Old and New London, A Narrative of its History, its People and its Places. Illustrated with Numerous Engravings from the Most Authentic Sources. vol 4Thornbury, Walter
Apsley House and Park Lane.
Apsley House and Park Lane.
Quitting May Fair, we now turn to the southwest, down , in order to look in upon [extra_illustrations.4.360.1] , with which we were obliged to deal very briefly in our walk along the mansions of . This house, so many years the residence of the late, and still the residence of the present Duke of Wellington, forms a conspicuous object on entering London from the west, occupying as it does the corner of and . Its situation is of the finest in the metropolis, standing upon the rising ground overlooking the parks, and commanding views of the Kent and Surrey hills in the far distance. Its site is said to have been a present from George II. to a discharged soldier, named Alien, who had fought under that king at Dettingen. His wife here kept an apple-stall, which by the thrifty couple was turned by degrees into a small cottage. The story of this present has been often told, but it will bear telling yet once again:--When London did not exist so far as , George II., as he was riding out morning, met Allen, who
| doubtless showed by his garments that he had once belonged to the army; the king accosted him, and found that he made his living by selling apples in a small hut. |
said the king.
said the king, and ordered him his request. Years rolled on; the apple-man died, and left a son, who from dint of industry became a respectable attorney. The then Chancellor gave a lease of the ground to a nobleman, as the apple-stall had fallen to the ground. It being conceived the ground had fallen to the Crown, a stately mansion was soon raised, when the young attorney put in claims; a small sum was offered as a compromise, and refused; finally, the sum of per annum, ground rent, was settled upon.
In , Allen's son or other kin sold the ground to Henry, Lord Apsley, Lord Chancellor, afterwards Lord Bathurst, who gave to the
|house which he built upon it the name by which it is still known. The mansion was originally of red brick, and though solid and substantial, it had no great architectural pretensions.|
The father of Lord Chancellor Apsley, the Earl Bathurst, was of the most genial and agreeable of the friends of Pope, who has referred to him in the often quoted lines in terms of respect and affection :--
His lordship appears to have been of a particularly lively and cheerful disposition, and to have preserved his natural vivacity to the very last. To within a month of his death, which happened on the , at the age of ninetyone, he constantly rode out on horseback for hours before dinner, and regularly drank his bottle
| of claret or madeira after dinner. Some amusing anecdotes have been told of this old Lord Bathurst, which will bear telling over again. He used to repeat often, with a smile, that Dr. Cheyne had assured him, years before, that he would not live years longer, unless he abridged himself of his wine. About years before his death, he invited several of his friends to spend a few cheerful days with him at his seat, near Cirencester; and being, evening, very loth to part with them, his son (then Lord Chancellor) objected to their sitting up any longer, adding, that health and long life were best secured by regularity. The earl suffered his son to retire, but as soon as he left the room, exclaimed, |
In the mansion was purchased by the nation, and settled as an heirloom on the illustrious dukedom of Wellington. It was then leasehold only. Mr. Peter Cunningham tells us that
The principal front, next , consists of a centre with wings, having a portico of the Corinthian order, raised upon a rusticated arcade of apertures, leading to the entrance hall. The west front consists of wings; the centre slightly recedes, and has windows with a balcony. The front is enclosed by a rich bronzed palisade, corresponding with the gates to the grand entrance to the Park. In the saloon is a colossal statue of Napoleon, by Canova.
In the mansion was enlarged, and the original exterior of red brick was faced with a casing of Bath stone, designed by Mr. B. Wyatt. At this time the front portico and the west wing were added; but, says Mr. Peter Cunningham,
In the upper part of the west wing is the Waterloo Gallery, nearly a feet in length. This noble apartment is splendidly decorated, and richly gilt. The ballroom extending the whole depth of the mansion, and the small picture gallery, which together form a suite, are both superb rooms. On the groundfloor, at the north-west angle, looking into the little garden which divides the house from , is the modest chamber used by the great Duke as a bedroom to the last year of his life. It is plainly furnished, with a small iron bedstead and a plain writing table; a few books, which were the duke's favourite companions, still remain where their great master left them. This room was shown to the public, along with the rest of the house, for a few days in , the year of the duke's death, and a striking proof it gave of his simplicity and studied avoidance of all that savoured of luxury. The house contains several fine pictures, amongst others a full-length portrait of George IV., in the Highland costume, by Sir David Wilkie. This picture was damaged by a stone during the Reform Bill riots, but the injury has been skilfully repaired. There are also portraits of the Emperor Alexander and the Kings of Prussia, France, and the Netherlands, and of several of the duke's companionsin- arms, and pictures of the battles which he fought. Among the latter is Sir William Allan's celebrated painting of the
of which the duke is said to have remarked that it was
Then there are several portraits of his great rival, Napoleon; also Wilkie's
which was painted for the duke. The gallery contains besides a collection of other subjects, sacred and profane, by the old masters and painters. Dr. Waagen, in his work on
speaks with great enthusiasm of the specimens of Sir David Wilkie in this collection; as also of a
by Corregio (captured in Spain from Joseph Bonaparte); besides others by Velasquez, Claude Lorraine, Jan Steen, and Teniers.
In the tumults which broke out in London in on account of the opposition of the duke and the Tory party to the Reform Bill, the windows of Apsley House were broken by the mob. In consequence of this, the duke had all his windows cased with iron shutters, like those of shop-fronts in our leading thoroughfares, and made bullet-proof; and though often entreated to have them removed when his popularity returned, he steadily refused to allow the change to be made, as he had no confidence in the smiles of popular favour, and would often say that they were a standing proof of the vanity of the world's applause. With reference to the manner in which the fury of the multitude in the above-mentioned year vented itself on the duke, we glean a little intelligence in the following extract from Mr. Raikes'
The shutters remained outside the windows of the house down to the death of the duke in , after which they were removed by his son and successor.
On every to the last, the duke celebrated his Waterloo dinner in the large gallery. Mr. Rush, in his
mentions dining here in the summer of , when the king (George IV.) was a guest, with most of the royal dukes, the foreign ambassadors, and the duke's old companions in arms. He thus describes the after-dinner scene:--
These banquets were continued from year to year down to the duke's death. As years rolled on, the familiar faces gradually fell off, and the number of chairs for his guests-his old comrades in armsgrew smaller and smaller.
On state occasions, the chief ornament of the duke's sideboard was the celebrated shield presented to him by the City of London. It is of pure gold, and was manufactured by Messrs. Rundle and Bridge, from the designs of Thomas Stothard, R.A. On it are represented, in basrelief and in alto, the most important of the duke's victories; and it is said that its cost was nearly . In fact, a dinner at Apsley House has been almost described in anticipation by Virgil, in a passage of his
thus translated by Dryden:--
Down to within a few weeks of his death, the duke used to ride out every afternoon, on his way to or the Park. His appearance, as he passed from the gate of Apsley House into , at his accustomed hour, was of the sights of London which
were regularly taken to see; and, attired in a plain blue frock-coat, with white waistcoat and trousers, with a groom riding behind him, he was
To write a complete biography of
would be altogether beyond our province, for to do that would be almost equivalent to writing a history of Europe during the time in which he lived. Suffice it then for us to say that he was the son of Garrett, Earl of Mornington, and brother of the Marquis Wellesley, and that he was born in . Entering the army in , he commenced his actual service in the field in . Shortly afterwards, he was returned to the Irish Parliament for the borough of Trim, County Meath; and in , he was chosen to represent Newport in the . In the following year he was appointed Chief Secretary for Ireland. His Grace was for upwards of a quarter of a century Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, and besides the honours and emoluments bestowed upon him for his brilliant services by the British Government, he received almost every foreign order of distinction, to the number of . As a parliamentary orator he spoke plain and to the point, and his correspondence was remarkable for its laconic brevity. To sum up, in the words of of his biographers, it may be said that
On the , the
died at [extra_illustrations.4.364.2] , his official residence as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. On that morning his valet called him as usual at o'clock. Half an hour afterwards he entered the room and found his master ill. At o'clock in the afternoon, after an epileptic fit, the great soldier breathed his last. Of all his crowd of illustrious friends, only were near him-Lord and Lady Charles Wellesley, who were staying on a visit. So little did he anticipate death that he had appointed that day to meet the Countess of Westmoreland at Dover to see her off by packet to Ostend. The chamber in which he died had much the appearance of that at Apsley House described above; it was a little room with a single window, which served as his library and study, and an iron bedstead feet wide, with a -inch mattress.
[extra_illustrations.4.364.3] stands between other memorials of the illustrious duke--the [extra_illustrations.4.364.4] mounted on horseback surmounting the arch which leads to , and the statue of Achilles in . The of these statues was modelled by Mr. Matthew C. Wyatt and his son, James Wyatt; it occupied years, and is said to have taken more than tons of plaster. It represents the duke upon his horse
at the field of Waterloo. The duke sat for the portrait, which is considered very striking. Mr. John Timbs tells us that
The erection of this statue, which cost
| about , originated from the close contest for the execution of the Wellington statue in the City. The archway on which this statue stands was erected by Mr. Decimus Burton, in . It is Corinthian, and on each face are fluted pilasters, with fluted columns, flanking the single archway, raised upon a lofty stylobate or plinth, and supporting a richly-decorated entablature, in which are sculptured alternately |
and the imperial crown within wreaths of laurel. The massive iron gates, bronzed, are enriched with the royal arms in a circular centre.
writes Mr. John Timbs,
Of the statue of Achilles, erected in the duke's honour by the ladies of England, we shall have more to say when we come to our chapter on . It has not, however, been by the aid of statuary alone that the memory of the duke has been kept alive; for it is said that within twentyfive years after he fought his last crowning battle, there were already in Europe bridges, museums, public squares, and streets, which bore the name of Waterloo. How many more have been added since we can scarcely estimate.
We have already mentioned the toll-gate at , and the old lodge adjoining it, which stood by the entrance into the Park. Appended to it was a small cottage, known to the public as the
The lodge was joined on to by a brick wall, which, as well as the old lodge and the
was taken down about the year , when a new lodge of stone was built, and the wall superseded by a light iron railing. About the same time, a small strip of ground was taken off the south-east corner of the Park, in order to form a garden for Apsley House;:but the Duke of Wellington was not very popular at the time, and the encroachment on the public rights stirred up not a little bad feeling against him, an invidious parallel being drawn between his Grace and John, Duke of Marlborough, whose house was built on a site subtracted from .
observes Charles Knight.
In our view of this spot, on page , is shown the old toll-gate which formerly stood here. It had a milestone nestling under it, which gave it quite a rural appearance. It would have been amusing to have stood by the side of the old toll-gate, and to have seen the
as people of rank and fashion were then styled, collecting just before the expected arrival of the great earthquake, which, it was prophesied vehemently, was coming to demolish the City and its suburbs. Charles Knight tells us, in his
This occurred in the month of , and is thus recorded in a newspaper of that date :--
This going off to Kensington, or Hounslow, or Windsor, to avoid the earthquake, reminds of the old Duchess of Bolton, who, on Whiston's prophecy of the approaching destruction of the world, prudently resolved to be off to. China, in order to escape so inconvenient an accident. Lady Hervey writes to her friend, Mr. Morris, with reference to this silly panic:
That this curious instance of a
was not altogether a groundless panic, may be gathered from the following account, quoted from another publication, printed in the above year:--
A parallel to this
read in the for :-- |
But it is time for us to resume our perambulation. Leaving Apsley House, we now travel northwards, and following in the main the course of , we shall, before long, find ourselves at Tyburn, which, for the present, must be the limit of our journeyings in the west of the metropolis, as we are bound to find our way back to the central regions of Bloomsbury, by a route embracing and the large district which lies to the north of it.
, in the reign of Queen Anne, was a desolate bye-road, generally spoken of as
The thoroughfare is, for the most part, open on its west side to , the other side being chiefly occupied by lofty and splendid mansions and terraces. Towards its southern extremity, the
was formerly very narrow and inconveniently crowded;
| but in it was widened by the Board of Works, by the removal of of the mansions in , and the throwing open of . Before the extension of London so far westward, when this was nothing more than a country lane, or bye-road, shaded here and there by trees, and winding its way along by the park palings, from the toll-gate at to Tyburn, it must have presented a very rural appearance. So lately as the beginning of the last century, the lane was almost, if not quite, destitute of habitation, for in it lived, moping away their existence in an unfinished house, commenced by their eccentric father, the sons of George Bushnell, who sculptured the statues which adorn . |
says Mr. Walter Thornbury, in
At the point where and meet, there was erected, in , at the cost of , an ornamental fountain by Thornycroft. The money expended on it was a part of
|the property of a lady who died intestate, and whose wealth came into possession of the Government. It having been understood that she had often in her lifetime advocated the erection of a fountain here, this was thought the most desirable way to spend the money. The fountain stands on a very advantageous site, between the new and the old roads leading into , some yards in advance of the point of bifurcation. The space is necessarily somewhat triangular, and the sculptor has adapted his design to the place by making it tri-frontal. The great feature in the work is, in accordance with this form of composition, a group of heroic-size marble statues of the greatest of English poets-Shakespeare, Milton, and Chaucer; and the summit of the monument, feet from the ground, is a gilded bronze-winged figure of Fame, poised with foot on a globe, blowing her trumpet, and bearing the wreath. Below the columnar pedestal on which these portrait statues stand, are bronze figures of Muses, seated, and holding their attributes as Tragedy, Comedy, and History. These are so arranged that the Shakespeare is supported by the figures of Tragedy and Comedy, while the Milton stands between|
|Tragedy and History, and the Chaucer with Comedy and History on each side. The principal front is naturally given to the Shakespeare, facing across the Park, while Fame, lifting her trumpet high in the air, looks upward in the same direction. The statue of Milton faces the spectator coming down ; while Chaucer, his tablets and stile in hand, greets him with a pleasant half-humorous, half-reflective look, as he passes up the old narrow way from . Thus the sculptor has, with the happiest sense of the harmonies arising from mere position, availed himself of every coigne of vantage, and added interest and meaning to his work beyond its ostensible purpose of a fountain. The poet of all time faces the wide expanse of space, while Milton and Chaucer look over the western paths of busy practical life and work.|
The large mansion as we go up is Holdernesse House, at the corner of . It is the residence of the Marquis of Londonderry, and stands on a site formerly occupied by the town mansion of the D'Arcys, Earls of Holdernesse, a title long since extinct. It is said that the father of the Lord Londonderry travelled in the north of Ireland as a commission agent for a Scottish house of business, and that when his son rose to the surface in the political world, he was glad to petition the Earl of Galloway for leave to hook himself on to an obscure branch of the family tree of the Scottish house of Stewart.
The mansion- of the most spacious and splendid in London-though little known to the world outside, was built, about the year , from the designs of Messrs. S. and B. Wyatt, and commands a charmingly rural view over the expanse of . Here is a magnificent picture-gallery, containing, among other pictures, some full-length portraits of British and foreign monarchs of the present century by Sir Thomas Lawrence, as also a collection of articles of -some of which were presented to the Marquis of Londonderry by the Allied Sovereigns--vases, and tables of malachite. The sculpture-gallery contains several works by Canova and other great masters.
Great , a broad thoroughfare, leading up, like an avenue, to the front of , immortalises the family name of the old Earl of Chesterfield, its builder. Lord Palmerston lived, for many years prior to , at No. . Next door, was living Mr. Alexander Raphael, the Roman Catholic sheriff of London and Middlesex, whose money largely helped to ensure the return of O'Connell to Parliament as member for Carlow. No. was, for many years, the residence of. the Duke of Wellington's friend, Lord Fitzroy Somerset, afterwards Lord Raglan; and from this house he started, in the spring of , to take the command of our army in the Crimea, where he died in . No. was for some time the town residence of the gallant Field-Marshal, the Viscount Hardinge, formerly Governor-General of India, and successor of the Duke of Wellington as Commander-in-Chief of the British Army. Facing the entrance to this street, and opening into the park, is .
, the next turning northward, connects with . At his house in this street, in , died, at an advanced age, Soame Jenyns, the well-known man of letters, essayist, poet, and convert from infidelity, and many years M.P. for Cambridge. His kindly and genial character made him very popular in society; but his various writings have come, for the most part, to be forgotten. It is said that no words of illnature or personality ever passed his lips, except his memorable epigram and epitaph--for it is both --on Dr. Johnson :
The house No. in this street was the last town residence of Mrs. Fitzherbert, who was, no doubt, the lawful wife of George IV. She died in , leaving her house to the Damer family. At No. , lived the Lord Yarmouth of the Regency, before his father's death raised him to the House of Peers as Marquis of Hertford.
is the name by which a narrow and winding thoroughfare, leading behind into , is dignified. It is clearly only an enlargement of a rural bye-road, probably worn by the wheels of carts and wagons proceeding from the market-gardens of to the market in the Brook Field, already mentioned. It consists of some half-a-dozen small houses, on side only of the street, and has few reminiscences, social, literary, or political.
, the residence of Mr. R. S. Holford, the gardens of which face on the side, and on the other, is of the handsomest of the many modern mansions of London. It is in the ornate Italian style, and stands on the site of an older mansion of the same name, which was of the residences of the late Marquis of Hertford, who died there in . This nobleman, who, as Earl of Yarmouth, was a well-known figure under the Regency, married Mademoiselle
| Fagniani, the daughter, according to some, of the Duke of Queensberry ( |
), according to others, of George Selwyn, or George Selwyn's butler. Selwyn, it is recorded, left her a fortune of , -thirds of which were to pass to Lord Carlisle's family if she should have no children. Lord Yarmouth was a and a profligate, but he had redeeming quality, and that was wit. When Lord Granville resigned his post as ambassador at Paris, Lady Granville gave an evening party, jocosely adding that it was her
said his lordship.
The present mansion was built in -, from the architectural designs of Mr. Lewis Vulliamy. It is faced with Portland stone, and in plan forms a parallelogram, about feet wide by feet in depth, very nearly the size of Bridgewater House. The grand staircase is of marble, and the interior generally is fitted up with great completeness. The arrangement of the west front, facing , is original and effective, the mouldings and dressings generally having been carefully studied. The principal cornice displays a large amount of carving, and its size may be judged from the fact that the stones composing the chief projection of it are each upwards of feet square. There is a bold stone screen wall round the house, with a lodge at the south-west corner.
says the ,
Scattered through the principal apartments of Mr. Holford's mansion is a splendid collection of pictures, mostly by the ancient masters, many of them being of -rate celebrity. The gallery contains, , fine specimens of Titian, Velasquez, Tintoretto, Vandyke, Murillo, Teniers, Wouvermans, and other artists. Among the pictures are of the Caracci series, painted for the Giustiniani Palace, by Agostino and Ludovico Caracci. These famous pictures came to England in the Duke of Lucca's collection, and not being purchased for the , after some negotiation with the trustees, they were subsequently exhibited in most of the cities of the United Kingdom, before they were separated to pass into the hands of private gentlemen. Then there are several of Rubens' exquisite sketches, among them the slight for his
in the Luxembourg collection, and the
for the picture over the high altar in Antwerp Cathedral. Claude and the Poussins are represented by brilliant landscapes. Altogether, the gallery ranks among the most important private collections in England. Mr. Holford has also a magnificent library, well stored with rare and curious books, among which are the of Walton's
both lately reproduced in by Mr. Elliot Stock.
On the north side of is , which runs into , . In this street stood the Roman belonging to the Portuguese Embassy, and called after it the Portuguese Chapel. The building was removed about the year , when it was superseded by the Jesuit Church in , as already mentioned. In this street (at No. ) lived Lord Melbourne, while occupying the post of Premier. In , Mdlle. D'Este, daughter of the Duke of Sussex, lived at No. ; and at No. , Lord Holland. In this street, also, lived Vice-Chancellor Sir John Leach.
is so called on account of its proximity to Grosvenor Chapel. In it, in , lived General Sir Robert Thomas Wilson, who, having gained laurels in Egypt under Sir Ralph Abercromby, and subsequently in the Peninsula under Wellington, became involved in the unfortunate matter of Queen Caroline, and for his censure of the course pursued by the members of the Crown, was degraded and dismissed from the army; he was, however, subsequently reinstated, and attained the rank of general. He was for many years M.P. for ; and for some time, just before his death in , he held the post of Governor of Gibraltar.
Of , which runs parallel with , across the middle of , we have spoken in a previous chapter.
A fine and spacious mansion, No. , between Mount and Upper Grosvenor Streets, was for many years the residence of the Marquis of Breadalbane,
|and afterwards of Lady Palmerston, who lived here in her widowhood.|
In lived William, Duke of Cumberland, more frequently known as
on account of his wholesale massacre of the conquered Jacobites after the battle of Culloden, in . Here he died, somewhat suddenly, at the end of .
The corner house of and , formerly numbered , , was the residence of Mr. Benjamin Disraeli for more than years, including the period of his Premiership. It had belonged to Mr. Wyndham Lewis, for a short time his colleague in the representation of Maidstone, whose widow (afterwards Lady Beaconsfield) he married in , soon after her husband's death. He occupied it down to the year before his Premiership.
On the south side of this street is Grosvenor House, the town residence of the Duke of Westmnister. It was formerly called ; and in it lived the Duke of Gloucester, younger
|brother of George III., for whom it was originally built. It is separated from the street by a [extra_illustrations.4.371.1] , of classic pillars, connecting a double arching entrance, above which are pediments sculptured with the family arms, and panels with the seasons above the foot entrances; the metal gates, and other portions of the screen, are enriched with foliage, fruit, flowers, and armorial bearings. This screen was completed in , from the designs of Mr. T. Cundy, who also erected, in , after a beautiful example of the Corinthian order, [extra_illustrations.4.371.2] , of the finest private galleries in Europe. Few sights are more attractive to strangers than galleries of paintings and statues; and although we are sadly deficient in public collections of such works of art, yet it may safely be asserted, that no country in Europe can boast of such magnificent private galleries as England, and no capital as London. Unlike Paris in this respect, most of the picturegalleries in London are the property of private|
|individuals; but they are generally accessible by special application or a personal introduction. [extra_illustrations.4.371.3] [extra_illustrations.4.371.4]|
was commenced by Richard, Earl Grosvenor, by the purchase of Mr. Agar's pictures, as a nucleus, for guineas. The collection has since been considerably increased by various purchases. The gallery contains specimens of Claude, the Poussins, Raphael, Murillo, Snyders, Rembrandt, Rubens, Velasquez, Titian, Guido, Paul Veronese, Vandyke, Cuyp, [extra_illustrations.4.371.5] , Reynolds, Hogarth, Vandervelde, and, indeed, of nearly all the great masters, ancient and modern. Hogarth's
which is among them, as we know from of the painter's private letters, was executed in , the last year of his life, at the earnest request of Sir Richard Grosvenor.
In the words of Dr. Waagen, in his
Grosvenor House gallery
Dr. Waagen also singles out for special commendation pictures by Paul Potter, Gerard Dow, Salvator Rosa, Claude Lorraine, Murillo, and Velasquez. The gallery is a magnificent and lofty apartment, lit only by a lantern from above; a faint and subdued light consequently reaches the lower part, to the great disadvantage of the pictures which are hung low. It contains fine specimens of Rubens, including
and others, by Rembrandt.
The following extract from Mr. H. C. Robinson's Diary, under date , will give a good idea of the merits of this gallery :--
It only remains to add that the duke very freely allows the gallery to be seen by the working classes; and that, with this end specially in view, has allowed access to it, under certain conditions, on Sundays, an example of liberality and consideration which might be followed in other quarters.
The Duke of is the head of the family of Grosvenor--a house which, although its connection with the English peerage is scarcely a century old, can lay claim to as noble a descent as any of our Norman houses. In fact, the Grosvenors have been of knightly dignity since the Conquest. Its head was the individual who, towards the close of the century, carried on, for long years, the memorable controversy of Scrope Grosvenor, before the High Court of Chivalry, the judges being the Lord High Constable, Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester, youngest son of Edward III., and the Earl Marshal, Thomas de Mowbray, Earl of Nottingham.
The Grosvenors were raised to a baronetcy in , but did not attain the peerage till the early years of the reign of George III., when Sir Richard Grosvenor was created Baron Grosvenor of Eaton, in the County Palatine of Chester. His lordship was advanced to the dignities of Viscount Belgrave and Earl Grosvenor years later. The earl was raised to the Marquisate of at the coronation of William IV. The ducal title was conferred by Her Majesty in . The title chosen by Earl Grosvenor for his marquisate is, at all events, appropriate; for it is from within the boundaries of the fair City of that the [extra_illustrations.4.371.6]
|largest portion of the princely rent-roll of the family is derived. It is often said, and generally believed, that the Duke of Westminster's income exceeds that of any other nobleman of the age.|
Continuing our walk up , we pass, at No. , the residence of [extra_illustrations.4.372.1] , Bart., the venerable and indefatigable champion of the religious and social interests of the Jewish race in every part of the world.
Dudley House, at the north-western corner of , is the residence of the Earl of Dudley, and is also noted for containing a gallery of pictures of the Flemish and Italian schools. The collection formed here by the late earl is described by Dr. Waagen in as a very mixed . He enumerates a few by Bellini, Francia, Cuyp, Rysdale, &c., adding,
It is understood, however, that the present earl has added considerably to his gallery. There are also several fine specimens of sculpture, including a
Here lived the eccentric Earl of Dudley, who died in . His lordship, who was Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs under Mr. Canning's
administration, was somewhat of a , as may be guessed from some of the anecdotes handed down about him. During the general depression in -, Lord Dudley remarked to a friend that his coal-mining income had fallen off during year, ; |
On occasion, when the of a forthcoming dinner at the
was discussed in his presence, his lordship observed:
Of his lordship's extraordinary absence of mind, and his unfortunate habit of
many amusing anecdotes have been in circulation. It is told, as a fact, that when he was in the , he directed a letter, intended for the French, to the Russian Ambassador, shortly before the affair of Navarino; and, strange as it may appear, it obtained him the highest honour. Prince Lieven, who possibly never made any mistakes of the kind, set it down as the cleverest
| ever attempted to be played off, and gave himself immense credit for not falling into the trap laid for him by the sinister ingenuity of the English Secretary. He returned the letter with a most polite note, in which he vowed, of course, that he had not read a line of it after he had ascertained that it was intended for Prince Polignac; but could not help telling Lord Dudley at an evening party, that he was |
With high birth, wealth, and everything in his favour, Lord Dudley ended in a ridiculous failure. He is tersely described by of the ladies of the Court of George IV., as
Madame de Stael, however, said of him, that
, which connects with the north-west corner of , has had at different times some distinguished residents; among others, William Gerard Hamilton, M.P., known as
In , Lady Molesworth, her brother, and other persons, were accidentally burnt in their house in this street.
In , No. was occupied by the wealthy and eccentric Mr. Ball Hughes. In , No. was the residence of the celebrated engineer, Sir John Burgoyne; and at No. lived Lord Ashley (since Earl of Shaftesbury). In this street, too, at time, resided the Hon. Mrs. Damer, the sculptor. She was a daughter of General Conway, and the widow of Mr. John Damer, who, as we have seen, whilst quite a young man, shot himself at a tavern in Covent Garden. She was a great friend of Horace Walpole, who left her a life interest in Strawberry Hill.
, which runs north and south from Mount to Chapel Streets, parallel to , still commemorates the name of the queen of Charles II. Our readers will not have forgotten that, at time, this name was given to ; and, in all probability, when thus quietly dropped out of use for the great thoroughfare, it was preserved in connection with this modest and retiring street by some lover of the Stuart line of kings. The street is narrow, and consists of little more than a dozen houses, all old-fashioned, and rather
|gloomy; and there is little more to be said about it.|
, which extends northwards from to , crossing , Upper Grosvenor, and Upper Brook Streets, has numbered among its residents at various times a few names which have become famous, such as [extra_illustrations.4.374.1] , the greatest chemist of his age, who lived at No. ; Mr. William Beckford, of Fonthill celebrity, who, in , occupied No. ; Mr. Serjeant Goulburn, who lived at No. ; and Miss Lydia White, who, in , died at her residence, No. . This lady, Mr. Peter Cunningham tells us, was
--except, it may be supposed, by Mrs. Montague. Sir Walter Scott writes, in his diary, under date of , that he
At No. , now pulled down, lived, for many years, Baron Parke, both whilst a judge, and subsequently to his creation, in , as a
by the name, style, and title of Lord Wensleydale.
In , which runs eastward from into , lived and died the Rev. Sydney Smith, the witty canon of . A native of Woodford, in Essex, he was born in the year , and having entered the Church, became curate of Amesbury, in Wiltshire.
says Sydney Smith,
Here, in , in conjunction with a few literary associates, he projected the . In the following year he removed to London, where he soon became
After holding various preferments, he was appointed, in , of the canons residentiary of . He published several pamphlets and sermons, and also his contributions to the in a collected form; but the work by which he is best remembered is
written to promote the cause of Catholic emancipation, and abounding in wit and irony. Sydney Smith died in .
In this street lived Lord Cochrane, whose name became notorious in connection with a certain stock-jobbing fraud of a most extraordinary kind, which was played off in the metropolis, and of which we have already given the particulars, but which may be briefly summarised here. It appears that between and in the forenoon of Monday, the , a person, wearing a white cockade, passed rapidly by the , in a post-chaise, drawn by horses, and decorated with sprigs of laurel. Much about the same time a chaise similarly decorated, and a person of the same description within, was seen in the vicinity of Downing Street--not proceeding directly thither, but wandering about, apparently in want of a guide. Much excitement was caused by the appearance of these individuals, coupled with the rumours which had been spread abroad, to the effect that the mission of the man with the cockade was not to the British Government, but to the French princes here; and that he had certainly arrived at the residences of the Prince of Conde and the Duke of Bourbon. of the actors engaged in this conspiracy, named De Berenger, was traced to the house of Lord Cochrane, in this street. After some lapse of time in consequence of investigations of the committee appointed by the Stock Exchange, these persons, together with some or others, were brought to trial before Lord Ellenborough,
All the persons indicted were found guilty; Lord Cochrane was sentenced to pay a fine of to the king, to be set upon the pillory in front of the , and to be imprisoned for calendar months; of the other prisoners received the same judgment, and the remainder were sentenced to a year's imprisonment in the Marshalsea. Lord Cochrane was of the last persons sentenced to the pillory. This punishment he had not to bear, for Sir Francis Burdett vowed that, if necessary, he would stand by his side; and his presence was, in itself, protection from the mob.
Crossing , at right angles at its western end, is . No. in this street was once the residence of Lord Overstone, the eminent and wealthy banker, who here had a fine gallery of pictures. In this street lived the Duchess of Gordon. Though strictly pious in her
|later years, as a middle-aged matron she was a leader of fashion, and the admiration of West-end circles. If it be true that she was ambitious and vain, her ambition and vanity must have been gratified by seeing daughters married to the Dukes of Bedford, Richmond, and Manchester, and a to the Marquis Cornwallis. [extra_illustrations.4.375.1]|
In this street resided Lord William Russell, brother of the and Dukes of Bedford, who, on the , was murdered in his bed by his valet, Courvoisier. From the confession which Courvoisier made, after finding his case was hopeless, it appears that, in the middle of the night, when the family had retired to rest, Lord William, feeling indisposed, dressed himself, and went down stairs, where he found the valet busy in packing up the valuables, apparently with intent to carry them away. He taxed him with his crime, and, telling him he should be discharged the next morning, returned to his bed. Courvoisier, in despair, after waiting some time, seized a carving-knife, went up to his master's room, and, finding him fast asleep, savagely cut his throat. The murderer was tried at the , and, being found guilty, was executed in the following July.
Passing once more into , we have to direct our attention to or more houses before closing this chapter. The of these, No. , was, in , the residence of the late Lord Ellenborough, some time Governor-General of India; at No. were living the Misses Berry, Horace Walpole's friends; and the large house at the northern end, next to , and backing on to Camelford House, was for many years the residence of the late Duke of Somerset, whose wife, of the fair trio of Sheridan sisters, sat as the
at the Eglinton Tournament. Camelford House, so called after Pitt, Lord Camelford, has nothing to command special attention, unless it be its mean and dingy appearance. The front of the house is towards , and the entrance at the side, whilst the court-yard at the back is open to . The Lord Camelford's body, after his death, in a duel fought near Holland House, was brought back hither, in , and was taken hence to be deposited in St. Anne's Church, Soho, as we have already stated. The house then passed to his only sister, Lady Grenville, who lived here, with her husband, the Premier. She died, aged , in . At time the house was let to Prince (afterwards King) Leopold and the Princess Charlotte. It has been for many years the residence of Sir Charles Mills, Bart., of Hillingdon Court, Middlesex.
Having now reached the northern extremity of , we have on our left the ; but of this, and also of and Tyburn, we shall speak in subsequent chapters.
[extra_illustrations.4.360.1] Apsley House
[extra_illustrations.4.362.1] Peel's Wedding in Waterloo Gallery
[extra_illustrations.4.364.2] Walmer Castle
[extra_illustrations.4.364.3] Apsley House
[extra_illustrations.4.364.4] colossal figure
[extra_illustrations.4.371.1] handsome open stone colonnade or screen
[extra_illustrations.4.371.2] the western wing of the mansion, containing the picture-gallery
[extra_illustrations.4.371.3] Concert at Grosvenor House--Academy of Music for the Blind
[extra_illustrations.4.371.4] Facsimilie of letter sent by Gainsborough
[extra_illustrations.4.371.6] The Sisters by Gainsborough
[extra_illustrations.4.372.1] Sir Moses Montefiore
 See Vol. III., p. 258.
[extra_illustrations.4.374.1] Sir Humphry Davy
 See Vol. I., p. 478.
[extra_illustrations.4.375.1] Advertisement of Book on London Parks