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
Having in the preceding chapters dealt with the streets and thoroughfares forming the centre of the City of , we will now endeavour to point out some of the chief features of interest, and penetrate into some of the courts and alleys that lie scattered through its outlying regions.
Starting from the , skirting the southwestern corner of , and running parallel to , is : this, with , which joins it at right angles, and also , derive their names, says Mr. Mackenzie Walcott, from a person who was clerk of the works at the time of the erection; but according to Hutton, from Sir James Smith, the ground-landlord, who resided here. At the commencement of the last century there was a
|turnpike in . In is and Free Public Library, and also the Public Baths and Washhouses, very useful institutions, the benefits of which are highly appreciated by a large number of that particular class of the inhabitants for whose service they were specially erected. In , Dr. H. H. Milman, afterwards Dean of , laid in this street the stone of the City of Literary, Scientific, and Mechanics' Institution. The building comprised a spacious lecture-room, reading-rooms, class-rooms for drawing and music, a museum, and a library.[extra_illustrations.4.36.1]|
To the south of was the bowlinggreen, where the members of the convent in other
|days amused themselves at the game of bowls. The memory of the spot is still preserved in the name of Bowling Alley.|
In Little stood of the chapels of the French Huguenot Refugees, removed hither about the year , from , Soho.
was built by Sir Richard Tufton, after whom it was named. He died in , and was buried in the Abbey.
At No. in this street is the Royal Architectural Museum. The building in. itself has little or nothing architectural about it to merit special mention. It is simply a lofty plain brick edifice on the west side of the street, and is entered through an arched doorway and vestibule. The interior is
|lighted from the roof only, the walls being entirely covered with the various objects exhibited, such as castings of capitals and bases of columns, bosses, and other kinds of ornament. galleries run round the building, each of them likewise filled with specimens. The Museum was founded in , in , as the nucleus of a National Museum of Architectural Art, and subsequently for several years formed part of the collection exhibited at the South Kensington Museum. The intention of its founders was to supply to architects, artists, and art-workmen, the means of referring to and studying the architecture of past ages, and in combination with those arts which have their origin in or are dependent on architecture itself. Its direct|
|practical object is to improve and perfect the artworkmanship of the present time, and to afford art-workmen the opportunity of studying casts or copies of those works, the originals of which neither their time nor their means will allow them to visit. Accordingly, a large collection of casts and actual specimens has been formed from the finest mediaeval examples, English and foreign, of complete architectural works, arranged, as far as possible in the order of their dates; and of details, comprehending figures, animals, foliage, mouldings, encaustic tiles, mural paintings, roof ornaments, rubbings of sepulchral brasses, stained glass, impressions from seals, and other objects. Schools of Classical Art are also represented, though not so fully or systemati|
|cally. A special collection of marble reliefs from the ruins of of the ancient capitals of India, situated in the great desert of Rajpootana, of the date of about , is due to the generosity of Sir Bartle Frere. The museum is open to the public free; but a small fee is charged for the drawing and modelling classes.|
In there was formerly a building devoted to the brutal and unmanly amusement of cock-fighting. It comprised a large circular area, with a slightly elevated platform in the centre, surrounded by benches, rising in gradation to nearly the top of the building. The cock-pit existed in this street long after that near was deserted.
bears the name of the patronsaint of the Abbey. Upon the front of a house in it might be seen the following inscription, rudely cut:
In this street is the principal entrance to the gas-works, noticed in a preceding chapter. Here, too, stands the Church of St. Matthew, which was erected in , to meet the wants of the overcrowded parish of St. John the Evangelist. The church is situated in a very close and poor neighbourhood, its site having been purchased piecemeal as the different miserable houses by which it was partly covered could be procured. It is of a very irregular and unfavourable form, something resembling the letter L, and presenting narrow frontage to , and still narrower to St. Anne's Lane; the remainder is almost buried by houses. The architect has succeeded, however, in placing the church east and west, and in so arranging it as to present all the usual ecclesiastical features and proportions; and though the building externally is but little seen, the part exposed to view is bold and effective; while the interior, though simple, suffers but little from the cramped nature of the position, excepting that the north aisle is deprived of its side windows by the row of houses by which it is flanked. The chancel is lighted by a bold east window of lights, and by windows on the south, and on the north side, the remainder of that side being occupied by a chancel-aisle and vestry. The nave, with its aisles, consists of bays or arches in length, and is chiefly lighted from--the clerestory and from a large west window which obtains light from above the surrounding houses. The nave and chancel occupying the whole available area of that part of the ground which lies east and west, but not affording the required accommodation, a aisle is projected into the southern arm of the ground, so that the nave has aisle on the north and on the south. The principal entrance is through the tower, which projects again southward from the last-mentioned aisle and faces . There are also a western entrance and from St. Anne's Lane. The style is the later fashion of the geometrical variety of Middlepointed, or, what is more frequently called,
It is, however, very simple though bold in its details. The church is built to accommodate worshippers, and the cost of its construction was about .
At a house at the corner of and , overlooking Bowling Alley, if tradition is correct, resided, during the latter part of his life, the notorious Colonel Blood, who, as told by us in a previous volume, endeavoured to steal the Crown and Regalia from the Tower. While Edwards, the keeper, who so bravely saved the crown, was literally left to starve, Blood is stated to have retired hither--with a pension, tooafter his daring exploit at the Tower, King Charles not only having pardoned, but actually conferred upon him an estate in Ireland, worth a year. Truly, therefore, may we add, in the words of the poet of old-
Colonel Blood was cast in a suit for libel against his former patron, the Duke of Buckingham, and sentenced to pay , by way of damages, This sentence he could not survive. He died here in , and was buried in New Chapel Yard, near the . He had, however, been such an eccentric scamp during his life, that the populace thought that his death was only a and a sham; so his body was taken up and submitted to the ordeal of a coroner's inquest. It was identified beyond dispute by a malformation of the thumb, and accordingly was put back into its grave.
In the Luttrell Collection of Broadsides in the is to be seen
in which occur the following lines:--
The house is mentioned in as
It was distinguished by a shield and coat of arms, raised in relief on the brickwork on the front of the house.
St. Anne's Lane, a narrow turning out of , was so named from the Chapel dedicated to the mother of the Virgin Mary. Henry Purcell, the musician, who was born in ,
|lived for some time in this lane. of the most important features of St. Anne's Lane at the present time is the range of spacious and convenient baths and washhouses, which have been erected at a cost of about .|
An amusing story with reference to St. Anne's Lane is related in the , No. :--
There were St. Anne's Lanes which might have cost Sir Roger some trouble to find:
according to Stow; and the other--which it requires sharp eyes to find in Strype's map-turning, as we have said, out of . Mr. Peter Cunningham, in his
prefers supposing that Sir Roger inquired his way in the latter neighbourhood.
There is an old saying among Londoners, quoted in Moryson's
to the effect that
Judging from the appearance of the female part of the community inhabiting many of the narrow courts and alleys abounding in this neighbourhood, would be almost inclined to feel that the latter part of the saying above quoted holds good even in the present day, notwithstanding the sweeping change that has been effected in this neighbourhood within the last few years under the auspices of the Improvements Commission.
[extra_illustrations.4.39.1] , part of which has disappeared since the year in the formation of , derive their names from the wellknown Sir Robert Pye, who resided in the New Way close by. He was by marriage a cousin of Oliver Cromwell.
In Old Pye Street is a large brick building devoted to the comfort and intellectual improvement of the poorest classes of the population of . It is known as the Working Men's Club and Lodging-house. About the year a very useful little institution was established in a small room in , near , on the south side of . It was the attempt made in London at a working men's club as distinguished from a mechanic's institute--a place of repose and recreation, opened every evening from till half-past , on payment of a weekly subscription of halfpenny. Several daily and weekly papers, with some monthly periodicals, were provided, besides draughts and chess; coffee and ginger-beer were supplied at cost price, no alcoholic beverages being admitted. Educational classes were held times a week, and lectures, free to members and their families, were given every fortnight. A religious service (quite unsectarian) was also held for hour on Sunday evenings. A penny bank was opened nights a week, and in months from the commencement, a labour loan society, enrolled by Mr. Tidd Pratt, was started. The institution soon proved so successful that it was necessary to enlarge the accommodation. Another room was built over the , and opened in ; the lower room was thus left free for general conversation, coffee, or smoking; the classes, lectures, and quiet reading being carried on upstairs. A temperance association was now formed by some of the members, with a sick benefit society attached, formed by paying a penny a week, the use of a room for the temperance meetings being accorded free of expense. A barrow club was also commenced in , for furnishing the members who were costermongers with barrows. The cost of a barrow is ; a weekly sum is paid, and when the price is liquidated the barrow becomes the property of the owner, instead of the latter always continuing to pay for the hire of . In , the accommodation having again become insufficient for its numerous members, an adjoining house was taken in, and the club entirely remodelled and improved, at a cost of more than , and re-opened in November of that year.
The demolition of , to make way for the progress of
led to the erection, in Old Pye Street, of the pile of buildings above mentioned, which consists partly of a working men's club and partly of a dwellinghouse, to accommodate between and of those families who are ineligible, from the lowness of their weekly wages or from their occupations,
|for any other lodging-houses, Mr. Peabody's included, where none but men earning or a week are admitted. The new Working Men's Club was opened in . In the club building, which is quite distinct from the dwelling-house, there is, on the ground-floor, a spacious club-room, with a lavatory and other accommodation attached, as also a kitchen and library. A portion of the club at the corner of Old Pye Street and Lane has been fitted up as a double-fronted shop, where a co-operative store has been established by the members. Over the club-room are a lectureroom, a committee-room, and an office; the lectureroom can be at any time divided into by a movable partition, so as to form a reading-room and a class-room.|
In Pye Street lived for some time De Groot, the great-nephew of the learned Hugo Grotius, who was afterwards admitted as a poor brother into the , on the friendly intercession of Dr. Johnson.
was so called from being erected on the old orchard-garden of the monastery. Here, in , the eccentric Thomas Amory, author of
lived the life of a recluse, venturing out only in the evening. He died in , at a great age.
To the south-west of the Abbey is a district, between and , which was and is known as
or vagabond colonies, which meet us in various parts of
were originally the sites of sanctuaries and refuges for debtors and felons, or else of some
for the reception of the poor, the maimed, and the lepers; the districts in which these asylums were located proving each the nucleus or nest of a dense pauper and criminal population. For just as the felon of our own days is too often found among the inmates of our
so it is probable that of old the
mixed with the diseased crowds and hordes of beggars that swarmed around a
associating of course with women of the lowest class, and so perpetuating the breed of outcasts and thieves, and turning the once
into nests of poverty, misery, disease, and vice.
The region above alluded to formerly covered a much larger area than it does now, comprising as it did New Pye Street, , , and portions of and Old Pye Street, together with a vast number of courts which diverged from them, all of which have been swept away since the year , when the work of clearance was taken in hand by the Improvement Commission. It was in that Oliver Cromwell had of his palaces; in those days was close beside it, and was the seat of gentlemen's country residences. Lady Dacre, the foundress of Emmanuel Hospital, left to the City an estate of between and acres of ground--the garden ground-called
from the Rev. Edward Palmer, who here founded, in , almshouses for poor persons, and a school for boys, known as the
under the parochial authorities. This charitable institution is now located in . , at the early part of the present century, boasted of its village green, upon which the Maypole was annually set up; and there was an old wayside inn, bearing the sign of
All this rurality, together with the nest and labyrinth of vile and dirty lanes and courts which surrounded it, has now disappeared, and in its place has been formed the broad and open thoroughfare, , which was commenced in , and publicly opened in .
writes the author of
Had the writer of these remarks lived to our own days he would have seen his wishes gratified.
of the improvements that have been of late years effected here, we may add that in was published Gwyn's
an important work, dedicated by permission to the King; the dedication and the preface, as we learn from Boswell, being from Dr. Johnson's pen. Mr. Croker thus remarks on it in his notes on Boswell :
is upwards of a yards in length, extending from the to Shaftesbury Place, ; it is feet wide, and the houses on either side upwards of feet high, mostly cut up into
At the corner of this street, about yards west of the Abbey, stands the Palace Hotel, erected in . Here the office of the Secretary of State for India was accommodated for a few years, until the new quarters for that department could be made ready for its reception. The hotel was built from the designs of Mr. A. Moseley. The hotel is traditionally said to stand on the site of the press set up in the Almonry, as already stated, by William Caxton, to whose memory the directors have subscribed a sum for the purpose of placing a statue of the English printer in the entrance-hall.
A block of buildings of great magnitude, called Chambers, having a frontage of about feet, stands immediately opposite the Hotel, and with it forms a striking entrance to this great street. The building contains about rooms, disposed on the basement, ground, , , , and floors. It consists of parallel ranges of building, each about feet in length, separated by court-yards, access to the whole being obtained by stone staircases of easy gradients, and from arched entrances from . Each suite of rooms is approached from a separate entrance-door on the landings of these staircases, and consists of or rooms, as the case may be, with a few sets of rooms each. There are of these suites in the entire building. Party walls separate the building into compartments; making, as it were, separate self-contained houses; and thus, in case of fire, limiting the damage to the division or compartment in which it may occur.
In this street are the offices of the Metropolitan Drinking-fountain and Cattle-trough Association, of which the Duke of is the president. This is the only society which provides free supplies of water for animals in the streets of London, and the relief which it affords to horses, dogs, sheep, and. oxen is well-nigh incalculable. The number of metropolitan fountains and troughs at the end of the year was as follows:-- fountains, large cattle-troughs, and small troughs for sheep and dogs. In some cases the committee of the Association have to pay nearly a year for the water consumed at a single trough. It is calculated that more than horses, besides a large number of oxen, sheep, and dogs, frequently drink at a single trough in the course of day. This invaluable association, we may add, as a hint to the charitable friends of dumb animals, is entirely
, which has quite disappeared in the formation of , probably took its name from the number of those birds which frequented the straight canals and runnels by which early maps represent the immediate vicinity to have been divided. There was a noted piece of water, called the Duck Pond, afterwards built over by the houses of this lane. In was kept, in , the Blue-Coat School, for boys only, and supported by voluntary contributions; and in , a Mr. William Green built a school and masters' house in . A great part of the extensive grounds, including parts of , Brewers' Green, , , and , was purchased by Mr. Green, who founded the Stag, or Elliot's Brewery.
In , between the river and , about half a mile from the west end of the venerable Abbey, is a small and unpretending building, which for many years was the only chapel for the accommodation of the Roman Catholic poor who crowd the close courts abutting on the old Almonry. Down to they had no chapel at all, but were forced to practise their religion as best they could, in garrets and cellars, for fear of prosecutions under the penal laws. In that year a small chapel was opened in , near (now called ), but it was closed for want of funds years afterwards. In another attempt was made to maintain a chapel in , under the auspices of the Chaplains of the Neapolitan Embassy, but this, too, came to an end after a years' struggle. A temporary chapel in was next secured, and this lasted until , when the present chapel was opened, mainly through the energy of the Rev. W. Hurst, the learned Professor of Theology at Valladolid, and translator of the writings of the Venerable Bede. It was enlarged and beautified in , and is now served by Fathers of the Jesuit Order. The sculpture over the altar, representing the Annunciation of our Lady, by Phyffers, is much admired.
Between and is , called by Strype
and now altered by the authority of the Metropolitan Board of Works to
It tells its own tale so far as the date of its erection. It is a small oblong parallelogram, extending about yards from east to west, but very narrow from north to south. Hatton, writing in , speaks of it in terms of glowing, and, we fear must be added, undiscriminating praise, as
When was erected, the inhabitants of , apprehending that carriages on their way to Ranelagh would pass through the , and make their hitherto quiet square a noisy thoroughfare, in order to avoid , , and , erected, by subscription, the wall and railing which separates and . At the eastern entrance of the square, set up against of the houses on the south side, is a statue of the queen after whom the square is named; it is, however, a poor specimen of art, and is so placed that it scarcely strikes the eye of the passer-by. In fact, very few persons know of its existence. The queen is dressed in her state robes, and has the sceptre and orb in her hands.
In the south-west corner of the square is a dull, heavy building, now used as a Mission Hall, and
also as a school and lecture-room, but formerly a chapel of ease to parish. It was originally a royal gift for the special use of the judges of , and was frequented by the members of the Royal Household. In it is a very handsomely carved pulpit, apparently of the century, with an inscription, |
In I the chapel was much injured by fire; the altar-piece, then nearly destroyed, is said to have been of the finest specimens of wood-carving in England. The building is now used as a school-room and mission-room.
In , where he had resided nearly half a century, died, in the year , Jeremy Bentham, the eminent jurist, and writer on the philosophy of legislation. It was here that his brother, Sir Samuel Bentham, on his return from Russia, began to make machinery for all kinds of woodwork before unknown, and planned and constructed ships for the Admiralty, in which for the time powder magazines were made safe. A singular anecdote is told concerning Jeremy Bentham, which we give for what it is worth:--
It is related of Jeremy Bentham, that he bequeathed his body to Dr. Southwood Smith, for the purposes of anatomical science.
In and were re-numbered throughout, and together re-named , as stated above.
At No. , , on Sunday evenings, Mr. Towneley, the collector of the Towneley Marbles, &c., in the , of the earliest revivers of the arts, was accustomed to entertain distinguished literati and artists, members of the Dilettanti Club; and Nollekens, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and Zoffany were generally found at his hospitable table. Here, in , Mr. Towneley assembled his collection of marbles, bronzes, and other works of art, which he had commenced in at Rome. We shall have more to say about this collection when we come to the .
In Little there is a curious alehouse called the
and the same sign, it is said, was also to be seen till lately near . It is thus described by Mr. Larwood:--
We have already seen that the Palace of had its cock-pit, and therefore our readers may be surprised to hear that there was a cock-pit-called also the Royal-within or yards off, in , facing the Park. It stood at the junction of with , just at the top of , and was ornamented with a cupola. It was taken down in ; but in Ackermann's
published in , there is a picture of its interior, as it was a few years previously, in a style worthy of Hogarth, who, by the way, has also immortalised it. It is drawn by Rowlandson and Pugin, and coloured, showing the style of dress worn by all grades, from the lord to the
Some of the figures introduced are evidently portraits of
mixed up in a strange medley. The rival cocks are being backed up by boys, called feeders, dressed in red jackets and yellow trowsers--a sort of
livery; the chief figure in the front row is an elderly gentleman, who seems to anticipate the loss of the battle, as also does his fat neighbour on the left, while a stupid look of despair in the countenance of a grim individual on the right proclaims that all is lost. The smiling gentleman on the left appears to be the winner, actual or expectant. The clenched fists and earnest looks of those in the front rows show that a goodly sum of money is risked on the issue. Nearly in the centre of the back row of all are figures apparently hurling defiance at the whole company; they are certainly offering odds which no is disposed to take. At the back sits an officer in a cocked hat, and above him are the royal arms, the lion and the unicorn, to all appearance, looking down with composure on the fray, whilst some of the
are laying whips and thick sticks on the heads and shoulders of their neighbours. The whole picture is a study, and gives a far more perfect idea of such a scene than any words can convey. It seems strange that such scenes were tolerated and approved by royalty in the
In some families in the century the patronage of cock-fighting would appear to have been as hereditary as is the keeping of hounds with certain nobles of a later date; for instance, the Herberts, concerning whom there is an old doggerel verse, often quoted:--
It was at the Cock-pit in that Robert Harley, afterwards Earl of Oxford, was stabbed, though not fatally, with a penknife, by a French noble refugee, the Marquis de Guiscard, who was brought before him and the rest of the Cabinet Council by the Queen's Messenger, charged with treacherous correspondence with the rival Court at St. Germain, whilst drawing a pension from the English Court.
In the records of the Audit Office is an entry of a payment of
Cock-fighting, and the still more barbarous sport of throwing at cocks, it may interest some of our readers to learn, was, in the days of our forefathers
| the chief amusement on Shrove Tuesday. Hence Sir Charles Sedley, in his epigram on a cock at Rochester, prays:--
Such sports, it is fortunate to add, are now very nearly extinct among the educated classes, for public opinion has declared against them in an unmistakable manner.
as Dr. Johnson said,
Near the Cock-pit resided Sir John Germaine, who was tried for running off with the Duchess of Norfolk, whom her husband divorced in consequence. She was by birth a Mordaunt, a daughter of the Earl of Peterborough. It was sworn on the trial that Sir John and the duchess used to frequent almost daily in each other's company, a fact on which the divorce was based to a large extent, and which does not speak very much in praise of the morals of that place of amusement.
Much of the incongruous character of the of the era of Victoria may be traced back to the peculiarities of the ancient city. Du Chatelet, the celebrated French statistician, shows that the
--now the head-quarters of the thieves of Paris--was formerly the site of a wellknown
and just so it was also with the City of itself.
The neighbourhood of the Abbey centuries, or even a century ago, it is to be feared, was low and disreputable. Pope tells us, for instance, how Curll's hack authors hung about this part: his historian at
The author of
in the reign of George II., with the shallow and false taste of his time, dismisses the fair city in a very few words, as
He would have written far otherwise, had he lived till the days of Queen Victoria.
Till within about a century most of the shops in and , as in the City, were open, as those of butchers are to the present day; and in this way not only articles of dress, but watches and jewellery were exposed for sale. In fact, they did not begin to be enclosed and glazed, as now, until about the year . Thus, in the (No. ), we find mentioned as novelties,
the appearance of
being equally unwarrantable innovations. The appearance, too, of the master, under the Georges, if not to a later date, was equally unlike the dress of a modern tradesman. Then the old shopkeeper might be seen walking the quarter-deck of his own shop, with his hair full-powdered, his silver knee and shoe buckles, and his hands surrounded with the nicely-plaited ruffle hanging down to his knuckles, and his apprentices wearing the same livery, only with distinctions to mark their grade.
D'Israeli, in his
after noting the gradual union of and London, in spite of all edicts and Acts of Parliament, remarks that
(vol. xvi.) is given a proclamation of Elizabeth, issued for the purpose of restraining the increase of buildings about the metropolis. In it the high-handed Queen commands all persons, on the pain of her royal displeasure, and of sundry punishments besides, to desist from all new buildings of houses or tenements within miles of any of the gates of London; and in the same document it is ordered that unfinished buildings or new foundations are to be summarily pulled down. A strange contrast this to the policy of Queen Victoria, under whom the buildings and population of London and its suburbs have been more than doubled, without any let or hindrance on the part of the sovereign. The spirit of Elizabeth's proclamation was in due course repeated by James I. on his accession to his southern throne.
The fair city has numbered among its residents many distinguished and many eccentric personages, and has witnessed many freaks of fortune in the sudden rise or fall of individuals of less or more merit. Thus, we read in Erskine's
the following bit of luck which befell a servant maid:--
It is devoutly to be hoped that this worthy pair made a fortune and
Among the distinguished residents of in former times, as we learn from the
(published in ), were Lord Scarsdale, who was living at a mansion in ; Lord Stafford, at Tart Hall; Lord Rochester,
Lord Essex, near ; the Lord Portland, near the Banqueting House in ; the Bishop of Norwich and the Archbishop of York in . Peterborough House, near the , belonged to the Earl of Peterborough, but was let to a merchant, Mr. Bull. In were living Lords North, and Grey, and Guernsey. Robert Harley, Principal Secretary of State under Queen Anne, lived in
In the at was formerly an inn bearing the sign of
This probably refers to
of whom we have already spoken in our account of , and who was celebrated in the ballads of the day as
says Mr. Larwood,
James I., with all his learning and pedantry, was, apparently, a patron of sports and pastimes; at all events, we read that he granted to his groomporter, Clement Cottrell, the privilege of licensing, within the limits of London and , and within miles therefrom, no less than taverns
We cannot turn our backs on without remarking that the cities of London and for a number of years were totally distinct and separate--the inhabited chiefly by the Scots, and the other by the English. It is believed that the union of the crowns conduced not a little to unite these several cities;
says an old writer, Howel,
and thus went on the process which made London, according to the quaint fancy of the writer just named, like a Jesuit's hat, the brims of which were larger than the block; and that induced the Spanish ambassador, Gon-. domar, to say to his royal mistress, after his return from London, and whilst describing the place to her,
[extra_illustrations.4.36.1] Turle's House--Little Dean Street
 See Vol. II., page 81.
[extra_illustrations.4.39.1] Old and New Pye Streets
 See Vol. III., p. 370.
 See Vol. III., p. 74.