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

Allen, Thomas

1827

Goldsmiths' Hall.

This spacious building supplies the place of a more ancient hall. which had been founded for the use of the company in , by sir Drew Barentine, lord mayor in . That edifice which Stow calls

a proper house, but not large,

was destroyed in the great fire, and the present fabric arose in its place within a few years afterwards. The buildings are of brick, and surround a square court, paved; the front being ornamented with stone corners wrought in rustic, and a large arched entrance, which exhibits a high pediment, supported on Doric columns, and open at the top, to give room for a shield of the company's arms. The hall itself, which is on the east side of the court, is a spacious and lofty apartment, paved with black and white marble, and most elegantly fitted up. The wainscoting is very handsome, and the celling and its appendages are richly stuccoed; an enormous flower adorning the centre, and the city and goldsmiths' arms, with various decorations, appearing in its other compartments. A richly carved screen, with composite pillars, pilasters, &c. and a balustrade with vases, terminating in branches for lights (between which are displayed the banners and flags used on public occasions), form part of the embellishments of this splendid room. On the east side of the hall is an elegant recess ornamented with crimson curtains, looped up in a tasteful manner, within which the valuable plate of the company was formerly exhibited on state occasions, but at present it is occupied by a beautiful bust of his present majesty, in marble, on a pedestal of the same material, executed by that eminent sculptor, Mr. Chantrey.

The balustrade of the stair-case is elegantly carved, and the walls exhibit numerous reliefs of scrolls, flowers, and instruments of music. The court room is another richly wainscotted apartment, and the ceiling is loaded with embellishments, which give it a grand, though somewhat heavy effect. The chimney-piece is of statuary marble, and very sumptuous: the sides being adorned with male caryatides, and the whole enriched by scrolls, grapes, &c. Above it is a painting of St. Dunstan, the patron saint of the company, in conversation with the Holy Virgin, having in the back ground a representation of the saint burning the devil's nose, as described in the ancient legend, when assailed by the fiend with temptation. Here, also, are the following portraits: sir Martin Bowes,

59

goldsmith, lord mayor, in , said to be by Holbein; this gentleman presented the company with an elegant cup, which he received by right of his office, at the coronation of queen Elizabeth; it is still carefully preserved among their plate. Sir Hugh Myddleton, bart. the illustrious character, who expended his entire fortune in forwarding the noble design of supplying the metropolis with water, by means of the . This is a fine picture, in the style of Vandyke. Sir Hugh is pourtrayed in a black habit, with his hand resting upon a shell: near him the words

Fontes Fodinae

are inscribed. He bequeathed a share in the to this company, for the benefit of its decayed members. Sir Thomas Viner, goldsmith, lord mayor in ; and Charles Hosier, esq. in the drawing-room, which is a large apartment, very handsomely decorated, is a full length portrait of his late majesty, George the ; and a porrtait of the late T. Lane, esq. clerk of the company for upwards of years. This portrait is also a full length, by sir W. Beechy, R.A. In another apartment is a large picture by Hudson, containing likenesses of lord mayors, all goldsmiths, namely, sir Henry Marshall, lord mayor in ; William Benn, esq. ; John Blachford, esq. ; Robert Alsop, esq, ; Edmund Ironside, esq. and sir Thomas Rawlinson, both in , the former having died during his mayoralty; these gentlemen are represented seated at a table, at which Blachford presides. The assay office, belonging to the Goldsmiths' company, adjoins to the hall on the south side, the front entrance being in .

On the west side of stood the parish church of St. Leonard, which was founded about the year , by William Kirkham, dean of , in the court-yard of the collegiate church, for the use of the inhabitants of the sanctuary. It derived its name from its dedication to a French saint, and its situation was added to distinguish it from another church, dedicated to the tame saint in .

It is a rectory, the patronage of which was anciently in the dean and canons of ; in whom it continued till that deanery was annexed to the abbey of ; the dean and chapter of which still possess it. The church not being rebuilt after the great fire in , the parish was annexed to that of , . A portion of the east wall of this church remains on the west-side of ; it will be destroyed when the new post-office is completed. On a building in the church-yard, before the ground was cleared, was a stone with the following inscription:--

BEFORE THE DREADFVLL FIRE ANNO DOM 1666 HERE STOOD THE PARISH CHVRCH OF ST. LENARD FOSTER LANE

Opposite the north end of Goldsmiths' hall, in , was a spacious house, with a large court-yard, handsomely paved with free-stone, formerly belonging to sir Thomas Bludworth, knt., lord mayor in , and since to Richard Levet, esq. son of sir Richard Levet, knt., lord mayor in the year ; in which house he kept his mayoralty. It was afterwards rebuilt, and converted into an office for the Union Insurance against losses by fire. It is now in the occupation of Messrs. Neville, warehousemen.

The church of St. Mary Staining, or Stone church, before the fire in , stood on the north side of . The reason why it received the additional epithet of Staining is very uncertain; some imagining it to be derived from the painter-stainers, who might probably live near it, while others suppose that it was originally called Stany, or Stony, from its being built with stone, to distinguish it from those in the city, built with wood, &c. This church not being rebuilt after the fire, the parish was united to that of St. Michael, ; but, in consideration of the small endowment of this parish, it was provided by the act which united them, that the patrons of St. Michael's should present twice in times.

The advowson of this rectory was anciently in the prioress and convent of Clerkenwell, in whom it continued till their suppression by Henry VIII. when it came to the crown, in whom it still remains.

On the piers of the burying ground, in , opposite the north end of , are the following inscriptions cut on separate stones:--

WestEast.
Before the Dreadfull FireAnno Dom. 1666, Here stood the Parish Church of St. Mary Stayning.This Church Yard Wall was Repair'd and new Iron Gates Erected Anno Dom. 1766.
 Alex. SuttonChurch-wardens. Alex. Strong

In , incorporated with the eastern wall of the buildings belonging to Leathersellers' hall are the remains of a strong wall built of flint and rough stones; and near to which is seen, above a low wooden porch, the gable of an old meeting-house, called Haberdashers'-hall chapel; the wall is built with red bricks; it has a large circular-headed window, and the parapet is broken in the style which preceded the improvements of sir Christopher Wren, and would almost lead to the belief that it was erected in the time of the commonwealth; the architect, however, in all probability, was a stedfast nonconformist, and probably rejected the architectural improvements brought about by the fire, as mere vanities.

Near the north end of , on the east side, stands an extensive building, originally erected by the company of Scriveners,

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for their hall; but, being reduced to low circumstances, they sold it to the company of Coachmakers, to whom it still belongs. They have let it for various purposes. It was once a debating society; and here lord George Gordon figured previous to the riots in the year ; afterwards it was opened by the Cecilian society, and Mrs. Billington, and many other eminent singers, occasionally per formed here; and lastly, it was converted into warehouses and manufactories. The present occupiers of these extensive premises are Messrs. Holmes and Aubert, painter-stainers. In of the rooms on the ground floor, probably that called the court-room, but now used as a counting-house, are the arms of the company of coach-makers within a gilt frame, and over the entrance a list of the benefactors to the company.

At the upper end of Fitche's court, near the last building, was, according to Maitland,

an old timber house, where formerly Titchborn, some time alderman and lord mayor, dwelt. This house strangely escaped burning in the dreadful fire of London, when all the houses round it were quite consumed.

This house has been pulled down for a considerable time.

In this street, on the east side, was formerly the residence of sergeant Fleetwood.

The parish of Olave is a rectory, the small church of which stood at the south-west corner of . Respecting its antiquity, Mr. Maitland says he could find no traces of it higher than . The patronage of this church has been all along in the dean and chapter of , but subject to the archdeacon.

This church (which was situated on the south side of , at the eastern corner of ) being consumed in the great fire of , was not rebuilt.

At the entrance to the burying ground is a stone, bearing the following inscription, beneath a skull and cross bones:

THIS WAS THE PARISH CHVRCH

OF ST. OLAVE,

SILVER STREET

,

DESTROY«D BY THE DREADFVLL

FIRE IN THE YEARE

1666

.

Bull and Mouth-street, a small part of which is in this ward, takes is name from an inn standing in it, and formerly known by the sign of Boulogne Mouth, or Harbour, of which the present appellation is a corruption. At the corner of this street, in , was the city mansion of the earls of Northumberland. In the year of his reign, king Henry VI. gave this house, with the tenements thereunto belonging, to his queen Jane, and it then acquired the appellation of her wardrobe. Anciently the kings of England lodged here. A writ of king Edward I. was dated hence:

 
 
Footnotes:

[] Supposed to be the work of Roubilac; they were brought from Canons, the seat of the duke of Chandos, near Edgware.

[] So called from the harbour of that name to which Henry VIII. laid siege.

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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