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These plans were published in the second edition of William Maitland’s History of London from its Foundation to the Present Time published in 1756, (the first edition, published 1739 did not include maps). Despite the claim in the title that the plan is ‘According to a new Survey’, Maitland's ward plans were largely derived from Strype's plans by the engraver Richard Blome (see below), with the illustrations copied from West & Tow's 'Prospect Views of Ancient Churches' of 1736.


The maps in context.

Before the Great Fire of London in 1666 the most celebrated Survey of London was by John Stow, a scholar and antiquary whose Survey gives us a vivid picture of the London of Shakespeare’s time. A century later after Great Fire and the rapid expansion of the capital and its transformation of the City of London through new building a new, updated Survery was needed. John Strype (1643-1737), an ecclesiastic historian and biographer produced an enormous and expanded version of Stow’s Survey which he published in 1720 and which included plans by Richard Blome. Cole's maps, though based on Blome’s are more decorative and finely engraved, replacing the list of places and columns of references with engraved views of important landmarks (mostly taken from West and Tom's Perspective Views of the Ancient Churches published in 1736 ), and with rococo title cartouches and coats of arms.


Maitland's History was republished in 1760, 1772 and 1775 but Cole's plans were not revised for any of these issues.


Aldate Ward.


The plan of Aldgate Ward was dedicated to Alderman Robert Scott whose arms are illustrated on the top right. The church of St Catherine Coleman is in the bottom right. Originally a medieval church which survived the Great Fire, it was rebuilt in 1741 and demolished in 1926.


On the left is St James Duke’s Place. The church once formed part of the wealthy and powerful monastic settlement of Holy Trinity Aldgate, founded in 1108.


After Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries the land was seized from the Augustinian canons and given to Sir Thomas Audley, who proceeded to build himself a large, rather impressive house there. Audley’s only child, a daughter, married Thomas Duke of Norfolk, who in turn inherited the land. This is where the modern street name of Duke’s Place comes from.

St James’s Duke’s Place was built in 1622, as a parish church having passed to the City of London corporation. Because it fell outside the control of the Bishop of London, the Corporation maintained and exercised the right to appoint the minister.



Because St James’s Duke’s Place did not fall under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London, people could get married without the need for the banns to be read.

Normally, if people couldn’t wait for three Sundays for the banns to be read, they would instead require a special license granted by the Bishop of London.



Perhaps unsurprisingly, this made this tiny little parish church a very popular place to get wed in London during the 17th century. Some 40,000 marriages were recorded as having taken place here between 1644 and 1691.



The church was demolished in 1874 and today the site is occupied by Sir John Cass Primary School.



Engraver: Benjamin Cole is a celebrated English engraver, illustrator and map seller. He was apprenticed to his father, a well-known instrument maker in 1739. His drawings and engravings of the ward maps were published in the first edition of William Maitland's History of London from Its Foundation to the Present Time (1769). The same plates were used for the later publication, Thornton's New & Complete History & Survey of London & Westminster, (1775-1780). Cole also engraved maps the French map-maker John Rocque. Benjamin, his son William and grandson John had strong links with the Freemasons. In 1728-9, Cole published a sumptuous engraved edition of the historic masonic charters and manuscripts, Old Charges as well as a number of masonic songs and speeches, with various masonic songs and speeches. He also illustrated children’s books and military manuals.

Aldgate Ward - Framed Antique Print

SKU: 1097
  • Item Number: 1097 
    Titles: Aldgate Ward with its division into precincts & parishes according to a new Survey
    Medium: Copperplate Engraving
    Engraver: Benjamin Cole
    Date 1756 (Aldgate) 
    Price: £150 

    Framed size (h x w): 407 x 533mm

  • To find out more, arrange a viewing or to purchase please email or get in touch via the contact form 

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