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kept at Newcastle and at Walsall: and it is described and engraved in Brand's 'Popular Antiquities' (Ellis's ed. iii. 55). The bridle enclosed the head, and was fastened behind by a padlock, a small piece of iron being so placed as to "hold the tongue" of the offender. Thus compelled to silence, "she was led round the town by an officer, to her shame, nor was it taken off till she began to show all external signs imaginable of humiliation and amendment."
A picturesque old half-timber building at the back of Church Street is pointed out as the residence of Bradshaw, who presided at the trial of Charles I. The building is now let out in humble tenements. Among the more eminent of the natives of Walton the gallant Admiral Rodney deserves to be mentioned.
The country around Walton is very pleasing. Walton Common is a fine broad stretch of open heath, extending far away both east and west, and though a good deal disfigured as well as circumscribed by hideous fir plantations and other enclosures, it yet affords some capital rides and walks, and from the higher parts yields wide and rich prospects. In and about Walton there are several mansions and villas. Ashley House is a red brick mansion of Tudor date, but it has been a good deal altered. Lord Tankerville's gay villa at the foot of Walton bridge is an elegant specimen of the skill of Barry, the architect of the new Houses of Parliament: the lofty campanile is said to afford a remarkably fine prospect of our river and the surrounding country.
But before we proceed any farther it will be as well to say a word or two on the subject of the river-side villas. As we draw near to London they lie along the banks of the Thames in an almost continuous succession, while the banks retain the least appearance of verdure. To pretend to notice in a work of this kind all that are noteworthy either on their own account or on account of those who may have occupied them, would evidently be idle, since it must happen that almost every building of any importance has at some time or other been associated in some way with names that have figured more or less prominently on the great stage. I beg therefore that it may be understood that 1 make no pretension to any intimate acquaintance with those notabilities: I shall only just point out a few places that attract the eye, or whose names recall some peculiar associations to the memory.
Below Walton the river presents no features of especial prominence or beauty. The banks are flat, and continue so to Richmond, but occasionally the Surrey hills approach near enough to relieve the attention, and on the other side the hills of Middlesex appear in the extreme distance; while numerous genteel residences, with their smooth lawns and cheerful gardens, enrich the shores, and the aits in the river generally afford a pleasing variation to the ordinary character of the scenery. Sunbury, on the Middlesex side, exhibits a great many good houses, and the grounds show some noble cedars. The red-brick mansion at the western end of Sunbury has a very stately air as seen across the river; and another of red brick, but of more modern appearance (Fenton House), at the eastern extremity, with the magnificent cedar bestde it, looks even more dignified. Sunbury itself will hardly repay a visit. The church, erected about the middle of the last century, is singularly ugly, and there is little else to notice. On looking back, after having descended the river some little distance, the village, with the ait in front of it, and the barges and fishing-boats moored about, makes a neat picture.
The Surrey shore is very uninteresting. The meadows are flat, and skirted with osiers which exclude the distant prospect. Moulsey Hurst, the low tract we are now by, is memorable as the frequent scene of prize-fights, duels, and races; and I do not know that it has any more agreeable associations. In the villages of West and East Moulsey, the only object that will attract the rambler's notice is East Moulsey church, a pretty little rustic structure; there is nothing respecting either place to chronicle. Hampton, on the other side of the river, is much pleasanter, but it has little that requires mention here. The most noticeable house on the river side at Hampton is that which formerly belonged to David Garrick, and where, after his retirement from the stage, "all the world" used to come in order to do homage to his ability, and listen to his "lively conversation." The kind of worship he received, and the amount, is a curious feature in the social history of England in the eighteenth century. The little round summer-house, as in our ignorance we might have named it, is "the Grecian rotunda with an Ionic portico," in which stood, in David's time, the twisted statue of Shakspere (by Roubiliac) that now adorns the hall of the British Museum.
Pope has laid the scene of the pleasantest of his poems—the airiest and most graceful of its class in our language—at Hampton: partly on "the bosom of the silver Thames," and partly in the building we are about to visit:—
"Close by those meads, for ever crown'd with flowers,
Bape of the Loch, canto iii.
But it is too late for us to visit Hampton Court to-day. We will therefore step over to the Swan at Thames Ditton, and appease what old Homer calls "the sacred rage of hunger," which we may there do very satisfactorily. The house is nicely situated, affording capital views over our river; the host is commendable, the fare good, and the cook skilful; and the little village will afford an agreeable stroll while dinner is preparing. No Thames rambler will desire a better or more suitable inn; to all Thames anglers it is well known, and is, as it deserves to be, a leading favourite. The village contains a park or two, and some good houses; and there are some pleasant walks in the vicinity. The church is a large irregular building, both old and picturesque, but without anything particularly interesting to the antiquary or student of ecclesiastical architecture.
At Thames Ditton, the river Mole, of which some account was given in a former volume, falls into the Thames.