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

Allen, Thomas

1827

The Westminster Hospital, or Public Infirmary

The , or Public Infirmary, stands at the east end of , and is said to claim seniority of all others of its kind, having been instituted in the year , at the expence and contribution of several benevolent individuals

for the relief of the sick and needy from all parts.

It is a plain neat building, and has within these few years been repaired, at an expence of about

When the ceremony of the commemoration of Handel and his works were considered, and that , where

223

his remains were interred, was suggested, as the fittest place for the performance, application was made to the bishop of Rochester for his permission; and it having been represented, that the time of the year would interfere with the annual meeting of this charity, and therefore considerably injure the resources usually drawn from that assembly, the bishop stipulated that a part of the nett proceeds should be applied to the use of this charity. This was acceded to, and the result proved very advantageous to it.

The capital, in the name of trustees, consists of several funds, upwards of per cents. The inalienation capital for the incurables amounts to upwards of in several funds of per cent; and the maintenance, clothing, and medicines, are charged at per week, which does not exhaust more than of the income appropriated for them.

The number of alms houses, in this immediate neighbourhood, is not trifling.

Mr. Whitcher's alms houses, in , were founded in the year , for poor people, who have each per annum, and a gown. Here is a small chapel for their use, and of them reads prayers for the rest. He who so officiates has per annum more than his brethren.

The Rev. James Palmer, B. D. founded alms houses in Tothill side, in the year . There are men and women, who have each and a chaldron of coals per annum; and a gown once in years. Here is a chapel for their use, in which Mr. Palmer used to pray with the objects of his charity twice a week. He founded here a small free school.

Near these are other alms houses, on the front of which is the following inscription:

The gift of Mrs. Judith Kifford, wife of Thomas Kifford, who was

one

of the ushers of the Court of Exchequer, for decayed virtuous poor gentlewomen,

one

of whom to be chosen out of the parish of

St. Margaret's

,

Westminster

.

These gentlewomen have each per annum. The houses were founded in the year .

Near the chapel in Little , are large alms houses for men and their wives, who have each per annum. The houses have each the following inscription:

This was founded and endowed anno 1675, by Mr. Nicholas Butler, who had done many other deeds of eminent charity for the poor of this parish: Regnat in aeternum Virtus Victorque triumphans, Secula cuncta vicit nescia sola mori.

Emery Hill's alms houses are situate in the middle of , for men and widows. Mr. Hill left for building these houses, in what was then called .

224

 

The endowment of these houses was contingent on the surplus of what would build and endow the alms houses above alluded to. This appears by his will, dated .

Those houses were founded in the year . The single persons have each per annum; the others , besides a gown once in years, and a chaldron of coals yearly.

Mr. Hill died in the year , in.the year of his age, and was buried at , in which, against of the pillars at the west end, he has a white marble monument.

In are some very good houses, having their fronts to the park, of which is worthy of particular notice. It was built by Judge Jefferies when in the zenith of his barbarous power. James II. for the accommodation of his infamous favourite, granted him permission to erect a gate, with steps into the park.

After the fall of Jefferies, his son possessed it for a short time, till his dissolute and extravagant life brought on his ruin. The house was then purchased by government, and converted to the use of the commissioners of the Admiralty.

After the commissioners removed to their present office Jeffries house became private property, and of the wings was formed into a chapel of ease to . Besides the military accountant's office, here are also the store keeper general's office, and the recruiting department. Near the last street is , a narrow mean looking street; but opening at the top into a handsome, though small square, in which is the residence of the chancellor of the exchequer and prime minister.

This house has nothing in its exterior or interior of peculiar merit, except it be the excellent taste and beauty manifested in the furniture, decorations, paintings, library, &c. Nothing, however, appears to be superfluous or unnecessarily expensive; a stranger who visits the houses of some of our very public officers and political characters, would not suppose that the resources of the country are at any time in a very flattering state, or he would conclude, that a spirit of parsimony had seized the whole nation. would have thought that the official residence of such a person as the minister and chief director in the affairs of the revenue, would have had a commanding and conspicuous situation, and have been adorned with some emblems of our national greatness, or some intimations of our rank among the nations of Europe. Instead of this, it is hidden in a corner, and cannot be approached by the public except through of the meanest looking streets in the metropolis. Indeed, there seems to be a culpable neglect, and want of laudable ambition in this respect, pervading even the government itself.

At the north east corner of is an extensive and noble pile of buildings, known as

 
 
Footnotes:

[] Pietas Londinenses, p. 313 .

[] Ibid, p. 314.

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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