Alsatia. The Whitefriars district of London
The Whitefriars district of London, which from early times till the abolition of all privileges in 1697 was a sanctuary for debtors and law-breakers. It was bounded on the north and south by Fleet Street and the Thames, on the east and west by the Fleet River (now New Bridge Street) and the Temple; and was so called from the old Latin name of Alsace, which was for centuries a debatable frontier ground and a refuge of the disaffected. Scott, in his Fortunes of Nigel, described the life and state of this rookery; he borrowed largely from The Squire of Alsatia ( 1688), a comedy by Shadwell, who had been the first to use the name in literature.