Walks in London, vol. I
Hare, Augustus J. C.
Chapter I: The Strand.
Chapter I: The Strand.
Dr. Johnson said,
It is the point which meets the eyes of the traveller on arriving from the Continent, and it may well be taken as a centre in an explanation of London.
In a village on this site was spoken of as Cherringe, where William of Radnor, Bishop of Landaff, asked permission of Henry III. to take up his abode in a hermitage during his visits to London. This earlier mention of the name unfortunateley renders it impossible to derive it, as has been often done, from , Eleanor, wife of Edward I.,
to whom her husband erected here the last of the crosses which marked the resting-places of the beloved corpse in on its way from Lincoln to . More probably the name is derived from the Saxon word Charan, to turn, both the road and river making a bend here. The other crosses in memory of Eleanor were at Lincoln, Northampton, Stoney , Woburn, Dunstable, St. Albans, Waltham, and Cheap; and
| of these only those of Northampton and Waltham remain. That of Charing was the most magnificent of all: it was designed by Richard and Roger de Coverdale, with figures by Alexander of Abingdon. The modern cross erected in front of Railway Station is intended as a reproduction of it. The old cross was pulled down in by the Puritans, amid great lamentations from the opposite party.
The site of the cross was the spot chosen in for the execution of the Regicides. Hither () Major-General Thomas Harrison was brought to the gallows in a sledge,
saying that he was going to suffer for
having his face towards the Banqueting House at , , in derision, called to him, and said,
He, with a cheerful smile, clapt his hand on his breast, and said,
days after, Hugh Peters, who had preached against Charles I. at as
with Cook the republican counsel, suffered on the same spot, and afterwards other of the regicides. Here, where his murderers had
|perished, the .,[n.3.1] the noblest statue in London, was set up in . The figure of the king is what it professes to be-, and gains by being attired, not in the conventional Roman costume, but in a dress such as he wore, and by being seated on a saddle such as he used. It is the work of , and was originally ordered by the Lord Treasurer Weston for his|
|gardens at Roehampton. Walpole narrates that it was sold by the Parliament to John Rivet, a brazier, living at the Dial near Conduit, with strict orders to break it to pieces. Instead of doing this he concealed it in the vaults under the Church of St. Paul, Covent Garden, and making some brass handles for knives, and producing them as fragments of the statue, realised a large sum|
| by their sale, as well to royalists who bought them from love of the king, as to rebels who saw in them a mark of their triumph. At the Restoration the statue was mounted upon its present beautiful pedestal, which is the work of , Master Mason to the Crown, and which, till recently, was always wreathed with oak on the , the anniversary of the Restoration. The metal round the fore-foot of the horse bears the inscription |
On the erection of the statue, Waller wrote the lines-
Close beside the statue was the pillory where Edmund Curll the bookseller,
[n.4.1] was punished. We may also give a thought to the brave old Balmerino as asking here from his' guards the indulgence of being allowed to stop to buy
as the Scotch call gooseberries, on his last journey to the Tower after his condemnation.[n.4.2]
Harry Vane the Younger lived at , next door to . Isaac Barrow, the
| mathematician and divine, called by Charles II. |
died here over a saddler's shop () in his year. In Hartshorn Lane, close by, lived the mother of Ben Jonson, and hence she sent her boy
The Swan at was the scene of Ben Jonson's droll extempore grace before James I., for which the king gave him a . The fact that proclamations were formerly made at , giving rise to the allusion in Swift-
has passed into a byword.
The most interesting approach to the City of London is by that which leads to it from Charing Cross--the great highway of ,
[n.5.2] and where Charles Lamb says that he
To us, when we think of it, is only a vast thoroughfare crowded with traffic, and the place whither we go to find Exeter Hall, or the or Gaiety theatres,
| as our taste may guide us. But the name which the street still bears will remind us of its position, following the , the shore, of the Thames. This was the cause of its popularity, and of its becoming for years what the Corso is to Rome, and the Via Nuova to Genoa, a street of palaces. The rise of these palaces was very gradual. As late as the reign of Edward II. () a petition was presented complaining that the road from to was so infamously bad that it was ruinous to the feet both of men and horses, and moreover that it was overgrown with thickets and bushes. In the time of Edward III. the rapid watercourses which crossed that road and fell into the Thames were traversed by bridges, of which there were between and . Of of these bridges the names are still preserved to us in the names of existing streets- Ivy and Strand ; the bridge has itself been seen by many living persons. It was discovered in , buried deep beneath the soil near , and was laid bare during the formation of some new sewers. In the reign of Henry VIII. |
But was the highway from the royal palace at to the royal palace on the Fleet, and so became popular with the aristocracy. Gradually great houses had sprung up along its course, the earliest being Essex House, , and the Palace of the Bishops of Norwich, afterwards called York House; though even in Elizabeth's time the succession was rather of country palaces than of town residences, for all the great houses looked into fields upon the north,
|and on the south had large and pleasant gardens sloping towards the river.|
Till the Great Fire drove the impulse of building westwards and the open ground of and its neighbourhood was built upon, was scarcely a street in its present sense; but it was already crowded as a thoroughfare. Even in George Wither, the Puritan Poet, in his speaks of-
It was in that () Evelyn
for the triumphal entry of Charles II.
As the houses closed in years ago and became a regular street, it was enlivened by every house and shop having its own sign, which long took the place of the numbers now attached to them. Chaucer and Shakspeare when in London would have been directed to at the sign of the Dog, or the Golden Unicorn, or the Crowns, or whatever the emblem of the house might be at which they were residing. The signs were all swept away in the reign of George III., both because they had then acquired so great a size, and projected so far over the street, and because on a windy day they were blown to and fro with horrible creaking and groaning, and were often torn off and thrown down, killing the foot-passengers in their fall. Many old London signs are preserved in the City Museum of the , and are very curious. The persons who lived in the houses so distinguished were frequently
| surnamed from their signs. Thus the famous Thomas h Becket was in his youth called |
from the emblem of the house where he was born.
only of the great Strand palaces has survived entire to our own time. We have all of us seen and mourned over , of the noblest Jacobean buildings in England, and the most picturesque feature of London. The original design was by Jansen, but it was altered by Inigo Jones, and from the plans of the latter the house was begun (in ) by Henry Howard, Earl of Northampton, who was ridiculed for building so large a residence in the then country village of Charing. He bequeathed it to his nephew, the Earl of Suffolk, who was the builder of Audley End, and who finished the garden side of the house. It was then called Suffolk House, but changed its name (in ) when Elizabeth, daughter of the Earl of Suffolk, married Algernon Percy, Earl of Northumberland. On his death it passed to his daughter, Lady Elizabeth Percy, who was twice a widow and times a wife before she was . Her husband was Charles Seymour, commonly called the proud Duke of Somerset, who was of the chief figures in the pageants and politics of reigns, having supported the chief mourner at the funeral of Charles II., and carried the orb at the coronation of George II. It was this Duke who never allowed his daughters to sit down in his presence, even when they were nursing him for days and weeks together, in his year at , and who omitted of his daughters in his will because he caught her involuntarily napping by his bedside. In his last years his punctiliousness so little decreased that when
| his wife, Lady Charlotte Finch, once ventured to pat him playfully on the shoulder, he turned round upon her with, |
It was a son of this proud Duke who was created Earl of Northumberland, with remainder to his only daughter, who married Sir Hugh Smithson, created Duke of Northumberland in . Added to, and altered at different periods, the greater part of the house, though charming as a residence, was architecturally unimportant. But when it was partially rebuilt, the original features of front had always been preserved-and as we saw its beautiful gateway, so with the exception of a few additional ornaments, Inigo Jones designed it. The balustrade was originally formed by an inscription in capital letters, as at Audley End and Temple Newsam, and it is recorded that the fall of of these letters killed a spectator as the funeral of Anne of Denmark was passing. High above the porch stood for a years a leaden lion, the crest of the Percies (now removed to Syon House); and it was a favourite question, which few could answer right, which way the familiar animal's tail pointed. Of all the barbarous and ridiculous injuries by which London has been wantonly mutilated within the last few years, the destruction of has been the greatest. The removal of some ugly houses on the west, and the sacrifice of a corner of the garden, might have given a better turn to the street now called , and have saved the finest great historical house in London,
--the house in which the restoration of the
|monarchy was successfully planned in in the secret conferences of General Monk.|
It is just beyond the now melancholy site of that we enter upon what is still called
If we could linger, as we might in the early morning, when there would be no great traffic to hinder us, we should see that, even now, the great street is far from unpicturesque. Its houses, projecting, receding, still ornamented here and there with bow-windows, sometimes with a little sculpture or pargetting work, present a very broken outline to the sky; and, at the end, in the blue haze which is so beautiful on a fine day in London, rises the Flemish-looking steeple of St. Mary le Strand with the light streaming through its open pillars.
palaces are gone now. In Italian cities, which love their reminiscences and guard them, their sites would be marked by inscribed tablets let into the later houses. This is not the way with Englishmen; yet, even in England, they have their own commemoration, and in the old houses and the old residents have their record in the names of the adjoining streets on either side the way. Gay, calling upon his friend Fortescue to walk west with him from , thus alludes to them:--
, in front of which a copy of the ancient Cross of Queen Eleanor has been recently erected by , occupies the site of the mansion of Sir Edward Hungerford (created Knight of the Bath at the coronation of Charles II.), which was burnt in . On the ground thus accidentally cleared Hungerford Market was erected, which was decorated with a bust of Sir Edward Hungerford
who died in , and was represented here in the wig for which he gave guineas. The Hungerford Suspension Bridge which here crossed the Thames now spans the tremendous chasm beneath St. Vincent's Rocks at Clifton.
We must turn to the right, immediately beyond the station, to visit the remnants of the famous palace known as York House. The Archbishops of York had been without any town house after , now , was taken away from them by Wolsey, and this site, previously occupied by the Inn of the Bishops of Norwich, was given to them by Mary. The Archbishops, however, scarcely ever lived here. They let it to the Lords Keepers of the Great Seal, and thus it was that Sir Nicholas Bacon came to reside at York House, and that his son, the great Lord Bacon, was born here in . He in his turn lived here as Chancellor, and was greatly attached to the place; for when the Duke
| of Lennox wished him to sell his interest in it, he answered, |
Steenie, James I.'s Duke of Buckingham, obtained by exchange, and formed plans for sumptuously rebuilding it, but only the was completely carried out to show how great were his intentions.
The Parliament gave the house to their General, Fairfax, but when his daughter married George Villiers, the Duke of Buckingham, it brought the property back into that family. Cromwell was exceedingly angry at this marriage. The Duke was permitted to reside at York House with his wife, but on his venturing to go without leave to Cobham to visit his sister, he was
| arrested and sent to the Tower, where he remained till the Protector's death. It was this Duke-
He sold York House and its gardens for building purposes, at the same time buying property in Dowgate, but insisted as a condition of purchase that he should be commemorated in the names of the streets erected on his former property, and this quaint memorial of him still remains in the names of , , with and , formerly connected by Of Lane-George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham. This nomenclature was much laughed at at the time, and gave rise to the satire called containing the lines-
, where John Evelyn tells us that he lived -,
leads by the side of Railway Station to the pretty gardens on the Thames , where we may visit the principal remnant of York House-and a grand it is--the stately , built for Duke Steenie, and perhaps the most perfect piece of building which does honour to the name of Inigo Jones.[n.13.1] On the side towards the river are the
| Duke's arms, and on the side towards the Villiers motto, |
The steps, known as York Stairs, and the bases of its columns, hare been buried since the river has been driven back by , and the
has now lost its meaning; but since it is undoubtedly of the best architectural monuments
|in London, perfect alike in its proportions and its details, it is a great pity that a large fountain or tank is not made in front of it, so that its steps might still descend upon water. At present it only serves curiously to mark the height to which has been raised. In ancient days the river was fordable at low-water opposite York Stairs.|
Immediately behind the gate is, at the end of on the left, the only remaining portion of the house of the Duke of Buckingham. It is now used for the Charity Organization Society, but retains its old ceilings, decorated with roses and apples magnificently raised in stucco of extraordinary bold design; and, in the centre, pictures, perhaps by Verrio, of Spring and Summer. Peter the Great lived in the upper part of this house when he was in England, and used to spend his evenings here with Lord Caermarthen, drinking hot brandy with pepper in it; and here also Dickens, who lived here for some time himself, makes his David Copperfield reside in
The house on the other side the way, upon which the windows of this old house looked out, was occupied by Samuel Pepys. York House itself contained a fine picture gallery in the time of Charles I., and the Cain and Abel of John of Bologna was amongst the decorations of its garden.
Beyond the gardens of York House, on the same side of , the houses of the great nobles once ranged along the , as the Venetian palaces do along the Grand Canal. came , with great round towers, battlemented like a castle towards the river. The Earls of Leicester had a palace here, at the water-gate of which Simon de Montfort hospitably received his enemy, Henry III., when he was driven on shore by a tempest to which his boat was unequal. The Bishop of Durham possessed it under Bishop Beck, in the time of Edward I., but it was rebuilt by Bishop Hatfield in . Edward VI. gave it to his sister Elizabeth. Afterwards it was inhabited
|by John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, and here, says Holinshed, were celebrated in , marriages --that of Lord Guildford Dudley, son of Northumberland, with Lady Jane Grey; that of her sister Katherine with Lord Pembroke; and that of Katherine Dudley, youngest daughter of Northumberland, with Lord Hastings. Lady Jane's marriage was intended as a prelude to placing her on the throne, and from hence she set forth upon her unhappy progress to the Tower to be received as Queen. Elizabeth afterwards granted the house to Sir Walter Raleigh.|
But, on the death of Elizabeth, the Bishops of Durham reasserted their claims to their palace, and Raleigh was turned out. On part of the site of was built, in , the New Exchange, called
by James I. It was here that the wife of Monk, Duke of Albemarle, sold gloves and washballs, at the sign of
when married to her husband, Thomas Radford the farrier; and here that
the heroic widow of Richard Talbot, Duke of Tyrconnel, ruined by the fall of James II., sate working in a white mask and was known as
under which name she appears in a drama by Douglas Jerrold.
Part of the site of and its gardens is now occupied by , approached by streets with
| names which commemorate each of its founders, the enterprising brothers, John, Robert, James, and William Adam (); while the name , from the Greek word (brothers), commemorates them collectively. David Garrick, whose |
[n.17.1] expired () in the centre house of , which has a ceiling by Antonio Zucchi, and hence he was borne with the utmost pomp, followed by most of the noble coaches in London, to . The witty Topham Beauclerk also died in , and Boswell narrates how he
and mourned with Johnson over the friends they had lost, who once lived in the buildings behind them. In , , poor King Kamehameha II., of the Sandwich Islands, and his Queen both died of the measles, . Here is the Hall of the
The contains the great pictures of James Barry (-) which were intended to illustrate the maxim that the attainment of happiness, individual as well as public, depends on the development, proper cultivation, and perfection of the human faculties, physical and moral. The artist was employed upon them for years. They represent--
In the is a good portrait, by , of William Shipley, brother of Jonathan Shipley, Bishop of St. Asaph, by whom the Society was founded in .
Returning to , we may notice that at (between and ) the royal family have banked since the reign of Queen Anne.
On the right of is , where, says Pennant,
It was in a house opposite the entrance of this lane that
Thomas Parr, died, having done penance in Alderbury Church for being the father of an illegitimate
|child when he was above an years old. and now commemorate Salisbury House, the town residence of Sir Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, Lord High Treasurer in the time of James I. No trace of it is left except in the names.|
The district to the north of , where the palaces we have been describing looked into the open country, belonged to the Dukes of Bedford, and is known as . here commemorate the marriage of the Earl of Bedford with Catherine, daughter and co-heiress of Giles Brydges, Lord Chandos, whose mansion once occupied their site. The title of the Earl, created Marquis of Tavistock at the Restoration, remains in . His eldest son, the famous William, Lord Russell, married Lady Rachel Wriothesley, daughter of Thomas, Earl of Southampton, whence . Here the
was situated, where Paul Whitehead gave his supper parties, and which is celebrated in the lines of Pope-
Southampton Street--where phosphorus was manufactured in England-leads into , a space which, as early as , under the name of Frire Pye Garden, was the convent garden of , and which through all the changes of time and place has ever remained sacred to the fruits and flowers of its early existence, so that, though they are no longer growing, it has never lost its old name of
At the Dissolution Edward VI. granted the garden to his uncle the Protector Somerset, but, reverting
| to the crown on his attainder, it was afterwards granted, with the acres called , to John, Earl of Bedford, who built his town-house on the site now occupied by . It was not till that the houses around the square were built from designs of Inigo Jones, but then, and long afterwards, the market continued to be held under the shade of what Stow calls |
hanging over the wall of the grounds of Bedford House (now commemorated in ), which bounded Covent Garden on the south. Many allusions in the works of the poets of Charles II.'s time show that this, which Sydney Smith calls
was then of the most fashionable quarters of London--in fact, that it was the of the Stuarts, and it will always be classic ground from its association with the authors and wits of the last century. When Bedford House was pulled down in , the market gradually, by the increasing traffic, became pushed into the middle of the area, and finally has usurped the whole, though a print by Sutton Nichols shows that as late as it only consisted of a few sheds.
The north and east sides of the market are still occupied by the arcade, called
but which has long borne the quaint name of , an open corridor like those which line the streets of Italian towns. It is common-place enough now with ugly plastered columns, but when originally built by Inigo Jones, was highly picturesque, with its carved grey stone pillars relieved upon a red brick front. There is an odd evidence of the popularity of the piazza in the time of Charles II., James II., and William III., in the fact that
| chosen as the favourite name for the foundling children of the parish. The registers abound in such names as Peter Piazza, Mary Piazza, and Paul Piazza. It was the custom in those days to lay all foundling children at the doors of the unfortunate Bishop of Durham, and leave them there. In the last century the square was used for the football matches, which are described by Gay:--
Attention was much drawn to Covent Garden in , by the murder of Miss Reay, who was shot in the Piazza by Mr. Hackman, a clergyman (from jealousy of Lord Sandwich), as she was coming from . In the died Parson Ford, whose ghost-story, of his twofold appearance in the cellar of that house, is told in Boswell's
It was in Covent Garden that the famous
was founded in the reign of Queen Anne, and meeting every Saturday in
[n.21.1] The Club was composed
the badge worn by tie
|members being a golden gridiron suspended round the neck by a green riband.[n.22.1] The Club was burnt in , and Handel's organ and the manuscript of Sheridan's Comedies were destroyed in the fire. Amongst those who lived in the square were Sir P. Lely and Sir Godfrey Kneller.|
When St. Martin-in-the-Felds became too small for its parishioners, Francis, Earl of Bedford, to whom all this neighbourhood belonged, desired Inigo Jones to build him a chapel in Covent Garden, but said that he would not go to any expense about it--in short, that it must be little better than a barn.
said Inigo Jones, and he built (always interesting as the important Protestant church raised in England), which exactly fulfils his promise. Bare, uncouth, and featureless in its general forms, it nevertheless becomes really picturesque from the noble play of light and shade caused by its boldly projecting roof, and the deeply receding portico behind its pillars. The most serious defect is that this portico leads to nothing, for, in order to have the altar to the east, the entrance is at the side, and the altar behind the portico. The interior is a miserable, featureless parallelogram. The portico alone escaped a fire in , all the rest, which was originally of brick, perished, together with the tomb of Sir P. Lely (whose real name was Vandervaes), and his famous picture of Charles I. as a martyr, kneeling with a crown of thorns in his hand, having cast his royal crown aside. Southerne the dramatist, the friend of Dryden, (ob. ) used regularly to attend evening prayers
| here; a |
A great number of eminent persons besides Lely were buried here when Covent Garden was in fashion. They include Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset (), the notorious favourite of James I., who lived hard by in ; Tom Taylor-
--whose endless works do so much to illustrate the manner of his age (); Dr. John Donne, son of the famous poet-dean of , but himself described by Wood as
(); Sir Henry Herbert, Master of the Revels to Charles I. (); Richard Wiseman, the companion of Charles II. in exile, and his serjeant-surgeon after the Restoration, whose works attest the cures worked
(); Sir Edward Greaves, physician of Charles II. (); Dick Estcourt the actor, whose death is described by Steele in No. of the (-); Edward Kynaston the famous actor of female parts, who kept Charles II. waiting because
[n.23.2] and who left his name to
(); William Wycherley the dramatist (); Grinling Gibbons the sculptor (); Mrs. Susannah Centlivre the dramatist (); Robert Wilks the comedian ()j Dr. John Armstrong the physician and poet, attacked by Churchill (); Tom Davies the bookseller, the friend of Boswell, who introduced him to Johnson (); Sir Robert Stranget
| the engraver (); Charles Macklin the actor, who appeared in his hundredth year in the character of Shylock (); Thomas Girtin the |
(); Thomas King the actor (); and Dr. John Walcott-
(). Under the north-west wall of the church rests Samuel Butler, the author of
Amongst the grave-stones in the miserable churchyard is that of James Worsdale, the painter (), which bore the lines (removed in ) by himself-
and that of Henry Jerningham, goldsmith (), with the lines by Aaron Hill-
On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, its especial market-days, Covent Garden should be visited. It is really of the prettiest sights in London, and it is difficult to say whether the porch given up to flowers, or the avenue devoted to fruit, is most radiant in freshness and colour. How many London painters, unable to go farther afield, have come hither with profit to study effects of colour,
| which the piles of fruit give, as nothing else can! Turner's early love for the oranges, which he knew so well in his home near Covent Garden, comes out in his later life, in his |
in which the fruits of his boyish study are seen tossing and reeling on the waves.
The later existence of Covent Garden has become associated with actors and actresses, from its neighbourhood to the Cock-pit, , and Covent Garden Theatres.
Thackeray has left a vivid description of Covent Garden in its present state :
The names of the greater part of the streets around Covent Garden bear evidence to the time of their erection. Besides those called after the noble family which owned them, we have , , and , called after Charles I. and his Queen; and from the Duke of York; from Catherine of Braganza. Some of the doors in are of mahogany, for here lived the lady by whom that wood was introduced. That , on the west of Covent Garden, was once fashionable, we learn from the epilogue of of Dryden's plays-
but, as Sir Walter Scott observes,
which has been associated with the principal police-courts of London for more than a century,
Edmund Waller the poet, and Grinling Gibbons the sculptor, lived in this street, and, at time, while he was writing Fielding the novelist. It was to this street also that Charles II. came to visit Wycherley when he was ill, and gave him that he might go to the south of France for his health. became famous in the last century as containing --the
described in Prior's where you might
It was brought into fashion by its being the resort of Dryden. Hither Pope, at years old, persuaded
| his friends to bring him that he might look upon the great poet of his childish veneration, whom he afterwards described as |
continued to be the Wits' Coffee House till Addison drew them to
(who had been a servant of his),[n.27.1] in the neighbouring . Here Pope describes him as coming to dine daily, and remaining for or hours afterwards. At
at No. in the same street, Dr. Mead, the most famous of English physicians from the reign of Queen Anne to that of George II., used to sit daily, prescribing for his patients upon written or oral statements from their apothecaries. This was the favourite resort of Johnson and Garrick; here also was daily to be seen the familiar figure of Sir Joshua Reynolds, with his spectacles on his nose, his trumpet always in his ear, and his silver snuff-box ever in his hand. It was at No. in this street that Boswell saw Dr. Johnson.
In , which runs parallel with to the south of Covent Garden, the great artist Turner was born in , in the shop of his father, who was a hairdresser. leads into , where Claude Duval was taken, at the tavern called
in . returning to , and commemorate Exeter House, where the great Lord Burleigh lived and died. Elizabeth came here to see him when he wall, in a headdress so high that she could not enter the door. The groom of the chambers ventured to urge her to
| stoop. |
and when Lord Burleigh himself apologized for not being able to stand up to receive her on account of the badness of his legs, she replied,
The site of the house was afterwards occupied by the Exeter Change, which contained a famous menagerie, of which the elephant Chunee, whose skeleton is now at the , was a distinctive feature. Between the streets now stands (built in by ), celebrated for its concerts and its religious
On the right, on the site of , stood Worcester House, once the palace of the Bishops of Carlisle, afterwards rented from the Marquis of Worcester by the Lord Chancellor Hyde. Here it was that, with outward reluctance and secret glee, he connived at the strange marriage of his daughter Anne, which was celebrated in the middle of the night of , with the Duke of York, afterwards James II The house was pulled down when the Duke of Beaufort bought Buckingham House in . In lived Fielding the novelist, and it was here that, having given away to a needy friend the money which had been advanced to him in his poverty by Jacob Tonson the publisher, for the payment of his taxes, he said coolly to the astonished collector,
We must now turn aside by a narrow street upon the right of , and it will be with a sense of almost surprise as well as relief that we find ourselves transported from the
| noise and bustle of the crowded thoroughfare to the peaceful quietude of a sunny churchyard, where the old grey tombstones are shaded by a grove of plane-trees and lilacs, and where an ancient church stands upon a height, with an open view towards the gleaming river with its busy , and and the Houses of Parliament rising in the stillness of the purple haze beyond. We are |
[n.29.1] In this churchyard, and on the ground now occupied by all the neighbouring courts and warehouses, once stood the famous . Having been built by Peter, brother of Archbishop Boniface, and uncle of Eleanor of Provence, wife of Henry III., when he came over on a visit to his niece, it became a centre for all the princes, ecclesiastics, and artists who flowed into London in consequence of her marriage. He bequeathed it to the monks of Montjoy at Havering at the Bower, from whom it was bought by Queen Eleanor for her son Edmund, Earl of Lancaster. It continued in the hands of his descendants, and, after the battle of Poitiers, in , became the residence of the captive King John of France. John was set free in , but being unable to fulfil the conditions of his release, and unwilling to cede to his captor the Black Prince in chivalry and honour, voluntarily returned, and being again assigned a residence in the Savoy, died there , at which, says Froissart,
While the Savoy was the London residence of John of Gaunt, the poet Chaucer was married here to Philippa de Ruet, a lady in the household of Blanche, Duchess of Lancaster, and sister of Catherine Swyneford, who became the Duke's wife. In
was pillaged and burnt by the rebels under Wat Tyler, to punish the Duke for the protection he had afforded to the followers of Wickliffe. of the assailants lingered so long drinking up the sweet wine in the cellars, that they were walled in, and
Hardyng's Chronicle commemorates the flight of John of Gaunt from the Savoy :--
The Savoy was never restored as a palace, but Henry VII. rebuilt it as a hospital in honour of John the Baptist, and endowed it by his will. The hospital was suppressed by Edward VI., but refounded by Mary, and only finally dissolved in the reign of Elizabeth. Over its gate, of , were the lines-
Soon after the Restoration the Conference of the Savoy
| was held here for the revision of the Liturgy so as to meet the feelings of the Nonconformists, in which bishops of the Church of England met an equal number of Nonconformists in discussion. Richard Baxter, who had already published his most popular books, was of the commissioners, and here drew up in a fortnight that reformed liturgy which Dr. Johnson pronounced |
The remains of the Savoy palace were all swept away when was built. Originally dedicated to St. John the Baptist, it was called , because it served as a church for the parish of St. Mary le Strand. The church was the chapel, not of the palace, but of Henry VII.'s hospital. There is a tradition that
| the Liturgy restored by Elizabeth was read in this chapel in the vernacular tongue. It is of Perpendicular architecture (), with a quaint low belfry like those of many small churches in Northumberland. The interior was entirely destroyed by fire in , and was for the time renewed by the munificence of the Queen as Duchess of Lancaster. It has a rich coloured roof, and resembles a college chapel; but the tombs which formerly made it so interesting perished in the flames. Only small figure from Lady Dalhousie's monument is preserved, and the brass of Gavin Douglas, the Bishop of Dunkeld, son of Archibald Bell the Cat, Earl of Angus, who is represented in as celebrating the wedding of De Wilton and Clare :
Over the font is preserved the central compartment of a triptych, painted for the Savoy in the century, stolen in the , and recovered in . Among the lost monuments were an Elizabethan tomb, wrongfully ascribed to the famous Countess of Nottingham shaken in her bed by Elizabeth; that of Sir Robert and Lady Douglas; of the Countess of Dalhousie, sister of Mrs. Hutchinson and daughter of Sir Allan Apsley, Lieutenant of the Tower; of Mrs. Anne Killigrew (),
| daughter of a Master of the Hospital, described by Dryden as-
and of Richard Lander, the African traveller, who died () of a wound received from the natives while exploring the Niger. Amongst the most remarkable persons buried here without a monument,
says Aubrey, was George Wither (), a voluminous poet of the Commonwealth, author of and but best known by the lines-
This historic corner of the Savoy has been left untouched amid the turmoil of the town, and is still of the quietest spots in London.
Beyond the wide opening of are the buildings of , erected from the stately plans of Sir William Chambers, -. The river front is feet in length. This building, now of little interest, occupies the site of of the most historic houses in London, which was only destroyed when the present house was raised. The old was built in on the site of the town houses of the Bishops of Worcester,
| Lichfield, and Landaff, by Edward Seymour, the Lord Protector, brother of Queen Jane, and uncle of Edward VI. Its architecture was attributed to John of Padua, |
to Henry VIII. The tower and the greater part of the Church of , Clerkenwell, the cloister (called Pardon Churchyard) of , and the chapel of Pardon Churchyard near the Charterhouse, were unscrupulously pulled down, and their materials used in its erection. But long before it was finished () the Protector had been beheaded on , and his house was bestowed upon the Princess Elizabeth. James I. gave it to Anne of Denmark, and desired that it might be called Denmark House, and here that Queen lay in state in , and James I. in . Charles I. then gave the house to his Queen, Henrietta Maria, and caused a Roman to be built here for her use, which was served by Capuchin monks, and in which many of her French attendants were buried. Their vaults still exist under the present courtyard. The time of the Commonwealth was marked for by the death of Inigo Jones within its walls (); and here Cromwell lay in state, his
[n.34.1] The magnificence of expenditure on this occasion made people collect outside the gates and throw dirt upon the Protector's escutcheon at night.
With the Restoration, Henrietta Maria, then called
returned to , where the young Duke of Gloucester died in , and was taken
to be buried at . When Henrietta Maria left England, in , she was succeeded by the Portuguese Queen, Catherine of Braganza, wife of Charles II., who used to spend her days in playing at Ombre, a game which she introduced into England, and who trembled here in her chapel as she heard the frenzied people shouting round the effigy of the Pope as they burnt it before , on the occasion of the Duke of York's marriage with Mary of Modena. Catherine restored the old palace, which had become greatly neglected, with a magnificence which is commemorated by Cowley, who extols its position:--
General Monk, Duke of Albemarle, lay in state at in , when his waxwork figure, afterwards preserved in , was made, to lie upon his coffin.
The formal gardens of old extended far along the river-bank, and it was near their
that Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey was declared to have been strangled () by the false-witnesses who invented the
| story of his death. men were executed for the murder, with which an attempt was made to connect the name of Catherine of Braganza, but Charles II. refused to listen, telling Burnet that she was |
After Catherine left England for Portugal in , this old Strand palace continued to be regarded as the dower house of the queens of England, but as there were no queens-dowager to inhabit it, it was used as is now, as lodgings for needy nobility. By an Act of , Buckingham House was settled on Queen Charlotte instead of , and the old palace of the queens of England was then destroyed. The buildings of modern are used for the , where the accounts of the kingdom and colonies are audited; the ; and the , where taxes and legacy and excise duties are received. The centre of the south front is occupied by the ,[n.36.1] removed from in . has a well-proportioned and stately gloominess. In the centre is the great allegorical figure of the Thames, by John Bacon. Queen Charlotte, whose feeling has been shared by thousands since, said to the sculptor when she saw it,
replied the bowing artist,
It is amusing to see the impression which makes on a foreigner.
Beyond the east wing of , occupied by and school, runs the narrow alley called , which formerly ended at the landing-place, called Strand Bridge, where we read in the that Addison
On the left of the winding paved lane a sign directs us to the , and in this quiet corner we find of the most remarkable relics of Roman London--a vaulted room containing, enclosed in brick-work and masonry, apparently Roman, a beautiful bath of crystal water, feet long, feet broad, and feet inches deep. It is believed that the wonderfully cold, clear water comes from the miraculous well of St. Clement, which gave a name to the neighbouring , and was once greatly resorted to for its cures. A bath, in the same building, still used, and with chalybeate properties, is shown as having been constructed by Elizabeth's Earl of Essex, when he was residing hard by in Essex House. It is said that it was in a house in this neighbourhood that Guy Fawkes and his comrades took the oath of secrecy and received the sacrament before attempting to carry out the Gunpowder Plot.
Here, in the midst of the street, rises the , which is of interest as being the of the new churches whose erection was ordained in Queen Anne's reign, the original having been destroyed by the Protector Somerset when he was building , which covers its site. Gibbs was the architect of the present church, but its steeple, so beautiful in spite of having the fault of appearing to stand upon the roof of the church, was not part of the original design. The church was to have been towerless, but a stately column feet high (. feet higher than the Nelson column in ) was to have riser. beside it, crowned by a statue of Queen Anne. But the Queen died before the plan was carried out, and flattery being no longer necessary, the church had its steeple. It occupies the site of the famous May-pole, feet high, which was destroyed in the Commonwealth as
It was re-erected with great pomp under Charles II., by Clarges, the farrier, to commemorate the good fortune of his daughter in becoming a duchess by having married General Monk when he was a private gentleman. The tract called relates how it was set up by seamen under the command of James, Duke of York, Lord High Admiral, no landsmen being able to raise it, and how, as it rose,
Gathered around the last May-pole on this spot, London school-children sang a hymn as Queen Anne passed in triumphant procession to
| take part in the public thanksgiving at for the Peace of Utrecht. The May-pole was finally removed in , and, being given to Sir Isaac Newton, was set up in Sir Richard Child's park at Wanstead in Essex, where it was used for raising a telescope. The London May-pole was long commemorated in May-pole Lane, the old name of . The exchange.for the church is mentioned by Pope in the -
According to Hume, Prince Charles Edward's renunciation of the Roman Catholic faith took place in this church. Where an ugly little fountain now stands before its western front, the Hackney Coach stand in London was set up by Captain Baily in : it existed till .
, facing the east side of , was formerly May-pole Alley, where Nell Gwynne lodged, and stood watching the dancing round the May-pole.
has nothing now which recalls Fitz- Stephen's description of its well--
It is full of book shops, chiefly of the lowest
|description. On its south side (at No. ) may be seen an ancient mercer's sign, the last of the old shop signs -a crescent moon, with the traditional face in the centre. The corner post of the entry beside it, adorned with a lion's head and paws in bold relief, was (in )|
| the last relic of Lyon's Inn, destroyed in , which was here entered from . It stood between and , and was once a hostelry, but from the reign of Henry IV. an Inn of Chancery-an ancient nursery of lawyers, where Sir Edward Coke was brought up, and where |
[n.41.1] In the south-east corner of the Inn lived William Weare, the gambler, murdered () by Thurtell at Elstree in Hertfordshire, and commemorated in the ballad-
formerly ended in Butchers' Row, where, covered with roses, fleurs-de-lis, and dragons, was the old timber house of the French ambassadors.
We have arrived-
The was erected in by Edward Pierce, under the superintendence of Wren. In the old church, from its vicinity to Exeter House, were buried John Booth, Bishop of Exeter (), and his brother, Sir William, who died in the same year; and John Arundell, Bishop of Exeter (). Here also was a monument to the wife of Dr. John Donne, the poet-dean of , who preached in the church soon after her death on the words,
It was this wife whose spirit he saw twice pass through his room at Paris, bearing the dead child to which she was then giving birth. Like all Wren's parish churches, the existing building depends entirely upon its
| steeple, which is built in several stories, for its reputation. Its bells chime merrily, even to a proverb-
but the chimes can also play the Old Hundredth Psalm and other tunes. Here Dr. Johnson sate in church,
as Boswell says,
and here in his year () he returned public thanks for a recovery from dangerous illness. A brass plate now appropriately marks the pew (No. ) in the north gallery whither the old man, who was so vehement in discussion and fierce in argument on week-days, never failed to come humbly on Sundays, to seek, in his own words,
It was in this church that, on October ii, , Sir Thomas Grosvenor was married to Miss Mary Davies, the humble heiress of the farm now occupied by and its surroundings, which have brought such enormous wealth to his family. In the vestry house is a painting executed for the church as an altar-piece, by Kent the landscape gardener, intended to represent a choir of angels playing in chorus. In an order was issued by Bishop Gibson for its removal on account of its being supposed to contain surreptitious portraits of the Pretender's wife and children. It was removed to a neighbouring tavern--the Crown and Anchor-celebrated for the meetings of
Here it was parodied in an engraving by Hogarth, with a comic description which caused intense amusement at the time. After some years it was restored to the parish, but not to the church.
Of the strange name, St. Clement Danes, various explanations are given. Stow tells how the body of Harold, the illegitimate son of King Canute, buried at after a reign of years, was exhumed by his successor, the legitimate Hardicanute, and thrown ignominiously into the Thames, and how a fisherman, seeing it floating upon the river, took it up and buried it reverently on this spot. This is the more picturesque story; but perhaps that of Strype is more likely, who says that when Alfred expelled the remnant of the Danish nation in , those who had married English wives were still permitted to live here, whence the name-St. Clement Danes.
formerly called Well, after becoming a pump, was finally destroyed in , but is commemorated in -to the left, at the entrance of , now an Inn of Court dependent on the Temple, but originally intended for the use of patients coming to the miraculous waters of the well. Shakespeare introduces it in his . as the home of
We should walk through its quiet red-brick courts, by the quaint chapel, where an anchor commemorates the martyrdom of the sainted Pope Clement, who was tied to an anchor and thrown into the sea. Hence, through a brick archway, we have a pleasant glimpse of trees and flowers, and enter a garden square, in the centre of which, in front of
a picturesque relic of Queen Anne's time, is a curious kneeling figure of a Moor supporting a sun-dial, brought from Italy by Holles, Lord Clare. At the time when these examples of
were popular in ancient gardens.[n.43.1] a clever
| squib upon its owners was once found attached to the Moor of :
A further archway leads into the poor and crowded district of , named, as is told by a tablet on
| of the houses, |
From the same person the neighbouring takes its name, which became notorious as the resort of the thieves known as the
while marks the residence of William Holles, created Baron Houghton in , and , built , is associated with the Earl,
| who lived on the site of Clare House Court. In Pope's time was famous for the lectures of the insolent |
commemorated in the
(Via de ), which opens behind , close to the entrance of , contains some curious old houses and is excessively narrow. Theodore Hook said he
This street is famous in the annals of London thieving for the exploits of Jack Sheppard, who gave rendezvous to his boon companions at the White Lion (now pulled down) in White Lion Passage. It was from the in that Bishop Hooper, in , was taken to die for his faith at Gloucester.
A hosier's shop, which occupies of picturesque houses built in the time of Charles I. in parallel with , has an old street sign of the Golden Lamb swinging over its door. The streets which debouch here from the Strand-Surrey Street, , and Howard Street-mark the site of Arundel House, originally the palace of the Bishops of Bath and Wells, in which, according to the parish register of , died () Catherine, Countess of Nottingham, who yielded to her husband's solicitation in not sending the ring intrusted to her by Lord Essex for Elizabeth,
| and confessing this to the Queen upon her deathbed, was answered by |
The house was sold by Edward VI. to his uncle, Lord Thomas Seymour, described by Latimer as
Here he married and greatly ill-treated the Queen-Dowager Katherine Parr, and incurred much censure for his impertinent familiarities with the Princess Elizabeth, who was living under her protection. After the execution of Seymour for treason the house was sold to the Earl of Arundel, and being thenceforth called Arundel House,
| became the receptacle of his busts and statues, a portion of which, now at Oxford, are still known as the |
It was Lord Arundel who brought up
to London from Shropshire to make acquaintance with Charles I., when far advanced in his year. The Earl's good fare killed him, and he was buried in , where his epitaph narrates how he lived in the reign of sovereigns, and had a son by his wife when he was a years old. After the Great Fire, Henry Howard, Earl of Arundel, gave a shelter at Arundel House to the Royal Society, who were driven out of Gresham College, which was temporarily needed as a . will recall Sir Roger de Coverley, who there,
[n.47.1] Peter the Great was lodged here,
on his arrival in England in the reign of William III., and in the same house--that nearest the river-lived William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania. He had a peeping-hole at the entrance, through which he surveyed every who came to see him before they were admitted. of these having been made to wait for a long time, asked the servant impatiently if his master would not see him.
said the servant,
[n.47.2] The fact was he had discovered him to be a creditor.
In , which connects with , Mr. Mountfort was killed () by Captain Richard Hill, in a duel fought for the sake of the beautiful and virtuous actress, Mrs. Bracegirdle,
Lord Mohun, afterwards himself killed in a duel with the Duke of Hamilton, was Hill's in this quarrel.
William Congreve (-), in whose licentious plays the immaculate Mrs. Bracegirdle obtained her greatest successes, lived and died in . Condemned now, no English author was more praised by his contemporaries; Pope dedicated his Iliad to him, Dr. Johnson lauded his merit
and Dryden wrote-
Perhaps the only snub which Congreve received was from Voltaire, who came to visit him here, and being received with the airs of a fine gentleman, announced that if he had thought he was , he should not have come thither to see him.
(right) takes its name from a corn-mill and from a famous ford which once existed across the river here. It leads to Milford stairs, where Pepys used
and is commemorated by Gay in the unflattering lines-
We now come to , where Dr. King in his Anecdotes of his own Time describes his presentation to Prince Charles Edward in , at the house
| of lady Primrose. It was the Prince's only visit to London, and he was only there days. The same Lady Primrose (daughter of Drelincourt, Dean of Armagh, and widow of Hugh, Viscount Primrose) gave a home in to Flora Macdonald after her release by the government. occupies the site of Exeter House, which was built by Walter Stapleton, Bishop of Exeter. Here he was besieged by the people when he was holding London for Edward II., and, having fled to take sanctuary at , was beheaded, and brought back to be buried under a dust-heap by his own gateway. After the Reformation, Exeter House was inhabited by the Earl of Leicester, and then by Elizabeth's latest favourite, the Earl of Essex (whose Countess was the widow of Sir Philip Sidney), when the name was changed to Essex House. It was here that the handsome earl tried to rouse the people against Sir R. Cecil, Sir Walter Raleigh, and other reigning court favourites whom he believed to have been the cause of his losing his ascendancy over the Queen. Here he was blockaded, cannon being pointed at Essex House from the roofs of the neighbouring houses and the tower of St. Clement Danes, and hence, having surrendered, he was taken away to the Tower, where he was beheaded. It is to Essex House that Spenser alludes, after describing the Temple, in the Prothalamion:--
A pair of stone pillars at the end of the street, which perhaps belonged to its water-gate, are the only existing
|remains of the old house. But in (on the left of ), high up on a wall, is a bust of Lord Essex, attributed to Gibber. It marks the celebrated Grecian coffee-house, where the wits of the last century loved to congregate, and whence Steele, in the number of the , says that he shall date all his learned articles.|
| The dandyism and affectation displayed by the yourg students of the Inns of Court frequenting the Grecian excited the contempt of Addison (, ), who says, |
, the next entry on the right of , marks the site of the
which commemorated the marriage of Frederick, Palsgrave of the Rhine, with Elizabeth, eldest daughter of James I. , opposite, destroyed in building the Law Courts, was a relic of Sir Francis Drake, as containing the Tavern which took as its sign the ship in which he circumnavigated the world.
We now arrive where, black and grimy, in much sooty dignity, still ends , and marks the division between the City of London and the Liberty of . It was never a city gate, but as defining the City bounds, was, according to ancient custom, invariably closed, and only then, when a sovereign approached the City on some public occasion. When the monarch arrived, herald sounded a trumpet, another herald knocked, a parley ensued, the gates were flung open, and the Lord Mayor presented the sword of the City to the sovereign, who returned it to him again. Thus it was at the old with Elizabeth when she went to return thanks at for the destruction of the Armada; so it was with Cromwell when he went to dine in state in the City in ; so with Queen Anne after the battle of Blenheim; so with Queen Victoria when she has gone to the City in state.
Strype says that
at . It is mentioned as Barram Novi Templi in a grant of (, Edward I.), but we have no definite idea of it till the century. In the time of Henry VII. it is believed that a wooden edifice was erected, and was the gate beneath which the bier of Elizabeth of York, on its way from the Tower to , was sprinkled with holy water by the abbots of and . We know that it was
for the coronation of Anne Boleyn (), and that it was
() for the coronation of Edward VI.[n.52.1] It was by this
that Sir Thomas Wyatt was taken prisoner. Being summoned to surrender, he said he would do so to a gentleman, when Sir Maurice Berkeley rode up, and
The present was built in . Charles II. promised (but never paid) a large contribution towards it from the revenue he received from licensing the then newly invented hackney coaches. Sir Christopher Wren was the architect and Joshua Marshall the mason. Bushell, a sculptor who died mad in , was employed to adorn it with feeble statues, those on the west representing Charles I. and Charles II., those on the east Elizabeth and James I.
The statue of the popular Elizabeth used annually to receive an ovation on the anniversary of her accession, which was kept as the chief festival of Protestantism, till after
| the coming of William III., when Protestant ardour was transferred to Guy Fawkes' day. Roger North, in his describes how the statue was provided every with a wreath of gilded laurel and a golden shield with the motto- |
and how, while the figure of the Pope was burnt beneath it, the people shouted and sang-
It was on the occasion of a tumult which arose at of these anti-papal demonstrations () that the Archbishop of York going to Lord Chief Justice North, and asking what was to be done, received the answer-
Within the arch hung the heavy oaken panelled gates, festooned with fruits and flowers, which opened to receive Charles II., James II., and every succeeding sovereign. In these gates were forcibly closed in
by the partisans of
against the civic procession which was on its way to George III. The whole of the gateway was hung with black for the funeral of the Duke of Wellington.
No sees without connecting it with the human remains-dried by summer heats, and beaten and occasionally hurled to the ground by winter storms --by which it was so long surmounted. The ghastly ornament of the Bar was of the quarters of Sir William Armstrong, Master of the Horse to Charles II., who
| was concerned in the Rye House Plot, and who, after his execution (), was boiled in pitch and divided into parts. The head and quarters of Sir William Perkins and the quarters of Sir John Friend, who had conspired to assassinate William III., |
were next exhibited,
The next head raised here was that of Joseph Sullivan, executed for high treason in . Henry Osprey followed, who died for love of Prince Charlie in ; and Christopher Layer, executed for a plot to seize the king's person in
|. The last heads which were exposed on the Bar were those which were concerned in the |
It is difficult to believe that it is scarcely more than a years since Colonel Francis Townley, George Fletcher, and other Jacobites were so barbarously dealt with-hanged on Common, cut down, disembowelled, beheaded, quartered, their hearts tossed into a fire, from which of them was snatched by a bystander, who devoured it to show his loyalty. Walpole afterwards saw their heads on , and says that people used to make a trade of letting out spy-glasses to look at them at a halfpenny a look. The spikes which supported the heads were only removed in the present century. It was in front of the Bar that. the miserable Titus Oates stood in the pillory, pelted with dead cats and rotten eggs, and that De Foe, placed in the pillory for a libel on the Government, stood there enjoying a perfect ovation from the people, who drank his health as they hung the pillory with flowers.
With the removal of an immensity of the associations of the past will be swept away. Almost all the well-known authors of the last centuries.have somehow had occasion to mention it. , just within its bounds, is still the centre for the offices of nearly all the leading newspapers and magazines, and those who stood beneath the soot-begrimed arches had to the last somewhat
|of the experience which Dr. Johnson describes in his ().|
[n.3.1] Only the names of still existing (1877) monuments and buildings are printed in italics.
[n.4.1] Alibone, Dictionary of English and American Authors.
[n.4.2] Walpole to Montague, August 2, 1746.
[n.5.1] Sir Thomas Pope Blunt's Censura Authorum.
[n.5.2] Blanchard Jerrold.
[n.13.1] See Ralph's Critical Review of Public Buildings.
[n.17.1] Dr. Johnson.
[n.21.1] The Connoisseur, No. XXIX.
[n.22.1] Chetwood's Hist. of the Stage.
[n.23.2] Knighted, in spite of his having fought for Prince Charles Edward, and having narrowly escaped from arrest and execution by being concealed from his pursuers under the wide-spreading hoop of a young lady from whom he implored protection, and whom he afterwards married.
[n.27.1] Pope in Spence's Anecdotes.
[n.29.1] G. A. Sala.
[n.34.1] The Gazette, Sept. 9, 1658.
[n.36.1] In the Registry of the Court of Probate at Somerset House, all wills are preserved in a fire-proof room. Any Will inquired after can be found in a short time, and any one may peruse a Will, who obtains a shilling probate stamp. No copies or even memoranda may be made from a Will, without a separate Order, for which a fixed payment is demanded, in proportion to the length of the copy required.
[n.41.1] Lloyd's State Worthies.
[n.43.1] There are similar figures at Knowsley, and at Arley in Cheshire
[n.47.1] The follies and cruelties perpetrated by the Mohocks are described in the Spectator, No. 324, 332, 335, 347.
[n.47.2] Hawkins' Life of Johnson.