Fisher’s Folly was a large house on the east side of Bishopsgate Street, within the boundary of Bishopsgate Ward. Fisher’s Folly is not marked on the Agas map. The site of the house later became Devonshire Square (Harben). The house stood a few houses away from the Dolphin Inn.
Stow describes this house in lavish terms, calling it a
large and beautifull house with Gardens of pleasure, bowling Alleysand
sumptuously builded(Stow). He also adds that Jasper Fisher spent all his money building the house and owed money to many people. Fisher’s extravagance led to locals mockingly referring to the house as Fisher’s Folly. They even wrote a taunting rhyme, though Stow did not record it. The house had some notable owners, including the Earl of Oxford. In the seventeenth century, the Earls of Devonshire took over Fisher’s Folly and made it their town house (Harben).
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- Harben, Henry. A Dictionary of London. London: Henry Jenkins, 1918. British History Online. Reprint. Open.
- Stow, John. A Survey of London. Reprinted from the Text of 1603. Ed. Charles Lethbridge Kingsford. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1908. Reprint. British History Online. Subscription. [Kingsford edition, courtesy of The Centre for Metropolitan History. Articles written 2011 or later cite from this searchable transcription. In the in-text parenthetical reference (Stow; BHO), click on BHO to go directly to the page containing the quotation or source.]
Last modification: 2016-05-27 14:37:29 -0700 (Fri, 27 May 2016) (tlandels)