Temple Bar: The City Golgatha A narrative of the historical occurances of a criminal character associated with the present bar

Wilson, James Holbert








, the only survivor of the City bars and gates, has, on many occasions, obtained no inconsiderable share of public attention.

Placed between the liberties of the cities of London and Westminster, it sets to each a limit.

It stands alone-a monument of bygone days, an enduring record of the power of the Crown, and of the passions of the people - a memorial of a period when, to insure the security of the throne, the terrors of the law were alone relied upon, and humanity and compassion for human imperfections constituted no part of the criminal jurisprudence of the country.

Replete as this every-day scene is with reminiscences of the past, we have considered that half an hour might not be unprofitably employed in recalling some of those historical occurrences with which it has been associated.

We have, however, no intention of indulging our readers with antiquarian lore, of dwelling for one moment on its architectural proportions. Neither do we propose accompanying the herald in those gorgeous processions to which, at the sound of his trumpet, its gates have opened to admit the Sovereign, encircled by the chivalry of the Court, within the most loyal of all cities, the good city of London! [1] 

"May peace be within her walls."

The historical occurrences to which our attention will be limited are of a much less attractive character. We have to contemplate the frown, not the smile of royalty; to direct our attention from the crowded thoroughfare to the gloomy summit of the arch, to behold there in the vividness of mental vision what our forefathers, in the distinct reality of form, were forced to regard-those livid heads and dismembered limbs which, as terrible examples of hostile resistance to the power of the throne, have from time to time been affixed upon it. A practical commentary, illustrating in characters of blood the words of Solomon,-

" Curse not the king, no not in thy thoughts; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter."

If, from the contemplation of this mournful subject, any suggestions should arise having a tendency yet further to ameliorate the criminal institutions of our country, to render them still more in accordance with the improved feelings of the great community in which we are living, we shall reflect with much pleasure on the time we have passed near the City Bar.

Old London Bridge, the southern entrance to the metropolis, had for many centuries been considered a locality advantageously adapted, from its public position, for striking terror into the hearts of the rebellious, by the display of the lifeless heads of those who had fallen under the severity of the laws-laws ruthlessly administered, and carried into execution with a barbarity the conception of which it is difficult at the present day to realise.[2] 

The head of the Scottish patriot, , and, subsequently,


the heads of Sir and , bishop of Rochester, had, amidst many others of scarcely inferior note, graced, not disgraced, the stern battlements of the Drawbridge Tower.

The restoration of to the throne-in whose reign our narrative commences-had been accompanied by little amendment either in the criminal law or practice of the country; with few exceptions, the same severe enactments continued on the statute book; the same means as those adopted in the days of the Plantagenets and Tudors were still deemed essential to punish treason, or to deter from its commission.

It was the misfortune of , on his arrival in England, to receive from all classes of his subjects the most servile adulation. Endeared to them by the recollection of his past adversities, no


measures, however humiliating, were neglected to convince him of their sincere contrition for their former rebellious conduct. The clergy hastened to place his dethroned and beheaded father in the martyrology of the saints; the legislature, to decree that the day on which the

"Sons of Belial"

had imbrued their hands in his blood should ever after be observed as a day of solemn fasting and humiliation; and the lower orders, frantic with loyalty and the wine running from the conduits,

"to throw up their caps, and cry

' God save his Majesty.'


In this excited state of feeling an Act was passed, by which the judges who condemned the deceased monarch, and some others who had taken a leading part in the civil commotions of the last reign, were excluded from an indemnity which exempted from punishment many who had been less actively engaged in the stirring events of that period.

For this exception the nation were indebted more to the clemency of the Crown than to the merciful disposition of the Parliament.

By the operation of this Act, several of the persons we have mentioned were soon afterwards tried, condemned, and executed, and their heads affixed, in terrorem, on London Bridge.

That the sword of justice should descend on those alone whose lives had been prolonged to this period, was, however,


deemed an insufficient expiation for the crimes that had been committed.

Death had kindly removed three of the principal actors from the scene--, , and . The graves were now searched for their dead bodies, and upon their discovery, fast passing into decay, they were torn from the tomb, and, amidst the jeers and scoffs of the rabble, borne to the gallows at . On the evening of the same day their bodies were decapitated and buried in a deep hole under the gallows, and their heads placed aloft on .[3] 

These acts of vindictive justice had scarcely terminated, when the office of the executioner was again called into requisition, to mete out condign punishment on a band of insane adventurers, who sought to overthrow the government of , and to


establish in its place one of a most wild and visionary character.

We allude to the Millenarians, or Fifth Monarchy men. These enthusiasts, led on by Venner, who believed himself commissioned by Heaven to proclaim the advent of the Prince of Peace, committed the most frightful excesses.

The truth of the assertions they had boldly made, that

"no weapons formed against them should prosper,"

"no hair of their heads be touched,"

was shortly to be tested in the most satisfactory manner, by the execution, in different parts of the City of London, of the leader and his misguided associates. Venner was executed in Coleman Street, at the commencement of the year . Their heads were placed along with those of the regicides on London Bridge.[4] 

These were the last destined to be placed there. On future occasions, when the right to dispose of the quartered remains of the subject devolved on the Crown, that right, as regards those who had suffered for high-treason in London, was, with few exceptions, wholly or partially exercised in favour of .

Thus the City Bar became the City Golgotha.[5] 

Afflictive as was the criminal jurisprudence of the country at this period, it was rendered still more so by the irregular manner


in which it was administered. rather than the acknowledged principles of law, influenced the decisions of the courts. Judges dependent for the duration of their office on the pleasure of the Crown, made it their pleasure, by slavishly obeying its mandates, to prolong their tenure of office, and thus degrade the character of the judicial bench-a bench over which the inhuman presided, whose natural element seemed to be amidst death and destruction: his most joyous moments those in which he sent a patriot to the block, or rejected, with a coarse, unfeeling jest, the last heartbroken supplication for mercy or justice.

Suspicion, conviction, and execution, ever constituted an unholy trinity in the mind of this judge.

We are convinced, that no language we can employ can adequately depict the character of one who has left so foul a blot on the judicial records of the country; we shall, therefore, abandon the attempt, and proceed at once with our narrative to those occurrences of the year , in which he took so prominent and so atrocious a part.

In the summer of the year we have named, the discovery of a real or pretended conspiracy to assassinate on his return from the races at , and to alter the form of Government, commonly known as the Rye-House Plot, evinced the most unscrupulous determination on the part of the Crown and of the


Chief Justice to proceed against those upon whom scarcely a shadow of implication could rest, with a relentless severity of purpose, and a total disregard of the principles of law or of justice.

The sole object of the Government being the conviction of the accused, the law was to be made, by strained interpretation, the instrument to effect that end. The mockery of a trial might have been, in all instances, and actually was in one, dispensed with. This unconstitutional course, while it inflicted an indelible stigma on the Government, greatly elevated the character of its victims.

, eldest son of the noble house of Bedford, had displayed the heroic character of a patriot on the scaffold in - had prayed for his murderers on Tower Hill--Holloway had been hurried from the West Indies to the triple tree at -- when the last remaining victim, Sir , was delivered up to the English Government by the payment of a large bribe, and transferred from a foreign soil to the common gaol of . His history-being the first associated with the criminal records of -we shall, in accordance with the plan we have formed, proceed to give more at length.

Sir , descended from an ancient and loyal family, was born at Nimeguen, in Holland. As he advanced in years, he discovered a vigorous, martial disposition, and possessed


a warm heart and a good head. During the exile of , his strong royalist predilections rendered him obnoxious to the Protector, , who confined him a whole year in Lambeth House,[6]  at that time a prison. Fortunately, however, he recovered his liberty, and the usage he had received not having abated his loyalty, he undertook the hazardous service of conveying to his majesty, at Brussels, bills of exchange and other papers of great importance. This he executed so much to the satisfaction of the King, that he conferred upon him the honour of knighthood. On his return, however, , who had received intelligence of this journey, seized and sent him to the Gatehouse, [7]  where he again suffered a lengthened imprisonment. Subsequently he was confined in , and regained his liberty only on the death of the Protector. , on his return, received him into great favour, promoted him to the rank of lieutenant in one of the troops of Horse Guards, and conferred upon him the honourable post of Gentleman of the Horse to his Majesty. An unfortunate quarrel at the theatre, in which a person of some importance, of the name


of Scroop, was killed, rendered it expedient for him to leave the kingdom. This he was enabled to do as an attendant on 's natural son, the Duke of Monmouth. He served with him in Flanders, and acquired a high military reputation, and was held in much esteem by the friends of the Duke. On the termination of the war he returned to England, and, to all appearance, was as high in favour and credit with the court as ever.

This prosperity was of short duration; for, owing to the unsettled state of the country, and the violent factions which agitated society, he had the misfortune to countenance such measures as at first occasioned his removal from office, and, ultimately, his dismissal from the court. We may trace the ruin of to his long and friendly intercourse with the Duke of Monmouth. The known vigour of his mind, and the constancy of his attachment to the person of the Duke, caused him invariably to be regarded as his principal adviser. In connexion, however, with the Rye House Plot,-to which period we have now brought his history,no other positive proof could be adduced than the solitary one of his having been present at a meeting, at a Mr. Sheppard's, towards the latter end of October, , when, in conversation, a design of a in Dorsetshire had been mentioned. This was considered sufficient evidence to complete the ruin of the fallen favourite; and every imaginable pains were taken to secure his person. For a


time, however, from having received notice of the intention of the Government, he was enabled to elude their vigilance, and after having been concealed for some time in England, he withdrew to Holland, where, under the assumed name of Henry Lawrence, he trusted to continue safe from the pursuit of his enemies.

The King's minister, Mr. Chudleigh, in the mean time, having obtained a warrant from the States for apprehending such of the conspirators as had fled from England, Sir William was taken at Leyden, and, for a present of 5000 guilders (about 5001.) to the schout, or sheriff of the place, delivered to the King's minister, who placed him on board a royal yacht, and sent him to England. He neglected, probably owing to his confusion, to plead being a native of Holland; which, had he done, there is little doubt, would have ensured his safety.

During his absence, an indictment had been preferred against him, in London, for high treason, upon which he had been outlawed. On his arrival, the Government resolved to proceed against him upon this outlawry, without allowing him the benefit of a trial. On the 10th of June, therefore, the day on which he reached London, he was committed to under a warrant from the Secretary of State, and on the 14th of the same month was carried to the King's Bench at Westminster, when the Attorney General, Sir Robert Sawyer, moved the Court for an award of execution


upon the outlawry. The scene that followed between the prisoner and the Chief Justice (the inhuman ) is of a character too remarkable to be slightly passed over. The Clerk of the Crown having arraigned him upon the outlawry, Sir addressed the Chief Justice:

"My lord, I was beyond seas at the time of the outlawry, and beg I may be tried.


Lord Chief Justice.

That is not material at all to us; we have here a record of an outlawry against you,

Sir Thomas



Sir Thomas Armstrong.

I desire to be put upon my trial, my lord.


Lord Chief Justice.

We cannot allow any such thing; we have nothing to do upon this record before us but to award execution. Captain Richardson, which are your usual days of execution?


Captain Richardson.

Wednesdays and Fridays, my lord."

Sir having afterwards called the attention of the Chief Justice to an Act made in the sixth year of Edward VI., which allowed a party a twelvemonth to surrender to an outlawry, contended that that period had not expired. In doing this he was repeatedly interrupted by the Chief Justice, who manifested the greatest impatience to pronounce sentence upon him; and having finally urged that he should have the benefit of the law,

"That you shall have,"

jeeringly exclaimed


the Chief Justice,

"by the grace of God; see that execution be done on Friday next, according to law: you shall have the full benefit of the law."

Thus terminated a proceeding, alike disgraceful to the judge that pronounced and to the sovereign that could permit such a sentence to be carried into effect.

We now approach the closing scene of his varied life. On the 20th of June, about nine in the morning, he was placed on a sledge, and, attended by the sheriffs and a numerous guard, conducted from to . On his way, he employed his time in reading the

" Whole Duty of Man,"

and having reached the appointed place, he laid aside the book, and requested that Dr. Tennison might be permitted to come near him, to whom he delivered a paper for the sheriff, and knelt down with him for a few minutes. He then resigned himself, with perfect composure of mind, into the hands of the executioner. After hanging about half-an-hour, he was cut down, and, pursuant to his sentence, his heart and bowels were taken out and committed to the flames, his body divided into four parts, which, with his head, were conveyed back to , to be disposed of according to his majesty's pleasure, and were afterwards publicly exposed. His head being set up upon , between those of and (note, p. 6), one of the quarters upon ,


two others on Alsdersgate and Aldgate, and the fourth was sent down to Stafford, which Borough he had represented in parliament.

Shortly after this event, when had an interview with the King at Windsor, took from his finger a diamond ring of great value, and gave it to him; this ring was ever after called the His majesty prudently added this advice, to be careful not to grink too much wine on credit. The attention the Chief Justice paid to this recommendation, let the testify.[8] 

was of an indolent and selfish disposition, but was, when uninfluenced by others, neither vindicative nor ungenerous.


The following anecdote, forming an agreeable contrast to the cruel, repulsive character of the Chief Justice, will show that, unlike the judge, he occasionally possessed some sense of moral right and justice.

A report of the condemned malefactors being once made to him, one mobleman interceded for one, another for another, until they were all pardoned excepting one. The , looking round upon the council, asked of them if nobody would speak in behalf of this man? They all keeping silence, his majesty said, by which they were all saved. And it turned out afterwards, to his majesty's great consolation, that the man whom he had pardoned by his own royal motive proved an object more worthy of compassion than any of the others.

They who have hitherto believed, with the witty Rochester, that never did a wise act, may, perhaps, be now inclined to modify that opinion; so far, at least, as to allow him the credit of wisdom in the one instance we have just narrated.

Twelve years elapsed before the Bar had another occupant.

In that interval great events had taken place--the House of Stuart had ceased to reign. The brutal having with difficulty escaped the fury of of the mob at Wapping, had sought the


protection afforded in ; there disease and drunkenness speedily terminated a life of vice and infamy. had ascended the throne, not as a conqueror, but by express compact with the nation. Reciprocity of ties were claimed and admitted as existing between the Crown and the people. Constitutional liberty, trampled upon by the Tudors and the Stuarts, revived with the House of Orange, and henceforward became the acknowledged imperishable right of every Englishman.

Amidst this improved position of affairs there were, however, some who, from interest or affection, maintained their attachment to the fallen house. By the treaty of Limerick, in , had lost all footing in the British dominions, and hope alone remained to him-the equal privilege of majesty and misery. On his return, however, to the Continent, intrigues were, both in England and Scotland, carried on in his favour. These intrigues received encouragement from the French ministry, who, although they had suspended all open attempts in his favour, scrupled not to employ the most atrocious means to promote his cause. Assassination was resorted to. Chevalier de Granvale, taken in the confederate camp in Flanders, in , having confessed the charge, was speedily hanged; 2000 livres, and the Cross of St. Lazare, were to have been the reward of his villany.

Notwithstanding this discouragement, three years afterwards, in the year , a new plot was discovered at London; the object being to carry off the King (as it was expressed) on his return from Richmond, where he usually hunted on Saturdays. [9]  Sir George Barclay, a warm adherent to the house of Stuart, had the chief direction of this conspiracy, in which about forty were engaged. Fortunately, however, the hope of reward, or the timidity of some of the subordinate actors, frustrated their diabolical purpose. On the 14th February, , Thomas Pendergrast revealed the whole scheme to the Earl of Portland; and La Rue, on the same day, did the like to Brigadier Leveson. The Government adopted the most vigorous measures to secure the conspirators. Several, however, suspecting their plans had failed, had already withdrawn from danger. In this number was Sir George Barclay; others, less fortunate, were captured. Robert Charnock, a Fellow of Magdalen College, was the first to suffer; and, shortly afterwards, Sir and Sir were placed on their trials before Chief Justice Holt, at the Sessions House in the Old Bailey. This took place on the 23d and 24th of March, .

We must, however, pause for a few moments, in order to take some notice of the two last-named parties, who, as they conspired together in life, in death were not to be far separated; the head and limbs of one, and the headless trunk of the other, being the next ornaments received.

Sir , from an humble position, had, by industry and perseverance, arisen to considerable wealth and credit, and had enjoyed, during the last reign, a lucrative situation in the Excise. He was, at the time of his death, the proprietor of a large brewery near Tower Hill.[10]  He had always remained faithful to the interest of , and his purse was ever at his service. To his wealth, however, rather than to his abilities,


he was indebted for the consideration he received. He readily entered into the proposed plans of invasion; and so soon as should have effected a landing, with a force sufficient to give a probability of success, had engaged to join him with 2000 horse. This appears to have been the extent of his criminality: he repudiated all idea of assassination, nor, in fact, was this aggravation of his offence alleged against him, no count in the indictment charging him with it.

Sir was also a gentleman of property, and had warmly espoused the interests of the Stuarts. He had been educated to the profession of the law, and, during the last reign, had received the valuable appointment of one of the Six Clerks in Chancery; rather than lose which he had, on the accession of , taken all the oaths to the Government. [11] He was not only a consenting party to the design of assassination, but had promised to bring five men to assist in it.

The names of these parties, to the last moment of his life, he firmly refused to reveal to the Government, declining to save his


own life by the sacrifice of his associates: a redeeming trait in a character otherwise darkened by many vices.

The jury at once found them guilty, and the usual sentence was passed upon them as traitors.

The following account of their execution is extracted from the newspaper of the day:-

"Yesterday being the 3d of April, Sir

William Parkins

and Sir

John Friend

were drawn in a sledge from




, where they were hanged and quartered. They had books in their hands the whole way, and

Sir John

seemed more penitent than

Sir William

. They prayed very heartily, being assisted by three non-jurant ministers, Mr. Cook, Mr. Collier, and Mr. Snatt: they both confessed a knowledge of the plot. Sir

William Parkins

was observed several times to smile in the sledge, and seemed to take much notice of the spectators. Sir

John Friend

confessed having heard of the assassination, but that he abhorred it.

"When they came to the press-yard,

Sir John

said to Sir William,

' We shall soon be in a glorious state.'

At the gallows, before the cart was drawn away, they kneeled down, and the three ministers

" Collier, Snatt, and Cook, three non-jurant clergymen, waited on them at Tyburn, and the three at the place of execution joined to give them public absolution, with an imposition of hands, in the view of all the populace, though they died avowing the evil doings in which they had been engaged, and expressing no sort of repentance for them. "For this offence Cook and Snatt were committed to Newgate, Collier absconded. The dispute lasted some time, but they were ultimately released." --History of the Reign of William.

laid their hands on their heads, and so they went off."

The quarters of Sir and Sir , together with the head of the former, were placed on .

, in his


referring to this melancholy scene, remarks,-

" A dismal sight, which many pitied. I think there never was such a

Temple Bar

till now, except once in the time of King

Charles the Second

, viz. Sir

Thomas Armstrong


The head of Sir was set up on Aldgate; on account, it is presumed, of that gate being in the proximity of his brewery.

Pendergrast, the principal discoverer of the plot, received from a present of 3000£. in money; an annuity of 500£. was likewise settled upon him and his heirs, and he had also conferred upon him a colonel's commission in the army.

Nearly the last person to suffer on account of this conspiracy was Sir , of Fenwick Castle, in the county of Northumberland, a man of considerable talent but of a restless disposition, and who, twenty years previously, had commanded a


regiment in the service of , when Prince of Orange. His history, excepting that he was a participator in the crime of those whose limbs were then exposed, is not associated with ; as, after his decapitation on Tower Hill, on January 23, , his remains were removed to the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and there deposited in the family vault. We merely take notice of him, as, by a remarkable coincidence, the death of was not altogether unassociated with the execution of this northern baronet.

The partiality of for his palace at Hampton Court is well known; and in the improvement of the gardens he had projected a new canal, near that which is at present in existence. On the morning of February 21, , he rode into the Home Park to inspect the progress of the work, and was mounted on a sorrel pony, which had formerly been the property of the unfortunate Sir .

His Majesty having reached the spot where the operations were being carried on, the pony accidentally placed his foot in a mole-hill, and fell. 's collar-bone was fractured by the fall, and having been removed first to Hampton Court Palace, and subsequently by his desire to , he expired after much suffering, on the morning of Sunday, the 8th day of March, , in the fifty-second year of his age, and the thirteenth of


his reign. The adherents of eulogised their beloved and the wit of Pope was shown in the following , contrasting the safety of in the oak at Boscobel, with the accident to in the gardens at Hampton:-

"Angels, who watched the guardian oak so well, How chanced ye slept when luckless Sorrel fell ?"

In breathless haste-the historian informs us-the courtiers hastened from the palace to announce to her exaltation to the throne.

We must now resume our narrative. With the peace of Ryswick, in , ended all attempts in favour of the exiled , who, from ambition, turned his attention to religion, trusting to secure a heavenly crown as a recompense for the loss of his earthly one; and in the practice of the austerities of an ascetic course of life, he died of a lethargy, at St. Germains, July 6, , at the age of sixty-eight, and was buried in the English Benedictine monastery at Paris. As we have seen, a few months subsequent to this event, had expired at . , the second daughter of by his first wife, the daughter of the great Lord Clarendon, by virtue of the Act of Settlement ascended the throne, and was speedily engaged in continental wars to check the power of France; Louis the Fourteenth having, by a family


marriage, connected the crown of Spain with the House of Bourbon. The Peace of Utrecht, in , effected this object, and, moreover, compelled Louis to send James Francis Edward, the son of the late exiled (who had been openly acknowledged by him by the title of James the Third), out of his dominions. If we except an abortive effort to land troops in Scotland, the reign of Queen passed over without any open attempt to disturb her throne, and she had the good fortune not to be called upon to execute the rigour of the laws on any of the supporters of her family.

After a reign of nearly thirteen years, made glorious by the victories of Marlborough, the breathed her last at , on the 1st day of August, , and was, on the 24th of the same month, buried in 's chapel in Westminster Abbey.

The herald proclaimed over her tomb her earthly titles; to which the nation, in affection for her memory, added another, by which she has been generally distinguished-that of the good .


[1] A work, we believe, is in the course of preparation by a gentleman fully qualified for the task he has undertaken, which will embrace both these subjects.

[2] In the reign of Edward IV. Thomas Burdet, Esq., of Arrowe, in Warwickshire, was beheaded for having used a coarse expression, the application of which had been erroneously applied to the person of the king. In the same reign, a tradesman, who kept a shop at the sign of the Crown, having said he would make his son heir to the Crown, this harmless pleasantry was interpreted to be spoken in derision of Edward's assumed title, and he was condemned and executed for the offence. In the reign of Henry VIII., April 5, 1531, Richard Rose, a cook, was boiled to death in Smithfield, for poisoning several persons in the family of the Bishop of Rochester ; an ex post facto act had been passed for this express purpose. Margaret Davy subsequently, on March 17, 1541, suffered a similar death in Smithfield, "for poisoning three households that she had dwelled in." This Act was repealed in the following reign. Burning females to death, however, continued, within the memory of the present generation, to be inflicted by the law for the crimes of high and petty treason. For the latter crime, the last to suffer in London was Catherine Hayes, burnt to death at Tyburn, May 9, 1726, for the murder of her husband; for the former, Catherine Murphy, for colouring a piece of metal to resemble a shilling made high treason by the 15th and 16th George II. c. 28-was burnt in the Old Bailey, on the 18th March, 1789 ; by the humanity of the sheriff, she was, however, first strangled. By the 30th Geo. III. c. 48, this barbarous mode of punishment was abolished, and hanging substituted.

[3] " The bodies of the three usurpers, viz. Cromwell, Bradshaw, and Ireton, after an industrious search, were found on Sunday last. Thereupon they (except Bradshaw, who, on account of the offensive state of his body, could not be immediately removed) were taken out of the graves. On the evening of the 23d January, 1660-1, all of them were brought out into a public-house in Holborn, and shown to any one who desired to see them; and in the course of the following Wednesday, being the 30th January, on which his majesty's father, of excellent and blessed memory, was murdered, the abovementioned bodies were conveyed in their open coffins to Tyburn (a place where the worst criminals and thieves are hanged); the bodies were then taken out of the coffins, and hanged on the gallows. Cromwell was wrapped in a green shroud, Bradshaw in a coloured, and Ireton in a white cloth; it was a fine day, and the sun shone as warm as in summer, and made Cromwell's fat so scorched that no one could stand by on account of the offensive smell. They were again in the evening removed, their heads cut off, and the bodies buried under the gallows. Subsequently their heads were placed on Westminster Hall."-News from London of the 4th February, 1661. Translated from the scarce original in Dutch.

[4] Thomas Venner was a wine-cooper, and acquired a competent estate by his trade. He was so strongly possessed of the notions of the Millenarians, or Fifth Monarchy men, that he expected Christ was coming to reign upon earth, and that all human government, except that of the saints, was presently to cease. He looked upon Cromwell and Charles the Second as usurpers upon Christ's dominion, and persuaded his weak brethren that it was their duty to rise and seize upon the kingdom in his name. Accordingly a rabble of them, with Venner at their head, assembled in the streets, and proclaimed King Jesus. They were attacked by a party of the militia, whom they resolutely engaged, as many believed themselves invulnerable. They were at length overpowered by numbers, and Venner and Roger Hodgkin, a button-seller in St. Clement's Lane, Lombard Street (another fanatic), were executed before their meeting-house in Swan Alley, Coleman Street, in the City, on the 19th January, 1661. On Monday the 21st nine more were executed, at five several places, by one executioner; two at the west end of St. Paul's, two at the Bull and Mouth, two at Beech Lane, two at the Royal Exchange, and a notable fellow, the last, by name Leonard Gowler, at Bishopsgate. Their heads were placed upon London Bridge.

[5] The erection of the present bar commenced in the year 1670, and was completed in 1672. The design is stated to be by Sir Christopher Wren.

[6] This palace of the Archbishops of Canterbury was during the Commonwealth converted into a prison.

[7] Gatehouse: Tothill Street; Westminster, is so called from two gates erected there in the reign of Edward III. Here is a prison for debtors and criminals.--London and its Environs, by Dodsley.

[8] The assizes held by the Chief Justice Jefferies in the West of England in the year 1685, after the defeat of Monmouth, which for cruelty and infamy are unparalleled in the criminal records of the country, and which obtained for them the epithet of "bloody." The historian Hume thus describes them:--"The juries were so struck with his (Jeffries) menaces, that they gave their verdict with precipitation; and many innocent persons, it is said, were involved with the guilty. And on the whole, besides those who were butchered by the military commanders, 251 are computed to have fallen by the hand of justive. The whole country was strewed with the heads and limbs of traitors. Every village almost beheld the dead carcase of a wretched inhabitant. And all the rigours of justice, unabated by the appearance of clemency, were fully displayed to the people by the inhuman Jeffries."-- History of England, 8vo. vol.viii.p.233.

[9] The place selected was a marshy bottom between Brentford and Turnham Green, by which road the king used to return to Kensington from Richmond, very slightly guarded.

[10] The brewery, after the death of Sir Thomas Friend, was taken by the notorious swindler Joseph Crook, alias Sir Peter Stranger, Bart. He was the last person tried and convicted under the statute of the 5th Elizabeth, c. 14, entitled "An Act against Forgers of false Deeds and Writings." The instrument he had forged was the will of a Mr. Thomas Hawkins, and having been found guilty, the sentence provided by the statute was carried into effect. On June 10, 1731, he stood in the pillory at Charing Cross, and the common hangman cut off his ears and slit up his nostrils and seared them. He was then in his 70th year. The 2d George II. c. 25, recently passed, made this offence felony; and Richard Cooper, a victualler at Stepney, was the first person (in London) to suffer the new penalty, for the forgery of a bond of 25£. in the name of Holme, a grocer in the neighbourhood of Hanover Square. This execution took place at Tyburn, on Wednesday, June 16, 1731.

[11] As regards the moral obligation of an oath, Sir William would appear to coincide with Sir Hudibras:- "He that made and forced it broke it, Not he that for convenience took it." Hudibras, Part II. Canto 2, p. 275.