Social Life in Queen Anne's Reign, Volume I.

Ashton, John


CHAPTER XVIII: Coffee-houses and taverns

CHAPTER XVIII: Coffee-houses and taverns


THE coffee-house was not a new institution in Anne's reign, but then it reached the zenith of its popularity. It was the centre of news, the lounge of the idler, the rendezvous for appointments, the mart for business men. Men might have their letters left there, as did ; [1]  'Yet Presto[2]  ben't angry, faith, not a bit, only he will begin to be in pain next Irish Post, except he sees M. D.'s little handwriting in the glass frame at the bar of , where Presto would never go but for that purpose.' They were alike the haunt of the wit and the man of fashion-a neutral meeting-ground for all men, although they naturally assorted themselves, like to like, by degrees. There

The gentle Beau too, Joyns in wise Debate, Adjusts his Cravat, and Reforms the State

[3]  -and he might even rub shoulders with a highwayman, as Farquhar suggests, when he makes Aimwell say to Gibbet,[4]  who is a highwayman, 'Pray Sir, ha'nt I seen your face at Will's Coffee House?' and he replies, 'Yes Sir, and at White's too.' But the excellent rules in force, and the good common sense of the frequenters, prevented any ill effects


from this admixture of classes. All were equal, and took the first seat which came to hand. If a man swore, he was
fined 1s., and if he began a quarrel he was fined 'dishes' round. Discussion on religion was prohibited, no card-playing


or dicing allowed, and no wager might be made exceeding 5s. These were the simple rules generally used, and, if they were only complied with, all must have felt the benefit of such a mild despotism.

Wood mentions that the first coffee-house was at Oxford, and was kept, in , by Jacobs, a Jew. The first in London, seems to have been kept by a foreigner named Rosa Pasquee, in , in St. Michael's Alley, Cornhill, whilst Hatton says [5] : 'I find it Recorded that one James Farr, a Barber, who kept the Coffee House which now is the Rainbow, by the , (one of the first in England) was in the year presented by the Inquest of St. Dunstans in the W. for Making and Selling a sort of Liquor, called Coffee, as a great Nusance and Prejudice of the neighbourhood, &c. And who would then have thought London would ever have had near 3,000 such Nusances, and that Coffee should have been (as now) so much Drank by the best of Quality and Physicians.' Of these 'near 3,000' I have, in my searches through the newspapers, etc., of the period, found the names of over 500, which, to preserve them again from falling into oblivion, are to be found in the Appendix to this book.

These coffee-houses sold alcoholic liquors as well as coffee; a fact which is somewhat whimsically illustrated in the following extract from a letter of Bishop Trelawney to Bishop Sprat, July 20, or 3. [6]  'I had a particular obligation to Burnett, and will publicly thank him in print (among other matters I have to say to him, and to his Articles against our religion) for his causing it to be spread by his emissaries that I was drunk at Salisbury the 30th of January; whereas the Major General,[7]  Captain Culleford, a very honest Clergyman, and the people of the Inn (which was a coffee house too) can swear I drank nothing but two dishes of Coffee; and, indeed I had not stopped at all, but to enable


my children, by a very slender bait, to hold out to Blandford, where I dined at 6 that night.'

, speaking of coffee-houses, says: 'These Houses, which are very numerous in London, are extreamly convenient. You have all Manner of News there: You have a good Fire, which you may sit by as long as you please; You have a Dish of Coffee, you meet your Friends for the Transaction of Business, and all for a Penny, if you don't Care to spend more.' Yes, that was all-anybody, decently dressed, might have all this accommodation for One Penny. 'Laying down my Penny upon the Bar,' writes , [8]  and 'so briefly deposited my Copper at the Bar,' says , show that the habitue's spent no more; and , in the first number of the , speaking of the expenses attending the production of the paper, says: 'I once more desire my readers to consider, that as I cannot keep an ingenious man to go daily to Will's under two pence each day, merely for his charges; to White's under sixpence; nor to the Grecian, without allowing him some plain Spanish (snuff) to be as able as others at the learned table,' etc.

A man with leisure got rid of some hours daily at the coffee house, or houses, and such a one would spend from 1O A.M. till noon, and again, after his two-o'clock dinner, would be there from 4 to 6, when he would leave for the theatre, or his turn in the park.

The illustration gives us an excellent idea of the interior of a coffee-house, and its domestic economy--the dame de comptoir, the roaring fire with its perpetual supply of hot water, and its coffee and tea pots set close by, so as to be kept warm, and the very plain tables and stools, show the accommodation that was required, and accepted, by the very plain-living people of that day.

A coffee-house is necessarily a piece de resistance with . He describes it graphically, though somewhat roughly, and he brings the scene of the interior vividly before our eyes. 'Come, says my Friend, let us step into this Coffee House here; as you are a Stranger in the Town, it will afford


you some Diversion. Accordingly in we went, where a parcel of Muddling Muckworms were as busy as so many Rats in an old Cheese Loft; some Going, some Coming, some Scribling, some Talking, some Drinking, some Smoaking, others Jangling; and the whole Room stinking of Tobacco, like a Dutch Scoot or a Boatswain's Cabbin. The Walls being hung with Gilt Frames, as a Farriers shop with Horse shooes; which contain'd abundance of Rarities, viz. Nectar and Ambrosia, May Dew, Golden Elixirs, Popular Pills, Liquid Snuff, Beautifying Waters, Dentifrisis, Drops, Lozenges, all as infallible as the Pope,

Where every one above the rest Deservedly has gain'd the Name of Best (as the famous Saffold has it).'

, also, has plenty to say about them, but one short extract only will be borrowed: '1Every Coffee House is illuminated both without and within doors; without by a fine glass Lantern, and within by a Woman so light and splendid, you may see through her without the help of a Perspective. At the Bar the good Man always places a Charming Phillis or two, who invite you by their amorous glances into their smoaky Territories, to the loss of your sight.' These 'pretty barmaids' are spoken of by [9]  : 'Upon reading your late Dissertation concerning Idols, I cannot but complain to you that there are, in Six or Seven Places of this City, Coffee houses kept by Persons of that Sisterhood. These Idols sit and receive all Day long the adoration of the Youth within such and such Districts,' etc. Another contemporary[10]  notices that 'A Handsom Bar keeper invites more than the Bush. She's the Loadstone that attracts Men of Steel, both those that wear it to some purpose, and those that wear it to none. No City Dame is demurer than she at first Greeting, nor draws in her Mouth with a Chaster Simper; but in a little time you may be more familiar, and she'll hear a double Entendre without blushing.'

[11]  gives a polished account of coffee-house frequenters and politicians: 'I, who am at the Coffee house at Six in a


Morning, know that my friend Beaver the Haberdasher has a Levy of more undissembled Friends and Admirers, than most of the Courtiers or Generals of Great Britain. Every Man about him has, perhaps, a News Paper in his Hand; but none can pretend to guess what Step will be taken in any one Court of Europe, till Mr. Beaver has thrown down his Pipe, and declares what Measures the Allies must enter into upon this new Posture of Affairs. Our Coffee House is near one of the Inns of Court, and Beaver has the Audience and Admiration of his Neighbours from Six 'till within a Quarter of Eight, at which time he is interrupted by the Students of the House; some of whom are ready dress'd for , at Eight in a Morning, with Faces as busie as if they were retained in every Cause there; and others come in their Night Gowns to saunter away their Time, as if they never designed to go thither. I do not know that I meet in any of my Walks, Objects which move both my Spleen and laughter so effectually, as these young Fellows at the Grecian, Squire's, Searle's, and all other Coffee Houses adjacent to the Law, who rise early for no other purpose but to publish their Laziness. One would think these young Virtuosos take a gay Cap and Slippers, with a Scarf and Party Coloured Gown, to be Ensigns of Dignity, for the vain things approach each other with an Air, which shews they regard one another for their Vestments. . . . When the Day grows too busie for these Gentlemen to enjoy any longer the Pleasures of their Deshabille with any manner of Confidence, they give place to Men who have Business or Good Sense in their Faces, and come to the Coffee house, either to transact Affairs or enjoy Conversation.'

News was, of course, one of the prime objects of these gatherings. 'I love News extreamly, I have read Three News Letters to day. I go from Coffee House to Coffee House all day on Purpose,' [12]  was literally true of some men. Not that their little newspapers gave them much-but of them hereafter. Yet there was a chance of hearing some news before it got into the papers; and the quidnuncs would go to the Windsor, where was to be had ' also the Translation


of the Harlem Courant, soon after the Post is come,' or to Grigsby's, where 'all Foreign News is taken in, and Translated into English immediately after the arrival of any Mail,' or to Elford's, where 'is to be seen and read Gratis, the Journal of the famous Voyage of the Duke and Dutchess Privateer of Bristol, that took the rich Aquiapulca Ship containing many remarkable Transactions. Also an Account of a Man living alone 4 Years and 4 Months in the Island of John Fernando, which they brought with them.' This was, of course, Alexander Selkirk, who was brought off the island on February 12, ; and this log, or the coffeehouse gossip anent it, probably furnished the inspiration for 'Robinson Crusoe,' which published in .

We have seen how the coffee-house keepers tried to advance their beverages from 1d. to 1 and a half d. because of the rise in coffee; but the effort was spasmodic, and did not last. They had a far better cry in , as we find in the of August 8 in that year. 'These are to give Notice, That the Coffee Men by reason of the present Taxes on Coffee, Tea, Paper, Candles, and Stamps on all Newspapers, find themselves under a necessity of advancing some of their Liquors to the prices following; viz, Coffee 2d. per dish: Green Tea 3 halfpence; and all Drams 2d. per Dram: to commence from this day.' Let us hope when they got this huge advance they made their tea stronger, and did not give their customers 'that pall'd Stuff too often found in mean Coffee Houses.' [13] 

No doubt, from the familiar abbreviations, such as Tom's, Ned's, Will's, John's, etc., some of the coffee-houses were kept by waiters who had saved a little money-such an one as ' Tom the Tyrant; who, as first Minister of the Coffee House, takes the Government upon him between the Hours of Eleven and Twelve at night, and gives his Orders in the most Arbitrary manner to the Servants below him as to the Disposition of Liquors, Coal and Cinders;' [14]  while Kidney, the waiter at the , immortalised in the as having ' the ear of the greatest politicians that come hither,' could not be spoken with 'without clean linen.'

The chocolate-houses seem to have been a specialty, and they were few in number. In the commencement of the reign, in , chocolate was sold at 12d. the quart, 2d. the dish. I can only find the names of five chocolate-houses (describing themselves as such), and but two of them are of any note, White's and the Cocoa Tree. White's was started in , and was, in Queen Anne's reign, situated five doors from the bottom of the west side of , ascending from . It had a small garden attached to it. This house was burnt down in , the King and Prince of Wales looking on. Hogarth has immortalised this event in Plate 6 of the 'Rake's Progress.' It was to all intents and purposes a gambling house. When White died is not known, but Mrs. White had it in March . Afterwards it passed into the hands of Arthur, who had it when it was burnt down; and he removed next door to the . It soon ceased to be a chocolate house, and became a club. In it was removed to No. 38, on the opposite or east side of St. James's Street. White's Club is supposed to be political; but, apart from its members being Conservative, it takes no leading part, contenting itself with being extremely aristocratic.

The Cocoa Tree Chocolate House stood at the end of Pall Mall, on the site of what now is 87 . It was a Tory house; indeed, says, 'A Whig will no more go to the Cocoa Tree or Ozinda's, than a Tory will be seen at the Coffee house of .' The Cocoa Tree Club is now held at 64 .

As the coffee-houses occupied so prominent a part in the social economy of the time, a very brief notice of some of the best known will be of interest. Anderton's is still in , beloved of Freemasons and literary men. Batson's, in Cornhill, was a famous meeting-place for physicians. The Bay Tree still stands in St. Swithin's Lane. Button's, which was opposite Tom's, in Russell Street, Covent Garden, was a great resort of 's; and here contributions to the could be received. The lion's head which served as a letter-box has been immortalised in that


paper. It was in imitation of the famous lion at Venice. The original is still in existence, but is not always accessible to the curious. It was removed from Button's when that coffee-house was taken down, and took refuge in the Shakespeare's Head Tavern, . For a time it was placed in the Bedford Coffee House, and was used as a letter
box for contributions to The Inspector. It returned to the Shakespeare's Head in , and remained there till . It was then bought by Charles Richardson, the proprietor of Richardson's Hotel, and at his death it came into the possession of his son, who sold it to the Duke of Bedford, and it is now preserved in Woburn Abbey.

Child's was in Churchyard, and was famous for its learned frequenters. It was not far from the College of Physicians, which was then in Warwick Lane, so doctors came there, and, chief among them, Dr. Mead. Sir Hans Sloane and other members of the Royal Society dropped in, and the house was a noted resort of clergymen-so much so, that it is mentioned as such in the (No. 609): 'For that a young Divine, after his first Degree in the University, usually comes hither only to shew himself, and on that Occasion is apt to think he is but half equipp'd with a Gown and Cassock for his publick Appearance, if he hath not the additional Ornament of a Scarf of the first Magnitude to entitle him to the appellation of Doctor from his Landlady, and the Boy at Child's.'

The Camisards was in , and took its name from the Camisars, who were French religious fanatics, who, being persecuted in their own country, came over here in . They claimed the gifts of prophecy, and of working miracles. The sect soon died out. Dick's, in , still stands, and was so called from its first proprietor, Richard Turner, in .

Garraway's is famous, and derived its name from its original proprietor, Thomas Garway, a tobacconist and coffeeman, who had it in the middle of the 17th century. He is said to have been the first to retail tea. It was always a mercantile resort, and here were sold wines, etc., by auction. The Grecian, in Devereux Court, Temple, was chiefly visited by learned men; it was from this place that , in his scheme of the , said that all accounts of learning should appear under the title of Grecian. It was not, however, because of this proclivity that it obtained its classical name: it was kept by a Greek named Constantine. Apart from its being naturally frequented by the lawyers, the scientific elite went there, as we gather from , June 12, : 'Attended the Royal Society, where I found Dr. Douglas dissecting a dolphin, lately caught in the , where were present the President, Sir Isaac Newton, both the Secretaries, the two Professors from Oxford, Dr. Halley and Keil, with others, whose company we afterwards enjoyed at


the Grecian Coffee House.' The Guildhall Coffee House still survives.

Jonathan's was essentially a stockjobbers' house, and was in Exchange Alley, as was also Baker's, which had a similar clientele. 'I have been taken for a Merchant upon the Exchange for above these Ten Years, and sometimes pass for a Jew in the assembly of Stock Jobbers at Jonathan's,' writes in the first number of the . ' Stock Jobbers busie at Jonathan's from Twelve to Three,' says . The was as thoroughly a Whig house as White's was Tory; and 'Foreign and Domestic News you will have from ' was part of the programme. We have seen how used it, and how his letters used to be directed there; but what he wrote to Stella was hardly the reason of his frequenting the house. He seems to have got on very friendly terms with Elliot, the proprietor, rather early in his London career, for he writes: ' I dined to day with poor Lord Mountjoy, who is ill of the gout; and this evening I christened our Coffeeman Elliot's child; where the rogue had a most noble supper, and and I sat among some scurvy company over a bowl of punch, so that I am come home late, young woman, and cannot stay to write to little rogues.' [15]  The Jamaica is still in existence, although not where it was in Anne's reign. It was then in Cornhill, 'by the Ship and Castle.' The Jerusalem was then, as it used to be not so long since, 'near Garraway's.'

Lloyd's was then in Lombard Street, and indeed to this day, on Lloyd's policies, is stated that this policy shall have the same effect as if issued in Lombard Street. 'And it is agreed by us the Insurers, that this Writing or Policy of Assurance shall be of as much Force and Effect as the surest Writing or Policy of Assurance heretofore made in Lombard Street, or in the , or elsewhere in London.' Both [16]  and [17]  mention this coffee-house; and for mercantile purposes it shared, with the Marine in Birchin Lane, the reputation of being the busiest. Here were sales of wine and ships, and the latter business is still transacted there.

A curious custom obtained in this reign-that of selling goods, notably wines, by 'the Candle.' notes it in his diary as being new to him, so that it had not been long in vogue. Lloyd's and the Marine Coffee Houses were the principal places where these singular auctions were held. When the custom died out I cannot learn, but probably it was during the first quarter of this century. The latest account I can find of its being practised is in The Saturday Bristol Times and Mirror of March 29, . 'Sale by Candle. The practice of letting by inch of Candle still prevails in the County of Dorset. At the annual letting of the -parish meadow of Broadway, near Weymouth, which occurred a few weeks ago, an inch of candle was placed on a piece of board nine inches square, and lighted by one of the parish officers. The biddings were taken down by one of the parish officers, and the chance of taking the meadow was open to all while the candle was burning. The last bidder before the candle went out was the incoming tenant. This year the candle was extinguished suddenly. The land, about two acres in extent, was in presented to the poor by William Gould, the object of the gift being to keep the poor from working on the highways.' The custom, for aught I know, may still exist in some out-of-the-way places.

Information on maritime matters was even then forwarded to Lloyd's (although his News was not published after Feb. 23, , till ), as is shown by the following episode: 'London, August 4th. Yesterday Morning a Letter was sent by the Penny Post to Mr. Edward Lloyd, Coffee man, in Lombard Street; which letter was subscrib'd Jo. Browne, was dated from on Board the Little St. Lewis off Bantry Bay in Ireland. July. 22. and contain'd in Substance, That the said Browne coming in a Vessel of which he was Master, from the Bay of Campeachy for Ireland, was taken by the said little St. Lewis, a French Frigate of 30 Guns, the 14th of July.' [18]  He then went on circumstantially to relate how an officer on board had told him that the French had taken the Island of St. Helena and fifteen English East India ships; and that the fleet intended to sail for the Cape, to intercept our outward-bound


East India ships. The editorial comment on this news is: ''Tis very probable this Letter is a Forgery, but as we cannot possibly determine whether it be or not, and the Story having made a great Noise in Town, we found ourselves oblig'd to give an Account of it.' It turned out a hoax, for, next day, Lloyd received a letter saying that the rumour had served its turn. 'To which Mr. Lloyd thinks fit to Answer. Sir, Whoever you are that wrote these two letters to Mr. Lloyd, he makes it his Request to you, that you would please to Confirm your Willingness to take off the Amusement made by the first, by writing him a third Letter in the same Hand the first was, which the second is not.' Lloyd died on Feb. 15, .

There were several coffee-houses kept by persons of the name of Man. There was Old Man's, Young Man's, Man's New Coffee House, Charing Cross, Man's in Birchin Lane, and Man's in Chancery Lane, opposite Lincoln's Inn Gate. Old Man's was in the Tilt Yard, , and was the rendezvous for officers in the army. The Paymaster-General's office is now built upon its site. It was kept by the wellknown Jenny Man, whom describes as 'pledging an Irish Colonel in Usquebaugh.' The , June 3/5, , notices her: 'Expect something Extraordinary [19]  in our Next. In the mean time, we are inform'd, that Jenny - Man is indispos'd' ; and in the Flying Post, Nov. 6/8, , is a song, one verse of which refers to her :-

Alas ! alas! for Jenny Man, 'Cause she don't love the Warming Pan,

An allusion to the story of the Pretender's being smuggled in a warming-pan, and evidence of Jenny's Hanoverian proclivities.

High Church with all her Actions Scan Since she was an Inch long, Sirs; She is no Friend to Right Divine, Therefore she must not sell French Wine, But Tea and Coffee, very fine, And sure that is no Wrong, Sirs.

Young Man's was at Charing Cross, and was a fashionable lounge. It was also a gambling house, for says of it:


'Young Man's Coffee House threw it self in my way, and very kindly offer'd its Protection. I acquiesced then, knowing myself secure from more Dangers than one, and immediately upon my entrance mounted the Stairs, and mingled my Person with the Knights of the Round Table, who hazard three Months Revenue at a single Cast.' is disgusted with the superfine air of the place, and says of its frequenters, 'their whole Exercise being to Charge and Discharge their Nostrils; and keep the Curles of their Periwigs in proper Order. . . . They made a Humming, like so many Hornets in a Country Chimney, not with their talking, but with their Whispering over their New Minuets and Bories, with their Hands in their Pockets, if freed from their Snush Box .... Amongst them were abundance of Officers, or Men who by their Habit appear'd to be such; but look'd as tenderly, as if they Carried their Down beds with them into the Camp, and did not dare to come out of their Tents, in a cold morning, till they had Eat a Mess of Plum Panada for Breakfast, to defend their Stomachs from the Wind. . . . Having sat all this while looking about us, like a Couple of Minerva's Birds, among so many Juno's Peacocks, admiring their Gaiety; we began to be thoughtful of a Pipe of Tobacco, which we were not assur'd we could have the liberty of Smoaking, lest we should offend those Sweet Breath Gentlemen. But, however, we Ventur'd to call for some Instruments of Evaporation, which were accordingly brought us, but with such a Kind of unwillingness, as if they would much rather have been rid of our Company; for their Tables were so very Neat, and Shin'd with Rubbing, like the Upper Leathers of an Alderman's shoes. The floor as clean Swept, as a Sir Courtly's Dining Room, which made us look round, to see if there were no Orders hung up to impose the Forfeiture of so much Mop Money upon any Person that should spit out of the Chimney Corner.'

Nando's was in , at the corner of , the house wrongly described as being formerly the palace of Cardinal Wolsey, and now a hairdresser's. It was not particularly famous for anything in Anne's time, only the name is familiar to students of that epoch, as being next


door to the shop of Bernard Lintot the bookseller, and mentioned by him in all his advertisements.

Ozinda's was in , and ranked with White's as a Tory house. Robin's was in Exchange Alley. dated some of his letters to Stella from this coffeehouse, and mentions it as a Stock Exchange house in the , No. 454. The Rainbow in is still in existence, and [21]  classes it thus: 'Coffee and Water Gruel to be had at the Rainbow and Nando's at Four.' It seems to have been a favourite sign, for I have seven on my list.

Squire's was in Fulwood's (now called Fuller's) Rents in , and has been rendered historical by , who makes Sir Roger ask him [22]  'if I would smoak a Pipe with him over a Dish of Coffee at Squire's. As I love the old Man, I take delight in complying with everything that is agreeable to him, and accordingly waited on him to the Coffee House, where his venerable Figure drew upon us the Eyes of the whole Room. He had no sooner seated himself at the upper End of the high Table, but he called for a clean Pipe, a Paper of Tobacco, a Dish of Coffee, a Wax Candle, and the Supplement with such an Air of Cheerfulness and Goodhumour, that all the Boys in the Coffee room (who seemed to take pleasure in serving him) were at once employed on his several Errands, insomuch that no Body else could come at a Dish of Tea till the knight had got all his Conveniencies about him.' Squire died in .

The following note on the Smyrna Coffee House is the best description possible to give of it.[23]  'This is to give notice to all ingenious gentlemen in and about the cities of London and , who have a mind to be instructed in the noble Sciences of Music, Poetry, and Politics, that they repair to the Smyrna Coffee House in Pall Mall, betwixt the hours of eight and ten at night, where they may be instructed gratis, with elaborate ESSAYS by word of mouth on all, or any of the above mentioned Arts. The disciples are to prepare their bodies with three dishes of bohea, and purge their brains with two pinches of snuff. If any young student gives


indication of parts, by listening attentively, or asking a pertinent question, one of the professors shall distinguish him by taking snuff out of his box in the presence of the whole audience- N.B. The seat of learning is now removed from the corner of the chimney on the left hand towards the window, to the round table in the middle of the floor over against the fire; a revolution much lamented by the porters and chairmen, who were much edified through a pane of glass that remained broken all the last summer.'

John Salter's (or, as he was christened by , or Rear Admiral Sir John Munden, 'Don Saltero' ) was situated in the middle of Cheyne Walk, . He was originally a servant to Sir Hans Sloane, and, when he left his service to set up as barber and coffee-house keeper, Sir Hans gave him some odds and ends from his Museum. Other kind friends followed, and Don Saltero's became a place of note, the curiosities, natural and otherwise, taking up much of the space. Indeed, , in recording a visit to the Don's, says, [24]  'When I came into the Coffee house, I had not time to salute the Company, before my eye was diverted by ten thousand jimcracks round the room and on the ceiling.' The first catalogue of his curiosities that he published, was in , and in the preface he says, 'The first Donor was the Honourable Sir John Cope, bart., to whom and Family I am much obliged for several very valuable pieces, both of Nature and Art.' The list comprises 249 articles, which in the 12th edition, , was increased to 420, so that, probably, in Anne's time there were not more than a couple of hundred. Apart from the natural curiosities, which were numerous, were many undoubtedly spurious, as '(2) Painted Ribbands from Jerusalem with the Pillar, to which our Saviour was tied when scourged, with a Motto on each.' '(40) The Queen of Sheba's Fan.' He seems to have invested largely in this royal lady's property, for we have '(53) Queen of Sheba's Cordial Bottle,' and '(55) The Queen of Sheba's Milk Maid's Hat.' No. 56 was 'Pontius Pilate's Wife's Chambermaid's


Sister's Sister's Hat' -a relic which, declares, was made within three miles of Bedford.

These rather detract from the possible authenticity of the historical relics, which were numerous, and, if genuine, were curious and valuable. '(15) A Wooden Shoe put under the Speaker's Chair in K. James IId's Time.' '(37) Gustavus Adolphus's Gloves.' '(38) Harry VIIIth's Coat of Mail.' '(39) Queen Elizabeth's Stirrup.' '(41) Katherine Q. Dowager's Coronation Shoes.' '(42) King Charles IId's Band, which he wore in Disguise in the Royal Oak.' '(43) William the Conqueror's Flaming Sword.' '(44) Oliver's Sword.' '(45)King James IId's Coronation Shoes.' '(46) King William the IIId's Coronation Sword.' '(47) King William's Coronation Shoes.' '(49) Queen Anne's Testament.' (50) 'Henry the VIIIth's Gloves.' '(51) The Czar of Moscow's Gloves ;' and last but not least-an undeniable forgery, '(242) Robinson Crusoe's and his Man Friday's Shirts.'

describes the Don as 'a sage of a thin and meagre countenance; which aspect made me doubt whether reading or fretting had made it so philosophic; but I very soon perceived him to be of that sect which the ancients call Gingivistae; in our language, tooth drawers.' Besides shaving and tooth drawing, he played on the violin: 'if he would wholly give himself up to the string, instead of playing twenty beginnings to tunes, he might, before he dies, play Roger de Caubly [25]  quite out. I heard him go through his whole round, and indeed he does play the " Merry Christ Church Bells " [26]  pretty justly;' and another authority says, 'There was no passing his house, if he was at home, without having one's ears grated with the sounds of his fiddle, on which he scraped most execrably.' recommends some of his curiosities to be taken away, 'or else he may expect to have his letters patent for making punch superseded, be debarred wearing his Muff next winter, or ever coming to London without his wife.' Either of these would have punished Saltero severely, for he was known out of doors by his old grey muff, which he carried up to his nose; and Mrs. S. had a temper of her own, to escape which the Don sometimes slipped off to London by


himself. His collection seems to have dwindled away, for when it was sold in there were only 121 lots, and the whole seem to have sold for a little over 50£.

Slaughter's Coffee House in afterwards superseded Old Man's as a military meeting-place, and in the latter half of the century it was frequented by artists and sculptors. Searl's, or Serle's, was a legal coffee-house, and was situated at the corner of Lincoln's Inn Fields. Of Tom's-I have a list of six-perhaps the best known was that in , where, as we have seen, was one of the first insurance offices. The Virginia, which was in St. Michael's Alley, and afterwards in Cornhill, has disappeared within the last few years.

'All accounts of POETRY, under Will's Coffee House,' says the ; it was situated No. I Bow Street, at the corner of Russell Street, and took its name from its proprietor, William Urwin. If can be trusted, gamblers as well as wits frequented it, for he says there was 'great shaking of the Elbow at Wills about Ten.' Still it was, par excellence, the Wits coffee house, a class who are very happily described by a contemporary writer: [27]  'All their words go for Jests, and all their Jests for nothing. They are quick in the Fancy of some ridiculous Thing, and reasonable good in the Expression. Nothing stops a Jest when it is coming; and they had rather lose their Friend than their Wit.' And they are also written of as being 'Conceited, if they had but once the Honour to dip a finger and thumb in Mr. D--'s [28]  snush box, it was enough to inspire 'em with a true Genius of Poetry, and make 'em write Verse, as fast as a Taylor takes his stitches.' In fact, it was on 's reputation that Will's coffee-house was then living; and his going there is noticed by , 'Feb. 3, -In to-night, going to fetch my wife, I stopped at the great Coffee house there, where I never was before: where , the poet, I knew at , and all the wits of the town, and Harris the player, and Mr. Hoole, of our College. And, had I time then, or could at other times, it will be good coming thither, [29] 


for there, I perceive, is very witty and pleasant discourse. But I could not tarry, and, as it was late, they were all ready to go away.' Here also saw the old man, whom he described as 'a plump man with a down look, and not very conversible.'

Such, then, were some of the principal coffee-houses. What were the taverns like ? There were then no hotels proper, such as we know them: a man had to live in private apartments, and, when he wanted dinner, he had to betake himself to a tavern, or ordinary. As remarks, ' At London they hardly so much as know what an Auberge is: There are indeed a thousand and a thousand Taverns, where you may have what you please got for you.' A tavern was a far more free-and-easy place than a coffee-house-in fact, it is a question whether the convenances of a coffee-house would admit of a man 'washing his teeth at a tavern window in Pall Mall' ; [30]  indeed, the keeping of them was hardly considered reputable, for we find [31]  that 'Her Majestie sign'd a warrant for continuing the salaries of the prince's servants during her life, provided they kept no publick houses.'

describes [32]  the freedom and jollity of these places: 'Accordingly we stept in, and in the Kitchen found half a dozen of my Friends Associates, in the height of their Jollitry, as Merry as so many Cantabridgians at Sturbridge Fair, or Coblers at a Crispins Feast. After a Friendly Salutation, free from all Foppish Ceremonies, down we sat; and when a Glass or two round had given fresh Motion to our drowsy Spirits, and abandon'd all those careful thoughts which makes Man's Life uneasie, Wit begot Wit, and Wine a Thirsty Appetite to each Succeeding Glass. Then open were our Hearts and unconfined our Fancies; my Friend and I contributed our Mites to add to the Treasure of our Felicity. Songs and Catches Crown'd the Night, and each Man in his Turn pleased his Ears with his own Harmony.'

The most singular thing was, that it was not at all derogatory for a nobleman or gentleman to go to a tavern for a carouse-and all clubs were held at taverns. relates that, after his reception by the Queen, as one of a


deputation from Leeds, on July 2, , 'We left the Duke there, but returned in the High Sheriff's coach to Sir Arthur
Kaye's, who, with Sir Bryan Stapleton, accompanied us; from Sir Arthur's we went to the Tavern to drink her


Majesty's health, and stayed full late.' And writes to Stella: [33]  'After dinner we went to a blind tavern, where Congreve, Sir Richard Temple, Eastcourt, and Charles Main were over a bowl of bad punch. The Knight sent for six flasks of his own wine for me, and we staid till twelve.' This sending for one's own wine was a peculiar arrangement, but doubtless the landlord was satisfied with a premium on 'corkage.' frequently speaks of this custom: 'Today I dined with Lewis and Prior at an eating house, but with Lewis's wine.' 'I dined in a Coffee house with Stratford upon Chops, and some of his Wine.' Again he was with Lords Harley and Dupplin, the son and son-in-law of the Earl of Oxford-and 'we were forced to go to a tavern, and send for wine from Lord Treasurer's.'

But the frequenters of taverns were not all so respectable as these examples; and supplies particulars of another section of society. 'A Tavern is a little Sodom, where as many Vices are daily practised, as ever were known in the great one; Thither Libertines repair to drink away their Brains, Aldermen to talk Treason, and bewail the loss of Trade; Saints to elevate the Spirit, hatch Calumnies, coin false News, and reproach the Church; Gamesters to shake their Elbows; Thither Sober Knaves walk with Drunken Fools to make Cunning Bargains and overreach them in their Dealings; Thither Young Quality retire to spend their Tradesmens Money; Thither Bullies Coach it to Kick Drawers, and invent new Oaths and Curses; Thither run Sots purely to be drunk, Beaux to shew their Vanity, Cowards to make themselve valiant by the Strength of their Wine, Fools to make themselves witty in their own Conceits, and Spendthrifts to be made Miserable by a Ridiculous Consumption of their own Fortunes.'

There were lower depths yet: there were the purl houses, where 'Tradesmen flock in their Morning gowns, by Seven, to cool their Plucks,' and the mug houses, [34]  which in


time were made into political clubs. 'King George for Ever' was then the mug-house cry, which the coffee-houses countered with 'High Church and Ormonde; no Presbyterians; no Hanover; down with the Mug.'

The following is a list of the principal taverns then in existence, for some of which I am indebted to Timbs ' Club Life of London.' 'The Bear,' at the foot of London Bridge, Southwark and west side, which was in existence in , was not pulled down till . The 'Boar's Head,' in ; Pontack's, in Abchurch Lane; and the ' Pope's Head' tavern in Pope's Head Alley, were all standing; and the 'Cock,' in Threadneedle Street, was only destroyed in . There was the 'Salutation' in Newgate Street, where used to smoke his pipe, whilst was rebuilding. Dolly's chop-house, in Paternoster Row, was established in Queen Anne's reign. The 'White Hart' in Bishopsgate Without, which bore the date , was not pulled down till . The 'King's Head,' in Fenchurch Street, at the corner of Mark Lane, was the hostel at which Queen Elizabeth is said to have dined in May . The 'Devil,' in , now occupied by Childs' bank, was flourishing, and describes it [35]  as 'a place sacred to mirth tempered with discretion, where and his Sons used to make their liberal meetings,' and he says that in the Apollo room were the rules of Ben's Club, painted in gold letters over the chimney piece.

This tavern was so popular that a rival sprung up on the other side of the street, the 'Young Devil,' and here, for a year or so, from the beginning of , till some time in or about , the Society of Antiquaries held their meetings, afterwards at the 'Fountain' tavern, . The 'Cock,' in , has only just been demolished. There was another famous tavern which was near St. Dunstan's Church, in , called 'The Hercules' Pillars,' which was visited by , as appears by four entries in his diary. Another tavern of this name, at Charing Cross, will be noted when treating of the amusements of the people


The ' Mitre' tavern must not be confounded with the coffeehouse of that name in Mitre Court, but was the one frequented by Dr. Johnson, and so often referred to by Boswell.

The 'Palsgrave's Head,' on the south side of , near , was then a coffee-house, and was so named from the Palsgrave Frederick, afterwards King of Bohemia, who married the Princess Elizabeth, daughter of James I. The 'Crown and Anchor,' which stretched along from Arundel Street to Milford Lane, was famous as being the place where the Academy of Music was instituted in . The 'Rose' tavern in is frequently mentioned in the literature of this time. It was afterwards absorbed into , when Garrick enlarged it in . The 'Rummer Tavern,' at Charing Cross, near Locket's Ordinary, is often mentioned in advertisements, and and speak of 'Heaven' and ' Hell,' which were two ale-houses near . notices one of them on January 28, - ' And so I returned, and went to Heaven, where Ludlin and I dined.' And last, not least, was the 'Bumper' tavern, which 'Dick Estcourt,' the actor, opened on January I, , and which so kindly puffed in No. 264. An exhaustive catalogue of the taverns in the City is given by in his 'Vade Mecum for Maltworms,' a very curious and now rare book; but it is hardly worth while to reproduce their names, even in an appendix.


[1] Journal to Stella, letter 14.

[2] A nickname of Swift's-a play on his name.

[3] The Tripe Club.

[4] The Beaux' Stratagem, act iii. sc. 2.

[5] New View of London, 1708.

[6] Atterbury's Correspondence, ed. 1784, vol. iii. p. 87.

[7] His brother. Bishop Trelawney was also a baronet; and he had an unepiscopal habit of swearing occasionally, but when such afaux pas occurred he always said it was the baronet, not the bishop, that swore. The inconvenience of this arrangement was pointed out to him one day by a friend, who remarked that, if the baronet was damned for swearing, what would become of the bishop ?

[8] Spectator, No. 31.

[9] Spectator, No. 87.

[10] Hickelty Pickelty.

[11] Spectator, 49.

[12] The Scowrers.

[13] Motteux, in the Preface to his Poem in Praise of Tea.

[14] Spectator, No. 49.

[15] Journal to Stella, Nov. 19, 1710.

[16] Tatler, 247.

[17] Spectator, 46.

[18] Daily Courant, Aug. 4, 1704.

[19] News of the peace.

[21] Comical View of London.

[22] Spectator, No. 269.

[23] Tatler, 78.

[24] Tatler, No. 34.

[25] See Appendix.

[26] See Appendix.

[27] Hickelty Pickelty.

[28] Dryden's.

[29] A Comical View of London and Westminster.

[30] Tatler, II.

[31] Luttrell, Jan. 1, 1709.

[32] London Spy.

[33] Journal, Oct. 27, 1710.

[34] 'Here is nothing drunk but Ale, and every Gentleman hath his separate Mug, which he Chalks on the Table, where he sits, as it is brought in; and every one retires when he pleases, as from a Coffee House.' -A Journey through England, 1722.

[35] Tatler, 79.