A History of London, Vol. II

Loftie, W. J.
1883

CHAPTER XVII:THE HAMLETS OF Westminster

CHAPTER XVII:THE HAMLETS OF Westminster

 

IN tracing the gradual disintegration of the great parish of which I spoke in the last chapter, it would be very satisfactory if we could pursue a strictly chronological method. But no such method is possible. There are great blanks and chasms in the records. It is likely that St. Clement Danes is as old as St. Bride's or St. Dunstan's, but we have no proof of the fact. St. Martin's- in-the-Fields first appears on the page of history as the chapel of a hamlet of St. Margaret's, but the others are full-fledged parish churches as soon as we hear of them. Of the various precincts, the Rolls, the Inns, and the Savoy, we have some historical information.[1]  Of the later and more modern parishes of St. James, St. Anne, and St. George, the whole origin and formation is perfectly well known, and almost within living memory.

The first glimpse we obtain of a change in the great parish of St. Margaret is afforded by a decree made in , in which we have again a definition of boundaries. Before we consider it, we may try to form an idea of the eastern part of the parish before that date. It extended, as we read in the last chapter, to the by which expression all authorities are agreed that the Fleet

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river is intended. But it must be something more than the Fleet. The word implies a wider tract than that actually occupied by the stream. In there had probably been little change in the geography of this part of since the time of the Romans. We know nothing of a gate at Ludgate. We do know of a gate at Newgate and of a from it. I have already mentioned the difficulty presented by the name of . Some have endeavoured to connect it with the meeting of the folkmote within it: but that would make it or not Ludgate. The difficulty of deriving it from the Fleet or Flood is equally great-indeed, an eminent authority whom I have consulted, considers such a derivation

philologically impossible.

I am driven, therefore, strange as it may seem, to fall back upon king Lud. If we ask when the legendary history of the ancient kings, Lud and Belin and so on, first became popular, we find it was just in this very interval of which I have been speaking, namely, between the end of the tenth century and the end of the twelfth. I have already said that points to the name of a Saxon family. The people of the eleventh century had forgotten this. The easternmost watergate was naturally assigned therefore to the mythical Belin, and almost as naturally, it was argued, if such a process can be called argument, that if the eastern watergate belonged to Belin, the western one must belong to Lud. I have no means of knowing whether there was any gate here before that time: a small postern may have opened on the steep bank: on the whole I should be inclined to reject even this but for the probability that the outer slope was a Roman military burial place, a reason by no means conclusive.

Before the twelfth century, however, the Fen began to

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be dried up. A piece of foreshore extending from the river half-way up the slope towards what is now called Temple Bar began to appear, and the city took possession of it, opened the and eventually made a bridge to reach it. The abbot naturally objected. A compromise left the abbot the advowson of the new church of St. Bride, but gave up the new colony otherwise to the city, and before the beginning of the thirteenth century the aldermanry, we might almost say the manor, of Joce Fitz Peter,[2]  was formed, and eventually became part of the ward of Farringdon Without. It has been suggested that the three hides held from the abbot by Bainiard at the time of the Domesday Survey were situated here. It is very possible, and we know that they cannot have been at Bayswater, where they are usually placed, because the land there did not belong to the abbot till some years later. [3] 

Meanwhile another invasion of the abbot's land had taken place. The highest ground on the road between and St. Mary le Strand is still just outside Temple Bar. Here a ridge or spur of the great central hill of Rugmere,[4]  came down towards the Thames. On its eastern side was a little brook, marked still by the name of Milford Lane. At its extremity, on a kind of promontory, long marked by a landing-stage known as the Strand Bridge, were the remains of some Roman buildings of which the masonry of a cistern or bath may still be recognised. These remains are the more interesting because, with the pavement discovered last year in Westminster Abbey, they are the only traces of Roman occupation yet found in the parish. On the hill above the Roman bath was the parish church of St.

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Clement, called either, it is said, on account of the settlement here of a colony of christianised invaders under Sweyn and Canute, or on account of the number of Danes, including Harold Harefoot, who were buried in it. Stow reports a tradition that some marauders were slain here on their way home to Denmark with their booty. No doubt, detached companies of Danes were intercepted and slain in several places; and colonies of their nation existed all over the country. The churches of St. Olave and of St. Magnus-perhaps the church of St. Bride-are evidences of their strength in . The mere irruption, so to speak, of this parish, into St. Margaret's is significant. The Danish soldiers came along the old Roman war path, the and poured down from it wherever the firmer ground of a grassy knoll enabled them to reach the Thames and their boats without risk of entanglement among the fens which surrounded the city walls. The little creek and promontory by the Roman bath added to the attractions of the situation. The Aldwych Road-which still as Wych Street survives-may in its name contain an allusion to the ancient settlement, and certainly points the way by which the colonists, whether Roman or Saxon, or Dane, swept down from the ridge to the river. The church is in what was originally the south-eastern corner of the parish which stretches northward to the still open Lincoln's-Inn-Fields, and westward to the crowded purlieus of Drury Lane. Two outlying districts may mark the settlements of isolated families. One of them is now occupied by the Lyceum Theatre,[5]  the

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other on the site of Beaufort House, once the residence of the scientific marquis of Worcester, whose 'Century of Inventions,' printed in , contains the germ of the steam engine, is recognised in Beaufort Buildings.

The decree of formally deprived the abbot of of this parish. The boundary line no longer runs to the

old stock of St. Andrew's church

and down the fen to the Thames. It stops at the garden of St. Giles's Hospital, turns south-eastward, and reaches the Strand near the at the house of one Simon, a weaver.[6]  It does not even touch the Thames. The south side of the Strand is excluded, for a reason which will be apparent further on, and the boundary returns along the king's highway to . We have here, then, already, mention of another church, and a few lines further on there is a third. St. Clement Danes, St. Mary-le-Strand, then called the Holy Innocents, and St. Martin's-away in the open fields by Charing-were all in existence, and St. Margaret's was rapidly dwindling.

It is common for people who do not know the facts of the case to throw blame upon the city authorities for not extending their so as gradually to take in what is now so often called the metropolitan area. I do not know that the city ever wished to do this. But it is quite easy to see that it could not have been done, and I have given special prominence to this matter of the archbishop's decree of , because it shows that the lords of manors, not the mayor and commonalty, prevented the extension of the ward system. To make Joce Fitz Peter alderman of that part of Farringdon Without which is comprised in the district west of the Fleet, and Anketel de Auvergne after him, was distinctly

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to invade the rights of the lord of the manor, the abbot of . In the same way it was not, as we have seen, till the reign of queen Mary that Southwark became a ward without, though in this case it is known that the city ardently desired further jurisdiction, and had begun to take steps more than a century before to that end. But we shall see presently that even on the city jurisdiction was disputed, and we can have no doubt that every ward without was keenly fought over; while the device of taking a lease from the lord of the manor had to be resorted to in one case, that of Finsbury.[7] 

In addition to the new parishes carved out of St. Margaret's, some extra-parochial "precincts" had also arisen. When the Blackfriars had laboriously pieced together an estate at the north-western corner of the new ward of Joce Fitz Peter, the munificence of certain eminent citizens and the favour of the king[8] enabled them to migrate to the spot which has ever since borne their name. The older house, with its gardens, passed into the possession of Henry Lacy, earl of Lincoln, "a person well affected to the study of the laws,"[9]  and he granted it, before his death in , we know not on what terms, to the legal students and professors. They soon by renewable leases obtained virtual possession of the adjoining mansion of the bishop of Chichester; and forced the bishop to remove certain bars at the foot of now Chancery Lane, which Sir John le Breton, during one of his wardenships[10]  of the city, had allowed to be set up on account of the constant passage of traffic and the consequently muddy state of the lane. The chief buildings were erected from

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bricks made in what had been the bishop's the western part of the garden, now almost surrounded by houses. Before the reign of Henry VIII. the society flourished exceedingly, and reckoned among its members many eminent men, including Sir . A little later, according to Fuller, worked at the buildings,

when having a trowel in one hand, he had a book in the other,

and it may very well be that he pursued his occupation under the orders of , who built a curious, but thoroughly gothic chapel on tall arches, which was consecrated in .[11] 

Of all the buildings at Lincoln's Inn, the gateway, now that the chapel has been historically-speaking destroyed, is the most interesting: being late gothic work, somewhat like St. John's Gate and some parts of St. James's Palace. Naturally, it is very obnoxious to improvers, and is even now, it is reported, under condemnation. The new hall,[12]  situated in the northern part of the old is very conspicuous from Lincoln's-Inn- Fields, and is one of the first buildings made under the influence of the gothic revival which can be pronounced a success. The architect was chosen according to the usual English method. Having, we are informed,

given evidence of talents of a superior order in the erection of the noble Doric propylaeum at the railway terminus in Euston Square,

he was selected as a fit and proper person to erect a hall which was to be as like a piece of genuine Tudor architecture as it could be made. Philip

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Hardwick showed a versatility denied on similar occasions to Barry and to Scott, and abandoning the Grecian style erected in red banded brick the very handsome new hall, on which his initials and the date , prevent the visitor from falling into error.

The smaller inns are almost too numerous to mention: yet I would like to pause a moment over the smallest. Barnard's Inn, , is entered from the street by a narrow doorway, and the visitor immediately and without notice finds himself transported into another century, and sees what might be the actual scenery of one of De Hooghe's pictures.[13]  Very similar, but on a larger scale, was the old Furnival's Inn, the design of which was reasonably attributed to .[14]  But it has long perished. There is much to admire in Staples Inn, and there is a refreshment in plunging into its quiet courts from the din and bustle of Holborn Bars, which the tired Londoner can best enjoy. In the whole of this quarter, from Fetter Lane westward to Chancery Lane, and from to the Rolls, an observant saunterer will find innumerable fragments of ancient glory. Sometimes it is only a heavy cornice. Sometimes it is a red brick pilaster. Sometimes it is only a hall-door. But such relics are rapidly disappearing before the improving hands of connoisseur treasurers: and one mentions them almost with bated breath.[15] 

Most of these institutions, however small, have at one period or another claimed exemption from parochial rates. Some of these claims have been successful. In others the parish has triumphed. These exemptions

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must have been very numerous at one time. The district on which Ely Place once stood, made such a claim, as we shall see further on, and besides Lincoln's Inn and the Rolls,[16]  and the Temple, we have the example of the Savoy, of Norton Folgate, of the Artillery Ground, of the Tower, of St. Katherine's, some of them furnished with chapels of their own, and some strictly speaking attached to parishes.[17]  Few of them remain unassailed, but from the strictly historical point of view they are well worthy of notice.

A large open space once existed between the southern side of Lincoln's Inn and the thoroughfare of the Strand. It was early known as Fickett's Field, and by its side close to the city boundary there was a blacksmith's, possibly an armourer's shop. Fickett's Field was the jousting ground of the Templars, and the forge was, no doubt, fully employed for shoeing horses and riveting mail. But the knights and their days passed away. The city took particular interest in this corner of its dominions. The boundary was somewhat indefinite and unprotected. The Inns of Court were a constant cause of strife as to jurisdiction, and so the forge, lest it should fall into other hands, was rented of the king, and is rented still, though the building, whatever it was, disappeared in the blaze of

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Wat Tyler's rebellion. Year by year, when the sheriffs went to to be presented at the court of exchequer, six horseshoes and

sixty-one nails, good number,

were presented for the rent of

the forge in the county of Middlesex.

Within the past year the law courts have themselves migrated from to the new buildings provided for them, and, for aught we can tell to the contrary, the court of exchequer, or what answers to it now, may actually sit on this very site.[18]  The whole of Fickett's Fields[19]  having for centuries been covered with a labyrinth consisting of some of the most wretched tenements in , was once more cleared in , and is now covered anew with the magnificent palace of justice, the most complete result, in these kingdoms, at least, of the movement known as the gothic revival-a movement which has, on the whole, been wonderfully barren of fine buildings, and chiefly distinguished by the destruction of vestiges of antiquity under the false name of restoration. A survey of the main characteristics of the new law courts brings out two principal facts; one is that the architect's design was pruned by the authorities in a manner which would have ruined anything less meritorious; and the other, that lopped and limited as it is, we have here a building worthy of the nation.

The new law courts stand partially within the city boundary, a fact which renders it possible to transfer business to them from the Guildhall as well as from .

The Strand front in the original design was to have had a record tower, which, as the design is in existence, may yet possibly be built and which would have formed a very conspicuous and ornamental feature of the entrance to the city. This and many other parts of Mr. Street's original drawing were removed by superior authority, while the architect himself was wearied by contradictory orders, and by changes of site; for one minister was anxious to place the new building on the embankment and had a design prepared with that intention. In , however, all obstacles were removed, and the ground of Fickett's Field was cleared. The front is 290 feet in width, its central feature being the gable of the great hall, 140 feet in height. This is recessed from the line of the roadway some 80 feet, a staircase turret being on either side. The hall is superior to that of in one respect for it is vaulted with stone. It is 230 feet in length, and only 48 in width, so that the appearance of length is greatly enhanced. There are sixteen windows at the sides, each 36 feet high. The eighteen courts all open from the hall. It is greatly to be regretted that when her majesty, in December , opened this magnificent building, the artist who had conceived it was no more.[20] 

I have mentioned in passing the parish of St. Mary, or the Holy Innocents, which in had already been severed from . It lay for the most part on

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the south side of the Strand, and comprised a small part of the manor of the Savoy-that part namely, which was outside the immediate precincts of the duke of Lancaster's palace. It is perhaps hardly correct to say that St. Mary's was taken out of St. Margaret's. It would be more correct to describe it as taken out of the Thames. The Savoy was put together by degrees, but the main part of it, there can be no doubt, was at some remote time foreshore. Remote as it was, that time may be fixed within certain limits. The Strand, and consequently the southern side of it, with its steep little lanes leading down to the water's edge, did not exist in . In the decree of the church is mentioned; and in , Henry III. made a grant of the land lying between and the river's edge, to his wife's uncle, Peter of Savoy. The boundaries of the estate which comprised the parish of the Holy Innocents, were defined a little later.

To understand them now we must remember that west of Wych Street, then or soon afterwards known as the old Wych Road or Ald Wych Road, there was an open green with a maypole, and just beyond it a cemetery, which lay rather below the level of the present line of street, and on a part of the site now occupied by Somerset House.

[21]  The Innocents' church was very near the present chapel of King's College. It was eventually destroyed by the protector Somerset, to make way for his new palace, and the rapidly increasing population of the parish was left absolutely without any place of worship, After some delay the chapel of St. John in the Savoy was assigned to them, on certain terms, and it was not until , when their new church in the Strand was built, that they ceased to be thus dependent.

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It was owing to their tenancy that the chapel, now a chapel royal, became commonly known as St. Mary's. The parishioners brought with them their old church bell, and took it away again when they left; and there is no bell in the chapel tower to this day.

The artificial nature of the manor is apparent from the map,[22]  for instead of being in any way conterminous with a parish it is partly in St. Clement's and partly in St. Mary's, resembling in this respect a city ward.[23]  It was in fact made up by purchase as well as by the exercise of the king's not very scrupulous authority. By the bequest of Peter, the first owner, it went to the friars of Mountjoy, who sold it to queen Eleanor for 300 marks. She granted it in to her son Edmund, earl of Lancaster, and it went eventually to the first wife of John of Gaunt, who was created duke of Lancaster. His son settled the whole of the estates of the duchy on the Sovereign for the time being: and the manor of the Savoy is still the property of her majesty.

The house was burnt by Wat Tyler's followers, and never rebuilt: and the ground was made over by Henry VIII. to a hospital founded under his father's will and completed in . But it never prospered. The estates were given away by Edward VI. to Bridewell, resumed by queen Mary, and finally frittered away by carelessness and mismanagement, until, in , lord keeper Wright, by what authority I know not, dissolved and suppressed it finally. George III. made the chapel and it has been kept in good repair, a fire in , by which the old roof was destroyed, having led to its thorough and satisfactory restoration. It is interesting apart from its associations as the only old church between

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St. Margaret's and St. Olave's, Hart Street, with the exception of the renovated chapel of the Temple.

St. Mary-le-Strand is one of the prettiest of Gibbs's works. It is wholly wanting in dignity, and we cannot but wish the tower had been to one side, as it presents an extremely formal appearance facing the street. It has, of course, been objected to the design of the church that seeming outside to consist of two storeys, there is but one within: an objection which applies equally to Whitehall chapel and many other buildings in the style, including St. Paul's.

The front of Somerset House has been admired by many good judges of architecture. It is in part a copy of the old building which was designed by Inigo Jones: but both here, and on the south front towards Lancaster place, the effect is much marred by two storeys of windows showing through one order of columns or pilasters. Every one must agree that the river front is not quite worthy of its conspicuous situation. Sir William Chambers was not equal to the task he undertook. The almost adjoining Adelphi, called after the brothers Adam, is much better, though by no means so magnificent either in size or costliness. The of the Adelphi mark the site of old streets, some of which remain near them but at a lower level than that of Salisbury Street and Adam Street.

There is no part of in which the local names are more significant than the Strand. They tell of the former existence of a row of river-side palaces, of which Somerset House only can be said in any sense to remain, and of which the Savoy chapel is the only contemporary relic. At first the great houses belonged to bishops. Nine are said to have lived in the Strand at one time, but very few are commemorated by street names. The Outer Temple

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was in the reign of Elizabeth the town house of the earl of Essex, and both Devereux Court, and Essex Street remain. But previously it had been the house, or one of the houses of the bishop of Exeter.[24]  The adjoining site was occupied by the bishops of Bath, whose rights were usurped by Seymour, the brother of the protector Somerset. At his tragical death, Henry Fitz Alan, earl of Arundel, bought it for £41 6s. 8d., and in it devolved on the Howard family, and the land has belonged, like Arundel Castle itself, to the dukes of Norfolk ever since. Their name and titles define the locality of their estate. The vast area of Somerset House covers the site of the residences of the bishops of Chester and of Worcester, as well as of the church and churchyard already mentioned, while the wall of the south front, but very little more, is in the precinct of the Savoy. The site of Beaufort House has already been noticed. Here the bishops of Carlisle had a house, spoken of in some of the documents connected with the Savoy, which is described as lying between the houses of this bishop, to the westward, and of the bishop of Worcester to the eastward. The bishops of Llandaff also lived in the Strand and on the Savoy estate, but I have failed to identify the place with certainty. It may have been the small plot on the north side which is now marked by Exeter Hall, and by Burleigh Street, where the great lord Burleigh lived in the reign of James I. It was close to the house of the junior branch of the Cecil family, and Cecil Street with Salisbury Street are on the ground, which still belongs to lord Salisbury. The houses at the lower end of Salisbury Street were built and decorated by Payne or the Adams,

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and some of the most charming rooms in are in the last house on the right-hand side, now an hotel. This street is supported like the adjacent Adelphi on arches, and a miserable village of tumble-down houses remains between it and the Embankment gardens, at a lower level. The boundary between the Savoy and St. Martin's passes down the centre of Cecil Street. Before houses covered the spot a little brook ran here into the Thames, and no doubt marked the boundary. The roadway of the Strand crossed it by the Ivy Bridge.[25] 

Of the ancient connection of the convent of with this part of the most prominent modern evidence is afforded by the land on the slope north of the manor of the Savoy. Here a large district is still known as Covent Garden.[26]  Long Acre was once the Seven Acres, and in a long pathway is mentioned as traversing them. A little parish, one of the smallest in , lies between Long Acre and the Strand. The church of St. Paul is often, but rather vaguely said to have been the earliest specially built for Protestant worship. The parish was divided from St. Martin's by the first act of a local nature passed after the accession of Charles II. The whole parish belonged to the Russell family, having been granted in to John, earl of Bedford, whose descendant the duke of Bedford owns it now. Southampton Street marks the site of their house of residence, but until it was built they had the old house of the bishop of Carlisle, at the opposite side of the Strand, adjoining the Savoy. Francis, fourth

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earl, laid out £. in building the church, and is said[27]  to have told he wished for nothing

much better than a barn.

Well then,

said Jones,

you shall have the handsomest barn in the world.

The church was of brick with a tiled roof, and must have differed much in appearance from the present church, which was built by Hardwick, after a fire in . The general lines of the old design were followed, and with the help of a little imagination we can realise its original features.[28] 

It is built in the Tuscan order as described by Vitruvius,

says Brayley, who adds that

it may be regarded as the most complete specimen of that order in the world, as no ancient building of the kind is now remaining.

The portico faces the flower market, and is one of the best known features of : and it has often been cited as an example of the fact

that it is taste and not expense, which is the parent of beauty.

The knowledge, or genius, or calculation by which Jones contrived even in such a plain building to obtain a picturesque effect is certainly a strong proof of the folly of architects who imagine that any amount of showy carving, or granite columns, will form a substitute for the study of proportion and the expenditure, not of money, but of thought. The rest of the square was also originally designed by Jones, of whose work but slight traces remain. He lived it is said close by in Chandos Street, and a modernised house there has still portions of a magnificently carved staircase which may well have been designed by him.

I have abandoned for a moment the chronological arrangement in order to place Covent Garden in its

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topographical position with respect to the Strand. St. Paul's, as I have said, was taken out of St. Martin's. We have now to see how it was that the ground was in St. Martin's and not in St. Margaret's. When, in the oft- mentioned year , the archbishop pronounced his award in the matter of the boundaries, he specially excepted a church and cemetery of St. Martin.[29]  No parish appears to have been attached to it. A century later a vicar is mentioned. Before the end of the fourteenth century

the parish of St. Martin-in-the- Fields is described by name as being in the franchise of

Westminster

.

It is not easy to decide what were its boundaries at this period, but it probably included what are now the separate parishes of St. James and St. George, while St. Anne, Soho, remained to St. Margaret's. When Henry VIII. had annexed St. James's Park to his new palace,[30]  he issued a patent, dated in , by which he transferred to St. Martin's all the district which remained to north and west of Whitehall.[31]  He found it inconvenient that funerals should pass through the palace to the churchyard of St. Margaret's. Thenceforth a line was drawn at the northern gate of , and only what lay to the south of it was to be included in St. Margaret's. Thus the old parish was once more diminished, but St. Martin's remains, like St. Clement's, and the other divisions, part of as respects parliamentary elections. In it was considered

the greatest cure in England,

and Richard Baxter is reported to have complained that it

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contained forty thousand people more than could be accommodated in its church. In St. James's, -which we generally style St. James's, , -was taken out of it. Four years later St. Anne's, Soho, was also separated, and when in Sir Richard Grosvenor built his new quarter about Grosvenor Square, St. George's was also divided from it.

St. Martin's may be looked upon as the centre of modern London. Charing Cross is in the parish, in fact one of the earliest notices of the church describes it as

juxta Charring

; this was in the reign of Edward I., who having been informed that treasure was buried in St. Martin's desired a search to be made for it. The result is unknown.[32]  Edward erected Charing Cross, which was completed in , and cost what must then have been thought a large sum, namely 450£. The statues were by an artist who is described as Alexander the Imaginator, of Abingdon.[33] 

The site of the Eleanor Cross is marked by Le Soeur's fine statue of king Charles I., on a pedestal by Grinling Gibbons. Here the regicides were put to death with every detail of cruelty in , and Pepys has recorded that it was his chance

to see the king beheaded at Whitehall, and to see the first blood shed in revenge for the king at

Charing Cross

.

This expression,

in revenge,

is curious as showing the ideas of the objects of punishment then current. At this time was a narrow spot where three streets met. Where the Nelson Column stands now there was a row of houses,

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and the king's mews behind. On the south side stood Northumberland House, destroyed without much reason, but at an enormous cost, in , the last of the great riverside palaces. York House, which had been just within the parish boundary, and next to Salisbury House, was the residence of those archbishops of York who succeeded Wolsey, having been bought for them, instead of an inconvenient house in , given by queen Mary. But only one archbishop seems to have actually lived in it, Heath, the first who held it, and who was Mary's chancellor. It became a kind of official residence for chancellors, several of whom, and keepers of the great seal, rented it successively,[34]  and here the great was born. The first duke of Buckingham per suaded James I. to give the archbishop other lands for York House, and having obtained possession began to build a new palace for himself. It never proceeded beyond the water gate, which was designed by , and carved by Nicholas Stone, and which still remains in its old place, showing both where York House was, and the old level, before the embankment was made.[35]  It bears his badge of an anchor, as lord high admiral. A temporary house was inhabited by the duke and his successor, and was furnished in a style which astonished contemporary writers.

Gibbs has gained more fame by St. Martin's church than by any other building he erected. It has one serious fault at least. The steeple rises from the portico, which, massive as it is, appears crushed in consequence.

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The interior, which is very closely imitated in its chief features from Wren's St. James's, is extremely fine, and in spite of large galleries gives the visitor an impression of space very unusual in a church. It has been well observed[36]  that neither Gibbs nor his contemporary Hawksmoor understood the value of the mathematical proportion so much insisted upon by Wren. One consequence is here very apparent, for the east end, although it resembles more than one of Sir Christopher's, is yet a failure, heavy and dull, only for want of better proportions. To prove this we have only to remember St. Lawrence, Jewry. The portico is magnificent, and its splendid effect is set off to great advantage by the meanness of the neighbouring National Gallery. The church was consecrated in , having cost the parishioners more than 36,000£. We can imagine Sir , who was still alive, looking on and thinking what he might have done with such a sum of money at St. Stephen's or St. Mary-le-Bow, in the city, or at St. James's, in .

Of the National Gallery as a building, the less said is the better.[37]  It is impossible to regard it as permanent. A time must come when we shall be ashamed to see it any longer. It was unfortunate for Wilkins that he was chosen to design it. His powers as an architect were remarkable. His design for the University of London in Gower Street has been only partially carried out, but we can judge of him by St. George's Hall, at Liverpool, one of the most beautiful modern buildings in Europe. At Trafalgar Square he was crippled by conditions incompatible with the possibility of doing anything good.

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"The money allotted to the purpose was scarcely one-half of what was necessary; he was ordered to take and use the pillars of the portico of Carlton House; to set back the wings so as not to hide St. Martin's church; and lastly to allow two thoroughfares through it."[38]  No wonder, then, that it is a miserable performance; and poor Wilkins, who could have done so much better and knew it, died of the ridicule his work excited.

If Englishmen have cause to feel ashamed of the exterior of the National Gallery, which has not been improved of late years by some incongruous additions, they have every reason to be proud of its contents. The rate of acquisition is amazing. It goes on by leaps and bounds. The number of pictures has doubled in twenty years, and much more than doubled in value. In the very beginnings of things we bought the Angerstein collection, consisting of thirty-eight pictures, several of them very poor, especially those which bore the greatest names, for 57,000£., and lodged them in a house now absorbed by the War Office in Pall Mall. That was in . Ten years later the first trustees were appointed, and six years were spent in the usual recriminations in which we always indulge on these occasions, and in building in Trafalgar Square. The number of pictures had meanwhile risen, partly by purchases, partly by the munificent gift of Sir George Beaumont, partly by bequests, to one hundred and sixty-six. Progress was slow till , when only twenty more pictures had been added, but a few years later the Vernon collection was bequeathed, and doubled the numbers, or would have done so had it been possible to receive the new pictures in the old gallery. They were exhibited first at Marlborough House, and afterwards for many years at South

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. In Turner's paintings and water-colour sketches were bequeathed. Ten years later the number of works exhibited amounted to 750, and the purchase of the Garvagh Raffaelle for 9000£. was thought to have exhausted the buying power of the trustees for some time to come. But a much more astonishing, if scarcely so satisfactory a bargain was completed in , when we gave 7000£. for the very doubtful picture of "Christ Blessing Little Children," attributed to Rembrandt. Sir Charles Eastlake's early Italian pictures were added in the following year, under an old arrangement; but very little else was bought until the autumn of , when we acquired one of the most remarkable works in the gallery. We already possessed, as the best picture in the Angerstein Collection, the magnificent Sebastian del Piombo of the "Raising of Lazarus," for which Michael Angelo is known to have made the design, and on which he probably worked himself. But the new purchase professed to be an actual so to speak, of the great Florentine-unfinished, it is true, but complete in composition, and most instructive in every way. At first there was no space to hang this treasure of art, and it was not exhibited publicly till the critics, and many besides, had seen it in private. The doubtful Rembrandt had a good pedigree, or it could never have fetched 7000£.; the undoubted Michael Angelo had comparatively no pedigree, and was only reckoned worth 2000£., but the popular verdict leaves little question as to which of the two is best worth the higher sum. In the National Gallery obtained the old rooms of the Royal Academy at the southern end of the building, and signalised the occasion by the purchase of De Hooge's "Courtyard in Holland" for 1722£., a price which no one grudged when once the picture had been

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seen, and by reclaiming, after some delay, the Vernon bequest from South Kensington. Many people, however, did grudge the purchase in the following year of the Peel Gallery, as it gave us only a few new names, and added but little to the completeness of the Collection. But many of the Dutch pictures it contained were masterpieces in their way. The "Avenue at Middelharnis " by Hobbema, and the "Velvet Hat" by Rubens, became popular favourites at once. The Peel Gallery consisted of seventy-seven pictures and some drawings, and the price came to nearly a thousand guineas each, a high average; but five years later we received a still larger number of fine works for nothing by the bequest of Mr. Wynn Ellis. His pictures do not reach the same high average as those of Sir Robert Peel, and some of the best had no pedigrees; but the strange Van Romerswale-at first attributed to Quentin Matsys, till the true artist's name was found inscribed on one of the parchments represented-and some landscapes by Claude, Ruysdael, and De Koninck, are a distinct gain. They were among the new pictures exhibited when the public were first admitted to the galleries built by Mr. Barry behind the eastern end of the old front. As at the first foundation of the building, much controversy among artists and architects preceded the completion of this great improvement; and, though few were enthusiastic as to the beauty of the new galleries, all were astonished at the rapidity with which they were filled, and at the enhanced value of pictures properly arranged and lighted, and hung where they were visible to the naked eye.

During the last few years many excellent works have been obtained by purchase. Lord Beaconsfield took a keen interest in the improvement of the collection, and several fine early Italian works were added during his

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premiership. But Mr. Gladstone's government has not been far behind, and during the past year the sale of the Hamilton gallery gave an opportunity which was eagerly seized. The new acquisitions, including those from Hamilton Palace, assuredly raise our National Gallery to a very high level indeed. We have not the Titians of Madrid, nor the Rubenses of the Louvre; we have not the Memlings of Bruges, nor the Van Eycks of Ghent. But we have some of the best examples of all these artists-Titian's "Ariosto," Rubens's "Chateau de Stein," Memling's "Holy Family," Van Eyck's "Arnolfini," for example, only to name a few; we have Raffaelles, Murillos, Solarios, Rembrandts, Hobbemas, Claudes, and, in short, all the great masters, with one conspicuous exception, which is, however, temporarily supplied by the duke of Norfolk's generous loan of Holbein's "Duchess of Milan." This was the lady of whom it is said that when Henry VIII. proposed to marry her, she replied that unfortunately she had only one head. That nevertheless she dallied with the offer is apparent from the existence in England of this picture, brought over by Henry's ambassador, and another at Windsor Castle.[39] 

Among recent purchases are the Suffolk Leonardo which excellent judges prefer to the repetition of the same subject in the Louvre; examples from the Hamilton collection of Botticelli, Velasquez, Pontormo, Signorelli, Mantegna, and other great artists; together with the five little pictures of a lesser genius, Gonsalez Coques, which Mr. Burton recently obtained in Belgium. As a representative collection, therefore, the National Gallery is second to no other; and it is impossible not to look with pride on the successful efforts of a single generation to form in England a museum of art such as may compare

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with any other in Europe, even with some which are the result of long centuries of growth.

At some not very distant day the barracks which occupy so much space at the back of the gallery must be removed, and an adequate building erected to house our treasures. The prints and drawings by great masters, of which we have a collection quite worthy of our pictures, should be brought and exhibited near the other works of the same artists. Designs have been made on several occasions, but they have never secured the approval of the critics. The fact is we have no Wren or Burlington, no Wilkins, not even a Gibbs among us now, and it will be better to wait a little longer rather than have a National Gallery in the style of the additions to Burlington House, or the stuccoed front of Buckingham Palace.

The rapid growth of buildings in the parish gave serious cause of uneasiness to the authorities. In a commission was appointed which reported that a man named Moor had built without license a row of no less than forty-two houses close to St. Martin's church. He was fined a thousand pounds, and the houses were pulled down by the sheriffs. Lord Bedford had special leave to build round , but did not avail himself of it at first, on account of the strong public feeling on the subject, a feeling stimulated by the ravages of the plague.[40]  The western roads were beginning to be lined with houses. Dwellings for the families of the officials and menials of the court were erected in the mews, which occupied what is now the open space of Trafalgar Square. At the same time a number of houses were

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demolished in , by order of the committee sitting in the Star Chamber, on the ground that they fouled the water of the stream which, as we have seen, crossed the road into the Green Park, and supplied . In the house of commons a few years later blame was thrown upon the city for refusing its freedom even

to rare artists,

who were thereby driven to the western suburbs. But was just recovering from the successive shocks of the plague and the fire, overcrowding was so much dreaded that the means taken to prevent it only added to the danger, and sanitary science was confined to empiricism and superstitious observances.

St. James's, , was at last found to be a necessity. No efforts could stop the tide of building. Soho was already crowded and fashionable: but I postpone a notice of it to keep if possible to the chronological order in which the of were separated from the mother church.[41]  The great western road may be said to have commenced with Wych Street, but the newly-built quarter of Covent Garden interrupted it, and the line of highway of which Piccadilly is the chief part, only becomes direct at the eastern end of Cranbourn Street where Long Acre and St. Martin's Lane meet. The increase of population took place at first about the palace of St. James's and Pall Mall. The square was built in and at once became, as it still continues, a centre of fashion, which has perhaps never been so constant to any other site.

Fashionable neighbourhoods are continually changing, but this square is an exception to the rule, as it has been for two centuries one of the most aristocratic places in

London

,

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says Mr. Wheatley.[42]  The fields on which the new quarter was laid out immediately after the restoration of Charles II. were the leasehold property of Henry Jermyn, earl of St. Albans, who is always supposed to have been the second husband of queen Henrietta Maria. The square was at first called the Piazza, and had a large pond in the centre. The first tenants of the surrounding houses were all people of rank except two of the king's mistresses.[43]  The act of parliament by virtue of which the parish was separated from St. Martin's, was passed in , and the church was consecrated in July by Compton, bishop of . Wren was the architect and as but little money-only 7000£, at first-was forthcoming he, as usual with him, spent as much as possible in one direction. Wren seems to have thought it best, and there is much to be said for his view, that in church building some part of the structure should be made as complete as possible, even though, through lack of funds the other parts might suffer. He acted on this principle at St. Mary-le-Bow, and St. Stephen's Wallbrook, as well as in many other city churches. At St. James's he lavished all his small resources on the interior, and succeeded in producing one of the most beautiful, convenient and satisfactory places of worship in . Gibbs, in rebuilding St. Martin's, could not improve upon the design of St. James's. Wren's own account will show his opinions :-

I can hardly think it practicable to make a single room so capacious, with pews and galleries, as to hold above two thousand persons, and all to hear the service, and both to hear distinctly and see the preacher. I endeavoured to effect this in building the parish church of St. James,

Westminster

, which I presume is the most capacious with these qualifications that hath yet been built; and yet at a solemn time, when

the church was much crowded, I could not discern from a gallery that two thousand were present. In this church I mention, though very broad, and the nave arched, yet as there are no walls of a second order, nor lantherns, nor buttresses, but the whole roof rests upon the pillars, as do also the galleries; I think it may be found beautiful and convenient, and as such the cheapest of any form I could invent.

[44]  Mr. Fergusson says St. James's is after St. Stephen's Wallbrook, Wren's most successful interior.

It does not come within the scope of this book to describe in detail the interesting features of this most interesting district. It is a curious fact that neither St. James's Palace nor St. James's Park is within the parish boundary, but St. James's Street with its modern clubs and shops, the time-worn towers of Henry VIII.'s palace looking out on them from beyond the mists of three hundred and fifty years; Marlborough and Schomberg Houses, with memories alternately warlike and artistic; Regent Street and the ingenious quadrant, or fourth part of a circle, with which Nash connected two thoroughfares, and created one of the few architectural street effects in ; the tall houses of Carlton Terrace, with the duke of York's column and glimpses of the park and the towers beyond, another happy inspiration, which like the quadrant deserved a better fate than to be made of plaster and paint; Burlington Gardens and Savile Row, the home till lately of classical architecture of the best type, of which only Vardy's Uxbridge House [45] 

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remains; the Albany, where at the Savile Row end and in the topmost storey, Macaulay wrote the main part of his 'History'; all these things and more might well detain my pen. But many books have been written about them and I could add nothing to make it worth while to pause in the task of tracing the history of .

As early as it had been found necessary by the authorities of St. Martin's to make special arrangements for the collection of their rates in Soho, a district the name of which, like that of Piccadilly, is involved in obscurity. Piccadilly may be derived from the name of a house of entertainment nearly on the site of the modern Criterion: but this is only putting the difficulty a step further back. Pimlico, another strange name in the parish of St. Margaret, may be accounted for by the existence of a similarly named place in the West Indies, whence timber was imported. But Soho has entirely baffled inquirers. Cunningham quotes the rate books of St. Martin's to show that in people were living

at the brick kilns near Sohoe.

In this spelling is reversed in the parish register, where the burial is recorded of a

child from Soeho.

Although a church on the site of St. Ann's was in existence as a chapel of ease from it was not until the beginning of the reign of James II. that the present church was built; and on its consecration the parish was formally separated in . The old names of the Soho fields are preserved by Malcolm in noticing the grant of a lease from queen Henrietta Maria, by leave of her son, to lord St. Albans, who already, as we have seen, held St. James's. They were Bunche's Close, Coleman-hedge Field, and Doghouse Field, otherwise Brown's Close. Kemp's Field, where there had been a chapel for French

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refugees, was chosen as the site of the church. The Pest Field which lord Craven generously provided against the possible outbreak of another plague,[46]  lay to the east of Carnaby Street. Crown Street was Hog Lane. Wardour Street was Old Soho. Princes Street was Hedge Lane.

The church of St. Anne incurs much ridicule from the very strange appearance of its steeple.

A monstrous copper globe, elevated within a few feet of the summit, contains the dial plates for the clock.

[47]  It was built at the end of the last century. The interior of the church is by no means what might be expected from the distant view of the tower, on the western face of which, and plainly visible from Princes Street-now incorporated with Wardour Street-is the tablet Horace Walpole put up, with his own epigram on it, to the memory of Theodore, king of Corsica, who died in , and was buried at the expense of an oilman named Wright.

Soho Square, which contains about three acres, was for a while very fashionable, and only began to decline a hundred years ago. Few remember the name of Mrs. Theresa Cornelys. Yet she was once a central figure in the world of fashion, which she left for a more retired sphere in . Her house is now occupied by Messrs. Crosse and Blackwell, whose manufactory is close by, and fumes of strawberry jam, raspberry vinegar, and mixed pickles alternately pervade the neighbourhood. Her ball room is a chapel. It used to be the headquarters of extravagance and strange apparel. At one of her masquerades the beautiful daughter of a peer wore the costume of an Indian princess, three black girls bearing her train, a canopy held over her head by two negro boys, and her dress covered with jewels worth a

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hundred thousand pounds. It was at another that Adam was to be seen in flesh-coloured tights and an apron of artificial fig-leaves, in company with the duchess of Bolton as Diana. Death in a white shroud carried about his coffin and epitaph.. The duke of Gloucester wore an old English costume with a star on his cloak, and the malicious said he was

disguised as a gentleman.

All this pageantry passed through Mrs. Cornelys' rooms, yet before many years had gone by she was earning her living by selling asses' milk at Knightsbridge. Even this employment failed her eventually, and in she died in the Fleet Prison, forming schemes for retrieving her broken fortunes to the last.

Long before Mrs. Cornelys was thought of, King's Square in Soho was connected with the fortunes of another and more famous adventurer. James, duke of Montrose and Buccleugh, lived on the south side, where there is now a hospital for women. Bateman's Buildings is on the site of his garden. The tottering statue of his father in the centre of the square was the only thing left that could have seen him here, and it also has disappeared. He gave "Soho" as his watchword the night before Sedgmoor, but he never saw his old home again.

It is more pleasant to recall some later memories : for there is still an old-world air about the place. If you dive down into the streets and lanes you see everywhere evidences of the greatness of former occupants. If a street door is open there is a vision of carved oak panelling, of fretted ceilings, of frescoed walls, of inlaid floors. Squalid as are some of the tenements, their inhabitants do not need to dream that they dwell in marble halls. Once on a time even Seven Dials was fashionable. Here and there, at the corners, a little bit of the quaint style now in vogue as queen Anne's allures the unwary

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passenger into a noisome alley, and Soho can boast of fully as many smells as Cologne. The paradoxes in which facts and statistics are so often connected may receive another example from this densely populated and still more densely perfumed region, for it has been found that children survive the struggles of infancy better in Soho than in many a high and airy country parish. Paintings by Sir James Thornhill and Angelica Kauffman are to be seen in some of the houses. Modern cast-iron railings may stand abashed before the finely-wrought work which incloses some of the filthiest areas. There are mantelpieces in marble, heavy with Corinthian columns, and elaborate entablatures in many an upper chamber let at so much a week. Visitors to the House of Mercy at the corner of Greek Street have an uncovenanted reward for their charity in seeing how the great alderman Beckford was lodged when he made the speech now inscribed on his monument in Guildhall.[48]  Art still reigns in the house opposite, where the Royal Academy held its infant meetings, and it was close by, at the corner of Compton Street, that Johnson and Boswell, Reynolds and Burke, kept their literary evenings, and were derided by Goldsmith. The more purely scientific associations of the place are almost equally remarkable. On the south side of the square, in the corner near Frith Street, Sir Joseph Banks and Mr. Payne Knight successively flourished, and the Linnaean Society had here its headquarters before it was promoted to Burlington House. Since the whole of Soho was more or less fashionable, it is nothing remarkable to find Evelyn and Burnet and Dryden and Nell Gwyn residing within its bounds; but there is some interest in the lying in state there of Sir Cloudesley Shovel, when his

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body, recovered from the sea at Scilly, was on its way to Westminster Abbey. No doubt an effigy surmounted the pall, and the illustrious foundling appeared in the Roman armour and the full-bottomed wig in which he reposes upon his monument. Half the sites of curious scenes in Soho, half the residences of historical characters, have, however, been left without identification.

We now come to the most important portion of the old abbey manor, St. George's, Hanover Square, the greater part of which, extensive as it is, belongs to a single estate, that of the duke of . It comprises the chief part of the identical manor of Eia which, as we saw in the last chapter, was given by Geoffrey Mandeville to the abbey. Eia, in Domesday, is said to have consisted of ten hides. The modern parish comprises, in round numbers, nearly 900 acres, so that the hides in question must have been 90 acres, or nearly, each, but there was a good deal of waste marshy land, and the size of the hide may be considerably reduced. The name of Eybury, or Ebury, would appear to denote that part of the manor which lay around the principal residence of the lord of the manor, which was almost certainly somewhere near Grosvenor Square. This portion, which stretches from the river's bank northward along the Tyburn to the Uxbridge Road and Oxford Street, forms the Grosvenor estate. A second portion, the sub-manor of Neate, or Neyte, is doubtless that part of Kensington Gardens and the adjoining land which is still in the parish of St. Margaret. A third portion, Hyde, gives its name to .[49] 

There is very great difficulty in unravelling the history of this part of the possessions of St. Peter's abbey. The boundaries, where there was much open and common

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land, were not very clearly fixed. The abbot was lord of all, and in case of difficulty there could be no doubt of his ownership. He appears to have leased away Eybury, or a considerable part of it. A man named Barber, who was hanged in for murdering his brother, appears to have held it. A dispute arose as to the abbot's right to seize the land, and though no decision has been reported, we cannot hesitate to conclude that the abbot succeeded in his claim. No doubt, too, he leased it away again: and after the suppression it was in the hands of one Whashe.[50]  It consisted of a farm of

430

acres, for which he paid 21£. a year, and he and his tenants appear from a complaint that was made against them to queen Elizabeth, to have inclosed the adjoining open and waste lands, including some in which the parish had an interest. These Lammas lands, as they were called, cannot now be identified. Some of them seem to have been near the Haymarket, and Leicester Square is described as being built on inclosed Lammas lands. But Ebury, Euberry, or Eybury was and comprised all that part of the Grosvenor estate which lies south of the great west road from Hyde Park Corner, including Belgrave Square and Pimlico. A little later the farm and some other holdings came into the possession of a member of an obscure family named Davies. How he obtained them does not appear, but doubtless in much the same way as Hobson obtained the two manors of Tyburn and Lylleston on the other side of Oxford Street.[51]  Davies, however, unlike Hobson, knew how to keep as well as to obtain a good estate. He, or his son, Alexander, had an only daughter, Mary. In Miss Mary Davies was married, at St. Clement

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Danes, to Sir Thomas Grosvenor, a Cheshire baronet of moderate fortune.

Another family of Davies, or the same, had about the same time that part of the parish on which the two Audley Streets were afterwards built. " Rich Audley," as he was called, who began the world with 200£. and died worth 400,000£.,[52]  in left his land to his grandnephew Sir Thomas Davies, who was lord mayor in , a member of the drapers' company, and a bookseller by trade. He had four sons, but there is no Alexander amongst them. It would, however, be difficult to affirm that there is no connection between the families, or that Davies Street is called after the one or the other. The two estates are now in the same hands, but no record has been published as to how the union came about. In fact, considering the enormous value of the Grosvenor estate it is curious to remark that it has never found a historian, and that, though probably there are deeds in abundance existing on the subject, we do not know how it came to Alexander Davies and Hugh Audley.

In we find Sir Richard Grosvenor, the elder son of Mary Davies, in possession of the whole estate. In July of that year the land had been laid out and planned, and at a Sir Richard assembled his intending tenants and named the new streets and squares. Grosvenor Square had been partly built as early as : but covering the whole estate with houses was a work of time. The names chosen are easily accounted for: Brook Street is called after the Tyburn which forms the eastern boundary of the estate. Mount

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Street obliterated "Oliver's Mount," one of the forts erected by the parliament in .[53]  Grosvenor, Davies and Audley Streets speak for themselves, as does Park Street.[54]  The rectangularity of the Grosvenor estate distinguishes it on the map, and the line of the brook is clearly marked by the irregular course of South Molton Lane, Avery Row, Bruton Mews and Bolton Row.

But this great estate occupied less than half the lands of the Davies inheritance. The part south of Hyde Park Corner, though it was not so soon built over, is now even more valuable. George III. intended to have increased the gardens of Buckingham Palace westward and had even arranged with Sir Richard's nephew and successor, the first lord Grosvenor, to buy the ground on which Grosvenor Place now stands. But lord Grenville held the purse strings and the king's wishes were thwarted. The ground, like that indeed within the palace inclosure still, was low and damp. We have seen that here lay Pollenstock and Bulunga Fen and the or dyke of Edgar's charter. But lord Grosvenor enlisted the services of Mr. Cubitt. In he obtained special powers by act of parliament. The site was drained, levelled, laid out in roads and streets and squares, which, considering the unfavourable reputation of the place previously, were taken up eagerly by people of the first fashion. Belgravia, as it is often called, rivals even the older Grosvenor district, in its popularity with the highest classes, and the erection, on the failure of the first building leases, of the magnificent houses of Grosvenor Place, each of them a palace, has assisted to keep this part of the estate in the favour of people who can afford to be so expensively housed. Soon a third quarter arose on the

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lands, and for a brief period Pimlico was as fashionable as is now. It very speedily declined, however, though one or two of the larger squares have continued to flourish. The local names almost all allude to the real or supposed history of the Grosvenor family, to the county and city of Chester, to Hugh Lupus, to Eccleston and Belgrave in Cheshire, to Eaton Hall and Halkin Castle. Strange to say we do not find a single allusion to the heiress who brought the estate into the Grosvenor family.

The mansion by the river side continued to be inhabited until Gloucester House in Grosvenor Street fell vacant by the death of the younger brother of George III It soon after became Grosvenor House, was greatly enlarged and improved, and a fine screen placed between it and the street. It is still somewhat irregular, but a fine addition has recently been made to its western end. The removal of an adjoining house in which lady Palmerston passed her declining years, has opened a view from Hyde Park and greatly improved the situation, but in most respects it is very inferior to Dorchester House, close by, where the utmost advantage was taken by Mr. Holford of the site. Dorchester House was, it is understood, designed by its owner, but the architect who carried out the plans was named Vulliamy. Grosvenor House presents no architectural features requiring notice. The older house was often described as at Millbank. It had been inhabited for a time by the eccentric earl of Peterborough and was called after him.[55]  Peterborough house was pulled down in , and now the Millbank Penitentiary

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occupies the site. It has been declared extraparochial by act of parliament. But while the Grosvenors inhabited Peterborough House it was in the parish of St. John, , the last division of St. Margaret's which I have to notice. Before doing so, however, it will be well to state clearly that this house at Millbank was not the manor house of Eia, nor yet the farm house of Ebury. It was in a different parish, and in the original manor of the abbey of Westminster, and was purchased by the Grosvenor family on account of its convenient situation. It was described in as

a brick house with a pretty garden.

[56]  The house of Eybury was much more likely in or near Davies Street, where the estate office stands now.

St. George's, Hanover Square, is in the north-eastern corner of the parish, fully two miles from the river's bank. It was designed by John James, and being one of the fifty new churches erected at the beginning of the eighteenth century by virtue of an act of parliament, it was in its place before the parish became populous, and was consecrated in . The portico is very handsome, but the rest of the building is dark and heavy. The east end is set off by two quaint and irregular brick buildings used as vestries, the architect having apparently omitted to provide any: a serious omission in a church which for many years was so fashionable for weddings that couples often put themselves to considerable inconvenience to acquire a domicile in St. George's. But the parish has been divided again and again since , and a new marriage act has made matrimony lawful in almost any one of the many district chapels of the parish. The most important of these are St. Peter's, Eaton Square, the district attached to which includes all but the front

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wall of Buckingham Palace, and the so-called Grosvenor Chapel, in South Audley Street, which perhaps boasts of the most aristocratic congregation in . Attached to this chapel is an extensive cemetery, which was so rapidly filled that in forty years from the opening a new place of burial had to be found, and five acres of Tyburn Field, also now closed, were consecrated in .[57] 

The last parish formally separated from St. Margaret's was St. John's, . Its church is by Vanbrugh's pupil, Archer, and is in a most eccentric style. It resembles, according to one author,

a parlour table upset, with its legs in the air.

[58]  It was begun in , and finished and consecrated in . Archer built Cliefden, a handsome pile, and one or two other great houses; but his designs, some of which were engraved in the 'Vitruvius Britannicus,' do not entitle him to further notice. The parish is very densely populated, and has several district churches; but the visitor who seeks for anything of interest in it will probably be disappointed. St. Stephen's, built by Ferry for lady Burdett-Coutts, who endowed it, is a handsome gothic church, and was much needed in the parish. Blore built St. Mary's; and there are several others, but to most of them, architecturally speaking, the epitaph on a lady in Fulham churchyard will apply:-

Silence is best.

 
 
Footnotes:

[1] I have perhaps devoted too much attention to what may be called the theoretical as opposed to the strictly topographical part of this chapter: but while there are innumerable books about the one, no intelligible account of the early state of the district has hitherto, so far as I know, been published.

[2] See above, chap. vi.

[3] See above, chap. xvi.

[4] See below, chap. xxi.

[5] Perhaps some historian of the future may hazard the opinion that the name of St. Clement Danes refers to the long run of Hamlet at this theatre. I have had to notice and refute much wilder guesses than this. It would not be so absurd to hint that Danes is a reference to the dene or hollow by Milford Lane.

[6] See ' Archaeologia,' xxvi. 227.

[7] See chap. vii., p. 207.

[8] Chap. viii.

[9] Herbert's 'Inns of Court,' p. 289.

[10] See above, chap. vi.

[11] It might have been hoped that such a sacred conjunction would have ensured the safety of this chapel: but as I write it is being added to and altered, and that, incredible as it may seem, under the direction, not of an architect, but of a lawyer. An architect would probably have thought himself unworthy to touch the work of Jones, though at Cambridge Scott improved the work of Wren.

[12] There is an account of it in Spilsbury's ' Lincoln's Inn,' p. 88.

[13] There is a good view in Herbert, p. 349.

[14] See views in Wilkinson, ii. 15; Herbert, p. 324, &c.; and Ireland's 'Picturesque Views,' p. 163.

[15] See chap. viii. for brief notices of the Temple and the Rolls.

[16] It is said that a certain insurance office, erected in Chancery Lane, was found to be neither in London nor in Westminster, but in the Rolls, and had some difficulty with its license.

[17] The following are unrepresented extra-parochial places, in schedule C of the map of the Metropolitan Board of Works :-Charter House, Gray's Inn, the Close of the Collegiate Church of St. Peter (Westminster Abbey), Inner Temple, Middle Temple, Lincoln's Inn, Staple Inn, and Furnival's Inn. The following precincts are represented :-Liberty of Saffron Hill (comprising Hatton Garden, Ely Rents, and Ely Place), Liberty of Glasshouse Yard, Liberty of the Rolls, Precinct of the Savoy, Liberty of Norton Folgate, Liberty of Old Artillery Ground, Liberty of St. Botolph without Aldgate, District of the Tower, and Precinct of St. Katharine.

[18] In accordance with an act termed The Queen's Remembrancer's Act, passed in 1859, the service of this jocular tenure is performed by the city solicitor, who annually attends at the Remembrancer's office for the purpose.

[19] Among the local names were two Horse Shoe Courts. The new buildings are in St. Clement's parish and the Rolls precinct, and in the parish of St. Dunstan, which is within the city.

[20] I remember on one occasion standing with Mr. Street on the site of the porch, before a single stone had been laid. I asked him if he could see the building in his mind's eye. He said he could, distinctly : and pointing to a tall house on the opposite side of the Strand, he added, That building is fifty-four feet high. Then he turned round, and looked up in the air, My gable is more than twice as high. The anecdote is trivial but shows how clearly he had thought the matter out. I have no doubt he could have directed the building without any drawn design, as Wren directed St. Paul's.

[21] 'Memorials of the Savoy,' p. 11, to which I must refer for a more complete account of the district.

[22] Memorials, p. 230.

[23] See Appendix E.

[24] See above, chap. ix. Bishop Stapleton seems to have had two town houses, one here and one in Old Dean's Lane, now Warwick Lane, Newgate.

[25] Described as Ulebrig in some of the Savoy records. " Ule" is Anglo-Saxon for "owl," which in itself tells a tale of the rural state of the district when the roadway was first made.

[26] There was another Covent Garden at Bishopsgate, probably that of St. Helen's priory.

[27] By Horace Walpole: see Cunningham, ii. 638.

[28] There is a very complete account of both parish and church in Britton and Pugin's 'Edifices,' i. 107, written by E. W. Brayley.

[29] 'St. Martin's in the Fields,' by W. G. Humphry, B.D., vicar of the parish.

[30] See next chapter.

[31] This royal decree was read at the trial about the rates of St. Margaret's in 1833, reported by Walsh and printed by Nicholls in 1834.

[32] Humphry, p. 10. This mention of Charring is the more interesting as this was the king who erected the cross. It is one of the three ings of Middlesex. See above, chap. xv. p. 2.

[33] 'Memorials of queen Eleanor,' by John Abel. Mr. Humphry puts the cost at 650£.

[34] Cunningham enumerates the lord keeper Bacon; the lord chancellor Bacon, his son; the lord keeper Pickering; and the lord chancellor Egerton.

[35] I am indebted to the kindness of Mr. John Ward, F.S.A., for the accompanying print, reduced from that in Campbell's 'Vitruvius Britannicus.'

[36] Gwilt in ' Edifices,' i. 44.

[37] I have waded through an appalling pile of pamphlets on the subject, without much result.

[38] Fergusson, ' Modern Architecture,' 304.

[39] See Mr. Scharf's paper on the subject in 'Archeologia,' xl. 106.

[40] See above, chap. xi., and Southey's 'Common Place Book' in which there are numerous extracts relating to the extension of building in the suburbs.

[41] The history of the parish of St. James is fully detailed in Mr. Wheatley's entertaining volume ' Round about Piccadilly and Pall Mall.'

[42] P. 355.

[43] See lists in Cunningham, i. 440.

[44] 'Parentalia,' p. 320, quoted by Mr. Wheatley, p. 103. I remember to have attended service in St. James's on one occasion when the Rev. Henry White preached, and both Mr. Disraeli and Mr. Gladstone were present with at least 1998 other people: and all could see and hear.

[45] Now the western branch of the Bank of England; judiciously added to lately. General Wade's house faced into Old Burlington Street, but is completely altered and is now a school.

[46] See below, chap. xxi.

[47] Malcolm, ii. 344.

[48] See above, chap. xiv.

[49] See next chapter.

[50] Cunningham, i. 288.

[51] See below, chap. xxi.

[52] Cunningham, and Le Neve's 'Knights,' Harl. Soc. p. 212. There are several other Davies families in Le Neve and in the London Visitations, but " Alexander " does not occur as a name in any of them.

[53] See chapter xi. There is an Oliver's Mount in Richmond Park.

[54] For Hyde Park see next chapter.

[55] Cunningham remarks briefly on the difficulties in Pennant's 'Account' relating to the history of this house. There is a plan in the supplement to Smith's ' Westminster,' from which it appears to have been almost surrounded by water.

[56] Walcott, 338.

[57] See chap. xxi.

[58] Cunningham, 446.