ePub 版


armoury are suits on which many lances have splin- Great Fire abated is Cock Lane, the scene of the tered and swords struck; the imperishable steel rapping ghost, in which Dr. Johnson believed and clothes of many a dead king are here, unchanged concerning which Goldsmith wrote a catchpenny since the owners doffed them. This suit was the pamphlet. Earl of Leicester's—the “Kenilworth ” earl, for see Holborn and its tributaries come next, and are his cognizance of the bear and ragged staff on the by no means deficient in legends and matter horse's chanfron. This richly-gilt suit was worn by of general interest. “ The original name of the the ill-starred son of James II., Prince Henry, who, street was the Hollow Bourne,” says a modern as many thought, was poisoned by Buckingham; and etymologist, “not the Old Bourne;" it was not this quaint mask, with ram's horns and spectacles, paved till the reign of Henry V. The ride up belonged to Will Somers, Henry VIII.'s jester. “the Heavy Hill” from Newgate to Tyburn has

From the Tower we break away into the far been sketched by Hogarth and sung by Swift. In east, among the old clothes shops, the bird markets, Ely Place once lived the Bishop of Ely; and in the costermongers, and the weavers of White-Hatton Garden resided Queen Elizabeth's favourite, chapel and Spitalfields. We are far from jewels the dancing chancellor, Sir Christopher Hatton. here and Court splendour, and we come to plain In Furnival's Inn Dickens wrote “Pickwick.” In working people and their homely ways. Spital- Barnard's Inn died the last of the alchemists. fields was the site of a priory of Augustine canons, Staple's Inn Dr. Johnson wrote “Rasselas,” to pay however, and has ancient traditions of its own. the expenses of his mother's funeral. In Brooke The weavers, of French origin, are an interesting Street, where Chatterton poisoned himself, lived race—we shall have to sketch their sayings and Lord Brooke, a poet and statesman, who was a doings; and we shall search Whitechapel diligently patron of Ben Jonson and Shakespeare, and who for old houses and odd people. The district may was assassinated by a servant whose name he had not furnish so many interesting scenes and anec omitted in his will. Milton lived for some time in dotes as the West End, but it is well worthy of a house in Holborn that opened at the back on study from many modern points of view.

Lincoln's Inn Fields. Fox Court leads us to the Smithfield and Holborn are regions fertile in curious inquiry whether Savage, the poet, was a associations. Smithfield, that broad plain, the conscious or an unconscious impostor ; and at the scene of so many martyrdoms, tournaments, and Blue Boar Inn Cromwell and Ireton discovered by executions, forms an interesting subject for a stratagem the treacherous letter of King Charles diversified chapter. In this market-place the to his queen, that rendered Cromwell for ever the ruffians of Henry VIII.'s time met to fight out their King's enemy. These are only a few of the quarrels with sword and buckler. Here the brave countless associations of Holborn. Wallace was executed like a common robber; and Newgate is a gloomy but an interesting subject here “the gentle Mortimer” was led to a shameful for us. Many wild faces have stared through its death. The spot was the scene of great jousts in bars since, in King John's time, it became a City Edward III.'s chivalrous reign, when, after the battle prison. We shall look in on Sarah Malcolm, Mrs. of Poictiers, the Kings of France and Scotland Brownrigg, Jack Sheppard, Governor Wall, and came seven days running to see spears shivered other interesting criminals; we shall stand at Wren's and “the Lady of the Sun” bestow the prizes of elbow when he designs the new prison, and follow valour. In this same field Walworth slew the the Gordon Rioters when they storm in over the rebel Wat Tyler, who had treated Richard II. with burning walls. insolence, and by this prompt blow dispersed the The Strand stands next to Fleet Street as a insurgents, who had grown so dangerously strong. central point of old memories. It is not merely full, In Henry VIII.'s reign poisoners were boiled to it positively teems. For centuries it was a fashiondeath in Smithfield ; and in cruel Mary's reign the able street, and noblemen inhabited the south side

l Protestant martyrs were burned in the same place. especially, for the sake of the river. In Essex “Of the two hundred and seventy-seven persons Street, on a part of the Temple, Queen Elizabeth's burnt for heresy in Mary's reign,” says a modern rash favourite (the Earl of Essex) was besieged, antiquary," the greater number perished in Smith- after his hopeless foray into the City. In Arundel field; and ashes and charred bodies have been dug Street lived the Earls of Arundel; in Buckingham up opposite to the gateway of Bartholomew's Street Charles I.'s greedy favourite began a palace. Church and at the west end of Long Lane.” After There were royal palaces, too, in the Strand, for the Great Fire the houseless citizens were sheltered at the Savoy lived John of Gaunt; old Somerset here in tents. Over against the corner where the House was built by the Protector Somerset with the stones of the churches he had pulled down. beauties of the Carolean and Jacobean Courts; Henrietta Maria (Charles I.'s Queen) and poor remembering that in the same rooms Sir James neglected Catherine of Braganza dwelt at Somer Thornhill afterwards painted, and poor Richard set House ; and it was here that Sir Edmondbury Wilson produced those fine landscapes which so few Godfrey, the zealous Protestant magistrate, was had the taste to buy. The old hustings deserve a supposed to have been murdered. There is, too, word; and we shall have to record the lamentable the history of Lord Burleigh's house (in Cecil murder of Miss Ray by her lover, at the north-east Street) to record; and of Northumberland House, angle of the square. The neighbourhood of Covent with the recollections of its many noble inmates. Garden, too, is rife with stories of great actors and On the other side of the Strand we have to note painters, and nearly every house furnishes its quota Butcher Row (now pulled down), where the Gun- of anecdote. powder Plot conspirators met ; Exeter House, where The history of Drury Lane and Covent Garden Lord Burleigh's wily son lived; and, finally, Exeter theatres supplies us with endless anecdotes of actors, Change, where the poet Gay lay in state. Nor and with humorous and pathetic narratives that emshall we forget Cross's menagerie and the elephant brace the whole region both of tragedy and comedy. Chunee; nor omit mention of many of the eccentric Quin's jokes, Garrick's weaknesses, the celebrated old shopkeepers who once inhabited the 'Change. O. P. riots, contrast with the miserable end of some At Charing Cross we shall stop to see the old Crom- popular favourites and the caprices of genius. The wellians die bravely, and to stare at the pillory, oddities of Munden, the humour of Liston, only where in their time many incomparable scoundrels serve to render the gloom of Kean's downfall ignominiously stood. The Nelson Column and the more terrible, and to show the wreck and ruin of surrounding statues have stories of their own; and many unhappy men, equally wilful though less St. Martin's Lane is specially interesting as the gifted. There is a perennial charm about theatrihaunt of half the painters of the early Georgian era. cal stories, and the history of these theatres must There are anecdotes of Hogarth and his friends to be illustrated by many a sketch of the loves and be picked up here in abundance, and the locality rivalries of actors, their fantastic tricks, their pracgenerally deserves exploration, from the quaintness tical jokes, their gay progress to success or ruin. and cleverness of its former inhabitants.

Changes of popular taste are marked by the In Covent Garden we break fresh ground. We changes of character in the pieces that have been found St. Martin's Lane full of artists, Guildhall performed in various ages; and the history of the full of aldermen, the Strand full of noblemen-the two theatres will include various illustrative sketches old monastic garden will prove to be crowded with of dramatic writers, as well as actors.

There was actors. We shall trace the market from the first a vast interval in literature between the tragedies few sheds under the wall of Bedford House to the of Addison and Murphy and the comedies of present grand temple of Flora and Pomona. We Holcroft, O'Keefe, and Morton; the descent to shall see Evans's a new mansion, inhabited by Ben modern melodrama and burlesque must be traced Jonson's friend and patron, Sir Kenelm Digby, through various gradations, and the reasons shown alternately tenanted by Sir Harry Vane, Denzil for the many modifications both classes of enterHolles (one of the five refractory members whom tainments have undergone. Charles I. went to the House of Commons so Westminster, from the night St. Peter came over imprudently to seize), and Admiral Russell, who from Lambeth in the fisherman's boat, and chose defeated the French at La Hogue. The ghost a site for the Abbey in the midst of Thorney Island, of Parson Ford, in which Johnson believed, awaits to the present day, has been a spot where the us at the doorway of the Hummums. There are pilgrim to historic shrines loves to linger. Need several duels to witness in the Piazza ; Dryden we remind our readers that Edward the Confessor to call upon as he sits, the arbiter of wits, by the built the Abbey, or that William the Conqueror fireside at Will's Coffee House ; Addison is to be was crowned here, the ceremony ending in tumult found at Button's; at the “Bedford” we shall meet and blood? How vast the store of facts from Garrick and Quin, and stop a moment at Tom which we have to cull! We see the Jews being King's, close to St. Paul's portico, to watch beaten nearly to death for daring to attend the Hogarth's revellers fight with swords and shovels, coronation of Richard I. ; we observe Edward I. that frosty morning when the painter sketched the watching the sacred stone of Scotland being placed prim old maid going to early service. We shall beneath his coronation chair; we behold for the look in at the Tavistock, to see Sir Peter Lely first time, at Richard II.'s coronation, the champion and Sir Godfrey Kneller at work on portraits of riding into the Hall, to challenge all who refuse


allegiance; we see, at the funeral of Anne of Bo-through them : in St. James's seeing Charles II. feedhemia, Richard beating the Earl of Arundel for ing his ducks or playing “pall-mall;" in Hyde Park wishing to leave before the service is over. We hear observing the fashions and extravagancies of many the Te Deum that is sung for the victory of Agin- generations. “Romeo "Coates will whisk past us in court, and watch Henry VI. selecting a site for a his fantastic chariot, and the beaus and oddities of resting-place; we hear for the last time, at the many generations will pace past us in review. coronation of Henry VIII., the sanction of the There will be celebrated duels to describe, and Pope bestowed upon an English monarch ;. we pity various strange follies to deride. We shall see poor Queen Caroline attempting to enter the Abbey Cromwell thrown from his coach, and shall witness to see her worthless husband crowned; and we view the foot-races that Pepys describes. Dryden's

[ocr errors]
[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

the last coronation, and draw auguries of a purer if gallants and masked ladies will receive some mennot a happier age. The old Hall, too; could we tion; and we shall tell of bygone encampments neglect that ancient chamber, where Charles I. was and of many events now almost forgotten. sentenced to death, and where Cromwell was Kensington will recall many anecdotes of William throned in almost regal splendour? We must see of Orange, his beloved Queen, stupid Prince George it in all its special moments; when the seven of Denmark, and George II., who all died at the bishops were acquitted, and the shout of joy shook palace, the old seat of the Finches. We are sure London as with an earthquake; and when the rebel to find good company in the gardens.

Still as lords were tried. We must hear Lord Byron tried when Tickell sang, every walk for his duel with Mr. Chaworth, and mad Lord

“Seems from afar a moving tulip bed, Ferrers condemned for shooting his steward. We

Where rich brocades and glossy damasks glow, shall get a side-view of the shameless Duchess of

And chintz, the rival of the showery bow.” Kingston, and hear Burke and Sheridan grow eloquent over the misdeeds of Warren Hastings. There is Newton's house at South Kensington

The parks now draw us westward, and we wander to visit, and Wilkie's and Mrs. Inchbald's; and,

[ocr errors]

above all, there is Holland House, the scene of the fiddle. Saltero was a barber, who drew teeth, drew delightful Whig coteries of Tom Moore's time. customers, wrote verses, and collected curiosities. Here Addison lived to regret his marriage with

“Some relics of the Sheban queen a lady of rank, and here he died. At Kensington

And fragments of the famed Bob Crusoe." Charles James Fox spent his youth.

Swift lodged at Chelsea, over against the Jacobite And now Chelsea brings us pleasant recollec- Bishop Atterbury, who so nearly lost his head. In tions of Sir Thomas More, Swift, Sir Robert one of his delightful letters to Stella Swift describes Walpole, and Atterbury. "Chelsith," Sir Thomas “the Old Original Chelsea Bun House," and the More used to call it when Holbein was lodging r-r-r-r-rare Chelsea buns. He used to leave his in his house and King Henry, who afterwards best gown and perriwig at Mrs. Vanhomrig's, in

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small]

beheaded his old friend, used to come to dinner, Suffolk Street, then walk up Pall Mall, through and after dinner walk round the fair garden with the park, out at Buckingham House, and on to his arm round his host's neck. More was fond of Chelsea, a little beyond the church (5,748 steps), walking on the flat roof of his gate-house, which he says, in less than an hour, which was leisurely commanded a pleasant prospect of the Thames walking even for the contemplative and observant and the fields beyond. Let us hope the tradition is dean. Smollet laid a scene of his “Humphrey not true that he used to bind heretics to a tree in Clinker” in Chelsea, where he lived for some time. his garden. In 1717 Chelsea contained only 350 The Princess Elizabeth, when a girl, lived at houses, and these in 1725 had grown to 1,350. Chelsea, with that dangerous man, with whom she There is Cheyne Walk, so called from the Lords is said to have fallen in love, the Lord Admiral, Cheyne, owners of the manor; and we must not Seymour, afterwards beheaded. He was the forget Don Saltero and his famous coffee-house, second husband of Katherine Parr, one of the the oddities of which Steele pleasantly sketched in many wives of Elizabeth's father. Cremorne was, the Tatler. The Don was famous for his skill in in Walpole's days, the villa of Lord Cremorne, an brewing punch and for his excellent playing on the Irish nobleman; and near here, at a river-side


[ocr errors]

cottage died, in miserly and cynical obscurity, the Pope ridiculed. Nor are the lesser squares by any greatest of our modern landscape painters, Turner. means devoid of interest. Then there is Chelsea Hospital to visit. This In Pall Mall the laziest gleaner of London tradihospital was built by Wren; Charles II., it is tions might find a harvest. On the site of Carlton said at Nell Gwynn's suggestion, originated the House-the Prince Regent's palace--were, in the good work, which was finished by William and reign of Henry VI., monastic buildings, in which Mary. Dr. Arbuthnot, that good man so beloved (under Henry VIII.) Erasmus afterwards resided. by the Pope set, was physician here, and the .Rev. They were pulled down at the Reformation. Nell Philip Francis, who translated Horace, was Gwynn lived here, and so did Sir William Temple, chaplain. Nor can we leave Chelsea without Swift's early patron, the pious Boyle, and that poor remembering Sir Hans Sloane, whose collection puff-ball of vanity and pretence—Bubb Doddington. of antiquities, sold for £20,000, formed the first Here we have to record the unhappy duel at the nucleus of the British Museum, and who resided “Star and Garter” tavern between Lord Byron and at Chelsea ; nor shall we forget the Chelsea china Mr. Chaworth, and the murder of Mr. Thynne by manufactory, one of the earliest porcelain manu- his rival, Count Köningsmark. There is Boydell's factories in England, patronized by George II., Shakespeare Gallery to notice, and Dodsley's shop, who brought over German artificers from Bruns- which Burke, Johnson, and Garrick so often visited. wick and Saxony. In the reign of Louis XV. There is also the origin of the Royal Academy, at the French manufacturers began to regard it with a house opposite Market Lane, to chronicle, many jealousy and petitioned their king for special club-houses to visit, and curious memorabilia of all privileges. Ranelagh, too, that old pleasure-garden kinds to be sifted, selected, contrasted, mounted, which Dr. Johnson declared was “the finest thing and placed in sequence for view. he had ever seen,” deserves a word; Horace Then comes Marylebone, formerly a suburb, Walpole was constantly there, though at first, he famous only for its hunting park (now Regent's owns, he preferred Vauxhall; and Lord Chester- Park), its gardens, and its bowling-greens. In field was so fond of it that he used to say he Queen Elizabeth's time the Russian ambassadors should order all his letters to be directed there. were sent to hunt in Marylebone Park ; Cromwell

The West End squares are pleasant spots for sold it-deer, timber, and all—for £13,000. our purpose, and at many doors we shall have The Marylebone Bowling Greens, which preceded to make a call. In Landsdowne House (in the gardens, were at first the resort of noblemen Berkeley Square) it is supposed by many that and gentlemen, but eventually highwaymen began Lord Shelburne, Colonel Barre, and Dunning to frequent them. The Duke of Buckingham wrote “ Junius”; certain it is that the Marquis of (whom Lady Mary Wortley Montagu glances at in Landsdowne, in 1809, acknowledged the posses- the line, sion of the secret, but died the following week,

“Some dukes at Marybone bowl time away") before he could disclose it. Here, in 1774, that persecuted philosopher, Dr. Priestley, the librarian used, at an annual dinner to the frequenters of the to Lord Shelburne, discovered oxygen. In this gardens, to give the agreeable toast,—“May as square Horace Walpole (that delightful letter- many of us as remain unhanged next spring meet writer) died, and Lord Clive destroyed himself. here again.” Eventually burlettas

proThen there is Grosvenor Square, where that fat, duced-one written by Chatterton; and Dr. Arne easy-going Minister, Lord North, lived, where Wilkes conducted Handel's music. Marylebone, in the the notorious resided, and where the Cato-Street time of Hogarth, was a favourite place for prize conspirators planned to kill all the Cabinet fights and back-sword combats, the great champion Ministers, who had been invited to dinner by the being Figg, that bullet-headed man with the bald, Earl of Harrowby. In Hanover Square we visit plaistered head, whom Hogarth has 'represented Lord Rodney, &c. In St. James's Square we recall mounting grim sentry in his “Southwark Fair.” William III. coming to the Earl of Romney's to The great building at Marylebone began between see fireworks let off and, later, the Prince Regent, 1718 and 1729. In 1739 there were only 577 from a balcony, displaying to the people the Eagles houses in the parish; in 1851 there were 16,669. captured at Waterloo. Queen Caroline resided in many of the nooks and corners of Maryhere during her trial, and many of Charles II.'s lebone we shall find curious facts and stories frail beauties also resided in the same spot. In worth the unravelling. Cavendish Square we stop to describe the splendid The eastern squares, in Bloomsbury and St. projects of that great Duke of Chandos whom Pancras, are regions not by any means to be lightly


« 上一頁繼續 »