Londina Illustrata. Graphic and Historical Memorials of Monasteries, Churches, Chapels, Schools, Charitable Foundations, Palaces, Halls, Courts, Processions, Places of Early Amusement, and Modern Present Theatres, in the Cities and Suburbs of London and Westminster, Volume 1
Sir Paul Pindar's House, Bishopsgate Street Without.
Sir Paul Pindar's House, Bishopsgate Street Without.
The once magnificent mansion of the celebrated Sir Paul Pindar, of which a very small portion remains, at present designated by the name of the Paul Pindar Wine Vaults, on the west side of Without, was, in its original state, equal, if not superior, in splendour and extent to any structure, not only within its immediate vicinity, but probably to any in, or surrounding, the metropolis. His immense wealth and princely endowments, both as a merchant and ambassador, required an establishment that might vie with any subject of his time, and on more occasions than , majesty itself was beholden to his purse and interest for supplies. History furnishes us with accounts of the sumptuous manner in which our early citizens lived; and the ever-memorable feast of Henry Picard, Vintner and Lord Mayor in , proves the superior wealth and power of a British merchant throughout the world. Sir Paul Pindar, in means and liberality, appears to have been nothing behind Picard, and in his charities greatly exceeded him. He expended in the repairs of , and was esteemed at time worth , exclusive of bad debts. Such a person would naturally emulate the most wealthy of his brother-citizens, and require a larger domestic establishment than the extent of a modern public-house.
The front of Sir Paul Pindar's mansion probably extended from the entrance of to the in , and in depth reached to the leading into .
The space immediately behind the entrance to the London Workhouse is occupied by a brick structure above feet in length, and consists of workrooms and apartments for the inmates of that establishment. At the extremity of the building was a Chapel, almost wholly pulled down within the last years; descending from which, by a flight of steps, are the remains of an old building used as a prison for the Ludgate debtors on the demolishing Ludgate Prison, , in , and which continued to be so used until the Compter in was made ready for their reception in , whence they were finally removed to Prison in . The entrance to the part which contained the Ludgate prisoners was from , in , where a direction-board is still remaining, on which is painted,
The Chapel (which was once adorned with a cupola and clock) separated the Prison from the Workhouse; the whole site of which, with that of the adjoining buildings, constituted formerly the site of Sir Paul Pindar's house and grounds.
The apartments over the arched entrance to , from , were occupied at the time our drawing was made by a veterinary surgeon, who had symbolically nailed up a horse-shoe, appropriate to his other vocation, a farrier.
On the north side of the Chancel of St. Botolph Bishopsgate Church, fronting south on a spacious white marble monument, is inscribed in large black letters,
[*] Sir Paul's gift to the parish of St. Botolph Bishopsgate was , for which by order of vestry, , is allowed per cent. per annum for ever, amounting to the sum of , which is given to the poor of this parish weekly in bread.
Sir Paul Pindar was born in the year , at Wellingborough, in the county of Northampton, of honest parents, where the family had continued with a competent estate for some centuries together. His father had bred him at school in a way to fit him for the University; but the son rather inclining to be a tradesman, he sent him to London, where he was bound an apprentice at the age of years, to Mr. John Porvish, an Italian merchant, who sent him, after he had served half his time, to be his factor at Venice, where he served out the rest; and then, having great commissions, both from his master and divers others of the most trading kingdoms, he continued in Italy and parts adjacent for the space of years, or thereabouts, trading upon his own account and commissions, where he got a very plentiful estate; then returned into England, where, after he had traded years longer, and appearing the most eminent merchant upon the Exchange, both for experience, estate, person, and languages, the Turkey Company, in the year , importuned King James to send him Ambassador to the Grand Seignior at Constantinople; which employment, after much solicitation, he embraced, to the great satisfaction of the King and the Turkey Company, in whose service he continued years, and by his good conduct much improved the Levant trade and manufactures of England, which had been undermined by the French and Dutch. After his return from the embassy, in the year , upon the persuasion of Sir William Cockayne and Sir Arthur Ingram, he was brought to be of the Farmers of the Customs, and to advance monies for supplies of the late King's (Charles I.) necessary occasions, and to furnish the Crown with jewels, to his infinite loss and prejudice. Nevertheless, he manifested his loyalty to that degree towards the preservation of the royal family, that he sent several considerable sums of money, in gold, to King Charles I. at Oxford by Madam Jane Whorewood, in the years and , for transportation (the King's own phraseology) of the Queen and her children, for safety, out of the kingdom.
King James having knighted him, offered as a reward for his services, to make him his Lieutenant of the Tower; but this honour Sir Paul humbly refused, and the rather, in regard his Majesty desired to purchase Sir Paul's diamond jewel of value, upon credit. Sir Paul brought home this diamond from Turkey, and lent it to King James to
|wear at divers times on days of great solemnity, at opening parliaments and when audiences were given to foreign ambassadors. It was afterwards sold to King Charles I.[*]|
Howell, in of his Familiar Letters, addressed to Sir Paul Pindar, notices him as eminently distinguished for pious works of charity already done, and daily doing; and that in such a manner, that the left hand knows not what the right doth.
James Forbes, Esq. of Stanmore Hill, whose lady is descended from Sir Paul Pindar's family, is in possession of very curious pictures of Sir Paul and his brother, painted in miniature during their residence at Constantinople. That of the brother was painted , being inscribed,
They are evidently the work of an English artist (probably taken out by Sir Paul purposely), the Turks to the present day holding it a sin against their religion to copy or delineate any living thing. This brother, of whose personal history little is known, it is likely assisted Sir Paul in quality of Secretary, and died long before him (Sir Paul living to the great age of ), leaving his affairs in such a perplexed state, that his executor, William Toomes, unable to bear the disappointment, destroyed himself. The pictures of Sir Paul and his brother have been very neatly engraved by T. Trotter.
Nearly at the extremity of is still remaining an ancient house, traditionally said among the neighbourhood to have been occupied by Sir Paul Pindar's gardener, but more probably it might have been the lodge or garden entrance to the grounds appertaining to the principal dwelling. The architecture is of the same antiquity as the remains of the front in ; and though not so richly ornamented and adorned, had large basso relievos in front, on each side of the and floor windows. In the accompanying View these basso relievos have been engraved on a larger scale, on the same plate, for the purpose of making out the figures and ornamented borders, which could not have been sufficiently explained in the confined space of the general view.
In , adjoining the remains of Sir Paul Pindar's house, is a continuation of the ancient brick-work of this once extensive mansion, at present converted into private dwelling-houses, as separate tenements from the public-house, now kept by Mr. Wheeler. The extent of the house and grounds formerly embraced all the space now occupied by the London Workhouse. The detached premises in , and the adjoining house in , late in the occupation of Mr. Viven,[*] were sold by public auction, , on a lease, years of which were then unexpired.
[*] The Vignette shows part of the ornamented ceiling of the first floor, in the centre of which are Sir Paul Pindar's arms, azure, a chevron between three lions' heads erased argent, each crowned with a ducal coronet or.
[*] King Charles the First, in his troubles, previous to his quitting London, had almost stripped the Jewel Office of its richest gems. It is well ascertained that the great pearl in the Imperial Crown was pledged to the Dutch for a considerable sum to furnish arms, through the agency of his Queen, Henrietta Maria: and it is asserted, that, prior to the year 1634, he had pawned one jewel to the Queen of Bohemia for thirty thousand pounds. That he pawned such a jewel is very likely, but very improbable to the Queen of Bohemia; that Princess, after expulsion from her titulary kingdom, being in great distress, after the decease of her husband Frederic, who died Nov. 29, 1632. It is every way more reasonable to conjecture, the money raised by her brother King Charles, was appropriated to the support of herself and numerous offspring, all of whom were entirely dependent on the bounty of their royal uncle. King Charles the Second, after the Restoration, wrote a letter to one of the Sidney family, soliciting assistance for his aunt, the Queen of Bohemia; the original letter is in the Bindley Collection.
[*] The name as it stands in our Plate was correct, through afterwards altered to Vivian.