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
Queen Square, Great Ormond Street, &c.
Queen Square, Great Ormond Street, &c.
The district between and was largely inhabited towards the middle and close of the last century by French refugees, who supported themselves by industrial pursuits of a somewhat higher kind than those of Clerkenwell and Soho. Among these were many Roman Catholics, who frequented the only chapel which up to that time existed in
|Central London, that of the Sardinian Embassy in , which we have already described briefly. The saintly and learned bishop, Dr. Challoner, was living amongst his people, in , , and subsequently in , at the time of the Gordon Riots. His abode being known, his rooms were invaded by the mob; but the good old man was safe in a retreat a few miles from town, and he escaped with the loss of some of his books and papers.|
writes the fastidious author of a
an arrangement which the writer highly approves, on account alike of the inhabitants and of the square as well.
observes the writer of the
At the south-west angle of the square stands the [extra_illustrations.4.554.1] , erected in by private subscriptions, as a chapel of ease to the parish of St. Andrew's, . Northouck tells us that
and it is called St. George the Martyr to distinguish it from the other church of the same name in .
The parish burial-ground is in the rear of the . Speaking of this particular churchyard, Mr. John Timbs, in his
Nancy Dawson, the celebrated hornpipe dancer of Covent Garden and Theatres, lies here. Here also are buried the good judge, Sir John Richardson, and Zachary Macaulay.
Even in the parish of St. George the Martyr, if a judgment may be formed from Dr. Stallard's work on
the accommodation in the dwellings of some of the poor is most disgracefully inadequate. It is to be hoped that our children, or, at all events, our grandchildren, will refuse to believe that in the year of grace a pauper widow, her sister, and young children were existing-we purposely do not write
--in a room feet by , and feet high, a space not more than sufficient for person.
, like the rest of the once fashionable neighbourhood, has had its quota of celebrities among its residents. Here, for instance, lived the worthy Jonathan Richardson, the artist, and friend of Pope, who painted Pope's mother and Lord Bolingbroke. More than of Pope's letters are addressed to him here. He rests in the burialground mentioned above. Sir Godfrey Kneller would often come across from his lodgings in to spend a quiet evening at Richardson's house.
we read that Dr. John Campbell's residence for some years before his death was the large new-built house situated at the north-west corner of the square;
adds the author,
Boswell has this note on these assemblies:
[extra_illustrations.4.554.3] was a celebrated biographical and political . writer, a friend of Dr. Johnson, and the author of
and of other curious works. He was also editor of the
He was, in fact, a voluminous writer, and made a considerable fortune by his pen.
It was in this square that the poet, Charles Churchill, was employed in teaching the in a lady's school whilst holding the curacy of , , and
In , in , died the celebrated antiquary, Dr. William Stukeley, whose
| labours in British archaeology obtained for him the name of |
Returning from his house at Kentish Town, he complained that he felt a stroke of palsy, and died a week afterwards. He was buried at East Ham, in Essex. Dr. Stukeley was for many years rector of the parish of St. George the Martyr.
Here were shops of sundry booksellers and printsellers; for at the
in this square, in , the portrait of Cunneshote, of the Cherokee chiefs then on a visit to this country, was on sale; it was engraved after a painting by Francis Parsons.
, as well as , into which we shall shortly pass, seems to be a favourite centre of charitable institutions. No. is the Alexandra Institution for the Blind. It was established in for the purpose of training and employing the blind, and for providing a home for the aged who are thus afflicted. At the corner of is the Hospital for Hip Diseases in Childhood, which was founded in . No. is the oldest of Ladies' Charity Schools. This institution-for, although called a school, it is in reality of our oldest charitable institutionswas established in , for
large building, originally houses, is the [extra_illustrations.4.555.1] , instituted in the year . The number of persons annually benefited at this hospital amount to about , of whom a large number of the incurable patients have pensions awarded to them ranging from to each. In - a new wing was added to the hospital, founded in memory of the late Johanna Chandler, for the reception of gentlewomen of limited means, governesses, the wives and children of business men, clerks, and other persons of the middle class of society, sufferers from paralysis and other diseases of the nervous system, who are unable to pay the ordinary expenses of medical treatment in their own homes, but are able and willing to pay a portion of their maintenance while in the hospital. In this
hospital life is divested as far as possible of its wearisome monotony by the provision of cheerfully furnished day-rooms, regulated occupation, and such home comforts as the exigencies of the mode of life permits.
At No. is the
with which is incorporated the
both being offshoots of the
of which we shall speak presently. It was established in , with the object
The classes, which are held every evening (except Saturday), comprise teaching in the following subjects:-- Arithmetic, book-keeping, English grammar and language, history, literature, geography, physiology, Latin, French, German, drawing, singing, &c., and the fees range from to per class per term. These colleges for the joint education of men and women, though new in England, have long been carried on with much success in America, and it is found by experience that the combination of the sexes in the work of self-culture and improvement works satisfactorily.
No. forms the head-quarters of several Roman Catholic charitable institutions, among which are the Aged Poor Society, and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, for visiting and relieving distress among the labouring classes. This society is widely spread over all the large cities of the Continent, both in Catholic and in Protestant countries.
A large double house on the south side of the square is the College of Preceptors, founded in , and enjoying a royal charter. Its object is to afford to commercial and other public and private schools those tests of results which were afforded to other schools by the university local examinations. In and the number of pupils examined by the college were respectively and , showing an increase of nearly a , and at the same time affording conclusive evidence of the practical use of the examinations, many of the persons who submit to these tests of fitness being teachers themselves. In the adjoining house is another educational institutionthe Government District School of Art for Ladies, under the patronage of Her Majesty. At the commencement of the present reign the square was inhabited almost entirely by private families of the upper classes; but gradually these mansions have been turned into hospitals and other institutions, for which the quiet of the place fits it admirably. Among the other charities which find a home here are the Hospital for Children suffering under the Diseases of the Hip, the National Hospital for Paralysed and Epileptic Persons, and a Hospital under the charge of the Anglican Sisterhood of East Grinstead. It may be mentioned here that
|Sir John Karslake, the late Attorney-General, was born and brought up in this square, of which his father was an old and respected inhabitant.|
, which we now enter, and which runs from eastward into , dates its erection from the commencement of the last century. Hatton, in , speaks of it as
and it is described by the author of a
in the reign of George II., as a
he adds that
Many of the large redbrick- built houses have in their time been the residences of some of the great men of the age. Dr. Hickes, the author of the
at time lived here; as also did Robert Nelson, the author of
Dr. Stukeley, the antiquary, whom we have already mentioned, lived at time
() is dated from thence. In Dr. Hawkesworth was living in this street. The celebrated writer, politician, poet, and convert from infidelity, Soame Jenyns, many years M.P. for Cambridge, was a native of this street.
In this street, as Cradock tells us, in his
lived Mr. Bankes, the great conveyancer, of , and friend of Lord Mansfield. He was Chancellor of York, and a Commissioner of Customs, and had a country house at Mortlake, where he kept a pack of hounds. He
He laid the foundations of the fortune of the Bankeses of Dorsetshire, which was cemented by an alliance, in the next generation, with Lord Eldon.
Powis House stood near the north-west end of the street, on the site now occupied by . Mr. Peter Cunningham tells us that it was built in the latter part of the reign of William III., by William Herbert, Marquis of Powis, son of the marquis, who was outlawed for his adherence to James II. It was mysteriously burnt down in , while the Duc d'Aumont, its then tenant, was entertaining the ambassador of Venice and the envoys of Sweden and Tuscany at dinner, about o'clock in the afternoon. The alarm of fire was raised in of the upper rooms, and in less than hours the whole place was burnt to the ground, the plate and a few of the most valuable pictures alone being saved.
The house was insured; but the French king's dignity would not permit him, it is said, to suffer a fire-office to pay for the neglect of the domestics of his representatives, and it was accordingly afterwards rebuilt magnificently, at his majesty's cost. Northouck describes it, in , as having long been tenanted by Lord Chancellor Hardwicke, and then occupied by the Spanish ambassador. He adds:
The same is the opinion of the author of the
already quoted. The following additional details of Powis House we glean from Mr. P. Cunningham's
There is a large engraving of the mansion by Thomas Bowles, dated , the year after the destruction of the building by fire.
A large house on the north side, No. , now the Working Men's College, was during the last century the residence of Lord Chancellor Thurlow. The house is chiefly noticeable for its deep baywindows, and its old-fashioned iron railings on each side of the steps leading to the doorway. Within, most of the rooms are large and lofty, and the principal staircase is broad and spacious.
| Under an arched recess upon the staircase there stood formerly a bust of Lord Thurlow. It was from this house, on the night of the , the day before the dissolution of Parliament, that the Great Seal of England, of the emblems of the supreme authority of the occupant of the woolsack, was stolen. The story of the theft is thus told by Mr. Cunningham :-- |
In another version of the tale it was stated that the thieves effected their escape without having been heard by any of the family; and though a reward was offered for their discovery they could never be traced, nor was the Great Seal ever recovered. A Cabinet Council was immediately called, and a new seal was ordered to be made, and such expedition was used, that by noon the next day the new Great Seal was finished in a rough fashion, and was used as a makeshift until another was prepared, which it took the artist a whole year to complete. An accident similar to the above befell Lord Nottingham, Lord Chancellor in the year , when the official mace was stolen. The story of its recovery, quite a romance of its kind, is told by Hone, in his
Many good stories are told about the haughty and eccentric Lord Thurlow, a few of which we offer to our readers.
When, by the death of his publisher, Mr. Payne, of , George Crabbe found himself poor and unknown in London, reduced to the necessity of asking assistance, he applied, among other great men, to Lord Thurlow, to whom he wrote more than once.
writes the poet's son,
adds the filial biographer,
It is satisfactory to learn from the same source that a year later-not, however, till he had found a friend in Edmund Burke-- Crabbe received from Lord Thurlow an invitation to breakfast at his house in , when the latter apologised to the poet for his neglect, and placed in his hands on leaving a sealed letter containing a bank-note for , with a promise of further aid of another kind as soon as he should enter holy orders.
Lord Thurlow's personal appearance was often the subject of amusing and laughable remarks. It is asserted that he was singularly ugly; so ugly that when his portrait was shown to Lavater, the physiognomist, he observed-
The Duke of Norfolk had, at Arundel Castle, a fine breed of owls, of whom, from its excessive ugliness, he named Lord Thurlow; and it is said that great fun was caused by a messenger coming to the duke in a lobby of the House of Peers with the news that
For the following anecdote, relative to Lord Chancellor Thurlow, whilst living in , we are indebted to Mr. Cradock's amusing
Lord Thurlow, it is well known, was rough and plain-spoken to a degree, not to say occasionally wanting in common courtesy; and yet sometimes, when the fit took him, he could unbend, much like Dr. Johnson, who, by the way, was himself an occasional guest here with his lordship. Mr. Cradock, in his
for instance, records a slight incident which shows him in an amiable light. Though there never was a Lady Thurlow, yet he had daughters, of whom he was fond and proud. evening, as they were coming away from the Assembly Rooms at Hampstead, there was a slight riot in Well Walk among the servants in waiting. The young ladies being alarmed, a young officer stepped forward and offered his assistance and protection, which they were glad to accept. He handed them to their
|carriage, and saw them safely to their lodgings in what was then the fashionable street of . The circumstance being related to Lord Thurlow, the Lord Chancellor took an early opportunity of calling on the young man, to thank him in person, and finding him at breakfast, sat down and joined him at his morning meal, where he made himself particularly agreeable. It was not till after his lordship was gone that the young man found out that he had been entertaining a lord chancellor unawares.|
Notwithstanding his eccentricity, Lord Thurlow will ever be looked upon as a great lawyer and magistrate. When he last offered in the to deliver a judgment in a divorce case, the whole house rose in honour to his years and learning. Dr. Johnson said he was a splendid fellow; and Sheridan declared that
The Working Men's College, of which we now proceed to speak, had its origin in a very humble manner. In , a barrister of , Mr. John Malcolm Ludlow, proposed to the then newly-appointed chaplain of , the Rev. F. D. Maurice, that some district near should be taken in hand by the lawyers whom Mr. Ludlow could get together, for the purpose of holding educational classes, Bible readings, &c., among the working classes. This was in a building in Little , not far from the present college. In course of time this party of gentlemen, with some others, formed
and built the Hall of Association, under the workshops of the Tailors' Association, in . Here were begun classes and lectures, to both of which women were admitted. In Mr. Maurice drew up a lengthy plan for the formation of a College for Working Men, in which it was agreed
It was also agreed that the teachers, and, by degrees, the pupils, should form an organic body, so that the name of
should be at least as applicable to the institution as to University College or . And it was also determined that the college should, in some sense or other, immediately or ultimately be self-governed and self-supported. Mr. Maurice's plan having been duly discussed, a circular was distributed, setting forth the nature and objects of the college. In the meantime a house --No. , Square-had been taken; and the infant establishment consisted of a principal, a council of teachers, and students. The
opened on , the candidates for admission as members numbering upwards of , Mr. Maurice filling the presidential chair. Many other names of men of note have since been added to the lists. In the college became
to the . In the following year --the lease of the house in having expired--the College took up its quarters in . In course of time, owing to the increase in the number of students, and for other reasons, the adjoining house, No. , was purchased, and added to the College property; and in , partly out of funds contributed by friends, and partly by money advanced on loan, some large additional buildings were erected at the end of the grounds in the rear of the house, to serve as class-rooms, lecture-hall, museum, &c. There is also an excellent library, and a room set apart for general sociable conversation among the members. In the college was incorporated, under the name of the
under the provisions of an Act of Parliament, and thus permanently settled its status; and the debt which arose from taking the present house, and also by the erection of the additional buildings, was nearly extinguished by the
having been placed at the disposal of the council as a Domus-fund. Professor Maurice, the founder, continued to be the Principal of the College till his death, in , when he was succeeded by Mr. Thomas Hughes, M.P.
or doors westward is the Hospital of St. John and St. Elizabeth. This is a Roman Catholic charity for the relief of the sick poor of the metropolis. The church connected with the institution is a large and handsome building, and was erected by Sir George Bowyer, as a knight of the Order of St. John. The hospital was founded in , and was for some time under the direction of the late Cardinal Wiseman. Considerable alteration was subsequently made in the building, and it was re-opened in .
Another very useful charitable institution in this street is the Provident Surgical Appliance Society, which provides the working classes and persons of small means with trusses, elastic stockings, &c.
The house at the corner of (No. ), now incorporated into the Hospital for Sick Children, was the last home of Dr. Richard Mead, the celebrated physician and
of King George II., who died there in . Born at Stepney in the year , Dr. Mead lived to become the friend of Drs. Radcliffe, Garth, and Arbuthnot, and he had sufficiently established his reputation as a physician as to be called in consultation to the sick room of Queen Anne, days before her death. On the accession of George II. Dr. Mead was appointed Physician in Ordinary. He had in the meantime held several important positions, including the post of Physician to . The doctor's last, and perhaps the most useful, of all his works is his
Dr. Mead, no less celebrated as a patron of artistic and literary genius than in his own walk of life, was of the collectors of a private gallery, which he threw open freely to art-students and to private amateurs. His house, indeed, may be said to have been the academy of painting in London. At the bottom of the garden at the back of his house the doctor had constructed a museum, in which was brought together a large collection of pictures and antiquities, besides which he had an extensive and valuable library. His doors were always open to
|the poor and indigent for advice; men of intellect were sure of finding from Dr. Mead all help and aid. He kept continually in his pay a number of scholars and artists of all kinds, who were continually at work for him, or, rather, for the public. No foreigner of taste and learning came to London without being introduced to him, and being asked to dine at his table. His library was open to every who wished to consult it, and he allowed his books to be borrowed by the studious. Dr. Mead's library, medals, and pictures were sold by auction and dispersed after his death, in .|
The Hospital for Sick Children was established in the year in the above-mentioned oldfashioned mansion, with its spacious garden behind. The retrospect, in looking back over the time during which the hospital has existed, shows a marvellous progress. At its opening only child--a little girl-came to be admitted as a patient, and at the end of a month only inpatients and out-patients had applied. For some years there was a struggle, not only for funds, but for existence, on the part of the new institution. Happily, some influential people took up the children's cause. The Bishop of London, Lord Carlisle, and Lord Shaftesbury said many a good word for it. Charles Dickens, as brilliant as he was large-hearted, advocated it by tongue and pen. Who, having read
will have forgotten
Notwithstanding all that was said and written in its favour, little money at seemed to be forthcoming, but much sympathy and kind encouragement also, the best impetus that can be given to a really good cause, aware of its own value --publicity. In course of time the annual report appeared, announcing as patroness of the Children's Hospital the most exalted mother in the realm--the Queen, and then definitely stating the objects. These were-
It had above beds, and in the years of its existence had given out-door and in-door relief to above children, when want of funds threatened to arrest its merciful work. A public dinner was arranged at the Freemasons' Hall; Charles Dickens undertook to preside. From his speech on the occasion we get a picture of the hospital, drawn in his own masterly manner. After some preliminary remarks, he proceeded:
That night added to the resources of the hospital, and Dickens afterwards read publicly for the same charitable purpose his
Year by year the number of out-patients increase enormously, whilst the inpatients are still limited by the want of sufficient funds. Nevertheless, as the list of subscribers swells, and or legacies fall in, the number of tiny beds is added to by twos and threes. In an article in Dickens' (), we read:--
Since the above period the work of the hospital has become increasingly well known, and its borders have expanded along with its sphere of usefulness. came the purchase of the house and garden adjoining that in which the hospital had been established; then came the addition of a room for convalescents; then the admission of women to be trained as nurses, and the institution of lectures on the diseases of children. The children who were recovering were sent to Brighton or to Mitcham for the fresh air they needed; and Cromwell House, at Highgate, has been occupied as a convalescent home for the children leaving the hospital.
In , a further extension of the hospital was completed by the erection of a magnificent block of buildings in the rear of the old house, from the designs of Mr. E. M. Barry, R.A. It is an imposing brick-built structure, decorated with terracotta, and flanked by octagonal towers, which are made to play an important part in the fulfilment of the sanitary requirements of the place. Immediately facing the entrance--which is in --is a beautifully decorated chapel, with walls of polished alabaster, and a roof supported by columns of alabaster and marble. This chapel was the gift of an anonymous donor, and it has been set apart, without actual consecration, for the religious services of the house, the services being conducted by the ladies who undertake the administration of the hospital, and the congregation consisting of the nurses and such of the little patients as are able to attend. On either side of the entrance, on the ground floor and on the floor, is a spacious ward, each being named, by special permission, after some member of the royal family. On the upper floor there are a number of smaller wards, to afford quiet to single patients after operations, or to admit of the separation of infectious disease (if it should accidentally break out) from the main body of the hospital. This new building affords space for beds, and upon its construction the best architectural and sanitary knowledge has been brought to bear. It may be well to record here that the nurses are under the supervision of trained ladies, who are called
who reside in the hospital and are provided with board, but whose services are otherwise gratuitous. There is a
to each ward, and to the out-patient department, and under the sisters there are paid nurses, in the proportion of at least to every patients. These nurses, however skilful in their calling, are engaged upon probation, and are not retained unless they are found to possess tact and aptitude in the management of children--a circumstance, it has been remarked, which renders it curious and interesting to observe that they are all little women.
There is in another charitable institution to which we may briefly allude, namely, the Home for Friendless Girls. This was founded in for the purpose of assisting poor and destitute girls of good character, and of providing them with situations.
On the west side of is a large and handsome stone building, called the Homoeopathic Hospital. In what is now the east wing of the edifice (then No. ) the family of the Macaulays were living in the early part of the present century. It was then occupied by Zachary Macaulay, and in it his celebrated son, the future essayist, orator, and historian, Lord Macaulay, spent some portion of his early manhood.
Mr. G. O. Trevelyan, in his
draws a most pleasant picture of the interior of this house, when the younger brothers and sisters of the future essayist were still in the school-room, the fun and mirth of the week days, however, being softened down by the regular visit on Sundays to Chapel, , to sit under the ministry of Daniel Wilson.
writes Mr. Trevelyan, who tells us how his mother, Lord Macaulay's sister, drove thither when dying to look once more on its well-known walls. Here the family lived very quietly, Mr. Z. Macaulay having met with reverses in business; and here he was living when the
contributed by his son, the future Lord Macaulay, to the , made him at once the
writes Mr. Trevelyan,
At No. , on the south side of the street, are the offices of the United Kingdom Benefit Society, of the oldest and best conducted societies of the kind in the metropolis. It was instituted in , and was originally located in , , but removed to about . The society, which was formed for the purpose of affording relief to its members in case of sickness, and of an allowance to the family
|in case of death, is enrolled agreeably to Act of Parliament, and has upon its books a very large number of members.|
Addison, in the (No. ), lets us into the character of this street in his time. He writes in a tone half serious and half jesting:--
In is an institution called the Workhouse Visiting Society. It was established to promote the moral and spiritual improvement of workhouse inmates (of whom there are upwards of in England and Wales), and to provide a centre of communication and information for all persons interested in that object. The society is in connection with the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science. It was founded in , and has already enlisted a large number of persons in its interests, who labour among the various classes which are to be met with in our workhouses. The objects of this society are being carried out in all parts of England, and the work has been extended to Ireland. Besides the work of visiting carried on by the members, a scheme has also been started by them for the formation of workhouse libraries. The society has also a Home for Young Women in Ormond Street, which was opened in . The occupation of those in the home consists of housework, cooking, and laundrywork, for a month in turn, with needlework, and hours of instruction in the evening: they also assist the nurse in attendance on the aged patients in the infirm ward. girls also, for a month at a time, are attached to the infant nursery of the Children's Hospital in . There is a considerable degree of liberty allowed to the girls in the Home, as it is desired to treat them and trust them as they will have to be trusted in situations.
, into which we now pass, runs parallel with Great and New Ormond Streets, and extends from to .
In the half of the present century, however, the street had become the residence of a large number of the most successful barristers, and even of several members of the judicial bench. In it lived, long after he had attained the dignity of Lord Chief Baron of , the late Right Hon. Sir Frederick Pollock. Here, too, lived Sir Edward Sugden (afterwards Lord , and Lord High Chancellor of England) whilst in the full tide of his professional success. At No. , doors off, resided Mr. Serjeant Wilde, another Chancellor in embryo, the future Lord Truro.
A great part of the north side of Guilford Street--in fact, the whole space between Brunswick and Mecklenburgh Squares--is occupied by the grounds surrounding the , of which institution we shall speak in a future volume. We may, however, mention here that a small inn, named the
in the then open fields to the rear of the hospital, was the rendezvous of Lord George Gordon and the other ringleaders of the mob of
zealots who, in the year , set half London on fire, and caused a panic of a week's duration.
Both Brunswick and Mecklenburgh Squares are of comparatively modern growth, and are highly respectable, but not in any way fashionable. Macaulay more than once contrasts with Holland House and West-end society
In , as of them tells us, the great historian would pace up and down with his sisters Margaret and Hannah for a couple of hours at a time, talking incessantly on politics and literature, or
John Leech, the well-known artist, and contributor to , was at time living in this square; and has numbered among its residents such men as Lord Kingsdown. The house-fronts of have been described as
as is the case with the majority of the squares in this neighbourhood; it is blocked up on the east side by the grounds of the , which form, on the other hand, the west boundary of . The east side of the latter is architecturally embellished, and the enclosure contains some very fine trees.
 See Vol. III., p. 47.
[extra_illustrations.4.554.1] church of St. George the Martyr
[extra_illustrations.4.554.3] Dr. Campbell
[extra_illustrations.4.555.1] National Hospital for the Paralysed and Epileptic
 European Magazine for June, 1804, p. 429.