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Paul’s Wharf

Dating back to Roman times, Paul’s Wharf, labelled Poles Wharfe on the Agas map, is one of the oldest wharfs on the Thames (Schofield 181). Paul’s Wharf, also known as St. Paul’s Wharf, was situated two blocks south of St. Paul’s Church. John Stow describes Paul’s Wharf as a large landing place, with a common staire vpon the Riuer of Thames, at the end of a stréete called Powles Wharfe Hill, which runneth downe from Powles chaine (Stow 1596, sig. U4v).
Early modern London’s only Welsh church, St. Benet, dedicated to St. Benedict, was located in the neighborhood around Paul’s Wharf (Pryse-Hawkins). Church legend claims that Anne Boleyn and Lady Jane Grey received their last rights at St. Benet. Paul’s Wharf was the favourite point for the clergy at St. Paul’s Cathedral to begin and end their travel, likely due to proximity. Mary of Guise also used Paul’s Wharf when visiting the Bishop’s Palace (Heylyn sig. Q1r).
Most references to Paul’s Wharf are about the neighborhood or its residents. One of the few instances of a direct reference occurs in the Proposal of a New Model for Rebuilding the City of London, which mentions the wharf as a landmark, but it gives no indication as to whether or not the wharf was damaged in the Great Fire of 1666. The list of rents paid in the Parish of St. Peter (Paul’s Wharf) shows it was both residential and commercial (Inhabitants of London). There were at least three publishers in the neighborhood: Thomas East, John Windet, and Thomas Mabb. Several sermons preached from the pulpit in St. Paul’s were published and mention Paul’s Wharf. However, while many were sold at St. Paul’s Churchyard, most were not published in the neighborhood of Paul’s Wharf.
In True Account of the Treasons of Frances Throckmorton, Francis Throckmorton, the key conspirator of the Throckmorton Plot, is arrested at his house by Poules Wharf (Sugden 399). Paul’s Wharf also appears in Thomas Middleton’s A Chaste Maid in Cheapside when Touchwood exclaims that he will [t]ake water at P.W. and overtake you (Sugden 399). In the The Triumphs of Fame and Honour, the lord mayor, Sir Robert Parkhurst, meets the barge at Paul’s Wharf (Taylor sig. A5r). After Thetis delivers a speech, John Taylor writes that
the Rowers (conſiſting of foure in number, being two Saylours, two watermen) being ouer-joyed, pike[d] their oares, and every of them [drank] his Kan as a health, toſſ[ed] them up, and preſently [fell] into a Rugged friskin daunce, returne[d] to Pauls wharfe, and land[ed] the ſaid Barge (Taylor sig. A6r)


Cite this page

MLA citation

Bourgon, Jennifer, and Kate LeBere. Paul’s Wharf. The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0, edited by Janelle Jenstad, U of Victoria, 05 May 2022,

Chicago citation

Bourgon, Jennifer, and Kate LeBere. Paul’s Wharf. The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0. Ed. Janelle Jenstad. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed May 05, 2022.

APA citation

Bourgon, J., & LeBere, K. 2022. Paul’s Wharf. In J. Jenstad (Ed), The Map of Early Modern London (Edition 7.0). Victoria: University of Victoria. Retrieved from

RIS file (for RefMan, RefWorks, EndNote etc.)

Provider: University of Victoria
Database: The Map of Early Modern London
Content: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

A1  - Bourgon, Jennifer
A1  - LeBere, Kate
ED  - Jenstad, Janelle
T1  - Paul’s Wharf
T2  - The Map of Early Modern London
ET  - 7.0
PY  - 2022
DA  - 2022/05/05
CY  - Victoria
PB  - University of Victoria
LA  - English
UR  -
UR  -
ER  - 

TEI citation

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