Old and New London, A Narrative of its History, its People and its Places.Illustrated with Numerous Engravings from the Most Authentic Sources. vol 6
[extra_illustrations.6.134.2] , or, as it is occasionally called,
is worthy of note as the place where docks were constructed for the convenience of London. The parish adjoins on the east, and extends along the southern shore of the Thames as far as Deptford. The compiler of the
published in , considers as
Northouck, too, supports this view, telling us that the name of the place was formerly Red Rose Hithe,
Maitland, however, with greater reason, supposes the name to be of Saxon origin, and that it was derived from the words, , a mariner, and a haven. , or , as is well known, is a common name for the lower port or haven of maritime towns, such as Colchester, Southampton, &c. , we may remark, was chiefly inhabited a years ago, as now, by seafaring persons and tradesmen whose business depended on seamen and shipping. The place is summarily dispatched in the
for , in the following terms :--
It will be remembered that Gay, in the makes mention of the place in the following lines:--
The place appears to have gone by the name of Redriff as long ago as the reign of Edward I. It is frequently mentioned by Pepys in his
and always by the appellation of Redriff.
It was at that King Knut is said to have begun his famous trench to , for the purpose of laying siege to London, as stated in a previous chapter. The channel through which the tide of the Thames was turned in the year when was built of stone, is supposed by Stow and by several antiquaries tc have followed the same course, though many writers have dissented from this view.
In a grant of the time of Edward III., by which Constance, then Prior of , assigned certain messuages to the king, the name is spelt
At the time of the Domesday survey the place was included in the royal manor of ; but Henry I. granted part of it to his natural son Robert, Earl of Gloucester. In the reign of Edward III. of the manors into which was divided belonged to the Abbey of St. Mary of Grace, on ; but in the following year it was devised to the convent of , at , whose sisterhood already possessed that portion of the other manor which had not been given to the Earl of Gloucester. About the middle of the century the manor appears to have come into possession of the Lovel family. It was at this time a place of some note. In the reign of Edward III. a fleet had been fitted out there by order of the Black Prince and John of Gaunt. Afterwards Henry IV. resided there in an old stone house, when afflicted with leprosy; he is said to have dated charters thence. The Lovel family highly distinguished themselves during the wars of the Roses, on the Lancastrian side. When Richard of Gloucester ascended the throne, Francis Lord Lovel was made Lord Chamberlain, and so great was hi influence with his royal master that he was joined with Catesby and Ratcliffe in the familiar couplet-
|Richard's emblem, the boar, being of course intended by the last-named animal. Lovel fought well at Bosworth, and was fortunate enough to escape to Burgundy after the defeat. He returned in the following year, and, in conjunction with Lord Stafford, raised forces in Worcestershire, which the king's troops, commanded by the Duke of Bedford, soon dispersed. Lovel re-appeared on the scene in , with the Germans, under command of the Earl of Lincoln and Martin Swartz, who came over to support the claims of Lambert Simnel. They were defeated at Stokeupon-Trent, and the Earl of Lincoln, with of his men, was killed. Lovel escaped, but his fate is uncertain. Holinshed says he was slain, but many years afterwards a skeleton was discovered hidden away in the old manor-house of Minster Lovel, which, from the remains of the dress and other circumstances, was supposed to be that of the great Lord Lovel, who had hidden from pursuit, and was starved to death.|
In , Lovel being dead and gone, the monks claimed the manor of , and gained it; but they did not long enjoy their possession, for in the year it was surrendered to the king, and remained royal property till Charles I. granted it to Sir Allen Apsley.
We hear and read but little of during the next century or so. It is true that there is a dim and misty tradition of Charles II. on occasion having made a frolicsome excursion to this neighbourhood; but probably that was a very exceptional case, his Majesty's frolics being mostly restricted to the Court quarter of the town; or, if he crossed the river, it was mostly in the direction of and . Evelyn records in his
under date , a dreadful fire near the Thames side here, which destroyed nearly houses, and burnt also
On the ist of , another terrible fire, caused by a pitch-kettle boiling over, broke out in , , and before it could be extinguished more than houses, besides warehouses and other buildings, were entirely consumed, reducing at least families to the most terrible distress. This conflagration was doubtless of some service in clearing the close mass of ill-built houses, and causing the erection of a better class of edifices.
At the beginning of the present century consisted of a few streets, with good gardens to the houses, extending from the (the boundary between and ) to , beyond which were marshes intersected by sluggish, dirty streams. The southern limit of the houses followed the line of and , leading from to the end of the . (the river end of which was called ) ran southwards, skirting the dirty streams and stagnant pools of Milford, to the end of Rogue's Lane, which ran through marshy fields to the
tavern and teagardens. Near the
--which, by the way, was a neighbourhood noted as a resort of footpads-at the top of Trundley's Lane stood a few houses, still existing, and named Mildmay Houses. There were a few plots of market-garden ground here and there to be seen, near the spot now occupied by the Docks, and adjoining Alley, in the ; but the greater portion of the entire district between and the consisted of marshy fields. Mill Pond was the name given to a number of tidal ditchesnot unlike those of Jacob's Island--which intersected the space between and the . A larger stream discharged itself into the Thames at King's Mill; but that disappeared when the Docks were constructed. Within the last half century the inhabitants of the streets around Mill Pond were dependent upon these dirty tidal ditches for their supply of water, which was fetched in pails. Of late years, however, Mill Pond has been drained away, and rows of houses, some known as Jamaica Level, occupy the site.
Few Londoners, at sight, would suspect of having a soil or situation well suited to the growth of vines; but such would appear to have been once the case, if we may believe Hughson, who tells us, in his
that an attempt was made in , in , within this parish, to restore the cultivation of the vine, which, whether from the inauspicious climate of our island, or from want of skill in the cultivation, was at that time nearly lost, though there are authentic documents to prove that vineyards did flourish in this country in ancient times. It appears that about the time indicated a gentleman named Warner, observing that the Burgundy grapes ripened early, and conceiving that they might be grown in England, obtained some cuttings, which he planted here as standards; and Hughson records the fact that though the soil was not particularly suited, yet, by care and skill, he was rewarded by success, and
|that his crop was so ample that it afforded him upwards of gallons annually, and that he was enabled to supply cuttings of his vines for cultivation in many other parts of this island.|
At about the middle of that part of the which is now called Jamaica Level, are the gates and lodge-house of Park, which stretches away eastward to , and northward to the and , in each of which thoroughfares there are entrances. The park, which covers about acres of ground, was laid out and opened in , under the auspices of the Metropolitan Board of Works. It comprises a good open level piece of turf available for cricket-not, perhaps, to be compared with
--and also several plots of ground laid out as ornamental flower-gardens, interspersed with shrubs and trees. In part of the grounds, near the entrance from Jamaica Level, are mounds formed by the earth which was excavated from under the bed of the river during the construction of the Thames Tunnel.
Before the formation of this park all the land hereabout consisted of fields and market-gardens, some considerable portion of which still exist in the neighbourhood of and Deptford, in all their freshness. We may remark here that the market-gardening--not only in these parts, but also in the districts near Battersea, Fulham, Hammersmith, and more remote parts--has attained a perfection which renders it a beautiful as well as interesting sight to examine the regularity and richness of the crops, the rapid system of clearing and fresh-cropping, and the mode of preparing and packing the produce for market. Perhaps in no department has English gardening arrived at more excellence, or is managed with more method and skill, than is to be witnessed in the marketgardens which supply the metropolis.
In former times a narrow pathway, called the
extended through the meadows and market-gardens from to the , where it emerged close by an old and much-frequented public-house called the
The ancient tavern, which was a picturesque building partly surrounded by an external gallery, was pulled down within the last few years, and in its place has been erected a more modern-looking tavern, bearing the same sign. Our old friend Pepys mentions going to , but gives us no further particulars.
says Mr. Larwood in his
The Halfpenny Hatch was continued beyond the
across the fields in the rear, to the
tavern, near the entrance to the . Any patronising the
and partaking of refreshment, had the privilege of passing through the
without payment of the halfpenny toll.
With respect to the sign of the
we need hardly remark that it refers to a barbarous pastime of our ancestors, when ducks were hunted in a pond by spaniels. The pleasure consisted in seeing the duck make her escape from the dog's mouth by diving. It was much practised in the neighbourhood of London, and particularly in these southern suburbs, till the beginning of this century, when it went out of fashion, as most of the ponds were gradually built over.
The parish church of is dedicated to [extra_illustrations.6.136.1] , and stands not far from the river-side. It is built of brick, with stone quoins, and consists of a nave, chancel, and aisles, supported with pillars of the Ionic order. At the west end is a square tower, upon which is a stone spire, supported by Corinthian columns. The church was built in the early part of the last century, on the site of an older edifice, which had stood for years, but which had at length become so ruinous that Parliament was applied to for permission to pull it down. The present church has lately been thoroughly
and the old unsightly pews of our grandfathers' time have been superseded by open benches. In the churchyard lies buried an individual with whose name and affecting history the youth of this country must still be familiar-we refer to [extra_illustrations.6.136.2] , Prince of the [extra_illustrations.6.137.1] , who died in London from the
| effects of the small-pox in , when only twent) years of age, after he had learned the manners and studied the civilisation of Europe, with the view of introducing them into his native country. He was the son of Abba Thulle, rupack or king of the island of Coo-roo-raa, of the Pelew group in the Indian Ocean. In , the
frigate was wrecked off the island, and so great was the kindness of the king to Captain Wilson and the crew, that the captain offered to take his son to England to be educated. Young Lee Boo, an amiable young man, accordingly visited this country, but died in the following year, as stated above. The epitaph on his tomb concludes with the following couplet:--
There are no monuments of any interest within the walls of the church, but in the vestry is preserved a portrait of Charles I. in his robes, kneeling at a table and holding a crown of thorns. This portrait, if we may trust Aubrey's
formerly hung in the south aisle of the church. How it came into the possession of the parish is not stated.
The church of is in the diocese of Rochester, having been transferred to it from that of Winchester. The advowson formerly belonged to the priory of , but after the suppression of that monastery it passed through various hands. In it was sold to James, Duke of Chandos, of whom it was purchased a few years later by the master and fellows of Clare Hall, Cambridge. There is in the Tower a record of sundry grants to the rector of . It was
to the commissioners appointed to inquire into the state of ecclesiastical benefices, in , that the rectory of
was worth about per annum.
The increase of population, partly owing to the opening of the extensive docks, was accompanied by an addition to the number of churches. In the year the Commissioners for Building New Churches gave towards the erection of churches, and the trustees of Hyndman's Bounty, a local charity, offered to build a .
, in , opposite the gates on the north side of Park, is a plain and unpretending structure, of
architecture, and dates its erection from about the year . Here was buried in of the most distinguished of our veteran generals, Field Marshal Sir William Gomm, Constable of the Tower.
All Saints', in , a Gothic edifice with a tower, surmounted by a lofty spire, was built from the designs of Mr. Kempthorne about the same time as the above, and at a cost of upwards of . Holy , in the eastern part of the parish, is a spacious edifice, in the Pointed style, capable of accommodating persons. This church was consecrated in .
St. Barnabas' Church, a Gothic brick-built edifice, in , near the , was erected mainly through the instrumentality of Sir William Gomm. It was built in , from the designs of Mr. Butterfield.
In the , -, , we read:
but this we do not expect our readers to accept as literally true.
A free school was founded in the parish of about the beginning of the last century, by Peter Hills and Robert Bell, and endowed with a small annual income
The school-house, which is situated near , was rebuilt by subscription in . Various benefactions have since been made to the school, so that the number of scholars has been considerably increased.
A notice of and would scarcely be complete without some reference to the educational movement which has of late years sprung up in these parishes, as, indeed, is the case with most other parishes in the metropolis. In the Manor Road, Jamaica Level, , and other parts, School-Board schools have been erected, which are altogether architectural adornments of the neighbourhood. Before the opening of the
it appears that there were in the district upwards of children for whom provision ought to have been made in elementary schools, but that the existing accommodation was wholly inadequate, only about children having so much as their names inscribed on the rolls of the inspected schools. But since the erection of the schools above-mentioned large numbers of children have been added to the rolls, and attempts have been made to secure uniformity of fee within each of the schools. The policy of the regulation seems doubtful, since every neighbourhood contains a variety of classes among those depending upon the elementary schools for education, and the schools lie at considerable distances from another.
as we learn from the report of Her Majesty's Inspector of Schools for this district,
Between the years and the manor of was held by Admiral Sir Charles Wager. Another renowned admiral, Sir John Leake, was born in this parish in , and was buried here years afterwards.
also long laid claim to brave old Admiral Benbow as a son of the soil. Allen, in his
curious biographers, however, have discovered that the stout old sailor saw the light at Shrewsbury. Another wellknown hero, but in a different line of life, Lemuel Gulliver, according to his veracious biographer,
Jonathan Swift, was born at , or, as he styles it, |
--a fact of which Gulliver doubtless boasted to his courtly friends at Lilliput and Brobdingnag. George Lillo, the dramatist, whose play of was for many years the stock piece performed at our theatres before the pantomime on Boxing-night, is said to have kept a jeweller's shop at .
The St. Helena Tea-gardens, in , were opened in , and, after undergoing sundry vicissitudes, have more than completed their centenary of existence. A newspaper advertisement in , announces that there are
The place still exists, and is chiefly supported by the lower classes of the neighbourhood, the families of men who work in the docks. In the summer there are brass bands and dancing platforms, singing, tumbling, and fireworks, for the delectation of the merry souls of
but the place has never attained more than a local celebrity, or affected to be a rival of Ranelagh or .
A notice of would be incomplete without at least some reference to that grand
|triumph of engineering skill, the Thames Tunnel, connecting and , We have already spoken at some length of this great work ; but, nevertheless, a few more words concerning it may not be out of place here. In a company was incorporated as the Thames Archway Company. A shaft was sunk at , and a driftway pushed to within feet of the shore. Then the water broke in, and the project was given up. More than engineers of eminence declared it to be impracticable to construct a tunnel of any useful size beneath the bed of the Thames. But as much was said afterwards against carrying a railroad across Chat Moss, and|
yet George Stephenson achieved that feat; and another great engineering genius, Isambard Brunel, happening, about the year , to observe in the dockyard at Chatham the little passages bored through timber by a marine insect, took from it a hint as to the construction of tunnels. In course of time he matured the idea. In a company was formed, and Brunel set to work, and with his celebrated |
an adaptation and imitation of the
or marine worm, began the great tunnel. There were many mishaps. Twice the water broke in. Then came want of funds, and the work was suspended for years. Public subscriptions raised , and once more Brunel set to work. On the , the tunnel was opened as a public
| thoroughfare, and the successful engineer was knighted by Queen Victoria. Of the diving-bell used in the construction of the Thames Tunnel we give an illustration on page . During the suspension of the work, great doubt was often expressed as to whether the tunnel would ever be completed. Tom Hood wrote an |
in which occur these lines:
We need scarce add that for many years the geat work was numbered with the splendid failures connected with the name of Brunel; and the tunnel, which had cost nearly half a million of money, became converted into little more than a penny show. The roadway, which would have made it available for vehicular traffic, it is stated, would have required nearly more, and the money was not forthcoming. As this kind of approach has now been formed, the tunnel may be said to have realised its original purpose, though not in the way designed by Sir M. I. Brunel. In the tunnel was closed for pedestrians, and converted into a railway in connection with the East London line. This railway passes, by a gradual incline from the station of the Brighton and South-Coast line at New Cross, through the market gardens on the south side of . Near the there is a station for the convenience of this rapidlyincreasing district. Thence, passing under the roadway, the line skirts the south-west side of the , and then shortly afterwards finds its level at the mouth of the tunnel, where there is another station, between and feet below the surface of the ground.
has been for a considerable period celebrated for its docks. The great dry dock here hasexisted for nearly centuries, having been opened in ; the great wet dock was finished in the year . After the bursting of the South Sea Bubble in , the directors took a lease of this dock, where their ships, then engaged in the whale-fisheries of Greenland, landed their cargoes of unfragrant blubber. The docks, known as the Commercial, are still used for the same purposes. Adjoining to them are the Great East Country Dock, and several smaller ones. From the situation of these very extensive docks, which include within their boundaries nearly a acres, of which about are water, they might doubtless be made, now that the trade of the port of London has so wonderfully increased, to rank among the most prosperous establishments of the metropolitan harbour.
The and Timber Ponds, and also the East Country Dock, are now incorporated with the Canal Dock, the opening of which into the Thames is about miles below . In the Timber Ponds and East Country Docks, timber, corn, hemp, flax, tallow, and other articles, which pay a small duty, and are of a bulky nature, remain in bond, and the surrounding warehouses are chiefly used as granaries, the timber remaining afloat in the dock until it is conveyed to the yards of the wholesale dealer and the builder. The Surrey Dock is merely an entrance basin to a canal, and can accommodate vessels; whilst the warehouses, chiefly granaries, will contain about tons of goods. The , a little lower down the river, occupy an area of about acres, of which -fifths are water, and there is accommodation for ships, and in the warehouses for tons of merchandise. They were used originally, as stated above, for the shipping employed in the Greenland fishery, and provided with the necessary apparatus for boiling down the blubber of whales; but the whale fishery being given up, the docks were, about the year , appropriated to vessels engaged in the European timber and corn trade, and ranges of granaries were built. The East Country Dock, which adjoins the on the south, is capable of receiving twentyeight timber ships, and was constructed about the same period for like purposes. It has an area of about acres and a half, and warehouse-room for nearly tons.
The various docks and basins embraced in the elaborate system belonging to the Surrey Commercial Dock Company are no less than in number, and are named respectively the Main Dock, the Stave Dock, the Russia Dock, Quebec Pond, Canada Pond, Albion Pond, Centre Pond,
|Lady Dock, Acorn Pond, Island Dock, Norway Dock, Greenland Dock, and South Dock.|
In all that concerns the bustle of trade and industry, no capital in the world can compare with London. Foreign travellers, like the Viscount D'Arlingcourt, own that the Neva is in this respect as far below the Thames as it is above it in splendid buildings and scenery.
writes Mr. Charles Knight in his
Among the various plans for docks, quays, and warehouses, which were drawn up at the end of the last century, with the view of remedying the evils spoken of above, was which displayed considerable ingenuity, and consisted, in fact, of distinct projects: -. To form a new channel for the river in a straight line from to ; the Long Reach round the thus constituting a dock with flood-gates at each entrance. . To continue the new channel below towards Woolwich Reach, so as to convert another bend of the old channel into a dock. . To make a new channel from , and to form docks out of the bends, to be called Ratcliffe Dock, Dock, and Greenwich Dock. The Trinity House objected that the King's Dock at Deptford would be injured by the latter plan, on which it was proposed-. To make a new channel from to the old channel between Greenland Dock (now the ) and Deptford, thence inclining to the northward until it opened into Woolwich Reach, thus forming spacious docks out of the bends of the river (above and below) at .
The have an entrance from the Thames, between and Dogand-Duck Stairs, nearly opposite the in the . They are the property of the Surrey Commercial Dock Company. A considerable extension of their area has been made within the last few years, with a view to meeting the increased requirements of the timber trade in the port of London, by the addition of a new dock which has been named the Canada Dock. It is feet in length, feet in width, and has a water area of acres and a half. It communicates with the Albion Dock by an entrance feet in width, and the quay space around is upwards of acres in extent.
On the river-side of the , just below , at the bend in the river forming the commencement of , is
which was formerly distinguished by a tall pole with a pair of horns on the top, and concerning which a singular story is told. From this point of the river, lying away to the right above Greenwich, is seen the village of Charlton, with which the tradition is connected. The manor-house there, of which we shall have more to say presently, although built only in the reign of James I., was long called by the country people, who doubtless confounded it with the old palace at Eltham in the vicinity, which, however, was not itself in existence in King John's day.
writes Dr. Mackay in his
Peter Cunningham, in his
thus gives his version of the story :--
Of this tradition our readers may believe as much, or as little, as they please.
adds Mr. Cunningham,
The horns, we need scarcely add, have long disappeared from , and the disreputable fair formerly held at Charlton has, fortunately, now become a thing of the past.
makes mention of the above tradition in the following lines :
 See ante, pp. 4 and 130.
 See Vol. IV., p. 4.
 See Vol. IV., p. 352.
[extra_illustrations.6.136.1] St. Mary
[extra_illustrations.6.136.2] Lee Boo
[extra_illustrations.6.137.1] Pelew Islands
 See Vol. II., p. 128, et seq.