I have found some ancestors of mine living in Lawrence Street in St Giles in the Fields in the 1841 census.
I know the family were living at 19 Church street in 1837 and 8 Church Land in 1847 so was wondering if anyone is able to locate Lawrence street in relation to Church Land and Church street in St Giles?
Is there anyone on here who has access to old parish maps maybe?
thanks you all x
Yes I’ve tried looking at some old maps too but can’t find Lawrence street? I think this became new oxford street?
Sorry I went to edit and pressed delete
Did a bit of a Google and it didn't look like they were near each other
( Edited the start of this post to omit wrong information! ).
There's a map of St G in the Fields in 1755:
It shows Church Street a block north-east of St Giles church.
Church Street joins Church Lane - could that be Church Land, perhaps mistranscribed ??
The present day Central St Giles development/shopping centre (and all the area northwards as far as Bainbridge Street, including New Oxford Street ) seems to be where Church Street and Church Lane used to be.
Further discovery -
on that old map of St Giles in the Fields, you'll see Buckridge Street a block north of Church Street, and also joining Church Lane.
According to this page, Lawrence Street was a section of Buckridge Street.
Also known as Buckbridge Street/Buckeridge Street/Lawrence Lane/Lawrence Street
It was in the south-west corner of Blooomsbury; it ran from High Street in the west to Dyott Street in the east
It appears on the 1720 parish map of St Giles
On Wyld’s map of 1828, the part west of Church Lane is named Lawrence Street and the remainder Buckeridge Street; Strype in his Survey also refers to this end of the street as having a different identity, calling it Laurence Lane (John Strype, Stow’s Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster, Corrected, Improved and Very Much Enlarged, 1720), while inspector of lodging-houses Mr Hunt remembering the 1840s called this end of the street both Lawrence Street and Lawrence Lane (manuscript of Mr Hunt, quoted in Henry Mayhew, ‘A Visit to the Rookery of St Giles and its Neighbourhood,’ London Labour and the London Poor, ed Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, 2010),
It seems to have been renamed (along with Dyott Street and Maynard Street) after the married name of one of Henry Bainbridge’s three daughters, Bainbridge being the 17th-century owner of the estate on which the street was built (Survey of London, vol. 5, 1914)
There are no numbers on Horwood’s map of 1807
By the middle of the nineteenth century, it was famously disreputable, with most of its houses being used as “lodging-houses for thieves, prostitutes, and cadgers” (manuscript of Mr Hunt, quoted in Henry Mayhew, ‘A Visit to the Rookery of St Giles and its Neighbourhood,’ London Labour and the London Poor, ed Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, 2010), and with a multitude of adjoining courtyards with intricately interconnected basements, yard, and roofs providing ready getaways for criminals
It also had a pub, the Hare and Hounds, which apparently attracted a clientele which included the rich and aristocratic as well as the poor and criminal (manuscript of Mr Hunt, quoted in Henry Mayhew, ‘A Visit to the Rookery of St Giles and its Neighbourhood,’ London Labour and the London Poor, ed Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, 2010)
It almost all disappeared when New Oxford Street was developed in the 1840s
An article published in 1845 speaks of the posts remaining in St Giles’s High Street at the entrance to a tiny part of Lawrence Street which still remained at this stage, the remainder of Buckridge Street having vanished
Maps after this date such as Weller’s of 1868 show the western portion between High Street and the new Arthur Street still extant and still named Lawrence Street
ahh brilliant Argyllgran! This sounds spot on! thank you - that's much appreciated xx
Also from that site (lots of fascinating stuff there) :
Thomas Beames, writing in the middle of the nineteenth century, described the whole area of St Giles as the type of “the lowest conditions under which human life is possible”, but he was at a loss to explain why: it was not on the river (at that time a haunt of criminals), had not had sanctuary areas (which often became criminal rendezvous places) and had been a rich area in the seventeenth century (Thomas Beames, The Rookeries of London: Past, Present, and Prospective, 2nd edn, 1852)
Beames further notes that “Bainbridge and Buckeridge Street were built prior to 1672, and derive their names from their owners, who were men of wealth in the time of Charles II.; as Dyott Street does its title from Mr. Dyott, a man of consideration in the same reign” (Thomas Beames, The Rookeries of London: Past, Present, and Prospective, 2nd edn, 1852)
By the 1740s, however, the area had become the slum known as the Rookeries, inhabited by many poor Irish in particular, and with a reputation for crime as well as poverty (Thomas Beames, The Rookeries of London: Past, Present, and Prospective, 2nd edn, 1852)
“The worst sink of iniquity was The Rookery,–-a place or rather district, so named, whose shape was triangular, bounded by Bainbridge Street, George Street, and High Street, St Giles’s. While the New Oxford Street was building, the recesses of this Alsatia were laid open partially to the public, the debris were exposed to view; the colony, called The Rookery was like an honeycomb, perforated by a number of courts and blind alleys, culs de sac, without any outlet other than the entrance” (Thomas Beames, The Rookeries of London: Past, Present, and Prospective, 2nd edn, 1852)
A similar account of the maze of alleyways and building appears in Henry Mayhew’s account of his visit to the Rookery of St Giles in about 1860, in which he quotes from a manuscript by Mr Hunt, inspector of local lodging-houses, concerning the conditions in the area prior to the development of New Oxford Street through it in the 1840s (Henry Mayhew, London Labour and the London Poor, ed Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, 2010)
According to this, “The ground covered by the Rookery was enclosed by Great Russell Street, Charlotte Street, Broad Street, and High Street, all within the parish of St. Giles-in-the-Fields. Within this space were George Street (once Dyott Street), Carrier Street, Maynard Street, and Church Street, which ran from north to south, and were intersected by Church Lane, Ivy Lane, Buckeridge Street, Bainbridge Street, and New Street. These, with an almost endless intricacy of courts and yards crossing each other, rendered the place like a rabbit-warren...Both sides of Buckeridge Street abounded in courts, particularly the north side, and these, with the connected backyards and low walls in the rear of the street, afforded an easy escape to any thief when pursued by officers of justice” (Henry Mayhew, London Labour and the London Poor, ed Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, 2010)
yes I have just been reading the above myself on the Bloombsury Project website - it is awful to think mt ancestors were living in such dins of inequity!
Yes Church Lane is just off Lawrence St and Church St.
I would be fascinated to see if they appear in any court proceedings or newspaper reports of the time but have no idea of how to go about conducting such research? I know we see it all the time on 'Who do you think you are?" but does anyone know what search engines genealogists use to search for names in newspapers from the time?