PREFACE TO THE HISTORICAL NOTES
The names of the residents in Lincoln's Inn Fields are taken
generally from the ratebooks of four authorities. (1) Those
formerly belonging to the Vestry of St. Clement Danes and now in
the possession of the Westminster City Council. They contain information
as to the houses on the south side of Lincoln's Inn Fields, and start from
the year 1653. (2) Those formerly belonging to the Vestry of St. Gilesin-the-Fields and now in the possession of the Holborn Metropolitan
Borough Council. They give particulars of the houses on the west and
north sides of the Fields, but are not available before 1730. (3) Those
formerly belonging to the Westminster Commission of Sewers and now
in the possession of the London County Council. They begin in 1700,
but were only made up at intervals, and being based upon the parish ratebooks, can be neglected when the latter are available. The books for
1700, 1703, 1708, 1715, and 1723, however, form some compensation for
the absence of parish ratebooks before 1730. (4) Those formerly belonging
to the Lincoln's Inn Fields Trustees and now preserved in the British
Museum. They run from 1757 to 1796.
It will be seen from the above that there is no ratebook evidence
earlier than 1700 for the houses on the west and north sides. It is possible,
however, to obtain earlier information from—
(1) Jury Presentment Lists for 1683 and 1695, in the
possession of the London County Council. These are lists of
persons liable to be rated for the maintenance of the Essex Street
sewer, and "presented" as such by the jury summoned for the
purpose. The 1695 list is incomplete for the west side. It also
omits the south side entirely.
(2) A series of four Hearth Tax Rolls, preserved in the
Record Office. Two of these are dated (i.) 1667 and (ii.) 1675, (fn. 1) while
two are undated, but from internal evidence seem to refer to (iii.)
the period 1663–66, and (iv.) circ. 1673. (fn. 2) The portion of (iii.) referring
to that part of the west side to the south of No. 55, Lincoln's Inn
Fields, is missing.
Other information has been obtained from deeds, and in some cases
it has been possible entirely to fill up the list of early residents from this
The list of residents has been carried in each case down to the year
The accounts of notable residents given in the Historical Notes are
usually based on the articles in the Dictionary of National Biography.
In most cases, however, other authorities have also been consulted, and
full references are given to these.
The ratebooks give the assessable value of the houses, and it is
interesting to see how these have altered since the beginning of the 18th
century. At that date the values amounted to—
(a) Houses on the north side (Nos. 1–29). £1,456. Average (fn. 3) £50.
(b) Do. south side (Nos. 32–48). £1,190. do. £70.
(c) Do. west side (Nos. 51–67). £1,440. do. £85.
The corresponding average figures for the beginning of the 19th
century were—(a) £89, (b) £134, (c) £154, and in 1900 the figures had grown
to (a) £337, (b) £384, (c) £411.
Although due regard should be had to the purchasing power of
money, and to the fact that the houses have in most instances been rebuilt,
the figures are, nevertheless, interesting.