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 parish of , upon which we now enter at its north-eastern angle, previously to its sub-division, was no less than miles in circumference; being bounded by , Camberwell, Streatham, Croydon, by the river Thames, and by the parishes of and , . It is divided into liberties, and again sub-divided into the following wards or precincts: the Bishop's, the Prince's, , , Marsh, Wall, Stockwell, and Dean's. The parish, and especially its palace, is connected with English history; for, as we have already observed, Hardicanute is said to have died suddenly here at a wedding feast--a clear proof that even in the Saxon times there was a palace here, or the residence of some Saxon thane.
The early history of the parish is thus told by Pennant:--
In the book of Domesday we find the Manor of belonging to this Countess Goda. of the holders of the see of Rochester, in the reign of Henry II., exchanged it for other lands with Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury; and we know that Hubert Walter, of his successors in the archiepiscopate and Lord High Chancellor in the reign of Richard I., resided here.
If the old manor of was co-extensive with the subsequent parish, it must have extended along the Thames from Battersea to ,
|and from the river-side to the limits of Norwood, , and Streatham, and even to those of the parish of Croydon; but this is not quite certain.|
Northouck thus writes,
The name of the place has been spelled variously as , Lambyth, Lamedh, Lamhees, &c.; and so far back as the time of the Danish occupation it was a village adjacent to the capital.
Pennant, the antiquary, considers that in the time of the Roman occupation, if not at a later date, the Surrey side of the Thames near the metropolis was in all probability a great expanse of water--a
as the Welsh call it; and he thought that possibly the name of London is but a corruption or variation of
--the city on the lake.
Pennant tells us also that in there was not a single house standing between and ! Indeed, the place was all open country even in the time of Charles II. Thus Pepys writes in his
In Ralph Aggas' map of London, to which we have often referred, in the foreground on the left are the Palace of the Archbishop of Canterbury and , with only house at a small distance off; a little to the northward is a
| road leading to the river opposite the landing-place in . The principal ditch of , if we may trust the map, falls into the Thames opposite the , the ground being occupied by only a single dwelling. On the river-bank opposite Whitefriars commences a line of houses, with gardens and groves behind them, and continued, with little intermission, to the stairs and palace of the Bishop of Winchester on the . of the most noted places along this line is , the site of which, as we have stated in the preceding chapter, is now covered by in . Further eastward, but behind the houses, we see certain circular buildings for bull and bear baiting-amusements to which the |
Queen Elizabeth was partial. Near the bear-baiting place, or
as it was styled, was a dog-kennel, from which several savage dogs are seen issuing forth. From Winchester Palace to the , and along Tooley () Street to , the houses stand somewhat thickly; but towards the ground is open, and the buildings are surrounded with gardens. We here see crowded with buildings, among which the
|famous Nonsuch House is conspicuous. Another striking object in the foreground is the noble cruciform church of St. Mary Overie, of which we have already spoken, in magnitude and architectural character the church in the metropolis, with its pinnacled tower a feet in height. The park of the Bishop of Winchester appears also walled in on all sides; hence comes the name of in this locality. On the right stands , built before the Norman Conquest.|
The history of for several centuries was mainly confined to the Palace, and consequently little remains to be said here till we come down to the beginning of the century. No doubt, every district of this great metropolis has a character, moral if not physical, of its own; but the American writer who remarked that
was guilty of at least a rhetorical exaggeration, if not of something worse.
A curious old etching by Thomas Nugent, of about the date , which we reproduce on page , shows the south side of the Thames, as seen
| from the top of the . In the foreground is the |
still standing, near the southern end of ; near it, a little to the west, are Cuper's Gardens, a mass of trees and foliage; to the south is the Windmill, in ; and lastly, Fields. In the distance are houses, high out of all proportion, and of foreign appearance; while the Surrey hills rise to absurd heights in the background, somewhat like the chain of the Apennines.
A poem on this rural spot, published in the in , mentions-we know not whether with a poet's lawful exaggeration or not-
and in it are recounted many of the historical recollections of the place: how Hardicanute died suddenly here, while feasting his subjects.
And then the writer proceeds to record the persecutions of which the Lollards' Tower was too often the scene; the shelter afforded by the church porch to Mary of Modena, when she fled from with her little son, as we have already said; the burial of the Tradescants, father and son. But we must descend from the lofty region of poetry and imagination to sober prose and dry facts.
, however, is not quite without its historical romance, for to this place Lord Percy and the Duke of Lancaster, John of Gaunt, were glad to be able to effect their escape from the Savoy when that palace was assailed and sacked by the mob in .
Here, in or , the Lady Arabella Stuart, cousin of James I., having contracted a private marriage with William Seymour, a son of Lord Beauchamp, was kept a prisoner in the house of Sir Thomas Parry. She contrived, however, whilst here to correspond with her husband, and the wedded pair managed to effect her removal to Highgate, where she remained, under surveillance, in the house of a Mr. Conyers, from whom she endeavoured to escape to France; but she was caught in the Channel on board ship, and brought back to the Tower to end her days a prisoner. Her misfortunes--which read like a chapter in a romance-seem to have arisen simply and solely from her nearness to the Crown. Her husband, surviving her by many years, was invested by Charles II. with the Dukedom of Somerset, which had been forfeited by his ancestor, the Protector.
, as we have already seen in passing through those parts lying about , has numbered in its time many residents of note. Besides those whose names we have mentioned, there was living here, in the middle of the century, Mr. Morland (afterwards Sir Samuel Morland), a famous mechanist, not unknown as a statesman, and at whose house Charles II. passed the night of his restoration. It was this person who, while employed as a clerk at Thurloe's chambers in ,+ overheard the conversation between the Protector (Cromwell) and Thurloe, in which it was designed to inveigle the king, then an exile at Bruges, and his younger brothers, the Dukes of York and Gloucester, into the Protector's power. Morland, it seems, was asleep at his desk, or was thought to be so; and Cromwell, apprehensive that his conversation had been overheard, drew his dagger, and would have dispatched the slumberer on the spot, had not Thurloe, with some difficulty, prevented him, assuring him that his intended victim was unquestionably asleep, since, to his own knowledge, he had been sitting up nights together. It had been treacherously intimated to the king and his brothers, through the agency of Sir Richard Willis, that if, on a stated day, they would land on the coast of Sussex, they would be received by a body of men, which would be augmented the following morning by horse. Had they fallen into the snare, it seems that all would have been shot immediately on reaching the shore. Morland, however, had not been asleep, as was supposed by Thurloe and Cromwell; and through his means the king and his brothers were made acquainted with the design against their lives. We shall have more to say about Sir Samuel Morland when we reach .
In spite of the vicinity of the archbishop's palace, , in the latter half of the last century, could reckon among its residents some of the most zealous members of the Wesleyan body; and John Wesley preached in , opposite Bethlehem Hospital, on , only brief fortnight before his death.
Apparently, centuries ago, when there was only bridge across the Thames, was the place from which the Portsmouth coach, and
| probably most of the other conveyances to Hampshire and Dorsetshire, started. At all events, Pepys writes in his |
under date ,
On another occasion he tells us that he crossed the water to in order to make a journey by land to Woolwich. [extra_illustrations.6.387.1]
was a great place for boat-building as far back, certainly, as the reign of Charles II. At all events, Samuel Pepys tells us in his
under date ,
We have already met with Mr. Commissioner Pett in our saunterings through Deptford.
Apart from its boat-building, which was carried on here to a large extent until the formation of the southern or , has long been of the principal points on the Thames, above bridge, for the traffic both of watermen and the more modern steamboat conveyance. Searle's boat-yard, just above , on the spot now covered by the , in front of , was a place as familiar to the boating men of Oxford in the last generation as the
at Mortlake, or the
at Putney are now. Messrs. Searle's boat-yard has of late years been removed to another site higher up the river, at Stangate, close to .
We have described the marshy nature of the land lying between the river and Fields in former times. Marsh--for by such name the locality was known--was protected from the incursion of the river by embankments. At a very early date banks of earth were erected along the south side of the Thames, in order to keep out the tidal waters, and to hold them in check. Our readers will not have forgotten that locality in still retains the name of . Other embankments, too, were raised, in order to assist in keeping the inland district from inundation, and to form causeways for passengers travelling from to and the several landing-places along the river-side. Of these embankments, running nearly parallel with the river was called ; another, bounding the marsh on the east, Broad Wall; and an ancient raised road, probably as old as the time of the Roman occupation, followed the line of the street now known as , or Lower Marsh.
Lambert, in his
(), tells us that on
is a manufactory of artificial stone, established in by Mr. Coade.
About a sculptured bas-relief ( feet by feet, and inches thick) was found in the course of excavations for deep foundation at Broad Wall. It represented the figure of a chief, attired and armed as if for the chase, with certain attributes of costume of a non-European (perhaps American) character, such as a deep fringe round the loins, and strings of beads on the neck, arms, and legs. The spot where it was found was formerly a bog; and it is supposed by the Archaeological Institute to be part of the cargo of a vessel broken upon the spot many ages ago.
There were, even as late as the beginning of the present century, open fields, with [extra_illustrations.6.388.1] , where now the renowned
connects the Blackfriars and Waterloo Roads. , which was pulled down on the formation of the South-Western Railway, marked the site whereon stood a group of picturesque old wooden mills. The spot between the and the river, between Waterloo and Bridgestill recently known as Pedlar's Acre--was called, in the and centuries, Church Osiers, from a large osier-bed which occupied the spot. This is a plot of ground of some historical notoriety, though of no great importance. It was originally a small strip of land, acre and poles in extent, situate alongside of the , and has belonged to the parish of from time immemorial. It is said to have been given by a grateful pedlar, on condition that his portrait and that of his dog should be preserved for ever, in painted glass, in of the windows of the parish church. This request has been duly observed down to our own day, for the picture was, till lately, to be seen in of the windows of the church, and some amusing legendary tales are still told about the pedlar of and his dog. Whatever truth there may be in the tradition that the ground in question was bequeathed to the parish by [extra_illustrations.6.388.2] , we will not pretend to determine. Astute antiquaries, how, ever, have searched the parish registers, and there find that the land was bequeathed by some person
On was at time a public-house, with the sign of a pedlar and his dog; and on a pane of glass in of the windows in the tap-room the following lines were written with a diamond:--
of the windows of also used to contain a figure of the pedlar.
Hereabouts lived and died an eccentric character, Henry Paulet, commonly known as
He had in early life performed services to the Government in America, and subsequently had assisted Admiral Hawke in defeating a French fleet off Brest; but he chose to take up his abode here in retirement and in the practice of charity towards his poorer neighbours.
writes the author of
probably takes its name from the Belvedere House and Gardens, a well-known place of amusement, dating from Queen Anne's time, but of which few records remain. These gardens are not mentioned by Malcolm, nor by John Tinibs, in his
who simply tells us that in former days |
The Belvedere Gardens, we may add, are likewise passed over without a word by Pennant, Northouck, and Lambert.
Adjoining Belvedere Gardens, not far from the southern end of , on the site now occupied by the timber-wharves of , and close by the Lion Brewery, which abuts upon the river, stood formerly a noted place of public resort, known as Cuper's Gardens, and constantly alluded to by writers in the eighteenth century. As far back as the beginning of the eighteenth century, if not earlier; it was famous for its displays of fireworks.
says Dr. C. Mackay, in his
It is frequently mentioned in the comedies and satires of the day as bearing a very indifferent character. Dr. Mackay lets us into a little of the antiquarianism of the place, for he tells us that it took its name from Boydell Cuper, who had been gardener to Lord Arundel on the other side of the river, and who rented the ground from his lordship. In our account of Arundel House we mentioned that it was adorned with a variety of busts and statues; and it appears that when that house was. pulled down in order to build new streets, a number of these statues, in a more or less mutilated state, came into Cuper's possession, and were set up in different parts of his gardens. This place of entertainment was suppressed by the authority of the magistrates in . It is described by Mr. J. H. Jesse as
It must have somewhat resembled the
at , if it be true, as stated by Mr. Jesse, that
The trees which threw their shade upon these walks were standing, at all events, as late as , for they are shown in the etching which we reproduce on page , the view of which is taken from the top of the newly-built . The banks of the river, as shown in our illustration, were at that time steep and irregular, and the houses few and far between where now is all the bustle of the Waterloo Railway Station. A print of Cuper's Gardens is in existence, showing the groves, alcoves, and statues with which it was adorned. Some of the plane-trees belonging to
|these gardens are still green and flourishing in the grounds behind , ; and the name of the place is still preserved in Cuper's Stairs, nearly opposite the . Part of the site of Cuper's Gardens was afterwards occupied by Beaufoy's vinegar works and manufactory of British wines, till the formation of and its approaches cleared the spot, and forced Beaufoy to retreat further south.|
Besides the gardens above mentioned, several other places for open-air entertainment were established in in the latter part of the last century. The Duke of Cumberland, the
hero of Culloden, gave name to some gardens by the river-side, not far from Elms, which existed till , when they were destroyed on the formation of . The Hercules Inn and Gardens were at the junction of the and Roads, on the spot afterwards occupied by the Female , and now by . were opened as a place of public resort in the year ; their memory is still perpetuated by , in . Nearly opposite, close to where Messrs. Maudslay's engineering works now stand, as we have already had occasion to state, early in the present century, built upon piles in a swamp, were the Apollo Gardens, opened in by Mr. Cloggett, proprietor of the fashionable Pantheon in . Here there was a central orchestra, and alcoves with snug wooden boxes all around, containing grotesque and amusing pictures and sculptures. In the same year the were opened in ; but in or years these places had acquired such an evil repute that the magistrates repressed them.
The Fields were for centuries a favourite resort of Londoners, and celebrated for the variety of sweet-smelling flowers and medicinal herbs growing there. Near the was Curtis's great botanical garden, on the spot where in. the old times had stood a lazar-house.
In the reign of William III. there was another place of amusement, known as
in what is now , but was then termed Coney Walk; they were held for a time in high repute, on account of their mineral waters, which were advertised as to be sold, according to John Timbs, at
About , we learn from the same authority, there was a musical society held here, and lectures, with experiments in natural philosophy, were delivered by Dr. Erasmus King and others. Malcolm tells us that the Wells opened for the season regularly on Easter Monday, being closed during the winter. They had
on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, with
The price of admission was threepence. The water was sold at a penny a quart to the
and to those who could pay for it; being given to the poor. We incidentally learn that there were grand gala and dancing days here in and , when
The following notice was issued in some of the public papers in :--
About this time, , close by, and the fields round about, were the scene of out-door diversion and merry-making during the summer months, running matches and
matches being of frequent occurrence.
of these gatherings for social enjoyment, the following quotation from Fielding's
may not be out of place here, as was of the head-quarters of amusement for the citizens of London:--
he tells us,
Among the other sports which prevailed in , in the days of
was that of
or catching and binding with ropes the passers-by in the street. The men
the women, and the women the men; and each had to pay a small fine on being released. Strutt tells us, in his
was celebrated probably in remembrance of the death of Hardicanute, already mentioned, which delivered England from the tyranny of the Danes. In the churchwardens' accounts of for and the following year are several entries of
received from the men and the women for the church service.
adds Strutt, with a stroke of dry humour,
Since the formation of streets in the place of the fields and marshy ground hereabouts, Lam. beth, like most other water-side places, has not been behind-hand in the number of its publichouses, some of which have acquired more than a local reputation. From a manuscript list, written about the year , we glean the following particulars of its tavern signs :--In , the
In Coburg Road, the
In Coburg Place, the
In Broad Wall, the
--the latter of which points to the time when a bull was liable to be punished for trespass, and put into the pound or pinfold. In ,
--a sign which commemorated the marriage of the Princess Royal, daughter of George III., with Frederick, King of Wurtemberg. At ,
In Upper there is an inn with the
| sign of the |
which, as Mr. Larwood suggests, is probably a corruption of the
a tavern which is known to have existed within the parish. Alien tells us, in his
that when this inn underwent repairs in , there was found in it a remarkable arm-chair, with high elbows, covered with purple cloth, and ornamented with gilt nails.
adds Mr. Allen,
King Charles, it will be remembered, was very tall in stature: a fact which strongly corroborates the idea that the chair was not only sat upon by his Majesty, but also designed and made for his special use.
was the sign of an inn here, mentioned by Taylor, the water-poet, in , but its exact locality is not known. The same sign is still to be seen over Messrs. Goslings', the bankers, in .
In Calcot's Alley was formerly an inn which bore the sign of the
It is worthy of note here, on account of a fact connected with it, mentioned by Allen, in his
viz., that in its owner, John Calcot, had granted to him a licence to have an oratory in his house, and a chaplain for the use of his family and guests, and adapted to the celebration of divine service as long as his house should continue to be orderly and respectable.
a public-house on the road to Wandsworth, was originally the
Gradually the heraldic attributes have fallen away, or been blotted out by the clumsy sign-painter's brush, and the goats' heads alone now remain; the name of the inn, too, has sunk from the region of heraldry to that of vulgar commonplace.
Till near the end of the last century, an inn, with the sign of the
--a compliment to the carpenter's trade--was to be seen near the garden-wall of the archbishop's palace-; and- hard by was another of a like kind,
These signs require no comment.
We have mentioned in previous chapters the existence, in former times, near in the Borough, and likewise at , of a thoroughfare known as the Halfpenny Hatch., we may add, could boast of its Halfpenny Hatch as late as the commencement of the present century. It led from , in the , to the Marsh Gate, near , over some fields where now stands , .
Here Astley exhibited his horses, before taking the ground near which has since been associated with his name. The Hatch House was at the back of , at the end of , and its forlorn and ramshackle condition is graphically described by Mr. John T. Smith, in his
Its site still presents the same sunken appearance, the ground around it having been artificially raised for building purposes.
writes Mr. Smith,
He tells us how he took a sketch of
but his sketch is not now in existence.
There was a time when the description of Pope, in his youthful imitation of Spenser, was really applicable to :--
Dr. Charles Mackay quotes these lines, in his
as still applicable to in . In , however, the scene is very different; and, thanks to the erection of the , must be removed out of the category of low river-side scenes.
 See Vol. III., p. 95.
 See Vol. V., p. 402.
 See Vol III., p. 53.
[extra_illustrations.6.387.1] Statue of Thames
 See ante, p. 148.
 See ante, p. 45.
[extra_illustrations.6.388.1] a windmill
[extra_illustrations.6.388.2] a pedlar, on condition that the picture of himself and his dog be preserved in the window of the church
 There is a similar tradition of a pedlar being a benefactor to the parish of Swaffham, in Norfolk.
 See Vol. III., p. 71.
 See Pennant's London.
 See ante, pp. 75, 133.