The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 4

Allen, Thomas

1827

The Town Hall.

This hall was rebuilt and finished in , at the city expense. A statue of king Charles II. was placed in the front, under a pediment, and on the base was this inscription:

Combustuman.

1676

. Re-edificatum annis 1685 et 1686; Jacob Smith mil. et Roberti Geoffery mil. Praetoribus S. P. Q. L; Ric. Brackley, Tho. Nicholas Guard, Tho. Addy, Clerico Contrarot Pontis.

Over the statue, in a pediment, were the arms of that king, and on the top of the pediment a sun dial, with these mottoes:

Dum spectas

fugis,

and

Tempus edax rerum.

On side of the statue were the arms of London, and on the other those of .

In , the hull was repaired by the city, and the following inscription was placed under the king's statue:

Repaired and beautified anno domini,

1767

. The right hon. sir Robert Kite, lord mayor, S. P. Q. L.; John Shewell and John Tovey, bridgemasters; Peter Roberts, esq. comptroller of the works and revenues of

London bridge

.

In the inside of the hall, over the lord mayor's seat, in an open pediment, were the arms of England; on the right side the figure of Justice; on the left, that of Wisdom, painted in stone colour; the stand for the city sword was ornamented and gilt. Between the pannels were the arms of London and (by some called the Bridge-house arms), with other embellishments.

This beautifying was of little use; for, in , the building was found to be in so ruinous a state, that it was wholly taken down, and the present hall erected in its place, where the lord mayor, , opens the sessions under the city charter, and adjourns. It is occasionally used for other purposes.

On this occasion the statue of the king, instead of being replaced in its original situation, was sold; it was purchased by some gentle men of a neighbouring court, called Crown Court, and by them set up therein on a pedestal of brickwork, the inside of which serves as a watch box.

The present building is very plain and neat; it consists of a rusticated basement, from which rises Ionic pilasters. The windows are arched, and the interior neatly fitted up.

On the opposite side of is the Tabard (corrupted to Talbot) inn. In which was the residence of the abbots of Hyde, near Winchester, whenever they came to the metropolis to attend their duty in parliament.

This inn was also the place of rendezvous for the pilgrims on their journies to pay adoration to the shrine of St. Thomas-a- Becket, at Canterbury: Chaucer minutely describes their mode of behaviour at the inn, and the circumstances of their progress. After commencing his prologue with the time of the year and the state of the atmosphere when the

yong Sunn hath in the Ram his halve cours yrunn,

&c. the poet proceeds:

Befell that in that seson on that day

In Southwerk at the Tabberd as I lay

Ready to wendin on my pilgrimage

To Canterbury, with devote corage,

At night wer come into that hostery

Wele nine and twenty in a company

Of sundrie folk, by adventure yfall

In felaship and pilgrimes wer they all;

That toward Canterbury wouldin ride

The chambers and stablis werin wide,

And well we werin expid at the best, &c.

He then introduces to view the various personages who composed the cavalcade, viz. the knight, the squire, the squire's yeoman, the prioress, the monk, a friar, a merchant, the clerk of Oxenford, the serjeaunt at law, the frankelan (freeholder) haberdasher, &c. the coke, the shipman, the doctor of phisick, the wife of Bath, the parsonne, the plowman, the millare, the manciple (purveyor of viands), the reve (bailiff), the sompnour (apparitor), and the pardoner (seller of pardons)

The state, aray. and number, and the cause

Why that assemblid was thir companie

In Sonthwerke, at this gentil hostelrie;

That hight the Tabbarde, faste by the Bell.

On the west side of the is

 
 
Footnotes:

[] So called, says Stow, of the sign which, as we now term it, is of a jacket or sleeveless coat, whole before, open on both sides, with a square collar, winged at the shoulders. A stately garment of old time, commonly worn by noblemen and others both at home and abroad, in the wars; but then to wit, in the wars their arms embroidered, or otherwise depicted upon them, that every man by his coat of arms might be known from others. But now these tabards are only worn by the heralds, and are called their coats of arms in service.

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 Title Page
 Dedication
CHAPTER I: Site, local divisions, and government of the City of Westminster; history of the Abbey; Coronation Ceremonies; and lists of the Abbots and Deans
CHAPTER II: Westminster Abbey, and Description of the Tombs and Monuments
CHAPTER III: History and Topography of St. Margaret's Parish
CHAPTER IV: History and Topography of St. John's Parish, Westminster
CHAPTER V: History and Topography of the parish of St. Martin's in the Fields, Westminster
CHAPTER VI: History and Topogrpahy of the parish of St. James, Westminster
CHAPTER VII: History and Topography of the Parish of St. Anne, Westminster
CHAPTER VIII: History and Topography of the parish of St. Paul, Covent Garden
CHAPTER IX: History and Topography of the Parish of St. Mary-le-strand
CHAPTER X: History and Topogrpahy of the parish of St. Clement Danes
CHAPTER XI: History and Topography of the parish of st. George, Hanover Square
CHAPTER XII: History and Topography of the Precinct of the Savoy
CHAPTER XIII: History and Topography of the Inns of Court
CHAPTER XIV: History and Topography of the Precincts of the Charter-house and Ely Place, and the Liberty of the Rolls
 CHAPTER XV: Historical Notices of the Borough of Southwark
CHAPTER XVI: History and Topography of the Parish of St. Olave, Southwark
CHAPTER XVII: History and Topography of the parish of St. John, Southwark
CHAPTER XVIII: History and Topography of the parish of St. Thomas, Southwark
CHAPTER XIX: History and Topogrpahy of the parish of St. George's, Southwark
CHAPTER XX: History and Topography of St. Saviour's Parish
CHAPTER XXI: History and Topography of the parist of Christ-church in the County of Surrey
 CHAPTER XXII: A List of the Principal Books, &c that have been published in Illustration of the Antiquities, History, Topography, and other subjects treated of in this Work
 Addenda et Corrigienda
 Postscript