Old and New London, A Narrative of its History, its People and its Places.Illustrated with Numerous Engravings from the Most Authentic Sources. vol 6Walford, Edward
Introductory.-Southwark.Arms of Southwark
Introductory.-Southwark.Arms of Southwark
Having now completed our survey of the West End and of the northern suburbs of London, it will be necessary for us again to take in hand our pilgrim staff, and to make a fresh start, with a view of reconnoitring that large and interesting district which, though it lies on the southern bank of the Thames, forms, and has formed for centuries, an integral part of this great metropolis. We will therefore do so without further delay, and only ask our readers to accompany us mentally to
|, from the south end of which it is our purpose to commence our peregrinations, which in this, the concluding volume of the work, will be mainly confined to the metropolitan and strictly suburban districts in the county of Surrey; for we have not forgotten the promise with which we set out on our wanderings, to confine ourselves to those regions, be they greater or smaller in extent, from which can be seen |
The district which we are about to traverse, though not equal in its reminiscences to the City of , will be found on examination to be full of antiquarian interest. In Priory Church, in Abbey, in the old
Inn, in the Globe and other theatres on , in the archiepiscopal palace at , in the once royal palace at , in the Mint and the old Marshalsea, we shall find a rich mine of archaeological wealth, and which it will take a long time to exhaust. At Deptford we shall again meet with our old friends, Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn; at Greenwich we shall see our Tudor kings and queens in the midst of a splendid court; on Blackheath we shall meet Wat Tyler and his rebel bands; at we shall witness the cavalcade of the Canterbury Pilgrims, as they wend their way along the old road into Kent; at we shall find the Black Prince
and perhaps witness the execution of some of the Scottish rebels; at Dulwich and Camberwell we shall drop in and make the acquaintance of Edmund Alleyn, the
and friend of a certain
while a little nearer home, at Stockwell, we shall find a veritable
scarcely inferior to its rival of ; at Clapham we shall find Mr. Wilberforce and the Evangelicals busy in founding the Bible Society; in Fields we shall spend a day with the inmates of New Bedlam, and try to cheer them with our presence; and then mentally transport ourselves to the same spot in the days of Lord George Gordon and his riots, to witness their bonfires. We shall
at the founding and opening of the Surrey and Victoria Theatres, and take our stand by the side of Mr. Astley when, supported by Ducrow, he encloses his riding-school. We shall peep in and hear a sermon from Rowland Hill, in his well-known chapel in the Surrey Road; spend an evening in the ; and then look in at , to witness the records of the
prisoners, and make acquaintance with Archbishops Chicheley, and Cranmer, and Parker, and Laud, Thence, having glanced in at the Museum of the Tradescants, we shall make our way to Faux or Vaux Hall, and take a view of the old place before it was turned into
Thence we shall walk on to Battersea, and shake hands with Lord Bolingbroke before he goes forth into exile, and reconnoitre sundry clusters of old houses, both in that village and in Wandsworth and Putney. There we shall try and arrange our visit so as to come in for the annual contest between Oxford and Cambridge for the blue riband of the London waters; then, crossing the river, we shall make a halt at Fulham in order to investigate at leisure the mansion which for so many centuries has been the residence of successive Bishops of London. Turning then back, in a north-westerly direction, it is our intention to make a perambulation of Hammersmith, so rich in literary and religious associations, and we shall conclude our wanderings with a brief visit to the grave of Hogarth, the painter and moralist, in Chiswick churchyard.
It is just possible, indeed, that we may be led to go even a little further afield in search of subjects of interest, past and present; but if such should prove to be the case, we shall not forget that it is London and London life with which we have to deal, and that where London has extended its social life into the suburbs we must follow it up. At all events, we shall take good care not to leave any street or any house unexplored which can have an interest for the readers of
With these few words of preface, we will commence our journey at the point where abuts on the east end of the
Chapel of . And here we cannot do better than repeat the words which we employed on starting from :--
Hitherto, as our readers are aware, we have been concerned with those portions of our great metropolis which lie to the north of the Thames, and within the boundaries of the county of Middlesex; but the moment that we cross we find ourselves in another county--that of Surreyso called from South-rey-i.e., the south side of the river. [extra_illustrations.6.3.1]
If we were to travel far into the interior of this county we should come upon scenes very unlike what we have seen in Middlesex; but the limits of our present pilgrimage will scarcely carry us so far afield as to the borders of the chalk formation which fringes the basin of clay and gravel which underlies the whole of London south, as well as London north, of the Thames.
There was a time, some years ago, when the whole of the district now covered by and , and most of the adjacent district, as far south as the rising grounds of Brixton, Streatham, and Clapham, was little more than a dull and dreary swamp, inhabited by the bittern and the frog, and when painted savages roamed and prowled about the places which are now not only busy thoroughfares, but the marts of foreign commerce. But this change was the work of very many ages.
In the early Saxon times there is no notice of any large town being situated here; but a tradition of Bartholomew Linsted, or Fowle, the last prior of St. Mary Overie, as preserved to us by Stow in his
tells us that the profits of the ferry--for before a bridge spanned the Thames a ferry had existed here--were devoted by the owner,
to the foundation and endowment of a convent or house of sisters, which was afterwards converted into a college of priests; and that these priests built a bridge of timber, which in the course of time was converted into a bridge of stone.
Maitland, in his
refuses to believe this tradition, which, if it be true, would carry back the date of the foundation of St. Mary Overie's to a period far anterior to any historic notice of ; but whether we accept it in its entirety or not, at all events the legend must be regarded as fair evidence of the early establishment of a religious house at this spot, and of the bestowal of the proceeds of the ferry for its support.
The earliest mention of by name in history is in A.D. , when the Saxon chronicle tells us that Knut, and Egelnoth, Archbishop of Canterbury, with some other distinguished persons, carried by ship the body of Alphege, saint and martyr, across the Thames to
on its way to its resting-place at Canterbury. In
the name appears under the form of
It is generally said that was never fortified till quite a recent period. How, then, did its name,
arise? Is it the same word as in bul? A fortress built by the Earl of Mar, in Scotland, is called
and possibly the same word is embodied in the word
Mr. Worsaae, in his
refers to the possession by those peoples of , the very name of which, he adds, is unmistakably of Danish or Norwegian origin.
It is stated that the name of has been spelled in no fewer than different ways in old writings.
We shall not attempt to invade too far the domain of learned antiquaries, and waste our readers' time and patience by a long disquisition on the question whether the natives of , years ago--as a portion of the inhabitants of the county of Surrey--were descendants of the Regni or the Cantii, the Atrebates or the Bibroci. It is enough for us to know that the men of Surrey were among the tribes conquered by the legions of Julius Caesar, and that having belonged at time to the kingdom of Mercia, and at another to Kent, Surrey became after the Conquest part and parcel of the territory of the son-in-law of William, the powerful Earl of Warrenne, and that, lying so near to the chief city of the kingdom, in spite of the the Thames, it was gradually absorbed into the great metropolis, of which it became a suburb in the strictest sense, even before it was formally
As already indicated, the low flat tongue of land bounded on sides by the Thames in the bend which it makes between Greenwich and , was doubtless originally overflowed by the tide, and formed a large marsh extending to the foot of the slight eminences which bound its side upon the south. It is almost certain
|that this space was banked in artificially by the Romans, so as to secure it against being overflowed; and Roman remains, which have been dug up in Fields and elsewhere about and its neighbourhood, are sufficient proofs that the Romans formed there a settlement of some kind or other. Indeed, as Ptolemy tells us that London was in the territory of the Cantii, it has been inferred-though somewhat too hastily-that the original London stood on the south of the river; but this theory is generally rejected as being contrary to evidences of various kinds. It is far more probable that Ptolemy wrote with an imperfect knowledge of the geography of so distant and unimportant a place, and confounded the sides of a distant river. No doubt, however, from very early times there was on the south side a suburb consisting of dwelling-houses connected with the city by a ferry, where the great of the Watling crossed the Thames.|
The history of up to the period of the Norman Conquest is obscure and uncertain; but there is no doubt that the place was inhabited by the Romans, for Charles Knight tells us that
It has been asserted that there was no bridge between London and as early as the century, because we are told that in A.D. Anlaf, the King of Norway, sailed up the river as far as Stane (Staines); but this inference is by no means to be accepted as certain, for we learn from William of Malmesbury, and from the
that in the very next year there was a bridge here which obstructed the flight of Sweyn's forces, when he attacked London and was repulsed by its brave citizens. Again, little more than years later, when Knut attacked London, there certainly was a bridge of kind or another, which formed an obstacle to the advance of his ships up the river; and in order to avoid this obstacle (according to the Saxon Chronicle), he dug on the south side a trench, through which he conveyed his vessels to a point
It is curious that in the accounts of these transactions which have come down to us there is no actual mention of by name; and yet there must have been some
or defence, at all events, at the entrance of the bridge. Again, in , Godwin, then in rebellion against Edward the Confessor, came with his fleet to , and passing the bridge without any opposition, proceeded to attack the king's vessels which lay off , though further hostilities were averted by an offer of peace.
Perhaps it was the error of Sweyn in getting his fleet foul of which made his son Knut go so laboriously to work with the waters of the Thames on his invasion in , the story of which shall be briefly related in the words of the
There have been several persons who have raised sceptical doubts about this history; but the honest historian, Maitland--who loved to get to the bottom of all such statements, and who set himself to discover proofs of Knut's trench-tells us that this artificial water-course began at the great wet-dock below , and passing across the , continued in a crescent form as far as , and fell again into the Thames at the lower end of Reach. As proofs of the historic truth of this hypothesis, he brought forward the great quantities of hazels, willows, and brushwood, pointing northwards, and fastened down by rows of stakes, which were found at the digging and clearing out of Dock in , as well as numbers of large oaken planks and piles, found also in other parts on the Surrey side of the river.
, very naturally, figures in the chapter of English history which immediately follows on the Battle of Hastings. As soon as he had won the battle, we read that William marched upon London, where the citizens had declared Edgar Atheling king of England. On reaching , which then was an inconsiderable suburbthough not wholly unfortified, as may be gathered from its name--the Conqueror was so roughly handled by the sturdy citizens of London, that though he repulsed them by the aid of some horse, and laid the suburb in ashes, he found it necessary, or at all events prudent, to retire, and accordingly marched off in a westerly direction.
is mentioned in history as far back as A.D. , and was a distinct corporation governed by its own bailiff until , when Edward III. made a grant of it to the City of London, whose mayor was thenceforth to be its bailiff, and to govern it by his deputy.
the City was ordered to pay to the royal exchequer the sum of
| annually as a fee-farm rent. In this charter is called a |
which may mean anything from a town down to a village; but if we take the term in the latter sense, it must have been a tolerably large
for it had no less than churches: viz., (a chapel of the great conventual church of St. Mary over the Rie); (where the lately stood); ; and, lastly, ; to say nothing of the hospital of St. Thomas, prisons (namely, those of the King's Bench and the Marshalsea), and also the houses of several prelates, abbots, and nobles. [extra_illustrations.6.5.1]
Some time after this, however, the inhabitants recovered their former privileges; but in the reign of Edward VI. the Crown granted the district to the City of London for a money grant of a little less than ; in consideration of a further sum of , it was
to the said City, and by virtue of the same grant it continues subject to its Lord Mayor, who has under him a steward and a bailiff; and it is governed (or rather represented in the councils of the City) by of its aldermen, whose ward is styled by the name of
The property granted to the City on the above occasion is regarded as specially liable to the repairs and maintenance of . By this incorporation, however, did not cease to be part and parcel of the county of Surrey. From this arrangement certain lands were exempted, such as Mansion and Park, which belonged to the king.
According to the
(), this ward appears never to have been represented in the Common Council, nor do the inhabitants now elect their aldermen. The senior alderman of London is always alderman of this ward, and on his death the next in seniority succeeds him. He has no ward duties to perform, so that his office is little else than a sinecure. The City of London appoints a high bailiff and steward for ; but the county magistrates of Surrey exercise jurisdiction in several matters.
says Mr. Robertson, in his
The earliest description of , singularly enough, is given by an Icelander, who lived in the middle of the century, and may be found quoted by the Rev. James Johnstone, in his
(Copenhagen, , to), in connection with the Battle of , which was fought in Ioo, in the luckless reign of Ethelred II., surnamed the
It runs as follows :
This structure King Olave and his Norsemen destroyed by rowing their ships up close to the bridge, and making them fast to it by ropes and cables. With these they strained the piles so vigorously, aided by the strong flow of the tide, that the piles gave way, and the whole bridge fell.
continues the Icelander;
In remembrance of this expedition, thus sang Ottar Suarti, in a sort of rhythmic prose, which reminds of Macpherson's :--
The story of the destruction of by Olaf is thus told in Southey's
with all the details of historical narrative:--
Such, according to ancient story, were the martial feats of King Olaf, or Olave, upon the water; but for his more pious and peaceful actions on land, which caused the men of to venerate his memory, it is needful only to turn to the church which bears his name, at the south-eastern corner of the bridge, and of which we shall speak presently. It was; in reality, of the southern landmarks and boundaries of the old bridge, the Church of , at the south-western corner of the bridge, being the other.
The author of
gives the following version of part of a Latin hymn from the Swedish Missal, sung on festival in his honour:--
[extra_illustrations.6.2.1] St. Peter's Church, Park Street, Southwark
 See Vol. I., p. 9.
[extra_illustrations.6.3.1] Southwark, Church, etc.
[extra_illustrations.6.5.1] St. John's Church, Southwark