Printer Street, EC4A

Place Name

Industrial heritage. Named after the printing industry which formerly flourished here. Publishing started in nearby Fleet Street around 1500 when William Caxton’s apprentice, Wynkyn de Worde, set up a printing shop near Shoe Lane, while at around the same time, Richard Pynson set up as publisher and printer next to St Dunstan’s Church. More printers and publishers followed, mainly supplying the legal trade in the four Inns of Court around the area, but also publishing books and plays. Previously unnamed, the street was part of a 1650s Goldsmiths’ Company development of land bequeathed to them by a wealthy widow Agas Haringe. In 1513 Haringe had left land, tenements and gardens between Fetter Lane and Shoe Lane so that two poor goldsmiths’ widows could have 1d each a week. The goldsmiths built this and several surrounding streets on the land, namely West Harding Street, East Harding Street, New Street Square, New Street Hill, Great New Street, Little New Street and Pemberton Row. Given the lack of originality in the other street names this was suitably fitting.

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