Pindar Place (Grays Inn Road)
|Adm. div.||Middlesex, now Greater London|
|Vicinity||West side of Grays Inn Road between Cromer and Harrison streets|
|Interest||Robin Hood name|
By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-01-16. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2019-04-05.
'Pindar Place' was the 19th century name for the west side of Grays Inn Road between Cromer and Harrison streets and also probably for the short, narrow cul-de-sac that then existed between these two side streets (see detail of Edward Stanford's 1862-71 Library Map of London elsewhere on this page). There were flats and several shops in this area (see records below). Most likely Pindar Place was named after the Pindar of Wakefield on Grays Inn Road.
For a while at least, the cul-de-sac, which is shown on all the 25" and 6" O.S. maps listed below, was known as Black Horse Yard (see the 25" O.S. map from 1877). Nomenclature has shifted over time. Lockie in his Topography (editions of 1810 and 1813) refers to the entire course of Grays Inn Road as "Gray's-Inn-Lane" – he has no entry under, or cross-reference from, "Grays Inn Road"; Edward Stanford's 1862-71 Library Map of London and its Suburbs labels the narrower part of the street along Grays Inn "Grays Inn Lane" but uses "Grays Inn Road" for the street north of Grays Inn where it becomes wider. Nowadays the entire length is named "Grays Inn Road".
[11 May 1835:]
JOSEPH WEBB. I live in Pinder's-place, Gray's-inn-road. On the evening of the 14th of May, I was in Gray's-inn-road; I saw the cart, with the horse hanging up; there was a hogshead of sugar and two boxes in it—I went up to give assistance—Allen said there was a man behind, that the hogshead was upon him; and he was sure he was killed—we cut the tarpaulin to get the hogshead out, and Chapman, who was under it, was taken to the doctor's, insensible—I saw the hogshead taken out of the cart, and placed in the road—I was there the whole time the cart was in the road—no sugar came out into the road there was no tin over the hole then—when Mr. Dadds came up, Allen said he had got some sugar in the bag, which he had picked up out of the street, and then he said he picked it up out of the cart.
[26 Feb. 1838:]
WILLIAM BECK THORPE. I am a butcher, and live at No. 102, Cromer-street. On the night of the 19th of February I was opposite the shop of Richard Cook, at the corner of Pindar-place, about four yards from the door—I saw both the prisoners go into the shop together—Whiting shifted a piece of ham along the window-board till he got it close to the door—he then came out of the shop with it—Wood stood before him, and could see what he was doing—when Whiting came out of the shop I caught hold of him, and he dropped the ham at my feet—I took him inside the shop, and asked Mr. Cook if he had lost any thing—he said a piece of ham—I said, "Here it is, and here is the chap that took it"—Wood was just coming out of the shop—I stopped him—a policeman was sent for, and they were both taken into custody—I had been watching them for some time.
Wood. I went into the shop for an egg—I had not been with him above half an hour—I came down the street with him, but I did not know he had stolen any thing.
RICHARD COOK. I am a cheesemonger, and live in Pindar-place, Gray's, Inn-lane. I remember the prisoners being at my shop about ten o'clock on the night in question—Thorpe seized hold of Whiting just outside the shop, and brought him in—I was very busy at the time, and had not seen Wood—I missed the ham when my attention was called to it, and knew it to be mine when it was produced.
[25 Nov. 1844:]
JOHN FIELD. I am in the service of Richard Cook, who has two shops, one in Constitution-row, and the other at Pindar-place—I am servant at the Pindar-place shop, which is a fishmonger's—the other shop is a cheesemonger's—Rackham was my master's errandboy, and was employed ployed at both shops—my master's stable is at the back of the Pindar-place shop. On Wednesday, the 30th of Oct., I hung up in the stable a basket which had nothing in it—the next morning I found the basket hanging there still, and it had six herrings, and some bacon and lard in it—on the Friday morning I showed the articles to my master—the basket was hanging still in the stable—I looked over my stock, and missed several herrings—the bacon and lard were not under my care—about a quarter past ten o'clock at night on the 4th of Nov. I saw Smith standing at the corner of the gateway, and he and Rackham went down to the stable to feed the horse—my master was then on the opposite side of the way, and I was at the corner of the shop—in about twenty minutes I saw the prisoners come out of the stable, and Smith had the basket with him—each of them bid one another good night, and Rackham went into the shop, and Smith went away—I called him back and asked him what he had got in the basket—he said he had got nothing—I took it from him, and found these things—I asked him where he got them—he said he bought them in the street—I brought him back to the shop and my master came in—Rackham owned to his guilt, and Smith said he had received things on two different occasions before from Rackham.
[3 Feb. 1851:]
GEORGE CLAPP. I keep a greengrocer's shop in Pindar-place, Gray's-inn-road. On Tuesday morning 28th Jan. I went out to market about six o'clock or a quarter past—I left my shop-door quite safe—I pulled it to by the knocker, pushed it with my hand, and then with my knee—it had a spring lock inside—I left the gas burning in the shop—a person going by could only see it through the key-hole; there was no glassdoor—I had seen a dressing-case that morning on the drawers in the backparlour before I went out; there were no clothes on the parlour floor then—there were when, I came back.
[7 Apr. 1862:]
JAMES CHILD (Policeman, 93 E). On the morning of 15th February, about half-past 1 o'clock, I was on duty in Gray's-inn-road, near Mr. Samuels' shop, 8, Pindar's-place, a watchmaker and jeweller—I saw Farrow, and two others not in custody, standing within six or seven yards of the door—on seeing me, Farrow pretended to be drunk, and asked me if I would have something to drink—I told him I did not require anything; and they walked about fifty yards, and returned to the same place—I waited about for some time for farther assistance, and at last I took Farrow and one of the others in custody—(while I was waiting there I discovered that a door had been broken open next to Mr. Samuels'—it is a little shop where they mend china)—they were discharged at the police-court next day for want of evidence—after I got to the station, I went back and found that Mr. Samuels' had been broken open at the back—I got to it from the mews, by passing over several walls with a ladder, which I found placed against a wall—I went to Mr. Samuels' shop, and found it very much deranged—it was then about a quarter to 2.
JOHN SAMUELS. I am a jeweller and watchmaker, of 5, Pindar's-place—on 14th February I closed my shop at 9 o'clock at night, and went round at 11 and saw it safe—I was called up by the police at a quarter to 2, and found the house had been broken open by the back kitchen door—I missed a quantity of pint, rings, pencil-cases, and watches, to the amount of 30l.—this brooch, pin, and ring (produced) are mine.
- Not included in Dobson, R.B., ed.; Taylor, J., ed. Rymes of Robyn Hood: an Introduction to the English Outlaw (London, 1976), pp. 293-311.
- Edward Stanford's Library Map of London (1862-71), Bloomsbury section.
- 25" O.S. map London XXVI (1877; surveyed 1871)
- 25" O.S. map London sheet V.6 (1916; rev. 1913)
- 6" O.S. map Middlesex XVII (1880-82; surveyed 1868-73)
- 6" O.S. map London VII.NW (1894-96; rev. 1893-94)
- 6" O.S. map London sheet K (1920; rev. 1913-14)
- 6" O.S. map London sheet K (c. 1946; rev. 1938).
- Lockie, John, compil. Lockie's Topography of London, Giving a Concise Local Description of and Accurate Direction to Every Square, Street, Lane, Court, Dock, Wharf, Inn, Public Office, &c. in the Metropolis and its Environs (London, 1810), s.n. Gray's-Inn-Lane. Lockie, John, compil. Lockie's Topography of London, Giving a Concise Local Description of, and Accurate Direction to, Every Square, Street, Lane, Court, Dock, Wharf, Inn, Public Office, &c. in the Metropolis and its Environs. Second Edition (London, 1813), s.n. Gray's-Inn-Lane.
- Map of North West London, 1862 - 1871: Bloomsbury
- Proceedings of the Old Bailey: Frederick Allen, Edwin Chapman, Theft > stealing from master, 11th May 1835.
- Proceedings of the Old Bailey: Thomas Whiting, David Wood, Theft > simple larceny, 26th February 1838.
- Proceedings of the Old Bailey: Robert Rackham, Edward Smith, Theft > stealing from master, 25th November 1844.
- Proceedings of the Old Bailey: John Denley, Theft > housebreaking, 3rd February 1851.
- Proceedings of the Old Bailey: William Farrow, William Grant, James Parsons, John Fellows, Susan Gable, Theft > burglary, 7th April 1862.
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'Pindar Place' is shown just left of the red ellipse / Edward Stanford's Library Map of London (1862-71), Bloomsbury section.