Portsoken Ward Club


Civic Reception & Dinner
April 2015

Portsoken Ward Club - Civic Reception & Dinner onboard HQS Wellington, April 2015   Portsoken Ward Club - Civic Reception & Dinner onboard HQS Wellington, April 2015

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The Romans divided the City of London into 25 Wards just as Rome was divided into Wards. That was some 2,000 years ago. One of the Wards in the City today is Portsoken which is the most easterly of the Wards. The Ward boundaries are, from Portsoken Street in the South to Harrow Place in the North; from Minories and Houndsditch in the West to Mansell Street and Middlesex Street in the East.


Fortsoken dates back over 1,000 years. What we know today as Portsoken Ward was, in the 10th Century, known as Knightengild, named after the 13 knights of the retinue of King Edgar (Edgar the Peaceful) who died in 975. These knights were given the land in return for their loyal services in protecting the City of London. They did their training at East Smithfield where they would "tilt" or charge with lances against competitors in jousting tournaments. King Edward the Confessor and King William II granted these knights Charters which were later confirmed by William the Conqueror's son, Henry I. Henry's wife Matilda owned the land and she rebuilt the gate or Port. The Knightengild gave to Queen Matilda their area of land outside the City walls and thus united the Soke owned by the Queen with the knights' Knightengild. This was the beginning of the "Soke of the Port" or Portsoken.

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