In and Out of London Or, the Half-holidays of a Town Clerk

Loftie, W. J.





WHEN George II. died in at his villa about three miles west of London, near Kensington, England was in the throes of a war which had lasted with little intermission since the King's accession in . Notwithstanding this, England had reached a pitch of opulence unknown before. The historians of the time speak of it very differently from the way we should now: they say England was rich notwithstanding a National Debt of £100,000,000. If our National Debt amounted only to a hundred millions we would not complain. It amounts now-in time of peace-to upwards of £700,000,000. The conquest of Canada was then the great topic of conversation; and we may note that new streets were in several places called from the city of Quebec. Two at least were thus named in different parts of the little town of Marylebone, which was at that period being extended in all directions. Its progress westward was stopped by , of which I shall have more to say presently; and there were few or no houses along the Oxford-road from


Turnpike, near where the Marble Arch is now, to Kensington. Between and the houses were tolerably plentiful, at least on the southern side of the way: on the northern side it was more open. The Foundling Hospital had a few very fashionable streets about it, and the district of Bloomsbury, Russell-square, Bedford-square, and the rest, answered to our Belgravia and Bayswater.

On the south side of Hyde Park, extended as far as it does now, and was full of builders' yards and plaster works, like Euston- road at the present day. On the site of St. George's Hospital was a turnpike, and just beyond it, the country house of Lord Lanesborough had just been pulled down to make way for the new institution. Near it, facing the park, was Buckingham House, which the young King was about to make his residence, then commonly called the Queen's House. There were few or no buildings, except country houses, further west. Pimlico was a marsh, Belgravia was market gardens. Chelsea was resorted to as Richmond is now; and from Battersea to was almost open country, with widely separated villages and a few country houses of rich noblemen.

was a little better populated, but the population was not of a very respectable kind. All round the Archbishop's palace were streets and alleys of the worst description. Some of them possessed privileges of sanctuary, and were resorted


to by insolvent persons of all classes, who here enjoyed a kind of liberty and ventured out on Sundays only, being exempt from arrest on that day. Very few houses were to be found in Lambeth Marsh, and where the busy stations we call Waterloo now stand there were open fields with an occasional factory, and a fringe of wharves towards the river. Thus we reach Southwark, at the foot of London Bridge. In the Borough was very densely populated, and, like , with the lowest class. There was another sanctuary here called the Mint, but fifty years before its privileges had been abolished. The debtors' prison, called the King's Bench, as well as the Marshalsea, were between and Southwark. Pirates as well as debtors were confined in the latter, which stood close to St. George's Church. We shall have to return to the subject of prison life a hundred years ago. St. George's Church had not been built very long. St. Saviour's had recently been repaired, but the old nave was still standing.

The Borough was still the great place for theatres. Shakespeare's Globe Theatre had been near the Bridge foot, and Shakespeare's brother Edmund is buried in St. Saviour's. These theatres had sadly degenerated since his time, and in were used for bull-baiting and such other cruel sports.

But if we could revisit those old times, I think the strangest thing in our eyes would have been the bridge as it existed a hundred years ago.

It had been always a serious matter how to cross the Thames. There was a horse ferry from to Westminster until the year or thereabouts, when Westminster Bridge was completed- not the bridge we see now, but a stone bridge almost on the same site. The Thames there is 300 feet wider than at London Bridge, and the architect deserved great credit for his boldness. Blackfriars Bridge was begun in , and was now approaching completion. And the only other way over the water was London Bridge. In it was a very different structure from what we see now. A year or two before, it had houses on it-not a double row as previously, but a few here and there, and the remains of the chapel of St. Thomas a Becket in the centre. In the old half-fortified gateway stood at the southern end, and may still have deserved its name of the Traitor's Gate, from the skulls of the Scots rebels grinning on spikes over the archway. It was like St. John's Gate at Clerkenwell, or the Gate of St. James's Palace, but of stone. The bridge itself was built on abutments and piers of the most primitive kind. It contained no fewer than nineteen arches, pointed, and of course very narrow; instead of only five arches, as at present. For two hundred years a large part of the water supplied to the City was drawn from the river by a water-wheel, which moved under one of the arches. The stream was often very strong, and Pennant, in , speaks of taking boat from Westminster


along the river, but getting out at Old Swan Stairs, to avoid the risk of

adding to the many thousands who had lost their lives in darting down the rapids at London Bridge.

He tells us then of walking to Billingsgate and there re-embarking. The present bridge was begun in , and the principal difficulty in the way of the new bridge was the extraordinary solidity of the old foundations and piers. They were like rocks in the river bed.

There is very little change in the outward aspect of the City from a distance in one hundred years. St. Paul's had been finished about thirty years before. There was, of course, no station at Cannon- street nor any railway bridge, but otherwise the difference between London five, and London one hundred, years ago is very slight in outward appearance. There was hardly so much smoke; very few tall chimneys; a few more trees, especially to the left, towards the Temple; the warehouses were lower, and the church steeples consequently looked taller, and there were more houses with gables and perhaps a Gothic window or two. The approaches to the bridge, however, were very different, consisting of a labyrinth of small streets where King William-street now stands. And from the Tower, looking down the river, there were only one or two docks, and a very small number of ships -at least to our modern ideas-and of course no steamers. Where the important St. Katherine's Dock now stands, just beyond the Tower, was a


church and a kind of almshouse or college; they were moved to the Regent's Park in .

Returning to Southwark, the first thing, perhaps, that strikes us is how soon the streets end and the open country succeeds. Newington Causeway was a real causeway or paved way over some marshy ground, and Newington Butts was what we should call a rifle-ground-only for bows and arrows.

St. George's Fields were still fields in reality, with only a sprinkling of houses. But all about the foot of the bridge was a closely-inhabited district, containing the remains of many fine buildings 'of older times than these. To the west of St. Saviour's Church was an old Gothic hall, part of the Bishop of Winchester's Palace. It was let in small tenements and divided by floors, though the roof was worthy to be compared with that of Westminster Hall. Rochester House, another palace of the same kind, stood where the Borough Market is now.

The cloisters of the Conventual Church stood on the site of Montagu Close. Lord Monteagle was living there when he got the famous letter about the Gunpowder Plot.

The Globe, Shakespeare's Theatre, was on part of the ground now occupied by Barclay and Perkins's brewery. It was abandoned at the time of the Parliament's proclamation against theatrical entertainments, and was never afterwards revived.

A little way down the river from Southwark was


Rotherhithe, a mere village, generally called Redriff. Here was the Greenland Dock, into which ships laden with whale's blubber were brought. It was seventy years founded, and was looked upon in those days as quite a wonder. The new church was just finished at this time. The tower and spire are remarkable. Prince Lee Boo was buried here in . The number of houses at this time was about 1,500, and it was growing rapidly.

A little way off, across the fields, was Bermondsey. It is now a little more than a hundred years since Bermondsey Spa was discovered. Tea gardens and grounds like Cremorne were established there. There were some remains still standing of the Abbey and the King's Palace, all which are gone now. In those days the parish contained only about 2,500 houses.

Next to Rotherhithe, and between it and Deptford, came Camberwell. In the year , there were 3,762 inhabitants. The whole parish consisted of gentlemen's country seats, some of them very handsome; there was only one church, the parish church: how many are there now? Peckham was in the parish, and contained about 400 houses; and there were 130 in Hatcham.

We have thus obtained some idea of the size and appearance of South London a hundred years ago. North London was just as different. Hampstead and Highgate were a long way off, and were occupied by the villas of various noblemen and gentlemen.


But we need not pause to notice them; they were, in those days, as little accounted a part of London as we should account Richmond or Harrow. The western extremity of the town was at . And the mention of suggests so many curious memories that I had better stop to speak, first of the state of London prisons as they were then, and next of the awful scenes which made itself so disgracefully famous.

It is hard to understand how persons who were constantly in the habit of using such phrases as

the mildness and humanity of English law,

a very common expression among writers of the eighteenth century, could have allowed their gaols to be so mismanaged as they were. A change began when, in , John Howard happened to be sheriff of Bedfordshire. His attention was called to the fact that, after trial and acquittal, prisoners were seldom discharged. He then found the reason to be that the gaolers had no salary but the fees to be paid by each prisoner, and that these were seldom forthcoming. He endeavoured to obtain a mitigation of this evil, and travelled throughout England to prosecute inquiries on the subject. In London, in Howard's time, debtors and felons were almost always confined together: men and women in many cases: men, women, and children in some. A woman was hanged at with a baby at the breast, for stealing a piece of lace worth two shillings. There were several cases of children


dying of cold in prison. There were no prison surgeons in London except at Newgate, and three other of the most recently erected prisons. The gaolers always rented the prisons, and made what they could out of the prisoners. At the entrance of every gaol was a tap or publichouse, kept by the gaoler himself in most cases, but sometimes by one of the prisoners. At the Marshalsea, in Southwark, the tap was kept by a prisoner-for-debt from the King's Bench, which was so near that he could attend to his business without going beyond the bounds or rules. It was common for persons who were friends of the prisoners to come in and drink with them. In one place there was a skittle alley, exclusively used by outsiders, who thus prevented the prisoners from taking exercise in their yard Gaol fever raged so terribly in almost all the London and country prisons that, to give you one example of each, in London in , two judges, the Lord Mayor, several aldermen, the under sheriff, and many lawyers who had attended the March sessions at the Old Bailey, together with most of the Middlesex jury, and a considerable number of spectators, died of this distemper; and at the Taunton assizes, Lent, , the Lord Chief Baron, Serjeant Sheppard, Mr. Pigot the High Sheriff, and more than 200 other people, died of the Game epidemic. Prisons do not appear to have been inspected in any way: nay, they were often private property-the Gate House, the chief prison


for Westminster, belonged to the Dean and Chapter, and the town gaol of Salisbury to the Bishop-and this gave rise to many abuses: the gaoler being appointed not for his humanity or any other quality, except his power of wringing a good rent out of his wretched charge. In most places there was no provision made for feeding the prisoners, except perhaps a few pence worth of bread in the day. In others, charitable persons gave small sums of money to be applied in this way, and others sent meat and provisions of various kinds. Legacies, too, were sometimes left. They were, however, administered-as legacies were usually administered in those days. No bedding, or straw even for bedding, was allowed in any prison except out of the charity of private individuals. Water had often to be fetched long distances by prisoners in irons. Even air was often denied through the operation of the window tax, which had to be paid by the gaoler. Another shocking abuse arose from the distances which prisoners had often to go for trial. There were no prison vans, and you might often meet along a country road a gang of unhappy creatures-men, women, and children-dragging heavy irons to prevent escape, and walking-or rather creeping-perhaps fourteen or fifteen miles to the assize town. When they arrived there, a room or two would be hired for their occupation till after the sessions, probably in some publichouse, and then they would all-men, women, and children, as


I have said-be shut up together, tired, filthy, starving: so that it is no wonder we hear that their shrieks and cries disturbed the whole neighbourhood; no wonder that Mr. Howard was informed at Aylesbury of two men whose toes had mortified after their journey from Hertford; and that another man told him that he and fifteen others were confined in a very small room at Reigate, awaiting their trial at quarter sessions, and were almost suffocated. The keeper confirmed the statement. Yet this man was only arrested in order to oblige him to maintain a child, and being unable at a strange place like Reigate to find securities, was sent back to the County Bridewell, in St. George's Fields, for an indefinite term. This same Bridewell is a fair sample of all. There was no glass in the windows, only iron bars. There were no fires, nor was any firing allowed. The sick prisoners lay on the floor: no bedding; no straw. Allowance, 1(1/2)d. worth of bread per diem. Convicts and all other prisoners together. No infirmary. And yet in this hell upon earth many unfortunates who had committed no crime, and had yet to be tried, were confined. Before trial they had, perhaps, to wait six months or more, and then to undergo the misery of a journey such as I have described to Reigate or Kingston.

When the trial came on, it was not wonderful to find, neither prisoners nor judges were very careful as to the punishment. Almost all crimes were


punished alike: a journey in a cart up hill to for prisoners in London itself, and the gallows when they got there. The history of has yet to be written. It is not a hundred years since the monthly horrors ceased: we can scarcely yet speak of them calmly. But already the exact spot on which the gallows stood is in question, and a hundred years hence it may be difficult to identify any part of the site.

The executions at were discontinued in the year . The gallows had been removed further and further westward from the year , when they stood in St. Giles's Fields-probably very near the spot at which Bloomsbury-street crosses Oxford-street; in , or earlier, they had gone as far as Stratford-place, where there was a conduit and other civic institutions-including, of course, a banqueting-house. They reached early in the sixteenth century, and remained there for nearly 300 years.

The Eye Bourne, or Burn, rises at Kilburn or thereabouts, and runs in a southerly direction, turning and winding as much as other brooks of the kind; and having given some part of its name successively to or t'Eyebourne, Eye Park, or Hyde Park, and Eye Hill, or Hay Hill, it reaches the Thames at the Isle of Thorn-ey,[1]  now called Westminster--


at least, this is its probable direction; but it is not easy to trace now, as what little of it still flows, flows underground. Another stream rises at St. Mary-le-bourne, or Marylebone, and gives its name probably to Conduit-street and Brook-street; a third flowed through , and a fourth was the Fleet. The and the Marybourne are sometimes, as by Dean Stanley, considered the same stream. This is questionable; but they probably met in the neighbourhood of Berkeley-square, perhaps on the site of Lansdowne House, and flowed together to the Abbey. It is impossible now to make very sure of any of these surmises. We only know that the gallows were erected at a place to the west of


Marylebone-lane-probably, at first, almost adjoining it; and as houses came nearer the open space the fatal tree was moved further, till it took up its most permanent abode at a place where it was almost certain to remain open on two sides at least. This was at the angle formed by the junction of the Edgware and Oxford roads, faced by the Park on one side and by open country on two others. Turnpike stood where we now see the Marble Arch, that is, a little to the left of Parklane (formerly Tyburn-lane); and a little way up the Edgware-road on the right-hand side was an inn, where, a hundred years ago and upwards, the sheriffs and other officials dined after the executions. A stage, much resembling the grand stand at a race, was erected in front of this house for the spectators. During the declining years of the show, the gallows were removed after each performance, and were deposited in the inn-yard till they were next required. After they remained there permanently, and eventually degenerated into horse-blocks and watering-troughs. A place of execution for soldiers was just within the Park boundary, which consisted of a low wall.

In Hogarth's print of the Execution of the Idle Apprentice, a representation of in will be found, and may be considered tolerably accurate. A long avenue of walnut-trees commenced just within the Park-wall. This is on the left of the


picture. The wall itself is surmounted by a row of spectators. Behind, on the right, stand the gallows; they are triangular, supported by three stout beams or legs, and must have been set up almost, if not exactly, on the site of the easternmost house of Connaught-place. In a considerable number of human bones were found in digging a sewer under the pathway along the garden-wall of this house. Possibly these were part of the remains of , Ireton, and Bradshaw, who were buried under the gallows in . In , or thereabouts, another large find of bones had been made near the same spot: a pit was dug in the mews, and there they were buried again. It would not surely be difficult to obtain a list of all the criminals who were buried under the gallows at .

It has often been asserted that the gallows stood as far to the west as Connaught-square, and a house there, No. 49, is said to stand on the exact site. This is of course quite possible, because, as we have seen, they were by no means fixtures, but were several times removed-generally at each change of place going a little further towards the west. Their last migration, however, was in an easterly direction, for just before their final remove they were set up across the Edgware-road for each execution, where they must have formed a highly interesting, if unpleasant, object to pass on the return from a country drive.

Views of , as it was a hundred years ago,


are almost unknown. Hogarth gives one in his Execution of the Idle Apprentice, to which we have already adverted. But except incidentally, so to speak, there is no extant representation. The engraving on p. 105 is taken from a china plate in my own possession, and gives a rough but, for want of better, an interesting sketch of the Turnpike-gate. It is, perhaps, seventy years old; on the right, as in Hogarth's print, we see the Park wall. Behind, but surely magnified, are Hampstead and Highgate. A curious iron lamp-post is beyond the gate, and marks the corner of what we still recognise as the Edgware-road. When turnpikes were abolished an iron tablet was set up against the Park railings to indicate its site. How many of the thousands who daily turn out of Oxford-street into Edgware-road reflect that they perchance pass over the very spot where rest the remains of one of the greatest men England has produced ? How many recall the words-

Siste, viator, heroem calcas ?

" Yet the fact is beyond a doubt that here-that is to say, at the corner of Edgware-road, probably just where the easternmost house of Connaught-place now stands-the body of , together with the bodies of Ireton and Bradshaw, were buried When Connaught-place was built, a cart-load or more of bones were discovered and removed to the adjacent mews, where they were again buried in a pit.

Imperious Caesar, dead and turned to clay,

Might stop a hole to keep the wind away :

0, that that earth, which kept the world in awe,

Should patch a wall to expel the winter's flaw !"

Surely, never were Hamlet's words better illustrated. 's remains having been exhumed from their first resting-place in Henry the Seventh's Chapel, were conveyed under guard to the Inn, , which stood nearly opposite the in the stable of which is said to have discovered the letter which determined the question of the King's execution. Both inns have now disappeared. On the site of the is the Hotel; and Red Lion-square marks the situation of the other. What is now the square was then the paddock; and it has often been said that during the night of the , on which the remains of the great usurper rested there, some of his old soldiers contrived to steal them and to bury them secretly in the paddock. Another story runs differently, and assigns Northborough, in Huntingdonshire, as the final resting-place of the dead Protector. Another, again, takes him down to the field of Naseby, and deposits him among the slain of his great victory. But all these traditions and rumours -for there were many of them-only show how great was the reluctance with which the public mind accepted the fact of the , and how abhorrent to all the feelings of the nation was


the scene which then took place. The three corpses, in their leaden covering, were dragged along the Oxford-road to , and hung by the necks upon the triangular gallows, which then stood there. At sunset they were taken down, the heads were hacked off, and the headless bodies thrown into a hole under the gallows, among the bones of the malefactors who had already been buried there. The heads were carried to Westminster Hall, and grinned from the gable for many years. Two or three are now in private possession; one (but which?) is probably the real skull-Ireton's and Bradshaw's may supply the others.

Were the bones exhumed at the building of Connaught-place those of ? It is very likely they were. Very few persons were buried under the gallows, and it is not impossible that the greater part of the was composed of the skeletons of the three great men of the Rebellion. A careful examination of them might have revealed their identity. The leaden coverings would not perish entirely in two hundred years, and perhaps it is not yet too late to make the attempt. In these monument-building days we should have a monument to ; and if his bones could be discovered, there seems little doubt that a head might be fitted to them and the remains interred with the honour he surely deserves of our nation.

Another memory, connecting these sad times and


their history with , is that of the execution here of two of the regicides, in . Eight of them had already been barbarously hanged, drawn, and quartered at ; but Hacker and Axtel-ominous names-were reserved for . They had both been colonels under . Axtel was the officer who, at the King's trial, caused the soldiers to cry out for his execution. Hacker was in charge of the scaffold, and led the King out to his death. About nine in the morning of Friday, the 19th of October, they were drawn from Newgate on a hurdle. Axtel was hanged and quartered; but Hacker, although undoubtedly the more guilty of the two, was simply hanged, and his body delivered entire to his friends. The mangled limbs of his companion were exposed in various parts of the City.

A century ago the number of persons hanged in London in the course of a year was usually 29 or 30. In it was 37, of which three only were condemned for murder. In the number was 46, two only for murder. In , a woman was burnt for murder; in , one was burnt for coining. Nay, so lately as a woman named Christian Bowman was strangled at the stake and publicly burnt before Newgate for coining. In , a woman called Lott, who had murdered her husband, had been executed in the same way. In , at one sessions at the Old Bailey, 30 persons were condemned to death; 17 of them were respited, and 13


hanged at a fortnight later. They were chiefly young boys, the eldest of the party being only 22. It took five carts to convey them from Newgate.

I have, perhaps, delayed too long over these memories, which, strictly speaking, do not belong to an account of London one century ago; but as was then, literally, in full swing, and as it was so soon afterwards abolished as a place of execution, this seems the best opportunity for speaking of them.

As I draw these notes to a close, it may be worth while to inquire a little into the historical events of a hundred years ago in London.

. There was a riot in St. George's Fields. The troops fired, and killed many persons. The epitaph on one of the slain says

he was inhumanly murdered by Scottish detachments from the army.

. There was a similar riot in Spitalfields to resist the introduction of power looms. Two of the mob and a soldier were killed. Two men were afterwards hanged at Bethnal Green for the soldier's death. They protested their innocence to the last, and I fear we must believe their statements. It is not very surprising they were condemned, if we remember that persons tried for felony were, by an excess of barbarity, denied counsel, although in a case like this, in which party spirit ran very high, there would be a great array of legal talent on the side of the prosecution.

In newspapers of this date we have news from


America two months old, and this calls to our minds the difficulties of locomotion. The roads about London were very bad, and were, moreover, infested with highwaymen. On the , two gentlemen, coming home across Blackheath, were attacked in their carriage by a robber; one of the gentlemen fired a pistol and shot him dead. They left the body where it lay, and drove on. Just as they came to New Cross, they were attacked again by a man on horseback; and again the same gentleman fired and hit the highwayman, who fell from his horse, but managed to hide in the ditch and to escape among the thickets on the Old Kent- road. In the following month, a young man was murdered by thieves as he returned on foot through one of the lanes near Sadler's Wells. On the , two men, sailors I think, were shot by footpads, near Stepney. Nay, to such a pitch had brigandage come, that we hear of a plot being laid to rob the Queen on her way to St. James's from supping in the City. The design was to have been carried out in St. Paul's Churchyard; but, in the words of the historian,

Those execrable villains being employed in robbing Sir Gilbert Heathcote, an Alderman of London, on his return in his chariot from the House of Commons, her Majesty luckily passed them in her coach without being attacked.

Most people travelled on horseback, but noblemen and those who were wealthy, by using four horses, or even sometimes six, were able to get about in carriages at


great expense. Coaches carrying the mails lumbered along very slowly, and were constantly the prey of highwaymen. Thus, just one hundred years ago, the Chester mail was robbed in the City- road. The Leeds coach was stopped at Holloway in , by a single highwayman, who was wounded, but got off. In the dark, a passenger was tied neck and heels and thrown into the basket before he was recognised. In town, a hackney coach might be had at great expense, but there were no cabs, and it was really a serious matter to take even a journey from Marylebone to the Kent- road. Coming from the village of Marylebone, one would probably have avoided the Park for fear of robbers, and Park Lane for the same reason, as well as the badness of the road. We should have gone along Oxford-road to , taking care, as we passed the labyrinth of streets on the site of which Regent- street now stands, to carry our swords well in hand and to cock our pistols. Perhaps, however, a clergyman would not have worn a sword, and would have trusted more to his gown and bands to protect him than to his pistols. But the probability is I should not have worn the usual costume of a clergyman (the long black cassock, which still survives in Bishops' aprons, and the gown and bands, to say nothing of the shovel three-cornered hat and the full-bottomed wig); it would be too inconvenient to take so long a journey in. When I got as far as , I should try to keep company with any


respectable-looking person I could find going the same way till we were well past St. Giles's. I would then turn down Chancery-lane, and at Temple Stairs would try and make a bargain with a waterman to row me down the river to London Bridge. I should cross the bridge on foot, and then, if possible, obtain a hackney coach in Southwark to drive me along the Kent-road towards Deptford. This would cost £1 1s. I might, perhaps, get a seat on one of the Greenwich coaches, which are beginning to ply, morning and evening, as far as Southwark. I should not think of returning to the distant Marylebone the same night, unless I was willing to run the risk of being out all night, and of being, perhaps, robbed and murdered on the way home. The beauty of the severe penal laws was, that if a man robbed you he might as well shoot you, because dead men tell no tales, and if he were caught and convicted, he would be hanged just as surely for robbing you as for killing you. It is very odd that our legislators were so long perceiving the effect of their efforts for suppressing crime by severity. I should, as I passed through Southwark, have admired the light of the numberless oil lamps which had been lately placed in St. George's Fields to mark the way, but which only served to make the darkness of the Kent-road more dismal. I should also, in passing through the streets of London, have congratulated myself and the London public on the brilliant illumination made by the oil


lamps at almost every corner, and, in some streets, even along both sides of the way at long intervals. Of course, I should not admire this feeble light if I had ever seen gas; and, bad as London gas is, it is a thousand times better than anything used before. In houses the chief light was tallow candles; wax was too expensive for common use, and composites were not yet invented. Even to light your dip you had to go through an elaborate process with a flint and steel and some dry tinder in your tinder box.

In conclusion, here are some miscellaneous notes from the newspapers of , , and :-

. The wife of one Shury, a cooper in Westminster, had two boys, being her third and fourth children born in that same year: and her twenty-sixth, counting from the eldest.

A velocipede,

a machine or carriage to go without horses,

was exhibited to the King.

. A clergyman and a captain in the army fought a duel in Hyde Park. The officer was wounded.

Advertisement in May, . For a P-e M-r,

who is acquainted with and ready to do all the dirty work of that station, &c. N.B. If a Scotchman, the more agreeable.

Parliamentary seats were for sale, like livings now-a-days.


with privacy, secrecy, and regularity at the Savoy,

were advertised.

N.B. Five private ways by land and two by water.

Curious notices of marriage abounded, thus:-

Feb., 1769

, Thomas Fitzhugh, Esq., to Miss Lloyd, with £10,000.

July, 1769

, Bysshe Shelley, Esq., to the Hon. Miss Sidney, £80,000.

. Chatterton, the boy poet, poisoned himself at Broke-street, , and was buried in Shoe-lane as a pauper on the 28th. His name is entered by mistake in the St. Andrew's Register as William Chatterton, so unknown was he.

The first Royal Academy Exhibition was held at Somerset House on the .

A newspaper of a few years later shows that Messrs. Christie were as busy then as they are now in dispersing works of art. The Morning Post of , advertises -

The valuable collection of pictures of the late Earl of Strathmore, deceased, brought from his lordship's house in Grosvenor-square,

which are to be sold by

Messrs. Christie and J. Ansell, at their Great Room in Pall Mall this day, the

24th of January

, and the following day, by order of the Executors.

A hundred years hence somebody may think it worth while to quote the announcement of the sale of Mr. Gladstone's china.

A hundred years ago, too, other things besides works of art were sold as they unfortunately (in respect at least to one of the two) are sold now. The following advertisement presents a curious


combination of purchase in the army and the sale of clerical appointments:-

ARMY. Wanted to purchase, a Chaplaincy of Dragoons, on the English establishment. Any Gentleman inclined to sell may direct for P. H., with terms, regiment, &c., at the Bar of George's Coffee-house, Coventry-street.


[1] See p. 29 for a further account of the brook. It is not clear how far the derivation of Hyde, &c. from Eye may be pressed here.