Little Paternoster Row

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Narrow alleyway running north-south from Brushfield Street to Dorset Street where it emerged between Nos.35 (Crossingham's Lodging House) and 36 Dorset Street. Entry from Brushfield Street was via a covered archway next to the Oxford Arms public house at No.62. Once known as French Alley[1]

In 1888, Little Paternoster Row was lined on its west side by a row of tenements and on its east side by Crossingham's.[2]

Some time after 1.35am, 8th September 1888, John Evans, the nightwatchman at Crossingham's, watched Annie Chapman leave the lodging house and enter Little Paternoster Row, going in the direction of Brushfield Street. She then turned towards Spitalfields Market.[3]

After a brief stint living in George Street, Mary Jane Kelly and Joseph Barnett also had lodgings here for a short time before being evicted for being drunk and failing to pay rent. From here, they moved to 13 Miller's Court around May 1888.[4]

Little Paternoster Row was classed as 'black' (vicious, semi-criminal) in Charles Booth's 1898 map of London Poverty. The surveyor's original notebook entries describe it thus:

"2 & 3 storey common lodging houses. Ragged women, children, holey toeless boots; windows dirty patched with brown paper and broken. Prostitutes, thieves and ponces. Buildings owned by the notorious Jack McCarthy of Dorset Street."[5]

It was demolished in 1928 along with the north side of Dorset Street to make way for extensions to Spitalfields Market.


  1. An Exact Survey Of The City's Of London, Westminster Ye Borough Of Southwark And The Country Near Ten Miles Round, John Rocque, 1741-6.
  2. Goad fire insurance map, 1889
  3. Annie Chapman Inquest, The Times, 11th September 1888.
  4. Penny Illustrated Paper, 17th November 1888
  5. LSE - Booth Online, B351 p.105