London, Volume 1
In spite of steam continues to be of the great vomitories of London. The Birmingham, Great Western, and South-western Railways Have eclipsed the glories of long-stage coaching. The White-horse Cellar is no longer what it was. The race of long-stage drivers, in white milled box-coats, multitudinous neck-handkerchiefs, and low-crowned hats, who gave law to the road, and were the
to the ingenuous youth of England, are disappearing.[n.297.1] Never again shall we, diffident of our own powers of early rising, and distrustful of those of our whole family, take a bed at the Gloucester, when intending to start next morning with some early coach for the West of England, and, between the stirring influence of spring and the anticipation of rural drives, watch from the window the faint glimmer of the reservoir in the , till broad day come, and with it Boots, to warn us that the hour of starting draws
|nigh. And yet the incessant plying of omnibuses from in the morning till at night, and the continued influx of huge market-carts bound for Covent Garden from midnight till daybreak, to say nothing of post-chaises and huge West-country waggons, reminding us of Strap and Roderick Random, Captain and Mrs. Weazle, and the obstreperously laughing Joey, present us with a thoroughfare not a whit less. crowded, bustling, and confusing than in the days of old.|
is a worthy terminal mark to a great metropolis. Entering or issuing, it is alike imposing.
the view from the Achilles along the elm-rows towards the Serpentine has a park-like appearance that makes him feel out of town the moment he reaches it. To the traveller from the country the view across the towards is truly courtly and metropolitan. The triumphal archways on either side corroborate the impression of stately polish; the magnificent scale of Hospital is worthy the capital of a great nation; the statue in , notwithstanding the gross blunder in the interpretation of its action by the bungling copyist who erected it, is magnificent in its scale, outline, and position; and Apsley House seems placed there in order that the hero of a fights may keep watch and ward on the outskirts of the central seat of power of the land whose troops he has so often led to victory.
In the old map of London, attributed to Ralph Aggas, which represents the metropolis as it appeared in the early part of the reign of Elizabeth, the west end of the line of road now called is introduced under the designation of
It is quite a country road. Between and is , which extends in a waving line to the western extremity of an enclosure round . From the northwest corner of this enclosure a road is represented extending due west, bearing the double name
from the southwest corner
curves to the south-west till it reaches the northern extremity of the , from which its direction seems to be parallel to the more northern line of road. In Aggas's plan there are a few houses around the church of St. Giles, at the corner of the enclosure of the Convent Garden, apparently where and now meet, a mass of buildings at , and a few houses with a chapel rather to the west of the south end of the , in what is now . To the west and north of these erections seems to have been fields and open country.
Some light is thrown upon the condition of the line of road afterwards called (in the early part of the reign of Queen Mary) by Stow's narrative of the rash attempt of Sir Thomas Wyatt upon London in . Wyatt, having crossed the Thames at Kingston, advanced upon Brentford. The proceedings of the Queen's adherents in London, and the further movements of the rebels, in so far as they bear upon our subject, are thus described by Stow :
Wyatt hearing the Earl of Pembroke was come into the field, he staid at until day, where his men, being very weary with travel of that night and the day before, and also partly feebled and faint, having received small sustenance since their coming out of , rested. There was no small ado in London; and likewise the Tower made great preparation of defence. By of the clock the Earl of Pembroke had set his troop of horsemen on the hill in the highway above the new bridge over against St. James's : his footmen were set in battles, somewhat lower and nearer , at the lane turning down by the brick wall from Islington-ward, where he had also certain other horsemen; and he had planted his ordnance upon the hill-side. In the mean season Wyatt and his company planted his ordnance upon a hill beyond St. James, almost over against the Park Corner; and himself, after a few words spoken to his soldiers, came down the old lane on foot, hard by the Court gate at St. James, with or ancients, his men marching in good array. Cuthbert Vaughan and ancients turned down towards . The Earl of Pembroke's horsemen hovered all this while without moving, until all was passed by, saving the tail, upon which they did set and cut off. The other marched forward in array, and never staid or returned to the aid of their tail. The great ordnance shot off freshly on both sides. Wyatt's ordnance overshot the troop of horsemen. The Queen's ordnance, piece, struck of Wyatt's company in a rank, upon the heads, and, slaying them, struck through the wall into the Park. More harm was not done by the great shot of neither party.
The Queen's whole battle of footmen standing still, Wyatt passed along by the wall towards , where the said horsemen that were there set upon part of them, but were soon forced back. At there stood Sir John Gage, Lord Chamberlain, with the guard, and a number of others, being almost a ; the which, upon Wyatt's coming, shot at his company, but at the last fled to the Court gates, which certain pursued, and forced with shot to shut the Court gates against them. In this repulse the said Lord Chamberlain and others were so amazed that many cried treason in the Court, and had thought that the Earl of Pembroke, who was assaulting the tail of his enemies, had gone to Wyatt, taking his part against the Queen. There was running and crying out of ladies and gentlemen, shutting of doors and windows, and such a shrieking and noise as was wonderful to hear.
Wyatt passed on to Ludgate, but, finding that the city was in possession of the Queen's forces and that no joined him, he lost his self-possession and surrendered. For our purpose, it is only necessary to add further from Stow that-
This stirring narrative of the most striking incident in the early reign of
--of the inconsiderate protest of the national sentiment against a relapse into the old religion, of which the projected union with the King of Spain, which Wyatt sought to break off, gave dark augury-conveys to us a precise notion of the scene of action. lines of road,
on which is
diverge on the summit of a hill
It is clear that the must have crossed the fields afterwards thrown into the slantingly to the north-east corner of , and thence along the north side of the Park wall to . The
must have crossed the stream which ran in the hollow, east of the ranger's house in the , and the line of road on which it was constructed must have climbed the acclivity to the east of it. The
led to ; the
This description corresponds with the plan of Aggas, in which the wall of the Convent Garden forms for a space the eastern boundary of . In corroboration of this inference regarding the relative position of the
is the fact that a shot from the Queen's ordnance broke through the Park wall. Thus do we form our acquaintance with as a country road, amid the bustle of mailed and mounted men, the clash of arms and the roar of artillery, the screaming of the affrighted maids of honour in the court at , and with the still picture of the lords and gentlemen on the leads of the White Tower in the background, strengthening our impression of the hubbub at once by the sheer force of contrast, and by the thought that they at that distance, and through the din and bustle of the thronged city, heard the wail of women, and saw the smoke of the ordnance. This is a stately prologue to the history of , contrasting with the even tenor of its subsequent story much in the same way that the stately entrance to the street at does with its homely termination in .
During the subsequent part of Mary's reign, and during the whole reigns of Elizabeth and James I. (excepting what we learn from the map of London already referred to), the history of is a blank. Under Charles I. we again catch a glimpse of it, and are for the time introduced to the name it now bears. Lord Clarendon, in his
&c. This seems to have been the same house mentioned by Garrard in his letter to the Earl of Strafford (alluded to in our paper on ), dated , as
We are enabled to fix with considerable precision the site of
by means of some proceedings before the Privy Council in the reign
| of Charles II. On the , a petition from Colonel Thomas Panton was read at the Board of Privy Council, |
and praying for leave to build upon this ground, notwithstanding the royal proclamation recently issued against building on new foundations within a certain distance from London. Sir Christopher Wren,
was appointed to report upon the application, which he did in favour of the petitioner. In consequence of Sir Christopher's favourable report, Colonel Panton obtained leave to build
on the west (east?) side of
between the and Hedge Lane, marked in the MS. to be called . The tract of ground designated in these transactions seems to have extended from on the south to a considerable way northward in . Evelyn, in his
seems to use the name with a similar latitude of application, when he speaks of a meeting of the Commissioners for reforming buildings and streets in London, on the , at which orders were issued to pave
The site of
mentioned by Clarendon, seems satisfactorily ascertained by that of
It is the site on which , at the end of on the north side of , now stands. We are also enabled to fix the western limits of the district called by the Act of Parliament of James II., erecting a portion of parish into
This statute, tracing the boundaries of the new parish, mentions
In the same Act of Parliament a
on the north side of the church, which is assigned to the rector along with some other pieces of ground as a glebe, is said to be situated in . In the early maps of the parish of St. James, several of which are preserved in the King's Collection in the , the line of street from the to is inscribed ; its continuation to the west of is marked .
These citations seem to establish with tolerable certainty that , originally the name of what in Faithorne's plan of London, published in , is called
had come in time to designate the upper or northern part of the , and the fields immediately adjoining on the north and west. The name itself seems to be derived by common consent from the ruffs called
worn by the gallants of the reigns of James I. and Charles I. In the Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, in anticipation of a visit from King James, thought it necessary to issue an order prohibiting
Barnaby Rice, in his
furnishes data for an approximative guess at the ambiguity of the ornament :--
Hone, in his
on the authority of Nares's
gives a more extended sense to the
interpreting it to mean
hence the term wooden peccadilloes (the pillory) in Hudibras. The meaning of the word is sufficiently established; the difficulty is, how came it to be transferred to the house and neighbourhood? author (Nightingale) disposes of it thus:
Another (Hone) is of opinion that
Where all is conjecture, more can do no harm; it may have been popularly called the house to which the peccadilloes, the gallants wearing peccadilloes, resorted.
At all events, the name does not seem to have been recognised for a considerable time as the grave business-name of the district, but rather as a semi-ludicrous popular epithet. Mary-le-bone Lane (or Street) retained its name; , , , the , and , gradually superseded the name of . Had the marriage of Charles II. with the Infanta of Portugal proved prolific, and thus remained as it was originally popular, would in all likelihood have obliterated the last trace of . But the bad odour into which that alliance matrimonial was brought by the factious mixing up of it among the charges against Lord Clarendon brought into discredit, and the name of was gradually extended to the whole of the
along which the Earl of Pembroke posted his ordnance and lances to repel the attack of Sir Thomas Wyatt, and perpetuity was thus given to a name derived from a fantastic article of dress, and originally applied to denote a region haunted by the gay and idle, the locality of tennis-courts and bowling-greens. In the
of the , we read-
which shows that by that time, in popular discourse, the name had extended as far as the vicinity of .
Previous to , the year in which Wren finished the Church of St. James's, at the expense of Henry Jermyn, Earl of St. Alban's, and the principal inhabitants of the district, there does not appear to have been any continuous building in or west of the church. At a meeting of commissioners for reforming streets and buildings in London, already alluded to as mentioned by Evelyn to have been held in , orders were issued for the
An Act passed the Charles II. () made provision for the pavement of , the , and . Building was going rapidly forward on the space encompassed by these streets, under the auspices of the Earl of St. Alban's. Pepys has this entry in his
on the :--
and under the date , he remarks,
, St. Alban Street, and were far advanced; but the Park and Palace were the suns to which they turned their faces. and was merely a road behind them--the highway to the . This feeling is expressed in the superior ornament bestowed by Wren upon
The line of road formed at its east end the line of demarcation between the courtly mansions erecting in St. James's Fields and
of which Wren complained in a petition to the king in , as
To the north-west, however, we emerge into pleasant fields upon which the nobility and gentry had already erected mansions: more were erecting, some destined only to an ephemeral existence, some of which still survive. Evelyn and Pepys furnish us with some peeps into their interiors that throw light on the manners of their time, and have some not unedifying associations attached to them.
The present occupies the space once taken up by the gardens of Goring House. An entry in Evelyn's
enables us to form a conjecture both as to the appearance of the mansion and the view from it; for it seems probable that the remark about the decoy must have been suggested by its being seen from the house or grounds:--
This entry also indicates the period at which Lord Arlington took possession: it was occupied by him till the period of its destruction by fire, also recorded by Evelyn :--
The same author gives us an account of part of this
while mentioning a visit he
| paid to the Countess in :-- |
To Pepys we are indebted for the information that a sister of Milton's Hartlib (everybody's Hartlib) was married at Goring House:--
The same gossip has left us a picture of himself standing amid the gaping crowd which waited to see the new Chancellor issue from Goring House when the seals were taken from Clarendon:--
Roger North, in his Life of his brother, Sir Dudley, has an allusion to the process by which the villa-ground was transformed into a street.
, then building, was his ordinary walk; and much did he speculate on the pressure of arches;--a of which inquiries, we are informed-
Sir Dudley returned from Constantinople to England in , and died in : the erection of the
in must therefore fall in the interval between these years.
In villas were begun to be built on the opposite side of the way from Goring House, as we learn from Pepys:--
If we are to understand that the grounds belonging to Berkeley, Clarendon, and Burlington Houses, occupied the whole space on the north side of ,
| where these mansions were erected, the grounds attached to Clarendon House must have extended on the east to ; for that, as appears from the Act of Parliament by which the district appertaining to St. James's Church was erected into a parish, was the western boundary of the Earl of Burlington's possessions. On the west the grant of land made by the Crown to Lord Clarendon seems to have extended to where the Kings livery-stable yard now is, at the entrance into which may be seen pillars, with Corinthian capitals, according to D'Israeli the only surviving relics of Clarendon House. The Chancellor began to build here (as we learn from Evelyn's |
) in the course of the year ,
as he has left on record in his memorial of his own life,
It remained in Lord Clarendon's possession till his flight after he had been deprived of the great seal; and was for a time occupied by his son, who sold it to the Duke of Albemarle, by whom it was ultimately disposed of to a company of building speculators Evelyn and Pepys furnish us with some graphic representations of the varying fortunes of this magnificent pile during its brief existence.
writes Evelyn on the ,
Pepys has an entry under the date of the -:
On the in the same year Evelyn has noted-
On the -, Evelyn wrote to Lord Cornbury--
He had contributed to the internal adornment as well as to the laying out of the gardens; for in -, we find him sending the Chancellor a list of
and dining with Lord Cornbury at Clarendon House, after the Chancellor's flight, he remarks in his
that it is
In , he alludes to the library. In short, the house and gardens of the Earl of Clarendon seem to have resembled, in stately dignity, the style of his
and to have been in strict keeping with the tasteful and reserved character of that thoroughbred Englishman, who, like Bacon or Milton, preserved a solemn air, even in his enjoyments; of whom Evelyn said,
Clarendon's love for this villa was strong, for even in exile, after writing that his
in the outlay he made upon it
| confesses that, when it was proposed to sell it, in order to pay his debts and make some provision for his younger children, |
A storm of public wrath did indeed rage around Clarendon House.
writes Pepys on the ,
The plague, the great fire, and the disgraceful war with Holland, had goaded the public mind into a temper of savage mutiny; and the
to aid their court intrigues against the Chancellor, had done what in them lay to direct the storm against his head. The marriage of the Chancellor's daughter to the Duke of York, and the barrenness of the Queen, were represented as the results of a plot; the situation of Clarendon House, looking down on St James's, and the employment of stones collected with a view to repair , were tortured into crimes. An unsparing lampoon, in the
and still more venomous, though more rugged, are some rhymes quoted by D'Israeli from a MS. poem of that day:--
In front of Goring House we saw the clever, vain, vulgar, honest Pepys waiting in the crowd to see the new Chancellor when Clarendon was unseated. The high-minded Evelyn carries us into the presence of overthrown grandeur on t'other side the way. Whatever may be men's opinions of the balance of Lord Clarendon's virtues and faults, elevation and weaknesses, he must be admitted to be who fought stoutly in the long earnest struggle from to the Restoration: he had a powerful mind, and a tragic interest attaches to his fall.
The same kind and delicate chronicler who notes the exit of the founder records the fate of the building he reared and loved so well :--
And on the -
Lord Berkeley's house, begun, according to Pepys, about the same time with that of Lord Clarendon, on the west side of it, is described by Evelyn in these terms :--
In , Evelyn writes:--
Independently of the beauties of the house and gardens, but slender interest attaches to Berkeley House. Its founder is represented by Pepys as
The house was destroyed by fire, in what year we have been unable to ascertain. , which now stands between the streets built,
was erected by the Duke of Devonshire (the Duke died ), from of Kent's designs, at an expense of ; including !. presented to the architect for his plans.
Regarding the house mentioned by Pepys as begun by Sir John Denham on the opposite side of Clarendon House from Lord Berkeley's, we find the Secretary to the Admiralty recording on the -
How the transfer came to be made does not
In , Pepys remarks--
In September he notes the progress of the intrigue:--
In November comes the catastrophe :--
The rest is silence.
But Pepys's visit to was troubled with no such tragic recollections. His memorabilia of the occasion are:--
| The present front of and the colonnade within its court were designed and erected by Richard Boyle, Earl of Burlington and Earl of Cork, at whose death the title (since revived) became extinct. The Earl was so passionate an architectural amateur that he designed houses for his friends as well as for himself: among others, for General Wade, in , of which it was said by the public that it was too small for living in and too big to be hung at a watch. Lord Chesterfield said- |
Nightingale (vol. iv. p. ) says,
The fact may be so, but the authority is none of the best. The crude compiler who makes the statement tells this story in the same breath:--
Something to the same purpose is told of the founder of in ; and as to , it was founded not by a nobleman, but by Sir John Denham; and Clarendon House and Berkeley House were founded at the same time, whilst Goring House had been built many years before. Immediately to the east of , on the site now occupied by the , stood the house and gardens of the versatile Earl of Sunderland, the treacherous minister of James II. The date of the erection of this villa we have not been able to ascertain.
These scattered notices enable us to form an idea both of the appearance of
|the part of extending from St. James's Church to the west end of , towards the close of the and beginning of the eighteenth centuries; and also of the tastes and pursuits of the noble occupants of the villas we have been describing, and the process by which some of them were converted into streets, and those which remained gradually surrounded by a populous city. The houses in that part of east of continued to be numbered separately from those to the west of it down to the commencement of the present century. The Court Guide for retains this double numbering. The turnpike, subsequently removed to , was originally placed at the east end of , at the end of . For many years subsequent to the transfer the trustees of the roads paid annually to the parish of , , towards the expense of maintaining the road between and , and that part of the street is still watered by trustees under a separate Act of Parliament. We allude to these facts for the purpose of explaining why we carry down the history of East a considerable way into the eighteenth century before adverting to West.|
Little remains, however, to be told of the former. The conversion of the site of Goring House into , and the extension of the new town commenced by the Earl of St. Alban's to the north-east, soon gave a decidedly town character to the south side of ; and the example of the adventurers who purchased Clarendon House, and that of Lady Berkeley, produced a similar effect on the north side. Bond Street--a street of shops and lodging-houses-soon became a fashionable lounge. In the
of the , we read --
While was thus advancing northwards, the Earl of Burlington was converting what seems to have been originally called
at the back of his gardens, into a semiprivate town bounded by the thoroughfares and on the west and east, and by the school founded by Lady Burlington
on the north. At the south end of is a stately mansion, built by Leoni for Gay's patron, the Duke of Queensberry, the proprietor of which was allowed to erect his house so that it commanded a view into . This mansion, after remaining for some time in a state of dilapidation, was purchased by the Earl of Uxbridge, who repaired it, and gave it his own title. In is General Wade's house already alluded to. Returning to the west side of , we are informed that in the Duke of Grafton and the Earl of Grantham purchased the waste ground at the upper end of Albemarle and Dover Streets for gardens, and turned a
|road leading into May Fair another way. This accounts for the termination to the north given by , which consists of streets meeting at right angles, and uniting with .|
Fielding, discoursing of the mob (-) as the estate of the realm, describes it as gradually encroaching upon people of fashion, and driving them from their seats in Leicester, Soho, and Golden Squares, to and the streets in its vicinity. The discomfited fashionables seem to have swept along or across East without attempting to make any settlement there; for the villas of noblemen enclosed by the street dwellings must be considered as among--not of-them. It is true that a letter from Sir William Petty to Pepys in , is dated from : but an item in the inventory of theatrical properties inserted in the
of the -
--seems to express more correctly the class by which it was chiefly inhabited. The fashionables occupied the streets opening into . Thus we find Sir Robert Walpole residing in ; Evelyn, at an earlier period, occupying a house in , where he must have been constantly reminded of having been
on that very ground; and at a later period Boswell domiciled in . Mr. Allworthy's lodgings too were in , and there some of the most touching scenes in are laid.
The attempt to build along the north side of , west of , fell to the ground. Clarges House, the residence of Sir Thomas Clarges, brother-in-law to the Duke of Albemarle, stood on the site of the present . A considerable piece of ground adjoining it was let on lease by Sir Thomas, towards the close of the century, to Mr. Thomas Neale, Groom-porter to the King, and introducer of lotteries on the Venetian plan, who built the Dials in , on condition that he was to lay out in building on it. Sir Walter, son and heir of Sir Thomas, with considerable difficulty got the lease out of the hands of Neale, who never took any steps to fulfil his part of the bargain.
At the end of nearest , however, building, as we had occasion to remark while treating of the Parks, began at a comparatively early period.
says Faulkner, in his
Before that time, where Apsley House now stands, stood a tavern called the Hercules Pillars, the same at which the redoubted Squire Western, with his clerical satellite, is represented as taking up his abode on his arrival in London, and conveying the fair Sophia. The character of the house in Fielding's time is implied in the speech put into the Squire's mouth when he says he looked upon the landlord as a fit person to give him information respecting fashionable people, seeing their carriages stopped at his house. It seems to have been a comfortable low inn in the outskirts of the town, at which gentlemen's horses and grooms were put up, and whither farmers and graziers resorted. In front of the inn (and in front of Apsley House till a comparatively recent period), a square, rather pyramidical column stood by the kerb-stone, on which was engraved the distance from the Standard in . Between the houses next to Apsley House and was a row of small houses, of them a public-house called the Triumphant Chariot. It was a watering-house for
| hackney-coaches, and by the kerb-stone in front of it was a bench for the porters, and a board over it for depositing their loads. Such resting-places for that strong-backed fraternity were once universal in front of this class of houses, and they are still bright spots in our memory, associated with sunny days in June, tempered by light breezes, with watering troughs for the horses, and with deep draughts of stout for the men, such as are idealised in Hogarth's |
About yards west of was the street mentioned by Faulkner as deriving its name from the Hamilton family; it contained small houses, and or on a larger scale; they were pulled down, and
| built, about years ago. Where the opening of is now, was a -storied building occupied by a barber, as we have been told by upon whom that functionary has operated, before the march of comfort had taught every man to handle his own razor as well as to be present at the shaving of his own beard. Between and there was a terrace elevated some feet above the road, which was lowered within the last years; the houses between and Apsley House are sometimes called still. In this part of a Mr. Winstanley had, about the beginning of the eighteenth century, his |
--a house distinguished from its neighbours by a
Evelyn speaks of Winstanley as an ingenious man, and Steele alludes to his theatre in the
The eccentric Sir Samuel Moreland, also a mechanical genius and acquaintance of Evelyn, dates a letter from his
The ground intervening between and was from a very remote period the scene of May Fair--an annual occasion of rude festivity, which, although repeatedly presented by grand juries as a nuisance, kept its ground till far in the last century. The annual fair granted by Edward I. to the Hospital of St. James's was removed at the time of the enclosure of by Henry VIII. to Brook Fields,--the ground on both sides of the rivulet of Tyburn, which formerly crossed east of where the ranger's lodge now stands, probably under
mentioned by Stow in his narrative of Sir Thomas Wyatt's rash enterprise. Pepys, in , calls it
An advertisement quoted by Malcolm,[n.313.1] which appeared in the London journals of , conveys an idea of the character of the fair at that time:--
The May Fair of opened with great . There was Mr. Miller's booth
Mr. Barnes, the rope-dancer's, where was
The pickpockets and others of the dishonest fraternity were, however, so active that the magistrates felt called upon to interfere; and some soldiers taking part with the mob against the constables, Mr. John Cooper, a peace-officer, was killed; he was buried at St. James's Church, and a funeral sermon preached on the occasion by Dr. Wedgewood before the justices, high constable, &c. &c., of .
a paper published twice a week, said next year of May Fair, in reference to these events-
In the grand jury of presented the fair as a nuisance, and for the time it appears to have been discontinued, if not absolutely suppressed. In the
of , it is observed-
And on the --
May Fair survived, however; for the newspapers of the time inform us that in
and in the grand jury of Middlesex, among several gaming-houses and places frequented by people of bad character, presented
And in the edition of Maitland published in May Fair is mentioned as still annually celebrated.
What neither justice, grand jury, nor constable could put down, seems to have been squeezed out of existence by the progress of building leaving no room for its fantastic gambols. A paragraph in the
After Sir Walter Clarges obtained possession of the lease granted by his father to Neale, his grounds were soon let on building-leases; and before the middle of the eighteenth century West had an almost continuous range of houses on the north side. Between the end of and the bottom of the hill westward there was originally a terrace raised some feet above the carriage-road. The old pavement of this elevation, of a kind of stone resembling cobblers' lapstone, has never been removed, but is now feet below the surface. The proprietor of a house in that part of came upon it some years since in digging a cellar. years ago there were no houses in to the west of (with the exception of Bath House) more than or stories high. Many of them were inns or watering-houses, like the Hercules Pillars or the Triumphant Chariot. Halfmoon Street and appear to have been named after public-houses which stood at their corners in . The Peartree livery-stables received that name from a man called Peartree, who kept them for or years. At the bottom of the hill, where Engine Street now is, was a large mason-yard, known by the name of the Figure-yard, which was built up about years ago.
Bath House, already alluded to, was the house of any pretensions erected
| to the west of . It was built by Pulteney Earl of Bath, after Sir Robert Walpole, by forcing him into the House of Peers, had contrived to place him on the shelf in the very moment of his fancied triumph. This house, after being transformed into the Pulteney Hotel, to which the title of Imperial was subsequently added, on account of its having been occupied by the Emperor Alexander during his visit to London, has been replaced by the mansion of Lord Ashburton. Apsley House and the mansions. adjoining it seem to stand next in point of seniority. of the houses occupied by ex-financier Calonne is now the residence of the ruler of the European money-market. About years ago a house was built for the late Lord Barrymore on the site of the |
It was burned down a few years after its erection, and the house now leased out in chambers erected where it stood. was built by Mr. Adams, about years ago. The house with a bow-window fronting , a little to the east of , nearly opposite the new entrance into the , was the residence of the notorious Duke of Queensberry, better known as
with an adjunctive epithet we care not to repeat. The house built by the father of Mr. Michael Angelo Taylor for the Duke of Grafton came next in order. A view of the Ranger's house in the was engraved and published years ago, with the designation
; the stags over the gateway were placed there by the late Lord William Gordon,
|when Deputy Ranger. It would be in vain to attempt enumerating all: suffice it to say that the and storied houses of this part of have of late years been for the most part either replaced by finer buildings or have had their fronts entirely altered.|
Some time, however, elapsed after this improvement upon the buildings in this part of had made considerable progress, before the street assumed its present elegant and airy appearance. The toll-gate at , which narrowed and interrupted the thoroughfare, and gave a confined appearance to the street, was only removed about the end of . Where an iron railing now permits pleasing glimpses of the Park, was, within the memory of many
| who have not yet passed the middle stage of life, a long blank line of dead wall. There might be seen, strung in a long line, ballads--not as now, |
crammed into huge sheet, but each apart on its tiny strip of whity-brown paper,
or, if a somewhat violent pun can be tolerated, dancing on the air to which they were set. The foot-path under this wall was considered or years ago unsafe at night for solitary passengers, many robberies being committed there. It was under this Park wall that the Prince of Wales, described in his epitaph as
dutifully sat to huzza the voters on their way to Brentford, who went to vote against his father's government. This, and the commotion, what time the Sergeant at Arms, if we may believe a poet of the day, serenaded Sir Francis Burdett, then occupying the house now the Duke of St. Albans', after this fashion-
may serve to show how differently we manage these affairs from the way they set about them in the days of Sir Thomas Wyatt. The outside of the toll-gate was equally disfigured by the dead wall of extending towards . The accompanying cut shows the appearance of Hospital before it was rebuilt by Wilkins in . The centre of the building was the mansion of Pope's
who died here in . The wings were added previous to the opening of the hospital for the reception of patients in . The view of the open country beyond it is now intercepted by the houses in Grosvenor Place-indeed so completely has been built up, that we might say with more propriety the open country has ceased to exist.
[n.297.1] Hazlitt has done justice to the imposing appearance of the mail-coaches in Piccadilly:-- The finest sight in the metropolis is that of the mail-coaches setting off from Piccadilly. The horses paw the ground and are impatient to be gone, as if conscious of the precious burden they convey. There is a peculiar secrecy and despatch, significant and full of meaning, in all the proceedings concerning them. Even the outside passengers have an erect and supercilious air, as if proof against the accidents of the journey. In fact, it seems indifferent whether they are to encounter the summer's heat or the winter's cold, since they are borne through the air in a winged chariot. The mail-carts drive up--the transfer of packages is made-and, at a given signal, they start off, bearing the irrevocable scrolls that give wings to thought, and that bind or sever hearts for ever! How we hate the Putney and Brentford stages that draw up in a line after they are gone! Some persons think the sublimest object in nature is a ship launched on the bosom of the ocean; but give me, for my private satisfaction, the mail-coaches that pour down Piccadilly of an evening, tear up the pavement, and devour the way before them to the Land's End. Pursuing his reverie Hazlitt remarks that in the time of Cowper mail-coaches were hardly set up; and already they are far advanced in their decline and fallo Even the Putney and Brentford stages ae being superseded by the Putney and Brentford omnibuses.
[n.313.1] Anecdotes, &c., ii. 108.