Farringdon Without History of the Most Interesting Places, Leading Events; and Some Account of the Eminent Men connected therewith, since the year 1600

Francis, Adolphus Decimus



Anciently called Old Bourne, or brook, is supposed to derive its name from a stream that took its rise near Gray's Inn Lane, emptying itself into the river Fleet. This was the great highway to the north-west portion of the town and suburbs. Down and up the heavy hill the criminals were dragged to Fetter Lane and to Tyburn for execution and great were the crowds that followed the rumbling carts. An old chronicler tells us there lived in Holborn a counsellor of an eccentric turn of mind, who at each execution turned out his clerks for a holiday, with this advice:

Go ye, young rogues, go to school and improve.

At 24, 25, and 26, Holborn, was situated Langdale's distillery, where the Gordon riots centred all their force-where the populace sacked the premises and committed the most drunken orgies ; the spirits were poured down the gutters, and men, women, and children lay upon the flagstones and revelled in mad intoxication. Lord George Gordon, convicted on doubtful evidence, died in Newgate, .

At 94, Holborn Hill, was Fearon's Gin Distillery, immortalised by Hood as follows, in a letter to his wife:

"The flavour now of Fearon's

That mingles in my dram,

Reminds me you're in England,

And I'm at Rotterdam."

The hills and the valley that made Holborn famous, or infamous, have given place to a magnificent viaduct, built by the Corporation of the City of London, and opened on the 6th November, , by her most gracious Majesty Queen Victoria, in the presence of the Lord Mayor, the civic authorities, and countless thousands of the English people. From end to end it is a thousand feet in length and eighty feet in width. The subway is constructed on the most solid and scientific principles, giving special facilities for the laying down of water, or gas-pipes, electric wires, or any subterranean necessity that advancing science may need, to carry out improvements. At each of the four corners of the bridge that spans Farringdon Street is built a splendid tower, containing the steps by which you descend into Farringdon Street. The towers are enriched with genuine works of art, consisting of figures of notabilities of the City of London--Sir Thomas Gresham, Henry Fitzalweyn, Sir William Walworth, Sir Hugh Myddelton; whilst at the several corners of Farringdon bridge are hand


some figures typical of fine arts, agriculture, science, and commerce. Take it for all in all, this work is a triumph of modern engineering skill, and confers honour on all engaged in its construction.