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be surprising if certain amateurs, busy in improving of this sum £480 for his four stone monarchs. the architectural concerns of the City, should at The mason was John Marshall, who carved the length request of their brethren to allow the Bar or pedestal of the statue of Charles I. at Charing grand gate of entrance into the City of London to Cross and worked on the Monument in Fish Street stand, after they have so repeatedly sought to Hill. In 1636 Inigo Jones had designed a new obtain its destruction." In 1852 a proposal for its arch, the plan of which still exists. Wren, it is repair and restoration was defeated in the Common said, took his design of the Bar from an old temple Council; and twelve months later, a number of at Rome. bankers, merchants, and traders set their hands to The old Bar, once a protection, then an ornaa petition for its removal altogether, as serving no ment, became an obstruction—the too narrow neck practical purpose, as it impeded ventilation and of a large decanter—a bone in the throat of Fleet
retarded improvements. Since then Mr. Heywood Street. It also became dilapidated and danhas proposed to make a circus at Temple Bar, gerous, and was eventually removed, as already leaving the archway in the centre; and Mr. w. stated, in 1877-8. Yet to the last we felt a lingerBurges, the architect, suggested a new arch in ing fondness for the old barrier that we had seen keeping with the new Law Courts opposite. draped in black for a dead hero and glittering with
It is a singular fact that the “Parentalia," a gold in honour of a young bride. We had shared chronicle of Wren's works written by Wren's clever the sunshine that brightened it and the gloom that son, contains hardly anything about Temple Bar. has darkened it, and we felt for it a species of According to Mr Noble, the Wren manuscripts in friendship, in which it mutely shared. It is worthy the British Museum, Wren's ledger in the Bodleian, of notice here that the visit of Her Majesty and the and the Record Office documents, are equally Prince of Wales to St. Paul's Cathedral, in the silent; but from a folio at the Guildhall, entitled month of February, 1872, mentioned by us in a “Expenses of Public Buildings after the Great previous chapter, was the very last occasion on Fire,” it would appear that the Bar cost altogether which Royalty passed in state through the gates of £1,397 1os. ; Bushnell, the sculptor, receiving out Temple Bar.
FLEET STREET--GENERAL INTRODUCTION.
Frays in Fleet Street-Chaucer and the Friar- The Duchess of Gloucester doing Penance for Witchcraft-Riots between Law Students and Citizens
'Prentice Riots-Oates in the Pillory-Entertainments in Fleet Streot-Shop Signs—Burning the Boot-Trial of Hardy-Queen Caroline's Funeral.
a saucy Franciscan friar in Fleet Street, and to
might melt also. Of the duchess's confederates, the There were certainly rough doings in Fleet Witch of Ely was burned at Smithfield, a canon of Street in the Middle Ages, for the City chronicles Westminster died in the Tower, and a third culprit tell us of much blood spilt there and of many was hung, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn. The deeds of violence. In 1228 (Henry III.) we find, duchess was brought from Westminster, and landed for instance, one Henry de Buke slaying a man at the Temple Stairs, from whence, with a tall wax named Le Ireis, or Le Tylor, of Fleet Bridge, then taper in her hand, she walked bareheaded to St. fleeing to the church of St. Mary, Southwark, and Paul's, where she offered at the high altar. Another there claiming sanctuary. In 1311 (Edward II.) day she did penance at Christ Church, Aldgate; a five of the king's not very respectable or law-fearing third day at St. Michael's, Cornhill, the Lord Mayor, household were arrested in Fleet Street for a sheriffs, and most of the Corporation following. burglary; and though the weak king demanded She was then banished to the Isle of Man, and her them (they were perhaps servants of his Gascon ghost, they say, still haunts Peel Castle. favourite, Piers Gaveston, whom the barons after- And now, in the long panorama of years, there
, wards killed), the City refused to give them up, rises in Fleet Street a clash of swords and a clatter and they probably had short shrive. · In the same of bucklers. In 1441 (Henry VI.) the general reign, when the Strand was full of bushes and effervescence of the times spread beyond Ludgate, thickets, Fleet Street could hardly have been con- and there was a great affray in Fleet Street between tinuous. Still, some shops in Fleet Street were, no the hot-blooded youths of the Inns of Court and doubt, even in Edward II.'s reign, of importance, the citizens, which lasted two days; the chief for we find, in 1321, a Fleet Street bootmaker man in the riot was one of Clifford's Inn, named supplying the luxurious king with "six pairs of Harbottle; and this irrepressible Harbottle and boots, with tassels of silk and drops of silver-gilt, his tellows only the appearance of the mayor and the price of each pair being 5s.” In Richard II.'s sheriffs could quiet. In 1458 (in the same reign) reign it is especially mentioned that Wat Tyler's there was a more serious riot of the same kind; fierce Kentish men sacked the Savoy church, the students were then driven back by archers from and part of the Temple, and destroyed two forges the Conduit near Shoe Lane to their several inns, which had been originally erected on each side of and some slain, including “the Queen's attornie,” St. Dunstan's Church by the Knight Templars. The who certainly ought to have known better and kept Priory of St. John of Jerusalem had paid a rent of closer to his parchments. Even the king's meek
THE 'PRENTICE RIOTS.
nature was roused at this; he committed the away in his own coach. At a court masque soon principal governors of Furnival's, Clifford's, and afterwards the king made the two rival potentates Barnard's inns to the castle of Hertford, and sent join hands; but the King of Misrule had, neverthefor several aldermen to Windsor Castle, where he less, to refund all the five shillings' he had exacted, either rated or imprisoned them, or both.
and repair all the Fleet Street doors his too handy Fleet Street often figures in the chronicles of gunner had destroyed. The very next year the Elizabeth's reign. On one visit it is particularly quarrelsome street broke again into a rage, and said that she often graciously stopped her coach four persons lost their lives. Of the rioters, two to speak to the poor; and a green branch of rose. were executed within the week. One of these was mary given to her by a poor woman near Fleet John Stanford, of the duke's chamber, and the other Bridge was seen, not without marvellous wonder of Captain Nicholas Ashurst. The quarrel was about such as knew the presenter, when her Majesty politics, and the courtiers seem to have been the reached Westminster. In the same reign we are offenders. told that the young Earl of Oxford, after attending In Charles II.'s time the pillory was sometimes his father's funeral in Essex, rode through Fleet set up at the Temple gate; and here the wretch Street to Westminster, attended by seven score Titus Oates stood, amidst showers of unsavoury horsemen, all in black. Such was the splendid eggs and the curses of those who had learnt to see and proud profusion of Elizabeth's nobles.
the horror of his crimes. Well said Judge Withers James's reign was a stormy one for Fleet Street. to this man, “I never pronounce criminal sentence Many a time the ready 'prentices snatched their but with some compassion; but you are such a clubs (as we read in "The Fortunes of Nigel"), and, villain and hardened sinner, that I can find no vaulting over their counters, joined in the fray that sentiment of compassion for you." The pillory surged past their shops. In 1621 particularly, three had no fixed place, for in 1670 we find a Scotchprentices having abused Gondomar, the Spanish man suffering at the Chancery Lane end for telling ambassador, as he passed their master's door in a victualler that his house would be fired by the Fenchurch Street, the king ordered the riotous Papists; and the next year a man stood upon the youths to be whipped from Aldgate to Temple pillory at the end of Shoe Lane for insulting Lord Bar. In Fleet Street, however, the apprentices Coventry, as he was starting as ambassador for rose in force, and shouting “Rescue !" quickly Sweden. released the lads and beat the marshalmen. If In the reign of Queen Anne those pests of the there had been any resistance, another thousand London streets, the “Mohocks," seem to have insturdy 'prentices would soon have carried on the fested Fleet Street. These drunken desperadoeswar.
the predecessors of the roysterers who, in the times Nor did Charles's reign bring any quiet to Fleet of the Regency, "boxed the Charlies,” broke Street, for then the Templars began to draw out windows, and stole knockers-used to find a cruel their swords. On the 12th of January, 1627, the pleasure in surrounding a quiet homeward-bound Templars, having chosen a Mr. Palmer as their citizen and pricking him with their swords. Lord of Misrule, went out late at night into Fleet Addison makes worthy Sir Roger de Coverley as Street to collect his rents. At every door the much afraid of these night-birds as Swift himself; jovial collectors winded the Temple horn, and if at and the old baronet congratulates himself on the second blast the door was not courteously escaping from the clutches of "the emperor and opened, my lord cried majestically, “Give fire, his black men," who had followed him half-way gunner!" and a sturdy smith burst the panels open down Fleet Street. He, however, boasts that he with a huge sledge-hammer. The horrified Lord threw them out at the end of Norfolk Street, where Mayor being appealed to soon arrived, attended by he doubled the corner, and scuttled safely into his the watch of the ward and men armed with halberts. quiet lodgings. At eleven o'clock on the Sunday night the two From Elizabethan times downwards, Fleet Street monarchs came into collision in Hare Alley (now was a favourite haunt of showmen. Concerning Hare Court). The Lord of Misrule bade my Lord these popular exhibitions Mr. Noble has, with Mayor come to him; but Palmer omitting to take great industry, collected the following curious off his hat, the halberts flew sharply round him, his enumeration subjects were soundly beaten, and he was dragged “Ben Jonson," says our trusty authority, "in off to the Compter. There, with soiled finery, the Every Man in his Humour, speaks of a new new year's king was kept two days in durance, the motion of the city of Nineveh, with Jonas and the attorney-general at last fetching the fallen monarch whale, at Fleet Bridge.' In 1611 'the Fleet Street
mandrakes' were to be seen for a penny; and not nineteen years old, though seven feet high, years later the giants of St. Dunstan's clock caused who died in 1737. At the 'Blew Boar and Green the street to be blocked up, and people to lose Tree' was on view an Italian giantess, above seven their time, their temper, and their money. During feet, weighing 425 lbs., who had been seen by ten Queen Anne's reign, however, the wonders of reigning sovereigns. In 1768 died, in Shire Lane, Fleet Street were at their height. In 1702 a Edward Bamford, another giant, seven feet four model of Amsterdam, thirty feet long by twenty inches in height, who was buried in St. Dunstan's, feet wide, which had taken twelve years in making, though £200 was offered for his body for diswas exhibited in Bell Yard; a child, fourteen years section. At the Globe,' in 1717, was shown old, without thighs or legs, and eighteen inches Matthew Buchinger, a German dwarf, born in 1674, high, was to be seen “at the “Eagle and Child," a without hands, legs, feet, or thighs, twenty-nine grocer's shop, near Shoe Lane;' a great Lincoln- inches high; yet can write, thread a needle, shuffle shire ox, nineteen hands high, four yards long, as a pack of cards, play skittles, &c. A facsiniile of lately shown at Cambridge, was on view at the his writing is among the Harleian MSS. And “White Horse,” where the great elephant was seen;' in 1712 appeared the Black Prince and his wife, and between the “Queen's Head” and “Crooked each three feet high ; and a Turkey horse, two feet Billet,” near Fleet Bridge,' were exhibited daily odd high and twelve years old, in a box. Modern 'two strange, wonderful, and remarkable monstrous times have seen giants and dwarfs, but have they creatures—an old she-dromedary, seven feet high really equalled these? In 1822 the exhibition of and ten feet long, lately arrived from Tartary, and a mermaid here was put a stop to by the Lord her young one; being the greatest rarity and novelty Chamberlain.” that ever was seen in the three kingdomes before.' In old times Fleet Streetwas rendered picturesque, In 1710, at the 'Duke of Marlborough's Head,' not only by its many gable-ended houses adorned in Fleet Street (by Shoe Lane), was exhibited the with quaint carvings and plaster stamped in patmoving picture' mentioned in the Tatler ; and terns, but also by the countless signs, gay with here, in 1711, 'the great posture-master of Europe,' gilding and painted with strange devices, which eclipsing the deceased Clarke and Higgins, greatly hung above the shop-fronts. Heraldry exhausted startled sight-seeing London. · He extends his all its stores to furnish emblems for different trades. body into all deformed shapes; makes his hip and Lions blue and red, falcons, and dragons of all shoulder-bones meet together; lays his head upon colours, alternated with heads of John the Baptist, the ground, and turns his body round twice or flying pigs, and hogs in armour. On a windy day thrice, without stirring his face from the spot; these huge masses of painted timber creaked and stands upon one leg, and extends the other in a waved overhead, to the terror of nervous pedestrians, perpendicular line half a yard above his head; and nor were accidents by any means rare. On the extends his body from a table with his head a foot and of December, 1718 (Queen Anne), a signboard below his heels, having nothing to balance his opposite Bride Lane, Fleet Street, having loosened body but his feet; with several other postures too che brickwork by its weight and movement, sudtedious to mention.'
denly gave way, fell, and brought the house down “And here, in 1718, De Hightrehight, the fire with it, killing four persons, one of whom was eater, ate burning coals, swallowed flarning brim- the queen's jeweller. It was not, however, till 1761 stone, and sucked a red-hot poker, five times a day! (George II.) that these dangerous signboards were
“What will my billiard-loving friends say to the ordered to be placed flat against the walls of the St. Dunstan’s Inquest of the year 1720 ? 'Item, houses. we present Thomas Bruce, for suffering a gaming- When Dr. Johnson said, “Come and let us table (called a billiard-table, where people com- take a walk down Fleet Street,” he proposed no monly frequent and game) to be kept in his house.' very easy task. The streets in his early days, A score of years later, at the end of Wine Office in London, had no side.pavements, and were Court, was exhibited an automaton clock, with roughly paved, with detestable gutters running three figures or statues, which at the word of com- down the centre. From these gutters the jumbling mand poured out red or white wine, represented a coaches of those days liberally scattered the mud on grocer shutting up his shop and a blackamoor the unoffending pedestrians who happened to be who struck upon a bell the number of times asked. crossing at the time. The sedan-chairs, too, were Giants and dwarfs were special features in Fleet awkward impediments, and choleric people were
At the "Rummer,' in Three Kings' Court, disposed to fight for the wall. In 1766, when was to be seen an Essex woman. named Gordon, Lord Eldon came to London as a schoolboy, and