St Dionis Backchurch pub index
This is the Mitre which is often talked about and visited by Samuel
Pepys. It is a few doors from Lime street on the northern side of Fenchurch
street, and opposite what was called Mitre court.
nls maps for here
Street map by LAMAS showing the Mitre Tavern
A listing of historical London public
houses, Taverns, Inns, Beer Houses and Hotels in St Dionis Backchurch
parish, City of London. The St Dionis Backchurch, City of London Public House Trade Directory uses information from census, Trade
Directories and History to add licensees, bar staff, Lodgers and Visitors.
Residents at this address
The Mitre Tavern is made infamous by its mentions in Pepys
diaries. It was owned at the time by a friend of his, Dan Rowlinson, and in the
Pepys books, the references are often to Rawlinson rather than the Mitre - I
guess there were a number of Mitre Taverns around at the time.
The Mitre belonged to the Pewterers' Company which is
described by Welch. " Before the Fire the Company's property in Fenchurch
Street comprised ' the great house,' Mitre Tavern, and ' the lesser house,' both
held by Daniel Rawlinson, and also the Helmet. After the Fire the Mitre was
rebuilt, the lesser house was not rebuilt." He does not assist us to find the
exact site of the Mitre.
The Mitre stood on the north side of Fenchurch Street,
close to the east corner of Lime Street, and its position is noted on Ogilby and
Morgan's Map of 1677; this map can be seen at the
Layers of London site. It is
at 157 Fenchurch street which can be identified in the 1841 census as in the
parish of St. Dionis Backchurch, although with some difficulty.
Extracts from the original deeds.
1. Lease of 1591.
This lease introduces us to William Hobson, the Vintner, who kept the Mitre for many
years. The house was often referred to in the Company's records as ' Hobson's.'
In 1591. The Master and Wardens let " to William Hobson, Vintner, all that their
house, with shops, cellars, etc., called or known by the name of " the Byshop's
Mytre " now in the tenure of the said W.H. " from 1599 (for 4-6 years).
Hobson was probably there a year or two before this lease, for he had a
daughter, Joyce, baptised at St. Dionis Backchurch in 1588. William Hobson
assigned his lease to Edward Organ in 1615.
In 1615. Indenture between Edward Organ, vyntener, and William Hobson. Whereas
William Hobson ... . has letten to Edward Organ all that tenement commonlie
called ... . the Bishops Myter ... . for 21 yeares, and for the yearly rent of
11 poundes, 6 shillings, and 8 pence Edward Organ shall pay for a fyne to
William Hobson the sum of £602.
Hobson, by his will dated 1609, bequeathed the remainder
of his lease to the Master and Wardens of the Mistery of Vintners in trust for
the maintenance of his daughter Joyce. She married Thomas Williams, Gent. An
order in Chancery confirmed this to Thomas and Joyce Williams, and there is a
release to them from the Vintner's Company in 1623.
Elizabeth, wife of William Hobson, was buried at St. Dionis in 1617.
Edward Organ had children baptised at St. Dionis between 1616 and 1622; and his
wife, Margaret, was buried there in 1623.
In 1635. The Pewterers' Company leased to Ashley
Cheyney, Vintner, the house called the Byshopps Mytre
for 22 years, in 1635. Cheyney probably succeeded Edward
Organ about 1627, in which year " John son of Ashly
Cheyney " was baptised at St. Dionis.
In 1642. A lease to John Prince, goldsmith, of the house
on the west of the Mitre " abutting East on the Mitre Tavern now in the
occupation of Daniel Rawlinson, vintner." This shows that Daniel was here nearly
twenty years before Pepys commenced his Diary. In 1652 Rawlinson leased this
house as well as the Mitre.
On June 22, 1652. The Master and Wardens in consideration of the sum of £150 ...
. to them in hand by Daniel Rawlinson duly paid have letten to the said Daniel
Rawlinson the Bishopps Miter (now in his occupation) at the yearly rent of £40
from 1658 for 25 years.
Daniel Rawlinson in 1660 surrendered his lease of 1652, and was granted a lease
for 30 years, 1660-1690 at £40 a year.
In 1652. Lease of the house on the west of the Mitre to Rawlinson:—" All that
messuage sometime in the occupation of Edward Cooke apothecary sithence in the
occupation of John Prince and now in the occupation of Daniel Rawlinson abutting
east upon the tavern called the Mitre.'' Edward Cooke lived in " the Helmet "
There are numerous entries of members of the Rawlinson
family in the Parish Registers: Daniel Rawlinson had a son, William, baptised in
1642; a daughter Margaret, in 1645; Thomas (son of Daniel and Margaret
Rawlinson) in 1647; Mary in 1650; and Elizabeth in 1651.
The burial entries are of interest, and exemplify one of the many family
tragedies of the Plague: 1665, Nov. 18, "Daniel son of Mr. Daniel Rawlinson."
The disconsolate father on the death of his son shut up the Mitre and went into
the country with his family and in the following summer, when the plague had
almost died out in London, he deemed it safe to return to the City. Shortly
afterwards these burial entries were made:—Aug. 6, 1666, Wm. Chombley servant to
Mr. Daniel Rawlinson; Aug. 9, Mrs. Margrett Rawlinson wife of Mr. Daniel
Rawlinson; and Elizabeth servant of Mr. D. R. Presumably some infected rats were
still in the Mitre.
Pepys refers to these deaths; on August 10th, 1666:
In 1678, the marriage is recorded of John Mazine and Mary,
daughter of Danl. R., vintner, and in 1679—" Mr. Daniel Rawlinson, vintner in
this parish, buried in the Middle Isle."
In 1686, Daniel, son of Alderman Sir Thomas Rawlinson, was buried in his
grandfather's grave. Sir Thomas was Dan Rawlinson's son, and was admitted to the
Vintners' Company in 1670. He was Master of that Company in 1687, and Lord Mayor
in 1715. Sir Thomas was lessee of the Mitre Tavern after his father's death in
In the Clifford's Inn Fire Decrees, 1667, (Guildhall, Vol.
i), Daniel Rawlinson appeared as petitioner against the Company of Pewterers and
stated that he was the tenant of the Mitre in Fenchurch Street: his Counsel
insisted upon his desire to rebuild the premises, " and to return to the place
of his former habitation and there to follow his trade of a vintner " ; and he
offered to rebuild the said Taverne upon surrendering of his terme of 23
years—which he prayed might be made up to 61 years, at the yearly rent of £20.
The great interest attaching to the Mitre, however, is due to the fact that
Pepys was a frequent visitor there. In the case of most taverns we are thankful
for one or two visits recorded by the great diarist, but in the case of the
Mitre and Dan. Rawlinson there are some forty references !
In one entry it says "Mr. Battersby; says he, ' Do you see Dan Rawlinson's door
shut up ? (which I did, and wondered). 'Why, ' says he ' after all the sickness,
and himself spending all the last year in the country, one of his men is now
dead of the plague, and his wife and one of his mayds sicke, and himself shut up
'; which troubles me mightily." Mr. John Battersby was an apothecary, and he was
the tenant of a house adjoining the Mitre. This accounts for the fact that Pepys
often found him there, on his visits to the tavern.
The Pewterers' Company owned the Mitre, No. 157, and the house adjoining it on
the west, No. 158, which was also leased to Rawlinson. No. 159 was the house at
the eastern corner of Lime Street, but these numbers now form one block of
buildings, the City of London Real Property Company. In the plan attached to Dr.
Richard Rawlinson's lease of a kitchen in 1730, the premises are bounded
byPaul's Head Court on the east, and this Court was at No. 55. This suggests
that the Mitre at one time included the site of No. 56.
Welch gives the following extract from the Pewterers'
Company Records :—
1648-9. Fanchurch Street for severall taxes upon the
Tenants. Upon the Mitre Tavern £8 10s. 0d. Upon the Helmet Mr. Batersby £5 2s.
6d. Upon John Prince's house £1 16s. 6d. This proves that Battersby took
over the Helmet from John Cooke soon after 1644.
The Fire Decree already quoted shows that Daniel Rawlinson was given a long
lease of 61 years from 1668; this terminated in 1729.
In 1730. An Indenture between Richard Rawlinson of Gray's Inn, Doctor of Laws,
and the Company of Pewterers. He leased to the Company the Kitchen beneath his
two houses extending to the Mitre on the west, and eastwards to Pauls Head Alley
(between Nos. 154 and 155 in 1841). A plan of the kitchen is given, which shows
a " drinking room " at the back, so this was doubtless an extension of the
original tavern. The plan shows Paul's Head Alley on the east of the kitchen.
The Inventory shows, " In the Kitchen: An old Dresser and 3 shelves for Pewter;
one shelf for Brass Pots; 3 Drinking Boxes, and the wainscot thereby." Outside
the deed is written: " Dr. Rawlinson to Company of Pewterers— Lease of ye Mitre
Kitchen for 21 years at 401 p. ann."
In 1773. The tenement " formerly called the Miter Tavern " was leased by the
Company to Messrs. Taylor and Wright.
To the counterpart lease of 1773 a plan of the Mitre premises is attached, which
shows that they occupied almost a square site, with a south frontage on
Fenchurch Street of 38 ft. 6 in.
In 1794 the house " commonly called the Mitre Tavern " was leased to Henry and
Arabella Beard; and in 1812 to Mrs. Beard for 21 years.
In 1841, the house at No. 157 was called " Mitre Chambers" (Post Office
Directory). The premises were sold by the Pewterers' Company some years ago.
Dan. Rawlinson was a Royalist, and must have had a difficult time in the
troublous years, 1641-1660. His grandson, Dr. Richard Rawlinson, related that in
after the execution of Charles I, Dan. Rawlinson " hung his sign in mourning."
1843/Gonzalez & Dubose, of Xerez de la Frontera, wine merchants, 157
Fenchurch street/../../Kellys Directory
Thanks to the