Named from the wool merchants and merchant bankers from Lombardy, in northern Italy, who traded and lent money here from the 13thCentury onwards. They moved in, initially to collect taxes due to the Pope, and became the principle moneylenders after the Jewish community was expelled from England in 1290 by Edward I. They formed an organisation called the Society of the Bardi and dominated banking. They worked under the heraldic sign of their native land, the Three Balls, which has represented pawnbrokers ever since. The name was recorded as Lumbardstret in 1318 and Lumbardestrete in 1321. It had previously been referred to as the street running to Longebrod in 1252 and Langburnestrate in 1285, a long broad street.
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