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

Noble Mansions in Piccadilly.

Noble Mansions in Piccadilly.


Est via declivis.--Ovid.


Along the line of , when the district was more or less open country, besides , stood some of the mansions of the nobility of the century.

Westward of , facing the top of , and on the site of what is now , , and , formerly stood [extra_illustrations.4.273.1] . Pennant places the mansion as far to the north as ; but the existing maps would seem to show that would mark more precisely the spot on which it stood. In a plan of London etched by Hollar, in , it is evident that the centre of Clarendon House must have occupied the whole of the site of . No. , in , the publishing house of the late Mr. J. C. Hotten-now Messrs. Chatto and Windus--is said to be built of the old materials of the mansion. It was a heavy, high-roofed house, standing a little back from the street, with projecting wings; it had square-headed windows, including a row of attic windows which pierced the roof. A flight of stone steps led up to the door, which was in the centre.

[extra_illustrations.4.273.2] , when Lord Chancellor under Charles II., having built his magnificent house soon after the sale of Dunkirk to Louis XIV., about the year , found that he had incurred in the eyes of the people the full blame of the transaction, and that his mansion was called. by the public not Clarendon but Dunkirk House, on the supposition that it had been built with French money. No sane person can doubt the fact of Charles II. having received large sums from the Court of Versailles for purposes hostile to the interests of his people; but there is no proof whatever that Lord Clarendon was privy to such transactions, much less that he derived any personal profit from them. It was, in his case, the old story repeated-

Delirant reges, plectuntur Achivi.

A view of Lord Clarendon's house as it appeared during its brief decade of existence, may be found in the volume of Charles Knight's


and there is also an engraving of it in the for .

From the Diaries of Evelyn and Pepys we learn something of the varying fortunes of Clarendon House during its brief existence. Under date , Evelyn writes:

After dinner, my Lord Chancellor and his lady carried me in their coach to see their palace now building at the upper end of

St. James's Street

, and to project the garden.

Pepys, in -, makes this entry in his Diary:

To my Lord Chancellor's new house which he is building, only to view it, hearing so much from Mr. Evelyn of it; and indeed it is the finest pile I ever did see in my life, and will be a glorious house.

Evelyn, about the same time, wrote to Lord Cornbury, the Chancellor's eldest son:

I have never seen a nobler pile . . . Here is state, use, solidity, and beauty, most symmetrically combined together. Nothing abroad pleases me better, nothing at home approaches to it.

Besides the laying out. of the gardens, Evelyn appears to have contributed to the internal adornment of this magnificent mansion, for in -, he sent the Chancellor a list of.

pictures that might be added to the assembly of the learned and heroic persons of England which your lordship has already collected ;

and on a subsequent occasion, in recording the fact of his dining here with Lord Cornbury, after the Chancellor's flight, Evelyn remarks that it is

now bravely furnished, especially with the pictures of most of our ancient and modern wits, poets, philosophers, famous and learned Englishmen, which collection I much commended, and gave a catalogue of more to be added.

Pennant says it was built with the stones intended for the rebuilding of .

The whole place, according to Charles Knight,

would seem to have resembled in stately dignity the style of the

History of .the Great Rebellion.

The plague, the Great Fire, and the disgraceful war with Holland,

says the above authority,


goaded the public mind into a temper of savage mutiny; and the

wits and misses,

to aid their court intrigues against the Chancellor, had done what in them lay to direct the storm against his head. The marriage of the Chancellor's daughter to the Duke of York and the barrenness of the Queen were represented as the results of a plot; the situation of Clarendon House, looking down on St. James's, and the employment of stones collected with a view to repair

St. Paul's

, were tortured into crimes.

At length the storm of public wrath fairly burst over Clarendon House, as the following entry in Pepys's


will show. Under date , he writes :--

Mr. Harter tells me, at noon, that some rude people have been, as he hears, at my Lord Chancellor's, where they have cut down the trees before his house, and broke his windows; and a gibbet either set up before or painted upon his gate, and these words writ,

Three sights to be seen-Dunkirk, Tangier, and a barren Queen.


In a volume of rare London ballads and broadsides in the is entitled,

A Hue and Cry after the Earl of Clarendon,

dated in . Our readers may gather how strong was the popular feeling against him on account of the sale of Dunkirk from the opening lines :

From Dunkirk House there lately ran away A traitor whom you are desired to slay. You by these marks and signs may th' traitor know, He's troubled with the gout in feet below.

This hopeful blade being conscious of his crimes, And smelling how the current of the times Ran cross, forsakes his palace and the town Like some presaging rat ere th' house fall down.

Evelyn mentions, in the following terms, a journey made by him in , along , doubtless on the way to his residence in :

I returned to town in a coach with the Earle of Clarendon, when, passing by the glorious palace his father had built but few years before, which they were now demolishing, being sold to certain undertakers [contractors], I turned my head the contrary way till the coach was gone past it, lest I might minister occasion of speaking of it, which must .needs have grieved him that in so short a time their pomp was so sadly fallen.

The sumptuous palace,

writes Macaulay,

to which the populace of London gave the name of Dunkirk House, is among the many signs which indicate the shortest road to boundless' wealth in the days of Charles II.

The enormous gains then made by prime ministers, partly by salaries, and partly by the sale of posts and places, were the real secret of the tenacity with which men clung to office in those days.

Lord Clarendon seems to have been particularly fond of this mansion, though it was so offensive to the public. The day before his lordship's flight, Evelyn

found him in his garden at his new-built palace, sitting in his gowte wheel-chaire, and seeing the gates setting up towards the north and the fields.. He looked and spake very disconsolately. Next morning I heard he was gone.

His lordship, even in his exile, after writing that

his weakness and vanity

in the outlay he made upon it,

more contributed to that gust of envy that had so violently shaken him than any misdemeanour that he was thought to have been guilty of,

confesses that, when it was proposed to sell it, in order to pay his debts and to make some provision for his younger children,

he, remained so infatuated with the delight he had enjoyed, that, though he was deprived of it, he hearkened very unwillingly to the advice.

Under date of , Evelyn thus writes in his



I weJlt to survey the sad demolition of Clarendon. House, that costly and only sumptuous palace of the late Lord Chancellor Hyde, where I have often been so cheerful with him, and sometimes so sad. The Chancellor gone and dying in exile,

he continues,

the earl, his successor, sold the building, which cost

£ 50,000

, to the young Duke of Albemarle for

£ 25,000

to pay. debts, which how contracted remains yet a mystery, his son being. no way a prodigal.... However it were, this stately palace is decreed to ruin, to support the prodigious waste the Duke of Albemarle had made of his estate since the old man died. He sold it to the highest bidder, and it fell to certain rich bankers and mechanics, who gave for it and the ground about

£ 35,000

; they design a new town, as it were, and a most magnificent piazza.. See the vicissitude of earthly things! I was astonished at the demolition, nor less at the little army of labourers and artificers levelling the ground, laying foundations, and contriving great buildings, at an expense of

£ 200,000

, if they perfect their design.

In Smith's

Streets of London

it is stated that

the earliest date now to be found upon the site of Clarendon House is cut in stone and let into the south wall of a public-house, the sign of 'The Duke of Albemarle in

Dover Street

, thus:

This is Stafford Street, 1686.

It is said by Isaac D'Israeli, in his

Curiosities of Literature,

that the Corinthian pilasters on either side of the gateway of the



on the north side of , are the only remains of the house built by the great Earl of Clarendon, whose name, however, has been perpetuated, at all events, down to the year , in the Clarendon Hotel hard by.

Berkeley House, a little further to the west, according to Pepys, was built about the same time as Clarendon House. It was so called because it was built for Lord Berkeley, of Stratton, an able officer in the Royal army under Charles I., and whose name is still commemorated in the neighbourhood, by and by Berkeley and Stratton Streets. Slightly at the rear, as it would seem, was a farm-house, from which , possibly, derives its name.

Before the date of

Burlington House


writes Pennant,

there was built here a fine mansion belonging to the Berkeleys, Lord Berkeley (of Stratton). It stood between the south end of

Berkeley Square



, and gave the name to the square and an adjacent street (

Berkeley Street

). The misery and disgrace which the profligacy of


of the daughters brought on the house, by an intrigue with her brother-in-law, Lord Grey (afterwards engaged in the Monmouth Rebellion), is too lastingly recorded in our State Trials ever to be buried in oblivion.

Evelyn tells us that the mansion was

very well built,

and that it had

many noble rooms; but,

he adds,

they are not very convenient, consisting but of


corps de logis

. They are all rooms of state, without closets. The staircase is of cedar; the furniture is princely; the kitchen and stables are ill placed, and the corridor worse, having no respect to the wings they join to. For the rest, the fore-court is noble, so are the stables, and, above all, the gardens, which are incomparable, by reason of the inequality of the ground, and a pretty


[a fish-pond]. The holly hedges on the terrace I advised the planting of. The porticos are in imitation of a house described by Palladio, but it happens to be the worst in his book, though my good friend, Mr. Hugh May, his lordship's architect, affected it.

In the

New View of London,

published in , Berkeley House is described as

a spacious building on the north side of

Portugal Street

, near


, with a pleasant, large court, now in the occupation of the Duke of Devonshire. The house,

it is added,

is built of brick, adorned with stone pilasters, and an entablature and pitched pediment, all of the Corinthian order, under which is a figure of Britannia carved in stone. At some distance on the east side is the kitchen and laundry; and on. the west side stables and lodging-rooms, which adjoin to the mansion by brick walls, and


circular galleries, each elevated on columns of the Corinthian order, where are



Independently of the beauties of the mansion and gardens, there is but little interest attaching to Berkeley House. Its founder is represented by Pepys as

a passionate and but weak man as to policy; but, as a kinsman, brought in and promoted by my Lord St. Albans.

It was destroyed by fire on the ith of , soon after it had passed into the hands of William, Duke of Devonshire.

On the site of the house,

continues Pennant,



,. stands

Devonshire House

. Long after the year


it was the last house in this street, at that time the portion (


) of



He means, no doubt, that the of that day formed only a portion of the present long street.

The old house, according to Pennant, was frequented by Waller, Denham, and many others of the wits and poets of the reign of Charles II.; and he speaks of it as containing, in his own time, an excellent library and a very fine collection of medals. He also enumerates the pictures, which are very much the same as now, adding, that the collection of specimens by the great Italian masters

is by far the finest private collection now in England.

The author of the

New Critical Review of the Public Buildings

speaks in very high terms of the former , the ruins of which were still standing in , when he wrote. He attributes its destruction to the carelessness. of the duke's servants, and their disregard of the family motto,

Cavendo tutus.

He describes it as simple in plan, yet very elegant, and quite worthy. of the master hand of Inigo Jones, its only fault being the great number of its chimneys, which he calls

a heavy Gothic incumbrance to the whole.

He laments the loss of a fine statue of Britannia, which, having escaped the flames, was accidentally destroyed by a act of carelessness.

The present is briefly dismissed by Mr. J..H. Jesse with the curt remark that,

except during the brief period when the beautiful Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, held her court within its walls, and when Fox, Burke, Windham, Fitzpatrick, and Sheridan did homage at her feet, little interest attaches to the present edifice.

But we think that this remark is scarcely just; [extra_illustrations.4.276.1]  (of whom we have made mention in our account of the election at Covent


Garden), was not a very


., nor does it deserve to be put aside out of memory after so summary a fashion.

The mansion, which for more than a century has divided with Holland House the reputation of being the head-quarters of the leaders of the great Whig party, was built about the year , by William, Duke of Devonshire, on the site of part of the property of Lord Berkeley of Stratton. The design of the house was by Kent; and it cost upwards of . The house recedes a little from the rest of the houses in this street. It has little or nothing in its exterior appearance to recommend it to particular notice, but its interior is richly stored with some of the finest works of art in any private collection.

The entrance to the house was originally up a double flight of stone steps, arranged as an external staircase, in the front, and leading straight into the reception-rooms on the floor; but this arrangement was done away by the late duke, who made the entrance on the ground level into a hall of low elevation, beyond which he threw out on the north or garden side a semi-circular apse, containing a new staircase. The interior staircase

on the north side, of marble and alabaster, with rails of solid crystal, was erected by the late duke. The ornamentation of the great staircase, and. of most of the rooms in the house, is by Mr. Crace.

The picture-galleries in this house are scattered through the long range of rooms which passes all round it on the floor. It would be impossible, in this work, to give a complete list of the art treasures that are to be found here, but we may mention a few of the most important. In the large north room hang

The Madonna and Child and St. Elizabeth,

by Rubens;

The Prince and Princess of Orange,

by Jacob Jordaens; and also

a Portrait,

unknown, by Titian. In the greenroom adjoining is

Jacob's Dream,

by Salvator Rosa, and

Samson and Delilah,

by Tintoretto. In the blue drawing-room is

Moses in the Bulrushes,

by Murillo. A small room on the north side is hung almost entirely with specimens of Van Dyke, including a noble portrait of the great Lord Strafford; in the same room is Lord Richard Cavendish, by Sir Joshua Reynolds. In addition to the portraits mentioned above, the list also comprises John Hampden's friend, Arthur Goodwin, by Van Dyke, and his daughter Jane, wife of


Philip, Lord Wharton; a head of the virtuous and accomplished Lord Falkland; Sir Thomas Browne (author of the

Religio Medici

), his wife, and daughters; a Jewish Rabbi, by Rembrandt; a head of Titian, by himself; Philip II., by the same; and the old Countess of Desmond. A list of some of the finest pictures to be seen in this mansion is printed in Dr. Waagen's work on

Art and Artists in England.

In the library here is kept John Philip Kemble's celebrated collection of old English plays, probably the finest in existence. It was made at the cost of , and was purchased by the duke, after the collector's death. The library is very rich also in other departments of early English literature. in the rear of the house are mostly

laid down in turf as lawns, and contain some fine elm-trees.

But to pass from the bricks and mortar of the house to the personal history of its owners. We have already mentioned the murder in of Mr. Thynne, of Longleat. The then Earl of Devonshire, as friend of Mr. Thynne, desired to avenge his death, and challenged the dastardly foreigner, who had plotted his assassination, to meet him in a duel. The Count (says Pennant) accepted the challenge, but afterwards his conscience (!) prevented him from meeting the Earl. It is some comfort to know that on returning to his own country the Count met with that fate which he so richly deserved here.

A good story is told in the

Apology for the

Life of Colley Cibber

respecting the Earl of Devonshire, who was raised to the dukedom in reward for the leading part which he took in the Revolution of . Being day in the Royal Presence Chamber shortly before that event, and being known to be no friend of the Court or the Ministry, he was insulted by a person who trod purposely on his foot. The insult was returned on the spot by a blow, which brought the offender to his senses. But as the act was committed within the king's court, the striker was sentenced to a fine of . Having, however, time allowed for paying it, he retired to Chatsworth, whither King James sent a messenger to him with offers to mitigate the fine if he would pay it promptly. The earl, knowing the

lie of the land,

replied, that if his Majesty would allow him a little time longer, he would rather choose to play

double or quits

with him. The Revolution being near at hand, there was no time for any further parley; and the king speedily found himself in a position in which he might inflict, but could not enforce, the fine.

It is stated of the above nobleman, by Dr. W. King, in

Anecdotes of his Own Times,

that he received, after the accession of George I., more than in places and pensions, without having done any service to his country or his sovereign. Let us hope that this censure was not well deserved, or else that the money has since been recouped to the country by the services of his descendants.

Like Leicester House, already mentioned, played for years the part of a

pouting place of princes.

From to the death of her sister Mary, Anne, Princess of Denmark, and her husband lived here, not being on the best of terms with their then Majesties.

For a century and a half this house has been of the special rendezvous of the Whig party.


palaces in the year



writes Sir N. W. Wraxall,

the gates of which were constantly thrown open to every supporter of the


(against Pitt), formed rallying-points of union.

of these was , then tenanted by the Duke of Portland; the was Carlton House, the residence of George, Prince of Wales; the was , which,

placed on a commanding eminence opposite to the

Green Park

, seemed to look down upon the Queen's House, constructed by Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham, in a situation much less favoured by nature.

At this time its leading spirit was Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, a lady whose character formed a perfect contrast to the indolence of her husband, and who, in respect of her beauty, her accomplishments, and the part which she played in the world of politics, may be compared with Anne Genevieve de Bourbon, Duchesse de Longueville, in the French annals. She is described by Sir N. W. Wraxall as


of the most distinguished ladies of high rank whom the last century produced. Her personal charms,

he adds,

constituted her smallest pretension to universal admiration; nor did her beauty consist, like that of the Gunnings, in regularity of features and faultless formation of limbs and shape; it lay rather in the graces of her deportment, in her irresistible manners, and the seduction of her society. Her hair was not without a tinge of red, and her face, though pleasing, had it not been illumined by her mind, might have been considered an ordinary countenance. Descended, in the


degree, lineally from Sarah Jennings, the wife of John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, she resembled the portraits of that celebrated woman. In addition to the external advantages which she received from nature and fortune, she possessed an ardent temper, susceptible of deep as well as strong impressions, a cultivated understanding, illumined by a taste for poetry and the fine arts, and much sensibility, not exempt, perhaps, from vanity and coquetry.

In our account of Covent Garden, and the scenes witnessed there in former times in connection with the elections for , we had occasion to speak of the part taken by the Duchess of Devonshire in securing the return of Mr. Fox in . The following lines were written in consequence of her Grace's canvass on his behalf:--

Arrayed in matchless beauty, Devon's fair In Fox's favour takes a zealous part; But oh! where'er the pilferer comes-beware! She supplicates a vote; and steals a heart.

The lines quoted above were, no doubt, intended as complimentary to the duchess; she had, however, a more elegant compliment paid to her day at Chatsworth by a gentleman who, after viewing the garden and the library, applied to her the words of Cowley:--

The fairest garden in her looks, And in her mind the choicest books.

Towards the close of her life, however, the beautiful duchess would often say

that of all the compliments paid her, the drunken Irishman, who asked to light his pipe by the fire of her beautiful eyes, paid her the highest.

It was at , however, and not at


Carlton Palace, that the procession of the multitude was brought to an end on the occasion of Fox's election to which we refer; and so great was the excitement that, according to Sir N. W. Wraxall,

on the procession entering the great court in front of the house, the Prince of Wales, who had already saluted the successful candidate from the garden wall on the side of

Berkeley Street

, appeared within the balustrade before the mansion, accompanied by the most eminent members of the Whig Coalition, both male and female, Fox dismissing the assembled mob with a brief harangue.

[extra_illustrations.4.279.1] [extra_illustrations.4.279.2] 

The Duke of Devonshire, if not a man of very great abilities, was a man of his word and the soul of honour. Dr. Johnson said of him that he was

a man of such

dogged veracity,

that if he had promised an acorn, and not


had grown in his woods that year, he would have sent to Denmark for



A strong testimony to a Whig nobleman's honour from so staunch a Tory as the learned doctor.

William, the duke, who is satirised by Pope for his meanness, as

dirty D--,

was a staunch Whig, like the rest of his family. Horace Walpole said of him, that

his outside was unpolished and his inside unpolishable.

It is said that day, not long after the erection of the present mansion, the great Sir Robert Walpole looked in to make a morning call on its owner, and not finding him at home, left on his table the following Latin epigram:--

Ut dominus domus est; non extra fulta columnis

Marmoreis splendet: quod tenet, intus habet.

A higher or more graceful compliment could hardly be paid to either the house or its owner, than to say that they were both

all glorious within.

George IV., as Prince of Wales, was a constant frequenter of the coteries and parties of , which was at that time the resort, not only of the Whig Opposition, but of all the wits and of the time. Among the rest were Sheridan, Grey, Whitbread, Lord Robert Spencer, Fox, Hare, Fitz-Patrick, and George Selwyn, all members of the society of in their day.

Mr. T. Raikes thus mentions in his



In these entertainments, which many years ago engrossed all the wit and fashion of London society for a long period, since quoted as the era of refinement and pleasure, Lady Bessborough was a leading character. Even Lady Grenville now, when she meets an ancient votary of those days, illustrated by her mother, will say,

He, too, remembers Devonshire House.

Here, in , William, the Duke of Devonshire, gave several splendid entertainments to the Emperor of Russia, the King of Prussia, and the other military personages who accompanied the Allied Sovereigns to England. Here the Prince of Orange was present at a grand ball on the evening before he returned to the Continent in the character of the discarded lover of the Princess Charlotte. Shortly before, Lady Brownlow tells us in her


she had seen the royal affianced pair at a party given by the Prince Regent at Carlton House, when the Emperor of Russia and the King of Prussia were present.

At this party I well remember seeing the Princess Charlotte and the Prince of Orange sitting together and walking about arm-in-arm, looking perfectly happy and lover-like. What were the intrigues and influences that changed the princess's feelings and caused her to break off the marriage is a mystery, known, I believe, to few. There were many rumours-many stories afloat, but none to be relied on; the only thing positive being the fact that the prince was dismissed.

The entertainments at have not been confined to balls and such-like aristocratic amusements, but have had a much wider range. Here the celebrated dwarf, [extra_illustrations.4.279.3] , was received by the Duke and the Duchess at of their entertainments and presented by their Graces to the King, the Queen, and the Prince of Wales, and the rest of the nobility, with whom he became a


and by whom he was and caressed to an extent which would strike us as absurd and incredible if we did not remember the more recent visit of

Tom Thumb

to this metropolis and the fuss that was made with him.

But has its literary as well as its fashionable and political associations. As very many of our readers will remember, it was more than once, in the time of the late duke, the scene of amateur private theatricals given on a scale of magnificence which reminds us of the days when English actors were

the king's

and the duke's


When, in , Charles Dickens, in concert with [extra_illustrations.4.280.1]  was endeavouring to set afloat the

Guild of Literature and Art

by the proceeds of a farce written by the former, and a comedy by the latter, the Duke of Devonshire, as Mr. Forster tells us in his

Life of Dickens,

offered the use of his house in


for their


representations, and in his princely way discharged all the expenses attending them. A movable theatre was built and set up in the great drawing-room, and the library was turned into a green-room.

Not so Bad as we Seem

was played for the


time at

Devonshire House

on the

27th of May, 1851

, before the Queen and the Prince

Consort, and as large an audience as could be found room for.

Mr. Nightingale's Diary

was the name of the farce.

The representation was a great success. It was repeated several times over at the Rooms, and continued at intervals both in London and in the country during that and the following year. Among the distinguished authors and artists who took part in the performance at , besides Lord Lytton and Dickens, were Douglas Jerrold, John Leech, and Mr. Maclise.

The western side of is bounded by a street without a thoroughfare, called , after Lord Berkeley of Stratton, by whom it was built in the year . At No. the gallant Lord Lynedoch died, at the age of ninetyfour, in . This street, and also , on the east side of , it would seem, were laid out after a design of John Evelyn, who thus writes under date June, I:--

I went to advise and give directions about building


streets in

Berkeley Gardens

, reserving the house and as much of the garden as the breadth of the house. In the meantime I could not but deplore that sweet place (by far the most noble gardens, courts, and accommodations, stately porticos, &c., anywhere about town) should be so much straitened and turned into tenements. But that magnificent pile and gardens contiguous to it, built by the late Lord Chancellor Clarendon, being all demolished and designed for piazzas and buildings, was some excuse for Lady Berkeley's resolution of letting out her gardens, also for so excessive a price as was offered, advancing near

£ 1,000

per annum, in mere ground rents; to such a mad intemperance was the age come of building about a city by far too disproportionate already to the nation.

In the corner house of and , noticeable for its fine bow windows, overlooking the , lived for many years the rich and benevolent Mrs. Coutts, widow of Thomas Coutts, the banker, originally Miss Harriet Mellon, the actress, and afterwards Duchess of St. Albans. As an instance of her benevolence, it is recorded that, in the year , when a fund was set on foot for the relief of the Spitalfields weavers, she not only sent a subscription equal in amount to that of royalty, but also gave the weavers an order for a suite of damask curtains for her drawing-rooms, at the price of a guinea a yard, an example which was followed by other wealthy families.

Captain Gronow tells us, in his

Anecdotes and Reminiscences,

an amusing story connected with this house. On the day after the coronation of George IV., Mr. Hamlet, the jeweller, came to the house, expressing a wish to see the wealthy banker. It was during dinner; but owing, no doubt, to a previous arrangement, he was at once admitted, when he placed before Mr. Coutts a magnificent diamond cross which had been worn the previous day by the Duke of York. It at once attracted the admiration of Mrs. Coutts, who loudly exclaimed,

How happy I should be with such a splendid specimen of jewellery!

What is it worth?

immediately exclaimed Mr. Coutts.

I could not allow it to pass out of my possession for less than

£ 15,000


said the wary tradesman.

Bring me a pen and ink,

was the only answer made by the doting husband, and he at once drew a cheque for that amount upon the bank in ; and with much delight the worthy old gentleman placed the jewel upon the fair bosom of the lady.

Upon her breast a sparkling cross she wore,

Which Jews might kiss, and infidels adore.

The following anecdote of the early life of this lady, as related by herself, may be of interest :

When I was a poor girl,

she used to say,

working very hard for my

thirty shillings

a week, I went down to Liverpool during the holidays, where I was always kindly received. I was to perform in a new piece, something like those pretty little affecting dramas they get up now at our minor theatres, and in my character I represented a poor, friendless orphan girl, reduced to the most wretched poverty. A heartless tradesman prosecutes the sad heroine for a heavy debt, and insists on putting her in prison unless some


will be bail for her. The girl replies,

Then I have no hope--I have not a friend in the world.

What! will no one be bail for you, to save you from prison?

asks the stem creditor.

I have told you I have not a friend on earth,

was my reply. But just as I was uttering the words I saw a sailor in the upper gallery springing over the railing, letting himself down from


tier to another, until he bounded clear over the orchestra and footlights, and placed himself beside me in a moment.

Yes, you shall have one friend at least, my poor young woman,

said he, with the greatest expression in his honest sunburnt countenance;

I will go bail for you to any amount. And as for you,

turning to the frightened actor,

if you don't bear a hand, and shift your moorings, you lubber, it will be worse for you when I come athwart your bows.

Every creature in the house rose; the uproar was perfectly indescribable; peals of laughter, screams of terror, cheers from his tawny messmates in the gallery, preparatory scrapings of violins from the

orchestra; and amidst the universal din there stood the unconscious cause of it, sheltering me,

the poor, distressed young woman,

and breathing defiance and destruction against my mimic persecutor. He was only persuaded to relinquish his care of me by the manager pretending to arrive and rescue me with a profusion of theatrical banknotes.

The Duchess of St. Albans, who died in , left her immense fortune, amounting, it is said, to , to [extra_illustrations.4.281.1] , who thereupon assumed the additional name of Coutts. It was stated in the newspapers at the time, that the weight of this enormous sum in gold, reckoning . sovereigns to the pound, is tons cwt. qrs. lbs., and would require men to carry it, supposing that each of them carried lbs., equivalent to the weight of a sack of flour. This large sum may be partially guessed, by knowing also that, counting at the rate of sovereigns a minute for hours a day, and days, of course, in the week, it would take weeks, days, and hours to accomplish the task. In sovereigns, by the most exact computation (each measuring in diameter of an inch, and placed to touch each other), it would extend to the length of miles and yards, or about the distance between Merthyr and Cardiff; and in crown pieces, to miles and yards. It may be noted that was the exact sum also left by old Jemmy Wood, the banker and millionaire of Gloucester, who died in . After inheriting the property in question, Miss Burdett-Coutts distinguished herself by furthering works of charity and benevolence, and in recognition of her largeheartedness she was, in the year , raised to the peerage as Baroness Burdett-Coutts.

Close by, during his demagogue days, lived Sir Francis Burdett, the father of Lady Burdett-Coutts. The old baronet enjoyed the distinction of being the last political or state prisoner who was confined in the . On , a vote passed the for his committal to the Tower, on account of a letter written and published by him in of a week or previously, which was considered to

libellous and scandalous, and a breach of privilege.

Sir Francis resisted the Speaker's warrant for his committal

upon principle,

wishing, of course, to make political capital out of the affair, and to be regarded by the mob as a patriot. Accordingly that part of which lay opposite his house was blocked up by a mob from and the southern suburbs, who kept on shouting

Burdett for ever!

till the Guards were called out and rode up to the spot. They were received on their arrival with a volley of stones. The Guards charged the mob, whence they were nicknamed the



The whole of the West-end of London was in uproar and confusion, and the windows of the chiefs of the party who had procured the warrant for his arrest were smashed. At length, on the day, Sir Francis Burdett, believing further resistance vain, was taken prisoner in the king's name, and carried off in a glass coach; but, in spite of this being done with all possible privacy, the mob tried to stop the carriage on , and a conflict ensued between the soldiers and the people, in which rioter lost his life, and others were wounded.

The riot arose out of the following circumstances, the account of which we abridge from Hughson:--

On the 21st of February, a Mr. John Gale Jones, a well-known orator at various debating societies in the metropolis, was committed to Newgate by an order of the House of Commons for a gross breach of the privileges of that House. The breach complained of was contained in a bill issued from a debating society, called the British Forum, of which Jones was president. The question in the bill was, Which was a greater outrage on the public feeling, Mr. Yorke's enforcement of the standing order to exclude strangers from the House of Commons, or Mr. Windham's recent attack on the liberty of the press?

On the 12th of March, Sir Francis Burdett moved in the House of Commons that John Gale Jones should be discharged on the ground of the illegality of the measure. This motion, however, was lost; and on the 24th of March there appeared in Cobbett's Political Register a letter inscribed, Sir Francis Burdett to his constituents, denying the power of the House of Commons to imprison the people of England, accompanied with the arguments by which he had endeavoured to convince the gentlemen of the House of Commons that their acts in the case of Mr. Jones were illegal. On the 26th, the publication was brought before the House of Commons by Mr. Lethbridge, who desired the Speaker to ask Sir Francis Burdett whether he acknowledged himself to be the author of the letter, which Sir Francis did. The next dayMr. Lethbridge resumed the subject, and laid the number of Cobbett's Register before the House. Sir Francis Burdett made a short but very able defence; and after some further discussion the House adjourned till next day, March the 28th, and then to the 5th of April,. when the resumed debate was continued till half-past seven in the morning; the House then voted that Sir Francis Burdett should be committed to the Tower, the letter in question being a libellous and scandalous paper, reflecting upon the just rights and privileges of that House. The sergeant-at-arms found great difficulty in serving his warrant; and it was not until the fourth day after he had received it from the Speaker, that Sir Francis was conveyed to the Tower, and only then by means of breaking into his house, attended by a posse of constables and soldiers.

On the prorogation of Parliament, , the captive was set free, but he did not care to return home with the same demonstrations. The populace had planned a triumphal procession from the Tower to ; but Sir Francis contrived to give his friends the slip, crossed the river in a boat, and drove off in a carriage, which was waiting for him on the south side of , for his country residence at Wimbledon. The story of his committal to the Tower narrated above stands out in strong contrast to the staunch Conservatism which marked his later years; nevertheless he was

Through good and ill report, through calm and storm, For forty years the pilot of reform.

Mr. J. H. Jesse identifies the house No. ,

door east from the corner of , as that from which Sir Francis was carried a state prisoner to the Tower, and he quotes the following on the arrest:--

The lady she sat and she played on the lute,

And she sang, Will you come to my bower?

The sergeant-at-arms had stood hitherto mute,

But now he advanced, like an impudent brute,

And said, Will you come to the Tower?

The house was subsequently occupied by the Duke of St. Albans, who, however, migrated or doors more to the east when he married the widow of Thomas Coutts, of whom we have spoken above.

Late in life Sir Francis Burdett, who was known among his constituents at as

Old Glory,

changed his colours, abandoned his Radical allies, and died a most loyal and peaceable Conservative. About the year he had removed to , where he died, and as we have already seen in a previous chapter, his death was as pathetic as his parliamentary life had been famous.

At the western corner of , facing , stands Bath House, the residence of




. It contains a fine collection of pictures, chiefly of the Dutch and Flemish schools, formed by the builder of the mansion, Mr. Alexander Baring, afterwards the Lord Ashburton of the present creation. Dr. Waagen gives a list of the pictures to be seen here, in his work on

Art and Artists in England.

The house occupies the site of the Pulteney Hotel, where many royal personages were lodged during their visits to London; among others the Emperor Alexander of Russia, during the sojourn of the Allied Sovereigns in . It was so called because it had been formerly the residence of [extra_illustrations.4.284.2] , the great rival and antagonist of Sir Robert Walpole. Pulteney, who up to about had been, as a commoner, the most violent and popular patriot of his day, dwindled down, in , into the Earl of Bath. Sir Robert Walpole, when forced, about the same time, to retire into the peerage, had laid this trap for his antagonist, who readily fell into it. On their meeting, after what of them called their respective

falls up-stairs,

Lord Orford said to Lord Bath, with malicious good humour,

My lord, you and I are now the most insignificant fellows in England.

A coronet, in fact, as well as a mitre, has often proved an extinguisher, and this fact well illustrates Pope's line with reference to William Pulteney: --

He foams a patriot to subside a peer.

Walpole relates the following story concerning the earl, which appears almost too amusing to be true :--

Lord Bath once owed a tradesman

eight hundred pounds

, and would never pay him. The man determined to persecute him till he did; and


morning followed him to Lord Winchilsea's, and sent up word that he wanted to speak with him. Lord Bath came down, and said,

Fellow, what do you want with me?

My money,

said the man, as loud as ever he could bawl, before all the servants. He bade him come next morning, and then would not see him. The next Sunday the man followed him to church, and got into the next pew; he leaned over, and said,

My money; give me my money.

My lord went to the end of the pew; the man too-

Give me my money.

The sermon was on avarice, and the text,

Cursed are they that heap up riches.

The man groaned out,

O Lord!

and pointed to my Lord Bath; in short, he persisted so much, and drew the eyes of all the congregation, that my Lord Bath went out and paid him directly.

Lord Bath died not long after the accession of George III.

At the opposite corner of stood, from to , Watier's Gambling Club. Concerning the origin of this club-or rather, gaminghouse, for it was nothing more--the following anecdote is told by Captain Gronow:--



occasion, some gentlemen of both




had the honour to dine with the Prince Regent, and during the conversation the Prince inquired what sort of dinners they got at their clubs; upon which Sir Thomas Stepney,


of the guests, observed that their dinners were always the same, the eternal joints or beef-steaks, the boiled fowl with oyster sauce, and an apple tart.

That is what we have at our clubs, and very monotonous fare it is.

The Prince, without further remark, rang the bell for his cook, Watier, and in the presence of those who dined at the royal table, asked him whether he would take a house and organise a dinner-club. Watier assented, and named the Prince's page, Madison, as manager, and Labourie, from the royal kitchen, as cook. The club flourished only a few years, owing to the night-play that was carried on there. The favourite game played there was


The Duke of York patronised it, and was a member. Tom Moore also tells us that he belonged to it. The dinners were exquisite; the best Parisian cooks could not beat Labourie.

Mr. John Timbs, in his account of this club, remarks, with sly humour,

In the old days, when gaming was in fashion, at Watier's Club both princes and nobles lost or gained fortunes between themselves;

and by all accounts


seems to have been a far more effective instrument in the losing of fortunes than either




Mr. Raikes, in his


says that Watier's Club, which had originally been established for harmonic meetings, became, in the time of


Brummell, the resort of nearly all the fine gentlemen of the day.

The dinners,

he adds,

were superlative, and high play at


was generally introduced. It was this game, or rather losses which arose out of it, that


led the


into difficulties.

Mr. Raikes further remarks, with reference to this club, that its pace was

too quick to last,

and that its records show that none of its members at his death had reached the average age of man. The club was closed in , when the house was taken by a set of


who instituted a common bank for gambling. This caused the ruin of several fortunes, and it was suppressed in its turn, or died a natural death.

At the end of the last or early in the present century it was proposed that the Dilettanti Society, already mentioned by us in our account of the

Thatched House Tavern,

should erect a permanent home for itself in , either near the


Pulteney Hotel, or else near the foot of the descent, opposite the Ranger's Lodge; but the proposal was never carried out.

At the south-west corner of is the Turf Club. This club was originally established in . The building, formerly known as Grafton House, is dull, heavy, and ugly, probably the house in London. It was built, says Charles Knight, by the father of Mr. Michael Angelo Taylor, M.P., but others say by the duke himself,--who forgot to insert a door, and who therefore had to buy the adjoining house in , in order to make an entrance. The house was taken by the Turf Club towards the close of the year .

Passing along , we soon arrive at No. , the Naval and Military Club. The building, the site of which was once occupied by an inn, was originally erected for the Earl of Egremont, and called Egremont and afterwards Cholmondeley House. The house has a noble appearance; it is fronted with stone, and overlooks the . It has a small court-yard in front of it. For many years it was the residence of Adolphus, late Duke of Cambridge, who died here in , and whose name it bore also when occupied by [extra_illustrations.4.285.1] , whose body was brought hither from Brockett Hall, where he died, in , the day before it was deposited in . Shortly after his lordship's death the house was purchased by the Naval and Military Club, who have greatly improved it.

Between White Horse and Engine Streets (No. ) is a noble Italian mansion, called Hertford House, after the late Marquis of Hertford, who built it about the year , from the designs of a Polish or Russian architect, named Novosielski. It was left by Lord Hertford to his natural son, Sir Richard Wallace, who sold it to of the family of the Goldsmids. Though his lordship built the house, he chose, with his usual eccentricity, never to reside in it, because the parishioners of St. James's refused to allow him to pave the street in front of it after a fashion of his own. The house contained a very fine collection of works of art, purchased by Lord Hertford from the galleries of Cardinal Fesch, the late King of Holland, and Lord Ashburnham, and many others from the Saltmarshe collection.

The next house westward, at the opposite side of Engine Street, is Coventry House, now the St. James's Club. It was for a century the residence of the Earls of Coventry, of whom procured, by his influence, the abolition of the

May Fair

in the rear of his mansion. It occupies the site of the old

Greyhound Inn,

and, as Mr. John Timbs informs us, it was bought by the Earl of Coventry of Sir Hugh Hunlocke, in , for guineas.

The house adjoining the St. James's Club is the residence of the Baroness Meyer de Rothschild, widow of Baron Meyer Amschel de Rothschild, of Mentmore, Buckinghamshire, who was many years M.P. for Hythe, and who died in . [extra_illustrations.4.285.2]  is situated further westward, next to Apsley House. The Rothschilds, who began by sweeping out a small shop in the Jews' quarter of the city of Frankfort, over which hung suspended the sign of the

Red Shield,

whence they derive their name, have become the metallic sovereigns of Europe. From their different establishments in Paris, London, Vienna, Frankfort, St. Petersburg, and Naples they have obtained a control over the European exchanges which no party ever before could accomplish, and they now seem to hold the strings of the public purse. No sovereign without their assistance now could raise a loan. When the Baron Rothschild was at Vienna, having contracted for the Austrian loan, the emperor sent for him to express his satisfaction at the manner in which the bargain had been concluded. The Israelite replied,

Je peut assurer votre Majeste que la maison de Rothschild sera toujours enchantée de faire tout ce qui pourra être agréable àa la masonZZZ d'Autriche.

Nathan Meyer de Rothschild, the father of the sons mentioned above, and himself the son of the founder of the wealth and influence of this great commercial family, was a native of Frankfort; he was naturalised as a British subject by royal letters patent in the reign of George III., and subsequently was advanced to the dignity of a Baron of the Austrian Empire. He died in , leaving a family of sons, all Austrian barons. years later, in , an English baronetcy was conferred on his son, Anthony, with remainder, failing his own male issue, to the sons of his elder brother Lionel. Sir Anthony died in , when his English title accordingly passed to his nephew, Mr. Nathan Meyer de Rothschild, M.P. for Aylesbury.

A few doors westward, at No. , lived for many years Hester Maria, Viscountess Keith. She was the last remaining link between the present generation and that brilliant literary circle which congregated around Johnson at

the Club,

and which thronged the hospitable mansion of her mother, Mrs. Thrale, at Streatham. During the eighteen years of her life she was surrounded


by Johnson, Reynolds, Garrick, Boswell, Beauclerk, and Bennet Langton. Johnson was her tutor, and Baretti her language-master. From her mother she learnt to value and to cultivate intellectual pursuits, while from her excellent father she derived those solid and sterling qualities which belong more especially to the true English character. On the death of Mr. Thrale, and the re-marriage of her mother to Signore Piozzi--a marriage highly disapproved by the Leviathan of literature-Miss Thrale retired to her late father's house at Brighton, where she applied her mind to several courses of severe study, and acquired a knowledge of many subjects rare in a woman at all times, and especially so in the less cultivated days of the last century. Here she remained until the time arrived for her to take possession of the fortune left her by her father, when she settled herself in a handsome mansion in London. In the meantime she had the misfortune to lose her valued friend and preceptor, the illustrious Johnson, whose death-bed she assiduously attended. A few days before his death the venerable philosopher addressed Miss Thrale in these words:--

My dear child, we part for ever in this world; let us part as Christians should: let us pray together.

He then uttered a prayer of fervent piety and deep affection, invoking the blessing of Heaven on his pupil. In , Miss Thrale became the wife of George Keith Elphinstone, Admiral Viscount Keith, of the most distinguished commanders by whom the naval honour of Great Britain was so greatly exalted during the war against the great Napoleon. Lady Keith was left a widow in . For several years she held a distinguished position in the highest circles of the fashionable world in London, and was of the original patronesses of


Having lived to the advanced age of , Lady Keith died in .

The house standing at the south-east corner of is the Junior Atheneum Club. This splendid mansion was built for the late Mr. Henry Thomas Hope, M.P., in -, from the designs of M. Dusillon and Professor Donaldson. The building has some remarkably handsome external decorations in stone and metal, in the modern French style. The decorations were executed chiefly by French artists, and the iron railing is particularly fine, both with regard to design and workmanship. The mansion was for some years known as Hope House, and during the time of Mr. Hope's occupation it was noted as containing of the finest picture-galleries in London. The pictures were chiefly of the Dutch and Flemish masters, and of the very highest quality of art in these schools; they were obtained by Mr. Hope's ancestors (bankers at Amsterdam) principally from the painters themselves. A list of the principal of them is given in Dr. Waagen's

Art and Artists in England.

Mr. Hope had also here a fine collection of ancient Greek sculpture. Mr. Hope, who was the owner of Deepdene, in Surrey, and was many years M.P. for Gloucester, &c., died in , leaving an only daughter, who was married in the same year to Alexander, Duke of Newcastle. Shortly after Mr. Hope's death his house was sold, and converted into a club.

The house at the corner of , facing , was for many years the town residence of John, Earl of Eldon, the distinguished Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, and Lord Chancellor of England, during the early part of the present century. He died in .

[extra_illustrations.4.286.1] , at the corner of , was former the residence of William Henry, the last Duke of Gloucester, who purchased it on his marriage with the Princess Mary, and who died in . In spite of being Chancellor of Cambridge, he was called

Silly Billy.

Mr. Raikes describes him as

a quiet, inoffensive character, rather tenacious of the respect due to his rank, and strongly attached to the ultra-Tory party.

The mansion was previously the residence of the Earl of Elgin, at which time it was known as Elgin House. Here, on their arrival in this country, were deposited the Elgin Marbles, previous to their removal to , whence they were taken to the in . It is in allusion to this fact that Lord Byron, in his

English Bards and Scotch Reviewers,

calls Elgin House a

stone shop,


General mart

For all the mutilated blocks of art.

The houses now numbered and , between and , were, at the beginning of the present century, mansion, remarkable for its large bow window, and occupied by the eccentric and licentious [extra_illustrations.4.286.2] , better known to society by his nickname of

Old Q.

In his old age, when sated with pleasures of the grossest kind, he would sit in sunny weather in his balcony, with an umbrella or parasol over his head, and amuse himself with watching the female passers-by, ogling every pretty woman, and sending out his minions to fetch them in, as a spider will draw flies into his web. The duke had an exterior flight of steps built to aid him in this sport. These steps were removed long subsequently to his death, in o.

Mr. T. Raikes, in his


under date of


, writes:--

The late Duke of Queensberry, whom I remember in my early days, called

Old Q.,

was of the same school as the Marshal Duc de Richelieu in France, and as great a profligate. He lived at the bow-window house in


, where he was latterly always seen looking at the people who passed by; a groom on horseback, known as Jack Radford, always stood under the window to carry about his messages to any


whom he remarked in the street. He kept a physician in the house, and, to ensure attention to his health, his terms were that he should have so much per day while he lived, but not a shilling at his death. When he drove out he was always alone in a dark-green vis-a-vis, with long-tailed black horses; and during winter, with a muff,


servants behind in undress, and his groom following the carriage, to execute his commissions. He was a little, sharp-looking man, very irritable, and swore like

ten thousand

troopers: enormously rich and selfish.

The duke was of the individuals who were said to be the fathers of Maria Fagniani, afterwards Marchioness of Hertford, to whom he left a very large portion of his property; the title passing to a distant relative, the Duke of Buccleuch.

Of the houses above mentioned, that numbered maintained its celebrity by being at time the residence of Lord Byron. Here he was living when the separation between himself and Lady Byron took place a year after their illstarred marriage; and here he wrote


and the

Siege of Corinth.

It was also from this house that Lady Byron left the poet, carrying with her his infant child, whom he commemorates so touchingly as

Ada, sole daughter of my house and heart.

The moment that my wife left me,

he writes,

I was assailed by all the falsehoods that malice could invent or slander publish; there was no crime too dark to be attributed to me by the moral (?) English, to account for so common an occurrence as a

separation in high life.

I was thought a devil, because Lady Byron was allowed to be an angel!

Poor man! bad as he may have been, he deserved to have met with a creature endowed with some small store of sympathy, and at least some little feminine weakness, in the woman whom he made his wife.

At No. , of the mansions between and Apsley House, Lord Palmerston was living about the time of the Crimean War, and shortly before his acceptance of the Premiership. His lordship removed thence to Cambridge House, of which we have already spoken as being now the Naval and Military Club.

Where Apsley House now stands, if we may accept the statement of Charles Knight, was the tavern called the

Hercules' Pillars,

the same at which the redoubted Squire Western, with his clerical satellite, is represented as taking up his abode on his arrival in London, and conveying the fair Sophia.

The sign of the

Hercules' Pillars

was given to the tavern probably as marking, at that time, the extreme


of London. Its name is recorded by Wycherley, in his , and is said to have been a haunt of the Marquis of Granby, and of other members of the titled classes. The character of the house in Fielding's time may be gathered from the following quotation from

Tom Jones,

touching Squire Western's arrival in London:--

The squire sat down to regale himself over a bottle of wine, with his parson and the landlord of the

Hercules' Pillars,

who, as the squire said, would make an excellent


man, and would inform them of the news of the town; for, to be sure, says he, he knows a good deal, since the horses of many of

the quality

stand at his door.

Mr. J. H. Jesse tells us that the tavern in question stood Apsley House and , and that, on account of its situation, it was much frequented by gentlemen from the West of England. Wherever may have been the exact spot on which the house stood, it seems at best to have been a comfortable but low inn on the outskirts of the town, where gentlemen's horses and grooms were put up, and farmers and graziers resorted.

In the reign of George II. all the ground to the west of up to was covered by a row of. small shops and yards of the statuaries; nor were the latter of the best and purest kind, if we may judge by the loud complaints against their design and execution uttered by the author of

A New Critical Review of the Public Buildings, &c.,

at that date. In fact, the tasteless atrocities in sculpture there perpetrated could not well be exceeded now-a-days by the artists of the


of the . On the site of the last remaining


in this neighbourhood was built, in the early part of the reign of George III., a house for the eccentric and notorious Lord Barrymore, but it was burnt down before it had been many years in his occupation.

Between the

Hercules' Pillars

and what now is , instead of the magnificent houses of the Marquis of Northampton, and Barons Lionel and Ferdinand de Rothschild and others, long known collectively as Terrace, was a row of low and mean tenements, of which bore conspicuously in the street before it the


grand sign of the

Triumphal Chariot.

Mr. J. H. Jesse suggests that

this was, in all probability, the

pretty tavern

to which the unfortunate Richard Savage was conducted by Sir Richard Steele on the occasion of their being closeted together for a whole day, busy in composing a hurried pamphlet which they had to sell for


guineas before they could pay for their dinner,

as Johnson tells us in his

Life of Savage.

The tavern is stated to have been a


for hackney-coaches, &c. Charles Knight says that

by the kerbstone in front of it there was a bench for the porters, and a board over it for depositing their loads ;

and he gives a view of just such another


still standing at in , answering in every minute detail to the above, except in the sign, for it is not the

Triumphal Chariot,

nor a


at all, but

The White Hart.

The sign of the

Triumphal Chariot

was probably an allusion to the soldiery from the barracks, who were its chief supporters. Mr. J. T. Smith, in his

Antiquarian Rambles in the London Streets,

tells us that,

in the middle of the last century, this and other public-houses were much resorted to by the red-coats on Sundays and

Hamilton Place In 1802. (From A Drawing In The Guildhall Library.)

review-days, when long wooden seats were fixed in the street before the doors for the accommodation of as many barbers, all busily employed in powdering the hair of these sons of Mars!

Near the

Hercules' Pillars


Triumphal Chariot,

there would appear to have been quite a cluster of other small inns,


to the wayfarer as he entered London from the western counties. Mr. Larwood enumerates among these the

Red and the Golden Lion,




Horse Shoe,


Running Horse,


Barley Mow,


White Horse,

and the

Half Moon,

of which the last has left the trace of its being in the name of a street running out of .

Thoughtful observers will note the slight but graceful bend of the roadway of , and will see in it with us a proof that the road itself was of ancient date. Modern streets are almost always driven straight; but the earliest roads follow the tracks of cart-wheels and pack-horses; and probably it was by the pack-horses or market-carts of centuries ago that this road was gradually worn. The only proof of its existence in the days of antiquity is to be found in the map of Ralph Aggas, where it forms but a continuation of the


line marked out at the top of the as

the way to Reading,

just as what now is is marked

the way to Uxbridge.

We find, however, a corroboration of the map in the narrative of the rebellion raised by Sir Thomas Wyatt and his Kentish followers on the unpopular marriage of Queen Mary with Philip of Spain, when it would seem that, in addition to a lower way running past the front of to , there was also a

highway on the hill,

along which some of the rebel forces and ammunition were brought up. This event is, indeed, the earliest matter of historical interest connected with . We read that, unable to effect the passage of , Wyatt marched to Kingston, where he crossed the Thames, and so forced his way to . In our account of we have already given the narrative of Wyatt's advance on London, as told by honest John Stow, and therefore we need not repeat it here, further than to say that, in all probability, it was in that he

planted his ordenance,

for the old chronicler tells us
that it was upon a hill beyond St. James's,

almost over against the Park Corner, on the hill in the highway, above the new bridge over against St. James's.

How Wyatt passed on to and then to Ludgate, how he was there captured, and how he was beheaded and afterwards quartered on , are matters well known to nearly every reader of English history. His head, as Stow further informs us, was set up on the gallows at , at that time almost if not quite in sight of the spot where he had left his



new bridge

spoken of in Stow's narrative probably spanned the brook which ran in this direction down from Tyburn, giving its appellation to the Brook Fields, whence

Brook Street

derives its name, as we shall see in a future chapter.

It was near the western extremity of that the citizens of London fortified themselves against the threatened approach of Charles I. and his army in , when the citizens of the Westend, aided by the female population, and, indeed, even ladies of high birth and blood, lent a helping hand in the trenches, and in throwing up earthworks.


In this emergency, men, women, and even children, assisted in hundreds and thousands, and speedily a rampart of earth was raised, with batteries and redoubts at intervals The fort here was armed with bastions. The active part taken by the women in this undertaking is described with much graphic humour by Butler, in his


He writes that they

Marched rank and file, with drum and ensign,

T' entrench the city for defence in;

Raised ramparts with their own soft hands,

To put the enemy to stand;

From ladies down to oyster-wenches

Laboured like pioneers in trenches,

Fall'n to their pickaxes and tools,

And helped the men to dig like moles.

In spite of its proximity to the Court suburb, it would appear that was not a very secure thoroughfare, even during the reigns of the Hanoverian kings. For instance, it is on record, that in the Earl of Harborough was stopped here, whilst being carried in his sedan chair, during broad daylight; we read that


of the chairmen pulled a pole out of the chair and knocked down


of the villains, while the earl came out, drew his sword, and put the others to flight, but not before they had raised their wounded companion, whom they took off with them.

Indeed, even a quarter of a century later, the neighbourhood of , and, in fact, all the western and northern suburbs of London, were infested with footpads and highwaymen; and, under cover of the darkness, favoured by the ill-lighted and ill-protected state of the streets, highway robberies continued to be committed with impunity, in the heart of London, up to a much more recent period than is generally supposed. Mr. Jesse tells us that about the year a near relative of his own, accompanied by a friend, was forcibly stopped in a hackney-coach in , opposite to St. James's Church, by ruffians, who presented their pistols, and forced them to give up their money and watches. He adds, that in this case the driver, in all probability, was in league with the highwaymen.

The modern history of may be soon told. In process of time the thoroughfare has undergone great alteration since buildings were erected on its northern side. Bath House, of which we have spoken above, was the mansion of any pretension erected to the west of ; and down to about the year , with the exception of the just named, there were no houses more than or storeys high. Many years ago the pavement on the north side of all the middle portion was raised, and formed a terrace; and when the name of the terrace ceased to be used in this part of the street, it came to be applied to the larger mansions further westward and lying between and Apsley House. Now, however, it is restricted to the row of houses situated to the west of .

About the end of the year the toll-gate at [extra_illustrations.4.290.1] , which narrowed the thoroughfare, interrupted he traffic, and gave a confined appearance to the street, was removed. Mr. Hone, in his

Every Day Book,

published in the year , thus records the sale by auction of this tollgate :--

The sale by auction of the


on the north and south side of the road, with the


and lamp-posts at

Hyde Park Corner

, was effected by Mr. Abbott, the estate agent and appraiser, by order of the trustees of the roads. They were sold for building materials; the north toll-house was in


lots, the south in


other lots; the gates, rails, posts, and inscription boards, were in


more lots; and the enginehouse was also in



It is not stated what amount was realised by the sale, but Hone gives a graphic illustration representing the auctioneer raising his hammer and calling out,

Going, going, gone!

He adds,

The whole are entirely cleared away, to the great relief of thousands of persons resident in this neighbourhood,

and then he moralises as follows:

It is too much to expect everything vexatious to disappear at once; this is a good beginning, and, if there be truth in the old saying, we may expect a good ending.

At the same sale were put up and knocked down the weighing-machine and toll-house at

Jenny's Whim,

of which we shall have more to say when we come to , and also the toll-house near the

Original Bun-house

at , with the lampposts on the road.

Thanks to the iron roads out of London, which steam has opened of late years, is no longer the great


thoroughfare which it was in the days

when George III. was King;

but still,

in the season,

it is always lively and well filled, and there is no street in London where the miscellaneous character of London conveyances and

carriage folk,

from the outside passengers on a lordly


down to the city clerks on the knifeboards of omnibuses, and even to the donkey-driving costermongers, may be seen in greater variety. All ranks are jostled together in , if anywhere in this great metropolis.



[extra_illustrations.4.273.1] Clarendon House

[extra_illustrations.4.273.2] Lord Clarendon

[extra_illustrations.4.274.1] Chapel of Ease--Stafford Street--New Road

[extra_illustrations.4.276.1] for the court of Georgiana, the beautiful duchess

[] See Vol. III., p. 164.

[] See Vol. III., p. 257.

[extra_illustrations.4.279.1] Funeral of Lord Lytton

[extra_illustrations.4.279.2] Lord Lytton at Home

[extra_illustrations.4.279.3] Count Boruwlaski

[extra_illustrations.4.280.1] Sir E. Bulwer Lytton

[extra_illustrations.4.281.1] Miss Angela Burdett

[] See ante, p. 171.

[extra_illustrations.4.283.1] Result of Purchasing a Blind Horse--Hyde Park Corner

[extra_illustrations.4.284.1] Lord Ashburton

[extra_illustrations.4.284.2] Pulteney, Earl of Bath

[extra_illustrations.4.285.1] Lord Palmerston

[extra_illustrations.4.285.2] The house of another member of this wealthy family

[extra_illustrations.4.286.1] Gloucester House

[extra_illustrations.4.286.2] Duke of Queensberry

[] See Vol. III., p. 125.

[extra_illustrations.4.290.1] Hyde Park Corner

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