Old and New London: Volume 5. Originally published by Cassell, Petter & Galpin, London, 1878.
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Population of Highgate at the Commencement of the Century—The Heights of Highgate—The Old Roadway—Erection of the Gate—Healthiness of the Locality—Growth of London Northwards—Highgate Hill—Roman Catholic Schools—St. Joseph's Retreat—"Father Ignatius"—The "Black Dog" Tavern—Highgate Infirmary—The "Old Crown" Tavern and Tea-gardens—Winchester Hall—Hornsey Lane—Highgate Archway—The Archway Road—The "Woodman" Tavern—The Alexandra Orphanage for Infants—Asylum of the Aged Pilgrims' Friend Society—Lauderdale Honse—Anecdote of Nell Gwynne—The Duchess of St. Albans—Andrew Marvell's Cottage—Cromwell House—Convalescent Hospital for Sick Children—Arundell House—The Flight of Arabella Stuart—Death of Lord Bacon—Fairseat, the Residence of Sir Sydney Waterlow.
Highgate, though now it has gradually come to be recognised as a parish, is the name of a district, or hamlet, embracing sundry outlying portions of Hornsey, Islington, and St. Pancras; and it is treated as such not only by older writers, but by Lysons, in his "Environs of London." It must, however, have been an important hamlet of the parish, for the Parliamentary Return of the Population in 1801 assigns to Highgate no less than 299 out of the 429 inhabited houses in Hornsey.
It may well be styled one of the "northern
heights" of London, for its summit is about 350
feet above the level of the Thames, or twenty-five
feet higher than Hampstead Heath; and—passing
into the region of poetry—Garth has suggested that
the heights of Highgate might put in a claim to
rivalry with the mountain in Greece which was the
fabled haunt of the Muses—
"Or Highgate Hill with lofty Pindus vie."
We have already seen (fn. 1) that the old highway between London and Barnet ran from the east end of St. Pancras Church, and thence to Crouch End, leaving Highgate considerably to the left; but in 1386, or thereabouts, the Bishop of London consented, on account of the "deepnesse and dirtie" passage of that way, to allow a new road to be carried through his park at Highgate, at the same time imposing a toll on all carts, wagons, and pack-horses; and that for this purpose there was erected on the top of the hill the gate which for five hundred years has given its name to the locality. In fact, until the fourteenth century there would seem to have been no public road at all over the top of Highgate Hill into the midland and northern counties.
The great northern road was, no doubt, very largely frequented in the Middle Ages, because it was the only means of access to the shrine of St. Alban, which from the Saxon days was a constant object of pilgrimage. The road at that time, however, did not lie over the top of Highgate Hill, but wound round its eastern slope, by way of Crouch End and Muswell Hill; but we have reason to believe that the country hereabouts through which it passed was densely covered with forest-trees and brushwood, and was the home and haunt of all sorts of "beasts and game," among which Fitzjames enumerates "stags, bucks, boars, and wild bulls;" to which "wolves" also must be added, if Matthew Paris is to be believed, who states that owing to such beasts of prey the good pilgrims were often in imminent danger of their lives and property.
Norden tells us, in his "Speculum Britanniæ," that "the name is said to be derived from the High Gate, or Gate on the Hill, there having been from time immemorial the toll-gate of the Bishop of London on the summit. . . . . It is a hill over which is a passage, and at the top of the said hill is a gate through which all manner of passengers have their way; so the place taketh the name of the High Gate on the hill, which gate was erected at the alteration of the way which is on the east of Highgate. When the way was turned over the said hill to lead through the park of the Bishop of London, as it now doth, there was in regard thereof a tole raised upon such as passed that way with carriages. And for that no passenger should escape without paying tole, by reason of the wideness of the way, this gate was raised, through which, of necessity, all travellers pass." The road here described, no doubt, as Mr. Prickett suggests, in his "History of Highgate," formed a junction with the northern private road between the bishop's palace and the common at Finchley. Other writers, including Mr. James Thorne, F.S.A., in his "Handbook of the Environs of London," suggest that the name denotes simply the high road or passage, the word "gate" being used almost in the same sense as the "gatt" or "gate" of our eastern counties, and preserved in Danish in the Cattegatt.
The gateway, which thus gave its name to the place, is described by Mr. Prickett, in his work above mentioned, as having been built, not at the side of the road, but across it, as an arch; and he tells us that it extended from the gate-house on the west side of the road to the old burying-ground on the east. "The rooms," he adds, "were approached by a staircase in the eastern buttress;" but they do not seem to have been of a very imposing character, as immediately before the removal of the gateway in 1769 they were occupied by a laundress. The cause of the removal of the arch was the fact of its crown being so low that even moderately laden stage-wagons could not pass under it; but whenever it was found that the wagon would not pass under the archway, the latter was taken round through a yard in the rear of the "Gate House Tavern," on the site afterwards covered by the Assembly Rooms. It may be added here that there was a corresponding gate at the other end of the episcopal demesne, at the "Spaniards," just at the north-east end of Hampstead Heath.
The newly-made way, no doubt, soon became the leading thoroughfare to the North of England, for we read that it was by way of Highgate that, in the reign of Mary, her sister, the Princess Elizabeth, was brought up to London from Ashridge, in Hertfordshire, to be imprisoned in the Tower.
Norden, whom we have quoted above, bears testimony to the healthiness of this locality. He writes: "Upon this hill is most pleasant dwelling, yet not so pleasant as healthful; for the expert inhabitants there report that divers who have long been visited by sickness not curable by 'physicke' have in a short time repaired their health by that sweet salutary air." Indeed, the place is still proverbially healthy, and therefore has been chosen from time immemorial as the site of hospitals and other charitable institutions. It is worthy of note that Defoe, in his "History of the Plague," records not a single death from that fearful visitation having happened here, though it extended its ravages into and beyond the northern suburbs, and even as far as Watford and St. Albans; and his silence is corroborated by the fact that during the continuance of the plague only sixteen deaths are recorded in the register. Convalescent hospitals and infirmaries abound here in plenty; the earliest—except the Lazar House already mentioned—being a hospital for children, established on Highgate Hill in 1665.
So continuous are the lines of streets and roads
between London and Highgate that the latter may
now be reckoned quite as much a part of the great
metropolis as Kensington or Chelsea. Indeed, not
only have the prophetic lines of Mother Shipton,
already quoted, (fn. 2) been to a certain extent verified,
but the same, in a great measure, may be said of
another curious prophecy, which appears in a collection of epigrams written by Thomas Freeman, a
native of Gloucester, and published in 1614, under
the title of "Rub and a Great Cast." The lines
are headed "London Progresse," and run as
"Why how now Babell, whilt thou build?
The old Holborne, Charing-Cross, the Strand,
Are going to St. Giles'-in-the-Fields:
St. Katerine, she takes Wapping by the hand,
And Hogsdon will to Hy-gate ere't be long.
London has got a great way from the streame;
I think she means to go to Islington,
To eat a dish of strawberries and creame.
The City's sure in progresse, I surmise,
Or going to revell it in some disorder
Without the walls, without the liberties,
Where she neede feare nor Mayor nor Recorder.
Well, say she do, 'twere pretty, yet 'tis pity,
A Middlesex Bailiff should arrest the citty."
The whole of the above prediction may be said to be accomplished, with the exception of the union of Hoxton with Highgate; but even that is in a rapid course of fulfilment. This extension of "modern Babylon" has, no doubt, in a great measure been mainly brought about by the easy means of transit northwards by the various lines of railway running thitherward. Perhaps no line has felt so rapidly the increase of the suburban traffic as the Great Northern. "There was a time, indeed," says the North Londoner, "when, in common with all the leading railway companies, it rather threw cold water upon it. It has now at least 4,000 season-ticket holders, and trains call at Holloway and Finsbury Park almost continuously during the working hours of the day, and every train is crowded with passengers. Speculative builders have been very busy in the north of London, which was till lately regarded by them as a terra incognita. Highgate Hill was an insurmountable difficulty. Nor did the Archway Road, which at the time of its construction was held to be the eighth wonder of the world, do much to remove it. A heavy toll most materially interfered with the traffic, and thus the north of London was almost as free, and airy, and untrodden as it was when the Gunpowder Plot conspirators (we merely quote a local tradition) stood on the hill between Hampstead and Highgate to witness the speedy exit to the upper regions of the British Solomon and his Parliament; or as when Dick Turpin, from his far-famed oak on Finchley Common, an oak which still defies the battle and the breeze, was in the habit, immortalised by Dickens, of accosting the passing traveller, and by means of a couple of balls in his saddle prevailing on him to stop. A fatal blow was dealt to this state of things by the connection of the Great Northern with the Underground Railway. All at once London discovered that there were no more salubrious breezes, no greener fields, no more picturesque landscapes, no more stately trees than could be shown in the district of country bounded by Highgate Hill on one side and Barnet on the other. The green lanes of Hornsey and Southgate ceased to be such. The lucky landowner who had purchased his lands at sixty or seventy pounds an acre sold them at a thousand pounds an acre. Ancient mansions, where City aldermen had lived, where lord mayors had dined, where even monarchs had deigned to shine, were pulled down; broad parks were cut up into building lots; and instead we have semidetached villas—much better, as a rule, to look at than to live in—advertised as being in the most healthy of all neighbourhoods, and within half an hour's ride of the City."
From Holloway the transition to Highgate, morally speaking, is very easy, though the actual ascent of the hill which leads up to its breezy heights is tolerably steep, in spite of the causeway, the handy-work of the amiable hermit whom we have mentioned in the previous chapter. We must accordingly commence it, starting from "Dick Whittington's Stone."
On both sides our road is fringed by small cottages, some standing in dreary and unkempt gardens, and mostly belonging to laundresses and small shopkeepers. Norden says that the maker of the causeway was not only a hermit, but "poor and infirm;" and Dr. Fuller writes that it was a double benefit, "providing water on the hill, where it was wanting, and cleanness in the valley, which before, especially in winter, was passed with great difficulty." And to come to a far more recent time, that of the reign of Queen Anne, we find it stated, so lately as 1714, in a preamble of an Act for erecting turnpikes and making other improvements on the roads about Islington, Highgate, &c., that the highways were very ruinous and almost impassable for the space of five months in the year. It may be added here that the hill is a mass of London clay, crowned with a layer of sand and gravel.
Ascending the hill, we pass, at some distance up on the left-hand side, the Roman Catholic schools for boys and girls, belonging to the Passionist Community. The schools are spacious buildings of light-coloured brick, with ornamental string-courses, &c.; and the porch is surmounted by a turret rising high above the roof. Higher up the hill, and standing at the corner of Dartmouth Park Hill—which, by the way, is a continuation of the York and Brecknock Roads, which we have noticed in the preceding chapter, and like them, was till very recently known as Maiden Lane—is a large monastic establishment, called St. Joseph's Retreat. It occupies the site of a house formerly known as the "Black Dog Inn," and the grounds which adjoined it, enclosing altogether an area of about six or seven acres. Mr. Howitt, in his "Northern Heights of London," published in 1869, says: "Of late years the Catholics have established a large chapel and house for priests on the hill descending towards Holloway, by the entrance to Maiden Lane, under the name of St. Joseph's Retreat. The greater part of the priests there being foreign, and with a predominance of Italians, speaks pretty plainly of its origin in the Propaganda; and it seems to have succeeded greatly, its chapel being generally crowded, especially by the Irish living in Upper Holloway. For many years the Roman Catholic Church has instituted a system of perpetual prayer, which is carried on by priests and nuns, whose especial office it is to pray for the conversion of England; and the strange tendency evinced, especially amongst the established clergy, towards a reversal of the Reformation, looks as though these ceaseless prayers were in course of being answered."
The first superior of this monastery was the Hon. and Rev. George Spencer, brother of the Lord Althorp of Reform celebrity, and himself formerly a beneficed clergyman of the Church of England, but who had thrown up his preferment on becoming convinced of the claims of the Roman Catholic Church. He had been educated at Eton and at Cambridge, and as the brother of a cabinet minister he enjoyed the fairest prospects of advancement in his profession; but these he abandoned in order to assume the cowl and coarse gown and open sandals of a Passionist, and adopted instead of his hereditary title the name of "Father Ignatius." He died in 1864. The author of the "Life of Father Ignatius" writes shortly before his death:—"In 1858 we procured the place in Highgate now known as St. Joseph's Retreat. Providence guided us to a most suitable position. Our rule prescribes that our houses shall be outside the town, and yet near enough for us to be of service in it. Highgate is wonderfully adapted to all the requisitions of our rule and constitution. Situated on the brow of a hill, it is far enough from the din and noise of London to be comparatively free from its turmoil, and yet sufficiently near for its citizens to come to our church. The grounds are enclosed by trees; a hospital at one end and two roads meeting at the other promise a freedom from intrusion and a continuance of the solitude which we now enjoy."
The new monastery, designed by Mr. Francis W. Tasker, and erected in 1875–6, was solemnly blessed and opened in the latter year by Cardinal Manning. It forms three sides of a square, and is built in a broad Italian style, after the fashion of the monastic buildings of the Romagna and of Central Italy. The walls are faced with white Suffolk bricks with stone dressings, and the roofs, which project in a remarkable manner, are covered with large Italian tiles. The building contains guests' rooms, a choir or private chapel for the "religious," a community-room, library, refectory, kitchen and kitchen-offices, and infirmary, with forty "cells" or rooms for the monks. The chapel is on the north side of the monastery, and adjoining it is a room for the meeting of the members of religious brotherhoods or confraternities connected with the Passionist order.
We have stated above that the Retreat occupies the site of the "Black Dog" tavern; and we may add here that the dog, in one of its various kinds, has always been a common sign in England, and of all dogs the "Black Dog" would appear to have been the favourite; possibly, it has been suggested, because it means the English terrier, a dog who once "had his day" among us, just as the Scotch terriers and the pugs have now. The "Black Dog" here may have been chosen on account of his being the constant companion of the drovers who frequented this house. But it is also possible that the "Black Dog" may have been of a more poetical character, and have derived its name, as Mr. Larwood suggests in his "History of Sign-boards," from "the canine spectre that still frightens the ignorant and fearful in our rural districts, just as the 'Dun Cow' and the Lambton 'Worm' were the terror of the people in the Midland counties and the North of England in former times."
Be this as it may, the Passionist fathers now own not only the old "Black Dog" and its outpremises, but the adjoining property, a private house and grounds, and on the conjoined properties have constructed a monastery and chapel in which all traces of the "Black Dog" will be thoroughly "exorcised" in the course of time, if, indeed, that has not been done already.
It should be explained that while the St. Joseph's Retreat enjoys a long frontage on the west side of Highgate Hill, it is bounded in the rear by the steep and narrow lane mentioned above. On the right-hand side, as we go down the lane, is the Highgate Infirmary, a large modern building, of nondescript architecture, affiliated to one of the large London parishes. It was originally constructed as the infirmary of the St. Pancras Union. The foundation-stone was laid, in the year 1869, by Sir William H. Wyatt, chairman of the Board of Guardians, and at the close of the following year the management of the building was transferred to the Board of Managers of the Central London Sick Asylum District, representing the following unions and parishes:—St. Pancras, St. Giles-in-theFields, St. George's, Bloomsbury, Strand Union, and Westminster Union. The building, which covers a large space of ground, commands, at the back, extensive views over the fields—or what is left of them unbuilt upon—in the direction of Kentish Town and Paddington. It was erected from the designs of Messrs. Giles and Biven, and forms a square, the north side of which is occupied by the governor's house and offices, the principal entrance, &c.
On the east side of Highgate Hill, opposite the Passionist Monastery, is the "Old Crown" public-house, with its tea-gardens. The grounds, which are cut up into arbours, are not very extensive, and, notwithstanding its sign, the building has altogether a modern appearance. It is a favourite resort for London holiday-makers.
Close by the grounds of the above establishment is a narrow thoroughfare, running in an eastward direction, known as Hornsey Lane, an ancient cross-road, forming, in this place, the boundary line of Islington parish.
At the opposite corner of the lane, and adjoining the grounds of Cromwell House, stands a large, old-fashioned, red-brick mansion, called Winchester Hall, for what reason, however, it will puzzle the antiquary to explain.
Along Hornsey Lane we now pass on our way to the famous Highgate Archway. This structure, at the time of its erection in 1813, was considered an engineering triumph, though it is insignificant enough by the side of more recent constructions. It is simply a bridge carried over a roadway, which, as we have already stated, strikes off on the right at the foot of Highgate Hill, and which was formed in order to avoid the steepness of the hill itself.
In cutting this road various fossil remains were found, consisting of shells, crabs, and lobsters, the teeth and vertebræ of sharks and other fish, thus proving that there was a time when the hill held a far lower level, or else that the whole valley of the Thames was one large arm of the sea. The construction of this roadway cost something like £13,000, which was, perhaps, rather a large sum, seeing that its length is only a little more than a mile.
Previous to the formation of the roadway and the erection of the arch, a scheme was projected to construct a tunnel through the London clay at Highgate Hill, for the purpose of making a more easy communication between Holloway and Finchley. The attempt, however, failed, and the result was the construction of the open cutting which forms the present Highgate Archway Road. The failure appears to have arisen, in a great measure, from the want of experience on the part of the engineers who had charge of the work, more especially as they had such very difficult and heavy ground to work in as the London clay. The tunnel was nearly completed when it fell in with a terrific crash, in April, 1812, fortunately before the workmen had commenced their labour for the day. The idea of forming the tunnel, therefore, was ultimately abandoned, and the present arch constructed in its stead. The toll which was levied upon passengers along this road was of its kind unique, for not only was a toll levied upon the drivers of horses and vehicles, but one penny was also levied upon foot passengers; sixpence was the toll upon every horse drawing. When the subject of tolls was before the House of Commons in 1861, the "Holyhead Road Act" was passed, and in this the Highgate Archway Road was included. It is not an ordinary turnpike-road, belonging, in fact, to a company. The company in 1861 owed the Consolidated Fund Loans £13,000; but by the Holyhead Road Act the debt and arrear of interest were compounded for a payment of £9,000, in instalments spread over fifteen years. Then the tolls were to cease, and this happy time having at length come round, the year 1876 saw Highgate freed from the impost. Within the previous twelve years more than one hundred turnpike-gates had been removed from the thoroughfares of the metropolis; and before many years are passed we may expect to see all the toll-gates in our suburbs superseded.
The archway thrown across this thoroughfare is about thirty-six feet high, and eighteen feet in width. It is formed of stone, flanked with substantial brick-work, and surmounted by three semiarches, carrying a bridge sufficiently wide to allow of the transit of two carriages abreast. An open stone balustrade ranges along the top. The only useful purpose attained by the construction of this archway is the continuation of Hornsey Lane. It is recorded on a brass plate, fixed to the southern entrance to the structure, that the foundation-stone was laid by Edward Smith, Esq., on the 31st of October, 1812; and above the arch is cut in Roman capitals the following inscription:—"GEO. AVG. FRED. WALLIÆ. PR. REGIS. SCEPTRA. GERENTE." The archway presents itself as a pleasing object to the traveller either leaving or entering London by this road; and from the pathway of the bridge on a clear day is obtained an excellent view of the surrounding country, and of many buildings in the metropolis, among which St. Paul's Cathedral stands finely displayed.
At the top of the Archway Road, where it is cut by Southwood Lane, is the "Woodman" Inn, a favourite resort for Londoners. The "Woodman" is a common sign in rural villages, but not often to be met with so near to a large city. The signboard is almost always a representation of Barker's picture, and evidently suggested by Cowper's charming description of a winter's morning in "The Task." The sign-board at Highgate formed, and possibly forms, no exception to the rule.
On the slope of the hill, and turning out of the Hornsey Lane, a little to the east of the archway, is Hazelville Road. In this road are two very useful charitable institutions, places for the reception of the two extremes of the great human family—namely, of infancy and old age. The first hospital, which we pass on our left in descending the hill, is a neat and unostentatious red-brick building, called the Alexandra Orphanage for Infants. It was founded in 1864, and is a branch of the Orphan Working School at Haverstock Hill, which we have already noticed. (fn. 3) The other building referred to stands nearer to the foot of the hill, and covers a large space of ground. This is the asylum of the Aged Pilgrims' Friend Society; an institution established in 1807 for giving life pensions of five, seven, and ten guineas per annum to the aged Christian poor of either sex, and of every denomination, who are not under three-score years of age. The present asylum, which was opened in 1871, forms three sides of a quadrangle, and, as originally constructed, consisted of a centre and two wings, which afforded one room and a small scullery for each of the eighty inmates, besides committee-rooms, warden and matron's rooms, a laundry, and a beautiful chapel; but in 1876 the two wings were lengthened, thus giving space for forty additional rooms. The buildings are of two storeys, with the chapel in the centre of the north side; the south side, which was originally unbuilt upon, has now in the centre a large hall in which lectures and addresses are sometimes given, and festive gatherings among the aged inmates take place. The hall is connected with the wings of the building on either side by a covered pathway. The spacious central enclosure, owing to the steepness of the ground, forms two or three grassy slopes and terraces, connected with each other by flights of steps.
Since the foundation of this institution, in 1807, it has been the means of relieving upwards of 3,600 aged persons, and has distributed amongst them the sum of upwards of £116,900. The total number of the recipients of the charity in 1876 was 1,038, and the annual sum expended in pensions alone is upwards of £6,200. The pensioners are each provided with a comfortable home, together with a sufficient supply of coals, with medical attendance when sick, and other comforts. One of the earliest and best friends of this institution was Mr. John Box, of Northampton Square, who, in addition to many other gifts, bequeathed a sum of £12,000 towards the funds for the new building.
Retracing our steps to the top of Highgate Hill, the first building which we notice, on our left, is Lauderdale House, now the Convalescent Home to St. Bartholomew's Hospital. The house, said to have been erected about the middle of the seventeenth century, was formerly the residence of the Earls of Lauderdale, and at one time the home of Nell Gwynne. It has about it nothing in the way of architectural details to attract the attention of the passer-by. A high wall and iron gates, with a garden on either side of the stone pathway to the door, separate it from the high road. It has two fronts—one facing the highway, and the other looking down south—eastward towards Holloway. It has on each front a very simple pediment, and has been stuccoed, probably in very recent times. The upper storey on the side of the house overlooking the garden projects somewhat from the lower, and is supported by a row of columns. Much of the old gardens remain, though doubtless considerably altered from what they were when "poor Nelly" occupied the mansion. "Those who remember this house some years since," writes Mr. Prickett, in his "History of Highgate," "describe the internal arrangements as bearing testimony to its antiquity; indeed, the entrance-hall, which is probably still in its primitive state, the delightful terrace on the southern side, and the walls of the garden, thoroughly testify to the remnants of ancient days."
This house is supposed to have been built about
the time of the restoration of Charles II., "one of
whose most active and detestable ministers Lauderdale was from first to last," says William Howitt, in
his "Northern Heights of London." "Nay," he
continues, "we are assured that he was a prominent
man, even in the reign of Charles I., in Scotland,
being then a Covenanter, and one of those who sold
Charles I. to the English army. He turned round
completely under Charles II., and became one of
the most frightful persecutors of the Covenanters
that existed, he and Archbishop Sharpe going
hand-in-hand in their diabolical cruelties. He was
not only an English minister, a leading one of the
celebrated Cabal Administration, but Lord-Deputy
of Scotland, where nothing could surpass his
cruelty but his capacity. Lord Macaulay draws this
portrait of him: 'Lauderdale, the tyrant deputy of
Scotland at this period, loud and coarse both in mirth
and anger, was, perhaps, under the outward show of
boisterous frankness, the most dishonest man in the
whole Cabal. He was accused of being deeply
concerned in the sale of Charles I. to the English
Parliament, and was, therefore, in the estimation of
good Cavaliers, a traitor of a worse description than
those who sat in the High Court of Justice. He
often talked with noisy jocularity of the days when
he was a canter and a rebel. He was now the
chief instrument employed by the court in the work
of forcing episcopacy on his reluctant countrymen;
nor did he in that cause shrink from the unsparing
use of the sword, the halter, and the boot. Yet
those who knew him knew that thirty years had
made no change in his real sentiments; that he
still hated the memory of Charles I., and that he
still preferred the Presbyterian form of government
to any other.' If we add to this picture Carlyle's
additional touch of 'his big red head,' we have a
sufficient idea of this monster of a man as he was
at that time at work in Scotland with his renegade
comrade, Archbishop Sharpe, with their racks,
thumbscrews, and iron boot in which they used
to crush the legs of their victims with wedges, so
vividly described by Sir Walter Scott in 'Old
Mortality' and in the 'Tales of a Grandfather;'
whilst their general, Turner, was pursuing the
flying Covenanters to the mountains and morasses
with fire and sword." To complete his military
despotism, as any reader of English history will
know, Lauderdale got an Act passed in Scotland
for the raising of an army there which the king
should have the right to march to any part of his
dominions; his design being, as Bishop Burnet
stated at the bar of the House of Commons, to
have "an army of Scotch to keep down the English,
and an army of Irish to keep down the Scotch."
"When Lauderdale was in Scotland on this devil's
business," continues Mr. Howitt, "no doubt his
indulgent master used to borrow his house at Highgate for one of his troop of mistresses; and thus
it was that we find pretty Nelly Gwynne flourishing
directly under the nose of the indignant patriot
Marvell. If Charles had picked his whole harem,
however, he could not have found one of his
ladies less obnoxious than 'poor Nelly.' As
for Lucy Walters, the mother of the Duke of
Monmouth, she was dead. Lady Castlemaine,
Duchess of Cleveland, the mother of the Dukes
of Grafton, was a bold and fiery dame that kept
even the king in constant hot water. Madame de
Querouaille, created Duchess of Portland, mother
of the Dukes of Richmond, was the spy of
Louis XIV. of France, sent expressly to keep
Charles to his obedience, and for this service
Louis gave her a French title and estate. Moll
Davis, the rope-dancer, the mother of the Radclyffes, had lost her influence, and Miss Stewart
had got married. Of all the tribe Nelly was
the best; and yet Marvell launched some very
sharp arrows at her. He describes Charles as
he might be seen walking in the Lauderdale
'Of a tall stature and of sable hue,
Much like the son of Kish, that lofty grew;'
and Nelly, as 'that wench of orange and oyster,' in allusion to her original calling; for she commenced life by selling oysters about the streets, and then oranges at the theatres."
In our account of Pall Mall we have spoken at
some length of Nell Gwynne's career at Court, (fn. 4)
but a little of her history still remains to be told.
Though of the lowest extraction, "her beauty, wit,
and extreme good nature," writes the author above
quoted, "seem to have made her friends amongst
the actors; and her figure and loveliness raised
her to the stage. There she attracted the dissolute monarch's attention by a merely ludicrous
circumstance. At another theatre an actor had
been introduced as 'Pistol' in a hat of extravagant
dimensions. As this caused much merriment,
Dryden caused Nelly to appear in a hat as large as
a coach-wheel. The audience was vastly diverted,
and the fancy of the king, who was present, was
taken at once. But as she was already the mistress
of Lord Buckhurst, Charles had to compound with
him for the transfer of Nelly by an earldom, making
him Earl of Middlesex. Nelly soon won the
ascendancy among the mistresses of the king,
'Who never said a foolish thing,
And never did a wise one.'
"Though extremely gay and witty, poor Nell Gwynne seems never to have shown any hauteur in her elevation, nor any avarice, a prominent vice in some of her rivals. On the contrary, she made no secret of condemning her peculiar position, and was always ready to do a good action. Charles never endowed her with the wealth and titles that he lavished on other women, probably because she did not worry him; but on his death-bed his conscience pricked him for his neglect, and he said, 'Don't let poor Nelly starve!' a frail security against starvation for a king's mistress in a new court.
"The circumstance which connects her memory with Lauderdale House is the tradition that, as the king delayed to confer a title on her child, as he had done on the eldest son of others of his mistresses, she one day held the infant out of an upper window of Lauderdale House, and said, 'Unless you do something for your son, here he goes!' threatening to let him fall to the ground. On this Charles replied, 'Stop, Nelly; save the Earl of Burford!' Whether these words were said exactly as related or not, at all events, the story is very like one of Nell's lively sallies; and the child was created Earl of Burford, and afterwards Duke of St. Albans." An exquisite portrait of Nell Gwynne, by Sir Peter Lely, is in the National Portrait Gallery.
This story, it will be seen, differs somewhat from the version we have told in the volume above referred to, but the reader is at liberty to choose which he pleases as being the more reliable; perhaps the one is as truthful as the other. It is rather a curious coincidence that on the western slope of Highgate, a few years ago, lived a certain Duchess of St. Albans, the wife of one of Nell's descendants, who had also begun life, like her, as an actress. This was Miss Harriet Mellon, who married firstly Mr. Thomas Coutts, the banker, and who, after his death, became the wife of William Aubrey de Vere, ninth Duke of St. Albans. Of this lady we have spoken in our account of Piccadilly. (fn. 5) "Like Nelly," remarks Mr. Howitt, "she had, whether actress or duchess, a noble nature; and the inhabitants of Highgate still bear in memory her deeds of charity, as well as her splendid fêtes to royalty, in some of which, they say, she hired all the birds of the bird-dealers in London, and fixing their cages in the trees, made her grounds one great orchestra of Nature's music."
Lauderdale House of late years has been occupied as a private dwelling, and was for some time the residence of the first Lord Westbury before he reached the woolsack. In 1872 the house was converted to its present use, having been made over by its then owner, Sir Sydney Waterlow, to the governors of St. Bartholomew's Hospital for the purposes of a convalescent hospital, and it was opened in the above year as such by the Prince and Princess of Wales. The building contains beds for thirty-four patients. In its external appearance it is very slightly changed from what it must have been in the days of Lord Lauderdale and Nell Gwynne.
The house formerly occupied by Andrew Marvell, the poet and patriot, as we have intimated above, adjoins the grounds of Lauderdale House, on the north side. The house—or cottage, for it was scarcely anything more—was small, and, like Andrew Marvell himself, very unpretentious. It was built mainly of timber and plaster; and with its bay window, latticed doorway, and gabled roof, had about it all the attributes of the picturesque. In front were some old trees, and a convenient porch led to the door, in which its owner doubtless used to sit and look forth upon the road. Most of the old windows had been modernised, and other alterations had been made which the exigencies of tenancy had rendered necessary since Marvell's days; and in the end a large part of the building itself was demolished, all that remains being a few fragments of the lower portion of the walls, now profusely overgrown with ivy, and the stone steps leading up to the door. Of Andrew Marvell himself we have already had occasion to speak in our notices of the Strand and of St. Giles's Church. (fn. 6)
Mr. Samuel Carter Hall, in his "Pilgrimages to English Shrines," published in the year 1850, thus describes his visit to this interesting spot:—"We know nothing more invigorating than to breast the breeze up a hill, with the bright clear sky above, and the crisp ground under foot. The wind of March is as pure champagne to a healthy constitution; and let mountain-men laugh as they will at Highgate Hill, it is no ordinary labour to climb it, and look down upon London from its height. Here, then, are we, once more, opposite the house where lived the satirist, the poet, and the incorruptible patriot. … The dwelling is evidently inhabited; the curtains in the deep windows as white as they were when we visited it some years previous to the visit concerning which we now write; and the garden is as neat as when in those days we asked permission to see the house, and we were answered by an elderly servant, who took in our message. An old gentleman came into the hall, invited us in, and presented us to his wife, a lady of more than middle age, and of that species of beauty depending upon expression, which it is not in the power of time to wither, because it is of the spirit rather than of the flesh; we also remembered a green parrot, in a fine cage, that talked a great deal, and was the only thing which seemed out of place in the house. We had been treated with much courtesy; and, emboldened by the memory of that kindness, we now again ascended the stone steps, unlatched the little gate, and knocked.
"Again we were received courteously and kindly by the lady whom we had formerly seen here; and again she blandly offered to show us the house. We went up a little winding stair, and into several neat, clean bedrooms, where everything was so old-fashioned that you could fancy Andrew Marvell was still its master.
"'Look out here,' said the old lady; 'here's a view! They say this was Andrew Marvell's closet where he wrote sense; but when he wrote poetry, he used to sit below in his garden. I have heard there is a private way under the road to Cromwell House opposite; but surely that could not be necessary. So good a man would not want to work in the dark; for he was a true lover of his country, and a brave man. My husband used to say that the patriots of those times were not like the patriots now; that then they acted for their country, now they talk about it! Alas! the days are passed when you could tell an Englishman from every other man, even by his gait, keeping the middle of the road, and straight on, as one who knew himself, and made others know him. I am sure a party of Roundheads, in their sober coats, high hats, and heavy boots, would have walked up Highgate Hill to visit Master Andrew Marvell with a different air from the young men of our own time—or of their own time, I should say—for my time is past, and yours is passing.'
"That was quite true; but there is no reason, we thought, why we should not look cheerfully towards the future, and pray that it may be a bright world for others, if not for ourselves; the greater our enjoyment in the contemplation of the happiness of our fellow-creatures, the nearer we approach to God.
"It was too damp for the old lady to venture
into the garden; and, sweet and gentle as she was,
both in mind and manner, we were glad to be
alone. How pretty and peaceful the house looks
from this spot. The snowdrops were quite up,
and the yellow and purple tips of the crocuses
were bursting through the ground in all directions.
This, then, was the garden the poet loved so
well, and to which he alludes so charmingly in his
poem, where the nymph complains of the death
of her fawn:—
"'I have a garden of my own,
But so with roses overgrown
And lilies, that you would it guess
To be a little wilderness.'
The garden seems in nothing changed; in fact, the entire appearance of the place is what it was in those glorious days when inhabited by the truest and the most unflinching patriot that ever sprang from the sterling stuff that Englishmen were made of in those wonder-working times. The genius of Andrew Marvell was as varied as it was remarkable; not only was he a tender and exquisite poet, but entitled to stand facile princeps as an incorruptible patriot, the best of controversialists, and the leading prose wit of England. We have always considered his as the first of the 'sprightly runnings' of that brilliant stream of wit, which will carry with it to the latest posterity the names of Swift, Steele, and Addison. Before Marvell's time, to be witty was to be strained, forced, and conceited; from him—whose memory consecrates that cottage—wit came sparkling forth, untouched by baser metal. It was worthy of him; its main feature was an open clearness. Detraction or jealousy cast no stain upon it; he turned aside, in the midst of an exalted panegyric to Oliver Cromwell, to say the finest things that ever were said of Charles I.
"Beneath Italian skies his immortal friendship
with Milton seems to have commenced; it was of
rapid growth, but was soon firmly established; they
were, in many ways, kindred spirits, and their
hopes for the after-destinies of England were alike.
In 1653 Marvell returned to England, and during
the eventful years that followed we can find no
record of his strong and earnest thoughts, as they
worked upwards into the arena of public life.
One glorious fact we know, and all who honour
virtue must feel its force, that in an age when
wealth was never wanting to the unscrupulous,
Marvell, a member of the popular and successful
party, continued poor. Many of those years he is
certain to have passed—
"Under the destiny severe
Of Fairfax, and the starry Vere,'
in the humble capacity of tutor of languages to their daughters. It was most likely during this period that he inhabited the cottage at Highgate, opposite to the house in which lived part of the family of Cromwell."
In 1657 he was introduced by Milton to Bradshaw, and shortly after became assistant-secretary, along with Milton, in the service of the Protector. After he had occupied this post for some time, he was chosen by the burgesses of his native town, Hull, as their representative in Parliament. "Whether under Cromwell or Charles," writes the author of the work quoted above, "he acted with such thorough honesty of purpose, and gave such satisfaction to his constituents, that they allowed him a handsome pension all the time he continued to represent them, which was till the day of his death."
Opposite the door of Marvell's house was the residence of General Ireton and his wife Bridget, the eldest daughter of Oliver Cromwell. The house, now the Convalescent Hospital for Sick Children, still bears the name of Cromwell House, and is thus described in Prickett's "History of Highgate:" "Cromwell House is supposed to have been built by the Protector, whose name it bears, about the year 1630, as a residence for General Ireton, who married his daughter, and was one of the commanders of his army; it is, however, said to have been the residence of Oliver Cromwell himself; but no mention is made, either in history or in his biography, of his having ever actually lived at Highgate. Tradition states there was a subterraneous passage from this house to the mansion house, which stood where the new church now stands, but of its reality no proof has hitherto been adduced. Cromwell House was evidently built and internally ornamented in accordance with the taste of its military occupant. The staircase, which is of handsome proportions, is richly decorated with oaken carved figures, supposed to have been those of persons in the general's army in their costume, and the balustrades are filled in with devices emblematical of warfare. On the ceiling of the drawing-room are the arms of General Ireton; this, and the ceilings of the other principal apartments, are enriched in conformity with the fashion of those days. The proportions of the noble rooms, as well as the brickwork in front, well deserve the notice and study of the antiquarian and the architect. From the platform on the top of the mansion may be seen a perfect panorama of the surrounding country."
The staircase above described is a remarkably striking and elegant specimen of internal decoration, broad and noble in its proportions; indeed, the woodwork of the house generally is everywhere equally bold and massive. There are some ceilings in the first storey which are in rich plaster-work, ornamented with the arms of Ireton, together with mouldings of fruit and flowers. The series of figures which stand upon the newels of the staircase are ten in number; they are about a foot in height, and represent the different soldiers of the Cromwellian army, from the fifer and drummer to the captain. It is stated that there were originally twelve of these figures, and that the missing two represented Cromwell and Ireton. In 1865, at which time Cromwell House was occupied as a boarding-school, the building was partially destroyed by fire, but it did not injure the staircase, or anything of historical interest. The building was thoroughly restored, and now presents much the same appearance that it did before. The front of the house is rather low, being only of two storeys, finished by a parapet, so that the roof, which is thrown backwards, adds but little to its elevation. It is of a solid and compact bright-red brickwork, and has a narrow cornice or entablature running the whole length of the front over each row of windows. Its doorway is arched, and faced with a portal of painted wood, in good keeping with the building. In front is a gateway, with solid square pillars surmounted by stone globes. At the lower end a lofty archway admits to the rear of the building. The mass of the mansion running backwards is extensive, and behind lies a portion, at least, of its ancient gardens and pleasuregrounds.
Ireton, one of the staunchest and bravest of Cromwell's generals, was a native of Attenborough, in Nottinghamshire, and, as stated above, married Bridget, the eldest daughter of Cromwell, who, after Ireton's death, became the wife of General Fleetwood. Ireton commanded the left wing of Cromwell's army at the battle of Naseby. He was constantly with the Protector when he was in treaty with King Charles, at Hampton Court, in 1647, and in the following year sat on the trial of the king, and voted heartily for his death. Morrice, in his "Life of Lord Orrery," declares that "Cromwell himself related that in 1647, at the time they were endeavouring to accommodate matters with the king, Ireton and he were informed that a scheme was laid for their destruction, and that they might convince themselves of it by intercepting a secret messenger of the king's, who would sleep that night at the 'Blue Boar,' in Holborn, and who carried his dispatches sewed up in the skirt of his saddle. Cromwell and Ireton, disguised as troopers, waited that evening, seized the saddle, and found letters of the king's to the queen in France, confirming all that they had heard. From that hour, convinced of Charles's incurable treachery, they resolved on his death." Clarendon describes Ireton as taciturn, reserved, and uncommunicative, and as being "never diverted from any resolution he had taken." Such was the son-in-law for whom this old mansion was built. There is a portrait of Ireton by Walker, in the National Portrait Gallery. It was formerly in the Lenthall collection.
In 1869, Cromwell House was taken as a convalescent establishment in connection with the Hospital for Sick Children, in Great Ormond Street, of which we have already spoken. (fn. 7) Fiftytwo beds are here provided for the little ones on leaving the hospital. The number of admissions to the Convalescent Hospital, as we learn from the printed report of the committee of management, amounts annually to about 400, and the testimony of the medical officers who attend at Cromwell House, in reference to the progress of the children under treatment there, is of a most satisfactory character. The spacious play-ground attached to the house presents an attractive picture on fine days, when nearly all the children are out of doors at sport.
A little higher up the hill, or bank, as it is called, than Cromwell House, once stood Arundel House, the suburban residence of the Earls of Arundel. A few scattered remains of the old mansion and its garden-walls still exist. "Its site," says Mr. Howitt, in his "Northern Heights of London," "is now occupied by some modern houses, but its position may be known by its abutting on an old house, called Exeter House, probably also from its being once the abode of the Earls of Exeter; of this, however, there seems to be no record. It is not until towards the middle of the reign of James I. that we hear of the Earl of Arundel having a house at Highgate. When Norden wrote his 'Survey of Middlesex,' in 1596, the principal mansion was thus mentioned:—'Upon this hill is a most pleasant dwelling, yet not so pleasant as healthful, for the expert inhabitants there report that divers that have long been visited with sickness, not curable by physick, have in a short time repaired their health by that sweete salutarie air. At this place, — Cornwalleys, Esquire, hath a very faire house, from which he may with great delight behold the stateley citie of London, Westminster, Greenwich, the famous river Thames, and the country towards the south very farre.' . . But the question here is, was the house of the Cornwallis family on what is called the Bank that which became the property of the Earl of Arundel? Lysons has remarked that there is in the Harleian Manuscripts a letter of Sir Thomas Cornwallis, dated 'Hygat, 16 July, 1587.' Sir Thomas, who was Treasurer of Calais, and Comptroller of the Household to Queen Mary, had been knighted as early as 1548, so that the Mr. Cornwallis mentioned by Norden in 1596, was doubtless his son William, who had taken up his residence there, while Sir Thomas had retired to his mansion at Brome, in Suffolk. It is said that this house at Highgate was visited by Queen Elizabeth in June, 1589. At all events, it is on record that the bell-ringers of St. Margaret's, Westminster, were paid 6d. on the 11th of June, when the Queen's Majesty came from Highgate. (fn. 8)
"It is certain, however, that James I., the year after his accession, visited the Cornwallises here. On May 1, 1604, the house was the scene of a splendid royal feast. Ben Jonson was employed to compose his dramatic interlude of The Penates for a private entertainment of the king and queen, given on Monday morning by Sir William Cornwallis, at his house at Highgate; and Sir Basil Brooke, of Madeley, in Shropshire, was knighted there at the same time. At the end of the same year, Sir Thomas Cornwallis died at his house at Brome—namely, on the 24th of December—aged eighty-five; and a writer in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1828 says that 'it is most probable that Sir William then removed to reside in the Suffolk mansion, as we hear no more of his family in Highgate. This residence, it is clear, from what has been already stated, had been the principal mansion in the place; and as we find the Earl of Arundel occupying a house of a similar description a few years later, whilst we have no information of his having erected one for himself, there appears reason to presume that it was the same mansion.'"
Arundel House numbers amongst its historical associations two very different and yet very interesting events: the flight from it of Arabella Stuart, in the reign of James I., and the death of the great Chancellor Bacon in the same reign, about fifteen years afterwards. The story of the early life of Arabella Stuart, and how she was held in dread by King James, is told by Mr. Howitt at some length in his work above mentioned, but it will be sufficient for our purpose to extract that portion of the narrative which has special reference to Arundel House:—
"James might have permitted Lady Arabella to marry, and dismissed his fears; but then, instead of a poor pusillanimous creature, he must have been a magnanimous one. She was dependent on the Crown for fortune, and the pension allowed her was miserably paid. Under these circumstances she met with an admirer of her early youth, William Seymour, second son of Lord Beauchamp, the eldest son of the Earl of Hertford. Their juvenile attachment was renewed, and the news of it flew to James, and greatly alarmed him. Seymour, on his side, was descended from Henry VII., and there were people who thought his claim better than James's, for Henry VIII. had settled the descent, in case of failure of his own issue, on his youngest sister, Mary, and her line, which was that of the Seymours. James fiercely reprimanded Seymour for presuming to ally himself with royal blood, though Seymour's was as royal as his own, and forbade them, on their allegiance, to contract a marriage without his permission. But Love laughed at James, as it is said to do at locksmiths, and in 1610 it was discovered that they were really married. James committed Seymour to the Tower, and Arabella to the custody of Sir Thomas Parry, in Lambeth; but not thinking her safe there, he determined to send her to Durham, in charge of the bishop of that see. Refusing to comply with this arbitrary and unjustifiable order, she was suddenly seized by officers in her bed, and was carried thus, shrieking and resisting, to the Thames, and rowed some distance up the river. She was then put into a carriage, and conveyed forcibly as far as Barnet. But by this time her agitation of mind had brought on a fever, and a physician called in declared that her life must be sacrificed by any attempt to carry her further. After some demur, James consented to her being brought back as far as Highgate. The account says that she was conveyed to the house of a Mr. Conyers; tradition asserts this house to be that now called Arundel House. Probably it belonged to a Mr. Conyers before it became the property of the Earl of Arundel, whose it was when Lord Bacon was its guest, fifteen years afterwards. Lady Arabella had leave to stay here a month, and this term was extended to two months, which she made use of to establish a correspondence with her husband in the Tower, and to plan a scheme for their mutual escape. This plan was put into effect on June 3, 1611, the very day that the Bishop of Durham had set out northward to prepare for her reception."
How the Lady Arabella made her way, disguised as a man, down to Gravesend, where she expected to find her husband on board a French vessel, which was in waiting to receive them—how the captain, growing impatient, put to sea before Seymour's arrival; and how the latter engaged a collier, and was conveyed safe to Flanders—are all matters of history. Poor Arabella, as we read, was not so fortunate as her husband; for no sooner had the escape of the two prisoners become known than there was a fearful bustle and alarm at Court. A number of vessels of war dropped hastily down the Thames in pursuit, and another put out of the Downs. The latter intercepted the boat carrying Lady Arabella in the Calais roads, and after a sharp struggle the Frenchman struck, and gave up the fugitive. The poor distracted Arabella was carried back to London and committed to the Tower, exclaiming that she could bear her own fate, could she but be sure of the safety of her husband. Her grief and despair soon deprived her of her senses, and after a captivity of four years she died in the Tower, on September 27, 1615. Seymour, who was permitted to return to England after his wife's death, did not die till 1660, nearly half a century after the above romantic adventure.
Mr. Thorne, in his "Environs of London," states that it was from the house of Mr. Thomas Conyers, at East Barnet, that the Lady Arabella made her escape, and not from Arundel House, as generally stated by biographers and topographers; but the latter tradition is too firmly grounded at Highgate to be lost sight of here.
Of the death of Lord Bacon, which occurred at Arundel House in April, 1626, the following particulars are given by John Aubrey:—"The cause of his lordship's death," he writes, "was trying an experiment, as he was takeing the aire in the coach with Dr. Witherborne, a Scotch man, physitian to the king. Towards Highgate snow lay on the ground, and it came into my lord's thoughts why flesh might not be preserved in snow as in salt. They were resolved they would try the experiment. Presently they alighted out of the coach, and went into a poore woman's house at the bottome of Highgate Hill, and bought a hen, and made the woman exenterate it [take out the entrails], and then stuffed the bodie with snow, and my lord did help to doe it himself. The snow so chilled him that he immediately fell so ill, that he could not return to his lodgings (I suppose then at Gray's Inn), but went to the Earl of Arundel's house, at Highgate, where they put him into a good bed, warmed with a panne, but it was a dampe bed, that had not been layn in for about a yeare before, which gave him such a colde, that in two or three dayes, as I remember, he (Hobbes) told me he died of suffocation."
Lord Bacon was attended in his last illness by his relative, Sir Julius Cæsar, the Master of the Rolls, who was then grown so old that he was said to be "kept alive beyond Nature's course by the prayers of the many poor whom he daily relieved." At the dictation of the great ex-chancellor Sir Julius Cæsar wrote the following letter to Lord Arundel:—
"My very good Lord,—I was likely to have had the fortune of Caius Plinius the elder, who lost his life by trying an experiment about the burning of the mountain Vesuvius. For I also was desirous to try an experiment or two touching the conservation and induration of bodies. For the experiment itself, it succeeded remarkably well; but in the journey between Highgate and London I was taken with a fit of casting, as I know not whether it was the stone, or some surfeit, or cold, or, indeed, a touch of them all three. But when I came to your lordship's house, I was not able to go back, and therefore was forced to take up my lodging here, where your housekeeper is very careful and diligent about me, which I assure myself your lordship will not only pardon towards him, but think the better of him for it. For, indeed, your lordship's house was happy to me; and I kiss your noble hands for the welcome which I am sure you give me to it."
This letter shows that at the moment when he dictated it Lord Bacon did not suppose himself on his death-bed; but he must have died in the arms of his friend, Sir Julius Cæsar, very shortly after the epistle was penned.
Arundel House was originally a mansion in the Elizabethan style, with spacious windows commanding a magnificent view of the surrounding country. It was partially pulled down in the year 1825, but the present building still bears the name, and the walls which are left standing of the old house bear evidences of great antiquity.
On the opposite side of the roadway, and adjoining the remains of Andrew Marvell's cottage, is Fairseat, the residence of Sir Sydney Waterlow, Treasurer of St. Bartholomew's Hospital, whose gift of Lauderdale House to that institution we have mentioned above. Sir Sydney Waterlow was Lord Mayor of London in 1872–3; he was representative of the county of Dumfries in the House of Commons, in 1868–9; and in 1874 he was returned as one of the members for the borough of Maidstone. His mansion here was named after that of his late father-in-law, Mr. William Hickson, of Fairseat, Wrotham, Kent.
At the back of Sir Sydney Waterlow's house, and covering a greater part of the slope of the hill looking towards Kentish Town, is Highgate Cemetery, of which we shall give a description in the following chapter.
We find but very scanty mention of this neighbourhood (and, indeed, of all the northern suburbs) in the Diaries of Pepys and Evelyn. The former, however, incidentally states, under date January, 1660-1, that Highgate was for two or three days the head-quarters of sundry "fanatiques at least 500 strong," who raised the standard of rebellion, avowing a belief that "the Lord Jesus would come here and reign presently." They appear to have routed the king's life-guards and train-bands, and to have killed twenty persons, before they were captured and their outbreak suppressed. Again, Pepys mentions the fact that on the 4th of August, 1664, he and a friend went to see a play at "the King's House," one of the best actors of which, named Clun, had been waylaid, and killed in a ditch by the roadside between Kentish Town and Highgate. The following day the little secretary and his cousin Joyce, mounted upon two horses which had been lent them for this purpose by Sir W. Warren, rode out of town towards Highgate, to inspect the scene of the murder.