Old and New London, A Narrative of its History, its People and its Places. Illustrated with Numerous Engravings from the Most Authentic Sources. vol 4

Thornbury, Walter
1872-78

Oxford Street East.-Northern Tributaries.

Oxford Street East.-Northern Tributaries.

 

Miratur portas strepitumque, et strata viarum.--Virgil, Aen. 1.

 

The region upon which we are about to enter dates its existence from the earlier years of the reign of Queen Anne. John Timbs writes thus in his

Curiosities of London :

--

In a map of

1707

, on the south side,

King Street

, near

Golden Square

, is perfect to

Oxford Road

, between which and

Berwick Street

are fields; thence to

St. Giles's

is covered with buildings, but westward not a house is to be seen; the northern side of

Oxford Road

contains a few scattered buildings, but no semblance of streets westward of

Tottenham Court Road

.

This would appear to have been literally the case, for a plan of , which he also mentions, shows the

Adam and Eve

as

a detached road-side public-house.

It stood, according to this plan, in the

Dung-field,

near the present Adam and Eve Court, almost opposite ; in an adjoining field is represented

the boarded house of Figg, the prize-fighter,

standing quite isolated from other buildings. Figg appears to have been a noted character in his time. Hogarth has preserved his face in of his engravings; and local gossips still quote the lines, by an unknown author-

Long live the great Figg, by the prize-fighting swains

Sole monarch acknowledged of Marybone plains.

It appears that the amusements at

Figg's

were more varied than select, for we find that even women here could have

sets-to

in a manner marvellous to behold. advertisement of the time announces that

Mrs. Stokes, the City Championess, is ready to meet the Hibernian Heroine at Figg's.

Other advertisements of a more disgusting character we omit to quote, in mercy to our female readers.

That the street in its early days must have been anything but a pleasant or safe thoroughfare for travellers is pretty clear from Pennant's remark that he remembered it

a deep hollow road, and full of sloughs, with here and there a ragged house, the lurking-place of cut-throats; insomuch,

he adds,

that I never was taken that way by night in my hackney-coach to a worthy uncle's, who gave me lodgings in his house in

George Street

, but I went in dread the whole way.

It was this part of that was probably the scene of a highway robbery, recorded in about the year :--

Jan. 30

.-Saturday last, about

ten

in the evening, as a post-chaise was coming to town, between the turnpike and

Tottenham Court Road

, .... with the Earl of March and George Augustus Selwyn, Esq., a highwayman stopped the postilion, and swore he would blow his brains out if he did not stop; on which the Earl of March jumped out of the chaise and fired a pistol, and the highwayman immediately rode off.

But we are now concerned mainly with the northern tributaries of which lie between and . We will begin, therefore, with the Circus, and work our way gradually eastwards, very leisurely, for we shall have a good deal to say before we find ourselves at Bloomsbury again.

Near the is the chief entrance to the London Crystal Palace, of the most elegant bazaars in the metropolis. This building, which has also an entrance in , was erected in , from the designs of [extra_illustrations.4.456.1] , the plan of the structure being somewhat similar to that of the Floral Hall, in Covent Garden. It is constructed chiefly of iron and glass, after the manner of its great prototype at Sydenham. The roof, which is of coloured glass, of mosaic appearance, is supported by iron columns. The nave of the building, from the entrance to the western extremity, is feet in length; from it there is a transept extending southwards to the entrance, which internally has a length of feet, giving, with the entrance-hall on that side, a total length, from north to south, of about feet. On the ground floor is a spacious hall, divided by iron columns on each side into a nave and aisles, the floor being occupied by counters for the exhibition

p.456

and sale of fancy goods of all descriptions; there is on each side a gallery above, and in and under these galleries there are also convenient and welllighted stalls. The building was advertised for sale while this sheet was in the printer's hands. In a house on this site was born, in , Mark Lemon, the genial editor of during the quarter of a century of its existence.

is a broad and respectable thoroughfare, at present almost entirely consisting of shops, largely occupied by picture-dealers and music-sellers, &c. It extends, in a direct line from to the , close by the eastern end of . The houses on each side, towards the northern end, stood back from the roadway, with gardens in front; but of late years shops have been thrown out on both sides of the way.

At this end of the street are various charitable institutions, or

homes.

Amongst others are the National Dental Hospital, the National Orthopaedic Hospital, and Miss Gladstone's Female Servants' Home.

On the west side of the street, near Little Port-

land Street, are the offices of the Association for the Sale of Work by Ladies of Limited Means; and close by is a building called the Lyric Hall, which, as its name implies, is used for concerts and other entertainments of a similar character.

On the same side of the way, about half-way up, stands , for many years known as Portland Chapel. It was erected in -, and stands on a site which formed part of a basin of the Marylebone . John Timbs tells us that there is a view, by Chatelain, of this basin, which was the scene of several fatal accidents and suicides. The chapel was consecrated in , when it was dedicated to St. Paul.

Near the above church is another religious edifice, which forms a conspicuous architectural feature in the street. It is the central Jewish Synagogue, which was completed and opened in . The building is a fine specimen of Moorish design, its thoroughly Oriental style being especially exemplified in the interior, with its tiers of columns decorated with Saracenic capitals, supporting the gallery, clerestory, and lofty vaulted roof. The ark, in which are placed the sacred scrolls of the law, is situated at the south-east end of the building,

p.457

looking towards Jerusalem, and is covered by a heavy curtain, embroidered with gold. Immediately over it are the tables of stone inscribed with the Commandments; and above them, through a small circular window, shines the

perpetual light

which is never extinguished. The ark rests on a platform of white marble, raised several steps above the floor. The , a large raised pew, where the readers, choristers, and harmonium are placed, stands conspicuously in the centre of the synagogue, and is richly ornamented with gilt stanchions. [extra_illustrations.4.457.1] [extra_illustrations.4.457.2] [extra_illustrations.4.457.3] 

The Rothschild family showed much interest in, and subscribed largely to, the building fund of this new tabernacle.

 

At No. is the West London School of Art, with classes in architectural drawing, in drawing from life and the antique, and in design, as applied to mural, textile, and other kinds of decoration. This institution is in connection with the Government Department of Science and Art at South Kensington.

Among the eminent residents in this street mentioned by Mr. Peter Cunningham, were William Seward, author of the

Anecdotes

which bear his name; Dr. William Guthrie, author of a wellknown grammar; James Boswell, Dr. Johnson's biographer; and Carl Maria von Weber. The last-mentioned persons died here; the latter very suddenly, on the , at No. ,

p.458

for many years the house of the late eminent composer, Sir George Smart. Sir George, we may here remark, is thus celebrated by

Ingoldsby,

in

Mr. Barney Maguire's Account of the Coronation of Her Majesty:

--

That same Sir George Smart, O!

Who played the consarto,

With his four-and-twenty fiddlers all of a row.

Weber was buried at the Roman Catholic Church of , , whence his body was afterwards taken to Germany. On his death Mr. J. R. Planche, who knew him well, penned the following exquisite lines, which were set to music, and sung by Braham:--

Weep, for the word is spoken! Mourn, for the knell hath tolled! The master-chord is broken, And the master-hand is cold. Romance hath lost her minstrel; No more his magic strain Shall throw a sweeter spell around The legends of Almaine.

His fame had flown before him To many a foreign land; His lays were sung by every tongue, And harped by every hand. He came to seek fresh laurels, But Fate was in their breath, And turned his march of triumph Into a dirge of death.

In this street, in a hackney-coach, which was conveying her home from the Dials, his mother, in , gave birth to Mr. J. T. Smith, afterwards the superintendent of the print-room at the , and the author of

Nollekens and his Times,

and of

A Book for a Rainy Day,

from which we have quoted very largely in these pages.

In this street lodged [extra_illustrations.4.458.1]  in the early part of his career in London, as we learn from Cyrus Redding's

Fifty

Years' Recollections.

In he was in the very height of his fame and popularity. Dr. Waagen tells us that on occasion he met Callcott, Eastlake, and Etty the painter at dinner.

Wilkie,

he adds,

is now unhappily so overwhelmed with orders for portraits that he has hardly a moment for his good-natured humorous subjects.

At No. are the offices of the Woodbury Permanent Photographic Printing Company.

, between and , and running parallel to both, at time bore a very bad character for its residents. A clearance, however, was made by the parochial authorities about the year , and now it is largely occupied by public institutions, among which may be mentioned the

Girls' Home,

which was instituted in for the purpose of lodging, clothing, and educating destitute girls, who may not have been convicted of crime--a sister institution to the

Boys' Home

in Road, which we shall describe hereafter. Here also are the offices of the Central Synagogue and of the United Synagogue.

At No. , , George Jones, R.A., was living in . He was a well-known painter of battle-pieces, and some time Librarian and afterwards Keeper of the Royal Academy. He died in .

In is the leading West-end Chapel of the Unitarian body. Its minister was for many years Mr. James Martineau, a brother of Harriet Martineau. In this chapel Mr. Charles Dickens for a time held sittings, though in later years he frequented a parish church. Mr. Forster tells us that he was led to frequent the Unitarian worship on account of his

impatience of differences with the clergymen of the Established Church on the subject of creeds and formularies.

The neighbourhood of , towards the upper end, is largely the home of artists and sculptors' studios; and on the southern side of the the marble-yards are not unlike the of a century ago. and , in this neighbourhood, are both named after villages belonging to the ducal estate; the former in Nottinghamshire, and the latter in Northamptonshire.

Facing the , in the garden of the top house on the east side of what was formerly known as , but is now styled , a few yards east of the top of , were fine elm-trees, standing as lately as the year . It was said by the late Mr. Robert Cole, to whom the house then belonged, that Lord Byron had once spent an evening under their shade.

, which connects the top of with , bears witness in its name to an establishment long since forgotten, of the Riding Academies so popular in the days of our great-grandfathers.

At No. , (now called ), Campbell was living in , and here he wrote some of his shorter poems.

, which crosses , extending from the north-east corner of to , was so called after the earldom of Mortimer, which was borne by the Harleys, conjointly with that of Oxford. At No. in this street was the studio of the sculptor Nollekens, almost as remarkable for his

p.459

parsimony as for the artistic power of his chisel. Here Dr. Johnson came to sit to him for his bust, and Mr. J. T. Smith, who was then a boy working at art under [extra_illustrations.4.459.1] , was busy drawing in the studio at the time. He thus describes Dr. Johnson to the life:--

The doctor, after looking at my drawing, then at the bust I was copying, put his hand heavily upon my head, pronouncing

Very well, very well.

Here I frequently saw him, and recollect his figure and dress with tolerable correctness. He was tall, and must have been, when young, a powerful man: he stooped, with his head inclined to the right shoulder: heavy brows, sleepy eyes, nose very narrow between the eye-brows, but broad at the bottom; lips enormously thick; chin wide and double. He wore a stock and wristbands; his wig was what is called a

Busby

, but often wanted powder. His hat, a

three

-cornered

one

; coats,

one

a dark mulberry, the other brown, inclining to the colour of Scotch snuff; large brass or gilt buttons; black waistcoat, and small clothes --sometimes the latter were corduroy; black stockings; large easy shoes, with buckles; latterly he used a

hooked

walking-stick; his gait was wide and awkwardly sprawling.

The late Mr. C. Towneley, the collector of the Towneley Marbles in the , was also a frequenter of Nollekens' studio, and on visit he tipped or

pouched

young Smith half-a-guinea to buy a store of paper and chalk. Though an exquisite sculptor, Nollekens was utterly uneducated, and could not even spell his own language. His wife, a daughter of Mr. Justice Welch, was as niggardly as himself. It is said that he attended the Royal Academy Club dinners, at the cost of a guinea a year, because he could carry off in his pockets enough nutmegs to make that difference in his housekeeping. He died in , very rich; and eccentric to the last, left a very long drawn will, with no less than codicils to it.

At No, in this street is a charitable institution in connection with All Saints' Home, in . It is called St. Elizabeth's Home, and its object is to relieve women whom the present London hospitals reject as incurable. The persons received here are chiefly those who have

seen better days,

and are unable to support themselves without assistance. In each case it is required that the applicant should be able herself, or through her friends, to guarantee a small annual payment.

Running parallel with , and extending from the south-east corner of to Wells Street, is , which keeps in remembrance the name of Lady Margaret Cavendish, the daughter and heiress of the and last Duke of Newcastle of that line, and wife of John Holles, Marquis of Clare and Duke of Newcastle. The duke died without male issue, and his daughter married Edward Harley, Earl of Oxford and Mortimer, whose daughter and heiress became, in her turn, as we have already seen, the wife of the Duke of Portland. The name of the duke's title, Marquis of Titchfield, is given to the street running parallel with , on its eastern side, and reaching from to the ; whilst , close by, is named after the duke's estate in Derbyshire.

In was the chapel of the Rev. David Williams, the founder of the Royal Literary Fund. For the facts contained in the following account of him we are indebted to Dr. Robert Chambers'

Book of Days :

--Born in a humble sphere of life, near Cardigan, in , he was originally a minister of the Unitarian body, and settled at Highgate. He next set up a very liberal form of worship in , where he preached mainly on social subjects, such as the bad effects of gaming. We next catch a glimpse of him at , where he kept a school, and had Benjamin Franklin for a guest at the time when the American philosopher was subjected to the abuse of Wedderburn before the Privy Council. He wrote works on education, politics, public worship, economy, &c., in all of which he showed a spirit of philanthropy; but soon after the outbreak of the French Revolution we find him joining the Girondists, whom he helped to frame a constitution. When, however, the rabble at Paris began to thirst for blood, he returned to England, and set to work on the more sensible task of founding a society for the aid of men of letters. In this he succeeded, after many years of persevering labour, in which he collected . He had the satisfaction of seeing the society regularly constituted and founded in . The society distributes between and a year regularly in aiding poor authors in their struggles. David Williams died in , and was buried in St. Anne's Church, Soho.

In Campbell occupied chambers during the day, whilst editing the , though he lived at Sydenham, and went home every night by the stage-coach. Mr. Cyrus Redding writes thus of him in his

Fifty

Years' Recollections :

--

When Belzoni returned from Egypt I went to see his exhibition of the Egyptian tombs. He appeared little altered, and as I was going to take coffee with Campbell, I asked him if he would like to be acquainted with the poet,

Campbell being curious about everything relating to the East. He said he should like to go at that moment, and I took him. The king, the queen, and Bergami then occupied the attention of the public. Belzoni and I passing through

Bond Street

, his remarkable stature and foreign appearance attracted attention. Somebody gave out that it was Bergami. People stopped to stare at us, and a crowd rapidly collected. Belzoni proposed we should get out of the larger thoroughfares, which we did, he moving his Herculean form rapidly onwards. We crossed into

Hanover Square

, still followed by some of the mob; then crossing

Oxford Street

, we were soon in

Margaret Street

, and ensconced in the poet's lodgings. When Belzoni stood by Campbell, I thought of

Ajax the Less and Ajax the son of Telamon.

I never saw Belzoni but once after this, before he started on the African expedition in which he died. He was an unassuming, quiet man, on whose merit I am convinced there were wrongful attempts made to cast a cloud. His knowledge was strictly practical; indeed, he pretended to nothing more.

On another occasion Cyrus Redding paid a visit to the poet in his apartments here, which he thus records :--

Walter Scott was in town soon after the New Monthly Magazine commenced. He was too much engaged, and too anti-Whig to be enrolled at any price in our pages. One day Scott called in Margaret Street; he was going away as I went in. When he was gone, Campbell tried at an impromptu. Don't speak for a moment, said the poet, I have it. Quoth the South to the North,In your comfortless sky Not a nightingale sings.True,the North made reply; But your nightingale's warblings, I envy them not, When I think of the strains of my Burns and my Scott!

Cyrus Redding, like a

Fidus Achates

, took the lines down on a letter-cover at the moment, and so saved them from perishing. Let us be grateful for the boon.

In this street, between Great Portland and Regent Streets, was formerly the West London Jewish Synagogue. It was built in , from the designs of Mr. Mocatta, and consisted of a square building, surrounded on sides with Ionic columns supporting the ladies' gallery, whence rose other columns, receiving semi-circular arches, crowned by a bold cornice and lantern light. The ark, which completed the side, was surmounted by a decorated entablature, above which were placed the tablets of the Commandments. This edifice has been superseded by the new building in , above described.

In stands [extra_illustrations.4.460.1] , a handsome modern building of red brick, in the simplest and severest style externally, though its interior is more richly decorated than any other church of the Anglican communion in London. Until about there stood here a poor, meagre, and gloomy little structure, built in the year , and known as

Margaret Street

Chapel.

It had been originally a meeting-house belonging to Lady Huntingdon's connection. On the publication of the

Tracts for the Times,

this chapel, then under the Rev. W. Dodsworth, became a focus of extreme Tractarian views, and its incumbent and his colleague, the Rev. F. Oakeley, both became Roman Catholics. The new church, of which the architect was Mr. W. Butterfield, was built in -. The stone was laid by Dr. Pusey, its minister being the late Rev. W. Upton Richards. The spire rises to the height of feet. The interior is richly decorated with carving, and with frescoes of the Birth and Crucifixion of our Lord, and the Court of Heaven, showing the saints with our Lord in the centre, by Mr. W. Dyce, R.A. The painted windows are by O'Connor. At the entrance of the church is a baptistery, and adjoining it is a residence for its clergy, who are mostly celibates. The music of this church is of a very ornate and elaborate character; and its ritualistic services attract large congregations, especially of the upper classes, the majority being ladies. There are separate seats provided for the male and female worshippers.

The following , said to be from the pen of a clerical wit of our day, in all probability contains an allusion to this sacred edifice:--

In a church that is furnished with mullion and gable, With altar and reredos, with gurgoyle and groin, The penitents' dresses are seal-skin and sable, The odour of sanctity's Eau de Cologne.

But if only could Lucifer flying from Hades Gaze down on this crowd with its panniers and paints, He could say, as he looked at the lords and the ladies, Oh! where is All Sinners, if this is All Saints?

At the corner of Margaret and Wells Street, opposite the church, and more or less dependent on it and its clergy, are various religious houses and homes, in which the work of Christian charity is conducted by ladies, who style themselves the

All Saints' Sisterhood;

they work under the sanction of the Bishop of London. The works in which they are engaged are various. They teach in the nightschool of the district, and visit and nurse the poor and sick at their own houses; and they take charge of orphan girls, and receive aged and infirm women, incurable sick women, and young serving girls into the Home. These latter, as well as the orphans,

p.461

are trained up for service, and are instructed in the various kinds of household work; and if any show an aptitude for teaching, they are trained to be schoolmistresses. The Sisters have also an industrial school, in which all kinds of plain needlework are done. The building once used as the temporary church in has been fitted up as an orphanage. Attached to the Home is a pharmacy, where medicines are dispensed by the Sisters to the sick and needy, under the supervision of able and experienced physicians, who regularly visit the institution, and give their services gratuitously. The buildings are of red brick, in the severest style of Gothic architecture, and serve the double purpose of a home and national schools.

has had in its time, among its residents, a few men of note in the world of art. Mr. Cunningham mentions the names of Richard Wilson, the landscape painter, who, in , lived at No. . Again, Loutherbourg, the landscape painter, resided for some years at No. ; and No. was the residence of Mr. Bonomi, R.A.

In this street was formerly a place of worship for the

Independents ;

it was known as

Providence Chapel,

and was under the ministry of the eccentric preacher, William Huntington. The fabric was burnt down in , and on the minister being spoken to respecting its rebuilding, he is said to have observed that

Providence having allowed the chapel to be destroyed, Providence might rebuild it, for he would not,

and in consequence the site was afterwards occupied as a timber-yard.

Cirencester Place, the former name of the north end of , recorded of the inferior titles of the Duke of Portland, who is also Baron of Cirencester. Like , it was formerly tenanted by an unsatisfactory population; but these were cleared out a few years ago; and, the houses being numbered as part of Titchfield Street, the name disappeared.

, a thoroughfare extending from Upper to Wells Street, and passing across the north of , is probably named after an inn which bore that sign, and it has a history of its own. At No. , [extra_illustrations.4.461.1] , the Royal Academician, resided in , when in the height of his professional reputation and engagements. Here Edmund Burke gave him sittings for a portrait painted at the request of their mutual friend, Dr. Brocklesby. The painter here entertained Burke at a homely dinner, cooking the beefsteak on the fire in his parlour, and availing himself of the great orator's aid in the operation. Barry died in , at the house of his friend and neighbour, Mr. Bonomi.

At No. , Dr. Johnson and his wife were living, as we learn from Boswell, in , on his visit to London; and it was in this street, at the house of some Miss Cotterells, his opposite neighbours, that the great lexicographer met and was introduced to Sir Joshua Reynolds. It was also whilst living here that he made the acquaintance of Edmund Cave, to whom he addressed several letters, printed in Boswell's

Life,

and dated from this house.

was so called either from the , to which it was adjacent, or, more probably, after Harley, Earl of Oxford, the original ground landlord. It was erected in , as shown by the date in the brass vane which surmounts its centre. The vane bears upon it the initials

H. E. H.,

which are probably those of Edward Lord Harley and his wife, Henrietta (the heiress of the house of Holles, Duke of Newcastle), who gave the site. It is called by the painter Barry

the most classic of London markets ;

but it is certainly difficult to see in what its

classic

nature consists. It was originally a plain hexagonal structure, mostly of wood; this was pulled down, either entirely or to a great extent, about the year I, when it was rebuilt, small dwelling-rooms above being added to the shops below. It was the only daughter of the above-named Lord Harley who carried this and other adjoining property by marriage into the family of the Duke of Portland. In , the site of the market was disposed of by public auction, the property being purchased for by Messrs. Louise and Co.

[extra_illustrations.4.461.2]  stands on the north side of , about yards east of the Circus; it stretches backwards as far as . It occupies the site of a building formerly known as the Queen's Bazaar, which had existed for some years, but never gained popularity. It was destroyed by fire in , but rebuilt. In were exhibited here Mr. Roberts's great picture of the

Departure of the Israelites out of Egypt,

and also the

Physiorama,

comprising views arranged in a gallery feet long. The edifice, like its successor, had a back entrance in .

The building of the theatre was a costly and unsuccessful speculation, and it nearly ruined Hamlet, the great silversmith of . In it was entirely remodelled, from the designs of Nelson, and decorated by Mr. Crace; and it was opened in the September of that year with a series of promenade concerts. It is a chaste, elegant,

p.462

and commodious house, having tiers of boxes, besides another row just below the ceiling.

The history of the theatre is chiefly remarkable for its having been the scene of Mr. Charles Kean's Shakespearian revivals, which were commenced in , and continued for years. In putting these plays on the stage Mr. Kean spared no expense, and shirked no amount of study and trouble; and the theatrical world and the public at large are largely indebted to his liberality and erudition for the admirably correct costumes and which were in his time characteristic of the plays at the Princess's. In all this he was ably seconded by Mrs. Kean (formerly known as Miss Ellen Tree), who entered warmly into the spirit of his work of revival. In the year he adapted and produced Byron's play of , and varied his Shakesperian revivals by putting on the boards at various times Sheridan's ., and other standard dramas. In the year , on his resigning the managenent of the theatre, Mr. Kean was invited to a dinner in St. James's Hall, where a large company, with the Duke of Newcastle in the chair, assembled to do honour to the famous tragedian and spirited

manager. Shortly afterwards, in recognition of his efforts to raise the dramatic profession and elevate the English stage, Mr. Kean was presented with a handsome service of plate.

The theatre subsequently passed into the hands of Messrs. Webster and Chatterton, of the , and Mr. Dion Boucicault for some time figured as the leading actor. In a drama entitled the was performed here to overflowing houses. The play, however, like many others of a similar character which have been since produced, appears to have aimed more at

sensationalism

than to have rested on its literary merits, and, therefore, as stated in Charles Dickens's

Life,

may be put down as

but an inferior style of theatrical taste.

In , after a years' absence from England, Mr. and Mrs. Kean again appeared on the boards of this theatre for night, in the play of . Mr. Charles Kean died in London, in .

We must here cross for a few minutes to the south side of , in order to speak of or matters which escaped us in our wanderings westward. Nearly opposite the Princess's Theatre, in , was at

p.463

p.464

time the residence of Ugo Foscolo, of whom we shall have more to say hereafter.

A strange occurrence is related by tradition as having happened in about the time that Dr. Johnson lodged in it. A coach drew up late evening at the door of a surgeon, Mr. Brooks, who was in the habit of buying

subjects

for dissection. A heavy sack was taken out and deposited in the hall, and the servants were about to carry it down the back stairs into the dissecting-room, when a living

subject

thrust his head and neck out of end, and begged for his life. The servants in alarm ran to fetch pistols, but the

subject

continued to implore for mercy in such tones as to assure them that there was no ground for alarm, for he had been drunk, and did not know how he had got into the sack. Dr. Brooks coming in, ordered the fellow to have the sack tied up again loosely round his chin, and sent him off in a coach to the watch-house, where it is to be hoped that he recovered his senses.

In , the next turning eastward on the same side of , was living, in , Mr. Burney, the friend and correspondent of Dr. Johnson, so often mentioned by Boswell. This street has also numbered among its residents Dr. Macaulay, the husband of the authoress, Mrs. Macaulay; Dr. Burney, the author of the

History of Music;

and the old Earl of Cromartie, who was pardoned by George II. for his share in the Scottish rising of .

In , on the same side, not far from , is an inn called the

North Pole,

so named, no doubt, to commemorate of those many arctic expeditions which from time to time have left our shores, and those of adjoining countries, in search of the spot

where there is no north beyond it.

Re-crossing , we now leave the Portland property on our left, and pass into that belonging to Lord Berners' family. Wells Street, which crosses the eastern end of , is narrow and crooked, and therefore more ancient than its neighbours. Its name is probably a corruption of , and so called after Well, in Yorkshire, the seat of the family of Strangeways, from whom Lady Berners descends. Here [extra_illustrations.4.464.1] , the author of

The Minstrel,

and of the essay on

Truth,

&c., was living during his stay in London, in . He was of the last of Dr. Johnson's contemporaries, surviving till .

In this street is the handsome district church of St. Andrew's, erected in from the designs of Mr. Dankes. It is in the Early Perpendicular Gothic styie, and has a tower and spire upwards of feet high. At the east end is a large painted glass window, by Hardman. The services are. intoned, but

plain-song and anthems are used instead of Gregorian compositions ;

and the church has been always remarkable for the excellence of its choir.

, so called after the family title of its ground-landlord, runs northward a little to the east of Wells Street. It was built about the middle of the last century, and has always been celebrated as the

home and haunt

of artists, painters, and sculptors. Among its former residents are to be reckoned Opie, Fuseli, and Sir William Chambers, the latter of whom we have already mentioned in connection with . Opie was buried in . His wife, Amelia, the learned Quakeress, was well known by her writings,

Tales of Real Life,

Poems,

Simple Tales,

&c. In this street was the bank in which Fauntleroy, the forger, was a partner.

As we saunter up we are irresistibly reminded of of Theodore Hook's earliest pranks, when his life was already a succession of boisterous buffooneries. This was in the year ; and the lady on whom it was practised, says Mr. Peter Cunningham, was a Mrs. Tottingham, living at No. . Hook, it appears, had laid a wager that

in

one

week that nice quiet dwelling should be the most famous in all London.

The bet was taken; and in the course of or days he had written and dispatched several letters, conveying orders to tradesmen of every sort

within the bills of mortality,

all to be executed on particular day, and as nearly as possible at fixed hour. From

wagons of coal and potatoes, to books, prints, feathers, ices, jellies, and cranberry tarts,

nothing in any way whatever available to any human being but was commanded from scores of rival dealers scattered all over the metropolis. At that time the (as it was then called) was not approachable either from or from the City otherwise than through a complicated series of lanes. It may be feebly guessed, therefore, what was the crush, and jam, and tumult of that day. We are told that

Hook had provided himself with a lodging nearly opposite the fated house; and there, with a couple of trusty allies, he watched the development of his midday melodrame. But some of the

dramatis personae

were seldom, if ever, alluded to in later times. He had no objection to bodying forth the arrival of the Lord Mayor and his chaplain, invited to take the death-bed confession of a peculating commoncouncilman; but he would have buried in oblivion that no less liberty was taken with the Governor of

the Bank, the Chairman of the East India Company, a Lord Chief Justice, a Cabinet Minister-above all, with the Archbishop of Canterbury, and his Royal Highness the Commander-in-Chief. They all obeyed the summons--every pious and patriotic feeling had been most movingly appealed to. We are not sure that they all reached

Berners Street

; but the Duke of York's military punctuality and crimson liveries brought him to the point of attack before the poor widow's astonishment had risen to terror and despair. Perhaps no assassination, no conspiracy, no royal demise or ministerial revolution of recent times was a greater godsend to the newspapers than this audacious piece of mischief. In Hook's own theatrical world he was instantly suspected, but no sign escaped either him or his confidants. The affair was beyond that circle a serious

one

. Fierce were the growlings of the doctors and surgeons, scores of whom had been cheated of valuable hours. Attorneys, teachers of all kinds, male and female, hair-dressers, tailors, popular preachers, parliamentary philanthropists, had been alike victimised, and were in their various notes alike vociferous. But the tangible material damage done was itself no joking matter. There had been an awful smashing of glass, china, harpsichords, and coach-panels. Many a horse fell, never to rise again. Beer-barrels and wine-barrels had been overturned and exhausted with impunity amidst the press of countless multitudes. It had been a fine field-day for the pickpockets. There arose a fervent hue and cry for the detection of the wholesale deceiver and destroyer.

Hook, after this escapade, found it convenient to have a severe fit of illness, and then to recruit his health by a prolonged country tour. The affair, however, having been a days' (or, possibly, a weeks') wonder, blew over, and the unknown author of the hoax re-appeared with his usual coolness in the green-room of the theatre.

forms the head-quarters of several foreign and charitable institutions, some of which have been established ever since the last century. In was founded the Society for the Relief of Widows and Orphans of Medical Men. The Medical and Chirurgical Society was established in , and incorporated in , for the cultivation and promotion of medicine and surgery. The society possesses a good library, numbering some volumes. Here, too, are the Obstetrical Society of London, instituted in ; and the Pathological Society, founded in . The lastnamed society was instituted for the exhibition and examination of specimens, drawings, microscopic preparations, casts or models of morbid parts, with accompanying written or oral descriptions, illustrative of pathological science. All the abovemen- tioned medical societies, together with another styled the Clinical Society of London, are accommodated in the same house (No. ).

Adjoining this building (No. ) is Hospital for Stone. This charitable institution was established in o, and its object is to benefit as large a number as possible of suffering poor by affording them, without a letter of recommendation, the advantages of hospital accommodation; to improve medical and surgical knowledge on the subjects specially treated of here, by bringing together a large number of patients suffering from those diseases, and thus affording opportunities for observation and classification; and, in the cases of patients suffering from stone, to investigate the best means of accomplishing its removal with the least possible danger to the life of the patient, and, whenever practicable, to substitute lithotrity for lithotomy. The practice of the hospital is open to all students and members of the profession.

At No. are the offices of the Ladies' Sanitary Association, and also the Society for Promoting the Employment of Women. At No. is the Berners Women's Club- of the experiments in this direction. In the same house are the offices of the Central Committee of the National Society for Women's Suffrage. The London Association for the Protection of Trade has its office at No. .

In , at the top of , the view down which it commands, is the [extra_illustrations.4.466.1] . The building, which is of brick, and very extensive, comprises a centre and wings; it is fitted up with baths, laboratory works, ventilating shaft, and, indeed, all the necessary appliances for comfort, &c. The hospital dates from about or years after the splendid bequest of Thomas Guy, the penurious bookseller of . It was established, in , in , , for sick and lame persons, and for lying--in married women. It was removed, in , to its present site, when it stood among green fields and lanes. Since the midwifery patients, to the number of nearly a yearly, instead of being received as inmates, are attended at their own homes by the medical officers of the hospital. The cancer wards were founded by a gift of from [extra_illustrations.4.466.2] , in , to which other gifts and legacies were added. A remarkable incident in the history of the hospital is that in it became a refuge for many of the French royalist emigrants driven from France by the Jacobin Reign of Terror. The buildings were

p.466

enlarged by new wings constructed in , and again in . Lord Robert Seymour, a zealous and munificent friend of this institution, obtained for it the royal patronage of George IV., which is continued by her present Majesty. The medical school, established in , enjoys a high reputation; it is furnished with a museum of valuable collections.

The hospital contains beds for upwards of patients. Of these are devoted to the cancer establishment, instituted in the year , where the patient is allowed to remain

until relieved by art or released by death;

are appropriated to women suffering from diseases peculiar to their sex; the remainder of the beds being set apart for general miscellaneous cases. Upwards of lying--in married women are attended at their own habitations, and eighteen out-door patients are relieved every year. The hospital is unendowed. The annual subscriptions amount to not more than , while of late years the expenditure has been increased by some necessary works of improvement.

This hospital has numbered among its surgeons and physicians men of the highest eminence in the medical profession; besides which it has been the cradle of many eminent careers in surgery.

In Sir Charles Bell was appointed surgeon to this hospital, an important step in his early professional progress. We have spoken of him somewhat later in life, in our account of the School of Surgery (page ). It was he to whom is ascribed the saying that

London is a place to live in, not to die in;

and his remarks, perhaps, may explain the reason which led him, in the midst of a successful career in the metropolis, to retire to his native city of Edinburgh--a step which few Scotchmen take, if successful on the south of the Tweed.

The southern side of , which is continued by into , presents a busy appearance, especially on Friday and Saturday evenings; and as of the few street markets remaining at the West-end, and probably destined at no long interval to disappear, may claim a short notice. To the long row of stallkeepers on its southern side, who display their stores of fish, fruit, and vegetables in hand-barrows and baskets, and on movable slabs, we may apply the words of Henry Mayhew :--

The scene in these parts has more of the character of a fair than of a market. There are hundreds of stalls, and every stall has its

one

or

two

lights; either it is illuminated by the intense white light of the new self-generating gas-lamp, or else it is brightened up by the red smoking flame of the old-fashioned grease lamps.

One

man shows off his yellow haddock with a candle stuck in a bundle of firewood; his neighbour makes his candlestick of a huge turnip, and the tallow gutters over its sides; while the boy shouting

Eight a penny pears!

has rolled his dip in a thick coat of brown paper, that flares away with the candle. Some stalls are crimson with a fire shining through the holes beneath the baked chestnut stove. Others have handsome octohedral lamps; while a few have a candle shining through a sieve. These, with the sparkling ground-glass of the tea-dealers' shops, and the butchers' gas-lights streaming and fluttering in the wind like flags of flame, pour forth such a flood of light, that at a distance the atmosphere immediately above the spot is as lurid as if the street was on fire.

, which runs north and south, a little to the west of the , was so named in compliment to the royal house from which King William III. was sprung.

, which severs the Portland from the Southampton estate, is a good broad street, extending from in a south-easterly direction to the corner of , close by , and, together with , affords a direct communication into . On the eastern side of is a dull, heavy building, formerly Union Workhouse, but which was taken, in , as the Central London Sick Asylum Infirmary, by the joint action of the several parishes of , , , and .

was built between the years and , and was, from the , inhabited by artists of celebrity, and its shops at the present time still having among them several devoted to art studies. [extra_illustrations.4.466.3]  and Bacon, the sculptors, both lived in this street; as also did Benjamin West, the president of the Royal Academy. Cyrus Redding, in his

Fifty

Years' Recollections,

speaks of him as

a man of few words, grave, and I imagine,

he adds,

not possessed of much acquired information beyond his art. I remember there were numerous sketches in his gallery, but that of

Death on the Pale Horse

struck me most as a composition. It was, indeed, of a high character.

West's gallery was in the year converted into a chapel by the [extra_illustrations.4.466.4] , on his expulsion from the National Scottish Church in , .

In , No. was in the occupation of Thomas Stothard, R.A., the designer of the Waterloo shield at Apsley House; and other royal academicians of lesser note figure in the Royal Blue Book

p.467

of that year as residents here. In , of these R.A.'s have disappeared; but the name of Copley Fielding, as yet without those mystic letters appended to it, is entered as part occupant of No. .

At No. is the London Artisans' Club and Institute, and No. is the National Hospital for Diseases of the Heart.

In this street is a large public room called Cambridge Hall, where lectures on secular and religious subjects are delivered. In some temporary celebrity was given to it by a man named Newton, who professed to be able to work miraculous cures on all who came to him with a sufficient stock of faith. Numbers of persons responded to his call, most of them being females, of course; and in some of them faith, or mind, had so great a command over the body and the nervous system, that they went away feeling or regarding themselves as cured. But this strange

popular delusion

soon passed away, and Mr. Newton was forgotten.

At No. is Mr. Heatherley's School of Art, where many, if not most, of the rising artists of the time have made their commencement in artistic practice. It was formerly kept by a Mr. Leigh, who succeeded William Etty, the Royal Academician. Though the artists are

flown to another retreat,

yet their aroma still remains in , for half the shops are devoted to the sale of articles subservient to artistic purposes.

Some of the shop-fronts on the north side of about this point are very fanciful and picturesque. At the corner of , No. , the shop of Messrs. Battam and Co., decorators, has a or Elizabethan front,

a picturesque composition of pedestals, consoles, or semi-caryatid figures.

Amid all its bustle and business, has nevertheless had a touch of

the romantic,

if a peculiar eccentricity, brought about by disappointment in love affairs, can be called a romance. At all events, we read how a certain Miss Mary Lucrine, a maiden of small fortune, who resided in this street, and who died in , having met with a disappointment in matrimony in early life, vowed that she would

never see the light of the sun I

Accordingly the windows of her apartments were closely shut up for years, and she kept her resolution to her dying day. It would, of course, be impossible at this distant date to fix with accuracy upon the exact house in which this singular whim of turning day into night was carried out, for, as the lady was merely occupying

apartments,

it is probable that her name does not appear on the parish register of ratepayers, and a further search would be profitless.

 
 
Footnotes:

[extra_illustrations.4.456.1] Mr. Owen Jones

[extra_illustrations.4.457.1] Feast of Tabernacles--North London Synagogue

[extra_illustrations.4.457.2] Marriage of Leopold de Rothschild in Jewish Synagogue, 1881

[extra_illustrations.4.457.3] Jewish Synagogue--Great St. Helen's

[extra_illustrations.4.458.1] Wilkie

[extra_illustrations.4.459.1] Nollekens

[extra_illustrations.4.460.1] All Saints' Church

[] See Vol. II., p, 284.

[extra_illustrations.4.461.1] James Barry

[extra_illustrations.4.461.2] The Princess's Theatre

[extra_illustrations.4.464.1] Dr. Beattie

[extra_illustrations.4.466.1] Middlesex Hospital

[extra_illustrations.4.466.2] Mr. Samuel Whitbread

[extra_illustrations.4.466.3] Banks

[extra_illustrations.4.466.4] Rev. Edward Irving

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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.
This object is in collection:
Edwin C. Bolles papers
Subjects
London (England)--Description and Travel
London --England
Permanent URL
http://hdl.handle.net/10427/14824
ID: tufts:UA069.005.DO.00063
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