The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 2

Allen, Thomas


The Royal Menagerie


Is at the west entrance, a few yards within the outer gate: over this exhibition has been appointed a keeper from very early time, as may be learned from the records; and more particularly from the appointment of Robert Marsfield, esq. to that office by king Henry VI. And it further appears by the said records in the Tower, that this office was continued by letters patent by succeeding kings to some person of distinction and quality, with an allowance of sixpence a day, and an apartment for himself, conveniencies for the wild beasts, and sixpence a day for the maintenance of every lion and leopard; which seem to have been the only beasts kept here for many ages, except a white bear and an elephant in the days of king Henry III., who, in the year of his reign, issued orders to the sheriffs of London, dated at St. Edmund's, , and again at Windsor, , for them to allow a day for the maintenance of a white bear and his keeper in the ; whom also he next year commanded to provide a muzzle and an iron chain to hold the bear out of the water, and a long and strong cord to hold the same bear fishing (or washing) himself in the river Thames; which command was dated at Windsor, on the . And in the years and came out the following precepts:

The king to the sheriffs of London greeting;

We command you, that of the farm of our city ye cause (without delay) to be built at our Tower of London one house, of forty feet long and twenty feet deep, for our elephant.

Dated February 26.Liberat. 39 lien. III.

Again, the next year the king, on the , commanded the said elephant and his keeper such

necessaries as should be reasonably needful.



, king James II taking with him the duke of Lenox (with divers earls and lords) went to see the lions at the Tower. And here he caused of them, a lion and lioness, to be put forth; and then a live cock was cast to them, which being their natural enemy, they presently killed it, and sucked the blood. Then the king caused a live lamb to be put to them; which the lions, out of their generosity, (as having respect to its innocence) never offered to touch, although the lamb was so bold as to go close to them. Then the king caused the lions to be taken away, and another lion to be put forth, and mastiffs to be turned to him. The mastiffs presently flew upon the lion, and turned him upon his back; and though the lion was superior to them in strength, yet it seems they were his match in courage.

There was a spaniel dog, for some offence or other, cast into the lion's den; but the lion did not attempt to hurt him: and this dog continued in the den with the lion several years, and there died.

In the month of , a resolution was taken to make trial of the valour of the lion, which was by turning him loose to a bear. The bear was brought into an open yard, and the lion was turned out of his den to him; but he would not assault him, but fled from him: and so it was done with other lions, after another. And, lastly, together were turned to him; but none set upon him, but rather sought to return to their dens. A stone-horse soon after being put into the yard with the lion and the bear, the horse fell to grazing between them. After he had gazed a little upon them, mastiff dogs were let in, who boldly fought with the lion. Afterwards dogs more were let in, who flew upon the horse, being most in sight, at their entrance, and would soon have worried him to death, had not stout bear-herds entered, and rescued the horse, and brought away the dogs, while the lion and bear stood staring upon them. At this sight were present king James I., the queen, the prince, and divers great lords.

Great improvements and additions to this exhibition have recently been made. The larger animals, of which there is a noble collection, are confined in dens, disposed in the form of a half-moon, in order that a full and comprehensive view may be at once afforded. The construction of the dens is also deserving attention, inasmuch as they present every facility for cleanliness, being divided into apartments, the upper and the lower, in the latter of which the beasts may be made to retire at the will of the keeper. The whole are judiciously fronted with large iron gates, for the -fold purpose of exhibition and security. The collection of wild beasts, birds, reptiles, &c. are extensive and kept in excellent order, and this exhibition, perhaps, is the most respectable in the Tower.

Exclusive of the buildings mentioned and described, there are several handsome houses for the chief and inferior officers, the


mess-house for the officers of the garrison, and the barracks for the soldiers. In addition to these, there is a street called the Mint, which includes nearly - part of the Tower. The principal part of the houses were formerly inhabited by the officers employed in the coinage; but now by the military, as government have erected a very extensive and majestic structure to the north of , for the business of the Mint department, with houses for the said officers.

The military jurisdiction of the constable of the Tower extends greatly beyond the liberties of that fortress, and includes a considerable part of the county of Middlesex, under the denomination of the Tower Hamlets; the names of which are as follow:

East SmithfieldBow
Tower ExtraOld Ford
Tower InfraMile-End
St. Katherine'sBethnal-Green.

These hamlets are severed from the county of Middlesex, so far as relates to the raising of the militia, by an act of parliament passed in the year of the reign of Charles II., and are obliged to raise regiments of themselves, to be the standing militia of the Tower; and, for this purpose, the constable of the Tower is lord-lieutenant of the district.


[] Maitland.

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 Title Page
 CHAPTER I: History of London, from the Accession of William and Mary, to the reign of George the Second
 CHAPTER II: History of London during the reign of George the Second
 CHAPTER III: History of London from the Accession of George the Third, to the year 1780
 CHAPTER IV: History of London continued to the Union
 CHAPTER V: History of London from the Union to the Jubilee, 1809
 CHAPTER VI: History of London from the Jubilee to the Peace of 1814
 CHAPTER VII: History of London continued to the accession of George the Fourth
 CHAPTER VIII: Account of the Civil Government of the City by Portreves, Bailiffs, and Mayors, with a list of the latter...
 CHAPTER IX: An account of the Aldermen and Sheriffs, with a list of the latter
CHAPTER X: Lists and brief Accounts of the various Officers and Courts within the City
CHAPTER XI: Some account of the Ecclesiastical Government of the city of London, with a List and Biographical Notices of the Bishops of the see
CHAPTER XII: Some Account of the Military Government of London, and the Artillery Company
CHAPTER XIII: An Account of the twelve principal Companies of the City of London
CHAPTER XIV: An Account of the Companies of the City of London, alphabetically arranged
 CHAPTER XV: An Account of the River Thames
CHAPTER XVI: Historical and topographical account of London Bridge, Westminster Bridge, Blackfriars Bridge, Waterloo Bridge, Southwark Bridge, and the Thames Tunnel
CHAPTER XVII: Topographical and Historical Account of the Tower of London