Sunday, March 2, 2014


Theodore Géricault, A Paralytic Woman, 1821, Lithograph, Museum of London.   

ALSATIA THE HIGHER, White Friars, once a place privileged from arrests for debt, as was also the Mint, but suppressed on account of notorious abuses committed there.  [The district of Alsatia is excellently described in M. Melville Balfour’s historical novel, The Long Robe, 1930.—Swift has Alsatia phrase to denote a slang or a cant term. F. Besides Shadwell’s Squire of Alsatia, consult E. Beresford Chancellor’s, Annals of Fleet Street, Macaulay’s History, at i, iii, and especially Scott’s Fortunes of Nigel.]

ALSATIA THE LOWER, The Mint in Southwark. 

ALSATIANS, The inhabitants of White Friars or the Mint.

Map of Alsatia (London), in the ward of Farringdon, a place of sanctuary for criminals, between Fleet Street and Temple

FROM:  Captain Francis Grose, A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, Edited with a biographical sketch and critical sketch and an extensive commentary by Eric Partridge, New York, Barnes & Noble, 1963.

Captain Francis Grose FSA, 1731-1791

“But there are some few spots of ground in London, just in the face of the Government, unconquer’d yet, that hold in Rebellion still. Methinks ’tis strange, that places so near the Kings Palace should be no parts of his Dominions.” – Thomas Shadwell, The Squire of Alsatia, 1688.

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