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Fleet Street

Michael Bromley


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Running between the Strand and Ludgate Circus in London, Fleet Street is synonymous with the national newspaper industry of the United Kingdom. Though from the mid-1980s all the major newspaper offices were relocated, the name was still used to denote this type of newspaper and journalism. The most common explanation for this synergy was that since its development in the fourteenth century Fleet Street has connected the City of London with the City of Westminster, and thus governmental, financial, and commercial activities – traditionally staple sources of news. When the first printing press was installed in Fleet Street by Wynkyn de Worde in 1500, the area was already a religious and legal center, settled from the twelfth century by the Knights Templar. In the 1340s, the royal courts moved permanently to London. Both the church and the law increasingly relied on documentation, and the streets, courts, and alleys in the area were populated by scriveners and clerks. Books, pamphlets, tracts, treatises, official records, and plays provided the impetus for a printing industry, and an area extending east–west from St Paul's Cathedral to Whitehall was the location for publishers, booksellers, printers, binders, and other related traders. Much of this printing was conducted under royal license and noble patronage. The King's Printing House was near Blackfriars Bridge, and the Stationers’ ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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