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
The Monument of London: On Fish Street Hill, in the Ward of Bridge-Within.
Without attempting to decide, or even to enter into, the discussion as to whether the Papists were the real authors of the Great Fire in ; or whether it broke out from some obscure and unintended cause, and, aided by an extraordinarily dry season, a favourable wind, narrow streets, and wooden buildings, by the permission of Providence spread its ravages over the whole City:—without attempting to determine this, it will be most consistent with the limits of the present work, to state that this splendid Column was erected by the celebrated Sir Christopher Wren, to commemorate that destruction, under the belief that it was entirely attributable to the emissaries of the Church of Rome. Perhaps the earliest notice of the Monument now extant, is contained in the Act of Parliament for the Rebuilding of London, Charles II., , Chap. , Sect. xxix.; entitled, "A Pillar to be set up in memory of the Fire."—"And the better to preserve the memory of this dreadful visitation, be it farther enacted, that a Column or Pillar of brass or stone, be erected, on, or as near unto the place where the said Fire so unhappily began, as conveniently may be, in perpetual remembrance thereof; with such an Inscription thereon, as hereafter by the Mayor and Court of Aldermen in that behalf be directed."—By the Act of the of Charles II., , Chap. ., Sect. lxiii., Art. , the Parishes of St. Magnus, , and St. Margaret, New Fish Street, are ordered to be united; and the site of the latter Church was fixed upon, on the eastern side of , as the spot where the intended Monument should stand, on account of its immediate vicinity to that where the Fire commenced, part of it being only about feet distant.
In the year following this stupendous work was begun, as it is stated in the inscription upon the Pillar itself; and recorded in the MS. memoranda of the Wren family, belonging to and cited by Mr. Elmes: " ad , Structuram Columnæ Colossæ speculatoriæ Londinensis, ex Ordine Dorico, inchoavit et perficit."[a] It is remarkable, however, that several years after its recorded completion, Evelyn in his mentions this structure as still in progress: ", . Came to dine with me,—Sir Christopher Wren, now building the old Cathedral of St. Paul, and the Column in memory of the City's conflagration; and he was in hand with the building of Parish Churches. A wonderful genius had this incomparable person." The work was certainly much longer in progress than was ever contemplated, and the delay is said to have been occasioned by the previous deficiency of Portland Stone, of quality and dimensions proper for the edifices then erecting in the City. To remedy this want Sir Christopher Wren had already laid a complaint before the King in Council, and a proclamation was issued dated , , prohibiting the exportation of any more stone from the Isle of Portland, without his permission as Surveyor-General."[b]
The Act of Parliament already cited shews that the form of a Column was always proposed to be that of the memorial of the Great Fire; but many alterations were made from the original design and model, and even from those appointed to be executed, in the course of its erection. Such subsequent improvements were usual in the works of Sir Christopher Wren; and none of his previous designs appear to have been equal to the present Monument. In the collection of his Drawings in the Library of All Souls' College, Oxford, is of this edifice, which represents it with flames of gilded bronze issuing from the apertures of the shaft, in the manner of the Roman Rostral Columns, the apex being surmounted by a phenix of the same. It is well known also, that the architect once proposed to erect on the summit a colossal gilded brass statue of Charles II.;[c] some curious particulars concerning which are contained in the following document, the original of which is in the possession of Mr. William Upcott, of the .
"In pursuance of an Order of the Comittee for City Landes, I doe heerwith offer the severall designes, which some monthes since, shewed His Majestie for his approbation, who was then pleased to thinke a large Ball of metall gilt would be most agreeable, in regard it would giue an Ornament to the Town, at a very great distance; not that His Majestie disliked a Statue; and if any proposal of this sort be more acceptable to the City, I shall most readily represent the same to his Majestie.
"I cannot but commend a large Statue, as carrying much dignitie with it; and that which would be more vallewable in the eyes of Forreiners and strangers. It hath been proposed to cast such an in Brasse of foot high for lbs. I hope (if it be allowed) we may find those who will cast a figure for that mony of foot high, which will suit the greatnesse of the Pillar, and is (as I take it) the largest at this day extant, and this would undoubtedly bee the noblest finishing that can be found answerable to soe goodly a worke, in all men's judgements.
"A Ball of Copper, foot diameter, cast in several peeces with the Flames and gilt, may be well done, with the iron-worke and fixing, for lbs; and this will be the most acceptable of any thing inferior to a Statue, by reason of the good appearance at a distance, and because may goe up into it; and upon occasion use it for fireworkes.
"A Phœnix was at thought of, and is the ornament in the wooden modell of the pillar, which I caused to be made, before it was begun; but upon thoughtes I rejected it, because it will be costly, not easily understood at that highth, and worse understood at a distance; and, lastly, dangerous, by reason of the sayle the spread winges will carry in the winde.
"The Belcony must be made of substantiall, well-forged worke, there being no need, at that distance, of filed worke; and I suppose, (for I cannot exactly guesse the weight) it may be well performed and fixed, according to a good designe, for score and poundes, including painting. All which is humbly submitted to your consideration.
. Endorsed "Report Sr Xfer Wren concerning the Monument."
The edifice was at length finished, and received the very appropriate and emphatic name of THE MONUMENT. Its well-known form is that of a fluted column, of the Doric Order, exceeding, however, the established proportion of that Order, by module, or semi-diameter;[a] standing on a Palladian pedestal, feet in height and about feet square, rising out of a plinth feet square. On the abacus at the top is an iron balcony surrounding a moulded cylinder, supporting a flaming vase of gilded bronze; the entire height of which from the pavement is feet, a space equal to the distance of the spot eastward where the Great Fire broke out: thus presenting not only the loftiest but the finest isolated column in the world.[b] The shaft consists of courses of stone in height, and the greatest diameter of the pillar within, at the upper part of the base is feet, and it forms a staircase containing steps of black marble, inches broad, with inches risers, lighted by series of loopholes, and a large ornamented oval window on the eastern side, and furnished with niches for seats. This leads to the outside gallery, which is lined with copper,[c] from which a most beautiful and extensive prospect is obtained over the City and the River Thames. A short flight of stone stairs guarded by a door, lead into the flaming urn as above. On the western side, or front of the pedestal, is the large allegorical sculpture represented in the annexed Engraving, executed in alto and basso-relievo by Caius Gabriel Cibber; commemorative of the destruction and restoration of the City of London. The figure on the left is intended to express London lying disconsolately upon her ruins, with the insignia of her Civic grandeur, partly buried beneath them. Behind her is Time gradually raising her up again, by whose side stands a female figure, typical of Providence, pointing with a sceptre formed of a winged hand enclosing an eye, to the angels of peace and plenty seated on the descending clouds. Opposite the City, on an elevated pavement, stands the effigy of Charles II. in a Roman habit, advancing to her aid attended by the Sciences, holding a terminal figure of Nature, Liberty waving a hat,[d] and Architecture bearing the instruments of design and the plan of the new City. Behind the King stands his brother the Duke of York,[e] attended by Fortitude leading a lion, and Justice bearing a laurel coronet. Under an arch beneath the raised pavement on which these figures stand, appears Envy looking upward, emitting pestiferous flames, and gnawing a heart. of the preceding figures are sculptured in alto-relievo; whilst the back ground represents in basso-relievo, the
|Fire of London, with the consternation of the citizens on the left-hand, and the Rebuilding of it upon the right, with labourers at work upon unfinished houses. Immediately above this sculpture the cornice of the pedestal is enriched with a series of far more beautiful and appropriate carvings, of festoons, the Royal and City Arms, trophies, insignia, and at each angle a Dragon, as the Civic supporters. The latter were carved by Edward Pierce, jun. and cost each.|
The other sides of the pedestal are occupied with Inscriptions, also expressive of the City's destruction and restoration, which are engraven in their original characters and language, in the of the Plates attached to this account: and the Translations of them are as follow:
In the Year of Christ, , the day of the Nones of September,[a] at the distance of feet eastward from hence, which is the height of this Column, a fire broke out in the middle of the night; which, driven by a high wind, laid waste not only the adjacent parts, but places very remote, with incredible noise and fury: it consumed Churches, the Gates, the , Public Structures, Hospitals, Schools, Libraries, a vast number of stately edifices, Dwelling-houses, Streets: of Wards it utterly destroyed , and left others shattered and half burned. The ruins of the City were acres; and extended hence from the Tower by the side of the Thames, to the Temple Church; and thence from the north-east, along the City Wall, to the head of the Fleet Ditch. Towards the labours and fortunes of the Citizens it was fatal, but harmless towards their lives: That it might in all things resemble the Last Conflagration of the World.
The destruction was rapid; for within a short space of time the same City was seen most flourishing and reduced to nothing.
On the Day, when this fatal Fire had baffled all human counsels and endeavours, it stopped as it were by a command from Heaven, and was on every side extinguished.—
Charles the , Son of Charles the Martyr, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, a most gracious Prince, commiserating the deplorable condition of all things, whilst the ruins were yet smoking, provided for the comfort of his Citizens, and the ornament of his City; remitted their taxes, and referred the petitions of the Magistrates and people of London to the Parliament, which immediately passed an Act that the Public Works should be restored to greater beauty with the Public Money, to be raised by an impost upon coals: that the Churches, and the Cathedral of St. Paul, should be rebuilt from their foundations, with all magnificence; that Bridges, Gates, and Prisons, should be newly made; the Conduits improved; the Streets made straight and regular; such as were steep levelled, and those which were too narrow widened; and the markets and shambles moved away into other open places. It was also appointed that every house should be enclosed with intervening party-walls, and the whole raised of equal height in front; that the walls should be all consolidated of squared stone or brick; and that none should delay building beyond the space of years: care was likewise taken to prevent by the law all suits which might arise concerning their boundaries. Anniversary Prayers were also enjoined; and, to perpetuate the memory hereof to endless posterity, THIS COLUMN WAS ERECTED.
The work was carried on with diligence, LONDON HATH RISEN AGAIN; and it is doubtful whether with greater Speed or Beauty—for the space of years saw that FINISHED, which was believed to be the labour of an age.
The English Inscription which charged the Papists with the burning of London, and which formed continued line round the top of the plinth,—will be found on the Plate already mentioned. Another Inscription of a similar kind, but still more violent, was the following, which was cut in stone against a house on the eastern side of , on the site of that where the Fire originally commenced.
"Here, by the Permission of Heaven, Hell broke loose upon this Protestant City, from the malicious Hearts of barbarous Papists, by the Hand of their Agent Hubert, who confessed, and on the Ruins of this Place declared the Fact, for which he was hanged, viz. That here began that dreadful Fire, which is described and perpetuated on and by the Neighbouring Pillar.
In the description of this very celebrated structure, the following "Accurate Account of the Quantity by Measurements of the Great Column of London," preserved in the ,[c] requires to be included.
"The solidity of the whole fabrick, from the bottom of the lowest plinth to the black marble under the urn, the cylinder of the staircase only deducted, and the stone for the carving not allowed for, is ............................................................... feet.
The black marble that covers the capital .............................................................................................. feet.
—do.—covering the lanthorn ..................................................................................
black marble steps.
being superficial feet.
Marble Harch-pace, feet.
Marble paving, and other small articles, not in this measurement."
The whole cost of this Column is generally stated to have amounted to upwards of ; but in an official manuscript volume of the "Expenses of erecting Public Buildings in London after the Great Fire," in the City Library, at , the sum of the charges is From this statement the following curious entries have been extracted.
Fol. . THE PILLAR ON NEW , OUT OF THE COLE MONEY.
of the earliest criticisms on the Monument was the following written by the architect's friend, the amiable John Evelyn in his , Lond. , page . "Our late discoveries of new worlds, and conflicts at sea; the sanglant battles that have been fought on land; the fortitude and sufferings of an excellent Prince; the Restoration of his successor; the Conflagration and Re-edifying of the greatest City of the world in less than years, (which had been near years in building, nor then half so vast, &c.);— call aloud for their Medals apart. We yet see in medal none of the Column erected in memory of that dreadful Fire, the biggest and highest all Europe has to shew; and infinite pity 'tis, that it had not been set up where the Incendium and burning ceased, like a Jupiter Stator, rather than where it fatally began,—not only in regard of the eminency of the ground, but for the reason of the thing; since it was intended as a grateful monument and recognition to Almighty God for its , and should therefore have been placed where the devouring flames ceased and were overcome, more agreeably to the stately trophy, than where they took fire and broke out; and where a plain lugubrious marble, with some opposite inscription, had perhaps more properly become the occasion. But this was over ruled, and I beg excuse for this presumption, though I question not that I have the architect himself on my side; whose rare and extraordinary talent, and what he has performed of great and magnificent, this Column, and what he is still about, and advancing under his direction, will speak and perpetuate his memory, as long as stone remains upon another in this nation."—The same author in the dedication of his , Lond. , folio, addressed to Wren, says that "if the whole art of building were lost, it might be recovered and found again in , the , and those other monuments of your happy talent and extraordinary genius."—"The Monument," says a later Critic, "is undoubtedly the noblest modern column in the world; nay in some respects it may vie with those celebrated ones of antiquity, which are consecrated to the names of Trajan and Antonine. Nothing could be more bold and surprising, nothing more beautiful and harmonious. The Bas-relief at the base, allowing for some few defects, is finely imagined and executed as well; and nothing material can be cavilled with, but the inscriptions round about it. Nothing, indeed, can be more ridiculous than its situation, unless it be the reason which is assigned for it. I am of opinion that if it had been raised where Conduit stood it would have been as effectual as a remonstrance of the misfortune it is designed to record, and would have added an inexpressible beauty to the vista, and received as much as it gave."[a]
Some very curious, though extremely infamous and ignorant notices of the Monument, are given by Edward Ward, in his , London, , vo. Part iii. pages -, which probably contain the popular estimation it was held in at the time they were written. "Now," says my friend, "I'll show you a towering edifice, erected through the wisdom and honesty of the City, as a very memorandum of it's being laid , either by a judgment from heaven for the sins of the people, or by the treachery of the Papists, according to the inscription of the Monument, who, I suppose, as ignorant of the matter as myself; for that was neither built then, nor I born: So I believe we are equally as able to tell the truth of the story, as a quack astrologer is, by the assistance of the signs and planets, what was the name of Moses' great-grandfather, or how many quarts of water went to the world's drowning. You'll be mightily pleased with the loftiness of this slender column; for its very height was the thing that ever occasioned wry necks in England, by the people staring at the top on't. To the glory of the City, and the everlasting reputation of the projectors of this high and mighty Babel, it was more ostentiously than honestly built by the poor Orphans' money; many of them since having begged their bread, and the City have here given them a stone. Look ye, now you may see it; pray view and give me your opinion.—What, is it of no use, but only to gaze at?—Yes, yes, says my friend, Astrologers go often to the top on't, when they have a mind to play the peeper, and see Mars and Venus in conjunction; though the chief use of it is for the improvement of Vintner's boys and drawers, who come every week to exercise their supporters, and learn the Tavern-trip by running up to the Balcony and down again, which fixes them in a nimble step, and makes them rare light heeled emissaries in a month's practice. Do you observe the carving, which contains the King's and his brother's pictures. They were cut by an eminent artist, and are looked upon by a great many impartial judges to be a couple of extraordinary good figures: Pray what think you? I know you have some judgment in proportion.— Why, truly, said I, they are the only grace and ornament of the building; but 'tis a pities that the stones formed into so noble an order, should be so basely purchased to the ruin of so many fatherless and widows: but I suppose it was politicly done, to fix the King's effigies as a testimonial of their loyalty upon a structure so unjustly raised, that the might, in some measure, wash away the stain of the other: and to prevent high-flown loyalists to reflect upon their treachery to the poor Orphans, since they may pretend,—though they cheated them of their money,—'twas with the pious design of setting up the King's picture, in reverence of his person, who, all the world knows they had a wonderful respect for, and in honour of the City, which, to be sure, was as dear to them as their lives and fortunes. Though, I have heard, their chief drift in this memorable undertaking was to get estates to themselves without mistrust; that they might enjoy them without molestation.—As you say, this edifice, as well as some others, was projected as a memorandum of the Fire, or an ornament to the City; but gave those corrupted magistrates that had the power in their hands, the opportunity of putting into their own pockets, whilst they paid towards the building.[a] I must confess, all I think can be spoke in praise of it is, 'Tis a Monument to the City's Shame, the Orphans' Grief, the Protestants' Pride, and the Papists' Scandal; and only serves as a high-crowned hat to cover the head of the old fellow that shews it."
In the for , a discussion was carried on between Mr. E. J. Carlos, and the late
|Mr. Frederick Thornhill of , formerly of the Common-Council for the Ward of Bridge-Within, concerning the propriety of erasing from the Monument those Inscriptions which charged the Papists with devising and executing the Fire of London. The former correspondent argued, that though this accusation were now no longer believed, yet as a curious record of the general feeling at the time the column was erected, the inscription should have been preserved entire, as an interesting relique of erroneous antiquity, from which no farther mischief could arise.[a] The reply of the latter asserted that the very removal of those inscriptions was a restoration of the whole to its original state,[b] in proof of which the following extremely curious official documents were adduced, extracted from the City Records, and printed for the time: having been provided by Mr. Thornhill as evidence to produce when the erasure was brought forward in the Court of Common- Council.|
"COURT OF ALDERMEN:—, .—This Court doth desire Dr. (Thomas) Gale, Master of the Schoole of St. Paul, to consider of and devise a fitting Inscription to be set on the New Pillar at , and to consult with Sir Christopher Wren, his Majesties Surveyor-Generall, and Mr. Hooke, and then to present the same unto this Court."
"COURT OF ALDERMEN:—, .—Upon intimation now given by the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor that the Inscriptions for the new Pillar on by Dr. Gale, had been tendered to, and very well approved of by, his Majestie, This Court doth order that the said Inscription be forthwith made upon the said Pillar accordingly."
"COURT OF ALDERMEN:—, .—This Court now taking into their consideration the ingenious Inscription prepared, and presented unto this Court by Dr. Gale, for the new Pillar on , doth Order that Mr. Chamberlein doe deliver unto Mr. Lane, Comptroller of the Chamber, guineys (to be placed on account of the cole-duty), and hee to lay out the same in a handsome piece of plate to be presented to Dr. Gale as a loveing remembrance from this Court."[c]
Mr. Thornhill considered it might be safely affirmed that it was not until that the charge against the Roman Catholics of having fired the City, began to obtain anything like general credence; when the notorious Titus Oates made his discovery of the Popish Plot, and stated some particulars concerning the Fire in the Article of his London, . folio, pages , .[d] When this belief was established, it was determined to record the same upon the Monument; and the following were the proceedings of the Corporation on the subject.
"COURT OF COMMON COUNCIL:—, .—It is Ordered by this Court that Mr. Comptroller, taking to his assistance such persons as he shall think fitting, doe compose and draw up an Inscription, in Latin and English, to be affixed on the Monument on , signifying that the City of London was burnt and consumed with fire by the treachery and malice of the Papists, in September, in the Year of Our Lord .
"COURT OF COMMON-COUNCIL:—, .—This day Mr. Comptroller of the Chamber (p'suant to an Order of the last), did present this Court an Inscription in Latin and English by him composed to be affixed on the Monument on : the Latin is in these words which he conceives might properly be added to the p'sent inscription on the north side thereof, after these words (stetit Fatalis Ignis et quaquaversum elanguit.) And the English Inscription following in these words viz. , which said Inscriptions being read, this Court doth very well like and approve of them, and doth Order that the same shall be affixed on the said Monument, in the most convenient parts thereof, att the direction and appointment of the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen.
"And it is likewise Ordered that another Inscripc'on in English, now presented by Mr. Comptroller, and read in this Court and agreed on, shall be likewise forthwith affixed on the front of the House where the said Fire began; at the like appointment of the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen: which Inscription is in these words, viz.—"
"COURT OF ALDERMEN .—The Right Honourable the Lord Mayor is desired by this Court to direct, the setting up the Inscriptions lately agreed to in the Court of Common-Council touching the Fireing of this City by the Papists, A. D. , upon the Pillar on , and the House where the Fire began: in such manner as his Lordship shall think convenient."
"A COURT OF ALDERMEN , .—It is now agreed by this Court that the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor
|who was desired by this Court to cause the additional Inscriptions lately agreed to in Common Counsell, to be sett up on the Pillar at , doe in order thereunto cause the Inscription already made on the Pillar, or such parts thereof as his Lordship shall think convenient, to be taken out and anew engraved, the better to make way for the said additional Inscription."[a]|
The whole of the alteration which took place in consequence of this Order, appears to have been the erasure of the last word of the original inscription on the north side, "Elanguit," which was recut in the same situation, something more than an inch higher up; the cutting of the letters, however, remaining still very visible.[b] The addition was then made, as represented in the annexed Engraving, the beginning word of it being placed at the extremity of the former concluding line, and the remainder forming a full line below, at the very bottom of the panel. The English Inscription was added on the upper edge of the lowest member of the plinth, in continuous line, commencing on the western side of the north-west corner. Throughout the whole of the reign of Charles II. this record was continued unaltered; but only a very few months after his death on , the above additions were obliterated, the particular time being thus fixed by Evelyn in his ", . At this time the words engraven on the Monument, intimating that the Papists fired the City, were erased and cut out." The erasure was effected by cutting a long and shallow curved channel, or flute, to the depth of the letters. The stone in , containing the like accusation, appears to have been also removed at the same time; but upon the re-establishment of Protestantism the following direction was issued for the restoration of both.
"COURT OF ALDERMEN:—, .—It is unanimously agreed and Ordered by this Court, that the severall Inscripc'ons, formerly sett up by Order of this Court, in the Mayoralty of Sir Patience Ward, on the Monument and the House where the dreadful Fire began (which have been since taken down), be again sett upp in their former places; and that Mr. Chamb'laine and Mr. Comptroller doe see the same done accordingly."[c]
The same words were then more deeply recut in the channels of the former; and the tablet was again erected in , where it remained until about the middle of the last century:[d] the violent terms of which inscriptions, induced Pope so bitterly to characterise the Monument in his well-known lines in Epistle iii. verse , of his Moral Essays, originally published in ,
Whether the record of the pillar, however, were altogether false, or only too vindictively true, it remained undisturbed until after the passing of the Act for the Relief of his Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects, , when the following proceedings took place in the Corporation of London.
"COURT OF COMMON COUNCIL:—, .—MOTION;—That the Committee of City Lands be instructed to cause to be removed from the Inscription on the Monument, the words and also the Inscription.
|, , AMENDMENT: That it be referred to the City Lands Committee to consider and report to this Court, the propriety of removing from the Inscriptions on the Monument all matters insinuating the Fire of London to be the work of Papists.— Resolved in the Affirmative, and Ordered accordingly."[a]|
Mr. Thornhill states that this resolution of the Common-Council was begun to be carried into effect on the morning of Wednesday, ; when Mr. Charles Pearson, Mr. Richard Taylor, and himself, attended with the workmen, and were the to commence the erasure of those Inscriptions.[b] Those parts of the stone from which they were obliterated were then cut down into the present deep square channels, about inches below the original surface.
In the peculiar construction of this noble Column, however, the Architect had another design beside that of preserving the memory of the Great Fire; since it is stated that he built it hollow, that it might be used as an astronomical tube for discovering the parallax of the earth, by observing the different distances of the stars in the Dragon's Head from the zenith, at various seasons of the year: but as he found the oscillation of the pillar very considerable from it being shaken by the motion of the carriages which were continually passing, the intention of thus using it was abandoned.[c] Another scientific purpose to which the Monument was applied, was that of employing it for ascertaining the pressure of the atmosphere at different heights; some experiments concerning which were made by Dr. Robert Hooke, and Messrs. Hunt and Crawly, and reported to the Royal Society, . In these experiments Dr. Hooke stated that he found the quicksilver in the tube to stand higher at the bottom than at the top of the Column, by almost - of an inch; and also that he observed the same to ascend by degrees, as nearly as he could perceive proportionally to the space descended in going down the Pillar from the top to the bottom.[d] Some similar results were likewise reported to the Society by the Rev. William Derham, made in .[e]
It is probable that from the time of its completion the height of the Monument rendered it an object of exhibition; and it is evident from the preceding notice of it by Ward, that it was not only such in , but that the keeping of it was then conferred upon a decayed citizen, which has probably also been the case ever since its erection.[f] Of this exhibition, however, there are few particulars either preserved or required; but Strype's notice concerning it in , is as follows.—"This building loftily shews itself above the houses, and gives a gallant prospect for many miles round, to those that are in the balcony; and it being such a curiosity, and that so many people have a desire to go up and look about them from thence, there is that hath the keeping of it, with a salary allowed for his attendance, beside the money that people give him."[g] The same authority likewise states, that "from the balcony upwards there is a ladder of iron steps,[h] to go into the urn, out of which the flame all gilt with gold issueth; and to the stairs, having an open newel, or centre, there is a rail of iron to place the hand upon all the way up," with niches and seats in the wall to rest in on the ascent. Both the interior of the Column, and the wooden doors at the gallery, are covered with thousands of the names, initials, &c. of the several visitors, the most remarkable of which was the name of G. Perry, printed in white paint on the
|north-east side of the outer part of the cippus, the largest letters being inches long: it is now, however, () nearly obliterated. Round the base of the pillar are painted the following inscriptions relating to the exhibition of the Monument, by Order of the Corporation of London.|
—The Monument is Open for the Inspection of the Public. Admittance to the Gallery Each Person.
—The Monument is Open for the Inspection of the Public from o'Clock till Sunset in Summer, and from till in Winter. Admittance Each Person.
—Admittance Each Person.——All persons detected in throwing anything from the Gallery of the Monument will be Prosecuted.
The base of this Column is surrounded by an area and iron railing on the north, east, and south, sides, in which are set tubs with plants and flowering-shrubs; the front is even with the street. In all the older views of this edifice, the yard around it is represented as considerably higher than the part on which it is built, and the street in front; the above sides having a descent of several steps. At the present time, however, there are steps on a small part of the south side of Monument Yard only, the street and the base of the pillar having been made level with the highest part of the square.[a] The oscillation which, as it has been already mentioned, Sir Christopher Wren found in the Monument when he attempted to use it as an astronomical tube, is supposed to have originated the report that it was insecure and even dangerous; and that in high winds it would rock visibly and violently, and open the breadth of an inch at the joints of some of the courses of stone. So strong and general has been this erroneous conclusion at various periods, that it was also further reported that had been offered by the Corporation of London to any person who should safely take down the Column, and several papers have appeared upon the subject.[b] The Monument was, however, erected by an architect of such consummate skill, and constructed upon such certain and scientific principles, that it may be regarded as secure from every attack excepting the shock of an earthquake. In concluding these historical and descriptive particulars of this celebrated Column, it remains only to mention a few remarkable circumstances which have taken place at it.
of the most curious feats of agility exhibited in the last century was that called Steeple-flying, in which the performer glided down a rope stretched tightly from the tower or spire of a church, to some distance below;[c] and in the of Saturday, , there is the following account of such an exhibition at this Pillar: "Yesterday, about o'clock in the evening, notwithstanding the wind was so high, a sailor flew from the top of the Monument, to the Upper Tuns Tavern in Grace-Church Street, which he did in less than half a minute: there was a numerous crowd of spectators to see him. He came down within feet to the place where the rope was fixed, and then flung himself off; and offered if the gentlemen would make him a handsome collection, to go up and fly down again.[d] In the morning, when the rope was tied round the Monument, a waterman's boy paid for going up to the gallery, but in his return finding the stairs crowded, he thought the quickest way down again was by the rope; and he accordingly swung down upon it as it hung loose, into the Monument Yard, without receiving any injury."[e]
There have also occurred here the following melancholy accident and suicides.—On Monday, , a man dressed in a white waistcoat and green apron either threw himself down, or accidentally fell from the gallery and was dashed to pieces. His remains were taken to St. Magnus' Church to be owned, when it was discovered that the unfortunate person was a weaver, named William Green, dwelling near , Spitalfields; and that the cause of the accident was as follows: "In the iron gallery of the Column there is a live eagle to be seen, for which it is customary to pay a penny; but the person not being there to show it, it being enclosed in a wooden cage, he in projecting his body too far over the rails to look in at the back of the box, which is open to the iron-work, losing his hold, fell against the top of the pedestal, and from thence against of the posts in the street; whereby the top of his skull was laid quite open, and the other parts of his body terribly shivered."[a] There were found in the pocket of this person eighteen guineas, but if his fall were really accidental, it is remarkable that he left his watch in the care of the Keeper of the Monument.[b] —On Monday, , about o'clock, persons went to the top of this pillar, at which place of them got over the iron rail on the north side, threw himself down, and was dashed to pieces upon a pile of hard mortar in the yard beneath. He appeared between and years of age, lusty and rather tall, and was dressed like a decent tradesman: he had been up the Monument twice on the Saturday previous, at time remaining there upwards of hours.[c] The body shewed scarcely any signs of life when it fell, both legs were broken, the head was shattered, and the remains were with difficulty carried to the bone-house at St. Magnus' Church. This suicide was subsequently found to be a baker, named Thomas Cradock, who boarded with the Master of , and who had conversed with several persons upon his design of throwing himself from the top of the Monument, inquiring of them if there would be any sin in the act; which questions, however, were at the time regarded but as idle words.[d] Other accounts state, that he was of the attendants at the New Gaol in , named Elliot, and that "he was a proud man in circumstances of distress; but that though desperation urged him to get rid of an embarrassed life, he was determined to do so in such a manner as to attract the notice of mankind."[e] —The last suicide at this place was on Thursday, , when Mr. Lyon Levy, a pearl and diamond merchant of , of about years of age, and of a respectable character,—threw himself from the gallery between and o'clock in the morning. , and in its descent his body repeatedly turned over before it reached the ground.[f] Its fall was broken by its striking against of the dragons at the corner of the base of the pillar, but the unfortunate person at length fell upon his head in Monument Yard, and expired without a groan; a convulsive motion of the shoulders being the only sign of life exhibited by him when he fell. His head was terribly shattered, and the brain protruded from it in several places; whilst the face was so greatly disfigured as to be with difficulty recognised. It was reported that Mr. Levy was subject to hereditary insanity, his mother having been for many years confined in a private, madhouse, and the Coroner's Inquest returned a corresponding verdict; but the immediate cause of his suicide was attributed to the failure of a commercial speculation. He had been at the Bank-Coffee House in the morning before he went to the Monument, and when he ascended he evinced no uncommon emotion, but appeared to the Keeper to be perfectly easy and collected in his mind. He left a widow and children.[g]
The last circumstance worth notice connected with this building is, that on Wednesday, , a printed bill was issued stating that "This Evening the Monument will be superbly Illuminated with Portable Gas, in Commemoration of Laying the Stone of the by the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor.[h] Admittance Sixpence each at o'clock." Accordingly at night a lamp was placed at each of the loopholes in the shaft, to give it the appearance of being wreathed with flame; whilst other lines of lights were placed along the edges of the gallery; the wind, however, seldom permitted the whole of the gas to remain alight at the same time.
After having stood for upwards of a century and a half in a situation by far too narrow to allow of any front view of this magnificent Column, a very fine prospect of it was opened about , by the removal of the opposite lines of houses in forming , leading across from to the northern entrance of the . From the western end of this street, the beauty and grandeur of the Monument may be most happily contemplated; and the beholder cannot fail to observe that so exquisite and accurate are its
|symmetry and proportions, that the view includes the whole of it with ease and satisfaction, notwithstanding the vast dimensions of its height and capacity.|
Qui celsam spectas Molem, idem quoque infaustum et fatalem toti quondam Civitati vides Locum. Hîc quippè, Anno Christi MDCLXVI. alterâ post mediam Noctem Horâ, ex Casâ humili, prima se extulit Flamma, quæ, Austro flante, adeò brevi invaluit, ut non tantum tota ferè intra Muros Urbs, sed et Aedificia quæcunque Arcem, et Templariorum Hospitium; quæcunque denique Ripas Fluminis, et remotissima Civitatis interjacent Mænia, ferali absumpta fuerint Incendio. Tridui Spatio, C. Templa, Plateæ CCCC. et plura quam XIV. Domorum Millia Flammis absorpta fuère. Innumeri Cives omnibus suis fortunis exuti, et sub dio agitare coacti, infinitæ, et toto Orbe congestæ opes in Cinerem et Favillam redactæ: ita ut de Urbe omnium quotquot Sol aspicit amplissimâ, et fælicissimâ, præter Nomen et Famam, et immensos Ruinarum Aggeres, vix quicquam superesset.
CAROLUS SECUNDUS, Dei Gratiâ Rex Magnæ Britanniæ, Franciæ, et Hiberniæ, Anno Regni XVIII. et plerique Angliæ Proceres, consumptâ Incendio Urbe penè universâ, eàdemque Triennio Spatio in Ampliorem Modum Instauratâ, et non ut antè ligneis aut luteis, sed partim lateritiis, partim marmoreis, Edificiis, et Operibus ita ornatâ, ut è suis Ruinis pulcrior multò prodiisse videatur; auctis prætereà ad immensam Magnitudinem Urbis Pomæriis; ad æternam utriusque Facti Memoriam, Hîc ubi tantæ Cladis prima emicuit Flamma
Discat Præsens et Futura Aetas, nequà similis ingruat clades, tempestivis Numen placare votis: Beneficium verò Regis, et Procerum, quorum Liberalitate, præter Ornatum, major etiam Urbi accessit Securitas, grata mente recognoscat.
(As Augustus said of Rome, Lateritiam inveni, Marmoream reliqui, so the Rebuilder of London might as properly say, Luteum et Ligneum inveni, Lateritium et Lapideum reliqui.)
Sæpe majori fortunæ locum fecit Injuria: multa ceciderunt, ut altius surgerent, et in majus. Timagenes felicitati Urbis inimicus aiebat, Romæ sibi Incendia ob hoc unum dolori esse, quod sciret meliora resurrectura, quam arsissent. (.)
Tota Columna Imp. Antonini, Romæ, Alta est Palmos Romanos CCXXX. Diametros Scapi continet Palmos XVI. et IV. Pollices. (, per Mich. Overbeke.) Tota Columna Imp. Trajani, Romæ, ab ejus Imo usque ad Statuæ Sancti Petri verticem, alta est Palmos Romanos CXCIII. cum dimidio; Diametros ejus prope Basin complectitur Palmos XVI. cum Sesqui-pollice; ita ut hic Diametros totidem in se continet IX. Pollices, quot Moles tota Palmos alta esse cognoscitur.
N.B. Palmus Romanus architectonicus continet IX Pollices Anglicanos. Columna dicta Historica Constantinopoli, sive Imp. Theodosii, sive Arcadii, alta est CXLVR. pedes. Secundum computum Petri Gylii."—, pp. , .
Thou who seest this Fabric, beholdest also in the same spot an unfortunate and fatal place to the whole of the former City: forasmuch as here, in the Year of Christ , upon the , or after the hour of midnight, an obscure house burst into flames: which were blown up by a south wind, and in a short time they had grown so strong, that almost the whole place within the City walls, with all the buildings standing between the Tower and the Temple Inn, even to the River side, and the remotest parts of the City lying within the walls,—were dreadfully consumed by Fire. In the space of days Churches, Streets, and more than . Houses, were carried away by the flames. Numberless citizens were bereft of all their possessions, and driven together without a shelter in unspeakable distress; and the greatness of all the world was reduced to a mass of ashes and burning embers: so that to as many as the sun looked upon in this happiest and most spacious City, there then remained scarcely anything beside their name and fame and immense heaps of ruins.—CHARLES THE , by the Grace of God King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, in the year of his reign, with the greater part of the chief persons of England, in years' time almost entirely restored the same City which had been consumed by Fire: and that not as before of wood and clay, but partly of brick and partly of marble; with such ornamental edifices and structures, that it is to be seen brought forth much fairer out of its ruins, increased also to an immense extent in the surrounding boundaries; and alike for the memory of these acts and of the destruction which here brake out into flames,
It teaches the Present and Future Age should any like destruction assail them to propitiate the Divinity by prayer: and it also gratefully records the benefits of the King and rulers of the nation, by whose bounty the City has acquired greater security as well as ornament.
(As Augustus said of Rome, I found it of Brick, I left it of Marble! so the Rebuilder of London might as properly say, I found it of wood and clay, I left it of brick and stone.)
Injuries have often made way for better fortune: many places have fallen and have arisen greater and loftier than before. Timagenes, the enemy of the City of Rome herself, said thou though the burning of her would at cause sorrow, yet he knew that she would arise again fairer than she had fallen. (, .)
The whole height of the Column of the Emperor Antonmus at Rome, is Roman Palms; the diameter of the shaft is Palms inches, ( feet high, feet inches diameter, English.)—, by Bonavent. ab Overbeke. Amsterd. , fol.—The whole height of the Column of the Emperor Trajan at Rome, from the base to the statue of St. Peter upon the top, Roman Palms; its diameter near the base contains Palms, inch and a half, ( feet inch high, feet inches diameter, English.) In like manner, then, in the diameter of this Pillar, a whole Palm is to be accounted for every inches contained in it.—N.B. The Roman Palm contains English inches. The Column at Constantinople called the Historical, or of the Emperor Theodosius, or the Arcadian, is feet in height according to the computation of Peter Gillius. ( Lugd. . to.
Another of the proposed Inscriptions for this Column was a curious composition by Adam Littleton, the compiler of the Lond. , to. on the last leaf of which it is printed with an address; of the whole of which the following is a copy.
"Lectori Benevolo. Quoniam ex Edicto statutum erat, ut in memoriam extrueretur; Ego quoque inter alios, (quod præficine dico, ut absit invidia verbo) meam Symbolam conjeci, partim , i. Narrativam; partim , nimirum quo animum erga INCLYTAM URBEM propensum testarer. Eam, ne residua hæc pagella prorsus vacaret, visum est hic ponere. Ignoscent mihi Nobiles et Ingenui Cives, quod hanc qualemcunque demum in extremo opere locavi; ubi meminerint vulgati illius dicti,
Quum Anno MDCLXVI. CAROLINI VI. autem XVIII. Die IV. , fatale et ineluctabile , hoc ipso loco in conceptum, et in viciniam longè latéque, afflantibus sive etiam reflantibus ventis, proseminatum, continuo triduo, , cæteráque quà quà Aedificia, quæ jam renasci videmus, horrendo flammarum liluvio absorbuisset; et , cui nulla Gens aut habuit, aut certè (it à fovere fas est) habitura est parem, maximam partem in cineres redegisset; donec tandem non minore cum miraculo consopitum, quàm sub initiis concitatum fuerat, inter medias strages et inhabiles ad resistendum ruinas, ultrò deflagraret: Placuit ex , in perpetuam rei memoriam decerni Hunc sive , ex quâ quoquoversùm pateat prospectus Urbicus; quò Posteris innotescat Divina cùm tum , cui utrique luculentum Ignis perhibuit testimonium.
Perennet hæc Votiva SETHIANIAe[*] æmula, ad extremum usque diem, quo Universa conflagrabunt; Locùmque et subjectos undique pariter atque , longè visura sed et visenda longé; eadem Urbis Extinctæ et Resurgentis
To the Friendly Reader. Forasmuch as by an ordinance of Parliament it was enacted that a Column should be erected in memory of the Conflagration of London, I also, with others, of whom I speak without envy,—put together my Inscription for the same: partly Mistorical, or Narrative; and partly Poetical, that is to say such as is proper to monuments; by which may be testified the affection of my mind for this renowned City: which is here set forth to view, that the remainder of this small leaf may not be left altogether empty. The noble and ingenious Citizens may hold me excused in that I have placed this Inscription such as it is in the end of my labours, by remembering the common saying,
In the Year of Human Salvation, , the of the Restoration of KING CHARLES, and in the Eighteenth of his Reign, on the Day of the Nones of September, a fatal and irresistible Fire began in a bakehouse at this place, in a long and narrow lane; and was spread around by a wind which blew it both forwards and backwards. It continued for days, in which Houses, Churches, Palaces, and other edifices, as well private as public,—which now by the goodness of God we see renovated, and therefore it is to meet to worship the same, since to no nation hath it appeared more surely,—were enwrapt in a flood of fearful flames, and this most noble City was for the greatest part reduced to ashes: until at length it seemed that nothing less than a miracle could abate the fury of that overthrow, the commencement of which was so violent, the continuance destruction without the power of resisting ruin, and the end complete conflagration. Forasmuch as this took place, it pleased the Senate in Council, in perpetual memory of the event, to appoint This Obelisk, or Prospect Tower, from which the view of all belonging to that City lies spread open on every side, that posterity may know the Divine Wrath as well as Mercy; of both of which here is given a testimony, in the extreme raging of the Fire, and in the present renown and beauty.—May this devoted Column emulate those of Seth,[REPEAT] and endure to the Last Day when the Universe shall be consumed, equally adorned by and adorning this place and the dwellings which lie beneath it on every side, long seeing and long to be seen, the Monument of the extinction and the beautified resurrection of the same City.
licet, sapiamus tamen
[*] and not by any simple word,
[a] Memoirs of the Life and Works of Sir Christopher Wren; with a brief view of the Progress of Architecture in England, from the beginning of the reign of Charles I to the end of the 17th Century; with an Appendix of Authentic Documents. By Jas. Elmes, M. R. I. A. Architect. Lond. 1823, 4to. p. 286, note ¦¦.
[b] Ibid. p. 269, and note †.—Parentalia: or Memoirs of the Family of the Wrens. Compiled by Christopher, son of the Architect, and published by his grandson, Stephen Wren, Esq. Edited by Jos. Ames, Lond. 1750. fol. pp. 321, 322.
[c] As founder of the new City, in the manner of the Roman columns which terminated in statues of the Cæsars. Another figure proposed by Sir Christopher Wren for the summit of the Monument was that of a female "crowned with turrets, holding a sword, and cap of maintenance, with other ensigns of the City's grandeur and re-erection." Parentalia, 322.—There was a large whole-sheet engraving of the former design published by Sir Christopher's son, entitled, "Columna Londinensis: Quâ Sol Majorem non vidit.—Inter admiranda artis Paternæ Monumenta Monumentum Aere perennius, Aereis formis (quo latiùs innotescat) adumbrari curavit Christophorus à Christophoro Wren." N. Hawksmoor, Delin. 1723. H. Hulseberg, Sculps. In this print the cippus of the column is surmounted by a figure of Charles II. in a Roman habit, with the present termination represented on a scroll suspended at the side: the former being described in the Latin references as the statue of King Charles, designed according to the judgment of the architect; and the latter as a badly-turned brazen urn set upon the Column, and forced upon the architect in opposition to his wish. Small figures of the Monument and Trajan's Pillar for comparison of their relative size appear upon a terrace in the back ground. In the Sloanian MSS. in the British Museum, No. 5238, Article 103, is entitled, "Drawings and Designs relating to Architecture, Draughts of the River Thames and Wharfs, chiefly by Dr. Hooke, Roe, and others;" and they also include several sketches in Indian-ink of original designs for the Monument, of which the following is a descriptive list. No. 69 lettered "Cheapside Obelisc:" a square pyramidal stone column, 92 feet high, and 5 feet in its greatest diameter, resting upon four gilded dragons, surmounted at the top by a gilded ornament supporting an eagle standing on a thunderbolt, altogether 12 feet in height. Below the dragons is a square base of 12 feet, ornamented with a panel, and surrounded by gilded rails, and beneath a plinth of 18 1/2 feet. Against the eagle is written "halfe soe bigge;" and against the dragons "not halfe soe bigge."—No. 70. An urn standing on a circular base, surmounted by a figure of the City, holding a sword elevated in her right hand and resting her left on an oval shield of the arms of London: the base is surrounded by an ornamental railing, and contains a door.—No. 71. A flaming urn for the top of the Monument.—No. 72. A broad urn, or sarcophagus, at the corners of which are dragons supporting the City arms, and in the centre side appear the Royal arms and supporters, all in rich cartouchshields, somewhat resembling those which are carved above the square base of the present Monument.—No. 73. A square pyramidal column rising out of flames with the City dragons, on a broad urn-shaped, or sarcophagus, base.—No. 74. A similar design elevated on two steps; the capital surmounted by a phenix in profile, rising out of flames: the whole 51 1/2 feet high.—Nos. 75, 76. Six sections of the present Monument, the stairs, base, &c., drawn with a pen.—No. 77. A large pen-drawing, highly finished, of an intended gallery, meta, and cippus, for the present column; the upper ornament being a globe with three flames issuing from the top of it. The iron-work of the gallery represents thunderbolts.—No. 78. A large pen-drawing of the whole of the present Monument, very carefully executed, on a scale of five feet to an inch. The gallery is plain, and the top is crowned with a globe having four flames issuing from the sides, and five more above.—Another design is mentioned in the Parentalia, p. 322, consisting of a pillar of somewhat less proportion than that which was erected, "viz." says that work, "14 feet in diameter, and after a peculiar device: for as the Romans expressed by relievo on the pedestals and round the shafts of their columns, the history of such actions and incident as were intended to be thereby commemorated; so this monument of the conflagration and resurrection of London was represented by a pillar in flames; the flames blazing from the loopholes of the shaft, which were to give light to the stairs within, were figured in brass-work gilt, and on the top was a phenix rising from her ashes of brass gilt likewise." A whole-sheet engraving of probably this design was executed by Hulseberg, and "Printed for Samuel Harding in St. Martin's Lane," &c., representing a pillar, with a single long flame blazing upward from every loophole. The gallery is surrounded by a rail formed of fireballs and thunderbolts, and it encloses a square cippus crowned with a broad urn and a phenix rising out of fire. On the base is a sheet or mantle stretched out, with a representation of the burning of London; and on each side of the plate are compartments containing small figures of the Trajan Pillar and Rostral Column of Duilius.
[a] Parentalia, p. 324.
[b] As the respective measures of the classical columns of antiquity are contained in Sir Christopher Wren's own inscription for the Monument inserted at the end of this article, the reader will probably be gratified by having the means of comparing the height of this pillar with the altitude of several of the principal buildings and columns of the world, also celebrated for their elevation.—Egyptian. Cleopatra's Needles at Alexandria, 66 feet, formed of a single stone, 7 feet square at the base: the Obelisk of Heliopolis 67 1/2 feet, the base 6 feet broad, also formed of a single stone: the Sistine Egyptian Obelisk at Rome, 88 feet, also formed of a single stone: Pompey's Pillar at Alexandria, from base to capital 88 1/2 feet, the shaft being formed of a single stone 8 feet in diameter; but the height was originally greater, when the column was surmounted by an urn or a statue.—Italian. The Garisenda Leaning Tower at Bologna, 130 feet, inclining 8 feet out of the perpendicular: the Leaning Tower at Pisa, about 150 feet, inclining 15 feet out of the perpendicular: the Campanile at Venice, 330 feet, the ascent being by a spiral inclined plane without steps: the Asinelli Leaning Tower at Bologna, 350 feet, ascended by 500 steps, and hanging 3 1/2 feet out of the perpendicular: St. Peter's Church at Rome to the top of the cross, 437 1/2 feet: the Spire of Antwerp Cathedral, 466 feet, the gallery of the tower being ascended by 622 steps.—French. The Triumphal Column at the Fontaine au Châtelet at Paris. 52 feet in the shaft: the Column of Henry II by the Halle au Blé, 95 feet: the late Column in the Place Vendôme, 138 French feet, including the pedestal and statue of Napoleon: the Tower of St. Jacques de la Boucherie, 155 feet from the street to the balcony, with a figure of St. James of 30 feet more.—English. The Phenix Column, Phenix Park, Dublin, 30 feet: Column commemorative of the visit of King George IV. to Ireland, 30 feet: Obelisk in Newtown Park, County Dublin, 50 feet: Governor Walker's Monument, Londonderry, 80 feet in the shaft: Nelson's Pillar, Sackville Street, Dublin, 121 feet 3 inches: the Wellington Obelisk, Phenix Park, Dublin, 205 feet.—Nelson's Monument on the Calton Hill, Edinburgh, 108 feet: the Bell Rock Lighthouse, 115 feet.—The North Foreland Lighthouse, 63 feet: the Eddystone Lighthouse, 100 feet: the Royal Column at Devonport, 22 feet, exclusive of a colossal figure of the King; 103 feet including the foundation in the rock beneath: the Pagoda in Kew Gardens, 163 feet: the tower of the late Fonthill Abbey, Wiltshire, 276 feet from the floor to the top of the pinnacles.—The Duke of York's Column, Carlton Terrace, London, 124 feet, exclusive of the figure, which is 14 feet more; the whole height from the Park beneath is 156 feet, and the gallery is ascended by 169 steps: St. Paul's Cathedral, London, to the top of the cross, 340 feet.
[c] A small and very rudely executed western view of the Monument was etched upon a piece of this copper, formed into a circular plate, 2 inches in diameter; on the reverse of which is the following inscription:—"The Monument on Fish Street Hill, whose height is 202 feet, was set up in remembrance of the terrible Fire in 1666: it consumed 89 Churches, many public structures, 13200 dwelling Houses: of 26 Wards it utterly destroyed 15, and left 8 others shattered and half burnt: the ruins of the City were 436 Acres, from the Tower by the Thames side to the Temple Church, and from the N. E. Gate along the City Wall to Holbourn Bridge. This piece of Copper was brot from the top of the same Monument by J. S. in the year 1756, and Engraved Augt 1780."
[d] In Edward Hatton's New View of London, 1708, 8vo. Vol. i. p. 55, it is observed, that this figure of Liberty referred to the civic freedom given to those who wrought for three years in the rebuilding of the City. The privilege, however, really was that foreigners, or non-freemen, might have the same liberty of working at the rebuilding in all their trades and professions as actual freemen; for the space of seven years from the time of passing the act above referred to, 1667, and afterwards until the City should be finished. If they completed the former term they were to retain the same privilege for life, 19th Charles II., Chap. iii., Sect. 18.
[e] Both the editions of Strype's Stow's Surrey of London, printed in 1720 and 1754, describe this figure as "the Duke of York with a garland in one hand to crown the rising City," which is also repeated in the first impression of Maitland's History of London, 1739, p. 410; but in Entick's edition of the latter work, 1772, Vol. ii. p. 837, it is explained to be "Mars with a chaplet in his hand, an emblem that an approaching honourable peace would be the consequence of war." This explanation, however, is also to be found as early as 1708, in Hatton's New View of London, Vol. i. p. 56.
[a] It will be seen that the date of the above inscription is given according to the notation of the Roman Calendar, to agree with the classical language in which it was written; which account would make September 2nd, the day on which the Fire took place, the Fourth day of the Nones of that month; the 1st being the Kalend, and the day following the fourth of the Nones of September, counting backwards. This explanation would not have been required, if it had not been stated in an obscure metropolitan history, with a twofold absurdity, that "the fire of London certainly began on the 3rd of September; but by some mistake of the mason, it is dated the fourth in the Latin inscription on the Monument! It is very singular that none of the former authors of the surveys of the metropolis have taken the least notice of so glaring an error!"—A New Universal History, Description and Survey, of the Cities of London and Westminster, by Walter Harrison. Lond. 1776, fol. p. 283.
[c] Parentalia, p. 323.
[a] A Critical Review of the Public Buildings in and about London and Westminster. (By James Ralph.) Lond. 1724. 8vo. p. 9. It would appear from No. 69 of the designs of the monument described in a preceding note, that there was some intention of erecting a memorial of the fire in Cheapside. The following farther account of this proposed pillar there, is found in the Magnæ Britanniæ Notitia, or the Present State of Great Britain, by John Chamberlayne, 29th Edition, Lond. 1728. 8vo. part 1. Book iii. p. 251. "The Obelisk in Cheapside, a piece of workmanship designed, and begun to be erected by the City, at the west end of Cheapside, where before the Fire of London stood the Church of St. Michael le Quern: It is to be (if finished as was intended) an Obelisk, or Aguglia, upon a pedestal, the height whereof to be 160 feet, and made in imitation of those ancient ones which formerly adorned Old Rome; and in this, and the last, century, have been taken out of the old ruins, and again erected for the beautifying of New Rome." This passage is wanting in the 31st edition of Chamberlayne's work, 1735, which points out the time when the erection of the edifice was abandoned.—A remark exactly similar to those above cited. as to the improper situation of the Monument is also to be found in a much more recent work, the Observations of a Russian during a residence in England, &c. Translated from the Original Manuscripts of Oloffe Nepea. "A well-constructed column," says the author, "which commemorates the destruction of the City an hundred and fifty years ago, is placed in the lowest situation; visible only from the water-side, amidst the spires of surrounding churches, and totally lost in the distant view. The reason for placing the column here, is that only which ought not to have been adduced, namely, that here began the fire; whereas sound reason would have pointed out the spot where the destructive element was conquered, where its ravages ceased, and where the affrighted people were suffered to repose."
[a] This passage refers to the insolvency of the City about the end of the reign of James II., towards the Freemen's Orphans under age, of whose persons and property it had long the sole legal custody, according to the ordinary feudal law of wardship. The guardianship of these Orphans, their lands, and goods, were confirmed to the Mayor and Chamberlain of London, by an Act of Parliament entered on the Patent Rolls of the 1st year of Richard II., 1377-78, No. 130; and the right was also asserted in 1412-13, the 14th of Henry IV., in which it is claimed as having existed "from all time, the contrary to which there is no memory." Strype's Stow's Survey of London, Vol. II. Book v. chap. xxviii. pp. 322-327. The oldest historical reference to the property of these Orphans being used for the benefit of the City, appears to be in 1390, at which time the price of wheat was 13s. and even 16s. 8d. the quarter at Leicester, and 10s. in London; and to prevent a famine, Adam Bamme, the Mayor, took 2000 marks, £ 1333. 6s. 8d., out of the Orphans' Fund,—"de Communi Cista Orphanorum"—and laid it out in corn.—Henry de Knighton De Eventibus Angliæ, lib. v. col. 2738, in Sir Roger Twysden's Historia Anglicanæ Scriptores Decem. Lond. 1652. fol. The best general account of the Orphans' Court, with its failure and present state of the fund for defraying its debt, is contained in the Report from the Select Committee of Parliament appointed to enquire on the subject, dated 26th June, 1822, of which the following is an abstract. See also Maitland's History of London. 1772. pp. 6. 496, 497, 661, 663, 670, 1210. By immemorial custom a Court of Record has been, and is still, held in the City of London, for the care and government of orphans; and the Lord Mayor and Aldermen were invested with the custody and guardianship of all orphans of freemen whilst under age and unmarried, and with the management of the personal estates of deceased freemen, and in some cases of their landed estates; and with power to require the executors and administrators of freemen dying, to exhibit true inventories of their estates before them in the Court of Orphans; and to give security to the Chamberlain of London and his successors, by recognisance if the parties lived within the City, and by bond if without, for the Orphans' part; and in case of refusal to commit them to prison till they obeyed: whence it appears that the investing of the property of Orphans in the Chamber of London was, until the Act of 11th George III. chap. 18, which released the Citizens of London from this liability,—a matter of obligation, not choice. It appears that the freemen of the City have also the privilege of investing their property at interest in the Chamber of London; and have usually availed themselves of it when the interest to be obtained from investments or other securities was less than 4 per cent, the rate allowed by the said Chamber. From these sources very large sums had accumulated in the reigns of James I. and Charles I.; which, in the eventful periods of public calamity that followed, were so entirely lost to the Corporation and their creditors, that they were obliged to declare themselves entirely unable to discharge either interest or principal of their debts, to the Orphans and others, out of the surpluses of their rents, after defraying the expense of the government of the City. Under these circumstances, in the year 1689, the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty, presented a petition to Parliament in which they set forth that by general and national troubles after the reign of Charles I.; by their former payment of large sums to the Orphans; by the great Fire of London; by reason of the late illegal Quo Warrantos brought against them; and by other losses;—their debts to the Orphans amounted to a sum vastly greater than they were able to pay, and they prayed the House to assist them by making provision for the discharge of these, and the claims of other creditors. After several unsuccessful applications to Parliament, an Act was obtained for that purpose in the year 1694,—5th and 6th of William and Mary—intituled an Act for the Relief of the Orphans and other Creditors of the City of London. The whole debt at this time amounted to £ 747,472. 18s. 4 1/2d., for the defraying of which the Act charged the estates and revenues of the Corporation with the annual payment of £ 8000, for ever: and assigned to the Orphans' Fund certain rents and duties to be levied in the City until the year 1750. These grants, however, for many years proved insufficient in their produce for payment of the interest of the debt at 4 per cent, the rate directed by the Act; which deficiency had, between the years 1694 and 1713 occasioned an arrear of interest, or increase of the capital debt, of £ 90,631. 1s. 9 3/4d.: but from the year 1714 the fund became equal to the charges upon it for interest, and even produced surpluses, which by 1737, discharged those arrears. In the 21st year of George II. 1747-48, another Act was passed for farther relief of the Orphans, &c. providing for the continuance of the said duties, &c. till the year 1785; by which Act also, all the surpluses which had accrued since 1737, with all future surpluses, after discharging the interest and expenses, were to be applied towards reducing the principal debt. The original Orphans debt became extinct April 12th, 1820; but the authority of Parliament has been at various times obtained for charging upon this fund sums of money for effecting different improvements, in consequence of which it has altogether amounted to as much as £ 1,731,472. 18s. 4 1/2d. Up to Jan. 5th, 1822, the sums which had been paid in reduction of the original debt and sums subsequently charged upon it, chargeable upon the Orphans' Fund, amounted to £ 623,000; and the whole amount of the debt and additions after the passing of the Act of the 53rd of George III. for improving the West end of Cheapside and St. Martin's le Grand, and for providing a site for a New Post Office, for which the Corporation was empowered to raise money and to charge it upon this fund, was £ 984,000.—Reports from Committees. Vol. iv. fol. No. 481, pp. 227—233—280. For the various Acts of Parliament relating to this Fund, see Index to the Statues at Large, by John Raithby, Esq. Lond. 1814. 4to. title, London (City) Orphans and Creditors.
[a] Gentleman's Magazine, 1831, Vol. ci. part 1. Febr. p. 102, June, p. 492. part ii. October, p. 309.
[b] Ibid. Vol. ci. part 1. April, p. 311.
[c] Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. ci. part 1. pp. 313, 314.
[d] Ibid. pp. 312, 313.—The following is a summary of Mr. Thornhill's proofs that the Fire of London was not attributed to the Papists until 1678.—In the speech of Sir Thomas Player, Chamberlain of the Corporation, made on Sept. 12th, 1679, is this passage: "It cannot be forgotten that thirteen years ago this City was a sad monument of the Papists' cruelty; it being now out of all doubt that it was they who burned the City." In the Votes of the House of Commons, Jan. 10th, 1680, is a resolution "that it is the opinion of this House that the City of London was burned in the year 1666 by the Papists; designing thereby to introduce arbitrary power and Popery into this kingdom." Mr. Thornhill adds that this vote is the more remarkable, because it was the first conclusion which the House had come to upon the subject: since the Committee appointed on Sept. 25th, 1666, to enquire into the causes of the Fire, made a report dated 22nd Jan. 1667, and upon Febr. 8th following the Parliament was prorogued before it had declared any judgment upon the subject. To these evidences are to be added the exhibitions in the Pageant of Sir Patience Ward, Lord Mayor in 1680-81, of the Protestant's Exhortation and Plotting Papist's Litany; and the zealous revival of the solemnity of Burning the Pope on Nov. 17th, 1679 and 1680, the anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth, in the processions called London's Defiance to Rome, and the Solemn Mock Procession, or the Tryal and Execution of the Pope and his Ministers.—None of these proofs, however, can be considered as conclusive of anything farther than that the detection of the immature plot of 1678 had revived that suspicion and indignation of the country against the Papists, which had been partly suppressed at the time of the Fire of London, and partly diverted in the repairing of private losses, and the rebuilding of the City. Lord Clarendon, whilst he maintains that "no combination, not very discernible and discovered, could have effected that mischief in which the immediate hand of God was so visible,"—admits it to have been a very general and real belief that the conflagration had arisen "by a real and formed conspiracy;" and his own narrative, which will be found in the First Volume of this Work, furnishes many arguments to the same effect. "It could not be conceived," says he, "how a house that was distant a mile from any part of the fire, could suddenly be in a flame, without some particular malice; and this case fell out every hour." Even the distracted conduct of the melancholy Hubert, who acknowledged himself the agent by whom the first house was fired, was not without a very remarkable consistency; since he was able to distinguish, though led blind-fold to several parts of the City, the particular site of the building: though, adds Lord Clarendon, "the house and all which were near it were so covered and buried in ruins, that the owners themselves, without same infallible mark, could very hardly have said where their own houses had stood; but this man led them directly to the place, described how it stood, the shape of the little yard, the fashion of the door and windows, and where he first put the fire; and all this with such exactness, that they who had dwelt long near it could not so perfectly have described all particulars." Upon this confession Hubert was tried, condemned, and executed; yet Lord Clarendon strangely observes, that "neither the judges nor any present at the trial did believe him guilty, but that he was a poor distracted wretch, weary of his life, and chose to part with it in this way. Certain it is, that upon the strictest examination that could afterwards be made by the King's command, and then by the diligence of the House, that upon the jealousy and rumour made a Committee that was very diligent and solicitous to make that discovery, there never was any probable evidence, that poor creature's only excepted, that there was any other cause of that woful fire than the displeasure of God Almighty." In the Report of that Committee, which has been already referred to, many circumstances are stated which strongly support the belief that the fire was caused by incendiaries. Several persons gave evidence of different conversations with, and communications from, Papists, in which the destruction of London by Fire was distinctly alluded to before the conflagration: and others testified that fire-balls and combustibles were found on different foreigners, who were apprehended under very suspicious circumstances, whilst the flames were raging. The Chairman of the Committee concludes the Report, however, by stating that several such persons were traced to the Guards, but that no farther discovery could be made of them.
[a] Gentleman's Magazine. Vol. ci. part 1. pp. 313, 314.—A coarse but curious notice of these additions to the Inscriptions on the Monument appears in Thomas Ward's England's Reformation, from the time of King Henry VIIIth, to the end of Oates's Plot. Printed at Hamburgh, 1710, 4to. Canto iv. p. 100. "Otes his Oaths." He swore, with flaming faggot-sticks, In sixteen hundred, sixty-six, They thorow London took their marches, And burn'd the City down with torches. Yet all invisible they were Clad in their coates of Lapland-aire. That snuffling whig-major, Patience Ward, To this d—d lie paid such regard, That he his godly masons sent T'engrave it round the Monument: They did so; but let such things pass, His men were fools, himself an ass. The original edition of the very curious Present State of London: or Memorials comprehending a full and succint Account of the Ancient and Modern State thereof 1681, 12mo. by Thomas De Laune, contains a copy of the Inscription on the Monument before the charge against the Papists was added, pp. 463-466; though, as Mr. Carlos observes in the Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. ci. part 1. p. 103, "if it had existed when he wrote his work, it is evident, from the temper he displays against the Papists, he would not have failed to have noticed it."
[b] Another erasure in this part of the Inscription is visible in the fifth line from the present termination, in the word "Florentissimam," the last three letters of which appear to have been executed by the stone-cutter twice over, and then partially obliterated.
[c] Gentleman's Magazine. Vol. ci. part 1. p. 314.—The erasure and subsequent restoration of these passages is thus noticed in the Angliæ Metropolis, or the Present State of London. first written by the late ingenious Thomas De Laune, Gent. and continued to this present year by a careful Hand. 1690. 12mo. "It was formerly dedicated by the deceased author to the then Lord Mayor, the Right Honourable Sir Patience Ward, in whose Mayoralty that famous Inscription was engraven on the Monument, which so gaul'd those who had so great a share in what occasioned it, that 'twas ordered to be Erased in the late bad times; though under your Lordship the truth therein contained has received a Resurrection, and all good Citizens see it where it was before with abundance of satisfaction. To whom, then, should these revived papers more properly be addressed than to Your Lordship?"—Dedication to Sir Thomas Pilkington, Lord Mayor.—The copy of the Inscriptions on the Monument given in this edition, pp. 387-390, contains the English addition, with the observation that "underneath the forementioned inscription hath been since written by order of the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Common-Council, the following words in English;" but the passage in Latin is not referred to, though it was evidently added at the same time.
[d] The Continuator of De Laune, who signs himself S. W., and who appears to have been of the same sentiments as the author, after giving a copy of the inscription erected in Pudding Lane, p. 390, adds the following notice. "About the latter end of the first year of King James the Second, 1685, this stone was taken down, and the aforementioned inscription (on the Monument) erased; but is now, in the second year of their present Majesties King William and Queen Mary, our happy and royal deliverers from popery and slavery, set up and inscribed again, to the great honour of the first orderers of them, and to the no less shame, regret, and mortification, of those who caused this to be taken down and that to be erased."—In An Historical Narrative of the Great and Terrible Fire of London, printed by W. Nicholl, Lond. 1769, this memorial against the house in Pudding Lane is stated to have been "there very lately;" but in the notice of the spot, contained in R. & J. Dodsley's London and its Environs described, Lond. 1761, 8vo. Vol. v. p. 233, it is remarked that "the inhabitants being incommoded by the many people who came to read this board, it was taken down a few years ago." In the same place it is related that the house itself was rebuilt in a very handsome manner; and the ornamented door case of the present No. 25. on the eastern side of the way, probably still points out the building erected here after the fire with the space for the stone appearing on the front of it. In Hatton's New View of London, 1708, vol. i. p. 56, the occupier is stated to be a Mr. Joseph Wilson, a Wine-Cooper. It is reported that the original memorial-stone is still preserved in the cellar of the building.
[a] Minutes of the Proceedings of the Court of Common Council, 1830. fol. p. 167.
[b] Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. ci. part 1. p. 315. note.—An account of the debate in the Common Council on this subject may be seen in the Times of Tuesday, Dec. 7th, 1830.
[c] Lives of the Professors of Gresham College, by Jno. Ward, LL.D. Lond. 1740. fol. p. 104. It is farther stated by the same authority that Sir Christopher Wren also designed to make use of the hollow in the centre of the staircase on the south side of St. Paul's Cathedral, 96 feet 10 inches in height, for the same astronomical purpose; assisted by the great telescope presented to the Royal Society by Constantine Huygens, but that instrument, being 123 feet in length, proved too large for his purpose. The observations were to have been made by Sir Christopher's kinsman, James Hodgson, afterwards Mathematical Master at Christ's Hospital, who appears to have given Ward the whole of the above information. The thought of making such a scientific use of buildings was perhaps suggested by Dr. Hooke, Oct. 28th, 1669, when he stated to the Royal Society that he considered "one of the exactest ways of measuring a degree of the earth was by making accurate observations of the heavens to a second by a perpendicular tube, and then taking exact distances to a second also." Life of Dr. Robert Hooke prefixed to his Posthumous Works by Richard Walker, Lond. 1705, fol. p. xiv.—Dr. Hooke also entertained the thought of fixing a large telescope against a high edifice, since in his Discourse of Earthquakes, read before the Royal Society, February 9th, 1686-87, in mentioning telescopes of 60, 80, or 100, feet in length, he says, "nor will it be very difficult to find in this city a convenient building or tower for resting the end of a telescope of 100 feet: there are houses enough to be found of sufficient height, if a 50 or 60 feet telescope be made use of." Posthumous Works, p. 359. An astronomical contrivance similar in its intended use to the tube of the Monument, was also about the time of its erection introduced by Dr. Flamsteed into the Royal Observatory at Greenwich; namely, a well sunk in the southeast corner of that which is now the garden behind the Observatory, for the purpose of seeing stars in the day-time, and of observing the earth's parallax. It was 100 feet deep, with stone stairs to the bottom; but has long being arched over, as the improvements in the telescope have superseded it for astronomical uses. In the Paris Observatory was a cave or cellar of 170 feet descent; but the most extraordinary structure of this nature is that mentioned in Dr. Gruithuisen's account of a zenith-telescope for the use of a Katachthonian Observatory to be built 16 German, or 74 English, miles below the surface of the earth.—Philosophical Magazine, Aug. 1828, vol. iv. New Series, art. xxiv. p. 135.
[d] History of the Royal Society, by Dr. Thomas Birch, Vol. iii. Lond. 1757. 4to. p. 409. Dr. Hooke added, that as the stations of the mercury differed so little, it was not easy to determine their certain proportions to the height of the Column; and he therefore proposed against the next meeting of the Society to repeat the experiment with an instrument capable of measuring the same an hundred times more exactly. The instrument referred to was then produced, and is stated to have been upon the same principle as the Wheel-barometer, but more curiously wrought; and the proposed trial was ordered to take place at the Column on the Thursday morning following at 11 o'clock: there do not appear, however, to have been any farther proceedings concerning it entered upon the Council-books of the Society.
[e] Philosophical Transactions, Vol. xx. Lond. 1698, 4to. No. 236. Art. 1. p. 2. In this latter experiment the mercury was found to descend 1-10th of an inch at the height of 80 feet, and 2-10ths at the elevation of 160 feet.
[f] The annual sum paid by the Corporation of London to the Keeper of the Monument is about £ 20, which is supposed to be made £ 200 by the admission-money taken of visitors; though this is probably more than the appointment is worth. At this rate there would be 7200 persons visit the gallery of the Column every year; but the number must be of course fluctuating. In the small descriptive pamphlets sold by the Keepers of the Monument there is an acknowledgment to the Corporation for the gift of the appointment. In that printed for Samuel Arnott, on the reverse of the title is a dedication to the Lord Mayor, &c. "My Lord and Gentlemen. Permit me to add a few lines, with the account of the Monument, to you; under whose favour and protection I remain with all due respect and gratitude your devoted servant Samuel Arnott. Monument 20th March, 1805. For threescore years life's various scenes I've past And Providence has fixed me here at last; Within these ancient walls to find repose From all the sorrow that misfortune knows: With thankfulness to pass my latest hour, With gratitude proclaim my kind friend's power; Whilst life remains God's mercies to record, And pray my friends may gain a blest reward. The corresponding passage in the pamphlet of the late Keeper, is "The Corporation of the City of London, with their usual generosity have given the emoluments arising from persons viewing the same, to an old Citizen, who is to be the Keeper, to which trust I have been appointed: I cannot too often gratefully acknowledge the favor, as it makes the decline of my life comfortable after several severe losses."—Charles Chapman, the late officer there, was appointed March 18th, 1825. Mr. John Bleaden, the present Keeper of the Monument, received the situation from the Committee of City Lands on Wednesday, Aug. 7th, 1833.
[g] Stow's Survey of London by the Rev. J. Strype, Edit. 1720. Vol. 1. Book ii. Chap. 11. p, 181.
[h] The ascent into the urn is now by stone stairs similar to those in the body of the column; which were probably made in 1786, when the whole building was repaired and beautified, as it is stated in the descriptive pamphlet.
[a] This improvement probably took place at either the amendment of the pavement of London by Act of Parliament passed in the 12th year of George III., 1771; or at the great repair of the Monument in 1786. The following notices also relate to this area. Daily Post, Mond. Febr. 1st, 1731, "The merchants, masters, and dealers in coals, who began on St. Paul's day to meet in the Monument Yard, instead of Billingsgate, finding the former place much more commodious than the latter, have unanimously agreed to continue their meeting in that place, where they are free from all interruption so frequent at Billingsgate by the quarrels in the fishmarket, and the annoyance of coal-heavers, porters, &c."—Daily Courant, Sat. Febr. 6th. "The traders and dealers in coals having lately for their better conveniency met in the Monument Yard, having before been very much annoy'd at Billingsgate, and interrupted in their business by the fishwomen, porters, coal-heavers, &c.—on Tuesday last several of the inhabitants in and about the Monument petitioned the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen against their meeting at the said place; but the Court was of opinion that those gentlemen might meet and transact their business where they pleased: and accordingly they have agreed to continue there, but their coal-meters and porters are ordered to continue at Rude-lane, Billingsgate, and receive their orders there."
[b] In the Gentleman's Magazine, Nov. 1760, Vol. xxx. p. 502, is a scheme for placing the Monument on the site of the Standard in Cornhill; and in the Supplement to the same volume, p. 611, is a plan for a new street to London Bridge, wherein it is proposed to remove the Column 30 or 40 feet from its present site, to the centre of the projected way. This change of situation is represented as by no means so difficult as the erection of the old Roman obelisks which were in one entire piece, as the stones of the Monument might all be separated and numbered for rebuilding. In the same repository for July, 1815, Vol. lxxxv. part 2, p. 6, are some remarks upon the insecurity of the Pillar, and in the number for the following September, pp. 230, 231, a defence of its stability.
[c] The manner of performing this feat is particularly described by Strutt, in his Sports and Passtimes of the People of England, Lond. 1801, 4to. Book iii. Chap. v. Sect. xii. p. 168, as practised about the year 1750, at Hertford, from the tower of All Saints' Church. The end of the rope was drawn tightly over two strong pieces of wood nailed across each other, about eighty yards from the base of the building, and then made fast to a stake driven into the ground. Some feather-beds were placed upon the cross-timbers, to break the fall of the performer; who was also provided with a flat board, having a groove in the midst of it, fastened to his breast. When he was ready to descend, he laid himself on the top of the rope with his head downwards, his legs being held by a person behind, until he had properly balanced himself and fixed the groove: he was then liberated, and descended with incredible swiftness upon the feather-beds. The person referred to by Strutt had lost one of his legs, and the substitute worn by him was at this time counterpoised by a quantity of lead. He performed thrice in the same day, once blowing a trumpet, and once firing a pistol in the descent.—The Daily Journal of Friday, Sept. 22nd, 1732, states, that on "the 9th instant a man flew from St. Mary's Steeple, Cambridge, upon the shambles, and up again with great dexterity: firing two pistols and tossing his flags when he was midway, and hung by his feet, and acted the tailor and shoemaker to the great admiration of the spectators." This kind of exhibition appears to have been of considerable antiquity, since Froissart states that on Sunday, June 26th, 1399, when Isabel of Bavaria, Queen of Charles VI., made her public entry into Paris, a master-engineer from Geneva had a full month before fastened a cord to the highest tower of Nôtre Dame, which passed high above the streets, and was fixed to the loftiest house on the bridge of St. Michael. As the Queen was passing the street of Nôtre Dame, he left the tower, and seating himself on the cord descended singing, with two lighted torches in his hands, for it was then dark, to the great astonishment of all. He kept the lighted torches in his hands that he might be seen by all Paris, and even two or three leagues off. He played many tricks on the rope, and his agility was highly praised. Chronicles, Vol. iv. Chap. xxii. p. 78, Translation by Col. Johnes.—When Edward VI. passed through London previous to his Coronation, Febr. 19th, 1546-47, a native of Arragon flew head-long down a rope stretched from the battlements of St. Paul's, and up again, and performed certain evolutions in the midst; and a similar show was repeated Aug. 19th, 1554, though the feat shortly after cost the performer his life.
[d] The Newspapers of the period contain the following subsequent information concerning this person.—"On Tuesday, in the afternoon, the man who lately flew down the rope from the top of the Monument, to the Three Tuns in Grace-Church Street, attempted the same from Greenwich Church, but the rope not being drawn tort enough, it waved with him and occasioned his hitting his foot against a chimney of one of the houses, and threw him off the same to the ground, whereby he broke his wrist, and bruised his head and body in such a desperate manner that 'tis thought he cannot recover: they carried him to the hospital instantly, where he now lies." Daily Journal, Thursd. Sept. 28th, 1732.—"On Saturday died at the Black Lion in Greenwich, the famous Flying Man, of the bruises he received in his last attempt from the Church at Greenwich." Daily Courant, Tuesd. Oct. 3rd.—"The report of the man who flew lately from the Monument being dead of the injury he received by a fall in attempting to fly from Greenwich Steeple is not true. Daily Journal, Thursd. Oct. 5th.—That the exertions of these performers sometimes terminated fatally was shewn by the death of Robert Cadman, a celebrated Steeple-flyer, represented in the act of flying in Hogarth's picture of Southwark-Fair. He broke his neck in January, 1740, in attempting to descend from the spire of St. Mary's Church, Shrewsbury, a height of 216 feet, over the Severn whilst it was frozen, upon a cord that was stretched too tightly; and was buried at that place in the Churchyard of St. Mary Friars. Owen's Account of the Ancient and Present state of Shrewsbury, 1808, 12mo. pp. 264, 265. Gentleman's Magazine, 1740. Vol. x. p. 89. In an account of his flight from the highest of the rocks at Bristol Hot-Wells, printed in The Weekly Miscellany of April 17th, 1736, this person is called Thomas Kidman.
[e] A feat nearly similar to the above was that performed by a party of English sailors in their ascent of Pompey's Pillar at Alexandria, in 1773, related by Eyles Irwin in his Series of Adventures in a Voyage up the Red Sea, on the Coasts of Arabia and Egypt. Lond. 1780. 4to. pp. 370-372, and represented in the frontispiece to Dr. E. D. Clarke's Travels in Greece, Egypt, and the Holy Land. Part 2nd, Section 2nd. Lond. 1814, 4to. By means of a kite a two-inch rope was passed over the capital of the column, by which one of the seamen ascended to the top; whence in less than an hour a sort of shrouds were constructed, by which the whole company went up and drank a bowl of punch there. They found the place to be capable of containing eight persons very conveniently, and that it was once occupied by a statue, one foot and ancle of which were remaining. The truth of this anecdote might be questioned, but many witnesses testified the truth of it, and the initials of the ascending party were marked in black paint beneath the capital The whole height of this pillar has been variously computed, from 88 1/2 feet French, to 110 feet English.
[a] General Advertiser, Tuesday, June 26th, 1750.—Penny London Post, June 25th to 27th.
[b] Penny London Post, or Morning Advertiser, Wednesday, June 27th to 29th, 1750.
[c] Public Advertiser, Tuesday, July 8th, 1788.—London Chronicle, July 5th to 8th, p. 32.
[d] Public Advertiser, Thursday, July 10th, 1788.
[e] Ibid.—St. James's Chronicle or British Evening Post, July 5th to 8th, 1788.
[f] It would hardly be credited that the agitation exhibited by the body of this unhappy man during his terrific suicide, should be considered as proper for a ludicrous simile in a humorous poem; but it will be found introduced as such in Messrs. James and Horace Smith's Rejected Addresses, in the parody upon Southey's Curse of Kehama, in the description of Yamen's destruction by Veeshnoo, Edit. 1833, p. 56. It is to be lamented that the lapse of twenty years which has passed since it first appeared, should not have given the author so much good feeling as to have induced him to obliterate it from this last "carefully revised" impression of the work: instead of illustrating the allusion by a prose note, the heartless tone of which is equalled only by the careless inaccuracy of the statement contained in it. The whole passage is as follows: Descending he twisted like Levy the Jew, Who a durable grave meant To dig in the pavement Of Monument Yard. Levy.—An insolvent Israelite, who threw himself from the top of the Monument a short time before."—The suicide took place in January, 1810, and the Rejected Addresses were published in October, 1812.—"An inhabitant of Monument Yard informed the writer that he happened to be standing at his door, talking to a neighbour; and looking up at the top of the pillar, he exclaimed, 'Why the flag's coming down!' 'Flag!' exclaimed the other, ''tis a man!' The words were hardly uttered when the suicide fell within ten feet of the speakers."
[g] Morning Herald and Times, Friday, Jan. 19th, 1810.
[h] The Right Hon. John Garratt, at this time Alderman of the Ward of Bridge. Within. He was elected to that office on Monday, March 12th, 1821, after a violent contest, on which occasion the gallery of the Monument was illuminated with glass lamps.
[*] Two Pillars erected by Seth in the land of Siriad, one being of brick and the other of stone, for preserving the memory of the Arts then known, in the event of the world being destroyed by either a flood or fire. Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews. Book 1. Chap. ii. Sect. 3.
[*] The Naval Columna Rostrata erected at Rome, the base and mutilated inscription of which were found near the Capitol in 1565.
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.