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
Oxford Street, and its Northern Tributaries.
Oxford Street, and its Northern Tributaries.
Having turned our backs on the fashionable part of London, and reached Tyburn, we may fairly ask for our readers' pardon if, startled and alarmed at the sights which meet us there, we now seek to travel eastwards, retracing our steps towards Bloomsbury by way of , and noting down, as we pass along, all that there is of interest to be told about its northern tributaries. We shall thus be able to look in upon Mrs. Montagu, in , to find Lord and Lady Hertford dispensing the hospitalities of their great house in , and to see how the
Duke of Chandos is getting on, not with bricks and mortar, but with marble and cement, in , before we find ourselves once more in the dull regions which
has agreed to leave to artists and lawyers. With these few words by way of preface, we proceed along our way.
follows the line of the Via Trinobantina, of the military roads of the Romans, which bounded the north side of what is now , and continued thence to (Eald Street), in the north of London. extends from the north-east corner of to the junction of with , , where, as we have already stated, the village pound of formerly stood. The thoroughfare was formerly called the
as being the highway to Oxford. Hatton, in , describes it as lying between
In a plan published in the above year, the
is shown as standing at the north end of Field, and at the north-east corner of the bridge across Tyburn Brook, which is now covered over by part of . Pennant tells us how that
A view of the old house, as it appeared in , is given on page .
In Ralph Aggas' map of London, published in , it is almost needless to say, the space to the north of , then
was open country, with fields and hedges, and dotted irregularly with trees; and in Vertue's plan, about a century later, the only building seen between the village of and is the little solitary church of Marylebone, and still further away in the fields is the little church of ,
Mr. Peter Cunningham says it
Mr. J. T. Smith, in his
tells us that
This, however, no longer exists. Lysons, in his
There is, it appears, says Mr. Cunningham,
published in , it is stated that
Of Figg's theatre we shall have more to say in a subsequent chapter.
Facing us at the is , formerly Great , extending northward from to . This thoroughfare was commenced about the year , and, like the gate opposite leading into the Park, was named after the Duke of Cumberland, the hero of Culloden. On the east side the houses form a semicircle, the original design having been for a complete circus. Here, in , at No. , was living Lady Buggin, the widow of Sir George Buggin, and afterwards the morganatic wife of the [extra_illustrations.4.407.3] , when she was styled Lady Cecilia Underwood. In she was created Duchess of Inverness. She died at Kensington Palace, where she had resided for many years, in .
At No. lived for some time at the commencement of this century, Earl Cathcart, K.T., a distinguished general in the army, and colonel of the Life Guards.- His lordship was Commanderin-Chief of the military forces in the expedition to Copenhagen, and died in .
Here is a public-house bearing a portrait-sign of the Duke of Cumberland. Horace Walpole, in , looking upon this sign, and remembering how such signs had everywhere superseded those of Admiral Vernon, the Duke of Ormonde, and other heroes, muses in his agreeable though cynical style on the fleeting nature of popularity, and compares glory itself to a sign-board!
At the western end of stood Tyburn Turnpike--(see page ), whose double gates commanded the Uxbridge and the Edgware Roads, which here branch off, divided by Connaught Terrace. Of the neighbourhood which lies beyond this point, and which is popularly known as
(just as the district south of is
in common parlance), we shall have more to say hereafter. At present we shall keep ourselves entirely to the eastward of the , and treat it briefly and cursorily.
Place is the name given to a row of mansions overlooking the Park, and built on the right and left of the entrance to . Here, at No. , the house of his friend Mr. Milner-Gibson, Charles Dickens, in the spring of , became for a few months a resident, being obliged to stay in London in order to give his farewell readings at St. James's Hall, though his medical advisers in vain dissuaded him from the attempt. Here he wrote more than number of
He left this house at the end of May for the rest and quiet of Gadshill, where he died suddenly on the of the following month.
The moment that we pass to the north of , we find ourselves in far different latitudes from those in which we have lately been travelling. Owing to the comparatively modern period from which the streets and squares hereabouts date, we no longer have the friendly guidance of the honest old chroniclers, Stow and Strype, or even Pennant; and we no longer have before our eyes that under which we laboured in selecting our materials in treating of and , or . All to the north of was quite a in the Stuart days, and there are no contemporary notices from the pens of Pepys and Evelyn to enliven our pages. We must, therefore, be grateful for even small mercies, and pick up with a thankful heart such scanty crumbs of information as may be found in stray magazines and books of anecdote biography. There is advantage, however, and that is, that we shall move over the ground at a somewhat quicker pace.
We may remark, , that the names of most of the streets and squares in this vicinity are synonymous with the names of the ground landlords, and, in some cases, of their county residences; such, for instance, as and Place, , , , and Square, and . These names, of course, were given with reference to the family and estates of the sole landowner of the district of which we are about to speak in this chapter-namely, Edward Berkeley Portman, Viscount Portman, of Bryanston, near Blandford, in Dorsetshire, who was for many years M.P. for Dorset, and for a short time M.P. for Marylebone. The Portmans were a family of distinction in Somerset in the reign of Edward I., but its most distinguished member was Sir William Portman, Lord Chief Justice of England, who died in .
On turning round the corner into the , we notice that there are houses on our right hand with balconies and verandas, nearly opposite to . These balconies were built in order to accommodate the sheriffs and other officials who were bound to be present at the executions of criminals, who, during the and eighteenth centuries, were
on the gallows which stood about yards on the other side of the road, occupying the site of of the houses in , or, according to Mr. Peter Cunningham, of a house in . Of this gallows, and of those who suffered the extreme penalty of the law there, we shall have plenty to tell our readers hereafter.
In the early part of the present century the was void of any connected row of
|houses beyond those already mentioned; but there were or public-houses at the corners of rural cross-roads. At of these, which stood near the corner of Oxford and , it is said that a messenger of Charles I., who was travelling with dispatches , had his saddle ripped open, and was robbed of its contents.|
At the time of which we speak, and the other streets which connect with did not exist; and a gentleman then residing still further north in well remembered that from his back drawing-room windows he could see the troops being reviewed in by George III.
, the turning in , and extending eastward to , was, like the square bearing the same name, so called, as we have shown above, from Bryanstone, in Dorsetshire, the seat of Lord Portman, the ground landlord. The street, which simply consists of some well-built private houses, has no history attached to it to require special mention.
In Upper is a synagogue, erected for the use of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews residing at the West-end. It is Saracenic in
|its architecture. The vestibule leads to stone stairs on either side, leading up to the ladies' gallery; while the floor of the synagogue will accommodate about male worshippers.|
, the next turning, leading across into , was so named after the family of the Seymours, from whom the Portmans descend. Among the distinguished residents of this street have been
Campbell, the author of the
who resided at No. whilst editing the , and who here lost his wife. The Corsican General, Paoli, who stood as sponsor to the Emperor Napoleon, lived for some time at the house, at the corner of . In Croker's
appears a letter from Boswell to Lord Thurlow, dated from
According to Mr. Peter Cunningham, it was in the drawing-room of No. in this street, in , then the residence of Lady Floyd, that the late distinguished statesman, Sir Robert Peel, was married to Julia, youngest daughter of General Sir John Floyd, Bart.
Connecting the south side of
| with , and running parallel with , is , which commemorates the capture of Quebec by General Wolfe, in , and probably dates its erection from about that time. Quebec Chapel, so named from the street in which it is situated, is a chapel of ease to Marylebone. It is a square, ugly edifice, dating from , with no pretensions to ecclesiastical fitness, and has been described as nothing but a |
Among its ministers have been the amiable and accomplished Dean of Canterbury, [extra_illustrations.4.409.1] ; Dr. Goulburn, afterwards Dean of Norwich; and Dr. Magee, who here acquired the popularity as a preacher which he carried to so great a height as Bishop of Peterborough.
At No. in this street is a charitable institution bearing the name of the Cripples' Nursery. It was established in , and consists of a home, with religious instruction and medical aid, for infant cripples. This charity has a branch establishment at Margate.
Connecting with the north side of is . In this street, close by the corner of ,
is the West London Synagogue, for the congregation of Jewish |
The building, though monumental in character, is erected on leasehold land belonging to the Portman estate, and was built in the year . The main portion of the structure occupies back land, and the exterior is consequently unseen from the surrounding streets; but the stone entrance-front in forms a fitting entrance.
The synagogue is constructed of brick, and was erected from the designs of Messrs. Davis and Emanuel, at an expense of about . The edifice is a domical structure, Byzantine in character, and a square in plan. It has a wide gallery along the sides and western end, the ceiling consisting of a large central dome, and small domes in the angles, and great arches covering the side spaces. This ceiling is supported by piers of clustered columns of Devonshire marble with carved capitals. At the east end of the building is a domed semi-circular recess, or apse, in which is placed the organ and choir, and in the centre of this apse is placed the ark, which has been constructed of inlaid marble-work. A peculiar feature in this building is the placing of the choir at the
|east end of the building, facing the congregation, and concealing them from the view of the congregation by a screen of marble containing open-work grilles of gilded metal. The decoration is somewhat peculiar. The highest class of decorative art --namely, subject painting, or figure sculpture-is necessarily absent, the Jews, so far as their religious buildings are concerned, reading literally the Commandment.|
Many special objects in the building were presented to the synagogue by the wealthier members of the congregation, the ark especially being the gift of the ladies of the Goldsmid family. It may be added that the founders of the congregation of Jewish dissenters, by whom this building was erected, left the orthodox Jewish body some years ago, through just such a communal quarrel as caused old Isaac D'Israeli to leave the religion of his fathers. Starting with a small room in , their numbers increased, until about years ago they built for themselves a small synagogue in , and since that time the further increase of their congregation rendered necessary the erection of the building now under notice.
In this street Cyrus Redding occupied lodgings during the greater part of his career as sub-editor of the . It was then on the very verge of the country, the town ending at , or thereabouts, as we have already stated.
Proceeding on our way along the , we pass and , both of which terminate in . In is , a large Gothic edifice, with a tower ornamented with pinnacles, erected in gratitude for the exemption of this district from the visitation of the cholera in .
The western end of , between the bottom of and the top of Oxford and , forms of necessity what we may call our
in reference to this portion of our work. The chief object of interest in this neighbourhood, on the south side of the , is the celebrated
tavern. At the early part of the present century there were tea-gardens and a bowling-green attached to this rural inn, which was much crowded on Sundays, when an admission-fee of sixpence was demanded at its doors. For that a ticket was given, to be exchanged with the waiters for its value in refreshments--a plan very commonly adopted even then in such places of resort, in order to exclude the
and lower orders, and such as would be sure to stroll about without spending anything, because they had no money to spend. It was from this house that the London omnibuses commenced running, in , when introduced by Mr. Shillibeer.
In , through which we commence our return towards , are the Christian Union Almshouses, for the relief of poor and aged persons, in
The almshouses were erected in , and are supported by voluntary contributions.
Extending from to is a short thoroughfare called Horace Street. This, it is said, was formerly known as Cato Street, a view of which, as it appeared in , has already been given in this work. A loft over a stable in this thoroughfare, in the early part of the year , formed the head-quarters of Thistlewood and some other assassins, who designed to murder the leading members of the then Administration. This is known to history as the Cato Street Conspiracy. The building contained but rooms, which could only be entered by a ladder. The conspirators having mustered to the number of twentyfour, they took the precaution of placing a sentinel below, whilst they prepared for their dreadful encounter. We have already given an account of this affair in treating of , the intended scene of the massacre. Mr. R. Rush, who was residing in London at the time of its occurrence as Minister from the United States, speaks of the conspiracy in the following terms, in his
We learn from Mr. Rush that the convicted prisoners confessed that it was their design, on getting to Lord Harrowby's house, that of their number should knock at the door with a note in his hand, under pretence of desiring that it should be sent in to his lordship, doing this in such a manner as to cause no suspicion among the passers-by. The rest of the band, from to in number, were to be close at hand, but divided into small groups, so as to be better out of view. The servant who opened the door was to be knocked down by the bearer of the note, when the whole of the band were to rush forward, enter the house, and make for the dining-room, and there have massacred the whole of the ministers and guests, not sparing even the servants if they offered resistance. It is satisfactory to know that this daring gang stood convicted, out of their own lips, of a cool and deliberate murder in design and intention, and that they were not hung without richly deserving their sentence. The conspirators, as we have already mentioned, were imprisoned in the Tower, and were the last State prisoners lodged there.
Thistlewood was a Lincolnshire man, by birth a gentleman, but reduced by gambling and bill transactions. Cyrus Redding, who met him at Paris, thus speaks of him in his
Mr. T. Raikes, in his
gives the following account of the execution of this villain and his associates:--
At the east end of , and extending thence to , is , out of which on either side branch a number of small courts and streets which we need not particularise, with or exceptions. The turning on the left in this thoroughfare, running northward into , is a small street called . At the angle of this street and stands a handsome Gothic edifice of red brick, with stone facings, and with a high-pitched
|roof and bell turret. This is a Roman Catholic church, dedicated to the Holy Rosary; the mission was commenced in , and the church built in . The ground floor of the edifice is used as a schoolroom.|
Passing along , we cross , which forms a direct communication between and , near its junction with the . , the next turning eastward on the right, leads into , on its north side; opposite, on the north side of , is , chiefly noticeable for its lofty semi-circular portico, supported by Corinthian columns, above which rises a graduating spire, surmounted by a cross. It was built in , from the designs of Sir Robert Smirke. Here, in , [extra_illustrations.4.412.1] , the author of
and other poetical works, and better known in literary circles by her initials,
was privately married, by her brother, to Mr. George Maclean, Governor of Cape Coast Castle, the scene of her early death. A former vicar of this church was the Rev. J. H. Gurney, celebrated for his zeal in education.
, together with Old and New Quebec Streets, forms a direct line of communication, through , between the and the western portion of . and also , which is immediately contiguous to it on the west side, were, according to Mr. John Timbs,
It has been the fashion to decry these squares as scarcely deserving of the name. Thus, a writer in the says,
, however, certainly does not deserve such criticism. In it resided for many years [extra_illustrations.4.412.2] , the economical M.P.; and also Sir Francis Freeling, many years Secretary of the General Post Office.
, the next turning eastward of , extends from to the north-west corner of ; it consists of well-built private houses. Making our way down , we enter , of the most aristocratic of London neighbourhoods. It was formed, or rather commenced, about the year , on land once belonging to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. According to Mr. Peter Cunningham, it is described in the last lease granted by the Prior of that Order , as
The north side of the square was built, and it was nearly years before the whole was finished. This square takes its name from that of the proprietor of the land upon which it is built-namely, William Henry Portman, of Orchard-Portman, in Somersetshire, who died in , and was the ancestor of the present Lord Portman. According to Lambert, who wrote in the year , it is
though he complains of the want of correspondence-i.e., of uniformity--in the houses which surround it.
was built on high ground, with an open prospect to the north, which gave it a name as a peculiarly healthy part of London. Mrs.. Montagu, whom we have already mentioned at , , but whose name is, more than any other, particularly associated with this square, called it the Montpelier of England, and said she
It is of the largest and handsomest squares in London for its general effect, but the houses have no architectural character; and the central enclosure is laid out as a shrubbery. They were, however, built with due consideration for the. requirements of the wealthy, and were inhabited by a large number of the
at their building. In the following members of the nobility were living in the square:--Lord Clifford, Lord Teignmouth, Earl of Beverley, Lord Lovaine, Lord Kenyon, Lord Petre, Earl Manvers, Earl of Scarbrough, Duke of Newcastle, Countess of Pomfret, Lady Owen, Earl Nelson, Dowager Duchess of Roxburghe, Earl of Cardigan, Dowager Countess of Clonmell, and the Dowager Countess of Harcourt. In this same year lived, at No. , Mr. Thomas Assheton Smith, of Tedworth, who might truly be called the pattern and type of the old English sportsman.
No. was the town-house of the late Duke of Hamilton, who married the daughter of William Beckford, the author of
and who took a pride in showing on his walls some of the finest paintings in the collection of that connoisseur, which he inherited in right of his wife. At No. lived General Sir John Byng, afterwards Field- Marshal the Earl of Strafford.
Early in the present century No. was the residence of the Right Hon. Hugh Elliot; and Lord Garvagh, the possessor of the celebrated
of Raffaelle, now in the , lived at No. for many years.
Sir William Pepperell, the eminent loyalist and royalist, of Rhode Island, in North America, and formerly the richest subject of the Crown in that country, died at his house here, in . He was created a baronet in recognition of his loyalty and losses, and a handsome pension was settled on his title. But his son dying before him, his title became extinct, and his pension was not continued to his daughters.
M. Otto, the French ambassador at the Court of St. James's, was living in at the time of the short-lived Treaty of Amiens. Peace had long been wished for by the people, and the preliminaries were signed at Lord Hawkesbury's office in , on the . On the arrival in London of General Lauriston, aide-de-camp to Napoleon, with the French ratifications, he was greeted with enthusiastic cheers by a vast concourse of people. Some of the men took the horses from his carriage, and drew him to M. Otto's house with tumultuous expressions of joy.
A very curious print is in existence showing the illumination of M. Otto's house in celebration of this event. On the front was a row of large oillamps forming the word
and on either side were the initials
--the time, no doubt, and probably the last, on which those names stood united. This illumination was somewhat unfortunate, for a London mob, unwittingly, interpreted
All the ambassador's windows were smashed in consequence. When the word
was removed, its place was supplied by
but the stupid mob read this as
and insisted on its removal also. Mr. Planche, who was present, writes:
The chief interest of , however, centres in the large house-lately rebuilt or re-cased with red brick-standing by itself in a garden at the north-west corner; this was originally built for the once celebrated Mrs. Montagu, of
notoriety, whose memory has of late years been revived by Dr. Doran, by the publication of some of her letters in a volume entitled,
As we have stated in a previous chapter, this distinguished lady removed hither from , , a few years after the death of her husband, Edward Montagu, of whose family Lord Rokeby is the head.
Elizabeth Robinson--for such was Mrs. Montagu's maiden name--was born at York, in , and, as we learn from Dr. Doran's interesting book, she was a lively girl, loving fun and pursuing learning, so that the Duchess of Portland nicknamed her . In she married Edward Montagu, M.P., a mathematician of eminence, and a coal-owner of great wealth, after which event she became more sober, and told her friend the duchess that her
were much spoiled. She became a power in the literary world, and was the founder, or, at all events, of the chief leaders, of the celebrated
Her house in , as we have already shown, became a favourite resort of statesmen, poets, and wits; and the young aspirant for fame felt that he had his foot on the rung of the ladder when he was invited to her table. Indeed, her name will be known to all our readers as emphatically
of the eighteenth century, for in that respect she stood unrivalled. Let us look for a moment at her as portrayed in , by the pen of Sir N. W. Wraxall. He writes:
Lord Bath thought there never was a more perfect being than Mrs. Montagu, and Edmund Burke. was inclined to agree with him. Hannah More describes her as combining
and Cowper, after he had read her
no longer wondered that she stood
Boswell tells us that when Reynolds, Garrick, Johnson, Goldsmith, and a knot of literary friends were dining with him in in , and mention was made of Mrs. Montagu's
by Reynolds, who remarked that it
Dr. Johnson replied, sharply,
And yet the burly doctor was not above accepting the hospitality of the lady of whom he spoke thus lightly; but then it must be remembered that it was Mrs. Montagu who made the witty and most truthful remark, that
On another occasion, as his biographer informs us, Johnson had formed of a party evening at Mrs. Montagu's, where a splendid company had assembled, consisting of the most eminent literary characters.
The Blue-Stocking Club was the name given to a society of ladies who met at Mrs. Montagu's house, which had for its object the substitution of the pleasures of rational conversation for cards and other frivolities. The name, as Mr. Forbes tells us, in his
originated in this manner:--
This account is corroborated, we may here remark, by Forbes, in his
almost in the very words here used.
If we may rely on the statement of John Timbs, in his amusing sketches of
the earliest mention of a Blue Stocking, or is to be found in
but which we rather imagine to be the
So far Mr. John Timbs.
Boswell, who writes, in his
under date , gives a very similar account of the matter to that of Mr. Forbes, already quoted, in the following terms:--
Miss Hannah More has admirably described a Blue-Stocking Club in her
a poem in which many of the persons who were most conspicuous there are mentioned; and Horace Walpole speaks of this production as a
The circle at Mrs. Montagu's used to include nearly all the persons of her time who were celebrated in art, science, or literature, including not only Boswell and Johnson--the latter of whom, in the presence of ladies, forgot his rough and rude manners-but Miss Burney, the author of
and also Dr. Monsey, of College, the fashionable physician, who used to send to his lady-hostess the compliment of a poem as often as her birthday returned.
After years of married life, Edward Montagu left his distinguished wife a widow well provided for, with an income of a year. She soon afterwards entertained thoughts of leaving for the more northern district of Marylebone, and decided on building for herself a mansion in . During its erection, it is related, she watched its progress with much interest. In of her letters, Mrs. Montagu says,
and in another she writes,
In the year , just years after the death of her husband, the mansion was ready for her occupation, and she at once proceeded to transfer her household goods hither. Some years previously, as we learn from of her letters, she had
of the rooms in the new house was ornamented in a novel manner with
and Mrs. Montagu begged all sorts of birds' feathers from her friends. She tells correspondent that
and another she asks for
On this unique room, where Mrs. Montagu held her court, Cowper wrote, in , some lines commencing as follows:--
The excitement that seems to have pervaded the mind of Mrs. Montagu during the erection of her new house, and the satisfaction which she evinced on its completion, does not appear to have worn off after she took up her residence there, notwithstanding that she was then getting well advanced in years, for we find her afterwards writing:--
In this last particular she was quite correct, for Walpole, who was not over-prone to praise the hobbies of others, wrote as follows to Mason:--
Mrs. Montagu, however, used to give here, not only splendid entertainments to the Blue-Stocking Club and to a large circle of literary friends and persons of the highest distinction, but also annually, on the , a feast on the lawn before her doors to all the chimney-sweepers in London. A writer in , for , remarks:
The Blue-Stocking gatherings, however, did not thrive very long in the new house, for many of their chief supporters had passed away. Mrs. Montagu's breakfasts, however, were continued; but they became more sumptuous, and her rooms were often overcrowded. In Mrs. Montagu adopted giving teas, a fashion introduced from France by the Duke of Dorset. years before Cumberland had written an essay in the on the assemblies at Montagu House, in which he lightly satirises the hostess as
and her assembly as the
Cowper afterwards more politely wrote :--
In the year Mrs. Montagu died, when the mansion passed to her nephew, Mr. Matthew Montagu, who had taken that surname in lieu of his patronymic Robinson, on being made heir to her estate. In Sir N. W. Wraxall's
there is an amusing anecdote relating to the confusion as to this gentleman's name, after he entered the . There appears to have been some difficulty in distinguishing between Matthew Montagu and Montagu Matthew, until
After Mrs. Montagu's death the house was for some time occupied by the Turkish ambassador, who erected in the garden a
or movable temple, where he used to sit and smoke in state, surrounded by his Eastern friends. In the year Montagu House is given as the address of the Right Hon. Henry Goulburn, M.P., Chancellor of under Sir Robert Peel, who married a daughter of Lord Rokeby, of the Montagus. The mansion, however, remained in the possession of the Montagu family down to the year , when the lease having expired, it has reverted into the hands of the ground-landlord, Lord Portman, whose family have made it their London residence. The pleasant memory of Mrs. Montagu, however, still survives in , Place, and Street named after her.
In connection with , a laughable anecdote is told concerning Beau Brummell, which may bear repeating. It was related in the . It appears that Brummell was once at an evening party in the square. On the removal of the cloth, the snuff-boxes made their appearance, and Brummell's was particularly admired; it was handed round, and a gentleman, finding it somewhat difficult to open, incautiously applied a dessert-knife to the lid. Poor Brummell was on thorns; at last he could not contain himself any longer, and addressing the host, said, with his characteristic quaintness,
writes Malcolm, in ,
of the largest builders of houses in this neighbourhood was John Elwes, the well-known miser and M.P., who is said to have made a very large addition to his fortune by building speculations, especially about , which opens into from the south-west corner of the square. In this street Queen Caroline took up her residence, in , in the house of Lady
|Anne Hamilton, of her Ladies of the Bedchamber.|
On the east side of , extending north and south, are and . The former street, which runs into the , was named after Sir Edward Baker, of Ranston, a neighbour of the Portmans, in Dorsetshire, and who seems to have lent Mr. Portman a helping hand in developing the capacities of his London estate. It consisted, at the commencement of this century, chiefly of private houses, now, however, mostly turned to business purposes. At No. in this street, in the year , was living Lord Camelford, who, years later, was killed in a duel with a Mr. Best, in the grounds behind Holland House. In the year the Right Hon. Henry Grattan, the distinguished Irish orator, died at his residence in this street.
In No. was in the occupation of Lord William Lennox. Mr. Thomas Spring Rice, M.P., afterwards Lord Monteagle, was at that time living in this street; and No. was the residence of John Braham, the singer, already mentioned by us in our account of St. James's Theatre. This street has at various times been the of exhibitions of a popular character, which have come and gone, and their memory soon perished. , however, has at all events remained, and shown that it has in it the elements of permanence, and of this we will now proceed to speak. [extra_illustrations.4.419.1] exhibition of wax-work figures of the celebrities of the past and present age has been established in for a period of years. In our account of we have noticed the wax-works of Mrs. Salmon, which have passed away, while those of Madame Tussaud seem destined to survive the present era. They were originally commenced in Paris about the year , and brought, in , to London, where they formed for a time the chief attraction of what is now the Lyceum, in , and afterwards at the Rooms. Madame Tussaud subsequently travelled with her exhibition from town to town, and in the course of years succeeded in forming a goodly collection and a small sum of money. She then resolved to visit Ireland; but in the transit the vessel in which she had embarked her all was wrecked, and with great difficulty the lives of the passengers were saved; so that when she landed at Cork with her boys she found herself penniless. She then began the would anew, and this time with still greater success; and thus she was, as it were, twice the architect of her own fortune. In she came again to London, and founded her
collection in ; and it has since gone on increasing, till it now includes upwards of specimens, ranging from William the Conqueror down to the Duchess of Edinburgh and the impostor Arthur Orton. Of the founder of this collection, Madame Tussaud, who died in , at the age of , we know that she was a native of Berne, in Switzerland, and that when a child she was taught the art of modelling figures in wax by an uncle. Coming to Paris, she taught drawing and modelling to Madame Elizabeth, the daughter of Louis XVI. and of Marie Antoinette, and mixed in the best society of the French capital, where she became acquainted with Voltaire, Rousseau, La Fayette, Mirabeau, and the other heads of the party opposed to royalty. She found it convenient, however, to accept the hospitality of England, and accordingly settled here as a refugee.
The exhibition is approached through a small hall, and by a wide staircase, which leads to a saloon at its summit, richly adorned by a radiant combination of arabesques, artificial flowers, and mirrored embellishments. From the saloon the great room is at once entered. This is a gorgeous apartment--in fact, almost an
in itself. Its walls are panelled with plate-glass, and richly decorated with draperies, and burnished gilt ornaments in the Louis Quatorze style. The principal statues and groups are placed round the sides of the room, and the larger scenic combinations of figures in the centre of the room. The objects exhibited here are constantly varied, according to the public interest which they excite. Some, however, are shown , being never out of date. Of these the most noteworthy are the recumbent effigies of Wellington and Napoleon; of Henry VIII. and his wives; Queen Victoria, the Prince Consort, and the different members of the royal family; Voltaire (taken from life a few months before his death), and a coquette of the period; Lord Nelson, the cast taken from his face; and a series of the kings and queens of England, from William the Conqueror to Queen Victoria. The apartment called the
has a ceiling painted by Thornhill; and in the richlygilt chamber adjoining is George IV. in his coronation robes, which, with other velvet robes, cost, it is said, ; the chair is the
used at the coronation. The
room contains an interesting collection of trophies and relics connected with the emperor, besides a fine series of portraits of the Bonaparte family. The last apartment entered, which bears the not
| very pleasant-sounding name of the |
contains, as may be inferred, an array of portrait-models of some of the greatest criminals of the age, including those of the Mannings, Greenacre, and Wainwright type. Here, too, are casts of the bleeding and dying heads of Robespierre, Marat, Fouquier, and various horrible relics and mementos, even to a model of the guillotine itself. Although to view this chamber an extra charge is made, such is the love of the marvellous, that but few persons decline to enter it, the ladies especially liking to
Ingenious as these wax-works were, they are but a proof of the old saying, that there is nothing new under the sun; for we have already been introduced to the wax-work effigies of our sovereigns, &c., in ; and we read in the volume of the
published in , a long account of a group of wax-work figures to be seen in the Maze at Amsterdam, representing the scene of the Nativity of our Lord in the manger at Bethlehem; and the proverb is further confirmed by Mr. Isaac D'Israeli,
in his |
published in . The author, after mentioning several attempts to produce exhibitions of wax-work in London, though not very successful ones, adds the following:--
The basement-floor of the building is devoted to other purposes, and is known as the
It was originally called the
and had its chief entrance in . It was at established for the sale of horses; but carriages, harness, furniture, and other household goods are the only commodities now exhibited for sale. Here, in , was given what the advertisements style a
Here, about the year , was started a field of artificial ice for skating, but it did not take with the public, and was soon given up. It is not a little singular, that the attempt to anticipate the pleasures of the skatingrinks, now so generally popular with the rising generation, should have been a failure. Here, too, the Royal Smithfield Club held its annual Cattle
|Show, from down to , when it was removed to the Agricultural Hall at . The late Prince Consort was an exhibitor on several occasions, and carried off several prizes here in , and again in .|
From Mr. Gibbs's
we learn that it was founded in by a party of noblemen and gentlemen, including the Duke of Bedford, Lords Somerville and Winchilsea, and Sir Joseph Banks. Its exhibitions were held in Smithfield, then in , and in or other places in that neighbourhood; and it did not move westwards hither till , when the receipts taken at the doors of the bazaar amounted to only . Her Majesty paid a visit to the cattle show here in , and the Prince Consort, who had become a member of the Smithfield Club on his marriage, carried off several prizes at the annual exhibitions held here with his cattle bred at his model farm in Windsor Park. The members of the Smithfield Club made an award of prizes, in the shape of gold and silver medals, silver cups, &c., for the successful competitors with live stock, agricultural implements, &c.
On the east side of , at the corner of , is Portman Chapel, a chapel of ease to Marylebone Parish Church. Like most of its neighbours, it is a dull, heavy, unecclesiasticallooking structure, and offers little or no subject for remark.
The streets which run crosswise between and , on its western side, such as George, King, Dorset, Crawford, and York Streets, if they have about them little of personal or historic interest, and are even less remarkable in an architectural point of view, at all events bear testimony to the loyalty of the House of Portman, and their attachment to their native county of Dorset. Between and , in a sort of mews and side passage,
from the public view, as became a chapel of Roman Catholics, when they lay under penal laws, but nestling safely under the wing of the French ambassador's house, is the Chapel of the Annunciation. This chapel was built in the reign of George III., and has always been the place whither the sovereigns of France have resorted to hear mass when in this country, and where masses are said for the repose of the souls of French royalty after death; and though a small and poor edifice, and concealed in a back street which is little better than a mews, it has a history of its own which cannot be omitted here. It was founded by some of the who sought an asylum in England on the outbreak of the French Revolution in , and who opened it in , having previously celebrated the divine offices in a house in , not far off. It is said that many of the clergy, and even members of the French court, aided the workmen with their own hands in building the walls. It was solemnly blessed and dedicated on the . Here most, if not all, of the Bourbon kings and princes who have come to England as exiles or as visitors-Louis XVIII., Charles X., Louis Philippe and Queen Amelie, the Duchesse d'Angoulgme, &c. --have always heard mass; to say nothing of the Emperor Louis Napoleon, the Empress Eugenie, and their son. Here have been preached the of the Abbe Edgworth, of the Duc d'Enghien, and of very many royal and distinguished personages of foreign countries, such as the King of Portugal, Queen Mary Josephine of Savoy, Chateaubriand, Count de Montalembert, and others. In this chapel the body of the Duc de Montpensier lay in state, previous to its interment in . Here courses of sermons have been annually preached, and
have been given, from time to time, by the most eloquent of French preachers, such as Pere Ravignan, Pere Gratry, and Pere Lacordaire. Attached to the chapel are many religious and charitable confraternities, &c., including a branch of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, for the benefit of the French poor of the metropolis.
is the name given to the last or houses at the upper end of , where it joins the . The houses, which were built about the year oo, are fine and commodious. At his residence here, in , died his Eminence Cardinal Wiseman, at the age of . The Cardinal removed his archiepiscopal residence hither from , as we have stated in a previous chapter. Born at Seville, in Spain, in the year , Nicholas Wiseman was the son of Irish parents, descended from the younger branch of the ancient Essex family of Sir William Wiseman, Bart. He entered the priesthood at the age of ; in the following year he was appointed Vice-Rector of the English College at Rome, and in the year he became Professor of Oriental Literature. In he was chosen Coadjutor-Bishop to Dr. Walsh, then the Vicar-Apostolic of the Central District in England. He afterwards for some years presided over College, Oscott; and on the transference of Dr. Walsh to the post of Pro-Vicar Apostolic of the London District, Dr. Wiseman was again the coadjutor. On the establishment of the Roman Catholic hierarchy in , Dr. Walsh having died in the meanwhile, Dr. Wiseman was nominated Archbishop of , and at the same time elevated to the cardinalate. His eminence was acknowledged as of the scholars in Europe; he was also a great Biblical scholar, a judicious critic, and a proficient in almost every branch of science. His successor in the see of , Cardinal Manning, lived in the same house from down to . The house is now the
In lived for some time Mr. Edward Hodges Baily, R.A., the sculptor. He executed the surrounding the throne-room at Buckingham Palace, and also designed several of the figures on the . Among his principal works are
the group of
and among his most recent works are statues of Mansfield and Fox, erected in Hall, in the Houses of Parliament; and a statue of
from Milton's Arcades, for the of London. His last work was a bust of Mr. Hepworth Dixon. Mr. Baily died in .
Midway between and Crawford
|Street, and extending from westward into , is a broad thoroughfare called ; but, like the or small streets connecting it with , its history is a blank. and Street took their designation from the original family name of Lord Portman's ancestor, who was not a Portman, or even a Berkeley by birth, but a Seymour, but took the name of Portman on inheriting the estate of Orchard-Portman.|
Making our way back into , we pass through , which runs from the south-east corner of , and is called after Orchard-Portman, in Somersetshire, of the seats of Lord Portman. Here Sheridan, soon after his marriage with the beautiful Miss Linley, took his town-house, and here he wrote and
There used formerly to be some barracks between and ; they were removed about the year , and built on their site.
In , in the immediate neighbourhood of , was Fladong's Hotel, which in the days of the Regency acquired some celebrity. Captain Gronow, in his
speaks of it as mostly frequented by
as at that time there was no club for sailors.
 See Vol. III., p. 200.
[extra_illustrations.4.407.2] Great Cumberland Place--Residence of Lady Randolph Churchill
[extra_illustrations.4.407.3] Duke of Sussex
[extra_illustrations.4.409.1] Dr. Henry Alford
 See Vol. II., p. 456.
 See ante, p. 340.
 See Vol. II., p. 76.
[extra_illustrations.4.412.1] Miss Letitia E. Landon
[extra_illustrations.4.412.2] Mr. Joseph Hume
 See ante, p. 193.
[extra_illustrations.4.419.1] Madame Tussaud's
 See Vol. I, pp. 45, 46.
 See Vol. III., p. 446.