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 Hammersmith, at the entrance of which we now find ourselves, is a large straggling place, with a population of nearly souls. It lies principally on the high road, which, before the introduction of railways, was the main thoroughfare from London to the West of England. Down to the year it was known parochially as the Hammersmith division, or side, of the parish of Fulham; but since that period it has not only been made a separate parish, but it has also become in
| its turn the parent of separate ecclesiastical districts. During the Interregnum, it was proposed to make the hamlet parochial, and to add to it Sir Nicholas Crispe's house, between and the river, of which we shall presently speak, and a part of North End, |
The parish now extends from Kensington on the east, along the high road to Turnham Green, and by the side of the Thames from the Crab Tree to Chiswick; and it includes the hamlets of , Pallenswick, or Stanbrook Green, and Shepherd's Bush. Faulkner, in his
(), in speaking of the separation of Hammersmith from Fulham, and its erection into an ecclesiastical district, remarks,
The town of Hammersmith consists of several streets, the principal of which is , which formed part of the road to Windsor, about a mile and a half long; at the eastern end this street widens into the , where it is crossed by a road from and the , which is continued over the Suspension Bridge into Surrey. The main streets are lined throughout with numerous shops, while the busy posting-houses of former times have given way to large railway stations--the London and South-Western, in the Grove; the North London, in the Brentford Road; and the Metropolitan and the Metropolitan District in the . Altogether, therefore, the place now wears a modern business-like aspect, in spite of a number of old red-brick mansions. At the commencement of the present century, as we learn from Faulkner, the village had several good houses in and about it, and was
Now these old mansions are for the most part pulled down, converted into public institutions or schools, cut up into smaller tenements, or made to give place to large and busy factories. Here and there a picturesque old tavern may still be seen, recalling to mind the times when stage-coaches travelled along the , on their way to the West of England; such, in the neighbourhood of , is the
an inn much patronised by people of fashion in the early part of the reign of George III., though now frequented only by the working population about North End. Mr. Larwood tells us, in his
that representations of the place and of its visitors may be seen in caricatures of the period published by Bowles and Carver, of . Another publichouse, farther along the road, bearing the sign of the
still bears upon its exterior clear evidence of its antiquity: it is said to- have stood here for about a couple of centuries.
If there is spot in the neighbourhood of London to which the English Roman Catholics look with greater veneration than another, just as the Nonconformist looks to Bunhill Fields Cemetery, that spot is Hammersmith, which contains an unusual number of establishments belonging to the members of that faith.
On the south side of the high road, just before entering the town, and close to the busy thoroughfare of East, stands a tall Gothic building, of secluded and religious appearance, storeys high, the home of those noble-hearted ladies, of whose self-denial any communion in the world might well be proud--the
We will not attempt to describe it in our own words, but will employ those of the biographer of Thomas Walker, the London police magistrate, and author of
--a gentleman whose Protestant zeal is beyond suspicion. He writes:
The edifice, called Nazareth House, or the
is shut in from the roadway by a brick wall, and the grounds attached to it extend back a considerable distance. It provides a home not only for aged, destitute, and infirm poor persons, but likewise an hospital for epileptic children.
On the opposite side of the high road, and within a few yards from Nazareth House, is a group of Roman Catholic institutions, the chief of which is the old Benedictine convent, now used as a training college for the priesthood. The site of this college has been devoted to the purposes of Roman Catholic education from the days of King Henry VIII., for it was a school for young ladies for more than centuries down to the year , when the building was used as a training college. But the tradition is that it existed as a convent some time before the Reformation; and that subsequently to that date, though ostensibly it was only a girls' school, in reality it was carried on by professed religious ladies, who were nuns in disguise, and who said their office and recited their litanies and rosaries in secret, whilst wearing the outward appearance of ordinary Englishwomen. Faulkner, in his
mentions this tradition, and adds that it is supposed
If this really was the case, then poverty is sometimes even to be preferred to wealth.
On the breaking--up of the religious houses in England most of the sisterhoods retired to the Continent, where they kept up the practice of their vows unbroken; and we find that a body of Benedictine sisters settled at Dunkirk in , under their abbess, Dame Mary Caryl, whom they regarded as the founder of their house, and who was previously a nun at Ghent. Another Benedictine house, largely recruited from the ladies of the upper classes in England--a colony from the same city--was settled about the same time at Boulogne, and soon after removed to Pontoise, in the neighbourhood of Paris.
As the English Reformation, centuries and a half before, had driven this Ghent sisterhood from England, so in the outbreak of the French Revolution wafted its members back again --not, however, by a very tranquil passage--to the shores which their great-great-grandparents had been forced to leave. Already, however, something had been done to prepare the way for their return. Catherine of Braganza, the poor neglected queen of Charles II., invited over to England some members of a sisterhood at Munich, called the Institute of the Blessed Virgin, and these she settled and supported during her husband's life in a house in . On the death of the king, finding their tenure so near to the Court to be rather insecure, these ladies were glad to migrate farther afield. The chance was soon given to them. A certain Mrs. Frances Bedingfeld, a sister, we believe, of the baronet of that family, procured, by the aid of the queen, the possession of a large house-indeed, the largest house at that time--in Hammersmith, to the north of the road, near the , and with a spacious garden behind it. This house adjoined the ladies' school which we have already mentioned; and in course of time the convent and the sisterhood from were merged into institution under an abbess, who followed the Benedictine rule. The Lady Frances Bedingfeld, as foundress, became the abbess; and she was succeeded by Mrs. Cecilia Cornwallis, who was a kinswoman of Queen Anne. The school, though somewhat foreign to the scope of a contemplative order, was now carried on more openly and avowedly, though still in modest retirement, by the Benedictine sisterhood, who, adding a messuage to their houses, at once taught the daughters of the Roman Catholic aristocracy, and established a home in which ladies in their widowhood might take up their residence , with the privilege of hearing mass and receiving the sacraments in the little chapel attached to it.
Thus the school became absorbed in the convent centuries ago. In the year the infamous Titus Oates obtained from the authorities a commission to search the house, as being a reputed nunnery, as well as a well-known home of Papists
|and recusants. It is not a little singular that, although there was no cheap daily press in his day, we have separate and independent reports of this proceeding which have come down to us. The is to be found in the or , for -. The other report, more briefly and tersely expressed, appears in the of the same date.|
Exactly a century passed away, so far as any records or traditions have been preserved, before the Benedictine sisters again experienced any alarm; but in , the convent was doomed to destruction by the infuriated mob. The only precaution which the nuns appear to have taken was to pack up the sacramental plate in a chest, which the lady abbess intrusted to a faithful friend and neighbour, a Mr. Gomme, and who kindly buried it in his garden till the danger had passed away.
ladies from foreign convents on their arrival in England came to Hammersmith, and made it their temporary home until they could obtain admission into other religious houses. In fact, on their arrival they found only aged nuns, including the abbess, who rejoiced at being able to give them the shelter which they so much needed. The school was accordingly carried on by the Abbess of Pontoise (Dame Prujean), who here revived the school which had dwindled away; and for many years it was the only Catholic ladies' school near the metropolis. Faulkner gives no list of abbesses who ruled this convent during the centuries of its existence at Hammersmith. We are able, however, to give it complete from a private source, a MS. in the possession of Mrs. Jervis, a near relative of the Markhams, who, at various times, were
within its walls. The list runs as follows:--Frances Bedingfeld (), Cicely Cornwallis (), Frances Bernard (), Mary Delison (), Frances Gentil (), Marcella Dillon (), Mary Placida Messenger (), and Placida Selby (). The convent at Hammersmith, composed as it was of private houses, and built in such a way as to do anything rather than attract the attention of the public eye, presented anything but an attractive appearance. A high wall screened it from the passers-by, and the southern face was simply a plain brick front, pierced with rows of plain sash windows. Inside, the rooms used as dormitories and class-rooms had the same heavy and dreary look, as if the place were a cross between a badly-endowed parsonage and a workhouse school.
The chapel, which was built in by Mr. George Gillow, and served for many years--in fact, down to -as the mission chapel of Hammersmith and the neighbourhood, still stands, the lower end of it having been cut off and made into a library for the use of the theological students who have been located in these buildings since they were vacated in by the sisterhood. At the south-eastern corner, between the house and the road, stood a porter's lodge and the guestrooms; but these have been pulled down. Here, too, it is said, stood the original chapel. The principal of the training college, Bishop Wethers, coadjutor to Cardinal Manning, resides in the western portion of the building, formerly the residence of the Portuguese minister, the Baron Moncorvo.
In the middle of the eighteenth century the Vicar-Apostolic of the London District--as the chief Roman Catholic Bishop in England was then called-had his home at Hammersmith, from which place several of the pastoral letters of those prelates were dated.
Here-probably in apartments attached to the convent-died, in , in his ninetieth year, Dr. Bonaventura Giffard, chaplain to King James II., and nominated by that king to the headship of Magdalen College, Oxford, though divested of his office at the Revolution. He became afterwards of the Roman Catholic bishops and lived a life of apostolical poverty, simplicity, and charity. On his deposition from Magdalen College, Dr. Giffard was arrested and imprisoned in Newgate, simply for the exercise of his spiritual functions. Being a man of peace, he lived privately, with the connivance of the Government of the time, in London and at Hammersmith, where he was regarded as almost a saint on account of his charity. He attended the Earl of Derwentwater before his execution at the Tower in .
Here Dr. Challoner, the ablest Roman Catholic controversialist of the eighteenth century, was consecrated, in , a bishop of his church and Vicar-Apostolic of the London District, with the title of Bishop of Debra Cardinal Weld was for years director of the Benedictine nuns of this convent.
writes Priscilla Wakefield in ,
In East stands the West , an institution which has been increasing in importance and usefulness yearly since it was established. As this charity is unendowed, it is dependent entirely on voluntary contributions for its support.
Stow mentions a as formerly standing at Hammersmith; but no traces of its whereabouts are now visible; and as the local historian, Faulkner, is altogether silent on the subject, it is possible that the honest annalist was for once at fault.
The forms the central part of the town, whence roads diverge to the right and left; that to the right leads to , whilst that on the left hand leads to the Suspension Bridge across the Thames. On the north side of the , up a narrow court, is a large house surrounding a quadrangle. It used to be a sort of seraglio for George IV., when Prince of Wales; but it has long been cut up into tenements for poor people.
Brook Green-so called from a small tributary of the Thames which once wound its way through it from north-west to south-east-connects the , on the north side, with Shepherd's Bush, which lies west of Notting Hill, on the . It is a long narrow strip of common land, bordered with elms and chestnuts, and can still boast of a few good houses. In former times a fair was held here annually in May, lasting days. At the eastern end of the green is a group of Roman Catholic buildings, the chief of which is the Church of the Holy Trinity. This is a spacious stone edifice of the Early Decorated style of architecture, and has a lofty tower and spire at the northeastern corner. The stone of the building was laid in , by Cardinal Wiseman.
The external appearance of this church derives some additional interest from its contiguity to the scarcely less beautiful almshouses of St. Joseph, the stone of which was laid by the Duchess of Norfolk, in . The almshouses are built in a style to correspond with the church, and form together with it a spacious quadrangle. They provide accommodation for aged persons, and are managed by the committee of the Aged Poor Society.
On the opposite side of the road stands Normal College, built from the designs of Mr. Charles Hansom, of Clifton, in the Gothic style of architecture. It contains a chapel, and is capable of accommodating students. Near at hand are a Roman Catholic Reformatory for boys and another for girls. The former is located in an ancient mansion, Blythe House. This house, Faulkner informs us, was reported to have been haunted;
No doubt, in the last century, the situation of Blythe House was lonely and desolate enough to favour such a supposition as the above; and, apart from this, the roads about Hammersmith in the reign of George II. would seem to have been haunted by footpads and robbers. At all events, Mr. Lewins, in his
reminds us that in , the boy who carried the mail for Portsmouth happening to dismount at Hammersmith, about miles from , and to call for beer, some thieves took the opportunity to cut the mail-bags from off the horse's crupper, and got away undiscovered. The plunder was probably all the more valuable, as there was then no
and even large sums of money were enclosed in letters in the shape of bank-notes.
At that time nearly all the land in the outskirts of Hammersmith was under cultivation as nurseries or market gardens, whence a large portion of the produce for the London markets was obtained. Bradley, in his
published in , tells us that
Messrs. Lee's nursery garden here enjoyed great celebrity towards the close of the last century; and it is said that they were the who introduced the fuchsia, now so common, to the public. Their nursery was formerly a vineyard, where large quantities of Burgundy wine were made. To store the wine a thatched house was built, and several large cellars were excavated. The rooms above were afterwards in the occupation of Worlidge, the engraver, and here he executed many of the most valuable and admired of his works.
It was close by Lee's nursery that Samuel Taylor Coleridge stayed frequently with his friends the
| Morgans, who lived on the road between Kensington and Hammersmith. H. Crabb Robinson, in his |
under date , tells us how he
The region northward of the main thoroughfare through Hammersmith is being rapidly covered with streets, many of the houses being of a superior class, particularly in the neighbourhood of . In is the church of St. John the Evangelist, a large and lofty edifice, of Early-English architecture, built in , from the designs of Mr. Butterfield. It was erected by voluntary contributions, at a cost of about . Close by is the Godolphin School, which was founded in the century under the will of William Godolphin, but remodelled as a grammar school, in accordance with a scheme of the Court of Chancery, in . The buildings of this institution are surrounded by playgrounds, about acres in extent; the school is built, like the adjoining church, of brick, with stone mullions and dressings, and it is in the Early Collegiate Gothic style, from the designs of Mr. C. H. Cooke.
|The buildings include a large school-room, capable of accommodating boys, several class-rooms, a dining-hall, dormitories for boarders, and a residence for the head-master.|
, at the north-western extremity of Hammersmith, marks the site of the ancient manor-house of Pallenswick, which is supposed to have belonged to Alice Perrers, or Pierce, a lady of not very enviable fame at the court of Edward III., upon whose banishment, in , the place was seized by the Crown. The surveyof the manor, taken about that time, describes it as containing
The manor-house is described as
In the manor of Pallenswick was sold to Sir Richard Gurney, the brave and loyal Lord Mayor of London who died a prisoner in the Tower in . Down to nearly the close of the last century, the manor-house was surrounded by a moat, and Faulkner describes it as
Little to the north of , and leading up towards Shepherd's Bush, on the , lies Starch Green, which-like Stanford and Gaggle-Goose Green, in the same neighbourhood, mentioned by Faulkner as
--is now being rapidly covered with houses, and is of those places which is fortunate enough not to have a history.
The ancient high road from the west to London commenced near the
inn, at Turnham Green, which lies at the western extremity of Hammersmith, and of which we shall speak presently. It passed through Stanford-Brook Green, Pallenswick, and Bradmoor. At the beginning of this century it was very narrow and impassable, though large sums of money had been spent in its repair. The road, which is now in part lined with houses, skirts the north side of , and joins the at Shepherd's Bush. At the junction of the roads formerly stood an ancient inn, where all the country travellers stopped in their journeys to or from the metropolis. This is supposed to have been the house that Miles Syndercombe hired for the purpose of carrying out his proposed assassination of Cromwell, in , while on his journey from to London.
Dull, dreary, and uninteresting as this part of Hammersmith may have been in former times, it appears to have possessed at least curiosity the portrait of a quaint old pump, in Webb's Lane, with a sort of font in front of it to catch the water, figures in Hone's
under September 10th, but apparently little or nothing was or is known of its history. Under the portrait in the
are the following lines :---
Retracing our steps to the , we enter , which passes in a southerly direction to the , from the junction of the and . On the west side of this street stands the [extra_illustrations.6.536.1] . It was originally a chapel of ease to Fulham, and is remarkable as the church in which of the last of those romantic entombments known as heart-burials took place. The church was built during the reign of Charles I., at the cost of Sir Nicholas Crispe, a wealthy citizen of London.
Bowack thus describes this church in :--
Such, then, was the condition of this church within -quarters of a century of its erection. Since that time it has undergone extensive repairs on different occasions, and in the year it was restored and enlarged. Although the edifice is constructed of brick, it is covered throughout with stucco; and, architecturally, it is of little or no interest, excepting as a fair specimen of the corrupt style in vogue at the date of its erection. The building consists of a nave, aisles, short transepts, and chancel; the tower is surmounted by a small octagonal bell-turret. The church, which has galleries on either side and at the western end, will accommodate about i,ooo worshippers. The altarpiece is somewhat peculiar in its construction, and occupies nearly the whole eastern wall of the chancel: it may perhaps be best described as an upright
the canopy of which is ornamented with a number of candlesticks containing imitation candles, the flames of which are represented in gilding; beneath the canopy are festoons in carved oak, said to be the work of Grinling Gibbons. This baldachino--which is of a heavy Italian style--is of interest, as having been erected by Archbishop Laud.
A picturesque avenue of old trees leads to the north door of the church, whilst the footpath is lined on each side by several rows of tombs, some bearing foreign names, probably of the Walloons employed in the tapestry works, or of persons who were domesticated at Brandenburgh House during the residence there of the Margrave of Anspach and his widow. Within the church are the tombs of many persons famous in history. Among them may be mentioned of black and white marble, to the Earl of Mulgrave, who commanded a squadron against the Spanish Armada, and was afterwards President of the North under James I.; he died in . A tomb, with bust of Alderman James Smith, who died in ; he was the founder of Bookham Almshouses, and
Another, of Sir Edward Nevill, Justice of Common Pleas, who died in . Thomas Worlidge, the painter, whose unrivalled etchings are choice gems of the English School of Art, is commemorated by a tablet; as also is Arthur Murphy, the dramatic writer and essayist, and friend of Dr. Johnson. Sir Samuel Morland, Sir Elijah Impey, and Sir George Shea were likewise buried here.
As we have intimated above, however, the most remarkable monument in Hammersmith parish church is that of Sir Nicholas Crispe, of whom Faulkner speaks as
writes Mr. S. C. Hall, in his
Sir Nicholas, shortly after the Restoration, caused to be erected in Hammersmith Church, in the south-east corner, near the pulpit, a monument of black and white marble, feet in height and in breadth, upon which was placed a bust of the king, immediately beneath which is the following inscription :--
Beneath, on a pedestal of black marble, is an urn, enclosing the heart of the brave and loyal knight, which, like the heart of Richard Coeur de Lion and that of the gallant Marquis of Montrose, has found a resting-place apart from that where his body reposes.
| On the pedestal is inscribed: |
Miss Hartshorne, in her work on
tells us that Sir Nicholas left a sum of money for the especial purpose that his heart might be refreshed with a glass of wine every year, and that his singular bequest was regularly carried out for a century, when his heart became too much decayed.
he said to his grandson when on his death-bed-
An amusing account of an impostor named John Tuck, who was afterwards transported for other frauds, officiating and preaching in this church as a clergyman in the year , will be found in the . He was the son of a labourer in Devonshire.
Near the church are the Latymer Schools, which were founded in the century by Edward Latymer,
who, by his will, dated , bequeathed acres of land in Hammersmith, |
In consequence of the increased value of the land, in Faulkner's time the number of boys had been augmented to , and the poor men to . At the present time men are recipients of Latymer's charity, whilst clothing and education is now afforded to boys and girls. Latymer directed in his will that the clothes of the men should be
In , nearly opposite the church, is a large brick mansion, which formed part of a house once the residence of Edmund Sheffield, Earl of Mulgrave and Baron of , who died here in the year . In the house and premises, then known as the manor-house and farm of , were conveyed to the family of the Fernes, by whom the old mansion was modernised and cut up into . Early in the last century the place was sold to Elijah Impey, father of the Indian judge of that name, whose family long resided in it. The old portion of the mansion was pulled down many years ago. The principal front of the house, as it now stands, is ornamented with stone classic columns, and it is surmounted by a pediment.
On the right-hand side of the , which branches off from opposite the parish church, stands a large group of brick buildings, designed by Pugin, and known as the Convent of the Good Shepherd and the Asylum for Penitent Women. The site was formerly occupied by Beauchamp Lodge. This charity was commenced in by some ladies of the Order of the Good Shepherd, who came from Angers, in France, to carry on the work of the reformation of female penitents under the auspices of Dr. Griffiths, then
Further southward, opposite Alma Terrace, is Sussex House, so named from having been occasionally the residence of the late Duke of Sussex, and where his Royal Highness
Mrs. Billington, the singer, lived here for some time; and it was for many years a celebrated house for insane patients, under the late Dr. Forbes Winslow. In speaking of Sussex House, the Rev. J. Richardson, in his
tells an amusing story of a visit paid to it by Mrs. Fry, the prison philanthropist, whose restless benevolence was by the uncharitable occasionally mistaken for an impertinent propensity for prying into things with which she had no business.
continues Mr. Richardson,
On the right-hand side of the , nearly opposite Sussex House, and with its gardens and grounds stretching away to the water-side, stood Brandenburgh House, a mansion which in its time passed through various vicissitudes. According to Lysons, it was built early in the reign of Charles I. by Sir Nicholas Crispe, of whom we have spoken above in our account of the parish church, at a cost of nearly . Sir Nicholas was himself the inventor of the art of making bricks as now practised.
During the Civil War in , when the Parliamentary army was stationed at Hammersmith, this house was plundered by the troops and General Fairfax took up his quarters there; Sir Nicholas being then in France, whither he had retired when the king's affairs became desperate and he could be of no further use. His estates were, of course, confiscated; but he, nevertheless, managed to assist Charles II. when in exile with money, and aided General Monk in bringing about the Restoration. He had, it seems, entered largely into commercial transactions with Guinea, and had built upon its coast the fort of Cormantine. In his old age he once more settled down in his mansion on the banks of the Thames, and dying there, the house was sold by his successor to the celebrated Prince Rupert, nephew of Charles I., so renowned in the Civil Wars. It was settled by the prince upon his mistress, Margaret Hughes, a much admired actress in the reign of Charles II. She owned the house nearly years. It was afterwards occupied by different persons of inferior
| note, until, in , it became the residence of George Bubb Dodington, afterwards Lord Melcombe, who completely altered and modernised it. He added a magnificent gallery for statues and antiquities, of which the floor was inlaid with various marbles, and the door-case supported by columns richly ornamented with . He also gave to the house the name of
after a celebrated monastery; and at the same time inscribed the following lines beneath a bust of Comus placed in the hall :
Of Bubb Dodington, Lord Melcombe, we have already spoken in our notice of ; but more remains to be narrated. His original name was George Bubb, and he was the son of an apothecary in Dorsetshire, where he was born in . He added the name of Dodington in compliment to his uncle, Mr. George Dodington, who was of the Lords of the Admiralty during the reigns of William III., Queen Anne, and George I., and whose fortune he inherited. Mr. S. Carter Hall, in his
Bubb Dodington's great failing seems to have been want of respect to himself.
says a writer in the for ,
Richard Cumberland, whilst residing with his father at the rectory at Fulham, formed an acquaintance with this celebrated nobleman, and, in the diary which he published, he tells us that Dodington
was pleased to call his villa |
and his inmates and familiars the
of the Convent.
In each of his tawdry mansions Dodington was only to be approached through a long suite of apartments, bedecked with gilding and a profusion of finery; and when the visitor reached the fat deity of the place, he was found enthroned under painted ceilings and gilt entablatures.
| says Cumberland, |
Dr. Johnson was an occasional visitor here. evening the doctor happening to go out into the garden when there was a storm of wind and rain, Dodington remarked to him that it was a dreadful night.
replied the doctor, in a most reverential tone,
Dodington's gardens are mentioned by Lady Lepel Hervey as showing
to the mansion was conspicuous for a large and handsome obelisk, surmounted by an urn of bronze, containing the heart of his wife. On the disposal of the house by his heir, this obelisk found its way to the park of Lord Ailesbury, at Tottenham, in Wiltshire, where it was set up to commemorate the of George III. On side of its base the following inscription was placed:--
The inscription may possibly afford a useful hint as to the various purposes to which obelisks may be applied when purchased at -hand.
After the death of Lord Melcombe, the house was occupied for a time by a Mrs. Sturt, who here gave entertainments, which were honoured with the presence of royalty and the of fashion. Sir Gilbert Elliot, in a letter to his wife, dated , writes :--
In the place was sold to the Margrave of Brandenburgh-Anspach, who, shortly after his marriage, in the previous year, to the sister of the Earl of Berkeley, and widow of William, Lord Craven, had transferred his estates to the King of Prussia for a fair annuity, and had settled down in England. His Highness died in , but the Margravine continued to make this house her chief residence for many years afterwards. She was a lady in whose personal history there were many odds and ends with which she did not wish her neighbours or the public to be acquainted. A good story is told of her butler, an Irishman, to whom she day gave a guinea in order to set a seal on his lips as to some early indiscretion which he knew or had found out. The money, however, took him to a tavern, where, in a circle of friends, he grew warm and communicative, and at last blabbed out the secret which he had been fee'd to keep within his breast. The story coming round to her ears, the lady reproached him for his conduct, when Pat wittily replied,
The Margravine made many alterations in the mansion, which was now named Brandenburgh House, and the principal apartments were filled with paintings by such masters as Murillo, Rubens, Cuyp, Reynolds, and Gainsborough, and adorned with painted ceilings, Sdvres vases, and marble busts. A small theatre was erected in the garden, near the river-side, where the Margravine often gratified the lovers of the drama
The theatre is described by Mr. Henry Angelo, in his
as small, commodious, and beautifully decorated.
Angelo, at her invitation, became of her standing , and acted here for several years. He tells many amusing stories concerning the performances here on the
| Margrave's birthday, when a gay party assembled, and the Margrave's plate was displayed on the sideboard as a -plate which, at Rundell's, |
John Timbs, in his
After years' residence at Hammersmith, the Margravine of Anspach went to live at Naples. She had previously parted piecemeal with most of the costly treasures which adorned her mansion, and its next occupant was the unhappy Queen Caroline, wife of George IV., who here kept up her small rival court pending her trial in the . During the trial she received here legions of congratulatory, sympathetic, and consolatory effusions; so much so, that the neighbourhood of the mansion was kept in a constant state of turmoil. Indeed, as Theodore Hook wrote at the time in the Tory
The queen appears to have been unmercifully lampooned by Hook, if we may judge from his
a piece in stanzas, of which the following is a specimen :
was at last abandoned, the Hammersmith tradesmen who served her illuminated their houses, and the populace shouted and made bonfires in front of Brandenburgh House. After her acquittal, the poor queen publicly returned thanks for that issue in Hammersmith Church, and more deputations came to Brandenburgh House to congratulate her on her triumph. She did not, however, long survive the degradation to which she had been subjected, for on the , she here breathed her last. The following account of her funeral we cull from the pages of John Timbs' work we have quoted above:--
In less than a twelvemonth after the death of Queen Caroline, the materials of Brandenburgh House were sold by auction, and the mansion was pulled down. A large factory now occupies its site, and in the grounds, fronting the , has been erected a house, to which the name of
has been given; but this is occupied as a lunatic asylum.
About a quarter of a mile westward of the spot whereon stood Brandenburgh House is [extra_illustrations.6.544.1] , which, crossing the river Thames, joins Hammersmith with Barnes. This bridge, which was completed in , was the constructed on the suspension principle in the vicinity of London. It is a light and elegant structure, nearly feet long and feet wide; its central span is feet. The roadway, which is feet above high-water mark, is suspended by chains, arranged in double lines; and the suspension towers rise nearly feet above the level of the roadway. The bridge, which cost about , was designed by Mr. Tierney Clarke.
Facing the river, from the Suspension Bridge westward to Chiswick, stretches , once the fashionable part of Hammersmith. It is divided into the Upper and Lower Malls by a narrow creek, which runs northwards towards the main road. Over this creek, and almost at its conflux with the Thames, is a wooden foot-bridge, known as the High Bridge, which was erected by Bishop Sherlock in . In this part of the shores of the Thames almost every spot teems with reminiscences of poets, men of letters, and artists: let us therefore
In fact, there is scarcely an acre on the Middlesex shore which is not associated with the names of Cowley, Pope, Gay, Collins, Thomson, and other bards of song.
coffee-house, just over the High Bridge and at the commencement of the , was of the favourite resting-places of James Thomson in his long walks between London and his cottage at Richmond; and, according to the local tradition, it was here that he caught some of his wintry aspirations when he was meditating his poem on
says Mr. Robert Bell, in ,
On of his pedestrian journeys, Thomson, finding himself fatigued and overheated on arriving at Hammersmith, imprudently took a boat to Kew, contrary to his usual custom. The keen air of the river produced a chill, which the walk up to his house failed to remove, and the next day he was ill with a
fever. He died a few days later, within a fortnight of completing his year.
Among the noted residents in the Lower Mall, in the century, was the ingenious and versatile Sir Samuel Morland, of whom we have already spoken in our account of . Sir Samuel came to live here in . He was a great practical mechanic, and the author of a variety of useful inventions, including the speaking trumpet and the drum capstan for raising heavy anchors.
writes Evelyn, under date ,
Sir Samuel died here in , and was buried in the parish church. There is a print of him after a painting by Sir Peter Lely. Sir Edward Nevill, a judge of the Common Pleas, purchased Sir Samuel Morland's house, and came to reside
|in it in . He died here years afterwards.|
In the a few old-fashioned houses of the better class are still standing, but their aristocratic occupants have long since migrated to more fashionable quarters. is in parts shaded by tall elms, which afford by their shade a pleasant promenade along the river-side. These trees are not only some of the finest specimens of their kind in the west of London, but are objects of historic interest, having been planted nearly years ago by Queen Catharine, widow of Charles II., who resided here for some years in the summer season; her town residence, during the reign of James II., as we have already stated, was at . She returned to Portugal in .
In the reign of Queen Anne, the famous physician, Dr. Radcliffe, whom we have already mentioned in our account of Kensington Palace, had a house here; he intended to have converted it into a public hospital, and the work was commenced, but was left unfinished at his death. Sir Christopher Wintringham, physician to George III., lived for some time in the same house. In the , too, resided William Lloyd, the nonjuring Bishop of Norwich. Another inhabitant of was a German, named Weltje, who, having made a fortune as of the at Carlton House, settled down here as a gentleman, and kept open house, entertaining many of those who had sat as guests at the tables of royalty. He is repeatedly mentioned, in terms of regard, by Mr. H. Angelo, in his agreeable
He was a great favourite with his royal master. An alderman was dining day at Carlton House when the prince asked him whether he did not think that there was a very strange taste in the soup?
replied the alderman.
said the prince. When he made his appearance the prince told him why he had sent for him. Weltje called to of the pages,
and putting it into the tureen, after tasting it several times, said,
and immediately disappeared from the room, leaving the spoon on the table, much to the amusement of the heir apparent. Among Weltje's visitors at Hammersmith were John Banister, the comedian; Rowlandson, the caricaturist; and a host of poets, actors, painters, and musicians.
On , which also overlooks the river, at the farther end of , resided for many years Arthur Murphy, the dramatist, and witty friend of Burke and Johnson. Here, too, lived the painter and quack, Philip James Loutherbourg, a native of Strasbourg, who came to England in . He was employed by Garrick to paint the scenes for , and in a few years he obtained the full honours of the Royal Academy. Whatever notoriety Loutherbourg may have lacked as a painter was made up to him as a
for he had been caught by the strange empirical mania at that time so prevalent all over Europe. He became a physician, a visionary, a prophet, and a charlatan. His treatment of the patients who flocked to him was undoubtedly founded on the practice of Mesmer; though Horace Walpole appears to draw a distinction between the curative methods of the doctors when he writes to the Countess of Ossory, :
A Mrs. Pratt, of , Marylebone, published, in ,
In this pamphlet he is described as
who, with his wife, had been made proper recipients of the
and gifted with power
That the proceedings of both the Loutherbourgs attracted extraordinary attention is very certain. Crowds surrounded the painter's house, so that it was with difficulty he could go in and out. Particular days were set apart and advertised in the newspapers as
and a portion of the house was given up as a
Patients were admitted to the presence of the artist-physician by tickets only, and to obtain possession of these it is said that people were to be seen waiting at time. In the end, the failure of of Loutherbourg's pretended
led to his house being besieged by a riotous mob, and he was compelled to make his escape in the best way he could. He, however, subsequently returned to his old quarters at Hammersmith, where he died in . He was buried in Chiswick Churchyard, near the grave of Hogarth.
Besides the personages we have mentioned above, Hammersmith has numbered among its residents many others who have risen to eminence; among them William Belsham, the essayist and historian, who here wrote the greater part of his
and who died here in . Charles Burney, the Greek scholar, who here kept a school for some time, towards the close of the last century, until his preferment to the vicarage of Deptford; and William Sheridan, Bishop of Kilmore, who was deprived for refusing the oath of allegiance to William III., and who died in , and now reposes in the parish church.
Leigh Hunt-who, if we may trust Mr. Planche, was not well off during his later years-lived here in a small house, and spent, among friends and books, the last few years of his life. Mr. Forster, in his
thus mentions him :
Mr. Bayard Taylor, in a letter in the , thus describes a visit which he paid here in to Leigh Hunt:--
We have mentioned Leigh Hunt's death in our account of Putney.
At the western end of the town, a little to the north of , stands [extra_illustrations.6.548.1] . It is a substantial Grecian-Ionic structure, and was erected in , from the designs of Mr. Edward Lapidge; the total cost, including the expense of enclosing the ground, amounted to about ,.
In the good old days when almost every village had its mountebank, there was at Hammersmith--a
immortalized by Addison in the for having announced before his own people that he would give as a present to as many as would accept it.
remarks Charles Knight,
In the year the inhabitants of this locality were much alarmed by a nocturnal appearance, which for a considerable time eluded detection or discovery, and which became notorious as the [extra_illustrations.6.548.2] . In January of the above year, some unknown person made it his diversion to alarm the inhabitants by assuming the figure of a spectre; and the report of its appearance had created so much alarm that few would venture out of their houses after dusk, unless upon urgent business. This sham ghost had certainly much to answer for. poor woman, while crossing near the churchyard about o'clock at night, beheld something, as she described it, rise from the tombstones. The figure was very tall and very white! She attempted to run, but the supposed ghost soon overtook her; and pressing her in his arms, she fainted, in which situation she remained some hours, till discovered by the neighbours, who kindly led her home, when she took to her bed, and died days afterwards. A wagoner, while driving a team of horses, conveying passengers, was also so alarmed that he took to his heels, and left the wagon, horses, and passengers in the greatest danger. Faulkner tells us, in his
that neither man, woman, nor child could pass that way for some time; and the report was that it was
about a year previously. Several lay in wait on different nights for the ghost; but there were so many by-lanes and paths leading to Hammersmith, that he was always sure of being in that which was unguarded, and every night played off his tricks, to the terror of the passengers. A young man, however, who had more courage than the rest of his neighbours, determined to watch the proceedings of this visitant of the other world; he accordingly placed himself in a secluded spot, armed with a gun, and as near the spot as possible where the
had been seen. He had not remained long in his hiding-place when he heard the sound of footsteps advancing, and immediately challenged the supposed spirit; but not receiving any answer, he fired at the object. A deep groan was heard, and upon a light being procured it was discovered that a poor bricklayer, who was passing that way from his work on that evening rather later than usual, and who had on a new flannel jacket, was the innocent cause of this unfortunate occurrence. The young man was tried for murder and acquitted.
published soon after the appearance of the mysterious visitor, contains an engraving of the
.in which the
appears with uplifted arms and enveloped in a sheet ..
 See Vol. V., pp. 14, 215, and 528.
[extra_illustrations.6.536.1] parish church, dedicated to St. Paul
 See Vol. IV., p. 123.
 Life and Letters of Sir Gilbert Elliot, first Earl of Minto, vol. i.
[extra_illustrations.6.544.1] Hammersmith Suspension Bridge
 See ante, p. 448.
 See Vol. II., p. 92.
[extra_illustrations.6.548.1] St. Peter's Church
[extra_illustrations.6.548.2] Hammersmith Ghost