A History of London, Vol. IILoftie, W. J.
CHAPTER XX:THE NORTHERN SUBURBS.
CHAPTER XX:THE NORTHERN SUBURBS.
WHEN we speak at the present day of the phrase bears a very different meaning from that which it bore under the Tudors. The first effect of the suppression of the monasteries was to throw an enormous amount of land into the possession of the crown. If such an accession of wealth came, by any conceivable accident or arrangement, into the hands of the crown as things are now constituted, the result might be a lightening of public burdens, a relief of pauperism, a remission of taxation. We often hear an ignorant person complain when some rich man has died without heirs and intestate, that his money has little thinking that in this sense, means the grumbler himself, and all the other taxpayers who are benefited by an increase of the national income. But to Henry VIII., and to Somerset and Northumberland, his successors in power, a crown estate was as much the property of the king as the chain round his neck or the ring on his finger. Under queen Mary the tendency was not so much to treat the monastic estates as the private property of the sovereign as to regard them in the light of a trust to be returned to their ancient owners at the first opportunity. Under Elizabeth, again, something more like the modern view prevailed. When crown lands were given away it was for a consideration. Many of the existing private estates in the suburbs of
|were purchased from the government of this queen, and were paid for in sums commensurate at that time with their real value. Under James the old system revived, but even the thrifty Elizabeth had not left the crown property as large as it was when Henry VIII. died, and the grants made by the Stuarts were few, in , at least.|
The enormous extent of the ecclesiastical estates in the suburbs, and their seizure by the crown, have proved circumstances of the happiest kind for us of the time of queen Victoria. It is to them we owe the parks. All these were at one time or another church or abbey land. In those parts of where the church lands remained to the church no parks were made. St. Paul's, in name at least, still holds St. Giles's and St. George's; Gray's Inn and Tottenham Court are prebendal manors, as are Camden Town and Somers Town, and other over-populous districts with changed names. They were not alienated by king Henry, but by their ecclesiastical owners.
Further west we have two manors in the parish of St. Marylebone, one of which belonged to the nuns of Barking, and the other to the knights of St. John. The next parish, Paddington, belonged to Westminster Abbey, and, having formed part of the endowment of the short-lived bishopric of , became, and still, in name, remains the property of the see of . Next we have Westbourne, still the property of Westminster Abbey. Further west again we come to , the estate of the abbot of Abingdon. Half the great manor of belonged to , and is still the property of the dean and chapter. Crossing the Thames we find a momentary break in this
|almost continuous ring of ecclesiastical land. Kennington was, and is, a crown manor, and annexed to the duchy of Cornwall, but Lambeth was the archbishop's, Walworth belonged to the cathedral church of Canterbury, and Bermondsey, on the south-east, to the abbey of St. Saviour, there established. Crossing the Thames again we find Stepney, the immense manor of the see of ; and so have completed a circuit, at a fairly uniform distance, of the ring of estates which at the present day are the site of the principal suburbs.|
The gradual alienation of their estates by the canons of St. Paul's forms the subject of a curious chapter in ecclesiastical history. The present nominal arrangement of the stalls seems to have come into force about the middle of the twelfth century. A meeting was held at St. Paul's in as to
 and apparently some manors which had been appropriated to the food of the canons were now divided into residential estates. There is a certain monotony in the subsequent history of these estates. They were leased away by the incumbents, who gradually ceased to have any interest in what is still nominally their property.
The Middlesex manors belonging to the prebends of St. Paul's are all to the north or north-west of the city. It may be worth while to trace the history of some of them, though it is often hardly possible to identify them, so changed are the modern names, so entirely are the original lords forgotten. The prebendal manor of Holywell, for example, which comprised the great district
|now covered by Finsbury, was, in , leased away by its incumbent to the mayor and commonalty of the city for the annual rent of twenty shillings. The corporation have had to surrender it to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, the lease having run out and died a natural death in . I do not know that the occupant of the stall now labelled " Finsbury" receives as much as his pound a year. Ealdstreet yields no income to its holder, though the manor, which evidently from its name was on the Roman road, may be identified with the parish of St. Leonard, Shoreditch. Old Street, St. Luke's, is probably called after the prebend. The Moor, at Moorgate, was a manor in the parish of St. Giles Cripplegate, as was Wenlakesbarn, or Wenlocksbarn. We must not suppose that these prebendal manors, though I have called them, for convenience, incumbencies, were in any sense parochial charges. They were merely, when they emerge upon the page of history, estates. It is possible that when they were first founded some spiritual charge was annexed to them: but in the twelfth century there is no trace of anything but the ownership of the land.|
These prebendal manors originally no doubt came up to the very walls of the city. But at a remote period, when land was not very valuable, and life insecure without special protection, a series of monasteries sprung up just outside the walls. St. Bartholomew, for instance, was built on waste ground, as we are told. But, waste or cultivated, the ground was stolen from a prebend, perhaps that of Holborn. There is a notice in the
Domesday Book, of a small holding near Newgate,
called This became part of the site
of the Charterhouse, and was anciently reckoned in the
parish of St. Sepulchre, which was partly within and
partly without the city boundary. The two modern
parishes of St. Bartholomew, the Great, and the Less,
were taken out of St. Sepulchre at the dissolution. But
the site of the Charterhouse became, and continues,
extra-parochial. Sir Walter Manny and bishop Northburgh united to found the Carthusian monastery, and its
church was consecrated by bishop Stratford, Northburgh's successor. Several small holdings were united,
and the names are interesting though it would be difficult to identify them. Pardon Churchyard was a burying
ground belonging to the knights of Clerkenwell. Spittle
Croft was a field belonging to the of St. Bartholomew. There was also Newchurch Haw, and further
north lay Hervye's Croft. In William Rendre,
citizen and barber, let to the monks for eighty years, at
the rent of a red rose, an acre of land which contained a
spring, and a map showing the sources of the water
supply of the house is still extant. Rendre's acre is
very minutely described: it was pastureland, and lay in
a field called near
in the parish of and was
bounded on the north and west by the pasture of the
Carthusians, on the south by that of the prior and
convent of St. Bartholomew, and on the east by the king's
highway leading |
The Carthusians were, perhaps, more cruelly treated
by Henry VIII. than any other monks. The number
of their houses in England was only nine, but they
claimed the credit of having numbered St. Hugh,
bishop of Lincoln, among their ranks. They preserved
to the last their reputation for consistent and Christian
life; and we find Sir living among
them for two years, in order to give himself up to
devotion and prayer. They strongly opposed the new
doctrine of the king's supremacy, and even their submission in was only followed by the arraignment
of prior Houghton for having spoken too freely on the
subject. Two of his monks were brought up with him,
and a form of trial was gone through. Their old friend
More saw them going to execution from his prison in the
Tower, and remarked on their cheerful demeanour. The
utmost barbarity then prescribed by the law was inflicted
on them, and Houghton's mangled body was set up over
the gate of his monastery. Three more of the monks
were similarly treated after a month's respite. Even
this second exhibition of severity left some of the brethren
unconvinced. Cromwell's visitor, Fylott, recommended
that it was |
of the monks, at least by so many as will not give up the pope and accept the king's supremacy. In a new prior was appointed to succeed Houghton, in reality that he might surrender the house to the king, and the oaths were offered to the remaining monks. Ten of their number absolutely refused. Their brethren surrendered and received pensions, but these ten were conveyed to Newgate, chained in an unwholesome dungeon, and so cruelly treated by Cromwell's agent, Thomas Bedyll, that in a few days half of them died. A letter from
Bedyll to his master is extant. It reveals a depth of
inhumanity unusual even under Henry VIII. |
which in this case meant misery and starvation purposely inflicted, and he adds a list of five who had died, of two who were
of two who were sick, and says,
One of the two sick men was eventually the sole survivor, and after lying for four years in prison he was hanged. A portion of Bedyll's letter is taken up with commendations of the prior who had surrendered the house; and especially says of him
Bedyll seems to have been a judge of charity. The other monks went to Bruges, and continued steadfast to their vows. On Mary's accession they returned, and at her death departed again, but Elizabeth evidently respected their consistent life, for she gave them a safe conduct.
The subsequent fate of the house was somewhat different from that of most of the monasteries. It became, indeed, for a time the palace of a series of noblemen. The duke of Norfolk whom Mary Stuart lured to his death made it his headquarters, and built several commodious chambers, and a tennis court. The solitary cells of the Carthusians were unfit for ordinary life, but it is remarkable that so much old work remains. The chapel is mainly as it was built, and the cloisters may be easily recognised. The duke's eldest son, the earl of Arundel, held " Howard House" till his attainder in , and it was afterwards granted to his brother the earl of Suffolk. In it was bought by Thomas Sutton, and made the central feature of the noble foundation with which he endowed his fellow-citizens. For reasons with which many people disagreed the Charterhouse
|school has lately been removed to Godalming, and one of Thomas Sutton's objects is thus defeated. The advantages of for schools are obvious. To mention one of them-there is no other place where boys are so healthy, and there is no place where intellectual life is so powerfully awakened. Leech and Thackeray were educated at the Charterhouse, and hundreds of other men who have done credit to our country. The company of merchant taylors, wiser than the governors of the Charterhouse, when their old school in Suffolk Lane, Dowgate, was destroyed by the Metropolitan Railway, took the discarded site of the Carthusians, and moved their scholars to it. It is difficult to say whether any of the old spirit was removed with the school to the Surrey hills, but the Merchant Taylors' School has naturally fallen heir to the greater part of it. The traditions of Addison and Wesley were too fragile to travel. Those of Thackeray are perhaps better preserved by the hospital than by the school, which he nicknames in some of his novels "the Slaughterhouse." There are about fifty pensioners, called "Poor Brethren" in the hospital, the maximum number allowed by the statutes being eighty. Many of them are military men, and Colonel Newcome has been identified with more than one.|
The Hospitallers of always kept up friendly relations with their more strictly monastic neighbours in the Charterhouse. There are many records of negotiations respecting the water supply, a question the importance of which in the middle ages cannot be overrated. The two priories of had been so long in possession that it is difficult now to
|say to what parish the land originally belonged. On the whole it may be assumed as probably correct that the whole modern parish of St. James, , was formerly in , as was part of the parish of St. John, the rest having been taken from St. Sepulchre's. For Clerkenwell as it is now constituted owes its existence entirely to the nunnery of St. Mary and the priory of St. John. Indeed an outlying estate of the nunnery at Muswell Hill used to be reckoned in the parish of St. James; and likewise the possessions of the knights in Hackney Marsh were claimed for St. John's.|
In the Domesday Book there is no mention of Clerkenwell; but the canons of St. Paul's, Geoffrey de Mandeville, Ralph the brother of Algar and Deorman, or Derman, of , hold all the lands in Islington. Deorman's estate has been identified as Highbury. Ralph held Tolentone, or Tollington. The estate of Mandeville came in two portions to the knights of St. John, and may now be identified with and with itself, except what was taken out of St. Sepulchre's. The estate of Deorman came eventually to the nunnery, and so the only lay family which continued for any time to hold land near was extinguished.
Both the nunnery and the house of the knights are usually said to have been founded by Jordan Briset in . With regard to the priory this may be true. With regard to the house of the Hospitallers it is almost certainly an error. The order of St. John was only instituted on the capture of Jerusalem in the previous
|year. Jordan placed the nunnery on fourteen acres of land close to what we know as Clerkenwell Green; and the priory grew and prospered rapidly, obtaining gifts of land both in the immediate neighbourhood and in other parts of England. The prioresses had many transactions as to their estates with their wealthy neighbours the knights; and when the house was suppressed their income was 262£. 19s. Their church stood where St. James's stands now, and was full of goodly monuments. It was granted to various private persons who let it to the people as a parish church, and at length in the parishioners purchased it and elected a " curate " to carry on the services. An act of parliament, passed in , placed things on a more legal footing, and a new church, which is very conspicuous, especially from the Fleet valley and Farringdon Street, was built. The living is now termed a vicarage, but the householders of the parish elect the vicar, as of old.|
The site of the nunnery and the adjacent lands were granted away by the crown very soon after the dissolution. They came at length to the Cavendish family, and their representative, the duke of Newcastle, resided in his house here in the reign of Charles II. Two or three streets still commemorate the name. The Clerken Well was long identified with a pump in Ray Street, formerly Rag Street. The fraternity of parish clerks are said to have resorted annually to this well to perform a miracle play, and the name of the place is commonly derived from the circumstance. Clerkenwell Close still indicates the place occupied by the domestic buildings of the Benedictine priory.
The modern church was consecrated in , and
stands as nearly as possible on the site of the nuns'
chapel. In the vaults are buried the ex-lord prior Weston,
who died of a broken heart, it was said, at the dissolution.
though the unusually large pension of £. a year had
been granted to him. The last prioress, Isabella Sackville, also lies here. In the churchyard, among other
eminent folk, rests Weever the antiquary. His grave
cannot now be identified. He died in . His epitaph
said of him-
It does not appear that the lines he wrote for his own epitaph were placed on his grave:-
The society of antiquaries sought in vain for Weever's tomb when the church was rebuilt. It was near the west end. The preface to his 'Funeral Monuments' is dated from his house in Clerkenwell Close.
Immediately south of the precincts of the Benedictine nuns we enter by the narrow Jerusalem Passage into the spacious St. John's Square, which was once the courtyard of the house of the knights of the Hospital. There is something unaccountable in the fact that the date of the foundation of the house is unknown. It is usually given as , and Jordan Briset is mentioned as the founder. We may safely reject both assertions. The confusion between the two priories of is illustrated by the contradictions as to the burial of Jordan and his wife Muriel. Sometimes they are said to have
been buried in St. John's, sometimes in St. James's; sometimes they are separated, and one is assigned to the
church of the knights and the other to that of the nuns.
The only fact which can be relied on is that the church
of the knights of St. John was consecrated in by
Heraclius, patriarch of Jerusalem, who was in England
at the time preaching a crusade. He had consecrated
the church of St. Mary for the Templars in the previous
month, and appears to have been exceedingly active in
obtaining recruits, though the councillors of king Henry,
greatly to the indignation of the patriarch, would not
allow him to leave England. Richard, his son, assumed
the cross. |
said the king to Heraclius, according to Fabian,
answered the patriarch,
In a very short time the priory of the knights of St. John became enormously wealthy. The lord prior was reckoned the premier baron of England. 's rebels burnt the house in , but it only rose more glorious from its ashes, the rebuilding going on till just before the dissolution, when , then lord prior, rebuilt the well-known southern gateway which still bears his shield of arms. He was succeeded by Weston, whose death and burial in the
|nuns' church, I have mentioned above. The revenues of the house were reckoned to amount to £. 12s. 8d. Queen Mary restored the knights to their ancient house, and Sir Thomas Tresham became the last lord prior. The house had been retained by the crown, and during the reigns of Henry VIII. and his successors it was sometimes used as a royal residence. But the church was half ruined by the protector Somerset to obtain materials for the great house he projected in the Strand: and in the beginning of king James's reign it belonged to lord Burghley, afterwards second earl of Exeter. In it was bought by Simon Michell, who repaired it, and, in , sold it to the Commissioners for Fifty New Churches, who made it a parish church, and in December of the same year it was formally consecrated, and is now a rectory in private patronage.|
There are few relics of antiquity apparent in the exterior of St. John's church. But the ancient crypt remains and is a most interesting example of mixed Norman and Early English architecture. It was formerly filled with coffins, but they have been removed to the side aisles and bricked in, and the central vaulting is to be seen without interruption.
Many eminent people have lived in St. John's Square since the dissolution, but it is now the headquarters of the clock and watch manufacture, and also largely occupied by printing houses. Burnet resided long in a house on the west side opposite the church. was born in the square, where his father was a distiller: but his house was pulled down in . The earls and marquises of Northampton have long been reckoned lords of the manor, and the site of their house, Northampton Square, lies to the north-east, near Goswell Street.
The Gate is famous as the residence of Edward Cave, who published here the first number of the 'Gentleman's Magazine,' in . There is a handsome chamber over the archway, and the whole of what remains of the old building has of late years been rescued from destruction and the desecration of a tavern, and put in good repair by a benevolent society of gentlemen, who call themselves the knights of St. John of Jerusalem, and claim to represent, it is difficult to understand on what grounds, the English branch of the order.
Near the southern end of St. John's Street, and close to the great meat market lately made for the convenience of by the public spirit of the corporation, is the site of Hicks Hall, a sessions house built in , for the use of the Middlesex magistrates, by Sir , afterwards lord Campden. The miles on the northern road were measured from Hicks Hall, which was a commodious but not very magnificent place of meeting, and a great improvement on the chance taverns in which the magistrates had previously been obliged to hold the sessions. The trial of the regicides took place here at the restoration of Charles II., and here also William, lord Russell, was condemned,
 Hicks Hall became very ruinous about the middle of the eighteenth century, and was pulled down in when a fine new building, still in use, was erected on Clerkenwell Green. The portrait of Sir Baptist was removed to the new house, as well as a chimney piece and some other relics.
The great prebendal manor of Islington has been
|frequently referred to in these notes on . A sketch of its history will not be out of place here, the more so as of late years it has become an integral part of the great is one of the largest parishes in Middlesex, being, says Lysons, three miles and one furlong in length, two miles and one furlong in breadth, and ten miles and a half in circumference, reaching from on the northwest to on the south-east and including both, as well as Upper and Lower Holloway, Canonbury, Highbury, Barnsbury, Stroud Green, and many other At the earliest period of which we have any account a comparatively small portion remained in the possession of the canons of St. Paul. Domesday Book mentions three separate estates belonging to them comprising in all eight hides, to only one of which is any special name given. This is Stanestaplc, which may be identified with that part of the parish known as Stapleton Hall, near Stroud Green. Another portion, from having been let to the Berners or Barnes family, became known as Barnsbury. Another part having it is supposed been leased to the Mounteney family, came to Jordan Briset with his wife, Muriel de Munteigni, or Mounteney, and was given to the priory of St. Mary at . Some other smaller holdings came to the knights of St. John, and in the end the church of St. Paul had very little of Islington left. Even Canonbury, which might be supposed prebendal, if anything, was the property of the prior of St. Bartholomew, having been given by Ralph de Berners before the middle of the thirteenth century. The prebendal manor, indeed, dwindled to very small dimensions before when it was ordered to be sold by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. It was situated on the east side of Lower Street.|
|landowner is called lord of the manor. The old manor house was pulled down in . It had been inhabited in the early part of the seventeenth century by Thomas Sutton, the munificent founder of the Charterhouse School and Hospital. The old church of St. Mary is a quaint gothic structure, not very successfully by the late Sir Charles Barry, in : but a new church has been erected near it, from the designs of Sir Gilbert Scott, the parishioners very wisely declining to have the old church pulled down, as has been done in so many other places near . It contains many curious monuments, including one to the memory of , whose widow married Thomas Sutton. Dudley belonged to the same family as the great duke of Northumberland, and a magnificent shield of quarterings is on his tomb. In the churchyard is the burial-place of Mrs. Barbauld and Dr. Aitkin and a curious monument of the Pickett family, one of whom, Elizabeth Pickett, in , was accidentally burnt to death at the early age of twenty-three by her clothes taking fire while she was ironing. Her epitaph contains a sensible warning :-"Reader, if you should ever witness such an afflicting scene, recollect that the only method to extinguish the flame, is to stifle it by an immediate covering." The parish remained rural till very lately, but is now occupied by the better class of villas, and presents a comparatively pleasant appearance from the number and size of well-planted open spaces, among them Abney Park Cemetery, which is called after the late lessees. Isaac Watts came to Stoke Newington as a guest of the Abneys and having lived with them. for many years, died here and lies buried in|
|the dissenters' burial ground at Bunhill Fields, but a statue in Abney Park represents him.|
West of the city were the manors of Portpool, on the north side of the Holborn road, and St. Andrew's on the south. The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn are owners if not lords of the manor of Portpool. St. Andrew's is cut up into small holdings, having in the time of Richard II. been the property of John, lord Strange of Knockyn, who had here
The parish church of St. Andrew's, , is very ancient. It is mentioned in a document which sets forth the boundaries of as early as . But it seldom afterwards figures in history. In it became ruinous, and a new building was erected by Wren, who, however, preserved what he could of the tower which shows some gothic arches. The interior is judiciously described by Cunningham as
 Dr. Sacheverell, who contrived to make himself so notorious in the reign of queen Anne, was incumbent of St. Andrew's, and lies buried in the chancel. The name of Chatterton is in the register, but he was buried in an outlying cemetery in Fetter Lane. Among the baptisms is that of Benjamin Disraeli.
The Holborn Viaduct has spoiled whatever there was to admire in St. Andrew's, which having stood half-way down the hill is now in a kind of pit: while, with very questionable taste, a dissenters' meeting-house has been built almost against it at the higher level. When age has worn the Viaduct and the so-called City Temple,
The local names which survive in Islington are very interesting. Highbury marks the site of the "castle" of Deorman and his descendants. One of his sons was prebendary of . Barnsbury similarly shows us where the Berners family lived, a family whose name still exists in the peerage. They held in Islington the half of one knight's fee from the bishop of "as of his castle of Stortford." The learned and literary lord Berners, who translated Froissart and Marcus Aurelius, sold his manor of "Bernersbury " to Sir Reginald Bray, in whose family it remained till lord Sandys sold it in to Robert Fowler, whose descendants in the female line possess it still. Canonbury, sometimes contracted into Canbury, is called after the canons, not of St. Paul's, but of St. Bartholomew's. It was surrendered to Henry VIII. in , and then belonged successively to Cromwell, to Northumberland, and to queen Mary's nurse, the wife of David Broke, a baron of the Exchequer. Eventually it came to the who also had Crosby Hall, and still belongs, or lately belonged, to his descendants, the Comptons, marquises of Northampton. The scene of lord Compton's elopement with Spencer's heiress is laid at Canonbury. He is said to have carried the fair Elizabeth away in a baker's basket. The wealth which came to him on the death of his father-in-law literally turned his head.
says a contemporary letter,
He recovered eventually, but not till he had for a time been
There is another curious letter extant in which lady Compton describes the kind of state with which her household was to be ordered, the number of gentlewomen, maidservants, laundresses, gentlemen, footmen, coaches and horses, she thought necessary to support her dignity, including 600£. a year for the performance of charitable works. The great lord Bacon rented Canonbury House in , and after him the lord keeper Coventry. A portion of the house, well-known as Canonbury Tower, is still standing.
Islington still contains some old houses and retains the names of " the upper street," and " the lower street," now written with capital letters and without the article. The church stands in Upper Street, and is dedicated, almost as a matter of course, to St. Mary. It was rebuilt in the eighteenth century and cannot be called beautiful, though its steeple is imitated from that of Bow Church in Cheapside. The patronage was long in the hands of the nuns of Bromley-by-Bow, and afterwards passed into the possession of a number of private persons, but is now vested in trustees. There are a few monuments of interest in the church including two brasses of the sixteenth century.
Stoke Newington is another of the prebendal manors north of . The parish is comparatively small, and very irregular in outline, some portions being completely detached. The prebendaries very early leased it away, and a very small income seems now to be attached to the stall in St. Paul's. In fact, a private
|they will perhaps form with St. Andrew's a strange and picturesque group. At present they are strange, indeed, in their juxtaposition, but are not otherwise attractive.|
Besides the prebendal manor, there was also a smaller estate, which requires something more than a passing mention. Ely Place still exists on the north side of , and in it the chapel for which William of Louth, bishop of Ely, in , made provision in his will. This is all that remains of a residence given to the see by John Kirkby, de Louth's predecessor, after a quarrel with the Templars as to the bishop's right to lodge in their house when he came to . The master of the Temple resented the intrusion of the bishop, who had, however, some legal claim, and in the end recovered damages for the refusal to admit him. Three centuries later a similar intrusion drove the bishop into a corner of his palace, and the case of Sir Christopher Hatton
and Bishop Cox is very like that of bishop Balsham and
the master of the Temple. Queen Elizabeth's famous
letter to the |
brought the bishop to reason, but even the romantic rent of twenty bushels of roses from " Hatton Garden " did not compensate him.
Ely Place, although it was the or town-house of the bishops, seems to have been always at the service of any one who wanted a large and commodious hall for entertainment or ceremony. Archbishop Arundel, while he held the see of Ely, did much to improve it, and Stow remembered to have seen his arms over a great
 This was the palace in which John of Gaunt spent the later years of his life. It was nine years after Arundel came to Ely that the rebels burnt the Savoy. The duke of Lancaster took refuge with his kinsman the bishop, and probably the house was large enough for both. Here, in the reign of Edward IV., the serjeants at law held their feast, when a curious contest for precedence occurred. Among the invited was Sir Matthew Philip, mayor of , a member of the goldsmiths' company, and distinguished by his military prowess, as he had been knighted on the field of battle during the wars of the Roses. Another of the guests was the lord treasurer, lord Grey de Ruthyn, who insisted on taking the first place, whereupon the mayor and aldermen left the feast and went back into the city,
mayor consoled his aldermen by a feast at his own
It may be a question whether the mayor had a right to sit above the lord treasurer, and whether Ely House lies within or without the city liberties. Possibly, as Stow hints, he considered it within them, but the police reckon it without at the present day. The gardens of Ely House must have been remarkably productive. In addition to bushels of roses we read of strawberries, and a famous passage in Shakespeare's Richard III.' is a quotation, more or less accurate, of an anecdote in Hollingshead :-
As an episcopal residence, Ely Place must have been rather an encumbrance to the see. To judge from the magnificence of the chapel, together with what we read of royal entertainments in the hall, of courts and cloisters and colonnades, it must have been one of the most magnificent private houses in . Perhaps it was to help in keeping it up that it was so often lent. We can easily believe that some of the bishops gave up the state apartments without leaving their own. Henry Ratcliffe, earl of Sussex, was staying here at the time of Henry VIII.'s death. Here was living in , and here the combination was formed against Somerset which led Dudley along the regular path of ambitious statesmen under the Tudors-to the protectorship, a dukedom, and the scaffold upon Tower Hill. At length this hospitality of the bishops was carried too far. Sir Christopher Hatton was not satisfied
|to take the house for a term. Bishop Cox died in , and the see was vacant for eighteen years, during which Sir Christopher got a firm hold, and bishop Heton in vain opposed the grant. There were too many examples all around of similar grants. Where were the manors of Portpoole, of Holborn itself, of Rugmere? Were they still in ecclesiastical hands? Why should this stately mansion be an exception? Besides, Sir Christopher was prepared to improve the property. The bishop was poor, and did not want so great a house; he might retain his lodgings by the chapel. The roofs were very extensive, the gardens were enormous, there was a constant outlay needed, and Sir Christopher was willing to spend his money freely. He soon ran up a debt to the queen which he could not pay. Queen Elizabeth's heartless demand for the money, her subsequent repentance, her strange visit to Ely Place, when Hatton lay sick and sorrowful, and, as it turned out, actually dying, are all duly recorded, with circumstantial minuteness, in many books: but we find Sir Christopher's nephew and heir here in the following reign ; and are told of the performance of a mystery play, the last in England, in the hall before Gondomar, the Spanish ambassador, the same ambassador who pursued Raleigh to his death.|
It was Gondomar who, with his bait of a Spanish marriage, sent prince Charles on his celebrated expedition. The party was carefully organised; the prince was to be royally attended. His spiritual as well as his bodily wants were to be provided for, and Dr. Maw, afterwards bishop of Bath, and Dr. Matthew Wren were designated to accompany him and guard him from the assaults of Popery. But Charles and Buckingham started by themselves, and the whole nation was
and his person endangered. The chaplains were speedily
despatched, but had James's subjects seen the instructions with which he furnished them they would not have
been so well satisfied of his safety from the ghostly
enemy. The chaplains were provided with vestments,
with ornaments and hangings for the altar, with altar
lights and Latin prayer books, and were directed to hold
frequent services and to order their behaviour |
; and the king added,
With a characteristic quotation James dismissed them, and they reached Madrid in safety, but the apartments assigned to the prince in the palace were not furnished with a chapel, and so there was
After Wren's return he received some preferment at once: but, though he continued in favour with the prince, he did not rise very high till the new reign commenced. Charles took him with him to Scotland when he went to be crowned at Scone, and soon afterwards made him dean of Windsor and registrar of the Garter. When went up higher his brother, Christopher, the father of the architect, succeeded him at Windsor; a happy event, as it turned out, since in the troublous times of the great civil war the new registrar buried the records of the illustrious order, and so preserved them for posterity when the jewels were lost. In became bishop of Hereford, and was soon after translated or promoted to Norwich and Ely successively. Bishop Heton had been succeeded by Lancelot Andrewes, Wren's old tutor, and he by three other bishops, none of whom had managed to oust the
|Hattons from Ely Place. Bishop White was deep in the lawsuit when he died. The same difficulty had delayed the proceedings in every case. The bishops were poor men. The Hattons had laid out money on the house. How were they to be repaid ? The new bishop was not a man to be deterred from what he considered his public duty by any hesitation as to his private purse. He brought his action into the Court of Requests, and produced the money. Lady Elizabeth Hatton, seeing now which way the decision must go, commenced to pull down the lead-work and to cut down the trees. Wren obtained an injunction against her. But the blood of the Nevils and Cecils was up. She had defied her husband and turned him out of doors, though he was a chief justice. A mere bishop was nothing to her. She disobeyed the injunction. But bishop Wren was not a man to be trifled with. Lady Elizabeth very speedily found herself actually arrested and committed to the Fleet. We should like to have particulars, but none have come down to us. Was she really incarcerated, or did a payment of fees and the observance of certain formalities suffice? We may be sure that whatever was the strictest course of the law was followed; and the reader might expect to hear immediately of the restoration of their old manor-house to the bishops, and the triumph of right over usurpation. But it was otherwise ordained. The bishop had offended the Parliament by proceedings of much greater public importance than the ejectment of lady  from Ely House. In July, , he was accused of setting up altar-rails, ordering the reading of the Book of Sports, turning out|
|nonconformist ministers, preaching in a surplice, and other "innovations," and very soon not lady Elizabeth but her opponent went to prison. Bishop Wren was sent to the Tower, and with a brief interval, in , he continued there till Ely Place had been almost destroyed, till lady was long dead, till Charles and Laud had been beheaded; in short, till all he most venerated and best loved had disappeared, including his own wife and the Church itself for which he suffered.|
In spite of his retrograde views on some subjects, Wren remains one of the most interesting figures in the long tragedy of the Great Rebellion. When release came at last, and the son of the king he had loved perhaps too well was restored to the throne, he quietly began again his episcopal work where he had left off twenty years before; and one of his first acts was to
of Ely House. Everything had changed except the stout-hearted bishop. It was hard for bishop Heton to contend against the chancellor, or for bishop White to contend against Sir , who had married lady Elizabeth, and become chief justice in . But the chief justice was dead: lady Elizabeth, who, in , had gone to prison rather than yield to his order of the court, and who enjoyed a brief triumph in the early days of the Rebellion, followed her husbands in .
During the Commonwealth the house was made first
|into a prison and then into a hospital for wounded soldiers and their families. It was connected a second time with the Savoy, when, in , just before the restoration, a sum of money was voted to both. But lord Hatton was at least nominally still in possession, and, when the bishop's bill came before the Court of Chancery, he was actually engaged in converting the noble garden into streets. Lady Elizabeth, before the Commonwealth and the imprisonment of bishop Wren, had commenced to dilapidate the house, and had cut down the fruit trees. The whole district, now densely populated, was first built over at this time; for Chancery proceedings were proverbially slow, and the bishop found little except the chapel and his own apartments intact. Even the gate-house was pulled down-though the gate still remains, or its successor-and, no doubt, those parts of the domestic buildings which had been occupied by the Hattons shared its fate, including the splendid hall, where John of Gaunt had feasted, where queen Elizabeth had danced, and where Gondomar had intrigued.|
Wren's temper may be judged by an anecdote recorded in Miss Phillimore's life of his more famous nephew. During the Commonwealth, and while , the bishop, was in the Tower, expecting the fate of Laud, young , the philosopher, became acquainted with . He was the husband of , the Protector's favourite daughter. Wren frequently dined with the Claypoles, and on one occasion met Oliver himself at their table.
said Cromwell to the young man,
the Protector. |
asked the nephew. Cromwell assented briefly, and Christopher hastened with the good news to the Tower. But the bishop would make no terms with
He refused to submit in any way to the
of the Protector, and remained in his prison till the arrival of Monk. Two days after the Parliament had voted £ for the maimed soldiers in Ely House and the Savoy, and for providing them with
the gates of the Tower were opened, and
which had lasted more than eighteen years. In the following February Evelyn went to service in the old chapel and records that
Ely House and the Savoy were once more associated in the conferences which led to the revision of the Book of Common Prayer, and in which bishop Wren took a prominent part. The general drift of his suggestions may easily be surmised, and many of them were adopted. The bishop survived to see the new book in general use. A tradition at the Savoy, of which Sheldon was then master, asserts that the revised Common Prayer was first read there; but St. Etheldreda's was not far behind, we may be sure. Bishop Wren constantly resided in the house, and there are numerous references to the chapel in contemporary memoirs. Three episcopal consecrations took place in it during bishop Wren's lifetime, one immediately after his death, and two more down to . records the marriage of his daughter
here to a Mr. Draper somewhat more quaintly than is
the wont in his diary; for he says he gave her a portion
of £4000, and |
" The one is evidently considered the complement of the other.
But before , with 4000£ and a blessing, became Mrs. Draper, a new bishop was in 's room. When he emerged from the Tower his first care had been to build a chapel at Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he had been a scholar under Lancelot Andrewes. In choosing the architect to carry out his work, bishop Wren's nepotism has conferred a benefit on posterity. 's first architectural work should have been respected even in this "restoring " age. But the lengthening of the chapel of Pembroke, so as to destroy Wren's proportions, and the stripping of the walls, are, after all, but small things in comparison with what the most ancient, but now, also, alas! the newest of Cambridge colleges, has undergone amid the boasted light and taste of our own day. The bishop of Ely appropriately consecrated his chapel in , on St. Matthew's Day. He was then seventy-nine, but had still two years' work left in him. He survived the plague, and witnessed the fire which was to afford his nephew such fame, and dying at last in his house in Holborn, in April, , his body was conveyed to Cambridge, and was buried in his new chapel there with great pomp. He had never been able to shake off the Hattons. They covered the garden with wretched buildings under his very eyes. The law moved very slowly in those days, the bishop had many things of greater importance on his hands, and the contest was one in which time and close attention were most required. The death of bishop Wren may be said to have
|settled the question, for though his successors protested they did little else.|
At length, in , an act was obtained, enabling the see to dispose of its claims and possessions. The remains of the house and the reserved grounds were conveyed to the crown for £6500 and an annuity of £200 to the Bishop of Ely; and Clarendon House, in Dover Street, Piccadilly, was bought for the see. It may easily be distinguished by its stone front and the mitre carved above the door, and is now one of the few official episcopal residences left in .
whose name was Cole, bought the site, and pulled away everything except the chapel. Ely Place, sacred now to lawyers and diamond merchants, was built, and the chapel was let, according to the custom of the day. At the beginning of the present century it was held on lease by a lady, the widow of a clergyman called Faulkner. She provided a weekly preacher, and made what she could out of the chapel. There is an amusing reference in Cowper's 'Task' to the way in which the services were carried on. It is evident that the clerk, probably the only permanent official, had an inordinate influence.
In the question arose, to which I have already referred, as to whether Ely Place was in St. Andrew's or not. In a trial before lord Mansfield about poor rates, the judge thus stated it to the jury:--
|found for Mr. Cole, and, though poor rates were soon after enforced, the latest maps leave Ely Place and Hatton Garden outside the city boundaries.|
In the tenancy of Mrs. Britannia Faulkner expired, and a new lease of the chapel was granted to a Mr.Wilcox, but, in 8 5, the representatives of the National Society for the Education of the Poor, then in its infancy, made it their headquarters, and Mr. Coleridge, afterwards bishop of Barbadoes, became chaplain. When the society removed to the chapel was closed, after a brief struggle for existence. In it was assigned to a Welsh congregation, which dwindled and flickered for thirty years before it was finally extinguished. In a committee of eminent Roman Catholics set churchmen an example and put them to the blush by buying it and by laying out a considerable sum in what cannot be considered an injudicious attempt at restoration. Many features of interest were of course lost, but, except for a certain tawdriness which seems inseparable from a Romanist chapel, the general effect is good, and by no means devoid of the appearance of age. The ten side windows are very large and handsome, but the stained glass with which some of them and the large east window are filled leaves much to be desired, and some modern statues on the ancient brackets look strangely out of place. The crypt, long desecrated as a wine vault, has been cleared and converted into a chapel, or series of chapels and confessionals. The curious row of pillars-all rebuilt-down the centre and the still more curious timber-work they support are well worth seeing.
The densely-populated district still retains some names
|which remind us of the long preservation of its rural character. Saffron Hill is one of the streets on the site of the garden, which, as it lay behind the house, cannot have been wholly in the place occupied by the present street called Hatton Garden. To judge by Faithorne's view or map, Kirby Street would appear to be, so to speak, the middle walk of the garden. Field Lane outside led down to the Fleet.|
It is a question whether the little manor of the bishops of Ely lay within the manor of Holborn or that of Portpool. Both were within the original parish of St. Andrew, and it seems likely that the highway, as in other cases, formed the later boundary. The manor of Portpool very early lost its prebendal character. In there was a controversy between the monastery of St. Bartholomew's, Smithfield, and Roger Orset, who had the stall of Portpool, and was precentor of St. Paul's. They claimed a piece of land which he alleged, and proved, to be in his manor. It is called in the record by the puzzling name of Alfrichebun, which may be in modern language All-freshburn, and refer to one of the numerous little streams which ran into the Fleet. Sixty-three years later Portpool is spoken of as the property of the Greys, one of whom, Reginald, let it or part of it for a " hospitium " or inn, early in the reign of Edward III. Gray's Inn has ever since been on the same site. This Grey or Gray family seems to have been that of Wilton. In the reign of Henry VII. they conveyed the manor of Portpool to the fellows and students of the honourable society.
At the western extremity of the old parish is the modern district of St. George the Martyr, Queen Square.
It is sometimes, but very erroneously, described as in
Bloomsbury; and reckoned a chapel of ease to St.
George's in Hart Street. But it is a rectory taken out
of St. Andrew's, Holborn, and is in a different manor
and parish altogether. It contains some interesting
relics of old architecture, dear especially to the lovers of
the so-called style. In the writer
of a 'Survey of ' observes that |
A hundred and fifty years have transformed it into one of the older relics of western ; and the antiquary may often be met prowling about the street corners and peering into the archways to find wrought- iron railings, bold brick cornices, shell-shaped doorways, pedimented windows, and all the other signs of the kind of building in fashion while Wren was yet alive. Queen Square was left open on the north side, it is said, in order that the inhabitants might enjoy the view of the Hampstead heights, and the open country between. Red Lion Square, which is also in this parish, is called from its having been the paddock of an inn, the Red Lion, still commemorated in a neighbouring signboard. At the Blue Boar, where now the Inns of Court Hotel has risen on the south side of the street, which is nearly opposite, is said to have discovered, sewed up in a saddle, the documents compromising Charles I., which were used to bring him to the scaffold; and at the Red Lion the body of the same Oliver was deposited in its cerecloth the night before it was dragged to Tyburn to undergo the pitiful spite of the triumphant Royalists. The story has been frequently repeated that the body never got further from Holborn than the Red Lion Paddock, and a large and handsome obelisk in the centre of the square
says Malcolm. But Mr. Dillingham's suggestion does not in itself refute the tradition which certainly obtained at one time considerable credit.
Among the newer buildings in the district should be mentioned the very handsome church in Red Lion Square, built through the exertions of a private clergyman, Mr. Webber; and the very conspicuous but hideous Hospital for Children, near Great Ormond Street: an institution whose excellence as a charity is no excuse for the remarkable and disfiguring ugliness which makes its presence a misfortune to the neighbourhood. With the admirable examples of a simple and picturesque style with which the whole parish of St. George abounds before his eyes, the architect of the hospital has achieved a feat very similar to that which has placed St. Thomas's Hospital opposite the Houses of Parliament and beside Lambeth Palace.
Great Ormond Street is dated by its name. In the reign of George II. it was pronounced
on account of its north side looking upon the open fields. Lamb, the charitable individual, who, in , conducted water in a leaden pipe from these fields to Snow Hill, has left his name in Lamb's Conduit Street. Theobald's Road and Kingsgate Street recall the frequent journeys of James I. to his hunting seat in Hertfordshire and the race course at Newmarket. Powis Place in Great Ormond Street is on the site of a house built by William Herbert, marquis of Powis, the head of an eminent Jacobite family. It was the centre of intrigues for the restoration of the
Stuarts during the reigns of William and Anne. In
it was burnt while in the occupation of the French
ambassador. In the popular belief he was engaged in
making the arrangements to be carried out on the demise
of the queen, which, in fact, occurred that same year. The
historian may reckon the fire at Powis House among the
political causes of the time. Louis XIV. magnificently
rebuilt the house, as his dignity |
There is not much of this kind of dignity left in the world now. Powis House was pulled down a hundred years ago. The site is a perfect nest of hospitals-the Homoeopathic standing also where, in No. 50, Great Ormond Street, the Macaulay family long resided, of which there is a touching reminiscence recorded in the great historian's diary. In August , he writes:
 For a list of the prebendal manors, see Appendix E.
 'Newcourt, Repertorium,' i. 173. Oddly enough he spells cervisio as servicio; but the meaning is plain.
 They are Eald street, Holborn, Holywell, Cantlers, Mora, St. Pancras, Portpool, Ruggemere, Tottenhall, Wenlakesbarn, Newington, Willesden, Brondesbury, Brownswood, Chamberlainwood, Harlesden, Mapesbury, Neasdon, Oxgate, and Twyford.
 Robert de Baldok. The lease, which has been renewed from time to time, will expire in the year 1867, says Mr. Aungier, 'French Chron.' (Cam. Soc.), p. 53.
 See account of the foundation, vol. i. chap. iv.
 Vol. i. chap. viii. There is a full and careful account of the foundation by Archdeacon Hale in the ' Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society,' iii. 309.
 In the Charterhouse. See Mr. Hale's paper, as above.
 1504 and 1595: see Sebohm's ' Oxford Reformers,' p. 146.
 'Chronicles of the Charterhouse,' p. 26.
 See views of the old building in Mr. J. J. Stevenson's 'House Architecture,' i. 319.
 Almost everything bearing on the question is printed by Mr. Tomlins in his 'Perambulation of Islington.' His conclusions seem sometimes incorrect, but as he gives all his proofs in full it is easy for the reader to reason for himself. O that there were more like him !
 See vol. i. page 86.
 Malcolm, iii. 202.
 The pump is figured in Wilkinson, ii. 131.
 The register of St. John claimed them both (Malcome, iii. 201). Weever and Stow agree that they were buried in the chapterhouse of the nuns. Dugdale separates them. See Newcourt, i. 657.
 The well-known volume edited by Mr. Larking for the Camden Society gives an account of their possessions in England.
 In the 'Roll of Arms of the Peers' in 1515, printed by Willement, the lord off Saint John's, lord Thomas Docwra, comes immediately after the junior earl.
 See chap. xxi. under Kensington.
 Macaulay, chap. ii.
 There is a very full and well illustrated account of Clerkenwell as it now is in 'Old and New London,' vol. ii., by the late Mr. Thornbury.
 Mr. Tomlins's ' Perambulation' is the best of several histories of Islington.
 Johnson's 'History of Stoke Newington,' p. 176.
 ' Lond. and Midd. Archaeo. Transactions,' i. 124. It is a pity that this society has not printed more documents like the " Grant of the Manor of Holborn."
 See above, chapter xvi. Chapter xvii.
 He is called on the titlepage of his ' Golden Boke,' John Bourchier, Knyghte Lord Barners.
 The Brokes are omitted in Nichols's 'History of Canonbury,' published in 1788. Mr. Tomlins adds many particulars I have found in no other books.
 Nichols, p. 21.
 A coloured map of Newington is in Johnson's' History and Antiquities of the Parish,' published in 1820.
 Miss Phillimore says, in her life of ' Sir Christopher Wren,' that Ely House was an ancient possession of the see, the gift of William de Ludd, who in the reign of Edward I. gave the house and endowed it with his manor of Ouldbourne, a name which soon grew into Holbourn," p. 118. As the authority for this statement, ' Newcourt,' ii. 273, is cited; but this page contains the conclusion of an account of Foulness in Essex. As, however, I have great faith in Newcourt, I looked in his account of St. Andrew's Holborn, where I found some justification for Miss Phillimore's curious statement :- Ely House, belonging to the Bishops of Ely, and given to them by William de Luda, Bishop of that see, in the reign of Edward I., by the name of his Mannor of Ouldbourne, with the appurtenances. For this information Newcourt refers to Stow. I have also great faith in Stow, while I could hardly believe Newcourt to have misquoted him; but on turning to his account of Holborn, or Oldborne, as he prefers to call it, I find the innocent cause of all this tissue of errors :- William de Luda, Bishop of Elye, deceased 1297, gave this house by the name of his manor, with the appurtenances, in Oldborne, &c. &c. The manor of William and the appurtenances of the manor in Holborn is a somewhat different thing from the house, endowed with his manor of Ouldbourne, of which Miss Phillimore writes. I must apologise for making so large a note on so small a matter, but this is a typical example of the way in which London history is too often compiled.
 The authenticity of this letter is doubtful.
 The gate and the garden are clearly seen in Newcourt and Faithorne's 'Delineation of London and Westminster,' recently reprinted.
 They descended in the same degree from Henry III., and John of Gaunt's first duchess was Arundel's first cousin.
 The story is told at some length by Stow, p. 144, together with details of other feasts here.
 The story is in all the hooks, but best in Malcolm's 'Londinium Redivivum.'
 Miss Phillimore's ' Wren,' p. 8.
 She seems never to have assumed her second husband's name. He was not a knight when she married him. Most writers who mention her call her simply lady Hatton.
 She was the daughter of the earl of Exeter. Her pride, quarrelsome temper, and marriages, are the subject of many pleasant passages in the memoirs of the time: most of them may be found summarised in Thornbury's 'Old and New London,' vol. ii.
 Stubbs, 'Episcopal Succession.' The dates are 1661, 1662, 1662, 1668, 1675, 1731.
 Quoted in a volume by an anonymous author, 'A Notice of Ely Chapel, Holborn,' published by Parker in 1840, in which a good deal of original information may be found.
 See Collingridge's ' City of London Directory,' 1882.
 The chapel is 91 feet long and 39 feet wide.
 Was Kirby Street called after Bishop Kirkby ?
 A history of this little parish has recently been compiled by Mr. J. Lewis Miller.
 Vol. ii. 306.
 See Miller's ' Church and Parish of St. George the Martyr, Holborn.' for further particulars. A view of the house is in 'Vitruvius Britannicus.'