SHIP TAVERN TEMPLE BAR
This noted Tavern, the site of which is now denoted by Ship-yard, is mentioned among the grants to Sir Christopher Hatton, 1571. There is, in the Beaufoy Collection, a Ship token, dated 1649, which is evidence that the inner tavern of that sign was then extant. It was also called the Drake, from the ship painted as the sign being that in which Sir Francis Drake voyaged round the world. Faithorne, the celebrated engraver, kept shop, next door to the Drake. "The Ship Tavern, in the Butcher-row, near Temple Bar," occurs in an advertisement so late as June, 1756.
The taverns about Temple Bar were formerly numerous; and the folly of disfiguring sign-boards was then, as at a later date, a street frolic. "Sir John Denham, the poet, when a student at Lincoln's-Inn, in 1635, though generally temperate as a drinker, having stayed late at a tavern with some fellow-students, induced them to join him in 'a frolic,' to obtain a pot of ink and a plasterer's brush, and blot out all the signs between Temple Bar and Charing Cross. Aubrey relates that R. Estcourt, Esq., carried the ink-pot: and that next day it caused great confusion; but it happened Sir John and his comrades were discovered, and it cost them some moneys."
Club Life of London Vol. II