The present volume of the Survey of London differs in some respects
from its predecessors. The usual historical and biographical notes
accompanying each chapter have, save in one or two exceptional
cases, been omitted, and their place taken by a historical introduction of
90 pages. This is due to several reasons. In the first place, the material
for the usual notes is in most cases not available. Three Hearth Tax Rolls
for Shoreditch are in existence (Lay Subsidies, Middlesex, 252/32, 143/407 and
143/370) for the years 1666, 1674 and an intermediate date. These give
the whole of the occupiers of Shoreditch, arranged according to tenements
(not houses). The next list embracing all the parish is that contained in
a ratebook of the Holborn and Finsbury Commission of Sewers for the
year 1779. The gap of over a hundred years is partially filled by (i) a list
(apparently incomplete), dated 1st May, 1683, of the occupiers in Hoxton
Street, contained in a presentment-book of the Holborn and Finsbury
Sewers Commission, (ii) a list of the housekeepers rated for the poor in
Church End and Hoxton, made in November, 1729, and contained in a
MS. book of Mr. Dawson preserved in Shoreditch Public Library, (iii) a
list of tenants (unclassified) in Hoxton Square contained in an indenture of
17th May, 1760 (Middx. Reg. Memls., 1760, II., 570). After the 1779 list
the next is that contained in a sewer rate-book for 1812. This deals only
with the liberties of Hoxton, Moorfields and Norton Folgate. From this
date the sewer rate-books in the possession of the London County
Council run fairly regularly up to the year 1848, and from 1818 can be
supplemented by the local rate-books preserved in Shoreditch Public Library.
From the foregoing it will be seen that any attempts to connect the early
lists with the later and thus to allocate occupiers to definite houses is foredoomed to failure. In the comparatively few cases in which it has been
found practicable to connect notable individuals with land or houses, either
as owners or occupiers, biographical details have been given in footnotes.
In the second place it was found that if the historical matter was
confined to what was directly connected with only those buildings which
were included in the Survey it could not fail, owing to the way in which these
buildings were distributed, to be very disjointed and partial.
For these reasons, and owing to the further fact that in the course of
the preparation of the volume a large amount of information had been collected
which could not have been otherwise utilised, it was thought desirable to
depart in this instance from the recognised practice.
The rules under which the Survey of London is carried out provide
that, unless in exceptional circumstances, only buildings dating from before
the year 1800 should be included. It was felt, however, that an exception
might well be made in the case of the present Shoreditch Technical Institute
(formerly the Aske's Almshouses), erected in 1825.
It is desired to take this opportunity of thanking those owners and
occupiers of buildings who have granted permission to the Council to make
surveys of the interior of their premises, and take photographs of the same.
The Council's thanks are also due to the Dean of St. Paul's for his kindness
in allowing access to the MSS. in the Cathedral Library, to the officials of
the Public Record Office, the MSS. Department of the British Museum,
and the Middlesex Registry. Grateful acknowledgment should also be
made to Mr. William C. Plant, the Borough Librarian of Shoreditch, for
his unweariedness in placing at the disposal of the Council's officers
his stores of information, documentary and otherwise, relating to the
history of the parish. The Architect of the Council desires to record his
appreciation of the work done in connection with the preparation of
this volume by Mr. C. J. T. Dadd and other assistants in his department.
The historical introduction, as well as the historical information
contained in the actual survey, has been prepared by Mr. W. W. Braines,
B.A. (Lond.), a principal assistant in my department.
The County Hall,
Westminster Bridge, S.E.1,
20th October, 1922.