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Title: Haunted London
Author: Thornbury, Walter
Language: English
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HAUNTED LONDON



DR. JOHNSON’S OPINIONS OF LONDON.--“It is not in the showy evolution of
buildings, but in the multiplicity of human habitations, that the
wonderful immensity of London consists.... The happiness of London is not
to be conceived but by those who have been in it. I will venture to say
there is more learning and science within the circumference of where we
now sit than in all the rest of the kingdom.... A man stores his mind [in
London] better than anywhere else.... No place cures a man’s vanity or
arrogance so well as London, for no man is either great or good, _per se_,
but as compared with others, not so good or great, and he is sure to find
in the metropolis many his equals and some his superiors.... No man of
letters leaves London without regret.... By seeing London I have seen as
much of life as the world can show.... When a man is tired of London he is
tired of life, for there is in London all life can afford, and [London] is
the fountain of intelligence and pleasure.”--_Boswell’s Life of Johnson._

BOSWELL’S OPINION OF LONDON.--“I have often amused myself with thinking
how different a place London is to different people. They whose narrow
minds are contracted to the consideration of some one particular pursuit,
view it only through that medium, a politician thinks of it merely as the
seat of government, etc.; but the intellectual man is struck with it _as
comprehending the whole of human life in all its variety, the
contemplation of which is inexhaustible_.”--_Boswell’s Life of Johnson_
(Croker, 1848), p. 144.



  HAUNTED LONDON


  BY WALTER THORNBURY

  EDITED BY EDWARD WALFORD, M.A.


  [Illustration: TEMPLE BAR, 1761.]


  _ILLUSTRATED BY F. W. FAIRHOLT, F.S.A._


  London
  CHATTO & WINDUS, PICCADILLY
  1880



PREFACE.


This book deals less with the London of the ghost-stories, the scratching
impostor in Cock Lane, or the apparition of Parson Ford at the Hummums,
than with the London consecrated by manifold traditions--a city every
street and alley of which teems with interesting associations, every
paving-stone of which marks, as it were, the abiding-place of some ancient
legend or biographical story; in short, this London of the present haunted
by the memories of the past.

The slow changes of time, the swifter destructions of improvement, and the
inevitable necessities of modern civilisation, are rapidly remodelling
London.

It took centuries to turn the bright, swift little rivulet of the Fleet
into a fœtid sewer, years to transform the palace at Bridewell into a
prison; but events now move faster: the alliance of money with enterprise,
and the absence of any organised resistance to needful though sometimes
reckless improvements, all combine to hurry forward modern changes.

If an alderman of the last century could arise from his sleep, he would
shudder to see the scars and wounds from which London is now suffering.
Viaducts stalk over our chief roads; great square tubes of iron lie heavy
as nightmares on the breast of Ludgate Hill. In Finsbury and Blackfriars
there are now to be seen yawning chasms as large and ghastly as any that
breaching cannon ever effected in the walls of a besieged city. On every
hand legendary houses, great men’s birthplaces, the haunts of poets, the
scenes of martyrdoms, and the battle-fields of old factions, heave and
totter around us. The tombs of great men, in the chinks of which the
nettles have grown undisturbed ever since the Great Fire, are now being
uprooted. Milton’s house has become part of the _Punch_ office. A printing
machine clanks where Chatterton was buried. Almost every moment some
building worthy of record is shattered by the pickaxes of ruthless
labourers. The noise of falling houses and uprooted streets even now in my
ears tells me how busily Time, the Destroyer and the Improver, is working;
erasing tombstones, blotting out names on street-doors, battering down
narrow thoroughfares, and effacing one by one the memories of the good,
the bad, the illustrious, and the infamous.

A sincere love of the subject, and a strong conviction of the importance
of the preservation of such facts as I have dredged up from the Sea of
Oblivion, have given me heart for my work. The gradual changes of Old
London, and the progress of civilisation westward, are worth noting by all
students of the social history of England. It will be found that many
traits of character, many anecdotes of interest, as illustrating
biography, are essentially connected with the habitations of the great men
who have either been born in London, or have resorted to it as the centre
of progress, art, commerce, government, learning, and culture. The fact of
the residence of a poet, a painter, a lawyer, or even a rogue, at any
definite date, will often serve to point out the social status he either
aimed at or had acquired. It helps also to show the exact relative
distinctions in fashion and popularity of different parts of London at
particular epochs, and contributes to form an illustrated history of
London, proceeding not by mere progression of time, and dealing with the
abstract city--the whole entity of London--but marching through street
after street, and detailing local history by districts at a time.

A century after the martyrs of the Covenant had shed their blood for the
good old cause, an aged man, mounted on a little rough pony, used
periodically to make the tour of their graves; with a humble and pious
care he would scrape out the damp green moss that filled up the letters
once so sharp and clear, cut away the thorny arches of the brambles, tread
down the thick, prickly undergrowth of nettles, and leave the brave names
of the dead men open to the sunlight. It is something like this that I
have sought to do with London traditions.

I have especially avoided, in every case, mixing truth with fiction. I
have never failed to give, where it was practicable, the actual words of
my authorities, rather than run the risk of warping or distorting a
quotation even by accident, or losing the flavour and charm of original
testimony. Aware of the paramount value of sound and verified facts, I
have not stopped to play with words and colours, nor to sketch imaginary
groups and processions. Such pictures are often false and only mislead;
but a fact proved, illustrated, and rendered accessible by index and
heading, is, however unpretentious, a contribution to history, and has
with certain inquirers a value that no time can lesson.

In a comprehensive work, dealing with so many thousand dates, and
introducing on the stage so many human beings, it is almost impossible to
have escaped errors. I can only plead for myself that I have spared no
pains to discover the truth. I have had but one object in view, that of
rendering a walk through London a journey of interest and of pilgrimage to
many shrines.

In some cases I have intentionally passed over, or all but passed over,
outlying streets that I thought belonged more especially to districts
alien to my present plan. Maiden Lane, for example, with its memories of
Voltaire, Marvell, and Turner, belongs rather to a chapter on Covent
Garden, of which it is a palpable appanage; and Chancery Lane I have left
till I come to Fleet Street.

I should be ungrateful indeed if, in conclusion, I did not thank Mr.
Fairholt warmly for his careful and valuable drawings on wood. To that
accomplished antiquary I am indebted, as my readers will see, for several
original sketches of bygone places, and for many curious illustrations
which I should certainly not have obtained without the aid of his learning
and research.



CONTENTS.


  CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION                                          pp. 1-3


  CHAPTER II. TEMPLE BAR.

    The Devil Tavern--London Bankers and Goldsmiths--A Whim
    of John Bushnell, the Sculptor--Irritating Processions--
    The Bonfire at Inner Temple Gate--A Barbarous Custom--
    Called to the Bar--A Curious Old Print of 1746--The
    White Cockades--An Execution on Kennington Common--
    Shenstone’s “Jemmy Dawson”--Counsellor Layer--Dr.
    Johnson in the Abbey--The Proclamation of the Peace of
    Amiens--The Dispersion of the Armada--City Pageants and
    Festivities--The Guildhall--The Guildhall Twin Giants--
    Proclamation of War--A Reflection                             pp. 4-24


  CHAPTER III. THE STRAND (SOUTH SIDE).

    Essex Street--Beheading a Bishop--Exeter Place--The
    Gipsy Earl--Running a-muck--Lettice Knollys--A Portrait
    of Essex--Robert, Earl of Essex, the Parliamentary
    General--The Poisoning of Overbury--An Epicurean
    Doctor--Clubable Men--The Grecian--The Templar’s
    Lounge--Tom’s Coffee-house--A Princely Collector--“The
    Long Strand”--“Honest Shippen”--Boswell’s Enthusiasm--
    Sale and the Koran--The Infamous Lord Mohun--A fine
    Rebuke--Jacob Tonson                                         pp. 25-55


  CHAPTER IV. SOMERSET HOUSE.

    The Protector Somerset--Denmark House--The Queen’s
    French Servants--The Lying-in-State of Cromwell--Scenes
    at Somerset House--Sir Edmondbury Godfrey--Old Somerset
    House--Erection of the Modern Building--Carlini’s
    Grandeur--A Hive of Red Tapists--Expensive Auditing--The
    Royal Society--The Geological and the Antiquarian
    Societies--A Legend of Somerset House--St. Martin’s Lane
    Academy--An Insult to Engravers--Rebecca’s Practical
    Jokes--A Fashionable Man actually Surprised--Lying in
    State                                                        pp. 56-81


  CHAPTER V. THE STRAND (SOUTH SIDE, CONTINUED).

    The Folly--Fountain Court and Tavern--The Coal-hole--The
    Kit-cat Club--Coutts’s Bank--The Eccentric Philosopher--
    Old Salisbury House--Robert the Devil--Little Salisbury
    House--Toby Matthew--Ivy Bridge--The Strand Exchange--
    Durham House--Poor Lady Jane--The Parochial Mind--A
    Strange Coalition--Garrick’s Haunt--Shipley’s School of
    Art--Barry’s Temper--The Celestial Bed--Sir William
    Curtis                                                      pp. 82-105


  CHAPTER VI. THE SAVOY.

    The Earl of Savoy--John Wickliffe--A French King
    Prisoner--The Kentish Rebellion--John of Gaunt--The
    Hospital of St. John--Cowley’s Regrets--Secret
    Marriages--Conference between Church of England and
    Presbyterian Divines--An Illegal Sanctuary--A Lampooned
    General--A Fat Adonis--John Rennie--Waterloo Bridge--The
    Duchy of Lancaster                                         pp. 106-125


  CHAPTER VII. FROM THE SAVOY TO CHARING CROSS.

    York House--Lord Bacon--“To the Man with an Orchard give
    an Apple”--“Steenie”--Buckingham Street--Zimri--York
    Stairs--Pepys and Etty--Scenery on the Banks of the
    Thames--The London Lodging of Peter the Great--The Czar
    and the Quakers--The Hungerford Family--The Suspension
    Bridge--Grinling Gibbons--The Two Smiths--Cross
    Readings--Northumberland Street--Armed Clergymen           pp. 126-145


  CHAPTER VIII. THE NORTH SIDE OF THE STRAND (FROM TEMPLE BAR TO CHARING
  CROSS).

    Faithorne, the Engraver--The Stupendous Arch--The Murder
    of Miss Ray--One of Wren’s Churches--Thomas Rymer--Dr.
    Johnson at Church--Shallow’s Revelry--Low Comedy
    Preachers--New Inn--Alas! poor Yorick!--The first
    Hackney Coaches--Doyley--The Beef-steak Club--Beef and
    Liberty--Madame Vestris--Old Thomson--Irene in a
    Garret--Mathews at the Adelphi--The Bad Points of
    Mathew’s Acting--The Old Adelphi--A Riot in a Theatre--
    Dr. Johnson’s Eccentricities                               pp. 146-189


  CHAPTER IX. CHARING CROSS.

    The Gunpowder Plot--Lord Herbert’s Chivalry--A Schoolboy
    Legend--Goldsmith’s Audience--Dobson Buried in a
    Garret--Charing--Queen Eleanor--A Brave Ending--
    Great-hearted Colonel Jones--King Charles at Charing
    Cross--A Turncoat--A Trick of Curll’s--The Cock Lane
    Ghost--Savage the Poet--The Mews--The Nelson Column--The
    Trafalgar Square Fountains--Want of Pictures of the
    English School--Turner’s Pictures--Mrs. Centlivre of
    Spring Gardens--Maginn’s Verses--The Hermitage at
    Charing Cross--Ben Jonson’s Grace--The Promised Land       pp. 190-238


  CHAPTER X. ST. MARTIN’S LANE.

    A Certain Proof of Insanity--An Eccentric Character--
    Experimentum Crucis--St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields--Gibb’s
    Opportunity--St. Martin’s Church--Good Company--The
    Thames Watermen--Copper Holmes--Old Slaughter’s--
    Gardelle the Murderer--Hogarth’s Quack--St. Martin’s
    Lane Academy--Hayman’s Jokes--The Old Watch-house and
    Stocks--Garrick’s Tricks--An Encourager of Art--John
    Wilkes--The Royal Society of Literature--The Artist
    Quarter                                                    pp. 239-261


  CHAPTER XI. LONG ACRE AND ITS TRIBUTARIES.

    The Plague--Great Queen Street--Burning Panama--Lord
    Herbert’s Poetry--Kneller’s Vanity--Conway House--
    Winchester House--Ryan the Actor--An Eminent Scholar and
    Antiquary--Miss Pope--The Freemasons’ Hall--Gentleman
    Lewis--Franklin’s Self-denial--The Gordon Riots--Colonel
    Cromwell--An Eccentric Poetaster--Black Will’s Rough
    Repartee--Ned Ward--Prior’s Humble Cell--Stothard--The
    Mug-houses--Charles Lamb                                   pp. 262-286


  CHAPTER XII. DRURY LANE.

    Drury House--Donne’s Vision--Donne in his Shroud--The
    Queen of Bohemia--Brave Lord Craven--An Anecdote of
    Gondomar--Drury Lane Poets--Nell Gwynn--Zoffany--The
    King’s Company--Memoranda by Pepys--Anecdotes of Joe
    Haines--Mrs. Oldfield’s Good Sense--The Wonder of the
    Town--Quin and Garrick--Barry and Garrick--The Bellamy--
    The Siddons--Dicky Suett--Liston’s Hypochondria--The
    First Play--Elliston’s Tears--The End of a Man about
    Town--Edmund Kean--Grimaldi--Kelly and Malibran--Keeley
    and Harley--Scenes at Drury Lane--“Wicked Will
    Whiston”--Henley’s Butchers--“Il faut vivre”--Henley’s
    Sermons--The Leaden Seals                                  pp. 287-348


  CHAPTER XIII. ST. GILES’S.

    The Lollards--Cobham’s Death--The Lazar House--Holborn
    First Paved--The Mud Deluge--French Protestants--The
    Plague Cart--The Plague Time--Brought to his Knees--The
    New Church--The Grave of Flaxman--The Thorntons--Hog
    Lane--The Tyburn Bowl--The Swan on the Hop--The Irish
    Deluge--Sham Abraham--Simon and his Dog--Hiring Babies--
    Pavement Chalkers--Monmouth Street                         pp. 349-386


  CHAPTER XIV. LINCOLN’S INN FIELDS.

    The Earl of Lincoln’s Garden--The Headless Chancellor--
    Spelman a late Ripener--Denham and Wither--Lord
    Lyndhurst--Warburton and Heber--Ben Jonson the
    Bricklayer--A Murder in Whetstone Park--The Dangers of
    Lincoln’s Inn Fields--Shelter in St. John’s Wood--Lord
    William Russell--A Brave Wife--Pelham--The Caricature of
    a Duke--Wilde and Best--Lindsey House--The Dukes of
    Ancaster--Skeletons--Lady Fanshawe--Lord Kenyon’s
    Latin--The Belzoni Sarcophagus--Sir John Soane--Worthy
    Mrs. Chapone--The Duke’s House--Betterton--Mrs.
    Bracegirdle--A Riot--Rich’s Pantomime--The Jump            pp. 387-442

  APPENDIX                                                     pp. 443-465

  INDEX                                                        pp. 467-476



DESCRIPTIVE LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


  TEMPLE BAR, 1761, from a drawing by S. Wale. The view is
  taken from the City side of the Bar, looking through the
  arch to Butcher Row and St. Clement’s Church. The sign
  projecting from the house to the spectator’s left is that
  of the famous Devil Tavern                           _Vignette on Title_

                                                                      PAGE

  OLD HOUSES, SHIP YARD, TEMPLE BAR, circa 1761, from a plate
  in Wilkinson’s _Londina Illustrata_                                    4

  THE LORD MAYOR’S SHOW. From the picture by Hogarth                    19

  TEMPLE BAR, 1746, copied from an undated print published soon
  after the execution of the rebel adherents of the young
  Pretender. The view is surrounded by an emblematic framework,
  and contains representations of the heads of Townley and
  Fletcher, remarkable as the last so exposed; they remained
  there till 1772                                                       23

  ST. CLEMENT’S CHURCH AND THE STRAND IN 1753, from a print by
  I. Maurer                                                             25


  TWO VIEWS OF ARUNDEL HOUSE, 1646, after Hollar. These views,
  unique of their kind, are particularly valuable for the
  clear idea they give of a noble London mansion of the period.
  Arundel House retains many ancient features, particularly in
  its dining-hall, which, with the brick residence for the
  noble owner, is the only dignified portion of the building.
  The rest has the character of an inn-yard--a mere collection
  of ill-connected outhouses and stabling. The shed with the
  tall square window in the roof was the depository of the
  famous collection of pictures and antiques made by the
  renowned Earl, part of which still forms the Arundel
  Collection at Oxford                                              40, 41

  PENN’S HOUSE, NORFOLK STREET, 1749, from a view by J. Buck.
  The view is taken from the river, looking up Norfolk Street
  to a range of old houses, still standing, in the Strand.
  Penn’s house was the last on the west side of the street (to
  the spectator’s left), overlooking the water                          55

  SOMERSET HOUSE FROM THE RIVER, 1746, from an engraving by I.
  Knyff. Upon a barge moored in the river is seen the famous
  coffee-house known as “The Folly,” which, originally used as
  a musical summer-house, ended in being the resort of depravity        56

  STRAND FRONT OF SOMERSET HOUSE, 1777, from a large engraving
  after I. Moss                                                         80

  JACOB TONSON’S BOOK-SHOP, 1742, from an etching by Benoist.
  The shop of this famous bibliopole was opposite Catherine
  Street. The view is obtained from the background of the
  print representing a burlesque procession of Masons, got up
  by some humourist in ridicule of the craft                            82

  OLD HOUSES IN THE STRAND, 1742, copied from the same print as
  the preceding view. These houses stood on the site of the
  present Wellington Street                                            104

  THE SAVOY, FROM THE THAMES, IN 1650, after Hollar                    106

  THE SAVOY CHAPEL, from an original drawing                           119

  THE SAVOY PRISON, 1793, from an etching by J. T. Smith               125

  DURHAM HOUSE, 1790, from an etching by J. T. Smith                   126

  THE WATER GATE, 1860, from a Sketch                                  133

  YORK STAIRS AND SURROUNDING BUILDINGS, circa 1745, after an
  original drawing by Canaletti in the British Museum. This is
  one of the few interesting views of Old London sketched by
  Canaletti during his short stay in England. It comprises the
  famous water-gate designed by Inigo Jones, and the tall
  wooden tower of the York Buildings Water Company. The large
  mansion behind this (at the south-west corner of Buckingham
  Street) was that inhabited by Pepys from 1684, and in which
  he entertained the members of the Royal Society during his
  presidency. The house at the opposite corner (seen above the
  trees) is that in which the Czar Peter the Great resided for
  some time, when he visited England for instruction in
  shipbuilding                                                         144

  CROCKFORD’S FISH-SHOP, from an original sketch                       146

  THE OLD ROMAN BATH, from a drawing                                   169

  EXETER CHANGE, 1821, from an etching by Cooke                        188

  TITUS OATES IN THE PILLORY, from an anonymous contemporary
  Dutch engraving                                                      190

  THE KING’S MEWS, 1750, from a print by I. Maurer. This
  building, erected in 1732 at the expense of King George II.,
  was pulled down in 1830. In the foreground of this view the
  King is represented returning to his carriage after
  inspecting his horses                                                238

  BARRACK AND OLD HOUSES on the site of Trafalgar Square in
  1826, from an original sketch by F. W. Fairholt. The view is
  taken from St. Martin’s Church, looking toward Pall Mall;
  the building in the distance, to the left, is the College of
  Physicians                                                           239

  OLD SLAUGHTER’S COFFEE-HOUSE, 1826, from an original sketch
  by F. W. Fairholt                                                    260

  SALISBURY AND WORCESTER HOUSES IN 1630, from a drawing by
  Hollar in the Pepysian Library, Cambridge                            262

  LYON’S INN, 1804, from an engraving in Herbert’s _History of
  the Inns of Court_                                                   286

  CRAVEN HOUSE, 1790, from an original drawing in the British
  Museum                                                               287

  DRURY LANE THEATRE, 1806, from an original drawing by Pugin.
  This was the _third_ theatre, succeeding Garrick’s. It was
  built by Henry Holland, opened March 12, 1794, and burnt down
  Feb. 24, 1809. It was never properly finished on the side
  toward Catherine Street, where this view was taken                   347

  CHURCH LANE AND DYOT STREET, from an original sketch by F. W.
  Fairholt                                                             349

  THE SEVEN DIALS, from an original sketch by F. W. Fairholt           386

  LINCOLN’S INN FIELDS THEATRE IN 1821, from an original sketch
  by F. W. Fairholt                                                    387

  THE BLACK JACK, Portsmouth Street, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, from
  an original sketch by F. W. Fairholt. This public-house was
  the resort of the actors from the theatre, and among them Joe
  Miller, who was buried in the graveyard close by, where the
  hospital now stands. The house was also frequented by Jack
  Sheppard, and was sometimes termed “The Jump,” from the
  circumstance of his having once jumped from one of the
  first-floor windows to escape from officers of justice               441



HAUNTED LONDON.



CHAPTER I.

INTRODUCTION.


One day when Fuseli and Haydon were walking together, they reached the
summit of a hill whence they could catch a glimpse of St. Paul’s.

There was the grey dome looming out by fits through rolling drifts of
murky smoke. The two little lion-like men stood watching “the sublime
canopy that shrouds the city of the world.”[1] Now it spread and seethed
like the incense from Moloch’s furnace; now it lifted and thinned into the
purer blue, like the waft of some great sacrifice, or settled down to
deeper and gloomier grandeur over “the vastness of modern Babylon.” That
brown cloud hid a huge ants’ nest teeming with three millions of people.
That dome, with its golden coronet and cross, rose like the globe in an
emperor’s hand--a type of the civilisation, and power, and Christianity of
England.

The hearts of the two men beat faster at the great sight.

“Be George!” said Fuseli, shaking his white hair and stamping his little
foot, “be George! sir, it’s like the smoke of the Israelites making bricks
for the Egyptians.”

“It is grander, Fuseli,” said Haydon, “for it is the smoke of a people who
would _have made the Egyptians make bricks for them_.”

It is of the multitudinous streets of this more than Egyptian city, their
traditions, and their past and present inhabitants, that I would now
write. I shall not pass by many houses where any eminent men dwell or
dwelt, without some biographical anecdote, some epigram, some
illustration; yet I will not stop long at any door, because so many others
await me. I have “set down,” I hope, “nought in malice.” Truth I trust has
been, and truth alone shall be, my object. I shall stay at Charing Cross
to point out the heroism of the dying regicides; I shall pause at
Whitehall to narrate some redeeming traits even in the character of a
wilful king.

The growth of London, and its conquest of suburb after suburb, has roused
the imagination of poets and essayists ever since the days of Queen
Elizabeth.

When James I. forbade the building of fresh houses outside London walls,
he little foresaw the time when the City would become almost impassable;
when practical men would burrow roads under ground, or make subterranean
railways to drain off the choking traffic; when cool-headed people would
seriously propose to have flying bridges thrown over the chief
thoroughfares; when new manners and customs, new diseases, new follies,
new social complications would arise, from the fact of three millions of
men silently agreeing to live together on only eleven square miles of
land; when fish would cease to inhabit the poisoned river; when the roar
of the traffic would render it almost impossible to converse; when, in
fact, London would grow too large for comfort, safety, pleasure, or even
social intercourse.

It is difficult to select from what centre to commence a pilgrimage. For
old Roman London we might start from the Exchange or the Tower; for
mediæval London from Chepe or Aldermanbury; for fashionable London from
Charing Cross; for Shaksperean London from the Globe or Blackfriars. Even
then our tours would be circuitous, and sometimes retrograde, and we
should turn and double like hares before the hounds.

I have for several reasons, therefore, and after some consideration,
decided to start from Temple Bar, and walk westward along the Strand to
Charing Cross; then to turn up St. Martin’s Lane, and return by Longacre
and Drury Lane to Lincoln’s-Inn-Fields.

That walk embraces the long line of palaces which once adorned the Strand,
or river-bank street, the countless haunts of artists in St. Martin’s
Lane, the legends of Longacre, the theatrical reminiscences of Drury Lane,
and the old noblemen’s houses in Lincoln’s-Inn-Fields. It comprises a
period not so remote as East London, and not so modern as that of the West
End. It brings us acquainted not only with many of the contemporaries of
Shakspere and Dryden, but also with many celebrities of Garrick’s time and
of Dr. Johnson’s age.

If this is not the best point of departure, it has at least much to be
said in its favour, as the loop I have drawn includes nothing intramural,
and comprises a part of London inhabited by persons who lived more within
the times of memoir-writing than those in the farther East,--a district,
too, more within the range of the antiquary than the newer region of the
West.

I trust that in these remarks I have in some degree explained why I have
spent so much time in pouring “old wine into new bottles.”

A preface is too often a pillory made by an author, in which he exposes
himself to a shower of the most unsavoury missiles. I trust that mine may
be considered only as a wayside stone on which I stand to offer a fitting
apology for what I trust is a venial fault.

It is the glory of my old foster-mother, London, I would celebrate; it is
her virtues and her crimes I would record. Her miles of red-tiled roofs,
her quiet green squares, her vast black mountain of a cathedral, her
silver belt of a river, her acres and acres of stony terraces, her
beautiful parks, her tributary fleets, seem to me as so many episodes in
one great epic, the true delineation of which would form a new chapter in
the HISTORY OF MANKIND.



[Illustration: SHIP YARD, TEMPLE BAR, 1761.]


CHAPTER II.

TEMPLE BAR.


Temple Bar, that old dingy gateway of blackened Portland stone which
separates the Strand from Fleet Street, the City from the Shire, and the
Freedom of the City of London from the Liberty of the City of Westminster,
was built by Sir Christopher Wren in the year 1670, four years after the
Great Fire, and ten after the Restoration.

In earlier days there were at this spot only posts, rails, and a chain, as
at Holborn, Smithfield, and Whitechapel. In later times, however, a house
of timber was erected, with a narrow gateway and one passage on the south
side.[2]

The original Bar seems to have crossed Fleet Street, several yards farther
to the east of its successor. In the time of James I. it consisted of an
iron railing with a gate in the middle. A man sat on the spot for many
years after the erection of the new gate, to take toll from all carts
which had not the City arms painted on them.

Temple Bar, if described now in an architect’s catalogue, would be noted
as pierced with two side posterns for foot passengers, and having a
central flattened archway for carriages. In the upper story is an
apartment with semicircular arched windows on the eastern and western
sides, and the whole is crowned with a sweeping pediment.

On the western or Westminster side there are two niches, in which are
placed mean statues of Charles I. and Charles II. in fluttering Roman
robes, and on the east or Fleet Street side there are statues of James I.
and Queen Elizabeth. They are all remarkable for their small feeble heads,
their affected and crinkled drapery, and the piebald look produced by
their projecting hands and feet being washed white by years of rain, while
the rest of their bodies remains a sooty black.

The upper room is held of the City by the partners of the very ancient
firm of Messrs. Child, bankers. There they store their books and records,
as in an old muniment-chamber. The north side ground floor, next to Shire
Lane, was occupied as a barber’s shop from the days of Steele and the
_Tatler_.

The centre slab on the east side of Temple Bar once contained the
following inscription, now all but obliterated:--“Erected in the year
1670, Sir Samuel Sterling, Mayor; continued in the year 1671, Sir Richard
Ford, Lord Mayor; and finished in the year 1672, Sir George Waterman,
Lord Mayor.” It is probable that the corresponding western slab, and also
the smaller one over the postern, once bore inscriptions.

Temple Bar was doomed to destruction by the City as early as 1790, through
the exertions of Alderman Picket. “Threatened men live long,” says an old
Italian proverb. Temple Bar still stands[3] a narrow neck to an immense
decanter; an impeder of traffic, a venerable nuisance, with nothing
interesting but its associations and its dirt. But then let us remember
that as Holborn Hill has tormented horses and drivers ever since the
Conquest, and its steepness is not yet in any way mitigated,[4] we must
not expect hasty reforms in London.

It does not enter into my purpose (unless I walked like a crab, backwards)
to give the history of Child’s bank. Suffice it for me to say that it
stands on part of the site of the old Devil Tavern, kept by old Simon
Wadloe, where Ben Jonson held his club. It was taken down in 1788, and
Child’s Place built in its stead.[5] Alderman Backwell, who was ruined by
the shutting up of the Exchequer in the reign of Charles II., and became a
partner in this, the oldest banking-house in London, was the agent for
Government in the sale of Dunkirk to the French.

Pepys makes frequent allusions to his friend Child, probably one of the
founders of this bank. The Duke of York opposed his interference in
Admiralty matters, and had a quarrel with a gentleman who declared that
whoever impugned Child’s honesty must be a knave. Child wrote an
enlightened work on Indian trade, supporting the interests of the East
India Company.

Apollo Court, exactly opposite the bank, marks a passage that once faced
the Apollo room, from whose windows Ben Jonson must have often glowered
and Herrick laughed.

Archenholz says that in his day there were forty-eight bankers in London.
“The Duke of Marlborough,” writes the Prussian traveller, “had some years
ago in the hands of Child the banker, a fund of ten, fifteen, or twenty
thousand pounds. Drummond had often in his hands several hundred thousand
pounds at one time belonging to the Government.”[6]

In the earliest London Directory (1677),[7] among “the goldsmiths that
keep running cashes,” we find “Richard Blanchard and Child, at the
Marygold in Fleet Street.” The huge marigold (really a sun in full shine),
above four feet high, the original street-sign of the old goldsmiths at
Temple Bar, is still preserved in one of the rooms of Child’s bank.

John Bushnell, the sculptor who executed the statues on Temple Bar, being
compelled by his master, Burman, of St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields, to marry a
discarded servant-maid, went to Italy, and resided in Rome and Venice, and
in the latter place executed a monument to a Procuratore, representing a
naval engagement between the Venetians and the Turks. His best works are
Cowley’s monument, that of Sir Palmes Fairborne in Westminster Abbey, and
Lord Mordaunt’s statue in Fulham church. He also executed the statues of
Charles I., Charles II., and Sir Thomas Gresham for the Royal Exchange. He
had agreed to complete the set of kings, but Cibber being also engaged,
Bushnell would not finish the six or seven he had begun. Being told by
rival sculptors that he could carve only drapery, and not the naked
figure, he produced a very despicable Alexander the Great.

The next whim of this vain, fantastic, and crazy man, was to prove that
the Trojan Horse could really have been constructed.[8] He therefore had a
wooden horse built with huge timbers, which he proposed to cover with
stucco. The head held twelve men and a table; the eyes served as windows.
Before it was half completed, however, it was demolished by a storm of
wind, and no entreaties of the two vintners who had contracted to use the
horse for a drinking booth could induce the mortified projector to rebuild
the monster, which had already cost him £500. A wiser plan of his, that of
bringing coal to London by sea, also miscarried; and the loss of an estate
in Kent, through an unsuccessful lawsuit, completed the overthrow of
Bushnell’s never very well-balanced brain. He died in 1701, and was buried
at Paddington. His two sons (to one of whom he left £100 a year, and to
the other £60) became recluses, moping in an unfinished house of their
father’s, facing Hyde Park, in the lane leading from Piccadilly to Tyburn,
now Park Lane. This strange abode had neither staircase nor doors, but
there they brooded, sordid and impracticable, saying that the world had
not been worthy of their father. Vertue, in 1728, describes a visit to the
house, which was then choked with unfinished statues and pictures. There
was a ruined cast of an intended brass equestrian statue of Charles II.:
an Alexander and other unfinished kings completed the disconsolate
brotherhood. Against the wall leant a great picture of a classic triumph,
almost obliterated; and on the floor lay a bar of iron, as thick as a
man’s wrist, that had been broken by some forgotten invention of
Bushnell’s.

After the discovery of the absurd Meal-Tub Plot, in 1679, the 17th of
November, the anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth was kept,
according to custom, as a high Protestant festival, and celebrated by an
extraordinary procession, at the expense of the Green-Ribbon Club, a few
citizens, and some gentlemen of the Temple. The bells began to ring out at
three o’clock in the morning; at dusk the procession began at Moorgate,
and passed through Cheapside and Fleet Street, where it ended with a huge
bonfire, “just over against the Inner Temple gate.”[9]

The stormy procession was thus constituted:--

1. Six whifflers, in pioneer caps and red waistcoats, who cleared the
way. 2. A bellman, ringing his bell, and with a doleful voice crying,
“Remember Justice Godfrey.” 3. A dead body, representing the wood-merchant
of Hartshorne Lane (Sir E. Godfrey), in a decent black habit, white
gloves, and the cravat wherewith he was murdered about his neck, with
spots of blood on his wrists, breast, and shirt. This figure was held on a
white horse by a man representing one of the murderers. 4. A priest in a
surplice and cope, embroidered with bones, skulls, and skeletons. He
handed pardons to all who would meritoriously murder Protestants. 5. A
priest, bearing a great silver cross. 6. Four Carmelite friars, in white
and black robes. 7. Four Grey Friars. 8. Six Jesuits with bloody daggers.
9. The waits, playing all the way. 10. Four bishops in purple, with lawn
sleeves, golden crosses on their breasts, and croziers in their hands. 11.
Four other bishops, in full pontificals (copes and surplices), wearing
gilt mitres. 12. Six cardinals, in scarlet robes and caps. 13. The Pope’s
chief physician, with Jesuits’ powder and other still more grotesque
badges of his office. 14. Two priests in surplices, bearing golden
crosses. 15. Then came the centre of all this pageant, the Pope himself,
sitting in a scarlet and gilt fringed chair of state. His feet were on a
cushion, supported by two boys in surplices, with censers and white silk
banners, painted with red crosses and bloody consecrated daggers. His
Holiness wore a scarlet gown, lined with ermine and daubed with gold and
silver lace. On his head he had the triple tiara, and round his neck a
gilt collar, strung with precious stones, beads, Agnus Dei’s, and St.
Peter’s keys. At the back of his chair climbed and whispered the devil,
who hugged and caressed him, and sometimes urged him aloud to kill King
Charles, or to forge a Protestant plot and to fire the city again, for
which purpose he kept a torch ready lit.

The number of spectators in the balconies and windows was computed at two
hundred thousand. A hundred and fifty flambeaux followed the procession by
order, and as many more came as volunteers.

Roger North also describes a fellow with a stentorophonic tube (a
speaking-trumpet), who kept bellowing out--“Abhorrers! abhorrers!”[10]

Lastly came a complaisant, civil gentleman, who was meant to represent
either Sir Roger l’Estrange, or the King of France, or the Duke of York.
“Taking all in good part, he went on his way to the fire.”

At Temple Bar some of the mob had crowned the statue of Elizabeth with
gilt laurel, and placed in her hand a gilt shield with the motto, “The
Protestant Religion and Magna Charta.” A spear leant against her arm, and
the niche was lit with candles and flambeaux, so that, as North said, she
looked like the goddess Pallas, the object of some solemn worship and
sacrifice.

All this time perpetual battles and skirmishes went on between the Whigs
and Tories at the different windows, and thousands of volleys of squibs
were discharged.

When the pope was at last toppled into the fire a prodigious shout was
raised, that spread as far as Somerset House, where the queen then was,
and, as a pamphleteer of the time says, before it ceased, reached
Scotland, France, and even Rome.

From these processions the word MOB (_mobile vulgus_) became introduced
into our language.[11] In 1682, Charles II. tried to prohibit this annual
festival, but it continued nevertheless till the reign of Queen Anne, or
even later.[12]

At Temple Bar, where the houses seemed turned into mountains of heads, and
many fireworks were let off, a man representing the English cardinal
(Philip Howard, brother of the Duke of Norfolk) sang a rude part-song with
other men who personated the people of England. The cardinal first
began:--

  “From York to London town we come
    To talk of Popish ire,
  To reconcile you all to Rome,
    And prevent Smithfield fire.”

To which the people replied, valorously:--

  “Cease, cease, thou Norfolk cardinal,
    See! yonder stands Queen Bess,
  Who saved our souls from Popish thrall:
    Oh, Bess! Queen Bess! Queen Bess!

  “Your Popish plot, and Smithfield threat,
    We do not fear at all,
  For, lo! beneath Queen Bess’s feet,
    You fall! you fall! you fall!

  “’Tis true our king’s on t’other side,
    A looking t’wards Whitehall,
  But could we bring him round about,
    He’d counterplot you all.

  “Then down with James and up with Charles,
    On good Queen Bess’s side,
  That all true commons, lords, and earls
    May wish him a fruitful bride.

  “Now God preserve great Charles our king,
    And eke all honest men,
  And traitors all to justice bring:
    Amen! Amen! Amen!”

It was formerly the barbarous and brutal custom to place the heads and
quarters of traitors upon Temple Bar as scarecrows to all persons who did
not consider William of Orange, or the Elector of Hanover, the rightful
possessors of the English crown.

Sir Thomas Armstrong was the first to help to deck Wren’s new arch. When
Shaftesbury fled in 1683, and the Court had partly discovered his
intrigues with Monmouth and the Duke of Argyle, the more desperate men of
the Exclusion Party plotted to stop the king’s coach as he returned from
Newmarket to London, at the Rye House, a lonely mansion near Hoddesden.
The plot was discovered, and Monmouth escaped to Holland. In the meantime
the informers dragged Russell and Sydney into the scheme, for which they
were falsely put to death. Sir Thomas Armstrong, who had been taken at
Leyden and delivered up to the English Ambassador at the Hague, claimed a
trial as a surrendered outlaw, according to the 6th Edward VI. But Judge
Jeffreys refused him his request, as he had not surrendered voluntarily,
but had been brought by force. Armstrong still claiming the benefit of the
law, the brutal judge replied:--“And the benefit of the law you shall
have, by the grace of God. See that execution be done on Friday next,
according to law.”

Armstrong had sinned deeply against the king. He had sold himself to the
French ambassador, he had urged Monmouth on in his undutiful conduct to
his father, and he had been an active agent in the Rye House Plot. Charles
would listen to no voice in his favour. On the scaffold he denied any
intention of assassinating the king or changing the form of
government.[13]

Sir William Perkins and Sir John Friend were the next unfortunate
gentlemen who lent their heads to crown the Bar. They were rash,
hot-headed Jacobites, who, too eagerly adopting the “ultima ratio” of
political partisans, had planned, in 1696, to stop King William’s coach in
a deep lane between Brentford and Turnham Green, as he returned from
hunting at Richmond. Sir John Friend was a person who had acquired wealth
and credit from mean beginnings, but Perkins was a man of fortune,
violently attached to King James, though as one of the six clerks of
Chancery he had taken the oath to the new Government. Friend owned that he
had been at a treasonable meeting at the King’s Head Tavern in Leadenhall
Street, but denied connivance in the assassination-plot. Perkins made an
artful and vigorous defence, but the judge acted as counsel for the Crown
and guided the jury. They both suffered at Tyburn, three nonjuring
clergymen absolving them, much to the indignation of the loyal
bystanders.[14]

John Evelyn calls the sight of Temple Bar “a dismal sight.”[15] Thank God,
this revolting spectacle of traitors’ heads will never be seen here again.

In 1716 Colonel Henry Oxburgh’s head was added to the quarters of Sir
John Friend (a brewer) and the skull of Sir William Perkins. Oxburgh was a
Lancashire gentleman, who had served in the French army. General Foster
(who escaped from Newgate, in 1716) had made him colonel directly he
joined the Pretender’s army. To him, too, had been entrusted the
humiliating task of proposing capitulation to the king’s troops at
Preston, when the Highlanders, frenzied with despair, were eager to sally
out and cut their way through the enemy’s dragoons. He met death with a
serene temper. A fellow-prisoner described his words as coming “like a
gleam from God. You received comfort,” he says, “from the man you came to
comfort.” Oxburgh was executed at Tyburn, May 14; his body was buried at
St. Giles’, all but his head, and that was placed on Temple Bar two days
afterwards.

A curious print of 1746 represents Temple Bar with the three heads raised
on tall poles or iron rods. The devil looks down in triumph and waves the
rebel banner, on which are three crowns and a coffin, with the motto, “A
crown or a grave.” Underneath are written these wretched verses:

  “Observe the banner which would all enslave,
  Which ruined traytors did so proudly wave.
  The devil seems the project to despise;
  A fiend confused from off the trophy flies.

  “While trembling rebels at the fabrick gaze,
  And dread their fate with horror and amaze,
  Let Briton’s sons the _emblematick_ view,
  And plainly see what to rebellion’s due.”

A curious little book “by a member of the Inner Temple,” which has
preserved this print, has also embalmed the following stupid and
cold-blooded impromptu on the heads of Oxburgh, Townley, and Fletcher:--

  “Three heads here I spy,
  Which the glass did draw nigh,
    The better to have a good sight;
  Triangle they’re placed,
  Old, bald, and barefaced,
    Not one of them e’er was upright.”[16]

The heads of Fletcher and Townley were put up on Temple Bar August 2,
1746. On August 16, Walpole writes to Montague to say that he had “passed
under the new heads at Temple Bar, where people made a trade of letting
spying-glasses at a halfpenny a look.”

Townley was a young officer about thirty-eight years of age, born at
Wigan, and of a good family. His uncle had been out in 1715, but was
acquitted on his trial. Townley had been fifteen years abroad in the
French army, and was close to the Duke of Berwick when the duke’s head was
shot off at the siege of Philipsburgh. When the Highlanders came into
England he met them near Preston, and received from the young Pretender a
commission to raise a regiment of foot. He had been also commandant at
Carlisle, and directed the sallies from thence.

Fletcher, a young linen chapman at Salford, had been seen pulling off his
hat and shouting when a sergeant and a drummer were beating up for
volunteers at the Manchester Exchange. He had been seen also at Carlisle,
dressed as an officer, with a white cockade in his hat and a plaid sash
round his waist.[17]

Seven other Jacobites were executed on Kennington Common with Fletcher and
Townley. They were unchained from the floor of their room in Southwark new
gaol early in the morning, and having taken coffee, had their irons
knocked off. They were then, at about ten o’clock, put into three sledges,
each drawn by three horses. The executioner, with a drawn scimitar, sat in
the first sledge with Townley; a party of dragoons and a detachment of
foot-guards conducted him to the gallows, near which a pile of faggots and
a block had been placed. While the prisoners were stepping from their
sledges into a cart drawn up beneath a tree, the wood was set on fire, and
the guards formed a circle round the place of execution. The prisoners had
no clergyman, but Mr. Morgan, one of their number, put on his spectacles
and read prayers to them, which they listened and responded to with
devoutness. This lasted above an hour. Each one then threw his
prayer-book and some written papers among the spectators; they also
delivered notes to the sheriff, and then flung their hats into the crowd.
“Six of the hats,” says the quaint contemporary account, “were laced with
gold,--all of these prisoners having been genteelly dressed.” Immediately
after, the executioner took a white cap from each man’s pocket and drew it
over his eyes; then they were turned off. When they had hung about three
minutes, the executioner pulled off their shoes, white stockings, and
breeches, a butcher removing their other clothes. The body of Mr. Townley
was then cut down and laid upon a block, and the butcher seeing some signs
of life remaining, struck it on the breast, then took out the bowels and
the heart, and threw them into the fire. Afterwards, with a cleaver, they
severed the head and placed it with the body in the coffin. When the last
heart, which was Mr. Dawson’s, was tossed into the fire, the executioner
cried, “God save King George!” and the immense multitude gave a great
shout. The heads and bodies were then removed to Southwark gaol to await
the king’s pleasure.

According to another account the bodies were cloven into quarters; and as
the butcher held up each heart he cried, “Behold the heart of a traitor!”

Mr. James Dawson, one of the unhappy men thus cruelly punished, was a
young Lancashire gentleman of fortune, just engaged to be married. The
unhappy lady followed his sledge to the place of execution, and approached
near enough to see the fire kindled and all the other dreadful
preparations. She bore it well till she heard her lover was no more, but
then drew her head back into the coach, and crying out, “My dear, I follow
thee!--I follow thee! Sweet Jesus, receive our souls together!” fell on
the neck of a companion and expired. Shenstone commemorated this
occurrence in a plaintive ballad called “Jemmy Dawson.”

Mr. Dawson is described as “a mighty gay gentleman, who frequented much
the company of the ladies, and was well respected by all his acquaintance
of either sex for his genteel deportment. He was as strenuous for their
vile cause as any one in the rebel army. When he was condemned and double
fettered, he said he did not care if they were to put a ton weight of iron
on him; it would not in the least daunt his resolution.”[18]

On January 20 (between 2 and 3 A.M.), 1766, a man was taken up for
discharging musket-bullets from a steel crossbow at the two remaining
heads upon Temple Bar. On being examined he affected a disorder in his
senses, and said his reason for doing so was “his strong attachment to the
present Government, and that he thought it was not sufficient that a
traitor should merely suffer death; that this provoked his indignation,
and that it had been his constant practice for three nights past to amuse
himself in the same manner. And it is much to be feared,” says the
recorder of the event, “that he is a near relation to one of the unhappy
sufferers.”[19] Upon searching this man, about fifty musket-bullets were
found on him, wrapped up in a paper with a motto--“Eripuit ille vitam.”

“Yesterday,” says a news-writer of the 1st of April, 1772, “one of the
rebel heads on Temple Bar fell down. There is only one head now
remaining.”

The head that fell was probably that of Councillor Layer, executed for
high treason in 1723. The blackened head was blown off the spike during a
violent storm. It was picked up by Mr. John Pearce, an attorney, one of
the Nonjurors of the neighbourhood, who showed it to some friends at a
public-house, under the floor of which it was buried. In the meanwhile Dr.
Rawlinson, a Jacobite antiquarian, having begged for the relic, was
imposed on with another. In his will the doctor desired to be buried with
this head in his right hand,[20] and the request was complied with.

This Dr. Rawlinson, one of the first promoters of the Society of
Antiquaries, and son of a lord mayor of London, died in 1755. His body was
buried in St. Giles’ churchyard, Oxford, and his heart in St. John’s
College. The sale of his effects lasted several days, and produced £1164.
He left upwards of 20,000 pamphlets; his coins he bequeathed to Oxford.

The last of the iron poles or spikes on which the heads of the unfortunate
Jacobite gentlemen were fixed, was removed only at the commencement of the
present century.[21]

The above-named Christopher Layer was a barrister, living in Old
Southampton Buildings, who had engaged in a plot to seize the Bank and the
Tower, to arm the Minters in Southwark, to seize the king, Walpole, and
Lord Cadogan, to place cannon on the terrace of Lincoln’s-Inn-Fields
gardens, and to draw a force of armed men together at the Exchange. The
prisoner had received blank promissory-notes signed in the Pretender’s own
hand, and also treasonable letters full of cant words of the party in
disguised names--such as Mr. Atkins for the Pretender, Mrs. Barbara Smith
for the army, and Mr. Fountaine for himself.

It was proved that, at an audience in Rome, Layer had assured the
Pretender that the South Sea losses had done good to his cause; and the
Pretender and the Pretender’s wife (through their proxies, Lord North and
Grey, and the Duchess of Ormond) had stood as godfather and godmother to
his (Layer’s) daughter’s child.

He was executed at Tyburn in May 1723, and avowed his principles even
under the gallows. His head was taken to Newgate, and the next day fixed
upon Temple Bar; but his quarters were delivered to his relations to be
decently interred.

In April 1773 Boswell dined at Mr. Beauclerk’s with Dr. Johnson, Lord
Charlemont, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and some other members of the Literary
Club--it being the evening when Boswell was to be balloted for as
candidate for admission into that distinguished society.[22] The
conversation turned on Westminster Abbey, and on the new and commendable
practice of erecting monuments to great men in St. Paul’s; upon which the
doctor observed--

“I remember once being with Goldsmith in Westminster Abbey. While we
surveyed the Poets’ Corner, I said to him--

  ‘Forsitan et nostrum nomen miscebitur illis.’

When we got to Temple Bar he stopped me, pointed to the heads upon it, and
slily whispered--

  ‘Forsitan et nostrum nomen miscebitur _istis_.’”[23]

This walk must have taken place a year or two before 1773, for in 1772, as
we have seen, the last head but one fell.

O’Keefe, the dramatist, who arrived in England on August 12, 1762, the day
on which the Prince of Wales (afterwards George IV.) was born, describes
the heads of poor Townley and Fletcher as stuck up on high poles, not over
the central archway, but over the side posterns. Parenthetically he
mentions that he had also seen the walls of Cork gaol garnished with
heads, like the ramparts of the seraglio at Constantinople.[24]

O’Keefe tells us that he heard the unpopular peace of 1763 proclaimed at
Temple Bar, and witnessed the heralds in the Strand knock at the city
gate. The duke of Nivernois, the French ambassador on that occasion, was a
very little man, who wore a coat of richly-embroidered blue velvet, and a
small _chapeau_, which set the fashion of the Nivernois hat.[25]

At the proclamation of the short peace of Amiens, the king’s marshal, with
his officers, having ridden down the Strand from Westminster, stopped at
Temple Bar, which was kept shut to show that there commenced the Lord
Mayor’s jurisdiction. The herald’s trumpets were blown thrice; the junior
officer then tapped at the gate with his cane, upon which the City
marshal, in the most unconscious way possible, answered, “Who is there?”
The herald replied, “The officers-of-arms, who seek entrance into the City
to publish his majesty’s proclamation of peace.” On this the gates were
flung open, and the herald alone was admitted, and conducted to the Lord
Mayor. The latter then read the royal warrant, and returning it to the
bearer, ordered the City marshal to open the gate for the whole
procession. The Lord Mayor and aldermen then joined it, and proceeded to
the Royal Exchange, where the proclamation, that was to bid the cannon
cease and chain up the dogs of war, was read for the last time.

[Illustration: THE LORD MAYOR’S SHOW. AFTER HOGARTH.]

The timber work and doors of Temple Bar have been often renewed since
1672. New doors were hung for Nelson’s funeral, when the Bar was to be
closed; and again at the funeral of Wellington, when the plumes and
trophies had to be removed in order that the car might pass through the
gate, which was covered with dull theatrical finery.[26]

The old, black, mud-splashed gates of Temple Bar are also shut whenever
the sovereign has occasion to enter the City. This is an old custom, a
tradition of the times when the city was proud of its privileges, and
sometimes even jealous of royalty. When the cavalcade approaches, a
herald, in his tabard of crimson and gold lace, sounds a trumpet before
the portal of the City; another herald knocks; a parley ensues; the gates
are then thrown open, and the Lord Mayor appearing, kneels and hands the
sword of the city to his sovereign, who graciously returns it.

Stow describes a scene like this in the old days of the “timber house,”
when Queen Elizabeth was on her way to old St. Paul’s to return thanks to
God for the discomfiture of the Armada. The City waits fluted, trumpeted,
and fiddled from the roof of the gate; while below, the Lord Mayor and his
brethren, in scarlet gowns, received and welcomed their brave queen,
delivering up the sword which, after certain speeches, she re-delivered to
the mayor, who, then taking horse, rode onward to St. Paul’s bearing it in
its shining sheath before her.[27]

In the June after the execution of Charles I., when Cromwell had dispersed
the mutinous regiments with his horse, and pistolled or hanged their
leaders, a day of thanksgiving was appointed, and the Parliament, the
Council of State, and the Council of the Army, after endless sermons,
dined together at Grocers’ Hall; on that day Lenthall, the Speaker,
received the sword of state from the mayor at the Bar, and assumed the
functions of royalty.

The same ceremony took place when Queen Anne went to St. Paul’s to return
thanks for the Duke of Marlborough’s victories, and again when George III.
came to return thanks for a recovery from his fit of insanity, and when
Queen Victoria passed on her way to Cornhill to open the Royal Exchange.

Temple Bar naturally does not figure much in the early City pageants,
because, after proceeding to Westminster by water, the mayor and aldermen
usually landed at St. Paul’s Stairs.

It is, we believe, first mentioned in the great festivities when the City
brought poor Anne Boleyn, in 1533, from Greenwich to the Tower, and on the
second day after conducted her through the chief streets and honoured her
with shows. On that day the Fleet Street conduit ran claret, and Temple
Bar was newly painted and repaired; there also stood singing men and
children, till the company rode on to Westminster Hall. The next day was
the coronation.[28]

On the 19th of February 1546-7 the young King Edward VI. passed through
London, the day before his coronation. At the Fleet Street conduit two
hogsheads of wine were given to the people. The gate at Temple Bar was
also painted and fashioned with varicoloured battlements and buttresses,
richly hung with cloth of arras, and garnished with fourteen standards.
There were eight French trumpeters blowing their best, besides a pair of
“regals,” with children singing to the same.[29]

In September 1553 Queen Mary rode through London, the day before her
coronation, in a chariot covered with cloth of tissue, and drawn by six
horses draped with the same. Minstrels played at Ludgate, and the Temple
Bar was newly painted and hung.[30]

But even a greater time came for the old City boundary in January 1558-9,
when Queen Elizabeth went from the Tower to Westminster. Temple Bar was
“finely dressed” up with the two giants--Gog and Magog (now in the
Guildhall)--who held between them a poetical recapitulation of all the
other pageantries, both in Latin and English. On the south side was a
noise of singing children, one of whom, richly attired as a poet, gave the
queen farewell in the name of the whole city.[31]

In 1603 King James, Queen Anne of Denmark, and Prince Henry Frederick
passed through “the honourable City and Chamber” of London, and were
welcomed with pageants. The last arch, that of Temple Bar, represented a
temple of Janus. The principal character was Peace, with War grovelling at
her feet; by her stood Wealth; below sat the four handmaids of
Peace,--Quiet treading on Tumult, Liberty on Servitude, Safety on Danger,
and Felicity on Unhappiness. There was then recited a poetical dialogue by
the Flamen Martialis and the Genius Urbis, written by Ben Jonson.

Here, hitherto, the pageantry had always ceased, but the Strand suburbs
having now greatly increased, there was an additional pageant beyond
Temple Bar, which had been thought of and perfected in only twelve days.
The invention was a rainbow; and the moon, sun, and pleiades advanced
between two magnificent pyramids seventy feet high, on which were drawn
out the king’s pedigrees through both the English and the Scottish
monarchs. A speech composed by Ben Jonson was delivered by Electra.[32]

When Charles II. came through London, according to custom, the day before
his coronation, I suspect that “the fourth arch in Fleet Street” was close
to Temple Bar. It was of the Doric and Ionic orders, and was dedicated to
Plenty, who made a speech, surrounded by Bacchus, Ceres, Flora, Pomona,
and the Winds; but whether the latter were alive or only dummies, I cannot
say.

The _London Gazette_ of February 8, 1665-6, announces the proclamation of
war against France; and Pepys mentions this as also the day on which they
went into mourning at court for the King of Spain. War was proclaimed by
the herald-at-arms and two of his brethren, his majesty’s
sergeants-at-arms, and trumpeters, with the other usual officers before
Whitehall, and afterwards (the Lord Mayor and his brethren assisting) at
Temple Bar, and in other usual parts of the City.

James II., in 1687, honoured Sir John Shorter as Lord Mayor with his
presence at an inaugurative banquet at Guildhall. The king was accompanied
by Prince George of Denmark, and was met by the two sheriffs at Temple
Bar.

[Illustration: TEMPLE BAR, 1746.]

On Lord Mayor’s Day, 1689, when King William and Queen Mary came to the
City to see the show, the City militia regiments lined the street as far
as Temple Bar, and beyond came the red and blue regiments of Middlesex and
Westminster; the soldiers, at regulated distances, holding lighted
flambeaux in their hands, and all the houses being illuminated.[33]

In 1697, when Macaulay’s hero, William III., made a triumphant entry into
London to celebrate the conclusion of the peace of Ryswick, the procession
included fourscore state coaches, each with six horses; the three City
regiments guarded Temple Bar, and beyond them came the liveries of the
several companies, with their banners and ensigns displayed.[34]

George III. in his day, and Queen Victoria in her and our own, passed
through Temple Bar in state more than once, on their way into the City;
the last occasion was on February 1872, when the Queen proceeded to St.
Paul’s to offer thanks for the recovery of her son the Prince of Wales.
Through it also the bodies of Nelson and of Wellington were borne to their
last resting place in St. Paul’s.

On the auspicious entrance into London of the fair Princess Alexandra, the
old gate was hung with tapestry of gold tissue, powdered with crimson
hearts; and very mediæval and gorgeous it looked; but the real days of
pageants are gone by. We shall never again see fountains running wine, nor
maidens blowing gold-leaf into the air, as in the luxurious days of our
Plantagenet kings.

There are many portals in the world loftier and more beautiful than our
dull, black arch of Temple Bar. The Vatican has grander doorways, the
Louvre more stately entrances, but through no gateway in the world have
surely passed onwards to death so many millions of wise and brave men, or
so many thinkers who have urged forward learning and civilisation, and
carried the standard of struggling humanity farther into space.



[Illustration: ST. CLEMENT’S CHURCH IN THE STRAND, 1753.]


CHAPTER III.

THE STRAND (SOUTH SIDE).


Essex Street was formerly part of the Outer Temple, the western wing of
the Knight Templars’ quarter. The outer district of these proud and
wealthy Crusaders stretched as far as the present Devereux Court; those
gentler spoilers, the mediæval lawyers, having extended their frontiers
quite as far as their rooted-out predecessors. From the Prior and Canons
of the Holy Sepulchre[35] it was transferred, in the reign of Edward II.
to the Bishops of Exeter, who built a palace here and occupied it till the
reign of Henry VII. or Henry VIII.

The first tenant of Exeter House was the ill-fated Walter Stapleton, Lord
Treasurer of England, a firm adherent to the luckless Edward II., against
his queen and the turbulent barons. In 1326, when Isabella landed from
France to chase the Spensers from her husband’s side, and advanced on
London, the weak king and his evil counsellors fled to the Welsh frontier;
but the bishop held out stoutly for his king, and, as custos of the City
of London, demanded the keys from the Lord Mayor, Hammond Chickwell, to
prevent the treachery of the disaffected city. The watchful populace,
roused by Isabella’s proclamation that had been hung on the new cross in
Cheapside, rose in arms, seized the vacillating mayor, and took the keys.
They next ran to Exeter House, then newly erected, fired the gates, and
burnt all the plate, jewels, money, and goods. The bishop, at that time in
the fields, being almost too proud to show fear, rode straight to the
northern door of St. Paul’s to take sanctuary. There the mob tore him from
his horse, stripped him of his armour, and dragging him to Cheapside,
proclaimed him a traitor, a seducer of the king, and an enemy of their
liberties, and lopping off his head, set it on a pole. The corpse was
buried without funeral service in an old churchyard of the Pied
Friars.[36] His brother and some servants were also beheaded, and their
bleeding and naked bodies thrown on a heap of rubbish by the river side.

Exeter Place was shortly afterwards rebuilt, but the new house seemed a
doomed place, and brought no better fortune to its new owners. Lord Paget,
who changed its name to Paget House, fought at Boulogne under the poet
Earl of Surrey, was ambassador at the court of Charles V., and on his
return obtained a peerage and the garter. He fell with the Protector
Somerset, being accused of having planned the assassination of the Duke of
Northumberland at Paget House. Released from the Tower, he was deprived of
the garter upon the malicious pretence that he was not a gentleman by
blood. Queen Mary, however, restored the fallen man to honour, made him
Lord Privy Seal, and sent him on an embassy.

The next occupier of the unlucky house, Thomas Howard, fourth Duke of
Norfolk, and son of the poet Earl of Surrey, maintained in its chambers an
almost royal magnificence. It was here he was arrested for conspiring,
with the aid of Mary Queen of Scots, the Pope, and the King of Spain, to
marry Mary and restore the Popish religion.

The duke’s ambition and treason were fully proved by his own intercepted
letters; indeed, he himself confessed his guilt, though he had denounced
Mary to Elizabeth as a “notorious adulteress and murderer.” To crown his
rashness, meanness, and treason, he wrote from the Tower the most abject
letters to Elizabeth, imploring her clemency. He was privately beheaded in
1572, but his estates were restored to his children.[37] It was under the
mat, hard by a window in the entry towards the duke’s bedchamber, that the
celebrated alphabet in cipher[38] was hidden, which the duke afterwards
concealed under a roof tile, where it was found, unmasking all his plans.

In the Tower the unhappy plotter had written affecting letters to his son
Philip, bidding him worship God, avoid courts, and beware of ambition.[39]
The warning of the man whose eyes had been opened too late is touching.
The writer, speaking of court life, remarks, “It hath no certainty. Either
a man, by following thereof, hath too much worldly pomp, which in the end
throws him down headlong, or else he liveth there unsatisfied, either that
he cannot obtain to himself that he would, or else that he cannot do for
his friends as his heart desireth.”

Poor Philip did not benefit much by these lessons, but remained simple
Earl of Arundel, was repeatedly committed to the Tower, as by necessity an
ill-wisher to Elizabeth, and eventually died there after ten weary years
of imprisonment. His initials are still to be found on the walls of one of
the chambers in the Beauchamp Tower.

Fools never learn the lessons which Time tries so hard to beat into them.
Plotter succeeds plotter, and the rough lesson of the headsman seldom
teaches the conspirator’s successor to cease from conspiring.

To the Norfolks succeeded Dudley, the false Earl of Leicester, the black
or gipsy earl, as he was called from his swarthy Italian complexion.
Leicester, like the duke before him, plotted with Mary’s Jesuits and
assassins, and at the same time contrived to keep in favour with his own
jealous queen, in spite of all his failures and schemings in Holland, and
his suspected assassinations of his enemies in England. Leicester died of
fever the year of the Armada (1588), on his return from the camp at
Tilbury, leaving Leicester Place to Robert Devereux, his step-son, the
Earl of Essex,[40] who succeeded to his favour at court, but was doomed to
an untimely death.

It was to the great Lord of Kenilworth--that dark, mysterious man, who
perhaps deserved more praise than historians usually give him--that
Spenser dedicated his poem of “Virgil’s Gnat.” In his beautiful
“Prothalamion” on the marriage of Lady Elizabeth and Lady Catherine
Somerset, he speaks somewhat abjectly of Leicester, ingeniously contriving
to remind Essex of his father-in-law’s bounty. “Near to the Temple,” the
needy poet says,

              “Stands a stately place,
  _Where I gayned giftes_ and the goodly grace
  Of that great lord who there was wont to dwell,
  Whose want too well now feels my friendless case;
  But, ah! here fits not well
  Old woes.”

Then the poet goes on to eulogise Essex, who, however, it is supposed,
after all allowed him to die in want. But there is a mystery about
Spenser’s death. He returned from Ireland, beggared and almost
broken-hearted, in October or November 1599, and died in the January
following, just as Essex was preparing to start to Ireland. In that whirl
of ambition, the poor poet may perhaps have been rather overlooked than
wilfully slighted. This at least is certain, that he was buried in
Westminster Abbey, near Chaucer’s tomb, the Earl of Essex defraying the
expenses of his public funeral.

It was in his prison-house near the Temple that the hair-brained Earl of
Essex shut himself sulkily up, when Queen Elizabeth had given him a box on
the ears, after a dispute about the new deputy for Ireland, in which the
earl had shown a petulant violence unworthy of the pupil of Burleigh.

Far too much sympathy has been shown with this rash, imperious, and
unbearable young noble. He was sent to Ireland, and there concluded a
disgraceful, wilful, and traitorous treaty with one of England’s most
inveterate and dangerous enemies. He returned from that “cursedest of all
islands,” as he called it, against express command, and was with
difficulty dissuaded from landing in open rebellion. Generous and frank he
may have been, but his submission to the mild and well-deserved punishment
of confinement to his own house was as base and abject as it was false and
hypocritical.

Alarmed, mortified, and enraged at the duration of his banishment from
court, and at the refusal of a renewed grant for the monopoly of sweet
wines, Essex betook himself to open rebellion, urged on by ill-advisers
and his own reckless impatient spirit. He invited the Puritan preachers to
prayers and sermons; he plotted with the King of Scotland. It was arranged
at secret meetings at Drury House (then Sir Charles Daver’s) to seize
Whitehall and compel the queen to dismiss Cecil and other ministers
hostile to Essex.

Sir Christopher Blount was to seize the palace gates, Davies the hall,
Davers the guard-room and presence-chamber, while Essex, rushing in from
the Mews with some hundred and twenty adherents, was to compel the queen
to assemble a parliament to dismiss his enemies, and to fix the
succession. All these plans were proposed to Essex in writing--the
arch-conspirator was never himself present.

The delay of letters from Scotland led to the premature outbreak of the
plot. An order was at once sent summoning Essex to the council, and the
palace guards were doubled.

On Sunday, February 7, 1601, Essex, fearing instant arrest, assembled his
friends, and determined to arm and sally forth to St. Paul’s Cross, where
the Lord Mayor and aldermen were hearing the sermon, and urge them to
follow him to the palace. On the Lord Keeper and other noblemen coming to
the house to know the cause of the assembly, Essex locked them into a back
parlour, guarded by musketeers, and followed by two hundred gentlemen,
drew his sword and rushed into the street like a madman “running a-muck.”

Temple Bar was opened for him; but at St. Paul’s Cross he found no
meeting. The citizens crowded round him, but did not join his band. When
he reached the house of Sheriff Smith, the crafty Sheriff had stolen away.

In the meantime Lord Burleigh and the Earl of Cumberland, with a herald,
had entered the City and proclaimed Essex a traitor; a thousand pounds
being offered for his apprehension. Despairing of success, the mad earl
then turned towards his own house, and finding Ludgate barricaded by a
strong party of citizens under Sir John Levison, attempted to force his
way, killing two or three citizens, and losing Tracy, a young friend of
his own. Then striking down to Queenhithe, the earl and some fifty
followers who were left took boat for Essex Gardens.

On entering his house, he found that his treacherous confidant, Sir
Ferdinand Gorges, had made terms with the court and released the hostages.
Essex then, by the advice of Lord Sandys, resolved to fortify the place,
hold out to the last extremity, and die sword in hand. In a few minutes,
however, the Lord Admiral’s troops surrounded the building. A parley
ensued between Sir Robert Sidney in the garden, and Essex and his rash
ally, Shakspere’s patron, the Earl of Southampton, who were on the roof.
The earl’s demands were proudly refused, but a respite of two hours was
given him, that the ladies and female servants might retire. About six
the battering train arrived from the Tower, and Essex then wisely
surrendered at discretion.[41]

The night being very dark, and the tide not serving to pass the dangers of
London Bridge, Essex and Southampton were taken by boat to Lambeth Palace,
and the next morning to the Tower.

Essex had fully deserved death. He was executed privately, by his own
request, at the Tower, February 25, 1601. Meyrick, his steward, and Cuffe,
his secretary, were hanged and quartered at Tyburn. Sir Charles Davers and
Sir Christopher Blount perished on Tower Hill. Other prisoners were fined
and imprisoned, and the Earl of Southampton pined in durance till the
accession of James I. (1603).

Among the even older tenants of Essex House, we must not forget that
unhappy woman, the earl’s mother, who, first as Lettice Knollys, then as
Countess of Essex, afterwards as Lady Leicester, and next as wife of Sir
Christopher Blount, was a barb in Elizabeth’s side for thirty years.
Married as a girl to a noble husband, she gave up her honour to a seducer,
and there is reason to think that she consented to the taking of his life.
While Devereux lived, she deceived the queen by a scandalous amour, and,
after his death, by a clandestine marriage with the Earl of Leicester.
While Dudley lived, she wallowed in licentious love with Christopher
Blount, his groom of the horse. When her second husband expired in agony
at Cornbury, not an hour’s gallop from the place in which Amy Robsart
died, she again mortified the queen by a secret union with her last
seducer, Blount. Her children rioted in the same vices. Essex himself,
with his ring of favourites, was not more profligate than his sister
Penelope, Lady Rich.[42]

This sister was the (Platonic?) mistress of Sydney, whose stolen love for
her is pictured in his most voluptuous verse. On his death at Zütphen, she
lived with Lord Montjoy, though her husband, Lord Rich, was still alive.
Nor was her sister Dorothy one whit better. After marrying one husband
secretly and against the canon, she wedded Percy, the wizard Earl of
Northumberland, whom she led the life of a dog, until he indignantly
turned her out of doors.[43] It is not easy, observes Mr. Dixon, except in
Italian story, to find a group of women so depraved and so detestable as
the mother and sisters of the Earl of Essex.

Essex, the rash noble, who died at the untimely age of thirty-three, had a
dangerous, ill-tempered face, if we may judge by More’s portrait of him.
He stooped in walking, danced badly, and was slovenly in his dress;[44]
yet being a generous, frank friend, an impetuous and chivalrous if not
wise soldier, and an enemy of Spain and the Cecils, he became a favourite
of the people. The legend of the ring sent by Essex to the queen,[45] and
maliciously detained by the Countess of Nottingham, we shall presently
discuss. No applications for mercy by Essex (and he made many during his
trial) affect the question of his deserving death. That the queen
consented with regret to the death of Essex, on the other hand, needs no
doubtful legend to serve as proof.

Elizabeth had forgiven the earl’s joining the Cadiz fleet against her
wish, she forgave his secret marriage, she forgave his shameful
abandonment of his Irish command and even his dishonourable treaty with
Tyrone, but she could not forgive an open and flagrant rebellion at a time
when she was so surrounded by enemies.

An historical writer, gifted with an eminently analytical mind, Mr.
Hepworth Dixon, has lately, with great ingenuity, endeavoured to refute
the charges of ingratitude brought against Bacon for his time serving and
(to say the least) undue eagerness in aggravating the crimes of his old
and generous friend. There can be, however, no doubt that Bacon too soon
abandoned the unfortunate Essex, and, moreover, threw the weight of much
misapplied learning into the scale against the prisoner. No minimising of
the favours received by him from Essex can in my mind remove this stain
from Bacon’s reputation.

In Essex House was born a less brilliant but a happier and a more prudent
man--Robert, Earl of Essex, afterwards the well-known Parliamentary
general. A child when his father died on the scaffold, he was placed under
the care of his grandmother, Lady Walsingham, and was afterwards at Eton
under the severe Saville. A good, worthy, heavy lad, brought up a
Presbyterian, he was betrothed when only fourteen to Lady Frances Howard,
daughter of the Earl of Suffolk, who was herself only thirteen.

The earl travelled on the Continent for four years, and on his return was
married at Essex House. It was for this inauspicious marriage that Ben
Jonson wrote one of his most beautiful and gorgeous masques, Inigo Jones
contributing the machinery, and Ferrabosco the music. The rough-grained
poet seems to have been delighted with the success of the entertainment,
for he says, “Nor was there wanting whatsoever might give to the furniture
a complement, either in riches or strangeness of the habits, delicacy of
dances, magnificence of the scene, or divine rapture of music.”[46]

The countess was already, even at this time, the mistress of Robert Carr,
the handsome minion of James I. She obtained a divorce from her husband in
1613, and espoused her infamous lover. The cruel poisoning of Sir Thomas
Overbury for opposing the new marriage followed; and the earl and
countess, found guilty, but spared by the weak king, lingered out their
lives in mutual reproaches and contempt, loathed and neglected by all.
Fate often runs in sequences--the earl was unhappy with his second wife,
from whom he also was divorced.

Essex emerged from a country retirement to turn general for the
Parliament. Just, affable, and prudent, he was a popular man till he
became marked as a moderatist desirous for peace, and was ousted by the
artful “Self-denying Ordinance.” If he had lived it is probable he would
either have lost his head or have fled to France and turned cavalier. His
death during the time that Charles I. remained a prisoner with the Scotch
army at Newcastle saved him from either fate. With him the Presbyterian
moderatists and the House of Peers finally lost even their little
remaining power.

When the earl resigned his commission, the House of Commons went to Essex
House to return their ex-general thanks for his great services. A year
later they followed him to the grave (1646), little perhaps thinking how
bitterly the earl had reproached them for ingratitude, and what plans he
had devised to reform the army and to check Cromwell and Fairfax.[47]

On the earl’s death, his Royalist brother-in-law, the Marquis of Hertford,
attempted to seize his ready money and papers, but was frustrated by the
Parliament.[48]

Whether the next earl, who on being arrested for sharing in the Rye-House
plot destroyed himself at the Tower, lived in his father’s house, I do not
know, but the mansion, so unlucky to its owners, was occupied by families
of rank for some time after the Restoration, and then falling into neglect
and ruin, as fashion began to flow westward, was subdivided, and a street,
called Essex Street, was built on part of its site.

Samuel Patterson, the bookseller and auctioneer, lived in Essex Street, in
1775, in rooms formerly the residence of Sir Orlando Bridgeman. He was
originally a bag-maker. Afterwards Charles Dibdin commenced his
entertainments in these rooms, and here his fine song of “Poor Jack”
became famous.[49] Patterson’s youngest child was Dr. Johnson’s godson,
and became a pupil of Ozias Humphrey.[50] Patterson wrote a book of
travels in Sterne’s manner, but claimed a priority to that strange writer.

George Fordyce, a celebrated epicurean doctor of the eighteenth century,
lived in the same street. For twenty years he dined daily at Dolly’s
Chop-house, and at his solitary meal he always took a tankard of strong
ale, a quarter of a pint of brandy, and a bottle of port. After these
potations, he walked to his house and gave a lecture to his pupils.[51]

Dr. Johnson, the year before he died, formed a club in Essex Street, at
the Essex Head, a tavern kept by an old servant of his friend, Thrale, the
brewer. It was less select than the Literary Club, but cheaper. Johnson,
writing to Sir Joshua Reynolds to join it, says, “the terms are lax and
the expences light--we meet thrice a week, and he who misses forfeits
twopence.”[52] Sir John Hawkins spitefully calls it “a low ale-house
association;” but Windham, Daines Barrington, Horsley, Boswell, and
Brocklesby were members of it; for rich men were less luxurious than they
are now, and enjoyed the sociable freedom of a tavern. Sir Joshua refused
to join, probably because Barry, who had insulted him, and was very
pugnacious, had become a member.[53] It went on happily for many years,
says Boswell, whom Johnson, when he proposed him for election, called “a
clubable man.” Towards the end of his life the great lexicographer grew
more and more afraid of solitude, and a club so near his home was probably
a great convenience to him.

Near Devereux Court are the premises of the well-known tea-dealers,
Messrs. Twining. The graceful recumbent stone figures of Chinamen over the
Strand front have much elegance, and must have come from some good hand.
One of this family was a Colchester rector, and a translator of
Aristotle’s _Poetics_. He was an excellent man, a good linguist and
musician, and a witty companion. He was contemporary with Gray and Mason,
the poets, at Cambridge. In the back parlour is a portrait of the founder
of the house. A century and a half ago ladies used to drive to the door of
Twining’s and drink tiny cups of the new and fashionable beverage as they
sat in their coaches. There is an epigram extant, written either by
Theodore Hook or one of the Smiths; the point of it is, that if you took
away his T, Twining would be Wining.

In 1652 Constantine, the Greek servant of a Levant merchant, opened in
Devereux Court a coffee-house, which became known as “The Grecian.” In
1664-5 advertised his Turkey “coffee bery,” chocolate, “sherbet,” and tea,
as good and cheap, and announced his readiness to give gratuitous
instructions in the art of preparing the said liquors.[54]

In the same year, a Greek named Pasqua Rosee had also established a house
in St. Michael’s Alley, Cornhill, for the sale of “the coffee drink.”[55]

John Evelyn describes a Greek fellow-student, afterwards Bishop of Smyrna,
drinking coffee when he was at college in about 1637.[56]

In April 1709 Steele, in No. 1 of the _Tatler_, announces that he shall
date all learned articles from the “Grecian,” all gallantry from
“White’s,” all poetry from “Wills’s,” all foreign and domestic news from
“St. James’s.”

In 1710-11 Addison, starting the “_Spectator_ along with Steele,” tells us
his own grave face was well known at the Grecian; and in No. 49 (April
1711), the _Spectator_ describes the spleen and inward laughter with which
he views at the Grecian the young Templars come in, about 8 A.M., either
dressed for Westminster, and with the preoccupied air of assumed business,
or in gay cap, slippers, and particoloured dressing-gowns, rising early to
publish their laziness, and being displaced by busier men towards noon.
Dr. King relates a story of two hot-blooded young gentlemen quarrelling
one evening at this coffee-house about the accent of a Greek word.
Stepping out into Devereux Court, they fought, and one of them being run
through the body, died on the spot.[57] This Dr. King was principal of St.
Mary’s Hall, Oxford, and a staunch Tory. It is he who relates the secret
visit of the Pretender to London. He died in 1763.

Ralph Thoresby, the Leeds topographer, met Dr. Sloane, the secretary of
the Royal Society, by appointment at the Grecian in May 1712; and again in
June he describes retiring to the Grecian after a meeting of the Royal
Society, of which he was a fellow, with the president, Sir Isaac
Newton,[58] Dr. Halley, who published the _Principia_ for Newton, and
Keill, who opposed Leibnitz about the invention of Fluxions, and defended
Newton’s doctrines against the Cartesians. (The Royal Society held its
meetings at this time in Crane Court, Fleet Street.) Roger North,
Attorney-General under James II., who died in 1733, describes in his
_Examen_ the Privy Council Board, as held at the Grecian coffee-house. The
Grecian was closed in 1843, and has been since turned into the Grecian
Chambers. On what was once the front of the coffee-house frequented by
Steele and Addison, there is a bust of Essex, with the date 1676.

In this court, at the house of one Kedder, in 1678, died Marchmont
Needham, a vigorous but unprincipled turncoat and newspaper writer, who
three times during the civil wars changed his principles to save his
worthless neck. He was alternately the author of the _Mercurius
Britannicus_ for the Presbyterians, _Mercurius Pragmaticus_ for the king,
and _Mercurius Politicus_ for the Independents. The great champion of the
late usurper, as the Cavaliers called him, “whose pen, compared with
others’, was as a weaver’s beam,” latterly practised as a physician, but
with small success.[59]

There is a letter of Pope addressed to Fortescue, his “counsel learned in
the law,” at Tom’s coffee-house, in Devereux Court. Fortescue, the poet’s
kind, unpaid lawyer, was afterwards (in 1738) Master of the Rolls. Pope’s
imitation of the first satire of Horace, suggested by Bolingbroke, was
addressed to Mr. Fortescue, and published in 1733. This lawyer was the
author of the droll report in _Scriblerus_ of “Stradling _versus_ Styles,”
wherein Sir John Swale leaves all his black and white horses to one
Stradling, but the question is whether this bequest includes Swale’s
piebald horses. It is finally proved that the horses are all mares.[60]

Dr. Birch, the antiquary, the dull writer but good talker, frequented
Tom’s; and there Akenside--short, thin, pale, strumous, and lame,
scrupulously neat, and somewhat petulant, vain, and irritable--spent his
winter evenings, entangled in disputes and altercations, chiefly on
subjects of literature and politics, that fixed on his character the stamp
of haughtiness and self-conceit, and drew him into disagreeable
situations.[61] Akenside was a contradictory man. By turns he was placid,
irritable; simple, affected; gracious, haughty; magnanimous, mean;
benevolent, yet harsh, and sometimes even brutal. At times he manifested a
childlike docility, and at other times his vanity and arrogance made him
seem almost a madman.[62]

Gay, in his _Trivia_, describes Milford Lane so faithfully that it might
pass for a yesterday’s sketch of the same place. He writes--

  “Where the fair columns of St. Clement stand,
  Whose straitened bounds incroach upon the Strand;
  Where the low pent-house bows the walker’s head,
  And the rough pavement wounds the yielding tread;
  Where not a post protects the narrow space,
  And strung in twines combs dangle in thy face.
  Summon at once thy courage--rouse thy care;
  Stand firm, look back, be resolute, beware!
  Forth issuing from steep lanes, the collier’s steeds
  Drag the black load; another cart succeeds;
  Team follows team, crowds heap’d on crowds appear.”

Stow mentions Milford Lane, but gives no derivation for its name.[63] The
coarse poem by Henry Savill, commonly attributed to the witty Earl of
Dorset, beginning--

  “In Milford Lane, near to St. Clement’s steeple.”[64]

gave the street for a time such a disagreeable notoriety as the pillory
gives to a rogue.

Arundel House, in the Strand, was the old inn or town-house of the Bishops
of Bath, stolen by force in the rough, greedy times of Edward VI., by the
bad Lord Thomas Seymour, the admiral, and the brother of the Protector;
from him it derived the name of Seymour Place, and must have been
conveniently near to the ambitious kinsman who afterwards beheaded him.
This Admiral had married Henry VIII.’s widow, Catherine Parr; and she
dying in childbed, he began to woo, in his coarse boisterous way, the
young Princess Elizabeth, who had been living under the protection of her
mother-in-law, who was indeed generally supposed to have been poisoned by
the admiral. His marriage with Elizabeth would have smoothed his way to
the throne in spite of her father’s cautious will. It was said that
Elizabeth always blushed when she heard his name. He died on the scaffold.
Old Bishop Latimer, in a sermon, declared “he was a wicked man, and the
realm is well rid of him.”[65] It is certain that, whatever were his
plots, he had projected a marriage between Lady Jane Grey and the young
king.

The admiral’s house was bought, on its owner’s fall, by Henry Fitz-Alan,
Earl of Arundel, for the nominal sum of £41: 6: 8, with several other
messuages and lands adjoining.[66] The earl dying in 1579, was succeeded
by his grandson, Philip Howard, son of the Duke of Norfolk, the owner of
Essex House adjoining, who was beheaded for his intrigues with Mary of
Scotland. He died in the Tower in 1598. The house then passed into the
keeping of Robert Cary, Earl of Monmouth,[67] during the minority of
Thomas Howard, Philip’s son.

In Arundel Palace, in 1603, died the Countess of Nottingham, sister of Sir
Robert Cary;[68] she was buried at Chelsea. It is of this countess that
Lady Spelman, a granddaughter of Sir Robert Cary, used to tell the
doubtful legend of the ring[69] given by Queen Elizabeth to Lord Essex,
which an acute writer of the present day believes to be a pure fabrication
of the times of James I.

[Illustration: ARUNDEL HOUSE, 1646.]

The story runs thus:--When the Countess Catherine was dying, she sent to
the Queen to tell her that she had a secret to reveal, without disclosing
which she could not die in peace. The Queen came, and the countess then
told her that when Essex was in the Tower, under sentence of death, he one
morning threw a ring from his window to a boy passing underneath, hiring
him to carry it to his friend Lady Scrope, the countess’s sister, and beg
of her to present it in his name to the queen, who had promised to protect
him whenever he sent her that keepsake, and who was then waiting for some
such sign of his submission. The boy not clearly understanding the
message, brought the ring to the countess, who showed it to her husband,
and he insisted on her keeping it. The countess, having made this
disclosure, begged her majesty’s forgiveness; but the queen answered,
“God may forgive you, but I never can!” and burst from the room in a
paroxysm of rage and grief. From that time Elizabeth became perturbed in
mind, refused to eat or sleep, and died a fortnight after the countess.
Now this is absurd. The queen never repented the death of that wrongheaded
traitor, and really died of a long-standing disease which had well-defined
symptoms.[70]

At Arundel House lodged that grave, wise minister of Henry IV. of France,
the Duc de Sully, then only the Marquis de Rosny. He describes the house
with complacency as fine and commodious, and having a great number of
apartments on the same floor. It was really a mean and low building, but
commanding a fine prospect of the river and Westminster, so fine, indeed,
that Hollar took a view of London from the roof. The first night of his
arrival Sully slept at the French ambassador’s house in Butcher Row
adjoining, a poor house with low rooms, a well staircase lit by a
skylight, and small casements.[71]

[Illustration: ARUNDEL HOUSE, 1646.]

In the time of James I., in whose reign the earldom was restored to Thomas
Howard, Arundel House became a treasury of art. The travelled earl’s
collection comprised thirty-seven statues, one hundred and twenty-eight
busts, and two-hundred and fifty inscribed marbles, exclusive of
sarcophagi, altars, medals, gems, and fragments. Some of his noblest
relics, however, he was not allowed to remove from Rome. Of this proud and
princely amateur of art Lord Clarendon speaks with too obvious prejudice.
He describes him as living in a world of his own, surrounded by strangers,
and though illiterate, willing to be thought a scholar because he was a
collector of works of art. Yet the historian admits that he had an air of
gravity and greatness in his face and bearing. He affected an ancient and
grave dress; but Clarendon asserts that this was all outside, and that his
real disposition was “one of levity,” as he was fond of childish and
despicable amusements. Vansomer’s portraits of the earl and countess
contain views of the statue and picture galleries.[72] This illustrious
nobleman, whom the excellent Evelyn calls “my noble friend,” died in 1646.
At the Restoration his house and marbles were restored to his grandson,
Mr. Henry Howard; the antiquities were then lying scattered about Arundel
Gardens, and were neglected and corroding, blanching with rain, and green
with damp, much to the horror of Evelyn and other antiquaries, who
regarded their fate with alarm and pity.

The old Earl of Arundel (whom Clarendon disliked) had been a collector of
art in a magnificent and princely way. He despatched artist-agents to
Italy, and even to Asia Minor, to buy pictures, drawings, statues, votive
slabs, and gems. William Petty collected sculpture for him at Paros and
Delos, but the collections were lost off Samos in a storm. He collected
Holbein’s and Albert Dürer’s drawings, discovered the genius of Inigo
Jones, and brought Hollar from Prague. He left England just before the
troubles, having received many affronts from Charles’s ministers, who had
neglected to restore his ancient titles, went to Padua, and there died.
The marbles Mr. Evelyn induced Mr. Howard, in 1667, to send to the
University of Oxford; the statues were also given to Oxford by a later
descendant; and the earl’s library (originally part of that of the King of
Hungary) Mr. Evelyn persuaded the Duke of Norfolk to bestow on the Royal
Society.[73]

The old earl was, I suspect, a proud, soured, and a rather arrogant,
formal person. In a certain dispute about a rectory, he once said to King
Charles I.: “Sir, this rectory was an appendant and a manour of mine until
my grandfather unfortunately lost both his life and seven lordships, for
the love he bore to your grandmother.”[74]

After the Great Fire of London, Mr. Howard lent the Royal Society rooms in
his house. In 1678 the palace was taken down, and the present Arundel,
Surrey, Howard, and Norfolk streets were erected in its stead. The few
marbles that remained were removed to Tart Hall, Westminster, and to
Cuper’s Gardens across the river.[75] Tart Hall was the residence of the
Countess of Arundel: Cuper’s Gardens belonged to a gardener of the Earl of
Arundel. The Duke of Norfolk originally intended to build a more
magnificent house on the old site, and even obtained an act of Parliament
for the purpose; but fashion was already setting westward, and the design
was abandoned.[76]

In Arundel Street lived Rymer, the historical antiquary, who died here in
1715; John Anstis, the Garter king-at-arms, resided here in 1715-16;[77]
also Mrs. Porter, the actress, “over against the Blue Ball.”

Gay, in his delightful _Trivia_ sketches the “long Strand,” and pauses to
mourn over the glories of Arundel House. His walk is from “the Temple’s
silent walls,” and he stays to look down at the site of the earl’s
mansion--

  ----“That narrow street, which steep descends,
  Whose building to the shining shore extends;
  Here Arundel’s famed structure rear’d its frame--
  The street alone retains an empty name;
  Where Titian’s glowing paint the canvas warm’d,
  And Raphael’s fair design with judgment charm’d,
  Now hangs the bellman’s song, and pasted here
  The coloured prints of Overton appear;
  Where statues breathed, the work of Phidias’ hands,
  A wooden pump or lonely watch-house stands;
  There Essex’ stately pile adorned the shore;
  There Cecil’s, Bedford’s, Villiers’--now no more.”

In the Strand, between Arundel and Norfolk Streets, in the year 1698,
lived Sir Thomas Lyttelton, Speaker of the House of Commons, and father of
Pope’s friend, and the author of the _History of Henry the Second_, a
ponderous and pompous work.

Next door to him lived the father of Bishop Burnet--a remarkable person,
for he was a poor but honest lawyer, born at Edinburgh in 1643. A
bookseller of the same name--a collateral descendant of the bishop whom
Swift hated so cordially--afterwards occupied the house.

At the south-west corner of Norfolk Street, near the river, in his wild
days lodged the Quaker Penn, son of Cromwell’s stout Bristol admiral. He
had been twice beaten and turned out of doors by his father for his
fondness for Nonconformist society and prayer-meetings, and for refusing
to stand uncovered in the presence of Charles II. or of the Duke of York,
of whom later he became the suspected favourite. We do not generally
associate the grave and fanatic Penn with a gay and licentious court, nor
do we portray him to ourselves as slinking away from hawk-eyed bailiffs;
and yet the venerated founder of repudiating Pennsylvania chose this house
when he was sued for debts, as being convenient for slipping unobserved
into a boat. In the eastern entrance he had a peep-hole, through which he
could reconnoitre any suspicious visitor. On one occasion a dun, having
sent in his name and waited an unconscionable time, knocked again. “Will
not thy master see me?” he said to the servant. The knave was at least
candid, for he replied: “Friend, he _has_ seen thee, and he does not like
thee.”[78]

In Norfolk Street, in Penn’s old house, afterwards resided for thirty
years that truly good man, Dr. Richard Brocklesby, who in early life,
during the Seven Years’ War, had practised as an army surgeon. He was a
friend of Burke and Dr. Johnson. To the former he left, or rather gave, a
thousand pounds, and to the latter he offered an annuity of a hundred
pounds a year, to enable him to travel for his health, and also apartments
in his own house for the sake of medical advice, which Johnson
affectionately and gratefully declined. The doctor was one of the most
generous and amiable of men; he attended the poor for nothing, and had
many pensioners. He died the day after returning from a visit to Burke at
Beaconsfield. He had been warned against the fatigue of this journey, but
had replied with true Christian philosophy, “My good friend, where’s the
difference whether I die at a friend’s house, at an inn, or in a
post-chaise? I hope I am prepared for such an event, and perhaps it would
be as well to elude the anticipation of it.”

Dr. Brocklesby was ridiculed by Foote, but Foote attacked virtue quite as
often as vice. He was the physician who had attended Lord Chatham when he
was struck down by illness in the House of Lords, a short time before his
death.

In January 1698 Peter the Great arrived from Holland, and went straight to
a house prepared for him in Norfolk Street, near the water side. On the
following day he was visited by King William and the principal nobility.
Incommoded here by visitors, the Czar removed to Admiral Benbow’s house at
Deptford, where he could live more retired. This Deptford house was Sayes
Place, afterwards the Victualling Office, and had once belonged to the
celebrated John Evelyn.

The “Honest Shippen” of Pope--William Shippen, M.P.--lived also in Norfolk
Street: a brave, honest man, in an age when nearly every politician had
his price. It was of him Sir Robert Walpole remarked “that he would not
say who was corrupted, but he would say who was not corruptible, and that
was Shippen.”

Mortimer, a rough, picturesque painter, who was called “the English
Salvator Rosa,” and imitated that unsatisfactory artist in a coarse,
sketchy kind of way, dwelt in this street.

At No. 21 lived Albany Wallis, a friend and executor of Garrick. In this
street also Addison makes that delightful old country gentleman, Sir Roger
de Coverley, put up before he goes to Soho Square.[79]

At No. 8, in 1795, lived Samuel Ireland, the father of the celebrated
literary impostor; and here were shown to George Chalmers, John Kemble,
and other Shaksperian scholars, the forged plays which the public
ultimately scented out as ridiculous.

In 1796 Mr. W. H. Ireland published a full confession of his forgeries,
fully exonerating his father from all connivance in his foolish fraud,
claiming forgiveness for a boyish deception begun without evil intention
and without any thought of danger. “I should never have gone so far,” he
says, “but that the world praised the papers too much, and thereby
flattered my vanity.”[80] After the failure of “Vortigern,” the father,
Mr. S. Ireland, still credulous, had written a pamphlet, accusing Malone,
his son’s chief assailant, of mean malice and unbearable arrogance.

The true story of the forgery is this. W. H. Ireland, then only eighteen,
was articled to a solicitor in New Inn, where he practised Elizabethan
handwriting for the sake of deceiving credulous antiquaries. A forged deed
exciting the admiration of his father, who was a collector of old tracts
and a worshipper of Shakspere, led him to continue his deceptions, and to
pretend to have discovered a hoard of Shaksperian MSS. A fellow clerk, one
Talbot, afterwards an actor, discovering the forgeries, Ireland made him
an accomplice. They then produced a “Profession of Faith,” signed by
Shakspere, which Dr. Parr and Dr. Warton (brother of the poet) declared
contained “finer things” than all the Church Service. This foolish praise
set the secretive lawyer’s clerk on writing original verse,--a poem to
Anne Hathaway, and the play of “Vortigern,” the most recklessly impudent
of all his impostures. Boswell was the first to propose a certificate to
be signed by all believers in the productions. Dr. Parr, thinking
Boswell’s writing too feeble, drew up another, which was signed by
twenty-one noblemen, authors, and “celebrated literary characters.”
Boswell, characteristically enough, previous to signing his name, fell on
his knees, and, “in a tone of enthusiasm and exultation, thanked God that
he had lived to witness this discovery, and exclaimed that he could now
die in peace.”[81] Lords Kinnaird, Somerset, and Lauderdale were the
noblemen. There were also present Bindley, Valpy, Pinkerton, Pye the poet
laureate, Matthew Wyatt, and the present author’s grandfather, the Rev.
Nathaniel Thornbury, an intimate friend of Jenner and of Dr. Johnson, who
had at this time been twelve years dead. The elder Ireland, in his
pamphlet, alludes to the solemn and awful manner in which, before crowds
of eminent characters, his son attested the genuineness of his forgeries.
“I could not,” says the honest fellow, “suffer myself to cherish the
slightest suspicion of his veracity.”[82]

Singularly enough Mr. Albany Wallis--(a solicitor, I believe), of Norfolk
Street,--who had given to Garrick a mortgage deed bearing Shakspere’s
signature, became the most ardent believer in the unprincipled young
clerk’s deceptions.

The terms agreed upon for Ireland’s forgery of “Vortigern” was £300 down,
and a division of the receipts, deducting charges, for sixty nights. The
play, however, lived only one night, for which the Irelands received their
half, £103. The commentators Malone and Steevens remained sceptical, and
Kemble was suspicious and cold in the cause, though he was to be the hero;
but the gulls and quidnuncs were numerous enough to cram the house, and
that most commonplace of poets, Sir James Bland Burges, wrote the
prologue. The final damnation of the play was secured by a rhapsody of
Vortigern’s, a patch-work thing from “Richard II.” and “Henry IV.” The
fatal line--

  “And when the solemn mockery is o’er,”

convulsed the house.[83] Mr. W. H. Ireland in later life was editor of the
_York Herald_, and died in 1835.[84]

Another eminent historical antiquary, Dr. Birch, lived in Norfolk Street.
The son of a Quaker tradesman at Clerkenwell, he became a London clergyman
and an historian, famous for his Sunday evenings’ conversaziones, and was
killed by a fall from his horse in 1766. He seems to have been a most
pleasant, generous, and honest man. He edited Bacon’s _Letters and
Speeches_, and Thurloe’s _State Papers_, etc. His chief work was his
_Memoirs of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth_. He left books, manuscripts, and
money to the British Museum, for which let all scholars bless the good
man’s memory. He appears to have been a student of boundless industry, as
from the Lambeth Library alone he transcribed with his own hand sixteen
quarto volumes. He was rector of St. Margaret Pattens in Fenchurch Street.
Dr. Birch must have been a kind husband, for his wife on her deathbed
wrote him the following tender letter:--

    “This day I return you, my dearest life, my sincere, hearty thanks for
    every favour bestowed on your most faithful and obedient wife,

      HANNAH BIRCH.”

We leave it to the watchful cynic to remark that the doctor had been
married only one year. It was of this worthy book-worm that Johnson
said--“Yes, sir, he is brisk in conversation, but when he takes up the pen
it benumbs him like a torpedo.”

Strype describes Surrey Street as replenished with good buildings,
especially that of Nevison Fox, Esq., towards the Strand, “which is a
fine, large, and curious house of his own building,” and the two houses
that front the Thames, that on the east side being the Hon. Charles
Howard’s, brother to the Duke of Norfolk. Both of these houses had
pleasant though small gardens towards the Thames.[85]

In 1736 died here George Sale, the useful translator of the Mohammedan
Bible, the Koran, that strange compound of pure prayers and impure
plagiarisms from the laws of Moses. Sale had published his Koran in 1734,
and in the year of his death he joined Paul Whitehead, Dr. Birch, and Mr.
Strutt, in founding a “Society for the Encouragement of Learning.” He
spent many years in writing for the _Universal History_, in which Bayle’s
ten folio volumes were included.

Edward Pierce, a sculptor, son of a painter of altar-pieces and
church-ceilings, and a pupil of Vandyke, lived at the corner of Surrey
Street, and was buried in the Savoy. He helped Sir Christopher Wren to
build St. Clement’s church, and carved the four guardian dragons on the
Monument of London. The statue of Sir William Walworth at the fishmongers’
Hall is from his hand, and so is the bust of Thomas Evans in the hall of
the painters and stainers. He executed also busts of Cromwell, Wren, and
Milton.[86]

The charming actress, Mrs. Bracegirdle, lived in Howard Street. She was
the belle and toast of London; every young man of mode was, or pretended
to be, in love with her; and the wits wrote verses upon her beauty, in
imitation of Sedley and Waller. Congreve tells us that it was the fashion
to avow a tenderness for her. Rowe, in an imitation of an ode of Horace,
urges the Earl of Scarsdale to marry her (though he had a wife living) and
set the town at defiance.

Among this crowd of admirers was a Captain Hill, a half-cracked
man-about-town, a drunken, profligate bully, of low character, and a
friend of the infamous duellist, Lord Mohun. One of Mrs. Bracegirdle’s
favourite parts was Statira, her lover Alexander being her friend and
neighbour, the eminent actor Mountfort. Cibber describes him in this
character as “great, tender, persistent, despairing, transported,
amiable.” Hill, “that dark-souled fellow in the pit,” as Leigh Hunt calls
him, mistook the frantic extravagance of stage-passion for real love, and
in a fit of mad jealousy swore to be revenged on Mountfort, and to carry
off the lady by force. Lord Mohun, always ready for any desperate
mischief, agreed to help him in his design. On the night appointed the
friends dined together, and having changed clothes, went to Drury Lane
Theatre at six o’clock; but as Mrs. Bracegirdle did not act that night,
they next took a coach and drove to her lodgings in Howard Street. They
then, finding that she had gone to supper with a Mr. Page, in Princes
Street, Drury Lane, went to his house and waited till she came out. She
appeared at last at the door, with her mother and brother, Mr. Page
lighting them out.

Hill immediately seized her, and endeavoured, with the aid of some hired
ruffians, to drag her into the coach, where Lord Mohun sat with a loaded
pistol in each hand; but her brother and Mr. Page rushing to the rescue,
and an angry crowd gathering, Hill was forced to let go his hold and
decamp. Mrs. Bracegirdle and her escort then proceeded to her lodgings in
Howard Street, followed by Captain Hill and Lord Mohun on foot. On
knocking at the door, as it was said, to beg Mrs. Bracegirdle’s pardon,
they were refused admittance; upon which they sent for a bottle of wine to
a neighbouring tavern, which they drank in the street, and then began to
patrol up and down with swords drawn, declaring they were waiting to be
revenged on Mountfort the actor. Messengers were instantly despatched to
warn Mountfort, both by Mrs. Bracegirdle’s landlady and his own wife, but
he could not be found. The watch were also sent for, and they begged the
two ruffians to depart peaceably. Lord Mohun replied, “He was a peer of
the realm, that he had been drinking a bottle of wine, but that he was
ready to put up his sword if they particularly desired it: but as for his
friend, he had lost his scabbard.” The cautious watch then went away.

In the meantime the unlucky Mountfort, suspecting no evil, passed down the
street on his way home, heedless of warnings. On coming up to the
swordsmen, a female servant heard the following conversation:--

Lord Mohun embraced Mountfort, and said--

“Mr. Mountfort, your humble servant. I am glad to see you.”

“Who is this?--Lord Mohun?” said Mountfort.

“Yes, it is.”

“What brings your lordship here at this time of night?”

Lord Mohun replied--

“I suppose you were sent for, Mr. Mountfort?”

“No, indeed, I came by chance.”

“Have you not heard of the business of Mrs. Bracegirdle?”

“Pray, my lord,” said Hill, breaking in, “hold your tongue. This is not a
convenient time to discuss this business.”

Hill seemed desirous to go away, and pulled Lord Mohun’s sleeve; but
Mountfort, taking no notice of Hill, continued to address Lord Mohun,
saying he was sorry to see him assisting Captain Hill in such an evil
action, and begging him to forbear.

Hill instantly gave the actor a box on the ear, and on Mountfort demanding
what that was for, attacked him sword in hand, and ran him through before
he had time to draw his weapon. Mountfort died the next day of the wound,
declaring with his last breath that Lord Mohun had offered him no
violence. Hill fled from justice, and Lord Mohun was tried for murder, but
unfortunately acquitted for want of evidence.

That fortunate poet, Congreve, whom Pope declared to be one of the three
most honest-hearted and really good men in the Kit-cat Club, lived for
some time in Howard Street, where he was a neighbour and frequent guest of
Mrs. Bracegirdle.

Congreve, on becoming acquainted with the Duchess of Marlborough, removed
from Howard Street to a better house in Surrey Street, where he died,
January 19, 1729. The career of this son of a Yorkshire officer had been
one long undisturbed triumph. His first play had been revised by Dryden
and praised by Southerne. Besides being commissioner of hackney-coach and
wine licences, he also held a place in the Pipe Office, a post in the
Custom House, and a secretaryship in Jamaica. He never quarrelled with the
wits: both Addison and Steele admired and praised him, and Voltaire
eulogises his comedies.

It was here that Voltaire, while lodging in Maiden Lane, visited the gouty
and nearly blind dramatist, then infirm and on the verge of life. “Mr.
Congreve,” he says, “had one defect, which was his entertaining too mean
an idea of his profession--that of a writer--though it was to this he owed
his fame and fortune. He spoke of his works as of trifles that were
beneath him, and hinted to me in our first conversation that I should
visit him upon no other footing than that of a gentleman who led a life of
plainness and simplicity. I answered, that _had he been so unfortunate as
to be a mere gentleman_ I should never have come to see him; and I was
very much disgusted at so unseasonable a piece of vanity.”

The body of Congreve lay in state in the Jerusalem Chamber, and was
afterwards interred with great solemnity in Henry VII.’s Chapel. The Duke
of Bridgewater and the Earl of Godolphin were amongst those who bore the
pall. The monument was erected by the Duchess of Marlborough, to whom the
favoured poet had left £10,000. Above his body--

  “The ancient pillars rear their marble heads
  To bear aloft the arch’d and pond’rous roof,
  By its own weight made steadfast and immoveable.”[87]

Congreve’s bequest to the duchess of all his property, except £1000,
including £200 to Mrs. Bracegirdle (a legacy afterwards cancelled),
created much scandal. The shameless bookseller, Curll, instantly launched
forth a life of Congreve, professing to be written by one Charles Wilson,
Esq., but generally attributed to Oldmixon. The duchess’s friends were
alarmed, and Arbuthnot interfered. Upon being told that some genuine
letters and essays were to be published in the work, Mrs. Bracegirdle or
the duchess[88] cried out with defiant affectation and a dramatic drawl,
“Not one single sheet of paper, I dare to swear.”

The duchess, who raised a monument in the Abbey to her brilliant but
artificial friend, is said to have had a wax image of him made to place on
her toilette table. “To this she would talk as to the living Mr. Congreve,
with all the freedom of the most _polite_ and unreserved
conversation.”[89]

Strand Lane used formerly to lead to a small landing-pier for wherries,
called Strand Bridge. In Stow’s time the lane passed under a bridge down
to the landing-place.[90] A writer in the _Spectator_ describes how he
landed here on a summer morning, arriving with ten sail of apricot boats,
consigned to Covent Garden,[91] after having first touched at Nine Elms
for melons. In this lane there is a fine Roman bath which, if indeed
Roman, is the most western relic of Roman London, the centre of which was
on the east end of the Royal Exchange.

No. 165 has been long used as a warehouse for the sale of Dr. Anderson’s
pills. Dr. Patrick Anderson was physician to Charles I., and as early as
1649 a man named Inglis sold these quack pills at the Golden Unicorn, over
against the Maypole in the Strand. Tom Brown says, “There are at least a
score of pretenders to Anderson’s Scotch pills, and the Lord knows who has
the true preparation.” Brown died in 1704. Sir Walter Scott used to tell
one of his best stories about these pills. It dwelt on the passion for
them entertained by a certain hypochondriacal Lowland laird. Bland or
rough, old or young, no visitor at his house escaped a dose--“joost ane
leetle Anderson;” and his toady “the doer” used always to swallow a
brace.[92]

The Turk’s Head Coffee-house stood on the site of No. 142 Strand. Dr.
Johnson used to sup at this house to encourage the hostess, who was a
good civil woman, and had not too much business. July 28, 1763, Boswell
mentions supping there with Dr. Johnson; and again, on August 3, in the
same year, just before he set out for his wildgoose chase in Corsica.[93]
No. 132 was the shop of a bookseller named Bathoe. The first circulating
library in London was established here in 1740.

Jacob Tonson, Dryden’s grinding publisher and bookseller, lived at the
Shakspere’s Head, over against Catherine Street, now No. 141 Strand, from
about 1712 till he died, in 1735-6. Tonson seems to have been rough, hard,
and penurious. The poet and publisher were perpetually squabbling, and
Dryden was especially vexed at his trying to force him to dedicate his
translation of Virgil to King William, and when he refused, making the
engraver of the frontispiece aggravate the nose of Æneas till it became “a
hooked promontory,” like that of the Protestant king. It was to Tonson’s
shop at Gray’s Inn, however, that Dryden, on being refused money, probably
sent that terrible triplet to the obdurate bibliopole:--

  “With leering looks, bull-faced, and freckled fair,
  With two left legs, and Judas-colour’d hair,
  And frowsy pores that taint the ambient air.”[94]

“Tell the dog,” said Dryden to his messenger, “that he who wrote those can
write more.” But Tonson was perfectly satisfied with this first shot, and
surrendered at discretion. The irascible poet afterwards accused him of
intercepting his letters to his sons at Rome, and he confessed to
Bolingbroke on one occasion that he was afraid of Tonson’s tongue.[95]

Tonson’s house, since rebuilt, was afterwards occupied by Andrew Millar,
the publisher and friend of Thomson, Fielding, Hume, and Robertson, and
after his death by Thomas Cadell, his apprentice, and the friend and
publisher of Gibbon the historian. The _Seasons_, _Tom Jones_, and the
Histories of Hume, Robertson, and Gibbon were first published at this
house. Millar was a Scotchman, and distinguished his shop by the sign of
Buchanan’s Head, afterwards the badge of Messrs. Blackwood.

The _Illustrated London News_, whose office is near Somerset House, was
started in 1842 by Mr. Herbert Ingram, originally a humble newsvendor at
Northampton; an industrious man, who would run five miles with a newspaper
to oblige an old customer. In the first year he sold a million copies; in
the second, two; and in 1848, three millions. Dr. Mackay, the song-writer,
wrote leaders; Mr. Mark Lemon aided him; Mr. Peter Cunningham collected
his column of weekly chat; Thomas Miller, the basket-maker poet, was also
on his staff. Mr. Ingram obtained a seat in Parliament, and was eventually
drowned in a steamboat collision on Lake Michigan.

[Illustration: PENN’S HOUSE, NORFOLK STREET, 1749.]



[Illustration: SOMERSET HOUSE FROM THE RIVER, 1746.]


CHAPTER IV.

SOMERSET HOUSE.

  “And every day there passes by my side,
  Up to its western reach, the London tide--
  The spring tides of the term. My front looks down
  On all the pride and business of the town;
  My other fair and more majestic face
  For ever gazes on itself below,
  In the best mirror that the world can show.”
                                          COWLEY.


That ambitious and rapacious noble the Protector Somerset, brother of
Queen Jane Seymour, and maternal uncle of Edward VI., the owner of more
than two hundred manors,[96] and who boasted that his own friends and
retainers made up an army of ten thousand men, determined to build a
palace in the Strand. For this purpose he demolished the parish church of
St. Mary, and pulled down the houses of the Bishops of Worcester,
Llandaff, and Lichfield. He also began to remove St. Margaret’s, at
Westminster, for building materials, till his masons were driven away by
rioters. He destroyed a chapel in St. Paul’s Churchyard, with a cloister
containing the “Dance of Death,” and a charnel-house, the bones of which
he buried in unconsecrated ground,[97] and finally stole the stones of the
church of St. John of Jerusalem, near Smithfield,[98] and those of Strand
Inn (belonging to the Temple), where Occleve the poet, a contemporary of
Gower and Chaucer, had studied law.

The unwise Protector determined in this building to rival Whitehall and
Hampton Court. It was begun probably about 1549, and no doubt remained
unfinished at his death. He had at that time lavished on it £50,000 of our
present money.

The architect was John of Padua,[99] Henry VIII.’s architect, who built
Longleat, in Wiltshire, the seat of the Marquis of Bath, a magnificent
specimen of the Italian-Elizabethan style, and also the gates of Caius
College, at Cambridge. The Protector is said to have spent at one time
£100 a day in building, every stone he laid bringing him nearer to his own
narrow home. A plan of the house is still preserved in the Soane
Museum.[100]

After the attainder of the duke, when the new palace became the property
of the crown, little was done to complete the building. The screen
prepared for the hall was bought for St. Bride’s, where it was probably
destroyed in the Great Fire.[101] The Protector was a good friend to the
people, but he was weak and ambitious, and the plotters of Ely House had
no difficulty in dragging him to the scaffold. The minority of Edward
brought many of the Strand noblemen to the axe, but the fate of the
admiral and his brother did not deter their neighbours Northumberland,
Raleigh, Norfolk, and Essex.

Elizabeth granted the keeping of Somerset House to her faithful cousin
Lord Hunsdon, for life,[102] and here she frequently would visit him, in a
jewelled farthingale, with Raleigh and Essex in her train.

In 1616 that Scotch Solomon, James I., commanded the place to be called
Denmark House; and his queen kept her gay and not very decent court here,
so that Ben Jonson must have often seen his glorious masques acted in this
palace, to which his coadjutor Inigo Jones built a chapel, and made other
additions. Anne of Denmark and her maids-of-honour kept up here a
continual masquerade,[103] appearing in various dresses, and transforming
themselves to the delight of all whose interest it was to be delighted.

Here too that impetuous queen, Henrietta Maria, resided with her wilful
and extravagant French household, whose insolence irritated and disgusted
the people and offended Charles the First. The king at last, losing
patience, summoned them together one evening and dismissed them all. They
behaved like sutlers at the sack of a town. They claimed fictitious debts;
they invented exorbitant bills; they greedily divided among each other the
queen’s wardrobe and jewels, scarcely leaving her a change of linen. The
king paid nearly £50,000 to get rid of them; Madame St. George alone
claiming several thousand pounds besides jewels.[104] They still delayed
their departure; on which the king, at last roused, wrote the following
imperative letter to Buckingham:--

    “STEENIE--I have received your letter by Dick Greame. This is my
    answer. I command you to send all the French away to-morrow out of the
    town, if you can by fair means (but stick not long in disputing),
    otherways force them away--driving them away like so many wild beasts
    until ye have shipped them; and the devil go with them. Let me hear no
    answer, but of the performance of my command. So I rest

      “Your faithful, constant, loving friend,
        “C. R.

    “Oaking, the seventh of August, 1626.”

As the French invented all sorts of vexatious delays, the yeomen of the
guard at last jostled them out, carting them off in nearly forty coaches.
They arrived at Dover after four days’ tedious travelling, wrangling, and
bewailing. The squib did not burn out without one final detonation. As the
vivacious Madame St. George stepped into the boat, with perhaps some
insolent gesture of adieu, a man in the mob flung a stone at her French
cap. A gallant Englishman who was escorting her instantly quitted his
charge, ran the fellow through the body, and returned to the boat. The man
died on the spot, but no notice, it appears, was taken of the murderer.

In Somerset House, at the Christmas masque of 1632-3, Charles’s
high-spirited queen took part for the last time in a masque. Unfortunately
for Prynne, the next day out came his _Histriomastix_, with a scurrilous
marginal note, “Women actors notorious whores!” for which the stubborn
fanatic lost his ears.

Queen Henrietta had, in Somerset House, an ostentatiously magnificent
Catholic chapel built by Inigo Jones, which became the scene of spectacles
that were gall and wormwood to the Puritans, who were already couching for
their spring.

Their time came in March 1643, when Roundheads, grimly rejoicing, burnt
all the pictures, images, Jesuitical books, and tapestry.[105]

Five of the unhappy queen’s French Roman Catholic servants are entombed in
the cellars of the present building, under the great quiet square.[106]

Here, close to his own handiwork, that distinguished architect, Inigo
Jones, who had lodgings in the palace, died in 1652.

About the same time the House of Peers permitted the Protestant service to
be held in Somerset House instead of in Durham House. This drove out the
Quakers and Anabaptists, and prevented the pulling down of the palace and
the making of a street from the garden through the chapel and back-yard up
into the Strand.[107]

The Protector’s palace was the scene of a great and sad event in November
1658; for the body of Cromwell, who had died at Whitehall, lay in state
here for several days. He lay in effigy on a bed of royal crimson velvet,
covered with a velvet gown, a sceptre in his hand, and a crown upon his
head. The Cavaliers, whose spirits were recovering, were very angry at
this foolish display,[108] forgetting that it was not poor Oliver’s own
doing; and the baser people, who follow any impulse of the day, threw dirt
in the night upon the blazoned escutcheon that was displayed over the
great gate of Somerset House.

The year after, an Act was passed to sell all royal property, and Somerset
House was disposed of for £10,000. The Restoration soon stepped in and
annulled the bargain. After the return of the son who so completely
revenged upon us the death of his father, the luckless palace became the
residence of its former inhabitant, now older and gentler--the
queen-mother. She improved and beautified it. The old courtier, Waller,
only fifty-seven at the time, wrote some fulsome verses on the occasion.
He talks of her adorning the town as with a brave revenge, to show--

  “That glory came and went with you.”

He mentions also the view from the palace:--

  “The fair view her window yields,
  The town, the river, and the fields.”

Cowley, the son of a Fleet Street grocer, flew still higher, larded his
flattery with perverted texts, like a Puritanised Cavalier time-server,
and wrote--

  “On either side dwells Safety and Delight;
  Wealth on the left and Power sits on the right.”

In May 1665, when the queen-mother, who had lived in Somerset House with
her supposed husband, the Earl of St. Albans, took her farewell of England
for a gayer court, Cowley wrote these verses to the setting sun, in hopes
to propitiate the rising sun; for here, too, lived Catherine of Braganza,
the unhappy wife of Charles II.

There were strange scenes at Somerset House even during the queen-mother’s
residence, for the old court gossip Pepys describes being taken one day to
the Presence-chamber.[109] He found the queen not very charming, but still
modest and engaging. Lady Castlemaine was there, Mr. Crofts, a pretty
young spark of fifteen (her illegitimate child), and many great ladies. By
and by in came the king and the Duke and Duchess of York. The conversation
was not a very decorous one; and the young queen said to Charles, “You
lie!” which made good sport, as the chuckling and delighted Pepys remarks,
those being the first English words he had heard her say; and the king
then tried to make her reply, “Confess and be hanged.”

In another place Pepys indignantly describes “a little proud, ugly,
talkative lady crying up the queen-mother’s court as more decorous than
the king’s;” yet the diary-keeper confesses that the former was the better
attended, the old nobility dreading, I suppose, the scandal of
Whitehall.[110]

In 1670 Monk, Duke of Albemarle, having died at his lodgings in the
Cockpit, at Whitehall, lay in state in Somerset House, and was afterwards
buried with almost regal pomp in Henry VII.’s Chapel.

In October 1678, the infamous devisers of the Popish plot connected
Somerset House and the attendants in the Queen’s Chapel with the murder of
a City magistrate, the supposed Protestant martyr, Sir Edmondbury Godfrey,
who was found murdered in a field near Primrose Hill, “between Kilburn and
Hampstead,” as it was then thought necessary to specify. The lying
witnesses, Prance and Bedloe, swore that the justice had been inveigled
into Somerset House under pretence of being wanted to keep the peace
between two servants who were fighting in the yard; that he was then
strangled, his neck broken, and his own sword run through his body. The
corpse was kept four days, then carried in a sedan-chair to Soho, and
afterwards on a horse to Primrose Hill, nearly three miles off. The
secrecy and convenient neighbourhood of the river for hiding a murdered
man seem never to have struck the rogues, who forgot even to “lie like
truth,” so credulous and excited was the multitude.

Waller, says Aubrey, though usually very temperate, was once made drunk at
Somerset House by some courtiers, and had a cruel fall when taking boat at
the water stairs, “’Twas a pity to use such a sweet man so
inhumanly.”[111] Saville used to say that “nobody should keep him company
without drinking but Mr. Waller.”

In 1692 that poor ill-used woman and unhappy wife, Catherine of Braganza,
left Somerset House, and returned thence to Portugal, the home of her
happy childhood and happier youth.

The palace, never the home of very happy inmates, then became a lodging
for foreign kings and ambassadors, and a home for a few noblemen and poor
retainers of the court, much as Hampton Court is now. Lewis de Duras, Earl
of Feversham, the incompetent commander at Sedgemoor, who lies buried at
the Savoy, lived here in 1708; and so did Lady Arlington, the widow of
Secretary Bennet, that butt of Killigrew and Rochester. In the reign of
George III., Charlotte Lennox, the authoress of the _Female Quixote_, had
apartments in Somerset House.

Houses, like men, run their allotted courses. In 1775 the old palace,
which had been settled on the queen-consort in the event of her surviving
the king, was exchanged for Buckingham House; and the Government instantly
began to pull down the river-side palace, and erect new public offices
designed by Sir William Chambers, a Scotch architect, who had given
instruction in his art to George III., when Prince of Wales.

In 1630, a row of fishmongers’ stalls, in the middle of the street, over
against Denmark House (Somerset House), was broken down by order of
Government to prevent stalls from growing into sheds, and sheds into
dwelling houses, as had been the case in Old Fish Street, Saint Nicholas
Shambles, and other places.[112]

On the 2d of February, 1659-60, Pepys tells us in his diary, that having
£60 with him of his lord’s money, on his way from London Bridge, and
hearing the noise of guns, he landed at Somerset House, and found the
Strand full of soldiers. Going upstairs to a window, Pepys looked out and
saw the foot face the horse and beat them back, all the while bawling for
a free parliament and money. By and by a drum was heard to sound a march
towards them, and they all got ready again, but the new comers proving of
the same mind, they “made a great deal of joy to see one another.”[113]
This was the beginning of Monk’s change, for the king returned in the
following May. On the 18th of February two soldiers were hanged opposite
Somerset House for a mutiny, of which Pepys was an eye-witness.

The prints of old Somerset House show a long line of battlemented wall
facing the river, and a turreted and partially arcaded front. There is
also a scarce view of the place by Hollar.[114] The river front has two
porticos. The chapel is to the left, and near it are the cloisters of the
Capuchins. The bowling-green seems to be to the right, between the two
rows of trees. The garden is formal. The royal apartments were on the
river side. The only memorial left of the outhouses of the old palace was
the sign of a lion in the wall of a house in the Strand, that is mentioned
in old records.[115]

Dryden describes his two friends, Eugenius and Neander, landing at
Somerset Stairs, and gives us a pleasant picture of the summer evening,
the water on which the moonbeams played looked like floating quicksilver,
and some French people dancing merrily in the open air as the friends walk
onwards to the Piazza.[116]

Of the old views of Somerset House, that of Moss is considered the best.
There is also an early and curious one by Knyff. A picture in Dulwich
Gallery (engraved by Wilkinson) represents the river front before Inigo
Jones had added a chapel for the queen of Charles I.[117]

Sir William Chambers built the present Somerset House. The old palace,
when the clearance for the demolition began, presented a singular
spectacle.[118] At the extremity of the royal apartments two large
folding-doors joined Inigo Jones’s additions to John of Padua’s work. They
opened into a long gallery on the first floor of the water garden wing, at
the lower end of which was another gallery, making an angle which formed
the original river front, and extended to Strand Lane. This old part had
been long shut up, and was supposed to be haunted. The gallery was
panelled and floored with oak. The chandelier chains still hung from the
stucco ceilings. The furniture of the royal apartment was removed into
lumber-rooms by the Royal Academy. There were relics of a throne and
canopy; the crimson velvet curtains for the audience-chamber had faded to
olive colour; and the fringe and lace were there, but a few threads and
spangles had been peeled off them. There were also scattered about in
disorder, broken chairs, stools, couches, screens, and fire-dogs.

In the older apartments much of Edward VI.’s furniture still remained. The
silk hangings of the audience-chamber were in tatters, and so were the
curtains, gilt-leather covers, and painted screens; one gilt chandelier
also remained, and so did the sconces. A door beyond, with difficulty
opened, led into a small tower on the first floor, built by Inigo Jones,
and used as a breakfast-room or dressing-room by Queen Catherine. It was a
beautiful octagonal domed apartment, with a tasteful cornice. The walls
were frescoed, and there were pictures on the ceiling. A door from this
place opened on the staircase and led to a bath-room, lined with marble,
on the ground floor.

The painters of the day compared the ruined palace, characteristically
enough, to the gloomy precincts of the dilapidated castles in Mrs.
Radcliffe’s wax-work romances.

Sir William Chambers completed his work in about five years, clearing two
thousand a year. It cost more than half a million of money. The Strand
front is 135 feet long; the quadrangle 210 feet wide and 296 feet deep.
The main buildings are 54 feet deep and six stories high. They are faced
with Portland stone, now partly sooty black, partly blanched white with
the weather. The basement is adorned with rustic work, Corinthian
pilasters, balustrades, statues, masks, and medallions. The river terrace
was intended in anticipation of the possible embankment of the Thames.
Some critics think Chambers’s great work heavy, others elegant but timid.
There is too much rustic work, and the whole is rather “cut up.” The vases
and niches are unmeaning, and it was a great structural fault to make the
portico columns of the fine river side stand on a brittle-looking arch.

It was to Somerset House that the Royal Academy came after the split in
the St. Martin’s Lane Society. Here West exhibited his respectable
platitudes, Reynolds his grand portraits, and Lawrence his graceful,
brilliant, but meretricious pictures. In the great room of the Academy, at
the top of the building, Reynolds, Opie, Barrie, and Fuseli lectured.
Through the doorway to the right of the vestibule, Reynolds, Wilkie,
Turner, Flaxman, and Chantrey have often stepped. Under that bust of
Michael Angelo almost all our great men from Johnson to Scott must have
passed.

Carlini, an Italian friend of Cipriani, executed the two central statues
on the Strand front of Somerset House, and also three of the nine colossal
key-stone masks--the rivers Dee, Tyne, and Severn. Carlini was one of the
unsuccessful candidates for the Beckford monument in Guildhall. When
Carlini was keeper of the Academy, he used to walk from his house in Soho
to Somerset Place, dressed in a deplorable greatcoat, and with a broken
tobacco pipe in his mouth; but when he went to the great annual Academy
dinner, he would make his way into a chair, full dressed in a purple silk
coat, and scarlet gold-laced waistcoat, with point-lace ruffles, and a
sword and bag.[119] Wilton, the sculptor, executed the two outer figures.

Giuseppe Ceracchi, who carved some of the heads of the river gods for the
key-stones of the windows of the Strand front of Somerset House, was an
Italian, but it is uncertain whether he was born at Rome or in Corsica. He
gave the accomplished Mrs. Damer (General Conway’s daughter) her first
lessons in sculpture, an art which she afterwards perfected in the studio
of the elder Bacon. Ceracchi executed the only bust in marble that
Reynolds ever sat for. A statue of Mrs. Damer, from a model by him, is now
in the British Museum. This sculptor was guillotined in 1801, for a plot
against Napoleon.[120] He is said to have lost his wits in prison, and to
have mounted the scaffold dressed as a Roman emperor. It was to Mrs. Damer
(the daughter of his old friend) that Horace Walpole, our most French of
memoir-writers, bequeathed his fantastic villa at Strawberry Hill, and its
incongruous but valuable curiosities. She is said to have sent a bust of
Nelson to the Rajah of Tanjore, who wished to spread a taste for English
art in India.

The rooms round the quadrangle are hives of red-tapists. There are about
nine hundred Government clerks nestled away in them, and maintained at an
annual cost to us of about £275,000. There is the office of the Duchy of
Cornwall, and there are the Legacy Duty, the Stamps, Taxes, and Excise
Offices, the Inland Revenue Office, the Registrar General’s Office
(created pursuant to 6 and 7 Will. IV., c. 86), part of the Admiralty and
the Audit Office, and lastly the Will Office.

The east wing of Somerset House, used as King’s College, was built in
1829. The bronze statue of George III., and the fine recumbent figure of
Father Thames, in the chief court, were cast by John Bacon, R.A.

The office for auditing the public accounts existed, under the name of the
Office of the Auditors of the Imprests, as far back as the time of Henry
VIII. The present commission was established in 1785, and the salaries
formerly paid for the passing of accounts are now paid out of the Civil
List, all fees being abolished. The average annual cost of the office for
auditing some three hundred and fifty accounts is £50,000. There are six
commissioners, a secretary, and upwards of a hundred clerks. Almost all
the home and colonial expenditure is examined at this office. Edward
Harley and Arthur Maynwaring (the wit of the Kit-Cat Club) were the two
Auditors of the Imprests in the reign of Queen Anne. The Earl of Oxford,
the collector of MSS., obtained many curious public documents from his
brother. If he had taken the whole the nation would have been a gainer;
for the Government bought his collection for the British Museum, and all
that he left (except what Sir William Musgrave, a commissioner, scraped
together and gave to the British Museum) were barbarously destroyed by
Government, heedless of their historical value. Maynwaring’s fees were
about £2000 a year. The present salary of a commissioner is £1200; the
chairman’s salary is £500. In 1867 the western front of Somerset House was
added; it is from the designs of Pennethorne, to accommodate the clerks of
the Inland Revenue Department.

The Astronomical Society, Geographical Society, and Geological Society,
were for many years sheltered in Somerset House, before removing
westwards.

Hither, in 1782, from Crane Court, came the Royal Society. The entrance
door to the society’s rooms, to the left of the vestibule, is marked out
by the bust of Sir Isaac Newton; Herschel, Davy, and Wollaston, as well as
Walpole and Hallam, must have passed here, for the same door leads to the
apartments of the Society of Antiquaries.

This society, when burnt out of Aldersgate Street by the Great Fire, held
its meetings for a time in Arundel House. At first its doings were
trifling and sometimes absurd. Enthusiasts and pedants often made the
society ludicrous by their aberrations. Charles II. pretended to admire
their Baconic inductions, but must have laughed at Boyle’s essays and
platitudes, and the hope of Wilkins, the Bishop of Chester, of flying to
the moon. Evelyn’s suggestions were unpractical and dilettantish, and
Pepys’s ramblings not over wise. We may be sure that there was food for
laughter, when Butler could thus sketch the occupations of these
philosophers:--

  “To measure wind and weigh the air,
  To turn a circle to a square,
  And in the braying of an ass
  Find out the treble and the bass,
  If mares neigh _alto_, and a cow
  In double diapason low.”

Yet how can we wonder that in the vast gold mines of the new philosophy
our wise men hesitated where first to sink their shafts? Cowley
chivalrously sprang forward to ward off from them the laughter and scorn
of the Rochesters and the Killigrews of the day, and to prove that these
initiative studies were not “impertinent and vain and small,” nothing in
nature being worthless. He ends his fine, rambling ode with the following
noble simile:--

  “Lo! when by various turns of the celestial dance,
      In many thousand years,
      A star so long unknown appears,
  Though Heaven itself more beauteous by it grow,
  It troubles and alarms the world below;
  Does to the wise a star, to fools a meteor show.”[121]

The Royal Society’s traditions belong more to Gresham College than to
Somerset House, the later home of our wise men. It originated in 1645, in
meetings held in Wood Street and Gresham College, suggested by Theodore
Hank, a German of the Palatinate. During the Civil War its discussions
were continued at Oxford. The present entrance-money is £10, and the
annual subscription is £4. The society consists at present of between 700
and 800 fellows, and the anniversary is held every 30th of November, being
St. Andrew’s Day. The Transactions of the society fill upwards of 150
quarto volumes. The first president was Viscount Brouncker, and the
second Sir Joseph Williamson. Mr. William Spottiswoode is the present
president. The society possesses some valuable pictures, including three
portraits of Sir Isaac Newton--one by C. Jervas, presented by the great
philosopher himself, and hung over the president’s chair; a second by D.
C. Marchand, and a third by Vanderbank; two portraits of Halley, by Thomas
Murray and Dahl; two of Hobbes, the great advocate of despotism--one taken
in 1663 (three years after the Restoration), and the other by Gaspars,
presented by Aubrey; Sir Christopher Wren, by Kneller; Wallis, by West;
Flamstead, by Gibson; Robert Boyle, by F. Kerseboom (a good likeness, says
Boyle); Pepys, the cruel expositor of his own weaknesses, by Kneller; Sir
A. Southwell, by the same portrait-painter; Dr. Birch, the great
historical compiler, by Wills (the original of the mezzotint done by Faber
in 1741, and bequeathed by Dr. Birch); Martin Folkes, the great
antiquarian, by Hogarth; Dr. Wollaston, the eccentric discoverer, by
Jackson; and Sir Humphrey Davy, by Sir Thomas Lawrence.

Amongst the curiosities of the society are the silver-gilt mace presented
to the society by Charles II. in 1662--(long supposed to be the bauble
which Cromwell treated with such contempt); a solar dial, made by Sir
Isaac Newton himself when a boy; a reflecting telescope, made by Newton in
1671; the precious MS. of the _Principia_ in Newton’s handwriting; a
silvery lock of Newton’s hair; the MS. of the _Parentalia, or Memoirs of
the Family of the Wrens_, written by young Wren; the charter-book of the
society, bound in crimson velvet, and containing the signatures of the
founder and fellows; a Rumford fireplace, one of the earliest in use; and
a marble bust of Mrs. Somerville, the great mathematician and philosopher,
by Chantrey. The society gives annually two gold medals--one the Rumford,
the other the Copley medal, called by Sir Humphrey Davy “the ancient olive
crown of the Royal Society.”

The Geological Society has a museum of specimens and fossils from all
quarters of the globe. The number of its fellows is about 875, and the
time of meeting alternate Wednesday evenings from November till June. It
also publishes a quarterly journal. The entrance-money is six guineas, the
annual subscription two.

The Society of Antiquaries was fairly started in 1707, by Wanley, Bagford,
and Talman, who agreed to meet together every Friday under penalty of
sixpence. It had originated about 1580, when it held its first sittings in
the Heralds’ College; but it did not obtain a charter till 1751, both
Elizabeth and James being afraid of its meddling with royal prerogatives
and illustrious genealogies, and the Civil War having interrupted its
proceedings. Its first meeting was at the Bear Tavern, in the Strand. In
1739 the members were limited to one hundred, and the terms were one
guinea entrance and twelve shillings annually. The society agreed to
discuss antiquarian subjects, and chiefly those relating to English
history prior to James I. In 1751 George II. granted its members a
charter, and in 1777 George III. gave them apartments in Somerset House,
where they continued till their recent removal to Burlington House. The
terms now are eight guineas admission, and four guineas annually. The
_Archæologia_, a journal of the society’s proceedings, commenced in 1770.
The meetings are every Thursday evening from November to June, and the
anniversary meeting is the 23d of April.

The museum of this society contains, among other treasures, the _Household
Book_ of the Duke of Norfolk; a large and valuable collection of early
proclamations and ballads; T. Porter’s unique map of London (Charles I.);
a folding picture in panel, of the “Preaching at Old St. Paul’s in 1616;”
early portraits of Edward IV. and Richard III., engraved for the third
series of _Ellis’s Letters_; a three-quarter portrait of Mary I. with the
monogram of Lucas de Heere, and the date 1546; a curious portrait of the
Marquis of Winchester (who died 1571); the portrait by Sir Antonio More,
of Schorel, a Dutch painter; portraits of antiquaries--Burton, the
Leicestershire antiquary, Peter le Neve, Humphrey Wanley Baker, of St.
John’s College, William Stukeley, George Vertue, and Edward, Earl of
Oxford, presented by Vertue; a Bohemian astronomical clock of gilt brass,
made in 1525 for Sigismund, King of Poland, and bought at the sale of the
effects of James Ferguson, the astronomer; and a spur of gilt brass, found
on Towton field, the scene of the bloody conflict between Edward IV. and
the Lancastrian forces. Upon the shank is engraved the following
posey--“En loial amour tout mon coer.”[122]

The Astronomical Society was instituted in 1820, and received the royal
charter in 1st William IV. The entrance-money is two guineas, and the
annual subscription the same amount. The annual general meeting is the
second Friday in February. A medal is awarded every year. The society has
a small but good mathematical library, and a few astronomical instruments.

A little above the entrance door to “the Stamps and Taxes” there is a
white watch-face let into the wall. Local tradition declares it was left
there in votive gratitude by a labourer who fell from a scaffolding and
was saved by the ribbon of his watch catching in some ornament. It was
really placed there by the Royal Society as a meridian mark for a portable
transit instrument in a window of an ante-room.[123]

A tradition of Nelson belongs to this quiet square. An old clerk at
Somerset House used to describe seeing the hero of the Nile pass on his
way to the Admiralty. Thin and frail, with only one arm, he would enter
the vestibule at a smart pace, and make direct for his goal, pushing
across the rough round stones of the quadrangle, instead of taking, like
others, the smooth pavement. Nelson always took the nearest way to the
object he wished to attain.[124]

The Royal Academy soon found a home in Somerset House. Germs of this
institution are to be found as early as the reign of Charles I., when Sir
Francis Kynaston, a translator of Chaucer into Latin (_circa_ 1636), was
chosen regent of an academy in Covent Garden.[125]

In 1643 that shifty adventurer, Sir Balthazar Gerbier, who had been fellow
ambassador with Rubens in Spain, started some quack establishment of the
same kind at Bethnal Green. He afterwards went to Surinam, was turned out
by the Dutch, came back, designed an ugly house at Hampstead Marshal, in
Berks, and died in 1667.

In 1711 Sir Godfrey Kneller instituted a private art academy, of which he
became president. Hogarth, writing about 1760, says, that sixty years
before some artists had started an academy, but their leaders assuming too
much pomposity, a caricature procession was drawn on the walls of the
studio, upon which the society broke up in dudgeon. Sir James Thornhill,
in 1724, then set up an academy at his own house in Covent Garden, while
others, under Vanderbank, turned a neighbouring meeting-house into a
studio; but these rival confederations broke up at Sir James’s death in
1734.

Hogarth, his son-in-law, opened an academy, under the direction of Mr.
Moser, at the house of a painter named Peter Hyde, in Greyhound Court,
Arundel Street. In 1739 these artists removed to a more commodious house
in Peter’s Court, St. Martin’s Lane, where they continued till 1767, when
they removed to Pall Mall.

In 1738 the Duke of Richmond threw open to art-students his gallery at
Whitehall, closed it again when his absence in the German war prevented
the paying of the premiums, was laughed at, and then re-opened it again.
It lasted some years, and Edwards, author of the _Anecdotes_, studied
there.

In 1753 some artists meeting at the Turk’s Head, Gerrard Street, Soho,
tried ineffectually to organise an academy; but in 1765 they obtained a
charter, and appointed Mr. Lambert president.

In 1760 their first exhibition of pictures was held in the rooms of the
Society of Arts, and in 1761 there were two exhibitions, one at Spring
Gardens: for the latter Hogarth illustrated a catalogue, with a compliment
to the young king and a caricature of rich connoisseurs.

In 1768 eight of the directors of the Spring Gardens Society, indignant at
Mr. Kirby being made president of the society in the place of Mr. Hayman,
resigned; and, co-operating with sixteen others who had been ejected,
secretly founded a new society. Wilton, Chambers, West, Cotes, and Moser,
were the leaders in this scheme, and Reynolds soon joined them, tempted,
it is supposed, by a promise of knighthood.

West was the chief mover in this intrigue. The Archbishop of York, who had
tried to raise £3000 to enable the American artist to abandon
portrait-painting, had gained the royal ear, and West was painting the
“Departure of Regulus” for the king, who was even persuaded and flattered
into drawing up several of the laws of the new society with his own
hand.[126] The king, in the meantime, with unworthy dissimulation,
affected outwardly a complete neutrality between the two camps, presented
the Spring Gardens Society with £100, and even attended their exhibition.

The king’s patronage of the new society was disclosed to honest Mr. Kirby
(father of Mrs. Trimmer, and the artist who had taught the king
perspective) in a very malicious and mortifying manner, and the story was
related to Mr. Galt by West, with a quiet, cold spite, peculiarly his own.
Mr. Kirby came to the palace just as West was submitting his sketch for
“Regulus” to the king. West was a true courtier, and knew well how to make
a patron suggest his own subject. Kirby praised the picture, and hoped Mr.
West intended to exhibit it. The Quaker slily replied that that depended
on his majesty’s pleasure. The king, like a true confederate, immediately
said, “Assuredly I shall be happy to let the work be shown to the public.”
“Then, Mr. West,” said the perhaps too arrogant president, “you will send
it to my exhibition?” “No!” said the king, and the words must have been
thunderbolts to poor Kirby; “it must go to _my_ exhibition.”[127] “Poor
Kirby,” says West, “only two nights before, had declared that the design
of forming such an institution was not contemplated. His colour forsook
him--his countenance became yellow with mortification--he bowed with
profound humility, and instantly retired, _nor did he long survive the
shock_!”

Mr. West is wrong, however, in the last statement, for his rival did not
die till 1774. Mr. Kirby, a most estimable man, was originally a
house-painter at Ipswich. He became acquainted with Gainsborough, was
introduced by Lord Bute to the king, and wrote and edited some valuable
works on perspective, to one of which Hogarth contributed an inimitable
frontispiece.

Sir Robert Strange says that much of this intrigue was carried out by Mr.
Dalton,[128] a print seller in Pall Mall, and the king’s librarian, in
whose rooms the exhibition was held in 1767 and 1768.

Thus an American Quaker, a Swiss, and a Swede--(a gold-chaser, a
coach-painter, an architect, and a third-rate painter, West)--ignobly
established the Royal Academy. Many eminent men refused to join the new
society. Allan Ramsay, Hudson, Scott the marine-painter, and Romney were
opposed to it. Engravers (much to the disgrace of the Academy) were
excluded; and worst of all, one of the new laws forbade any artist to be
eligible to academic honours who did not exhibit his works in the
Academy’s rooms: thus depriving for ever every English artist of the right
to earn money by exhibiting his own works.[129]

The proportion of foreigners in the Academy was very large. The two ladies
who became members (Angelica Kauffmann and Mrs. Moser) were both
Swiss.[130]

The other unlucky society, deprived of its share of the St. Martin’s Lane
casts, etc., and shut out from the Academy, furnished a studio over the
Cyder Cellars in Maiden Lane, struggled on till 1807, and then ceased to
exist.[131]

The Academy, with all its tyranny and injustice, has still been useful to
English art in perpetuating annual exhibitions which attract purchasers.
But what did more good to English art than twenty academies was the king’s
patronage of West, the spread of engraving, and the rise of middle-class
purchasers, who rendered it no longer necessary for artists to depend on
the caprice and folly of rich aristocratic patrons.

One word more about the art oligarchy. The first officers of the new
society were--Reynolds, president; Moser, keeper; Newton, secretary;
Penny, professor of painting; Sandby, professor of architecture; Wale,
professor of perspective; W. Hunter, professor of anatomy; Chambers,
treasurer; and Wilson, librarian. Goldsmith was chosen professor of
history at a later period.

The catalogue of the first exhibition of the Royal Academy contains the
names of only one hundred and thirty pictures: Hayman exhibited scenes
from _Don Quixote_; Rooker some Liverpool views; Reynolds some allegorised
portraits; Miss Kauffmann some of her tame Homeric figures; West his
“Regulus” (that killed Kirby), and a Venus and Adonis; Zuccarelli two
landscapes.

In 1838, the first year after the opening of the National Gallery, 1382
works of art, including busts and architectural designs, were exhibited.
Among the pictures then shown were--Stanfield’s “Chasse Marée off the
Gulf-stream Light,” “The Privy Council,” by Wilkie; portraits of men and
dogs, by Landseer; “The Pifferari,” “Phryne,” and “Banishment of Ovid,” by
Turner; “A Bacchante,” by Etty; “Gaston de Foix,” by Eastlake; Allan’s
“Slave Market,” Leslie’s “Dinner Scene from the Merry Wives of Windsor;”
“A View on the Rhine,” by Callcott; Shee’s portrait of Sir Francis
Burdett; portraits by Pickersgill; Maclise’s “Christmas in the Olden
Time,” and “Olivia and Sophia fitting out Moses for the Fair;” “The
Massacre of the Innocents,” by Hilton; and a picture by Uwins.[132]

Angelica Kauffmann and Biaggio Rebecca helped to decorate the Academy’s
old council-chamber at Somerset House. The paintings still exist. Rebecca
was an eccentric, conceited Italian artist, who decorated several rooms at
Windsor, and offended the worthy precise old king by his practical jokes.
On one occasion, knowing he would meet the king on his way to Windsor with
West, he stuck a paper star on his coat. The next time West came, the king
was curious to know who the foreign nobleman was he had seen--“Person of
distinction, eh? eh?”--and was doubtless vexed at the joke.

Rebecca’s favourite trick was to draw a half-crown on paper, and place it
on the floor of one of the ante-rooms at Windsor, laughing immoderately at
the eagerness with which some fat courtier in full dress, sword and bag,
would run and scuffle to pick it up.[133]

Fuseli took his place as Keeper of the Academy in 1805. Smirke had been
elected, but George III., hearing that he was a democrat, refused to
confirm the appointment. Haydon, who called on Fuseli in Berners Street in
1805, when he had left his father the bookseller at Plymouth, describes
him as “a little white-headed, lion-faced man, in an old flannel
dressing-gown tied round his waist with a piece of rope, and upon his head
the bottom of Mrs. Fuseli’s work-basket.” His gallery was full of
galvanised devils, malicious witches brewing incantations, Satan bridging
chaos or springing upwards like a pyramid of fire, Lady Macbeth, Paolo and
Francesca, Falstaff and Mrs. Quickly.

Elsewhere the impetuous Haydon sketches him vigorously. Fuseli was about
five feet five inches high, had a compact little form, stood firmly at his
easel, painted with his left hand, never held his palette upon his thumb,
but kept it upon his stone slab, and being very near-sighted and too vain
to wear glasses, used to dab his beastly brush into the oil, and sweeping
round the palette in the dark, take up a great lump of white, red, or
blue, and plaster it over a shoulder or a face; then prying close in, he
would turn round and say, “By Gode! dat’s a fine purple! it’s very like
Correggio, by Gode!” and then all of a sudden burst out with a quotation
from Homer, Tasso, Dante, Ovid, Virgil, or the Niebelungen, and say,
“Paint dat!” “I found him,” says Haydon, “a most grotesque mixture of
literature, art, scepticism, indelicacy, profanity, and kindness. He put
me in mind of Archimago in Spenser.”[134]

When Haydon came first to town from Plymouth, he lodged at 342
Strand,[135] near Charing Cross, and close to his fellow-student, the
good-natured, indolent, clever Jackson. The very morning he arrived he
hurried off to the Exhibition, and mistaking the new church in the Strand
for Somerset House, ran up the steps and offered his shilling to a beadle.
When he at last found the right house, Opie’s _Gil Blas_ and Westall’s
_Shipwrecked Sailor Boy_ were all the historical pictures he could find.

Sir Joshua read his first discourse before the Academy in 1769. Barry
commenced his lectures in 1784, ended them in 1798, and was expelled the
Academy in 1799. Opie delivered his lectures in 1807, the year in which he
died. Fuseli began in 1801, and delivered but twelve lectures in all.

It was on St. George’s Day, 1771, that Sir Joshua Reynolds took the chair
at the first annual dinner of the Royal Academy. Dr. Johnson was there,
with Goldsmith and Horace Walpole. Goldsmith got the ear of the company,
but was laughed at by Johnson for professing his enthusiastic belief in
Chatterton’s discovery of ancient poems. Walpole, who had believed in the
poet of Bristol till he was laughed at by Mason and Gray, began to banter
Goldsmith on his opinions, when, as he says, to his surprise and concern,
and the dashing of his mirth, he first heard that the poor lad had been to
London and had destroyed himself. Goldsmith had afterwards a quarrel with
Dr. Percy on the same subject.

One day, while Reynolds was lecturing at Somerset House, the floor
suddenly began to give way. Turner, then a boy, was standing near the
lecturer. Reynolds remained calm, and said afterwards that his only
thought was what a loss to English art the death of that roomful would
have been.

On the death of Mr. Wale, the Professor of Perspective, Sir Joshua was
anxious to have Mr. Bonomi elected to the post, but he was treated with
great disrespect by Mr. Copley and others, who refused to look at Bonomi’s
drawings, which Sir Joshua (as some maintained, contrary to rule) had
produced at Fuseli’s election as Academician. Reynolds at first threatened
to resign the presidency; but thought better of it afterwards.

In the catalogues in 1808 Turner’s name first appeared with the title of
Professor of Perspective attached to it. His lectures were bad, from his
utter want of language, but he took great pains with his diagrams, and his
ideas were often original. On one celebrated occasion Turner arrived in
the lecture-room late, and much perturbed. He dived first into one pocket,
and then into another; at last he ejaculated these memorable words:
“Gentlemen, I’ve been and left my lecture in the hackney-coach!”[136]

In 1779 O’Keefe describes a visit paid to Somerset House to hear Dr.
William Hunter lecture on anatomy. He describes him as a jocose little
man, in “a handsome modest” wig. A skeleton hung on a pivot by his side,
and on his other hand stood a young man half stripped. Every now and then
he paused, to turn to the dead or the living example.[137]

In 1765, when Fuseli was living humbly in Cranbourn Alley, and translating
Winckelmann, he used to visit Smollett, whose _Peregrine Pickle_ he was
then illustrating; and also Falconer, the author of _The Shipwreck_, who,
being poor, was allowed to occupy apartments in Somerset House.[138] The
poet was a mild, inoffensive man, the son of an Edinburgh barber. He had
been apprenticed on board a merchant vessel, after which he entered the
royal navy. In 1762 he published his well-known poem. He went out to India
in 1769, in the _Aurora_, which is supposed to have foundered in the
Mozambique Channel.[139] Falconer was a short thin man, with a
hard-featured, weather-beaten face and a forbidding manner; but he was
cheerful and generous, and much liked by his messmates. That hearty
sea-song, “Cease, rude Boreas,” has been attributed to him.

Fuseli succeeded Barry as Lecturer on Painting in 1799, and became Keeper
on the death of Wilton, the sculptor, in 1803. He died in 1825, aged
eighty-four, and was buried in St. Paul’s, between Reynolds and Opie.
Lawrence, Beechey, Reinagle, Chalon, Jones, and Mulready followed him to
his stately grave. The body had previously been laid in state in Somerset
House, his pictures of “The Lazar House” and “The Bridging of Chaos” being
hung over the coffin.

When Sir Joshua died, in 1792, his body lay in state in a velvet coffin,
in a room hung with sable, in Somerset House. Burke and Barry, Boswell and
Langton, Kemble and John Hunter, Towneley and Angerstein came to witness
the ceremony.

Where events are so interwoven as they are in topographical history, I
hope to be pardoned if I am not always chronological in my arrangement,
for it must be remembered that I have anecdotes to attend to as well as
dates. Let me here, then, dilate on a cruel instance of misused academic
power. My story relates to a young genius as unfortunate as Chatterton,
yet guiltless of his lies and forgeries, who died heart-broken by neglect
more than half a century ago.

[Illustration: SOMERSET HOUSE FROM THE STRAND, 1777.]

Procter, a young Yorkshire clerk, came up to London in 1777, and became a
student of the Royal Academy. In 1783 he carried off a silver medal, and
the next year won the gold medal for an historical picture. When Procter
gained this last prize, his fellow-students, raising him on their
shoulders, bore him downstairs, and then round the quadrangle of Somerset
House, shouting out, “Procter! Procter!” Barry was delighted at this, and
exclaimed with an oath, “Bedad! the lads have caught the true spirit of
the ould Greeks.” Sir Abraham Hume bought Procter’s “Ixion,” which was
praised by Reynolds. His colossal “Diomede” the poor fellow had to break
up, as he had no place to keep it in, and no one would buy it. In 1794 Mr.
West, wishing that Procter should go to Rome as the travelling student,
discovered him, after much inquiry, in poor lodgings in Maiden Lane. A day
or two afterwards he was found dead in his bed. The Academicians had been,
perhaps, just a little too late with their patronage.[140]

And now, when through grey twilight glooms I steal a glance as I pass by
at that grave black figure of the river god, presiding solemn as
Rhadamanthus over the central quadrangle of Somerset House, I sometimes
dream I see little leonine Fuseli, stormy Barry, and courtly Reynolds
pacing together the dim quadrangle that on these autumnal evenings, when
the rifle drills are over, wears so lonely and purgatorial an aspect; and
far away from them, in murky corners, I fancy I hear muttering the ghosts
of Portuguese monks, while scowling at them, stalks by pale Sir
Edmondbury, with a sword run through his shadowy body.



[Illustration: JACOB TONSON’S BOOK-SHOP, 1742.]


CHAPTER V.

THE STRAND (SOUTH SIDE, CONTINUED).


On the Thames, off Somerset House, was a timber shed built on a strong
barge, and called “the Folly.” In William III.’s reign it was anchored
higher up the stream, near the Savoy. Tom Brown calls it “a musical
summer-house.” Its real name was “The Royal Diversion.” Queen Mary
honoured it with her presence.[141] It was at first frequented by “persons
of quality,” but latterly it became disreputable, and its orchestra and
refreshment alcoves were haunted by thieves, gamesters, and courtesans.

Near the Savoy stood the palace of the bishops of Carlisle, which was
obtained by exchange with Henry VIII. for Rochester Place at Lambeth. The
English sultan gave it to his lucky favourite, Bedford, who took it as his
residence. In the reign of James I. the Earl of Worcester bought it; and
in 1627 the Duke of Beaufort let it to Lord Clarendon, while his ill-fated
house was building in Piccadilly. It was then rebuilt on a smaller scale
by the duke, and eventually burnt down in 1695.[142] The present Beaufort
Buildings were then erected. Beaufort House, which occupies the site of
one in which Cardinal Beaufort died, is now a printing-office.

Blake, the mystical painter, died in 1828, at No. 3 Fountain Court, after
five years’ residence there. In these dim rooms he believed he saw the
ghost of a flea, Satan himself looking through the bars of the staircase
window, to say nothing of hosts of saints, angels, evil spirits, and
fairies. Here also he wrote verse passionate as Shelley’s and pure and
simple-hearted as Wordsworth’s. Here he engraved, tinted, railed at
Woollett, and raved over his Dante illustrations; for though poor and
unknown, he was yet regal in his exulting self-confidence. Here, just
before his death, the old man sat up in bed, painting, singing, and
rejoicing. He died without a struggle.[143]

The office of the _Sun_ is on this side the Strand. This paper was
established in 1792. Mr. Jerdan left the _Sun_ in 1816, selling his share
for £300. He had quarrelled with the co-proprietor, Mr. John Taylor, who
aspired to a control over him. In 1817 he set up the _Literary Gazette_,
the first exclusive organ of literary men.[144] The first editor of the
_Sun_ got an appointment in the West Indies. The paper was then edited by
Robert Clark, printer of the _London Gazette_, and afterwards by Jerdan,
assisted by Fladgate the facetious lawyer, Mulloch, and John Taylor. After
getting his sop in the pan of £300 a year from Government, that
low-principled satirist, Dr. Wolcot (Peter Pindar), wrote epigrams for it.

Fountain Court was in Strype’s time famous for an adjacent tavern from
which it derived its name. It was well paved, and its houses were
respectably inhabited.[145] The Fountain Tavern was renowned for its good
rooms, excellent vaults, “curious kitchen,” and old wine. The Fountain
Club, of which Pulteney was a member (circa 1737), held its meetings in
this tavern, to oppose that fine old Whig gentleman Sir Robert
Walpole.[146] Sir Charles Hanbury Williams thus mentions it in one of his
lampoons:--

  “Then enlarge on his cunning and wit,
    Say how he harangued at the Fountain,
  Say how the old patriots were bit,
    And a mouse was produced by a mountain.”

Here Pulteney may have planned the _Craftsman_ with Bolingbroke, and
perhaps have arranged his duel with Lord Hervey, the “Sporus” of Pope.

Dennis, the critic, mentions in his _Letters_ dining here with Loggen, the
painter, and Wilson, a writer praised by poor Otway in Tonson’s first
_Miscellany_. “After supper,” he says, “we drank Mr. Wycherly’s health by
the name of Captain Wycherly.”[147] This was the dramatist, the celebrated
author of _The Plain Dealer_ and _The Country Wife_.

The great room of the Fountain Tavern was afterwards Akermann’s well-known
picture shop; and is now Simpson’s cigar divan.

Charles Lillie, the perfumer recommended by Steele in the _Tatler_ (Nos.
92, 94), lived next door to the Fountain Tavern. He was burnt out and went
to the east corner of Beaufort Buildings in 1709. Good-natured Steele,
pitying him probably for his losses, praised his Barcelona snuff, and his
orange-flower water prepared according to the Royal Society’s receipt.

The Coal Hole, in this court, was so named by Rhodes, its first landlord,
from its having been originally the resort of coal-heavers. In his and
Edmund Kean’s time it was respectably frequented. It was once the
“Evans’s” of London, famous for steaks and ale; afterwards it sank to a
low den with _poses plastiques_ and ribald sham trials, that used to be
conducted by “Baron” Nicholson, a fat gross man, but not without a certain
unctuous humour, who is now dead.

Edmund Kean, always low in his tastes, used to fly the society of men like
Lord Byron to come hither and smoke and drink. The dress, the ceremony,
and the compulsory good behaviour of respectable society made him silent
and melancholy.[148] He used to say that noblemen talked such nonsense
about the stage, and that only literary men understood the subject.

The Kit-Cat Club was instituted in 1700, and died away about the year
1720. There were originally thirty-nine members, and they increased
gradually to the forty-eight whose portraits Kneller painted for their
secretary, Jacob Tonson, Dryden’s bookseller. Their earliest rendezvous
was at the house of a pastry-cook, one Christopher Cat, in Shire Lane,
near Temple Bar. When he grew wealthier, the club removed with him to the
Fountain Tavern in the Strand. The club derived its name from the
celebrated mutton pie,[149] which had been christened after its
maker.[150] The first members were those Whig patriots who brought about
the Revolution and drove out King James. Their object was the
encouragement of literature and the fine arts, and the diffusion of
loyalty to the House of Hanover. They elected their “toast” for the year
by ballot. The lady’s name, when chosen, was written on the club
drinking-glasses with a diamond. Among the more celebrated of the members
of this club were Kneller, Vanbrugh, Congreve, Addison, Garth, Steele,
Lord Mohun, the Duke of Wharton, Sir Robert Walpole, the Earl of
Burlington, the Earl of Bath, the Earl of Dorset, the Earl of Halifax, the
proud Duke of Somerset, and the Duke of Newcastle.

In summer the Club met at Tonson’s house at Barn Elms in Surrey, or at the
Upper Flask Tavern at Hampstead.[151] There seems to have been always some
doubt about the derivation of the name of the club; for an epigram still
extant, written either by Pope or Arbuthnot, attributes the name to the
fact of the members toasting “old Cats and young kits.” Mr. Defoe mentions
the landlord’s name as Christopher Catt,[152] while Ned Ward says that
though his name was Christopher, he lived at the sign of the Cat and
Fiddle.

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu was once brought by her father to this club when
a child, and made the toast for the year. “Petted, praised, fondled, and
fed with sweetmeats,” she used to say in her old age that it was the
happiest day of her life![153]

No. 59 is Coutts’s Bank. It was built for Mr. Coutts, in 1768, by the Adam
brothers--to whom we are indebted for the Adelphi. The old house of the
firm, of the date of Queen Anne, was situated in St. Martin’s Lane. The
present house contains some fine marble chimney-pieces of the Cipriani and
Bacon school. The dining-room is hung with quaint Chinese subjects on
paper, sent to Mr. Coutts by Lord Macartney, while on his embassy to
China, in 1792-95. In another room hang portraits of some early friends of
this son of Mammon, including Dr. Armstrong, the poet and physician,
Fuseli’s friend, by Reynolds. The strong rooms consist of cloistered
vaults, wherein the noblemen and rich commoners who bank in the house
deposit patents, title-deeds, and plate of fabulous value.

Mr. Coutts was the son of a Dundee merchant. His first wife was a servant,
a Lancashire labourer’s offspring. He had three daughters, one of whom
became the wife of Sir Francis Burdett, a second Countess of Guilford, and
a third Marchioness of Bute. On becoming acquainted with Miss Mellon, and
inducing her to leave the stage to avoid perpetual insults, Mr. Coutts
bought for her of Sir W. Vane Tempest, a small villa called Holly Lodge,
at the foot of Highgate Hill, for which he gave £25,000. His banking-house
strong rooms alone cost £10,000 building. The first deposit in the
enlarged house was the diamond aigrette that the Grand Signor had placed
in Nelson’s hat. Mr. Coutts, though very charitable, was precise and
exact. On one occasion, there being a deficit of 2s. 10d. in the day’s
accounts, the clerks were detained for hours, or, as is said, all night.
One of Coutts’s clerks, who took the western walk, was discovered to be
missing with £17,000.[154] Rewards were offered, and the town placarded,
but all in vain. The next day, however, the note-case arrived from
Southampton. The clerk’s story was, that on his way through Piccadilly,
being seized with a stupor, he had got into a coach in order to secure the
money. He had remained insensible the whole journey, and had awoke at
Southampton. Mr. Coutts gave him a handsome sum from his private purse,
but dismissed him.

Coutts’s Bank stands on nearly the centre of the site of the “New
Exchange.” When the Adelphi was built in Durham Gardens, Mr. Coutts
purchased a vista to prevent his view being interrupted, stipulating that
the new street leading to the entrance should face this opening; and on
this space, up to the level of the Strand, he built his strong rooms. Some
years after, wishing to enlarge them, he erected over the office a
counting-house and a set of offices extending from William Street to
Robert Street, and threw a stone bridge over William Street to connect the
front and back premises.

Mr. Coutts, late in life, married Harriet Mellon, who, after his death,
became the wife of the Duke of St. Albans, a descendant of Nell Gwynn,
that light-hearted wanton, whom nobody could hate. “Miss Mellon,” says
Leigh Hunt, “was arch and agreeable on the stage; she had no genius; but
then she had fine eyes and a good-humoured mouth.” The same gay writer
describes her when young as bustling about at sea-ports, selling tickets
for her benefit-night; but then, says the kindly apologist for everybody,
she had been left with a mother to support.[155]

Edmund Kean, the great tragedian, was lodging at 21 Cecil Street when,
poor and unknown, he made his first great triumph as Shylock, at Drury
Lane; a few days after, his mantelpiece was strewn with bank-notes, and
his son Charles was seen sitting on the floor playing with a heap of
guineas.[156] This great actor brought the theatre, in sixty-eight nights
of 1814, no less than twenty thousand pounds.

The last house on the west side of Cecil Street was inhabited in 1706 by
Lord Gray, and in 1721-4 by the Archbishop of York. In the opposite house
lived for many years Major-General Sir William Congreve, the inventor of
the rockets which bear his name, and a great friend and companion of
George IV., to whom he is said to have borne a striking personal
resemblance. Sir William was a descendant of Congreve the dramatist; and
he was the inventor of a number of successful projects and contrivances,
among which may be mentioned the engines employed in dredging the Thames.
The east side of Cecil Street is in the Savoy precinct, the west in the
parish of St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields.

Dr. Wollaston was living in Cecil Street (No. 28) in the year 1800. This
eccentric philosopher, originally a physician, was born in 1766, and died
of brain disease in 1828. He discovered two new metals--palladium and
rhodium--and acquired more than £30,000, by inventing a plan to make
platinum malleable. He improved and invented the camera lucida, and was
the first to demonstrate the identity of galvanism and common
electricity. He carried on his experiments with the simplest instruments,
and never allowed even his most intimate friends to enter his laboratory.
When a foreign philosopher once called on him and asked to see his study,
he instantly produced, in his strange way, a small tray, on which were
some glass tubes and a twopenny blow-pipe. Once, shortly after inspecting
a grand galvanic battery, on meeting a brother philosopher in the street
he led him by the button into a mysterious corner, took from his pocket a
tailor’s thimble, poured into it some liquid from a small phial, and
instantly heated a platinum wire to a white heat.[157]

Salisbury Street, in the Strand, was originally built about 1678, but was
extensively rebuilt by Payne in the early part of the reign of George III.

Old Salisbury House stood on the sites of Salisbury and Cecil Streets,
between Worcester House, now Beaufort Buildings, and Durham House, now the
Adelphi. It was so called after Sir Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, and
Lord High Treasurer to James I., who died 1612. Queen Elizabeth was
present at the house-warming. This Cecil was the bad minister of a bad
king. He was Raleigh’s enemy and Bacon’s; he was the foe of reform, and
the friend of Spain, from whom he received bribes, and the slave of vice.
Bacon painted this vicious hunchback in his _Essay on Deformity_. The
house was divided subsequently into Great and Little Salisbury House--the
latter being let to persons of quality. About 1678 it was pulled down, and
Salisbury Street built; but it proved too steep and narrow, and was not a
successful speculation.[158] The other part, next to Great Salisbury House
and over the Long Gallery, was turned into the “Middle Exchange.” This
eventually gave way to Cecil Street,--a fair street, with very good
houses, fit for persons of repute.[159]

On the death of Sackville the poet, Cecil took the white staff, being
already Premier-Secretary. His ambition stretched into every department of
the State. “He built a new palace at Hatfield, and a new Exchange in the
Strand. Countesses intrigued for him. His son married a Howard, his
daughter a Clifford. Ambassadors started for Italy, less to see Doges and
Grand Dukes than to pick up pictures and statues, and bronzes and
hangings, for his vast establishment at Hatfield Chase. His gardeners
travelled through France to buy up mulberries and vines. Salisbury House,
on the Thames, almost rivalled the luxurious villas of the Roman
cardinals; yet, under this blaze of worldly success, Cecil was the most
miserable of men. Friends grudged his rise; his health was broken; the
reins which his ambition drew into his hands were beyond the powers of a
single man to grasp; and the vigour of his frame, wasted by years of
voluptuous licence, failed him at the moment when the strain on his
faculties was at the full.”[160]

In Little Salisbury House lived William Cavendish, third Earl of
Devonshire, and father of the first Duke of Devonshire, one of the leaders
of the great revolution that drove out the Stuarts. Two or three days
after the Restoration, King Charles, passing in his coach through the
Strand, espied Hobbes, that mischievous writer in favour of absolute
power, standing at the door of his patron the earl. The king took off his
hat very kindly to the old man, gave him his hand to kiss, asked after his
health, ordered Cooper to take his portrait, and settled on him a pension
of £100 a year. Hobbes had been an assistant of Bacon, and a friend of Ben
Jonson and of Lord Herbert of Cherbury. He had taught Charles II.
mathematics, and corresponded with Descartes.

In the street standing on the site of Sir Robert Cecil’s house was the
residence of the famous Partridge, the cobbler, impudent sham-almanac
maker, and predecessor of our own Moore and Zadkiel, who had foretold the
death of the French king. To expose this noisy charlatan and upset his
ridiculous hap-hazard predictions, Swift with cruel and trenchant malice
reported and lamented his decease in the _Tatler_ (1708), to which he
contributed under the name of Bickerstaff. The article raised a laugh
that has not even quite died away in the present day. Partridge, furious
at his losses and the extinguishing of his ill-earned fame, knocked down a
hawker who passed his stall crying an account of his death. This happening
just as the joke was fading, revived it again, and finally ruined the
almanac of poor Partridge.[161] “The villain,” says the poor outwitted
astrologer, “told the world I was dead, and how I died, and that he was
with me at the time of my death. I thank God, by whose mercy I have my
being, that I am still alive, and, excepting my age, as well as ever I was
in my life.” He actually died in 1715.

A little beyond Cecil Street formerly stood Ivy Bridge, under which there
was a narrow passage to the Thames, once forming a boundary line between
the Duchy of Lancaster and the City of Westminster. Near Ivy Bridge stood
the mansion of the Earls of Rutland. Opposite this spot Old Parr had
lodgings when he came to court to be shown to Charles I., and died of the
visit. Parr was a Shropshire labourer. He was born in 1483, and died aged
152. His grandson lived to 120, and in the year of his death had married a
widow. Parr’s London lodging became afterwards the Queen’s Head
public-house.[162]

Mrs. Siddons was living at 149 Strand, during the time of her earlier
successes. Probably she returned there on that glorious October night of
1782, when she achieved her first great triumph in Southerne’s tragedy of
_Isabella_, when her younger son, who acted with her, burst into tears,
overcome by the reality of the dying scene. “I never heard,” she says,
“such peals of applause in all my life.” She returned home solemnly and
calmly, and sat down to a frugal, neat supper with her father and husband,
in silence uninterrupted, except by exclamations of gladness from Mr.
Siddons.

Durham Street marks the site of old Durham House, built by Hatfield,
Bishop of Durham, in 1345. In Henry IV.’s time wild Prince Hal lodged
there for some nights.

In the reign of Henry VIII. Bishop Tunstall exchanged the house with the
king for one in Thames Street. Here, in 1550, lodged the French
ambassador, M. de Chastillon, and his colleagues.

Edward VI. granted the house to his sister Elizabeth for life, and here
that princess bore the scorn and persecution of Bonner and his spies. On
Mary coming to the throne and finding Tunstall driven from the Strand and
without a shelter, she restored to him Durham House. This Tunstall led a
life of great vicissitudes. Henry VIII. had moved him from London to
Durham; Edward VI. had dissolved his bishopric altogether; Mary had
restored it; and Elizabeth again stripped him in 1559, the year in which
he died.

The virgin queen kept the house some time in her own tenacious hands, but
in 1583 granted it to Raleigh, whom she had loaded with favours, and who,
in 1591, was Captain of the Guard, Lord Warden of the Stannaries, and
Lieutenant of Cornwall.

On the death of Queen Elizabeth Raleigh’s sun of fortune set for ever, and
that sly time-server Toby Matthew, Bishop of Durham, claimed the old town
house of the see, relying on Cecil’s help and King James’s dislike to the
great enemy of Spain. Sir Walter opposed him, but the king in council,
1603, recognised the claim, and stripped Raleigh of his possession. The
aggrieved man, in a letter of remonstrance to the Lord Keeper Egerton,
states that he had occupied the house about twenty years, and had expended
on it £2000 out of his own purse.[163] Raleigh did not die at Tower Hill
till 1618; but Durham House was never occupied again either by bishop or
noble, and five years after the stables of the house came down to make way
for the New Exchange.

In Charles I.’s reign the Earl of Pembroke bought Durham Yard from the
Bishop of Durham for £200 a year, and built a handsome street leading to
the river.[164] The river front and the stables remained in ruins till the
Messrs. Adam built the Adelphi on the site of Raleigh’s old turret study.
Ivy Street had been the eastward boundary of the bishop’s domain.[165]

The New Exchange was opened April 11, 1609, in the presence of King James
and his Danish queen. It was built principally through the intervention of
Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, who lived close by. It was called by the king
“Britain’s Bourse,” but it could not at first compete with the Royal
Exchange. At the Restoration, however, when Covent Garden grew into a
fashionable quarter, the New Exchange became more frequented than
Gresham’s building in the city.

In the year 1653 (Cromwell), the New Exchange was the scene of a tragedy.
Don Pantaleon de Saa, brother of the Portuguese ambassador, quarrelled
with a gentleman named Giraud, who was flirting with the milliners, and
who had used some contemptuous expression. The Portuguese, bent on
revenge, hired some bravos, who the next day stabbed to death a gentleman
whom they mistook for Mr. Giraud. They were instantly seized, and Don
Pantaleon was found guilty and executed. Singularly enough, the intended
victim perished on the same day on the same scaffold, having in the
meantime been condemned for a plot against the Protector.

There are many legends existing about the New Exchange. Thomas Duffet, an
actor of Charles II.’s time, kept originally a milliner’s shop here. At
the Eagle and Child, in Britain’s Bourse, the first edition of _Othello_
was sold in 1622. At the sign of the “Three Spanish Gypsies” lived Thomas
Radford, who sold wash-balls, powder, and gloves, and taught sempstresses.
His wife, the daughter of John Clarges, a farrier in the Savoy before or
after Radford’s death, married General Monk, became the vulgar Duchess of
Albemarle, and was eventually buried in Westminster Abbey. At the sign of
the Fop’s Head lived, in 1674, Will Cademan, a player and
play-publisher.[166] Henry Herringham, the chief London publisher before
Dryden’s petty tyrant, Tonson, had his shop at the Blue Anchor in the
Lower Walk. Mr. and Mrs. Pepys frequented the New Exchange. Here the
Admiralty clerk’s wife had “a mind to” a petticoat of sarcenet bordered
with black lace, and probably purchased it. Here also, in April, 1664,
Pepys and his friend Creed partook of “a most delicate dish of curds and
cream.”[167] Both Wycherly and Etherege have laid scenes of their comedies
at the New Exchange; and here, too, Dryden’s intriguing Mrs. Brainsick
pretends to visit her “tailor” to try on her new stays.

This Strand Bazaar, in the time of William and Mary, was the scene of the
pretty story of the “White Widow.” For several weeks a sempstress appeared
at one of the stalls, clothed in white, and wearing a white mask. She
excited great curiosity, and all the fashionable world thronged her stall.
This mysterious milliner was at last discovered to be no less a person
than the Duchess of Tyrconnel, widow of Talbot, the Lord Deputy of Ireland
under James II. Unable to obtain a secret access to her family, and almost
starving, she had been compelled to turn shopwoman. Her relatives provided
for her directly the story became known.[168] This duchess was the Frances
Jennings mentioned by Grammont, and sister to Sarah, Duchess of
Marlborough.

This long arcade, leading from the Strand to the water stairs, was divided
into four parts--the outward walk below stairs, the inner walk below
stairs, the outward walk above stairs, and the inner walk above stairs.
The lower walk was a place of assignations. In the upper walk the air rang
with cries of “Gloves or ribands, sir?” “Very good gloves or ribands.”
“Choice of fine essences.”[169] Here Addison used to pace, watching the
fops and fools with a kindly malice.[170] The houses in the Strand, over
against the Exchange door, were often let to rich country families, who
glared from the balconies and stared from the windows.[171]

Soon after the death of Queen Anne the New Exchange became disreputable.
No one would take stalls, so it was pulled down in 1737, and a frontage of
dwelling-houses and shops made to the Strand, facing what is now the
Adelphi Theatre. But we must return for a moment to old Durham House and a
few more of its earlier tenants.

In Henry VIII.’s time Durham House had been the scene of great banquets
given by the challengers after the six days’ tournament that celebrated
the butcher king’s ill-omened marriage with that “Flemish mare,” as he
used ungallantly to call Anne of Cleves. To these sumptuous feasts the
bruised and battered champions, together with all the House of Commons and
Corporation of London, were invited. To reward the challengers, among whom
was Oliver Cromwell’s ancestor, Dick o’ the Diamond, the burly king gave
them each a yearly pension of one hundred marks out of the plundered
revenues of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem.

Later a mint was established at Durham House by Sir William Sherrington,
to aid the Lord Admiral Seymour in his treasonable efforts against his
brother, the Protector, who finally offered him up a victim to his
ambition. Sherrington, however, escaped, and worked the mint for the
equally unfortunate Protector.

But no loss of heads could warn the Strand noblemen. It was here that the
ambitious Duke of Northumberland married his son, Lord Guildford Dudley,
to poor meek-hearted Lady Jane Grey, who, the luckless queen of an hour,
longed only for her Greek books, her good old tutor Ascham, and the quiet
country house where she had been so happy. On that great day for the duke,
Lady Jane’s sister also married Lord Herbert, and Lord Hastings espoused
Lady Catherine Dudley. It was from Durham House that the poor martyr of
ambition, Lady Jane, was escorted in pomp to the Tower, which was so soon
to be her grave.

In 1560 Jean Nicot, a French ambassador, had carried tobacco from Lisbon
to Paris. In 1586[172] Drake brought tobacco from Raleigh’s colony in
Virginia. Raleigh was fond of smoking over his books. His tobacco-box
still existed in 1715; it was of gilt leather, as large as a muff-case,
and contained cases for sixteen pipes.[173] There is a doubtful legend
about Raleigh’s first pipe, the scene of which may be not unfairly laid at
Durham House, where Raleigh then lived.

One day his servant, bringing in a tankard of spiced ale as usual into the
turret study, found Raleigh (it is said) smoking a pipe over his folios.
The clown, seeing smoke issue in clouds from his master’s mouth, dropped
the tankard in a fright, and ran downstairs to shout to the family that
“master was on fire, and that he would be burnt to ashes if they did not
run directly to his help.”[174]

The stalwart, sour-faced Raleigh disported himself at Durham House in a
suit of clothes beset with jewels and valued at sixty thousand
pounds,[175] and in diamond court-shoes valued at six thousand six hundred
pieces of gold. Here he lived with his wife Elizabeth, and his two unlucky
sons Walter and Carew. Here, as he sat in his study in the little turret
that looked over the Thames,[176] he must have written against the
Spaniards, told his adventures in Virginia, and described his discovery of
the gold country of Guiana, his quarrel with Essex at Fayal, and the
capture of the rich caracks laden with gold, pearls, and cochineal.

The estate of Durham Place was purchased from the Earl of Pembroke, about
1760, by four brothers of the name of Adam, sons of an architect at
Kirkaldy, who were patronised by the handsome and much-abused Earl of
Bute, and who built Caen Wood House, near Hampstead, afterwards the wise
Lord Mansfield’s. Robert, the ablest of the brothers, had visited Palmyra,
and was supposed from those gigantic ruins to have borrowed his grand
spirit of construction, as well as much of that trivial ornament which he
might surely have found nearer home. When the brothers Adam began their
work, Durham Yard (the court-yard of Raleigh’s old house) was a tangle of
small sheds, coal-stores, wine-vaults, and lay-stalls. They resolved to
leave the wharves, throw some huge arches over the declivity, connect the
river with the Strand, and over these vaults erect a series of well-built
streets, a noble river terrace, and lofty rooms for the newly-established
Society of Arts.

In July 1768,[177] when the Adelphi Buildings were commenced, the Court
and City were at war, and the citizens, wishing to vex Bute, applied to
Parliament to prevent the brothers encroaching on the river, of which
sable stream the Lord Mayor of London is the conservator, but not the
purifier; but they lost their cause, and the worthy Scotchmen
triumphed.[178]

The Scotch are a patriotic people, and stand bravely by their own folk.
The Adams sent to Scotland for workmen, whose labours they stimulated by
countless bagpipes; but the canny men, finding the bagpipes played their
tunes rather too quick, threw up the work, and Irishmen were then
employed. The joke of the day was, that the Scotchmen took their bagpipes
away with them, but left their _fiddles_![179]

The Adelphi at once became fashionable. Garrick, then getting old, left
his house in Southampton Street to occupy No. 5, the centre building of
the terrace, and lived there till his death in 1779. Singularly enough,
this great and versatile actor had, on first coming to London with his
friend Johnson, started as a wine merchant below in Durham Yard. Here he
must have raved in “Richard,” and wheedled as Abel Drugger; and in the
rooms at No. 5 half the celebrities of his century must have met. He died
in the “first floor back,” and his widow died in the same house as long
after as 1822. The ceiling in the front drawing-room was painted by
Antonio Zucchi. A white marble chimney-piece in the same room is said to
have cost £300.[180] Garrick died after only nine years’ residence in the
new terrace; but his sprightly widow, a theatrical critic to the last,
lived till she was past ninety, still an enthusiast about her husband’s
genius. The first time she re-opened the house after Davy’s death, Dr.
Johnson, Boswell, Sir Joshua, Mrs. Carter, and Mrs. Boscawen were present.
“She looked well,” says Boswell; “and while she cast her eyes on her
husband’s portrait, which was hung over the chimney-piece, said, that
death was now the most agreeable object to her.” Worthy woman! and so she
honestly thought at the time; but she lived exactly forty-three years
longer in the same house.

If there is a spot in London which Johnson’s ghost might be expected to
revisit, it is that quiet and lonely Adelphi Terrace. At night no sound
comes to you but a shout from some passing barge, or the creak of a ship’s
windlass. Here Johnson and Boswell once leant over, looking at the Thames.
The latter said, “I was thinking of two friends we had lost, who once
lived in the buildings behind us, Beauclerk and Garrick.” “Ay, sir,”
replied Johnson, seriously, “and two _such_ friends as cannot be
supplied.” This is a recollection that should for ever hallow the Adelphi
Terrace to us.

The Beauclerk above mentioned was one of the few rakes whom Johnson loved.
He was a friend of Langton, and as such had become intimate with the great
doctor. Topham Beauclerk was a man of acute mind and elegant manners, and
ardently fond of literature. He was of the St. Albans family, and had a
resemblance to swarthy Charles II., a point which pleased his elder
friend. The doctor liked his gay, young manner, and flattered himself much
as women do who marry rakes, that he should reform him in time.

“What a coalition!” said Garrick, when he heard of the friendship; “why, I
shall have my old friend to bail out of the Round House.” Beauclerk, says
Boswell, “could take more liberties with Johnson than any one I ever saw
him with;”[181] but, on the other hand, Beauclerk was not spared. On one
occasion Johnson said to him, “You never open your mouth, sir, without an
intention to give pain, and you have often given me pain--not from the
power of what you said, but from seeing your intention.” At another time
he said, “Thy body is all vice, and thy mind all virtue.”

When the Adelphi was building, Garrick applied for the corner house of
Adam Street for his friend Andrew Beckett, the bookseller in the Strand,
and he obtained it. In this letter he calls the architects “the dear
Adelphi,” and the western house “the corner blessing.” Garrick’s house was
for some years occupied by the Royal Literary Fund, but is now a Club.

Garrick promised the brothers, if the request was granted, to make the
shop, as old Jacob Tonson’s once was, the rendezvous of the first people
in England. “I have,” he says, “a little selfishness in this request. I
never go to coffee-houses, seldom to taverns, and should constantly (if
this scheme takes place), be at Beckett’s at one at noon and six at
night.”[182]

Garrick was a frequent visitor at the house of Mr. Thomas Beckett, the
bookseller, in Pall Mall, and he obtained the appointment of sub-librarian
at Carlton Palace for the son Andrew, who had written a comedy on the
_Emile_ of Rousseau at the age of fourteen, and produced a poem called
_Theodosius and Constantia_. For nearly ten years he wrote for the British
and Monthly Reviews. He was born in 1749, and died in 1843. His most
useful work is called _Shakspere Himself Again_, in which he released the
original text from much muddy nonsense of commentators. He complained
bitterly of Griffiths, of the _Monthly Review_, having given him only £45
for four or five years’ work--280 articles, produced after reading and
condensing 590 volumes; Mr. Griffiths’ annual profit by the _Monthly_
being no less than £2000.

Into a house in John Street the Society of Arts, established in 1753 by
Mr. Shipley, an artist, moved, about 1772. This society still give
lectures and rewards, and does about as much good as ever it did. Art
must grow wild--it will not thrive in hot-houses. The great room is still
adorned with the six large pictures illustrating the “Progress of
Society,” painted by poor, half-crazed Barry, the ill-educated artist,
who, too proud to paint cabinet pictures, could yet paint nothing larger
sound or well.

Shipley, who established the society of Arts in imitation of one already
established at Dublin, was originally a drawing-master at Northampton.
From its commencement in 1753-4 to 1778 the society distributed in
premiums and bounties £24,616. A year after its foundation Josiah Wedgwood
began to infuse a classical and purer taste among the proprietors of the
Staffordshire potteries,[183] and employed Flaxman to draw some of his
designs, and was the first to improve the shape and character of our
simplest articles of use.

Mr. Shipley was a brother of the Bishop of St. Asaph, and had studied
under a portrait-painter named Phillips. In 1738 the Society of Arts voted
their founder a gold medal for his public spirit. His school was continued
by a Mr. Pars. He died, aged upwards of ninety, in 1784.[184]

Nollekens, the sculptor, learned drawing there, and Cosway, afterwards the
fashionable miniature-painter, was the errand-boy. The house was
subsequently inhabited by Rawle, the antiquary, a friend of fat, coarse,
clever Captain Grose.[185]

Dr. Ward, the inventor of “Friar’s Balsam,” a celebrated quack doctor
ridiculed by Hogarth, left his statue by Carlini to the Society of Arts.
The doctor allowed Carlini £100 a year, so that he should work at this
statue for life.[186]

This Joshua Ward, celebrated for his drop and pill, by which and his
balsam he made a fortune, was the son of a drysalter in Thames Street.
Praised by General Churchill and Lord Chief Baron Reynolds, he was called
in to prescribe for King George. The king recovering in spite of the
quack, “Spot” Ward was rewarded by a solemn vote of a credulous House of
Commons, and he obtained the privilege of being allowed to drive his
carriage through St. James’s Park. Ward is conspicuous in one of Hogarth’s
caricatures by a claret mark covering half his brazen face.

The housekeeper at the Society of Arts in Haydon’s time (1842) remembered
Barry at work on the frescoes that are so deficient in colour and taste,
but show such a fine grasp of mind. She said his violence was dreadful,
his oaths horrid, and his temper like insanity. In summer he came at five
and worked till dark; he then lit his lamp and went on etching till eleven
at night. He was seven years at his task. Burke and Johnson called once;
but no artist came to see him. He would have almost shot any painter who
dared to do so. He had his tea boiled in a quart pot, dined in Porridge
Island, and took milk for supper.[187]

Years after Barry lay in state in the great room which his own genius had
adorned, and was buried in the Abbey; but few of the Academicians attended
his funeral. The Adelphi pictures have been recently lined and restored.

Barry having vainly attempted to decorate St. Paul’s, executed the
paintings now at the Society of Arts for his mere expenses, but
eventually, one way and another, cleared a considerable sum by them. He
painted them, as he said, to prove that Englishmen had a genius for high
art, music, and other refinements of life. They are fairly drawn, often
elegantly and reasonably well grouped, but bad in colour. The
heterogeneous dresses are jumbled together with bad taste--Dr. Burney in a
toupee floats among water-nymphs, and William Penn’s wig and hat are
ludicrously obtrusive. The perspective is often “out,” and the attitudes
are stiff; still, historically speaking, the pictures are large-minded and
interesting; and, in spite of his faults, one likes to think of the brave
Irishman busy on his scaffold, railing at Reynolds and defying everybody.
Barry was really a self-deceiver, like Haydon, and aimed far beyond his
powers.

At Osborne’s Hotel, in John Street, the King and Queen of the Sandwich
Islands resided while on a visit to England in the reign of George IV. A
comic song written on their arrival was once popular, though now
forgotten; and Theodore Hook produced a quaint epigram on their death by
small-pox, the point of which was, that one day Death, being hungry,
called for “two Sandwiches.” The epigram was not without the unfeeling wit
peculiar to that heartless lounger at the clubs, who spent his life
amusing the great people, and who died at last a worn-out spendthrift,
_sans_ character, _sans_ everything.

Of all London’s charlatans, perhaps the most impudent was Dr. Graham, a
Scotchman, whose brother married Catherine Macaulay, the author of a
forgotten History of England, much vaunted by Horace Walpole. In or about
1780 this plausible cheat opened what he called a “Temple of Health,” in a
central house in the Adelphi Terrace. His rooms were stuffed with glass
globes, marble statues, medico-electric apparatus, figures of dragons,
stained glass, and other theatrical properties. The air was drugged with
incense and strains of music. The priestess of this temple was said to be
no less a person than Emma Lyons, afterwards Lady Hamilton, the fatal
Cleopatra of Lord Nelson. She had been first a housemaid and afterwards a
painter’s model. She was as beautiful as she was vulgar and abandoned. The
house was hung with crutches, ear-trumpets, and other trophies.[188] For
one night in the celestial bed, that secured a beautiful progeny, this
impostor obtained £100; for a supply of his elixir of life £1000 in
advance, and for his earth-baths a guinea each. Yet this arrant knave and
hypocrite was patronised by half the English nobility. Archenholz, a
German traveller, writing about 1784, describes Dr. Graham and his £60,000
celestial bed. He dilates on the vari-coloured transparent glasses, and
the rich vases of perfume that filled the impudent quack’s temple, the
half-guinea treatises on health, the _moonshine_ admitted into the rooms,
and the divine balm at a guinea a bottle.

A magneto-electric bed, to be slept in for the small sum of £50 a night,
was on the second floor, on the right hand of the orchestra, and near the
hermitage. Electricity and perfumes were laid on in glass tubes from
adjoining reservoirs. The beds (there were two or three at least) rested
on six massy transparent columns. The perfumed curtains were of purple and
celestial blue, like those of the Grand Turk. Graham was blasphemous
enough to call this chamber his “Holy of Holies.” His chief customers were
captains of privateers, nabobs, spendthrifts, and old noblemen. The farce
concluded in March 1784, when the rooms were shut for ever, and the temple
of Apollo, the immense electrical machine, the self-playing organ, and the
celestial bed, were sold in open daylight by a ruthless auctioneer.[189]

Bannister “took off” Graham in a farce called _The Genius of Nonsense_,
produced at the Haymarket in 1780. His satin sofas on glass legs, his
celestial bed, his two porters in long tawdry greatcoats and immense
gold-laced cocked hats, distributing handbills at the door, while his
goddess of health was dying of a sore-throat from squalling songs at the
top of the staircase, were all hit off by a speaking harlequin, who also
caricatured the doctor’s sliding walk and bobbing bows. The younger Colman
and Bannister had been to the Temple of Health on purpose to take the
quack’s portrait.[190]

Mr. Thomas Hill, the fussy, good-natured Hull of Theodore Hook’s _Gilbert
Gurney_, lived for many years and finally died in the second floor of No.
1 James Street, Adelphi. He was the supposed prototype of the obtrusive
Paul Pry. It was Hill’s boast always to have what you wanted. “Cards, sir?
Pooh! pooh! Nonsense! thousands of packs in the house.” Liston made the
name of Paul Pry proverbial and world-wide.

The names of the four Scotch brothers, John, Robert, James, and William
Adam, are preserved by the existing Adelphi Streets. When will any of our
streets be named after great thinkers? It is a disgrace to us to allow new
districts to be christened, without Government supervision, by worthless,
ignoble, and ridiculous names, confusing in their vulgar repetition.
Indifferent kings, and nobles not much better, give their names to half
the suburbs of London, while Shakespere is unremembered by the builders,
and Spenser and Byron have as yet no brick-and-mortar godchildren.

[Illustration: OLD HOUSES ON THE SITE OF WELLINGTON STREET, 1742.]

The eldest of the brothers, Robert Adam, died in 1792, and was buried in
the south aisle of Westminster Abbey. His pall was supported by the Duke
of Buccleuch, the Earl of Coventry, the Earl of Lauderdale, Lord Stormont,
Lord Frederick Campbell, and Mr. Pulteney.

It was told as a joke invented against that fat butt, Sir William Curtis,
that at a public dinner some lover of royalty and Terence proposed the
healths of George IV. and the Duke of York as “the Adelphi,” upon which
the alderman, who followed with the next toast, determining that the East
should not be far behind the West, rose and said that “as they were now on
the subject of streets, he would beg to propose Finsbury Square.” But,
after all, why should we laugh at the poor alderman because he did not
happen to know Greek? That surely is a venial sin.

And here, retracing our steps, we must make an episode and turn back down
the Savoy.



[Illustration: THE SAVOY FROM THE THAMES, 1650.]


CHAPTER VI.

THE SAVOY.

    “Their leaders, John Ball, Jack Straw, and Wat Tyler, then marched
    through London, attended by more than twenty thousand men, to the
    PALACE OF THE SAVOY, which is a handsome building on the road to
    Westminster, situated on the banks of the Thames, and belonging to the
    Duke of Lancaster. They immediately killed the porters, pressed into
    the house, and set it on fire.”--_Froissart’s Chronicles._


A minute’s walk down a turning on the south side of the Strand, and we are
in the precinct of an old palace, and standing on royal property.

In a ramble by moonlight one cannot fail to meet under the churchyard
trees in the Savoy, John of Gaunt, who once lived there; John, King of
France, who died there; George Wither, the poet, and sweet Mistress Anne
Killigrew, who are buried there, and Chaucer, who was married there.

Down that steep, dray-traversed street, now so dull and lonely, kings and
bishops, knights and ladies, have paced, and mobs have hurried with sword
and fire. Now it is a congeries of pickle warehouses, printing offices,
and glass manufactories.

Simon de Montfort, that ambitious Earl of Leicester who married the sister
of Henry III., and whose father persecuted the Albigenses, dwelt in the
Savoy. Here he must have first won the barons, the people, and the humbler
clergy by his opposition to the extortions of the king and the bishops.
Here for a time he must have all but reigned, till that fatal August day
when he fell at Evesham. Simon was a friend of the monks, and after his
death endless miracles were said to have been wrought at his grave,[191]
as might have been expected.

The Savoy derives its foreign name from a certain Peter, Earl of Savoy,
uncle of Eleanor, the daughter of Raymond, Count of Provence, and queen of
that good man, but weak monarch, Henry III. This earl was the leader of
that rapacious and insolent train of Frenchmen and Savoyards which
followed Queen Eleanor to England, and drove Simon de Montfort and his
impetuous barons to rebellion by their hunger for titles, lands, and
benefices. In 30 Henry III. the king granted to Peter, Earl of Richmond
and Savoy, all those houses in the Strand, adjoining the river, formerly
belonging to Brian de Lisle, upon paying yearly to the king’s exchequer,
at the Feast of St. Michael, three barbed arrows for all services.

In 1322 an Earl of Lancaster, then master of the Savoy, on the return of
the Spensers, formed an alliance with the Scots, and broke out into open
rebellion against Edward II. He was taken at Boroughbridge, led to
Pontefract, and there beheaded. As he was led to execution on a bridleless
pony, the mob pelted him with mud, taunting him as King Arthur--the royal
name he had assumed in his treasonable letters to the Scots.[192]

Earl Peter, in due time growing weary of stormy England, and sighing for
his cool Savoy mountains, transferred his mansion to the provost and
chapter of Montjoy (Fratres de Monte Jovis) at Havering-atte-Bower, a
small village in Essex. At the death of the foolish king, his widow
purchased the palace of the Savoy of the Montjoy chapter, as a residence
for her son Edmund, afterwards Earl of Lancaster, to whom had been given
the chief estates of the defeated Montfort.

His son Henry, Duke of Lancaster, repaired and partly rebuilt the palace,
at an expense of upwards of 50,000 marks. From this potent lord it
descended to Edward III.’s son, John of Gaunt (Ghent), who lived here in
the splendour befitting the son of Edward III., the uncle of Richard II.,
and the father of a prince hereafter to become Henry IV.

It was in the chapel of this river-side palace (about 1360, Edward III.)
that our great poet, Geoffrey Chaucer, married Philippa, daughter of a
knight of Hainault and sister to a mistress of the Duke’s. He mentions his
marriage in his poem of _The Dream_.[193] He says harmoniously--

            “On the morrow,
  When every thought and every sorrow
  Dislodg’d was out of mine heart,
  With every woe and every smart,
  Unto a tent prince and princess
  Methought brought me and my mistress.

     *       *       *       *       *

  With ladies, knighten, and squiers,
  And a great host of ministers,
  Which tent was church parochial.”

Those marriage bells have long since rung, the smoke of that incense has
long since risen to heaven, yet we seldom pass the Savoy without thinking
how the poet and his fair Philippa went

          “To holy church’s ordinance,
  And after that to dine and dance,
              ... and divers plays.”

It was to his great patron--“time-honoured” Lancaster, claimant, through
his wife, of the throne of Castile--that Chaucer owed all his court
favours, his Genoese embassy, his daily pitcher of wine, his wardship, his
controllership, and his annuity of twenty marks. It was in this palace he
must have imbibed his attachment to Wickliffe, and his hatred of all proud
and hypocritical priests.

Buildings seem, like men, to be born under special stars. It was the fate
of the Savoy to enjoy a hundred and forty years of splendour, and then to
sink into changeless poverty and desolation. It was also its ill fate to
be once sacked and once burnt. In 1378, under Richard II., its first
punishment overtook it. John Wickliffe, a Yorkshireman, had been appointed
rector of Lutterworth, in Leicestershire, by the favour of John of Ghent,
who was delighted with a speech of Wickliffe in Parliament denying that
King John’s tribute to the Pope necessarily bound King Edward III. The
Papal bull for Wickliffe’s prosecution did not reach England till the
king’s death, but Wickliffe was cited on the 19th of February, 1378, to
appear before the Bishop of London at St. Paul’s. In the interval before
his appearance he had promised the Parliament, at their request, to prove
the legality of its refusal to pay tribute to the Pope.

On the day appointed Wickliffe appeared in Our Lady’s Chapel, accompanied
by the Earl Marshall, Percy, and the Duke of Lancaster, who openly
encouraged him, to the horror of the populace and the bitter rage of the
priests. A quarrel instantly began by Courtenay, the Bishop of London,
opposing a motion of the Earl Marshall that Wickliffe should be allowed a
seat. The proud duke, pale with anger, whispered fiercely to the bishop
that, “rather than take such language from him, he would drag him out of
the church by the hair of his head.” The threat was heard by an unfriendly
bystander, and it passed round the church in whispers. Rumour, with her
thousand babbling tongues, was soon busy in the churchyard, where the
people had assembled, eager for the reformer’s condemnation. They
instantly broke forth like hounds which have recovered a scent. It was at
once proposed to break into the church and pull the duke from the
judgment-seat. When he appeared at the door, he was received with ominous
yells, and was chased and pelted by the mob. Furious and beside himself
with rage, he instantly proceeded to Westminster, where the Parliament was
sitting, and moved that from that day forth all the privileges of the
citizens of London should be annulled, that they should no longer elect a
mayor or sheriff, and that Lord Percy should possess the entire
jurisdiction over them--a severe penalty, it must be owned, for pelting a
duke with mud.

The following day, the citizens, hearing of this insolent proposal,
snatched up their arms, and swore to take the proud duke’s life. After
pillaging the Marshalsea, where Lord Percy resided, they poured down on
the Savoy and killed a priest whom they took to be Percy in disguise. They
then broke all the furniture and threw it into the Thames, leaving only
the bare walls standing. While the mob were shouting at the windows,
feeding the river with torrents of spoiled wealth, or cutting the beds and
tapestry to pieces, the duke and Lord Percy, who had been dining with John
of Ypres, a merchant in the City, escaped in disguise by rowing up the
river to Kingston in an open boat. Eventually, at the entreaties of the
Bishop of London, who pleaded the sanctity of Lent, the rioters dispersed,
having first hung up the duke’s arms in a public place as those of a
traitor. The Londoners finally appeased their opponent by carrying to St.
Paul’s a huge taper of wax, blazoned with the duke’s arms, which was to
burn continually before the image of Our Lady in token of reconciliation.

This John of Gaunt, fourth son[194] of Edward III., married Blanche,
daughter of Henry, Duke of Lancaster, who died of the plague in 1360, John
succeeding to the title in right of his wife. He married his daughter
Philippa to the King of Portugal, and his daughter Catharine to the Infant
of Spain. From Henry Plantagenet, fourth Earl and first Duke of
Lancaster, the Savoy descended to this John of Ghent, who married that
amiable princess, Blanche Plantagenet, daughter and co-heir of Earl Henry.

Into this same king-haunted precinct John of France, after the slaughter
at Poitiers, was brought with chivalrous and almost ostentatious humility
by the Black Prince. One thousand nine hundred English lances had routed
with great slaughter eight thousand French. The lanes and moors of
Maupertuis were choked with dead knights; the French king had been
wounded, beaten to the ground, and taken prisoner, together with his son
Philip, by a gentleman of Artois.[195] Sailing from Bordeaux, the Black
Prince arrived at Sandwich with his prisoner, and was received at
Southwark by the citizens of London on May 5, 1357. Triumphal arches were
erected, and tapestry hung from every window. The King of France rode like
a conqueror on a richly trapped cream-coloured horse, while by his side
sat the young prince on a small black palfrey. Some hours elapsed before
the procession could reach Westminster Hall, where King Edward was
surrounded by his prelates, knights, and barons. When John entered, our
king arose, embraced him, and led him to a splendid banquet prepared for
him. The palace of the Savoy was allotted to King John and his son, till
his removal to Windsor.

Here the royal Frenchman may have been when he heard the tidings of the
ferocity of the Jacquerie, and of the dreadful riots in his capital. To
the Savoy he returned when his son, the Duke of Anjou, broke his parole
and fled to Paris, desirous to exculpate himself of this dishonour, and to
arrange for a crusade to recover Cyprus from the Turk.[196] To his
council, dissuading him from returning, like a second Regulus, to
captivity and perhaps death, the king addressed these memorable words--“If
honour were banished from every other place, it should at least find an
asylum in the breast of kings.”

John was affectionately received by the chivalrous Edward, and again
returned to his old quarters in the Savoy, with his hostages of the blood
royal--“the three lords of the fleur-de-lys.” Here he spent several weeks
in giving and receiving entertainments; but before he could proceed to
business, he was attacked with a dangerous illness, and expired in 1364.
His obsequies were performed with regal magnificence, and his corpse was
sent with a splendid retinue to be interred at St. Denis.

When treaties are broken by statesmen, or unjust wars declared, let the
reader go to the Savoy, and think of that brave promise-keeper, King John
of France.

During the latter years of King Edward III., John of Gaunt became very
unpopular. “The good Parliament” (1376) remonstrated against the expense
of his unsuccessful wars in Spain, Scotland, and France, and against the
excessive taxation. The duke imprisoned the Speaker, and banished wise
William of Wyckeham from the king’s person, but in vain attempted to alter
the law of succession.

In Wat Tyler’s rebellion the duke’s palace was the first to be destroyed.
A refusal to pay oppressive poll-tax led to a riot at Fobbing, a village
in Essex; from this place the flame spread like wildfire through the whole
county, and the people rose, led by a priest named Jack Straw. At
Dartford, a tiler bravely beat out the brains of a tax-collector who had
insulted his daughter. Kent instantly rose, took Rochester Castle, and
massed together at Maidstone, under Wat, a tiler, and Ball, a preacher. In
a few days a hundred thousand men, rudely armed with clubs, bills, and
bows, poured over Blackheath and hurried on to London.[197] In Southwark
they demolished the Marshalsea and the King’s Bench; then they sacked
Lambeth Palace, destroyed Newgate, fired the house of the Knights
Hospitallers at Clerkenwell, and that of the Knights of St. John at
Highbury, and seizing the Tower, beheaded an archbishop and several
knights. All Flemings hidden in churches were dragged out and put to
death. Yet, with all this intoxication of new liberty, the claims of
these Kentish men were simple and just. They demanded--The abolition of
slavery; the reduction of rent to fourpence an acre; the free liberty of
buying and selling in all fairs and markets; and lastly a general pardon.

At the great bivouacs at Mile End and on Tower Hill, Wat Tyler’s men
required all recruits to swear to be true to King Richard and the Commons,
and to admit no monarch of the name of John.[198] This last clause of the
oath was aimed at John of Gaunt, to whom the people attributed all their
misery. On June 13, 1381, a deluge of billmen, bowmen, artisans, and
ploughmen rolled down on the Savoy. The duke was at the time negotiating
with the Scots on the Borders, while his castles of Leicester and Tutbury
were being plundered. The attack was sudden, and there was no defence. A
proclamation had previously been made by Wat Tyler, that, as the common
object was justice and not plunder, any one found stealing would be put to
death.

For beauty and stateliness of building, as well as all manner of princely
furniture, there was, says Holinshed, no palace in the realm comparable to
the duke’s house that the Kentish and Essex men burnt and marred. They
tore the silken and velvet hangings; they beat up the gold and silver
plate, and threw it into the Thames; they crushed the jewels and mortars,
and poured the dust into the river. One of the men--unfortunate
rogue!--being seen to slip a silver cup into the breast of his doublet,
was tossed into the fire and burnt to death, amid shouts and “fell
cries.”[199] The cellars were ruthlessly plundered, probably in spite of
Wat Tyler, and thirty-two of the poor wretches, buried under beams and
stones, were either starved or suffocated. In the wildest of the storm,
some barrels were at last found which were supposed to contain money. They
were flung into the huge bonfire; in an instant they exploded, blew up the
great hall, shook down several houses, killed many men, and reduced the
palace to ruins. That was on the 13th; on the 15th, the Essex men had
dispersed; and Wat Tyler, the impetuous reformer, during a conference
with the king in Smithfield, was slain by a sudden blow from the sword of
Lord Mayor Walworth.

John of Gaunt died at the Bishop of Ely’s palace in Holborn, at Christmas
1398--his old home being now a ruin--and he was buried on the north side
of the high altar of Saint Paul’s, beside the Lady Blanche, his first
wife. Instantly on his death, the wilful young king, to the rage of the
people, seized on all his uncle’s lands, rents, and revenues, and banished
the duke’s attorney, who resisted his shameless theft. Amongst this pile
of plunder the Savoy must have also passed.

The Savoy had bloomed, and after the bloom came in its due time the “sere
and yellow leaf.” The precinct must have remained a waste during the Wars
of the Roses;[200] but its blackened ruins preached their silent lesson in
vain to the turbulent and tormented Londoners.

In the reign of that dark and wily king, Henry VII., sunshine again fell
on the Savoy. That prince, who was fond of erecting convents, founded on
the old site a hospital, intended to shelter one hundred poor almsmen. It
was not, however, finished when he died, nor was it completed till the
fifteenth year of his son’s reign (1524), the year in which the French
were driven out of Italy.

The hospital, which was dedicated to John the Baptist, was in the form of
a cross, and over the entrance-gate, facing the Strand, was the following
insipid inscription:--

  “_Hospitium hoc inopi turba Savoia vocatum,
  Septimus Henricus solo fundavit ab imo._”

The master and four brethren were to be priests and to officiate in turns,
standing day and night at the gate to invite in and feed any poor or
distressed persons who passed down the river-side road. If those so
received were pilgrims or travellers, they were to be dismissed the next
morning with a letter of recommendation to the next hospital, and with
money to defray their expenses on the journey.

In the reign of Edward VI., part of the revenues of the new hospital, to
the value of six hundred pounds, was transferred to Bridewell prison and
Christ’s Hospital school for poor orphan children; for already abuses had
crept in, and indiscriminate charity had led to its usual melancholy
results. The old palace had become no mere shelter for the deserving poor,
but a den of loiterers, sham cripples, and vagabonds of either sex, who
begged all day in the fields and came to the Savoy to sleep and sup.[201]

Queen Mary, whose Spanish blood made her a friend to all monastic
institutions, re-endowed the unlucky place with fresh lands; but it went
on in its old courses till the twelfth year of Elizabeth, who suddenly
pounced in her own stern way on the nest of rogues, and, to the terror of
sinecurists, deprived Thomas Thurland, then master, of his office, for
corruption and embezzlement of the hospital estates.

We hear nothing more of the unlucky and neglected Hospital of St. John
till the Restoration, when Dr. Henry Killigrew was appointed master, much
to the chagrin and disappointment of the poet Cowley, to whom the sinecure
had been promised by Charles I. and Charles II.

Cowley, the clever son of a London stationer, had been secretary to the
queen-mother, but returning as a spy to England, was apprehended, and upon
that made his peace with Cromwell. This latter fact the Royalists never
forgave, and considering his play of _The Cutter of Colman Street_ as
caricaturing the old roystering Cavalier officers, they damned his comedy,
lampooned him, and gave the Savoy to Killigrew, father of the court wit.
Upon this the mortified poet wrote his poem of “The Complaint,”[202]
wherein he calls the Savoy the Rachel he had served with “faith and labour
for twice seven years and more,” and querulously describes himself as left
alone gasping on the naked beach, while all his fellow voyagers had
marched up to possess the promised land. The poem, though ludicrously
querulous, contains some lines, such as the following, which are truly
beautiful. The muse is reproaching the truant poet.

  “Art thou returned at last,” said she,
  “To this forsaken place and me,
  Thou prodigal who didst so loosely waste,
  Of all thy youthful years, the good estate?
  Art thou return’d here to repent too late,
  And gather husks of learning up at last,
  Now the rich harvest-time of life is past,
  And winter marches on so fast?”

With this farewell lament Cowley withdrew “from the tumult and business of
the world,” to his long-coveted retirement[203] at pleasant, green
Chertsey, where, seven years after, he died.

The Savoy, always an abused sinecure, that made the master a rogue and its
inmates professional beggars, was finally suppressed in the reign of Queen
Anne.[204] It was then used as a barrack for five hundred soldiers, and as
a deserters’ prison, till the approaches to Waterloo Bridge rendered its
removal necessary.

Savoy Street occupies the site of the old central Henry VII.’s Tudor gate.
Coal wharves cover the site of the ancient front of the hospital, and the
houses in Lancaster Place, leading to Waterloo Bridge, another part of its
area.

In 1661, the year after the restoration of Charles II., a celebrated
conference between the Church of England bishops and the Presbyterian
divines took place, with very small result, in the Bishop of London’s
lodgings in the Savoy. Among the twelve bishops were Sheldon and Gauden,
the author of _Ikon Basilike_: among the Presbyterians Baxter, Calamy, and
Reynolds. They were to revise the Liturgy, and to discuss rules and forms
of prayer; but there was so much distrust and reserve on both sides, that
at the end of two months the conference came to an untimely end.[205] It
was the bishops’ hour of triumph, and no concessions could be expected
from them after their many mortifications. In the same year Charles II.
established a French church in the Savoy, and Dr. Durel preached the first
sermon to the foreign residents in London, July 14, 1661.[206]

In Queen Anne’s time, after its suppression, the Savoy became, like the
Clink and Whitefriars, a sanctuary for fraudulent debtors. On one
occasion, in 1696, a creditor entering that nest of thieves to demand a
debt, was tarred and feathered, carried in a wheelbarrow into the Strand,
and there bound to the May-pole; but some constables coming up dispersed
the rabble and rescued the tormented man from his persecutors.[207]

Strype, writing about 1720 (George I.), describes the Savoy as a great
ruinous building, divided into several apartments. In one a cooper stored
his hoops and butts; in another there were rooms for deserters, pressed
men, Dutch recruits, and military prisoners. Within the precinct there was
the king’s printing-press, where gazettes, proclamations, and Acts of
Parliament were printed; and also a German Lutheran church, a French
Protestant church, and a Dissenting chapel; besides “harbours for refugees
and poor people.”[208] The worthy writer thus describes the hall of the
old hospital:--

“In the midst of its buildings is a very spacious hall, the walls three
foot broad, of stone without and brick and stone inward. The ceiling is
very curiously built with wood, having knobs in one place hanging down,
and images of angels holding before their breasts coats of arms, but
hardly discoverable. One is a cross gules between four stars, or else
mullets. It is covered with lead, but in divers places open to the
weather. Towards the east end of the hall is a fair cupola with glass
windows, but all broken, which makes it probable the hall was as long
again, since cupolas are wont to be built about the middle of great
halls.”

In 1754 (George II.) clandestine marriages were performed at the Savoy
church; and the advantages of secrecy, privacy, and access by water were
boldly advertised in the papers of the day. The _Public Advertiser_ of
January 2, 1754, contains the following impudent and touting
advertisement:--

“BY AUTHORITY.--Marriages performed with the utmost privacy, secrecy, and
regularity, at the ancient royal chapel of St. John the Baptist in the
Savoy, where regular and authentic registers have been kept from the time
of the Reformation (being two hundred years and upwards) to this day. The
expense not more than one guinea, the five shilling stamp included. There
are five private ways by land to this chapel, and two by water.”

At this time the Savoy was still a large cruciform building, with two rows
of mullioned windows facing the Thames; a court to the north of it was
called the Friary. The north front, the most ornamented, had large pointed
windows and embattled parapets, lozenged with flint.

At the west end, in 1816, stood the guard-house, or military prison, its
gateway secured by a strong buttress, and embellished with Henry VII.’s
arms and the badges of the rose and the portcullis: above these were two
hexagonal oriel windows.

In 1816, when the ruins were to be removed, crowds thronged to see the
remains of John of Gaunt’s old palace.[209] The workmen found it difficult
to destroy the mossy and ivy-covered walls and the large north window; the
masses of flint, stone, and brick being eight or ten feet thick. The
screw-jack was powerless to destroy the work of Chaucer’s time. The masons
had to dig, pickaxe holes, and loosen the foundations, then to drive
crowbars into the windows and fasten ropes to them, so as to pull the
stones inwards. The outer buttresses would in any other way have defied
armies.

Some of the stone was soft and white. This, according to tradition, was
that brought from Caen by Queen Mary. The industrious costermongers
discovered this, and cut it into blocks to sell as hearthstones. A fire
about 1777 had thrown down much of the hospital, so that the old level was
fifteen or twenty feet deeper. The vaults and subterranean passages were
unexplored. The wells were filled up. The workmen then pulled down the
German chapel, which stood next Somerset House, and the red-brick house in
the Savoy Square that was used for barracks. “The entrance,” says a writer
of 1816, “to the Strand or Waterloo Bridge will be spacious, and the
houses in the Strand now only stop the opening.”[210]

The Chapel of St. Mary, Savoy, is a late and plain Perpendicular
structure, with a fine coloured ceiling. This small, quiet chapel holds a
silent congregation of illustrious dead.

[Illustration: THE SAVOY CHAPEL.]

Here are interred Sir Robert and Lady Douglas (temp. James I.); the
Countess of Dalhousie, daughter of Sir Allen Apsley, Lieutenant of the
Tower, and sister to that admirable wife, Mrs. Hutchinson, who died in
1663; William Chaworth, who died in 1582, a member of that Nottinghamshire
family, one of whom, Lord Byron’s predecessor, killed in a tavern duel;
and Mrs. Anne Killigrew, who died in 1685, the paintress and poetess on
whom Dryden wrote an extravagant but glorious ode, beginning--

  “That youngest virgin daughter of the skies,
  Made in the last promotion of the blest.”[211]

This accomplished young lady was daughter of Dr. Henry Killigrew, and
niece of Thomas Killigrew the wit, of whom Denham, the poet, bitterly
said--

  “Had Cowley ne’er spoke, Killigrew ne’er writ,
  Combined in one they’d made a matchless wit.”

The father of Mistress Killigrew was author of a tragedy called _The
Conspiracy_, which both Ben Jonson and Lord Falkland eulogised. Even old
Anthony Wood says, in his own quaint way, that this lady “was a Grace for
beauty, and a Muse for wit.”[212]

We must add to this list Sir Richard and Lady Rokeby, who died in 1523,
and Gawin Douglas, that good Bishop of Dunkeld who first translated Virgil
into Lowland Scotch. He was pensioned by Henry VIII., was a friend of
Polydore Virgil, and died of the plague in London in 1521. The brass is on
the floor, about three feet south of the stove in the centre of the
chapel.[213]

Dr. Cameron, the last victim executed for the daring rebellion of 1745,
lies here also in good company among knights and bishops. His monument, by
M. L. Watson, was not erected till 1846. Here, too, is that great admiral
of Elizabeth--George, third Earl of Cumberland, who used to wear the glove
which his queen had given him, set in diamonds, in his tilting helmet. He
died in the Duchy House in the Savoy, October 3, 1605; but his bowels
alone were buried here, the rest of his body lies at Skipton. He was the
father of the brave, proud Countess, who, when Charles II.’s secretary
pressed on her notice a candidate for Appleby, wrote that celebrated
cannon-shot of a letter:--

    “I have been bullied by an usurper; I have been neglected by a court,
    but I will not be dictated to by a subject. Your man shan’t stand.

      “ANNE, DORSET, PEMBROKE, AND MONTGOMERY.”

Here also there is a tablet to the memory of Richard Lander, the
traveller, originally a servant of that energetic discoverer Captain
Clapperton, who was the first to cross Africa from Tripoli and Benin.
Lander had the honour also of first discovering the course of the Niger.
He died in February 1834, from a gunshot-wound, at Fernando Po, aged only
thirty-one. Such are the lion-men who extend the frontiers of English
commerce.

In the Savoy reposes a true poet, but an unhappy man--George Wither, the
satirist and idyllist, who died in 1667, and lies here between the east
door and the south end of the chapel.[214] He was one of Cromwell’s
major-generals, and had a hard time of it after the Restoration. It was to
save Wither’s life that Denham used that humorous petition--“As long as
Wither lives I should not be considered the worst poet in England.”

Wither anticipated Wordsworth in simple earnestness and a regard for the
humblest subjects. The soldier-poet himself says--

  “In my former days of bliss,
  Her divine skill taught me this:
  That from everything I saw
  I could some invention draw,
  And raise pleasure to her height
  Through the meanest object’s sight,
  By the murmur of a spring,
  By the least bough’s rustling.”[215]

These charming lines were written when Wither lay in the Marshalsea,
imprisoned for writing a satire--_Abuses stripped and whipped_.

In the same church lies one of the smallest of military heroes--Lewis de
Duras, Earl of Feversham, who died in the reign of Queen Anne. He was
nephew of the great Turenne, and was one of the few persons present when
Charles II. received extreme unction. He commanded, or rather followed,
King James II.’s troops at Sedgemoor, in 1685, and at that momentous
crisis “thought only of eating and sleeping.”[216] Upon this shambling
general the Duke of Buckingham wrote one of his latest lampoons.[217]

In 1552 the first manufactory of glass in England was established at the
old Savoy House. It was here that, in 1658, the Independents met and drew
up their famous Declaration of Faith. In 1671 the Royal Society’s
publications were printed here. In Dryden’s time, the wounded English
sailors who had been mangled by Van Tromp’s and De Ruyter’s shot were
nursed here. The good and witty Fuller, who wrote the _Worthies_ lectured
here. Half-crazed Alexander Cruden, who compiled the laborious Concordance
to the Bible, lived here; and here grinding Jacob Tonson had a warehouse.

In 1843 the Queen repaired the Savoy Chapel, in virtue of her being the
patron of it. The duty, indeed, fell upon the Crown, for the chapel stood
in the Liberty of the Duchy of Lancaster, and the office of the Duchy is
in Lancaster Place, to the right as you approach Waterloo Bridge.

In July 1864 the Savoy Chapel was unfortunately destroyed by a fire
occasioned by an explosion of gas. The coloured ceiling, the altar window,
containing a figure of St. John the Baptist, and a solitary niche with
some tabernacle work at the east end, all perished. It was shortly
afterwards restored and decorated afresh throughout, at the cost of Her
Majesty.

Mr. George Augustus Sala has admirably sketched the present condition of
the Precinct,--its almost solemn silence and its gravity,--its loneliness,
as of Juan Fernandez, Norfolk Island, or Key West,[218] although on the
very verge of the roaring world of London, and but five minutes’ walk from
Temple Bar.

The royal property is chiefly covered now by shops, public-houses, and
printing-offices. The Precinct still retains traditions of the vagabond
squatters who, till about the middle of the last century, assumed
possession of the ruinous tenements in the Savoy, till the Footguards
turned them out, and the houses were pulled down, rebuilt, and let to
respectable tenants.

The old churchyard has long since been sealed up by the Board of Health,
but the trees and grass still flourish round the old stones. Clean-shaved,
nattily dressed actors come to this quiet purlieu to study their parts.
Musicians of theatrical orchestras, penny-a-liners, and printers haunt the
bar of the Savoy tavern. Those quiet houses with the white door-steps,
shining brass plates and green blinds, are inhabited by accountants’
clerks, retired and retiring small tradesmen, and commission agents
interested in pale ale, pickles, and Wallsend coals.

“So,” says Mr. Sala, “run the sands of life through this quiet hour-glass;
so glides the life away in the old Precinct. At its base a river runs for
all the world; at its summit is the brawling, raging Strand; on either
side are darkness and poverty and vice, the gloomy Adelphi arches, the
Bridge of Sighs that men call Waterloo. But the Precinct troubles itself
little with the noise and tumult; it sleeps well through life without its
fitful fever.”

Wearied of its old grandeur, pondering, as old men ponder, over its dead
kings--for Wat Tyler and his Kentish men need no Riot Act to quiet them
now--the Savoy and its crowned ghosts drift on with our methodical planet,
meekly awaiting the death-blow that time must some day inflict.

Tait Wilkinson’s father was a minister of the Savoy. Garrick helped to
transport him by informing against him for illegally performing the
marriage ceremony. In return, Garrick helped forward the son--“an exotic,”
as he called him, rather than an actor--but a wonderful mimic, not only of
voice and manner, but even of features. He used to reproduce Foote’s
imitations of the older actors--as Mathews afterward imitated Wilkinson,
who in his time had imitated Foote, to that impudent buffoon’s great
vexation.

The _Examiner_, whose office is near Waterloo Bridge, was started by Leigh
Hunt and his brother John in 1808. It began by boldly asserting the
necessity for reform, lampooning the Regent, and attacking the cant and
excesses of Methodism. In 1812 both the Hunts were found guilty of having
called the Prince Regent “the Prince of Whales” and “a fat Adonis of
fifty,” and were sentenced to two years’ imprisonment in Horsemonger Lane
gaol, and to pay a fine of £500. At a later period, Hazlitt joined the
paper, and wrote for it the essays reprinted (in 1817) under the title of
_The Round Table_.[219] Close to it is the office of the _Spectator_,
another paper of the same calibre and class, and more important than the
_Examiner_ now, though its early history is not so interesting.

Waterloo Bridge, one of those marvels built by the industrious
simple-hearted John Rennie, was opened by the Prince Regent in 1817. Dupin
declared it was a colossal monument worthy of Sesostris or the Cæsars; and
what most struck Canova in England was that the foolish Chinese Bridge
then in St. James’s Park should be the production of the Government, while
Waterloo Bridge was the result of mere private enterprise.[220] The bridge
did not settle more than a few inches after the centres were struck.

The project of erecting the Strand Bridge, as it was first called, was
started by a company in 1809, a joint-stock-fever year. Rennie received
£1000 a year for himself and assistants, or £7: 7s. a day, and expenses.
The bridge consists of nine arches, of 120 feet span, with piers 20 feet
thick, the arches being plain semi-ellipses, with their crowns 30 feet
above high water. Over the points of each pier are placed Doric column
pilasters, after a design taken from the Temple of Segesta in Sicily. In
the construction of the bridge the chief features of Rennie’s management
were the following:--The employment of coffer-dams in founding the piers;
new methods of constructing, floating, and fixing the centres; the
introduction and working of Aberdeen granite to an extent before unknown;
and the adoption of elliptical stone arches of an unusual width.

Nearly all the bur stone was brought to the bridge by one horse, called
“Old Jack.” On one occasion the driver, a steady man, but too fond of his
morning dram, kept “Old Jack” waiting a longer time than usual at the
public-house, upon which he poked his head in at the open door, and gently
drew out his master by the coat collar.[221]

Rennie, the architect of the three great London bridges, the engineer of
the Plymouth Breakwater and of the London and East India Docks, and a
drainer of the Fens, was the son of a small farmer in East Lothian, and
was born in 1761.[222]

[Illustration: THE SAVOY PRISON, 1793.]



[Illustration: DURHAM HOUSE, 1790.]


CHAPTER VII.

FROM THE SAVOY TO CHARING CROSS.


Old York House stood on the site of Buckingham and Villiers Streets. In
ancient times, York House had been the inn of the Bishops of Norwich.
Abandoned to the crown, King Henry VIII. gave the place to that gay knight
Charles Brandon, the husband of his beautiful sister Mary, the Queen of
France. When the Church rose again and resumed its scarlet pomp, the house
was given to Queen Mary’s Lord Chancellor, Nicholas Heath, Archbishop of
York, in exchange for Suffolk House in Southwark, which was presented by
Queen Mary to the see of York in recompense for York House, Whitehall,
taken from Wolsey by her father. On the fall of that minister, once more a
change took place, and the house passed to the Lord Keeper, Sir Nicholas
Bacon, who rented it of the see of York.

In this house the great Francis Bacon was born, on the 22d of January,
1561. York House stood near the royal palace, from which it was parted by
lanes and fields. Its courtyard and great gates opened to the street. The
main front, with its turrets and water stair, faced the river. The garden,
falling by an easy slope to the Thames, commanded a view as far south as
the Lollards’ Tower at Lambeth, as far east as London Bridge. “All the gay
river life[223] swept past the lawn, the salmon-fishers spreading their
nets, the watermen paddling gallants to Bankside, and Shakspere’s theatre,
the city barges rowing past in procession, and the queen herself, with her
train of lords and ladies, shooting by in her journeys from the Tower to
Whitehall Stairs. From the lattice out of which he gazed, the child could
see over the palace roof the pinnacles and crosses of the old abbey.”

The Lord Keeper Pickering died at York House in 1596, and Lord Chancellor
Egerton in 1616 or 1617. In 1588 it is supposed the Earl of Essex tried to
obtain the house, as Archbishop Sandys wrote to Burghley begging him to
resist some such demand. Essex was in ward here for six months, fretting
under the care of Lord Keeper Egerton.

“York House was the scene,” says a clever pleader for a great man’s good
fame, “of Bacon’s gayest hours, and of his sharpest griefs--of his highest
magnificence, and of his profoundest prostration. In it his studious
childhood passed away. In it his father died. On going into France, to the
court of Henry IV., he left it a lively, splendid home; on his return from
that country, he found it a house of misery and death. From its gates he
wandered forth with his widowed mother into the world. Though it passed
into other hands, his connection with it never ceased. Under Egerton its
gates again opened to him. It was the scene of that inquiry into the Irish
treason when he was the queen’s historian. During his courtship of Alice
Barnham, York House was his second home. In one of its chambers he watched
by the sick-bed of Ellesmere, and on Ellesmere’s surrender of the Seals,
presented the dying Chancellor with the coronet of Brackley. It became his
own during his reign as Keeper and Chancellor. From it he dated his great
Instauration; in its banqueting-hall he feasted poets and scholars; from
one of its bed-rooms he wrote his Submission and Confession; in the same
room he received the Earls of Arundel, Pembroke, and Southampton, as
messengers from the House of Lords; there he surrendered the Great Seal.
To regain York House, when it had passed into other hands, was one of the
warmest passions of his heart, and the resolution to retain it against the
eager desires of Buckingham was one of the secret causes of his fall.”

“No,” said the fallen great man; “York House is the house wherein my
father died and wherein I first breathed, and there will I yield my last
breath, if it so please God, and the king will give me leave.”[224]

Some of the saddest and some of the happiest events of Bacon’s life must
have happened in the Strand. From thence he rode, sumptuous in purple
velvet from cap to shoe, along the lanes to Marylebone Chapel, to wed his
bride Alice Barnham.

York House was famous for its aviary, on which Bacon had expended £300. It
was in the garden here that we are told the Chancellor once stood looking
at the fishers below throwing their nets. Bacon offered them so much for a
draught, but they refused. Up came the net with only two or three little
fish; upon which his lordship told them that “hope was a good breakfast,
but an ill supper.”[225]

It was on the death of his friend, Lord Chancellor Ellesmere, and on his
own installation, that Bacon bought the lease of York House from the
former’s son, the first Earl of Bridgewater. He found the rooms vast and
naked. His friends and votaries furnished the house, giving him books and
drawings, stands of arms, cabinets, jewels, rings, and boxes of money.
Lady Cæsar contributed a massive gold chain, and Prince Charles a diamond
ring.

Bacon, when young, had been often taken to court by his father; and the
queen, delighting in the gravity and wisdom of the boy, used to call him
her “young Lord Keeper.” Even then his mind was philosophically observant;
and it is said that he used to leave his playmates in St. James’s Fields
to try and discover the cause of the echo in a certain brick conduit.[226]

At Durham House, on January 22, 1620, the year in which he published his
_magnum opus_, the _Novum Organon_, and a twelvemonth before his disgrace,
Bacon gave a grand banquet to his friends. Ben Jonson was one of the
guests, and is supposed to have himself recited a set of verses, in which
he says--

  “Hail th’ happy genius of the ancient pile!
  How comes it that all things so about thee smile,--
  The fire, the wine, the men?--and in the midst
  Thou stand’st as if some mystery thou didst.

  “England’s High Chancellor, the destined heir,
  In his soft cradle to his father’s chair,
  Whose even thread the Fates spin round and full,
  Out of their choicest and their richest wool.
  ’Tis a brave cause of joy.        *        *
  Give me a deep-crowned bowl, that I may sing,
  In raising him, the wisdom of my king.”

Who till he dies can boast of having been happy? The year after, the
king’s anger fell like an axe upon the great courtier. Solitary and
comfortless at Gorhambury, Bacon petitioned the Lords in almost abject
terms to be allowed to return to York House, where he could advance his
studies and consult his physicians, creditors, and friends, so that “out
of the carcass of dead and rotten greatness, as out of Samson’s lion,
there may be honey gathered for future times.” Sir Edward Sackville prayed
him in vain to remove his straitest shackles by surrendering York House to
the king’s favourite; and so did his creditor, Mr. Meautys, who, says
Bacon, used him “coarsely,” and meant “to saw him asunder.” “The great
lords,” says Meautys, “long to be in York House. I know your lordship
cannot forget they have such a savage word among them as _fleecing_.” This
word has grown tame in modern times, but it had a terrible significance in
those days, when it hinted at flaying.

An episode about Bacon’s younger days may be pardoned here. The Gray’s Inn
Chambers occupied by Bacon were in Coney Court, looking over the gardens
and past St. Pancras Church to Hampstead Hill. They are no longer
standing. The site of them was No. 1 Gray’s Inn Square. Bacon began to
keep his terms at the age of eighteen, in June 1579. His uncle Burleigh
was bencher in this inn, and his cousins, Robert, Cecil, and Nicholas
Trott, students. In his latter days, when Attorney-General, and even when
Lord Chancellor, he retained a lease of his old rooms in Coney Court. He
was called to the bar when he was twenty-one, in 1582; and as soon as he
was called he appeared in Fleet Street in his serge and bands, as a sign
that he was going to practise for his bread. At the close of his first
session, however, he was raised to the bench. Bacon always remained
attached to Gray’s Inn; he laid out the gardens, planted the elm-trees,
raised the terrace, pulled down and rebuilt the chambers, dressed the dumb
show, led off the dances, and invented the masques.[227]

After Lord Bacon’s disgrace, the first Duke of Buckingham of the Villiers
family borrowed the house from Toby Mathew, the courtly archbishop of
York, in hopes of a final exchange, which did eventually take place.[228]
In 1624, two years before Bacon’s death, a bill was passed to enable the
king to exchange some lands for York House, so coveted by his proud
favourite. Buckingham soon partially pulled down the old mansion, and
lined the walls of his temporary structure with huge mirrors. Here he
entertained the foreign ambassadors. Of all his splendour, the only relic
left is the water gate usually ascribed to Inigo Jones.

This Duke of Buckingham, the “Steenie” of King James, and of Scott’s
_Fortunes of Nigel_, was the younger son of a poor knight, who won James
I. by his personal beauty, vivacity, and accomplishments--by his dancing,
jousting, leaping, and masquerading. At first page, cupbearer, and
gentleman of the bedchamber, he rose to power on the disgrace of Carr.

It was at York House--“Yorschaux,” as he calls it, with the usual
insolence and carelessness of his nation--that Bassompierre visited the
duke in 1626. He praises the mansion as more richly fitted up than any
other he had ever seen.[229] Yet the duke did not live here, but at
Wallingford House, on the site of the Admiralty, keeping York House for
pageants and levees, till Felton’s knife severed his evil soul from his
body, August 23, 1628. His son, the Zimri of Dryden, was born at
Wallingford House.

The “superstitious pictures” at York House were sold in 1645,[230] and the
house given by Cromwell to General Fairfax, whose daughter married the
second and last Duke of Buckingham, of the Villiers line, the favourite of
Charles II., the rival of Rochester, the plotter with Shaftesbury, the
selfish profligate who drove Lee into Bedlam and starved Samuel Butler.

In 1661 the galleries of York House were famous for the antique busts and
statues that had belonged to Rubens on his visit to this country, when he
painted James I. in jackboots being hauled heavenward by a flock of
angels. In the riverside gardens--not far, I presume, from the water
gate--stood John of Bologna’s “Cain and Abel,” which the King of Spain had
given to Prince Charles on his luckless visit to Madrid, and which Charles
had bestowed on his dangerous favourite.[231]

The great rooms, even then emblazoned with the lions and peacocks of the
Villiers and Manners families, were traversed by Evelyn, who describes the
house and gardens as much ruined through neglect. Pepys also, who thrust
his nose into every show-place, went to York House when the Russian
ambassador was there, and rapturously and poetically vows he saw “the
remains of the noble soul of the late Duke of Buckingham appearing in the
house in every place, in the door-cases and the windows,”[232]--odd places
for a noble soul to make its abode!

The Duke of Buckingham, in King Charles’s days, had turned York House into
a treasury of art. He bought Rubens’s private collection of pictures for
£10,000, Sir Henry Wotten having purchased them for him at Venice. He had
seventeen Tintorets, and thirteen works of Paul Veronese. For an “Ecce
Homo” by Titian, containing nineteen figures as large as life, he refused
£7000 from the Earl of Arundel. During the Civil Wars the pictures were
removed by his son to Antwerp, and there sold by auction.

Who can look down Buckingham Street in the twilight, and see the pediment
of the old water gate of the duke’s house, without repeating to himself
the scourging lines of Dryden when he drew Buckingham as Zimri?--

  “A man so various that he seem’d to be
  Not one but all mankind’s epitome;
  Stiff in opinions, always in the wrong;
  Was everything by turns, and nothing long;
  But, in the course of one revolving moon,
  Was chemist, fiddler, statesman, and buffoon.”[233]

In vain Settle eulogised the mercurial and licentious spendthrift.
Settle’s verse is forgotten, but we all remember Pope’s ghastly but
exaggerated picture of the rake’s death in “the worst inn’s worst room”--

  “No wit to flatter left of all his store,
  No fool to laugh at, which he valued more,
  There, victor of his health, of fortune, friends,
  And fame, this lord of useless thousand ends.”

The first Duke of Buckingham, to judge by Clarendon, who was the friend of
all friends of absolutism, must have been a man of magnificent generosity
and “flowing courtesy,” a staunch friend, and a desperate and unrelenting
hater; but he was an enemy of the people; and had he survived the knife of
Felton he must have been the first of a faithless king’s bad counsellors
to perish on the scaffold.

[Illustration: THE WATER GATE, 1860.]

The second duke was a base-tempered, shameless profligate, a fickle,
dishonest intriguer, who perished at last, a poor worn-out man, in a
farmer’s house in Yorkshire, from a cold caught while hunting. He was the
author of several obscene lampoons, from which Swift took some hints; and
he was the godfather of a mock tragedy, _The Rehearsal_, in which he was
helped by Martin Clifford and Butler, the author of _Hudibras_, the latter
of whom he left to starve. Baxter, it is true, drops a redeeming word or
two on behalf of the gay scoundrel; but then Buckingham had intrigued with
the Puritans.

York Stairs, the only monument of Zimri’s splendour left, stand now in the
middle of the gardens of the new Embankment. Till the Embankment was made,
the gate was approached by a small enclosed terrace planted with lime
trees. The water gate consists of a central archway and two side windows.
Four rusticated columns support an arched pediment and two couchant lions
holding shields. On a scroll are the Villiers arms. On the street side
rise three arches, flanked by pilasters and an entablature, on which are
four stone globes. Above the keystone of the arches are shields and
anchors. In the centre are the arms of Villiers impaling those of Manners.
The Villiers’ motto, _Fidei coticula crux_, “The cross is the whetstone of
faith,” is inscribed on the frieze. The gate, as it now stands, is
ridiculous, and is almost buried in the soil. It would be a charity to
remove it to a water-side position.

In 1661, on the day of the great affray at the Tower Wharf between the
retinues of the French and Spanish ambassadors, arising out of a dispute
for precedence, Pepys saw the latter return to York House in triumph,
guarded with fifty drawn swords, having killed several Frenchmen. “It is
strange,” says the amusing quidnunc, “to see how all the city did rejoice,
and, indeed, we do naturally all love the Spanish and hate the French.”
Worthy man! the fact was, all time-servers were then agog about the queen
who was expected from Portugal. From York House Pepys went peering about
the French ambassador’s, and found his retainers all like dead men and
shaking their heads. “There are no men in the world,” he says, “of a more
insolent spirit when they do well, and more abject if they miscarry, than
these people are.”[234]

In 1683 the learned and amiable John Evelyn, being then on the Board of
Trade, took a house in Villiers Street for the winter, partly for business
purposes, partly to educate his daughters.[235] Evelyn’s works gave a
valuable impetus to art and agriculture.

Addison’s jovial friend, that delightful writer, Sir Richard Steele, lived
in Villiers Street from 1721 to 1724, after the death of his wife, the
jealous “Prue.” Here he wrote his _Conscious Lovers_. The big,
swarthy-faced ex-trooper, so contrasting with his grave and colder friend
Addison, is a salient personage in the English Temple of Fame.

Duke Street, built circa 1675,[236] was named from the last Duke of
Buckingham. Humphrey Wanley, the great Harleian librarian, lived here, and
the son of Shadwell, the poet and Dryden’s enemy, who was an eminent
physician, and inherited much of his father’s excellent sense.

In 1672 the “chemyst, statesman, and buffoon” Duke of Buckingham sold York
House and gardens for £30,000 to a brewer and woodmonger, who pulled it
down and laid out the present streets, naming them, with due respect to
rank and wealth, even in a rascal, George Street, Villiers Street, Duke
Street, and Buckingham Street. In 1668 their rental was £1359: 10s.[237]

In Charles II.’s time waterworks were started at York Buildings by a
company chartered to supply the West end with water, but they failed,
being in advance of the time. The company, however, did not concentrate
its energies on waterworks; it gave concerts, bought up forfeited estates
in Scotland, and started many wild and eccentric projects, in some of
which Steele figured prominently. The company has long been forgotten,
though kept in memory by a tall water tower, which was standing in the
reign of George III.

In Buckingham Street, built in 1675, Samuel Pepys, the diarist, came to
live in 1684. The house, since rebuilt, was the last on the west side, and
looked on the Thames. It had been his friend Hewer’s before him. A view of
the library shows us the tall plain book-cases, and a central window
looking on the river. Pepys, the son of an army tailor, and as fond of
dress and great people as might be expected of a tailor’s son, was for a
long time Secretary of the Admiralty under Charles II. He was President of
the Royal Society; and it is largely to his five folio books of ballads
that we owe Dr. Percy’s useful compilation, _The Relics of Ancient
Poetry_. Pepys died in 1703, at the house of his friend Hewer, at Clapham.

Pepys’s house (No. 14) became afterwards, in the summer of 1824, the home
of Etty, the painter, and remained so till within a few months of his
death in 1849. Etty first took the ground floor (afterwards occupied by
Mr. Stanfield), then the top floor; the special object of his ambition
being to watch sunsets over the river, which he loved as much as Turner
did, who frequently said, “There is finer scenery on its banks than on
those of any river in Italy.” Its ebb and flow, Etty used to declare, was
like life, and “the view from Lambeth to the Abbey not unlike Venice.” In
those river-side rooms the artists of two generations have
assembled--Fuseli, Flaxman, Holland, Constable, and Hilton--then Turner,
Maclise, Dyce, Herbert, and all the younger race. Etty’s rooms looked on
to a terrace, with a small cottage at one end; the keeper once was a man
named Hewson, supposed to be the original Strap of _Roderick Random_.[238]
An amiable, dreamy genius was the son of the miller and gingerbread-maker
of York.

The witty Earl of Dorset lived in this street in 1681.

Opposite Pepys’s house, and on the east side (left-hand corner), was a
house where Peter the Great lodged when in England. Here, after rowing
about the Thames, watching the boat-building, or pulling to Deptford and
back, this brave half-savage used to return and spend his rough evenings
with Lord Caermarthen, drinking a pint of hot brandy and pepper, after
endless flasks of wine. It was certainly “brandy for heroes” in this case.

Lord Caermarthen was at this time Lord President of the Council, and had
been appointed Peter’s cicerone by King William. The Russian czar was a
hard drinker, and on one occasion is said to have drunk a pint of brandy,
a bottle of sherry, and eight flasks of sack, after which he calmly went
to the play. While in York Buildings, the rough czar was so annoyed with
the vulgar curiosity of intrusive citizens, that he would sometimes rise
from his dinner and leave the room in a rage. Here the Quakers forced
themselves upon him, and presented him with _Barclay’s Apology_, after
which the czar attended their meeting in Gracechurch Street. He once asked
them of what use they were in any kingdom, since they would not bear arms.
On taking his farewell of King William, Peter drew a rough ruby, valued at
£10,000, from his waistcoat pocket, and presented it to him screwed up in
brown paper.[239] He went back just in time to crush the Strelitzes,
imprison his sister Sophia, and wage war on Charles XII. The great
reformer was only twenty-six years old when he visited England.

In 1706 Robert Harley, Esq., afterwards Swift’s great patron and Earl of
Oxford, lived here;[240] and (1785) John Henderson, the actor, died in
this street.

Walter, Lord Hungerford, of Farleigh Castle, Somerset, took the Duke of
Orleans prisoner at Agincourt. He was Lord High Steward of Henry V. and
one of the executors to his will, and Lord High Treasurer in the reign of
Henry VI. This illustrious noble was the son of Sir Thomas de Hungerforde,
who in 51 Edward III. was the first to take the chair as Speaker of the
House of Commons.

Hungerford Market covered the site of the seat of the Hungerford family.
Pepys mentions a fire at the house of old Lady Hungerford in Charles II.’s
time.

Sir Edward (her husband), created a Knight of the Bath at the coronation
of Charles II., pulled down the old mansion and divided it in 1680 into
several houses, enclosing also a market-place. On the north side of the
market-house was a bust of one of the family in a full-bottomed wig.[241]
It grew a disused and ill-favoured place before 1833. When a new market
(Fowler, architect) was opened, it was intended to put an end to the
monopoly of Billingsgate. The old market had at first answered well for
fruit and vegetables, as there was no need of porters from the water side;
but by 1720 Covent Garden had beaten it off.[242] It attempted too much in
rivalling at once Leadenhall and Billingsgate, and failed--only a few
fishmongers lingering on to the last.

In 1845 a suspension bridge, crossing from Hungerford to Lambeth (built
under Mr. I. K. Brunel’s supervision), was opened. It consisted of three
spans, and two brick towers in the Italian style; the main span, at the
time of its erection, was larger than that of any other in the country,
and only second to that of the bridge at Fribourg. It cost £110,000, and
consumed more than 10,000 tons of iron.[243]

In the same year the bridge was sold to the original proprietors for
£226,000, but the purchase was never carried out. It was replaced in 1864
by a railway bridge, and the market itself was filled up by an enormous
railway station. The market had sunk to zero years before. In 1850 some
rogue of a speculator had opened in it a pretended exhibition of the
surplus articles rejected for want of room from the glass palace in Hyde
Park. It proved a total failure, and swallowed up a vast sum of money and
a fine northern estate or two. Latterly it had become a gratuitous
music-hall, a billiard-room, and a penny-ice house, conducted by an
Italian.

The railway station, built by Mr. Barry, the son of the architect of the
New Houses of Parliament, faces the Strand. It is of a most creditable
design, and the high Mansard roofs, which surmounted the hotel which forms
its front, are of a freer and grander character than those of any modern
London building. A model of the Eleanor Cross has been erected in the
courtyard in front of it. This building is one of the first omens of
better things that we have yet seen in our still terribly mean and ugly
city.

Craven Street was called Spur Alley till 1742.[244] Grinling Gibbons, the
great wood-carver, born at Rotterdam, and whose genius John Evelyn
discovered, lived here after leaving the Belle Sauvage Yard. Here he must
have fashioned those fragile strings of birds and fruit and flowers that
adorn so many city churches, and the houses of so many English noblemen.
At No. 7, in 1775, lodged the great Benjamin Franklin, then no longer a
poor printer, but the envoy of the American colonies. Here Lords Howe and
Stanhope visited him to propose terms from Lords Camden and Chatham, but
unfortunately only in vain.[245] That weak and unfortunate man, the Rev.
Mr. Hackman, who shot Miss Ray, the actress and the mistress of Lord
Sandwich, who had encouraged his suit, lived in this street.

James Smith, one of the authors of the _Rejected Addresses_,--a series of
parodies rivalled only by those of _Bon Gaultier_, lived at No. 27. It was
on his own street that he wrote the well-known epigram--[246]

  “In Craven Street, Strand, the attorneys find place,
  And ten dark coal barges are moor’d at its base.
  Fly, Honesty, fly! seek some safer retreat:
  There’s _craft_ in the river and _craft_ in the street.”

But Sir George Rose capped this in return, retorting in extemporaneous
lines, written after dinner:--

  “Why should Honesty fly to some safer retreat,
    From attorneys and barges?--’od rot ’em!
  For the lawyers are _just_ at the top of the street,
    And the barges are _just_ at the bottom.”

James Smith, the intellectual hero of this street, the son of a solicitor
to the Ordnance, was born in 1775. In 1802 he joined the staff of the
_Pic-Nic_ newspaper, with Combe, Croker, Cumberland, and that mediocre
poet, Sir James Bland Burgess. It changed its name to the _Cabinet_, and
died in 1803. From 1807 to 1817 James Smith contributed to the _Monthly
Mirror_ his “Horace in London.” In 1812 came out the _Rejected Addresses_,
inimitable parodies by himself and his brother, not merely of the manner
but of the very mode of thought of Wordsworth, Cobbett, Southey,
Coleridge, Crabbe, Lord Byron, Scott, etc. The copyright, originally
offered to Mr. Murray for £20, but declined, was purchased by him in 1819,
after the sixteenth edition, for £131; so much for the foresight of
publishers. The book has since deservedly gone through endless editions,
and has not been approached even by the talented parody writers of
_Punch_. Those who wish to see the story of this publication in detail,
must hunt it up in the edition of the _Addresses_ illustrated by George
Cruickshank.

Mr. Smith was the chief deviser of the substance of the _Entertainments_
of the elder Charles Mathews. He wrote the _Country Cousins_ in 1820, and
in the two succeeding years the _Trip to France_ and the _Trip to
America_. For these last two works the author received a thousand pounds.
“A thousand pounds!” he used to ejaculate, shrugging his shoulders, “and
all for nonsense.”[247]

James Smith was just the man for Mathews, with his slight frameworks of
stories filled up with songs, jokes, puns, wild farcical fancies, and
merry conceits, and here and there among the motley, with true touches of
wit, pathos, and comedy, and faithful traits of life and character, such
as only a close observer of society and a sound thinker could pen.

He was lucky enough to obtain a legacy of £300 for a complimentary epigram
on Mr. Strahan, the king’s printer. Being patted on the head when a boy by
Chief-Justice Mansfield, in Highgate churchyard, and once seeing Horace
Walpole on his lawn at Twickenham, were the two chief historical events of
Mr. Smith’s quiet life. The four reasons that kept so clever a man
employed on mere amateur trifling were these--an indolent disinclination
to sustained work, a fear of failure, a dislike to risk a well-earned
fame, and a foreboding that literary success might injure his practice as
a lawyer. His favourite visits were to Lord Mulgrave’s, Mr. Croker’s,
Lord Abinger’s, Lady Blessington’s, and Lord Harrington’s.

Pretty Lady Blessington used to say of him, that “James Smith, if he had
not been a _witty_ man, must have been a _great_ man.” He died in his
house in Craven Street, with the calmness of a philosopher, on the 24th of
December 1839, in the sixty-fifth year of his age.[248] Fond of society,
witty without giving pain, a bachelor, and therefore glad to escape from a
solitary home, James Smith seems to have been the model of a diner-out.

Caleb Whitefoord, a wine merchant in Craven Street, and an excellent
connoisseur in old pictures, was one of the legacy-hunters who infested
the studio of Nollekens, the miserly sculptor of Mortimer Street. He was a
foppish dresser, and was remarkable for a dashing three-cornered hat, with
a sparkling black button and a loop upon a rosette. He wore a wig with
five tiers of curls, of the Garrick cut, and he was one of the last to
wear such a monstrosity. This crafty wine merchant used to distribute
privately the most whimsical of his _Cross Readings_, _Ship News_, and
_Mistakes of the Press_--things in their day very popular, though now
surpassed in every number of _Punch_. Some of the best were the
following:--“Yesterday Dr. Pretyman preached at St. James’s,--and
performed it with ease in less than sixteen minutes.” “Several changes are
talked of at Court,--consisting of 9050 triple bob-majors.” “Dr. Solander
will, by Her Majesty’s command, undertake a voyage--round the head-dress
of the present month.” “Sunday night.--Many noble families were
alarmed--by the constable of the ward, who apprehended them at cards.” A
simple-hearted age could laugh heartily at these things: would that we
could!

It has often been asserted that Goldsmith’s epitaph on Whitefoord was
written by the wine merchant himself, and sent to the editor of the fifth
edition of the Poems by a convenient common friend. It is not very
pointed, and the length of the epitaph is certainly singular,
considering that the poet dismissed Burke and Reynolds in less than
eighteen lines.

Adam built an octagon room in Whitefoord’s house in order to give his
pictures an equal light; and Mr. Christie adopted the idea when he fitted
up his large room in King Street, St. James’s.[249]

Goldsmith is said to have been intimate with witty, punning Caleb
Whitefoord, and certain it is his name is found in the postscript to the
poem of _Retaliation_, written by Oliver on some of his friends at the St.
James’s Coffee-house. These were the Burkes, fretful Cumberland, Reynolds,
Garrick, and Canon Douglas. In this poem Goldsmith laments that Whitefoord
should have confined himself to newspaper essays, and contented himself
with the praise of the printer of the _Public Advertiser_; he thus sums
him up:--

  “Rare compound of oddity, frolic, and fun,
  Who relish’d a joke and rejoiced in a pun;
  Whose temper was generous, open, sincere;
  A stranger to flattery, a stranger to fear.

     *       *       *       *       *

  “Merry Whitefoord, farewell! for thy sake I admit
  That a Scot may have humour--I’d almost said wit;
  This debt to thy memory I cannot refuse,
  Thou best-humour’d man with the worst-humour’d Muse.”

Whitefoord became Vice-President of the Society of Arts.

Anthony Pasquin (Williams), a celebrated art critic and satirist of Dr.
Johnson’s time, was articled to Matt Darley, the famous caricaturist of
the Strand, to learn engraving.[250]

The old name of Northumberland Street was Hartshorne Lane or Christopher
Alley.[251] Here Ben Jonson lived when he was a child, and after his
mother had taken a bricklayer for her second husband.

At the bottom of this lane Sir Edmondbury Godfrey had his wood wharf. This
fact shows how much history is illustrated by topography, for the
residence of the unfortunate justice explains why it should have been
supposed that he had been inveigled into Somerset House.

In 1829 Mr. Wood, who kept a coal wharf, resided in Sir Edmondbury’s old
premises at the bottom of Northumberland Street. It was here the court
justice’s wood-wharf was, but his house was in Green’s Lane, near
Hungerford Market.[252] During the Great Plague Sir Edmondbury had been
very active; on one occasion, when his men refused to act, he entered a
pest-house alone to apprehend a wretch who had stolen at least a thousand
winding-sheets. Four medals were struck on his death. There is also a
portrait of the unlucky woodmonger in the waiting-room adjoining the
Vestry of St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields.[253] He wore, it seems, a full black
wig, like Charles II.

Three men were tried for his murder--the cushion-man at the Queen’s
Chapel, the servant of the treasurer of the chapel, and the porter of
Somerset House. The truculent Scroggs tried the accused, and those
infamous men, Oates, Prance, and Bedloe, were the false witnesses who
murdered them. The prisoners were all executed. Sir Edmondbury’s corpse
was embalmed and borne to its funeral at St. Martin’s from Bridewell. The
pall was supported by eight knights, all justices of the peace, and the
aldermen of London followed the coffin. Twenty-two ministers marched
before the body, and a great Protestant mob followed. Dr. William Lloyd
preached the funeral sermon from the text 2 Sam. iii. 24. The preacher was
guarded in the pulpit by two clergymen armed with “Protestant flails.”

[Illustration: YORK STAIRS, WITH THE HOUSES OF PEPYS AND PETER THE GREAT,
AFTER CANALETTI (CIRCA 1745).]

In July 1861, No. 16 Northumberland Street, then an old-fashioned,
dingy-looking house, with narrow windows, which had been divided into
chambers, was the scene of a fight for life and death between Major Murray
and Mr. Roberts, a solicitor and bill-discounter; the latter attempted the
life of the former for the sake of getting possession of his mistress, to
whom he had lent money. Under pretext of advancing a loan to the Grosvenor
Hotel Company, of which the major was a promoter, he decoyed him into a
back room on the first floor of No. 16, then shot him in the back of the
neck, and immediately after in the right temple. The major, feigning to be
dead, waited till Roberts’s back was turned, then springing to his feet
attacked him with a pair of tongs, which he broke to pieces over his
assailant’s head. He then knocked him down with a bottle which lay near,
and escaped through the window, and from thence by a water-pipe to the
ground. Roberts died soon afterwards, but Major Murray recovered, and the
jury returning a verdict of “Justifiable Homicide,” he was released. The
papers described Roberts’s rooms as crowded with dusty Buhl cabinets,
inlaid tables, statuettes, and drawings. These were smeared with blood and
wine, while on the glass shades of the ornaments a rain of blood seemed
to have fallen.

The embankment, which here is very wide, and includes several acres of
garden on the spot where the Thames once flowed, has largely altered the
character of the streets below the Strand and the river, destroying the
picturesque wharves and spoiling the appearance of the Water Gate, which
is half buried in gravel and flowers, like the Sphynx in Egypt. Between it
and the Thames now stands Cleopatra’s Needle, brought over to England at
great cost of money and life, and set up here in 1878.



[Illustration: CROCKFORD’S FISH SHOP.]


CHAPTER VIII.

THE NORTH SIDE OF THE STRAND, FROM TEMPLE BAR TO CHARING CROSS, WITH
DIGRESSIONS ON THE SOUTH.


The upper stratum of the Strand soil is composed of a reddish yellow
earth, containing coprolites. Below this runs a seam of leaden-coloured
clay, mixed with a few martial pyrites, calcined-looking lumps of iron
and sulphur with a bright silvery fracture.

A petition of the inhabitants of the vicinity of the King’s Palace at
Westminster (8 Edward II.) represents the footway from Temple Bar to their
neighbourhood as so bad that both rich and poor men received constant
damage, especially in the rainy season, the footway being interrupted by
_bushes and thickets_. A tax was accordingly levied for the purpose, and
the mayor and sheriffs of London and the bailiff of Westminster were
appointed overseers of the repairs.

In the 27th of Edward III. the Knights Templars were called upon to
repair[254] “the bridge of the new Temple,” where the lords who attended
Parliament took water on their way from the City. Workmen constructing a
new sewer in the Strand, in 1802, discovered, eastward of St.
Clement’s,[255] a small, one-arched stone bridge, supposed to be the one
above alluded to, unless it was an arch thrown over some gully when the
Strand was a mere bridle-road.

In James I.’s time, Middleton, the dramatist, describes a lawyer as
embracing a young spendthrift, and urging him to riot and excess, telling
him to make acquaintance with the Inns of Court gallants, and keep rank
with those that spent most; to be lofty and liberal; to lodge in the
Strand; in any case, to be remote from the handicraft scent of the
City.[256]

It is but right to remind the reader that within the last few years the
whole of that part of the north side of the Strand lying between Temple
Bar and St. Clement’s Inn, including what was once known as Pickett
Street, and extending backward almost as far as Lincoln’s Inn, has been
demolished, in order to make room for the new Law Courts, which are now
fast rising towards completion.

The house which immediately adjoined Temple Bar on the north side, to the
last a bookseller’s, stood on the site of a small pent-house of lath and
plaster, occupied for many years by Crockford as a shell-fish shop. Here
this man made a large sum of money, with which he established a gambling
club, called by his name, on the west side of St. James’s Street. It was
shut up at Crockford’s death in 1844, and, having passed through sundry
phases, is now the Devonshire Club. Crockford would never alter his shop
in his lifetime; but at his death the quaint pent-house and James I.
gable[257] were removed, and a yellow brick front erected.

That great engraver, William Faithorne, after being taken prisoner as a
Royalist at Basing in the Civil Wars, went to France, where he was
patronised by the Abbé de Marolles. He returned about 1650, and set up a
shop--where he sold Italian, Dutch, and English prints, and worked for
booksellers--without Temple Bar, at the sign of the Ship, next the Drake
and opposite the Palsgrave Head Tavern. He lived here till after 1680.
Grief for his son’s misfortunes induced consumption, of which he died in
1691. Flatman wrote verses to his memory. _Lady Paston_ is thought his
_chef d’œuvre_.[258]

Ship Yard, now swept away, had been granted to Sir Christopher Hatton in
1571. Wilkinson gives a fine sketch of an old gable-ended house in Ship
Yard, supposed to have been the residence of Elias Ashmole, the celebrated
antiquarian. Here, probably, he stored his alchemic books and those
treasures of the Tradescants which he gave to Oxford.

In 1813 sundry improvements projected by Alderman Pickett led to the
removal of one of the greatest eye-sores in London--Butcher Row. This
street of ragged lazar-houses extended in a line from Wych Street to
Temple Bar. They were overhanging, drunken-looking, tottering
tenements,[259] receptacles of filth, and invitations to the cholera. In
Dr. Johnson’s time they were mostly eating-houses.

This stack of buildings on the west side of Temple Bar was in the form of
an acute-angled triangle; the eastern point, nearest the Bar, was formed
latterly by a shoemaker’s and a fishmonger’s shop, with wide fronts; its
western point being blunted by the intersection of St. Clement’s
vestry-room and almshouse. On both sides of it resided bakers, dyers,
smiths, combmakers, and tinplate-workers.

The decayed street had been a flesh-market since Queen Elizabeth’s time,
when it flourished. A scalemaker’s, a fine-drawer’s, and Betty’s
chophouse, were all to be found there.[260] The whole stack was built of
wood, and was probably of about the age of Edward VI. The ceilings were
low, traversed by huge unwrought beams, and dimly lit by small casement
windows. The upper stories overhung the lower, according to the old London
plan of widening the footway.

It was at Clifton’s Eating-house, in Butcher Row, in 1763, that that
admirable gossip and useful parasite, Boswell, with a tremor of foolish
horror, heard Dr. Johnson disputing with a petulant Irishman about the
cause of negroes being black.

“Why, sir,” said Johnson, with judicial grandeur, “it has been accounted
for in three ways--either by supposing that they were the posterity of
Ham, who was cursed; or that God first created two kinds of men, one black
and the other white; or that by the heat of the sun the skin is scorched,
and so acquires a sooty hue. This matter has been much canvassed among
naturalists, but has never been brought to any certain issue.”[261]

What the Irishman’s arguments were, Boswell of course forgot, but as his
antagonist became warm and intemperate, Johnson rose and quietly walked
away. When he had retired, the Irishman said--“He has a most ungainly
figure, and an affectation of pomposity unworthy of a man of genius.”
(This very same evening Boswell and his deity first supped together at the
Mitre.) It was here, many years later, that Johnson spent pleasant
evenings with his old college friend Edwards,[262] whom he had not seen
since the golden days of youth. Edwards, a good, dull, simple-hearted
fellow, talked of their age. “Don’t let us discourage one another,” said
Johnson, with quiet reproof. It was this same worthy fellow who amused
Burke at the club by saying--“You are a philosopher, Dr. Johnson. I have
tried in my time to be a philosopher too, but I don’t know how it was,
cheerfulness was always breaking in.” This was a wise blunder, worthy of
Goldsmith, the prince of wise blunderers.

It was in staggering home from the Bear and Harrow in Butcher Row, through
Clare Market, that Lee, the poet, lay down or fell on a bulk, and was
stifled in the snow (1692).

Nat Lee was the son of a Hertfordshire rector; a pupil of Dr. Busby, a
coadjutor of Dryden, and an unsuccessful actor. He drank himself into
Bedlam, where, says Oldys, he wrote a play in twenty-five acts.[263] Two
of his maddest lines were--

  “I’ve seen an unscrewed spider spin a thought
  And walk away upon the wings of angels.”

The Duke of Buckingham, who brought Lee up to town,[264] neglected him,
and his extreme poverty no doubt drove him faster to Moorfields. Poor
fellow! he was only thirty-five when he died. He is described as
stout,[265] handsome, and red faced. The Earl of Pembroke, whose daughter
married a son of the brutal Judge Jefferies, was Lee’s chief patron. The
poet, when visiting him at Wilton, drank so hard that the butler is said
to have been afraid he would empty the cellar. Lee’s poetry, though noisy
and ranting, is full of true poetic fire,[266] and in tenderness and
passion the critics of his time compared him to Ovid and Otway.

Thanks to the alderman, whose name is forgotten, though it well deserved
to live,--the streets, lanes, and alleys which once blocked up St.
Clement’s Church, like so many beggars crowding round a rich man’s door,
were swept away, and the present oval railing erected. The enlightened
Corporation at the same time built the big, dingy gateway of Clement’s
Inn--people at the time called it “stupendous;”[267] and to it were added
the restored vestry-room and almshouse. The south side of the Strand was
also rebuilt, with loftier and more spacious shops. In the reign of Edward
VI. this beginning of the Strand had been a mere loosely-built suburban
street, the southern houses, then well inhabited, boasting large gardens.

There is a fatality attending some parts of London. In spite of Alderman
Pickett and his stupendous arch of stucco, the new houses on the north
side did not take well. They were found to be too large and expensive;
they became under-let,[268] and began by degrees to relapse into their old
Butcher Row squalor; the tide of humanity setting in towards Westminster
flowing away from them to the left. As in some rivers the current, for no
obvious reason, sometimes bends away to the one side, leaving on the other
a broad bare reach of grey pebble, so the human tide in the Strand has
always, in order to avoid the detour of the twin streets (Holywell and
Wych), borne away to the left.

It is probable that Palsgrave Place, on the south side, just beyond
Child’s bank, in Temple Bar without, marks the site of the Old Palsgrave’s
Head Tavern. The Palsgrave was that German prince who was afterwards King
of Bohemia, and who married the daughter of James I.

No. 217 Strand, on the south side, was Snow’s, the goldsmith. Gay has
preserved his memory in some pleasant verses. It was, a few years ago, the
bank of those most decent of defrauders, Strachan, Paul, and Bates, and
through them proved the grave of many a fortune. Next to it, westwards,
is Messrs. Twinings bank, and their still more ancient tea shop.

The Crown and Anchor Tavern in the Strand (south side), afterwards the
Whittington Club, and now the Temple Club, is described by Strype as a
“large and curious house,” with good rooms and other conveniences for
entertainments.[269] Here Dr. Johnson occasionally supped with Boswell,
and bartered his wisdom for the flattering Scotchman’s inanity. In this
same tavern the sultan of literature quarrelled with amiable but
high-spirited Percy about old Dr. Mounsey; and here, when Sir Joshua
Reynolds was gravely and calmly upholding the advantages of wine in
stimulating and inspiring conversation, Johnson said, with good-natured
irony, “I have heard none of these drunken--nay, drunken is a coarse
word--none of these _vinous flights_!”[270]

St. Clement’s is one of Wren’s fifty churches, and it was built by Edward
Pierce, under Wren’s superintendence.[271] It took the place of an old
church mentioned by Stow, that had become old and ruinous, and was taken
down circa 1682, during the epidemic for church-building after the Great
Fire.

This church has many enemies and few friends. One of its bitterest haters
calls it a “disgusting fabric,” obtruded dangerously and inconveniently
upon the street. A second opponent describes the steeple as fantastic, the
portico clumsy and heavy, and the whole pile poor and unmeaning. Even
Leigh Hunt abuses it as “incongruous and ungainly.”[272]

There have been great antiquarian discussions as to why the church is
called St. Clement’s “Danes.” Some think there was once a massacre of the
Danes in this part of the road to Westminster; others declare that Harold
Harefoot was buried in the old church; some assert that the Danes, driven
out of London by Alfred, were allowed to settle between Thorney Island
(Westminster) and Ludgate, and built a church in the Strand; so, at
least, we learn, Recorder Fleetwood told Treasurer Burleigh. The name of
Saint Clement was taken from the patron saint of Pope Clement III., the
friend of the Templars, who dwelt on the frontier line of the City.

In 1725 there was a great ferment in the parish of St. Clement’s, in
consequence of an order from Dr. Gibson, Bishop of London, to remove at
once an expensive new altar-piece painted by Kent, a fashionable
architectural quack of that day; who, however, with “Capability Brown,”
had helped to wean us from the taste for yew trees cut into shapes, Dutch
canals, formal avenues, and geometric flower-beds.

Kent was originally a coach-painter in Yorkshire, and was patronised by
the Queen, the Duke of Newcastle, and Lord Burlington. He helped to adorn
Stowe, Holkham, and Houghton. He was at once architect, painter, and
landscape gardener. In the altar-piece, the vile drawing of which even
Hogarth found it hard to caricature, the painter was said to have
introduced portraits of the Pretender’s wife and children. The “blue
print,” published in 1725, was followed by another representing Kent
painting Burlington Gate. The altar-piece was removed, but the nobility
patronised Kent till he died, twenty years or so afterwards. We owe him,
however, some gratitude, if, according to Walpole, he was the father of
modern gardening.

The long-limbed picture caricatured by Hogarth was for some years one of
the ornaments of the coffee-room of the Crown and Anchor in the Strand.
Thence it was removed to the vestry-room of the church, over the old
almshouses in the churchyard. After 1803 it was transported to the new
vestry-room on the north side of the churchyard.[273]

In the old church Sir Robert Cecil, the first Earl of Salisbury, was
baptized, 1563; as were Sir Charles Sedley, the delightful song-writer and
the oracle of the licentious wits of his day, 1638-9; and the Earl of
Shaftesbury, the son of that troublous spirit “Little Sincerity,” and
himself the author of the _Characteristics_.

The church holds some hallowed earth: in St. Clement’s was buried Sir John
Roe, who was a friend of Ben Jonson, and died of the plague in the sturdy
poet’s arms.

Dr. Donne’s wife, the daughter of Sir George More, and who died in
childbed during her husband’s absence at the court of Henri Quatre, was
buried here. Her tomb, by Nicholas Stone, was destroyed when the church
was rebuilt. Donne, on his return, preached a sermon here on her death,
taking the text--“Lo! I am the man that has seen affliction.” John Lowin,
the great Shaksperean actor, lies here. He died in 1653. He acted in Ben
Jonson’s “Sejanus” in 1605, with Burbage and Shakspere. Tradition reports
him to have been the favourite Falstaff, Hamlet, and Henry VIII. of his
day.[274] Burbage was the greatest of the Shaksperean tragedians, and
Tarleton the drollest of the comedians; but Lowin must have been as
versatile as Garrick if he could represent Hamlet’s vacillations, and also
convey a sense of Falstaff’s unctuous humour. Poor mad Nat Lee, who died
on a bulk in Clare Market close by, was buried at St. Clement’s, 1692; and
here also lies poor beggared Otway, who died in 1685. In the same year as
Lee, Mountfort, the actor, whom Captain Hill stabbed in a fit of jealousy
in Howard Street adjoining, was interred here.

In 1713 Thomas Rymer, the historiographer of William III. and the compiler
of the _Fœdera_ and fifty-eight manuscript volumes now in the British
Museum, was interred here. He had lived in Arundel Street. In 1729 James
Spiller, the comedian of Hogarth’s time, was buried at St. Clement’s. A
butcher in Clare Market wrote his epitaph, which was never used. Spiller
was the original Mat of the Mint in the “Beggars’ Opera.” His portrait, by
Laguerre, was the sign of a public-house in Clare Market.[275]

In this church was probably buried, at the time of the Plague, Thomas
Simon, Cromwell’s celebrated medallist. His name, however, is not on the
register.[276]

Mr. Needham, who was buried at St. Clement’s with far better men, was an
attorney’s clerk in Gray’s Inn, who, in 1643, commenced a weekly paper. He
seems to have been a mischievous, unprincipled hireling, always ready to
sell his pen to the best bidder.

It is not for us in these later days to praise a church of the Corinthian
order, even though its southern portico be crowned by a dome and propped
up with Ionic pillars. Its steeple of the three orders, in spite of its
vases and pilasters, does not move me; nor can I, as writers thought it
necessary to do thirty years ago,[277] waste a churchwarden’s unreasoning
admiration on the wooden cherubim, palm-branches, and shields of the
chancel; nor can even the veneered pulpit and cumbrous galleries, or the
Tuscan carved wainscot of the altar draw any praise from my reluctant
lips.

The arms of the Dukes of Norfolk and the Earls of Arundel and Salisbury,
in the south gallery, are worthy of notice, because they show that these
noblemen were once inhabitants of the parish.

Among the eminent rectors of St. Clement’s was Dr. George Berkeley, son of
the Platonist bishop, the friend of Swift, to whom Pope attributed “every
virtue under heaven.” He died in 1798. It was of his father that Atterbury
said, he did not think that so much knowledge and so much humility existed
in any but the angels and Berkeley.[278]

Dr. Johnson, the great and good, often attended service at St. Clement’s
Church. They still point out his seat in the north gallery, near the
pulpit. On Good Friday, 1773, Boswell tells us he breakfasted with his
tremendous friend (Dr. Levett making tea), and was then taken to church by
him. “Dr. Johnson’s behaviour,” he says, “was solemnly devout. I never
shall forget the tremulous earnestness with which he pronounced the awful
petition in the Litany, ‘In the hour of death and in the day of judgment,
good Lord, deliver us.’”[279]

Eleven years later the doctor writes to Mrs. Thrale, “after a confinement
of 129 days, more than the third part of a year, and no inconsiderable
part of human life, I this day returned thanks to God in St. Clement’s
Church for my recovery--a recovery, in my 75th year, from a distemper
which few in the vigour of youth are known to surmount.”

Clement’s Inn (of Chancery), a vassal of the Inner Temple, derives its
name from the neighbouring church, and the “fair fountain called Clement’s
Well,”[280] the Holy Well of the neighbouring street pump.

Over the gate is graven in stone an anchor without a stock and a capital C
couchant upon it.[281] This device has reference to the martyrdom of the
guardian saint of the inn, who was tied to an anchor and thrown into the
sea by order of the emperor Trajan. Dugdale states that there was an inn
here in the reign of Edward II.

There is, indeed, a tradition among antiquaries, that as far back as the
Saxon kings there was an inn here for the reception of penitents who came
to the Holy Well of St. Clement’s; that a religious house was first
established, and finally a church. The Holy Lamb, an inn at the west end
of the lane, was perhaps the old Pilgrims’ Inn. In the Tudor times the
Clare family, who had a mansion in Clare Market, appears to have occupied
the site. From their hands it reverted to the lawyers. As for the well, a
pump now enshrines it, and a low dirty street leads up to it. This is
mentioned in Henry II.’s time[282] as one of the excellent springs at a
small distance from London, whose waters are “sweet, healthful, and clear,
and whose runnels murmur over the shining pebbles: they are much
frequented,” says the friend of Archbishop Becket, “both by the scholars
from the school (Westminster) and the youth from the City, when on a
summer’s evening they are disposed to take an airing.” It was seven
centuries ago that the hooded boys used to play round this spring, and at
this very moment their descendants are drinking from the ladle or
splashing each other with the water, as they fill their great brown
pitchers. The spring still feeds the Roman Bath in the Strand already
mentioned.

  “For men may come, and men may go,
      But I flow on for ever.”[283]

The hall of St. Clement’s Inn is situated on the south side of a neat
small quadrangle. It is a small Tuscan building, with a large florid
Corinthian door and arched windows, and was built in 1715. In the second
irregular area there is a garden, with a statue of a kneeling black figure
supporting a sun-dial on the east side.[284] It was given to the inn by an
Earl of Clare, but when is unknown. It was brought from Italy, and is said
to be of bronze, but ingenious persons having determined on making it a
blackamoor, it has been painted black. A stupid, ill-rhymed, cumbrous old
epigram sneers at the sable son of woe flying from cannibals and seeking
mercy in a lawyers’ inn. The first would not have eaten him till they had
slain him; but lawyers, it is well known, will eat any man alive.[285]

Poor Hollar, the great German engraver, lived in 1661 just outside the
back door of St. Clement’s, “as soon as you come off the steps, and out of
that house and dore at your left hand, two payre of stairs, into a little
passage right before you.” He was known for “reasons’ sake” to the people
of the house only as “the Frenchman limner.” Such was the direction he
sent to that gossiping Wiltshire gentleman, John Aubrey.

The inn has very probably reared up a great many clever men; but it is
chiefly renowned for having fostered that inimitable old bragging twaddler
and country magistrate, the immortal Justice Shallow. Those chimes that
“in a ghostly way by moonlight still bungle through Handel’s psalm tunes,
hoarse with age and long vigils”[286] as they are, must surely be the same
that Shallow heard. How deliciously the old fellow vapours about his wild
times!

“Ha, Cousin Silence, that thou hadst seen that that this knight and I have
seen!--Ha, Sir John, said I well?”

_Falstaff_--“We have heard the chimes at midnight, Master Shallow.”

_Shal._--“That we have, that we have, that we have; in faith, Sir John, we
have; our watchword was--Hem, boys!--Come, let’s to dinner; come, let’s to
dinner. Oh, the days that we have seen!--Come, come.”[287]

And before that, how he glories in the impossibility of being detected
after bragging fifty-five years! This man, as Falstaff says, “lean as a
man cut after supper out of a cheese-paring,” was once mad Shallow, lusty
Shallow, as Cousin Silence, his toady, reminds him.

“By the mass,” says again the old country gentleman, “I was called
anything, and I would have done anything, indeed, and roundly too. There
was I and little John Doit of Staffordshire, and black George Barnes of
Staffordshire, and Francis Pickbone, and Will Squele, a Cotswold man: you
had not four such swinge-bucklers in all the inns of court again.”

And thus he goes maundering on with dull vivacity about how he played Sir
Dagonet in Arthur’s Show at Mile End, and once remained all night
revelling in a windmill in St. George’s Fields.

A curious record of Shakspere’s times serves admirably to illustrate
Shallow’s boast. In Elizabeth’s time the eastern end of the Strand was the
scene of frequent disturbances occasioned by the riotous and unruly
students of the inns of court, who paraded the streets at night to the
danger of peaceable passengers. One night in 1582, the Recorder himself,
with six of the honest inhabitants, stood by St. Clement’s Church to see
the lanterns hung out, and to try and meet some of the brawlers, the
Shallows of that time. About seven at night they saw young Mr. Robert
Cecil, the Treasurer’s son, pass by the church and salute them civilly, on
which they said, “Lo, you may see how a nobleman’s son can use himself,
and how he pulleth off his cap to poor men--our Lord bless him!” Upon
which the Recorder wrote to his father, like a true courtier, making
capital of everything, and said, “Your lordship hath cause to thank God
for so virtuous a child.”

Through the gateway in Pickett Street, a narrow street led to New Court,
where stood the Independent Meeting House in which the witty Daniel
Burgess once preached. The celebrated Lord Bolingbroke was his pupil, and
the Earl of Orrery his patron. He died 1712, after being much ridiculed by
Swift and Steele for his sermon of _The Golden Snuffers_, and for his
pulpit puns in the manner followed by Rowland Hill and Whitfield. This
chapel was gutted during the Sacheverell riots, and repaired by the
Government. Two examples of Burgess’s grotesque style will suffice. On one
occasion, when he had taken his text from Job, and discoursed on the “Robe
of Righteousness,” he said--

“If any of you would have a good and cheap suit, you will go to Monmouth
Street; if you want a suit for life, you will go to the Court of Chancery;
but if you wish for a suit that will last to eternity, you must go to the
Lord Jesus Christ and put on His robe of righteousness.”[288] On another
occasion, in the reign of King William, he assigned as a motive for the
descendants of Jacob being called Israelites, that God did not choose that
His people should be called _Jacobites_.

Daniel Burgess was succeeded in his chapel by Winter and Bradbury, both
celebrated Nonconformists. The latter of these was also a comic preacher,
or rather a “buffoon,” as one of Dr. Doddridge’s correspondents called
him. It was said of his sermons that he seemed to consider the Bible to be
written only to prove the right of William III. to the throne. He used to
deride Dr. Watts’s hymns from the pulpit, and when he gave them out always
said--

  “Let us sing one of Watts’s whims.”

Bat Pidgeon, the celebrated barber of Addison’s time, lived nearly
opposite Norfolk Street. His house bore the sign of the Three Pigeons.
This was the corner house of St. Clement’s churchyard, and there Bat, in
1740, cut the boyish locks of Pennant[289]. In those days of wigs there
were very few hair-cutters in London.

The father of Miss Ray, the singer, and mistress of old Lord Sandwich, is
said to have been a well-known staymaker in Holywell Street, now
Booksellers’ Row. His daughter was apprenticed in Clerkenwell, from whence
the musical lord took her to load her with a splendid shame. On the day
she went to sing at Covent Garden in “Love in a Village,” Hackman, who had
left the army for the church, waited for her carriage at the Cannon
Coffee-house in Cockspur Street. At the door of the theatre, by the side
of the Bedford Coffee-house, Hackman rushed out, and as Miss Ray was being
handed from her carriage he shot her through the head, and then attempted
his own life[290]. Hackman was hanged at Tyburn, and he died declaring
that shooting Miss Ray was the result of a sudden burst of frenzy, for he
had planned only suicide in her presence.

The Strand Maypole stood on the site of the present church of St. Mary le
Strand, or a little northward towards Maypole Alley, behind the Olympic
Theatre. In the thirteenth century a cross had stood on this spot, and
there the itinerant justices had sat to administer justice outside the
walls. A Maypole stood here as early as 1634[291]. Tradition says it was
set up by John Clarges, the Drury Lane blacksmith, and father of General
Monk’s vulgar wife.

The Maypole was Satan’s flag-staff in the eyes of the stern Puritans, who
dreaded Christmas pies, cards, and dances. Down it came when Cromwell went
up. The Strand Maypole was reared again with exulting ceremony the first
May day after the Restoration. The parishioners bought a pole 134 feet
high, and the Duke of York, the Lord High Admiral, lent them twelve seamen
to help to raise it. It was brought from Scotland Yard with drums, music,
and the shouts of the multitude; flags flying, and three men bare-headed
carrying crowns.[292] The two halves being joined together with iron
bands, and the gilt crown and vane and king’s arms placed on the top, it
was raised in about four hours by means of tackle and pulleys. The Strand
rang with the people’s shouts, for to them the Maypole was an emblem of
the good old times. Then there was a morris dance, with tabor and pipe,
the dancers wearing purple scarfs and “half-shirts.” The children laughed,
and the old people clapped their hands, for there was not a taller Maypole
in Europe. From its summit floated a royal purple streamer; and half way
down was a sort of cross-trees or balcony adorned with four crowns and the
king’s arms. It bore also a garland of vari-coloured favours, and beneath
three great lanterns in honour of the three admirals and all seamen, to
give light in dark nights. On this spot, a year before, the butchers of
Clare Market had rung a peal with their knives as they burnt an
emblematical Rump.[293]

In the year 1677 a fatal duel was fought under the Maypole, which had been
snapped by a tempest in 1672.[294] One daybreak Mr. Robert Percival, a
notorious duellist, only nineteen years of age, was found dead under the
Maypole, with a deep wound in his left breast. His drawn and bloody sword
lay beside him. His antagonist was never discovered, though great rewards
were offered. The only clue was a hat with a bunch of ribbons in it,
suspected to belong to the celebrated Beau Fielding, but it was never
traced home to him. The elder brother, Sir Philip Percival, long after,
violently attacked a total stranger whom he met in the streets of Dublin.
The spectators parted them. Sir Philip could account for his conduct only
by saying he felt urged on by an irresistible conviction that the man he
struck at was his brother’s murderer.[295]

The Maypole, disused and decaying, was pulled down in 1713, when a new
one, adorned with two gilt balls and a vane, was erected in its stead. In
1718 the pole, being found in the way of the new church, was given to Sir
Isaac Newton as a stand for a large French telescope that belonged to his
friend Mr. Pound, the rector of Wanstead.

Saint Mary-le-Strand was begun in 1714, and consecrated in 1723-4.[296] It
was one of the fifty ordered to be built in Queen Anne’s reign. The old
church, pulled down by that Ahab, the Protector Somerset, to make room for
his ill-omened new palace, stood considerably nearer to the river.

Gibbs, the shrewd Aberdeen architect, who succeeded to Wren and Vanbrugh,
and became famous by building St. Martin’s Church, reared also St. Mary’s.
Gibbs, according to Walpole, was a mere plodding mechanic. He certainly
wanted originality, simplicity, and grace. St. Mary’s is broken up by
unmeaning ornament; the pagoda-like steeple is too high,[297] and crushes
the church, instead of as it were blossoming from it. One critic (Mr.
Malton) alone is found to call St. Mary’s pleasant and picturesque; but I
confess to having looked on it so long that I begin almost to forget its
ugliness.

Gibbs himself tells us how he set to work upon this church. It was his
first commission after his return from Rome. As the site was a very public
one, he was desired to spare no cost in the ornamentation, so he framed it
of two orders, making the lower walls (but for the absurd niches to hold
nothing) solid, so as to keep out the noises of the street. There was at
first no steeple intended, only a small western campanile, or bell-turret;
but, eighty feet from the west front, there was to be erected a column 250
feet high, crowned by a statue of Queen Anne. This absurdity was forgotten
at the death of that rather insipid queen, and the stone still lying
there, the thrifty parish authorities, unwilling to waste the materials,
resolved to build a steeple. The church being already twenty feet from the
ground, it was necessary to spread it north and south, and so the church,
originally square, became oblong.

Pope calls St. Mary’s Church bitterly the church that--

  Collects “the _saints_ of Drury Lane.”[298]

Addison describes his Tory fox-hunter’s horror on seeing a church
apparently being demolished, and his agreeable surprise when he found it
was really a church being built.[299]

St. Mary’s was the scene of a tragedy during the proclamation of the short
peace in 1802. Just as the heralds came abreast of Somerset House, a man
on the roof of the church pressed forward too strongly against one of the
stone urns, which gave way and fell into the street, striking down three
persons: one of these died on the spot; the second, on his way to the
hospital; and the third, two days afterwards. A young woman and several
others were also seriously injured. The urn, which weighed two hundred
pounds, carried away part of the cornice, broke a flag-stone below, and
buried itself a foot deep in the earth. The unhappy cause of this mischief
fell back on the roof and fainted when he saw the urn fall. He was
discharged, no blame being attached to him. It was found that the urn had
been fastened by a wooden spike, instead of being clamped with iron.[300]

The church has been lately refitted in an ecclesiastical style, and filled
with painted windows. There are no galleries in its interior. The ceiling
is encrusted with ornament. It contains a tablet to the memory of James
Bindley, who died in 1818. He was the father of the Society of
Antiquaries, and was a great collector of books, prints, and medals.

New Inn, in Wych Street, is an inn of Chancery, appertaining to the Middle
Temple. It was originally a public inn, bearing the sign of Our Lady the
Virgin, and was bought by Sir John Fineux, Chief Justice of the King’s
Bench, in the reign of King Edward IV., to place therein the students of
the law then lodged in St. George’s Inn, in the little Old Bailey, which
was reputed to have been the most ancient of all the inns of
Chancery.[301]

Sir Thomas More, the luckless minister of Henry VIII., was a member of
this inn till he removed to Lincoln’s Inn. When the Great Seal was taken
from this wise man, he talked of descending to “New Inn fare, wherewith
many an honest man is well contented.”[302] Addison makes the second best
man of his band of friends (after Sir Roger de Coverley) a bachelor
Templar; an excellent critic, with whom the time of the play is an hour of
business. “Exactly at five he passes through New Inn, crosses through
Russell Court, and takes a turn at Wills’s till the play begins. He has
his shoes rubbed and his periwig powdered at the barber’s as you go into
the Rose.”[303]

Wych Street derives its name from the old name for Drury Lane--_via de
Aldewych_. Till some recent improvements were effected in its tenants, it
bore an infamous character, and was one of the disgraces of London.

The Olympic Theatre, in Wych Street, was built in 1805 by Philip Astley, a
light horseman, who founded the first amphitheatre in London on the garden
ground of old Craven House. It was opened September 18, 1806, as the
Olympic Pavilion, and burnt to the ground March 29, 1849. It was built out
of the timbers of the captured French man-of-war, _La Ville de Paris_, in
which William IV. went out as midshipman. The masts of the vessel formed
the flies, and were seen still standing amidst the fire after the roof
fell in. In 1813 it was leased by Elliston, and called the Little Drury
Lane Theatre. Its great days were under the rule of Madame Vestris,[304]
who, both as a singer and an actress, contributed to its success. More
recently it was under the able and successful management of the late Mr.
Frederick Robson. Born at Margate in 1821, he was early in life
apprenticed to a copperplate engraver in Bedfordbury. He appeared first,
unsuccessfully, at a private theatre in Catherine Street, and played at
the Grecian Saloon as a comic singer and low comedian from 1846 to 1849.
In 1853 he joined Mr. Farren at the Olympic. He there acquired a great
reputation in various pieces--“The Yellow Dwarf,” “To oblige Benson,” “The
Lottery Ticket,” and “The Wandering Minstrel,”--the last being an old
farce originally written to ridicule the vagaries of Mr. Cochrane.

Lyon’s Inn, an inn of Chancery belonging to the Inner Temple, was
originally a hostelry with the sign of the Lion. It was purchased by
gentlemen students in Henry VIII.’s time, and converted into an inn of
Chancery.[305]

It degenerated into a haunt of bill-discounters and Bohemians of all
kinds, good and bad, clever and rascally, and remained a dim, mouldy place
till 1861, when it was pulled down. Its site is now occupied by the Globe
Theatre. Just before the demolition of the inn, when I visited it, a
washerwoman was hanging out wet and flopping clothes on the site of Mr.
William Weare’s chambers.

On Friday, 24th of October 1823, Mr. William Weare, of No. 2 Lyon’s Inn,
was murdered in Gill’s Hill Lane, Hertfordshire, between Edgware and St.
Alban’s. His murderer was Mr. John Thurtell, son of the Mayor of Norwich,
and a well-known gambler, betting man, and colleague of prize-fighters.
Under pretence of driving him down for a shooting excursion, Thurtell shot
Weare with a pistol, and when he leaped out of the chaise, pursued him
and cut his throat. He then sank the body in a pond in the garden of his
friend and probable accomplice, Probert, a spirit merchant, and afterwards
removed it to a slough on the St. Alban’s road. His confederate, Hunt, a
public singer, turned king’s evidence, and was transported for life.
Thurtell was hanged at Hertford. He pleaded that Weare had robbed him of
£300 with false cards at Blind Hookey, and he had sworn revenge; but it
appeared that he had planned several other murders, and all for money.
Probert was afterwards hanged in Gloucestershire for horse-stealing.

At the sale of the building materials some Jews were observed to be very
eager to acquire the figure of the lion that adorned one of the walls.
There were various causes assigned for this eagerness. Some said that a
Jew named Lyons had originally founded the inn; others declared that the
lion was considered to be an emblem of the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
Directly the auctioneer knocked it down the Jewish purchaser drew a knife,
mounted the ladder, and struck his weapon into the lion. “S’help me, Bob!”
said he, in a tone of disgust, “if they didn’t tell me it was lead, and
it’s only stone arter all!”

Gay, who speaks of the dangers of “mazy Drury Lane,” gives Catherine
Street a very bad character. He describes the courtesans, with their
new-scoured manteaus and riding-hoods or muffled pinners, standing near
the tavern doors, or carrying empty bandboxes, and feigning errands to the
Change.[306] The street is now almost entirely occupied by newspaper
publishers. The _Morning Herald_, the _Court Journal_, the _Naval and
Military Gazette_, the _Gardener’s Gazette_, the _Builder_, the _Weekly
Register_, and the _Court Gazette_, all either are or have been published
in Catherine Street. Scott’s Sanspareil Theatre was opened here about 1810
for the performance of operettas, dancing, and pantomimes.[307] In
September 1741 a man named James Hall was executed at the end of Catherine
Street.

The Maypole close to St. Mary’s Church is said to have been the first
place in London where hackney coaches were allowed to stand. Coaches were
first introduced into England from Hungary in 1580 by Fitzalan, Earl of
Arundel; but for a time they were thought effeminate. The Thames watermen
especially railed against them, as might be expected. In the year 1634, a
Captain Baily who had accompanied Raleigh in his famous expedition to
Guiana, started four hackney coaches, with drivers in liveries, at the
Maypole; but as, in the year 1613, sixty hackney coaches from London[308]
plied at Stourbridge fair, perhaps there had been coach-stands in the
streets before Baily’s time. In 1625 there were only twenty coaches in
London; in 1666, under Charles II., the number had so increased that the
king issued a proclamation complaining of the coaches blocking up the
narrow streets and breaking up the pavement, and forbade coach-stands
altogether.

Peter Molyn Tempest, the engraver of “The Cries of London,” published at
the end of King William’s reign, lived in the Strand opposite Somerset
House. “The Cries” were designed by Marcellus Laroon, a Dutch painter
(1653-1702), who painted draperies for Kneller.[309] He was celebrated for
his conversation pieces and his knack of imitating the old masters.
Tempest’s quaint advertisement of the “Cries” in the _London Gazette_, May
28 and 31, 1688, runs thus:--

“There is now published the Cryes and Habits of London, lately drawn after
the life in great variety of actions, curiously engraved upon fifty
copper-plates, fit for the ingenious and lovers of art. Printed and sold
by P. Tempest, over against Somerset House, in the Strand.”

The _Morning Chronicle_, whose office was opposite Somerset House, was
started in 1770. It was to Perry, of the _Morning Chronicle_, that
Coleridge, when penniless and about to enlist in a cavalry regiment, sent
a poem and a request for a guinea, which he got. Hazlitt was theatrical
critic to this paper, succeeding Lord Campbell in the post. In 1810 David
Ricardo began his letters on the depreciation of the currency in the
_Chronicle_. James Perry, whose career we have no room to follow, lived in
great style at Tavistock House, the house afterwards occupied for many
years by Mr. Charles Dickens. _The Sketches by Boz_ of Charles Dickens
first appeared in the columns of the _Chronicle_. The last _Morning
Chronicle_ appeared on Wednesday, March 19, 1862. Latterly the paper was
said to have been in the pay of the Emperor of France.

No. 346, at the east corner of Wellington Street, now the office of the
_Law Times_, the _Queen_, and the _Field_, was Doyley’s celebrated
warehouse for woollen articles. Dryden, in his _Kind Keeper_, speaks of
“Doyley” petticoats; Steele, in his _Guardian_,[310] of his “Doyley” suit;
while Gay, in the _Trivia_, describes a “Doyley” as a poor defence against
the cold.

Doyley’s warehouse stood on the ancient site of Wimbledon House, built by
Sir Edward Cecil, son to the first Earl of Exeter, and created Viscount
Wimbledon by Charles I. The house was burnt to the ground in 1628, and the
day before the viscount had had part of his house at Wimbledon
accidentally blown up by gunpowder. Pennant, when a boy, was brought by
his mother to a large glass shop, a little beyond Wimbledon House; the old
man who kept it remembered Nell Gwynne coming to the shop when he was an
apprentice; her footman, a country lad, got fighting in the street with
some men who had abused his mistress.[311]

Mr. Doyley was a much respected warehouseman of Dr. Johnson’s time, whose
family had resided in their great old house, next to Hodsall the banker’s,
at the corner of Wellington Street, ever since Queen Anne’s time. The
dessert napkins called Doyleys derived their name from this firm. Mr.
Doyley’s house was built by Inigo Jones, and forms a prominent feature in
old engravings of the Strand, as it had a covered entrance that ran out
like a promontory into the carriage-way. It was pulled down about
1782.[312] Mr. Doyley, a man of humour and a friend of Garrick and
Sterne, was a frequenter of the Precinct Club, held at the Turk’s Head,
opposite his own house. The rector of St. Mary’s attended the same club,
and enjoyed the seat of honour next the fire.

[Illustration: THE OLD ROMAN BATH, STRAND.]

Not far from this stood the Strand Bridge, which crossed the street, and
received the streams flowing from the higher grounds down Catharine Street
to the Thames. Strand Lane, hard by on the south, famous still for its old
Roman bath, passed under the arch, and led to a water stair or landing
pier. Addison, in his bright pleasant way, describes landing there one
morning with ten sail of apricot boats, after having put in at Nine Elms
for melons, consigned by Mr. Cuffe of that place to Sarah Sewell and
Company at their stall in Covent Garden.[313]

The _Morning Post_, whose office is in Wellington Street, was started in
1772; when almost defunct it was bought in 1796 by Daniel Stuart, and
Christie the auctioneer, who gave only £600 for copyright, house, and
plant. Coleridge, Southey, Lamb, Wordsworth, and Mackintosh all wrote for
Stuart’s paper. Coleridge commenced his political papers in 1797, and on
his return from Germany (November 1799) joined the badly-paid staff, but
refused to become a parliamentary reporter. Fox declared in the House of
Commons that Coleridge’s essays had led to the rupture of the peace of
Amiens, an announcement which led to a pursuit by a French frigate, when
the poet left Rome, where he then was, and sailed from Leghorn. Lamb wrote
facetious paragraphs at sixpence a-piece.[314] The _Morning Post_ soon
became second only to the _Chronicle_, and the great paper for
booksellers’ advertisements. It is mentioned by Byron as the organ of the
aristocracy and of West End society, and it has maintained that position
to the present time with little change.

The _Athenæum_, whose office is in Wellington Street, is identified with
the name of Mr. (afterwards) Sir C. Wentworth Dilke. He was born in 1789,
and was originally in the Navy Pay Office. He bought the paper, which had
been unsuccessful since 1828 under its originator, that shifty adventurer,
Mr. J. S. Buckingham, and also under Mr. John Sterling. Under his care it
gradually grew into a sound property, and became what it now is, the
_Times_ of weekly papers. Its editor, Mr. Hervey, the author of many
well-known poems, was replaced in 1853 by Mr. Hepworth Dixon, under whom
it steadily throve, till his retirement in 1871.

A little farther up the street is the office of _All the Year Round_, a
weekly periodical which, in 1859, took the place of _Household Words_,
started by Mr. Charles Dickens in 1850. It contains essays by the best
writers of the day, graphic descriptions of current events, and continuous
stories. Mrs. Gaskell, Mr. Wilkie Collins, Charles Reade, Lord Lytton,
Mr. Sala, and Mr. Dickens himself, are among those who have published
novels in its pages.

The original Lyceum was built in 1765 as an exhibition-room for the
Society of Arts, by Mr. James Payne, an architect, on ground once
belonging to Exeter House. The society splitting, and the Royal Academy
being founded at Somerset House in 1768, the Lyceum Society became
insolvent. Mr. Lingham, a breeches-maker, then purchased the room, and let
it out to Flockton for his Puppet-show and other amusements. About 1794
Dr. Arnold partly rebuilt it as a theatre, but could not obtain a licence
through the opposition of the winter houses.[315] It was next door to the
shop of Millar the publisher.

The Lyceum in 1789-94 was the arena of all experimenters--of Charles
Dibdin and his “Sans Souci,” of the ex-soldier Astley’s feats of
horsemanship, of Cartwright’s “Musical Glasses,” of Philipstal’s
successful “Phantasmagoria.” Lonsdale’s “Egyptiana” (paintings of Egyptian
scenes, by Porter, Mulready, Pugh, and Cristall), with a lecture, was a
failure. Here Ker Porter exhibited his large pictures of Lodi, Acre, and
the siege of Seringapatam. Then came Palmer with his “Portraits,” Collins
with his “Evening Brush,” Incledon with his “Voyage to India,” Bologna
with his “Phantascopia,” and Lloyd with his “Astronomical Exhibition.”
Subscription concerts, amateur theatricals, debating societies, and
schools of defence were also tried here. One day it was a Roman Catholic
chapel; next day the “Panther Mare and Colt,” the “White Negro Girl,” or
the “Porcupine Man” held their levee of dupes and gapers in its changeful
rooms.[316]

In 1809 Dr. Arnold’s son obtained a licence for an English opera-house.
Shortly afterwards the Drury Lane company commenced performing here, their
own theatre having been burnt. Mr. T. Sheridan was then manager. In 1815
Mr. Arnold erected the predecessor of the present theatre, on an enlarged
scale, at an expense of nearly £80,000, and it was opened in 1816. In 1817
the experiment of two short performances on the same evening was
unsuccessfully tried. On April 1, 1818, Mr. Mathews, the great comedian,
began here his entertainment called “Mail-coach Adventures,” which ran
forty nights.

The Beef-steak Club was established in the reign of Queen Anne (before
1709).[317] The _Spectator_ mentions it, 1710-11. The club met in a noble
room at the top of Covent Garden Theatre, and never partook of any dish
but beef-steaks. Their Providore was their president and wore their badge,
a small gold gridiron, hung round his neck by a green silk riband.[318]
Estcourt had been a tavern-keeper, and is mentioned in a poem of
Parnell’s, who was himself too fond of wine. He died in 1712. Steele gives
a delightful sketch of him. He had an excellent judgment, he was a great
mimic, and he told an anecdote perfectly well. His well-turned compliments
were as fine as his smart repartees. “It is to Estcourt’s exquisite talent
more than to philosophy,” says Steele, “that I owe the fact that my person
is very little of my care, and it is indifferent to me what is said of my
shape, my air, my manner, my speech, or my address. It is to poor Estcourt
I chiefly owe that I am arrived at the happiness of thinking nothing a
diminution of myself but what argues a depravity of my will.”

The kindly essay ends beautifully. “None of those,” says the true-hearted
man, “will read this without giving him some sorrow for their abundant
mirth, and one gush of tears for so many bursts of laughter. I wish it
were any honour to the pleasant creature’s memory that my eyes are too
much suffused to let me go on.”

Later, Churchill and Wilkes, those partners in dissoluteness and satire,
were members of this social club. After Estcourt, that jolly companion,
Beard the singer, became president of this jovial and agreeable company.

It was an old custom at theatres to have a Beef-steak Club that met every
Saturday, and to which authors and wits were invited. In 1749 Mr.
Sheridan, the manager, founded one at Dublin. There were fifty or sixty
members, chiefly noblemen and members of Parliament, and no performer was
admitted but witty Peg Woffington, who wore man’s dress, and was president
for a whole season.[319]

A Beef-steak Society was founded in 1735 by John Rich, the great
harlequin, and manager of Covent Garden Theatre, and George Lambert, the
scene-painter.[320] Lambert, being much visited by authors, wits, and
noblemen, whilst painting, and being too hurried to go to a tavern, used
to have a steak cooked in the room, inviting his guests to share his snug
and savoury but hurried meal. The fun of these accidental and impromptu
dinners led to a club being started, which afterwards moved to a more
convenient room in the theatre. After many years the place of meeting was
changed to the Shakspere Tavern, where Mr. Lambert’s portrait, painted by
Hudson, Reynolds’s pompous master, was one of the decorations of the
club-room.[321] They then returned to the theatre, but being burned out in
1812, adjourned to the Bedford. Lambert was the merriest of fellows, yet
without buffoonery or coarseness. His manners were most engaging, he was
social with his equals, and perfectly easy with richer men.[322] He was
also a great leader of fun at old Slaughter’s artist-club.

The club throve down to about 1869, when it was dissolved; steaks were
perennial as a dish, whatever the wit may have been, to the last.
Twenty-four noblemen and gentlemen, each of whom might bring a friend,
partook of a five o’clock dinner of steaks in a room of their own behind
the scenes at the Lyceum Theatre every Saturday from November till June.
They called themselves “The Steaks,” disclaimed the name of “Club,” and
dedicated their hours to “Beef and Liberty,” as their ancestors did in the
anti-Walpole days.[323]

Their room was a little typical Escurial. The doors, wainscot, and floor,
were of stout oak, emblazoned with gridirons, like a chapel of St.
Laurence. The cook was seen at his office through the bars of a vast
gridiron, and the original gridiron of the society (the survivor of two
terrific fires) held a conspicuous position in the centre of the ceiling.
This club descended lineally from Wilkes’s and from Lambert’s. To the end
there was Attic salt enough to sprinkle over “the Steaks,” and to justify
the old epicure’s lines to the club:--

  “He that of honour, wit, and mirth partakes,
  May be a fit companion o’er beef-steaks;
  His name may be to future times enrolled
  In Estcourt’s book, whose gridiron’s framed of gold.”[324]

Its gridiron and other treasures were sold by auction, and fetched
fabulous prices.

Dr. William King, the author of the above quoted verses, was an indolent,
wrong-headed genius. Some three years after the Restoration he took part
against the irascible Bentley in the dispute about the Epistles of
Phalaris, satirised Sir Hans Sloane, and supported Sacheverell. He wrote
_The Art of Cookery_, _Dialogues of the Dead_, _The Art of Love_, and
_Greek Mythology for Schools_. Recklessly throwing up his Irish Government
appointment, he came to London. There Swift got him appointed manager of
the _Gazette_; but being idle, and fond of the bottle, he resigned his
office in six months, and went to live at a friend’s house in the garden
grounds between Lambeth and Vauxhall. He died in 1712, in lodgings
opposite Somerset House, procured for him by his relation, Lord Clarendon.
He was buried in the north cloisters of Westminster Abbey, close to his
master, Dr. Knipe, to whom he had dedicated his _School Mythology_.

Mr. T. P. Cooke obtained some of his early triumphs at the Lyceum as
Frankenstein, and at the Adelphi as Long Tom Coffin. His serious pantomime
in the fantastic monster of Mrs. Shelley’s novel is said to have been
highly poetical. He made his début in 1804, at the Royalty Theatre, and
soon afterwards left Astley’s to join Laurent, the manager of the Lyceum.
This best of stage seamen since Bannister’s time was born in 1780, and
died only recently.

Madame Lucia Elizabeth Vestris had the Lyceum in 1847. This fascinating
actress was the daughter of Francesco Bartolozzi, the engraver, and was
born in 1797. She married the celebrated dancer, Vestris, in 1813, and in
1813 appeared at the King’s Theatre, in Winter’s opera of “Proserpina.” In
1820, after a wild and disgraceful life in Paris, she appeared at Drury
Lane as Lilla, Adela, and Artaxerxes, and exhibited the archness, and
vivacity of Storace without her grossness. In a burlesque of “Don
Giovanni,” as “Paul” and as “Apollo,” she was much abused by the critics
for her wantonness of manner and dress, but she still won her audiences by
her sweet and powerful contralto, and by her songs, “The Light Guitar” and
“Rise, gentle Moon.” Harley played Leporello to her under Mr. Elliston’s
management. After this she took to “first light comedy” and melodrama, and
married Mr. Charles Mathews. The theatre was burnt down in 1830, and
rebuilt soon afterwards. Madame Vestris herself died in 1856.

“That little crowded nest” of shops and wild beasts,[325] Exeter Change,
stood where Burleigh Street now stands, but extended into the main road,
so that the footpath of the north side of the Strand ran directly through
it.[326] It was built about 1681,[327] and contained two walks below and
two walks above stairs, with shops on each side for sempsters, milliners,
hosiers, etc. The builders were very sanguine, but the fame of the New
Exchange (now the Adelphi) blighted it from the beginning;[328] the shops
next the street alone could be let; the rest lay unoccupied. The Land Bank
had rooms here. The body of the poet Gay lay in state in an upper room,
afterwards used for auctions. In 1721 a Mr. Normand Corry exhibited here a
damask bed, with curtains woven by himself; admission two shillings and
sixpence. About 1780 Lord Baltimore’s body lay here in state, preparatory
to its interment at Epsom.

This infamous lord, of unsavoury reputation, had married a daughter of the
Duke of Bridgewater: he lived on the east side of Russell Square, and was
notorious for an unscrupulous profligacy, rivalling even that of the
detestable Colonel Charteris. In 1767 his agents decoyed to his house a
young woman named Woodcock, a milliner on Tower Hill. After suffering all
the cruelty which Lovelace showed to Clarissa, the poor girl was taken to
Lord Baltimore’s house at Epsom, where her disgrace was consummated. The
rascal and his accomplices were tried at Kingston in 1768, but
unfortunately acquitted through an informality in Miss Woodcock’s
deposition. The disgraced title has since become extinct.

The last tenants of the upper rooms were Mr. Cross and his wild beasts.
The Royal Menagerie was a great show in our fathers’ days. Leigh Hunt
mentions that one day at feeding time, passing by the Change, he saw a
fine horse pawing the ground, startled at the roar of Cross’s lions and
tigers.[329] The vast skeleton of Chunee, the famous elephant, brought to
England in 1810, and exhibited here, is to be seen at the College of
Surgeons in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. In 1826, after a return of an annual
paroxysm, aggravated by inflammation of the large pulp of one of his
tusks, Chunee became dangerous, and it was necessary to kill him. His
keeper first threw him buns steeped in prussic acid, but these produced no
effect. A company of soldiers was then sent for, and the monster died
after upwards of a hundred bullets had pierced him. In the midst of the
shower of lead, the poor docile animal knelt down at the well-known voice
of his keeper, to turn a vulnerable point to the soldiers. At the College
of Surgeons the base of his tusk is still shown, with a spicula of ivory
pressing into the pulp.

De Loutherbourg, after Garrick’s retirement, left Covent Garden and
exhibited his _Eidophusikon_ in a room over Exeter Change. The stage was
about six feet wide and eight feet deep. The first scene was the view
from One-tree Hill in Greenwich Park. The lamps were above the proscenium,
and had screens of coloured glass which could be rapidly changed. His best
scenes were the loss of the _Halsewell_ East Indiaman and the rising of
Pandemonium. A real thunder-storm once breaking out when the shipwreck
scene was going on, some of the audience left the room, saying that “the
exhibition was presumptuous.” Gainsborough was such a passionate admirer
of the _Eidophusikon_ that for a time he spent every evening at
Loutherbourg’s exhibition.[330]

Mr. William Clarke, a seller of hardware (steel buttons, buckles, and
cutlery), was proprietor of Exeter Change for nearly half a century. He
was an honest and kind man, much beloved by his friends, and known to
everybody in Johnson’s time. When he became infirm he was allowed by King
George the special privilege of riding across St. James’s Park to
Buckingham Gate, his house being in Pimlico. He died rich.

Another character of Clarke’s age was old Thomson, a music-seller, and a
good-natured humourist. He was deputy organist at St. Michael’s, Cornhill,
and had been a pupil of Boyce. His shop was a mere sloping stall, with a
little platform behind it for a desk, rows of shelves for old pamphlets
and plays, and a chair or two for a crony. Thomson furnished Burney and
Hawkins with materials for their histories of music. It was said that
there was not an air from the time of Bird that he could not sing. Poor
soured Wilson used to be fond of sitting with Thomson and railing at the
times. Garrick and Dr. Arne also frequented the shop.[331]

The nine o’clock drum at old Somerset House and the bell rung as a signal
for closing Exeter Change were once familiar sounds to old Strand
residents: but alas! times are changed; and they are heard no more.

It was in Thomson’s shop that the elder Dibdin (Charles), together with
Hubert Stoppelaer, an actor, singer, and painter, planned the Patagonian
Theatre, which was opened in the rooms above. The stage was six feet wide,
the puppet actors only ten inches high. Dibdin wrote the pieces, composed
the music, helped in the recitations, and accompanied the singers on a
small organ. His partner spoke for the puppets and painted the scenes.
They brought out “The Padlock” here. The miniature theatre held about 200
people.[332]

Exeter Hall was built by Mr. Deering, in 1831, for various charitable and
religious societies that had scruples about holding their meetings in
taverns or theatres. It stands a little west of the site of the “old
Change.” The front, with its two massy plain Greek pillars, is a good
instance of making the most of space, though it still looks as if it were
riding “bodkin” between the larger houses. The building contains two
halls--one that will hold eight hundred persons, and another, on the upper
floor, able to hold three thousand. The latter is a noble room, 131 feet
long by 76 wide, and contains the Sacred Harmonic Society’s gigantic
organ. There are also nests of offices and committee-rooms. In May the
white neckcloths pour into Exeter Hall in perfect regiments.

In the Strand, near Exeter House, lived the beautiful Countess of
Carlisle, a beauty of Charles I.’s court, immortalised by Vandyke,
Suckling, and Carew. She paid £150 a year rent, equal to £600 of our
current money.[333]

Exeter Street had no western outlet when first built; for where the street
ends was the back wall of old Bedford House. Dr. Johnson, after his
arrival with Garrick from Lichfield, lodged here, in a garret, at the
house of Norris, a staymaker. In this garret Johnson wrote part at least
of that sonorous tragedy, “Irene.” He used to say he dined well and with
good company for eightpence, at the Pine Apple in the street close by.
Several of the guests had travelled. They met every day, but did not know
each other’s names. The others paid a shilling, and had wine. Johnson paid
sixpence for a cut of meat (a penny for bread, a penny to the waiter),
and was served better than the rest, for the waiter that is forgotten is
apt also to forget.

In Cecil’s time Bedford House became known as Exeter House. From hence, in
1651, Cromwell, the Council of State, and the House of Commons followed
General Popham’s body to its resting-place at Westminster.[334] It was
while receiving the sacrament on Christmas Day at the chapel of Exeter
House that that excellent gentleman, Evelyn, and his wife were seized by
soldiers, warned not to observe any longer the “superstitious time of the
Nativity,” and dismissed with pity.

In Exeter House lived that shifty and unscrupulous turncoat, Antony Ashley
Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury, the great tormentor of Charles II., and the
father of the author of the _Characteristics_, who was born here 1670-1,
and educated by the amiable philosopher Locke. “The wickedest fellow in my
dominions,” as Charles II. once called “Little Sincerity,” afterwards
removed hence about the time of the Great Fire to Aldersgate Street, in
order to be near his City intriguers. After the Great Fire, till new
offices could be built, the Court of Arches, the Admiralty Court, etc.,
were held in Exeter House. The property still belongs to the Cecil family.

That great statesman, Burleigh, Bacon’s uncle, lived on the site of the
present Burleigh Street. He was of birth so humble that his father could
only be entitled a gentleman by courtesy. Slow but sure of judgment,
silent, distrustful of brilliant men, such as Essex and Raleigh, he made
himself, by unremitting skill, assiduity, and fidelity, the most trusted
and powerful person in Queen Elizabeth’s privy council. Here, fresh from
his frets with the rash Essex, the old wily statesman pondered over the
fate of Mary of Scotland, or strove for means to foil Philip of Spain and
his Armada. Here also lived his eldest son, Sir Thomas Cecil, subsequently
the second Lord Burleigh and Earl of Exeter, who died 1622, whose daughter
married the heir of Lord Chancellor Hatton, the dancing chancellor.
Burleigh Street replaced the old house in 1678, when Salisbury Street was
built.

The “Little Adelphi” Theatre was opened in 1806 under the name of the
“Sans Souci” by Mr. John Scott, a celebrated colour-maker, famous for a
certain fashionable blue dye. The entertainments (optical and mechanical)
were varied by songs, recitations, and dances, the proprietor’s daughter
being a clever amateur actress. Its real success did not begin till 1821,
when Pierce Egan’s dull and rather vulgar book of London low life, _Tom
and Jerry_, was dramatised--Wrench as Tom, Reeve as Jerry. Subsequently
Power, the best Irishman that trod the boards in London, appeared here in
melodrama. In 1826 Terry and Yates became joint lessees and managers.
Ballantyne and Scott backed up Terry, Sir Walter being always eager for
money. Scott eventually had to pay £1750 for the speculative printer; he
seems from the outset to have entertained fears of Terry’s failure.[335]
Here Keely too made his first hit as Jemmy Green.

In 1839 Mr. Rice, “the original Jim Crow,” was playing at the
Adelphi.[336] This Mr. Rice was an American actor who had studied the
drolleries of the Negro singers and dancers, especially those of one Jim
Crow, an old boatman who hung about the wharfs of Vicksburg, the same town
on the Mississippi that has lately stood so severe a siege. He initiated
among us negro tunes and negro dances. This was the fatal beginning of
those “negro entertainments,” falsely so called.

In 1808 Mr. Mathews gave his first entertainment, “The Mail-coach
Adventures,” at Hull. Mr. James Smith had strung together some sketches of
character, and written for him those two celebrated comic songs, “The Mail
Coach” and “Bartholomew Fair.” In 1818 Mr. Mathews, unfortunately for his
peace of mind, sold himself for seven years to a very sharp practiser, Mr.
Arnold, of the Lyceum, for £1000 a year, liable to the deduction of £200
fine for any non-appearance. This becoming unbearable, Mr. Arnold made a
new agreement, by which he took to himself £40 every night, and shared the
rest with Mr. Mathews, who also paid half the expenses.[337] The shrewd
manager made £30,000 by this first speculation. Rivalling Mr. Dibdin, the
wonderful mimic appeared in plain evening dress with no other apparent
preparation than a drawing-room scene, a small table covered with a green
cloth, and two lamps. His first entertainment included “Fond Barney, the
Yorkshire Idiot” and the “Song of the Royal Visitors,” full of droll
Russian names. In 1819 he produced “The Trip to Paris.” In 1820 he brought
out “The Country Cousins,” with the two celebrated comic songs, “The White
Horse Cellar,” and “O, what a Town!--what a Wonderful Metropolis!” both
full of the most honest and boisterous fun. In 1821 Peake wrote for him
the “Polly Packet,” introducing a caricature of Major Thornton, the great
sportsman, as Major Longbow. The entertainment was called “Earth, Air, and
Water,” and contained the song of “The Steam-Boat.”

In 1824 Mr. Mathews gave his “Trip to America,” with Yankee songs, negro
imitations, and that fine bit of pathos, “M. Mallet at the Post-Office.”
In 1825 appeared his “memorandum Book,” and in 1826 his “Invitations,”
with the “Ruined Yorkshire Gambler (Harry Ardourly),” and “A Civic Water
Party.”

In 1828 he opened the Adelphi Theatre in partnership with Mr. Yates,
playing the drunken Tinker in Mr. Buckstone’s “May Queen,” and singing
that prince of comic songs, “The Humours of a Country Fair,” written for
him by his son Charles. Mr. Moncrief wrote his “Spring Meeting for 1829,”
and Mr. Peake his “Comic Annual for 1830.” In 1831 his son Charles aided
Mr. Peake in producing an entertainment, and again in 1832. In 1833 his
health began to fail; he lost much money in bubble companies, and had an
action brought against him for £30,000. In 1833 Mr. Peake and Mr. Charles
Mathews wrote the “At Home.” Subsequently the great mimic went to
America, whence he returned in 1838, only to die a few months after.[338]

Leigh Hunt praises Mr. Mathews’s valets and old men, but condemns his
nervous restlessness and redundance of bodily action. While Munden,
Liston, and Fawcett could not conceal their voices, Mathews rivalled
Bannister in his powers of mimicry. His delineation of old age was
remarkable for its truthfulness and variety. Leigh Hunt confesses that
till Mathews acted Sir Fretful Plagiary, he had ranked him as an actor of
habits and not of passions, and far inferior to Bannister and Dowton; but
the extraordinary blending of vexation and conceit in Sheridan’s
caricature of Cumberland proved Mathews, Mr. Hunt allowed, to be an actor
who knew the human heart.[339]

In 1820 Hazlitt criticised Mathews’s third entertainment, “The Country
Cousins,” a mélange of songs, narrative, ventriloquism, imitations, and
character stories. He had left Covent Garden on the ground that he had not
sufficiently frequent opportunities for appearing in legitimate comedy.
The severe critic says, “Mr. Mathews shines particularly neither as an
actor nor a mimic of actors; but his forte is a certain general tact and
versatility of comic power. You would say he is a clever performer--you
would guess he is a cleverer man. His talents are not pure, but mixed. He
is best when he is his own prompter, manager, performer, orchestra, and
scene-shifter.”[340]

Hazlitt then goes on to accuse his “subject” of a want of taste, of his
gross and often superficial surprises, and of his too restless disquietude
to please. “Take from him,” says Hazlitt, “his odd shuffle in the gait, a
restless volubility of speech and motion, a sudden suppression of
features, or the continued repetition of a cant phrase with unabated
vigour, and you reduce him to almost total insignificance.” It should be
said that his “shuffle” was rather a “limp.”

As a mimic of other actors, the same writer says Mathews often failed. He
gabbled like Incledon, entangled himself like Tait Wilkinson, croaked like
Suett, lisped like Young, but he could make nothing of John Kemble’s
“expressive, silver-tongued cadences.” He blames him more especially for
turning nature into pantomime and grimace, and dealing too much with
worn-out topics, like Cockneyisms, French blunders, or the ignorance of
country people in stage-coaches, Margate hoys, and Dover packet-boats. In
another place the severe critic, who could be ill-tempered if he chose,
blames Mathews for many of his songs, for his meagre jokes, dry as
scrapings of “Shabsuger cheese,” and for his immature ventriloquism. “His
best imitations,” says Hazlitt, “were founded on his own observation, and
on the absurd characteristics of chattering footmen, drunken coachmen,
surly travellers, and garrulous old men. His old Scotchwoman, with her
pointless story, was a portrait equal to Wilkie or Teniers, as faithful,
as simple, as delicately humorous, with a slight dash of pathos, but
without one particle of caricature, vulgarity, or ill-nature.” His best
broad jokes were these: the abrupt proposal of a mutton-chop to a man who
was sea-sick, and the convulsive marks of abhorrence with which he
received it; and the tavern beau who was about to swallow a lighted candle
for a glass of brandy-and-water as he was going drunk to bed. Poor
Wiggins, the fat, hen-pecked husband, who, unwieldy and helpless, is
pursued by a rabble of boys, was one of his best characters. Hazlitt
mentions also as a stroke of true genius his imitation of a German family,
the wife grumbling at her husband returning drunk, and the little child’s
paddling across the room to its own bed at its father’s approach.[341]

Terry, who in 1825 joined partnership with Yates, and died in 1829, was a
quiet, sensible actor, praised in his Mephistopheles, and even in King
Lear. His Peter Teazle was inferior to Farren’s, and his Dr. Cantwell came
after Dowton’s.

Yates was born in 1797. He made his début at Covent Garden as Iago in
1818. He was very versatile, and triumphed alternately in tragedy,
comedy, farce, and melodrama. A critic of 1834 says, “Mr. Yates is
occasionally capital, and always respectable. In burlesque he is
excellent, but a little too broad, and given to an exaggeration which is
sometimes vulgar. He is a better buck than fop, and a better rake than
either, were he more refined.”

John Reeve was another of the Adelphi celebrities. He was born in 1799,
and was originally a clerk at a Fleet Street banking-house. He appeared
first at Drury Lane in 1819 as Sylvester Daggerwood. His imitations were
pronounced perfect, and he soon rose to great celebrity in broad farce,
burlesque, and the comic parts of melodrama. Lord Grizzle, Bombastes, and
Pedrillo, were favourite early characters of his. He was considered too
heavy for Caleb Quotem, and not quiet enough for Paul Pry. Liston excelled
him in the one, and Harley in the other.

Benjamin Webster was born at Bath in 1800. He took the management of the
Haymarket in 1837, and built the New Adelphi Theatre in 1858. In melodrama
Mr. Webster excels. His best parts are--Lavater, Tartuffe, Belphegor,
Triplet, and Pierre Leroux in “The Poor Stroller.” He is excellent in poor
authors and strolling players, and achieved a great triumph in Mr. Watts
Philips’s play of “The Dead Heart.” He is energetic and forcible, but he
has a bad hoarse voice, and he protracts and details his part so
elaborately as often to become tedious.

In 1844 Madame Celeste, who in 1837 had appeared at Drury Lane on her
return from America, was directress of the Adelphi. She then left and took
the Lyceum, which she held until the close of 1860-1.

The old Adelphi closed in June 1858. Although a small and incommodious
house, it had long earned a special fame of its own. It began its career
with “True Blue Scott,” and went on with Rodwell and Jones during the “Tom
and Jerry” mania, when young men about town wrenched off knockers, knocked
down old men who were paid to apprehend thieves, and attended beggars’
suppers. Under Terry and Yates, Buckstone and Fitzball produced pieces in
which T. P. Cooke, O. Smith, Wilkinson, and Tyrone Power shone (this
actor was drowned in 1841). There also flourished Wright, Paul Bedford,
Mrs. Yates, and Mrs. Keeley, in “The Pilot,” “The Flying Dutchman,” “The
Wreck Ashore,” “Victorine,” “Rory O’More,” and “Jack Sheppard,”[342]--the
last of these a play to be branded as a demoralising apotheosis of a
clever thief.

In 1844 Mr. Webster became proprietor of the Adelphi, and Madame Celeste,
a good melodramatic actress, became the directress. Then was brought out
that crowning triumph of the theatre, “The Green Bushes,” by Mr.
Buckstone--a tremendous success.

Among the greatest “hits” at the Adelphi have been of later years Mr.
Watts Philips’s “Dead Heart,” a powerful melodrama of the French
Revolution period, Miss Bateman’s “Leah,” an American-German play of the
old school, and “The Colleen Bawn,” Mr. Boucicault’s clever dramatic
version of poor Gerald Griffin’s novel, full of fine melodramatic
situations.

The old town house of the Earls of Bedford stood on the site of the
present Southampton Street, and was taken down in 1704, in Queen Anne’s
reign. It was a large house with a courtyard before it, and a spacious
garden with a terrace walk.[343] Before this house was built the Bedford
family lived at the opposite side of the Strand, in the Bishop of
Carlisle’s inn, which, in 1598, was called Russell or Bedford House.[344]
In 1704 the family removed to Bloomsbury. The neighbouring streets were
christened by this family. Russell Street bears their family name, and
Tavistock Street their second title.

Garrick lived at No. 36 Southampton Street before he went to the Adelphi.
In 1755, to give himself some rest, he brought out a magnificent ballet
pantomime, called “The Chinese Festival,” composed by “the great Noverre.”
Unfortunately for Garrick, war had just broken out between England and
France, and the pit and gallery condemned the Popish dancers in spite of
King George II. and the quality. Gentlemen in the boxes drew their swords,
leaped down into the pit, and were bruised and beaten. The galleries
looked on and pelted both sides. The ladies urged fresh recruits against
the pit, and each fresh levy was mauled. The pit broke up benches, tore
down hangings, smashed mirrors, split the harpsichords, and storming the
stage, cut and slashed the scenery.[345] The rioters then sallied out to
Mr. Garrick’s house (now Eastey’s Hotel) in Southampton Street, and broke
every window from basement to garret.

Mrs. Oldfield, who lived in Southampton Street, was the daughter of an
officer, and so reduced as to be obliged to live with a relation who kept
the Mitre Tavern in St. James’s Market. She was overheard by Mr. Farquhar
reading a comedy, and recommended by him to Sir John Vanbrugh. She was
excellent as Lady Brute and also as Lady Townley. She died in 1730; her
body lay in state in the Jerusalem Chamber, and was afterwards buried in
the Abbey. Lord Hervey and Bubb Doddington supported her pall. Her corpse,
by her own request, was richly adorned with lace--a vanity which Pope
ridiculed in those bitter lines--

  “One would not sure be ugly when one’s dead;
    And, Betty, give this cheek a little red.”

In 1712 Arthur Maynwaring, in his will, describes this street as New
Southampton Street.

Bedford Street was first so named in 1766 by the Paving Commissioners. The
lower part of the street was called Half-Moon Street; after the fire of
London it became fashionable with mercers, lacemen, and drapers.[346] The
lower part of the street is in the parish of St. Martin’s in the Fields,
the upper in that of St. Paul’s, Covent Garden. In the overseers’ accounts
of St. Martin’s mention is made of the names of persons who were fined in
1665 for drinking on the Lord’s Day at the Half-Moon Tavern in this
street, also for carrying linen, for shaving customers, for carrying home
venison or a pair of shoes, and for swearing. Sir Charles Sedley and the
Duke of Buckingham were fined by the Puritans in 1657-58 for riding in
their coaches on that day.[347] Ned Ward, the witty publican, in his
_London Spy_, mentions the Half-Moon Tavern in this street.

On the eastern side of the same street, in 1645, lived Remigius van
Limput, a Dutch painter, who, at the sale of King Charles’s pictures,
bought Vandyke’s florid masterpiece, now at Windsor, of the king on
horseback. After the Restoration he was compelled to disgorge it. Had this
grand picture been the portrait of any better king, Cromwell would not
have parted with it.

The witty bulky Quin lived here from 1749 to 1752. It was in 1749 that
this great tragedian, reappearing after a retirement, performed in his
friend Thomson’s posthumous play of “Coriolanus.” Good-natured Quin had
once rescued the fat lazy poet from a sponging-house. It was about this
time that the great elocutionist was instructing Prince George in
recitation. When, afterwards, as king, he delivered his first speech
successfully in Parliament, the actor exclaimed triumphantly, “Sir, it was
I taught the boy.”

On the west side, at No. 15, lived Chief “Justice” Richardson, the
humourist. He died in 1635. The interior of the house is ancient. Sir
Francis Kynaston, an esquire of the body to Charles I., and author of
_Leoline and Sydanis_, lived in this street in 1637. He died in 1642. The
Earl of Chesterfield, one of Grammont’s gay and heartless gallants, lived
in Bedford Street in 1656. In the same street, in his old age, at the
house of his son, a rich silk-mercer, dwelt Kynaston, the great actor of
Charles II.’s time, so well known for his female characters. Thomas
Sheridan, the lecturer on elocution, the son of Swift’s friend, and the
father of the wit and orator, lived in Bedford Street, facing Henrietta
Street and the south side of Covent Garden. Here Dr. Johnson often visited
him. “One day,” says Mr. Whyte, “we were standing together at the
drawing-room window expecting Johnson, who was to dine with us.[348] Mr.
Sheridan asked me could I see the length of the garden. ‘No, sir.’ ‘Take
out your opera-glass then: Johnson is coming, you may know him by his
gait.’ I perceived him at a good distance, walking along with a peculiar
solemnity of deportment, and an awkward, measured sort of step. At that
time the broad flagging at each side of the streets was not universally
adopted, and stone posts were in fashion to prevent the annoyance of
carriages. Upon every post, as he passed along, I could observe he
deliberately laid his hand; but missing one of them, when he had got to
some distance he seemed suddenly to recollect himself, and immediately
returning back, carefully performed the accustomed ceremony, and resumed
his former course, not omitting one, till he gained the crossing. This,
Mr. Sheridan assured me, however odd it might appear, was his constant
practice, but why or wherefore he could not inform me.” This eccentric
habit of Johnson, the result of hypochondriacal nervousness, is also
mentioned by Boswell.

[Illustration: EXETER CHANGE, 1821.]

Richard Wilson, the great landscape-painter--“Red-nosed Dick,” as he was
familiarly called--was a great ally of Mortimer, “the English Salvator.”
They used to meet over a pot of porter at the Constitution, Bedford
Street. Mortimer, who was a coarse joker, used to make Dr. Arne, the
composer of “Rule Britannia,” who had a red face and staring eyes, very
angry by telling him that his eyes looked like two oysters just opened for
sauce, and put on an oval side dish of beetroot.

Close to the Lowther Arcade there is one of those large cafés that are
becoming features in modern London. It was started by an Italian named
Carlo Gatti. There you may see refugees of all countries, playing at
dominoes, sipping coffee, or groaning over the wrongs of their native land
and their own exile. No music is allowed in this large hall, because it
might interfere with the week-day services at St. Martin’s Church.



[Illustration: TITUS OATES IN THE PILLORY.]


CHAPTER IX.

CHARING CROSS.


On July 20, 1864, was laid the first stone of the great Thames Embankment,
which now forms the wall of our river from Blackfriars to Westminster. A
couple of flags fluttered lazily over the stone as a straggling procession
of the members of the Metropolitan Board of Works moved down to the
wooden causeway leading to the river. For two years about a thousand men
were at work on it night and day. Iron caissons were sunk below the mud,
deep in the gravel, and within ten feet of the clay which is the real
foundation of London, and the Victoria Embankment rose gradually into
being. It was opened by Royalty in the summer of 1870. This scheme,
originally sketched out by Wren, was designed by Colonel Trench, M.P., and
also by Martin the painter; but it was never carried out until the days of
Lord Palmerston and the Metropolitan Board of Works. Its piers, its
flights of steps, its broad highway covering a railway, its gardens, its
terraces, are complete; and when the buildings along it are finished
London may for the first time claim to compare itself in architectural
grandeur with Nineveh, Rome, or modern Paris.

Northumberland House, which faced Charing Cross, covering the site of
Northumberland Avenue, was a good but dull specimen of Jacobean
architecture; it was built by Henry Howard, Earl of Northampton, son of
the poet Earl of Surrey, about 1605.[349] Walpole attributes the building
to Bernard Jansen, a Fleming, and an imitator of Dieterling, and to Gerard
Christmas, the designer of Aldersgate. Jansen probably built the house,
which was of brick, and Christmas added the stone frontispiece, which was
profusely ornamented with rich carved scrolls, and an open parapet worked
into letters and other devices. John Thorpe is also supposed to have been
associated in the work; and plans of both the quadrangles of this enormous
palace are preserved among the _Soane MSS._[350] Jansen was the architect
of Audley End, in Essex, one of the wonders of the age. Thorpe built
Burghley. The front was originally 162 feet long, the court 82 feet
square; as Inigo Jones has noted in a copy of _Palladio_ preserved at
Worcester College, Oxford.

The Earl of Northampton left the house by his will, in 1614, to his
nephew, Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk, who died in 1626. This was the
father of the memorable Frances, Countess of Essex and Somerset; and from
him the house took the name of Suffolk House, till the marriage in 1642 of
Elizabeth, daughter of Theophilus, second Earl of Suffolk, with Algernon
Percy, tenth Earl of Northumberland, when it changed its name accordingly.

Dorothy, sister of the rash and ungrateful Earl of Essex, whose violence
and follies nothing less than the executioner’s axe could cure, married
the “wizard” Earl of Northumberland, as he was called, whom “she led the
life of a dog, till he indignantly turned her out of doors.” He was
afterwards engaged in the Gunpowder Plot, being angry with the Government
that had overlooked him. “His name was used and his money spent by the
conspirators; one of his servants hired the vault, and procured the lease
of Vineyard House. Thomas Percy, his kinsman and steward, supped with him
on the very night of the plot. His servant, Sir Dudley Carleton, who hired
the house, was thrust into the Tower, and the earl joined him there not
long after; but Cecil was either unable or unwilling to touch his
life.”[351] Northumberland, with Cobham and Raleigh, had before this
engaged in schemes with the French against the Government. Thomas Percy
had been beheaded for plotting with Mary. Henry Percy had shot himself
while in the Tower, on account of the Throckmorton Conspiracy. Compounding
for a fine of £11,000, the earl devoted himself in the Tower to scientific
and literary pursuits, and gave annuities to six or seven eminent
mathematicians, who ate at his table. In 1611 he was again examined, and
finally released in 1617. The king’s favourite, Hay, afterwards Earl of
Carlisle, had married the earl’s daughter Lucy against his will, which so
irritated him that he was with difficulty persuaded to accept his own
release, because it was obtained through the intercession of Hay.

Joceline Percy, son of Algernon, dying in 1670, without issue male,
Northumberland House became the property of his only daughter Elizabeth
Percy, the heiress of the Percy estates. Her first husband was Henry
Cavendish, Earl of Ogle; her second, Thomas Thynne, of Longleat, in
Wilts, who was shot in his coach in Pall Mall, on Sunday, February 12,
1681-2; her third husband was Charles Seymour, the _proud_ Duke of
Somerset, who married her in 1682. This lady was twice a widow and three
times a wife before the age of seventeen.

The “proud” duke and duchess lived in great state and magnificence at
Northumberland House. The duchess died in 1722, and the duke followed in
1748. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Algernon, Earl of Hertford, and
the seventh Duke of Somerset, who was created Earl of Northumberland in
1749, with remainder, failing issue male, to his son-in-law, Sir Hugh
Smithson, who in 1766 was raised to the dukedom. The lion which country
cousins for two centuries remember to have crowned the central gateway of
the duke’s house, represented the Percy crest. It is of this stiff-tailed
animal, for the exact angle of the tail is treated by heralds as a matter
of the most vital importance, that the old story imputed to Sheridan is
told. Probably some audacious wit did once collect a London crowd by
declaring that its tail wagged--but certainly it was not Sheridan.

Tom Thynne, or, as he was called, “Tom of Ten Thousand,” was shot at the
east end of Pall Mall, opposite the Opera Arcade, by Borosky, a Polish
soldier urged on by Count Königsmark, a Swedish adventurer, son of one of
Gustavus’s old generals, and who was enraged with Thynne for having just
married the youthful widow of the Earl of Ogle, Lady Elizabeth Percy.
Thynne was a favourite of the Duke of Monmouth. Shaftesbury had been
lately released from the Tower, in spite of Dryden’s onslaught on him as
“Achitophel,” on the foolish duke as “Absalom,” and on Thynne as
“Issachar,” his wealthy western friend. The three murderers were hanged in
Pall Mall, but their master strangely escaped, partly owing to the
influence of Charles II. The count, who had shown great courage at Tangier
against the Moors, and had boarded a Turkish galley at his eminent peril,
died in 1686, at the battle of Argos in the Morea. His younger brother was
assassinated at Hanover, on suspicion of an intrigue with Sophia of Zell,
the young and beautiful wife of the Elector, afterwards George I. of
England.[352]

The Earl of Northampton, Surrey’s son, who built Northumberland House (as
Osborne, who loved scandal, says with Spanish gold), seems to have been an
unscrupulous time-server, flatterer, and parasite. In 1596 he wrote to
Burleigh, and spoke of his reverend awe at his lordship’s “piercing
judgment;” yet a year after he writes a plotting letter to Burleigh’s
great enemy, Essex, and says: “Your lordship by your last purchase hath
almost enraged the dromedary that would have won the Queen of Sheba’s
favour by bringing pearls. If you could once be so fortunate in dragging
old Leviathan (Burghley) and his rich tortuosum colubrum (Sir Robert
Cecil), as the prophet termeth them, out of their den of mischievous
device, the better part of the world would prefer your virtue to that of
Hercules.” The earl became a toady and creature of the infamous Carr, Earl
of Somerset, and is thought to have died just in time to escape
prosecution for the poisoning of Sir Thomas Overbury in the Tower.[353]

It was shortly before Suffolk House changed its name that it became the
scene of one of Lord Herbert of Cherbury’s mad Quixotic quarrels. His
chivalrous lordship had had sundry ague fits, which had made him so lean
and yellow that scarce any man could recognise him. Walking towards
Whitehall he one day met a Mr. Emerson, who had spoken very disgraceful
words of Lord Herbert’s friend, Sir Robert Harley. Lord Herbert therefore,
sensible of the dishonour, took Emerson by his long beard, and then,
stepping aside, drew his sword; Captain Thomas Scriven being with Lord
Herbert, and divers friends with Mr. Emerson. All who saw the quarrel
wondered at the Welsh nobleman, weak and “consumed” as he was, offering to
fight; however, Emerson ran and took shelter in Suffolk House, and
afterwards complained to the Lords in Council, who sent for Lord Herbert,
the lean, yellow Welsh Quixote, but did not so much reprehend him for
defending the honour of his friend as for adventuring to fight, being at
the same time in such weak health.[354]

Algernon, the tenth Earl of Northumberland, is called by Clarendon “the
proudest man alive.” He had been Lord High Admiral to King Charles I., and
was appointed general against the Scotch Covenanters, but, being unable to
take the command from ill health, gave up his commission. He gradually
fell away from the king’s cause, but nevertheless refused to continue High
Admiral against the king’s wish. He treated the Dukes of York and
Gloucester and the Princess Elizabeth with “such consideration” that they
were removed from his care, and from that time he turned Royalist again.

Sir John Suckling refers to Suffolk House in his exquisite little poem on
the wedding of Roger Boyle, Lord Broghill, with Lady Margaret Howard,
daughter of the Earl of Suffolk. The well known poem begins--

  “At Charing-cross, hard by the way
  Where we (thou know’st) do sell our hay,
    There is a house with stairs.”

And then the gay and graceful poet goes on to sketch Lady Margaret--

  “Her lips were red, and one was thin,
  Compared with that was next her chin.
    Some bee had stung it newly.”

And then follows that delightful, fantastic simile, comparing her feet to
little mice creeping in and out her petticoat.[355] Sir John was born in
1609.

The oldest part of Northumberland House was the Strand entrance. This was
crowned, as stated above, by a frieze or balustrade of large stone
letters, probably including the name and titles of the earl and the
glorified name of the architect. At the funeral of Anne of Denmark, 1619,
a young man, named Appleyard, was killed by the fall of the letter S[356]
from the house, which was then occupied by the Earl of Strafford, Lord
Treasurer. The house was originally only three sides of a quadrangle, the
river side remaining open to the gardens; but traffic and noise
increasing, the quadrangle was completed along the river side and the
principal apartments. There is a drawing by Hollar of the house in his
time, and another, a century later, by Canaletti. The new front towards
the gardens was spoiled by a clumsy stone staircase, which was attributed
to Inigo Jones, but probably incorrectly.

The date, 1746, on the façade referred to the repairs made in that year,
and the letters “A. S. P. N.” stood for Algernon Somerset, Princeps
Northumbriæ. The lion over the gateway was said to be a copy of one by
Michael Angelo; it is now at Sion House, Isleworth. The gateway was
covered with ornaments and trophies. Double ranges of grotesque pilasters
enclosed eight niches on the sides, and there was a bow window and an open
arch above the chief gate. Between each of the fourteen niches in the
front there were trophies of crossed weapons, and the upper stories had
twenty-four windows, in two ranges, and pierced battlements. Each wing
terminated in a little cupola, and the angles had rustic quoins. The
quadrangle within the gate was simpler and in better taste, and the house
was screened from the river by elm trees.[357]

There used to be a schoolboy tradition, prevalent at King’s College in the
author’s time, that one of the niches in the front of Northumberland House
was of copper and movable. So far the story was true; but the tradition
went on to relate how, once upon a time, a certain enemy of the house of
Percy obtained secret admission by this niche and murdered one of the
dukes, his enemy. History is, however, fortunately, quite silent on this
subject.

In February 1762 Horace Walpole and a party of quality set out from
Northumberland House to hear the ghost in Cock Lane that Dr. Johnson
exposed, and that Hogarth and Churchill ridiculed with pen and pencil.
The Duke of York, Lady Northumberland, Lady Mary Coke, and Lord Hertford,
all returned from the Opera with Horace Walpole, then changed their dress,
and set out in a hackney coach. It rained hard, and the lane and house
were “full of mob.” The room of the haunted house, small and miserable,
was stuffed with eighty persons, and there was no light but one tallow
candle. As clothes-lines hung from the ceiling, Walpole asked drily if
there was going to be rope-dancing between the acts. They said the ghost
would not come till 7 A.M., when only ’prentices and old women remained.
The party stayed till half-past one. The Methodists had promised
contributions, provisions were sent in like forage, and the neighbouring
taverns and ale-houses were making their fortunes.[358]

On May 14, 1770, poor Chatterton, who suffered so terribly for the
deceptions of his ambitious boyhood, writes from the King’s Bench (for the
present) that a gentleman who knew him at the Chapter coffee-house, in
Paternoster Row--frequented by authors and publishers--would have
introduced him to the young Duke of Northumberland as a companion in his
intended general tour, “but, alas! I spake no tongue but my own.”[359] But
this is taken from a most questionable work, full of fictions and
forgeries. Its author was a Bristol man, who afterwards fled to America.
He also wrote a series of Conversations with the poets of the Lake school,
many of which are too obviously imaginary.

On March 18, 1780, the Strand front of Northumberland House was totally
destroyed by fire. The apartments of Dr. Percy, the Duke’s kinsman and
chaplain, afterwards Bishop of Dromore and editor of the _Reliques of
Ancient Poetry_ were consumed; but great part of his library escaped.

Goldsmith’s simple-hearted ballad of _Edwin and Angelina_ was originally
“printed for the amusement of the Countess of Northumberland.” Two years
after, Kenrick accused him in the papers of plagiarising it from Percy’s
pasticcio from Shakspere in the _Reliques_, which was probably written in
1765.[360]

It is probable that Goldsmith often visited Percy, when acting as chaplain
at Northumberland House. Sir John Hawkins, indeed, describes meeting the
poet waiting for an audience in an outer room. At his own audience Hawkins
mentioned that the doctor was waiting. On their way home together,
Goldsmith told Hawkins that his lordship said that he had read the
_Traveller_ with delight, that he was going as Lord Lieutenant to Ireland,
and should be glad, as Goldsmith was an Irishman, to do him any kindness.
Hawkins was enraptured at the rich man’s graciousness. But Goldsmith had
mentioned only his brother, a clergyman there, who needed help. “As for
myself,” he added, bitterly, “I have no dependence on the promises of
great men. I look to the booksellers for support; they are my best
friends, and I am not inclined to forsake them for others.” “Thus,” says
Hawkins, “did this idiot in the affairs of the world trifle with his
fortunes and put back the hand that was held out to assist him.” The earl
told Percy, after Goldsmith’s death, that had he known how to help the
poet he would have done so, or he would have procured him a salary on the
Irish establishment that would have allowed him to travel. Let men of the
world remember that the poet a few days before had been forced to borrow
15s. 6d. to meet his own wants.

This conversation took place in 1765. In 1771, when Goldsmith was stopping
at Bath with his good-natured friend Lord Clare, he blundered by mistake
at breakfast time into the next door on the same Parade, where the Duke
and Duchess of Northumberland were staying. As he took no notice of them,
but threw himself carelessly on a sofa, they supposed there was some
mistake, and therefore entered into conversation with him, and when
breakfast was served up, invited him to stay and partake of it. The poet,
hot, stammering, and irrecoverably confused, withdrew with profuse
apologies for his mistake, but not till he had accepted an invitation to
dinner. This story, a parallel to the laughable blunder in _She Stoops to
Conquer_, was told by the duchess herself to Dr. Percy.

It was probably of the first of these interviews that Goldsmith used to
give the following account:--

“I dressed myself in the best manner I could, and, after studying some
compliments I thought necessary on such an occasion, proceeded to
Northumberland House, and acquainted the servants that I had particular
business with the duke. They showed me into an ante-chamber, where, after
waiting some time, a gentleman, very elegantly dressed, made his
appearance. Taking him for the duke, I delivered all the fine things I had
composed, in order to compliment him on the honour he had done me; when to
my fear and astonishment, he told me I had mistaken him for his master,
who would see me immediately. At that instant the duke came into the
apartment, and I was so confounded on the occasion that I wanted words
barely sufficient to express the sense I entertained of the duke’s
politeness, and went away exceedingly chagrined at the blunder I had
committed.”[361]

Dr. Waagen, the picture critic, seems to have been rather dazzled at the
splendour of Northumberland House. He praises the magnificent staircase,
lighted from above and reaching up through three stories, the white marble
floors, the balustrades and chandeliers of gilt bronze, the cabinets of
Florentine mosaic, and the arabesques of the drawing-room.[362] The great
picture of the duke’s collection was the Cornaro family, by Titian; I
believe from the Duke of Buckingham’s collection. It is a splendid
specimen of the painter’s middle period and golden tone. The faces of the
kneeling Cornari are grand, simple, senatorial, and devout. There was also
a Saint Sebastian, by Guercino, “clear and careful,” and large as life; a
fine Snyders and Vandyke; many copies by Mengs (particularly “The School
of Athens”); and a good Schalcken, with his usual candlelight effect. The
gem of all the English pictures was one by Dobson, Vandyke’s noble pupil.
It contained the portrait of the painter and those of Sir Balthasar
Gerbier, the architect, and Sir Charles Cotterell. The colour is as rich
and juicy as Titian’s, the drapery learned and graceful, the faces are
full of fire and spirit. Dobson died at the age of thirty-six. Sir Charles
was his patron.[363] Vandyke is said to have disinterred Dobson from a
garret, and recommended him to the king. Gerbier was a native of Antwerp,
a painter, architect, and ambassador. This picture of Dobson was bought at
Betterton’s sale for £44.[364] The gallery of the Duke of Northumberland
was removed in 1875, when the house was demolished, to Sion House.

Northumberland House was connected with, at all events, one period of
English history. In the year 1660, when General Monk was in quarters at
Whitehall, the Earl of Northumberland, in the name of the nobility and
gentry of England, invited him here to the first conference in which the
restoration of the Stuarts was publicly talked of. Algernon Percy, the
tenth earl, had been Lord High Admiral under Charles I.

That staunch, brave, crotchety man, Sir Harry Vane the younger (the son of
Lord Strafford’s enemy), lived next door to Northumberland House,
eastwards, in the Strand. The house in Charles II.’s time became the
official residence of the Secretary of State, and Mr. Secretary Nicholas
dwelt there, when meetings were held to found a commonwealth and put down
that foolish, good-natured, incompetent Richard Cromwell. To the great
Protector, Vane was a thorn in the flesh, for he wanted a republic when
the nation required a stronger and more compact government. Oliver’s
exclamation, “Oh, Sir Harry Vane! Sir Harry Vane!--The Lord deliver me
from Sir Harry Vane!” expresses infinite vexation with an impracticable
person. Vane was a “Fifth-monarchy man,” and believed in universal
salvation. He must have been a good man, or Milton would never have
addressed the sonnet to him in which he says--

  “Therefore, on thy firm hand Religion leans
  In peace, and reckons thee her eldest son.”

Sir Harry left behind him some very tough and dark treatises on prophecy,
and other profound matters that few but angels or fools dare to meddle
with.

There is a foolish tradition that Charing Cross was so named originally by
Edward I. in memory of his _chère reine_. Peele, one of the glorious band
of Elizabethan dramatists, helped to spread this tradition. He makes King
Edward say--

  “Erect a rich and stately carved cross,
  Whereon her statue shall with glory shine;
  And henceforth see you call it Charing Cross.
  For why?--the _chariest_ and the choicest queen
  That ever did delight my royal eyes
  There dwells in darkness.”[365]

The inconsolable widower, however, in spite of his costly grief, soon
married again.

The truth is, there are in England one or two Charings; one of them is a
village thirteen miles from Maidstone. “_Ing_” means meadow in Saxon.[366]
The meaning of “_Char_” is uncertain; it may be the contraction of the
name of some long-forgotten landowner, “rich in the possession of
dirt.”[367] The Anglo-Saxon word _cerre_--a turn (says Mr. Robert
Ferguson, an excellent authority), is retained in the name given in
Carlisle and other northern towns to the chares, or _wynds_--small
streets. In King Edward’s time Charing was bounded by fields, both north
and west. There has been a good deal of nonsense, however, written about
“the pleasant village of Charing.” In Aggas’s map, published under
Elizabeth, Hedge Lane (now Whitcombe Street) is a country lane bordered
with fields; so is the Haymarket, and all behind the Mews up to St.
Martin’s Lane is equally rural.

Horne Tooke[368] derives the word Charing from the Saxon verb _charan_--to
turn; but the etymology is still doubtful, however much the river may bend
on its way to Westminster. However, doubtless, the place was named
Charing as far back as the Saxon times.

It was Peele also who kept alive the old tradition of Queen Eleanor
sinking at Charing Cross and rising again at Queenhithe. When falsely
accused of _her crimes_, his heroine replies in the words of a rude old
ballad well known in Elizabeth’s time--

  “If that upon so vile a thing
    Her heart did ever think,
  She wished the ground might open wide,
    And therein she might sink.

  With that at Charing Cross she sank
    Into the ground alive,
  And after rose with life again,
    In London at Queenhithe.”[369]

The Eleanor crosses were erected at Lincoln, Geddington, Northampton,
Stony Stratford, Woburn, Dunstable, St. Albans, Waltham, Cheap, and
Charing. Three only now remain,--Northampton, Geddington, and Waltham.
Charing Cross was probably the most costly; it was octagonal, and was
adorned with statues in tiers of niches, which were crowned with
pinnacles. It was begun by Master Richard de Crundale, “cementarius,” but
he died about 1293, before it was finished, and the work went on under the
supervision of Roger de Crundale. Richard received about £500 for his
work, exclusive of materials furnished him, and Roger £90: 7: 5. The stone
was brought from Caen, and the marble steps from Corfe in Dorsetshire.
Only one foreigner was employed on all the crosses, and he was a
Frenchman. The Abbot Ware brought mosaics, porphyry, and perhaps designs
from Italy, but there is no proof that he brought over Cavallini. A
replica of the original cross, designed by Mr. Barry, has been erected at
the west end of the Strand, opposite the Charing Cross Railway Station and
Hotel.

The cluster of houses at Charing acquired the name of Cross from the
monument set up by Edward I. to the memory of his gentle, pious, and
brave wife Eleanor, the sister of Alphonso, King of Castille. This good
woman was the daughter of Ferdinand III., and after the death of her
mother, heiress of Ponthieu. She bore to her fond husband four sons and
eleven daughters, of whom only three are supposed to have survived their
father.

Queen Eleanor died at Hardley, near Lincoln, in 1290. The king followed
the funeral to Westminster, and afterwards erected a cross to his wife’s
memory at every place where the corpse rested for the night. In the
circular which the king sent on the occasion to his prelates and nobles,
he trusts that prayers may be offered for her soul at these crosses, so
that any stains not purged from her, either from forgetfulness or other
causes, may through the plenitude of the Divine grace be removed.[370] It
was Queen Eleanor who, when Edward was stabbed at Acre, by an emissary of
the Emir of Joppa, according to a Spanish historian,[371] sucked the
poison from the wounds at the risk of her own life.

This warlike king, who subdued Wales and Scotland, who expelled the Jews
from England, who hunted Bruce, hanged Wallace, and who finally died on
his march to crush Scotland, had a deep affection for his wife, and strove
by all that art could do to preserve her memory.

Old Charing Cross was long supposed to have been built from the designs of
Pietro Cavallini, a contemporary of Giotto. He is said to have assisted
that painter in the great mosaic picture over the chief entrance of St.
Peter’s. But there is little ground for accepting the tradition as true,
though asserted by Vertue, as we learn from Horace Walpole’s ‘Anecdotes.’
Cavallini was born in 1279, and died in 1364. The monument to Henry III.
at the Abbey, and the old paintings round the chapel of St. Edward are
also attributed to this patriarch of art by Vertue.[372]

Queen Eleanor had three tombs--one in Lincoln Cathedral, over her viscera;
another in the church of the Blackfriars in London, over her heart; a
third in Westminster Abbey, over the rest of her body. The first was
destroyed by the Parliamentarians; the second probably perished at the
dissolution of the monasteries; the third has escaped. It is a valuable
example of the thirteenth century beau-ideal. The tomb was the work of
William Torel, a London goldsmith. The statue is not a portrait statue any
more than the statue of Henry III. by the same artist. Torel seems to have
received for his whole work about £1700 of our money.[373]

The beautiful cross, with its pinnacles and statues, was demolished in
1647 under an order of the House of Commons, which had remained dormant
for three years; and at the same time fell its brother cross in Cheapside.

The Royalist ballad-mongers, eager to catch the Puritans tripping,
produced a lively street song on the occasion, beginning--

  “Undone, undone the lawyers are,
    They wander about the town,
  Nor can find the way to Westminster,
    Now Charing Cross is down.
  At the end of the Strand they make a stand,
    Swearing they are at a loss,
  And chaffing say that’s not the way,
    They must go by Charing Cross.”

The ballad-writer goes on to deny that the Cross ever spoke a word against
the Parliament, though he confesses it might have inclined to Popery; for
certain it was that it “never went to church.”

The workmen were engaged for three months in pulling down the Cross.[374]
Some of the stones went to form the pavement before Whitehall; others were
polished to look like marble, and were sold to antiquaries for
knife-handles. The site remained vacant for thirty-one years.

After the Restoration Charing Cross was turned into a place of execution.
Here Hugh Peters, Cromwell’s chaplain, and Major-General Harrison, the
sturdy Anabaptist, Colonel Jones, and Colonel Scrope were executed. They
all died bravely, without a doubt or a fear.

Harrison was the son of a Staffordshire farmer, and had fought bravely at
the siege of Basing; he had been major-general in Scotland; had helped
Cromwell at the disbanding of the Rump; had served in the Council of
State; and finally having expressed honest Anabaptist scruples about the
Protectorate, had been imprisoned to prevent rebellion. Cromwell’s son
Oliver had been captain in Harrison’s regiment.[375] As he was led to the
scaffold some base scullion called out to the brave old Ironside, “Where
is your good _old_ cause now?” Harrison replied with a cheerful smile,
clapping his hand on his breast, “Here it is, and I am going to seal it
with my blood.” When he came in sight of the gallows he was transported
with joy; his servant asked him how he did? He answered, “Never better in
my life.” His servant told him, “Sir, there is a crown of glory prepared
for you.”[376] “Yes,” replied he, “I see.” When he was taken off the
sledge, the hangman desired him to forgive him. “I do forgive thee,” said
he, “with all my heart, as it is a sin against me,” and told him he wished
him all happiness; and further said, “Alas, poor man, thou dost it
ignorantly; the Lord grant that this sin may not be laid to thy charge!”
and putting his hand into his pocket he gave him all the money he had; and
so parting with his servant, hugging him in his arms, he went up the
ladder with an undaunted countenance. The cruel rabble observing him
tremble in his hands and legs, he took notice of it, and said, “Gentlemen,
by reason of some scoffing that I do hear, I judge that some do think I am
afraid to die by the shaking I have in my hands and knees. I tell you
_No_; but it is by reason of much blood I have lost in the wars, and many
wounds I have received in my body, which caused this shaking and weakness
in my nerves. I have had it this twelve years. I speak this to the praise
and glory of God. He hath carried me above the fear of death, and I value
not my life, because I go to my Father, and I am assured I shall take it
again. Gentlemen, take notice, that for being an instrument in that cause
(an instrument of the Son of God) which hath been pleaded amongst us, and
which God hath witnessed to by many appeals and wonderful victories, I am
brought to this place to suffer death this day, and if I had ten thousand
lives I could freely and cheerfully lay them down all to witness to this
matter.”

Then he prayed to himself with tears, and having ended, the hangman pulled
down his cap, but he thrust it up and said, “I have one word more to the
Lord’s people. Let them not think hardly of any of the good ways of God
for all this, for I have found the way of God to be a perfect way, and He
hath covered my head many times in the day of battle. By my God I have
leaped over a wall, by my God I have run through a troop, and by my God I
will go through this death, and He will make it easy to me. Now, into thy
hands, O Lord Jesus, I commit my spirit.”

After he was hanged they cut down this true martyr, and stripping him,
slashed him open in order to disembowel him. In the last rigour of his
agony this staunch soldier is said to have risen up and struck the
executioner.

Three days after, Carew and Cook were hanged at the same place, rejoicing
and praying cheerfully to the last. As Cook parted from his wife he said
to her, “I am going to be married in glory this day. Why weepest
thou?--let them weep who part and shall never meet again.”

On the 17th, Thomas Scot perished at the same place. His last words
were--“God engaged me in a cause not to be repented of--I say, in a cause
not to be repented of.”

Jones and Scrope (both old men) were drawn in one sledge. Their grave yet
cheerful and courageous countenances caused great admiration and
compassion among the crowd. Observing one of his friend’s children weeping
at Newgate, Colonel Jones took her by the hand. He said, “Suppose your
father were to-morrow to be King of France, and you were to tarry a little
behind, would you weep so? Why, he is going to reign with the King of
kings.” When he saw the sledge, he said, “It is like Elijah’s fiery
chariot, only it goes through Fleet Street.” The night before he suffered,
he told a friend the only temptation he had was lest he should be too much
transported, and so neglect and slight his life, so greatly was he
satisfied to die in such a cause. Another friend he grasped in his arms
and said, “Farewell! I could wish thee in the same condition as myself,
that our souls might mount up to heaven together and share in eternal
joys.” To another friend he said, “Ah, dear heart! if we had perished
together in that storm going to Ireland, we had been in heaven to welcome
honest Harrison and Carew; but we will be content to go after them--we
will go after.” It is added that “the executioner, having done his part
upon three others that day, was so surfeited with blood and sick, that he
sent his boy to finish the tragedy on Colonel Jones.”

Hugh Peters was much afraid while in Newgate lest his spirits should fail
him when he saw the gibbet and the fire, but his courage did not fail him
in that hour of great need. On his way to execution he looked about and
espied a man to whom he gave a piece of gold, having bowed it first, and
desired him to carry that as a token to his daughter, and to let her know
that her father’s heart was as full of comfort as it could be, and that
before the piece should come into her hands he should be with God in
glory.

While Cook was being hanged they made Peters sit within the rails to
behold his death. While sitting thus, one came to him and upbraided the
old preacher with the king’s death, and bade him repent. Peters replied,
“Friend, you do not well to trample upon a dying man: you are greatly
mistaken--I had nothing to do in the death of the king.”

When Mr. Cook was cut down and about to be quartered, Colonel Turner told
the sheriff’s men to bring Mr. Peters nearer to see the body. By and by
the hangman came to him, rubbing his bloody hands, and tauntingly asked
him, “Come, how do you like this--how do you like this work?” To whom Mr.
Peters calmly replied, “I am not, I thank God, terrified at it--you may do
your worst.”

Being upon the ladder, he spoke to the sheriff and said, “Sir, you have
here slain one of the servants of God before mine eyes, and have made me
to behold it on purpose to terrify and discourage me, but God hath made it
an ordinance to me for my strengthening and encouragement.”

When he was going to die, he said, “What, flesh! art thou unwilling to go
to God through the fire and jaws of death? Oh! this is a good day. He is
come that I have long looked for, and I shall soon be with Him in glory.”
And he smiled when he went away. “What Mr. Peters said further it could
not be taken, in regard his voice was low at the time and the people
uncivil.”

In May 1685 that consummate scoundrel Titus Oates came to the pillory at
Charing Cross. He had been condemned to pay a thousand marks fine, to be
stripped of his gown, to be whipped from Newgate to Tyburn, from Aldgate
to Newgate, and to stand in the pillory at the Royal Exchange and before
Westminster Hall. He was also condemned to stand one hour in the pillory
at Charing Cross every 10th of August, and there an eye-witness describes
seeing him in 1688.[377]

In 1666 and 1667 an Italian puppet-player set up his booth at Charing
Cross, and there and then probably introduced “Punch and Judy” into
England. He paid a small rent to the overseers of St. Martin’s parish, and
is called in their books “Punchinello.” In 1668 we learn that a Mr. Devone
erected a small playhouse in the same place.[378]

There is still extant a song written to ridicule the long delay in setting
up the king’s statue, and it contains an allusion to “Punch”--

  “What can the mistry be, why Charing Cross
    These five months continues still blinded with board?
  Dear Wheeler, impart--wee are all att a loss,
    Unless Punchinello is to be restored.”[379]

The royal statue at Charing Cross is the work of Hubert Le Sœur, a
Frenchman and a pupil of the famous John of Bologna, the sculptor of the
“Rape of the Sabines” in the Loggia at Florence. Le Sœur’s copy of the
“Fighting Gladiator,” which is praised by Peacham in his “Compleat
Gentleman,” once at the head of the canal in St. James’s Park, is now at
Hampton Court. Le Sœur also executed the monuments of Sir George Villiers,
and Sir Thomas Richardson the judge, in Westminster Abbey.

The original contract for the brazen equestrian statue, a foot larger than
life, is dated 1630. The sculptor was to receive £600. The agreement was
drawn up by Sir Balthasar Gerbier for the purchaser, the Lord High
Treasurer Weston. Yet the existing statue was not cast till 1633, and the
above-mentioned agreement speaks of it as to be erected in the Lord
Treasurer’s garden at Roehampton; so that the agreement may not refer to
the same work, although it certainly specifies that the sculptor shall
“take advice of his Maj. riders of greate horses, as well for the shape of
the horse and action as for the graceful shape and action of his Maj.
figure on the same.”[380]

The present statue was cast in 1633, on a piece of ground near the church
in Covent Garden, and not being actually erected when the Civil War broke
out, it was sold by the Parliament to John Rivet, a brazier, living at
“the Dial, near Holburn Conduit,” with strict orders to break it up. But
the man, being a shrewd Royalist, produced some fragments of old brass,
and hid the statue underground till the Restoration. Rivet refusing to
deliver up the statue after Charles’s return, a replevin was served upon
him to compel its surrender. The dispute, however, lasted many years, and
he probably pleaded compensation. The statue was erected in its present
position about 1674, by an order from the Earl of Danby, afterwards Duke
of Leeds. Le Sœur died, it is supposed, before the statue was erected.

Horace Walpole, who praises the “commanding grace of the figure,” and the
“exquisite form of the horse,”[381] incorrectly says, “The statue was made
at the expense of the family of Howard, Lord Arundel, who have still the
receipt to show by whom and for whom it was cast.”

There is still extant a very rare large sheet print of the statue,
engraved in the manner and time of Faithorne, but without name or date.
The inscription beneath it describes the statue as almost ten feet high,
and as “preserved underground,” with great hazard, charge, and care, by
John Rivet, a brazier.[382]

John Rivet may have been a patriot, but he was certainly a shrewd one. To
secure his concealed treasure he had manufactured a large quantity of
brass handles for knives and forks, and advertised them as being forged
from the destroyed statue. They sold well; the Royalists bought them as
sad and precious relics; the Puritans as mementos of their triumph. He
doubled his prices, and still his shop was crowded with eager customers,
so that in a short time he realised a considerable fortune.[383]

The brazier, or the brazier’s family, probably sold the statue to Charles
II. at his restoration. The Parliament voted £70,000 for solemnising the
funeral of Charles I., and for erecting a monument to his memory.[384]
Part of this sum went for the pedestal, but whether the brazier or his kin
were rewarded is not known. Charles II. probably spent most of the money
on his pleasures.

There is a fatality attending the verses of most time-serving poets.
Waller never wrote a court poem well but when he lauded that great man,
the Protector. When the statue of “the Martyr” was set up, _fourteen
years_ after the Restoration--so tardy was filial affection--Waller wrote
the following dull and unworthy lines about the statue of a faithless
king:--

  “That the first Charles does here in triumph ride,
  See his son reign where he a martyr died,
  And people pay that reverence as they pass
  (Which then he wanted) to the sacred brass
  Is not th’ effect of gratitude alone,
  To which we owe the statue and the stone;
  But Heaven this lasting monument has wrought,
  That mortals may eternally be taught
  Rebellion, though successful, is but vain,
  And kings so kill’d rise conquerors again.
  This truth the royal image does proclaim
  Loud as the trumpet of surviving fame.”

Andrew Marvell, one of the most powerful of lampoon writers, and the very
Gillray of political satirists, wrote some bitter lines on the statue of
the so-called Martyr at Charing Cross, lines which in an earlier reign
would have cost the honest daring poet his ears, if not his head.

There was an equestrian stone statue of Charles II. at Woolchurch
(Woolwich?), and the poet imagines the two horses, the one of stone and
the other of brass, talking together one evening, when the two riders,
weary of sitting all day, had stolen away together for a chat.

  “WOOLCHURCH.--To see Dei gratia writ on the throne,
                         And the king’s wicked life says God there is none.

     CHARING.--That he should be styled Defender of the Faith
                        Who believes not a word what the Word of God saith.

  WOOLCHURCH.--That the Duke should turn Papist and that church defy
                        For which his own father a martyr did die.

     CHARING.--Tho’ he changed his religion, I hope he’s so civil
                        Not to think his own father has gone to the devil.”

Upon the brazen horse being asked his opinion of the Duke of York, it
replies with terrible truth and force:--

  “The same that the frogs had of Jupiter’s stork.
  With the Turk in his head and the Pope in his heart,
  Father Patrick’s disciple will make England smart.
  If e’er he be king, I know Britain’s doom:
  We must all to the stake or be converts to Rome.
  Ah! Tudor! ah! Tudor! of Stuarts enough.
  None ever reigned like old Bess in her ruff.

     *       *       *       *       *

  WOOLCHURCH.--But can’st thou devise when kings will be mended?

     CHARING.--When the reign of the line of the Stuarts is ended.”

In April 1810 the sword, buckles, and straps fell from the statue.[385]
The king’s sword was stolen on the day on which Queen Victoria went to
open the Royal Exchange.

London has its local traditions as well as the smallest village. There is
a foolish story that the sculptor of Charles I. and his steed committed
suicide in vexation at having forgotten to put a girth to the horse. The
myth has arisen from the supposition of there being no girth, and
retailers of such stories, Mr. Leigh Hunt included, did not take the
trouble to ascertain whether there was or was not a girth. Unfortunately
for the story there is a girth, and it is clearly visible.

The pedestal, by some assigned to Marshal, by others to Grinling Gibbons,
the great wood-carver, and a Dutchman by birth, is seventeen feet high,
and is enriched with the arms of England, trophies of armour, cupids, and
palm-branches. It is erected in the centre of a circular area, thirty feet
in diameter, raised one step from the roadway, and enclosed with iron
rails. The lion and unicorn are much mutilated, and the trophies are
honeycombed and corroded by the weather. It has not been generally
observed that on the south side of the pedestal two weeping children
support a crown of thorns, and that the same emblem is repeated on the
opposite side, below the royal arms.

In 1727 (1st George II.) that infamous rogue, Edmund Curll, the publisher
of all the filth and slander of his age, stood in the pillory at Charing
Cross for printing a vile work called _Venus in a Cloyster_. He was not,
however, pelted or ill-used; for, with the usual lying and cunning of his
reptile nature, he had circulated printed papers telling the people that
he stood there for daring to vindicate the memory of Queen Anne. The mob
allowed no one to touch him; and when he was taken down they carried him
off in triumph to a neighbouring tavern.[386]

Archenholz, an observant Prussian officer who was in England in 1784,
tells a curious anecdote of the statue at Charing Cross. During the war in
which General Braddock was defeated by the French in America, about the
time when Minorca was in the enemy’s hands, and poor Byng had just fallen
a victim to popular fury, an unhappy Spaniard, who did not know a word of
English, and had just arrived in England, was surrounded by a mob near
Whitehall, who took him by his dress for a French spy. One of the rabble
instantly proposed to mount him on the king’s horse. The idea was adopted.
A ladder was brought, and the miserable Spaniard was forced upon its back,
to be loaded with insults and pelted with mud. Luckily for the stranger,
at that moment a cabinet minister happening to pass by, stopped to inquire
the cause of the crowd. On addressing the man in French he discovered the
mistake, and informed the mob. They instantly helped the man down, and the
minister, taking him in his coach to the Spanish ambassador, apologised in
the name of the nation for a mistake that might have been fatal.[387]

In June 1731 Japhet Crook, _alias_ Sir Peter Stranger, who had been found
guilty of forging the writings to an estate, was sentenced to imprisonment
for life.[388] He was condemned to stand for one hour in the pillory at
Charing Cross. He was then seated in an elbow-chair; the common hangman
cut off both his ears with an incision knife, and then delivered them to
Mr. Watson, a sheriff’s officer. He also slit both Crook’s nostrils with a
pair of scissors, and seared them with a hot iron, pursuant to the
sentence. A surgeon attended on the pillory and instantly applied styptics
to prevent the effusion of blood. The man bore the operations with
undaunted courage. He laughed on the pillory, and denied the fact to the
last. He was then removed to the Ship Tavern at Charing Cross, and thence
taken back to the King’s Bench prison, to be confined there for life.[389]

This Crook had forged the conveyance, to himself, of an estate, upon which
he took up several thousand pounds. He was at the same time sued in
Chancery for having fraudulently obtained a will and wrongfully gained an
estate. In spite of losing his ears, he enjoyed the ill-gained money in
prison till the day of his death, and then quietly left it to his
executor. He is mentioned by Pope in his 3d epistle, written in 1732.
Talking of riches, he says--

  “What can they give?--to dying Hopkins heirs?
  To Chartres vigour? Japhet nose and ears?”[390]

It was in this essay that, having been accused of attacking the Duke of
Chandos, Pope first began to attack vices instead of follies, and, in
order to prevent mistakes, boldly to publish the names of the malefactors
whom he gibbeted.

Crook had been a brewer on Tower Hill. The 2d George II., c. 25, made
forgery a felony; and the first sufferer under the new law was Richard
Cooper, a Stepney victualler, who was hanged at Tyburn, in June 1731, six
days only after the older and luckier thief had stood in the pillory.

In 1763 Parsons, the parish-clerk of St. Sepulchre’s, and the impudent
contriver of the “Cock Lane ghost” deception, mounted here to the same bad
eminence. Parsons’s child, a cunning little girl of twelve years, had
contrived to tap on her bed in a way that served to convey what were
supposed to be supernatural messages. It proved to be a plot devised by
Parsons out of malice against a gentleman of Norfolk who had sued him for
a debt. This gentleman was a widower, who had taken his wife’s sister as
his mistress--a marriage with her being forbidden by law--and had brought
her to lodge with Parsons, from whence he had removed her to other
lodgings, where she had died suddenly of small-pox. The object of Parsons
was to obtain the ghost’s declaration that she had been poisoned by
Parsons’s creditor. The rascal was set three times in the pillory and
imprisoned for a year in the King’s Bench. The people, however, singularly
enough, did not pelt the impudent rogue, but actually collected money for
him.

There is a rare sheet-print of Charing Cross by Sutton Nicholls, in the
reign of Queen Anne. It shows about forty small square stone posts
surrounding the pedestal of the statue. The spot seems to have been a
favourite standing-place for hackney coaches and sedan chairs. Every house
has a long stepping-stone for horsemen at a regulated distance from the
front.

In 1737 Hogarth published his four prints of the “Times of the Day.”[391]
The scene of _Night_ is laid at Charing Cross; it is an
illumination-night. Some drunken Freemasons and the Salisbury “High-flyer”
coach upset over a street bonfire near the Rummer Tavern, fill up the
picture, which is curious as showing the roadway much narrower than it is
now, and impeded with projecting signs above and bulkheads below.

The place is still further immortalised in the old song--

  “I cry my matches by Charing Cross,
  Where sits a black man on a black horse.”

In a sixpenny book for children, published about 1756, the absurd figure
of King George impaled on the top of Bloomsbury Church is contrasted with
that of King Charles at the Cross.

    “No longer stand staring,
    My friend, at Cross Charing,
  Amidst such a number of people;
    For a man on a horse
    Is a matter of course,
  But look! here’s a king on a steeple.”[392]

It was at Robinson’s coffee-house, at Charing Cross, that that clever
scamp, vigorous versifier, and, as I think, great impostor, Richard
Savage, stabbed to death a Mr. Sinclair in a drunken brawl. Savage had
come up from Richmond to settle a claim for lodgings, when, meeting two
friends, he spent the night in drinking, till it was too late to get a
bed. As the three revellers passed Robinson’s, a place of no very good
name, they saw a light, knocked at the door, and were admitted. It was a
cold, raw, November night; and hearing that the company in the parlour
were about to leave, and that there was a fire there, they pushed in and
kicked down the table. A quarrel ensued, swords were drawn, and Mr.
Sinclair received a mortal wound. The three brawlers then fled, and were
discovered lurking in a back-court by the soldiers who came to stop the
fray. The three men were taken to the Gate House at Westminster, and the
next morning to Newgate. That cruel and bullying judge, Page, hounded on
the jury at the trial in the following violent summing up:--“Gentlemen of
the jury, you are to consider that Mr. Savage is a very great man, a much
greater man than you or I, gentlemen of the jury; that he wears very fine
clothes, much finer than you or I, gentlemen of the jury; that he has
abundance of money in his pocket, much more money than you or I, gentlemen
of the jury; but, gentlemen of the jury, is it not a very hard case,
gentlemen of the jury, that Mr. Savage should therefore kill you or me,
gentlemen of the jury?”

The verdict was of course “Guilty,” for these homicides during tavern
brawls had become frightfully common, and quiet citizens were never sure
of their lives. Sentence of death was recorded against him. Eventually a
lady at court interceded for the poet, who escaped with six months’
imprisonment in Newgate, which he certainly well deserved.

There is every reason to suppose from the researches of Mr. W. Moy Thomas,
that Savage was an impostor. He claimed to be the illegitimate son of the
Countess of Macclesfield by Lord Rivers. The lady had an illegitimate
child born in Fox Court, Gray’s Inn Lane in 1697; but this child, there
is reason to think, died in 1698.[393] Savage imposed on Dr. Johnson and
other friends with stories of being placed at school and apprenticed to a
shoemaker in Holborn by his countess mother, until among his nurse’s old
letters he one day accidentally discovered the secret of his birth. There
is no proof at all of his being persecuted by the countess, whose life he
rendered miserable by insults, lampoons, abuse, slander, and begging
letters.

Pope has embalmed Page in the _Dunciad_ just as a scorpion is preserved in
a spirit-bottle:--

  “Morality by her false guardians drawn,
  Chicane in furs, and Casuistry in lawn,
  Gasps as they straighten at each end the cord,
  And dies when Dulness gives her _Page_ the word.”[394]

And again, with equal bitterness and truth, in his _Imitations of
Horace_:--

  “Slander or poison dread from Delia’s rage,
  Hard words or hanging if your judge be Page.”

This “hanging judge,” who enjoyed his ermine and his infamy till he was
eighty, first obtained preferment by writing political pamphlets. He was
made a Baron of the Exchequer in 1718, a Justice of the Common Pleas in
1726, and in 1727 transferred to the Court of King’s Bench. Page was so
illiterate that he commenced one of his charges to the grand jury of
Middlesex with this remarkable statement: “I dare venture to affirm,
gentlemen, on my own knowledge, that England never was so happy, both _at
home and abroad_, as it now is.” Horace Walpole mentions that when Crowle,
the punning lawyer, was once entering an assize court, some one asked him
if Judge Page was not “just behind.” Crowle replied, “I don’t know, but I
am sure he never was just before.”[395]

The various mews, now stables, about London, derive their name from the
enclosure where falcons in the Middle Ages were kept to mew (_mutare_,
Minshew) their feathers. The King’s Mews stood on the site of the present
Trafalgar Square. In the 13th Edward II. John de la Becke had the custody
of the Mews “apud Charing, juxta Westminster.” In the 10th Edward III.
John de St. Albans succeeded Becke. In Richard II.’s time the office of
king’s falconer, a post of importance, was held by Sir Simon Burley, who
was constable of the castles of Windsor, Wigmore, and Guilford, and also
of the royal manor of Kennington. This Sir Simon had been selected by the
Black Prince as guardian of Richard II., and he also negotiated his
marriage. One of the complaints of Wat Tyler and his party was that he had
thrown a burgher of Gravesend into Rochester Castle. The Duke of
Gloucester had him executed in 1388, in spite of Richard’s queen praying
upon her knees for his life. At the end of this reign or in the first year
of Henry IV., the poet Chaucer was clerk of the king’s works and also of
the Mews at Charing; and here, from his fluttering, angry little feathered
subjects, he must have drawn many of those allusions to the brave sport of
hawking to be found in the immortal _Canterbury Tales_.

The falconry continued at Charing till 1534 (26th Henry VIII.), when the
king’s fine stabling, with many horses and a great store of hay, being
destroyed by fire, the Mews was rebuilt and turned into royal stables, in
the reigns of Edward VI. and Mary.[396]

M. St. Antoine, the riding-master, whose portrait Vandyke painted,
performed his caracoles and demi-tours at the Mews. Here Cromwell
imprisoned Lieut.-Colonel George Joyce, who, when plain cornet, had
arrested the king at Holmby. An angry little Puritan pamphlet of four
pages, published in 1659, gives an account of Cromwell’s troubles with the
fractious Joyce, and how he had resolved to cashier him and destroy his
estate.

The colonel was carried by musqueteers to the common Dutch prison at the
Mews, and seems to have been much tormented by Cavalier vermin. There he
remained ten days, and was then removed to another close room, where he
fell sick from the “evil smells,” and remained so for ten weeks, refusing
all the time to lay down his commission, declaring that he had been
unworthily dealt with, and that all that had been sworn against him was
false.

There was at the Mews gate a celebrated old book shop, opened in 1750 by
Mr. Thomas Payne, who kept it alive for forty years. It was the rendezvous
of all noblemen and scholars who sought rare books. It may be remarked, by
the way, that booksellers’ shops have always been the haunts of wits and
poets. Dodsley, the ex-footman, gathered round him the wisest men of his
age, as Tonson had also done before him; while, as for John Murray’s back
parlour, it was in Byron’s and Moore’s days a very temple of the Muses.

In Charles II.’s time the famous but ugly horse Rowley lived at the Mews,
and gave a nickname to his swarthy royal master.

In 1732 that impudent charlatan, Kent, rebuilt the Mews, which was only
remarkable after that for sheltering for a time Mr. Cross’s menagerie,
when first removed from Exeter Change in 1829.

The National Gallery, one of the poorest buildings in London (which is
saying a good deal), was built between 1832 and 1838, from the designs of
a certain unfortunate Mr. Wilkins, R.A. It is not often that Fortune is so
malicious as to give an inferior artist such ample room to show his
inability. The vote for founding the Gallery passed in Parliament in April
1824. The columns of the portico were part of the screen of Carlton
House--interesting memorials of a debasing regency, and, if possible, of a
worse reign. The site has been called “the finest in Europe:” it is,
however, a fine site, which is more than can be said of the building that
covers it. The front is 500 feet long. In the centre is a portico, on
stilts, with eight Corinthian columns approached by a double flight of
steps; a low squat dome not much larger than a washing basin; and two
pepper-castor turrets that crown the eyesore of London. Though on high
ground--very high ground for a rather flat city--the architect, pinched
for money, contrived to make the building lower than the grand portico of
St. Martin’s Church, and even than the houses of Suffolk Place.

One of the last occasions on which William IV. appeared in public was in
1837, before the opening of the first Academy Exhibition here in May. The
good-natured king is said to have suggested calling the square
“Trafalgar,” and erecting a Nelson monument. A subscription was opened,
and the Duke of Buccleuch was appointed chairman.

The square was commenced in 1829, but was not completed till after 1849.
The Nelson column was begun in 1837, and the statue set up in November
1843. Three premiums were offered for the three best designs, and Mr.
Railton carried off the palm. Upwards of £20,480 were subscribed, and,
£12,000 it was thought would be required to complete the monument.[397] It
was originally intended to expend only £30,000 upon the whole.[398] Alas
for estimates so sanguine, so fallacious! the granite work alone cost
upwards of £10,000.

Mr. Railton chose a column, after mature reflection; although triumphal
columns are bad art, and the invention of a barbarous people and a corrupt
age.[399] He rejected a temple, as too expensive and too much in the way;
a group of figures he condemned as not visible at a distance; he finally
chose a Corinthian column as new, as harmonious, and as uniting the
labours of sculptor and architect.

The column, with its base and pedestal, measures 193 feet. The fluted
shaft has a torus of oak leaves. The capital is copied from the fine
example of Mars Ultor at Rome; from it rises a circular pedestal wreathed
with laurel, and surmounted by a statue of Nelson, eighteen feet high, and
formed of two blocks of stone from the Granton quarry. The great pedestal
is adorned with four bassi-relievi, eighteen feet square each,
representing four of Nelson’s great victories. It is difficult to say
which is tamest of the four. That of “Trafalgar” is by Mr. Carew; the
“Nile,” by Mr. Woodington; “St. Vincent,” by Mr. Watson; and “Copenhagen,”
by Mr. Ternouth.

The pedestal is raised on a flight of fifteen steps, at the angles of
which are placed couchant lions from the designs of Sir Edwin Landseer.
They are forged out of French cannon. The capital is of the same costly
material, which, considering the brave English blood it has cost, should
have been painted crimson. Many years passed by after the commission was
given to Sir Edwin Landseer before they were placed _in situ_.

The cocked hat on Mr. Baily’s statue has been somewhat unjustly ridiculed,
and so has the coil of rope or pigtail supporting the hero.

The bronze equestrian statue of George IV., at the north-east end of the
square, is by Chantrey. It was ordered by the king in 1829. The price was
to be 9000 guineas, but the worthy monarch never paid the sculptor more
than a third of that sum; the rest was given by the Woods and Forests out
of the national taxes, and the third instalment in 1843, after Chantrey’s
death, by the Lords of the Treasury. It is a sprightly and clever statue,
but of no great merit. It should have been paid for by William IV., just
as the Nelson statue should have been erected by Parliament, the honour
being one due to Nelson from an ungrateful nation. This statue of George
IV. was originally intended to crown the arch in front of Buckingham
Palace--an arch that cost £80,000, and that was hung with gates that cost
3000 guineas. The so-called Chartist riots of 1848 were commenced by boys
destroying the hoarding round the base of the Nelson monument.

The fountains in the centre of the Square are of Peterhead granite, and
were made at Aberdeen. They are mean, despicable, and unworthy of the
noble position which they occupy. Some years ago there was a fuss about an
Artesian well that was to feed these stone punch-bowls with inexhaustible
gushes of silvery water. This supply has dwindled down to a sort of
overflow of a ginger-beer bottle once a day. I blush when I take a
foreigner to see Trafalgar Square, with its squat domes, its mean statues,
its tame bassi-relievi, and its disgraceful fountains.

I will not trust myself to criticise the statues of Napier and Havelock.
The figures are poor, and unworthy of the fiery soldier and the Christian
hero they misrepresent. They should be in the Abbey. Why has the Abbey
grown, like the Court, less receptive than ever? What passport is there
into the Abbey, where such strange people sleep, if the conquest of Scinde
and the relief of Lucknow will not take a body there.

But to return to the National Gallery. Mr. G. Agar-Ellis, afterwards Lord
Dover, first proposed a National Gallery in Parliament in 1824; Government
having previously purchased thirty-eight pictures from Mr. Angerstein for
£57,000. This collection included “The Raising of Lazarus,” by Del Piombo.
It is supposed that Michael Angelo, jealous of Raphael’s
“Transfiguration,” helped Sebastian in the drawing of his cartoon, which
was to be a companion picture for Narbonne Cathedral. It was purchased
from the Orleans Gallery for 3500 guineas.[400]

In 1825 some pictures were purchased for the Gallery from Mr. Hamlet.
These included the “Bacchus and Ariadne” of Titian, for £5000. This golden
picture (extolled by Vasari) was painted about 1514 for the Duke of
Ferrara. Titian was then in the full vigour of his thirty-seventh
year.[401]

In the same year “La Vierge au Panier” of Correggio was purchased from Mr.
Nieuwenhuy, a picture-dealer, for £3800. It is a late picture, and hurt in
cleaning. It was one of the gems of the Madrid Gallery.

In 1826, Sir George Beaumont presented sixteen pictures, valued at 7500
guineas. These included one of the finest landscapes of Rubens, “The
Chateau,” which originally cost £1500, and Wilkie’s _chef-d’œuvre_, that
fine Raphaelesque composition, “The Blind Fiddler.”

In 1834 the Rev. William Holwell Carr left the nation thirty-five
pictures, including fine specimens of the Caracci, Titian, Luini,
Garofalo, Claude, Poussin, and Rubens.

Another important donation was that of the great “Peace and War,” bought
for £3000 by the Marquis of Stafford, and given to the nation. It was
originally presented to Charles I., by Rubens, who gave unto the king not
as a painter but as almost a king.

The British Institution also gave three esteemed pictures by Reynolds,
Gainsborough, and West, and a fine Parmigiano.

But the greatest addition to the collection was made in 1834, when
£11,500[402] were given for the two great Correggios, the “Ecce Homo” and
the “Education of Cupid,” from the Marquis of Londonderry’s collection. To
the “Ecce Homo” Pungileoni assigns the date 1520, when the great master
was only twenty-six. It once belonged to Murat. The “Education of Cupid,”
which once belonged to Charles I., has been a good deal retouched.[403]

In 1836 King William IV. presented to the gallery six pictures; in 1837
Colonel Harvey Ollney gave seventeen; in 1838 Lord Farnborough bequeathed
fifteen, and R. Simmons, Esq., fourteen. The last pictures were chiefly of
the Netherlands school. In 1854 the nation possessed two hundred and
sixteen pictures, and of these seventy only had been purchased.

In 1857 that greatest of all landscape-painters, Joseph M. W. Turner, left
the nation 362 oil-paintings, and about 19,000 sketches (including 1757
water-colour drawings of value). In his will this eccentric man
particularly desired that two of his pictures--a Dutch coast-scene and
“Dido Building Carthage”--should be hung between Claude’s “Sea-Port” and
“Mill.”

The will was disputed, and the engravings and the money, all but £20,000,
went to the next of kin.

The diploma pictures (that formerly were annually exhibited to the public)
are of great interest. They were given by various members of the Royal
Academy at their elections. That of the parsimonious Wilkie--“Boys digging
for Rats” (fine as Teniers)--is remarkably small. There is a very fine
graceful portrait of Sir William Chambers, the architect, by Reynolds, and
one still more robust and glowing of Sir Joshua by himself. He is in his
doctor’s robes. There is a splendid but rather pale Etty--“A Satyr
surprising a Nymph;” and a fine vigorous picture by Briggs, of “Blood
stealing the Crown.”

In 1849, Robert Vernon, Esq., nobly left the nation one hundred and
sixty-two fine examples of the English school. These are now removed to
the Kensington Museum.

Of the pictures given by Turner to the nation, the masterpieces are the
“Téméraire” and the “Escape of Ulysses,”--both triumphs of colour and
imagination. The one is a scene from the _Odyssey_; the other represents
an old man-of-war being towed to its last berth--a scene witnessed by the
artist himself while boating near Greenwich. The works of Turner may be
divided very fairly into three eras: those in which he imitated the Dutch
landscape-painters, the period when he copied idealised Nature, and the
time when he resorted from eccentricity or indifference to reckless
experiments in colour and effect--most of them quite unworthy of his
genius. Not in drawing the figure, but in aërial perspective, did Turner
excel. The great portfolios of drawings that he left the nation show with
what untiring and laborious industry he toiled. In habits sordid and mean,
in tastes low and debased, this great genius, the son of a humble
hairdresser in Maiden Lane, succeeded in attaining an excellence in
landscape, fitful and unequal it is true, but often rising to poetic
regions unknown to Claude, Ruysdael, Vandervelde, Salvator, or Backhuysen.

Ever since the modern pictures were removed to South Kensington, there has
been a constant effort to transfer the ancient pictures and to abandon the
National Gallery to the Royal Academy--a rich society, making £5000 or
£6000 a year, which its members cannot spend, and which tenants the
national building only by permission. To remove the pictures from the
centre of London is to remove them from those who cannot go far to see
them, to the neighbourhood of rich people who do not need their teaching,
and who have picture-galleries of their own.

In 1859, twenty pictures were bequeathed to the gallery by Mr. Jacob Bell,
and a few years later twenty-two others were added as a gift by Her
Majesty. The last great addition is the presentation of ninety-four
pictures by Mr. Wynn Ellis. But in spite of all these treasures, acquired
by purchase or by bequest, the nation cannot boast that its gallery does
justice to our taste or national wealth. It is still lamentably deficient
in more than one department; and there are not wanting those who assert
that the Royal Academy stifles art rather than promotes it. It is regarded
by the outside world as a close-borough, in which the interests of the
public and of students are postponed to those of its Associates and
Members, the A.R.A.’s and R.A.’s of the age.

The building in which the collection is deposited was erected at the
national expense, from the designs of Mr. William Wilkins, R.A., and
opened to the public in 1838. It was considerably altered and enlarged in
1860, and in 1869 five other rooms were added by the surrender to the
Trustees of those hitherto appropriated by the Royal Academy. In 1876 a
new wing was added, after a design by Mr. E. M. Barry, R.A., and the whole
collection is now under one roof.

The Royal College of Physicians is a large classic building at the
north-west corner of Trafalgar Square. It was built in 1823 from the
designs of Sir Robert Smirke. The college was founded in 1518 by Dr.
Linacre, the successor to Shakspeare’s Dr. Butts, and physician to Henry
VII. From Knightrider Street the doctors moved to Amen Corner, and thence
to Warwick Lane, between Newgate Street and Paternoster Row. The number of
fellows, originally thirty, is now as unlimited as the “dira cohors” of
diseases that the college has to encounter.

In the gallery above the library there are seven preparations made by the
celebrated Harvey when at Padua--“learned Padua.” There are also some
excellent portraits--Harvey, by Jansen; Sir Thomas Browne, the author of
_Religio Medici_; Sir Theodore Mayerne, the physician of James I.; Sir
Edmund King, who, on his own responsibility, bled Charles II. during a
fit; Dr. Sydenham, by Mary Beale; Doctor Radcliffe, William III.’s doctor,
by Kneller; Sir Hans Sloane, the founder of the British Museum, by
Richardson, whom Hogarth rather unjustly ridiculed; honest Garth (of the
“Dispensary”), by Kneller; Dr. Freind, Dr. Mead, Dr. Warren (by
Gainsborough); William Hunter, and Dr. Heberden.

There are also some valuable and interesting busts--George IV., by
Chantrey (a _chef-d’œuvre_); Dr. Mead, by the vivacious Roubilliac; Dr.
Sydenham, by Wilton; Harvey, by Scheemakers; Dr. Baillie, by Chantrey,
from a model by Nollekens; Dr. Babington, by poor Behnes. One of the
treasures of the place is Dr. Radcliffe’s gold-headed cane, which was
successively carried by Drs. Mead, Askew, Pitcairn, and Baillie. There is
also a portrait-picture by Zoffany of Hunter delivering a lecture on
anatomy to the Royal Academy. Any fellow can give an order to see this
hoarded collection, which should be thrown open to the public on certain
days. It is selfish and utterly wanting in public spirit to keep such
treasures in the dark.

The wits buzzed about Charing Cross between 1680 and 1730 as thick as bees
round May flowers. In this district, between those years, stood “The
Elephant,” “The Sugarloaf,” “The Old Man’s Coffee-house,” “The Old Vine,”
“The Three Flower de Luces,” “The British Coffee-house,” “The Young Man’s
Coffee-house,” and “The Three Queens.”

There is an erroneous tradition that Cromwell had a house on the site of
Drummond’s bank. He really lived farther south, in King Street. When the
bank was built, the houses were set back full forty yards more to the
west, upon an open square place called “Cromwell’s Yard.”[405]

Drummond’s is said to have gained its fame by advancing money secretly to
the Pretender. Upon this being known, the Court withdrew all their
deposits. The result was that the Scotch Tory noblemen rallied round the
house and brought in so much money that the firm soon became leading
bankers, dividing the West End custom with Messrs. Coutts.

Craig’s Court, on the east side of Charing Cross, was built in 1702. It is
generally supposed to have been named after the father of Mr. Secretary
Craggs, the friend of Pope and Addison: Mr. Cunningham, an excellent and
reliable authority, says that as early as the year 1658 there was a James
Cragg living on the “water side,” in the Charing Cross division of St.
Martin’s-in-the-Fields. The Sun Fire-office was established in this court
in 1726; and here is Cox and Greenwood’s, the largest army agency office
in Great Britain.

Locket’s, the famous ordinary, so called from Adam Locket, the landlord in
1674, stood on the site of Drummond’s bank. An Edward Locket succeeded to
him in 1688, and remained till 1702.[406] In 1693 the second Locket took
the Bowling-green House at Putney Heath. That fair, slender, genteel Sir
George Etherege, whom Rochester praises for “fancy, sense, judgment, and
wit,” frequented Locket’s, and displayed there his courtly foppery, which
served as a model for his own Dorimant, and that prince and patriarch of
fops Sir Fopling Flutter. Sir George was always gentle and courtly, and
was compared in this to Sedley.

He once got into a violent passion at the ordinary, and abused the
“drawers” for some neglect. This brought in Mrs. Locket, hot and fuming.
“We are so provoked,” said Sir George, “that even I could find it in my
heart to pull the nosegay out of your bosom, and fling the flowers in your
face.” This mild and courteous threat turned his friends’ anger into a
general laugh.

Sir George having run up a long score at Locket’s, added to the injury by
ceasing to frequent the house. Mrs. Locket began to dun and threaten him.
He sent word back by the messenger that he would kiss her if she stirred a
step in it. When Mrs. Locket heard this, she bridled up, called for her
hood and scarf, and told her anxious husband that she’d see if there was
any fellow alive who had the impudence! “Prythee, my dear, don’t be so
rash,” said her milder husband; “you don’t know what a man may do in his
passion.”[407]

Wycherly, that favourite of Charles II. till he married his titled wife,
writes in one of his plays (1675), “Why, thou art as shy of my kindness as
a Lombard Street alderman of a courtier’s civility at Locket’s.”[408]
Shadwell too, Dryden’s surly and clever foe, says (1691), “I’ll answer you
in a couple of brimmers of claret at Locket’s at dinner, where I have
bespoke an admirable good one.”[409]

A poet of 1697 describes the sparks, dressed by noon hurrying to the Mall,
and from thence to Locket’s.[410] Prior proposes to dine at a crown a head
on ragouts washed down with champagne; then to go to court; and lastly he
says[411]--

  “With evening wheels we’ll drive about the Park,
  Finish at Locket’s, and reel home i’ the dark.”

In 1708, Vanbrugh makes Lord Foppington doubtful whether he shall return
to dinner, as the noble peer says--“As Gad shall judge me I can’t tell,
for ’tis possible I may dine with some of our House at Lacket’s.”[412]

And in the same play the very energetic nobleman remarks--“From thence
(the Park) I go to dinner at Lacket’s, where you are so nicely and
delicately served that, stap my vitals! they shall compose you a dish no
bigger than a saucer shall come to fifty shillings. Between eating my
dinner and washing my mouth, ladies, I spend my time till I go to the
play.”

In 1709 the epicurean and ill-fated Dr. King, talking of the changes in
St. James’s Park, says--

  “For Locket’s stands where gardens once did spring,
  And wild ducks quack where grasshoppers did sing.”[413]

Tom Brown also mentions Locket’s, for he writes--“We as naturally went
from Mann’s Coffee-house to the Parade as a coachman drives from Locket’s
to the play-house.”

Prior, the poet, when his father the joiner died, was taken care of by his
uncle, who kept the Rummer Tavern at the back of No. 14 Charing Cross, two
doors from Locket’s. It was a well-frequented house, and in 1685 the
annual feast of the nobility and gentry of St. Martin’s parish was held
there. Prior was sent by the honest vintner to study under the great Dr.
Busby at Westminster: and in a window-seat at the Rummer the future poet
and diplomatist was found reading Horace, according to Bishop Burnet, by
the witty Earl of Dorset, who is said to have educated him. Prior, in the
dedication of his poems to the earl’s son, proves his patron to have been
a paragon. Waller and Sprat consulted Dorset about their writings. Dryden,
Congreve, and Addison praised him. He made the court read _Hudibras_, the
town praise Wycherly’s “Plain Dealer,” and Buckingham delay his
“Rehearsal” till he knew his opinion. Pope imitated his “Dorinda,” and
King Charles took his advice upon Lely’s portraits.

One of Prior’s gayest and pleasantest poems seems to prove, however, that
Fleetwood Shepherd was a more essential patron than even the earl. The
poet writes--

  “Now, as you took me up when little,
  Gave me my learning and my vittle,
  Asked for me from my lord things fitting,
  Kind as I’d been your own begetting,
  Confirm what formerly you’ve given,
  Nor leave me now at six and seven,
  As Sunderland has left Mun Stephen.”

And again, still more gaily--

  “My uncle, rest his soul! when living,
  Might have contrived me ways of thriving,
  Taught me with cider to replenish
  My vats or ebbing tide of Rhenish;
  So when for hock I drew pricked white-wine,
  Swear’t had the flavour, and was right wine;
  Or sent me with ten pounds to Furni-
  val’s Inn, to some good rogue attorney,
  Where now, by forging deeds and cheating,
  I’d found some handsome ways of getting.
  All this you made me quit to follow
  That sneaking, whey-faced god, Apollo;
  Sent me among a fiddling crew
  Of folks I’d neither seen nor knew,
  Calliope and God knows who,
  I add no more invectives to it:
  You spoiled the youth to make a poet.”

That rascally housebreaker, Jack Sheppard, made his first step towards the
gallows by the robbery of two silver spoons at the Rummer Tavern. This
young rogue, whose deeds Mr. Ainsworth has so mischievously recorded, was
born in 1701, and ended his short career at Tyburn in 1724.[414] The
Rummer Tavern is introduced by Hogarth into his engraving of “Night.” The
business was removed to the water side of Charing Cross in 1710, and the
new house burnt down in 1750. In 1688, Samuel Prior offered ten guineas
reward for the discovery of some persons who had accused him of clipping
coin.[415]

Mrs. Centlivre, whom Pope pilloried in the _Dunciad_[416] was the daughter
of a Lincolnshire gentleman, who, being a Nonconformist, fled to Ireland
at the Restoration to escape persecution. Being left an orphan at the age
of twelve, she travelled to London on foot to seek her fortune. In her
sixteenth year she married a nephew of Sir Stephen Fox, who, however, did
not live more than a twelvemonth after. She afterwards wedded an officer
named Carrol, who was killed in a duel soon after their marriage. Left a
second time a widow, she then took to dramatic writing for a subsistence,
and from 1700 to 1705 produced six comedies, to one of which--“The
Gamester”--the poet Rowe contributed a prologue. She next tried the stage;
and while performing Alexander the Great, at Windsor, won the heart of Mr.
Centlivre, “a Yeoman of the Mouth,” or principal cook to Queen Anne, who
married her. She lived happily with her husband for eighteen years, and
wrote some good, bustling, but licentious plays. “The Busybody,” and
“Wonder; a Woman keeps a Secret,” act well.

In May, 1716, Mrs. Centlivre visited her native town of Holbeach for her
health, and on King George’s birthday[417] invited all the pauper widows
of the place to a tavern supper. The windows were illuminated, the
church-bells were set ringing, there were musicians playing in the room,
the old women danced, and most probably got drunk, the enthusiastic
loyalist making them all fall on their knees and drink the healths of the
royal family, the Duke of Marlborough, Mr. Walpole, the Duke of Argyle,
General Cadogan, etc. etc. She ended the feast by sending the ringers a
copy of stirring verses denouncing the Jacobites;--

  “Disdain the artifice they use
  To bring in mass and wooden shoes
    With transubstantiation:
  Remember James the Second’s reign,
  When glorious William broke the chain
    Rome had put on this nation.”

This clever but not too virtuous woman died at her house in Buckingham
Court, Spring Gardens, December 1, 1723.[418]

Pope’s dislike to Mrs. Centlivre is best explained by one of his own notes
to the _Dunciad_:--“She (Mrs. C.) wrote many plays and a song before she
was seven years old: she also wrote a ballad against Mr. Pope’s _Homer_
before he began it.” And why should not an authoress have expressed her
opinion of Mr. Pope’s inability to translate Homer?

Mrs. Centlivre is rather bitterly treated by Leigh Hunt, who says that
she, “without doubt, wrote the most entertaining dramas of intrigue, with
a genius infinitely greater, and a modesty infinitely less, than that of
her sex in general; and she delighted, whenever she could not be obscene,
to be improbable.”[419]

Milton lodged at one Thomson’s, next door to the Bull-head Tavern at
Charing Cross, close to the opening to the Spring Gardens, during the time
he was writing his book _Joannis Philippi Angli Defensio_.[420]

The Golden Cross ran up beside the King’s Mews a little east of its
present site; it was the “Bull and Mouth” of the West End till railways
drew travellers from the old roads; it then became a railway parcel
office. Poor reckless Dr. Maginn wrote a ballad lamenting the change, in
which he mourned the Mews Gate public-house, Tom Bish and his lotteries,
and the barrack-yard. He curses Nash and Wyatville, and then bursts
forth--

  “No more I’ll eat the juicy steak
    Within its boxes pent,
  When in the mail my place I take,
    For Bath or Brighton bent.

  “No more the coaches I shall see
    Come trundling from the yard,
  Nor hear the horn blown cheerily
    By brandy-sipping guard.
  King Charles, I think, must sorrow sore,
    E’en were he made of stone,
  When left by all his friends of yore
    (Like Tom Moore’s rose) alone.

  “No wonder the triumphant Turk
    O’er Missolonghi treads,
  Roasts bishops, and in bloody work
    Snips off some thousand heads!
  No wonder that the Crescent gains,
    When we the fact can’t gloss,
  That we ourselves are at such pains
    To trample down the Cross!

  “Oh! London won’t be London long,
    For ’twill be all pulled down,
  And I shall sing a funeral song
    O’er that time-honoured town.
  One parting curse I here shall make,
    And then lay down my quill,
  Hoping Old Nick himself may take
    Both Nash and Wyatville.”[421]

Till late in the last century a lofty straddling sign-post and a long
water-trough, just such as still adorn country towns, stood before this
inn.[422]

Charing Cross Hospital, one of those great charities that atone for so
many of the sins of London, relieved, in the year 1878, 15,854 necessitous
persons, including more than 1000 cases of severe accident, while above
1500 persons were admitted on the recommendation of governors and
subscribers.[423] Surely, if anything can redeem our national vices, our
selfishness, our commercial dishonesty, our unjust wars, and our
unrighteous conquests, it must be such vast charities as these.

One authority represents that great scholar and divine, Dr. Isaac Barrow,
the friend of Newton, as having died “in mean lodgings at a saddler’s near
Charing Cross, an old, low, ill-built house, which he had used for many
years.” Barrow was then Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. Roger North,
however, says that he died of an overdose of opium, and “ended his days in
London in a prebendary’s house that had a little stair to it out of the
cloisters, which made him call it a _man’s nest_.”[424] Barrow died in
1677, and was buried in the Abbey. Rhodes, the bookseller and actor, lived
at the Ship at Charing Cross. He had been wardrobe-keeper at the
Blackfriars Theatre; and in 1659 he reopened the Cockpit Theatre in Drury
Lane.

On September 7, 1650, as that dull, learned man, Bulstrode Whitelock, one
of the Commissioners for the Great Seal, was going in his coach towards
Chelsea, a messenger from Scotland stopped him about Charing Cross, and
cried, “Oh, my lord, God hath appeared gloriously to us in Scotland; a
glorious day, my lord, at Dunbar in Scotland.” “I asked him,” says
Whitelock, “how it was. He said that the General had routed all the Scots
army, but that he could not stay to tell me the particulars, being in
haste to go to the House.”[425]

Lord Dartmouth relates a story in Burnet of Sir Edward Seymour the
Speaker’s coach breaking down at Charing Cross, in Charles II.’s time. He
instantly, with proud coolness, ordered the beadles to stop the next
gentleman’s coach that passed and bring it to him. The expelled gentleman
was naturally both surprised and angry; but Sir Edward gravely assured him
that it was far more proper for him than for the Speaker of the House of
Commons to walk the streets, and accordingly left him to do so without any
further apology.[426]

Horace Walpole was a diligent attender at the State Trials of 1746. The
day “poor brave old” Balmerino retracted his plea, asked pardon, and
desired the Peers to intercede for mercy, Walpole tells us that his
lordship stopped the coach at Charing Cross as he returned to the Tower,
carelessly to buy “honey-blobs,” as the Scotch call gooseberries.

But we must not leave Charing Cross without specially remembering that
when Boswell dared to praise Fleet Street as crowded and cheerful, Dr.
Johnson replied in a voice of thunder, “Why, sir, Fleet Street _has_ a
very animated appearance; but I think the full tide of existence is at
Charing Cross.”[427]

Nearly where the Post Office at Charing Cross now stands, there was once
(of all things in the world) a hermitage. Even Prince George of Denmark
might have been pardoned by James II., his sour father-in-law, for making
his invariable reply, “Est-il possible?” to this statement. Yet the patent
rolls of the 47th Henry III. grant permission to William de Radnor, Bishop
of Llandaff, to lodge, with all his retainers, within the precinct of the
Hermitage at Charing, whenever he came to London.[428]

Opposite this stood the ancient Hospital of St. Mary Roncevalles. It was
founded by William Marechal, Earl of Pembroke, a son, I believe, of the
early English conqueror of Ireland. It was suppressed by Henry V. as an
alien priory, restored by Edward IV., and finally suppressed by Edward
VI., who granted it to Sir Thomas Carwarden, to be held in free soccage of
the honour of Westminster.

The mesh and labyrinth of obscure alleys and lanes running between the
bottom of St. Martin’s Lane and Bedford Street, towards Bedfordbury, with
old Round Court, so called in mockery, for its centre, were swept away by
the besom of improvement in 1829, when Trafalgar Square was begun, never
to be finished. In Elizabeth’s or James’s time, gallants who had cruised
in search of Spanish galleons wittily nicknamed these Straits “the
Bermudas,” from their narrow and intricate channels. Here the valorous
Captain Bobadill must have lived in Barmecidal splendour, and have taught
his dupes the true conduct of the weapon. Justice Overdo mentions the
Bermudas with a righteous indignation. “Look,” says that great legal
functionary, “into any angle of the town, the Streights or the Bermudas,
where the quarrelling lesson is read, and how do they entertain the time
but with bottled ale and tobacco?”[429] How natural for Drake’s men to
give such a name to a labyrinth of devious alleys! At a subsequent period
the cluster of avenues exchanged the title of _Bermudas_ for that of the
_C’ribbee Islands_, the learned possessors corrupting the name into a
happy allusion to the arts cultivated there.[430]

Gay, writing in 1715, describes the small streets branching from Charing
Cross as resounding with the shoeblacks’ cry, “Clean your honour’s shoes?”
Great improvements were made in 1829-30, when the present arcade leading
from West Strand to St. Martin’s Church, and inhabited chiefly by German
toymen, was built and named after Lord Lowther then Chief Commissioner of
the Woods and Forests.[431] The Strand was also widened, and many old
tottering houses were removed.

Porridge Island was the cant name for a paved alley near St. Martin’s
Church, originally a congeries of cookshops erected for the workmen at the
new church, and destroyed when the great rookery there was pulled down in
1829. It was a part of Bedfordbury, and derived its name from being full
of cookshops, or “slap-bangs,” as street boys called such odorous places.
A writer in _The World_, in 1753, describes a man like Beau Tibbs, who had
his dinner in a pewter plate from a cookshop in Porridge Island, and with
only £100 a year was foolish enough to wear a laced suit, go every evening
in a chair to a rout, and return to his bedroom on foot, shivering and
supperless, vain enough to glory in having rubbed elbows with the quality
of Brentford.[432]

It was in Round Court, in the centre of the key shops, herb shops, and
furniture warehouses of Bedfordbury that, in 1836, Robson the actor was
apprenticed to a Mr. Smellie, a copperplate engraver, and the printer of
the humorous caricatures of Mr. George Cruikshank.[433]

The Swan at Charing Cross, over against the Mews, flourished in 1665, when
Marke Rider was the landlord. The token of the house bore the figure of a
swan holding a sprig in its mouth. Its memory is embalmed in a curious
extempore grace once said by Ben Jonson before King James. These are the
verses:--

  “Our king and queen the Lord God bless,
  The Palsgrave and the Lady Besse;
  And God bless every living thing
  That lives and breathes, and loves the king;
  God bless the Council of Estate,
  And Buckingham the fortunate;
  God bless them all, and keep them safe,
  And God bless me, and God bless Ralph.”

The schoolmaster king being mighty inquisitive to know who this Ralph was,
Ben told him it was the drawer at the Swan Tavern, who drew him good
canary. For this drollery the king gave Ben a hundred pounds.[434] The
story is probably true, for it is confirmed by Powell the actor.[435]

The street signs of London were condemned in the second year of George
III.’s reign; but the sweeping Act for their final removal was not passed
till nine years later. In 1762, Bonnel Thornton (aided by Hogarth) opened
an exhibition of street signs in Bow Street[436] in ridicule of the Spring
Gardens exhibition. But as early as 1761 the street signs seem to have
been partially removed as dangerous obstructions. A writer in a
contemporary paper says,[437] “My master yesterday sent me to take a place
in the Canterbury stage; he said that when I came to Charing Cross I
should see which was the proper inn by the words on the sign. I rambled
about, but could see no sign at all. At last I was told that there used to
be such a sign under a little golden cross which I saw at a two pair of
stairs window. I entered and found the waiter swearing about innovations.
He said that the members of Parliament were unaccountable enemies to signs
which used to show trades; that, for his master’s part, he might put on
sackcloth, for nobody came to buy sack. ‘If,’ said he, ‘any of the signs
were too large, could they not have limited their size without pulling
down the sign-posts and destroying the painted ornaments of the Strand?’
On my return I saw some men pulling with ropes at a curious sign-iron,
which seemed to have cost some pounds: along with the iron down came the
leaden cover to the pent-house, which will cost at least some pounds to
repair.”

This was written the year of the first Act (2d George III.), and was
probably a groan from some one interested in the existence of the abuse.
The inferior artists gained much money from this source. Mr. Wale, one of
the first Academicians, painted a Shakspere five feet high[438] for a
public-house at the north-west corner of Little Russell Street, Covent
Garden. The picture was enclosed in a sumptuous carved gilt frame, and was
suspended by rich foliated ironwork. A London street a hundred years ago
must have been one long grotesque picture-gallery.

When the meat is all good it is difficult to know where to insert the
knife. In travelling, how hard it is to turn back almost in sight of some
Promised Land of which one has often dreamed! Like that traveller I feel,
when I find it necessary in this chapter to confine myself strictly to the
legends, traditions, and history of Charing Cross proper, leaving for
other opportunities Spring Gardens, the story of the greater part of which
belongs more to St. James’s Park, Whitehall, and Scotland Yard.

[Illustration: THE KING’S MEWS, 1750.]



[Illustration: BARRACK AND OLD HOUSES ON SITE OF TRAFALGAR SQUARE, 1826.]


CHAPTER X.

ST. MARTIN’S LANE.


Saint Martin’s Lane, extending from Long Acre to Charing Cross, was built
before 1613, and then called the West Church Lane. The first church was
built here by Henry VIII. The district was first called St. Martin’s Lane
about 1617-18.[439]

Sir Theodore Mayerne, physician to James I., lived on the west side of
this lane. Mayerne was the godson of Beza, the great Calvinist reformer,
and one of Henry IV.’s physicians. He came to England after that king’s
death. He then became James I.’s doctor, and was blamed for his treatment
of Prince Henry, whom many thought to have been poisoned. He was
afterwards physician to Charles I., and nominally to Charles II.; but he
died in 1655, five years before the Restoration. He gave his library to
the College of Physicians, and is said to have disclosed some of his
chemical secrets to the great enameller, Petitot.[440] Mayerne died of
drinking bad wine at a Strand tavern, and foretold the time of his death.

A good story is told of Sir Theodore, which is the more curious because it
records the fashionable fee of those days. A friend consulting Mayerne,
and expecting to have the fee refused, ostentatiously placed on the table
two gold broad pieces (value six-and-thirty shillings each). Looking
rather mortified when Mayerne swept them into his pouch, “Sir.” said Sir
Theodore, gravely, “I made my will this morning, and if it should become
known that I refused a fee the same afternoon I might be deemed _non
compos_.”[441]

Near this fortunate doctor, honoured by kings, lived Sir John Finett, a
wit and a song-writer, of Italian extraction. He became Master of the
Ceremonies to Charles I., and wrote a pedantic book on the treatment of
ambassadors, and other questions of precedency, of the gravest importance
to courtiers, but to no one else. He died in 1641.

Two doors from Mayerne and five from Finett, from 1622 to 1634, lived
Daniel Mytens, the Dutch painter. On Vandyke’s arrival Mytens grew jealous
and asked leave to return to the Hague. But the king persuaded him to
stay, and he became friendly with his rival, who painted his portrait.
There are pictures by this artist at Hampton Court. Prince Charles gave
him his house in the lane for twelve years at the peppercorn rent of 6d. a
year.

Next to Sir John Finett lived Sir Benjamin Rudyer, and on the same side
Abraham Vanderoort, keeper of the pictures to Charles I., and necessarily
an acquaintance of Mytens and Vandyke.

Carew Raleigh, son of the great enemy of Spain, and born in the Tower,
lived in this lane, on the west side, from 1636 to 1638, and again in
1664. This unfortunate man spent all his life in writing to vindicate his
father’s memory, and in efforts to recover his Sherborne estate. In 1659,
by the influence of General Monk, he was made Governor of Jersey.

The chivalrous wit, Sir John Suckling, dwelt in St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields
in 1641, the year in which he joined in a rash plot to rescue Strafford
from the Tower. He fled to France, and died there in poverty the same
year, in the thirty-second year of his age. Suckling had served in the
army of Gustavus Adolphus, and was famous for his sparkling repartee.
There is an exquisite quaint grace about his poem of “The Wedding,” which
has its scene at Charing Cross.

Dr. Thomas Willis, a great physician of his day, who died here in 1678,
was grandfather of Browne Willis, the antiquary. Dr. Willis was a friend
of Wren, and a great anatomist and chemist. He mapped out the nerves very
industriously, and in his _Cerebri Anatome_ forestalled many future
phrenological discoveries.[442]

In the same year that eccentric charlatan, Sir Kenelm Digby, was living in
the lane. The son of one of the gunpowder conspirators, and the
“Mirandola” of his age, he was one of Ben Jonson’s adopted sons.[443] He
was generous to the poets; he understood ten or twelve languages; he
shattered the Venetian galleys at Scanderoon; he studied chemistry, and
professed to cure wounds with sympathetic powder. He held offices of
honour under Charles I., in France became a friend of Descartes, and after
the Restoration was an active member of the Royal Society. He was born,
won his naval victory, and died on the same day of the month. Ben Jonson,
in a poem on him, calls him “prudent, valiant, just, and temperate,” and
adds quaintly--

  “His breast is a brave palace, a broad street,
  Where all heroic ample thoughts do meet,
  Where Nature such a large survey hath ta’en,
  As others’ souls to _his dwelt in a lane_.”

I cannot here help observing that the ridiculous story about Ben Jonson in
his old age refusing money from Charles I., and rudely sending back word
“that the king’s soul dwelt in a lane,” must have originated in some
careless or malicious perversion of this line of the rough old poet’s.

“Immortal Ben” wrote ten poems on the death of Sir Kenelm’s wife, who was
the daughter of Sir Edward Stanley, and, it is supposed, the mistress of
the Earl of Dorset. Randolph, Habington, and Feltham also wrote elegies on
this beautiful woman, who was found dead in her bed, accidentally
poisoned, it is supposed, by viper wine, or some philtre or cosmetic given
her by her experimentalising husband in order to heighten her beauty.[444]
In one of Ben Jonson’s poems there are the following incomparable verses
about Lady Venetia:--

  “Draw first a cloud, all save her neck,
  And out of that make day to break,
  Till like her face it do appear,
  And men may think all light rose there.”

And again--

  “Not swelling like the ocean proud,
  But stooping gently as a cloud,
  As smooth as oil pour’d forth, and calm
  As showers, and sweet as drops of balm.”

Sir Kenelm, when imprisoned in Winchester House, in Southwark, wrote an
attack on Sir Thomas Browne’s sceptical work _Religio Medici_. He also
produced a book on cookery, and a commentary on the _Faerie Queen_. This
strange being was buried in Christ Church, Newgate Street.

St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields is an ancient parish, but it was first made
independent of St. Margaret’s, Westminster, in 1535, by that tyrant Henry
VIII., who, justly afraid of death, disliked the ceaseless black funeral
processions of the outlying people of St. Martin’s passing the courtly
gate of Whitehall, and who therefore erected a church near Charing Cross,
and constituted its neighbourhood into a parish.[445] In 1607, that
unfortunate youth of promise, Henry Prince of Wales, added a chancel to
the very small church, which soon proved insufficient for the growing and
populous suburb. But though so modern, this parish formerly included in
its vast circle St. Paul’s Covent Garden, St. James’s Piccadilly, St.
Anne’s Soho, and St. George’s Hanover Square. It extended its princely
circle as far north as Marylebone, as far south as Whitehall, as far east
as the Savoy, and as far west as Chelsea and Kensington. When first rated
to the poor in Queen Elizabeth’s time it contained less than a hundred
rateable persons. The chief inhabitants lived by the river side or close
to the church. Pall Mall and Piccadilly were then unnamed, and beyond the
church westward were St. James’s Fields, Hay-hill Farm, Ebury Farm, and
the Neat houses about Chelsea.[446]

In 1638 this overgrown parish, had carved out of it the district of St.
Paul’s, Covent Garden; in 1684, St. James’s, Westminster; and in 1686, St.
Anne’s, Soho. But even in 1680, Richard Baxter, with brave fervour,
denounced what he called “the greatest cure in England,”[447] with its
population of forty thousand more persons than the church could
hold--people who “lived like Americans, without hearing a sermon for many
years.” From such parishes of course crept forth Dissenters of all creeds
and colours. In 1826 the churchyard was removed to Camden Town, and the
street widened, pursuant to 7 George IV. c. 77.

That shrewd native of Aberdeen, Gibbs--a not unworthy successor of
Wren--came to London at a fortunate time. Wren was fast dying; Vanbrugh
was neglected; there was room for a new architect, and no fear of
competition. His first church, St. Martin’s, was a great success. Though
its steeple was heavy and misplaced, and the exterior flat and without
light or shade,[448] the portico was foolishly compared to that of the
Parthenon, and was considered unique for dignity and unity of combination.
The interior was so constructed as to render the introduction of further
ornaments or of monuments impossible. Savage did but express the general
opinion when he wrote with fine pathos--

  “O Gibbs! whose art the solemn fanes can raise,
  Where God delights to dwell and man to praise.”

The church was commenced in 1721 and finished in 1726, at a cost of
£36,891: 10: 4, including £1500 for an organ.

With all its faults, it is certainly one of the finest buildings in
London, next to St. Paul’s and the British Museum; but its cardinal fault
is the unnatural union of the Gothic steeple and the Grecian portico. The
one style is Pagan, the other Christian; the one expresses a sensuous
contentment with this earth, the other mounts towards heaven with an
eternal aspiration. The steeple leaps like a fountain from among lesser
pinnacles that all point upwards. The Grecian portico is a cave of level
shadow and of philosophic content.

St. Martin’s Church enshrines the dust of some illustrious persons. Here
lies Nicholas Hilliard, the miniature-painter to Queen Elizabeth, and who
died in 1619. He was a very careful painter, in the manner of Holbein. The
great Isaac Oliver was his pupil. He must have had some trouble with the
manly queen when she began to turn into a hag and to object to any shadow
in her portraits. Near him, in 1621, was buried Paul Vansomer, a Flemish
painter, celebrated for his portraits of James I. and his Danish queen.
And here rests, too, a third and greater painter, William Dobson,
Vandyke’s protégé, who, born in an unlucky age, and forgotten amid the
tumult of the Civil War, died in 1646, in poverty, in his house in St.
Martin’s Lane. Dobson had been apprenticed to a picture-dealer, and was
discovered in his obscurity by Vandyke, whose style he imitated, giving
it, however, a richer colour and more solidity. Charles I. and Prince
Rupert both sat to him for their portraits. In this church reposes Sir
Theodore Mayerne, an old court physician. His conserve of bats and
scrapings of human skulls could not keep him from the earthy bed it seems.
Nicholas Stone, the sculptor, who died 1647, sleeps here (Stone’s son was
Cibber’s master), all unknown to the learned Thomas Stanley, who died in
1678, and was known for his _History of Philosophy_ and translation of
Æschylus. Here, also, is John Lacey--first a dancing-master, afterwards a
trooper, lastly a comedian. He died in 1681. Charles II. was a great
admirer of Lacey, but unfortunately more so of Nell Gwynn, who also came
to sleep here in 1687. Poor Nell! with her good-nature and simple
frankness, she stands out, wanton and extravagant as she was, in pleasant
contrast with the proud painted wantons of that infamous court.

If the dead could shudder, Secretary Coventry, who was buried here the
year before Nell, must have shuddered at the neighbourhood in which he
found himself; for he was the son of Lord Keeper Coventry, who died at
Durham House in 1639-40. He had been Commissioner to the Treasury, and had
given his name to Coventry Street. This great person became a precedent of
burial to the Hon. Robert Boyle. This wise and good man, whom Swift
ridiculed, was the inventor of the air-pump, and one of the great
promoters of the Royal Society and of the Society for the Propagation of
the Gospel. He died in 1691, and his funeral sermon was preached by
Swift’s _bête noir_, that fussy time-server, Bishop Burnet.

In the churchyard lies a far inferior man, Sir John Birkenhead, who died
in 1679. He was a great pamphlet-writer for the Royalists, and Lawes set
some of his verses to music.[449] He left directions that he should not be
buried within the church, as coffins were often removed. In or out of the
church was buried Rose, Charles II.’s gardener, the first man to grow a
pine-apple in England--a slice of which the king graciously handed to Mr.
Evelyn.

Worst of all--a scoundrel, and fool among sensible men--here lies the
bully and murderer, Lord Mohun, who fell in a duel in Hyde Park with the
Duke of Hamilton, immortalised in Mr. Thackeray’s _Esmond_. Mohun died
in 1712. Here also, in 1721, came that vile and pretentious French
painter, Louis Laguerre, whom Pope justly satirised. He was brought over
by Verrio, and painted the “sprawling” “Labours of Hercules” at Hampton
Court. He died of apoplexy at Drury Lane Theatre. That clever and
determined burglar, Jack Sheppard, is said to have been buried in St.
Martin’s in 1724. Farquhar, the Irish dramatist, author of “The Beaux’
Stratagem,” was interred here in 1707. Roubilliac, the French sculptor,
who lived close by, was also buried in this spot, and Hogarth attended his
funeral.

Mr. J. T. Smith, author of the _Life of Nollekens_, speaking of his own
visits to the vaults of St. Martin’s Church, says, “It is a curious fact
that Mrs. Rudd requested to be placed near the coffins of the Perreaus.
Melancholy as my visits to this vault have been, I frankly own that
pleasant recollections have almost invited me to sing, ‘Did you ne’er hear
of a jolly young waterman?’ when passing by the coffin of my father’s old
friend, Charles Bannister.”[450]

Mr. F. Buckland that delightful writer on natural history, who visited the
same charnel-house in his search for the body of the great John Hunter,
describes the vaults as piled with heaps of leaden coffins, horrible to
every sense; but as I write from memory, I will not give the ghastly
details.

That indefatigable and too restless exposer of abuses, Daniel Defoe, wrote
a pamphlet in 1720 entitled “Parochial Tyranny; or, the Housekeeper’s
Complaint against the Exactions of Select Vestries.” In this pamphlet he
published one of the bills of the vestry of St. Martin’s in 1713, which
contains the following impudent items:--

  “Spent at May meetings or visitation         £65  0 4

  Ditto at taverns, with ministers, justices,
  overseers, &c.                                72 19 7

  Sacrament bread and wine                      88 10 0

  Paid towards a robbery                        21 14 0

  Spent for dinner at the Mulberry Gardens      49 13 4”

In 1818 the churchwardens’ dinner cost £56: 18s. Archdeacon Potts’ sermon
on the death of Queen Charlotte not selling, the parish paid the loss,
£48: 12: 9. In 1813 the vestry charged the parish £5 for petitioning
against the Roman Catholics.

The Thames watermen have a plot set apart for themselves in St. Martin’s
Churchyard. These amphibious and pugnacious beings were formerly notorious
for their powers of sarcasm, though Dr. Johnson on a celebrated occasion
put one of them out of countenance. In spite of coaches and sedan
chairs--their horror in the times of the “Water Poet,” who must often have
ferried Shakspere over to the Globe Theatre at the Bankside--they
continued till the days of omnibuses and cheap cabs, rowing and singing,
rejoicing in their scarlet tunics, and skimming to and fro over the Thames
like swallows.

There is a Westminster tradition of a waterman who pretended to be deaf,
and who was much employed by lovers, barristers who wished to air their
eloquence, and young M.P.s who wanted to recite their speeches
undisturbed.

In 1821 died Copper Holms, a well-known character on the river. He lived,
with his wife and children, somewhere along the shore in an ark, which he
had artfully framed from a West-country vessel, and which, coppers and
all, cost him £150. The City brought an action to compel him to remove the
obstruction. The honest fellow was buried in “The Waterman’s Churchyard,”
on the south side of St. Martin’s Church.[451]

In 1683 Dr. Thomas Tenison, vicar of the parish, afterwards Archbishop of
Canterbury, lived in this street; he died at Lambeth in 1715. He founded
in this parish a school and library. Though Swift did say he was “hot and
heavy as a tailor’s iron,” he seems to have been one of the best and most
tolerant of men, notwithstanding he attacked Hobbes and Bellarmine with
his pen. He worked bravely during the plague, and was princely in his
charities during the dreadful winter of 1683. It was he who prepared
Monmouth for death, and smoothed Queen Mary’s dying pillow. He was a
steady friend of William of Orange.

Two doors from Slaughter’s, on the west side, but lower down, lived
Ambrose Philips, from 1720 to 1724. Pope laughed at his “Pastorals,” which
had been overpraised by Tickell. Though a friend of Addison and Steele,
his sprightly but effeminate copies of verses procured him from Henry
Carey the name of “Namby Pamby.” His “Winter Scene,” a sketch of a Danish
winter, is, however, admirable.

Ambrose Philips was laughed at for advertising in the _London Gazette_, of
January 1714, for contributions to a _Poetical Miscellany_. He was a
Leicestershire man, and chiefly remarkable for translating Racine’s
“Distressed Mother.” When the Whigs came into power under George I. he was
put into the commission of the peace, and made a Commissioner of the
Lottery. He afterwards became Registrar of the Prerogative Court at
Dublin, wrote in the _Free Thinker_, and died in 1749. Pope laughed at the
small poet as--

  “The bard whom pilfered Pastorals renown,
  Who turns a Persian tale for half-a-crown,
  Just writes to make his barrenness appear,
  And strains from hide-bound brains eight lines a year.”[452]

It was always one of Pope’s keenest strokes to call a man poor. Philips,
in 1714, had industriously translated the _Thousand and One Days_, a
series of Persian tales, and gained very honourably earned money. The wasp
of Twickenham, whose malice never grew old, sketched Philips again as
“Macer,” a simple, harmless fellow, who borrowed ends of verse, and whose
highest ambition was “to wear red stockings and to dine with Steele.”
Ambrose, naturally indignant to hear himself accused of stealing the
little fame he had, very spiritedly hung up a birch at the bar of Button’s
Coffee-house, with which he threatened to chastise the Æsop of the age if
he dared show himself, but Pope wisely stayed at home.[453]

The first house from the corner of Newport Street, on the right hand going
to Charing Cross, was occupied by Beard, the celebrated public singer, who
in 1738-9 married Lady Henrietta Herbert, the only daughter of the Earl
Waldegrave. After her death the widower married the daughter of Mr. John
Rich, the inventor of English pantomime, the best harlequin that probably
ever lived, and the patentee of Covent Garden Theatre from 1732 to 1762.
The parlour of the house had two windows facing the south towards Charing
Cross. Here Mr. J. T. Smith describes his father smoking a pipe with Beard
and George Lambert, the latter the founder of the Beef-steak Club and the
clever scene-painter of Covent Garden Theatre. The fire of 1808 destroyed
most of Lambert’s work with the theatre.[454]

Next to this house stood “Old Slaughter’s” Coffee-house, the great haunt
of artists from Hogarth to Wilkie. Towards the end of its existence it was
the head-quarters of naval and military officers before the establishment
of West End Clubs. It was pulled down in 1844 to make way for the new
street between Long Acre and Leicester Square. The original landlord, John
Slaughter, started it in 1692, and died about 1740.[455] It first became
known as “Old Slaughter’s” in 1760, when an opposition set up in the
street under the name of “Young” or “New Slaughter’s.”

There is a foolish tradition that the coffee-house derived its name from
being frequented by the butchers of Newport Market. Mr. Smith gives a
charming chapter on the frequenters of this old haunt of Dryden and
afterwards of Pope. The first he mentions was Mr. Ware, the architect, who
published a folio edition of Palladio, the great Italian architect of
Elizabeth’s time. Ware was originally a chimney-sweeper’s boy in Charles
Court, Strand; but being one day seen chalking houses on the front of
Whitehall, a gentleman passing became his patron, educated him, and sent
him to Italy. His bust was one of Roubilliac’s best works. His skin is
said to have retained the stain of soot to the day of his death.[456]

Gravelot, who kept a drawing-school in the Strand, nearly opposite
Southampton Street, was another frequenter of Old Slaughter’s. Henri
François Bourignon Gravelot was born in Paris in 1699, and died in that
city in 1773. His drawings were always minutely finished, and his designs
tasteful, particularly those which he etched himself for Sir John Hanmer’s
small edition of Shakspere. He found an excellent engraver in poor Charles
Grignon, Le Bas’ pupil, who in his old age was driven off the field, fell
into poverty, and so remained till he died in 1810, aged 94.

John Gwynn, the architect, who lived in Little Court, Castle Street,
Leicester Fields, also frequented this house. He built the bridge at
Shrewsbury, and wrote a work on London improvements, which his friend Dr.
Johnson revised and prefaced. The doctor also wrote strongly in favour of
Gwynn’s talent and integrity when he was unsuccessfully competing with
Mylne for the erection of old Blackfriars Bridge.

Hogarth, too, “used” Slaughter’s, and came there to rail at the “black old
masters,” the follies of patrons, and the knavery of dealers. Here he
would banter and brag, and sketch odd faces on his thumb-nail. Perhaps the
“Midnight Conversation” was partly derived from convivial scenes in St.
Martin’s Lane.

Roubilliac, the eccentric French sculptor, was another habitué of the
place. His house and studio were opposite on the east side of the lane,
and were approached by a long passage and gateway. Here his friends must
have listened to his rhapsodies in broken English about his great statues
of Handel, Sir Isaac Newton, and that of Shakspere now at the British
Museum, which cost Garrick, who left it to the nation, three hundred
guineas.[457]

That pompous and wretched portrait-painter, Hudson, Reynolds’s master and
Richardson’s pupil, used also to frequent Slaughter’s. Hudson was the most
ignorant of painters, yet he was for a time the fashion. He painted the
portraits of the members of the Dilettanti Society, and was a great and
ignorant collector of Rembrandt etchings. Hogarth used to call him, in his
brusque way, “a fat-headed fellow.”

Here Hogarth would meet his own engraver, M’Ardell, who lived in Henrietta
Street. One of the finest English mezzotints in respect of brilliancy is
Hogarth’s portrait of Captain Coram, the brave old originator of the
Foundling Hospital, by M’Ardell. His engravings after Reynolds are superb.
That painter himself said that they would immortalise him.[458]

Here, also, came Luke Sullivan, another of Hogarth’s engravers, from the
White Bear, Piccadilly. His etching of “The March to Finchley” is
considered exquisite.[459] Sullivan was also an exquisite
miniature-painter, particularly of female heads. He was a handsome,
lively, reckless fellow, and died in miserable poverty.

At Slaughter’s, too, Hogarth must have met the unhappy Theodore Gardelle,
the miniature-painter, who afterwards murdered his landlady in the
Haymarket and burnt her body. Hogarth is said to have sketched him in his
ghostly white cap on the day of his execution. Gardelle, like Greenacre,
pleaded that he killed the woman by an accidental blow, and then destroyed
the body in fear. Foote notices his gibbet in _The Mayor of Garratt_.

Old Moser, keeper of the drawing academy in Peter’s Court--Roubilliac’s
old rooms--was often to be seen at the same haunt. Moser was a German
Swiss, a gold-chaser and enameller; he became keeper of the Royal Academy
in 1768. His daughter painted flowers.

That great painter, poor old Richard Wilson, neglected and almost starved
by the senseless art-patrons of his day, occasionally came to Slaughter’s,
probably to meet his countryman, blind Parry, the Welsh harper and great
draught-player.

And, last of all, we must mention Nathanael Smith, the engraver, and Mr.
Rawle, the accoutrement maker in the Strand, and the inseparable companion
of Captain Grose, the great antiquary, on whom Burns wrote poems--a
learned, fat, jovial Falstaff of a man, who compiled an indecorous but
clever slang dictionary. It was at Rawle’s sale that Dickey Suett bought
Charles II.’s black wig, which he wore for years in “Tom Thumb.”

Nos. 76 and 77 St. Martin’s Lane were originally one house, built by
Payne, the architect of Salisbury Street and the original Lyceum. He built
two small houses in his garden for his friends Gwynn, the competitor for
Blackfriars Bridge, and Wale, the Royal Academy lecturer on perspective,
and well-known book-illustrator. The entrances were in Little Court,
Castle Street. In old times the street on this side, from Beard’s Court,
to St. Martin’s Court, was called the Pavement; but the road has since
been heightened three feet.

Below Payne’s, in Hogarth’s time, lived a bookseller named Harding, a
seller of old prints, and author of a little book on the _Monograms of Old
Engravers_. It was to this shop that Wilson, the sergeant painter, took an
etching of his own, which was sold to Hudson as a genuine Rembrandt. That
same night, by agreement, Wilson invited Hogarth and Hudson to supper.
When the cold sirloin came in, Scott, the marine-painter, called out, “A
sail, a sail!” for the beef was stuck with skewers bearing impressions of
the new Rembrandt, of which Hudson was so proud.[460]

Nos. 88 and 89 were built on the site of a large mansion, the staircase of
which was adorned with allegorical figures. It was here that Hogarth’s
particular friend, John Pine, lived. Pine was the engraver and publisher
of the scenes from the Armada tapestry in the House of Lords, now
destroyed. He was a round, fat, oily man; and Hogarth drew him, much to
his annoyance, as the fat friar eyeing the beef at the “Gate of Calais.”
His son Robert, who painted one of the best portraits of Garrick, and
carried off the hundred guinea prize of the Society of Arts for his
picture of the “Siege of Calais,” also lived here, and, after him, Dr.
Gartshore.

The house No. 96, on the west side, was Powell the colourman’s in 1828; it
had then a Queen Anne door-frame, with spread-eagle and carved foliage and
flowers, like the houses in Carey Street and Great Ormond Street, and a
shutter sliding in grooves in the old-fashioned way. Mr. Powell’s mother
made for many years annually a pipe of wine from the produce of a vine
nearly a hundred feet long.[461] This house had a large staircase, painted
with figures in procession, by a French artist named Clermont, who claimed
one thousand guineas for his work, and received five hundred. Behind the
house was the room which Hogarth has painted in “Marriage à la Mode.” The
quack is Dr. Misaubin, whose vile portrait the satirist has given. The
savage fat woman is his Irish wife. Dr. Misaubin, who lived in this house,
was the son of a pastor of the Spitalfields French Church. The quack
realised a great fortune by a famous pill. His son was murdered; his
grandson squandered his money, and died in St. Martin’s Workhouse.

No. 104 was at one time the residence of Sir James Thornhill, Hogarth’s
august father-in-law, a poor yet pretentious painter, who decorated St.
Paul’s. He painted the staircase wall with allegories that were existing
some years since in good condition. The junior Van Nost, the sculptor,
afterwards lived here--the same artist who took that mask of Garrick’s
face which afterwards belonged to the elder Mathews. After him, before
1768, came Hogarth’s convivial artist-friend, Francis Hayman, who
decorated Vauxhall and illustrated countless books. Perhaps it was here
that the Marquis of Granby, before sitting to the painter, had a round or
two of sparring. Sir Joshua Reynolds, too, a graver and colder man, came
to live here before he went to Great Newport Street.

New Slaughter’s, at No. 82 in 1828, was established about 1760, and was
demolished in 1843-44, when the new avenue of Garrick Street was made
between Long Acre and Leicester Square. It was much frequented by artists
who wished cheap fare and good society. Roubilliac was often to be found
here. Wilkie long after enjoyed his frugal dinners here at a small cost.
He was always the last dropper-in, and was never seen to dine in the house
before dark. The fact is, the patient young Scotchman always slaved at his
art till the last glimpse of daylight had disappeared below the red roofs.

Upon the site of the present Quakers’ Meeting-house in St. Peter’s Court,
St. Martin’s Lane, stood Roubilliac’s first studio after he left Cheere.
Here he executed, with ecstatic raptures at his own genius, his great
statue of Handel for Vauxhall. Here afterwards a drawing academy was
started, Mr. Michael Moser being chosen the keeper. Reynolds, Mortimer,
Nollekens, and M’Ardell were among the earliest members. Hogarth presented
to it some of his father-in-law’s casts, but opposed the principle of
cheap education to young artists, declaring that every foolish father
would send his boy there to keep him out of the streets, and so the
profession would be overstocked. In this academy the students sat to each
other for drapery, and had also male and female models--sometimes in
groups.

Amongst the early members of the St. Martin’s Lane Academy were the
following:--Moser, afterwards keeper of the Academy; Hayman, Hogarth’s
friend; Wale, the book-illustrator; Cipriani, famous for his book-prints;
Allan Ramsay, Reynolds’s rival; F. M. Newton; Charles Catton, the prince
of coach-painters; Zoffany, the dramatic portrait-painter; Collins, the
sculptor, who modelled Hayman’s “Don Quixote;” Jeremy Meyer; William
Woollett, the great engraver; Anthony Walker, also an engraver; Linnel, a
carver in wood; John Mortimer, the Salvator Rosa of that day; Rubinstein,
a drapery-painter and drudge to the portrait-painters; James Paine, son of
the architect of the Lyceum; Tilly Kettle, who went to the East, painted
several rajahs, and then died near Aleppo; William Pars, who was sent to
Greece by the Dilettanti Society; Vandergutch, a painter who turned
picture-dealer; Charles Grignon, the engraver; C. Norton, Charles
Sherlock, and Charles Bibb, also engravers; Richmond, Keeble, Evans,
Roper, Parsons, and Black, now forgotten; Russell, the crayon-painter;
Richmond Cosway, the miniature-painter, a fop and a mystic; W. Marlowe, a
landscape-painter; Messrs. Griggs, Rowe, Dubourg, Taylor, Dance, and
Ratcliffe, pupils of gay Frank Hayman; Richard Earlom, engraver of the
“Liber Veritatis” of Claude for the Duke of Richmond; J. A. Gresse, a fat
artist who taught the queen and princesses drawing; Giuseppe Marchi, an
assistant of Reynolds; Thomas Beech; Lambert, a sculptor, and pupil of
Roubilliac; Reed, another pupil of the same great artist, who aided in
executing the skeleton on Mrs. Nightingale’s monument, and was famous for
his pancake clouds; Biaggio Rebecca, the decorator; Richard Wilson, the
great landscape-painter; Terry, Lewis Lattifere, John Seton, David Martin,
Burgess; Burch, the medallist; John Collett, an imitator of Hogarth;
Nollekens, the sculptor; Reynolds, and, of course, Hogarth himself, the
_primum mobile_.[462]

No. 112 was in old times one of those apothecaries’ shops with bottled
snakes in the windows. It was kept by Leake, the inventor of a
“diet-drink” once as famous as Lockyer’s pill.

Frank Hayman, one of these St. Martin’s Lane worthies, was originally a
scene-painter at Drury Lane. He was with Hogarth at Moll King’s when
Hogarth drew the girl squirting brandy at the other for his picture in the
_Rake’s Progress_. Hayman was a Devonshire man, and a pupil of Brown. When
he buried his wife, a friend asked him why he spent so much money on the
funeral. “Oh, sir,” replied the droll, revelling fellow, “she would have
done as much or more for me with pleasure.”

Quin and Hayman were inseparable boon companions. One night, after
“beating the rounds,” they both fell into the kennel. Presently Hayman,
sprawling out his shambling legs, kicked his bedfellow Quin. “Hallo! what
are you at now?” growled the Welsh actor. “At? why, endeavouring to get
up, to be sure, for this don’t suit my palate.” “Pooh!” replied Quin,
“remain where you are; the watchman will come by shortly, and he will
_take us both up_!”[463]

No. 113 was occupied by Thomas Major, a die-engraver to the Stamp Office,
a pupil of Le Bas, and an excellent reproducer of subjects from Teniers.
He was also an engraver of landscapes after pictures by Ferg, one of the
artists employed with Sir James Thornhill at the Chelsea china
manufactory.

The old watch-house or round-house used to stand exactly opposite the
centre of the portico of Gibbs’s church.[464] There is a rare etching
which represents its front during a riot. Stocks, elaborately carved with
vigorous figures of a man being whipped by the hangman, stood near the
wall of the watch-house. The carving, much mutilated, was preserved in the
vaults under the church.

Near the stocks, with an entrance from the King’s Mews, stood “the Barn,”
afterwards called “the Canteen,” which was a great resort of the chess,
draught, and whist players of the City.

At the south-west corner of St. Martin’s Lane was the shop of Jefferys,
the geographer to King George III.

No. 20 was a public-house, latterly the Portobello, with Admiral Vernon’s
ship, well painted by Monamy, for its sign. The date, 1638, was on the
front of this house, now removed.

No. 114 stands on the site of the old house of the Earls of Salisbury.
Before the alterations of 1827 there were vestiges of the old building
remaining. It has been a constant tradition in the lane, that in this
house, in James II.’s reign, the seven bishops were lodged before they
were conveyed to the Tower.

Opposite old Salisbury House stood a turnpike, and the tradition in the
lane is that the Earl of Salisbury obtained its removal as a nuisance. At
that time the church was literally in the fields. The turnpike-house
stood (circa 1760) on the site of No. 28, afterwards (in 1828) Pullen’s
wine-vaults. The Westminster Fire Office was first established in St.
Martin’s Lane, between Chandos Street and May’s Buildings.

The White Horse livery-stables were originally tea-gardens,[465] and south
of these was a hop-garden. The oldest house in the lane overhung the White
Horse stables, and was standing in 1828.

No. 60 was formerly Chippendale’s, the great upholsterer and
cabinet-maker, whose folio work was the great authority in the trade
before Mr. Hope’s classic style overthrew for a time that of Louis
Quatorze.

No. 63 formerly led to Roubilliac’s studio. Here, in 1828, the Sunday
paper _The Watchman_, was printed.

It must have been here, in the sculptor’s time, that Garrick, coming to
see how his Shakspere statue progressed, drew out a two-foot rule, and put
on a tragic and threatening face to frighten a great red-headed
Yorkshireman, who was sawing marble for Roubilliac; but who, to his
surprise, merely rolled his quid, and coolly said, “What trick are you
after next, my little master?” Upon the honest sculptor’s death, Read, one
of his pupils, a conceited pretender, took the premises in 1762, and
advertised himself as “Mr. Roubilliac’s successor.”

Read executed the poor monuments of the Duchess of Northumberland and of
Admiral Tyrrell, now in Westminster Abbey. His master used to say to Read
when he was bragging, “Ven you do de monument, den de varld vill see vot
von d-- ting you vill make.” Nollekens used to say of the admiral’s
monument, “That figure going to heaven out of the sea looks for all the
world as if it were hanging from a gallows with a rope round its
neck.”[466]

No. 70 was formerly the house where Mr. Hone held his exhibition when his
picture of “The Conjuror,” intended to ridicule Sir Joshua Reynolds as a
plagiarist, and to insult Miss Angelica Kaufmann, was refused admittance
at Somerset House. Mr. Nathanael Hone was a miniature-painter on enamel,
who attempted oil pictures and grew envious of Reynolds. Hone was a tall,
pompous, big, erect man, who wore a broad brimmed hat and a lapelled coat,
punctiliously buttoned up to his chin. He walked with a measured, stately
step, and spoke with an air of great self-importance--in this sort of way:
“Joseph Nollekens, Esq., R.A., how--do--you--do?”[467]

The corner house of Long Acre, now 72, formed part of the extensive
premises of Mr. Cobb, George III.’s upholsterer--a proud, pompous man, who
always strutted about his workshops in full dress. It was Dance’s portrait
of Mr. Cobb, given in exchange for a table, that led to Dance’s
acquaintance with Garrick. One day in the library at Buckingham House, old
King George asked Cobb to hand him a certain book. Instead of doing so,
mistaken Cobb called to a man who was at work on a ladder, and said,
“Fellow, give me that book.” The king instantly rose and asked the man’s
name. “Jenkins,” replied the astonished upholsterer. “Then,” observed the
good old king, “Jenkins shall hand me the book.”[468]

Alderman Boydell, the great encourager of art, when he first began with
half a shop, used to etch small plates of landscapes in sets of six for
sixpence. As there were few print-shops then in London, he prevailed upon
the proprietors of toy-shops to put them in their windows for sale. Every
Saturday he went the round of the shops to see what had been done, or to
take more. His most successful shop was “The Cricket-Bat,” in Duke’s
Court, St. Martin’s Lane.[469]

Abraham Raimbach, the engraver, was born in Cecil Court, St. Martin’s
Lane, in 1776. Sir Joshua Reynolds, in his early period, lived nearly
opposite May’s Buildings. He afterwards went to Great Newport Street,
where he first met Dr. Johnson.

O’Keefe describes being in a coffee-house in St. Martin’s Lane on the very
morning when the famous No. 45 came out. The unconscious newsman came in,
and, as a matter of course, laid the paper on the table before him. About
the year 1777 O’Keefe was standing talking with his brother at Charing
Cross, when a slender figure in a scarlet coat with a large bag, and
fierce three-cocked hat, crossed the way, carefully choosing his steps,
the weather being wet--it was John Wilkes.[470]

When Fuseli returned to London in 1779, after his foreign tour, he resided
with a portrait painter named Cartwright, at No. 100 St. Martin’s
Lane,[471] and he remained there till his marriage with Miss Rawlins in
1788, when he removed to Foley Street. Here he commenced his acquaintance
with Professor Bonnycastle, and produced his popular picture of “The
Nightmare” (1781), by which the publisher of the print realised £500. Here
also he revised Cowper’s version of the _Iliad_, and became acquainted
with Sir Joshua Reynolds and Dr. Moore, the author of _Zeluco_.

May’s Buildings bear the date of 1739. Mr. May, who built them, lived at
No. 43, which he ornamented with pilasters and a cornice. This house used
to be thought a good specimen of architectural brickwork.

The club of “The Eccentrics,” in May’s Buildings, was, in 1812, much
frequented by the eloquent Richard Lalor Sheil, by William Mudford, the
editor of the _Courier_, a man of logical and sarcastic power,--and by
“Pope Davis,” an artist, in later years a great friend of the unfortunate
Haydon. “Pope Davis” was so called from having painted, when in Rome, a
large picture of the “Presentation of the Shrewsbury Family to the
Pope.”[472]

The Royal Society of Literature, at 4 St. Martin’s Place, Charing Cross,
was founded in 1823, “for the advancement of literature,” on which at
present it has certainly had no very perceptible influence. It was
incorporated by royal charter Sept. 13, 1826. George IV. gave 1000 guineas
a year to this body, which rescued the last years of Coleridge’s wasted
life from utter dependence, and placed Dr. Jamieson above want. William
IV. discontinued the lavish grant of a king who was generous only with
other people’s money, and was always in debt; and since that the somewhat
effete society has sunk into a Transaction Publishing Society, or rather a
club with an improving library. Sir Walter Scott’s opposition to the
society was as determined as Hogarth’s against the Royal Academy. “The
immediate and direct favour of the sovereign,” said Scott, who had a
superstitious respect for any monarch, “is worth the patronage of ten
thousand societies.” Literature wants no patronage now, thank God, but
only intelligent purchasers; and whether a king does or does not read an
author’s work, is of small consequence to any writer.

[Illustration: OLD SLAUGHTER’S COFFEE-HOUSE.]

Admission to the Royal Society of Literature is obtained by a certificate,
signed by three members, and an election by ballot. Ordinary members pay
three guineas on admission, and two guineas annually, or compound by a
payment of twenty guineas. The society devotes itself for the most part to
the study of Greek and Latin inscriptions and Egyptian literature.[473]
This learned body also professes to fix the standard of the English
language; to read papers on history, poetry, philosophy, and philology; to
correspond with learned men in foreign countries; to reward literary
merit; and to publish unedited remains of ancient literature.

St. Martin’s Lane has seen many changes. Cranbourne Alley is gone with all
its bonnet-shops, and the Mews and C’ribbee Islands are no more, but there
still remain a few old houses, with brick pilasters and semi-Grecian
pediments, to remind us of the days of Fuseli and Reynolds, Hayman and Old
Slaughter’s, Hogarth and Roubilliac. I can assure my readers that a most
respectable class of ghosts haunts the artist quarter in St. Martin’s
Lane.



[Illustration: SALISBURY AND WORCESTER HOUSES, 1630.]


CHAPTER XI.

LONG ACRE AND ITS TRIBUTARIES.


At the latter end of 1664, says Defoe, two men, said to be Frenchmen, died
of the plague at the Drury Lane end of Long Acre. Dr. Hodges, however, a
greater authority than Defoe, who wrote fifty-seven years after the event,
says merely that the pestilence broke out in Westminster, and that two or
three persons dying, the frightened neighbours removed into the City, and
there carried the contagion. He, however, distinctly states that the pest
came to us from Holland, and most probably in a parcel of infected goods
from Smyrna.[474]

According to Defoe, the family with which the Frenchmen had lodged
endeavoured to conceal the deaths; but the rumour growing, the Secretary
of State heard of it, and sent two physicians and a surgeon to inspect the
bodies. They certifying that the men had really died of the plague, the
parish clerk returned the deaths to “the Hall,” and they were printed in
the weekly bill of mortality. “The people showed a great concern at this,
and began to be alarmed all over the town.”[475] At Christmas Dr. Hodges
attended a case of plague, and shortly afterwards a proclamation was
issued for placing watchmen day and night at the doors of infected houses,
which were to be marked with a red St. Andrew cross and the subscription
“Lord have mercy upon us!”[476] By the next September the terrible disease
had risen to its height, and the deaths ranged as high as 12,000 a week,
and in the worst night after the bonfires had been burned in the street,
to 4000 in the twelve hours.[477]

Great Queen Street, so called after Henrietta Maria, the imprudent but
brave wife of Charles I., was built about 1629, before the troubles. Howes
(editor of Stow) speaks in 1631, of “the new fair buildings leading into
Drury Lane.”[478] Many of the houses were built by Webb, one of Inigo
Jones’s scholars. The south was the fashionable side, looking towards the
Pancras fields; most of the north side houses must, therefore, be of a
later date. According to one authority Inigo Jones himself built Queen
Street, at the cost of the Jesuits, designing it for a square, and leaving
in the middle a niche for the statue of Queen Henrietta. “The stately and
magnificent houses,” begun on the other side near Little Queen Street,
were not continued. There were fleurs-de-luce placed on the walls in
honour of the queen.[479]

George Digby, the second Earl of Bristol, lived in Great Queen Street, in
a large house with seven rooms on a floor, a long gallery, and gardens.
Evelyn describes going to see him (probably there), to consult about the
site of Greenwich Hospital, with Denham the poet and surveyor, and one of
Inigo Jones’s clerks. Digby was a Knight of the Garter, who first wrote
against Popery and then converted himself. He persecuted Lord Strafford,
yet then turning courtier, lived long enough to persecute Lord Clarendon.
Grammont, Bussy, and Clarendon all decry the earl; and Horace Walpole
writes wittily of him--“With great parts, he always hurt himself and his
friends; with romantic bravery, he was always an unsuccessful commander.
He spoke for the Test Act, though a Roman Catholic, and addicted himself
to astrology on the birthday of true philosophy.”[480]

In 1671 Evelyn describes the earl’s house as taken by the Commissioners of
Trade and Plantations, of which he was one, and furnished with tapestry
“of the king’s.” The Duke of Buckingham, the earl of Sandwich (Pepys’s
patron), the Earl of Lauderdale, Sir John Finch, Waller the poet, and
saturnine Colonel Titus (the author of the terrible pamphlet against
Cromwell, _Killing no Murder_) were the new occupants.

They sat, says Evelyn, at the board in the council chamber, a very large
room furnished with atlases, maps, charts, and globes. The first day’s
debate was an ominous one: it related to the condition of New England,
which had grown rich, strong, and “very independent as to their regard to
Old England or his majesty. The colony was able to contest with all the
other plantations,[481] and there was fear of her breaking from her
dependence. Some of the council were for sending a menacing letter, but
others who better understood the peevish and touchy humour of that colony
were utterly against it.” A few weeks afterwards Evelyn was at the
council, when a letter was read from Jamaica, describing how Morgan, the
Welsh buccaneer, had sacked and burned Panama; the bravest thing of the
kind done since Drake. Morgan, who cheated his companions and stole their
spoil, afterwards came to England, and was, like detestable Blood,
received at court.

Lord Chancellor Finch, Earl of Nottingham, who lived in Great Queen
Street, presided as Lord High Steward at Lord Strafford’s trial, at which
Evelyn was present, noticing the ill-bred impudence of Titus Oates.[482]
Finch was the son of a recorder of London, and died in 1681. He was living
here when that impudent thief, Sadler, stole the mace and purse, and
carried them off in procession.

The choleric and Quixotic Lord Herbert of Cherbury lived in Great Queen
Street, in a house on the south side, a few doors east of Great Wyld
Street. Here he began his wild Deistic work, _De Veritate_, published in
Paris in 1624, and in London three years before his death. He says that he
finished this rhapsody in France, where it was praised by Tilenus, an
Arminian professor at Sedan, and an opponent of the Calvinists, which
procured him a pension from James I., and also from the learned Grotius
when he came to Paris, after his escape in a linen-chest from the
Calvinist fortress of Louvestein. Urged to publish by friends, Lord
Herbert, afraid of the censure his book might receive, was relieved from
his doubts by what his vanity and heated imagination pleased to consider a
vision from heaven.

This Welsh Quixote says, “Being thus doubtful in my chamber one fair day
in the summer, my casement being open towards the south, the sun shining
clear and no wind stirring, I took my book, _De Veritate_, in my hand, and
kneeling on my knees, devoutly said these words: ‘Oh, thou eternal God,
author of the light which now shines upon me, and giver of all inward
illuminations, I do beseech thee of thy infinite goodness to pardon a
greater request than a sinner ought to make. I am not satisfied enough
whether I shall publish this book, _De Veritate_. If it be for thy glory,
I beseech thee to give me some sign from heaven; if not, I shall suppress
it!’ I had no sooner spoken these words, but a _loud though gentle
noise_[483] came from the heavens (for it was like nothing on earth),
which did so comfort and cheer me that I took my petition as granted. And
this (however strange it may seem) I protest before the eternal God is
true. Neither am I in any way superstitiously deceived herein, since I did
not only hear the noise, but in the serenest sky that ever I saw--being
without _all_ cloud--did, to my thinking, see the place from whence it
came.”

The noise was probably some child falling from a chair overhead, or a
chest of drawers being moved in an upper room; and if it _had_ been
thunder in a clear sky, it was no more than Horace once heard. Heaven does
not often express its approval of Deistical books. Lord Herbert, doubted
of general, and yet believed in individual revelation. What crazy vanity,
to think the work of an amateur philosopher of sufficient importance for a
special revelation,[484] that (in his own opinion) had been denied to a
neglected world! Lord Herbert, though refused the sacrament by Usher, bore
it very serenely, asked what o’clock it was, then said, “An hour hence I
shall depart,” turned his head to the other side, and expired.[485] He had
moved to this quarter from King Street. Lord Herbert, though he wrote a
Life to vindicate that brutal tyrant Henry VIII., was inconsistent enough
to join the Parliament against a less wise but more illegal king, Charles
I. When I pass down Queen Street, wondering whether that southern window
of the Welsh knight’s vision was on the front of the south side, or on the
back of the southern side of the street, I sometimes think of those soft
lines of his upon the question “whether love should continue for ever?”

  “Having interr’d her infant birth,
  The watery ground that late did mourn
  Was strew’d with flowers for the return
  Of the wish’d bridegroom of the earth.

  “The well-accorded birds did sing
  Their hymns unto the pleasant time,
  And in a sweet consorted chime,
  Did welcome in the cheerful spring.”

And then on my return home, I get out brave old Ben Jonson, and read his
lines addressed to this last of the knights:--

    “... and on whose every part
  Truth might spend all her voice, Fame all her art.
  Whether thy learning they would take, or wit,
  Or valour, or thy judgment seasoning it,
  Thy standing upright to thyself, thy ends
  Like straight, thy piety to God and friends.”

Sir Thomas Fairfax, general of the Parliament, probably lived here, as he
dated from this street a printed proclamation of the 12th of February
1648.

Sir Godfrey Kneller, the great portrait painter of William and Mary’s
reign, but more especially of Queen Anne’s time, once lived in a house in
this street. Sir Godfrey, though a humorist, was the vainest of men, and
was made rather a butt by his friends Pope and Gay. Kneller was the son of
a surveyor at Lübeck, and intended for the army. King George I., who
created him a baronet, was the last of the sovereigns who sat to him. Sir
Godfrey was the successor of Sir Peter Lely in England, but was still more
slight and careless in manner. His portraits may be often known by the
curls being thrown behind the back, while in Lely’s portraits they fall
over the shoulders and chest. Kneller was a humorist, but very vain, as a
man might well be whom Dryden, Pope, Addison, Prior, Tickell, and Steele
had eulogised in verse. On one occasion, when Pope was sitting watching
Kneller paint, he determined to fool him “to the top of his bent.” “Do you
not think, Sir Godfrey,” said the little poet, slily, “that, if God had
had your advice at the creation, he would have made a much better world?”
The painter turned round sharply from his easel, fixed his eyes on Pope,
and laying one hand on his deformed shoulder, replied, “Fore Gott, Mister
Pope, I theenk I shoode.”

There was wit in all Kneller’s banter, and even when his quaint sayings
told against himself, they seemed to reflect the humour of a man conscious
of the ludicrous side of his own vanity. To his tailor who brought him his
son to offer him as an apprentice emulative of Annibale Caracci, whose
father had also sat cross-legged, Sir Godfrey said, grandly, “Dost thou
think, man, I can make thy son a painter? No; God Almighty only makes
painters.” To a low fellow whom he overheard cursing himself he said, “God
damn you? No, God may damn the Duke of Marlborough, and perhaps Sir
Godfrey Kneller; but do you think he will take the trouble of damning such
a scoundrel as you?”[486]

Gay on one occasion read some verses to Sir Godfrey (probably those
describing Pope’s imaginary welcome from Greece) in which these outrageous
lines occur--

  “What can the extent of his vast soul confine--
  A painter, critic, engineer, divine?”

Upon which Kneller, remembering that he had been intended for a soldier,
and perhaps scenting out the joke, said, “Ay, Mr. Gay, all vot you ’ave
said is very faine and very true, but you ’ave forgot von theeng, my good
friend. Egad, I should have been a general of an army, for ven I vos in
Venice there vos a _girandole_, and all the Place of St. Mark vos in a
smoke of gunpowder, and I did like the smell, Mr. Gay--should have been a
great general, Mr. Gay.”[487]

His dream, too, was related by Pope to Spence as a good story of the
German’s droll vanity. Kneller thought he had ascended by a very high hill
to heaven, and there found St. Peter at the gate, dealing with a vast
crowd of applicants. To one he said, “Of what sect was you?” “I was a
Papist.” “Go you there.” “What was you?” “A Protestant.” “Go you there.”
“And you?” “A Turk.” “Go you there.” In the meantime St. Luke had descried
the painter, and asking if he was not the famous Sir Godfrey Kneller,
entered into conversation with him about his beloved art, so that Sir
Godfrey quite forgot about St. Peter till he heard a voice behind him--St.
Peter’s--call out, “Come in, Sir Godfrey, and take whatever place you
like.”[488]

Pope is said to have ridiculed his friend under the name of Helluo.[489]
He certainly laughed at his justice in dismissing a soldier who had stolen
a joint of meat, and blaming the butcher who had put it in the rogue’s
way. Whenever he saw a constable, followed by a mob, coming up to his
house at Whitton, he would call out to him, “Mr. Constable, you see that
turning; go that way; you will find an ale-house, the sign of the King’s
Head: go and make it up.”[490]

Jacob Tonson got pictures out of Kneller, covetous as he was, by praising
him extravagantly, and sending him haunches of fat venison and dozens of
cool claret. Sir Godfrey used to say to Vandergucht, “Oh, my goot man,
this old Jacob loves me. He is a very goot man, for you see he loves me,
he sends me goot things. The venison vos fat.” Old Geckie, the surgeon,
however, got a picture or two even cheaper, for he sent no present, but
then his praises were as fat as Jacob’s venison.[491]

Sir Godfrey used to get very angry if any doubt was expressed as to the
legitimacy of the Pretender. “His father and mother have sat to me about
thirty-six times a-piece, and I know every line and bit of their faces.
Mine Gott, I could paint King James _now_ by memory. I say the child is so
like both, that there is not a feature in his face but what belongs to
either father or mother--nay, the nails of his fingers are his
mother’s--the queen that was. Doctor, you may be out in your letters, but
I cannot be out in my lines.”[492]

Kneller had intended Hogarth’s father-in-law, Sir James Thornhill, to
paint his staircase at Whitton, but hearing that Newton was sitting to
him, he was in dudgeon, declared that no portrait-painter should paint
his house, and employed “sprawling” Laguerre instead.

Kneller’s prices were fifteen guineas for a head, twenty if with only one
hand, thirty for a half, and sixty for a whole length. He painted much too
fast and flimsily, and far too much by the help of foreign assistants--in
fact, avowedly to fill his kitchen. In thirty years he made a large
fortune, in spite of losing £20,000 in the South Sea Bubble. His wigs,
drapery, and backgrounds were all painted for him. He is said to have left
at his death 500 unfinished portraits.[493] His favourite work, the
portrait of a Chinese converted and brought over by Couplet, a Jesuit, is
at Windsor. But Walpole preferred his Grinling Gibbons at Houghton.

Kneller left his house in Great Queen Street to his wife, and after her
decease to his godson Godfrey Huckle, who took the name of Kneller.
Amongst the celebrated persons painted by Kneller in his best manner were
Bolingbroke, Wren, Lady Wortley Montague, Pope, Locke, Burnet, Addison,
Evelyn, and the Earl of Peterborough. The brittleness of this man’s fame
is another proof that he who paints merely for his time must perish with
his time.

Conway House was in Great Queen Street. Lord Conway, an able soldier,
brought up by Lord Vere, his uncle, was an epicure, who by his agreeable
conversation was very acceptable at the court of Charles I.[494] He had
the misfortune to be utterly routed by the Scotch at Newburn--a defeat
which gave them Newcastle. The previous Lord Conway was that Secretary of
State of whom James I. said, “Steenie has given me two proper servants--a
secretary (Conway) who can neither write nor read, and a groom of the
bedchamber (Mr. Clarke, a one-handed man) who cannot truss my
points.”[495] It had been well for England if this sottish pedant had had
no worse servants than Conway and Clarke. Raleigh might then have been
spared, and Overbuy would not have been poisoned.

Lord Conway, whose son, General Conway, was such an idol of Horace
Walpole, lived in the family house in Great Queen Street.

Winchester House was not far off. Lord Pawlet figures in all the early
scenes of the Civil War. He was one of the first nobles to raise forces in
the West for the wrong-headed king. On one occasion Basing House was all
but lost by a plot hatched between Waller and the Marquis of Winchester’s
brother, but it was detected in time to save that important place. Basing,
after three months’ siege by a conjunction of Parliament troops from
Hampshire and Essex, was gallantly succoured by Colonel Gage. The
Marchioness, a lady of great honour and alliance, being sister to the Earl
of Essex and to the lady Marchioness of Hertford, enlisted all the Roman
Catholics in Oxford in this dashing adventure.[496] Basing was, however,
eventually stormed and taken by Cromwell, who put most of the garrison to
the sword. William, the fourth marquis, died 1628, and was succeeded by
his son, who was the father of Charles, created in 1689 Duke of Bolton, a
title that became extinct in 1794.

John Greenhill, a Long Acre celebrity, was one of the most promising of
Lely’s scholars. He painted portraits, among others, of Locke,
Shaftesbury, and Davenant. He also drew in crayons, and engraved. It is
said that Lely was jealous of him, and would not let his pupil see him
paint, till Greenhill’s handsome wife was sent to Sir Peter to sit for her
portrait, which cost twelve broad pieces or £15. Greenhill, at first
industrious, became acquainted with the players, and fell into debauched
courses. Coming home drunk late one night from the Vine Tavern, he fell
into the kennel in Long Acre, and was carried to Perrey Walton’s, the
royal picture-cleaner, in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, where he had been lodging,
and died in his bed that night (1676), in the flower of his age. He was
buried at St. Giles’s, and shameless Mrs. Aphra Behn, who admired his
person and his paintings, wrote a long elegy on his death. Sir Peter is
said to have settled £40 a year on Greenhill’s widow and children, but she
died mad soon after her husband.[497]

In June 1718 Ryan, an actor of Lincoln’s Inn Theatre, was supping at the
Sun in Long Acre, and had placed his sword quietly in the window, when a
bully named Kelly came up and made passes at him, provoking him to a duel.
The young actor took his sword, drew it, and passed it through the
rascal’s body. The act being one of obvious self-defence, he was not
called to serious account for it. This Ryan had acted with Betterton.
Addison especially selected him as Marcus in his “Cato,” and Garrick
confessed he took Ryan’s Richard as his model.[498]

Some years after, Ryan, by this time the Orestes, Macduff, Iago, Cassio,
and Captain Plume of the Lincoln’s Inn Fields Theatre, in passing down
Great Queen Street, after playing Scipio in “Sophonisba,” was fired at by
a footpad, and had his jaw shattered. “Friend,” moaned the wounded man,
“you have killed me, but I forgive you.” The actor, however, recovered to
resume his place upon the boards, and generous Quin gave him £1000 in
advance that he had put him down for in his will. He died in 1760.

Hudson, a wretched portrait-painter, although the master of Sir Joshua
Reynolds, lived in a house now divided into two, Nos. 55 and 56.
Portrait-painting, being unable to sink lower than Hudson, turned and
began to rise again. When Reynolds in later years took a villa on Richmond
Hill, somewhat above that of Hudson, he said, “I never thought I should
live to look down on my old master.” Hudson’s house was afterwards
occupied by that insipid poet, Hoole, the translator of Tasso and of
Ariosto.

The old West End entrance of this street, a narrow passage known as the
“Devil’s Gap,” was taken down in 1765.

Martin Folkes, an eminent scholar and antiquarian, was born in Great Queen
Street in 1690. He was made vice-president of the Royal Society by Newton
in 1723, and in 1727, on Sir Isaac’s death, disputed the presidentship
with Sir Hans Sloane,--a post which he eventually obtained in 1741, on the
resignation of Sir Hans. Folkes was a great numismatist, and seems to
have been a generous, pleasant man. He died in 1784. The sale of his
library, prints, and coins lasted fifty-six days. He was, as Leigh Hunt
remarks, one of “the earliest persons among the gentry to marry an
actress,”[499] setting by that means an excellent example. His wife’s name
was Lucretia Bradshaw.

Miss Pope, of Queen Street, had a face grave and unpromising, but her
humour was dry and racy as old sherry. Churchill, in the “Rosciad,”
mentions her as vivaciously advancing in a jig to perform as Cherry and
Polly Honeycomb. Later she grew into an excellent Mrs. Malaprop.[500]

This good woman, well-bred lady, and finished actress, lived for forty
years in Queen Street, two doors east of Freemasons’ Tavern; there, the
Miss Prue, and Cherry, and Jacinta, and Miss Biddy of years before, the
friend of Garrick and the praised of Churchill, sat, surrounded by
portraits of Lord Nuneham, General Churchill, Garrick, and Holland, and
told the story of her first love to Horace Smith.

An attachment had sprung up between her and Holland, but Garrick had
warned her of the man’s waywardness and instability. Miss Pope would not
believe the accusations till one day, on her way to see Mrs. Clive at
Twickenham, she beheld the unfaithful Holland in a boat with Mrs.
Baddeley, near the Eel-pie Island. She accused him at the next rehearsal,
he would confess no wrong, and she never spoke to him again but on the
stage. “But I have reason to know,” said the old lady, shedding tears as
she looked up at her cruel lover’s portrait, “that he never was really
happy.”

Miss Pope left Queen Street at last, finding the Freemasons too noisy
neighbours, especially after dinner. “Miss Pope,” says Hazlitt, “was the
very picture of a duenna or an antiquated dowager in the latter spring of
beauty--the second childhood of vanity; more quaint, fantastic, and
old-fashioned, more pert, frothy, and light-headed than can be
imagined.”[501]

It was not very easy to please poor soured Hazlitt, whose opinion of women
had not been improved by his having been jilted by a servant girl. This
good woman, Miss Pope, died at Hadley in 1801, her latter life having been
embittered by the loss of her brother and favourite niece.

The Freemasons’ Hall, built by T. Sandby, architect, was opened in 1776,
by Lord Petre, a Roman Catholic nobleman, with the usual mysterious
ceremonials of the order. The annual assemblies of the lodges had
previously been held in the halls of the City’s companies. The tavern was
built in 1786, by William Tyler, and has since been enlarged. In the
tavern public meetings and dinners take place, chiefly in May and June.
Here a farewell banquet was given to John Philip Kemble, and a public
dinner on his birthday, to James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd. All the
waiters in this tavern are Masons. The house has been lately enlarged. Its
new great Hall was inaugurated by the dinner given to Charles Dickens by
his friends on his departure for America in November 1857.

Isaac Sparkes, a famous Irish comedian about 1774, was an old, fat,
unwieldy man, with a vast double chin, and large, bushy, prominent
eyebrows. When in London, he established in Long Acre a Club, which was
frequented by Lord Townshend, Lord Effingham, Lord Lindore, Captain
Mulcaster, Mr. Crewe of Cheshire, and “other nobles and fashionables.”
Sparkes, who dressed well and had a commanding presence, probably presided
over it, as he did at Dublin clubs, dressed in robes as Lord Chief Justice
Joker.[502]

In one of the grand old houses in Great Queen Street, on the right hand as
one goes towards Lincoln’s Inn Fields, occupied before 1830 by Messrs.
Allman the booksellers, died Lewis the comedian, famous to the last, as
Leigh Hunt tells us, for his invincible airiness and juvenility. “Mr.
Lewis,” says the same veteran play-goer, “displayed a combination rarely
to be found in acting--that of the fop and the real gentleman. With a
voice, a manner, and a person all equally graceful and light, with
features at once whimsical and genteel, he played on the top of his
profession like a plume. He was the Mercutio of the age, in every sense of
the word mercurial. His airy, breathless voice, thrown to the audience
before he appeared, was the signal of his winged animal spirits; and when
he gave a glance of his eye or touched with his finger another man’s ribs,
it was the very _punctum saliens_ of playfulness and innuendo. We saw him
take leave of the public, a man of sixty-five, looking not more than half
the age, in the character of the Copper Captain; and heard him say, in a
voice broken with emotion, that for the space of thirty years he had not
once incurred their displeasure.”[503]

Benjamin Franklin, when first in England, worked at the printing-office of
Mr. Watts, in Little Wild Street, after being employed for twelve months
at one Palmer’s, in Bartholomew Close. He lodged close by in Duke Street,
opposite the Roman Catholic Chapel, with a widow, to whom he paid
three-and-sixpence weekly. His landlady was a clergyman’s daughter, who
had married a Catholic, and abjured Protestantism. She and Franklin were
much together, as he kept good hours and she was lame and almost confined
to her room. Their frugal supper often consisted of nothing but half an
anchovy, a small slice of bread and butter each, and half a pint of ale
between them. On Franklin proposing to leave for cheaper lodgings, she
consented to let him retain his room at two shillings a week. In the attic
of the house lived a voluntary nun. She was a lady who early in life had
been sent to the Continent for her health, but unable to bear the climate,
had returned home to live in seclusion on £12 a year, devoting the rest of
her income to charity, and subsisting, healthy and cheerful, on nothing
but water-gruel. Her presence was thought a blessing to the house, and
several tenants in succession had charged her no rent. She permitted the
occasional visits of Franklin and his landlady; and the brave American
lad, while he pitied her superstition, felt confirmed in his frugality by
her example.

During his first weeks with Mr. Watts, Franklin worked as a pressman,
drinking only water while his companions had their five pints of porter
daily. The “Water American,” as he was called, was, however, stronger than
his colleagues, and tried to persuade some of them that strong beer was
not necessary for strong work. His argument was that bread contained more
materials of strength than beer, and that it was only corn in the beer
that produced the strength in the liquid.

Born to be a reformer, Franklin persuaded the _chapel_ to alter some of
their laws; he resisted impositions, and conciliated the respect of his
fellows. He worked as a pressman, as he had done in America, for the sake
of the exercise. He used, he tells us, to carry up and down stairs with
one hand a large _form_ of type, while the other fifty men required both
hands to do the same work.

Franklin’s fellow pressman drank every day a pint of beer before
breakfast, a pint with bread and cheese for breakfast, a pint between
breakfast and dinner, one at dinner, one again at six in the afternoon,
and another after his day’s work; and all this he declared to be necessary
to give him strength for the press. “This custom,” said the King of Common
Sense, “seemed to me abominable.” Franklin, however, failed to make a
convert of this man, and he went on paying his four or five shillings a
week for the “cursed beverage,” destined probably, poor devil, to remain
all his life in a state of voluntary wretchedness, serfdom, and poverty.

A few of the men consented to follow Franklin’s example, and renouncing
beer and cheese, to take for breakfast a basin of warm gruel, with butter,
toast, and nutmeg. This did not cost more than a pint of beer--“namely,
three halfpence”--and at the same time was more nourishing and kept the
head clearer. Those who gorged themselves with beer would sometimes run up
a score and come to the Water American for credit, “their light being
out.” Franklin attended at the great stone table every Saturday evening to
take up the little debts, which sometimes amounted to thirty shillings a
week. “This circumstance,” says Franklin in his autobiography, “added to
the reputation of my being a tolerable _gabber_--or, in other words,
skilful in the art of burlesque--kept up my importance in the ‘chapel.’ I
had, besides, recommended myself to the esteem of my master by my
assiduous application to business, never observing ‘Saint’ Monday. My
extraordinary quickness in composing always procured me such work as was
most urgent, and which is commonly best paid; and thus my time passed away
in a very pleasant manner.”[504]

Franklin, like a truly great man, was quietly proud of the humble origin
from which he had risen; and when he came to England as the agent and
ambassador of Massachusetts, he paid a visit to his work-room in Wild
Street, and going to his old friend the press, said to the two workmen
busy at it, “Come, my friends, we will drink together; it is now forty
years since I worked like you at this very press as a journeyman printer.”

Wild House stood on the site of Little Wild Street. The Duchess of Ormond
was living there in 1655.[505]

On the day when King James II. escaped from London the mob grew unruly,
and assembled in great force to pull down houses where either mass was
said or priests lodged. Don Pietro Ronguillo, the Spanish ambassador, who
lived at Wild House, and whom Evelyn mentions as having received him with
“extraordinary civility” (March 26, 1681), had not thought it necessary to
ask for soldiers, though the rich Roman Catholics had sent him their money
and plate as to a sanctuary, and the plate of the Chapel Royal was also in
his care. But the house was sacked without mercy; his noble library
perished in the flames; the chapel was demolished; the pictures, rich
beds, and furniture were destroyed,--the poor Spaniard making his escape
by a back door.[506] His only comfort was that the sacred Host in his
chapel was rescued.[507]

In 1780 another savage and thievish Protestant mob, under Lord George
Gordon, assembled in St. George’s Fields to petition Parliament against
the Test Act, which relieved Roman Catholics from many vexatious penalties
and unjust disabilities on condition of their taking their oaths of
allegiance and disbelief in the infamous doctrines of the Jesuits. The mob
assembled on the 2d of June, and jostled and insulted the Peers going to
the House of Lords. The same evening the people demolished the greater
part of the Roman Catholic Chapel in Duke Street. On Monday they stripped
the house and shop of Mr. Maberly, of Little Queen Street, who had been a
witness at the trial of some rioters. On Tuesday they passed through Long
Acre and burnt Newgate, releasing three hundred prisoners, and the same
day destroyed the house of Justice Cox in Great Queen Street.[508] In
these street riots seventy-two private houses and four public gaols were
burnt, and more than four hundred rioters perished.

At the above-named chapel Nollekens, the eminent sculptor, was baptized in
1737. The present chapel is much resorted to on Sundays by the Irish poor
and foreigners, who live about Drury Lane.

Nicholas Stone, the great monumental sculptor, lived in Long Acre. In 1619
Inigo Jones began the new Banqueting House at Whitehall, and replaced the
one destroyed by fire six months before. This master mason was Nicholas
Stone,[509] the sculptor of the fine monument to Sir Francis Vere in
Westminster Abbey. His pay was 4s. 10d. a day. Stone also designed Dr.
Donne’s splendid monument in St. Paul’s. Roubilliac was a great admirer of
the kneeling knight at the north-west corner of Vere’s tomb. He used to
stand and watch it, and say, “Hush! hush! he vill speak presently.” Mr. J.
T. Smith seems to think that the Shakspere monument at Stratford is in
this sculptor’s manner.[510] Inigo Jones, who had been fined for having
borne arms at the siege of Basing House, joined with Nicholas Stone in
burying their money near Inigo’s house in Scotland Yard; but as the
Parliament encouraged servants to betray such hidden treasures, the
partners removed their money and hid it again with their own hands in
Lambeth Marsh.

Oliver Cromwell, when member for Cambridge, lived from 1637 to 1643, on
the south side of Long Acre, two doors from Nicholas Stone the sculptor.

John Taylor, the “Water-Poet” an eccentric poetaster, kept a public-house
in Phœnix Alley, now Hanover Court, near Long Acre. He was a Thames
waterman, who had fought at the taking of Cadiz, and afterwards travelled
to Germany and Scotland as a servant to Sir William Waade. He was then
made collector of the wine-dues for the lieutenant of the Tower, and wrote
a life of Old Parr, and sixty-three volumes of satire and jingling
doggerel, not altogether without vivacity and vigour. He called himself
“the King’s Water Poet” and “the Queen’s Waterman;” and in 1623 wrote a
tract called “The World runs on Wheels”--a violent attack on the use of
coaches. “I dare truly affirm,” says the writer, “that every day in any
term (especially if the court be at Whitehall) they do rob us of our
livings and carry five hundred and sixty fares daily from us.” In this
quaint pamphlet Taylor gives a humorous account of his once riding in his
master’s coach from Whitehall to the Tower. “Before I had been drawn
twenty yards,” he says, “such a timpany of pride puft me up that I was
ready to burst with the wind-cholic of vaine glory.” He complains
particularly of the streets and lanes being blocked with carriages,
especially Blackfriars and Fleet Street or the Strand after a masque or
play at court; the noise deafening every one and souring the beer, to the
injury of the public health. It is Taylor who mentions that William
Boonen, a Dutchman, first introduced coaches into England in 1564, and
became Queen Elizabeth’s coachman. “It is,” he says, “a doubtful question
whether the devil brought tobacco into England in a coach, or brought a
coach in a fog or mist of tobacco.” Nor did Taylor rest there, for he
presented a petition to James I., which was submitted to Sir Francis
Bacon and other commissioners, to compel all play-houses to stand on the
Bankside, so as to give more work to watermen. In the Civil War, Taylor
went to Oxford and wrote ballads for the king. On his return to London, he
settled in Long Acre with a mourning crown for a sign;[511] but the
Puritans resenting this emblem, he had his own portrait painted instead
with this motto--

  “There’s many a head stands for a sign:
  Then, gentle reader, why not mine?”

Taylor was born in 1580, and died in 1654; and the following epitaph was
written on the vain, honest fellow, who was buried at St.
Martin’s-in-the-Fields:--

  “Here lies the Water-poet, honest John,
  Who rowed on the streams of Helicon;
  Where having many rocks and dangers past,
  He at the haven of Heaven arrived at last.”[512]

From 1682 to 1686 John Dryden lived in Long Acre, on the north side, in a
house facing what formerly was Rose Street. His name appears in the
rate-books as “John Dryden, Esq.”--an unusual distinction--and the sum he
paid to the poor varied from 18s. to £1.[513] It was here he resided when
he was beaten, one December evening in 1679, by three ruffians hired by
the Earl of Rochester and the Duchess of Portsmouth. Sir Walter Scott
makes the poet live at the time in Gerard Street; but no part of Gerard
Street was built in 1679. Rochester had the year before ridiculed Dryden
as “Poet Squab,” and believed that Dryden had helped Mulgrave in
ridiculing him in his clumsy “Essay on Satire.” The best lines of this
dull poem are these:--

  “Of fighting sparks Fame may her pleasure say,
  But ’tis a bolder thing to run away.
  The world may well forgive him all his ill,
  For every fault does prove his penance still;
  Falsely he falls into some dangerous noose,
  And then as meanly labours to get loose.”

A letter from Rochester to a friend, dated November 21, in the above year,
is still extant, in which he names Dryden as the author of the satire, and
concludes with the following threat:--“If he (Dryden) falls on me at the
blunt, which is his very good weapon in wit, I will forgive him, if you
please, and _leave the repartee to Black Will with a cudgel_.”[514]

Dryden offered a reward of fifty pounds for the discovery of the men who
cudgelled him, depositing the money in the hands of “Mr. Blanchard,
goldsmith, next door to Temple Bar,” but all in vain. The Rose Alley
satire, the Rose Alley ambuscade, and the Dryden salutation, became
established jokes with Dryden’s countless enemies. Even Mulgrave himself,
in his _Art of Poetry_ said of Dryden coldly--

  “Though praised and punished for another’s rhymes,
  His own deserve as great applause sometimes.”

And, in a conceited note, the amateur poet described the libel as one for
which Dryden had been unjustly “_applauded and wounded_.” But these lines
and this note Mulgrave afterwards suppressed.

Poor Otway, whom Rochester had satirised, and who had accused Dryden of
saying of his _Don Carlos_ that, “Egad, there was not a line in it he
would be author of,” stood up bravely for Dryden as an honest satirist in
these vigorous verses:--

  “Poets in honour of the truth should write,
  With the same spirit brave men for it fight.

     *       *       *       *       *

  From any private cause where malice reigns,
  Or general pique all blockheads have to brains.”

Dryden never took any poetical revenge on Rochester, and in the prefatory
essay to his _Juvenal_ he takes credit for that forbearance.[515]

Edward (more generally known as Ned) Ward was the landlord of
public-houses alternately in Moorfields, Clerkenwell, Fulwood’s Rents, and
Long Acre. He was born in 1667, and died 1731. He was a High Tory, and
fond of the society of poets and authors.[516] Attacked in the _Dunciad_,
he turned _Don Quixote_ into Hudibrastic verse, and wrote endless songs,
lampoons, coarse clever satires, and _Dialogues on Matrimony_ (1710).

The father of Pepys’s long-suffering wife lived in Long Acre; and the
bustling official describes, with a stultifying exactitude, his horror at
a visit which he found himself forced to pay to a house surrounded by
taverns.

Dr. Arbuthnot, in a letter to Mr. Watkins, gives Bessy Cox--a woman in
Long Acre whom Prior would have married when her husband died--a
detestable character. The infatuated poet left his estate between his old
servant Jonathan Drift, and this woman, who boasted that she was the
poet’s Emma,--another virago, Flanders Jane, being his Chloe.[517]

It is said of this careless, pleasant poet, that after spending an
intellectual evening with Oxford, Bolingbroke, Pope, and Swift, in order
to unbend, he would smoke a pipe and drink a bottle of ale with a common
soldier and his wife in Long Acre. Cibber calls the man a butcher;[518]
other writers make him a cobbler or a tavern-keeper, which is more likely.
The shameless husband is said to have been proud of the poet’s preference
for his wife. Pope, who was remorseless at the failings of friends, calls
the woman a wretch, and said to Spence, “Prior was not a right good man;
he used to bury himself for whole days and nights together with this poor
mean creature, and often drank hard.” This person, who perhaps is
misrepresented--and where there is a doubt the prisoner at the bar should
always have the benefit of it--was the Venus of the poet’s verse. To her
Prior wrote, after Walpole tried to impeach him:--

  “From public noise and faction’s strife,
  From all the busy ills of life,
  Take me, my Chloe, to thy breast,
  And lull my wearied soul to rest.

  “For ever in this humble cell [ale-house]
  Let thee and I [me], my fair one, dwell;
  None enter else but Love, and he
  Shall bar the door and keep the key.”

Prior was the son of a joiner,[519] and was brought up, as before
mentioned, by his uncle, a tavern-keeper at Charing Cross, where the
clever waiter’s knowledge of Horace led to his being sent to college by
the Earl of Dorset. Abandoning literature, he finally became our
ambassador to France. He died in retirement in 1721.

It was in a poor shoemaker’s small window in Long Acre,--half of it
devoted to boots, half to pictures--that poor starving Wilson’s fine
classical landscapes were exposed, often vainly, for sale. Here, from his
miserable garret in Tottenham Court Road, the great painter, peevish and
soured by neglect, would come swearing at his rivals Barret and Smith of
Chichester. I can imagine him, with his tall, burly figure, his red face,
and his enormous nose, striding out of the shop, thirsting for porter, and
muttering that, if the pictures of Wright of Derby had fire, his had air.
Yet this great painter, whose works are so majestic and glowing, so fresh,
airy, broad, and harmonious, was all but starved. The king refused to
purchase his “Kew Gardens,” and the very pawnbrokers grew weary of taking
his Tivolis and Niobes as pledges, far preferring violins, flat-irons, or
telescopes.

It was in Long Acre that that delightful idyllic painter, Stothard, was
born in 1755. His father, a Yorkshireman, kept an inn in the street.[520]
Sent for his health into Yorkshire, and placed with an old lady who had
some choice engravings, he began to draw. The first subject that he ever
painted was executed with an oyster-shell full of black paint, borrowed
from the village plumber and glazier. This little man was the father of
many a Watteau lover and tripping Boccaccio nymph. That genial and
graceful artist, who illustrated Chaucer, _Robinson Crusoe_, and _The
Pilgrim’s Progress_, had the road to fame pointed out to him first by
that little black man.

On the accession of King George I. the Tories had such sway over the
London mobs, that the friends of the Protestant succession resolved to
found cheap tavern clubs in various parts of the City in order that
well-affected tradesmen might meet to keep up their spirit of loyalty, and
serve as focus-points of resistance in case of Tory tumults.

Defoe, a staunch Whig, describes one of these assemblies in Long Acre,
which probably suggested the rest. At the Mughouse Club in Long Acre,
about a hundred gentlemen, lawyers, and tradesmen met in a large room, at
seven o’clock on Wednesday and Saturday evenings in the winter, and broke
up soon after ten. A grave old gentleman, “in his own grey hairs,”[521]
and within a few months of ninety, was the president, and sat in an
“armed” chair, raised some steps above the rest of the company, to keep
the room in order. A harp was played all the time at the lower end of the
room, and every now and then one of the company rose and entertained the
rest with a song. Nothing was drunk but ale, and every one chalked his
score on the table beside him. What with the songs and drinking healths
from one table to another, there was no room for politics or anything that
could sour conversation. The members of these clubs retired when they
pleased, as from a coffee-house.

Old Sir Hans Sloane’s coach, made by John Aubrey, Queen Anne’s coachmaker,
in Long Acre, and given to him by her for curing her of a fit of the gout,
was given by Sir Hans to his old butler, who set up the White Horse Inn
behind Chelsea Church, where it remained for half a century.[522]

Charles Catton, one of the early Academicians, was originally a coach and
sign painter. He painted a lion as a sign for his friend, a celebrated
coachmaker, at that time living in Long Acre.[523] A sign painted by
Clarkson, that hung at the north-east corner of Little Russell Street
about 1780, was said to have cost £500, and crowds used to collect to
look at it.

Lord William Russell was led from Holborn into Little Queen Street on his
way to the scaffold in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. As the coach turned into this
street, Lord Russell said to Tillotson, “I have often turned to the other
hand with great comfort, but I now turn to this with greater.” He referred
to Southampton House, on the opposite side of Holborn, which he inherited
through his brave and good wife, the grand-daughter of Shakspere’s early
patron.

In the year 1796 Charles Lamb resided with his father, mother, aunt, and
sister in lodgings at No. 7 Little Queen Street, a house, I believe,
removed to make way for the church. Southey describes a call which he made
on them there in 1794-5. The father had once published a small quarto
volume of poetry, of which “The Sparrow’s Wedding” was his favourite, and
Charles used to delight him by reading this to him when he was in his
dotage. In 1797 Lamb published his first verses. His father, the
ex-servant and companion of an old Bencher in the Temple, was sinking into
the grave; his mother had lost the use of her limbs, and his sister was
employed by day in needlework, and by night in watching her mother. Lamb,
just twenty-one years old, was a clerk in the India House. On the 22d of
September[524] Miss Lamb, who had been deranged some years before by
nervous fatigue, seized a case-knife while dinner was preparing, chased a
little girl, her apprentice, round the room, and on her mother calling to
her to forbear, stabbed her to the heart. Lamb arrived only in time to
snatch the knife from his sister’s hand. He had that morning been to
consult a doctor, but had not found him at home. The verdict at the
inquest was “Insanity,” and Mary Lamb was sent to a mad-house, where she
soon recovered her reason. Poor Lamb’s father and aunt did not long
survive. Not long after, Lamb himself was for six weeks confined in an
asylum. There is extant a terrible letter in which he describes rushing
from a party of friends who were supping with him soon after the horrible
catastrophe, and in an agony of regret falling on his knees by his
mother’s coffin, asking forgiveness of Heaven for forgetting her so
soon.[525]

There is no doubt that poor Lamb played the sot over his nightly grog; but
he had a noble soul, and let us be lenient with such a man--

  “Be to his faults a little blind,
  And to his virtues very kind.”

He abandoned her whom he loved, together with all meaner ambitions, and
drudged his years away as a poor, ignoble clerk, in order to maintain his
half-crazed sister; for this purpose--true knight that he was, though he
never drew sword--he gave all that he had--HIS LIFE! Peace, then! peace be
to his ashes!

[Illustration: LYON’S INN, 1804.]



[Illustration: CRAVEN HOUSE, 1790]


CHAPTER XII.

DRURY LANE.


The Roll of Battle Abbey tells us that the founder of the Drury family
came into England with that brave Norman robber, the Conqueror, and
settled in Suffolk.[526]

From this house branched off the Druries of Hawstead, in the same county,
who built Drury House in the time of Elizabeth. It stood a little behind
the site of the present Olympic Theatre. Of another branch of the same
family was that Sir Drue Drury, who, together with Sir Amias Powlett, had
at one time the custody of Mary, Queen of Scots.

Drury Lane takes its name from a house probably built by Sir William
Drury, a Knight of the Garter, and a most able commander in the desultory
Irish wars during the reign of Elizabeth, who fell in a duel with John
Burroughs, fought to settle a foolish quarrel about some punctilio of
precedency.[527] In this house, in 1600, the imprudent friends of rash
Essex resolved on the fatal outbreak that ended so lamentably at Ludgate.
The Earl of Southampton then resided there.[528] The plots of Blount,
Davis, Davers, etc., were communicated to Essex by letter. It was noticed
that at his trial the earl betrayed agitation at the mention of Drury
House, though he had carefully destroyed all suspicious papers.

Sir William’s son Robert was a patron of Dr. Donne, the religious poet and
satirist, who in 1611 had apartments assigned to him and his wife in Drury
House. Donne, though the son of a man of some fortune, was foolish enough
to squander his money when young, and in advanced life was so wanting in
self-respect as to live about in other men’s houses, paying for his food
and lodging by his wit and conversation. He lived first with Lord
Chancellor Egerton, Bacon’s predecessor, afterwards at Drury House and
with Sir Francis Wooley at Pitford, in Surrey. After his clandestine
marriage with Lady Ellesmere’s niece, Donne’s life was for some time a
hard and troublesome one.

“Sir Robert Drury,” says Isaac Walton, “a gentleman of a very noble estate
and a more liberal mind, assigned Donne and his wife a useful apartment in
his own large house in Drury Lane, and rent free; he was also a cherisher
of his studies, and such a friend as sympathised with him and his in all
their joys and sorrows.”[529]

Sir Robert, wishing to attend Lord Hay as King James’s ambassador at his
audiences in Paris with Henry IV., begged Donne to accompany him. But the
poet refused, his wife being at the time near her confinement and in poor
health, and saying that “her divining soul boded some ill in his absence.”
But Sir Robert growing more urgent, and Donne unwilling to refuse his
generous friend a request, at last obtained from his wife a faint consent
for a two months’ absence. On the twelfth day the party reached Paris. Two
days afterwards Donne was left alone in the room where Sir Robert and
other friends had dined. Half an hour afterwards Sir Robert returned, and
found Mr. Donne still alone, “but in such an ecstasy, and so altered in
his looks,” as amazed him. After a long and perplexed pause, Donne said,
“I have had a dreadful vision since I saw you; I have seen my dear wife
pass by me twice in this room with her hair hanging about her shoulders
and a dead child in her arms;” to which Sir Robert replied, “Sure, sir,
you have slept since I saw you, and this is the result of some melancholy
dream, which I desire you to forget, for you are now awake.” Donne assured
his friend that he had not been asleep, and that on the second appearance
his wife stopped, looked him in the face, and then vanished.

The next day, however, neither rest nor sleep had altered Mr. Donne’s
opinion, and he repeated the story with only a more deliberate and
confirmed confidence. All this inclining Sir Robert to some faint belief,
he instantly sent off a servant to Drury House to bring him word in what
condition Mrs. Donne was. The messenger returned in due time, saying that
he had found Mrs. Donne very sad and sick in bed, and that after a long
and dangerous labour she had been delivered of a dead child; and upon
examination, the delivery proved to have been at the very day and hour in
which Donne had seen the vision. Walton is proud of this late miracle, so
easily explainable by natural causes; and illustrates the sympathy of
souls by the story of two lutes, one of which, if both are tuned to the
same pitch, will, though untouched, echo the other when it is played.

Far be it from me to wish to ridicule any man’s belief in the
supernatural; but still, as a lover of truth, wishing to believe what
_is_, whether natural or supernatural, without confusing the former with
the latter, let me analyse this pictured presentiment. An imaginative man,
against his sick wife’s wish, undertakes a perilous journey. Absent from
her--alone--after wine and friendly revel feeling still more lonely--in
the twilight he thinks of home and the wife he loves so much. Dreaming,
though awake, his fears resolve themselves into a vision, seen by the
mind, and to the eye apparently vivid as reality. The day and hour happen
to correspond, or he persuades himself afterwards that they do correspond
with the result, and the day-dream is henceforward ranked among
supernatural visions. Who is there candid enough to write down the
presentiments that do not come true? And after all, the vision, to be
consistent, should have been followed by the death of Mrs. Donne as well
as the child.

Some verses are pointed out by Isaac Walton as those written by Donne on
parting from her for this journey. But there is internal evidence in them
to the contrary; for they refer to Italy, not to Paris, and to a lady who
would accompany him as a page, which a lady in Mrs. Donne’s condition
could scarcely have done. I have myself no doubt that the verses cited
were written to his wife long before, when their marriage was as yet
concealed. With what a fine vigour the poem commences!--

  “By our first strange and fatal interview,
  By all desires which thereof did ensue,
  By our long-striving hopes, by that remorse
  Which my words’ masculine persuasive force
  Begot in thee, and by the memory
  Of hurts which spies and rivals threaten me!”

     *       *       *       *       *

And how full of true feeling and passionate tenderness is the dramatic
close!--

  “When I am gone dream me some happiness,
  Nor let thy looks our long-hid love confess;
  Nor praise nor dispraise me; nor bless nor curse
  Openly love’s force; nor in bed fright thy nurse
  With midnight startings, crying out, ‘Oh! oh!
  Nurse! oh, my love is slain! I saw him go
  O’er the white Alps alone; I saw him, I,
  Assailed, taken, fight, stabbed, bleed, and die.’”

The verses really written on Donne’s leaving for Paris begin with four
exquisite lines--

  “As virtuous men pass mild away,
    And whisper to their souls to go,
  Whilst some of their sad friends do say,
    ‘The breath goes now,’ and some say ‘No!’”

A later verse contains a strange conceit, beaten out into pin-wire a page
long by a modern poet--[530]

  “If we be two, we are two so
  As stiff twin compasses are two;
  Thy soul, the fix’d foot, makes no show
  To move, but does if t’other do.”

Donne was the chief of what Dr. Johnson unwisely called “the metaphysical
school of poetry.” Dryden accuses Donne of perplexing the fair sex with
nice speculations.[531] His poems, often pious and beautiful, are
sometimes distorted with strange conceits. He has a poem on a flea; and in
his lines on Good Friday he thus whimsically expresses himself:--

  “Who sees God’s face--that is, self-life--must die:
  What a death were it then to see God die!
  It made his own lieutenant, Nature, shrink;
  It made his footstool crack and the sun wink.
  Could I behold those hands, which span the Poles,
  And tune all sphears at once, pierced with those holes!”[532]

This imitator of the worst faults of Marini was made Dean of St. Paul’s by
King James I., who delighted to converse with him. The king used to say,
“I always rejoice when I think that by my means Donne became a divine.” He
gave the poet the deanery one day as he sat at dinner, saying “that he
would carve to him of a dish he loved well, and that he might take the
dish (the deanery) home to his study and say grace there to himself, and
much good might it do him.”

Shortly before his death Donne dressed himself in his shroud, and standing
there, with his eyes shut and the sheet opened, “To discover his thin,
pale, and death-like face,” he caused a curious painter to take his
picture. This picture he kept near his bed as a ghostly remembrance, and
from this Nicholas Stone, the sculptor, carved his effigy, which still
exists in St. Paul’s, having survived the Great Fire, though the rest of
his tomb and monument has perished.

Drury House took the name of Craven House when rebuilt by Lord Craven.
There is a tradition in Yorkshire, where the deanery of Craven is
situated, that this chivalrous nobleman’s father was sent up to London by
the carrier, and there became a mercer or draper. His son was not unworthy
of the staunch old Yorkshire stock. He fought under Gustavus Adolphus
against Wallenstein and Tilly, and afterwards attached himself to the
service of the unfortunate King and Queen of Bohemia, and won wealth and a
title for his family, which the Wars of the Roses had first reduced to
indigence.

The Queen of Bohemia had been married in 1613 to Frederic, Count Palatine
of the Rhine, only a few months after the death of Prince Henry her
brother. The young King of Spain had been her suitor, and the Pope had
opposed her match with a Protestant. She was married on St. Valentine’s
Day; and Donne, from his study in Drury Lane, celebrated the occasion by a
most extravagant epithalamion in which is to be found this outrageous
line--

  “Here lies a She sun, and a He moon there.”

The poem opens prettily enough with these lines--

  “Hail, Bishop Valentine, whose day this is!
  All the air is thy diocese;
  And all the chirping choristers
  And other birds are thy parishioners.
    Thou marry’st every year
  The lyrique lark and the grave whispering dove.”

At seventeen Sir William Craven had entered the service of the Prince of
Orange. On the accession of Charles I. he was ennobled. At the storming of
Creuzenach he was the first of the English Cavaliers to mount the breach
and plant the flag. It was then that Gustavus said smilingly to him, “I
perceive, sir, you are willing to give a younger brother a chance of
coming to your title and estate.” At Donauwert the young Englishman again
distinguished himself. In the same month that Gustavus fell at Lutzen, the
Elector Palatine died at Mentz. While Grotius interceded for the Queen of
Bohemia, Lord Craven fought for her in the vineyards of the
Palatinate.[533] In consequence, perhaps, of Richelieu’s intrigues, four
years elapsed before Charles I. took compassion on the children of his
widowed sister, whose cause the Puritans had loudly advocated. When
Charles and Rupert did go to England, they went under the care of the
trusty Lord Craven, who was to try to recover the arrears of the widow’s
pension. On their return to Germany, to campaign in Westphalia, Rupert and
Lord Craven were taken prisoners and thrown into the castle at Vienna--a
confinement that lasted three years, a long time for brave young soldiers
who, like the Douglas, “preferred the lark’s song to the mouse’s squeak.”

Later in the Civil War we find this same generous nobleman giving £50,000
to King Charles, at a time when he was a beggar and a fugitive. Cromwell,
enraged at the aid thus ministered to an enemy, accused the Cavalier of
enlisting volunteers for the Stuart, and instantly, with stern
promptitude, sequestered all his English estates except Combe Abbey. In
the meantime Lord Craven served the State and his queen bravely, and
waited for better times. It was this faithful servant who consoled the
royal widow for her son’s ill-treatment, the slander heaped upon her
daughter, and the incessant vexations of importunate creditors.

The Restoration brought no good news for the unfortunate queen. Charles,
afraid of her claims for a pension, delayed her return to England, till
the Earl of Craven generously offered her a house next his own in Drury
Lane. She found there a pleasant and commodious mansion, surrounded by a
delightful garden.[534] It does not appear that she went publicly to
court, or joined in the royal revelries; but she visited the theatres with
her nephew Charles and her good old friend and host, and she was reunited
to her son Rupert.

In the autumn of 1661, the year after the Restoration, she removed to
Leicester House, then the property of Sir Robert Sydney, Earl of
Leicester, and in the next February she died.[535] Evelyn mentions a
violent tempestuous wind that followed her death, as a sign from Heaven to
show that the troubles and calamities of this princess and of the royal
family in general had now all blown over, and were, like the ex-queen, to
rest in repose.

She left all her books, pictures, and papers to her incomparable old
friend and benefactor. The Earl of Leicester wrote to the Earl of
Northumberland a cold and flippant letter to announce the departure of
“his royal tenant;” and adds, “It seems the Fates did not think it fit I
should have the honour, which indeed I never much desired, to be the
landlord of a queen.” Charles, who had grudged the dethroned queen even
her subsistence, gave her a royal funeral in Westminster Abbey.

At the very time when she died Lord Craven was building a miniature
Heidelberg for her at Hampstead Marshall, in Berkshire, under the advice
of that eminent architect and charlatan, Sir Balthasar Gerbier. But the
palace was ill-fated, like the poor queen, for it was consumed by an
accidental fire before it could be tenanted. The arrival of the Portuguese
Infanta, a princess scarcely less unfortunate than the queen just dead,
soon erased all recollections of King James’s ill-starred daughter.

The biographers of the Queen of Bohemia do not claim for her beauty, wit,
learning, or accomplishments; but she seems to have been an affectionate,
romantic girl, full of vivacity and ambition, who was ripened by sorrow
and disappointment into an amiable and high-souled woman.

It was always supposed that the Queen of Bohemia was secretly married to
Lord Craven, as Bassompierre was to a princess of Lorraine. A base and
abandoned court could not otherwise account for a friendship so
unchangeable and so unselfish. There is also a story that when Craven
House was pulled down, a subterranean passage was discovered joining the
eastern and western sides. Similar passages have been found joining
convents to monasteries; but, unfortunately for the scandalmongers, they
are generally proved to have been either sewers or conduits. The “Queen of
Hearts,” as she was called--the princess to whose cause the chivalrous
Christian of Brunswick, the knight with the silver arm, had solemnly
devoted his life and fortunes--the “royal mistress” to whom shifty Sir
Henry Wotton had written those beautiful lines--

  “You meaner beauties of the night,
  That poorly entertain our eyes
  More by your number than your light,
  What are ye when the moon doth rise?”

was at “last gone to dust.” Her faithful servant, the old soldier of
Gustavus, survived her thirty-five years, and lived to follow to the grave
his foster-child in arms, Prince Rupert, whose daughter Ruperta was left
to his trusty guardianship.

In 1670, on the death of the stolid and drunken Duke of Albemarle, Charles
II. constituted Lord Craven colonel of the Coldstreams. Energetic,
simple-hearted, benevolent, this good servant of a bad race became a
member of the Royal Society, lived in familiar intimacy with Evelyn and
Ray, improved his property, and employed himself in gardening.

Although he had many estates, Lord Craven always showed the most
predilection for Combe Abbey, the residence of the Queen of Bohemia in her
youth. To judge by the numerous dedications to which his name is prefixed,
he would appear to have been a munificent patron of letters, especially
of those authors who had been favourites of Elizabeth of Bohemia.[536]

On the accession of James, Lord Craven, true as ever, was sworn of the
Privy Council; but soon after, on some mean suspicion of the king, was
threatened with the loss of his regiment. “If they take away my regiment,”
said the staunch old soldier, “they had as good take away my life, since I
have nothing else to divert myself with.” In the hurry of the Popish
catastrophe it was not taken away. But King William proved Craven’s
loyalty to the Stuarts by giving his regiment to General Talmash.

The unemployed officer now expended his activity in attending riots and
fires. Long before, when the Puritan prentices had pulled down the houses
of ill-fame in Whettone Park and in Moorfields, Pepys had described the
colonel as riding up and down like a madman, giving orders to his men.
Later Lord Dorset had spoken of the old soldier’s energy in a gay ballad
on his mistress--

  “The people’s hearts leap wherever she comes,
  And beat day and night like my Lord Craven’s drums.”

In King William’s reign the veteran was so prompt in attending fires that
it used to be said his horse smelt a fire as soon as it broke out.

Lord Craven died unmarried in 1697, aged 88, and was buried at Binley,
near Coventry. The grandson of a Wharfdale peasant had ended a well-spent
life. His biographer, Miss Benger, well remarks:--“If his claims to
disinterestedness be contemned of men, let his cause be (left) to female
judges,--to whose honour be it averred, examples of nobleness, generosity
and magnanimity are ever delightful, because to their purer and more
susceptible souls they are (never) incredible.”[537]

Drury House was rebuilt by Lord Craven after the Queen’s death. It
occupied the site of Craven Buildings and the Olympic Theatre. Pennant,
ever curious and energetic, went to find it, and describes it in his
pleasant way as a “large brick pile,” then turned into a public-house
bearing the sign of the Queen of Bohemia, faithful still to the worship of
its old master.

The house was taken down in 1809, when the Olympic Pavilion was built on
part of its gardens. The cellars, once stored with good Rhenish from the
Palatinate, and sack from Cadiz, still exist, but have been blocked up.
Palsgrave Place, near Temple Bar, perpetuates the memory of the unlucky
husband of the brave princess.

It was Lord Craven who generously founded pest-houses in Carnaby Street,
soon after the Great Plague. There were thirty-six small houses and a
cemetery. They were sold in 1772 to William, third Earl of Craven, for
£1200. It may be remembered that in the _Memoirs of Scriblerus_ a room is
hired for the dissection of the purchased body of a malefactor, near the
St. Giles’s pest-fields, and not far from Tyburn Road, Oxford Street. The
Earl was their founder.

On the end wall at the bottom of Craven Buildings there was formerly a
large fresco-painting of the Earl of Craven, who was represented in
armour, mounted on a charger, and with a truncheon in his hand. This
portrait had been twice or thrice repainted in oil, but in Brayley’s time
was entirely obliterated.[538] This fresco is said to have been the work
of Paul Vansomer, a painter who came to England from Antwerp about 1606,
and died in 1621. He painted the Earl and Countess of Arundel, and there
are pictures by him at Hampton Court. He also executed the pleasant and
quaint hunting scene, with portraits of Prince Henry and the young Earl of
Essex, now at St. James’s Palace.[539]

Mr. Moser, keeper of the Royal Academy, a chaser of plate, cane-heads, and
watch-cases, afterwards an enameller of watch-trinkets, necklaces, and
bracelets, lived in Craven Buildings, which were built in 1723 on part of
the site of Craven House. He died in his apartments in Somerset House in
1783.

It was in Short’s Gardens, Drury Lane, “in a hole,” that Charles Mathews
the elder made one of his first attempts as an actor.

Clare House Court, on the left hand going up Drury Lane, derived its name
from John Holles, second Earl of Clare, whose town house stood at the end
of this court. His son Gilbert, the third Earl, died in 1689, and was
succeeded by his son, John Holles, created Marquis of Clare and Duke of
Newcastle in 1694. He died in 1711, when all his honours became extinct.
The corner house has upon it the date 1693.[540]

In the reign of James I., when Gondomar, the Spanish ambassador, lived at
Ely House, in Holborn, he used to pass through Drury Lane in his litter on
his way to Whitehall, Covent Garden being then an enclosed field, and this
district and the Strand the chief resorts of the gentry. The ladies,
knowing his hours, would appear in their balconies or windows to present
their civilities to the old man, who would bend himself as well as he
could to the humblest posture of respect. One day, as he passed by the
house of Lady Jacob in Drury Lane, she presented herself: he bowed to her,
but she only gaped at him. Curious to see if this yawning was intentional
or accidental, he passed the next day at the same hour, and with the same
result. Upon which he sent a gentleman to her to let her know that the
ladies of England were usually more gracious to him than to encounter his
respects with such affronts. She answered that she had a mouth to be
stopped as well as others. Gondomar, finding the cause of her distemper,
sent her a present, an antidote which soon cured her of her strange
complaint.[541] This Lady Jacob became the wife of the poet Brooke.

That credulous gossip, the Wiltshire gentleman, Aubrey, tells a quaint
story of a duel in Drury Lane, in probably Charles II.’s time, which is a
good picture of such rencontres amongst the hot-blooded bravos of that
wild period.

“Captain Carlo Fantom, a Croatian,” he says, “who spoke thirteen
languages, was a captain under the Earl of Essex. He had a world of cuts
about his body with swords, and was very quarrelsome. He met, coming late
at night out of the Horseshoe Tavern in Drury Lane, with a lieutenant of
Colonel Rossiter, who had great jingling spurs on. Said he, ‘The noise of
your spurs doe offend me; you must come over the kennel and give me
satisfaction.’ They drew and passed at each other, and the lieutenant was
runne through, and died in an hour or two, and ’twas not known who killed
him.”[542]

About this time John Lacy, Charles II.’s favourite comedian, the Falstaff
of Dryden’s time, lived in Drury Lane from 1665 till his death in 1681.
The ex-dancing-master and lieutenant dwelt near Cradle Alley and only two
doors from Lord Anglesey.

Drury Lane, though it soon began to deteriorate, had fashionable
inhabitants in Charles II.’s time. Evelyn, that delightful type of the
English gentleman, mentions in his _Diary_ the marriage of his niece to
the eldest son of Mr. Attorney Montague at Southampton Chapel, and talks
of a magnificent entertainment at his sister’s “lodgings” in Drury Lane.
Steele, however, branded its disreputable districts; Gay[543] warned us
against “Drury’s mazy courts and dark abodes;” and Pope laughed at
building a church for “the saints of Drury Lane,” and derided its proud
and paltry “drabs.” The little sour poet, snugly off and well housed,
delighted to sneer, with a cruel and ungenerous contempt, at the poverty
of the poor Drury Lane poet who wrote for instant bread:--

  “‘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.”

To ridicule poverty, and to treat misfortune as a punishable crime, is the
special opprobrium of too many of the heroes of English literature.

Hogarth has shown us the poor poet of Drury Lane; Goldsmith has painted
for us the poor author, but in a kindlier way, for he must have
remembered how poor he himself and Dr. Johnson, Savage, Otway, and Lee had
been. Pope, in his notes to the _Dunciad_, expressly says that the poverty
of his enemies is the cause of all their slander. Poverty with him is
another name for vice and all uncleanness. Goldsmith only laughs as he
describes the poor poet in Drury Lane in a garret, snug from the Bailiff,
and opposite a public-house famous for Calvert’s beer and Parsons’s “black
champagne.” The windows are dim and patched; the floor is sanded. The damp
walls are hung with the royal game of goose, the twelve rules of King
Charles, and a black profile of the Duke of Cumberland. The rusty grate
has no fire. The mantelpiece is chalked with long unpaid scores of beer
and milk. There are five cracked teacups on the chimney-board; and the
poet meditates over his epics and his finances with a stocking round his
brows “instead of bay.”

Early in the reign of William III. Drury Lane finally lost all traces of
its aristocratic character.

Vinegar Yard, in Drury Lane, was originally called Vine Garden Yard. Vine
Street, Piccadilly, Vine Street, Westminster, and Vine Street, Saffron
Hill, all derived their names from the vineyards they displaced; but there
is great reason to suppose that in the Middle Ages orchards and
herb-gardens were often classified carelessly as “vineyards.” English
grapes might produce a sour, thin wine, but there was never a time when
home-made wine superseded the produce of Montvoisin, Bordeaux, or Gascony.
Vinegar Yard was built about 1621.[544] In St Martin’s Burial Register
there is an entry, “1624, Feb. 4: Buried Blind John out of Vinagre Yard.”
Clayrender’s letter in Smollett’s _Roderick Random_ is written to her
“dear kreetur” from “Winegar Yard, Droory Lane.” This fair charmer must
surely have lived not far from Mr. Dickens’s inimitable Mrs. Megby. The
nearness of Vinegar Yard to the theatre is alluded to by James Smith in
his parody on Sir Walter Scott in the _Rejected Addresses_.

General Monk’s gross and violent wife was the daughter of his servant,
John Clarges, a farrier in the Savoy. Her mother, says Aubrey, was one of
the five women-barbers[545] that lived in Drury Lane. She kept a
glove-shop in the New Exchange before her marriage, and as a seamstress
used to carry the general’s linen to him when he was in the Tower.

Pepys hated her, because she was jealous of his patron, Lord Sandwich, and
called him a coward. He calls her “ill-looking” and “a plain, homely
dowdy,” and says that one day, when Monk was drunk, and sitting with
Troutbeck, a disreputable fellow, the duke was wondering that Nan Hyde, a
brewer’s daughter, should ever have come to be Duchess of York. “Nay,”
said Troutbeck, “ne’er wonder at that, for if you will give me another
bottle of wine I will tell you as great if not a greater miracle, and that
was that our Dirty Bess should come to be Duchess of Albemarle.”[546]

Nell Gwynn was born in Coal Yard, on the east side of Drury Lane,[547] the
next turning to the infamous Lewknor Lane, which used to be inhabited by
the orange-girls who attended the theatres in Charles II.’s reign. It was
in this same lane that Jonathan Wild, the thief-taker, whom Fielding
immortalises, afterwards lived. In a coarse and ruthless satire written by
Sir George Etherege after Nell’s death, the poet calls her a “scoundrel
lass,” raised from a dunghill, born in a cellar, and brought up as a
cinder-wench in a coalyard.[548]

Nelly was the vagabond daughter of a poor Cavalier captain and fruiterer,
who is said to have died in prison at Oxford. She began life by selling
fish in the street, then turned orange-girl at the theatres, was promoted
to be an actress, and finally became a mistress of Charles II. Though not
as savage-tempered as the infamous Lady Castlemaine, Nelly was almost as
mischievous, and quite as shameless. She obtained from the king £60,000
in four years.[549] She bought a pearl necklace at Prince Rupert’s sale
for £4000. She drank, swore, gambled, and squandered money as wildly as
her rivals. Nelly was small, with a good-humoured face, and “eyes that
winked when she laughed.”[550] She was witty, reckless, and good-natured.
The portrait of her by Lely, with the lamb under her arm, shows us a very
arch, pretty, dimply little actress. The present Duke of St. Alban’s is
descended from her.[551]

In 1667 Nell Gwynn was living in Drury Lane, for on May day of that year
Pepys says--“To Westminster, in the way meeting many milkmaids with
garlands upon their pails, dancing with a fiddler between them; and saw
pretty Nelly standing at her lodging’s door in Drury Lane, in her
smock-sleeves and boddice, looking upon one. She seemed a mighty pretty
creature.” Nelly had not then been long on the stage, and Pepys had hissed
her a few months before being introduced to her by dangerous Mrs. Knipp.
In 1671 Evelyn saw Nelly, then living in Pall Mall, “looking out of her
garden on a terrace at the top of the wall,” and talking too familiarly to
the king, who stood on the green walk in the park below.[552]

Poor Nell was not “allowed to starve,” but ended an ill life by dying of
apoplexy. There is no authority for the name of “Nell Gwynn’s Dairy” given
to a house near the Adelphi.

That infamous and perjured scoundrel, and the murderer of so many innocent
men, Titus Oates, was the son of a popular Baptist preacher in Ratcliffe
Highway, and was educated at Merchant Taylor’s. Dismissed from the Fleet,
of which he was chaplain, for infamous practices, he became a Jesuit at
St. Omer’s, and came back to disclose the sham Popish plot, for which
atrocious lie he received of the Roman Catholic king, Charles II., £1200 a
year, an escort of guards, and a lodging in Whitehall. Oates died in
1705. He lodged for some time in Cockpit Alley, now called Pitt Place.

It was in the Crown Tavern, next the Whistling Oyster, and close to the
south side of Drury Lane Theatre, that _Punch_ was first projected by Mr.
Mark Lemon and Mr. Henry Mayhew in 1841; and its first number was
“prepared for press” in a back room in Newcastle Street, Strand. Great
rivers often have their sources in swampy and obscure places, and our
good-natured satirist has not much to boast of in its birthplace. To
_Punch_ Tom Hood contributed his immortal “Song of the Shirt,” and
Tennyson his scorching satire against Bulwer and his “New Timon;” almost
from the first, Leech devoted to it his humorous pencil, and Albert Smith
his perennial store of good humour and drollery. Amongst its other early
contributors should be mentioned Mr. Gilbert A. à Beckett, Mr. W. H.
Wills, and Douglas Jerrold.

Zoffany, the artist, lived for some time in poverty in Drury Lane. Mr.
Audinet, father of Philip Audinet the engraver, served his time with the
celebrated clockmaker, Rimbault, who lived in Great St. Andrew’s Street,
Seven Dials. This worthy excelled in the construction of the clocks called
at that time “Twelve-tuned Dutchmen,” which were contrived with moving
figures, engaged in a variety of employments. The pricking of the barrels
of those clocks was performed by Bellodi, an Italian, who lived hard by,
in Short’s Gardens, Drury Lane. This person solicited Rimbault in favour
of a starving artist who dwelt in a garret in his house. “Let him come to
me,” said Rimbault. Accordingly Zoffany waited upon the clockmaker, and
produced some specimens of his art, which were so satisfactory that he was
immediately set to work to embellish clock-faces, and paint appropriate
backgrounds to the puppets upon them. From clock-faces the young painter
proceeded to the human face divine, and at last resolved to try his hand
upon the visage of the worthy clockmaker himself. He hit off the likeness
of the patron so successfully, that Rimbault exerted himself to serve and
promote him. Benjamin Wilson, the portrait-painter, who at that time lived
at 56 Great Russell Street, a house afterwards inhabited by Philip
Audinet, being desirous of procuring an assistant who could draw the
figure well, and being, like Lawrence, deficient in all but the head,
found out the ingenious painter of clock-faces, and engaged him at the
moderate salary of forty pounds a year, with an especial injunction to
secrecy. In this capacity he worked upon a picture of Garrick and Miss
Bellamy in “Romeo and Juliet,” which was exhibited under the name of
Wilson. Garrick’s keen eye satisfied him that another hand was in the
work; so he resolved to discover the unknown painter. This discovery he
effected by perseverance: he made the acquaintance of Zoffany and became
his patron, employing him himself and introducing him to his friends; and
in this way his bias to theatrical portraiture became established.
Garrick’s favour met with an ample return in the admirable portraits of
himself and contemporaries, which have rendered their personal appearance
so speakingly familiar to posterity both in his pictures and the admirable
mezzotinto scrapings of Earlom. Zoffany was elected among the first
members of the Royal Academy in 1768.

The old Cockpit, or Phœnix Theatre, stood on the site of what is now
called Pitt Place. Early in James I.’s reign it had been turned into a
playhouse, and probably rebuilt.[553]

On Shrove Tuesday 1616-17 the London prentices, roused to their annual
zeal by a love of mischief and probably a Puritan fervour, sacked the
building, to the discomfiture of the harmless players. Bitter,
narrow-headed Prynne, who notes with horror and anger the forty thousand
plays printed in two years for the five Devil’s chapels in London,[554]
describes the Cockpit as demoralising Drury Lane, then no doubt wealthy,
and therefore supposed to be respectable. In 1647 the Cockpit Theatre was
turned into a schoolroom; in 1649 Puritan soldiers broke into the house,
which had again become a theatre, captured the actors, dispersed the
audience, broke up the seats and stage, and carried off the dramatic
criminals in open day, in all their stage finery, to the Gate House at
Westminster.

Rhodes, the old prompter at Blackfriars, who had turned bookseller,
reopened the Cockpit on the Restoration. The new Theatre in Drury Lane
opened in 1663 with the “Humorous Lieutenant” of Beaumont and Fletcher.
This was the King’s Company under Killigrew. Davenant and the Duke of
York’s company found a home first in the Cockpit, and afterwards in
Salisbury Court, Fleet Street.

The first Drury Lane Theatre was burnt down in 1672. Wren built the new
house, which opened in 1674 with a prologue by Dryden. Cibber gives a
careful account of Wren’s Drury Lane, the chief entrance to which was down
Playhouse Passage. Pepys blamed it for the distance of the stage from the
boxes, and for the narrowness of the pit entrances.[555] The platform of
the stage projected very forward, and the lower doors of entrance for the
actors were in the place of the stage-boxes.[556]

In 1681 the two companies united, leaving Portugal Street to the lithe
tennis-players and Dorset Gardens to the brawny wrestlers. Wren’s theatre
was taken down in 1791; its successor, built by Holland, was opened in
1794, and destroyed in 1809. The present edifice, the fourth in
succession, is the work of Wyatt, and was opened in 1812.[557]

Hart, Mohun, Burt, and Clun were all actors in Killigrew’s company. Hart,
who had been a captain in the army, was dignified as Alexander,
incomparable as Catiline, and excellent as Othello. He died in 1683.
Mohun, whom Nat Lee wrote parts for, and who had been a major in the Civil
War, was much applauded in heroic parts, and was a favourite of
Rochester’s. Burt played Cicero in Ben Jonson’s “Catiline;” and poor Clun,
who was murdered by footpads in Kentish Town, was great as Iago, and as
Subtle in “The Alchymist.”

From Pepys’s memoranda of visits to Drury Lane we gather a few facts about
the licentious theatre-goers of his day. After the Plague, when Drury Lane
had been deserted, the old gossip went there, half-ashamed to be seen, and
with his cloak thrown up round his face.[558] The king flaunts about with
his mistresses, and Pepys goes into an upper box to chat with the
actresses and see a rehearsal, which seems then to have followed and not
preceded the daily performance.[559] He describes Sir Charles Sedley, in
the pit, exchanging banter with a lady in a mask. Three o’clock seems to
have been about the time for theatres opening.[560] The king was angry, he
says, with Ned Howard for writing a play called “The Change of Crowns,” in
which Lacy acted a country gentleman who is astonished at the corruption
of the court. For this Lacy was committed to the porter’s lodge; on being
released, he called the author a fool, and having a glove thrown in his
face, returned the compliment with a blow on Howard’s pate with a cane;
upon which the pit wondered that Howard did not run the mean fellow
through; and the king closed the house, which the gentry thought had grown
too insolent.

August 15, 1667, Pepys goes to see the “Merry Wives of Windsor,” which
pleased our great Admiralty official “in no part of it.” Two days after he
weeps at the troubles of Queen Elizabeth, but revives when that dangerous
Mrs. Knipp dances among the milkmaids, and comes out in her nightgown to
sing a song. Another day he goes at three o’clock to see Beaumont and
Fletcher’s “Scornful Lady,” but does not remain, as there is no one in the
pit. In September of the same year he finds his wife and servant in an
eighteenpenny seat. In October 1667 he ventures into the tiring-room where
Nell was dressing, and then had fruit in the scene-room, and heard Mrs.
Knipp read her part in “Flora’s Vagaries,” Nell cursing because there were
so few people in the pit. A fortnight after he contrives to see a new
play, “The Black Prince,” by Lord Orrery; and though he goes at two, finds
no room in the pit, and has for the first time in his life to take an
upper four-shilling-box. November 1, he proclaims the “Taming of the
Shrew” “a silly old play.” November 2, the house was full of Parliament
men, the House being up. One of them choking himself while eating some
fruit, Orange Moll thrust her finger down his throat and brought him to
life again.

Pepys condemns Nell Gwynn as unbearable in serious parts, but considers
her beyond imitation as a madwoman. In December 1667 he describes a poor
woman who had lent her child to the actors, but hearing him cry, forced
her way on to the stage and bore it off from Hart.

It would seem from subsequent notes in the _Diary_, that to a man who
stopped only for one act at a theatre, and took no seat, no charge was
made.

In February 1668 Pepys sees at Drury Lane “The Virgin Martyr,” by
Massinger, which he pronounces not to be worth much but for Becky
Marshall’s acting; yet the wind music when the angel descended “wrapped
up” his soul so, that, remarkably enough, it made him as sick as when he
was first in love, and he determined to go home and make his wife learn
wind music. May 1, 1668, he mentions that the pit was thrown into disorder
by the rain coming in at the cupola. May 7 of the same year, he calls for
Knipp when the play is over, and sees “Nell in her boy’s clothes, mighty
pretty.” “But, Lord!” he says, “their confidence! and how many men do
hover about them as soon as they come off the stage! and how confident
they are in their talk!”

On May 18, 1668, Pepys goes as early as twelve o’clock to see the first
performance of that poor play, Sir Charles Sedley’s “Mulberry Garden,” at
which the king, queen, and court did not laugh. While waiting for the
curtain to pull up, Pepys hires a boy to keep his place, slips out to the
Rose Tavern in Russell Street, and dines off a breast of mutton from the
spit.

On September 15, 1668, there is a play--“The Ladies à la Mode”--so bad
that the actor who announced the piece to be repeated fell a-laughing, as
did the pit. Four days after Pepys sits next Shadwell, the poet,
admiring Ben Jonson’s extravagant comedy, “The Silent Woman.”

In January 1669 he sat in a box near “that merry jade Nell,” who, with a
comrade from the Duke’s House, “lay there laughing upon people.”

“Les Horaces” of Corneille he found “a silly tragedy.” February 1669
Beetson, one of the actors, read his part, Kynaston having been beaten and
disabled by order of Sir Charles Sedley, whom he had ridiculed. The same
month Pepys went to the King’s House to see “The Faithful Shepherdess,”
and found not more than £10 in the house.

A great leader in the Drury Lane troop was Lacy, the Falstaff of his day.
He was a handsome, audacious fellow, who delighted the town as “Frenchman,
Scot, or Irishman, fine gentleman or fool, honest simpleton or rogue,
Tartuffe or Drench, old man or loquacious woman.” He was King Charles’s
favourite actor as Teague in “The Committee,” or mimicking Dryden as Bayes
in “The Rehearsal.”

The greatest rascal in the company was Goodman--“Scum Goodman,” as he was
called--admirable as Alexander and Julius Cæsar. He was a dashing,
shameless, impudent rogue, who used to boast that he had once taken “an
airing” on the road to recruit his purse. He was expelled Cambridge for
slashing a picture of the Duke of Monmouth. He hired an Italian quack to
poison two children of his mistress, the infamous Duchess of Cleveland,
joined in the Fenwick plot to kill King William, and would have turned
traitor against his fellow conspirators had he not been bought off for
£500 a year, and sent to Paris, where he disappeared.

Haines, one of Killigrew’s band, was an impudent but clever low comedian.
In Sparkish, in “The Country Wife,” he was the very model of airy
gentlemen. His great successes were as Captain Bluff in Congreve’s “Old
Bachelor,” Roger in “Æsop,” and “the lively, impudent, and irresistible
Tom Errand” in Farquhar’s “Constant Couple,” “that most triumphant comedy
of a whole century.”[561]

The stories told of Joe Haines are good. He once engaged a simple-minded
clergyman as “chaplain to the Theatre Royal,” and sent him behind the
scenes ringing a big bell to call the actors to prayers. “Count” Haines
was once arrested by two bailiffs on Holborn Hill at the very moment that
the Bishop of Ely passed in his carriage. “Here comes my cousin, he will
satisfy you,” said the ready-witted actor, who instantly stepped to the
carriage window and whispered Bishop Patrick--“Here are two Romanists, my
lord, inclined to become Protestants, but yet with some scruples of
conscience.” The anxious bishop instantly beckoned to the bailiffs to
follow him to Ely Place, and Joe escaped; the mortified bishop paying the
money out of sheer shame. Haines died in 1701.

Amongst the actresses at this house were pretty but frail Mrs. Hughes, the
mistress of Prince Rupert, and Mrs. Knipp, Pepys’s dangerous friend, who
acted rakish fine ladies and rattling ladies’-maids, and came on to sing
as priestess, nun, or milkmaid. Anne Marshall, the daughter of a
Presbyterian divine, acquired a reputation as Dorothea in “The Virgin
Martyr,” and as the Queen of Sicily in Dryden’s “Secret Love.”

But Nell Gwynn was the chief “toast” of the town. Little, pretty,
impudent, and witty, she danced well, and was a good actress in comedy and
in characters where “natural emotion bordering on insanity” was to be
represented.[562] Her last original part was that of Almahide in Dryden’s
“Conquest of Granada,” where she spoke the prologue in a straw hat as
large as a waggon-wheel.

Leigh Hunt says that “Nineteen out of twenty of Dryden’s plays were
produced at Drury Lane, and seven out of Lee’s eleven; all the good plays
of Wycherly, except ‘The Gentleman Dancing Master;’ two of
Congreve’s--‘The Old Bachelor’ and ‘The Double Dealer;’ and all
Farquhar’s, except ‘The Beau’s Stratagem.’”[563] Dryden’s impurity and
daring bombast were the attractions to Drury Lane, as Otway’s
sentimentalism and real pathos were to the rival house. Lee’s splendid
bombast was succeeded by Farquhar’s gay rakes and not too virtuous women.

Doggett, who was before the public from 1691 to 1713, was a little lively
Irishman, for whom Congreve wrote the characters of Fondlewife, Sir Paul
Pliant, and Ben. He was partner in the theatre with Cibber and Wilkes from
1709 to 1712, but left when Booth was taken into the firm. He was a
staunch Whig, and left an orange livery and a badge to be rowed for yearly
by six London watermen.

The queen of comedy, Mrs. Oldfield, flashed upon the town first as Lady
Betty Modish in Cibber’s “Careless Husband,” in 1704-5. When quite a girl
she was overheard by Farquhar reading “The Scornful Lady” of Beaumont and
Fletcher to her aunt, who kept the Mitre Tavern in St. James’s Market.
Farquhar introduced her to Vanbrugh, and Vanbrugh to Rich. “She excelled
all actresses,” says Davies, “in sprightliness of wit and elegance of
manner, and was greatly superior in the clear, sonorous, and harmonious
tones of her voice.” Her eyes were large and speaking, and when intended
to give special archness to some brilliant or gay thought, she kept them
mischievously half shut. Cibber praises Mrs. Oldfield for her unpresuming
modesty, and her good sense in not rejecting advice--“A mark of good
sense,” says the shrewd old manager, “rarely known in any actor of either
sex but herself. Yet it was a hard matter to give her any hint that she
was not able to take or improve.”[564] With all this merit, she was
tractable and less presuming in her station than several that had not half
her pretensions to be troublesome. This excellent actress was not fond of
tragedy, but she still played Marcia in “Cato;” Swift, who attended the
rehearsals with Addison, railed at her for her good-humoured carelessness
and indifference; and Pope sneered at her vanity in her last moments. It
is true that she was buried in kid gloves, tucker, and ruffles of best
lace. Mrs. Oldfield lived first with a Mr. Maynwaring, a rough,
hard-drinking Whig writer, to whom Addison dedicated one of the volumes of
the _Spectator_; and after his death with General Churchill, one of the
Marlborough family. Nevertheless, she went to court and habitually
associated with ladies of the highest rank. Society is cruel and
inconsistent in these matters. Open scandal it detests, but to secret vice
it is indifferent.

Mrs. Oldfield died in 1730, lay in state in the Jerusalem Chamber, and
when she was borne to her grave in the Abbey, Lord Hervey (Pope’s
“Sporus”), Lord Delawarr, and that toady Bubb Doddington, supported her
pall. The late Earl of Cadogan was the great-grandson of Anne
Oldfield.[565] This actress, so majestic in tragedy, so irresistible in
comedy, was generous enough to give an annuity to poor, hopeless, scampish
Savage.

Robert Wilkes, a young Irish Government clerk, obtained great successes as
Farquhar’s heroes, Sir Harry Wildair, Mirabel, Captain Plume, and Archer.
He played equally well the light gentlemen of Cibber’s comedies. Genest
describes him as buoyant and graceful on the stage, irreproachable in
dress, his every movement marked by “an ease of breeding and manner.” This
actor also excelled in plaintive and tender parts. Cibber hints, however,
at his professional conceit and overbearing temper. Wilkes on one occasion
read “George Barnwell” to Queen Anne at the Court at St. James’s. He died
in 1732.

Barton Booth, who was at Westminster School with Rowe the poet, identified
himself with Addison’s Cato. His dignity, pathos, and energy as that lover
of liberty led Bolingbroke to present him on the first night with a purse
of fifty guineas. The play was translated into four languages; Pope gave
it a prologue; Garth decked it with an epilogue; while Denis proved it, to
his own satisfaction, to be worthless. Aaron Hill tells us that statistics
proved that Booth could always obtain from eighteen to twenty rounds of
applause during the evening. When playing the Ghost to Betterton’s Hamlet,
Booth is said to have been once so horror-stricken as to be unable to
proceed with his part. He often took inferior Shaksperean parts, and was
frequently indolent; but if he saw a man whose opinion he valued among the
audience he fired up and played to him. This petted actor and manager died
in 1733.

Colley Cibber, to judge from Steele’s criticisms, must have been admirable
as a beau, whether rallying pleasantly, scorning artfully, ridiculing, or
neglecting.[566] Wilkes surpassed him in beseeching gracefully,
approaching respectfully, pitying, mourning, and loving. In the part of
Sir Fopling Flutter in “The Fool of Fashion,” played in 1695, Cibber wore
a fair, full-bottomed periwig which was so much admired that it used to be
brought on the stage in a sedan and put on publicly. To this wonder of the
town Colonel Brett, who married Savage’s mother, took a special fancy.
“The beaux of those days,” says Cibber, “had more of the stateliness of
the peacock than the pert of the lapwing.” The colonel came behind the
scenes, first praised the wig, and then offered to purchase it. On
Cibber’s bantering him about his anxiety for such a trifle, the gay
colonel began to rally himself with such humour that he fairly won Cibber,
and they sat down at once, laughing, to finish their bargain over a
bottle.

Quin’s career began at Dublin in 1714, and ended at Bath in 1753. From
1736 to 1741 he was at Drury Lane. From Booth’s retirement till the coming
of Garrick, Quin had no rival as Cato, Brutus, Volpone, Falstaff, Zanga,
etc. His Macbeth, Othello, and Lear were inferior. Davies says, the tender
and the violent were beyond his reach, but he gave words weight and
dignity by his sensible elocution and well-regulated voice. His movements
were ponderous and his action languid. Quin was generous, witty, a great
epicure, and a careless dresser. It was his hard fate, though a
warm-hearted man, to be equally warm in temper, and to kill two
adversaries in duels that were forced upon him. Quin was a friend of
Garrick and of Thomson the poet, and a frequent visitor at Allen’s house
at Prior Park, near Bath, where Pope, Warburton, and Fielding visited.

Some of Quin’s jests were perfect. When Warburton said, “By what law can
the execution of Charles I. be justified?” Quin replied, “By all the laws
he had left them.” No wonder Walpole applauded him. The bishop bade the
player remember that the regicides came to violent ends, but Quin gave him
a worse blow. “That, your lordship,” he said, “if I am not mistaken, was
also the case with the twelve apostles.” Quin could overthrow even Foote.
They had at one time had a quarrel, and were reconciled, but Foote was
still a little sore. “Jemmy,” said he, “you should not have said that I
had but one shirt, and that I lay in bed while it was washed.” “Sammy,”
replied the actor, “I never _could_ have said so, for I never knew that
you had a shirt to wash.” Quin died in 1766, and Garrick wrote an epitaph
on his tomb in Bath Abbey, ending with the line--

  “To this complexion we must come at last.”

Garrick appeared first at Goodman’s Fields Theatre, in 1741, as King
Richard. In eight days the west flocked eastward, and, as Davies tells us,
“the coaches of the nobility filled up the space from Temple Bar to
Whitechapel.” Pope came up from Twickenham to see if the young man was
equal to Betterton. Garrick revolutionised the stage. Tragedians had
fallen into a pompous “rhythmical, mechanical sing-song,”[567] fit only
for dull orators. Their style was overlaboured with art--it was mere
declamation. The actor had long ceased to imitate nature. Garrick’s first
appearance at Drury Lane was in 1742. Cumberland, then at Westminster
School, describes his sight of Quin and Garrick, and the first impressions
they produced on him. Garrick was Lothario, Mrs. Cibber Calista, Quin
Horatio, and Mrs. Pritchard Lavinia. Quin, when the curtain drew up,
presented himself in a green velvet coat, embroidered down the seams, an
enormous full-bottomed periwig, rolled stockings, and high-heeled square
shoes.[568] “With very little variation of cadence, and in a deep full
tone, accompanied by a sawing kind of action which had more of the senate
than the stage in it, he rolled out his heroics with an air of dignified
indifference that seemed to disdain the plaudits that were bestowed upon
him. Mrs. Cibber, in a key high-pitched but sweet withal, sang or rather
recitatived Rowe’s harmonious strains. But when, after long and anxious
expectation, I first beheld little Garrick, then young and light and alive
in every muscle and every feature, come bounding on the stage and pointing
at the wittol Altamont and heavy-paced Horatio, heavens! what a
transition!--it seemed as if a whole century had been swept over in the
passage of a single scene.” And yet, according to fretful Cumberland, “the
show of hands” was for Quin, though, according to Davies, the best judges
were for Garrick. And when Quin was slow in answering the challenge,
somebody in the gallery called out, “Why don’t you tell the gentleman
whether you will meet him or not?” Garrick’s repertory extended to one
hundred characters, of which he was the original representative of
thirty-six. Of his comic characters, Ranger and Abel Drugger were the
best--one was irresistibly vivacious, the other comically stupid.

Garrick, who mutilated Shakespere and wrote clever verses and useful
theatrical adaptations, was a vain, sprightly man, who got the reputation
of reforming stage costume, although it was Macklin, pugnacious and
courageous, who first dared to act Macbeth dressed as a Highland chief,
and felt proud of his own anachronism. Garrick had, in fact, a dislike to
really truthful costume. He dared to play Hotspur in laced frock and
Ramillies wig.[569] In truth, it was neither Garrick nor Macklin who
originated this reform, but the change of public opinion and the widening
of education. West, in spite of ridicule and condemnation, dared to dress
the soldiers in his “Death of Wolfe” in English uniform, instead of in the
armour of stage Romans. Burke said of Garrick that he was the most acute
observer of nature he had ever known. Garrick could assume any passion at
the moment, and could act off-hand Scrub or Richard, Brute or Macbeth. He
oscillated between tragedy and comedy; he danced to perfection; he was
laborious at rehearsals, and yet all that he did seemed spontaneous. In
Fribble he imitated no fewer than eleven men of fashion so that every one
recognised them. Garrick died in 1779, and was buried in _the_ Abbey.
“Chatham,” says Dr. Doran, the actor’s admirable biographer, “had
addressed him living in verse, and peers sought for the honour of
supporting the pall at his funeral.”[570] That he was vain and
over-sensitive there can be no doubt; but there can be also no doubt that
he was generous, often charitable, delightful in society, and never, like
Foote, eager to give pain by the exercise of his talent. As an actor,
Garrick has not since been equalled in versatility and equal balance of
power; nor has any subsequent actor attained so high a rank among the
intellect of his age.

Kitty Clive, born in 1711, took leave of the stage in 1769. She was one of
the best-natured, wittiest, happiest, and most versatile of actresses,
whether as “roguish chambermaid, fierce virago, chuckling hoyden, brazen
romp, stolid country girl, affected fine lady, or thoroughly natural old
woman.”[571] Fielding, Garrick, and Walpole delighted in Kitty Clive.
After years of quadrille at Purcell’s, and cards and music at the villa at
Teddington which Horace Walpole lent her, Kitty Clive died suddenly,
without a groan, in 1785.

Woodward was excellent in fops, rascals, simpletons, and Shakesperean
light characters. His Bobadil, Marplot, and Touchstone were beyond
approach. Shuter, originally a billiard-marker, came on the stage in 1744,
and quitted it in 1776. His grimace and impromptu were much praised.

Samuel Foote, born at Truro in 1720, having failed in tragedy, and not
been very successful in comedy, started his entertainments at the
Haymarket in 1747. He died in 1777. His history belongs to the records of
another theatre.

Spanger Barry in 1748-9 acted Hamlet and Macbeth alternately with Garrick.
Davies says that Barry could not perform such characters as Richard and
Macbeth, but he made a capital Alexander. “He charmed the ladies by the
soft melody of his love complaints and the noble ardour of his courtship.”
Only Mrs. Cibber excelled him in the expression of love, grief,
tenderness, and jealous rage. Tall, handsome, and dignified, Barry
undoubtedly ran Garrick close in the part of Romeo, artificial as
Churchill in the _Rosciad_ declares him to have been. A lady once said,
“that had she been Juliet she should have expected Garrick to have stormed
the balcony, he was so impassioned; but that Barry was so eloquent,
tender, and seductive, that she should have come down to him.”[572] In
Lear, the town said that Barry “was every inch a king” but Garrick “every
inch King Lear.” Barry was amorous and extravagant. He delighted in giving
magnificent entertainments, and treated Mr. Pelham in so princely a style
that that minister (with not the finest taste) rebuked him for his lavish
hospitality.

The brilliant and witching Peg Woffington was the daughter of a small
huckster in Dublin, and became a pupil of Madame Violante, a rope-dancer.
In 1740 she came out at Covent Garden, and soon won the town as Sir Harry
Wildair. She played Lady Townley and Lady Betty Modish with “happy ease
and gaiety.”[573] She rendered the most audacious absurdities pleasing by
her beautiful bright face and her vivacity of expression. Peg quarrelled
with Kitty Clive and Mrs. Cibber, and detested that reckless woman George
Anne Bellamy. This witty and enchanting actress, as generous and
charitable as Nell Gwynn with all her faults, was struck by paralysis
while acting Rosalind at Covent Garden, and died in 1760.

During his career from 1691 to his retirement in 1733, clever, careless
Colley Cibber originated nearly eighty characters, chiefly grand old fops,
inane old men, dashing soldiers, and impudent lacqueys. His Fondlewife,
Sir Courtly Nice, and Shallow were his best parts. “Of all English
managers,” says Dr. Doran, “Cibber was the most successful. Of the English
actors, he is the only one who was ever promoted to the laureateship or
elected a member of White’s Club.” Even Pope, who hated him and got some
hard blows from him, praised “The Careless Husband;” Walpole, who despised
players, praised Colley; and Dr. Johnson approved of his admirably written
_Apology_.

Cibber’s daughter, Mrs. Clarke, led a wild and disreputable life, became a
waitress at Marylebone, and died in poverty in 1760. Colley’s son
Theophilus, the best Pistol ever seen on the stage, and the original
George Barnwell, was drowned in crossing the Irish Sea.

His wife was a sister of Dr. Arne, the composer. In tragedy she was
remarkable for her artless sensibility and exquisite variety of
expression. As Ophelia she moved even Tate Wilkinson. She was one of the
first actresses to make the woes of the grand tragedy queen natural. She
died in 1766, and was buried in the cloisters of Westminster Abbey.

Mrs. Pritchard, that “inspired idiot,” as Dr. Johnson called her in his
contempt for her ignorance, seems to have been a virtuous woman. She left
the stage in 1768. Though plain, and in later years very stout, Mrs.
Pritchard was admired in tragedy for her perfect pronunciation and her
force and dignity as the Queen in “Hamlet,” and as Lady Macbeth. She was
also a good comedian in playful and witty parts. She was, however, not
very graceful, and inclined to rant.

When Mrs. Cibber died in 1765, Mrs. Yates succeeded to her fame, with Mrs.
Barry for a rival, till Mrs. Siddons came from Bath and unseated both.
Mrs. Yates was wanting in pathos, but in pride and scorn as Medea, or in
hopeless grief as Constance, she was unapproachable. She died in 1787.

George Anne Bellamy, the reckless and the unfortunate, was the daughter of
a Quakeress, with whom Lord Tyrawley ran away from school. Dr. Doran says,
“What with the loves, caprices, charms, extravagances, and sufferings of
Mrs. Bellamy, she excited the wonder, admiration, pity, and contempt of
the town for thirty years.”[574] Now she was squandering money like a
Cleopatra; now she was crouching on the wet steps of Westminster Bridge,
brooding over suicide. “The Bellamy,” says the critic, was only equal to
“the Cibber” in expressing the ecstasy of love. This follower of the old
school of intoners was the original Volumnia of Thomson, the Erixene of
Dr. Young, and the Cleone of the honest footman poet and publisher
Dodsley. She took her farewell benefit in 1784.

In 1778 Miss Farren appeared at Drury Lane. She was the daughter of a poor
vagabond strolling player. Walpole says she was the most perfect actress
he had ever seen; and he spoke well of her fine ladies, of whom he was a
judge. Adolphus, not easily appeased, praised her irresistible graces and
“all the indescribable little charms which give fascination to the women
of birth and fashion.” She was gay as Lady Betty Modish, sentimental as
Cecilia or Indiana, and playful as Rosara in the “Barber of Seville.” In
1797 the little girl who had been helped over the ice to the lock-up at
Salisbury, to hand up a bowl of milk to her father when a prisoner
there,[575] took leave of the stage in the part of Lady Teazle, and
married the Earl of Derby, who had buried his wife just six weeks before.

In 1798 Mrs. Abington, “the best affected fine lady of her time,” retired
from the stage of Drury Lane. She was the daughter of a common soldier,
and as a girl was known as “Nosegay Fan,” and had sold flowers in St.
James’s Park. She first appeared at Drury Lane in 1756-7.

Poor Mrs. Robinson, the “Perdita” so heartlessly betrayed by the Prince of
Wales, was driven on to the stage in 1776 by her husband, a handsome
scapegrace who had run through his fortune. She passed from the stage in
1780, and died, forgotten, poor, and paralytic, in 1800.

In 1767 Samuel Reddish, Canning’s stepfather, first appeared at Drury Lane
as Lord Townley. He was a reasonably good Edgar and Posthumus, but failed
in parts of passion. He went mad in 1779. In this group of minor actors we
may include Gentleman Smith, a good Charles Surface, who retired from the
stage in 1786; Yates, whose forte was old men and Shakspere’s fools
(1736-1780); Dodd, who, from 1765 to 1796, was the prince of fops and old
men (Master Slender and Master Stephen were said to die with him); and
lastly, that great comic actor, John Palmer, who died on the stage in
1798, as he was playing the Stranger. He was the original representative
of plausible Joseph Surface. “Plausible,” he used to say, “am I? You rate
me too highly. The utmost I ever did in that way was that I once persuaded
a bailiff who had arrested me to bail me.” Once when making friends with
Sheridan after a quarrel, Palmer said to the author, “If you could but see
my heart, Mr. Sheridan!” to which Sheridan replied, “Why, Jack, you forgot
I wrote it.” “Jack Palmer,” says Lamb, “was a gentleman with a slight
infusion of the footman.”[576] He had two voices, both plausible,
hypocritical, and insinuating.

Henderson was engaged by Sheridan for Drury Lane in 1777. As Falstaff this
humorous friend of Gainsborough was seldom equalled. His defects were a
woolly voice and a habit of sawing the air. Dr. Doran says, “he was the
first actor who, with Sheridan, gave public readings” at Freemasons’ Hall;
and his recitation of “John Gilpin” gave impetus to the sale of the
narrative of that adventurous ride.[577] Henderson died in 1785, aged only
thirty-eight, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

Mrs. Siddons, the daughter of an itinerant actor, was born in 1755. After
strolling and becoming a lady’s-maid, she married a poor second-rate actor
of Birmingham. She appeared first at Drury Lane in 1775 as Portia. Her
first real triumph was in 1780, as Isabella in Southerne’s tragedy. The
management gave her Garrick’s dressing-room, and some legal admirers
presented her with a purse of a hundred guineas. Soon afterwards, as Jane
Shore, she sent many ladies in the audience into fainting fits. This great
actress closed her career in 1812 with Lady Macbeth, her greatest triumph.
She is said to have made King George III. shed tears. He admired her
especially for her repose. “Garrick,” he used to say, “could never stand
still. He was a great fidget.” No actress received more homage in her time
than Mrs. Siddons. Reynolds painted his name on the hem of her garment in
his portrait of her as the Tragic Muse. Dr. Johnson kissed her hand and
admired her genius. In comedy Mrs. Siddons failed; her rigorous Grecian
face was not arch. “In comedy” says Colman, “she was only a frisking
grig.” “Those who knew her best,” says Dr. Doran, “have recorded her
grace, her noble carriage, divine elocution and solemn earnestness, her
grandeur, her pathos, her correct judgment.” Erskine studied her cadences
and tones. According to Campbell, she increased the heart’s capacity for
tender, intense, and lofty feelings. This lofty-minded actress, as Young
calls her, died in 1831.

Her elder brother, John Kemble, first appeared at Drury Lane, in 1783, as
Hamlet. In 1788-9 he succeeded King as manager of the theatre, and
continued so till 1801. In Coriolanus and Cato, Kemble was pre-eminent,
but his Richard and Sir Giles were inferior to Cook’s and Kean’s. In
comedy he failed, except in snatches of dignity or pathos. As an actor
Kemble was sometimes heavy and monotonous. He had not the fire or
versatility of Garrick, or the wild passion of Edmund Kean. As Hamlet he
was romantic, dignified, and philosophic. In his Rolla he delighted
Sheridan and Pitt; in Octavian he drew tears from all eyes. He excelled
also in Cœur de Lion, Penruddock, and the Stranger. In private life he was
always majestic and gravely convivial. When Covent Garden was burnt down
in 1808, he bore the loss bravely, and on the night of the opening the
generous Duke of Northumberland sent him back his bond for £10,000 to be
committed to the flames. Walpole, who saw Kemble, preferred him to Garrick
in Benedick, and to Quin in Maskwell. Kemble took his solemn farewell of
the stage in 1817 as Coriolanus, and died at Lausanne in 1823. Leigh Hunt,
an excellent dramatic critic, paints the following picture of Kemble: “A
figure of melancholy dignity, dealing out a most measured speech in
sepulchral tones and a pedantic pronunciation, and injuring what he has
made you feel by the want of feeling it himself.”[578] John Kemble’s
brother Charles acted well in Mercutio, Young Mirabel, and Benedick. He
remained on the stage till 1836.

George Frederick Cooke, whose life was one perpetual debauch, and whose
career on the stage extended from 1801 to 1812, when he died at Boston,
did not, I think, appear at Drury Lane. His laurels were won chiefly at
Covent Garden.

Master Betty, born in 1791 at Shrewsbury, elegant, and quick of memory,
appeared at Drury Lane in 1804, fretted his little hour upon the stage,
and earned a fortune with which he prudently retired in 1808. He lived
till 1876.

King, the original representative of Sir Peter Teazle, Lord Ogleby, Puff,
and Dr. Cantwell, began his London career at Drury Lane in 1748. He left
the stage in 1802. His best characters were Touchstone and Ranger, and in
these parts he was always arch, rapid, and versatile. Hazlitt discourses
on King’s old, hard, rough face, and his shrewd hints and tart replies.

Dickey Suett was a favourite low comedian from 1780 to 1805, when he died.
He was a tall, thin, ungainly man, too much addicted to grimace,
interpolations, and practical jokes. He drank hard, and suffered from
mental depression. Hazlitt calls him “the delightful old croaker, the
everlasting Dickey Gossip of the stage.”[579] Lamb describes his “Oh, la!”
as irresistible; “he drolled upon the stock of those two syllables richer
than the cuckoo.” Shakspere’s jesters “have all the true Suett stamp--a
loose and shambling gait, and a slippery tongue.”[580]

Miss Pope, who left the stage in 1808, had played with Garrick and Mrs.
Clive. She was the original Polly Honeycomb, Miss Sterling, Mrs. Candour,
and Tilburina. In youth she played hoydens, chambermaids, and half-bred
ladies, with a dash and good-humour free from all vulgarity, and in old
age she took to duennas and Mrs. Heidelburg. In 1761 Churchill mentions
her as “lively Pope,” and in 1807 Horace Smith describes her as “a bulky
person with a duplicity of chin.”

In 1741 the theatre, which had been rebuilt by Wren in 1674, in a cheap
and plain manner, became ruinous, and was enlarged and almost rebuilt by
the Adams. In 1747 Garrick became the manager, and Dr. Johnson, as a
friend, wrote the celebrated address beginning with the often-quoted
lines--

  “When Learning’s triumph o’er her barbarous foes
  First reared the stage, immortal Shakspere rose.

     *       *       *       *       *

  Each change of many-coloured life he drew,
  Exhausted worlds, and then imagined new;
  Existence saw him spurn her bounded reign,
  And panting Time toiled after him in vain.”

In 1775, the year in which “The Duenna” was brought out at Covent Garden,
Garrick made known his wish to sell a moiety of the patent of this
theatre. In June 1776 a contract was signed, Mr. Sheridan taking
two-fourteenths of the whole for £10,000, Mr. Linley the same, and Dr.
Ford three-fourteenths at £15,000.[581] How Sheridan raised the money no
one ever knew.

Sheridan’s first contribution to this new stage was an alteration of
Vanbrugh’s licentious comedy of “The Relapse,” which he called “A Trip to
Scarborough,” and brought out in 1777. The same year the brilliant
manager, then only six-and-twenty, produced the finest and most popular
comedy in the English language, “The School for Scandal.” On the last slip
of this miracle of wit and dramatic construction Sheridan wrote--“Finished
at last, thank God!--R. B. SHERIDAN.” Below this the prompter added his
devout response--“Amen.--W. HOPKINS.”[582] Garrick was proud of the new
manager, and boasted of his budding genius.[583]

In 1778 Sheridan bought out Mr. Lacy for more than £45,000, and Dr. Ford
for £77,000. In 1779 Garrick died, and Sheridan wrote a monody to his
memory, which was delivered by Mrs. Yates after the play of “The West
Indian.” Slander attributed the finest passage in this monody to Tickell,
just as it had before attributed Tickell’s bad farce to Sheridan.

Dowton, who appeared in 1796 as Sheva, was felicitous in good-natured
testy old men, and also in crabbed and degraded old villains. His Dr.
Cantwell and Sir Anthony Absolute were in the true spirit of old comedy.
Leigh Hunt praises Dowton’s changes from the irritable to the yielding,
and from the angry to the tender.

Willy Blanchard was natural and unaffected, but mannered.

Mathews first appeared in London in 1803. He excelled in valets and old
men, and drew tears as M. Mallet, the poor emigré who is disappointed
about a letter.

Liston made his début at the Haymarket in 1805 as Sheepface. Leigh Hunt
praises his ignorant rustics, and condemns his old men. He sets him down
as a painter of emotions, and therefore more intellectual than Fawcett and
less farcical than Munden. Liston was a hypochondriac; below his fun there
was always an under-current of melancholy, “as though,” says Dr. Doran,
mysteriously, “he had killed a boy when, under the name of Williams, he
was usher at the Rev. Dr. Burney’s at Gosport.”[584]

In 1807 Jones and Young made their first appearances, but not at Drury
Lane. Young originated Rienzi, and played Hamlet, Falstaff, and Captain
Macheath. Jones was a stage rake of great excellence.

Among the actresses before Kean, we may mention Miss Brunton, afterwards
Countess of Craven, and Mrs. Davison, a good Lady Teazle.

Lewis, who left the stage in 1809, was a draper’s son. He died in 1813,
and out of part of his fortune the new church at Ealing was erected. He
played Young Rapid and Jeremy Diddler, and created the Hon. Tom
Shuffleton in “John Bull.” His restless style suited Morton and Reynolds’s
comedies, and he succeeded in “all that was frolic, gay, humorous,
whimsical, eccentric, and yet elegant.” He was manager of Covent Garden
for twenty-one years, and made everyone do his duty by kindness and good
treatment. Leigh Hunt sketches Lewis admirably, with his “easy
flutter,”[585] short knowing respiration, and complacent liveliness. Lewis
played the gentleman with more heart than Elliston. He seemed polite, not
from vanity, but rather from a natural irresistible wish to please. He had
all the laborious carelessness of action, important indifference of voice,
and natural vacuity of look that are requisite for the lounger.[586] His
defects were a habit of shaking his head and drawing in of the breath. His
“flippant airiness,” “vivacious importance,” and “French flutter” must
have been in their way perfect. “Gay, fluttering, hair-brained Lewis!”
says Hazlitt; “nobody could break open a door, or jump over a table, or
scale a ladder, or twirl a cocked hat, or dangle a cane, or play a
jockey-nobleman or a nobleman’s jockey like him.”[587]

Here a moment’s pause for an anecdote. When a riot took place at Drury
Lane in 1740 about the non-appearance of a French dancer, the first
symptoms of the outbreak were the ushering of ladies out of the pit. A
noble marquis gallantly proposed to fire the house. The proposal was
considered, but not adopted. The bucks and bloods then proceeded to
destroy the musical instruments and fittings, to break the panels and
partitions, and pull down the royal arms. The offence was finally condoned
by the ringleading marquis sending £100 to the manager.

Charles Lamb describes Drury Lane in his own delightful way. The first
play he ever saw was in 1781-2, when he was six years old. “A portal, now
the entrance,” he writes, “to a printing-office, at the north end of Cross
Court was the pit entrance to old Drury; and I never pass it without
shaking some forty years from off my shoulders, recurring to the evening
when I passed through it to see my first play. The afternoon was wet: with
what a beating heart did I watch from the window the puddles!

“It was the custom then to cry, ‘’Chase some oranges, ’chase some
nonpareils, ’chase a bill of the play?’ But when we got in, and I beheld
the green curtain that veiled a heaven to my imagination, the breathless
anticipations I endured! The boxes, full of well-dressed women of quality,
projected over the pit. The orchestra lights arose--the bell sounded
once--it rang the second time--the curtain drew up, and the play was
‘Artaxerxes;’ ‘Harlequin’s Invasion’ followed.”

The next play Lamb went to was “The Lady of the Manor,” followed by a
pantomime called “Lunn’s Ghost.” Rich was not long dead. His third play
was “The Way of the World” and “Robinson Crusoe.” Six or seven years after
he went (with what changed feelings!) to see Mrs. Siddons in Isabella.
“Comparison and retrospection,” he says, “soon yielded to the present
attraction of the scene, and the theatre became to me, upon a new stock,
the most delightful of all recreations.”[588]

Handsome Jack Bannister, who played in youth with Garrick, and in later
years with Edmund Kean, was the model for the Uncle Toby in Leslie’s
picture. Natural, honest, as Hamlet, he was also good as Walter in “The
Children of the Wood.” Inimitable “in depicting heartiness,” says Dr.
Doran, “ludicrous distress, grave or affected indifference, honest
bravery, insurmountable cowardice, a spirited young or an enfeebled yet
impatient old fellow, mischievous boyishness, good-humoured vulgarity,
there was no one of his time who could equal him.”[589] Bannister left the
stage with a handsome fortune. Hazlitt says finely of him that his
“gaiety, good-humour, cordial feeling, and natural spirits shone through
his characters and lighted them up like a transparency.”[590] His kind
heart and honest face were as well known as his good-humoured smile and
buoyant activity. “Jack,” says Lamb, “was beloved for his sweet,
good-natured moral pretensions.” He gave us “a downright concretion of a
Wapping sailor, a jolly warm-hearted Jack Tar.”

Mrs. Jordan’s mother was the daughter of a Welsh clergyman who had eloped
with an officer. The débutante came out at Drury Lane in 1785 as the
heroine of “The Country Girl.” In 1789 she became the mistress of the Duke
of Clarence. Good-natured, and endowed with a sweet clear voice, she
played rakes with the airiest grace, and excelled in representing arch,
buoyant girls, spirited, buxom, lovable women, and handsome hoydens. The
critics complained of her as vulgar. Late in life she retired to France,
and died in 1815. “Her wealth,” says Dr. Doran, “was lavished on the Duke
of Clarence, who left her to die untended; but when he became king he
ennobled all her children, the eldest being made Earl of Munster.”
Hazlitt, speaking of Mrs. Jordan, says eloquently, her voice “was a
cordial to the heart, because it came from it full, like the luscious
juice of the rich grape. To hear her laugh was to drink nectar. Her smile
was sunshine; her talking far above singing; her singing was like the
twanging of Cupid’s bow. Her body was large, soft, and generous like the
rose. Miss Kelly, if we may accept the judgment of Hazlitt, was in
comparison a mere dexterous, knowing chambermaid. Jordan was all
exuberance and grace. It was her capacity for enjoyment, and the contrast
she presented to everything sharp, angular, and peevish, that delighted
the spectator. She was Cleopatra turned into an oyster wench.”[591]
Charles Lamb praises Mrs. Jordan for her tenderness in such parts as
Ophelia, Helena, and Viola, and for her “steady, melting eye.”[592]

Robert William Elliston was the son of a Bloomsbury watchmaker, and was
born in 1774. He appeared in London first in 1797, and obtained a triumph
as Sir Edward Mortimer, a part in which Kemble had failed. He is praised
by Dr. Doran as one of the best of stage gentlemen, not being so reserved
and languid as Charles Kemble. All the qualities that go to the making of
a gallant were conspicuous in his Duke Aranza--self-command, kindness,
dignity, good-humour, a dash of satire, and true amatory fire; but then
his voice was too pompously deep in soliloquy, and he was too genteel in
low comedy. As a stage lover he was impassioned, tender, and courteous,
yet he would persist in one uniform dress--blue coat, white waistcoat, and
white knee-breeches. Yet, though a self-deceiving and pompous humbug,
Charles Lamb reverenced him and Leigh Hunt admired his acting. In turn
proprietor of the Olympic, the Surrey, and Drury Lane theatres, Elliston
outlived his fame and fortune. When acting George IV. in a sham coronation
procession, having taken too much preliminary wine, he became so affected
at the delight of the audience that he gave them his grandest benediction
in these affecting words, “Bless you, my people!” When Douglas Jerrold
saved the Surrey Theatre by his “Black-eyed Susan,” Elliston declared such
services should be acknowledged by a presentation of plate--not by
himself, however, but by Jerrold’s own friends. Elliston’s last appearance
was in 1826, and he died in 1831.

Hull, a heavy, useful, and intelligent actor, left the stage in 1807.
Holman, an exaggerating actor, had a career that lasted from 1784 to 1800.
Munden, the broadest of farceurs and drollest of grimacers, appeared first
in 1790 as Sir Francis Gripe, and last, in 1823, as Sir Robert Bramble and
Dozey. His Crack in “The Turnpike Gate” was one of his greatest parts; but
I am afraid he would be now thought too much of the buffoon. Charles Lamb
devotes a whole essay to the subject of Munden’s acting as Cockletop, Sir
Christopher Curry, Old Dornton, and the Cobbler of Preston. He says of
him: “When you think he has exhausted his battery of looks in
unaccountable warfare with your gravity, suddenly he sprouts out an
entirely new set of features, like Hydra. He, and he alone, makes faces.
In the grand grotesque of farce, Munden stands out as single and
unaccompanied as Hogarth. Can any man wonder like him, any man see ghosts
like him, or fight with his own shadow?”[593]

Lamb praises Dodd for a face formally flat in Foppington, frothily pert in
Fattle, and blankly expressive of no meaning in Acres and Fribble.[594]

In 1792 Sheridan’s affairs began to get entangled. The surveyors reported
the theatre unsafe and incapable of repair, and it was therefore resolved
to build a new one at a cost of £150,000 by means of 300 shares at £500
each. In the meantime, while Sheridan was paying interest for his loan,
the company was playing at an enormous expense on borrowed stages; and the
careless and profuse manager, his prudent wife now dead, was maintaining
three establishments--one at Wanstead, one at Isleworth, and one in Jermyn
Street. In 1794 a new Theatre was built by Henry Holland.

In 1798 that masterpiece of false, hysterical German sentiment, “The
Stranger” (translated from Kotzebue), was rewritten by Sheridan, and
brought out at his own theatre. This was one of the earliest importations
of the Germanism that Canning afterwards, for political purposes, so
pungently denounced in the _Anti-Jacobin_. The great success of “The
Stranger,” and the false taste it had implanted, induced Sheridan, in
1799, to bring out the play of “Pizarro.” He wrote scarcely anything in it
but the speech of Rolla, which is itself an amplification of a few lines
of the original.

The new theatre was to have cost £75,000, and the £150,000 subscribed for
was to have paid the architect and defrayed the mortgage debts. The
theatre, however, cost more than £150,000; only part of the debt was paid
off, and a claim of £70,000 remained upon the property.[595]

On the 24th of February 1809, while the House of Commons was occupied with
Mr. Ponsonby’s motion on the conduct of the war in Spain, the debate was
interrupted by a great glare of light through the windows. When the cause
was ascertained, so much sympathy was felt for Sheridan that it was
proposed to adjourn; but Sheridan calmly rose and said, “that whatever
might be the extent of his private calamity, he hoped it would not
interfere with the public business of the country.” He then left the
house, and is said to have reached Drury Lane just in time to find all
hope of saving his property abandoned. According to one story he coolly
proceeded to the Piazza Coffee-house and discussed a bottle of wine,
replying to a friend who praised his philosophic calmness, “Why, a man may
surely be allowed to take a glass of wine _at his own fireside_.”[596] He
is said to have been most grieved at the loss of a harpsichord that had
belonged to his wife.

Encouraged by the opening presented, and at the tardiness of shareholders
to rebuild, speculators now proposed to erect a third theatre; but this
design Sheridan and his friends defeated, and Mr. Whitbread, the great
brewer of Chiswell Street, Finsbury, who afterwards destroyed himself,
exerted his energies in the rebuilding of it.

By the new agreement of 1811, Sheridan was to receive for his moiety
£24,000, and an additional sum of £4000 for the property of the
fruit-offices and the reversion of boxes and shares; his son also
receiving his quarter of the patent property. Out of this sum the claims
of the Linley family and other creditors were to be satisfied.

Overwhelmed with debt, dogged by bailiffs, hurried to and from
sponging-houses, Sheridan, now a broken-down man, died in 1816,
reproaching the committee with his last breath for refusing to lend him
more money.

The new theatre, built by Mr. B. Wyatt, had been opened in October 1812,
the performances consisting of “Hamlet” and “The Devil to Pay.” The house
held 800 persons less than its predecessor. The proprietors being anxious
to have an opening address equal to that of Dr. Johnson, advertised for a
suitable poem, and professed a desire for an open and free competition.
The verses were, like Oxford competition poems, to be marked with a word,
number, or motto, and the appended sealed paper containing the name of
the writer was not to be opened unless the poem was successful. They
offered twenty guineas as the prize, and extended the time for sending in
the poems. The result was an avalanche of mediocrity, till the secretary’s
desk and the treasury-office ran over with poems. The proprietors were in
despair, when Lord Holland prevailed on Lord Byron to write an address, at
the risk, as the poet feared, “of offending a hundred rival scribblers and
a discerning public.” The poem was written and accepted, and delivered on
the special night by Mr. Elliston, who performed the part of Hamlet. The
address was voted tame by the newspapers, with the exception of the
following passage--

  “As soars this fane to emulate the last,
  Oh, might we draw our omens from the past?
  Some hour propitious to our prayers, may boast
  Names such as hallow still the dome we lost.
  On Drury first your Siddons’ thrilling art
  O’erwhelmed the gentlest, stormed the sternest heart;
  On Drury Garrick’s latest laurels grew;
  Here your last tears retiring Roscius drew,
  Sigh’d his last thanks, and wept his last adieu.”

The brothers Smith eagerly seized this fine opportunity for parody, and
the “Rejected Addresses” made all London shake with laughter.

The leaden statue of Shakspere over the entrance of old Drury Lane was
executed by Cheere of Hyde Park Corner--“the leaden figure man” formerly
so celebrated--from a design by Scheemakers, a native of Antwerp and the
master of Nollekens. When this sculptor first went to Rome to study, he
travelled on foot, and had to sell his shirts by the way in order to
procure funds. Mr. Whitbread, one of Sheridan’s creditors, gave the figure
to the theatre.[597]

Mr. Whitbread and a committee had erected the house and purchased the old
patent rights by means of a subscription of £400,000. Of this £20,000 was
paid to Sheridan, and a like sum to the other holders of the patent. The
creditors of the old house took a quarter of what they claimed in full
payment, and the Duke of Bedford abandoned a claim of £12,000. The company
consisted of Elliston, Dowton, Bannister, Rae, Wallack, Wewitzer, Miss
Smith, Mrs. Davison, Mrs. Glover, Miss Kelly, and Miss Mellon. Mr. C.
Kemble and Grimaldi were at the other house, that the next season boasted
a strong company--John and Charles Kemble, Conway, Terry, and Matthews. At
Drury Lane no new piece was brought out except Coleridge’s “Remorse.” At
Covent Garden there was played “Aladdin, or the Wonderful Lamp.”

At Drury Lane, says Dr. Doran, neither new pieces nor new players
succeeded, till on the 20th of January 1814, the play-bills announced the
first appearance of an actor from Exeter, whose coming changed the evil
fortunes of the house, scared the old correct, dignified, and classical
school of actors, and brought again to the memories of those who could
look back as far as Garrick the fire, nature, impulse, and terrible
earnestness--all, in short, but the versatility, of that great master in
his art. This player was Edmund Kean.

Kean was born in 1787. He was the son of a low and worthless actress,
whose father, George Saville Carey, a poor singer, reciter, and mimic,
hanged himself. The father of Carey was a dramatist and song-writer, the
natural son of the great Lord Halifax, who died in 1695. Kean’s father is
unknown: he may have been Aaron Kean the tailor, or Moses Kean the
builder. In early life the genius was cabin-boy, strolling player, dancer
on the tight-rope, and elocutionist at country fairs. His first
appearance, as Shylock, in 1814, was a triumph. That night he came home
and promised his wife a carriage, and his son Charles (then in his cradle)
an education at Eton. In Richard III. he soon attained great triumphs. He
was audacious, sneering, devilish, almost supernatural in his cruelty and
hypocrisy. His Hamlet, though graceful and earnest, was inferior to his
Othello; but Kemble thought that the latter was a mistake, Othello being
palpably “a slow man.” When Southey saw Kean and Young, he said, “It is
the arch-fiend himself.” When Kean played Sir Giles Overreach, and
removed it from Kemble’s repertory, his wife received him on his return
from the theatre with the anxious question, “What did Lord Essex think of
it?” The triumphant reply is well known: “D---- Lord Essex, Mary! the pit
rose at me.”

In 1822, after a visit to America, Kean appeared with his rival Young in a
series of characters, though he never liked “the Jesuit,” as he used to
call Young. In 1827, Kean’s son Charles appeared as Norval at Drury Lane,
while his father, now sinking fast, was acting at Covent Garden. In 1833
Kean, shattered and exhausted, played Othello to his son’s Iago, and died
two months after.

Hazlitt has a fine comparison between Kean and Mrs. Siddons. Mrs. Siddons
never seemed to task her powers to the utmost. Her least word seemed to
float to the end of the stage; the least motion of her hand commanded
obedience. “Mr. Kean,” he says, “is all effort, all violence, all extreme
passion; he is possessed with a fury and demon that leaves him no repose,
no time for thought, nor room for imagination.[598] Mr. Kean’s imagination
appears not to have the principles of joy or hope or love in it. He seems
chiefly sensible to pain and to the passion that springs from it, and to
the terrible energies of mind or body which are necessary to grapple with
or to avert it.”[599]

The new theatre had small success under its committee of proprietors, and
soon became involved in debt and unable to pay the performers. In 1814 it
was let to the highest bidder, Elliston, who took it at the yearly rental
of £10,300, and expended £15,000 on repairs. Captain Polhill afterwards
became the lessee, and sunk in it large sums of money. The two next
lessees, Messrs. Bunn and Hammond, became bankrupts. Towards the middle of
1840 the house was reopened, after a closing of some months, for the then
new entertainments of promenade concerts.

Grimaldi, the son of Queen Charlotte’s dentist, was born in 1779. He made
his début at Drury lane in a “Robinson Crusoe” pantomime in 1781, and
retired from the stage in 1828. His first part of any importance was
Orson. He remained at Drury Lane for nearly five-and-twenty years, and
then played alternately at Covent Garden and Sadler’s Wells every night.
“He was the very beau-ideal of thieves,” says a critic of the time:
“robbery became a science in his hand; you forgave the larceny from the
humour with which Joe indulged his irresistible weakness.”[600] He was
famous for his rich ringing laugh, his complacent chuckle, the roll of his
eyes, the drop of his chin, and his elongated respiration. But we must go
back to the singers.

Mrs. Crouch, the great singer, and the daughter of a Gray’s Inn Lane
attorney, was articled to Mr. Linley, patentee of Drury Lane, in 1779, and
in 1780 made her début as Mandane. In 1785 she married a lieutenant in the
navy, but returned to the stage in 1786, to be eclipsed by Mrs.
Billington. In 1787 she acted with Kelly at Drury Lane in the opera of
“Richard Cœur de Lion,” and in the same year, in the character of Selima,
sang the once popular song of “No Flower that blows is like the Rose.” In
1788 she played Lady Elinor in “The Haunted Tower” at Drury Lane. She died
in 1804.

Mrs. Billington, the daughter of a German musician, was born in London in
1765. In 1801-2 she sang alternately at Drury Lane and Covent Garden. She
died in 1818. Bianchi wrote for this lady the opera of “Inez de Castro.”
She is said to have played and sung at sight Mozart’s “Clemenza di Tito;”
her voice ranged from D to G in altissimo. She indulged too much in
ornament, but was especially celebrated for her “Soldier tired of War’s
Alarms.”

John Braham, a Jew pencil-boy--so the musical _on dit_ goes--was brought
up by a singer at the Duke’s Place Synagogue. He made his début in 1787.
He appeared first, in 1796, in Storace’s opera of “Mahmoud,” at Drury
Lane. The compass of his song, “Let Glory’s Clarion,” extended over
seventeen notes. He died in 1856.

Storace, born in 1763, died in 1796. He was the son of an Italian
double-bass player, was engaged by Linley to compose for Drury Lane, and
for that theatre wrote the following operas:--“The Siege of Belgrade,”
1792: “Lodoiska,” 1794; and “The Iron Chest,” 1796. This brilliant young
man wrote chiefly for Braham and Kelly.

Madame Storace made her début at Drury Lane, in 1789, in her brother’s
comic opera of “The Haunted Tower.”

Bishop, who was born about 1780, produced his opera of “The Mysterious
Bride” at Drury Lane in 1808. In 1809, the night preceding the fire,
Bishop produced his first great success, “The Circassian Bride,” the score
of which was burnt. After being long at Covent Garden, Bishop, in 1826,
produced his “Aladdin” at Drury Lane to compete with Weber’s “Oberon” at
Covent Garden. In 1827 he adapted Rossini’s “Turco in Italia;” and in
1830, for Drury Lane, he adapted Rossini’s “William Tell.”

Michael Kelly, born in 1762, made his first appearance at Drury Lane in
1787. In his jovial career Kelly composed “The Castle Spectre,” “Blue
Beard” (the march in which is very pompously oriental and fine), “Of Age
To-morrow,” “Deaf and Dumb,” etc. He also wrote many Italian, English, and
French songs, and had a good tenor voice. He became superintendent of
music at the Drury Lane Theatre, and died in 1826. He was an agreeable
man, and much esteemed by George IV. Parkes accuses him of a want of
knowledge of harmony, and of stealing from the Italians.

In May 1836 Madame Malibran (de Beriot) appeared at Drury Lane as Isolina
in Balfe’s “Maid of Artois,” which was a great success. At the close of
the season she went abroad. Returned in September, she sang at the
Manchester Festival, and after a duet with Madame Caradori Allen, was
taken ill, and died a few days after. This gifted woman, the daughter of a
Spanish Jew (an opera-singer), was born in 1808.

To return to our last batch of actors. James Wallack, born in 1792, began
to be known about 1816, and in 1820 was principal tragedian at Drury
Lane. His Hamlet, Rolla, and Romeo were very manly and bearable. He
afterwards became stage-manager at Drury Lane, and was praised for his
light comedy.

Charles Young, who played with Kean at Drury Lane, was a dignified but
rather cold actor. Booth appeared also with Kean in 1817, and again in
1820 with Wallack and Cooper.

Mrs. Mardyn (the supposed mistress of Lord Byron) appeared on the Drury
Lane stage in 1815. She was boisterous, but so full of girlish gaiety and
reckless wildness that she became for a short time the favourite of the
town. She failed, however, when she reappeared in 1833 in a tragic part.

Charming Mrs. Nisbett, “that peach of a woman,” as Douglas Jerrold used to
call her, died in 1858, aged forty-five. The daughter of a drunken Irish
officer who took to the stage, she married an officer in the Life Guards
in 1831; but on the death of her husband by an accident, she returned to
her first love in 1832, and reappeared at Drury Lane. Her great triumph
was “The Love Chase,” which was produced at the Haymarket in 1837, and ran
for nearly one hundred nights. It was worth going a hundred miles to hear
Mrs. Nisbett’s merry, ringing, silvery laugh.

Irish Johnstone, who died in 1828, is described by Hazlitt as acting at
Drury Lane, “with his supple knees, his hat twisted round in his hand, his
good-humoured laugh, his arched eyebrows, his insinuating leer, and his
lubricated brogue curling round the ear like a well-oiled
moustachio.”[601]

Oxberry quitted Drury Lane with Elliston in 1820. In 1821 he took the
Craven’s Head Chop-house in Drury Lane, where he used to say to his
guests, “We vocalise on a Friday, conversationalise on a Sunday, and
chopise every day.” His best characters were Leo Luminati, Slender, and
Abel Day. Emery surpassed him in Tyke, Little Knight, and Robin Roughhead.

Farren, who was born about 1787, made his début at Covent Garden in 1818.
He was for some time at Drury Lane, and latterly manager of the Olympic.
In old men he took the place of Dowton. His finest performance was Lord
Ogleby, but in his prime he excelled also in Sir Peter Teazle, Sir Anthony
Absolute, Sir Fretful Plagiary, and the Bailie Nicol Jarvie.

John Pritt Harley was the son of a silk-mercer, and originally a clerk in
Chancery Lane. He was born in 1786 or 1790. He made his début at the
Lyceum in 1815, in “The Devil’s Bridge.” His first appearance at Drury
Lane was in 1815, as Lissardo in “The Wonder.” In farce he was
good-humoured, bustling, and droll; and he excelled in Caleb Quotem, Peter
Fidget, Bottom, and many Shaksperean characters. He died only a year or
two ago, repeating, it is said, this line of one of his old parts: “I have
an exposition of sleep come upon me.”

Miss Kelly, born in 1790, was at the Lyceum in 1808, and went from thence
to Drury Lane. She sang in operas, and was admirable in genteel comedy and
domestic tragedy. Her romps were scarcely inferior to Mrs. Jordan’s; her
waiting-maids were equal to Mrs. Orger’s. Charles Lamb, writing in 1818,
says of her--

  “Your tears have passion in them, and a grace,
    A genuine freshness which our hearts avow;
  Your smiles are winds whose ways we cannot trace,
    That vanish and return we know not how.”

Miss Kelly was twice shot at while acting. In both cases the cruel
assailants were rejected admirers.

In 1850 Mrs. Glover took her farewell benefit at Drury Lane; Farren and
Madame Vestris taking parts in the performance--Mrs. Glover playing Mrs.
Malaprop. She was born in 1779, and had made her first appearance as
Elvina in good Hannah More’s dull tragedy, at Covent Garden, in 1797.
Beautiful in youth, Mrs. Glover had gracefully passed from sighing Juliets
and maundering Elvinas into Mrs. Heidelbergs, Mrs. Candours, and the Nurse
in “Romeo and Juliet.”

Robert Keeley, who was brought up a compositor, was born in Grange Court,
Carey Street, in 1794. He acted at Drury Lane as early as 1819, and at the
Adelphi as early as 1826 as Jemmy Green in “Tom and Jerry.” In 1834 we
find the critics ranking him below Liston and Reeve, but he was very
popular in his representations of cowardly fear and stupid chuckling
astonishment. He left the stage for several years before his death. Miss
Helen Faucit, born in 1816, was the original heroine of Sir Bulwer
Lytton’s and Mr. Browning’s plays. Her Beatrice, Imogen, and Rosalind were
admirable, and her Antigone was a great success. She retired from the
stage in 1851, when she married Mr. Theodore Martin, the accomplished
translator of Horace and Catullus, and the joint author with Professor
Aytoun of those admirable burlesque ballads of “Bon Gaultier.”

William Charles Macready, the son of a Dublin upholsterer, appeared in
London first in 1816. Kean approved his Orestes, and he soon advanced to
Rob Roy, Virginius, and Coriolanus. He then removed to Drury Lane, and
distinguished himself as Caius Gracchus and William Tell, in two of Mr.
Sheridan Knowles’s plays. He reappeared at Drury Lane in 1826. The critics
said that he failed in Rolla and Hamlet, but excelled in Rob Roy,
Coriolanus, and Richard. He himself preferred his own Hamlet. They
complained that he had a burr in his enunciation, and a catching of the
breath--that he was too fond of declamation and violent transitions;
others thought him too heavy and colloquial. In 1826 he went to America,
where the fatal riot of Forrest’s partisans occurred, and twenty-two men
were killed. His season closed at Drury Lane in 1843. His benefit took
place in 1851, and he then retired from the stage to live the life of a
quiet, useful country gentleman in the west of England. He died in 1873,
and lies buried at Kensal Green.

Mr. Charles Kean, struggling with a bad voice and a mean figure, had a
hard fight for success, and won it only by the most dauntless
perseverance. Born in 1811, he appeared for the first time upon the boards
as Norval, in 1827. After repeated failures in London and much success in
the provinces and America, Mr. Kean accepted an engagement at Drury Lane
in 1838--Mr. Bunn offering him £50 a night. He succeeded in Hamlet, and
was presented with a silver vase of the value of £200. In Richard and Sir
Giles Overreach he also triumphed. In 1843 Mr. Kean renewed his engagement
with Mr. Bunn. Before retiring from the stage and starting for Australia,
Mr. and Mrs. Kean performed for many nights at Drury Lane. Charles Kean
died in 1868.

Miss Ellen Tree first performed at Drury Lane as Violante in “The Wonder.”
She married Mr. C. Kean in 1842, and aided him in those
antiquarianly-correct spectacles that for a time rendered a scholarly,
careful, but scarcely first-rate actor popular in the metropolis.

We have room in this brief and imperfect _résumé_ of theatrical history
for only two pictures of Drury Lane. One is in 1800, when George III. was
fired at by Hatfield as he entered the house to witness Cribber’s comedy
of “She Would and She Would Not.” When the Marquis of Salisbury would have
drawn him away, the brave, obstinate king said--“Sir, you discompose me as
well as yourself: I shall not stir one step.” The queen and princesses
were in tears all the evening, but George III. sat calm and collected,
staring through his single-barrel opera-glass. In 1783 the king, queen,
and Prince of Wales went to Drury Lane to see Mrs. Siddons play Isabella.
They sat under a dome of crimson velvet and gold. The king wore a
Quaker-coloured dress with gold buttons, while the handsome scapegrace
prince was adorned in blue Genoa velvet.

Mr. Planché, the accomplished writer of extravaganzas and the _Somerset
Herald_, brought out his burlesque of “Amoroso, King of Little Britain,”
at Drury Lane in 1818. He afterwards wrote the libretto of “Maid Marian”
for Mr. Bishop, and that of “Oberon” for Weber. In 1828 his “Charles XII.”
was produced at Drury Lane.

On Mr. Falconer’s clever imitative experiments we have no room to dilate.
The “Peep o’ Day,” a piece which reproduced all the “Colleen Bawn”
effects, was the best.

And now leaving the theatres for meaner places, we pass on to the district
of the butchers. Clare Market stands on a spot formerly called Clement’s
Inn Fields, and was built by the Earl of Clare, who lived close by, in
1657. The family names, Denzil, Holles, etc., are retained in the
neighbouring streets.

This market became notorious in Pope’s time for the buffoonery, noisy
impudence, and extravagances of Orator Henley, a sort of ecclesiastical
outlaw of a not very religious age, who tried to make his impudence and
conceit pass for genius. This street-orator, the son of a Leicestershire
vicar, was born in 1692. After going to St. John’s College, Cambridge, he
returned home, kept a school, wrote a poem called “Esther,” and began a
Universal Grammar in ten languages. Heated by an itch for reforming, and
tired of the country, or driven away, as some say, by a scandalous
embarrassment, he hurried to London, and for a short time did duty at a
chapel in Bedford Row. During this time, under the Earl of Macclesfield’s
patronage, he translated Pliny’s epistles, Vertot’s works, and
Montfaucon’s Italian travels. He then competed for a lecturership in
Bloomsbury, but failed, the parishioners not disliking his language or his
doctrine, but complaining that he threw himself about too much in the
pulpit.

Now, “regular action” was one of Henley’s peculiar prides. The rejection
hurt his vanity and nearly drove him crazy. Losing his temper, he rushed
into the vestry-room. “Blockheads!” he roared, “are _you_ qualified to
judge of the degree of action necessary for a preacher of God’s Word? Were
you able to read, or had got sufficient sense, you sorry knaves, to
understand the renowned orator of antiquity, he would tell you almost the
only requisite of a public speaker was ACTION, ACTION, ACTION. But I
despise and defy you: _provoco ad populum_; the public shall decide
between us.” He then hurried from the room, soon afterwards published his
probationary discourse, and taking a room in Newport Market, started as
quack divine and public lecturer.

But he first consulted the eccentric and heretical Whiston, whom Swift
bantered so ruthlessly--Whiston being, like Henley, a Leicestershire
man--as to whether he should incur any legal penalties by officiating as a
separatist from the Church of England. Whiston, himself an expelled
professor, tried to dissuade the Orator from his wild project.
Disagreement and abuse followed, and the correspondence ended with the
following final bomb-shell from the violent demagogue:--

    “To Mr. WILLIAM WHISTON,

    “Take notice that I give you warning not to enter my room in Newport
    Market, at your peril.

      “JOHN HENLEY.”[602]

The Orator patronised divinity on Sundays, and secular subjects on
Wednesdays and Fridays. The admittance was one shilling. He also published
outrageous pamphlets and a weekly farrago called The _Hyp-Doctor_,
intended to antidote _The Craftsman_, and for which pompous nonsense Sir
Robert Walpole is said to have given him £100 a year. He also attacked
eminent persons, even Pope, from his pulpit. Every Saturday an
advertisement of the subject of his next week’s oration appeared in the
_Daily Advertiser_, preceded by a sarcastic or libellous motto, and
sometimes an offer that if any one at home or abroad could be found to
surpass him, he would surrender his Oratory at once to his conqueror.

In 1729 Henley, growing perhaps more popular, removed to Clare Market,
where the butchers became his warm partisans and served as his body-guard.
The following are two of his shameless advertisements:--

“At the Oratory in Newport Market, to-morrow, at half an hour after ten,
the sermon will be on the Witch of Endor. At half an hour after five, the
theological lecture will be on the conversion and original of the Scottish
nation and of the Picts and Caledonians, St. Andrew’s relics and
panegyric, and the character and mission of the Apostles.

“On Wednesday, at six or near the matter, take your chance, will be a
medley oration on the history, merits, and praise of confusion and of
confounders, in the road and out of the way.

“On Friday will be that on Dr. Faustus and Fortunatus and conjuration.
After each the Chimes of the Times, Nos. 23 and 24.”

Very shortly afterwards he advertised from Clare Market:--

1. “The postil will be on the turning of Lot’s wife into a pillar of salt.
2. The sermon will be on the necessary power and attractive force which
religion gives the spirit of a man with God and good spirits.

2. “At five--1. The postil will be on this point:--In what language our
Saviour will speak the last sentence to mankind.

3. “The lecture will be on Jesus Christ’s sitting at the right hand of
God; where that is; the honours and lustre of his inauguration; the
learning, criticism, and piety of that glorious article.

“The Monday’s orations will shortly be resumed. On Wednesday the oration
will be on the skits of the fashions, or a live gallery of family pictures
in all ages; ruffs, muffs, puffs manifold; shoes, wedding-shoes,
two-shoes, slip-shoes, heels, clocks, pantofles, buskins, pantaloons,
garters, shoulder-knots, periwigs, head-dresses, modesties, tuckers,
farthingales, corkins, minnikins, slammakins, ruffles, round-robins, fans,
patches; dame, forsooth, madam, my lady, the wit and beauty of my granmum;
Winnifred, Joan, Bridget, compared with our Winny, Jenny, and Biddy: fine
ladies and pretty gentlewomen; being a general view of the _beau monde_
from before Noah’s flood to the year ’29. On Friday will be something
better than last Tuesday. After each a bob at the times.”

This very year, 1729, the _Dunciad_ was published, and in it this Rabelais
of the pulpit had, of course, his niche. Pope had been accused of taking
the bread out of people’s mouths. He denies this, and asks if “Colley
(Cibber) has not still his lord, and Henley his butchers;” and ends with
these lines, which, however, had no effect, for Henley went on ranting for
eighteen years longer--

  “But where each science lifts its modern type,
  History her pot, Divinity his pipe;
  While proud Philosophy repines to show,
  Dishonest sight! his breeches rent below,--
  Imbrown’d with native bronze, lo! Henley stands,
  Tuning his voice and balancing his hands.
  How fluent nonsense trickles from his tongue!
  How sweet the periods, neither said nor sung!
  Still break the benches, Henley, with thy strain,
  While Sherlock, Hare, and Gibson preach in vain.
  O great restorer of the good old stage,
  Preacher at once and zany of the age!
  O worthy thou of Egypt’s wise abodes!
  A decent priest when monkeys were the gods.
  But Fate with butchers placed thy priestly stall,
  Meek modern faith to murder, hack, and maul,
  And bade thee live to crown Britannia’s praise
  In Toland’s, Tindal’s, and in Woolston’s days.”[603]

In another place he says--

  “Henley lay inspired beside a sink,
  And to mere mortals seemed a priest in drink.”

Pope often attacked Henley in the _Grub Street Journal_, and the Orator
retaliated. A year or two after the _Essay on Man_ was published, Henley
(Dec. 1737) announced a lecture, “Whether Mr. Pope be a man of sense, in
one argument--‘Whatever is is right.’” If whatever is is right, Henley
thought that nothing could be wrong; ergo, he himself was not a proper
object of satire.

Henley’s pulpit was covered with velvet and gold lace, and over his altar
was written, “The PRIMITIVE Eucharist.” A contemporary journalist
describes him entering his pulpit suddenly, like a harlequin, through a
sort of trap-door at the back, and “at one large leap jumping into it and
falling to work,” beating his notions into the butcher-audience
simultaneously with his hands, arms, legs, and head.

In one of his arrogant puffs, he boasts that he has singly executed what
“would sprain a dozen of modern doctors of the tribe of Issachar;” that no
one dares to answer his challenges; that he can write, read, and study
twelve hours a day and not feel the yoke; and write three dissertations a
week without help, and put the Church in danger. He struck medals for his
tickets, with a star rising to the meridian upon them, and the vain
superscription “Ad summa” (“To the heights”), and below, “Inveniam viam
aut faciam” (“I will find a way or make one”).

When the Orator’s funds grew low, his audacity and impudence rose to their
climax. He once filled his chapel with shoemakers, whom he had attracted
by advertising that he could teach a method of making shoes with wonderful
celerity. His secret consisted in cutting the tops off old boots. His
motto to this advertisement was “Omne majus continet in se minus” (“The
greater includes the less”).

In 1745 Henley was cited before the Privy Council for having used
seditious expressions in one of his lectures. Herring, then Archbishop of
York, had been arming his clergy, and urging every one to volunteer
against the Pretender. The Earl of Chesterfield, then Secretary of State,
urged on Henley the impropriety of ridiculing such honest exertions at a
time when rebellion actually raged in the very heart of the kingdom. “I
thought, my lord,” said Henley, “that there was no harm in cracking a joke
on a _red herring_.”

During his examination, the restorer of ancient eloquence requested
permission to sit, on account of a rheumatism that was generally supposed
to be imaginary. The earl tried to turn the outlaw divine into ridicule;
but Henley’s eccentric answers, odd gestures, hearty laughs, strong voice,
magisterial air, and self-possessed face were a match for his somewhat
heartless lordship.

Being cautioned about his disrespectful remarks on certain ministers,
Henley answered gravely, “My lords, I must live.” Lord Chesterfield
replied, “I don’t see the necessity,” and the council laughed. Upon this
Henley, remembering that the joke was Voltaire’s, was somewhat irritated.
“That is a good thing, my lord,” he exclaimed, “but it has been said
before.” A few days after the Orator, being reprimanded and cautioned, was
dismissed as an impudent but entertaining fellow.[604]

Dr. Herring whom the rogue ridiculed was a worthy man, who in 1747, on the
death of Potter, became Archbishop of Canterbury, and died in 1757. Swift
hated Herring for condemning the “Beggars’ Opera” in a sermon at Lincoln’s
Inn, and wrote accordingly: “The ‘Beggars’ Opera’ will probably do more
good than a thousand sermons of so stupid, so injudicious, and so
prostitute a divine.”[605]

In 1748 Dr. Cobden, the Court chaplain, an odd but worthy man, incurred
the resentment of King George II. by preaching before him a sermon
entitled “A Persuasive to Chastity”--a virtue not popular then at St.
James’s. He resigned his post in 1752. The text of this obnoxious sermon
was, “Take away the wicked from before the king.” Henley’s next Saturday’s
motto was--

  “Away with the wicked before the king,
  Away with the wicked behind him;
      His throne it will bless
      With righteousness,
  And we shall know where to find him.”

If any of the Orator’s old Bloomsbury friends ever caught his eye among
the audience, he would gratify his vanity and rankling resentment by a
pause. He would then say, “You see, sir, all mankind are not exactly of
your opinion; there are, you perceive, a few sensible persons in the world
who consider me as not totally unqualified for the office I have
undertaken.” His abashed adversaries, hot and confused, and with all eyes
turned on them, would retreat precipitately, and sometimes were pushed out
of the room by Henley’s violent butchers.

The Orator figures in two caricatures, attributed, as Mr. Steevens thinks,
wrongly to Hogarth. In one he is christening a child; in another he is on
a scaffold with a monkey by his side. A parson takes the money at the
door, while a butcher is porter. Modesty is in a cloud, Folly in a coach,
and there is a gibbet prepared for poor Merit.

Henley, who latterly grew coarse, brutal, and drunken, died October 14,
1756. The _Gentleman’s Magazine_ merely announces his death thus:--“Rev.
Orator Henley, aged 64.” “Nollekens” Smith says that he died mad.

It is somewhat uncertain where his Oratory stood: some say in Duke Street;
others, in the market. It was probably in Davenant’s old theatre, at the
Tennis Court in Vere Street.[606]

The beginning of one of this buffoon’s ribald sermons has been preserved,
and is worth quoting to prove the miserable claptrap with which he amused
his rude audience. The text is taken from Jeremiah xvi. 16, “I will send
for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after that
I will send many hunters, and they shall hunt.”

“The former part of the text seems, as Scripture is written for our
admonition, on whom the ends of the world are come (an end of all we have
in the world), to relate to the _Dutch_, who are to be fished by us
according to Act of Parliament; for the word ‘herrings’ in the Act has a
figurative as well as a literal sense, and by a metaphor means Dutchmen,
who are the greatest stealers of herrings in the world; so that the drift
of the statute is, that we are to fish for Dutchmen, and catch them,
either by nets or fishing-rods in return for their repeated catching of
Englishmen, then transport them in some of Jonathan Forward’s close
lighters and sell them in the West Indies, to repair the loss which our
South Sea Company endure by the Spaniards denying them the assiento, or
sale of negroes.”[607]

Among other wild sermons of Henley, we find discourses on “The Tears of
Magdalen,” “St. Paul’s Cloak,” and “The Last Wills of the Patriarchs.” He
left behind him 600 MSS., which he valued at one guinea a-piece, and 150
volumes of commonplaces and other scholarly memoranda. They were sold for
less than £100. They had been written with great care. When Henley was
once accused that he _did all_ for lucre, he retorted “that some do
nothing for it.” He once filled his room by advertising an oration on
marriage. When he got into his pulpit he shook his head at the ladies, and
said “he was afraid they oftener came to church to get husbands than to
hear the preacher.” On one occasion two Oxonians whom he challenged came
followed by such a strong party that the butchers were overawed, and
Henley silently slunk away by a door behind the rostrum.[608]

There are still popular preachers in London as greedy of praise and as
basely eager for applause as Orator Henley. Equally great buffoons, and
men equally low in moral tone, still fill some pulpits, and point the way
to a path they may never themselves take. To such unhappy self-deceivers
we can advise no better cure than a moonlight walk in Clare Market in
search of the ghost of Orator Henley.

There was in Hogarth’s time an artists’ club at the Bull’s Head, Clare
Market. Boitard etched some of the characters. Hogarth, Jack Laguerre,
Colley Cibber, Denis the critic (?), Boitard, Spiller the comedian, and
George Lambert, were members. Laguerre gave Spiller’s portrait to the
landlord, and drew a caricature procession of his “chums.” The inn was
afterwards called the “Spiller’s Head.” One of the wags of the club wrote
an epitaph on Spiller, beginning--

  “The butchers’ wives fall in hysteric fits,
  For sure as they’re alive, poor Spiller’s dead;
  But, thanks to Jack Laguerre, we’ve got his head.

     *       *       *       *       *

  He was an inoffensive, merry fellow,
  When sober hipped, blithe as a bird when mellow.”[609]

The Bull’s Head Tavern in Clare Market, the same place in which Hogarth’s
club was held, had previously been the favourite resort of that
illustrious Jacobite, Dr. Radcliffe, who is said to have killed two
queens. Swift did not like this overbearing, ignorant, and surly humorist,
who, however, rejoiced in doing good, and left a vast sum of money to the
University of Oxford. When Bathurst, the head of Trinity College, asked
Radcliffe where his library was, he pointed to a few vials, a skeleton,
and a herbal, and replied, “There is Radcliffe’s library.”[610]

[Illustration: DRURY LANE THEATRE, 1806.]

Mrs. Bracegirdle, that excellent and virtuous actress, used to be in the
habit (says Tony Ashton) of frequently going into Clare market and giving
money to the poor unemployed basketwomen, insomuch that she could not pass
that neighbourhood without thankful acclamations from people of all
degrees.

In 1846 there were in and about Clare Market, about 26 butchers who
slaughtered from 350 to 400 sheep weekly in the stalls and cellars. The
number killed was from 50 to 60 weekly--but in winter sometimes as many as
200. But the butchers’ market has now become almost a thing of the past.

Joe Miller formerly lay buried in a graveyard on the south side of
Portugal Street, but the graveyard is now turned to other purposes. At the
corner of Portugal Street and Lincoln’s Inn Fields is the “Black Jack”
Inn, a hostelry whose name is connected with some of Jack Sheppard’s
feats.



[Illustration: OLD ST. GILES’S--CHURCH LANE AND DYOT STREET, 1869.]


CHAPTER XIII.

ST. GILES’S.


That ancient Roman military road (the Watling Street) came from Edgeware,
and passing over Hyde Park and through St. James’s Park by Old Palace
Yard, once the Wool Staple, it reached the Thames. Thence it was continued
to Canterbury and the three great seaports.

Another Roman road, the _Via Trinobantica_, which began at Southampton and
ended at Aldborough, ran through London, crossed the Watling Street at
Tyburn, and passed along Oxford Street. In latter times, says Dr.
Stukeley, the road was changed to a more southerly direction, and Holborn
was formed, leading to Newgate or the Chamberlain’s Gate.

One of the earliest tolls ever imposed in England is said to have had its
origin in St. Giles’s.[611] In 1346 Edward III. granted to the Master of
the Hospital of St. Giles and to John de Holborne, a commission empowering
them to levy tolls for two years (one penny in the pound on their value)
on all cattle and merchandise passing along the public highways leading
from the old Temple, _i.e._ Holborn Bars, to the Hospital of St. Giles’s,
and also along the Charing Road and another highway called Portpool, now
Gray’s Inn Lane. The money was to be used in repairing the roads, which,
by the frequent passing of carts, wains, horses, and cattle, had become so
miry and deep as to be nearly impassable. The only persons exempted were
to be lords, ladies, and persons belonging to religious
establishments.[612]

Henry V. ascended the throne in 1413, and astonished his subjects by
suddenly casting off his slough of vice, and becoming a self-restrained,
virtuous, and high-spirited king. His first care was to forget party
distinctions, and to put down the Lollards, or disciples of Wickliffe,
whom the clergy denounced as dangerous to the civil power. As a good
general secures the rear of his army before he advances, so the young king
was probably desirous to guard himself against this growing danger before
he invaded Normandy and made a clutch at the French crown.

Arundel, the primate, urged him to indict Sir John Oldcastle, Lord Cobham,
the head of the Lollard sect. The king was averse to a prosecution, and
suggested milder means. At a conference, therefore, appointed before the
bishops and doctors in 1414, the following articles were handed Oldcastle
as tests, and the unorthodox lord was allowed two days to retract his
heresies. He was required to confess that at the sacrament the material
bread and wine are turned into Christ’s very body and Christ’s very
blood; that every Christian man ought to confess to an ordained priest;
that Christ ordained St. Peter and his successors as his vicars on earth;
that Christian men ought to obey the priest; and that it is profitable to
go on pilgrimages and to worship the relics and images of saints. “This is
determination of Holy Church. _How feel ye this article?_” With these
stern words ended every dogma proposed by the primate.

Lord Cobham, who was much esteemed by the king, and had been a good
soldier under his father, repeatedly refused to profess his belief in
these tenets. The archbishop then delivered the heretic to the secular
arm, to be put to death, according to the usage of the times. The night
previous to his execution, however, Lord Cobham escaped from the Tower and
fled to Wales, where he lay hid for four years while Agincourt was being
fought, and where he must have longed to have been present with his true
sword.

Soon after his escape, the frightened clergy spread a report that he was
in St. Giles’s Fields, at the head of twenty thousand Lollards, who were
resolved to seize the king and his two brothers, the Dukes of Bedford and
Gloucester. For this imaginary plot thirty-six persons were hanged or
burnt; but the names of only three are recorded, and of these Sir Roger
Acton is the only person of distinction.

A reward of a thousand marks was offered for Lord Cobham, and other
inducements were held out by Chicheley, the Primate Arundel’s successor.
Four years, however, elapsed before the premature Protestant was
discovered and taken by Lord Powis in Wales.[613] After some blows and
blood a country-woman in the fray breaking Cobham’s leg with a stool, he
was secured and sent up to London in a horse-litter. He was sentenced to
be drawn on a hurdle to the gallows in St. Giles’s Fields, and to be
hanged over a fire, in order to inflict on him the utmost pain.

He was brought from the Tower on the 25th of December 1418, and his arms
bound behind him. He kept a very cheerful countenance as he was drawn to
the field where his assumed treason had been committed. When he reached
the gallows, he fell devoutly on his knees and piously prayed God to
forgive his enemies. The cruel preparations for his torment struck no
terror in him, nor shook the constancy of the martyr. He bore everything
bravely as a soldier, and with the resignation of a Christian. Then he was
hung by the middle with chains and consumed alive in the fire, praising
God’s name as long as his life lasted.

He was accused by his enemies of holding that there was no such thing as
free will; that all sin was inevitable; and that God could not have
prevented Adam’s sin, nor have pardoned it without the satisfaction of
Christ.[614]

Fuller says of him: “Stage-poets have themselves been very bold with, and
others very merry at, the memory of Sir John Oldcastle (Lord Cobham), whom
they have fancied a boon companion or jovial roysterer, and yet a coward
to boot, contrary to the credit of the chronicles, owning him to be a
martial man of merit. Sir John Falstaff hath derided the memory of Sir
John Oldcastle, and of late is substituted buffoon in his place; but it
matters us little what petulant priests or what malicious poets have
written against him.”

The gallows had been removed from the Elms at Smithfield in 1413, the
first year of Henry V.; but Tyburn was a place of execution as early as
1388.[615] The St. Giles’s gallows was set up at the north corner of the
hospital wall, between the termination of High Street and Crown Street,
opposite to where the Pound stood.

The manor of St. Giles was anciently divided from Bloomsbury by a great
fosse called Blemund’s Ditch. The Doomsday Book contains no mention of
this district, nor indeed of London at all, except of ten acres of land
nigh Bishopsgate, belonging to St. Paul’s, and a vineyard in Holborn,
belonging to the Crown. This yard is supposed to have stood on the site of
the Vine Tavern (now destroyed), a little to the east of Kingsgate
Street.[616]

Blemund’s Ditch was a line of defence running nearly parallel with the
north side of Holborn, and connecting itself to the east with the Fleet
brook. It was probably of British origin.[617] On the north-west of
London, in the Roman times, there were marshes and forests, and even as
late as Elizabeth, Marylebone and St. John’s Wood were almost all chase.

The manor was crown property in the Norman times, for Matilda, daughter of
Malcolm king of Scotland and the queen of Henry I., built a leper hospital
there, and dedicated it to St. Giles. The same good woman erected a
hospital at Cripplegate, and another at St. Katharine’s, near the Tower,
and founded a priory within Aldgate. The hospital of St. Giles sheltered
forty lepers, one clerk, a messenger, the master, and several matrons; the
queen gave 60s. a year to each leper. The inmates of lazar hospitals were
in the habit of begging in the market-places.

The patron saint, St. Giles, was an Athenian of the seventh century, who
lived as a hermit in a forest near Nismes. One day some hunters, pursuing
a hind that he had tamed, struck the Greek with an arrow as he protected
it, but the good man still went on praying, and refused all recompense for
the injury. The French king in vain attempted to entice the saint from his
cell, which in time, however, grew first into a monastery, and then into a
town.[618]

This hospital was built on the site of the old parish church, and it
occupied eight acres. It stood a little to the west of the present church,
where Lloyd’s Court stands or stood; and its gardens reached between High
Street and Hog Lane, now Crown Street, to the Pound, which used to stand
nearly opposite to the west end of Meux’s Brewhouse. It was surrounded by
a triangular wall, running in a line with Crown Street to somewhere near
the Cock and Pye Fields (afterwards the Seven Dials), in a line with
Monmouth Street, and thence east and west up High Street, joining near the
Pound.

Unwholesome diet and the absence of linen seem to have encouraged
leprosy, which was probably a disease of Eastern origin. In 1179 the
Lateran Council decreed that lepers should keep apart, and have churches
and churchyards of their own. It was therefore natural to build hospitals
for lepers outside large towns. King Henry II., for the health of the
souls of his grandfather and grandmother, granted the poor lepers a second
60s. each to be paid yearly at the feast of St. Michael, and 30s. more out
of his Surrey rents to buy them lights. He also confirmed to them the
grant of a church at Feltham, near Hounslow. In Henry III.’s reign, Pope
Alexander IV. issued a bull to confirm these privileges. Edward I. granted
the hospital two charters in 1300 and 1303; and in Edward II.’s reign so
many estates were granted to it that it became very rich. Edward III. made
St. Giles a cell of Burton St. Lazar in Leicestershire. This annexation
led to quarrels, and to armed resistance against the visitations of Robert
Archbishop of Canterbury. In this reign the great plague broke out, and
the king commanded the wards of the city to issue proclamations and remove
all lepers. It is strange that St. Giles’s should have been the resort of
pariahs from the very beginning.

Burton St. Lazar (a manor sold in 1828 for £30,000) is still celebrated
for its cheeses. It remained a flourishing hospital from the reign of
Stephen till Henry VIII. suppressed it. St. Giles’s sank in importance
after this absorption, and finally fell in 1537 with its larger brother.
By a deed of exchange the greedy king obtained forty-eight acres of land,
some marshes, and two inns. Six years after the king gave St. Giles’s to
John Dudley, Viscount Lisle, High Admiral of England, who fitted up the
principal part of the hospital for his own residence. Two years after Lord
Lisle sold the manor to Wymond Carew, Esq. The mansion was situated
westward of the church and facing it. It was afterwards occupied by the
celebrated Alice, Duchess of Dudley, who died there in the reign of
Charles II., aged ninety. This house was subsequently the residence of
Lord Wharton. It divided Lloyd’s Court from Denmark Street.

The master’s house, “The White House,” stood on the site of Dudley Court,
and was given by the duchess to the parish as a rectory-house. The wall
which surrounded the hospital gardens and orchards was not entirely
removed till 1639.

Early in the fourteenth century the parish of St. Giles, including the
hospital inmates, numbered only one hundred inhabitants. In King John’s
reign it was laid out in garden plots and cottages. In Henry III.’s reign
it was a scattered country village, with a few shops and a stone cross,
where the High Street now is. As far back as 1225 a blacksmith’s shop
stood at the north-west end of Drury Lane, and remained there till its
removal in 1575.

In Queen Elizabeth’s reign the Holborn houses did not run farther than Red
Lion Street; the road was then open as far as the present Hart Street,
where a garden wall commenced near Broad Street, St. Giles’s, and the end
of Drury Lane, where a cluster of houses on the right formed the chief
part of the village, the rest being scattered houses. The hospital
precincts were at this time surrounded by trees. Beyond this, north and
south, all was country; and avenues of trees marked out the Oxford and
other roads. There was no house from Broad Street, St. Giles’s, to Drury
House at the top of Wych Street.[619]

The lower part of Holborn was paved in the reign of Henry VI., in 1417;
and in 1542 (33d Henry VIII.) it was completed as far as St. Giles’s,
being very full of pits and sloughs, and perilous and noisome to all on
foot or horseback. The first increase of buildings in this district was on
the north side of Broad Street. Three edicts of 1582, 1593, and 1602
evince the alarm of Government at the increase of inhabitants and prohibit
further building under severe penalties. The first proclamation, dated
from Nonsuch Palace, in Surrey, assigns the reason of these
prohibitions:--1. The difficulty of governing more people without new
officers and fresh jurisdictions. 2. The difficulty of supplying them with
food and fuel at reasonable rates. 3. The danger of plague and the injury
to agriculture. Regulations were also issued to prevent the further
resort of country people to town, and the lord mayor took oaths to enforce
these proclamations. But London burst through these foolish and petty
restraints as Samson burst the green withs. In 1580 the resident
foreigners in the capital had increased from 3762 to 6462 persons, the
majority being Dutch who had fled from the Spaniards, and Huguenots who
had escaped from France after the massacre of St. Bartholomew. St. Giles’s
grew, especially to the east and west, round the hospital. The girdle wall
was mostly demolished soon after 1595. Holborn, stretching westward, with
its fair houses, lodgings for gentlemen, and inns for travellers,[620] had
nearly reached it. In Aggas’s map, cattle graze amid intersecting
footpaths, where Great Queen Street now is. There were then only two or
three houses in Covent Garden, but in 1606 the east side of Drury Lane was
built; in the assessment of 1623 upwards of twenty courtyards and alleys
are mentioned; and 100 houses were added on the north side of St. Giles’s
Street, 136 in Bloomsbury, 56 on the west side of Drury Lane, and 71 on
the south side of Holborn.[621] The south and east sides of the hospital
site had been the slowest in their growth. After the Great Fire, these
still remained gardens, but the north side, nearer Oxford Road, was
already occupied. The first inhabitants of importance were Mr. Abraham
Speckart and Mr. Breads, in the reigns of James I. and Charles I., and
afterwards Sir William Stiddolph. New Compton Street was originally called
Stiddolph Street, but afterwards changed its name when Charles II. gave
the adjoining marsh-land to Mr. Francis Compton, who built on the old
hospital land a continuation of Old Compton Street. Monmouth Street,
probably named after the foolish and unfortunate duke, was also built in
this reign.

In 1694, in the reign of William III., a Mr. Neale, a lottery promoter,
took on lease the Cock and Pye Fields--then the resort of gambling boys,
thieves, and beggars, and a sink of filth and cesspools--and built the
neighbouring streets, placing in the centre a Doric pillar with seven
dials on it; afterwards a clock was added.[622] This same Mr. Thomas Neale
took a large piece of ground on the north side of Piccadilly from Sir
Thomas Clarges, agreeing to lay out £10,000 in building; but he failed to
carry out his design, and Sir Walter Clarges, after great trouble, got the
lease out of his hands, and Clarges Street was then built.[623]

In 1697 many hundreds of the 14,000 French refugees who fled from Louis
XIV.’s dragoons after the cruel revocation of the Edict of Nantes settled
about Long Acre, the Seven Dials, and Soho. In Strype’s time (Queen Anne’s
reign), Stacie Street, Kendrick Yard, Vinegar Yard, and Phoenix Street,
were mostly occupied by poor French people; indigent marquises and
starving countesses.

In the reign of Queen Anne, St. Giles’s increased with great rapidity--St.
Giles’s Street and Broad Street from the Pound to Drury Lane, the
south-east side of Tottenham Court Road, Crown Street, the Seven Dials,
and Castle Street were completed; the south side of Holborn was also
finished from Broad Street to a little east of Great Turnstile, and, on
the north side, the street spread to two doors east of the Vine
Tavern.[624] The Irish had already begun to debase St. Giles’s; the French
refugees completed the degradation and hopelessness, and spread like a mud
deluge towards Soho.

In 1640 there are in the parish books several entries of money paid to
soldiers and distressed men who had lost everything they had in Ireland:--

  Paid to a poor Irishman, and to a prisoner come
  over from Dunkirk                                  £0 1 0

  Paid for a shroud for an Irishman that died at
  Brickils                                            0 2 6

In 1640, 1642, and 1647, there constantly occur donations to poor Irish
ministers and plundered Irish. Clothes were sent by the parish into
Ireland. There is one entry--

  Paid to a poor gentleman undone by the burning of a city
  in Ireland; having licence from the lords to collect      £0 3 0

The following entries are also curious and characteristic:--

  1642.--To Mrs. Mabb, a poet’s wife, her husband being
         dead                                             £0 1 0

         Paid to Goody Parish, to buy her boys two
         shirts; and Charles, their father, a waterman
         at Chiswick, to keep him at £20 a
         year from Christmas                              0  3 0

  1648.--Gave to the Lady Pigot, in Lincoln’s Inn
         Fields, poor and deserving relief                0  2 6

  1670.--Given to the Lady Thornbury, being poor
         and indigent                                     0 10 0

  1641.--To old Goodman Street and old Goody
         Malthus, very poor                               ------

  1645.--To Mother Cole and Mother Johnson, xiid.
         a-piece                                          0  2 0

  1646.--To William Burnett, in a cellar in Raggedstaff
         Yard, being poor and very sick                   0  1 6

         To Goody Sherlock, in Maidenhead-fields
         Lane, one linen-wheel, and gave her
         money to buy flax                                0  1 0

There are also some interesting entries showing what a sink for the
poverty of all the world the St. Giles’s cellars had become, even before
the Restoration.

  1640.--Gave to Signor Lifecatha, a distressed
         Grecian                                         ------

  1642.--To Laylish Milchitaire, of Chimaica, in
         Armenia, to pass him to his own country,
         and to redeem his sons in slavery under
         the Turks                                       £0  5 0

  1654.--Paid towards the relief of the mariners,
         maimed soldiers, widows and orphans of
         such as have died in the service of Parliament   4 11 0

These were for Cromwell’s soldiers; and this year Oliver himself gave £40
to the parish to buy coals for the poor.

  1666.--Collected at several times towards the relief
         of the poor sufferers burnt out by the late
         dreadful fire of London                         £25 8 4

In 1670 nearly £185 was collected in this parish towards the redemption of
slaves.

After 1648 the Irish are seldom mentioned by name. They had grown by this
time part and parcel of the district, and dragged all round them down to
poverty. In 1653 an assistant beadle was appointed specially to search out
and report all new arrivals of chargeable persons. In 1659 a monthly
vestry-meeting was instituted to receive the constable’s report as to new
vagrants.

In 1675 French refugees began to increase, and in 1679-1680, 1690 and 1692
fresh efforts were made to search out and investigate the cases of all
new-comers. In 1710 the churchwardens reported to the commissioners for
building new churches, that “a great number of French Protestants were
inhabitants of the parish.”

Well-known beggars of the day are frequently mentioned in the parish
accounts, as for instance--

  1640.--Gave to Tottenham Court Meg, being very
         sick                                              £0 1 0

  1642.--Gave to the ballad-singing cobbler                 0 1 0

  1646.--Gave to old Friz-wig                               1 6 0

  1657.--Paid the collectors for a shroud for old Guy,
         the poet                                           0 2 6

  1658.--Paid a year’s rent for Mad Bess                    1 4 6

  1642.--Paid to one Thomas, a traveller                    0 0 6

         To a poor woman and her children, almost
         starved                                            0 5 6

  1645.--For a shroud for Hunter’s child, the blind
         beggar-man                                         0 1 6

  1646.--Paid and given to a poor wretch, name forgot       0 1 0

         Given to old Osborn, a troublesome fellow          0 1 3

         Paid to Rotton, the lame glazier, to carry
         him towards Bath                                   0 3 0

  1647.--To old Osborne and his blind wife                  0 0 6

         To the old mud-wall maker                          0 0 6

In 1665 the plague fell heavily on St. Giles’s, already dirty and
overcrowded. The pest had already broken out five times within the eighty
years beginning in 1592; but no outbreak of this Oriental pest in London
had carried off more than 36,000 persons. The disease in 1665, however,
slew no fewer than 97,306 in ten months.[625] In St. Giles’s the plague of
1592 carried off 894 persons; in 1625 there died of the plague about 1333;
but in 1665 there were swept off from this parish alone 3216. The plague
of 1625 seemed to have alarmed London quite as much as its successor, for
we find that in St. Giles’s no assessment could be made, as the richer
people had all fled into the country. A pest-house was fitted up in
Bloomsbury for the nine adjoining parishes, and this was afterwards taken
by St. Giles’s for itself. The vestry appointed two examiners to inspect
infected houses. Mr. Pratt, the churchwarden, who advanced money to
succour the poor when the rich deserted them, was afterwards paid forty
pounds for the sums he had generously disbursed at his own risk. In 1642
the entries in the parish books show that the disease had again become
virulent and threatening. The bodies were collected in carts by
torchlight, and thrown without burial service into large pits. Infected
houses were padlocked up, and watchmen placed to admit doctors or persons
bringing food to the searchers, who at night brought out the dead.

The following entries (for 1642) in the parish books seem to me even more
terrible than Defoe’s romance written fifty years after the events:--

  Paid for the two padlocks and hasps for visited
  houses                                           £0  2 6

  Paid Mr. Hyde for candles for the bearers         0 10 0

   "   to the same for the night-cart and cover     7  9 0

   "   to Mr. Mann for links and candles for the
       night-bearers                                0 10 0

The next year the plague still raged, and the same precautions seem to
have been taken as afterwards in 1665, showing that the terrible details
of that punishment of filth and neglect were not new to London citizens.

The entries go on:--

  To the bearers for carrying out of Crown Court a woman
  that died of the plague                                   £0 1 6

  Sent to a poor man shut up in Crown Yard of the plague     0 1 6

Then follow sums paid for padlocks and staples, graves and links:--

  Paid and given Mr. Lyn, the beadle, for a piece of good
  service to the parish in conveying away of a visited
  household to Lord’s Pest House, forth of Mr. Higgins’s
  house at Bloomsbury                                      £0  1 6

  Received of Mr. Hearle (Dr. Temple’s gift) to be given
  to Mrs. Hockey, a minister’s widow, shut up in the
  Crache Yard of the plague                                 0 10 0

But now came the awful pestilence of 1665; the streets were so deserted
that grass grew in them, and nothing was to be seen but coffins,
pest-carts, link-men, and red-crossed doors. The air resounded with the
tolling of bells, the screams of distracted mourners crying from the
windows, “Pray for us!” and the dismal call of the searchers, “Bring out
your dead!”[626]

The plague broke out in its most malignant form among the poor of St.
Giles’s;[627] and Dr. Hodges and Sir Richard Manningham, both first-rate
authorities on this subject, agree in this assertion.

In August 1665 an additional rate to the amount of £600 was levied.
Independent of this, very large sums were subscribed by persons resident
in, or interested in, the parish. The following are a few of the items:--

  Mr. Williams, from the Earl of Clare                £10  0  0

  Mr. Justice (Sir Edmondbury) Godfrey, from the
  Lord Treasurer                                       50  0  0

  Earl Craven and the rest of the justices, towards
  the visited poor, at various times                  449 16 10

  Earl Craven towards the visited poor                 40  3  0

There are also these ominous entries:--

  August.--Paid the searchers for viewing the corpse
           of Goodwife Phillips, who died of the
           plague                                        £0 0 6

           Laid out for Goodman Phillips and his
           children, being shut up and visited            0 5 0

           Laid out for Lylla Lewis, 3 Crane Court,
           being shut up of the plague; and laid
           out for the nurse, and for the nurse and
           burial                                        0 18 6

In July 1666 the constables, etc. were ordered to make an account of all
new inmates coming to the parish, and to take security that they would not
become burdensome. They were also directed to be careful to prevent the
infection spreading for the future by a timely guard of all “that are or
hereafter may happen to be visited.”

“During the plague time,” says an eye-witness, “nobody put on black or
formal mourning, yet London was all in tears. The shrieks of women and
children at the doors and windows of their houses where their dearest
relations were dying, or perhaps dead, were enough to pierce the stoutest
hearts. At the west end of the town it was a surprising thing to see those
streets which were usually thronged now grown desolate; so that I have
sometimes gone the length of a whole street (I mean bye streets), and have
seen nobody to direct me but watchmen[628] sitting at the doors of such
houses as were shut up; and one day I particularly observed that even in
Holborn the people walked in the middle of the street, and not at the
sides--not to mingle, as I supposed, with anybody that came out of
infected houses, or meet with smells and scents from them.”

Dr. Hodges, a great physician, who shunned no danger, describes even more
vividly the horrors of that period. “In the streets,” he says, “might be
seen persons seized with the sickness, staggering like drunken men; here
lay some dozing and almost dead; there others were met fatigued with
excessive vomiting, as if they had drunk poison; in the midst of the
market, persons in full health fell suddenly down as if the contagion was
there exposed to sale. It was not uncommon to see an inheritance pass to
three heirs within the space of four days. The bearers were not sufficient
to inter the dead.”[629]

It is supposed that till the Leper Hospital was suppressed, the St.
Giles’s people used the oratory there as their parish church. Leland does
not mention any other church, although he lived and wrote about the time
of the suppression, and even made an effort to save the monastic MSS. by
proposing to have them placed in the king’s library. The oratory had
probably a screen walling off the lepers from the rest of the
congregation. It boasted several chantry chapels, and a high altar at the
east end, dedicated to St. Giles, before which burnt a great taper called
“St. Giles’s light,” and towards which, about A.D. 1200, one William
Christemas bequeathed an annual sum of twelvepence. There was also a
Chapel of St. Michael, appropriated to the infirm, and which had its own
special priest.

In the reign of Charles I. the south aisle of the hospital church was full
of rubbish, lumber, and coffin-boards; and Lady Dudley put up a screen to
divide the nave from the chancel. In 1623 the church became so ruinous
that it had to be rebuilt at an expense of £2068: 7: 2. Among the
subscribers appear the names of the Duchess of Lennox, Sir Anthony
Ashleye, Sir John Cotton, and the players at “the Cockpit playhouse.” The
415 householders of the parish subscribed £1065: 9s., the donations
ranging from the £250 of the Duchess of Dudley to Mother Parker’s
twopence.

Nearly five years elapsed before the new church was consecrated. On the
9th of June 1628 Pym brought a charge against the rector, Dr. Mainwaring,
for having preached two obnoxious sermons, entitled “Religion” and
“Allegiance,” and accused the imprudent time-server of persuading citizens
to obey illegal commands on pain of damnation, and framing, like Guy Faux,
a mischievous plot to alter and subvert the Government.[630] The third
sermon in which Mainwaring defended his two first, the stern Commons found
upon inquiry[631] had been printed by special command of the king. It was
as full of mischief as a bomb-shell. It held that on any exigency all
property was transferred to the sovereign; that the consent of Parliament
was not necessary for the imposition of taxes; and that the divine laws
required compliance with every demand which a prince should make upon his
subjects. For these doctrines the Commons impeached Mainwaring; the
sentence pronounced on him was, that he should be imprisoned during the
pleasure of the House, that he should be fined £1000, to the king, make
submission of his offence, be suspended from lay and ecclesiastical office
for three years, and that his sermons be called in and burnt.

On June 20 the courtly preacher came to the House, and on his knees
submitted himself in sorrow and repentance for the errors and
indiscretions he had been guilty of in preaching the sermons “rashly,
scandalously, and unadvisedly.” He further acknowledged the three sermons
to be full of dangerous passages and aspersions, and craved pardon for
them of God and the king. No sooner was the session over than the wilful
king pardoned him, promoted him to the deanery of Winchester, and some
years after to the bishopric of St. David’s.[632]

The new church was consecrated on the 26th of January 1630. Bishop Laud
performed the ceremony, and was entertained at the house of a Mr.
Speckart, near the church. There were two tables sufficient to seat
thirty-two persons. The broken churchyard wall was fenced up with boards,
the altar hung with green velvet, a rail made to keep the mob from the
west door, and a train of constables, armed with bills and halberts,
appointed to maintain order if the Puritans became threatening. The new
rector, Dr. Heywood, had been chaplain to Laud, and was probably of the
High Church party. Like his expelled predecessor, he had been chaplain to
one of the most arbitrary of kings. In 1640 the Puritans, gaining
strength, petitioned Parliament against him, stating that he had set up
crucifixes and images of saints, likewise organs, “with other confused
music, etc., hindering devotion and maintained at the great and needless
charge of the parish.” They described the carved screen as particularly
obnoxious, and they objected to the altar rail, the chancel carpet, the
purple velvet in the desk, the needlework covers of the books, the
tapestry, the lawn cloth, the bone lace of the altar cloths, and the
taffeta curtains on the walls. These “popish and superstitious” ornaments
were sold by order of Parliament, all but the plate and the great bell.
The surplices were given away. The twelve apostles were washed off the
organ-loft, and the painted glass was taken down from the windows. The
screen was sold for forty shillings, and the money given to the poor. The
Covenant was framed and hung up in the church, and five shillings given to
a pewterer for a new basin cut square on one side for baptisms. The blue
velvet carpet, embroidered cushions, and blue curtains were sold, and so
were the communion rails. In 1647 Lady Dudley’s pew was lined with green
baize and supplied with two straw mats. In 1650 the king’s arms were taken
out of the windows, and a sun-dial was substituted. The organ-loft was let
as a pew.

The Restoration soon followed on these paltry excesses of a low-bred
fanaticism. The ringers of St. Giles’s rang a peal for three days running.
The king’s arms in the vestry and the windows were restored. Galleries
were erected for the nobility. In 1670 a brass chandelier of sixteen
branches was bought for the church, and an hour-glass for the pulpit.

In 1718 the old hospital church had become damp and unwholesome. The
grave-ground had risen eight feet, so that the church lay in a pit.
Parliament was therefore petitioned that St. Giles’s should be one of the
fifty new churches. It was urged that a good church facing the High
Street, the chief thoroughfare for all persons who travelled the Oxford
or Hampstead roads, would be a great ornament. The petitioners also
contended that St. Giles’s already spent £5300 a year on the poor, and
that a new rate would impoverish many industrious persons. The Duke of
Newcastle, the Lord Chancellor, and other eminent parishioners strenuously
supported the petition, which, on the other hand, was warmly opposed by
the Archbishop of York, five bishops, and eleven temporal peers. The
opposition contended that the parish was well able to repair the present
church; that the fund given for building new churches was never meant to
be devoted to rebuilding old ones; and that so far from the parish not
requiring church accommodation, St. Giles’s contained 40,000 persons, a
number for which three new churches would be barely sufficient.[633]
Eleven years longer the church remained a ruin, when in 1729 the
commissioners granted £8000 for a new church, provided that the parish
would settle £350 a year on the rector of the new parish of Bloomsbury.

The architect of the new church, opened in 1734, was Henry Flitcroft. The
roof is supported by Ionic pillars of Portland stone. The steeple is 160
feet high, and consists of a rustic pedestal supporting Doric pilasters;
over the clock is an octangular tower, with three-quarter Ionic columns
supporting a balustrade with vases. The spire is octangular and belled.
This hideous production of Greek rules was much praised by the critics of
1736. They called it “simple and elegant.” They considered the east end as
“pleasing and majestic,” and found nothing in the west to object to but
the smallness and poverty of the doors. The steeple they described as
“light, airy, and genteel.”[634] whether taken with the body of the church
or considered as a _separate building_.

In 1827 the clock of St. Giles’s Church was illuminated with gas, and the
novelty and utility of the plan “attracted crowds to visit it from the
remotest parts of the metropolis.”[635]

St. Giles’s Churchyard was enlarged in 1628, and again soon after the
Restoration. The garden plot from which the new part was divided was
called Brown’s Gardens. In 1670 we find the sexton agreeing, on condition
of certain windows he had been allowed to introduce into the side of his
house, facing the churchyard, to furnish the rector and churchwardens,
every Tuesday se’nnight after Easter, with two fat capons ready dressed.

In 1687 the Resurrection Gate, or Lich Gate, as it was called, and which
still exists, was erected at a cost of £185: 14: 6. It stood for many
years farther to the west than the old gate, and contains a heap of
dully-carved figures in relievo, abridged from Michael Angelo’s “Last
Judgment,” and crowded under a large “compass pediment.” It has lately,
however, been replaced in its old position. This work was much admired and
celebrated, but “Nollekens” Smith says that it is poor stuff.

Pennant, always shrewd and vivacious, was one of the first writers who
exposed the disgraceful and dangerous condition of the London churchyards.
He describes seeing at St Giles’s a great square pit with rows of coffins
piled one upon the other, exposed to sight and smell, awaiting the
mortality of the night. “I turned away,” he says, “disgusted at the scene,
and scandalised at the want of police which so little regards the health
of the living as to permit so many putrid corpses, packed between some
slight boards, dispersing their dangerous effluvia over the capital.”[636]

In 1808 a new burial-ground for St. Giles’s parish was consecrated in St.
Pancras’s. It stands in grim loneliness between the Hampstead Road and
College Street, Camden Town.

The graves of John Flaxman, the sculptor, and his wife and sister, are
marked by an altar tomb of brick, surmounted by a thick slab of Portland
stone. Near it is the ruinous tomb of ingenious, faddling Sir John Soane,
the architect to the Bank of England. It is a work of great pretension,
“but cut up into toy-shop prettiness, with all the peculiar defects of
his style and manner.” Two black cypresses mark the grave.[637]

A few eminent persons are buried in the old St. Giles’s Churchyard.
Amongst these, the most illustrious is George Chapman, who produced a fine
though rugged translation of the _Iliad_ which is to Pope’s what heart of
oak is to veneer, and who died in 1634 aged seventy-seven, and lies buried
here. Inigo Jones generously erected an altar tomb to his memory at his
own expense; it is still to be seen in the external southern wall of the
church. The monument is old; but the inscription is only a copy of all
that remained visible of the old writing. That chivalrous visionary, Lord
Herbert of Cherbury, was also buried here, and so was James Shirley, the
dramatist, who died in 1666. The latter was the last of the great
ante-Restoration play-writers, and of a thinner fibre than any of the
rest, except melancholy Ford.

Richard Pendrell, the Staffordshire farmer, “the preserver and conductor
of King Charles II. after his escape from Worcester Fight,” has an altar
tomb to his memory raised in this churchyard. After the Restoration,
Richard came to town, to be in the way, I suppose, of the good things then
falling into Cavaliers’ mouths, and probably settled in St. Giles’s to be
near the Court. The story of the Boscobel oak was one with which the
swarthy king delighted to buttonhole his courtiers. Pendrell died in 1671,
and had a monument erected to his memory on the south-east side of the
church. The black marble slab of the old tomb forms the base of the
present one. The epitaph is in a strain of fulsome bombast, considering
the king who was preserved showed his gratitude to Heaven only by a long
career of unblushing vice, and by impoverishing and disgracing the foolish
country that called him home. It begins thus:--

  “Hold, passenger! here’s shrouded in this hearse
  Unparalleled Pendrell thro’ the universe.
  Like when the eastern star from heaven gave light
  To three lost kings, so he in such dark night
  To Britain’s monarch, lost by adverse war,
  On earth appeared a second eastern star.”

The dismal poet ends by assuring the world that Pendrell, the king’s
pilot, had gone to heaven to be rewarded for his good steering. In 1702 a
Pendrell was overseer in this parish. About 1827 a granddaughter of this
Richard lived near Covent Garden, and still enjoyed part of the family
pension. In 1827 Mr. John Pendrell, another descendant of Richard, died at
Eastbourne.[638] His son kept an inn at Lewes, and was afterwards clerk at
a Brighton hotel.

The only monument at present of interest in the church is a recumbent
figure of the Duchess Dudley, the great benefactor of the parish, created
a duchess in her own right by Charles I. She died 1669. The monument was
preserved by parochial gratitude when the church was rebuilt, in
consideration of the duchess’s numerous bequests to the parish. She was
buried at Stoneleigh in Warwickshire. This pious and charitable lady was
the daughter of Sir Thomas Leigh of Stoneleigh, and she married Sir Robert
Dudley, son of the great Earl of Leicester, who deserted her and his five
daughters, and went and settled in Florence, where he became chamberlain
to the Grand Duchess. Clever and unprincipled as his father, Sir Robert
devised plans for draining the country round Pisa, and improving the port
of Leghorn. He was outlawed, and his estates at Kenilworth, etc. were
confiscated and sold for a small sum to Prince Henry; but Charles I.
generously gave them back to the duchess.

In her funeral sermon, Dr. Boreman says of this good woman: “She was a
magazine of experience.... I have often said she was a living chronicle
bound up with the thread of a long-spun age. And in divers incidents and
things relating to our parish, I have often appealed to her stupendous
memory as to an ancient record.... In short, I would say to any desirous
to attain some degree of perfection, ‘Vade ad Sancti Egidii oppidum, et
disce Ducinam Dudleyam’--(‘Come to St. Giles, and inquire the character of
Lady Dudley’).”[639]

The oldest monument remaining in the churchyard in 1708 was dated 1611. It
was a tombstone, “close to the wall on the south side, and near the west
end,” and was to the memory of a Mrs. Thornton.[640] Her husband was the
builder of Thornton Alley, which was probably his estate. The following
painful lines were round the margin of the stone:--

  “Full south this stone four foot doth lie
  His father John and grandsire Henry
  Thornton, of Thornton, in Yorkshire bred,
  Where lives the fame of Thornton’s being dead.”

Against the east end of the north aisle of the church was the tombstone of
Eleanor Steward, who died 1725, aged 123 years and five months.

That good and inflexible patriot, Andrew Marvell, the most poignant
satirist of King Charles II., died in 1678, and is buried in St. Giles’s.
Marvell was Latin secretary to Milton, and in the school of that good
man’s house learnt how a true patriot should live. It is recorded that one
day when he was dining in Maiden Lane, one of Charles II.’s courtiers came
to offer him £1000 as a bribe for his silence. Marvell refused the gift,
took off the dish-cover, and showed his visitor the humble half-picked
mutton-bone on which he was about to dine. He was member for
Kingston-upon-Hull for nearly twenty years, and was buried at last at the
expense of his constituents. They also voted a sum of money to erect a
monument to him with a harmless epitaph; to this, however, the rector of
the time, to his own disgrace, refused admittance. Thompson, the editor of
Marvell’s works, searched in vain in 1774 for the patriot’s coffin. He
could find no plate earlier than 1722.

In the same church with this fixed star rests that comet, Sir Roger
l’Estrange. His monument was said to be the grandest in the church. Sir
Roger died in 1704, aged eighty-eight.

In 1721, after an ineffectual treaty for Dudley Court, where the
parsonage-house had once stood, a piece of ground called Vinegar Yard was
purchased for the sum of £2252: 10s. as a burial-ground, hospital, and
workhouse for the parish of St. Giles’s. At that time St. Giles’s relieved
about 840 persons, at the cost of £4000 a year. Of this number there were
162 over seventy years of age, 126 parents overburthened with children,
183 deserted children and orphans, 70 sick at parish nurses’, and 300 men
lame, blind, and mad.

The Earl of Southampton granted land for five almshouses in St. Giles’s in
1656.[641] The site was in Broad Street, nearly at the north end of
Monmouth and King Streets, where they stood until 1782, at which period
they were pulled down to widen the road. The new almshouses were erected
in a close, low, and unhealthy spot in Lewknor’s Lane.

In the year 1661 Mr. William Shelton left lands for a school for fifty
children in Parker’s Lane, between Drury Lane and Little Queen Street. The
tenements, before he bought them, had been in the occupation of the Dutch
ambassador. The premises were poor houses, and a coach-house and stables
in the occupation of Lord Halifax. In 1687, the funds proving inadequate,
the school was discontinued; but in 1815, after being in abeyance for
fifty-three years, it was re-opened in Lloyd’s Court.[642]

The select vestry of St. Giles’s was much badgered in 1828 by the excluded
parishioners. There were endless errors in the accounts, and items
amounting to £90,000 were found entered only in pencil. The special pleas
put in by the attorneys of the vestry covered 175 folios of writing.

Hog Lane, built in 1680, was rechristened in 1762 Crown Street, as an
inscription on a stone let into the wall of a house at the corner of Rose
Street intimates.[643] Strype calls it a “place not over well built or
inhabited.” The Greeks had a church here, afterwards a French refugee
place of worship, and subsequently an Independent chapel. It stood on the
west side of the lane, a few doors from Compton Street; and its site is
now occupied by St. Mary’s Church and clergy-house. Hogarth laid the scene
of his “Noon” in Hog Lane, at the door of this chapel; but the houses
being reversed in the engraving, the truth of the picture is destroyed.
The background contains a view of St. Giles’s Church. The painter
delighted in ridiculing the fantastic airs of the poor French gentry, and
showed no kindly sympathy with their honest poverty and their sufferings.
It was to St. Giles’s that Hogarth came to study poverty and also vice. A
scene of his “Harlot’s Progress” is in Drury Lane, close by. Tom Nero, in
the “Four Stages of Cruelty,” is a St. Giles’s charity-boy, and we see him
in the first stage tormenting a dog near the church. Hogarth’s “Gin
Street” is situated in St. Giles’s. The scenes of all the most hideous and
painful of his works are in this district.

“Nollekens” Smith, writing of St. Giles’s, says: “I recollect the building
of most of the houses at the north end of New Compton Street--so named in
compliment to Bishop Compton, Dean of St. Paul’s. I also remember a row of
six small almshouses, surrounded by a dwarf brick wall, standing in the
middle of High Street. On the left hand of High Street, passing into
Tottenham Court Road, there were four handsome brick houses, probably of
Queen Anne’s time, with grotesque masks as keystones to the first-floor
windows. Nearly on the site of the new “Resurrection Gate,” in which the
basso-relievo is, stood a very small old house towards Denmark Street,
which used to totter, to the terror of passers by, whenever a heavy
carriage rolled through the street.”[644]

Exactly where Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road meet in a right
angle, a large circular boundary-stone was let into the pavement. Here
when the charity-boys of St. Giles’s walked the boundaries, those who
deserved flogging were whipped, in order to impress the parish frontier on
their memories.

The Pound originally stood in the middle of the High Street, whence it was
removed in 1656 to make way for the almshouses. It had stood there when
the village really required a place to imprison straying cattle. The
latest pound stood in the broad space where the High Street, Tottenham
Court Road, and Oxford Street meet; it occupied a space of about
thirty-feet, and was removed in 1768. It must have faced Meux’s Brewery.
An old song that celebrates this locality begins--

  “At Newgate steps Jack Chance was found,
  And bred up near St. Giles’s Pound.”

Criminals on their way to Tyburn used to “halt at the great gate of St.
Giles’s Hospital, where a bowl of ale was provided as their last
refreshment in this life.”[645] A similar custom prevailed at York, which
gave rise to the proverb, “The saddler of Bawtry was hung for leaving his
liquor,” meaning that if the impatient man had stopped to drink, his
reprieve would have arrived in time.[646]

Bowl Yard was built about 1623, and was then surrounded by gardens. It is
a narrow court on the south side of High Street, over against Dyot Street,
now George Street. There was probably here a public-house, the Bowl, at
which in later time ale was handed to the passing thieves.

Swift, in a spirited ballad describes “clever Tom Clinch,” who rode
“stately through Holborn to die in his calling,” stopping at the George
for a bottle of sack, and promising to pay for it “_when he came back_.”
No one has sketched the highwayman more perfectly than the Irish prelate.
Tom Clinch wears waistcoat, stockings, and breeches of white, and his cap
is tied with cherry ribbon. He bows like a beau at the theatre to the
ladies in the doors and to the maids in the balconies, who cry, “Lackaday,
he’s a proper young man.” He swears at the hawkers crying his last speech,
kicks the hangman when he kneels to ask his pardon, makes a short speech
exhorting his comrades to ply their calling, and so carelessly and
defiantly takes his leave of an ungrateful world.

“Rainy Day” Smith describes,[647] when a boy of eight years old, being
taken by Nollekens, the sculptor, to see that notorious highwayman John
Rann, alias “Sixteen-string Jack,” on his way to execution at Tyburn, for
robbing Dr. Bell, chaplain to the Princess Amelia, in Gunnersbury Lane,
near Brentford, in 1774. Rann was a smart fellow, and had been a coachman
to Lord Sandwich, who then lived at the south-east corner of Bedford Row,
Covent Garden. The undaunted malefactor wore a bright pea-green coat, and
carried an immense nosegay, which some mistress of the highwayman had
handed him, according to custom, as a last token, from the steps of St.
Sepulchre’s Church. The sixteen strings worn by this freebooter at his
knees were reported to be in ironical allusion to the number of times he
had been acquitted. On their return home, Nollekens, stooping to the boy’s
ear, assured him that had his father-in-law, Mr. Justice Welch, been then
High Constable, they could have walked all the way to Tyburn beside the
cart.[648]

Holborn used to be called “the Heavy Hill” because it led thieves from
Newgate to Tyburn. Old fat Ursula, the roast-pig seller in Ben Jonson’s
_Bartholomew Fair_ talks of ambling afoot to hear Knockhem the footpad
groan out of a cart up the Heavy Hill. This was in James I.’s time. Dryden
alludes to it in the same way in 1678,[649] and in 1695 Congreve’s Sir
Sampson[650] mentions the same doleful procession. In 1709 (Queen Anne)
Tom Browne mentions a wily old counsellor in Holborn who used to turn out
his clerks every execution day for a profitable holiday, saying, “Go, you
young rogues, go to school and improve.”

St. Giles’s was always famous for its inns.[651] One of the oldest of
these was the Croche House, or Croche Hose (Cross Hose), so called from
its sign--the Crossed Stockings. The sign, still used by hosiers, was a
red and white stocking forming a St. Andrew’s Cross. This inn belonged to
the hospital cook in 1300, and was given by him to the hospital. It stood
at the north of the present entrance to Compton Street, and was probably
destroyed before the reign of Henry VIII.

The Swan on the Hop was an inn of Edward III.’s time; it stood eastward of
Drury Lane and on the south side of Holborn.[652]

The White Hart is described in Henry VIII.’s time as possessing eighteen
acres of pasture. It stood near the Holborn end of Drury Lane, and existed
till 1720. In Aggas’s Plan it appears surrounded on three sides by a wall.
It was bounded on the east by Little Queen Street, and was divided from
Holborn by an embankment. A court afterwards stood on its site.

The Rose is mentioned as early as Edward III.’s reign. It was near
Lewknor’s Lane, and stood not far from the White Hart.

The Vine was an inn till 1816. It was on the north side of Holborn, a
little to the east of Kingsgate Street. It is supposed to have stood on
the site of a vineyard mentioned in Doomsday Book. It was originally a
country roadside inn, with fields at the back. It became an infamous
nuisance. The house that replaced it was first occupied by a
timber-merchant, and afterwards by Probert, the accomplice of Thurtell,
who, escaping death for the murder of Mr. Weare, was soon after hanged for
horse-stealing in Gloucestershire. It was at this trial that the
prisoner’s keeping a gig was adduced as an incontestible proof of his
respectability--a fact immortalised, almost to the weariness of a
degenerate age, by Mr. Thomas Carlyle. The inn was once called the
Kingsgate Tavern, from its having stood near the king’s gate or turnpike
in the adjoining street.

The Cock and Pye Inn stood at the west corner of what was once a mere or
marshland. The fields surrounding it, now Seven Dials, were called from
it the Cock and Pye Fields.

The Maidenhead Inn stood in Dyot Street, and formed part of Lord
Mountjoy’s estates in Elizabeth’s time. It was the house for parish
meetings in Charles II.’s reign. It then became a resort for mealmen and
farmers, and latterly a brandy-shop and beggars’ haunt of the vilest sort.
It was finally turned into a stoneyard. Dyot Street, so called after Sir
John Dyot, who left it by wish to the poor, though it was afterwards a
poor and even dangerous locality, must have been respectable in 1662, when
a Presbyterian chapel was built there for Joseph Read, Baxter’s friend, an
ejected minister from Worcestershire. Read was taken up under the
Conventicles Act in 1677, and endured much persecution, but was restored
to his congregation on the accession of James II. From 1684 to 1708 the
building was used as a chapel of ease to St. Giles’s Church. At the close
of the last century men would hurry along Dyot Street as through a
dangerous defile. There was a legend current of a banker’s clerk who,
returning from his round, with his book of notes and bills fastened by the
usual chain, as he passed down Dyot Street felt a cellar door sinking
under him. Conscious of his danger, he made a spring forward, dashed down
the street, and escaped the trap set for him by the thieves. It may be
added that Dyot Street gave the name to a song sung by Liston in the
admirable burlesque of “Bombastes Furioso.”

Irish mendicants--the poorest, dirtiest, and most unimprovable of all
beggars--began to crowd into St. Giles’s about the time of Queen
Elizabeth.[653]

The increase of London soon attracted country artisans and country
beggars. The closing of the monasteries had filled England with herds of
sturdy and dangerous vagrants not willing to work, and by no means
inclined to starve. The new-comers resorting to the suburbs of London to
escape the penalties of infringing the City jurisdiction, the
stout-hearted queen ordered all persons within three miles of London
gates to forbear from allowing any house to be occupied by more than one
family.

A proclamation of 1583 alludes to the very poor and the beggars, who lived
“heaped up” in small tenements and let lodgings. A subsequent warning
orders the suppression of the great multitude of Irish vagrants, many of
whom haunted the courts under pretence of suits; by day they mixed with
disbanded soldiers from the Low Countries and other impostors and beggars,
and at night committed robberies and outrages. St. Giles’s was then one of
the great harbours for these “misdemeaned persons.” On one occasion a mob
of these rogues surrounded the queen as she was riding out in the evening
to Islington to take the air. That same night Fleetwood, the Recorder,
issued warrants, and in the morning went out himself and took seventy-four
rogues, including some blind rich usurers, who were all sent to Bridewell
for speedy punishment.

James I. pursued the same crusade against vagrants, forbidding new
buildings in the suburbs, and ordering all newly raised structures to be
pulled down. The beadles had to attend every Sunday at the vestry to
report all new inmates, and who lodged them, and to take up all idlers;
the constables in 1630 were also required to give notice of such persons
to the churchwardens every month. In an entry in St. Giles’s parish books
in 1637 “families in cellars” are first mentioned.[654] The locality
afterwards became noted for these dens, and “a cellar in St. Giles’s”
became a proverbial phrase to signify the lowest poverty.

In 1640 Irishmen are first mentioned by name, and money was paid to take
them back again to their native land.

Sir John Fielding, brother of the great novelist, who was an active
Westminster magistrate in his time and a great hunter down of highwaymen,
in a pamphlet on the increase of crime in London, lays special stress on
the vicious poverty of St. Giles’s. He gives a statement on the authority
of Mr. Welch, the High Constable of Holborn, of the overcrowding of the
miserable lodgings where idle persons and vagabonds were sheltered for
twopence a night. One woman alone owned seven of these houses, which were
crowded with twopenny beds from cellar to garret. In these beds both
sexes, strangers or not, lay promiscuously, the double bed being a
halfpenny cheaper. To still more wed vice to poverty, these lodging-house
keepers sold gin at a penny a quartern, so that no beggar was so poor that
he could not get drunk. No fewer than seventy of these vile houses were
found open at all hours, and in one alone, and not the largest, there were
counted fifty-eight persons sleeping in an atmosphere loathsome if not
actually poisonous.

This Judge Welch was the father of Mrs. Nollekens, and a brave and
benevolent man. He was a friend of Dr. Johnson and of Fielding, whom he
succeeded in his justiceship, Mr. Welch having on one occasion heard that
a notorious highwayman who infested the Marylebone lanes was sleeping in
the first floor of a house in Rose Street, Long Acre, he hired the tallest
hackney-coach he could find, drove under the thief’s window, ascended the
roof, threw up the sash, entered the room, actually dragged the fellow
naked out of bed on to the roof of the coach, and in that way carried him
down New Street and up St. Martin’s Lane, amidst the huzzas of an immense
throng which followed him, to Litchfield Street, Soho.[655]

Archenholz, the German traveller, writing circa 1784, describes the
streets of London as crowded with beggars. “These idle people,” says this
curious observer, “receive in alms three, four, and even five shillings a
day. They have their clubs in the parish of St. Giles’s, where they meet,
drink and feed well, read the papers, and talk politics. One of my friends
put on one day a ragged coat, and promised a handsome reward to a beggar
to introduce him to his club. He found the beggars gay and familiar, and
poor only in their rags. One threw down his crutch, another untied a
wooden leg, a third took off a grey wig or removed a plaister from a sound
eye; then they related their adventures, and planned fresh schemes. The
female beggars hire children for sixpence and sometimes even two
shillings a day: a very deformed child is worth four shillings.” In the
same parish the pickpockets met to dine and exchange or sell snuff-boxes,
handkerchiefs, and other stolen property.

About fifty years before, says Archenholz, there had been a pickpockets’
club in St. Giles’s, where the knives and forks were chained to the table
and the cloth was nailed on. Rules were, however, decorously observed, and
chairmen chosen at their meetings. Not far from this house was a
celebrated gin-shop, on the sign-post of which was written, “Here you may
get drunk for a penny, dead drunk for twopence, and straw for nothing.”
The cellars of this public-spirited man were never empty.

Archenholz also sketches the conjurors who told fortunes for a shilling.
They wore black gowns and false beards, advertised in the newspapers, and
painted their houses with magical figures and planetary emblems.[656]

In 1783 Mr. J. T. Smith describes how he made for Mr. Crowle, the
illustrator of Pennant, a sketch of Old Simon, a well-known character, who
took his station daily under one of the gate piers of the old red and
brown brick gateway at the northern end of St. Giles’s Churchyard, which
then faced Mr. Remnent’s timber-yard. This man wore several hats, and was
remarkable for a long, dirty, yellowish white beard. His chapped fingers
were adorned with brass rings. He had several coats and waistcoats--the
upper wrap-rascle covering bundles of rags, parcels of books, canisters of
bread and cheese, matches, a tinder-box, meat for his dog, scraps from
_Fox’s Book of Martyrs_, and three or four dog’s-eared, thumbed, and
greasy numbers of the _Gentleman’s Magazine_. From these random leaves he
gathered much information, which he retailed to persons who stopped to
look at him. Simon and his dog lodged under a staircase in an old
shattered building in Dyot Street, known as “Rat’s Castle.” It was in this
beggars’ rendezvous that Nollekens the sculptor used to seek models for
his Grecian Venuses. Rowlandson etched Simon several times in his usual
gross but droll manner.[657] There was also a whole-length print of him
published by John Seago, with this monumental inscription--“Simon Edy,
born at Woodford, near Thrapston, Northamptonshire, in 1709. Died May
18th, 1783.”

Simon had had several dogs, which, one after the other, were stolen, and
sent for sale at Islington, or killed for their teeth by men employed by
the dentists. The following anecdote is told of his last and most faithful
dog:--Rover had been a shepherd’s dog at Harrow, and having its left eye
struck out by a bullock’s horn, was left with Simon by its master, a
Smithfield drover. The beggar tied him to his arm with a long string,
cured him, and then restored him to the drover. After that, the dog would
stop at St. Giles’s porch every market-day on its way after the drover to
the slaughter-house in Union Street, and receive caresses from the hand
which had bathed its wound. Rover would then yelp for joy and gratitude,
and scamper off to get up with the erring bullocks. At last poor Simon
missed the dog for several weeks; at the end of that time it appeared one
morning at his feet, and with its one sorrowful and uplifted eye implored
Simon’s protection by licking his tawny beard. His master the drover was
dead. Simon was only too glad to adopt Rover, who eventually followed him
to his last home.

There was an elegy printed for good-natured, inoffensive old Simon, with a
woodcut portrait attached. The Hon. Daines Barrington is said to have
never passed the old mendicant without giving him sixpence.

Mr. J. T. Smith, himself afterwards Curator of the Prints at the British
Museum, published some curious etchings of beggars and street characters
in 1815. Amongst them are ragged men carrying placards of “The Grand
Golden Lottery;” strange old-clothesmen in cocked hats and two-tier wigs;
itinerant wood-merchants; sellers of toys, such as “young lambs” or live
haddock; flying piemen in pig tails and shorts; women in gipsy hats;
door-mat sellers; vendors of hot peas, pickled cucumbers, lemons,
windmills (toys); and, last and least, Sir Harry Dimsdale, the dwarf Mayor
of Garratt.

The condition of the beggars of St. Giles in 1815 we gather pretty
accurately from the evidence given by Mr. Sampson Stevenson, overseer of
the parish, and by trade an ironmonger at No. 11 King Street, Seven Dials,
before a committee of the House of Commons, the Right Honourable George
Rose in the chair.

Mr. Stevenson’s shop was not more than a few yards from one of the
beggars’ chief rendezvous, and he had therefore been enabled to closely
study their habits. The inn had lost its licence, as the landlord
encouraged thieves; and he had made inquiries of petition-writers, the
highest class of mendicants. He had gone frequently into the bar of the
Fountain in King Street, another of their haunts, to watch their
goings-on. The pretended sailors never carried anything on their backs, as
they only begged or extorted money; but the other rogues, who made it
their practice to ask for food and clothing, always carried a knapsack to
put it in. They returned laden with shoes and clothes, which they would
sell in Monmouth Street. They had been heard to say that they had made
three or four shillings a day by begging shoes alone.[658] Their mode of
obtaining charity was to go barefoot and scarify their heels so that the
blood might show. They went out two or three together, or more, and
invariably changed their routes each day. Mr. Stevenson had seen them pull
out their money and share it. Victuals, he believed, they threw away; but
everything else they sold. They would stop at the Fountain till the house
closed, or till they got drunk, began to fight, and were turned out by the
publican, who feared the losing his licence. They probably went to even
lower places to finish their revel.

“They teach other,” he said, “different modes of extortion. They are of
the worst character, and overwhelm you with cursing and abuse if you
refuse them money. There is one special rascal, Gannee Manos, who is
scarcely three months in the year out of gaol. He always goes barefoot,
and scratches his ankles to make them bleed. He is the greatest collector
of shoes and clothes, as he goes the most naked to excite compassion.”
Another man had been known in the streets for fifteen or twenty years. He
generally limped or passed as a cripple; but Mr. Stevenson has seen him
fencing and jumping about like a pugilist. He went without a hat, with
bare arms, and a canvas bag on his back. He generally began by singing a
song, and he carried primroses or something in his hand. He pretended to
be scarcely able to move one foot before the other; but if a Bow Street
officer or a beadle came in sight, he was off as quick as any one. There
was another man, an Irishman who had had a good education, and had been in
the medical line; he wrote a beautiful hand, and drew up petitions for
beggars at sixpence or a shilling each.

“These men come out by twenties and thirties from the bottom of Dyot
Street, and then branch off five or six together. The one who has still
some money left starts them with a pint or half a pint of gin. They have
all their divisions, and they quarter the town into sections. Some of them
collect three, four, or five children, paying sixpence a day for each, and
then they go begging in gangs, setting the children crying to excite
people’s sympathies. The Irish sometimes have the impudence to bring these
children to the board and claim relief, and swear the children are their
own. In a short time they are found out; but till the discovery their
landlords will swear their story is true. Sometimes, by giving their own
country people something, the landlords help to detect them. But even in
cases where the children are their own, they will not work when they have
once got into the habit of begging. If they will not come into the
workhouse, their relief is instantly stopped.

“They spend their evenings drinking, after dining at an eating-house.
Deserving people never beg: they are ashamed of it. They do not eat broken
victuals. They have seldom any lodgings. There are houses where forty or
fifty of them sleep. A porter stands at the door and takes the money. In
the morning there is a general muster to see they have stolen nothing, and
then the doors are unlocked. For threepence they have clean straw, for
fourpence something more decent, and for sixpence a bed. These are all
professional beggars; they beg every day, even Sundays. They will not
work; they get more money by begging. Sometimes during hard frosts they
pretend to beg for work; but their children are sent out early by their
parents to certain prescribed stations to beg, sometimes with a broom. If
they do not bring home more or less according to their size, they are
beaten. A large family of children is a revenue to these people.”

When beggars did not get enough for their subsistence, Mr. Stevenson
believed that they had a fund amongst themselves, as they so seldom
applied for relief. The Irish were generally afraid to apply, for fear of
being returned to their own country. Beggars had been heard to brag of
getting six, seven, and eight shillings a day, or more; and if one got
more than the others, he divided it with the rest. Mr. Stevenson concluded
his evidence by saying that there were so many low Irish in St. Giles’s,
that out of £30,000 a year collected in that parish by poor-rate, £20,000
went to this low and shifting population, that decreased in summer and
increased in winter.

From one or two specimens culled from the London newspapers in 1829 we do
not augur much improvement in the character and habits of the St. Giles’s
beggars. On the 12th of July 1829 John Driscoll, an old professional
mendicant, was brought up at the Marylebone Police-office, charged with
begging, annoying respectable persons, and even following fashionably
dressed ladies into shops. In his pockets were found a small sum of money,
some ham sandwiches, and an invitation ticket signed “Car Durre,
chairman.” It requested the favour of Mr. Driscoll’s company on Monday
evening next, at seven o’clock, at the Robin Hood, Church Street, St.
Giles’s, for the purpose of taking supper with others in his line of
calling or profession. Mr. Rawlinson said he supposed that an alderman in
chains would grace the beggars’ festive board, but he would at least
prevent the prisoner forming one of the party on Monday, and sent him to
the House of Correction for fourteen days.[659]

The same day one of those men who chalk “I am starving” on the pavement
was also sent to the treadmill for fourteen days. Francis Fisher, the
prisoner in question, was one of a gang of forty pavement chalkers. In the
evening, “after work,” these men changed their dress, and with their
ladies enjoyed themselves over a good supper, brandy and water, and
cigars. In the winter time, when they excited more compassion, their
average earnings were ten shillings a day. This would make £20 a day for
the gang, and no less than £7300 a year.

Monmouth Street is generally supposed to have derived its name from the
Duke of Monmouth, Charles II.’s natural son, whose town house stood close
by in Soho Square. It was perhaps named from Carey, Earl of Monmouth, who
died in 1626, and his son, who died in 1661: they were both parishioners
of St. Giles’s.[660] It was early known as the great mart for old clothes,
but was superseded in later times by Holy Well Street, which in its turn
was displaced by the Minories. Lady Mary Wortley alludes to the lace coats
hung up for sale in Monmouth Street like Irish patents. Even Prior, in his
pleasant metaphysical poem of “Alma,” says--

  “This looks, friend Dick, as Nature had
  But exercised the salesman’s trade,
  As if she haply had sat down
  And cut out clothes for all the town,
  Then sent them out to Monmouth Street,
  To try what persons they would fit.”

Gay also alludes to this Jewish street in the following distich in his
“Trivia”--

  “Thames Street gives cheeses, Covent Garden fruits,
  Moorfields old books, and Monmouth Street old suits.”

Most of the shops in Monmouth Street were occupied by Jew dealers in 1849,
and horse-shoes were then to be seen nailed under the door-steps of the
cellars to scare away witches.[661]

Mr. Charles Dickens in his _Sketches by Boz_, published in 1836-7,
describes Seven Dials and Monmouth Street as they then appeared. The maze
of streets, the unwholesome atmosphere, the men in fustian spotted with
brickdust or whitewash, and chronically leaning against posts, are all
painted by this great artist with the accuracy of a Dutch painter. The
writer boldly plunges into the region of “first effusions and last dying
speeches, hallowed by the names of Catnach and of Pitts,” and carries us
at once into a fight between two half-drunk Irish termagants outside a
gin-shop. He then takes us to the dirty straggling houses, the dark
chandler’s shop, the rag and bone stores, the broker’s den, the
bird-fancier’s room as full as Noah’s ark, and completes the picture with
a background of dirty men, filthy women, squalid children, fluttering
shuttlecocks, noisy battledores, reeking pipes, bad fruit, more than
doubtful oysters, attenuated cats, depressed dogs, and anatomised fowls.
Every house has, he says, at least a dozen tenants. The man in the shop is
in the “baked jemmy” line, or deals in firewood and hearthstones. An Irish
labourer and his family occupy the back kitchen, while a jobbing
carpet-beater is in the front. In the front one pair there’s another
family, and in the back one pair a young woman who takes in tambour-work.
In the back attic is a mysterious man who never buys anything but coffee,
penny loaves, and ink, and is supposed to write poems for Mr. Warren.[662]

The Monmouth Street inhabitants Mr. Dickens describes as a peaceable,
thoughtful, and dirty race, who immure themselves in deep cellars or small
back parlours, and seldom come forth till the dusk and cool of the
evening, when, seated in chairs on the pavement, smoking their pipes, they
watch the gambols of their children as they revel in the gutter, a happy
troop of infantine scavengers.

“A Monmouth Street laced coat” was a byword a century ago, but still we
find Monmouth Street the same. Pilot coats, double-breasted check
waistcoats, low broad-brimmed coachmen’s hats, and skeleton suits, have
usurped the place of the old attire; but Monmouth Street, said Charles
Dickens, is still “the burial-place of the fashions, and we love to walk
among these extensive groves of the illustrious dead, and indulge in the
speculations to which they give rise.”[663]

In 1816 there were said to be 2348 Irish people resident in St. Giles’s;
but an Irish witness before a committee of the House declared there were
6000 Irish, and 3000 children in the neighbourhood of George Street alone.
In 1815 there were 14,164 Irish in the whole of London.[664] The Irish
portion of the parish of St. Giles’s was known by the name of the Holy
Land in 1829.

[Illustration: THE SEVEN DIALS.]



[Illustration: LINCOLN’S INN FIELDS THEATRE, 1821.]


CHAPTER XIV.

LINCOLN’S INN FIELDS.


Lincoln’s Inn, originally belonging to the Black Friars before they
removed Thames-ward, derives its name from Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln,
to whom it was given by Edward I., and whose town house or inn stood on
the same site in the reign of Edward I. Earl Henry died in 1312, the year
in which Gaveston was killed, and his monument was one of the stateliest
in the old church. His arms are still those of the inn and of its
tributaries, Furnival’s and Thavies inns. There is yet extant an old
account of the earl’s bailiff, relating to the sale of the fruit of his
master’s garden. The noble’s table was supplied and the residue sold. The
apples, pears, large nuts, and cherries, the beans, onions, garlic, and
leeks, produced a profit of £9: 2: 3 (about £135 in modern money). The
only flowers were roses. The bailiff, it appears, expended 8s. a year in
purchasing small fry, frogs, and eels, to feed the pike in the pond or
vivary.[665]

Part of the Chancery Lane side of Lincoln’s Inn was in 1217 and 1272 “the
mansion house” of William de Haverhill, treasurer to King Henry III. He
was attainted for treason, and his house and lands were confiscated to the
king, who then gave his house to Ralph Neville, Chancellor of England and
Bishop of Chichester, who built there “a fair house;” and the Bishops of
Chichester inhabited it there till Henry VII.’s time, when they let it to
law students, reserving lodgings for themselves, and it fell into the
hands of Judge Sulyard and other feoffees. This family held it till
Elizabeth’s time, when Sir Edward Sulyard, of Essex, sold the estate to
the Benchers,[666] who then began enlarging their frontier and building.

The plain Tudor gateway with the two side towers soaked with black smoke,
the oldest part of the existing structure, was built in 1518 by Sir Thomas
Lovell, a member of this inn and treasurer of the household to Henry VII.,
when great alterations took place in the inn. What thousands of wise men
and rogues have passed under its murky shadow! None of the original
building is left. The Black Friars’ House fronted the Holborn end of the
Bishop’s Palace.[667] The chambers adjoining the Gate House are of a later
date and it was at these that Mr. Cunningham thinks Ben Jonson
worked.[668]

The chapel, of debased Perpendicular Gothic, was built by Inigo Jones, and
consecrated in 1623, Dr. Donne the poet preaching the consecration sermon.
The stained glass was the work of a Mr. Hale of Fetter Lane. The twelve
apostles, Moses, and the prophets still glow like immortal flowers,
bright as when Donne, or Ussher, watched the light they shed. One of the
windows bears the name of Bernard van Linge, the same man probably who
executed the windows at Wadham College, Oxford.[669] Noy, the
Attorney-General and creature of Charles I., a friend of Laud, and the
proposer of the writ for ship-money, put up the window representing John
the Baptist, rather an ominous saint, surely, in Charles’s time. Noy died
in 1634, before the storm which would certainly have carried his head off.
He left his money to a prodigal son, who was afterwards killed in a
duel,--“Left to be squandered, and I hope no better from him,” says the
dying man, bitterly. It was Noy who decided the curious case of the three
graziers who left their money with their hostess. One of them afterwards
returned and ran off with the money; upon which the other two sued the
woman, denying their consent. Mr. Noy pleaded that the money was ready to
be given up directly the three men came together and claimed it.[670]
Rogers tells this story in his poem of “Italy,” and gives it a romantic
turn.

Laud, always restless for novelties that could look like Rome, and yet not
be Rome, referred to the Lincoln’s Inn windows at his trial. He wondered
at a Mr. Brown objecting to such things, considering he was not of
Lincoln’s Inn, “where Mr. Prynne’s zeal had not yet beaten down the images
of the apostles in the fair windows of that chapel, which windows were set
up new long since the statute of Edward VI.; and it is well known,” says
that enemy of the Puritans, “that I was once resolved to have returned
this upon Mr. Brown in the House of Commons, but changed my mind, lest
thereby I might have set some furious spirit at work to destroy those
harmless goodly windows, to the just dislike of that worthy society.”[671]

The crypt under the chapel rests on many pillars and strong-backed arches,
and, like the cloisters in the Temple, was intended as a place for
student-lawyers to walk in and exchange learning. Butler describes
witnesses of the straw-bail species waiting here for customers,[672] just
as half a century ago they used to haunt the doors of Chancery Lane
gin-shops. On a June day in 1663 Pepys came to walk under the chapel by
appointment, after pacing up and down and admiring the new garden then
constructing.

The great Sir Thomas More, Chancellor of England in Henry VIII.’s time,
had chambers at Lincoln’s Inn when he was living in Bucklersbury after his
marriage. This was about 1506. He wrote his _Utopia_ in 1516. King Henry
grew so fond of More’s learned and witty conversation, that he used to
constantly send for him to supper, and would walk in the garden at Chelsea
with his arm round his neck. More was beheaded in 1535 for refusing to
take the oath of succession and acknowledge the legality of the king’s
divorce from Catherine of Arragon. Erasmus, who knew More well, inscribed
the “Nux” of Ovid to his son. More’s skull is still preserved, it is said,
in the vault of St. Dunstan’s Church at Canterbury.[673] More’s daughter,
Margaret Roper, was buried with it in her arms.

Dr. Donne, the divine and poet, whose mother was distantly related to Sir
Thomas More and to Heywood the epigrammatist, was a student at Lincoln’s
Inn in his seventeenth year, but left it to squander his father’s fortune.
He was a friend of Bacon, with whom he lived for five years, and also of
Ben Jonson, who corresponded with him. When young, Donne had written a
thesis to prove that suicide is no sin. “That,” he used to say in later
years, “was written by Jack Donne, not by Dr. Donne.”

This same poet was for two years preacher at Lincoln’s Inn; so was the
charitable and amiable Tillotson in 1663. The latter, after preaching the
doctrine of non-resistance before King Charles II., was nicknamed “Hobbes
in the pulpit;” he and Dr. Burnet both tried in vain to force the same
doctrine on Lord William Russell when he was preparing for death.
Tillotson, who was made Archbishop of Canterbury in 1691 by King William,
was a valued friend of Locke. Addison considered Tillotson’s three folio
volumes of sermons to be the standard of English, and meant to make them
the ground-work of a dictionary which he had projected. Warburton, a
sterner critic, denies that the sermons are oratorical like Jeremy
Taylor’s, or thoughtful like Barrow’s, but yet confesses them to be clear,
rational, equable,[674] and certainly not without a noble simplicity.

Among the most eminent students of Lincoln’s Inn we must remember Sir
Matthew Hale. After a wild and vain youth, Hale suddenly commenced
studying sixteen hours a day,[675] and became so careless of dress that he
was once seized by a pressgang. The sight of a friend who fell down in a
fit from excessive drinking led to this honest man’s renouncing all
revelry and becoming unchangeably religious. Noy directed him in his
studies; he became a friend of Selden, and was one of the counsel for
Strafford, Laud, and the king himself. Nevertheless, he obtained the
esteem of Cromwell, who was tolerant of all shades of goodness. He died
1675-6. When a nobleman once complained to Charles II. that Hale would not
discuss with him the arguments in his cause then before him, Charles
replied, “Ods fish, man! he would have treated me just the same.”

Lord Chancellor Egerton, afterwards Lord Ellesmere, was of Lincoln’s Inn.
His son became Earl of Bridgewater. He was a friend of Lord Bacon, and had
a celebrated dispute with Chief Justice Coke as to whether “the Chancery
can relieve by subpœna after a judgment at law in the same cause.”
Prudent, discreet, and honest, Ellesmere was esteemed by both Elizabeth
and James, and died at York House in 1617. Bishop Hacket says of him that
“He neither did, spoke, nor thought anything in his life but what deserved
praise.”[676] It is said that many persons used to go to the Chancery
Court only to see and admire his venerable presence.

Sir Henry Spelman was admitted of Lincoln’s Inn. He was a friend of
Dugdale, and one of our earliest students of Anglo-Saxon. He wrote much
on civil law, sacrilege, and tithes. Aubrey tells us that he was thought a
dunce at school, and did not seriously sit down to hard study till he was
about forty. This eminent scholar died in 1641, and was interred with
great solemnity in Westminster Abbey.

Shaftesbury, the subtle and dangerous, and one of the restorers of the
king he afterwards worked so hard to depose, was of Lincoln’s Inn.

Ashmole, the great herald, antiquary, and numismatist, originally a London
attorney, was married in Lincoln’s Inn Chapel, in 1668, to the daughter of
his great colleague in topography and heraldry, Sir William Dugdale, the
part compiler of the _Monasticon_.

In the chapel was buried Alexander Brome, a Royalist attorney, a
translator of Horace, and a great writer of sharp songs against “The
Rump,” who died in 1666. Here also--in loving companionship with him only
because dead--rests that irritable Puritan lawyer, William Prynne. He
twice lost an ear in the pillory, besides being branded on the cheek. He
ultimately opposed Cromwell and aided the return of Charles, for which he
was made Keeper of the Tower Records. His works amount to forty folio and
quarto volumes. He left copies of them to the Lincoln’s Inn library.
Needham calls him “the greatest paper-worm that ever crept into a
library.” He died in his Lincoln’s Inn chambers in 1669. Wood computes
that Prynne wrote as much as would amount to a sheet for every day of his
life. His epitaph had been erased when Wood wrote the _Athenæ Oxonienses_
in 1691.

In the same chapel lies Secretary Thurloe, the son of an Essex rector and
the faithful servant of Cromwell. He was admitted of Lincoln’s Inn in
1647, and in 1654 was chosen one of the masters of the upper bench. He
died suddenly in his chambers in Lincoln’s Inn in 1668. Dr. Birch
published several folio volumes of his _State Papers_. He seems to have
been an honest, dull, plodding man. Thurloe’s chambers were at No. 24 in
the south angle of the great court leading out of Chancery Lane, formerly
called the Gatehouse Court, but now Old Buildings--the rooms on the left
hand of the ground-floor. Here Thurloe had chambers from 1645 to 1659.
Cromwell must have often come here to discuss dissolutions of Parliament
and Dutch treaties. State papers sufficient to fill sixty-seven folio
volumes were discovered in a false ceiling in the garret by a clergyman
who had borrowed the chambers of a friend during the long vacation. He
disposed of them to Lord Chancellor Somers.[677] Cautious old Thurloe had
perhaps sown these papers, hoping to reap the harvest under some new
Cromwellian dynasty that never came.

Rushworth the historian was a barrister of Lincoln’s Inn. During the Civil
Wars he was assistant clerk to the House of Commons. After the Restoration
he became secretary to the Lord Keeper, but falling into distress, died in
the King’s Bench in 1690. His eight folio volumes of _Historical
Collections_ are specially valuable.[678]

Sir John Denham also studied in this pasturing-ground of English genius;
and here, after squandering all his money in gaming, he wrote an essay
upon the vice that brings its own punishment. In 1641, when his tragedy of
“The Sophy” appeared, Waller said that Denham had broken out like the
Irish rebellion, threescore thousand strong. In 1643 appeared his
“Cooper’s Hill” which the lampooners declared the author had bought of a
vicar for forty pounds.[679] He became mad for a short time at the close
of life, and was then ridiculed by Butler, so says Dr. Johnson. He died in
1668, and was interred in Westminster Abbey. Denham and Waller smoothed
the way for Dryden,[680] and founded the Pope school of highly polished
artificial verse. Denham’s noble apostrophe to the river Thames is all but
perfect.

George Wither, one of our fine old poets of a true school, rougher but
more natural than Denham’s, the son of a Hampshire farmer, entered at
Lincoln’s Inn. Sent to the Marshalsea for his just but indiscreet satires,
he turned soldier, fought against the Royalists, and became one of
Cromwell’s dreaded major-generals. He was in Newgate for a long time after
the Restoration, and died in 1667. When taken prisoner by Charles, Sir
John Denham obtained his release on the humorous pretext that, while
Wither lived, he (Denham) would not be the worst poet in England.[681]

In No. 1 New Square, Arthur Murphy, the friend of Dr. Johnson, resided for
twenty-three years. He became a member of the inn in 1757. In 1788 he sold
his chambers, and retired from the bar. As a journalist he was ridiculed
by Wilkes and Churchill. His plays, “The Grecian Daughter” and “Three
Weeks after Marriage,” were successful. He also translated Tacitus and
Sallust. He died in 1805.[682]

Judge Fortescue, a great English lawyer of the time of Henry VI., was a
student of this inn. He wrote his great work, _De Laudibus Legum Angliæ_
to educate Prince Edward when in banishment in Lorraine. This pious,
loyal, and learned man, after being nominal Chancellor, returned to
retirement in England, and acknowledged Edward IV.

The Earl of Mansfield belonged to the same illustrious inn. For elegance
of mind, for honesty and industry, and for eloquence, he stands
unrivalled. The proceedings against Wilkes, and the destruction of his
house in Bloomsbury by the fanatical mob of 1780, were the chief events of
his useful life.

Spencer Perceval was of Lincoln’s Inn. A son of the Earl of Egmont, he
became a student here in 1782. In Parliament he supported Pitt and the war
against Napoleon. In 1801, under the Addington ministry, he became
Attorney-General, and persecuted Peltier for a libel on Bonaparte during
the peace of Amiens. On the death of the Duke of Portland he was raised to
the head of the Treasury, where he continued till May 1812, when he was
shot through the heart in the lobby of the House of Commons by Bellingham,
a bankrupt merchant of Archangel, who considered himself aggrieved because
ministers had not taken his part and claimed redress for his losses from
the Russian Government. Perceval was a shrewd, even-tempered lawyer,
fluent and industrious, who, had time been permitted him, might possibly
have proved more completely than he did his incapacity for high
ministerial command.

George Canning became a student at Lincoln’s Inn in 1781. His father was a
bankrupt wine-merchant who died of a broken heart. His mother was a
provincial actress. His relation, Sheridan, introduced him to Fox, Grey,
and Burke, the latter of whom, it is said, induced him to make politics
his profession. He made his maiden speech, attacking Fox and supporting
Pitt, in 1794. Late in life he gradually began to support some liberal
measures. In 1827 he became First Lord of the Treasury, and died a few
months afterwards in the zenith of his power.

Lord Lyndhurst was also one of the glories of this inn. The trial of Dr.
Watson for treason, in 1817, first gained for this son of an American
painter a reputation which, joined with his prudent conduct in the trial
of Cashman the rioter led to his being appointed Solicitor-General in
1818. From that he rose in rapid succession, to the posts of
Attorney-General, Master of the Rolls, Lord Chancellor, and Lord
Lyndhurst. Old, eccentric, “irrepressible” Sir Charles Wetherell was
Copley’s fellow-advocate in Watson’s case, that ended in the prisoner’s
acquittal.[683] In 1827, when Abbott became Lord Tenterden, Copley
accepted the Great Seal, displacing Lord Eldon, and joined Canning’s
cabinet, becoming Lord Lyndhurst. In 1830 he became Chief Baron of the
Exchequer.

Charles Pepys, Lord Cottenham, born 1781, was called to the bar by the
Society of Lincoln’s Inn in 1804. He was appointed King’s Counsel in 1826,
was made Solicitor-General in 1834, succeeded Sir John Leach as Master of
the Rolls in the same year, and was elevated to the woolsack in 1836. This
Chancellor, who was a very excellent lawyer, was descended from a branch
of the family of Samuel Pepys, author of the celebrated _Diary_.

Sir E. Sugden was a member of Lincoln’s Inn. He was born in the year 1781.
He was the son of a Westminster hairdresser who became rich by inventing a
substitute for hair-powder. He was created Lord St. Leonards on the
formation of a Conservative ministry in 1852, when he accepted the Great
Seal.

Lord Brougham also studied in Lincoln’s Inn. He was born in 1778, and
started the _Edinburgh Review_ in 1802. In 1820 he defended Queen
Caroline; but it would take a volume to follow the career of this
impetuous and versatile genius. His struggles for law-reform, for Catholic
emancipation, for abolition of slavery, for the education of the people,
and for Parliamentary reform, are matters of history. In his old age,
though still vigorous, Lord Brougham grew tamer, and condemned the armed
emancipation of slaves practised by the Northern States in the present
American war. He died at his residence at Cannes in the South of France in
1868.

Cottenham and Campbell were students in Lincoln’s Inn; so was that
eccentric reformer Jeremy Bentham, who was called to the bar in 1722, and
was the son of a Houndsditch attorney; and so was Penn, the founder of
Pennsylvania.

That “luminary of the Irish Church,”[684] Archbishop Ussher, was preacher
at Lincoln’s Inn in 1647, the society giving the good man handsome rooms
ready furnished. He continued to preach there for eight years, till his
eyesight began to fail. He died in 1655, and was buried, by Cromwell’s
permission, with great magnificence, in Erasmus’s chapel in Westminster
Abbey. His library of 10,000 volumes, bought of him by Cromwell’s
officers, was given by Charles II. to Dublin College. Ussher, when only
eighteen, was the David who discomfited in public dispute the learned
Jesuit Fitz-Simons. He saw Charles beheaded from the roof of a house on
the site of the Admiralty.

Dr. Langhorne, the joint translator with his brother of the _Lives of
Plutarch_, was assistant preacher at Lincoln’s Inn. An imitator of
Sterne, and a writer in Griffiths’s _Monthly Review_, he was praised by
Smollett and abused by Churchill. Langhorne’s amiable poem, _The Country
Justice_, was praised by Scott. He died in 1779.

That fiery controversialist Warburton was preacher at Lincoln’s Inn in
1746, and the same year preached and published a sermon on the Highland
rebellion. He was the son of an attorney at Newark-upon-Trent. His _Divine
Legation_ was an effort to show that the absence of allusions in the
writings of Moses to a system of rewards and punishments was a proof of
their divine origin. The book is full of perverse digressions. His edition
of Shakspere is, perhaps, to use a fine expression of Burke, “one of the
poorest maggots that ever crept from the great man’s carcase.” Pope left
half his library to Warburton, who had suggested to him the conclusion of
the _Dunciad_. Wilkes, Bolingbroke, Dr. Louth, and Churchill were all by
turns attacked by this arrogant knight-errant. Warburton died in 1779.

Reginald Heber, afterwards the excellent Bishop of Calcutta, was appointed
preacher at Lincoln’s Inn in 1822, the year before he sailed for India. In
1826 this good man was found dead in his bath at Trichinopoly. The sudden
death of this energetic missionary was a great loss to East Indian
Christianity. In the “company of the preachers” we must not forget the
excellent Dr. Van Mildert, afterwards Bishop of Durham, and Dr. Thomson
the present Archbishop of York.

In the old times the Lord Chancellor held his sittings in the great hall
of Lincoln’s Inn. Here, too, at the Christmas revels, the King of the
Cockneys administered _his_ laws. Jack Straw, a sort of rebellious rival,
was put down, with all his adherents, as a bad precedent for the Essexes
and Norfolks of the inn, by wary Queen Elizabeth, who always kept a firm
grip on her prerogative. In the same reign absurd sumptuary laws, vainly
trying to fix the quicksilver of fashion, forbade the students to wear
long hair, long beards, large ruffs, huge cloaks, or big spurs. The fine
for wearing a beard of more than a fortnight’s growth was three shillings
and fourpence.[685] In her father’s time beards had been prohibited under
pain of double commons.

In the old hall, replaced by the new Tudor building, stood one of
Hogarth’s most pretentious but worst pictures, “Paul preaching before
Felix,” an ill-drawn and ludicrous caricature of epic work. The society
paid for it. It is now rolled up and hid away with as much contumely as
Kent’s absurdity at St. Clement’s when Hogarth parodied it.

The new hall of Lincoln’s Inn was built by Mr. P. Hardwick, the architect
of the St. Katherine Docks, and was opened by the Queen in person in 1845.
It is a fine Tudor building of red brick, with stone dressings. The hall
is 120 feet, the library 80 feet long. The contract was taken for £55,000,
but its cost exceeded that sum. The library contains the unique fourth
volume of Prynne’s _Records_, which the society bought for £335 at the
Stow sale in 1849, and all Sir Matthew Hale’s bequests of books and MSS.:
“a treasure,” says that “excellent good man,” as Evelyn calls him[686] in
his will, “that is not fit for every man’s view.” The hall contains a
fresco representing the “Lawgivers of the World,” by Watts. The gardens
were much curtailed by the erection of the hall, and their quietude
destroyed. Ben Jonson talks of the walks under the elms.[687] Steele seems
to have been fond of this garden when he felt meditative. In May 1709, he
says much hurry and business having perplexed him into a mood too
thoughtful for company, instead of the tavern “I went into Lincoln’s Inn
Walk, and having taken a round or two, I sat down, according to the
allowed familiarity of these places, on a bench.” In a more thoughtful
month (November) of the same year he goes again for a solitary walk in the
garden, “a favour that is indulged me by several of the benchers, who are
very intimate friends, and grown old in the neighbourhood.” It was this
bright frosty night, when the whole body of air had been purified into
“bright transparent æther,” that Steele imagined his vision of “The
Return of the Golden Age.”

Brave old Ben Jonson was the son of a Scotch gentleman in Henry VIII.’s
service, who, impoverished by the persecutions of Queen Mary, took orders
late in life. His mother married for the second time a small builder or
master bricklayer. He went to Westminster school, where Camden, the great
antiquary, was his master. A kind patron sent him to Cambridge.[688] He
seems to have left college prematurely, and have come back to London to
work with his father-in-law.[689]

There is an old tradition that he worked at the garden-wall of Lincoln’s
Inn next to Chancery Lane, and that a knight or bencher (Sutton, or
Camden), walking by, hearing him repeat a passage of Homer, entered into
conversation with him, and finding him to have extraordinary wit, sent him
back to college; or, as Fuller quaintly puts it, “some gentlemen pitying
that his parts should be buried under the rubbish of so mean a calling,
did by their bounty manumise him freely to follow his own ingenious
inclinations.”[690]

Gifford sneers at the story, for the poet’s own words to Drummond of
Hawthornden were simply these:--“He could not endure the occupation of a
bricklayer,” and therefore joined Vere in Flanders, probably going with
reinforcements to Ostend in 1591-2.[691] He there fought and slew an
enemy, and stripped him in sight of both armies. On his return, he became
an actor at a Shoreditch theatre. His enemies, the rival satirists,
frequently sneer at the quondam profession of Ben Jonson, and describe him
stamping on the stage as if he were treading mortar. For myself, I admire
brave, truculent old Ben, and delight even in his most crabbed and
pedantic verse, and therefore never pass Lincoln’s Inn garden without
thinking of Shakspere’s honest but rugged friend--“a bear only in the
coat.”

On June 27, 1752, there was a dreadful fire in New Square, which
destroyed countless historical treasures, including Lord Somers’s original
letters and papers.

At No. 2 and afterwards at No. 6 New Square, Lincoln’s Inn, which is built
on Little Lincoln’s Inn Fields, and forms no part of the Inn of court,
lived Sir Samuel Romilly. This “great and amiable man,” as Tom Moore calls
him, killed himself in a fit of melancholy produced by overwork joined to
the loss of his wife, “a simple, gay, unlearned woman.” Sir Samuel was a
stern, reserved man, and she was the only person in the world to whom he
could unbosom himself. When he lost her, he said, “the very vent of his
heart was stopped up.”[692]

It was in Old Square, Lincoln’s Inn, that Benjamin Disraeli, born in
December 1805, much too erratic for Plowden and Coke, used to come to
study conveyancing at the chambers of Mr. Bassevi. He is described as
often arriving with Spenser’s _Faerie Queen_ under his arm, stopping an
hour or two to read, and then leaving. This led, as might be expected, not
to the woolsack but to the authorship of _Coningsby_. His Premiership and
his Patent of Peerage as Lord Beaconsfield, are due to other causes.

Whetstone Park, now a small quiet passage, full of printing-offices and
stables, between Great Turnstile and Gate Street, derived its name from a
vestryman of the time of Charles I. It is now chiefly occupied by mews,
but was once filled by infamous houses and low brandy-shops.

In 1671, the Duke of Monmouth, the Duke of Grafton, and the Duke of St.
Alban’s, three of King Charles II.’s illegitimate sons, killed here a
beadle in a drunken brawl. A street-ballad was written on the occasion,
more full of spite against the corrupt court than of sympathy with the
slain man. In poor doggerel the Catnach of 1671 describes the watch coming
in, disturbed from sleep, to appease their graces--

                  “Straight rose mortal jars,
  ’Twixt the night blackguard and (the) silver stars;
  Then fell the beadle by a ducal hand,
  For daring to pronounce the saucy ‘Stand!’”

Sadly enough, the silly fellow’s death led to a dance at Whitehall being
put off,--

  “Disappoints the queen, ‘poor little chuck!’”[693]

and all the brisk courtiers in their gay coats bought with the nation’s
subsidies.

The last two lines are vigorous, sarcastic, and worthy of a humble
imitator of Dryden. The poet sums up--

  “Yet shall Whitehall, the innocent and good,
  See these men dance, all daubed with lace and blood.”

In 1682 the misnamed “Park” grew so infamous, that a countryman, having
been decoyed into one of the houses and robbed, went into Smithfield and
collected an angry mob of about 500 apprentices, who marched on Whetstone
Park, broke open the houses, and destroyed the furniture. The constables
and watchmen, being outnumbered, sent for the king’s guard, who dispersed
them and took eleven of them. Nevertheless, the next night another mob
stormed the place, again broke in the doors, smashed the windows, and cut
the feather-beds to pieces.

Lincoln’s Inn Fields formed part of the ancient Fickett’s Fields, a plot
of ground of about ten acres, extending formerly from Bell Yard to
Portugal Street and Carey Street. It seems to have been used in the Middle
Ages for jousts and tournaments by the Templars and Knights of St. John of
Jerusalem, to the priory of which last order it belonged till Henry VIII.
dissolved the monasteries, when it was granted to Anthony Stringer. In an
inquest of the time of James I. it is described as having two gates for
horses and carriages at the east end--one gate leading into Chancery Lane,
the other gate at the western end.[694]

Queen Elizabeth, afraid that London was growing unwieldly, issued several
proclamations against further building. James I., still more timid and
conservative, and not thoroughly acquainted with his own capital, issued a
like absurd ukase in 1612, by the desire of the benchers and students of
Lincoln’s Inn, forbidding the erection of new houses in these fields. But
no royal edict can prevent a demand for creating a supply, and as the
building still went on, a commission was appointed in 1618 to lay out the
square in a regular plan. Bacon, then Lord Chancellor, and many noblemen,
judges, and masters in Chancery, were on this commission, and Inigo Jones,
the king’s Surveyor-General, drew up the scheme. The report of this body,
given by Rymer, sets out that in the last sixteen years there had been
more building near and about the City of London than in ages before, and
that as these fields were much surrounded by the dwellings and lodgings of
noblemen and gentlemen of quality, “all small cottages and closes shall be
paid for and removed, and the square shall be reduced,” both for
sweetness, uniformity, and comeliness, as an ornament to the City, and for
the health and recreation of the inhabitants, into walks and partitions,
as Mr. Inigo Jones should in his map devise.[695]

There is a tradition that the area of the square, according to Inigo
Jones’s plan, was to have been made the exact dimensions of the base of
the great pyramid of Geezeh. The tradition is probably true, for the area
of the pyramid is 535,824 square feet, and that of Lincoln’s Inn Fields
550,000.[696] The height of the pyramid was 756 feet.

The plan proved too costly, and the subscriptions began probably to fail;
but in the course of time noblemen and others began to build for
themselves, but without much regard to uniformity.

The elevation of Inigo’s plan for the Fields, painted in oil colours, is
still preserved at Wilton House, near Salisbury. The view is taken from
the south, and the principal feature in the elevation is Lindsey House in
the centre of the west side, whose stone façade, still existing, stands
boldly out from the brick houses which support it on either side. The
internal accommodation of Lindsey House was never good.[697]

These fields in Charles I.’s time became the haunt of wrestlers, bowlers,
beggars, and idle boys; and here, in 1624, Lilly the astrologer, then
servant to a mantua-maker in the Strand, spent his time in bowling with
Wat the cobbler, Dick the blacksmith, and such idle apprentices. Hither,
after the Restoration, came every sort of villain--the Rufflers, or maimed
soldiers, who told lies of Edgehill and Naseby, and who surrounded the
coaches of charitable lords; “Dommerers,” or sham dumb men; “Mumpers,” or
sham broken gentlemen; “Whipjacks,” or sham seamen with bound-up legs;
“Abram-men,” or sham idiots; “Fraters,” or rogues with forged patents;
“Anglers,” wild rogues, “Clapper-dudgeons,”[698] and men with gambling
wheels of fortune.

In Queen Anne’s reign Gay sketches the dangers of night in these fields;
he warns his readers to avoid the lurking thief, by day a beggar, or
else--

  “The crutch, which late compassion moved, shall wound
  Thy bleeding head, and fell thee to the ground.

Nor trust the linkman,” he adds, “along the lonely wall, or he’ll put out
his light and rob you, but--

  “Still keep the public streets where oily rays
  That from the crystal lamp o’erspread the ways.”

The south side of Lincoln’s Inn Fields was built and named three years
before the Restoration, by Sir William Cowper, James Cowper, and Robert
Henley. In 1668 Portugal Row, as it was called, but not from Charles’s
queen,[699] was extremely fashionable. There were then living here such
noble and noted persons as Lady Arden, William Perpoint, Esq., Sir Charles
Waldegrave, Lady Fitzharding, Lady Diana Curzon, Serjeant Maynard, Lord
Cardigan, Mrs. Anne Heron, Lady Mordant, Richard Adams, Esq., Lady Carr,
Lady Wentworth, Mr. Attorney Montagu, Lady Coventry, Judge Welch, and Lady
Davenant.[700]

Mr. Serjeant Maynard was the brave old Presbyterian lawyer, then
eighty-seven, who replied to the Prince of Orange, when he said that he
must have outlived all the men of law of his time--“Sir, I should have
outlived the law itself had not your highness come over.”

Lady Davenant was the widow of Sir William Davenant, the Oxford
innkeeper’s son, the poet and manager, who, aided by Whitlocke and
Maynard, was allowed in Cromwell’s time to perform operas at a theatre in
Charterhouse Square. After the Restoration he had the theatre in Portugal
Street. He died in 1668, insolvent. His poems were published by his widow,
and dedicated to the Duke of York in 1673.

Lord Cardigan was the father of the infamous Countess of Shrewsbury, who
is said, disguised as a page, to have held her lover the Duke of
Buckingham’s horse while he killed her husband in a duel near Barn Elms.
The Earl of Rochester lived in the house next the Duke’s Theatre,[701]
which stood behind the present College of Surgeons, as Davenant says in
one of his epilogues--

  “The prospect of the sea cannot be shown,
  Therefore be pleased to think that you are all
  Behind the row which men call Portugal.”

In September 1586 Ballard, Babington, and other conspirators against the
life of Queen Elizabeth were put to death in Lincoln’s Inn Fields.
Babington was a young man of good family, who had been a page to the Earl
of Shrewsbury, and had plotted to rescue Mary and assassinate Elizabeth.
His plot discovered, he had fled to St. John’s Wood for concealment. Seven
of these plotters were hanged on the first day, and seven on the second.
The last seven were allowed to die, by special grace, before being
disembowelled by the executioner.

It was through these fields that, one spring night in 1676-7, Thomas
Sadler, an impudent and well-known thief, rivalling the audacity of Blood,
having with some confederates stolen the mace and purse of Lord Chancellor
Finch from his house in Great Queen Street, bore them in mock procession
on their way to their lodgings in Knightrider Street, Doctors’ Commons.
Sadler was hanged at Tyburn for this theft.

Lord William Russell was son of William, Earl of Bedford, by Lady Ann
Carr, daughter of Carr, Earl of Somerset. He was beheaded in the centre of
Lincoln’s Inn Fields, July 21, 1683, the last year but two of the reign of
King Charles II., for being, as it was alleged, engaged in a plot to
attack the guards and kill the king, on his return from Newmarket races,
at the Rye House Farm, in a by-road near Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire, about
seventeen miles north-east of London.

The Whig party, in their eagerness to restrain the Papists and exclude the
Duke of York from the throne, had gone too far, and their zeal for the
Dissenters had produced a violent reaction in the High Church party.
Charles and the Duke, taking advantage of the return tide, began to
persecute the Dissenters, denounce Shaftesbury, assail the liberties of
the City, and finally dissolved the Parliament. Soon after this, that
subtle politician, Shaftesbury, finding it impossible to rouse the Duke of
Monmouth, Essex, or Lord Russell, denounced them all as sold and deceived,
and fled to Holland.

After his flight, meetings of his creatures were held at the chambers of
one West, an active talking man. Keeling, a vintner of decaying business,
betrayed the plot, as also did Lord Howard, a man so infamous that Charles
himself said “he would not hang the worst dog he had upon his evidence.”
Keeling and his brother swore that forty men were hired to intercept the
king, but that a fire at Newmarket, which had hastened Charles’s return,
had defeated their plans. Goodenough, an ex-sheriff, had told them that
the Duke of Monmouth and other great men were to raise 4000 soldiers and
£20,000. The brothers also swore that Goodenough had told them that Lord
Russell had joined in the design of killing the king and the duke.

Lord Russell acted with great composure. He would not fly, refused to let
his friends surrender themselves to share his fortunes, and told an
acquaintance that “he was very sensible he should fall a sacrifice.”[702]
When he appeared at the council, the king himself said that “nobody
suspected Lord Russell of any design against his own person, but that he
had good evidence of his being in designs against his government.” The
prisoner denied all knowledge of the intended insurrection, or of the
attempt to surprise the guards.

The infamous Jeffries was one of the counsel for his prosecution. Lord
Russell argued at his trial, that, allowing he had compassed the king’s
death, which he denied, he had been guilty only of a conspiracy to levy
war, which was not treason except by a recent statute of Charles II., the
prosecutions upon which were limited to a certain time, which had
elapsed,[703] so that both law and justice were in this case violated.

The truth seems to be that Lord Russell was a true patriot, of a slow and
sober judgment, a taciturn, good man, of not the quickest intelligence,
who had allowed himself to listen to dangerous and random talk for the
sake of political purposes. He wished to debar the duke from the throne,
but he had never dreamt of accomplishing his purpose by murder. It has
since been discovered that Sidney, doing evil that good might come, had
accepted secret-service money from France, and that Russell himself had
interviews with French agents. Lord John Russell explains away this charge
very well. Charles was degraded enough to take money from France. The
patriots, told that Louis XIV. wished to avoid a war, intrigued with the
French king to maintain peace, fearing that if Charles once raised an army
under any pretence, he would first employ it to obtain absolute power at
home, which it is most probable he would have done.[704] On the whole,
these disingenuous interviews must be lamented; they could not and they
did not lead to good. It has been justly regretted also that Lord Russell
on his trial did not boldly denounce the tyranny of the court, and show
the necessity that had existed for active opposition.

After sentence the condemned man wrote petitions to the king and duke,
which were unjustly sneered at as abject. They really, however, contain no
promise but that of living beyond sea and meddling no more in English
affairs. Of one of them at least, Burnet says it was written at the
earnest solicitation of Lady Rachel; and Lord Russell himself said, with
regret, “This will be printed and sold about the streets as my submission
when I am led out to be hanged.” He lamented to Burnet that his wife beat
every bush and ran about so for his preservation; but he acquiesced in
what she did when he thought it would be afterwards a mitigation of her
sorrow.

When his brave and excellent wife, the daughter of Charles I.’s loyal
servant, Southampton, who was the son of Shakspere’s friend, begged for
her husband’s life, the king replied, “How can I grant that man six weeks,
who would not have granted me six hours?”[705]

There is no scene in history that “goes more directly to the heart,” says
Fox, “than the story of the last days of this excellent man.” The night
before his death it rained hard, and he said, “Such a rain to-morrow will
spoil a great show,” which was a dull thing on a rainy day. He thought a
violent death only the pain of a minute, not equal to that of drawing a
tooth; and he was still of opinion _that the king was limited by law, and
that when he broke through those limits, his subjects might defend
themselves and restrain him_.[706] He then received the sacrament from
Tillotson with much devotion, and parted from his wife with a composed
silence; as soon as she was gone he exclaimed, “The bitterness of death is
past,” saying what a blessing she had been to him, and what a misery it
had been if she had tried to induce him to turn an informer. He slept
soundly that night and rose in a few hours, but would take no care in
dressing. He prayed six or seven times by himself, and drank a little tea
and some sherry. He then wound up his watch, and said, “Now I have done
with time and shall go into eternity.” When told that he should give the
executioner ten guineas, he said, with a smile, that it was a pretty thing
to give a fee to have his head cut off. When the sheriffs came at ten
o’clock, Lord Russell embraced Lord Cavendish, who had offered to change
clothes with him and stay in his place in prison, or to attack the coach
with a troop of horse and carry off his friend; but the noble man would
not listen to either proposal.

In the street some in the crowd wept, while others insulted him. He said,
“I hope I shall quickly see a better assembly.” He then sang, half to
himself, the beginning of the 149th Psalm. As the coach turned into Little
Queen Street, he said, looking at his own house, “I have often turned to
the one hand with great comfort, but now I turn to this with greater,” and
then a tear or two fell from his eyes. As they entered Lincoln’s Inn
Fields he said, “This has been to me a place of sinning, and God now makes
it the place of my punishment.” When he came to the scaffold, he walked
about it four or five times: then he prayed by himself, and also with
Tillotson; then he partly undressed himself, laid his head down without
any change of countenance, and it was cut off in two strokes. Lord
William’s walking-stick and a cotemporary account of his death are kept at
Woburn Abbey.

Lady Rachel Russell, the excellent wife of this patriot, had been his
secretary during the trial. She spent her after-life, not in unwisely
lamenting the inevitable past, but in doing good works, and in educating
her children. Writing two months after the execution to Dr. Fritzwilliams,
this noble woman says:[707] “_Secretly_, my heart mourns and cannot be
comforted, because I have not the dear companion and sharer of all my joys
and sorrows. I want him to talk with, to walk with, to eat and sleep with.
All these things are irksome to me now; all company and meals I could
avoid, if it might be.... When I see my children before me, I remember
the pleasure he took in them: this makes my heart shrink.”

In 1692 Lady Russell appears to have regained her composure. But she had
other trials in store: for in 1711 she lost her only son, the Duke of
Bedford, in the flower of his age, and six months afterwards one of her
daughters died in childbed.

It is said that, in his hour of need, James II. was mean enough to say to
the Duke of Bedford, “My lord, you are an honest man, have great credit,
and can do me signal service.” “Ah, sir,” replied the duke, with a grave
severity, “I am old and feeble now, but I once had a _son_.”

The Sacheverell riots culminated in these now quiet Fields. In 1710 Daniel
Dommaree, a queen’s waterman, Francis Willis, a footman, and George
Purchase, were tried at the Old Bailey for heading a riot during the
Sacheverell trial and pulling down meeting-houses. This Sacheverell was an
ignorant, impudent incendiary, the adopted son of a Marlborough
apothecary, and was impeached by the House of Commons for preaching at St.
Andrew’s, Holborn, sermons denouncing the Revolution of 1688. His sermons
were ordered to be burnt, and he was sentenced to be suspended for three
years. Atterbury helped the mischievous firebrand in his ineffectual
defence, and Swift wrote a most scurrilous letter to Bishop Fleetwood, who
had lamented the excesses of the mob. Sacheverell had been at Oxford with
Addison, who inscribed a poem to him. During the trial, a mob marched from
the Temple, whither they had escorted Sacheverell, pulled down Dr.
Burgess’s meeting-house, and threw the pulpit, sconces, and gallery pews
into a fire in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, some waving curtains on poles,
shouting, “High Church standard!” “Huzza! High Church and Sacheverell!”
“We will have them all down!” They also burnt other meeting-houses in
Leather Lane, Drury Lane, and Fetter Lane, and made bonfires of the
woodwork in the streets. They were eventually dispersed by the
horse-grenadiers and horse-guards and foot. Dommaree was sentenced to
death, but pardoned; Willis was acquitted; and Purchase was pardoned.[708]

Wooden posts and rails stood round the Fields till 1735, when an Act was
passed to enable the inhabitants to make improvements, to put an iron gate
at each corner, and to erect dwarf walls and iron palisades.[709] Before
this time grooms used to break in horses on this spot. One day while
looking at these centaurs, Sir Joseph Jekyll, who had brought a very
obnoxious bill into Parliament in 1736 in order to raise the price of gin,
was mobbed, thrown down, and dangerously trampled on. His initials, “J.
J.,” figure under a gibbet chalked on a wall in one of Hogarth’s
prints.[710] Macaulay’s _History_ contains a very highly coloured picture
of these Fields. A comparison of the passage with the facts from which it
is drawn would be a useful lesson to all historical students who love
truth in its severity.[711]

Newcastle House stands at the north-west angle of the Fields, at the
south-eastern corner of Great Queen Street. It derived its name from John
Holles, Duke of Newcastle, a relative of the noble families of Vere,
Cavendish, and Holles. This duke bought the house before 1708, but died in
1711 without issue, and was succeeded in the house by his nephew, the
leader of the Pelham administration under George II.

The house had been bought by Lord Powis about 1686. It was built for him
by Captain William Winde, a scholar of Webbe’s, the pupil and executor of
Inigo Jones.[712] William Herbert, first Marquis of Powis, was outlawed
and fled to St. Germain’s to James II., who made him Duke of Powis.
Government had thought of buying the house when it was inhabited by the
Lord Keeper, Sir Nathan Wright,[713] and to have settled it officially on
the Great Seal. It was once the residence of Sir John Somers, the Lord
Chancellor.

In 1739 Lady Henrietta Herbert, widow of Lord William Herbert, second son
of the Marquis of Powis, and daughter of James, first Earl of Waldegrave,
was married to Mr. John Beard,[714] who seems to have been a fine singer
and a most charitable, estimable man. Lady Henrietta’s grandmother was the
daughter of James II. by the sister of the great Duke of Marlborough. Dr.
Burner speaks of Beard’s great knowledge of music and of his intelligence
as an actor.[715] In an epitaph on him, still extant, the writer says--

  “Whence had that voice such magic to control?
  ’Twas but the echo of a well-tuned soul;
  Through life his morals and his music ran
  In symphony, and spoke the virtuous man.
  ... Go, gentle harmonist! our hopes approve,
  To meet and hear thy sacred songs above;
  When taught by thee, the stage of life well trod,
  We rise to raptures round the throne of God.”

Beard, excellent both in oratorios and serious and comic operas, became
part proprietor of Covent Garden Theatre, and died in 1791.

The Duke of Newcastle’s crowded levées were his pleasure and his triumph.
He generally made people of business wait two or three hours in the
ante-chamber while he trifled with insignificant favourites in his closet.
When at last he entered the levée room, he accosted, hugged, embraced, and
promised everything to everybody with an assumed cordiality and a
degrading familiarity.[716]

“Long” Sir Thomas Robertson was a great intruder on the duke’s time; if
told that he was out, he would come in to look at the clock or play with
the monkey, in hopes of the great man relenting. The servants, at last
tired out with Sir Thomas, concocted a formula of repulses, and the next
time he came the porter, without waiting for his question, began--“Sir,
his grace is gone out, the fire has gone out, the clock stands, and the
monkey is dead.”[717]

Sir Timothy Waldo, on his way from the duke’s dinner-table to his own
carriage, once gave the cook, who was waiting in the hall, a crown. The
rogue returned it, saying he did not take silver. “Oh, don’t you, indeed?”
said Sir Timothy, coolly replacing it in his pocket; “then I don’t give
gold.” Jonas Hanway, the great opponent of tea-drinking, published eight
letters to the duke on this subject,[718] and the custom began from that
time to decline. But Hogarth had already condemned the exaction.

The duke was very profuse in his promises, and a good story is told of the
result of his insincerity. At a Cornish election, the duke had obtained
the turning vote for his candidate by his usual assurances. The elector,
wishing to secure something definite, had asked for a supervisorship of
excise for his son-in-law on the present holder’s death. “The moment he
dies,” said the premier, “set out post-haste for London; drive directly to
my house in the Fields: night or day, sleeping or waking, dead or alive,
thunder at the door; the porter will show you upstairs directly; and the
place is yours.” A few months after the old supervisor died, and up to
London rushed the Cornish elector.

Now that very night the duke had been expecting news of the death of the
King of Spain, and had left orders before he went to bed to have the
courier sent up directly he arrived. The Cornish man, mistaken for this
important messenger, was instantly, to his great delight, shown up to the
duke’s bedroom. “Is he dead?--is he dead?” cried the duke. “Yes, my lord,
yes,” answered the aspirant, promptly. “When did he die?” “The day before
yesterday, at half-past one o’clock, after three weeks in his bed, and
taking a power of doctor’s stuff; and I hope your grace will be as good as
your word, and let my son-in-law succeed him.” “_Succeed him!_” shouted
the duke; “is the man drunk or mad? Where are your despatches?” he
exclaimed, tearing back the bed-curtains; and there, to his vexation,
stood the blundering elector, hat in hand, his stupid red face beaming
with smiles as he kept bowing like a joss. The duke sank back in a
violent fit of laughter, which, like the electric fluid, was in a moment
communicated to his attendants.[719] It is not stated whether the Cornish
man obtained his petition.

There is an agreement in all the stories of the duke, who was thirty years
Secretary of State, and nearly ten years First Lord of the Treasury,
“whether told,” says Macaulay, “by people who were perpetually seeing him
in Parliament and attending his levées in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, or by Grub
Street writers, who had never more than a glimpse of his star through the
windows of his gilded coach.”[720] Smollett and Walpole mixed in different
society, yet they both sketch the duke with the same colours. Smollett’s
Newcastle runs out of his dressing-room with his face covered with
soapsuds to embrace the Moorish envoy. Walpole’s Newcastle pushes his way
into the Duke of Grafton’s sick-room to kiss the old nobleman’s plaisters.
“He was a living, moving, talking caricature. His gait was a shuffling
trot, his utterance a rapid stutter. He was always in a hurry--he was
never in time; he abounded in fulsome caresses and in hysterical tears.
His oratory resembled that of Justice Shallow--it was nonsense
effervescent with animal spirits and impertinence. ‘Oh yes, yes, to be
sure--Annapolis must be defended; troops must be sent to Annapolis. Pray,
where is Annapolis?’--‘Cape Breton an island! Wonderful! Show it me on the
map. So it is, sure enough. My dear sir, you always bring us good news. I
must go and tell the king that Cape Breton is an island.’ His success is a
proof of what may be done by a man who devotes his whole heart and soul to
one object. His love of power was so intense a passion, that it almost
supplied the place of talent. He was jealous even of his own brother.
Under the guise of levity, he was false beyond all example.” “All the able
men of his time ridiculed him as a dunce, a driveller, a child, who never
knew his own mind for an hour together, and yet he overreached them all
round.” If the country had remained at peace, this man might have been at
the head of affairs till a new king came with fresh favourites and a
strong will; “but the inauspicious commencement of the Seven Years’ War
brought on a crisis to which Newcastle was altogether unequal. After a
calm of fifteen years, the spirit of the nation was again stirred to its
inmost depths.”

This is strongly etched, but Macaulay was too fond of caricature for a
real lover of truth. Walpole, recounting this greedy imbecile’s disgrace,
reviews his career much more forcibly, for in a few words he shows us how
great had been the power which this chatterer’s fixed purpose had
attained. The memoir-writer describes the duke as the man “who had begun
the world by heading mobs against the ministers of Queen Anne; who had
braved the heir-apparent, afterwards George I., and forced himself upon
him as godfather to his son; who had recovered that prince’s favour, and
preserved power under him, at the expense of every minister whom that
prince preferred; who had been a rival of another Prince of Wales for the
chancellorship of Cambridge; and who was now buffeted from a fourth court
by a very suitable competitor (Lord Bute), and reduced in his tottery old
age to have recourse to those mobs and that popularity which had raised
him fifty years before.”

Lord Bute was mean enough to compliment the old duke on his retirement.
The duke replied, with a spirit that showed the vitality of his ambition:
“Yes, yes, my lord, I am an old man, but yesterday was my birthday, and I
recollected that Cardinal Fleury _began_ to be prime-minister of France
just at my age.”[721]

Newcastle House, now occupied by the Society for Promoting Christian
Knowledge, was, for forty years or more, inhabited by Sir Alan Chambre,
one of King George III.’s judges. The society, then lodged in Bartlett’s
Buildings, in Holborn, derived its first name from that place, and at Sir
Alan’s death they purchased the house and site.

About the centre of the west side of the square, in Sir Alan’s time, lived
the Earl and Countess of Portsmouth. The earl was half-witted, but was
always well-conducted and quite producible in society under the guidance
of his countess, a daughter of Lord Grantley.

Near Surgeons’ Hall, at the same epoch, lived the first Lord Wynford, Lord
Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, better known as Serjeant Best. A
quarrel between this irritable lawyer and Serjeant Wilde, afterwards Lord
Chancellor Truro, one of the most stalwart gladiators who ever won a name
and title in the legal arena, gave rise to an epigram, the point of which
was--“That Best was wild, and Wilde was best.”

In 1774, when Lord Clive had rewarded Wedderburn, his defender, with lacs
of rupees and a villa at Mitcham, the lawyer had an elegant house in
Lincoln’s Inn Fields, not far from the Duke of Newcastle’s,--“a quarter,”
says Lord Campbell, “which I recollect still the envied resort of legal
magnates.”

Wedderburn, afterwards better known as Lord Chancellor Loughborough, had a
special hatred for Franklin, and loaded him with abuse before a committee
of the Privy Council, for having sent to America letters from the
Lieutenant-Governor of Massachusetts, urging the Government to employ
military force to suppress the discontents in New England.[722] The effect
of Wedderburn’s brilliant oratory in Parliament was ruined, says Lord
Campbell, by “his character for insincerity.”[723] When George III. heard
of his death, he is reported to have said, “He has not left a greater
knave behind him in my dominions;” upon which Lord Thurlow savagely said,
with his usual oath, “I perceive that his majesty is quite sane at
present.” Wedderburn was a friend of David Hume; his humanity was
eulogised by Dr. Parr, but he was satirised by Churchill in the _Rosciad_.

Montague, Earl of Sandwich, the great patron of Pepys, lived in Lincoln’s
Inn Fields, paying £250 a year rent.[724] Pepys calls it “a fine house,
but deadly dear.”[725] He visits him, February 10, 1663-4, and finds my
lord very high and strange and stately, although Pepys had been bound for
£1000 with him, and the shrewd cit naturally enough did not like my lord
being angry with him and in debt to him at the same time. The earl was a
distant cousin of Pepys, and on his marriage received him and his wife
into his house, and took Pepys with him when he went to bring home Charles
II., when he was elected one of the Council of State and General at Sea.
He brought the queen-mother to England and took her back again. He also
brought the ill-fated queen from Portugal, and became a privy-councillor,
and was sent as ambassador to Spain. He seems to have been not untainted
with the vices of the age. He was in the great battle where Van Tromp was
killed, and in 1668 he took forty-five sail from the Dutch at sea, and
that is the best thing known of him. He died in 1672, and was buried in
great state.

Inigo Jones built only the west side of the square. No. 55 was the
residence of Robert Bertie, Earl of Lindsey, a general of King Charles. It
is described in 1708 as a handsome building of the Ionic order, with a
beautiful and strong Court Gate, formed of six spacious brick piers, with
curious ironwork between them, and on the piers large and beautiful
vases.[726] The open balustrade at the top bore six urns.

The Earl of Lindsey was shot at Edgehill in 1642, when a reckless and
intemperate charge of Rupert had led to the total defeat of the
unsupported foot. His son, Lord Willoughby, was taken in endeavouring to
rescue his father. Clarendon describes the earl as a lavish, generous, yet
punctilious man, of great honour and experience in foreign war. He was
surrounded by Lincolnshire gentlemen, who served in his regiment out of
personal regard for him. He was jealous of Prince Rupert’s interference,
and had made up his mind to die. As he lay bleeding to death he reproved
the officers of the Earl of Essex, many of them his old friends, for their
ingratitude and “foul rebellion.”[727]

The fourth Earl of Lindsey was created Duke of Ancaster, and the house
henceforward bore that now forgotten name. It was subsequently sold to the
proud Duke of Somerset, the same who married the widow of the Mr. Thynne
whom Count Königsmarck murdered.

In the early part of George III.’s reign Lindsey House became a sort of
lodging-house for foreign members of the Moravian persuasion. The
staircase, about 1772, was painted with scenes from the history of the
Herrnhuthers. The most conspicuous figures were those of a negro
catechumen in a white shirt, and a missionary who went over to Algiers to
preach to the galley-slaves, and died in Africa of the plague. There was
also a painting of a Moravian clergyman being saved from a desert rock on
which he had been cast.[728]

Repeated mention of the Berties is made in Horace Walpole’s pleasant
_Letters_. Lord Robert Bertie was third son of Robert the first Duke of
Ancaster and Kesteven. He was a general in the army, a colonel in the
Guards, and a lord of the bedchamber. He married Lady Raymond in 1762, and
died in 1782.

The proud Duke of Somerset, in 1748, left to his eldest daughter, Lady
Frances, married to the Marquis of Granby, three thousand a year, and the
fine house built by Inigo Jones in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, which he had
bought of the Duke of Ancaster for the Duchess, hoping that his daughter
would let her mother live with her.[729] In July 1779 the Duke of
Ancaster, dying of drinking and rioting at two-and-twenty, recalls much
scandal to Walpole’s mind. He had been in love with Lady Honoria,
Walpole’s niece; but Horace does not regret the match dropping through,
for he says the duke was of a turbulent nature, and, though of a fine
figure, not noble in manners. Lady Priscilla Elizabeth Bertie, eldest
sister of the duke, married the grandson of Peter Burrell, a merchant, who
became husband of the Lady Great Chamberlain of England, and inherited a
barony and half the Ancaster estate.[730] “The three last duchesses,”
goes on the cruel gossip, “were never sober.” “The present
duchess-dowager,” he adds, “was natural daughter of Panton, a disreputable
horse-jockey of Newmarket. The other duchess was some lady’s woman, or
young lady’s governess.” Mr. Burrell’s daughters married Lord Percy and
the Duke of Hamilton.

In 1791 Walpole writes to Miss Berry to describe the marriage of Lord
Cholmondeley with Lady Georgiana Charlotte Bertie: “The men were in frocks
and white waistcoats. The endowing purse, I believe, has been left off
ever since broad pieces were called in and melted down. We were but
eighteen persons in all.... The poor duchess-mother wept excessively; she
is now left quite alone,--her two daughters married, and her other
children dead. She herself, I fear, is in a very dangerous way. She goes
directly to Spa, where the new married pair are to meet her. We all
separated in an hour and a half.”[731]

Alfred Tennyson in early life had fourth-floor chambers at No. 55, and
there probably his friend Hallam, whose early death he laments in his _In
Memoriam_ spent many an hour with him. There, in the airy regions of
Attica, in a low-roofed room, the single window of which is darkened by a
huge stone balustrade--a gloomy relic of past grandeur--the young poet may
have recited the majestic lines of his “King Arthur,” or the exquisite
lament of “Mariana,” and there he may have immortalised the “plump
head-waiter of the Cock,” in Fleet Street. Mr. John Foster, the author of
many sound and delightful historical biographies, had also chambers in
this house.

No. 68, on the west side, stands on the site of the approach to the
stables of old Newcastle House. Here Judge Le Blanc lived, and at his
death the house was occupied by Mr. Thomas Le Blanc, Master of Trinity
Hall, Cambridge.

At No. 33, on the same side as the Insolvent Debtors’ Court, dwelt Judge
Park, a man much beloved by his friends; in his early days, as a young
and poor Scotch barrister, he had lived in Carey Street till his house
there was burnt down. He used to say that his great ambition in youth had
been to one day live at No. 33 in the Fields, at that time occupied by
Chief Justice Willis; but in later days, as a judge, leaving the former
goal of his ambition, he migrated to Bedford Square, where he died.

Nos. 40 and 42, on the south side, form the Museum of the College of
Surgeons, incorporated in 1800. The Grecian front is a most clever
contrivance by Sir John Soane. The building contains the incomparable
anatomical collection of the eminent John Hunter, bought by the Government
for £15,000 and given to the College of Surgeons on condition of its being
opened to the public. John Hunter died in 1793; and the first courses of
lectures in the new building were delivered by Sir Everard Home and Sir
William Blizard, in 1810. The Museum was built by Barry in 1835, and cost
about £40,000.[732] It is divided into two rooms, the normal and abnormal.
The total number of specimens is upwards of 23,000. The collection is
unequalled in many respects; every article is authentic and in perfect
preservation. The largest human skeleton is that of Charles O’Brien, the
Irish giant, who died in Cockspur Street, Charing Cross, in 1783, aged
twenty-two. It measures eight feet four inches. By its side, in ghastly
contrast, is the bony sketch of Caroline Crachami, a Sicilian dwarf who
died in 1824, aged ten years. There is also a cast of the hand of Patrick
Cotter, another Irish giant, who measured eight feet seven and a half
inches. Nor must we overlook the vast framework of Chunee, the elephant
that went mad with toothache at Exeter Change, and was shot by a company
of riflemen in 1826. The sawn base of the inflamed tusk shows a spicula of
ivory pressing into the nervous pulp. Toothache is always terrible, but
only imagine a square foot of it!

Very curious too, are the jaw of the extinct sabre-toothed tiger, and the
skeleton of a gigantic extinct Irish deer found under a bed of shell-marl
in a peat bog near Limerick. The antlers are seven feet long, eight feet
across, and weigh seventy-six pounds. The height of the animal (measured
from his skull) was seven feet six inches. Amongst other horrors, there is
a cast of the fleshy band that united the Siamese twins, and one of a
woman with a long curved horn growing from her forehead. There are also
many skulls of soldiers perforated and torn with bullets, the lead still
adhering to some of the bony plates of the crania. But the wonder of
wonders is the iron pivot of a trysail-mast that was driven clean through
the chest of a Scarborough lad. The boy recovered in five months, and not
long after went to work again. It is a tough race that rules the sea.

There are also fragments of the skeleton of a rhinoceros discovered in a
limestone cavern at Oreston during the formation of the Plymouth
Breakwater. In a recess from the gallery stands the embalmed body of the
wife of Martin Van Butchell, an impudent Dutch quack doctor. It is
coarsely preserved, and is very loathsome to look at. It was prepared in
1775 by Dr. W. Hunter and Mr. Cruikshank, the vascular system being
injected with oil of turpentine and camphorated spirits of wine, and
powdered nitre and camphor being introduced into the cavities. On the case
containing the body is an advertisement cut from an old newspaper, stating
the conditions which Dr. Van Butchell required of those who came to see
the body of his wife. At the feet of Mrs. Van Butchell is the shrunken
mummy of her pet parrot.

The pictures include the portrait of John Hunter by Reynolds, which Sharp
engraved: it has much faded. There is also a posthumous bust of Hunter by
Flaxman, and one of Clive by Chantrey. Any Fellow of the College can
introduce a visitor, either personally or by written order, the first four
days of the week. In September the Museum is closed. It would be much more
convenient for students if some small sum were charged for admission. It
is now visited but by two or three people a day, when it should be
inspected by hundreds.

That great surgeon, John Hunter, was the son of a small farmer in
Lanarkshire. He was born in 1728, and died in 1793. In early life he went
abroad as an army-surgeon to study gunshot-wounds; and in 1786 he was
appointed deputy surgeon-general to the army. In 1772 he made discoveries
as to the property of the gastric juice. He was the first to use cutting
as a cure for hydrophobia, and to distinguish the various species of
cancer. He kept at his house at Brompton a variety of wild animals for the
purposes of comparative anatomy, was often in danger from their violence,
and as often saved by his own intrepidity. Sir Joseph Banks divided his
collection between Hunter and the British Museum. Unequalled in the
dissecting-room, Hunter was a bad lecturer. He was an irritable man, and
died suddenly during a disputation at St. George’s Hospital which vexed
him. His death is said to have been hastened by fear of death from
hydrophobia, he having cut his hand while dissecting a man who had died of
that mysterious disease. Hunter used to call an operation “opprobrium
medici.”

In Portugal Row, as the southern side of the square used to be called,
lived Sir Richard Fanshawe, the translator of the _Lusiad_ of Camoens, and
of Guarini’s _Pastor Fido_. Sir Richard was our ambassador in Spain; but
Charles, wishing to get rid of Lord Sandwich from the navy, recalled
Fanshawe, on the plea that he had ventured to sign a treaty without
authority. He died in 1666, on the intended day of his return, of a
violent fever, probably caused by vexation at his unmerited disgrace. Sir
Richard appears to have been a religious, faithful man and a good scholar,
but born in unhappy times and to an ill fate. Charles I. had very justly a
great respect for him. His wife was a brave, determined woman, full of
affection, good sense, and equally full of hatred and contempt for Lord
Sandwich, Pepys’s friend, who had supplanted her husband in the embassy.

On one occasion, on their way to Malaga, the Dutch trading vessel in which
she and her husband were was threatened by a Turkish galley which bore
down on them in full sail. The captain, who had rendered his sixty guns
useless by lumbering them up with cargo, resolved to fight for his £30,000
worth of goods, and therefore armed his two hundred men and plied them
with brandy. The decks were partially cleared, and the women ordered below
for fear the Turks might think the vessel a merchant-ship and board it.
Sir Richard, taking his gun, bandolier, and sword, stood with the ship’s
company waiting for the Turks.[733] But we must quote the brave wife’s own
simple words:--“The beast the captain had locked me up in the cabin. I
knocked and called long to no purpose, until at length the cabin-boy came
and opened the door. I, all in tears, desired him to be so good as to give
me the blue thrum cap he wore and his tarred coat, which he did, and I
gave him half-a-crown; and putting them on, and flinging away my
night-clothes, I crept up softly and stood upon the deck by my husband’s
side, as free from fear as, I confess, from discretion; but it was the
effect of that passion which I could never master. By this time the two
vessels were engaged in parley, and so well satisfied with speech and
sight of each other’s forces, that the Turks’ man-of-war tacked about and
we continued our course. But when your father saw me retreat, looking upon
me, he blessed himself and snatched me up in his arms, saying, ‘Good God!
that love can make this change!’ and though he seemingly chid me, he would
laugh at it as often as he remembered that journey.” This same vessel, a
short time after, was blown up in the harbour with the loss of more than a
hundred men and all the lading.[734]

This brave, good woman showed still greater fortitude when her husband
died and left her almost penniless in a strange country. She had only
twenty-eight doubloons with which to bring home her children, and sixty
servants, and the dead body of her husband. She, however, instantly sold
her carriages and a thousand pounds’ worth of plate, and setting apart the
queen’s present of two thousand doubloons for travelling expenses, started
for England. “God,” she says, in her brave, pious way, “did hear, and
see, and help me, and brought my soul out of trouble.”

In 1677 Lady Fanshawe took a house in Holborn Row, the north side of the
square, and spent a year lamenting “the dear remembrances of her past
happiness and fortune; and though she had great graces and favours from
the king and queen and whole court, yet she found at the present no
remedy.”[735]

Lord Kenyon lived at No. 35 in 1805. Jekyll was fond of joking about
Kenyon’s stinginess, and used to say he died of eating apple-pie crust at
breakfast to save the expense of muffins; and that Lord Ellenborough, who
succeeded on Kenyon’s death to the Chief Justiceship, always used to bow
to apple-pie ever afterwards which Jekyll called his “apple-pie-ety.” The
princesses Augusta and Sophia once told Tom Moore, at Lady Donegall’s that
the king used to play tricks on Kenyon and send the despatch-box to him at
a quarter past seven, when it was known the learned lord was in bed to
save candlelight.[736] Lord Ellenborough used to say that the final word
in “Mors janua vitæ” was mis-spelled _vita_ on Kenyon’s tomb to save the
extra cost of the diphthong.[737] George III. used to say to Kenyon, “My
Lord, let us have a little more of your good law, and less of your bad
Latin.”

Lord Campbell, who gives a very pleasant sketch of Chief Justice Kenyon,
with his bad temper and bad Latin, his hatred of newspaper writers and
gamblers, and his wrath against pettifoggers, describes his being taken in
by Horne Tooke, and laughs at his ignorantly-mixed metaphors. He seems to
have been a respectable second-rate lawyer, conscientious and upright. “He
occupied,” says Lord Campbell, “a large gloomy house, in which I have seen
merry doings when it was afterwards transferred to the Verulam Club.” The
tradition of this house was that “it was always Lent in the kitchen and
Passion Week in the parlour.” On some one mentioning the spits in Lord
Kenyon’s kitchen, Jekyll said, “It is irrelevant to talk about the spits,
for nothing _turns_ upon them.” The judge’s ignorance was profound. It is
reported that in a trial for blasphemy the Chief Justice, after citing the
names of several remarkable early Christians, said, “Above all, gentlemen,
need I name to you the Emperor Julian, who was so celebrated for the
practice of every Christian virtue that he was called Julian the
Apostle?”[738] On another occasion, talking of a false witness, he is
supposed to have said, “The allegation is as far from truth as ‘old
Boterium from the northern main’--a line I have heard or met with, God
knows where.”[739]

Lord Erskine lived at No. 36, in 1805, the year before he rose at once to
the peerage and the woolsack, and presided at Lord Melville’s trial. He
did not hold the seals many months, and died in 1823. This great Whig
orator was the youngest son of the Earl of Buchan. He was a midshipman and
an ensign before he became a student at Lincoln’s Inn. He began to be
known in 1778; in 1781 he defended Lord George Gordon, in 1794 Horne
Tooke, Hardy, Thelwall, and afterwards Tom Paine.

The house that contains the Soane Museum, No. 13 on the north side, was
built in 1812, and, consisting of twenty-four small apartments crammed
with curiosities, is in itself a marvel of fantastic ingenuity. Every inch
of space is turned to account. On one side of the picture-room are
cabinets, and on the other movable shutters or screens, on which pictures
are also hung; so that a small area, only thirteen feet long and twelve
broad, contains as much as a gallery forty-five feet long and twenty feet
broad. A Roman altar once stood in the outer court.

It is a disgrace to the trustees that this curious museum is kept so
private, and that such impediments are thrown in the way of visitors. It
is open only two days a week in April, May, and June, but at certain
seasons a third day is granted to foreigners, artists, and people from the
country. To obtain tickets, you are obliged to get, some days before you
visit, a letter from a trustee, or to write to the curator, enter your
name in a book, and leave your card. All this vexatious hindrance and
fuss has the desired effect of preventing many persons from visiting a
museum left, not to the trustees or the curator, but to the nation--to
every Englishman. In order to read the books, copy the pictures, or
examine the plans and drawings, the same tedious and humiliating form must
be gone through.

The gem of all the Soane treasures is an enormous transparent alabaster
sarcophagus, discovered by Belzoni in 1816 in a tomb in the valley of
Beban el Molook, near Thebes. It is nine feet four inches long, three feet
eight inches wide, two feet eight inches deep, and is covered without and
within with beautifully-cut hieroglyphics. It was the greatest discovery
of the runaway Paduan Monk, and was undoubtedly the cenotaph or
sarcophagus of a Pharaoh or Ptolemy. It was discovered in an enormous tomb
of endless chambers, which the Arabs still call “Belzoni’s tomb.” On the
bottom of the case is a full-length figure in relief, of Isis, the
guardian of the dead. Sir John Soane gave £2000 for this sarcophagus to
Mr. Salt, Consul General of Egypt and Belzoni’s employer. The raised lid
is broken into nineteen pieces. The late Sir Gardner Wilkinson considered
this to be the cenotaph of Osirei, the father of Rameses the Great. But
the forgotten king for whom the Soane sarcophagus was really executed was
Seti, surnamed Meni-en-Ptah, the father of Rameses the Great; he is called
by Manetho Séthos.[740] Dr. Lepsius dates the commencement of his reign
B.C. 1439. Dr. Brugsch places it twenty years earlier. Mr. Sharpe, with
that delightful uncertainty characteristic of Egyptian antiquaries, drags
the epoch down two hundred years later. Seti was the father of the Pharaoh
who persecuted the Israelites, and he made war against Syria. His son was
the famous Rameses. All three kings were descended from the Shepherd
Chiefs. The most beautiful fragment in Karnak represents this monarch,
Seti, in his chariot, with a sword like a fish-slice in one hand, while in
the other he clutches the topknots of a group of conquered enemies,
Nubian, Syrian, and Jewish. The work is full of an almost Raphaelesque
grace.

After this come some of Flaxman’s and Banks’s sketches and models, a cast
of the shield of Achilles by the former, and one of the Boothby monument
by the latter. There is also a fine collection of ancient gems and
intaglios, pure in taste and exquisitely cut, and a set of the Napoleon
medals, selected by Denon for the Empress Josephine, and in the finest
possible state. We may also mention Sir Christopher Wren’s watch, some
ivory chairs, and a table from Tippoo Saib’s devastated palace at
Seringapatam, and a richly-mounted pistol taken by Peter the Great from a
Turkish general at Azof in 1696. The latter was given to Napoleon by the
Russian emperor at the treaty of Tilsit in 1807, and was presented by him
to a French officer at St. Helena. The books, too, are of great interest.
Here is the original MS. copy of the _Gierusalemme Liberata_, published at
Ferrara in 1581, and in Tasso’s own handwriting; the first four folio
editions of Shakspere, once the property of that great actor and
Shaksperean student John Philip Kemble; a folio of designs for Elizabethan
and Jacobean houses by the celebrated architect John Thorpe; Fauntleroy
the forger’s illustrated copy of Pennant’s _London_, purchased for six
hundred and fifty guineas; a Commentary on Paul’s Epistles, illuminated by
the laborious Croatian, Giulio Clovio (who died in 1578), for Cardinal
Grimani. Vasari raves about the minute finish of this painter.

The pictures, too, are good. There are three Canalettis full of that Dutch
Venetian’s clear common sense; the finest, a view on the Grand Canal--his
favourite subject--and “The Snake in the Grass,” better known as “Love
unloosing the Zone of Beauty,” by Reynolds. There is a sadly faded replica
of this in the Winter Palace at St. Petersburg. This one was purchased at
the Marchioness of Thomond’s sale for £500. The “Rake’s Progress,” by
Hogarth, in eight pictures, was purchased by Sir John in 1802 for £598.
These inimitable pictures are incomparable, and display the fine, pure,
sober colour of the great artist, and his broad touch so like that of Jan
Steen.

The Soane collection also boasts of Hogarth’s four “Election” pictures,
purchased at Garrick’s sale for £1732 10s. They are rather dark in tone.
There is also a fine but curious Turner, “Van Tromp’s Barge entering the
Texel;” a portrait by Goma of Napoleon in 1797, when emaciated and
haggard, and a fine miniature of him in 1814, when fat and already on the
decline, both physically and mentally, by Isabey the great
miniature-painter, taken at Elba in 1814. In the dining-room is a portrait
of Soane by Sir Thomas Lawrence, and in the gallery under the dome a bust
of him by Chantrey.

Sir John Soane was the son of a humble Reading bricklayer, and brought up
in Mr. Dance’s office. Carrying off a gold and silver medal at the
Academy, he was sent as travelling student to Rome. In 1791 he obtained a
Government employment, in 1800 enlarged the Bank of England, and in 1806
became Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy. He built the
Dulwich Gallery, and in 1826 the Masonic Hall in Great Queen Street. In
1827 he gave £1000 to the Duke of York’s monument. At the close of his
life he left his collection of works of art, valued at £50,000, to the
nation, and died in 1837,[741] leaving his son penniless. In 1835 the
English architects presented Sir John with a splendid medal in token of
their approbation of his conduct and talents.

The Literary Fund Society, instituted in 1790, and incorporated in 1818,
had formerly rooms at No. 4 Lincoln’s Inn Fields. The society was
established in order to aid authors of merit and good character who might
be reduced to poverty by unavoidable circumstances, or be deprived of the
power of exertion by enfeebled faculties or old age. George IV. and
William IV. both contributed one hundred guineas a year to its funds, and
this subscription is continued by our present Queen. The society
distributed £1407 in 1846. The average annual amount of subscriptions and
donations is about £1100. The Literary Fund Society moved afterwards to
73 Great Russell Street. Some years ago a split occurred in this society.
Charles Dickens and Mr. C. W. Dilke, the proprietor of the _Athenæum_,
objecting to the wasteful expense of the management, seceded from it; the
result of this secession was the founding of the Guild of Literature, and
the collection of £4000 by means of private theatricals--a sum which,
unfortunately, still lies partly dormant. The Fund is now domiciled in
Bloomsbury.

Both Pepys and Evelyn praise the house of Mr. Povey in Lincoln’s Inn
Fields as a prodigy of elegant comfort and ingenuity. The marqueterie
floors, “the perspective picture in the little closet,” the grotto
cellars, with a well for the wine, the fountains and imitation porphyry
vases, his pictures and the bath at the top of the house, seem to have
been the abstract of all luxurious ease.

Names were first put on doors in London in 1760, some years before the
street-signs were removed. In 1764 houses were first numbered; the
numbering commenced in New Burlington Street, and Lincoln’s Inn Fields was
the second place numbered.

In Carey Street lived that excellent woman Mrs. Hester Chapone, who
afterwards removed to Arundel Street. She was a friend of Mrs. Carter, who
translated Epictetus, and of Mrs. Montagu, the Queen of the Blue
Stockings. She was one of the female admirers who thronged round
Richardson the novelist, and she married a young Templar whom he had
introduced to her. It was a love match, and she had the misfortune of
losing him in less than ten months after their marriage. Her celebrated
letters on _The Improvement of the Mind_, published in 1773, were written
for a favourite niece, who married a Westminster Clergyman and died in
childbed. Though Mrs. Chapone’s letters are now rather dry and
old-fashioned, reminding us of the backboards of a too punctilious age,
they contain some sensible and well-expressed thoughts. Here is a sound
passage:--“Those ladies who pique themselves on the particular excellence
of neatness are very apt to forget that the decent order of the house
should be designed to promote the convenience and pleasure of those who
are to be in it; and that if it is converted into a cause of trouble and
constraint, their husbands’ guests would be happier without it.”[742]

Gibbons’s Tennis Court stood in Vere Street, Clare Market; it was turned
into a theatre by Thomas Killigrew. Ogilby the poet, started a lottery of
books at “the old theatre” in June 1668. He describes the books in his
advertisements as “all of his own designment and composure.”

“The Duke’s Theatre” stood in Portugal Street, at the back of Portugal
Row. It was pulled down in 1835 to make room for the enlargement of the
Museum of the College of Surgeons. Before that it had been the china
warehouse of Messrs. Spode and Copeland.[743] There had been, however,
frailer things than china in the house in Pepys’s time. Here, the year of
the Restoration, came Killigrew with the actors from the Red Bull,
Clerkenwell, and took the name of the King’s Company. Three years later
they moved to Drury Lane. Davenant’s company then came to Portugal Street
in 1662, deserting their theatre, once a granary, in Salisbury Court. They
played here till 1671, when they returned to their old theatre, then
renovated under the management of Charles Davenant and the celebrated
Betterton, the great tragedian. They afterwards united in Drury Lane, and
again fell apart. In 1695 a company, headed by Betterton, with Congreve
for a partner, re-opened the theatre in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. It then
became celebrated for pantomimes under Rich, the excellent harlequin. On
his removal to Covent Garden it was deserted, re-opened by Gifford from
Goodman’s Fields, and finally ceased to be a theatre about 1737, so that
its whole life did not extend to more than one generation.

Actresses first appeared in London in Prynne’s time. Soon after the
Restoration a lady of Killigrew’s company took the part of Desdemona. In
January 1661 Pepys saw women on the stage at the Cockpit Theatre: the play
was Beaumont and Fletcher’s “Beggars’ Bush.” The prologue to “Othello” in
1660 contains the following line:[744]--

  “Our women are defective and so sized,
  You’d think they were some of the guard disguised;
  For, to speak truth, men act that are between
  Forty and fifty, wenches of fifteen,
  With bone so large, and nerve so uncompliant,
  That, when you call Desdemona, enter giant.”

The Puritans were now happily in the minority, and so the attempt
succeeded. Davenant did not bring forward his actresses till June 1661,
when he produced his “Siege of Rhodes.” Kynaston, Hart, Burt, and Clun,
famous actors of Charles II.’s time, were all excellent representatives of
female characters.

It was at the Duke’s Theatre, in 1680, that Nell Gwynn who was present,
being reviled by one of the audience, and William Herbert, who had married
a sister of one of the king’s mistresses, taking up Nell’s quarrel--a
sword fight took place between the two factions in the house. This
hot-blooded young gallant Herbert grew up to be Earl of Pembroke and first
plenipotentiary at Ryswick.

The chief ladies at the Duke’s House were Mrs. Davenport, Mrs. Davies, and
Mrs. Saunderson. The first of these ladies, generally known as “Roxalana,”
from a character of that name in the “Siege of Rhodes,” resisted for a
long time the addresses of Aubrey de Vere, the last Earl of Oxford, a
wicked brawling roysterer, and a disgrace to his name, who at last
obtained her hand by the cruel deception of a sham marriage. The pretended
priest was a trumpeter, the witness a kettle-drummer in the king’s
regiment. The poor creature threw herself in vain at the king’s feet and
demanded justice, but gradually grew more composed upon an annuity of a
thousand crowns a year.[745]

As for Mrs. Davies, who danced well and played ill, she won the
susceptible heart of Charles II. by her singing the song, “My lodging is
on the cold, cold ground.” “Through the marriage of the daughter of Lord
Derwentwater with the eighth Lord Petre,” says Dr. Doran, “the blood of
the Stuarts and of Moll Davies still runs in their lineal descendant, the
present and twelfth lord.”[746]

Mrs. Saunderson became the excellent wife of the great actor Betterton.
For about thirty years she played the chief female characters, especially
in Shakspere’s plays, with great success. She taught Queen Anne and her
sister Mary elocution, and after her husband’s death received a pension of
£500 a year from her royal pupil.

In 1664 Pepys went to Portugal Street to see that clever but impudent
impostor, the German Princess, appear after her acquittal at the Old
Bailey for inveigling a young citizen into a marriage, acting her own
character in a comedy immortalising her exploit.

In February 1666-7 Pepys goes again to the Duke’s Playhouse, and observes
there Rochester the wit and Mrs. Stewart, afterwards Duchess of Richmond,
the same lady whose portrait we retain as Britannia on the old
halfpennies. “It was pleasant,” says the tuft-hunting gossip, “to see how
everybody rose up when my Lord John Butler, the Duke of Ormond’s son, came
into the pit, towards the end of the play, who was a servant to Mrs.
Mallett, and now smiled upon her and she on him.”[747]

The same month, 1667-8, Pepys revisits the Duke’s House to see Etherege’s
new play, “She Would if She Could.” He was there by two o’clock, and yet
already a thousand people had been refused at the pit. The fussy
public-office man, not being able to find his wife, who was there, got
into an eighteenpenny box, and could hardly see or hear. The play done, it
being dark and rainy, Pepys stays in the pit looking for his wife and
waiting for the weather to clear up. And there for an hour and a half sat
also the Duke of Buckingham, Sedley, and Etherege talking; all abusing the
play as silly, dull, and insipid, except the author, who complained of the
actors for not knowing their parts.

In May 1668 Pepys is again at this theatre in the balcony box, where sit
the shameless Lady Castlemaine and her ladies and women; on another
occasion he sits below the same group, and sees the proud lady look like
fire when Moll Davies ogles the king her lover. In another place he
observes how full the pit is, though the seats are two shillings and
sixpence a piece, whereas in his youth he had never gone higher than
twelvepence or eighteenpence.[748]

Kynaston, the greatest of the “boy-actresses,” was chiefly on this stage
from 1659 to 1699. Evadne was his favourite female part. Later in life he
took to heroic characters. Cibber says of him: “He had something of a
formal gravity in his mien, which was attributed to the stately step he
had been so early confined to. But even that in characters of superiority
had its proper graces; it misbecame him not in the part of Leon in
Fletcher’s ‘Rule a Wife,’ which he executed with a determined manliness
and honest authority. He had a piercing eye, and in characters of heroic
life a quick imperious vivacity in his tone of voice that painted the
tyrant truly terrible. There were two plays of Dryden in which he shone
with uncommon lustre; in ‘Arungzebe,’ he played Morat, and in ‘Don
Sebastian’ Muley Moloch. In both these parts he had a fierce lion-like
majesty in his port and utterance that gave the spectator a kind of
trembling admiration.”[749] Kynaston died in 1712, and left a fortune to
his son, a mercer in Covent Garden, whose son became rector of Aldgate.

James Nokes was Kynaston’s contemporary in Portugal Street. Leigh Hunt
calls him something between Liston and Munden. Dryden mentions him, in a
political epistle to Southerne, as indispensable to a play. Cibber says,
“The ridiculous solemnity of his features was enough to have set the whole
bench of Bishops into a titter.” In his ludicrous distresses he sank into
such piteous pusilanimity that one almost pitied him. “When he debated any
matter by himself he would shut up his mouth with a dumb, studious pout,
and roll his full eye into a vacant amazement.”[750] He died in 1692,
leaving a fortune and an estate near Barnet.

But the great star of Portugal Street was Betterton, the Garrick of his
age. His most admired part was Hamlet; but Steele especially dilates on
his Othello. He acted his Hamlet from traditions handed down by Davenant
of Taylor, whom Shakspere himself is said to have instructed. Cibber says
that there was such enchantment in his voice alone that no one cared for
the sense of the words; and he adds, “I never heard a line in tragedy come
from Betterton wherein my judgment, my ear, and my imagination, were not
fully satisfied.” This great man, who created no fewer than 130
characters, was a friend of Dryden, Pope, and Tillotson. Kneller’s
portrait of him is at Knowle;[751] A copy of it by Pope is preserved in
Lord Mansfield’s gallery at Caen Wood. When he died, in 1710, Steele wrote
a “Tatler” upon him, in which he says “he laboured incessantly, and lived
irreproachably. He was the jewel of the English stage.” He killed himself
by driving back the gout in order to perform on his benefit night, and his
widow went mad from grief. Betterton acted as Colonel Jolly in Colman’s
“Cutter of Coleman Street,” as Jaffier in Otway’s _chef d’œuvre_, as fine
gentlemen in Congreve’s vicious but gay comedies, as a hero in Rowe’s
flatulent plays, and as Sir John Brute in Vanbrugh’s great comedy.

Mrs. Barry was one of the best actresses in Portugal Street. She was the
daughter of an old Cavalier colonel, and was instructed for the stage by
Rochester, whose mistress she became. Dryden pronounced her the best
actress he had ever seen. Her face and colour varied with each passion,
whether heroic or tender. “Her mien and motion,” says Cibber, “were superb
and gracefully majestic, her voice full, clear, and strong.” In scenes of
anger, defiance, or resentment, while she was impetuous and terrible, she
poured out the sentiment with an enchanting harmony. She was so versatile
that she played Lady Brute as well as Zara or Belvidera. For her King
James II. originated the custom of actors’ benefits. After a career of
thirty-eight years on the boards, she died at Acton in 1713. Kneller’s
picture represents her with beautiful eyes, fine hair drawn back from her
forehead, “the face full, fair, and rippling with intellect,”[752] but her
mouth a little awry.[753]

Mrs. Mountfort also appeared in Portugal Street before the two companies
united at Drury Lane in 1682. She was the best of male coxcombs, stage
coquettes, and country dowdies, a vivacious mimic, and of the most
versatile humour. Cibber sketches her admirably as Melantha in “Marriage à
la Mode:”--“She is a fluttering, finished impertinent, with a whole
artillery of airs, eyes, and motions. When the gallant recommended by her
father brings his letter of introduction, down goes her dainty diving body
to the ground, as if she were sinking under the conscious load of her own
attractions; then she launches into a flood of fine language and
compliment, still playing her chest forward in fifty falls, and rising
like a swan upon waving water; and to complete her impertinence, she is so
rapidly fond of her own wit that she will not give her lover leave to
praise it;[754] and at last she swims from him with a promise to return in
a twinkling.”

The virtuous, good, and discreet Mrs. Bracegirdle was another favourite in
Portugal Street. For her Congreve, who affected to be her lover, wrote his
Araminta and Cynthia, his Angelica, his Almeria, and his Millamant in “The
way of the world.” All the town was in love with her youth, cheerful
gaiety, musical voice, the happy graces of her manner, her dark eyes,
brown hair, and expressive, rosy-brown face. Her Statira justified Nat
Lee’s frantic Alexander for all his rant; and “when she acted Millamant,
all the faults, follies, and affectation of that agreeable tyrant were
venially melted down into so many charms and attractions of a conscious
beauty.” Mrs. Bracegirdle was on the stage from 1680 to 1707. She lived
long enough to warn Cibber against envy of Garrick, and died in 1748.

Three of Congreve’s plays, “Love for Love,” “The Mourning Bride,” and “The
Way of the World,” came out in Portugal Street. Steele, in the _Tatler_,
No. 1, mentions “Love for Love” as being acted for Betterton’s
benefit--Mrs. Barry, Mrs. Bracegirdle, and Doggett taking parts. He
describes the stage as covered with gentlemen and ladies, “so that when
the curtain was drawn it discovered even there a very splendid audience.”
“In Dryden’s time,” says Steele, “You used to see songs, epigrams, and
satires in the hands of every person you met [at the theatre]; now you
have only a pack of cards, and instead of the cavils about the turn of the
expression, the elegance of style and the like, the learned now dispute
only about the truth of the game.”

Poor Mountfort, the most handsome, graceful, and ardent of stage lovers,
the most admirable of courtly fops, and the best dancer and singer of the
day, strutted his little hour in Portugal Street till run through the body
by Lord Mohun’s infamous boon companion. His career extended from 1682 to
1695. He was only thirty-three when he died.

The last proprietor of the theatre was Rich, an actor who, failing in
tragedy, turned harlequin and manager, and became celebrated for producing
spectacles, ballets, and pantomimes. Under the name of Lun he revelled as
harlequin, and was admirable in a scene where he was hatched from an egg.

Pope, always sore about theatrical matters, describes this manager’s
pompousness in the _Dunciad_ (book iii.):--

                          “At ease
  ’Midst storm of paper fierce hail of pease,
  And proud his mistress’ order to perform,
  Rides in the whirlwind and directs the storm.”

Rich’s great success was the production of Gay’s _Beggars’ Opera_ in
1727-8. This piece brought £2000 to the author, and for a time drove the
Italian Opera into the shade. It ran sixty-three nights the first season,
and then spread to all the great towns in Great Britain. Ladies carried
about the favourite songs engraved on their fan-mounts, and they were also
printed on fire-screens and other furniture. Miss Lavinia Fenton, who
acted Polly, became the idol of the town; engravings of her were sold by
thousands: her life was written, and collections were made of her
jests.[755] Eventually she married the Duke of Bolton. Sir Robert Walpole
laughed at the satire against himself, and “Gay grew rich, and Rich gay,”
as the popular epigram went. Hogarth drew the chief scene with Walker as
Macheath, and Spiller as Mat o’ the Mint. Swift was vexed to find his
Gulliver for the time forgotten.

The custom of allowing young men of fashion to have chairs upon the stage
was an intolerable nuisance to the actors before Garrick. In 1721 it led
to a desperate riot at the Lincoln’s Inn Fields Theatre. Half-a-dozen
beaux, headed by a tipsy earl, were gathered round the wings, when the
earl reeled across the stage where Macbeth and his lady were then acting,
to speak to a boon companion at the opposite side. Rich the manager, vexed
at the interruption, forbade the earl the house, upon which the earl
struck Rich and Rich the earl. Half-a-dozen swords at once sprang out and
decreed that Rich must die; but Quin and his brother actors rushed to the
rescue with bare blades, charged the coxcombs, and drove them through the
stage-door into the kennel. The beaux returning to the front, rushed into
the boxes, broke the sconces, slashed the hangings, and threatened to burn
the house; upon which doughty Quin and a party of constables and watchmen
flung themselves on the rioters and haled them to prison. The actors,
intimidated, refused to re-open the house till the king granted them a
guard of soldiers, a custom that has not long been discontinued. It was
not till 1780 that the habit of admitting the vulgar, noisy, and turbulent
footmen gratis was abandoned.[756]

Macklin, afterwards the inimitable Shylock and Sir Pertinax, played small
parts at Lincoln’s Inn Fields Theatre till 1731, when a short speech as
Brazencourt, in Fielding’s “Coffee-house Politicians,” betrayed the true
actor. He lived till over a hundred, so long that he did not leave Covent
Garden till after Braham’s appearance, and Braham many of our elder
readers have seen.[757]

Macklin, an Irishman, and in early life a Dragoon officer, was irritable,
restless, and pugnacious; he obtained his first triumph at Drury Lane, as
Shylock in 1741. In stern malignity, no one has surpassed Macklin. His
acting was hard, but manly and weighty, though his features were rather
rigid. He naturally condemned Garrick’s action and gesture as
superabundant. His Sir Pertinax was excellent in its sly and deadly
suppleness. He was also admirable in Lovegold, Scrub, Peachem, Polonius,
and many Irish characters.

Quin was at Portugal Street as early as 1718-19. There he first “delighted
the town by his chivalry as Hotspur, his bluntness as Clytus, his
fieriness as Bajazet, his grandeur as Macbeth, his calm dignity as Brutus,
his unctuousness as Falstaff, his duplicity as Maskwell, and his coarse
drollery as Sir John Brute.”[758] It was just before this, that locked in
a room and compelled to fight, he had killed Bowen, who was jealous of his
acting as Bajazet. When Rich refused to give Quin more than £300 a year,
he joined the Drury Lane company, where he instantly got £500 per annum.

When Rich grew wealthy enough to hire a new theatre in Covent Garden, he
left Portugal Street. Almost the last play acted there was “The
Anatomist,” by Ravenscroft, a second-rate author of Dryden’s time.

The mob attributed the flight of Rich from the old theatre to the
appearance of a devil during the performance of the pantomime of
“Harlequin and Dr. Faustus,” a play in which demons abound. The
supernumerary spirit ascending by the roof instead of leaving by the door
with his paid companions, was believed to have so frightened manager Rich
that, taking the warning against theatrical profanity to heart, he never
had the courage to open the theatre again.[759] The legend is curious, as
it proves that even in 1732 the old Puritan horror of theatricals had not
quite died out, and that at that period the poorer part of the audience
was still ignorant enough to attribute mechanical tricks to supernatural
interference.

Garrick, in one of his prologues, speaks of Rich, under the name of Lun--

  “When Lun appeared with matchless art and whim,
  He gave the power of speech to every limb;
  Though masked and mute, convey’d his quick intent,
  And told in frolic gestures all he meant;
  But now the motley coat and sword of wood
  Require a tongue to make them understood.”

Every motion of Rich meant something. His “statue scene” and “catching the
butterfly” were moving pictures. His “harlequin hatched from an egg by
sun-heat” is highly spoken of; Jackson calls it “a masterpiece of dumb
show.” From the first chipping of the egg, his receiving of motion, his
feeling the ground, his standing upright, to his quick harlequin trip
round the broken egg, every limb had its tongue. Walpole says, “His
pantomimes were full of wit, and coherent, and carried on a story.” Yet
Rich was so ignorant that he called a ‘turban’ a ‘turbot,’ and an
‘adjective’ an ‘adjutant.’

Spiller, who died of apoplexy in Portugal Street, in 1729-30 as he was
playing in the “Rape of Proserpine,” was inimitable in old men. This was
the year that Quin played Macheath for his benefit, and Fielding brought
out his inimitable “Tom Thumb” at the Haymarket, to ridicule the bombast
of Thomson and Young.

King’s College Hospital, which occupies a large portion of the southern
side of Carey Street, is connected with the medical school of King’s
College, and is supported by voluntary contributions. For each guinea a
year a subscriber may recommend one in and two out patients. Contributors
acquire the same right for every donation of ten guineas. Annual
subscribers of three guineas, or donors of thirty guineas, are governors
of the hospital. The house is surrounded by a population of nearly 400,000
persons, of whom about 20,000 annually receive relief. In one year 363
poor married women have been attended in confinements at their own houses.

The last memorial of a gay generation, passed like last year’s swallows,
was a headstone that used to stand in the burial-ground belonging to St.
Clement’s, now the site of King’s College Hospital. The slab rose from
rank green grass that was sprinkled with dead cats, worn-out shoes, and
fragments of tramps’ bonnets; in summer it was half hid by a clump of
sunflowers.[760] It kept dimly alive the memory of Joe Miller, a taciturn
actor, in whose mouth Mottley, the poet put his volume of jokes that had
been raked from every corner of the town. Mottley was a place-seeker and a
writer of stilted tragedies and a bad comedy, for whose benefit night
Queen Caroline, wife of George II., condescended to sell tickets at her
own drawing-room.[761] Miller appears to have been an honest, and stupid
fellow, but some good sayings are embalmed in the rather coarse book which
bears his name. His portrait represents Joe as a broad-nosed man with
large saucer eyes, a big absurd mouth, and a look of comic stolid
surprise. He died in 1738, and the Jest Book was published the year after,
price one shilling.

Joe Miller made his first appearance on the stage in 1715, at Drury Lane,
in Farquhar’s comedy of “A trip to the Jubilee.” He also played Clodpole
in Betterton’s “Amorous Widow,” Sir H. Gubbin in Steele’s “Tender
Husband,” La Foole in Ben Jonson’s “Epicene,” and above all Sir Joseph
Whittol in Congreve’s “Old Bachelor.” Hogarth designed a benefit ticket
for this play. As Ben in “Love for Love,” Cibber cut out Joe Miller. In
1721 Joe opened a booth at Bartholomew Fair with Pinkethman. His last
great success was as the Miller in Dodsley’s farce of “The King and the
Miller of Mansfield.” Stephen Duck, the Wiltshire thresher, afterwards a
popular preacher, wrote his epitaph. Joe Miller’s monument is still
carefully preserved in one of the rooms in King’s College Hospital. John
Mottley, his editor, was the son of a Colonel Mottley, a Jacobite who
followed James into France. His son was placed in the Excise Office, and
grew up a place-hunter. He wrote a bad tragedy called “The Imperial
Captives,” and was promised a commissionership of wine licenses by Lord
Halifax, and a place in the Exchequer by Sir Robert Walpole, but received
nothing from either. He compiled the Jest-Book, it is said partly from the
recollection of the comedian’s conversations,[762] but it is doubtful if
this is true. The compilation (once so useful to diners-out) went through
three editions in 1739, and at about the thirteenth edition was reprinted,
after thirty years, by Barker, of Russell Street, Covent Garden.[763]

The Grange public-house close by, with its picturesque old courtyard, is
mentioned by Davenant, in his “Playhouse to Let,” as an inn patronised by
poets and actors.

The Black Jack public-house in Portsmouth Street was Joe Miller’s
favourite haunt. Some paintings on its walls still testify to the
occasional presence of artists of the last century. This inn used to be
called “The Jump,” from that adroit young scoundrel Jack Sheppard having
once jumped from one of its first-floor windows to escape the armed
emissaries of that still greater thief, the thief-taker, Mr. Jonathan
Wild.

When paviours dig deep under the Strand they find the fossil remains of
antediluvian monsters. A church in the street bears a name that carries us
back to the times of the Saxons and the Danes. In one lane there is a
Roman bath, in another there are the nodding gable-ends of houses at which
Beaumont and Fletcher may have looked, and which Shakspere and Ben Jonson
must have visited. So the Present is built out of the Past. The Strand
teems with associations of every period of history. The story of St.
Giles’s parish alone should embrace the whole records of London vagrancy.
The chronicle of Lincoln’s Inn Fields embraces reminiscences of half our
great lawyers. In the chapter on St. Martin’s Lane I have been glad to
note down some interesting incidents in the careers of many of our
greatest painters. Long Acre leads us to Dryden, Cromwell, Wilson, and
Stothard. At Charing Cross we have stopped to see how brave men can die
for a good cause.

A thorough history of our great city, considered in every aspect, would
almost be a condensed history of the world. I offer these pages to my
readers only as a humble contribution to the history of London.

[Illustration: THE BLACK JACK, PORTSMOUTH STREET, LINCOLN’S INN FIELDS.]

Our commercial wealth and the vastness of our maritime enterprise is shown
in nothing more than by the distance from which we fetch our commonest
articles of consumption--tea from China, sugar from the West Indies,
coffee from Ceylon, oil from the farthest nooks of Italy, chocolate from
Mexico. An Englishman need not be very rich in order to consume samples
of all these productions of different hemispheres at a single meal.

In the same manner many books of far-divided ages have gone to form the
patchwork of the present volume; I am like the merchant who sends his
ships to collect in different harbours, and across wide and adverse seas,
the materials that he needs. In this busy and overworked age there are
many persons who have no time themselves to make such voyages, no patience
to traverse such seas, even if they possessed the charts: it is for them I
have written, and it is from them I hope for some kind approval.



APPENDIX.

    “The West End seems to me one vast cemetery. Hardly a street but has
    in it a house once occupied by dear friends with whom I had daily
    intercourse: if I stopped and knocked now, who would know or take
    interest in me? _The streets to me are peopled with shadows: the city
    is as a city of the dead._”--SAMUEL ROGERS.


THE STRAND (SOUTH SIDE).--p. 25.

    “I often shed tears in the motley Strand for fulness of joy at such
    multitude of life.”--CHARLES LAMB’S _Letters_, vol. i.

The Strand is three-quarters of a mile long. Van de Wyngerede’s view,
1543, shows straggling houses on the south side, but on the north side all
is open to Covent Garden. There were three water-courses, crossed by
bridges. Haycock’s Ordinary, near Palsgrave Place, was much frequented in
the seventeenth century by Parliament men and town gallants. No. 217 was
the shop of Snow, a wealthy goldsmith who withstood the South Sea Bubble
without injury. Gay describes him during the panic with black pen behind
his ear. He says to Snow--

  “Thou stoodst (an Indian king in size and hue);
  Thy unexhausted shop was our Peru.”

The Robin Hood Debating Society held its meetings in Essex Street. Burke
spoke here, and Goldsmith was a member. The great Cottonian Library was
kept in Essex House from 1712 to 1730, on the site of the Unitarian
Chapel, built about 1774. Mr. Lindsey, Dr. Disney, Mr. Belsham
(Priestley’s successor) preached here, and after Mr. Belsham the Rev.
Thomas Madge. At George’s Coffee-house, now 213 Strand, Foote describes
the town wits meeting in 1751. Shenstone was a frequenter of this house,
and came here to read pamphlets--the subscription being one shilling. The
Grecian Coffee-house was used by Goldsmith and the Irish and Lancashire
Templars. Milford Lane was so named from an adjacent ford over the Thames.
A windmill stood near St. Mary’s Church, temp. James I. Sir Richard Baker,
the worthy old chronicler whom Sir Roger de Coverley so admired, lived in
this lane in 1632-9. The old houses were taken down in 1852. No. 191 was
the shop of William Godwin, bookseller, the author of _Caleb Williams_,
and the friend of Lamb and Shelley.--Strype mentions the Crown and Anchor
Tavern. Here, in 1710, was instituted the Academy of Ancient Music. Here,
on Fox’s birthday, in 1798, 2000 guests were feasted. Johnson and Boswell
occasionally supped here, and here the Royal Societies were held. In
Surrey Street, in a large garden-house at the east end fronting the river,
lived the Hon. Charles Howard, the eminent chemist who discovered the
process of sugar-refining _in vacuo_.

At No. 169, now the Strand Theatre, Barker, an artist, exhibited the
panorama--his own invention--suggested to him when sketching under an
umbrella on the Calton Hill. No. 217, now a branch of the London and
Westminster Bank, was formerly Paul, Strahan, and Bates’s,[764] who in
1858 disposed of their customers’ securities to the amount of £113,625,
and were sentenced to fourteen years’ penal servitude. The drinking
fountain opposite St. Mary’s Church is a product of a most useful
association. The first fountain erected under its auspices was opened in
April 1859, by Lord John Russell, Lord Carlisle, and Mr. Gurney.--At No.
147 was published the _Sphinx_, and Jan. 2, 1828, No. 1 of the _Athenæum_.
No. 149 is the shop once belonging to Mr. Mawe, the mineralogist, who was
succeeded by James Tennant, Professor of Mineralogy at King’s College. At
No. 132 Strand (site of Wellington Street), the first circulating library
in London was started by a Mr. Wright, in 1740. Opposite Southampton
Street, from 1686 to late in the last century, lived Vaillant, the eminent
foreign bookseller. No. 143 was the site of the first office of the
_Morning Chronicle_ (Perry succeeding Woodfall in 1789). Lord Campbell and
Hazlitt were theatrical critics to this paper. Mr. Dickens was a
parliamentary reporter, Mr. Serjeant Spankie an editor, Campbell the poet
a contributor. On Perry’s death, in 1821, it was purchased by Mr. Clement
for £42,000. The _Mirror_, the first cheap illustrated periodical was also
published at this office. At No. 1 lived Rudolph Ackermann, the German
printseller, who introduced lithography and annuals. He illuminated his
gallery when gas was a novelty. Aaron Hill was born in a dwelling on the
site of the present Beaufort House; Lord Clarendon lived here while his
unlucky western house was building; and here, in 1660, the Duke of York
married the chancellor’s daughter.

The York Buildings Water Company failed in 1731. Hungerford Hall and its
panoramic pictures were burnt in 1854. At No. 18 Strand, in 1776, the
elder Mathews the comedian was born; Dr. Adam Clarke and Rowland Hill used
to visit his father, who was a religious bookseller. No. 7 Craven Street
(Franklin’s old house) was long occupied by the Society for the Relief of
Persons imprisoned for Small Debts. In Northumberland Court, once known as
“Lieutenants’ Lodgings,” Nelson once lodged.


NORFOLK STREET.--p. 44.

Mr. Dickens has sketched Norfolk Street in his own inimitable way.
“Norfolk is a delightful street to lodge in, provided you don’t go lower
down (Mrs. Lirriper dates from No. 81); but of a summer evening, when the
dust and waste paper lie in it, and stray children play in it, and a kind
of gritty calm and bake settles on it, and a peal of church-bells is
practising in the neighbourhood, it is a trifle dull; and never have I
seen it since at such a time, and never shall I see it ever more at such a
time, without seeing the dull June evening when that forlorn young
creature sat at her open corner window on the second, and me at my open
corner window (the other corner) on the third.”[765]


THE STRAND THEATRE.--p. 53.

The Strand Theatre, No. 169, formerly called Punch’s Playhouse, was
altered in 1831 for Rayner, the low comedian, and Mrs. Waylett, the
singer. Here were produced many of Douglas Jerrold’s early plays. Under
Miss Swanborough’s management, Miss Marie Wilton, arch and witty as
Shakspere’s Maria, delighted the town. Here poor Rogers, now dead, was
inimitable in burlesque female characters.


THE SOMERSET COFFEE-HOUSE.--p. 56.

The bold and redoubtable Junius (now pretty well ascertained, after much
inkshed, to be Sir Philip Francis) occasionally left his letters for
Woodfall at the bar of the Somerset Coffee-house at the east corner of the
entrance to King’s College. His other houses of call were the bar of the
New Exchange, and now and then Munday’s in Maiden Lane.


SOMERSET HOUSE.--p. 56.

The School of Design, formerly located in Somerset House, was established
in 1857, under the superintendence of the Board of Trade, for the
improvement of ornamental art, with regard more especially to our staple
English manufactures. The school is now incorporated with the Science and
Art Schools at South Kensington, which have been established, under
Government, in connection with South Kensington Museum.


KING’S COLLEGE.--p. 56.

King’s College and School (to the latter of which the author owes some
gratitude for a portion of his education) form a proprietary institution
that occupies an east wing of Somerset House which was built to receive
it. The college was founded in 1828; its fundamental principle is, that
instruction in religion is an indispensable part of instruction, without
which knowledge “will be conducive neither to the happiness of the
individual nor the welfare of the State.” The college education is divided
into five departments:--1. Theology. 2. General Literature and Science. 3.
Applied Sciences. 4. Medicine. 5. The School. A certificate of good
conduct, signed by his last instructor, is required of each pupil on
entry. The age for admission is from nine to sixteen years. A limited
number of matriculated students can live within the walls. Each proprietor
can nominate two pupils--one to the school, and one to the college. The
museum once contained the celebrated calculating machine of the late Mr.
Charles Babbage. This scientific toy was given by the Commissioners of the
Woods and Forests. It is now at South Kensington. The collection of
mechanical models and philosophical instruments was formed by George III.
and presented to the college by Queen Victoria.


HELMET COURT.--p. 56.

Helmet Court-so called from the Helmet Inn-is over against Somerset House.
The inn is enumerated in a list of houses and taverns made in the reign of
James I.[766] When the King of Denmark came to see his daughter, he was
lodged in Somerset House, and new kitchen-ranges were set up at the Helmet
and the Swan at the expense of the Crown. Henry Condell, a fellow-actor
with Shakspere, left his houses in Helmet Court to “Elizabeth, his
well-beloved wife.”[767]


BEAUFORT BUILDINGS.--p. 83.

Charles Dibdin, born 1745, the author of 1300 songs, gave his musical
entertainments at the Lyceum, and at Scott and Idle’s premises in the
Strand. Latterly, assisted by his pupils, he conducted public musical
soirees at Beaufort Buildings.


COUTTS’S BANK.--p. 86.

Mr. Coutts died in 1822. He was a pallid, sickly, thin old gentleman, who
wore a shabby coat and a brown scratch-wig.[768] He was once stopped in
the street by a good-natured man, who insisted on giving him a guinea. The
banker, however, declined the present with thanks, saying he was in no
“immediate want.” Miss Harriet Mellon first appeared at Drury Lane in
1795, as Lydia Languish. Mr. Coutts married Miss Mellon in 1815. She made
her last appearance at Drury Lane, early in the same year, as Audrey. She
left the bulk of her fortune to Miss Angela Burdett-Coutts, whose gold the
_Morning Herald_ once computed at 13 tons, or 107 flour-sacks full. The
sum, £1,800,000, was the exact sum also left by old Jemmy Wood of
Gloucester. Counting a sovereign a minute, it would take ten weeks to
count; and placed sovereign to sovereign, it would reach 24 miles 260
yards.

Coutts’s Bank was founded by George Middleton. Till Coutts’s time it stood
near St. Martin’s Church. Good-natured Gay banked there, and afterwards
Dr. Johnson, Sir Walter Scott, and the Duke of Wellington. The Royal
Family have banked at Coutts’s ever since the reign of Queen Anne.


THE DARK ARCHES.--p. 97.

“The Adelphi arches, many of which are used for cellars and coal-wharfs,
remind one in their grim vastness,” says Mr. Timbs, “of the Etruscan
Cloaca of old Rome.” Beneath the “dry arches” the most abandoned
characters used to lurk; outcasts and vagrants came there to sleep, and
many a street thief escaped from his pursuers in those subterranean haunts
before the introduction of gas-light and a vigilant police. Mr. Egg, that
tragic painter, placed the scene of one of his most pathetic pictures by
this part of what was once the river-bank.


SOCIETY OF ARTS.--p. 99.

Lord Folkestone and Mr. Shipley founded the Society of Arts, at a meeting
at Rawthmell’s Coffee-house, in Catharine Street, in March 1754. It was
proposed to give rewards for the discovery of cobalt and the cultivation
of madder in England. Premiums were also to be given for the best drawings
to a certain number of boys and girls under the age of sixteen. The first
prize, £15, was adjudged by the society to Cosway, then a boy of fifteen.
The society was initiated in Crane Court; from thence it removed to
Craig’s Court, Charing Cross; from there to the Strand, opposite Beaufort
Buildings; and from thence, in 1774, to the Adelphi.

The subjects of Barry’s six pictures in the Council Room are the following
(beginning on the left as you enter):--1. “Orpheus.” The figure of Orpheus
and the heads of the two reclining women are thought fine. 2. “A Grecian
Harvest Home” (the best of the series). 3. “Crowning the Victors at
Olympia.” 4. “Commerce, or the Triumph of the Thames.” (Dr. Burney, the
composer, is composedly floating among tritons and sea-nymphs in his grand
tie-wig and queue.) 5. “The Distribution of Premiums by the Society of
Arts.” (This picture contains a portrait of Dr. Johnson, for which he
sat.) 6. “Elysium, or the State of Final Retribution.”

Barry did pretty well with this work, which occupied him from 1777 to
1783. The society gave him £300 and a gold medal, and also £500, the
profit of two exhibitions-total, £800.

In 1776 the society had proposed to the Academy to decorate the Council
Room, and be reimbursed by the exhibition of the works. Reynolds and the
rest refused, but Barry soon afterwards obtained permission to execute the
whole, stipulating to be paid for his colours and models. Barry at the
time had only sixteen shillings in his pocket. During the progress of the
work the painter, being in want, applied for a small subscription through
Sir George Savile, but in vain. An insolent secretary even objected to his
charge for colours and models. The society afterwards relented and
advanced £100. Barry died poor, neglected, and half crazy, in 1806, aged
sixty-five.

The Adelphi Rooms contain three poor statues (Mars, Venus, and Narcissus)
by Bacon, R.A., a portrait of Lord Romney by Reynolds, and a full-length
portrait of Jacob, Lord Folkestone, the first president, by Gainsborough.
In the ante-room, in a bad light, hangs a characteristic likeness of poor,
wrongheaded Barry. The pictures are to be seen between ten and four any
day but Wednesday and Saturday. The society meets every Wednesday at eight
from October 31 to July 31.

In the Council Room, that parade-ground of learned men, Goldsmith once
made an attempt at a speech, but was obliged to sit down in confusion. Dr.
Johnson once spoke there on “Mechanics,” “with a propriety, perspicuity,
and energy which excited general admiration.”[769]

Jonas Hanway, that worthy old Russian merchant, when he came to see
Barry’s pictures, insisted on leaving a guinea instead of the customary
shilling. The Prince of Wales gave Barry sittings. Timothy Hollis left him
£100. Lord Aldborough declared that the painter had surpassed Raphael.
Lord Romney gave him 100 guineas for a copy of one of the heads, and Dr.
Johnson praised the “grasping mind” in the six pictures.[770]


DUCHY OF LANCASTER.--p. 110.

The Duchy of Lancaster is a liberty (whatever that means) in the Strand.
It belongs to the Crown, the Queen being “Duchess of Lancaster.” It begins
without Temple Bar and runs as far as Cecil Street. The annual revenue of
the duchy is about £75,000.


WATERLOO BRIDGE.--p. 124.

Hood’s exquisite poem, “The Bridge of Sighs,” appeared in “Hood’s
Magazine” in May 1844. The poet’s son informs me that he believes that the
poem was not suggested by any special incident, but that a great many
suicides had been reported in the papers about that time.

  “The bleak wind of _March_
  Made her tremble and shiver”

marks the date of the writing,

  “But not the dark arch
  Of the black flowing river.”

The dark arch is that of Waterloo Bridge, a spot frequently selected by
unfortunate women who meditate suicide, on account of its solitude and
privacy.


YORK HOUSE.--p. 135.

After the death of Buckingham, York House was entrusted to the
guardianship of that Flemish adventurer and quack in art, Sir Balthasar
Gerbier, who here quarrelled and would have fought with Gentilleschi, a
Pisan artist who had been invited over by Charles I., and of whom he was
intolerably jealous. Some of Gentilleschi’s work is still preserved at
Marlborough House. The York Buildings Waterworks Company was started in
the 27th year of Charles II. In 1688 there were forty-eight shares. After
the Scotch rebellion in 1715, the company invested large sums in
purchasing forfeited estates, which no Scotchman would buy. The concern
became bankrupt. The residue of the Scotch estates was sold in 1783 for
£102,537.[771]


BUCKINGHAM STREET.--p. 135.

It is always pleasant to recall any scenes on which the light of Mr.
Dickens’s fancy has even momentarily rested. It was to Buckingham Street
that Mr. David Copperfield went with his aunt to take chambers commanding
a view of the river. They were at the top of the house, very near the
fire-escape, with a half-blind entry and a stone-blind pantry.[772]


HUNGERFORD BRIDGE.--p. 138.

The Hungerford Suspension Bridge was purchased in 1860 by a company of
gentlemen, and used in the construction of the bridge across the Avon at
Clifton. This aerial roadway has a span of 703 feet, and is built at the
height of 245 feet. It cost little short of £100,000. A bridge at Clifton
was first suggested in 1753 by Alderman Vick of Bristol, who left a
nest-egg of £1000. The bridge was completed and opened in 1864.


THE GAIETY THEATRE, STRAND (NORTH SIDE).--p. 147.

This elegant and well-appointed theatre, near the corner of Wellington
Street, was built in 1868, from the designs of Mr. C. J. Phillips. It
occupies the site of the Strand Music Hall, a large building which had
been erected in the place of an arcade which the late Lord Exeter had
built here in order to resuscitate the glories of old Exeter ’Change. Both
the arcade and music hall proved disastrous failures, whilst the Gaiety
Theatre, on the other hand, has turned out immensely successful, under the
management of Mr. John Hollingshead.


THE STRAND (NORTH SIDE).--p. 147.

Sir John Denham, the poet, when a student at Lincoln’s Inn, in 1638, in a
drunken frolic blotted out with ink all the Strand signs from Temple Bar
to Charing Cross.

In a house in Butcher Row, Winter, Catesby, Wright, and Guy Fawkes met and
took the sacrament together. Raleigh’s widow lived in Boswell Court, and
also Lord Chief Justice Lyttelton and Sir Richard and Lady Fanshawe; and
in Clement’s Lane resided Sir John Trevor, cousin to Judge Jeffries and
Speaker to the House of Commons. Dr. Johnson’s pew at St. Clement’s is No.
18 in the north gallery; Dr. Croly put up a tablet to his memory. The
_Tatler_, 1710, announces a stage-coach from the One Bell in the Strand
(No. 313) to Dorchester.

No. 317 was the forge kept by the Duchess of Albemarle’s father, and it
faced the Maypole; Aubrey describes it as the corner shop, the first
turning to the right as you come out of the Strand into Drury Lane. Dr.
King died at No. 332, once the _Morning Chronicle_ office. The New Exeter
Change--the site of which is now covered by the Gaiety Theatre and
Restaurant--was designed by Sydney Smirke, with Jacobean frontage. East of
Exeter Change stood the Canary House, mentioned by Dryden as famous for
its sack with the “abricot” flavour. Pepys mentions Cary House, probably
the same place. At No. 352 was born, in 1798, Henry Neale the poet, son of
the map and heraldic engraver. In Exeter Change No. 1 of the _Literary
Gazette_ was published, January 25, 1817. Old Parr lodged at No. 405, the
Queen’s Head public-house. No. 429, built for an insurance office by Mr.
Cockerell, has a fine façade. At No. 448 is the Electric Telegraph Office;
the time signal-ball, liberated by a galvanic current sent from Greenwich,
falls exactly at one, and drops ten feet. The old Golden Cross Hotel stood
farther west than the present. The Lowther Arcade, designed by Witherden
Young, is 245 feet long and 20 feet broad. Here the electric eel and
Perkin’s steam-gun were exhibited about 1838. In 1832 a Society for the
Exhibition of Models had been formed here. In 1831 the skeleton of a whale
was exhibited in a tent in Trafalgar Square; it was 98 feet long, and
Cuvier had estimated it to be nearly a thousand years old.

It should be added that for most of the facts in this note the author is
indebted to that treasure-house of topographical anecdote, _Curiosities of
London_, by J. Timbs, Esq., F.S.A., a book displaying an almost boundless
industry.


THE CROWN AND ANCHOR TAVERN.--p. 152.

The Crown and Anchor Tavern, at the corner of Arundel Street, was for some
years the Whittington Club. Before the alterations it had an entrance from
the Strand, which is now closed, its door being now in Arundel Street.
Douglas Jerrold was one of the earliest promoters of this club, which was
much used by young men of business. In 1873, after having been closed for
some time, it was re-opened as the Temple Club. The King of Clubs was
started about 1801 by Mr. Robert (Bobus) Smith, brother of Sydney, a
friend of Canning’s, and Advocate-General of Calcutta. It sat every
Saturday at the Crown and Anchor Tavern, at that time famous for its
dinners and wine, and a great resort for clubs. Politics were excluded.
One of the chief members was Mr. Richard Sharpe, a partner in a West India
house, and a Parliamentary speaker during Addington’s and Perceval’s
administrations. Mackintosh, Scarlett, Rogers the poetical banker, John
Allen, and M. Dumont, an emigré and friend of the Abbé de Lisle, were also
members. Erskine, too, often dropped in to spend an hour stolen from his
immense and overflowing business. He there told his story of Lord
Loughborough trying to persuade him not to take Tom Paine’s brief. He once
met Curran there. A member of the club describes the ape’s face of the
Irish orator, with the sunken and diminutive eyes that flashed lightning
as he compared poor wronged Ireland to “Niobe palsied with sorrow and
despair over her freedom, and her prosperity struck dead before her.”[773]


WYCH STREET.--p. 164.

“In a horrible little court, branching northward from Wych Street,” writes
Mr. Sala, in an essay written in America, “good old George Cruikshank once
showed me the house where Jack Sheppard, the robber and prison-breaker,
served his apprenticeship to Mr. Wood, the carpenter; and on a beam in the
loft of this house Jack is said to have carved his name. * * * Theodore
Hook used to say that “he never passed through Wych Street in a
hackney-coach without being blocked up by a hearse and a coal waggon in
the van, and a mud-cart and the Lord Mayor’s carriage in the rear.”


NEWSPAPER OFFICES.--p. 167.

It is almost impossible to enumerate all the Strand newspaper offices,
present and past. It is, perhaps, sufficient to mention _The Spectator_ (a
very able paper,--office in Waterloo Place); _The London Journal_ (a
cheap, well-conducted paper with an enormous circulation); _The Family
Herald_ (the house formerly of Mr. Leigh, bookseller, a relation of the
elder Mathews, and the first introducer of the _Guides_ that Mr. Murray
has now rendered so complete); _The Illustrated Times_, _The Morning
Post_, _Notes and Queries_, _The Queen_, _Law Times_, _Athenæum_, and
_Field_ (in Wellington Street); _Bell’s Life_, _The Globe_, _Bell’s
Messenger_, _The Observer_, and lastly, _The Pall Mall Gazette_, and _The
Saturday Review_.


THE BEEF-STEAK CLUB.--p. 172.

Bubb Doddington, Aaron Hill, “Leonidas” Glover, Sir Peere Williams (a
youth of promise, shot at the siege of Belleisle), Hoadly, and the elder
Colman (the author of _The Suspicious Husband_), were either guests or
members of this illustrious club, whose origin dates back to Rich’s days
in 1735. Then came the days of Lord Sandwich, Wilkes, Bonnell Thornton,
Arthur Murphy, Churchill, and Tickell. In 1785 the Prince of Wales
(afterwards George IV.) became the twenty-fifth member.

Churchill resigned when the club began to receive him coldly after his
desertion of his wife. Wilkes never visited the club after the
contemptuous rejection of his infamous poem, the _Essay on Woman_. Garrick
was a great ornament of the club; he once dined there dressed in the
character of Ranger. Little Serjeant Prime was another club celebrity of
that period. An anonymous writer describes a meeting of the club in or
about 1799. There were present John Kemble, Cobb of the India House, the
Duke of Clarence, Sir John Cox Hippisley, Charles Morris (the writer of
our best convivial songs), Ferguson of Aberdeen, Mingay, and the Duke of
Norfolk. As the clock struck five, a curtain drew up, discovering the
kitchen through a gridiron grating, over which was inscribed this motto--

  “If it were done, when ’tis done, then ’twere well
  It were done quickly.”

The Duke of Norfolk ate at least three steaks, and then when the cloth was
removed, took the chair on a dais, elevated some steps above the table,
and above which hung the small cocked-hat in which Garrick played Ranger,
and other insignia of the society. He was also invested with an orange
ribbon, to which a silver gridiron was appended. The sound motto “Beef and
Liberty” is inscribed on the buttons of the members. It is the duty of the
junior member at this club to bring up the wine. The writer before quoted
describes seeing Lord Brougham and the Duke of Leinster performing this
subordinate duty. Sir John Hippisley was the man who Windham used to say
was very _nearly_ a clever fellow. Cobb was the author of “First Floor” (a
farce) and of three comic operas--“The Haunted Tower,” “The Siege of
Belgrade,” and “Ramah Drûg.” To the two former Storace set his finest
music.

“Captain” Morris, the author of those delightful songs, “The Town and
Country Life” and “When the Fancy-stirring Bowl wakes the Soul to
Pleasure,” used to brew punch and “out-watch the Bear” at this club till
after his seventy-eighth year. The Duke of Norfolk, at Kemble’s
solicitation, gave the veteran bard a pleasant little Sabine retreat near
Dorking. Jack Richards, the presbyter of the club, was famous for
inflicting long verbal harangues on condemned social culprits.

Another much respected member was old William Linley, Sheridan’s
brother-in-law; nor must we forget Richard Wilson, Lord Eldon’s secretary,
and Mr. Walsh, who had been in early life valet to Lord Chesterfield. The
club secretary, in 1828, was Mr. Henry Stephenson, comptroller to the Duke
of Sussex; and about this time also flourished, either as guests or
members, Lord Viscount Kirkwall, Rowland Stephenson the banker, and Mr.
Denison, then M.P. for Surrey.[774]

A literary friend tells me that the last time he saw Mr. Thackeray was one
evening in Exeter Street. The eminent satirist of snobs was peering about
for the stage door of the Lyceum Theatre, or some other means of entrance
to the Beef-steak Club, with whose members he had been invited to dine.


EXETER CHANGE.--p. 175.

Thomas Clark, “the King of Exeter Change,” took a cutler’s stall here in
1765 with £100 lent him by a stranger. By trade and thrift he grew so rich
that he once returned his income at £6000 a year, and before his death in
1816 he rented the whole ground-floor of the Change. He left nearly half a
million of money, and one of his daughters married Mr. Hamlet, the
celebrated jeweller. Some of the old materials of Exeter House, including
a pair of large Corinthian columns at the east end, were used in building
the Change, which was the speculation of a Dr. Barbon, in the reign of
William and Mary.


TRAFALGAR SQUARE.--p. 221.

The fountains were constructed in 1845, after designs from Sir Charles
Barry.

Morley’s Hotel (1 to 3 at the south-east corner) is much frequented by
American travellers, who may be seen on summer evenings calmly smoking
their cigars outside the chief entrance. The late proprietor, who died a
few years since, left nearly a hundred thousand pounds to the Foundling
and other charities.


THE UNION CLUB.--p. 226.

The Union Club House, which stands on the south-west of Trafalgar Square
and faces Cockspur Street, was built by Sir Robert Smirke, R.A. The club,
consisting of 1000 members, has been in existence forty-four years; its
expenditure is about £10,000 a year. Its trustees are the Earl of
Lonsdale, Viscount Gage, Lord Trimleston, and Sir John Henry Lowther,
Bart. The entrance money is thirty guineas, the annual subscription six
guineas. Mr. Peter Cunningham, writing in 1849, describes the club as “the
resort chiefly of mercantile men of eminence;” but its present members are
of all the professions.


DRUMMOND’S BANK.--p. 227.

This bank is older than Coutts’s. Pope banked there. The Duke of
Sutherland and many of the Scottish nobility bank there.


ST. MARTIN’S LANE.--p. 252.

Roger Payne was a celebrated bookbinder in Duke’s Court, St. Martin’s
Lane, London. This ingenious artist, a native of Windsor Forest, was born
in 1739, and first became initiated into the rudiments of his business
under the auspices of Mr. Pote, bookseller to Eton College. On settling in
the metropolis, about the year 1766, he worked for a short time for Thomas
Osborne, bookseller in Holborn, but principally for _honest_ Thomas Payne,
of the Mews Gate, who, although of the same name, was not related to him.
His talents as an artist, particularly in the finishing department, were
of the first order, and such as, up to his time, had not been developed by
any other of his countrymen. “Roger Payne,” says Dr. Dibdin, “rose like a
star, diffusing lustre on all sides, and rejoicing the hearts of all true
sons of bibliomania.” He succeeded in executing binding with such artistic
taste as to command the admiration and patronage of many noblemen. His
_chef-d’œuvre_ is a large paper copy of Æschylus, translated by the Rev.
Robert Potter, the ornaments and decorations of which are most splendid
and classical. The binding of this book cost Earl Spencer fifteen guineas.

It was by his artistic talents alone that Roger Payne became so celebrated
in his day; for, owing to his excessive indulgence in strong ale, he was
in person a deplorable specimen of humanity. As evidence of this
propensity, his account-book contains the following memorandum of one
day’s expenditure: “For bacon, one halfpenny; for liquor, one shilling.”
Even his trade bills are literary curiosities in their way, and frequently
illustrate his unfortunate propensity. On one delivered to Mr. Evans for
binding Barry’s work on _The Wines of the Ancients_, he wrote:--

  “Homer the bard, who sung in highest strains,
  Had, festive gift, a goblet for his pains:
  Falernian gave Horace, Virgil fire,
  And barley-wine my British muse inspire;
  Barley-wine, first from Egypt’s learned shore,
  Be this the gift to me from Calvert’s store!”

During the latter part of his life, as might have been expected, Roger
Payne was the victim of poverty and disease. He closed his earthly career
at his residence in Duke’s Court on Nov. 20, 1787, and was interred in the
burial-ground of St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields, at the expense of his worthy
patron, Mr. Thomas Payne. This excellent man had also a portrait taken and
engraved of his namesake at his work in his miserable den, under which Mr.
Bindley wrote the following lines:--

    “ROGERUS PAYNE: Natus Vindesor. MDCCXXXIX.; denatus Londin.
    MDCCLXXXVII. Effigiem hanc graphicam solertis BIBLIOPEGI Μνημόσυνον
    meritis BIBLIOPOLA dedit. Sumptibus Thomæ Payne. [Etch’d and published
    by S. Harding, No. 127 Pall Mall, March 1, 1800.”][775]


HEMINGS’ ROW.--p. 252.

Hemings’ Row, St. Martin’s Lane, was originally called Dirty Lane.[776]
The place probably derived its name from John Hemings, an apothecary
living there in 1679. Peter Cunningham writes in 1849: “Upon an old wooden
house at the west end of this street, near the second-floor window, is the
name given above, and the date 1680.”[777]


BEDFORDBURY.--p. 261.

Mr. James Payne, a bookseller of Bedfordbury (perhaps the son of Thomas
Payne), died in Paris in 1809. Mr. Burnet describes him as remarkable for
amenity as for probity and learning. Repeated journeys to Italy, France,
and Germany had enabled him to collect a great number of precious MSS. and
rare first editions, most of which went to enrich Lord Spencer’s
library--the most splendid collection ever made by a private person.[778]


EARL OF BRISTOL.--p. 264.

Digby, Earl of Bristol, whom Pepys accuses of losing King Charles his head
by breaking off the treaty of Uxbridge, lived in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. His
second daughter, Lady Ann, married the evil Earl of Sutherland. It was
Bristol who was base enough to impeach Lord Clarendon for selling Dunkirk
and making Charles marry a barren queen. Burnet describes the earl as
having become a Roman Catholic in order to be qualified for serving under
Don John in Flanders. He was an astrologer,[779] and had the impudence to
tell the king he was in danger from his brother. He renounced his new
religion openly at Wimbledon,[780] and then fled to France.


WILD HOUSE.--p. 277.

Wild House, Drury Lane, was formerly the town mansion of the Welds of
Lulworth Castle. Short’s Gardens were so called from Dudley Short, Esq.,
who had a mansion here with fine gardens in the reign of Charles II. In
Parker Street, Philip Parker, Esq., had a mansion in 1623.


CRAVEN HOUSE, DRURY LANE.--p. 292.

Pepys frequently mentions Lord Craven as attending the meetings at the
Trinity House upon Admiralty business. The old veteran, whom he
irreverently calls “a coxcomb,” complimented him on several occasions upon
his popularity with the Duke of York. Pennant says that Lord Craven and
the Duke of Albemarle “heroically stayed in town during the dreadful
pestilence, and, at the hazard of their lives, preserved order in the
midst of the terrors of the time.”[781] This fine old Don Quixote happened
to be on duty at St. James’s when William’s Dutch troops were coming
across the park to take possession. Lord Craven would have opposed their
entrance, but his timid master forbidding him to resist, he marched away
“with sullen dignity.” The date of the sale of the pest-houses should be
1722, not 1772.


DRURY LANE.--p. 299.

In the Regency time, and before, Drury Lane was what the Haymarket is now.
Oyster shops, low taverns, and singing-rooms of the worst description
surrounded the theatre. One of the worst of these, even down to our own
times, was “Jessop’s” (“The Finish”)--a great resort of low
prize-fighters, gamblers, sporting men, swindlers, spendthrifts, and
drunkards. “_H.’s_” (I veil the infamous name), described in a MS. of
Horace Walpole, is now a small, dingy theatrical tailor’s, and in the
besmirched back-shop shreds of gilding and smears of colour still show
where Colonel Hanger knocked off the heads of champagne bottles, and
afterwards, Lord Waterford and such “bloods” squandered their money and
their health.


THE SAVAGE CLUB.--p. 303.

The Savage Club, which was started at the Crown Tavern in Drury Lane, and
then removed to rooms next the Lyceum, and said to have been those once
occupied by the Beef-steak Club, is now moored at Evans’s Hotel, Covent
Garden. The name of the club has a duplex signification; it refers to
Richard Savage the poet, and also to the Bohemian freedom of its members.
It includes in its number no small share of the literary talent of the
London newspaper and dramatic world.


CLARE MARKET.--p. 339.

Denzil Street was so called by the Earl of Clare in 1682, in memory of his
uncle Denzil, Lord Holles, who died 1679-80. He was one of the five
members of Parliament whom Charles I. so despotically and so unwisely
attempted to seize. The inscription on the south-west wall of the street
was renewed in 1796.


STREET CHARACTERS.--p. 381.

It would be impossible to recapitulate the street celebrities from
Hogarth’s time to the present day which St. Giles’s has harboured. A
writer in _Notes and Queries_ mentions a man who used to sell dolls’
bedsteads, and who was always said to have been the king’s evidence
against the Cato Street conspirators. Charles Lamb describes, in his own
inimitable way, an old sailor without legs who used to propel his
mutilated body about the streets on a wooden framework supported on
wheels. He was said to have been maimed during the Gordon riots. But I
have now myself to add to the list the most remarkable relic of all. There
is (1868?) to be seen any day in the London streets a gaunt grey-haired
old blind beggar, with hard strongly-marked features and bushy eyebrows.
This is no less a person than Hare the murderer, who years ago aided Burke
in murdering poor mendicants and houseless people in Edinburgh, and
selling their bodies to the surgeons for dissection. Hare, a young man
then, turned king’s evidence and received a pardon. He came to London with
his blood money, and entered himself as a labourer under an assumed name
at a tannery in the suburbs. The men discovering him, threw the wretch
into a steeping-pit, from which he escaped, but with loss of both eyes.


THE SEVEN DIALS.--p. 385.

Evelyn describes going (Oct. 5, 1694) to see the seven new streets in St.
Giles’s, then building by Mr. Neale, who had introduced lotteries in
imitation of those of Venice. The Doric column was removed in July 1773,
in the hope of finding a sum of money supposed to be concealed under the
base. The search was ineffectual; the pillar now ornaments the common at
Weybridge. Gay describes Seven Dials, in his own pleasant, inimitable way
(circa 1712).

  “Where fam’d St. Giles’s ancient limits spread,
  An inrailed column rears its lofty head,
  Here to seven streets seven dials count the day,
  And from each other catch the circling ray;
  Here oft the peasant, with inquiring face,
  Bewildered trudges on from place to place;
  He dwells on every sign with stupid gaze,
  Enters the narrow alley’s doubtful maze,
  Tries every winding court and street in vain,
  And doubles o’er his weary steps again.”[782]

Martinus Scriblerus is supposed to have been born in Seven Dials. Horace
Walpole describes the progress of family portraits from the drawing-room
to the parlour, from the parlour to the counting-house, from the
housekeeper’s room to the garret, and from thence to flutter in rags
before a broker’s shop in the Seven Dials.[783] Here Taylor laid the scene
of “Monsieur Tonson.”

  “Be gar! there’s Monsieur Tonson come again!”

The celebrated Mr. Catnach, the printer of street ballads, lived in Seven
Dials. He died about 1847.


STREETS IN ST. GILES’S.--p. 385.

In Dyot Street lived Curll’s “Corinna,” Mrs. Elizabeth Thomas, and her
mother.[784] At the Black Horse and Turk’s Head public-houses in this
street, those wretches Haggerty and Holloway, in November 1802, planned
the murder of Mr. Steele on Hounslow Heath, and here they returned after
the perpetration of the crime. At the execution of these murderers at the
Old Bailey, in 1807, twenty-eight persons were trampled to death. The
street was immortalised by a song in _Bombastes Furioso_, an excellent and
boisterous burlesque tragic opera, written by William Barnes Rhodes, a
clerk in the Bank of England. Bainbridge and Breckridge Streets, St.
Giles’s, now no more, were built prior to 1672, and derived their names
from the owners, eminent parishioners in the reign of Charles II. Dyot
Street was inhabited as late as 1803 by Philip Dyot, Esq., a descendant of
Richard Dyot, from whom it derived its name. In 1710 there was a
“Mendicants’ Convivial Club” held at the Welsh’s Head in this street. The
club was founded in 1660, when its meetings were held at the Three Crowns
in the Poultry. Denmark Street was probably built in 1689. Zoffany lived
at No. 9. Bunbury, the caricaturist, laid the scene of his “Sunday Evening
Conversation” in this street. In July 1771 Sir John Murray, the
Pretender’s secretary, was carried off in a coach from his house near St.
Giles’s Church by armed men.[785]


SAINT GILES.--p. 385.

This saint has some scurvy worshippers. Pierce Egan, in his _Life in
London_ (1820), afterwards dramatised, describes the thieves’ kitchens and
beggars’ revels, which men about town in those days thought it “the
correct thing,” as the slang goes, to see and share. “The Rookery” was a
triangular mass of buildings, bounded by Bainbridge, George, and High
Streets. It was swept away by New Oxford Street. The lodgings were
threepence a night. Sir Henry Ellis, in 1813, counted seventeen
horse-shoes nailed to thresholds in Monmouth Street as antidotes against
witches. Jews preponderate in this unsavoury street. Mr. Henry Mayhew
describes a conversation with a St. Giles’s poet who wrote Newgate
ballads, Courvousier’s Lamentation, and elegies. He was paid one shilling
each for them. A parliamentary report of 1848 describes Seven Dials as in
a degraded state. “Vagrants, thieves, sharpers, scavengers, basket-women,
charwomen, army seamstresses, and prostitutes, compose its mass. Infidels,
chartists, socialists, and blasphemers have their head-quarters there.
There are a hundred and fifty shops open on the Sunday. The ragged-school
there is badly situated and uninviting.” Mr. Albert Smith says gin shops
are the only guides in “the dirty labyrinth” of the Seven Dials. The
author once accompanied a Scripture-reader to some of the lowest and
poorest courts and alleys of St. Giles’s. In one bare room, he remembers,
on an earth floor, sat a blind beggar waiting for the return of his boy, a
sweeper, who had been sent out to a street-crossing to try and earn some
bread. In another room there was a poor old lonely woman who had made a
pet of an immense ram. We ended our tour by visiting an Irishwoman who had
been converted from “Popery.” While we were there, some Irish boys
surrounded the house and shouted in at the key-hole, threatening to
denounce her to the priest. When we emerged from this den we were received
with a shower of peculiarly hard small potatoes, a penance which the
author bore somewhat impatiently, while the Scripture-reader, who seemed
accustomed to such rough compliments, took the blows like an early
Christian martyr.


LINCOLN’S INN HALL.--p. 398.

In 1800 or 1801 Mackintosh delivered lectures in the old Lincoln’s Inn
Hall on the “Laws of Nature and Nations.” They were attended by Canning,
Lord Liverpool, and a brilliant audience. They contained a panegyric on
Grotius. In style Mackintosh was measured and monotonous--of the school of
Robertson and Gilbert Stuart. He made one mistake in imputing the doctrine
of the association of ideas to Hobbes, which Coleridge corrected. He
refuted the theories of Godwin in a masterly way.[786]


SERLE STREET, LINCOLN’S INN FIELDS.--p. 401.

This street derived its name from a Mr. Henry Serle, who died intestate
circa 1690, much in debt, and with lands heavily mortgaged. He purchased
the property from the executors of Sir John Birkenhead, the conductor of
the Royalist paper, _Mercurius Aulicus_, during the Civil War, a writer
whose poetry Lawes set to music, and who died in 1679. New Square was
formerly called Serle’s Court, and the arms of Serle are over the Carey
Street gateway. The second edition of _Barnaby’s Journal_ was printed in
1716, for one Illidge, under Serle’s Gate, Lincoln’s Inn, New Square.[787]
Addison seems to have visited Serle’s Coffee-house, to study from some
quiet nook the “humours” of the young barristers. There is a letter extant
from Akenside, the poet, addressed to Jeremiah Dyson, that excellent
friend and patron who defended him from the attacks of Warburton at
Serle’s Coffee-house.


CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE SOCIETY.--p. 414.

The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, now at 66 Lincoln’s Inn
Fields, had apartments in 1714 at No. 6 Serle’s Court. This society was
founded by Dr. Bray and four friends on the 8th of March 1699, and it
celebrated its third jubilee, or 150th anniversary, in 1849. The society
assists schools and colonial churches, and is said to have distributed
more than a hundred millions of Bibles and Prayer-books since its
foundation.


THE SOANE MUSEUM.--p. 424.

The following squib is said to have been placed under the plates at an
Academic dinner:--

  “THE MODERN GOTH.

  “Glory to thee, great artist soul of taste
  For mending pigsties where a plank’s displaced,
  Whose towering genius plans from deep research
  Houses and temples fit for Master Birch
  To grace his shop on that important day
  When huge twelfth-cakes are raised in bright array.
  Each pastry pillar shows thy vast design;
  Hail! then, to thee, and all great works of thine.
  Come, let me place thee in the foremost rank
  With him whose dulness discomposed the Bank.”

The writer then, apostrophising Wren, adds--

  “Oh, had he lived to see thy blessed work,
  To see pilasters scored like loins of pork,
  To see the orders in confusion move,
  Scrolls fixed below and pedestals above,
  To see defiance hurled at Rome and Greece,
  Old Wren had never left the world in peace.
  Look where I will--above, below is shown
  A pure disordered order of thy own;
  Where lines and circles curiously unite
  A base compounded, compound composite,
  A thing from which in turn it may be said,
  Each lab’ring mason turns abash’d his head;
  Which Holland reprobates and Dance derides,
  While tasteful Wyatt holds his aching sides.”[788]

Soane foolishly brought an action against the bitter writer; but Lord
Kenyon directed the jury to find for the defendant on the ground that the
satire was not personal.



INDEX.


  Abingdon, Mrs., “Nosegay Fan,” 318

  Adam, the Brothers, their design, 96;
    joke against their Scotch workmen, 103

  Adam, Robert, death and funeral of, 104

  Addison, the “Cato” of, 311;
    Booth’s representation of “Cato,” _ib._

  Adelphi, site of the, 97;
    the residence of Garrick, _ib._;
    Johnson and Boswell at, 98;
    prowlers in its arches, 448

  Adelphi Rooms, the, 449

  Adelphi Theatre, first success of, 180;
    Terry and Yates as its lessees, _ib._;
    appearance of “Jim Crow” in, _ib._;
    the elder Mathews manager of, _ib._;
    last great successes at, 185

  Akenside, at Tom’s Coffee-house, 38

  Albemarle, Duke of. _See_ Monk

  Albemarle, Duchess of, 93;
    anecdotes of, 301

  “All the Year Round,” 170

  Ambassador, Spanish, attack of an anti-Catholic mob on his house, 277

  Ambassadors, French and Spanish, affray between the retainers of, 134

  Amiens, proclamation of peace of, 18

  Anderson, Dr. Patrick, his Scotch pills, 53;
    story of Sir Walter Scott relating to, _ib._

  Anne of Denmark, her masques and masquerades in Somerset House, 58;
    accident at the funeral of, 195

  Anstis, John, Garter King at Arms, 43

  Antiquaries, Society of, 70

  Apollo Court and Room, 6

  Armstrong, Sir Thomas, 11

  Arnold, Dr., and the Lyceum, 171

  Art, English, institutions for promoting, 75

  Arts, the Society of, its place of meeting, 99;
    Barry’s paintings, 100, 449;
    premiums and bounties distributed by, _ib._;
    Barry at work on its frescoes, 101;
    foundation and object of, 449;
    Barry’s application to, _ib._

  Artists’ Club in Clare Market, 346

  Arundel House, Strand, 39;
    occupants of, 40;
    death of the Countess of Nottingham in, 41;
    the Marquis of Rosney’s description of, _ib._;
    Thomas Howard’s treasures of art in, 42;
    neglect of antiquities in, _ib._;
    rooms lent to the Royal Society in, 43;
    streets erected on the site of, _ib._;
    Gay’s remarks on its glories, _ib._

  Arundel Street, Strand, its residents, 43, 164

  Astronomical Society, 71

  “Athenæum” (Newspaper), 170

  Atterbury, Bishop, 155


  Bacon, Lord, his ingratitude, 32;
    birthplace of, 127;
    events of his life connected with York House, 127-8;
    anecdotes of his early life, 128;
    verses addressed to him at Durham House, 129;
    his early legal studies, 130

  Balmerino, Lord, an anecdote of, 234

  Baltimore, Lord, infamous conduct of, 176

  Banks. _See_ Coutts, Child, and Drummond

  Bannister, Jack, 325

  Barrow, Dr. Isaac, the death of, 232

  Barry, his violence, 101;
    his diligence at work, _ib._;
    his paintings in the Council Room of the Society of Arts, _ib._;
    effect produced by his paintings, 449;
    his poverty and death, _ib._

  Barry, Mrs., her theatrical career, 433

  Barry, Spanger, an actor, 315

  Basing House, an adventure at, 279

  Beard, singer and actor, 249

  Beauclerk, Topham, 98

  Beaufort, House, Strand, 83, 447

  Beckett, Andrew, works of, 99

  Beckett, Thomas, bookseller, 99

  Bedford, the Earls of, the old town house of, 185;
    streets named after his family, _ib._

  Bedford Street once fashionable, 186;
    Half Moon Tavern in, _ib._;
    residents of, 187;
    Constitution Tavern in, 197

  Bedfordbury, 236, 459

  Beefsteak Club, 172;
    badge of, _ib._;
    members of, 173;
    Peg Woffington, president of one at Dublin, _ib._;
    another started by Rich and Lambert, _ib._;
    its place of meeting, _ib._;
    distinguished members of, 454;
    sale of its effects, 174

  Bell, Mr. Jacob, 225

  Bellamy, George Anne, actress, 317

  Berkeley, Dr., 155

  Bermudas, the Justice Overdo’s allusion to, 235

  Berties, the, 417

  Betterton, the “Garrick” of his age, 433;
    the parts he represented, _ib._;
    his death, _ib._

  Betty, Master, 321

  Billington, Mrs., 333

  Bindley, James, father of the Society of Antiquaries, his burial-place,
        164

  Birch, Dr., the antiquary, 36;
    his books and literary remains, 48;
    Dr. Johnson’s remark on, _ib._

  Birkenhead, Sir John, 245

  Bishop, operas produced by, 334

  Black Jack, 348, 440

  Blake, the mystical painter, 83

  Blemund’s Ditch, 353

  Bohemia, the Queen of, 293;
    reports concerning, 295;
    Sir Henry Wotton’s lines to, _ib._;
    memorial of her husband, 296

  Boleyn, Anne, at Temple Bar, 21

  Bonomi, 78

  Booksellers, their shops the haunts of wits and poets, 219

  Booth, Barton, 311

  Boswell, James, admitted into the Literary Club, 17;
    the supposed Shaksperean MSS., 47.

  Bowl-yard, its name, 373

  Boydell, Alderman, 258

  Bracegirdle, Mrs., 49;
    her abduction, 50;
    her charity, 347;
    her popularity, 434

  Braham, John, 333

  Bristol, Earl of, 264;
    particulars concerning, 459

  Britain’s Bourse. _See_ Exchange

  Brocklesby, Dr. Richard, friend of Burke and Johnson, 45;
    attends Lord Chatham when he fainted in the House of Lords, _ib._

  Brougham, Lord, 396

  Buckingham, the first Duke of, 130;
    his residences, _ib._;
    patronage of art, 131;
    Dryden’s lines on, 132;
    Pope’s lines on, _ib._;
    Clarendon’s view of his character, 133

  Buckingham, the second Duke of, 133

  Buckingham Street, 135;
    distinguished residents in, 136, 137;
    Mr. David Copperfield’s visit to, 451

  Bull’s Head, the, Clare Market, 346

  Burgess, Dr., a witty preacher, 159;
    successors of, _ib._

  Burleigh, Lord, his residence, 179

  Burleigh Street, site of, 179

  Burley, Sir Simon, 218

  Burnet, Bishop, 44

  Burton St. Lazar, 350

  Bushnell, John, the sculptor, 7, 8

  Butcher Row, 148;
    Lee’s death in, 150


  “Cabinet” Newspaper, _see_ “Pic-Nic”

  Caermarthan, Lord, 136

  Cameron, Dr., burial place of, 120

  Canary House, 452

  Canning, George, 395

  Carey Street, 428

  Carlini, 65

  Carlisle, the Countess of, 178

  Catherine of Braganza, 61;
    her return to Portugal, 62

  Catherine Street, its newspapers and theatre in, 166;
    Gay’s description of, _ib._

  Cavalini Pietro, works attributed to, 203

  Cavendish, William, Earl of Devonshire, 90

  Cecil, Robert, Earl of Salisbury, 89, 153

  Cecil Street, its residents, 88

  Celeste, Madam, 184

  Centlivre, Mrs., 230;
    her hatred to the Jacobites, 231;
    Pope’s dislike to, _ib._;
    Leigh Hunt’s treatment of, 232

  Ceracchi, Giuseppe, 66

  Chambers, Sir William, 65

  Chapone, Mrs. Hester, 428

  Charing, village of, 201;
    population under Edward I., _ib._;
    the Falconry or Mews at, 218

  Charing Cross, tradition concerning, 201;
    Peele’s lines on, 202;
    tradition of Queen Eleanor connected with, _ib._;
    erection and demolition of, 204;
    a Royalist ballad on, _ib._;
    executions at, 205;
    introduction of Punch into England at, 208;
    Titus Oates, in the pillory at, _ib._;
    the royal statue at, 209;
    Waller’s lines on the statue, 210;
    Andrew Marvell’s lines on the Cross, 211;
    loss of parts of, 212;
    a tradition concerning, _ib._;
    the pedestal of, _ib._;
    a rogue exposed in the pillory at, _ib._;
    punishment of Japhet Crook at, 213;
    old prints of, 215;
    poetical eulogiums of, _ib._;
    coffee-houses in the neighbourhood of, 226;
    Locket’s ordinary at, 227;
    Milton’s lodging at, 232;
    other memoranda, 248;
    a strange scene at, _ib._;
    a remark of Dr. Johnson’s on, 234;
    site of the post office at, _ib._;
    ancient hospital at, 235;
    former improvements at, _ib._;
    the “Swan,” and verses by Johnson, 236

  Charing Cross Hospital, 233

  Charles I., letter written by, 58;
    his statue at Charing Cross, 209;
    strange story regarding the statue of, 212

  Charles II., his progress through London, his coronation, 22;
    the two courts in the reign of, 61

  Chatterton, 80;
    story concerning, 197

  Chaucer, his marriage, 108;
    favours obtained, 109;
    royal post held by, 218

  Chesterfield, Earl of, 187

  Child’s Bank, 6

  Christian Knowledge, Society for Promoting, 414, 464

  Chunee, the elephant, 95, 419

  Cibber, Colley, 312;
    characters originated by, 316;
    his success as actor and manager, _ib._

  Cibber, Theophilus, his fate, 317;
    his wife, _ib._

  Clare House Court, 298

  Clare Market, 339;
    Orator Henley’s appearances in, _ib._;
    artists’ club at the Bull’s Head in, 346;
    Mrs. Bracegirdle’s visits to, 347

  Clarges, John, farrier, 93, 301

  Clarke, William, proprietor of Exeter Change, 177

  Clement’s Inn, 156;
    a tradition concerning, _ib._;
    the hall of, 157;
    the New Court and Independent Meeting-house in, 159

  Clement’s, St., Church, improvements round, 152;
    general dislike to, _ib._;
    a ferment in the parish of, 153;
    distinguished men baptized and buried in, _ib._;
    adornments of, 155;
    Dr. Johnson’s attendance in, _ib._

  Clement’s, St., Well, 156;
    Cleopatra’s Needle, 145

  Clifton, bridge over the Avon at, 451

  Clifton’s Eating-house, 149

  Clinch, Tom, the highwayman, 373

  Clive, Kitty, 315

  Coaches and coach-stands, 166, 167

  Coal Hole, the, 85

  Cobb, the upholsterer, anecdote of, 258

  Cock and Pye Fields, 356

  Cock Lane ghost, the, 196;
    the contriver of, 214

  Cockpit, or Phoenix Theatre, its site, 304;
    Puritan violence against, _ib._;
    its reopening at the Restoration, 305

  Coffee, 36

  Coffee-houses, 36;
    mentioned by Steele in the _Tatler_, _ib._

  Coleridge, S. T., 170

  Commons, House of, 101

  Congreve, William, 53;
    Pope’s declaration regarding, 51;
    the successful career of, _ib._;
    Voltaire’s visit to, _ib._;
    Curll’s life of, 52

  Congreve, Sir William, 88

  Conway, Lord, memoranda of, 270

  Cooke, George Frederick, 321

  Cooke, T. P., 174

  Cottenham, Lord, 395

  Coutts’s Bank, the strong room of, 86, 87;
    the first deposit in, 87;
    story of one of the clerks of, _ib._;
    the site of, and additions to, _ib._

  Coutts, Thomas, his origin, and marriage, 86;
    anecdote of, 448

  Covent Garden, 93

  Covent Garden Theatre and Sheridan, 328

  Coventry, Secretary, 245

  Cowley, enmity of the Royalists to, 115;
    occasion of “The Complaint” by, _ib._;
    beautiful lines by, 116;
    his death at Chertsey, _ib._

  Cox, Bessy, 282

  Craig’s Court, Charing Cross, 227

  Craven, Lord, his life, etc., 294;
    miniature Heidelberg erected by, _ib._;
    his services to the Queen of Bohemia, 295;
    patronage of literature, _ib._;
    employment in King William’s reign, 296;
    Miss Benger’s estimate of, _ib._;
    Quixotic character of, 460

  Craven Buildings, fresco portrait at, 297

  Craven House, 292, 459

  Craven Street, residents of, 139;
    diplomatic consultation in, _ib._;
    epigrams by James Smith and Sir George Rose on it, _ib._

  “Cries of London,” the, 167

  Crockford, his shop in the Strand, 148;
    his club, _ib._

  Cromwell, Oliver, residences of, 226, 279

  Crook, Japhet, his punishment, 213;
    lines by Pope on, 214

  Crouch, Mrs., the singer, 333

  Crowle, _bon mot_ on Judge Page by, 217

  Crown and Anchor, the, 152, 153;
    the great room of, 444

  Cumberland, George, Earl of, 120

  Cuper’s Gardens, 43

  Curl, Edmund, 212

  Curtis, Mrs., visits Mrs. Siddons, 91


  Davenant, Lady, 404

  Davenant, the actor, 429

  Davies, Moll, 430

  Dawson, Jemmy, 15

  Denham, Sir John, works written by, 393;
    a drunken frolic of, 452

  Denzil Street, 460

  Deptford, and Peter the Great in, 45

  Design, the School of, 446

  De Sully, Duc, 41

  Devereux Court, 36;
    duel in, _ib._;
    death of Marchmont Needham in, 37;
    relic of Pope at Tom’s Coffee-house, _ib._

  Devereux, Robert, Earl of Essex, 28;
    Spenser’s relation to, _ib._;
    his house near the Temple, 29;
    his plot against Elizabeth, _ib._;
    his running a-muck in the City, and flight to Essex Gardens, 30;
    his capture and death 31;
    his mother and sister, 32;
    his crimes, 34

  Devonshire Club, 148

  Dibdin, Charles, his entertainments, 34

  Dickens, Charles, 170;
    on Seven Dials and Monmouth Street, 385;

  Digby, Sir Kenelm, 241;
    Ben Jonson’s lines on, _ib._

  Dilke, Sir C. Wentworth, 170

  Disraeli, B., 400

  Dobson, Vandyke’s protégé, 200

  Dodd, the actor, 328

  Doggett, the actor, 310

  Donne, Dr., the tomb of his wife, 154;
    his want of self-respect, 289;
    strange circumstance recorded, 290;
    vision seen by, _ib._;
    conceits of, 291;
    his picture in his shroud, 292;
    a divine and a poet, 390

  Dowton, the actor, 323

  Doyley, 168

  Drinking-fountains, the first, 445

  Drummond’s Bank, 227, 457

  Drury family, 288

  Drury House, secret meetings there arranged by Essex, 29;
    outbreak decided on at, 288;
    site of, 237

  Drury Lane, origin of its name, 288;
    residents in, 297 _et seq._;
    a strange scene in, 298;
    a duel in, _ib._;
    pictures of, 299;
    the poor poet’s home in, _ib._;
    its bad repute during the Regency, 460

  Drury Lane Theatre, 305;
    Pepys’s visits to, 306;
    scuffle in the king’s presence in, _ib._;
    distinguished actresses of, 309 _et seq._;
    plays produced at, _ib._;
    Garrick’s first appearance at, 313;
    Dr. Johnson’s address on its re-opening, 322;
    a riot in 1740 in, 324;
    Charles Lamb’s description of, 324, 325;
    the rebuilding of, 329;
    competitive poems for the opening of, 330;
    Byron’s opening address at, _ib._;
    statue over its entrance, _ib._;
    pecuniary statements relating to, _ib._;
    revival of its fortunes by Edmund Kean, 331;
    Grimaldi at, 334;
    various actors of, _ib._;
    pictures of royalty at, 338;
    recent productions at, _ib._

  Drury, Sir Robert, 288

  Dryden, his lines on the death of Buckingham, 132;
    his squabbles with Jacob Tonson, 54;
    attack on, 280;
    established jokes against, _ib._;
    Mulgrave’s lines on, 281;
    Otway’s defence of, _ib._

  Dudley, Sir Robert, 369

  Dudley, Duchess of, 369

  Duke Street, 135

  Duke’s Theatre, 429

  Durham House, residents of, 92;
    sufferings of the Princess Elizabeth in, _ib._;
    its last occupants, _ib._;
    banquets given by Henry VII. at, _ib._;
    mint established at, 95;
    Lady Jane Grey’s marriage in, _ib._;
    the scene of an old legend, 96;
    Raleigh in his turret study at, _ib._;
    purchased by the brothers Adam, _ib._

  Durham Street, 91

  Dyot Street, 462


  Eccentrics, club of, 259

  Edward III., 110;
    his conduct on the death of John of Gaunt, 114

  Edward VI. at Temple Bar, 21

  Egerton, Lord Chancellor, 391

  Eleanor Cross, model of, 138

  Eleanor, Queen, crosses in memory of, 138, 202;
    tombs of, 203;
    the preservation of her body, 204

  Elizabeth, Queen, procession on the anniversary of her accession, 9;
    adornment of her statue at Temple Bar, 10;
    her reception at Temple Bar, 21;
    the plot of Essex against, 29;
    her relations with Admiral Seymour, 39;
    story of the Essex ring, 40;
    her favour for Raleigh, 92

  Ellesmere. _See_ Egerton

  Elliston, Robert William, 326;
    stories told of, 327

  Epigram, an, a legacy gained by, 139

  Erskine, Lord, 424

  Essex House, 29;
    occupants of, 31;
    the Parliamentary general a resident in, 33

  Essex, Robert, Earl of, Ben Jonson’s masque on his marriage, 33;
    divorce of his countess, and her marriage with Robert Carr, _ib._;
    general for the Parliament, _ib._;
    attempts to seize his papers, 34

  Essex Street, Strand, 25;
    residents in, 34;
    Johnson’s club at the Essex Head, 35;
    Unitarian chapel in, 443;
    memoranda of, _ib._

  Estcourt, 452;
    Steele’s compliments to, 180

  Etherage, Sir George, 301;
    play by, 431

  Etty, residence of, 136

  Evans’s Hotel, Covent Garden, 460

  Evelyn, John, 134

  “Examiner,” the, 123

  Exchange, the New, 93;
    a tragedy in, _ib._;
    legends about, _ib._;
    the White Widow, 94;
    the walks of, _ib._;
    a frequenter of, _ib._;
    its destruction, 95

  Exeter Change, 175;
    exhibitions in, _ib._;
    last tenants of, 176

  Exeter Hall, 178

  Exeter House, 179

  Exeter Place, 261

  Exeter Street, 178


  Faithorne, William, 148

  Fanshawe, Lady, 423

  Fanshawe, Sir Richard, 421

  Farren, Miss, the actress, 318

  Farren, the actor, 335

  Faucit, Helen (Mrs. T. Martin), 337

  “Field” newspaper, 168

  Finch, Lord Chancellor, 265

  Finett, Sir John, 240

  Fletcher, his execution, 14

  Folkes, Martin, 272

  Folly, the, 82

  Foote, the actor, 315

  Fordyce, George, 34

  Fortescue, Judge, 394

  Fortescue, Pope’s lawyer, 37

  Fountain Club, the, 84

  Fountain Court Tavern, 84;
    the Coal Hole in, 85

  Fountain, the, King Street, 381

  Franklin, Benjamin, 139;
    his landlady and the charitable nun, 275;
    extravagance of his fellow-pressmen, 276;
    his visit as ambassador of Massachusetts, 277

  Freemasons’ Hall, the, 274

  Friend, Sir John, 13

  Fuseli, 76;
    his residence, 259


  Gaiety Theatre, 452

  Gardelle, the artist and murderer, 251

  Garrick, David, 96, 99;
    Johnson’s esteem for, _ib._;
    his “Chinese Festival,” 185, 186;
    anecdote of, 273;
    Zoffany’s portrait of, 304;
    his career, 313;
    his first appearance at Drury Lane, _ib._;
    his varied talent, 314;
    appears on the stage with Quin, _ib._;
    his death, 315

  Gatti’s café, 189

  George, Madame St., 59

  Geological Society, the, 69

  George III., his patronage of art, 73;
    his coolness, 338

  George IV., Chantrey’s statue of, 226

  Gerbier, Sir Balthasar, 72

  Gibbons, Grinling, 139

  Gibbons’s Tennis Court, 429

  Gibbs, the architect, 162

  Giles, St., tradition of, 353;
    a scurvy worshipper of, 463

  Giles’s, St., ancient toll in, 350;
    hospital for lepers in, 350;
    death of Sir John Oldcastle in, 351;
    the gallows in, 352;
    site of the hospital, 353;
    the manor of, 352-3;
    gradual growth of, 355, 356;
    its progress after the Great Fire, 356;
    settlement of foreigners in, 357;
    its increase in Queen Anne’s reign, _ib._;
    resort of Irish to, _ib._;
    entries in the parish records of, _ib._;
    increase of French refugees in, 357;
    relief to well-known mendicants in, 359;
    the plague in, 360;
    the plague-cart of, _ib._;
    rates levied in consequence of the plague, 361;
    hospital church of, 363;
    Dr. Mainwaring rector of, _ib._;
    new church of, 364;
    Dr. Heywood, the rector of, _ib._;
    celebration of the Restoration in, 365;
    church extension in, _ib._;
    a sexton’s bargain with the rector of, 367;
    the Resurrection Gate in the churchyard of, _ib._;
    churchyard of, 367, 368;
    new burial-ground of, 368;
    celebrated persons buried in the churchyard of, 369, 370;
    the oldest monument in the burial-ground of, 370;
    persons relieved in, 371;
    erection of the new almshouses and school for, _ib._;
    Hogarth’s studies and scenes in, 372;
    Nollekens Smith’s description of, _ib._;
    the whipping-stone of, _ib._;
    the Pound in, 373;
    the inns of, 374;
    resort of Irish beggars to, 376, 377;
    the cellars of, 378;
    lodgings in, _ib._;
    beggars, conjurors, and pickpockets of, 379;
    the mendicants of, 381;
    low Irish in, 385, 386;
    persons connected with several streets in, 463;
    the author’s visit with a missionary to houses in, 463

  Giles’s, St., Hospital, criminals at its gate, on their way to Tyburn,
        373

  Giraud, his quarrel, 93;
    execution, _ib._

  Globe Theatre, 165

  Glover, Mrs., as an actress, 336

  Godfrey, Sir E., murder of, 61;
    residence of, 142

  Godwin, William, 444

  Golden Cross, the, 232

  Goldsmith, Oliver, a quotation of Dr. Johnson’s cleverly capped by, 18;
    lines on Caleb Whitefoord by, 141;
    his friends, 197;
    an earl’s patronage of, 198;
    anecdote of, _ib._;
    his visit to Northumberland House, _ib._

  Gondomar, Spanish ambassador, 298

  Goodman, and the Drury Lane Company, 308

  Gordon, Lord George, 278

  Gorges, Sir Ferdinand, 30

  Graham, Dr., a London Cagliostro, his rooms and their chief priestess,
        102;
    his “celestial bed” and “elixir of life,” 103

  Grange Inn, 440

  Gravelot, the drawing-master, 250

  Gray’s Inn, Bacon’s chambers in, 130

  Grecian, the, Addison’s description of, 36;
    a quarrel at, _ib._;
    meetings of savans at, 37;
    the privy-council held at, _ib._

  Greenhill, John, 271

  Green Ribbon Club, the, 8

  Gresham College, 68

  Grimaldi at Drury Lane, 334

  Gwynn, Nell, her last resting-place, 244;
    the birthplace, life, and character of, 301;
    a descendant of, 302;
    Pepys’s allusion in his “Diary” to, _ib._;
    her death, _ib._;
    a memorandum of Evelyn’s regarding, _ib._;
    Pepys’s estimate of the other actresses associated with, 307;
    her last original part, 308


  Hackman, the Rev. Mr., the murderer of Miss Ray, 160;
    his execution, _ib._

  Haines, Joe, a clever actor, 308

  Hale, Sir Matthew, an eminent student of Lincoln’s Inn, 390

  Hare, the murderer, the lamentable condition of, 461

  Harley, John Pritt, actor, 336

  Harrison, General, the Anabaptist, the brave end of, 205

  Haverhill, William de, Henry III.’s treasurer, his mansion and the
        various uses to which it was put, 388

  Haycock’s Ordinary, 443

  Haydon, anecdote of, 1;
    another, of his early life in London, 77

  Hayman, Frank, a St. Martin’s Lane worthy, amusing anecdotes of, 255

  Haymarket Theatre, the, Fielding’s “Tom Thumb” brought out at, 438

  Hazlitt, William, his criticism of the elder Mathews, 182

  Heber, Bishop, 397

  Helmet Court, memoranda of, 447

  Hemings’ Row, St. Martin’s Lane, origin of its name, 458

  Henderson, the actor, 319

  Henley, Orator, sketch of his life, 339;
    his defence of action in a preacher, _ib._;
    his correspondence with William Whiston, 340;
    the shameless advertisements issued by, 340, 341;
    lines by Pope in the “Dunciad” on, 342;
    his controversy with Pope, _ib._;
    a contemporary description of, _ib._;
    his plans for raising money, 343;
    a joke on Archbishop Herring by, _ib._;
    his appearance before the privy-council, _ib._;
    Hogarth’s two caricatures of, 344;
    beginning of one of his sermons, 345;
    overawed by two Oxonians, 346

  Henrietta Maria, queen of Charles I., the insolent conduct of her French
        household, and the king’s difficulty in getting rid of them, 58;
    her last masques at Somerset House, 59

  Henry VII., hospital founded on the site of the Savoy by, 114

  Herbert, Lord, of Cherbury, a Quixotic quarrel of, 194;
    commencement of his work, “De Veritate,” 265;
    a remarkable vision which is said to have appeared to, _ib._;
    reflections on passing the residence of, 266

  Herring, Archbishop, Swift’s opposition to, 344

  Hewson, the supposed original Strap of “Roderick Random,” 136

  Heywood, Dr., rector of St. Giles’s, Puritan petition against, 365

  Hill, Captain, a well-known profligate bully, his drunken jealousy of
        Mountfort the actor, 49;
    his attempt to carry off Mrs. Bracegirdle, 50;
    cowardly murder of Mountfort, by, 51

  Hill, Mr. Thomas, the supposed prototype of Paul Pry, 103

  Hilliard, Nicholas, Queen Elizabeth’s miniature-painter, 244

  “Histriomastix,” the, Prynne’s punishment for a scurrilous note in, 59

  Hodges, Dr., his account of the commencement and progress of the plague,
        262

  Hogarth, 72;
    his picture of “Noon,” 372

  Hog Lane, St. Giles’s (now Crown Street), 371

  Holborn, gradual extension and first pavement of, 355;
    allusions to a doleful procession up the Heavy Hill of, 374

  Hollar, the German engraver, description of a scarce view of Somerset
        House by, 63;
    the residence of, 157

  Holmes, Copper, a well-known character on the river, 247

  Holy Land, the, a part of St. Giles’s, 386

  Hone, Nathaniel, 258

  Hood, Thomas, his “Bridge of Sighs,” 450

  Hook, Theodore, 102

  Howard, Lady Margaret, Sir John Suckling’s fantastic simile in lines on
        her feet, 195

  Howard, Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, discovery of the cipher used by--his
        treason and death, 27

  Howard, Thomas, Earl of Arundel, an amateur of art, Clarendon’s
        description of, 42;
    Vansomer’s portrait of, _ib._;
    his devotion in the pursuit of objects of art, 43;
    disposal of his statues, marbles, and library, _ib._;
    remarks made by him in a dispute with Charles I., _ib._

  Howard, Philip, Earl of Arundel, a letter to, 27;
    memorial in the Tower of, _ib._

  Hudson, the portrait-painter, 272

  Hungerford, Lord Walter, first Speaker of the House of Commons, 137

  Hungerford, Sir Edward, founder of Hungerford Market, 137

  Hungerford Market, the site of, 137;
    the origin and object of, 138;
    vicissitudes of, _ib._;
    an unlucky speculation at, _ib._

  Hungerford Suspension Bridge, 138;
    the purchase of, 451;
    the new railway bridge in place of, 138;
    the railway station at, _ib._

  Hunter, Dr. William, O’Keefe’s description of him lecturing on anatomy,
        78

  Hunter, Dr. John, particulars of his professional life, 420, 421

  Hunt, Leigh, the imprisonment of, 123;
    his critical remarks on the elder Mathews, 182


  “Illustrated London News,” the proprietor and staff of, 55

  Ingram, Mr. Herbert, proprietor of the “Illustrated London News,” career
        and death of, 55

  Ireland, Samuel, father of the celebrated literary impostor, the
        residence of, 46;
    his belief in the genuineness of “Vortigern” as a work of Shakspere’s,
        47

  Ireland, W. H., the true story of the Shakspere forgery committed by, 46;
    effect of the extraordinary praise lavished on, 47;
    supporters and opponents of, _ib._;
    damnation of his play of “Vortigern,” _ib._

  “Isabella,” Southerne’s tragedy of, effect of Mrs. Siddons’s acting in,
        91

  Ivy Bridge, narrow passage to the Thames under, and mansion near, 91


  Jacobites, the cant words used by, 15

  James I., pageants on his passage through the city, 21

  James Street, Adelphi, No. 2, the residence of Mr. Thomas Hill, the Hull
        of “Gilbert Gurney,” 103

  Jansen, an architect, works by, 191

  Jekyll, Sir Joseph, his obnoxious bill, and the fury of the mob against,
        410;
    his _bon-mot_ on Lord Kenyon’s spits, 423

  Jennings, Frances. _See_ Widow, the White

  Jerdan, William, 83

  John, King of France, his entrance as a captive into London, 112;
    his honourable return to England after having been liberated on
        parole, _ib._;
    his death at the Savoy, _ib._

  John of Padua, Henry VIII.’s architect, 57

  John, Saint, the foundation of the hospital of, 114;
    abuses of, transference of its funds, etc., 115;
    Dr. John Killigrew appointed master of, _ib._;
    Strype’s description of the old hall of, 117

  John Street, Adelphi, 99

  Johnson, Dr., his conversation with Goldsmith on Westminster Abbey, 17;
    club formed at the Essex Head by--its principal members, 35;
    his high estimation for Garrick, 97;
    Garrick’s remark on the philosopher’s friendship for Beauclerk, 98;
    his three reasons for the black skin of the negro race, 149;
    an Irishman’s opinion of, _ib._;
    his pleasant evenings at the Mitre with an old college friend, 150;
    Boswell’s account of his solemn devotion during divine service, 155;
    extract from a letter written to Mrs. Thrale by, 156;
    his first residence in London, 178;
    an eccentric habit of, 187;
    beginning of his address for the re-opening of Drury Lane Theatre, 322

  Johnstone, Irish, 335

  Jones, Colonel, his execution, 205

  Jones, Inigo, his plan for laying out Lincoln’s Inn Fields, 402

  Jones, the actor, 323

  Jonson, Ben, dialogues, speeches, and masques by, 22, 33;
    his residence when a child, 142;
    a story of, 251;
    early life of, 399;
    tradition of, _ib._;
    his exploit in Flanders, _ib._

  Jordan, Mrs., 326


  Kauffman, Angelica, 76

  Kean, Charles, 338

  Kean, Mrs. Charles (Miss Ellen Tree), 338

  Kean, Edmund, habits of, 85;
    his early success in London, 88;
    his origin, early life, and first triumphs in London, 331;
    Hazlitt’s remarks on, 332

  Keeley, Robert, the actor, 337

  Keelings the, 405

  Kelly, Michael, 334

  Kelly, Miss, actress, 336;
    attacks on, _ib._

  Kemble, Charles, 321

  Kemble, John, 320;
    generous act of the Duke of Northumberland to, _ib._;
    Leigh Hunt’s picture of, _ib._

  Kenilworth, Lord of, 28

  Kennington Common, execution of Jacobites on, 14

  Kensington, South, transfer of pictures from the National Gallery to, 224

  Kent, the rising under Wat Tyler, 112

  Kenyon, Lord, jokes on, 423;
    his stinginess and bad Latin, _ib._

  Killigrew, Dr. Henry, 119

  Killigrew, Mrs. Anne, 119

  Killigrew, Thomas, 119;
    actors in his company, 308

  King, Dr., Principal of St. Mary’s Hall, Oxford, 36

  King, Dr. William, lines on the Beefsteak Club by, 174

  King, the original Sir Peter Teazle, 321

  King’s College and its museum, 66, 447;
    models and instruments presented by Queen Victoria, _ib._

  King’s College Hospital, 438

  Kirby, Mr., 73, 74

  Kit Cat Club, 51;
    institution of the, 85;
    origin of its name, _ib._;
    the summer rendezvous of, 86;
    Lady Mary Wortley Montague the toast of, _ib._

  Kneller, Sir Godfrey, 72;
    his life and character, 267;
    the witty banter of, 268;
    his vanity, 269;
    how Jacob Tonson got pictures out of, _ib._;
    his conviction of the legitimacy of the Pretender, _ib._

  Knight Templars, the, 25

  Knollys, Lettice, Countess of Essex, afterwards Lady Leicester, 31

  Knowledge, Christian, the Society for Promoting, 461

  Königsmark, Count, 193

  Kynaston, Sir Francis, 71, 187

  Kynaston, the actor, 187, 432


  Lacy, a favourite actor, 308

  Laguerre, the French painter, 246

  Lamb, Charles, tragedy in his family, 285;
    his devotion to his sister, 286

  Lancaster, the Earl of, 107

  Lancaster, John, Duke of, favours Wickliffe, 109;
    his peril from the London mob, 110;
    his escape, _ib._;
    _amende_ of the Londoners to, _ib._;
    his marriage and connections, _ib._;
    his unpopularity and violence, 119;
    clause aimed by Wat Tyler against, 112;
    destruction of his London palace, etc., 113;
    his death and burial, 114

  Lancaster, the Duchy of, 122, 450

  Lander, Richard, 120

  Langhorne, Dr., 396

  Law Courts, new, 147

  “Law Times,” Office, 168

  Layer, Christopher, 17

  Learning, Society for the encouragement of, 49

  Lee, the poet, his death, 154

  Lepers, 354

  Lewis, the comedian, 274;
    his acting, 323, 324

  Lillie, Charles, the perfumer, 84

  Limput, Remigius van, 187

  Liston, the comedian, 323

  Lincoln’s Inn, origin of its name, 387;
    the Chancery Lane side of, 388;
    the gateway of, _ib._;
    the chapel, 388, 389;
    distinguished students of, 390 _et seq._;
    persons buried in the chapel, 392 _et seq._;
    old customs and laws of, 397, 398;
    disposal of Hogarth’s picture, “Preaching before Felix,” at, 398;
    the new hall, library, and garden of, _ib._, 464;
    Mr. Disraeli’s studies at, 400

  Lincoln’s Inn Field, part of Fickett’s field, 401;
    King James regulates building in, 401, 402;
    Inigo Jones’s plan for laying out and building, 402;
    state in the time of Charles I. and Charles II.;
    Gay’s sketch of its dangers, 403;
    Earl of Rochester’s house in, 404;
    execution of plotters against Elizabeth in, _ib._;
    procession of Thomas Sadler, the thief, through, _ib._;
    Lord Russell’s death in, 405;
    improvements in 1735 in, 410;
    Macaulay’s picture of, _ib._;
    distinguished inhabitants of, 414 _et seq._;
    Tennyson’s chambers in, 418;
    Mr. Povey’s house in, 428

  Lindsey, Earl, 416, 417

  Lindsey House, 417

  Literary Club, Boswell and Johnson at, 17

  Literary Fund Society, 427

  Literature, Royal Society of, 259

  Locket’s Ordinary, 227

  London, growth and changes of, 2;
    points of departure for tours in, _ib._;
    start for the author’s tour in, 3;
    banks in, 7;
    the rebels under Tyler in, 112;
    King William at the celebration of the peace of Ryswick in, 23, 24;
    a bishop beheaded by the mob of, 26;
    cruel treatment of a Spaniard by the mob of, 213;
    the street signs of, 237;
    foreigners in 1580 in, 356;
    a glance at an ancient map of, 356, 357;
    Pennant on its churchyards, 367;
    crusade against Irish and other vagrants, 377;
    royal fears as to its increase, 401;
    its history an epitome of that of the world, 441;
    its newspapers and periodicals, 454

  Long Acre, the plague in, 262;
    Oliver Cromwell’s residence in, 279;
    Tory tavern Club in, 284

  Lord Mayor’s Day, 23

  Loutherberg, De, 167

  Lowin, John, 154

  Lyceum, the, 171;
    exhibitions in, _ib._;
    experiment in, 172;
    Mathew’s entertainment in, _ib._;
    Beefsteak Club meet in, _ib._;
    Mr. T. P. Cooke’s early triumphs in, 174

  Lyndhurst, Lord, 395

  Lyons, Emma (afterwards Lady Hamilton), 102

  Lyon’s Inn, 165;
    sale of its materials, _ib._;
    murder of Mr. Weare, _ib._

  Lyttelton, Sir Thomas, 44


  M’Ardell, Hogarth’s engraver, 251

  Mackintosh, Sir James, 464

  Macklin, the actor, 436

  Macready, William Charles, 337

  Maginn, Dr., ballad by, 232

  Malibran, Madame, 334

  Manos, Gannee, and other beggars, 382

  Mansfield, the Earl of, 394

  Mardyn, Mrs., the actress, 335

  Marlborough, the Duchess of, Congreve’s legacy to, 52;
    her regard for Congreve, 53

  Martin’s St., Lane, residents of, 239 _et seq._;
    Beard, the singer, 249;
    Old Slaughter’s Coffee-house, _ib._;
    houses built by Payne in, 252;
    curious staircase in No. 96, 253;
    a house favoured by artists in, _ib._;
    Roubilliac’s first studio in, 257;
    old house of the Earls of Salisbury in, 256;
    changes in, 261

  Martin’s-in-the-Fields, St., 242;
    the church of, 244;
    the dust enshrined in, _ib._;
    J. T. Smith’s visit to the vaults of, 246;
    the parochial abuses of, _ib._;
    the old watch and stocks of, 256

  Marvell, Andrew, 209;
    the grave of, 370

  Mary, Queen, 21

  Mary, St. Savoy, the Chapel of, the dead interred in, 121;
    its destruction by fire, 122;
    its restoration, _ib._

  Mary, St., Roncevalles, the hospital of, 235

  Mary-le-Strand, St., 162;
    construction of, _ib._;
    allusions by Pope and Addison to, 163;
    tragedy at, _ib._;
    interior of, _ib._

  Mathews, his entertainment, 140;
    his “Mail-coach Adventures,” 172;
    his bargains with Mr. Arnold, 181;
    his various entertainments, _ib._;
    failure of his health, and death, 182;
    his first attempts as an actor, 298;
    his first appearance in London, 323

  Matthews, Bishop of Durham, 98

  Mayerne, Sir Theodore, 239;
    story of, 240;
    his death, 260

  Maynard, Mr. Serjeant, 404

  Mainwaring, Dr., 363, 364

  Maypole in the Strand, the, 160;
    its fall and restoration, 161;
    removal of, 162

  May’s Buildings, 259

  Mellon, Miss, the actress, 87;
    her first and second marriages, 88;
    her first appearance at Drury Lane, 448;
    leaves her fortune to Miss Burdett Coutts, _ib._

  Mendicants’ Convivial Club, 462

  Mews, origin of the name, 217;
    notes concerning, 218;
    old bookshop at the gate of one, 219

  Michael’s, St., Alley, Cornhill, 36

  Milford Lane, 38

  Millar, the publisher, 56

  Miller, Joe, his burial-place, 348;
    his début on the stage, 439;
    his last success, _ib._;
    his haunt, 440

  Milton, John, 232

  Misaubin, Dr., 253

  Mitre, the, 150

  Mohun, Lord, 50, 245

  Monk, General, his death, 65;
    the Restoration effected by, 61;
    his vulgar wife, 301;
    invited to a conference by the Earl of Northumberland, 200

  Monmouth Street, 385;
    Mr. Dickens’s description of, _ib._;
    modern civilisation in, 463

  Montague, Lady M. W., 86

  Montfort, Simon de, 107

  More, Sir Thomas, 164

  Morgan, the Welsh buccaneer, 264

  Morley’s Hotel, 456

  “Morning Chronicle,” 167;
    the end of, 168

  “Morning Post,” 170

  Mortimer, the English Salvator, 46

  Moss, the engraver, 63

  Mottley, the actor, 439;
    origin of his jest book, 440

  Mountfort, Mrs., 434

  Mountfort, the actor, 50;
    his career, 435

  Munden, Charles Lamb on, 327

  Murphy, Arthur, 394

  Murray, Major, 143

  Mytens, Daniel, 240


  National Gallery, opening of, 219;
    the paltry design of, 75;
    the first purchase of pictures for, 222;
    the gems of, 223, 224;
    purchases and donations for, _ib._;
    Turner’s bequest to, 224;
    proposed removal of the pictures from, _ib._;
    Jacob Bell’s bequest, 225;
    enlargement of the, _ib._

  Needham, Marchmont, 37;
    his burial-place, 155

  Nelson, Admiral, a tradition of, 71

  Nelson Column, the, original estimate for, 220;
    bassi relievi on, _ib._;
    adornment of the pedestal of, 221

  Newcastle, the Duke of, his house in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, 410;
    his levees, _ib._;
    the porter’s reply to an intruder on, 411;
    impertinence of his cook, 412;
    anecdote of, _ib._;
    Smollett’s and Walpole’s sketches of, 413;
    Walpole’s review of his career, _ib._;
    his reply to Lord Bute, 414

  Newgate ballads, 463

  New Inn, 164

  Newspaper offices, 454

  Nisbett, Mrs., 335

  Nivernois, the Duc de, 18

  Nokes, James, 432

  Nollekens, the sculptor, 379

  Norfolk Street, 44 _et seq._;
    Charles Dickens’s sketch of, 445

  Northampton, the Earl of, 191

  Northampton, Algernon, tenth Earl of, 192, 195

  Northumberland, the wizard Earl of, his marriage 192;
    treason, etc., _ib._

  Northumberland, the Duke of, 192

  Northumberland House, 191;
    the oldest part of, 195;
    accident at, _ib._;
    the letters and date on its façade, 196;
    destruction of the Strand front by fire, 197;
    Sir John Hawkins’s and Goldsmith’s visit to Mr. Percy at, 198;
    Goldsmith’s account of a visit to, 199;
    pictures in the gallery of, _ib._

  Northumberland Street, 142;
    demolition of, 200

  Nottingham, the Countess of, 39, 40

  Noy, Attorney-general, 389


  Oates, Titus, 208, 302

  O’Keefe, the dramatist, 18, 258

  Oldcastle, Sir John, Lord Cobham, 352;
    his imprisonment, escape, and death, _ib._

  Oldfield, Mrs., actress, 186;
    her merits as a comedian, 310;
    her death, 311

  “Old Slaughter’s,” the frequenters of, 249;
    Hogarth and Roubilliac at, _ib._

  Olympic, the, 164;
    Mr. Robson’s representations at, 165

  Oratory, Henley’s, 339

  Oxberry, the actor, 335

  Oxburgh, Sir John, 13

  Oxford, the Earl of, 137


  Page, Judge, 217;
    the “Dunciad” on, _ib._

  Paget, Lord, 26

  Paintings, the first exhibition in London of, 75

  Palsgrave Head Tavern, 148, 151

  Parr, Dr., 47

  Parr, Old, 91

  Parsons, parish-clerk of St. Sepulchre’s, 214

  Partridge, the charlatan cobbler, 90

  Pasquin (Williams), Anthony, 142

  Patterson, Samuel, bookseller, 34

  Payne, Mr. James, collector of MSS., 459

  Payne, Roger, bookbinder, 457

  Pendrell, Richard, his tomb and epitaph, 368

  Penn, the Quaker, 44

  Pepys, residence of, 135;
    his career, 136;
    residence of his father-in-law, 282;
    visits Drury Lane Theatre, 302;
    Lord Cottenham, a descendant of the author of the “Diary,” 395

  Perceval, Spencer, 394

  Percy, the Earl Marshal, 109

  Percy, Elizabeth, her marriages, 192

  Perkins, Sir William, 12

  Perry, James, 167

  Pest-houses, 297

  Peter the Great, 45;
    his evenings in York Buildings, 136

  Peters, Hugh, 207

  Petty, William, 42

  Philips, Ambrose, 248;
    Pope’s lines on, _ib._

  Physicians, the Royal College of, 225

  Pickett, Alderman, 148;
    street named after, 147

  “Pic-Nic,” the, London newspaper, 139

  Pidgeon, Bat, barber, 160

  Pierce, Edward, sculptor, 49

  Pine, the engraver, 252

  “Pine Apple,” the, 178

  Plague, the Great, 143;
    its origin in London, 262;
    its progress, 263

  Poitiers, the victory of, 111

  Pope, the, 9

  Pope, a relic of, 37;
    lines on the death of Buckingham by, 132;
    insolence of, 248;
    reply of Sir Godfrey Kneller to, 268;
    his dispute with Orator Henley, 342

  Pope, Miss, the actress, 273;
    her manner on the stage, 321

  Porridge Island, 236

  Porter, Mrs., the actress, 43

  Portugal Row, 403, 421

  Portugal Street, 429 _et seq._

  Precinct of the Savoy, 122

  Precinct Club, the, 169

  Prior, his boyhood, 229;
    his attachments, 282;
    his death, 283

  Pritchard, Mrs., actress, 317

  Proctor, student of the Royal Academy, 80

  Prynne, William, 398

  Punch, the puppet-show, 208

  “Punch,” the periodical, 303


  Quakers, the, 44

  “Queen” newspaper, 168

  Queen Street, Great, 263;
    residents in, 264 _et seq._;
    residence of Lord Herbert of Cherbury in, 266

  Quin, the actor, 187, 271;
    appears on the stage with Garrick, 312;
    his career as an actor, _ib._;
    appears at Portugal Street Theatre, 437


  Radcliffe, Dr., 347

  Radford, Thomas, 93

  Railton, designer of the Nelson Memorial, 220

  Raimbach, the engraver, 258

  Raleigh, Sir Walter, 92;
    Durham House unjustly taken from, 96;
    costly dress worn by, _ib._

  Rann, John, “Sixteen-stringed Jack,” 374

  Rawlinson, Dr., 16

  Ray, Miss, murder of, 160

  Rebecca, Biaggio, 76

  Reddish, Samuel, the actor, 318

  Reeve, John, 184

  _Rejected Addresses_, the, 140

  Rennie, John, architect, 124

  Reynolds, Sir Joshua, his club in Essex Street, 35;
    his adherence to the Spring Garden Society, 73;
    his lectures, 83;
    lying-in-state of, 79;
    residences of, 274

  Rhodes, the bookseller and actor, 233, 305

  Rice, Mr. (“Jim Crow”), 180

  Rich, Penelope, 31

  Rich, the actor and manager, 435;
    legend regarding, 436;
    Garrick’s lines on, 438

  Richardson, the humourist, 187

  Richmond, the Duke of, his gallery at Whitehall, 72

  Rimbault, the clockmaker, 303

  Rivet, John, a brazier, 212

  Roberts, the solicitor, 143

  Robin Hood Debating Society, 443

  Robinson, Mrs., 318

  Robinson’s Coffee-house, 215

  Robson, Mr. Frederick, 165, 236

  Roman Bath, in the Strand, 169

  Roman Road, ancient, 349

  Romilly, Sir Samuel, 400

  Rookery, the, 463

  Roubilliac, his burial-place, 246;
    his studio, 255;
    a pupil of, 257

  Royal Academy, the, Somerset House, 65;
    the germs of, 71;
    its service to English art, 75;
    its first officers, 74;
    catalogue, etc., 75

  Royal Academicians, the, 74

  Royal Society, the, 68;
    its portraits of Newton, and other curiosities, 69

  “Rummer,” the, 229;
    the scene of Jack Sheppard’s first robbery, 230

  Russel, Lord William, 285;
    his alleged plot, 405;
    his appearance before the Council, 406;
    his interview with French agents, _ib._;
    petition presented for his life, 407;
    the last days of, _ib._;
    his execution, 408

  Russel, Lady Rachel, her petition for her husband’s life, 407;
    her letter to Dr. Fitzwilliams, 408

  Rutland, the Earls of, 91

  Ryan, the actor, 272

  Rymer, the antiquary, 43, 154


  Saa, Don Pantaleon de, his quarrel with Giraud, 93

  Sacheverell, Dr., 409

  Sadler, Thomas, the thief, 404

  St. Leonards, Lord, 396

  Sala, G. A., 122

  Sale, George, 49

  Salisbury, Earls of, old house of the, 256

  Salisbury House, Little, 89

  Salisbury House, Old, 89

  Salisbury Street, 89

  Sandwich Islands, the king and queen of, 102

  Sandwich, Montague, Earl of, 415

  Savage, Richard, 216;
    his escape from execution, _ib._

  Savage Club, the, 460

  Savoy, Peter, Earl of, 107;
    Henry III.’s grant to, _ib._;
    transfer of his manor to the chapter of Montjoy, 108

  Savoy, the, moonlight meetings in, 106;
    derivation of the name of, 107;
    occupants of the palace of, 108;
    Chaucer’s marriage in, _ib._;
    the vicissitudes of, 109;
    attack of the mob of London on, 110;
    a residence of John, King of France, 111;
    its destruction by Wat Tyler, 112;
    erection of an hospital on its site, 114;
    its suppression and removal, 115;
    Conference of the Savoy, 116;
    a French church in, 117;
    a sanctuary for debtors, _ib._;
    Strype’s description of it, _ib._;
    clandestine marriages in, 118;
    its state in the reign of George II., _ib._;
    portions of it remaining in 1816, _ib._;
    the destruction of, 119;
    Mr. G. A. Sala’s description of the Precinct of, 122;
    traditions still lingering in, 123

  Savoy Street, 116

  Scheemakers, 333

  School of Design, 446

  Serle Street, origin of its name, 464

  Serle’s coffee-house, Addison’s visit to, 464;
    a curious letter extant at, _ib._

  Seven Dials, the, Mr. Dickens’s description of, 385;
    Gay’s description of, 461;
    the degraded state of, 462

  Seymour, Lord Thomas, 39;
    the mint established in aid of his designs, 95

  Seymour, Sir Edward, anecdote of, 234

  Seymour Place. _See_ Arundel House

  Shadwell, son of the poet, 135

  Shaftesbury, Earl of, 179

  Shallow, the revelry of, 158

  Sheppard, Jack, the burial-place of, 246

  Sheridan, Thomas, 187

  Sheridan, Richard Brinsley, produces the “School for Scandal,” 322;
    his extravagance, 328;
    _sang froid_ exhibited in the House of Commons by, _ib._;
    his death, 329

  Shipley, Mr., founder of the Society of Arts, 100;
    his pupils, _ib._

  Shippen, “Honest,” 45

  Shipyard, the, gable-ended house in, 148

  Shorter, Sir John, 22

  Siddons, Mrs., 91, 319;
    the homage of distinguished men to, 320

  Signs, the suppression of, 237;
    adornment of old London by, 238

  Simon, Old, 379-80;
    portraits of, 380;
    anecdotes of his dog “Rover,” _ib._

  Singers, theatrical, 333 _et seq._

  Slaughter’s, Old, 249;
    Hogarth and Roubilliac at, _ib._

  Slaughter’s, New, 253

  Sloane, Sir Hans, 284

  Smith, the brothers, 330

  Smith, James, 139;
    epigram by, 140

  Snow, the goldsmith, 151, 443

  Soane, Sir John, 427

  Soane Museum, the, curiosities in, 424;
    impediments thrown in the way of visitors to, _ib._;
    its treasures, 425 _et seq._;
    its pictures and engravings, 426;
    a satire on, 465

  Sœur, Le, French sculptor, 209

  Somerset, the Protector, 57

  Somerset House, 56;
    Elizabeth’s visits to Lord Hunsdon in, 58;
    Anne of Denmark’s masquerades in, _ib._;
    pranks of Henrietta Maria’s French household in, _ib._;
    Puritans offended by Henrietta Maria’s Roman Catholic chapel in, 59;
    tombs under the great square of, _ib._;
    death of Inigo Jones in, _ib._;
    the celebration of Protestant service in, _ib._;
    the lying-in-state of Cromwell in, 60;
    Pepys’s description of a strange scene in the presence-chamber of, 61;
    lying-in-state of Monk, Duke of Albemarle, in, _ib._;
    the murder of Sir Edmondbury Godfrey, _ib._;
    Waller made drunk at, 62;
    apartments for poor noblemen, _ib._;
    erection of new Government offices on the site of the old palace of,
        _ib._;
    scene witnessed by Pepys at, 63;
    old prints of, _ib._;
    the architect of the modern buildings of, 64;
    demolition of the old palace of, _ib._;
    Edward VI.’s furniture, and Catherine of Braganza’s breakfast room in,
        _ib._;
    dimensions of the building completed by Sir William Chambers, 65;
    retirement of the Royal Academy to, _ib._;
    figures on the Strand front of, _ib._;
    Government clerks and public offices in, 66;
    statue and figure in the east wing of, _ib._;
    office for auditing public accounts in, _ib._;
    learned societies sheltered in, 67;
    distinguished men who must have frequented the halls of, _ib._;
    a legend of, 71;
    a tradition of Nelson at, _ib._;
    accident during Reynolds’s lecture at, 78;
    day-dreams in the great quadrangle of, 81

  Somerset Coffee-house, 446

  Somerset House Stairs, 63

  Southampton Street, 185;
    Garrick’s house in, _ib._

  Sparkes, Isaac, Irish comedian, 274

  “Spectator,” office of the, 124

  Spelman, Lady, 40

  Spelman, Sir Henry, 391

  Spenser, his death and burial, 28

  Spiller, James, comedian, 154;
    his death, 438

  Spring Gardens Academy of Art, the, 72;
    dissimulation of the king in relation to, 73;
    intrigues against, _ib._

  Stage, the, reform of declamation and costume on, 325;
    first appearance of actresses, in London, on, 429

  Stapleton, Walter, his death, 26

  Steele, Sir Richard, his coffee-houses, 36;
    his residence, 135;
    his allusions to Lincoln’s Inn, 398

  Stone, Nicholas, sculptor, 278

  Storace, operas written by, 334

  Stothard, the artist, sketch of his career, 283

  Strahan and Co., bankers, 151, 451 (_note_)

  Strand, the:--
    Essex Street, 25;
    Exeter House, 26;
    Exeter Place, _ib._;
    Essex House 29;
    Milford Lane, 38;
    Devereux Court, _ib._;
    Arundel House, 39;
    Arundel Street, 43;
    Norfolk Street, 44;
    Surrey Street, 48;
    Howard Street, 49;
    Strand Lane, 53;
    Anderson’s pills in, _ib._;
    Turk’s Head Coffee-house, _ib._;
    residence of Jacob Tonson in, 54;
    occupants of No. 141, _ib._;
    office of the “Illustrated London News” in, 55;
    Somerset House, 56;
    Haydon’s first London lodgings in, 77;
    Beaufort House, 83;
    the residence of Blake, in, _ib._;
    office of the “Sun” newspaper, 83;
    Coutts’s Bank, 86;
    Cecil Street, 88;
    Salisbury Street and House, 89;
    Mrs. Siddons’s residence in, 91;
    Durham Street and House, _ib._;
    Buckingham Street, 135;
    Villiers Street, _ib._;
    Duke Street, _ib._;
    York Buildings, _ib._;
    Hungerford Bridge and Market, 136;
    Craven Street, 139;
    Northumberland Street, 143;
    the strata of, 146;
    the footway in Edward II.’s time, 147;
    discovery of a small bridge in, _ib._;
    houses on the north side of, _ib._ _et seq._;
    Butcher Row, 148;
    Palsgrave Place, 151;
    the Maypole in, 160;
    St. Clement’s Danes, 152;
    a scene of Elizabeth’s time in, 161;
    St. Mary’s-le-Strand, 162;
    New Inn, 164;
    Wych Street, _ib._;
    Lyon’s Inn, 165;
    Catherine Street, 166;
    Doyley’s warehouse in, 168;
    Wellington Street, _ib._;
    Lyceum Theatre, 171;
    Exeter Change, 175;
    familiar sounds to the old residents in, 177;
    Exeter Street, 178;
    Exeter Hall, _ib._;
    a resident in, _ib._;
    Exeter House, 179;
    Burleigh Street, _ib._;
    Adelphi Theatre, 180;
    Southampton Street, 185;
    Bedford Street, 186;
    Gaiety Theatre, 452;
    memoranda relating to the south side of, 443;
    do. relating to the north side of, 452

  Strand, Bridge, the, 169

  Strand Lane, 53;
    mentioned by Addison, 169

  Strand Theatre, 444, 446

  Streets, the nomenclature of, 103

  Strype, the antiquary, 117

  Suckling, Sir John, 195;
    his death, 241

  Suett, the actor, 321

  Suffolk House, 194

  Sullivan, Luke, engraver, 251

  “Sun,” office of the, 83

  Surrey Street, 48

  Surgeons, College of, 419

  Swan, the, Charing Cross, 236


  Tart-Hall, 43

  Taylor, the water-poet, 279;
    his complaint regarding carriages and tobacco, _ib._;
    epitaph on, 280

  Tempest, Peter Molyn, engraver, 167

  Temple Bar, its erection, 4;
    description of, 5;
    threatened destruction of, 6;
    fixing the heads of traitors on, 11;
    curious print of, 13;
    heads of Fletcher, Townley, and Oxburgh, exposed on, _ib._;
    apprehension of a man for firing bullets at the two last heads
        exhibited on, 16;
    Counsellor Layer’s head blown by a terrible wind from, _ib._;
    removal of the last iron spike from, 17;
    a quotation of Dr. Johnson’s at, _ib._;
    proclamation of peace at, 18;
    its adornment on public occasions, 19;
    opening its gates to the sovereign, 20;
    reception of Queen Elizabeth at, _ib._;
    reception of royal persons at, 21;
    pageants on the passage of King James, _ib._;
    the mournful celebrity of, 22

  Temple Club, 453

  Tenison, Dr. Thomas, 247

  Tennyson, Alfred, 418

  Terry, an actor, 183

  Thames, the, scenery on its banks, 136;
    embankment of, 190;
    old watermen on, 247;
    Copper Holme’s ark on, _ib._

  Theatres, an old custom at, 172;
    a riot in one, 186

  Theatre, the Duke’s, 429;
    a sword-fight between two factions in, 430;
    the principal ladies of, _ib._;
    Pepys’s visits to, 431;
    the principal performers at, 432 _et seq._;
    plays of Congreve produced at, 434;
    Steele’s account of an audience in, 435;
    the last proprietor of, _ib._;
    riot at, 436;
    Macklin’s performance at, 437;
    Quin’s appearance at, _ib._

  Thomson, the music-seller, 177

  Thornbury, the Rev. Nathaniel, 47

  Thornhill, Sir James, 72

  Thurloe, Secretary, 392-393

  Thurtell, the murderer of Weare, 165

  Thynne, Tom, 193

  Tillotson, Dr., 390

  Tobacco, introduction of, 96

  Tom’s Coffee-house, 37

  Tonson, Jacob, 54

  Tories, they establish tavern-clubs, 284

  Townley, execution of, 14

  Trafalgar Square, 220;
    statues and fountains in, 221, 456

  Trojan Horse, Bushnell’s, 7

  Tunstall, Bishop, 92

  Turk’s Head Coffee-house, 53

  Turk’s Head, Gerrard Street, 72

  Turner, J. W. M., anecdote of, 78;
    his opinion of the Thames scenery, 136;
    characteristics of his works, 224;
    his bequests to the nation, _ib._

  Tyburn, criminals on their way to, 373

  Tyler Wat, 112;
    a mistake of Shakspere regarding, 114 (_note_)

  Tyrconnel, the Duchess of. _See_ Widow, the White

  Twinings, the Messrs., 35, 152


  Ussher, Archbishop, 396

  Union Club, the, 457


  Vanderbank starts an academy of art, 72

  Vane, Sir Harry, 200

  Vere Street, Clare Market, 345

  Vernon, Robert, 224

  Vertue, 8

  Vestris, Madame, 175

  Via Trinovantica, 349

  Victoria embankment, 191

  “Ville de Paris,” the Olympic Theatre partially built of its timbers, 164

  Villiers Street, 135

  “Vine,” the, in St. Giles’s, 375

  Vine Street, origin of the name, 300

  Vinegar Yard, Drury Lane, 300

  Voltaire rebukes Congreve’s vanity, 52

  “Vortigern,” by W. H. Ireland, 46


  Waagen, Dr., 199

  Waldo, Sir Timothy, 412

  Wallack, the actor, 334

  Waller, the poet, Saville’s saying of, 62;
    lines by, 210

  Wallis, Albany, residence of, 46

  Walpole, a circumstance to surprise, 78;
    visits the Cock Lane ghost, 196

  Warburton, Bishop, 397

  Ward, Dr., inventor of “Friar’s Balsam,” disposal of his statue by
        Carlini, 100;
    attends on George II., _ib._

  Ward, Edward, 281

  Waterloo Bridge, Dupin and Canova’s declaration respecting, 124;
    chief features of, _ib._;
    anecdote of Old Jack, a horse employed to drag the stone to, _ib._;
    the dark arch of, 451

  Watling Street, 349

  Weare, Mr. William, 165

  Webster, Benjamin, as an actor, 184

  Wedderburn, his insincerity, 415;
    Lord Clive’s reward to, _ib._

  Welch, Judge, apprehends a highwayman, 378

  Wellington Street, newspapers and periodicals in, 167, 168, 454

  West, anecdote of, 73;
    his patronage of Proctor, 80

  Westminster Fire Office, 257

  Whetstone Park, 400

  Whitefoord, Caleb, 141;
    Adam’s room in the house of, 142;
    Goldsmith’s lines on, _ib._

  White Horse livery stables, 257

  Whitelock, Bulstrode, 234

  Whittington Club, the, 152

  Wickliffe, John, refuses tribute to the Pope, 109;
    appears before the Bishop of London, _ib._

  Widow, the White, the story of, 94

  Wild House, 277, 459

  Wilkes, Robert, actor, 311

  Wilkinson, Tate, 123

  Willis, Dr. Thomas, 241

  Wilson, the painter, 189, 283

  Wimbledon House, Strand, and Doyley’s warehouse erected on the site of,
        168

  Winchester House, 271

  Wither, George, 120, 121

  Woffington, Peg, president of the Beefsteak Club, 173;
    her career, 316

  Wolcot, Dr. (Peter Pinder), 84

  Wollaston, Dr., discoveries of, 88;
    anecdote of, 85

  Woodward, the actor, 315

  Wych Street, 164, 454

  Wynford, Lord, epigram on, 415


  Yates, Mr., the actor, 183

  Yates, Mrs., actress, 317

  York House, old, 126;
    river view of, 127;
    celebrated men connected with, _ib._;
    Lord Bacon’s life here, _ib._;
    pictures, busts, and statues at, 131;
    paintings placed in it by the Duke of Buckingham, _ib._;
    Pepys’s visit to, 132;
    streets built on its site, 135

  York Stairs, description of, 134

  York Buildings, waterworks, 135, 445

  York Buildings, Water Company, 445

  Young, Charles, the actor, 323, 335


  Zoffany, the artist, 303;
    Garrick’s patronage of, 304


THE END.



FOOTNOTES:

[1] Tom Taylor’s _Life of Haydon_, vol. i. p. 49.

[2] Strype, B. iii. p. 278.

[3] It was pulled down in January 1878.

[4] The steepness of Holborn Hill was abolished by the new viaduct in
1869.

[5] Cunningham’s _London_, vol. i. p. 260.

[6] Archenholz, p. 227.

[7] Beautifully reprinted in 1863 by Mr. J. C. Hotten.

[8] Walpole’s _Anecdotes of Painting_, vol. iii. p. 274.

[9] Pamphlet “The Burning of the Pope,” quoted in Brayley’s _Londiniana_,
vol. iv. p. 74.

[10] Roger North’s _Examen_, p. 574.

[11] _Ibid._ p. 574.

[12] For a further account of these Anti-Papal proceedings the reader may
refer to _Sir Roger de Coverly_, with notes by W. H. Wills.

[13] _State Trials_, x. pp. 105-124; Burnet, ii. p. 407.

[14] Hume, vol. vii. p. 220.

[15] Evelyn, vol. ii. p. 341.

[16] _Temple Bar, the City Golgotha_ (1853), p. 33.

[17] Cobbett’s _State Trials_, vol. xviii.

[18] _State Trials_, vol. xviii. p. 375.

[19] _Annual Register_ (1766), p. 52.

[20] Nichol’s _Literary Anecdotes_.

[21] Brayley.

[22] Boswell, p. 258.

[23] Ovid, _de Art. Amand._, B. v. 339.

[24] _Recollections of the Life of John O’Keefe_, vol. i. p. 81.

[25] _O’Keefe’s Life_, vol. i. p. 101.

[26] _London Scenes_, by Aleph (1863), p. 75.

[27] Stow’s _Annals_.

[28] Hall’s _Chronicle_ (condensed in Nichols’ _London Pageants_).

[29] Leland’s _Collectanea_, vol. iv. pp. 310 _et seq._

[30] Holinshed.

[31] Nichols’ _Progresses_, vol. i. p. 58.

[32] Nichols’ _London Pageants_, p. 63.

[33] _London Gazette._

[34] Nichols p. 83.

[35] Dugdale.

[36] Holinshed’s _Chronicles_, vol. iii. p. 338.

[37] Sharon Turner’s _Hist. of England_, vol. xii. p. 276.

[38] Hygford’s _Exam. Murd._, 57.

[39] _Ibid._

[40] Pennant.

[41] Camden, p. 632.

[42] Hepworth Dixon’s _Story of Lord Bacon’s Life_ (1862), p. 120.

[43] Hepworth Dixon’s _Story of Lord Bacon’s Life_ (1862), p. 121.

[44] Wotton, _Reliquiæ_, p. 160.

[45] Dr. Birch’s _Memoirs of the Reign of James I._

[46] Ben Jonson’s _Works_ (Gifford), vol. vii. p. 75.

[47] Clarendon’s _History of the Rebellion_, x. 80.

[48] MS. Journal of the House of Commons.

[49] Smith’s _Nollekens_.

[50] Boswell’s _Johnson_ (1860), p. 751.

[51] Jeaffreson’s _Book about Doctors_, p. 97.

[52] Boswell, vol. iv. p. 276.

[53] J. T. Smith’s _Streets of London_ (1846), vol. i. p. 412.

[54] _The Intelligencer_, Jan. 23, 1664-5.

[55] Disraeli’s _Curios. of Lit._, p. 289.

[56] Evelyn, vol. i. p. 10.

[57] Dr. King’s _Anecdotes_, p. 117.

[58] Thoresby’s _Diary_, ii. 111-117.

[59] _British Bibliographer_, vol. i. p. 574.

[60] Pope’s _Works_ (Carruthers), vol. ii. p. 379.

[61] Hawkins’s _Life of Johnson_, pp. 207-244.

[62] Jeaffreson’s _Book about Doctors_ (2d edit.) pp. 207, 208.

[63] Stow, p. 161.

[64] Dryden’s _Misc. Poems_, iv. 275, ed. 1727 (Cunningham).

[65] Latimer’s Fourth Sermon, 1st ed.

[66] Strype, B. iv. p. 105.

[67] _Earl of Monmouth’s Mem._, ed. 1759, p. 77.

[68] Lysons.

[69] Dr. Birch’s _Mems. of the Peers of England_.

[70] Lingard’s _History of England_.

[71] Hughson.

[72] Cunningham (1846), vol. i. p. 38.

[73] Walpole’s _Anecdotes_, vol. i. p. 292.

[74] Lilly _On the Life and Death of King Charles I._, p. 224.

[75] Walpole’s _Anecdotes_, ii. 153.

[76] Smith’s _Streets_, vol. i. p. 385.

[77] Thoresby’s _Letters_, ii. 329.

[78] Hawkins’s _Life of Johnson_, p. 208.

[79] _Spectator_, 329-335.

[80] Ireland’s _Authentic Account_, etc. (1796), i. p. 42.

[81] W. H. Ireland’s _Vindication_, p. 21.

[82] Ireland’s _Vindication_, p. 19.

[83] Boaden’s _Life of Kemble_, vol. ii. p. 172.

[84] Andrews’s _History of British Journalism_, vol. ii. p. 285.

[85] Strype, B. iv. p. 118.

[86] Walpole’s _Anecdotes_, vol. ii. p. 391.

[87] _The Mourning Bride._

[88] It is doubtful whether it was not the duchess. (Wilson’s _Life of
Congreve_, 8vo, 1730, i. p. 1 of Preface.)

[89] Cibber’s _Lives of the Poets_ (1753).

[90] Stow, p. 165.

[91] _Spectator_, No. 454.

[92] Malachi Malagrowther’s _Letters_.

[93] Croker’s _Boswell_, vol. i. p. 475.

[94] Scott’s _Dryden_, vol. i. p. 388.

[95] Johnson’s _Life of Dryden_.

[96] Strype, B. ii. p. 508.

[97] Hume.

[98] Dugdale, vol. ii. p. 363.

[99] Mitford, v. 201.

[100] Cunningham, vol. ii. p. 756.

[101] Stow, p. 149.

[102] Burleigh’s _Diary in Munden_, p. 811.

[103] Wilson’s _Life of James I._

[104] L’Estrange’s _Life of Charles I._

[105] _Certain Information_, etc., No. 11, p. 87.

[106] Cunningham, vol. ii. p. 755.

[107] Essay by John D’Espagne.

[108] Ludlow’s _Memoirs_, vol. ii. p. 615.

[109] Pepys, 2d. edit. vol. i. p. 309.

[110] Pepys, vol. i. p. 357.

[111] Aubrey’s _Lives and Letters_.

[112] Stow, p. 1045, ed. 1631.

[113] Pepys’s _Diary_, vol. i. p. 16.

[114] Leigh Hunt’s _Town_, p. 166.

[115] _Ibid._ p. 168.

[116] Dryden’s _Essay on Dramatick Poesy_, 1668.

[117] Cunningham, vol. ii. p. 756.

[118] _European Magazine_ (Mr. Moser).

[119] Smith’s _Life of Nollekens_, vol. ii. p. 205.

[120] Walpole’s _Anecdotes_, vol. i. p. 22 (Notes by Northcote and Mr.
Wornum).

[121] Chalmers’s _British Poets_, vol. vii. p. 101 (Ode to the Royal
Society).

[122] Cunningham, vol. i. p. 26.

[123] _Ibid._ p. 757.

[124] _Ibid._

[125] Walpole’s _Anecdotes_, vol. i. p. 282.

[126] Galt’s _Life of West_, pt. ii. p. 25.

[127] _Ibid._ pp. 36-38.

[128] Strange’s _Enquiry into the Rise and Establishment of the Royal
Academy_ (1775).

[129] Pye’s _Patronage of British Art_, p. 134.

[130] The original thirty-six Academicians were--Benjamin West, Francesco
Zuccarelli, Nathaniel Dance, Richard Wilson, George Michael Moser, Samuel
Wale (a sign-painter), J. Baptist Cipriani, Jeremiah Meyer, Angelica
Kauffmann, Charles Catton (a coach and sign painter), Francesco
Bartolozzi, Francis Cotes, Edward Penny, George Barrett (Wilson’s rival),
Paul Sandby, Richard Yeo, Mary Moser, Agostino Carlini, William Chambers
(the architect of Somerset House), Joseph Wilton (the sculptor), Francis
Milner Newton, Francis Hayman, John Baker, Mason Chamberlin, John Gwynn,
Thomas Gainsborough, Dominick Serres, Peter Toms (a drapery painter for
Reynolds, who finally committed suicide), Nathaniel Hone (who for his
libel on Reynolds was expelled the Academy), Joshua Reynolds, John
Richards, Thomas Sandby, George Dance, J. Tyler, William Hoare of Bath,
and Johann Zoffani. In 1772 Edward Burch, Richard Cosway, Joseph
Nollekens, and James Barry (expelled in 1797), made up the
forty.--Wornum’s Preface to the _Lectures on Painting_.

[131] Pye’s _Patronage of British Art_, 1845, p. 136.

[132] Royal Academy _Catalogues_, Brit. Mus.

[133] Smith’s _Nollekens_, vol. i. p. 381.

[134] _Life of Haydon_, by Tom Taylor, vol. i. p. 30.

[135] _Ibid._ p. 20.

[136] Thornbury’s _Life of Turner_.

[137] O’Keefe’s _Life_ vol. i. p. 386.

[138] Knowles’s _Life of Fuseli_, vol. i. p. 32.

[139] Irvine’s _Life of Falconer_.

[140] Smith’s _Life of Nollekens_, vol. ii. p. 129.

[141] Hatton, p. 785.

[142] _Postman_, No. 80.

[143] _Life of Blake_, by Gilchrist.

[144] Andrews’s _History of Journalism_, vol. ii. p. 85.

[145] Strype, B. iii. p. 196.

[146] Glover’s _Life_, p. 6.

[147] Dennis’s _Letters_, p. 196.

[148] Procter’s _Life of Kean_, vol. ii. p. 140.

[149] Dr. King’s _Art of Cookery_.

[150] _Spectator_, No. 9.

[151] _Memoirs of the Kit-Cat Club_, p. 6.

[152] Defoe’s _Journal_, vol. i. p. 287.

[153] _Letters of Lady M. W. Montagu_, edited by W. M. Thomas, Esq.

[154] _Annual Obituary_, vol. vii.

[155] _Monthly Repository_, by Leigh Hunt, 1836.

[156] Procter’s _Life of Kean_.

[157] _The Temple Anecdotes_ (Groombridge), p. 50.

[158] Strype, B. iv. p. 120.

[159] _Ibid._

[160] Dixon’s _Bacon_, p. 227.

[161] Appendix to the _Tatler_, vol. iv. p. 615.

[162] Smith’s _Streets of London_, vol. iv. p. 244.

[163] _Egerton Papers_, by Collier, p. 376.

[164] Strype, B. vi. p. 76.

[165] Cunningham, vol. i. p. 283.

[166] _London Gazette_, No. 897.

[167] Pepys, vol. i. p. 137, 4to ed.

[168] Horace Walpole.

[169] Otway.

[170] _Spectator_, No. 155.

[171] _Tatler_, No. 26.

[172] _Nouvelle Biographie Univ._, vol. xxxviii. p. 19.

[173] _Ducatus Leodiensis_, fol. 1715, p. 485.

[174] _British Apollo_ (1740), ii. p. 376.

[175] Oldys’s _Life of Raleigh_, p. 145.

[176] Aubrey, vol. iii. p. 513.

[177] Gough’s _British Topography_, vol. i. p. 743.

[178] Walpole’s _Mems. of George III._, vol. iv. p. 173.

[179] Elmes’s _Anecdotes_, vol. iii.

[180] Cunningham, vol. i. p. 83.

[181] Boswell, vol. i. p. 225.

[182] Hone’s _Everyday Book_, vol. i. p. 237.

[183] Pye’s _Patronage of British Art_ (1845), pp. 61, 62.

[184] _Wine and Walnuts_, vol. i. p. 161.

[185] Smith’s _Nollekens_, vol. i. p. 3.

[186] _Ibid._ vol. ii. p. 203.

[187] _Haydon’s Life_, vol. iii. p. 182.

[188] _Book about Doctors_, by J. C. Jeaffreson, p. 221.

[189] Archenholz, p. 109.

[190] Colman’s _Random Records_.

[191] See the Percy Society’s Publications.

[192] Rymer, iii. 926.

[193] Chaucer’s _Works_.

[194] Dugdale’s _Baronetage_, vol. 1. p. 789.

[195] _Scala Chron._, p. 175; Froissart, c. 161.

[196] Rymer, vi. 452.

[197] Froissart, lix.

[198] Walsingham, p. 248.

[199] Holinshed, vol. ii. p. 431.

[200] Shakspere incorrectly makes Jack Cade burn the Savoy. He has
attributed to that Irish impostor the act of Wat Tyler, a far more
patriotic man.

[201] Stow.

[202] Cowley’s _Works_, 10th edit. (Tonson), 1707, vol. ii. p. 587.

[203] Letter to Evelyn. Cowley’s _Works_ (1707), vol. ii. p. 731.

[204] J. T. Smith’s _Antiquarian Ramble in the Streets of London_ (1846),
vol. i. p. 255.

[205] Baker’s _Chronicle_ (1730), p. 625.

[206] Cunningham’s _London_ (1849), vol. ii. p. 728.

[207] _The Postman_ (1696), No. 180.

[208] Strype, B. iv. p. 107, ed. 1720.

[209] Hughson’s _Walks through London_, p. 207.

[210] Hughson’s _Walks through London_, p. 209.

[211] Dryden’s _Works_ (1821 ed.), vol. ii. p. 105.

[212] _Athenæ Ox._ vol. ii. p. 1036.

[213] Cunningham (1849), vol. ii. p. 537.

[214] Wood’s _Athen. Ox._ ii. 396, ed. 1721.

[215] _The Shepherd’s Hunting_ (1633).

[216] Macaulay’s _History of England_, vol. ii. chap. v.

[217] Buckingham’s _Works_ (1704), p. 15.

[218] _All the Year Round_, May 12, 1860 (_The Precinct_).

[219] Andrews’s _History of British Journalism_, vol. ii. p. 83.

[220] Smiles’s _Lives of the Engineers_, vol. ii. p. 187.

[221] Smiles’s _Lives of the Engineers_, vol. ii. p. 186.

[222] _Ibid._, vol. ii. p. 93.

[223] Hepworth Dixon’s _Story of Lord Bacon’s Life_ (1862), p. 14.

[224] Montagu, xii. 420, 432.

[225] Aubrey’s _Lives_, vol. ii. p. 224; Dixon’s _Bacon_, p. 315.

[226] _Character of Lord Bacon._

[227] Dixon’s _Story of Lord Bacon’s Life_, p. 33 (1862). Pearce’s _Inns
of Court_.

[228] Sir B. Gerbier.

[229] Bassompierre’s _Embassy to England_.

[230] Whitelocke, p. 167.

[231] Peacham’s _Compleat Gentleman_, ed. 1661, p. 108.

[232] Pepys, 6th June 1663.

[233] Dryden (Scott), vol. ix. p. 233.

[234] Pepys’s _Diary_. vol. i. p. 223.

[235] Evelyn’s _Memoirs_, vol. i. p. 530.

[236] Rate Books of St. Martin’s.

[237] Cole’s _MSS._, vol. xx. folio 220.

[238] Gilchrist’s _Life of Etty_, vol. i. p. 221.

[239] Barrow’s _Life of Peter the Great_, p. 90.

[240] Ballard’s Collection, Bodleian.

[241] Pennant.

[242] Strype, B. vi. p. 76.

[243] Cunningham, vol. i. pp. 402, 403.

[244] Rate-books of St. Martin’s.

[245] _Memorials of Franklin_, vol. i. p. 261.

[246] Smith’s _Comic Misc._ vol. ii. p. 186.

[247] _Memoirs of James Smith_, by Horace Smith, vol. i. p. 32.

[248] _Memoirs of James Smith_, by Horace Smith, vol. i. p. 54.

[249] Smith’s _Nollekens_, vol. i. p. 340.

[250] _Ibid._ vol. i. pt 302.

[251] Harl. MSS. 6850.

[252] Rate-books of St. Martin’s.

[253] Smith’s _Book for a Rainy Day_, pp. 281, 282.

[254] Cal. Rot. Patentium.

[255] Brayley’s _Beauties of England and Wales_, vol. x. part iv. p. 167.

[256] _Father Hubbard’s Tale_, 4to, 1604.--Middleton’s _Works_, vol. v. p.
573.

[257] Archer’s _Vestiges of Old London_ (View of Crockford’s shop).

[258] Walpole’s _Anecdotes_, vol. iii. p. 911.

[259] Malcolm’s _Londinum Rediviv._ vol. iii. p. 397.

[260] Hughson’s _Walks_ (1829).

[261] Boswell’s _Life of Johnson_, vol. i. p. 383.

[262] Boswell, vol. iii. p. 331.

[263] _Censura Literaria_, vol. i. p. 176.

[264] Spence’s _Anecdotes_.

[265] _State Poems_, vol. ii. p. 143 (“A Satyr on the Poets.”)

[266] Leigh Hunt’s _Town_ (1857), p. 135.

[267] Hughson’s _Walks_, p. 184.

[268] Leigh Hunt’s _Town_ (1859 ed.), p. 134.

[269] Strype, B. iv. p. 117.

[270] Boswell.

[271] Walpole’s _Anecdotes_ (ed. Dallaway), vol. ii. p. 315.

[272] Leigh Hunt’s _Town_ (1859), p. 145.

[273] Brayley’s _Beauties of England and Wales_, vol. x. part iv. p. 166.

[274] Malone’s _Shakspere_, vol. iii. p. 516.

[275] Nichols’s _Hogarth_, vol. ii. p. 70.

[276] Cunningham (1849), vol. i. p. 210.

[277] Hughson’s _Walks through London_, p. 188.

[278] Chalmers’s _Biog. Dict._ vol. v. p. 64.

[279] Boswell, ed. Croker, vol. ii. 201.

[280] Stow, p. 166.

[281] Sir G. Buc, in Howes (ed. 1631), p. 1075.

[282] Fitzstephen, circa, 1178: the quotation refers, however, more to the
north of London.

[283] Tennyson.

[284] Malcolm’s _London_, vol. ii.

[285] Knox’s _Elegant Extracts_.

[286] Leigh Hunt’s _Town_, p. 146.

[287] _Henry IV._ second part, act iii. sc. 2.

[288] _Prot. Dissenters’ Magazine_, vol. vi.

[289] Smith’s _Life of Nollekens_, vol. i. 365.

[290] Cradock’s _Memoirs_, vol. iv. p. 166.

[291] _Garrard to the Earl of Strafford_, vol. i. p. 227.

[292] _Citie’s Loyaltie Displayed_, 4to, 1661.

[293] Pepys.

[294] Aubrey’s _Anecdotes_, vol. iii. p. 457.

[295] Malcolm’s _Streets of London_ (1846), vol. i. p. 363.

[296] _Parish Clerks’ Survey_, p. 286.

[297] Cunningham’s _Lives of the Painters_, vol. iii. p. 292.

[298] Pope’s _Dunciad_.

[299] Addison’s _Freeholder_, No. 4.

[300] J. T. Smith’s _Streets of London_ (1846), vol. i. pp. 366, 367.

[301] Sir G. Buc (Stow by Howes), p. 1075, ed. 1631.

[302] Roper’s _Life of Sir Thomas More_, by Singer, p. 52.

[303] _Spectator_ No. 2, March 2, 1710-11.

[304] Cunningham, vol. ii. p. 606.

[305] Sir G. Buc, in Howes, p. 1076, ed. 1631.

[306] _Trivia._

[307] _Smith’s Streets of London_, vol. i. p. 338.

[308] Hone’s _Every-day Book_, vol. i. p. 1300.

[309] Walpole’s _Anecdotes of Painting_, vol. ii. p. 612.

[310] No. 102.

[311] Pennant’s _London_ (1813), p. 204.

[312] _Spectator_, No. 454.

[313] _Spectator_, No. 454.

[314] Andrews’s _History of Journalism_, vol. ii. p. 8.

[315] Brayley’s _Theatres of London_ (1826), p. 40.

[316] Brayley, p. 42.

[317] Chetwood’s _History of the Stage_, p. 141.

[318] _Spectator_, No. 468.

[319] Ward’s _Secret History of Clubs_, ed. 1709.

[320] Victor.

[321] Edwards’s _Anecdotes of Painting_, p. 20.

[322] _Wine and Walnuts_, vol. i. p. 110.

[323] P. Cunningham.

[324] Dr. King’s _Art of Cookery, humbly inscribed to the Beef-steak
Club_. (1709.)

[325] Leigh Hunt’s _Town_ (1859), p. 191.

[326] Cunningham, vol. i. p. 297.

[327] Delaune.

[328] Strype, B. iv. p. 119.

[329] Leigh Hunt’s _Town_, ch. iv.

[330] _Wine and Walnuts_, vol. i. p. 281.

[331] _Ibid._ p. 269.

[332] _Wine and Walnuts_, vol. i. p. 276.

[333] Cunningham, p. 187.

[334] Whitelocke.

[335] Lockhart’s _Life of Scott_, vol. vi. p. 20.

[336] _The Stage_, by Alfred Bunn, vol. iii. p. 131.

[337] _Life of Mathews_, by Mrs. Mathews (abridged by Mr. Yates), p. 211.

[338] _Life of Mathews_, by Mrs. Mathews.

[339] _Critical Essays_ (1807), p. 140.

[340] Hazlitt’s _Criticisms of the English Stage_, p. 98.

[341] Hazlitt’s _Criticisms of the English Stage_, p. 98.

[342] Cole’s _Life of C. Kean_, vol. ii. p. 260.

[343] Strype, B. vi. p. 93.

[344] Stow.

[345] Davies’s _Life of Garrick_, vol. x. p. 217.

[346] Strype, B. vi. p. 93.

[347] Cunningham’s _London_ (1850), p. 219.

[348] Whyte’s _Miscellanea Nova_, p. 49.

[349] Cunningham, vol. ii. p. 597.--Rate-books of St. Martin’s.

[350] Walpole’s _Anecdotes_, vol. i. p. 248.

[351] Dixon’s _Story of Lord Bacon’s Life_, p. 204.

[352] _English Causes Célèbres_ (edited by Craik), vol. i. p. 79.

[353] _Memoirs of the Peers of James I._, p. 240.

[354] _Autobiography of Lord Herbert_, p. 110

[355] Suckling’s _Poems_.

[356] Camden’s _Annals of King James_.

[357] _Londinum Redivivum._

[358] Walpole to Montague, Feb. 2, 1762.

[359] Dix’s _Life of Chatterton_, p. 267.

[360] Foster’s _Life of Goldsmith_, p. 216.

[361] Irving’s _Oliver Goldsmith_ (1850), p. 90.

[362] Dr. Waagen’s _Treasures of Art_, vol. i. p. 394.

[363] Walpole’s _Anecdotes_, vol. ii. p. 354.

[364] Walpole, vol. i. p. 277.

[365] _The Famous Chronicle of King Edward I._ (4to., 1593).

[366] Bosworth’s _Anglo-Saxon Dictionary_.

[367] Hamlet.

[368] _Diversions of Purley._

[369] Peele’s _Works_ (Dyce), vii. 575.

[370] Rymer, ii. 498.

[371] Heming, 590.

[372] Walpole, vol. i. p. 32.

[373] _Gleanings from Westminster Abbey_, 2d edition, p. 152 (W. Burges),
Roxburghe Club.

[374] Lilly’s _Observations_.

[375] Carlyle’s _Cromwell_, vol. i. p. 99.

[376] _State Trials_, vol. v. pp. 1234-5.

[377] Narcissus Luttrell.

[378] Overseers’ Books (_Cunningham_, vol. i. p. 179).

[379] _Harl. MSS._ 7315.

[380] Carpenter (quoted by Walpole, _Anecdotes_, vol. ii. p. 395).

[381] Walpole’s _Anecdotes_, vol. ii. p. 394.

[382] Smith’s _Streets of London_, vol. i. p. 139.

[383] Archenholz, _Tableau de l’Angleterre_, vol. ii. p. 164, 1788.

[384] _Burnet_, vol. ii. p. 53, ed. 1823.

[385] _Annual Register_ (1810).

[386] Cobbett’s _State Trials_, vol. xvii. p. 160.

[387] Archenholz, vol. i. p. 166.

[388] _Daily Advertiser_, 1731.

[389] _Gentleman’s Magazine_, vol. i.

[390] v. 85.

[391] Hogarth’s _Works_ (Nicholls and Steevens), vol. i. p. 162.

[392] Smith’s _London_, vol. i. p. 141.

[393] _Notes and Queries_ (vol. vi., 1858), p. 364.

[394] _Dunciad_, B. iv. 30.

[395] Pope’s Works (edited by R. Carruthers), vol. ii. p. 314.

[396] Stow, p. 167.

[397] Report, May 16, 1844.

[398] Smith’s _London_, vol. i. p. 133.

[399] Dr. Waagen, vol. i. p. 6.

[400] Waagen, vol. i. p. 322.

[401] _Ibid._ vol. i. p. 331.

[402] Cunningham, nearly always correct, says £10,000 (vol. ii. p. 577).

[403] Waagen, vol. ii. p. 329.

[404] Cunningham’s _London_, p. 428.

[405] Smith’s _Streets of London_, vol. i. p. 153.

[406] Rate-books of St. Martin’s (Cunningham).

[407] MSS., Birch, 4221, quoted in the notes of the _Tatler_.

[408] “Country Wife.”

[409] “The Scowrers.”

[410] _State Poems._

[411] “The Hind and the Panther Transversed.”

[412] “The Relapse.”

[413] _The Art of Cookery._

[414] _Weekly Journal_, Nov. 21, 1724.

[415] _London Gazette_, June 4, 1688.

[416] _Dunciad_, B. ii. v. 411.

[417] _Flying Post_, June 23, 1716.

[418] Pope’s _Works_ (Carruthers), vol. ii. pp. 309, 310.

[419] Leigh Hunt’s _Essays on the Theatres_ (1807), p. 64.

[420] Philips’s _Life of Milton_, p. 32, 12mo, 1694.

[421] Cunningham (1850), p. 107.

[422] _Wine and Walnuts_, vol. i. p. 163.

[423] _Royal Guide to the London Charities_, 1878-79.

[424] _Life of Dr. John North._

[425] Whitelock, p. 470, ed. 1732.

[426] Burnet, vol. ii. p. 70, ed. 1823.

[427] Boswell (Croker), vol. iii. p. 213.

[428] Willis’s _History of the See of Llandaff_.

[429] _Bartholomew Fair_ (Ben Jonson).

[430] Gifford’s _Ben Jonson_, iv. p. 430.

[431] Cunningham, vol. ii. p. 505.

[432] _The World_, Nov. 29, 1753.

[433] _Robson: a Sketch_ (Hotten, 1864).

[434] Aubrey, iii. 415.

[435] “Treacherous Brothers,” 4to, 1696.

[436] _St. James’s Chronicle_, April 24, 1762.

[437] _Ibid._ May 26, 1761.

[438] Edwards’ _Anecdotes_, pp. 116, 117.

[439] Rate-books of St. Martin’s.

[440] Lord Orford’s _Anecdotes of Painting_.

[441] J. C. Jeaffreson’s _Book about Doctors_, p. 109.

[442] _Ath. Ox._ vol. ii.

[443] Gifford’s _Ben Jonson_, vol. ix. pp. 48, 63, 64.

[444] Aubrey’s _Letters_, vol. ii. p. 332.

[445] Recital in grant to the parish from King James I.

[446] Cunningham’s _London_ (1849), vol. ii. p. 526.

[447] Burnet’s _Own Times_, vol. i. p. 327, ed. 1823.

[448] Allan Cunningham’s _Lives_, vol. iv. p. 290.

[449] _Biog. Brit._

[450] Smith’s _Life of Nollekens_, vol. ii. p. 233.

[451] Smith’s _Book for a Rainy Day_, pp. 251, 252.

[452] Prologues to the _Satires_, v. 180.

[453] Dr. Johnson’s _Life of Ambrose Philips_.

[454] Smith’s _Nollekens and his Times_, vol. ii. p. 222.

[455] Cunningham (1850), p. 450.

[456] Smith’s _Streets_, vol. ii. p. 208.

[457] Smith, vol. ii. p. 97.

[458] Smith, p. 211.

[459] _Ibid._ vol. ii. p. 212.

[460] Smith, vol. ii. p. 224.

[461] Smith’s _Streets of London_, vol. ii. p. 226.

[462] _Wine and Walnuts_, vol. i. p. 178, a curious and amusing book, the
truth in which is spoiled by an injudicious and eccentric mixture of
fiction.

[463] Smith’s _Nollekens_, vol. i. pp. 93, 94.

[464] _Ibid._ vol. ii. p. 233.

[465] Smith’s _Nollekens_, vol. ii. p. 238.

[466] _Ibid._ p. 241.

[467] Smith’s _Nollekens_, vol. i. p. 143.

[468] _Ibid._ vol. ii. p. 244.

[469] _Ibid._ p. 250.

[470] _Recollections of O’Keefe_, vol. i. p. 108.

[471] Knowles’s _Life of Fuseli_, vol. i. p. 57.

[472] _Passages of a Working Life_, by Charles Knight, vol. i. pp. 114,
115.

[473] Hume’s _Learned Societies_, pp. 84, 85.

[474] Dr. Hodges’ _Letter to a Person of Quality_, p. 15.

[475] Defoe’s _Journal of the Plague Year_.

[476] Dr. Hodges’ _Loimologia_, p. 7 (from the reprint in 1720, when the
plague was raging in France).

[477] _Ibid._ pp. 19, 20.

[478] Howes, p. 1048.

[479] Bagford, Harl. MSS. 5900, fol. 50.

[480] Walpole’s _Royal and Noble Authors_, vol. ii. p. 25.

[481] Evelyn’s _Diary_ (1850), vol. ii. p. 59.

[482] Evelyn’s _Diary_, vol. ii. p. 153 (1850).

[483] _Life of Lord Herbert_ (1826), p. 304.

[484] Horace Walpole.

[485] Aubrey’s _Lives_, vol. ii. p. 387.

[486] Walpole’s _Anecdotes of Painting_ (Dallaway), vol. ii. p. 593.

[487] Richardson.

[488] Walpole, vol. ii. p. 563 (partly from Dallaway’s version of the same
story).

[489] Dallaway.

[490] Walpole, vol. ii. p. 594.

[491] Spence.

[492] Aubrey, vol. ii p. 132.

[493] Dallaway’s Notes.

[494] Clarendon, B. ii. p. 2117.

[495] _Ibid._ B. i. p. 116.

[496] _Clarendon_, B. viii. p. 694.

[497] Walpole’s _Anecdotes of Painting_, vol. ii. p. 452.

[498] Doran’s _Her Majesty’s Servants_, vol. ii. p. 51.

[499] Leigh Hunt’s _Town_, p. 226.

[500] _Ibid._ p. 226.

[501] Hazlitt’s _Criticisms of the English Stage_, p. 49.

[502] _O’Keefe’s Life_, vol. i. p. 322.

[503] Leigh Hunt, p. 226.

[504] _Life of Benjamin Franklin_ (1826), p. 31.

[505] _Life of the Duke of Ormond_ (1747), pp. 67, 80.

[506] Macaulay, vol. ii. p. 560.

[507] Bramston, p. 339.

[508] _Annual Register_ (1780), pp. 254-287.

[509] _Life of Inigo Jones_, by P. Cunningham, p. 22 (Shakspere Society).

[510] Smith’s _Nollekens_, vol. ii. p. 90.

[511] Cibber’s _Lives_, vol. ii. p. 10.

[512] _Ibid._ p. 11.

[513] Cunningham’s _London_, vol. ii. p. 501.

[514] Dryden’s Works (Scott), vol. i. p. 204.

[515] Scott’s _Dryden_, vol. xiii. p. 7.

[516] Cibber’s _Lives_, vol. iv. p. 293.

[517] _Wine and Walnuts_, vol. ii. p. 277.

[518] Cibber’s _Lives_, vol. iv. p. 47.

[519] Cibber’s _Lives_, vol. iv. p. 47.

[520] Mrs. Bray’s _Life of Stothard_, p. 47.

[521] Defoe’s _Journey through England_.

[522] _Wine and Walnuts_, vol. ii. p. 167.

[523] Smith’s _Nollekens_, vol. i. p. 27.

[524] _Times_, Sept. 26, 1796.

[525] Talfourd’s _Final Memorials of Charles Lamb_, vol. i. p. 56.

[526] Burke’s _Landed Gentry_ (1858), p. 320.

[527] Pennant.

[528] Lingard, vol. vi. p. 607.

[529] Walton’s _Lives_ (1852), p. 22.

[530] _Angel in the House_, by Mr. Coventry Patmore.

[531] Dedication to Translation of Juvenal.

[532] Donne’s _Poems_ (1719), p. 291.

[533] Miss Benger’s _Memoirs of the Queen of Bohemia_, vol. ii. p. 322.

[534] Miss Benger’s _Memoirs of the Queen of Bohemia_, vol. ii. p. 428.

[535] Sydney State Papers, vol. ii. p. 723.

[536] Benger, vol. ii. p. 457.

[537] _Ibid._, Preface.

[538] Brayley’s _Londiniana_, vol. iv. p. 301.

[539] Walpole’s _Anecdotes_, p. 210.

[540] Cunningham, vol. i. p. 204.

[541] Wilson’s _Life of James I._ (1653), p. 146.

[542] Aubrey’s _Anecdotes and Traditions_, p. 3.

[543] _Trivia._

[544] Rate-books of St. Martin’s, quoted by P. Cunningham.

[545] Granger’s _Biographical History of England_ (1824), vol. v. p. 356.

[546] Pepys’s _Memoirs_, vol. iii. p. 75.

[547] Curll’s _History of the English Stage_, vol. i. p. III.

[548] _Miscellaneous Works by the late Duke of Buckingham, etc._, p. 35
(1704).

[549] _Miscellaneous Works by the late Duke of Buckingham, etc._, vol. i.
p. 34.

[550] _Burnet’s History of his own Times_ (1753), vol. i. p. 387.

[551] Leigh Hunt’s _Town_ (1859), p. 282.

[552] Evelyn’s _Mems._ vol. ii. p. 339.

[553] Collier, iii. 328.

[554] Prynne’s _Histrio-Mastix_ (1633).

[555] Pepys (May 8, 1663).

[556] Cibber’s _Apology_, p. 338. ed. 1740.

[557] Doran, vol. i. p. 57.

[558] Dec. 7, 1666.

[559] Jan. 23, 1667.

[560] April 20, 1667.

[561] Doran, p. 97.

[562] Doran, vol. i. p. 79.

[563] Leigh Hunt, p. 267.

[564] Cibber’s _Apology_, 250.

[565] Doran, vol. i. p. 466.

[566] _Tatler_, No. 182.

[567] Doran, vol. i. p. 464.

[568] Cumberland’s _Memoirs_, p. 59.

[569] Davies’s _Miscellanies_, vol. i. p. 126.

[570] Doran, vol. ii. p. 126.

[571] _Ibid._ p. 149.

[572] Doran, vol. i. p. 511.

[573] _Ibid._ vol. ii. p. 7.

[574] Dr. Doran, vol. ii. p. 277.

[575] Dr. Doran’s _Knights and their Days_.

[576] _Elia_, p. 217.

[577] Doran, vol. ii. p. 330.

[578] Leigh Hunt’s _Essays on the Theatres_, p. 124.

[579] Hazlitt’s _Essays_, p. 47.

[580] _Elia_, p. 216.

[581] Moore’s _Sheridan_, p. 140.

[582] _Ibid._ p. 181.

[583] Murphy’s _Garrick_.

[584] Doran, vol. ii. p. 489.

[585] Leigh Hunt’s _Essays on the Theatres_, p. 124.

[586] _Ibid._ p. 78.

[587] Hazlitt’s _Criticisms of the Stage_, p. 441.

[588] _Elia_, p. 221.

[589] Doran, vol. ii. p. 476.

[590] Hazlitt’s _Essays_, p. 47.

[591] Hazlitt’s _Criticisms_, pp. 49, 50.

[592] _Elia_ (1853), p. 206.

[593] _Elia_, p. 232.

[594] _Ibid._ p. 213.

[595] Moore’s _Life of Sheridan_, p. 637.

[596] Moore’s _Sheridan_, p. 637.

[597] Smith’s _Nollekens_, vol. ii. p. 113.

[598] Hazlitt’s _Essays_, p. 51.

[599] _Ibid._ p. 212.

[600] _The Georgian Era_, vol. iv. p. 43.

[601] Hazlitt’s _Essays_, p. 49.

[602] _Lounger’s Commonplace Book_, vol. ii. p. 137.

[603] _Dunciad_, B. iii. p. 199.

[604] _Lounger’s Commonplace Book_, vol. ii. p. 141.

[605] _The Intelligencer_, No. 3.

[606] Leigh Hunt’s _Town_, p. 248.

[607] _Fly Leaves_ (Miller), vol. i. p. 96.

[608] Disraeli’s _Miscellanies_, p. 77.

[609] _Wine and Walnuts_, vol. ii. p. 150.

[610] Jeaffreson’s _Book about Doctors_ (2d ed.), p. 85.

[611] The very earliest was granted to Philip the Hermit, for gravelling
the road at Highgate.

[612] Rymer’s _Fœdera_.

[613] Fuller’s _Church History_.

[614] Vaughan’s _Life of Wickliffe_.

[615] Dobie’s _St. Giles’s_, p. 11.

[616] _Ibid._ (1829), p. 2.

[617] Pennant (4th ed.), p. 3.

[618] Butler’s _Lives of the Saints_.

[619] Aggas’s Map, published in 1578 or 1560.

[620] Stow’s _Survey_, 1595.

[621] Dobie’s _St. Giles’s_, p. 46.

[622] Evelyn’s _Diary_.

[623] Brayley’s _Londiniana_.

[624] Dobie’s _St. Giles’s_, pp. 58, 59.

[625] Defoe’s _History of the Plague_.

[626] Maitland’s _History of London_.

[627] Dr. Sydenham.

[628] Dr. Hodgson’s _Journal of the Plague_.

[629] Dr. Hodges on the Plague.

[630] Fuller’s _Church History_.

[631] Hume.

[632] Fuller.

[633] Parliamentary Report.

[634] Ralph.

[635] Rowland Dobie’s _History of St. Giles’s_, p. 119.

[636] Pennant’s _London_, p. 159.

[637] Cunningham’s _London_, vol. i. p. 339.

[638] _Annual Register_, 1827.

[639] Dobie’s _St. Giles’s_, p. 367.

[640] Strype.

[641] Strype.

[642] Dobie’s _St. Giles’s_, p. 225.

[643] Cunningham’s _London_, vol. i. p. 384.

[644] Smith’s _Book for a Rainy Day_, p. 21.

[645] Stow, p. 164.

[646] Pennant.

[647] Smith’s _Book for a Rainy Day_, p. 29, date 1774.

[648] Smith’s _Book for a Rainy Day_ is one of the best works of a clever
London antiquarian, to whose industry, as well as to Mr. Peter
Cunningham’s, the author is much indebted, as his foot-notes pretty well
show.

[649] Dryden’s _Limberham_.

[650] _Love for Love._

[651] Stow.

[652] Dobie’s _St. Giles’s_, p. 66.

[653] Parton’s account of St. Giles’s.

[654] Parton.

[655] Smith’s _Nollekens_, vol. i. p. 130.

[656] Archenholz, p. 117.

[657] Smith’s _Book for a Rainy Day_, p. 74.

[658] Dobie’s _History of St. Giles’s_, p. 204.

[659] _Bell’s Life in London_, July 12, 1829.

[660] Cunningham, vol. ii. p. 565.

[661] Cunningham, vol. ii. p. 566.

[662] _Sketches by Boz_, p. 44.

[663] _Sketches by Boz_, p. 45.

[664] Dobie’s _St. Giles’s_, p. 362.

[665] T. Hudson Turner, _Archæological Journal_, Dec. 1848.

[666] Sir G. Buc in Stow, by Howes, p. 1072 (ed. 1631).

[667] Pennant, p. 176.

[668] Cunningham, vol. ii. p. 480.

[669] _Walpole_, by Dallaway, vol. ii. p. 37.

[670] Lloyd’s _State Worthies_.

[671] _State Trials_, iv. 445, fol. ed.

[672] _Hudibras_, part iii. c. 3.

[673] Granger’s _Biography_ in art. “Margaret Roper.”

[674] Dr. Birch’s _Life of Tillotson_.

[675] _Hale’s Life_, by Burnet.

[676] _Biog. Brit._, by the Hon. and Rev. F. Egerton.

[677] Preface to Thurloe’s _State Papers_, 1742.

[678] _Biog. Brit._

[679] _Session of the Poets._

[680] Johnson’s _Lives_.

[681] _Ath. Ox._ vol. ii.

[682] Foote’s _Life of Murphy_.

[683] Campbell’s _Lives of the Chief Justices_, vol. iii. p. 221.

[684] Dr. Johnson.

[685] Pennant, p. 176.

[686] Evelyn’s _Diary_, vol. ii. p. 60 (1850).

[687] _The Devil is an Ass._

[688] Aubrey.

[689] Gifford’s _Ben Jonson_, vol. i. p. 9.

[690] Fuller’s _Worthies_, vol. ii. p. 112.

[691] Gifford, vol. i. p. 14.

[692] Moore’s _Memoirs_, vol. ii. p. 211.

[693] _Poems on Affairs of State_, vol. i. p. 147.

[694] Cunningham.

[695] Rymer’s _Fœdera_, vol. xvii. p. 120.

[696] Wilkinson’s _Handbook for Egypt_, p. 185.

[697] Cunningham’s _Life of Inigo Jones_, p. 23 (Shakspere Society).

[698] _Canting Academy_, 1674 (Malcolm).

[699] Cunningham.

[700] Rate-books of St. Clement’s Danes (Cunningham).

[701] Wharton’s _Works_.

[702] _Life of Lord W. Russell_, by Lord John Russell, 3d ed. vol. ii. p.
18.

[703] Fox’s _History of the Reign of James II._ (Introduction).

[704] Lord John Russell, vol. i. p. 121.

[705] Raplin, vol. xiv. p. 333.

[706] Burnet’s _History of his own Times_ (1725), vol. ii.

[707] _Letters of Lady Russell_, 7th ed. 1819.

[708] _State Trials_, vol. xviii. p. 522.

[709] _Daily Journal_, July 9, 1735.

[710] Ireland _Inns of Court_, p. 129.

[711] Macaulay’s _History of England_, vol. i. p. 353.

[712] Walpole’s _Anecdotes_, vol. iii. p. 167.

[713] Pennant, p. 238.

[714] _Lady M. W. Montague’s Letters._

[715] Burney’s _Hist. of Music_, vol. iv. p. 667.

[716] Lord Chesterfield (Mahon), vol. ii. p. 264.

[717] Hawkins’s _Life of Johnson_, p. 192.

[718] Pugh’s _Life of Jonas Hanway_ (1787), p. 184.

[719] _Lounger’s Commonplace Book_, vol. i. p. 361.

[720] Macaulay’s _Essay on Walpole’s Letters_.

[721] Walpole’s _Memoirs_, vol. i. p. 169.

[722] Campbell’s _Lives of the Lord Chancellors_, vol. vi. p. 105.

[723] Campbell’s _Chief Justices_, vol. ii. p. 563.

[724] Pepys, vol. ii. p. 272.

[725] _Ibid._ p. 282.

[726] Hatton’s _New View of London_ (1708), p. 627.

[727] Clarendon, vol. vi. pp. 89, 90.

[728] Grosley’s _Tour to London_, vol. ii. p. 309.

[729] Walpole’s _Letters_, vol. ii. p. 137.

[730] Walpole’s _Letters_, vol. vii. p. 223.

[731] _Ibid._ vol. ix. p. 307.

[732] Cunningham, vol. i. p. 228.

[733] _Lady Fanshawe’s Memoirs_, p. 92.

[734] _Ibid._ p. 94.

[735] _Lady Fanshawe’s Memoirs_, pp. 300, 301.

[736] Moore’s _Diary_, vol. iv. p. 193.

[737] _Ibid._ p. 35.

[738] Coleridge’s _Table Talk_.

[739] Townsend, vol. i. p. 91.

[740] “The Alabaster sarcophagus of Oimeneptah I., King of Egypt, now in
Sir John Soane’s Museum. Drawn by Joseph Bonomi, and described by Samuel
Sharpe.” London: Longmans and Co. 1864.

[741] _Annual Register_ (1837).

[742] Chapone’s _Letters_, vol. ii. p. 68.

[743] Leigh Hunt’s _Town_, p. 237.

[744] Malone, pp. 135, 136.

[745] Grammont’s _Mems._ (1811), vol. ii. p. 142.

[746] Doran’s _Her Majesty’s Servants_, vol. i. p. 80.

[747] Pepys, vol. iii. p. 136.

[748] Pepys, vol. iv. p. 2.

[749] Cibber’s _Apology_, chap. v.

[750] _Ibid._

[751] _Doran_, vol. i. p. 119.

[752] Doran, vol. i. p. 149.

[753] Leigh Hunt’s _Town_, p. 245.

[754] Cibber’s _Apology_, 2d. ed. p. 138.

[755] Baker’s _Biog. Dram._, vol. i. p. 270.

[756] Doran, vol. i. p. 542.

[757] Doran, vol. i. p. 424.

[758] _Ibid._ p. 446.

[759] Leigh Hunt’s _Town_, p. 427.

[760] Cunningham (1850), p. 406.

[761] Doran, vol. i. p. 327.

[762] Whincop’s _Scanderberg_, p. 80 (1747).

[763] _Fly Leaves_, by John Miller, p. 20.

[764] The name of Strahan, Paul, and Bates’s firm was originally Snow and
Walton. It was one of the oldest banking-houses in London, second only to
Child’s. At the period of the Commonwealth Snow and Co. carried on the
business of pawnbrokers, under the sign of the “Golden Anchor.” The firm
suspended payment about 1679 (as did many other banks), owing to the
tyranny of Charles II. Strahan (the partner at the time of the last
failure) had changed his name from Snow; his uncle, named Strahan (Queen’s
printer?) having left him £180,000, making change of name a condition. It
is curious that on examining Strahan and Co.’s books, it was found by
those of 1672 that a decimal system had been then employed. Strahan was
known to all religious people. Bates had for many years been managing
clerk. The firm had also a navy agency in Norfolk Street. They had
encumbered themselves with the Mostyn Collieries to the amount of
£139,940, and backed up Gandells, contractors who were making railways in
France and Italy and draining Lake Capestang, lending £300,000 or
£400,000. They finally pledged securities (£22,000) to the Rev. Dr.
Griffiths, Prebendary of Rochester. Sir John Dean Paul got into a
second-class carriage at Reigate, the functionaries trying to get in after
him; the porter pulled them back, the train being in motion! Paul went to
London alone, and in spite of telegraph got off, but at eight o’clock next
night surrendered. The three men were tried October 26 and 27, 1858.

[765] _Mrs. Lirriper’s Lodgings_ (1863), pp. 6, 7.

[766] _Harleian MS._, 6850.

[767] _Cunningham_, vol. i. p. 378. I may here, as well as anywhere else,
express my thanks to this careful and most industrious antiquary.

[768] Mrs. Cornwall Baron Wilson’s _Memoirs of the Duchess of St. Albans_
(1840), vol. i. p. 331.

[769] Kippis, _Bio. Brit._ iv. p. 266.

[770] Thornbury’s _British Artists_, vol. i. p. 171.

[771] _Gentleman’s Magazine_, August 1783, p. 709.

[772] _David Copperfield_ (1864), p. 208.

[773] _The Clubs of London_, vol. ii. p. 150.

[774] _The Clubs of London_ (1828), vol. ii.

[775] _Notes and Queries_, vol. vi. 2d series, p. 131.

[776] Hatten, p. 24.

[777] Cunningham, vol. i. p. 378.

[778] _Notes and Queries_ (Bolton Corney), vol. viii. 2d series, p. 122.

[779] Burnet, vol. i. p. 338.

[780] Pepys, vol. v. p. 436.

[781] Pennant, p. 215.

[782] _Trivia._

[783] _Anecdotes of Painting_, iv. 22.

[784] Malone’s _Dryden_, ii. 97.

[785] Mr. Rimbault in _Notes and Queries_, Feb. 1850.

[786] _Clubs of London_, vol. ii. p. 263.

[787] All from Cunningham, vol. ii. p. 731, and how much else.

[788] _Notes and Queries_, 2d series, vol. xi. p. 289.



Transcriber’s Note:

Footnote 404 appears on page 224 of the text, but there is no
corresponding marker on the page.





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