Old and New London, A Narrative of its History, its People and its Places.Illustrated with Numerous Engravings from the Most Authentic Sources. vol 6
[extra_illustrations.6.479.2] , which lies immediately to the south-west of Battersea, on the road to Kingston, is so named from the Wandle. This river, which rises near Croydon, passes through Wandsworth into the Thames under a bridge, which, if we may accept a statement in the
(), was called
This epithet would appear, however, to apply to the bridge rather than to the river; for Izaak Walton, in his
mentions the variety of trout found in the Wandle here as marked with marbled spots like a tortoise.
The creek at the mouth of the Wandle forms a dock for lighters and other small vessels, and on its sides are coal-wharves and stores. Higher up the stream are extensive paper-mills, where employment is given to a large number of hands; then there are Messrs. Watney's distilleries, besides some large corn mills, dye works, match factories, starch factories, artificial manure works, copper
| mills, &c. Hughson, in his |
(), remarks :--
At the iron mills, Dr. Hughson informs us,
In fact, Wandsworth, no less than , has long been a centre of industry.
It was upon the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, towards the end of the century, that many of the French Protestants settled at Wandsworth, and engaged in silk-dyeing, hatmaking, &c. They rented and enlarged the old Presbyterian chapel in the , and in it
| service was performed in French for upwards of a century. |
Mr. James Thorne tells us, in his
Aubrey, in his
tells us that before his time there had been established at Wandsworth a manufacture of
The houses in which this mysterious business was carried on were long known as the
The village of Wandsworth--if we may so term it-lies principally in a valley, between East Hill and West Hill; the , which crosses the Wandle, is the main thoroughfare, leading on to Putney Heath, and thence to Kingston and Richmond, the roads branching off to those places on the summit of West Hill.
The commons of Wandsworth, Wimbledon, and Putney have been secured and formally appropriated to the public for purposes of recreation, on the payment of a specified rent to the lord of the manor, Lord Spencer.
On the top of East Hill stands Hospital ([extra_illustrations.6.481.2] Company), removed hither from . The edifice, which was completed in , occupies sides of a quadrangle, with a chapel in the centre, and provides a home for poor members of the company and their wives. The chief entrance to the hospital is by massive gilded gates, on which appears the motto,
The Union Workhouse, close by, is a large brick building, with an infirmary attached; it will hold between and inmates.
In the angle of Wandsworth Common, formed by the West-end and Crystal Palace and the South- Western Railways, on their uniting near Clapham Junction Station, stand important buildings, namely, the [extra_illustrations.6.482.1] , and the Royal Victoria Patriotic Asylums for Boys and for Girls.
| The Patriotic Asylum was founded and endowed by the Commissioners of the Royal Patriotic Fund, which was instituted in for the purpose of giving |
Her Majesty laid the stone of the Asylum for Girls in , and the building was erected from the designs of Mr. R. Hawkins. The Asylum for Boys is situated some yards distant, on East Hill. The Surrey County Prison, or , was erected in , and covers a large extent of ground. The various buildings are constructed chiefly of brick; and the prison is fitted with all the latest appliances for ensuring order and discipline among the inmates.
At a short distance south of the prison, forming a conspicuous object to passengers travelling on the South-Western main line, or the Crystal Palace and West-end Railway, stood for several years the
This instrument, the largest which had up to that date been constructed, having a tube feet in length, shaped like a cigar, was erected on this site in the summer of . The object-glass was inches diameter, and its focal length about feet, but it subsequently turned out that the optical qualities of the telescope were not equal to its imposing appearance, or the excellent manner in which it was mounted and supported. The tube, which could be placed in almost any position for celestial observation, was supported at each end, and was slung at the side of a massive central brick tower feet high, while the lower end of the tube rested on a support running on a circular railway. Not fulfilling the original expectations of its proprietor, the instrument was some years ago dismantled and removed.
Another large building on the Common is the Surrey . It was built in , and consists of a centre and wings, with beds for inmates. Prior to the erection of this asylum, Surrey, although a metropolitan county, had not been adequately provided with accommodation for pauper lunatics--a class of sufferers whose twofold miseries must strike deeply into every benevolent heart. It is true that the royal chartered Hospital of Bethlehem is situated in the above-mentioned district; but, from its being a general hospital, its regulations for admission, as we have already shown, are not such as to meet local demands; hence the provision of an establishment exclusively for the poor of the county became an important object. The site on which the new asylum stands was a portion of the Springfield Estate, in the hamlet of Garratt, formerly the seat of Mr. Henry Perkins, including acres of land, with the mansion and farm buildings, which were retained for the purposes of the asylum, the reception of convalescent patients, &c.
Although the building is, in plan, Elizabethanbeing nearly in the form of the letter E-the elevation partakes of several styles. It is built of red brick, with white stone quoins, window-dressings, stringing-courses, and parapets, the general effect of which is good; but is injured by the battlemented towers immediately uniting with the naked, unparapeted roofs of the extensive wings right and left of the centre of the design. This portion is in the Domestic style, with pedimented roofs, and gables surmounted with Gothic finials. The principal entrance is by a small but elaborate pointed doorway, on each side of which are small windows over the doorway is a bold scroll label in masonry. This central portion is recessed, and has tiers of windows, with an ornamented clock in the gable, and a copper vane over the pediment.
On either side of the centre the fagade extends with small windows on the ground-floor, surmounted by a window in each of monastic character, reaching storeys in height, contrasting with the small windows immediately above and below them. The flank of this portion of the building is blank, save the massive corbelled chimney. The whole frontage, including the wings, is about feet in length. The principal doors open into a lobby, with a groined ceiling, leading on the right to an ante and committee room, office, &c., and on the left to the superintendent's private apartments. Folding-doors facing the entrance open to what is termed the grand staircase: a lofty chamber, extending the whole height of the building and about feet square, with tiers of corridors round sides of it; it is covered in with a groined roof, and lighted by an elaborately-designed lantern. A doorway on the ground-floor communicates with the galleries on either side, leading to the males' wards on the left, and the females' on the right. The -floor partakes of the same character as the ground-floor for each sex; and airing courts, for all classes of each sex, enclosed with walls in sunk fences, so as to admit of the patients viewing the surrounding country. At either extremity of the building, in the basements, are large groined work-rooms. The chapel is situated across the gallery on the firstfloor, and in the centre of the edifice.
In Spanish Road, near the Fishmongers' Alms-
| houses, is another of the many charitable institutions with which this neighbourhood abounds, namely, the Friendless Boys' Home. This is a valuable refuge for boys, from to years of age, |
The average number of boys in the Home is about . The institution, which was established in , is of the oldest of the kind in or near London. The industrial operations carried on here include carpentry, tailoring, shoemaking, and engineering as applied to the steamengine on the premises; also chopping firewood for bundles, and making wheel fire-lighters with resin; gardening, care of horses, &c. A kindred institution to the above is the Surrey Industrial School,
situated at Bridge House, on the north side of the .
Wandsworth, we may here state, occupies a foremost place in our railway annals, for here was made the commencement of our modern railways. The Surrey Iron Tramway was laid down in from Wandsworth to Croydon, and thence to Merstham: in all, about eighteen miles. The line--which was called by abbreviation a
way, from its designer, Benjamin Ou-was formed in order to carry to the water-side the chalk dug out of the sides of the Surrey hills about Epsom. Upon this railroad there worked as a young man Sir Edward Banks, who, by his own ability and energy, rose to become an engineer, and the builder-though not the designer, as generally stated--of of our noblest metropolitan structures: Waterloo, , and London Bridges. He lies buried at Chipstead, near Merstham, in Surrey.
Clapham Junction Station, at the north-eastern extremity of the common, although really in Battersea parish, may be more fittingly mentioned here. The station itself, which was at of the most inconvenient, was rebuilt a few years ago; and now, with its various sidings and goods-sheds, covers several acres of ground, and is of the most important junctions in the neighbourhood of London, if not of Great . As will be seen from the diagram which we engrave from Mr. John Airey's
this junction is used jointly by the London and South-Western; the London, Brighton and South Coast; the London, Chatham, and Dover; and the London and North- Western Companies. The number of trains which call at this station per day on the several lines is ; whilst those which pass through without stopping are ; and it is calculated that on an average about passengers may be said to pass through Clapham Junction in every . hours. In fact, this junction is the most busy railway station in England, and, perhaps, in the world.
, which spans the Thames, and connects the with , Fulham, was built in , from the designs of Mr. J. H. Tolme. It is constructed of iron, and is what is known as a lattice-girder bridge; it is of spans, borne on massive coupled wrought-iron cylinders. The central stream spans are each feet broad.
The parish church, dedicated to All Saints, stands in the , near the bridge over the Wandle; it is a plain, square, brick edifice, dating from near the end of the last century. The
| greater part of the tower is comparatively ancient, having been built early in the century; it was, however, re-cased in , and has been raised, by the addition of a storey, for the reception of a peal of bells. The interior of the church contains a few monuments, preserved from the older fabric; among them, to Alderman Henry Smith, who is represented in gown and ruff, kneeling at a desk, under an entablature supported by Ionic columns. Alderman Smith was a native of this parish, and came of humble parentage. He is said to have made a large fortune by business in the City, and having been left a widower, without children, in , made over his estates, both real and personal, to trustees for charitable purposes, reserving to himself from them an annuity of a year for his maintenance. His benefactions, as set forth on his monument, embraced almost every town and village in Surrey, the object being not merely to afford |
to the needy, but the
Among other bequests, Smith left to purchase lands in order to provide a fund for
other moneys to found a fellowship at Cambridge for his own kindred, &c. Alderman Smith died in . Near his monument is that of another benefactor-or rather, benefactress--to the parish: it is a mural monument, with small kneeling effigy of Susanna Powell, who died in . She was the
Several members of the family of the Brodricks, Viscounts Midleton, are interred here. Their residence was in the hamlet of Garratt, in this parish. The register records the burial () of
supposed to be the
the Puritan leather-seller of , whose name is well known in history in connection with Cromwell's Parliament.
In our account of the we have mentioned the fate of Griffith Clerke, Vicar of Wandsworth, his chaplain, and other persons. They were hanged and quartered at St. Thomas a Waterings on the , for denying the royal supremacy.
St. Anne's Church, on St. Anne's Hill, was built in -, from the designs of Sir Robert Smirke. It is a large Grecian temple, with an Ionic portico and pediment at the western end. The body of the church is of brick with stone dressings, the portico and pediment are of stone; from the roof rises a circular tower in stages, and crowned with a cupola and cross. The other churches in Wandsworth are , Summer's Town; Garrett; , on ; and Holy Trinity, near the outskirts of Wimbledon Park. None of these, however, call for any special mention.
Another place of worship here is the Roman of St. Thomas of Canterbury, which was opened in .
There are many places of worship for Dissente; here; in fact, Wandsworth must be a place specially dear to the Nonconformist heart on account of, at all events, memory. It is stated by ecclesiastical writers that the practical movement to secure a Presbyterian organisation in the neighbourhood of the metropolis began with a secret meeting held at Wandsworth. The Dissenting principles of church government and rules of worship, as we learn from Neale's
were set forth in a publication called
Wandsworth has numbered among its residents a few men of note, of whom we may mention Francis Grose, the antiquary, who lived at Mulberry Cottage, on the Common; and Dr. John Jebb, Bishop of Limerick, who died at West Hill in . As already mentioned by us, he is buried at Clapham. On Voltaire's release from his imprisonment in the Bastile, he was ordered to leave France, and having come to England, was for some time here as the guest of Sir Everard Fawkener. His sojourn in England, observes a writer in the
His tragedy of which he composed in little more than a fortnight, and which proved of Voltaire's greatest triumphs, is said to have been written during his stay at Wandsworth.
At some little distance on the south side of the is the hamlet of Garratt, which, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, appears to have consisted of a single house, called
or, as Lysons says,
This building was sold towards the end of the century by William Cecil, afterwards Lord Burghley, to a Mr. John Smith. The mansion was afterwards the residence of the Brodricks, Viscounts Midleton, but was pulled down about the middle of the last century, and the grounds which surrounded it were subsequently let to a market-gardener to grow vegetables.
When Lysons wrote his
in the year , this hamlet consisted of about houses by the side of a small common; but the buildings in Garratt Lane--the thoroughfare connecting Wandsworth with Tooting-and its neighbourhood have greatly increased in number within the present century. Various encroachments on the above-mentioned common, about the middle of the last century, led to an association of the neighbours, when, as Sir Richard Phillips tells us, in his
they chose a president, or , to protect their rights; and the time of their election of a mayor being the period of a new Parliament, it was agreed that the
should be re-chosen after every general election.
With a keen eye to their own interests, as well as to that of their village and their country, the publicans at Wandsworth, Tooting, Battersea, Clapham, and ,
to give it character. Foote, Garrick, and Wilkes, it is stated, wrote some of the candidates' addresses, for the purpose of instructing the people in the corruptions which attend elections in the legislature, and of producing those reforms, by means of ridicule and shame, which are vainly expected from the solemn appeals of argument and patriotism.
says Sir Richard Phillips,
He was succeeded by Sir Jeffrey Dunstan, who was returned for Parliaments, and was the most popular candidate that ever appeared on the Garratt hustings. His occupation was that of buying old wigs-once an article of trade like that in old clothes, but become obsolete since the fullbottomed and full-dressed wigs of both sexes went out of fashion. Sir Jeffrey usually carried his wigbag over his shoulder, and, to avoid the charge of vagrancy, vociferated, as he passed along the streets,
but having a person like AEsop, and a countenance and manner marked by irresistible humour, he never appeared without a train of boys and curious persons, whom he entertained by his sallies of wit, shrewd sayings, and smart repartees, and from whom, without begging, he collected sufficient to maintain his dignity of knight and mayor. He was no respecter of persons, and was so severe in his jokes on the corruptions and compromises of power that, under the iron of Pitt and Dundas, this political punch, or street-jester, was prosecuted for using what were then called seditious expressions; and, as a caricature on the times, which ought never to be forgotten, he was, in , tried, convicted, and imprisoned! In consequence of this affair, and some charges of dishonesty, he lost his popularity, and at the next general election was ousted by Sir Harry Dimsdale, muffin-seller, a man as much deformed as himself. Sir Jeffrey could not long survive his fall; but in death, as in life, he proved a satire on the vices of the proud: for in he died-like Alexander the Great and many other heroes renowned in the historic pageof suffocation from excessive drinking! Sir Harry Dimsdale dying also before the next general election, and no candidate starting of sufficient originality
| of character, and, what was still more fatal, the victuallers having failed to raise a |
--which was as stimulating a bait to the candidates for Garratt as it is to the candidates for a certain assembly--the borough of Garratt has since remained vacant, and the populace have been without a
adds Sir Richard Phillips,
Robert Chambers, in his
gives a full and detailed account of the scenes enacted here at the mock elections for the
which, as we have stated above, always accompanied a general election, as the shadow attends on a substance. He tells us that the local publicans found it to be their interest to encourage the managers of the fun to constitute themselves a committee . On these occasions local wits drew up and printed election addresses, squibs, and counter-squibs, &c., and the successful candidates were
round the town like veritable
The last and the most celebrated members for Garratt were those eccentric characters,
Jeffrey Dunstan and
Harry Dimsdale, who flourished at Wandsworth whilst Lord North and Pitt ruled in . Of these individuals Mr. Chambers writes:--
Jeffrey Dunstan we have already given some particulars in our account of St. Giles's-in-the-Fields, which was generally the scene of his daily avocations.
The Garratt election has gained more than its fair share of notoriety from the fact that Samuel Foote--who was present here in , and paid guineas for a window to view the proceedings-made it the subject of a farce, entitled , which was put on the stage at the . The character of
in this play was derived from John Gardiner, a local cobbler and grave-digger, who was of the candidates, under the title of
was copied from another candidate, also a shoemaker, who came forward as
The other characters also are identified by Mr. Chambers;
being the prototype of
the principal candidate in Foote's drama, who says, in his address to the worthy electors,
We have already spoken of asparagus as of the chief products of Battersea.
There are in existence very curious etchings, by Valentine Green, representing the Garratt elections, the scenes in the streets, ana the chairing of a successful candidate. All these will be found given in Chambers'
and of these we reproduce on page . It must be owned that the licence assumed during these seasons of misrule was somewhat iescennine in its character, and that mirth occasionally degenerated into vulgar buffoonery; but, after all, the scene was little more boisterous than that which was witnessed in our fathers' clays at many a county and borough election, where popular feeling ran high-especially those at Brentford; and doubtless, the mock elections of Garratt had their redeeming qualities in the safety-valve which they afforded to discontented spirits.
In an attempt was made, though without success, to revive the whimsical farce. A placard was prepared and issued to forward the interests of a certain
who was to come forward, along with
( Cullendar, the beadle of All Saints' Church) and
(Robert Young, a surveyor of roads), described as
This placard, which may be read in Hone's
compared with those of the last century. The project, therefore, failed, and Garratt, in consequence, has had no representative since the worthy muffin-seller mentioned above.
Like Blackheath, Peckham, Camberwell, and other suburban spots round London which we have visited in the course of our perambulations, Wandsworth once had its annual fair, which was abolished only within the memory of living persons. From
we learn that at the end of the last century spectators were invited to see exhibited here
In the year the fair was attended by the theatrical caravan of Messrs. Nelson and Lee, and by other lesser attractions.
Between Wandsworth Common and Garratt Lane formerly stood Burntwood Grange, the seat of H. Grisewood, Esq. It was noted for its magnificent gardens and conservatory, which are described in Bohn's
where views are given of the exterior
|and interior of the conservatory and of the dairy adjoining. of S. Rucker, Esq., on West Hill, are, or were till recently, remarkable for the great variety of flowering trees and shrubs; indeed, horticulture and floriculture seem to have been extensively practised in this locality for many years, for, like Battersea in former times, Wandsworth is mentioned by Lysons, in as abounding in market-gardens. It may be added that this place a century ago had about it all the adjuncts of a country life, for a picture painted in shows the reapers in the corn-fields here, and a windmill in full operation at the foot of the slope of the hill which it covers.|
[extra_illustrations.6.481.2] the almshouses of the Fishmongers'
 See ante, p. 258.
[extra_illustrations.6.482.1] Surrey County Prison
 See ante, p. 360.
 Parts of his will were the subject of protracted litigation in 1877-8; but in the end the validity of his bequest was sufficiently established by the Court of Chancery, on appeal.
 See ante, p. 250.
 See ante, p. 324.
 See Vol. III., p. 20.
 See ante, p. 479.