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Drury Lane is a street on the eastern boundary of the Covent Garden area of London, running between Aldwych and High Holborn. The northern part is in the borough of Camden and the southern part in the City of Westminster.
It took its start from the west end of Wych Street, redeveloped in the later 19th century as Aldwych. The lane led to the house built by Sir William Drury, Knight of the Garter in Queen Elizabeth's reign. Drury House, with a coachyard in front and a garden in back, was a scene of the intrigues that led to the ill-fated rebellion of the Queen's favourite, the Earl of Essex. In the 17th century it was the London house of the Earl of Craven, then a public house under the sign of his reputed mistress, the Queen of Bohemia, but by the 18th century Drury Lane had become one of the worst slums in London, dominated by prostitution and gin palaces. The area was eventually cleared to make way for the developments of Kingsway and Aldwych.
The name of the street is often used to refer to the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, which has in different incarnations been located in Drury Lane since the 17th century. Also in Drury Lane is the New London Theatre.
The street Drury Lane is also where The Muffin Man lives as mentioned in the popular nursery rhyme. It is not known whether the song refers to Drury Lane in London or another town.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1905 New International Encyclopedia article Drury Lane.|