The Fleet prison took its name from the little stream long stigmatised as the ÒFleet Ditch,Ó the open sewer or water-way which rose in the eastern ridge of Hampstead Hill, flowed by ÒOldbourneÓ or Holborn under four bridges to discharge into the Thames on the west side of Blackfriars bridge. As time passed this ditch, after being deepened once or twice to allow for water traffic, became more and more pestilential and was at length filled up and arched over, becoming then the site of Fleet Market in what is now known as Farringdon Street, on which the main gates of the prison opened. The building was of great antiquity and is first mentioned in authentic records about A. D. 1197. A deed of that date granted it to the safe keeping of one Nathaniel de Leveland and his son Robert, in conjunction with the KingÕs Houses at Westminster. It is stated that the Fleet prison had been the inheritance of the Levelands since the time of the Norman Conquest. Four years later this same Robert de Leveland petitioned King John for leave to hand over the wardenship of the Fleet to Simon Fitz-Robert, archdeacon of Wells, while he, Leveland, proceeded with the crusaders to the Holy Land. He returned very shortly afterward, as appears from a grant of moneys made him by the City of London in 1205, his salary for guardianship of the prison. His wife Margaret was also granted an allowance as keeper of the Westminster Royal Houses.