Londina Illustrata. Graphic and Historical Memorials of Monasteries, Churches, Chapels, Schools, Charitable Foundations, Palaces, Halls, Courts, Processions, Places of Early Amusement, and Modern Present Theatres, in the Cities and Suburbs of London and Westminster, Volume 2Wilkinson, Robert
Cuper's Gardens: In the Marsh and Wall Liberty of the Parish of St. Mary, Lambeth.
An authentic account of the origin of this once-celebrated and depraved place of entertainment and resort, is contained in a letter from James Theobald, Esq. to the Right Hon. Lord Willoughby de Parham, President of the Society of Antiquaries, ; which was printed in the Hon. Charles Howard's "Historical Anecdotes of some of the Howard Family," London, C, mo. In the account therein of Thomas, Earl of Arundel, the writer states that "Arundell House being now to be pulled down, great part of the furniture was removed to Stafford House, with the museum, &c. And as there were many fine statues, bas-relievos, and marbles, they were received into the lower parts of the gardens, and many of them placed under a colonnade there, and the upper part of the ground next let to builders, who continued the street next from Temple-bar towards : and also to build thereon the several streets called Arundell, Norfolk, and Surrey, Streets, leading from towards the River, as far as the cross street, called , which ran parallel with .[a] When the workmen began to build next , in order to prevent incroachments, a cross-wall was built to separate the ground let to building from that reserved for the family mansion; and many of the workmen to save the expense of carrying away the rubbish, threw it over this cross-wall, where it fell upon the colonnade, and at last broke it down; and falling on the statues, &c. placed there, broke several of them. A great part of these, in that sad condition, was purchased by Sir William Fermor.—Some others of these broken statues, not thought worth replacing, were begged by Boyder Cuper, who had been a servant, I think gardener, in the family; and were removed by him to decorate a piece of garden-ground which he had taken opposite Somerset water-gate, in the Parish of ,[b] which at that time was a place of resort for the citizens and others in holyday time, still called after him by the name of Cuper's, and thence corruptly Cupid's Gardens, which were much of the same nature as Sadler's Wells and Marybone Gardens; called also a musickhouse, as they had always music attending, and a large room for dancing when the company were so disposed." Pages , , . The period at which Cuper's Gardens were originally formed, was probably some time the year , since the great Map of London, executed by Thomas Ogilby and William Morgan, published in that year,[c] represents the form of the ground on which they afterwards stood, as a long narrow field surrounded by water-courses, and intersected by a path up the centre, with a few lonely buildings on side. In the same Map is also shewn "the ground for Arundel House," a large vacant square next the river, at the south end of the present , in , occupying the whole space between the western side of , and the eastern side of ; on which it was intended to erect another Arundel House, though that design was never carried into effect. In the next great Map of the Metropolis, published in the reign of William and Mary by Robert Morden and Philip Lea, the site intended for Arundel House is filled up to the water's edge; whilst that of Cuper's Gardens remains unaltered, excepting that a landing-place from the river is marked "Cupitt's Staiers," and square fields on the east of the narrow meadow are lettered "Bowling Greens." These, however, then belonged to Sir Peter Rich, and were divided from Cuper's Gardens by a broad water-course. Even the additions made to this plan by Thomas Jefferys to the year , do not indicate any other alterations on this spot; but in the separate plan of and Christ-Church Parishes, inserted in the Rev. J. Strype's edition of Stow's "Survey of London," , Volume II. Book vi. Perambulation, page , the gardens indicated, and appear to be disposed in nearly the same order as that represented in the Ground-plan given beneath the of the annexed Plates, taken from the great survey made by John Rocque and John Pine, in . Long after these gardens were established, that part of on which they stood was the extensive marsh bearing its name, divided by water-courses; the southern bank of the Thames between the boundary of Christ-Church Parish and Stangate, being separated into gardens with dwelling-houses, in a similar manner to those on the opposite shore, though of a much inferior character. of the gardens adjoining the river, belonged to the Dukes of Norfolk, who also possessed a capital mansion in near the Church:[d] and the former was most probably the ground occupied by Cuper.
It appears from the Letter of Mr. Theobald, that the originator of Cuper's Gardens was succeeded by another of the same family, by whom the place was partly despoiled of its chief ornaments: since he observes that the Arundel sculptures continued there "for a considerable time, till Mr. John Freeman, of Fawley-Court, near Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, and Mr. Edmund Waller, of Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, happening to see them, and observing something masterly in the designs and drapery of several of them, and that they were fragments of very curious pieces of sculpture, they called on me, who then lived in that neighbourhood, to know if I were acquainted with the then owner of them, Mr. , and, finding I was, desired I would treat with him for them, and left in my hands a bank note of , with liberty of going as far as that sum. After or days meeting I agreed with him for which I paid him; and soon after the sculptures were divided between the gentlemen, and sent by them part of them to Fawley-Court, and part to Beaconsfield, where they remain at present."[e] It will be seen, however, by a subsequent notice of Cuper's Gardens in that they were not even then entirely despoiled of their original ancient sculptures;
|and in "The Natural History and Antiquities of Surrey," by John Aubrey, London, , vo. volume v. pages , , are plates representing some of the mutilated statues and busts referred to by Theobald, with a description. It is there observed that they had received very ill usage from the ignorance and stupidity of those who knew not their value; and were still exposed to the open air and folly of passers-by. The author adds that he would have given a more particular account of these and other antiquities, "had the son of the person who rents , and pretends much knowledge of these hidden treasures, been pleased to have given the world an account; but his own folly and timorousness, and avarice together shut his mouth, that not a word of intelligence could be extorted from him: for as he said he understood that he should not get anything, so he would not lose his breath for nothing."[a]|
Perhaps the earliest descriptive notice of Cuper's Gardens is that given in Edward Hatton's "New View of London," , vo. volume ii, page ; which states that they appear to be opposite Somerset Stairs, and that "here are pleasant gardens and walks, with bowling-greens, &c. whither many of the westerly part of the town resort for diversion in the summer season.[b] Near these stairs on the river lies at anchor, excepting in the winter, "The Royal Diversion," commonly called "The Folly," perhaps from the foolish things there sometime acted. It is a timber building erected on a strong barge, where used to be the entertainments of musick, &c. It takes its name from the late Queen Mary the , who they say once honoured it by her presence."[c] It is probable that the improvement of is that announced in the of Tuesday, ;[d] which states that "Whereas Mr. Evans, who kept the Hercules Pillars over against St. Dunstan's Church, , as also Mr. Jones, the famous Harper,[e] are removed to Cuper's Gardens, the other side the water; they think proper to give this notice, hoping that Gentlemen and Ladies will honour them with their company. A very good Ordinary will be provided every Sunday. are altered and made very commodious." From this time the newspapers contain regular and copious notices concerning this place; but it will be sufficient for the present history, to select from them only some specimens for various years, as the most curious illustration of its peculiar entertainments, nature, and improvements.
. "This is to acquaint Gentlemen, Ladies, and others, that Cuper's Gardens Opened on Monday (), with a Concert of Musick; to continue every Evening during the Summer-Season, in the nature of Vaux Hall: where all imaginable care will be taken to accommodate Gentlemen, Ladies, and others, with the best wines and eatables of all sorts, at reasonable rates. Note. Every Person to pay Entrance: the Gates to be Open'd at o'Clock. And great care will be taken that there is good attendance and civil usage by their humble servant E. Evans. are free all Sunday as usual before this Entertainment began." "This is to acquaint Gentlemen and Ladies, that Ephraim Evans, at Cuper's Gardens, did not come to a resolution time enough to provide himself with good hands for his Concert, so thinks it is imposing on his friends to take money at their Entrance, since the Musick does not give the satisfaction he could wish; and the weather proving so bad he will only now keep a few of his best hands, and in some pieces Jones the Harper will join with them, and company will be admitted free. Care will be taken to keep out bad company, and every thing sold at as reasonable a rate as before. I hope Gentlemen and Ladies will not think the worse on our lessening our expence, as we have no tickets out this season, to help out in bad weather, which the best of them could not pay their expence without. From their humble servant Ephraim Evans. To begin an hour after o'Clock, and end at . N.B. There is an Ordinary every Sunday."
In appear to have been planted and improved in the manner represented in the annexed Plate, and on Friday, , the conductor of them issued the following series of proposals, similar to those published for at and Mary-la-Bonne, for the purpose of procuring a certain number of regular subscribers.[f] "Proposals by Ephraim Evans, Proprietor of Cuper's Gardens, with regard to his Musical Entertainment. I. will be alter'd in a beautiful manner, with Serpentine Walks, different from any other public gardens. II. A new Orchestra erected in a magnificent manner in the modern architecture, different from, and superior to, any other yet erected; with a fine large Organ fixed therein by Mr. Bridge. III. The Musical Entertainment will be Open'd the latter end of this month, and shall continue for Months, or longer; during which time will be properly Illuminated, and the Band of Musick, inferior to none, will perform every Evening from o'Clock, and end at . IV. A Tickets will be delivered out at Guinea each, which will admit Persons during
|the Season: Every person without a Ticket, to pay Shilling for Admittance each time. V. All Subscribers are desired not to permit their Tickets to get into the hands of people of ill-repute; it being absolutely necessary that such should not be admitted. VI. No Servant in Livery will be admitted to walk in . VII. The Proprietor will use his utmost care to provide the best Wines, and other accommodations; and, to prevent imposition, Printed Tables of the respective Prices will be placed in different parts of . All Persons willing to become Subscribers, may be furnished with Tickets at Mr. Hinchcliffe's, Bookseller, under the ; Mr. Williams's, Glover to His Roval Highness the Prince of Wales, the corner of , ; Mr. Papavoine's, Jeweller, the corner of Spring-Gardens, Charing-Cross; Mr. Ryall's, Bookseller, in Hall; and at Cuper's Gardens. The Names of the Subscribers will be Engrav'd on their respective Tickets. N. B. There is a back way leading from Fields, where proper attendance will be given, and due care taken for Watchmen to guard those who go over the Fields late at night. And whereas numbers of persons have resorted last year by Water, and will probably this season to the said Gardens; to prevent any irregularities or impositions on persons going to or from that place, for the future a person will be appointed to attend at Cuper's Stairs, from o'clock till every Evening during the said Season, to put in execution the Laws for the good order and regulation of the Watermen; and for the better accommodation of all persons passing by Water: of which all Watermen are requir'd to take notice." The copy of these proposals inserted in The for Thursday, , states that "III. The Musical Entertainment, which was to have Open'd the latter end of April, will, on account of the weather, Begin on the ." At the end of the advertisement is added, "There is a new causeway made to the stairs for the conveniency of gentlemen and ladies who land there."[a] ". The Musical Entertainment will be Open'd This Evening at o'Clock, and will continue for Months or longer. There is a new Causeway for the Accommodation of Gentlemen and Ladies who land there." In the latter paper for , appears the following advertisement, " and Cuper's Gardens Tickets Lett out by H. Whitridge, Bookseller, the Corner of Castle Alley, ; and by the Waiter at the Chapter Coffee-House in Pater-Noster Row, near , at each night. N. B. Each Ticket admits Persons every Evening; and those who are not known to leave the value of the Ticket in hand." "Cuper's Gardens . Whereas it has been industriously and maliciously reported that Mr. Evans the Master of Cuper's Gardens is dead, which is done with a manifest design to prejudice him in carrying on his Musical Entertainment, this is therefore to inform the public that the said Mr. Evans is still living at his house in the said Gardens, and hopes very shortly to have the opportunity of waiting in person upon those Gentlemen and Ladies that shall favour him with their Company; assuring them that his Musical Entertainment will constantly be perform'd, every night during the season: as likewise that he has provided good entertainment of all sorts for the reception and refreshment of company, and that good attendance will be given in order to take off such malicious and scandalous reports as have been of late spread abroad as aforesaid. Note. will be Open every Sunday."—|
. There appears, however, to have been some foundation for these reports, since were opened on , by the , under whom, however, they appear to have been the most magnificent and flourishing; and on Monday, , she issued the following statement of her situation. "At . To-Morrow Evening, the instant, will be perform'd a New Grand Concerto for the Organ by the Author, Mr. Henry Burgess, Junior; of whom it may be said without ostentation, that he is of as promising a genius, and as neat a performer as any of the age. Many worthy Gentlemen having taken into consideration the great expence the Widow Evans has been at in making equally pleasant as any others, and in providing both last, and this, year a Band of Musick excelled by none;—have resolved to open a Subscription to dine once a week at a-head, and then consult how to promote the said Widow's interest, who has been very much reduced by the great expences she has been at, with the addition of her late husband's lying a long time ill before he died; and who has left behind him small children unprovided for. Any gentleman disposed to mix their pleasure with such an act of good to the Widow and fatherless children, are desired to leave their names and subscriptions at the bar with Mrs. Evans. In a little time will be sung the favourite songs in Shakpeare's Play 'As You like it,' Composed by the ingenious Mr. Arne."—". By Desire of several Gentlemen and Ladies. This Evening, being the , will be perform'd the following Pieces of Musick, viz. The Overture in Saul, with several grand Choruses, Compossd by Mr. Handel. A new grand Concerto for the Organ, Composed and perform'd by Mr. Henry Burgess, Junior, The of Mr. Handel's new grand Concertos. A new Concerto for the French Horn with Barberini's Minuet, Composed by Sign. Hasse. The Concerto of Corelli. A Hautboy Concerto by Sign. Hasse. 'Blow blow thou wintry winds,' and other favourite songs, Composed by Mr. Arne. The whole to conclude with a new grand Piece of Musick, an Orginal Composition by Mr. Handel, call'd Porto Bello."—". This is to acquaint all Gentlemen and Ladies, That this present Saturday, the inst. (July) will be perform'd several curious Pieces of Musick Composed by Mr. Handel, Sign. Hasse, Mr. Arne, Mr. Burgess, &c. in which will be introduced the celebrated Fire Musick as originally composed by Mr. Handel in the Opera of Atalanta with great applause. The Fireworks consisting of Fire-Wheels, Fountains, large Sky-Rockets; with an addition of the Fire-Pump, &c. made by the ingenious Mr. Worman, who projected the same at the above-mentioned Opera; and will be played off from the top of the Orchestra by Mr. Worman himself. Note. Having added to the Band of Musick several curious hands, the usual favourite pieces will be likewise performed; viz. The Overture of Saul; the Songs in 'As you like it,' 'Blow, blow, &c.' and the Cuckoo, with the Chorusses; and the new Organ-Concerto, &c. The Widow Evans hopes that as her endeavours are to oblige the Town, they will favour her Gardens with their Company, and particular care will be taken that there shall be better attendance and more commodious reception for the Company." "As last night ended the Entertainments at Cuper's Gardens, the Widow Evans thinks herself in duty bound to return her humble thanks to all her very good friends that honoured her with their company, and hopes they will favour her with their company the next season; when she will take particular care of the best attendance, and make the place more commodious for the reception of company."—
In the entertainments of this place were still of the same character, concluded by fire-works, and an advertisement in the same paper for states, that "this night will be burnt the Gorgon's Head, or, more properly, the Head of Medusa, in history said to have snakes on her hair, and to kill men by her looks. Such a thing was never done in England before;" and in the same paper for Angust , a notice is issued, that "the Widow Evans acknowledgeth herself much obliged to the company who hath been so kind as to approve of her entertainments, and to the public in general. As her interest has been always to please, she has at no small expence provided a Flying Mercury on a Message to Neptune, which, being an attempt quite new, she hopes the continuance of their favour; and that the good weather may enable her to continue her entertainments longer than usual." In the firework devices were adapted to the events of the period, as on , it is announced that "After the usual Entertainments of Musick at Cuper's Gardens this Evening,—a Grand Triumph will be display'd on the Glorious Victory obtain'd over the
|Rebels by His Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland, in Emblematical Figures and Magnificent Fireworks, with Triumphant Arches burning in various Colours: the whole being the most Superb Piece ever yet exhibited in Europe. The Bowling-Greens are in very good order."|
. . "Cuper's Gardens is Open'd for the Season with a good Band of Vocal and Instrumental Musick, which will be divided every Evening into Acts; the Vocal parts by Signora Sibilla: In the Act this Evening she sings 'Powerful Guardians,' in Alexander Balas, Mr. Handel's; and Son le Donne Inamorate,' Signior Palma's. In the Act, 'May balmy Peace,' in Mr. Handel's Occasional Oratorio, and 'Si Spuntan Vezzose, in Mithridate, Torredello's. The Pieces of Musick in each Act will be selected from the best Composers. To conclude with the Fireworks which gain such uncommon and extraordinary applause from the company; who own they never saw anything in Fireworks so beautifully picturesque."
. "On Monday next, being the , begins the Entertainments of Musick at Cuper's Gardens, and to continue the Summer-season: to Conclude every Evening with an exact Representation in Miniature of the Magnificent Edifice, with its proper Ornaments, viz. Emblematical Figures, Transparencies, &c. and the Fireworks an imitation as near as possible to the Royal ones exhibited on account of the Peace in the .[a] N. B. Great care will be taken to keep out persons of ill repute." To this advertisement was subsequently added the following. "The Expence attending this Work obliges the Proprietor to raise the Price of Admission to a Shilling. The Fireworks have already given the greatest satisfaction to a number of Gentlemen and Ladies, who declare them exceedingly beautiful, and nearly representing the Royal ones."—, "The Entertainments of Cuper's Gardens will continue this, and every other Evening during the Summer-Season: the Walks will be beautifully Illuminated with Lamp-Trees, in a grand taste, disposed in proper order; and to Conclude with beautiful Fireworks, resembling the Royal ones in the . The Fireworks are esteemed by a great number of Gentlemen and Ladies of Distinction, the best ever exhibited in Public."— "At Cuper's Gardens the Entertainments of Vocal and Instrumental Musick will, during the short remainder of the Season, Begin at and End at ; with several favourite Songs by Signora Sybilla, particularly 'My Faith and Truth,' from the Oratorio of Sampson, and to Conclude with a Curious and Magnificent Firework which has given great satisfaction to the Nobility, wherein Neptune will be drawn on the Canal by seahorses and set fire to an Archimedan Worm, and return to the Grotto. The Entertainments of this place Ends on Thursday next, the instant."—
In Cuper's Gardens opened on Monday, , with new and splendid fireworks by Messrs. Clitherow and Clanfield, the Engineers; though the principal novelty of the season was the alteration of the edifice whence they were displayed, into "an exact model of that at the Hague made on account of the General Peace, and esteemed a most curious piece of architecture." The season closed on Thursday, , with a grand exhibition of fireworks, in which were introduced "Neptune drawn by Sea- Horses with a Crown on his Head; Balloons and Lights, a grand Pyramid with Flower-pots, Pumps, and Water-Rockets, and a grand regulated Piece in the centre of the machine consisting of mutations. Mercury will descend from Jupiter with a Message to Neptune; and to conclude with a grand Mine." The vocal performers were Mrs. Sibilla Pinto, a German, the wife of Thomas Pinto, and Master Mattocks;[b] and the Price of Admission continued at Shilling, excepting on the Engineers' night, , when the Tickets were each.
, . "Cuper's Gardens. This Evening will be a Concert of Vocal and Instrumental Musick. In particular Songs to be sung by Miss Maria Bennett, the words from the Inspector, set to Music by Lewis Granom, Esq. After which will be the Grand Collection of Fireworks which were exhibited in Honour of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales's Birth Day, consisting of a beautiful Dodecaedron; an occasional Song to be sung by every true Lover of Liberty, and the present happy Establishment, &c. &c. As these Fireworks have gained such universal applause, they will be continued till farther notice. The Doors to be Open'd at the Musick to begin at . Admission Shilling."—, "For the Benefit of Mr. Clitherow, Real Engineer to Cuper's Gardens, at the Request of Several Persons of Distinction; will be perform'd a Concert of Vocal and Instrumental Musick, the vocal part by Miss Maria Bennett; and to conclude with the Grandest Collection of Italian Fireworks ever yet exhibited. Tickets each, to be had at Mr. Clitherow's house, in Rose and Crown Court, ."[c] —The extremely dissolute character of many of the public places of entertainment of London at this period, was the origin of that Act of Parliament passed in , the year of George II. cap. , entitled, "an Act for the better preventing thefts and robberies, and for regulating places of public Entertainment, and punishing persons keeping disorderly houses." By section ii. of this Statute it was required that every house, room, garden, or other place kept for public dancing or music, or other public entertainment of the like kind within the Cities of London and , or miles thereof, should be under a license: the Act to take place from . The character of Cuper's Gardens appears at this time to have become notoriously dissolute, since in the of Wednesday, [d] , the Widow Evans advertises that "having been deny'd her former Liberty of opening her Gardens as usual, through the malicious representation of ill-meaning persons, she therefore begs to acquaint the Public that she hath open'd them as a Tavern till further notice. Coffee and Tea at any hour of the day." This tavern was the old building situate near the side of the river, called the Feathers, a view of which is engraven in the of the annexed Plates.
It is most probable that these Gardens were never afterwards licensed; but in they were opened by Subscription, which was probably only fictitious, for private evening Concerts and Fireworks at guinea each person, entitling the Subscriber to an engraved ticket admitting persons. The concert and fireworks were to take place on Monday, , and to be continued every Monday and Thursday till the number was completed; none to be admitted without Subscription-Tickets. "To render it the most interesting performance of the kind, the Subscribers have engaged a most complete Band of Vocal and Instrumental Musick, also a very experienced Engineer to exhibit the grandest and largest Collection of entire New Fireworks (some particularly adapted for the Water) ever seen in those or any other Gardens in England; and in order to display them to a greater advantage, they have erected a very elegant new Building for the purpose. Books are open'd at Mr. Harper's, at the Haunch of Venison, the corner of Ave-Maria Lane, ; and at Mr. Barnes's, at the Gazette, fronting the , . Published by Order of
|the subscribers, J. B. Secretary." , Wednesday, .—"By Susbcription. At Cuper's Gardens in Commemoration of the happy Accession of King George to the Throne of Great Britain. On Monday, , will be perform'd a new Concert of Musick. After which will be displayed from a new transparent elegant Building the Grand Collection of Fireworks, that was exhibited in celebration of the Birth-Day of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales with great Applause. And as it is not to be doubted that the same Loyal Spirit will distinguish itself and be farther exerted on the present happy occasion, there will be so great an addition to the Fire Works before exhibited, of an extraordinary new invention, as absolutely to render it the largest as well as the most entertaining Collection ever seen in any Garden in England. will be much better and more elegantly lighted than before, and a better attendance of waiters, &c. &c. In fine nothing in expence or care will be omitted in celebrating the day with all the magnificence and decorum it requires. The Doors to be Opened after o'clock." . "To the Subscribers who were present at Cuper's Gardens on Wednesday last. Gentlemen and Ladies, I am extremely sorry you should meet with so great a disappointment in regard to the Engagement on the Water; which was the more augmented by a reason of so late an expectation. But on my word it was neither through my negligence nor want of ingenuity, but entirely owing to part of the machinery for moving the Shipping being clogged by some unaccountable accident, and the Powder in the Ships having unfortunately got a little damp. Therefore as it was the attempt ever made of this kind to manage so many in number, (and consequently attended with the greater difficulty) I hope you will be so considerate as to postpone your opinion until a farther representation, which will be on the instant, in order to celebrate Her Royal Highness the Princess Augusta's Birthday; when there will be a Concert of Musick and a Grand Collection of Fireworks, and at the same time will be introduced the Engagement on the Water, when I doubt not of making ample recompence for the late disappointment. I am, with due regard, Gentlemen and Ladies, your very humble Servant, B. Clitherow." These subscription-nights terminated on Monday, ; and in it is announced that "Cuper's Garden is now opened as a Tavern, in a polite and genteel taste; where Ladies and Gentlemen will be sure to meet with good attention. Coffee and Tea at any hour of the day. Dinners dressed on the shortest notice." The house was continued as a tavern through , and on , there was a Concert given for a single night,[a] which appears to have been the last advertised account of any amusement at this place.|
It is believed by Dr. Ducarel that the estate comprising Cuper's Gardens was given by the Howard Family to Jesus College, Oxford, which possesses acres of land here, whereon many of the buildings of Messrs. Mark and Henry Beaufoy's Manufactory of British Wines[b] were erected about ; the rent for which amounted to about per annum. "On entering the yard," says Pennant, " vessels rise before you covered at the top with a thatched dome; and between them is a circular turret including a winding staircase, which brings you to their summits, which are above feet in diameter. of these conservatories is full of sweet wine, and contains gallons, or barrels, of Winchester measure. Its superb associate is full of vinegar, to the amount of gallons, or barrels, of the same standard as the former. The famous Heidelberg Tun yields to even the last by the quantity of barrels. Beside these there is an avenue of smaller vessels which hold from to gallons each." "This ground," adds the same authority, without communicating any additional information which might have been easily procured at the time,—"was in my memory the scene of low dissipation: Here stood Cuper's Gardens, once noticed for its fireworks, and the great resort of the profligate of both sexes."[c] The edifice described by Pennant is that represented in of the annexed Views, and its situation was over the square piece of water, about the north end of the south plantation, to the whole width of which it extended. It is sometimes erroneously described as the same building as that used for the of Cuper's Gardens, but this, it will be seen by the Plan, stood in the centre of the open plantation on the north: and the structure used by Messr.s Beaufoy was probably the remains of the edifice appropriated to the fireworks erected in .
In an Act of Parliament was passed to incorporate "the Company of Proprietors of Bridge," and for enabling them to build a stone bridge from some part of the Savoy to the opposite shore at in :[d] the stone of which was laid on . In another Act was passed for enlarging and altering the powers of the former, and for making roads;[e] and in the spring of another for enabling the Prince of Wales to grant leases for years of the land called "the Prince's Meadow," containing acres, rods, and perches, near , part of the Duchy of Cornwall.[f] Part of the ground required for the south approach to , now called , was the site of Cuper's Gardens, belonging to Messrs. Beaufoy; the value of whose short lease, and the loss occasioned by removing their old works and establishing others, was estimated by a jury at about On their removal to South about , the building represented in the Plates was taken down, and the , feet in width, was cut through the acres which they had occupied and the centre of Cuper's Gardens, towards the Obelisk.[g] The erection of was also the cause of a total and most important alteration in this part of , by the formation of numerous new roads at a very considerable elevation above the level of the ancient marsh, instead of the circuitous and inconvenient way called ; the contrast of which may be more accurately observed in the Plan annexed, wherein are exhibited those modern improvements, with the disposition of the roads and neighbourhood in . A farther improvement here was the erection of of the new Churches appropriated to the Parish of , on the eastern side of the , beyond the southern extremity of Cuper's Gardens; a representation of which building is also given on the of the annexed Plates. The site of this edifice having been a marsh and a large piece of water, a foundation of piles was made which occupied months; but the Stone was laid by the Archbishop of Canterbury, , and the Church was consecrated by the Bishop of Winchester, on Wednesday, d, . It was dedicated to St. John the Evangelist, was erected from the designs of Mr. E. Bedford, and the estimated expense of it was ; the interior being capable of accomodating persons. The structure itself is in the form of a parallelogram, erected of brick with stone dressings, and the whole of the western end is occupied by a portico, with Greek Doric columns, supporting an entablature, cornice, and
|pediment of the same, with wreaths of myrtle in the frieze. Within the portico the western end is guarded by antæ, or double pilasters, at the angles, and is divided into stories by a plain stone band: in the lower division there are door-ways, and above as many corresponding windows, of which are blank and the centre glazed. The north and south sides are also both divided into stories, each containing square arched windows below, and the same number of lofty windows above: the eastern end is divided by antæ into divisions also parted into stories with a window in the centre, and terminated by an entablature and pediment. The elevation of the steeple consists of a square tower and spire; the lower story being of regular stone courses containing the clock; that above it of Ionic columns and antæ, enclosing an arched window in each face; the open with other columns and pilasters; and the an obelisk rising from a base and surmounted by a globe and cross. Around the whole exterior of this building is a wide terrace, which was required to fill up the space between the church and the new road elevated to the level of ; the whole of which area is laid out in catacombs.[a]|
In the centre of the site of Cuper's Gardens, and also on the eastern side of the , stands the Royal Infirmary for Children, established by the late Dr. J. B. Davis, in , and erected in , which the benevolent Founder did not live to see completed. On the eastern side of the , the Plan shews the situation of the ancient sluice by which the streams of numerous water-courses for draining this part of the extensive level of , were collected and discharged into the Thames. Near the same spot, the Plan indicates the site of the old Tavern of the Feathers, belonging to Cuper's Gardens, represented in the of the present Views. During the erection of the it was used for the pay-table of the labourers employed there, by which the proprietor realized so large a property, as to enable him about , to erect the very lofty edifice called the New Feathers; which stands stories on the ground below the Bridge, and rises stories above the level of the Wateroo Road. The site of the old Feathers is now () a timber-yard, close to the eastern side of the land-arch of the ; and beside it is a private dwelling-house used as the tavern when the original building was removed. In concluding these notices it may be observed that the Plan also shews Curtis's Halfpenny Hatch, near , , for the convenience of passengers going from that place to . In Glover's Hatch, somewhat more to the south, the celebrated comedian Parsons had a summer retreat which he called Frog Hall, but the site of all these places is now entirely obliterated; and the whole of the old wooden houses on the western side of the Bridge, forming Lime Tree and Swan Courts, have been removed, and a spacious opening made called the leading into .
[a] "An Act of Parliament was obtained to entail that noble estate on the heirs-male of the Norfolk Family, and to exempt it from being charged with either jointures or family debts: and gave a power to the then Duke of Norfolk to let a part of the side of the house and gardens to builders at a reserved ground-rent, which rent was to accumulate, in order to raise a fund for building a mansion-house for the family on that part of the gardens which lay next the river." Anecdotes of the Howard Family, p. 93. The act referred to was entitled "An Act for building Arundell House, and the tenements thereunto belonging." Private Acts, 22nd and 23rd Charles II., 1670. cap. 19.
[b] In the Rev. Samuel Denne's "Additions to Dr. Ducarel's History of Lambeth," Lond. 1795. 4to. p. 394. Nichols' "Bibliotheca Topographica Britannica," vol. x. it is stated that Cuper was Collector of the Poor for Lambeth, in 1650.
[c] In the London Gazette of Mond. May 1st, and Thurs. May 4th, 1682, are an announcement of this excellent and beautiful Map as recently completed for sale; with the Royal License granted to Morgan for the sole property of the plan for fourteen years.
[d] It appears that in the thirteenth century this property belonged to Roger Bigod, Earl of Norfolk, whose estates, having lapsed to the Crown for want of issue, were given to Thomas de Brotherton, fifth son of Edward I., who made him Earl Marshal of England, and whose half-brother, Edward II., created him Earl of Norfolk. The elegant and learned Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, and his father, resided in Norfolk-House at Lambeth; and Leland states that it was there that he taught the former the Latin language. Thomas Howard, third Duke of Norfolk, had a library at this place, and during his confinement in the Tower under Henry VIII. he petitioned the Lords of the Council to permit him to have some books from his house at Lambeth, without which for a dozen years he had not been able to compose himself to sleep. After the Duke's attainder, Norfolk House was seized for the Crown, and was granted by Edward VI. to William Parr, Marquess of Northampton, being then valued at 3l. 10s. 10d. per annum. In 1552 he exchanged it for the Lordship and Manor of Southwark which had belonged to the Bishop of Winchester: but on the reversal of the Duke's attainder, in the first year of Queen Mary, this mansion was restored to him, and in the first year of Elizabeth he sold it to Richard Garth and John Dyster for 400l. Beside Norfolk House, the same family also possessed a garden adjoining to the river, which in 1636 was occupied by Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel, with a piece of land called the Prince's Meadow. The former of these appears to have been afterwards Cuper's Gardens, since Mr. Bray was in possession of a plan of part of the Liberty of Paris Garden, on which the ground subsequently occupied by Cuper is called the Earl of Arundel's; and there is a place pointing towards it marked as the Earl of Arundel's Walk, between two rows of trees, apparently entered through a gateway next Lambeth town. If this property were ever connected with Norfolk-House, it must have been reserved when the latter was sold about 1558. "History and Antiquities of the County of Surrey," by the Rev. Owen Manning and William Bray, Esq. vol. iii. London 1814, fol. pp. 397, 481.
[e] "Anecdotes of the Howard Family," pp. 99, 100.—Mr. Theobald's Letter also contains an account of the disposition of the other mutilated Arundel Marbles not removed by Cuper. Some of these were at first carried to a piece of ground near the above Gardens let on lease to the Duke of Norfolk; but the person employed by him as agent took the lease in his own name, and let the ground for a timber-yard to one who made a wharf there: and when the foundations of St. Paul's were laid, 1675, great quantities of rubbish were brought there to raise the ground, in doing which these fragments were buried, and lay for many years forgotten. About the year 1712 this ground was rented by the father of Mr. Peter Theobald, who, in digging foundations for buildings, met with several fragments, which were taken up and laid on the ground. The Earl of Burlington hearing of them desired to see them, and Mr. Theobald making him the offer of such as he liked, some of them were carried to Chiswick- House, and one bas-relief was inserted in the pedestal of a pillar erected there. Some years after Lord Petre told Mr. Theobald that he had heard from the Duke of Norfolk, that in some part of the ground there were still fragments of the Arundel Collection; and procured the proprietor's consent to make a search for them. There were at length discovered six statues, some of a colossal size, without heads or arms; which trunks were sent to the Duke's seat at Worksop. There were also some few blocks of veined marble, out of which Mr. Theobald endeavoured to cut mantle-pieces and slabs for his house, the Belvidere in Lambeth, over against York Buildings, but the cost exceeded their worth, though some that were cut out were made use of. The fragment of a column, about 6 feet long and 18 inches in diameter, he removed to his house at White-Walham in Berkshire and used it as a roller. So late as 1811 Messrs. Lett, who occupied a timber-yard here as successors to Mr. Peter Theobald, in making a dock, dug up a colossal female figure and other fragments. "Anecdotes of the Howard Family," pp. 100, 106. "History of Surrey," vol. iii. p. 481.
[a] Impressions of Aubrey's plates of these sculptures, formed into four in quarto, were published in Ducarel's "Hist. of Lambeth," p. 78.
[b] The following is Aubrey's notice of this place. "Near the bank side lyes a very pleasant garden, in which are fine walks, known by the name of Cupid's Gardens. They are the estate of Jesus College, in Oxford, and erected by one who keeps a publick-house; which, with the conveniency of its arbours, walks, and several remains of Greek and Roman Antiquity, have made this place much frequented." Tab. II. of Aubrey's Plates is entitled in Latin, "This and the six plates following exhibit certain fragments preserved in a garden near Lambeth."
[c] A representation of this vessel will be found in the View of Whitehall in the time of James II. published in the first volume of this work; and it is also shewn in a view of Somerset House by L. Knyff, taken from the river about 1720, contained in the "Sixty Additional Plates to I. T. Smith's Antiquities of Westminster," Lond. 1807—1809, 4to. copied with a short account of the Folly in E. W. Brayley's "Londiniana," Lond. 1829. 12mo. vol. iii. pp. 130, 300. It consisted of a flat barge or raft, sustaining a wooden edifice with several apartments, large windows along the side, four turrets at the angles, and a platform on the top surrounded by a ballustrade. The original design of it was to be a Musical Aquatic Summer House, and it was at first visited by persons of quality for both refreshment and pleasure; but its character appears to have been always equivocal, and it became at length entirely possessed by courtesans, and a receptacle for drinking and promiscuous dancing of the most dissolute persons. It was then suppressed by the Magistrates, the vessel was suffered to fall into decay, and at last the materials of it were consumed for firewood.
[d] An erroneous conjecture has been formed that Cuper's Gardens were the same place with Belvidere House, Lambeth, mentioned in the ensuing advertisement from The Freethinker of April 28th, 1781; but it will be seen that the place so named was considerably higher up the river, added to which the mansion belonged to Mr. Theobald at the time the Gardens were open and flourishing. "This to give notice to the Nobility and Gentry of both sexes, that Charles Bascom is newly settled in the house called Belvidere upon the river over against York Buildings: where there are pleasant gardens and variety of fish-ponds. He sells at reasonable rates all sorts of wines, of the prime growth, entire neat; and accommodates his guests with eating of every kind in season, after the best manner; especially with the choicest river fish, which they may have the delight to see taken." Appendix to the Rev. A. C. Ducarel's "History and Antiquities of the Parish of Lambeth," Lond. 1786. 4to. p. 158. "Bibliotheca Topographica Britannica," by J. Nichols. vol. ii. Lond. 1790. 4to.
[e] "Beside the Powels there was at the same time in London a performer on the harp who merits to be had in remembrance: his name was Jones, a Welshman, and blind. The old Duchess of Marlborough would have retained him with a pension, but he would not endure confinement, and was engaged by one Evans, who kept a home-brewed alehouse of great resort, known by the sign of the Hercules Pillars, opposite Clifford's Inn Passage in Fleet-street, and performed in a great room upstairs during the winter season. He played extempore voluntaries, fugues in the sonatas and concertos of Corelli; as also most of his solos, and many of Mr. Handel's opera songs with exquisite neatness and elegance. He also played on the violin, and on that instrument imitated so exactly the irregular intonation, mixed with sobs and pauses of a quaker's sermon, that none could hear him and refrain from immoderate laughter. The man of the house dying, his widow took Cuper's Gardens, and erected therein an orchestra and organ, intending it as a place of entertainment for the summer evenings, like Vauxhall, with the addition of fireworks. It subsisted for four or five summers, but failing at length, Jones, who was supported by her all the time, was turned adrift, and about the year 1738, or very probably several years later, died. He was buried in Lambeth Church, and his funeral, which was celebrated with a dead march, was attended by a great number of musical people." General History of Music, by Sir John Hawkins. Lond. 1776. 4to vol. v. p. 357.
[f] The proposals issued "by the Master of Spring Gardens, Vauxhall, with regard to his Musical Entertainment," appeared in the London Daily Post and General Advertiser, of Thursday, March 30th, 1738, and repeatedly afterwards. They were printed again in the same paper for March 19th, 1739 43, and those for Cuper's Gardens are inserted immediately beneath a repetition of them on Friday, April 4th, 1740. The proposals for opening Mary-la-Bonne Gardens are dated April 1st, 1740, and are printed with those of Cuper and Vauxhall on Wednesday, April 9th.
[a] This part of the place is represented in the View of the Savoy, Somerset-house, and the Water-Entrance to Cuper's Gardens, painted by Samuel Scott, engraven in the "Additional Plates to I. T. Smith's Antiquities of Westminster."
[a] The exhibition referred to was the splendid allegorical Temple and Fireworks displayed in the Green Park on Thursday, April 27th, 1749, in commemoration of the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, concluded Nov. 7th, 1748; the engravings and accounts of which are very numerous and excellent.
[b] This vocalist subsequently became a well known operatic actor at Covent-Garden Theatre, where he was the original performer of "Young Meadows," in "Love in a Village," and "Lord Aimworth," in "The Maid of the Mill;" and, though in contemporaneous criticisms, he is stated to have had very little claims to public favour, excepting as a singer, possessing an extremely sweet and soft voice, his execution of those parts in general procured him a preference to the best of foreign artists. He married the daughter of Hallam, a veteran performer of the same house, an excellent actress, and an agreeable singer.
[c] The dwelling of this artist was entirely destroyed by an explosion of gunpowder about the year 1760, when several lives were lost; and on Nov. 2nd, 1791, it was again blown up, when his widow, her son and three daughters, and a journeyman, lost their lives. "Annual Register," vol. xxxiii. p. 46 *Chronicle.
[d] The following notice of Cuper's Gardens occurs in a "description of the Palace and Parish of Lambeth," in the "Gentleman's Magazine" for Aug. 1753, vol. xxiii. p. 374. "Near to Cuper's Stairs is a garden with pleasant walks, decorated with several arbours, and remains of Roman antiquities, said to have been part of the Arundel Collection, but being broken, were not sent to Oxford, but removed hither when Arundel House was converted into a street. The estate belongs to Jesus College, Oxford, but has been let for a music-garden, fireworks, and public entertainment, in imitation of Vauxhall Gardens; which have occasioned also the like mimic attempts near most great towns."
[a] "Cuper's Gardens. This Day will be a Concert of Vocal and Instrumental Musick, by a Select number of Gentlemen for their own private Diversion. And as this intent proceeds from a true and heroic esteem of our remote Advocates the said Society have composed an Ode, alluding to the late decisive action of Prince Ferdinand's, and the intended invasion. Any Lady or Gentleman, inspired by Prussian Glory, may be admitted to the Performance by taking Subscription Tickets at the following places at One Shilling each, viz. at Mr. Harper's, the Haunch of Venison, the corner of Ave-Mary-Lane, Ludgate-street; Mr. Winter's, the Swan Tavern in the Borough; Old Slaughter's Coffee-house, St. Martin's Lane; Mr. Bromley's the Vine Tavern, Blackman Street; and at Mr. Cook's House on the left hand in going into the Gardens." Public Advertiser, August 30th, 1759.
[b] "History of Lambeth," p. 77. "History of Surrey," vol. iii. p. 481.
[c] "Some Account of London" by Thomas Pennant. Lond. 1791. 4to. pp. 33, 34.
[d] Stat. 49th George III., cap. cxci. Royal Assent 20th June, 1809.
[e] Stat. 53rd George III., cap. clxxxiv. Royal Assent 2nd July, 1813.
[f] Stat. 50th George III., cap. vi. At this time the land produced to the lessees a rent of about 3,200l.: but on the expiration of the existing leases which had five or six years to come, it was calculated to produce 5,076l. per annum. The whole was taken by Messrs. Thomas and John Lett, Timber-Merchants, who were tenants of part of the premises, for which they paid a fine of 55,000l. Manning and Bray's "Hist. of Surrey," vol. iii. p. xli. Appendix.
[g] By the formation of this road about an acre was left between it and the other hand of the Prince of Wales, which also became his property, that his land might have a frontage to the road which without it he would not have possessed. The Strand Bridge Company was also to make a cross-road from Stamford Street over the Prince's Meadew to the Surrey New Road, through the New Inn Stables at the foot of Westminster Bridge, to nearly opposite Astley's Theatre. Ibid. This is the present York Road.
[a] A description of this Church by Mr. E. J. Carlos, with a view, is inserted in the "Gentleman's Magazine" for May 1827, vol. xcvii. part 1. p. 390.
Title page of Vol. 2 reads: Theatrum illustrata. Graphic and historic memorials of ancient playhouses, modern theatres and other places of public amusement in the cities and suburbs of London & Westminster with scenic and incidental illustrations from the time of Shakspear to the present period.