The Environs of London: Volume 2, County of Middlesex. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1795.
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Few parishes in the kingdom have increased in population to so great a degree as that of Chelsea, within the last two centuries. In the first year of Edward VI. it appears by the Chantry Roll (fn. 1), that there were only seventy-five communicants in Chelsea, which was a less number than was found in any other parish in Middlesex. The average of baptisms, about that period, is comparatively small; in the year 1568, it is expressly said in the register, that there was not one. The increase appears to have been gradual during the first hundred years here recorded, which may be thus accounted for: Queen Elizabeth published a proclamation, to forbid the building of any new houses within three miles of the metropolis. James I. soon after he came to the throne, published another edict to the same effect. In 1656, an act passed, extending the prohibition to ten miles. Chelsea began to increase rapidly about the latter end of the last,. or the beginning of the present century. Dr. King, in his MS. account of Chelsea, written about the year 1717, says, that the parish then contained 350 houses, and that they had been much increased of late. Bowack, who wrote in 1705, computes their number at 300, being, according to his account, nine times as many as they were in the year 1664. Within the last ten or twelve years, about 600 new houses have been built (fn. 2), most of which lie within a district called Hans-town. The principal street takes its name from the Sloane family, and is about six furlongs in length; it contains 160 houses, the buildings, for the most part, occupying only the west side; behind this street, is a spacious and handsome square, as yet unfinished. The present number of houses in the parish is about 1350, of which about 1240 are inhabited, the remainder being, for the most part, unfinished. On account of the great increase of population, a market-place was built at Chelsea, about three years ago, for the convenience of the inhabitants.
The burials at Chelsea appear to have uniformly exceeded the baptisms in a considerable degree, which is principally to be attributed to the number of nursed children and strangers there buried. Since the foundation of the royal hospital, 247 children have been baptized in the chapel there, which, on an average, is not three in a year. These are inserted in a register belonging to the hospital; where also are recorded the burials, which bear a much greater proportion, having been about fifty in each year.
The number of burials at Chelsea in 1603, was thirteen; in 1625, thirty-six; in 1665, seventy-eight; being at neither period quite double the average number. It appears that this village, and its opposite neighbour Battersea, suffered much less from that dreadful calamity the plague, than Putney and Mortlake, though situated, like Chelsea, by the water-side, and at a greater distance from London.
"Johannes Stanhope Armiger, et Margaritta Mackwilliams, alias Cheecke, traxerunt matrimonium 6 die Maii, An° Dni 1589, et regni Elizabeth. 31." This John was gentleman of the privy chamber to Queen Elizabeth, and was created a baron by James I. in 1606; his wife's father was one of the Queen's gentlemen pensioners. Sir John Stanhope was at this time lessee of the manor; his daughter Elizabeth, who married Sir Lionel Talmach, ancestor to the Earl of Dysart, was baptized at Chelsea, August 14, 1593; and his son Charles, the second Lord Stanhope, at whose death the title became extinct in 1677, was baptized April 27, 1595. The Earl of Chesterfield, the Earl of Harrington, and Earl Stanhope, are descended from an elder brother of John Lord Stanhope, above-mentioned.
"Eliz. ux[or] Rici Fletcher, Bristol Epi[scopus], sepult. in cancello subter mensâ (Dec.) 1592." Richard Fletcher, afterwards Bishop of London, had a house at Chelsea, where he was honoured with a visit from Queen Elizabeth, which was supposed to be a proof that she was reconciled to him, after the offence which he had given her by marrying a young wife. Sir John Harrington informs us (fn. 3), that the bishop made "a stayre and a dore in a bay window" for her Majesty's reception upon this occasion.
"Gregorie Fynes Lorde Dacres of the sowth, diede the 25th day of Septemb. beinge Weddensdaie, whose funeralls were kepte the 5th of Novemb. here at Chelsey, 1594." The title became extinct in him. His ancestor, Sir Richard Fynes, was the first Lord Dacre of that family, anno 1459, having married the heiress of William Lord Dacre of Gillesland.
"A servant of Mr. Anthony Bacon, was buried May 26, 1595." Anthony Bacon was elder brother of the Lord Chancellor, and the confidential friend of the Earl of Essex. Rowland White, writing to Sir Robert Sydney, Dec. 21, 1597 (fn. 4), says, "Yesterday, in the afternoon, the Earl of Essex gave over his white staff as lord steward, and this day is gone to Chelsey, where he purposes, as I hear, to be sick." Dr. Birch published memoirs of Queen Elizabeth's reign, in two volumes quarto, collected from Mr. Bacon's letters and MSS.
"Do[mi]nus Will[el]mus Howarde & Agneta St. John, filia et hæres Dni St. John de Bletsoe, traxerunt matrimonium 7° die Februarii 1596–7." William Howard was eldest son of Charles Earl of Nottingham, the lord admiral, and died during his father's lifetime, leaving issue one daughter, Elizabeth, married to the first Earl of Peterborough. His wife's name was Anne; Agnes is a misnomer.
"William, the sonne of Charles Lord Admiral, was bapt. Dec. 5, 1617." He was buried at Chelsea two days afterwards; and Thomas, another son, who died young, was buried Feb. 5, 1616–7. "Margaret, the daughter of the Earl of Nottingham, was baptized Dec. 22, 1618." Of these children there is no mention in the Peerage. His son James was buried at Chelsea, June 5, 1610. The Earl of Nottingham resided many years in the manor-house, the lease of which was granted successively to his wives, Catherine and Margaret. At this place he frequently was honoured with visits from Queen Elizabeth (fn. 5). Both his wives were buried at Chelsea, as appears by the following entries: "Catharyne the Countess of Nottingham, died the 25 day of February, at Aronedell-howse, London, and buried at Chelsey the 28 day of the same, whose funeralls were honorably kepte at Chelsea the 21st day of March 1603: and Elizabeth, our blessed Quene, died at Richmount the 24 day of the same moneth aftr, in the morninge; after whome, the same day, before 8 of the clock, that most happie and christian Kynge, James the 6th of Scotland, was in good righte by our nobles and states proclaymed James the firste of Englande, to the admirable peace and comforte of the realme, whose raigne and posteritie God contynew in peace, with God's truth, longe and longe among us." Catherine Countess of Nottingham was daughter of Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon.
"The Ritte Honble Margaret Countess of Nottinghame died on the 4th day of August, in Commun Garden, Lundon, and buried heare at Chelsey the 19th day of the same munth, 1639." She was daughter of James Stewart, Earl of Murray; and after the Earl of Nottingham's death, married William Viscount Monson of the kingdom of Ireland, who was degraded from his honours in 1661, for having been accessary to the murder of King Charles I. (fn. 6) Steward, his son by the Countess of Nottingham, was baptized at Chelsea, March 31, 1628; and buried April 8, the same year.
"La. Eliz. the La. & Countis of Kyldare's daughter, was buried Feb. 14, 1609-10." Henry Earl of Kildare married Frances, the Earl of Nottingham's daughter, by whom he had a daughter, who died in her infancy.
"Harbertus filius D[omi]ni Walteri Aston, bap. erat. 16 Januarie 1613–4." Children of the first Lord Aston, of Forfar in Scotland, who was sent as ambassador to Spain, with the Earl of Bristol, to treat of the marriage between Prince Charles and the Infanta (fn. 7).
"James, the son of Lienell Lord Cranfield, was baptized Dec. 27, 1621." Lord Cranfield was afterwards created Earl of Middlesex, and was Lord High Treasurer to James I. He resided at Chelsea some years.
"Sir Arthur Gorge, buried Oct. 10, 1625." He married Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Earl of Lincoln, by whom he had several children, some of whom were baptized at Chelsea, viz. William, May 30, 1599; and Tymoleon, Oct. 1, 1600. The name was frequently spelt Gorge in ancient records. Sir Arthur Gorges resided at Chelsea, and built a new house there, before he became possessed of that which was Sir Thomas More's. Rowland White, writing to Sir Robert Sydney, Nov. 15, 1599, says, "As the Queen passed by the faire new building, Sir Arthur Gorge presented her with a faire jewell (fn. 8)." Sarah, daughter of Sir Arthur Gorges jun. was baptized here Jan. 23, 1626–7. Timothy Gorge was buried April 15, 1629; "Mr. Hendry Gorges," May 13, 1641; the Rt Honorable Lady Elizabeth Gorges, July 29, 1643.
"Arthur Gorges, Esq. was buried Ap1 8, 1668." Bowack erroneously calls this man the translator of Lucan (fn. 9). Gorges's translation was published in the year 1614, and by its title (fn. 10), appears to have been posthumous; if so, it must have been written by the father of the first Sir Arthur Gorges here mentioned. There are some other publications which bear the name of Arthur Gorges (fn. 11); but I know not to which of the family they are to be attributed.
"Magdalen Davers, wiffe of Sir John Davers, buried the 8 of June 1627." Sir John Danvers was brother to Henry Earl of Danby. Lady Danvers (by her first husband, Sir Richard Herbert) was mother of the famous Lord Herbert of Cherbury; her funeral sermon was preached by Dr. Donne (fn. 12). There are several entries of baptisms of the Danvers family; viz. Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Danvers, and the Lady Elizabeth, his wife, May 1, 1629 ; Mary, Sept. 29, 1631; Charles, Feb. 14, 1632–3; Henry, Dec. 5, 1633; John, son of Sir John Danvers, Aug. 10, 1650. Mary and Charles died in their infancy. Sir John Danvers, Knt. had freehold lands in Chelsea, valued at 60£. per annum, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth (fn. 13). The old mansion called Danvers-house was pulled down about the year 1696, when Danvers-street was built on the site. The present Sir John Danvers has a leasehold house at Chelsea, by the water-side, now in the tenure of the Rev. Mr. Butler, and some time ago occupied by Dominiceti, an Italian physician, who established medicinal baths there for the cure of all disorders, and fitted up apartments for the reception of such patients as chose to lodge in his house (fn. 14).
"The Right Worshipful Sir Robert Stanley was buried the 23d day of January 1632." He was second son of William Earl of Derby, and brother of James, the brave and loyal Earl who was beheaded in 1651. Sir Robert was made Knight of the Bath at the coronation of James I. His son Ferdinando, and his daughter Mary, who died in their infancy, were buried at Chelsea; the former in 1632, the latter in 1629. His widow married Theophilus Earl of Lincoln. There are several other entries relating to the Stanley family, viz. Charles, son of James Stanley, Esq. buried July 20, 1657 ; Robert, his son, April 1, 1658 ; Elizabeth, his daughter, April 10, 1658. Elizabeth, daughter of Charles Stanley, buried Dec. 14, 1658 ; Clinton, son of Charles, baptized April 19, 1659. Brilliana, wife of James Stanley (fn. 15), buried Dec. 1, 1660. Lady Stanley (first wife, I imagine, of Sir Charles) buried Nov. 2, 1661. "Sr Charles " Stanley, buried Oct. 17, 1676." He was created Knight of the Bath at the coronation of Charles II. " The Right Honble Lady Stanley, buried Oct. 8, 1681." " William Stanley, Esq. buried April 21, 1691." He was son of Sir Charles Stanley ; by his death, this branch of the Stanley family became extinct in the male line. Stanley-house, at Chelsea, came to Sir Robert Stanley by his marriage with the daughter of Sir Arthur Gorges (fn. 16). It was rebuilt about the beginning of the present century, and being left in an unfinished state, was for several years unoccupied: in 1724, it belonged to Henry Arundell, Esq. Sir Charles Wager, the admiral, died there in 1743. After passing through various hands, it became the property of Miss Southwell, now the Lady of Sir James Eyre, Lord Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas ; and was by her, in the year 1777, sold to the Countess of Strathmore. Stanley-house was' purchased some years ago of the Countess and her husband, (Andrew Robinson Bowes, Esq.) by Mr. Lochée, who kept the military academy at Little Chelsea. It now belongs to his widow, and is in the occupation of Richard Warren, M. D.
"The Rt worshipful Henry Wilmot, eldest son, and heir apparent of ye Right hon. Charles Wilmot, Viscount of Athlone in Ireland, and Frances Morton, the daughter of the Right worshipful Sr George Morton, of Clenson in the county of Dorset, were married by licence Aug. 21, 1633." Henry Viscount Wilmot, of Athlone, was created Earl of Rochester in England in 1652, and was father of the celebrated Earl of Rochester.
"Anne Lady Lawrence, buried Nov. 2, 1723." Sir John Lawrence was created a baronet in 1628: the title is now extinct. There are several other entries relating to this family, who were settled at Chelsea for many years.
"A servant of Sr Theodore Mihearne, was buried Ap. 13, 1639." Sir Theodore Mayerne was physician to Charles I. and of great eminence in his profession ; he resided many years at Chelsea, in a house which he is said to have built (fn. 17), and which afterwards became the property of the Earl of Lindsey (fn. 18). Sir Theodore Mayerne, who had the title also of Baron of Aulbone in France, died at this house in the year 1655, aged 82, and was buried at St. Martin's in the Fields (fn. 19).
"Elizabeth, daughter of Charles Cheyne, Esq. baptized May 18, 1656." This was about a year before Mr. Cheyne purchased the manor-house, of which it is probable he was at this time a tenant. Mr. Cheyne was created Lord Viscount Newhaven of the kingdom of Scotland in 1681; the title became extinct in 1728.
" Wm. Cheney, Esq. only son of Charles Cheney, Esq. lord of this manor, and Mrs. Elizabeth Thomas, grand-daughter to the Lady Morgan, and both of this parish, were married the 16th of Dec, 1675, by the Rt Rev. Father in God George Bishop of Winton." William Cheyne was the second Lord Newhaven: his wife Elizabeth was buried Aug. 10, 1667.
" The Honourable Lady Jane Cheney, eldest daughter to William Duke of Newcastle, wife to Charles Cheney, Esq. lord of this manor, was buried Nov. 1, 1669 (fn. 20)." Catherine, her daughter, was buried March 25, 1670.
" The Right honorable Charles Lord Viscount Cheyne, lord of the manor of Chelsea, buried July 13, 1698 (fn. 21)."
" Mary, daughter of the Rt Hon. John Lord Robarts, Lord Privie Seal, was baptized June 18, 1661." John, the second Lord Robarts of Truro, at the commencement of the civil war, had the command of a regiment under the Earl of Essex, and was thought to have deserved so well of the Parliament, that a committee was appointed in 1645, to consider of a recompence for his good services; and when, during a treaty for peace, it was proposed that certain of their friends should have honours conferred on them, an earldom was required for Lord Robarts. All hopes of peace having vanished, and the party to which he had attached himself pursuing measures which he disapproved, his Lordship withdrew himself from acting with them, and led a retired life till the restoration of Charles II. in which he heartily concurred (fn. 22). On the 4th of September 1660, he gave a noble entertainment to his Majesty, at his house at Chelsea (fn. 23). The next year he was made Lord Privy Seal, and was afterwards Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord President of the Privy Council, and created Earl of Radnor. He died in 1684, and was buried at Lanhedrock, near Bodmin in Cornwall (fn. 24). His daughter Mary, whose birth is here recorded, died in 1670; she is not mentioned in Collins's Peerage. His son Warwick, baptized April 27, 1667, died in his infancy. His daughter Essex was baptized April 7, 1669 (fn. 25). John Robarts, his son by his first wife, was buried at Chelsea in 1663. Lord Radnor's house was situated at the west end of Paradise-row (fn. 26).
"Letitia Countesse Dowager of Radnor senior, buried July 15, 1714." She was daughter of Sir John Smith of Kent, and second wife of John Earl of Radnor above-mentioned. Collins calls her Isabel. As her eldest daughter appears to have been named Letitia Isabella, it is probable that she bore both these names herself.
"Rt Honble Sarah Countess Dowager of Radnor, buried Sept. 20, 1720." She was daughter of John Bodville, of the county of Carnarvon, and wife of Robert Viscount Bodmyn, who died in 1681, his father being then living. In the year 1685, a patent of precedence was granted to Lady Bodmyn and her daughters, (of whom Catherine above-mentioned was one,) by which they enjoyed the same place, titles, &c. as if Lord Bodmyn had been Earl of Radnor (fn. 27).
"Honble Francis Roberts, Esq. buried Feb. 7, 1717–8." He was eldest son to John Earl of Radnor by his second wife; sat in several parliaments during the reigns of Charles II. James II. King William, Queen Anne, and George I.; was a man of general learning, and a Vice-President of the Royal Society (fn. 28).
"Honble Russel Roberts, Esq. buried Feb. 1, 1718–9." Son of Robert Viscount Bodmyn, and father of Henry Earl of Radnor. " Lady Olympia Roberts, buried Feb. 24, 1732–3." Daughter to John, the first Earl of Radnor, by his second wife. " Honble John " Roberts, Esq. buried Sept. 22, 1746." Grandson of Francis Roberts above-mentioned, and nephew of John, the last Earl of Radnor of that family, who died in 1758.
"William Courtney, Esq. eldest son of Sir William Courtney, Knt. and Bart, of Poudram Castle in the county of Devon, buried July 27, 1670." Francis, his son, was buried May 12, 1699; Mary, his daughter, Sept. 2, 1705; James, his son, Feb. 16, and another, William, March 23, 1707. Mary, wife of Peter Courtney, Gent. was buried May 30, 1700. Mrs. Mary Courtney, Jan. 21, 1715–6.
"The Lady Elizabeth Bartie, daughter to the Right Hon. Robert " Earl of Lindsey, Lord Great Chamberlain of England, baptized " this year, being 1671, and the 23d of the month of June." Daughter of the Earl of Lindsey by his third wife ; she died unmarried. The Earl was proprietor of a large mansion adjoining to the Duke of Beaufort's premises; it is now divided into several tenements, which are called Lindsey-Row.
"Dr. Baldwin Hamey, buried May 18, 1676." Dr. Hamey published a Treatise on the Quinsy, and other tracts (fn. 29). He was a great benefactor to the College of Physicians, and wrote some memoirs of medical men, which he left behind him in manuscript (fn. 30).
"Charles, son of Sir Philip Meadows, Dec. 20, 1679."He died in his infancy, and was buried at Chelsea. Sir Philip Medows (fn. 31) was grandfather to Charles Pierrepont, Esq. and to Major General Sir William Medows.
"The Honble Sr Dudley North and Dame Anne Gunning were married Ap. 12, 1683." Sir Dudley North was third son of Dudley Lord North. Anne Gunning was daughter of Sir Robert Cann, Bart. and relict of Sir Robert Gunning.
"Sir Joseph Allstone, Knt. buried May 31, 1688." He was a baronet also, having been so created by Charles II. in 1682. There are several entries of the Allstone family in the register: the title is extinct.
"Robert, son of Robert Woodcock, baptized Oct. 9, 1690." Robert Woodcock, the father, a native of Upton-upon-Severn, was buried at Chelsea in 1710. His son, who was by profession a painter, excelled in sea pieces; he was a proficient also in music, and published some compositions in several parts (fn. 32). He died of the gout at the age of thirty-eight, and was buried at Chelsea, April 15, 1728.
"Anne, daughter of the Right Revd Father in God Doctor John Sharp, Archbishop of York, baptized Nov. 25, 1691." She married Dr. Deering, Dean of Rippon. The Archbishop was a worthy and learned prelate, and distinguished himself by his zealous opposition to the popish doctrines in the reign of James II.
"Thomas Shadwell, Esq. poet laureat, buried Nov. 24, 1692." Shadwell, though not very eminent as a poet, possessed considerable merit as a dramatic writer. His plays, which are thought to abound with fine strokes of humour, and to exhibit much originality of character, were in great esteem towards the beginning of the present century, especially the Duke of Guise, the Lancashire Witches, and the Squire of Alsatia, which were frequently acted. The latter was occasionally revived in Woodward's time, who excelled in the principal character. It was Shadwell's misfortune to engage in an unequal contest with a formidable opponent, who has held him up to ridicule in one of the severest satires that was ever penned (fn. 33). An edition of his works was published in 1720, in four volumes 8vo. to which was prefixed an account of his life. Mrs. Anne Shadwell, his widow, (who had been an actress in the reign of Charles II.) was living at Chelsea in 1696.
"Margaret, daughter of Sr John Shadwell, Knt. buried Sept. 30, 1715." Sir John Shadwell, son of the laureat, was a physician; he appears to have resided at Chelsea, in a house which had been quitted by the celebrated Dr. Arbuthnot the year before (fn. 34).
Between 1695 and 1719, are several entries relating to the family of Sir George Pearse, or Pearce, Bart. I find no baronet of this name among the creations of that order in either of the three kingdoms. Henry Piers, of the county of Westmeath, was created a baronet in the year 1660.
"Osborne, son of Francis Atterbury, D. D. and Dean of Carlisle, and Catherine his wife, baptized April 23, 1705." The celebrated Dr. Atterbury resided at Chelsea several years (fn. 35). It was there that he commenced an intimacy with Swift, who, in the year 1711, ac cidentally took lodgings opposite his house. They were at that time wholly unknown to each other, and Swift by no means prejudiced in favour of his neighbour; "I lodge (says he, in his journal to Stella) just over against Dr. Atterbury; and perhaps I shall not like the place better for that." An acquaintance, nevertheless, commenced, and soon improved to an intimacy (fn. 36). It may be collecˆed from circumstances, that Atterbury's house was in Church-lane (fn. 37).
"Edward Chamberlayne, L.L. D. buried May 27, 1703." Dr. Chamberlayne was of an ancient family, settled at Oddington in Gloucestershire ; he was born in the year 1616, and made the tour of Europe during the civil war. When the Earl of Carlisle was sent with the order of the Garter to Charles IX. King of Sweden, Chamberlayne attended him in the character of secretary (fn. 38). As an author, his most noted work was, the Present State of Great Britain, which went through thirty-eight editions. He published also, a Dialogue on the Dutch War; a History of the Civil Wars in the Reign of Henry III. compared with that of the last Century ; a book called England's Wants ; and several translations (fn. 39).
"John Chamberlayne, Esq. buried Nov. 6, 1723." Son of Dr. Chamberlayne—a man of general science, and an eminent linguist, as appears by an edition of the Lord's Prayer, translated into the language of almost all nations, published by him at Amsterdam, with Dissertations upon the Origin of Languages. He augmented and improved his father's book of the Present State of Great Britain, to the latter editions of which his name is prefixed.
"The Lord Windsor, Viscount Blackwater in the kingdom of Ireland, and Charlotte Lady Dowager Jeffreyes, were married Aug. 28, 1703." Thomas, eldest son of Thomas Earl of Plymouth, by his second wife Ursula, was created Baron Montjoy in England, and Viscount Windsor of Blankcastle in Ireland. He married Charlotte, daughter of Philip Earl of Pembroke, and relict of the famous Judge Jeffreys.
"Thomas Philip, son of the Rt Honble Thomas Lord Viscount Windsor, and Lady Charlotte his wife, was baptized Feb. 7, 1705–6." He died in his infancy. Ursula, their daughter, was baptized Dec. 2, 1704; she married John Wadman, Esq. of Imber in Wiltshire. Herbert their son, afterwards the second and last Lord Windsor, and father of the present Countess of Bute, was baptized at Chelsea May 1, 1707. Charlotte, their daughter, was baptized April 19, 1709. Lord Windsor resided in Lindsey-house, with his mother the Countess Dowager of Plymouth (fn. 40).
"Villars Bathurst, Gent. buried Sept. 9, 1711." Villiers Bathurst was son of George Bathurst, Esq. and great uncle of the present Earl Bathurst. He was of Trinity College, Oxford, and enjoyed the post of Judge Advocate of the navy in the reigns of King Charles II. William III. and Queen Anne (fn. 41).
"The Honble Algernon Grevile, and the Honble Mary Somerset, grand-daughter to her Grace the Duchess Dowager of Beaufort, were married by Mr. Atkinson, Dec. 24, 1711." Algernon Grevile was second son of Fulke Lord Brooke; Mary Somerset, daughter of Lord Arthur, fifth son of Henry Duke of Beaufort.
"Francis, son of Francis Lord Conway, Baron of Ragley, and Charlotte Lady Conway his wife, born July 5, 1718, and baptized Aug. 2, following." The present Marquis of Hertford. The Conway family at that time resided at Lindsey-house.
"Francis, son of the Right Honble William Lord Forbes, and the Lady Dorothy his wife, born Dec. 19, baptized Jan. 13, 1721–2." Anne their daughter, baptized June 10, 1724, died a few days afterwards. Mary, baptized Nov. 3, 1725, was buried Nov. 9, 1734. Francis above-mentioned, then Lord Forbes, was buried Aug. 8, 1734.
"Rev. Mr. John Lowthorp, Clerk, buried Sept. 5, 1724." Mr. Lowthorp published an Abridgement of the Philosophical Transactions, to which he himself was a contributor by a paper on the Refraction of the Air.
"Sir Hans Sloane, Bart. buried Jan. 18, 1753." This eminent physician, whose collection laid the foundation of that national ornament the British Museum, was the son of Alexander Sloane, Esq. of the kingdom of Ireland, but of Scottish extraction. He was many years president of the Royal Society, and created a baronet in 1716. After an active life, dedicated to the duties of his prosession, and the encouragement of science, in the year 1742, he retired to Chelsea, whither he removed his library and collection of natural curiosities. "He did not, however, pass into that kind of solitude which excludes men from society; he received at Chelsea, as he had done at London, the visits of people of distinction, of all learned foreigners, of the royal family, who sometimes did him that honour (fn. 42); and what was still more to his praise, he never refused admittance or advice to rich or poor who came to consult him concerning their health (fn. 43)." Sir Hans Sloane, during his residence at Chelsea, was so infirm as to be wholly confined to his house, except occasionally taking the air in his garden in a wheeled chair. Edwards, the naturalist, used to visit him every Saturday, and inform him what was passing among his old acquaintance in the literary world (fn. 44). Sir Hans died at Chelsea, after an illness of only three days, Jan. 11, 1753, and was interred in the church-yard of that place on the 18th, his funeral being attended with such a concourse of people, of all ranks and conditions, as had seldom been seen on the like occasion : the sermon was preached by Zachary Pearce, then Bishop of Bangor (fn. 45). On the 27th of the same month, a meeting of the trustees, whom Sir Hans Sloane had appointed by his will to superintend his valuable collection, was held at the manor-house (fn. 46); in which, by a codicil of the will, it was directed to be preserved, the advowson of the church being appropriated also for its support. This disposition was afterwards altered; and when the collection was purchased by parliament, Montague-house, as is well known, was allotted for its reception. The only survivor of the original trus tees nominated by Sir Hans Sloane's will is the present Earl of Orford.
"April 24, 1729." Dr. Scheuchzer was Sir Hans Sloane's librarian, and foreign secretary to the Royal Society. He translated Kaempser's History of Japan into English; and wrote a paper on the method of measuring the heights of mountains, which is published in the Philosophical Transactions. Dr. Scheuchzer was son of the learned John James Scheuchzer, M. D. Professor of Mathematics at Zurich.
"Mrs. Mary Astell, buried May 14, 1731." Mrs. Astell was born at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, about the year 1668; being herself a very learned woman, she formed a design of founding a college for the education of females; but was dissuaded from her purpose by Bishop Burnet. She published an Essay in Defence of the Fair-sex, written in 1690, which has gone through several editions; and was author also of "Reflections on Marriage;" "An impartial Inquiry into the Cause of Rebellion;" and a pamphlet entitled "The Christian Religion as professed by a Daughter of the Church of England." Lord Stanhope, speaking of the last-mentioned publication, in a letter to Bishop Atterbury, says, "I must now quarrel with you, Mr. "Dean of Carlisle, because I am informed this day, that you have put out in print a mighty ingenious pamphlet; but that you have been pleased to father it upon one Mrs. Astell, a female friend and witty companion of your wife's (fn. 47)." Bishop Atterbury, in a letter to Dr. Smallridge, speaks in very high terms of Mrs. Astell's abilities, but blames the bluntness of her expressions : "Had she as much good breeding as good sense, (says he,) she would be perfect (fn. 48)." Mrs. Astell resided at Chelsea the greater part of her life (fn. 49).
"Hugh Shorthose, lecturer, buried Feb. 9, 1734–5." In the year 1738, a volume of sermons, written by Mr. Shorthose, was published for the benefit of his daughter; with a short biographical preface, containing nothing remarkable. Mr. Shorthose was born at Amesbury in Wiltshire, and was a successful candidate for the lectureship against Dr. Langford, Chaplain to Chelsea College.
"The Hon. & Rev. Edward Townshend of Pulham, Norfolk, and Mary Price of St. Margaret, Westminster, were married May 4, 1747." Edward Townshend was fourth son of Charles Viscount Townshend by his second wife; his lady was daughter of Brigadier General Price.
"Augustus Henry, son of the Honble Augustus Hervey, baptized by the Honble & Revd Henry Aston, Nov. 2, 1747." The discovery and production of this entry might have spared many interrogatories at the Duchess of Kingston's trial (fn. 49).
"John Martyn, M. D. buried Feb. 5, 1768." Dr. Martyn was born in London in the year 1699. He discovered an early attach ment to literary pursuits, to which he dedicated the greater part of his life. Natural History was his favourite study, particularly botany, in which he read several courses of lectures both in London and Cambridge. He was chosen professor of botany by that university in the year 1734. About the year 1729, he came to reside at Chelsea, where he practised physic for the space of twenty years. In 1752, he removed to a farm in the parish of Streatham, where he spent most of the remainder of his life in rural retirement. He returned to Chelsea the year before his death, which happened Jan. 29, 1768. Dr. Martyn published several botanical works; and a wellknown edition, with a translation, of the Bucolicks and Georgics of Virgil. He translated some medical treatises; was engaged in a periodical publication called the Grub-street Journal, in which he wrote the papers signed B.; assisted in the three first volumes of the General Dictionary; and abridged some of the Philosophical Transactions, to which he was himself a valuable contributor. In the year 1739, he communicated to the Royal Society an account of an aurora borealis seen at Chelsea, March 18, being the first time that phænomenon had been described. He communicated also, an account of another seen at the same place, Feb. 16, 1750; and of an aurora australis seen there Jan. 23, the same year. Dr. Martyn left behind him various MSS. in Natural History, Biography, Chronology, and the Practice of Physic; collections for a History of the Royal Society; for an English Grammar and Dictionary, &c. &c. A more full account of his MSS. and publications may be seen in a biographical preface, drawn up by the Rev. Thomas Martyn, the present professor of botany at Cambridge, and prefixed to "Dissertations on the Æneids of Virgil," a posthumous work of his father's, which was published in 1770.
"Philip Miller, buried Dec. 22, 1771." The well-known author of the Gardener's Dictionary, which has gone through several editions, and been translated into various languages. Mr. Miller was gardener to the Company of Apothecaries at Chelsea, during a period of nearly fifty years, and acquired great reputation, not only for his successful culture of plants, but for his intimate knowledge of their structure and characters (fn. 51). Linnæus paid him the compliment of saying, that his dictionary was not a work for gardeners only, but for botanists. Mr. Miller communicated some papers to the Royal Society, and published also the Gardener's Calendar, a Catalogue of the Plants at Chelsea, and two volumes in folio of figures of plants adapted to his dictionary. He died Dec. 18, 1771, in the 80th year of his age, having resigned his office at Chelsea a short time before his death.
"Henry Mossop, buried Jan. 1, 1775." Henry Mossop was the son of a clergyman of small fortune in Ireland, who gave him, nevertheless, the advantage of a liberal education at the University of Dublin. Having been disappointed in his expectations from an uncle, who had encouraged him to leave Ireland with the hopes of becoming his heir, he turned his thoughts to the stage, and offered his services to Garrick and Rich, without success. He then returned to Dublin, where he got an engagement, and made his first appearance in the character of Zanga, in the month of November 1749. He was very favourably received by the public, and warmly supported by his fellow-collegians; but was hardly established as an actor, when a difference with the manager induced him to quit Dublin. In the season of 1751, he procured an engagement at Drury-Lane, where he made his first appearance in the month of September that year. From this time (with the interval of one year) he continued at Drury-Lane till 1759, when he was unfortunately tempted to return to Dublin in the capacity of manager, a situation for which he was not qualified, and which proved fatal both to his health and fortune. About two years before his death, a commission of bankruptcy was issued against him. His health at the same time rapidly declining, he was advised to go to the South of France, whence he returned without having received any benefit, and died Dec. 27, 1774, aged 45 years (fn. 52). As an actor, he excelled chiefly in parts of declamation; and was most admired in the characters of Zanga, Wolsey, Barbarossa, and Richard III. Churchill, in his Rosciad, has treated him with more severity than justice.
"William Kendricke, L.L. D. buried June 13, 1779." Dr. Kenrick was a man of considerable abilities, and author of several dramatic and poetical works; his plays were in general unsuccessful (fn. 53): The Lady of the Manor, his last production, was the most fortunate. Dr. Kenrick was editor of the London Review; and in the year 1774, read public lectures upon Shakespear's plays. He appears also to have been deeply engaged in mechanical pursuits. On the 19th of May, previous to his death, he waited on the Attorney General with a petition, for a patent for the exclusive benefit of the discovery of a mechanical principle of self-motion (fn. 54).
"Sr John Fielding, Knt. and Justice of the Peace, buried Sept. 13, 1780." Sir John Fielding, so well known for his activity as a magistrate while he presided over the Police-office in Bow-street, succeeded his half-brother, the celebrated Henry Fielding, in that department, in the year 1754. He published a book, entitled "The "True Mentor," being a collection of aphorisms; a Treatise on the Penal Laws, and a few other Tracts.
"John Baptist Cipriani, buried Dec. 21, 1785." This celebrated artist was a native of Florence, where he first settled as an historical painter, and acquired considerable reputation. In the year 1754, he came over to England, having been invited by Lord Tilney, who employed him in painting several subjects from history. Among his earliest patrons was the Duke of Richmond, who having formed a design of establishing an academy in his own house, appointed Cipriani the master. He was afterwards mostly employed by the printsellers in making drawings, which were much admired for their taste and correctness, particularly in the delineation of the human figure: they are well known by Bartolozzi's beautiful engravings. The combined merits of these two artists, have given a more than temporary value to numerous tickets of admission to places of public entertainment. The cielings at the Queen's house, at Lansdown, and at Melbourn (now York) house, were painted by Cipriani after the manner of the antique. He did not, however, wholly give up that branch of his profession which he first pursued, having finished three large historical paintings for the late Earl of Orford a short time before his death.
"The Rev. Philip Withers, D. D. buried July 29, 1790." Philip Withers was son of a blue-dyer at Westbury in Wiltshire. After having been an apprentice to a country shopkeeper, at the age of 20 years he became a pupil to Mr. Milner, who kept a school at Hull in Yorkshire. In the year 1777, he was admitted a member of Trinitycollege, Cambridge, where he resided about a year and an half, and then removed to Queen's-college, where Mr. Milner's brother was tutor, and where he is said to have made a considerable proficiency in the Greek language, of which he was not a little vain. During his residence at Cambridge, the Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Coleman, received a gold snuff-box, from an unknown hand, to be offered as a prize for the best Greek exercise. Upon this being made public, Withers declared himself a candidate; and it was much suspected that the snuffbox came from himself; for his tutor, upon comparing the letter with others received from him, had no doubt of their having been written by the same person. About this time (1778) appeared proposals for a splendid edition of the Table of Cebes, with plates and notes, to be published by some gentlemen of the University of Cambridge, for the benefit of the sons of the clergy. Withers, who was one of the editors, or perhaps the sole editor, as he never discovered his coadjutors, waited upon Archbishop Cornwallis with the proposals, and requested his patronage. The Archbishop received him civilly; but deferred giving him any answer till he had made some inquiries about his unknown visitor. Withers, nevertheless, published new proposals, with the Archbishop's name annexed as patron of the undertaking. Some letters passed between the editor and Mr. Bacon, treasurer of the charity, in which the former complains of the work having been injured by the report of his having used the Archbishop's name without being properly authorized; and says, that it had been already attended with much expence and infinite labour: the publication never took place. After leaving Cambridge, Withers opened an academy in St. Mary Axe. In 1781, he was lecturer of St. Clement's, Eastcheap. In 1783, he resided at Paddington, and was preacher or reader at Bentinck Chapel: during that year he published an address to Dr. Dennis, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford, in reply to a letter signed Vindex, in the St. James's Chronicle, which he supposed to have been directed against him. In this address, he endeavours to vindicate himself from the charge of ignorance and methodism, and challenges any person of the University of Oxford to a trial of skill in the Greek language. In 1787, he commenced his career as a libel-writer, by an anonymous pamphlet under the signature of Cassandra. In 1789, he advertised a book called Aristarchus, or a methodical arrangement of improprieties which occur in writing and conversation; and a caution to gentlemen using Sheridan's Dictionary. The same year, being then resident in Sloane-square, Chelsea, he signalized himself by writing some pamphlets upon popular topics, containing many scurrilous and libellous paragraphs, which exposed him to a prosecution in the court of King's Bench, where he was convicted of the libel with which he was charged. When brought up to receive judgment, he behaved in so indiscreet a manner as tended to heighten his punishment, which was a fine of 50l. and imprisonment in Newgate for twelve months. He died in that prison not long before the expiration of his confinement, in consequence of a fever which he caught by over-heating himself in playing at fives. Dr. Withers, at the time of his death, was not quite forty years of age. The foregoing account is principally taken from some MSS. collections of the late Dr. Michael Lort.
No instances of longevity occur in the parish register. Mary Bird is said to have died at Chelsea, Aug. 25, 1771, aged 100 (fn. 55); Mr. Benjamin Price, June 30, 1776, aged 104 (fn. 55); and Mr. Johnson, Oct. 6, 1782, aged 103 (fn. 55). Of these, Mary Bird only was buried at Chelsea; her age is not mentioned in the register.
In the year 1552, an inventory was taken, by commissioners appointed by the King, of the plate and ornaments belonging to all the churches in the kingdom; the returns of the jury relating to several counties, of which Middlesex is one, are in the Augmentation-office. The jury at Chelsey returned a very long lift, consisting of "cha lices, pattens, crosses of copper gylte, aulter clothes, candelstycks, of latten, corporas cases of red velvet and tynsell, a lyttel maser, qweshions of tynsel and of sylk, vestments of black velvet, and of sattin, with velvet crosses, velvet copes, sylke curteyns, & canopies, a hearse clothe of tynsel, sylke & velvet, another of red sylk and gold, a censor of latten, a holy water stocke, a payre of orgayns, two hand bells, and a sackaringe bell." In Lady More's chapel, among other articles, were "an aulter clothe of Brydges satten, with a border to the same, and two corteynes of sylk belonging to the same." At the end of the list are enumerated some articles stolen when the church was broken, among which are "a hearse clothe of blewe vellett, with a cross of redd vellett, and branched with golde, and one coope of caddas."
|"1594. Recd more of the women that they gott in hockinge||0||33||sh.|
|"1597. To the Lo. Almoners officers for not ringinge at the Q. remove from Kensington to Richmont||0||4||sh.|
|"1606. Of the good wyves their hockyng money||0||53||sh.|
|"Of the women that went a hocking 13 April1607||0||45||sh.|
|"1611. Recd of Robert Munden that the men dyd gett by hocking||0||10||sh.|
|"1632. Given the ringers at his Majesties coming to the Duchesses house (fn. 56)||0||1||0|
|"1665. To the ringers when his Majesty dind at the Spanish Embassador's||0||3||0|
|"1670. Spent at the perambulation dinner||3||10||0|
|"1670. Given to the boys that were whipt||0||4||0|
|"Paid for poynts for the boys||0||2||0|
|"1688. Paid for a prayer-book for the Prince of Wales|
|"Paid for a boke for the Prince's coming|
Edward Page, who died in the year 1597, left by will 10l. per annum to the poor of this parish, to be distributed at the discretion of the rector and church-wardens. Thomas Younge, yeoman of the guards, who died in 1604, gave twenty shillings per annum to the poor. These benefactions, recorded in the parish register, are lost.
Lady Stoner, in 1645, gave twenty shillings per annum to be distributed in bread (fn. 57); Edward Cheyne, (anno 1662,) six shillings per annum; Christopher Plukenett, (anno 1684,) twenty shillings per annum; and Mr. John Franklin, the interest of 100l. 3 per cent. consol. for the like purpose; Thomas Leveret, in 1647, gave 20l. to the parish (fn. 58); Henry Ashton, in 1657, gave forty shillings, to be lent in sums of five shillings each, to eight poor tradesmen for the space of two years, and then called in and lent to others; Mrs. Judith Cale, (1717,) left the interest of 100l. to six poor widows; this benefaction was recovered by a suit in the court of Chancery in the year 1736, with 80l. interest, to which the parish adding 20l. made up the sum 200l.; Richard Guildford, in the year 1679, left the sum of 10l. per annum to the parish of Chelsea, 81. of which was to be distributed yearly on the 5th of December, (being the anniversary of his marriage with his last wife,) between sixteen poor people (if so many should be found); the remainder was appropriated to pay for a sermon, and to distribute fees among the clerk, ringers, &c. This benefaction is a rent-charge upon some houses in London.
Anne Lady Dacre, by her will, dated 1594, gave directions for the founding an hospital in Tothill-fields, to be called Emanuelhospital, pursuant to a plan which she and her Lord intended to have completed during their lifetime. This hospital is allotted for the reception of a certain number of old persons, who receive 16l. per annum each, and a chaldron of coals; and a like number of children, who are maintained and educated till the age of fourteen, and have 10l. each as an apprentice fee when they leave the hospital. A man, woman, boy, and girl, of the parish of Chelsea, receive the benefit of this charity, upon condition that the church-wardens keep the tomb of Lord and Lady Dacre in good repair. But the election of all the pensioners is vested in the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of London.
In the year 1706, a vestry and school-room, (adjoining the churchyard,) with lodgings for the master, were built at the charge of Wm. Petyt, Esq. Keeper of the Records in the Tower. John Chamberlayne, Esq. pursuant to the intentions and promise of his father, who died intestate, gave 5l. per ann. to the master, and 5l. per ann. to apprentice one of the children. The school has been supported from time to time by voluntary contributions; at first it was appropriated only to the educating of boys. Dr. Ellesmere, a former rector, instituted another for girls, and bequeathed towards its support the profits of a posthumous volume of sermons, which produced the sum of 115l. 18s. 4d. Various benefactions have from time to time been given to both (fn. 59); and the present joint stock amounts to 700l. Forty boys and thirty girls are now clothed and educated, which the parish is enabled to do with the interest of their stock, aided by voluntary contributions, and the collections at three annual sermons.
In the year 1721, a patent having been obtained for a manufacture of raw silk at Chelsea, the Duke of Wharton's park (fn. 60) was taken for that purpose, and planted with mulberry-trees; it attracted a considerable share of the public attention, as we are informed by the newspapers of that day (fn. 61). The premises belonging to the raw-silk company are rated at 200l. in the parish books. This undertaking, like many others of that period, proved unsuccessful.
Some years ago, a manufacture of porcelain, which acquired great celebrity, was established at an old mansion by the water-side. Upon the same premises is now a manufacture of stained paper, stamped after a peculiar manner; the invention of Messrs. Eckhardts, who first established it in partnership with Mr. Woodmason, in the year 1786. It is now the property of Messrs. Bowers and Co. who employ about a hundred hands. In the year 1791, Mr. A. G. Eckhardt, F. R. S. and his brother Mr. Frederick Eckhardt, natives of Holland, well known in this country for their many ingenious inventions (fn. 62), established at Whitelands House in this parish, (lately an eminent boarding-school for young ladies,) a new and beautiful manufacture of painted silk, varnished linen, cloth, paper, &c. for the hangings and furniture of rooms; the paper, silk, leather, &c. is for the most part stamped; some of the pieces are very highly finished by hand. The linen is painted entirely by hand, and is done by girls from eight or nine to fourteen or fifteen years of age; about forty of these have constant employ, and work in a room, which is kept in a proper state of ventilation by an air-pump, to prevent any deleterious effects from the paint. Above a hundred persons in the whole are employed upon the premises. Near the King's Road is Triquet's manufacture of artificial stone, and that of fire-proof earthen stoves, kitchen ware, &c. &c. carried on by Johanna Hempel, widow, who is also patentee of the artificial siltering-stones for cleansing foul water. The manufacture of Chelsea bunns should not be omitted, having been so long noted, and carried on upon the same spot for more than 100 years. The Bunn-house is situated in the parish of St. George, Hanover-square, which extends over a considerable part of the village.
Towards the beginning of the last century, Dr. Sutcliffe, Dean of Exeter, set on foot a project for establishing a college of Polemical Divines, to be employed in opposing the doctrines of Papists and Sectaries (fn. 63). At first the undertaking seemed attended with good omens; Prince Henry was a zealous friend to it; the King consented to be deemed the founder, called the college after his own name (fn. 64), endowed it with the reversion of certain lands at Chelsea, which were fixed upon for its site, laid the first stone of the building, gave timber out of Windsor Forest, issued his royal letters to encourage his subjects throughout the kingdom to contribute towards the completion of the structure; and as a permanent endowment, procured an act of parliament to enable the college to raise an annual rent by supplying the city of London with water from the river Lee (fn. 65).
It appears by the charter of incorporation, dated May 8, 1610 (fn. 66), that the college consisted of a provost and twenty fellows, eighteen of whom were required to be in holy orders, the other two, who might be either laymen or divines, were to be employed in writing the annals of their times. Sutcliffe himself was the first provost; Camden and Haywood the first historians. When a vacancy happened in any department, the successor was to be nominated and re commended by the Vice-chancellor and heads of colleges in the two universities, and approved by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Chancellor of each university, and the Bishop of London. The charter granted the college the power of using a common seal; various privileges and immunities, and licence to possess lands in mortmain to the value of 3000 l. per annum.
With these good omens Dr. Sutcliffe began to erect the college at his own expence, and built one side of the first quadrangle; " which long range alone (fays Fuller) made not of free stone, though of free timber, cost, O the dearness of college and church work ! full "three thousand pounds (fn. 67)." Such was the progress of the work at Dr. Sutcliffe's death, who by his will, dated Nov. I, 1628, bequeathed to the college the greater part of his estates, consisting of lands in Devonshire, the benefit of an extent on Sir Lewis Stukeley's estates valued at more than 3000l. a share in the great Neptune (a ship at Whitby in Yorkshire); a tenement at Stoke Rivers, and other premises; all his books and goods in the college, and a part of his library at Exeter; but all these bequests were subject to this proviso, "if the work of the college should not be hindered."
The total failure of pecuniary resources soon proved a very effectual hindrance to any farther progress in this undertaking. The national attention had been so much engaged by the extensive repairs of St. Paul's cathedral, that the college saw little hopes of success from the circulation of the King's letters for the purpose of promoting a public contribution; and at the time of his death no collections had been made under their sanction (fn. 68). The success of Sir Hugh Middelton's project for supplying London with water, which took place the very year after the act of parliament in favour of the col lege, and the total inability of its members to avail themselves of the privileges they enjoyed, for want of money to carry on such an undertaking, destroyed all hopes of advantage from that source. Of all Dr. Sutcliffe's benefactions, the college never possessed more than a house and premises, worth about 34 l. per annum, the greater part of which was expended in repairs (fn. 69).
After Sutcliffe's death, Dr. Featly, a celebrated polemical divine, who was recommended by the Dean as his successor, became Provost; but so little was the original intention of the institution regarded, even at this early period, that one Richard Dean, a young merchant, was made one of the fellows (fn. 70). Such was the state of the foundation, when the court of Chancery, in the year 1631, decreed that Dr. Sutcliffe's estates should revert to the right heirs, upon their paying to the college the sum of 340l. (fn. 71) Under these difficulties, which were afterwards increased by a dispute with Lord Monson (who married the Earl of Nottingham's widow) about the lease of the land on which the college stood, no farther progress, as it may be supposed, was ever made in the building. That part which was already completed, consisted of a library and a few rooms, occupied by the provost and two fellows.
Even this fragment of a college they were not permitted to enjoy in peace. Sir Francis Kynaston, in the year 1636, (being Regent of the new academy called the Museum Minervæ (fn. 72),) petitioned the King that he might be allowed Chelsea-college as a place of retirement during the plague, where the noblemen and gentlemen who were his pupils, might continue with safety their discipline in arts and arms (fn. 73). The King so far listened to this application, that he signified his royal pleasure that Sir Francis's request should be com plied with; but Dr. Featly, in a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, represented so strongly the hardship of being turned out of his own college, that his Majesty withdrew his consent; and Sir Francis Kynaston, with Dr. May, one of the professors, removed the academy to Little Chelsea. About the same time the King received an application to appropriate the college to a more unworthy purpose, and to make it a pest-house for the city of Westminster (fn. 74). The Provost seems nevertheless to have been permitted to enjoy the use of it without further interruption; and in the year 1645, being then a prisoner to the parliament in Petre-house, he was suffered to retire to Chelsea-college for his health, and died there in the month of April that year (fn. 75). The property of a college founded for the purpose of opposing sectaries, had little chance of being respected when those sectaries were in power: it was seized by the parliament, and appropriated to various purposes. After having been used for some time as a prison (fn. 76), it became, to quote the words of an author of that day, "a cage of unclean birds; a prostibulum for whores; a stable for horses; and not only a place petitioned for to make leather guns in, but desired also for a palæstra to manage great horses, and to practice horsemanship (fn. 77)."
In the survey of Chelsea college, taken by order of the parliament in 1652, it is described as "a brick building, 130 feet in length from east to west, and 33 in breadth; consisting of a kitchen, two butteries, two larders, a hall, and two large parlours below stairs; on the second story, four fair chambers, two withdrawing-rooms, and four closets; the same on the third story; and on the fourth, a very large gallery, having at each end a little room with turrets, covered with slate." The building, with its appurtenances, was valued at 30l. per annum; the whole of the premises, which occupied 28 acres, at 69l. 10s. Before the college, on the south side, stood a row of elms (fn. 78).
After the restoration, John Darley, a Cornish man, published a pamphlet, entitled "The Glory of Chelsey-college revived;" in which, after reciting its origin and design, with the causes of its failure, he endeavoured to persuade the King (to whom he addressed his work) to take measures for completing the college according to the original intention of the founder, and settling on it a fixed and competent revenue. To this pamphlet is prefixed a print of the college, with a double quadrangle, as it was intended to have been built. Darley's exhortation met with little attention; and the college being virtually annihilated (fn. 79), the property reverted to the crown, and the building was once more made a prison, and appropriated for the reception of Dutch seamen (fn. 80). In 1669, the King granted the site of Chelseacollege, with its appurtenances, to the Royal Society, then lately incorporated, who having for several years endeavoured to make an advantageous lease (without success) of the premises, sold them again in the month of January 1682, for the sum of 1300l. to Sir Stephen Fox, for the King's use (fn. 81). His Majesty at that time wanted a convenient spot for the purpose of erecting an hospital for the reception of maimed and superannuated soldiers; and in the month of March the same year, he went to Chelsea (fn. 82), attended by many of the nobility, to lay the first stone of a better-fated fabric, which promises to be a monument of national honour to far distant ages. Sir Christopher Wren was the architect of the new structure, which was not completed till the year 1690, the whole charge of it has been computed at 150,0001. Sir Stephen Fox, who is said to have been the first projector of this noble design (fn. 83), contributed very largely towards the building (fn. 84). Archbishop Sancroft gave 1000l. (fn. 85), and it is probable that other opulent persons followed their example.
The Royal Hospital at Chelsea stands a small distance from the riverside; it is built of brick, except the coins, cornices, pediments, and columns, which are of freestone. The principal building consists of a large quadrangle, open on the south side; in the centre stands a bronze statue of the founder, Charles II. in a Roman habit, the gift of Mr. Tobias Rustat (fn. 86). The east and west sides, each 365 feet in length (fn. 87), are principally occupied by wards for the pensioners; at the extremity of the former is the governor's house, in which there is a very handsome state-room, surrounded with portraits of Charles I. and II.; William III. and his Queen; George II.; their present Majesties, &c. In the centre of each of these wings, and in that of the north front, are pediments of freestone, supported by columns of the Doric order. In the centre of the south front is a portico supported by similar columns, and on each side a piazza, on the frieze of which is the following inscription: "In subsidium et levamen emeritorum senio, belloque fractorum, condidit Carolus Secundus, auxit Jacobus Secundus, perfecere Gulielmus et Maria Rex et Regina, 1690." The internal centre of this building is occupied by a large vestibule, terminating in a dome; on one side is the chapel, and on the other the hall. The former was consecrated by Bishop Compton in the year 1691. It is about 110 feet in length, paved with black and white marble, and wainscotted with Dutch oak. The altar-piece, which represents the ascension of our Saviour, was painted by Sebastian Ricci (fn. 88). A rich service of gilt plate, consisting of a pair of massy candlesticks, several large chalices and slaggons, and a perforated spoon, was given by James II.; the organ was the gift of Major Ingram. The hall, where the pensioners dine, is situated on the opposite side of the vestibule, and is of the same dimensions as the chapel. At the upper end is a large picture of Charles II. on horseback, the gift of the Earl of Ranelagh; it was designed by Verrio, and finished by Henry Cooke (fn. 89). The whole length of the principal building, as it extends from east to west, is 790 feet; a wing having been added at each end of the north side of the great quadrangle, which forms part of a smaller court. These courts are occupied by various offices, and the infirmaries; the latter are kept remarkably neat, and supplied with hot, cold, and vapour baths. To the north of the college is an inclosure of about thirteen acres, planted with avenues of limes and horse-chesnuts; and towards the south, extensive gardens. The whole of the premises consists of about fifty acres.
The establishment of the Royal Hospital or College at Chelsea, consists of a governor, lieutenant-governor, major, two chaplains, an organist, a physician, surgeon, apothecary, secretary, steward, treasurer, controller, clerk of the works, and various subordinate officers (fn. 90). The number of ordinary pensioners is 336; these men must have been twenty years in his Majesty's service; but such as have been maimed or disabled, may be admitted at any period. The number of those who can enjoy the advantages of this establishment, being so small in proportion to that of the brave veterans who stand in need of them, the present governor, very much to his credit, has made a rule, that except under very particular circumstances, no person shall be admitted into the house under sixty years of age; by this means the benefit of the charity is appropriated with much greater certainty to those who are its most proper objects. The pensioners who live in the house (commonly called the in-pensioners) are provided with clothes (an uniform of red lined with blue); lodging and diet; besides which they have an allowance of eightpence a week. The college being considered as a military establishment, the pensioners are obliged to mount guard, and to perform other garrison duty. They are divided into eight companies, each of which has its proper complement of officers, serjeants, corporals, and drummers. The officers, who have the nominal rank of captain, lieutenant, and ensign, are chosen from the most meritorious old serjeants in the army, and have an allowance of three shillings and sixpence per week; the serjeants have two shillings; the corporals and drummers ten-pence. Two serjeants, four corporals, and fifty-two of the most able privates, are appointed by the King's signmanual, to act as a patrol upon the road from Chelsea to Pimlico, for which duty they have an additional allowance. The patrol consists of half the number here mentioned, the duty being taken alternately. There is likewife in the college a small corps, called the light horsemen, thirty-four in number, who are allowed two shillings per week, and are chosen indiscriminately out of any of the regiments of cavalry. The various servants of the college, among whom are twenty-six nurses, make the whole number of its inhabitants about five hundred and fifty. There are also belonging to the establishment, four hundred serjeants, who are out-pensioners, and receive a shilling a day; these are called King's letter-men, and are appointed, half by the Governor, and half by the Secretary at War. The number of private out-pensioners is unlimited; their allowance is five-pence per day, and they are always paid half a year's pension in advance. Their number has been much increased since the passing of the militia act; they are now upwards of twenty-one thousand, and are dispersed all over the three kingdoms, at their various occupations, being liable to be called upon to perform garrison duty as invalid companies in time of war. The expences of this noble institution (excepting about 70001. which arises from poundage of the household troops (fn. 91), and is applied towards the payment of the out-pensioners) are defrayed by an annual sum voted by parliament. The yearly expence of the house establishment, including the salaries of the officers, repairs, and other incidental charges, varies from 25,0001. to 28,0001. The internal affairs of the hospital are regulated by commissioners appointed by the crown, and consisting of the go vernor, lieutenant-governor, and some of the principal officers of state, who hold a board, as occasion requires, for the paying of outpensions, and other business.
The Earl of Ranelagh, in the year 1695, vested the sum of 3250l. (fn. 92) in trustees for the use of the Royal Hospital at Chelsea, to be disposed of as he should afterwards appoint. By a deed poll, dated 1707, he directed that the interest should be laid out in purchasing great-coats for the pensioners once in three years. This mode of distribution was confirmed by a decree in Chancery. In the year 1706, John Delafontaine, Esq. bequeathed the sum of 2000l. for the use of the hospital, subject to the direction of the governor and treasurer. Some time afterwards, 8001. having in the meanwhile accrued for interest, the whole was laid out by order of the court of Chancery in the purchase of Bank annuities. Out of this benefaction the sum of 60l. 10s. is distributed among the pensioners annually on the 29th of May. In 1729, Lady Catherine Jones, (daughter of the Earl of Ranelagh,) Lady Elizabeth Hastings, Lady Anne Coventry, and other benevolent persons, founded a school at Chelsea for the education of poor girls, whose fathers were, or had been, pensioners in the college. The funds of this school, arising from an endowment of 14l. per annum paid out of the estates of Lady Elizabeth Hastings, and the interest of 1262l. 158. 3 per cent. consol. Bank annuities, are vested in three trustees, who are enabled to clothe and educate twenty girls.
On the east side of the college, and adjoining to the road which leads to London, is a large cemetery for the interment of the pen sioners and other persons belonging to the establishment. Near the entrance, on the right hand, is the tomb of Simon Box, (the first person there buried,) who died in 1692, having served under King Charles I. Charles II. James II. and William and Mary. Near the same spot is that of William Hiseland, with the following inscription: "Here rests William Hiseland, a veteran, if ever soldier was, who merited well a pension, if long service be a merit, having served upwards of the days of man; ancient, but not superannuated; engaged in a series of wars, civil as well as foreign, yet maimed or worn out by neither. His complexion was fresh and florid; his health hail and hearty; his memory exact and ready. In stature he exceeded the military size; in strength he surpassed the prime of youth; and what rendered his age still more patriarchal, when above an hundred years old, he took unto him a wife. Read, fellow-soldiers, and reflect that there is a spiritual warfare as well as a warfare temporal. Born the Ist of August 1620; died the 17th of February 1732, aged 112 (fn. 93)."
There are the tombs also of Colonel Theophilus Cesill, who died in 1695; Captain John Ramsey, (1696); Sir Thomas Ogle, Knt. governor, (1702); Anne Acton, housekeeper, (1705); William Poulton, Gent. who served four kings loyally, (1705); Capt. Walter Compton, (1705); John Noades, surgeon, (1707); Mary, wife of Augustus Frazer, chaplain, (1710); Anne Baker, of the ancient family of the Maynwarings of Chester, (1711); Isaac Garnier, (1712); Sir Theodore Colladon (fn. 94), physician, (1712); Daniel Crawford, Esq. lieutenant-governor, (1723); Emanuel Langford, S.T.P. chaplain, (1724); Colonel Thomas Chudleigh, lieutenant-governor, (1726); Major James Orfeur, (1729); Capt. John Bunting, (1732); Alexander Inglis, surgeon, (1736); Peter Warburton, captain in the college, aged 94, (1739); Sir Thomas Renton (fn. 95), physician to George I. (1740); Kingsmill Eyre, Esq. who died in 1743, (no date on the tomb); Richard Betsworth, Esq. major, (1745); Capt. Thomas Stuart, adjutant, (1750); William Cheselden, surgeon, (1752); Capt. John Miller, (1752); Capt. Everard Churcher, (1753); Hon. Colonel Richard Harward, (1758); John Cossley, Esq. lieutenantgovernor, (1773); Col. John Campbell, lieutenant-governor, (1773); John Ranby, Esq. serjeant-surgeon to his Majesty, and surgeon to the hospital, (1773); Nathaniel Smith, Esq. (1773); Colonel Arthur Owen, governor of Pendennis Castle, (1774); Mrs. Sophia Pittonnet, (1774); William Sparke, Esq. major, (1775); Nathaniel Philips, Esq. major of brigade to the Earl of Lincoln, (1784); Catherine, daughter of John Mackay, Esq. of Inverness, and wife of Lieutenant-Colonel Dawson, (1785); Mr. Alexander Macdonald, (1787); Alexander Reid, surgeon's mate for the space of forty-eight years, (1789); Mr. Samuel Campion, (1791); and Lewis Grant, Esq. adjutant, (1791).
|Average of burials.|