Located between Queen Street and Elizabeth Street and extending from Little Lonsdale to Lonsdale streets, Burns Lane was named pre-1860, possibly after popular Scottish poet Robert Burns. The Robert Burns Hotel was situated at the corner of Burns Lane and Lonsdale Street, and a statue of Burns can be found in the Treasury Gardens. By 1935, the lane was renamed Hardware Street.
One particularly strange case that occurred in Burns Lane was reported in the Evening Standard in 1890 in which resident of the lane, James Mayne, was charged with 'one of the most filthy and disgusting offences ever mentioned in the City Court'. In the early hours of the morning, Mayne armed himself with an axe and approached the dwelling of his neighbour, Charles Gilheany, smashed one of his windows and 'emptied the contents of a night-pan into the place'. Mayne was convicted and fined £20 or three months imprisonment with £5 in damages. The cause of the offence was due to a long-standing dispute with Gilheany.