Bread Street

City, 46, Cheapside (EC4) "So called, of bread in old time there sold. For it appeareth by Records that in the year 1302, which was the 30th of Edward I, the bakers of London were bounden to sell no bread in their shops or houses, but in the market." (Reference: Strype's Stow, Bk. iii, p. 198) A side-entry or alley led from this street to the famous "Mermaid" Tavern frequented by Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Sir Walter Raleigh, and their contemporaries.

"What things have we seen Done at the Mermaid!" (Beaumont)

Bread Street was the birthplace of John Milton. The house where the great poet was born, and where his father carried on the profession of a scrivener, was burnt down in the Great Fire of 1666. In Bread Street formerly stood Buckingham House, the town residence of the noble family of Stafford, Earls of Wiltshire and Dukes of Buckingham. Here also was a compter for the imprisonment of disorderly persons. (Reference: Smith's Streets of London, p. 374)