Walks in London, vol. I
Hare, Augustus J. C.
Chapter VIII: Bishopsgate.
Chapter VIII: Bishopsgate.
Returning to the , we must follow , properly -Needle Street, which belongs to the Merchant Tailors. On the right, concealed by a row of houses (for which an annual rent of per foot is paid), is the , which was incorporated in . It was built after the great Fire by the city architect Jarmin, and surrounds a courtyard. It can only be visited by a special order from the Master or Clerk of the Company. The Hall is a noble chamber (go feet by ), rich in stained glass and surrounded by the arms of the members. At the end are the arms of the Company--the Lamb of their patron St. John Baptist, and a pavilion between royal mantles, with camels as supporters. A corridor beyond the Hall has stained glass windows which commemorate a quarrel for precedence between the Merchant Tailors and Skinners Companies in -. The Lord Mayor (Sir R. Belesdon) was called upon to decide it, and ordained that the Companies should have precedence by alternate years: and in commemoration of their peace the Skinners Company dines
| with its rival every year in July, when the Mister of the Merchant Tailors proposes the toast-
and in August the Skinners return the hospitality, giving the same toast and reversing the order in which the Companies are named.
The Court Dining-Room contains-
The Drawing-Room contains-
In the are--
In the eighteen haunches of venison can be cooked at once and cooked for the great dinner on the Wednesday in July. A small but beautiful vaulted is a relic of the Hall destroyed in the great Fire. The magnificent collection of plate includes some curious Irish tankards of , and the silver measure by which the Merchant Tailors had the right to test the goods in Bartholomew Fair.
On the north of was the South Sea House, rendered famous by the
of . falls into the picturesque and irregular , which, having escaped the great Fire, is full of quaint buildings with high roofs and projecting windows, and is rich in several really valuable memorials of the past.
The most interesting of the remaining houses is which we see on the right immediately after entering Bishops-gate--, with a late lath and plaster front towards the street, but altogether the most beautiful specimen of domestic architecture remaining in London, and of the finest examples of the century in England.
Sir John Crosby,
was an Alderman, who represented the City of London in . In he was knighted by Edward IV. He obtained a lease of this property for years from Alice Ashfield, Prioress of St. Helens, and built
But he died in ; so that he only enjoyed his palace for a short time.
It was here, says Sir Thomas More, that Richard, Duke of Gloucester,
and it was in the hall which we now see that he planned the deposition, most probably the death, of his nephew. Shakspeare knew Crosby Hall well, for we know from the parish assessments that he was residing in in St. Helens, where, from the sum levied, he must have inhabited a house of importance. He introduces Crosby Hall as the place where Richard induced Anne of Warwick to await his return from the funeral of her father-in-law, the murdered Henry VI., and he otherwise twice mentions it in his play of , to which fact it is probable that we owe the preservation of the grand old house, amongst the vicissitudes which have attended other historical buildings.
Sir Thomas More lived here for some years; and here, without doubt, wrote his Life of Richard III. In he sold it to the man whom he himself describes as his
Antonio Bonvisi, an Italian merchant of Lucca, who was settled in London. It was to this Bonvisi that he wrote a last touching letter with charcoal from the Tower, and, on the morning of his execution, the dress he put on was the
It would seem that after Sir Thomas More's execution his.devoted daughter Margaret longed to return to a place so much connected with her father's sacred life, and in Bonvisi leased Crosby Hall to More's son-in-law, William Roper, and to his nephew, William Rastell, who was an eminent printer. By the religious persecutions under Edward VI., Bonvisi, Roper, and Rastell were all obliged to go abroad, but they returned under Mary. The next proprietor of the house was Alderman Bond, who added a turret to it, and died
| here in . The rich Mayor of London, Sir John Spencer, bought Crosby Place in , and during his occupation M. de Rosny, afterwards Duc de Sully, the minister of Henry IV., was received here as ambassador, when he came over to persuade James I. to preserve the league which had existed between Elizabeth, France, and the Hollanders, and not to make war with Catholic Spain. In his Memoirs he gives a curious account of a scene which occurred here in the great hall during his visit. Previous ambassadors had brought great disrepute upon their country through the excesses committed in London by members of their suite, and of these he was determined to prevent a recurrence. To his horror, upon the very evening of his arrival, he discovered that of his attendants, going out to amuse himself, had murdered an English merchant in a brawl in Great St. Helen's. He immediately made the whole of his companions and servants range themselves against the wall; and taking a lighted flambeau, he walked up to each in turn, and, throwing the light full upon them, scrutinised their faces. By his trembling and his livid paleness it was soon disclosed that a noble young gentleman, son of the Sieur de Combaut, was the culprit. He was related to the French Ambassador M. de Beaumont, who demanded, urged, and entreated his pardon, but in vain. Sully declared that Combaut should be beheaded in a few minutes. He was finally induced to give him up to the Mayor, who saved his life; but his severity, says Sully, had this consequence, that |
Sir John Spencer, having but a poor opinion of the Compton family in that day, positively forbade the
| Earl of Northampton to pay his addresses to his daughter, who was the greatest heiress in England. day, at the foot of the staircase, Sir John met the baker's boy with his covered barrow, and, being pleased at his having come punctually when he was ordered, he gave him sixpence; but the baker's boy was Lord Northampton in disguise, and in the covered barrow he was carrying off the beautiful Elizabeth Spencer. When he found how he had been duped, Sir John swore that Lord Northampton had seen the only sixpence of his money he should ever receive, and refused to be reconciled to his daughter. But the next year Queen Elizabeth, having expressed to Sir John Spencer the sympathy which she felt with his sentiments upon the ingratitude of his child, invited him to come and be |
with her to a newly-born baby in which she was much interested, and he could not refuse; and it is easy to imagine whose that baby was. So the Spencer property came to the Comptons after all, and an immense inheritance it has been, and. Lord Northampton lived to erect the magnificent tomb to his
where the disobedient daughter, in everlasting contrition for her fault, may be seen kneeling, in a tremendous hoop, at her father's feet.
The rich wife continued to live frequently in Crosby Place, and was rather an expensive wife to her husband, especially considering the value of money at that time, as may be judged from the following letter written soon after her marriage. It seems worth giving as characteristic of the people, the place, and the times.
Here for many years lived the Countess of Pembroke, immortalised in Ben Jonson's epitaph. In Crosby Place was leased to Sir John Langham. In it became a Presbyterian Meeting House. It was later a packer's warehouse, till, in , a subscription was raised to restore it as we now see it.
A passage, of those obscure and almost secret ways of the City, which yet are crowded with foot passengers, leads under an archway into and through . It passes in front of the noble oriel of the . This is a stately room, ft. long, ft. broad, and was once ft. high but this has been curtailed, with a noble perpendicular timber roof. The great oriel window has been filled by with stained glass armorial bearings of the different possessors of Crosby Place. It is of the few ancient halls in which there is no indication of a raised dais. Above the adjoining is the so-called , with a peculiarly beautiful window. Crosby Place is now occupied by the Restaurant of Messrs. Gordon and Co.
In , at the back of the Hall, are some admirable modern buildings of brick and terra-cotta. , close by, have a good chimney-piece of .
Close to Crosby Place, a low timber-corbelled gateway leads out of into , where, from the noise and bustle of the great thoroughfare, you
|suddenly enter upon the quiet of a secluded churchyard, filled in early spring with bright green foliage. Here, c. , the Priory of the Nuns of St. Helen's was founded by William Basing, Dean of . The old Hall of the Nuns was only removed in . Their remains,|
|and from the number of monuments connected with the City of London within its walls it has become a kind of for the City, and is of the highest interest. Lately the number of these monuments has been greatly increased by the destruction, in , of the ancient|
|Church of St. Martin Outwich (so called from its founder, John de Oteswitch), and the removal to St. Helen's of all the tombs which it contained.|
The church consists of aisles, separated by perpendicular arches, with chapels attached at the south-east. Only a very small portion of the building is used for congregational purposes, and till a few years ago a large part of the west end, screened off, and always known as
was only used for funerals. The whole building is surrounded with monuments. An inscription over the west door reminds us that
but the usual entrance is by the handsome Jacobean door on the south side of the building. The small altar-tomb with incised figures opposite the entrance is that of William and Magdalen Kirwen of . On the left of the door is the stately alabaster tomb of the rich Sir John Spencer (), raised by Lord Northampton to his
assisted at his funeral.[n.289.1] The figures of Sir Johns and his wife (Alicia Bromfeld) repose under a double canopy; the heiress daughter, almost eclipsed in the immensity of her hoop, kneels at a desk at their feet. Next is the tomb of Dame Abigail Lawrence (),
Opposite, on the north wall, is the tomb of John Robinson, alderman, and merchant of the Staple, with Christian his wife (), who were
: all this family are kneeling behind their parents at a faldstool. Beyond this is an exquisite Gothic canopy (from St. Martin Outwich) of
|Purbeck marble, over the tomb of Alderman Hugh Pemberton and his wife Katerina ().|
Here the line of monuments is broken by a great tomb like a house, to Francis Bancroft, founder of the Mile End Almshouses, who
It is very ugly, but very curious. Being the property of the Drapers' Company, when a new Master is appointed, he generally pays his respects to Francis Bancroft, for the tomb can be entered by a door, and the lid of the coffin turns back, displaying the skeleton. Bancroft was so unpopular as a city magistrate in his life-time, that the people pealed the bells at his funeral, and tried to upset the coffin on its way to the grave. He desired that for a years a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine might be placed in his grave every year on the anniversary of his death, because he was convinced that before that time he should awake from his death-sleep and require it. The years have now expired.
Beyond Bancroft's tomb are a staircase and a door, which formerly communicated with stories of the convent. There, against the wall, are the tombs of William Bond--
(); and Martin Bond (), governor of Tilbury Fort in the time of Elizabeth. He is represented sitting in a tent, with sentries outside, and a servant bringing up a horse. The noble altar-tomb beneath, with a raised coat of arms, is that of the great Sir Thomas Gresham, founder of the , with the simple
| inscription, |
Above hangs his helmet, carried at his funeral. Against the wall is the quaint coloured monument of Sir Andrew Judde, Lord Mayor (), founder of the at Tunbridge-
The great canopied tomb close by is that of Sir William Pickering,
and, moreover, very handsome, which caused him to stand so high in the favour of Elizabeth, that he (a simple knight) was at time deemed to have a fair chance of obtaining the hand which was refused to the kings of Spain and Sweden. He died at Pickering House in in . His son is commemorated on the same monument The beautiful Gothic niche behind Gresham's tomb has a kind of double grille of stone-
which is believed to have been intended to allow refractory nuns[n.291.1] to hear a faint echo of the mass from the crypt beneath. In the
every Sunday morning, a dole of fresh loaves-
--lies waiting on a clean white cloth for the poor, bequeathed to them by a humble benefactor of the early part of the century, whose dust lies below.
On the wall above the Nuns' Grate is a monument erected in to the memory of Alberico Gentili, who, when driven to England by the religious persecutions of the latter part of the century, established his reputation as a great international jurist by his famous work, The register of St. Helen's mentions the burial of his father, Matteo,
and that of the son
--. in the convent garden, as near to the back of this monument as can be identified.
Passing the altar, we reach the noble tomb of Sir John Crosby () and his wife Anneys-he wearing an alderman's mantle over plate armour, and with a collar of suns and roses, the badge of the House of York, round his neck. The lady has a most remarkable headdress. Steps lead down into the , almost paved with
|brasses, the best being that of John Lementhorp () in armour; and those of Nicholas Wootton () and John Brent (), rectors of St. Martin Outwich, removed from that church. In the centre of the chapel is the fine tomb of John de Oteswitch and Mary his wife, of the time of Henry IV., founders of St. Martin Outwich. An admirable little figure of a girl with a book, of old Italian|
|workmanship, on a bracket, is said to be intended for St. Helena. The ancient altar-stone and sedilia remain.|
In the is the altar-tomb of Sir Julius Caesar, the son of Pietro Maria Adelmare and Paola Cesarino of Treviso. He was made Master of Requests () and Master of Hospital () by Elizabeth, was knighted at Greenwich by James I. in ,
| made Chancellor of in , and Master of the Rolls in . He was |
of Izaak Walton.[n.294.1] The tomb was executed in the life-time of Sir Julius by , the sculptor of Dr. Donne's monument in . On the top is a scroll of black marble representing a parchment deed, with a seal appendant, by which Caesar covenants willingly to pay the debt of nature, when it shall please God to require it. The deed is signed , and the debt was paid . But the Latin inscription is too curious to omit-
The stalls on the north of the chancel are the ancient seats of the nuns. A picturesque bit of carving against a pillar bears the arms and marked the seat of Sir John Lawrence, Lord Mayor, .
On the north wall is the tomb (from St. Martin Outwich) of Alderman Richard Staper (),
The famous Robert Hooke, philosopher and mechanic, and Curator of the Royal Society, who died in Gresham College in , is buried in this church without a monument. He
| was the inventor of the efficient air-pump, of the pendulum spring of a watch, of the circular pendulum adapted by Watt as his |
and of the watch-wheel cutting machine. The idea of a telegraph was originated by him.[n.295.1]
From the south porch of the church a labyrinthine passage leads by to St. Andrew , of which there is a picturesque view where the passage opens upon the street. Several of the houses which look upon St. Helen's Churchyard deserve notice. No. has a rich doorway, and good staircase of Charles I.'s time; Nos. and are subdivisions of a fine brick house of , probably by Inigo Jones; and in No. are a handsome chimney-piece and staircase of carved oak. The , built in by Sir Andrew Judde, whose tomb we have seen, still exist here, but were rebuilt in .
The next turn out of leads into , near the end of which is the modern , incorporated by Richard II. It stands upon the still-preserved crypt of St. Helen's Priory. At the beginning of this century a curious fountain with the figure of a mermaid, sculptured by Caius Gabriel Cibber in , in payment of a fine to the company, stood in the court in front of it; but it disappeared many years ago.
On the opposite side of is the ancient hostelry of the , with wooden galleries overhanging its courtyard. The curious Inn of adjoining has been rebuilt and spoilt.
Near this on the left, with buildings extending to Broad
|Street, stood Gresham College, founded in honour of Sir Thomas Gresham, who gave the to the City on condition that the Corporation would institute lectures on Divinity, Civil Law, Astronomy, Music, Geometry, Rhetoric, and Physic, to be delivered in his dwelling-house, which he bequeathed for the purpose.|
Many eminent men were professors of this college, and their learned weekly meetings in gave birth to the Royal Society. During the time of the Commonwealth, Sir Christopher Wren was Professor of Astronomy here, and here he made his great reflecting telescope. On , Charles II. formally constituted the college by the title of Quaint and credulous were many of the inquiries of these old philosophers, who wrote to ask of their foreign correspondents to ascertain
and to find out
and who preserved in their museum a bone taken out of a mermaid's head, and issued reports of a mountain cabbage feet high. Charles II. was often amused with these vagaries. Butler, who laughs at the attempts of the society-
especially satirises Wilkins, afterwards Bishop of Chester, of the professors, who believed that a new world was
| to be discovered in the moon and that it would be reached by flying machines. It was this Wilkins who, when a great lady required of him how he would contrive to bait upon the journey, replied that he was amazed that she who had herself built so many should ask him such a question. In Samuel Pepys was President of the Royal Society in Gresham College. Isaac Newton, afterwards President, was here |
Gresham College was a noble building of brick and stone,
[n.297.1] The open archway towards the.stables was decorated with figures, the standing with a drawn sword over the other upon his knees. Dr. Woodward, famous as an early geologist, fought a duel with Dr. Mead, the great physician and botanist under that porch. His foot slipped and he fell.
returned the implacable Woodward.
After the Fire, which it escaped, Gresham College was temporarily used as an Exchange, and its Professors' lodgings were occupied by the City courts and offices, its piazza by the shops of the Exchange tenants, and its quadrangle by the merchants' meetings--
[n.297.2] When the Exchange was rebuilt the Royal Society
|returned to the College and continued to hold their meetings there till they moved to Crane Court in . From that time the College fell into decay, and in it was sold to the Commissioners of Excise, and an was built upon part of its site.|
Almost concealed by its parasitic houses, so that we might easily pass it unobserved, is (right) the Gothic arch which forms an entrance to the solemn little , dedicated to the daughter of King Ethelbert, of the few churches which survived the Fire. It contains some good fragments of old stained glass, and its existence is mentioned as early as . At the junction of Camomile and Wormwood Streets, a large episcopal mitre on a house-wall marks the site of the old Gate of the City called Bishops' Gate. Tradition ascribed the foundation of this gate (frequently rebuilt) to St. Erkenwald in , and the Bishops of London had an ancient right to levy stick from every cart laden with wood which passed beneath it, in return for which they were obliged to supply the hinges of the gate. Beyond this, the street is called
On the left of Bishopsgate Without is , an ugly building of . It occupies the site of an earlier edifice, of the churches at the gates, dedicated to this popular English saint, who travelled with his brother Adulph into Gaul, and coming back with accounts of the religious institutions he had seen there, and recommendations from English princesses then in France, sisters of Ethelmund, King of the East Saxons, was given a piece of land in Lincolnshire by that prince-
Of this Benedictine monastery, of which Boston, Botolph's town, is supposed to mark the site, Botolph was abbot, and there he died in the odour of sanctity, .
The church contains the monument (a tablet with a flaming vase) of Sir Paul Pindar (), a famous merchant and Commissioner of the Customs in Charles II.'s time. It is inscribed to
The sunny churchyard is now a garden full of ornamental ducks and pigeons. It contains the tomb of Coya Shawsware, a Persian merchant, around which his relations sang and recited funeral elegies, morning and evening, for months after his death.
It is not far down to (left) the beautiful old ,
with overhanging oriel windows, very richly decorated with panel-work, forming a subject well worthy of the artist's pencil. The house was begun by Sir Paul Pindar on his return from Italy at the end of the reign of Elizabeth. He was born in . His reputation of the richest merchant of the kingdom brought him frequent visits here from James I. and Charles I. to beg for a loan in their necessities. At the request of the
|Turkey Company he was sent by James I. as ambassador to Constantinople, where he did much to improve the English trade in the Levant. On his return in , he brought back with him, amongst other treasures, a great diamond which was valued at , and which he was wont to lend to James I. to wear at the opening of his|
|Parliaments; it was afterwards sold to Charles I. At the time of the civil wars it was Sir Paul Pindar who provided funds for the escape of the Queen and her children. He lived to give for the restoration of , which was begun in Charles II.'s reign before the Great Fire. When he died the King owed no less than to Sir Paul and the other Commissioners of the Customs, and Pindar's|
|affairs were found to be in such confusion, that his executor, William Toomer, was unable to bear the responsibility of his trust, and destroyed himself. When the great merchant was living, the house had a park attached to it behind, of which of the richly ornamented lodges and some old mulberry trees, planted to please James I., existed till a few years ago in Half-Moon Alley. Now all is closely hemmed in by houses.|
The name of (on the right) commemorates the town-house of the Cavendishes, Earls of Devonshire, who lived in Bishopsgate during the century, and some of whom are buried in St. Botolph's. The corner house has a chimney-piece with the arms of Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, the adored friend to whom the sonnets of Shakspeare are addressed.
[To the left, by , are and , occupying the site of , a marshy ground which was a favourite Sunday walk with the citizens. Here, says Shadwell,
Shakspeare alludes to the popularity of this walk in his -
John Keats the Poet was born at No. on in in , being the son of a livery stable keeper, who had enriched himself by a marriage with his master's daughter.
Tradition and an old ballad say that the name of Finsbury is derived from ladies, daughters of a gallant knight who went to the Crusades:--
The eldest of them, Mary, became a nun of Bethlehem, spending day and night in prayer for her father-
The younger, Dame Annis, opened a well-
So the sisters lived on
But when the King of England returned from the Crusades, it was only the heart of their brave father which he brought back to his loving daughters, which they solemnly buried, and gave the name of their father to its resting-place--
, , may be noticed as containing the (open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, from to in winter, and to in summer). It is of little general interest.
Beyond , by the - once the only firm path in the marshy district of --we reach, in the (left), the modern castellated buildings of the , which are the headquarters of the London Militia--the
of our Civil Wars, which were the mainstay.of the Parliamentary army, being the successors of the
incorporated by Henry VIII., but having their origin in the Guild of St. George, established in the reign of Edward I. The artillery ground here is the Campus Martius--the Champ de Mars--of London.
Just beyond the Barracks (divided by the street) is the vast burial-ground of , Anthony Wood's
from having been of the chief burial-places during the Great Plague.
The burial-ground is now closed as a cemetery, but the forest of tombs on the left, shaded by young trees, remains
| a green oasis in of the blackest parts of London. Near the centre of |
a white figure, lying aloft upon a high (modern) altar-tomb, marks the (-), whither all will at once direct their steps, for who does not, with Cowper-
Bunyan wrote as many books as the years of his life, but is chiefly honoured as the author of which was written during his imprisonment as a dissenter in Bedford jail, where |
[n.305.1] Being released in , he spent his remaining years in exhorting his dissenting brethren to holiness of life, and, when James II. proclaimed liberty of conscience for dissenters, opened a meeting-house at Bedford. He died on from a cold taken on a missionary excursion, in the house of John Studwick, a grocer, who was buried near him in .
Bunyan himself, in the preface to the describes the way in which his work grew:--
Just beyond the tomb of Bunyan are altar-tombs to Henry Cromwell, Richard Cromwell, and William Cromwell. General Fleetwood, who had married that severe republican Bridget Cromwell, General Ireton's widow, has an altar-tomb nearer the gate.
At a turn of the path, beyond the tombs of the Cromwells, is the headstone of Susannah Wesley, the youngest daughter of Samuel Annesley, the ejected Vicar of St. Giles, Cripplegate, and widow of the Vicar of Epworth. She was the mother of children, of whom the most renowned were John and Charles.
(in the words of her epitaph)
Mrs. Wesley died in .
The stanzas succeeding the verses which her sons placed upon the tomb of Susannah Wesley refer to her belief that she had received an assurance of the forgiveness of her sins at the moment when her son-in-law, Hall, was administering the Last Supper to her-
Around the spot where we may picture the vast multitude gathered amid the tombs and Wesley preaching by his mother's grave, the most eminent of the earlier Nonconformists had already been buried. Of these perhaps the most remarkable was Dr. John Owen (-),
at time Dean of , and Vice-Chancellor of Oxford when Oliver Cromwell was Chancellor, the divine who preached before the on the day after the execution of Charles I. He was the author of works!
Amongst the graves of the notable Nonconformist ministers buried here, we may notice those of Dr. Thomas Goodwin (--), the President of Magdalen, ejected at the Restoration, who had prayed by
| Oliver Cromwell's death-bed, and had asked a blessing upon Richard Cromwell at his proclamation as Protector; of Hansard Knollys, the Baptist, author of (); of Nathaniel Mather (brother of Increase Mather), celebrated for his sermons (); of the learned Theophilus Gale (), who was ejected from his fellowship at Magdalen for refusing to conform at the Restoration, author of the and many other works; of the zealous itinerant preacher Vavasour Powell, |
who died in the , where he had been confined for years; of Thomas Rosewell (), the ejected rector of Sutton Mandeville, who was arraigned for high treason, condemned by Judge Jeffreys, and pardoned by the king; of Thomas Doolittle, the much-persecuted minister of (); of Dr. Daniel Williams, founder of the Williams Library (); of Daniel Neal, author of the (-); of Thomas Bradbury, who refused the bribe of a bishopric under Anne, and who claimed to be the minister who proclaimed George I. from the pulpit (); and of Dr. John Conder (), with the epitaph, by himself--
of the most interesting tombs is that of Dr. Nathaniel Lardner (--), of the most eminent of non-conformist divines, author of the
Visitors must seek on the northern side of the burial ground for the tomb of the famous Independent minister Dr. Isaac Watts (-), author of the well-known hymns and many other works.
Not far from the grave of Watts, a modern pyramid marks that of Daniel de Foe (--), son of a butcher in St. Giles, Cripplegate, writer of many works, but renowned as the author of
Amongst those, not ministers, who have been buried here in the last century, are Joseph Kitson, the Antiquary ();
| John Horne Tooke, the Reformer (); Lady Anne Erskine, the trustee of Lady Huntingdon (); Joseph Hughes, the Founder of the Bible Society; David Nasmyth, the Founder of City Missions (); Abraham Rees, the Editor of (); William Blake, the painter and engraver of |
[n.311.1] (); and Thomas Stothard, R.A. ().
The inscription on the tomb of Dame Mary Page () tells that
Milton was living in Artillery Walk, Bunhill Fields (now destroyed), in .
George Whitefield preached in Bunhill Fields () at the grave of Robert Tilling, who was hung at Tyburn for the murder of his master, Mr. Lloyd, a Bishopsgate merchant. He frequently preached in the open air in to congregations of from to persons, and it was there especially, as he wrote to Lady Huntingdon, that
In a wooden tabernacle was built for him, which was superseded by a brick building in , but he continued,
|when the weather allowed, to address in the c.pen air larger congregations than any building would contain. His open-air church was like a battle-field, Merry-Andrews exhibiting their tricks close by to draw off his congregations, recruiting sergeants with their drums marching through the midst of his hearers, showers of dirt, eggs, &c., being perpetually hurled at him. Whitefield's last sermon in an English place of worship was preached in the tabernacle of (now pulled down) .|
Behind Bunhill Fields (west), in , is the entrance to the dismal , which was greatly reduced in its dimensions for building purposes in , the bones in the appropriated portion of the cemetery being removed to the neighbourhood of the grave of George Fox (-), founder of the Society of Quakers, whose strong religious opinions were formed whilst tending his sheep as a shepherd in Leicestershire. He became an itinerant preacher in , and his after-life was devoted, amid many persecutions, to the spiritual well-being of his fellow-men. George Fox was the only
buried with a monument, but his stone is now concealed by a Mission Chapel.] Far down Bishopsgate Without, (on the left) was the centre of the Skinners' trade as early as the reign of Richard II.
On the right is , now densely inhabited by weavers. It once belonged to the Priory of St. Mary Spital, founded in by Walter and Rosia Brune. Its old name was Lolesworth. Sir Horatio Pallavicini lived here in the reign of Elizabeth. Silk weaving was introduced in Spitalfields by French emigrants expelled in on the
| revocation of the edict of Nantes. |
In the year alone, no less than of these exiles took refuge in England. They so thoroughly identified themselves with the nation which received them, that many changed their French names into English synonyms. Thus Le Noir, became Black; Le Blanc, White; Le Brun, Brown; Oiseau, Bird, &c. Many historic French names are still to be found in the district- Le Sage, Fouchd (Anglicised into Futcher), and Racine, whose possessor declares himself related to the famous dramatist. The mothers of the last generation were often to be seen in their old French costumes, and to this hour thousands work in their glazed attics, such as were used by their forefathers on the other side of the Channel, which give such a characteristic aspect to the neighbourhood.[n.313.1]
In a walk through Spitalfields no will fail to be struck with the number of singing-birds kept in the houses,
| and for these there is often a large cage near the roof. The catching and training of singing-birds is a branch of industry peculiar to Spitalfields. The weavers train their call-birds. An amusing article on birdscatching in the
, a gloomy red brick square of the early Georges, marks the site of the old Hospital. The number of remains dug up here prove that this district was the burial-place of Roman London. Elizabeth went to hear a sermon at St. Mary Spittal, with white beats following her in a cart, to be baited as soon as it was over!
In , Spitalfields, is the great of Truman, Hanbury, Buxton, and Co.
, which joins Spitalfields on the west, was originally Soersditch, from
[n.314.1] but tradition continues to derive its name from the beautiful goldsmith's wife, beloved by Edward IV. The tradition has probably arisen through the old ballad of which ends-
Attached to the Church of St. Leonard was the Holy well nunnery, founded by Sir Thomas Lovel, who died in . Most of its windows bore the lines-
Sir George Manners, who fought with Henry VIII. at the siege of Tournay, was buried under the high-altar.
has always had an immoral reputation. Here Mrs. Milwood, celebrated in the ballad of lived
the only theatres which were in existence when Shakspeare came to London (between and ), were both in .
was built in by James Burbage, on land leased from Giles Allen, and by it had become a favourite resort: it was removed by Richard the son of James Burbage, that its materials might be used in building
| the Globe Theatre in . |
built about the same time as
continued to be used till the time of Charles I.: its site is marked by , which was called
till . The roof in both these theatres only covered the stage and galleries; the central space, for which admission was only penny, was left open to the sky. There is a tradition that Shakspeare stood at the doors of the playhouses and held the horses of spectators during the performance. But there is no proof that he was ever reduced to this, and before his had been acted at
while before , he was himself an actor, for entries are found in the accounts of the Treasury of the Chamber for sums paid
[n.316.1] The theatres in were considered as centres of vice. In Stockswood's sermon at Paul's Cross, , the preacher says,
And in , the Lord Mayor wrote to Sir F. Walsingham,
Beyond Spitalfields to the east is the black poverty stricken district of , also chiefly inhabited by weavers. The whole population is of recent growth. Pepys went to Sir William Rider's gardens at , and found there
Sir W. Rider's was supposed to be the house of
so well known from the ballad in Percy's
commemorate the residence of Bishop Bonner in this locality.
The district of , beyond , was once celebrated for its balsamic wells, and, in the last century, in the annals of gardening. Farther east is the populous district of , of which Archbishop Sancroft was vicar. Here the popish conspirators assembled at
, with the intention of assassinating Charles II. on his return from a visit to Sir Thomas Vyner; but the plot was revealed in time, though the conspirators escaped.
| The sign of |
at Hackney was changed to
under the Commonwealth, for which its landlord was whipped and pilloried at the Restoration, and afterwards called his inn
Returning down Bishopsgate, on the left is , a relic, in its name, of the old foss which encircled the city, formerly a natural receptacle for dead dogs, whose filth the street was intended to remedy. Richard of Cirencester says that the body of Edric, the murderer of Edmund Ironsides, was thrown into . His crime had raised Canute to the throne, but when he came to claim his promised reward--the highest position in the city--the Danish king replied,
Edric was then scorched to death with flaming torches, his head raised on the highest point of the Tower, and his body thrown to the hounds of Hounds ditch.
This is the Jews' quarter-silent on Saturdays, busy on Sundays. has long been a street famous for its brokers. In his Ben Jonson speaks of a man as
and Beaumont and Fletcher allude to the brokers of Dogsditch-
, on the left, is the ancient centre for the cutlers.
, , occupies the site of Priory, founded in by Queen Maude. It was granted at the Dissolution to Sir Thomas Audley, Lord Chancellor. His daughter married Thomas, Duke of Norfolk (whence the name), and was wont to ride hither
|through the city with horsemen in livery, preceded by heralds. Holbein died in the Duke's house.|
Behind on the right runs (Bury's Marks), from the town-house of the Abbots of Bury
| St. Edmunds, afterwards |
On the north side of this street, before the Dissolution, stood the Hospital of the Brotherhood of St. Augustine Papey. Here the sign of the tavern of , only very recently removed, was a strange instance of the endurance of the sign of
the crest of Richard III., who, as Duke of Gloucester, resided close by in Crosby Hall.
[n.289.1] Letter from Mr. John Beaulieu to Mr. Turnbull. March 2, 1609-1610.
[n.291.1] That the life of the Black Nuns of St. Helen's was not altogether devoid of amusements we may gather from the Constitutiones given them by the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's- also we enjoyne you, that all daunsyng and revelng be utterly forborne among you, except at Christmasse, and other honest tymys of recreacyoae, among yourselfe usyd, in absence of seculars in alle wyse.
[n.294.1] See Walton's Life of Sir Herry Wotton.
[n.295.1] The history of this church has been published in Annals of St. Helen's, Bishopsgate, edited by the Rev. J. E. Cox, 1877.
[n.297.1] Ward. Lives of the Professors of Gresham College?
[n.297.2] Ward. Lives of the Professors of Gresham College?
[n.305.1] Dr. Barlow.
[n.311.1] Charles Lamb.
[n.313.1] See the interesting Report of the New Nichol Street Ragged Schools, 1856.
[n.315.1] Really Jane Shore, released from her prison of Ludgate on the death of Richard III., lived to be eighty, and died 1533.
[n.316.1] See Halliwell's Illustrations of the Life of Shakspeare.
[n.317.1] See The Builder, April 17, 1875.
[n.317.2] The beadle of St. Matthew's, Bethnal Green, has a staff, of 1669, on the head of which, in silver gilt, the story of the Blind Beggar and his daughter is represented.
[n.320.1] Maitland, ii. 78.