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Title: Holborn and Bloomsbury - The Fascination of London
Author: Mitton, G. E. (Geraldine Edith), Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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The Fascination of London





A survey of London, a record of the greatest of all cities, that should
preserve her history, her historical and literary associations, her
mighty buildings, past and present, a book that should comprise all that
Londoners love, all that they ought to know of their heritage from the
past--this was the work on which Sir Walter Besant was engaged when he

As he himself said of it: "This work fascinates me more than anything
else I've ever done. Nothing at all like it has ever been attempted
before. I've been walking about London for the last thirty years, and I
find something fresh in it every day."

Sir Walter's idea was that two of the volumes of his survey should
contain a regular and systematic perambulation of London by different
persons, so that the history of each parish should be complete in
itself. This was a very original feature in the great scheme, and one in
which he took the keenest interest. Enough has been done of this
section to warrant its issue in the form originally intended, but in the
meantime it is proposed to select some of the most interesting of the
districts and publish them as a series of booklets, attractive alike to
the local inhabitant and the student of London, because much of the
interest and the history of London lie in these street associations.

The difficulty of finding a general title for the series was very great,
for the title desired was one that would express concisely the undying
charm of London--that is to say, the continuity of her past history with
the present times. In streets and stones, in names and palaces, her
history is written for those who can read it, and the object of the
series is to bring forward these associations, and to make them plain.
The solution of the difficulty was found in the words of the man who
loved London and planned the great scheme. The work "fascinated" him,
and it was because of these associations that it did so. These links
between past and present in themselves largely constitute The
Fascination of London.

G. E. M.


The district to be treated in this volume includes a good many
parishes--namely, St. Giles-in-the-Fields; St. George, Bloomsbury; St.
George the Martyr; St Andrew, Holborn; Hatton Garden, Saffron Hill;
besides the two famous Inns of Court, Lincoln's and Gray's, and the
remaining buildings of several Inns of Chancery, now diverted from their
former uses. Nearly all the district is included in the new Metropolitan
Borough of Holborn, which itself differs but little from the
Parliamentary borough known as the Holborn Division of Finsbury. Part of
St. Andrew's parish lies outside both of these, and is within the
Liberties of the City. The transition from Holborn borough to the City
will be noted in crossing the boundary. As it is proposed to mention the
parishes in passing through them, but not to describe their exact
limitations in the body of the book, the boundaries of the parishes are
given concisely for reference on p. 100.

Kingsway, the new street from the Strand to Holborn, cuts through the
selected district. It begins in a crescent, with one end near St.
Clement's Church, and the other near Wellington Street. From the site of
the Olympic Theatre it runs north, crossing High Holborn at Little Queen
Street, and continuing northward through Southampton Row. A skeleton
outline of its course is given on p. 28. This street runs roughly north
and south throughout the district selected, and dividing it east and
west is the great highway, which begins as New Oxford Street, becomes
High Holborn, and continues as Holborn and Holborn Viaduct.

The tradition that Holborn is so named after a brook--the Old
Bourne--which rose on the hill, and flowed in an easterly direction into
the Fleet River, cannot be sustained by any evidence or any indications
of the bed of a former stream. Stow speaks positively as to the
existence of this stream, which, he says, had in his time long been
stopped up. Now, the old streams of London have left traces either in
the lanes which once formed their bed, as Marylebone Lane and Gardener's
Lane, Westminster, or their courses, having been accurately known, have
been handed on from one generation to another. We may therefore dismiss
the supposed stream of the "Old Bourne" as not proven. On the other
hand, there have been found many springs and wells in various parts of
Holborn, as under Furnival's Inn, which may have seemed to Stow proof
enough of the tradition. The name of Holborn is probably derived from
the bourne or brook in the "Hollow"--_i.e._, the Fleet River, across
which this great roadway ran. The way is marked in Aggas's map of the
sixteenth century as a country road between fields, though, strangely
enough, it is recorded that it was paved in 1417, a very ancient date.
Malcolm in 1803 calls it "an irregular long street, narrow and
inconvenient, at the north end of Fleet Market, but winding from Shoe
Lane up the hill westward."

Holborn Bars stood a little to the west of Brooke Street, and close by
was Middle Row, an island of houses opposite the end of Gray's Inn Road,
which formed a great impediment to the traffic. The Bars were the
entrance to the City, and here a toll of a penny or twopence was exacted
from non-freemen who entered the City with carts or coaches.

The George and Blue Boar stood on the south side of Holborn, opposite
Red Lion Street, and it is said that it was here that Charles I.'s
letter disclosing his intention to destroy Cromwell and Ireton was
intercepted by the latter; but this is very doubtful.

On Holborn Hill was the Black Swan Inn, which has been described as one
of the most ancient and magnificent places for the reception of
travellers in London, and which Dr. Stukeley, with fervent imagination,
declared dated from the Conquest. Another ancient inn in Holborn was
called the Rose. It was from here that the poet Taylor started to join
Charles I. in the Isle of Wight, of which journey he says,

    "We took one coach, two coachmen, and four horses,
    And merrily from London made our courses;
    We wheeled the top of the heavy hill called Holborn,
    Up which hath been full many a sinful soul borne,"

which is quoted merely to show that there is a possible rhyme to

Pennant says also there was a hospital for the poor in Holborn, and a
cell of the House of Clugny in France, but does not indicate their
whereabouts. Before the building of the Viaduct in 1869 (see p. 54),
there was a steep and toilsome descent up and down the valley of the
Fleet. This was sometimes called "the Heavy Hill," as in the verse
already quoted, and in consequence of the melancholy processions which
frequently passed from Newgate bound Tyburn-wards, "riding in a cart up
the Heavy Hill" became a euphemism for being hanged. From Farringdon
Street to Fetter Lane was Holborn Hill, and Holborn proper extended from
Fetter Lane to Brooke Street.

In James II.'s reign Oates and Dangerfield suffered the punishment of
being whipped at the cart's tail all the way along Holborn.

There were Bridewell Bridge, Fleet Bridge, Fleet Lane Bridge, and
Holborn Bridge across the Fleet River. Holborn Bridge was the most
northerly of the four. It was a bridge of stone, serving for passengers
from the west to the City by way of Newgate. The whole thoroughfare of
Oxford Street and Holborn is the result of the diversion of the north
highway into the City from the route by Westminster Marshes.

The antiquities of Holborn and its streets north and south are not
connected with the trade or with the municipal history of London. On the
other hand, the associations of this group of streets are full of
interest. If we take the south side of the street, we find ourselves
walking past Shoe Lane, St. Andrew's Church, Thavies' Inn, Fetter Lane,
Staple Inn, Barnard's Inn, Chancery Lane, Great and Little Turnstiles,
Little Queen Street, Drury Lane, and St. Giles's. On the north side we
pass Field Lane, Ely Place, Hatton Garden, Brooke Street, Furnival's
Inn, Gray's Inn, Red Lion Street, and Tottenham Court Road. All these
will be found described in detail further on. Of eminent residents in
Holborn itself, Cunningham mentions Gerarde, the author of the "Herbal";
Sir Kenelm Digby; Milton, who lived for a time in one of the houses on
the south side, looking upon Lincoln's Inn Fields; and Dr. Johnson, who
lived at the sign of the Golden Anchor, Holborn Bars. There were also
the Bishops of Ely, Sir Christopher Hatton, Francis Bacon, Sir Thomas
More, Charles Dickens, Fulke Greville, Thomas Chatterton, Lord Russell,
Dr. Sacheverell, and many others.

It is necessary now, however, to leave off generalization, and to begin
with a detailed account of the parishes which fall within the district;
of these, St. Giles-in-the-Fields is the most interesting.


The name of the parish is derived from the hospital which stood on the
site of the present parish church, and was dedicated to the Greek saint
St. Giles. It was at first known as St. Giles of the Lepers, but when
the hospital was demolished became St. Giles-in-the-Fields.

In a plan dated 1600 St. Giles's is shown to consist largely of open
fields. The buildings, which before the dissolution had belonged to the
hospital, form a group about the site of the church. A few more
buildings run along the north side of the present Broad Street. There
are one or two at the north end of Drury Lane, and Drury House is at
the south end. Southampton House, in the fields to the north, is marked,
but the parish is otherwise open ground. In spite of many edicts to
restrain the increase of houses, early in the reign of James I. the
meadows began to be built upon, and, though a little checked during the
Commonwealth, after the Restoration the building proceeded rapidly,
stimulated by the new square at Lincoln's Inn Fields then being carried
out by Inigo Jones. To St. Giles's may be attributed the distinction of
having originated the Great Plague, which broke out in an alley at the
north end of Drury Lane. Several times before this there had been
smaller outbreaks, which had resulted in the building of a pest-house.
Even after this check the parish continued to increase rapidly, and by
the early part of the last century was a byword for all that was squalid
and filthy. Its rookeries and slums are thus described in a newspaper
cutting of 1845: "All around are poverty and wretchedness; the streets
and alleys are rank with the filth of half a century; the windows are
half of them broken, or patched with rags and paper, and when whole are
begrimed with dirt and smoke; little brokers' shops abound, filled with
lumber, the odour of which taints even that tainted atmosphere; the
pavement and carriage-way swarm with pigs, poultry, and ragged
children.... But in the space called the Dials itself the scene is far
different. There at least rise splendid buildings with stuccoed fronts
and richly-ornamented balustrades.... These are the gin-palaces."
Naturally, among so much poverty gin-palaces and public-houses abounded.
It is curious to note how many of Hogarth's pictures of misery and vice
were drawn from St. Giles's. "Noon" has St. Giles's Church in the
background, while his "Gin Lane" shows the neighbouring church of St.
George, Bloomsbury; the scene of his "Harlot's Progress" is Drury Lane,
and the idle apprentice is caught when wanted for murder in a cellar in
St. Giles's.

The gallows were in this parish from about 1413 until they were removed
to Tyburn, and then the terrible Tyburn procession passed through St.
Giles's, and halted at the great gate of the hospital, and later at the
public-house called The Bowl, described more fully hereafter. From very
early times St. Giles's was notorious for its taverns. The Croche Hose
(Crossed Stockings), another tavern, was situated at the corner of the
marshlands, and in Edward I.'s reign belonged to the cook of the
hospital; the crossed stockings, red and white, were adopted as the sign
of the hosiers. Besides these, there were numerous other taverns dating
from many years back, including the Swan on the Hop, Holborn; White
Hart, north-east of Drury Lane; the Rose, already mentioned. In the
parish also were various houses of entertainment, of which the most
notorious was the Hare and Hounds, formerly Beggar in the Bush, which
was kept by one Joe Banks in 1844, and was the resort of all classes.
This was in Buckridge Street, over which New Oxford Street now runs. In
the last sixty years the face of the parish has been greatly changed.
The first demolition of a rookery of vice and squalor took place in
1840, when New Oxford Street was driven through Slumland. Dyott (once
George) Street, Church Lane, Buckridge and Bainbridge, Charlotte and
Plumtree, were among the most notorious streets thus wholly or partially

In 1844 many wretched houses were demolished, and in 1855 Shaftesbury
Avenue drove another wedge into the slums to let in light and air. There
are poor and wretched courts in St. Giles's yet, but civilization is
making its softening influence felt even here, and though cases of
Hooliganism in broad daylight still occur, they are less and less

So much for a brief history of the parish. Its soil was from very early
times damp and marshy. To the south of the hospital was a stretch of
ground called Marshlands, probably at one time a pond. Great ditches and
fosses cut up the ground. The most important of these was Blemund's
Ditch, which divided the parish from that of Bloomsbury. This is
supposed to have been an ancient line of fortification. Besides this, a
ditch traversed the marshlands above mentioned, another encompassed the
croft lying by the north gate of the hospital, and there were several
others of less importance.

The Hospital of St. Giles was the earliest foundation of its kind in
London, if we except St. James's Hospital. Stow sums it up thus: "St.
Giles-in-the-Fields was an hospital for leprous people out of the City
of London and shire of Middlesex, founded by Matilde the Queen, wife to
Henry I., and suppressed by King Henry VIII." The date of foundation is
given by Leland and Malcolm as 1101, though Stow and others give 1117,
which was the year before the foundress died. Before this time this part
of London had apparently been included in the great estate of Rugmere,
which belonged to St. Paul's.

Matilda gave the ground, and endowed the hospital with the magnificent
sum of £3 per annum! Her foundation provided for forty lepers, one
chaplain, one clerk, and one servant. Henry II. confirmed all privileges
and gifts which had accrued to the hospital, and added to them himself.
Parton says, "His liberality ranks him as a second founder." During
succeeding reigns the hospital grew in wealth and importance. In Henry
III.'s reign Pope Alexander issued a confirmatory Bull, but the charity
had become a refuge for decayed hangers-on at Court who were not
lepers. This abuse was prohibited by the King's decree. In Edward III.'s
reign the first downward step was taken, for he made the hospital a cell
to Burton St. Lazar. The brethren apparently rebelled, refusing to admit
the visitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and destroying many
valuable documents and records belonging to the hospital. Two centuries
later King Henry VIII. desired the lands and possessions of St. Giles's,
and with him to desire was to acquire.

The hospital was thus shorn of the greater part of its wealth, retaining
only the church (not the manor) at Feltham (one of its earliest gifts),
the hospital estates at Edmonton, in the City of London, and in the
various parishes in the suburbs; and in St. Giles's parish the actual
ground it stood on, the Pittance Croft, and a few minor places. But even
this remnant came into the possession of the rapacious King two years
later, at the dissolution of the monasteries, when Burton St. Lazar
itself fell into the tyrant's hands. Henry held these for six years,
then granted both to John Dudley, Viscount Lisle, Lord High Admiral.
From the time of the dissolution the hospital became a manor.

In the earliest charters the head of the hospital is styled Chaplain,
but not Master. The first Master mentioned is in 1212, and after this
the title was regularly used. The government was vested in the Master
or Warden and other officers, together with a certain number of sound
brethren and sisters--and in certain cases lepers themselves--who formed
a chapter. "They assembled in chapter, had a common seal, held courts as
lords of the manor."[1] There were also guardians or custodians, who did
not reside in the precincts of the hospital, and these seem to have been
chosen from the most eminent citizens; they formed no part of the
original scheme.

[1] "Some Account of the Hospital and Parish of St. Giles-in-the-Fields,"
1822, by John Parton.


The sisters appear to have been nurses, for there is no mention made of
any leprous sister. The chapel of the hospital appears from King Henry
II.'s charter to have been built on the site of some older parochial
church. The Bull of Pope Alexander mentions that the hospital wall
enclosed eight acres. Within this triangular space, which is at present
roughly bounded by the High Street, Charing Cross Road, and Shaftesbury
Avenue, was one central building or mansion for the lepers, several
subordinate buildings, the chapel, and the gate-house. Whether the
number of lepers was reduced when the hospital possessions were
curtailed we are not told. After the hospital buildings fell into the
hands of Lord Dudley they underwent many changes. The principal building
he converted into a mansion for his own use; this was the manor-house.
It stood between the present Denmark Street and Lloyd's Court, and its
site is occupied by a manufactory. After two years Lord Dudley obtained
from the King license to transfer all his newly-gained estates to Sir
Wymonde Carew, but there seems reason to suppose that Lord Dudley
remained in possession of the manor-house until his attainder in the
reign of Queen Mary, because the manor then reverted to the Crown, and
was regranted. Clinch gets out of this difficulty by supposing Lord
Dudley to have parted with his estates and retained the manor, but in
the deed of license for exchange all his "mansion place and capital
house, late the house of the dissolved hospital of St. Giles in the
Fields," is especially mentioned. It is possible that Sir Wymonde leased
it again to the Dudley family.

Among the many subsequent holders of the manor we find the name of Sir
Walter Cope, who bought the Manor of Kensington in 1612, and through
whose only child, Isabel, it passed by marriage to Sir Henry Rich,
created Earl of Holland. The Manor of St. Giles was in the possession of
the Crown again in Charles II.'s reign, when Alice Leigh, created by him
Duchess of Dudley, lived in the manor-house. This Duchess made many
gifts to the church, among which was a rectory-house.

The Church of St. Giles at present standing is certainly the third, if
not the fourth, which has been upon the same site. As mentioned above,
there is reason to believe from Henry II.'s charter that a sacred
building of some sort stood here before the leper chapel. The chapel had
a chapter-house attached, and seems to have been a well-cared-for
building. There were several chantry chapels and a high altar dedicated
to St. Giles. St. Giles's in the earlier charters is spoken of as a
village, not a parish, but there is little doubt that after the
establishment of the hospital its chapel was used as a parish church by
the villagers. There was probably a wall screening off the lepers. The
first church of which any illustration is preserved has a curious
tower, capped by a round dome. The view of this church, dated 1560, is
taken after the dissolution of the hospital, when it had become entirely
parochial. In 1617 the quaint old tower was taken down, and replaced by
another, but only six years after the whole church was rebuilt. A view
of this in 1718 gives a very long battlemented body in two stories, with
a square tower surmounted by an open belfry and vane. It possessed
remarkably fine stained-glass windows and a handsome screen presented by
the Duchess of Dudley.

This second church did not last very long, for in Queen Anne's reign the
parishioners petitioned that it should be rebuilt as one of the fifty
new churches, being then in a state of decay. The present church, which
is very solid, and has dignity of outline, was the work of Flitcroft,
and was opened April 14, 1734. The steeple is 160 feet high, with a
rustic pedestal, a Doric story, an octagonal tower, and spire. The
basement is of rusticated Portland stone, of which the church is built,
and quoins of the same material decorate the windows and angles within.
It follows the lines of the period, with hardly any chancel, wide
galleries on three sides standing on piers, from which columns rise to
the elliptical ceiling. The part of the roof over the galleries is
bayed at right angles to the curve of the central part. Monuments hang
on the walls and columns, and occupy every available space. By far the
most striking of these is the full-length figure of a woman in repose
which is set on a broad window-seat. This is the monument of Lady
Frances Kniveton, daughter of Alice Leigh, Duchess of Dudley. The
daughter's tomb remains a memorial of her mother's benefactions to the
parish. The monument of Andrew Marvell, a plain black marble slab, is on
the north wall. Marvell was buried in the church "under the pews in the
south side," but the present monument was not erected until 1764,
eighty-six years after his death, owing to the opposition of the
incumbent of the church. The inscription on it slightly varies from that
intended for the original monument. Besides a handsome brass cross on
the chancel floor to the Rector, Canon Nisbett, a tomb in form of a
Roman altar, designed by Inigo Jones, and commemorating George Chapman,
the translator of Homer, and a touching monument in the lobby to "John
Belayse," put up by his two daughters, there is nothing further worth

The graveyard which surrounds the church is supposed to have been the
ancient interment-ground of the hospital. The first mention of it in the
parish books is in 1628, when three cottages were pulled down to
increase its size. It was enlarged again in 1666. Part of the old
hospital wall enclosing it remained until 1630, when it fell down, and
after the lapse of some time a new wall was built. In St. Giles's
Churchyard were buried Lord Herbert of Cherbury, Shirley, Roger
L'Estrange, Andrew Marvell, and Richard Pendrell, who assisted in
Charles II.'s escape; his altar-tomb is easily seen near the east end of
the church. By 1718 the graveyard had risen 8 feet, so that the church
stood in a pit or well. The further burial-ground at St. Pancras was
taken in 1805, and after that burials at St. Giles's were not very
frequent. Pennant was one of the first to draw attention to the
disgraceful overcrowding of the old graveyard. There seem to have been
several gates into the churchyard with the right of private entry, one
of which was used by the Duchess of Dudley. The most remarkable gate,
however, was at the principal entrance to the churchyard, and was known
as the Resurrection Gate, from an alto-relievo of the Last Day. This was
erected about 1687, and was of red and brown brick. The composition of
the relievo is said to have been borrowed, with alterations, from
Michael Angelo's work on the same subject. In 1765 the north wall of the
churchyard was taken down, and replaced by the present railing and
coping. In 1800 the gate was removed, and replaced by the present
Tuscan gate, in which the sculpture has been refixed. This stood at
first on the site of the old one on the north of the churchyard, but was
removed to the west side, where it at present stands in an unnoticeable
and obscure position. It was probably placed there in the idea that the
new road, Charing Cross Road, would run past.

Denmark Street "fronts St. Giles Church and falls into Hog Lane, a fair
broad street, with good houses well inhabited by gentry" (Strype).

This description is no longer applicable. Denmark Place was once Dudley
Court, and the house here with a garden was given by the Duchess of
Dudley as a rectory for the parish. The Court or Row was built on the
site of the house previous to 1722.

Broad Street is one of the most ancient streets in the parish, and there
were a few houses standing on the north side when the rest of the
district was open ground. It was the main route westward for many
centuries, until New Oxford Street was made.

The procession from Newgate to Tyburn used to pass along Broad Street,
and halt at the great gate of the hospital, in order that the condemned
man might take his last draught of ale on earth. An enterprising
publican set up a tavern near here in 1623, and called it the Bowl. He
provided the ale free, and no doubt made much profit by the patronage
he received thereby. The exact site of the tavern was in Bowl Yard,
which ran into Broad Street near where Endell Street now is. Among
Cruikshank's well-known drawings is a series illustrating Jack
Sheppard's progress to the gallows.

The parish almshouses were built in the wide part of Broad Street on
ground granted by Lord Southampton, but were removed as an impediment to
traffic in 1783 to the Coal Yard, near the north of Drury Lane. A row of
little alleys--Salutation, Lamb's, Crown, and Cock--formerly extended
southward over the present workhouse site. There are still one or two
small entries both north and south. The immense yard of a well-known
brewery fills up a large part of the south side, and a large iron and
hardware manufactory on the north gives a certain manufacturing aspect
to the street. The Holborn Municipal Baths are in a fine new building on
the south side.

About High Street, which joins Broad Street at its west end, there is
surely less to say than of any other High Street in London. In 1413 the
gallows were set up at the corner where it meets Tottenham Court Road.
But even previously to this executions had taken place at Tyburn, and
soon Tyburn became the recognised place of execution. Sir John
Oldcastle, Lord Cobham, is the most notable name among the victims who
suffered at St. Giles. He was hung in chains and roasted to death over a
slow fire at this spot as a Lollard.

After they had been removed from the end of Broad Street, to make way
for the almshouses, the parish pound and cage stood on the site of the
gallows until 1765. There was here also a large circular stone, where
the charity boys were whipped to make them remember the parish bounds.

The space to the north of the High and Broad Streets was previously a
notorious rookery. Dyott Street, which still exists, though cut in half,
had a most unenviable reputation. The Maidenhead Inn, which stood at the
south-east corner of this, was a favourite resort for mealmen and
country waggoners. There was in this street also a tavern called the
Turk's Head, where Haggart Hoggarty planned the murder of Mr. Steele on
Hounslow Heath in 1802. Walford mentions also Rat's Castle, a rendezvous
for all the riff-raff of the neighbourhood. Dyott Street was named after
an influential parishioner of Charles II.'s time, who had a house here.
It was later called George Street, but has reverted to the original

South of Great Russell Street there were formerly Bannister's Alley and
Eagle and Child Yard running northwards. From the former of these
continued Church Lane, to which Maynard Lane ran parallel. Bainbridge,
Buckridge, and Church Streets ran east and westward. Of these Bainbridge
remains, a long, narrow alley bounded by the brewery wall. Mayhew says
that here "were found some of the most intricate and dangerous places in
this low locality."

The part of the parish lying to the north, including Bedford Square,
must be for the present left (see p. 98), while we turn southwards.

New Compton Street is within the former precincts of the hospital. When
first made it was called Stiddolph Street, after Sir Richard Stiddolph,
and the later name was taken from that of Sir Frances Compton. Strype
says, "All this part was very meanly built ... and greatly inhabited by
French, and of the poorer sort," a character it retains to this day.

Shaftesbury Avenue, opened in 1885, has obliterated Monmouth Street,
named after the Duke of Monmouth, whose house was in Soho Square (see
_The Strand_, this series). Monmouth Street was notorious for its
old-clothes shops, and is the subject of one of the "Sketches by Boz."
Further back still it was called Le Lane, and is under that name
mentioned among the hospital possessions.

The north end of Shaftesbury Avenue is in the adjoining parish of St.
George's, Bloomsbury, but must for sequence' sake be described here. A
French Protestant chapel, consecrated 1845, which is the lineal
descendant of the French Church of the Savoy, stands on the west side.
Near at hand is a French girls' school. Further north is a Baptist
chapel, with two noticeable pointed towers and a central wheel window.
Bedford Chapel formerly stood on the north side of this. In the lower
half of the Avenue there are several buildings of interest. The first of
these, on the east side, is for the medical and surgical relief of all
foreigners who speak French. Below this is a chapel belonging to the
Baptists, and further southward a working lads' home, established in
1843, for homeless lads at work in London. In connection with it are
various homes in the country, both for boys and girls, and two training
ships, the _Arethusa_ and _Chichester_.

All the ground to the south of Shaftesbury Avenue was anciently, if not
actually a pond, at all events very marshy ground, and was called
Meershelands, or Marshlands. It was subsequently known as Cock and Pye
Fields, from the Cock and Pye public-house, which is supposed to have
been situated at the spot where Little St. Andrew Street, West Street,
and Castle Street now meet. The date at which this name first appeared
is uncertain; it is met with in the parish books after 1666. In the
reign of William III. a Mr. Neale took the ground, and transformed the
great ditch which crossed it into a sewer, preparatory to the building
of Seven Dials. The name of this notorious place has been connected with
degradation and misery, but at first it was considered rather an
architectural wonder. Evelyn, in his diary, October 5, 1694, says: "I
went to see the building beginning near St. Giles, where seven streets
make a star from a Doric pillar placed in the middle of a circular area,
said to be built by Mr. Neale." Gay also refers to the central column in
his "Trivia." The column had really only six dial faces, two streets
converging toward one. In the open space on which it stood was a
pillory, and the culprits who stood here were often most brutally
stoned. One John Waller, charged with perjury, was killed in this manner
in 1732.

In 1773 the column was taken down in a search for imaginary treasure. It
was set up again in 1822 on Weybridge Green as a memorial to the Duchess
of York, who died 1820. The dial was not replaced, and was used as a
stepping-stone at the Ship Inn at Weybridge; it still lies on one side
of the Green. The streets of Seven Dials attained a very unenviable
reputation, and were the haunt of all that was vicious and bad. Terrible
accounts of the overcrowding and consequent immorality come down to us
from the newspaper echoes of the earlier part of the nineteenth
century. The opening up of the new thoroughfares of New Oxford Street,
Shaftesbury Avenue, and Charing Cross Road, have done much, but the
neighbourhood is still a slum. The seven streets remain in their
starlike shape, by name Great and Little White Lion Street, Great and
Little St. Andrew Street, Great and Little Earl Street, and Queen

Short's Gardens was in 1623 really a garden, and a little later than
that date was acquired by a man named Dudley Short.

Betterton Street was until comparatively recently called Brownlow, from
Sir John Brownlow of Belton, who had a house here in Charles II.'s time.
The street is now, to use a favourite expression of Stow's, "better
built than inhabited," for the row of brick houses of no very squalid
type are inhabited by the very poor.

Endell Street was built in 1844, at the time of the erection of the
workhouse. In it are the National Schools, a Protestant Swiss chapel,
and an entrance to the public baths and wash-houses, to the south of
which rise the towers of the workhouse. Christ Church is hemmed in by
the workhouse, having an outlet only on the street. The church was
consecrated in 1845. In Short's Gardens is the Lying-in Hospital, the
oldest institution of the kind in England. On the west side, between
Castle Street and Short's Gardens, the remains of an ancient bath were
discovered at what was once No. 3, Belton Street, now 23 and 25, Endell
Street. Tradition wildly asserts that this was used by Queen Anne.
Fragments of it still remain in the room used for iron lumber, for the
premises are in the occupation of an iron merchant, but the water has
long since ceased to flow.

Drury Lane has been in great part described in _The Strand_, which see,
p. 97. The Coal Yard at the north-east end, where Nell Gwynne was born,
is now Goldsmith Street. Pit Place, on the west of Great Wild Street,
derives its name from the cockpit or theatre, the original of the Drury
Lane Theatre, which stood here. The cockpit was built previous to 1617,
for in that year an incensed mob destroyed it, and tore all the dresses.
It was afterwards known as the Phoenix Theatre. At one time it seems
to have been used as a school, though this may very well have been at
the same time as it fulfilled its legitimate functions. Betterton and
Kynaston both made their first public appearance here. The actual date
of the theatre's demolition is not known. Parton judges it to have been
at the time of the building of Wild, then Weld, Street. Its performances
are described, 1642, as having degenerated into an inferior kind, and
having been attended by inferior audiences.

At the north-east end of Drury Lane is the site of the ancient hostelry,
the White Hart. Here also was a stone cross, known as Aldewych Cross,
for the lane was anciently the Via de Aldewych, and is one of the oldest
roads in the parish; Saxon Ald = old, and Wych = a village, a name to be
preserved in the new Crescent. It is difficult to understand, looking
down Drury Lane to-day from Holborn, that this most mean and unlovely
street was once a place of aristocratic resort--of gardens, great
houses, and orchards. Here was Craven House, here was Clare House; here
lived the Earl of Stirling, the Marquis of Argyll, and the Earl of
Anglesey. Here lived for a time Nell Gwynne. Pepys says:

"Saw pretty Nelly standing at her lodgings door in Drury Lane in her
smock-sleeves and bodice, looking upon one. She seemed a mighty pretty

The Lane fell into disrepute early in the eighteenth century. The
"saints of Drury Lane," the "drabs of Drury Lane," the starving poets of
Drury Lane, are freely ridiculed by the poets of that time.

    "'Nine years!' cries he, who high in Drury Lane,
    Lull'd by soft zephyrs through the broken pane,
    Rhymes ere he wakes, and prints before term ends,
    Obliged by hunger and request of friends."

The boundary of St. Giles's parish runs down Drury Lane between Long
Acre and Great Queen Street. Of the last of these Strype says: "It is a
street graced with a goodly row of large uniform houses on the south
side, but on the north side is indifferent." The street was begun in the
early years of the seventeenth century, but the building spread over a
long time, so that we find the "goodly row of houses" on the south side
to have been built by Webb, a pupil of Inigo Jones, about 1646. A number
of celebrated people lived in Great Queen Street. The first Lord Herbert
of Cherbury had a house on the south side at the corner of Great Wild
Street; here he died in 1648. Sir Thomas Fairfax, the Parliamentary
General, lived here; also Sir Heneage Finch, created Earl of Nottingham;
Sir Godfrey Kneller, when he moved from Covent Garden; Thomas Worlidge,
the portrait-painter, and afterwards, in the same house, Hoole, the
translator of Dante and Ariosto; Sir Robert Strange, the engraver; John
Opie, the artist; Wolcott, better known as Peter Pindar, who was buried
at St. Paul's, Covent Garden. Sheridan is also said to have lived here,
and it would be conveniently near Drury Lane Theatre, which was under
his management from 1776.

[Illustration: KINGSWAY.]

On the south side of the street are the Freemasons' Hall, built
originally in 1775, and the Freemasons' Tavern, erected subsequently.
Both have been rebuilt, and the hall, having been recently repainted,
looks at the time of writing startlingly new. Near it are two of the
original old houses, all that are left with the pilasters and carved
capitals which are so sure a sign of Inigo Jones's influence.

On the north side of the street is the Novelty Theatre.

Great and Little Wild Streets are called respectively Old and New Weld
Streets by Strype. Weld House stood on the site of the present Wild
Court, and was during the reign of James II. occupied by the Spanish
Embassy. In Great Wild Street Benjamin Franklin worked as a journeyman

Kemble and Sardinia were formerly Prince's and Duke's Streets. The
latter contains some very old houses, and a chapel used by the Roman
Catholics. This is said to be the oldest foundation now in the hands of
the Roman Catholics in London. It was built in 1648, and was the object
of virulent attack during the Gordon Riots; the exterior is singularly
plain. Sardinia Street communicates with Lincoln's Inn Fields by a heavy
and quaint archway.

Even in Strype's time Little Queen Street was "a place pestered with
coaches," a reputation which, curiously enough, it still retains, the
heavy traffic of the King's Cross omnibuses passing through it. Trinity
Church is in a late decorative style, with ornamental pinnacles, flying
buttresses, and two deeply-recessed porches. Within it is a very plain,
roomlike structure. The church is on the site of a house in which lived
the Lambs, and where Mary Lamb in a fit of insanity murdered her mother.
The Holborn Restaurant forms part of the side of this street; this is a
very gorgeous building, and within is a very palace of modern luxury. It
stands on the site formerly occupied by the Holborn Casino or Dancing

Little Queen Street will be wiped out by the broad new thoroughfare from
the Strand to Holborn to be called Kingsway (see plan).

Gate Street was formerly Little Princes Street. The present name is
derived from the gate or carriage-entrance to Lincoln's Inn Fields.

In Strype's map half of Whetstone Park is called by its present title,
and the western half is Phillips Rents. He mentions it as "once famous
for its infamous and vicious inhabitants."

Great and Little Turnstile were so named from the turning stiles which
in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries stood at their north ends to
prevent the cattle straying from Lincoln's Inn Fields. The Holborn
Music-hall in Little Turnstile was originally a Nonconformist chapel.
After 1840 it served as a hall, lectures, etc., being given by
free-thinkers, and in 1857 was adapted to its present purpose.

LINCOLN'S INN FIELDS.--All the ground on which the present square is
built formed part of Fickett's Field, which was anciently the
jousting-place of the Knights Templars. A curious petition of the reign
of Edward III. shows us that then it was a favourite recreation-ground
or promenade for clerks, apprentices, students, as well as the citizens.
In this petition a complaint is made that one Roger Leget had laid
caltrappes or engines of iron in a trench, to the danger of those who
walked in the fields. Inigo Jones was entrusted by King James I. to form
a square of houses which should be worthy of so fine a situation. Before
this time it appears that there had been one or two irregular buildings.
Inigo Jones conceived the curious idea of giving his square the exact
size of the Great Pyramid of Egypt, and it is accordingly the largest
square in London. But when he had completed the west side only, the
unsettled state of the country hindered further progress, and for many
years the land lay waste, and was unenclosed save by wooden posts and
rails; during this period it was the daily and nightly haunt of all the
beggars, rogues, pickpockets, wrestlers, and vile vagrants in London.
Gay thus speaks of it:

    "Where Lincoln's Inn, wide space, is rail'd around,
    Cross not with venturous step; there oft is found
    The lurking thief, who, while the daylight shone,
    Made the walls echo with his begging tone:
    That crutch, which late compassion moved, shall wound
    Thy bleeding head, and fell thee to the ground.
    Though thou art tempted by the linkman's call,
    Yet trust him not along the lonely wall;
    In the midway he'll quench the flaming brand,
    And share the booty with the pilfering band.
    Still keep the public streets where oily rays,
    Shot from the crystal lamp, o'erspread the ways."

At this time three fields are mentioned as being included in the
square--namely, Purse Field, Fickett's Field, and Cap Field. In 1657 the
inhabitants made an agreement with Lincoln's Inn, to whom some of the
rights of the Templars seem to have descended (Parton), as to the
completion of the square. But even after the two further sides had been
added, the centre seems to have been left in a disorderly and pestilent
state, and it was not until 1735 that the place was properly laid out.
In Strype's map of 1720 the sides are marked Newman's Row North, the
Arch Row West, Portugal Row South, and the wall of Lincoln's Inn
completes the fourth side. Strype speaks of the first two as being of
large houses, generally taken by the nobility and gentry. The historical
event of prominence connected with the centre of the square is the
execution of William, Lord Russell, which took place here in 1683, on
accusation of high treason and complicity in the Rye House Plot. He was
beheaded in Lincoln's Inn Fields, lest the mob should rise and rescue
him were he conveyed to the more public Tower Hill. In spite of his
defiance of lawful authority, Russell's name has always been regarded as
that of a patriot. He and Algernon Sydney are remembered as
single-minded and high-souled men.

Many other executions were held in those fields, notably those of
Babington and his accomplices in 1586, fourteen in all. They were
"hanged, bowelled, and quartered, on a stage or scaffold of timber
strongly made for that purpose, even in the place where they used to
meet and conferre of their traitorous purposes." At present the centre
of the square forms a charming garden, open free to the public, with
fine plane-trees shading grass plots not too severely trimmed, and
flocks of opal-hued pigeons add a touch of bird-life. It is true the
grass is railed in, but the railings are not obtrusive, and do not
interfere with the pleasure of those who sit on the seats or walk under
the trees. Here is assuredly one of the places where we can most feel
the fascination of London as we contrast the present with the past.

On the north side is the Inns of Court Hotel, a massive pile faced with
stone, and with a portico of polished granite columns. This is on the
site of an ancient hostelry in Holborn, the George and Blue Boar, a
famous coaching inn (see p. 3).

The Soane Museum is further westward, and is differentiated from two
similarly built neighbours by a slightly projecting frontage. It was the
former residence of Sir John Soane, who left his collection to the
nation. There are many valuable pictures, as well as curious and
interesting objects. The museum is open free to the public on Tuesday,
Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday.

On the west side of the square, near Queen Street, stands a very solid
mansion, known first as Powis, then as Newcastle House. The footway in
Great Queen Street runs under an arcade on the north side of this house,
which was built by the first Marquis of Powis, created Duke of Powis by
James II., whom he followed into exile, and bought in 1705 by Holles,
Duke of Newcastle, whose nephew, who led the Pelham Administration under
George II., inherited it. Further south on the same side is Lindsey
House, a large building with pilasters; this was built by Robert Bertie,
Earl of Lindsey, and was later called Ancaster House. It was described
by Hatton as a handsome building, with six spacious brick piers before
it, surmounted by vases and with ironwork between. Only two of these
vases remain. The fleurs-de-lis on the house over the Sardinia Street
entry were put up in compliment to Queen Henrietta Maria, who was the
daughter of Henry IV. of France. The third great house on this side was
Portsmouth House, over Portsmouth Place.

The remainder of the houses have the same general character of stuccoed
and pilastered uniformity, broken here and there by uncovered brick
surfaces or frontages of stone. They are almost uninterruptedly occupied
by solicitors. This is the oldest side of the square, being that built
by Inigo Jones.

At the south corner of the square there is a quaint red-brick,
gable-ended house, with a bit of rusticated woodwork. This is all part
of the same block as the Old Curiosity Shop, supposed to be that
described by Dickens.

On the south side rises the Royal College of Surgeons. The central part
is carried up a story and an entresol higher than the wings, and, like
the wings, is capped by a balustrade. The legend, "Ædes Collegii
Chirurgorum Anglici--Diplomate Regio Corporate A.D. MDCCC," runs across
the frontage. A massive colonnade of six Ionic columns gives solidity to
the basement. The museum of this college has absorbed the site of the
old Duke's Theatre. Its nucleus was John Hunter's collection, purchased
by the college, and first opened in 1813.

This side of the square is outside our present district. (See _The
Strand_, in the same series.)

The origin of the Company of Barber-Surgeons is very ancient, for the
two guilds, Barbers and Surgeons, were incorporated in 1540; but in 1745
they separated, and the Surgeons continued as a body alone. However,
they came to grief in 1790, and the charter establishing the Royal
College of Surgeons of London was granted in 1800; in 1845 the title was
changed to that of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. The present
building, however, dates only from 1835, and is the work of Sir C.
Barry. It has since been enlarged and altered.

With this the ancient parish of St. Giles-in-the-Fields ends, but our
district includes Lincoln's Inn, and beyond it the parish of St. Andrew,
Holborn, into which we pass.



The old brick gateway in Chancery Lane is familiar to most Londoners. It
ranks with the stone gateway of the Hospitallers in Clerkenwell, with
the tower of St. James's Palace, and with the gate of Lambeth Palace, as
one of the three or four relics of the Gothic style left in London. Even
Gothic churches are scarce, while specimens of the domestic style are
still scarcer. It need hardly be said that this tower has been
constantly threatened, by "restorers" on the one hand, as well as by
open destroyers on the other. It was built while Cardinal Wolsey was
Chancellor, and was still new when Sir Thomas More sat in the hall as
his successor. The windows have been altered, and the groining of the
archway has been changed for a flat roof. It is said that the bricks of
which the gate is built were made in the Coney Garth, which much later
remained an open field, but is now New Square. A pillar, said to have
been designed by Inigo Jones, stood in New Square, or, as it was called
from a lessee at the beginning of the eighteenth century, Searle's
Court. This ground and the site of the Law Courts formed part of
Fickett's Field, the tilting-place of the Templars. Over the arch of the
gate are carved three shields of arms. In the centre are the
fleurs-de-lis and lions of Henry VIII., crowned within the garter. On
the north side are the arms of Sir Thomas Lovell, who was a bencher of
the Inn, and who rebuilt the gate in 1518. At the other side is the
shield of Lacy. It was Henry Lacy, third Earl of Lincoln, who died in
1311, by whom the lawyers are said to have been first established here.
It is certain that soon after his death the house and gardens, which
before his time had belonged in part to the Blackfriars, and which he
had obtained on their removal to the corner of the City since called
after them, were in the occupation of a society of students of the law.
An adjoining house and grounds belonged to the Bishops of Chichester:
Bishop's Court and Chichester's Rents are still local names. Richard
Sampson, Bishop in 1537, made over the estate to Suliard, a bencher of
the Inn, and his son in 1580 granted it to the lawyers. The gate is at
76, Chancery Lane, formerly New Street, and later Chancellor's Lane. In
Old Square, the first court we enter, are situated the ancient hall and
the chapel, the south side being occupied by chambers, some of them
ancient. The turret in the corner, and one at the south-western corner,
behind the hall, are very like those at St. James's Palace, and probably
date very soon after the gate. Here at No. 13 Thurloe, Oliver Cromwell's
Secretary of State, concealed a large collection of letters, which were
discovered long after and have been published. The hall is low, and
cannot be praised for any external architectural features of interest.
The brickwork, which is older by twelve years than that of the gate, is
concealed under a coat of stucco. There are three Gothic windows on each
side, and the dimensions are about 70 feet by 32 feet high. The interior
is not much more imposing, but the screen, in richly-carved oak, set up
in 1565, is handsome, and there is a picture by Hogarth of St. Paul
before Felix.

Mr. Spilsbury, the librarian, seems to have proved conclusively that the
chapel, which stands at right angles to the old hall, was a new building
when it was consecrated in 1623. There is no direct evidence that it was
designed by Inigo Jones; on the other hand, there is a record in
existence which testifies that the Society intended to employ him. John
Clarke was the builder. There was an older chapel in a ruinous
condition, which there is reason to believe had been that of the
Bishops, as it was dedicated to St. Richard of Chichester. Mr. Spilsbury
quotes one of the Harleian manuscripts, written in or about 1700, in
which Inigo is named as the architect, and Vertue's engraving of 1751
also mentions him. The chapel is elevated on an open crypt, which was
intended for a cloister. Butler's "Hudibras" speaks of the lawyers as
waiting for customers between "the pillar-rows of Lincoln's Inn." There
were three bays, divided by buttresses, each of which was surmounted by
a stone vase, a picturesque but incongruous arrangement, which was
altered in the early days of the Gothic revival, being the first of a
series of "restorations" to which the chapel has been subjected. A more
serious offence against taste was the erection of a fourth bay at the
west end, by which the old proportions are lost. It looks worst on the
outside, however, and the fine old windows of glass stained in England,
apparently after a Flemish design, are calculated to disarm criticism.
Mr. Spilsbury attributes them to Bernard and Abraham van Linge, but the
glass was made by Hall, of Fetter Lane. The monuments commemorate, among
others, Spencer Perceval, murdered in 1812, and a daughter of Lord
Brougham, who died in 1839, and was buried in the crypt. The office of
chaplain was in existence as early as the reign of Henry VI. The
preachership was instituted in 1581, and among those who held the office
were John Donne, afterwards Dean of St. Paul's, who preached the first
sermon when the chapel was new. Herring, another preacher, was made
Archbishop of York in 1743, and of Canterbury in 1747. Another
Archbishop of York, William Thomson, was preacher here, and was promoted
in 1862. The greatest of the list was, perhaps, Reginald Heber, though
he was only here for a year before he was appointed Bishop of Calcutta.

The garden extends along the east side of Lincoln's Inn Fields, the New
Square occupying the south portion, the new hall and library the middle
part, and the west part of Stone Buildings facing the northern part. A
terrace divides them, and there is a gate into the Fields, the roadway
leading north to Great Turnstile and Holborn. North of the Old Buildings
and the chapel is Stone Buildings, in a handsome classical style, with a
wing which looks into Chancery Lane near its Holborn end, and is half
concealed by low shop-fronts. The history of the Stone Buildings is
connected with that of the new hall and the library. Hardwick, one of
the last of the school which might be connected with Chambers, the
Adams, Payne, and other architects of the English Renaissance, was
employed to complete Stone Buildings, begun by Sir Robert Taylor, before
the end of the eighteenth century. Hardwick was at work in 1843, and his
initials and a date, "P. H., 1843," are on the south gable of the hall.
The new Houses of Parliament had just set the fashion for an attempt to
revive the Tudor style, and Hardwick added to it the strong feeling for
proportion which he had imbibed with his classical training. This gable
is exceedingly satisfactory, the architect having given it a dignity
wanting in most modern Gothic. It is of brick, with diagonal fretwork in
darker bricks, as in the gate tower. The library had been removed to the
Stone Buildings in 1787 from a small room south of the old hall, and,
more accommodation being required, Hardwick designed a library to adjoin
the new hall. The two looked very well, the hall being of six bays, with
a great bow-window at the north end. The interior is embellished with
heraldry in stained glass, carved oak, metal work, and fresco painting.
At the north end, over the daïs, is Mr. G. F. Watts' great picture, "The
School of Legislation." The hall is 120 feet long, 45 feet wide, and 62
feet high. The roof of oak is an excellent imitation of an open timber
roof of the fifteenth century, and is carved and gilt. The windows were
filled with heraldry by Willement, and show us the arms of the legal
luminaries who have adorned Lincoln's Inn, many of whom are also
represented by busts and painted portraits. The hall is connected with
an ample kitchen, and a series of butteries, pantries, and sculleries of
suitable size.

Adjoining the hall, the library and a reading-room, which as first built
were calculated to enhance the dignity of the hall, were soon found to
be too small. Sir Gilbert Scott was called in to add to them. The
delicate proportions of Hardwick suffered in the process, the younger
architect having evidently thought more of the details, as was the
fashion of his school. The additions were carried out in 1873, and the
library is now 130 feet long, but shuts out a large part of the view
northward through the gardens. It is believed that Ben Jonson worked
here as a bricklayer, and we are told by Fuller that he had a trowel in
his hand and a book in his pocket. Aubrey says his mother had married a
bricklayer, and that he was sent to Cambridge by a bencher who heard him
repeating Homer as he worked. Of actual members of eminence, Lincoln's
Inn numbers almost as many as the Inner Temple. Sir Thomas More among
these comes first, but his father, who was a Judge, should be named with
him. The handsome Lord Keeper Egerton, ancestor of so many eminent
holders of the Bridgwater title, belonged to Lincoln's Inn during the
reign of Elizabeth. The second Lord Protector, Richard Cromwell, was a
student here in 1647, and Lenthall, his contemporary, was Reader. A
little later Sir Matthew Hale, whose father had also been a member, was
of this inn, and became Chief Justice in 1671. The first Earl of
Mansfield was a barrister of Lincoln's Inn, and four or five Lords
Chancellor in a row, including Bathurst, Campbell, St. Leonards, and

From the antiquarian or the picturesque point of view Lincoln's Inn is
not so fascinating as the two Temples. It looks rather frowning from
Chancery Lane, where it rises against the western sky. The old hall and
the chapel are rather curious than beautiful, and cannot compare with
Middle Temple Hall or the Church of the Knights. The fine buildings
which overlook the gardens and trees of Lincoln's Inn Fields owe much to
their open situation. The Stone Buildings where they look on the green
turf of the garden are really magnificent, but they stand back from the
public gaze, and are but seldom seen by the casual visitor.


Strype says the Lane "received the name of Chancellor's Lane in the time
of Edward I. The way was so foul and miry that John le Breton, Custos of
London, and the Bishop of Chichester, kept bars with staples across it
to prevent carts from passing. The roadway was repaired in the reign of
Edward III., and acquired its present name under his successor, Richard

About half of the Lane falls within the district, being in the parish of
St. Andrew, Holborn. In it at the present time there is nothing worthy
of remark, except the gateway of Lincoln's Inn, mentioned elsewhere.
Offices, flats, and chambers in the solid modern style rise above shops.
Near the north end is the Chancery Lane Safe Deposit. On the opposite
side the old buildings of Lincoln's Inn frown defiance. Chancery Lane
has for long been the chief connection between the Strand and Holborn,
but will soon be superseded by Kingsway further west.

Near the north end are Southampton Buildings, rigidly modern, containing
the Birkbeck Bank and Chambers. They are built on the site once covered
by Southampton House, which came to William, Lord Russell, by his
marriage with the daughter and heiress of the last Lord Southampton. It
is difficult to realize now the scene thus described by J. Wykeham
Archer: "It was in passing this house, the scene of his domestic
happiness, on his way to the scaffold in Lincoln's Inn Fields, that the
fortitude of the martyr for a moment forsook him; but, overmastering his
emotion, he said, 'The bitterness of death is now past.'"

Cursitor Street was in the eighteenth century noted for its
sponging-houses, and many a reference is made to it in contemporary
literature. We are now in the Liberties of the Rolls, a parish in

The Cursitors' Office was built by Bacon, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal,
and adjoined the site of a palace of the Bishop of Chichester; and this
adjoined the Domus Conversorum, or House of Converts, wherein the rolls
of Chancery were kept, now replaced by the magnificent building of the
new Record Office. Southward is Serjeants' Inn--the building still
stands; also Clifford's Inn, once pertaining to the Inner Temple. The
hall of Clifford's Inn was converted into a court for the adjustment of
boundaries after the Fire of London.

On the west side of Chancery Lane, a few doors above Fleet Street, Izaak
Walton kept a draper's shop. These details about the southern part of
Chancery Lane are mentioned for the sake of continuity, for they do not
come within the Holborn District.

Chancery Lane was the birthplace of Lord Strafford, the residence of
Chief Justice Hyde, of the Lord Keeper Guildford, and of Jacob Tonson.

Passing on into Holborn and turning eastward, we soon perceive a row of
quaint Elizabethan gabled houses (see Frontispiece), with overhanging
upper stories and timber framework. The contrast with the modern
terra-cotta buildings on the north side of the street is striking. The
old houses are part of Staple Inn, now belonging to the Prudential
Assurance Company, whose red terra-cotta it is that forms such a
contrast across the way. It was bought by the company in 1884, and
restored a few years later by the removal of the plaster which had
concealed the picturesque beams. Still within St. Andrew's parish, we
here arrive at the City boundaries. The numbering of Holborn proper,
included in the City, begins a door or two above the old timbered
entrance, which leads to the first courtyard of Staple Inn. The
courtyard is a real backwater out of the rushing traffic. The uneven
cobble-stones, the whispering plane-trees, the worn red brick, and the
flat sashed windows, of a bygone date all combine to make a picture of
old London seldom to be found nowadays. Dr. Johnson wrote parts of
"Rasselas" while a resident here.

The way is a thoroughfare to Southampton Buildings, and continuing
onward we pass another part of the old building with a quaint clock and
small garden. Near at hand are the new buildings of the Patent Office
and the Birkbeck Bank and Chambers, already mentioned, an enormous mass
of masonry. The Inn contains a fine hall, thus mentioned in 1631:

"Staple Inn was the Inne or Hostell of the Merchants of the Staple (as
the tradition is), wherewith until I can learne better matter,
concerning the antiquity and foundation thereof, I must rest satisfied.
But for latter matters I cannot chuse but make report, and much to the
prayse and commendation of the Gentlemen of this House, that they have
bestowed great costs in new-building a fayre Hall of brick, and two
parts of the outward Courtyards, besides other lodging in the garden and
elsewhere, and have thereby made it the fayrest Inne of Chauncery in
this Universitie."

The whole of this district abounds in these one-time Inns of Chancery,
formerly attached to the Inns of Court; but those that remain are all
now diverted to other uses, and some have vanished, leaving only a name.

Further on there is Furnival Street, lately Castle Street, and so marked
in Strype's map. The Castle Public-house still recalls the older name.
Tradesmen of every kind occupy the buildings, besides which there is a
Baptist mission-house. The buildings on the east side are of the
old-fashioned style, dark brick with flat sashed windows.

Furnival Street lies within the City. The street takes its name from
Furnival's Inn, rebuilt in the early part of the nineteenth century.
This stood on the north side of Holborn, and was without the City. There
is, perhaps, less to say about it than about any of the other old Inns.
It was originally the town-house of the Lords Furnival. It was an Inn of
Chancery in Henry IV.'s reign, and was sold to Lincoln's Inn in the
reign of Elizabeth. Its most interesting associations are that Sir
Thomas More was Reader for three years, and that Charles Dickens had
chambers here previous to 1837, while "Pickwick" was running in parts.
It was rebuilt in great part in Charles I.'s reign, and entirely rebuilt
about 1818. With the exception of the hall, it was used as an hotel.
The Prudential Assurance Company's palatial building now completely
covers the site.

In Holborn, opposite to the end of Gray's Inn Road, formerly stood
Middle Row, an island of houses which formed a great obstruction to
traffic. This was removed in 1867.

The next opening on the south side is Dyers' Buildings, with name
reminiscent of some former almshouses of the Dyers' Company. Then a
small entry, with "Mercer's School" above, leads into Barnard's Inn, now
the School of the Mercers' Company. The first court is smaller than that
of Staple Inn, and lacks the whispering planes, yet it is redolent of
old London. On the south side is the little hall, the smallest of all
those of the London Inns; it is now used as a dining-hall. In the
windows is some ancient stained glass, contemporary with the
building--that is to say, about 470 years old.

The exterior of this hall, with its steeply-pitched roof, is a favourite
subject for artists. Beyond it are concrete courts, walls of glazed
white brick, and cleanly substantial buildings, which speak of the
modern appreciation of sanitation. A tablet on the wall records in
admirably concise fashion the history of the Mercers' School and its
various peregrinations until it found a home here in 1894. Before being
bought by the Mercers' Company, the Inn had been let as residential
chambers. It was also an Inn of Chancery, and belonged to Gray's Inn. It
was formerly called Mackworth's Inn, being the property of Dr. John
Mackworth, Dean of Lincoln. It was next occupied by a man named Barnard,
when it was converted into an Inn of Chancery.

The further court is bounded on the east side by one of the few very old
buildings left in London. This was formerly the White Horse Inn, but is
now also part of the Mercers' School buildings.

Timbs quotes from Lord Eldon's "Anecdote Book," 1776, in which Lord
Eldon says he came to the White Horse Inn when he left school, and here
met his brother, Lord Stowell, who took him to see the play at Drury
Lane, where "Lowe played Jobson in the farce, and Miss Pope played Nell.
When we came out of the house it rained hard. There were then few
hackney coaches, and we both got into one sedan-chair. Turning out of
Fleet Street into Fetter Lane there was a sort of contest between our
chairmen and some persons who were coming up Fleet Street.... In the
struggle the sedan-chair was overset, with us in it."

The white boundary wall of the Mercers' School replaces the old wall of
the noted Swan Distillery (now rebuilt). This distillery was an object
of attack in the Gordon Riots, partly, perhaps, because of its stores,
and partly because its owner was a Roman Catholic. It was looted, and
the liquor ran down in the streets, where men and women drank themselves
mad. Dickens has thus described the riot scene in "Barnaby Rudge":

    "The gutters of the street and every crack and fissure in the
    stones ran with scorching spirit, which being dammed up by busy
    hands overflowed the road and pavement, and formed a great pool
    into which the people dropped down dead by dozens. They lay in
    heaps all round this fearful pond, husbands and wives, fathers and
    sons, mothers and daughters, women with children in their arms and
    babies at their breasts, and drank until they died. While some
    stooped their lips to the brink and never raised their heads again,
    others sprang up from their fiery draught, and danced half in a mad
    triumph, and half in the agony of suffocation, until they fell and
    steeped their corpses in the liquor that had killed them."

Both the Holborn and Fleet Street ends of Fetter Lane were for more than
two centuries places of execution. Some have derived the name from the
fetters of criminals, and others from "fewtors," disorderly and idle
persons, a corruption of "defaytors," or defaulters; while the most
probable derivation is that from the "fetters" or rests on the
breastplates of the knights who jousted in Fickett's Field adjoining.

An interesting Moravian Chapel has an entry on the east side of Fetter
Lane. This has memories of Baxter, Wesley, and Whitefield. It was bought
by the Moravians in 1738, and was then associated with the name of
Count Zinzendorf. It was attacked and dismantled in the riots. Dryden is
supposed to have lived in Fetter Lane, but Hutton, in "Literary
Landmarks," says the only evidence of such occupation was a curious
stone, existing as late as 1885, in the wall of No. 16, over
Fleur-de-Lys Court, stating:

        "Here lived
        John Dryden,
          Ye Poet.
    Born 1631--Died 1700.
       Glorious John!"

But he adds there is no record when or by whom the stone was placed.
Otway is said to have lived opposite, and quarrelled with his
illustrious neighbour in verse. In any case, Fleur-de-Lys Court lies
outside the boundaries of the parish we are now considering. It may,
however, be mentioned that the woman Elizabeth Brownrigg, who so foully
tortured her apprentices, committed her atrocities in this court. Praise
God Barebones was at one time a resident in the Lane, and in the same
house his brother, Damned Barebones. The house was afterwards bought by
the Royal Society, of which Sir Isaac Newton was then President, and the
Royal Society meetings were held here until 1782.

Returning to Holborn, from whence we have deviated, we come across
Bartlett's Buildings, described by Strype as a very handsome, spacious
place very well inhabited.

Thavie's Inn bears the name of the vanished Inn of Chancery. Here was
originally the house of an armourer called John Thavie, who, by will
dated 1348, devised it with three shops for the repair and maintenance
of St. Andrew's Church. It was bought for an Inn of Chancery by
Lincoln's Inn in the reign of Edward III. It is curious how persistently
the old names have adhered to these places. It was sold by Lincoln's Inn
in 1771, and afterwards burnt down. The houses here are chiefly
inhabited by jewellers, opticians, and earthenware merchants. There are
a couple of private hotels.

In St. Andrew's Street are the Rectory and Court-house, rebuilt from the
designs of S. S. Teulon in yellow brick. The buildings form a
quadrangle, with a wall and one side of the church enclosing a small
garden. In the Court-house is a handsome oak overmantle, black with age,
which was brought here from the old Court-house in St. Andrew's Court,
pulled down in the construction of St. Andrew's Street and Holborn
Viaduct in 1869.

Holborn Circus was formed in connection with the approaches to the
Viaduct. In the centre there is an equestrian statue of the Prince
Consort in bronze, by C. Bacon. This was presented by an anonymous
donor, and the Corporation voted £2,000 for erecting a suitable pedestal
for it. The whole was put up in 1874, two years after the completion of
the Circus. On the north and south sides are bas-reliefs, and on the
east and west statues of draped female figures seated.

Holborn Viaduct was finished in 1869. It is 1,400 feet in length, and is
carried by a series of arches over the streets in the valleys below. The
main arch is over Farringdon Road, the bed of the Fleet or Holbourne
Stream, and is supported by polished granite columns of immense
solidity. At the four corners of this there are four buildings enclosing
staircases communicating with the lower level, and in niches are
respectively statues of Sir William Walworth, Sir Hugh Myddleton, Sir
Thomas Gresham, and Sir Henry Fitz-Alwyn, with dates of birth and death.
On the parapets of the Viaduct are four erect draped female figures,
representative of Fine Art, Science, Agriculture, and Commerce. Holborn
Viaduct is a favourite locality for bicycle shops.

The City Temple (Congregational) and St. Andrew's Church are near
neighbours, and conspicuous objects on the Viaduct just above Shoe Lane.
The City Temple is a very solid mass of masonry with a cupola and a
frontage of two stories in two orders of columns.

The parish of St. Andrew was formerly of much greater extent than at
present, embracing not only Hatton Garden, Saffron Hill, but also St.
George the Martyr, these are now separate parishes.

The original Church of St. Andrew was of great antiquity. Malcolm, who
gives a very full account of it in "Londinium Redivivum," says that it
was given "very many centuries past" to the Dean and Chapter of St.
Paul's, and the Abbot and Convent of St. Saviour, Bermondsey, by
Gladerinus, a priest, on condition that the Abbot and Convent paid the
Dean and the Chapter 12s. per annum. We also hear that there was a
grammar-school attached to it, one of Henry VI.'s foundations, and that
there had been previously an alien priory, a cell to the House of Cluny,
suppressed by Henry V. The church continued in a flourishing condition.
Various chantries were bestowed upon it from time to time, and in the
will of the Rector, date 1447, it is stated that there were four altars
within the church. In Henry VIII.'s time the principals of the four inns
or houses in the parish paid a mark apiece to the church, apparently for
the maintenance of a chantry priest. In Elizabeth's reign the tombs were
despoiled: the churchwardens sold the brasses that had so far escaped
destruction, and proceeded to demolish the monuments, until an order
from the Queen put a stop to this vandalism.

In 1665 Stillingfleet (Bishop of Worcester) was made Rector. The church
was rebuilt by Wren in 1686 "in a neat, plain manner." The ancient tower
remained, and was recased in 1704. The building is large, light, and
airy, and is in the florid, handsome style we are accustomed to
associate with Wren. At the west end is a fine late-pointed arch,
communicating with the tower, in which there is a similar window. This
arch was blocked up and hidden by Wren, but was re-opened by the late
Rector, the Rev. Henry Blunt, who also thoroughly restored and renovated
the building some thirty years ago.

The most interesting of the interior fittings is a porphyry altar,
placed by Sacheverell, who was Rector from 1713 to 1724, and who is
buried beneath it. A marble font, at which Disraeli was baptized at the
age of twelve, is also interesting, and the pulpit of richly-carved
wood, attributed to Grinling Gibbons, is very handsome. On the west wall
is a marble slab, in memory of William Marsden, M.D., founder of the
Royal Free and Cancer Hospitals. It was put up by the Cordwainers'
Company in 1901.

In the tower are many monuments of antiquity, but none to recall the
memory of anyone notable. The church stood in a very commanding
situation until the building of the Viaduct, which passes on a higher
level, giving the paved yard in front the appearance of having been

On this side of the church there is a large bas-relief of the Last
Judgment, without date. This was a favourite subject in the seventeenth
century, and similar specimens, though not so fine, and differing in
treatment, still exist elsewhere (see p. 17).

Malcolm mentions a house next the White Hart, with land behind it, worth
5s. per annum, called "Church Acre," and in the reign of Henry VII. the
priest was fined 4d. for driving across the churchyard to the Rectory.
In the twenty-fifth year of Elizabeth's reign there was a great heap of
skulls and bones that lay "unseemly and offensive" at the east end of
the church. The register records the burial here, on August 28, 1770, of
"William Chatterton," presumably Thomas Chatterton, as the date accords.
A later hand has added the words "the poet."

Wriothesley, Henry VIII.'s Chancellor, was buried in St. Andrew's
churchyard. Timbs says that this church has been called the "Poets'
Church," for, besides the above, John Webster, dramatic poet, is said to
have been parish clerk here, though the register does not confirm it.
Robert Savage was christened here January 18, 1696.

There is also a monument to Emery, the comedian, and Neale, another
poet, was buried in the churchyard. But these records combined make but
poor claim to such a proud title. The ground on which Chatterton was
buried has now utterly vanished, having been covered first by the
Farringdon Market, and later by great warehouses.

When the Holborn Viaduct was built, a large piece of the churchyard was
cut off, and the human remains thus disinterred were reburied in the
City cemetery at Ilford, Essex.

The earliest mention of Shoe Lane is in a writ of Edward II., when it is
denominated "Scolane in the ward without Ludgate." In the seventeenth
century we read of a noted cockpit which was established here.

Gunpowder Alley, which ran out of this Lane, was the residence of
Lovelace, the poet, and of Lilly, the astrologer. The former died here
of absolute want in 1658. His well-known lines,

    "I could not love thee, dear, so much,
      Loved I not honour more,"

have made his fame more enduring than that of many men of greater
poetical merit. In Shoe Lane lived also Florio, the compiler of our
first Italian Dictionary. Coger's Hall in Shoe Lane attained some
celebrity in the latter half of the eighteenth century. It was
established for the purpose of debate, and, among others, O'Connell,
Wilkes, and Curran, met here to discuss the political questions of the
day. On the west side of Shoe Lane was Bangor Court, reminiscent of the
Palace or Inn of the Bishops of Bangor. This was a very picturesque old
house, if the prints still existing are to be trusted, and parts of it
survived even so late as 1828. It was mentioned in the Patent Rolls so
early as Edward III.'s reign. Another old gabled house, called Oldbourne
Hall, was on the east side of the street, but this, even in Stow's time,
had fallen from its high estate and descended to the degradation of
division into tenements.

Opposite St. Andrew's Church was formerly Scrope's Inn. According to

    "This house was sometime letten out to sergeants-at-the-law, as
    appeareth, and was found by inquisition taken in the Guildhall of
    London, before William Purchase, mayor, and escheator for the king,
    Henry VII., in the 14th of his reign, after the death of John Lord
    Scrope, that he died deceased in his demesne of fee, by the
    feoffment of Guy Fairfax, knight, one of the king's justices, made
    in the 9th of the same king, unto the said John Scrope, knight,
    Lord Scrope of Bolton, and Robert Wingfield, esquire, of one house
    or tenement late called Sergeants' Inn, situate against the Church
    of St. Andrew in Oldbourne, in the city of London, with two gardens
    and two messuages to the same tenement belonging to the said city,
    to hold in burgage, valued by the year in all reprises ten
    shillings" (Thomas's edit. Stow, p. 144).

This, as may be judged from the above, was not a regular Inn of
Chancery, but appertained to Serjeants' Inn.

Crossing Holborn Circus to the north side, we come into the Liberty of
Saffron Hill, Hatton Garden, and Ely Rents. This Liberty, is coterminous
with the parish of St. Peter, Saffron Hill. Hatton Garden derives its
name from the family of Hatton, who for many years held possession of
house and grounds in the vicinity of Ely Place, having settled upon the
Bishops of Ely like parasites, and grown rich by extortion from their
unwilling hosts. The district was separated from St. Andrew's in 1832,
and became an independent ecclesiastical parish seven years later. As
the Liberty of Saffron Hill, Hatton Garden, and Ely Rents, it has a very
ancient history. It was cut in two by a recent Boundary Commission, and
put half in Holborn and half in Finsbury Borough Councils.

Ely Place was built in 1773 on the site of the Palace of the Bishops of
Ely. The earliest notice of the See in connection with this spot is in
the thirteenth century, when Kirkby, who died in office in 1290,
bequeathed to his official successors a messuage and nine cottages in
Holborn. A succeeding Bishop, probably William de Luda, built a chapel
dedicated to St. Ethelreda, and Hotham, who died in 1336, added a
garden, orchard, and vineyard. Thomas Arundel restored the chapel, and
built a large gate-house facing Holborn. The episcopal dwelling steadily
rose in magnificence and size. It boasted noble residents besides the
Bishops, for John of Gaunt died here in 1399, having probably been
hospitably taken in after the burning of his own palace at the Savoy.
The strawberries of Ely Garden were famous, and Shakespeare makes
reference to them, thus following closely Holinshed. But in the reign of
Queen Elizabeth a blight fell on the Bishops. It began with the envious
desires of Sir Christopher Hatton, who, by reason of his dancing and
courtly tricks, had won the susceptible Queen's fancy and been made Lord
Chancellor. He settled down on Ely Place, taking the gate-house as his
residence, excepting the two rooms reserved as cells and the lodge. He
held also part of the garden on a lease of twenty-one years, and the
nominal rent he had to pay was a red rose, ten loads of hay, and £10 per
annum. The Bishop had the right of passing through the gate-house, of
walking in his own garden, and of gathering twenty bushels of roses
yearly. Hatton spent much money (borrowed from the Queen) in improving
and beautifying the estate, which pleased him so well that he farther
petitioned the Queen to grant him the whole property. The poor, ill-used
Bishop protested, but was sternly repressed, and the only concession he
could obtain was the right to buy back the estate if he could at any
time repay Hatton the sums which had been spent on it. But Hatton did
not remain unpunished. The Queen, a hard creditor, demanded the immense
sums which she had lent to him, and it is said he died of a broken
heart, crushed at being unable to repay them. His nephew Newport, who
took the name of Hatton, was, however, allowed to succeed him. The widow
of this second Hatton married Sir Edward Coke, the ceremony being
performed in St. Andrew's Church. The Bishops' and the Hattons' rights
of property seem to have been somewhat involved, for after the death of
this widow the Bishops returned, and in the beginning of the eighteenth
century the Hatton property was saddled with an annual rent-charge of
£100 payable to the See; and, in 1772, when, on the death of the last
Hatton heir, the property fell to the Crown, the See was paid £200 per
annum, and given a house in Dover Street, Piccadilly, in lieu of Ely
Place. Malcolm says: "When a more convenient Excise Office was lately
wanted, the ground on which Ely House stood was thought of for it, but
its situation was objected to. When an intention was formed of removing
the Fleet Prison, Ely House was judged proper on account of the quantity
of ground about it, but the neighbouring inhabitants in Hatton Garden
petitioned against the prison being built there. A scheme is now (1773)
said to be in agitation for converting it into a Stamp Office, that
business being at present carried on in chambers in Lincoln's Inn." So
much for the history and ownership of a place which played a
considerable part in London history. The fabric itself must have been
very magnificent. There was a venerable hall 74 feet long, with six
Gothic windows. At Ely House were held magnificent feasts by the
Serjeants-at-Law, one of which continued for five days, and was honoured
on the first day by the presence of Henry VIII. and Katherine of Aragon.
Stow's account of this festival is perhaps worth quoting:

    "It were tedious to set down the preparation of fish, flesh, and
    other victuals spent in this feast, and would seem almost
    incredible, and, as to me it seemeth, wanted little of a feast at a
    coronation; nevertheless, a little I will touch, for declaration of
    the charge of prices. There were brought to the slaughter-house
    twenty-four great beefs at twenty-six shillings and eightpence the
    piece from the shambles, one carcass of an ox at twenty-four
    shillings, one hundred fat muttons two shillings and tenpence the
    piece, fifty-two great veals at four shillings and eightpence the
    piece, thirty-four porks three shillings and eightpence the piece,
    ninety-one pigs sixpence the piece, capons of geese, of one
    poulterer (for they had three), ten dozens at twenty-pence the
    piece, capons of Kent nine dozens and six at twelvepence the piece,
    capons coarse nineteen dozen at sixpence the piece, cocks of grose
    seven dozen and nine at eightpence the piece, cocks coarse fourteen
    dozen and eight at threepence the piece, pullets, the best,
    twopence halfpenny, other pullets twopence, pigeons thirty-seven
    dozen at tenpence the dozen, swans fourteen dozen, larks three
    hundred and forty dozen at fivepence the dozen, &c. Edward Nevill
    was seneschal or steward, Thomas Ratcliffe, comptroller, Thomas
    Wildon, clerk of the Kitchen" (Thomas's edit. Stow, pp. 144, 145).

During the Civil War the house was used both as a hospital and a prison.
Great part of it was demolished during the imprisonment of Bishop Wren
by the Commonwealth, and some of the surrounding streets were built on
the site of the garden. Vine Street, Hatton Garden, Saffron Hill, of
which the lower end was once Field Lane, carry their origin in their
names. Evelyn, writing June 7, 1659, says that he came to see the
"foundations now laying for a long streete and buildings on Hatton
Garden, designed for a little towne, lately an ample garden." The
chapel, dedicated to St. Ethelreda, now alone remains. It was for a time
held by a Welsh Episcopalian congregation, but in 1874 was obtained by
Roman Catholics, the Welsh congregation passing on to St. Benet's, on
St. Benet's Hill in Thames Street. The chapel stands back from the
street, and is faced by a stone wall and arched porch surmounted by a
cross. This stonework is all modern. An entrance immediately facing the
porch leads into the crypt, which is picturesque with old stone walls
and heavily-timbered roof. This is by far the older part of the
building, the chapel above being a rebuilding on the same foundation.
The crypt probably dates back from the first foundation of De Luda, and
the chapel from the restoration of Arundel. When the Roman Catholics
came into possession, the late Sir Gilbert Scott was employed in a
thorough restoration, during which a heavy stone bowl, about the size of
a small font, was dug up. It is of granite, and is supposed to be of
considerably more ancient date than the fabric itself, being pre-Saxon.
From the size, it is improbable it was used as a font, being more likely
a holy-water stoup, for which purpose it is now employed. Having been
placed on a fitting shaft, it stands outside the entrance to the church,
on the south side, in the cloister, which is probably on the site of the
ancient cloister. There is a simple Early English porch, beautifully
proportioned with mouldings of the period. Within the church corresponds
in shape with the crypt; two magnificent windows east and west are
worthy of a much larger building. Those on each side are of recent date,
having been reconstructed from a filled-in window on the south side of
the chancel. The reliquary contains a great treasure--a portion of the
hand of St. Ethelreda, which member, having been taken from the chapel,
after many wanderings, fell into the possession of a convent of nuns,
who refused to give it up. Finally judgment was given to the effect that
the nuns should retain a portion, while the part of a finger was granted
to the church, which was accordingly done. It was this saint who gave
rise to our word "tawdry." She was popularly known as St. Awdrey, and
strings of beads sold in her name at fairs, etc., came to be made of any
worthless glass or rubbish, and were called tawdry. The crypt is used as
a regular church, and is filled with seats; service is held here as well
as above.

The timber beams in the roof are now (1903) undergoing thorough
restoration, and the outer walls of the chapel are being repointed.

From this quaint relic of past times, rich with the indefinable
attraction which nothing but a history of centuries can give, we pass
out into Ely Place. This is a quiet cul-de-sac composed almost wholly of
the offices of business men, solicitors, etc. At the north end, beyond
the chapel, the old houses are down, and new ones will be erected in
their place. At the end a small watchman's lodge stands on the spot
where stood the Bishops' Gateway, in which the parasite, Sir Christopher
Hatton, first fastened on his host.

Hatton Garden is a wide thoroughfare with some modern offices and many
older houses, with bracketed doorways and carved woodwork. It has long
been associated with the diamond merchant's trade, and now diamond
merchants occupy quite half of the offices. It is also the centre of the
gold and silver trade. The City Orthopædic Hospital is on the east

In Charles Street is the Bleeding Heart public-house, which derives its
name from an old religious sign, the Pierced Heart of the Virgin. This
is close to Bleeding Heart Yard, referred to in "Little Dorrit," and
easily recalled by any reader of Dickens.

In Cross Street there is an old charity school, with stuccoed figures of
a charity boy and girl on the frontage. The Caledonian School was
formerly in this street; it was removed to its present situation in
1828. Whiston, friend of Sir Isaac Newton, lived here, and here Edward
Irving first displayed his powers of preaching.

Kirkby Street recalls what has already been said about the first Bishop
of Ely, who purchased land whereon his successors should build a palace.
It is a broad street, and in times past was a place of residence for
well-to-do people.

The lower part of Saffron Hill was known at first as Field Lane, and is
described by Strype as "narrow and mean, full of Butchers and Tripe
Dressers, because the Ditch runs at the back of their Slaughter houses,
and carries away the filth." He also says that Saffron Hill is a place
of small account, "both as to buildings and inhabitants, and pestered
with small and ordinary alleys and courts taken up by the meaner sort of
people, especially to the east side into the Town. The Ditch separates
the parish from St. John, Clerkenwell, and over this Ditch most of the
alleys have a small boarded bridge."

We can easily picture it, the courts swarming with thieves and rogues
who slipped from justice by this back-way, which made the place a kind
of warren with endless ramifications and outlets. All this district is
strongly associated with the stories of Dickens, who mentions Saffron
Hill in "Oliver Twist," not much to its credit. In later times Italian
organ-grinders and ice-cream vendors had a special predilection for the
place, and did not add to its reputation. Curiously enough, the resident
population of the neighbourhood are now almost wholly British, with very
few Italians, as the majority of the foreigners have gone to join the
colony just outside the Liberty, in Eyre Street Hill, Skinner's Street,
etc. Within quite recent times the clergyman of the parish dare only go
to visit these parishioners accompanied by two policemen in plain
clothes. Now the lower half is a hive of industry, and is lined by great
business houses. Further north, on the east side, the dwellings are
still poor and squalid, but on one side a great part of the street has
been demolished to make way for a Board school, built in a way
immeasurably superior to the usual Board school style. Opposite is the
Church of St. Peter, which is an early work of Sir Charles Barry. This
is in light stone, in the Perpendicular style, and has two western
towers. It was built at the time of the separation of the district,
about 1832.

In Hatton Wall an old yard bore the name of Hat in Tun, which was
interesting as showing the derivation of the word. Strype mentions in
this street a very old inn, called the Bull Inn. The part of Hatton Wall
to the west of Hatton Garden was known as Vine Street, and here there
was "a steep descent into the Ditch, where there is a bridge that
leadeth to Clerkenwell Green" (Strype). In Hatton Yard Mr. Fogg,
Dickens' magistrate, presided over a police-court.

Leather Lane is called by Strype "Lither" Lane. Even in his day he
reviles it as of no reputation, and this character it retains. It is one
of the open street markets of London, lined with barrows and coster
stalls, and abounding in low public-houses. The White Hart, the King's
Head, and the Nag's Head, are mentioned by Strype, and these names
survive amid innumerable others. At the south end a house with
overhanging stories remains; this curtails the already narrow space
across the Lane.

On the west of Leather Lane, Baldwin's Buildings and Portpool Lane open
out. The former consists largely of workmen's model dwellings,
comfortable and convenient within, but with the peculiarly depressing
exteriors of the utilitarian style. Further north these give way to
warehouses, breweries, and manufactories. East of its southern end in
Holborn were two old inns, the Old Bell and Black Bull. The former was a
coaching inn of great celebrity in its day, and picturesque wooden
balconies surrounded its inner courtyard. It has now been transformed
into a modern public-house. It was the last of the old galleried inns of
London. The Black Bull was also of considerable age. Its courtyard has
been converted into dwellings.

Brooke Street takes its name from Brooke Market, established here by
Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke, but demolished a hundred years ago. It was
in Brooke Street, in a house on the west side, that poor Chatterton
committed suicide. St. Alban's Church is an unpretentious building at
the north end. An inscription over the north door tells us that it was
erected to be free for ever to the poor by one of the humble stewards of
God's mercies, with date 1860. Within we learn that this benefactor was
the first Baron Addington. The church is well known for its ritualistic

Portpool Lane, marked in Strype's plan Perpoole, is the reminiscence of
an ancient manor of that name. The part of Clerkenwell Road bounding
this district to the north was formerly called by the appropriate name
of Liquorpond Street. In it there is a Roman Catholic Church of St.
Peter, built in 1863. The interior is very ornate. Just here, where Back
Hill and Ray Street meet, was Hockley Hole, a famous place of
entertainment for bull and bear baiting, and other cruel sports that
delighted the brutal taste of the eighteenth century. One of the
proprietors, named Christopher Preston, fell into his own bear-pit, and
was devoured, a form of sport that doubtless did not appeal to him.
Hockley Hole was noted for a particular breed of bull-dogs. The actual
site of the sports is in the adjoining parish, but the name occurring
here justifies some comment. Hockley in the Hole is referred to by Ben
Jonson, Steele, Fielding, and others. It was abolished soon after 1728.

It was in a sponging-house in Eyre Street that Morland, the painter,
died. In the part of Gray's Inn Road to the north of Clerkenwell Road
formerly stood Stafford's Almshouses, founded in 1652.

At present Rosebery Avenue, driven through slumland, justifies its
pleasant-sounding name, being a wide, sweeping, tree-lined road.
Workmen's model dwellings rise on either side.

The northern part of Gray's Inn Road falls within the parish of St.
Pancras. The part which lies to the north of Theobald's Road was
formerly called Gray's Inn Lane. In 1879-80 the east side was pulled
down, and the line of houses set back in the rebuilding. These consists
of uninteresting buildings, with small shops on the ground-floor. On the
west there are the worn bricks of Gray's Inn. At the corner of
Clerkenwell Road is the Holborn Town-Hall, an imposing, well-built
edifice of brick and stone, with square clock-tower, surmounted by a
smaller octagonal tower and dome. The date is 1878.

Gray's Inn Road is familiar to all readers of Dickens and Fielding, from
frequent references in their novels. John Hampden took lodgings here in
1640, in order to be near Pym, at a time when the struggle between the
King and Parliament in regard to the question of ship money was at its
sharpest. James Shirley, the dramatic poet of the seventeenth century,
is also said to have lived here, but was probably in Gray's Inn itself.



An archway on the north side of Holborn, nearly opposite Chancery Lane,
admits us to Gray's Inn. It is not the original entrance, which was
round the corner in Portpool Lane, now called Gray's Inn Road. The Lords
Grey of Wilton obtained the Manor of Portpool at some remote period
from the Canon of St. Paul's, who held it; we have no direct evidence as
to whether the Canon had a house on the spot, but there are some traces
of a chapel and a chaplain. In 1315 Lord Grey gave some land in trust to
the Canons of St. Bartholomew to endow the chaplain in his mansion of
Portpool. From its situation near London, the ready access both to the
City and the country, with the fine views northward towards Hampstead
and Highgate, this must have been a more desirable place of residence
than even the neighbouring manor of the Bishop of Ely. It consisted in
the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries of a gate-house which faced
eastward, the chapel close to it on the left, and various other
buildings, some of them apparently forming separate houses, with
spacious gardens and a windmill. Here the Lords Grey lived for a couple
of centuries in great state, apparently letting or lending the smaller
houses to tenants or retainers--it would seem not unlikely to lawyers or
students of the law, possibly their own men of business. This is no mere
theory or guesswork. There has been too much conjecture about the early
history of Gray's Inn, and the sober-minded topographer is warned off at
the outset by a number of inconsistent assertions as to the early
existence here of a school of law. Dugdale tells us that the manor was
granted to the Priory of Shene in the reign of Henry VII., and after the
dissolution it was rented by a society of students of the law. A
fictitious list of Readers goes back to the reign of Edward III., but
will not bear critical examination. The lawyers paid a rent of £6 13s.
4d. to Henry VIII., and this charge passed into private hands by grant
of Charles II. The lawyers bought it from the heir of the first grantee,
and since 1733 have enjoyed the Inn rent-free. The opening into Holborn
was made on the purchase by the society, in 1594, of the Hart on the
Hoop, which then belonged to Fulwood, whose name is commemorated by
Fulwood's Rents, now nearly wiped out by a station of the Central London

The chief entrance is by the archway in Holborn. In 1867 the old brick
arch was beplastered, obliterating a reminiscence of Dickens, who makes
David Copperfield and Dora lodge over it. A narrow road leads into South
Square, the north side of which is formed by the hall and library. The
houses round the east and south sides are of uniform design, with
handsome doorways. The hall has been much "restored," but was originally
built in the reign of Queen Mary. It has a modern Gothic porch, carved
with the griffin, which forms the coat armour of the Inn.

The interior of the hall has been renovated, having been much injured
in 1828, when the exterior was covered with stucco. The brick front is
again visible, and the panelling and roof within are of carved oak.
There are coats of arms in the windows, and on the walls hang portraits
of Charles I., Charles II., James II., and the two Bacons--father and
son--Sir Nicholas and Viscount St. Albans, who are the chief legal
luminaries of the "ancient and honourable society." The library, modern,
adjoins on the east, and contains a collection of important records and
printed books on law.

Passing through an arch at the western end of the hall, we enter Gray's
Inn Square, formerly Chapel Court. The chapel is close to the library on
the north side, and opens into Gray's Inn Square. This court was
probably open on the north side to the fields before the reign of
Charles II. Some of the buildings surrounding it are in a good Queen
Anne style, and some have the cross-mullioned windows of a still earlier
period. The exterior of the chapel is covered with stucco. The interior,
which is very small--there being only seating for a congregation of
about one hundred--was carefully examined three years ago, when a
proposal was made to build a new chapel. The Gothic windows, walled up
by the library to the south, came to light, and there seems some
probability that the building is mainly that of Lord Grey's chantry of
1315. Some improvements and repairs to the interior have saved the
little chapel for the present. There are no monuments visible, but four
Archbishops of Canterbury who were connected with the Inn are
commemorated in the east window. They were Whitgift (1583-1604), Juxon
(1660-1663), Wake (1715-1737), Laud (1633-1645), and in the centre
Becket, whose only claim to be in such a goodly company appears to be
that a window "gloriously painted," with the figure of St. Thomas of
London, was destroyed by Edward Hall, the Reader, in 1539, according to
the King's injunctions. A subsequent window, showing our Lord on the
Mount, had long disappeared, and some heraldry was all the east end of
the chapel could boast.

The gardens open by a handsome gate of wrought iron into Field Court,
which is westward of Gray's Inn Square. Here Bacon planted the trees,
and enjoyed the view northward, then all open, from a summer-house which
was only removed about 1754. Bacon lived in Coney Court, destroyed by
fire in 1678, which looked on the garden.

Among the names of eminent men which occur to the memory in Gray's Inn,
we must mention a tradition which makes Chief Justice Gascoigne a
student here. More real is Thomas Cromwell, the terrible Vicar-General
of Henry VIII. Sir Thomas Gresham was a member of the Inn, as was his
contemporary Camden, the antiquary. Lord Burghley and his second son,
Robert, Earl of Salisbury, were both members, it is said, but certainly
Burghley. The list of casual inhabitants is almost inexhaustible, being
swelled by the heroes of many novels, actually or entirely fictitious.
Shakespeare was said to have played in the hall. Bradshaw, who presided
at the trial of Charles I., was a bencher; and so was Holt, the Chief
Justice of William III. More eminent than either, perhaps, was Sir
Samuel Romilly, whose sad death in 1818 caused universal regret. Pepys
mentions the walks, and observed the fashionable beauties after church
one Sunday in May, 1662. Sir Roger de Coverley is placed on the terrace
by Addison, and both Dryden, Shadwell, and other old dramatists speak of
the gardens. It was at Gray's Inn Gate--the old gate into Portpool
Lane--that Jacob Tonson, the great bookseller and publisher of the
eighteenth century, had his shop.

The district northward of Gray's Inn needs very little comment. Great
St. James Street is picturesque, with eighteenth-century doorways and
carved brackets; the tenants of the houses are nearly all solicitors.
Little St. James Street is insignificant and diversified by mews. In
Strype's plan the rectangle formed by these two streets is marked
"Bowling Green"; in one corner is "the Cockpitt."

Bedford Row is a very quiet, broad thoroughfare lined by
eighteenth-century houses of considerable height and size, which for the
most part still retain their noble staircases and well-proportioned
rooms. Nearly every house is cut up into chambers. Abernethy, the great
surgeon, formerly lived in this street, and Addington, Viscount
Sidmouth, was born here; Bishop Warburton, the learned theologian and
writer of the eighteenth century, and Elizabeth, daughter of Oliver
Cromwell, are also said to have been among the residents. Ralph, the
author of "Publick Buildings," admired it prodigiously, naming it one of
the finest streets in London.

Red Lion Square took its name from a very well-known tavern in Holborn,
one of the largest and most notable of the old inns. There is a modern
successor, a Red Lion public-house, at the corner of Red Lion Street. To
the ancient inn the bodies of the regicides were brought the night
before they were dragged on hurdles to be exposed at Tyburn. This gave
rise to a tradition, which still haunts the spot, that some of these
men, including Cromwell, were buried in the Square, and that dummy
bodies were substituted to undergo the ignominy at Tyburn.

There was for many years in the centre of the Square an obelisk with the
inscription, "Obtusum Obtusioris Ingenii Monumentum Quid me respicis
viator? Vade." And an attempt has been made to read the mysterious
inscription as a Cromwellian epitaph. Pennant says that in his time the
obelisk had recently vanished, which gives the date of destruction about

The Square was built about 1698, and is curiously laid out, with streets
running diagonally from the corners as well as rectangularly from the
sides. It had formerly a watch-house at each corner, as well as the
obelisk in the centre. It is at present lined by brick houses of uniform
aspect and unequal heights, with here and there a conspicuously modern
building. The centre is laid out as a public garden, and forms a green
and pleasant oasis in a very poor district.

St. John the Evangelist's Church, of red brick, designed by Pearson,
stands at the south-west corner. It was built 1876-1878, and is very
conspicuous, with two pointed towers and a handsome, deeply-recessed
east window. Next door is the clergy house. There are in the Square
various associations and societies, including the Mendicity Society,
Indigent Blind Visiting Society, St. Paul's Hospital, and others. Milton
had a house which overlooked Red Lion Fields, the site of the Square,
and Jonas Hanway, traveller and philanthropist, also a voluminous
writer, but who will be best remembered as the first man in England to
carry an umbrella, died here in 1786. Sharon Turner, historian, came
here after his marriage in 1795, and Lord Chief Justice Raymond, who
held his high office in the reign of the first and second Georges, lived
in the Square. But a later association will, perhaps, be more
interesting to most people: for about three years previously to 1859 Sir
E. Burne-Jones and William Morris lived in rooms at No. 17, before
either was married.

Of the surrounding streets, those at the south-east and north-east
angles are the most quaint. An old house with red tiles stands at each
corner, and the remaining houses, though not so picturesque, are of
ancient date. The streets are mere flagged passages lined by open stalls
and little shops.

Kingsgate Street is so named because it had a gate at the end through
which the King used to pass to Newmarket. It is mentioned by Pepys, who
under date March 8, 1669, records that the King's coach was upset here,
throwing out Charles himself, the Dukes of York and Monmouth, and Prince
Rupert, who were "all dirt, but no hurt." Near the end of this street in
Holborn was the Vine Inn, important as having kept alive the only
reference in Domesday Book to this district, "a vineyard in Holborn"
belonging to the Crown.

Part of Theobald's Road was once King's Way; it was the direct route to
King James I.'s hunting-lodge, Theobald's, in Hertfordshire. It was in
this part, at what is now 22, Theobald's Road, that Benjamin Disraeli is
supposed to have been born; but many other places in the neighbourhood
also claim to be his birthplace, though not with so much authority.
There was a cockpit in this Road in the eighteenth century.

We are now in the diminutive parish of St. George the Martyr, carved out
of that of St. Andrew's, Holborn, and originally including Red Lion
Square and the streets adjacent.

Gloucester Street was named after Queen Anne's sickly little son, the
only one of her seventeen children who survived infancy. Robert Nelson,
author of "Fasts and Festivals," was at one time a resident. The street
is narrow and dirty, lined by old brick houses; here and there is a
carved doorway with brackets, showing that, like most streets in the
vicinity, it was better built than now inhabited, and it is probable
that where sickly children now sprawl on doorsteps stately ladies in
hoops and silken skirts once stepped forth. St. George's National
Schools are here, and a public-house with the odd name of Hole in the
Wall, a name adopted by Mr. Morrison in his recent novel about Wapping.

Queen Square was built in Queen Anne's reign, and named in her honour,
but it is a statue of Queen Charlotte that stands beneath the
plane-trees in the centre.

When it was first built, much eulogy was bestowed upon it, because of
the beautiful view to the Hampstead and Highgate Hills, for which reason
the north side was left open; it is still open, but the prospect it
commands is only the further side of Guilford Street. The Square is a
favourite place for charitable institutions. On the east side was, until
1902, a College for Working Men and Women, designed to aid by evening
classes the studies of those who are busy all day.

The Hospital for Paralysis and Epilepsy is on the same side. This was
instituted in 1859, but the present building was in 1885 opened by the
Prince of Wales, and is a memorial to the Duke of Albany, and a very
splendid memorial it is. The building, which occupies a very large space
along the side of the Square, is ornately built of red brick and
terra-cotta, with handsome balconies and a porch of the latter material.
There are four wards for men and five for women, with two small surgical
wards; also two contributing wards for patients who can afford to pay
something toward their expenses.

Almost exactly opposite, across the Square, is a new red-brick building.
This is the Alexandra Hospital, for children with hip disease, and
sometimes a wan little face peeps out of the windows.

On the south side is the Italian Hospital, lately rebuilt on a fine
scale. There are other institutions and societies in the Square, such as
the Royal Female School of Art, but none that call for any special

Among the eminent inhabitants of the Square were Dr. Stukeley, the
antiquary, appointed Rector of the church, 1747--he lived here from the
following year until his death in 1765; Dr. Askew; and John Campbell,
author, and friend of Johnson, who used to give Sunday evening
"conversation parties," where the great Doctor met "shoals of

The Church of St. George the Martyr stands on the west side of the
Square, facing the open space at the south end. It was founded in 1706
by private subscription as a chapel of ease to St. Andrew, and was named
in honour of one of the founders, who had been Governor of Fort George,
on the coast of Coromandel. "The Martyr" was added to distinguish it
from the other St. George in the vicinity. It was accepted as one of the
fifty new churches by the Commissioners in Queen Anne's reign, was
consecrated in 1723, and had a district assigned to it. It was entirely
rearranged and restored in 1868, and has lately been repainted. It is a
most peculiar-looking church, with a spire cased in zinc. Small figures
of angels embellish some points of vantage, and the symbols of the four
Evangelists appear in niches. The windows are round-headed, with tracery
of a peculiarly ugly type; but the interior is better than the exterior,
and has lately been repaired and redecorated throughout.

Powis House originally stood where Powis Place, Great Ormond Street, now
is. This was built by the second Marquis or Duke of Powis, even before
he had sold his Lincoln's Inn Fields house to the Duke of Newcastle, for
he was living here in 1708. The second Duke was, like his father, a
Jacobite, and had suffered much for his loyalty to the cause, having
endured imprisonment in the Tower, but he was eventually restored to his
position and estates. The house was burnt down in 1714, when the Duc
d'Aumont, French Ambassador, was tenant, and it was believed that the
fire was the work of an incendiary. The French King, Louis XIV., caused
it to be rebuilt at his own cost, though insurance could have been
claimed. In 1777 this later building was taken down.

Lord Chancellor Thurlow lived in this street at No. 46, and it was from
this house, now the Working Men's College, that the Great Seal was
stolen and never recovered.

Dr. Mead, a well-known physician, had a house here, afterwards occupied
by the Hospital for Sick Children.

The Working Men's College began at the instigation of a barrister in
1848, and was fathered by the Rev. F. D. Maurice, who was Principal
until his death. It grew rapidly, and in 1856 became affiliated to
London University. The adjacent house was bought, in 1870 additional
buildings were erected, and four years later the institution received a
charter of incorporation. Maurice was succeeded in the principalship by
Thomas Hughes, and Hughes by Lord Avebury, then Sir John Lubbock.

The Hospital for Sick Children is a red-brick building designed by Sir
C. Barry. Within, the wards are lined by glazed tiles, and the floors
are of parquet. Each ward is named after some member of the Royal
Family--Helena, Alice, etc. The children are received at any age, and
the beds are well filled. Everything, it is needless to say, is in the
beautifully bright and cleanly style which is associated with the modern
hospital. The chapel is particularly beautiful; it is the gift of Mr. W.
H. Barry, a brother of the architect, and the walls are adorned with
frescoes above inlaid blocks of veined alabaster.

The Homoeopathic Hospital, which is on the same side of the street
nearer to the Square, is another large and noticeable building. This is
the only hospital of the kind in London. The present building occupies
the site of three old houses, one of which was the residence of Zachary
Macaulay, father of the historian. There are in all seven wards, two for
men, three for women, one for girls, and one for children. The
children's ward is as pretty as any private nursery could be. The
hospital is absolutely free, and the out-patient department
exceptionally large.

In Great Ormond Street there are also one or two Benefit Societies,
Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows for the North London
District, and many sets of chambers. This district seems particularly
favourable to the growth of charitable institutions.

Lamb's Conduit Street is called after one Lamb, who built a conduit here
in 1577. This was a notable work in the days when the water-supply was a
very serious problem. Thus, a very curious name is accounted for in a
matter-of-fact way. In Queen Anne's time the fields around here formed a
favourite promenade for the citizens when the day's work was done.

The parish of St. George, Bloomsbury, which lies westward of St. George
the Martyr, is considerably larger than its neighbour. The derivation of
this name is generally supposed to be a corruption of Blemund's Fee,
from one William de Blemund, who was Lord of the Manor in Henry VI.'s
reign. Stow and others have written the word "Loomsbury," or
"Lomesbury," but this seems to be due to careless orthography, and not
to indicate any ancient rendering.

The earliest holder of the manor of whom we have any record is the De
Blemund mentioned above. There are intermediate links missing at a later
date, but with the possession of the Southampton family in the very
beginning of the seventeenth century the history becomes clear again. In
1668 the manor passed into the hands of the Bedfords by marriage with
the heiress of the Southamptons. This family also held St. Giles's,
which, it will be remembered, was originally also part of the Prebendary
of St. Paul's.

The Royal Mews was established at Bloomsbury (Lomesbury) from very early
times to 1537, when it was burnt down and the mews removed to the site
of the present National Gallery (see _The Strand_, same series).

The parish is largely composed of squares, containing three large and
two small ones, from which nearly all the streets radiate. The British
Museum forms an imposing block in the centre. This is on the site of
Montague House, built for the first Baron Montague, and burnt to the
ground in 1686. It was rebuilt again in great magnificence, with painted
ceilings, according to the taste of the time, and Lord Montague, then
Duke of Montague, died in it in 1709. The house and gardens occupied
seven acres. The son and heir of the first Duke built for himself a
mansion at Whitehall (see _Westminster_, same series, p. 83), and
Montague House was taken down in 1845, when the present buildings of the
Museum were raised in its stead.

The Museum has rather a curious history. Like many of our national
institutions, it was the result of chance, and not of a detailed scheme.
In 1753 Sir Hans Sloane, whose name is associated so strongly with
Chelsea, died, and left a splendid collection comprising "books,
drawings, manuscripts, prints, medals, seals, cameos, precious stones,
rare vessels, mathematical instruments, and pictures," which had cost
him something like £50,000. By his will Parliament was to have the first
refusal of this collection for £20,000. Though it was in the reign of
the needy George II., the sum was voted, and by the same Act was bought
the Harleian collection of MSS. to add to it; to this was added the
Cottonian Library of MSS., and the nation had a ready-made collection.
The money to pay for the Sloane and Harleian collections was raised by
an easy method of which modern morals do not approve--that is to say, by
lottery. Many suggestions were made as to the housing of this national
collection. Buckingham House, now Buckingham Palace, was spoken of,
also the old Palace Yard; of course, the modern Houses of Parliament
were not then built. Eventually Montague House was bought, and the
Museum was opened to the public in 1757. However, it had not ceased
growing. George III. presented some antiquities, which necessitated the
opening of a new department; to these were added the Hamilton and
Townley antiquities by purchase, and in 1816 the Elgin Marbles were
taken in temporarily. On the death of George III., George IV. presented
his splendid library, known as the King's Library, to the Museum, not
from any motive of generosity, but because he did not in the least
appreciate it. Greville, in his Journal (1823), says: "The King had even
a design of selling the library collected by the late King, but this he
was obliged to abandon, for the Ministers and the Royal Family must have
interposed to oppose so scandalous a transaction. It was therefore
presented to the British Museum."

It then became necessary to pull down Montague House and build a Museum
worthy of the treasures to be enshrined. Sir Robert Smirke was the
architect, and the present massive edifice is from his designs. The
buildings cost more than £800,000.

As this is no guide-book, no attempt is made to classify the departments
of the Museum or to indicate its riches. These may be found by
experiment, or read in the official guides to be bought on the spot.

On the east is Montague Street, running into Russell Square.

Southampton House, the ancient manor-house, celebrated for the famous
lime-trees surrounding it, stood on the ground now occupied by Bedford
Place. Noorthouck describes it as "elegant though low, having but one
storey." It is commonly supposed to have been the work of Inigo Jones.
When the property came into the Bedford family, it was occasionally
called Russell House, after their family name. Maitland says that, when
he wrote, one of the Parliamentary forts, two batteries, and a
breastwork, remained in the garden. The house was demolished in 1800,
and Russell Square was begun soon after. A double row of the lime-trees
belonging to Bedford House had extended over the site of this Square.
All this ground had previously been known as Southampton Fields, or Long
Fields, and was the resort of low classes of the people, who here fought
their pitched battles, generally on Sundays. It was known during the
period of Monmouth's Rebellion as the Field of the Forty Footsteps,
owing to the tradition that two brothers killed each other here in a
duel, while the lady who was the cause of the conflict looked on.
Subsequently no grass grew on the spots where the brothers had planted
their feet.

Southey, in his "Commonplace Book," thus narrates his own visit to the

    "We sought for near half an hour in vain. We could find no steps at
    all within a quarter of a mile, no, nor half a mile, of Montague
    House. We were almost out of hope, when an honest man, who was at
    work, directed us to the next ground, adjoining to a pond. There we
    found what we sought, about three-quarters of a mile north of
    Montague House, and 500 yards east of Tottenham Court Road. The
    steps are of the size of a large human foot, about three inches
    deep, and lie nearly from north-east to south-west. We counted only
    seventy-six; but we were not exact in counting. The place where one
    or both the brothers are supposed to have fallen is still bare of
    grass. The labourer also showed us where (the tradition is) the
    wretched woman sat to see the combat." Southey adds his full
    confidence in the tradition of the indestructibility of the steps,
    even after ploughing up, and of the conclusions to be drawn from
    the circumstance (_Notes and Queries_, No. 12).

A long-forgotten novel, called "Coming Out; or, The Field of the Forty
Footsteps," was founded on this legend, as was also a melodrama.

Russell Square is very little inferior to Lincoln's Inn Fields in size,
and at the time of its building had a magnificent situation, with an
uninterrupted prospect right up to the hills of Hampstead and Highgate,
and the only house then standing was on the east side; it belonged to
the profligate Lord Baltimore, and was later occupied by the Duke of
Bolton. The new Russell Hotel, at the corner of Guilford Street, and
Pitman's School of Shorthand, in the south-eastern corner, are the only
two buildings to note. A bronze statue of Francis, Duke of Bedford,
executed by Westmacott, stands on the south side of the Square; this
faces a similar statue of Fox in Bloomsbury Square.

The Square seems to have been peculiarly attractive to men high up in
the profession of the law. Sir Samuel Romilly, the great law reformer,
lived here until his sad death in 1818; he committed suicide in grief at
the loss of his wife. In the same year his neighbour Charles Abbot,
afterwards first Baron Tenterden, was made Lord Chief Justice. He was
buried at the Foundling Hospital by his own request. In 1793 Alexander
Wedderburn (first Baron Loughborough and first Earl of Rosslyn), also a
resident in the Square, was appointed Lord Chancellor. After this he
probably moved to the official residence in Bedford Square.

Frederick D. Maurice was at No. 5 from 1856 to 1862. Sir Thomas Lawrence
lived for twenty years at No. 65, and while he was executing the
portrait of Platoff, the Russian General, the Cossacks, mounted on small
white horses, stood on guard in the Square before his door.

Bloomsbury Square was at first called Southampton Square, and the sides
were known by different names--Seymour Row, Vernon Street, and Allington
Row. The north side was occupied by Bedford House. It is considerably
older than its large neighbour on the north, and is mentioned by Evelyn
in his Diary, on February 9, 1665. In Queen Anne's reign it was a most
fashionable locality. The houses suffered greatly during the Gordon
Riots, especially Lord Mansfield's house, in the north-east corner,
which was completely ruined internally, and in which a most valuable
library was destroyed, while Lord and Lady Mansfield made their escape
from the mob by a back-door. Pope refers to the Square as a fashionable
place of resort. Among the names of famous residents we have Sir Richard
Steele, Richard Baxter, the Nonconformist divine, Dr. Akenside, and Sir
Hans Sloane. The elder D'Israeli, who compiled "Curiosities of
Literature," lived in No. 6; he came here in 1818, when his famous son
was a boy of fourteen.

The College of Preceptors stands on the south side. The Pharmaceutical
Society, established in 1841, first took a house in the Square in that
year. It was incorporated by royal charter two years later, and in 1857
the two adjacent houses in Great Russell Street were added to the
premises, which include a library and museum. There is also at No. 30
the Institute of Chemistry of Great Britain and Ireland.

In Southampton Street Colley Cibber, the dramatist and actor, was born.

Silver Street, which is connected with Southampton Street by a covered
entry, is described by Strype as "indifferent well built and
inhabited"--a character it apparently keeps up to this day.

Bloomsbury Market Strype describes as "a long place with two
market-houses, the one for flesh and the other for fish, but of small
account by reason the market is of so little use and so ill served with
provisions, insomuch that the inhabitants deal elsewhere." In Parton's
time it was still extant, "exhibiting little of that bustle and business
which distinguishes similar establishments." Though it was cleared away
in 1847, its site is marked by Market Street, which with Silver and
Bloomsbury Streets forms a cross.

Southampton Row is a very long street, extending from Russell Square to
High Holborn. It includes what was formerly King Street and Upper King
Street, which together reached from High Holborn to Bloomsbury Place.
Gray, the poet, lodged in this Row in 1759.

The Church of St. George is in Hart Street. St. George's parish was
formed from St. Giles's on account of the great increase of buildings in
this district. In 1710 the proposal for a new church was first mooted,
and in 1724 the parishes were officially separated. The church stands on
a piece of ground formerly known as Plough Yard. It is the work of
Hawkesmoor, Wren's pupil, and was consecrated in 1730. It cannot be
better described than in the words of Noorthouck: "This is an irregular
and oddly constructed church; the portico stands on the south side, of
the Corinthian order, and makes a good figure in the street, but has no
affinity to the church, which is very heavy, and would be better suited
with a Tuscan portico. The steeple at the west is a very extraordinary
structure; on a round pedestal at the top of a pyramid is placed a
colossal statue of the late King [George I.], and at the corners near
the base are alternately placed the lion and unicorn, the British
supporters, with festoons between. These animals, being very large, are
injudiciously placed over columns very small, which make them appear
monsters." The lions and unicorns have now been removed. This steeple
has been described by Horace Walpole as a masterpiece of absurdity.
Within, the walls rise right up to the roof with no break, and give an
impression of great spaciousness. There is a small chapel on either
side, that on the east, of an apselike shape, being used as a
baptistery. The western one contains a ponderous monument erected in
memory of one of their officials by the East India Company. There are
other monuments in the church, but none of any general interest. The
Communion-table is enclosed by a wooden canopy with fluted columns,
said to be of Italian origin, and to have been brought from old Montague

In Little Russell Street are the parochial schools. These were
established in 1705 in Museum Street, and were removed in 1880 to the
present building. They were founded by Dr. Carter for the maintenance,
clothing, and education of twenty-five girls, and the clothing and
education of eighty boys. The intentions of the founder are still
carried out, as recorded on a stone slab on the front of the building,
which is a neat brick edifice, with a group of a woman and child in
stone in a niche high up, and an appropriate verse from Proverbs below.

Allusion has already been made to New Oxford Street. It extends from
Tottenham Court Road to Bury Street, and is lined by fine shops and
large buildings, chiefly in the ornamental stuccoed style. The Royal
Arcade--"a glass-roofed arcade of shops extending along the rear of four
or five of the houses, and having an entrance from the street at each
end"--was opened about 1852, but did not answer the expectations formed
of it, and was pulled down (Walford).

At the corner of Museum Street, once Peter Street, is Mudie's famous
library. The founder, who died in 1890, began a lending library in King
Street in 1840, and in 1852 removed to the present quarters. In 1864 the
concern was turned into a limited liability company. The distribution
of books now reaches almost incredible figures.

Great Russell Street Strype describes as being very handsome and very
well inhabited. Thanet House, the town residence of the Thanets in the
seventeenth century, stood on the north side. Sir Christopher Wren built
a house for himself in this street. Among the inhabitants and lodgers
have been Shelley and Hazlitt, J. P. Kemble, Speaker Onslow, Pugin the
elder, Charles Mathews the elder, and, in later years, Sir E.

At the west end Great Russell Street runs into Tottenham Court Road, a
portion of which lies in the parish of St. Giles. Toten Hall itself,
from which the name is taken, stood at the south end of the Hampstead
Road, and an account of it belongs to the parish of St. Pancras. There
is little to remark upon in that part of the Road we can now claim. At
the south end is Meux's well-known brewery, bought by the family of that
name in 1809. In 1814 an immense vat burst here, which flooded the
immediate neighbourhood in a deluge of liquor. The Horseshoe Hotel can
claim fairly ancient descent; it has been in existence as a tavern from
1623. It was called the Horseshoe from the shape of its first
dining-room. A Consumption Hospital stands midway between North and
South Crescent.

Bedford Square also falls within St. Giles's parish, but it belongs by
character and date to Bloomsbury. The Square was erected about the very
end of the eighteenth century. Dobie says that "Bedford Square arose
from a cow-yard to its present magnificent form ... with its avenues and
neighbouring streets ... chiefly erected since 1778," while it appears
in a map of 1799 as "St. Giles's Runs." The official residence of the
Lord Chancellor was on the east side. Lord Loughborough lived there, and
subsequently Lord Eldon, who had to escape with his wife into the
British Museum gardens when the mob made an attack on his house during
the Corn Law riots.

The streets running north and south are all of the same prosperous,
substantial character. About Chenies Street large modern red-brick
mansions have arisen.

Woburn Square is a quiet place, with fine trees growing in its pleasant
garden. In it is Christ Church, the work of Vulliamy, date 1833. It is
of Gothic architecture, and is prettily finished with buttresses and
pinnacles, in spite of the ugly material used--namely, white brick. It
was at first designed to call the Square Rothesay Square, but it was
eventually named Woburn, after the seat of the Duke of Bedford.

Great Coram Street was, of course, named after the genial founder of the
Foundling Hospital. In it is the Russell Institution, built at the
beginning of the century as an assembly-room, and later used as
institute and club. It was frequently visited by Dickens, Leech, and
Thackeray, the last named of whom came here in 1837, and remained until
1843, when the house had to be given up owing to the incurable nature of
his wife's mental malady. He wrote here many papers and articles,
including the famous "Yellow-plush Papers," which appeared in _Fraser's
Magazine_; but his novels belong to a later period.

We have now wandered over a district rich in association, containing
some of the oldest domestic architecture existing in London, but which,
taken as a whole, is chiefly of a date belonging to the late seventeenth
and early eighteenth centuries--a date when ladies wore powder and
patches, when sedan-chairs were more common than hackney cabs, and when
the voice of the link-boy was heard in the streets.



This parish is bounded on the south by Castle Street; east by part of
Drury Lane, Broad Street, and Dyott Street, thence by a line cutting
diagonally across the south-east corner of Bedford Square, across Keppel
Street and Torrington Mews, and touching Byng Place at the north-west
corner of Torrington Square; on the north by a line cutting across from
this point westward, and striking Tottenham Court Road just above Alfred
Mews; on the westward by Tottenham Court Road and Charing Cross Road to
Cambridge Circus, thence by West Street to the corner of Castle Street,
and so the circuit is complete.


Bounded on the south by Theobald's Road, on the east by Lamb's Conduit
Street (both included in the parish), on the north by Guilford Street,
and on the west by Southampton Row (which are not so included).


Bounded on the east by Farringdon Street from Charterhouse Street to No.
66, which is just beyond Farringdon Avenue; on the north by Holborn and
High Holborn from the Viaduct Bridge to Brownlow Street; on the west by
a line drawn from the upper end of Brownlow Street across High Holborn,
cutting through No. 292, and through part of Lincoln's Inn (taking in
Stone Buildings, and as far as a few yards south of Henry VIII.'s
gateway); on the south by a line from Lincoln's Inn across Chancery
Lane, along Cursitor Street, cutting across Fetter Lane, down Dean
Street to Robin Hood Court, across Shoe Lane to Farringdon Street.


Bounded on the south by Broad Street and High Holborn to Kingsgate
Street; on the east by Kingsgate Street, and a line behind the east side
of Southampton Row (including it), coming out at No. 54, Guilford
Street; on the north by a line across the north side of Russell Square
and along Keppel Street; on the west from thence by a diagonal line,
which cuts off the south-east corner of Bedford Square to Dyott Street,
and so to Broad Street.


Bounded on the west by Leather Lane; on the south by Holborn and
Charterhouse Street to Farringdon Road; on the east by Farringdon Road;
and on the north by Back Hill.


Abernethy, 78

Akenside, Dr., 93

Aldewych, 26

Alexandra Hospital, 83

Ancaster House, 34

Arundel, Bishop, 60

Babington, 33

Bacon, Francis, 6

Bacon, Roger, 75, 76

Bainbridge Street, 21

Bangor Court, 59

Barnard's Inn, 49

Baxter, Richard, 51, 93

Bedford Row, 78

Bedford Square, 97

Belayse, John, 16

Betterton, 25

Betterton Street, 24

Birkbeck Bank, 45

Black Bull, 70

Black Swan, 3

Bleeding Heart Yard, 67

Bloomsbury Market, 94

Bowl, The, 18

Bradshaw, 77

British Museum, 88

Broad Street, 18

Brooke Street, 70

Brownlow, Sir John, 24

Buckridge Street, 21

Burghley, Lord, 77

Burne-Jones, Sir E., 80, 97

Burton St. Lazar, 11

Caledonian School, 67

Camden, 77

Carew, Sir Wymonde, 13

Chancery Lane, 44

Chapman, George, 16

Charles Street, 67

Chatterton, Thomas, 57, 70

Church Street, 21

  Christ Church, 24
  City Temple, 54
  St. Andrew's, 54
  St. Ethelreda's Chapel, 64
  St. George the Martyr, 83
  St. George's, Bloomsbury, 94
  St. Giles's, 8, 14
  St. John the Evangelist's, 79
  St. Peter's, 68
  Moravian Chapel, 51
  Trinity Church, 30

Cibber, Colley, 93

Clare House, 26

Clifford's Inn, 45

Coal Yard, 19, 25

Cope, Sir Walter, 14

Cobham, Lord, 19

Cock and Pye, The, 22

Cockpit, 25

Coke, Sir Edward, 62

College of Preceptors, 93

Craven House, 26

Croche Hose, 8

Cromwell, Oliver, 78

Cromwell, Richard, 43

Cromwell, Thomas, 76

Cross Street, 67

Cursitor Street, 45

De Luda, Bishop, 60

Denmark Street, 18

Dickens, Charles, 48

Digby, Sir Kenelm, 6

Disraeli, Benjamin, 81

D'Israeli, Isaac, 93

Donne, John, 40

Drury Lane, 25

Dudley, Duchess of, 14

Dyers' Buildings, 49

Dyott Street, 20

Earl Street, 24

Edward III., 11

Egerton, Lord Keeper, 43

Emery, 58

Endell Street, 24

Ely Place, 60

Eyre Street, 71

Fairfax, Sir Thomas, 27

Fetter Lane, 51

Fickett's Field, 31

Field Lane, 67

Fleur-de-Lys Court, 52

Florio, 58

Franklin, Benjamin, 29

Freemasons' Hall, 27

Furnival's Inn, 48

Furnival Street, 48

Gate Street, 30

George and Blue Boar, 3

Gerarde, 5

Gloucester Street, 81

Goldsmith Street, 25

Gordon Riots, 51, 93

Gray's Inn, 72

Gray, Thomas, 94

Great and Little Turnstile, 30

Great Coram Street, 98

Great Ormond Street, 84

Great Queen Street, 27

Great Russell Street, 97

Gresham, Sir T., 77

Greville, Fulke, 6

Guildford, Lord Keeper, 46

Gunpowder Alley, 58

Gwynne, Nell, 25, 26

Hale, Sir Matthew, 43

Hanway, Jonas, 79

Hare and Hounds, 9

Hatton Garden, 60, 66

Hatton, Sir Christopher, 61

Hatton Wall, 69

Hazlitt, 97

Henry II., 10

Henry VIII., 11

Herbert of Cherbury, Lord, 17, 27

Herring, Bishop, 40

High Street, 19

Hockley Hole, 71

Hogarth, 8

Hoggarty, Haggart, 20

Holborn, 3

Holborn Baths, 19

Holborn, Borough of, 1

Holborn Bridge, 5

Holborn Circus, 53

Holborn Hill, 4

Holborn Music Hall, 30

Holborn Restaurant, 30

Holborn Town Hall, 72

Holborn Viaduct, 54

Homoeopathic Hospital, 85

Hoole, 27

Hospital for Paralysis, 82

Hospital for Sick Children, 85

Hyde, Chief Justice, 46

Inns of Court Hotel, 33

Irving, Edward, 67

Italian Hospital, 83

Johnson, Dr., 6

Jonson, Ben, 42

Kemble, 97

Kemble Street, 29

Kingsgate Street, 80

Kingsway, 2, 29

Kirkby, Bishop, 60

Kirkby Street, 67

Kneller, Sir Godfrey, 27

Kniveton, Lady Frances, 16

Kynaston, 25

Lamb, Mary, 30

Lamb's Conduit Street, 86

Lawrence, Sir Thomas, 92

Leather Lane, 69

Le Lane, 21

Lenthall, 43

L'Estrange, Roger, 17

Lilly, 58

Lincoln, Earl of, 37

Lincoln's Inn, 36

Lincoln's Inn Fields, 31

Lindsey House, 34

Lisle, Viscount, 11

Little Queen Street, 29

Little Russell Street, 96

Long Fields, 90

Lord Chancellor's House, 98

Lovelace, 58

Lovell, Sir Thomas, 37

Lying-in Hospital, 24

Macaulay, Zachary, 86

Mackworth, Dr. John, 50

Manor House, 13, 18

Marsden, William, 56

Marshlands, 9, 22

Marvell, Andrew, 16, 17

Mathews, Charles, 97

Matilda, Queen, 10

Maurice, Rev. F. D., 85, 92

Mead, Dr., 84

Mercers' School, 49

Meux's Brewery, 97

Middle Row, 3, 49

Milton, 6, 79

Monmouth Street, 21

Montague House, 87

More, Sir Thomas, 6, 37, 43, 48

Morland, 71

Morris, William, 80

Mudie's Library, 96

Nelson, Robert, 81

Newcastle House, 34

New Compton Street, 21

New Oxford Street, 9, 96

Nisbett, Canon, 16

Nottingham, Earl of, 27

Novelty Theatre, 29

O'Connell, 58

Old Bell, 70

"Old Bourne" 2

Old Curiosity Shop, 35

Onslow, Speaker, 97

Opie, John, 27

Pendrell, Richard, 17

Pepys, 26

Pindar, Peter, 27

Portpool Lane, 70

Portsmouth House, 35

Powis, Duke of, 34

Powis House, 84

Pugin, 97

Queen Square, 81

Queen Street, 24

Raymond, Lord, 80

Red Lion Square, 78

Romilly, Sir S., 77, 92

Rose, The, 4

Rosebery Avenue, 71

Royal College of Surgeons, 35

Royal Mews, 87

Royal Society, 52

Russell Institution, 99

Russell, Lord, 32, 45

Russell Square, 91

Sacheverell, 6, 56

St. Andrew's Street, 24, 53

St. Giles's Burial-ground, 17

St Giles's Hospital, 10

St. Giles-in-the-Fields, Parish of, 6

St. James's Street, 77

Sardinia Street, 29

Savage, Robert, 57

Scrope's Inn, 59

Serjeants' Inn, 45

Seven Dials, 7, 23

Shaftesbury Avenue, 9, 21

Shakespeare, 77

Shelley, Percy, 97

Sheridan, 27

Shirley, 17

Shoe Lane, 58

Short's Gardens, 24

Sidmouth, Viscount, 78

Silver Street, 94

Sloane, Sir Hans, 93

Soane Museum, 34

Southampton Buildings, 46

Southampton House, 90

Southampton Row, 94

Southampton Street, 93

Staple Inn, 46, 47

Steele, Sir Richard, 93

Stiddolph Street, 21

Stillingfleet, Bishop of Worcester, 56

Stratford, Lord, 46

Strange, Sir Robert, 27

Stukeley, Dr., 83

Swan Distillery, 50

Swan on the Hop, 8

Thackeray, 99

Thanet House, 97

Thavie's Inn, 53

Theobald's Road, 81

Thomson, Bishop, 40

Thurlow, Lord, 85

Tonson, Jacob, 46, 77

Toten Hall, 97

Tottenham Court Road, 97

Turk's Head, The, 20

Turner, Sharon, 80

Tyburn procession, 8, 18

Vine Inn, 80

Walton, Izaak, 46

Warburton, Bishop, 78

Webster, John, 57

Wedderburn, Alexander, 92

Wesley, 51

Whetstone Park, 30

Whiston, 67

Whitefield, 51

White Hart, The, 8, 26

White Horse Inn, 50

White Lion Street, 24

Wild House, 29

Wild Street, Great, 29

Wilkes, 59

Woburn Square, 98

Wolsey, Cardinal, 37

Working Men's College, 85

Worlidge, Thomas, 27

Wren, Sir Christopher, 97

Wriothesley, 57

Zinzendorf, Count, 52


       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


Published by A. & C. Black, London.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes

The following errors in the original text have been corrected:

Page 89: In then became changed to It then became

Page 103: Bambridge Street, 21 changed to Bainbridge Street, 21

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