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Title: Dickensian Inns & Taverns
Author: Matz, B. W. (Bertram Waldrom), 1865-1925
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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      *      *      *      *      *      *



      With thirty-one illustrations.
  Large Crown 8vo.      Second Edition.
                10/6 net.

"The Inns and Taverns of Pickwick" has proved one of the most successful
books of the season. The reviewers have been unanimous in its praise, and
in speaking of its value and qualities have used such adjectives as
famous, friendly, entertaining, delightful, well-informed, irresistible,
valuable, fascinating, jolly, glowing, jovial, great, favourite, charming,
congenial, and agreed that it is the "final authority and worthy of its
mighty subject."


      *      *      *      *      *      *


_Drawn by T. Onwhyn_]




Editor of "The Dickensian"

Author of "The Inns and Taverns of Pickwick" etc., etc.

With Thirty-Nine Illustrations by T. Onwhyn, Charles G. Harper,
L. Walker, F. G. Kitton, G. M. Brimelow and from Photographs
and Old Engravings

Cecil Palmer
Oakley House, Bloomsbury Street, W.C. I

First Edition

1922 Copyright

Printed in Great Britain by Burleigh Ltd. Bristol



  _Chapter_                                                         _Page_

       PREFACE                                                          13

     I DICKENS AND INNS                                                 15

    II OLIVER TWIST                                                     22

   III NICHOLAS NICKLEBY: THE SARACEN'S HEAD                            32

    IV NICHOLAS NICKLEBY (_continued_)                                  49

     V BARNABY RUDGE: THE MAYPOLE                                       72

    VI BARNABY RUDGE (_continued_) AND THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP           89

   VII MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT                                               105

  VIII DOMBEY AND SON                                                  132

    IX DAVID COPPERFIELD                                               144

     X BLEAK HOUSE, LITTLE DORRIT, HARD TIMES                          169


   XII OUR MUTUAL FRIEND                                               191



    XV CHRISTMAS STORIES AND MINOR WRITINGS                            258


  John Browdie and Fanny Squeers arrive at the Saracen's Head.
  Drawn by T. Onwhyn                                        _Frontispiece_

  The Red Lion, Barnet. Photo by T. W. Tyrell                   _Page_  24

  The Coach and Horses, Isleworth. Drawn by C. G. Harper          "     26

  The Eight Bells, Hatfield. Drawn by F. G. Kitton                "     29

  The Sign of the Saracen's Head                                  "     35

  The Saracen's Head, Snow Hill. From an old print                "     41

  The Peacock, Islington. From an old engraving                   "     50

  The George Inn, Greta Bridge. Drawn by C. G. Harper             "     57

  The King's Head, Barnard Castle. Photo by T. W. Tyrrell         "     60

  The Bottom Inn, near Petersfield. Drawn by C. G. Harper         "     65

  The King's Head, Chigwell. Drawn by L. Walker                   "     75

  The Chester Room, King's Head. Drawn by L. Walker               "     82

  The Old Boot Inn, 1780. From an old engraving                   "     91

  The Red Lion, Bevis Marks. Drawn by G. M. Brimelow              "     99

  The George, Amesbury. Drawn by C. G. Harper                     "    111

  The George Inn, Salisbury. Photo by T. W. Tyrrell               "    114

  The Black Bull, Holborn. Drawn by L. Walker                     "    121

  The Sign of the Black Bull. Drawn by L. Walker                  "    129

  The Bedford Hotel, Brighton. From an old engraving              "    134

  The Royal Hotel, Leamington. From a lithograph                  "    134

  The Plough Inn, Blunderstone. Photo by T. W. Tyrrell            "    146

  The Buck Inn, Yarmouth. Photo by T. W. Tyrrell                  "    146

  The Duke's Head, Yarmouth. Photo by T. W. Tyrrell               "    146

  The Little Inn, Canterbury. Drawn by F. G. Kitton               "    157

  Jack Straw's Castle. Drawn by L. Walker                         "    163

  The London Coffee House. From an old engraving                  "    172

  The Old Cheshire Cheese. From a photo                           "    180

  The Ship and Lobster, Gravesend. Drawn by C. G. Harper          "    187

  The Grapes Inn, Limehouse. Photo by T. W. Tyrrell               "    194

  Limehouse Reach. Drawn by L. Walker                             "    199

  The Ship Hotel, Greenwich. Drawn by L. Walker                   "    207

  The Red Lion, Hampton. Drawn by C. G. Harper                    "    213

  Wood's Hotel, Furnival's Inn. Drawn by L. Walker                "    223

  The King's Arms, Lancaster. Drawn by L. Walker                  "    231

  The Eagle Tavern. From an old print                             "    242

  The Crispin and Crispianus. Drawn by C. G. Harper               "    255

  The Mitre Inn, Chatham. From an engraving                       "    259

  The Lord Warden Hotel, Dover. From an engraving                 "    268

  The Pavilion Hotel, Folkestone. From an engraving               "    268


The very friendly reception given to my previous book on the Inns and
Taverns of Pickwick has encouraged me to pursue the subject through the
other novels and writings of Dickens, and to compile the present volume.

I do not claim that it is encyclopædic in the sense that it will be found
to supply a complete index to every inn mentioned in the novelist's books.
Many a reader will recall, I expect, a certain inn in his favourite story
which has been overlooked; but, while my chief aim has been to deal with
the famous and prominent ones, I have not ignored the minor ones which, in
many cases, are also the most alluring, and often play an important part
in the story.

The plan has been to take the long novels in something approximating to
chronological order, followed by the shorter stories and sketches; and,
where an inn is mentioned in more than one book, to deal with it fully in
the chapter devoted to the story in which it was first alluded to.

Inns associated with the novelist's own life find no place in this
volume, unless they have association also with his books.

In such a volume as this it is obviously necessary to quote freely from
Dickens's books, but, when one recalls the young person's comment on
lectures about Dickens that "she always loved them because of the
quotations," no apology or excuse is needed here.

I am greatly indebted to my friends T. W. Tyrrell and Charles G. Harper
for much valuable advice and assistance in my task. The former has kindly
loaned me prints from his unique collection of topographical photographs,
and has also given me the advantage of his expert knowledge of the

How much I owe to the latter goes without saying. No one can write of old
inns, old coaches, or old coaching roads without acknowledging
indebtedness to the score of books standing in Mr. Harper's name, which
are rich mines for any student of the subject quarrying for facts. He has
not only permitted me to dig in his mines, but has allowed also the use of
many of his charming drawings.

Acknowledgment is also made to Messrs. A. & C. Black, Messrs. Methuen &
Co., and the proprietors of the Cheshire Cheese for the use of blocks on
pages 24, 99 and 180 respectively.





In these days when life is, for the most part, and for most of us, a
wearying process of bustle and "business," it is comforting as well as
pleasant to reflect that the old coaching inn still remains in all its
quiet grandeur and the noble dignity which quaint customs and unbroken
centuries of tradition have given to it. For a brief period in our recent
history, it seemed that even so great a British institution as the old
English inn, and its first cousin the tavern, were doomed to pass away.
Indeed, the invention of railways, followed by the almost automatic
suspension of the coach as a means of locomotion, did succeed actually in
closing down many of them. But the subsequent invention of the motor-car
reopened England's highways and by-ways so that to-day there are
unmistakable indications that the old English inn is once more acquiring
that atmosphere of friendly hospitality and utility with which it was
endowed in the past, and which is so faithfully reflected in every book of

No one can really believe that the palatial and gilded hotels that sprang
up in the place of scores of the old coaching inns possessed the same snug
cheerfulness, the same appeal to the traveller, as did the old hostelries
of the coaching era. To-day, this is being realised more and more, and
when the time comes, as we are told is not far off, when everyone will
have his own motor-car, mine host of every wayside inn and county town
hostelry will once again become the prominent figure that Dickens made
him. The real romance of the coaching era may never return. Perhaps we
have become too matter-of-fact for that. But something approximating to
the spirit and glamour of those days is possible still for those who are
content to undertake a motor journey minus the feverish ambition for
breaking speed records. In many an old-world English village stands an
old-world English inn, and when that hour before sunset arrives that all
travellers of the open road know--the moment when a luxurious and healthy
weariness overcomes us--ah, well, be sure the right sort of inn awaits you
if you deserve such good fortune, and, when the time comes to fill pipes
and sit at ease before a blazing log-fire, what better subject for your
dreams will you find than the glowing pages of a Dickens book?

In them you get not only the romance and the glamour of the journey from
place to place, but also descriptive pictures of the various inns, of
their picturesque outward appearances, of their interior comfort and
customs, of their glorious and luscious array of wholesome food and wine,
to say nothing of the wonderful description of the happy company assembled
there, all told with that incomparable charm and grace and good humour of
a writer of genius.

Dickens not only knew how to describe an inn and its comforts (and its
discomforts, too, sometimes), but he seemed to revel in doing so, and
became filled with delight when he was one of the guests within its walls.

He seems to have shared Dr. Johnson's view that there was no private house
in which people could enjoy themselves so well as at a good tavern, where
there was general freedom from anxiety, and where you were sure of a
welcome; and to agree with him that there is nothing as yet contrived by
man by which so much happiness is produced as in a good tavern or inn.

His books are full of the truth of this, and provide many such happy
occasions when, after a cold coach drive, the hospitable host conducts the
passengers to a large room made cosy with a roaring fire, and drawn
curtains, and presenting an inviting spread of the good things of life,
and a plentiful supply of the best wines or a bowl of steaming punch, for
the jovial company. And the coach journey which brings one to these inns!
Is there any described with so much exhilaration to be found elsewhere?
Take the coach ride of Nicholas Nickleby along the Great North Road to his
destination in Yorkshire. Here is reflected the real spirit of old-time
travelling which brings us in touch with the old customs of the coaching
age in a manner that no historian could possibly convey so realistically.
Read again Tom Pinch's ride to London. We not only encounter old inns and
old houses with their cherished memories, their old rooms, each with its
own romantic atmosphere and a tale to tell, but we traverse picturesque
by-ways and highways, which in themselves recall the past as well as
reveal unchanging scenes of glorious nature; we can experience these
feelings to-day in a way our fathers could not. The railroad, for a spell,
made this impossible. To-day the road has come into its own again, and the
motor-car brings back to us the glory of the road, the pleasure of the
inn, and the enjoyment of the wonderful country which is England.

There seems to have been a positive allurement about an inn or tavern for
Dickens which he could not resist. He lingered over the most decrepit and
lowly public-house, such as the dirty Three Cripples, the resort of Bill
Sikes, as he did over the sumptuous Pavilion Hotel at Folkestone. A
wayside inn was as real a joy to him in its modest way as was the chief
coaching hotel in a country town with its studied comfort.

When travelling about the country himself with his friends, some comment
or pen-picture of the inn they stayed at creeps into his letters, as it
would seem, by instinct. Even in his unpublished diary we see noted items
about delightfully beautiful drives, coach offices, stage-coaches, and
excellent inns. And, when he and Wilkie Collins went for their idle tour,
it resolved itself into visiting the inns and coast corners in
out-of-the-way places.

His knowledge of inns was stupendous. In that Christmas story, "The Holly
Tree," there are scores of them recalled, each recollection no doubt
reminiscent of experiences and association.

One gets a gleam of the joy he experiences at such times in the extract
from a letter to an American friend, in 1842, after he had gone for a trip
into Cornwall with some bright and merry companions:

"If you could but have seen one gleam of the bright fires by which we sat
at night in the big rooms of the ancient inns, or smelt but one steam of
the hot punch which came in every evening in a huge broad china bowl!"

But instances could be multiplied.

Dickens saw something different in every inn, and succeeded in conveying
it to the reader. There were no two inns alike to him. Each had its own
tale to tell, its own individuality to reveal, its own atmosphere and fare
to present, whatever its grade or social environment. As for an inn sign,
it transported him into his most whimsical and pleasant of moods.

In the following pages an attempt has been made to gather together the
material from his books which shows how Dickens delighted in everything
appertaining to inns, and how he extracted from association with them all
that glow of sentiment and joy which permeated their atmosphere in the
old days, leaving their pictures in glowing words for all time.

There is nothing so calculated to make a place famous as mention of it in
a classic story. It may have already had a past history by association
with notable names and events, which gave it prominence in our annals for
a time; but in the case of a building, when it is demolished, it soon
passes out of memory. If, however, Dickens has drawn a pen-picture of it,
or, in the case of an old inn, has used it for a scene in one of his
books, it can never be forgotten; even when razed to the ground its fame
survives, and the site becomes a Dickens landmark.




There are not many inns that can be identified in _Oliver Twist_, and
those that can play very little part in the enactment of the story, or
have any notable history to relate in regard to them. The first one to
attract attention is that at Barnet, where the Artful Dodger took Oliver
Twist for breakfast on the morning they encountered each other on the
latter's tramp to London.

Although Dickens does not name this inn, we believe he had in mind the Red
Lion, for it was one of those inns that was an objective when he and his
friends went for a horse-ride out into the country. One such occasion was
chosen when his eldest daughter, Mamie, was born, in March, 1838. He
invited Forster to celebrate the event by a ride "for a good long spell,"
and they rode out fifteen miles on the Great North Road. After dining at
the Red Lion, in Barnet, on their way home, they distinguished the already
memorable day, as Forster tells us, by bringing in both hacks dead lame.

This trip along the Great North Road was a favourite one, and Dickens
consequently became well acquainted with the highway. At the time of
Forster's specific reference to the Red Lion, Dickens was engaged on the
early chapters of _Oliver Twist_, and we find him describing the district
in those pages wherein particular mention is made of Barnet.

Tramping to London after leaving Mr. Sowerberry, the undertaker, Oliver,
on the seventh morning, "limped slowly into the little town of Barnet," we
are told. "The windows," Dickens proceeds, "were closed; the street was
empty; not a soul was awakened to the business of the day." Oliver, with
bleeding feet, and covered with dust, sat upon a doorstep. For some time
he wondered "at the great number of public houses (every other house in
Barnet was a tavern, large or small), gazing listlessly at the coaches as
they passed through." Here he was discovered by Jack Dawkins, otherwise
the Artful Dodger, who, taking pity on him, assisted him to rise, escorted
him to an adjacent chandler's shop, purchased some ham and bread, and the
two adjourned finally into a public-house tap-room, to regale themselves
prior to continuing their journey to London. As the Red Lion was so
familiar to Dickens, we may assume that this was the inn to which he

The inn, no doubt, was the same from which Esther Summerson, in _Bleak
House_, hired the carriage to drive to Mr. Jarndyce's house, near St.
Albans. Arriving at Barnet, Esther, Ada and Richard found horses waiting
for them, "but, as they had only just been fed, we had to wait for them,
too," she said, "and got a long fresh walk over a common and an old
battle-field, before the carriage came up." Doubtless the posting-house
where this change was made was the Red Lion, for Dickens had used it for
posting his own horse many a time.

It is there to-day, and drives a busy trade, more as a suburban hostelry
than as a posting-inn.

Continuing their walk to London, the Artful Dodger and Oliver gradually
reached Islington, and entered the City together. Islington in days gone
by was a starting point for the mail-coaches going to the north, and as
a consequence was famous for its old inns. Perhaps the most famous,
particularly from the antiquarian standpoint, was the old Queen's Head, a
perfect specimen of ancient domestic architecture, which was destroyed in
1829. Another was, of course, the Angel; but the house bearing that name
to-day can claim none of the romance or attractiveness of its ancient
predecessor, and has recently been modernised on the lines adopted by a
very modern firm of caterers. But the Angel of its palmy days was
well-known to Dickens, and, although he does not make it the scene of any
prominent incident in his books, it has mention in _Oliver Twist_ in the
chapter describing Oliver's trudge to London. It was nearly eleven o'clock
when he and the Artful Dodger reached the turnpike at Islington. They then
crossed from the Angel into St. John's Road, on their way to the house
near Field Lane, where Oliver was dragged in and the door closed behind

[Illustration: THE RED LION, BARNET

_Photograph by T. W. Tyrrell_]

The inn is mentioned again in the same book on the occasion when Noah
Claypole and Charlotte traversed the same road. "Mr. Claypole," we read,
"went on, without halting, until he arrived at the Angel, at Islington,
where he wisely judged, from the crowd of passengers and number of
vehicles, that London began in earnest." He, too, led the way into St.
John's Road.

The Angel has been a London landmark for over two centuries. There have
been at least three houses of the same name, but the one Dickens knew and
referred to was apparently that built after the destruction in 1819 of the

In those days, it was the first halting-place, after leaving London, of
coaches bound along the Holyhead and Great North Roads. The original house
presented the usual features of a large old country inn, and "the inn
yard, approached by a gateway in the centre, was nearly a quadrangle, with
double galleries, supported by plain columns and carved pilasters, with
caryatides and other figures." Now, as we have said, it is merely a very
ordinary, everyday modern refreshment house.

The low public-house in the "filthiest" part of Little Saffron Hill, in
whose dark and gloomy den, known as the parlour, was frequently to be
found Bill Sikes and his dog, Bull's-Eye, probably was no particular
public-house so far as the novelist was concerned, although he gave it the
distinguishing name of the Three Cripples. At any rate, it has not been
identified, and must be assumed to be typical of the many with which
this district at one time was infested. First referred to in Chapter
XV, it is more minutely described in Chapter XXVI. "The room," we are
told, "was illuminated by two gas-lights, the glare of which was prevented
by the barred shutters and closely drawn curtains of faded red from being
visible outside. The ceiling was blackened, to prevent its colour from
being injured by the flaring lamps; and the place was so full of dense
tobacco smoke that at first it was scarcely possible to discern anything
more. By degrees, however, as some of it cleared away, through the open
door, an assemblage of heads, as confused as the voices that greeted the
ear, might be made out; and, as the eye grew more accustomed to the scene,
the spectators gradually became aware of the presence of a numerous
company, male and female, crowded round a long table, at the upper end of
which sat a showman with a hammer of office in his hands, while a
professional gentleman with a bluish nose, and his face tied up for the
benefit of a toothache, presided at a jingling piano in a remote corner."
That was a scene common to the "low public-house," of which the Three
Cripples was a notorious example, and the atmosphere depicted no doubt
applied generally to most of them.


_Drawn by C. G. Harper_]

On the other hand, the Coach and Horses, at Isleworth, where Bill Sikes
and Oliver alighted from the cart they had "begged a lift" in, is no
flight of Dickens's imagination and can be discovered to-day exactly where
he located it.

The tramp of the two from Spitalfields to Chertsey on the burglary
expedition can easily be followed from Dickens's clearly indicated
itinerary. The point on the journey where they obtained their lift in a
cart bound for Hounslow was near Knightsbridge. Having bargained with the
driver to put them down at Isleworth, they at length alighted a little way
beyond "a public-house called the Coach and Horses, which stood at the
corner of a road just beyond Isleworth leading to Hampton." They did not
enter this public-house, but continued their journey. Mr. John Sayce Parr,
in an article in _The Dickensian_, Vol. I, page 261, speaks of the
topographical accuracy of Dickens in this instance: "The literary
pilgrim," he says, "sets out to follow the route he indicates, doubtful if
he will find the places mentioned. There is, however, not the slightest
excuse for making mistakes, for Dickens apparently visited the scenes and
described them with the accuracy of a guide-book. Thus, one finds the
Coach and Horses, sure enough, at the point where Brentford ends and
Isleworth begins, by the entrance to Sion Park, and near the spot where
the road rambles off to the left."

[Illustration: THE "EIGHT BELLS" Hatfield

_Drawn by F. G. Kitton_]

The Coach and Horses, the same writer says, is not a picturesque inn. It
is a huge four-square lump of a place, and wears, indeed, rather a dour
and forbidding aspect. It is unquestionably the house of which Dickens
speaks, and was built certainly not later than the dawn of the nineteenth

It still exists to-day, although the surroundings have altered somewhat
by the advent of the electric tramways and other "improvements."

The George Inn, mentioned in Chapter XXXIII, where Oliver took the letter
for Mr. Losberne to be sent by "an express on horseback to Chertsey,"
cannot be identified, as the market-town in whose market-place it stood is
not mentioned or hinted at. Mr. Percy FitzGerald claims that the
description applies to Chertsey, but, as the letter had to be taken to
Chertsey, something seems wrong in his deduction.

In the chapter describing the flight of Bill Sikes, we read that, on
leaving London behind, he shaped his course for Hatfield. "It was nine
o'clock at night when the man, quite tired out, and the dog, limping and
lame from the unaccustomed exercise, turned down the hill by the church of
the quiet village, and, plodding along the little street, crept into a
small public-house whose scanty light had guided them to the spot. There
was a fire in the tap-room, and some of the country labourers were
drinking before it. They made room for the stranger, but he sat down in
the farthest corner, and ate and drank alone, or rather with his dog, to
whom he cast a morsel of food from time to time." Here he met the pedlar
with his infallible composition for removing blood-stains. This
particular public-house is no doubt the Eight Bells, a picturesque old
house which still remains on the spot where Dickens accurately located it.
It is a quaint little building with a red-tiled roof and dormer windows,
and local tradition assigns it as that at which Bill Sikes sought refuge
for a short time before continuing his journey to St. Albans, enabling
Hatfield to claim it as a veritable Dickens landmark, together with that
other, the churchyard, where Mrs. Lirriper's husband was buried.




The Saracen's Head Inn, Snow Hill, long since demolished, is familiar to
all readers of _Nicholas Nickleby_, because it was the hotel from which
Squeers took coach with his boys for Dotheboys Hall; and, but for the
fact, the name of Saracen's Head would recall little or nothing to the
ordinary Londoner.

It stood on Snow Hill or Snore Hill, as it was called in the very early
days, and its exact location was two or three doors from St. Sepulchre's
Church, down the hill, and was one of London's oldest and most historic
inns, dating back to the 12th century. The first mention of it that we can
find is in a volume by John Lydgate, the Benedictine monk who flourished
in the early part of the 15th century, who is best remembered by his
poem, "The London Lyckpenny." He tells the story of the origin of the
name, which is interesting as fixing an early date at which the inn
existed; even if it cannot be vouched for as correct in face of the fact
that others have been suggested, it is at least as plausible.

It would appear that, when Richard Coeur-de-Lion returned from the Third
Crusade in 1194, he approached the city of London and entered it by the
New Gate, on the west. Being much fatigued by his long journey, the weary
monarch, on arriving at Snow Hill, outside the gate, stopped at an inn
there and called loudly to a tapster for refreshment. He drank rather
freely, "untille ye hedde of ye Kinge did swimme ryghte royallie." He then
began laying about him right and left with a battle-axe, to the
"astoundmente and dyscomfythure of ye courtierres." Upon which one of the
Barons said, "I wish hys majestie hadde ye hedde of a Saracen before hym
juste now, for I trowe he woulde play ye deuce wyth itte." Thereupon the
King paid all the damage and gave permission that the inn should be called
"Ye Saracen's Hedde."

It is a pretty story, and, as we have suggested, may or may not be true;
but it gives us a starting point in the history of the inn. How long
before this incident the inn had existed and what its name was previously,
we cannot say.

Lydgate refers to the inn's name again in the following stanza of one of
his poems:

  Richarde hys sonne next by successyon,
    Fyrst of that name--strong, hardy and abylle--
  Was crowned Kinge, called Cuer de Lyon,
    With Sarasenys hedde served at hys tabyelle.

The inn, by virtue of its situation, was in the centre of many an historic
event enacted in the surrounding streets, and would naturally be the
resort of those taking part in them. If records existed, many a thrilling
tale could be gathered from their perusal; as it is, only meagre details
can be furnished.

In 1522, Charles V of Germany, when on his visit to London, stayed at the
inn, and his retinue occupied three hundred beds, whilst stabling for
forty horses was needed also; evidence that it was no mean hostelry, in
spite of the fact that Stow's record of the inn's existence in his "Survey
of London" is confined to the following sentence:

"Hard by St. Sepulchre's Church is a fayre and large inn for the receipt
of travellers, and hath to signe the 'Saracen's Head.'"

A few years later (1617) we get another reference to the hostel, in Wm.
Fennor's "The Comptor's Commonwealth," a book describing the troubles of
an unfortunate debtor in the hands of serjeants and gaolers. Therein is an
allusion to a serjeant "with a phisnomy much resembling the 'Saracen's
Head,' without Newgate," alluding, of course, to the figurehead on the
sign-board of the inn.


It goes without saying that the famous Pepys knew the house, and we have
the following entry in his diary as confirmation: "11 Nov. 1661. To the
wardrobe with Mr. Townsend and Mr. Moore and then to the 'Saracen's Head'
to a barrel of oysters." How Bob Sawyer and Benjamin Allen would have
revelled in that occasion!

The inn and the church were both victims of the Great Fire in 1666, but
both were rapidly rebuilt on the old sites. From the time the original inn
was erected in the 12th century, until the last of its race on the same
site was demolished in 1868, doubtless there had been more than one
Saracen's Head, and through this long stretch of years it was a favoured
resort of all sorts and conditions of men.

In 1672, John Bunyan, after his release from Bedford Gaol, paid frequent
visits to London by coach to the Saracen's Head, and it is recorded that
he spent several nights within its hospitable walls; and we are told that
Dean Swift made the inn his headquarters in 1710, on his visits to London
from Ireland. An even more famous man, in the person of Horatio Nelson, at
the early age of twelve years, stayed a night there prior to making his
first voyage in a merchant ship in 1770. Many years afterwards, when he
had become world-famous as Lord Nelson, the proprietor of the hostelry,
in honour of the early event, named his smartest coach after the admiral.

These are a few bare facts worth recording of an inn which was the most
prominent of the coaching inns of London, as it was one of the largest and
most flourishing. At one period of its history, coaches started from it
for almost every large town in England and Scotland, and over 200 horses
were kept in readiness for the purpose.

During the years 1780-1868, the inn had been managed by three generations
of the Mountain family, the most notable member of which, owing perhaps to
the coaching era then being at its height, was Sarah Ann Mountain, who
succeeded her husband in 1818. Innkeeping in those days was one of the
most ancient and honourable of professions, and Mrs. Mountain was
evidently an ornament to the calling. She was a keen competitor in the
business of coach proprietors, and set the pace to other coach owners by
putting on the first really fast coach to Birmingham, which did the
journey of 109 miles in 11 hours. At that time thirty coaches left her inn
daily, amongst them being the "Tally Ho!" the fast coach referred to,
whose speed was, we are told, the cause of the furious racing on the St.
Albans, Coventry and Birmingham roads up to 1838. At the rear of the inn,
Mrs. Mountain had a busy coach factory, and sold her vehicles to other
coach proprietors. One of her advertisements announced that "Good,
comfortable stage-coaches, with lamps," could be purchased "at 110 to 120

It was at this period of its prosperity that Dickens made the Saracen's
Head a centre of interest in his novel, _Nicholas Nickleby_. Ralph
Nickleby, being anxious to find employment for his nephew Nicholas, called
upon him one day and produced the following advertisement in the

"EDUCATION.--At Mr. Wackford Squeers' Academy, Dotheboys Hall, at the
delightful village of Dotheboys, near Greta Bridge, in Yorkshire, Youth
are boarded, clothed, booked, furnished with pocket-money, provided with
all necessaries, instructed in all languages living and dead, mathematics,
orthography, geometry, astronomy, trigonometry, the use of globes,
algebra, single stick (if required), writing, arithmetic, fortification,
and every other branch of classical literature. Terms, twenty guineas per
annum. No extras, no vacations, and diet unparalleled. Mr. Squeers is in
town, and attends daily, from one till four, at the Saracen's Head, Snow
Hill. N.B.--An able assistant wanted. Annual salary £5. A Master of Arts

"There!" said Ralph, folding the paper again. "Let him get that situation,
and his fortune is made."

After some little discussion, Nicholas decided to try for the post, and
the two men set forth together in quest of Mr. Squeers at the meeting
place announced in the advertisement.

Before Nicholas and his uncle met Squeers, Dickens proceeded, in one of
his very picturesque passages, to give a description, first of Snow Hill
and then of the Saracen's Head:

"Snow Hill! What kind of place can the quiet town's-people who see the
words emblazoned, in all the legibility of gilt letters and dark shading,
on the north-country coaches, take Snow Hill to be? All people have some
undefined and shadowy notion of a place whose name is frequently before
their eyes, or often in their ears. What a vast number of random ideas
there must be perpetually floating about regarding this same Snow Hill.
The name is such a good one. Snow Hill--Snow Hill, too, coupled with a
Saracen's Head: picturing to us by a double association of ideas something
stern and rugged! A bleak, desolate tract of country, open to piercing
blasts and fierce wintry storms--a dark, cold, gloomy heath, lonely by
day and scarcely to be thought of by honest folks at night--a place which
solitary wayfarers shun, and where desperate robbers congregate; this, or
something like this, should be the prevalent notion of Snow Hill, in those
remote and rustic parts, through which the Saracen's Head, like some grim
apparition, rushes each day and night with mysterious and ghost-like
punctuality; holding its swift and headlong course in all weathers, and
seeming to bid defiance to the very elements themselves."

The reality, he goes on to say, was rather different, and presents the
true picture of it as it really was, situated in the very core of London,
surrounded by Newgate, Smithfield, the Compter and St. Sepulchre's

"and, just on that particular part of Snow Hill where omnibus horses going
eastward seriously think of falling down on purpose, and where horses in
hackney cabriolets going westward not unfrequently fall by accident, is
the coach-yard of the Saracen's Head inn; its portal guarded by two
Saracens' heads and shoulders--there they are, frowning upon you from each
side of the gateway. The inn itself, garnished with another Saracen's
Head, frowns upon you from the top of the yard; while from the door of
the hind boot of all the red coaches that are standing therein there
glares a small Saracen's Head, with a twin expression to the large
Saracen's Head below, so that the general appearance of the pile is
decidedly of the Saracenic order.


_From an old Print_]

"When you walk up this yard, you will see the booking-office on your left,
and the tower of St. Sepulchre's Church, darting abruptly up into the
sky, on your right, and a gallery of bedrooms on both sides. Just before
you, you will observe a long window with the words 'coffee-room' legibly
painted above it; and, looking out of the window, you would have seen in
addition, if you had gone at the right time, Mr. Wackford Squeers with his
hands in his pockets."

Here, Mr. Squeers was standing "in a box by one of the coffee-room
fire-places, fitted with one such table as is usually seen in
coffee-rooms, and two of extraordinary shapes and dimensions made to suit
the angles of the partition," waiting for fond parents and guardians to
bring their little boys for his treatment. At the moment he had only
secured one, but presently two more were added to the list, and, during
the bargaining with their stepfather, Ralph Nickleby and his nephew
arrived on the scene. The incident of Nicholas's engagement for the post
will be recalled by all and need not be repeated here. As the uncle and
nephew emerged from the Saracen's Head gateway, Ralph promised Nicholas he
would return in the morning to see him "fairly off" by the coach.

Nicholas kept his appointment by arriving at the Saracen's Head in good
time, and went in search of Mr. Squeers in the coffee-room, where he
discovered him breakfasting with three little boys. The sound of the coach
horn quickly brought the frugal repast to an end, and "the little boys had
to be got up to the top of the coach and their boxes had to be brought out
and put in." All was animation in the coach-yard when Nicholas's mother
and sister and his uncle arrived to bid him good-bye.

"A minute's bustle, a banging of the coach doors, a swaying of the vehicle
to one side, as the heavy coachman, and still heavier guard, climbed into
their seats; a cry of all right, a few notes from the horn, a hasty glance
of two sorrowful faces below and the hard features of Mr. Ralph
Nickleby--and the coach was gone too, and rattling over the stones of

And so the Saracen's Head is left behind, and is not referred to again
until John Browdie comes to London with his newly wed wife, Tilda Price
that was, and her friend, Fanny Squeers. Dismounting near the Post Office
he called a hackney coach, and, placing the ladies and the luggage
hurriedly in, commanded the driver to "Noo gang to the Sarah's Head, mun."

"To the _were_?" cried the coachman.

"Lawk, Mr. Browdie," interrupted Miss Squeers. "The idea! Saracen's

"Surely," said John, "I know'd it was something aboot Sarah's Son's Head.
Dost thou know thot?"

"Oh ah! I know that," replied the coachman gruffly, as he banged the door.

Arriving there safely they all retired to rest, and in the morning partook
of a substantial breakfast in "a small private room upstairs, commanding
an uninterrupted view of the stables." Fanny Squeers made anxious
enquiries for her father who had been in London some time seeking the lost
Smike. She was under the impression that he made the Saracen's Head his
headquarters, but was woefully disillusioned when she was informed that he
"was not stopping in the house, but that he came there every day, and that
when he arrived he should be shown upstairs." He shortly appeared, and the
good-hearted John Browdie invited him to "pick a bit," which he promptly

Mr. Squeers did not make the Saracen's Head his abiding place; he was too
mean for that; John Browdie, who was up for a holiday, stayed there the
whole time he was in London, and some very merry, not to say solid meals
he enjoyed during the period--for John liked a good meal.

On one such occasion, when Nicholas was a guest, the conviviality was
sadly marred by a terrible quarrel between Fanny Squeers and her father,
and Mrs. and John Browdie--Nicholas incidentally coming in for some of the
abuse. Very nasty and cutting things were said on both sides, and Mr.
Squeers was summarily dismissed with a threat from John that he would
"pound him to flour."

After the excitement had subsided and the Squeers family had withdrawn in
a perfect hurricane of rage, John calmly ordered of the waiter another
"Sooper--very coomfortable and plenty o' it at ten o'clock ... and ecod
we'll begin to spend the evening in earnest."

The storm had long given place to a calm the most profound, and the
evening pretty far advanced, when there occurred in the inn another
incident more angry still, and reached a state of ferocity which could not
have been surpassed, we are told, if there had actually been a Saracen's
Head then present in the establishment. Nicholas and John Browdie,
following to where the noise came from, discovered coffee-room customers,
coachmen and helpers congregating round the prostrate figure of a young
man, with another young man standing in defiance over him. The latter was
no other than Frank Cheeryble, who, overhearing disrespectful and
insolent remarks coming from his opponent in the fray, relative to a young
lady, had taken the part of the latter by vigorously setting about the
traducer, who was ultimately turned out of the inn. Frank Cheeryble was
staying the night in the house, and so the four friends adjourned upstairs
together and spent a pleasant half-hour with great satisfaction and mutual

These are the chief associations the Saracen's Head had in connection with
_Nicholas Nickleby_, except that it might be mentioned that Mrs. Nickleby,
as she would, confused its sign with that of another notable inn, by
referring to it as the "Saracen with two necks."

There are, however, two other references to the inn in Dickens's books. In
_Our Mutual Friend_, we read that:

"Mrs. Wilfer's impressive countenance followed Bella with glaring eyes,
presenting a combination of the once popular sign of the Saracen's Head
with a piece of Dutch clockwork"; and again, in one of his Uncommercial
papers, Dickens, speaking of his wanderings about London and of having
left behind him this and that historic spot, says he "had got past the
Saracen's Head (with an ignominious rash of posting bills disfiguring his
swarthy countenance) and had strolled up the yard of its ancient
neighbour," making clear that the old inn was a notable landmark to him.
He knew it in the flourishing days of the coaching era and lived to see it
demolished in 1868 to allow of the Metropolitan improvements in the

But its name was not to be entirely erased from London's annals, for
another inn, although quite an unromantic one, was erected at the lower
end of Snow Hill, only to wither in course of time into an unprofitable
concern and to give up the ghost as a tavern. In 1912, this building was
taken over by a firm of manufacturers of fancy leather goods and kindred
articles of commerce, who recast the building for the purpose of their
trade and its necessary business offices.

The proprietors have retained the old sign of the Saracen's Head and have
done much to keep up the association of the name with the most notable and
living part of its history--that of its connection with Dickens's story of
_Nicholas Nickleby_.

Over the entrance they have placed a bust of Dickens mounted on a
pedestal, flanked on each side by full-length figures of Nicholas and
Squeers. Whilst on each side of the entrance porch is a bas-relief of a
scene from _Nicholas Nickleby_: one representing Nicholas, Squeers and the
boys preparing to leave the inn by coach, and the other, the well-known
scene in Dotheboys Hall, depicting Nicholas thrashing Squeers.

And so, from out of seven centuries of historical associations, the one
that emerges and remains to-day is that created by Dickens.




The first stop of Nicholas's coach after it had left the Saracen's Head
was at the Peacock, at Islington, an inn of immense popularity in those
palmy days when the north-country mail-coaches made it their headquarters.
It stood a little further north of the Angel, and was even more famous
than that historic inn. Besides being the starting point for certain
coaches, it was the house of call for nearly all others going in that
direction out of London, and the busy and exciting scenes which ensued
outside its doors became more bewildering still by the ostlers calling out
the name of each coach as it arrived.

Such a scene, no doubt, was witnessed by Nicholas, in whose charge Squeers
had placed the scholars, when, "between the manual exertion and the mental
anxiety attendant upon his task, he was not a little relieved when the
coach stopped at the Peacock, Islington. He was still more relieved when a
hearty-looking gentleman, with a very good-humoured face and a very fresh
colour, got up behind, and proposed to take the other corner of the seat,"
as he thought it would be safer for the youngsters if they were sandwiched
between Nicholas and himself.

Everything and everybody being settled, off they went "amidst a loud
flourish from the guard's horn and the calm approval of all the judges of
coaches and coach-horses congregated at the Peacock."

That was in 1838; later (in 1855) Dickens refers again to the same inn.
But on that occasion the scene must have been one of great tranquillity
and calm, if not a little dismal.

This was when the bashful man, as related in the "first branch" of _The
Holly Tree_, starts on his journey to the Holly Tree Inn. "There was no
Northern Railway at that time," he says, "and in its place there were
stage-coaches; which I occasionally find myself, in common with some other
people, affecting to lament now, but which everybody dreaded as a very
serious penance then. I had secured the box seat on the fastest of these,
and my business in Fleet Street was to get into a cab with my portmanteau,
so to make the best of my way to the Peacock at Islington, where I was to
join this coach.... When I got to the Peacock, where I found everybody
drinking hot purl, in self-preservation, I asked if there were an inside
seat to spare. I then discovered that, inside or out, I was the only
passenger. This gave me a still livelier idea of the great inclemency of
the weather, since that coach always loaded particularly well. However, I
took a little purl (which I found uncommonly good), and got into the
coach. When I was seated they built me up with straw to the waist, and,
conscious of making a rather ridiculous appearance, I began my journey. It
was still dark when we left the Peacock."


_From an old Engraving_]

A reference to the same inn is made in "Tom Brown's Schooldays," when Tom
and his father stayed the night there in order to catch the "Tally-Ho"
coach for Rugby the next morning.

There is still a reminder of the old Peacock at 11 High Street, where a
sign-board announces the date of its establishment in 1564, and a relic of
the coaching days may be seen in the form of an iron hook upon a lamp-post
opposite, to which horses were temporarily tethered.

Following Nicholas's coach on its journey north we find it passing through
the counties of Hertford and Bedford in bitterly and intensely cold
weather. In due course it arrived at Eton Slocombe, where a halt was made
for a good coach dinner, of which all passengers partook, "while the five
little boys were put to thaw by the fire, and regaled with sandwiches."
Mr. Squeers, it may be noted in passing, had, in the interim, alighted at
almost every stage to refresh himself, leaving his charges on the top of
the coach to content themselves with what was left of their breakfast.

Eton Slocombe is Dickens's thinly disguised name for Eaton Socon, a
picturesque little village of one straggling street in Huntingdonshire. He
does not mention the inn by name, but it may be rightly assumed that it
was the White Horse, an attractive old road-side coaching-house, which, in
those days, was the posting inn for the mail and other coaches passing
through the county. In later years it became the favourite resort of the
North Road Cycling Club, and witnessed the beginning and ending of many a
road race in the "'eighties" and "'nineties," and is, no doubt, a welcome
place of call for motorists to-day.

Leaving Eton Slocombe, the coach took the turnpike road via Stilton, as
the night and the snow came on together. In the dismal weather the coach
rambled on through the deserted streets of Stamford until twenty miles
further on it arrived at the George at Grantham, where "two of the front
outside passengers, wisely availing themselves of their arrival at one of
the best inns in England, turned in for the night." The remainder of the
passengers, however, "wrapped themselves more closely in their coats and
cloaks, and, leaving the light and the warmth of the town behind them,
pillowed themselves against the luggage, and prepared, with many
half-suppressed moans, again to encounter the piercing blast which swept
across the open country."

Grantham has the reputation of being a town of many and excellent inns, of
which the honours seem to have been divided between the Angel and the
George. When Dickens set out on his voyage in search of facts concerning
the Yorkshire schools prior to writing _Nicholas Nickleby_ he took the
same coach journey which he describes so realistically in his book,
accompanied by his artist friend, Phiz. They slept the night at the
George, like the two wise "front outsides" of the story; and in a letter
to his wife Dickens said that the George was "the very best inn I have
ever put up at," and he repeats this encomium in his book.

The George was burnt down in 1780 and its beautiful mediæval structure
replaced by a building not so picturesque, but none the less comfortable.
It was a famous coaching inn and consequently always busy with the mail
and stage coaches of the period. It is a square red-bricked building of
the Georgian type, and, although its outward appearance is not so inviting
from an antiquarian point of view as its predecessor, the testimony of
travellers confirms its interior comfort.

The coach carrying Squeers and his party was little more than a stage out
of Grantham, "or half-way between it and Newark," to be precise, when the
accident occurred which turned the vehicle over into the snow. After the
bustle which ensued and after casualties had been attended to, all walked
back to the nearest public-house, described as a "lonely place, with no
great accommodation in the way of apartments." Here, having "washed off
all effaceable marks of the late accident," they settled down to the
comfort of a warm room in patient anticipation of the arrival of another
coach from Grantham. As this entailed a two hours' wait the company amused
themselves by listening to the narration of the story of "The Five Sisters
of York" by the grey-haired gentleman, and of "The Baron of Grogzwig" by
the merry-faced gentleman. Which was the "public-house" round whose fire
these two famous stories were told, the chronicler does not say, nor has
it been identified. At the conclusion of the last-named story the welcome
announcement of the arrival of the new coach was made and the company
resumed the journey. Nothing further of any note occurred until at six
o'clock that night, when Nicholas, Squeers "and the little boys and their
united luggage were all put down together at the George and New Inn, Greta
Bridge." The coach having traversed the road via Retford and Bawtry,
crossed Yorkshire, via Doncaster and Borough Bridge to this inn "in the
midst of a dreary moor," as Dickens so described it.

Although Greta Bridge was but a small and picturesque hamlet at the time
Dickens visited and wrote of it, it nevertheless boasted at least two
important inns doing a busy trade with the coaches and mail on the main
coaching route to Glasgow. These were known as the George and the New Inn
respectively, and were about half a mile apart. In his book the novelist
combines the two names, perhaps to avoid identification; but there seems
no doubt that the George was the inn Dickens and Phiz stayed at
themselves, and therefore it may be assumed it was at that inn Nicholas
and Squeers also alighted when their coach journey ended. The George
stands near the bridge which spans the Greta river a little above its
junction with the Tees. It is no longer an inn, having since been
converted into a residential building known as "The Square" and let out in
tenements. But it still shows unmistakable signs of its former calling.
Its large square yard remains, although want of use has allowed grass to
overgrow it; whilst its commodious stabling, empty and bare as it is,
conjures up the busy scenes of excitement and animation the mail-coaches
and travellers must have created in those far-off days.

The inn was the coaching centre of the district, received the mail as it
arrived and despatched it to the villages round about. Dickens was
evidently very pleased with the hospitality he received on his arrival
after a dreary journey, for when writing to his wife he said:


_Drawn by C. G. Harper_]

"At eleven we reached a bare place with a house standing alone in the
midst of a dreary moor, which the guard informed me was Greta Bridge. I
was in a perfect agony of apprehension, for it was fearfully cold, and
there were no outward signs of anyone being up in the house; but to our
great joy we discovered a comfortable room, with drawn curtains, and a
most blazing fire. In half an hour they gave us a smoking supper, and a
bottle of mulled port, in which we drank your health, and then retired to
a couple of capital bedrooms, in each of which there was a rousing fire
half-way up the chimney. We had for breakfast toast, cakes, a Yorkshire
pie, a piece of beef about the size and much the shape of my portmanteau,
tea, coffee, ham, eggs; and are now going to look about us."

Dickens seems to be a little misleading in saying the inn stood on the
heath. It was actually in the village by the side of the road. But he
apparently got this idea that the house stood "alone in the midst of a
dreary moor" well into his mind, for, when using the inn again as the
original of the Holly Tree Inn in the charming Christmas story with that
name, we find that the bashful man is made to speak of it as being on a
bleak wild solitude of the Yorkshire moor. He describes the interior in
many whimsical details, perhaps at times a little exaggerated, as, for
instance, when he says his bedroom was some quarter of a mile from his
huge sitting-room. Next day it was still snowing, and, not knowing what to
do, he, in desperation, invited the Boots "to take a chair--and something
in a liquid form--and talk" to him. This he did and the delightful story
of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Walmers, junior, the chief incidents of which all
took place in the same inn, was recalled by the Boots.

But to return to Squeers and his party:

Having run into the tavern to "stretch his legs," he returned in a few
minutes, as, at the same time, there emerged from the yard a rusty,
pony-chaise, and a cart, driven by two labouring men. By these conveyances
he transported his charges to "the delightful village of Dotheboys" about
three miles away.

Nicholas was preparing for bed that evening when the letter Newman Noggs
had given him in London fell out of his pocket unopened. This letter
interests at the moment by reason of its postscript, which runs: "If you
should go near Barnard Castle, there is good ale at the King's Head. Say
you know me, and I am sure they will not charge you for it. You may say
_Mr._ Noggs there, for I was a gentleman then. I was indeed."

It is not recorded that Nicholas had occasion to visit the King's Head,
Barnard Castle, but we know that Dickens went there after having explored
the neighbourhood of Greta Bridge. He and Phiz made the journey in a post
chaise, there to deliver the letter Mr. Charles Smithson, the London
solicitor, had given him by way of introduction to a certain person who
would help him in his discoveries about the Yorkshire schools.

Barnard Castle is about four miles from Greta Bridge, and is in the county
of Durham, just across the Yorkshire border. Arriving there Dickens made
the King's Head his headquarters. Since that date the inn has been
enlarged somewhat, but much of the older portion remains the same as when
he stayed there.

It was here the interview referred to above took place before a fire in
one of the cosiest rooms in the building, and the person who furnished the
information became the original of John Browdie.

Many legends about Dickens's stay at the King's Head have got into print,
such as that he stayed there six weeks, that he wrote a great part of the
book there, working hard at a table in front of the window all day, and
that he spent the nights in the bar parlour gathering facts from the
frequenters. Actually he only remained two nights, and wrote no more of
his book there than a few brief notes, in the same way that Phiz made
rough pictures in his sketch-book.

It was whilst on this short visit that Dickens made the acquaintance of
Mr. Humphrey, who kept a watchmaker's shop lower down the street. This
worthy conducted him to some of the schools in the neighbourhood, and from
the friendly association sprang the title of _Master Humphrey's Clock_,
used by the novelist for his next serial. When Dickens first met Mr.
Humphrey, who we believe was the source from which sprang all the
legendary stories about Dickens and Barnard Castle, he exhibited no clock
outside his shop. It was not until two years after Dickens's visit that
the old man, having moved opposite the inn, placed a clock above the door.


_Photograph by T. W. Tyrrell_]

The King's Head in those days was kept by two sisters, who were wont to
inform customers that Dickens wrote a good deal of _Nicholas Nickleby_ in
their house. He was always writing, it was said, and they could show the
ink-stand he used during the long stay he made. This is a little
exaggeration which reflected glory engenders sometimes.

The inn is of the Georgian period and was built about the middle of the
eighteenth century. It is situated in the market place, and the room
Dickens occupied is still cared for and exhibited to visitors. The house
is practically the same, with its intricate staircases, low ceilings, its
old-world atmosphere, and old-fashioned appurtenances.

Dotheboys Hall, Squeers's academy, has been identified as being at Bowes,
and at the Unicorn Inn there Dickens is said to have met Shaw, the
original of Squeers. It was Squeers's custom, we are told, "to drive over
to the market town every evening, on pretence of urgent business, and stop
till ten or eleven o'clock at a tavern he much affected," and no doubt it
was to the Unicorn that he repaired.

This ancient inn stands midway in the village and was at that time the
most important inn between York and Carlisle. A dozen or more coaches
changed every day in its yard, which was, and still is, with its abundant
stabling, one of the largest of the ancient road-side hostelries surviving
the old coaching days. It is still unspoiled, and we believe remains much
the same as when Dickens and Phiz drew up there and partook of a
substantial lunch, and ultimately interviewed the veritable Mr. Shaw,
Squeers's prototype.

The next inn carries us a good way into the story and brings us in company
with Nicholas and Smike on their tramp to Portsmouth. Chapter XXII of the
book describes how these two, having deserted Squeers, sally forth to seek
their fortune at the naval port. On the first evening they arrived at
Godalming, where they bargained for two beds and slept soundly in them.
On the second day, they reached the Devil's Punch Bowl, at Hindhead, and
Nicholas, having read to Smike the inscription upon the stone, together
they passed on with steady purpose until they were within twelve miles of
Portsmouth, just beyond Petersfield. Here they turned off the path to the
door of a road-side inn, where they learned from the landlord that it was
not only "twelve long miles" to their destination, but a very bad road.
Following the advice of the innkeeper Nicholas decided to stay where he
was for the night, and was led into the kitchen. Asked what they would
have for supper "Nicholas suggested cold meat, but there was no cold
meat--poached eggs, but there were no eggs--mutton chops, but there wasn't
a mutton chop within three miles, though there had been more last week
than they knew what to do with, and would be an extraordinary supply the
day after to-morrow." Nicholas determined to leave the decision entirely
to the landlord, who rejoined: "There's a gentleman in the parlour that's
ordered a hot beefsteak pudding and potatoes at nine. There's more of it
than he can manage, and I have very little doubt that, if I ask leave, you
can sup with him. I'll do that in a minute." In spite of Nicholas's
disinclination to consent to do any such thing, the landlord hurried off
and in a few minutes Nicholas was shown into the presence of Mr. Vincent
Crummles, who was rehearsing his two sons in "what is called in play-bills
a terrific combat" with broadswords.

After the rehearsal was finished Nicholas and Crummles drew round the fire
and the conversation revealed the latter's profession and business. The
appearance of the beefsteak pudding put a stop to the discussion for the
time being; but after Smike and the two young Crummleses had retired for
the night Nicholas and Mr. Vincent Crummles continued their conversation
over a bowl of punch, which sent forth "a most grateful and inviting
fragrance." Under the influence of this stimulant Mr. Vincent Crummles
proposed that Nicholas should join his theatrical company.

"There's genteel comedy in your walk and manner, juvenile tragedy in your
eye, and touch-and-go farce in your laugh," said Mr. Vincent Crummles.
"You'll do as well as if you had thought of nothing else but the lamps
from your birth downwards." After further flattery and persuasiveness,
Nicholas agreed to try, and without more deliberation declared it was a
bargain and gave Mr. Vincent Crummles his hand upon it.

Next morning they all continued their journey to Portsmouth in Mr. Vincent
Crummles's "four-wheeled phaeton" drawn by his famous pony.

Dickens does not name the inn in which this incident took place, and
beyond stating it was twelve miles from Portsmouth gives no other
indication helpful in identifying it.


_Drawn by C. G. Harper_]

Mr. Charles G. Harper however says from Dickens's very accurate
description there can be no question as to the identical spot the novelist
had in mind, which is just below Petersfield. There is an inn, the Coach
and Horses, standing by the wayside to-day, but according to Mr. Harper it
did not exist at the time of the story, so that the inn to which Dickens
referred was the Bottom Inn, or Gravel Hill Inn, as it was sometimes
called, which stood there in those days, and exists to-day as a
gamekeeper's cottage.

There are other inns in the book that are referred to without name and one
or two which leave no doubt as to their identity.

The handsome hotel, for instance, where Nicholas accidentally overheard
Sir Mulberry Hawk talking familiarly about his sister Kate, was situated,
Dickens tells us, in one of the thoroughfares lying between Park Lane and
Bond Street. It cannot, however, definitely be identified. It was in one
of the boxes of the coffee-room that the incident took place and there
were many such hotels at the time in the district whose coffee-rooms were
partitioned off into such boxes as Dickens describes this one. It has been
suggested that Mivart's, afterwards Claridge's--the old one, not the
present building--was possibly the one Dickens meant. It stood in Brook
Street and for that reason would perhaps answer the purpose. But this is
mere conjecture.

This hotel may also be the one referred to in Chapter XVI of Book II of
_Little Dorrit_, where we are told "The courier had not approved of Mr.
Dorrit's staying in the house of a friend, and had preferred to take him
to an hotel in Brook Street, Grosvenor Square." He had just returned from
the Continent and remained for a short time only. But it was the scene of
two or three momentous interviews with Mr. Merdle, Flora Finching and
young John Chivery.

The Crown public-house Newman Noggs used to frequent in the neighbourhood
of Golden Square, London, and which he told Nicholas was "at the corner of
Silver Street and James Street, with a bar door both ways," has been
rebuilt and greatly altered since those days. The names of the streets,
too, have been changed to Upper James Street and Beak Street, but at the
corner where they meet is to be found a Crown public-house occupying the
site of Newman Noggs's favoured house of call.

There is something more definite and real in the London Tavern referred to
in the second chapter of the book, where the "United Metropolitan Improved
Hot Muffin and Crumpet Baking and Punctual Delivery Company" was to hold
its first meeting with Sir Matthew Pupker in the chair, which Company was
being floated and engineered by Ralph Nickleby and his fellow conspirator,
Mr. Bunney. Arriving in Bishopsgate Street Within, where the London Tavern
was, and still is situated, they found it in a great bustle. Half a dozen
men were exciting themselves over the announcement of the meeting which
was to petition Parliament in favour of the wonderful Company with a
capital of five hundred thousand shares of ten pounds each. The two men
elbowed their way into a room upstairs containing a business-looking table
and several business-looking people. The report of that meeting is too
long to quote, but, long as it is, not too long for the reader to relish
every word of it if he will but turn again to the pages describing it.
After the petition was agreed upon, Mr. Nickleby and the other directors
adjourned to the office to lunch, and to remunerate themselves; "for which
trouble (as the company was yet in its infancy) they only charged three
guineas each man for every such attendance."

The London Tavern where this meeting was held was opened in 1768. It was
built on the Tontine principle, the name of the architect one Richard B.
Jupp. The great dining-room was known as the "Pillar-room" and was
"decorated with medallions and garlands, Corinthian columns and
pilasters." It had a ball-room running the whole length of the structure,
which was also used for banquets, and was hung with paintings and
contained a large organ at one end. In those days the hotel was famous for
its turtle soup, the turtles being kept alive in large tanks, and as many
as two tons were seen swimming in the vat at one time. The cellars were
filled with barrels of porter, pipes of port, butts of sherry, and endless
other bottles and bins. The building was erected to provide a spacious and
convenient place for public meetings, such as had drawn Ralph Nickleby and
his friends on the occasion referred to above.

In _Household Words_ in 1852 was a long article on the tavern to which we
are indebted for some of the facts here recorded. Meetings of Mexican
Bondholders were held on the second floor; of a Railway Assurance
"upstairs, and first to the left"; of an asylum election at the end of the
passage; and of the party on the "first floor to the right," who had to
consider "the union of the Gibbleton line of the Great-Trunk-Due-Eastern
Junction"; all these functions brought persons in great excitement and
agitation to its hospitable walls.

For these meetings the rooms were arranged with benches, and sumptuously
Turkey-carpeted: the end being provided with a long table for the
directors, with an imposing array of paper and pens.

In a word, it was a city tavern for city men, and it still exists to-day
to cater for the requirements of the same class of business men, although
perhaps not so ostentatiously. Banquets are still held there; city
companies hold their meetings there, and Masonic institutions their

Dickens knew the tavern very well, having given dinners there himself or
taken the chair for some fund, as he did in June 1844, in aid of the
"Sanatorium or Sick-house," an institution for students, governesses and
young artists who were above using hospitals and could not afford the
expenses of home-nursing in their lodgings.

On another occasion (in 1851) Dickens presided there at the annual dinner
held in aid of the General Theatrical Fund. The thought of this dinner may
have come back to him when he was writing one of his short pieces entitled
"Lying Awake," (1852) in which, among the strange things which came to his
mind on those occasions, he mentions that he found himself once thinking
how he had "suffered unspeakable agitation of mind from taking the chair
at a public dinner at the London Tavern in my night clothes, which not all
the courtesy of my kind friend and host, Mr. Bathe, could persuade me were
quite adapted to the occasion."

There are a few other inns not mentioned by name, or merely alluded to in
passing, which, together with those we have dealt with, make _Nicholas
Nickleby_ almost as interesting from this point of view as _Pickwick




Of all the inns with which Dickens's books abound there is none that plays
so important a part in any of his stories as the Maypole at Chigwell does
in _Barnaby Rudge_. Other inns are just the scene of an incident or two,
or are associated with certain characters or groups of characters; the
Maypole is the actual pivot upon which the whole story of _Barnaby Rudge_
revolves. It is associated in some way with every character that figures
prominently in the narrative, and scene after scene is enacted either in
it or near by. The story begins with a picturesque description of the inn
and its frequenters, and ends with a delightful pen-picture of young Joe
Willet comfortably settled there with Dolly as his wife, and a happy
family growing up around them.

For these reasons it may therefore be said to be the most important of
all the Dickensian inns. It is also one of the few hostels Dickens
describes in detail, and perhaps the only one he admittedly gave a
fanciful name to, for its real name is the King's Head. Ever since it has
been an inn it has been so called, and is known by that name to-day,
although it is never referred to in conversation or print without the
corroborative appendage of "The Maypole of _Barnaby Rudge_," nor does the
sign-board omit this important fact. There are the remains of an inn near
by at Chigwell Row, boasting the sign of the Maypole, and this may have
suggested the name to Dickens, but that is all it can claim: the King's
Head is the inn and Chigwell is the place chosen by Dickens for the centre
of some of the chief scenes in his story, and the few fanciful touches he
gives to it and its surroundings are nothing but the licence allowed a
novelist for rounding off and completing the details necessary for the
presentment of his ideal. As long as the King's Head exists, therefore, it
will always remain famous as "the Maypole of _Barnaby Rudge_," and reflect
pleasant memories to all who know the book.

In 1841 Dickens, writing to his friend and biographer, John Forster,
inviting him to take a trip to Chigwell, said: "Chigwell, my dear fellow,
is the greatest place in the world. Name your day for going. Such a
delicious old inn, opposite the churchyard--such a lovely ride--such
beautiful forest scenery--such an out-of-the-way, rural, place--such a
sexton! I say again name your day." In quoting this alluring invitation in
his biography of the novelist, John Forster adds: "The day was named at
once, and the whitest of stones marks it, in now sorrowful memory.
Dickens's promise was exceeded by our enjoyment; and his delight in the
double recognition of himself and of Barnaby, by the landlord of the nice
old inn, far exceeded any pride he would have taken in what the world
thinks the highest sort of honour."

As _Barnaby Rudge_ had been published by this time, the novelist must have
made many a trip to the King's Head previously, for the early chapters of
the story in which the inn is introduced had been written long before.

Time has played very few tricks either with the building or with Chigwell,
for they are practically the same to-day as they were at the period in
which Dickens was writing. The inn can still be said to be a delicious old
one, and, if one rides to it as Dickens did, his description of the forest
scenery and the nature of the out-of-the-way, rural place will be found
as true to-day as when he discovered it, nearly a century ago: facts which
many a pilgrim to it since can substantiate.


_Drawn by L. Walker_]

The description of the Maypole in the opening chapter of _Barnaby Rudge_
has been quoted often, but we make no apology for quoting it again, for no
more enticing way of introducing it could be imagined. Besides which it
incidentally suggests its past history as well as affirms its present

"The Maypole was an old building, with more gable ends than a lazy man
would care to count on a sunny day; huge zigzag chimneys, out of which it
seemed as though even smoke could not choose but come in more than
naturally fantastic shapes, imparted to it in its tortuous progress; and
vast stables, gloomy, ruinous, and empty. The place was said to have been
built in the days of King Henry the Eighth; and there was a legend, not
only that Queen Elizabeth had slept there one night while upon a hunting
excursion, to wit, in a certain oak-panelled room with a deep bay window,
but that next morning, while standing on a mounting-block before the door,
with one foot in the stirrup, the Virgin Monarch had then and there boxed
and cuffed an unlucky page for some neglect of duty.... Whether these, and
many other stories of the like nature, were true or untrue, the Maypole
was really an old house, a very old house, perhaps as old as it claimed to
be, and perhaps older, which will sometimes happen with houses of an
uncertain, as with ladies of a certain, age. Its windows were old
diamond-pane lattices, its floors were sunken and uneven, its ceilings
blacked by the hand of Time, and heavy with massive beams. Over the
doorway was an ancient porch, quaintly and grotesquely carved; and here on
Summer evenings the more favoured customers smoked and drank--aye, and
sang many a good song, too, sometimes--reposing in two grim-looking
high-backed settles, which, like the twin dragons of some fairy tale,
guarded the entrance to the mansion. In the chimneys of the disused rooms
swallows had built their nests for many a long year, and, from earliest
Spring to latest Autumn, whole colonies of sparrows chirped and twittered
in the eaves. There were more pigeons about the dreary stable-yard and
outbuildings than anybody but the landlord could reckon up. The wheeling
and circling flights of runts, fantails, tumblers and pouters were perhaps
not quite consistent with the grave and sober character of the building,
but the monotonous cooing, which never ceased to be raised by some among
them all day long, suited it exactly, and seemed to lull it to rest.

"With its overhanging stories, drowsy little panes of glass, and front
bulging out and projecting over the pathway, the old house looked as if it
were nodding in its sleep. Indeed, it needed no great stretch of fancy to
detect in it other resemblances to humanity. The bricks of which it was
built had originally been a deep dark red, but had grown yellow and
discoloured like an old man's skin; the sturdy timbers had decayed like
teeth; and here and there the ivy, like a warm garment to comfort it in
its age, wrapt its green leaves closely round the time-worn walls."

That is a charming pen-picture of the Maypole's outward appearance, and
beyond a little exaggeration as regards some details almost perfectly fits
the "delicious" old inn to-day. Some topographers have seen fit to quarrel
with the picture because the porch was never there as described by Dickens
and because the gable ends could easily be counted without trouble, and
because in their hurried visit they had failed to discover the old bricks
and the warm garment of ivy wrapping its green leaves closely round the
time-worn walls. But that is being meticulous, not to say pedantic, and if
a visit is made to the back of the building this delightful simile can be
thoroughly appreciated. Indeed, no more appropriate words could be found
to describe its appearance to-day than those written by the novelist many
years ago.

Cattermole, who drew a picture of the inn for the book, went woefully
wrong. He did not even follow Dickens's words, but drew a picture more
representing an old English baronial mansion than an inn. Even granting
that, before the Maypole was an inn it was a mansion, Cattermole very
much overstepped the mark. History tells us that about 1713 the King's
Head was used for sittings of the Court of Attachments, and that farther
back in 1630 "the Bailiff of the Forests was directed to summon the
Constables to appear before the Forest Officers, for the purposes of an
election," at the "house of Bibby," which probably was no other than what
became the King's Head at Chigwell. "In this quaint and pleasant inn," we
are informed, "may still be seen the room in which the Court of
Attachments was held." This evidently is the Chester Room to which we
shall refer later. The same writer also mentions "an arched recess in the
cellar, made to hold the wine which served for the revels of the Officers
of the Forest, after the graver labours of the day."

Let us follow the story of _Barnaby Rudge_ through, and see how everything
in it focusses on the Maypole Inn.

The story dates back to 1775, and opens with John Willet, the burly
large-headed landlord with a fat face, sitting in his old seat in the
chimney-corner before a blazing fire surrounded by the group of regular
habitués. Here this company assembled each night in the recess of the
huge wide chimney with their long clay pipes and tankards to discuss the
local history and events. Here Solomon Daisy told his Maypole story. "It
belongs to the house," says John Willet, "and nobody but Solomon Daisy has
ever told it under this roof, or ever shall, that's more." This room, long
since turned to the more modern use of an up-to-date kitchen, was the
scene of many an incident in the book. Its cosy chimney-corner and
high-back settles are no more, but the scene can be adjusted easily, even
though a gas stove stultifies the vision somewhat. It was the resort of
all and sundry in those days. Gabriel Varden credited himself with great
resolution if he took another road on his way back from the Warren in
order that he should not break his promise to Martha by looking in at the

It was a bold resolution, for the Maypole was as a magnet, and we are
often told of how its cheery lights in the evenings were a lure to those
within sight of them; for when Gabriel did go, as related on one occasion,
and left the door open behind him, there was disclosed "a delicious
perspective of warmth and brightness--when the ruddy gleam of the fire,
streaming through the old red curtains of the common room, seemed to bring
with it, as part of itself, a pleasant hum of voices, and a fragrant
odour of steaming grog and rare tobacco, all steeped, as it were, in the
cheerful glow." There he would find a company in snug seats in the
snuggest of corners round a broad glare from a crackling log, and from a
distant kitchen he would hear a gentle sound of frying, with musical
clatter of plates and dishes, and a savoury smell that made even the
boisterous wind a perfume--on such occasions Gabriel, we are told, would
find his "firmness oozing rapidly away. He tried to look stoically at the
tavern, but his features would relax into a look of fondness. He turned
his head the other way, and the cold black country seemed to frown him
off, and to drive him for a refuge into its hospitable arms."

We can well imagine it, for who could resist its clean floor covered with
crisp white sand, its well-swept hearth, its blazing fire, such as this
friendly meeting place possessed? That was but one of its many attractive

Up the "wide dismantled staircase" was the best apartment, in which John
Chester had his momentous interview with Geoffrey Haredale. This is known
to-day, as we have already said, as the Chester Room. "It was spacious
enough in all conscience, occupying the whole depth of the house, and
having at either end a great bay window, as large as many modern rooms
... although the best room in the inn, it had the melancholy aspect of
grandeur in decay, and was much too vast for comfort." This room exists
to-day, and one can readily realise, on reading Dickens's meditation on
its dullness and its chilly waste, how desolate it must have been as a
living-room in a mansion, such as the Maypole once was. "God help the man
whose heart ever changes with the world, as an old mansion when it becomes
an inn," Dickens exclaims.

[Illustration: THE CHESTER ROOM

_Drawn by L. Walker_]

The best bedroom to which Mr. Chester repaired for the night after his
interview with Mr. Haredale was nearly as large and possessed "a great
spectral bedstead, hung with faded brocade, and ornamented, at the top of
each carved post, with a plume of feathers that had once been white, but
with dust and age had now grown hearse-like and funereal"; but the room,
John Willet informed his guest, was "as warm as a toast in a tankard." And
so Mr. Chester was left to his rest in the Maypole's ancient bed.

These apartments, stately and grand as they were, could not compare or
compete in comfort with the bar, the bar parlour and other corners
frequented by the more menial coterie of the inn. Even the stables were
pleasant in their way, and, when Hugh, the ostler--Maypole Hugh as he was
called--was ordered to take Mr. Chester's horse, John Willet assured his
guest that "there's good accommodation for man and beast," which was true
then and is true to-day.

Later came Lord George Gordon, John Grueby and Mr. Gashford on their "No
Popery" mission, all looking like "tagrag and bobtail," asking if there
are any inns thereabouts. "There are no inns," replied Mr. Willet, with
strong emphasis on the plural number; "but there's a inn--one inn--the
Maypole Inn. That's a inn indeed. You won't see the like of that inn
often." After being assured that his visitors were really the persons
they represented themselves to be, John Willet recovered so far as to
observe that there was ample accommodation at the Maypole for the party;
"good beds, neat wines, excellent entertainment for man and beast; private
rooms for large and small parties; dinners dressed upon the shortest
notice; choice stabling, and a lock-up coach-house; and, in short, to run
over such recommendatory scraps of language as were painted up on various
portions of the building, and which in the course of forty years he had
learnt to repeat with tolerable correctness." And so they were "put up"
for the night, and they could desire nothing better.

Without following the story in its relation to the horrors of the Gordon
Riots, we record in passing that both Maypole Hugh and Barnaby joined the
throng on leaving their cosy quarters of the inn.

Passing over the frequent visits of such characters as Mr., Mrs. and Dolly
Varden, Miss Haredale and others, we reach the stage in the story when the
rioters arrived at the inn on their way to burn and raid the Warren in the
neighbourhood. They encounter John Willet at the Porch, and immediately
demand drink.

Their ringleader was no other than Maypole Hugh, who confronted his late
master with "These lads are thirsty and must drink. Bustle, Jack, bustle!
Show us the best--the very best--the over-proof that you keep for your own
drinking, Jack!" Then ensued a mad scene. The rabble entered the bar--"the
sanctuary, the mystery, the hallowed ground: here it was, crammed with
men, clubs, sticks, torches, pistols; filled with a deafening noise,
oaths, shouts, screams, hootings; changed all at once into a bear-garden,
a madhouse, an infernal temple; men darting in and out, by door and
window, smashing the glass, turning the taps, drinking liquor out of china
punch-bowls, sitting astride of casks, smoking private and personal pipes,
cutting down the sacred grove of lemons, hacking and hewing of the
celebrated cheese ... noise, smoke, light, darkness, frolic, anger,
laughter, groans, plunder, fear, and ruin." Finally binding John to a
chair they left him alone in his dismantled bar and made for the Warren,
which they burned to the ground.

In despair, Mr. Haredale seeks his niece and servants at the Maypole, only
to find the spectacle of John Willet in the ignominious position the
rioters left him, with his favourite house stripped and pulled about his
ears. Damaged as the "Maypole" was in many ways, it never actually drops
out of the story's interest; but during the trend of events in London we
naturally hear little of it.

John Willet had flown in despair from it, and took up his abode in the
Black Lion in London for safety's sake, where eventually he again met his
son Joe, now a one-armed hero back from the wars.

Here in his solitude we find him sitting over the fire, "afar off in the
remotest depths of his intellect," with a lurking hint or faint suggestion
"that out of the public purse there might issue funds for the restoration
of the Maypole to its former high place among the taverns of the earth."
What actually did happen, however, was the marriage of his son Joe to
Dolly, whose father gave her a handsome dowry, enabling the happy couple
to return to the Maypole, reopen it, and there install themselves as host
and hostess. And so they brought back to the inn all its famous glory,
earning for it the epithet that there was no such country inn as the
Maypole in all England.

Barnaby returned to live with his mother on the farm established there,
and Grip was his cherished companion throughout the rest of his life. John
Willet retired into a small cottage in the village, where the fire-place
was widened and enlarged for him, and where a boiler was hung up for his
edification, and, furthermore, in the little garden outside the front door
a fictitious Maypole was planted; so that he was quite at home directly.
To this new abode came his old friends and cronies of the old
chimney-corner of the Maypole to chum over the things that once were.

No doubt they talked of the old days in the old inn, and occasionally
turned in to its enticing haven and challenged anyone to find its equal by
asking, as was asked before, "What carpet like its crunching sand, what
merry music as its crackling logs, what perfume like its kitchen's dainty
breath, what weather genial as its hearty warmth?" And we are sure that
they all endorsed its historian's benediction--"Blessings on the old
house, how sturdily it stood."

We have attempted to bring to mind the atmosphere of the Maypole as it was
in the days of the story of _Barnaby Rudge_, and to recall the characters
and incidents associated with it. The pilgrim to this notable Dickens
shrine to-day, remembering these things, will find that time has dealt
kindly with the old inn. It is changed, of course, in many ways, but it is
still the old Maypole, with its bar, its Chester room, its stables, its
cellars running under the adjoining cottages, and its ivy still clinging
to the old worn bricks at the back. Its windows are still diamond-paned,
and its floors are still uneven and sunken in places; its heavy beams run
across the ceiling. One can even hear the sparrows chirp and see the other
birds disport themselves in their revels. The building has many gables,
and its stories overhang and bulge over the pathway as if the old house
was nodding in its sleep just as the novelist described it.

And, in the churchyard opposite, the scene of Barnaby and his mother
sitting upon a tombstone and eating their frugal meal can easily be

Still set in a rural and beautiful district of England's verdant lanes,
long may the Maypole survive!

It is interesting to note that in 1899 "The Charles Dickens Lodge" was
consecrated in the Maypole, and still holds its meetings there. The Lodge
is held in what was undoubtedly the "best bedroom" of the inn, and the
banquet follows in the Chester Room.




There are very few instances in Dickens's descriptions of London that were
not the outcome of his own actual observations. But in writing _Barnaby
Rudge_, the action of which took place thirty years or so before he was
born, he was forced to rely a good deal on tradition and history books.
Yet, so particular was he about facts and details, it would be very
difficult to find him tripping even in his geography.

In regard to the inns and taverns of the book, we find, as we have shown,
how intimately he knew the Maypole, and we believe it to be true, although
in a lesser degree, in regard to the Boot, the headquarters of the Gordon
Rioters, which, next to the Maypole, is the most notable inn in the book.
Having lived in the neighbourhood where for over a century and a half this
old inn or its predecessors stood, he no doubt visited it and absorbed the
atmosphere of its past.

It is first mentioned in Chapter XXXVIII, where we are told that, after
being enrolled as "No Popery" men, Dennis and Hugh left Gashford's house
together and spent two hours in inspecting the Houses of Parliament and
their purlieus. "As they were thirsty by this time, Dennis proposed that
they should repair together to the Boot, where there was good company and
strong liquor. Hugh yielding a ready assent, they bent their steps that
way with no loss of time."

The Boot, we are told, was "a lone house of public entertainment, situated
in the fields at the back of the Foundling Hospital; a very solitary spot
at that period, and quite deserted after dark. The tavern stood at some
distance from any high road, and was approached only by a dark and narrow
lane; so that Hugh was much surprised to find several people drinking
there, and great merriment going on."

[Illustration: The Old Boot Inn. 1780.

_From an old Engraving_]

Here it was that Sim Tappertit, as chief or captain of the United
Bulldogs, swaggered about with majestic air, among his fellow
conspirators, creating a great impression by his dignity and assumed
demeanour of importance, whilst plots and acts of menace were hatched out.
In those days the fields were known as Lamb Conduit Fields, which district
has become now a very thickly populated neighbourhood between Euston Road
and Gray's Inn Road, with the name still perpetuated in Lambs Conduit
Street. There is a Boot Tavern still standing to-day at 116 Cromer Street,
and there is no reason to doubt that it is the successor of the Boot
mentioned in _Barnaby Rudge_ as the headquarters of the Gordon Rioters,
which actually stood at that spot in 1780. Situated as it was then, the
solitary surroundings became a refuge at night for rioters in lanes, under
the hay-stacks, or near the warmth of brick-kilns, when they were not in
the tavern planning desperate deeds in the name of the Protestant
Association of England, sanctioned by Lord George Gordon. The present Boot
was rebuilt in 1801 by Peter Speedy, and five generations of the family
have owned it for something like 150 years. Even as far back as 1630 we
learn that a Thomas Cleave invested £50 in the Boot Tavern, the interest
on which was to be spent weekly on thirteen penny loaves, to be
distributed to the poor at the door of St. Pancras' Church every Sunday

Among the original illustrations to the book is one of the Boot engraved
from a drawing by George Cattermole, who made it from a contemporary
etching, which we reproduce here. In comparing it with Cattermole's
picture it will be observed that it differs very slightly in detail, but
is turned the other way round. This, no doubt, is accounted for by the
fact that the drawing was made on wood and when engraved and printed the
picture became reversed. The stream running in front of the inn is the
Fleet, which still flows underground.

A correspondent in _The Times_ on the 25th October, 1895, writing on the
subject said that Dickens confirmed to him with his own lips in the Boot
itself about the year 1867 "that this was the identical inn he had in his
mind's eye when he conceived _Barnaby Rudge_."

Unhappily the frontage has been aggressively modernised. Luckily the
present landlord, Mr. Harry Ford, has retained the sign of "Ye Olde Boote"
and is proud of the tavern's traditions.

The three or four other inns of the book do not figure so realistically in
it as do the Maypole and the Boot. The half-way house between Chigwell
and London referred to in Chapter II, although unnamed, was no doubt the
Green Man at Leytonstone, still standing near the present-day railway

The Black Lion in Whitechapel, where Joe Willet took his frugal dinner
after having settled his father's bills with the vintner in Thames Street,
and where on another occasion, having determined to enlist in the Army, he
met the recruiting sergeant, may have existed in those days, but that
cannot be determined definitely. There certainly was a Black Lion Yard
there, and maybe, at one time, an inn of that name stood close by,
exhibiting the sign, which, we are told, was painted by the artist under
instructions from the landlord "to convey into the features of the lordly
brute whose effigy it bore as near a counterpart of his own face as his
skill could compass." The result was "rather a drowsy, tame and feeble
lion; and as these social representatives of a savage class are usually of
a conventional character (being depicted, for the most part, in impossible
attitudes, and of unearthly colour) he was frequently supposed by the most
ignorant and uninformed among the neighbours to be the veritable portrait
of the host as he appeared on the occasion of some great funeral ceremony
or public mourning."

This inn was the scene too of the meeting of Dolly Varden and Joe when the
valiant soldier returned from the defence of the "Salwanners" minus an
arm; and of the interview of the youthful couple when they came to that
very pleasant understanding, after an enjoyable supper.

The Crooked Billet, the headquarters of the recruiting sergeant, where
Joe, "disconsolate and downhearted, but full of courage," was enrolled
"among the gallant defenders of his native land," was in Tower Street, so
we are told; and we read that, having taken the King's shilling, he was
"regaled with a steaming supper of boiled tripe and onions, prepared, as
his friend assured him more than once, at the express command of his Most
Sacred Majesty the King." After he had done ample justice to it he was
"conducted to a straw mattress in a loft over the stable, and locked in
there for the night."

Until 1912 there actually was an old weather-beaten public-house with that
name at No. 1 Little Tower Hill, at the corner of Shorter Street. It was a
very fine specimen of eighteenth-century architecture, although the
frontage was not as old as the rest of the structure. As it would have
been standing at the period of the story, no doubt this was the house
Dickens had in mind. It was demolished, with other buildings, to conform
to the necessity of city improvements.

The noted coffee-house in Covent Garden to which Mr. Chester repaired
after leaving the locksmith's might be any one of the many that flourished
in that district at the time, such as "Tom's," "White's," "Wills's," and
"Button's." "Tom's" was perhaps the most fashionable, and for that reason
more likely to be favoured by Mr. Chester, as he would be only too proud
to think he would be numbered among such folk as Dr. Johnson, Sir Joshua
Reynolds, Garrick, Defoe, and all those famous men who resorted to it in
its palmiest days. It was situated at No. 17 Russell Street.

Turning to _The Old Curiosity Shop_, we can find but few inns or taverns
that have any real importance to the story. Of those that are mentioned by
name, no detailed description is given, nor is any very vital incident or
character associated with them.

In Chapter XXI, however, where Quilp invites Dick Swiveller to partake of
liquid refreshment with him, we get the real Dickens touch: "As we are
companions in adversity," he said, "shall we be companions in the surest
way of forgetting it? If you had no particular business, now, to lead you
in another direction, there is a house by the waterside where they have
some of the noblest Schiedam--reputed to be smuggled, but that's between
ourselves--that can be got in all the world. The landlord knows me.
There's a little summer-house overlooking the river where we might take a
glass of this delicious liquor with a whiff of the best tobacco ... and be
perfectly happy, could we possibly contrive it; or is there any particular
engagement that peremptorily takes you another way, Mr. Swiveller, eh?"
There remained nothing more to be done but to set out for the house in
question. The summer-house of which Mr. Quilp had spoken was "a rugged
wooden box, rotten and bare to see, which overhung the river's mud and
threatened to slide down into it. The tavern to which it belonged was a
crazy building, sapped and undermined by the rats, and only upheld by the
bars of wood which were reared against its walls, and had propped it up so
long that even they were decaying and yielding with their load, and of a
windy night might be heard to creak and crack as if the whole fabric were
about to come toppling down. The house stood--if anything so old and
feeble could be said to stand--on a piece of waste ground, blighted
with the unwholesome smoke of factory chimneys.... Its internal
accommodation amply fulfilled the promise of the outside. The rooms were
low and damp, the clammy walls were pierced with chinks and holes, the
rotten floors had sunk from their level, the very beams started from their
place and warned the timid stranger from their neighbourhood."


_Drawn by G. M. Brimelow_]

Dickens gives no name to this tavern so minutely and wonderfully
described, where Quilp and Dick drank with so much freedom. Yet, although
it cannot be identified, the word-picture is too good to pass unheeded.
However, many years ago there were scores of such which would answer to
the description, on the Surrey side of the Thames, and no doubt Dickens
hit upon one of them for Quilp's favourite resort near by his wharf. They
have long since disappeared.

No sign is mentioned either of Dick Swiveller's favourite inn "across the
street," from Sampson Brass's office in Bevis Marks, where he obtained his
"modest quencher." There is, however, at No. 17, the Red Lion Tavern that
claims that honour and acquaints the world of the fact from its
sign-board. It is quite an old-fashioned public-house, and has scarcely
been altered since it numbered so bright and merry a soul as Dick among
its frequenters.

There is, however, one tavern mentioned in the story that leaves us in no
doubt about its identification. It will be remembered how annoyed, indeed
how desperate, Sampson Brass gets with the Single Gentleman for
encouraging the Punch and Judy shows to the house. "I wish I only knew who
his friends were," muttered Sampson, as another appeared in Bevis Marks.
"If they'd just get up a pretty little commission _de lunatico_ at the
Gray's Inn Coffee-House and give me the job, I'd be content to have the
lodgings empty for awhile, at all events."

The building which was once known as Gray's Inn Coffee-House stands
to-day, although its front has been stuccoed and turned into chambers. It
is the next house on the east from the Holborn gate of Gray's Inn. It is
referred to at length in Chapter LIX of _David Copperfield_, when David,
reaching London, plans to call on Traddles in his chambers in the Inn. He
puts up at Gray's Inn Coffee-House. Having ordered a bit of fish and a
steak he stood before the fire musing on the waiter's obscurity:

"As I followed the chief waiter with my eyes, I could not help thinking
that the garden in which he had gradually blown to be the flower he was
was an arduous place to rise in. It had such a prescriptive,
stiff-necked, long-established, solemn, elderly air. I glanced about the
room, which had had its sanded floor sanded, no doubt, in exactly the same
manner when the chief waiter was a boy, if he ever was a boy, which
appeared to be improbable; and at the shining tables, where I saw myself
reflected, in unruffled depths of old mahogany; and at the lamps, without
a flaw in their trimmings or cleaning; and at the comfortable green
curtains, with their pure brass rods, snugly enclosing the boxes; and at
the two large coal fires, brightly burning; and at the rows of decanters,
burly as if with the consciousness of pipes of expensive old port wine
below; and both England and the law appeared to me to be very difficult
indeed to be taken by storm. I went up to my bedroom to change my wet
clothes; and the vast extent of that old wainscoted apartment (which was
over the archway leading to the inn, I remember) and the sedate immensity
of the four-post bedstead, and the indomitable gravity of the chests of
drawers, all seemed to unite in sternly frowning on the fortunes of
Traddles, or on any such daring youth. I came down again to my dinner; and
even the slow comfort of the meal, and the orderly silence of the place,
were eloquent on the audacity of Traddles, and his small hopes of a
livelihood for twenty years to come."

We wonder if the staid men who conduct their business in those rooms
to-day are conscious that they occupy one of London's historic old
coffee-taverns and a noted Dickens landmark to wit.

The Jolly Sandboys Inn, mentioned at the beginning of Chapter XVIII of
_The Old Curiosity Shop_, is doubtless a purely imaginary one. It was "a
small road-side inn of pretty ancient date, with a sign representing three
sandboys increasing their jollity with as many jugs of ale and bags of
gold, creaking and swinging on its post on the opposite side of the road."
But, as we have no definite information as to the identical spot Codlin
and Short had reached at that moment, no attempt can be made to identify

The same remarks apply to the Valiant Soldier, the public-house where Nell
and her grandfather took shelter from the storm, in Chapter XXIX, and
where the old man gambled away Nell's last coin in a game of cards.




The Blue Dragon is an inn whose name, through the magic pen of Dickens,
has become as familiar as that of the veritable Pecksniff himself, and
almost as important. Dickens found evident delight in describing it and
its beaming mistress, Mrs. Lupin, but was careful not to disclose its real
whereabouts beyond saying that it was located in a "little Wiltshire
village within easy journey of the fair old town of Salisbury." It is
first introduced in Chapter II of _Martin Chuzzlewit_ in that wonderful
description of an angry wind, which, among the other extraordinary and
wilful antics it indulged in, gave "the old sign before the ale-house door
such a cuff as it went that the Blue Dragon was more rampant than usual
ever afterwards." In the following chapter we are allowed to become more
intimate with this sign and learn what "a faded, and an ancient dragon he
was; and many a wintry storm of rain, snow, sleet, and hail had changed
his colour from a gaudy blue to a faint lack-lustre of grey. But there he
hung; rearing, in a state of monstrous imbecility, on his hind legs;
waxing, with every month that passed, so much more dim and shapeless that
as you gazed at him on one side of the sign-board it seemed as if he must
be gradually melting through it, and coming out upon the other. He was a
courteous and considerate dragon, too; or had been in his distincter days;
for in the midst of his rampant feebleness he kept one of his fore paws
near his nose, as though he would say, 'Don't mind me--it's only my fun';
while he held out the other in polite and hospitable entreaty."

No less delightful is Dickens's picture of the mistress of the Blue
Dragon, who "was in outward appearance just what a landlady should be:
broad, buxom, comfortable and good-looking, with a face of clear red and
white, which, by its jovial aspect, at once bore testimony to her hearty
participation in the good things of the larder and cellar, and to their
thriving and healthful influences. She was a widow, but years ago had
passed through her state of weeds, and burst into flower again--and in
full bloom she had continued ever since; and in full bloom she was now;
with roses in her ample skirts, and roses on her bodice, roses in her cap,
roses in her cheeks--aye, and roses, worth the gathering too, on her lips
for that matter ... was comely, dimpled plump, and tight as a gooseberry."

To this inn and the care of its jovial landlady unexpectedly came old
Martin Chuzzlewit and Mary Graham in a rusty old chariot with post-horses.
The old man, suffering horrible cramps and spasms, was accommodated in the
best bedroom, "which was a large apartment, such as one may see in country
places, with a low roof and a sunken flooring, all downhill from the door,
and a descent of two steps on the inside so exquisitely unexpected that
strangers, despite the most elaborate cautioning, usually dived in head
first, as into a plunging bath. It was none of your frivolous and
preposterously bright bedrooms, where nobody can close an eye with any
kind of propriety or decent regard to the association of ideas; but it was
a good, dull leaden drowsy place, where every article of furniture
reminded you that you came there to sleep, and that you were expected to
go to sleep."

Here old Martin was put to bed in the old curtained four-poster, and was
soon discovered by Mr. Hypocrite Pecksniff, who knew the Blue Dragon and
its bar well and had come in from his house not far away. In short time
followed the other relatives until all the beds in the inn and village
were at a premium. These relatives included Mr. and Mrs. Spottletoe,
Anthony Chuzzlewit and his son Jonas, the widow of a deceased brother and
her two daughters, a grand-nephew, George Chuzzlewit, all of whom we
assume slept at the inn; whilst Montague Tigg and Chevy Slime put up at
the Half Moon and Seven Stars, where they ran up a bill they could not pay
and so tried the Blue Dragon. The King's Arms in the village was no doubt
the original of the Half Moon and Seven Stars.

Throughout the first portion of the book the Blue Dragon is the meeting
place of many of the characters, with Mrs. Lupin the friend of most of
them. Therefore within its walls many scenes and incidents of the story
take place, apart from the visits of old Martin and Mary Graham.

One of its chief claims to affection, however, is its intimate association
with Mark Tapley, the ostler there, and his attraction to Mrs. Lupin, in
connection with which we need only recall the scene on the night of his
departure for America and that on his ultimate and unexpected return.

On this latter occasion he arrived at the Blue Dragon wet through and
found Mrs. Lupin alone in the bar. Wrapped up in his great coat, she did
not know him at first, but soon recognised him as he vigorously caught her
in his arms and showered kisses upon her. He excused his final burst by
saying "I ain't a-kissing you now, you'll observe. I have been among the
patriots: I'm kissing my country." This exuberance ultimately led to the
marriage of Mark to the buxom widow and the conversion of the sign of the
Blue Dragon into that of the Jolly Tapley, a sign, Mark assured us, of his
own invention: "Wery new, conwivial and expressive."

And so with such a warm-hearted and homely couple to guide the fortunes of
the Blue Dragon, we may assume that its comfort and hospitality continued
to be a byword in the village and surrounding country.

The Blue Dragon has been carefully identified as the George Inn at
Amesbury, eight miles north of Salisbury, and not far from Mr.
Pecksniff's house, for which an old mansion on the Wilsford Road near the
village is made to stand.

It is true that at Alderbury there is a Green Dragon, and, although it may
reasonably be assumed that Dickens knew of this and appropriated the sign
and changed its colour, he did not otherwise adopt the inn for the scene
of those incidents we have referred to, for it was not commodious enough
for the purpose. Whereas the George at Amesbury fulfils all the
requirements of the story and was at the time a coaching inn and a
hostelry capable of supplying all the wants and all the accommodation
demanded by old Martin Chuzzlewit and the retinue that pursued him
wherever he went.

H. Snowden Ward, who made a minute study of this district in relation to
the Blue Dragon, became convinced by means of ordnance maps and coach
routes that Amesbury answered in every detail the requirements of the
little Wiltshire village described by Dickens. He found that the turnpike
house where Tom Pinch left his box still existed, and the church where he
played the organ was rightly situated, and, though there was no walk
through the wood from the house selected as Pecksniff's, there was a path
through a little plantation making a short cut to the north-west corner
of the churchyard.


_Drawn by C. G. Harper_]

Amesbury also fits geographically into the story in regard to the route of
the London coach which carried Tom Pinch and others on their journeys to
London, and the George Inn still stands a famous Dickens landmark there,
where visitors can be shown the identical bedroom occupied by old Martin
Chuzzlewit, and where they can otherwise indulge the sentiment of being
in the Blue Dragon once presided over by the very attractive, comely and
dimpled Mrs. Lupin when in her bloom, and utterly ignore the disparagement
and contempt poured upon it by that unprincipled adventurer, Montague

Leaving the "little Wiltshire village" with as much reluctance as Mark
Tapley did on one occasion, let us visit the "fair old town of Salisbury"
in the company of Tom Pinch, who, it will be remembered, was commissioned
to drive there to meet and bring back Martin Chuzzlewit, the new pupil.
Mr. Pecksniff's horse, which resembled, it was said, his own moral
character in so far that "he was full of promise, but of no performance,"
was harnessed to the hooded vehicle--"it was more like a gig with a tumour
than anything else"--and simple-hearted Tom, with his gallant equipage,
pursued his way to the cathedral town, which he had a shrewd notion was a
very desperate sort of place. Having put up his horse at an inn and given
the hostler to understand that he would look in again in the course of an
hour or two to see it take its corn, he set forth to view the streets.
Salisbury was noted for its inns then, and the day being market day--still
a notable sight to-day--he watched the farmers standing about in groups on
the tavern steps. Later, as the evening drew in, he returned to the
parlour of the tavern where he had left his horse, "had his little table
drawn out close before the fire, and fell to work upon a well-cooked steak
and smoking hot potatoes, with a strong appreciation of their excellence,
and a very keen sense of enjoyment. Beside him, too, there stood a jug of
most stupendous Wiltshire beer; and the effect of the whole was so
transcendent that he was obliged every now and then to lay down his knife
and fork, rub his hands and think about it. By the time the cheese and
celery came, Mr. Pinch had taken a book out of his pocket, and could
afford to trifle with the viands, now eating a little, now drinking a
little, now reading a little."

Whilst thus comfortably and happily occupied, a stranger appeared in the
room, who turned out to be Martin Chuzzlewit, for whom he was waiting. On
becoming friends a bowl of punch was ordered which in due course came "hot
and strong," and "after drinking to each other in the steaming mixture
they became quite confidential." When the time came to depart, Tom settled
his bill and Martin paid for the punch, and, "having wrapped themselves
up, to the extent of their respective means, they went out together to the
front door, where Mr. Pecksniff's property stopped the way," and started
on their way back.

Dickens makes no mention of the inn where this meeting took place, but H.
Snowden Ward identified it as the old George Hotel in the High Street. We
cannot vouch for the accuracy of this, although we are not inclined to
dispute it. It may have been the inn Dickens had in his mind's eye, but it
must have been a recollection of an earlier visit to Salisbury, for at the
time he was writing _Martin Chuzzlewit_ the George had lost its licence
and would have been unable to supply the "jug of most stupendous Wiltshire
beer" or the bowl of hot strong punch with which Tom Pinch and Martin
regaled themselves. It may be the waiter sent for it as is done to-day.
However, if the assumption that this is the tavern where the two met draws
visitors to it, there can be no regrets, for it is surely one of the most
ancient hostelries in the country. It dates back to 1320 and retains its
fine Gothic arches of oak, its timbered roofs and ceilings, its massive
oak supports to the cross-beams in several rooms, its splendid example of
an oak Jacobean staircase, its four-poster bedsteads, old fire-places, and
ancient furniture. In one of the rooms there is also a portion of a very
ancient wall of Roman bricks in herringbone work, where in 1869 were
found Roman coins, some of which are to be seen in the hotel to-day.


_Photograph by T. W. Tyrell_]

It is no longer a coaching inn. The court-yard where the strolling players
of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries gave their dramatic
performances is now the garden, and the entrance for the coaches has been
narrowed to an ordinary hotel entrance. In doing this, the rooms on each
side were widened, and in this process the massive rough-hewn oaks that
support the cross-beams of the ceilings, and which at one time formed part
of the walls, became isolated, and stand now like trees growing out of the

Such an ancient inn naturally has many historic stories and traditions
associated with it, and these are not overlooked by the present proprietor
in a little brochure available to visitors. Shakespeare, we are informed,
acted in its court-yard, Oliver Cromwell slept in the inn when passing
through the city to join his army on the 17th October, 1645, whilst Samuel
Pepys makes mention of it in his diary where he records his welcome to a
silk bed and a very good diet.

This inn is referred to again in Chapter XXXI, when Tom Pinch, having
parted from Mr. Pecksniff, tramped on foot to Salisbury and "went to the
inn where he had waited for Martin," and ordered a bed, which, we are told
"was a low four-poster shelving downward in the centre like a trough." He
slept two nights at the inn before starting on his ride to London, so
graphically described by Dickens, meeting Mrs. Lupin at the finger-posts
where she had brought the box of good things which he shared with the
coachman on the journey.

Where was situated the Baldfaced Stag, where four fresh horses were
supplied to the admiring gaze of the topers congregated about the door,
cannot be determined. But the inn where Tom alighted in London, and where,
in one of the public rooms opening from the yard, he fell fast asleep
before the fire, although not named, was probably the "Swan with Two
Necks," which stood in Lad Lane (now Gresham Street) until 1856. It was a
famous coaching inn whence the Exeter and other coaches set out and

There was another inn at Salisbury where John Westlock entertained Tom
Pinch and Martin to dinner one evening. It is described as "the very first
hotel in the town." Tom and Martin had walked in from Pecksniff's on a
very cold and dry day and arrived at the inn with such flushed and burning
faces and so brimful of vigour that the waiter "almost felt assaulted by
their presence." Dickens describes the hostelry in these words: "A Famous
Inn! the hall a very grove of dead game and dangling joints of mutton; and
in one corner an illustrious larder, with glass doors, developing cold
fowls and noble joints, and tarts wherein the raspberry jam coyly withdrew
itself, as such a precious creature should, behind a lattice-work of
pastry. And behold, on the first floor, at the court end of the house, in
a room with all the window-curtains drawn, a fire piled half-way up the
chimney, plates warming before it, wax candles gleaming everywhere, and a
table spread for three, with silver and glass enough for thirty--John

What a greeting for hungry souls after a long tramp in the brisk cold
country air. "I have ordered everything for dinner that we used to say
we'd have, Tom," said their host, and an excellent idea of a dinner it
was, too--"like a dream," as he added.

"John was wrong there," the narrator goes on, "because nobody ever dreamed
such soup as was put upon the table directly afterwards; or such fish; or
such side-dishes; or such a top and bottom; or such a course of birds and
sweets; or, in short, anything approaching the reality of entertainment
at ten-and-sixpence a head, exclusive of wines. As to _them_, the man who
can dream such iced champagne, such claret, port or sherry, had better go
to bed and stop there."

It was a right royal, jolly dinner, and they were very merry and full of
enjoyment all the time; "but not the least pleasant part of the festival
was when they all three sat about the fire, cracking nuts, drinking wine,
and talking cheerfully." They parted for the night, "John Westlock full of
light-heartedness and good humour, and poor Tom Pinch quite satisfied."
After breakfast next morning the two young men returned to Pecksniff's and
John Westlock to London.

Again Dickens does not give a name to this hotel. He tells us it was not
the same one where Tom Pinch met Martin on the occasion referred to
previously; but he does tell us that it was the very first hotel in the
town and that it was a famous inn. That has given the clue to many
students of the book who have identified it as the White Hart, a very old
house where many coaches stopped and were horsed in the coaching days of
the period of the story. The White Hart was certainly famous and quite
capable of providing such a dinner as John Westlock gave his two friends.
It is called an hotel to-day and is evidently very proud of its tradition
and stories. Here are one or two anecdotes relating to its past taken from
local histories.

In the year 1618 King James came to Sarum and it was just before this
visit that Sir Walter Raleigh passed through the city. He was on his way
from Plymouth after the failure of his last voyage to Guiana and reached
Salisbury on the evening of Monday, the 27th July, in company with his
wife, Sir Lewis Stukeley and Manourie, a French empiric. His forebodings
were of the gloomiest and he feared to meet the King whose early arrival
was expected. He therefore resorted to stratagem, and feigned sickness,
hoping by this means to gain time to employ the intercession of friends,
arrange his affairs and perhaps awaken the King's compassion. He feigned
sickness, then insanity, and by means of unguents provided by Manourie
acquired the appearance of suffering from a loathsome skin disease. Three
local physicians were called in and pronounced the disease incurable. This
treatment and his exertions produced at the end of the second day an acute
sense of hunger, and, in the words of the chronicler, "Manourie
accordingly procured from the White Hart inn a leg of mutton and some
loaves, which Raleigh devoured in secret and thus led his attendants to
suppose that he took no kind of sustenance." It was in Salisbury at this
time that he wrote his apology for his last voyage to Guiana. The Court
arrived before he left, but he did not see the King and gained a temporary

On the 9th October, 1780, the celebrated Henry Laurens, President of the
American Congress, arrived at the White Hart on his way to London, where
he was committed to the Tower.

The Duke and Duchess of Orleans with a numerous retinue arrived at the
White Hart on the 13th September, 1816.

On October 25th, 1830, the Duchess of Kent and Princess Victoria, with
their suite, arrived at the White Hart from Erlestoke Park. They were
attended by a guard of honour from the Salisbury Troop of Yeomanry.

The White Hart is probably the most famous in the city to-day. Its outside
appearance is more like a small replica of the National Gallery, with its
stone pillars and stucco work. Prominently placed over the entrance is a
graceful White Hart with its neck encircled with the gold band of

A fitting inn, John Westlock, for your royal repast!

The exciting and romantic days of coaching were beginning to ebb away at
the time _Martin Chuzzlewit_ was published; but so wonderfully does
Dickens describe the scenes on the road, and so exhilarating are his
word-pictures, the spirit of those times can better be visualized from its
pages than from any history of the period. Not only are those days not
allowed to be forgotten, but inns that have since been wiped out of
existence have had their name and fame indelibly marked on the tablets of
time for ever.


_Drawn by L. Walker_]

Such is the case of the Black Bull that once stood in Holborn. It was here
that the two estimable females, Sairey Gamp and Betsey Prig,
professionally attended Mr. Lewsome in his illness. Mr. Lewsome, it will
be remembered, was the young man who sold the drugs to Jonas Chuzzlewit
with which old Anthony was poisoned, and who after the death of the latter
made a voluntary confession of the fact, impelled to do so by the torture
of mind and dread of death he himself endured by his severe sickness.

This is Mrs. Gamp's announcement of her appointment:

"There _is_ a gent, sir, at the Bull in Holborn, as has been took ill
there, and is bad abed. They have a day-nurse as was recommended from
Bartholomew's; and well I knows her, Mr. Mould, her name bein' Mrs. Prig,
the best of creeturs. But she is otherwise engaged at night, and they are
in wants of night-watching; consequent she says to them, having reposed
the greatest friendliness in me for twenty year, 'The soberest person
going, and the best of blessings in a sick room, is Mrs. Gamp. Send a boy
to Kingsgate Street,' she says, 'and snap her up at any price, for Mrs.
Gamp is worth her weight and more in goldian guineas.' My landlord brings
the message down to me, and says, 'Bein' in a light place where you are,
and this job promising so well, why not unite the two?'"

Dickens then describes how Mrs. Gamp went to her private lodgings in
Kingsgate Street close to the tavern, "for a bundle of robes and wrappings
comfortable in the night season; and then repaired to the Bull in Holborn,
which she reached as the clocks were striking eight.

"As she turned into the yard, she stopped; for the landlord, landlady, and
head chambermaid, were all on the threshold together, talking earnestly
with a young gentleman who seemed to have just come or to be just going
away. The first words that struck upon Mrs. Gamp's ear obviously bore
reference to the patient; and, it being expedient that all good attendants
should know as much as possible about the case on which their skill is
brought to bear, Mrs. Gamp listened as a matter of duty."

At a suitable moment she ventured the remark, "Ah! a rayal gentleman!"
and, advancing, introduced herself, observing:

"The night nurse from Kingsgate Street, well beknown to Mrs. Prig the
day-nurse, and the best of creeturs.... It ain't the fust time by many
score, ma'am," dropping a curtsy to the landlady, "that Mrs. Prig and me
has nursed together, turn and turn about, one off, one on. We knows each
other's ways, and often gives relief when others failed."

Regarding herself as having now delivered her inauguration address, Mrs.
Gamp curtsied all round, and signified her wish to be conducted to the
scene of her official duties. The chambermaid led her, through a variety
of intricate passages, to the top of the house; and, pointing at length to
a solitary door at the end of a gallery, informed her that yonder was the
chamber where the patient lay. That done, she hurried off with all the
speed she could make.

"Mrs. Gamp traversed the gallery in a great heat from having carried her
large bundle up so many stairs, and tapped at the door, which was
immediately opened by Mrs. Prig, bonneted and shawled and all impatience
to be gone."

Having learned from Mrs. Prig that the pickled salmon was quite delicious,
that the cold meat tasted of the stables, that the drinks were all good,
that "the physic and them things is on the drawers and mankleshelf," and
other valuable bits of information, thanked her and entered upon her
occupation. "A little dull, but not so bad as might be," Mrs. Gamp
remarked. "I'm glad to see a parapidge in case of fire, and lots of roofs
and chimley-pots to walk upon." Mrs. Gamp was looking out of the window at
the time, and the observations she made then applied to the view seen from
the same window during a visit to it just before the inn was destroyed.

Having unpacked her bundle and settled things to her liking she came to
the conclusion that it was time for supper and promptly rang for the maid.

"I think, young woman," said Mrs. Gamp to the assistant chambermaid, in a
tone expressive of weakness, "that I could pick a little bit of pickled
salmon, with a nice little sprig of fennel, and a sprinkling of white
pepper. I takes new bread, my dear, with jest a little pat of fresh
butter, and a mossel of cheese. In case there should be such a thing as a
cowcumber in the 'ouse, will you be so kind as bring it, for I'm rather
partial to 'em, and they does a world of good in a sick-room. If they
draws the Brighton Tipper here, I takes _that_ ale at night, my love; it
bein' considered wakeful by the doctors. And whatever you do, young woman,
don't bring more than a shilling's-worth of gin and water warm when I
rings the bell a second time; for that is always my allowance, and I never
takes a drop beyond!"

"A tray was brought with everything upon it, even to the cucumber; and
Mrs. Gamp accordingly sat down to eat and drink in high good humour. The
extent to which she availed herself of the vinegar, and supped up that
refreshing fluid with the blade of her knife, can scarcely be expressed in

This was the occasion, and the Black Bull the place, where Mrs. Gamp gave
utterance to her famous piece of philosophy: "What a blessed thing it
is--living in a wale--to be contented."

Without following Mrs. Gamp through the details of her effort to help the
patient to convalescence--albeit those efforts were peculiar to herself
and have a unique interest on that account--we need only record that, in
spite of her assurance that, "of all the trying invalieges in this walley
of the shadder, that one beats 'em black and blue," Mr. Lewsome was
eventually able to be moved into the country and Mrs. Gamp was deputed to
accompany him there by coach.

"Arriving at the tavern, Mrs. Gamp (who was full-dressed for the journey,
in her latest suit of mourning) left her friends to entertain themselves
in the yard, while she ascended to the sick-room, where her
fellow-labourer, Mrs. Prig, was dressing the invalid," who was ultimately
assisted downstairs to the coach, just then on the point of starting.

"It was a troublesome matter to adjust Mrs. Gamp's luggage to her
satisfaction; for every package belonging to that lady had the
inconvenient property of requiring to be put in a boot by itself, and to
have no other luggage near it, on pain of actions at law for heavy damages
against the proprietors of the coach. The umbrella with the circular patch
was particularly hard to be got rid of, and several times thrust out its
battered brass nozzle from improper crevices and chinks, to the great
terror of the other passengers. Indeed, in her intense anxiety to find a
haven of refuge for this chattel, Mrs. Gamp so often moved it, in the
course of five minutes, that it seemed not one umbrella but fifty. At
length it was lost, or said to be; and for the next five minutes she was
face to face with the coachman, go wherever he might, protesting that it
should be 'made good' though she took the question to the House of

"At last, her bundle, and her pattens, and her basket, and everything
else, being disposed of, she took a friendly leave of Poll and Mr.
Bailey, dropped a curtsy to John Westlock, and parted as from a cherished
member of the sisterhood with Betsey Prig.

"'Wishin' you lots of sickness, my darling creetur,' Mrs. Gamp observed,
'and good places. It won't be long, I hope, before we works together, off
and on, again, Betsey: and may our next meetin' be at a large family's,
where they all takes it reg'lar, one from another, turn and turn about,
and has it businesslike.'"

And so the coach rolled out of the Bull yard with Mrs. Gamp and her charge
comfortably seated within, amidst a cloud of bustle and commotion,
terminating events which have left their mark for all time on the history
of the famous Dickensian tavern.

Although the Black Bull during its existence in so important a
thoroughfare as Holborn must have been the centre of much activity in the
coaching days, the resort of many notables and the scene of important
events, there seem scanty records of its past history available.

We find but few references to it in the annals of London beyond the fact
that it was a busy coaching inn from the seventeenth century until the
passing of the coaches from the road in the nineteenth century, when its
association with the notorious Mrs. Gamp gave it its chief claim to fame.


How far its history dates back it is difficult to say. It may even have
been one of those many fair houses and inns for travellers referred to by
Stow as existing on the north side of Oldbourne in the middle of the
sixteenth century. In the days when access to the city of London was not
possible after sundown, the Black Bull and many others, situated outside
the boundary, catered for those late comers who could not enter the gates.
No doubt these inns were established to meet such contingencies, and
perforce did a good trade. They were all very similar in general
appearance and in accommodation. The Black Bull was the terminus and
starting place for coaches, and its court-yard, like most of the others,
was large and surrounded by galleries. It had, of course, many flights of
stairs, and a variety of intricate passages up to the top of the building.
But it had a more distinctive and prominent sign than the rest of them in
this district, which, perhaps, made it more conspicuous. This was the very
fine specimen of a black bull, with gilt horns and hoofs, and a golden
band round its body. Its perfection of workmanship stamped it as that of
some renowned artist. Resting on a bracket fixed to the front of the
building, it naturally attracted attention immediately, and it was to be
seen as late as 1904 when the building was finally demolished to make room
for a different kind of business altogether. By that time all the romance
of the coaching era had left the tavern, and its court-yard had long
before been put to other uses.

This building of Mrs. Gamp's day was erected in 1825, but many such had
flourished earlier on the same site, although we believe the splendid
effigy which adorned its exterior first appeared in that year. Prior to
that date the inn was known as the Bull and Gate, unless Fielding enlarged
its designation unwittingly when he tells us in 1750 that Tom Jones, on
entering London after his exciting encounter with highwaymen between
Barnet and the metropolis, put up at the "Bull and Gate in Holborn."
Whatever it may have been called in Fielding's days, its fame will survive
in history as the Black Bull of Holborn, immortalized by association with
Sairey Gamp.




Although a good deal of _Dombey and Son_ is enacted at Brighton, only one
of its famous hotels plays any prominent part in the story, and that is
the Bedford. It is first mentioned during a conversation between Major
Bagstock and Mr. Dombey, when the former asks "Are you remaining here, Mr.
Dombey?" "I generally come down once a week, Major," returned that
gentleman; "I stay at the Bedford." "I shall have the honour of calling at
the Bedford, sir, if you'll permit me," said the Major, and in fulfilment
of his promise he did so.

On another occasion, "Mr. Dombey, bringing down Miss Tox and Mrs. Chick to
see the children, and finding the Major again at Brighton, invited him to
dinner at the Bedford, and complimented Miss Tox highly beforehand on her
neighbour and acquaintance." The Major was considered to possess an
inexhaustible fund of conversation, and showed as great an appetite in
that respect "as in regard of the various dainties on the table, among
which he may be said to have wallowed." After dinner, they had a long
rubber of whist, before they took a late farewell of the Major, who
retired to his own hotel, which, by the way, is not mentioned.

On the following day, when Mr. Dombey, Mrs. Chick and Miss Tox were
sitting at breakfast, Florence came running in to announce in great
excitement the unexpected arrival of Walter and Captain Cuttle, who had
come to ask the favour of a loan of three hundred pounds or so of Mr.
Dombey to liquidate the financial embarrassment of their old friend Sol
Gills. It will be recalled how Captain Cuttle offered as security his
silver watch, the ready money he possessed, his silver teaspoons, and
sugar-tongs; and "piling them up into a heap that they might look as
precious as possible" delivered himself of these words:

"Half a loaf's better than no bread, and the same remark holds good with
crumbs. There's a few. Annuity of one hundred pound prannum also ready to
be made over." The simple and transparent honesty of Captain Cuttle
succeeded in the task he set himself, Mr. Dombey arranging the little
matter for him.

The Bedford can rightly claim the honour of having been the house where
this memorable scene in the story of Captain Cuttle took place. In those
days it was a prominent and fashionable hotel, and remains so to-day.

Dickens frequently stayed at Brighton and very often at the Bedford, where
he wrote a good deal of _The Haunted Man_ and portions of other stories.

The Princess's Arms, spoken of as being "much resorted to by splendid
footmen," which was in Princess's Place, where Miss Tox inhabited a dark
little house, cannot be identified. Indeed, search for Princess's Place in
old directories of Brighton has entirely failed, and it must be assumed
that no such place ever existed there.

At the time Dickens was writing _Dombey and Son_ in 1846, the Royal Hotel
at Leamington, where Mr. Dombey stayed with Major Bagstock, and where
Edith Granger, who became his second wife, visited him with her mother on
one occasion, did not exist, having been demolished about 1841-2 to
make way for railway improvements. But he knew the hotel in its palmy and
aristocratic days, for in 1838 he and his artist friend, Phiz, made a
bachelor excursion in the autumn of that year into the Midlands by coach,
their first halt being Leamington, and the hotel they put up at there was
Copp's Royal Hotel, which stood at the corner of Clemens Street and High
Street. In writing to his wife of his arrival there, he said: "We found a
roaring fire, an elegant dinner, a snug room, and capital beds all ready
for us at Leamington, after a very agreeable (but very cold) ride." From
here they visited Kenilworth, Warwick, and Stratford, and the outcome of
the jaunts is reflected in the story.


_From an old Engraving_]


_From a contemporary lithograph_]

Some writers, in referring to the incidents in _Dombey and Son_ associated
with the Royal Hotel, have either assumed that it is still there, or,
having discovered that there is no hotel with that name in the town, have
given the Regent the credit of being the original of Mr. Dombey's Royal
Hotel. Neither is correct. The Royal Hotel of _Dombey and Son_ was the
Royal Hotel of Dickens's visit to Leamington in 1838, and his descriptions
of it in the book must have been made from memory, for in 1846, when he
was writing of it in the novel, the hotel had already been demolished.

Leamington always boasted one peculiarity which it claimed did not belong
to any other watering-place: the "truly select nature and high rank of
respectability of the greater part of its frequenters." For the reception
of such notables several really first-class hotels were provided.

The Regent was the most fashionable for a period, owing to the fact that
it was the resort of Royalty; but Copp's Royal Hotel was a keen rival, and
when in 1828 it was "re-erected on a scale of magnificence almost
unprecedented, displaying a grand front, cased in Roman cement to imitate
stone ... in the style of Grecian architecture," it even outshone the

The building was rusticated to the height of the first story and a balcony
on a level with the second floor ran the whole extent of the hotel. Its
appearance is fully described in an old and very rare guide-book, and so
minutely described that it is worth quoting:

"The wings, which are both slightly projected, are embellished with four
fluted pilasters of the Corinthian order, which, springing from the level
of the second floor and terminating at the top of the third, support a
rich entablature extending the whole length of the building. Each wing is
surmounted by four ornamental vases, and, at the extreme height of the
centre, beneath the ornamental scroll, is a tablet containing the name of
the hotel. The principal entrance is in the centre, beneath a portico
projecting ten feet from the building, supported by duplicated pillars of
the Doric order, fluted and surmounted by the Royal Arms, richly carved in
stone. The interior of this building for chasteness of design, richness of
material, and correctness of execution is, we believe, equal to any in the
Kingdom. The entrance hall ... is lighted by a beautiful window of
coloured glass, in the centre of which, on a fawn-coloured mosaic ground,
are the Royal Arms, richly emblazoned, surrounded by an ornamental gold
scroll on a purple ground containing medallions representing the principal
views in the vicinity. The sideboards are supported and adorned by
appropriate Grecian ornaments. On the right of the public dining-room,
upwards of fifty feet by twenty-four feet, the ceiling is supported by
pillars and pilasters of Doric order. A geometrical staircase of
twenty-one steps conducts you to the public drawing-room, of the same
noble dimensions as the dining-room; on the same floor are a number of
private sitting-rooms, papered with rich French paper, of vivid colouring,
representing subjects classical, mythological, etc. The bedrooms are
fitted up with every attention to comfort and convenience.... Detached are
extensive lock-up coach houses, stabling, etc."

This meticulous description of it does not suggest that the Royal Hotel
was one which would have appealed very much to Dickens, but it was the
ideal spot for Major Bagstock and Mr. Dombey, and so we find that eight
years later the novelist makes use of his knowledge of it, and it becomes
the headquarters of his two characters during their visit to the
fashionable watering-place, whilst its rooms furnish the background for a
series of scenes to be found in the pages of _Dombey and Son_.

It will be recalled that Major Bagstock persuaded Mr. Dombey that he
wanted a change, and suggested that he should accompany him to Leamington.
Mr. Dombey consented, became the Major's guest and the two travelled down
by train, making the Royal Hotel their headquarters, "where the rooms and
dinner had been ordered," and where the Major at their first meal "so
oppressed his organs of speech by eating and drinking that when he retired
to bed he had no voice at all, except to cough with, and could only make
himself intelligible to the dark servant by gasping at him. He not only
rose next morning, however, like a giant refreshed, but conducted himself,
at breakfast, like a giant refreshing."

At this meal they arranged their daily habits. The Major was to take the
responsibility of ordering everything to eat and drink; and they were to
have late breakfast together every morning, and a late dinner together
every day. They occupied, no doubt, a suite of the private rooms referred
to above, for there is no reference to the large dining-room, nor would it
have suited the personal and special requirements of the two men and the
friends they brought there.

It will be remembered that, whilst these two friends were taking a
constitutional, they encountered the Major's acquaintances, Mrs. Skewton
and her daughter Edith, and Dombey was formally introduced. On taking
their departure from the fair enchantress, the Major volunteered the fact
that he was "staying at the Royal Hotel with his friend Dombey," and
invited the ladies to join them "one evening when you are good," as he
put it to Mrs. Skewton.

Having met once or twice in the pump-room and elsewhere, and the men
having called upon the ladies, the latter were invited to breakfast at the
Royal Hotel, prior to a drive to Kenilworth and Warwick. In the meantime,
Carker had arrived to transact some business with his master, and in the
evening the three men dined together. At a fitting moment the wine was
consecrated "to a divinity whom Joe is proud to know, and at a distance
humbly and reverently to admire. Edith," went on the Major, "is her name;
angelic Edith!" "Angelic Edith," cried the smiling Carker, "Edith, by all
means," said Mr. Dombey. And thus, in a private dining-room of the Royal
Hotel was pledged the toast of Dombey's future wife--the second Mrs.

The breakfast was punctually prepared next morning, and Dombey, Bagstock
and Carker excitedly awaited the ladies' arrival. A pleasant time ensued
and ultimately all set out on the little trip which proved so momentous a
one for Mr. Dombey. For had he not made an appointment with Edith for the
next day, "for a purpose," as he told Mrs. Skewton? At any rate, the three
men returned to the Royal Hotel in good spirits, the Major being in such
high glee that he cried out, "Damme, sir, old Joe has a mind to propose an
alteration in the name of the hotel, and that it should be called the
Three Jolly Bachelors in honour of ourselves and Carker."

After keeping his appointment with Edith, and having been accepted, Mr.
Dombey and the Major left Leamington, and the Royal Hotel has no further
place in the story.

When Mr. Toots, having come into a portion of his worldly wealth and
furnished his choice set of apartments, determined to apply himself to the
science of life, he engaged the Game Chicken to instruct him in "the
cultivation of those gentle arts which refine and humanise existence." The
Game Chicken, we are informed, was always to be heard of at the bar of the
Black Badger. Towards the end of the book, when Toots and the Chicken part
company, the latter seems to have chosen another house of call. "I'm afore
the public, I'm to be heard on at the bar of the Little Helephant...."
Whether these two taverns existed, or where, history does not relate.

Cousin Feenix, on his arrival from abroad expressly to attend Mr. Dombey's
wedding, stayed at Long's Hotel in Bond Street. No incident of any great
moment takes place within its walls, except that Lord Feenix slept and
was shaved there.

Long's Hotel does not now exist, but was a fashionable and well-known
house in those days when Lord Feenix was a man about town. It stood at the
junction of Clifford Street and Bond Street, and was a square-standing
corner building.

It was frequented by the leading lights of the aristocracy and of the
literary world in its flourishing days, and it is recorded that Byron
lived there for a time. That he and Sir Walter Scott dined there together
on one occasion is an outstanding fact of its history.

From Cousin Feenix's fashionable hotel we turn to a very different kind of
house in the King's Arms, Balls Pond way, where Mr. Perch seemed to be a
well-known figure. Mr. Perch had an air of feverish lassitude about him
that seemed referable to drams, "and which, in fact, might no doubt have
been traced to those numerous discoveries of himself in the bars of
public-houses." The King's Arms was one of these, in whose parlour he met
the man "with milintary frogs," who took "a little obserwation" which he
let drop about Carker and Mrs. Dombey, and worked it up in print "in a
most surprising manner" in the Sunday paper, a journalistic method that
apparently is not an invention of modern times.




Before Dickens commenced to write _David Copperfield_, he visited all the
districts of its early scenes to obtain local colour, and to learn
something of the geography of Blunderstone, Lowestoft and Yarmouth. He was
a guest of Sir Morton Peto's at Somerleyton and was invited there
ostensibly to see Lowestoft, a town then just emerging into prominence as
a watering-place, in the hope that he might introduce it into one of his
books. On another occasion he, with John Leech and Mark Lemon, visited
Yarmouth and stayed at the Royal Hotel on the Marine Parade. He either
did not care very much for Lowestoft, or else found that Yarmouth was more
suitable to the purpose of his book, for we only find one small incident
in it associated with the first-named town.

This occurred on one autumn morning when Mr. Murdstone took little David
on to the saddle of his horse and rode off with him to Lowestoft to see
some friends there with a yacht. "We went to an hotel by the sea, where
two gentlemen were smoking cigars in a room by themselves," says David.
"Each of them was lying on at least four chairs and had a large rough
jacket on. In a corner was a heap of coats and boat-cloaks, and a flag,
all bundled up together."

Here Mr. Murdstone was chaffed about David, whom his friends referred to
as "the bewitching Mrs. Copperfield's incumbrance," and he warned them to
take care as "somebody's sharp." "Who is?" asked Quinion. "Only Brooks of
Sheffield," replied Mr. Murdstone, which caused much amusement, and
whenever any reference was made to David he was always styled "Brooks of
Sheffield." Sherry was ordered in with which to drink to Brooks, and David
was made to partake of the wine with a biscuit, and drink to the toast of
"Confusion to Brooks of Sheffield."

After this incident they all walked about the cliffs, looked at things
through a telescope, and then returned to the hotel to an early dinner,
and David and his future father-in-law afterwards wended their way back to

The hotel in which all this took place was probably the Royal, which
stands to-day facing the pier and harbour, but it has evidently been
rebuilt, or very much altered structurally.

Blunderstone has a village ale-house called the Plough, from which started
Barkis the carrier on his daily trip to Yarmouth. David speaks of this
inn, and pictures the parlour of it as the room where "Commodore Trunnion
held that club with Mr. Pickle." It is still a comfortable ale-house and a
centre of attraction to visitors of the unspoiled village where David was

On the occasion of David's drive in the carrier's cart to Yarmouth for a
stay with Daniel Peggotty in order to be out of the way for his mother's
marriage to Mr. Murdstone, we are introduced to the road between the
village and the famous seaside town, so frequently used by Barkis and so
often referred to in the course of the story.





_Photographs by T. W. Tyrrell_]

The first halt was made at a public-house where a long wait occurred
whilst a bedstead was delivered there. This inn was probably the Village
Maid, at Lound, a name that may also have suggested that of the Willing
Mind, the public-house where Mr. Peggotty went occasionally for short
spells, as he put it to Mrs. Gummidge. But no public-house with that name,
or anything like it, existed in Yarmouth, and it must, therefore, be
assumed that no particular one was intended.

Arriving at Yarmouth, David found Ham awaiting him at the public-house
which was the stopping place of the Blunderstone carrier. Although Dickens
does not mention its name, the Buck Inn undoubtedly was the identical
house where Barkis came to a halt on such occasions, and it still exists
in the Market Square. At the end of his visit, David, arm-in-arm with
Little Em'ly, made for the same inn once again to meet Barkis for the
homeward journey in his cart.

The inn, however, at Yarmouth which has more importance attaching to it
than any other is that where David met the friendly waiter whilst waiting
for the coach to take him to London, and where he procured the sheet of
paper and ink-stand to write his promised note to Clara Peggotty assuring
her that "Barkis is willing."

There is little doubt that the inn referred to here was the Duke's Head.
It was the principal coaching inn of the town, and we know that Dickens
knew it well. On his arrival there in Barkis's cart, David observed that
"the coach was in the yard shining very much all over, but without any
horses to it as yet; and it looked in that state as if nothing was more
unlikely than its ever going to London." To the coffee-room, which was a
long one with some maps in it, David was conducted by William the waiter,
who assisted him to get through his meal, and told him the horrible tale
of the man who died from drinking a glass of ale that was too old for him.
But that incident of David and the friendly waiter is too well known to
need recapitulation here.

Before leaving Yarmouth, there is one more inn that claims attention. When
David and Steerforth later on in the story visited the Peggottys, the
hotel they stayed at has been identified as the Star Hotel, an old
mansion, with moulded ribbed ceilings and the sides of the rooms panelled
with oak. It has been added to since those days, but the old part still
remains. It was in this house that Miss Mowcher was first introduced into
the story.

It is also believed that the Feathers at Gorleston is the "decent
ale-house" on the road to Lowestoft where David Copperfield, as stated in
Chapter XXXI, stopped to dine, when out for a walk whilst on a visit to

But let us return to David on the coach waiting to start for Salem House,
Blackheath, via London. Having suffered a good deal of chaff from the
maids and others over the huge dinner he was supposed to have eaten, the
coach started on its journey, during which the jokes about his appetite
continued. He reached his destination at last, having approached London
"by degrees, and got, in due time, to the inn in the Whitechapel
district," he says, "for which we were bound. I forget whether it was the
Blue Bull or the Blue Boar; but I know it was the Blue Something, and that
its likeness was painted up on the back of the coach." Here, more solitary
than Robinson Crusoe, he went into the booking-office, and, "by invitation
of the clerk on duty, passed behind the counter, and sat down on the scale
at which they weighed the luggage." Thus he waited until called for by Mr.
Mell, when the clerk "slanted me off the scale, and pushed me over to
him, as if I were weighed, bought, delivered, and paid for."

This inn was the Blue Boar, an old coaching inn long demolished, where the
daily coach from Yarmouth made its halting place. There is still a relic
of it in the shape of a sculptured effigy of a boar, with gilded tusks and
hoofs, built into the wall of a tobacco factory marking the site of the

In Chapter XI of the book, describing David's start in life on his own
account, there are one or two inns and taverns mentioned where he partook
of meals and other refreshment. He tells us he had "a plate of bread and
cheese and a glass of beer, from a miserable old public-house opposite our
place of business, called the Lion, or the Lion and something else that I
have forgotten." This has not definitely been identified, but may have
been the White Swan at Hungerford Stairs, referred to later. On another
occasion he went into a public-house one hot evening and said to the
landlord, "What is your best--your _very best_--ale a glass?"
"Twopence-halfpenny is the price of the Genuine Stunning ale," was the
reply. "Then," says I, producing the money, "just draw me a glass of the
Genuine Stunning, if you please, with a good head to it." Having served
him, the landlord invited his wife to join him in surveying the little
customer and "the landlord's wife, opening the little half-door of the
bar, and bending down, gave me my money back, and gave me a kiss that was
half-admiring and half-compassionate, but all womanly and good, I am

This incident actually occurred to Dickens himself when a lad in the
blacking factory, for he has admitted it to be so, in his own words,
recorded in Forster's "Life," Book 1, Chapter XI. He there states that on
the occasion in question he "went into a public-house in Parliament
Street, which is still there, though altered, at the corner of the short
street leading into Cannon Row." The public-house where it took place was
the Red Lion at 48 Parliament Street, and is situated at the corner of
Derby Street. There is a Red Lion public-house there to-day--not the same
one Dickens visited--that was demolished in 1899--but on the same spot. It
is more pretentious than the old one, but keeps its red lion rampant as a
sign, and has a bust of the novelist, standing within a niche in the front
of the building as a hall-mark of its Dickensian association.

The "little public-house close to the river, with an open space before it,
where some coal-heavers were dancing," referred to in the same chapter,
was the Fox under the Hill[1] in the Adelphi.

There are two inns in Canterbury associated with the book, the county inn
where Mr. Dick stayed when on his visits to David Copperfield every
alternate Wednesday, and the "little inn" where Mr. Micawber stayed on his
first and subsequent visits to the ancient city.

The county inn was without doubt the Royal Fountain Hotel in St.
Margaret's Street, for it was invariably referred to in the coaching days
as _the_ county inn of the city, in the same manner that David speaks of
it in the seventeenth chapter of David Copperfield, where he tells us that
he "saw Mr. Dick every alternate Wednesday when he arrived by stage-coach
at noon, to stay until next morning.... Mr. Dick was very partial to
gingerbread. To render his visits more agreeable, my aunt had instructed
me to open a credit for him at a cake shop, which was hampered with the
stipulation that he should not be served with more than one shilling's
worth in the course of any one day. This, and the reference of all his
little bills at the county inn where he slept, to my aunt, before they
were paid, induced me to suspect that he was only allowed to rattle his
money, and not to spend it."

On these occasions, Mr. Dick would be constantly in the company of David,
and on the Thursday mornings he would accompany him from the hotel to the
coach office before going back to school. And so the Royal Fountain Hotel
has added to its traditions that of being the hotel where Mr. Dick slept.
Dickens does not describe it in detail, and does not even refer to it
again in the book; but on the 4th of November, 1861, which he describes as
a "windy night," Dickens himself stayed there after giving a reading of
_David Copperfield_ at the theatre. Writing to his daughter Mamie on that
date he says, "a word of report before I go to bed. An excellent house
to-night, and an audience positively perfect. The greatest part of it
stalls, and an intelligent and delightful response in them, like a touch
of a beautiful instrument. 'Copperfield' wound up in a real burst of
feeling and delight."

This letter was headed "Fountain Hotel, Canterbury." Dickens visited the
city again in the summer of 1869, driving there from Gads Hill with some
American friends, and made the Fountain Hotel his halting place, whilst he
and his companions explored the city. They drove into Canterbury just as
the bells of the cathedral were ringing for afternoon service, George
Dolby informs us, and "turned into the by-street in which the Fountain
Hotel is situated, where the carriages and horses were to be put up," and
where the party took tea prior to starting back for home.

"The inns in England are the best in Europe, those in Canterbury are the
best in England, and the Fountain wherein I am now lodged as handsomely as
I were in the King's palace, the best in Canterbury." So wrote the
Ambassador of the Emperor of Germany to his master on the occasion of his
visit to this country to attend the marriage ceremony of Edward the First
to his second Queen, Margaret of France, in Canterbury Cathedral on the
12th of September, 1299.

The Royal Fountain Hotel, as it is now called, is one of the oldest inns
in England; indeed, it is so old as to claim that the wife of Earl Godwin,
when she came to meet her husband on his return from Denmark in the year
1029, stayed there. It also claims to have been the temporary residence of
Archbishop Lanfranc whilst his palace was being built in 1070; and there
is a legend associated with it that the four knights who murdered Thomas à
Becket made it their rendezvous in 1170.

To-day the inn still retains its old-world atmosphere, although certain of
its apartments and appurtenances have been made to conform to modern
requirements. Its passages and stairs are narrow and winding, antique
furniture, brasses, and copper utensils are in great evidence, and the
huge kitchen with its wide fire-place and open chimney still reminds us of
the old days. Upstairs is a spacious room measuring some forty or fifty
feet in length, in the centre of which is one of those priceless tables
made in separate pieces going the whole length of the room, looking, when
we last saw it, with scores of chairs set around it, like a gigantic
elongated board-room table waiting for a meeting to begin. This room is
used for banquets, and often the Mayor holds his official dinners there.
But it would seem that the chief claimants to its use is "The Canterbury
Farmers' Club and East Kent Chamber of Agricultural Commerce," for its
walls are covered with portraits in oils of some of the past presidents,
whilst a long list of them dating from 1855-1919 hangs in a prominent

The "little inn" where Mr. and Mrs. Micawber stayed on the occasion when
they thought it was so advisable that they should see the Medway in the
hope of finding an opening in the coal trade for Mr. Micawber is the Sun
Inn in Sun Street, once the stopping-place for the omnibus which plied
between Canterbury and Herne Bay.

It will be remembered that David was taking tea with the Heeps when
suddenly Mr. Micawber appeared. David, rather apprehensive of what his old
friend might say next, hurried him away by asking, "Shall we go and see
Mrs. Micawber, sir?" and they both sallied forth, Mr. Micawber humming a
tune on the way. "It was a little inn where Mr. Micawber put up, and he
occupied a little room in it, partitioned off from the commercial room,
and strongly flavoured with tobacco smoke. I think it was over the
kitchen, because a warm greasy smell appeared to come up through the
chinks of the floor, and there was a flabby perspiration on the walls. I
know it was near the bar, on account of the smell of spirits and jingling
of glasses. Here, recumbent on a sofa, underneath a picture of a
race-horse, with her head close to the fire and her feet pushing the
mustard off the dumb-waiter at the other end of the room, was Mrs.

Undaunted by the fact that his resources were extremely low, Mr. Micawber
pressed David to dine with him, and the repast was accordingly arranged.
David describes it as "a beautiful little dinner. Quite an elegant dish
of fish; the kidney end of a loin of veal, roasted; fried sausage-meat, a
partridge, and a pudding. There was wine and there was strong ale; and
after dinner Mrs. Micawber made us a bowl of hot punch with her own hands.
Mr. Micawber was uncommonly convivial.... He got cheerfully sentimental
about the town and proposed success to it, observing that Mrs. Micawber
and himself had been made extremely snug and comfortable.... As the punch
disappeared, Mr. Micawber became still more friendly and convivial. Mrs.
Micawber's spirits becoming elevated, too, we sang 'Auld Lang Syne.'... In
a word, I never saw anybody so thoroughly jovial as Mr. Micawber was, down
to the very last moment of the evening, when I took a hearty farewell of
himself and his amiable wife."

[Illustration: "The Little Inn" Canterbury

_Drawn by F. G. Kitton_]

The "little inn" is the scene of another incident in the book, as narrated
in Chapter LII, where Uriah Heep is exposed. David, Mr. Dick, Traddles,
and Betsey Trotwood are invited down to Canterbury "to assist at an
explosion." Arriving by the Dover Mail, they all put up at this inn on the
recommendation of Mr. Micawber, and there awaited his arrival. It is
recorded that they got into the hotel with some trouble in the middle of
the night, and "went shivering at that uncomfortable hour" to their
respective beds, through various close passages, "which smelt as if they
had been steeped for ages in a solution of soup and stables." In the
morning David took a stroll, and states how he "looked at the old house
from the corner of the street ... the early sun was striking edgewise on
its gables and lattice-windows, touching them with gold, and some beams of
its old peace seemed to touch my heart."

They all breakfasted together, full of anxiety and impatience for Mr.
Micawber's appearance, which was punctually timed at the first chime of
the half-hour.

This "little inn," with its gables and lattices telling of its age, still
occupies the angle of the peaceful streets close to the Cathedral Close.
But Dickens's designation of it is hardly fitting, for it is quite a
commodious building with stabling for about a dozen horses. It is,
perhaps, a trifle smaller than when Dickens knew it, for the rooms on the
ground-floor corner and one side are used as a jeweller's and a butcher's
shop respectively.

The inn still boasts of its "splendid accommodation for all," and is
determined that its identification with Dickens should not be overlooked.
On one side of the building is a hanging sign bearing the words:

  BUILT 1503

whilst in case this should be missed by pilgrims, it has, painted up on
the wall the other side:

  BUILT 1503

It would seem that the proprietor who was responsible for these words was
a little uncertain of the exact association of his "Little Inn" with
Dickens. But, being determined to receive some of the reflected glory of
the novelist's fame, and evidently ignorant of the book in which his
"Little Inn" figured, played for safety in the use of a general, rather
than a specific phrase.

The inn is worth a visit, for it is still quaint, attractive, and
picturesque. Although actually built, as we are told, in 1503, we
understand that it was altered in the seventeenth century. Anyway, it is
sufficiently old to be in keeping with its ancient surroundings.

Turning to London, there is the Piazza Hotel in Covent Garden, mentioned
by Steerforth in Chapter XXIV, where he was going to breakfast with one of
his friends, which was no doubt the well-known coffee-house at the
north-eastern angle of Covent Garden Piazza. It was the favourite resort
of the actors and dramatists of the period. Sheridan and John Kemble often
dined together in its coffee-room, and there is a record of them
disagreeing on a certain matter. Sheridan, in a letter replying to one
from Kemble, told him he attributed his letter "to a disorder which I know
ought not to be indulged. I prescribe that thou shalt keep thine
appointment at the Piazza Coffee-House to-morrow at five, and, taking four
bottles of claret instead of three, to which in sound health you might
stint yourself, forget that you ever wrote the letter, as I shall that I
ever received it."

Dickens stayed there himself in 1844 and again in 1846, two letters from
him to his wife being dated from there.

The Piazza facade where stood the coffee-house was taken down to build the
Floral Hall, which is reputed to have been modelled on the Crystal Palace.

In Chapter XXXV, David Copperfield, after a plunge in the old Roman bath
in Strand Lane, went for a walk to Hampstead, and got some breakfast on
the Heath. The inn where he took his repast, although not named, no doubt
was Jack Straw's Castle. This is the only allusion to the famous hostelry
in Dickens's books that we know of, but the novelist frequented it in his
earlier writing years, when he was very fond of riding and walking, and
indulged those forms of recreation to his profit during that hard-worked
period of his literary career.

In those brilliant days of Pickwick he would wander in all directions out
of the London streets, and invite Forster to accompany him on these jaunts
by sending him brief commands to join him. One of these ran: "You don't
feel disposed, do you, to muffle yourself up and start off with me for a
good brisk walk over Hampstead Heath? I know a good 'ous where we can have
a red-hot chop for dinner, and a glass of good wine." And off they went,
leading, as Forster says, to their "first experience of Jack Straw's
Castle, memorable for many happy meetings in coming years."

On another occasion, whilst writing _The Old Curiosity Shop_, Maclise
accompanied them, but this time they drove to the Heath and then walked to
the "Castle." Here Dickens read to his friends a number of the new story.
Again, in 1844, he wrote: "Stanfield and Mac have come in, and we are
going to Hampstead to dinner. I leave Betsey Prig as you know, so don't
you make a scruple about leaving Mrs. Harris. We shall stroll leisurely
up, to give you time to join us, and dinner will be on the table at Jack
Straw's at four." A few months later, it is recorded, they dined there
again, and it is evident that the old inn was a favourite haunt of the
novelist on such occasions, and the Dickens traditions have so clung to it
that during the flight of time they have become, as such traditions do,
somewhat exaggerated. To-day, visitors are not only shown the chair he sat
on, but have pointed out to them the bedroom he used to sleep in. There is
no record, however, that he ever stayed the night there, or any reason
for believing that he did, seeing how easy it was for him and his friends
to get there and back from town. But Jack Straw's Castle has good reasons
for being proud of its literary associations; for, in addition to those of
Dickens and his famous friends, such names as Washington Irving,
Thackeray, Du Maurier, Lord Leighton, and a host of others may be
mentioned as frequenting it. To say nothing of the fact that "The Castle"
is mentioned in Richardson's _Clarissa Harlowe_.

[Illustration: JACK STRAW'S CASTLE, as it was in 1835

_Drawn by L. Walker from an old engraving_]

Apart, however, from its literary associations, Jack Straw's Castle has a
romantic history. It is generally agreed that its name is derived from
that of the notorious peasant leader of the rising in the reign of Richard
II. And this may be so in spite of the fact that its present designation
is not older than the middle of the eighteenth century.

The Peasants' Revolt took place in 1381, and we are told that it is more
than likely that the Hampstead villeins took part in the famous march to
London. One authority says that "the St. Albans men, in their advance to
join Jack Straw at his headquarters at Highbury, might or might not have
passed through Hampstead. If a contingent of adherents was ready to join
them at Hampstead, they probably took the village into their route,
especially as it would give them particular pleasure to make an offensive
demonstration against the Knights Hospitallers, who had a temple there and
were the objects of bitter hatred. The attack of the mob upon the house of
the Knights Hospitallers at Highbury is a well-known incident of the
rising. Whether they visited Hampstead or not, they passed at no great
distance from it--near enough to bring the Hampstead villeins within their
influence. May it not be that the events of these few days provided the
reason for the local name of Jack Straw's Castle? The mere fact of there
being Hampstead sympathisers with Jack Straw who held their meetings at a
certain house would be sufficient excuse to gain that house the title of
Jack Straw's Castle."

Sir Walter Besant thought that, although there is no direct evidence of
Jack Straw being connected with the hostelry named after him, "it is quite
possible that the Heath formed a rendezvous for the malcontents of his
time." In early days there had been an earthwork on the site, which might
have given rise to the name "Castle." Referring to this point, Professor
Hales, who leans to the opinion that Jack Straw was no more than a generic
appellation, and instances the fact of there being an inn called Jack
Straw's Castle in a village near Oxford, says: "'Jack Straw's Castle' is
so commanding and important that there can be little doubt there would be
erected upon it some kind of earthwork or fort at a very early period.
Traces of both the Neolithic and the Bronze Age man have been found on and
near the Heath, and, possibly enough, both these races raised or held on
the spot some rude fortification which subsequent times would call a
'Castle.' This being so, we have only to infer, from facts already stated,
that the place was used as a tryst for the local partisans of Jack Straw
to arrive at the origin of the name of 'Jack Straw's Castle'--that is, the
Castle of the Jack Strawites."

To-day, Jack Straw's Castle is the favoured resort of the district, and
perhaps the Dickens traditions act as the strongest lodestone to visitors,
and do more to sustain its popularity than any others. At any rate, the
Dickensian pilgrim on his ramble through Hampstead places great store on
Jack Straw's Castle for the simple and justifiable reason that it had such
attractions for the great novelist.

The "little, dirty, tumble-down public-house" at the foot of Hungerford
Stairs, where the Micawber family were lodged the night before their
departure for Australia, was called the Swan. It was there at the time
Dickens worked in the factory as a boy, and appears in contemporary
pictures of Hungerford Stairs. The Micawbers occupied one of the wooden
chambers upstairs, with the tide flowing underneath. We read that Betsey
Trotwood and Agnes were there, "busily making some little extra comforts
in the way of dress for the children. Peggotty was quietly assisting with
the old insensible work-box, yard measure, and bit of wax candle before
her that had outlived so much." In that ramshackle old inn was enacted
that last wonderful scene with Mr. Micawber, when he insisted on making
punch in England for the last time. Having obtained the assurance that
Miss Trotwood and Miss Wickfield would join him in the toast, he
"immediately descended to the bar, where he appeared to be quite at home;
and in due time returned with a steaming jug," and quickly served out the
fragrant liquid in tin mugs for his children, and drank from his own
particular pint pot himself.

There are three other inns calling for brief reference. The Gray's Inn
Coffee-House, where David Copperfield stayed on his return from abroad,
was first mentioned in _The Old Curiosity Shop_, and is dealt with in our
chapter devoted to that book; the Golden Cross at Charing Cross, a
prominent feature in Chapter XIX, is commented upon at length in "The Inns
and Taverns of Pickwick"; and the coffee-house in Doctors' Commons where
Mr. Spenlow conducted David Copperfield to discuss a certain delicate
matter (Chapter XXXVIII) demolished in 1894.




There are very few inns of any importance mentioned in _Bleak House_, and
only one that plays any prominent part in the story. The one at Barnet,
where Esther Summerson hired the carriage to drive to Mr. Jarndyce's
house, was no doubt meant to be the Red Lion, and is dealt with in the
first chapter of the present volume; while the White Horse Cellar, where
she alighted on her entry into London from Reading, claims attention in
"The Inns and Taverns of Pickwick."

Of the two other taverns, Sol's Arms, where the inquest on Nemo was held,
and the Dedlock Arms at Chesney Wold, the former is the chief.

The original of Sol's Arms was the old Ship Tavern which once stood at the
corner of Chichester Rents off Chancery Lane. It is first referred to in
Chapter XI as the place of the coroner's inquest. "The coroner is to sit
in the first-floor room at the Sol's Arms, where the Harmonic Meetings
take place twice a week, and where the chair is filled by a gentleman of
professional celebrity, faced by Little Swills the comic vocalist.... The
Sol's Arms does a brisk stroke of business all the morning."

According to Allbut, Dickens took the name from a tavern in the Hampstead
Road where the harmonic meetings of the Sol's Society were held, and it
certainly seems that he adapted its characteristics to the Ship.

At the appointed hour the coroner arrived, and was conducted by the beadle
and the landlord to the Harmonic Meeting Room, "where he puts his hat on
the piano, and takes a Windsor chair at the head of the long table, formed
of several short tables put together, and ornamented with glutinous rings
in endless involutions, made by the pots and glasses. As many of the jury
as can crowd together at the tables sit there. The rest get among the
spittoons and pipes, or lean against the piano."

All in readiness, the famous inquest on Nemo, with poor Joe as a witness,
took place, after which the Sol's Arms gradually "melts into the shadowy
night, and then flares out of it strong in gas."

That was a special event for the Sol's Arms, which generally speaking was
just a tavern frequented by lawyers' clerks and the inhabitants of
Chichester Rents and its neighbourhood. It, no doubt, was Krook's habitual
place of call, it certainly was patronized by Mrs. Piper and Mrs. Perkins,
and Mr. Guppy must often have looked in; but its chief claim to fame was
its being the meeting place of the Harmonic Company, of whom Little Swills
was so distinguished a member.

Although Chichester Rents, which exists to-day, is not the same Chichester
Rents as when the Old Ship Tavern was there, and Krook lived there, with
Miss Flite as a lodger, one is easily reminded of these things, and of the
inquest, of Poor Joe, and of the great Little Swills, when one wanders
through this district of Dickens Land.

It is common knowledge that Chesney Wold, the country seat of the Dedlocks
of the story, was Rockingham Castle, the home of the Hon. Richard Watson
and Mrs. Watson, to whom Dickens dedicated _David Copperfield_. There is,
therefore, no difficulty in tracing the Dedlock Arms. The village of
Chesney Wold was the village of Rockingham. In Rockingham is an old inn
bearing the date of 1763, known as Sonde's Arms, which stands for the
Dedlock Arms of the story.

_Little Dorrit_ is almost as devoid of reference to inns and taverns that
count as _Bleak House_. In few cases the references are as a rule but
passing ones. Perhaps the most interesting is to the Coffee-House on
Ludgate Hill, where Arthur Clennam stayed, for it remains almost as it was
in those days.

In the third chapter of the first book, Dickens gives one of those telling
pen-pictures of London for which he had no rival. It is of rather a dull
and doleful hue, and depicts the aspect the city presents on a Sunday:
"gloomy, close and stale." Arthur Clennam had just arrived from Marseilles
by way of Dover and its coach "The Blue-Eyed Maid," and "sat in the window
of a coffee-house on Ludgate Hill, counting one of the neighbouring bells,
making sentences and burdens of songs out of it in spite of himself, and
wondering how many sick people it might be the death of in the course of
the year. At the quarter, it went off into a condition of deadly-lively
importunity, urging the populace in a voluble manner to Come to church,
Come to church, Come to church! At the ten minutes, it became aware that
the congregation would be scanty, and slowly hammered out in low
spirits, They _won't_ come, they _won't_ come, they _won't_ come! At
the five minutes it abandoned hope, and shook every house in the
neighbourhood for three hundred seconds, with one dismal swing per second,
as a groan of despair. 'Thank heaven!' said Clennam when the hour struck,
and the bell stopped."


_From an old Engraving_]

The particular coffee-house in whose window Clennam sat was the famous old
London Coffee-House, and the particular church whose bells prompted his
reflections, so microscopically described by the novelist, must have been
St. Martin's next door. There can be little doubt of this, for we are told
that Clennam "sat in the same place as the day died, looking at the dull
houses opposite, and thinking, if the disembodied spirits of former
inhabitants were ever conscious of them, how they must pity themselves for
their old places of imprisonment.... Presently the rain began to fall in
slanting lines between him and those houses, and people began to collect
under cover of the public passage opposite, and to look hopelessly at the
sky as the rain dropped thicker and faster."

That "public passage opposite" must have been what is now the entrance to
Ludgate Square.

With these facts to guide us, we can supply the name and location of the
coffee-house on Ludgate Hill. It exists to-day, nestling close to St.
Martin's Church, on the west side, and, but for the substitution of a
plate-glass shop-front, is to all intents and purposes unchanged in its
outward appearances from what it was when Clennam sat in meditation at one
of its windows.

The illustration from an old engraving by S. Jenkins, after a drawing by
G. Shepherd, shows the coffee-house and church as they were in 1814; and,
if comparison of the picture of the former building is made with the
present structure, it will be seen that it is practically identical,
except so far as the ground floor is concerned.

The house was first opened as a coffee-house in 1731 by one James Ashley,
and its vast cellars stretched under Ludgate Hill to the foundations of
the city walls. In those days, it was "within the Rules of the Fleet
Prison, and was noted for the sales held there of booksellers' stocks and
literary copyrights," and used to afford hospitality to the juries from
the Old Bailey sessions when they disagreed. The grandfather of John
Leech, the illustrator of _A Christmas Carol_ was the landlord of the
tavern for some years, and later the father of the famous _Punch_ artist
became the tenant, and filled it with the merry crowd associated with Mr.
Punch's early days. Leech was followed as landlord by Mr. Lovegrove from
the Horn Tavern in Doctors' Commons.

There is a casual mention of the famous old George Inn in the Borough High
Street, in Chapter XXII of Book 1 of _Little Dorrit_, where Tip Dorrit is
spoken of as going into the inn to write a letter; and also passing
references to Garraway's and the Jerusalem Coffee-House, as occasional
resorts of Mr. Flintwinch. Full details concerning the George and
Garraway's will be found in "The Inns and Taverns of Pickwick."

The Jerusalem Coffee House was one of the oldest in the city of London,
and was famous for its news-rooms, where merchants and captains connected
with the commerce of India, China and Australia could see and consult the
files of all the most important papers from those countries, as well as
the chief shipping lists.

The hotel in Brook Street, Grosvenor Square, where Mr. Dorrit stayed when
he reached London from the Continent, was probably Mivart's, and is dealt
with in the chapter devoted to Nicholas Nickleby.

Coketown, of _Hard Times_, is generally supposed to be Manchester. We
suspect it to be a composite picture, with a good deal of Preston in it,
and other manufacturing towns as well. It is not possible, therefore, to
identify the one or two inns which figure in the story.

The hotel where Mr. James Harthouse stayed when he went there with an
introduction to Mr. Bounderby might be any hotel in any town; and there
seems no means of tracing the original of the "mean little public-house
with red lights in it" at Pod's End, where Sissy Jupe brought Gradgrind
and Bounderby. Dickens describes it "as haggard and as shabby as if, for
want of custom, it had itself taken to drinking and had gone the way all
drunkards go, and was very near the end of it."

The name he gives to the public-house was the Pegasus' Arms. The Pegasus'
leg, he informs us, might have been more to the purpose; but, underneath
the winged horse upon the sign-board, the Pegasus' Arms was inscribed in
Roman letters. Beneath that inscription, again, in a flowing scroll, the
painter had touched off the lines:

  Good malt makes good beer,
  Walk in, and they'll draw it here;
  Good wine makes good brandy,
  Give us a call, and you'll find it handy.

These lines were taken from an old inn-sign, the Malt Shovel, which once
stood at the foot of Chatham Hill.




Notwithstanding the fact that _A Tale of Two Cities_ is to some persons
Dickens's best book, or the one that many prefer to any other, it is the
most barren for our purpose. Apart from the fact that its scenes are laid
chiefly in another country, those that concern our own supply little
enough material in the way of taverns that can be identified.

In Chapter IV of Book 1, Dickens gives a fine description of the London
Mail Coach's journey to Dover, but no incident associated with an inn is
touched upon on the way, and not until the journey is terminated at Dover
is an inn mentioned by name.

"When the mail got successfully to Dover, in the course of the forenoon,"
we are told, "the head drawer at the Royal George Hotel opened the coach
door, as his custom was. He did it with some flourish of ceremony, for a
mail journey from London in winter was an achievement to congratulate an
adventurous traveller upon."

Here Mr. Lorry, the only passenger left, shaking himself of straw,
alighted from the coach and engaged a room for the night, where he awaited
the arrival of Lucy Manette for the momentous interview which was to
terminate in their voyage to Calais.

We cannot, however, discover that there was any hotel with the name of the
Royal George in Dover at that or any other period; but Robert Allbut,
hunting for one to serve its purpose, hit upon the King's Head Hotel,
which he says was the old coaching-house for the London Mail, and
therefore must have been the hostelry Dickens had in mind. Other
authorities mention the Ship, long since disappeared, upon whose site now
stands the Lord Warden Hotel, where Dickens often stayed himself, and
occasionally mentions in his writings. Taking into consideration the date
of the story, one may rightly assume that the Ship was the hotel at which
Mr. Lorry's coach deposited him. It was the Ship no doubt that Byron sang
of in the following verse:

  Thy cliffs, dear Dover! harbour and hotel;
    Thy custom-house, with all its delicate duties;
  Thy waiters running mucks at every bell;
    Thy packets, all whose passengers are booties
  To those who upon land or water dwell;
    And last, not least, to strangers uninstructed,
  Thy long, long bills, whence nothing is deducted.

But it has long ago gone, and in its place the fashionable Lord Warden now

Ye Old Cheshire Cheese, that popular tavern in Fleet Street, was never, we
believe, ever mentioned in any one of Dickens's books by name, nor can we
discover that it was alluded to or described even under an assumed name.
It is known that he visited it, and the menu card bearing a picture of
what is known as Dr. Johnson's room, with Dickens and Thackeray seated at
the table presided over by the shade of the lexicographer itself, is
familiar to visitors.


Dickens students, however, are of opinion that the Cheshire Cheese is the
tavern where Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton dined after the trial at the
Old Bailey, described in Chapter IV of Book 2. The evidence offered for
this is as follows:

Darnay tells Carton that he is faint for want of food.

"Then why the devil don't you dine? I dined myself while those numskulls
were deliberating which world you should belong to--this, or some other."
"Let me show you the nearest tavern to dine well in," replied Carton.

"Drawing his arm through his own, he took him down Ludgate Hill to Fleet
Street, and so, up a covered way, into a tavern. Here they were shown a
little room, where Charles Darnay was soon recruiting his strength with a
good plain dinner and good wine: while Carton sat opposite to him at the
same table, with his separate bottle of port before him, and his full
half-insolent manner upon him."

The Cheshire Cheese no doubt was the tavern Dickens was thinking of when
he wrote the foregoing passages. It certainly was the resort of the
literary and legal professions in those days, as it has been since. It is
too well known to warrant any detailed account of it here. Besides, its
two-and-a-half-century history is too packed with anecdote and story to
allow of adequate description in our limited space. An excellent book is
issued by the proprietors fully dealing with its past, and copiously

There seems to be a growing desire on the part of Dickens students to
prove that Cooling, the hamlet in Kent near to Gads Hill is not the spot
where are laid certain scenes of _Great Expectations_, in spite of the
fact that Dickens told Forster it was. We do not propose to argue the
matter here. The chief point at issue seems to be that there is no
blacksmith's forge at Cooling, whereas there is at Chalk and at Hoo, two
other villages in the district that claim the honour. Yet at Chalk there
are no "graveyard lozenges," but at Hoo we believe there happens to be
both lozenges in the churchyard and a forge in the village.

On the other hand, we are told there _was_ a blacksmith's forge at Cooling
in Dickens's time. If, therefore, we accept Cooling as Joe Gargery's
village, the Horseshoe and Castle Inn there would stand for the Three
Jolly Bargemen where Joe Gargery and Pip used to while away certain hours
of the evening, as described in Chapter X of the book.

It is first referred to on the occasion when Pip had promised "at his
peril" to bring Joe home from it. "There was a bar at the Jolly
Bargemen," Pip tells us, "with some alarmingly long chalk scores in it on
the wall at the side of the door" which seemed never to be paid off. They
had been there ever since he could remember, and had grown more than he
had. There was a common-room at the end of the passage with a bright large
kitchen fire, where Joe smoked his pipe in company with Mr. Wopsle. It was
here that Pip again encountered his convict who stirred his drink with the
file Pip had borrowed for him earlier in the story, and where he was
presented with a shilling wrapped in "two fat sweltering one-pound notes
that seemed to have been on terms of the warmest intimacy with all the
cattle markets in the country."

It is the scene of many incidents in the story. Indeed, it was the meeting
place of all the men of the village, to whom Mr. Wopsle read the news
round the fire, and where all the gossip of the district was retailed.

The Horseshoe and Castle is a typical village inn, in all appearances like
a doll's house, built of wood in a quite plain fashion, lying a little
back from the road. It was in this inn that Mr. Jaggers unexpectedly
appeared one day enquiring for Pip, which ultimately resulted in the
change in Pip's fortune and his journey to London.

Pip's journey from "our town," as he calls it, to the Metropolis, was, we
read, "a journey of about five hours. It was a little past midday when the
four-horse stage-coach by which I was passenger got into the ravel of
traffic frayed out about the Cross Keys, Wood Street, Cheapside, London."

This incident of the early life of Pip, related in 1860, was a
reminiscence of Dickens's early childhood, which he recalls in _The
Uncommercial Traveller_, when he tells us that, as a small boy, he "left
Dullborough in the days when there were no railroads in the land," and he
left it in a stage-coach. "Through all the years that have since passed,"
he goes on, "have I ever lost the smell of the damp straw in which I was
packed--like game--and forwarded, carriage paid, to the Cross Keys, Wood
Street, Cheapside, London.... The coach that carried me away was
melodiously called Timpson's Blue-Eyed Maid, and belonged to Timpson at
the coach office up street." In speaking of Dullborough and "our town," it
is known that Dickens was referring to Rochester.

The Cross Keys was a notable coaching inn of those days, and the Rochester
coaches started and ended their journey there. It was demolished over
fifty years ago. Although Dickens does not give us one of his pleasant
pen-pictures of it, he refers to it occasionally in other of his stories,
such as _Little Dorrit_ and _Nicholas Nickleby_.

Another one-time famous London inn, referred to in _Great Expectations_,
but no longer existing, is Hummum's, in Covent Garden.

When Pip received that note one evening on reaching the gateway of the
Temple, warning him not to go home, he hired a chariot and drove to
Hummum's, Covent Garden. He spent a very miserable night there. In those
times, he tells us, "a bed was always to be got there at any hour of the
night, and the chamberlain, letting me in at his ready wicket, lighted the
candle next in order on his shelf, and showed me straight into the bedroom
next in order. It was a sort of vault on the ground floor at the back,
with a despotic monster of a four-post bed in it, straddling over the
whole place, putting one of its arbitrary legs into the fire-place, and
another into the doorway, and squeezing the wretched little washing-stand
in quite a Divinely Righteous manner."

He goes on to wail of his doleful night. The room smelt of cold soot and
hot dust, the tester was covered in blue-bottle flies, which he thought
must be lying up for next summer. "When I had lain awake a little while,
those extraordinary voices, with which silence teems, began to make
themselves audible. The closet whispered, the fire-place sighed, the
little washing-stand ticked, and one guitar-string played occasionally in
the chest of drawers."

He then thought of the unknown gentleman who once came to Hummum's in the
night and had gone to bed and destroyed himself and had been found in the
morning weltering in his blood. Altogether a dismal, doleful and miserable
experience of Hummum's. But no doubt Pip's liver or nerves were the cause
of it, not the hotel.

Another reference to it is made in _Sketches by Boz_ in the chapter
describing the streets in the morning. Speaking of the pandemonium which
reigns in Covent Garden at an early hour after daybreak, the talking,
shouting, horses neighing, donkeys braying, Dickens says "these and a
hundred other sounds form a compound discordant enough to a Londoner's
ears, and remarkably disagreeable to those of country gentlemen who are
sleeping at Hummum's for the first time."

There is an hotel standing in Covent Garden with the same name to-day,
but, although it is on the same spot, it is not the Hummum's of which Pip
speaks. That was demolished long ago, and was the scene of a marvellous
ghost story told in Boswell's Johnson concerning Parson Ford.

The Ship at Gravesend, mentioned as the waterside inn where Pip and his
assistants managed to row the convict Magwitch, with the idea of smuggling
him out of the country, is known as the Ship and Lobster.


_Drawn by C. G. Harper_]

Having run alongside a little causeway made of stones, Pip left the rest
of the occupants of the boat and stepped ashore, and found the light they
had observed from the river to be in the window of a public-house. "It was
a dirty place enough, and I daresay not unknown to smuggling adventurers;
but there was a good fire in the kitchen, and there were eggs and bacon to
eat and various liquors to drink. Also there were two double-bedded
rooms--'such as they were,' the landlord said.... We made a very good meal
by the kitchen fire, and then apportioned the bedrooms.... We found that
the air was carefully excluded from both as if air was fatal to life; and
there were more dirty clothes and bandboxes under the beds than I should
have thought the family possessed. But we considered ourselves well off,
notwithstanding, for a more solitary place we could not have found."

Outside this inn Magwitch was again captured, and transferred to a galley,
where Pip eventually joined him and accompanied him to his destination.

Dickens knew Gravesend well, and his description of the Ship and Lobster
is a faithful one. It is situated on the shore at Denton, a village
adjoining the town, not far from the official Lighterman's at Denton
Wharf. At one time it flourished as a popular tea-garden resort.

There are two other inns in the book that must not be overlooked. The Blue
Boar at Rochester, where Pip stayed when he visited his old town, which
was the Bull Inn there, and is dealt with in "The Inns and Taverns of
Pickwick"; and the tavern where Wemmick's wedding-breakfast was held. This
is said to be the Fox under the Hill, nearly at the top of Denmark Hill.
It is now a modern public-house, but sixty or seventy years ago it was an
old wayside inn--a pleasant little tavern, and a favourite resort,
especially on Sunday evenings in the summer, for the youthful population
of Walworth and Camberwell.

We close this chapter with the brief account of the festive occasion:

"Breakfast had been ordered at a pleasant little tavern, a mile or so away
upon the rising ground beyond the green[2] and there was a bagatelle board
in the room, in case we should desire to unbend our minds after the
solemnity. It was pleasant to observe that Mrs. Wemmick no longer unwound
Wemmick's arm when it adapted itself to her figure, but sat in a
high-backed chair against the wall, like a violoncello in its case, and
submitted to be embraced as that melodious instrument might have done. We
had an excellent breakfast, and, when anyone declined anything on the
table, Wemmick said, 'Provided by contract you know; don't be afraid of
it!' I drank to the new couple, drank to the Aged, drank to the Castle,
saluted the bride at parting, and made myself as agreeable as I could."




The outstanding tavern in _Our Mutual Friend_ is that with the
pleasant-sounding name of The Six Jolly Fellowship-Porters, the favoured
resort of Rogue Riderhood, Gaffer Hexam, and their boon companions, which
is so closely associated with the unravelling of the mystery of John
Harmon. It exists to-day as the Grapes, and continues to be the favoured
resort of river watermen whose business keeps or brings them to the
picturesque Reach.

When Dickens was engaged on his book, it is said that he wrote some
chapters in a house adjoining the Grapes, overlooking the river. The
Dropsical Tavern, as he calls it, was then known as the Bunch of Grapes,
which, by a process of clipping, became first the Grapes Inn, and then
finally the Grapes, by which it is known at the present time. Its front
entrance is at 76 Narrow Street, Limehouse, and occupies little more space
(as noted by the novelist) than to allow for its front door. Although the
front of the building has been modernised, it still remains as narrow and
tall as when Dickens likened it to "a handle of a flat iron set upright on
its broadest end." The inn has been very little altered in other respects
since he so minutely described it. Certainly, an ordinary public-house bar
has cut off a portion of the original bar, and, if in those days "the
available space in it was not much larger than a hackney-coach," its area
is even smaller to-day, but yet quite comfortable enough to "soften the
human breast."

It is in describing this bar that Dickens gives the clue to the
identification of the tavern. "No one," he says, "could have wished the
bar bigger, that space was so girt in by corpulent little casks, and by
cordial bottles radiant with fictitious _grapes in bunches_, and by lemons
in nets, and by biscuits in baskets, and by polite beer-pulls that made
low bows when customers were served with beer ... and by the landlady's
own small table in a snugger corner near the fire...." Many of these
alluring etceteras have given place to others, perhaps less enticing, and
among those that have gone are the cordial bottles with the "grapes in
bunches" on them. We have learned, however, from the present genial
hostess, Mrs. Higgins, that at one time, not only did the cordial bottles
bear the engraved sign of a bunch of grapes, but certain of the windows
also were so embellished, and it was only a few years ago, when the front
was altered, that these disappeared.

It is not, however, necessary merely to rely on this piece of
identification to assure us that the Grapes Inn was the original of the
Six Jolly Fellowship-Porters, for a visit to it with Chapter VI of _Our
Mutual Friend_ for a guidance leaves no doubt in the mind. Therein we read
that "the Six Jolly Fellowship-Porters, already mentioned as a tavern of a
dropsical appearance, had long settled down into a state of hale
infirmity. In its whole constitution it had not a straight floor, and
hardly a straight line; but it had outlasted, and clearly would yet
outlast, many a better-trimmed building, many a sprucer public-house.
Externally, it was a narrow, lopsided wooden jumble of corpulent windows
heaped one upon another as you might heap as many toppling oranges, with
a crazy wooden verandah impending over the water; indeed, the whole house,
inclusive of the complaining flag-staff on the roof, impended over the
water, but seemed to have got into the condition of a faint-hearted diver
who has paused so long on the brink that he will never go in at all."

That is how Dickens describes the river frontage of the Six Jolly
Fellowship-Porters, and his words apply just as accurately to the Grapes
Inn. As one stands on the crazy wooden verandah, which is reached from the
foreshore by steep wooden steps, one can call to mind the scene in the
book describing Gaffer Hexam landing the "found drowned," and then, by
turning into the "tap and parlour" behind, "which gave on to the river,
and had red curtains to match the noses of the regular customers," one
finds oneself in the room where the inquest on John Harmon was held, with
Gaffer Hexam as witness before the coroner's jury, Mr. Mortimer Light wood
as "eminent solicitor," and Mr. Inspector watching the proceedings on
behalf of the Home Office. The room is not used for such purposes to-day,
but is put to the more pleasant one of social intercourse between workers
on the great waterway during and after their labours, who, if you are so
disposed, will welcome you there, and discourse on the mystery of tides
and ships. If you accept them as fellow-creatures you may be invited to a
game of darts, meanwhile regaling yourself with the modern substitutes for
"those delectable drinks" known in the days when Miss Abbey Potterson
reigned supreme on her throne as sole proprietor and manager of the
Fellowship-Porters, as Purl, Flip, and Dog's Nose. These watermen reach
this haven, if the tide is out, by means of the wooden steps; when the
tide is high and the house is "all but afloat," the small row-boats are
brought into use and the occupants approach the inn like veritable
gondoliers and moor their craft outside whilst they refresh themselves


_Photograph by T. W. Tyrrell_]

Beyond this room is the small one which served as Miss Abbey Potterson's
haven. "This haven," Dickens says, "was divided from the rough world by a
glass partition and a half-door with a leaden sill upon it for the
convenience of resting your liquor; but over this half-door the bar's
snugness so gushed forth that, albeit customers drank there standing, in a
dark and draughty passage where they were shouldered by other customers
passing in and out, they always appeared to drink under an enchanting
delusion that they were in the bar itself."

The glass partition and the half-door, over which Gaffer Hexam is seen
leaning in Marcus Stone's picture in the book, is still there, but is not
now used for the same purpose. It is the private entrance to the back of
the modern public bar.

What Dickens said of the antiquity of the Fellowship-Porters is true of
the Grapes Inn. "The wood forming the chimney-pieces, beams, partitions,
floors, and doors of the Six Jolly Fellowship-Porters seemed in its old
age fraught with confused memories of its youth. In many places it had
become gnarled and riven, according to the manner of old trees; knots
started out of it, and here and there it seemed to twist itself into some
likeness of boughs. In this state of second childhood, it had an air of
being in its own way garrulous about its early life. Not without reason
was it often asserted by the regular frequenters of the Porters that, when
the light shone full upon the grain of certain panels, and particularly
upon an old corner cupboard of walnut wood in the bar, you might trace
little forests there, and tiny trees like the parent tree in full
umbrageous leaf." Unfortunately, most of these oak panels and beams are
now hidden from view by varnished match-boarding, but some of the panels
and some of the beams remain exposed to confirm Dickens's fanciful

Miss Abbey Potterson, the mistress of this establishment, was "a tall,
upright, well-favoured woman, though severe of countenance, and had more
the air of a schoolmistress than mistress of the Six Jolly
Fellowship-Porters." Here she ruled supreme, and at the closing time she
ordered one after the other to leave with such admonitions as "George
Jones, your time is up! I told your wife you should be punctual," and so
all wished Miss Abbey good night and Miss Abbey wished good night to all.
She knew how to manage the rough class of river-men who frequented her
house, and was the more respected for it. "Being known on her own
authority as Miss Abbey Potterson," Dickens tells us, "some waterside
heads, which (like the water) were none of the clearest, harboured muddled
motions that, because of her dignity and firmness, she was named after, or
in some sort related to, the Abbey at Westminster. But Abbey was only
short for Abigail, by which name Miss Potterson had been christened at
Limehouse Church some sixty years and odd before."

Without recording all the references in the book to the
Fellowship-Porters, we note that, towards the end of it, John and Bella
paid an official visit to the police station and visited afterwards the
Six Jolly Fellowship-Porters with Mr. Inspector for purposes of
identification. During this visit, Mr. Inspector gives this very good
character to the inn, "a better-kept house is not known to our men. What
do I say? Half so well a kept house is not known to our men. Show the
Force the Six Jolly Fellowship-Porters, and the Force--to a
constable--will show you a piece of perfection." This, no doubt, was
Dickens's own opinion, too.

The Grapes to-day serves the same purpose as did the Six Jolly
Fellowship-Porters in the story, and is of as good repute. It is the house
of call of the watermen from the river in the day-time and from the road
after work is done, and it seems to be conducted by the present hostess
much as it was by Miss Abbey Potterson, not so rigidly perhaps, but with
the same good-natured friendliness which is reflected in the attitude and
behaviour of all the frequenters. There does not even seem the necessity
for a Bob Glibbery; at any rate, we have not met his successor on the
occasions of our visits there. Nor does his room down "towards the bed of
the river," where he was ordered to proceed to his supper, exist at the
present time. That must have been somewhere contiguous to the secret
smuggling arches which ran under the building from the river, now filled

[Illustration: LIMEHOUSE REACH

_Drawn by L. Walker_]

The Grapes Inn is a place to visit. If one can choose a fine summer's
evening to sit under "the corpulent windows" on the "crazy wooden
verandah" and watch the busy river with its myriads of craft floating by,
one can enjoy the view and atmosphere much as did Whistler, Napier Hemy,
and Dickens himself.

In J. Ashby Sterry's "A River Rhymer," is a set of verses entitled "Down
Limehouse Way," two of which may be appropriately quoted here:

  Close by I mind an inn you'll find,
    Where you will not refuse
  To rest a bit, as there you sit,
    And gaze on river views--
  'Tis very old--with windows bold,
    That bulges o'er the tide;
  Whence you can spy ships passing by
    Or watch the waters glide!
  You can sit in the red-curtained bay
  And think, while you're puffing a clay,
    'Tis no indecorum
    To drink sangarorum--
  While musing down Lime'us way!

  You'll find this spot--now does it not
    Recall and keep alive
  The varied crew Charles Dickens drew
    In eighteen sixty-five?
  Here Hexam plied his trade and died,
    And Riderhood conspired;
  While things they'd pop at Pleasant's shop,
    When cash might be required!
  Here under Miss Abbey's firm sway,
  Who made all her clients obey,
    Was ruled with discretion
    And rare self-possession
  The "Porters" down Lime'us way!

The name of the Fellowship-Porters which Dickens adopted for the sign of
Miss Abbey Potterson's public-house was that of one of the old City
Guilds. For over 800 years the City of London successfully claimed and
exercised the sole right to unload grain vessels arriving in the Thames,
and realised enormous revenues from the privilege. In 1155, the Guild or
Brotherhood of Fellowship-Porters was incorporated and a charter was
granted. It was reincorporated in 1613, and appointed by the City to carry
or store corn, salt, coals, fish, and fruit of all kinds.

The Fellowship-Porters at one time numbered 3,000 members, and the Guild
had the power granted by act of Council in 1646 to choose twelve rulers,
the Lord Mayor and Aldermen reserving the right to appoint one of the
number. The company had a hall of its own which stood near to the
Waterman's Hall in St. Mary's Hill, Billingsgate, but had no livery or
arms, and ranked the nineteenth in the order of procedure. Membership
carried with it the freedom of the City by payment of £2 18s. 6d., and
five guineas to Fellowship Hall--these fees being demanded before they
could work as dock labourers. When Millwall Docks were built, the City
challenged the docks on the matter of their privilege, and the case went
to the Law Courts. It was then discovered that the Charter could not be
produced, it having been destroyed by the Great Fire of London, so it was
supposed. This blow ruined the Guild, and some thirty years ago the
organization was wound up, the then present members being deprived of
work, pensions, and everything else their Charter entitled them to as
Freemen of the City.

Another notable tavern in _Our Mutual Friend_ is the Ship, at Greenwich,
where two memorable little dinners were given. The first was the occasion
when, Bella Wilfer having been presented with a purse and a fifty-pound
bank-note by Mr. Boffin, took her dear old father, the cherub, to
Greenwich by boat on a secret expedition, as she called it, and
entertained him to dinner there.

First calling for her father at his City office, where the messenger
described her to her father as "a slap-up gal in a bang-up chariot," she
handed him the purse with instructions, not to be disregarded, to "go to
the nearest place where they keep everything of the very very best, ready
made; you buy and put on the most beautiful suit of clothes, the most
beautiful hat, and the most beautiful pair of bright boots (patent
leather, Pa, mind!) that are to be got for money; and you come back to
me." After half an hour he came back "so brilliantly transformed that
Bella was obliged to walk round him in ecstatic admiration twenty times
before she could draw her arm through his and delightfully squeeze it."

She then ordered him to "take this lovely woman out to dinner." The
question came, "Where shall we go, my dear?" "Greenwich!" said Bella
valiantly. "And be sure you treat this lovely woman with everything of the
best." And off they went in quest of the boat to take them down the river,
and eventually arrived at the Ship Tavern. The little expedition down the
river to reach it, we are told, "was delightful, and the little room
overlooking the river into which they were shown for dinner was
delightful. Everything was delightful. The park was delightful, the lunch
was delightful, the dishes of fish were delightful, the wine was
delightful. Bella was more delightful than any other item in the
festival." And, as they sat together looking at the ships and steamboats
making their way to the sea with the tide that was running down, "the
lovely woman imagined all sorts of voyages for herself and Pa." So
enchanted did Pa become that he was as willing "to put his head into the
Sultan's tub of water as the beggar-boys below the window were to put
_theirs_ in the mud"; and so the happy moments flew by and the time came
to ring the bell, and pay the waiter, and return to London.

Later on in the same identical room in the same identical tavern
overlooking the Thames, the same delightful couple, with John Rokesmith,
partook of another delightful dinner. Earlier in the day Bella Wilfer had
become Mrs. John Rokesmith and celebrated the event with breakfast at
Bella's cottage at Blackheath, and with a dinner at the Ship Tavern later,
Bella's father being the only other guest.

"What a dinner! Specimens of all the fishes that swim in the sea surely
had swum their way to it, and, if samples of the fishes of divers colours
that made a speech in the 'Arabian Nights,' and then jumped out of the
frying pan, were not to be recognised, it was only because they had all
become of one hue by being cooked in the batter among the whitebait. And
the dishes being seasoned with Bliss--an article which they are sometimes
out of at Greenwich--were of perfect flavour, and the golden drinks had
been bottled in the golden age and hoarding up their sparkles ever since."

The whole function was a sheer delight, a crowning success; but the full
appreciation of its charm cannot be indicated by short quotations; it must
be read in detail to be thoroughly enjoyed. The scene inspired J. Ashby
Sterry to again drop into poetry:

  A wedding banquet here must dwell
    Within one's brightest recollection;
  Where Bella, John and Pa, as well,
    Made merry o'er the choice refection!
  The sparkling wine, the happy pair,
    With all their aged affection;
  The bland "Archbishop's" tender care,
    And Rumpty Wilfer's smart oration!--
  A scene where fun and pathos blend,
  With all the heart and truth that lend
  A charm unto "Our Mutual Friend!"

Alas! the tavern in which these happy hours were spent is a thing of
the past, but its prosperous and palmy days are recorded in Time's annals.


_Drawn by L. Walker_]

In the days when Greenwich was famous for its whitebait dinners, the town
was noted for its hotels overlooking the waterside. The chief of these was
the Ship, whilst another notable one was the Trafalgar, hard by,
patronised by members of the Cabinet of the day, who led the fashion in
these functions; it being "the correct thing" then, when a little special
festivity was forward, to resort to one of these inns at Greenwich for the
purpose, it is not surprising to learn that on several occasions Dickens
and his literary and artistic coterie followed the custom by arranging
social gatherings in celebration of some event connected with one of the
company either at the Ship or the Trafalgar. As early as 1837 we find him
suggesting Greenwich for a friendly meeting-place.

But there were two very noteworthy occasions associated with Dickens when
Greenwich was selected for jovial and pleasant parties of close friends.
The first of these took place on the novelist's return from America in
1842, when a few of his kindred spirits adopted this method for welcoming
him back to England. Among the company were Talfourd, Tom Hood, Monckton
Milnes, B. W. Procter, D. Maclise, R.A., Clarkson Stanfield, R.A., Captain
Marryat, "Ingoldsby" Barham, George Cruikshank, and John Forster. "I wish
you had been at Greenwich the other day," he wrote to Felton, "where a
party of friends gave me a private dinner; public ones I have refused.
C---- was perfectly wild at the reunion, and, after singing all manner of
marine songs, wound up the entertainment by coming home (six miles) in a
little open phaeton of mine, _on his head_, to the mingled delight and
indignation of the metropolitan police. We were very jovial, indeed."

On the other occasion Dickens was the instigator of the feast. This was in
1843, when, on the retirement of John Black from the editorial chair of
the old _Chronicle_, the novelist arranged a dinner in honour of his old
friend at Greenwich, on the 20th of May. Dickens ordered all things to
perfection and the dinner succeeded in its purpose, as in other ways,
quite wonderfully, Forster tells us. Among the entertainers were Sheil and
Thackeray, Fonblanque and Charles Buller, Southwood Smith and William
Johnson Fox, Macready and Maclise, as well as Forster and Dickens.

These dinners took place at the Ship or the Trafalgar, both well known to
the novelist, as was Greenwich generally, for he frequently refers to the
ancient town and its customs in his writings.

The Ship Tavern was originally built with a weather-board front,
overlooking the river. But, about the middle of the last century, the
newer and much handsomer structure as seen in our illustration, was
erected upon the site of the original one, and its pretty garden was the
scene of many gay parties, whilst its rooms often rang with merriment from
the festive diners. After the waning of the fashion for whitebait
banquets, it long maintained its popularity with visitors to the Thames
historic town.

_Our Mutual Friend_ is essentially a story of the Thames, and certainly
the inns and taverns of the book are either on the water's edge or in
close proximity to it. The two already dealt with are below London Bridge,
in the midst of the busy traffic of trade, whilst the remainder are
situated in its more picturesque district where pleasure is sought.

It will be recalled that, when Mrs. Boffin and the secretary set out in
search of the charming orphan recommended by the Rev. Frank Milvey, they
hired a phaeton and made their way to the abode of Mrs. Betty Higden in
whose care was the child. They discovered that old lady in complicated
back settlements of "Muddy Brentford," and, having left their equipage at
the sign of the Three Magpies, continued their quest on foot. A second
visit to Brentford is recorded later in the book, on which occasion a
carriage was ordered, for Bella and Sloppy were also of the party. "So to
the Three Magpies as before; where Mrs. Boffin and Miss Bella were handed
out, and whence they all went on foot to Mrs. Betty Higden's."

No other allusion to the inn is made than the bare mention of the name;
but the original inn to which Dickens alludes undoubtedly is the Three
Pigeons, that ancient hostelry at Brentford whose history is associated
with Shakespeare, Ben Jonson and their contemporaries, many of whom
referred to it in their plays and essays. In Goldsmith's _She Stoops to
Conquer_, it will be remembered, Tony Lumpkin sings a song in praise of
it, whilst two scenes of the comedy take place in the inn.

Lowen, a leading actor in Shakespeare's company, we are told, kept the inn
at the time, and Shakespeare personally instructed him in Henry VIII. It
was a well-known coaching inn then, and at one time its stables occupied
several acres.

In 1905 it was partially reconstructed, and in 1916 it was closed under
order of the licensing justices of Middlesex.


_Drawn by C. G. Harper_]

In the chapter describing the flight of Betty Higden we are told that her
pilgrimage took her through Chertsey, Walton, Kingston, and Staines, and
so on to her journey's end. One day she was sitting in a market-place on a
bench outside an inn. Here she became nervous of those who questioned
her, and determined to move on. As she left the spot she had looked over
her shoulder before turning out of the town, and had seen the "sign of the
White Lion hanging across the road, and the fluttering market booths and
the old grey church, and the little crowd gazing after her, but not
attempting to follow her."

Although the name of this town is not mentioned, there is no doubt that
the description is of Hampton, and that the inn is the Red Lion, whose
picturesque sign still spans the street, with the view of the "old grey
church" behind it.

The scenes of the fourth book bring us to the district of Henley, although
the name is never mentioned and the locks and inns are given fictitious
names. But it has not been difficult to locate the spots from the
novelist's accurate descriptions. The only inn which plays an important
part in the unravelling of the story in this neighbourhood is given the
name of the Anglers' Inn. All authorities identify this as the Red Lion,
Henley. It was here that Eugene Wrayburn found accommodation when in
pursuit of Lizzie Hexam. The inn is on the west bank of the river and
north of the bridge, and, being a favourite resort of anglers, the name
Dickens gives it is appropriate enough. It was to this inn that Lizzie
Hexam brought the apparently lifeless body of Eugene Wrayburn after her
brave rescue of it from the water, following the murderous attack on him
by Bradley Headstone.

"She rowed hard--rowed desperately, but never wildly--and seldom removed
her eyes from him in the bottom of the boat.... The boat touched the edge
of the patch of inn lawn sloping gently to the water. There were lights in
the windows, but there chanced to be no one out of doors. She made the
boat fast, and again by main strength took him up, and never laid him down
until she laid him down in the house."

This patch of green lawn sloping gently to the river coincides with that
of the Red Lion, Henley. It was also in this inn, some weeks later, that
Lizzie and Eugene were married. It was still uncertain if he would
recover, and, in conformity with his wish, the ceremony was performed
round his bed, the Rev. Frank Milvey officiating, Bella and her husband,
Mortimer Lightwood, Mrs. Milvey and Jenny Wren being in attendance.

The Red Lion is a famous old coaching-inn, as well as a fishing and
boating one of renown. It is not only very old but large. Standing by the
bridge in prominent fashion it appeals to the eye at once:

  'Tis a finely toned, picturesque, sunshiny, place,
    Recalling a dozen old stories;
  With a rare British, good-natured, ruddy-hued face,
    Suggesting old wines and old Tories.

to quote once more from Ashby Sterry's rhymes.

It was on a window in this old inn that Shenstone the poet scratched with
a diamond about 1750 that celebrated stanza of his:

  Who'er has travelled life's dull round,
    Where'er his stages may have been,
  May sigh to think how oft he found
    The warmest welcome at an inn;

--at least, so tradition has it. But Mr. Charles G. Harper thinks it
doubtful, and feels that the Henley referred to by historians must have
been Henley-in-Arden.

There is one inn mentioned in the book which has not, that we are aware
of, been identified. It is the Exchequer Coffee-House, Palace Yard,
Westminster, the address given by Mr. Julius Handford to Mr. Inspector on
the occasion when he viewed the body of the drowned man (Bk. 1, Chapter




It is a curious fact that Wood's Hotel, one of London's old-time inns
which must have been familiar to Dickens in his very early days--even
before he commenced writing his _Pickwick Papers_--did not furnish a scene
in any of his books until it figured in _Edwin Drood_, his last.

As early as 1834, when on the staff of the "Morning Chronicle," Dickens
lived at 13 Furnival's Inn, and in the following year moved to No 15,
where he commenced _The Pickwick Papers_, and where he took to himself a
wife and where his first child was born.

During these days Wood's Hotel occupied the north side of the quiet
quadrangle of Furnival's Inn, and Dickens must have known it well. It was
a staid and respectable house with an air about it of domestic comfort,
suitable for country visitors, and where, we are informed, family prayers,
night and morning, were included in the accommodation.

Its stately building of four stories had dignity added to it by the four
tall white stone pillars in the centre portion of the front reaching to
the third floor. Although stolid-looking, it was not aggressively so, nor
was it altogether unpicturesque, with its grass plot immediately before
the entrance, encircling a statue of the founder of the inn, surrounded by
white posts connected by chains.

Its imposing appearance from without reflected the comforts which the
inside of a reputable family hotel is expected to provide. At such an
hotel one would naturally look for courteous attention from waiters and
chambermaids, and good meals cleanly served, and at Wood's no
disappointment in these respects was experienced. Indeed, Dickens conveys
that idea in referring to it in _Edwin Drood_.

Entering through the archway of Furnival's Inn, the hotel caught the eye
immediately, and acted as a relief to the straight, angular, and flat
appearance of the buildings which formed the once famous quadrangle so
intimately associated with Dickens.

It is believed by some, and was definitely stated to be a fact by a writer
in the American magazine, the "Cosmopolitan," for May, 1893, and again by
a writer in the "Middlesex and Hertfordshire Notes and Queries," July,
1895, that Dickens in his bachelor days had apartments on the second floor
of the hotel in the right-hand corner, and that in the latter years of its
existence the walls of this same room were decorated with pictures of
scenes and characters from his works.

We have, however, been unable to find any authority for this statement.
But it is quite possible that he frequented the hotel, and we may even
assume that he and his friends, Hablôt K. Browne and Robert Young, who
occupied rooms in Furnival's when they were executing engravings for
Pickwick, would perhaps chat over details in a snug room in the hotel,
when they would be joined by their other friend and engraver, Finden.

Bearing all these ideas in mind, it is certainly a little strange that
Dickens waited for his last book before he introduced the hotel into his

In that book we are told that Mr. Grewgious crossed over to the hotel in
Furnival's Inn from Staple Inn opposite for his dinner "three hundred days
in the year at least," and after dinner crossed back again. On one
occasion, a very important interview between him and Edwin Drood took
place in his chambers, and Edwin was pressed to stay for a meal. "We can
have dinner in from just across Holborn," Grewgious assured him, and
Bazzard, his clerk, was not only invited to join them, but asked if he
would mind "stepping over to the hotel in Furnival's, and asking them to
send in materials for laying the cloth.... For dinner we'll have a tureen
of the hottest and strongest soup available, and we'll have the best made
dish that can be recommended and we'll have a joint (such as a haunch of
mutton) and we'll have a goose, or a turkey, or any little stuffed thing
of that sort that may happen to be in the bill of fare--in short, we'll
have whatever there is on hand."

Bazzard, after bringing out the round table, accordingly withdrew to
execute the orders. His return with the waiters gives Dickens an
opportunity for one of his humorous descriptive passages which we make no
excuse for quoting in full:

"Bazzard returned, accompanied by two waiters--an immovable waiter, and a
flying waiter; and the three brought in with them as much fog as gave a
new roar to the fire. The flying waiter, who had brought everything on his
shoulders, laid the cloth with amazing rapidity and dexterity; while the
immovable waiter, who had brought nothing, found fault with him. The
flying waiter then highly polished all the glasses he had brought, and the
immovable waiter looked through them. The flying waiter then flew across
Holborn for the soup, and flew back again, and then took another flight
for the made-dish, and flew back again, and then took another flight for
the joint and the poultry, and flew back again, and between whiles took
supplementary flights for a great variety of articles, as it was
discovered from time to time that the immovable waiter had forgotten them
all. But, let the flying waiter cleave the air as he might, he was always
reproached on his return by the immovable waiter for bringing fog with him
and being out of breath. At the conclusion of the repast, by which time
the flying waiter was severely blown, the immovable waiter gathered up the
table-cloth under his arm with a grand air, and, having sternly (not to
say with indignation) looked on at the flying waiter while he set clean
glasses round, directed a valedictory glance towards Mr. Grewgious,
conveying: 'Let it be clearly understood between us that the reward is
mine, and that _nil_ is the claim of this slave,' and pushed the flying
waiter before him out of the room."

Thus the waiters of Wood's Hotel, which was the name of the hotel referred
to, although not mentioned by Dickens. Later in the book, we get a more
intimate association with it. After the murder of Edwin Drood, Rosa Bud
hurriedly takes coach from Rochester and presents herself to her guardian
in his chambers. She is tired and hungry, naturally, and Grewgious,
concerned for her welfare, asks her what she will take after her journey.
"Shall it be breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea or supper?" he enquires.

"Your rest, too, must be provided for," he went on; "and you shall have
the prettiest chamber in Furnival's. Your toilet must be provided for, and
you shall have everything that an unlimited head chambermaid--by which
expression I mean a head chambermaid not limited as to outlay--can


_Drawn by L. Walker_]

"Rosa thanked him, but said she could only take a cup of tea. Mr.
Grewgious, after several times running out, and in again, to mention such
supplementary items as marmalade, eggs, watercresses, salted fish, and
frizzled ham, ran across to Furnival's without his hat, to give his
various directions. And soon afterwards they were realised in practice,
and the board was spread."

After a friendly chat over tea, he escorted her to her rooms. He "helped
her to get her hat on again, and hung upon his arm the very little bag
that was of no earthly use, and led her by the hand (with a certain
stately awkwardness, as if he were going to walk a minuet) across Holborn,
and into Furnival's Inn. At the hotel door, he confided her to the
unlimited head chambermaid, and said that while she went up to see her
room he would remain below, in case she should wish it exchanged for
another, or should find that there was anything she wanted."

Rosa's room was airy, clean, comfortable, almost gay. The Unlimited had
laid in everything omitted from the very little bag (that is to say,
everything she could possibly need) and Rosa tripped down the great stairs
again, to thank her guardian for his thoughtful and affectionate care of

"'Not at all, my dear,' said Mr. Grewgious, infinitely gratified; 'it is I
who thank you for your charming confidence and for your charming company.
Your breakfast will be provided for you in a neat, compact, and graceful
little sitting-room (appropriate to your figure) and I will come to you at
ten o'clock in the morning. I hope you don't feel very strange indeed in
this strange place.'

"'Oh no, I feel so safe!'

"'Yes, you may be sure that the stairs are fireproof,' said Mr. Grewgious,
'and that any outbreak of the devouring element would be perceived and
suppressed by the watchmen.'"

Having seen Rosa comfortably settled, he left her, assuring the night
porter as he went that, "if someone staying in the hotel should wish to
send across the road to me in the night, a crown will be ready for the

To the hotel next morning Mr. Grewgious went faithfully to time with Mr.
Crisparkle, who had followed Rosa up from Rochester as fast as he could.
Soon also Tartar arrived. After a long consultation between them about Mr.
Landless and the use Tartar's chambers could be put to for certain spying
purposes, Tartar took Rosa and Mr. Grewgious for a row up the river.
Apartments ultimately being found for Rosa elsewhere, she left Wood's
Hotel, and no further reference is made to it in the book.

In 1898 Furnival's Inn was demolished with its hotel. Upon its site now
stand an insurance company's huge premises.

In Chapter XV, detailing Neville Landless's long tramp from Cloisterham,
we are told that he stopped at the next road-side tavern to refresh.
Dickens describes it in the following words:

"Visitors in want of breakfast--unless they were horses or cattle, for
which class of guests there was preparation enough in the way of
water-trough and hay--were so unusual at the sign of the Tilted Wagon that
it took a long time to get the wagon into the track of tea and toast and
bacon; Neville, in the interval, sitting in a sanded parlour, wondering in
how long a time after he had gone the sneezy fire of damp fagots would
begin to make somebody else warm. Indeed, the Tilted Wagon was a cool
establishment on the top of a hill, where the ground before the door was
puddles with damp hoofs and trodden straw; where a scolding landlady
slapped a moist baby (with one red sock on and one wanting) in the bar;
where the cheese was cast aground upon a shelf in company with a mouldy
table-cloth and a green-handled knife in a sort of cast-iron canoe; where
the pale-faced bread shed tears of crumbs over its shipwreck in another
canoe; where the family linen, half-washed and half dried, led a public
life of lying about; where everything to drink was drunk out of mugs, and
everything else was suggestive of a rhyme to mugs: the Tilted Wagon, all
these things considered, hardly kept its painted promise of providing good
entertainment for man and beast."

Mr. Edwin Harris, in his guide to Dickensian Rochester, has identified the
Coach and Horses on the top of Strood Hill as the original of the Tilted

The Travellers' Twopenny, where the boy deputy was a "man-servant," as he
explained to Jasper, was originally the White Duck, and afterwards Kit's
lodging-house, and stood in the Maidstone Road at Rochester. It
degenerated into a crazy wooden sort of cheap public-house, and was not
demolished before it was necessary. On its site now stands a business

The Crozier, the "Orthodox Hotel," where Datchery lodged in the same city,
was the Crown, and is dealt with in "The Inns and Taverns of Pickwick."

In the late autumn of 1857, Dickens and Wilkie Collins started "on a ten
or twelve days' expedition to out-of-the-way places, to do (in inns and
coast corners) a little tour in search of an article and in avoidance of
railroads." Their selection was the Lake District, but the outcome of
their expedition was not one article merely but a series of five under the
title of _The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices_, written in
collaboration. The two idle apprentices were Francis Goodchild and Thomas
Idle, the first name being the pseudonym of Dickens.

These misguided young men, they inform us in the narrative, "were actuated
by the low idea of making a perfectly idle trip in any direction. They had
no intention of going anywhere in particular; they wanted to see nothing;
they wanted to know nothing; they wanted to learn nothing; they wanted to
do nothing. They wanted only to be idle ... and they were both idle in the
last degree." In that spirit they set forth on their journey.

Carrock Fell, Wigton, Allonby, Carlisle, Maryport, Hesket Newmarket, were
all visited in turn, and the adventures of the twain in these spots duly
set forth in the pages of the book. In due course they came to Lancaster,
and, the inn at that town being the most important of the tour, we deal
with it first.

The travellers were meditating flight at the station on account of Thomas
Idle being suddenly filled with "the dreadful sensation of having
something to do." However, they decided to stay because they had heard
there was a good inn at Lancaster, established in a fine old house; an inn
where they give you bride-cake every day after dinner. "Let us eat
bride-cake," they said, "without the trouble of being married, or of
knowing anybody in that ridiculous dilemma." And so they departed from the
station and were duly delivered at the fine old house at Lancaster on the
same night.

This was the King's Arms in the Market Street, the exterior of which was
dismal, quite uninviting, and lacked any sort of picturesqueness such as
one associates with old inns; but the interior soon compensated for the
unattractiveness of the exterior by its atmosphere, fittings and customs.
Being then over two centuries old, it had allurement calculated to make
the lover of things old happy and contented. "The house was a genuine old
house," the story tells us, "of a very quaint description, teeming with
old carvings, and beams, and panels, and having an excellent staircase,
with a gallery or upper staircase cut off from it by a curious fence-work
of old oak, or of old Honduras mahogany wood. It was, and is, and will be,
for many a long year to come, a remarkably picturesque house; and a
certain grave mystery lurking in the depth of the old mahogany panels, as
if they were so many deep pools of dark water--such, indeed, as they had
been much among when they were trees--gave it a very mysterious character
after nightfall."

A terrible ghost story was attached to the house concerning a bride who
was poisoned there, and the room in which the process of slow death took
place was pointed out to visitors. The perpetrator of the crime, the story
relates, was duly hanged, and in memory of the weird incident bride-cake
was served each day after dinner.

The complete story of this melodramatic legend is narrated to Goodchild by
a spectre in the haunted chamber where he and his companion had been

Dickens wove into the story much fancy and not a little eerieness, and it
is said that the publicity given to it in _Household Words_, in which it
first appeared, created so much interest that the hotel was sought out by
eager visitors who love a haunted chamber. As this was situated in an
ancient inn with its antique bedstead all complete, to say nothing of the
curious custom of providing bride-cake at dinner in memory of the
unfortunate bride, the King's Arms, Lancaster, discovered its fame
becoming world-wide instead of remaining local.

At the time of the visit of Dickens and Wilkie Collins to this rare old
inn, the proprietor was one Joseph Sly, and Dickens occupied what he
termed the state bedroom, "with two enormous red four-posters in it, each
as big as Charley's room at Gads Hill." He described the inn as "a very
remarkable old house ... with genuine rooms and an uncommonly quaint
staircase." A certain portion of the "lazy notes" for the book were, we
are told, written at the King's Arms Hotel.


_Drawn by L. Walker_]

On their arrival, Dickens and Collins sat down to a good hearty meal. The
landlord himself presided over the serving of it, which, Dickens writes in
a letter, comprised "two little salmon trout; a sirloin steak; a brace of
partridges; seven dishes of sweets; five dishes of dessert, led off by a
bowl of peaches; and in the centre an enormous bride-cake. 'We always have
it here, sir,' said the landlord, 'custom of the house.' Collins turned
pale, and estimated the dinner at half a guinea each."

Mr. Sly became quite good friends with the two distinguished novelists,
and cherished with great pride the signed portrait of Dickens which the
author of _Pickwick_ presented him with. He left the old place in 1879 and
it was soon afterwards pulled down and replaced by an ordinary commercial
hotel. Although the bride-cake custom was abandoned, and the haunted
chamber with its fantastic story swept away, it is interesting to know
that the famous oak bedstead, in which Dickens himself slept, was acquired
by the Duke of Norfolk.

Mr. Sly, who died in 1895, never tired of recalling the visit of the two
famous authors. He took the greatest pride in his wonderful old inn, and
found real delight in conducting visitors over the building and telling
amusing stories about Dickens and Wilkie Collins. Indeed, he was so proud
of the association that he obtained Dickens's permission to reprint those
passages of _The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices_ relating to the
hostelry, in pamphlet form, with an introductory note saying, "The reader
is perhaps aware that Mr. Charles Dickens and his friend Wilkie Collins,
in the year 1857, visited Lancaster, and during their sojourn stayed at
Mr. Sly's King's Arms Hotel."

There is a further association with the inn and Dickens to be found in
"Doctor Marigold's Prescriptions." We find it recorded there that Doctor
Marigold and his Library Cart, as he called his caravan, "were down at
Lancaster, and I had done two nights' more than the fair average business
(though I cannot in honour recommend them as a quick audience) in the open
square there, near the end of the street where Mr. Sly's King's Arms and
Royal Hotel stands."

"Doctor Marigold" was published in 1865, seven years after Dickens's
visit. But he not only remembered the King's Arms, but also Mr. Sly, the
proprietor, who thus became immortalised in a Dickens story. Mr. Sly
evidently was a popular man in the town, and his energy and good nature
were much appreciated. That this was so, the following paragraph bears

It is recorded as an historical fact that, on the marriage of H.R.H. the
Prince of Wales, the demonstration made in Lancaster exceeded any held out
of the Metropolis. The credit of this success is mainly due to Mr. Sly,
who proposed the programme, which included the roasting of two oxen whole,
and a grotesque torchlight procession. The manner in which the whole
arrangements were carried out was so satisfactory to the inhabitants of
the town and neighbourhood that, at a meeting held a short time after the
event, it was unanimously resolved to present Mr. and Mrs. Sly with a
piece of plate, of a design suitable to commemorate the event. The sum
required was subscribed in a few days, the piece of plate procured, and
the presentation was made in the Assembly Rooms on the 9th of November by
the High Sheriff, W. A. F. Saunders, Esq., of Wennington Hall, in the
presence of a numerous company.

In its palmy days the King's Arms was a prominent landmark for travellers
_en route_ to Morecambe Bay, Windermere, the Lakes, and Scotland. It was
erected in 1625, and in the coaching era was the head hotel in the town
for general posting purposes, and was the most suitable place for tourists
to break their journey going North, or in returning. Consequently, it was
one of the most important in the North of England.

The inn the two idle apprentices entered at Hesket Newmarket "to drink
whiskey and eat oat-cake" is not named, but it has been identified with a
house which is no longer an inn. At the time of the story it was called
the Queen's Head, and was quite a prominent hostelry in the town, the
innkeeper of which is described as having "a ruddy cheek, a bright eye, a
well-knit frame, an immense hand, a cheery, outspeaking voice, and a
straight, bright, broad look. He had a drawing-room, too, upstairs, which
was worth a visit to the Cumberland Fells."

"The ceiling of this drawing-room," we are further told, "was so crossed
and re-crossed by beams of unequal lengths, radiating from a centre, in a
corner, that it looked like a broken starfish. The room was comfortably
and solidly furnished with good mahogany and horsehair. It had a snug
fireside, a couple of well-curtained windows, looking out upon the wild
country behind the house. What it most developed was an unexpected taste
for little ornaments and knick-knacks, of which it contained a most
surprising number," which Dickens goes on to describe in his own whimsical

Hesket has not altered very much, we understand, since those days, and the
inn itself remains, not as an inn, but as a private house, and the room
where the oat-cake and whiskey were served still has its crossed and
re-crossed beams of unequal length.

From this inn, and under the guidance of the landlord, the two idle
apprentices mounted Carrock--with what disastrous effects to Mr. Idle on
the way down, readers of the story well know.

On again reaching the inn, under uncomfortable circumstances, they
remained only a few hours, and continued the tour to Wigton in a covered
carriage. Here, Mr. Idle was "melodramatically carried to the inn's first
floor and laid upon three chairs." The King's Arms is said to be the
Wigton inn referred to, but no details are given of it in the book.

Their next halting place was Allonby, where they put up at the Ship.
Thomas Idle, we are informed, "made a crab-like progress up a clean little
bulk-headed staircase, into a clean little bulk-headed room, where he
slowly deposited himself on a sofa, with a stick on either hand of him,
looking exceedingly grim," and both partook of dinner. The little inn is
described as delightful, "excellently kept by the most comfortable of
landladies and the most attentive of landlords." It still exists, and, "as
a family and commercial hotel and posting-house commanding extensive views
of the Solway Firth and the Scottish Hills," is apparently little altered
since Dickens and Collins visited it. Its Dickensian associations are
cherished by the owner to-day, who shows with pride the room occupied by
the two literary giants.

After their visit to Lancaster, already referred to, the two idle
apprentices went on to Doncaster, and arrived there in the St. Leger Race
week. They put up at the Angel Hotel, where they had secured rooms, which
Dickens described as "very good, clean and quiet apartments on the second
floor, looking down into the main street." His own room was "airy and
clean, little dressing-room attached, eight water-jugs ... capital sponge
bath, perfect arrangement, exquisite neatness."

Doncaster during the race week is described as a collection of mad people
under the charge of a body of designing keepers, horse-mad, betting-mad,
vice-mad. But the two novelists managed to find it enticing enough to
remain there a week.

The Angel Hotel was often called the Royal because Queen Victoria stayed
there in 1851. It was built in 1810, has always been a celebrated hotel,
and was a busy coaching-inn in those days. It remains much as it was when
Thomas Idle lay in the room for a week with his bad ankle and his friend
Francis Goodchild went roaming around the city with his usual observant




In Dickens's minor writings there are mentioned many inns, taverns and
coffee-houses, some merely fictitious with fanciful names, others whose
fame has been recorded in the social history of their times. _Sketches by
Boz_ is fairly well supplied in this respect, but none of them is
described at any length; indeed, scarcely anything but the names are
mentioned, and those only in passing. In the second chapter of "Our
Parish," we are introduced to the new curate who became so popular with
the ladies that their enthusiasm for him knew no bounds. It culminated, we
are told, when "he spoke for one hour and twenty-five minutes at an
anti-slavery meeting at the Goat and Boots." A proposal was forthwith set
on foot to make him a presentation, and this, in the shape of a splendid
silver ink-stand engraved with an appropriate inscription, was publicly
handed to him at a special breakfast at the aforementioned Goat and Boots,
"in a neat little speech by Mr. Gubbins, the ex-churchwarden, and
acknowledged by the curate in terms which drew tears into the eyes of all
present--the very waiters melted."

The Goat and Boots was no doubt a highly respectable hostelry, but its
whereabouts is "wropped in mystery." So is the Blue Lion and Stomach
Warmer, except that we are told that it was at Great Winglebury, and we
know that Great Winglebury was a fictitious name for Rochester. But which
was the inn that received this whimsical name at the hands of the novelist
under whose roof Horace Hunter penned his challenge to that base
umbrella-maker Alexander Trott, we are unable to state. On the other hand,
the Winglebury Arms where Alexander Trott was staying at the time was the
Bull Hotel, Rochester.[3] The Red House, Battersea, casually mentioned in
the chapter on "The River" as the "Red-us," was a popular tavern and
tea-gardens in those days and notorious for its pigeon-shooting; indeed,
tradition has it that it took the lead in the quality and quantity of the
sport, and that the crack shots assembled there to determine important
matches. It was also famous as the winning-post of many a boat race from
Westminster Bridge, and was the place "where all the prime of life lads
assembled," the joy and fun of which is vividly described by Dickens in
the chapter referred to. It was a red-bricked building, and a prominent
landmark of what was then known as Battersea Fields, the one-time scene of
many a duel.

The Cross Keys mentioned in the chapter on "Omnibuses" we have already
referred to when dealing with _Great Expectations_; whilst for particulars
of the Golden Cross, the busy coaching-inn mentioned in "Hackney Coach
Stands," and in "Early Coaches," we must refer the reader to "The Inns and
Taverns of Pickwick."

The Freemasons' Tavern in the chapter on "Public Dinners" does not receive
much attention from Dickens. He is describing the public dinner given in
aid of the "Indigent Orphans Friends' Benevolent Institution," and no
reference beyond the use of the name is made to the building itself. The
tavern still stands to-day, and no doubt more glorious in its splendour
than it was on the occasion of the public dinner Dickens refers to. It is
used to-day for similar purposes, the ceremony and atmosphere at which
being little changed from what it was then. It is interesting to note that
in the same building a farewell dinner was given Dickens on the eve of his
departure for America in 1867, with Lord Lytton in the chair.

The chapter devoted to the story of Miss Evans and the Eagle, recalls the
notorious tavern immortalised in the famous jingle:

  Up and down the City Road,
    In and out the Eagle,
  That's the way the money goes--
    Pop goes the weasel!

and the chronicle of Miss Jemima Evans's visit to the highly famed
pleasure-resort will contribute more towards retaining the Eagle on the
recording tablets of history than the contemporary rhymster's poetic
effort. It was in 1825 that the Eagle Tavern turned its saloon into what
was the forerunner of the music hall, and was the making of many a
well-known singer. It was to this gay spot in London that Mr. Samuel
Wilkins took Miss Jemima Evans, with whom he "kept company." They were
joined in the Pancras Road by Miss Ivins's lady friend and her young man.
We do not attempt to identify the Crown where they stayed on the way to
taste some stout, and are content with the knowledge that they reached the
rotunda where the concert was held, and to remind our readers of the
impression it had on Miss J'mima Ivins and Miss J'mima Ivins's friend, who
both exclaimed at once "How 'ev'nly!" when they were fairly inside the
gardens. Dickens's description of the place will convey some idea of its

"There were the walks, beautifully gravelled and planted--and the
refreshment boxes, painted and ornamented like so many snuff-boxes--and
the variegated lamps shedding their rich light upon the company's
heads--and the place for dancing ready chalked for the company's feet--and
a Moorish band playing at one end of the gardens--and an opposition
military band playing away at the other. Then, the waiters were rushing to
and fro with glasses of negus, and glasses of brandy and water, and
bottles of ale, and bottles of stout; and ginger-beer was going off in
one place, and practical jokes were going off in another; and people were
crowding to the door of the Rotunda; and, in short, the whole scene was,
as Miss J'mima Ivins, inspired by the novelty, or the stout, or both,
observed, 'One of dazzling excitement.' As to the concert room, never was
anything half so splendid. There was an orchestra for the singers, all
paint, gilding, and plate-glass; and such an organ!... The audience was
seated on elevated benches round the room, and crowded into every part of
it; and everybody was eating and drinking as comfortably as possible."


_From an old Print_]

What happened to our friends there, and how the trouble over the waistcoat
and whiskers was adjusted, is not our business here. The printed account
must be read elsewhere. But we have quoted what is perhaps one of the best
pictures of this famous resort extant.

Ultimately, the Rotunda was turned into the Grecian Theatre, and was not
demolished until 1901. By then, of course, the real glory of the Eagle had
departed and succeeding generations of Jemima Evanses and their young men
friends had sought other glittering palaces for their pleasures.

There are two taverns mentioned in the following paragraph appearing in
the chapter on Mr. John Dounce:

"There was once a fine collection of old boys to be seen round the
circular table at Offley's every night, between the hours of half-past
eight and half-past eleven. We have lost sight of them for some time.
There were, and may be still for aught we know, two splendid specimens in
full blossom at the Rainbow Tavern in Fleet Street, who always used to sit
in the box nearest the fire-place, and smoked long cherry-stick pipes
which went under the table with the bowls resting on the floor."

Offley's, long ago demolished, was a noted tavern in its day, and,
according to Timbs, enjoyed great and deserved celebrity, though
short-lived. It was situated at No. 23 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden,
and its fame rested on Burton ale and the largest supper-room in the
neighbourhood. It had a certain dignity about it, and eschewed "pictures,
placards, paper-hangings, or vulgar coffee-room finery," in order that its
customers should not be disturbed in their relish of the good things
provided. Of these good things may be mentioned Offley's chop, which was
thick and substantial. The House of Commons chop was small and thin, and
Honourable Members sometimes ate a dozen at a sitting. "Offley's chop was
served with shalots shred and warmed in gravy, and accompanied by nips of
Burton ale, and was a delicious after-theatre supper." There was a large
room upstairs with wines really worth drinking, and withal Offley's
presented a sort of quakerly plainness, but solid comfort. There was
singing by amateurs one day a week, and, to prevent the chorus waking the
dead in their cerements in St. Paul's churchyard opposite, the coffee-room
window was double.

Upon other evenings, there came to a large round table (a sort of
privileged place) a few well-to-do, substantial tradesmen from the
neighbourhood, and this was the little coterie to which Dickens refers.

The Rainbow, also mentioned in the quotation above, was the second house
in London to sell coffee and was at one time kept by a Mr. Farr, who was
prosecuted for the nuisance caused by the odious smell in the roasting of
the berry. In later years (about 1780) the tavern was kept by Alexander
Moncrieff, grandfather of the author of "Tom and Jerry," and was known as
the Rainbow Coffee-House. In those days the coffee-room had a lofty
bay-window at the south end, looking into the Temple; the room was
separated from the kitchen only by a glazed partition. In the bay was a
table for the elders, amongst whom doubtless were the "grand old boys"
Dickens speaks of as being always there, puffing and drinking away in
great state. Everybody knew them, and it was supposed by some people that
they were both "immortal."

In the chapter "Making a Night of It," we learn that Mr. Potter, in his
"rough blue coat with wooden buttons, made upon the fireman's principle,
in which, with the addition of a low-crowned, flower-pot, saucer-shaped
hat," created no inconsiderable sensation at the Albion in Little Russell
Street, and divers other places of public and fashionable resort.

"Making a Night of It" is no doubt mainly reminiscent of a merry evening
in the business life of Dickens, and possibly the Albion was one of the
favourite resorts of his, and of his co-clerk, Potter. In their day, the
Albion was favoured by the theatrical profession and all those associated
with things theatrical, and also by those young men who hung on the skirts
of actors.

Dickens used the Albion in the 'fifties. In a letter to W. H. Wills (1851)
there are instructions to order a plain cold supper at Simpson's, the
Albion, by Drury Lane Theatre, for the next play night. "I would merely
have cold joints, lobsters, salad, and plenty of clean ice," he says.
"Perhaps there might be one hot dish, as broiled bones. But I would have
only one, and I would have it cheap." The play referred to was "Not so Bad
as we Seem," which Dickens and his friends were rehearsing for the Guild
of Literature and Art. The supper was to be paid for at so much per head,
"not including wines, spirits or beers, which each gentleman will order
for himself."

Mr. Percy FitzGerald tells of another evening when Dickens took his
friends to the Albion. It was the occasion of Hollingshead's revival of
"The Miller and his Men," and Dickens was determined to be there. He gave
a little dinner party at "the good old Albion," and all were in great
spirits, seated in one of the "boxes" or eating pews as they might be
called, and then crossed over the Drury Lane Theatre afterwards.

In the chapter devoted to "Mr. Minns and his Cousin," in giving
instructions as to the best way for Mr. Augustus Minns to get to Mr.
Budden's in Poplar Walk, the latter says, "Now mind the direction; the
coach goes from the Flower Pot in Bishopsgate Street, every half-hour.
When the coach stops at the Swan, you'll see, immediately opposite you, a
White House."

The Flower Pot was a coaching inn of some distinction in those days, for
not only did the coaches ply between it and the north-east of London, but
the inn was also the starting point of the Norwich coach and others to the
eastern counties. The Swan was at Stamford Hill, and, beyond that it was
the scheduled stopping-place for coaches, to and from London, we can find
no record of its history.

The innumerable references to inns and taverns in _The Uncommercial
Traveller_ are for the most part purely imaginary. Even when it is clear
that Dickens is describing something he actually saw and experienced, he
has taken the precaution, in this book, to disguise the inn's name and
whereabouts. There are several such in the chapter entitled "Refreshments
for Travellers," a chapter made up of a series of complaints and adverse
criticisms verging on the brink of libel. For instance:

"Take the old-established Bull's Head with its old-established knife-boxes
on its old-established sideboards, its old-established flue under its
old-established four-post bedsteads in its old-established airless rooms,
its old-established frouziness upstairs and downstairs, its
old-established cookery, and its old-established principles of plunder.
Count up your injuries, in its side-dishes of ailing sweetbreads in white
poultices, of apothecaries' powders in rice for curry, of pale stewed bits
of calf ineffectually relying for an adventitious interest on forcemeat
balls. You have had experience of the old-established Bull's Head stringy
fowls, with lower extremities like wooden legs sticking up out of the
dish; of its cannibalistic boiled mutton, gushing horribly among its
capers, when carved; of its little dishes of pastry--roofs of spermaceti
ointment erected over half an apple or four gooseberries. Well for you if
you have yet forgotten the old-established Bull's Head fruity port; whose
reputation was gained solely by the old-established price the Bull's Head
put upon it, and by the old-established air with which the Bull's Head set
the glasses and d'oyleys on, and held that Liquid Gout to the
three-and-sixpenny wax candle, as if its old-established colour hadn't
come from the dyers."

Had that inn been properly named at the time, the proprietor's ire would
have been raised, with serious consequences.

Then there is the chapter on "An Old Stage-Coaching House," whose title
seemed to augur well for our purpose. Yet, although it is interesting as
picturing the decay of coaching and how it resulted on a coaching town,
there is nothing by which we can fix the name of the town, and so identify
the Dolphin's Head there. It had been a great stage-coaching town in the
great stage-coaching times, and the ruthless railways had killed and
buried it. That is all we are told about its whereabouts.

"The sign of the house was the Dolphin's Head. Why only head I don't know;
for the Dolphin's effigy at full length, and upside down--as a dolphin is
always bound to be when artistically treated, though I suppose he is
sometimes right side upward in his natural condition--graced the
sign-board. The sign-board chafed its rusty hooks outside the bow-window
of my room, and was a shabby work. No visitor could have denied that the
dolphin was dying by inches, but he showed no bright colours. He had once
served another master; there was a newer streak of paint below him,
displaying with inconsistent freshness the legend, By J. MELLOWS.

"Pursuing my researches in the Dolphin's Head, I found it sorely shrunken.
When J. Mellows came into possession, he had walled off half the bar,
which was now a tobacco shop with its own entrance in the yard--the once
glorious yard where the post-boys, whip in hand and always buttoning
their waistcoats at the last moment, used to come running forth to mount
and away. A 'Scientific Shoeing-Smith and Veterinary Surgeon' had further
encroached upon the yard; and a grimly satirical Jobber, who announced
himself as having to let 'A neat one-horse fly, and a one-horse cart,' had
established his business, himself, and his family, in a part of the
extensive stables. Another part was lopped clean off from the Dolphin's
Head, and now comprised a chapel, a wheelwright's, and a Young Men's
Mutual Improvement and Discussion Society (in a loft); the whole forming a
back lane. No audacious hand had plucked down the vane from the central
cupola of the stables, but it had grown rusty and stuck at Nil: while the
score or two of pigeons that remained true to their ancestral traditions
and the place had collected in a row on the roof-ridge of the only
outhouse retained by the Dolphin, where all the inside pigeons tried to
push the outside pigeon off. This I accepted as emblematical of the
struggle for post and place in railway times."

There are, however, at least three inns we have been able to trace: the
Blue Boar, London (dealt with in a previous chapter), the Crispin and
Crispianus at Strood, and The Lord Warden Hotel at Dover. The latter is
referred to in the chapter entitled "The Calais Night Mail" as follows:

"I particularly detest Dover for the self-complacency with which it goes
to bed. It always goes to bed (when I am going to Calais) with a more
brilliant display of lamp and candle than any other town. Mr. and Mrs.
Birmingham, host and hostess of the Lord Warden, are my much esteemed
friends, but they are too conceited about the comforts of that
establishment when the Night Mail is starting. I know it is a good house
to stay at, and I don't want the fact insisted upon in all its warm bright
windows at such an hour. I know The Warden is a stationary edifice that
never rolls or pitches, and I object to its big outline seeming to insist
upon that circumstance, and, as it were, to come over me with it, when I
am reeling on the deck of the boat. Beshrew the Warden likewise for
obstructing that corner, and making the wind so angry as it rushes round.
Shall I not know that it blows quite soon enough without the officious
Warden's interference?"

The Lord Warden was evidently built on the site of the Ship, as we have
already noted in the chapter devoted to _A Tale of Two Cities_.

The Crispin and Crispianus at Strood is mentioned in the chapter on
"Tramps." The tramp in question is a clockmaker, who, having repaired a
clock at Cobham Hall, and paid freely for it, says, "We should be at
liberty to go, and should be told by a pointing helper to keep round over
yonder by the blasted oak, and go straight through the woods till we
should see the town lights right before us.... So should we lie that night
at the ancient sign of the Crispin and Crispianus, and rise early next
morning to be betimes on tramp again."

The Crispin and Crispianus is a very old-fashioned inn still standing just
outside Strood. It is a long building with an overhanging upper floor
built with wood. How long the present house has existed we cannot tell,
but its hanging sign speaks of St. Crispin's Day, 1415, and it is said
that it may probably have had its origin from the Battle of Agincourt
fought on that day. Mr. Harper thinks the sign older than that, and
probably was one of the very many religious inn-signs designed to attract
the custom of thirsty wayfarers to Becket's shrine.

The brothers Crispin and Crispian were members of a noble family in
ancient Rome, who, professing Christianity, fled to Gaul and supported
themselves by shoemaking in the town of Troyes. They suffered martyrdom
in Soissons in A.D. 287. The sign represents the patron saints of the
shoemaking fraternity, as these holy brothers are designated, at work on
their cobblers' bench, and is understood to have been faithfully copied
from a well-known work preserved to this day at the church of St.
Pantaleon at Troyes.


_Drawn by C. G. Harper_]

The inn's interior is typical of those to be found in country villages,
with its sanded floor of the parlour, and wooden settles with arms at each
corner. One of these corners is said to have been the favourite seat of
Dickens, for it is known that he sometimes called at the inn as he drew
near the end of one of his long walks, either alone or with friends, for
refreshments. It was an inn, as he said elsewhere, that no thirsty man was
known to pass on a hot summer's day.




In the First Branch of "The Holly Tree," in _Christmas Stories_, there are
many inns far and wide referred to, and reminiscences associated with each
recalled. These reminiscences may be personal to Dickens or merely of an
imaginary nature. The Holly Tree Inn itself is real enough, and has been
identified as the George, Greta Bridge, referred to in our chapter on
_Nicholas Nickleby_. There is no doubt, either, that the inn in the
cathedral town where Dickens went to school was the Mitre Inn at Chatham.
"It was the inn where friends used to put up," he says, "and where we used
to go to see parents, and to have salmon and fowls, and to be tipped. It
had an ecclesiastical sign--the Mitre--and a bar that seemed the next
best thing to a bishopric, it was so snug. I loved the landlord's daughter
to distraction--but let that pass. It was in that inn that I was cried
over by my rosy little sister, because I had acquired a black eye in a
fight. And though she had been, that Holly Tree night, for many a long
year where all tears are dried, the Mitre softened me yet."


_From an engraving_]

The Mitre Inn and Clarence Hotel still exists at Chatham, very much as it
was in Dickens's childhood days when his family lived in Ordnance
Terrace. It was kept in those days by a Mr. Tribe, who was a friend of
John Dickens, and the two families met there and enjoyed many friendly
evenings when Dickens and his sister, as he has told us, mounted on a
dining-table for a stage, would sing some old sea-songs together. He had a
clear treble voice then, but, recalling these incidents many years
afterward, said, "he must have been a horrible little nuisance to many
unoffending grown-up people who were called upon to admire him."

The Mitre Inn was described in 1838 as being the Manor House, and the
first posting-house of the town. It is also on record that, at the close
of the eighteenth century, Lord Nelson used to reside there when on duty
at Chatham, and that the room he occupied was known as "Nelson's Cabin"
till recent times. William the Fourth, when Duke of Clarence, used to stay
there, hence the added word of Clarence to the sign.

The Salisbury Arms at Hatfield where Mr. and Mrs. Lirriper went upon their
wedding-day, "and passed as happy a fortnight as ever happy was," adjoined
the little post-office there, and now exists as a private house. Mr.
Lirriper's youngest brother also had a sneaking regard for the Salisbury
Arms, where he enjoyed himself for the space of a fortnight and left
without paying his bill, an omission Mrs. Lirriper rectified in the
innocent belief that it was fraternal affection which induced her
unprincipled brother-in-law to favour Hatfield with his presence.

It is believed that Dickens and Phiz stayed the night of October the 27th,
1838, at the Salisbury Arms, when they made their excursion to the West

The scene of the first four chapters of "A Message from the Sea," is laid
in "Steepways, North Devon, England," the name Dickens gives to Clovelly,
and the story opens with a faithful and unmistakable description of one of
the most beautiful and quaintest villages in England. To it comes Captain
Jorgan to unravel a sea mystery, but no reference is made to his staying
at the inn there. The task he has set himself, however, eventually takes
him to another adjacent village, which Dickens calls Lanrean. There he
puts up at the King Arthur's Arms, to identify which we must first
identify Lanrean. That Dickens had a certain village near Clovelly in
mind, there is little doubt, for he and Wilkie Collins, who collaborated
in writing the story, went there for the purpose. Their description of
Clovelly being so accurate and meticulous, it is only natural that
Lanrean has a prototype, and, if found, the original of King Arthur's Arms
would be forthcoming.

The original of the Peal of Bells, the village ale-house, in "Tom
Tiddler's Ground," on the other hand, has been discovered, for Mr.
Traveller seeking Mr. Mopes the Hermit, naturally had to go where Mr.
Mopes the Hermit located himself. This we know to have been near
Stevenage, and F. G. Kitton identified the ale-house as the White Hart
there, where Dickens called on his way to see Lucas, the original of Mr.
Mopes, to enquire of the landlord, old Sam Cooper, the shortest route to
his "ruined hermitage" some five miles distant.

No particular coffee-houses were, we suspect, intended for the Slamjam
Coffee-House or the Admiral Nelson Civic and General Dining Rooms,
mentioned in "Somebody's Luggage"; nor can we hope to identify the George
and the Gridiron, where the waiters supported nature by what they found in
the plates, "which was, as it happened, and but too often thoughtlessly,
immersed in mustard," or what was found in the glasses, "which rarely went
beyond driblets and lemons."

No name either is given to the inn in "Mugby Junction" where the traveller
arrived at past three o'clock on a tempestuous morning and found himself
stranded. Having got his two large black portmanteaux on a truck, the
porter trundled them on "through a silent street" and came to a stop. When
the owner had shivered on the pavement half an hour, "what time the
porter's knocks at the inn door knocked up the whole town first, and the
inn last, he groped his way into the close air of a shut-up house, and so
groped between the sheets of a shut-up bed that seemed to have been
expressly refrigerated for him when last made."

It is known that Mugby stood for Rugby, but that is all. The particular
shut-up inn, if it ever had any original, has not, so far as we are aware,
been discovered.

In _A Christmas Carol_ we are told that Scrooge "took his melancholy
dinner in his usual melancholy tavern; and having read all the newspapers,
and beguiled the rest of the evening with his banker's book, went home to

There were many taverns in the city of London at which Scrooge might have
dined, and it may be that Baker's Chop-House in Change Alley, as has been
suggested, was the one he chose. It is no longer a chop-house, having a
year or so back been taken over by a city business company, and the
building added to their premises. But it had been for a century or more a
noted city chop-house, where, up to the last, meals were served on pewter
plates, and other old-time customs were retained. It was one of those city
houses, of which some still exist happily, where the waiters grow old in
the service of their customers. Baker's had at least one such waiter,
known familiarly as James, who pursued his calling there for thirty-five
years, and became famous by having his portrait painted in oils and hung
in the lower room, where it remained until the end of the career of the
house as a tavern. Perhaps old Scrooge was one of his special customers.

The Nutmeg-Grater, the inn kept by Benjamin Britain in "The Battle of
Life," has no real prototype, but such an inn as described would entice
any country rambler into its cosy interior. It was "snugly sheltered
behind a great elm tree, with a rare seat for idlers encircling its
capacious bole, addressed a cheerful front towards the traveller, as a
house of entertainment ought, and tempted him with many mute but
significant assurances of a comfortable welcome. The ruddy sign-board
perched up in the tree, with its golden letters winking in the sun, ogled
the passer-by, from among the leaves, like a jolly face, and promised
good cheer. The horse trough, full of clear, fresh water, and the ground
below it sprinkled with droppings of fragrant hay, made every horse that
passed prick up his ears. The crimson curtains of the lower rooms, and the
pure white hangings in the little bedrooms above, beckoned Come in! with
every breath of air. Upon the bright green shutters, there were golden
legends about beer and ale, and neat wines, and good beds, and an
affecting picture of a brown jug frothing over at the top. Upon the
window-sills were flowering plants in bright red pots, which made a lively
show against the white front of the house; and in the darkness of the
doorway there were streaks of light, which glanced off from the surface of
bottles and tankards"----

An ideal picture of an inn any traveller would love to encounter and

_Reprinted Pieces_ would form a happy hunting-ground for tracking down
inns and public-houses mentioned in its pages if one were so minded. Few
of them would prove to be of any importance if discovered, but the task
would have its excitement and interest.

Take for instance the chapter devoted to the Detective Police. No doubt
the taverns used by the criminals which the police had to visit were real
houses, as the detectives whom Dickens interviewed were real persons. In
this chapter alone there is the Warwick Arms, through which, and the New
Inn near R., Tally-Ho Thompson the horse stealer was tracked and captured;
the "little public-house" near Smithfield, used by journeymen butchers,
and those concerned in "the extensive robberies of lawns and silks"; and
the Setting Moon in the Commercial Road, where Simpson was arrested in a
room upstairs.

Then there is the extinct inn, the Dodo, in one of the chiefest towns of
Staffordshire--the pivot of the chapter on "A Plated Article." Which is
the town, and which is the inn referred to, we know not. But Dickens's
description of it is very minute:

"If the Dodo were only a gregarious bird," he says, "if he had only some
confused idea of making a comfortable nest, I could hope to get through
the hours between this and bedtime, without being consumed by devouring
melancholy. But the Dodo's habits are all wrong. It provides me with a
trackless desert of sitting-room, with a chair for every day in the year,
a table for every month, and a waste of sideboard where a lonely China
vase pines in a corner for its mate long departed, and will never make a
match with the candlestick in the opposite corner if it live till
Doomsday. The Dodo has nothing in the larder. Even now I behold the Boots
returning with my sole in a piece of paper; and, with that portion of my
dinner, the Boots, perceiving me at the blank bow-window, slaps his leg as
he comes across the road, pretending it is something else. The Dodo
excludes the outer air. When I mount up to my bedroom, a smell of
closeness and flue gets lazily up my nose like sleepy snuff. The loose
little bits of carpet writhe under my tread, and take wormy shapes. I
don't know the ridiculous man in the looking-glass, beyond having met him
once or twice in a dish-cover--and I can never shave _him_ to-morrow
morning! The Dodo is narrow-minded as to towels; expects me to wash on a
freemason's apron without the trimming: when I ask for soap, gives me a
stony-hearted something white, with no more lather in it than the Elgin
marbles. The Dodo has seen better days, and possesses interminable stables
at the back--silent, grass-grown, broken-windowed, horseless. This
mournful bird can fry a sole, however, which is much. Can cook a steak,
too, which is more. I wonder where it gets its sherry? If I were to send
my pint of wine to some famous chemist to be analysed, what would it turn
out to be made of? It tastes of pepper, sugar, bitter-almonds, vinegar,
warm knives, any flat drinks, and a little brandy. Would it unman a
Spanish exile by reminding him of his native land at all? I think not. If
there really be any townspeople out of the churchyards, and if a caravan
of them ever do dine, with a bottle of wine per man, in this desert of the
Dodo, it must make good for the doctor next day!"

If the Dodo is undiscoverable, the same need not be said of the
Pavilionstone Hotel, because we know that Dickens gave that name to the
town of Folkestone, in the chapter entitled "Out of Town." The lion of
Pavilionstone, he tells us, is its great hotel, and one sees at once how
he manufactured the name, for its hotel was, and is to-day, called the

"A dozen years ago, going over to Paris by South-Eastern Tidal Steamer,"
the narrative goes on, "you used to be dropped upon the platform of the
main line Pavilionstone Station (not a junction then) at eleven o'clock on
a dark winter's night, in a roaring wind; and in the howling wilderness
outside the station was a short omnibus which brought you up by the
forehead the instant you got in at the door; and nobody cared about
you, and you were alone in the world. You bumped over infinite chalk,
until you were turned out at a strange building which had just left off
being a barn without having quite begun to be a house, where nobody
expected your coming, or knew what to do with you when you were come, and
where you were usually blown about, until you happened to be blown against
the cold beef, and finally into bed. At five in the morning you were blown
out of bed, and after a dreary breakfast, with crumpled company, in the
midst of confusion, were hustled on board a steamboat, and lay wretched on
deck until you saw France lingering and surging at you with great
vehemence over the bowsprit."


_See page 253_]


_From old Engravings_]

This was written in 1855, and even by then Dickens had to admit that
things had changed considerably for the better.

"If you are going out to Great Pavilionstone Hotel, the sprightliest
porters under the sun, whose cheerful looks are a pleasant welcome,
shoulder your luggage, drive it off in vans, bowl it away in trucks, and
enjoy themselves in playing athletic games with it. If you are for public
life at our great Pavilionstone Hotel, you walk into that establishment as
if it were your club; and find ready for you your news-room, dining-room,
smoking-room, billiard-room, music-room, public breakfast, public dinner
twice a day (one plain, one gorgeous), hot baths and cold baths. If you
want to be bored, there are plenty of bores always ready for you, and from
Saturday to Monday in particular you can be bored (if you like it) through
and through. Should you want to be private at our Great Pavilionstone
Hotel, say but the word, look at the list of charges, choose your floor,
name your figure--there you are, established in your castle, by the day,
week, month, or year, innocent of all comers or goers, unless you have my
fancy for walking early in the morning down the groves of boots and shoes,
which so regularly flourish at all the chamber doors before breakfast that
it seems to me as if nobody ever got up or took them in....

"A thoroughly good inn, in the days of coaching and posting, was a noble
place. But no such inn would have been equal to the reception of four or
five hundred people, all of them wet through, and half of them dead sick,
every day in the year. This is where we shine, in our Pavilionstone

The hotel has, alas, made way for something still more imposing. Its
extensive red-brick building, containing hundreds of rooms, with its
spacious gardens in front, would both astonish and disappoint the novelist
if he saw it to-day, for there is no doubt that he was very fond of its
predecessor, very frequently used it, and found hearty welcome there.

The hotel is again referred to in the sketch entitled "A Flight" in the
same volume, where, however, he calls it the Royal George Hotel.

In the volume of _Miscellaneous Papers_ there is one describing a visit to
Birmingham and Wolverhampton, under the heading of "Fire and Snow." At the
latter town Dickens stayed at the Swan, which he says "is a bird of a good
substantial brood, worthy to be a country cousin of the hospitable Hen and
Chickens, whose company we have deserted for only a few hours, and with
whom we shall roost again at Birmingham to-night."

The Hen and Chickens here referred to was an hotel Dickens knew very well
indeed. Apart from his books, Birmingham is very closely connected with
Dickens himself and the various schemes he embarked upon for the welfare
of others. He visited it on several occasions, either for the purpose of
public reading from his works, to give theatrical performances for
charity, or to appear at some national function associated with the city.
These visits were spread over the whole of his life, the last occasion
being on the 7th of January, 1870, when he presented the prizes to the
students of the Birmingham and Midland Institute.

During his stay in the city, Dickens usually put up at the Old Royal Hotel
in Temple Row, or at the Hen and Chickens in New Street, and it may be
assumed that he knew both hotels well. Only the former, however, is made
the scene of an incident in his novels, and that is, when it is introduced
into _The Pickwick Papers_.[4] He visited Birmingham some dozen times from
1840 to 1870, and on most of the early occasions it is believed that he
stayed at the Old Royal Hotel. But during his later visits he made the Hen
and Chickens Hotel his headquarters. He was there in Christmas week, 1853,
for the series of readings from his books, and before he left the city he
and his friends were entertained at breakfast at the hotel, and a
presentation was made to Mrs. Dickens.

He was a guest there again in 1861, and on the occasion wrote his
autograph in the album of the proprietress, dated "Last day of the year

For some reason he does not describe the hotel in the same manner as he
does the Swan at Wolverhampton. The latter, he tells us, "has bountiful
coal-country notions of firing, snug homely rooms; cheerful windows
looking down upon the clusters of snowy umbrellas in the market-place....
Neat, bright-eyed waitresses do the honours of the Swan. The Swan is
confident about its soup, is troubled with no distrust concerning codfish,
speaks the word of promise in relation to an enormous chine of roast
beef.... The Swan is rich in slippers--in those good old flip-flap
inn-slippers which nobody can keep on, which knock double knocks on each
stair as their wearer comes downstairs, and fly away over the banisters
before they have brought him to level ground."

There are many other hotels and taverns mentioned in this collection of
_Miscellaneous Papers_, but usually only by name, the mere list of which
would serve no purpose.

Those already touched upon or dealt with at length in the course of the
present volume practically exhaust the subject, from which it will be seen
how overwhelmingly attracted Dickens was to every kind of house of
refreshment and in every thing relating thereto. The works of no other
author of genius provide so much material for such a purpose, and no other
writer has treated the subject with so much healthy realism, so much
refreshing good nature and humour, or with such expressions of genuine


  A'Becket, Thomas, 154

  Admiral Nelson, 262

  Albion, Drury Lane, 247

  Alderbury, 110

  Allbut, 170, 179

  Allonby, 228

  Amesbury, 109

  Angel, Doncaster, 237

  -- Grantham, 53

  -- Islington, 25, 49

  Anglers' Inn, 214

  Ashley, James, 174

  Baker's Chop-House, 263

  Baldfaced Stag, 116

  _Barnaby Rudge_, 72

  Barnard Castle, 59

  Barnet, 22, 131

  Battersea Fields, 241

  _Battle of Life_, 264

  Bawtry, 55

  Beak Street, 67

  Bedford Hotel, Brighton, 132

  Besant, Sir Walter, 165

  Bevis Marks, 101

  Birmingham, 37, 271

  Bishopsgate Street, 67

  Black Badger, 141

  Black Bull, Holborn, 121

  Blackheath, 149, 205

  Black Lion, Whitechapel, 86, 95

  _Bleak House_, 169-172

  Blue Boar, Whitechapel, 150

  -- Rochester, 188

  Blue Dragon, 105-112

  Blue-eyed Maid Coach, 172, 184

  Blue Lion and Stomach Warmer, 240

  Blunderstone, 144

  Bond Street, 66, 142

  Borough Bridge, 55

  Boot, 90-94

  Bottom Inn, near Petersfield, 65

  Bowes, 62

  Brentford, 29, 212

  Brighton, 132

  -- Tipper, 125

  Buck Inn, Yarmouth, 147

  Bull, Rochester, 241

  Bull and Gate, Holborn, 130

  Bull's Head, 249

  Bunch of Grapes, 192

  Bunyan, John, 36

  Byron, 142, 180

  Camberwell, 189

  Cannon Row, 151

  Canterbury, 152

  -- Farmers' Club, 155

  Carlisle, 62, 228

  Carrock Fell, 228

  Cattermole, George, 78, 94

  Chalk, 182

  Charles V of Germany, 34

  Chertsey, 30, 213

  Cheshire Cheese, 180

  Chesney Wold, 169, 171

  Chichester Rents, 169

  Chigwell, 72

  -- Row, 73

  _Christmas Carol_, 263

  Christmas Stories, 255-264

  Claridge's Brook Street, 66

  _Clarissa Harlowe_, 164

  Cleave, Thomas, 93

  Clifford Street, 142

  Clovelly, 261

  Coach and Horses, Isleworth, 28

  -- Petersfield, 65

  -- Strood, 227

  Coaching, Romance of, 16

  Coketown, 175

  Collins, Wilkie, 19, 227, 261

  Compter, The, 40

  _Compter's Commonwealth, The_, 35

  Cooling, 182

  Coventry, 37

  Crispin and Crispianus, 252

  Cromer, 81, 93

  Cromwell, Oliver, 115

  Crooked Billet, Tower St., 96

  Cross Keys, Wood St., 184, 241

  Crown, Golden Square, 67

  Crozier, 227

  _David Copperfield_, 102, 144-168

  Dedlock Arms, 169

  Defoe, 97

  Denmark Hill, 189

  Denton, 188

  Devil's Punch Bowl, 63

  Dickens, Charles, Lodge, 88

  -- and Inns, 15

  _Dickensian_, 28

  _Doctor Marigold's Prescriptions_, 233

  Dodo, 266

  Dolby, George, 154

  Dolphin's Head, 251

  _Dombey and Son_, 132-142

  Doncaster, 55, 237

  Dotheboys Hall, 32-38

  Dover, 178, 252

  Duke's Head, Yarmouth, 148

  Du Maurier, 164

  Eagle, 242

  Eaton Socon, 52

  Edward I, 154

  _Edwin Drood_, 217-227

  Eight Bells, Hatfield, 29, 31

  Eton Slocombe, 52

  Euston Road, 93

  Exchequer Coffee-House, 216

  Exeter, 116

  Feathers, Gorleston, 149

  Fellowship-Porters, 202

  Fennor, Wm., 34

  Fielding, Henry, 130

  Field Lane, 25

  FitzGerald, Percy, 30, 248

  Fleet Prison, 174

  Flower Pot, 248

  Folkestone, 208

  -- Royal George, 271

  Fountain Hotel, Canterbury, 152

  Ford, Harry, 94

  Forster, John, 23, 73, 162, 182, 210

  Foundling Hospital, 90

  Fox under the Hill, Adelphi, 152

  -- Denmark Hill, 189

  Freemasons' Tavern, 241

  Furnival's Inn, 217, 225

  Garraway's, 175

  Garrick 97

  General Theatrical Fund, 70

  George, Amesbury, 109

  -- Grantham, 53

  George and Gridiron, 262

  George Hotel, Salisbury, 114

  George Inn, Borough, 175

  -- Market Town, 30

  George and New Inn, Greta Bridge, 55

  George Inn, Greta Bridge, 57, 258

  Goat and Boots, 240

  Godalming, 62

  Godwin, Earl, 154

  Golden Cross, 241

  Grantham, 53

  Grapes Inn, 191-201

  Gravel Inn, Petersfield, 66

  Gray's Inn Coffee-house, 102, 167

  Gray's Inn Road, 93

  _Great Expectations_, 182-190, 241

  Great Fire of London, 36, 203

  Great North Road, 23, 26

  Great Winglebury, 240

  Grecian Theatre, 244

  Green Dragon, Alderbury, 110

  Green Man, Leytonstone, 95

  Greenwich, 203

  Gresham Street, 116

  Greta Bridge, 38, 55-60

  Hales, Prof., 165

  Half Moon and Seven Stars, 108

  Hampstead, 161

  Hampton, 28, 213

  _Hard Times_, 175-177

  Harper, C. G., 14, 65, 216, 254

  Hatfield, 29, 30

  _Haunted Man_, 134

  Hen and Chickens, Birmingham, 271

  Henley, 214

  Henley-in-Arden, 216

  Henry VIII, 76

  Herne Bay, 156

  Hesket Newmarket, 228

  Highbury, 164

  Hindhead, 63

  Holborn, 122

  _The Holly Tree_, 20, 50, 258

  Holly Tree Inn, 58, 258

  Hoo, 182

  Holyhead Road, 26

  Horn Tavern, 175

  Horseshoe and Castle, Cooling, 182

  Hounslow, 28

  _Household Words_, 69, 230

  Hummum's, Covent Garden, 185

  Hungerford Stairs, 150, 167

  Inns and Railways, 15

  -- -- Motor Cars, 15, 19

  -- -- Coaching, 15

  -- Dr. Johnson on, 16

  Inn on the Portsmouth Road, 63

  Irving, Washington, 164

  Isleworth, 28

  Islington, 25, 49

  Jack Straw's Castle, 161

  James Street, 67

  Jerusalem Coffee-House, 175

  Johnson, Dr., 16, 97, 180

  Jolly Sandboys Inn, 104

  Jupp, R. B., 68

  Kemble, 161

  Kenilworth, 135, 140

  Kent, Duchess of, 120

  King Arthur's Arms, 261

  King James, 119

  King's Arms, Amesbury, 108

  -- Ball's Pond, 142

  -- Lancaster, 229-235

  -- Wigton, 236

  King's Head, Barnard Castle, 59-61

  -- Hotel, Dover, 179

  -- Chigwell, 73

  Kingsgate Street, 122

  Kingston, 213

  Kitton, 262

  Knightsbridge, 28

  Lad Lane, 116

  Lamb Conduit Fields, 93

  -- -- Street, 93

  Lancaster, 228

  Lanfranc, Archbishop, 154

  Laurens, Henry, 120

  _Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices_, 227-238

  Leech, John, 144, 174

  Leamington, 134

  Leighton, Lord, 164

  Lemon, Mark, 144

  Limehouse, 192

  _Little Dorrit_, 66, 172-175, 185

  Little Helephant, 141

  Little Inn, Canterbury, 155

  -- Saffron Hill, 26

  -- Tower Hill, 96

  London Coffee House, 172

  _London Lyckpenny, The_, 33

  London Tavern, Bishopsgate, 67-70

  Long's Hotel, Bond Street, 141

  Lord Warden, Dover, 179, 252

  Lound, 147

  Lowestoft, 144

  Ludgate Hill, 172

  Lydgate, John, 32

  _Lying Awake_, 70

  Maclise, Daniel, 162, 210

  Malt Shovel, 177

  Manchester, 175

  Margaret of France, 154

  _Martin Chuzzlewit_, 105-131

  Maryport, 228

  _Master Humphrey's Clock_, 61

  Maypole, Chigwell, 72-88

  _Message from the Sea_, 261

  Mitre Inn, Chatham, 258

  Mivart's, Brook Street, 66, 175

  _Morning Chronicle_, 217

  Mountain, Mrs. S. A., 37

  _Mrs. Lirriper's Lodgings_, 31

  _Mugby Junction_, 262

  Nelson, Lord, 36, 260

  Newark, 54

  Newgate, 33, 40

  New Inn, near R, 266

  _Nicholas Nickleby_, 32-71, 185, 258

  North Road Cycling Club, 53

  Nutmeg Grater, 264

  Offleys, 245

  Old Bailey, 174, 180

  _Old Curiosity Shop_, 97, 162, 168

  Old Royal, Birmingham, 272

  _Oliver Twist_, 22-31

  Orleans, Duke of, 120

  _Our Mutual Friend_, 46, 191-216

  Park Lane, 66

  Parliament Street, 151

  Parr, J. S., 28

  Pavilion, Folkestone, 19, 268

  Pavilion Hotel, 268

  Peacock, Islington, 49-52

  Peal of Bells, 262

  Peasants' Revolt, 164

  Pegasus' Arms, 176

  Pepys, Samuel, 35, 115

  Petersfield, 63

  Peto, Sir Morton, 144

  Phiz, 54, 56, 59, 62, 135, 219, 261

  Piazza Hotel, Covent Garden, 160

  _Pickwick Papers_, 71

  _Plated Article_, 266

  Plough, Blunderstone, 146

  Plymouth, 119

  Portsmouth, 62, 63

  Preston, 175

  Princess's Arms, 134

  Public House, near Grantham, 54

  _Punch_, 174

  Queen Elizabeth, 76

  Queen's Head, Hesket New-Market, 235

  -- Islington, 25

  Quilp's favourite tavern, 98

  Rainbow, 245

  Raleigh, Sir Walter, 119

  Reading, 169

  Red House, Battersea, 241

  Red Lion, Barnet, 22, 169

  -- Bevis Marks, 99

  -- Hampton, 213

  -- Henley, 214

  -- Parliament Street, 151

  Regent Hotel, Leamington, 135

  _Reprinted Pieces_, 265

  Retford, 55

  Reynolds, Sir Joshua, 97

  Richard Coeur-de-Lion, 33

  Richard II, 164

  _River Rhymer_, 201

  Rockingham, 171

  Roman Bath, Strand Lane, 161

  Royal George Hotel, Dover, 179

  Royal Hotel, Leamington, 134

  -- Lowestoft, 145

  Rugby, 51, 263

  Russell Street, 97

  St. Albans, 24, 31, 37, 164

  St. Pancras' Church, 94

  St. Sepulchre's Church, 32, 40, 41

  Salem House, Blackheath, 149

  Salisbury, 109, 112-120

  Salisbury Arms, Hatfield, 260

  Saracen's Head, Snow Hill, 32-48

  Scott, 142

  Setting Moon, 266

  Shakespeare, 115, 212

  Shaw, Wm., 62

  Sheridan, 161

  _She Stoops to Conquer_, 212

  Ship, Allonby, 236

  -- Chichester Rents, 169

  -- Dover, 179, 253

  -- Gravesend, 187

  -- Greenwich, 203

  Shorter Street, 81, 96

  Silver Street, 67

  Six Jolly Fellowship-Porters, 191-201

  _Sketches by Boz_, 186, 239-249

  Slamjam Coffee House, 262

  Smithfield, 40, 43

  Smithson, Charles, 59

  Snow Hill, 32, 38, 39

  Sol's Arms, 169

  _Somebody's Luggage_, 262

  Somerleyton, 144

  Speedy, Peter, 93

  Spitalfields, 28

  Staines, 213

  Stamford, 53

  Stanfield, Clarkson, 162, 210

  Staple Inn, 220

  Star Hotel, Yarmouth, 148

  Sterry, J. Ashby, 201, 206, 216

  Stevenage, 262

  Stilton, 53

  Stow, 129

  Stratford-on-Avon, 135

  Strood, 254

  Stukeley, Sir Lewis, 119

  Sun Inn, Canterbury, 156

  Swan, Hungerford Stairs, 167

  -- Stamford Hill, 248

  -- Wolverhampton, 271

  Swan with Two Necks, 116

  Swift, Dean, 36

  _Tale of Two Cities_, 178-182

  Tally Ho! Coach, 37, 51

  Thackeray, W. M., 164, 180, 210

  Thames, 81, 95

  Three Cripples, 19, 26

  Three Jolly Bachelors, 141

  Three Jolly Bargemen, 182

  Three Magpies, Brentford, 212

  Three Pigeons, Brentford, 212

  Tilted Wagon, Strood, 226

  _Tom Brown's Schooldays_, 51

  Tom's Coffee House, Covent Garden, 97

  _Tom Jones_, 130

  _Tom Tiddler's Ground_, 262

  Tower Street, 96

  Trafalgar, Greenwich, 209

  Traveller's Twopenny, 227

  Tyrrell, T. W., 65

  _Uncommercial Traveller_, 40, 184, 249-257

  Unicorn, Bowes, 62

  Upper James Street, 67

  Valiant Soldier, 104

  Victoria, Princess, 120

  Village Maid, Lound, 147

  Walton, 213

  Walworth, 189

  Ward, H. Snowden, 110, 114

  Warwick, 135, 140

  Warwick Arms, 266

  Watson, Hon. R. and Mrs., 171

  White Duck, 227

  White Hart, Salisbury, 118

  -- Stevenage, 262

  White Horse, Eaton Socon, 52

  White Horse Cellar, 169

  White Lion, Hampton, 214

  White Swan, Hungerford Stairs, 150

  Wigton, 228

  Willing Mind, 147

  Winglebury Arms, 240

  Wolverhampton, 271

  Wood's Hotel, 217-225

  Yarmouth, 144

  York, 62


[1] See _The Inns and Taverns of Pickwick_.

[2] Camberwell Green.

[3] See _The Inns and Taverns of Pickwick_.

[4] See _The Inns and Taverns of Pickwick_.

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