The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 4
The Royal Institution
The Royal Institution for the encouragment of improvements in Arts and Manufactures, is situated the east side of . This admirable institution originated in the year , and was afterwards incorporated by royal charter, under the name and title of
The members consist of different classes: proprietors, life-subscribers, and annual subscribers. The institution is governed by a committee of members, who are elected by the proprietors: for years; for years; and for year.
The exterior of the building is perfectly plain; double windows barricade the front of the house, and thus keep out the cold in winter, and the heat in summer. There is a very spacious and elegant lecture-room, designed by Mr. Webster, with another of less size. There are also a library, a news-room, and a converzatione-room. In the news-room, besides all the morning and evening papers, the monthly and other periodical publications are regularly taken in, both English, French, and German.
Here are several professors, who read lectures on natural history, chemistry, the arts, &c.
Clarges house stood on the site of the present street of that name, which, with and Half-moon-street, lead to May-fields. This part was originally called Brook-fields; and when the ancient fair, granted by Edward I. to St. James' hospital, ceased, on account of the dissolution of that hospital, and the increase of buildings, the fair was removed to Brook-field, and assumed the name of May-fair.
Of the origin of the name, as applied to this place, we have the following account:
A paragraph in the London Journal of , says,
The duke of Grafton and the earl of Grantham purchased all the waste ground at the upper end of Albemarle and Dover streets, in , for gardens; and a road there, leading to May-fair, was turned another way.
This fair was productive of such disorders, that, in the year , the following presentment was made to the grand jury of , for the body of the county of Middlesex:
The consequence was that the fair was abolished for that time; but having been revived, the place was covered with booths, temporary theatres, and every incitement to low pleasure; but it received its final dissolution during the reign of George II. when a riot having commenced, a peace officer was killed in endeavouring to quell it.
Curzon chapel, , now occupies part of the site of this once gay scene of riot and merriment. It is a plain brick edifice with projecting porches. The interior is plain, and has a gallery round sides with a neat organ. The whole is at present under repair. Opposite is a neat but small mansion of the Ionic order, formerly the residence of Stuart Wortley, esq.
has now lost almost all its popularity, market having rendered it almost useless: it is still,
|however, a trifling repository for butchers' meat, vegetables, and poultry.|
, , and Hamilton-street, are the only avenues of consequence till we come to Hyde-park corner.
, a long street, leads from the top of , near Tyburn turnpike, to Hyde-park corner, . It is a noble street, built only on the eastern side; the other fronting Hyde-park.
 October, 1828.