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HAMMERSMITH AND PUTNEY.
They have an odd tradition at Hammersmith respecting the name of the place. Once upon a time, it is said, there lived here a giant and his wife or sister, who worked, like Birmingham nailors, both of them at the anvil. The lady's forge was on one side of the river, the gentleman's on the other. From some unexplained cause, they had but one hammer between them. When, therefore, he wanted this very necessary instrument, he used to shout "Hammer I" and the strong-armed dame incontinently flung it across the water to him; when she needed it, she used to cry "Smith," and he very politely tossed it back again.
Hammersmith is a large and populous place. It contains some ten thousand inhabitants, and the houses stretch irregularly over a wide area. The main street is a part of the great western road. AVe need only look at that part which lies by the river side. In Hammersmith Terrace, which we first arrive at, resided Arthur Murphy, the dramatic author, and friend of Dr. Johnson. Here also lived and died Philip Loutherbourg, one of the most distinguished painters of the last century—a sort of precursor to Stanfield. Late in life Loutherbourg was rather crotchety; he became a convert to Brothers the prophet; and among other strange whimsies he set up for a prophet and curer of diseases on his own account. For a failure in some of his prophecies or promises, his house in Hammersmith Terrace was beset by the mob, who broke his windows and did other mischief.
Hammersmith Mall is a fine walk of good houses, and is planted with stately old elms;—it is a great pity that it is not kept in better order. Were it united with Chiswick Mall, they would together form one of the finest terraces by the Thames. But Hammersmith has lost its former popularity with people of fashionable habits. It was, I believe, in one of the houses on or by the Mall that Dr. Kadcliffe had a summer residence. He intended to erect a hospital on the grounds, and had commenced the building, when death arrested his design. Sir Samuel Morland, of mechanical note, lived here. Another of the residents by the river side at HaTnmersmith was Catherine, the widow of Charles II.
There is a little inn, the Dove, near the end of the Mall, which might easily be past unnoticed by the stranger. Yet it deserves a word of recognition. Its old title " the Dove Coffee-house" tells that it belonged to a time when coffee was a less domestic beverage than at present. The Dove was once a genteel suburban inn, whither wits as well as citizens resorted in the season to sip their coffee, enjoy the sweet prospect of the river, and talk over the literature and the politics of the day. It is said to have been a frequent resort of Thomson's— who, by the way, once lived in Hammersmith ; it is even asserted, but on very doubtful authority, that Thomson wrote a portion of the ' Seasons ' in the Dove. Here the late Duke of Sussex had a room by the river, to which he used occasionally to escape, in order to enjoy in privacy the luxury of the Nicotian weed.
The very handsome suspension-bridge which crosses the Thames at Hammersmith, was constructed in 1828, from the designs and under the superintendence of William Tierney Clarke—to whose taste as well as engineering skill it does the highest credit. It is one of the most graceful structures of its kind in the kingdom. But Mr. Clarke's recent achievement at Pesth has of course thrown this, and indeed almost every other suspension bridge, into comparative insignificance.
A short distance beyond the bridge stood Brandenburg House—a mansion whose various occupants have ensured for it a lasting celebrity. It was built about the commencement of the reign of Charles I. by Sir Nicholas Crispe, at a cost of 23,000/.—an enormous sum in those days. "With Crispe's other property it was seized by the Parliament ; but he regained it afterwards, and resided in it till his death. By his nephew it was sold to .Prince Rupert, who gave it to Mrs. Margaret Hughes, the lady who caused that strange transformation in his habits which Grammont notices. After passing through a variety of hands it was purchased, in 1748, by Bubb Dodington, afterwards
entirely remodelled and filled with works of art and articles of luxury;—he gave to it the appropriate name of La Trappe. Dodington sought to be distinguished alike as a politician, a wit, and a patron of literature. It was his fate not to gain much honour in either character. His name will live in the pages of his flatterers and his satirists—
By Dodington the interior was but the sternest satire may be found in his own diary. Towards the end of the last century the house was purchased by tiie Margrave of Brandenburg-Anspach, when it received the title of Brandenburgh House. While in the occupancy of Dodington, and afterwards of the Margrave, it was considered to be "one of the most magnificent places in the neighbourhood of London." The last occupant was the unfortunate wife of George IV. It is needless to allude to the unhappy occurrences which made Brandenburg House a public word. It was here, as will be remembered, that Queen Caroline breathed her last. Soon after her death the house was razed to the ground.
Sir Nicholas Crispe, the builder of the mansion, must not be left without a special word of notice. He was a wealthy merchant in London; is said to have introduced into England, or restored, the manufacture of bricks, which were before obtained from Holland; and his monument claims for him the "having first settled the trade of gold from Guinea." His attachment to Charles I. was unbounded; and he displayed his loyalty in a memorable manner. When the struggle commenced between the King and the Parliament, he gave and obtained for the king a hundred thousand pounds; and he afterwards raised a regiment, and distinguished himself by his bravery at the head of it. In order to procure or to convey money, to gain intelligence, to communicate with friends, or to fix waverers, he, in various disguises, travelled over the kingdom, or loitered about London; sometimes, according to Lloyd, assuming the character of a messenger, at other a porter, a butterwoman with her panniers, a merchant, or a fisherman. The storm excited by the discovery of the plot in which he had engaged with Waller, for raising an array, and securing London for the king, is well known. Crispe was beyond the reach of the Parliament; he continued in active service as Jong as the King had an army: when Charles was in prison, he was compelled to fly to France. He afterwards, by submitting to a composition, by which he lost a large part of his property, obtained leave to return to England, where he again successfully engaged in commerce. But he never wholly despaired of the cause of royalty: in the various efforts that were made to bring about a restoration he was always concerned; he was one of the foremost in inciting the City to support Monk by a royalist declaration; and he had at length the happiness to accompany the deputation, which welcomed the return of the unworthy son of his old master.
In Hammersmith church there is a monument which bears the name of Sir Nicholas Crispe; but it is a testimony more to his loyalty than to his memory. The monument is a remarkable one. It is of marble, and supports a bronze bust of Charles I. The inscription states that " This effigy was erected by Sir Nicholas Crispe, Knight and Baronet, as a grateful commemoration of that glorious martyr King Charles I. of glorious memory." Below, on a black marble pedestal, is an urn, which contains the heart of this devoted subject; it was placed there in obedience to his last request, that " his body might be laid in the family vault, but his heart should be placed at his master's feet." Crispe was a considerable benefactor to Hammersmith. Towards the erection of