Walks in London, vol. IHare, Augustus J. C.
Chapter II: The Inns of Court.
Chapter II: The Inns of Court.
Just within we may turn aside into the repose of the of the Inns of Court (Middle Temple, Inner Temple, , and ), which Ben Jonson calls
Here, beside the bustle of , yet utterly removed from it, are the groups of ancient buildings described by Spenser :--
The earliest residence of the Knights Templar was in , but they removed hither in . After their suppression in Edward I. gave the property to Aymer de Valence. At his death it passed into the hands of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, but was leased to the Inns of Court, so called because their inhabitants, who were students of the law, belonged to
It is interesting to notice how many of the peculiar terms used by the Templars seem to have descended with the
| place to their legal successors. Thus the serjeants-at-law represent the -- of the Templars; and the title of Knight reappears in that of the Judges. The waiters were, and are still, called panniers, from the , bread-bearers, of the Templars; and the scullions are still called wash-pots. The register of the Temple is full of such entries as |
Before the Temple was leased by the lawyers, the laws were taught in hostels--, of which there were a great number in the metropolis, especially in the neighbourhood of , but afterwards the Inns of Court and Chancery increased in prosperity till they formed what Stow describes as
The name of was continued in that of . Butler, playing on the latter, speaks of
The prosperity of the lawyers, however, was not without its reverses, and such was their unpopularity at the time of Jack Cade's rebellion that they were chosen as his victims. Thus, in Shakespeare's . (Pt. I. Act iv. sc. a), Dick, the Butcher of Ashford, is introduced as saying,
to which Cade replies,
And in scene Cade
| says, |
In the end, Jack Cade really did the lawyers no harm, but their houses were pulled down in the invasion of Wat Tyler, and their books burnt in . Nevertheless the Inns of the Temple continued to increase in importance till the reign of Mary I., when the young lawyers had become such notorious fops that it was actually necessary to pass an Act of Parliament to restrain them. Henceforth they were not to wear beards of more than weeks' growth upon pain of a fine of ; and they must restrain their passion for Spanish cloaks, swords, bucklers, rapiers, gowns, hats, or daggers at their girdles. Only Knights and Benchers might luxuriate in doublets or hose of bright colours, except scarlet or crimson; and they were forbidden to wear velvet caps, scarf-wings to their gowns, white jerkins, buskins, velvet shoes, double shirt-cuffs, or feathers and ribbons in their caps.
The Temple was not finally conferred upon the lawyers till the time of James I., who declared in of his speeches in the Star Chamber that
The division into Halls dates from the time of Henry VI., when the number of students who frequented the Temple made it necessary, and the Halls have ever since maintained a distinct individuality. Though their gateways rise almost side by side on the right of , and their courts and passages join, the utmost distinction exists in the minds of the inmates.
Before any student can be admitted to either of the
| Societies of the Inns of Court, he must obtain the certificate of barristers, and in the case of the Middle Temple that of a bencher, to show he is |
On his admission, he has the use of the library, may claim a seat in the church or chapel of the Inn, and can have his name set down for chambers. He must then keep , by dining in hall for terms, of which there are in each year. Before keeping terms, he must also deposit with the treasurer, to be returned, without interest, when he is called to the Bar.
No student can be till he. is of years' standing, and years of age: after he is called, he becomes . The call is made by the , the governing body of seniors, chosen for their
Lectures are given at each of the Inns, which are open to all its students; examinations take place and scholarships are awarded: but a man may be called to the Bar who has not attended lectures or passed examinations, though by dining in hall is an indispensable qualification.
A dull red-brick , by Wren (), forms the entrance to . The site was formerly occupied by a gate decorated with the arms of Cardinal Wolsey, which was erected by Sir Amias Paulet while he was the cardinal's prisoner in the other Temple Gate-house, in the hope of appeasing his displeasure.
The belonging to the was once surmounted by gables and annexed to very picturesque buildings of great extent. Only a fragment of the ornamental portion remains, adorned with the feathers of Henry, Prince of Wales. A hairdresser of lively imagination has set up an inscription declaring it to have been the palace of Henry VIII. and Cardinal Wolsey, but it was really built in the time of James I., when it was the office for the Duchy of Cornwall. Afterwards it became
a coffee-house, where the foundation of Lord Thurlow's fortunes was laid. Some lawyers overheard him here arguing cleverly about some famous cause, and the next day he received his important brief. The sides of this gate are adorned with the arms of the Inner Temple, as that of the Middle Temple is with the lamb bearing the banner of Innocence and the red cross, which was the original badge of the Templars. Here the shields bear a horse, now representing Pegasus, with the motto,
but when this emblem was originally chosen it was a horse with men upon it, the men on horse being intended to indicate the poverty of the Templars. The men gradually became worn from the shield, and when it was restored they were
| mistaken for wings; hence the winged horse. A wit once wrote here:--
But very soon another inscription appeared from another witty hand:--
»Tis the showy horse, and they The that will ride you.
It was at No. I on the right of the (now rebuilt as Johnson's Buildings) that Dr. Johnson lived from to . Boswell describes his visit to him there.
By we reach the only existing relic of the residence of the Knights Templars in these courts, their magnificent (), which fortunately just escaped the Great Fire in which most of the Inner Temple perished. The church was restored in - at an expense of , but it has been ill-done, and with great disregard of the historic memorials it contained.
It is entered by a grand Norman arch under the western porch, which will remind those who have travelled in France of the glorious door of Loches. This opens upon the Round Church of ( feet in diameter), built in recollection of the Round Church of the Holy Sepulchre, of the only- remaining round churches in England; the others being at Cambridge, Northampton, and Maplestead in Essex. Hence, between graceful groups of Purbeck marble columns, we look into the later church of ; these churches, built only at a distance of years from each other, forming of the most interesting examples we possess of the transition from Norman to Early English architecture. The Round Church is surrounded by an arcade of narrow Early English arches, separated by a series of heads, which are chiefly restorations. On the pavement lie groups of restored effigies of
of the Temple (not Knights Templar), carved in freestone, being probably the
mentioned by Stow in . They cannot be identified with any certainty, but are supposed to be-
On the right of the choir, near a handsome marble piscina, is the effigy of a bishop, usually shown as that of Heraclius, Patriarch of Jerusalem, by whom the church was consecrated, but he left England in a fury, after Henry II. refused to perform his vow of joining the Crusades in person, to atone for the murder of Becket. The figure more probably represents Silverston de Eversdon, Bishop of Carlisle, . In the vestry are monuments to Lords Eldon and Stowell, and that of Lord Thurlow () by
The organ, by Father Smydt or Smith, is famous from the long competition it underwent with by Harris. Both were temporarily erected in the church. Blow and Purcell were employed to perform on that of Smith; Battista Draghi, organist to Queen Catherine, on that of Harris. Immense audiences came to listen, but though the contest lasted a year, they could arrive at no decision. Finally, it was left to Judge Jefferies of the Inner Temple, who was a great musician, and who chose that of Smith.
By the side of a paved walk leading along the north side of the church to the , is the simple monument of Oliver Goldsmith, who died . It is only inscribed,
The preacher at the Temple is called
though he has no authority whatever, and can do nothing without permission from the Benchers. The
Hooker held the mastership and began to write his here.
and whence he wrote to Archbishop Whitgift,
Hooker's chair and table remain in the Master's House, which was built for William Sherlock, Dean of , and Master of the Temple. His successor was Dr. Thomas Sherlock, who held the mastership with the successive bishoprics of Bangor, Salisbury, and London. His residence here in , when the sees of Canterbury and London became vacant at the same time, occasioned the epigram-
and he was made Bishop of London.
In the registers of the Temple, kept in the Master's House, perhaps the most interesting of many remarkable records is that which attests the marriage--the surreptitious marriage--of Mr. Sidney Godolphin with Margaret Blagg, the lady whose lovely and lovable life was portrayed by Evelyn and published by Wilberforce: The entry is not entered on the regular page, but pinned in afterwards, apparently when the event was made public, the lady having been previously provided with her
The labyrinthine courts of the Temple are all replete with quaint associations. The Inner Temple is the least so. Most of it was destroyed by the great fire of , which even
of the Temple Church, and what remained perished in the fire of , when the Thames and the pumps were frozen so hard that no water could be obtained, and all the barrels of ale in the Temple cellars were used to feed the fire-engines. The old of James I.'s time (where the last revel of the Inns of Court took place in when Mr. Talbot was made Lord Chancellor) was replaced in by a handsome perpendicular gothic hall from designs of
, , No. .
is so called from Nicholas Hare (), Master of the Rolls in the time of Mary I. was the birthplace of Charles Lamb, who afterwards lived in , , whence he wrote,
In Lamb moved again-
It was in that William Murray, afterwards Earl of Mansfield, had chambers (No. ), and here that he was visited as client by Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, who came late in the evening, and was disgusted at finding him gone out to a supper party.
said the servant, reporting her visit,
In , on this side of the Temple, old Mrs. Duncomb with her companion Elizabeth Harrison and her maid Anne Price, were murdered in by Sarah Malcolm, a washerwoman of the Temple, who having, after her execution in (opposite ) been buried against all rules in St. Sepulchre's churchyard, was dug up again, and is now exhibited as a skeleton at the Botanic Garden at Cambridge. She was extremely handsome, and, days before her execution, she dressed up in scarlet and sate to Hogarth for her portrait.--Immediately above Tanfield Court, adjoining what is now the Master's Garden, stood the old refectory of the knights, only pulled down within the last few years.
Turning to the Middle Temple, it will be interesting to remember that Chaucer was of its students in the reign of Edward III., and, while here, gave a sound thrashing to a Franciscan friar who insulted him in . On
| the floor of No. . , lived the learned Blackstone, and here in his after bidding a fond adieu to the woods and streams of his youth he wrote-
Here the great lawyer was soon immersed in writing the volume of his famous Commentaries; but in his calculation of the trials of legal life, there was which he had not foreseen. Oliver Goldsmith had taken the rooms above him, and sorely was he disturbed by the roaring comic songs in which the author of was wont to indulge, and by the frantic games of blind-man's-buff which preceded his supper-parties, and the dancing which followed them.[n.72.1] Here Sir Joshua Reynolds, coming in suddenly, found the poet engaged in furiously kicking round the room a parcel containing a masquerade dress which he had ordered and had no money to pay for; and here, on , poor Goldsmith died, from taking too many James's powders, when he had been forbidden to do so by his doctor-died, dreadfully in debt, though attended to the grave by numbers of the poor in the neighbourhood, to whom he had never failed in kindness and charity-
The pleasantest part of the Middle Temple is the , with its little fountain, low enough now, but which, Sir Christopher Hatton says, sprang
in his time. It is commemorated in a poem of L. E. L. (Miss Landon), with the lines-
Charles Dickens has left a pretty description of Ruth Pinch going to meet her lover in this court-
and how, when John Westlock came at last-
In this court is the , an admirable Elizabethan building (of ) with a screen, which is very handsome, though it is not, as is often said, made from the spoils of the Spanish Armada, being years earlier in date. The order of the military monks is preserved here during dinner, the Benchers on the dais representing the knights, the Barristers the priors or brethren, the Students the novices. The old Cow's Horn is preserved, by the blowing of which the Benchers used to be summoned to dinner. It is a fact worth notice as showing the habits of these Benchers in former days, that when the floor of the Middle Temple Hall was taken up in , no less than a pair of (very small) dice were found beneath it, having slipped through between the ill-adjusted boards. In the time of Elizabeth the Benchers were so quarrelsome a body that an edict was passed that no should come into hall with other weapons than a sword or a dagger! The feasts of Christmas, Halloween, Candlemas, and Ascension were formerly kept here with great splendour, a regular Master of the Revels being elected, and the Lord Chancellor, Judges, and Benchers opening the sports by dancing solemnly times around the sea-coal fire.
This dance called forth many satires-especially from Buckingham in his play of , from Prior in his , and Dr. Donne in his . In Pope's we find-
In this Hall Shakspeare's , was performed soon after its production, ; and it is probably the only remaining building in which of his plays was seen by his contemporaries. Sir John Davys was expelled the Society for thrashing his friend Mr. Richard Martin (the Bencher to whom Ben Jonson dedicated his ) in this hall during dinner.
comes from the custom of proposing difficult points of law for discussion during dinner, which was formerly observed in the halls of the Inns of Court.
Near the Hall is the erected by . Its garden has a tree-Catalpa Syringifolia-said to have been planted by Sir Matthew Hale.
Sun-Dials in the Temple have mottoes. That in ,
that in ,
that in ,
is the place where Shakspeare makes the partisans of the Houses of York and Lancaster choose a red and white rose as their respective badges.
There are charming views of the river--the busy silent highway, from the gardens, though on Lord Mayor's Day you can no longer
No roses will live now in the smoke-laden air, but the gardens are still famous for their autumnal show of Chrysanthemums, the especial flowers of the Temple. Near a dial given by
are the remains of a sycamore of Shakspeare's days
Opposite the Temple, occupying a space of acres, in the clearance of which as many as wretched
|courts and alleys were removed, the are rising, with a front feet in length towards and . They are built in the Decorated style from designs of ., with the view of uniting all the principal Law Courts (hitherto divided between and ) upon site, and they promise to form of the handsomest piles of building in London.|
A little farther down is the entrance of , a long winding street where the great Lord Strafford was born () and where Izaak.Walton,
lived as a London linen-draper (-). Pope says-
and its surrounding streets have a peculiar legal traffic of their own, and abound in wig makers, strongbox makers, and law stationers and booksellers. In former times when the Inns of Court were more like colleges at Oxford and Cambridge, and when the students which belonged to them lived together within their walls, dined together, and shared the same exercises and amusements, the Inns of Court always had Inns of Chancery annexed to them. These were houses where the younger students underwent a course of preparation for the greater freedom of the colleges of the Inns of Court, to which, says Jeaffreson, in his they bore much the same position as Eton bears towards at Cambridge, or Winchester to New College at Oxford. Now the Inns of Chancery are comparative
|solitudes: readers of Dickens will recollect the vivid descriptions of Symond's Inn in|
On the right of , behind St. Dunstan's Church, are the dark brick courts of , originally intended only for judges and the serjeants-at-law who derive their name from the of the Knights Templars. The serjeants still address each other as brothers. The degree of Serjeant is the highest attainable in the faculty of law, and indispensable for a seat on the judicial bench. The buildings were sold in , and the little Hall ( ft. by ) and Chapel ( ft. by )-both with richly stained windows--will probably ere long be pulled down.
The courts of join those of the earliest foundation of those Inns of Chancery which we have been describing, (entered from ), which is so called because the land on which it stands was devised in the reign of Edward II. () to
It was in the hall of that Sir Matthew Hale and other judges sate after the Great Fire to adjudicate upon the perplexed claims of landlords and tenants in the destroyed houses--a task which they accomplished so much to the satisfaction of every concerned that their portraits are all preserved in in honour of patient justice.
Farther down , on the same side, is an old dingy courtyard containing the and The latter was originally built in the time of Henry III., but rebuilt by Inigo Jones in , when Dr. Donne preached the consecration sermon. Bishop Atterbury and Bishop Butler were Preachers at the Rolls, and also Bishop Burnet, who was dismissed on account of the offence given
| to King and Court, by his preaching a sermon here on the text, |
It is little known that within the walls of this ugly chapel is of the noblest pieces of sculpture which England possesses, a tomb which may be compared for beauty with the famous monuments of Francesco Albergati at Bologna,
| and of Bernardo Guigni in the Badia at Florence. The visitor will at once be struck by the contrast of the tomb of Dr. John Young, Master of the Rolls in the time of Henry VIII., with the usual types of English monuments. The aged Master reposes in the most sublime serenity of death upon a sarcophagus, shaped like a Florentine |
within a circular arch, on the back of which the
| half figure of the Saviour rises in low relief between cherubim. In the panel of the pedestal beneath is the inscription and the date MDXVI. The whole is the work of the immortal , who was the sculptor of Henry VII.'s tomb, and words would fail to give an idea of the infinite repose which he has here given to the venerable features of the dead. Another stately monument on the same side of--the chapel commemorates Lord Bruce of Kinloss (), who was sent to open a secret correspondence with Cecil, under the pretence of congratulating Elizabeth on the failure of the revolt under Lord Essex, and who was afterwards rewarded by James I. with the Mastership of the Rolls. In front kneel his children. The eldest son, in armour, was the Lord Bruce of Kinloss who was killed in a duel with Sir Edward Sackville. On the opposite side of the altar is the tomb of Sir Richard Allington, of Horseheath (): he kneels with his wife at an altar on which their daughters are represented. Amongst other Masters buried here are Sir John Strange, of whom Pennant gives the gunning epitaph-
and Sir John Trevor, Speaker of the , who was compelled to pronounce his own conviction and dismissal for bribery. On the windows are the arms of Sir Harbottle Grimston (-), Master of the Rolls.
, the name of a wretched court on the left of , still commemorates the town-house of the Bishops of Chic Hester, built in by Bishop Ralph Nevill, Chancellor in the time of Henry III.
On the left of the lane is the noble brick of , bearing the date , and adorned with the arms of Sir Thomas Lovell, by whom it was built in the
|reign of Henry VIII. It is ornamented by inlaid brickwork of different colours, in the style of , and is the only example remaining in London, except the gate of St. James's. Stretching along the front of the Inn, on the interior, are a number of curious towers and gables with pointed doorways and Tudor windows, forming, with the chapel opposite upon its raised arches, of the most picturesque architectural groups in London. It is upon this|
| gateway that Fuller describes Ben Jonson as working with his Horace in hand, and a trowel in the other, when |
But the generation which can delight in the Albert Hall and the Albert Memorial has no admiration to spare for these grand relics of architects who knew their business, and, unless opinion speedily interferes to protect it, the gateway of will share the fate of , the Burlington Portico, and the Tabard, for it is doomed to be pulled down!
The name came from Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, . , whose town-house once occupied its site. Its courtyards have a greater look of antiquity than those of the Temple. On the left of the ground-floor, at No. in the
were the rooms of Oliver Cromwell's secretary Thurloe from to , where his correspondence was discovered behind a false ceiling. There is a tradition that the Protector came thither day to discuss with Thurloe the plot of Sir Richard Willis for seizing the persons of the princes, sons of Charles I. Having disclosed his plans, he discovered Thurloe's clerk apparently asleep upon his desk. Fearing treason, he would have killed him on the spot, but Thurloe prevented him, and after passing a dagger repeatedly over his unflinching countenance he was satisfied that the clerk was really asleep. He was not asleep, however, and had heard everything, and found means to warn the princes.
of the old gables have sun-dials with the mottoes-
The Perpendicular Chapel, at the right of the entrance, was built from designs of Inigo Jones, and is raised upon arches, which form a kind of crypt, open at the sides, where Pepys went
The stained windows are remarkably good; they represent different saints, and it is not to be wondered at that Archbishop Laud thought it odd that so much
|abuse should be raised against his windows at , while these passed unnoticed, yet would not speak of it lest he should |
The chapel bell was taken by the Earl of Essex, at Cadiz, in . William Prynne, the Puritan, was buried here. Dr. Donne, Usher, Tillotson, Warburton, and Heber were preachers of .
|In the porch is a monument to Spencer Perceval (murdered ), Attorney-General and Treasurer of .|
Crossing end of the old-fashioned brick square of , we reach a handsome group of brick buildings by , -, comprising the and the In the former are a great fresco by (-), representing
picture of Paul before Felix, and a fine statue of Lord Eldon by . The latter contains a valuable collection of manuscripts, chiefly bequeathed by Sir Matthew Hale. of the curious customs, preserved till lately at , was that a servant went to the outer hall door and shouted times
at o'clock, when there was nothing on the table.
mentioned by Ben Jonson have perished; but ,
as Dickens calls it, is still the largest and shadiest square in London, and was laid out by Inigo Jones. Its dimensions have been erroneously stated to be the same as those of the great pyramid, which are much larger. was only railed off in , and till then bore a very evil reputation. Gay says-
It was here ( and , ) that Babington and other conspirators for Mary, Queen of Scots, were
Here, also, the brave and upright William, Lord Russell, unjustly suffered for alleged high treason, attended by Tillotson and Burnet on the scaffold.
On the north side of the square, beyond the handsome , is (No. ) the eccentric , formed in his own house and bequeathed to the nation by Sir John Soane (. ), who was the son of a bricklayer at Reading, but, being distinguished as a student in the Royal Academy, and sent to Rome with the Academy pension, lived to become the architect of the . The museum, which Mrs. Jameson calls
was especially intended by its founder to illustrate the artistic and instructive purposes to which it is possible to devote an English private residence, and is open to the public from to on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Few people know of it, and fewer visit it, which is much to be regretted, since, though, as Dr. Waagen says, the over-crowded and labyrinthine house leaves an impression as of a feverish dream, it contains, together with much rubbish, several most interesting pictures.
. Portrait of Sir John Soane. Room II.--(.)
In the dimly-lit under chambers, surrounded by an extraordinary and heterogeneous collection, is the magnificent sarcophagus of Osiris, father of Rameses the Great, discovered by Belzoni () in the valley of Behan el Malook. It is covered with hieroglyphics, and is cut out of a single block of the substance called by mineralogists aragonite.The beautifully-illuminated manuscripts of this museum are well deserving of study, the finest being the Commentary on Epistles by Cardinal Marino Grimani, Patriarch of Aquileja, with exquisite miniatures by Giulio Clovio. Amongst other literary curiosities preserved here, is the original MS. of the Gerusalemme Liberata of Tasso.
At the north-western corner of is (with a double staircase to its entrance), built in I by the Marquis of Powis, who followed James II. into exile, and was created Duke of Powis by him. It was inhabited by the insignificant prime minister of George II.'s reign, the Duke of Newcastle, of whom Lord Wilmington said,
Now it is occupied by the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge.
In , which leads from hence into , Lord Herbert of Cherbury lived, and wrote the part of his -
Nos. and are good specimens of street house architecture. The fleur de lis, which till lately might be seen on the fronts of some of the houses on the south of , was in compliment to Henrietta-Maria, after whom it was named.
On the west side of , No. , , afterwards (marked by its little semi-circular portico), was built by Robert Bertie, Earl of Lindsey, Charles the 's general, who fell in the battle of Edgehill. Close to a low massive archway, leading into , is the , built in , the year before Charles I. was beheaded, being the oldest foundation now in the hands of Roman Catholics in London. It was partially destroyed in the Gordon Riots, when Protestantism hung a cat dressed in priestly vestments to the lamp-post in front of it, with the holy wafer in its paws. It is the church frequented by the Savoyard organ boys who live on .
In a house opposite the chapel Benjamin Franklin lived in , when he was a journeyman printer in the office of Mr. Watts in . He lodged with a Roman Catholic widow lady and her daughter, to whom he paid a rent of a week. When kept at home by the gout he was frequently asked to spend the evenings with his
| landlady. |
he says in his autobiography,
In the upper floor of the same house lived--on water-gruel only-a Roman Catholic maiden lady of fortune, as if in a nunnery, spending a year on herself, and giving away all the rest of her estate. While he worked in , Franklin relates that he only drank water, while the other workmen, some in number, were great beer-drinkers; but he used to be much stronger, and could carry far greater weights than his companions, which greatly excited their surprise against him whom they called the
[ (right) takes its name from Humphrey Wild, Lord Mayor in . Wild House was afterwards the Spanish Embassy, and the ambassador escaped with difficulty by its back door in the anti-papal riots under James II. The site of the house is now occupied by a Baptist Chapel, where a sermon is annually preached on the great storm of , in which more than houses were laid in ruins in London alone.
and lead into , of the great arteries of the parish of St. Clement Danes, an aristocratic part of London in the time of the Stuarts.[n.92.1] It takes its name from Drury House, built by Sir William Drury in the time of Henry VIII. From the Drurys it passed into the hands of William, Lord Craven, who (the grandson of a Yorkshire carrier's boy who rose to be Lord Mayor) was so celebrated in the wars of Gustavus Adolphus. He
|rebuilt Drury House, which was for a short time the residence of the unfortunate Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia, to whom he always showed the most chivalrous devotion, and who is sometimes believed to have become his wife, though years his senior. Here he heroically staid during the great Plague, which began in , and, at the hazard of his life, assisted in preserving order amidst|
|the terrors of the time. He is still commemorated in , where a fresco, now quite obliterated, long represented him, riding on his white charger. Near the entrance of from , on the left, an old house, now a Mission House, still exists, which stood in , with the old house of the Drurys, before the street was built.|
Aubrey mentions that the Duchess of Albemarle, wife of General Monk, was daughter of of the female barbers of , celebrated in the ballad-
This was the
of Pepys. The respectability of began to wane at the end of the century, and Gay's lines,
are still as applicable as when they were written.
was opened in with an address by Dryden, who extolled the advantages of its then country-situation over those of
in Dorset Gardens-
The burning of the theatre () is rendered memorable by the publication of the [n.94.1] the famous jeu d«esprit of James and Horace Smith, the
says Lord Jeffrey (and often of difficult originals),
but of which Murray refused to buy the copyright for .] At the south-west angle of , Portsmouth House, built by Inigo Jones for the Earl of
| Portsmouth, has given a name to . Here the was long called |
from Jack Sheppard having escaped his pursuers by jumping from a window on its floor.
[ leads into (named in honour of Catherine of Braganza), where and its surroundings have obliterated the recollections and annihilated the grave-stones of the Burial Ground of St. Clement Danes, where Nathaniel Lee, the bombastic dramatist (-), author of and was buried, having been killed in a drunken street brawl. Here also was the monument with an interesting epitaph to
(-). The neighbouring takes its name from the house of Sir George Carey, .] On the south side of is the , built by , . It has a fine library in which the cartoon for Hogarth's picture of the grant of the charter to the Barber-Surgeons is preserved. In the Council-Room is an admirable portrait of John Hunter (. ), the chief benefactor of the College, by There are several good busts by
The (right of entrance) was founded by and is chiefly due to the exertions of Hunter; and
The skeleton of the elephant Chunee, brought to England in , is preserved here. It is feet inches in height.
If we follow into , a long series of gables of the time of James I. breaks the sky line
|upon the right, and beneath them is a grand old house, following the bend of the street with its architecture, projecting more and more boldly in every story, broken by innumerable windows of quaint design and intention, and with an arched doorway in the centre. This is the entrance to , originally a hostelry of the merchants of the Wool Staple, who were removed to by Richard II. in . It became an Inn of Chancery in|
|the reign of Henry V., and since the time of Henry VIII. has been a dependency of .|
Nathaniel Hawthorne, in his visit to London, says-
Beyond the miniature Hall-- picturesque, with its high timber roof and lanthorn, its stained windows and ancient portraits and busts of the Caesars--in a court containing some admirable modern buildings on a raised terrace (by , ), of the architecture of James I., devoted to the offices of the taxing masters in Chancery. It was to Staple Inn that Dr. Johnson removed from , and here that--to pay the expenses of his mother's funeral and fulfil the few debts she left behind her-he wrote, what he described to Miss Porter as a little story-book-i.e. his
A little lower down on the same side of a
|passage under a public-house forms the humble entrance to , a little Inn of Chancery belonging to . Again, there are tiny courts with a single tree growing in them, and flowers lining the window sills, divided by a tiny hall with a baby lanthorn, and a line of quaint windows decorated by coats of arms and set in a timber framework.|
On the opposite side of the street is , which was called after a Sir William Furnival, who once owned the land. It was an Inn of Chancery attached to . Its buildings are shown by old prints to have been exceedingly stately, and were for the most part pulled down in the time of Charles I., and it was entirely rebuilt in . A statue of Henry Peto, , stands in the modern courtyard. Sir Thomas More was a
of , and Dickens was residing here when he began his
Very near this was Scroope's Inn, described by Stow as of the
which stood on the north side of
above the bridge. It belonged to the Serjeants at Law, but is entirely destroyed.
On the opposite side of the street, close to where St. Andrew's Church now stands, was Thavie's Inn, the most ancient of all the Inns of Court, which in the time of Edward III. was the
of John Thavie, an armourer, and leased by him to the
Its buildings were destroyed by fire at the end of the last century.
leads from the north of to , which is the Inn of Court in importance. It derives its name from the family of Gray de Wilton, to which it formerly belonged. Its vast pink-red court, with
| the steep roofs and small-paned windows which recall French buildings, still contains a handsome hall of , in which, on all festal meetings, the only toast proposed is |
by whom the members of were always treated with great distinction.
Sir William Gascoigne, the just judge who committed Henry V. as Prince of Wales to prison for contempt of court; Cromwell, Earl of Essex; Bishop Gardiner; Lord Burleigh; Sir Nicholas Bacon, and the great Lord Bacon, were members of , as were Archbishop Whitgift, Bishop Hall, and Archbishop Laud. Lord Bacon wrote the here, a work which, in spite of King James, who declared it was
was welcomed with a tumult of applause by all the learned men of Europe. Dr. Richard Sibbes, who wrote the and the was a Preacher in this Inn, and died here in of the courts-he of whom Dr. Doddridge wrote-
is described by Dickens in The trees in (now closed to the public) were originally planted by Lord Bacon, but none remain of his time. On the west side of the gardens stood till lately, answering to his recommendation in his -
These gardens were a fashionable promenade of Charles II.'s time. Pepys, writing in , says-
In Howell wrote of them as
and the and the thus speak of them. In their days, however, it will be remembered that was almost in the country, for we read in the (No. )-
The characteristics of the Inns of Court are summed up in the distich-
[n.72.1] He took and furnished these rooms with £ 400 received for The Good-natured Man.
[n.90.1] Hallam, Lit. Hist. of Europe.
[n.92.1] she Duchess of Ormond was living in Great Wild Street in 1655.
[n.94.1] Supposed to have been presented for competition at the opening of the new house.