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

Regent Street and Piccadilly.

Regent Street and Piccadilly.

 

 

[extra_illustrations.4.246.2] 

Westward the tide of empire holds its way.

What the poet has said so pithily about the tide of empire may be said also of the tide of fashion in this great metropolis, which for these centuries and more past has set steadily westward. As Mr. Albert Smith remarks, in his

Sketches of London Life:

--

Proceeding in

two

parallel directions, divided by

Oxford Street

,

Hanover Square

gradually declined before that of Grosvenor, and Portman rose above that of Manchester. Still fashion kept marching on-the former division tending towards May Fair, and the latter to the

Edgware Road

; until the

first

, turned aside in its course by

Hyde Park

, reached the site of Belgravia, and the

second

, heedless of the associations connected with the gallows, and the decaying foliage of the Bayswater tea-gardens, colonised Tyburnia for its territory.

That old prince of gossips, Horace Walpole, writes thus to Miss Berry, and her sister, in :--

Though London increases every day, and Mr. Herschel

The great astronomer.

has just discovered a new square or circus somewhere by the

New Road

, in the

Via Lactea,

where the cows used to be fed, I believe you will think the town cannot hold all its inhabitants, so prodigiously the population is augmented. I have twice been going to stop my coach in

Piccadilly

(and the same has happened to Lady Ailesbury), thinking there was a mob, and it was only nymphs and swains sauntering

Swallow Street During Its Demolition.

or trudging. T'other morning, i.e., at

two

o'clock, I went to see Mrs. Garrick and

Miss Hannah More

at the

Adelphi

, and was stopped

five

times before I reached

Northumberland House

; for the tides of coaches, chariots, curricles, phaetons, &c., are endless. Indeed, the town is so extended, that the breed of chairs is almost lost; for Hercules and Atlas could not carry anybody from

one

end of the enormous capital to the other. How magnified would be the error of the young woman at St. Helena, who some years ago said to the captain of an Indiaman,

I suppose London is very empty when the India ships come out.

And again, in the same letter:

There will soon be

one

street from London to Brentford-aye, and from London to every village within

ten

miles round . . . London is, I am certain, much fuller than ever I saw it. I have twice this spring been going to stop my coach in

Piccadilly

, to inquire what was the matter, thinking there was a mob: not at all; it was only foot-passengers.

He adds a few remarks, by way of consolation, to the effect that, in spite of the enormous increase of London, there was as yet no complaint that the country was coming to be depopulated, as Bath

shoots out into new crescents, circuses, and squares every year; while Birmingham, Manchester, Hull, and Liverpool would serve any king in England for a capital, and even make the Empress of Russia's mouth to water.

The origin of the name of is wrapped in obscurity, and has frequently been discussed in , and in other quarters. Mr. Peter Cunningham and Mr. John Timbs, among modern antiquaries, have started the inquiry as to its derivation rather than solved it; and we must be content to believe, with them, that the street gradually took its name from a place of amusement, spoken of in the preceding chapter as formerly standing at its eastern or town end, styled Hall, which in its turn was so styled after the ruffs, called

pickadils,

or

peccadillos,

worn by the gallants of the reign of James I., the stiffened points of which, as Mr. Timbs observes, resembled spear-heads, or

picardills,

a diminutive of the Spanish and Italian word (Latin ) a spear. Ben Jonson writes, in his

Underwoods :

--

And then leap mad on a neat pickardill.

To this line Mr. Robert Bell appends a note to the effect that the latter word is the name of

a stiff collar, or ruff, generally with sharp points, and derived from

picca,

a spear-head. The ruff came into fashion, as we see by contemporary portraits, early in the reign of James I.; and, according to some authorities, gave its name to the street of

Piccadilly

.

But then, the further difficulty arises, how to connect Hall with so fanciful a word. Was it, as is sometimes said, because the man who built it- Higgins, a draper-made his fortune by the sale of

pickadils

when they were the height of fashion? or was the Hall itself originally a way-side inn, so named by chance or caprice? or does some subtle and fanciful analogy underlie the name? and are we to suppose that it was so styled by the Londoners, as being

the utmost or skirt house of the suburbs that way?

This supposition is too far-fetched, and savours too much of poetry, we think, to be ascribed to the ordinary and commonplace Londoners. Then, again, an old writer, Blount, in his

Glossographia,

interprets the word as denoting

the round hem about the edge or skirt of a garment, or a stiff collar or band for the neck and shoulders;

whence Butler, in his

Hudibras,

styles the collars in the pillory

peccadilloes.

If so, may not the name have originated from the pillory having been often set up here in the good old Tudor times? Pennant, again, has another derivation to offer, suggesting that it comes from a sort of cakes or turnovers called

piccadillas,

which were sold in the fields about here. Whatever the connecting link may be, however, it is clear that the name, as applied to these parts, dates from the century; for Gerard, in his

Herbal,

published in , speaks of the small wild buglosse which grows upon the dry ditch-banks about

Pickadilla.

D'Israeli, in his

Curiosities of Literature,

tells us that

was named after Piccadilla Hall, a place of sale for piccadillies, or turnovers, a part of the fashionable dress which appeared about the year

1814

. It has preserved its name uncorrupted; for Barnabe Rich, in his

Honesty of the Age,

has this passage on

the body-makers that do swarm through all parts, both of London and about London.

He says,

The body is still pampered up in the very dropsy of excess.

He that some

forty

years sithence should have asked after a Pickadilly, I wonder who should have understood him, or could have told what a Pickadilly had been, either fish or flesh.

So we must be content to leave the inquiry where we found it, and pass on.

The name [extra_illustrations.4.249.1]  is found written in a variety of ways. Mr. Akerman, in his work on

London Tradesmen's Tokens,

enumerates -different specimens, in the shape of copper coins, which bear date,

Piccadily,

between and . Some of these are issued by grocers, some by

sea-coal

dealers, and others apparently by the keepers of

p.249

forges. They do not agree in their orthography, for the name is spelt

Peckadille,

Pickedila,

Pickadilla,

and other ways. [extra_illustrations.4.249.2] 

The thoroughfare bearing the name of , says Mr. Peter Cunningham, was a very short line of road, running no further west than the foot of ; and the name Street occurs, for the time, in the rate-books of , under the year . Between Sackville and Albemarle Streets, or, as some say, to , or even to , at different times, the thoroughfare was called , after Catherine of Braganza, Queen of Charles II.; all beyond that point being the great , or, as it is called in Aggas's map (),

the way to Reding.

The Queen, however, was never a favourite with the people, and gradually the name of displaced her memory altogether.

The north side,

says Pennant in ,

consists of houses, most of them mean buildings; but it finishes handsomely with the magnificent new house of Lord Bathurst, at

Hyde Park Corner

.

It is amusing to compare the state of the street at that date with what it is in the reign of Victoria. The , opposite, was shut in by a brick wall, in which, however,--were inserted, here and there, some

benevolent

railings, to enable the passers-by to catch a glimpse of the trees inside.

The mansion built along was Goring House, which stood on what is now ; it was bought by Bennett, Lord Arlington, after whom both Bennett and Arlington Streets were named. Nearly opposite it, about , rose Clarendon House, and , built by Sir John Denham, and re-fronted by the celebrated amateur architect, Boyle, Earl of Burlington. This negatives the hackneyed story of Lord Burlington having chosen the site of his mansion so far out of town that no could build beyond him. Immediately to the east were the house and garden of the Earl of Sunderland, the treacherous minister of James II.; the site is now occupied by the .

In

1711

,

according to Hunter's

History of- London,

the town extended as far west as

Devonshire House

. Beyond

Clifford Street

was built

Bond Street

, which took its name from the family of a baronet, now extinct, who owned the ground. But

New Bond Street

was still an open field, called Conduit Mead, from

one

of the conduits which supplied that part of the town with water, and from which

Conduit Street

, adjoining, derived its name. All beyond was open ground, a receptacle for dunghills, and every kind of refuse .

Oxford Street

was then built on the south side, as far as

Swallow Street

(now absorbed in

Regent Street

), but almost unbuilt on the north side. It was a deep hollow road, full of sloughs, with here and there a ragged house, the lurking-place of cut-throats.

The head-quarters of the fashionable world, as lately as the beginning of the reign of George IV., lay between and . Hence, a witty personage, when giving advice to a rich country friend as to how to make a good show in London, says-

Hire a house in the purlieus of ton, and take care

That it stands in a street near some smart-sounding square,

Such as Hanover, Grosvenor, or Portman, at least.

A better incidental proof could not well have been given that Belgrave and Eaton Squares were not as yet erected. In fact, at that date Belgravia was a swamp, and its squares were cabbage-gardens.

Near the eastern extremity of the thoroughfare is intersected by , which commences at , and proceeds northward for nearly a mile. It crosses , by a circus, to the [extra_illustrations.4.249.3] , whence it passes to the north-west by a curved road, called the Quadrant, and then again in a direct line northward, crossing to . On the whole, this street-at all events, in its lower parts-follows the line of , which it superseded. To judge from its appearance, as preserved to us in the prints of the time, the latter was a long, ugly, and irregular thoroughfare. The tradition is that it bore a reputation by no means good, and contained, among its other houses, a certain livery-stable, which in the last century was a noted house-of-call for highwaymen.

Of the appearance of this district in the last year of the reign of Charles II., Lord Macaulay gives us the following picture:--

He who then rambled to what is now the gayest and most crowded part of

Regent Street

, found himself in a solitude, and was sometimes so fortunate as to have a shot at a woodcock.

General Oglethorpe, who died in 1785, used to boast that he had shot such birds here in Queen Anne's reign.

On the north the

Oxford road

ran between hedges.

Three

or

four hundred

yards to the south were the garden-walls of a few great houses, which were considered as quite out of town. On the west was a meadow, renowned for a spring, from which, long afterwards,

Conduit Street

was named. On the east (near where now stands

Golden Square

) was a field not to be passed without a shudder by any Londoner of that age. There, as in a place far from the haunts of men, had been dug,

twenty

years before, when the great plague was raging, a pit into which the dead-carts had nightly shot

corpses by scores. It was popularly believed that the earth was deeply tainted with infection, and could not be disturbed without imminent risk to human life. No foundations were laid there till

two

generations had passed without any return of the pestilence, and till the ghastly spot had long been surrounded by buildings. It may be added, that the

pest-field

may still be seen marked in maps of London as late as the end of the reign of George I.

The County Fire Office, which stands at the commencement of the Quadrant, was built from the designs of Mr. Abraham. It is a stately pile, of the Composite order, with a rustic basement and arcade, above which rise -quarter columns, and pilasters at the angles, supporting the entablature; the latter is surmounted by a balustrade and parapet, on the centre of which is a colossal figure of Britannia, standing with her spear and shield, and at her side the British lion couchant.

[extra_illustrations.4.250.1]  had, originally, a Doric colonnade on either side, projecting over the foot-pavements. The columns--some in number--were of castiron, feet high, exclusive of the granite plinth, and supported a balustraded roof. The effect of this novel piece of street architecture was generally considered as very fine and picturesque. , however, in consequence of the darkness which they imparted to the shops, were removed in , at which time a balcony was added to the principal floor. In the centre of the Quadrant, on the south-west side, is of the entrances to the St. James's Hall. Cyrus Redding fixes the Quadrant as the scene of the following incident. He writes in his

Recollections:

--

Campbell and myself set off

one

morning to walk to Dulwich College, to see the pictures and dine. We were passing along the Quadrant, when we met Sir James Mackintosh, looking serious.

What a melancholy affair this is,

was his remark, without a

good morning.

What affair?

The death of Sir Thomas Lawrence.

Campbell, who had been with Sir Thomas the evening but

one

before, was thunderstricken. When Sir James had passed on, I could not help remarking I thought he would be the next to depart-he looked so ill. My surmise was confirmed. It was not long before I visited his resting-place, with his daughter, in Hampstead churchyard. Campbell became too disturbed in his mind to proceed to Dulwich, and a walk we had often talked about was never taken.

The long vista of [extra_illustrations.4.250.2] , is very fine, exhibiting, as it does, a remarkable variety of architectural features. It was erected principally from the designs of Mr. John Nash, who deserves to be remembered as the author of this great metropolitan improvement; and it was named from the architect's patron, the Prince Regent. The expenditure of the Office of Woods and Forests in its construction was a little in excess of a million and a half. Of course, being a thoroughfare of so recent a date, having been commenced in I, has scarcely a back history for us to record here, like and . It belongs to

new,

and not to

old

London.

In his design for , Nash adopted the idea of uniting several dwellings into a so as to preserve a degree of continuity essential to architectural importance; and it cannot be denied that he has produced a varied succession of architectural scenery, the effect of which is picturesque and imposing, superior to that of any other portion of the then existing metropolis, and far preferable to the naked brick walls at that time universally forming the sides of our streets. The plaster fronts of the houses have given rise to some severe criticism, and the perishable nature of the brick and composition of which the houses in this street are built, gave rise to the following epigram in the for :--

Augustus at Rome was for building renown'd,

And of marble he left what of brick he had found;

But is not our Nash, too, a very great master?

He finds us all brick, and he leaves us all plaster.

is full of handsome shops, and during the afternoon, in the height of the London season, is the very centre of fashion, and with its show of fine carriages, horses, and gay company, forms of the most striking sights of the metropolis. At the close of the London season

everybody who pretends to be anybody

goes away from town, and the West-end becomes comparatively a desert. As Mr. Albert Smith remarks, in his

Sketches of London Life and Character

--

The thousands who leave London make no difference to the stream of life that daily flows along its business thoroughfares; but

Regent Street

assimilates to Pompeii in its loneliness. There are no more lines of carriages at the kerb; no concert programmes at the music-shops; nor bouquets and lap-dogs on the pavements. Men run in and out of their clubs in a shy and nervous manner, as though they were burrows; not caring to be seen, and inventing lame reasons for their continuance in London. You may wander all round

Eaton Square

without finding a single window lighted up, or meeting

one

carriage rolling

along, with its lamps like

two

bright eyes, to a party. All have departed--the handsome girls to recruit their somewhat jaded strength, and recover from the pallor induced by late hours and the

thousand

fretting emotions of society; the men to shoot, and ride, and sail; the heads of the families to retain their caste, because it is proper to do so; but all to get away as soon and as fast as they can, when Parliament is prorogued, and the grouse are reported to be ready for slaughter.

On the east side, about half way up, near , stood

Archbishop Tenison's Chapel,

so called after its founder, who conveyed this chapel, or

tabernacle,

to certain trustees ( of whom was the great Sir Isaac Newton), as a chapel of ease, or

oratory,

for the parish of St. James's. The archbishop added to it an endowment for

preachers,

as also for a

reader

or chaplain, to say prayers in it twice daily, and for a schoolmaster to teach sundry poor boys of the parish to read, write, and cast accounts. The chapel was opened in . It was re-fronted when was built; but about the year , its endowment not being adequate to its maintenance, the west end of the building was cut off and turned into shops.

Higher up, on the same side of the street, a certain M. Foubert had, in the reign of Charles II., a riding academy, and his name is still retained in Foubert's Passage. Evelyn writes in his

Diary,

under date , that M. Foubert had

lately come from Paris for his religion, and resolved to settle here.

In the following December he was again here, and gives a list of the performances, and also the names of the principal of the nobility present. On the site of Foubert's academy had previously stood the mansion of the Countess of Bristol.

In this street was the publishing office of Mr. James Fraser, the starter and proprietor of . In the January number of that magazine for , we have, from the pencil of Maclise, a sketch of an editorial banquet at the residence of Mr. Fraser, at which some eminent men were present. Mr. Mahony, the

Father Prout

of the magazine, in his account of this banquet, written some years later, tells us that it was a reality, and not a fiction. In the chair appears Dr. Maginn in the act of making a speech; and around him are some of the contributors, including Bryan Waller Procter (better known then as

Barry Cornwall

), Robert Southey, William Harrison Ainsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, James Hogg, John Gait, Fraser the publisher, having on his right Mr. J. G. Lockhart, Theodore Hook, Sir David Brewster, Thomas Carlyle, Sir Egerton Brydges, the Rev. G. R. Gleig, Edward Irving, and William Makepeace Thackeray, the last-named being easily recognised by his double eye-glass, for he was short-sighted even as a young man. Alas! of that pleasant and distinguished party, how few survive! Whilst speaking of , we may add that in the zenith of its popularity, in the year , its pages, or rather the connection of Dr. Maginn with it as editor, led to a duel, happily a bloodless . As usual, there was

a lady in the case;

and the Hon. Grantley Berkeley, then M.P. for West Gloucestershire, came forward to espouse the cause of the lady, who conceived that she had been injured by Maginn. Mr. Berkeley was warned by Lady Blessington that Maginn would be sure to look out for some opportunity of revenge. The opportunity came very soon afterwards; for Mr. Grantley Berkeley wrote and published a novel, which Dr. Maginn reviewed in not, however, confining himself to fair criticism, but using malignant insinuations against Lady Euston, a cousin of the author. Accordingly, Mr. Grantley Berkeley, accompanied by his brother Craven, called at Mr. Fraser's shop to demand the name of the writer, and not obtaining it, administered to the publisher a severe chastisement. This was made, very naturally, the subject of a civil action; but, meantime, it leaked out incidentally that Dr. Maginn was the writer. The consequence was a duel, which was fought with pistols. shots were fired, but without effect, Major Fancourt being Mr. Berkeley's , whilst Mr. Fraser acted in that capacity for Dr. Maginn. The ridiculous nature of this

literary duel

and its bloodless termination, literally

in smoke,

helped to seal the doom of the once fashionable practice of duelling; and the publicity gained for the transaction, to use the words of the ,

put a wholesome restraint upon the herd of libellers who, in the

Age

and

Satirist

newspapers, and in

Fraser's Magazine

, had for years been recklessly trading upon scandals affecting families of distinction.

The and the are both happily defunct; and has long since abandoned bad habits of this kind.

At the junction of with is another circus. Of the portion of the street lying beyond this point we shall speak in a future chapter.

On the west side of the way, between Hanover and Princes Streets, stands [extra_illustrations.4.252.1] , which was built, in , from the designs of the late Mr. Cockerell, R.A.; it is of the Ionic order, and in its internal arrangement somewhat resembles St.

p.252

Stephen's Church, . The altar is enriched with carved work, and the fabric generally forms a fine architectural display, though utterly unsuited to a church.

Before resuming our account of , we may be pardoned for introducing the following anecdote of the poet Campbell, as narrated by Southey:--

Taking a walk with Campbell

one

day up

Regent Street

,

he says,

we were accosted by a wretched-looking woman, with a sick infant in her arms, and another starved little thing at her mother's side. The woman begged for a copper. I had no change, and Campbell had nothing but a sovereign. The woman stuck fast to the poet, as if she read his heart in his face, and I could feel his arm beginning to tremble. At length, saying something about it being his duty to assist poor creatures, he told the woman to wait; and, hastening into a mercer's shop, asked, rather impatiently, for change. You know what an excitable person he was, and how he fancied all business must give way till the change was supplied. The shopman thought otherwise; the poet insisted; an altercation ensued; and in a minute or

two

the master jumped over the counter and collared him, telling

The Quadrant, Regent Street, Before The Removal Of The Colonnade.

us he would turn us both out; that he believed we came there to kick up a row for some dishonest purpose. So here was a pretty dilemma. We defied him, but said we would go out instantly, on his apologising for his gross insult. All was uproar. Campbell called out-

Thrash the fellow! thrash him!

You will not go out, then?

said the mercer.

No, never, till you apologise.

Well, we shall soon see. John, go to Vine Street, and fetch the police.

In a few minutes

two

policemen appeared;

one

went close up to Mr. Campbell, the other to myself. The poet was now in such breathless indignation that he could not articulate a sentence. I told the policeman the object he had in asking change, and that the shopkeeper had most unwarrantably insulted us.

This gentleman,

I added, by way of a climax,

is Mr. Thomas Campbell, the distinguished poet, a man who would not hurt a fly, much less act with the dishonest intention that person has insinuated.

The moment I uttered the name the policeman, backed away

two

or

three

paces, as if awe-struck, and said,

Guidness, mon, is that Maister Cammells the Lord Rector o' Glasgow?

Yes, my friend, he is, as this card may convince you,

handing it

to him.

All this commotion has been caused by a mistake.

By this time the mercer had cooled down to a moderate temperature, and in the end made every reparation in his power, saying he was very busy at the time, and had he but known the gentleman, he would have changed

fifty

sovereigns for him.

My dear fellow,

said the poet, who had recovered his speech,

I am not at all offended;

and it was really laughable to see them shaking hands long and vigorously, each with perfect sincerity and mutual forgiveness.

But we must proceed. Between Regent's Quadrant and runs Little , a thoroughfare remarkable now-a-days mainly for its police station; but carrying back our memories

to the day when a vineyard, belonging to the Abbey of or to some wealthy lord, flourished and yielded the fruit of the grape on a sunny slope. Here, in , was living, in comparative obscurity, a young artist, who afterwards became known as Sir Francis Chantrey, the eminent sculptor.

In this street there is to be seen the sign of the

Man in the Moon

--a sign representing, as antiquaries tell us, either Cain, or Jacob, or the man who was stoned for gathering sticks on the Jewish Sabbath (Numbers xv. , &c.), and so old as to be alluded to by Shakespeare and Dante. There were other houses bearing this sign in and other parts of London.

p.254

 

We have already stated that a considerable part of was absorbed in the formation of ; a small portion, however, is still left between the Quadrant and , and into that we now pass. Here there has been a chapel belonging to the Scotch Presbyterians since , when it was bought by a Dr. James Anderson from the French Huguenots, who had used it as of the principal churches of their worship not long after their arrival in England after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Mr. Smiles, in his work on the Huguenots, tells us that

the congregation had originally worshipped in the French Ambassador's chapel in Monmouth House,

Soho Square

, from which they removed to

Swallow Street

in

1690

.

The records of their church, which are still preserved at , show that it was the principal place for receiving back into church membership such refugees as had lapsed from their fervour. [extra_illustrations.4.254.1] 

St. James's Hall, which covers a large space of ground between the Quadrant and , and is almost wholly concealed by houses and shopfronts, was built in , from the designs of Mr. Owen Jones, in the Arabesque or Moorish Alhambra style. The building, which has entrances in both thoroughfares, consists of large room and smaller ones. The principal hall is beautifully decorated, and surrounded on sides with a gallery; the western end is apsidally constructed, and is so arranged that concerts may be given on an extensive scale, a class of entertainment for which the Hall was originally intended. Among the principal concerts given here are those of the New Philharmonic Society, Mr. Henry Leslie's Choir, and what are called the

Monday Popular Concerts.

The public dinner held here was on , under the presidency of Mr. Robert Stephenson, M.P., when a testimonial of the value of more than was presented to Sir F. P. Smith, in recognition of services in the introduction of the screw-propeller into our steam fleet. Here Charles Dickens gave the series of his

Readings,

in the spring of . In of the smaller apartments entertainments on a humbler scale-such as panoramas, &c.-are given. In , handsome and spacious dining-rooms, &c., were added to the building. Adjoining each room is a small kitchen, communicating, by means of a lift, with the general kitchen upstairs; the general fittings and furniture are handsome throughout, and in good keeping, marble and glazed tiling being largely employed in the panelling of the walls.

At Fore's Exhibition, which, towards the end of the last century, was in a house near the eastern end of , was to be seen the largest collection of caricatures by Gilray, Rowlandson, and the elder Cruickshank, including many political squibs and songs.

At No. , close to , in , were made the experiments in this country with the newly-discovered process of M. Daguerre, in the presence of a large body of scientific persons.

At a short distance westward from the circus, probably in the house now occupied by Mr. Quaritch, the eminent -hand bookseller, but what was at the time No. , resided, in , Emma Lyon, afterwards Lady Hamilton. She was born in Cheshire, and came to London, while a girl, in , and lived in several families as a nursemaid. In she was married to Sir William Hamilton. She became acquainted with Lord Nelson at Naples, in , and here the great naval hero used to visit her. By him she had a child, named Horatia, who afterwards married a clergyman. It. has been remarked by a writer in , that

of her virtues, unhappily, prudence was not

one

. After the death of Nelson, and the disgraceful disregard of her claims by the Government, her affairs became greatly embarrassed. Those who owed wealth and honour to Nelson, and who had sunned themselves in her prosperity, shrank away from her. In her distress she wrote a most touching letter to

one

who had courted her smiles in other days, the Duke of Queensberry, imploring him to buy the little estate at Merton, which had been left to her by Nelson, and thus to relieve her from the most pressing embarrassments. The cold-hearted old profligate turned a deaf ear to the request. In

1813

Emma Hamilton was a prisoner for debt in the King's Bench. Deserted by the great, the noble, and the wealthy, abandoned by the heir of his title and the recipient of his hardearned rewards, she, whom Nelson had left as a legacy to his country, might have died in a gaol. From this fate she was saved by

one

whose name is not to be found in the brilliant circle who surrounded her but a few short years before. Alderman Joshua Jonathan Smith (let all honour be paid to his most plebeian name) redeemed his share of his country's debt and obtained her release. She fled to Calais, where she died in destitution, and was buried by the hands of charitable strangers.

Mr. Quaritch's establishment is by far the most extensive of the kind in London, and probably in the world; and his catalogue, a most voluminous production, larger and more varied than even that of Mr. H. G. Bohn, is of itself of such interest in

p.255

the literary world as to have merited a long and elaborate notice in the [extra_illustrations.4.255.1] 

On the southern side of , nearly opposite the entrance to St. James's Hall, is the Museum of Practical Geology, of which we have spoken in a previous chapter.

At No. , on this side of the street, between the Circus and St. James's Church, are the Rooms of the Genealogical and Historical Society of Great Britain, an association which, though it has been in existence for years, has hitherto published no

Transactions

or records of its proceedings, nor even the names of its president and council, or a list of its members!

[extra_illustrations.4.255.2] , which is separated from the roadway by a paved court and brick wall, with handsome iron gates, owes its erection to the great increase in the parish of St. Martin-in-the- Fields. It was originally a chapel of ease only, and was built at an expense of about , chiefly by Henry Jermyn, Earl of St. Albans, and the neighbouring inhabitants.

It is well known that Sir Christopher Wren always regarded this as of the best of his churches. He is said to have taxed his powers to the utmost here to provide

a room so capacious as with pews and galleries to hold

2,000

persons, and all to hear the service and see the preacher.

It is divided in the interior into a nave and side aisles. The principal merit is in the formation of the roof, which is described by the late Professor Cockerell as

singularly ingenious and economical; its simplicity, strength, and beauty being a perfect study of construction and architectural economy.

The writer of

A New Critical Review of the Public Buildings

draws attention to its beautiful and commanding situation, while he expresses his regret that the architect troubled himself but little about beauty in his design.

The walls of this church are of brick and stone, with rustic quoins, &c.; the roof is arched, and supported by Corinthian pillars. The interior of the roof is beautifully ornamented, and divided into panels of crotchet and fret-work. The galleries have very handsome fronts, and the door-cases are highly enriched; that fronting (originally the principal ) has above it the arms of the Earl of St. Albans. The font was carved by Grinling Gibbons, and represents the Fall of Man, the Salvation of Noah, &c. In Brayley's

Londoniana

it is asserted that the cover of the font, which was held by a flying angel and a group of cherubim, was stolen about the beginning of the present century, and subsequently hung up as a sign at a spirit-shop in the neighbourhood. The great east window was filled with stained glass in , the subjects represented being Christ's Agony in the Garden, Bearing the Cross, the Passion, the Burial, Resurrection, and the Ascension. Of the altar-piece, which is very spacious, and highly enriched with carved work, Evelyn, in his

Diary,

under date , gives us the following particulars :--

I went to see the new church of St. James's, elegantly built. The altar was especially adorned, the white marble inclosure curiously and richly carved, the flowers and garlands about the walls by Mr. Gibbons, in wood; a pelican, with her young at her breast, just over the altar in the carved compartment, and border environing the purple velvet fringed with (black) I.H.S. richly embroidered, and most noble plate, were given by Sir R. Greere, to the value (as was said) of

£ 200

. There was no altar anywhere in England, nor has there been any abroad, more handsomely adorned.

The organ, which is considered very good, was built for James II., and intended for his Roman Catholic Oratory at , but it was given to this parish by Queen Mary in . At the north-west corner of the church is a tower and spire, rising to the height of about feet. The spire, says Mr. Timbs, was a later addition, planned by a carpenter, whose design was preferred to that of Wren, from motives of economy. In , the spire was coated with lead, when the exterior of the church was repaired throughout.

The church was consecrated in , and many of its rectors have become bishops and high dignitaries in the Church. of the earliest was Dr. Hoadly, afterwards Bishop of Winchester. Dr. Tenison, vicar of , and subsequently Archbishop of Canterbury, was appointed the rector. The rector, Dr. Wake, and the , Dr. Secker, likewise at a later date became Archbishops of Canterbury. of the rectors of St. James's in the last century was [extra_illustrations.4.256.1] , the well-known latitudinarian divine, whose writings were so severely censured by the Lower House of Convocation as to cause a breach with the Upper House, and eventually to suspend the sittings of both Houses for nearly a century. He was a great favourite of Queen Anne (who placed his bust in her ) and of Queen Caroline, though disliked by Bolingbroke and Pope. On the death of Sir Isaac Newton he was offered the Mastership of the Mint, but refused it as

inconsistent with his profession,

though in all probability he would have been better placed there than in a Trinitarian pulpit. Another of its rectors was Dr. Gerrard Andrewes,

p.256

some time Dean of Canterbury, who refused the Bishopric of Chester, which was offered to him by Lord Liverpool in . Another rector was Dr. Ward, Dean of Lincoln, who was succeeded by Dr. Jackson, since Bishop of London.

In , a fire broke out most unaccountably in the vaults of this church, and destroyed coffins and their contents.

In this parish lived and died, at the age of eightyseven, the Hon. Frederick Byng, a well-known member of the world of fashion, both before and under the Regency. He was always known as

Poodle Byng,

on account of his curly hair. Of late years he took an active interest in the parochial affairs of St. James's, having lived for years in the region of the clubs and of , where he resided. He was the subject of sundry caricatures by Dighton, in .

In St. James's Church is buried the learned anatomist, [extra_illustrations.4.256.2] , F.R.S., whose lectures at his theatre in are said to have been attended by pupils. His museum was almost a rival of that belonging to John Hunter, of whom we have already spoken in our account of : its doors were always open to scientific men of this and other countries. It was, however, dispersed on his death, in .

Here, too, is buried Sir John Malcolm, the distinguished Indian general, who died in . James Dodsley, many years an eminent bookseller in , of whom we have already spoken, is likewise interred here. There is a monument to his memory near the communion-table. Here, too, lies Mary Delaney, niece of Granville, Lord Lansdowne. Benjamin Stillingfleet, the naturalist, Charles Cotton, the friend and companion of Izaak Walton, and [extra_illustrations.4.256.3] , are also buried here. The latter is commemorated by a marble tablet, erected by the . Among other notabilities interred in this church may be mentioned Hayman and Michael Dahl, the portrait painters; G. H. Harlow, the painter of

The Trial of Queen Katharine;

Dr. Akenside, the author of the

Pleasures of the Imagination,

and also the Vanderveldes, the marine painters.

Here, as at St. Giles's-in-the-Fields, unfortunately, the earlier volumes of the parish rate-books have disappeared; so that it is impossible to glean the same accurate information as to its inhabitants in the reigns of the earlier Stuarts, which meets us at every turn in those of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields and of , Covent Garden.

With reference to this parish, and to the line of roadway running westward, it may be stated that in an Act of Parliament, in the reign of James II., mention is made of the

mansion-house of the Earl of Burlington, fronting

Portugal Street

;

and a

toft of ground

in is assigned to the rector of St. James's parish.

In a house at the corner of ,

over against St. James's Church,

in the year , died Sir William Petty, the eminent writer on political economy, and an ancestor of the Lansdowne family. The son of a clothier in humble circumstances, he was born at Romsey, in Hampshire, in , and was educated at the grammar school of his native town. He afterwards determined to improve himself by study at the University of Caen, in Normandy. Whilst there, he contrived to support himself by carrying on a small pedlar's trade with a

little stock of merchandise.

Wishing to return to England, he bound himself apprentice to a sea-captain, who beat him most unmercifully. Leaving the navy in disgust, he took to the study of medicine, and having studied at Leyden and Paris, he took his degree, and was subsequently made professor of anatomy. During this part of his life he was reduced to such poverty that he subsisted for or weeks entirely on walnuts. But again he began to trade in a small way, and,

turning an honest penny,

returned to England with money in his pocket. Steadily applying himself to his profession, he then became a successful London physician, and was of the fellows of the Royal Society, to which he presented the model of a double-bottomed ship, to sail against wind and tide. In he was appointed physician to the army in Ireland, and secretary to Henry Cromwell, by whom he was employed in surveying the forfeited lands, for which charges were alleged against him in the , and he was dismissed from his appointments. At the Restoration he was knighted, and made Surveyor-General of Ireland. Sir William suffered much by the Great Fire of London; but by marriage and various speculations he recovered his losses, and died very rich, in the year . In his will, which is a curious document, singularly illustrative of his character, he writes, with a certain amount of self-pride,

At the full age of

fifteen

, I had obtained the Latin, Greek, and French tongues,

and at years of age

had gotten up threescore pounds, with as much mathematics as any of my age was known to have had.

Sir William was buried in the fine old Norman church of Romsey. A plain slab, cut by an illiterate works man, with the inscription,

Here layes Sir William Petty,

covers his tomb.

Next door but to Sir William Petty, Verrio,

p.257

the Italian painter, was residing in the reign of William and Mary; the reader will not have forgotten the often-quoted line which records his decorations of the ceiling of -

Where sprawl the saints of Verrio and Laguerre.

[extra_illustrations.4.257.1] 

In a shop opposite St. James's Church there was, in , a curious collection of live animals, which had a run of popularity, but was unable to stand as a rival against Exeter 'Change.

Continuing our walk along , we pass on our left the publishing-houses of Messrs. Chapman and Hall, Messrs. Hatchard, and others. From the -named shop were issued the successive numbers of

Pickwick

and

Nicholas Nickleby,

which electrified and amazed the world in -, and made the name of

Boz

a

household word.

Messrs. Chapman and Hall were the publishers of Charles Dickens's serial works down to and inclusive of

Martin Chuzzlewit

and the

Christmas Carol,

which appeared in -; from that date, however, Messrs. Bradbury and Evans became his publishers, and those relations lasted until , when he started on his own account. The publication of Charles Dickens's works is now again in the hands of the house in connection with which he

made his mark

with

Pickwick.

At the shop of Mr. Hardwicke, No. , have been published for some time the publications of the Ray Society. This society, which was formed in , takes its name from [extra_illustrations.4.257.2] , the celebrated naturalist.

The booksellers' shops here, at the close of the last century, had not ceased to be what those of Tonson, in , and Dodsley, in , had been--the resort of literary characters. At this time, Mr. D'Israeli tells us that Debrett's was the chief haunt of the Whigs, and Hatchard's that of the Tories. It was at Hatchard's that the elder D'Israeli was introduced to [extra_illustrations.4.257.3] , the Poet Laureate, who was then busy on his translation of Aristotle's Poetics, and who, in passing Debrett's door, requested his new friend, who was then unknown, to go in and buy a pamphlet which he dared not be seen going in to purchase for himself.

The house No. is remarkable as having been not only the shop where the was published, but also the house in which its editor (William Gifford) and its writers used to meet in council; a fact worthy of note, when we add that among the contributors to its columns were the younger Pitt, George Canning, and John Hookham Frere. This shop, then kept by a Mr. Wright, was much frequented by the friends of Mr. Pitt's ministry. It was here that Dr. Wolcott was severely

castigated

by Gifford. No. was the shop of William Pickering, the eminent publisher. The Aldine anchor, revived by the late Mr. Pickering on his title-pages, gave a celebrity to the books, mostly reprints of the poets and prose writers of the past, and works in curious paths of literature, which he issued from his shop.

[extra_illustrations.4.257.4] , the front of which forms of the most noticeable features on the southern side of , nearly opposite to , was erected in the year , from the designs of Mr. G. F. Robinson, at a cost of , for a museum of natural history, the objects of which were in part collected by William Bullock, F.L.S., during his years' travel in Central America. The edifice was so named from its being in the Egyptian style of architecture and ornament, the inclined pilasters and sides being covered with hieroglyphics; and the hall is now used principally for popular entertainments, lectures, and exhibitions. Bullock's Museum was at time of the most popular exhibitions in the metropolis. It comprised curiosities from the South Sea, Africa, and North and South America; works of art; armoury, and the travelling carriage of Bonaparte. The collection, which was made up to a very great extent out of the Lichfield Museum and that of Sir Ashton Lever, was sold off by auction, and dispersed in lots, in .

Here, in , was exhibited a curious phenomenon, known as

the Living Skeleton,

or

the Anatomic Vivante,

of whom a short account will be found in Hone's

Every-Day Book.

His name was Claude Amboise Seurat, and he was born in Champagne, in . His height was feet inches, and as he consisted literally of nothing but skin and bone, he weighed only ZZZ lbs. He (or another living skeleton) was shown subsequently--in , we believe-at

Bartlemy Fair,

but died shortly afterwards. There is extant a portrait of M. Seurat, published by John Williams, of , , which quite enables us to identify in him the perfect French native.

Of the various entertainments and exhibitions that have found a home. here, it would, perhaps, be needless to attempt to give a complete catalogue; but we may, at least, mention a few of the most successful. In , the Siamese Twins made their appearance here, and were described at the time as

two

youths of eighteen, natives of Siam, united by a short band at the pit of the stomach-

two

perfect bodies, bound together by an inseparable link.

They died in America in the early part of the year . The American [extra_illustrations.4.257.5] 

p.258

dwarf, Charles S. Stratton,

Tom Thumb,

was exhibited here in ; and subsequently, Mr. Albert Smith gave the narrative of his ascent of Mont Blanc, his lecture being illustrated by some cleverly-painted dioramic views of the perils and sublimities of the Alpine regions. Latterly, the Egyptian Hall has been almost continually used for the exhibition of feats of legerdemain, the most successful of these--if may judge from the

run

which the entertainment has enjoyedbeing the extraordinary performances of Messrs. Maskelyne and Cooke.

In , there was, adjoining Bullock's Museum, the Pantherion, a separate exhibition,

intended to display quadrupeds in such a manner as to convey a correct notion of their haunts and habits. In

one

orange-tree were disposed

sixty

species of the genus

Simia

, or monkeys. Besides animal nature, Mr. Bullock exhibited, in connection with it, many exotic trees.

Nearly opposite the Egyptian Hall is

The

Albany

.

This building, which is separated from the main thoroughfare by a small paved courtyard, was known in the last century as Melbourne House. Lord Melbourne, however, the then
owner, exchanged it with the Duke of York and for his mansion in , now Dover House. Near or on this site, says Pennant, stood the house of

that monster of treachery, that profligate minister, Charles Spencer, Earl of Sunderland, who, by his destructive advice, premeditatedly brought ruin on his unsuspecting master, James II. . At the very time that he sold him to the Prince of Orange, he encouraged his Majesty in every step which was certain of involving him and his family in utter ruin.

The [extra_illustrations.4.259.1] , designed by Sir William Chambers, was sold by Lord Holland, in , to the Lord Melbourne. In the mansion was altered and enlarged, and let in chambers, and named the , after the title of the Duke of York. It extends in the rear as far as , having a porter's lodge and entrance at either end. It is entirely occupied by bachelors (or widowers), and comprises sets of apartments, each staircase being marked by of the letters of the alphabet. Most of the occupants of these suites are members of or other of the Houses of Parliament, or naval or military officers. Among those who have

p.259

occupied chambers here in their day were Lord Byron, George Canning, Lord Macaulay (who here wrote the greater part of his

History of England

), Lord Lytton, Lord Glenelg, and Sir John C. Hobhouse. Here, too, as we learn from his Autobiography, Lord Brougham was living in bachelor chambers from , when studying for the Bar, down to , when he removed to chambers in the Middle Temple. It is said that no person who carries on a trade or commercial occupation is allowed to reside on the premises; and that, as a rule,

ladies are not admitted,

excepting the mothers, sisters, grandmothers, and aunts of the occupants of the chambers; but this rule, we fancy, is not very strictly adhered to.

The adjoins the site of Sir Thomas

Clarges' house, which is described, in the year , as being

near

Burlington House

, above

Piccadilly

.

In , the house adjoining the was occupied, for the purposes of exhibition, by [extra_illustrations.4.260.1] , a Leicestershire man, who bore the reputation of being the

heaviest man that ever lived.

His weight, at the age of , was upwards of stone. It is stated that, although in most instances, when the body exceeds the usual proportions, the strength correspondingly diminishes, this was not the case with Lambert, for it is recorded that, notwithstanding his excessive corpulency, he tested his ability by carrying more than hundredweight and a half--a feat that many a sinewy athlete would fail to accomplish. During

p.260

his stay here,

Dan

Lambert was as fashionable a celebrity as Albert Smith or

General

Tom Thumb became in later years, at the Egyptian Hall opposite. Thousands went to see him daily, and from morning till night his reception-room was thronged with men in cocked hats and ladies in furbelows, coming alike from Kensington and . [extra_illustrations.4.260.2] 

On the opposite side of the road, between and the , is , of which we have already spoken. The exact date of building this street is not known, but it must have been between and . The street stands partly on the site of Goring House. Evelyn, in his

Diary,

under date of , tells us how that he

went to Goring House, now Mr. Secretary Bennet's; ill built, but the place capable of being made a pretty villa.

The same diarist records its destruction by fire, , when a fine collection of pictures, as well as much handsome plate, hangings, and furniture, perished; and he elsewhere describes the appointments of the house as

princely.

From Pepys we learn that a sister of John Milton was married here in .

We might add here, as of the residents of this street in former times, the name of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, who, before her marriage, was living here in the house of her father, the Marquis of Dorchester, afterwards Duke of Kingston. She was the author of those charming, lively, and witty letters, written at Constantinople, and addressed by Lady Mary to friends at home, descriptive of Turkish life and society, and in which, it has been said, she displays

the epistolary talents of a female Horace Walpole.

She was very eccentric in her attire; indeed, Horace Walpole once described her dress as consisting of

a groundwork of dirt, with an embroidery of filthiness.

Horace Walpole himself resided in this street for many years, before removing further west into (where he died); and from are dated many of his letters to Lady Ossory. At Horace Walpole's house, on occasion, there was a large party present at dinner, when Bruce, the celebrated African traveller, was talking in his usual style of exaggeration. Some asked him what musical instruments were used in Abyssinia. Bruce hesitated, not being prepared for the question, and at last said,

I think I saw a lyre there.

George Selwyn, who was of the party, whispered to his next man,

Yes, there is

one

less since he left the country.

Admiral Lord Nelson, too, was living in this street when his wife separated from him, in .

Close by was a well-known hostelry, the old

White Horse Cellar.

In the

good old days,

before the power of steam had been developed, or railways planned, even Londoners rejoiced, on summer evenings, to lounge about this noted house, and watch the mails drive down , for the West of England. On the king's birthday, especially, the scene was picturesque, and of special interest. The exterior of the

Cellar

was studded over with oil lights of many colours, arranged in tasty lines and capital letters. The sleek-coated horses stepped along as if they were proud of their new harness, and the bright brass ornaments on their trappings glittered in the light. The coachmen and guards, too, were dressed in unsullied scarlet coats, which they wore for the time on that day-woe for them if it was wet-and there were gay rosettes of ribbons and bunches of bright flowers at each of the horses' heads, as well as in the coachman's button-hole. The coaches themselves were, if not newly painted, at all events, freshly

touched--up

with the brush, and the post-horn sounded pleasantly as the ostlers cried,

All right; off they go!

In the reign of George IV., many of the coaches which left London were driven by gentlemen, and in some cases the reins were handled by peers of the realm. Sir St. Vincent Cotton drove the Brighton

Age;

another coach on the same road was horsed and driven by the Marquis of Worcester, afterwards Duke of Beaufort; Sir Thomas Tyrrwhitt Jones drove the

Pearl;

and the Reading coach was driven by Captain Probyn.

Hazlitt has thus described, in his own graphic manner, the scene presented on the starting of the old mail-coaches :--

The finest sight in the metropolis,

he writes,

is the setting off of the mailcoaches from

Piccadilly

. The horses paw the ground and are impatient to be gone, as if conscious of the precious burden they convey. There is a peculiar secrecy and dispatch, significant and full of meaning, in all the proceedings concerning them. Even the outside passengers have an erect and supercilious air, as if proof against the accidents of the journey; in fact, it seems indifferent whether they are to encounter the summer's heat or the winter's cold, since they are borne through the air on a winged chariot. The mail-carts drive up and the transfer of packages is made, and at a given signal off they start, bearing the irrevocable scrolls that give wings to thought, and that bind or sever hearts for ever. How we hate the Putney and Brentford stages that draw up when they are

gone! Some persons think the sublimest object in nature is a ship launched on the bosom of the ocean; but give me for my private satisfaction the mail-coaches that pour down

Piccadilly

of an evening, tear up the pavement, and devour the way before them to the Land's End.

Poor Hazlitt! in the fall of the mail-coach he sees a type of the rapid changes to which all mortal inventions and fashions are subject. In Cowper's day the mail-coach had scarcely superseded the post-boy and stage; and in Hazlitt's time they had entered on their decline and fall; and we have lived to see the Putney and Brentford stages superseded by omnibuses! [extra_illustrations.4.261.1] [extra_illustrations.4.261.2] 

At the old

White Horse Cellar,

when it served as the head-quarters of the departure of the passengers by the country coaches, there used to stand a small confraternity of Jews, who sold oranges, pencils, sponges, brushes, and other small wares; but these, of course, disappeared when the system of travelling was changed, and the old house came, in the end, to be converted into a railway bookingoffice for luggage.

A new house on the opposite side of the way, it is true, rejoices in the sign of the

White Horse Cellar;

and at Hatchett's Hotel, which adjoins it, an attempt has been made, within the last few years, to revive the taste for coaching, and, with this aim in view, stage-coaches have been run daily during the summer to Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells, Windsor, Brighton, Dorking, &c. The history of this movement is worth epitomising, in the words of a well-known writer on sporting subjects :--

The Brighton road was the last to give up the old-fashioned stage-coach, and the

first

selected by the amateurs who are the stage-coach owners of to-day. Up to about

1862

, the

Age,

the property of and driven by

Old Clark,

ran during the summer,

via

Kingston and Dorking (where the

coach

dined), to Brighton. In its latter days the Duke of Beaufort and Mr. Charles Lawrie, of Bexley, Kent, helped the proprietor in a substantial and practical manner, but the

Age

was like any other business speculation, and soon after it ceased to pay it stopped. In the year

1866

, and chiefly through the exertions of Mr. Lawrie, a little yellow coach, called the

Old Times,

was subscribed for in shares of

£ 10

each, and made its appearance on the

Brighton

road, the Duke of Beaufort, Mr. Chandos Pole, Lord H. Thynne, and Mr. C. Lawrie being among the shareholders. The success was so considerable, that in the April of the following year the Brighton was

doubled,

and

two

new coaches built especially for the work, and horsed by the Duke of Beaufort and his friends, ran during that summer. Alfred Tedder and Pratt were the coachmen, and the lunching-place (where the coaches met) was the

Chequers,

at Horley, an inn now kept by Mr. Tedder (the driver of the Brighton coach of to-day). At the close of the season of

1867

, Mr. Chandos Pole determined to carry on

one

coach by himself. This he did through the entire winter; and further, with his brother's (Mr. Pole-Gell's) aid (the latter found

twelve

of the horses),

doubled

the coach in the succeeding summer. At the season's close, after the horses had been dispersed by the auctioneer's hammer at Aldridge's, a few lovers of the road gave

the Squire

(Mr. Chandos Pole) a dinner at

Hatchett's,

Piccadilly

, and presented him with a handsome silver flagon (value

£ 50

) to commemorate his plucky behaviour, and in admiration of his wonderful ability as a

whip.

At a later date there was presented to Tedder, the coachman, a smaller flagon (value

£ 20

), as a token of the appreciation of his friends of his ability on the

bench

(

i.e

., the driving-seat). In

1869

, Mr. A. G. Scott

first

took the position of honorary secretary to the Brighton coach, which then made the

Ship

at

Charing Cross

its starting-place. This was the best year the coach has known, as it never once had a clean bill up or down. The proprietors were Lord Londesborough, Colonel Stracey-Clitheroe, Mr. Pole-Gell, and Mr. G. Meek, who each provided the horses for

one

stage; while Mr. Chandos Pole again took the largest responsibility by providing the horses for

two

stages. But the example of the Brighton coach was followed. Towards the end of the season of

1867

, Mr. Charles Hoare started a coach between Beckenham and Sevenoaks. This developed the following year into the Sevenoaks coach, starting from Hatchett's, and this carried such good loads, that in

1868

its proprietor carried it on to Tunbridge Wells, to the delight of thousands who have since enjoyed the exquisite scenery it has introduced them to. Since

1868

the Brighton has continued a single coach, but several new candidates for public favour have appeared.

of the subject of coaching, we may add that Mr. Larwood tells us in his

History of Signboards,

that there is still () a sign of the

Coach and

Six

to be seen in ; but he does not specify the exact spot. It does not appear, however, in the

Post Office Directory

for . The sign, however, speaks of the day when the roads even near London were so bad in the winter time that horses were not enough to carry a coach safe out of the deep and miry ruts. Mr. Larwood also tells us, that in there were still no less than public-houses, exclusive of

p.262

beer-houses, coffee-houses, &c., which rejoiced in the sign of the

Coach and Horses,

in spite of the progress made by railways.

While on the subject of sign-boards, we may state that was the place in which the

Cat and Fiddle

appeared as a public-house sign. The story is that a Frenchwoman, a small shopkeeper at the eastern end, soon after it was built, had a very faithful and favourite cat, and that, in lack of any other sign, she put up over her door the words,

Voici une Chat fidele.

From some cause or other the

Chat Fidele

soon became a popular sign in France, and was speedily Anglicised into the

Cat and Fiddle,

because the words form part of of our most popular nursery rhymes. We do not pledge ourselves for the correctness of the derivation, but simply tell the story as told to us.

It has often been observed that while the fashionable world flitting westwards occupied the streets to the north and south of Piccadilly-its tributaries --the great thoroughfare itself was given up to tradesmen and shopkeepers, with the exception of or great mansions, which, though it, were scarcely it.

 
 
Footnotes:

[extra_illustrations.4.246.2] Argyll General Mourning and Mantel Warehouses

[extra_illustrations.4.249.1] Piccadilly

[extra_illustrations.4.249.2] Presse and Lubin--New Bond Street

[extra_illustrations.4.249.3] County Fire Office

[extra_illustrations.4.250.1] The Quadrant

[extra_illustrations.4.250.2] Regent Street, as seen from the Quadrant

[extra_illustrations.4.252.1] Hanover Chapel

[extra_illustrations.4.254.1] H. M. Stanley at St. James's Hall

[extra_illustrations.4.255.1] Henry Sotheran and Company--Piccadilly

[extra_illustrations.4.255.2] St. James's Church

[extra_illustrations.4.256.1] Dr. Samuel Clarke

[extra_illustrations.4.256.2] Mr. Joshua Brookes

[extra_illustrations.4.256.3] Dr. Sydenham

[extra_illustrations.4.257.1] Artists' Costume Ball--Prince's Hall--Piccadilly

[extra_illustrations.4.257.2] John Ray

[extra_illustrations.4.257.3] Mr. Pye

[extra_illustrations.4.257.4] The Egyptian Hall

[extra_illustrations.4.257.5] Prospectus of Anti-Jacobin Magazine and Review

[extra_illustrations.4.259.1] present central building

[extra_illustrations.4.260.1] Daniel Lambert

[extra_illustrations.4.260.2] Coaches-German Prince

[] See p. 169, ante.

[extra_illustrations.4.261.1] Three Horse Omnibus

[extra_illustrations.4.261.2] de Tivoli's Patent Omnibus

View all images in this book
 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
Usage: Detailed Rights