Old and New London: Volume 5. Originally published by Cassell, Petter & Galpin, London, 1878.
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THE LEA, STRATFORD-LE-BOW, &c.
The River Lea—Bow Bridge—Stratford-attè Bowe, and Chaucer's Allusion thereto—Construction of the Road through Stratford—Alterations and Repairs of the Bridge—Don Antonio Perez, and other Noted Residents at Stratford—The Parish Church of Stratford-le-Bow—The School and Market House—The Parish Workhouse—Bow and Bromley Institute—King John's Palace at Old Ford—St. John's Church—The Town Hall—West Ham Park—West Ham Abbey—Abbey Mill Pumping Station—Stratford New Town—The Great Eastern Railway Works—"Hudson Town"—West Ham Cemetery and Jews' Cemetery—St. Leonard's Convent, Bromley—The Chapel converted into a Parish Church—Bromley Church rebuilt—Allhallows' Church—The Church of St. Michael and all Angels—The Manor House—The Old Palace—Wesley House—The Old Jews' Cemetery—The City of London and Tower Hamlets Cemetery.
In order to make our way to London Bridge, which is our destined starting-point in the next and concluding volume, we may now drop quietly down the river Lea, passing between green and flowery meadows, and re-visiting on our way some of those shady nooks by which, as we have seen in our wanderings northward, Izaak Walton so much loved to lounge when engaged in his favourite pastime of angling. We shall in due course find ourselves at Bow Bridge, which crosses the Lea between Whitechapel Church and Stratford.
The river, after it leaves Clapton and Hackney,
passes on by the Temple Mills to Stratford, or
as it is frequently called, Stratford-le-Bow, which
lies between Hackney and Whitechapel parishes.
Here it divides its course into several channels,
the principal stream being that which is spanned
by Bow Bridge. The name of Stratford evidently
points to the existence near this spot of a ford
which doubtless connected London with the old
Roman road to Camalodunum, whether that were
at Maldon or at Colchester. In the course of
time, however, the primitive ford was superseded
by a bridge, which appears to have been called
"Bow" Bridge, from the arches (arcus), which
supported and really formed the structure; or
possibly because it was constructed of a single
arch, as suggested by the writers of the "Beauties
of England and Wales." Hence the village was
called "Stratford-attè-Bowe," under which name it
is immortalised by Chaucer, in the Prologue to
the "Canterbury Tales," in terms which seem to
imply that five centuries ago it was a well-known
place of education for young ladies. Most of our
readers will remember the comely prioress, how,
in the words of the poet—
"French she spake full fayre and fetisly,
After the scole of Stratforde-attè-Bowe,
For French of Paris was to her unknowe."
We may be pardoned for suggesting as a solution of the meaning of this allusion, that in the adjoining parish of Bromley, within a mile of the bridge, stood the Convent of St. Leonard's, usually termed the Priory in Stratford, and that the nuns of that religious house probably taught the French language among other accomplishments to the young ladies of that favourite suburb.
But it is time that we said something about the old bridge, which was really an historic structure. Fortunately we have to guide us, not only the "Survey" of Stow, and the "Collectanea" of Leland, but also a document, the substance of which was given upon oath at an inquisition taken before two justices of the peace in the year 1303, and which is to be found at length in Lysons' "Environs of London."
"The jurors," writes Lysons, "declared that at the time when Matilda, the good Queen of England, lived, the road from London to Essex was by a place called the Old Ford, where there was no bridge, and during great inundations was so extremely dangerous that many passengers lost their lives; which, coming to the good queen's ears, she caused the road to be turned where it now is—namely, between the towns of Stratford and Westham, and of her bounty caused the bridges and road to be made, except the bridge called Chaner's Bridge, which ought to be made by the Abbot of Stratford. They said further, that Hugh Pratt, living near the roads and bridges in the reign of King John, did of his own authority keep them in repair, begging the aid of passengers. After his death his son William did the same for some time, and afterwards, through the interest of Robert Passelowe, the King's Justice, obtained a toll, which enabled him to make an iron railing upon a certain bridge, called Lock Bridge, from which circumstance he altered his name from Pratt to Bridgewryght; and thus were the bridges repaired, till Philip Bagset and the Abbot of Waltham, being hindered from passing that way with their wagons in the late reign, broke down the railing; whereby the said William, being no longer able to repair it, left the bridge in ruins; in which state it remained till Queen Eleanor of her bounty ordered it to be repaired, committing the charge of it to William de Capella, keeper of her chapel. After which, one William Carlton (yet living) repaired all the bridges with the effects of Bartholomew de Castello, deceased. The jurors added that the bridges and roads had always been repaired by 'bounties,' and that there were no lands or tenements charged with their repair except for Chaner's Bridge, which the Abbot of Stratford was bound to keep in repair."
In the early part of the present century Bow Bridge consisted of three arches. It was very narrow, and bore marks of venerable age; but the numerous alterations and repairs of four centuries had obscured its original plan, and, indeed, left it doubtful how much of it was the work of the good Queen Matilda, and, indeed, whether any part of the original structure remained. The bridge was taken down about the year 1835, and superseded by a lighter and wider structure.
Stratford-le-Bow has few historical or personal associations for us to record. It may, however, be remembered that it was the residence of Don Antonio Perez, who endeavoured to obtain the crown of Spain and Portugal, but who, failing in the attempt, fled for refuge to England as an asylum. He is said to have lived here whilst negotiating with Elizabeth for aid in support of his pretensions, and his residence here is rendered all the more probable from the fact that the parish register contains the entry of the burial of a foreigner who is called his treasurer. Another resident in Stratford was Edmund, Lord Sheffield, who distinguished himself so much in the sea-fights off our coast against the Spanish Armada. Lysons states that John Le Neve, the author of "Monumenta Anglicana" and other learned antiquarian works, also had a house within the parish. The exact situation, however, of these two residences is not known.
The church of Stratford-le-Bow was built as a chapel of ease to Stepney early in the fourteenth century, in consequence of a petition from the inhabitants of this place and of Old Ford, stating the distance of their homes from their parish church, and the difficulty of the roads, which in winter were often impassable on account of the floods. In consequence, Baldock, Bishop of London, issued a licence for the erection of a new chapel upon a site taken from "the king's highway" for that purpose. The chapel ultimately blossomed into a separate parish church, and was consecrated as such in 1719. It consists of a chancel, nave, and aisles, separated from the nave by octangular pillars supporting pointed arches, At the west end is a belfry tower, rather low, with graduated buttresses, and embattled. The edifice, we may add, stands in the middle of the high road, the houses receding slightly from the straight line on either side, so as to allow of a roadway on each side of the church.
A little to the east of the church was formerly a building which had been used at various times as a school and as a market-house. Brewer, in his "History of Middlesex," when speaking of Bow, says: "At a small remove from the church towards the east is a building which appears to have been used as a market-house. A room over the open part of this building had long been occupied as a charity school, on the foundation of Sir John Jolles, established in 1613, and intended for thirty-five boys of Stratford, Bow, and St. Leonard, Bromley." About the year 1830 this building was removed in order to enlarge the churchyard, and a new school-room erected in its stead at Old Ford.
At a short distance, on the north side of the main street, stood the parish workhouse, which evidently was at one time a mansion of handsome proportions, its rooms being ornamented with fine ceilings and carved chimney-pieces. It was pulled down several years ago, its site being converted to business purposes.
On the north side of the high road, at a short distance westward of Bow Church, stands a large and attractive building, the upper part of which, known as the Bow and Bromley Institute, is used occasionally for concerts, lectures, and similar entertainments. The ground floor serves as the Bow Station of the North London Railway, which here runs below the road. Near the above is the Bow Road Station on the Great Eastern Railway, which crosses the Bow Road by a viaduct.
The hamlet of Old Ford is situated a little to the north of Bow. "In this place," write the compilers of the 'Beauties of England and Wales,' "stood an ancient mansion, often termed King John's Palace, but which does not appear to have been at any time vested in the Crown. The site of this mansion was given to Christ's Hospital by a citizen of London named William Williams, in 1665. A brick gallery, which has been recently covered with cement, is now the only relic of the ancient building. The present (1816) lessee of the estate is Henry Manley, Esq., who has here a handsome residence, and has much improved the grounds and neighbourhood." The last vestige of this building was demolished a few years ago.
Stratford—the "ford of the street, or Roman way from London to Colchester"—lies on the east side of the river Lea, and is consequently in the county of Essex. It is also on the Great Eastern Railway, whence the Colchester and the Cambridge, and the Blackwall and Woolwich, and the Woodford and the Tilbury branch lines diverge; and it is a ward of the parish of West Ham. The church, dedicated to St. John, is a large and handsome edifice, in the centre of the town, and is in the Early English style. Its site is on land which, up to the time of its erection, in 1834, had been an unenclosed village green. At first the church was founded as a chapel of ease to the parish church of West Ham; but about 1859 it was constituted a vicarage, and Stratford became a parish of itself.
The Town Hall, in the Broadway, at the corner of West Ham Lane, was opened in 1869. It is a handsome building, in the classic style, and has a frontage of about 100 feet each way. It has a tower about 100 feet in height, and the building is surmounted by various figures and groups of statuary, illustrative of the arts, science, agriculture, manufacture, commerce, &c. The lower part of the building comprises some commodious public offices, and on the first floor is a spacious hall, artistically decorated.
At a short distance eastward is West Ham Park, a large plot of ground open for the purpose of recreation for the inhabitants of this district. It was formed a short time ago, under the auspices of Sir Antonio Brady, and occupies what was formerly Upton Park, the seat and property of the Gurneys. The mansion has been taken down. The park was laid out with the aid of City funds. In December, 1876, a grant was voted—£1,500 for necessary works carried out, and £675 for the annual maintenance of the grounds.
Abbey Mill Pumping Station, close by, is an extensive range of works, in connection with the main drainage of North London. As the works here are very similar to those already described in connection with the Pumping Station at Chelsea, (fn. 1) there is no occasion for entering upon a further account of them.
Stratford being, as stated above, the point where the two main branches of the Great Eastern Railway leading respectively to Cambridge and Colchester diverge, has of late years given birth to a new town, which has become quite a railway colony. Here the company has its chief depôt for carriages, engines, and rolling stock, and yards for their repairs. The works, which were established here about the year 1847, cover a very large extent of ground, and give employment to upwards of 2,500 hands, independently of about 600 others engaged in the running sheds. The various buildings used as workshops for the different branches of work required to be done, either in the construction or the repair of engines, &c., are large and well lighted, and embrace foundries for casting, forges, fitting rooms, braziers' shops, carpenters' shops, saw-mills, &c. The principal erecting shops are about 120 yards in length, by sixty in breadth. The machinery throughout is of the most perfect description, and adapted for almost all kinds of work; one shop alone contains upwards of 100 machines for the performance of the most delicate work. One of the latest and most useful pieces of machinery in operation in the smiths' shop is the hydraulic riveting-machine. To give some idea of the amount of labour accomplished in these works, we may state that about 500 engines, 3,000 carriages, and 10,000 wagons are here kept in constant repair, and that the sum paid weekly in wages in the locomotive department alone amounts, on an average, to about £6,000.
The new town which has sprung up in the neighbourhood of the works is the residence of several hundreds of skilled employés—engineers, drivers, and others. At first it was called Hudson Town, in compliment to the "Railway King;" but when he lost his crown, the name fell into disuse. In 1862 the New Town numbered some 20,000 souls; and now probably the population has nearly doubled itself. The town, it may be added, has its literary institution, a "temperance" public-house, besides numerous places of worship.
At a short distance eastward of the railway works, by the side of Forest Road, which runs parallel with the Colchester line, stands an industrial school, with spacious grounds attached, in the rear of which is the West Ham Cemetery, and the Jews' Cemetery. In the latter, which covers about eleven acres of ground, and was formed in 1858, on the closing of the Jews' Cemetery at Mile End, are the vaults of the Goldsmid and the Lucas families, of Sir David Salomons, and other leading members of the Jewish community, together with a domecrowned mausoleum for the members of the house of Rothschild.
Adjoining Bow on the south-east, in the parish of Bromley, was, as above-mentioned, a convent dedicated to St. Leonard, stated by some historians to have been founded in the reign of William the Conqueror, by William, Bishop of London, for a prioress and nine nuns; other writers, however, are of opinion that it was founded at a much earlier period. Indeed, when, or by whom, the convent was really founded, seems a very difficult matter now to decide. Stow says it was founded by Henry II., in the first year of his reign (1154); but Dugdale, in the "Monasticon," says, "This is a mistake, it was in being before." Weever fixed the foundation still later, by saying that "this religious structure was sometime a monastery replenished with white monks, dedicated to the honour of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and Saint Leonard; founded by Henry II., in the twenty-third year of his reign." But Strype, in his "Survey of London," says, respecting this statement of Weever:—"How to reconcile the said antiquary with an elder than he, namely, John Leland, and the 'Monasticon Anglicanum,' I cannot tell, for Weever writes that this monastery was replenished with white monks, and founded by King Henry II., in the twenty-third year of his reign; whereas Leland and the 'Monasticon' reports it a religious house for nuns, founded by William, Bishop of London, that lived in the Conqueror's time," which was nearly a century earlier. Lysons, in his "Environs of London," attempts to unravel the apparently opposite statements of Stow, Weever, Leland, Dugdale, and others, by supposing Weever to have been altogether in error, he having confounded the Abbey of Monks at Stratford (the remaining vestiges of which is now called West Ham Abbey), in Essex, with the Convent of Nuns, in Middlesex, which convent, says Lysons, was invariably said in ancient wills to have been at Stratford, Bow, on account of its contiguity to that place. And he further says, respecting these two religious houses: "It is difficult to distinguish them in the calendars in the Tower; nor can it be always done without referring to the original will, where the word 'Prioresse' will determine the grants which belong to this house at Bromley, even if 'Beati Leonardi' should not follow."
Weever states that the convent of which he was speaking was in Middlesex, and dedicated to St. Leonard; whereas, the convent at Stratford he knew to be in Essex, which he says that he visited himself "after going over 'Bow Bridge,' in his journey towards West Ham." Leland, who was engaged in making historical collections relating to religious houses, by order of Henry VIII., is reported to have met with but little encouragement, and to have died insane in the neighbourhood of St. Paul's; "uncertain," says Fuller, "whether his brains were broken with weight of work or want of wages." This report of Leland's—for such it really is—was printed in Latin, and entitled "Antiquarii de rebus;" and in it he says, respecting the Priory at Bromley, "Gul. Episcopus London fundator." Historians generally have followed this dictum, since Leland wrote, and ascribed the first foundation, both of the structure and religious society of St. Leonard, to William, Bishop of London, in the Conqueror's reign. But Speed, in his "History of England and its Monasteries," speaks of the Norman bishop, with respect to the Priory at Bromley, as a "benefactor" only; and this is quoted against Leland in the "Monasticon." Mr. Dunstan, in his "History of Bromley and St. Leonard," says: "That William, Bishop of London, was a benefactor there can be no doubt; nay, more, it is probable that he enlarged the original priory about the period mentioned. He might also have much enlarged the Lady Chapel attached to the priory which was dedicated to St. Mary; and this will account for the mixed style of the old church, it having been partly of Gothic, partly of Saxon, and partly of Norman architecture, which would indicate that the structure was not all the work of one hand, nor even of one age; for whilst the round-headed arches in one part were both Saxon and Norman, the pointed arches, yea, even the main or principal doorway, and heavy buttresses, were purely Gothic, and therefore of more ancient date, in the other. It is very probable," he continues, "that William, Bishop of London, might have removed some portions of the original chapel, and added others of more extensive and lofty dimensions, suited to the style of Norman architecture." This hypothesis is particularly strengthened by the fact that when the old chapel or church was taken down in 1842, a considerable quantity of old building materials, chiefly consisting of very ancient wrought stone, was found embedded in various parts of the walls; evidently the fragments of some very ancient religious structure, which probably had occupied the same, or nearly the same site, anterior to the episcopacy of William, in the Conqueror's reign. Moreover, the arches which were found blocked up and plastered over, and covered with many generations of whitewash within, and rough-coat without, in 1825, were all of the Gothic style, and evidently led into some building (as Lysons conceives) on the south side; whereas, according to Newcourt and others, the nunnery or convent in the days of Henry VIII. was at the west end of the chapel; and the lofty arch at the western end of the church contained the screen which separated the chapel from the convent and cloisters.
"Speed, therefore, views the antiquity of the Convent of St. Leonard as being anterior to that of Henry II., as mentioned by Stow and Weever, and considers Henry II. as a benefactor only; and in the same light he considers all the others whose benefactions and confirmations have been named, including William, Bishop of London, among the rest. And, therefore, in tracing that antiquity to a reasonable, nay, to a probable source, it does appear from the many foregoing considerations that the original foundation of the Convent or Priory of St. Leonard at Bromley may, with the greatest propriety, be attributed to the time of Edgar's reign, about one hundred years before William the Conqueror landed on the British shores—namely, somewhere about the middle of the tenth century, or nearly coeval with the re-establishment of the monastery at Westminster." All trace of the old priory buildings, with the exception of the chapel, has long since passed away. The chapel was dedicated to St. Mary, and at the dissolution of the religious houses it was converted into a parochial church. Lysons says that "the chapel of St. Mary, with the convent of St. Leonard, Bromley, is mentioned in several ancient wills." The fabric consisted of a nave and chancel, and the latter was separated from the former by a chancel-screen and by being raised one step. The principal entrance, at the western end, was in the same situation as that in the present building, but consisted of a Gothic arched doorway. This doorway, it is conjectured, was inserted when the old chapel first became appropriated as a parish church, as upon the removal of the north wall there was found, bricked up and plastered over, a very ancient doorway of small dimensions and of Norman architecture. The chancel of the old church occupied precisely the same position with that of the present church, as portions of the walls of the old building are now standing, both in the north and south-eastern ends of the present church. In the chancel are five stone stalls, or sedilia, through one of which was a small doorway opening at once into the churchyard. At the western end of the nave was a capacious gallery, and the body of the church was fitted up with pews of the orthodox fashion. In 1692 the chancel was lengthened by Sir William Benson, the then lord of the manor, "by the addition of a projecting recess in which was placed the communion-table." At the west end of the church was a large roundheaded arch, ornamented with lozenge and other Saxon or early Norman mouldings; this was much disfigured by the galleries inside, and also by the vestry-room outside. It has been suggested that the church as it remained down to the present period was only the chancel and lady chapel of a much larger edifice; and that the arch here spoken of was that which separated it from a nave, of which every trace has long since perished. In 1843 the new church was opened, the old fabric having been demolished piecemeal. It is a neat brick-built structure, consisting of a nave, chancel, and sideaisles, with a tower and dwarf spire at the southwest corner. The style of architecture adopted is that of the Norman period, and some of the windows are enriched with coloured glass.
The font is of Norman design, and of the usual size; it is said to have been for many years expelled from the church, and to have lain in the churchyard. In 1825, when the old church was repaired and "beautified," the churchwardens had the antique device on the font re-cut, and it was placed upon a Gothic pedestal. Although it was so far restored to its original position, it appears to have been discarded by the officiating minister; a small portable font having been used for many years. It has, however, now been fully re-installed, and the Gothic character of the pedestal changed into Norman.
The old church was particularly rich in monuments and funeral hatchments. In the nave
formerly lay a large stone which contained the
brasses of a man and woman, with much ornamental work over their heads. "They seem," says
Strype, "to be some nobleman and his wife interred
in this religious house. Perhaps the Earl [John
De Bohun] and his wife, already mentioned." If
so, it would have dated from about 1336. The
stone was afterwards removed to the entrance of the
old church, and formed a part of the floor; it is
now placed in the floor of the tower. Against the
south wall of the church was a large mural monument of marble, to the memory of William Ferrars,
and dated 1625. On the erection of the new
church this monument was placed against the north
wall. Busts of the deceased and his wife, who was
Jane, daughter of Sir Peter Van-Lore, are represented under arches supported by pillars of the
Corinthian order. The man is habited in a doublet
and ruff, and the hands of both are united, resting
on a skull. In a panel over the effigies is the
"Live well, and dye never,
Dye well, and live ever."
A curious and interesting monument is that of Abraham Jacob, Esq., who died in the year 1629. The figures of himself and his wife are represented kneeling under arches, the monument being adorned with the arms of the family and its alliances. The monument is particularly chaste and emblematical. The principal feature in the ornamentation is the representation of a vine, on the leaves of which are written the names of his twelve children. The names of five that were married, and their respective alliances, are expressed by the quartering of their several coats of arms; whilst the younger offshoots indicate the fruits of the respective unions, on the leaves of which offshoots are inscribed the names of their children. The names of the seven unmarried remain above on the leaves of the old vine. This monument was erected by Sir John Jacob, who, after the death of his father, Abraham Jacob, had purchased the manor and advowson of Bromley, in 1634. He is said to have been a very rich and loyal citizen, and one of the "farmers of the customs." He was a great sufferer during the Civil War, and was at one time confined as a prisoner in Crosby House.
Bromley possesses also three or four other churches, besides chapels and meeting-houses for members of various denominations. Allhallows' Church, an edifice of Early English architecture, was built in 1874, from the proceeds of the sale of the church of Allhallows Staining, Mark Lane, and is in the patronage of the Grocers' Company. The large church of St. Michael and All Angels, which is of similar architecture, and consecrated in 1865, contains sittings for about 1,300 worshippers.
About the middle of the seventeenth century Sir John Jacob built a "large brick edifice" on the site of the old priory. The house was surrounded by a small park and gardens, the east side of which was washed by the river Lea. The building, which was called the Manor House, was demolished early in the present century, and its site covered by rows of small cottages, whilst some portion of the grounds was added to the churchyard.
That Bromley in its time has had a fair share of aristocratic inhabitants may be seen from the fact that, in the parish rate-books of the seventeenth century, besides the name of Sir J. Jacob, appear those of Sir Henry Ferrers, Sir William Turner, Sir John Poole, Sir Nicholas Crisp, Sir J. Fleetwood, Sir John Chambers, Sir Richard Mundy, Lady Stanhope, Lady Munden, and several other titled personages.
At a short distance westward of the church, a large brick-built mansion—one of the former glories of the place—is still standing, but cut up into three or four tenements. It is commonly known as the Old Palace, and is sometimes called Queen Anne's Palace. The building is very lofty, and has a slightly projecting wing at either end. The interior bears numerous traces of its original splendour in the shape of stuccoed ceilings, carved panellings and chimney-pieces, as well as marble floors. A long row of wooden houses standing at right angles with the mansion, and forming one side of another street, occupies the site of the ancient stables. Another curious old house in this street, with the words "Wesley House" painted over the doorway, is said to have been one of the first meeting-houses in which John Wesley preached.
Before quitting Bromley, we must not omit to mention the bowling-green, the village stocks, the whipping-post, the pond and ducking-stool, and the parish pound, all of which remained in full operation down to the early part of the present century.
Adjoining Bromley, and at the eastern end of the Mile End Road, not far from Bow and Old Ford, is the disused Jewish Cemetery, formerly belonging to the Great German Synagogue in Duke's Place. Here are buried nearly all the members of the Jewish religion who have been connected with the City and the East End of London. Among them lies Baron Nathan Rothschild, the great millionaire, and head of the wellknown banking and financial house which bears his name. He died in 1836, and his funeral was perhaps the most imposing ever witnessed in these districts. This cemetery was closed in 1858, on the opening of the new Jewish Cemetery near Stratford New Town, as mentioned above. The burial-grounds for Jews are mostly laid out and planted in a manner similar to other cemeteries. Formerly their burial-place was "outside the City Wall, at Leyrestowe, without Cripelgate."
In this neighbourhood—at South Grove, Mile End—is the Cemetery of the City of London and Tower Hamlets Company. It occupies about thirty acres of ground, north of Bow Common, and is skirted on the south-east side by a branch of the Great Eastern Railway, on its way from Stepney Station to Bow Road and Stratford. The cemetery, which is altogether a dreary place, now holds the remains of many thousands of persons, mostly of the poorer classes, many of whom occupy nameless graves.
It now only remains to remind our readers that in the course of the present volume we have endeavoured to act as their guides over a far larger extent of ground than that which we traversed in all our previous volumes. We have lounged in their company about the old mansions of Chelsea and Kensington; we have wandered with them through the green fields of Bayswater and Paddington, of Marylebone and the Regent's Park; we have climbed with them the "northern heights" of Hampstead and Highgate Hills; and lastly, we have reconnoitred the northern outskirts of Dalston and Hackney, Stoke Newington and Tottenham; and roamed hand in hand with them the pleasant meadows that fringe the river Lea. Here we must leave our readers for a time, purposing in the following volume to take them through quite another tract of country, not romantic in its outward features, but full of historic interest, on the south bank of the Thames, feeling assured that but scanty justice will have been done to "London, Old and New," unless we include in our perambulations both Southwark and Lambeth, Bermondsey and Deptford, Kennington and Walworth, Wandsworth and Putney, Fulham and Hammersmith; in each, and all of which, once rural villages, though now large and populous towns and busy "hives of industry," we shall studiously endeavour so to blend the present with the past as to avoid, and, if possible, to escape the risk of proving ourselves dull and profitless companions.