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
Blackfriars Road.-The Surrey Theatre, Surrey Chapel, &c.
Blackfriars Road.-The Surrey Theatre, Surrey Chapel, &c.
This great thoroughfare-which, starting at , meets at the Obelisk other roads in Circus-assumed something like its present shape and appearance in the last half of the last century. It seems at time to have been called , but was long known as . The road is perfectly straight, and is about -thirds of a mile in length. Pennant, as we have already remarked, describes the roads crossing Fields as being
foreign ambassador, indeed, thought London was illuminated in honour of his arrival; but, adds Pennant,
which dimmed the
Pennant, doubtless, was a knowing man; but he lived before the age of gas, and was easily satisfied.
of the earliest buildings of any note which were erected in this road was , near the bridge on the west side, occupying part of the site of old ; then came Rowland Hill's Chapel, or, as it is now generally called,
of both of which we shall speak more fully presently. Next came the , which we have already described; and finally, the . The early history of this theatre, if Mr. E. L. Blanchard states correctly the facts in his sketch of it, the
affords an illustration of the difficulties under which the minor theatres laboured in their struggle against the patented monopoly of and Covent Garden. The place was opened under the title of the
in the year , by the famous composer and song-writer, Charles Dibdin, aided by Charles Hughes, a clever equestrian performer. It was originally planned for the display of equestrian and dramatic entertainments, on a plan similar to that pursued with so much success at Astley's. The entertainments were at performed by children, the design being to render the circus a nursery for actors. The play-bills of the few months' performances end with a notice to the effect that a
The theatre, however, having been opened without a licence, was closed by order of the Surrey magistrates, but this was not done without a disturbance, and until the Riot Act had been read on the very stage itself. In the following year a licence was obtained, and the theatre being re-opened, a successful harvest appeared now in prospect, when differences arose
| among the proprietors which seriously threatened its ruin. Delphini, a celebrated buffo, was appointed manager in , in succession to Grimaldi, the grandfather of the celebrated clown of Covent Garden and Sadler's Wells Theatres; he produced a splendid spectacle, with a real stag-hunt, &c. Then there were several |
so called because they were put together in order to introduce upon the stage as actors knowing dogs,
whose popularity was such that they had an hour every day set apart for them to receive visitors. Afterwards a series of
were given here by a Mr. Stevens, and many pantomimic and local pieces were performed with indifferent success; among the latter were the
&c. The popularity of the theatre was largely increased by the skill of a new stage manager, John Palmer, a gay-hearted comedian, who rather enjoyed than otherwise a life
but this gleam of sunshine came to an end, in , by the arbitrary and (it would seem) illegal committal of Palmer to the Surrey Gaol as a
a clause being, at the same time, inserted in the Debtor's Act making all such places of amusement
Having been conducted for several years by a Mr. James Jones and his son-in-law, John Cross, as lessees, with average success, the Circus was destroyed by fire in ; it was, however, rebuilt and re-opened at Easter, . In the lesseeship was taken in hand by Elliston, who introduced several of Shakespeare's plays, and otherwise endeavoured to raise the character of the house. His success was such that he now resolved to attempt an enlargement of the privileges of his licence, a step which is thus recorded by Mr. E. L. Blanchard :
The amphitheatre, which had previously been the arena for occasional equestrian exercises, was now converted into a commodious pit for the spectators, and the stables into saloons. Melo-dramas now became the order of the day; and here Miss Sally Brook made her appearance in London. All sorts of varieties followed. piece was brought out specially to exhibit magnificent suits of armour of the century, which afterwards appeared in the Lord Mayor's show.
Tom Dibdin, in , having offered his services as stage-manager under Elliston, the Circus was extensively altered and re-opened as
and he held sway here till . After that time the theatre had a somewhat chequered existence, and on the whole may be said to have been of the chief homes of the English sensational melo-drama. At time the gig in which Thurtell drove, and the table on which he supped, when he murdered Mr. Weare, were exhibited; and at another, the chief attraction was a man-ape, Mons. Gouffle. In Elliston became lessee a time, and made several good hits, being seconded by such actors as T. P. Cooke, Mrs. Fitzwilliam, &c.
It was perhaps during the lesseeship of Elliston that the greatest
was made at
as a writer in the tells us,
At the time when Elliston was lessee of the Surrey and the Olympic Theatres, about , the actors, who were common to both houses, had to hurry from Fields over to , and occasionally back again also, the same evening. Sometimes the
was performed here in a curious fashion. The law allowed only musical performances at the minor theatres: so a pianoforte tinkled, or a clarionet moaned, a dismal accompaniment to the speeches of or . The fact is that, as Dr. Doran tells us in the epilogue to ,
Considerable excellence has generally been shown in the scenery at this theatre, which appeals through the eye to the
of the lower classes; and M. Esquiros, in his
tells us that Danby, as scene-painter, produced at the Surrey some of the chastest effects ever witnessed on an English stage.
After the death of Elliston, the lesseeship was held in succession by Davidge, Osbaldiston, Creswick, and other individuals of dramatic note; but it never rose far above mediocrity. The fabric was burnt down a time in , but rebuilt and re-opened in the course of the same year, great additions and improvements having been made in its interior arrangements.
The change in the name of this theatre, after it ceased to be used for equestrian performances, is thus mentioned in the
James Smith, in a note in the , writes :--
[extra_illustrations.6.371.1] was plain but neat, and the approaches very convenient. The auditorium, which was nearly square in form, was exceedingly spacious. The upper part of the proscenium was supported by gilt, fluted composite columns on each side, with intervening stage-doors and boxes. The pit would seat about persons. The general ornamentation of the boxes, &c., was white and gold. The gallery, as customary in the minor theatres, was remarkably spacious, and would hold above persons. It descended to a level with the side boxes in the centre, but from its principal elevation it was continued along both sides over them. The ceiling sprang from the extremities of the front and of the side galleries. The centre was painted in imitation of a sky, with genii on the verge and in the angles. A handsome chandelier depended from the centre, besides smaller ones suspended from brackets over the stage-doors, which were continued round the boxes.
The present theatre, which, as we have stated above, was built in , is a great improvement upon the old building in every respect. It is considerably larger, and its construction cost ; the machinery, with the new appliances insisted on by the Lord Chamberlain for the security of life from fire, cost nearly . Like most of the minor theatres in London, the Surrey has of late years been occasionally used on Sundays for religious
services, thereby reconciling to some extent the old enmities between the pulpit and the stage.
The fact of the having been at time used for the exhibition of feats of horsemanship is kept in remembrance by the sign of a tavern which adjoins it, called
The actors of the transpontine theatres of half a century ago very naturally had their habitations almost invariably on the south side of the Thames. Elliston himself lived in (now ); Osbaldiston in , ; Davidge, of the Coburg, afterwards manager of the Surrey, lived in , near the New Cut. Circus, at the south end of , was so thickly peopled by -rate actors belonging to the Surrey and the Coburg, that it was called the Theatrical Barracks. , in the , had then, and for years afterwards, a theatrical or musical family residing in every house. Stangate, at the back of
was another favourite resort for the sons and daughters of Thespis; and the of Mount's Place, , where Ellar, the famous harlequin, lived and died, was also in great repute as a residence for the pantomimic and equestrian fraternity.
but not capable of identification now, was the scene of a trifling event in the early life of Charles Dickens, which he records with some minuteness in the autobiographical reminiscences preserved by Mr. J. Forster in his published
When his father had to pass through the insolvent Court of the Marshalsea, it was necessary to prove that the apparel and personal matters retained were not above in value. Charles, we suppose, must have been regarded by the law as part and parcel of his father, for he had to appear before an official at this house in his best holiday clothes.
Between the and the Peabody Buildings, which, as we have already stated, stand on the site formerly occupied by the , is the Temperance Hall, a neat brickbuilt Gothic structure, of several others erected by the London Temperance Halls' Company. It was built in , and is used for concerts, lectures, temperance meetings, and so forth.
Further northwards, between and Great , is a house, No. , used as the Working Men's College. It was opened in , for the purpose of giving to the working men of South London, and their families, the
|means of a thorough education. Professor Huxley has long acted as principal of the college. Among the work carried on here are technical classes for carpenters and bricklayers, elementary classes in chemistry and in mathematics, and a Civil Service class.|
A few doors further northward are the offices of the South London Tramway Company, which was founded in , in order to supply cheap and rapid communication by street cars, on the American principle. The company have laid down no less than miles of street-rails along the high roads connecting , , Blackfriars, and London Bridges with Greenwich, Deptford, Camberwell, Brixton, , and Clapham. The cars constantly in use are go in number, employing about horses and men. They carry in the course of a year about passengers.
Nearly opposite the above-mentioned offices is the modern Mission College of St. Alphege, named after the saint with whose murder by the Danes the reader has been already made acquainted in our account of Greenwich.
, close by, on the east side of , was doubtless built at the commencement of the century, when the great naval hero was in the height of his glory, and named in honour of him. Beyond a tavern, bearing the sign of the
the square is merely occupied by small tradesmen and as lodginghouses, and therefore is of those fortunate places which has little or no history attached to it.
is mentioned as an old London sign in a curious tract, printed by Wynkyn de Worde, called
A sign of this description is still to be seen in the , over the door of a furnishing ironmonger's shop, at the corner of Little , close by .
, which stands on the eastern side of the road, at the opposite corner of Little , about yards from , is an ugly octagonal building, with no pretensions to any definite style of architecture. It is still often called
after its former minister, the Rev. Rowland Hill, who, though the son of a Shropshire baronet and a deacon of the Established Church, became a Dissenter from conviction, and was for half a century the able and eloquent minister of a congregation of Calvinistic Methodists who worshipped here. He was eloquent, witty, and warm-hearted, and was for many years a power in the religious world, being on the best of terms with the more
portion of the national clergy. His wit was almost as ready as that of Douglas Jerrold or Theodore Hook. Once when preaching near the docks at , he said,
Another day, observing a number of persons coming into his chapel, not so much to hear his sermon as to escape the rain, he declared that though he had known of persons making religion a , he had never heard of it being made an before! His congregation were much attached to him personally, and always subscribed liberally in answer to his appeals to their purses; and he, therefore, compared them to a good cow, which gives the more the more that she is milked! His wife was too fond of dress for a minister's wife; and it is said that within these walls he would often preach at her by name, saying,
but this story is apocryphal. At all events, he always denied its truth, declaring that though he was always outspoken in denouncing vanity and frivolity, he was not a bear, but a Christian and a gentleman!
In his youth Rowland was noted for that redundant flow of spirits which never failed him even to his latest years. He was, likewise, even in his younger days, celebrated for wit and humour, an instance of which occurred at Eton, on the occasion of a discussion among the scholars as to the power of the letter H. Some contended that it had the full power of a letter, while others thought it a mere aspirate, and that it might be omitted altogether without any disadvantage to our language. Rowland earnestly contended for its continuance, adding,
With the intention of qualifying himself for of the livings in the gift of his family, he entered College, Cambridge, where, from his serious behaviour and somewhat unusual zeal in visiting the sick and engaging in out-door preaching, he became the subject of much obloquy. When the time came for taking orders, he found that his former
conduct proved an insuperable difficulty. His brother Richard was the only member of his family who approved of his eccentric conduct at this period. For several years after leaving college he had been extensively occupied in out-door preaching, both in the country and in the metropolis. The Church of England pulpits were, of course, not then open to him; but among the Dissenters no such obstacle existed. It was at time generally believed that he would be the successor of Whitefield at Chapel. During years he experienced refusals from several prelates; but in the Bishop of Bath and Wells consented to admit him to deacon's orders. His curacy was Kingston, near Taunton. The Bishop of Carlisle had promised to ordain him a priest, but was commanded by the Archbishop of York not to admit him to a higher grade in the Church, on account of his irregularity. This refusal caused Rowland to remark that he
After leaving his curacy, he returned to his former course of fieldpreaching, and during the next years he visited various parts of England, Wales, and Ireland, London not excepted.
he once remarked,
In later life nothing gave him greater pleasure than the occasional offer of a Church of England pulpit, for to the close of his life, although fraternising extensively with the Dissenters, he considered himself a clergyman of the Established
|Church. The time at length came when his somewhat erratic career was to end in a more settled ministry in the metropolis, and where his former popularity would be still further extended.|
Being in London during the riots of , Rowland Hill took advantage of the opportunity afforded him of addressing the large multitudes then assembled in Fields, sometimes preaching to as many as persons. Up to this period of his life, he had exercised his ministry irregularly, preaching in Church of England pulpits when practicable, but more frequently in Dissenting chapels or in the open air. He had, it is said, for some time felt the desirability of a settled ministry, and his wish was soon afterwards carried into effect by some liberal-minded persons coming forward with subscriptions towards the erection of a large chapel in the south of London. The spot selected was in the new road then recently opened from to the Obelisk. Among the contributors to the proposed chapel were Lord George Gordon, who gave a donation of , Lady Huntingdon, and others. The stone was laid early in , and the building, which cost about , was opened in . From that time till his death, in , Mr. Hill was the minister of the chapel, residing in the adjoining parsonage-house for the long period of years.
When erected, the chapel stood almost among fields, but in the course of a few years the locality on every side became thickly populated. With regard to the shape of the chapel, Mr. Hill is stated to have once remarked that he liked a round building, for it prevented the devil hiding in any of the corners. Its close proximity to the public road, and the excellence of the singing, for which it was long celebrated, induced many passersby to enter the chapel. Many wealthy persons were regular attendants; and among the occasional visitors were Dean Milner, William Wilberforce, Ambrose Serle, and the Duke of Kent. Sheridan once said,
Dean Milner once told him,
and the Duke of Kent, in Mr. Hill's parlour, mentioned how much he was struck by the service, especially the singing.
Sir Richard Hill, the brother of Rowland, was of the trustees, and a frequent attendant. Although in every particular it was essentially a Dissenting chapel, the liturgical service of the Church of England was regularly used, while the most celebrated preachers of all denominations have occupied the pulpit. For the few years after the erection of the chapel, Mr. Hill availed himself of the occasional services of clergymen of the Establishment, among whom were the Revs. John Venn and Thomas Scott, and also some eminent Dissenting ministers. But, in , the publication of a satirical pamphlet directed against the Established clergy, entitled
having special reference to an Act then recently passed in Parliament, with the object of enforcing the residence of some of the beneficed clergy, and generally believed to have been written by Mr. Hill, resulted in the withdrawal of the services of his clerical friends. It was his usual custom to spend the summer of each year in itinerant preaching in various parts of England and Wales, and during these absences from London his pulpit was regularly supplied by eminent Dissenting ministers. He found time to visit Scotland more than once. The popularity of several of his substitutes was so great that the spacious chapel, which had sittings for about persons, was sometimes more crowded than when Rowland Hill was the officiating minister. Very large sums have been annually raised for the various charitable institutions and religious societies connected with . The organ, which in its day was considered a powerful instrument, was for many years played by Mr. Jacobs, whose musical ear was so fine that he'was selected by [extra_illustrations.6.375.1] to tune his pianoforte. The singing at was long a special feature; and Mr. Hill is said to have once remarked that he
for in his lifetime and some years afterwards it was a common occurrence to hear certain hymns, composed by Rowland Hill, sung to the tunes of
The poet Southey, who paid a visit to in , when Rowland Hill was in his year, gives in of his letters the following particulars :
Mr. Hill sometimes caused his chapel to take a prominent part on public occasions, even in politics. For instance, when the peace of Amiens took place in , he exhibited in front of his chapel an appropriate transparency, with the quaint motto,
When, a few months later, the peace was at an end, and the invasion of this country was threatened by Napoleon, volunteer companies were raised in every district. Mr. Hill at once invited the volunteers in and around the metropolis to come to his chapel to hear a sermon, on the afternoon of the , on which occasion the building was thronged in every part. Of this service he afterwards remarked, speaking of the volunteers,
Mr. Hill composed a hymn specially for the occasion, which was sung to the tune of the
and another commencing thus-
which was sung to the air of
After the battle of Waterloo, in which of his nephews were engaged, a neat transparency, which attracted some attention, was placed in front of the chapel. At the head of it hands held, on a scroll, the words,
Under this came a quotation from Obadiah , ; to which was added,
The subject of the painting was the sun setting on the sea, exhibiting on the shore, to the left, a lion crouching at the foot of a fortress near the trophies of war; and to the right, a lamb lying by the implements of agriculture, with a village church and a cottage before it.
Rowland Hill's labours as a philanthropist are not so generally known as his fame as a preacher. During of his summer visits to Wotton-under- Edge, Gloucestershire, where he had erected a small chapel, he became acquainted with Dr. Jenner, who lived in the vicinity of that village. He soon saw the advantages resulting from vaccination, and henceforward very earnestly recommended the practice of inoculation, publishing, in , a pamphlet on the subject, in which he defended the new proposal from the aspersions of some of its opponents.
and wherever he went to preach on his country excursions, he frequently announced after his sermon,
of the most effective vaccine boards in London was established at . At different places he instructed suitable persons in the use of the lancet for this purpose. It has been stated that in a few years the numbers inoculated by him amounted to more than . It may be further added that the Sunday School in London was established in Mr. Hill's chapel.
His untiring exertions on behalf of religious liberty ought not to be forgotten. In the earlier part of the present century a most determined effort was made to subject Dissenting chapels to parochial assessments, or the payment of poor's rates, and the experiment was tried with , on account of its nondescript character. Mr. Hill resisted the attempt, because he regarded it as an invasion of the Toleration Act, which George III., in his speech from the throne, had pledged himself to maintain inviolable. Mr. Hill and his friends were summoned to attend at the Guildford sessions, and although they gained a temporary success, they were compelled to appear on
| subsequent occasions, on each of which the parochial authorities were unsuccessful. The subject was then taken up by the Dissenters generally, Mr. Hill meanwhile publishing a pamphlet on the subject, which soon passed through editions. His exertions were at last crowned with success by the passing of the Religious Worship Act, which repealed certain Acts relating to religious worship and assemblies, and henceforward set the question for ever at rest. During these inquiries concerning the taxation of , it was elicited in evidence that instead of the revenues of the chapel going to Rowland Hill, as was by some persons believed, it turned out that the chapel was vested in the hands of trustees, and after the payment of all expenses incident to public worship, only a small surplus remained. Some person once said of him, |
and on this coming to his ears, he remarked,
He did not relax his labours even in old age, for in week, when past , he travelled a miles in a mountainous part of Wales, and preached twentyone sermons. During his long ministry of years he preached at least sermons, many of which were delivered in the open air, being an average of every year.
for the name of Mr. Rowland Hill is placed at the head of the popular preachers among the
He is described as
adds the writer,
As a preacher, he long held a position in the religious world which has never been paralleled, except, perhaps, by Robert Hall. Even Bishop Blomfield declared that Mr. Hill was the best preacher that he had ever heard. On occasion Bishop Maltby accompanied Dr. Blomfield to the . The bishops were great Greek scholars, and as the preacher floundered in some allusion to the original Greek of his text, the prelates sat and winked at each other, enjoying the fun.
Mr. J. T. Smith, in his
tells an amusing anecdote concerning Rowland Hill, which we may be pardoned for quoting. Mr. Smith narrates how that Sunday morning, in his younger days, he was passing on his way to Camberwell, when the
of the organ had such an attraction that he was induced to go inside. He then proceeds :--
Mr. Smith adds, as a foot-note, that it is recorded of Hugh Peters, a celebrated preacher during the usurpation of Oliver Cromwell,
| that when he found the sand of his hour-glass had descended, he turned it, saying, |
Mr. Sidney, of Rowland Hill's biographers, relates an amusing instance of his ready wit. It seems he was accustomed, when in the desk, to read any request for prayer that might be sent in. day he thus commenced-
Not in the least disconcerted, Mr. Hill looked up, and gravely said,
He then went on with the service as if nothing unusual had happened. Being reminded of this circumstance many years afterwards by Mr. Sidney, he said it was quite true.
From the Rev. T. W. Aveling's
we quote anecdotes of Rowland Hill:--As he was entering , Sunday morning, Mr. Hill passed lads, of whom said to his companion,
The old gentleman went inside the porch, just before the boys, and gave directions to the verger to put them in a certain pew, in front of the pulpit, and fasten the door. This was done. After the prayers were finished, Mr. Hill rose and gave out his text --
(Ps. ix. ); and looking full into the faces of the youths, who sat immediately before him, he said, significantly,
The congregation, somewhat familiar with the old man's oddities, felt sure that he had a special reason for this strange remark; and when, each time he repeated the text, this singular commentary immediately followed, all looked to see in what direction his glance was turned, and the lads soon found themselves
The tremor and alarm with which they heard the words that reminded them of their design on coming that morning to were not diminished
| when they saw every eye fixed upon them, whichever way they looked; and conscience, |
wrought so powerfully--in conjunction with Mr. Hill's illustrations of his text--that of them fainted away, and had to be carried out by his companion. The latter remained comparatively unaffected, except with a temporary feeling of shame. The youth who fainted returned the next Sunday to the chapel; in the course of time he became an Independent minister; and before he died was chairman of the Congregational Union. The other grew up careless and abandoned, and became an outcast from country and friends.
Another anecdote has been related of Mr. Hill, which shows the readiness and wit with which London working men can sometimes retort an
unwelcome reproof. day, going down the New Cut, opposite his chapel, he heard a brewer's drayman, who was lowering some barrels, swearing most fearfully. Rowland Hill rebuked him very solemnly, and said, |
rejoined the offender;
This unwelcome retort made Mr. Hill resolve to be cautious in future, when he reproved such men again, he reproved them.
Rowland Hill's biographers inform us that a generous benevolence was a distinguishing trait of his character, and that he seemed to possess the power of inspiring his flock with a similar spirit. On occasions on which collections were made in the churches and chapels throughout the
|kingdom (the Patriotic Fund at Lloyd's, and the subscription for the relief of the German sufferers), the collections at are recorded to have been the largest raised at any place. The sum annually raised for charitable and religious institutions at has varied from to .|
Rowland Hill's death took place in , in the year of his age. Up to the last fortnight of his life he was able to preach a sermon of nearly an hour's duration once every Sunday. He was buried, at his own request, beneath the pulpit of . The funeral service was attended by a very large congregation; his nephew, the head of his family, Lord Hill, then Commanderin-Chief of the army, being the chief mourner. A tablet and bust in his memory were placed soon afterwards in the gallery behind the pulpit. His successor in the ministry of was the Rev. James Sherman, on whose resignation, in the year , the pulpit became occupied by the Rev. Newman Hall.
Rowland Hill, when advanced in life, became possessed of some fortune; and accordingly, at his decease, he left the large sum of to the Village Itinerancy, together with sundry donations to different religious institutions. Besides these bequests, he left a sum of money for the perpetuation of at the expiration of the lease; but this gift having subsequently been declared informal, as coming under the Statute of Mortmain, the bequest reverted to Hackney College, and in the congregation set themselves zealously to work to subscribe a sum equal to that which they had lost (). As they were unable to obtain a renewal of the lease, a new church was erected in the , on the site formerly occupied by the Female , as we have already stated; and to this new building the congregation migrated in . Since that date has been occupied by the Primitive Methodists.
and in Rowland Hill established some almshouses in the adjacent , in a thoroughfare now known as , on a spot ominously enough named Hangman's Acre, where poor widows found a home. Mr. Charlesworth, in his recently published
thus records the eccentric preacher's mode of dealing with applicants:--
On the west side of , about midway between Great and the bridge, is [extra_illustrations.6.381.1] , which dates its erection from the middle of the last century. The parish of was taken out of that of St. Saviour, , and was originally part of the district called the Liberty of . This spot, as we have shown in a previous chapter, was of the ancient places of amusement of the metropolis; and it seems to have been much frequented on Sundays for bear-baiting, a favourite sport in the time of Queen Elizabeth. , according to the ancient maps, extended from the west end of and the Liberty of the Clink towards what is now the southern extremity of . On the east it appears bounded by a mill-stream and mill-pond, and a road marked as leading to Copt Hall; there was also a mill, with gates, between the pond and the Thames. There is, or used to be, a ditch or dyke running across ; but for some years it has been covered or built upon. All buildings thereon are subject to a ground-rent, payable to
| centre of the Liberty stood a cross, from which a narrow thoroughfare, marked |
leads down to the river. On the south-east, a winding thoroughfare, with water on both sides, leads to Fields; and on the south-west another to the
There are small rows of cottages along parts of these roads.
In early times very few houses stood on this marshy ground; but we have an account of a mansion or manor-house built upon a somewhat elevated part of the marsh, near the river, by Robert of Paris, in the reign of Richard II.; the locality is still indicated by the name of Street.
writes the author of
published in ,
It appears that subsequently this estate of Robert of Paris came into the possession of the prior and monks of Abbey; but on the dissolution of the monasteries it was sold, and fell into lay hands. About years afterwards, in the reign of William and Mary, we find an inhabited locality, the property of a gentleman named Marshall, who founded and endowed here a church, which he named , having obtained an Act of Parliament converting the ancient manor of into a parish under that name.
The church was erected at the expense of Mr. Marshall, and finished in . The steeple and spire, which were feet high, were not completed till . This edifice, in consequence of the badness of the foundations, soon became so dilapidated, that in Mr. Marshall's trustees applied to Parliament for power to rebuild it, with the sum of , which had accumulated in their hands from the trust, and obtained an Act for that purpose. The present structure was accordingly erected. This is situated in a spacious burialground. The plan of the fabric is nearly square; and at the west end is a square tower, flanked by lobbies. The walls are of brick, with stone dressings. The tower is built partly within and partly without the wall of the church; it is in storeys: the lower has an arched doorway, with a circular window over it, and the and storeys each have arched windows. An octagon turret of wood rises above the parapet in stages, the lower forming the plinth to the other; in of the faces are dials, and the whole is finished with a cupola and vane. The general appearance of the body of the church is plain and uninteresting, both externally and internally. The great east window contains some ornamented stained glass and a painting of the descending dove; in the side lights are the arms of the see of Winchester, impaled with those of Izaak Walton's
who was bishop of that diocese at the time of the consecration of the church.
In , about the year , Mr. Charles Hopton founded a row of almshouses for
each of whom received per annum and a chaldron of coals.
At a short distance northward of , branches off westwards from , and thus forms a connecting link with that thoroughfare and Road. It is a good broad street, dating from the beginning of this century; and, with westward of it and to the east, serves as a direct communication, almost parallel with the river, from the , Borough, to and . On the south side of is a [extra_illustrations.6.381.2] . The building, from an architectural point of view, forms a striking contrast with the generality of chapels and meetinghouses. A portico, of the Grecian Doric order, occupies the whole front of the edifice, and imparts to it a commanding and temple-like aspect. The wall within this portico is unbroken by any other aperture than a single door, forming the entrance to the building. The interior corresponds with the exterior in simplicity of taste and in the style of its decoration, which is of that plainness that it might even satisfy a congregation of Quakers.
Nearly opposite the above-mentioned chapel, at the corner of , is the Hospital for Diseases of the Skin, an institution which since its establishment, in , has done a deal of good in the gratuitous medical treatment of the poor afflicted with cutaneous diseases. This institution was originally established in , Blackfriars, and from to of the suffering poor are every week relieved here.
In , close by, are the extensive printing works of the Messrs. Clowes and Sons. This is of the largest establishments of the kind in the kingdom, and from its presses have issued many of the works of Charles Dickens,
| Charles Knight, and other eminent men of letters, as well as the publications of the |
numerous military works, and statistical reports for various Government offices. The firm, in , undertook the contract for supplying the famous Mulready envelope. The stated that they arranged to supply the public with half a million a day; but the design was distasteful to the public, and the envelope was speedily recalled.
At the corner of and , on the spot now occupied by the Central Bank of London and or large houses adjoining it, stood, till , a row of tenements, which for many years previously, owing to the eccentricity of their owner, a Miss Angelina Read, had been allowed to remain unoccupied. They had long been windowless, and the dingy rooms encumbered with dirt and rubbish and overrun with rats; indeed, such a forlorn and desolate aspect had they assumed that they became generally known as
In the above year, Miss Read having bequeathed them to the Consumption Hospital at Brompton, they were demolished, and some fine buildings have been erected in their place.
A few doors northwards of , on the west side of , is the building once occupied by the museum collected by Sir Ashton Lever, and removed hither from , when it became the property of a Mr. Parkinson. The following is a of an advertisement of the exhibition, taken from a London newspaper of :--
This admired Assemblage of the Productions of Nature and Art, with several curious and valuable additions, both presented and purchased, continues to be exhibited every day (Sundays excepted) from to .
Admittance Half a Crown each person. Good Fires in the Rotunda, &c.
Recently added to the Museum, a variety of Specimens of the most rare and beautiful Birds from , in .
Annual Admission Tickets may be had at the Museum, at Guinea each.
Part the of the Catalogue of this Collection may be had at the following places:--Messrs. White and Son, in ; Mr. Robson, in , Mr. Elmsly, in ; Mr. Sewell, in ; and at the Museum. Price
This curious, extensive, and valuable collection here experienced the most mortifying neglect, till, in , it was finally dispersed by public auction, in a sale which lasted days. The premises were subsequently occupied by the Surrey Institution, which was established in the following year. Here some gentlemen proposed to form an institution on the Surrey side of the river, on a plan similar to that of the Royal Institution in . It was intended to have a series of lectures, an extensive library and reading-rooms, a chemical laboratory and philosophical apparatus, &c. In this valuable institution was dissolved, the library, &c., being sold by auction. After that, the building, which was called the Rotunda, was occupied for some years as a wine and concertroom. In , it was opened as the Globe Theatre. years previously it had been appropriated to all kinds of purposes, including the dissemination of the worst religious and political opinions, and penny exhibitions of wax-work and wild beast shows. In the Rotunda was again opened as a concert-room; but the concern never prospered, and its vicissitudes afterwards are not worth noting. It was finally closed as a place of amusement about the year , and the building is now used for business purposes, being known as the Rotunda Auction and Sale Rooms.
At the foot of formerly stood a range of buildings, which at time constituted part of the [extra_illustrations.6.382.1] . This extensive concern was set on foot by a company of spirited and opulent individuals, with the view of counteracting the impositions but too frequently practised in the grinding of corn. On the , the whole building, with the exception of the corner wing, occupied as the house and offices of the superintendent, was destroyed by fire, together with sacks of flour which it contained. When these mills were burnt down, Horace Walpole was not ashamed to own that he had literally never seen or heard of them, though the flakes and the dust of burning grain were carried as far as , , and even to St. James's.
What would Horace Walpole had said of London, had he lived in the reign of Victoria?
The front of the mill remained for many years
|unrepaired, but was subsequently formed into a row of handsome private habitations. These, in turn, were demolished a few years ago, to make room for the Blackfriars station and goods depot on the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway.|
Somewhere near this spot, at no great distance from the southern end of , stood the most westerly of the play-houses on --the Swan Theatre. It was a large house, and flourished only a few years, being suppressed at the commencement of the civil wars, and soon afterwards demolished.
Before the building of , in , there was a ferry at this spot for the conveyance of traffic across the river. An idea of the value of some of the ferries on the Thames may be formed from the circumstance that on the construction of this bridge the committee of management agreed to invest the Waterman's Company with Consolidated per Cent. Annuities, to satisfy them for the loss of the Sunday ferry at Blackfriars, which was proved to have produced, upon an average for years, the sum of .
 See Vol. II., p. 539.
 See Vol. I., p. 329.
[extra_illustrations.6.371.1] The exterior of the old theatre
 See ante, p.
 See ante, p. 71.
 See ante, pp. 350, 362.
[extra_illustrations.6.381.1] Christ Church
 See ante, p. 53.
 Notes, and Queries, 1854.
[extra_illustrations.6.381.2] chapel, built about. the year 1824, for the Unitarians
 See Vol. III., p. 165.
[extra_illustrations.6.382.1] Albion Mills