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
Westminster.-Tothill Fields and Neighbourhood.
Westminster.-Tothill Fields and Neighbourhood.
The origin of the word
is probably the
or beacon hill, from the Welch word
a spring or rising; and the name was probably given to this district from a beacon placed here, as the highest spot in and around the flat region of . The antiquary, Mr. Wykeham Archer, however, derives the name from Teut, the chief divinity of the Druids, and the equivalent of Thoth, the Egyptian Mercury, adding that the
Hill, often, by the way, styled
was the spot on which solemn proclamations were made to the people. Another derivation may also be suggested. The Normans, as we happen to know, often spoke of these parts as
What more easy than the corruption of these words into
It should, however, be stated that in Rocque's Map (),
is marked at a bend in .
also, in of its varied forms, is not an uncommon prefix to the names of other places in different parts of England, as, nes, ham, bury, ing, enham, &c.; and it may be added that all these are places of considerable elevation compared with the surrounding parts.
says Mr. Archer, in his
They must have witnessed some extraordinary scenes in the Middle Ages. Here necromancers were punished by the destruction of their instruments; for we read that, in the reign of Edward III., a man was taken
And, again, in the time of Richard I., Raulf Wigtoft, chaplain to Geoffrey, Archbishop of York,
These fields, according to Stow, in the reign of Henry III., formed part of a manor in , belonging to
By an Act passed in the same reign, Henry III., the Abbot of obtained
Here, in ,
after the coronation of Queen Eleanor, consort of Henry III. centuries afterwards, the fields in the neighbourhood were used for appeals by combat; and Stow describes
in the Isle of Harty,
and for which
says the historian, that
In the time of Nicholas Culpepper, the author of the well-known
these fields were famous for their parsley. In ()
&c., to the number of , we are told,
Here, too, were built the
as pest-houses for victims to the plague, and in many of those who had fallen victims to that direful scourge were buried here. Under date of , Samuel Pepys writes in his
Here, a short while previously, some
were interred; for in the accounts of the churchwardens of , , there is the payment of
it is added,
Some of the Scotch were
and there sold to several merchants, and sent to the island of Barbadoes.
if we may trust the retained much of their primitive appearance in .
The Pest Houses were built by Lord Craven as a lazaretto for the reception of the victims of the Great Plague which preceded the Fire of London. We have already mentioned this nobleman in our account of Craven House, ; and it deserves to be recorded to his credit that at that awful season he was not satisfied with building this hospital, but that he sheltered many of the sufferers by that disease who had no residences except in the doomed city, remaining himself on the spot,
in order to maintain order and to mitigate the horrors of the scene.
consisted of a row of redbrick buildings, and were erected at a cost of . At the beginning of the last century they were made into almshouses for aged married people. Some remains of them are-or were recently--to be seen near .
In connection with the surrounding fields, there are several incidents recorded illustrative of the days of old. Prior to the Statutes of Restraint, they were considered to be within the limits of the sanctuary of the Abbey.
In the century the people used to resort to a
in these same , which, according to an old writer, was
the fields being described as
to the King's Scholars and neighbours. And Sir Richard Steele, writing in
in , says,
A bear-garden, kept by William Wells, stood upon the site of the present during the reign of Queen Anne. Mr. Mackenzie Walcott says that, as lately as , there was a famous bear-garden in these fields; and near resided Haverfield, a noted highwayman, who kept bears in his rooms as myrmidons. Down to as recent a period as , that most barbarous sport of bull-baiting occasionally took place here; and the days' fair, held in honour of St. Edward, was not finally discontinued till some time afterwards.
Upon the spot now occupied by , the men of used to practise at the
which were provided by the parish in the year , in obedience to an ordinance of Queen Elizabeth. In the beginning of the last century it is described as a large inclosure,
The butts were a large mound of turf, and at them the volunteers used to shoot. They were close to the
The ground was inclosed within a ditch, and a
was provided for shelter and retirement. The actual butts were removed before the battle of Waterloo, and the name of
has almost perished from the memory of the present generation, here as elsewhere.
observes a writer in the ,
, in the days of trial by wager of battle, was the place where the judges sat in all the majesty of their official robes, wigs; and gold chains, as arbiters of these encounters- of the last remnants of the barbarous laws of another age. It is related that in such a occurred in a combat between
(appellant) is described to have
This absurdity was not formally set aside until , when an Act of Parliament was passed forbidding all such trials both in civil and criminal matters.
was also, in the century, a celebrated duelling-ground; the last
fought there, of which we have any account, took place, it is said, in , when a Kentish gentleman, Sir Cholmley Dering, was killed by a Mr. Richard Thornhill--the fools fighting with pistols so near that the muzzles touched each other.
There is extant a curious etching, by Hollar, of as they were in the time of Charles I. They appear to be a dead level, broken on by a clump of trees in the centre, forming a sort of maze. The foreground is broken by a row of slight terraces, not unlike the
and some ladies are promenading leisurely, dressed in the fashionable costume of the day.
In an able article on this interesting locality, a writer in the , of , observes :--
But this restraint was also imposed on all Roman Catholics in the and the early part of the eighteenth century.
On that part of which is now
| covered by the and some neighbouring streets, was held, in ancient times, Fair, locally named |
from the day on which it was celebrated. Mr. Frost, in his
tells us that it was established in , under a charter granted by Henry III. to the Abbot and Canons of . From the same authority we learn that the days to which it was originally limited were extended by favour of Edward III. to ; but the fair never proved a dangerous rival to that of St. Bartholomew's, in Smithfield, and gradually fell into discredit and disuse.
In the reign of Henry III., St. Edward's Fair, originally held in Churchyard, was removed hither, and in , the Abbot of was allowed to levy tolls upon all traders who sold their wares at the time, even within the precincts of the Palace. In was preserved in the muniment-room of , King Henry III.'s patent to the Abbot of , giving him leave to keep a market in Tothill every Monday, and a fair every year for days. The fair was held in , in the space between Emery Hill's Almshouses and the ground now occupied by the Church of St. Stephen the Martyr. The fair was in existence in , but died away gradually, previously to the general suppression of fairs in .
, which extends to the from the , near the west front of the Abbey, is the most ancient street in . It was at time inhabited by noblemen
Here the Bishop of Chester was residing in , and in Lord Dudley rented a house here from the fraternity of St. Mary. Sir Andrew Dudley also lived and died here. At the north-west end of the street, in what is now called , were the residences of Lord Dacre of the South and Lord Grey de Wilton, as stated in the previous chapter. In Sir George Carew died at Carew House in this street; and in a house near the Gate House, at time towards the end of the last century, lived the famous Edmund Burke. Lincoln House was the office of the Revels, when Sir Henry Herbert was master in -. Southern, the dramatic poet, and author of
for the last years of his life, resided in , where he died in the year . The poet Gray, in a letter to Horace Walpole, dated Burnham, Bucks, , says,
He is said to have been wealthy, but very mean; he used to print tickets on his benefit nights, and press them for sale upon his aristocratic friends. Thomas Betterton, the actor, and friend of Pope, was born in this street.
In the reign of Elizabeth, there were houses on both sides of ; those on the north side had large gardens reaching to , and those upon the south had likewise extensive grounds, extending as far as . Very few houses were then built in (now ); a few detached residences appear on the south side only of ; and some villas in St. Anne's Lane, Pye Street, and , with gardens along a stream.
Most of the signs of the old inns of were either religious charges, or else the cognisances of sovereigns or of noblemen residing in the neighbourhood. Such were the
(of the Blessed Virgin), in ; the
or, more properly, the
in other words, that of
(the badge of Henry V.), the
(that of Richard II.), and the
the cognisance of the Veres, Earls of Oxford. The
in , was the bearing of the Earls of Arundel, who at time were empowered by the king to grant licenses to public-houses. Hence the frequency of the
as a sign, especially in , where it was constantly to be seen painted on the walls and door-posts of hostelries; and so the
of Canning was neither the only nor the latest toper who has spent last night in this fair city
was so called after the old hostelry, noted as a resort for highwaymen,
The latter word is, as most persons know, a corruption from
the marks set upon the birds by the Lord Mayor, in his annual
or, as it is called, vulgarly,
when he makes his yearly progress up the Thames to count the young cygnets and old swans within the civic jurisdiction.
of the oldest taverns in the metropolis, bearing the sign of [extra_illustrations.4.18.1] surrounding a quaint old inn-yard, stood till , on the north side of . An ancient coat of arms, those of England and France carved in stone, discovered in this house, was walled up in the front of the building.
writes Mr. Larwood in
| his |
Later, it enjoyed a reputation on quite another account, as having been the inn from which the stage-coach to Oxford started, some centuries ago. Those who knew the inn down to a very recent date say that in the back parlour there was a picture of a jolly and bluff-looking man in a red coat, who is said to have been its driver. The house was built so as to inclose a quaint and spacious inn-yard, much frequented by carriers, not unlike some of those still standing in and the Borough. The house in all probability was in former times
an inn of considerable importance, as its rafters and timbers were principally of cedar intermixed with oak. It was formerly entered by steps. The building exhibited traces of great antiquity, and appears at time to have been a house of some pretensions. There was a curious hidingplace on the staircase, which may have secreted either a |
or else a highwayman in the days when both were in open hostility to the law of the land. In the house was also formerly a massive carving of Abraham about to offer his son Isaac; and another, in wood, representing the adoration of the Magi, said to have been kept in pledge, at some remote period, for an unpaid score. The cock may have been adopted as a
| sign here on account of the vicinity of the Abbey, of which St. Peter was the patron, for in the Middle Ages a cock crowing on the top of a pillar was often of the accessories in a picture of the Apostle. This certainly was a very unkind allusion for the saint, particularly when accompanied with such a sneering rhyme as that under the sign of the Red Cock in Amsterdam in . On the side was written :--
On the reverse:--
in is described by Stow as having existed as far back as the reign of Edward III. He also says that at this tavern the workmen were paid during the building of the Abbey, when the wages of most of the artificers did not exceed penny per day. On the demolition of the ancient inn, a new bearing the sign of the
was built on the opposite side of the street. Shortly after its erection, while some draymen were in the act of placing a supply of porter in the cellars, it was discovered that an additional wedge was required, and accordingly of the men looking round perceived a piece of oak, which had formed part of of the girders of the ancient building. This, it was conceived, would answer the purpose, if it could be riven asunder, and this process was accordingly pursued.
we read in a newspaper account of the discovery,
The whole of the coin is stated to have been in an admirable state of preservation.
The north side of , at the present time (), is almost entirely taken up by a large building which is in course of erection, for the
The ground occupies an irregular parallelogram of nearly acres, extending from to the corner of , and receding to the north nearly as far as the backs of the houses in . The edifice, which is being erected from the designs of Mr. Bedborough, is in the Classical style, constructed of red brick and Portland stone, with an arched roof of glass, similar in general plan to that of the Crystal Palace, though widely different in its details. It is storeys in height, and contains in the basement a great central tank of salt and fresh water, holding no less than gallons. On the ground floor, at the eastern end, is a large vestibule, or ante-chamber, leading to the central hall, or promenade, and containing a series of table-tanks for the reception of the smaller fish, the zoophytes, sea-anemones, and the like.
was in the last century called . In the New Way, not far from where the present Workhouse stands, resided the well-known Sir Robert Pye, from whom Old and New Pye Streets derive their names, and the husband of Anne Hampden, the
daughter. The New Way Chapel stood, according to Hopwood's map of , at the west end of the , opposite the entrance to Jeffery's Buildings from : here the celebrated Calvinist, Romaine, used to preach, previous to his election as Lecturer of St. Dunstan's-in-the- West.
says Mr. Mackenzie Walcott,
During the last century, the Government rented the New Way Chapel from the Dean and Chapter, and the Guards attended divine service there for many years.
side of the is now nearly occupied by the station on the Metropolitan District Railway. Here James I. granted a hay-market to be held for a certain number of years; a further term was obtained by licence of Charles II., but it had expired long before . In a survey made in mention is made of
Dick Turpin, the notorious highwayman, it is said, lodged in an obscure court hard by, and used to set out from this place on his marauding expeditions, upon his famous mare, Black Bess, from which of these taverns took its name.
, in the , rebuilt in the Early Pointed style, and dedicated to our Lord, in , stands upon the site of a former edifice which was known as the New Chapel. It consists
| of a chancel, with pentagonal apse, approached by a lofty flight of steps; a nave, with a lofty open timber roof, separated from the north and south aisles by cast-iron columns; and a tower (intended to receive a spire, to be feet high) attached to the north-west angle of the nave. The architect was Mr. A. Poynter. Several of the windows are filled with stained glass, the subjects being illustrative of the life of our Saviour. This New Chapel was erected upon a piece of waste ground belonging to the Dean and Chapter; its founder being Mr. George Darrell, Prebendary of , who, in the year , bequeathed to build it, provided it was used for |
The bequest was insufficient to complete the building, and was therefore increased by voluntary subscriptions.[extra_illustrations.4.21.1]
Archbishop Laud was a liberal contributor to this chapel, and in its churchyard was interred Sir William Waller, of the heroes of the Parliamentary army, who died in . In this burialground was a memorial of a parishioner, Margaret Batten, who was buried here in . Her portrait is preserved in Workhouse, in which she died (as asserted) at the advanced age of years.
, the thoroughfare running westward in continuation of the , was formerly known by the name of
There were districts in this locality with foreign names, says Widmore-
where the woolstaplers principally resided; and
where lived the French merchants, who came over to trade at the Staple. An Act of an interchange between the King and the Abbot of , in the reign of Henry VIII., mentions
The street received its present name, by a vote of the inhabitants, from Frederick, Duke of York, son of George II., who for some time had a residence among them.
Between and the narrow turning known as Ermin's or Hermit's Hill, stood until very recently a charitable institution- of a similar character to many others in this neighbourhood-known as the Almshouses, but more commonly as [extra_illustrations.4.21.2] . These houses contained, originally, rooms, to be inhabited rent free by as many poor women. They were founded in the reign of Elizabeth, under whom and whose predecessors Van Dun officiated as Yeoman of the Guard. His monument in , , has a good bust and the following inscription :--
Round the figure is inscribed:--
The tenements founded by Van Dun were of the smallest and plainest description. Not being endowed, they were appropriated to the parish pensioners of , . The site of these humble edifices was formerly called St. Hermit's Hill, probably from a cell or hermitage there situate. A chapel dedicated to is mentioned by Stow as standing near this spot,
These almshouses retained much of their primitive character down to the year ; but the alterations in the neighbourhood since the building of the Station of the Metropolitan District Railway have at length swept them away. Stow, in his survey of London and , mentions them as standing upon
Hill; and in Rocque's map this hill is clearly marked as bordering on the fields. Even at the beginning of the last century this neighbourhood retained enough of its rural or suburban character for the churchyard of the New Chapel (now. ) to be considered the
The author of the article in the to which we have referred in the commencement of this chapter, observes that-
The house No. in occupies the site of the residence of John Milton, which was of the garden-houses for which the author of
appears to have had a preference. Part of the grounds have been walled up, and appropriated to the house formerly inhabited by Jeremy Bentham. The cotton willow-tree planted by the great poet was in a flourishing condition a few years back, although the trunk showed great signs of decay; it has now entirely disappeared, and in the place of the garden workshops and other buildings have sprung up. The present frontage of the house answers to No. in this street, but it is evident that the original front was that facing the Park. On this side Jeremy Bentham placed a small tablet, with the following inscription:--
In the old wall which bounded the garden on the Park side, opposite the house, were the indications of a door, long built up, which was probably used by Milton in passing between his house and during his intercourse with Cromwell in the capacity of Latin secretary. In the house itself the arrangement of the windows has been entirely changed. It is probable that they formerly extended along the whole front, with sliding frames or lattices, divided by panelled spaces. The original panelling remains in the large room on the floor. The upper rooms are small, and the staircase, which has not been altered, is steep and narrow. The ground-floor seems to have been comprised in large room, as the original fireplace was evidently situated about the centre of the wall on the west side. This was probably the family room, or compromise between kitchen and parlour, so common to the economy of houses of respectable pretensions in the olden time. This distinguished house was, in later years, the residence of William Hazlitt, the critic and essayist.
An American paper of stated that the Historical Society of Pennsylvania has recently received from the Hon. Benjamin Rush an original baluster or newel-post from the stairway of the house formerly inhabited by John Milton, the poet, accompanied by a water-colour sketch of the building, with the following certificate from the hand of the celebrated English jurist, Jeremy Bentham :--
In is [extra_illustrations.4.22.3] , known also by the name of [extra_illustrations.4.22.4] . It was founded and built in the year , under the will of Ann, widow of Gregory Fiennes, Lord Dacre, for the support of men and women, as pensioners; and also for boys and girls, with a master for the former and a mistress for the latter. The children, when educated and grown up, were formerly apprenticed to different trades. The buildings and gardens of the hospital occupy about and a half acres. The original buildings becoming decayed, the present almshouses were erected in the reign of Queen Anne, the chapel in that of George II., and the schoolrooms in the present century. In the Endowed Schools Commission successfully carried a
of the schools attached to the hospital. This institution, therefore, was the of the kind which the
tendencies of the age may be said to have touched. These schools afford a good middleclass education to children, selected from , , and the village of Hayes, near Uxbridge, and also from the City of London and Brandesburton, near Beverley, Yorkshire. All the children are fed, clothed, sheltered, and educated, free of all expense to their relatives. In the education of the girls domestic work has always occupied a prominent position.
The will of Lady Dacre, under which this hospital was established, has often been printed. The testatrix provides, after declaring that her husband in his lifetime, and herself, designed to erect a hospital for the poor in or its neighbourhood, that her executors, if she should not perform it before her decease, should cause to be erected
and that it should be entitled
She expresses her design
| to be |
and enjoins her executors to be humble suitors to the Queen for a charter of incorporation. Accordingly a charter was obtained in , ordaining
and appointing, after the decease of the last-surviving executor, the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of London governors in perpetuity. The terms of this charter, however, are somewhat peculiar and contradictory; whilst allowing the governors very direct authority in the management of the charity, it nevertheless entrusts the alms-people themselves with very considerable powers of self-government, and incorporates them as
This corporation is authorised
&c., to choose its own warden, and
Practically, by custom, long disuse, and by an Act of Parliament passed in , this corporation is defunct, and the jurisdiction entirely in the hands of the aldermen as the governing body. The statutes of are interesting, as showing the kind of persons which, in the opinion of Lady Dacre's executors, ought to have preference as pensioners :--
The present inmates are entirely of the class. It would appear from the founder's will that she did not contemplate a school, but rather a cluster of industrial houses, in which each of the aged pensioners, in return for shelter and support, should
Accordingly the school was founded, and the clerical master appointed in . In the pensioners' allowance (originally only, and subsequently ) was increased to , and is now fixed at per annum.
In , the lease of the Brandesburton estate having fallen in, the. governors obtained an Act of Parliament to
out-pensioners were added to the almshouse branch, and the benefits of the inpensioners were increased by the addition of chaldrons of coals to their annual pension. In I the number of children was increased from to , which number was finally raised to , in , when the new schools were erected. In the chapel was enlarged, by the addition of an apex on the west side, to serve the purpose of a chancel. Before this time there had been no means of celebrating the holy communion. The altar-piece was purchased at the taking down of the church of St. Benet Fink, near the . The pulpit is of elaborately-carved oak, and apparently of the time of James I. Under an arch at the north end of the chapel is a small model of the tomb of the founder, Lady Dacre, in Church.
Of the masters of the hospital the only man of eminence was the Rev. William Beloe, the translator of Herodotus, who retained the office from to , when he was appointed Rector of Allhallows, , and Assistant Librarian in the .
The most valuable endowments of this ancient charity consist of the manorial estate of Brandesburton, the greater part of which parish belongs to the
The aldermen of London, as
have been liberal and popular landlords. In they rebuilt the Brandesburton Schools, which had already been founded and endowed by a Yorkshire lady in the reign of George I.
In was passed the
bringing this and other hospital schools under the stern and reforming hands of the
In this commission carried in Parliament a
for the reconstruction of this hospital, and the separation of the schools from the almshouse branch of the charity. Under the provisions of this scheme the endowments of hospital schools in were to be united under the management of body of governors, viz., Emmanuel, , Palmer's, and Emery Hill's hospitals. Out of these endowments it was proposed to establish large middle-class schools, namely, a boarding-school, to be erected within miles of London, and day-schools in , each providing accommodation for boys, of whom in each should pay a small sum for their education, whilst the other free places were to be reserved as
|scholarships and exhibitions for deserving candidates, principally for those belonging to the public elementary day-schools of and . The governing body, or trustees, as at present constituted, consist of the Lord Mayor of London, the Aldermen, the Recorder, and elected inhabitants of . It may be added that the school will be as soon as possible removed into the country. The almshouse branch of the hospital is not touched by the above scheme, and - of the revenues of the charity is henceforth set aside for its support.|
The hospital forms sides of a quadrangle, the side, opening to the street, being enclosed with iron railings and gates. The chapel has an enriched pediment, and is in the centre of the west side of the building.
On the north side of Emmanuel Hospital, and at the corner of and , is a Nonconformist edifice called Chapel, which was rebuilt in , from the designs of Mr. W. F. Poulton. In an architectural sense it is an adaptation of the Lombardic style to the requirements of a building in which convenient accommodation for a large number of persons, and the
|best acoustical arrangements, were the main considerations. The chapel is constructed of brick, and, with its semicircular-headed windows and doorways, has an elegant appearance. The campanile, at the north-east corner, rises to a height of about feet. The interior is commodious and admirably adapted for the purpose for which it was built. There are galleries, the fronts of which are of open iron-work, supported on a wooden basement of such a height as to secure the advantages of an enclosed gallery front; the ends of the chapel are semi-circular. The ceiling is flat in the centre and coved at the sides; the whole being divided into panels by moulded ribs, springing at the base of the cove from semi-detached stone columns, which divide the wall in bays of equal width round the whole chapel. The coved part of the ceiling is groined between each bay in order to admit of the windows being continued above the caps of the columns.|
The Infirmary, out of which originated, stood formerly on the east side of .
, which extends from to , is so called from its vicinity
|to the Park. On the west side of this street was formerly Tart Hall, built in , by Nicholas Stone, for Alethea, Countess of Arundel, and belonging to the family of the Howards. It was the residence of William, Viscount Stafford, who was beheaded, on the evidence of Titus Oates, in the reign of Charles II. Having been used for some time as a place of entertainment, it was demolished early in the last century. The old gateway of Tart Hall, which stood till , was not opened after the condemned nobleman passed under it for the last time. According to Strype, the old hall was partly in the parish of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, and partly in that of St. James's: we shall have more to say of it in a subsequent chapter. At the garden wall, on the site of which now stands , a boy was whipped annually, in order to keep the parish bounds in remembrance.|
At No. in this street lived the poet, Richard Glover, whose song of
roused the nation to a war with Spain. Another distinguished writer who resided in was William Gifford, editor of the for the years of its existence: he died here in . His early history is prefixed to his translation of
A native of Devonshire, and eminently a selfmade man, Gifford was a political writer and critic of no small influence in his lifetime. His early life was spent as a cabin-boy on board a little coastingvessel; but at the age of he was apprenticed to a shoemaker at Ashburton. In spite of a neglected education, his talents showed themselves in a strong thirst for knowledge. Mathematics at were his favourite study; and he relates that, in want of paper, he used to hammer scraps of
|leather smooth, and work his problems on them with a blunt awl. Through the kindness of Mr. Cookesley and the Earl of Grosvenor, the poor friendless orphan was enabled ultimately to manifest his talents, and to gain admission into the most brilliant literary and political circles, members of which were Pitt, Canning, Lord Liverpool, and the Marquis of Wellesley.|
In , at the house of Thomas Harley, occurred the secret interview between Harley and [extra_illustrations.4.26.1] -who, we are informed, entered by the garden door at the back of the house looking into the Park-when Harley discovered the existence of the secret negotiations between the French King and the General, a discovery which placed Marlborough's life in the Minister's hands.
[extra_illustrations.4.18.1] The Cock
[extra_illustrations.4.21.1] St. James, Westminster
[extra_illustrations.4.21.2] Van Dun's Almshouses
[extra_illustrations.4.22.1] Carving from Doorway of Emmanuel Hospital
[extra_illustrations.4.22.3] Emmanuel Hospital
[extra_illustrations.4.22.4] Lady Dacre's Almshouses
[extra_illustrations.4.26.1] the Duke of Marlborough