Robinhood Alley (Milk Street)
|Adm. div.||Middlesex, now Greater London|
|Vicinity||Milk Street, c. 40 m N. of corner of Milk Street / Russia Row|
|Interest||Robin Hood name|
|A.k.a.||Robinhood Court; Robin Hood Court; Robinson's Court|
By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-01-18. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-05-08.
Listed in Harben's Dictionary of London under 'Robinhood Court' and by Dobson & Taylor as 'Robin Hood Court', the little street whose earliest known name was 'Robinhood Alley' ran "[e]ast out of Milk Street at No. 1, with a passage to Honey Lane Market. In Cheap Ward and Cripplegate Ward Within".Lockie's Topography (1810), which is the first source to use the name Robinhood Court, lists the locality as follows: "Robinhood-Court, Milk-Street, Cheapside,—two doors on the R. from Honey-lane-market, entering by 116, Cheapside." The passage in John Strype's survey of London and Westminster (1720) which includes the first occurrence of any variant of this street name is included below in the Allusions section. He calls the street 'Robinhood Alley' in the body of his text but has 'Robin Hood Alley' in a marginal note. According to Harben, Ogilby and Morgan's 1677 map of London labels the street 'Robinson's Court'. I have not been able to verify this as the copies of the map available online do not include any label for the street (see Maps section below for links). The street is labelled 'Robin Hood Al[ley] on Richard Horwood's map of London and Westminster (1792-99).
Adjoining to this Steet [i.e. Cheapside], on the North side, is Hony lane; being now, as it were, an Alley with a Free stone pavement, serving as a passage to Hony lane Market; the former Lane, and other Buildings, being, since the Fire of London, converted into this Market. Amongst which Buildings, was the Parish Church of St. Alhallows Hony lane; and by reason it was thought fit not to rebuild it, the Parish is united to St. Mary le Bow. This Market is well served every Week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with Provisions. The Place taken up by this Market, is spacious; being in length, from East to West, 193 Feet; and from North to South, 97 Feet. In the middle, is a large and square Market-house, standing on Pillars, with Rooms over it, and a Bell Tower in the midst. There is in the Market, 135 standing Stalls for Butchers, with Racks, Blocks, and other Necessaries; all covered over, to shelter them from the Injury of Weather; and also, several Stalls for Fuiterers. The West end of the Market lyeth open to Milkstreet, where there is Cock of Conduit Water, for the use of the Market. There are two other Passages unto it, that is, one out of St. Laurence Lane, besides that which comes out of Cheapside; which Passages are inhabited by Grocers, Fishmongers, Poulterers, Victuallers, and Cheesemongers. On the Northwest corner of this Market, is Robinhood Alley, being a passage into Milkstreet. Trump Alley, lieth against Bow Church; which, turning Eastward, falleth into St. Laurence Lane: This Alley is indifferent good in the middle part, but the entrances are but narrow.
- Dobson, R.B., ed.; Taylor, J., ed. Rymes of Robyn Hood: an Introduction to the English Outlaw (London, 1976), p. 299, s.n. Robin Hood Court .
- Harben, Henry A., compil.; [Greaves, I.I., ed.]. A Dictionary of London: Being Notes Topographical and Historical Relating to the Streets and Principal Buildings in the City of London (London, 1918), p. 505, s.n. Robinhood Court
- Ogilby, John, cartog.; Morgan, William, cartog. Large and Accurate Map of the City of London ([s.l.], )
- Rocque, John, cartog.; Pine, John, engr. A Plan of the Cities of London and Westminster, and Borough of Southwark (London, 1746) (R. Alley shown, not labelled)
- Richard Horwood's map of Westminster and London.
- Harben, Henry A., compil.; [Greaves, I.I., ed.]. A Dictionary of London: Being Notes Topographical and Historical Relating to the Streets and Principal Buildings in the City of London (London, 1918), p. 505, s.n. Robinhood Court. Dobson, R.B., ed.; Taylor, J., ed. Rymes of Robyn Hood: an Introduction to the English Outlaw (London, 1976), p. 299, s.n. Robin Hood Court .
- 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. Robinhood-Court .
- See superb reproduction of map at Romantic London.
- John Strype's A Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster, Book 3, Ch. 3, p. 50 (hriOnline).
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Robinhood Alley is shown but not labelled on John Rocque's 1746 map of London / Locating London's Past.