Old and New London, A Narrative of its History, its People and its Places. Illustrated with Numerous Engravings from the Most Authentic Sources. vol 4

Thornbury, Walter
1872-78

St. James's Palace (continued).

St. James's Palace (continued).

 

They say there is a Royal Court, Maintained in noble state, Where every able man and good Is certain to be great.--Tom Hood.

 

For upwards of years-indeed, even before the burning of Whitehall--the name of St. James's has been identified in English literature with the English Court, and all that is refined and courtly. Mr. Harrison Ainsworth, therefore, has only given expression to a popular idea of long standing, when he names of his works

St. James's and

St. Giles's

,

as the very antipodes of each other; and it is almost superfluous to add, that in his historical romance of St. James's he has given us an insight into the inner life of the Court of Queen Anne, scarcely inferior in minuteness to the picturesque peeps of the same court which we find in the

Diaries

of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn. Here, for instance, is a picture of in , on the occasion of a

drawing-room

held in celebration of the birthday of Queen Anne. It is worth giving entire, as a sketch taken from life :

The weather was in unison with the general festivity, being unusually fine for the season. The sky was bright and sunny, and the air had all the delicious balminess and freshness of spring. Martial music resounded within the courts of the Palace, and the trampling of the guard was heard, accompanied by the clank of their accoutrements, as they took their station in St. James's Street, where a vast crowd was already collected.

About an hour before noon the patience of those who had taken up their positions betimes promised to be rewarded, and the company began to appear, at first somewhat scantily, but speedily in great numbers. The science of the whip was not so well understood in those days as in our own times, or perhaps the gorgeous and convenient though somewhat cumbersome vehicles then in vogue were not so manageable; but from whichever cause, it is certain that many quarrels took place among the drivers, and frequent and loud oaths and ejaculations were poured forth. The footpath was invaded by the chairmen, who forcibly pushed the crowd aside, and seemed utterly regardless of the ribs and toes of those who did not make way for them Some confusion necessarily ensued; but though the crowd were put to considerable inconvenience, jostled here, squeezed there, the utmost mirth and good-humour prevailed.

Before long the tide of visitors had greatly increased, and coaches, chariots, and sedans were descending in four unbroken lines towards the Palace. The curtains of the chairs being for the most part drawn down, the attention of the spectators was chiefly directed to the coaches, in which sat resplendent beauties bedecked with jewels and lace, beaux in their costliest and most splendid attire, grave judges and reverend divines in their Ambassadors' Court, St. James's Palace, 1875. (Showing The Room In Which The Duke Of Cumberland's Valet Died.) respective habiliments, military and naval commanders in their full accoutrements, foreign ambassadors, and every variety of character that a court can exhibit. The equipages were most of them new, and exceedingly sumptuous, as were the liveries of the servants clustering behind them.

The dresses of the occupants of the coaches were varied in colour, as well as rich in material, and added to the gaiety and glitter of the scene. Silks and velvets of as many hues as the rainbow might be discovered, while there was every kind of peruke, from the courtly and modish Ramillies just introduced, to the somewhat antiquated but graceful and flowing French Campane. Neither was there any lack of feathered hats, point-lace cravats and ruffles, diamond snuff-boxes and buckles, clouded canes, and all the et cetera of beauish decoration.

Another writer in describing the scene witnessed at St. James's on the occasion of a Drawing-room of the present day, remarks that,

after all, magnificence is a tawdry thing, when viewed under the searching blaze of sunshine. Jewels lack lustregold appears mere tinsel--the circumstantialities of dress are too much seen to admit of any general

Old View Of St. James's Palace, Before The Great Fire Of London.

effect; and even beauty's self becomes less beautiful. The complexion becomes moistened by the stifling atmosphere of the crowded rooms. As to ladies of a certain age,

continues the writer,

let them, above all things, avoid the drawingroom: such a revelation of wrinkles, moles, beards, rouge, pearl-powder, pencilled eyebrows, false hair and false teeth, as were brought to light, I could scarcely have imagined. Many faces, which I had thought lovely at Almack's, grew hideous when exposed to the tell-tale brightness of the meridian sun; the consciousness of which degeneration rendered them anxious, fretful, and doubly frightful. Two or three dowagers, with mouths full of gold wire, chinstays of blond to conceal their withered deficiencies, and tulle illusion tippets, were really horrific; painted sepulchres-ghastly satires upon the hollowness of human splendour. Gateway, Quadrangle, and Queen's Closet at St. James's Palace

I have often heard it asserted that an English girl, with the early bloom of girlishness on her cheek, is the prettiest creature in the world; and have thence concluded that a drawing-room, where so many of these rosebuds are brought forward to exhibit their first expansion, must present a most interesting spectacle. This morning I particularly noticed the demoiselles to be presented; and the ghastliness of the ladies of a certain age was scarcely less repulsive than a niaiserie of several of these budding beauties. Nothing but a young calf is so awkward as a girl fresh from the schoolroom, with the exhortations of the governess against forwardness and conceit still echoing in her ears; knowing no one--understanding nothing--afraid to sit, to stand, to speak, to look--always in a nervous ague of self-misgiving. The blushing, terrified, clumsy girls I noticed yesterday will soon refine into elegant women; but what will then become of the delicacy of their complexion and the simplicity of their demeanour?

A

Drawing-room

,

therefore, is an institution organised to fulfil the object of every fair young ambition, by enabling her to be

presented at court,

the event which marks her entry into

fashionable life,

and gives her an and passport in every European capital.

A Levee or a Drawing-room has always formed the head-quarters of witty retort and polite badinage. Of all Court wits perhaps George Selwyn was the readiest and the happiest. Among other witticisms uttered by him within the precincts of the Court, was related by Mr. W. C. Hazlitt in his

New London Jest Book.

Lord Galloway was an avowed enemy to the Bute administration. At the change of the Ministry consequent on Lord Bute's fall, he came to St. James's for the

first

time in George III.'s reign. He was dressed in plain black, and in a very uncourtly style. When he appeared at the Levee, the eyes of the company were turned on him, and inquiries were murmured as to who he could be. George Selwyn being asked, replied that he was not sure, but thought he was

a Scotch undertaker, come up to London to bury the late administration.

There are extant many sketches of the front of the on the day of a Levee or a Drawing-room under the later Stuarts and the Hanoverian sovereigns. The illustration on page shows the king arriving in his coach with the company in carriages and sedan-chairs. As they look at it, some of our readers may possibly remember the lines ascribed to Pope:--

Roxana, from the Court returning late,

Sighed her soft sorrow at St. James's Gate;

Such heavy thoughts lay brooding in her breast,

Not her own chairmen with more weight oppressed.

In sedan chairs were novelties confined to the upper classes and persons

of quality.

They were introduced at the West-end by Sir Sanders Duncombe, who represented to the King that

in many parts beyond the seas people are much carried in chairs that are covered, whereby few coaches are used among them,

and prayed for the privilege of bringing them into London. Duncombe was patronised by the royal favourite, Buckingham, through whose influence he obtained a concession of the privilege for years, and made, no doubt, a good round sum of money by the monopoly.

Sedan chairs, which once were as common at the West-end as hansom cabs, and as much used by men as well as ladies of

the quality,

figure frequently in Hogarth's pictures of London life. In his day the sedan chair was the courtly vehicle, and in of the plates of the

Modern Rake's Progress

we see the man of fashion using it in attending court. The chair continued to be in use all through the Georgian era, and even to a later date; and in some large houses, in the early part of Her Majesty's reign, a specimen of it was to be seen in the hall or lobby of large houses in the Westend, laid up like a ship in ordinary. It was used even to a later date occasionally at Bath, Cheltenham, and Edinburgh, where the chairmen were a very quaint and humorous body, mostly natives of the Highlands.

It is far from uninteresting to mark the introduction of such modes of conveyance, as they become curious in the retrospect, and give us a very fair insight into the habits and manners of past years.

p.117

 

The Sedan chair, though so called from the place where it was originally made, did not come to England from France, but from Spain, being introduced from Madrid by Charles I., when, as Prince of Wales, he went to that city to look for a wife. On his departure from Spain, as we learn from Mendoza's

Relation of what passed in the Royal Court of the Catholic King, our Lord, on the departure of the Prince of Wales,

the Prime Minister of Spain, and favourite of Philip IV., Olivarez, gave the Prince

a few Italian pictures, some valuable pieces of furniture, and

three

sedan chairs of curious workmanship.

Another contemporary writer tells us that on his return to England, Charles gave of these chairs to his favourite, the Duke of Buckingham, who raised a great clamour against himself by using them in the streets of London. Bassompierre, the French Ambassador, in his

Memoirs of the English Court,

states that

the popular outcry arose to the effect that the Duke was reducing freeborn Englishmen and Christians to the condition of beasts of burden.

When, however, the populace found out that money was to be made out of them, and that to start a

sedan

was a good speculation, they swallowed their scruples, and, like shrewd and sensible persons, invested their savings in building and buying them, so that in a short time they came into common use, not only in London, but in the chief provincial towns. In the country they were never popular. [extra_illustrations.4.117.1] [extra_illustrations.4.117.2] [extra_illustrations.4.117.3] 

Amongst those who came to St. James's in

a chair

was John Duke of Marlborough, after his crowning victory of Ramillies, then at the summit of his popularity, and almost worshipped by the people, who measure everything by success. He tried to smuggle himself into the levee in a chair, but in spite of his attempt at privacy he was discovered, and in a few minutes was surrounded by thousands who rent the air with their acclamations.

A courtly and polished condition of society among the wealthier circles is a natural consequence of our monarchical institutions. Mr. N. P. Willis, the American writer, confesses as much when he writes,

The absence of a queen, a court, and orders of nobility, gives us in the States a freedom from trammel in such matters which would warrant quite a different school of polite usages and observances of ceremony. Yet up to the present time,

he adds,

we have followed the English punctilios of etiquette with almost as close a fidelity as if we were a suburb of London.

So deeply engrained in human nature is the observance of an orderly and regulated ceremonial, even in the minutiae of daily life.

Johnson remarked that it had been suggested that kings must be unhappy, because they are deprived of the greatest of all satisfactions, easy and unreserved society.

That is an ill-founded notion. Being a king does not exclude a man from such society. Great kings have always been social. The King of Prussia, the only great king at present, is very social. Charles II., the last king of England who was a man of parts, was social; and our Henries and Edwards were all social.

It is of the least observed but perhaps not among the least equivocal proofs of a great advancement in the ideas of freedom entertained by the British people, that their king and queen for the time being may be said to be the only sovereigns in Europe who have ceased to have the power of dictating the fashions to their people.

In days of old-nay, so late as the reign of George II.-it was with the English, as it is still with the other nations: the personages in the kingdom (from being supposed to be the best informed) led the fashions. As the king and queen, so their whole court, and all the higher ranks of the public, were habited, from the celebrated ruff of the good Queen Bess to the elegant head-dress of the amiable Queen Caroline. But the reign of George III. introduced a new era.

Queen Charlotte, on her arrival in this country, evinced a desire to fall in with its national modes, and a chasteness in her own ideas of improvement in dress, which well entitled her to take the lead of her adopted countrywomen in this respect; but English ladies, it seemed, were not now to be led, even by their queen. Her Majesty's

first

endeavour was to reduce their toupee to a size more suited to the length and breadth of the face, than it had been usual to wear them; and next to introduce a cap neither so diminutive as to be nearly invisible, nor of such a magnitude as to bury the features of the wearer. But in vain were her efforts. Broad and towering head-dresses continued still the rage; and so continued till a love of novelty induced the ladies, of their own accord, to change to something less absurd. As for the gentlemen of those days, they seemed more inclined to follow the manners and dresses of the King's Guards than of the King himself. His Majesty's wig and large hat found as few imitators among his subjects as his domestic virtues. Nor at any time during the many years which George III. and his virtuous consort presided over society in this country, could their influence over the fashions be said to have much increased. The annual fashions among the ladies continued as usual to take date from the day on

which her Majesty's birthday was celebrated; but the fashions themselves had little or no regard to what her Majesty wore on such occasions, but rather to what was the most admired among the very splendid varieties presented for general imitation.

This may not be literally true, for the dress of her present Majesty and her mode of arranging her hair on ascending the throne, were most servilely followed by nearly all the young ladies of England.

The court dress of ladies has varied to a very great extent with the fashions of the age, and the sovereign from time to time has laid down very precise regulations as to what is, and what is not, allowable in the female costume on court occasions. The court dress of gentlemen, however, has undergone but very slight modification during the past century: though wigs and hair-powder are no longer worn, yet the plum-coloured suit of livery with light silk facings, worn till our own time at levees by men, would remind us of so many lacqueys, were it not for the sword which accompanies them. Some slight modifications in this dress were made a few years ago by the authority of the Lord Chamberlain, the most important being the admission of velvet as an optional substitute for the plum-coloured cloth above-mentioned, and the recognition of trousers instead of knee-breeches; but the court costume of the male sex is still somewhat of an anachronism.

At the commencement, and indeed to almost the middle of the reign of George III., a nobleman or a gentleman of

quality

was known by his dress, which he wore not only on

court

days and special occasions, but in the streets, and at evening parties or other gatherings, at home, or at the coffee-houses and clubs.

That costume,

writes Sir N. W. Wraxall in ,

which is now confined to the levee or drawing-room, was

forty

years ago worn by persons of condition, with few exceptions, everywhere and every day. Mr. Fox and his friends, who might be said to dictate [social laws] to the town, affecting a style of neglect about their own persons, and manifesting a contempt of all the usages hitherto established,

first

threw a discredit on the court dress. From the

House of Commons

and the Clubs in

St. James's Street

, it spread through the private assemblies of London. But though gradually undermined, and insensibly perishing of an atrophy, dress never totally fell till the era of Jacobinism and equality, in

1793

and the following year. It was then that pantaloons, cropped hair, and shoe-strings, as well as the total abolition of buckles and ruffles, together with the disuse of hair-powder, characterised the dress of Englishmen.

To the same influence he traces the decline of a distinctive dress among the ladies also; and expresses a hope, and indeed a prophecy, that

it will be necessary at no very distant period to revive the empire of dress.

The huge hoops worn by the ladies of a century or more ago have occasionally been of service, Sir Robert Strange, for instance, the eminent engraver, being

out in '

45

,

as the phrase then went, being hard driven for shelter from the searchers of the victorious army, hid himself under the ample folds of the petticoats of a Miss Lumsden, whom he requited for the service by marrying her soon afterwards.

The pair of silk stockings brought into England from Spain was presented to Henry VIII., who greatly prized them. In the year of Elizabeth's reign, her

tiring

woman, Mrs. Montagu, presented her Majesty with a pair of black silk stockings as a new-year's present; whereupon her Majesty asked if she could have any more, in which case she would wear no more cloth stockings. Silk stockings were equally rare things in the Royal Court of Scotland, for it appears that before James VI. received the ambassadors sent to congratulate him on his accession to the English throne, he requested of the lords of his court to lend him his pair of silk hose, that he

might not appear as a scrub before strangers.

of court dresses, we may be pardoned for extracting the following from

Joe Miller's Jestbook :

--

King Charles II. having ordered a new suit of clothes to be made, just at a time when addresses were coming up to him from all parts of the kingdom, Tom Killigrew went to the tailor, and ordered him to make a very large pocket on

one

side of the coat, and

one

so small on the other, that the king could hardly get his hand into it; which seeming very odd, when they were brought home, he asked the meaning of it. The tailor said,

Mr. Killigrew ordered it so.

Killigrew being sent for and interrogated, said,

One pocket was for the addresses of his Majesty's subjects, and the other for the money they would give him.

Hair-powder was introduced into Europe in the year . It is said that at the accession of George I., only ladies wore powder. At the coronation of George II. there were but hairdressers in London: in , there were in England.

The full-bottomed wigs which envelope and cloud some of the most distinguished portraits of the Stuart era were still in fashion during the reign of William and Mary. Lord Bolingbroke was

p.119

of the to reduce them by tying them up. At this Queen Anne was much offended, and said to a bystander, that

he would soon come to court in a night-cap.

Soon after this, tie-wigs, instead of being regarded as undress, became part and parcel of the high court dress at St. James's and Kensington. [extra_illustrations.4.119.1] [extra_illustrations.4.119.2] 

Archbishop Tillotson, who was the English prelate represented in a wig, says :--

I can well remember since the wearing the hair below the ears was looked upon as a sin of the

first

magnitude; and when ministers generally, whatever their text was, did either find or make occasion to reprove the great sin of long hair; and if they saw any

one

in the congregation guilty in that kind, they would point him out particularly, and let fly at him with great zeal.

It is stated that as far as the women were concerned, there was nothing to blame in this innocent fashion of long locks let free from unnatural constraint; and the glossy ringlets of the young gentlewomen of , confined only by a simple rose, jewel, or bandeau of pearls, was of the most elegant head-dresses ever invented to please the eye of man: this, as is well known, is the style that has been transmitted to us in the bewitching portraits of the beauties of the court of Charles II. The decorations of the men's heads were not anything half so simple, for, after the frizzing up the hair from the forehead, and then suffering it to fall in the wild luxuriance that called forth the censures of the clergy, they next proceeded to ornament themselves with borrowed hair, and the odious invention of the peruke, or periwig, made in imitation of the long, waving curls of the

Grand Monarque,

came next into fashion. Charles II., it is well known, adopted this fantastic fashion; and very soon not a gentleman's head or shoulders were considered to be complete without a French wig.

The farthingale of the and beginning of the centuries was--as our readers, no doubt, well know--the originator of the hooped petticoat of the eighteenth and of the crinoline of the century; but in many respects the men offered a still broader mark for the satirist, the cavalier being adorned in silk, satin, or velvet of the richest colours, with loose, full sleeves, slashed in front; the collar, too, of this superb doublet was of the costliest point lace; his swordbelt, of the most magnificent kind, was crossed over shoulder, whilst a rich scarf, encircling the waist, was tied in a large bow at the side.

Charles II. curtailed the doublet of its fair proportions, made it excessively short, and opened it in front to display a rich shirt, bulging out without any waistcoat, wearing at the same time Holland sleeves of extravagant size and fantastic contrivance. The ladies' dresses, however, and their drapery were not much affected by the example of royalty.

That the dress of the court fops in the Georgian era was a somewhat expensive commodity, we may infer from

Beau

Brummell's answer to a question once put to him. Being asked by a lady how much she ought to allow her son for dress, he replied, that it might be done for a year,

Among the curious customs and ceremonies of the Court, which have been handed down to us from the Stuart times, is that of presenting the poetlaureate-who, by the way, is an

officer of the household of the sovereign

--with a butt of sherry from the royal cellars. Although the earliest mention of a poet-laureate in England occurs in the reign of Edward IV., it was not till that the patent of the office seems to have been granted. Since the following poets have held the office of laureate:--Dryden, Tate, Rowe, Colley Cibber, William Whitehead, Warton, Pye, Southey, Wordsworth, and Alfred Tennyson.

Mention of the office of poet-laureate leads us naturally to speak of the success attending the poetical and literary efforts of such as have owed their rise in life to royal and courtly patronage. Most of the persons mentioned in the following extract from a modern periodical must have frequently crossed the threshold of to worship the rising or risen sun of royalty:--

In the reigns of William III., of Anne, and of George I., even such men as Congreve and Addison would scarcely have been able to live like gentlemen by the mere sale of their writings. But the deficiency of the natural demand for literature was at the close of the seventeenth, and at the beginning of the eighteenth century, more than made up by artificial encouragement-by a vast system of bounties and premiums. There was, perhaps, never a time at which the rewards of literary merit were so splendid-at which men who could write well, found such easy admittance into the most distinguished society, and to the highest honours of the state. The chiefs of both the great parties into which the kingdom was divided, patronised literature with emulous munificence. Congreve, when he had scarcely attained his majority, was rewarded for his first comedy with places which made him independent for life. Smith, though his Hippolytus and Phaedra failed, would have been consoled with £ 300 a year but for his own folly. Rowe was not only poet-laureate, but land surveyor of the Customs in the port of London, Clerk of the Council to the Prince of Wales, and Secretary of the Presentations to the Lord Chancellor. Hughes was Secretary to the Commissions of the Peace. Ambrose Philips was Judge of the Prerogative Court in Ireland. Locke was Commissioner of Appeals, and of the Board of Trade. Newton was Master of the Mint. Stepney and Prior were employed in embassies of high dignity and importance. Gay, who commenced life as apprentice to a silk-mercer, became a Secretary of Legation at five-and-twenty. It was to a poem on the death of Charles II., and to the City and Country Mouse, that Montague owed his introduction into public life, his Earldom, his Garter, and his Auditorship of the Exchequer. Swift, but for the Kitchen Of St. James's Palace, In The Time Of George III. unconquerable prejudice of the Queen, would have been a bishop. Oxford, with his white staff in his hand, passed through the crowd of suitors to welcome Parnell, when that ingenious writer deserted the Whigs. Steele was a Commissioner of Stamps and a Member of Parliament. Arthur Mainwaring was a Commissioner of the Customs, and Auditor of the Imprest. Tickell was Secretary to the Lords Justices of Ireland. Addison was Secretary of State.

On the western side, and within what we may style the precincts of , commanding a view both of and the , stands Stafford House, or as it was called till recently, [extra_illustrations.4.121.1] . The old house

p.121

derived its name from Barbara, Duchess of Cleveland, of the mistresses of Charles II. By birth she was a Villiers, the daughter and heiress of the Irish Viscount Grandison; and she was created Baroness of Nonsuch, Countess of Northampton, and Duchess of Cleveland, by her royal admirer, to whom she had borne sons-Charles Fitz Roy, Earl of Southampton, and George Fitz Roy, Duke of Northumberland. This lady died at Chiswick in . years before that, apparently she had resigned her interest in this house, as in we find it granted by the Crown to Henry, Duke of Grafton: it was then called Berkshire House, from its former owner. The present house covers also very nearly the site of a smaller mansion, Godolphin House, which at the beginning of the present century was occupied by the Duke of Bedford. It is deserving of a passing note as having been the residence of Charles James Fox during his last illness. We learn from his biographer, Trotter, that during this anxious period

the garden of the house in the

Stable Yard

was daily filled with anxious inquirers; the foreign ambassadors and ministers, and private friends of Mr. Fox, walked there, eager to know

Cleveland House. (From A Print Published In 1799)

his state of health, and catch at every hope of his amendment. As he grew worse he ceased to go out in his carriage, and was drawn in a garden chair, at times, round the walks. . . . His manner was as easy and his mind as penetrating and vigorous as ever; and he transacted business in this way, though heavily oppressed by his disorder, with perfect facility.

After his death, at the Duke of Devonshire's villa at Chiswick, his body rested here for a night or previous to his public funeral in . In the last century Godolphin House became the residence of the Duke of Bridgewater, who new-fronted the mansion with stone.

The present mansion was built about the year by the Duke of York. It is said by Mr. Chambers, in his

Handy Guide to London,

that it was built with money lent to him by the Marquis of Stafford, whose grandson is the present owner. Be this as it may, the Stafford family became possessed of it, and have spent at least a quarter of a million upon it and its decorations. The mansion was built by the Duke of York on the site of a former residence, where he and the duchess gave pleasant dinners and receptions,

p.122

devoting the evenings to whist, at which the duke was a -rate player. Among his most constant guests were Lords Alvanley, Lauderdale, De Ros, and Hertford,

Beau

Brummell, and the Duke of Dorset. It is said that he planned and built the house from his own designs. The duke was very fond of collecting here curiosities of every description-jewels, bronzes, coins, and articles of ; he also spent large sums in purchasing old chased plate, with which his sideboards groaned; and on his walls he had a fine collection of portraits of officers in curious old uniforms. When he left the the duke took up his abode at Cambridge House, in . He died at Rutland House, at the north-western corner of , but his body was afterwards brought to , where it lay in state, in .

It may be mentioned here that Stafford House marks the extreme south-western limit of the parish of St. James's, .

The money received for the sale of Stafford House by the Crown was devoted in to the purchase of Victoria Park in the East-end of London as a recreation-ground for the people. The form of the mansion is quadrangular, and it has perfect fronts, all of which are cased with stone. The north or principal front, which is the entrance, exhibits a portico of Corinthian columns. The south and west fronts are alike; they project slightly at each end, and in the centre are Corinthian columns supporting a pediment. The east front differs a little from the preceding, as it has no projecting columns. The vestibule, which is of noble dimensions, leads to the grand staircase. The library is situated on the ground floor; and on the , or principal floor, are the state apartments, consisting of dining-rooms, drawing-rooms, and a noble picture gallery, feet in length, in which is placed the Stafford Gallery, of the finest private collections of paintings in London; it is particularly rich in the works of Titian, Murillo, Rubens, and Vandyck. The private rooms contain many valuable art treasures.

The noble suite of drawing-rooms have been often lent by the late and the present [extra_illustrations.4.122.1]  for the purposes of meetings of gentlemen and ladies who are interested in social reforms, so that the interior of the house is known to very many persons. of the most novel exhibitions, perhaps, which have taken place here, or anywhere, was in the summer of , when there was held in the garden a show of wicker coffins of all sorts, sizes, and patterns- of course, of the much-vexed question of

earth to earth,

which at the time had been so frequently agitated in the newspapers.

Even so lately as , stood in somewhat open country, as shown by a drawing of that date in the Towneley Collection, which corresponds very closely to the description of the place given by Le Serre in his

Entree Royale,

&c., fol. .

Near the avenues of the palace,

says the latter,

is a large meadow, always green, in which the ladies walk in summer; its great gate has a long street in front, reaching nearly to the fields.

A long low wall runs eastwards, along what is now the south side of , and a thick grove of trees covers what is now the site of Marlborough House. As nearly as possible, where now stands the Junior Carlton Club, on the north side of , is a small barn or shed and a haystack; and in the front of the print, not far from the centre of what is now , stands a handsome conduit, with ornamental brickwork and a lofty crenellated roof; and the meadow in which it stands, apparently, was not at that time surrounded even by a hedge.

We fear it must be owned to be as true in as it was half a century before, that the sovereign of England is still without a London residence becoming the head of so great an empire. Though Windsor Castle is unequalled as a medieval stronghold, we have in London nothing that answers to what the Tuileries was; and is at best but a poor substitute for the Chateau of Versailles.

With reference to the mean appearance of , the author of the

Beauties of England and Wales

writes, in :--

Few ideas of superior grandeur or magnificence are excited by a partial view of the exterior of this royal palace. And when it is considered that, in fact, this is the only habitation which the monarch of a mighty empire like ours possesses in his capital, strangers are at a loss whether to attribute the circumstance to a penuriousness or meanness of our national character. It arises, in fact, from neither. It has been justly remarked that the disparity between the appearance of this palace, and the object to which it is--or rather has beenap- propriated, has afforded a theme of wonder and pleasantry, especially to foreigners, who, forming their notions of royal splendour from piles erected by despotic sovereigns, with treasures wrung from a whole oppressed nation, cannot at once reduce their ideas to the more simple and economical standard which the head of a limited monarchy is compelled to adopt in its expenditure.

 
 
Footnotes:

[extra_illustrations.4.117.1] Ball at St. James's Palace

[extra_illustrations.4.117.2] Procession of Royal Party

[extra_illustrations.4.117.3] Account of St. James's Palace

[extra_illustrations.4.119.1] Five Poets Laureate

[extra_illustrations.4.119.2] Probable Poets Laureate

[extra_illustrations.4.121.1] Cleveland House

[extra_illustrations.4.122.1] Duchesses of Sutherland

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 Title Page
 Chapter I: Westminster: A Survey of the City: Millbank, and its Neighbourhood
 Chapter II: Westminster.-Tothill Fields and Neighbourhood
 Chapter III: Westminster.-King Street, Great George Street, and the Broad Sanctuary
 Chapter IV: Modern Westminster
 Chapter V: St. James's Park
 Chapter VI: Buckingham Palace
 Chapter VII: The Mall and Spring Gardens
 Chapter VIII: Carlton House
 Chapter IX: St. James's Palace
 Chapter X: St. James's Palace (continued)
 Chapter XI: Pall Mall
 Chapter XII: Pall-Mall.-Club-Land
 Chapter XIII: St. James's Street.-Club-Land (continued)
 Chapter XIV: St. James's Street and its Neighbourhood
 Chapter XV: St. James's Square and its Distinguished Residents
 Chapter XVI: The Neighbourhood of St. James's Square
 Chapter XVII: Waterloo Place and Her Majesty's Theatre
 Chapter XVIII: The Haymarket
 Chapter XIX: Pall Mall East, Suffolk Street, &c.
 Chapter XX: Golden Square and its Neighbourhood
 Chapter XXI: Regent Street and Piccadilly
 Chapter XXII: Piccadilly.-Burlington House
 Chapter XXIII: Noble Mansions in Piccadilly
 Chapter XXIV: Piccadilly: Northern Tributaries
 Chapter XXV: Hanover Square and its Neighbourhood
 Chapter XXVI: Berkeley Square, and its Neighbourhood
 Chapter XXVII: Grosvenor Square, and its Neighbourhood
 Chapter XXVIII: May Fair
 Chapter XXIX: Apsley House and Park Lane
 Chapter XXX: Hyde Park
 Chapter XXXI: Hyde Park (continued)
 Chapter XXXII: Oxford Street, and its Northern Tributaries
 Chapter XXXIII: Oxford Street.-Northern Tributaries (continued)
 Chapter XXXIV: Oxford Street, and its Northern Tributaries (continued)
 Chapter XXXV: Oxford Street East.-Northern Tributaries
 Chapter XXXVI: Oxford Street: Northern Tributaries.-Tottenham Court Road
 Chapter XXXVII: Bloomsbury.-General Remarks
 Chapter XXXVIII: The British Museum
 Chapter XXXIX: The British Museum (continued)
 Chapter XL: The British Museum (continued)
 Chapter XLI: Bloomsbury Square and its Neighbourhood
 Chapter XLII: Red Lion Square, and its Neighbourhood
 Chapter XLIII: Queen Square, Great Ormond Street, &c.
 Chapter XLIV: Russell and Bedford Squares, &c.
 Chapter XLV: Gordon and Tavistock Squares, &c.
This object is in collection:
Edwin C. Bolles papers
Subjects
London (England)--Description and Travel
London --England
Permanent URL
http://hdl.handle.net/10427/14824
ID: tufts:UA069.005.DO.00063
To Cite: DCA Citation Guide
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