Walks in London, vol. 2Hare, Augustus J. C.
Chapter III: Regent Street and Regent's Park.
Chapter III: Regent Street and Regent's Park.
In front of the Duke of York's Column, where the ridiculous statue, nicknamed the
disgraces , leads to the north from . Nearly a mile in length, it was built by John Nash, and takes its name from the Prince Regent, afterwards George IV. The portion known as the Quadrant originally had colonnades advancing the whole width of the pavement: these were removed in , to the great injury of its effect.
[From , (on the right) leads into . , to the north, commemorates the rural state of this district as late as , when a windmill here gave its name to the
Nollekens the sculptor, who died in , narrates that when he was a little boy his mother used to take him to walk by a long pond near this windmill, and every paid a halfpenny at the miller's hatch for the privilege of walking in his grounds. In the house of his brother William in , the famous Dr. John Hunter died saying,
Ever since the Edict of Nantes, when exiled gentility began to congregate here, as exiled industry in Spitalfields, has been the most popular resort of foreigners of the middle classes, especially of French visitors to London. Few spots in the metropolis have undergone more changes from fashion than this. Even to the present century the square was known as
and until the time of Charles II. it continued to be unenclosed country. On what is the north side of the square, Leicester House, which appears in Faithorne's map of as the only house in this neighbourhood, was then built for Robert Sidney, Earl of Leicester,[n.125.1] from whom it was rented by Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia-
--who died there . To this house, in , Pepys went to visit Colbert, the French Ambassador; and here Prince Eugene was residing in . The house continued to be the property of the Sidneys till the end of the last century, when it was sold to the Tulk family for , which sum the Sidneys employed in freeing Penshurst from its encumbrances. Meantime, the Sidneys had not lived here, and Leicester House had become habitually
[n.125.2] George II. resided there as Prince of Wales from to , after he had been turned out of St. James's by his father, for too freely exhibiting his indignation at the cruel treatment of his mother, Sophia Dorothea, condemned to a lifelong imprisonment in the castle of Zell. William, Duke of Cumberland, the hero of Culloden, was born there in . Frederick, Prince of Wales, when he, in his
| turn, quarrelled with his father in , came to reside in with his wife and children. It was there that he died (), suddenly exclaiming, |
and falling into the arms of Desnoyers, the dancing-master, who was performing upon the violin,[n.126.1] while the royal family were playing at cards in the next room; an event which so little affected George II., that when he received the news as he was playing at cards with the Countess of Walmoden, he said simply,
[n.126.2] and went on with the game.
As Leicester House was insufficient to contain his numerous family, the Prince of Wales knocked through a communication with Savile House, which adjoined it on the west. Here George III. passed his boyhood, and used to act plays (of which the handbills still exist) with his little brothers and sisters. It was in front of this house that he was proclaimed as king. Savile House continued to be the residence of Augusta, the Princess-Dowager, till her removal to Carlton House in , and Frederick William, youngest brother of George III., died there () at the age of . At an earlier period Savile House was the place where the Marquis of Carmarthen entertained Peter the Great, and where the Czar would demolish bottles of sack in an evening, besides a pint of brandy spiced with pepper, and a bottle of sherry. The house was completely pillaged during Lord George Gordon's riots, when the people tore up the rails of the square and used them as weapons.
In the last century was the especial
| square of painters. Sir James Thornhill lived there and died there (), and his far more illustrious son-in-law, William Hogarth, came up almost at the same.time from Chiswick to die in his London house, which was at the south-east corner where Archbishop Tenison's school now stands.
Hogarth's house was afterwards inhabited by the Polish patriot, Thaddeus Kosciusko, and Byron's Countess Guiccioli lived in it during her stay in England. In the next house (that adjoining the Alhambra), John Hunter, the famous surgeon, began to collect () his Museum, now at the Surgeons' Hall.
In No. , on the west side of the square, Sir Joshua Reynolds lived from to .
His dinner parties,
It was on the steps of this house that Sir Joshua morning found the child who was painted by him in the charming picture of
cheered at the auction when it was sold to Rogers the poet. The mushroom and fawn's ears were added in deference to the wish of Alderman Boydell, who wished to introduce the beautiful portrait of the boy into his Shakspeare. The near neighbourhood of Hogarth and Reynolds was not conducive to their harmony.
On the south of is the opening of an ugly court-St. Martin's Court--of many associations. On the left is the chapel--built by subscription in for the use of the French Protestants, who, after long sufferings in their own country, took refuge in England on the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Within its walls they prayed for the prince by whom they had been forbidden to follow their trades and professions, forbidden Christian burial, and exiled, and whom yet they respected as
The adjoining house, ugly and poverty-stricken as it looks now, was that in which Sir Isaac Newton passed the latter years of his life, in an honoured old age, from to , years before his death at Kensington. He had been made Master of the Mint under Anne, and in became President of the Royal Society. Always frugal in his own habits, he devoted his wealth to the poor, especially to the French refugees in his neighbourhood. In the observatory on the top of his house he was wont to say that the happiest years of his life were spent. This observatory, once used as a Sunday school, was kept up till for the inspection of the foreign visitors who came by thousands to visit it, and who now, when they come to seek it, turn away disgusted at the treatment which the shrines of their illustrious dead meet with at the hands of Englishmen, for it was sold some years since to supply some pews for the chapel next door.
The house was afterwards inhabited by Dr. Burney, whose celebrated daughter wrote her here. John Opie, the artist, who died in , lived close by; and Thomas Holcroft, the novelist and dramatist, was born in in , being the son of a shoemaker.
was formerly decorated by a statue of George I., brought from the seat of the Duke of Buckingham at Canons: in . After the square was railed in, it became a favourite site for duels, and the duel between Captain French and Captain Coote was fought here in , in which the latter was killed. In his , Thackeray, true to his picture of the times, narrates how Lord Mohun and Lord Castlewood-having seen Mrs.
|Bracegirdle act, and having supped at the. Greyhound at Charing Cross-quarrelled, and took chairs to fight it out in .|
From the beginning of the present century began to decline, and gradually presented that aspect of ruin which is said to have given rise to Ledru Rollin's work on the decadence of England. In its area was leased, and its miseries were concealed by the erection of Wyld's Globe, while the neighbouring houses were given up to taverns, exhibitions of waxworks, acrobatic feats, or panoramas. After the Globe was cleared away, the area remained uncared for, and the statue perished slowly under generations of practical jokes, till Mr. Albert Grant took pity upon the square in , decorated it in the centre with a statue of Shakspeare (a copy of that in ), and at the corners with busts of of the most famous residents-Hogarth, Newton, Hunter, and Reynolds, and opened it to the public.
From , and Wardour Street-beloved by collectors of old furniture-lead in a direct line to . On the right opens , which derives its name from the house facing , which was built by Gerard, Earl of Macclesfield, who died in . The profligate Lord Mohun lived in this house, and hither his body was brought home when he was killed in a duel by the Duke of Hamilton. In No. of this street, in a house looking on the gardens of Leicester House [n.130.1] -
as he wrote to his friend Elmes Steward-lived Dryden, with his wife, Lady
| Elizabeth Howard; here he died, , and here, if it took place at all, occurred the extraordinary scene after his death described by Johnson,[n.131.1] with the heartless practical joke played at his funeral by Lord Jefferies. The poet |
Edmund Burke was living in Gerard Street at the time of the trial of Warren, Hastings, and at the
in this street he united with Johnson and Reynolds in in founding the
to which the clever men of the day usually thought it the greatest honour to belong.[n.131.3]
| It was to this society that Goldsmith was admitted by the friendship of Johnson, before his more important works were published, but came unwillingly, feeling that he sacrificed something for the sake of good company, and shut himself out of several places where he |
and here he would entertain and astonish literary supper parties with his favourite song about
In is the , consecrated by Bishop Compton in , and dedicated to the mother of the Virgin out of compliment to the Princess Anne: its tower is said to have been made as Danish as possible to flatter her Danish husband. Against the outer wall is a tablet erected by Horace Walpole, and inscribed-
This unfortunate king was a Prussian-Stephen Theodore, Baron de Neuhoff. While in the service of Charles XII. of Sweden, the protection which he afforded to the inhabitants of Corsica induced them, in , to offer him their crown. He ruled disinterestedly, but the embarrassments to which he was reduced by want of funds for the payment of his army forced him to come to seek them in London,
| where he was arrested for debt. Horace Walpole tried to raise a subscription for him, but only were obtainable. In Voltaire's Theodore tells his story-
The man who allowed King Theodore to die in his house was too poor to pay for his funeral, and the expense was undertaken by John Wright, an oilman in , who said that he was
of the seat-holders in the church was Catherine Sedley, mistress of James II. In the vault beneath is buried Lord Camelford, killed in a duel at Kensington in . William Hazlitt the essayist () rests in the churchyard.[n.133.1]
The brick wall of St. Anne's Churchyard may recall the familiar figure of Sir Joshua Reynolds, who bought
|therefrom a collection of ballads hanging against the wall-a rude woodcut, the chiaro-oscuro of which he used in his picture of Lord Ligonier on horseback.|
From the north-east corner of , , so called from the title of the Cecils, leads into , which, as far back as , was the especial domain of coach-builders. It derives its name from a narrow strip of ground which belonged to the Abbey of . Here Oliver Cromwell is proved by the rate-books (in which he is called
) to have lived (on the south side) from to .
Dryden lived here, in a house lacing (No. ) from to , and was attacked and wounded opposite his own house by the
myrmidons hired by Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, to punish. him for having assisted Lord Mulgrave in his John Taylor, the voluminous
who published no less than volumes in the reigns of James I. and Charles I., also lived in , where he kept a tavern. Being forced to change its sign during the Commonwealth from the
he changed it to that of his own head. Whitefield preached, in , at the chapel in amidst many petty persecutions and interruptions.
he wrote to Lady Huntingdon.
The wife of a cobbler in became celebrated as the Chloe of Prior, described by Pope as being only
though of Prior's poems begins-
, commemorates the mansion of Lord Newport in the time of Charles I.
From the junction of Cranbourne Street and , leads towards Covent Garden. Here (right) is the , founded ,
The interesting may be seen on Wednesdays (except in September) from to , on the personal introduction of a member. We may especially notice-
Returning to , a little to the right from the Quadrant,
is , immortalised in and It contains a statue of George II. brought from Canons. Lord Bolingbroke lived in this square while Secretary of War, -, and here the artist Angelica Kauffmann married a valet under the belief that he was his master, Count Horn.
is now in a thickly populated district, though it was here,
that in the reign of Charles II.,
At No. , , on the right of , James Northcote the painter died, . Haydon, in
|his gives a most comical account of a visit to him here.|
On the left, leads into , which received its name instead of that of , as was intended, in the days of the early popularity of George I. The square was built about , when the place for executions was removed from Tyburn, lest the inhabitants of
should be annoyed by them. The bronze on the south side of the square is by , and was set up in .
The neighbouring church of , is well known as a Temple of Hymen (also named in honour of George I.), and as the goal of fashionable novelists, from its almost monopoly of marriages in high life. It was built by in ; being of Queen Anne's new churches. Its portico and tower are handsome. Its marriage registers are a perfect library of the autographs of illustrious persons, amid which the bold signature of
frequently appears. In the beginning of the present century from to couples were sometimes united here in.the course of a year. Nelson's Lady Hamilton was married here, .
The portion of after is
|crossed ends in the , .|
Beyond this, some trees on the right mark what was once the garden of Foley House, which was made a freehold by the Duke of Portland in exchange for the permission to build north of it, such building on the Portland estate having been expressly forbidden by the stipulations of the lease. The turn of the street here, which places and on a different line, was made to spite Sir James Langham, who had quarrelled with Nash as the architect of his house.[n.139.1] The wide and handsome (built by the brothers Adam of the , and named, with Bentinck, Duke, and Duchess Streets, from the ground landlord, William, Duke of Portland, and his duchess, Henrietta Cavendish Holles) leads to the , having at its extremity a by
The , the largest of the lungs of London, occupies acres. It was laid out, during the Regency, from designs of John Nash (the architect of ), who designed most of the ugly terraces which surround it, and exhibit all the worst follies of the Grecian architectural mania which disgraced the beginning of this
|century. The outer and inner drive are delightful in early summer when the thorns and lilacs are in bloom, and much more countrified than anything in the other parks.|
On the east side of the. Park, near , is for needy gentlemen and gentlewomen, removed from the neighbourhood of the Tower, when St. Katherine's Docks were erected. There it was founded by Matilda of Boulogne, the half-Saxon princess who, being niece of Matilda the Good, stole the hearts of the English people from the Norman Matilda for her husband, King Stephen. Its inmates were perpetually to pray for the souls of her dead eldest children, Baldwin and Maud. Eleanor, wife of Edward I., and Philippa, wife of Edward III., did much to enrich the hospital. The. patronage has always rested with the Queens of England, and the presentations are usually given to those who have been connected with the Court. There are brethren and sisters, who are supplied here with incomes, houses, and small gardens of their own. The modern chapel contains some of the fittings of the old (in which Katherine the Fair, widow of Henry V., lay in state before her burial at ), the stalls, and a pulpit of wood given by Sir Julius Caesar, who was Master of the Hospital, and inscribed
Over the altar is a copy from the Nativity of Rubens. A noble canopied tomb on the left bears the effigies of John Holland, Duke of Exeter, Lord High Admiral in the reign of Henry VI., with his wife, Anne, daughter of Edmond,
Earl Stafford, and his sister Constance, Lady Grey de Ruthyn.[n.141.1] It was the son of this duke who married the sister of Edward IV.
On the north-west of the Park are the , founded in (admission is.: on Mondays and holidays )
Beyond the Park, on the north, rises the turfy eminence called ( feet high), at the foot of which the Tye Bourne formerly rose, and where the body of Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey, murdered near , was found in a ditch, Oct , . When the wind and smoke allow, there is a fine view of London from the summit of the hill, where there are seats and gravel walks.
Chalk Farm, on , commemorated by a tavern, was the popular place for duels in the part of the present century. Here () the duel was fought between Colonel Montgomery and Captain Macnamara, in which the former was killed; here () Tom Moore and Francis Jeffrey were interrupted in that duel of which Lord Byron made fun in his and here another lamentable literary duel, which grew out of articles in resulted in the death of the Editor of the . The last fatal duel at Chalk Farm was that between Lieutenant Monro and Colonel Fawcett, .
On the west of the Park is , a vast colony of -rate villas. The district belonged to the Prior of , Clerkenwell, who had his country manor at Tollentun (Tollington Road), Highbury. The rural state
| of the neighbourhood is commemorated in (formerly Listen) , whose public-house is the |
At Wood is (admission , or, when a -class match is played, ). The great gathering here is for the Eton and Harrow match in July.
Before leaving the we may notice that at St. Dunstan's Villa are preserved the giants noticed by Cowper, which struck the hours on the old clock of St. Dunstan's in (see Ch. III.), and which were purchased by the Marquis of Hertford on the demolition of the church.
The land now called the was once Marylebone Park, a royal hunting ground from the time of Elizabeth to the Protectorate, when Cromwell sold the deer and cut down the timber. A little to the south of the present Park the now leads towards the hideous and populous district of . It passes the , which about gave the name Mary at the Bourne to a village previously called Tyborne, from the brook which flowed through it towards , &c. The interior of the old church is shown in the marriage picture of Hogarth's It was rebuilt in . The burials here include Gibbs the architect, Rysbrach the sculptor, and Allan Ramsay the portrait painter.
Behind the manor-house of Marylebone, which stood on the site of , , was the bowling-green which was the
of the last century. Here John Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham, loved to besport himself, and led Lady Mary Wortley Montagu to write-
It was in Marylebone Gardens that Mrs. Fountain, the famous beauty of the day, was saluted by Dick Turpin, who said,
miles and a half beyond Paddington, on the , is , whither most of the funerals, which are so unnecessarily dismal a London sight, are wending their way. Here, in the labyrinths of monuments, we notice those of the Duke of Sussex, , Princess Sophia, ; Rev. Sydney Smith, ; Allan Cunningham, ; Sir Augustus Callcott the artist, , John Liston the actor, ; and Sir Charles Eastlake, . In the Roman Catholic Cemetery beyond is the tomb of Cardinal Wiseman.
On the east the falls into the or , where we may notice the , built by Sir John Soane, who is described by Fergusson as
In this case, however, his work is an utter failure, though it cost . The slight portico is quite crushed by a ludicrous tower which presents copies of the Temple of the Winds at Athens, the smaller on the top of the larger. The interior is taken from the Erechtheion. The side porticos are adorned with Canephoras from the Pandroseion.
On the north of the road leading from to Kentish Town is the old ,[n.143.1] built c. . The of says,
It is understood that this church was the last whose bell tolled in England for mass, and in which any rites of the Roman Catholic religion were celebrated before the Reformation.[n.144.1] The church, which was like the humble church of a country village, is now hemmed in by railways, and was for the most part rebuilt in , though it has still a look of antiquity. Its churchyard was deeply interesting, but its interest and its picturesqueness have been alike annihilated in -, many of its graves being covered up by hideous asphalt walks, and as many as gravestones being torn from their graves and either made away with altogether, or set up in meaningless rows against the railway wall, their places being occupied by silly rockwork. Other monuments, some very handsome, have been robbed of all but the flat stones which covered them, which have been laid upon the earth. The ground itself has been levelled where it was possible, instead of having advantage taken of its undulations; and the new walks, instead of being made to wind the tombs, are arranged in stupid symmetrical lines, everything in the way being sacrificed and cut away for them. In fact, the whole place is desecrated and ruined.
Entering the church, we may notice on the north wall, under the gallery, an unknown monument of Purbeck marble, with recesses for brasses. In the north gallery is a monument to Thomas Doughty, , owner of the Doughty estate, of which the name became so familiar in
| the Tichborne trial. On the south wall is a tablet to Samuel Cooper, the miniature-painter, the |
. Near the chancel door is a monument to William Platt and his wife, , removed from Highgate.
The neighbourhood of was peopled at the end of the last century by noble fugitives from the great French Revolution, and for the most part they are buried in this churchyard, which is crowded with remarkable memorials of the dead. On the right of the church door is the gravestone of William Woollett, the famous engraver (), which bore the lines-
an inscription which is supposed to have led to the after erection of a tablet in the cloisters of . On the north of the churchyard is the tomb of William Godwin (), described on his tombstone as
known chiefly by his novel of
[n.145.1] With him rest his wives, of whom the was the notorious Mary Wolstonecraft, author of the [n.145.2] whose daughter Mary promised to become the wife of the poet Shelley by her mother's grave. Close by once lay the remains of Pasquale Paoli, the Corsican patriot, with a eulogistic.Latin epitaph upon his gravestone.
Amongst the other graves of interest we may notice those of the exiled Archbishop Dillon of Narbonne; of Grabe
| (), trained a Lutheran, but who took orders in the Church of England, and espoused the cause of the non-jurors; of Jeremy Collier (), the famous non-juring bishop, who is simply described in the register as |
of Francis Danby the musician, famed
of Abraham Woodhead, the Roman Catholic controversialist (), who did not allow his name to be affixed to any of his books--
erected by Cuthbert Constable of Yorkshire, who shared his faith. Near Woodhead, to whom he was united in friendship
lies Obadiah Walker (), the ejected Master of University College at Oxford, a native of Yorkshire, and also a convert to Roman Catholicism in the reign of Charles II.: his initials appear in an anagram. Dr. Bonaventura Giffard, Bishop of Madura , the Vicar Apostolic of the district of London after England had been partitioned into ecclesiastical districts by Innocent XI., was buried here in . The tomb of Arthur O'Leary (), the Irish Franciscan monk who wrote against Wesley, who
was erected by Lord Moira. The epitaph of Charles Butler (), the learned Roman Catholic lawyer, who was the antagonist of Southey, is a mere dry chronicle of his age and death.[n.146.1] This is the burial-ground where Norden said that a corpse lay
yet Parliament has lately allowed the engineers of the Midland Railway to make a cutting through it, and to build a viaduct over it.
In a further cemetery adjoining, which belongs to in the Fields is the tomb erected by Sir John Soane, the architect and founder of the Soane Museum, to his wife, whose loss
He was himself laid beside her in . The tomb is a kind of temple, with an odd railing decorated with Cupids mourning over their extinguished torches. Near the centre of the burial-ground are the massy tombs of John Flaxman (), his wife, and his sister Mary Anne. The great sculptor's epitaph truly tells that
Canova nobly coincided with this opinion when he said-
[n.125.1] Sidney Alley still exists. Queen Street, Blue Street, and Orange Street record the distinguishing colours of the Earl's stables.
[n.126.1] Horace Walpole says of Pavonarius, his German valet de chambre.
[n.130.1] Dedication of Don Sebastian to the Earl of Leicester.
[n.131.1] Lives of the Poets, vol. 1.
[n.131.2] Pope in Spence's Anecdotes.
[n.131.3] The club still exists, but is called the Johnson.
[n.133.1] His tombstone has been moved from his grave, and stuck against the wall near that of King Theodore.
[n.137.1] Macaulay, History of England.
[n.139.1] See Timbs, Romances of London.
[n.141.1] The Duke's second wife, Anne, daughter of John Montacute, Earl of Salisbury, was buried in the same tomb, but without an effigy.
[n.143.1] It is best reached by turning to the left immediately before entering the Midland Railway Station.
[n.144.1] Timbs, Curiosities of London.
[n.145.1] Allan Cunningham, Biog. and Crit. Hist.
[n.145.2] Their remains are said to have been removed to Bournemouth.
[n.146.1] For further details see Epitaphs of the Ancient Church and Burial Grounds of St. Pancras, by Frederick Teague Carsick.