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Help and advice for Precinct of St Whitefriars (ex. par.)

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Precinct of St Whitefriars (ex. par.)

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"WHITEFRIARS, is a district of the city, which extends from the western side of Water-lane, Fleet-street, to the Temple, and from Fleet-street to the Thames. It derives its name from being the site of the ancient Convent of Carmelites, or Whitefriars, who were so called from their white garments. This convent was founded in 1241, by Sir Richard Grey, ancestor of the Lord Greys, of Codnor, in Derbyshire, and was afterwards rebuilt about 1350, by Hugh Courtney, Earl of Devonshire, when the ground given to the order by Edward I. to enlarge their buildings was taken in. The conventual church was built by Sir Robert Knowles, a great warrior in the reigns of Edward III. and Richard II., and it was the burial place of many persons of distinction. At the dissolution of the religious houses, in the reign of Henry VIII., this convent and its church were surrendered to the crown, and the king conferred different portions of the buildings to his favourites; and in 1657 Edward VI. granted the church, chapter house, and other parts of the priory to the Bishop of Worcester and his successors. In 1608, the inhabitants of this district obtained several liberties, privileges and exemptions, by a charter granted them by James I., which placed them out of the jurisdiction of the City of London. This soon rendered the place an asylum for insolvent debtors, cheats and gamblers, who gave it the name of Alsatia, which figures so conspicuously in Sir Walter Scott's lively tale of the Fortunes of NigeL The inconvenience became at last so intolerable, that in 1696 an act of parliament was passed to deprive the district of privileges that were so injurious to the community." [J. Elmes, A Topographical Dictionary of London and its Environs (1831) - transcribed by Brian Randell]

This place is located in Farringdon Without Ward.


Church Records

Online Parish Register Images and Indexes for Precinct of St Whitefriars (ex. par.) are provided by, or at various subscription sites via, the LDS FamilySearch wiki.


Description and Travel

Wikipedia page on Precinct of St Whitefriars.

You can see pictures of Precinct of St Whitefriars (ex. par.) which are provided by:



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Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Precinct of St Whitefriars (ex. par.) has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



Whitefriars Crypt - a well-illustrated historical account.

Noble, T. C. Memorials of Temple Bar : with some account of Fleet Street, and the parishes of St. Dunstan and St. Bride, London: chiefly derived from ancient records and original sources. London : Diprose & Bateman, [1869] 140 pp. [Full Text] [Whitefriars - see pp. 96-98.]

Land and Property

Public Houses, Inns & Taverns of the parish of Precinct of St Whitefriars (ex. par.) - provides "information from census records, trade directories, etc."


Names, Personal

Surnames from the 1881 census in the St Whitefriars Precinct district.