Thomas Fisher bought the Red Lion Inn on High Holborn, the area’s main hostelry, from Sir William Harpur for £850 in 1596. With it came Red Lion Field, a 17-acre paddock crossed by footpaths that came to be known as Fishers’ Walks. The high price for the inn gives some clue of just what a thriving enterprise it was. The last of the Fishers to own the land was Thomas’s grandson Sir Richard, who relinquished it to the unscrupulous building speculator Nicholas Barbon who according to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography built houses all over the Red Lion Fields area without always obtaining the permission of the legal owner first. Fisher lived long enough to see Red Lion Square and Fisher Street built on the site of the former field in the 17thCentury.
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