning when that street was constructed to connect with the new London Bridge.