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
Russell and Bedford Squares, &c.
Russell and Bedford Squares, &c.
On the demolition of Bedford House, the adjoining lands were laid out for building purposes, and Russell and Bedford Squares were erected about the year , and were named after the Russells, Earls and Dukes of Bedford. For some time previously--as we have already shown in our account of , , and other places in the locality-many of the houses in the immediate neighbourhood were very extensively inhabited by judges and successful lawyers; and on the building of the above squares the houses were so largely taken up by members of the legal profession, on account of their nearness to , that in course of time the epithet of
came to be applied to this particular part of Bloomsbury, in much the same manner as in late years and its neighbourhood came to be called
, which we enter at the western end of , occupies part of what in was called Southampton Fields, but what in later times became known as Long Fields. At the beginning of the present century, Long Fields lay waste and useless. There were nursery grounds northward; towards the north-west were the grounds of the Toxophilite Society; Bedford House, with its lawn and magnificent gardens planted with limetrees, occupied the south side; whilst Baltimore House, long the residence of Lord Chancellor Loughborough, stood on the east side, at the corner
|of . This square is of the largest in the metropolis; in fact, it is the next largest to . The houses are of brick, with the lower part in some cases cemented. Something of an architectural character is given to a block on the west side, between and , but the majority of the houses are better inside than out. On the south side of the central enclosure, looking down , and facing the monument to Fox in , is [extra_illustrations.4.565.1] which recalls to mind of those illustrious statesmen of ancient Rome, whose time was divided between the labours of the Senate and those of their Sabine farms. The statue represents that eminent and patriotic agriculturist, Francis, the Duke of Bedford, with hand|
|resting on a plough, while in the other he holds some ears of corn. There are emblematical figures at the corners of the pedestal, which is adorned in bas-relief with various rural attributes. The statue--a very fine specimen of Sir Richard Westmacott's best style--was erected in .|
A writer in the thus speaks of this locality:
| The handsome mansion on the south-east side of the square, at the corner of , was built, in , for the eccentric and profligate Lord Baltimore; and, as we have already stated, it was at called Baltimore House. Hither his lordship decoyed a young milliner, Sarah Woodcock, and was prosecuted for having caused her ruin, but acquitted. He died in at Naples, whence his remains were brought to London, and lay in state, as we have mentioned, at Exeter Change. The house was subsequently occupied by the equally eccentric Duke of Bolton, whose name was then given to it. Northouck remarks, wittily and truly, that |
The Duke of Bolton, who was, of course, known as Lord Henry Powlett during his elder brother's life, served in early life in the navy, in which, however, if we may believe Sir N. W. Wraxall,
He was supposed generally to be the Captain Whiffle so humorously described by Smollett in his
His mother was Miss Lavinia Fenton, an actress in her day (well known for her impersonation of
Bolton House was afterwards occupied by Lord Loughborough when Lord Chancellor, as also by Sir John Nicholl and Sir Vicary Gibbs.
On the , George III., with the Queen and several members of the Royal Family, assembled at Bolton House, when occupied by Lord Loughborough, and after partaking of a cold collation, proceeded to view the . Lord Loughborough, though an Erskine by birth, was a
according to Lord Holland. He died soon after his elevation to the Earldom of Rosslyn, and George III. pronounced his funeral oration by declaring that
When the square was laid out for building, Bolton House was the only mansion standing, and this was incorporated into the rest of the square, though somewhat incongruously; and though it is now divided into large residences, it still retains its name of Bolton House.
Passing to the other mansions in the square, we may state that Sir Samuel Romilly lived and died (by his own hand) at No. ; Chief-Justice Abbot (Lord Tenterden) at No. ; Mr. Justice Holroyd at No. ; Mr. T. (afterwards Lord) Denman at No. ; and at No. , Mr. W. Tooke, F.R.S., the writer on currency and political economy, M.P. for Truro in -.
At No. lived for some time the lawyer, poet, philanthropist, and man of letters, [extra_illustrations.4.566.1] , a judge of the Court of Common Pleas, who died suddenly, in , in the court-house at. Stafford, while addressing the grand jury.
A person no less distinguished, though in quite another way, Sir Thomas Lawrence, the courtly painter, and President of the Royal Academy, resided at No. for a quarter of a century. He died there in , after a very short illness. Concerning the residence of Sir Thomas Lawrence, there is a note in the for , by the Rev. John Mitford, which says :
, connecting with , was built between and on the site of Bedford House. Here, at the house of Mr. Henry Fry, died, in , Richard Cumberland, the author of . In , on the opposite side of , in , and for some years later, lived Mr. Richard Bethell, afterwards Lord Chancellor and Lord Westbury.
At No. , , between Russell and Bedford Squares, in , lived the late Sir John T. Coleridge, father of Lord Coleridge; he had previously resided in , and afterwards in , . To the north-west of are Woburn and Torrington Squares, in the latter of which was the residence of Sir Harris Nicolas, editor of Nelson's Despatches and Letters, and a distinguished antiquary and genealogist. He died at Boulogne in .
Running parallel with , and with , forming a communication with , is . This is chiefly noticeable as containing a chapel for Anabaptists.
, on the west side of the , stands on a part of the Bedford estate, and covers some considerable portion of the old
of ; it is about acres in extent, or exactly half the size of . In the reign of George IV. and William IV. it was extensively occupied by lawyers who had climbed to the top of their profession, and also by very many of the judges, among whom were Chief Justice Sir Nicholas Tindall, Sir John Richardson,
|Mr. Justice Burrough, Mr. Justice Bayley, Mr. Justice Littledale, Baron Graham, Baron J. A. Park, and Mr. Justice Patteson. No. was for many years occupied by Sir Robert Harry Inglis, the venerable M.P. for Oxford University.|
At No. lived Lord Chancellor Eldon from down to ; and here occurred the memorable interview between his lordship and the Prince Regent, afterwards George IV., which has been so often told, though it will bear telling here again in the words of Mr. Peter Cunningham:--
In , during the riots at the Westend on account of the rejection of the Corn-Law Alteration Bill, some portion of the mob proceeded to , and broke the windows of the house of the unpopular Tory Lord Chancellor.
In , , was living in Olivia Serres, Wilmott, when she came forward before the world to claim royal rank and precedence as
declaring that she was the legitimate daughter of Henry Frederick, Duke of Cumberland, youngest brother of George III., who had created her, by a somewhat informal document in his' own handwriting, Duchess of Lancaster. Her claim to this title was discussed more than once in the , and was revived after her death by her children; but it was finally negatived by a decree of the Court for Divorce and Matrimonial Causes, in . The
died in , and was buried in the churchyard of St. James's, .
, which runs from the north-east corner of into the , is a broad thoroughfare, nearly a of a mile in length, but dull and monotonous in appearance. Mr. James Grant, in his
is not far from the mark when he describes this as
observes a writer in in ,
In the Toxophilite Society began to hold its meetings in grounds on the eastern side of , under lease from the Duke of Bedford; and they continued here till , when they were driven away westwards, the land being
We shall meet with them again when we come to the .
in its time has numbered among its residents a few remarkable men. At No. , Jack Bannister, the actor, lived and died.
as we learn from a memoir in the
A house at the corner of and was for some years the town residence of the eccentric philosopher, the Hon. Henry Cavendish, who was well known for his chemical researches. Few visitors were admitted there, but some found their way across the threshold, and have reported that books and apparatus formed its chief furniture. For the former, however, Cavendish set apart a separate mansion in , Soho. Here he had collected a large and carefully-chosen library of works on science, which he threw open to all engaged in research; and to this house he went for his own books, as would go to a circulating library, signing a formal receipt for such of the volumes as he took with him. Cavendish, it is asserted, lived comfortably, but made no display; and his few guests were treated on all occasions to the same fare, and it was not very sumptuous. A Fellow of the Royal Society reports that
Another Fellow says that Cavendish
Dr. Thomas Thomson writes of Cavendish:--
Sir Humphry Davy, in addition to the eloquent eulogium passed on Mr. Cavendish soon after his death, left this less studied but more graphic sketch of the philosopher amongst his papers:--
He died in .
On the east side of is [extra_illustrations.4.568.1] , which was founded in the year , for the purpose of affording
divinity being: excluded. The credit of the idea of a university for London, in which the ancient languages should be taught, free from those artificial restrictions. which bound Oxford and Cambridge so tightly,. has generally been given to Lord Brougham and the other Whig politicians of his time. Cyrus. Redding, however, in his
claims the praise for Tom Campbell, the poet, who certainly took an active part in its foundation, and even journeyed-indolent as he was by natureto Berlin in order to observe with his own eyes the professional system of Prussia, and to mature a plan for the government of the university. Testimony to the same effect was eventually borne by Lord Brougham himself.
The foundation-stone of the college was laid on Monday, the , by H.R.H. the [extra_illustrations.4.569.1] , who had long been associated with the leaders of the Whig party. The architect:
| was Mr. William Wilkins, R.A., the designer of the . The Duke of Sussex, on laying the stone, said, |
He also expressed a hope that the undertaking would excite the old universities to fresh exertions, and force them to reform abuses. An
or prayer, was then offered up by the Rev. Dr. Maltby, afterwards Bishop of Durham. The ceremony was followed by a dinner at Freemasons' Hall, nearly all the chief Whigs of the day being among the guests.
The building was opened on the in the following year, under the title of the University of London. Its constitution then was that of a joint-stock company, and the original --deed of settlement provided for a dividend not exceeding per cent. on the share capital-a --dividend which, as a matter of fact, was never paid, inasmuch as from the the expenditure of the ,college absorbed all that portion of the receipts in which it was supposed the dividend would be found. Thomas Campbell, then in the height of his celebrity, was appointed Lecturer on Poetry on the opening of the institution. As the title of
was nothing more than a title, conveying with it none of the privileges we are accustomed to associate with the name, not even the power of granting degrees, the in prayed for a charter of incorporation conferring such privileges and power. In answer, the Government of the day founded what is now known as the University of London, and proposed to the old institution to take the name of University College. To this proposal the proprietors, on the recommendation of the council, agreed, only stipulating that their college--as they had hoped would be done for their universityshould be incorporated by royal charter. The idea seems to have been that by this means would be extinguished all the pecuniary rights of the proprietors. As this, however, was not effected, the charter, indeed, not referring to the subject at all, and as it was thought that from these rights there might at some future time arise inconvenience to the college, a private Act of Parliament was applied for with a view to settle the matter once and for all. This was obtained in , and had not only the result desired, but also the effect of considerably enlarging the powers of the institution in several directions-among others, in the education of women, and instruction in the Fine Arts.
The governing body of the college consists of a council, elected by its members, who in their turn comprise the Governors, the Fellows, and the Life Governors, the of whom, as representing the registered proprietors of the original shares, although, as we have said, all their pecuniary rights have been abolished, retain the privilege of nominating their successors. The Council itself consists of a President, Vice-President, and Treasurer, and not more than or less than other members, of whom, eligible to re-election, retire every year. The powers of this body are very wide-comprising, indeed, the sole and entire management of the college, both in the financial and educational departments, and also the government of the hospital to the same degree. There is, however, a subordinate body known as the Senate, and consisting of the professorial staff, which, having no voice in the government of the College, and no existence, indeed, under the Act of Parliament, is yet empowered to advise with the council on various subjects of management, especially of the libraries and museum, and has, moreover, a good deal to say to any contemplated addition or alteration in its own numbers. In connection with the larger establishment is a school, which stands to it in the light of a feeder, a considerable number of well-instructed pupils yearly passing up into the ranks of its students. The head master stands in all respects on the same footing as the professors of the college, and, like them, is subject to the regulations and control of the council. There are faculties in the college--of arts and laws, of science, and of medicine-besides a department of civil and mechanical engineering. In the faculties are numbered professorships, and of the scientific chairs therein included, but is endowed, the chair of physiology, although the professor of geology receives a yearly sum of from the Goldsmid Fund.
The college comprises a central facade and wings, and has a total length of about feet. In the centre, which looks to the west, is an immense Corinthian portico, formed by columns supporting the pediment, and elevated on a lofty plinth, approached by numerous steps effectively arranged. Behind the pediment is a cupola, with a lantern light, and in the great hall beneath it are placed on view the original models of the principal works of John Flaxman, which were presented to the institution some years after the death of the sculptor by his sister-in-law, Miss Denman, to whom, with the late Miss Flaxman, belonged the remaining works of the great
| English sculptor--in the shape of drawings, models in plaster and wax, and other interesting relicswhich were disposed of by public auction in , and realised a sum of more than . In the vestibule of the college is Flaxman's restoration of the Farnese Hercules; beneath the dome is his grand life-size group of |
and around the walls are his various monumental and other bas-reliefs. In an adjoining room was placed Flaxman's
and other works.
In the ground-floor are lecture-rooms, cloisters for the exercise of the pupils, semi-circular theatres, the chemical laboratory, and museum of . In the upper floor, besides the great hall above mentioned, are museums of natural history and anatomy, theatres, libraries, and other rooms set apart for the purposes of the college. The principal library is richly decorated in the Italian style; it is large and valuable, containing upwards of volumes and pamphlets, to which has lately been added a fine collection of works on mathematics, physics, and astronomy, the gift of the late Mr. J. T. Graves. The laboratory, completed from the plan of Professor Donaldson in , is stated to combine all the recent improvements of our own schools with that of Professor Liebig, at Giessen.
At University College the Graphic Club, composed of artists, painters, and engravers, used to hold their monthly meetings for the purpose of interchange of thought on matters connected with the fine arts. The club was originally established by the late Mr. John Burnet and his friends; and it numbered among its members J. M. W. Turner, Prout, Landseer, Clarkson Stanfield, and other departed worthies.
On the opposite side of , facing the college gates, is the North London, or University College Hospital. It was founded soon after the college itself, under the presidency of Lord Brougham, for the relief of poor sick and maimed persons, and the delivery of poor married women; and also for furthering the objects of the college, by affording improved means of practical instruction in medicine and surgery to the medical students of the college under the superintendence of its professors. The building, which was erected from the designs of Mr. Alfred Ainger, affords accommodation for beds, of which, in separate wards, are devoted exclusively to the use of children under years of age. The total number of persons relieved yearly is about , at the cost of ; whilst the income from subscriptions and other sources amounts to not quite half that sum, thus leaving a yearly deficit of nearly to be provided for.
In , and nearly opposite the hospital, is the Dissenters' Library, which was originally founded in Cripplegate, in the year , by Dr. Daniel Williams, a Presbyterian minister, for the use of the Presbyterian, Independent, and Baptist persuasions, with a salary for a librarian and housekeeper. In pursuance of his will, a building was erected in Redcross Street, with space for volumes (though the original collection did not comprise more than volumes), and an apartment for the curator. In the library was also a register in which Dissenters might record the births of their children. When the premises in Redcross Street were required for the extension of the Metropolitan Railway, in , the library was temporarily transferred to a hired house in , Bloomsbury, where it remained for years, until a home was found for it here. The site of the new library cost , and the new building in which it is lodged more. It is a plain and substantial Gothic building. The basement includes, besides offices, strong rooms for the custody of manuscripts. On the ground floor are the entrance-hall, committeerooms, waiting-rooms, &c. The library occupies the whole floor, which is lofty and well lighted. The upper portion of the building is occupied by the librarian. The architect was Mr. T. Chatfield Clarke, and the structure is as nearly fireproof as possible.
The library, a very rich collection of theological works, and especially of Nonconformist literature, was actually opened in , and the new library was completed and opened in . It now comprises about volumes, among which are various editions of the Bible, also the folio edition of Shakespeare; but. there are no Caxtons or Wynkyn de Wordes. The library is open to respectable persons of every class daily throughout the year, excepting during the month of August and in Christmas week; on Good Friday and Whit Monday it is also closed. Books are allowed to be taken out under proper restrictions. Upon the walls of the library are portraits of Richard Baxter, by Riley; of Matthew Henry, of Wm. Tyndale, of Joseph Priestley, by Fuseli; of John Milton, and of Isaac Watts. The trustees, in number, must all be Presbyterians; and it may be added that each trustee makes a present of books to the library.
Of Dr. Williams's ministerial career we have already spoken in our account of Redcross Street;
| but it may be added that he was of the friends and fellow-workers of Baxter, and an advocate of what was known as |
He lived very frugally, but having married rich wives, was able to lay by money towards his favourite scheme. He bequeathed money to the University of Glasgow for the support of students for the ministry, besides other sums in aid of the maintenance of poor ministers and their widows. He took care that his library should be open to persons of all denominations. Dr. Williams was among those who urged the Nonconformist body to refuse the concessions offered to them in conjunction with the Roman Catholics, and became of the firmest supporters of the House of Brunswick. [extra_illustrations.4.572.1]
A portion of Dr. Williams's estates, bequeathed for years, was appropriated to the following objects :--The formation of a library; exhibitions at Glasgow University, and divinity scholarships; also to the establishment of schools for poor children in various parts of England and Wales; to the payment of poor Dissenting ministers; Christian teachers in Ireland, the West Indies, and New England; and to the distribution of the Doctor's own works among suitable persons.
[extra_illustrations.4.565.1] a statue
[extra_illustrations.4.566.1] Sir Thomas N. Talfourd
[extra_illustrations.4.568.1] University College
[extra_illustrations.4.569.1] Duke of Sussex
 See Vol. II., p. 239.
[extra_illustrations.4.572.1] New Church, Regent Square, Sidmouth Street