The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 3

Allen, Thomas
1827

Guildhall.

Guildhall.

This spacious edifice is situated at the north end of King-street, Cheapside, the principal front being towards the south. This Guilde-hall, according to Robert Fabian, was begunne to be builded new in the yeare 1411, the twelfth of Henry the Fourth, by Thomas Knolles, then maior, and by his brethren the aldermen; and the same was made of a little cottage, a large and great house as now it standeth. Stow's Lond. p. 216, edit. 1598. The expenses of erecting the Great Hall, which was the first part that was built, were defrayed by large benevolences' from the city companies, conjoined with sums of money paid for committed offences, and with extraordinary fees, fines, amerciaments, &c. ordered to be applied to this purpose during seven years, and afterwards extended for the term of three years longer. King Henry V., in the third year of his reign, about the year 1415, granted the city free passage for four boats by water, and as many carts by land, with servants to each, to bring lime, rag-stone, and free-stone, for the work of Guildhall, as appears by his letters patent.Brief account of Guildhall, by J B. Nichols, 1819, p 3 All the windows of the hall were glazed by the aldermen, who respectively placed their arms in painted glass in the work.Ibid In the years 1422, and 1423, John Coventry and John Carpenter, the executors of the celebrated sir Richard Whittington, gave the sums of 15l. and 20l. towards the paving of this great hall with hard stone of Purbecke; and they also glazed some of the windows. In the following year, the foundation of the mayor's court was laid; and in the next, anno 1425, that of the porch on the south side of the mayor's court. - Then was builded the maior's chamber, and the councill chamber, with other roomes above the staires : last of all a stately porch entering the great hall was erected, the front thereof being beautified with images of stone. The charges for glazing were defrayed by the executors of Whittington. In 1481, sir William Haryot, mayor, gave 40l. for making and glazing two louvers; and about 1501, the kitchen and other offices were built, by procurement of sir John Shaw, goldsmith, maior; since which time the mayors feasts hae been yearly kept there, which before time were kept in the [Merchant] Taylor's-hall, and the Grocer's-hall. This procurement, as Stow calls it, was by promoting a subscription, to which the city companies were the chief contributors. In 1505, at which time all the works appear to have been completed, a bequest of 73l. 6s. 8d. was made by sir Nicholas Aldwyn (mayor in 1499) for a hanging of tapestrie, to serve for principal days in the Guildhall: Stow's Lond. p. 217. In the years 1614 and 1615, a new council-chamber, with a record room over it, was erected at the expense of 1,746l. The first court was held in it on the 7th November, 1615; by sir John Jolles, knight, and the aldermen.Nichols' Guildhall, 5.

In the great fire of 1666, all the out-offices and combustible parts of this edifice were consumed; yet the solidity of the walls was such as to admit of a substantial repair within the three following years, at a less sum than 3,000l. Some further reparations were made at the beginning of the last century, but the most important change was effected in the years 1789 and 1790, when the ancient venerable aspect of the hall was metamorphosed into the present truly Gothic facade.

Male Statue, GuildhallGuildhall, 1788.Male Statue, Guildhall

The old front, of which the accompanying engraving will convey a good idea, was in two principal stories; it was also divided in breadth into a centre and wings. In the first story was an entrance in the centre, the pointed arch of which still exists with little alteration; the spandrils contained enriched quaterfoils enclosing shields. The piers at the sides were elegantly ornamented; upon a plain and low plinth was sustained an enriched elevation commencing with pannels, enclosing shields in quaterfoils ; from the superior moulding of each pannel rose an octangular pannelled pedestal crowned with a cornice, and occupying a portion of the concavity of a niche; there were four of these niches, two on each pier; the heads consisted of a pointed arch enclosing five sweeps, and in height ranging with the point of the centre arch. In these niches were statues, which, from the verses given below, appear to have been intended to represent the virtues of Discipline or Religion, Fortitude, Justice, and Temperance; expressed by four elegant and delicate females; the first in the habit of a nun; the second had an upper garment, composed of ring armour, and in the left hand a shield; the third crowned, and in the attitude of administering justice (the scales gone); the fourth deprived of its arms, (and of course no symbols remaining), but the attitude was most expressive of the character it assumed. Engravings of these Statues were made by the late J. Carter, F S. A. for his Ancient Sculpture and Painting. When the statues were taken down, they were requested of the court of common council by Mr. Ald. Boydell, for the purpose of presenting them to Mr. Banks, the late eminent sculptor, who regarded them as very eminent specimens of ancient art, and was at the pains of restoring their mutilated limbs, &c. After his decease they were sold by auction at a considerable price. Stow, in relation to these statues, and to the general demolition of images that occurred in his time, states (Sur. of Lond. p. 217, edit. 1598), that these verses following were made about some 30 years since by William Elderton, at that time an attorney in the sheriffs court at Guildhall. Though most the images be pulled downe, And none be thought remaine in towne, I am sure there be in London yet Seven images, such, and in such a place, As few or none I think will hit, Yet every day they shew their face, And thousands see them every yeare But few I thinke can tell me where-- Where Jesus Christ aloft doth stand Law and Learning on either hand, Discipline in the Divil's necke And hard by her are three direct; There Jsstice, Fortitude, and Temperance stande, Where find ye the like in all this land.

An unsightly and perilous-looking balcony, fronted with iron rails and ornamented with shields of the arms of several of the city companies (probably set up in commemoration of the contributions of the companies whose arms were represented, to a repair in the seventeenth century, prior to the great fire), divided the two stories; the second story shewed two niches with poligonal canopies, accompanied with upright arched pannels; in these niches were the statues of Law and Learning, mentioned in the verses quoted in the note; the statue of our Saviour, which occupied a mote elevated place in the centre, had been removed long prior to the demolition of the front; most probably it was destroyed with its niche when the central entrance to the balcony was made; the cornice, surmounted with a square pannel, containing the royal arms, and crowned with an elliptical pediment, was an addition of the seventeenth century; the wings were much defaced, some upright pannels and a doorway, with a pointed arch, surmounted by two highly enriched pannels, enclosing shields, remained nearly perfect. The hall itself exhibited two stories; the lowermost containing the original pointed windows, with buttresses between each; and the upper one, another line of windows, with an entablature and parapet of the time of Charles the Second.

The present facade is a facing of stone over the old work. To define the style of architecture, which the late Mr. Dance intended to represent, would be a difficult task. It is not Grecian, and in consequence is generally reputed to be Gothic. Mr. BrayleyVol. ii. p. 449 describes it as a wretched attempt to blend the pointed style with the Grecian, and both with the East Indian manner. In the plain level front, with its tiers of little arched openings, the architect seems to have had a pigeon-house in his eye, and in the wretched detail of the ornaments to have taken for his authority the Chinese summer-house of some suburban villa. No single architect, since the days of sir C. Wren, has built so much in the city as Dance, and much it is to be regretted that his barbarisms have been allowed to disgrace a metropolis, where their deformity is rendered the more apparent by their association with some of the finest pieces of architecture in the universe. Agreeing with Mr. Brayley, that such an anomalous mass of absurdities, it is difficult to describe; we will not attempt to do so, but adopt the description given by this writer.

The entire front consists of three divisions, separated from each other by fluted pilasters, or piers, terminating above the parapet, in pinnacles of three gradations, or stages, crowned with fire bosses, and ornamented with a sort of an escalloped battlement; similar pilasters bound the sides of the front; and all the intermediate spaces are stuck full of small windows, three in a row, with acutely pointed heads, and turns within them of seven sweeps each, but without their proper and corresponding mouldings. The piers of the entrance of the porch have oblong and pointed pannels, with an inverted arch battlement above, which is also continued along the parapet over the arch-way. The parapet of the roof is similarly decorated; and the central division sustains the armorial bearings of the city, supported by large dragons, with the motto, Domine dirige nos! inscribed in a compartment below. Between each row of windows is a running ornament of open flowers; and above the flutings of the pilasters, are sculptures of the city mace and sword. The interior of the porch is nearly in its ancient state, and tolerably perfect: it displays a beautiful specimen of ancient groining, the arched ribs have their impost on the capitals of columns attached to the side walls and angles, in number six, three on each side; the arched ribs are crossed and united by others in diagonal directions, at the points of intersection are carved bosses, two with shields; on one the arms of Edward the Confessor, on the other the arms of the Plantagenets.

The Great Hall, though divested of its original roof, and considerably mutilated in parts, retains much of the grandeur of its ancient character. It is built and paved with stone; and is sufficiently capacious to contain from six to seven thousand persons. Its length is 153 feet, its breadth 48, and the height about 55. The north and south sides are each separated into eight divisions by clusters of columns, projecting from the walls; the columns have handsome bases, and their capitals are gilt. Each division, in the upright, generally speaking, consists of a stone seat; a dado with triple compartments of tracery, and occasionally, a small window, or doorway; an entablature, with a large and lofty pointed window, (of two tiers) above, with tracery on each side in unison with the dado; and above that, a second entablature, at which elevation the original work appears to terminate. Several of the large windows have been stopped up; and in a few of the divisions, as that connected with the entrance porch, and the next on either hand, are various compartments of elegant tracery in lieu of the large window. The friezes of both the entablatures display a great number of small blockings, sculptured with fanciful human heads, grotesque, and other animals, shields of arms, flowers, and other ornaments. Upon the capitals of the clustered columns, are now large shields, blazoned with the arms of the principal city companies, &c. which were first put up subsequently to the repairs made after the great fire; originally the hall was finished with an open-worked timber roof, (similar to Westminster-hall) the springings of the ancient timbers taking their rise from these capitals.In confirmation of this idea, it may be added, that the late col. Smith, deputy governor of the Tower, was in possession of a curious painting taken from Greenwich, representing London after the fire, in which about a third of the roof of Guildhall appeared standing, decidedly with a gable roof. Gent. Mag. vol. 89. part 1. p. 42. In Hollar's long view of London, taken circa 1647, the roof of Guildhall appears with its two lanterns rising from a gable. In place of that roof is now an attic story, remarkably plain, erected between the years 1666 and 1670, and consisting of a general entablature, (exhibiting numerous shields of the city arms) double piers, and circular headed windows, eight on each side; the arrangement of the parts correspond with that of the ancient divisions beneath, and the whole is covered in by a flat pannelled ceiling, three pannels in width, and sixteen in breadth. It has been recently ascertained from the opinion of competent judges, that the hall is excellently calculated for music.

The east end of the hall, to the limits of the first division on each side, is appropriated for the holding of the Court of Hustings, taking the polls at elections, &c. and is fitted up for those purposes by an inclosed platform, rising several feet above the pavement, and a pannelled wainscotting separated into compartments by fluted Corinthian pilasters. Over the wainscotting on each side, are seen the elegant canopies of six ancient niches, and a long range of similar canopies also appear above the pannelling of the central part; the three middlemost canopies project in an octangular direction. One large and magnificent pointed window fills nearly all the upper space; it consists of three principal divisions in the upright, and is again subdivided into a variety of lights, in three tiers; the mullions, tracery, mouldings, and other architectural accompaniments are all in a very fine and masterly style. The higher compartments display an assemblage of painted glass, of modern execution, representing the royal arms and supporters; and the stars and jewels, of the orders of the Garter, Bath, Thistle, and St. Patrick. The grand architrave to this window springs from half-columns (whose bases rest on the canopies below) and between them and the outward mouldings are two small niches. The west end of the hall exhibits another magnificent window, exactly similar to the one just described, in its general arrangement, yet deviating in a few particulars, in the disposition of the tracery and smaller fights; this also, is ornamented with modern painted glass, representing the city arms, and supporters, &c. Below the sill of the window, at the corners, some small remains of canopies might be seen, previous to the repair in 1817; all the other ornamental parts of the original work have been cut away, and the wall left plain; at that period a range of canopies were added corresponding with those at the opposite end of the hall. In the centre is a dial, and at each angle is an octangular pillar sustaining the giants, which were removed to the present situation upon the destruction of the old music gallery.

In the middle of the north side of the hall is an entrance, having a pointed arch enclosed in a square architrave and sweeping cornice, the mouldings resting upon columns above a flight of stairs, the frontispiece is rather a lame copy of the western entrance to the chapel, and was set up in the room of the older one, which, prior to 1816, was situated further eastward, and was an exact copy of the arch of entrance to the mayor's court still remaining.

On each side the former entrance was an octangular turretted gallery: these galleries assumed the appearance of arbours, through being canopied by the foliage of palm-trees, in iron-work; which trees supported a large balcony, having in front a clock (with three dials) elaborately ornamented, and underneath, a representation of the sun, resplendent with gilding. The frame of the clock was of oak: the cardinal virtues appeared at the angles, and on the top was the figure of hoary Time. On the right and left of the balcony, on brackets, stood the giants, generally known by the appellations of Gog and Magog, now removed to the west end of the hall, where they stand on octagonal pedestals, their heads reaching to the springing of the great arch. The costume of these enormous figures more nearly resembles the warlike habits of the Roman than that of any other nation; yet the anomalies are so many, that conjecture has in vain attempted to assign their age and country. The most probable supposition is, that they were intended to represent an ancient Briton, and a Roman; (Mr. Douce says Corinaeus and Gogmagog) and they are thought to have been set up either as types of municipal power, (like the Weichbilds of the Germans) or as watchful guardians of the city rights. Both figures have bushy beards, and sashes, and their brows are encircled by laurel wreaths; the presumed Briton has a sword by his side, a bow and quiver at his back, and in his right hand a long pole, to which a ball stuck full of spikes is appendant by a chain: the Roman is armed with a sword and halbert, and his right hand rests on a shield, emblazoned with a spread eagle, sable, on a field or. Their forms are not well proportioned; the heads being much too large for the bodies and limbs: their height is between fourteen and fifteen feet. They are hollow: and are constructed with wood, carved and painted, and not with pasteboard, as has been frequently, but erroneously stated.

From a rare work, intitled, The Gigantic History of the two famous Giants in Guildhall, London, quoted by Mr. Hone in his Ancient Mysteries described, P. 265. it appears that before the present figures were erected in Guildhall, similar ones of wicker work and pasteboard, occupied their place: they also had the honour yearly to grace my lord mayor's show, being carried in great triumph in the time of the pageant; and when that eminent annual service was over, remounted their old stations in Guildhall-till by reason of their very great age, old Time, with the help of a number of city rats and mice, had eaten up all their entrails. The dissolution of the two old, weak, and feeble giants, gave birth to the two present substantial and majestic giants; who, by order, and at the city charge, were formed and fashioned. Captain Richard Saunders,A captain in the trained bands. an eminent carver, in King-street, Cheapside, was their father; who, after he had completely finished, clothed, and armed these his two sons, they were immediately advanced to those lofty stations in Guildhall, which they have peaceably enjoyed ever since the year 1708.

On examining the city accounts in the chamberlain's office, under the head Extraordinary works, for 1707, Mr. Hone discovered among the sums paid for repairing of the Guildhall and chappell, an entry in the following words:-- To Richard Saunders, carver, seventy pounds, by order of the Co«mittee, for repairing Guildhall, dated ye xth of April, 1710, for work by him done, 70l.

It has already been mentioned, that one of the first acts of parliament that was passed after the dreadful conflagration of 1666, was for the erection of a particular court of judicature, to settle whatever differences might arise in respect to any of the destroyed premises: this court was ordered to consist of all the justices of the courts of King's-bench, Common Pleas, and Exchequer, and their successors; and in consequence, before the many discordant claims of the citizens could be arranged, there were no fewer than twenty-two judges engaged in the proceedings. The general conduct and legal decisions of these distinguished characters gave so much satisfaction, that the city voted that their portraits should be taken and placed in Guildhall, in grateful testimony of their services. It was intended, according to Walpole, that sir Peter Lely be should have executed those pictures, but he refusing to wait on the judges at their chambers, Michael Wright got the business, and received 60l. for each piece. Anec. of Painting, vol. ii. p. 71. edit 1786. The fastidious pride of Lely is to be lamented, for his pictures would unquestionably have been of a far superior description to those which were executed by Wright. All of them were formerly put up in this hall, but at the time Mr. Brayley made his survey, only thirteen retained their places; the others, with the exception of sir Matthew Hale, (which was then in the lord mayor's court) were taken down during the repairs in 1816, and deposited in the kitchen, together with the portraits of all our sovereigns from the time of queen Anne. The judges are uniformly depicted in their official habiliments, and standing: their names are as follow.

* Those to which the asterisk is prefixed, are what are yet in the great hall. Brayley, ii. page 454, note. Sir Orlando Bridgman, knt. and bart. lord chief justice of the Common Pleas, (and keeper of the great seal), ob. 1674; sir Edward Atkyns, knt. a baron of the Exchequer, ob. 1689; sir Thomas Twysden, knt. and bart. a justice of the King's-bench, ob. 1682; * sir Christopher Turnor, knt. a baron of the Exchequer, ob. 1675; sir Thomas Tyrrell, knt. a justice of the Common Pleas; *sir Samuel Brown, knt. ditto, ob. 1668; sir Matthew Hale, knt. lord chief justice of the King's-bench; ob. 1676; sir Wadham Wyndham, knt. a justice of the King's-bench; *sir John Kelynge, knt. lord chief justice of the King's-bench, ob. 1671; sir John Archer, knt. a justice of the Common Pleas, ob. 1681; sir Richard Rainsford, knt. lord chief justice of the King's-bench, ob. 1679; * Sir William Morton, a justice of the King's-bench, ob. 1672; *sir William Wylde, knt. and bart. a justice of the King's-bench, ob. 1679; *sir John Vaughan, knt. lord chief justice of the Common Pleas, ob. 1674; sir Timothy Littleton, knt. a baron of the Exchequer, ob. 1679; sir Hugh Wyndham, knt. a justice of the Common Pleas, ob. 1684; * sir Edward Turner, knt. lord chief baron of the Exchequer, ob. 1675; * sir Edward Thurland, knt. a baron of the Exchequer, ob. 1682; * sir Robert Atkyns, K. B. lord chief baron of the Exchequer, (and lord chancellor) ob. 1709 ;* sir William Ellis, knt. a justice of the Common Pleas, ob. 1680; *sir Francis North, (baron of Guildford), lord chief justice of the Common Pleas, ob. 1685; * sir Heneage Finch, (earl of Nottingham, and lord chancellor) ob. 1682.Several of these portraits are now placed in the court of king's bench and common pleas, vide ante, p. 107.

The other portraits then in the great hall, were those of William the Third and Queen Mary; the latter was painted by Vander Vaart. The portraits of William and Mary, together with those of king Geo. III. and queen Charlotte, were removed, A. D. 1816, to the saloon in the mansion house. At various times monuments of marble have been erected in the Guildhall, at the expense of the city, in commemoration of William Beckford, esq. lord mayor in 1763 and 1770; William Pitt, earl of Chatham ; the immortal Admiral Lord Nelson, and the celebrated William Pitt. Speaking of the grand series of judicial portraits, which then adorned the great hall, Mr. Pennant adds, These were proofs of a sense of real merit, but in how many places do we meet instances of a temporary idolatry, the phrenzy of the day! statues and portraits appear to the astonishment of posterity purged from the prejudices of the times. The things themselves are neither scarce nor rare, The wonder's how the devil they got there.

The monument to Mr. Beckford is here referred to. It occupied, at that time, a conspicuous situation at the lower end of the hall; at the last repair its place was supplied by a dial, and it was removed to the vacancy occasioned by the walling up the old entrance in the north wall. It was thus noticed by Mr. Pennant,London, 558. it is said that this speech is supposed to have been written by Home Tooke, sometime after the speech alluded to was delivered! at the bottom of the room is a marble group of good workmanship, (with London and Commerce whimpering like two marred children) executed soon after the year 1770, by Mr. Moore. The principal figure was also a giant in his days, the raw head and bloody bones to the good folks at St. James', which, while remonstrances were in fashion, annually haunted the court in terrific forms. The eloquence dashed in the face of majesty, alas! proved in vain. The spectre was there condemned to silence, but his patriotism may be read by his admiring fellow citizens, as long as the melancholy marble can retain the tale of the affrighted times. So fleeting, however, is popularity, that this monument, almost forgotten, has assumed a humbler place, and the picture of lord Camden no longer holds its original distinguished station. Mr. Beckford particularly distinguished himself in opposing the arbitrary measures of government in the contest maintained by Wilkes concerning the right of election for the county of Middlesex;See Vol. ii. p. 71. and having been ordered to attend his majesty with the famous City Remonstrance voted in May, 1770, he ventured to express his sentiments in the following terms, after receiving an unpropitious answer from the throne:-- Most gracious Sovereign. Will your Majesty be pleased so far to condescend, as to permit the Mayor of your loyal City of London to declare, in your royal presence, on behalf of his Fellow-citizens. how much the bare apprehension of your Majesty's displeasure would at all times affect their minds! The declaration of that displeasure has already filled them with inexpressible anxiety. and with the deepest affliction. Permit me Sire, to assure your Majesty that your Majesty has not, in all our dominions, any Subjects more faithful, more dutiful, or more affectionate to your Majesty's person and family, or more ready to sacrifice their lives and fortunes in the maintenance of the true Honour and Dignity of your Crown. We do therefore, with the greatest humility and submission, most earnestly supplicate your Majesty, that you will not dismiss us from your presence without expressing a more favourable opinion of your faithful Citizens, and without some comfort, without some prospect at least of redress. Permit me, Sire, farther to observe, that whoever has already dared, or shall here after endeavour, by false insinuations and suggestions, to alienate your Majesty's affections from your loyal subjects in general, and from the City of London in particular, and to withdraw your confidence and regard for your People, is an enemy to your Majesty's Person and Family, a Violater of the Public Peace, and a Betrayer of our Happy Constitution, as it was established at the Glorious Revolution.In Nichols' Guildhall, page 25,

Mr. Beckford was unwell at the period when he went up with the Remonstrance, and it is thought that the irritation of the times accelerated his decease, which occurred within a month afterwards. On July the sixth, following, the court of common council passed an unanimous vote that a statue should be raised to his memory, inscribed with the words of his memorable speech to the sovereign. The position of the figure is said to be that in which he addressed the king; his right hand is elevated and spread; the left arm is nearly pendant; the head reclines towards the right shoulder; he is habited in his mayoralty robes, close coat, full dressed wig, &c. At the corners of the pedestal are two female figures, seated, emblematical of London and Commerce, in attitudes of mournfulness.Brayley, vol. ii. p. 456. To the credit, however, of the city, the monuments since raised have commemorated individuals whose fame rested on more solid ground than the fleeting popularity of the moment.

The earl of Chatham's monument is of a noble design and dignified character. It is placed against the north wall, and was executed by the late John Bacon, esq. R. A. who completed it in the year 1782, and received 3000 guineas for his labour, the whole expense of the monument amounting to 3,421l. 14s. The form is pyramidical: the earl is represented standing erect upon a rock, in the costume of a Roman senator; his left hand rests on the helm of state; his right hand is affectionately placed on the shoulder of Commerce, who is gracefully presented to his protection by a murall--crowned female representing the city of London; in the foreground is Britannia seated on her lion, and near her are the four quarters of the world, represented by infants, who are pouring into her lap the contents of the cornucopia of plenty. On the plinth is a medallion charged with the cap of liberty, and ornamented with laurels, and festoons, over which is the following inscription written by the celebrated Edmund Burke:-- In grateful Acknowledgment to the Supreme Disposer of events, who, intending to advance this nation for such time as to his wisdom seemed good, to an high Pitch of Prosperity and Glory, by an Unanimity at home; by Confidence and Reputation abroad; by Alliance wisely chosen and faithfully observed; by Colomes united and protected; by decisive Victories by sea and land by Conquests made by Arms and Generosity in every part of the globe; by Commerce, for the first time, united with, and made to flourish by War;--was pleased to raise up as a proper instrument in this memorable work, William Pitt. The Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Council, mindful of the Benefits which the City of London received, in her ample Share in the general Prosperity, have erected to the memory of this eminent Statesman and powerful Orator, this Monument in her Guildhall, that her Citizens may never meet for the Transaction of their Affairs, without being reminded that the Means by which Providence raises a Nation to Greatness, are the Virtues infused into Great men, and that to withhold from those Virtues, either of the Living or the Dead, the Tribute of Esteem and Veneration, is to deny to themselves the Means of Happiness and Honour. This distinguished Person, for the Service rendered to King George II. and to King George III. was created Earl of Chatham. The British Nation honoured his Memory with a public Funeral, and a public Monument amongst her illustrious men in Westminster Abbey. J. Bacon, Sculpsot, 1782.

The monument of Nelson was erected in the beginning of 1811, at the expence of 4,442l. 7s. 4d.; the sculptor was the late Mr. James Smith.Nichols' Guildhall, p. 19. It consists of three principal figures, namely, Neptune, Britannia, and London; but the gallant chieftain himself, whose splendid achievements this cenotaph was intended to commemorate, is represented only in profile relief on a miserable medallion. The substitution of an overwhelming allegory in the place of historic truth, has been so much the practice in monumental sculpture, that it can now be scarcely too frequently reprobated. That a better taste is at length springing up in this country, the works of Flaxman, Westmacott, and Chantrey, will abundantly testify; yet there may be other artists, possessed too, both of talent and judgment, whom, through their not having considered the subject properly, it still becomes necessary to guard from supinely reposing their inventive faculties upon what has been effected, instead of reflecting upon what might be done, and what propriety demands. In the design before us, even the very dolphin of the sea-god, (as well as the British lion, on which Britannia appears seated,) is a far more conspicuous object than the renowned hero to whom the monument is consecrated. Neptune, who occupies the fore-ground, and is partly reclining on his left side and elbow, is a gigantic figure; the right hand is raised, and spread, and the head and countenance are turned with sympathetic attention towards Britannia, who is mournfully contemplating the medallion of Nelson, which she holds in her right hand. Behind are several naval flags and other trophies; and a two-fold marble pyramid, white on a ground of bluish grey, in fruit of which stands a murally-crowned female in flowing drapery, inscribing on the pyramid the words Nile, Copenhagen, Trafalgar ; above which is the great Nelson's own name, encircled by a wreath. The latter figure, which is a personification of the city, or Genius of London, is wholly turned backward to the spectator, by which injudicious position a favourable opportunity of making an impressive and dignified appeal to the mind's eye has been entirely lost. The base of the monument is circular, or rather elliptical, and has in front a clever bas-relievo of the battle of Trafalgar: on each side, in a small niche, is the figure of a seaman; and at each end is a trident. The execution of many parts of this elaborate work is undoubtedly good, but the objections specified are sufficient to shew the inequality of the design. The inscription was from the pen of the right hon. R. B. Sheridan, and is as follows :-- TO HORATIO VISCOUNT AND BARON NELSON, VICE-ADMIRAL OF THE WHITE, AND KNIGHT OF THE MOST HONOURABLE ORDER OF THE BATH; A Man amongst the few, who appear at different periods, to have been created to promote the Grandeur and add to the Security of Nations; inciting by their high example their Fellow-mortals, through all succeeding times, to pursue the course that leads to the exultation of our imperfect nature. Providence, that implanted in Nelson's breast an ardent passion for renown, as bounteously endowed him with the transcendant talents necessary to the great purposes he was destined to accomplish. At an early period of life he entered into the Naval service of his Country; and early were the instances which marked the fearless nature and enterprise of his character; uniting to the loftiest spirit, and the justest title to self-confidence, a strict and humble obedience to the sovereign rule of discipline and subordination. Rising by due gradation to command, he infused into the bosoms of those he led the valorous ardour and enthusiastic zeal for the service of his King and Country, which animated his own; and while he acquired the love of all, by the sweetness and moderation of his temper, he inspired an universal confidence in the never-failing resources of his capacious mind. It will be for History to relate the many great exploits, through which, solicitous of peril, and regard less of wounds, he became the glory of his profession! But it belongs to this brief record of his illustrious career to say, that he commanded and conquered at the Battles of the Nile and Copenhagen; Victories never before equalled; yet afterwards surpassed by his own last atchievement, the Battle of Trafalgar! fought on the 21st of October, 1805. On that day, before the conclusion of the action, he fell mortally wounded. But the sources of life and sense failed not, until it was known to him that the destruction of the enemy being completed, the Glory of his Country, and his own, had attained their summit; then laying his hand on his brave heart, with a look of exalted resignation to the will of the Supreme Disposer of the Fate of Man and Nations, he expired. The Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Council, of the City of London, have caused this Monument to be erected, not in the presumptuous hope of sustaining the departed Hero's memory; but to manifest their estimation of the Man, and their admiration of his deeds. This testimony of their Gratitude, they trust, will remain as long as their own renowned City shall exist. The period to Nelson's Fame can only be the end of Time.Brayley, vol. ii. p. 460.

In 1813, another monument was raised to the memory of the right hon. William Pitt; it occupies the division of the wall exactly opposite to the monument of his illustrious father. The sculptor was Mr. Bubb, and the sum of 4,078l. 17s. 3d. was paid by the city for the whole group. It differs from the monument of Nelson, in containing a representation of the man to whose memory it was erected, but it is ill calculated to hold a rank with the splendid composition opposite to it.

The massy substance on which the figures in the composition are placed, is intended to represent the island of Great Britain, and the surrounding waves. On an elevation, in the centre of the island, Mr. Pitt appears in his robes, as chancellor of the exchequer, in the attitude of a public orator. Below him, on an intermediate foreground, two statues characterize his abilities; while, with the national energy, which is embodied, and riding on a symbol of the ocean in the lower centre, they assist to describe allusively the effects of his administration. Apollo stands on his right, personating eloquence and learning. Mercury is introduced on his left, as the representative of commerce, and the patron of policy. To describe the unprecedented splendour of success which crowned the British navy while Mr. Pitt was minister, the lower part of the monument is occupied by a statue of Britannia, seated triumphantly on a sea-horse; in her left hand is the usual emblem of naval power; and her right grasps a thunderbolt, which she is prepared to hurl at the enemies of her country.

The inscription, written by the right hon. George Canning, is as follows:-- William Pitt, Son of William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, Inheriting the genius, and formed by the precepts of his Father, devoted himself from his early years to the service of the State. Called to the chief conduct of the Administration, after the close of a disastrous war, he repaired the exhausted Revenues, he revived and invigorated the Commerce and Prosperity of the Country; and he had re-established the Publick Credit on deep and sure foundations: when a new War was kindled in Europe, more formidable than any preceding War from the peculiar character of its dangers. To resist the arms of France, which were directed against the Independence of every Government and People, to animate other Nations by the example of Great Britain, to check the contagion of opinions which tended to dissolve the frame of Civil Society, to array the loyal, the sober-minded, and the good, in defence of the venerable Constitution of the British Monarchy; were the duties which, at that awful crisis, devolved upon the British Minister, and which he discharged with transcendant zeal and intrepidity and perseverance: he upheld the National Honour abroad; he maintained at home the blessings of Order and of true Liberty; and, in the midst of difficulties and perils, he united and consolidated the strength, power, and resources of the Empire. For these high purposes, he was gifted by Divine Providence with endowments, rare in their separate excellence; wonderful in their combination; judgment; imagination; memory; wit; force and acuteness of reasoning; Eloquence, copious and accurate, commanding and persuasive, and suited from its splendour to the dignity of his mind and to the authority of his station; a lofty spirit, a mild and ingenuous temper. Warm and stedfast in friendship, towards enemies he was forbearing and forgiving. His industry was not relaxed by confidence in his great abilities. His indulgence to others was not abated by the consciousness of his own superiority. His ambition was pure from all selfish motives: The love of power and the passion for fame were in him subordinate to views of publick utility; dispensing for near twenty years the favours of the Crown, he lived without ostentation; and he died poor. A grateful Nation decreed to him those funeral honours which are reserved for eminent and extraordinary men. This Monument is erected by the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Council, to record the reverent and affectionate regret with which the City of London cherishes his memory; and to hold out to the imitation of Posterity those pi inciplee of publick and private virtue, which ensure to Nations a solid greatness, and to individuals an imperishable name.

Even those who differ in political principles with the illustrious subject of the monument, must unite with his friends in bearing testimony to the distinguished talents and unsullied honesty of the individual. This is the last monument erected in the great hall. We have described them in chronological order. The three first are affixed to the north wall, Nelson's on the west entrance, and Beckford's on the east; farther towards the east is Lord Chatham's, and on the opposite side of the hall, Mr. Pitt's.

The mayor's court is a plain building, in two stories, ranging at right angles with the great hall. In the basement story, which is lighted by low arched windows, is kept the town clerk's office; the upper story is lighted by lofty arched windows in the east wall, which has been despoiled of their mullions and tracery. The interior is approached from a small porch between the west end and the great hall, the entrance being on the west side; the grand entrance to the court is at the south, and through a pointed arch of large dimensions, the piers ornamented with columns sustaining an architrave, composed of numerous mouldings; above the doorway is a low arched window, robbed of its tracery, on each side of which is an upright pannel with a cinquefoil arched head, containing a demi angel holding a shield before him charged with the city arms. The north end has a window similar to the opposite end, but instead of the pannels at the sides of it, are two canopies of a very neat design; the west order has windows, and a modern doorway, and concealed by the wainscot is a very neat doorway, with a pointed arch, bounded by a square architrave, the mouldings resting on columns, and the spandrils filled with tracery. A portion, at the north end, is parted by a screen to form a retiring room for the judge; the screen has a canopy in the centre, and is painted with niches and imitations of statues, representing the same subjects as formerly existed on the principal front, viz. Fortitude, Religion, Temperance, and Justice. The roof of this court is modern. In this court was formerly a portrait of judge Hale, by Wright: and another of the late earl Camden, by sir Joshua Reynolds;Brayley, vol. ii. p. 460. These have since been removed to other parts of the building. the latter was voted by the city in testimony of admiration at his lordship's conduct in discharging Mr. Wilkes on a writ of Habeas Corpus, after he had been arrested and committed to the Tower by government, under an illegal general warrant, in 1763. His lordship is depicted in his full robes, as lord chief justice of the common pleas, standing near a table covered with books and papers on a rich carpet, which descends to the ground in graceful folds. This picture has been engraved by Basire; on the frame is the following inscription :-- Hanc Iconem Caroli Pratt, Esq. Summi Judicis C. B. In Honorem Tanti Viri Anglicae Libertatis Lege Asserteris Fidi S. P. Q. L. In Curio Municipali Proni Jusserunt Nono Kal. Mar. A. D. MDCCLXIV. Gulielmo Bridgen, Arm. Prae. Urb.

The common council chamber is a compact and well-proportioned room, appropriately fitted up for the assembly of the court, which consists of the lord mayor, twenty-six aldermen, and 236 deputies from the city wards. The middle part is formed into a square, by four arches sustaining a dome, pierced with a sky-light, and assuming the appearance of an escalloped shell. The angles of the corners beneath were [painted with emblematical representations of Providence, Innocence, Wisdom, and Happiness, by Rigaud all which were personified by females of different ages, and with proper accompaniments, but the colours having been changed and blackened by damps, were obliterated at the last general repair. The lord mayor's chair, which is on a raised platform at the upper end of the chamber, is seated with red velvet, and the arms and backs are gilt. An inclosure at the lower end separates the seats of the common council men from a narrow space connected with the entrance, into which strangers are admitted to hear the proceedings of the court. The seats of the aldermen are upon the platform.

At the west end of the chamber is a marble statue, erected by the corporation to commemorate the long reign and virtues of our late excellent monarch; it is placed on a pedestal within a large semicircular niche of veined marble; the statue is the size of life, and is attired in regal robes, and appears in the attitude of speaking. On the pedestal is the following inscription, written by Mr. Alderman Birch, which is so injudiciously placed as to be hid by the lord mayor's chair. George the Third Born and bred a Briton, endeared to a brave, free, and loyal people, by his public virtues, by his pre-eminent example of private worth in all relations of domestic life, by his uniform course of unaffected piety, and entire submission to the will of Heaven. The Wisdom and Firmness of his Character and Councils enabled him so to apply the resources of his empire, so to direct the native energies of his subjects, that he maintained the dignity of his crown, preserved inviolate the constitution in Church and State, and secured the commerce and prosperity of his dominions, during a long period of unexampled difficulty: in which the deadly contagion of French principles, and the domineering aggressions of French power, had nearly dissolved the frame and destroyed the independence of every other Government and Nation in Europe. The Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Commons of the City of London, have erected this Statue in testimony of their undeviating loyalty and grateful attachment to the best of Kings, in the fifty-fifth year of his reign, A. D. 1815, Birch, Mayor.

This statue was opened on the 3d June, 1815; the sums voted by the city for its execution, amounted to 3,089l. 9s. 5d. the sculptor was F. Chantrey, esq.

The walls of this apartment are painted of a dark red colour, and are hung with a very splendid collection of paintings, the greater part of which was given to the city by the late Mr. Alderman John Boydell, who filled the civic chair in the year 1791.

The principal picture, and the first that attracts attention, is one that was voted by the corporation, and represents The destruction of the floating batteries before Gibraltar, on September the thirteenth, 1782. This was designed to commemorate the gallant defence of that fortress made by general Elliott, afterwards lord Heathfield; and was executed by John Singleton Copley, esq. R. A. the father of the present lord chancellor, who was paid 1.543l. 6s. for his performance; besides having the privilege of exhibiting it for a time to the public, and which was done in a temporary building raised for the purpose in the Green Park. This vast picture, which measures twenty-five feet in width, and about twenty in height, exhibits the victory achieved by the garrison, and in the moment of their triumph, a display of humanity that highly exalts the British character: it is composed of three large groups; that on the right contains the portraits of the principal British and Hanoverian officers, of the size of life, who are assembled on the ramparts (the action being over,) to view the dreadful scene which ensued from the battering ships being set on fire. Lord Heathfield, on horseback, in conversation with generals Boyd, De la Motte, and Green, pointing to sir Roger Curtis, and a detachment of British seamen, who, at the hazard of their own lives, are rescuing their vanquished enemies from destruction. Several of the seamen are seen at the stern of one of the battering ships, striking the Spanish ensign; whilst others generously relieve a number of the unfortunate Spaniards from a sinking wreck: these form a second group on the left. The third group occupies the centre, where a number of the enemy are represented in extreme distress, endeavouring to escape from a floating battery that is enveloped in flames. At a distance is a view of the camp of the allied army of France and Spain, and the head-quarters of the duke de Crillon. All the principal figures are as large as life; their countenances are expressive of eager attention, and are very excellently finished. The judgment of the artist is rendered eminently conspicuous, both in the arrangement of the groups, and in the varied expressions of courage, terror, and humanity, that characterize the different figures. A very large and forcible engraving of this picture, two feet nine inches in length, and two feet three in width, was executed by the late Mr. William Sharp, whose talents in the historic line deservedly exalted him to the chief place among the professors of the graphic art in this country. Besides the above, there are four other paintings, but much smaller, connected with the siege of Gibraltar, in this apartment: they were executed by Paton, and represent, 1st. the English lines within the town, with the houses burning and in ruins; 2nd. View from the sea, with the blowing up of the gun-boats; 3rd. another view of the destruction of the Spanish vessels; and 4th. the British fleet under lord Howe bearing down to the relief of the fortress : the three former have been engraved by Fittler; the latter by Lerpiniere.

The last-mentioned pictures formed part of the gift made by Mr. Boydell: the remaining part includes the following paintings, all which are in this chamber: the original price of the entire collection amounted to about 3,000l.

The murder of David Rizzio by the lords Darnley and Ruthven, in the presence of Mary, queen of Scots, May the 9th, 1666; Opie: engraved by Taylor.

The death of Wat Tyler, in Smithfield, June the 16th, 1381; Northcote: engraved by Anker Smith.

The engagement between the English and French fleets commanded by the admirals Rodney and Count de Grasse, in the West Indies, April the 12th, 1780; after Paton, by Dodd: two views: one of which has been engraved by Fittler, the other by Lerpiniere.

Apollo washing his locks in the Castalian fountain; Gaven Hamilton: engraved by Facius.

Minerva, a companion to the above; Westall, ditto.

The ceremony of administering the official oaths on the swearing in of Mr. Abraham Newnham as lord mayor, on Nov. the 8th, 1782, at Guildhall; W. Miller; this picture contains upwards of 120 portraits of aldermen, city officers, common council-men, &c. An engraving, 2 feet 7 1/2 inches, by 2 feet, has been made from it by Benjamin Smith.

View of the shew or procession, on lord mayor's day, by water; the vessels, &c. by Paton; the figures by Wheatley. Portraits, half and three-quarter lengths ; marquis Cornwallis, Copley; engraved by B. Smith: lord Heathfield, after sir Joshua Reynolds;The original picture by sir Joshua, which has been copied on enamel by Mr. Bone, was first presented to the city, and put up in this chamber; but it sustained so much deterioration through the damps, that it was thought expedient to have it removed and copied. engraved by Earlom; lord Viscount Duncan, Hoppner, engraved by Ward: lord Howe, a copy, by Kentland: lord viscount Nelson, sir William Beechey: lord Rodney, after Monnyer. lord Hood, Abbott; lord St. Vincent, by sir W.Beechey; Richard Clark, esq. chamberlain, by sir T. Lawrance, by vote of common council, Dec. 8, 1825; Daniel Pindar, esq. senior member of the court of common council, by Opie; he died 1819; Queen Caroline, by Lonsdale; the Princess Charlotte, by the same.

In this apartment are three busts: lord Nelson, by the hon. Mrs. Damer, presented by herself in 1808; duke of Wellington, by Turnerelli, and Granville Sharpe, by Chantrey.

The grateful sense entertained of Mr. Boydell's gift by the corporation, was testified by the following resolution, which is engraven on a brass-plate over the fire-place. At a Court of Common Council, Feb. 27, 1800, on the motion of Mr. Deputy Goodbehere, it was resolved, That the Members of this Corporation, grateful for the delight afforded them as often as they assemble in this Court, by the splendid Collection of Paintings presented by Mr. Alderman Boydell, entertaining an affectionate sense of the honour done them by that celebrated patron of arts, and proud of the relation in which they stand to him as Fellow-citizens, do, in testimony of those feelings, request him to sit for his Portrait, to an artist of his own choice; conscious, however, that hereby they are only requesting him to confer a new gratification on themselves and their successors, and unwilling that, amidst such and so many remembrances of sublime characters and illustrious actions, his portrait should be wanting, who, discerning in the discovery, and munificent in the encouragement, of merit in others, combined in his own character private integrity with public spirit, and solid honesty with a highly cultivated taste.

The portrait of the worthy alderman, which was executed in consequence of this resolution, is a whole length by sir W. Beechey, and represents him in his robes as lord mayor, standing at a table with the mace, sword, &c. It is a good picture, and cost 200 guineas.

Over the chimney was a beautiful alto relievo by the late John Banks, R. A. representing Shakespeare between poetry and painting: this was the finished model for the sculpture in front of the Shakespeare gallery, Pall-mall, and was also presented to the city by Mr. Alderman Boydell. An engraving has been made from it by Leney; it was removed with the fire-place in 1815, when a machine for warming the court was set up.

The court of aldermen is a well-proportioned and handsome room : the ceiling is disposed into oval and circular compartments, containing paintings of allegorical and fancy subjects, by sir J. Thornhill, with heavy borders richly gilt. Various shields of arms, properly blazoned, are affixed over the cornice; and the mantel piece exhibits a cleverly executed allegorical design of several figures in imitation of bronze. Over the east door is the appropriate motto, Audi Alteram Partem, in golden letters.

In the chamberlain's drawing-room, framed and glazed, are between thirty and forty elegantly written, and otherwise embellished, copies of the votes of thanks, &c. from the city, to the most distinguished naval and military heroes in the late and present wars. The writing is principally by J. Tomkins; each record has the armorial bearings of the gallant chieftain whom it commemorates at the top; the city arms at the bottom; and round the borders different emblems, figures, and trophies, in allusion to the action recorded, neatly drawn and coloured. The gilt of the freedom of the city was in various instances accompanied by that of a gold box, value 100 guineas, or a sword of 200 guineas value. In the chamberlain's office, apprentices are enrolled, freemen admitted, &c. In this apartment is a portrait of Tomkins the writer, by sir J. Reynolds, and The Miseries of Civil War; a scene from Shakespeare's Henry the sixth, act II. representing a son that had killed his father, and a father that had killed his son, in the battle of Towton, fought on Palm-sunday, 1461; Josiah Boydell; engraved by J. Ogborne. The other apartments in this edifice require no particular description; most of them are appropriated as offices, or to the transaction of public business.

In the waiting room is a painting of the Death of James I. of Scotland, by Opie, and The Male Tiger, and the Lioness and Whelps, by Northcote, finely painted: the former has been engraved by Murphy; the latter, by Earlom.

Above the entrance to Guildhall is the city library, a neat and commodious apartment. Over the fire-place is some beautiful carving by Gibbons of the Moon, Cap of Maintainance, and Sword. A considerable number of the books in this libraryare presentation copies. Here also are a complete set of the Journals and Reports of the House of Commons, presented by alderman Wood, in 104 volumes; a matchless set of the London Gazette, the Reports on the Public Records, &c.

Beneath the hall is a curious crypt, the entrance to which is by a descent of several steps, and a wide doorway in the basement of the east end. This is divided into aisles by clustered columns, having plinths, bases, and capitals; from the latter spring the groins of the vaulting, the chief intersections of which display ornamented bosses; one of them has a shield with the city arms. On the north side were four large pointed-headed windows, now walled up, each of which had three lights. The height of the crypt is about thirteen feet: it is now only used for the storing up of the tables, benches, &c. employed in the arrangements for the civic feast on lord mayor's day, &c.

Since the building of the kitchen by sir John Shaw, in 1501, the inauguration dinners of the lord mayors have constantly been celebrated in Guildhall. The entertainments are always splendid; but particularly so at the customary times when the reigning sovereign and royal family honour the citizens with their presence, or when direct invitations to civic banquets are given on the occurrence of important state events.

The exterior of the hall, with the exception of the south facade, already described, is so closely environed by houses, that no full view of it can be obtained. The side walls and the angles of the east and west ends are supported by enormous buttresses, which correspond in situation with the divisions formed by the clustered columns of the interior. The three principal divisions of the magnificent east and west windows are also formed by appropriate buttresses; but the mouldings and tracery are ingeniously varied. The summit of each angle of the roof is crowned by a lofty octangular turret (having ornamental plinths, buttresses, &c.) surmounted by a cupola of comparatively recent date: from these cupolas, a pediment cornice rises towards the centre of the design at each end, but instead of meeting in a point, the whole terminates in a plain modern pedestal.

This spacious edifice is situated at the north end of , , the principal front being towards the south.

This Guilde-hall,

according to Robert Fabian,

was begunne to be builded new in the yeare

1411

, the

twelfth

of Henry the

Fourth

, by Thomas Knolles, then maior, and by his brethren the aldermen; and the same was made of a little cottage, a large and great house as now it standeth.

The expenses of erecting the

Great Hall,

which was the part that was built, were defrayed by

large benevolences' from the city companies, conjoined with

sums of money

paid for committed offences, and with extraordinary fees, fines, amerciaments, &c. ordered to be applied to this purpose during

seven

years, and afterwards extended for the term of

three

years longer. King Henry V., in the

third

year of his reign, about the year

1415

, granted the city free passage for

four

boats by water, and as many carts by land, with servants to each, to bring lime, rag-stone, and free-stone, for the work of

Guildhall

, as appears by his letters patent.

Brief account of Guildhall, by J B. Nichols, 1819, p 3

All the windows of the hall were glazed by the aldermen, who respectively placed their arms in painted glass in the work.

Ibid

In the years

1422

, and

1423

, John Coventry and John Carpenter, the executors of the celebrated sir Richard Whittington, gave the sums of

15l.

and

20l.

towards the paving of this great hall

with

hard stone of Purbecke;

and they also glazed some of the windows. In the following year,

the foundation of the mayor's court was laid;

and in the next, anno

1425

, that

of the porch on the south side of the mayor's court.

-

Then was builded the maior's chamber, and the councill chamber, with other roomes above the staires : last of all a stately porch entering the great hall was erected, the front thereof being beautified with images of stone.

The charges for glazing were defrayed by the executors of Whittington. In

1481

, sir William Haryot, mayor, gave

40l.

for making and glazing

louvers;

and about

1501

, the kitchen and other offices were built, by

procurement of sir John Shaw, goldsmith, maior; since which time the mayors

feasts hae been yearly kept there, which before time were kept

in the [Merchant] Taylor's-hall, and the Grocer's-hall.

This

procurement,

as Stow calls it, was by promoting a subscription, to which the city companies were the chief contributors. In , at which time all the works appear to have been completed, a bequest of was made by sir Nicholas Aldwyn (mayor in )

for a hanging of tapestrie, to serve for principal days in the

Guildhall

:

In the years and , a new council-chamber, with a record room over it, was erected at the expense of The court was held in it on the ; by sir John Jolles, knight, and the aldermen.

In the great fire of , all the out-offices and combustible parts of this edifice were consumed; yet the solidity of the walls was such as to admit of a substantial repair within the following years, at a less sum than Some further reparations were made at the beginning of the last century, but the most important change was effected in the years and , when the ancient venerable aspect of the hall was metamorphosed into the present truly Gothic facade.

 

The old front, of which the accompanying engraving will convey a good idea, was in principal stories; it was also divided in breadth into a centre and wings. In the story was an entrance in the centre, the pointed arch of which still exists with little alteration; the spandrils contained enriched quaterfoils enclosing shields. The piers at the sides were elegantly ornamented; upon a plain and low plinth was sustained an enriched elevation commencing with pannels, enclosing shields in quaterfoils ; from the superior moulding of each pannel rose an octangular pannelled pedestal crowned with a cornice, and occupying a portion of the concavity of a niche; there were of these niches, on each pier; the heads consisted of a pointed arch enclosing sweeps, and in height ranging with the point of the centre arch. In these niches were statues, which, from the verses given below, appear to have been intended to represent the virtues of

Discipline or Religion, Fortitude, Justice, and Temperance;

expressed by elegant and delicate females; the in the habit of a nun; the had an upper garment, composed of ring armour, and in the left hand a shield; the crowned, and in the attitude of administering justice (the scales gone); the deprived of its arms, (and of course no symbols remaining), but the attitude was most expressive of the character it assumed.

376

 

An unsightly and perilous-looking balcony, fronted with iron rails and ornamented with shields of the arms of several of the city companies (probably set up in commemoration of the contributions of the companies whose arms were represented, to a repair in the century, prior to the great fire), divided the stories; the story shewed niches with poligonal canopies, accompanied with upright arched pannels; in these niches were the statues of

Law

and

Learning,

mentioned in the verses quoted in the note; the statue of our Saviour, which occupied a mote elevated place in the centre, had been removed long prior to the demolition of the front; most probably it was destroyed with its niche when the central entrance to the balcony was made; the cornice, surmounted with a square pannel, containing the royal arms, and crowned with an elliptical pediment, was an addition of the century; the wings were much defaced, some upright pannels and a doorway, with a pointed arch, surmounted by highly enriched pannels, enclosing shields, remained nearly perfect. The hall itself exhibited stories; the lowermost containing the original pointed windows, with buttresses between each; and the upper , another line of windows, with an entablature and parapet of the time of Charles the .

The present facade is a facing of stone over the old work. To define the style of architecture, which the late Mr. Dance intended to represent, would be a difficult task. It is not Grecian, and in consequence is generally reputed to be

Gothic.

Mr. Brayley describes it

as a wretched attempt to blend the pointed style with the Grecian, and both with the East Indian manner.

In the plain level front, with its tiers of little arched openings, the architect seems to have had a pigeon-house in his eye, and in the wretched detail of the ornaments to have taken for his authority the Chinese summer-house of some suburban villa. No single architect, since the days of sir C. Wren, has built so much in the city as Dance, and much it is to be regretted that his barbarisms have been allowed to

377

disgrace a metropolis, where their deformity is rendered the more apparent by their association with some of the finest pieces of architecture in the universe. Agreeing with Mr. Brayley, that

such an anomalous mass of absurdities, it is difficult to describe;

we will not attempt to do so, but adopt the description given by this writer.

The entire front consists of divisions, separated from each other by fluted pilasters, or piers, terminating above the parapet, in pinnacles of gradations, or stages, crowned with fire bosses, and ornamented with a sort of an escalloped battlement; similar pilasters bound the sides of the front; and all the intermediate spaces are stuck full of small windows, in a row, with acutely pointed heads, and turns within them of sweeps each, but without their proper and corresponding mouldings. The piers of the entrance of the porch have oblong and pointed pannels, with an inverted arch battlement above, which is also continued along the parapet over the arch-way. The parapet of the roof is similarly decorated; and the central division sustains the armorial bearings of the city, supported by large dragons, with the motto,

Domine dirige nos!

inscribed in a compartment below. Between each row of windows is a running ornament of open flowers; and above the flutings of the pilasters, are sculptures of the city mace and sword. The interior of the porch is nearly in its ancient state, and tolerably perfect: it displays a beautiful specimen of ancient groining, the arched ribs have their impost on the capitals of columns attached to the side walls and angles, in number , on each side; the arched ribs are crossed and united by others in diagonal directions, at the points of intersection are carved bosses, with shields; on the arms of Edward the Confessor, on the other the arms of the Plantagenets.

The Great Hall, though divested of its original roof, and considerably mutilated in parts, retains much of the grandeur of its ancient character. It is built and paved with stone; and is sufficiently capacious to contain from to persons. Its length is feet, its breadth , and the height about . The north and south sides are each separated into divisions by clusters of columns, projecting from the walls; the columns have handsome bases, and their capitals are gilt. Each division, in the upright, generally speaking, consists of a stone seat; a dado with triple compartments of tracery, and occasionally, a small window, or doorway; an entablature, with a large and lofty pointed window, (of tiers) above, with tracery on each side in unison with the dado; and above that, a entablature, at which elevation the original work appears to terminate. Several of the large windows have been stopped up; and in a few of the divisions, as that connected with the entrance porch, and the next on either hand, are various compartments of elegant tracery in lieu of the large window. The friezes of both the entablatures display a great number of

378

small blockings, sculptured with fanciful human heads, grotesque, and other animals, shields of arms, flowers, and other ornaments. Upon the capitals of the clustered columns, are now large shields, blazoned with the arms of the principal city companies, &c. which were put up subsequently to the repairs made after the great fire; originally the hall was finished with an open-worked timber roof, (similar to Westminster-hall) the springings of the ancient timbers taking their rise from these capitals. In place of that roof is now an attic story, remarkably plain, erected between the years and , and consisting of a general entablature, (exhibiting numerous shields of the city arms) double piers, and circular headed windows, on each side; the arrangement of the parts correspond with that of the ancient divisions beneath, and the whole is covered in by a flat pannelled ceiling, pannels in width, and in breadth. It has been recently ascertained from the opinion of competent judges, that the hall is excellently calculated for music.

The east end of the hall, to the limits of the division on each side, is appropriated for the holding of the Court of Hustings, taking the polls at elections, &c. and is fitted up for those purposes by an inclosed platform, rising several feet above the pavement, and a pannelled wainscotting separated into compartments by fluted Corinthian pilasters. Over the wainscotting on each side, are seen the elegant canopies of ancient niches, and a long range of similar canopies also appear above the pannelling of the central part; the middlemost canopies project in an octangular direction. large and magnificent pointed window fills nearly all the upper space; it consists of principal divisions in the upright, and is again subdivided into a variety of lights, in tiers; the mullions, tracery, mouldings, and other architectural accompaniments are all in a very fine and masterly style. The higher compartments display an assemblage of painted glass, of modern execution, representing the royal arms and supporters; and the stars and jewels, of the orders of the Garter, Bath, Thistle, and St. Patrick. The grand architrave to this window springs from half-columns (whose bases rest on the canopies below) and between them and the outward mouldings are small niches. The west end of the hall exhibits another magnificent window, exactly similar to the just described, in its general arrangement, yet deviating in a few particulars, in the disposition of the tracery and smaller fights; this also, is ornamented with modern painted glass, representing the city arms, and supporters, &c. Below the sill of the window, at the corners, some small remains of canopies might be seen, previous to the repair in ; all the other

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ornamental parts of the original work have been cut away, and the wall left plain; at that period a range of canopies were added corresponding with those at the opposite end of the hall. In the centre is a dial, and at each angle is an octangular pillar sustaining the giants, which were removed to the present situation upon the destruction of the old music gallery.

In the middle of the north side of the hall is an entrance, having a pointed arch enclosed in a square architrave and sweeping cornice, the mouldings resting upon columns above a flight of stairs, the frontispiece is rather a lame copy of the western entrance to the chapel, and was set up in the room of the older , which, prior to , was situated further eastward, and was an exact copy of the arch of entrance to the mayor's court still remaining.

On each side the former entrance was an octangular turretted gallery: these galleries assumed the appearance of arbours, through being canopied by the foliage of palm-trees, in iron-work; which trees supported a large balcony, having in front a clock (with dials) elaborately ornamented, and underneath, a representation of the sun, resplendent with gilding. The frame of the clock was of oak: the cardinal virtues appeared at the angles, and on the top was the figure of hoary Time. On the right and left of the balcony, on brackets, stood the giants, generally known by the appellations of Gog and Magog, now removed to the west end of the hall, where they stand on octagonal pedestals, their heads reaching to the springing of the great arch. The costume of these enormous figures more nearly resembles the warlike habits of the Roman than that of any other nation; yet the anomalies are so many, that conjecture has in vain attempted to assign their age and country. The most probable supposition is, that they were intended to represent

an ancient Briton,

and

a Roman;

(Mr. Douce says Corinaeus and Gogmagog) and they are thought to have been set up either as types of municipal power, (like the of the Germans) or as watchful guardians of the city rights. Both figures have bushy beards, and sashes, and their brows are encircled by laurel wreaths; the presumed Briton has a sword by his side, a bow and quiver at his back, and in his right hand a long pole, to which a ball stuck full of spikes is appendant by a chain: the Roman is armed with a sword and halbert, and his right hand rests on a shield, emblazoned with a spread eagle, , on a field Their forms are not well proportioned; the heads being much too large for the bodies and limbs: their height is between and feet. They are hollow: and are constructed with wood, carved and painted, and not with pasteboard, as has been frequently, but erroneously stated.

From a rare work, intitled,

The Gigantic History of the

two

famous Giants in

Guildhall

, London,

quoted by Mr. Hone in his

Ancient Mysteries described,

it appears that before the present

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figures were erected in , similar ones of wicker work and pasteboard, occupied their place: they also had the honour yearly to grace my lord mayor's show, being carried in great triumph in the time of the pageant; and when that eminent annual service was over, remounted their old stations in Guildhall-till by reason of their very great age, old Time, with the help of a number of city rats and mice, had eaten up all their entrails. The dissolution of the old, weak, and feeble giants, gave birth to the present substantial and majestic giants; who, by order, and at the city charge, were formed and fashioned. Captain Richard Saunders, an eminent carver, in , , was their father; who, after he had completely finished, clothed, and armed these his sons, they were immediately advanced to those lofty stations in , which they have peaceably enjoyed ever since the year .

On examining the city accounts in the chamberlain's office, under the head

Extraordinary works,

for , Mr. Hone discovered among the sums

paid for repairing of the

Guildhall

and chappell,

an entry in the following words:--

To Richard Saunders, carver,

seventy pounds

, by order of the Co«mittee, for repairing

Guildhall

, dated ye xth of

April, 1710

, for work by him done,

70l.

It has already been mentioned, that of the acts of parliament that was passed after the dreadful conflagration of , was for the erection of a particular court of judicature, to settle whatever differences might arise in respect to any of the destroyed premises: this court was ordered to consist of all

the justices of the courts of King's-bench, Common Pleas, and Exchequer, and their successors;

and in consequence, before the many discordant claims of the citizens could be arranged, there were no fewer than judges engaged in the proceedings. The general conduct and legal decisions of these distinguished characters gave so much satisfaction, that the city voted that their portraits should be taken and placed in , in grateful testimony of their services. It was intended, according to Walpole, that sir Peter Lely be should have executed those pictures, but he refusing to wait on the judges at their chambers, Michael Wright

got the business, and received

60l.

for each piece.

The fastidious pride of Lely is to be lamented, for his pictures would unquestionably have been of a far superior description to those which were executed by Wright. All of them were formerly put up in this hall, but at the time Mr. Brayley made his survey, only retained their places; the others, with the exception of sir Matthew Hale, (which was then in the lord mayor's court) were taken down during the repairs in , and deposited in the kitchen, together with the portraits of all our sovereigns from the time of queen Anne. The judges are

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uniformly depicted in their official habiliments, and standing: their names are as follow.

* Sir Orlando Bridgman, knt. and bart. lord chief justice of the Common Pleas, (and keeper of the great seal), ob. ; sir Edward Atkyns, knt. a baron of the Exchequer, ob. ; sir Thomas Twysden, knt. and bart. a justice of the King's-bench, ob. ; * sir Christopher Turnor, knt. a baron of the Exchequer, ob. ; sir Thomas Tyrrell, knt. a justice of the Common Pleas; *sir Samuel Brown, knt. ditto, ob. ; sir Matthew Hale, knt. lord chief justice of the King's-bench; ob. ; sir Wadham Wyndham, knt. a justice of the King's-bench; *sir John Kelynge, knt. lord chief justice of the King's-bench, ob. ; sir John Archer, knt. a justice of the Common Pleas, ob. ; sir Richard Rainsford, knt. lord chief justice of the King's-bench, ob. ; * Sir William Morton, a justice of the King's-bench, ob. ; *sir William Wylde, knt. and bart. a justice of the King's-bench, ob. ; *sir John Vaughan, knt. lord chief justice of the Common Pleas, ob. ; sir Timothy Littleton, knt. a baron of the Exchequer, ob. ; sir Hugh Wyndham, knt. a justice of the Common Pleas, ob. ; * sir Edward Turner, knt. lord chief baron of the Exchequer, ob. ; * sir Edward Thurland, knt. a baron of the Exchequer, ob. ; * sir Robert Atkyns, K. B. lord chief baron of the Exchequer, (and lord chancellor) ob. ;* sir William Ellis, knt. a justice of the Common Pleas, ob. ; *sir Francis North, (baron of Guildford), lord chief justice of the Common Pleas, ob. ; * sir Heneage Finch, (earl of Nottingham, and lord chancellor) ob. .

The other portraits then in the great hall, were those of William the and Queen Mary; the latter was painted by Vander Vaart. The portraits of William and Mary, together with those of king Geo. III. and queen Charlotte, were removed, A. D. , to the saloon in the mansion house. At various times monuments of marble have been erected in the , at the expense of the city, in commemoration of , esq. lord mayor in and ; , earl of Chatham ; the immortal , and the celebrated . Speaking of the grand series of judicial portraits, which then adorned the great hall, Mr. Pennant adds,

These were proofs of a sense of real merit, but in how many places do we meet instances of a temporary idolatry, the phrenzy of the day! statues and portraits appear to the astonishment of posterity purged from the prejudices of the times. The things themselves are neither scarce nor rare, The wonder's how the devil they got there.

The monument to Mr. Beckford is here referred to. It occupied, at that time, a conspicuous situation at the lower end of the hall; at

382

the last repair its place was supplied by a dial, and it was removed to the vacancy occasioned by the walling up the old entrance in the north wall. It was thus noticed by Mr. Pennant,

at the bottom of the room is a marble group of good workmanship, (with London and Commerce whimpering like

two

marred children) executed soon after the year

1770

, by Mr. Moore. The principal figure was also a giant in his days, the raw head and bloody bones to the good folks at St. James', which, while remonstrances were in fashion, annually haunted the court in terrific forms. The eloquence dashed in the face of majesty, alas! proved in vain. The spectre was there condemned to silence, but his patriotism may be read by his admiring fellow citizens, as long as the melancholy marble can retain the tale of the affrighted times.

So fleeting, however, is popularity, that this monument, almost forgotten, has assumed a humbler place, and the picture of lord Camden no longer holds its original distinguished station. Mr. Beckford particularly distinguished himself in opposing the arbitrary measures of government in the contest maintained by Wilkes concerning the right of election for the county of Middlesex; and having been ordered to attend his majesty with the famous City Remonstrance voted in , he ventured to express his sentiments in the following terms, after receiving an unpropitious answer from the throne:--

Most gracious Sovereign.

Will your Majesty be pleased so far to condescend, as to permit the Mayor of your loyal City of London to declare, in your royal presence, on behalf of his Fellow-citizens. how much the bare apprehension of your Majesty's displeasure would at all times affect their minds! The declaration of that displeasure has already filled them with inexpressible anxiety. and with the deepest affliction. Permit me Sire, to assure your Majesty that your Majesty has not, in all our dominions, any Subjects more faithful, more dutiful, or more affectionate to your Majesty's person and family, or more ready to sacrifice their lives and fortunes in the maintenance of the true Honour and Dignity of your Crown. We do therefore, with the greatest humility and submission, most earnestly supplicate your Majesty, that you will not dismiss us from your presence without expressing a more favourable opinion of your faithful Citizens, and without some comfort, without some prospect at least of redress.

Permit me, Sire, farther to observe, that whoever has already dared, or shall here after endeavour, by false insinuations and suggestions, to alienate your Majesty's affections from your loyal subjects in general, and from the City of London in particular, and to withdraw your confidence and regard for your People, is an enemy to your Majesty's Person and Family, a Violater of the Public Peace, and a Betrayer of our Happy Constitution, as it was established at the Glorious Revolution.In Nichols' Guildhall, page 25,

Mr. Beckford was unwell at the period when he went up with the Remonstrance, and it is thought that the irritation of the times accelerated his decease, which occurred within a month afterwards. On , following, the court of common council passed an

383

unanimous vote that a statue should be raised to his memory, inscribed with the words of his memorable speech to the sovereign. The position of the figure is said to be that in which he addressed the king; his right hand is elevated and spread; the left arm is nearly pendant; the head reclines towards the right shoulder; he is habited in his mayoralty robes, close coat, full dressed wig, &c. At the corners of the pedestal are female figures, seated, emblematical of London and Commerce, in attitudes of mournfulness. To the credit, however, of the city, the monuments since raised have commemorated individuals whose fame rested on more solid ground than the fleeting popularity of the moment.

The earl of Chatham's monument is of a noble design and dignified character. It is placed against the north wall, and was executed by the late John Bacon, esq. R. A. who completed it in the year , and received guineas for his labour, the whole expense of the monument amounting to The form is pyramidical: the earl is represented standing erect upon a rock, in the costume of a Roman senator; his left hand rests on the helm of state; his right hand is affectionately placed on the shoulder of Commerce, who is gracefully presented to his protection by a murall--crowned female representing the city of London; in the foreground is Britannia seated on her lion, and near her are the quarters of the world, represented by infants, who are pouring into her lap the contents of the cornucopia of plenty. On the plinth is a medallion charged with the cap of liberty, and ornamented with laurels, and festoons, over which is the following inscription written by the celebrated Edmund Burke:--

In grateful Acknowledgment to the Supreme Disposer of events, who, intending to advance this nation for such time as to his wisdom seemed good, to an high Pitch of Prosperity and Glory, by an Unanimity at home; by Confidence and Reputation abroad; by Alliance wisely chosen and faithfully observed; by Colomes united and protected; by decisive Victories by sea and land by Conquests made by Arms and Generosity in every part of the globe; by Commerce, for the first time, united with, and made to flourish by War;--was pleased to raise up as a proper instrument in this memorable work,

William Pitt.

The Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Council, mindful of the Benefits which the City of London received, in her ample Share in the general Prosperity, have erected to the memory of this eminent Statesman and powerful Orator, this Monument in her Guildhall, that her Citizens may never meet for the Transaction of their Affairs, without being reminded that the Means by which Providence raises a Nation to Greatness, are the Virtues infused into Great men, and that to withhold from those Virtues, either of the Living or the Dead, the Tribute of Esteem and Veneration, is to deny to themselves the Means of Happiness and Honour.

This distinguished Person, for the Service rendered to King George II. and to King George III. was created

Earl of Chatham.

The British Nation honoured his Memory with a public Funeral, and a public Monument amongst her illustrious men in Westminster Abbey. J. Bacon, Sculpsot, 1782.

384

 

The monument of Nelson was erected in the beginning of , at the expence of ; the sculptor was the late Mr. James Smith. It consists of principal figures, namely, Neptune, Britannia, and London; but the gallant chieftain himself, whose splendid achievements this cenotaph was intended to commemorate, is represented only in profile relief on a miserable medallion. The substitution of an overwhelming allegory in the place of historic truth, has been so much the practice in monumental sculpture, that it can now be scarcely too frequently reprobated. That a better taste is at length springing up in this country, the works of Flaxman, Westmacott, and Chantrey, will abundantly testify; yet there may be other artists, possessed too, both of talent and judgment, whom, through their not having considered the subject properly, it still becomes necessary to guard from supinely reposing their inventive faculties upon what has been effected, instead of reflecting upon what might be done, and what propriety demands. In the design before us, even the very dolphin of the sea-god, (as well as the British lion, on which Britannia appears seated,) is a far more conspicuous object than the renowned hero to whom the monument is consecrated. Neptune, who occupies the fore-ground, and is partly reclining on his left side and elbow, is a gigantic figure; the right hand is raised, and spread, and the head and countenance are turned with sympathetic attention towards Britannia, who is mournfully contemplating the medallion of Nelson, which she holds in her right hand. Behind are several naval flags and other trophies; and a -fold marble pyramid, white on a ground of bluish grey, in fruit of which stands a murally-crowned female in flowing drapery, inscribing on the pyramid the words

Nile,

Copenhagen,

Trafalgar ;

above which is the great Nelson's own name, encircled by a wreath. The latter figure, which is a personification of the city, or Genius of London, is wholly turned backward to the spectator, by which injudicious position a favourable opportunity of making an impressive and dignified appeal to the mind's eye has been entirely lost. The base of the monument is circular, or rather elliptical, and has in front a clever bas-relievo of the battle of Trafalgar: on each side, in a small niche, is the figure of a seaman; and at each end is a trident. The execution of many parts of this elaborate work is undoubtedly good, but the objections specified are sufficient to shew the inequality of the design. The inscription was from the pen of the right hon. R. B. Sheridan, and is as follows :--

TO HORATIO VISCOUNT AND BARON NELSON, VICE-ADMIRAL OF THE WHITE, AND KNIGHT OF THE MOST HONOURABLE ORDER OF THE BATH;

A Man amongst the few, who appear at different periods, to have been created to promote the Grandeur and add to the Security of Nations; inciting by their high example their Fellow-mortals, through all succeeding times, to pursue the course that leads to the exultation of our imperfect nature. Providence, that implanted in Nelson's breast an ardent passion for renown, as bounteously endowed him with the transcendant talents necessary to the great purposes he was destined to accomplish. At an early period of life he entered into the Naval service of his Country; and early were the instances which marked the fearless nature and enterprise of his character; uniting to the loftiest spirit, and the justest title to self-confidence, a strict and humble obedience to the sovereign rule of discipline and subordination. Rising by due gradation to command, he infused into the bosoms of those he led the valorous ardour and enthusiastic zeal for the service of his King and Country, which animated his own; and while he acquired the love of all, by the sweetness and moderation of his temper, he inspired an universal confidence in the never-failing resources of his capacious mind. It will be for History to relate the many great exploits, through which, solicitous of peril, and regard less of wounds, he became the glory of his profession! But it belongs to this brief record of his illustrious career to say, that he commanded and conquered at the Battles of the Nile and Copenhagen; Victories never before equalled; yet afterwards surpassed by his own last atchievement, the Battle of Trafalgar! fought on the 21st of October, 1805. On that day, before the conclusion of the action, he fell mortally wounded. But the sources of life and sense failed not, until it was known to him that the destruction of the enemy being completed, the Glory of his Country, and his own, had attained their summit; then laying his hand on his brave heart, with a look of exalted resignation to the will of the Supreme Disposer of the Fate of Man and Nations, he expired.

The Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Council, of the City of London, have caused this Monument to be erected, not in the presumptuous hope of sustaining the departed Hero's memory; but to manifest their estimation of the Man, and their admiration of his deeds. This testimony of their Gratitude, they trust, will remain as long as their own renowned City shall exist. The period to Nelson's Fame can only be the end of Time.Brayley, vol. ii. p. 460.

In , another monument was raised to the memory of the right hon. William Pitt; it occupies the division of the wall exactly opposite to the monument of his illustrious father. The sculptor was Mr. Bubb, and the sum of was paid by the city for the whole group. It differs from the monument of Nelson, in containing a representation of the man to whose memory it was erected, but it is ill calculated to hold a rank with the splendid composition opposite to it.

The massy substance on which the figures in the composition are placed, is intended to represent the island of Great , and the surrounding waves. On an elevation, in the centre of the island, Mr. Pitt appears in his robes, as chancellor of the exchequer, in the attitude of a public orator. Below him, on an intermediate foreground, statues characterize his abilities; while, with the national energy, which is embodied, and riding on a symbol of the ocean in the lower centre, they assist to describe allusively the effects of his administration. Apollo stands on his right, personating eloquence and learning. Mercury is introduced on his left, as the representative of commerce, and the patron of policy. To describe the unprecedented splendour of success which crowned the British navy while Mr. Pitt was minister, the lower part of the monument is occupied by a statue of Britannia, seated triumphantly on

386

a sea-horse; in her left hand is the usual emblem of naval power; and her right grasps a thunderbolt, which she is prepared to hurl at the enemies of her country.

The inscription, written by the right hon. George Canning, is as follows:--

William Pitt,

Son of William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, Inheriting the genius, and formed by the precepts of his Father, devoted himself from his early years to the service of the State. Called to the chief conduct of the Administration, after the close of a disastrous war, he repaired the exhausted Revenues, he revived and invigorated the Commerce and Prosperity of the Country; and he had re-established the Publick Credit on deep and sure foundations: when a new War was kindled in Europe, more formidable than any preceding War from the peculiar character of its dangers. To resist the arms of France, which were directed against the Independence of every Government and People, to animate other Nations by the example of Great Britain, to check the contagion of opinions which tended to dissolve the frame of Civil Society, to array the loyal, the sober-minded, and the good, in defence of the venerable Constitution of the British Monarchy; were the duties which, at that awful crisis, devolved upon the British Minister, and which he discharged with transcendant zeal and intrepidity and perseverance: he upheld the National Honour abroad; he maintained at home the blessings of Order and of true Liberty; and, in the midst of difficulties and perils, he united and consolidated the strength, power, and resources of the Empire. For these high purposes, he was gifted by Divine Providence with endowments, rare in their separate excellence; wonderful in their combination; judgment; imagination; memory; wit; force and acuteness of reasoning; Eloquence, copious and accurate, commanding and persuasive, and suited from its splendour to the dignity of his mind and to the authority of his station; a lofty spirit, a mild and ingenuous temper. Warm and stedfast in friendship, towards enemies he was forbearing and forgiving. His industry was not relaxed by confidence in his great abilities. His indulgence to others was not abated by the consciousness of his own superiority. His ambition was pure from all selfish motives: The love of power and the passion for fame were in him subordinate to views of publick utility; dispensing for near twenty years the favours of the Crown, he lived without ostentation; and he died poor. A grateful Nation decreed to him those funeral honours which are reserved for eminent and extraordinary men. This Monument is erected by the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Council, to record the reverent and affectionate regret with which the City of London cherishes his memory; and to hold out to the imitation of Posterity those pi inciplee of publick and private virtue, which ensure to Nations a solid greatness, and to individuals an imperishable name.

Even those who differ in political principles with the illustrious subject of the monument, must unite with his friends in bearing testimony to the distinguished talents and unsullied honesty of the individual. This is the last monument erected in the great hall. We have described them in chronological order. The are affixed to the north wall, Nelson's on the west entrance, and Beckford's on the east; farther towards the east is Lord Chatham's, and on the opposite side of the hall, Mr. Pitt's.

The mayor's court is a plain building, in stories, ranging at right angles with the great hall. In the basement story, which is lighted by low arched windows, is kept the town clerk's office; the upper story is lighted by lofty arched windows in the east wall,

387

which has been despoiled of their mullions and tracery. The interior is approached from a small porch between the west end and the great hall, the entrance being on the west side; the grand entrance to the court is at the south, and through a pointed arch of large dimensions, the piers ornamented with columns sustaining an architrave, composed of numerous mouldings; above the doorway is a low arched window, robbed of its tracery, on each side of which is an upright pannel with a cinquefoil arched head, containing a demi angel holding a shield before him charged with the city arms. The north end has a window similar to the opposite end, but instead of the pannels at the sides of it, are canopies of a very neat design; the west order has windows, and a modern doorway, and concealed by the wainscot is a very neat doorway, with a pointed arch, bounded by a square architrave, the mouldings resting on columns, and the spandrils filled with tracery. A portion, at the north end, is parted by a screen to form a retiring room for the judge; the screen has a canopy in the centre, and is painted with niches and imitations of statues, representing the same subjects as formerly existed on the principal front, viz. Fortitude, Religion, Temperance, and Justice. The roof of this court is modern. In this court was formerly a portrait of judge Hale, by Wright: and another of the late earl Camden, by sir Joshua Reynolds; the latter was voted by the city in testimony of admiration at his lordship's conduct in discharging Mr. Wilkes on a writ of Habeas Corpus, after he had been arrested and committed to the Tower by government, under an illegal general warrant, in . His lordship is depicted in his full robes, as lord chief justice of the common pleas, standing near a table covered with books and papers on a rich carpet, which descends to the ground in graceful folds. This picture has been engraved by Basire; on the frame is the following inscription :--

Hanc Iconem

Caroli Pratt

, Esq. Summi Judicis C. B. In Honorem Tanti Viri Anglicae Libertatis Lege Asserteris Fidi S. P. Q. L. In Curio Municipali Proni Jusserunt Nono Kal. Mar. A. D. MDCCLXIV. Gulielmo Bridgen, Arm. Prae. Urb.

The common council chamber is a compact and well-proportioned room, appropriately fitted up for the assembly of the court, which consists of the lord mayor, aldermen, and deputies from the city wards. The middle part is formed into a square, by arches sustaining a dome, pierced with a sky-light, and assuming the appearance of an escalloped shell. The angles of the corners beneath were [painted with emblematical representations of

Providence, Innocence, Wisdom, and Happiness,

by Rigaud all which were personified by females of different ages, and with proper accompaniments, but the colours having been changed and blackened by damps, were obliterated at the last general repair. The

388

lord mayor's chair, which is on a raised platform at the upper end of the chamber, is seated with red velvet, and the arms and backs are gilt. An inclosure at the lower end separates the seats of the common council men from a narrow space connected with the entrance, into which strangers are admitted to hear the proceedings of the court. The seats of the aldermen are upon the platform.

At the west end of the chamber is a marble statue, erected by the corporation to commemorate the long reign and virtues of our late excellent monarch; it is placed on a pedestal within a large semicircular niche of veined marble; the statue is the size of life, and is attired in regal robes, and appears in the attitude of speaking. On the pedestal is the following inscription, written by Mr. Alderman Birch, which is so injudiciously placed as to be hid by the lord mayor's chair.

George the Third

Born and bred a Briton, endeared to a brave, free, and loyal people, by his public virtues, by his pre-eminent example of private worth in all relations of domestic life, by his uniform course of unaffected piety, and entire submission to the will of Heaven. The Wisdom and Firmness of his Character and Councils enabled him so to apply the resources of his empire, so to direct the native energies of his subjects, that he maintained the dignity of his crown, preserved inviolate the constitution in Church and State, and secured the commerce and prosperity of his dominions, during a long period of unexampled difficulty: in which the deadly contagion of French principles, and the domineering aggressions of French power, had nearly dissolved the frame and destroyed the independence of every other Government and Nation in Europe. The Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Commons of the City of London, have erected this Statue in testimony of their undeviating loyalty and grateful attachment to the best of Kings, in the fifty-fifth year of his reign, A. D. 1815, Birch, Mayor.

This statue was opened on the d ; the sums voted by the city for its execution, amounted to the sculptor was F. Chantrey, esq.

The walls of this apartment are painted of a dark red colour, and are hung with a very splendid collection of paintings, the greater part of which was given to the city by the late Mr. Alderman John Boydell, who filled the civic chair in the year .

The principal picture, and the that attracts attention, is that was voted by the corporation, and represents

The destruction of the floating batteries before Gibraltar,

on . This was designed to commemorate the gallant defence of that fortress made by general Elliott, afterwards lord Heathfield; and was executed by John Singleton Copley, esq. R. A. the father of the present lord chancellor, who was paid . for his performance; besides having the privilege of exhibiting it for a time to the public, and which was done in a temporary building raised for the purpose in the . This vast picture, which measures feet in width, and about in height, exhibits the victory achieved by the garrison, and in the moment of their triumph, a display of humanity that highly exalts the British

389

character:

it is composed of

three

large groups; that on the right contains the portraits of the principal British and Hanoverian officers, of the size of life, who are assembled on the ramparts (the action being over,) to view the dreadful scene which ensued from the battering ships being set on fire. Lord Heathfield, on horseback, in conversation with generals Boyd, De la Motte, and Green, pointing to sir Roger Curtis, and a detachment of British seamen, who, at the hazard of their own lives, are rescuing their vanquished enemies from destruction. Several of the seamen are seen at the stern of

one

of the battering ships, striking the Spanish ensign; whilst others generously relieve a number of the unfortunate Spaniards from a sinking wreck: these form a

second

group on the left. The

third

group occupies the centre, where a number of the enemy are represented in extreme distress, endeavouring to escape from a floating battery that is enveloped in flames. At a distance is a view of the camp of the allied army of France and Spain, and the head-quarters of the duke de Crillon.

All the principal figures are as large as life; their countenances are expressive of eager attention, and are very excellently finished. The judgment of the artist is rendered eminently conspicuous, both in the arrangement of the groups, and in the varied expressions of courage, terror, and humanity, that characterize the different figures. A very large and forcible engraving of this picture, feet inches in length, and feet in width, was executed by the late Mr. William Sharp, whose talents in the historic line deservedly exalted him to the chief place among the professors of the graphic art in this country. Besides the above, there are other paintings, but much smaller, connected with the siege of Gibraltar, in this apartment: they were executed by Paton, and represent, .

the English lines within the town, with the houses burning and in ruins;

.

View from the sea, with the blowing up of the gun-boats;

. another

view of the destruction of the Spanish vessels;

and .

the British fleet under lord Howe bearing down to the relief of the fortress :

the former have been engraved by Fittler; the latter by Lerpiniere.

The last-mentioned pictures formed part of the gift made by Mr. Boydell: the remaining part includes the following paintings, all which are in this chamber: the original price of the entire collection amounted to about

; Opie: engraved by Taylor.

; Northcote: engraved by Anker Smith.

; after Paton, by Dodd: views: of which has been engraved by Fittler, the other by Lerpiniere.

390

 

; Gaven Hamilton: engraved by Facius.

, a companion to the above; Westall, ditto.

; W. Miller; this picture contains upwards of portraits of aldermen, city officers, common council-men, &c. An engraving, feet inches, by feet, has been made from it by Benjamin Smith.

; the vessels, &c. by Paton; the figures by Wheatley. Portraits, half and -quarter lengths ; , Copley; engraved by B. Smith: , after sir Joshua Reynolds; engraved by Earlom; , Hoppner, engraved by Ward: , a copy, by Kentland: , sir William Beechey: , after Monnyer. , Abbott; , by sir W.Beechey; chamberlain, by sir T. Lawrance, by vote of common council, ; , by Opie; he died ; , by Lonsdale; , by the same.

In this apartment are busts: lord Nelson, by the hon. Mrs. Damer, presented by herself in ; duke of Wellington, by Turnerelli, and Granville Sharpe, by Chantrey.

The grateful sense entertained of Mr. Boydell's gift by the corporation, was testified by the following resolution, which is engraven on a brass-plate over the fire-place.

At a Court of Common Council,

Feb. 27, 1800

, on the motion of Mr. Deputy Goodbehere, it was resolved, That the Members of this Corporation, grateful for the delight afforded them as often as they assemble in this Court, by the splendid

Collection of Paintings

presented by

Mr. Alderman Boydell

, entertaining an affectionate sense of the honour done them by that celebrated patron of arts, and proud of the relation in which they stand to him as Fellow-citizens, do, in testimony of those feelings, request him to sit for his Portrait, to an artist of his own choice; conscious, however, that hereby they are only requesting him to confer a new gratification on themselves and their successors, and unwilling that, amidst such and so many remembrances of sublime characters and illustrious actions, his portrait should be wanting, who, discerning in the discovery, and munificent in the encouragement, of merit in others, combined in his own character private integrity with public spirit, and solid honesty with a highly cultivated taste.

The portrait of the worthy alderman, which was executed in consequence of this resolution, is a whole length by sir W. Beechey, and represents him in his robes as lord mayor, standing at a table with the mace, sword, &c. It is a good picture, and cost guineas.

391

 

Over the chimney was a beautiful by the late John Banks, R. A. representing : this was the finished model for the sculpture in front of the Shakespeare gallery, Pall-mall, and was also presented to the city by Mr. Alderman Boydell. An engraving has been made from it by Leney; it was removed with the fire-place in , when a machine for warming the court was set up.

The court of aldermen is a well-proportioned and handsome room : the ceiling is disposed into oval and circular compartments, containing paintings of allegorical and fancy subjects, by sir J. Thornhill, with heavy borders richly gilt. Various shields of arms, properly blazoned, are affixed over the cornice; and the mantel piece exhibits a cleverly executed allegorical design of several figures in imitation of bronze. Over the east door is the appropriate motto, , in golden letters.

In the chamberlain's drawing-room, framed and glazed, are between and elegantly written, and otherwise embellished, copies of the votes of thanks, &c. from the city, to the most distinguished naval and military heroes in the late and present wars. The writing is principally by J. Tomkins; each record has the armorial bearings of the gallant chieftain whom it commemorates at the top; the city arms at the bottom; and round the borders different emblems, figures, and trophies, in allusion to the action recorded, neatly drawn and coloured. The gilt of the freedom of the city was in various instances accompanied by that of a gold box, value guineas, or a sword of guineas value. In the chamberlain's office, apprentices are enrolled, freemen admitted, &c. In this apartment is a portrait of Tomkins the writer, by sir J. Reynolds, and

The Miseries of Civil War;

a scene from Shakespeare's Henry the , act II. representing a son that had killed his father, and a father that had killed his son, in the battle of Towton, fought on Palm-sunday, ; Josiah Boydell; engraved by J. Ogborne. The other apartments in this edifice require no particular description; most of them are appropriated as offices, or to the transaction of public business.

In the waiting room is a painting of

the Death of James I. of Scotland,

by Opie, and

The Male Tiger, and the Lioness and Whelps,

by Northcote, finely painted: the former has been engraved by Murphy; the latter, by Earlom.

Above the entrance to is the city library, a neat and commodious apartment. Over the fire-place is some beautiful carving by Gibbons of the Moon, Cap of Maintainance, and Sword. A considerable number of the books in this libraryare presentation copies. Here also are a complete set of the Journals and Reports of the , presented by alderman Wood, in volumes; a matchless set of the London Gazette, the Reports on the Public Records, &c.

Beneath the hall is a curious crypt, the entrance to which is by

392

a descent of several steps, and a wide doorway in the basement of the east end. This is divided into aisles by clustered columns, having plinths, bases, and capitals; from the latter spring the groins of the vaulting, the chief intersections of which display ornamented bosses; of them has a shield with the city arms. On the north side were large pointed-headed windows, now walled up, each of which had lights. The height of the crypt is about feet: it is now only used for the storing up of the tables, benches, &c. employed in the arrangements for the civic feast on lord mayor's day, &c.

Since the building of the kitchen by sir John Shaw, in , the inauguration dinners of the lord mayors have constantly been celebrated in . The entertainments are always splendid; but particularly so at the customary times when the reigning sovereign and royal family honour the citizens with their presence, or when direct invitations to civic banquets are given on the occurrence of important state events.

The exterior of the hall, with the exception of the south facade, already described, is so closely environed by houses, that no full view of it can be obtained. The side walls and the angles of the east and west ends are supported by enormous buttresses, which correspond in situation with the divisions formed by the clustered columns of the interior. The principal divisions of the magnificent east and west windows are also formed by appropriate buttresses; but the mouldings and tracery are ingeniously varied. The summit of each angle of the roof is crowned by a lofty octangular turret (having ornamental plinths, buttresses, &c.) surmounted by a cupola of comparatively recent date: from these cupolas, a pediment cornice rises towards the centre of the design at each end, but instead of meeting in a point, the whole terminates in a plain modern pedestal.

 
 
Footnotes:

[] Stow's Lond. p. 216, edit. 1598.

[] Stow's Lond. p. 217.

[] Nichols' Guildhall, 5.

[] Engravings of these Statues were made by the late J. Carter, F S. A. for his Ancient Sculpture and Painting. When the statues were taken down, they were requested of the court of common council by Mr. Ald. Boydell, for the purpose of presenting them to Mr. Banks, the late eminent sculptor, who regarded them as very eminent specimens of ancient art, and was at the pains of restoring their mutilated limbs, &c. After his decease they were sold by auction at a considerable price. Stow, in relation to these statues, and to the general demolition of images that occurred in his time, states (Sur. of Lond. p. 217, edit. 1598), that these verses following were made about some 30 years since by William Elderton, at that time an attorney in the sheriffs court at Guildhall. Though most the images be pulled downe, And none be thought remaine in towne, I am sure there be in London yet Seven images, such, and in such a place, As few or none I think will hit, Yet every day they shew their face, And thousands see them every yeare But few I thinke can tell me where-- Where Jesus Christ aloft doth stand Law and Learning on either hand, Discipline in the Divil's necke And hard by her are three direct; There Jsstice, Fortitude, and Temperance stande, Where find ye the like in all this land.

[] Vol. ii. p. 449

[] In confirmation of this idea, it may be added, that the late col. Smith, deputy governor of the Tower, was in possession of a curious painting taken from Greenwich, representing London after the fire, in which about a third of the roof of Guildhall appeared standing, decidedly with a gable roof. Gent. Mag. vol. 89. part 1. p. 42. In Hollar's long view of London, taken circa 1647, the roof of Guildhall appears with its two lanterns rising from a gable.

[] P. 265.

[] A captain in the trained bands.

[] Anec. of Painting, vol. ii. p. 71. edit 1786.

[] Those to which the asterisk is prefixed, are what are yet in the great hall. Brayley, ii. page 454, note.

[] Several of these portraits are now placed in the court of king's bench and common pleas, vide ante, p. 107.

[] London, 558. it is said that this speech is supposed to have been written by Home Tooke, sometime after the speech alluded to was delivered!

[] See Vol. ii. p. 71.

[] Brayley, vol. ii. p. 456.

[] Nichols' Guildhall, p. 19.

[] Brayley, vol. ii. p. 460. These have since been removed to other parts of the building.

[] The original picture by sir Joshua, which has been copied on enamel by Mr. Bone, was first presented to the city, and put up in this chamber; but it sustained so much deterioration through the damps, that it was thought expedient to have it removed and copied.

View all images in this book
 Title Page
 Dedication
 CHAPTER I: The site, extent, buildings, population, commerce, and a view of the progressive increase of London
 CHAPTER II: List of the parishes and churches in London, with their incumbents, &c
collapseCHAPTER III: History and Topography of Aldersgate Ward
collapseCHAPTER IV: History and Topography of Aldgate Ward
collapseCHAPTER V: History and Topography of Bassishaw Ward
collapseCHAPTER VI: History and Topography of Billingsgate Ward
collapseCHAPTER VII: History and Topography of Bishopsgate Ward, Without and Within
collapseCHAPTER VIII: History and Topography of Bread-street Ward
collapseCHAPTER IX: History and Topography of Bridge Ward Within
collapseCHAPTER X: History and Topography of Broad-street Ward
collapseCHAPTER XI: History and Topography of Candlewick Ward
collapseCHAPTER XII: History and Topography of Castle Baynard Ward
collapseCHAPTER XIII: History and Topography of Cheap Ward
collapseCHAPTER XIV: History and Topography of Coleman-street Ward
collapseCHAPTER XV: History and Topography of Cordwainer's-street Ward
collapseCHAPTER XVI: History and Topography of Cornhill Ward
collapseCHAPTER XVII: History and Topography of Cripplegate Ward Within
collapseCHAPTER XVIII: History and Topography of Cripplegate Yard Without
collapseCHAPTER XIX: History and Topography of Dowgate Yard
collapseCHAPTER XX: History and Topography of Farringdom Ward Within
collapseCHAPTER XXI: History and Topography of Farringdon Ward Without
collapseCHAPTER XXII: History and Topography of Langbourn Ward
collapseCHAPTER XXIII: History and Topography of Lime-street Ward
collapseCHAPTER XXIV: History and Topogrpahy of Portsoken Ward
collapseCHAPTER XXV: History and Topography of Queenhithe Ward
collapseCHAPTER XXVI: History and Topography of Tower Ward
collapseCHAPTER XXVII: History and Topography of Vintry Ward
collapseCHAPTER XXVIII: History and Topography of Wallbrook Ward
This object is in collection:
Edwin C. Bolles papers
Subjects
London (England)--History
Antiquities
Permanent URL
http://hdl.handle.net/10427/44306
ID: tufts:UA069.005.DO.00068
To Cite: DCA Citation Guide
Usage: Detailed Rights