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
Red Lion Square, and its Neighbourhood.
Red Lion Square, and its Neighbourhood.
To the south-east of , surrounded by a nest of narrow alleys between it and , is , described by Northouck as a
streets entering it on sides, with foot-passages at the corners. It had at that time () not only in the centre a plain obelisk, but a stone watch-house at each corner, all of which have long been swept away. Although respectable, the square has a very dull appearance, which is thus whimsically portrayed by the author of
published about the middle of the last century :--
Hatton, in , describes it as
and Pennant, writing in , says that in the centre was
Inn was in olden times the most important hostelry in , and accordingly had the honour of giving its name to and to the adjoining square. If we may draw an inference from the entries in the register of St. Andrew's, , the inn had behind it a fine row of trees, for we find notices of foundlings being exposed under the
is mentioned in the following
of a quack doctor, at the beginning of the last century :--
gives his address as
The story that some of the regicides were buried in has been extensively believed; it is told by Mr. Peter Cunningham, with a little variety, as follows :--
In support of this story he quotes Wood's
and the additional MSS. in the , where those who are curious in such matters will find the narrative.
On the fate of Cromwell's head we have already quoted at some length in the preceding volume. It is the opinion of a writer in the , that if the body of Cromwell was removed from the Abbey and buried in , it is not probable that another embalmed body could have been procured for the purpose of being sent as its substitute to Tyburn, as has been suggested.
Pennant, as we have observed, speaks of the
in , and mentions that it was inscribed with the following lines:--
asks Mr. Jesse, in his
Mr. Jesse is inclined, however, in spite of his scepticism as to the inscription, to agree with those who believe in the tradition that the body of Cromwell was buried beneath this obelisk, and that upon this spot not improbably moulder, not only the bones of the great Protector, but also
those of Ireton and Bradshaw, whose remains were disinterred at the same time from , and exposed on the same gallows. He strengthens this supposition by observing that the contemporary accounts of the last resting-place of these remarkable men simply inform us, that on the anniversary of the death of Charles I. their bodies were borne on sledges to , and after hanging till sunset they were cut down and beheaded . that their bodies were then flung into a hole at the foot of the gallows, and. their heads fixed upon poles on the roof of Hall. |
Mr. Jesse adds,
This story of the disposal of Cromwell's body, if true, negatives the well-known lines of Dryden:--
published. just before the close of the last century, it is stated that the obelisk was thought to be a memorial erected to Cromwell by an apothecary who was attached to his principles, and had so much influence in the building of the square as to manage the marking out of the ground, thus further contriving to pay this tribute to his favourite. Curiously enough, it has been discovered that an apothecary named Ebenezer Heathcote, who had married the daughter of of Ireton's subcom- missaries, was living at the King's-gate, , soon after the Restoration.
Leigh Hunt has left a curious reminiscence of an
who lived in this square,
She astounded him day by letting her false teeth slip out, and clapping them in again. i It was at her house, he adds, that his father evening met John Wilkes. Not knowing him by sight, and happening to fall into conversation with him, while the latter sat looking down, he said something in Wilkes's disparagement, on which the jovial demagogue looked up in his face, and burst out laughing. In this square lived, in the last century, Lord Raymond, the Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench. Here too, says Mr. Peter Cunningham, lived, and here, in I, died the benevolent Mr. Jonas Hanway, the eccentric traveller, remarkable as
We have already spoken at some length of this celebrity in dealing with . The principal rooms in Hanway's house were decorated with paintings and emblematical devices,
says his biographer,
he used to say, when speaking of these ornaments,
At No. in this square, the house at the corner of , lived, for many years in the present century, Sharon Turner, the author of
He was a solicitor in practice, as well as an historian; he died here in . Besides his
he was the author of the
consisting of several works, each published separately and independently-namely, the
Besides the ordinary Superior Courts, so well known by name to every reader, there is in existence in , at the house at the north-east corner, an ancient Baronial Court, held under the authority of the Sheriffs of Middlesex.
(says the in I)
adds the writer,
The author of
Though the square has at this time a decayed aspect, there is a picturesqueness and a touch of sentiment about it not to be found in squares of a higher grade through which we have passed. The variety of the houses, dilapidated and disfigured as some of them are, is more interesting than the even respectability of continuous brick walls and unbroken roofs. Besides the old Sheriff's Court, mentioned above, several other houses in this square are, or have been, devoted to public and charitable purposes. Here, for instance, is the London Infirmary for Diseases of the Legs, Ulcers, &c., which was instituted in , under the auspices of Miss Florence Nightingale. It is said to be the only infirmary of the kind in the United Kingdom where patients suffering from these painful and tedious maladies are received, and it is dependent entirely on voluntary support. The value and importance of this institution is shown by the increased number of patients not only from London and the suburbs, but likewise from various parts of England; the average attendance throughout the year amounting to upwards of .
The whole of the square, having long since been deserted by the families who used to inhabit it, has become quite a warren, so to speak, of charitable societies, which we have no room to enumerate in detail.
Milton at different periods of his life was a resident in this immediate neighbourhood, and on both occasions he occupied houses looking upon the green fields. The time that he resided here was in , when his house
where it was that he principally employed himself in writing his virulent tirades against monarchy and Charles I. The occasion of his residing here was after the Restoration, when we are told the front of his humble dwelling looked into Fields, the site of the present .
To the south of , and parallel to it, half way between the square and , and separating Dean and Leigh Streets, is . Here was born Martin Van Butchell, the eccentric quack doctor and dentist, of whom we have already spoken in our account of , .
At the south-west corner of the square is , leading into Kingsgate Street, which opens into . Hatton, in , says that Kingsgate Street was
This street would seem to have Witnessed royal misadventure at the least; for under date -, Pepys writes in his
Between Kingsgate and Dean Streets, extending back into , and with their principal entrance facing , are the extensive premises of [extra_illustrations.4.549.1] . Mr. Charles Day, the founder of this establishment, died in , having made a huge fortune. He had for many years before his death been totally blind, and-apparently touched by that
--in his will he directed that should be devoted to the establishment of a charity, to be called the
This institution, as we have already seen, has its offices in Savile Row.
A short distance eastward, between and , is a building which has undergone a variety of uses and vicissitudes. It was erected about the year as a horse and carriage repository, but the speculation was anything but successful, and in a short time collapsed. The building, which covers a large space of ground, and has an entrance in , was afterwards converted into a theatre-called the National, and afterwards the Amphitheatre-with stage for dramatic representations, and a circus for equestrian performances. Occasionally musical entertainments were given here; but, notwithstanding the attractions put forth, the theatre never
|appeared to become popular, and in the course of a very few years its career as such came to an end.|
, like the Square--as already stated--was so called after the
On the wall of the building at the south-west corner, a public-house called the
is a block of wood let in, with the date
This street-and, indeed, the whole neighbourhood of , if we may judge by stray allusions in the
--would appear to have borne no very high reputation for morality in the reigns of the and Georges. Nor does it appear to have been very safe for pedestrians. For instance, in an apothecary was attacked in by ruffians with firearms, who carried him off by force to
We gather from King's
that this street was formerly noted for its modellers and dealers in plaster casts, many of whom still linger in the neighbourhood of and . Speaking of the Pretender's visit to London, the author says,
, which runs parallel with the north side of , and separates from , was so named, says Mr. Peter Cunningham,
John Le Neve, author of
lived in this road at the time of the publication of that work (-), and here he advertised that his book might be bought.
A conduit, founded by William Lamb, a gentleman of the Chapel Royal under Henry VIII., gave its name to . Lamb, it is stated, here caused several springs to be so connected as to form a head of water, which was conveyed by a leaden pipe, about yards in length, to , where he rebuilt a conduit, which had long been in a ruinous state and disused. He is said to have expended a very large sum of money upon these structures, and thus, by his benevolent exertions, conferred an important advantage upon a very populous neighbourhood.
as we learn from Stow's
His benefactions for other purposes were also numerous. He was buried in St. Faith's Church, and upon his tomb was inscribed an epitaph in the quaint punning language of the time.
Lamb's Conduit was rebuilt in from a design by Sir Christopher Wren, and at the expense of Sir Thomas Daws. It was taken down in . Most of the City conduits, it has been remarked, were destroyed by the Great Fire in , and the rest, it is darkly hinted, were swept quietly away in order to force the citizens to have the water of the laid on to their houses.
The fields around Lamb's Conduit, a century ago, formed a favourite promenade for the inhabitants of St. Andrew's, , and . An old English
speaking of winter rocket, or cresses, says:
A correspondent in () says:
On the west side of are or short streets, which, from the -
|substantial appearance of the houses, would seem to have been formerly the abode of some of the higher classes of society. of these is ; which runs in a line with , on the north side of . It was so named after Sir William Harpur, who was Lord Mayor of London in .|
is crossed by Ormond Street, and terminated at its northern end by . On the east side of the street, and running parallel between it and , are Milman, Doughty, Great James, and John Streets, together with or others of little or no importance. In Milman Street, at the house of a friend, on the , died the [extra_illustrations.4.551.1] , some time equerry to Louis XV., and also Ambassador at the Court of St. James's. During his residence in England, doubts arose respecting his sex, and wagers to a large amount were laid thereon, of which terminated in a trial before Lord Mansfield. There the witnesses declared that the Chevalier was a woman concealed in man's clothes; and no attempt being made to contradict their evidence, a verdict was given for the plaintiff for the recovery of the wager. After the trial, D'Eon put on female attire, which he continued to wear till his decease, when all doubts regarding his sex were at once set at rest, an examination of the body being made in the presence of several distinguished personages. From the notice of his death in the we learn that in private life the Chevalier was always understood to have been extremely amiable; his natural abilities were great, and his acquirements most numerous. The story which mixed up the name of the Chevalier D'Eon in an intrigue with Queen Charlotte in the early part of her married life, is shown by Mr. W. J. Thoms to be a pure invention of a French scandal-monger, M. Gaillardet.
In Milman Street Bellingham was lodging when, in , he assassinated Mr. Perceval in the lobby of the .
In lived Charles Dickens in the earlier days of his achieved popularity, when as yet he was only
to the public. Whilst here he wrote, in a letter to a friend,
Here was a touch of character; though Mr. Forster tells us that in after life, respectability following in the wake of success, he followed quite a different course, and paid his taxes not only regularly but punctually.
Extending from to , which forms the northern boundary of , is a broad and well-built thoroughfare, called . On the west side of the street is the Baptist chapel where the [extra_illustrations.4.551.2] preached to crowded congregations, after his secession from the Established Church in . He had previously been for several years the minister of the Episcopal Chapel of St. John, which stood in , , at the north end of . The old chapel, which was pulled down soon after Mr. Noel left it, was a plain square brick building, and may be described as having been for half a century the head-quarters of fashionable Evangelicalism, for the string of carriages waiting at its doors about o'clock on Sundays sometimes extended the entire length of the street. In the early part of the present century the minister of Chapel was the Rev. Daniel Wilson, afterwards vicar of , and eventually Bishop of Calcutta.
In the rear of , as we learn from John Timbs, there was formerly a cockpit, which, doubtless, was frequented by the young law-students. The place is still kept in remembrance by Little , in the , close by .
in , of which we give a view on page , was a good specimen of the old-fashioned galleried yard.
, which lies between and , is a fine specimen of a broad thoroughfare of the early part of the eighteenth century, and must have been a pleasant residence when all to the north was open country as far as Hampstead and Highgate. It does not derive its name, as might be imagined, from the Russell family, but from the town of Bedford, to whichhis native place-Sir William Harper, Lord Mayor of London in , bequeathed the land on which it stands for the foundation of a school and other local charities.
The houses in are now nearly all cut up into chambers and occupied by solicitors. No. was for many years the head-quarters of the Entomological Society. This society was organised in , and the general meeting of its members was held in the following year, with the Rev. W. Kirby, the
as its president. Periodical meetings were at held, at which memoirs were received and read, experiments for the destruction of noxious insects suggested, communications made, and objects exhibited. A collection of insects was also formed, together with a library of books of reference. The valuable collections of Mr. Kirby were
|presented to the society at its commencement. In , they removed to , . [extra_illustrations.4.552.1]|
At the south end of is , which runs westward into , and is connected with by or narrow streets and courts. of these, , Mr. Cunningham tells us, was so called from Cuthbert Featherstone, Gentleman Usher and Crier of the King's Bench, who died in . A stone let into the wall is inscribed with the name of the passage, and the date is . The next, Hand Court, is so called from the
Tavern, which stands at the corner in . The
|former days was not only a favourite public-house sign, but also of the usual signs of the marriagemongers in ; and it now figures as the name of of the London Fire Insurance Offices. was named after Sir John Brownlow, a parishioner of in the reign of Charles II. Eastward of this street is the Duke's Theatre, which occupies a plot of ground abutting on and the western boundary of , formerly used as a yard for mail-carts and post-office omnibuses. It was at opened about , as the Theatre, by Mr. Sefton Parry, and it has since undergone many changes in|
| style and management. Its name was subsequently altered to |
which in turn has been changed to the
, close by the above theatre, was probably so named after the old Earls of Warwick, whose mansion, Warwick House, already mentioned in our account of the neighbourhood of , stood at a short distance eastward of . Passing up this court, we find ourselves at the back gate of , where we stop our journeyings eastward, not wishing to enter upon ground already traversed.
 See Vol. III., p. 539.
 See p. 470, ante.
 See p. 335, ante.
[extra_illustrations.4.549.1] Messrs. Day and. Martin, the well-known blacking manufacturers
[extra_illustrations.4.551.1] Chevalier D'Eon
[extra_illustrations.4.551.2] Hon. and Rev. Baptist Noel
[extra_illustrations.4.552.1] Elgin Gallery
 See Vol. III., p. 207.
 See Vol. II., p. 549.