The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 3

Allen, Thomas

1827

Apothecaries' Hall.

The buildings form a quadrangle, inclosing a small paved court. The buildings are all compoed. Within a slightly marked pediment, are the arms of the company, and beneath is the following inscription:--

Extructum M.D.CCCXXI. Josepho Jackson, magistro, Georgio Cabbell, Jobanne Baker, Custodibus.

A high flight of steps on the east side leads to the Hall or Great Room: here is a Corinthian screen, and at the north end a small gallery, together with a bust of Gideon de Laune, a French refugee (and apothecary to James the ), to whose exertions the company were principally indebted for their incorporation, and the following portraits: Robert Gower, esq. master in , a whole length: sir Benjamin Rawlings, esq. sheriff in , a tolerable picture: Peter Guelsthorp, esq. master in : Henry Smith, esq. master in : William Prowting, esq. master in , seated, at a writing table, in his right hand, a key; a well coloured and expressive picture. Gideon de Laune, esq. -quarters: Dr. George Pile, whole length; sir John Clerke, master in : Mr. John Lorimer, master in : James the and Charles the , whole lengths; and William the and queen Mary, half lengths. In the Court Room are very good -quarter lengths, by Pine, of John Allen, esq. and Joseph Higden, esq. master in , both represented as sitting: and a of similar size, of Cornelius Dutch, esq. apparently by Hudson.

Attached to this building are extensive and convenient laboratories for the making chemical and galenical preparations; and on the north side is a large shop, in which large quantities of medicines of the best qualities are retailed, as well to the profession as to the public. The whole of the medicines used in the navy were formerly received from this hall.

On the south side of the hall is Playhouse-yard, so called from a theatre which formerly was situated in this neighbourhood. Skottowe says this was the building in England exclusively devoted to the purposes of the drama, and was erected about , before which period, dramatic performances (the mysteries and moralities) were presented in churches; and subsequently, when religious dramas gave place to profane subjects and pieces of mere amusement, in the halls of universities and inns of court, the palaces of royalty, the mansions of the nobility, and in temporary erections in the court yards of inns.

609

 

The distinguishing marks of what were termed private playhouses, have not hitherto been ascertained. It is certain, however, that they were smaller than the public theatres, a fact, which is ascertained from these lines, in an epilogue to , a comedy by Nabbes:--

When others' fill'd rooms with neglect disdain ye,

My little house with thanks shall entertain ye.

They were only opened in the winter, and the performances were by candle-light. It would appear, too, that the audience was of a more select and higher class, and a portion was privileged to sit on the stage, an indulgence not allowed in the public theatres, and for which an extra fee was demanded.

It is stated in Camden's Annals of the Reign of King James the , that this theatre fell down in , and that above persons were killed; but from an old tract, printed in the same year in which the accident occurred, it is evident that he was misinformed, and that the room which gave way was in a private house, appropriated to the service of religion. The title of this pamphlet is as follows:

A Word of Comfort, or a Discourse concerning the late lamentable Accident of the Fall of a Room at a Catholic Sermon in the Blackfriers, London, whereby about Fourscore Persons were oppressed.

That it was not the theatre which fell down is further confirmed by the following lines, prefixed to a play called The Queen, published in :--

We dare not say--

--that Blackfriars we heare, which in this age

Fell, when it was a church, not when a stage;

Or that the Puritans that once dwelt there,

Prayed and thriv'd, though the playhouse were so neare.

In this theatre, the Children of the Revels occasionally performed. These were juvenile actors, selected from the choristers of the public schools and the chapel royal, who exhibited in the dramatic entertainments performed at court. They are distinguished in the records of the time as the Children of Paul's, the Children of , and the Children of the Chapel. The Children of Paul's were the favourites at the accession of Elizabeth; but were soon rivalled by the others. By the celebrity of their performances, they excited the envy of the established comedians, as appears from Shakspeare's Hamlet, (Act II. sc. .) Chalmers thinks it probable, that though they were termed Children, some of them might have been men; in support of which opinion, he cites the word bairn, which, in the Scottish poets, signifies a young man as well as a child, and states the word child to be employed in the same sense by Shakspeare, and in the ancient ballads. This opinion is, however, without foundation; as in many documents of the period they are termed boys; and the word child was employed by the old

610

writers to signify a knight or hero. Boswell, jun. expresses himself (and with reason) at a loss to discover where Chalmers could find authority for such an assertion.

Many pieces were performed by these Children in this theatre before . Sometimes they played entire pieces; at others, they assisted the adult performers, by representing such juvenile characters as are found in Shakspeare's plays.

The Case is Altered,

by Ben Jonson, appears to have been wholly acted by them. This comedy was published in ,

as acted by the Children of Blackfriers.

All the plays of Shakspeare seem to have been performed at this theatre, and at the Globe.

The parochial school of St. Anne, Blackfriars, is a large and handsome building of red brick; and stands within the church-yard of this parish, and adjoining Church entry. On a pannel, upon the front, is the following inscription:--

Blackfriars School founded and endowed by Peter Joye, esq. anno

1705

. Repaired at the expense of the parish, anno

1818

. Rev. Isaac Saunders, M. A. Rector. John Taylor, William Penny, William Garnsey, Churchwardens.

On a marble attached to the wall, between the court and the door of the school, is this inscription:

Near this marble, in the place which before the fire of London was the porch of St. Anne, Blackfriers, lye interr'd the bodies of Dr. William Gouge, minister of this pariah 46 years, who died December 12th, 1653, aged 79. Mr. Thomas Gouge, eldest son of the said Dr. sometime minister of St. Sepulchre's church, who died October 29, 1681, aged 77; with Mrs. Anne Gouge, his wife, who died December 3d, 1671, aged 55. William Gouge, esq. eldest son of ye said Mr. Thomas Gouge, who died Oct. 13th, 1706, aged 64-This monument was erected by Mrs. Meliora Priestley, only child of the said William Priestley of Wild Hall, in the county of Hertford, esq. in pious memory of her dear father and worthy ancestors.

This monument was set up in this place with the leave of the founder of the school.

Opposite to the site of the church is another burying ground; and lower down the court, on the same side as the old church, is a house, on the front of which is an ornamented tablet with the ensuing inscription :--

THIS HOVSE WAS BVILT PART WITH THE

MOYS AND CHARITABLE GIFT OF THE

RIGHT HONORABLE THE LADY VICE-

COVNTESSE ELIZABETH LOMLEY, AND

THE OTHER PART BY THE INHABITANTS,

AND IS WHOLLY TO BE EMPLOYED

TOWARDS THE MAINTENANCE OF THE

POOR OF THE PRECINCT OF ST. ANN,

BLACKFRIARS, LONDON, AND FOR

NO OTHER VSE FOR EVER.

WILLIAM BRADFORD,CHURCH WARDENS JOHN YOVNG,

FEBRVARY

16

ANNO DNI

1670

.

611

 

In the neighbourhood of Gloucester-court, surrounded by wretched passages, formed by sheds, wooden houses; and walls, is a fragment or of the old monastery of the Black Friars, composed of flint and free-stone, with projections like brackets, shapeless through decay. Near this is a small burial-ground, with a pointed arch in of the walls.

In the parish of St. Anne's resided that admirable painter sir A. Vandyke, and on , the following entry appears in the church books:

Justinian, daughter of sir Anthony Vandyke, and his lady.

In the Blackfriars was a Roman catholic chapel, in which occurred a dreadful accident in . It appears that over the gateway of the hotel of the French ambassador, in Blackfriars, which was of stone and brick, was a gallery, or attic story, of feet in length, and in width; the in height from the ground. There were passages to this room, from the street, the other from the ambassador's withdrawing-room. The lower floor had a vault of stone. feet were taken from the length of the gallery by a deal partition; and this apartment served as a vestry-room for the priest: so that an auditory of near persons were compressed within a space feet in length by in breadth; about half an hour after the service had commenced, the flooring gave way, and the whole mass of wretched sufferers were precipitated into the vault below. It was supposed that near or persons lost their lives.

In Printing-house-lane is the Times newspaper printing-office, formerly the king's printing-house. This house was burnt down about the year , but was rebuilt as it appears at present. It consists of a centre and wings of brick, the former being slightly marked with a pediment, within which are the royal arms. In , the king's printing-office was removed to , .

In this lane was situated the Scotch-hall, a large house, seated as well in , as on the Ditch-side; made use of by Scotchmen on particular occasions.

 
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 Title Page
 Dedication
 CHAPTER I: The site, extent, buildings, population, commerce, and a view of the progressive increase of London
 CHAPTER II: List of the parishes and churches in London, with their incumbents, &c
CHAPTER III: History and Topography of Aldersgate Ward
CHAPTER IV: History and Topography of Aldgate Ward
CHAPTER V: History and Topography of Bassishaw Ward
CHAPTER VI: History and Topography of Billingsgate Ward
CHAPTER VII: History and Topography of Bishopsgate Ward, Without and Within
CHAPTER VIII: History and Topography of Bread-street Ward
CHAPTER IX: History and Topography of Bridge Ward Within
CHAPTER X: History and Topography of Broad-street Ward
CHAPTER XI: History and Topography of Candlewick Ward
CHAPTER XII: History and Topography of Castle Baynard Ward
CHAPTER XIII: History and Topography of Cheap Ward
CHAPTER XIV: History and Topography of Coleman-street Ward
CHAPTER XV: History and Topography of Cordwainer's-street Ward
CHAPTER XVI: History and Topography of Cornhill Ward
CHAPTER XVII: History and Topography of Cripplegate Ward Within
CHAPTER XVIII: History and Topography of Cripplegate Yard Without
CHAPTER XIX: History and Topography of Dowgate Yard
CHAPTER XX: History and Topography of Farringdom Ward Within
CHAPTER XXI: History and Topography of Farringdon Ward Without
CHAPTER XXII: History and Topography of Langbourn Ward
CHAPTER XXIII: History and Topography of Lime-street Ward
CHAPTER XXIV: History and Topogrpahy of Portsoken Ward
CHAPTER XXV: History and Topography of Queenhithe Ward
CHAPTER XXVI: History and Topography of Tower Ward
CHAPTER XXVII: History and Topography of Vintry Ward
CHAPTER XXVIII: History and Topography of Wallbrook Ward