Old and New London, A Narrative of its History, its People and its Places. Illustrated with Numerous Engravings from the Most Authentic Sources. vol 4Thornbury, Walter
St. James's Street and its Neighbourhood.
St. James's Street and its Neighbourhood.
Having in the preceding chapter given an account of the various clubs in , we shall now proceed to notice what may be called the historical memories of the place, then pass rapidly through the various thoroughfares on its western side, and extend our perambulation into the .
centuries ago was called
Old Strype describes it as
a little more than half a century later, the parish of St. James's was described as including
dates from the middle of the century; and we read in
was paved in the year after the Restoration. The old buildings have nearly all been swept away to make room for the more stately club-houses and hotels of modern times; and of these the western side of the street in the present day is chiefly composed. The east side, with the exception of
Clubs, consists mainly of elegant shops, of which, at the beginning of the present century, was fitted up as a bazaar, and rejoiced in the name of the
The busy tenants of this establishment were summoned before the magistrate at the Police Office, for
their goods without a licence; but the summons was dismissed, it being decided that the occupants of the bazaars did not come under the Hawkers' Act.
For upwards of a century this noble thoroughfare--for such it really is--has maintained its character as an aristocratic lounge, and a place where only the privileged classes have a right to be seen. To what extent this privilege was carried in former times may be judged from the following anecdote : George Selwyn happening to be at Bath when it was nearly empty, was induced, from the necessity of having somebody to associate with, to make the acquaintance of an elderly twaddling gentleman whom he invariably met in the rooms. In the height of the following season Selwyn encountered his old associate here, in , and endeavoured to pass him unnoticed, but in vain.
asked the , holding out his hand,
returned Selwyn, declining the preferred hand,
It was in walking up this street day, and meeting
arm-in-arm with George, Prince of Wales, that Beau Brummell sarcastically asked him,
pretending not to recognise his Royal Highness, with whom he had quarrelled at Carlton House a few days previously. Tommy Moore, in his
immortalises the quarrel in a parody on a letter from the Prince to the Duke of York, in which his Royal Highness is made to say-
Such attacks as these must have turned the warm friend, though a prince of the blood, into a bitter enemy; and it must be said in
Brummell's behalf, that it was at Carlton House that he was led to indulge in those gambling tastes and in that dangerous familiarity with royalty which in the end proved his ruin.
Theodore Hook figured once, and once only, in the celebrated
of the elder Doyle. He is represented walking down , arm-in-arm with the then Speaker, Mr. Manners Sutton (afterwards Viscount Canterbury), whootherwise a fine-looking man-had a notable squint; hence the title of the engraving-
observes the witty author of the
No man, as we all know, is a hero in the eyes of his valet; and no doubt the morals of the age in which the
was written (), and especially in the neighbourhood of St. James's, were such as often would serve to illustrate the assertion.
Thackeray, in of his
describes in minute detail the manners of the Court region a century and a half ago, when a lady of fashion would joke at table with her footmen, and noble lords call out to the waiters, before ladies,
It is often said that London is more like a country made up of several states than an individual city; and it is in keeping with this idea that Addison, in the (No. ), speaks of the metropolis as composed of different races, instead of being made up, like a town, of cognate family.
If such was the essayist's opinion in the reign of Queen Anne or George I., what, we may fairly ask, would he have said stronger on the subject, had he lived on into the reign of Victoria?
It was in this street that, on a cold December morning in , Colonel Blood-whose name is notorious for his attempt to rob the Tower of the regalia of England-set upon the great Duke of Ormonde, aided by ruffians, and attempted to assassinate him on his way to Clarendon House, which stood facing the top of the street, upon the site of what is now . The duke was dragged out of his carriage by Blood and his associates, tied to of them on horseback, and carried along towards Tyburn, where it was their intention to have hung him, in revenge, it is said, for a punishment inflicted upon some companions of theirs in Ireland during the duke's administration of that country. The alarm being given at Clarendon House, the servants followed, and recovered his grace from a struggle in the mud with the man to whom he was tied, and who, on regaining his horse, fired a pistol at the duke, and escaped. In the
(), it is stated that there were
and that the duke's footmen, who usually walked beside his carriage, were absent when the attack was made-probably having dropped in at a sideway hostelry, in quest of
As to the dangers of the streets at the Westend at the period in which the above incident occurred, we are not left in the dark by Macaulay. He writes:--
In the year , owing to changes in the fashion, people gave over the use of that very artificial appendage, the wig, and wore their own hair, when they had any. In consequence of this, the wig-makers, who were very numerous in London, were suddenly thrown out of work, and reduced to great distress. For some time, we are told, both town and country rang with their calamities, and their complaints that men should wear their own hair instead of perukes; and at last it struck them that some legislative enactment ought to be at once procured in order to oblige gentlefolks to wear wigs, for the benefit of the suffering wig-trade. Accordingly they drew up a petition for relief, which, on the , they carried to St. James's to represent to his Majesty George the . As they went processionally through the town, it was observed that most of these wigmakers, who wanted to force other people to wear them, wore no wigs themselves; and this striking the London mob as something monstrously unfair and inconsistent, they seized the petitioners, and cut off all their hair . Horace Walpole, who alludes to this ludicious petition, in his Letters to the Earl of Hertford, asks, with his usual wit,
in its time has had many distinguished residents. Waller, the poet, as Mr. John Timbs tells us, lived on the west side from until , when he died at Beaconsfield, in Buckinghamshire. Pope lodged
Gibbon, the historian, died in , at No. , then Elmsley's, the bookseller's. Horace Walpole says:
At his residence in this street, in February, I, died Sir Christopher Wren, the architect of ; in , Lord Byron was living in lodgings at No. , just after attaining his majority.
At No. , next door to Boodle's Club, lived the caricaturist Gillray, who here committed suicide, in , by throwing himself from the window on to the pavement below. The shop was well known as that of Miss Humphrey, the caricature printseller, sister of the conchologist, and the vendor of his works. Gillray was the pupil of Mr. Ashby, the celebrated writing engraver; but afterwards studied under Bartolozzi. The author of the
says that Gillray engraved several portraits and other subjects in a steady mechanical way, but soon followed the genuine bent of his genius, though, it must be acknowledged, it was too often at the expense of honour and even common honesty.
Among numerous instances, he suffered himself to bear evidence against Samuel Ireland, the publisher of the pretended Shakespeare papers. Ireland had given away an etching, a portrait of himself. This print Gillray copied, and offered a few impressions publicly for sale in Miss Humphrey's shop-window, in . Gillray, it may be remarked, lies buried in the churchyard of St. James's, .
At the commencement of the last century, Peyrault's, or Pero's.
in this street, was high in fashion. It occupied the site of what is now Fenton's Hotel, on the west side of the street; this was a bagnio of old standing, as appears by the title of a catalogue of the
Next door to the above establishment was a tavern bearing the sign of the
where, as we learn from the newspapers
| of , |
The next house of notoriety is now No. , some time occupied by Lauriere, the jeweller. It was formerly held by an old lady, well known under the appellation of
and was famous in Horace Walpole's time.
At the corner, opposite the Palace, the shop which is now occupied by a firm of booksellers was, until recently, well known in the fashionable and aristocratic circles as
Mr. W. H. Sams, who died in , had here for some time carried on his father's business as librarian and publisher. In former times its windows were often crowded with gazers at the caricatures of wellknown political and other celebrities, before the days when Sig. Pellegrini made famous.
wrote Lord Lytton in the
and, in truth, upon the site of Sams' shop the great satirist, coming out of , might often have stood and quieted his fervid indignation at the baseness of the Court of Queen Anne.
the edition of which appeared in the
year , was for some time published at Sams' Library, and called |
In -, Louis Napoleon, then in exile, between the
of Boulogne, and the
of Strasburg, took up his' quarters for a time at Fenton's Hotel, leading the life of a young man of fashion. From Fenton's he removed with a suite of friends and servants into , and thence to and , where we have already mentioned him.
It was in -, whilst residing in chambers at , , close to where now stands the Conservative Club, that Thackeray began and finished
which many consider the most original of his earlier writings.
Branching off from the west side of are , , , and . The highest and northernmost of these turnings leads into , a thoroughfare running at right angles with . This street has always been inhabited by statesmen and public men. The house on the west side was for many years the house of the Duke of Beaufort, and then of the Duke of Hamilton, before it passed into the hands of
|Sir Ivor Bertie Guest. It has on the ground floor a magnificently carved ceiling, painted with the heraldic insignia of the house of Somerset.|
In this street was for many years the town residence of the Dukes of Rutland. It was lent by the then Duke, in , to the Duke of York, who died there quite suddenly in his arm-chair, on of the days of the following year. His body was removed to , where it lay in state, and was buried in Chapel, at Windsor, on the .
In the Duke of Richmond, Lord Cholmondeley, Lord Kingston, and Guildford Brooke were living in this street. In the Earl of Orford, [extra_illustrations.4.170.1] . Here the old Marchioness of Salisbury, of the leaders of
in the reign of George IV., used to hold her Sunday evening receptions, of which we find many notices in
and other books of cotemporary anecdote. They were frequently attended by royalty, ambassadors, &c. The Marchioness was burnt to death at Hatfield House, in .
Lord Carteret was living in this street both before and after he was promoted to an earl's coronet, as Lord Granville.
The writer of
in the reign of George II., is enthusiastic in his praises of the side of which faces the , as
The only fault that he can find with the mansions is the
In , in , Vernon House, now the residence of Lord Redesdale, was occupied by Lord William Bentinck, some time Governor-General of India. Close by it are the offices and headquar- ters of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, which was founded in . This institution was formerly in , as we have mentioned. Its aim is to establish and support bishops and clergy of the Church of England abroad, and chiefly in our own colonies. There also is the office of the Colonial Bishoprics Fund, which was established in for founding and endowing additional Colonial bishoprics.
As a set-off to the good work carried on by the society above mentioned, we may state that in the early part of the last century the noted
The memory of this woman is perpetuated by a couple of lines in the
and a note on the passage says she was
No. is the home of the Road Club, which was established here in , by a number of gentlemen who take an interest in figuring as amateur
dates from about the year . At the present time it forms the headquarters of batchelor members of Parliament, almost every other house being let out in apartments; it has been in past time also the abode of several individuals whose names have become as familiar as
Here, in , Addison had lodgings; and a few years later we find John Wilkes living here in
Here, too, resided Parnell, the poet, Mr. Secretary Craggs, Bishop Kennett, the antiquary, and Mrs. Robinson (Perdita), the actress, already mentioned by us in speaking of Carlton House.
At the western end of , overlooking the , the learned Lepel, Lady Hervey, in , built a house, which was subsequently occupied by Lord Hastings, and ultimately divided into . Lady Hervey speaks of its windows as commanding a view towards and the country, as also of the Duke of Devonshire's house, when the dust in permitted it. Within its walls Lord Chesterfield and other wits and learned persons used to meet constantly.
Lord John Hervey, who in married the
of the maids of honour to the Princess of Wales, was the eldest son of the Earl of Bristol, and was early attached to the court of the Prince and Princess at Richmond. His marriage was signalised by Pulteney and Lord Chesterfield by a ballad in honour of both bride and bridegroom, in which the noble poets declaredthat never had been seen-
His connection both with the world of politics and with that of poets is known to every reader of his memoirs, and of the life of Pope, who cruelly satirised him under the name of
At No. lived Lord Guildford, who, as John Timbs tells us in his
The next tenant was Sir Francis Burdett, so many years the popular member for , who resided here from about to his death in .
The life of Sir Francis Burdett affords a remarkable illustration of the political vicissitudes a popular man may encounter. Every reader of the political events of the present century will know how he was idolised by the people during the reign of George III.; and the story of his standing a siege of horse and foot for days in his house in London, before the warrant could be executed, rather than surrender to the warrant officer who came to convey him to the on a charge of libelling the , stands out in strong contrast to the staunch Conservatism which marked the later years of his life.
Mr. Raikes, in his
tells the following anecdote of Sir Francis Burdett :--
The death of Sir Francis was as pathetic as his parliamentary life had been famous. His wife was a daughter of Mr. Coutts, the celebrated banker, and for the long period of years they lived happily together; and when death took away Lady Burdett, in , her husband, then in his year, became inconsolable, and felt that he had nothing left to live for. Wrapping himself up in his sorrow, he refused all consolation and all nourishment. In spite of the most earnest entreaties he would taste no food, and at last nature gave way, and he died on the of the same month; and the husband and wife were buried at the same hour, on the same day, in the same vault, in Ramsbury Church, Wiltshire. The above-mentioned daughter of Sir Francis Burdett, Angela Georgina, assumed in the additional surname and arms of Coutts, under the will of her grandfather's widow, Harriet (afterwards Duchess of St. Albans). Miss Burdett Coutts was raised to the peerage in , by having conferred upon her the title of a Baroness, in recognition of her largehearted charity and general philanthropy.
In of the fine houses on the west side of was occupied by Mr. Robert Smith, a London banker, and M.P. for Nottingham, who, most reluctantly on the part of George III., was created a peer as Lord Carington. This was the instance in which a peerage was ever bestowed on the moneyed interest as distinct from the ownership of broad acres; and it was believed, not only by Pitt's enemies but by his friends, that the bestowal of the coronet in this case was the discharge of some pecuniary obligations of the Premier, who forced the King to sign the patent.
Readers of Mr. Harrison Ainsworth's historical romance of
will scarcely need to be reminded of chapters in the early part of that work, in which he gives us a picture of a jovial supper party at residence in this street, at which Wycherley, Congreve, Tickell, Mrs. Bracegirdle, Mrs. Oldfield, Addison, Vanbrugh, Steele, Rowe, Tom D'Urfey, Dr. Garth, Kneller, Harley, Mr. Markam, Mrs. Manley, and the other wits, poets, and painters of that truly Augustan era, were present, when Mrs. Oldfield and Mrs. Bracegirdle settled a quarrel as to which should sing , by pistols-not, however, after the way of a duel, but by
| trying to snuff a candle by a shot at paces. We should like to have been present at the breakup of the party at early dawn, and to have seen the ladies' chairs arrive, and take their departure; Mrs. Bracegirdle escorted home by Congreve, Mrs. Oldfield by Maynwaring, and Mrs. Centlivre by Prior, who persisted in calling her |
all the way; whilst Steele and Wycherley, walking along by Mrs. Manley's chair, and being rather excited by port wine, assaulted the watch, and for their pains were arrested by the
and lodged in the St. James's Round House. [extra_illustrations.4.172.1]
Sir N. W. Wraxall, in his gossiping
tells the following amusing story about of the residents of towards the close of the last century:--
At [extra_illustrations.4.172.2] built by James Wyatt, R.A., lived from until his death in , Samuel Rogers, the poet. Here Sheridan, Lord Byron, Sir James Mackintosh, Thomas Moore, Macaulay, Sharp, and almost all the other literary celebrities of the half of the present century, were often guests. The house, which is comparatively small, and is distinguished by its bow windows, fronting the , contained a choice collection of pictures, Etruscan vases, sculpture, antique bronzes, and literary curiosities, and a variety of lesser objects of art-all distinguished for rare excellence; some of the pictures were bequeathed to the nation, and the remainder of the collection was ultimately disposed of. Among the most valued treasures in the house there was to be seen framed and hung on of the walls of his library, the original agreement by which Milton assigned to the publisher, Symons, his poem of
for the sum of . This historical document bears the undoubted autograph signature of the poet.
Samuel Rogers was a banker as well as a poet; he knew how to spend his wealth, and his name will live as at once a poet and as a patron of litera. ture. Born in the year , he lived to the great age of . His publication was his
which appeared in ; years later he published his
the work by which his fame as a poet was established, and by which his name came to be most widely and permanently known. In he gave to the world his
in , appeared his
and in the following year the part of his
on the printing and illustrating of which he is said to have spent not less than .
The Rev. A. C. Coxe, of the United States, in his
But it must be owned, with every wish to speak well of those who are gone, that Samuel Rogers was not a man gifted with such qualities as to make real friends. Acquaintances and hangers--on he numbered by scores; but of friends he had very few. He was full of spleen and sarcasm, though the sun of fortune had smiled on him through life, and accordingly, if he had been a poor man, he would have had many enemies. The following passage from Mr. William Jerdan's
will serve to illustrate our meaning, though an admission to Mr. Rogers's breakfasts was of the greatest privileges accorded to men of literary tastes and abilities, who wished to get on in London:--
On occasion the venerable poet was visited by Wordsworth and [extra_illustrations.4.173.2] the painter. They had been to Paddington together, and had afterwards walked across the Park to Rogers's house. He had a party to lunch, so Haydon went into the pictures, and studied Rembrandt, Reynolds, Veronese, Raffaelle, and Tintoretto. Wordsworth remarked,
As Wordsworth and Haydon crossed the Park, the latter remarked,
replied the painter;
said his friend,
says his biographer,
The critic who annoyed Mr. Rogers in the was never more in the wrong than when he asserted that his author was a hasty writer. A man of letters and of fortune from his birth, whose literary life ex.
| tended over years, cannot be called a hasty writer when the produce of his life can be placed with ease in an ordinary pocket volume, for such is the shape his works assume in the latest edition. The fact is, that his were hard-bound brains, and not a line he ever wrote was produced at a single sitting. This was well exemplified in a favourite saying of Sydney Smith: |
How many smart sayings have been assigned to Sheridan and Selwyn, to Jekyll and Rose, to Walpole and others of Walpole's contemporaries, which in truth they never uttered! Many were, and still are, assigned to
Mr. Rogers with which he had nothing whatever to do. In the early days of the newspaper, |
had fathered on him many a smart saying, and many a clever and many a stupid jest. Once, when a certain M.P. wrote a review of his poems, and said he wrote very well for a banker, Rogers wrote, in return, the following:--
The principal front of the house once tenanted by Samuel Rogers overlooks the , where it forms a conspicuous object by the side of Spencer House.
writes Mr. Miller in ,
About the year was established, at No. in St. James's Place-previously the residence of Lord Lyttelton--the Public Schools Club; which, however, had but a transient existence. Its name was subsequently changed to the Phoenix, but the club does not appear to have been more flourishing under its new name, and in a short time it ceased altogether, and the premises were converted into a private hotel.
[extra_illustrations.4.176.1] , which stands at
|the south-west angle, with front facing the , is by some considered of the finest designs of Inigo Jones; by others it is said to have been built by Vardy, a scholar of Kent, and architect of . It consists of an admixture of the Grecian style of architecture, and is highly, though not profusely, ornamented. The principal ornament of the interior is the library, an elegant room, containing of the finest collections of books in the kingdom. This noble and even palatial edifice was built for John, Lord Spencer, who died in . The front towards the Park, which is of Portland stone, with attached columns, is surmounted by a pediment adorned with statues and vases, very tastefully disposed.|
Retracing our steps into , we now descend towards the Palace gates and . How different now is the scene to be witnessed here from what it was before the introduction of coaches or even of sedan-chairs. On the happiness of those days, Gay thus descants in his
At the time of which Gay speaks, of course it was but a rare thing for a country dame to be seen in London. Lord Clarendon tells us that his mother, though she was the daughter of a peer, and though her husband had been a member of Parliament, was never in London in her life,
A very different state of things is this from that which meets our eyes in the reign of Victoria, when every nobleman and country gentleman who has a wife and family brings them up yearly to London, for the whole, or at least for a part, of the
Young ladies a century ago, as Mr. Cradock observes in his amusing
Mr. F. Locker in the following lines gives us an imaginary picture of and Place in those
It has been said that Campbell's
owed its composition to a chance conversation in . With reference to this
Cyrus Redding writes in his
Extending towards the , from the south-west corner of , is . Here Lord Stowell resided when known as Sir William Scott, the honoured M.P. for the University of Oxford. Theodore Hook lived here from till he removed to Fulham, in I. His residence was handsome, and extravagantly too large for his purpose. He was admitted a member of divers clubs; shone the attraction of their house-dinners; and in such as allowed of play he might commonly be seen in the course of his protracted evening. Presently he began to receive invitations to great houses in the country,
|and, for week after week, often travelled from to another such scene, to all outward appearance in the style of an idler of high condition. In a word, he had soon entangled himself with habits and connections which implied much curtailment of the time for labour at the desk, and a course of expenditure more than sufficient to swallow all the profits of what remained from his editorial salary and literary gains. We shall have more to say of him when we come to Fulham. [extra_illustrations.4.177.1]|
But the spot we are upon has earlier associations. In the spring of the year Lady Castlemaine, who had just before made up a quarrel with the King, became possessed, by royal gift, of Berkshire House, to the north-west of the , which had been the town residence of the Earls of Berkshire, and subsequently occupied by Lord Clarendon. Adjoining the house was a large walled--in Dutch garden, with a summer-house in the north-western corner, in the rear. At the time of which we write it was really a country house, standing quite isolated in its own grounds. The site of the property is now bounded on the south by and ; on the east by : on the north and west its limits were defined by and the edge of the . The house is shown in Faithorne's map of London and in . The furnishing of the mansion in a style suited to the caprice of the haughty mistress must have been a severe trial for the purse-strings of even a king, for we are told that Berkshire House was most lavishly and sumptuously adorned and decorated.
The dining-room of of the houses in , occupied in the reigns of George I. and George II. by Lord Townshend, witnessed the memorable and not very dignified quarrel between its owner, then Secretary of State, and the Premier, Sir Robert Walpole. The combatants are said by Sir N. Wraxall to have seized each other by the throat--a scene which Gay portrayed in the , under the characters of
At the western end of stands [extra_illustrations.4.177.2] . Erected in -, from the designs of the late Sir Charles Barry, the mansion occupies the site of what was formerly Berkeley House, which Charles II. presented to the Duchess of Cleveland. Jarvis, the portrait-painter, died in the old house in . Afterwards, when Berkeley House was named Cleveland Court, it was occupied by Mrs. Selwyn, mother of George Selwyn. It is said of George Selwyn, who died here in , aged , that
The plan of Bridgewater House approaches a square, the south front being about feet in length, and the vest feet; and there are small courts within the mass to aid in lighting the various apartments. The ground-plan itself comprises a perfect residence-drawing-room, diningroom, ladies' rooms, chamber, dressing-rooms, &c. The floor is, with a small exception, appropriated to state-rooms, dining-room, drawing-room, the splendid picture-gallery, &c. The gallery occupies the whole of the north side of the house, and is carried out a few feet beyond the east wall The building, in both interior and exterior decoration, is worthy of the splendid collection of works of art which are here brought together. The main portion of this collection, so well known as the
was made by the Duke of Bridgewater, who, dying in , left his pictures, valued at , to his nephew, the Duke of Sutherland (then Marquis of Stafford), with remainder to the marquis's son, Francis, afterwards Earl of Ellesmere. This gallery of paintings is in many respects the most valuable in this country; in no gallery is the school of Carracci so well represented. of the gems of Lord Ellesmere's gallery is the
portrait of Shakespeare, which is believed to have belonged once to Sir William Davenport, and then to Betterton, the actor, and while in the possession of the latter was copied by Sir Godfrey Kneller for Dryden, who considered it an original likeness, and who has thus celebrated the copy:--
The portrait was bought by the Lord Ellesmere, at the Stowe sale, for guineas.
[extra_illustrations.4.178.1] , which we now enter, is separated from St. James's along part of its southern side by , and covers a large triangular piece of ground, extending westwards as far as , the line of communication from the end of being by . It was formerly called Little or Upper , and was reduced in extent in , by George III., in order to add to the gardens of Buckingham House. Old maps of London show us that the spot of ground situated between the wall of , and
as [extra_illustrations.4.178.2] was formerly called, was before the Restoration merely a piece of waste ground-in
| fact, a meadow. It is represented in those maps as planted with a few willow-trees, and intersected with ditches, among which must have been |
in which old Gerarde, the author of
(), used to find the small buglosse or ox-tongue. In , as stated in Rugge's
icehouses were built in Upper ,
Old plans show that these ice-houses were situated in the middle of what is now called the , and here they remained till the beginning of the present century. At the western extremity, close to the road leading into , Charles II. formed a deer-harbour. [extra_illustrations.4.178.3] [extra_illustrations.4.178.4] [extra_illustrations.4.178.5] [extra_illustrations.4.178.6] [extra_illustrations.4.178.7]
We read that when, in , it was resolved by the Parliament to fortify the suburbs of the metropolis,
were among the defences ordered to be erected.
Dr. King, in his
tells an amusing story about the
and his saturnine brother James, which we may as well tell in this place:--
Like most other lonely places a little distance out of London, it soon became a favourite spot for the gentlemanly diversion of duelling. On Saturday night, , Sir Henry Colt having been challenged by
Fielding, these gentlemen here fought a duel. The spot chosen for this little passage of arms was at the back of Cleveland Court, which, as above stated, stood on the site of what is now Bridgewater House. This place was chosen, it is said, because the
like the knights of old, wished to fight under the beautiful eyes of his mistress and future wife, the notorious Duchess of Cleveland. It was stated at the time that Fielding, whose courage was none of the brightest, ran Sir Henry through the body before he had time to draw his sword; but the baronet disarmed him, notwithstanding this wound, and so the fight ended.
published in , we learn that early in the last century had become as much frequented for the purpose of fighting duels as the favourite little spot at the back of . The year after this was written, there occurred another duel in this park, which occasioned a great noise. The combatants were William Pulteney (afterwards Earl of Bath) and John, Lord Hervey--the
The latter, it appears, had written several defences of Sir Robert Walpole, in answer to attacks on him in the . To of these Pulteney published an answer, entitling it
it must be owned, was grossly personal; Hervey therefore challenged his rival, and they fought with swords in . The duel took place on Monday, , between and o'clock in the afternoon, behind , Mr. Fox and Sir John Rushout acting as seconds. The
however, turned out to be a bloodless ; no serious bodily harm ensued to either combatant, and Lord Hervey was left to the vengeance of Pope's satire. The germ of Pope's
will be found in these party pasquinades out of which the duel arose.
evening in , a duel was fought here between Edward, Viscount Ligonier, nephew of the celebrated general, and Count Alfieri, the Italian poet, in which the latter was slightly wounded.
says Mr. Larwood, in his
All traces, and in fact all memory, of this
have long since passed away. [extra_illustrations.4.179.1]
In , on the publication of the Peace of Aix-la- Chapelle, the centre of the was selected for [extra_illustrations.4.179.2] , which in grandeur could not have been surpassed in the last century. A huge and substantial building was constructed, running from north to south, with a solid centre and wings; if we may judge from a rare print of the time, it must have been upwards of feet in length: it contained pavilions for the Engineers,
a grand musical gallery in the centre, surmounted by the arms of the Duke of Montague, at whose cost, in all probability, it was put up. Over the musicgallery was an allegorical figure of Peace attended by Neptune and Mars, and above, a grand bassorelievo, representing the King in the act of giving peace to Britannia. This was illuminated in the evening, and on a pole at the top of all was an illumination representing the sun, which burnt nearly all the night long. The print shows Buckingham House surrounded with a long square wall, extending westwards to College. The ground is all open up to , where Hospital and
figure as almost the only buildings; a carriage and pair, with outriders, is making its way up an open road marked as
towards the spot where now stands Apsley House.
Thursday, the , was the grand day appointed for the fireworks. All the entrances into the were opened, and a breach of feet was made into the Park wall on the side in order to give admittance to the vast concourse of spectators. A gallery was erected for the Privy Council, the Peers, the ; and the rest of the places were given to the Lord Mayor. The King, who had in the fore-part of the day reviewed the regiments of Footguards from the garden wall of St. James's, witnessed the fireworks from a pavilion in the Park which had been erected for his reception. The Prince and Princess of Wales, who were on bad terms with the King, kept aloof, and saw the display from the house of the Earl of Middlesex, in . The performance began with a grand military overture, composed by Handel, in which
formed a distinctive feature. Shortly after the commencement of the fireworks, the temple accidentally took fire, and part of it was consumed.
During the peace of , the was again chosen for the scene of a grand pyrotechnical display. Near a building was erected from the design of Sir William Congreve (of rocket celebrity), which, with all its palings, and the cordon of sentries round it, covered - of the . This building received the name of the [extra_illustrations.4.179.3] . The materials of this structure, and of the other erections set up on that occasion, were sold afterwards by auction, and fetched only about .
Coming down to more recent times, we may state here that on , near Buckingham Palace, diabolical attempts have been made to shoot Her Majesty, Queen Victoria. In , a lunatic, named Edward Oxford, deliberately fired twice at Her Majesty as she was riding past in her carriage, in company with Prince Albert. Oxford was tried at the Central Criminal Court, when a verdict was returned of
and the prisoner was accordingly removed to be
The attempt on the life of the Queen was made by Francis, another lunatic, in ; and the by an idiot, named Hamilton, in .
On the , at the upper end of , Sir Robert Peel was thrown from his horse, and very severely injured. He died at his house, in , about days afterwards.
The rest of the history of the is soon told. In the Company constructed an [extra_illustrations.4.179.4] in the north-east corner of the park, opposite ; it was capable of containing gallons. This reservoir was removed about , and the entrance close by was at the same time considerably widened.
writes Walker in
[extra_illustrations.4.180.1] spoken of above stood near the north-west corner, and was removed about the year . The stags from the pillars at the entrance now adorn the , . The entire park had a few years previously been drained, and the surface re-laid and planted. The Rangership of the is at present, together with the rangership of St. James's and Richmond Parks, held by the Duke of Cambridge.
As Thomas Miller remarks in his
But those who know the locality will not pass without gazing at residence (a little above Spencer House), conspicuous by its large bowwindows, the upper of which is encircled by a gilt railing. This was the house of the bankerpoet, Samuel Rogers, of whom we have already spoken. of the several houses on this side of the park are leased of the Crown. Owing to its happy site on a sloping ground, the view from the upper walk is very extensive; and whenever the atmosphere is unobscured by fog or smoke, a lovely panorama presents itself.
[extra_illustrations.4.170.1] the great Sir Robert Walpole, died here
[extra_illustrations.4.172.1] Breakfast-room in Roger's House
[extra_illustrations.4.172.2] No. 22, a house
[extra_illustrations.4.176.1] The mansion of Earl Spencer
[extra_illustrations.4.177.1] Entrance to Green Park
[extra_illustrations.4.177.2] Bridgewater House the town residence of the Earl of Ellesmere
[extra_illustrations.4.178.1] The Green Park
[extra_illustrations.4.178.4] Piccadilly Circus
[extra_illustrations.4.178.5] Swan and Edgar--Piccadilly
[extra_illustrations.4.178.6] Institute of Painters of Water Colors
[extra_illustrations.4.178.7] View from Constitution Hill
[extra_illustrations.4.179.1] Devonshire House from Green Park
[extra_illustrations.4.179.2] an exhibition of fireworks
[extra_illustrations.4.179.3] Temple of Concord
[extra_illustrations.4.179.4] immense reservoir
[extra_illustrations.4.180.1] The Ranger's lodge
[extra_illustrations.4.181.1] Lord William Gordon's Lodge--Green Park