Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for HOLBORN

HOLBORN, a part of the metropolis, a parish, and a district in Middlesex. The part of the metropolis commences at the N end of Faringdon street, about 3 furlongs NW of St. Paul's; extends nearly a mile westward, to Broad street, at the end of Drury-lane; is, till within about 200 yards of Broad street, on a line with Oxfordstreet; and forms, throughout its length, the central portion of the great thoroughfare from Cheapside, by Newgate street, to Uxbridge road. It was originally a village, called Oldbourne; and it took its name from a burn or rivulet which entered at or near Brook street, and ran down its whole length to the Fleet ditch at Faringdonstreet; but it has long been one of the densest portions of the metropolis W of Newgate. It is called HolbornHill, from Faringdon street to Fetter lane; Holborn, from Fetter lane to Brook street; and High Holborn, from Brook street to Drury lane. A stone bridge over the Fleet, called Oldbourne bridge, stood on it at Faringdonstreet; and what were called Holborn Bars, marking the limit of the city liberties without the walls, stood on it at Brook street. It was the old road from Newgate and the Tower to the gallows at Tyburn; the road up which William Lord Russell was led to the scaffold in Lincoln s-Inn-Fields; and the road along which Titus Oates, Dangerfield, and Johnson were whipped. An act for a great improvement on it, and on places connected with it, was obtained by the corporation in 1864. This improvement comprises a high level street, constructed on a viaduct, commencing at Ely court, Holborn Hill, and extending to the Old Bailey, with streets branching from it at either end into Faringdon road, the altering of the level of the streets over which it passes, and the widening of Shoe lane; it was estimated to cost £1, 500, 000, and was completed in Nov. 1869; and the funds for it were raised by loan, to be repaid out of the tax on coals in the years 1872-1882. Gerard dates his "Herbal, '' published in 1597, from " my house in Holborne, within the suburbs of London;'' and he had, behind the house, a good garden, with many of the rarer plants mentioned in his "Herbal." Cromwell and Ireton are currently said, but on no good authority, to have entered, in disguise, the Blue Boar inn at 270 High Holborn, and there intercepted a letter from Charles I. which led to the king's execution. Savage, the poet, was born in Fox court, off Holborn Hill; Ritson, the antiquary, lived in Holborn court; and many other distinguished persons stand associated in history with places in or near Holborn. The parish bears the name of St. Andrew-Holborn; includes the parish of St. George-the-Martyr politically, but not ecclesiastically; is mainly in Holborn district, but partly in West London district; and has a post office‡ of the name of Holborn, London W. C., and another of the name of Holborn Hill, London E.The parts in Holborn district are designated Above-the-Bars; and those in West London district comprise 20 acres, and are designated Below-the-Bars. Acres of the whole, exclusive of St. George-the-Martyr, 95; inclusive of St. G., 131. Real property, inc. of St. G., £281, 207. Pop., exc. of St. G., in 1851, 29, 320; in 1861, 28, 721. Houses, 2, 685. Pop., inc. of St. G., in 1851, 38, 083; in 1861, 38, 588. Houses, 3, 450. Pop. of the part in West London district, in 1851, 5, 965; in 1861, 6, 337. Houses, 549. The living is a rectory in the diocese of London. Value, £950. * Patron, the Duke of Buccleuch. The church retains some arches of a previous edifice; and was built, in 1687, by Wren. Bishops Hacket and Stillingfleet, and the notable Sacheverell, were rectors. The vicarages of St. Alban, Trinity or Grays-Inn-Road, and St. Peter or Saffron-Hill, the p. curacy of St. John constituted in 1867, and the Welsh chapelry at Ely-Place, are separate benefices. Value of St. A., £150; of T., £300; * of St. P., £350; of St. J., £200; of the Welsh chapelry, £250. Patron of St. A., J. G. Hubbard, Esq.; of T. and St. P., the Rector of Holborn; of St. J., alt. the Crown and the Bishop. St. Peter's, though reputed to be in Holborn parish, really consists of Saffron-Hill, HattonGarden, Ely-Kents, and Ely-Place liberties. A school has £417 a year from endowment; Staffford's alms houses, £387; Thavie's charities, £907; other charities, £934. The district comprehends the sub-district of St. Andrew-Eastern, containing the part of St. Andrew-Holborn parish between Saffron-Hill chapelry and the east side of Gray's-Inn-Lane, and the extra-parochial place of Furnivals' Inn; the sub-district of St. George-the-Martyr and St. Andrew-Western, containing the rest of the ecclesiastical St. Andrew-Holborn above the Bars, the parish of St. George-the-Martyr, the township of Lincoln 's Inn, and the extra-parochial places of Gray's Inn and Staple Inn; and the sub-district of Saffron-Hill, containing the chapelry of Saffron-Hill, the extra-parochial place of the Charterhouse, and 20 acres of the parish of St. Sepulchre. Acres of the district, 196. Poor rates in 1863, £18, 740. Pop. in 1851, 46, 621; in 1861, 44, 862. Houses, 4, 109. Marriages in 1862, 235; births, 1, 413, -of which 66 were illegitimate; deaths, 1, 212, - of which 524 were at ages under 5 years, and 11 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 2, 184; births, 13, 749; deaths, 11, 728. The places of worship, in 1851, were 9 of the Church of England, with 9, 152 sittings; 4 of Independents, with 1, 570 s.; 2 of Baptists, with 1, 630 s.; 1 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 90 s.; 10 of Primitive Methodists, with 900 s.; 1 of the New Church, with 520 s.; 1 undefined, with 200 s.; 1 of Latter Day Saints, with 350 s.; and 1 of Roman Catholics, with 400 attendants. The schools were 21 public day schools, with 2, 959 scholars; 39 private day schools, with 1, 046 s.; 13 Sunday schools, with 2, 885 s.; and 2 evening schools for adults, with 30 s. The workhouse is in the sub-district of St. Andrew-Eastern; and, at the Census of 1861, had 495 inmates. The Royal College of Surgeons, the London Mechanics' Institution, the London Homœopathic Hospital, St. Elizabeth's Hospital, and the Hospital for sick children are in the district; and the three last had, at the Census, 33, 44, and 68 inmates.

(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a part of the metropolis, a parish, and a district"   (ADL Feature Type: "populated places")
Administrative units: Holborn CP       Holborn PLU/RegD       Middlesex AncC
Place: Holborn

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