Old and New London: Volume 2. Originally published by Cassell, Petter & Galpin, London, 1878.
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Christ Church, Newgate Street: As it was and as it is—Exorbitant Burial Fees—Richard Baxter—Dr. Trapp and Sir John Bosworth—The Steeple of Christ Church—The Spital Sermons—A small Giant and a very great Dwarf—The Adventures of Sir Jeffrey Hudson—Coleridge at the "Salutation and Cat"—The "Magpie and Stump"—Tom D'Urfey at the "Queen's Arms Tavern"—The College of Physicians in Warwick Lane—Some Famous Old Physicians—Dr. Radcliffe—The College of Physicians cruelly duped—Dr. Mead—Other Famous Physicians: Askew, Pitcairne, Sir Hans Sloane—A Poetical Doctor—Monsey and his Practical Dentistry—The Cauliflower Club: the President's Chair—The Bagnio in Bath Street—Cock Lane and the famous Ghost:Walpole: Dr. Johnson: the Imposture Detecied: Scratching Fanny: Coffin—Old Inns in the Neighbourhood; the "Old Bell:" the "Oxford Arms"—Snow Hill and John Bunyan—Dobson.
In 1244 four Grey Franciscan friars arrived in London from Italy, and by the assistance of the "Preaching Friars" of Holborn, obtained a temporary residence in Cornhill. They soon found patrons, John Ewin, a mercer, purchasing for them a vacant spot of ground in the parish of St. Nicholas Shambles (from a fleshmarket held there), which he gave for the use of these friars; and William Joyner, Lord Mayor in 1239 (Henry III.), built the choir. Henry Wallis, a succeeding Lord Mayor, added the body of the church. A new and grander church was commenced in 1306 (Edward I.) at the joint expense of Queen Margaret, second wife of Edward I.; John of Brittany, Earl of Richmond; Gilbert de Clare, the Earl of Gloucester; and other pious and generous persons. This church, according to Stow, was consecrated in 1325, and is described as 300 feet long, 89 feet broad, and 64 feet 2 inches high. The chancel ceiling was painted, and the windows glowed with stained glass.
In connection with this church the illustrious Richard Whittington founded a library, in 1429, and furnished it with desks and settles for students. It is especially noted that one patient transcriber was paid 100 marks for copying the works of Nicholas de Lira.
At the dissolution, Henry VIII., who tore all he could from piety and poverty, used the church as a warehouse for French plunder. In 1546 the king gave the priory (church, library, chapter-house, and cloisters) to the Mayor and Corporation of London. The magnificent tyrant, at the same time, gave the City the Hospital of St. Bartholomew the Little, and the parish churches of St. Ewin in Newgate Market and St. Nicholas in the Shambles, and directed that these two parishes, a part of St. Sepulchre's parish, situated within Newgate, and all the site of the late dissolved priory, should form one parish, and that the church of the priory should be the parish church, and be called "Christ Church within Newgate, founded by Henry VIII."
The church, swept away in the fiery flood of 1666, was rebuilt from Wren's design, in 1687, and was completed in the second year of Queen Anne. The patronage of Christ Church is vested in the Mayor and Commonalty of London, as governors of St. Bartholomew's Hospital. The parish of St. Leonard, Foster Lane, was united to that of Christ Church, and the Dean and Chapter of Westminster, patrons of St. Leonard's, therefore present alternately. By the original grant of Henry VIII. there should be five assistant readers. The present Christ Church, 114 feet long and 81 broad, is not more than half as large as the old church, the western plot of ground being turned into a burial-ground. The steeple is 153 feet high. The interior is generous and spacious, with a wagon-headed ceiling and twelve clerestory windows, with the old pagan adornments of fat cherubims, tasteless scrolls, and coarse foliage. An ornamental band connects each Corinthian column. A great theatrical gallery at the west end, piled up with a huge organ, is set apart, together with the side galleries, for the Bluecoat boys. The pulpit has carved panels representing, after a fashion, the four Evangelists and the Last Supper. The marble font is carved with fruit, flowers, and cherubims. The church was repaired, and what churchwardens are pleased to call beautified, in 1834, and again in 1862. The old burial fees in the happily bygone days of intramural interments were high enough at this church —£2 10s. for an inhabitant in the chancel; £5 for a stranger. While the lucky inhabitant paid £12 12s. for his tombstone, the poor stranger's friends had to lay down £21 for his.
On the north wall at the east end of the church is a brass tablet to the memory of Dame Mary Ramsey, who died in 1596, and who established a free writing-school in Christ's Hospital. Here, where queens have rested and murderers mouldered, lies the great Nonconformist minister, Richard Baxter, on whose tomb no more fitting epitaph could be placed than the title of his own book, "The Saint's Rest." This excellent man, of Shropshire birth, in the earlier part of his life became master of a free-school at Dudley. In 1638 he took orders, having then no scruples about conformity, but soon after, some Nonconformist friends began to slowly influence his mind. He then began to distrust the surplice, objected to the cross in baptism, and found flaws in the Prayer Book and the Liturgy. In 1640 he was minister at Kidderminster; but when the civil wars broke out, and after Naseby, he became chaplain to Colonel Whalley's Puritan regiment, and was present at several sieges. The Cavaliers said he killed one of their party and stole his medal, a story which Baxter publicly denied. On his preaching against Cromwell he was sent for to Court, and told of the great things God had done for the Parliament. Baxter replied that the honest people of the land took their ancient monarchy to be a blessing, and not an evil, and humbly craved Cromwell's patience, that he might ask him how they had forfeited that blessing, and to whom that forfeiture was made. Cromwell replied, angrily, "There was no forfeiture; but God had changed it as pleased Him." A few days after, Cromwell sent to ask Baxter for his opinion on liberty of conscience, which Baxter gave him. On Charles's restoration, Baxter, who was a sect in himself, was appointed one of the king's chaplains, and was frequently with the godless monarch. He assisted as a commissioner at the Savoy Conference, and drew up a reformed liturgy. Lord Clarendon offered this crochety but honest theologian the bishopric of Hereford, but he declined the appointment, and went on preaching about London. For illegal preaching he was sent to gaol for six months, but eventually discharged before the expiration of that period. After the indulgence in 1672 he preached at Pinner's Hall, in Fetter Lane, in St. James's Market House, at a chapel he built himself in Oxenden Street, and in Southwark. In 1685 Baxter was taken before Lord Chief Justice Jefferies, for remarks on James II. in his "New Testament Paraphrase," and sent to prison, after much vulgar abuse from Jefferies, for two years, but in 1686 he was pardoned by King James. At Baxter's last disgraceful trial, that cruel bully, the Lord Chief Justice, told him that Oates was then standing in the pillory in New Palace Yard, and that if he (Baxter) was on the other side of the pillory at the same time, he (Jefferies) would say that two of the greatest rogues and rascals in the kingdom stood there. Like an avalanche of mud the foul words poured forth from this unjust judge. "Ay," said Jefferies, "this is your Presbyterian cant; truly called to be bishops; that is, himself and such rascals, called to be bishops of Kidderminster, and other such places; bishops set apart by such factious, snivelling Presbyterians as himself; a Kidderminster bishop, he means. According to the saying of a late learned author, every parish shall maintain a tithe-pig metropolitan." Mr. Baxter beginning to speak again, says he to him, "Richard, Richard, dost thou think we will hear thee poison the court, &c.? Richard, thou art an old fellow—an old knave; thou hast written books enough to load a cart, every one as full of sedition (I might say, treason) as an egg is full of meat. Hadst thou been whipped out of thy writing-trade forty years ago it had been happy. Thou pretendest to be a preacher of the gospel of peace, and thou hast one foot in the grave; 'tis time for thee to begin to think what account thou intendest to give. But leave thee to thyself, and I see thoul't go on as thou hast begun; but, by the grace of God, I will look after thee. I know thou hast a mighty party, and I see a great many of the brotherhood in corners, waiting to see what will become of their mighty don, and a doctor of the party (looking to Dr. Bates) at your elbow; but, by the grace of Almighty God, I'll crush you all."
After this Baxter retired to a house in Charterhouse Yard, where he assisted a Mr. Sylvester every Sunday morning, and preached a lecture every Thursday. He died in the year 1691. Baxter is said to have written more than 145 distinct treatises. This somewhat hair-splitting man believed in election, but rejected the doctrine of reprobation. If any one improved the common grace given to all mankind, it was Baxter's belief that the improvement must be followed by special grace, which led one on to final acceptance and salvation. This was the half-way road between Calvinism and Arminianism.
On the east wall is a tablet to the memory of Dr. Trapp, who was vicar of the united parishes of Christ Church and St. Leonard, Foster Lane, for twenty-six years, and died in 1747. This learned translator and controversialist lived in Warwick Lane. Near the communion-table is a large monument to Sir John Bosworth, Chamberlain of the City, who died in 1749, and his wife, Dame Hester Bosworth; and also a plain tablet to Mr. John Stock, many years a painter at the Royal Dockyard, and who died in 1781. He left £13,700 for charitable and philanthropic purposes. A marble monument, with a bust, records the Rev. Samuel Crowther, nearly thirty years incumbent of this church. He was a grandson of Richardson, the novelist, and was born in New Boswell Court. He was struck down with apoplexy while reading morning prayers. The inscription to his memory runs thus:—
"This monument is raised by his grateful parishioners and friends to the memory of the Reverend Samuel Crowther, M.A., formerly fellow of New College, Oxford, and nearly thirty years minister of these united parishes. He was born January 9, 1769, and died September 28, 1829. Gifted with many excellent endowments, he was enabled by grace to consecrate all to the service of his Divine Master. The zeal, perseverance, and fidelity with which, under much bodily infirmity, he laboured in this place till his last illness (borne nearly five years with exemplary resignation), his humble, disinterested, and catholic spirit, his suavity of manners, and sanctity of life, manifested a self-devotion to the cause of Christ, and the best interests of mankind, never to be forgotten by his flock; to whom he endeared himself, not more in the able discharge of his public duties than in his assiduous and affectionate ministrations, as their private counsellor, comforter, and friend; and among whom the young, the poor, and the afflicted were the especial objects of his solicitude. To the excellence of that gospel which he preached with a simple and persuasive eloquence, that gained every ear, his life has left a testimony, sealed in death, by which he yet speaks."
The ten tombs of alabaster and marble, and the 140 marble gravestones from this church, sold for £50 by the greedy goldsmith, Martin Bowes, we have already mentioned, in our chapter on Christ's Hospital.
"Death, judgement, heaven and hell! think, Christian,
You stand on vast eternity's dread brink;
Faith and repentance, piety and prayer,
Despise this world, the next be all your care;
Thus, while my tomb the solemn silence breaks,
And to the eye this cold dumb marble speaks,
Tho' dead I preach: if e'er with ill success
Living, I strove the important truths to press,
Your precious, your immortal souls to save,
Hear me at least, oh, hear me from the grave!"
The steeple of Christ Church is thought by many very pleasing. "It rises," says Mr. Godwin, who in some respects condemns it, "as all Wren's towers do rise, and as all towers should rise, directly from the ground, giving to the mind of the beholder that assurance of stability which under other circumstances is wanting." There are small Grecian columns on each storey of the tower, and an elliptical pediment. The vases on the top of the peristyle were taken down some years ago. The basement storey of the tower is open on three sides, and forms a porch to the east chancel. The east end, which faces King Edward Street, is disfigured by two enormous buttresses. In a vault, discovered in 1790, near the church, is the well-preserved body of a man, supposed to be that of some Newgate malefactor.
The Spital sermons, says Mr. Trollope in 1834, in his book on Christ's Hospital, originated in an old custom, by which some learned person was appointed yearly by the Bishop of London to preach at St. Paul's Cross, on Good Friday, on the subject of "Christ's Passion." On the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday following, three other divines were appointed to uphold the doctrine of "The Resurrection," at the pulpit-cross in the Spital (Spitalfields). On the Sunday following, a fifth preached at Paul's Cross, and passed judgment upon the merits of those who had preceded him. At these sermons the Lord Mayor and aldermen attended, ladies also, on the Monday, forming part of the procession; and, at the close of each day's solemnity, his lordship and the sheriffs gave a private dinner to such of their friends amongst the aldermen as attended the sermon. From this practice the civic festivities at Easter were at length extended to a magnificent scale. The children of Christ's Hospital took part in the above solemnities, so that, in 1594, when it became necessary to rebuild the pulpit-cross at the Spital, a gallery was erected also for their accommodation. In the great Rebellion the pulpit was destroyed, and the sermons were discontinued till the Restoration, after which the three Spital sermons, as they were still called, were revived at St. Bride's Church, Fleet Street. They have since been reduced to two, and, from 1797, have been delivered at Christ Church, Newgate Street.
It was on their first appearance at the Spital that the children of Christ's Hospital wore the blue costume by which they have since been distinguished. "Instead of the subjects," continues Mr. Trollope, "which were wont to be discussed from the pulpit-cross of St. Mary Spital, discourses are now delivered commemorative of the objects of the five sister hospitals; and a report is read of the number of children maintained and educated, and of sick, disorderly, and lunatic persons for whom provision is made in each respectively. On each day the boys of Christ's Hospital, with the legend 'He is risen' attached to their left shoulders, form part of the civic procession, walking, on the first day, in the order of their schools, the king's boys bearing their nautical instruments, and, on the second, according to their several wards, headed by their nurses."
A curious old bas-relief, says Mr. Cunningham (writing in 1849), not ill-cut, over the entrance to Bull's Head Court, preserves the memory of a small giant and a very great dwarf. The quaint effigies of the disproportioned couple represent William Evans, an enormous Welsh porter, at Whitehall, in the service of Charles I., and Sir Geoffrey, or Jeffrey Hudson, the vain but gallant dwarf immortalised by Scott, in "Peveril of the Peak." This bas-relief, Walpole thinks, was probably a shop-sign. Evans, a mammoth-like man, stood seven feet six inches high, while his choleric companion was only three feet nine inches. At a court masque at Whitehall, the porter drew Sir Jeffrey out of his pocket, to the amazement and amusement of all the ladies of that not too respectable court.
"Hudson's first appearance at Court," says Sir Walter, in a note to "Peveril of the Peak," "was his being presented, as mentioned in the text, in a pie, at an entertainment given by the Duke of Buckingham to Charles I. and Henrietta Maria. Upon the same occasion the duke presented the tenant of the pasty to the queen, who retained him as her page. When about eight years of age, he was but eighteen or twenty inches high, and he remained stationary at that stature till he was thirty years old, when he grew to the height of three feet nine inches, and there stopped." Being teased by a young gallant, named Crofts, who threatened to drown him with a syringe, Hudson called out his antagonist at Calais, and killed him with his first shot.
"This singular lusus naturœ," says Scott, "was trusted in some negotiations of consequence. He went to France, to fetch over a midwife to his mistress, Henrietta Maria. On his return he was taken by Dunkirk privateers, when he lost many valuable presents sent to the queen from France, and about £2,500 of his own. Sir William Davenant makes a real or supposed combat between the dwarf and a turkey-cock the subject of a poem called 'Jeffreidos.' The scene is laid at Dunkirk, where, as the satire concludes—
'Jeffrey strait was thrown when, faint and weak,
The cruel fowl assaults him with his beak.
A lady midwife now he there by chance
Espied, that came along with him from France.
"A heart brought up in war, that ne'er before
This time could bow," he said, "doth now implore
Thou, that delivered hast so many, be
So kind of nature as deliver me."'
"In 1644 the dwarf attended his royal mistress to France. The Restoration recalled him, with other royalists, to England. But this poor being, who received, it would seem, hard measure both from nature and fortune, was not doomed to close his days in peace. Poor Jeffrey, upon some suspicion respecting the Popish Plot, was taken up in 1682, and confined in the Gatehouse Prison, Westminster, where he ended his life, in the sixty-third year of his age. Jeffrey Hudson has been immortalised by the brush of Vandyke, and his clothes are said to be preserved as articles of curiosity in Sir Hans Sloane's museum."
It was to the "Salutation and Cat" (odd combination of two incongruous signs), No. 17, Newgate Street, that Coleridge used to retreat, in his youthful fits of melancholy abstraction at college debts, bad health, impotency of will, and lost opportunities. This was about the time that, by a wild impulse, one day, at the corner of Chancery Lane, the young philosopher enlisted in the 15th Light Dragoons, under the odd north-country name of Comberbach. It was at the "Salutation and Cat" that Southey one day ferreted out the lost dreamer, the veritable Alnaschar of modern literature, and tried to rouse him from the trance of fear and half-insane idleness. The "Magpie and Stump," a very old inn on the north side of this street (where the old sign of the place was reverently preserved in the bar), has lately been pulled down.
At a convivial meeting at the "Queen's Arms Tavern" (No. 70), says Peter Cunningham, Tom D'Urfey obtained the suggestion of his merry but coarse miscellany, "Pills to purge Melancholy." This Court wit, a naturalised French Huguenot, seems to have been the gay, witty, careless Captain Morris of his day. People often spoke of seeing King Charles II., at Whitehall, leaning on Tom's shoulder and humming over a song with him, and to have heard him at Kensington, singing his own gay songs, to amuse heavy Queen Anne. He was the author of thirty-one plays, which have not been forgotten by original dramatists of a later date. He became poor in his old age, and Addison saved him from poverty by a well-timed theatrical benefit.
In Warwick Lane, south side of Newgate Street, a College of Physicians was built by Wren, when the Great Fire had destroyed their house at Amen Corner, where Harvey had lectured on his great discovery of the circulation of the blood. The house, built on part of the mansion of the old Earl of Warwick, was began in 1674, and opened in 1689. The special point of the college was the octagonal domed entrance-porch, forty feet in diameter, which was a tour de force of the ingenious architect. The interior above the porch was the lecture-room, light, lofty, and open to the roof. Garth, in "The Dispensary"—his pleasant satire against the apothecaries, thus sketched it—
"Not far from that most celebrated place
Where angry Justice shows her awful face,
Where little villains must submit to fate,
That great ones may enjoy the world in state,
There stands a dome, majestic to the sight,
And sumptuous arches bear its oval height;
A golden globe, plac'd high with artful skill,
Seems to the distant sight—a gilded pill."
The amphitheatre, afterwards degraded into a meat-market, is praised by Elmes for its convenient arrangement and its acoustic qualities. Nor could even the modern Goth despise the fine lofty hall, the magnificent staircase, the stucco-garlands of the dining-room, and the carved oak chimney-piece and gallery. On the north and south were the residences of the college officers, on the west the principal front, two-storeyed, the lower Ionic, the upper Corinthian. On the east was the octagon, with the gilt ball above, and below a statue of Sir John Cutler.
In 1675 (Charles II.) Sir John Cutler, a rich City
man, and a notorious miser, related to Dr. Whistler,
the president of the college, expressed a generous
wish to contribute largely to the rebuilding of the
house, and a committee was actually appointed to
thank him for his kind intentions. Cutler gravely
accepted the thanks, renewed his promises, and
mentioned the parts of the building for which he
intended to pay. In 1680 the college, grateful for
favours yet to come, voted statues to the king and
Cutler, and nine years afterwards borrowed money
of Sir John, to discharge some builder's debts, the
college being now completed. This loan seems to
have in some way changed Cutler's intentions, for
in 1699 his executors brought a demand on the
college for £7,000, including the promised sum,
which had never been given, but had been set
down as a debt. The indignant college threw
down £2,000, which the imperturbable executors
took as payment in full. The college at once
erased the grateful inscription—
"Omnis Cutleri cedit labor Amphitheatro,"
which they had engraved on the pedestal of the miser's statue, and would no doubt have ground the statue down to powder, had they not been ashamed.
Cutler is ridiculed by Arbuthnot, in his "Scriblerus," where, in ridicule of one of Locke's philosophic opinions, he describes a pair of Cutler's cottons, which were darned so often by his maid, that they at last became silk. Cutler's funeral is said to have cost £7,000, and one of his daughters married the Earl of Radnor.
Some anecdotes of the old physicians who have paced up and down Warwick Lane seem almost indispensable to a sketch, however brief, of the old College of Physicians. Nor can we begin better than with the famous Dr. Radcliffe, the first preeminent physician that arose after the removal of the college to the building erected by Wren in Warwick Lane. Radcliffe, a man eager for money, and of rough Abernethy manners, had the cream of all the London practice, when he lived in Bow Street, next door to Sir Godfrey Kneller, the great painter. He was brusque even with kings. When called in to see King William, at Kensington, finding his legs dropsically swollen, he frankly said, 'I would not have your two legs, your Majesty, not for your three kingdoms;" and on another visit the Jacobite doctor boldly told the little Dutch hero—"Your juices are all vitiated, your whole mass of blood corrupted, and the nutriment for the most part turned to water; but," added the doctor, "if your Majesty will forbear making long visits to the Earl of Bradford" (where, to tell the truth, the king was wont to drink very hard), "I'll engage to make you live three or four years longer, but beyond that time no physic can protract your Majesty's existence."
On one occasion, when Radcliffe was sent for from the tavern (for he did not dislike wine) by Queen Anne, he flatly refused to leave his bottle and the company. "Tell her Royal Highness," he bellowed, "that it's nothing but the vapours. She is as well as any woman breathing, only she won't believe it." With a fantastic wit worthy of Sydney Smith himself, he told a hypochondriacal lady who consulted him about a nervous singing in the head, to "curl her hair with a ballad;" and in his vexation at the fancies of female patients, he anticipated female doctors, by proposing an Act of Parliament to entitle nurses alone to attend women.
"Dr. Radcliffe was once sent for," says the author of "The Gold-headed Cane," "into the country, to visit a gentleman ill of a quinsy. Finding that no external or internal application would be of service, he desired the lady of the house to order a hasty-pudding to be made. When it was done, his own servants were to bring it up; and while the pudding was preparing, he gave them his private instructions. In a short time it was set on the table, and in full view of the patient. 'Come, Jack and Dick,' said Radcliffe, 'eat as quickly as possible; you have had no breakfast this morning.' Both began with their spoons; but on Jack's dipping once only for Dick's twice, a quarrel arose. Spoonfuls of hot pudding were discharged on both sides, and at last handfuls were pelted at each other. The patient was seized with a hearty fit of laughter, the quinsy burst, and discharged its contents, and my master soon completed the cure."
Steele, in the Tatler, ridiculed the old doctor's love-making. Dr. Radcliffe was unlucky enough to be accused by the Whigs of killing Queen Mary, and by the Tories of causing the death of Queen Anne, by refusing to attend her in her last illness. He was himself dying at the time, and was unable to attend; but the clamour of the mob was so loud, accompanied even by threats of assassination, that they are said to have hastened the great physician's death, which took place just three months after the queen died.
Dr. Mead, the physician of George II., was, unlike Radcliffe, a polished and learned man, who succeeded to much of his predecessor's business, and occupied his old house in Bloomsbury Square. He was the first doctor to encourage inoculation for the small-pox, and practised the Oriental system on six condemned criminals, with the consent of George I. He attended Pope, Sir Isaac Newton, and Bishop Burnet in their last illnesses. Mead is said to have gained nearly £6,000 a year, yet was so hospitable, that he did not leave more than £50,000. When not at his house in Great Ormond Street, Mead usually spent his evenings at "Batson's" Coffee House, and in the afternoon his apothecaries used to meet him at "Toms'," near Covent Garden, with written or verbal reports of cases for which he prescribed without seeing the patient, and took half-guinea fees. He died in 1754, and was buried in the Temple. As an instance of Mead's generosity the following story is told:—In 1723, when the celebrated Dr. Friend, a friend of Atterbury, was sent to the Tower, Mead kindly took his practice, and on his release by Sir Robert Walpole, presented the escaped Jacobite with the result, 5,000 guineas.
Dr. Askew, another of the great physicians of the Georgian era, lived in Queen Square, where he crammed his house with books, and entertained such men as Archbishop Markham, Sir William Jones, Dr. Farmer, "Demosthenes" Taylor, Dr. Parr, and Hogarth. The sale of Dr. Askew's library, in York Street, Covent Garden (1755), occupied twenty days.
Dr. William Pitcairn, who resided in Warwick Court, Warwick Lane, was for several years president of the college. Dr. Baillie, another eminent physician here, was a nephew of the great John Hunter. Sir Hans Sloane was elected President of the College of Physicians in 1719. He was an Irishman by birth, and a Scotchman by descent, and had accompanied the Duke of Albemarle to Jamaica as his physician. In 1727 he was created President of the Royal Society, on the death of Sir Isaac Newton, and became physician to George II. On his death, in 1753, his museum and library were purchased by the nation, and became the nucleus of the British Museum.
In this brief notice of early physicians we must
not forget to include that very second-rate poet,
Sir Richard Blackmore, son of a Wiltshire attorney.
No poor poet was ever so ridiculed as this great
man of Saddlers' Hall. Dryden and Pope both
set him up in their Parnassian pillory; and of him
"Sternhold himself he out-Sternholded."
Dryden called him—
"A pedant, canting preacher, and a quack."
In spite of this endless abuse of a well-meaning man, William III. knighted him, and Addison pronounced his ambitious poem, "The Creation," to be "one of the most useful and noble productions in our English verse."
Among the eccentric physicians who have paced up and down Warwick Lane, and passed across the shadow of the Golden Pill, was Monsey, a friend of Garrick, and physician to Chelsea College. Of this rough old cynic Mr. J. C. Jeaffreson, in his "Book about Doctors," tells the following capital stories:—
"Amongst the vagaries of this eccentric physician," says Mr. Jeaffreson, "was the way in which he extracted his own teeth. Round the tooth sentenced to be drawn he fastened securely a strong piece of catgut, to the opposite side of which he affixed a bullet. With this bullet, and a full measure of powder, a pistol was charged. On the trigger being pulled, the operation was performed effectually and speedily. The doctor could only rarely prevail upon his friends to permit him to remove their teeth by this original process. Once a gentleman who had agreed to try the novelty, and had even allowed the apparatus to be adjusted, at the last moment exclaimed, 'Stop, stop, I have changed my mind!' 'But I haven't, and you're a fool and a coward for your pains,' answered the doctor, pulling the trigger. In another instant, the tooth was extracted, much to the timid patient's delight and astonishment. . . . .
"Before setting out, on one occasion, for a journey to Norfolk, incredulous with regard to cash-boxes and bureaus, he hid a considerable quantity of gold and notes in the fireplace of his study, covering them up artistically with cinders and shavings. A month afterwards, returning (luckily a few days before he was expected), he found his old housemaid preparing to entertain a few friends at tea in her master's room. The hospitable domestic was on the point of lighting the fire, and had just applied a candle to the doctor's notes, when he entered the room, seized on a pail of water that chanced to be standing near, and, throwing its contents over the fuel and the old woman, extinguished the fire and her presence of mind at the same time. Some of the notes, as it was, were injured, and the Bank of England made objections to cashing them."
Monsey lived to extreme old age, dying in his Rooms in Chelsea College on the 26th of December, 1788, in his ninety-fifth year; "and his will," continues Mr. Jeaffreson, "was as remarkable as any other feature of his career. To a young lady mentioned in it, with the most lavish encomiums on her wit, taste, and elegance, was left an old battered snuff-box, not worth sixpence; and to another young lady, whom the testator says he intended to have enriched with a handsome legacy, he leaves the gratifying assurance that he changed his mind on finding her 'a pert, conceited minx.' After inveighing against bishops, deans, and chapters, he left an annuity to two clergymen who had resigned their preferment on account of the Athanasian doctrine. He directed that his body should not be insulted with any funeral ceremony, but should undergo dissection. After which, the 'remainder of my carcase' (to use his own words) 'may be put into a hole, or crammed into a box with holes, and thrown into the Thames.' In obedience to this part of the will, Mr. Forster, surgeon, of Union Court, Broad Street, dissected the body, and delivered a lecture on it to the medical students, in the theatre of Guy's Hospital. The bulk of the doctor's fortune, amounting to about £16,000, was left to his only daughter for life, and after her demise, by a complicated entail, to her female descendants."
As a physician, Dr. John C. Lettsom, who died in 1815, was a most fortunate man; for without any high reputation for professional acquirements, and with the exact reverse of a good preliminary education, he made a larger income than any other physician of the same time. Dr. John Fothergill never made more than £5,000 in one year; but Lettsom earned £3,600 in 1783; £3,900 in 1784; £4,015 in 1785; and £4,500 in 1786. After that period his practice rapidly increased, so that in some years his receipts were as much as £12,000.
That singular club, the Cauliflower, chiefly patronised by booksellers from Paternoster Row, was held at the "Three Jolly Pigeons" in Butcher Hall Lane, now King Edward Street. "The Three Pigeons," says the anonymous author of Tavern Anecdotes (1825), "is situated in Butcher Hall Lane, bounded by Christ Church and Snow Hill on the west, St. Martin's-le-Grand and Cheapside on the east, by Newgate Street and Ivy Lane (where Dr. Johnson's club was held), and Paternoster Row on the south, and by Little Britain on the north. Of the last-mentioned, Washington Irving has given an admirable picture in his 'Sketch Book;' but as he has not given a portrait of the last resident bookseller of eminence in that ancient mart of bibliopolists, he has left us the pleasing task of performing an humble attempt in that way; but even we, who knew the character, are almost spared the trouble; for, could the old literary frequenters of Batson's and Will's Coffee-houses again appear in human shapes, with their large, wiry, white, curled wigs, coats without a collar, raised hair buttons, square pendicular cut in front, with immense long hanging sleeves, covering a delicate hand, further graced by fine ruffles; a long waistcoat, with angled-off flaps, descending to the centre of the thigh; the small-clothes slashed in front, and closed with three small buttons; with accurate and mathematically cut, square-toed, shortquartered shoes, with a large tongue, to prevent a small-sized square silver buckle hurting the instep, or soiling the fine silken hose, they would present an exact and faithful portrait of the late Edward Ballard standing at his shop, at the 'Globe,' over against the pump, in Little Britain. He was the last remaining bookseller of that school, if we except the late James Buckland, at the sign of the 'Buck,' in Paternoster Row, with one or two others, and put one in mind of Alexander Pope, in stature, size, dress, and appearance. The writer of this article recollects, when a boy, frequently calling at his shop, and purchasing various books, in a new and unbound state, when they were considered to be out of print, and some of them really scarce. This arose from the obscurity of the once celebrated Little Britain, and the great age of its last resident bookseller, who to the last retained some shares and copyrights (notwithstanding he and his brother had sold the most valuable to Lintot), in school and religious books; with the last remains of a stock, principally guarded and watched by an old faithful female servant."
The permanent secretary of the "Free and Easy Counsellors under the Cauliflower" was a worthy old fellow, Mr. Christopher Brown, an assistant of Mr. Thomas Longman, in Paternoster Row, who delighted in his quiet glass of Tabby's punch, a pipe, and a song, after the labours of the day. This faithful old clerk had refused all offers of friends to set him up in independent business. Before the purchase of Mr. Evans's business the great firm of Longman was conducted by merely two principals and three assistants.
The large cauliflower painted on the ceiling of the club was intended to represent the cauliflower head on the gallon of porter, which was paid for by every member who sat under it at his initiation. The president's chair, a masterpiece of Chippendale's workmanship, was sold in 1874 at Christie and Manson's. The height is five feet less two inches; breadth in front, from twenty-five to twenty-seven inches. An exquisitely-carved cauliflower adorns the chair, extending from near the top of the chair downwards to the end of the root exactly one foot; while the spread-out leaves, including the flower, extend a foot across; so that it was literally true of whoever occupied the chair, that he sat "under the cauliflower." The sides and arms of the chair are adorned with leaves, and both legs and arms are fluted, the whole being carved out of solid dark Spanish mahogany. A footboard, serving the purpose of a slightly-raised platform for the use of the speaker, also of solid mahogany, is attached to the chair by hinges.
In Bath Street, Newgate Street, one of the first bagnios, or Turkish bath, was opened in 1679, as Aubrey carefully records. Strype calls it "a neatcontrived building, after the Turkish mode, seated in a large handsome yard, and at the upper end of Pincock Lane, which is indifferent well-built, and inhabited. This bagnio is much resorted unto for sweating, being found very good for aches, &c., and approved of by our physicians." A writer in the Spectator, No. 332, mentions the bagnio in Newgate Street, and one in Chancery Lane. Hatton, in 1708, describes it as a very spacious and commodious place for sweating, hot bathing, and cupping, and with a temperature of eighteen degrees of heat. The roof was of a cupola shape, and the walls set with Dutch tiles. The charge was four shillings a person, and there were special days for ladies. There were nine servants in attendance; and to prove the healthiness of the place, Hatton mentions that one servant had been in attendance for twenty-eight years, four days a week.
Cock Lane, an obscure turning between Newgate Street and West Smithfield, was, in 1762, the scene of a great imposture. The ghost supposed to have been heard rapping there, in reply to questions, singularly resembled the familiar spirits of our modern mediums. The affair commenced in 1762, by Parsons, the officiating clerk of St. Sepulchre's, observing, at early prayer, a genteel couple standing in the aisle, and ordering them into a pew. On the service ending, the gentleman stopped to thank Parsons, and to ask him if he knew of a lodging in the neighbourhood. Parsons at once offered rooms in his own house, in Cock Lane, and they were accepted. The gentleman proved to be a widower of family from Norfolk, and the lady the sister of his deceased wife, with whom he privately lived, unable, from the severity of the cruel old canon law, to marry her, as they both wished. In his absence in the country, the lady, who went by the name of Miss Fanny, had Parson's daughter, a little artful girl about eleven years of age, to sleep with her. In the night the lady and the child were disturbed by extraordinary noises, which were at first attributed to a neighbouring shoemaker. Neighbours were called in to hear the sounds, which continued till the gentleman and lady removed to Clerkenwell, where the lady soon after died of small-pox. In January of the next year, according to Parsons, who, from a spirit of revenge against his late lodger, organised the whole fraud, the spiritualistic knockings and scratchings re-commenced. The child, from under whose bedstead these supposed supernatural sounds emanated, pretended to have fits, and Parsons began to interrogate the ghost, and was answered with affirmative and negative knocks. The ghost, under cross-examination, declared that it was the deceased lady lodger, who, according to Parsons, had been poisoned by a glass of purl, which had contained arsenic. Thousands of persons, of all ranks and stations, now crowded to Cock Lane, to hear the ghost, and the most ludicrous scenes took place with these poor gulls.
Even Horace Walpole was magnetically drawn to the clerk's house in Cock Lane. The clever fribble writes to Sir Horace Mann, January 29, 1762: "I am ashamed to tell you that we are again dipped into an egregious scene of folly. The reigning fashion is a ghost—a ghost, that would not pass muster in the paltriest convent in the Apennines. It only knocks and scratches; does not pretend to appear or to speak. The clergy give it their benediction; and all the world, whether believers or infidels, go to hear it. I, in which number you may guess, go to-morrow; for it is as much the mode to visit the ghost as the Prince of Mecklenburg, who is just arrived. I have not seen him yet, though I have left my name for him."
Again Walpole writes:—"I went to hear it, for it is not an apparition, but an audition. We set out from the opera, changed our clothes at Northumberland House, the Duke of York, Lady Northumberland, Lady Mary Coke, Lord Hertford, and I, all in one hackney-coach, and drove to the spot. It rained torrents; yet the lane was full of mob, and the house so full we could not get in. At last they discovered it was the Duke of York, and the company squeezed themselves into one another's pockets to make room for us. The house, which is borrowed, and to which the ghost has adjourned, is wretchedly small and miserable. When we opened the chamber, in which were fifty people, with no light, but one tallow candle at the end, we tumbled over the bed of the child to whom the ghost comes, and whom they are murdering by inches in such insufferable heat and stench. At the top of the room are ropes to dry clothes. I asked if we were to have rope-dancing between the acts. We heard nothing. They told us (as they would at a puppet-show) that it would not come that night till seven in the morning, that is, when there are only 'prentices and old women. We stayed, however, till half an hour after one. The Methodists have promised them contributions. Provisions are sent in like forage, and all the taverns and ale-houses in the neighbourhood make fortunes." (Walpole to George Montagu, Feb. 2nd, 1762.)
Of the descent into the vaults of St. John's, Clerkenwell, to hear the spirits rap on her coffinlid, Johnson, who was present, writes:—"About ten at night the gentlemen met in the chamber in which the girl, supposed to be disturbed by a spirit, had with proper caution been put to bed by several ladies. They sat rather more than an hour, and hearing nothing, went down-stairs, where they interrogated the father of the girl, who denied in the strongest terms any knowledge or belief of fraud. While they were inquiring and deliberating, they were summoned into the girl's chamber by some ladies who were near her bed, and who had heard knocks and scratches. When the gentlemen entered, the girl declared that she felt the spirit like a mouse upon her back, when the spirit was very solemnly required to manifest its existence by appearance, by impression on the hand or body of any present, or any other agency; but no evidence of any preternatural power was exhibited. The spirit was then very seriously advertised that the person to whom the promise was made of striking the coffin was then about to visit the vault, and that the performance of the promise was then claimed. The company at one o'clock went into the church, and the gentleman to whom the promise was made, went with another into the vault. The spirit was solemnly required to perform its promise, but nothing more than silence ensued. The person supposed to be accused by the spirit then went down with several others, but no effect was perceived. Upon their return, they examined the girl, but could draw no confession from her. Between two and three she desired and was permitted to go home with her father. It is therefore the opinion of the whole assembly, that the child has some art of making or counterfeiting a particular noise, and that there is no agency of any higher cause."
"To have a proper idea of this scene, as it is now carried on, the reader is to conceive a very small room, with a bed in the middle; the girl at the usual hour of going to bed, is undressed, and put in with proper solemnity. The spectators are next introduced, who sit looking at each other, suppressing laughter, and wait in silent expectation for the opening of the scene. As the ghost is a good deal offended at incredulity, the persons present are to conceal theirs, if they have any, as by this concealment they can only hope to gratify their curiosity; for, if they show, either before or when the knocking is begun, a too prying, inquisitive, or ludicrous turn of thinking, the ghost continues usually silent, or, to use the expression of the house, 'Miss Fanny is angry.' The spectators, therefore, have nothing for it but to sit quiet and credulous, otherwise they must hear no ghost, which is no small disappointment to persons who have come for no other purpose.
"The girl, who knows, by some secret, when the ghost is to appear, sometimes apprizes the assistants of its intended visitation. It first begins to scratch, and then to answer questions, giving two knocks for a negative, but one for an affirmative. By this means it tells whether a watch, when held up, be white, blue, yellow, or black; how many clergymen are in the room, though in this sometimes mistaken. It evidently distinguishes white men from negroes, with similar other marks of sagacity. However, it is sometimes mistaken in questions of a private nature, when it deigns to answer them. For instance, the ghost was ignorant where she had dined upon Mr. K——'s marriage; how many of her relations were at church upon the same occasion; but, particularly, she called her father John, instead of Thomas—a mistake, indeed, a little extraordinary in a ghost. But perhaps she was willing to verify the old proverb, that 'It is a wise child that knows its own father.' However, though sometimes right, and sometimes wrong, she pretty invariably persists in one story, namely, that she was poisoned, in a cup of purl, by red arsenic, a poison unheard of before, by Mr. K——, in her last illness, and that she heartily wishes him hanged.
"It is no easy matter to remark upon an evidence of this nature; but it may not be unnecessary to observe, that the ghost, though fond of company, is particularly modest upon these occasions, an enemy to the light of a candle, and always most silent before those from whose rank and understanding she could most reasonably expect redress.
"This knocking and scratching was generally heard in a little room in which Mr. P——'s two children lay, the eldest of which was a girl about twelve or thirteen years old. The purport of this knocking was not thoroughly conceived till the eldest child pretended to see the actual ghost of the deceased lady mentioned above. When she had seen the ghost, a weak, ignorant publican also, who lived in the neighbourhood, asserted that he had seen it too, and Mr. P— himself (the gentleman whom Mr. K— had disobliged by suing for money) also saw the ghost about the same time. The girl saw it without hands, in a shroud; the other two saw it with hands, all luminous and shining. There was one unlucky circumstance, however, in the apparition. Though it appeared to three several persons, and could knock, scratch, and flutter, yet its coming would have been to no manner of purpose had it not been kindly assisted by the persons thus haunted. It was impossible for a ghost that could not speak to make any discovery; the people, therefore, to whom it appeared, kindly undertook to make the discovery themselves, and the ghost, by knocking, gave its assent to their method of wording the accusation."
The girl was at last, we are glad to say, detected. When the child was bound hand and foot in a hammock, the ghost, it was found, was always silent. One morning, when the child had been threatened with Newgate if she did not arouse the ghost, she was found to have concealed a small board under her stays, on which she produced the supernatural sounds. The bubble then burst.
The gentleman accused, remarks Mr. Pinks, "thought proper to vindicate his character in a legal way. On the 10th of July the father and mother of the child, one Mary Frazer, who acted as interpreter of the noises, a clergyman, and a tradesman, were tried at Guildhall, before Lord Mansfield, by a special jury, and convicted of conspiracy. Sentence was deferred for several months, in order to give the offenders an opportunity of making Mr.— some compensation in the meantime. Accordingly, the clergyman and tradesman gave him several hundred pounds, and were thereupon dismissed with a reprimand. Parsons was sentenced to be placed three times in the pillory, at the end of Cock Lane, and then to be imprisoned for two years in the King's Bench gaol. Strange to relate, the rabble, who usually assembled in large numbers to witness and to assist in carrying out the former part of such a sentence, were in this case moved with compassion for the victim of the strong arm of the law, and refrained from offering him, while thus exposed, any insult, either by word or deed, and a public subscription was afterwards raised for his benefit. Mrs. Parsons was sentenced to be imprisoned for one year, and Mary Frazer for six months, with hard labour. Miss Parsons, the agent of the mysterious noise, and who doubtless acted under her father's instructions, was twice married, and died in 1806."
"While drawing the crypt of St. John's, Clerkenwell," says Mr. J. W. Archer, "in a narrow cloister on the north side, there being at that time coffins, fragments of shrouds, and human remains lying about in disorder, the sexton's boy pointed to one of the coffins, and said that it was 'Scratching Fanny.' This reminding me of the Cock Lane Ghost, I removed the lid of the coffin, which was loose, and saw the body of a woman, which had become adipocere. The face was perfect, handsome, oval, with an aquiline nose. Will not arsenic produce adipocere? She is said to have been poisoned, although the charge is understood to have been disproved. I inquired of one of the churchwardens of the time, Mr. Bird, who said the coffin had always been understood to contain the body of the woman whose spirit was said to have haunted the house in Cock Lane."
At the "King's Head," in Ivy Lane, Dr. Johnson established one of his earliest clubs for literary discussion. The chief members were the Rev. Dr. Salter, father of the Master of the Charterhouse; Mr. (afterwards Dr.) John Hawkesworth; Mr. Ryland, a merchant, a relation of Johnson's; Mr. John Payne, then a bookseller, afterwards chief accountant of the Bank; Mr. Samuel Dyer, a learned young man, intended for the dissenting ministry; Dr. William M'Ghie, a Scots physician; Dr. Edmund Barker, a young physician; Dr. Richard Bathurst, and Mr. (afterwards Sir John) Hawkins.
Newgate Market, now removed to the neighbourhood of Charterhouse, was originally a mealmarket. "R. B.," in Strype, says that before the Great Fire there was a market-house here for meal, and a middle row of sheds, which had gradually been converted into houses for butchers, tripe-sellers, and the like. The country-people who brought provisions were forced to stand with their stalls in the open street, exposed to all the coaches, carts, horses, and cattle. The meat-market, says Peter Cunningham, had first become a centre of trade when the stalls and sheds were removed from Butcher Hall Lane and the localities round the church of St. Nicholas Shambles.
Warwick Lane, Stow says, derived its name from an ancient house there, built by the Earls of Warwick. This messuage in Eldenese Lane (the old name) is on record in the 28th year of Henry VI. as occupied by Cicille, Duchess of Warwick. In the 36th year of Henry VI., when the greater estates of the realm were called to London, Richard Nevill, the Earl of Warwick, justly named the "king-maker," came there, backed by six hundred sturdy vassals, all in red jackets embroidered with ragged staves before and behind. "At whose house," says Stow, "there were oftentimes six oxen eaten at a breakfast; and every tavern was full of his meat, for he that had any acquaintance at that house might have there so much of sodden and roast meat as he could prick and carry upon a long dagger." A little bas-relief of the famous Guy, Earl of Warwick, with the date 1668, is inserted in the wall of Newgate Street end of Warwick Lane.
The "Old Bell" Inn, on the east side of the lane, is the house where Archbishop Leighton died. According to Burnet, in his "History of His Own Times," "he (Archbishop Leighton) used often to say that if he were to choose a place to die in, it should be an inn; it looking like a pilgrim's going home, to whom this world was all as an inn, and who was weary of the noise and confusion in it. He added that the officious tenderness and care of friends was an entanglement to a dying man; and that the unconcerned attendance of those that could be procured in such a place would give less disturbance. And he obtained what he desired; for he died (1684) at the 'Bell' Inn, in Warwick Lane."
The "Oxford Arms" Inn, formerly on the west side of the street, is mentioned in a carrier's advertisement in the London Gazette, 1672–73. Edward Bartlet, an Oxford carrier, who had removed from the "Swan" at Holborn Bridge, started his coaches and wagons from thence three times a week. He also announced that he kept a hearse, to convey "a corps" to any part of England.
Snow Hill is called Snore Hill by Stow, and Sore
Hill by Howell. At the time of the Great Fire it
seems to have been known as Snore Hill and Snow
Hill indifferently. By the time Gay wrote his antithetical line—
"When from Snow Hill black steepy torrents run,"
however, the latter name seems to have become fixed. It was always an awkward, roundabout road; and in 1802, when Skinner Street was built, it was superseded as the highway between Newgate Street and Holborn.
There is one event in its history, brief as it is, that deserves special remembrance. At the house of his friend, Mr. Strudwick, a grocer, at the sign of the "Star," Snow Hill, that brave old Christian, John Bunyan, died, in 1688. This extraordinary genius was the son of a tinker, at Elstow, near Bedford, and grew up a wild, dissolute youth, but seems to have received early strong religious impressions. He served in the Parliamentary army at the siege of Leicester, and the death of a comrade who took his post as a sentry produced a deep effect on his thoughtful mind. On returning to Elstow, Bunyan married a pious young woman, who seems to have led him to read and study religious books. At the age of twenty-five, after great spiritual struggles, Bunyan was admitted into church-fellowship with the Baptists, and baptised, probably near midnight, in a small stream near Bedford Bridge. His spiritual struggles still continued, he believed himself rejected, and the day of grace past; then came even doubts of the being of a God, and of the authority of the Scriptures. A terrible illness, threatening consumption, followed this mental struggle, but with health came the calm of a serene faith, and he entered the ministry. A great trouble followed, to further purify this great soul. He lost his first wife; but a second wife proved equally good and faithful. It being a time of persecution, Bunyan was soon thrown into Bedford gaol, where he pined for twelve long years. There, with some sixty other innocent people, Bunyan preached and prayed incessantly, and wrote the first part of his immortal "Pilgrim's Progress."
Parting with his wife and children Bunyan himself describes as "pulling the flesh from his bones," and his heart was especially wrung by the possible hardships of his poor blind daughter, Mary. "Oh, the thought of the hardships my poor blind one might be under," he says, "would break my heart to pieces." Bunyan maintained himself in prison by making tagged laces, and the only books he had were the Bible and Foxe's "Book of Martyrs." "When God makes the bed," he says, in one of his works, "he must needs be easy that is cast thereon. A blessed pillow hath that man for his head, though to all beholders it is hard as a stone." The jug in which his broth was daily taken to the prison is still preserved as a relic, and his gold ring was discovered under the floor when the prison was demolished.
Bunyan was released in 1672, when 471 Quakers and twenty Baptists were also set free. He then obtained a licence to preach at a chapel in Bedford, and he also continued his trade as a brazier. In 1682 this good man published his second allegory, "The Holy War," and completed the last part of "The Pilgrim's Progress."
In spite of his consistent zeal, Bunyan was denounced by his enemies as a wizard, a Jesuit, and a highwayman. His popularity among his own people was, however, very great. When he preached in London some 3,000 people used to collect, so that he had almost to be pulled over their heads into the pulpit. His end was characteristic. He was returning home from a visit to Reading, where be had gone to reconcile an offended father to a prodigal son, when he was seized, at the house in Snow Hill, with a fatal fever. His departure must have been like that of the pilgrims he himself describes:—"Now I saw in my dream that by this time the pilgrims were got over the Enchanted Ground, and entering into the country of Beulah (Isa. lxii. 4—12; Cant. ii.10—12), whose air was very sweet and pleasant; the way lying directly through it, they solaced themselves there for a season. Yea, here they heard continually the singing of birds, and saw every day the flowers appear in the earth, and heard the voice of the turtle in the land. In this country the sun shineth night and day; wherefore this was beyond the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and also out of the reach of Giant Despair, neither could they from this place so much as see Doubting Castle. Here they were within sight of the city they were going to; also here met them some of the inhabitants thereof; for in this land the shining ones commonly walked, because it was upon the borders of Heaven."
To Snow Hill also belongs an anecdote of Dobson, one of the most eminent of our early painters. Dobson, son of the master in the Alienation Office, was compelled by his father's extravagance to become an apprentice to a stationer and picturedealer. He soon began to excel in copying Titian and Vandyke, and exhibited his copies in a window in Snow Hill. Vandyke himself, who lived in Blackfriars, not far off, passing one day, was so struck with Dobson's work, that he went in and inquired for the author. He found him at work in a poor garret, from which he soon rescued him. He shortly afterwards recommended him to King Charles, who took him into his service, and sat to him often for his portrait, and gave him the name of the English Tintoret. Dobson's style is dignified and thoughtful, and his colour delightful in tone. One of his finest portrait groups is at Northumberland House, and in the "Decollation of St. John," in the fine collection at Wilton House, he is said to have introduced a portrait of Prince Rupert. The Civil Wars, and the indifference which the Puritans manifested to art, no doubt reduced Dobson to poverty, and he died poor and neglected, in St. Martin's Lane, in 1646.