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
The Mall and Spring Gardens.
The Mall and Spring Gardens.
On leaving Buckingham Palace, we walk through , on the north side of . This once fashionable lounge and promenade is described by Northouck as
The iron hoop was suspended from a bar of wood at the top of a pole, and the play consisted in striking a ball through this ring from a considerable distance.
we read that in were found in the roof of the house of the late Mr. B. L. Vulliamy, No. , , a box containing pairs of the mailes, or mallets, and ball, such as were formerly used for playing the game of pall-mall upon the site of the above house, or in of .
These relics of a bygone, almost forgotten game were presented to the by Mr. George Vulliamy.
is the name now conventionally
| given to the wide gravel walk running under the windows of , from the as far as . This was not the original |
of the days of Charles II., which seems to have lain to the north, and to have been as nearly as possible identical with
No doubt, when a new and broad thoroughfare like the old , and so close to it, was opened in its place to the public, the name was transformed the more easily and obviously, as the former, like the present, was the northern boundary of the park, and indeed formed part of it.
Under date of , there is an entry in Pepys'
which implies that the
was then newly finished:--
And on the , he tells us how that he
It appears to have been covered with fine gravel, mixed with cockle-shells finely powdered and spread to keep it fast; which,
complains Mr. Samuel Pepys,
In the following January the diarist is here again, and in his record of this visit, says it pleased him
Since the reign of Charles II. had become a powerful rival to the Ring in . In Etheredge's
(), a young lady observes that the Ring has a better reputation than ;
On the other hand, the Ring had this advantage, that it gave the
opportunity for displaying a carriage, horses, and smart livery. Equipages at that time became more and more the fashion, and to be seen afoot in was by many considered the height of vulgarity. There appeared in a satire, entitled |
in the preface of which occurs the following remark :--
The following story of , though told in
will amuse many of our readers to whom it may be news :--
was a fashionable lounge, and is constantly alluded to in the anecdote literature and gossip of the Stuart and Hanoverian times. Thus Swift tells
and, speaking of St. John says,
In the time of the and Georges it was usual for noblemen of the highest rank to wear the insignia of their orders in public places. The writer of the
for instance, tells us, in , how he was walking in with a gentleman whom he had met
when there passed before them
| he adds, |
Congreve, the poet, was of the gallants who were fond of displaying their fine dress in the haunts of fashion. Hence Thackeray's remark, that
Close to , nearly on the site where now stands the German chapel, was built, in the reign of Charles II., a monastery for the use of the Capuchin monks who attended Catherine of Braganza. It is thus described by Pepys in his
under date - :--
In the reign of William III. we find a congregation of the French Huguenot refugees established in the
On the site of what is now the basement or substructure of , which nearly the whole distance eastward bounds the north side of , was once a row of fine old trees, which overhung the road by the park-wall. Half way along is an opening from , formed by command of William IV., as had been the Spring Garden Gate, more than a century earlier, by William III.
[extra_illustrations.4.76.1] which crowns the steps leading up from the park into was erected by public subscription in -, to the memory of the late Duke of York, many years Commander-in- Chief. The cost of it was . It consists of a plain circular shaft of Aberdeen granite about feet high, from the designs of Mr. B. Wyatt. The statue of the duke which surmounts it is the work of the late Sir Richard Westmacott, R.A.
The column and statue, as might be expected, was the subject of many witticisms. Take, for instance, the following lines in the
The allusion in the last line is to the fact that the duke enjoyed by courtesy the lay title of Prince- Bishop of Osnaburg.
At the end of , in the shade of the tall trees, near the entrance, is an
--if we may so call it--of considerable date, and a proof of the former rural character of the spot, which has flourished here perhaps almost since the formation of . It is known as
and is held by a privilege granted from royalty to the gatekeepers. In Tom Brown's time () the noisy milk-fools in the park cried,
If we may judge from a fashionable conceit in Gay's
we may conclude that not only cows' but asses' milk was at time sold here as a restorative for bodily ailments-
It may be added, that the vendors of milk of the present day in are almost, without exception, descendants from those who have had their stalls here for the last century or more.
Spring Gardens--more properly
--as late as the reign of Elizabeth, and possibly down to a still more recent date, was a rural
| garden. This spot bears its name from a fountain or |
of water, which in the days of Queen Bess was set in motion by the spectator treading on some secret machinery, which proved a novel puzzle for the good people of .
Hentzner, in his
(), thus describes the scene :--
Mr. P. Cunningham assures us that such watersprings as this were common in gardens in the days of Queen Bess, and that of the same kind was to be seen at Chatsworth as late as . Be this, however, as it may, Nares, in his
tells us that the Spring Garden described by Plot was in existence at Enstone, in Oxfordshire, in .
This place appears to have been a sort of adjunct to the Royal Palace of , though
and to have been covered occasionally with scaffolds, in order to enable
to see the tilting in the Tilt-yard. It contained a pleasant yard, a pond for bathing, and some butts to practise shooting.
Charles I., by royal patent in , made it a
but the patent was revoked, and the
brought to an untimely end. years later. The reason of the withdrawal of its licence may be gathered from the following extract from a letter addressed by a Mr. Gerrard to Lord Strafford:--
It is clear from this that Lord Digby thought that if he only paid for admission, he had a right to
where and whom he pleased; and if this was the general idea entertained by
it is not difficult to see how
--or, in other words, duels-would arise there every week.
result of the shutting up of the
was the opening of a rival, the
by of the Lord Chamberlain's household, too. It appears, however, that the old place was re-opened ere long; for in , John Evelyn paid it a visit,
as he tells us in his
Under date , however, he writes :
In spite of the sour-visaged Puritans, however, its gates were again thrown open; for the writer of
published years later, thus speaks of it, and in the present tense:--
Soon after the Restoration, a part at least of the ground occupied by these rival places of amusement seems to have been built over, and distinguished as the
Spring Garden respectively; a trace of which probably still remains in the present name of . Prince Rupert occupied a house in from until his death.
We have already in a previous chapter spoken of the
which James I. established in ; some of the animals, however, appear to have been located in ,
says Larwood, in his
The Parliament passed a decree in , in the true spirit of Puritan intolerance, ordering
Isaac D'Israeli, in his
tells us an amusing story illustrative of courtier life in in the early days of Charles I.
Evelyn tells us in , how he went to see the coach race in , and afterwards
in ; and it would seem from other sources that the latter formed an agreeable house of call on the way to and from the park.
Margaret, the learned Duchess of Newcastle, tells us that when young she and her sisters used to ride in their coaches about the streets to see the concourse and recourse of people, and in the spring time to visit the , , and the like places. From this it is probable that her Grace mistook the origin of the name, as does
apparently another writer, R. Brome, who asks his friend, |
Mr. J. H. Jesse tells us that down to the present day every house in Spring has its separate well. He also gives currency to a tradition to the effect that as he walked through the park from to the scaffold at , King Charles stopped, weary and faint, to drink a glass of water at of the springs, at the same time, as we have before remarked, pointing out to Bishop Juxon and Herbert a tree close by as having been planted by the hands of his elder brother, Prince Henry.
Among the inhabitants of this place enumerated by Mr. Peter Cunningham are Sir Philip Warwick (after whom is named), Philip Earl of Chesterfield (), Prince Rupert, the
Lord Crofts, Sir Edward Hungerford, Colley Cibber, and, last but not least, George Canning. An advertisement in the of , gives us Cibber's as
John Milton, too, during the Commonwealth, occupied
| lodgings at the house of a tradesman named Thomson, |
In a room over the shop of Egerton, a bookseller, near this spot, where he resided on coming to London, a raw Scottish lad, James Thomson wrote part of his
We are told that at this time he was
Most luckily, fond as he was of freedom, he did not carry his love of freedom so far as to close against himself the doors of powerful patrons.
writes Leigh Hunt,
where he died and is buried.
As late as the reign of George I., the are laid down in maps as forming an enclosure limited by rows of houses in and , and containing a house with a large flower-garden in front, situated in the midst of an orchard or a grove of trees.
says Mr. Jacob Larwood, in his
At the northern end of , at the corner of the footway leading into of , stood formerly a dull and extremely unattractive mansion, known as Berkeley House, from having been the town residence of the Earls of Berkeley for the best part of a century. Here George Prince of Wales, and many of his boon companions, were frequent visitors. It was purchased by the Government in , and pulled down. On its site were built [extra_illustrations.4.80.1] . This edifice is spacious and lofty, and well adapted to the purposes for which it was erected. It is in the Italian style of architecture, and has at once a bold and striking appearance. The Metropolitan Board of Works was established in . Under the Metropolitan Building Act, passed in the same year, it exercises
|a supervision over all buildings erected within the limits of its jurisdiction. The powers of the Board were extended in , to enable it to effect the purification of the Thames by constructing a new system of main drainage on both sides of the river. The construction of the Thames was also carried on under its supervision. It is empowered by the Act under which it is constituted to raise loans for carrying out public works of this nature, the repayment and interest of which are guaranteed by Government, and secured by a tax of in the pound on property in the metropolis. The Metropolitan Board of Works can enter into a contract with any firm that chooses to tender for the execution of any proposed works to be carried out under its control.|
In Buckingham Court, at the southern end of , died, , the celebrated Mrs. Centlivre, the witty and pretty dramatist, author of , and , and the wife of husbands in succession. She is said to have been a great beauty, an accomplished linguist, and a good-natured, friendly woman. Pope immortalised her in his
it is said, for having written a ballad against his translation of Homer, when she was a child.
as Leigh Hunt suggests,
Mrs. Centlivre is said to have accompanied her lover, Anthony Howard (the father of the author of
), to Cambridge, in boy's clothes. This, however, did not hinder her from marrying a nephew of Sir Stephen Fox, who died a year afterwards, nor from having other husbands in succession. Her husband was an officer of the name of Carroll, who was killed in a duel. Her husband, Mr. Centlivre, who had the formidable title of
being chief cook to Queen Anne, fell desperately in love with her when she was playing the part of Alexander the Great, at Windsor; for she appears to have acted on the stage in the provinces, though she did not appear on London boards. Leigh Hunt says of her plays that
he adds, in ,
Her house must have stood near the spot where now is Messrs. Drummond's bank; close by was a house known as
a house of entertainment much frequented by the gentry and
in the reign of Queen Anne, and partaking very much of the old character of the gardens on which it rose. Dr. King thus commemorates it, in his
with a quaint and not very -rate pun:
The exact site of
is not known, though Leigh Hunt is inclined to identify it with the
Coffee House of a later date.
observes the writer of a MS. in Birch's
quoted in the Notes to the ,
The banking-house of Messrs. Drummond stands at the corner of and . It was founded early in the eighteenth century, and is consequently of the oldest West-end banks. At a day when it was customary for the younger sons of Scottish noblemen to seek their fortunes by commerce, Andrew Drummond, son of Sir John Drummond, the Laird of Machany, younger brother of the Viscount Strathallan, came to London as an agent for some of the chief Jacobite houses. about the year , and founded
| this business on the opposite side of as a banker and a goldsmith. The business was removed to its present site a year or afterwards. Mr. A. Drummond is represented by Malcolm, in his |
as a man of great integrity and ability. He married a Miss Strahan, daughter of a London banker, and bequeathed the business to his sons. Messrs. Drummond have had, and still have, a large Scottish connection. [extra_illustrations.4.81.1]
Mr. Peter Cunningham tells us that the founder of Drummond's bank obtained his great position by advancing money to the Pretender, and by the king's consequent withdrawal of his account. This step on the part of the king led to a rush of the Scottish nobility and gentry with their accounts to , and to the ultimate advancement of the bank to its present position.
There is a tradition in the house that Sir Robert Walpole, in his zeal for the House of Hanover, wished to inspect the books of Messrs. Drummond's bank, in order to keep his eye on the adherents of the Pretender. It is needless to add that his wish was not gratified, and Mr. Drummond, on meeting Sir Robert soon afterwards at Court, turned his back on the Minister, in order to mark his sense of the affront; and the King, so far from being offended with him, showed Mr. Drummond a special mark of his royal favour, either then or at a later date.
On occasion, it is said, Messrs. Drummond refused to advance the sum of to the Princess of Wales, when she was in pecuniary difficulties. Hence that lady writes to a friend:--
It is only fair to add that this statement, coming from an angry lady's pen, may very possibly be mere gossip and scandal after all.
There is a portrait of the founder of the bank, painted by Zoffany; an engraved copy of it hangs in the inner room of the bank. It is perhaps worthy of note that Pope had an account at this bank, since few poets of modern times are so fortunate as to enjoy the luxury of a banker.
In , the old Duke and Duchess of Brunswick, the parents of Princess (afterwards Queen) Caroline, were living in a dingy and old-fashioned house in . Neither the road nor the royal carriages would appear to have been of the best, for we find of the ladies of the princess's suite at Kensington writing thus to a friend.
In lived Sir Astley Cooper, in the height of his fame as a surgeon. Excellent as was his surgical skill, he liked to display it, and was often accused of a sort of anatomical sleight of hand.
writes the author of the
In Sir Astley Cooper settled in , and a few years afterwards he was employed professionally by George IV. He long enjoyed a very large share of public patronage, and his reputation both at home and abroad was such as rarely falls to the lot of a professional man.
was living in , , in his early Parliamentary days, -. In the same street, at the same time, lived Sir James Scarlett (afterwards Lord Abinger), whose daughter Campbell married, and whom he helped to raise to the peerage. Joseph Jekyll, the witty contemporary of Selwyn and friend of the Prince Regent, was also an inhabitant of .
In the reign of William III. we find some of the French Huguenot refugees established in Chapel. The chapel itself was set on fire in the year , when King George I. was in Hanover; and his son, the Prince of Wales (afterwards George II.), happening to take an active part in the work of extinguishing it, the following
| epigram was written off-hand by Nicholas Rowe, with a covert comparison or rather contrast of the Prince of Wales with Nero, who |
Great alarm was caused in the neighbourhood, as the chapel adjoined some depots of gunpowder; but these were saved. The chapel, however, and an inn called the
adjoining, were destroyed.
In , a new chapel was built by the Hon. Edward Southwell. A chapel subsequently erected by of the De Clifford family still stands at the corner of ; it is dedicated to St. Matthew, and is a monument of the low architectural taste of the time; it was styled a chapelof- ease to parish, but it is to be feared that it proved in the event a frequent bone of clerical contention between Lord De Clifford and the Vicar of .
On the eastern side of , about half way down, is the
whose professional character is sufficiently indicated by its name.
We have already spoken of the Tilt-yard, which formerly occupied part of the space now known as . Close by it, in Stow's time,
afterwards became Jenny Man's
upon the site afterwards occupied by the Paymaster-General's office. It was the resort of military officers, until supplanted by
in , which more recently was, in its turn, ruined by the military clubs. The states that the mock military also frequented the Tilt-yard Coffee House-
As Theodore Hook wrote in
no doubt with a retrospect of his own youthful days:
, built in , was named after Sir Philip Warwick. Strype says that in his day it led to the back gate of the king's garden,
At the western end of this street, which formed a , stood Warwick House, adjoining Carlton House Gardens, for some time the residence of the Princess Charlotte, in her girlish years, when heiress to the throne. Here she was brought up by Lady De Clifford, as her governess, and hence in she
in a hackney coach to her mother's house at , from which it required the united pressure of the Lord Chancellor Eldon and the Archbishop of Canterbury (Dr. Manners Sutton) to induce her to return; and even this was not accomplished without much difficulty and remonstrance from her friends, until an early hour next morning, when she was brought back in of the royal carriages.
to use Lady Brownlow's words in her
We learn accidentally that the Lord Chancellor (Clarendon) was living at Warwick House in , for in that year Pepys records the fact of having carried a letter thither to him from .
In this street, close to where stood old
is to be seen a small public-house, with the sign of
--referring, of course, to the time when
or as they were commonly called
were in vogue.
At a time when was not built, and when was too near to Marylebone to be central, were the head-quarters of those exhibitions which abound in town in
and disappear at its close. Here, towards the end of the last century, the Incorporated Society of Arts held its exhibitions; and
as Mr. Timbs reminds us,
--so called because the
|spectators themselves were turned round by machinery whilst they viewed it. A similar contrivance more recently was adopted at the Coliseum, when the Panorama of London was exhibited here.|
In the reign of Queen Anne there was to be seen
It certainly was most miscellaneous, including a black man, a dwarf, a pony only feet odd inches high, several panthers, leopards, and jackalls, and last not least,
Mr. Frost, in his
conjectures that this last-named
may have been, after all, only a spidermonkey, variety of which is said by Humboldt to use its prehensile tail for the purpose of picking insects out of crevices.
Among the other objects of curiosity exhibited here from time to time, not the least attractive was the
which was, as the advertisements of the day tell us,
if not a native of this locality, at all events here made his appearance in England. Mr. Frost, in his
Somewhere on this side of , though its actual site is unknown, stood the tavern called the
where Prior was found reading
when a boy. In it appears to have been kept by Samuel Prior; and this would tally with what Dr. Johnson tells us in his
Prior is supposed to have fallen, by his father's death, into the hands of his uncle, a vintner near , who sent him for some time to Dr. Busby, at School; but not intending to give him any education beyond that of the school, took him, when he was well educated in literature, to his own house, where the Earl of Dorset, celebrated for his patronage of genius, found him by chance (as Burnet relates) reading Horace, and was so well pleased with his proficiency that he undertook the care and cost of his academical education. It is well known that all through his life the poet showed a strong propensity for tavern life and pleasures; and Johnson probably is not far from the truth when he adds:
In mean lodgings over a shop close by the entrance to , which down to our own times was a saddler's, died the celebrated divine and preacher, [extra_illustrations.4.83.1] , of the most illustrious scholars and writers; and his wit has been spoken of by no less an authority than Dr. Johnson, as the
We quote an instance of the doctor's ready wit. In meeting the Earl of Rochester day, the worthy peer exclaimed,
to which the clergyman replied,
The peer rejoined,
retorted the doctor,
Determined not to be outdone, his lordship blasphemously added,
on which Barrow turned on his heel and said,
There is a tradition mentioned by Pyne, that with the intention of painting the proclamation of George III., Hogarth stood at a window near , making sketches of the yeomen of the guard, the heralds, and the sergeant and trumpeter's band, who had their rendezvous hard by. So, at least, says Mr. Timbs, who accepts the statement as probably true.
This would appear to have been the neighbourhood in which ingenious devices of new arts and trades abounded even in the Stuart era. Pepys writes, under date - :--
In a female dwarf, the
was shown in , at half-a-crown a head, drawing almost as large levees as
in our own days. In the same year was exhibited,
a strange monstrosity, a
From the work of Mr. Frost, on
we learn of yet another and still stranger sight exhibited in the same year at the
(says the prospectus),
Here, too, was exhibited O'Bryen, the Irish giant, whom we have already mentioned; and here he died.
In , and again in and in , in a large room in , appeared the conjuror Breslau, whose tricks of legerdemain were interspersed with a vocal and instrumental concert, and imitations by an Italian, named Gaietano, of the notes of the
The origin of the name of is uncertain; and Mr. Peter Cunningham can suggest no better derivation of it than a fancied connection
with the |
which adjoined it. It may have derived its name from some association with the Cock-pit at , which we have already mentioned. As it now stands it is quite a modern street, having been built towards the close of the last or beginning of the present century.
As the tide of fashion gradually set westwards from Covent Garden, this street became more and more frequented by the wits and critics of ; and among its most pleasant memories is the name of the
which was largely frequented by gentlemen from
Its northern connection, kept together by hosts and hostesses from Scotland, is incidentally to be gathered from a letter of Horace Walpole to his friend Sir H. Mann, in which, speaking of some Scottish question pending in the , he writes:--
Concerning a dinner at this coffee-house, Mr. Cyrus Redding tells a sad story in his
At the junction of with Pall
|Mall East stands an equestrian statue of King George III. It is of bronze, between and feet high, and stands upon a granite pedestal about feet high. It was executed by Mr. Matthew C. Wyatt, and the cost of its erection amounted to , the sum being defrayed by public subscription. It was set up about the year . Although the likeness of the king is good, the statue is not generally admired, on account of its costume; and the pigtail at the back of the royal head has often been made the subject of waggish and uncomplimentary remarks. Altogether, it can hardly be said that this statue is calculated to raise the credit of English sculpture in the eyes of foreign visitors.|
[extra_illustrations.4.76.1] The column
[extra_illustrations.4.80.1] the offices of the Metropolitan Board of Works
[extra_illustrations.4.81.1] The Portico--Spring Gardens
[extra_illustrations.4.83.1] Dr. Isaac Barrow