Webmaster’s Blog The House on Dogwell Lane

MASHBURN-Steve-latest-portraitThe Boyhood Home of Edward Mashborne

Although I tried several times to identify the location of the Whitefriars house where Edward Mashborne (b. 1676 in St Giles-in-the-fields) had grown up, I was unable to do so. Even though I knew that a neighbor was the famous judge and author Sir Henry Chauncy who probably maintained that house as a London residence for when he was in town, I was not able to find anything about the neighborhood.

The news that my brother John was soon to visit London prompted me to doubled my efforts and I was successful. It is remarkable how much can be found on English ancestors while America ancestors of just two or three generations away are complete mysteries. (Records, it appears, are one great advantage that a civilized nation has for genealogical research.)



Hearth Taxes

In 1693 Elizabeth Mashborne, widow, our Edward’ stepmother, paid Hearth Taxes on a house in the Whitefriars Precinct, London

In 1703 Hearth Tax records show the house was still owned by Elizabeth but is empty (for she had already remarried to Edward Lloyd, the coffee-man).

Through an analysis of what neighbors lived live door to each other for these two Hearth Tax ten years apart, I have been able to identify the exact house that Elizabeth Nash Mashborne owned. It was on Dogwell Court.

Dogwell Court was east out of Lombard Street to Temple Mews, in White Friars, against Serjeants’ Inn (Hatton, 1708-Boyle, 1799). [Actually Lombard Lane — this was not the Lombard Street that Lloyd’s Coffeehouse was on.]

Sir Henry Chancy

The tax records from 1693 to 1707 show that Sir Henry Chancy, a famous lawyer, judge and author from Hertfordshire, kept his London residence five doors down from Elizabeth’s house. Research on Chancy has failed to uncover any details concerning this area.

Sir Chancy is famous for two things: (1) authoring The Historical Antiques of Hertfordshire, the first modern genealogy/county history books that was written and (2) arresting Jane Wenham, one of the last witches that was ever placed on trial in England.

Dryden Leach

In 1707 Hearth Tax records show the Mashborne house was now owned by Dryden Leach.

Dryden Leach was a printer and book publisher. He was married to a cousin of Jonathan Swift. Swift describes him as a coxcomb (dandy) and says he acts like an Oronoco (foolishly in love).

William Bowyer

Remarkably, a search of London printers has revealed that many of people in the neighborhood were printers, including one of the most famous printers in English history, William Bowyer.

Boyers appears two doors down from Elizabeth in 1703 Hearth Tax records. It is well documented that he moved his print shop from its former location to the old George Tavern on Dogwell Court in 1699.

The list of Bowyers accomplishments are great and include his support for William Caslon’s development of the first English typeface (previously typesetters used fonts from the Netherlands).

The George Tavern

The George Tavern on Dogwell Court was infamous in Elizabethan times as a gathering place for villains and prostitutes. In literary history, it appears as a location in several well-known plays and novels of the time.

In the late 1600’s, the George Tavern was also the site of the first public music concerts in London.

John Ellis

John Ellis, a literay figure and friend of Samuel Johnson and James Boswell, was first sent to a day-school in Dogwell Court, Whitefriars, with a brother and two sisters, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Ellis_(scrivener)

Although our Edward Mashburn was a generation earlier, one wonders if he had attended this school.


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