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of course an appearance of activity, such as befits a manufacturing district, however small-but then they have the unwholesome, and squalid character which generally accompanies it :-as, therefore, we are not considering manufactories or manufacturers, we need not tarry here. The upper part of Wandsworth, Wandsworth Common and the vicinity, are pleasant and healthy enough. The parish has a population of about five thousand souls.
The parent church is a poor looking brick building ; and it has but few monuments of interest. One, however, is to the memory of Henry Smith, alderman of London, and the great benefactor of various parishes in Surrey. Before we leave the church, it is only proper to mention that in 1540 Griffith Clarke, the vicar of Wandsworth, with his curate or chaplain, his servant, and one Friar Ware, were hanged and quartered by command of Henry VIII. for refusing to take the oaths of ecclesiastical supremacy, &c.
The mock election of a Mayor of Garrett on occasion of a general election, and which gave rise to Foote's popular comedy, may recur to the reader in connexion with Wandsworth. But the election has ceased for many years, and Garrett, where it took place, is on the side of Wandsworth farthest from the river--we may therefore be spared further mention of it. Full particulars of it may be found in that well-filled repository of out-of-the-way information, Hone's 'Every-Day Book.'
Almost the only thing in Battersea which will engage attention is the church, wherein is the monument of one of the most able, eloquent, and unprincipled of English politicians,-the celebrated St. John, Lord Bolingbroke. He was born
in Battersea, where his ancestors had been established for several generations ; the manor having been granted in reversion to Oliver St. John, Viscount Grandison, in 1617. Bolingbroke lived in the family mansion, both before and after his exile, and in it he died. The house was pulled down towards the end of the last century. The monument in Battersea church is by Roubiliac; on it are portraits in relievi of Bolingbroke and his wife.
Another monument in the church may be noticed : it is to a whiskered knight of redoubtable prowess, hight Sir Edward Wynter, who died in 1685.
. “ Born to be great in fortune as in mind,” as the inscription has it, he travelled to India and elsewhere, and gained not only considerable wealth, but much honour
“ Witness his actions of immortal fame!
Alone, unarm'd, a tiger he opprest,
What more, indeed! Wordsworth talks of forty men fighting (or feeding) like one: here was a much more marvellous occurrence—one man fighting like forty.
Battersea Fields, the low tract which extends from the bridge to Nine Elms, like much of the marsh-land along the Thames below Brentford, is extensively cultivated as market-gardens. Of late, however, it is being a good deal built upon, and
the appearance of the district has been considerably altered and will be more. A park is to be formed here; and it is also proposed to construct a suspension-bridge across the Thames. Battersea Fields was one of the favourite spots for shooting men in the palmy days of duelling : “ in these our unmonomachial days” the Red House is an equally favourite place for shooting pigeons.
The wooden bridge which connects Battersea with Chelsea is rather useful than ornamental : it will serve us, however, as well as the handsomest to reach the latter place. Chelsea alone, to write about its inhabitants as well as itself, would require a volume the size of this. Even to gossip after our old fashion about the notabilities along the river-side, would need a long chapter-and we have no such space to spare.
From the river the appearance of Chelsea is pleasing as a whole ; while parts are both picturesque and striking. The heavy-looking church, rising from the irregular houses westward of it ; the handsome terrace called Cheyne Walk with its trees, its stately old-fashioned houses, and the pier ; farther on the Botanic Garden, with its pair of unrivalled cedars; and finally the Hospital, each in turn attracts attention, and altogether make a rememberable ensemble. In itself the church is nothing; a plain building, chiefly of brick, it would only be noted for its massive and ungainly tower. But there is a monument within it of more than ordinary interest. It is a plain slab enclosed in a recess under a Gothic arch, and is inscribed to the memory of Sir
Thomas More. On it is engraven a long biographical epitaph written by Sir Thomas himself: but the monument is not the original one which
More set up during his lifetime. More was a regular attendant at Chelsea church, where, even while Lord Chancellor, being a good singer, he used to take his place with the choir, wearing, like them, a surplice. It is told by Roper, that the Duke of Norfolk, seeing him one day in this guise, accosted him after service with God's body ! My Lord Chancellor a parish clerk! A parish clerk! You dishonour the King and his office." To which More replied with a smile, “ Nay, Sir, your Grace may not think that your King and mine will be offended with me for serving God his master; or account his office thereby dishonoured.” It was after such a service that in this church More in his merry way announced to his wife his having incurred the royal displeasure, and the consequent loss of his office. It was customary after service for one of the Lord Chancellor's officers to go to his lady's seat, and say “My Lord is gone before.” On this occasion, More himself went to the pew, and making a low bow, said, “ Madam, my Lord is gone.” But my Lady by no means enjoyed the riddle when it was expounded to her. More was a considerable benefactor to Chelsea church. The chapel which yet remains at the end of the south aisle was built by him. It is so metimes said that his body was brought from the Tower, and interred in the vault which he had constructed for himself; but there appears sufficient reason to doubt that statement.
The large monument in the churchyard, consisting of an urn under a sort of triumphal arch, which from its size and position is always noticed by the passenger, is to the memory of Sir Hans
Sloane, the celebrated physician, and President of the Royal Society. Among other well known persons who have been interred here are, Adam Littleton, “a sound divine” and a writer of excel. lent English ;* Shadwell, on whom Dryden has conferred an unenviable immortality ; Pennant, the naturalist; and Chamberlayne, the author of a work long annually reprinted—very useful in its day, and sometimes referred to now- The Present State of Great Britain, and also of many other books which have long since perished. Dr. Chamberlayne had some fear that his books would be " let die,” but he had no misgivings as to their meriting to live. Wherefore, in order to preserve them for the benefit of posterity, notwithstanding an ungrateful people should suffer them to fall into oblivion, he caused six of his works to be carefully packed up, the wrappings to be covered with wax, so that neither worms nor moisture should break through and destroy, and then deposited along with himself in the tomb. And that the circumstance should not be forgotten, and so the books never be recovered from the grave, an account thereof, with their titles, was engraven on his monument. But alas for the hopes of future fame! the vault has been opened and searched, and the books-cannot be found!
The house in which Sir Thomas More resided at Chelsea was by the water side, and appears to have occupied a site somewhat eastward of the foot of the bridge. More removed to Chelsea about 1520.
* And, by the way, here also lies Lady Jane Cheyne-in whose funeral sermon he introduced a panegyric of the sex, which ought to make his name precious to all ladies.