The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 3
On the north side of Hounsditch, and within this ward is a plain gateway within which, the visitor is surprised on entering to see before and on each side of him large plain strong buildings for the yearly meetings of the society of friends. A vast extent of ground is occupied by the court and buildings; the latter will contain near persons. Both the buildings are similar,
|having arched beaded windows, and on sides a gallery. meeting is intended for the yearly assembly of the males, the other for the females; attached to each, are large rooms for the deputies from distant parts to transact business relative to the society at large.|
The whole is cleaned to the whiteness of the dairy-maid's milk pail, as no paint finds admittance; it is considered by the Society of Friends as an ornament within doors, but as a preservative without, and there used without scruple. The site of these buildings was formerly the Dolphin inn, and was purchased by the society in , for its present purpose.
On the same side of is leading to . On this spot was formerly a magnificent structure, erected by Jasper Fisher, of the clerks in chancery, whose fortune not being answerable to his house, it was called in derision,
It had a quick succession of owners. It belonged to Mr. Cornwallis; to sir Roger Manners, and to Edward, earl of Oxford, lord high chamberlain; the same, says Mr. Pennant, who is recorded to have presented to queen Elizabeth, the perfumed gloves ever brought into England. Her majesty lodged in this house in of her visits to the city: probably when this gallant peer was owner. After him it fell to the Cavendishes; but that they resided in this neighbourhood long before is to be supposed, as their ancestor, Thomas Cavendish, treasurer of the exchequer to Henry VIII. interred his wife in the adjacent church of St. Botolph's; and by will, dated , bequeathed a legacy towards its repairs. About the time of the civil wars it became a conventicle. The author of Hudibras alludes to it in the following lines, when, speaking of the
of those times, he says
That represent no part o« th« nation,
But Fisher's Folly congregation.
Near this was another noble building, erected by lord John Powlett, an ancestor of the duke of Bolton.
A MS. book, on vellum, preserved in the , gives
which was probably held at this mansion.
Near was born, on , Mr. Alleyne, the founder of Dulwich college.
In are extensive warehouses of the East India company; they extend from , south east, almost to , and were begun about , when a stone was placed in the corner house of the above and Bishopsgate streets, inscribed,
These warehouses have grand fronts of several feet in length. The western side next consists of a body and wings. The basement at each end is rustic; and there are no windows in the building, except in this part. A neat cornice and coping finish the top, and the wings are ornamented with blank Doric windows and pediments. The arch of entrance is in the south wing, whence they extend up the south side of . The body of this part retires from the street, and the wings are connected by a strong wall, with rustic gates.
A very few feet within the above-mentioned entrance the parish of St. Botolph Bishopsgate ends.
The great height of the buildings, the number of stories, multitudes of windows, and curious cranes for hoisting the goods, all create surprise and wonder; while the cleanliness of the pavement and extent of the whole excite our applause.
handsome houses terminate the warehouses near , in which the officers that govern them reside. Between them is a fine gateway. Several wretched streets, and some hundreds of habitations were removed to carry on those works The space of pure air thus obtained must be of essential service in such a neighbourhood.
On the opposite side of the street was an ancient brick house, the door of which was several feet lower than the pavement; which, with some others, appear to have been built in the time of Charles II.
Nearly opposite , on the west side of , is an old building, known as the White Hart inn; on the front, which is of some antiquity, is in large figures. There is nothing worthy of notice in the interior, and, from examination, it appears to have been erected about the latter end of the century.
In some ground, on the east side of , now called , was buried Hadje Shah Swara, a Persian,
In the rear , sir Thomas Rowe, merchant taylor and lord mayor of London, caused this ground to be inclosed with a brick wall, to be a common burial ground, at a low rate, for such parishes in London as wanted convenient burial places. He called it the New church-yard near Bethlehem, and established a sermon to be preached there on Whitsunday, annually; which, for many years, was honoured with the presence of the lord mayor and aldermen. This, however, has been for a considerable time discontinued, and the burial place shut up.
Near Half-Moon-alley, is a large brick building, known by the name of the London Workhouse. This building was established by act of parliament in the year , for the relief and employment of the poor, and the punishing vagrants and disorderly persons within the city and liberties of London. In , another act of parliament was passed, by which the governors, consisting of the lord mayor, aldermen, and citizens, chosen by the common council, were constituted a body corporate with a common seal. The lord mayor, for the time being, was appointed president of the corporation, which was allowed to purchase lands or tenements to the annual value of ; and the common council were empowered to rate the several wards, precincts, and parishes of this city, for its support.
The several parishes, besides their assessments, formerly paid per week for each child they had in the workhouse; but, in the year , the governors came to a resolution, that no more children, paid for by the parishes to which they belonged, should be taken into the house; and since that time it has been resolved, that only such children should be taken in as were committed by the governors or magistrates of the city, found begging in the streets, pilfering, or lying about in uninhabited places.
The children were dressed in russet cloth, with a round badge upon their breasts, representing a poor boy and a sheep, with this motto,
The boys were taught to read and write, and the principal part of their time was spent in weaving, &c. the girls were employed in sewing, spinning, and other labour, by which they were qualified for service. When they arrived at a proper age, the boys were bound out apprentices to trades or the sea; and the girls placed in reputable families.
When assistance was wanted to defray the expense attending the workhouse, the governors applied to the court of common council, who, on each application, ordered the sum of to be paid by a proportionate assessment on the respective parishes in the city.
The building for the reception of these poor, appears to have been finished about the year , during the mayoralty of sir Robert Clayton, whose portrait, as the president and governor, formerly ornamented the court room. It was originally divided into parts; the , next , and called
was chiefly for the accommodation of poor children; the west end, or side called
was for vagabonds and dissolute poor. In this latter place the females taken up in the street, were employed beating hemp, washing linen, &c. similarly to , and the men to hard labour. This part has long been abandoned by such characters, and is now remaining in ruins. At the end of the building, immediately behind the entrance from , was a chapel, which was pulled down about years ago; and, descending by a flight of steps was the remains of a temporary prison, called Ludgate Prison, where, on the demolition of the gate, in , the prisoners from Ludgate were confined. That portion of the workhouse which remains, is at present used as a paper-hanging manufactory.
At a small distance north-east from , was a place called, anciently, Tassel Close, which was let to the cross-bow makers, who used to practise a game on it of shooting at the popinjay. On the decline of archery, and the invention of gunpowder, this close was surrounded by a brick wall, and served as an artillery ground, where the gunners of the Tower used weekly to practise the art of gunnery. The last prior of
St. Mary Spital granted this artillery ground for thrice years, for the exercise of great and small artillery; and hence this ground became subject to the Tower. The artillery company received a charter from king Henry, which was afterwards confirmed by queen Elizabeth: and, in , an armoury was erected in it, containing sets of arms. The company, at length, grew so numerous, that this ground was too small for them; and when they removed to the present artillery ground, this spot was distinguished by the name of the old artillery ground. It is now converted into streets and lanes, but the name is still retained in .
Near the end of Catherine-wheel-alley the stocks originally stood; they were once stolen, but were restored and a whipping-post added.
 Canto ii, line 893.
 Stow's Survey, folio, p. 173. In Strype's edition is an engraving of the monument, which is a square altar tomb.