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In 1497

in the Strand, and afterwards beside St. Dunstan's chiefly because it was a favourite resort of Pepys, Church, in Fleet Street), no less than 215 works. who frequently mentions it in his quaint and The first of these, completed in the year 1483, was graphic way. probably the first book printed in Fleet Street, No. 37 (Hoare's Bank), south, is well known by afterwards a gathering-place for the ink-stained craft. the golden bottle that still hangs, exciting curiosity, A copy of this book, “Dives and Pauper," was sold over the fanlight of the entrance. Popular legend a few years since for no less than £49.

has it that this gilt case contains the original leather the same busy Frenchman published an edition of bottle carried by the founder when he came up to “Terence,"the first Latin classic printed in England. London, with the usual half-crown in his pocket, In 1508 he became printer to King Henry VII., to seek his fortune. Sir Richard Colt Hoare, howand after this produced editions of Fabyan's and ever, in his family history, destroys this romance. Froissart's “Chronicles." He seems to have had The bottle is merely a sign adopted by James a bitter feud with a rival printer, named Robert Hoare, the founder of the bank, from his father Rudman, who pirated his trade-mark. In one of having been a citizen and cooper of the city of his books he thus quaintly falls foul of the enemy: London. James Hoare was a goldsmith who kept “But truly Rudeman, because he is the rudest “running cash” at the “Golden Bottle” in Cheapout of a thousand men..... Truly I wonder side in 1677. The bank was removed to Fleet now at last that he hath confessed it in his own Street between 1687 and 1692. The original typography, unless it chanced that even as the bank, described by Mr. Timbs as “a low-browed devil made a cobbler a mariner, he made him a building with a narrow entrance,” was pulled down printer. Formerly this scoundrel did prefer him about fifty years since. In the records of the debts self a bookseller, as well skilled as if he had of Lord Clarendon is the item, “ To Mr. Hoare, started forth from Utopia. He knows well that for plate, £27 Ios. 3d.;" and, by the secret service he is free who pretendeth to books, although it be expenses of James II., "Charles Duncombe and nothing more."

James Hoare, Esqrs." appear to have executed To this brief chronicle of early Fleet Street for a time the office of master-workers at the Mint. printers let us add Richard Bancks, who, in 1600, A Sir Richard Hoare was Lord Mayor in 1713 ; at his office, “the sign of the White Hart," printed and another of the same family, sheriff in 1740-41 that exquisite fairy poem, Shakespeare's “ Mid- and Lord Mayor in 1745, distinguished himself summer Night's Dream.” How one envies the by his preparations to defend London against the “reader" of that office, the compositors—nay, even

“Pretender.” In an autobiographical record still the sable imp who pulled the proof, and snatched extant of the shrievalty of the first of these gentlea passage or two about Mustard and Pease Blossom men, the writer says :-"After being regaled with in a surreptitious glance! Another great Fleet sack and walnuts, I returned to my own house in Street printer was Richard Grafton, the printer, as Fleet Street, in my private capacity, to my great Mr. Noble says, of the first correct folio English consolation and comfort.” This Richard Hoare, translation of the Bible, by permission of Henry VIII. with Beau Nash, Lady Hastings, &c., founded, in When in Paris, Grafton had to fly with his books 1716, the Bath General Hospital, to which charity from the Inquisition. After his patron Cromwell's the firm still continue treasurers; and to this same execution, in 1540, Grafton was sent to the Fleet philanthropic gentleman, Robert Nelson, who for printing Bibles; but in the happier times of wrote the well-known book on “Fasts and FesEdward VI. he became king's printer at the Grey tivals, gave £100 in trust as the first legacy to Friars, now Christ's Hospital. His former fellow- the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. worker in Paris, Edward Whitchurch, set up his Mr. Noble quotes a curious broadside still extant press at De Worde's old house, the “Sun," near in which the second Sir Richard Hoare, who died the Fleet Street conduit. He published the “Para- in 1754, denies a false and malicious report that he phrase of Erasmus," a copy of which, Mr. Noble had attempted to cause a run on the Bank of says, existed, with its desk-chains, in the vestry of England, and to occasion a disturbance in the St. Benet's, Gracechurch Street. Whitchurch married City, by sending persons to the Bank with ten the widow of Archbishop Cranmer.

notes of £10 each. What a state of commercial The "Hercules Pillars” (now No. 27, Fleet wealth, to be shaken by the sudden demand of a Street, south) was a celebrated lavern as early as mere £100! the reign of James I., and in the now nameless Next to Hoare's once stood the “Mitre Tavern,” alley by its side several houses of entertainment where some of the most interesting of the meetings nestled themselves. The tavern is interesting to us between Dr. Johnson and Boswell took place.

Fleet Street)

DR. JOHNSON AT THE “MITRE.”

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The old tavern was pulled down, in 1829, by the from the house of Hanover abusing him as Messrs. Hoare, to extend their banking-house. The Jacobite. It was at the “Mitre” that Johnson original “Mitre” was of Shakespeare's time. In urged Boswell to publish his “Travels in Corsica ;" some MS. poems by Richard Jackson, a con- and at the “ Mitre" he said finely of London, “Sir,

,

” temporary of the great poet, are some verses be the happiness of London is not to be conceived ginning, “From the rich Lavinian shore,” inscribed but by those who have been in it. I will venture as “Shakespeare's rime, which he made at ye to say there is more learning and science within the ‘Mitre,' in Fleet Street.” The balcony was partly circumference of ten miles from where we sit than burnt during the Great Fire, and had to be pulled in all the rest of the kingdom.” It was here the down. Here, in June, 1763, Boswell came by famous “Tour to the Hebrides” was planned and solemn appointment to meet Johnson, so long the laid out. Another time we find Goldsmith and god of his idolatry. They had first met at the Boswell going arm-in-arm to Bolt Court, to prevai' shop of Davis, the actor and bookseller, and on Johnson to go and sup at the “Mitre ;" but he afterwards near an eating-house in Butcher Row. was indisposed. Goldsmith, since “the big man” Boswell describes his feelings with delightful sin- could not go, would not venture at the “ Mitre” cerity and self-complacency. “We had,” he says, with Boswell alone. At Boswell's last “Mitre ” “a good supper and port wine, of which Johnson evening with Johnson, May, 1778, Johnson would then sometimes drank a bottle. The orthodox High not leave Mrs. Williams, the blind old lady who Church sound of the Mitre, the figure and manner lived with him, till he had promised to send her of the celebrated Samuel Johnson, the extra- over some little dainty from the tavern.

This was ordinary power of his conversation, and the pride very kindly and worthy of the man who “had the arising from finding myself admitted as his com-coat but not the heart of a bear.” From 1728 panion, produced a variety of sensations and a to 1753 the Society of Antiquaries met at the pleasing elevation of mind beyond what I had ever “Mitre," and discussed subjects then wrongly conbefore experienced.” That memorable evening sidered frivolous. The Royal Society held also Johnson ridiculed Colley Cibber's birthday odes conclaves at the same celebrated tavern; and here, and Paul Whitehead's “grand nonsense,” and ran in 1733, Thomas Topham, the strongest man of down Gray, who had declined his acquaintance. his day, in the presence of eight persons, rolled up He talked of other poets, and praised poor Goldsmith with his iron fingers a large pewter dish. In 1788 as a worthy man and excellent author. Boswell the “Mitre” ceased to be a tavern, and became, fairly won the great man by his frank avowals and first Macklin's Poet's Gallery, and then an auctionhis adroit flattery. “Give me your hand,” at last room. The present spurious “Mitre Tavern,” in cried the great man to the small man : “I have Mitre Court, was originally known as “Joe's Coffeetaken a liking to you.” They then finished a House.” bottle of port each, and parted between one and It was at No. 56 (south side) that Lamb's friend, two in the morning. As they shook hands, on William Hone, the publisher of the delightful their way to No. 1, Inner Temple Lane, where “Table Book” and “Every-day Book," commenced Johnson then lived, Johnson said, “Sir, I am glad business about 1812. In 1815 he was brought we have met. I hope we shall pass many evenings, before the Wardmote Inquest of St. Dunstan's for and mornings too, together.” A few weeks after placarding his shop on Sundays, and for carrying the Doctor and his young disciple met again at the on a retail trade as bookseller and stationer, not “Mitre,” and Goldsmith was present. The poet being a freeman. The Government had no doubt was full of love for Dr. Johnson, and speaking of suggested the persecution of so troublesome an some scapegrace, said tenderly, “He is now be- opponent, whose defence of himself is said to have come miserable, and that insures the protection of all but killed Lord Ellenborough, the judge who Johnson.” At another “Mitre” meeting, on a tried him for publishing blasphemous parodies. In Scotch gentleman present praising Scotch scenery, 1815 Hone took great interest in the case of Johnson uttered his bitter gibe, “Sir, let me tell Eliza Fenning, a poor innocent servant girl, who you that the noblest prospect which a Scotchman was hung for a supposed attempt to poison her ever sees is the high road that leads him to master, a law stationer in Chancery Lane. England.” In the same month Johnson and Bos- afterwards believed that a nephew of Mr. Turner well met again at the “Mitre.” The latter con- really put the poison in the dough of some dumpfessed his nerves were much shaken by the old lings, in revenge at being kept short of money. port and the late tavern hours; and Johnson Mr. Cyrus Jay, a shrewd observer, was present at laughed at people who had accepted a pension Hone's trial, and has described it with vividness :

It was

“ Hone defended himself firmly and well, but he the check-string, and said, 'It just occurs to me had no spark of eloquence about him. For years that they sell here the best herrings in London; afterwards I was often with him, and he was made buy six.' Indeed Dr. Turner, afterwards Bishop a great deal of in society. He became very re- of Calcutta, who accompanied him in his carriage, ligious, and died a member of Mr. Clayton's In- said that so far from his nerves being shaken dependent chapel, worshipping at the Weigh House. by the hootings of the mob, Lord Ellenborough The last important incident of Lord Ellenborough's only observed that their saliva was worse than political life was the part he took as presiding their bite. . . judge in Hone's trials for the publication of certain “When Hone was tried before him for blasblasphemous parodies. At this time he was suf- phemy, Lord Tenterden treated him with great forfering from the most intense exhaustion, and his bearance ; but Hone, not content with the inconstitution was sinking under the fatigues of a dulgence, took to vilifying the judge. “Even in a long and sedulous discharge of his important Turkish court I should not have met with the treatduties. This did not deter him from taking his ment I have experienced here,' he exclaimed. seat upon the bench on this occasion. When he 'Certainly,' replied Lord Tenterden; "the bowentered the court, previous to the trial, Hone string would have been round your neck an shouted out, “I am glad to see you, Lord Ellen- hour ago.'” borough. I know what you are come here for ; That sturdy political writer, William Cobbett, I know what

you want.' 'I am come to do lived at No. 183 (north), and there published his justice,' replied his lordship. My wish is to see Political Register. In 1819 he wrote from America, justice done.' 'Is it not rather, my lord,' retorted declaring that if Sir Robert Peel's Bank Bill passed, Hone, 'to send a poor devil of a bookseller to rot he would give Castlereagh leave to lay him on a in a dungeon ?'. In the course of the proceedings gridiron and broil him alive, while Sidmouth stirred Lord Ellenborough more than once interfered. the coals, and Canning stood by and laughed at Hone, it must be acknowledged, with less vehe-his groans. In 1827 he announced in his mence than might have been expected, requested Register that he would place a gridiron on the him to forbear. The next time his lordship made front of his shop whenever Peel's Bill was repealed. an observation, in answer to something the de- The “Small Note Bill” was repealed, when there fendant urged in the course of his speech, Hone was a reduction of the interest of the National exclaimed, in a voice of thunder, 'I do not speak Debt. The gridiron so often threatened never to you, my lord; you are not my judge; these,' actually went up, but it was to be seen a few years pointing to the jury, these are my judges, and it ago nailed on the gable end of a candle manuis to them that I address myself.' Hone avenged facturer's at Kensington. The two houses next to himself on what he called the Chief Justice's par- Cobbett's (184 and 185) are the oldest houses tiality; he wounded him where he could not defend standing in Fleet Street. himself. Arguing that Athanasius was not the “Peele's Coffee House (Nos. 177 and 178, north author of the creed that bears his name, he cited, side) once boasted a portrait of Dr. Johnson, said by way of authority, passages from the writings of to be by Sir Joshua Reynolds, on the keystone of Gibbon and Warburton to establish his position. the mantelpiece. This coffee-house is of antiquity, Fixing his eyes on Lord Ellenborough, he then but is chiefly memorable for its useful files of newssaid, 'And, further, your lordship's father, the late papers and for its having been the central comworthy Bishop of Carlisle, has taken a similar view mittee-room of the Society for Repealing the Paper of the same creed.' Lord Ellenborough could not Duty. The struggle began in 1858, and eventually endure this allusion to his father's heterodoxy. In triumphed, thanks to the president, the Right Hon. a broken voice he exclaimed, For the sake of T. Milner-Gibson, and the chairman, the late Mr. decency, forbear !' The request was immediately John Cassell. The house within the last few years complied with. The jury acquitted Hone, a result has been entirely rebuilt. In former times“ Peele's which is said to have killed the Chief Justice; Coffee-House” was quite a house of call and but this is probably not true. That he suffered post-office for money-lenders and bill-discounters; in consequence of the trial is certain. After he though crowds of barristers and solicitors also freentered his private room, when the trial was over, quented it, in order to consult the files of London his strength had so far deserted him that his son and country newspapers which were hoarded there was obliged to put his hat on for him. But he for more than a century. Mr. Jay has left us an quickly recovered his spirits;, and on his way amusing sketch of one of the former frequenters home, in passing through Charing Cross, he pulled of "Peele's"—the late Sir William Owen Barlow,

Fleet Street.)

TOMPION AND PINCHBECK.

53

a bencher of the Middle Temple. This methodical angry if any loud talkers disturbed him at his old gentleman had never travelled in a stage-coach evening paper. He once requested the instant or railway-carriage in his life, and had not for years discharge of a waiter at “Peele's,” because the read a book. He came in for dinner at the same civil but ungrammatical man had said, “ There are hour every day, except in Term-time, and was very a leg of mutton, and there is chops."

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CHAPTER V.

FLEET STREET (continued).

The "Green Dragon "-The “ Bolt-in-Tun”—Tompion and Pinchbeck-The Record-St. Bride's and its Memories-Punch and his Contribut is

-The Dispatch-The Daily Telegraph—The “Globe Tavern” and Goldsmith-The Morning Advertiser-The Standard - The London Magazine-A Strange Story-Alderman Waithman-Brutus Billy-Hardham and his " 37."

The original “Green Dragon” (No. 56, south) was an exquisite musical clock, worth about £500, for “

, destroyed by the Great Fire, and the new building Louis XIV., and a fine organ for the Great Mogul, set six feet backward. During the Popish Plot valued at £300. He died in 1783. He removed to several anti-papal clubs met here; and from the Fleet Street from Clerkenwell in 1721. His clocks windows Roger North stood to see the shouting, played tunes and imitated the notes of birds. In torch-waving procession pass along, to burn the 1765 he set up, at the Queen's House, a clock with Pope's effigy at Temple Bar. In the “ Discussion four faces, showing the age of the moon, the day of Forum" many barristers of note, many judges, and the week and month, the time of sun rising, &c. Lord Chancellors of the future have tried their No. 161 (north) was the shop of Thomas Hardy, eloquence when young men.

that agitating bootmaker, secretary to the London No. 64 (south) was long a well-known coaching Corresponding Society, who was implicated in the house, the “Bolt-in-Tun.” In a grant to the White John Horne Tooke trials of 1794; and next door, Friars, in the fifteenth century, it is spoken of as years after (No. 162), Richard Carlisle, a "free"Hospitium vocatum Le Boltenton." The old inn thinker," opened a lecturing, conversation, and was demolished a few years ago, but its name is discussion establishment, preached the “only true preserved in Bolt-in-Tun Yard, and the railway gospel," hung effigies of bishops outside his shop, and booking-office which partly occupies its site. was eventually quieted by nine years' imprisonment,

At No. 67 (corner of Whitefriars Street) once a punishment by no means undeserved. No. 76 lived that famous watchmaker of Queen Anne's (south) was once the entrance to the printing-office reign, Thomas Tompion, who is said, in 1700, to of Samuel Richardson, the author of "Clarissa,” have begun a clock for St. Paul's Cathedral which who afterwards lived in Salisbury Square, and was to go for a hundred years without winding there held levees of his admirers, to whom he up. He died in 1713. His apprentice, George read his works with an innocent vanity which Graham, invented, as Mr. Noble tells us, the hori- occasionally met with disagreeable rebuffs. zontal escapement, in 1724. He was succeeded “Anderton's Hotel” (No. 164, north side) occuby Mudge and Dutton, who in 1768, made Dr. pies the site of a house given, as Mr. Noble says, Johnson his first watch. The old shop was (1850) in 1405, to the Goldsmiths' Company, under the one of the last in Fleet Street to be modernised. singular title of “The Horn in the Hoop,” pro

Between Bolt and Johnson's Courts (152–166, bably at that time a tavern. In the register of north)say near “Anderton's Hotel”—there lived, St. Dunstan's is an entry (1597), "Ralph slaine in the reign of George II., at the sign of the “ As at the Horne, buryed,” but no further record tronomer's Musical Clock,” Christopher Pinchbeck, exists of this hot-headed roysterer. In the reign an ingenious musical-clockmaker, who invented the of King James I. the “Horn” is described as "cheap and useful imitation of gold” which still bears“ between the 'Red Lion,' over against Serjeants' his name. Pinchbeck often exhibited his musical Inn, and Three-legged Alley." automata in a booth at Bartholomew Fair and in con

The Record (No. 169, north) was started in 1828 junction with Fawkes the Conjuror, at Southwark as an organ of the extreme Evangelical party. The Fair. He made, according to Mr. Edward T. Wood, first promoters were the late Mr. James Evans, the author of “Curiosities of Clocks and Watches," a brother of Sir Andrew Agnew, and Mr. Andrew

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HOARE'S OLD BANKING HOUSE, FROM A DRAWING BY SHEPHERD, 1838, IN MR. CRACE'S COLLECTION (see page 50).

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