Unique in bordering 8 other Wards (historically no other
City Ward is bordered by so many neighbours), Langbourn, one of the 25 Wards
of the City of London, elects an Alderman to the Court of Aldermen and 3
Common Councilmen to the Court of Common Council of the City of London
Corporation. For centuries, it has been home to bankers, merchants,
goldsmiths and other trades whose dignitaries wielded great power over the
finances of the Kings as well as that of Cromwell’s Commonwealth. It could
be supposed that Langbourn means “A long ‘Borne’ of sweet water” as stated
by John Stow in his 1598 survey of London, however, there is no evidence
that there was ever any water here.
Langbourn Ward Club is now in its 126th year, having been founded in 1890. The crest displayed by the Club is the crown of St Edmund the King and Martyr above the City shield and below the crossed arrows shot at him by the Danes.
The Church of St Edmund the King and Martyr (Robert Hooke and Sir Christopher Wren) is the Parish Church situated in Lombard Street and together with St Mary Woolnoth (Hawksmoor), they are the only two churches still standing in the Ward.
Historically, the Ward also contained four other churches: St Nicholas Acons (destroyed in the Great Fire 1666), All Hallows Staining (demolished 1870), St. Dionis Backchurch (1878), and All Hallows Lombard Street (1939).
The boundaries before the recent changes were nearly the same as they were 700 years ago when the Wards were frequently known by the names of their most influential Alderman. It is a small Ward; a long thin area, running in a west-east direction. Historically Lombard Street and Fenchurch Street were the principal streets, forming the cores of the Ward’s West and East divisions respectively Boundary changes in 2003 and 2013 have resulted in most of the northern sides of these streets remaining in Langbourn, whilst the southern sides are now largely in the wards of Candlewick, Bridge, Billingsgate and Tower. It also encompasses a large area of that Jewel of the City Leadenhall Market.
Sited as it is, Langbourn Ward has always been important and influential: its earliest name of Langbord or Longbrod suggests a market place where goods were laid out on long boards or trestles. Lombard Street was occasionally referred to as Langbourn Street and the Ward has also been known as Lombard Street Ward. What is certain, however, is that both the Lombard Bankers and the Florentine Merchants, moneylenders to Kings Edward I, II, & Ill settled and traded here, the latter, in 1318, being granted a great tenement between Lombard Street and Cornhill.
With the rise in the popularity of Coffee Houses in the 17th Century it is remarkable that there were fifteen of these meeting places in Langbourn Ward, the most notable being close to the corner of Abchurch Lane originally owned by Mr Edward Lloyd, a vestryman of the Church of . St Mary Woolnoth, who was to give his name to the Lloyd’s of London insurance market. Much later we can claim Sir Henry Irving who attended Dr Pinches’ School in George Yard.