Whitefriars is in Farringdon Without ward, London, where in medieval times stood a religious house belonging to the Carmelite friars. I came upon it (on-line, not in person) because while researching a certain Sir William de Windsor, a very unpopular and harsh Lieutenant of Ireland in the later reign of King Edward III. He was also married to the king’s notorious mistress, Alice Perrers, who managed to get him off several hooks.
At the height of his notoriety, on 16th August, 1376, Sir William attended a meeting of the king and Council at White Friars. The Carmelite priory fronted Fleet Street, and stretched right back to the Thames, so I imagine old King Edward III went to the meeting by barge. There, Sir William became embroiled in an unseemly quarrel in the king’s presence. It was a crime to behave like that with the king looking on, so he must have legged it, because a warrant was subsequently issued for his arrest. Two days later he turned himself in at the Tower. He didn’t pay much of a price for all his wrongdoings, except to never go back to Ireland, and died naturally in 1384 in his home county of Westmorland.
Anyway, when I read of this incident, I decided to investigate Whitefriars in Fleet Street, and almost immediately came upon the 1540 map above, which shows in detail the religious properties along its length and fronting the Thames. I found it very interesting, and hope you do too.
The map was found at the zythophile website which contains a lot of information about the area in the past…as well as the pubs of the present!
NB: The link enables you to considerably enlarge the map.