English Sign Names: Raw Data

by Mari ingen Briain meic Donnchada (Kathleen M. O'Brien)

© 2000, 2003, 2012, 2015 by Kathleen M. O'Brien. All rights reserved.
Version 1.2, updated 27 November 2015



(p. 8)
     Thomas del Hat1273
     John atte Hatten.d. (Placitorum in Dom. Cap. Westminster)
     John atte Bellen.d. (Memorials of London)
     Richard atte Bell1307
     Hugh atte Cokken.d. (Calendarium Inquisitionum Post Mortem)
     William atte Robuck1313
     Gilbert de la Hegle1273
     Ralph de le RunceHen. III, Edw. I

(p. 9)
     William de Whithors2 Edw. I
     Thomas atte Swan2 Hen. IV
     John de la Rose1273
     William atte Ramme14 Edw. II

(p. 92 s.n. Bell)
     Richard atte Bell1307
     Roger atte BellI Edw. III

(p. 122 s.n. Bow)
     Roger atte Bowe9 Edw. II
     Cristina atte Bowe1403
     John Bowe1579
     William Bow1580

(p. 119 s.n. Crown)
     Richard Attecroune1420

(p. 189 s.n. Cock)
     John a Kok9 Edw. I

(p. 220 s.n. Crosskeys)
     Thomas Croskeyes1610

(p. 334 s.n. Grayhorse)
     Alexander Grayhorse2 Hen. VII

(p. 361 s.n. Harp)
     John Cook, called atte Harpe1388
     John atte Harpe7 Hen. V
     Roger atte HarpI Edw. III
     Florencia atte HarpeI Edw. III

(p. 365 s.n. Hatt)
     Thomas del Hat1273
     Henry Hat1273
     William Hat1273

(p. 398 s.n. Horn)
     William atte HornI Edw. III
     Thomas atte HorneI Edw. III

(p. 551 s.n. Roebuck)
     William atte Robuck1313

(p. 654 s.n. Rose)
     Elena de la Ros1273
     John de la Rose1273
     Robert de la Rose1273

(p. 660 s.n. Runcy)
     Ralph de la RunceHen. III-Edw. I(Runcy = porter/carrier 'beast of burden')

(p. 730 s.n. Swan)
     Thomas atte Swan2 Hen. IV

(p. 807 s.n. Whitehorse)
     Mary Whithors1358
     William del Whithors2 Edw. I

(p. 807 s.n. Whitelamb)
     Alicia Whitlambe1379
     Richard Whitelomb1428


p. 230:

Note: These may be modernized spellings.

"An observer in the time of James I noted the names of forty-eight inns and taverns between Charing Cross and the Old Tower of Lond, some of which, like the Bell, Angel, Swan, Bear and Harrow, Bull Head, Bull, Lyon, Horns, Talbot, Cranes, etc., correspond to modern surnames"

(p. 230)
     Gilbert de le Hegle1275Suss.
     W. de le Whytehors1285Warw.
     W. atte Whytehorse1312Glouc.
     W. atte Ramme1320London
     Godfey atte Swan1337London
     J. atte Pye1339London

p. 230, paragraph 3 dates:

Atte Cok

to 1327 in Hunts.

p. 230-231:

Note: These may be modernized spellings.

"The following family names are all known to have been inn signs and they also correspond to heraldic emblems.

Animals: Ape, Badger, Bear, Boar, Brock, Buck, Bull, Catt, Camel, Coney, Deer, Doe (Hind, Hart, Roebuck), Dragon, Fox, Griffin, Hedghogg, Lamb, Leopard, Lion, Oliphant (Eliphant), Ram, Squirrel, Stagg, Wolfe

Birds: Cock, Crane, Crow, Dove, Eagle, Falcon, Heron, Peacock, Pigeon, Pye, Raven, Rook"

p. 231:

"Tavern signs were not confined to representations of animals and birds; common devices were Anchor (now Anker), Ball, Bell, Board, Bush, Cleaver, Crab-tree, Cross, Devil, Prince, Rose, Tankard, and so on, now are represented as surnames in the modern directory. The surname Garland, in some cases, may have been derived from an inn sign. Garland formerly meant a King's crown, and there was a messuage in Huntingdon or neighbourhood called Le Garland (2 Eliz.)".

p. 231:

"Tavern names such as King's Head, Druid's Head, Turk's Head, Alfred's Head, Boar's Head, are common..."

p. 231:

"... there are other possible derivations for surnames, corresponding to names of hostelries; e.g. Griffin, Raven, Peacock, and Tankard were baptismal names; Badger is an occupation; Hare was the heir and so on..."

Hanawalt (London)

p. 71, paragraph 3 "... and becoming an apprentice in 'Davys Inn'." 15th C [references Note 9]

Note 9 gives the source as: P.R.O. Cl/94/14.

Hanawalt (Of Good and Ill Repute)

NOTE: it is not clear if the author standardized any of the spellings of these taverns and inns. Given the variety of spellings, it would seem likely that at least some of the original spellings have been preserved.

p. 108, paragraph 2 discusses a number of court cases but gives no specific dates. The locations this paragraph discusses includes:
The Bushce tavern
The Lodyn Proche
The Crown [references Note 15]
Le Schippe [references Note 16]
the Red Lyon
"Le Cok" in Woodstreet
The Vine in the parish of St. Helen
The Choker in the high street [references Note 17]

Note 15 on p. 120 gives the source of this information as: Guildhall, Consistory Court 9064/1 ms. 5, 5v, 6, 26v, 30, 31, 64v, 65, 66, 81v, 114, 116, 166v, 119, 119v, 122v, 155v. P.R. O. C1/136/79.
Note 16 on p. 120 gives the source of this information as: Guildhall, Consistory Court 9064/1, ms. 68, 83, 84, 91v.
Note 17 on p. 120 gives the source of this information as: Ibid., ms. 110v, 114v.

p. 120, Note 15, also mentions:
an inn called "the Mermaid"

p. 108, paragraph 3, discusses a court case that took place in 1516. The inns/taverns discussed in this paragraph include:
The Bell Inn
The George in Lombard street

p. 109 mentions:
The Pye in Queenhithe [references Note 20]

Note 20 on p. 120 gives the source of this information as: Arthur H. Thomas, Calendar of Plea and Memoranda Rolls of the City of London 1323-1482 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1929, p. 184 (1374).

p. 115, paragraph 3, discussing events that occurred in 1380, mentions:
Le Swerd

p. 193, paragraph 1, discussing events that occurred in 1405, mentions:
"Poules Heed" tavern


Context in the documents indicates that the George by Paul's Wharf provides lodging.

atte Whyte Harte in Suthewerk1450 (written in 1465)vol. 2, p. 155; document: 126
atte White Hart1450 (written in 1465)vol. 2, p. 155; document: 126
the Boreshed in Suthwerke27 Aug 1458?vol. 3, p. 132; document: 370
the Boreshed27 Aug 1458?vol. 3, p. 132; document: 370
the Sonne06 Sep 1461vol. 3, p. 308; document: 481located at Ipswich
the Bulle at Cludeys at Westminster10 Aug 1470vol. 5, p. 80; document: 753
the George in Lombard Street05 Jun 1472vol. 5, p. 144; document: 804appears twice in this document
the George in Lombard Street05 Jun 1472vol. 5, p. 144; document: 804appears twice in this document
... Norwyche ... at the Maydes Hedde22 Nov 1472vol. 5, p. 163; document: 815
the George by Powlys Wharff, in London25 Jul 1474vol. 5, p. 206; document: 850
the George, at Powlys Wharffe20 Nov 1474vol. 5, p. 214; document: 857
the George, at Powlys Wharfe05 Feb 1475vol. 5, p. 223; document: 864
the George, at Powles Wharf13 Jun 1475vol. 5, p. 235; document: 873
the George, by Powlys Wherf, in London10 Oct 1475vol. 5, p. 238; document: 876
the George, by Powlys Wherff, in London23 Oct 1475vol. 5, p. 239; document: 877
the George, at Powlys Wharffe23 Jan 1476vol. 5, p. 247; document: 883
the George, by Powlys Wharf, in London03 Feb 1476vol. 5, p. 251; document: 885
the George at Powles Wharff21 Mar 1476vol. 5, p. 258; document: 889
the George, by Powlys Wharf, in London06 May 1476vol. 5, p. 259; document: 890
the syngne of the George, at Powles Wharffe30 Jun 1476vol. 5, p. 261; document: 892
the George, by Powlys Wharffe09 Mar 1477vol. 5, p. 274; document: 904
the Goorge, be Powll Warffe19 Nov 1477vol. 5, p. 304; document: 921
the signe of the George next to Poulys Wharf01 Mar 1478vol. 5, p. 313; document: 927
the seyd George01 Mar 1478vol. 5, p. 313; document: 927
the signe of the George, at Powlys Wharff, in London20 May 1478vol. 5, p. 320; document: 932
the Jorge in Lumbard Strete1479vol. 6, p. 11; document: 943
the Bell at Billinges gate, a brue hous1479vol. 6, p. 11; document: 943
the Georg, at Powlys Qwharfe, in London30 Jun 1479vol. 6, p. 13; document: 946
the Jeorge, in Lumbard Strett17 Jan 1506vol. 6, p. 172; document: 1078


Context in the documents indicates that the Angell provides lodging.

at the Angell Behind St Clement kirk without the Temple Barr at London06 Feb [1502/3]p. 160; document: 173

Reaney & Wilson

(p. 37 s.n. Bell)
     John atte Belle1332

(p. 71 s.n. Bull)
     Simon atte Bole1377

(p. 141 s.n. Dragon)
     William Strode called atte Dragon, brewer1374

(p. 214 s.n. Hamer)
     An Brewer atte Hamere1426

(p. 218 s.n. Harp)
     John atte Harpe1361

(p. 269 s.n. Lamb)
     William atte Lamme1320

(p. 350 s.n. Pie)
     atte Pye on the Hope1340
     Stephen atte Pye1347

(p. 371 s.n. Ram)
     Giles atte Ramme1307, 1339

(p. 372 s.n. Raven)
     William atte Raven1344

(p. 383 s.n. Rose)
     Robert de la Rose1242
     Adam atte Rose1305

(p. 401 s.n. Sevenstar)
     William Sevensterre1355
     William Seuesterrys1379
     John Sevesterre1384

(p. 406 s.n. Shipp)
     Richard Stonham atte Shippe withouten Crepulgate1423

(p. 425 s.n. Starr)
     Richard ate Sterre1322

(p. 435 s.n. Swan)
     Godfrey atte Swan1344
     Thomas atte Swan1364

(p. 438 s.n. Tabard)
     John atte Tabard1371

(p. 471 s.n. Wain)
     John Attewayne1327


(p. 83, section 1, column 1)
     The Syne of the Grayhound1522

(p. 83 s.n. Syndyngburne)
     The syne of ye Bell1522
     The syne of ye George1522
     The syne of ye Lyon1522

(p. 92, item 7)
     … Master Smyth, of the Black Boye …1522

(p. 93 s.n. "Innes for horses, seen and viewed")
     … the signe of the Castell in Wode strete ...1522
     The signe of the Egle in Stanyng lane1522
     … the signe of the Maydenhede, in the said Jury…1522
     ... the signe of Saint Lawrance, otherwise called Bosoms yn, in Saint Lawrance lane ...1522
     … the Sersyns hed…1522
     … the signe of the Wyndemylne , in the Old Jury …1522


apud London in ffriday strete apud signum Ursi1425-6section i, p. 45; letter: 51This letter was written in Latin.
ad signum vocatum Wolsak in Flete strete? 1463section i, p. 66; letter: 71This letter was written in Latin.
Thomas Rogers of Greyysyn1466section i, p. 73; letter: 79
at þhe Swerde in Fletestretec1470section i, p. 110; letter: 106
of þhe marmayd12 May 1476section ii, p. 6; letter: 165
at the Sworde in Flete strete09 Oct 1476section ii, p. 12; letter: 170
Robert Holbenne of Greysyn? 02 Nov 1476section ii, p. 17; letter: 174
his howne place cald the Bole1478 ?section ii, p. 51; letter: 214
at the Sworde in Flestrete16 Jan [1480]section ii, p. 98; letter: 260
from Billyngisgate to the Crane
[a footnote says "Now Three Cranes Wharf"]
bef. 1468supplementary, p. 8; letter: 345
att Lyncoll ync1480supplementary, p. 14; letter: 351


p. 52-53: Lease of Inn Called 'The Bull'; 6 August 1476 [This document was written in Latin.]
Capitio de le Bull [header for this document, p. 52]
vocatum le Bulle situatum in Conyngstrete [p. 53]

p. 310-311: Theft During Dice Game; 24 October 1484
in the tapster house of the dragon in Lop Lane ... of the same inn ...

p. 542: Report of Earl of Lincoln's Treason; 31 March 1487
... John Hoton, hostler at the signe of the boore within the said citie ...

p. 547: Mayor's Letter Testimonial for City Hostler; Undated, c. April 1487
William Maunsell, late osteler at the signe of the swan ...

p. 643: Attack in City Streets; 28 March 1489
... went to Mitford taverne ... to the same tavern

p. 707: Reported Slander of the Duke of Gloucester; 14 and 15 February 1483
... at the ale at Eden Berys in Gothyrngate...

p. 734: Meetings with Sir Henry Percy and Henry VII's Messenger, Wages of Bosworth Soldiers; 24 August 1485
... unto the sign of the boore ...

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