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
The town of Deptford-anciently written Depeford--which lies on the east side of , and stretches away to Lewisham on the south, and to Greenwich on the east, was, at a very remote period, known as West Greenwich. It derived its present name from being the place of a
over the little river, the Ravensbourne, near its influx into the Thames, where a bridge was many years ago built over it, just before it widens into Deptford Creek.
It is described in the
in , as
The place was of old famous for its naval shipbuilding yard, a fact which is thus noticed in the work above quoted:
Notwithstanding this, the yard is enlarged to more than double its former dimensions, and a vast number of hands are constantly employed. It has a wet dock of acres for ships, and another with an acre and a half, with vast quantities of timber and other stores, and extensive buildings as storehouses and offices for the use of the place, besides dwelling-houses for the use of those officers who are obliged to live upon the spot in order to superintend the works. Here the royal yachts of our Tudor and Stuart sovereigns were generally kept.
By an Act of Parliament passed in , Deptford was divided into parishes, distinguished by the names of St. Nicholas and St. Paul. The parish of St. Nicholas, which includes the old town, lies mainly along the river Thames, and the combined parishes have now a population of about souls.
According to the author of
published in , it is the last of the traveller by the posting road from Dover to London. He states that it is divided into an upper and lower town, and draws attention to its churches of St. Nicholas and St. Paul, and to its Royal Marine Arsenal, the creation of Henry VIII., where cables, masts, anchors, &c., are manufactured, and the royal state yachts are kept. He mentions also the Red House to the north of Deptford, the
burnt down in , and again in . The town at that time numbered inhabitants.
The change of the name of this place from West Greenwich to that which it now bears, and has borne for some hundreds of years, must, as we have intimated above, have been owing to the
by which the inhabitants had to cross the river Ravensbourne here, just above its meeting with the Thames. The ford, however, has long since been superseded by a bridge. This bridge, according to Charles Mackay, in his
is memorable in history for the total defeat of Lord Audley and his Cornish rebels in the year . Headed by that nobleman and by a lawyer named Flammock, and Joseph, a blacksmith of Bodmin, they had advanced from Taunton with the design of taking possession of London. The Kentish men flocked to their standard, and on their arrival at Blackheath they amounted altogether to about men. Lord Daubeny, who had been sent against them by King Henry VII., made a furious attack upon them at Deptford Bridge, and after great slaughter put them to flight. [extra_illustrations.6.143.3] , Flammock, and Joseph were all taken prisoners, and shortly afterwards were executed on , the latter boasting in his hour of death that he died in a just cause, and that he would make a figure in history. Such are the vain and foolish hopes with which low-bred rebels and impostors, from his day to that of the Orton and Tichborne trial, have too often buoyed themselves up.
The little stream of the Ravensbourne, which is here called Deptford Creek, rises upon Keston Heath, near Hayes Common, in Kent, and runs
| a course of about miles in all, passing and Lewisham and the southern borders of Blackheath. It was formerly sometimes called the Brome, from . An old legend is told to account for its romantic name:--|
This legend, however, it is to be feared, is more pretty than true. For even if the facts occurred as stated, it is scarcely likely that the Roman legions would have communicated them to the wild and savage tribes whom they were so bent on subduing to the iron rule of Imperial Rome; and if they did teach the Britons so pretty a story, they would not have been likely to use the British or the Saxon tongue in communicating it to them. We may, therefore, safely dismiss it as a mere fable, invented by some poetically-minded individual, in order to
account for the name which he found already established by immemorial custom. In some legends we can trace an element of truth; but in this we fail to discover even |
of anything except romance.
The Ravensbourne, it may be here stated, is still, as it is described by some poet quoted in Hone's
But small and insignificant as the stream may now appear, the Ravensbourne is a river which has a name in history. We have recorded above how it witnessed the rout and capture of Lord Audley's rebel forces; but this is not all.
writes Charles Mackay,
The same author reminds us that as Perkin Warbeck met his adherents near about the same spot, the same scene must have occurred here again during the reign of Henry VII. It may not be out of place to record here the fact that at Hayes, not far from the sources of the Ravensbourne, was the favourite seat of the great Lord Chatham, whose illustrious son, William Pitt, the
|King George III., was born there on the .|
There are, and have been for many centuries, corn and other mills situated on the Ravensbourne in its picturesque windings through Deptford and Brockley, and so on to its source. To of these John Evelyn refers in his
where, under date of , he writes:
As shown in the line quoted as a motto at the head of this chapter, Deptford is styled by Pope, in his well-known lines on the Thames, a
and right well in former years did it deserve its name; for the Trinity House here, and also the docks and the once extensive yards for ship-building, all date from the reign of Henry VIII., and were here established by that sovereign, to whom belongs, at all events,
|the credit of having been the founder of the British navy.|
It is a matter of history that Deptford, notwithstanding its contiguity to the main road through Kent, and its nearness to the metropolis, continued little more than a mean fishing village till Henry VIII. erected a store and made the royal dock there, from which time the town has continued to increase both in size and population.
The Royal Dock, or
as it was locally called in former times, was esteemed of the most complete repositories for naval stores in Europe. It covered not less than acres of ground, and contained every convenience for building, repairing, and fitting out shipsof-the- line-those veritable
with which we were familiar before the introduction of armour-plated vessels. Artificers in wood and in iron had here large ranges of workshops and storehouses; and here the hammer and the axe were scarcely ever idle, even in times of peace; but where, during the prevalence of war, they were plied incessantly
The yard was occupied by various buildings, such as wet docks ( double and the other single),
for men-of-war, a basin, mast ponds, a model loft, mast houses, a large smith's shop, together with numerous forges for anchors, sheds for timber, &c., besides houses for the officers who superintended the works. The finest machinery in the world is said to have been employed in Deptford Dockyard for spinning hemp and manufacturing ropes and cables for the service of the navy. The large storehouse on the north side of the quadrangle was erected in the year . This may be said to have been the commencement of the works at Deptford, which under successive sovereigns gradually grew up and extended.
The old storehouse, which was a quadrangular pile, appears to have consisted originally only of a range on the north side, where, on what was formerly the front of the building, is the date , together with the initials H R in a cipher, and the letters AX for Anno Christi. The buildings on the east, west, and south sides of the quadrangle were erected at different times; and a double front, towards the north, was added in . Another storehouse, parallel to the above, and of the same length, having sail and rigging lofts, was completed towards the close of the last century; and a long range of smaller storehouses was built under the direction of Sir Charles Middleton, afterwards Lord Barham, about the year .
From this we are enabled to see what use was made of Deptford as a naval station at that time:--
Deptford dockyard, in its time, received many royal and distinguished visitors; the earliest of whom we have any record was Edward VI., who thus tells us of the provision made for his reception:--
This royal record of a mimic naval engagement on the Thames appears in the Cotton MSS. in the , and is quoted by Cruden in his
writes Lysons in his
It is recorded that Queen Elizabeth not only partook of a collation on board Drake's ship, and afterwards knighted him, but that she also consented to share the golden fruits of his succeeding adventures. Miss Strickland observes, with reference to this record, that
She gave orders that his ship, the , should be preserved here as a memorial of the national glory and of her great captain's enterprise. For long years, accordingly, in obedience to her royal command, the vessel was kept in Deptford dockyard until it fell into decay, when all that remained sound of her was converted into a chair, which was presented to the University of Oxford, and is still kept in the Bodleian library. The chair was thus characteristically apostrophised by Cowley:--
As might be expected, Deptford dockyard is frequently mentioned in the diaries of Evelyn and Pepys; by the former on account of its nearness to Saye's Court, and by the latter on account of his official connection with the navy.
It was in that Evelyn settled in Deptford, as we find from the following entry in his
A few days later Evelyn thus writes:
Experiments would appear to have been made from time to time; at all events, here is the record of of which Evelyn was an eye-witness. On , he writes:
At or about this time Samuel Pepys was a frequent visitor here, in his official capacity, as
(Clerk of the Acts). Under dates of -, -, he thus records in his
an account of a visit on the occasion of a reported
On the next day, the , he writes:
On -, he makes this entry:
Pepys, in his
, mentions a certain project of Sir Nicholas Crisp to make a great
or sluice, in
This project is also mentioned by Evelyn and by Lysons.
Pepys writes under date :--
Again, in the following May:--
Again, when in , the alarm was raised that the Dutch fleet was already off the Nore and in the Medway, Samuel Pepys relates another official visit:
In this same year, as we are told by John Evelyn, a large fire, breaking out in Deptford dockyard,
Here were launched many of the
especially during the reigns of the later Stuarts. For example, Evelyn tells us that he stood near the king here in , at the launch of
Pepys, too, was here on this occasion, for under date of , he writes:--
Evelyn tells us that many of the dockyard rose to independence, and even affluence. Among others he mentions the funeral here of the above-mentioned old Mr. Shish, master shipwright, whose death he styles a public loss, for his excellent success in building ships, though altogether illiterate.
At the close of the century Peter the Great visited the dockyard for the purpose of studying naval architecture, residing during his stay at Evelyn's house, Saye's Court, where we shall again meet with him presently. In the dockyard, it is on record that he did the work of an ordinary shipwright, and that he also paid close attention to the principles of ship-designing. His evenings were mostly spent in a public-house in smoking and drinking with his attendants and or chosen companions.
It may be worthy of a note that in the
we are told that the ships, the and the , in which he made his last voyage to the Pacific, lay here whilst being equipped by the shipwrights for their distant voyage. The ( guns) was launched from this yard in .
Samuel Pepys, the author of the
from which we have culled so many interesting pieces of intelligence during the progress of this work, and whose portrait we present to our readers on page , was descended from a family originally seated at Diss, in Norfolk, and who settled at Cottingham, in Cambridgeshire, early in the century. His father, John Pepys, at time followed the trade of a tailor; he had a numerous family. Samuel Pepys was born in , and was educated at School, London, and afterwards at the University of Cambridge. At the age of about
| he took to himself a wife in the person of Elizabeth St. Michael, then a beautiful girl years old. At this time, Pepys' relation, Sir Edward Montagu, afterwards Earl of Sandwich, proved his friend, and prevented the ill consequences which such an early marriage might have entailed upon him. Sir Edward took young Pepys with him on his expedition to the Sound, in , and upon his return obtained for him a clerkship in the Exchequer. Through the interest of Lord Sandwich, Pepys was nominated |
and this was the commencement of his connection with a great national establishment, to which in the sequel his diligence and acuteness were of the highest service.
writes Lord Braybrooke,
He afterwards rose to be Secretary of the Admiralty, an office which he retained till the Revolution. On the accession of William and Mary he retired into private life. He sat in Parliament for Castle Rising, and subsequently represented the borough of Harwich, eventually rising to wealth and eminence as Clerk of the Treasurer to the Commissioners of the affairs of Tangier, and Surveyor- General of the Victualling Department,
it is stated,
He suffered imprisonment for a short time in -, in the Tower, on a charge of aiding the Popish Plot. In he was elected President of the Royal Society, and held that honourable office for years in succession. Pepys had an extensive knowledge of naval affairs; and in he published some
He died in London in .
In the early part of the present century the dockyard was closed for some years. It was reopened, however, with renewed vigour in , from which time down to the period of its final closing in , several -rate vessels were built and launched there, including the , the , the , the , the the , the , and many others. But when iron began to supersede wood, and a heavier class of vessels was required for the purposes of war, the shallow water in the river opposite the slips, and other inconveniences of the site, caused the yard to be pretty much restricted to the building of gunboats, and it was finally decided to abandon the dockyard and to transfer the workmen to other establishments. The last vessel launched here was the screw corvette which took place in the presence of Princess Louise and Prince Arthur, on the . At the end of the same month the yard was finally closed.
Shortly afterwards it became necessary, under the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Act, , to provide a place for the sale and slaughter of foreign animals brought into the port of London, and the Corporation of the City of London having undertaken the duty, purchased the greater part of the old dockyard for about , for the site of the new market. The works necessary for converting the place into a cattle-market amounted to about ; and in , it was opened under the title of the Foreign Cattle Market. This market covers an area of about acres, and is provided with covered pens, each pen having its water-trough and foodrack, sufficient for sheltering cattle and sheep; besides this, there is sufficient available open space for accommodating several thousands more. The ship-building slips of the old dockyard, with their immense roofs, were adapted as pen-sheds, and connected by ranges of substantial and well-ventilated buildings. The old workshops were converted into slaughter-houses for oxen, the boat-houses for sheep, and fitted with travelling pulleys, cranes, and various mechanical appliances for saving labour and facilitating the slaughter of the animals. The market has a river frontage of about yards; and jetties, with a connected low-water platform, provide ample means for landing animals at all states of the tide.
In , by order of the City officials, a board was put up in the Foreign Cattle Market, bearing the following inscription:--
The Czar's sojourn here is likewise commemorated by his name being given to a street in Deptford--a very wretched and woe-begone street, by the way, and quite unworthy of so illustrious a name.
The Dockyard, though so important, was small, when compared with the others, as we learn from
| the following statement which appeared in a Kentish newspaper in :-- |
Near the docks was the seat of John Evelyn, called Say's or Saye's Court, where, as stated above, Peter the Great, Czar of Muscovy, resided for some time whilst completing in the dockyard his knowledge and skill in the practical part of naval architecture. The mansion was originally the manor-house of the manor of West Greenwich, which had been presented by the Conqueror to Gilbert de Magnimot, who made it the head of his barony, and erected, it is said, a castle on the site, every vestige of which has long been swept away. After passing through the hands of numerous possessors, the manor was resumed by the Crown at the Restoration. The manor-house with its surrounding estate, which had obtained the name of Saye's Court from its having been long held by the family of Says or Sayes, became in the property of John Evelyn, the celebrated author of
It would appear that Evelyn's claim to
Saye's Court was not based on a very secure footing, for he tells us in - that he had repeated visits from his Majesty's surveyor |
In Charles II. granted a new lease at a reserved annual rental of
The property, it appears, had been leased by the Crown to the family of the Brownes, of whom, Sir Richard Browne, in , purchased the greater portion of the manor.
writes Mr. James Thorne, in his
Here, as we have already stated,
visited the Earl of Sussex. The last Sir Richard Browne, who died in , was Clerk of the Council to Charles I., and his ambassador to the Court of France from . His death is thus recorded by Evelyn in his
under date, :--
John Evelyn, whom Southey styles a
as Scott writes,
married in the only daughter and heir of the above-mentioned Sir Richard Browne; and Sir Richard being resident in Paris, gave up Saye's Court to his son-in-law. That Evelyn was located here soon after his marriage seems pretty certain, for in we find an entry in his
to the effect that he
The estate had been seized by the Parliamentary commissioners; but Evelyn succeeded in buying out, towards the close of , those who had purchased it of the Trustees of Forfeited Estates. Thenceforth he made Saye's Court his permanent residence, and at once set about the accomplishment of those works which helped so much to make the place classic ground. Under date , he writes:
The chatty old diarist tells us all the secrets of his domestic life: how he
to him and all his family in Saye's Court; how he entertained royalty and some of the highest of the nobility; how he planted the orchard,
and how he kept bees in his garden in a
Evelyn resided chiefly at Saye's Court for the next years of his life, carrying out there, as far as the site allowed, the views of gardening set forth in his
of his contemporaries. Occasionally royalty would
to pay him a visit, or to see how his work was progressing-facts which we find duly recorded in his
For instance, Henrietta Maria, the widow of Charles I.-the
as she was called-landed at Deptford, on her return to England, , and was waited upon by John Evelyn, who entertained her, the Earl of St. Alban's, and the rest of her retinue, at Saye's Court.
On the , in the following year,
He had, of course, many other visitors, Lord Clarendon and the Duke of York among them. entry in his
about this time is as follows:--
But it was not only royal and political celebrities who visited Evelyn here; there was a welcome also for men of letters and science. His
for bears testimony to this fact.
All this while his garden, we may be sure, was not neglected.
he writes in his
In , on the , occurs this entry:
years later our genial friend Pepys takes a quiet stroll through the grounds of Saye's Court, as he informs us in
under date of :
This was the transparent apiary already mentioned. It was not merely in gardening that Evelyn was so proficient, for he appears to have been something of a poet, and to have cultivated a taste for the fine arts, if we may form any conclusion from the following entry in Pepys'
It is amusing to see of the rival diarists of Charles II.'s reign portrayed by the other, and that must be our excuse for quoting the above sketch.
Evelyn was, moreover, apparently a collector of
or, at all events, he seems to have possessed a few treasures in this way; for a few days later we find Pepys paying him another visit, the entry of which records the fact that
Evelyn stayed at Saye's Court during the plague, for he writes in :
and he afterwards tells us that his wife and family returned to him from Wotton, the ancient family seat near Dorking, in Surrey, when it was at an end. In the MSS. preserved at Wotton, and quoted in the appendix to his
Evelyn has left a pretty full account of what he did at Saye's Court:
It was in the neighbourhood of Saye's Court, in , that Evelyn met with the celebrated sculptor, Grinling Gibbons, whom he afterwards befriended. On the in that year he writes:
The lease of the pastures adjacent to Saye's Court, as Evelyn tells us, was renewed to him by the king in , though,
The king's engagement to this effect, under his own hand, is among the treasures of the Evelyns still preserved at Wotton.
In the summer of , Evelyn transferred himself, after so many years, from his old home at Saye's Court to Wotton. On the of that year he writes :--
or years afterwards, having succeeded to Wotton by his brother's death, he let Saye's Court, for a term of years, to the gallant [extra_illustrations.6.154.1] ,
and afterwards, as we learn from Evelyn's
John Evelyn was of the most excellent persons in public and private life. His career was of usefulness and benevolence. Horace Walpole bears a high testimony to his personal worth when, on account of having designed with his own hand some illustrations of his tour in Italy, he reckons him among those English artists whose lives afford materials for his
The following account of the life led by Peter the Great at Saye's Court we extract from a Memoir of his Life, in the :--
writes Dr. Mackay, in his
If this be true, the czar was not so uncivilised a being after all.
We have but little evidence, except tradition, that the czar, during his residence here, ever actually worked with his hands as a shipwright; it would seem he was employed rather in acquiring information on matters connected with naval architecture from the commissioner and surveyor of the navy, Sir Anthony Deane, who, next after the Marquis of Carmarthen, was his most intimate English acquaintance. His fondness for sailing and managing boats, however, was as eager here as in Holland, where he had studied some time before coming to England; and these gentlemen were almost daily with him on the Thames, sometimes in a sailingyacht, and at other times rowing in boats-an exercise in which both the czar and the marquis are said to have excelled. The Navy Board received directions from the Admiralty to hire vessels, to be at the command of the czar whenever he should think proper to sail on the Thames, in order to improve himself in seamanship. In addition to these, the king made him a present of the , with orders to have such alterations made in her as his majesty might desire, and also to change her masts, riggings, sails, &c., in any such way as he might think proper for improving her sailing qualities. But his great delight was to get into a small decked boat belonging to the dockyard, and, taking only Menzikoff and or others of his suite, to work the vessel with them, he being the helmsman; by this practice he said he should be able to teach them how to command ships when they got home. Having finished their day's work (as stated by us previously), they used to resort to a public-house in , close to , to smoke their pipes, and drink their beer and brandy. The landlord had the Czar of Muscovy's head painted and put up for his sign, which continued till the year , when a person of the name of Waxel took a fancy to the old sign, and offered the then occupier of the house to paint him a new for it. A copy was accordingly made from the original, which remained in its position till the house was rebuilt, when the sign was not replaced, and the name only remains; it is now called the
The czar, in passing up and down the river, was much struck with the magnificent building of Greenwich Hospital, which, until he had visited it and seen the old pensioners, he had thought to be a royal palace; but day when King William asked how he liked his hospital for decayed seamen, the czar answered,
He little knew that St. James's also was a hospital in its origin.
While residing at Deptford, the czar frequently invited Flamsteed from the Royal Observatory at Greenwich to come over and dine with him, in order that he might obtain his opinion and advice, especially upon his plan of building a fleet. It is stated in Chambers's
that the king promised Peter that there should be no impediment to his engaging and taking back with him to Russia a number of English artificers and scientific men; accordingly, when he returned to Holland, there went with him captains of ships, pilots, surgeons, gunners, mast-makers, boatbuilders, sail-makers, compass-makers, carvers, anchor-smiths, and copper-smiths; in all nearly persons. At his departure he presented to the king a ruby valued at , which he brought in his waistcoat pocket, and placed in William's hand wrapped up in a piece of brown paper.
Evelyn seems to have sustained a considerable loss by Peter's tenancy; for he writes in his
under date :
It appears, however, that in spite of having had such bad tenants in admirals and in royalty, Evelyn again let his house at Deptford to Lord Carmarthen, Peter's boon companion.
Alas! for the glory of the glittering hollies, trimmed hedges, and long avenues of Saye's Court. Time, that great innovator, has demolished them all, and Evelyn's favourite haunts and enchanting grounds became in the end transformed into cabbage gardens and overrun with weeds.
After Evelyn's death Saye's Court was neglected, and at the end of the last century Lysons writes,
That portion of the victualling yard where till recently oxen and hogs were slaughtered and salted for the use of the navy, now occupies the place of the shady walks and trimmed hedges in which the good old Evelyn so much delighted. On another part rows of mean cottages were built; and the only portion unappropriated was that left for the workhouse garden; this still remains. The private entrance through which Peter the Great passed into the dockyard from Saye's Court was in the wall close by, but is now bricked up.
When Mr. Serjeant Burke was preparing for the press his
he visited Deptford.
The workhouse mentioned above is still standing, though it has long since ceased to be used as such. It is a large brick-built house of storeys, oblong in shape, and with a tiled roof. The rooms are low-pitched, and about a dozen in number; some of them are about feet long, and those on
| the ground floor are paved with brick. There is nothing in the building to show that it was ever occupied by persons of affluence; but, in spite of this fact, there is in Deptford and its neighbourhood a general and fondly-cherished impression that it is Saye's Court, and the identical house in which the Czar lived. Mr. Thorne, in his |
considers that the house
It may, perhaps, have been of the offices or outbuildings of the original mansion.
In , on the closing of the dockyard, Mr. W. J. Evelyn, of Wotton--the present representative of the family of the author of
and the owner of some considerable part of the parish of Deptford-determined to purchase back from the Government as much of the site of Saye's Court as was available, to restore it to something like its original condition, and to throw it open to the inhabitants as a recreation-ground. The transformation is now () nearly effected. There are about acres of open ground; but of these remain attached to the old house above mentioned, which has been made to serve as the residence of of the labourers on the estate. The public garden and playground is therefore about acres in extent. It has been carefully laid out in grass plats, hedged with flowers and shrubs, in part planted with trees, and intersected by broad and level walks. All the shrubs, flowers, and trees, together with the sod which forms the lawn and borders the walks, are said to have been brought from Wotton. In the centre of the ground is a covered stage for a band; and in corner has been erected a large building which is eventually to serve as a museum and library. It is a pity that the name of the author of
is not identified with this recreation-ground, which might well be called Evelyn Park.
We are told that in former times the king's household used to be supplied with corn and cattle from the different counties; and oxen being sent up to London, pasture grounds in the various suburbs were assigned for their maintenance. Among these were lands near , and others at Deptford, which were under the direction of the Lord Steward and the Board of Green Cloth. A certain Sir Richard Browne had the superintendence of those at Deptford; and this fact may explain the entry in Evelyn's
already mentioned, where he records the visit of the Comptroller of that Board
To the north-west of Deptford was the
This place was burnt down in , it being then filled with hemp, flax, pitch, tar, and other commodities. The , in former times called the
from its occupying the site of the above-mentioned storehouses, is now an immense pile, erected at different times, and consisting of many ranges of buildings, appropriated to the various establishments necessary in the important concern of victualling the navy. The full official title of the place is now the
On the old
being rebuilt, it was included in the grant of Saye's Court to Sir John Evelyn, in , and was then described as feet in length, thirtyfive feet wide, and containing warehouses. The whole of the land comprised in the present yard has been purchased from time to time from the Evelyn family, the last addition being made to it in , when some portion of the gardens formerly attached to old Saye's Court was purchased from Mr. W. J. Evelyn. The premises were for some time rented by the East India Company; but on their being re-purchased of the Evelyns by the Crown, a new victualling house was built on the spot in , to replace the old victualling office on . This new building was also accidentally burnt down in , with great quantities of stores and provisions. It was, however, subsequently rebuilt, and now comprises extensive ranges of stores, workshops, and sheds, with river-side wharf, and all the necessary machinery and appliances for loading and unloading vessels and carrying on the requisite work in the yard. This place is the depot from which the other victualling yards-those at Devonport and Gosport--are furnished, and is considerably the largest of the . From it the navy is supplied with provisions, clothing, bedding, medicines, and medical comforts, &c. In former times, and down to a comparatively recent date, cattle were slaughtered here; but this has been abandoned. At the proper season, however, beef and pork are received in very large quantities, and salted and packed in barrels; meat boiled and preserved in tin canisters, on Hogarth's system of preserving; wheat ground; biscuits made; and the barrels in which all are stored manufactured in a large steam cooperage. The stock of medicine constantly kept in store is sufficient for men for months; but the demand for it is so great and regular that supplies arrive and leave almost daily. The general direction of the yard rests with
|a resident superintending storekeeper, and in all about persons are employed on the establishment.|
On the west side of the Royal Victualling Yard is a goods depot of the Brighton and South-Coast Railway. It occupies the site of what was formerly Dudman's Dock, and comprises a basin and quay for the landing of goods from vessels coming up the Thames, and also extensive ranges of storehouses, &c. It is connected with the abovementioned railway by a branch line from New Cross, which passes over the .
writes Dr. Mackay, in his
Trinity Monday, we need scarcely say, was a
in Deptford down to the time when these visits of the Corporation of the Trinity House ceased, which was in , on the death of the Duke of Wellington, who had for many years held the office of Master. We have in a previous volume given an account of the foundation of the above-mentioned corporation, and also of the duties appertaining to the society; we may, however, remark here that Lambarde, in his
(), writes concerning Deptford-or, as he spells it, Depeforde--
It would appear from this that Henry VIII. established the Trinity House about the same time that he constituted the Admiralty and the Navy Office. Charles Knight, in his
however, says that
The establishment of the Corporation of the Trinity House here is a proof that Deptford was already a rendezvous for shipping and the resort of seamen. The ancient hall in Deptford, at which the meetings of this society were formerly held, was taken down about the beginning of the present century, and the building erected on , which we have already noticed in the volume above referred to. Evelyn, in his
under date of , writes:
Evelyn's wife, as it appears from his
gave to the Trinity House
|Corporation the site for their college, or almshouses.|
Notwithstanding that the Corporation of the Trinity House ceased to hold their meetings here after the building of their new hall, their connection with Deptford was till very recently marked by their hospitals for decayed master mariners and pilots and their widows. In the
() we thus read:
Both these buildings have within the last few years been
so far as their use as almshouses is concerned. of them, a triangular block of houses, comprising about dwellings standing on the green at the back of St. Nicholas' Church, a short distance eastward from the Foreign Cattle Market, is at present let out in weekly tenements; the other, known as the
was a large and noteworthy old red-brick quadrangular pile, fronting , and overlooking the burial-ground of . It was rebuilt in -, and was demolished, with the exception of the hall, in the early part of the year , to make room for a new street, and a row of private houses in . In the great hall at the back of the building, which has been left standing, the Master and Elder Brethren of the Trinity House used, down to the period above mentioned, to assemble on Trinity Monday, and, after transacting the formal business, walk in state to the parish church of St. Nicholas, where there was a special service and sermon. On the conclusion of the ceremony in Deptford the company returned to London in their state barges, the shipping and wharves on the Thames being gaily decked with bunting in honour of the occasion, and the proceedings of the day closed with a grand banquet at the Trinity House. Both the meeting and the banquet are now held at the new Trinity House on , and the sermon is preached in Pepys' favourite church of St. Olave, , near the and .
The town of Deptford contains, as we have stated above, parish churches, dedicated re spectively to St. Nicholas and St. Paul, besides which there are the churches of recentlyformed ecclesiastical districts, together with several chapels of all denominations. The old church of St. Nicholas, the patron saint of seafaring men, occupies the site of a much older edifice, and, with the exception of the tower, dates from the end of the century. John Evelyn, in his
for , records the building of
here. The ancient church, it appears, was pulled down in , in consequence of its being found inadequate to the wants of the increasing population. Whatever beauty the new church may have possessed in Evelyn's eyes, it does not seem to have been very substantially built, for it underwent a
before years had passed away. The body of the church is a plain dull red-brick structure, consisting of nave, aisles, and chancel. At the western end is an embattled tower of stone and flint, somewhat patched; this tower is of the Perpendicular period, or early part of the century, and the only relic of the old church. The interior contains a few monuments of some former Deptford worthies, among them of Captain Edward Fenton, who accompanied Sir Martin Frobisher in his and voyages, and had himself the command of an expedition for the discovery of a north-west passage; another of Captain George Shelvocke, who was bred to the sea-service under Admiral Benbow, and who,
He died in . Another monument records the death, in , of Peter Pett, a
whose family were long distinguished for their superior talents in ship-building, and who was himself the inventor of that once useful ship of war, the frigate. The register of this church records also the burial here of Christopher Marlowe, or Marlow, the dramatist. He was born in -. The son of a shoemaker at Canterbury, and having been educated in the King's School of that city, he took his degree in due course at Cambridge.
| On quitting college he became connected with the stage, and was of the most celebrated of Shakespeare's immediate predecessors. He is styled by Heywood the |
and this may possibly have been true, for no great dramatist preceded him, whilst his fiery imagination and strokes of passion communicated a peculiar impulse to those who came after him. He was the author of tragedies, and joined with Nash and Day in the production of others. The plots of his pieces assumed a more regular character than those of previous dramatists, and no doubt he would have become even more celebrated if he had not been cut off in a strange affray. The entry in the parish register runs simply thus:--
In this church lie the sons of John Evelyn, whose early deaths he records in his
for , in the most touching phrases. Sir Richard Browne, Evelyn's father-in-law, the owner of Saye's Court, died there in , and was buried at his own desire outside this church, under the southeast window--not in the interior, considering that interments in churches were unwholesome. He was evidently in advance of his age.
Before passing on to , we may remark that Dr. Lloyd, curate of Deptford in Evelyn's day, was promoted to the see of Llandaff, and that the register of the old church contains records of the following instances of longevity:-- Maudlin Augur, buried in , aged ; Catherine Perry, buried in ,
Sarah Mayo, buried in , aged ; and Elizabeth Wiborn, buried in , in her st year.
The church of St. Paul, a good example of the Romanesque style, is situated between the and , near the railway station. It was built in , on the division of Deptford into parishes, as above stated; and was of the churches
It is a solid-looking stone building, with a semi-circular flight of steps and a portico of Corinthian columns at the western end, above which rises a tapering spire; the body of the fabric consists of nave, aisles, and a shallow chancel, the roof being supported by rows of Corinthian columns. The heavy galleries, old-fashioned pews, carved pulpit, and dark oak fittings of the chancel, impart to the interior a somewhat sombre effect. among the monuments in this church is by Nollekens, in memory of Admiral Sayer, who
and who died in . In the churchyard is the tomb of Margaret Hawtree, who died in ; it is inscribed as follows :--
The explanation of this, as Lysons informs us, is that she was an
and that she evinced the interest she took in her calling by giving a silver basin for christenings to this parish, and another to that of St. Nicholas. Dr. Charles Burney, the Greek scholar and critic, whose large classical library was purchased after his death, in , for the , was for some time rector of . The rectory-house, on the south side of the churchyard, is a singular-looking red-brick structure, said to have been built from the designs of Vanbrugh.
Close by the station on the London and Green, wich Railway, which here crosses the , is the Roman Catholic Church of the Assumption. It is a plain brick-built structure, with lancet windows and an open roof, and was commenced in . A temporary chapel, which had been provided in the previous year, was, on the opening of the church, made to do duty as a school. Adjoining the church is a presbytery, which was built in . The Roman Catholics are somewhat numerous in Deptford, a fact which may perhaps be attributed to the large number of Irish formerly employed in the dockyard and on the wharves in the neighbourhood. Close by, are St. Vincent's Industrial School (Roman Catholic) and the Deptford Industrial Home and Refuge for Destitute Boys.
In Evelyn Street, as the thoroughfare connecting the with the is called, stands , a substantial and well-built Gothic edifice, erected in , mainly at the cost of the present head of the Evelyn family, Mr. William J. Evelyn, of Wotton.
Near the Canal passes under the roadway at the end of Evelyn Street, on its way towards Camberwell and Peckham. of canals, we may state that in the for , it is announced, with becoming gravity, that
After giving the estimate, the editor remarks in a manner which, with our subsequent experience of half a century and more, will cause a smile:
We need scarcely add that this canal was never carried out.
Among the most famous residents of Deptford, besides the Czar Peter and John Evelyn, Dr. Mackay enumerates Cowley, the poet, and the Earl of Nottingham, Lord High Admiral of England, who played so leading a part in the defeat of the Spanish Armada.
writes Dr. Mackay,
The name of John Evelyn is so closely associated with the past history of Deptford, that we may be pardoned for closing this chapter with or amusing scraps of information concerning
the place, culled from his |
Under date , he writes:--
Again, under date :
Whether Evelyn regarded the appearance of a whale in the Thames as an omen it would be difficult to say.
At another time Evelyn gravely tells us how he dined with the Archbishop of Canterbury, at , and stayed late,
What would he have said now, in these days of tram-cars and railways?
Deptford has the honour of having been the birthplace of the rag and bottle, or
trade in this great metropolis; and, as might be expected, the side streets of the town swarm with -hand shops, some of which, it is to be feared, are made repositories for stolen goods. of these shops, with its sign of a huge black doll. is graphically described by M Alphonse Esquiros, in the series of his |
He enters into the traditional origin of the black doll as a sign, as adopted by a woman who, travelling abroad, brought back with her a black baby as a speculation, but finding that such an article had no value in England, wrapped it up in a bundle of rags and sold it to of the founders of the trade. The little nigger was reared at the expense of the parish-so goes the
| storygrew up and married, opened a shop in this same line of business, made a fortune, and is said to have been the ancestress of all the dealers from that day to this. In order to account for this fact, it is said that she and her children started shops, at each of which a black doll was hung out as a sign. Some of these dolls have heads, and, if we may believe M. Esquiros, this is a symbol of the trade extending through the kingdoms. It is only fair, however, to add that he remarks, |
The rag and bottle shops are the places whence rags are supplied to the wholesale dealer, who sells them to the owners of the paper-mills which abound near Dartford. It is not a little singular, however, that many of the rags have crossed the seas, and have found their way to England from Germany and even from India and Australia. Charles Dickens, in his , mentions the marine store shops of , and also those of the neighbourhood of the . Is it possible that he could have been ignorant of their connection with Deptford, or of the'romantic story above mentioned?
[extra_illustrations.6.143.3] Lord Audley
[extra_illustrations.6.147.1] The Dreadnought, Deptford
 See Vol. I., p. 274.
[extra_illustrations.6.154.1] Admiral Benbow
 See Vol. III., p. 81.
 See Vol. II., p. 99.
 See Vol. IV., p. 100.
 See Vol. II., p. 115.