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Title: Cremorne and the Later London Gardens
Author: Wroth, Warwick
Language: English
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Transcribed from the 1907 Elliot Stock edition by David Price, email
ccx074@pglaf.org.  Many thanks to the Royal Borough of Kensington and
Chelsea Libraries for allowing their copy to be consulted in making this

                          [Picture: Book cover]

                                 AND THE
                           LATER LONDON GARDENS

                                * * * * *

                              WARWICK WROTH

                                AUTHOR OF

                                * * * * *


                                * * * * *

                 ELLIOT STOCK, 62, PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C.

  [Picture: Waterside entrace, Cremorne.  From an etching by W. Greaves,


THE open-air resorts described in this volume lack the romantic
associations of the classic pleasure-gardens of the eighteenth century,
and it is impossible to impart to Cremorne or the Surrey ‘Zoo’ the
historic dignity of a Vauxhall or a Ranelagh.  Yet, if these places are
undeserving of the detailed treatment that has been accorded to their
prototypes, they may claim at least a brief and modest chronicle, which
may seem the more necessary because it has mainly to be constructed, not
from books, but from stray handbills and forgotten newspapers.  Already,
indeed, we are growing accustomed to speak of the nineteenth century as
the ‘last,’ and to recognize that the London of Dickens, and
Thackeray—the London of the thirties, the forties, and even of the
sixties—had a physiognomy of its own.

Such places of resort, for the most part, enjoyed no kind of fashionable
vogue; they were frequented (if invidious distinctions must be made) by
the lower middle classes and the ‘lower orders.’  Yet they offer some
curious glimpses of manners and modes of recreation which may be worth
considering.  I have endeavoured to describe some twenty of these places,
selecting those which seem, in various ways, to be typical.  To the
general reader this selection will be enough—though, I trust, not more
than enough—but the London topographer who turns to the appendix and the
notes will find a quite formidable list of tea-gardens and
tavern-gardens, which, if my aim had been to omit nothing, I could have
described in greater detail.

I have taken some pains in compiling these lists, partly from
topographical curiosity, partly from the conviction that their
enumeration almost rises to the dignity of pointing a moral.  The main
contrast is between the tavern and public-house of former days and the
gin-palace, with whose aspect—externally, if not (in any sense of the
word) internally—we are only too familiar.  A description that I have
found in a London guide-book of 1846 of the tea and tavern gardens of
that date has already an old-world air: ‘The amusements are innocent, the
indulgence temperate; and a suitable mixture of female society renders it
[our guide means _them_] both gay and pleasing.’  The public-house was
then, as now, no inconspicuous feature of the Metropolis; yet in the
earlier half of the nineteenth century it had, if not exactly gaiety and
innocence, some characteristics which tended in that direction—its little
gardens in summer, its tavern concerts in winter-time.  In the fifties,
or earlier, many of these garden spaces—often, it is true, of Lilliputian
dimensions—were marked out as building-ground, which was either sold to
alien contractors or utilized by the proprietor of the tavern when he
thought fit to erect thereon a roomier and more imposing edifice.  At the
same period, or some years later, the increase of music-halls, of local
theatres, and places of entertainment, rendered the tavern concert, with
its unambitious glee-parties and comic singing, a superfluity.  The
disappearance of the tavern concert may not be a matter of keen regret,
but the abolition of the garden has altered—and for the worse—the whole
character of the public-house.

In the garden a man might sit with a friend or chance acquaintance as
long as his pleasure and a treacherous climate permitted.  In the
gin-palace he practically cannot sit at all, but is huddled, sometimes
with his wife and children, into a kind of pen, from which custom and a
sort of shy politeness bid him depart at the earliest moment to make room
for new-comers.  The London public-house has thus become a mere counter
for the hurried consumption of drink; it has lost any convenience or
merit it may once have had as an improvised club and a cheerful resort.

The proprietors of the larger houses seem, indeed, to have had a
suspicion of this, for they sometimes offer, for the behoof of their
wealthier customers, a comfortable lounge or smoking-saloon.  But this
does not benefit the humbler classes, and it has often seemed to me that
a good way of discouraging intemperance in a great city is not to attempt
the heroic, unpopular, and impossible task of abolishing the traffic in
drink, but to compel the owners of licensed houses to dispense their
stock-in-trade under more rational and recreative conditions—_to give us_
‘_clubs_’ _for_ ‘_pubs_,’ or, at any rate, cafés and café-restaurants.

We have our obvious models on the Continent in the large café, the
beer-garden, and even in the small café.  The poor man would not be
‘robbed of his beer,’ nor would the change be quite ‘un-English,’ as the
record of our little tavern gardens will show.  Even in London at this
moment there is an (almost solitary) instance of a café-restaurant of
this kind, in Leicester Square.

The one feature common to all these Continental places is the custom of
sitting down at a table; there is no standing at a bar, or the rapid
displacement of one customer by another.  The coffee, the liqueur, or the
lager, is not only drained—shall I say, to its dregs?—but is spun out and
husbanded to the utmost, and for an hour or so there is at least the
semblance of the comfort and convenience of a club.

It is too late now to restore the little summer gardens, but it should be
possible to convert our public-houses, not into coffee-palaces, which do
not meet the general need, but into cafés, by which I mean places where
varied drinks, strong or otherwise, would be obtainable, though under
less absurd and demoralizing conditions than at present.  Every one
should be made to sit down, should be waited on—by a waitress if we
like—and the great bar itself should be dissolved, except as a counter
for the attendants.  There could be cafés both large and small—places
that the London Baedeker would describe as (relatively) ‘expensive,’ and
others to suit the pence of the people.  The café might even be musical,
though perhaps a line would be drawn at the _café chantant_.  Probably
many small places would not be able to conform to these conditions, and
would have to be closed; but, in view of the diminished competition, the
larger houses could be called upon without hardship to undertake the
necessary reconstruction.

But I am converting this preface into a temperance pamphlet, and, before
is it too late, I break off to ask a kindly consideration for a little
volume which recalls, I think, some interesting and not uninstructive
features of old London life.  In reading the proof-sheets I have had the
kind help of my brother, Mr. A. E. Wroth.

                                                            WARWICK WROTH.



PREFACE                                                            v
CREMORNE GARDENS                                                   1
MANOR-HOUSE BATHS AND GARDENS, CHELSEA                            25
THE HIPPODROME, NOTTING HILL                                      34
THE ROYAL OAK, BAYSWATER                                          37
CHALK FARM                                                        39
EEL-PIE (OR SLUICE) HOUSE, HIGHBURY                               42
WESTON’S RETREAT, KENTISH TOWN                                    44
THE MERMAID, HACKNEY                                              46
THE ROSEMARY BRANCH, HOXTON                                       48
SIR HUGH MYDDELTON’S HEAD, ISLINGTON                              52
THE PANARMONION GARDENS, KING’S CROSS                             54
THE EAGLE AND GRECIAN SALOON                                      57
NEW GLOBE PLEASURE-GROUNDS, MILE END ROAD                         70
THE RED HOUSE, BATTERSEA                                          72
FLORA GARDENS, CAMBERWELL                                         79
MONTPELIER TEA-GARDENS, WALWORTH                                  81
SURREY ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS                                         83
INDEX                                                             98


WATERSIDE ENTRANCE, CREMORNE                            _Frontispiece_

From an etching by W. Greaves, 1871.
THE STADIUM, CHELSEA                                                 3

From a lithograph, published in 1831.
‘BARON’ NICHOLSON AT A ‘JUDGE AND JURY’ TRIAL                        3

From _Life in London Illustrated_, _circa_ 1855.
PLAN OF CREMORNE, _circa_ 1870–1877                                  6
THE DANCING-PLATFORM, CREMORNE, 1847                                 9

From the _Pictorial Times_, June, 1847.

By M’Connell, 1858.
THE FIREWORK GALLERY, CREMORNE                                      17

From an etching by W. Greaves, 1870.
THE DANCING-PLATFORM, CREMORNE                                      23

From an etching by W. Greaves, 1871.
MANOR-HOUSE GARDEN, CHELSEA, _circa_ 1809                           25
THE HIPPODROME, BAYSWATER (NOTTING HILL), _circa_                   35
PLAN OF THE HIPPODROME, NOTTING HILL, 1841                          36
THE TEA-GARDENS, ROSEMARY BRANCH, 1846                              49
ADMISSION TICKET, ROSEMARY BRANCH, 1853                             50
SUSPENSION RAILWAY, PANARMONION GARDENS                             55

From an engraving, _circa_ 1830.
JAMES, _circa_ 1838
PLEASURE-GARDENS, EAGLE TAVERN, _circa_ 1838                        67
NEW GLOBE TAVERN PLEASURE-GROUNDS                                   71

From a lithograph after H. M. Whichelo, _circa_
THE RED HOUSE, BATTERSEA                                            73

From a view published by J. Rorke, _circa_ 1845.
BARRY, THE CLOWN, ON THE THAMES                                     74

(Cp. Red House, Battersea.)

After a lithograph published by Havell, 1832.

After George Cruikshank, 1844.

After a lithograph published by Webb, 1844.


THE old house by the river had often changed hands, but the new
possessor, who was reputed to be a Baron, somewhat puzzled the quiet
inhabitants of Chelsea.  Great oaks and elms surrounded the grounds, but
through the fine iron gates, which were left half open, it was not
difficult—as on this summer morning of 1830—to catch a glimpse of the
owner, engaged, apparently, in the survey and measurement of his estate.
He was a man of over sixty, dressed in a faded military uniform of no
known pattern, but which seemed to have done service in some company of
sharpshooters in the days of Napoleon.  In the middle of the lawn was a
table, on which a rifle reposed amid a litter of plans and papers.  But
if the Baron had a gun it was not to shoot _you_, but one of the targets
at the far end of the garden, and his successive bull’s-eyes certainly
proclaimed the hand of a master.  A little intrusion he did not seem to
mind, and as you advanced he only offered you a prospectus: ‘THE STADIUM,
Cremorne House, Chelsea, established for the tuition and practice of
skilful and manly exercises generally.’ {1}

The estate of Cremorne House (or Farm), which was afterwards to be
developed into the notorious Cremorne Gardens, had once belonged to the
pious Lady Huntingdon, and George Whitfield had prayed and discoursed
within the house.  Later on, it passed to the Earl of Cremorne, then to
his widow, a descendant of William Penn.  The last owner was Granville
Penn. {2a}  The purchaser of 1830, in whom we are interested, was Charles
Random de Berenger, who styled himself Baron de Beaufain, or, more often,
the Baron de Berenger.  His name seemed French, but he boasted of ancient
Prussian lineage, and long before this date had settled in London.  He
was a skilful draughtsman, an inventor of peculiar guns {2b} and
explosives, and believed to be the owner of innumerable patents, which
had only brought him to a debtors’ prison.  In the summer of 1815 he had
emerged from a term of imprisonment in the King’s Bench, for it was he
who with consummate skill and audacity had carried through the great
Stock Exchange hoax of 1814, in which Lord Cochrane and his friends were
so painfully involved. {2c}  In fifteen years these things were nearly
forgotten, and the Baron, who was a sportsman and a dead shot, found
himself well supported when he opened his Cremorne Stadium in 1832.

  [Picture: The Stadium, Chelsea.  From a lithograph, published in 1831]

The subscription was two or three guineas, and the members, under the
Baron’s tuition, could shoot, box and fence, and practise ‘manly
exercises generally’ in his beautiful grounds.  He also established, so
to speak, a ‘Ladies’ Links,’ with its clubroom, ‘which Gentlemen cannot
enter,’ unless (such is his quaint proviso) ‘by consent of the Ladies
occupying such.’  In 1834 George Cruikshank made a design for a ‘Chelsea
Stadium Shield,’ which was quite Homeric in its form, and showed every
conceivable kind of sport and exercise, including pole-jumping and golf.

The Stadium flourished, or, rather, lingered on, till 1843, but only with
the adventitious aid of occasional galas and balloon displays that
already foreshadowed Cremorne. {3}

  [Picture: ‘Baron’ Nicholson at a ‘Judge and Jury’ Trial.  From Life in
                     London Illustrated, circa 1855]

The transformation of this failing arena of British sport into the
full-blooded pleasure-garden of Cremorne was effected by another Baron,
though he was such only by the courtesy of Bow Street and Maiden Lane.
Renton Nicholson (for that was his name), like most of the managers of
Cremorne, was a man who knew a thing or two.  He was born early in the
century, and his boyhood was spent in the quiet village of Islington,
where his two sisters kept a young ladies’ seminary.  His tastes early
led him to the distractions of Sadler’s Wells, and at sixteen, {4a} when
he became a pawnbroker’s assistant in Shadwell, he began to acquire his
remarkable knowledge of the ‘flash’ life of London in all its grades.
About 1830 he opened a jeweller’s shop in the West End, which supplied
the ‘swells’ of the day and their female friends, and by this time his
London acquaintanceships were extensive and peculiar, consisting, as we
are told, of shady journalists, players, tavern vocalists, and rooks of
all shades from the welsher to the skittle sharp.  He knew the taste of
his public, and in 1837 began to issue the scurrilous journal called _The
Town_, for which Dr. Maginn and other lively contributors used to write.
After a minor experience of gambling-houses and doubtful premises of
various kinds, he became (in 1841) proprietor of the Garrick’s Head in
Bow Street, and here, in a room holding about 300 people, and fitted up
like a law-court, he presided—as Lord Chief Baron Nicholson—over the
judge and jury trials that were so attractive to the Londoner of the
forties and fifties.  The causes that came before this tribunal were
chiefly matrimonial—the _crim. con._ cases of the time—and were such that
their obscenity and heartlessness (mitigated, it is true, by flashes of
wit) often made the most hardened sinner shudder.  Nicholson presided
over similar trials at those famous haunts, the Coal Hole and the Cyder
Cellars, till his death in 1861.  He was impudent in manner, obese and
sensual in appearance, yet a man of real talent and geniality, gone
hopelessly upon the wrong track.  His apologists describe him as a sort
of nineteenth-century Robin Hood, who plucked the aristocratic pigeon,
but was ‘the soul of good nature’ to the poor Bohemian. {4b}

His connexion with Cremorne was brief, and his capital inadequate.  In
1843 he replaced the timid prospectus of De Berenger by flaming bills
announcing a ‘Thousand Guineas Fête,’ which during three days (July 31,
August 1 and 2), at one shilling admission, provided, among other
diversions, a mock tournament, a pony-race, a performance by Tom Matthews
the clown, and a _pas de deux_ by T. Ireland and Fanny Matthews.

In 1845 De Berenger died, and this year Littlejohn (the refreshment
caterer to the gardens) and Tom Matthews managed the place between them.
Charles Green, the balloonist, was called in, and began that long series
of Cremorne ascents which a spice of eccentricity and danger always
rendered popular.  For example, in September, Green went up with a lady
and a leopard—the latter a magnificent animal, so perfectly subdued in
the presence of his mistress or her ‘livery servant,’ as to lay
(according to the bill) at her feet or crouch in her lap at command.  In
August the balloon party consisted of Green, Lord George Beresford, and
Tom Matthews, who preluded the ascent by singing his ‘Hot Codlings.’  The
balloon went up at seven, and, after visiting the General Post Office and
passing over Stamford Hill in perilous proximity to the New River
Reservoir, landed its occupants, after a voyage of two hours, cold and
shivering, on a marsh at Tottenham.

In 1846 (or more probably a few years later) Cremorne was purchased by
Thomas Bartlett Simpson, who guided its destinies till the beginning of
the sixties. {5}  Simpson had been head-waiter at the Albion, a
well-known theatrical tavern that stood opposite Drury Lane Theatre in
Russell Street, and was afterwards its lessee.  He was a shrewd man of
business, and, according to George Augustus Sala, ‘a kindly and generous
gentleman.’  Sala, who knew the gardens well from about 1850, tells us
that, unlike the Vauxhall of the time, Cremorne was a real pleasaunce
surrounded by magnificent trees, with well-kept lawns and lovely flowers,
and melodious singing-birds.  Nothing was pleasanter in the summer-time
than to saunter in at midday or in the early afternoon (for the gardens
were not properly open till three or five), and find Mr. Simpson’s
daughters there with their work-baskets—to say nothing of the pretty
barmaids employed by the kindly and generous gentleman, who were busy, in
their cotton frocks, arranging the bars, and paying, it is implied, no
ordinary attention to Mr. G. A. Sala.

               [Picture: Plan of Cremorne, circa 1870–1877]

Five thousand pounds was spent in preparing for the opening of 1846, and
a banqueting-hall and theatre were constructed, as well as some
‘delightful lavender bowers’ for the accommodation of the 1,500 persons
who were likely to need a bowery seclusion.  The gardens were rapidly
getting into shape, and we can now survey them almost as they appeared
till their close in 1877.

They were about twelve acres, to which must be added, from 1850, the
grounds of Ashburnham House on the west, in which flower-shows and other
exhibitions were held.  Cremorne lay between the river and the King’s
Road, Chelsea.  The grand entrance was in the King’s Road, where a big
star illuminated the pay-box.  On a summer evening, if you did not mind
the slow progress of the threepenny steamer from the City to Cremorne
Pier, you entered by the river gate at the south-east corner of the
gardens.  The grounds were well lit, but on entering there was not that
sudden blaze of light that was the visitor’s great sensation when he came
through the dark pay-entrance into the garden of Vauxhall.  The most
conspicuous feature was the orchestra to the south-west of the gardens—a
‘monster pagoda,’ brilliantly lighted with hundreds of coloured lamps,
and surrounded by a circular platform, prepared, it is said, to
accommodate 4,000 dancers.  Here the dancing took place from 8.30 till 11
or later.  There was always a dignified master of the ceremonies (in 1846
Flexmore the pantomimist), but little introduction was required in that
easygoing place.  There was a good band of fifty, for some years under
Laurent, of the Adelaide Gallery Casino in the Strand. {7}  In the early
part of the evening—at any rate, in the seventies—the dancing was left to
the shop-girls and their friends: the gilded youth and the ‘smart’ female
set of Cremorne began their waltzing later on, after the fireworks.

The gardens had a tendency to become congested with side-shows, flaring
stalls and shooting-galleries, too much suggesting a fair; but, unlike
Earl’s Court and the later Vauxhall, Cremorne remained a garden.  There
was still the encircling fringe of ancient trees, and an avenue on the
west stretching from north to south; on the east side was the broad lawn
from which the balloon ascents took place.

Cremorne had the usual pleasure-garden equipment of fountains and
statuary; refreshment-bars, boxes, and tables were placed at every coign
of vantage, though the right place to go was the Cremorne House (or
Hotel) dining-room, or the upper and lower tiers of supper-boxes in the
south and south-western corner.  Here there was a half-crown supper, and,
if you aspired no higher, the Cremorne sherry, that fine old wine, ‘free
from acidity, and highly recommended to invalids.’  In the centre of the
grounds was an American bowling-saloon, which made its appearance,
together with American drinks, in ’48 or ’49.

On the west side was the circus; the theatre was in the south of the
garden.  A smaller theatre, north of the lawn, was appropriated to a
troupe of marionettes, introduced by Simpson in 1852.  They were great
favourites of the public and of the proprietor, who liked ‘the little
beggars who never came to the treasury on Saturday.’  Besides this, there
was a maze and (as Vauxhall had its hermit) a gipsy’s tent and a
‘double-sighted youth.’  The admission to the gardens was one shilling,
and the season tickets cost one guinea or two guineas.

Simpson’s management (_i.e._, till 1861) provided some special
diversions, of which the most curious, perhaps, was an Aquatic Tournament
or Naval Fête (1851).  About eleven at night a fortress (either St. Jean
d’Acre or Gibraltar) on the river esplanade was vigorously attacked by a
squadron consisting of fourteen steamers of the Citizen Company (whose
‘entire fleet’ was embarked in the enterprise), seconded by the hull of a
retired Citizen steamer, which was laden with combustibles.  To this
attack the land battery—its necessary smoke, fire, and noise supplied by
Mortram and Duffell, the Cremorne fireworkers—made a suitable reply, and
eventually the old hull was blown to pieces amid the cheers of the

The Italian Salamander, ‘Cristoforo Buono Core,’ was, later on, in 1858,
another attraction of a fiery kind.  Like Chabert, the more famous
Salamander of 1826, {8a} this man entered a burning furnace with apparent
unconcern, and (as he informed an inquisitive spectator) ‘titt as fell as
he cott,’ though the performance made him very ‘dursty.’

In contrast to these popular shows, the manager on Friday, July 9, 1858,
gave an ‘Aristocratic Fête,’ arranged by a committee of gentlemen
assisted by lady patronesses, who are said to have been very chary of
issuing tickets to other ladies whom the gentlemen proposed to invite.
But the invitations mattered little, for the 9th turned out to be one of
the wettest days of an English July, and the aristocratic ambitions of
Cremorne were damped down for ever. {8b}

In the balloon ascents of Cremorne (as already remarked) there was often
a dangerous element, usually a parachute descent.  Without dwelling on
the ascents of balloonists like Lieutenant Gale and the celebrated
Charles Green, who made his three hundredth and sixty-fifth voyage (of
course including his ascents at Vauxhall and many other places) on August
2, 1847, we can notice only the Bouthellier, Poitevin, and Latour

In August, 1852, {9a} a French aeronaut named Bouthellier ascended on a
trapeze attached to the car of a balloon, and when the balloon was at a
respectable height began to twist himself round ‘almost in a knot,’ then
to untie himself, and finally to suspend his body as he hung, first by
his neck, then by his heels.  The reporter tells us that this was done
‘to the evident mingled alarm and pleasure of the spectators,’ and the
whole thing was considered to ‘redound greatly to the credit’ of Mr.

   [Picture: The Dancing-Platform, Cremorne, 1847.  From the Pictorial
                            Times, June, 1847]

In September of the same year (1852), Madame Poitevin, ‘in the character
of Europa,’ ascended from Cremorne on the back of a heifer which was
attached to her balloon.  This was nothing new to _her_ or to the
sight-seers of Paris, where she and her husband had made hundreds of
ascents on the backs of horses, and even ‘a great many ascents with a
bull.’  A pony ascent had been made by Green at Vauxhall in 1850, {9b}
but the English magistrates drew the line at a heifer, and Simpson and
his Europa were fined at the Ilford Sessions on September 7, 1852, for
cruelty to animals.

This wretched exhibition was not, of course, repeated, but risky
parachute feats were by no means to be abandoned.  On June 27, 1854, at
about seven o’clock, Henri Latour, a balloonist of the age of fifty, went
up lashed to a parachute which was formed like a horse, and suspended
from W. H. Adams’s balloon.  As the balloon was rising an attempt was
made (by means of a trigger-iron) to release the parachute, but it
somehow got twisted, and its two guiding ‘wings’ did not expand.  The
descent of the balloon continued, and in the Tottenham marshes, which it
had now rapidly reached, struck the earth, and the unhappy Latour was
dragged over the ground and through the trees, and died a few days after
of his injuries. {10a}

The programme of the theatre and the concert-room was less exciting.  The
Cremorne theatricals never aimed much higher than the farce and the
vaudeville, but there were some good ballets, in which (_circa_
1847–1851) the Deulins took part.  Under Simpson some of the old
favourite comic singers were engaged—Sam Cowell in 1846, Robert Glindon
in 1847 and 1850. {10b}  Herr Von Joel, who appeared in 1848, was ‘a
peculiar old German’ {10c} who had made a sensation—which became a
bore—at Vauxhall Gardens.  His business was to appear at unexpected
moments and in unsuspected parts of the gardens, to yodel.  Swiss
ditties, and to give imitations, on his walking-stick, of birds and
feathered fowl.  In his later days he was a familiar figure at Evans’s
Supper-Rooms, where he used to retail dubious cigars, and dispose of
tickets for benefits which never came off.  J. W. Sharp (‘Jack Sharp’),
who sang at Cremorne in 1850, was at one time the rage of the town, and
his comic songs were in demand at Vauxhall and at such places as Evans’s
and the Mogul in Drury Lane.  But he took to dissipated ways, lost his
engagements, and died in the Dover Workhouse at the age of thirty-eight.

Simpson’s varied enterprises resulted in a substantial profit, even if he
did not make (as he told the impecunious Baron Nicholson) the sum of
£100,000 during his first years at Cremorne.  His patrons were people of
all ranks, and of varying degrees of virtue.  But Cremorne was never able
to parade in the newspapers that array of fashionable and distinguished
personages who ‘last night’ visited Vauxhall.  It was not, for one thing,
a place that ladies (in the strict sense of the word) were in the habit
of visiting, unless, perhaps (as Mr. Sala puts it) ‘in disguise and on
the sly,’ or, at any rate, under the safe conduct of a husband or
brother.  Ladies of some sort were, no doubt, considerably in evidence
there, though we are not to think of Cremorne as so entirely given over
to ‘drink, dancing, and devilry’ as its sterner critics declared.  If it
was a place for the man about town, it also attracted a number of worthy
citizens and country cousins who went there for an evening’s pleasure
with their wives and daughters, and were ‘not particular.’  A livelier
element was imported by the medical students—a high-spirited race made
responsible in those days for the sins of many non-medical youngsters—by
Oxonians and Cantabs, by temporarily irresponsible clerks and shopmen,
and ‘flash’ personages of various kinds.

  [Picture: Cremorne Gardens in the Height of the Season.  By M’Connell,

In 1857 the Chelsea Vestry had presented the first of many annual
petitions against the renewal of the licence, setting forth the
inconvenience of the late hours of Cremorne, the immoral character of its
female frequenters, and its detrimental influence generally on the morals
(and house property) of the neighbourhood.  Such petitions, like the
annual protests against old Bartholomew Fair, were a long time in taking
effect, but, as Cremorne grew older, the rowdy and wanton element
certainly increased, and finally, as we shall see, not undeservedly
brought about its downfall.  In spite of all this, we know of more than
one respected paterfamilias who has still somewhere a Cremorne programme
or two, the relic of some pleasant and doubtless romantic evening in the
sixties or seventies, when he imagined himself to be seeing something—if
not too much—of ‘real life’ in London.  In the sixties some charming
little folding programmes were issued, printed in colour, and presenting
on every page a view of Cremorne.  Portions of the programme were
ingeniously cut out, so that on the front page there was a view up the
long walk, flanked by its trees and lamp-bearing goddesses, right to the
great fountain.  Another page depicted the supper-table spread with its
choice viands and ‘rarest vintages,’ and on another was a view of the
circus, the supper-boxes, and the promenade enlivened by a peripatetic
band—all for a shilling admission, and the patron, Her Majesty the Queen.

Time has cast a veil over the orgiastic features of Cremorne, and though
this is just as well, some of its old frequenters may cherish the feeling
that there are no ‘intrepid aeronauts’ now, no fireworks like Duffell’s,
no gaily-lighted tiers of supper-boxes, and no waltzing on circular
platforms with beauteous, if little known, damsels.

Simpson retired in 1861, {12b} and on July 30 there was a new manager,
Edward Tyrrell Smith. {12c}  He has been denied, somehow, a place in the
great _Dictionary of National Biography_, but one cannot turn over a
programme of London amusements in the fifties or sixties without
encountering the name of E. T. Smith—an interesting man, of boundless
energy and resource, and a lucky, if wayward, speculator, who was
everything by turns and nothing long.  He was the son of Admiral E. T.
Smith, but his aspirations were not lofty, for he began life—he was born
in 1804—as a Robin Redbreast, one of the old red-waistcoated Bow Street
runners.  When the new police force was established Smith was too young
for superannuation, so he was made an inspector.  But he soon tired of
this, and after trying his hand as a sheriff’s bailiff or auctioneer,
went into the wine trade.  In 1850 we find him landlord of a tavern in
Red Lion Street, Holborn, attracting custom by dressing his barmaids in
bloomer costume.  From about this date his speculative genius turned to
the management of London theatres.  He took the Marylebone, then Drury
Lane, where he made quite a lengthy stay, and even plunged into opera at
Her Majesty’s.  One of his eccentricities was to present silver
snuff-boxes and watches to his master-carpenters and property-men, each
presentation taking place on the stage, accompanied by an appropriate
speech.  He was lessee of the Lyceum, of the Surrey, of Astley’s (when
Ada Menken appeared as Mazeppa), and he took Highbury Barn for one
season.  He also founded the Alhambra in Leicester Square, making short
work, for his purpose, of its instructive predecessor, the Panopticon.

He effected another transformation by turning Crockford’s gaming-house
into the Wellington Restaurant, and opened a second restaurant—but this
was a dismal failure—in the vaults of the Royal Exchange.  He further
made a handsome profit out of a French bonnet-shop which he established
at Brighton, under the alluring name of Clémentine.  He financed Baron
Nicholson at the Coal Hole, became proprietor of the _Sunday Times_, and
finally settled down in the metal trade.  If Smith had little money of
his own, he had a marvellous talent for extracting it from others, for,
with some managerial humbug in his doings, he was a good-natured man,
with plenty of friends who believed in his speculative _flair_.  One of
his early devices was ingenious.  He hired from a money-lender at the
rate of £1 a day a £1,000 banknote, which he always carried in his
pocket—not to spend, but to deposit when he made a purchase, and to
inspire confidence generally.  He retired from Cremorne in 1869, and
managed just to outlive the gardens, for he died in 1877, on November 26.

Smith began his enterprise with a startling novelty—a ‘female Blondin’
who undertook to cross the Thames.  Late on an August afternoon of 1861
thousands of spectators thronged the river banks and the esplanade of
Cremorne, or waited in small boats to see this new heroine of Niagara.  A
tight rope was stretched across the river at a height varying from 50 to
100 feet, and at last the female Blondin appeared.  She was a
delicate-looking little woman, who called herself Madame Genvieve.  Her
real name was Selina Young, and she was the granddaughter of James Bishop
the showman.  One has seen the male Blondin making a careful inspection
of his guy-lines and supports before starting on his perilous course.
His female imitator began her progress at once.  When she had traversed
about two-thirds of the distance, she paused to rest on the narrow timber
ledge of one of the main supports of the rope.  The rest was a long one,
and it was soon felt that something was wrong when the attendants were
seen tightening the remaining 600 or 700 feet of rope.  At last, after
this trying pause—she had started three-quarters of an hour earlier, and
it was now growing dusk and chilly—she moved a few feet forward; then she
halted, and then moved again.  But the rope was now swaying like a garden
swing, for the guy-lines had been cut—apparently by some scoundrel who
wanted the leaden weights.  Attempts were being made to throw cords over
the rope, when suddenly she let go her balance-pole.  It was a terrible
moment, but with infinite pluck and presence of mind the female Blondin
caught the rope with both hands, then a couple of weights suspended from
it, and next the cords by which that part of the rope was steadied.
Descending by the grasp of a three-quarter-inch cord, she reached a boat,
and was saved. {14a}  But the warning was disregarded, and the very next
year the female Blondin was performing at Highbury Barn.  Here she fell
from a rope which was damp and slippery, and was made a cripple for life.

Another sensation, though void of peril, of Smith’s management was the
Cremorne tournament, which began on Wednesday, July 8, 1863, {15} and
lasted two or three days.  It was suggested by the famous Eglinton
tournament of August, 1839, which is said to have cost the Earl of
Eglinton £80,000.  The Cremorne imitation was held, not in the park or
tilt-yard of a castle, but in the large pavilion of the Ashburnham
grounds, which was gay with flags and garlands and the escutcheons of
medieval heroes.  The velvet and the gold lace may have been less costly,
but the effect was equally impressive.  At Eglinton Castle the Queen of
Beauty was the lovely Lady Seymour; the Marquis of Waterford was one of
the knights, and Prince Louis Napoleon one of the squires.  The knights
and squires of Cremorne came chiefly from the theatre and the circus, and
the pages were ladies described by a journalist as ‘no strangers to the
choreographic stage.’  The Queen of Beauty was Madame Caroline, a
circus-rider well known at Vauxhall and elsewhere, who is believed to
have resided in the New Cut.

The Scottish tournament was a fiasco, and was carried out under the cover
of umbrellas and great-coats in the intervals of drenching rain which
lasted for three days.  The opening day at Cremorne was bright and sunny,
and the procession of 300 made its entrance in imposing style: heralds in
their gaudy tabards, yeomen in Lincoln green, men-at-arms in glittering
armour—a whole _Ivanhoe_ in motion.  The tournament King, the Queen of
Beauty, and their suite, were escorted to a tapestried tribune, and their
gorgeous array contrasted strangely with the tall-hatted and
coal-scuttle-bonneted spectators who occupied the seats on every side.
The heralds made the proclamation, and the jousting began.  First, there
were trials of skill between knights of different countries all in
armour, and mounted on chargers with emblazoned housings.  Some sports,
like tilting at the ring and the quintain, followed, and then came the
grand mêlée between the two companies of knights.  Finally, one of the
combatants was unhorsed—_pro forma_—and his antagonist received the prize
of valour from the Queen of Beauty.

Bands of music and facetious clowns, or rather ‘jesters,’ enlivened the
proceedings, which were at first exciting and a fine spectacle, though
they tended to grow monotonous. {16a}

Among the minor entertainments of Smith’s management was the exhibition,
in 1867, of Natator, the man-frog.  This human frog was a young man of
twenty, who was to be seen through the plate-glass front of a huge tank
filled with 6 feet of water.  He imitated the motions of fish, stood on
his head, ate a sponge-cake, or smoked a pipe.  A more rational
exhibition was the appearance of the Beckwith family in 1869. {16b}

In his last year (1869) Smith exhibited the French ‘captive balloon’ in
the Ashburnham grounds.  This balloon was made of linen and indiarubber,
and held thirty people.  It was attached by a strong rope worked by an
engine of 200 horse-power, and could be let out, so as to soar ‘in an
aerial voyage over London,’ 2,000 feet.  The charge for an ascent was ten
shillings, but a free admission was granted to a female inmate of the
Fulham Workhouse, who chose to celebrate her hundredth birthday by a trip
in the balloon, attended by the matron.  It was fortunately not on this
occasion that the captive balloon, after the manner of its kind, escaped!

John Baum, who became lessee in 1870, had not the character of his
predecessors, nor a hand strong enough to restrain the vagaries of his
more troublesome clients.  But he was by no means incapable as an
entertainment manager and when the gardens were opened they were found to
be much improved, and a new theatre was built.  He developed the stage
amusements, and produced some good ballets, such as _Giselle_, in 1870.
In 1875 there was a comic ballet by the Lauri family, and Offenbach’s
_Rose of Auvergne_, with a ballet of 100, was given.  Auber’s _Fra
Diavolo_ was presented before a Bank Holiday audience in 1877. {17}  The
orchestra was a capable one under Jules Riviere.  In 1872 the licence for
dancing, the great attraction of Cremorne, was refused, but in 1874 the
waltzing or, the ‘crystal platform’ was again as lively as ever.

[Picture: The Firework Gallery, Cremorne.  From an etching by W. Greaves,

The one great, but melancholy, sensation of Baum’s management was the
episode of ‘Monsieur de Groof, the flying man.’  Vincent de Groof was a
Belgian who had constructed a flying machine on which he made some
ascents with doubtful success in his native land.  He came to England in
1874, and with some difficulty persuaded Baum to let him go through his
dangerous performance at Cremorne.  Certainly the flying man made a good
advertisement, and on the evening of June 29, 1874, there was a great
concourse in the gardens.  The machine was suspended by a rope, 30 feet
long, from the car of Simmons’s ‘Czar’ balloon, and while the tedious
process of inflation was going on the spectators had time to inspect a
flying apparatus strange and wonderful.  It was constructed of cane and
waterproof silk, and was made ‘in imitation of the bat’s wing and
peacock’s tail.’  Evidently De Groof, like his inventive predecessor in
_Rasselas_, had considered the structure of all volant animals, and found
‘the folding continuity of the bat’s wing most easily accommodated to the
human form.’  His wings were 37 feet long from tip to tip, and his tail
18 feet long.  In the centre was fixed an upright wooden stand about 12
feet high, in which De Groof placed himself, working the wings and tail
by means of three levers.  He ascended from Cremorne about eight, and as
the balloon rose seemed like a big bird perched in his net framework.  He
was meant to descend in the gardens, but the wind carried the balloon
away to Brandon in Essex, where he made a perilous descent from the
balloon, almost unseen, but apparently without injury.  The Cremorne
habitué felt that he was cheated of a sight, and on July 9 the experiment
had to be repeated.  At about half-past seven the machine was once more
taken up by Simmons’s balloon, and this time there was no changing of the
venue.  The balloon soared to a great height, but for fully half an hour
continued to hover over the gardens.  Then the wind bore it rapidly away
in the direction of St. Luke’s Church, Chelsea, till the machine was
perilously near the church tower.  No one quite knew what happened at
this moment.  Simmons seems to have called out, ‘I must cut you loose,’
and De Groof to have responded ‘Yes, and I can fall in the churchyard.’
Suddenly the rope was severed, the machine, without resistance to the
air, was seen to collapse, and wind round and round in its descent, till
it fell with a heavy thud near the kerbstone in Robert Street. {18}  A
great crowd had collected, and De Groof was picked up in a terrible
state, and taken into the Chelsea Infirmary to die.  The fate of the
balloon was an anti-climax: it was carried away to Springfield in Essex,
where it came down on the Great Eastern railway-line after a narrow
escape from a passing train.  The whole affair caused great excitement in
London, and the details were copied into papers like the _Indian Mirror_.
A sheet-ballad sold in the Chelsea streets drew the obvious morals, and
appealed to the tender-hearted passer-by:

    ‘You feeling hearts, list to my story,
       It is a most heartrending tale;
    And when the facts are laid before you
       To drop a tear you cannot fail.’ {19}

But we are nearing the last days of Cremorne.  At no period could the
gardens be described as a place of quiet family resort, and under Smith
in the sixties we begin to hear of rows and cases in the police courts.
In 1863, for instance, there was a ‘riot’ on the night of the Oaks day,
and a number of men, apparently of decent position, stormed and wrecked
one of the bars.  Six of them were caught, and fined from £20 to £50
apiece.  A scene of this kind was partly the fault of the manager, who
had advertised his gardens as just the pleasure resort for a gentleman
returning from the races.  One (undated) story of a Cremorne fracas, told
by G. A. Sala, is rather amusing, and worth repeating nearly in his
words.  ‘A gallant Captain and M.P.,’ who was engaged to a young lady of
good position, began to repent of his promise.  To get out of it
honourably he could devise no better plan than to disgrace himself at
Cremorne.  One night, accordingly, he repaired to the gardens ‘with a few
chosen boon companions,’ who, like himself, imbibed freely of the rare
vintages in the supper-rooms.  The moment came when he was in a mood ‘to
break things,’ and his first onslaught was on the glasses and decanters
of a refreshment counter.  Then he charged the dancing platform,
frightened the dancers, and scattered the musicians ‘like blossoms before
a March blast.’  They tried to stop him, but he put the waiters _hors de
combat_, and for some time made short work of the police.  The next
morning the gallant Captain and M.P. found himself, at the police court,
Westminster, provided with a sentence of fourteen days.  From his
dungeon-cell in Holloway he wrote an abject letter to his impending
father-in-law, deploring the degradation he had brought on himself and
his friends, and relinquishing for ever all claims on the beloved
daughter.  Next day the governor of the prison handed him a letter from
the same father-in-law, which ran as follows: ‘DEAR JIM,—Sorry to hear
you have got yourself into such a scrape.  Never mind; boys will be boys!
Katie and I will call for you in an open carriage on Monday week, and the
marriage will take place on the following morning at St. James’s,

These things were relatively trifles, and it was really not till the
seventies—under Baum—that Cremorne became an impossible place.  The
Westminster Police Court was now hardly ever without its drunk or
disorderly case from the gardens.  Even the normal evenings at Cremorne
were fairly fertile in incident, but a big crop followed the abnormal
evenings—the night of some great event, the Derby, the Oaks, the return
of the Prince from India, or—a new institution—the Bank Holiday.  At such
times extra late hours were always granted, and they were those occasions
when champagne is said to ‘flow like water.’  It was half-past ten,
half-past eleven, twelve, and still the theatres and music-halls were
sending down fresh visitors, and the cabs came rattling down the King’s
high road.  The bars and boxes were so many hives of drinking mortals—men
who had lost and men who had won, and the drinking quickly led to an
almost indiscriminate pugnacity.  The wretched waiters, even, were
assaulted, though the pugilist thought he amply atoned by a money payment
‘on the spot.’

The efforts of the half-hearted Chelsea Vestry of 1857 were renewed with
more vigour (and with more justification) from 1870 onwards, and they had
a valuable ally in Canon Cromwell, the principal of St. Mark’s Training
College, which stood almost opposite the entrance of Cremorne.  One of
the many unedifying illustrated papers of the seventies, the _Day’s
Doings_, portrays the Canon in cap and gown ejecting two flashily dressed
females from the gardens, and he and his docile students for the next six
years are said to have given Mr. Baum a very rough time.  This opposition
was not popular, and on one 5th of November the worthy Canon was paraded
on a coster’s barrow in front of Cremorne as a guy.  The comic papers
sneered at the petitions ‘signed by all the babies and children under
ten,’ and issued a revised set of Cremorne Regulations.  All ladies were
henceforward to have certificates of respectability from the Board of
Guardians, though members of the London School Board were to be admitted
free.  No fireworks, dancing, smoking, laughing, or flirting were
allowed, but by an order from the Vestry you could obtain a coffee cobler
or a cocoa cocktail.  Ridicule is sometimes a legitimate weapon against
the Puritan, but in this case Canon Cromwell and the Vestry were hardly
in the wrong.

The end came rather suddenly and in a curious way.  Towards the close of
1876 there was distributed in Chelsea a pamphlet in verse, entitled _The
Trial of John Fox_, _or Fox John_, _or the Horrors of Cremorne_.  It was
signed ‘A. B. Chelsea,’ but the author was soon discovered to be a Mr.
Alfred Brandon, a worthy and evidently courageous man, who had long been
known as minister of the Chelsea Baptist Chapel.  By trade Mr. Brandon
was a tailor, and no doubt his coats were better than his poetry, which
is, indeed, sad doggerel.  This pamphlet was an indictment of Cremorne as
the ‘nursery of every kind of vice,’ and of its callous money-grubbing
manager John Fox.  The jury decide _against_ John Fox:

    ‘Our verdict this: the Fox has had his day.
    Destroy his covert—let him run away.’

Mr. Baum is said to have been ‘stung by these cutting remarks’—‘remarks’
which, whether they stung or cut, constituted, from the legal point of
view, a highly defamatory libel.  He doubtless went unwillingly into
court, but in May, 1877, the libel action of Baum _v._ Brandon was heard
in the Queen’s Bench before Sir Henry Hawkins.  Brandon pleaded, in the
familiar way, first, that he had intended no allusion to Baum, and,
secondly, that he _had_ alluded to Baum, but that what he said was true,
and, moreover, not malicious.  In court it was averred by Baum that
Cremorne was most respectably conducted, and that the houses in the
neighbourhood were most respectable.  Brandon, to justify the libel,
called various witnesses, among whom were a Cremorne waiter and a woman
from a reformatory, who both traced their downfall to the gardens.  The
jury found for Baum, but awarded him a farthing damages, and each side
had to pay its own costs.

At this time Baum was greatly in debt, and for the next few months was
too ill to superintend his gardens personally.  None the less
preparations were made for the licensing day in October.  Petitions were
prepared, and counsel on both sides were engaged.  October 5, 1877,
arrived, and the Cremorne case was called on.  To the astonishment of
London, Baum’s counsel quietly announced that the lessee had withdrawn
his application, and the licence of Cremorne Gardens lapsed for ever.

John Baum here vanishes from the scene, though we seem to catch a glimpse
of him at the end of the eighties as a waiter at a North London tavern,
discoursing freely to sympathetic customers on the great days when he
owned Cremorne.

The owner of the land, Mrs. Simpson, lost no time in letting it in
building plots, and most of the present rows of small houses made their
appearance in the next year or two.  As early as 1880 Cremorne Gardens is
described as ‘already the lawful prey of the Walfords and Cunninghams,’
and brought within ‘the range of practical antiquaries.’ {22}  But the
gardens had first to be cleared, and the Cremorne sale took place on
April 8, 1878, and the following days.  The buyers and sightseers who
attended the auction found the place already in a neglected state—the
grass uncut, and the canvas coverings and panoramic views rent and blown
about by the winds of the last six months.  The sale began with the hotel
and the effects of the sitting-rooms on the first floor known as the Gem,
the Pearl, the Rose, and the Star.  Then the public supper-room on the
ground-floor was taken in hand.  There was a great stock of wine and
spirits—600 dozens—and a unique opportunity for buying claret cheap.  The
grand ballroom with theatre combined, the theatre royal, and the
marionette theatre, were next disposed of, and the circular dancing
platform, about 360 feet in circumference, was sold in thirty-two
sections, including the pagoda orchestra.

[Picture: The Dancing-Platform, Cremorne.  From an etching by W. Greaves,

The elms and poplars and all the growing timber were then offered,
besides numerous portable bay-trees in boxes and about 20,000 greenhouse
plants.  The statuary, over and above the Cupids and Venuses and the
‘females supporting gas-burners,’ included some classic masterpieces like
the Laocöon and the Dying Gladiator.  With the disposal of the large
reflecting stars, ‘the stalactite rustic, enclosure of the Gypsey’s
Cave,’ and a couple of balloons, Cremorne was completely stripped.

A walk round Cremorne at the present day is a little depressing, though
less so than a visit to the squalid sites of Vauxhall and the Surrey Zoo.
The western boundary of the gardens is, approximately, the present
Ashburnham Road (or Uverdale Road, if we include the Ashburnham annexe of
Cremorne).  The eastern boundary was Cremorne Lane, now mainly
represented by Dartrey Street.  The southern limit is the present Lots
Road, and a public-house, the Cremorne Arms, is close to the former
Cremorne Pier and the river entrance.  The Thames front is now covered
with wharves and tall buildings.  The north boundary is still the King’s
Road, the entrance being where the southern continuation of Edith Grove
begins.  Stadium Street, Ashburnham Road, Cremorne Road, and the Cremorne
Arms, recall the varying fortunes of the place.

In spite of the builders, a small portion of the gardens has always
remained.  Forming a pleasant fringe to the King’s Road is the
nursery-ground of Messrs. Wimsett and Son, which stretches from
Ashburnham Road to the part of Edith Grove which represents the old
entrance of Cremorne, and a grotto or bower surmounted by some of the
plaster goddesses of Cremorne is still to be seen there. {24}

[A collection relating to Cremorne formed by the present writer; a
collection in the British Museum (1880. c. 9).  Various details have been
derived from two excellent articles, signed ‘T. E.,’ contributed to the
_West London Press_ for September 18 and October 2, 1896, and based on
material in the Chelsea Public Library; also from an article by G. A.
Sala in the _Daily Telegraph_ for August 7, 1894; Blanchard in _Era
Almanack_, 1871, etc.

Views: Of Cremorne House, various views in Chelsea Public Library (_cf._
Beaver’s _Chelsea_, pp. 155, 157).  Of the Stadium grounds, two fairly
common lithographs published by Day and Haghe in 1831.  A Stadium bill
(British Museum) has a lithographic view of the house and part of the
grounds as a heading.  The _Particulars_ . . . _of the Stadium_ (London,
1834), contains views by G. Cruikshank.  Of Cremorne Gardens, many views
in the illustrated papers; also a water-colour by T. H. Shepherd, 1852,
showing orchestra, etc. (Chelsea Public Library), and another by
Shepherd, 1852 (same collection); etchings by W. Greaves of Chelsea,


TOWARDS the end of the thirties there stood in the King’s Road, Chelsea,
between the present Radnor Street and Shawfield Street, a deserted
mansion known as the Manor-House.  It was spacious, if not lofty, and had
apparently nothing to do with the two historical manor-houses of Chelsea.
{25a}  For some years it had been unoccupied; its windows were broken,
its railings rusty, and weeds luxuriated in its front-garden.

            [Picture: Manor-House Garden, Chelsea, circa 1809]

Behind the house there had once been a fine garden and orchard, and
groves of fruit-trees still bore mulberries, apples, and pears, which
were the natural prey of the Chelsea youth. {25b}  The mansion had some
reputation as a haunted house, and at nightfall unearthly sounds were
heard by passers-by, which possibly proceeded from the depredators of the
orchard.  But one day in the autumn of 1837 some workmen were observed on
the premises, and it became difficult to get access to the orchard.

The old Manor-House was, in truth, in process of transformation.  A
certain Mr. Richard Smith, described as ‘a pleasant, portly gentleman,’
and said to have made money by an official connexion with Crockford’s
Club, had taken the place in hand.  The suburbs—or, at least, the suburb
of Chelsea—were destitute of public baths, and Mr. Smith proposed to
supply the want by erecting on the site of the house, or near it, a
capacious building.  His baths were opened in 1838, and the popular
orchard was utilized as a garden promenade, which he provided with an
orchestra and a room for concerts and dancing.  In imitation of the
panoramas of the Surrey Zoological Gardens, the ‘Taking of Fort
Bhurtpore’ was reproduced in the grounds, and the fireworks and crackers
of Professor Tumour rendered the capture of the fortress by the English a
lifelike spectacle.

     [Picture: Admission Tickets, New Ranelagh, Pimlico, circa 1812]

The place was a good deal advertised in 1838 and 1839, and well puffed in
papers like _The Town_; but it was not a success.  A frank critic, who
was well acquainted with the ‘New Vauxhall,’ as the proprietor named it,
says that the company ‘consisted chiefly of local sweethearts,’ who
preferred to treat each other to apples and pears snatched from the
branches rather than expend superfluous cash in shilling goblets of hot
negus.  The concerts took place on three evenings in the week, and some
‘grand galas’ and ‘night fêtes’ were announced.  On certain days the boys
from the Military School close by promenaded the grounds with their band;
but neither the concerts nor the baths were acceptable, and in 1840 Smith
discontinued the concerts, and built a small theatre on part of the
orchard.  ‘The Royal Manor-House Theatre’ could hold an audience of 500
paying 2s. and 1s.  The Green Room was the emptied tank of the
swimming-bath.  The first lessee was Charles Poole, previously manager of
the Chichester Theatre, and the plays light one-act pieces.  Poole soon
got into money difficulties, and Smith made a curious application to
Edward Leman Blanchard, the well-known dramatic critic, for his
assistance.  Blanchard was then hardly twenty, but he managed to keep the
theatre open for nearly a year.  The company had not been quite
disbanded, and contained good material.  Thus, Mr. A. Sidney (afterwards
the well-known actor Alfred Wigan) was ready to sing sentimental songs
between the acts.  Signor Plimmeri, a clever posturer and man-monkey, and
Richard Flexmore (later the famous clown) were also available, and the
younger members of the Smith family formed a troupe of four
supernumeraries.  Blanchard produced a farce of his own—_Angels and
Lucifers_—which ran for thirty-one representations, and himself appeared
at one entrance as the hero and at another as the comic countryman.  The
theatre apparently closed in 1841, {28a} and Smith proceeded in a
businesslike way to build Radnor Street on the grounds, with a
public-house (the Commercial Tavern, 119, King’s Road) at the corner,
which is still standing. {28b}

         [Picture: Admission Ticket, New Ranelagh, Pimlico, 1809]

[‘Some Managerial Memories,’ by E. L. Blanchard in the _Theatre Annual_
for 1886, reprinted in Blanchard’s _Life_, i., p. 20 _f._; _Era
Almanack_, 1870, p. 18; newspaper advertisements, etc.; _Bell’s Life_,
May 3, 1840.]


THE Great Exhibition of 1851 was indirectly responsible for the existence
in Kensington of two short-lived institutions—a circus and a restaurant.
They are rather outside our subject, but, as having something of an
open-air character, may be briefly described.

In the autumn of 1850 William Batty, a famous circus proprietor, acquired
some land within five minutes’ walk of the new world-wonder, the ‘Crystal
Palace,’ and erected thereon an elliptical-roofed pavilion which
accommodated many thousands of spectators, and had a large arena open to
the sky.

The Royal Hippodrome was opened in May, 1851, with a French troupe
brought over from the Hippodrome at Paris.  The performances generally
took place in the evening, and the lowest price of admission was
sixpence.  Two brass bands of a rather blatant character enlivened the
proceedings.  Favourite features of the entertainment were a Roman
chariot race and a ‘triumphal race of the Roman Consuls,’ who were
represented by the three brothers Debach, each guiding six horses.  Why
Roman Consuls should race is not explained, and probably did not matter.
Another excitement of the evening was the Barbary Race of twelve
unmounted horses, who dashed headlong to the goal with distended nostrils
and eyes of fire.  Other attractions were balloon ascents {30} and F.
Debach’s journey on the Arienne Ball up and down a narrow inclined plank.

The Hippodrome closed with the Exhibition, and only lived for one other
season, in 1852.  Subsequently, and in the sixties, it was used as a
riding-school.  The site lay nearly opposite the broad walk of Kensington
Gardens, between part of Victoria Road and Victoria Walk and the present
Palace Gate.  De Vere Gardens mainly occupy the site.

[Newspapers: _John Bull_, September, 1850, p. 582; _Theatrical Journal_,
1851; views of the Hippodrome in _Illustrated London News_ for 1851.]

                                * * * * *

The founder of the restaurant, of which, it was hoped, the Great
Exhibition would make the fortune, was Alexis Soyer, the former chef of
the Reform Club, one of the best-known cooks—though by no means the
greatest—of the classic ages of dining.  Soyer was a man of inventive
genius and resource, but one who (as the author of the _Art of Dining_
dryly remarked) ‘was more likely to earn immortality by his soup-kitchen
than by his soup.’ {31}

In the early part of 1851 he took Gore House, the famous home of Lady
Blessington at Kensington, and fantastic skill and showy decoration soon
made the old-fashioned stucco-fronted building the wonder of a London as
yet unfamiliar with palatial restaurants.  The newspapers and a
prospectus printed on satin paper with green-tinted edges announced the
advent of ‘Soyer’s Universal Symposium,’ a single ticket for which was to
cost a guinea, and a family ticket—your family might consist of
five—three guineas.  Every room in the house was provided with a
seductive name: the Blessington Temple of the Muses; the Salle des Noces
de Danae; the glittering Roscaille of Eternal Snow; the Bower of Ariadne;
and the Celestial Hall of Golden Lilies.

The Grand Staircase had its walls painted with a ‘Macédoine of all
Nations,’ a monstrous medley of animals, politicians, and artists, the
_chef d’œuvre_ of George Augustus Sala, who for a time acted as Soyer’s

The Cabinet de Toilette à la Pompadour (Lady Blessington’s boudoir) led
to the Danae saloon, which was embossed in gold and silver with showers
of ‘tears’ or ‘gems.’  The Bower of Ariadne was painted with vines and
Italian landscapes, and the Celestial Hall was in the Chinese taste.

The garden—a delightful adjunct to a London restaurant—contained some
fine trees, walnut and mulberry trees among them, which had been the
pride of the good William Wilberforce when he lived in Gore House, before
the coming of the gorgeous Countess.  The meadow or ‘park’ of the
domain—really a grazing-meadow hired from a Kensington cow-keeper—was
adroitly styled the Pré d’Orsay, and here was erected the Encampment of
All Nations, which was the public dining-hall, 400 feet long, ‘with a
monster tablecloth, 307 feet long, of British manufacture.’

The garden, reached by flights of steps from the back of the house, had
natural beauties of its own—Lady Blessington’s great rose-tree and
Wilberforce’s thick-foliaged trees, Soyer added fountains and statuary, a
grotto of Ondine, a little pavilion of many-hued stalactites with a
crystal roof, and a statue of Hebe dispensing ambrosial liquors through
the shafts of the temple.  Here also stood the Baronial Hall, a building
(not unsuggestive of Rosherville) 100 feet long, with a stained-glass
roof.  It was hung with pictures by Soyer’s wife (Emma Jones), and with
the more interesting crayon portraits by Count d’Orsay.  The American Bar
and the Ethiopian Serenaders were perhaps more suited to Cremorne.

The Symposium opened on May 1, 1851, and the Metropolitan Sanitary
Association and other festively inclined societies began to banquet in
its halls.  The average attendance was 1,000 a day, and the takings
amounted to £21,000; but none the less the great chef was £7,000 out of
pocket, and the Symposium closed suddenly and for ever on October 14,
1851.  There had, in fact, been many complaints of bad dinners and
imperfect management.  It is not easy—or was not in those days—to provide
simultaneously sightseers’ luncheons and dinners for epicures.  Even at
this remote period, and without aspiring to the Bower of Ariadne, one is
appalled at the idea of dining in an Encampment of All Nations at a table
307 feet long.  The roasting of a bullock whole, which took place in the
Pré d’Orsay on May 31, no doubt brought many shillings to the treasury,
but was reminiscent of Battersea Fields or of a Frost Fair on the Thames.

In February, 1852, the place was dismantled, and the Hall and the
Encampment were sold by auction.  The Gore estate was purchased the same
year by the Commissioners of the Exhibition, and the grounds in later
years formed part of those of the Royal Horticultural Society. {33}

[Volant and Warren, _Memoirs of Alexis Soyer_; Davis’s _Knightsbridge_,
p. 142; Walford, _Old and New London_, v., p. 118 _f._; _Illustrated
London News_, May 10 and 17, 1851 (views of the garden and the Baronial
Hall); ‘Gore House,’ a water-colour by T. H. Shepherd, _circa_ 1850, in
Kensington Public Library; Timbs’s _Clubs_, quoting Sala’s account from
_Temple Bar Magazine_.]


THIS was a race-course of some two and a half miles in circuit.  In 1837
a Mr. John Whyte had turned his attention to the slopes of Notting Hill,
and to the Portobello meadows west of Westbourne Grove, and prepared a
course, not for golf, but for horse-racing and steeple-chasing, with the
accompaniments of a training-ground and stables for about eighty horses.

The Hippodrome was opened on June 3, 1837.  The public were admitted for
a shilling, and those who could not enter the carriage enclosure mounted
a convenient hill from which a splendid view of the racing—also of much
adjacent country—could be obtained.  No gambling-booths or
drinking-booths were permitted, but iced champagne, or humbler beverages
were to be obtained on this eminence.  Lord Chesterfield and Count
d’Orsay were the first stewards, and the Grand Duke of Russia, the Duke
of Cambridge, the Duke of Brunswick, and many noble personages,
condescended to visit this London Epsom, to which gay marquees and
‘splendid equipages’ lent éclat on a race-day.

These races were held for four years, and were duly recorded in _Bell’s
Life_, with the usual details of horse, owner, and jockey.  Cups of fifty
and a hundred guineas were offered.  The proceedings generally began at
two, and on one occasion lasted till nine.

One drawback to the selectness of the Hippodrome (and the proprietor’s
profits) was a path across the enclosure through which the public had a
right-of-way.  The footpath people seem, as a rule, to have been orderly
enough, but gipsies, ‘prigs,’ and hawkers did not neglect the opportunity
of mingling with the nobility and gentry.  In March, 1838, an attempt was
made in Parliament to block this footpath by a measure entitled the
Notting Hill Enclosure Bill; but this harmless title was speedily
perceived to conceal an attempt to legalize horse-racing in London.
‘Strong public feeling’ (particularly strong in Bayswater and Notting
Hill) was excited, and many reasons, wise and foolish, were urged against
the measure.  One objection was that the young ladies in the
boarding-schools of Kensington would be unable to take their usual walks
abroad.  On the other hand—so different are points of view—a writer in
the _Sporting Magazine_ declared that the Hippodrome was ‘a necessary of
London life, of the absolute need of which we were not aware until the
possession of it taught us its permanent value.’  A reading of the Bill
passed the Commons early in 1838 by a majority of 26, but by September
the Notting Hill Enclosure Bill had been quietly dropped.  Next year the
proprietor enclosed his course so as to exclude the obnoxious path, but
at a considerable sacrifice of space.  The last race was run in June,
1841.  The proprietor had lost heavily, not so much, perhaps, through
mismanagement as on account of a fatal defect in the course, which had a
strong clay soil, and was so damp that it could only be used for training
horses during part of the year.

     [Picture: The Hippodrome, Bayswater (Notting Hill), circa 1838]

In 1845 a Mr. J. Connop, described as ‘the lessee of the Hippodrome,’
made his appearance in the Insolvent Debtors’ Court.  He owed a trifle of
£67,000, though, of course, there were the usual assets of £10,000, if
only the property ‘be properly worked.’  The potent name of Ladbroke
appears in these proceedings as the ground-landlord.

A good idea of the course can be gained from the accompanying plan,
published in 1841.  It will be found that Ladbroke Terrace and Norland
Square roughly define its lower limits.  Ladbroke Grove, Lansdown Road,
and Clarendon Road now cut through it northwards.  The ‘hill for
pedestrians’ is crowned by St. John’s Church (built 1845) in Lansdown
Crescent and Ladbroke Grove.

Part of the course was preserved as late as 1852 with some rough turf and
a few hedges, at which adventurous lady-riders practised their horses.

[Newspaper notices; _Bell’s Life_, _John Bull_, etc.; plan and view of
the Hippodrome (W.); Walford, _Old and New London_, v., p. 182; Loftie’s
_Kensington_, p. 267 _f._]

          [Picture: Plan of the Hippodrome, Notting Hill, 1841]


IN the twenties this was still a rural inn, with sloping, red-tiled roof
and dormer windows, standing quite alone. {37a}  A visitor coming from
Paddington Green passed to it by a quiet field-path—the Bishop’s Walk,
now Bishop’s Road—through a region of pleasant pastures and hedgerow
elms.  A weeping ash and the sign of the Boscobel Oak stood on a green in
front of the house, and there were benches for the wayfarer and a

In 1837, with the advent of the Great Western Railway, all these country
surroundings began to disappear, and the fields were soon cut up for
roads.  The house was now brought forward so as to stand nearer the road,
and the tea-gardens were sold for building. {37b}  The present Royal Oak
public-house, standing more forward than its predecessor, is 89, Bishop’s
Road and No. 1, Porchester Road.

A Welsh landlord (apparently in the early twenties) named Davies paid a
£50 rent, which he could not get back by catering for his few local
customers, chiefly nurserymen.  At the present day the property is said
to have changed hands for £24,000.

[Henry Walker, in the _Bayswater Annual_ for 1885; also in the
_Paddington_, _Kensington_, _and Bayswater Chronicle_ for May 31, 1884,
with a woodcut from a drawing of the Royal Oak in 1825.  _Cf._ Rutton in
_Home Counties Magazine_, ii., p. 21.]

In the thirties and forties the Bayswater district was full of small
tea-gardens, one of which, the Princess Royal, {38} ‘opposite Black Lion
Lane, now called Queen’s Road,’ may be mentioned.  It was kept in the
forties by James Bott, previously of the Archery Tavern, Bayswater.  Mr.
Bott had a bowling-green and tea-rooms, an elegant fish-pond well stocked
with gold and silver fish, and ‘an extensive archery ground, 185 feet
long, and wide enough for two sets of targets.’  His advertisements hold
out two special attractions—one that any gentleman fond of archery might
practise there from nine o’clock in the morning till two in the afternoon
for ten shillings a year; the other that the grounds led by the nearest
way to the Kensal Green Cemetery.


THIS was a favourite tea-garden from the latter part of the eighteenth
century till the fifties.  An inn, originally called the White House, had
long existed near the foot of Primrose Hill, and probably first gained
custom by its proximity to the hill, which (about 1797) is described {39}
as a ‘very fashionable’ Sunday resort of the modern citizens, who usually
‘lead their children there to eat their cakes and partake of a little
country air’—a truly idyllic performance.  Chalk Farm had also its more
martial customers, for towards the close of the eighteenth century the
St. Pancras Volunteers used to march thither to fire at a target at the
foot of the hill for a silver cup.  The duels, moreover, for which a
field adjoining the inn was notorious began at least as early as 1790,
and lasted till the twenties.  As they are hardly to be reckoned among
the amusements of the place, I need not record their painful details.
The famous interrupted duel of Tom Moore and Francis Jeffrey—when ‘Bow
Street myrmidons stood laughing by’—occurred in 1806.  Byron treats it as
ludicrous, but the meeting was not without its pathos.  ‘What a beautiful
morning it is!’ said Jeffrey, on seeing his opponent.  ‘Yes,’ answered
Moore; ‘a morning made for better purposes.’  To which Jeffrey’s only
response was ‘a sort of assenting sigh.’  Another famous duel took place
on February 16, 1821, by moonlight, between John Scott, the editor of the
_London Magazine_, and Mr. Christie.  Scott was badly wounded, and was
carried on a shutter to the tavern, where he died in a fortnight.  This
was practically the last of the Chalk Farm duels, {40a} and, curiously
enough, it is the _London Magazine_ {40b} that about a year later
furnishes a long and most philosophical account of the tea-drinking at
this very garden.  What the writer notices is the _seriousness_ of the
ordinary frequenter of the garden, who drinks and smokes with no approach
to the least flexibility of limb or feature.  There are three plain
citizens sitting stolidly in one alcove without uttering a word.  In
another box, over a glass of punch, are a prim tradesman and his wife and
a sickly-looking little boy, who wants to play with the other children on
the lawn, but who is not allowed to ‘wenture upon the nasty vet grass.’
The same observer also notes the occasionally successful efforts of the
Cockney sportsmen to shoot wretched sparrows let out of a box at twenty
yards’ distance.

In the thirties the aspect was more cheerful, with pony-races,
rifle-shooting, {40c} and the contests of the Cumberland and Westmorland
wrestlers for silver tankards and snuffboxes.

The tavern (the successor of an older building) was pulled down in 1853,
and the present public-house—No. 89, Regent’s Park Road—was built.  The
open fields which formerly led from this site to the slopes of Primrose
Hill are now covered by houses at the back and front of the present
building, and the row of tall houses in Primrose Hill Road would
effectively shut out the view, even if the tavern had still preserved its
garden.  A water-colour drawing of about 1830 shows Chalk Farm without
any building intervening between itself and its grassy mount.  One side
of the tavern is provided with many windows, and a veranda looks towards
the hill, and close by is the flower-garden.  At the back of the house
are fields and a road leading to the lower slopes.

[Authorities in Palmer’s _St. Pancras_, p. 287; _Picture __of London_,
1802–1846; Miller’s _St. Pancras_, p. 201; Walford, _Old and New London_,
v. 289 _f._; newspapers.

Views: Water-colour, _circa_ 1830, showing Primrose Hill and the tavern
(W.); drawing by Matthews, 1834, Crace Cat., p. 671, No. 89; drawing by
T. H. Shepherd, 1853, _ibid._, p. 569; Partington’s _Views of London_,
ii. 181; a view in Dugdale’s _England and Wales_, and water-colour
drawings from this.]


THIS tavern on the New River, between Highbury and Hornsey Wood House,
was well known to Cockney visitors from early in the nineteenth century
till its demolition about 1867. {42}

It was famous for its tea and hot rolls, but still more for its excellent
pies made of eels, which were popularly supposed to be natives of Hugh
Myddelton’s stream, though they came in reality from the coast of
Holland.  Unambitious anglers of the Sadler’s Wells type frequented the
river near here, and on popular holidays in the twenties and thirties
‘the lower order of citizens’ (as an Islington historian politely calls
them) had breakfast at the Eel-Pie House on their way to gather ‘palms’
in Hornsey Wood or more distant regions.  The house had a pleasant garden
till its latest days, but little in the way of gala nights or ballooning.

In the strenuous era of prize-fighting even this quiet place was not
without its excitements.  Thus, we read that on one day in January, 1826,
a wrestling-match was announced between Ned Savage and another.  Savage’s
opponent (Mr. Pigg) was not forthcoming, and the ‘fancy coves,’ not to be
disappointed, retired to a large room in the Sluice House, and soon
formed a temporary ring with the forms and tables.  A dog-fight and a
rat-killing match were then exhibited, and, something ‘of a more manly
character’ being called for, a purse was collected, and Bill Webb of
Newport Market and (an unnamed) Jack Tar were soon engaged.  ‘About
twenty rounds were fought; both men received heavy punishment, and both
showed fair game qualities.’  The sailor’s courage was particularly
admired, but he, alas! had to strike his colours, and Bill Webb ‘pocketed
the blunt.’

[_Picture of London_, 1802, and later dates; Cromwell’s _Islington_.  The
_Morning Chronicle_, October 17, 1804, announces the sale of the ‘old
Eel-Pie House’ (already evidently well known), together with ‘20 acres of
rich meadow land’ adjoining.

There are several views showing in the foreground the wooden Sluice House
standing over the river, and close behind it the Eel-Pie (or Sluice)
House Tavern; in the distance, Hornsey Wood House (on the site of the
present Finsbury Park).  There is a drawing by Mr. H. Fancourt of the
Eel-Pie House Gardens, made in 1867, and kindly presented to the writer.]


THIS garden in the present Highgate Road had a brief existence _circa_
1858–1865, under the management of Edward Weston, the proprietor of
Weston’s (afterwards the Royal) Music Hall in Holborn.  A good deal was
crowded into a small space, for besides the choice flowers, shrubs, and
fruit-trees, there was a conservatory, a cascade, a racquet-court, a
small dancing-platform and orchestra, and a panorama 1,600 feet long,
representing ‘the sea-girt island of Caprera, the home of the Italian
Liberator’ (Garibaldi).  This encircled the garden, and was lit at night
by variegated gas-jets, stated—but the garden illuminator always
exaggerates—to be 100,000 in number.  The admission was usually only

Some of the entertainers of the Polytechnic Institution were engaged to
combine instruction with amusement, and Mr. A. Sylvester exhibited there
his patent optical illusion called—though hardly by Mr. Weston’s
patrons—the Kalospinthechromokrene. {44a}

There were complaints about the way in which this miniature Cremorne was
conducted, and the Sunday opening was particularly objected to by its
respectable neighbours.  It appears to be the unnamed ‘Retreat’ which
James Greenwood in one of his books describes in scathing terms. {44b}
Thus, when the Midland Railway Company appeared on the scene, there were
many who welcomed its purchase of Mr. Weston’s pleasure-garden.  In
October, 1866, the trees, orchestra, gas-fittings, tea-cups, and
everything belonging to the place, were sold off by auction.

The Retreat was in Fitzroy Place, the entrance being between the present
houses numbered 93 and 97, Highgate Road.

[Article in _St. Pancras Guardian_ for January 3, 1902, by ‘P.’ (Mr. R.
B. Prosser); newspaper advertisements; Walford, _Old and New London_, v.,
p. 320; Greenwood’s _Wilds of London_.]


A FARTHING token of the seventeenth century, issued ‘at the Maremaid
Taverne in Hackeny,’ {46a} is a humble relic of the early days of this
place, which stood on the west side of the High Street.

The assembly-room, connected with the tavern by a covered way, and the
extensive grounds, were much frequented during the last century till the
forties.  The grounds consisted of an upper and lower bowling-green—one
of them sometimes used for archery—and an umbrageous ‘dark walk’
encompassing the kitchen-garden, which was on the west side of the brook
which divided the grounds.

Ballooning was for many years a feature of the place, especially in the
thirties. {46b}  In September, 1837, Mrs. Graham tried an experiment with
two parachutes: one, a model of Garnerin’s, was found to oscillate
greatly when released from the balloon; the other, Cocking’s parachute,
descended slowly and steadily.  A month earlier (August 9, 1837) Mrs.
Graham had delighted the frequenters of the Mermaid Tea-Gardens by an
ascent in the ‘Royal Victoria,’ accompanied by Mrs. W. H. Adams and Miss
Dean.  A lithograph of the time shows these ladies, ‘the only three
female aeronauts that ever ascended alone,’ in their best dresses,
cheerfully waving flags to the people below.

An ascent made by Sadler in his ‘G. P. W.’ (George, Prince of Wales)
balloon on August 12, 1811, caused great local excitement.  Crowds poured
in from Greenwich, Deptford, and Woolwich, and the road became so blocked
that even ‘families of distinction could not approach within a mile of
the tavern.’  Some fortunate parishioners ascended the tower of the
church, and a jolly tar got astride of the Mermaid sign.  In front of the
house an abnormal assemblage of fat men and still fatter women jostled
and pushed and tumbled one over another in a way that delighted the
coarse caricaturists of the period.  Sadler’s companion was a naval
officer, Lieutenant (or Captain) Paget, who paid a hundred guineas for
his seat in the car.  As the balloon rose, Mr. Paget was ‘for some
minutes deprived of the power of expression and incapable of
communicating his sensations’ to his fellow-traveller, but he did all
that was necessary by keeping quiet and waving a flag to the spectators.
An hour and a quarter passed, and a descent was then made near Tilbury
Fort, and the travellers, who had started at a quarter to three, returned
to Hackney at a few minutes after nine. {47}

The old tavern was pulled down at the end of the thirties, and several
houses were built on its site.  The assembly-room and gardens continued
in existence for many years later, but are now also built over.

[_Picture of London_, 1802–1846; newspapers; Robinson’s _Hackney_ (1842),
i., p. 149 _f._

There are several contemporary prints of Sadler’s ascent of August 12,
1811, one a coloured caricature published by Thomas Tegg, ‘Prime Bang-up
at Hackney; or, A Peep at the Balloon.’  Rowlandson’s ‘Hackney Assembly,
1812 (1802)’ caricatures the dancing.]


EARLY in the eighteenth century, in the days when the London archers shot
at rovers {48a} in the Finsbury fields, there stood near Hoxton Bridge
(at the meeting of the parishes of St. Leonard, Shoreditch, and St. Mary,
Islington) an ‘honest ale-house’ named the Rosemary Branch, {48b} which
was doubtless ofttimes visited by the thirsty archer for a mug of beer
and a game of shovel-board.  The place has no history for many years,
though in 1764 it emerges for a moment in a newspaper paragraph: {48c}
‘On Sunday night [August 5], about eight o’clock, as a Butcher and
another man were fighting near the Rosemary Branch, the Butcher received
an unlucky blow on the side of his ribs, which killed him on the spot.
The cause of the quarrel was this: Some boys having a skiff with which
they were sailing in a pond near the aforesaid place, the Butcher
endeavouring to take it from them, a well-dressed man that was passing
expostulated with the man, and putting the question to him, how he should
like to be served so if he was in the lads’ stead?  On which the Butcher
struck the gentleman, who defended himself, and gave the deceased a blow
on the temple, and another under his heart, of which he died.  His body
was carried to Islington Churchyard for the Coroner to sit on it, and
yesterday the said gentleman was examined before the sitting Justices at
Hicks’s Hall touching the said affair, and admitted to bail.’

In 1783 the old inn was demolished, or was, at any rate, absorbed in the
premises of some white-lead manufacturers, who erected (1786–1792) two
mills—conspicuous as _wind_mills—in the vicinity.  A new tavern was built
in front of the mills, with small grounds—about three acres—attached to
it.  The Rosemary Branch was now frequented as a tea-garden, one of the
attractions being ‘the pond near the aforesaid place,’ which was used for
boating and skating till, to the disgust of the Sunday visitors, it
suddenly dried up about the year 1830.

John Cavanagh, the fives player (died 1819), whose exploits have been
commemorated by William Hazlitt, sometimes found his way to the Rosemary
Branch, though most of his matches took place in the neighbourhood at
Copenhagen House.  By trade he was a house-painter, and one day, putting
on his best clothes, he strolled up to the gardens for an afternoon
holiday.  A stranger proposed to Cavanagh a match at fives for half a
crown and a bottle of cider.  The match began—7, 8, 10, 13, 14 all.  Each
game was hotly contested, but Cavanagh somehow just managed to win.  ‘I
never played better in my life,’ said the stranger, ‘and yet I can’t win
a game.  There, try that!  That is a stroke that Cavanagh could not
take.’  Still the play went on, and in the twelfth game the stranger was
13 to his opponent’s 4.  He seemed, in fact, to be winning, when a
new-comer among the bystanders exclaimed: ‘What! are _you_ there,
Cavanagh?’  The amateur fives player let the ball drop from his hand, and
refused to play another stroke, for all this time he had only ‘been
breaking his heart to beat Cavanagh.’ {49}

            [Picture: The Tea-Gardens, Rosemary Branch, 1846]

Early in the thirties, the proprietor, a Mr. McPherson, began to provide
‘gala nights’ for the inhabitants of the district, and advertised his
‘Branch’ as the Islington Vauxhall.  In 1835 he is said to have spent
£4,000 on the place, but for some mysterious reason chose this moment for
retiring from business.  In October, 1836, the gardens were offered for
sale—three acres only, but provided with ‘elevated terrace-walks’
screened by trees, and with ground for rackets and skittles.  The place
was taken by a new proprietor, who continued the fireworks and
illuminations, and introduced (1837) Mrs. Graham and her balloon, in
which she ascended with the gallant Colonel of the Honourable Lumber

            [Picture: Admission Ticket, Rosemary Branch, 1853]

A view of about the middle of the forties depicts the gardens as entirely
surrounded by alcoves and trees, with two rope ascents and a pony race
{50} going on in the arena simultaneously, like Barnum’s Circus.  An
admiring youth, a lady in an ample shawl and hat, and two gentlemen posed
in the manner of tailors’ models, occupy the foreground, while a crowd of
onlookers stand in front of the circle of boxes.  Festoons of coloured
lamps, a minute balloon, a small theatre, and an orchestra, are also
symbolic of the attractions of the Islington Vauxhall.

Early in the fifties the spirited proprietor (William Barton) was
advertising his ball-room and monster platform, and introduced Moffatt’s
Equestrian Troupe and the Brothers Elliot, two clever acrobats from
Batty’s Hippodrome. {51}  The Chinese Exhibition, transplanted from Hyde
Park, was expounded by a native interpreter, ‘whose pleasing description
of the manners and customs of these Eastern people was in itself highly
instructive and amusing.’  John Hampton, a noted balloonist of the time,
was also engaged for many ascents.

On July 27, 1853, the timber circus caught fire, and an ill-fated troupe
of trained dogs and seven horses perished.  I do not suggest that these
seven horses constituted the whole of the garden stud, but after this
time we happen to hear little of the Rosemary Branch as an open-air
resort.  It was always a place for visitors of humble rank, the admission
being sixpence or a shilling.  A ticket of 1853 notifies that persons not
‘suitably attired’ will be excluded.  It was, moreover, announced that
the M.C.’s (Messrs. Franconi and Hughes) ‘keep the strictest order,’ and
a policeman or two hovered in the background.  All, therefore, should
have gone well.

The successor of the Rosemary Branch is a public-house, the Rosemary
Branch and Shepperton Distillery, No. 2, Shepperton Road, N., lying
between Rosemary Street and Brunswick Place.  Houses now occupy the space
behind the building.  In the background the tall chimney of the
white-lead works (Messrs. Campion, Druce, No. 35, Southgate Road) has
taken the place of the windmills.

[Tomlins’ _Islington_, p. 151; Cromwell’s _Islington_; _Era Almanack_,
1871, p. 6; _Theatrical Journal_ for 1852; newspaper advertisements, and

Views: _Crace Catalogue_, p. 599, No. 135 (water-colour by Storer);
_ibid._, p. 599, No. 136, a woodcut showing the gardens with pony-racing,
etc., 1846; an engraving (1812) of the white-lead mills taken from the
garden of the Rosemary Branch shows the boating on the pond.]


THIS was a picturesque old inn, built, it is said in 1614, standing by
the water-side opposite the New River Head and Sadler’s Wells.  It is
shown in Hogarth’s ‘Evening’ (1738)—a gable-ended, vine-clad house with
the portrait of the great Sir Hugh as its pendent sign.  It will be
remembered that this picture represents a portly dame, accompanied by an
evidently ill-used husband and two crying children, passing by the
tavern, wherein a merry drinking-party is seen through the open window.
Perhaps the mantling vine is not a natural feature of the place, but
bitter Hogarthian symbolism—‘Thy wife shall be as the fruitful vine upon
the walls of thy house.’  On the other hand, Clerkenwell has still its
Vine Yard Walk, and twenty years ago in one or two of the gardens in a
square near Sadler’s Wells, there might be found a vine which produced a
passable grape.

The banks of the New River at this time—and, indeed, till near the middle
of the nineteenth century—were lined with tall poplars and graceful
willows, and were frequented by anglers, young and old.  Hood, in his
_Walton Redivivus_ (1826), describes Piscator fishing near the
Myddelton’s Head without either basket or can, sitting there (as Lamb
expresses it) like Hope, day after day, ‘speculating on traditionary
gudgeons.’  The covering in of the New River in 1861–1862 ended the
Sadler’s Wells angling for ever.

The house was the favourite haunt of the Sadler’s Wells company, and old
Rosoman, the proprietor of the theatre; Maddox, the wonderful man who
balanced a straw while dancing on the wire; Harlequin Bologna, Dibdin,
and Jo. Grimaldi, smoked many a pipe in its long room or in an arbour in
the garden.  In the fifties, a parlour denominated the ‘Crib’ was set
apart for certain choice spirits, who, according to Mr. E. L. Blanchard,
were so uncommonly select that they demanded ‘an introduction and a fee’
from all newcomers.

The tavern, having fallen into decay, was replaced in 1831 by a plain,
ugly building, surmounted by a bust of Myddelton.  The ‘grounds,’ chiefly
from the twenties to the fifties, formed a miniature tea-garden with
‘boxes,’ shrubs, and flowers.  They were improved in 1852 by Deacon, who
succeeded Edward Wells as proprietor.  The house, which stood at the west
end of Myddelton Place, close to Thomas Street and opposite Arlington
Street, was swept away for the formation of Rosebery Avenue.

[Pinks’s _Clerkenwell_, pp. 406–408; Hone’s _Every Day Book_, 1826, p.
344; Partington’s _Views of London_, ii., p. 186 (showing the later
tavern); Blanchard’s _Life_, i., p. 83 _f._; _Theatrical Journal_, 1852,
p. 237 (_cf._ p. 376); a drawing of the tavern by C. H. Matthews, 1849,
in _Crace Catalogue_, No. 93, p. 594.]


THE formation of the pleasure-garden that we know as Earl’s Court out of
the coal-yards of the North End Road has a parallel in the origin of some
ephemeral gardens which arose at Battle Bridge (King’s Cross) on or near
the site of mountainous heaps of dust and ashes.  The place was recalled
by the ‘Literary Dustman’ when he sang:

    ‘My dawning genus fust did peep
       Near Battle Bridge, ’tis plain, sirs;
    You recollect the cinder-heap
       Vot stood in Gray’s Inn Lane, sirs.’

Now, when these historic dust-heaps were carted off to Russia—the story
is a true one—and utilized in rebuilding the walls of Moscow, they left a
void which even the London builder could not immediately fill.  In the
twenties there was still a large vacant space near the corner of Gray’s
Inn Lane, bounded by (the present) Liverpool, Manchester, and Argyle
Streets, and reaching nearly to the Euston Road.  This space became the
property of a company which, in 1829, invited the public by prospectus to
subscribe about £20,000 for its development. {54}  The worthy historian
of Clerkenwell describes this company as the ‘Pandemomium’ (_sic_), but
as a matter of fact it called itself the Panarmonion, and had nothing
demoniac in its objects, but rather the laudable purpose of converting a
dusty wilderness into a garden and temple of the Muses.  The promoter was
a certain Signor Gesualdo Lanza, who presided over a school for acting
and singing in the neighbourhood.  Lanza proposed to establish—and
displayed in lithographic plans—a great ‘Panarmonion Institution,’
consisting of a theatre, a concert-hall, a ‘refectory,’ a reading-room,
and even an hotel.  These buildings were to rise in a pleasaunce
encircled by trees and alcoves, and adorned with a great fountain and

  [Picture: Suspension Railway, Panarmonion Gardens.  From an engraving,
                               circa 1830]

In March, 1830, the place was opened, but the dreams of the prospectus
were never realized.  A shilling was charged for admission to the
gardens, but it does not appear that they were ever properly laid out,
and the only attraction was a tour of the grounds in a peculiar
‘Suspension Railway,’ the invention of Mr. H. Thorrington.  This railway
consisted of a boat-shaped car suspended from a substantial level bar,
along which it travelled on small wheels set in motion by a wheel in the
car worked by hand. {55a}  For the more adventurous visitors,
hobby-horses (rudimentary ‘cycles’) were likewise suspended from the bar,
and worked in the same way as the boat.  The theatre, of which a noble
elevation by ‘Stephen Geary, architect,’ {55b} had been shown in the
prospectus, turned out to be a small and narrow building, originally
erected for an auction-room, which Lanza opened in March, 1830, with an
amateurish performance of the opera of _Artaxerxes_.  The enterprise was
a failure from the first; the lease of the theatre was offered for sale
in August, {56} and we hear no more of the gardens.

In May, 1832, Mrs. Fitzwilliam, of the Adelphi, and W. H. Williams, the
comic actor and singer, tried their hands, and reopened the Panarmonion
theatre as the ‘Royal Clarence,’ decorating it in the style of a Chinese
pavilion.  It is claimed that many well-known actors learnt their art at
this bijou theatre.  What is certain is that it often changed its
name—being called, for instance, the Cabinet, and, in its latest days,
the King’s Cross Theatre—and that both actors and audiences steadily
deteriorated.  During the greater part of its existence its boards were
trodden by stage-struck amateurs; at one time it was used as a tobacco
manufactory; and in the eighties or nineties its entrance-front might be
seen plastered with bills announcing a mission-service or a temperance
meeting.  At last, early in 1897, Messrs. Reggiori, the proprietors of
the neighbouring restaurant (Nos. 1 and 3, Euston Road) took the little
theatre bodily into their premises, of which it now forms an additional
dining-saloon.  The old entrance-front (in Liverpool Street) has been
smartened up with stucco and stained-glass windows.

It seems likely that the vanished gardens gave a hint for the laying out
of Argyle Square, which covers a considerable portion of their site.

[Prospectuses and lithographs of the Panarmonion; newspapers of 1829 and
1830; Clinch’s _Marylebone_, etc., p. 182 _f._; Pinks’s _Clerkenwell_;
Baker’s _London Stage_, ii., p. 260; _Era Almanack_, 1868, advt., p. vii;
1869, p. 34.  The annals of the theatre may also be sought in the pages
of the _Theatrical Journal_.]


THE Eagle tavern and Grecian theatre which stood till lately at the
corner of the dreary City Road and Shepherdess Walk were developed out of
a quiet eighteenth-century pleasure-garden known as the Shepherd and
Shepherdess, which had its arbours, skittle-ground, and small
assembly-room. {57a}  About 1822 a rather remarkable man, named Thomas
Rouse (born in 1784), came into possession of the premises. {57b}  He is
said to have begun life as a bricklayer; at any rate, he had a turn for
building, and in later days indulged himself in saloons, pavilions, and
Cockney gardening.  He rebuilt the tavern, or, at any rate, renamed it
the Eagle, and from 1824 onwards the Eagle lawn was the scene of some of
Green’s balloon ascents, and of annual tournaments of the Devon and
Cornish wrestlers and single-stick players.  One of the earliest balloon
ascents, on May 25, 1824, gave a melancholy advertisement to the place.
A balloonist named Thomas Harris ascended from the grounds, accompanied
by a young lady named Sophia Stocks, who was described by the journalists
as ‘an intrepid girl’ who entered the balloon ‘with but slight appearance
of fear.’  The balloon took the direction of Croydon, but by its fall to
the earth in Beddington Park, Harris was killed and his companion
severely injured. {58a}

The coronation of William IV. in 1831 did not pass without influence on
the Eagle, for in October the proprietor bought up the fittings of the
Abbey entrance and robing-rooms and erected them as an entrance to his
gardens, advertising them not only as the identical fittings, but as
re-erected by ‘the identical mechanics.’  In this year, also, the famous
Grecian Saloon came into existence.  It was furnished with an organ and
‘a superb self-acting piano’; also with a superb gas chandelier, and with
classic paintings by Philip Phillips, a pupil of Clarkson Stanfield and
‘scene-painter to the Adelphi and Haymarket.’ {58b}

The Eagle reopened in the spring of 1832 with many of the attractions
that long continued to characterize it.  In the garden was an orchestra
of Oriental type, variously described as Moorish or Chinese, and the
Pandean Band from Vauxhall Gardens was engaged to perform.  Dancing took
place, generally once a week, in the ‘Grecian tent’ or in the
assembly-room, and the gardens were adorned with Chinese lanterns,
cosmoramas, fountains, and dripping rocks.  In the Saloon there were
concerts and ‘vaudevilles’ every evening, with sacred music (in Lent)
from Handel and Mozart.  The admission was no more than a shilling or
sixpence, and it is pleasing to find that the ‘junior branches of
families’ were admitted at threepence a head.  One has a tender feeling
for these junior branches, some of whom must have sat there with their
fathers and mothers rather wearily from 7.30 to near 11, enlivened at
times by the conjurer and the lady on the elastic cord (Miss Hengler or
Miss Clarke) but caring little for the excellent glees and the vocal
efforts of Miss Fraser James—bright star though she was of the London
tavern concerts {59a}—or for those of Miss Smith, ‘the little Pickle’ of
Drury Lane, of whom the critics remarked that it was miraculous that so
young a person should be able to sing so high and so low, and excel in
such songs as the ‘Deep, Deep Sea’ and ‘The Wolf,’ which she was
understood to sing in private.  How many people at this period visited
the Eagle, or, indeed, any other place of open-air amusement, it is hard
to determine; but the newspapers speak of 5,000 or 6,000 persons being
present on one night in May, while others give the more modest total of
1,000 or 1,300 at sixpence each.  The frequenters of the Eagle were
people of humble rank, and at this time we hear of no distinguished
visitors, except, perhaps, Paganini, who, going there with his friends to
amuse himself one August night in 1832, was considerably mobbed, the
remarks on his appearance being doubtless gems of Cockney sarcasm.

 [Picture: A Tavern-Concert Singer, Miss Frazer (or Fraser) James, circa

A graphic sketch by ‘Boz’ brings back to us the evening when Mr. Samuel
Wilkins, the journeyman carpenter of small dimensions, accompanied his
sweetheart, Miss Jemima Evans, to the Eagle.  On their way from a distant
suburb, they stopped at the Crown{59b} in Pentonville, to taste some
excellent shrub in the little garden thereto attached, and finally
arrived in the City Road.  The Eagle garden was gravelled and planted,
the refreshment-boxes were painted, and variegated lamps shed their light
on the heads of the company.  A Moorish band and military band were
playing in the grounds; but the people were making for the concert-room,
a place with an orchestra, ‘all paint, gilding, and plate glass.’  Here
the audience were seated on elevated benches round the room, and
‘everybody’—and this is a touch of the later Dickens—‘was eating and
drinking as comfortably as possible.’  Mr. Wilkins ordered rum-and-water
with a lemon for himself and ‘sherry-wine’ for the lady, with some sweet
caraway-seed biscuits.  There was an overture on the organ and comic
songs (let us add by the famous singers Henry Howell and Robert Glindon
{60}), accompanied by the organ.

This must have been in 1835 or 1836, and Dickens would have been pleased
at the all-embracing sympathies of the proprietor of the Eagle, who, a
little later, organized so many charitable benefits.  Thus, there was a
benefit for the Blind Hebrew Brethren in the East, and a ball ‘for our
friends of the Hebrew nation.’  On another night, a benefit ‘to relieve
decayed Druids and their wives and orphans,’ and yet another night ‘for
clothing the children of the needy.’

The coronation of Queen Victoria in 1838, like the previous coronation,
gave a hint for new developments.  The Eagle now, and for some years,
took to itself the sub-title of the Coronation Pleasure-Grounds, and this
year, or at the close of 1837, the place assumed nearly the form that it
retained till its closing years.  A covered promenade ran round the
gardens; the great tavern at the corner of the City Road was erected, and
a ball-room was completed.  The Saloon was remodelled, with a pit—part of
it railed off for smokers—and tiers of boxes.  A new organ was set up by
Parsons of Bloomsbury, and the old organ and self-acting piano were
advertised for sale.  The architectural genius of Rouse was doubtless at
the bottom of these changes, but he gave the credit to the professionals,
and announced that the whole was ‘planned by P. Punnett, Esq., and
surveyed by R. Warton.’

The new Saloon was opened on January 1, 1838—for the Eagle was a winter
as well as a summer resort {61a}—with a concert and an appropriate
address by Moncrieff the dramatist.  A programme of this year includes an
overture by Weber, an air from Rossini, ‘Tell me where is Fancy bred,’
‘All’s Well’ (duet), and ‘It’s all very well, Mr. Ferguson,’ one of
several comic songs.

We approach the forties, when Rouse, like Phelps with Shakespeare at
Sadler’s Wells, had the audacity to present a whole series of operas in
the City Road.  If these representations were not brilliant, they were
praiseworthy efforts, and a revelation to East Central London.  Rouse had
a good band and chorus; an excellent tenor in Frazer from Covent Garden
Theatre; C. Horn, the composer of ‘Cherry Ripe,’ Russell Grover, and
various passable prima donnas. {61b}  Among the operas announced in the
bills of the forties we find the _Barber of Seville_, the _Crown
Diamonds_, _Don Giovanni_, _La Gazza Ladra_, and _Sonnambula_.  In these
attempts to improve the musical taste of the neighbourhood, Rouse is
reported to have lost £2,000 yearly, but as the tavern brought him in
about £5,000 a year he could well afford the experiment.

At the Christmas of 1844, pantomime, which was to make the fame of the
later Grecian theatre, found its place in the programme, and Richard
Flexmore, a really agile, inventive, and humorous clown, made his
appearance.  A more remarkable actor, who joined the Grecian company
about this time, and remained with it for five years, was Frederick
Robson, who was given parts in the farces and vaudevilles.  Robson’s
great reputation dates from his performances at the Olympic from 1853
onwards, but at the Grecian he had already given an unmistakable taste of
his quality.  His famous song ‘Villikins and his Dinah’ was first heard
at the Eagle.  A man of strange physique, with a small body and a big
head, he could do what he would with his audience—convulsing them with
laughter by some outrageous drollery; thrilling them with ‘an electrical
burst of passion or pathos, or holding them midway between terror and
laughter as he performed some weirdly grotesque dance.’ {62a}  In
burlesque and extravaganza he displayed such passionate intensity that he
seemed to give promise of a second Kean—yet a Kean he never became.  A
playgoer who saw him often has acutely suggested that ‘the very
opportunity of exaggeration afforded by burlesque elicited the display of
a quasi-tragic power which would have ceased if the condition of
exaggeration were withdrawn.’ {62b}

March 1, 1851, was memorable at the Eagle as the last night of the
proprietorship of old Thomas Rouse.  He died at Boulogne a year later
(September 26, 1852).  During his twenty-seven years of management he had
done much to deserve the title of ‘Bravo’ Rouse, with which his audiences
were wont to hail him.  For one thing, he was never bored by his own
entertainments, but used to sit, night after night, in a box or other
conspicuous place—a symbol of order, armed with a big stick, which one
fancies he would have used if necessary.

His successor was Benjamin Oliver Conquest {63} (born 1805) a comic actor
of ability, endowed with plenty of animal spirits, which had carried him
from the part of a coach-builder or (according to others) of a bootmaker
in real life to the stage part of a witch in _Macbeth_, and finally
supported him through a twenty-eight weeks’ repetition at the Pavilion
Theatre of a song, ‘Billy Barlow,’ which made a sensation something like
‘Jim Crow.’

He inaugurated the first night of his management at the Eagle, March 31,
1851, by the production of _A Midsummer Night’s Dream_, with an opening
address by E. L. Blanchard.  On another night Blanchard’s burlesque,
called _Nobody in Town_ was produced with a part for Sam Cowell
(1820–1866), the comic singer, famous for his clear articulation and
finished style.  The great feature of Conquest’s management was the
production of ballets, only surpassed by those of Her Majesty’s Theatre.
It happened that Mrs. Conquest, his wife, was a fine dancer and a
singularly skilful teacher, who trained a long succession of pupils,
including the graceful Kate Vaughan.  The Miss Conquests, moreover, his
daughters Amelia, Laura, and Isabella, formed in themselves a small
troupe of capable dancers.  In the gardens, too, the public dancing
became more prominent, and a ‘monster platform’ was erected for the
accommodation of 500 people.  The masked ball was also occasionally
tried, an experiment, as Vauxhall had shown, likely to be fraught with
rowdyism, though the Eagle sternly refused admittance to clowns,
harlequins, and pantaloons.  One sensation of Conquest’s management was
the ascent, in 1852, of Coxwell’s balloon, with the acrobats H. and E.
Buislay suspended on a double trapeze from its car.

In the last years of the fifties, pantomime and drama, romantic and
sensational, figure largely in the bills.  From 1857 George Conquest, the
proprietor’s son, began to take a prominent part as actor and
stage-manager, and finally made the Grecian pantomime one of the features
of the minor stage.  In conjunction with H. Spry, the younger Conquest
wrote or produced more than twenty-one pantomimes at this theatre, and
was always to the fore in the performance itself.  Unsurpassed in daring
feats of the trap and trapeze kind, he was no less remarkable for his
wonderful make-up and changes.  In the _Wood Demon_ (1873–1874), for
instance, he presented the title-rôle as a tree, appearing next as a
dwarf, an animated pear, and finally as an octopus.  He became sole
proprietor on his father’s death (July 5, 1872), and built a new Grecian
theatre, {64a} opened in October, 1877, with Harry Nicholls; George
Conquest, junior, and Miss M. A. Victor in the company.

In 1879 Conquest sold the Eagle property to Mr. T. G. Clark, taking his
farewell benefit on March 17.  He migrated to the Surrey Theatre, where,
as lessee, he continued the traditions of the Grecian pantomimes.  He
died on May 14, 1901.

Mr. Clark, the new proprietor, {64b} had made money in the marine-store
business, and would have been better qualified to command the Channel
Fleet than to manage the Eagle.  He had, it is true, been for a short
time the lessee of the Adelphi, but he had no eye for theatrical
business, and his new venture, chiefly in the regions of melodrama, was
once more disastrous to his pocket.  Perhaps the failure was not entirely
his own fault.  Tastes were changing, and the Eagle garden, with its
public dancing—now that Cremorne had passed away—seemed something like a
scandal or an anachronism.  In the time of the Conquests there had been
complaints of the company that frequented the Eagle.  Such charges are
too often exaggerated, because they are often made by well-meaning people
who really know nothing _at first hand_ of popular amusements, and who go
to the garden or the music-hall to collect evidence, as it were, for the
prosecution.  At the same time, there is generally something in
complaints of the kind, nor are managers quite the immaculate beings that
their counsel represent them to be when licences come on for renewal in
October.  It is right to say that George Conquest seems to have done his
best to keep out notoriously bad characters, and that he warned mere boys
and girls off his monster platform and his concert-hall.

Mr. Clark’s difficulties and the belief, well founded or not, that the
Eagle was an undesirable public influence formed the opportunity of
‘General’ Booth and the Salvation Army.  The Army wanted a barracks and a
headquarters for their social and religious work.  That they should have
obtained these—and largely by public subscription—few will complain.  But
it is not quite clear that it was imperative to make an onslaught on the
Eagle, being, as it was, a centre of amusement in the colourless life of
the district.  A new theatre might well have arisen under a new Conquest,
even if the garden and the dancing had to go.

In June, 1882, the Eagle was purchased by the Army.  In August the stage
appliances were sold off, and the Army entered the citadel in triumph.
In September the public were admitted.  A great tent for religious
services took the place of the monster platform—the pernicious spot on
which, as Mr. Booth’s friends declared, so many ‘had danced their way to
destruction.’  Curiously enough, though one object of the movement was to
annihilate the Eagle tavern, that stronghold of beer-drinking and
spirit-drinking, Mr. Booth discovered that the law compelled him to keep
up the drinking licence, and beer is sold in the Eagle public-house at
this very moment.  Unfortunately, also, for its funds, the Army got
involved in litigation about alterations and repairs—a costly business
which was carried up to the House of Lords.

At last the ancient domain of the Shepherd and Shepherdess was deserted
even by the Salvation Army.  In September, 1899, the newspapers announced
that the Eagle premises were in the hands of the house-breakers.  A few
old frequenters hastened to revisit the place, and some others, no doubt,
who had only heard of the Eagle as a somewhat low resort associated with
that enigmatic song of their childhood, ‘Pop goes the Weasel,’ must have
been surprised to find the buildings—rather handsome in their way—still
in existence.  The Eagle garden presented itself to such visitors as a
large paved square, which, judging from its two surviving trees, could
never have been truthfully described as thickly wooded.  Conspicuous
features were the large rotunda opposite the entrance, with its pit, now
floored over, and the ‘new’ theatre (of 1877), adjoining Shepherdess
Walk, practically unaltered, though dingy and dirt-begrimed beyond

The Oriental orchestra in the garden still showed traces of its gaudy
colouring, and a melancholy brick wall displayed remnants of primitive
grotto-work.  One could trace near the centre of the grounds the
concrete-covered circle where many a light-hearted couple had danced
before the days of the Conquests. {66}  The rows of alcoves, with the
balcony for promenaders above them, were still there, though no longer
brightly painted, but mostly boarded up and filled with headless Venuses
and Cupids—pagan deities of the gardens who nourished _circa_ A.D.

Soon after this, the huge Eagle tavern, surmounted by its proud stone
bird, was demolished, and a smaller public-house of neat red brick
(opened August, 1900) now covers part of its site.  On the site of the
theatre and its entrance, which faced Shepherdess Walk, and was adorned
with two more stone eagles, we have now a police-station.  Though all the
old buildings have been destroyed, much of the garden space is still
unoccupied, and in due season a solitary tree puts forth its leaves.

[Newspaper notices, bills, and photographs taken at the time of the
demolition of the Eagle (W.); Blanchard’s _Life_, by Clement Scott and
Cecil Howard; Hollingshead’s _Footlights_ and _My Lifetime_; Ritchie’s
_Night Side of London_; Baker’s _London Stage_.] {67}

          [Picture: Pleasure-Gardens, Eagle Tavern, circa 1838]


IN his own Shepherdess Walk—a little to the north of the Eagle—the
enterprising Thomas Rouse had a not unsuccessful imitator in the person
of one Henry Bradley, the proprietor of the Royal Standard tavern and
pleasure-gardens.  Some entertainments and concerts were given here in
the early thirties, but the fame of the place, such as it was, belongs to
the forties.

At the end of 1838 Bradley began to adorn his gardens somewhat in the
manner of the Eagle, surrounding them with boxes, alcoves, and panoramic
views, and building the new saloon for concerts and plays which became
well known as the Albert Saloon.  He opened the gardens on Easter Monday,
1839, announcing that they would accommodate 10,000 persons, of whom
4,000 were sure of shelter from the rain.  Concerts, vaudevilles, and
melodramas were for several years the staple of attraction, and the
admission was usually not more than sixpence.  Tom Jones, a mimic and
comic singer, was the manager, and something was done in the way of
fireworks, ballooning, and weekly dances.

At the gardens of this period the mild attraction of a balloon ascent was
often heightened by suspending from the car some living object—a pony, a
donkey, or a man.  The balloonist Gypson, who ascended from the Standard
gardens in 1839, varied this device by attaching to his night-balloon ‘a
model of the late Royal Exchange.’  Unfortunately, as the balloon was
rising, the ‘late Royal Exchange’ caught fire and was burnt to ashes in
the grounds, though the aeronaut cut the rope and soared on high in

As a minor theatre, the Albert Saloon never attained the well-deserved
fame of its Grecian rival.  But it is fair to say that in one week of
1846 it presented the tragedy of _Venice Preserved_, the tragedy of
_Othello_, and _Cato_—not, indeed, Addison’s, but ‘_Cato_; _or_, _The
Slave’s Revenge_, a romantic drama.’  To relieve the tension of this
trying time, the drama of the _Jail Bird_ was enacted, and Jack Sheppard
and Rookwood were at one time or another found to be the taste of the
Albert audiences.

The Albert Saloon had also its pantomimes, and for several years the
noted clown, Paul Herring, was in its company.  Herring had begun life,
like other famous artists, by performing daily—and innumerable times
daily—in Richardson’s show at Bartholomew Fair.  He came to the Albert
Saloon in 1839, and was afterwards clown at the Victoria and other
theatres.  In his later days he subsided into the lean and slippered
pantaloon, a part that he played in the Drury Lane pantomime of 1877, the
year before his death.

The glory of the Albert appears to have waned at the end of the forties,
and the place was closed about 1857, and the Royal Standard, a
public-house numbered 106, Shepherdess Walk is now its only
representative. {69}

[The newspapers, and bills and posters of the Albert Saloon (W.);
Colburn’s _Kalendar_, 1840, pp. 14, 163.]


THE New Globe tavern, No. 359, Mile End Road, was and is (though somewhat
altered)—a substantial building, with a fine golden globe still keeping
its balance on the roof.  From the twenties or thirties {70a} till the
sixties it had some spacious grounds in the rear, entered from an archway
beside the tavern.  These grounds contained fine trees, and were prettily
laid out with many fountains, statues, and rustic boxes.  On the west of
the grounds was the Regent’s Canal, and the whistling and puffing of the
Eastern Counties Railway in the background were, for a time, looked on as
amusing novelties.  Houses in Whitman Road and Longfellow Road (at the
back of the tavern) now cover the site of these grounds.

In 1831 the Mile End New Globe Cricket Club was formed here, and in 1835
we hear of its beating the fashionable Montpelier Club. {70b}  The garden
had its concerts and occasional ballets, and its ballooning, of which a
tale is told by Henry Coxwell, aeronaut, who made a series of ascents
from this place.  On a summer day in 1854 he received an unexpected
summons for a balloon display.  It was the benefit night of Francis, the
manager, and Coxwell was anxious to oblige.  But his balloon had just
been oiled and it was a warm evening—too warm for the safety of the
balloon.  Yet a balloon had been promised and fireworks.  About eight
o’clock an anxious consultation took place in the gardens, and the
concert, on Coxwell’s suggestion, was prolonged till it was pitch dark in
the grounds.  The gardens were now crowded, and there were impatient
cries for lighting up.  At last, after a little more delay, the reluctant
balloonist was seen to enter—or rather to be pushed headlong into—the
car.  But all went well: the balloon ascended, its occupant bowed and
waved his flag, and in a burst of fireworks was quickly lost to view.
While all this was in progress a man, evidently suffering from a terrible
cold, for he was greatly muffled up, and wearing whiskers—could they be
false whiskers?—might have been seen anxiously skirting the edge of the
crowd and making the best of his way to the Mile End Road.

Mr. Francis’s benefit was a success, but the next day there arrived at
the New Globe a worthy farmer, bearing in a basket Coxwell’s duly
ticketed balloon, which had descended in his field.  ‘Greatly obliged to
you,’ said the proprietor.  ‘No lives lost, I hope?’  ‘No lives,’ said
the farmer; ‘there was none to lose.  The fellow found by my man Joe was
thought to have expired, yet all the life he ever had was out of him; but
_you know_ and _I know_ that he never had any, mister.’  The farmer spoke
the truth: _the Globe balloonist was a dummy_!

[Newspaper advertisements; Read’s _Annals of Cricket_; Coxwell’s _My Life
and Balloon Experiences_.  There are three lithographs of the Globe and
its gardens (_circa_ 1839?) from drawings by H. M. Whichelo.—W.].

 [Picture: New Globe Tavern Pleasure-Grounds.  From a lithograph after H.
                         M. Whichelo, circa 1846]


TO picture the Red House and its surroundings, one must put out of sight
the fine park of Battersea, and go back to the first fifty years of the
nineteenth century.  At that time there stood near the riverside, facing
the south end of the present Victoria (or Chelsea Suspension) Bridge, a
picturesque tavern of red brick, with white pointings and green-painted
shutters.  On a summer day the pleasantest place for alfresco refreshment
was a small jetty in front of the tavern, beneath the elm-trees and the
flagstaff that flew the colours of the house.  On the east side was a
garden with spacious boxes and arbours.

The Red House was the favourite goal of many Thames races, but in the
twenties, thirties, and forties its fame was chiefly due to its
shooting-ground, an enclosure about 120 yards square, where the Red House
Club and the crack shots of the Metropolis were accustomed to meet.
Pigeons were sold for the shooting at fifteen shillings a dozen,
starlings at four shillings, and sparrows at two shillings.  When
sportsmen like Mr. Bloodsworth and Mr. ‘O.’ were on the spot the
execution was deadly.  Thus, in 1832, in the first match at 30 birds
each, each shot 28; in the second, B. killed 25, O. 23; and in a third
match B. killed his 25, and O. his 22.

At one time a half-witted man called Billy the Nutman drove his little
trade near the Red House, and for a few pence would stand in the water
while sportsmen of the baser sort took shots in his direction.  Here, at
any rate, pigeon-shooting did not encourage humanity or a sense of

A nicer habitué of the Red House was the raven Gyp, the treasure of the
landlord, Mr. Wright. {73}  Gyp was not, indeed, universally beloved,
especially by the prowling dogs of the neighbourhood, on whom he pounced
with beak and claw.  He was, moreover, not inexpert in thieving, and had,
in many hiding-places, deposited the spoons and pairs of spectacles
snapped up in leisure moments.  He had also formed a coin collection by
swooping down on the sixpences and shillings placed on the bar by
customers paying their reckoning.  He was a talking bird, but indulged
neither in fatuous endearments nor horrid oaths.  He was, in truth, a
practical joker of the finest feather.  His human ‘What’s a clock?’
elicited an answer from many a Cockney oarsman as he passed the Red
House; and his ‘Boat ahoy!  Our Rock, over!’ could be heard across the
river.  Now, at the White House (opposite the Red) was stationed a
ferryman named Rock, and even Mr. James Rock was sometimes deceived.
Twice on one day he had crossed to the Red House to answer the call of a
non-existent passenger, but the third time he caught the raven in the
act, and flung the handiest missile—a pewter pot—at the mischievous bird.
The landlord was enraged, though Gyp escaped; but it was probably owing
to this incident that Gyp was removed to a Midland county, where, in the
absence of Cockneys and ferrymen, he pined away and died.

 [Picture: The Red House, Battersea.  From a view published by J. Rorke,
                               circa 1845]

The frequenters of the Red House were not all pigeon-shooters.  Around it
extended the drear and marshy waste of Battersea Fields, abounding in
plants many and curious, but also in strange specimens of humanity.  In
the early years of the nineteenth century an informal fair was held at
Easter in the Fields; in 1823 it was prohibited, but the spirit of
fairing was not dead, and from 1835 onwards the fair became perpetual,
and especially vigorous on the Day of Rest.  A Battersea missionary, the
Rev. Thomas Kirk, states his recollections of this fair as follows: ‘If
ever there was a place out of hell which surpassed Sodom and Gomorrah in
ungodliness and abomination, this was it.’  ‘I have gone,’ he says, ‘to
this sad spot in the afternoon and evening of the Lord’s Day, when there
have been from 60 to 120 horses and donkeys racing, foot-racing, walking
matches, flying boats, flying horses, roundabouts, theatres, comic
actors, shameless dancers, conjurers, fortune-tellers, gamblers of every
description, drinking-booths, stalls, hawkers, and vendors of all kinds
of articles.’  It would be impossible to describe the ‘mingled shouts and
noises and the unmentionable doings of this pandemonium on earth.’

 [Picture: Barry, the Clown, on the Thames.  (Cf. Red House, Battersea.)]

This is graphic enough, but perhaps a trifle severe, for it will be noted
that in the worthy missionary’s indictment the donkeys and the
roundabouts are hardly less heinous counts than the gambling and the
unmentionable doings.  However this may be, Battersea Fields for years
not only outraged the notion of a quiet Sunday, but in the summertime
attracted by thousands the choicest specimens of the loafer, the
‘gypsey,’ and the rowdy.  It might have been left to the local builder to
cover the objectionable fields with bricks and mortar, but a better way
was found.  In 1846 an Act of Parliament empowered the Commissioners of
Woods and Forests to form a park in the Fields, and in 1850 the Red House
and its shooting-ground were purchased by them for £10,000.  But the
landlord (James Ireland) and the fair people had still two years to run.
Mr. Ireland, on his part, considerably forced the pace, and made his
garden into a minor Vauxhall, where we hear of balloons and fireworks, a
ballet, a circus, a dancing-platform, and a tight rope.  All this must
have been on a humble scale, for sixpence and threepence were the highest
charges.  It was in 1852 that Mr. John Garratt raced Mr. Hollyoak from
the Old Swan to the Red House for £5, their boats being washing-tubs
drawn by geese.  Nothing is new in ‘amusements,’ and even this silly
contest was as old as 1844, when John Barry, the clown of Astley’s, had
conducted (in full canonicals) a similar craft from Vauxhall to
Westminster. {75}  As another attraction Ireland introduced the
pedestrian Searles to perform the dismal feat of walking 1,000 miles in
1,000 consecutive hours.  Mr. Searles walked for six weeks, from July 7
to August 18 (1851), and an ox was roasted whole in the grounds to
celebrate his achievement.  A monster loaf, a plum-pudding weighing a
hundredweight, and a butt of Barclay’s best, were at the same time
presented to the public.  A calf, a fat sheep, and a prime pig were
promised for future Sundays.

The fair was suppressed by the magistrates in May, 1852, and from this
time the formation of Battersea Park went slowly on till its formal
opening on March 28, 1858.  It occupies 198 acres of the old Fields, and
has absorbed, besides the Red House, some other places of resort—the
Tivoli Gardens on the river front, and the Balloon tavern and gardens in
the marshland.

[Bills and advertisements (W.); H. S. Simmonds, _All about Battersea_;
_Picture of London_, 1841–1846; Colburn’s _Kalendar_, 1840; and _Bell’s
Life_ (for the pigeon-shooting); Walford, vi. 476 _f._; Sexby’s
_Municipal Parks_.]

There are several lithographs and water-colour drawings, all showing the
front of the house and the jetty.  A similar view (an oil-painting) in
Mr. Gardner’s collection is reproduced in Birch’s _London on Thames_,
Plate XVII.


‘THESE beautiful grounds, once the resort of Royalty,’ were opened by a
Mr. King in 1839, and flourished for a few years, till about 1845.  Their
famous neighbour ‘Vauxhall’ was no longer what it had been, and in 1840
was actually closed for a year.  There was thus an opening for a ‘Minor
Vauxhall’ with summer concerts _à la Musard_.

A band of from thirty to fifty performers was engaged under Blewitt as
director and composer, and the grand gala concerts twice a week were
hardly inferior to those of Vauxhall as it then was.  Operatic and dance
music, and plenty of ballads and comic songs, formed the programme.  The
comic singer was the popular Henry Howell; the other vocalists are not
much known to fame—Mr. Hart and Mr. Frost, and two ladies, Mademoiselle
Braehem and Miss Gieulien, who seem to have modelled their names on those
of better-known musicians.  The concerts were followed by Darby’s
fireworks and by ascents of Montgolfier balloons, which, ‘on reaching a
certain height,’ discharged parachutes, and themselves descended quietly
into the gardens, instead of wandering off to risky trees and ponds in
remote English counties.  The admission was a shilling or sixpence, with
refreshments, and in 1840 the experiment was tried of admitting ladies

‘The resort of Royalty’ to the gardens was legitimately inferred from the
fact that the grounds were at the back of Brunswick House, the former
residence of the Duke of Brunswick.  The local resident entered his
pleasure-garden from the Wandsworth Road, and respectfully skirted the
house and its private grounds till he reached a spacious lawn at the
back.  This was bordered on two sides by rustic boxes and refreshment
bars, and by an orchestra and assembly-room.  The pleasantest feature of
the garden was a promenade platform erected on piles over the Thames.
Close by was the river entrance and the pier of the Vauxhall Hotel, at
which the steamboats from Hungerford Market and the City landed visitors
at about seven o’clock.

Brunswick House, an ugly but spacious brick mansion (No. 54, Wandsworth
Road), is still standing, and is now used as a Club for the employés of
the London and South-Western Railway.  The garden space is absorbed by
yards and wharves.

[Bills and newspaper advertisements; a plan of the gardens, 1844; and a


THESE gardens, entered from the Wyndham Road, Camberwell, had a brief but
lively existence from 1849 till about 1857.  A central walk, adorned with
fountains and lawns on either hand, led to a ball-room on the right, and
on the left to a maze described as ‘the nearest to that of Hampton
Court.’  This maze was intricate and verdant, and provided with a
competent guide, while in the middle—in which respect it surpassed ‘that
of Hampton Court’—it had a magic hermitage inhabited by a learned
Chaldean astrologer.

Concerts and dancing took place every evening in the summer, the
admission being sixpence.  On special occasions there were costume balls
with a large band.  From 1851 to 1854 James Ellis, the former lessee of
Cremorne, was manager.  He gave a ball _à la Watteau_, and in 1854
repeated Lord Chief Baron Nicholson’s ‘1,000 guineas fête,’ {79} which
had the genuine, and slightly risky, Nicholson flavour.  It lasted three
days, and included a steeplechase by lady jockeys, a Coventry procession
by torchlight, with Lady Godiva and other characters sustained ‘by
artists’ (presumably not R.A’s) ‘from the Royal Academy.’  There were
also Arabian Nights’ entertainments, and a mock election for Camberwell,
in which the candidates addressed the free and independent voters from
the hustings.

On Sundays the Flora Gardens granted free admissions, and a
representative of _Paul Pry_ who visited the place in 1857 describes the
local frequenters.  Polly P*rs*ns was, he tells us, quite up to the door
in her summer turn-out, while that pretty, gazelle-like girl from the
‘Manor,’ Lizzie B., accompanied by her particularly especial friend Polly
P*rk*r, amused themselves by firing at targets for nuts. {80}

[Plan of Gardens in 1855 (W.); bills, advertisements, etc. (W.);
_Theatrical Journal_, 1851.]


THESE gardens, attached to the Montpelier House tavern, came into
existence in the later years of the eighteenth century.  William Hazlitt,
the essayist (born in 1778), recalls with pleasure his ‘infant
wanderings’ in this place, to which he used to be taken by his father.

In July, 1796, the newly formed Montpelier Club played their first match
in their cricket ground at Montpelier Gardens; and on August 10 and 11 of
that year the same ground was the scene of a match of a rather painful,
if curious, character.  The game, like all the cricket of the period, had
high stakes dependent on it—in this case 1,000 guineas—and the players
were selected (by two noble lords) from the pensioners of Greenwich
Hospital: eleven men with one leg against eleven with one arm.  The match
began at ten, but about three a riotous crowd broke in, demolished the
gates and fences, and stopped the proceedings till six o’clock, when play
was resumed.  On the second day the elevens reappeared, being brought to
the scene of action in three Greenwich stage-coaches, not without flags
and music.  The match was played out, and the one-legged men beat the
poor one-arms by 103. {81b}

In the first thirty years of the nineteenth century the place had
considerable local reputation as a tea-garden, and was noted for its
maze.  It did not become extinct till the end of the fifties.

In 1828 one of the attractions by day and by candle-light was the
waxworks booth of the Messrs. Ewing, ‘consisting of 129 public
characters, large as life.’  In this collection, omitting minor
celebrities, were to be seen George IV. in his chair of state; the
lamented Princess Charlotte; Guy Fawkes, who attempted to blow up the
Parliament House; the Archbishop of York; Wallace, the hero of Scotland;
‘the unfortunate John Bellingham’; and Daniel Dancer, ‘the miserable
miser,’ with his sister and servant.  There was, moreover, a likeness of
the celebrated living skeleton, ‘procured at enormous expense and
difficulty’ (presumably to the skeleton).  ‘Those who delight,’ said the
bills, ‘in the wonders of the Creator will no doubt be highly gratified,
without enduring that unpleasantness which some have complained of when
viewing the being himself [_i.e._, the skeleton].’ {82}

The gardens were to the west of the present Walworth Road, a little to
the south-west of Princes Street.  The Montpelier tavern and Walworth
Palace of Varieties (No. 18, Montpelier Street) is on part of the site.

[Bills and newspaper notices; _Picture of London_, 1802–1830; W. W.
Read’s _Annals of Cricket_.]


A VIEW here reproduced represents these once famous gardens as they
appeared in the early thirties.  They were in existence, somewhat
transformed, as late as 1877, but it is now difficult to imagine that
they were situated in a populous region between the Kennington and
Walworth Roads.

The ‘Zoo’ which found a home in a beautiful garden in the south of London
was for some time no mean rival to the Zoo _par excellence_ in Regent’s
Park, while, as a place of public entertainment, the Surrey Gardens had
something of the popularity of Cremorne, with which they were, in fact,
nearly coeval.  But here the resemblance ends, for the Surrey Zoo had no
dancing-platform, {83} no alcoholic drinks for more than thirteen years,
and rarely furnished to the police-court reporter any copy worthy of his
notice.  The gardens were generally closed at 10 p.m., and the addition
in 1846 of two new constables to the permanent staff was advertised as an
effective terror to evil-doers.  The gardens were by no means solely
frequented by South Londoners, though they were far from the luxurious
west, and on the wrong side of the Thames.  Fireworks, promenade concerts
and ballooning were a bait for the shillings of the sightseer, but for
more than twenty years at least these attractions never quite
sophisticated the simple recreation afforded by the Zoological Garden.

  [Picture: A South-East View in the Surrey Zoological Gardens.  After a
                  lithograph published by Havell, 1832]

The founder, and for many years the proprietor, of these gardens was
Edward Cross, whose menagerie at Exeter Change was once a London sight
and the abode of the famous elephant Chunee.  But Exeter Change, as old
views of London clearly show, projected itself in an obstructive way
across the pavement of the Strand, and in 1829 was removed for the
formation of Burleigh Street.  Mr. Cross then moved his animals to a
temporary home in the King’s Mews (the site of Trafalgar Square).  In the
autumn of 1831 the menagerie found itself in South London.  The
Manor-House, Walworth, had attached to it a fine garden of fifteen acres
and a lake of three acres, {84} which was not only a picturesque feature,
but, as we shall afterwards see, a valuable theatrical asset as ‘real
water.’  The owner of the Manor-House had already spent several thousands
on his grounds, and it was not difficult for Cross to make the necessary
alterations.  The gardens were remodelled or laid out anew by Henry
Phillips, author of _Sylva Florifera_, with flower-beds, walks, and
undulating lawns, and an early guidebook to the gardens gives a list of
its two hundred varieties of hardy trees.  Aviaries were soon put up for
the singing birds, and swings and cages for the parrots.  The water-birds
readily took to the little ponds, and the swans and herons were soon at
home in the Great Lake, where they found an island haven overhung by
drooping willows.  The lions and tigers were caged in a great circular
conservatory of glass (something like the palm-house at Kew), 300 feet
long, and constructed nearly in the centre of the grounds.  A still
larger octagon building with enclosed paddocks was erected for the
zebras, emus, and kangaroos.

The _Companion_ to the gardens, issued in 1835, duly sets forth the
catalogue of the animals and birds, and many numbers of the _Mirror_
magazine give neat woodcuts of the ‘latest additions,’ at that time
apparently rare or curious, though now sufficiently familiar.  The
greatest popular successes were the three giraffes—the first ever seen in
England—brought over in 1836 from Alexandria; the orang-outang; the
Indian one-horned rhinoceros (1834); Nero, the lion who cost £800, and
was stated to be twenty years old; and a gigantic tortoise, which small
children used to ride.

The Zoological Garden was inaugurated under distinguished auspices, and
the prospectus of 1831 proclaims as patrons the Queen, the Duchess of
Kent, the Princess Victoria, and an imposing array of Dukes and
Marquises.  The season tickets were a guinea, and the admission at the
gates was from first to last one shilling.  In this prospectus nothing
was said about popular amusements, and for several years nothing much was
done in this direction beyond anniversary fêtes of the fancy fair
description.  On such occasions performers like Ramo Samee, the
sword-swallower, and Blackmore of Vauxhall made their appearance,
Blackmore’s function being to cross the lake on a rope sixty feet high.

In 1837 the South London Horticultural Society, formed in the preceding
year, held the first of many successful flower-shows in the gardens.  In
the same year the first panorama was displayed—‘Vesuvius, with the town
and port of Posilippo.’  The lake was, of course, the Bay of Naples, with
feluccas and a miniature British frigate lying at anchor.  The painter of
Vesuvius, as of many of the later panoramas, was George Danson, the
scene-painter at Astley’s.  Danson was a clever artist in his way; his
panoramic drawing was good, and his colouring well kept under, so that
his productions would bear inspection by daylight.  At night-time the
fireworker of the gardens, J. Southby, appeared on the scene, and
Vesuvius was soon in eruption.  On the day when the first eruption was to
take place the manager of the gardens—if _Bell’s Life_ is not misleading
us—solemnly warned the chief fireman of the City, in case he should send
to Walworth engines that might be more needed elsewhere.

Vesuvius was repeated in 1838, and henceforth the Surrey Zoo was never
without an exhibition of the kind.  It is a good rule always to see a
panorama or a big model whenever one has the opportunity, but the reader
will perhaps be contented if I set forth the chronology of the Surrey
panoramas in a footnote. {86a}  However carefully painted the canvas
might be, a subject was preferred that lent itself to treatment by
gunpowder and fireworks.  Thus, Vesuvius was followed by Mount Hecla; Old
London was burnt in the Great Fire of 1666; Gibraltar was besieged;
Badajoz stormed ‘with effects of real ordnance’; and the taking of
Sebastopol was truly terrific.

The city of Rome (covering five acres) was a favourite subject.  The
scene showed the bridge over the Tiber, St. Peter’s, and the Castle of
St. Angelo.  At night-time Southby’s fireworks legitimately reproduced
the Roman Girandola of Easter Monday:

    “At the Surrey Menagerie every one knows
    (Because ’tis a place to which every one goes)
    There’s a model of Rome: and as round it one struts
    One sinks the remembrance of Newington Butts;
    And having one’s shilling laid down at the portal,
    One fancies oneself in the City Immortal.” {86b}

Quieter efforts were the Temples of Elora, and Edinburgh, a subject
suggested by Prince Albert.

   [Picture: Stirring up the Great Fire of London (Surrey Zoo).  After
                         George Cruikshank, 1844]

Balloon ascents, which had such a strange fascination for the frequenters
of Vauxhall in the thirties and forties, and which were always an
attraction at Cremorne, do not seem to have been a feature of the Surrey
Gardens.  An ascent by Henry Coxwell, on September 7, 1854, was of some
importance, as the balloonist for the first time gave a public exhibition
of his methods of balloon-signalling in war.  His apparatus was attached
to the car, and the signals were supposed to be addressed to the
beleaguered fortress of Sebastopol.  Some pigeons were also taken up, and
sent forth from the balloon with messages.

Two curiosities of ballooning are connected with these gardens.  In May,
1837, Mr. and Mrs. Graham took up in a parachute attached to their
balloon a monkey named Signor Jacopo, attired in a scarlet coat and
feathers.  The monkey descended in his parachute on Walworth Common, and,
being duly labelled with ‘two pounds reward,’ was promptly returned to
Mr. Cross.  In 1838 the appearance of the ‘Montgolfier’ balloon {88a}
excited no ordinary interest.  It was a monstrous machine made of lawn
varnished, and was said to be ‘of the height of the York Column, with a
circumference nearly half that of the dome of St. Paul’s.’  It was
announced to ascend on May 24, and people began to assemble in the
grounds at noon.  By seven o’clock there were nearly 5,000 spectators,
and, behind a huge tarpaulin, the balloon was supposed to be in process
of inflation.  The balloon was attached to a platform in the middle of
the lake, and its peculiarity was that it had to be inflated by chopped
straw burnt in a brazier under the orifice of the bag.  The size of the
furnace had been miscalculated, and after the balloon had twice been set
on fire, the ‘intrepid aeronaut’ decided not to ascend.  Some of the
spectators considered that, at any rate, the balloon could be punished,
and ‘a well-directed volley of stones’ soon left the monster prostrate on
the lake.  An attempt was made to drag it on shore and tear it in pieces,
but at this moment the cord broke.  Some of the rowdier spirits now
sought out the proprietor, hoping to duck him in one of his own ponds.
And when this failed, they attacked the glass panes of the lion’s
conservatory.  But suddenly the police appeared and Vesuvius burst forth
in all its fury, and when the fireworks were over the visitors quietly

From 1839 to 1844 orchestral concerts, without vocalists, were one of the
principal attractions.  A good band, under C. Godfrey, performed music of
the promenade-concert type—operatic overtures, dance-music by Strauss and
Musard, with an occasional ‘classical’ first part, when Handel and
Beethoven had their turn.

In 1844 there was a change of proprietors.  Edward Cross retired, {88b}
and was succeeded by William Tyler, who had been the secretary to the
gardens.  Next year a gigantic and very ugly orchestra was erected for
the accommodation of a band of 300 under Jullien, {89} who had made a
name by his promenade concerts at Covent Garden and Drury Lane.
Post-horn gallops and polkas now enlivened the multitude, and in this
‘Concert monstre’ the brass too often got the better of the strings.
Some vocalists (Mlle. Lovarny and Miss Huddart) were also introduced
(1848).  These concerts and the panoramas bring us to 1855, which was
practically the last year of the _old_ Zoo.  For Tyler then disposed of
his property, and sold off the wild beasts.  The popular taste was no
doubt changing, though Tyler had done his best, and lit up the glass
conservatory so that (as his advertisements stated) the ‘matchless
collection of carnivora could be viewed by gaslight.’

    [Picture: ‘Old London’ at the Surrey Zoological Gardens.  After a
                   lithograph published by Webb, 1844]

The gardens were now taken in hand by the Surrey Music-Hall Company, who
had a working capital of over £30,000, and rented the gardens for £346.
The chairman of this company was Sir W. de Bathe, but Jullien had a
considerable stake in the enterprise.  At a cost of £18,200 a music-hall
(in the classical sense of the word) was erected near the lake, on the
site of the circular conservatory.  This building, by Horace Jones, was
on a great scale, and would hold an audience of 12,000 and an orchestra
of 1,000.  Its general appearance was not ineffective, but a critic
described its style as degenerate Italian relieved in the French taste.
It was opened on July, 15, 1856, with a performance of ‘The Messiah,’
with Jullien, Clara Novello, Sims Reeves, Miss Dolby, and Piatti.

In the autumn the new hall had a strange tenant in Mr. C. H. Spurgeon,
who, finding Exeter Hall and his own chapel too small, hired the building
for four Sundays for a payment of £15 each Sunday.  On the evening of
October 19 there was an enormous congregation.  While Spurgeon was
engaged in prayer an extraordinary panic occurred.  Some mischief-maker
raised a shout of ‘Fire!’ or, according to another account, there was an
agonized cry of ‘The roof!  The roof!’  A mad rush was made for the
doors, some of which seem to have been locked to prevent people strolling
in and out of the gardens.  Spurgeon kept calm, and, when the terror
subsided, some of the congregation found their way back to the hall, but
seven persons had been killed and about fifty injured in the crush.

The new company was soon in difficulties, and in August of 1857 the
directors were behindhand with their rates.  At a meeting of the
shareholders Jullien complained bitterly that, though a profit of £1,000
had been made, he was given no money to pay his band.  He had lost—as he
put it—£2,000 by his unpaid salary, and £2,000 by his worthless shares.
In 1859 there was a more modest orchestra of sixty, and the Surrey
Gardens Choir performed madrigals; but in the background there were
proceedings in Chancery, and in April the gardens—now described as of ten
acres—were advertised for sale.  In June, 1861, the music-hall was burnt
out, and though in the following year a picture of the Bay of Naples was
offered to the public, the life of the gardens was wellnigh extinct.  It
happened that at this time (1862) the authorities of St. Thomas’s
Hospital had to leave their old home in Southwark, and needed a temporary
resting-place.  They had the music-hall rebuilt, and used it for the
reception of patients until 1871.  Then the new hospital was opened on
the Albert Embankment.

The gardens nearly outlasted the seventies.  In May 1872, an enterprising
lessee, Frederick Strange, who had been manager and proprietor of the
Alhambra, opened the gardens for concerts, operettas, and ballets. {90}
The grounds had become a wilderness, and had to be considerably
‘improved.’  The theatre was the old music-hall remodelled.  At the
opening concert Mme. Marimon and other members of Mapleson’s opera
company appeared, and Sims Reeves and Mme. Patey sang at one of the
ballad concerts.  But in 1873 the entertainments were fashioned on those
of Cremorne.  There were Derby and Oaks ‘Festivals’ in May, and that
unfortunate nobleman, ‘Sir Roger Tichborne,’ was announced to appear in
the theatre.  In September there was a gala with ‘50,000’ lamps for the
benefit of Robert Duffell, who had for half a century illumined Vauxhall,
Cremorne, and smaller public gardens.

In 1875 the lessees were Messrs. Poole and Stacey, who produced comic
opera and ballet.  Captain Boyton this year exhibited the life-saving
apparatus with which he had crossed the Channel.  In 1877 a new manager
or lessee, John Reeves, offered for a sixpenny admission an open-air
dancing-platform, a variety entertainment, and the sight of a Canadian ox
of 400 stone.  The last regular entertainment took place in the theatre
on August 14, 1877.

In March, 1878, the theatre was hired for a single performance, a boxing
match between Rooke and Harrington.  A rough company of 800 people were
got together, and the prize, a splendid silver vase valued at £100, was
ostentatiously displayed to the audience.  An old ‘Surrey’ waiter who was
present is said to have recognized in this noble trophy a capacious
_leaden_ vessel which had stood on one of the refreshment counters in the
water-drinking days of the Zoological Gardens. {91}

[This account is mainly based on a large collection of bills, views, and
newspaper matter formed by the writer.  Some interesting details in
Bishop H. H. Montgomery’s _Kennington_, 1889, chap. xi.; Walford, _Old
and New London_; Blanchard in _Era Almanack_, 1871, p. 4; Blanchard’s

Views: Plan of the gardens prefixed to the _Companion to the Royal Surrey
Gardens_, third edition, 1835.  Lithograph published by Havell in 1832
(W.).  Lithograph by Alvey, 1836.  Views in the _Mirror_, 1832.
_Illustrated London News_, July 19, 1856 (view of gardens in 1856).  The
annual panoramas were regularly pictured in the _Mirror_ and the
_Illustrated London News_.]


IN this list, which, though long, is not exhaustive, it is not
practicable to do more than indicate the site and the _approximate_ date.
Many of these places were only small gardens attached to public-houses.


BLACK LION, Chelsea.—Church Street (formerly Church Lane), at the corner
of Paulton Street (_circa_ 1820).

ADMIRAL KEPPEL, Chelsea.—Now No. 77, Fulham Road.  The gardens lay
between Marlborough Road and Keppel Street, and extended to Albert Place
at the back of the tavern (1790–1856).

MARLBOROUGH (afterwards WELLINGTON) GARDENS and Cricket Ground.—West end
of Cadogan Street.  The gardens and cricket field lay between Cadogan
Street and Draycott Place, and part of the Guinness Trust Buildings in
Marlborough Road are now on the site (_circa_ 1794–1850, or later).

SIX BELLS, NO. 197, King’s Road, Chelsea.—Still preserves a small garden
and bowling-green.  (View in P. Norman’s _London Vanished_, etc., p.

THE SWAN, Chelsea.—Old Swan House (No. 20, Embankment Gardens) is on part
of the site (_circa_ 1780–1873).  (Blunt’s _Chelsea_, p. 116; _cf._ p.
119 for the older Swan (_circa_ 1780) in Chelsea.)

KENSINGTON.—Several small gardens: The King’s Arms (early nineteenth
century); White Horse to _circa_ 1850 (now Holland Arms, No. 1, St. Mary
Abbot’s Terrace).

HOOP AND TOY, Brompton.—Now No. 34, Thurloe Place, S.W. (_circa_

KING’S ARMS, Pimlico.—Now No. 68, Ranelagh Road.  The gardens were near
the river, between Claverton Street and Ranelagh Road (_circa_

NEW RANELAGH GARDENS, Pimlico.—See _supra_, p. 28.

THE GUN, Pimlico.—The Buckingham Palace Hotel on part of the site
(_circa_ 1830–1857).

THE MONSTER, St. George’s Row, Pimlico.—Now 2, Sutherland Terrace
(_circa_ 1820–1830 and later).

THE FLASK, Ebury Square.—See _supra_, p. 29.

ORANGE TEA-GARDENS, Pimlico (with amateur theatre).—St. Barnabas’ Schools
in Church Street, Pimlico Road, on site (_circa_ 1830–1845).  These
gardens were not identical (as incorrectly stated in _London
Pleasure-Gardens_, p. 219) with those of Strombolo House, which is still
standing, and now numbered 77 and 79, Pimlico Road.

UNION TEA-GARDENS.—Now No. 11, Pimlico Road, at the corner of Ranelagh
Grove (_circa_ 1802–1846).


BOTT’S ARCHERY TAVERN, Bayswater Road.—Now No. 4, Bathurst Street.
Bathurst Street is on the site of the bowling-green (_circa_ 1834–1839).

PRINCESS ROYAL, Bayswater.—See _supra_, p. 38.

NEW BAGNIGGE WELLS (or ‘CROWN’ GARDENS), Bayswater Road.—Now Crown Hotel
(_circa_ 1819–1840).

BAYSWATER TEA-GARDENS, Lancaster Gate.—_Circa_ 1790–1854.  (See _London
Pleasure-Gardens_, p. 117.)

THE MAZE, Harrow Road.—Now No. 6, Chichester Place, Harrow Road (_circa_

RANELAGH GARDENS, Paddington.—_Circa_ 1846.


THE PLOUGH, Notting Hill.—Now No. 144, High Street, Notting Hill (_circa_

YORKSHIRE STINGO, Marylebone Road.—_Circa_ 1770–1848.  (See _London
Pleasure-Gardens_, p. 115.)


For White Conduit House, Belvidere Tavern, Canonbury Tavern, Hornsey Wood
House, Highbury Barn, and Kentish Town Assembly-House, see _London
Pleasure-Gardens_, Group III.

THATCHED HOUSE, Islington.—Now No. 119, Essex Road (_circa_ 1810–1830, or

THE THREE COMPASSES, Hornsey, by the New River (1824 and later).  (Hone,
_Every-Day Book_, ii., p. 1311; Sherington, _Story of Hornsey_, p. 43;
Thorne’s _Environs_, _s.v._ Hornsey.)

BULL AND GATE.—Now No. 389, Kentish Town Road (1801 and later).

CASTLE.—Now No. 147, Kentish Town Road.  Garden site in Castle Place and
Castle Terrace (_circa_ 1830–1851).

HOXTON TEA-GARDENS, Britannia Saloon.—Now Britannia Theatre (1802–1841).

NORTH POLE, New North Road.—Now No. 190 (_circa_ 1840).

EDINBURGH CASTLE, Mornington Road, N.W.—Has still a small garden and a
museum formed by Mr. T. G. Middlebrook (before 1838).

BEDFORD ARMS, High Street, Camden Town.—Now Bedford Palace of Varieties.
The gardens were between Arlington Street and High Street.  May Terrace
was built on the bowling-green (_circa_ 1824 and later).

BRECKNOCK ARMS.—Now No. 227, Camden Road (_circa_ 1839–1870).

MOTHER RED CAP.—Now 174, High Street, Camden Town (from end of eighteenth
century to early nineteenth century).

SOUTHAMPTON ARMS.—Now No. 1, High Street, Camden Town (_circa_

ABBEY TAVERN, St. John’s Wood.—Now No. 8, Violet Hill Abbey Gardens, N.W.
(from _circa_ 1844).

EYRE ARMS, St. John’s Wood.—Now No. 1, Finchley Road.  The space behind
the tavern and the adjoining Wellington Hall is now Hannay’s
Riding-School (chiefly 1820 and 1830).

SWISS COTTAGE, St. John’s Wood.—Now 98, Finchley Road.  Has still a small
garden (_circa_ 1844).

HAMPSTEAD.—The Spaniards (see _London Pleasure-Gardens_, p. 184); Bull
and Bush (still with a garden, recently celebrated in song—_cf._ Thorne’s
_Handbook of Environs of London_, _s.v._ Hampstead); Jack Straw’s Castle.


BAGNIGGE WELLS, 1759–1841.—See _London Pleasure-Gardens_, Group I.; also
for some other gardens of early nineteenth century.

CHERRY GARDENS, Clerkenwell.—South-west corner of Bowling-Green Lane
(eighteenth century to _circa_ 1852).

UNION TAVERN.—Now 2, King’s Cross Road (_circa_ 1844–1860).


FALCON TAVERN.—East side of Bethnal Green (1830).

PITT’S HEAD, Bethnal Green.—_Circa_ 1820–1840.

BEN JONSON, Stepney.—_Circa_ 1832.

GREEN DRAGON, Stepney (1830).

GOLDEN EAGLE TAVERN, Mile End Road.—_Circa_ 1827.

LUSBY’S PLEASURE-GARDENS, Mile End Road.—Now Paragon Theatre of
Varieties, 95, Mile End Road (_circa_ 1874–1877).

NEW VICTORIA GARDENS, Mile End.—The Victoria Tavern, No. 110, Grove Road,
Arbery Road, and Medhurst Road, mark the site (_circa_ 1840–1850).

RED COW, Dalston.—_Circa_ 1801–1847.


For VAUXHALL GARDENS (_circa_ 1661–1859), CUMBERLAND GARDENS, etc., see
_London Pleasure-Gardens_, Group VI.

OLD KING’S ARMS, Southwark.—Now No. 68, Surrey Row—formerly Melancholy
Walk (before 1852).  (See Rendle and Norman, _Old Inns of Southwark_.)

THE HORNS, Kennington.—Now No. 214, Kennington Park Road.  Gardens
_circa_ 1800–1824.

THE BEEHIVE, Walworth.—See _supra_, p. 81.

VICTORIA (or ROYAL VICTORIA) GARDENS, Vauxhall.—Separated from Vauxhall
Gardens by Miller’s Lane (now St. Oswald’s Place).  Tate Street and part
of Neville Street on site.  Bounded on east by Vauxhall Street (_circa_

GREEN GATE, Lambeth.—Now 114, Ethelred Street (_circa_ 1710–1893).

CAMBERWELL GROVE HOUSE.—End of eighteenth century to _circa_ 1846.

NINE ELMS TAVERN.—Now 33, Nine Elms Lane, S.W.  The garden site now
occupied by the wharf of John Bryan and Co. (_circa_ 1840).

Wandsworth Road (_circa_ 1860).  Fêtes, with dancing and illuminations.

JAMAICA HOUSE, Bermondsey.—At the end of Cherry Garden Street, south of
the Jamaica Road.  Visited by Pepys, 1667.  Gardens existed till _circa_

CHERRY GARDENS, Rotherhithe.—Part of Cherry Garden Street now on the
site.  There is a Cherry-Tree public-house, No. 50, in that street.
Visited by Pepys, 1664.  Gardens existed till _circa_ 1846.

                                * * * * *

Mention must also be made of a few other nineteenth-century gardens
which, though not in London, were a good deal frequented by Londoners:

ROSHERVILLE GARDENS, Gravesend.—Established 1837, and still in existence.

THE NORTH WOOLWICH GARDENS (1851 to _circa_ 1883).—Now represented by the
Pavilion Hotel and the Royal Victoria Gardens, a public recreation-ground
(Sexby’s _Municipal Parks_, p. 457).

BEULAH SPA (_circa_ 1831–1854), with its archery and entertainments of
the ‘fancy fair’ kind, the site now partly occupied by the Beulah Spa
‘Hydro’ and its grounds.

ANERLEY GARDENS.—Near the station, Anerley (_circa_ 1841–1868).
(Thorne’s _Environs_, _s.v._ Anerley; Walford, _Old and New London_, vi.




Acrotormentarian Society, 40

Adams, W. H., balloonist, 9

Adams, Mrs. W. H., 46

Adelaide Gallery Casino, 7

Adelphi Theatre, 64

Admiral Keppel, Chelsea, 93

Albert Saloon, 68, 69

Albion Tavern, 5

Alhambra, Leicester Square, 13

Amburgh, Van, 69

American drinks, 7

Anerley Gardens, 97

Angling, 42, 52

Aquatic tournament, Cremorne, 8

Arban, J., 90

Archery, 38, 48

Archery Tavern, Bayswater, 38, 94

‘Aristocratic Fête,’ Cremorne, 8

Ashburnham House, Chelsea, 6, 23

Assembly House, Kentish Town, 95

Aston Park, Birmingham, 14

Atkinson, Miss M. A., actress, 61

Audrian, 19


Bagnigge Wells, 96

Bagnigge Wells, New.  See New Bagnigge Wells

Baldwin, vocalist, 67

Balloon, the captive, 16

Balloon Tavern, 75

Ballooning, 3, 5, 9, 16, 17, 30, 46, 47, 50, 51, 57, 58, 63, 68, 70, 71,
77, 87, 88

‘Baron’ Nicholson.  See Nicholson.

Barrett, Oscar, 67

Barry, John, clown, 74, 75

Barton, William, 50

Bathe, Sir W. de, 89

Battersea, 72–76

Battersea Fields, 73–75

Battersea Park, 75

Battle Bridge, 54

Batty, William, circus proprietor, 15, 30

Batty’s Hippodrome, 30, 31

Baum, John, 17–22

Bayswater, 37, 38, 94

Bayswater Tea-Gardens, 94

Beaufoy, H., 47

Beckwith family, 16

Bedford Arms, 95

Beehive, Walworth, 81, 82

Belgian fête, Cremorne, 16

Bell public-house, King’s Cross, 55

Belvidere Tavern, 95

Ben Jonson Tavern, Stepney, 96

Berenger, Baron de, 1–5

Bermondsey, 97

Bethnal Green, 96

Beulah Spa, 97

Billy the Nutman, 72

Bishop, James, 14

Black Lion, Chelsea, 93

Blackmore, rope-walker, 85

Blanchard, E. L., 26, 28, 29, 63, 67

Blessington, Lady, 31, 32

Blewitt, musician, 77

Blondin, ‘the female,’ 13, 14

Boisset family, 19

Boleno, H., 67

Bologna, harlequin, 53

Booth, ‘General,’ 65

Borini, bandmaster, 7

Bosjesmans, the, 8

Bott, James, 38, 94

Bott’s Archery Tavern, 94

Bouthellier, 9

Bower Saloon, 58

Bowling saloon, American, 7

Boyton, Captain, 91

Bradley, Henry, manager, 68

Braehem, Mlle., 77

Brandon, Mr. Alfred, 21, 22

Brecknock Arms, 95

Britannia Saloon, 95

Brunswick Gardens, Vauxhall, 77, 78

Brunswick House, 77, 78

Buislay, H. and E., 63

Bull and Bush, Hampstead, 96

Bull and Gate, 95

Burnand’s _Black-eyed Susan_, 17

Byron, Lord, 39


Cabinet Theatre, 56

Camberwell, 79, 80, 97

Camberwell Grove House, 97

Campbell, Herbert, 67

Campbell, of Sadler’s Wells, 67

Canonbury Tavern, 95

Caroline, Mme., 15

Castle Gardens, 95

Cavanagh, John, fives-player, 49

Cave and Mackney, 10

Chabert, 8

Chalk Farm, 39–41

Chelsea, 93; and see Cremorne and Manor-House Baths

Chelsea manor-houses, 25

Chelsea Vestry, 11, 20

Cherry Gardens, Clerkenwell, 96

— Rotherhithe, 97

Chinese Exhibition, 51

Christie, Mr., 39

Clarence Theatre, the Royal, 56

Clark, T. G., 64, 65

Clarke, Miss, rope-dancer, 59

Clerkenwell, 52, 96

Coal Hole, the, 4

Cochrane, Lord, 2

Cocking’s parachute, 46

Compasses, the Three, 95

Concerts at Grecian Saloon, 58–61

Connop, J., 35

Conquest family, 63

Conquest, B. O., 63, 64, 66

Conquest, George, 63, 64, 65

Conquest, George, the younger, 64

Core, Cristoforo, 8

Coronation Pleasure-Grounds, 60

Coveney, Harriet, 67

Cowell, Sam, 10, 63

Coxwell, Henry, 63, 70, 87

Cremorne Gardens, 1–24; plan of, 6–8; sale of, 22, 23; site of, 23, 24

Cremorne House, 1, 2

Creole choristers, 10

Cricket, 70, 81

Crockford’s Club, 13, 25

Cromwell, the Rev. Canon, 21

Cross, Edward, 83, 88

Crown Tavern, Pentonville, 59

Crown Gardens, Bayswater, 94

Cruikshank, George, 2, 24

Cumberland Gardens, 96

Cushine, Thérèse, 67

Cyder Cellars, 4


Dancer, Daniel, miser, 82

Dancing at Cremorne, 7, 17

Danson, George, 85, 86

Darby, fireworker, 3, 77

Deacon, manager, 53

Dean, Miss, 46

Debach brothers, 30

Delamarne’s balloon, 17

Deulin, 10, 67

De Vere, conjurer, 19

Dickens, Charles, 59, 60, 82 _n_.

Dolby, Miss, 89

D’Orsay, Count, 32, 34

Doughty’s dogs, 19

Dowling, Isaac, 67

Duelling, 39, 40

Duffell, Robert, fireworker, 3, 8, 91


Eagle, the, City Road, 57–67

Edinburgh Castle, tavern, 95

Edwards, Lambert, 10

Eel-Pie House, Highbury, 42, 43

Eglinton Tournament, 15, 16

Elliot brothers, acrobats, 51

Ellis, James, manager, 5, 79

Evans’s Supper-Rooms, 10

Ewing’s waxworks, 82

Exeter Change, 83

Eyre Arms, 95


Falcon Tavern, Bethnal Green, 96

Fancourt, Mr. H., 43, 59

Finsbury Fields, 48

Fitzgerald, Percy, 22

Fitzwilliam, Mrs., 56

Fives-playing, 49

Flask Tavern, Ebury Square, 29

Flexmore, Richard, 7, 62

Flora Gardens, Camberwell, 79, 80

Flower-shows, 6, 8, 85

‘Flying man.’  See Groof

Forde, Miss, 67

Franconi, 8, 51

Frazer, Mr., vocalist, 61

Frost, Mr., vocalist, 77


Garibaldi, 44

Garnerin’s parachute, 46

Garratt, John, 75

Garrick’s Head, tavern, 4

Geary, Stephen, 55

‘Geneive,’ Mme., 14

Genvieve, Mme., 14

Gieulien, Miss, 77

Glindon, Robert, 10, 60

Globe Pleasure-Grounds, 70, 71

Godard’s balloon, 16, 17

Godfrey, C., bandmaster, 88, 89

Godfrey, D., bandmaster, 89

Golden Eagle Tavern, 96

Gore House, Kensington, 31–33

Graham, Mr., balloonist, 30, 87

Graham, Mrs., balloonist, 3, 30, 46, 50, 80, 87

Greaves, W., artist, 24

Grecian Saloon and Theatre, 57–67

Green, Charles, balloonist, 5, 9, 46, 57

Green Dragon, Stepney, 96

Green Gate, City Road, 59, 60

Green Gate, Lambeth, 97

Grimaldi, 53

Groof, Vincent de, 17–19

Grove House, Camberwell, 97

Grover, Russell, 61

Gun, the, Pimlico, 64

Gyp, the raven, 73

Gypson, balloonist, 68


Hackney, 46, 47

Hampstead, 95

Hampton, John, balloonist, 3, 30, 51

Handel, 88

Harrington, boxer, 91

Harris, Thomas, balloonist, 57, 58, 82

Harroway, musician, 67

Hart, Mr., vocalist, 77

Hawkins, Sir Henry, 22

Hazlitt, William, 81

Hengler, 29, 59

Herring, Paul, clown, 69

Highbury, 42

Highbury Barn, 13, 14, 95

Hippodrome, Batty’s, Kensington, 30, 31

Hippodrome, Notting Hill, 34–36

Hogarth’s ‘Evening,’ 52

Hollyoak, 75

Hoop and Toy, Brompton, 93

Horn, C., musician, 61

Horns, the, Kennington, 96

Hornsey, 95

Hornsey Wood House, 42, 43, 95

Howell, Henry, singer, 60, 77

Hoxton, 48

Hoxton Tea-Gardens, 95

Huddart, Miss, 89

Hunt, Henry, M.P., 57

Huntingdon, Lady, 1


Ireland, James, 75

Ireland, T., 5

Ironwork gates, Cremorne, 24; and see frontispiece

Isaacson, of Grecian Theatre, 7

Islington, 48, 95

‘Islington Vauxhall,’ 49


Jack Straw’s Castle, 96

Jackson’s racing-grounds, 94

Jamaica House, Bermondsey, 97

James, Miss Fraser (or Frazer), singer, 59; an illustration, p. 59

Jefferini, clown, 82

Jeffrey, Francis, 39

Joel, Herr von, 10

Jones, Emma, artist, 32

Jones, Horace, architect, 89

Jones, Tom, mimic, 68

Jullien, 89, 90


Kensington, 30–33, 93

Kentish Town, 44, 45

Kentish Town Assembly House, 95

King’s Arms, Kensington, 93

King’s Arms, Pimlico, 94

King’s Arms, the old, Southwark, 96

King’s Cross, 54–56

King’s Cross Theatre, 56


Lambeth, 97

Lanza, Gesualdo, 55, 56

Lanza, Rosalie, 56

Latour, Henri, 9, 10

Laurent, bandmaster, 7

Lauri family, 17

Leclercq family, 67

Leotard, 16

Littlejohn, manager, 5

Lovarny, Mlle., 89

Love, Miss, 10

Lumber Troop, 50

Lusby’s Pleasure-Gardens, 90


Mackney and Cave, 10

Maddox, equilibrist, 52

Maginn, Dr., 4

Manor-House, Walworth, 84

Manor-House Baths and Gardens, Chelsea, 25–29

Manor-House Theatre, Chelsea, 26

Marimon, Mme., 91

Marionettes at Cremorne, 7

Marlborough Gardens, Chelsea, 93

Marriott’s band, 7

Matthews, C. H., 41, 53

Matthews, Fanny, 5

Matthews, Tom, clown, 5

Maze, the, tavern, Harrow Road, 94

Mead, T., actor, 67

Mermaid Tavern, Hackney, 46, 47

Middlebrook, T. G., 95

Milano, harlequin, 67

Mile End, 70, 96

Millbank, 28

Moffatt’s circus, 51

Moncrieff, W. T., 67

Monster, the, Pimlico, 94

Montgolfier balloons, 16, 17, 77, 88

Montgomery, Charles, Grecian Theatre, 67

Montpelier Cricket Club, 70, 81

Montpelier Gardens, Walworth, 81, 82

Moore, T., the poet, 39

Mortram, fireworker, 8

Mother Red Cap, 95

Musard, 77

Myddelton, Sir Hugh, 52, 53


Napoleon, Prince Louis, 15

Natator, ‘man-frog,’ 16

New Bagnigge Wells, 94

New Globe Pleasure-Grounds, 70, 71

New Ranelagh, Millbank, 26–29

New River, 42, 52

New Victoria Gardens, Mile End, 96

Nicholls, Harry, 64

Nicholson, ‘Baron,’ 3–5, 13, 79

Nicholson, Renton.  See Nicholson, Baron

Nine Elms Tavern, 97

North Pole, 95

North Woolwich Gardens, 97

Notting Hill, 34–36, 94

Novello, Clara, 89


Old King’s Arms, Southwark, 96

Opera, 17, 55, 61

Orange Tea-Gardens, Pimlico, 94


Paganini, 59

Paget, Lieutenant, 49

Panarmonion Gardens, 54–56

Pandean Band, 58

Panoramas, Surrey Gardens, 85–87

Paragon Theatre, 96

Parkes, Miss C., 67

Parsons, organ-builder, 61

Patey, Madame, 91

Pavilion Theatre, 63

Penn, Granville, 2

Penn, William, 1

Pepper’s ghost, 44

Pereira, Mme., 16

Phillips, Henry, botanist, 84

Phillips, Philip, scene-painter, 58

Piatti, 89

Pigeon-shooting, 72

Pilton, James, 25

Pimlico, 29, 94

Pitt’s Head, 96

Plimmeri, Signor, 28

Plough, the, Notting Hill, 94

Poitevin, Mme., 9

Polytechnic Institution, 44

Poole, Charles, manager, 26

Poole and Stacey, managers, 91

Powell, Mrs.  See Geneive

Primrose Hill, 39

Princess Royal, Bayswater, 38

Pugilism, 42, 43

Punnett, P., 61


Racing, 34–36

Ramo Samee, 85

Random, Charles.  See Berenger

Ranelagh Gardens, Paddington, 94

Ranelagh, the New, Gardens, 26–29

Red Cow, Dalston, 96

Red House, Battersea, 72–76

Red Lion, Holborn, 12

Reeves, John, manager, 91

Reeves, Sims, 67, 89, 91

Rivière, Jules, 17

Robson, Frederick, 62

Rock, James, 73

Rooke, boxer, 91

Rosemary Branch, 48–51

Rosherville Gardens, 97

Rosoman, 52

Rouse, Thomas, 57–62

Rowlandson’s ‘Hackney Assembly,’ 47

Royal Oak, Bayswater, 37

Royal Standard Pleasure-Grounds, 68, 69

Russelli family, 80


Sadler, balloonist, 46, 47

Sadler’s Wells, 52, 53

St. John’s Wood, 95

St. Pancras Volunteers, 39

St. Thomas’s Hospital, 90

Sala, G. A., 6, 31, 32

Salamander, the Italian, 8

Salvation Army, 65, 66

Samee, Ramo, 85

Savage, Ned, wrestler, 42

Scott, John, 39

Searles, pedestrian, 75

Sharp, J. W., 10

Shepherd and Shepherdess Gardens, 57

Shepherd, T. H., artist, 24, 33, 41, 60

Sidney, A.  See Wigan, Alfred

Silvester.  See Sylvester

Simmons’s balloon, 17–19

Simpson, Thomas Bartlett, 5–12

Sir Hugh Myddelton’s Head, 52, 53

Six Bells, Chelsea, 93

‘Skeleton, the living,’ 82

Sloman, Charles, 67, 80

Sluice House, Highbury, 42, 43

Smith, Edward Tyrrell, 12–16

Smith, Miss, Grecian Theatre, 59

Smith, Richard, manager, 25–28

South London Horticultural Society, 85

Southampton Arms, 95

Southby, J., fireworker, 85

Southwark, 96

Soyer, Alexis, 31–33

Soyer, Madame, 32

Soyer’s symposium, 31–33

Spaniards, the, Hampstead, 96

Springfield Watercress Grounds, 97

Spry, H., 64

Spurgeon, C. H., 89

Stacey and Poole, managers, 91

Stacey, Walter, manager, 80

Stadium, Chelsea, 1–3, 24

Standard Pleasure-Grounds, 68, 69

Stanfield, Clarkson, 58

Stepney, 96

Stocks, Miss Sophia, 57, 58

Strange, Frederick, 90

Strombolo House, 94

Surrey Gardens.  See Surrey Zoological Gardens

Surrey Zoological Gardens, 55, 83, 92

Swiss Cottage, 95

Sylvester, A., 44


Thatched House, Islington, 95

Thorrington, H., 55

‘Tichborne, Sir Roger,’ 91

Tivoli Gardens, Battersea, 75

Tunstall, Miss, 67, 69

Turnour, fireworker, 26

Tyler, William, 88, 89


Union Tavern, Clerkenwell, 96

Union Tea-Gardens, 94


Van Amburgh, 69

Vaughan, Kate, 63

Vauxhall Gardens, 6–10, 29, 58, 96

Vauxhall Pleasure-Gardens, 77, 78

Vauxhall, the, Islington, 49

Vere.  See De Vere

Victor, Miss M. A., 64

Victoria Gardens, the New, Mile End, 96

Victoria Gardens, Vauxhall, 97


Walworth, 81, 82, 83 _f_.

Wandsworth Road, 78

Ward, James, artist, 4

Webb, Bill, pugilist, 43

Wellington Gardens, Chelsea, 93

Wellington Restaurant, 13

Weston, Edward, manager, 44

Weston’s Retreat, 44, 45

Whichelo, H. M., artist, 71

White Conduit House, 95

White Horse, Kensington, 93

Whitfield, George, 1

Whyte, John, 34

Wigan, Alfred, actor, 26

Wilberforce, William, 32

Williams, W. H., singer, 56

Wrestling, 40, 57, 69


Yorkshire Stingo, 94

Young, Selina, 14

                                * * * * *

         _Elliot Stock_, 62, _Paternoster Row_, _London_, _E.C._


{1}  The institution was being formed chiefly in 1831.  There is a
prospectus dated May 28, 1831.

{2a}  On the owners of Cremorne House, built _circa_ 1740, see Beaver,
_Chelsea_, p. 156.

{2b}  A double-barrelled gun made according to the Baron’s patent for
preventing accidents is shown in a table-case in the Chelsea Public
Library.  It is inscribed, ‘Patent Gun Manufactory, Cremorne House,

{2c}  The fullest account of this extraordinary affair is in Atlay’s
_Trial of Lord Cochrane_, in which the evidence is carefully brought
together and sifted.

{2d}  Cruikshank also illustrated a ‘Stadium’ prospectus which was
published in the form of an attractive little book in 1834.

{3}  In 1836 fireworks by Duffell and Darby.  In 1837 a music and dancing
licence was granted to ‘Charles Random.’  In 1837 and 1839 John Hampton’s
balloon ascents and parachute experiments (_cf._ the _Mirror_, June 15,
1839).  A _fête-champêtre_ and Mrs. Graham’s balloon, June 16, 1838.  ‘A
_fête-champêtre_ to the Foreign Ambassadors,’ July 21, 1838.  Admission
5s. to 10s. 6d.  Fête for the benefit of the Poles, 1840 (_Bell’s Life_,
August 23, 1840).

{4a}  See note by Cecil Howard and Clement Scott in Blanchard’s _Life_.
Some details are differently given by Boase, _Dict. Nat. Biog._, art.
‘Nicholson.’  But I am not attempting a critical biography of this

{4b}  A portrait of Nicholson by James Ward, formerly hanging at the old
Judge and Jury, Leicester Square, was sold at Puttick’s on February 7,

{5}  It is sometimes stated that Simpson bought the property in 1846, and
put in James Ellis to act as manager.  But other accounts speak of Ellis
as the real lessee, 1846–1849, and this seems to be correct, because,
when Ellis became bankrupt in 1849, execution for £8,000 was levied upon
Cremorne.  Ellis’s unsecured debts amounted to over £16,000, of which
£250 was due to a confiding Cremorne waiter.  The rent of the gardens had
been £582 per annum, and there was an unpaid gas-bill for £665.  Simpson
was certainly proprietor from 1850 onwards to 1861.

{7}  In 1850 under Borini; in 1851 under Isaacson, of the Grecian
Theatre.  In 1860, Marriott’s band.

{8a}  At White Conduit House.  See Wroth, _London Pleasure-Gardens of the
Eighteenth Century_, p. 136.

{8b}  Among the miscellaneous amusements of this period are: 1849, circus
from Astley’s; storming of Mooltan, military and pyrotechnic spectacle.
1850, dahlia show.  1851, Franconi’s circus; the Bosjesmans, the bushmen
of South Africa.

{9a}  _Theatrical Journal_, 1852, p. 260.

{9b}  _London Pleasure-Gardens_, p. 321.

{10a}  Coxwell, _My Life_, second series, p. 13 _f._; Boase, _Biog.
Dict._, _s.v._ Latour.

{10b}  Creole choristers under Cave and Mackney in 1846.  Miss Love also
sang in 1846.  In 1851 Lambert Edwards became popular as a comic singer.
He published a _Cremorne Song-Book_, which, both for matter and metre, is
trying reading.

{10c}  Stuart and Park, _Variety Stage_, p. 20 _f._

{10d}  _Ibid._, p. 18 _f._

{12a}  The programmes in the seventies were generally of virginal white,
with embossed edges.  They were scented by Rimmell, and some were printed
in colours, with views of the gardens.  They were of the ordinary
theatre-programme shape.

{12b}  He died in 1872.

{12c}  Boase’s _Biog. Dict._, _s.v._; Blanchard’s _Life_, ii., p. 472
_f._; Sala in _Daily Telegraph_, August 7, 1894; _Licensed Victuallers’
Gazette_, March 22, 1889.

{14a}  G. L. Banks, _Blondin_ (1862), p. 85.

{14b}  A married woman named Powell, who called herself ‘Madame Geneive
(_sic_), the Female Blondin,’ was killed by falling from the rope on July
20, 1863, at Aston Park, Birmingham.  The occasion was a Forester’s fête,
and she was paid £15.  The incident was a particularly shocking one, for
the rope is said to have been old and decayed, and the poor woman, for
certain reasons, ought to have been anywhere at the time rather than on
the tight-rope.

{15}  Under Ellis in 1849 there had been a less elaborate ‘Eglinton
Tournament’ managed by Batty, of Astley’s.

{16a}  A good account in _Illustrated London News_ for July 18, 1863,
apparently by Sala; also _Illustrated Times_ of same date.  In 1864 Smith
gave a monster Belgian fête to the members of the Garde civique of
Belgium.  On the afternoon of July 14, 1866, there was a pretty juvenile
fête, during which a number of miniature balloons were sent up to please
the children.

{16b}  Some other entertainments during Smith’s management were: 1861,
the graceful gymnast Leotard on five trapezes, in the Ashburnham Hall.
March, 1863, dog-show in the Ashburnham Hall.  This hall was also used
for trotting matches and for wrestling and sports on Good Friday, 1865.
1868, Madame Pereira, gymnast.

{16c}  G. Bryan, _Chelsea_ (1869), p. 169; Walford, _Old and New London_,
v. 86.  In July, 1864, Eugène Godard’s huge Montgolfier balloon ascended
from Cremorne, and came down in the East Greenwich marshes.  It was
heated by air, there being in the centre of the car a stove filled with
rye-straw compressed into blocks.  An earlier London ascent of a
Montgolfier balloon took place at the Surrey Zoological Gardens (see
_infra_).  For Godard’s balloon, see _Illustrated London News_ for July
30, 1864; Coxwell, _My Life_, second series, p. 207 _f._, with picture of
the balloon.  In August, 1865, Delamarne’s sailing balloon, L’Espérance,
was shown.  It was about 200 feet long, and had screw propellers and a
rudder set in motion by machinery.

{17}  Burnand’s burlesque, _Black-eyed Susan_, was one of the
entertainments under Baum.

{18}  Now Sydney Street.

{19}  Entertainments under Baum: Simmons’s balloon ascent, June 29, 1874;
Audrian the dog-faced man, and his son, from a Russian forest, 1874;
Boisset family, gymnasts, 1874; De Vere, conjuror, 1877; Doughty’s
performing dogs, 1877.

{22}  Percy Fitzgerald in _Gentleman’s Magazine_, 1880, ‘Cremorne to

{24}  In October, 1904, this nursery was advertised for sale for building
purposes, 100,000 feet and 900 feet frontage, but at the present moment
(April, 1907) it has not yet been built over.  In the rear of Messrs.
Wimsett’s, and also on the site of Cremorne, was the nursery-ground of W.
J. Bull, but since 1897 this space—an acre and a half—has been covered
with flats and other buildings.  The iron entrance-gates (see
Frontispiece) now stand in Tetcott Street, on the premises of the Royal
Chelsea Brewery (Welsh Ale Brewery, Limited), not far from the site of

{25a}  Blunt’s _Chelsea_, p. 19.

{25b}  About 1809 the Manor-House had been occupied by James Pilton,
manufacturer of ornamental works for country residences (fences,
summer-houses, etc.), and the grounds were neatly laid out as an open-air
showroom, with a small menagerie and aviaries.  A view of the garden and
house from the _Gentleman’s Magazine_ is here reproduced.  See also
Faulkner’s _Chelsea_, 1829, ii., p. 215.

{28a}  Blanchard says the theatre became absorbed in a building known as
the Commercial Room (? the present Welsh Chapel in Radnor Street).  By an
evident slip he speaks of ‘Rodney’ instead of Radnor Street.

{28b}  There were a number of minor gardens in Chelsea and Pimlico, in
the latter district the Gun and the Monster being the best known.  Two
others may be briefly noticed:

river, and occupied a small space between the Belgrave Docks Wharf and
Ranelagh Road.  Part of the engineering works of James Simpson and Co.,
Limited (101, Grosvenor Road, Pimlico), now covers the site.  They were
advertised from about 1809.  In the summer months (1809, 1811) there were
‘grand galas’ and balls, with concerts, and fireworks by Signora Hengler,
the fireworker to Vauxhall Gardens.  The admission tickets for the balls
were neatly executed (see pp. 27, 28), but cost only 2s. 6d., and the
dancers can hardly have been of the rank of the famous Chelsea
‘Ranelagh,’ which had come to an end in 1803.  In 1810 and 1811 the
proprietors gave a silver cup for sailing matches.  The gardens retained
some popularity till about 1829 (_Picture of London_; tickets, cuttings,
etc., in the writer’s collection).

THE FLASK, EBURY SQUARE.—An old tavern, of which there are various
mentions in the eighteenth century (Crace, _Catal._, p. 311, No. 59;
Beaver’s _Chelsea_, p. 307).  In the thirties it had a tea-garden with a
colonnade overgrown by creepers running round two sides of the garden,
and a fine fountain.  A skittle club played in the garden or in a covered
pavilion adjoining.  The tavern seems to have been demolished about 1868,
when Ebury Square was partly rebuilt.  There is an engraving of ‘The
Flask Tavern,’ showing the garden, published in 1837 by J. Moore, from a
drawing by H. Jones.

{30}  Hampton’s balloon, and Graham’s, which came into collision with the
Exhibition, June 16, 1851 (Turnor’s _Astra Castra_, p. 220).

{31}  Soyer had superintended gratuitously various soup-kitchens for the
poor of London, and established model kitchens at Scutari and in the
Crimea during the war of 1855.  G. A. Sala says of him: ‘He was a vain
man, but he was good and kind and charitable.’

{33}  The house (pulled down in 1857) was about 150 yards to the east of
the Albert Hall.  The Imperial Institute and Imperial Institute Road are
now on the site of the Horticultural Gardens.

{37a}  In 1828 Pickering Place and Terrace, close by, were built.

{37b}  Early in the thirties, before 1834.

{38}  Now 47, Hereford Road, Bayswater.

{39}  _Modern Sabbath_, 1797, p. 49.

{40a}  In 1824 a duel was interrupted by the police.

{40b}  August, 1822, p. 138 _f._

{40c}  The Acrotormentarian Society.

{42}  The site is near the filter-beds of the New River Company.

The Eel-Pie (or Sluice) House Tavern has sometimes been confused with the
Sluice House proper, a wooden building contiguous to it.  The New River
Company had one of their sluices here, and the house was tenanted by two
of their walksmen or inspectors; view in Hone’s _Every Day Book_, 1826,
p. 696.

{44a}  Sylvester (or Silvester) was one of the claimants to the invention
of the optical ghost illusion well known as ‘Pepper’s Ghost’ at the
Polytechnic (Frost’s _Lives of the Conjurors_, pp. 314, 329).

{44b}  J. Greenwood’s chapter is headed ‘Johnson’s Retreat.’  It may be
doubtful whether it is intended for Weston’s, or for some other similar
resort in the north of London.

{46a}  Boyne’s _Trade Tokens_, ed. Williamson, ii., p. 817, No. 61.  An
eighteenth-century proprietor named Holmes died in 1744.

{46b}  Green in 1823, 1832, etc.

{47}  On August 29, 1811, Sadler ascended from the Mermaid with Mr. H.
Beaufoy; _cf. Tyssen Library Catalogue_ (Hackney, 1888), pp. 6, 8,
_Journal of Aerial Voyage_, etc.

{48a}  Stone pillars used as targets and called by various quaint
names—Jehu, Old Absoly, Bob Peak, the Castle, etc.  They were placed in
the fields at unequal distances, like the ‘holes’ in a golf-course, and
the archers passed from one to another.

{48b}  It is marked in a Finsbury Fields map of 1737.

{48c}  _London Evening Post_, August 4 to 7, 1764.

{49}  Hazlitt’s _Indian Jugglers_.  Cavanagh declared that in this
contest he played with his clenched fist.

{50}  There were already pony races for silver cups in August, 1836, when
2,000 people on one day visited the gardens (_Bell’s Life_).

{51}  _Cf._ Frost, _Circus Life_, p. 143.

{54}  According to Pinks (_Clerkenwell_, p. 501), the land was originally
acquired in 1826 for £15,000, and walled in.

{55a}  Clinch, _Marylebone_, p. 183.

{55b}  Geary was the designer of the absurd statue of George IV.—the
‘Griffin’ of its day—that formerly stood at King’s Cross.  He also
designed one of the first gin-palaces in London (his name still appears
cut in conspicuous letters as the architect of the Bell public-house
(built 1835), No. 259, Pentonville Road), but afterwards repented and was
one of the enthusiastic teetotallers who welcomed J. B. Gough on his
visit to England, and planned a bazaar for a temperance fête at the
Surrey Gardens in 1851 (Miller’s _St. Pancras_, p. 69).

{56}  When Lanza became bankrupt.  He was the father of Rosalie Lanza,
the operatic singer, and had some pupils who became well known.  See
Boase, _Biog. Dict._, _s.v._ Lanza.

{57a}  Advertisement in the _Morning Post_, February 8, 1781; _cf._
Wroth, _London Pleasure-Gardens_, p. 86.

{57b}  I find Rouse first mentioned as landlord of the Eagle in 1824, but
the Eagle tavern was already in existence in November 1822, when a dinner
took place there to welcome Henry Hunt, M.P., on his release from prison
(_Jackson’s Oxford Journal_, November 16, 1822).  A noisy crowd assembled
in the neighbourhood and insisted on Hunt making a speech from the
dining-room window.

{58a}  A letter from Harris written the day before his ascent, and
enclosing a ticket to his balloon-makers to witness his ascent, is in the
writer’s collection.

{58b}  He was the first proprietor (1837) of the Bower Saloon in Stangate
Street, Westminster Bridge Road—a small theatre which nearly degenerated
into a ‘penny gaff’ (Blanchard’s _Life_, p. 40, and bills of the Bower
Saloon).  There is a fairly common lithograph, ‘The Bower, Duke’s Arms,
Stangate Street,’ showing a sort of garden entrance.

{59a}  On this lady and some of the tavern-concert singers of the time
there is a rather breezy article in _The Town_ for August 18, 1838.

{59b}  Now No. 128, Pentonville Road.  Till about the seventies it had a
garden space beside it, facing the road.  Another place in the City Road,
the GREEN GATE TAVERN (now No. 220), preserved almost up to the nineties
a small garden with its boxes and ‘a few old trees that still, in spite
of fog and smoke, struggled into life as the summer came round, and
formed a pleasant contrast to the dingy neighbourhood by which they were
surrounded’ (H. Fancourt in the _Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News_,
May 9, 1891).  In the early fifties the Green Gate had a concert-room and
a stage.  A rough woodcut in the _Paul Pry_ journal for 1854 shows a
theatrical performance going on.  Tall-hatted gentlemen are seated in the
stalls, but in the pit or ‘promenade’ behind the audience is of a coster
character.  There is a water-colour drawing of the Green Gate by T. H.
Sheperd, 1852, in the Crace Collection, _Catalogue_, p. 607, No. 4.

{60}  Glindon was famous for his ‘Biddy the Basket-woman’ and his
‘Literary Dustman.’

{61a}  It was generally open on Sundays for ‘promenading.’

{61b}  Miss M. A. Atkinson and others.

{62a}  H. Barton Baker, _London Stage_, ii., p. 30.

{62b}  Westland Marston, _Our Recent Actors_, ii., p. 261.  Mr. Sala says
that off the stage he was shy and sensitive.

{63}  His real name was Benjamin Oliver.

{64a}  This was on the site of an older building in the Eagle grounds,
known at one time as the Olympic Pavilion, and opened in 1840.

{64b}  He is said (Baker, _London Stage_) to have given £21,000 for the
Eagle, but I believe the sum paid was nearer £14,000.

{66}  B. O. Conquest covered this space with a permanent platform.

{67}  SOME SINGERS AND ACTORS AT THE EAGLE.—Miss Tunstall sang in 1838,
etc.  Sims Reeves sang for a fortnight only—in 1839—at the garden
concerts, under the name of Johnson.

Deulin ( = Isaac Dowling, _d._ 1860) made a reputation here as harlequin.

Thérèse Cushine (_d._ 1856), the dancer, appeared first at the (old)
Garrick and afterwards at the Eagle.  She married Milano, the harlequin
and ballet-master, who was at the Eagle _circa_ 1847.

W. T. Moncrieff was one of the dramatic writers.  E. L. Blanchard’s
_Arcadia_ was produced here in 1841.  In this operetta Miss Forde, a
charming ballad-singer, appeared as Phyllis.

Harriet Coveney, from _circa_ 1840; Miss Carlotta Leclercq and other
members of the Leclercq family; Harry Boleno, the pantomimist; Miss C.
Parkes, columbine, 1851; T. Mead, the actor, 1859; Herbert Campbell (_d._
1904) in pantomime in the seventies; Baldwin, baritone singer (from 1833)
was chorus-master.

Charles Montgomery in 1851 succeeded Campbell (the Sadler’s Wells actor)
as stage-manager.

The musical director (1838–1840) was Harroway.  C. Sloman, a comic singer
and improvisatore, well known at the London gardens and tavern concerts,
was concert director in 1860.  Oscar Barrett was musical director, 1877.

{69}  SITE.—A triangular piece of ground, bounded on the north by part of
Shaftesbury Street, on the south by part of Wenlock Street; on the east
by Wallbrook Street (now Cropley Street), on the west by Shepherdess

ENTERTAINMENTS.—The singers were of the tavern-concert rank.  Miss
Tunstall sang in 1843.  In 1841 (or 1840?) Herring made a hit in _The Imp
of the Devil’s Gorge_ pantomime (_cf._  Blanchard’s _Life_, p. 479).  In
1849 he was clown in _Sinbad the Sailor_.  In 1840 Van Amburgh, the
well-known lion-tamer of Vauxhall, etc., appeared with his lions and
‘colossal elephant.’  In 1837–1840, Devon and Cornwall wrestlers.

{70a}  The tavern is mentioned in Pigott’s _Directory_ for 1827 as under
John Gardner.  In 1839, and still in the fifties, the proprietor was
Thomas Gardner.

{70b}  The Globe club was still active in 1840 (Colburn’s _Kalendar_,
1840, p. 164).

{73}  Wright was landlord, 1837–1838.

{75}  The woodcut on Ireland’s bill announcing the race was taken from an
old block representing, not Garratt, but Barry.

{79}  See Cremorne, _supra_, p. 5.

{80}  In 1850 ‘the immortal Charles Sloman,’ the improvisatore, appeared;
1852, Mrs. Graham’s balloon; 1855, Walter Stacey, manager; the Russelli
family performed.

{81a}  W. C. Hazlitt’s _Four Generations_, etc., pp. 57, 58.

{81b}  The Montpelier Club afterwards (from 1840, or earlier) had their
ground at the Beehive, Walworth.  In 1844 the Beehive ground was required
for building purposes, and the club obtained a lease (March, 1845) of the
Oval, and in a year or two was merged in the Surrey County Club.  The
Beehive public-house, now 62, Carter Street (on the east of the site of
the Surrey Gardens), represents an old tavern (1779 or earlier), which
had about five acres of ground attached to it, with a tea-garden.  In
these gardens the balloon of the ill-fated Harris (see _supra_, p. 58)
was exhibited in 1824 (_cf._ H. H. Montgomery’s _Kennington_, p. 169
_f._).  The old Beehive tavern was a long, low building with a veranda.
In the garden was a maze and the original proprietor’s cottage, connected
with the adjoining fields by a bridge over a stream.  Mr. Wemmick’s
Walworth residence in _Great Expectations_—a toy-house with a bridge—may
be reminiscent of this (_cf._ H. H. Montgomery’s _Old Cricket and
Cricketers_, London [1890], p. 44 _f._).

{82}  At one time, apparently in the forties, there was a theatre in the
gardens, at which Jefferini (Jeffreys), the long-legged clown, performed
(Blanchard’s _Life_, p. 51).

{83}  Except in its last year (1877).  A ball-room was built in 1850.

{84}  Marked in a map, 1814 (_e.g._), as the Manor Farm Pond.


1837.     Mount Vesuvius.                       Danson.
1838.                      ,,                             ,,
1839.     Mount Hecla.                                    ,,
1840.                      ,,                             ,,
1841.     City of Rome.                                   ,,
1842.                      ,,                             ,,
1843.     Temples of Elora.                               ,,
1844.     Old London and the Great Fire.        Danson and Telbin.
1845.     Edinburgh.                            Danson.
1846.     Naples and Vesuvius.                  Danson (the old view
1847.     Gibraltar.                            Danson.
1848.     Rome.                                 Danson (the old
1849.     Storming of Badajoz.                  Danson and Sons.
1850.     Napoleon’s Passage of the Alps.       Danson and Sons.
1851.     Temple of Janus.                      Danson and Sons.
1852.     Mount Etna.                           Danson and Sons.
1853.     Chusan.                               Danson and Sons.
1855.     Sebastopol.
1856.     Constantinople and Scutari.           Danson.
1862.     Naples and Bay.
1872.     Sultan’s Summer Palace on the         Grieve and Sons.

{86b}  Cruikshank’s _Comic Almanack_, 1843.

{88a}  _Cf. Cremorne_, p. 16, _supra_.

{88b}  He died September, 1854.  A portrait of him, after a painting by
Agasse, is reproduced in Callow’s _Old London Taverns_, p. 303.

{89}  Godfrey’s band also continued to perform in 1853, under C. and D.
Godfrey.  The orchestra was replaced by another structure in 1848.
Jullien’s band was at the gardens 1845–1852, then 1856, 1857.

{90}  J. Arban, musical director.

{91}  SITE.—The Gardens were soon built over, but the site can be made
out with little difficulty.  There were three entrances: (1) (approached
from the Walworth Road) in Manor Place; (2) and (3) (approached from the
Kennington Park Road) in Penton Place and in New Street.  The Manor Place
entrance was about where that street is now crossed by Penton Place.  The
_continuation_ of Manor Place is now on the site or boundary of the

The Penton Place entrance was about where that street is met by Amelia

The New Street entrance was at the end of the street where it meets the
continuation of Manor Place.

Part of Delverton Road, Suffield Road, Tarver Road, and Berryfield Road
are also on the site.  The Surrey Gardens Hotel, at the corner of
Delverton Road and Manor Place, alone commemorates the vanished Zoo.

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