LONDON, the metropolis of the United Kingdom, the seat of government, and the principal port
of the empire, forming a
city and county of itself,
situated on the banks of the
river Thames, about 60 miles
from its mouth, in 51° 31'
(N. Lat.) and 5' (W. Lon.)
from the meridian of Greenwich observatory, 395 miles
(S.) from Edinburgh, and
339 (S. E.) from Dublin. It contains, with some of the
adjoining parishes, which may be considered as forming
part of the metropolis, 1,873,676 inhabitants, of whom
54,626 are in the city Within the Walls, 70,382 in the
city Without the Walls, 98,098 in the borough of Southwark, and 222,053 in the city of Westminster. The
following is a list of the subjects comprised in the
article, with the page in which each division occurs:—
|Royal Palaces, and Houses of Parliament
|The Parks, Squares, &c.
|Bridges and Tunnel
|Theatres and Places of Amusement
|Docks, Canals, and Railways
|Public Buildings connected with Commerce
|Municipality, and Legal Jurisdiction; Civic Buildings
|Courts of Law, &c.
|Prisons and Police
|Inns of Court
|Government Offices and other Public Edifices
|Parishes and Benefices, with Statistics
|St. Paul's Cathedral, Parochial Churches, &c.
|Westminster Abbey, and other Ecclesiastical Structures without the city proper
|Colleges and Schools
|Literary, Philosophical, and other Learned and Scientific Societies
It may be observed, that further particulars respecting the
Metropolis can be found by reference to articles, in other portions of the
work, on such districts as Chelsea, Mary-le-bone, St. Pancras,
Clerkenwell, Islington, St. Luke's, Whitechapel, St. George's-in-the-East, Bermondsey, Lambeth, &c.
The earliest notice that we find of London, is in
Julius Cæsar's account of his two exploratory expeditions from Gaul to Britain. It is identified with the
Civitas Trinobantum, or "city of the Trinobantes," by
which people it was probably selected on account of its
peculiarly fine situation, being protected on the north by
an eminence, a forest, and a morass; on the west, by
the deep ravine named the Fleet; on the east, by another
ravine, since called Wal-brook; and on the south, by
the Thames, connected with extensive marshes, sheltered by the Kent and Surrey hills; thus combining,
with other advantages, all the natural defences that
could be desired by an uncivilized people. At a very
early period it was considered peculiarly eligible as a
seat of commerce, its proximity to the sea being sufficient to afford the full advantage of the tide, whilst the
distance was great enough to furnish a perfect security
against any sudden attack from the naval force of an
enemy. The name Londinium is, according to the prevailing opinion, a Latinization of the British compound
Llyn-din, "the town on the lake;" the vast estuary
formed by the Thames here, at the time, being a peculiarity attached to no other British town. Lun-dun, "the
town in the grove," and Llhong-din, "the city of ships,"
the next two most probable etymons, are liable to insuperable objections; the former name expressing a
feature said by Cæsar to have been common to all
British towns, which he describes as fortified woods;
and the latter being inapplicable before the place became known as a naval station. The Saxons called it
Lunden-Ceaster, the affix of which, like the affixes wick
and byrg or byrig, occasionally used by them, appears to
have been dropped at the time of the conquest of England by the Normans.
The first event on record respecting London is its destruction by Boadicea, queen of the Iceni, in the reign of
Nero, in the year 60. Its progress since the time of
Cæsar had been so rapid, that Tacitus describes it, at
this period, as "the chief residence of merchants, and
the great mart of trade;" though not then dignified, like
Camalodunum (Maldon, or Colchester), and Verulamium
(St. Alban's), with the name of a colony; nor, as it
appears, fortified in the Roman manner. A few years
afterwards, the Romans made it a permanent station,
subject to the authority of their own laws. It is agreed
to have been surrounded by a wall in the fourth century; and according to Dr. Stukeley, the Roman city
occupied an oblong, extending in length from Ludgate
to Wal-brook, and in breadth from Maiden-lane, Ladlane, and Cateaton-street, to the Thames. This space
was between the river Fleta, on the west, and the stream
called Wal-brook, on the east, and comprised about
one-fifth of the area subsequently surrounded by a wall,
the height of which, when perfect, was twenty-two feet,
throughout its whole circuit. The wall commenced at
the Palatine tower, proceeded in a straight line along
the eminence of Ludgate-hill, as far as Newgate, and
was then suddenly carried eastward to a spot a little
beyond Aldersgate, running thence straight in a northern direction, almost as far as Cripplegate, from which
spot it returned, in a direct eastern course, as far as
Bishopsgate, where a large remnant of the wall, called
"London Wall," remained standing until the removal
of Bethlehem hospital. From Bishopsgate the wall
assumed a gentle curvature to the Tower, over the site
of which it originally passed; and probably finished in
a castellum at this, as it did at the western, extremity.
Another wall skirted the river, and ran the whole length
of Thames-street. Fifteen towers and bastions, of
Roman masonry, increased the strength of these fortifications, to which, in after times, was added a broad deep
ditch; and at Barbican stood the Specula, or Watchtower, so named. Four gates afforded entrance from
the great military roads which then intersected South
Britain. The Prætorian way, improved from the British
Watling-street, passed under one of those gates, at the
spot where Alders-gate formerly stood, whence it proceeded along the Watling-street to Billingsgate, and
thence continued, on the opposite bank of the Thames,
to its southern termination at Dovor. The Erminstreet led from a trajectus, or ferry, which crossed from
Stoney-street, Southwark, to Dowgate; and, passing by
Bishopsgate, pursued the course of the present road
northwards to Ad Fines (Braughing). Another road
passed through Newgate, by Holborn and Oxford-street,
to Ad Pontes (Staines); with a branch road, in a northeastern direction, by Portpool-lane, Clerkenwell, Oldstreet, and Hackney, to Duroleiton, the modern Layton,
in Essex. The gates of Bishopsgate, Moorgate, Ludgate, &c., were added as new roads were formed: Temple Bar is modern, not having been built until 1670,
after the great fire.
The city continued to improve under the Romans,
and had greatly increased in importance before the year
211, when we find it recorded as "a great and wealthy
place, illustrious for the vast number of merchants who
resorted to it, for its widely-extended commerce, and
for the abundance of every species of commodity it
could supply." Antoninus, at this period, makes seven
of his fifteen itinera terminate here, and its early importance is further evinced by its having been a municipium, or free city, and the residence of the Vicars of
Britain, under the Roman emperors. In the year 359,
not less than 800 vessels are said to have been employed
in the exportation from London of corn alone, and its
commerce is stated to have increased proportionally,
until the end of the fourth century. On the abandonment of Britain by the Romans, a new and fierce race
succeeded to their dominions. The warlike Saxons,
under their leaders Hengist and Horsa, landed in 448,
at Upwines fleet, the present Ebbs-flete, in the Isle of
Thanet. The Britons, however, remained masters of
London for at least nine years after that event; as,
being defeated in 457 at Creccanford, now Crayford,
they evacuated Kent, and fled to the capital. On Hengist's death, in 488, having then been for some time in
the possession of the Saxons, it was retaken by Ambrosius, and retained by the Britons during a considerable
part of the following century. In the year 604, it seems
to have recovered from the ravages of the invaders, so
that the Venerable Bede terms it "a princely mart
town;" and its chief magistrate was called portgrave,
London was the chief town of the Saxon kingdom of
Essex, and, on the conversion of the East Saxons to
Christianity, became a bishopric: Sebert was the first
Christian king of Essex; and his maternal uncle, Ethelbert, King of Kent, founded here, about the commencement of the seventh century, a church dedicated to St.
Paul, of which Melitus was consecrated the first bishop.
In the years 764, 788, and 801, the capital suffered
severely from fires; and in 849, the Danes entered
the Thames with 250 ships, plundered and burnt the
city, and massacred the inhabitants. In a similar
attempt with an increased naval force, two years afterwards, the invaders were completely defeated by Ethelwulph and his son Ethelbald; yet London suffered more
from these two assaults than it had ever done before.
Under Egbert, though not the seat of government, it
was advancing fast in importance; a wittena-gemot
being held here in 833, to consult on the means of
repelling the Danes. Alfred restored the city, which he
constituted the capital of all England; but he had the
mortification, in 893, to see it almost entirely reduced to
ashes by an accidental fire, which raged with the more
uncontrollable fury as the houses were almost wholly built
of wood. It was a second time rebuilt, and, for its better
government, divided by Alfred into wards and precincts;
that monarch also instituted the office of sheriff in
London, as in other parts of the kingdom. In 925,
Athelstan had a palace here, and appointed eight mints
for the coinage of money. In the year 1015, Canute
the Dane, with his fleet, sailed up the Thames and besieged the city; but he was repulsed, and after having
blockaded it, and made several unsuccessful attempts, a
compromise was effected between the two kings, Edmund Ironside and Canute, whereby London was conceded to the latter. The comparative opulence of the
city, at this time, is evinced by its having paid a seventh
part of the tax levied on the whole nation by Canute,
the total amount of which was £72,000. In a wittenagemot at Oxford, to determine the succession after the
death of this monarch, we find the "pilots of London"
summoned, thereby meaning its magistrates, or leading
men. Edward the Confessor granted to London the
Court of Hustings, and by his charter, in which the city
is called Troy-novant, gave it pre-eminence over all his
other cities; he moreover confirmed its right of manumission of slaves who had resided in it a year and a
day, from which is deduced the custom of calling the
city "The King's Free Chamber."
On the invasion of England by William the Norman,
the magistrates of London, in conjunction with the prelates and nobility, invited him to accept the title of
king, and he was crowned at Westminster. In return,
that prince granted to the city two charters, confirming
the whole of the privileges it had enjoyed under the
Saxon kings, and adding several others. The government at this time appears to have been vested in the
bishop and a portreeve. In the year 1077, another fire
having destroyed a great part of the city, with St. Paul's
cathedral, Maurice, Bishop of London, laid the foundation of a new church, on a more extended scale than the
former. That part of the city which had been destroyed
by the fire was soon rebuilt more magnificently than
before; and the White Tower, now forming a portion of
the Tower of London, was erected by William in 1078.
Domesday book contains no notice of London, owing, it
is supposed, to a separate survey having been made of it,
which is now lost; but it mentions, as part of the
suburbs, a vineyard in Holborn, in the possession of the
crown, and ten acres of land, near Bishopsgate, belonging to the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's: the latter is
the present manor of Norton-Falgate. In 1090, a tremendous hurricane overthrew about six hundred houses,
with several churches, and damaged the Tower, which
last was repaired, and strengthened with additional
works, by William Rufus, who in 1097 also founded
Westminster Hall. Henry I., as a reward for the ready
submission of the men of London to his usurped authothority, bestowed upon the city the first charter in
which its privileges were circumstantially detailed;
amongst these was the perpetual shrievalty of Middlesex, which enabled the citizens to unite the power of the
two shrievalties in freemen of their own nomination.
The standard of weights and measures was granted about
the same time; and the charter further stipulated, that
the city should have all its ancient privileges, as well by
land as by water. In the first year of the reign of
Stephen, another fire, beginning near London stone,
consumed all the houses eastward to Aldgate, and westward to St. Paul's, together with London bridge, which
was then of wood. This occasioned, in 1192, an order
to the mayor and aldermen, that "all houses hereafter
erected in the city, or liberties thereof, should be built
of stone, with party walls of the same, and covered
either with slate or tiles, to prevent the recurrence of
fires, which had been occasioned by the houses being
built of wood, and thatched with straw, or reeds;" but
this order does not appear to have been extensively
carried into effect.
Of the state of London at this early period, an admirable picture is afforded in the description by FitzStephen, a contemporary monk, who informs us that
the city was strongly walled and fortified; that it
abounded with churches, convents, and public buildings;
carried on an extensive commerce with distant parts of
the world; and had a large disposable military force.
The chief improvement during the reign of Henry II.
was the foundation, in 1176, of a new bridge of stone,
which was completed in 1209. The year 1189 is memorable in the metropolitan annals for the cruel massacre
of the Jews, which took place at the coronation of
Richard I. In 1210, King John empowered "the
barons of London," as they are styled, to choose their
mayor annually, or continue him from year to year at
pleasure; in 1252 a by-law was made, ordaining that
no one should be mayor longer than one year. In 1212
occurred a destructive fire, by which, according to Stowe,
3000 persons perished. The Town ditch, surrounding
the city walls, was commenced in 1214, and after several
hundred persons had been employed upon it for upwards
of two years, was completed in 1218. In 1215, the
citizens, taking part with the barons against King John,
opened their gates to Louis the Dauphin and his army.
In the same year a great fire happened, which began in
Southwark, and extended to London bridge, where it
destroyed 3000 persons, whose escape was prevented by
another fire breaking out at the Middlesex end of the
The increase of buildings in the metropolis, from the
reign of Henry I. to the period last named, kept pace
with the extension of its municipal privileges. In this
interval, of little more than a century, twelve large monasteries were founded in London and its suburbs, including the magnificent establishments of the Knights
Templars and the Knights Hospitallers, the superb priory
of the Holy Trinity in Aldgate, the prior of which was
an alderman of London, and others of nearly equal magnitude. Several additional gates were also erected, in
consequence of the formation of new roads; as well as
magnificent mansions built by the wealthy citizens, such
as Gerard's Hall, Basing Hall, the Ledyn Porch, &c.;
and various parochial churches rebuilt on a more substantial scale. In consequence of the extensive foundations above-mentioned, and the increased number of
private houses, in the reign of Henry III., the supply of
water furnished from Old-bourne (Holborn), Wal-brook,
and Ley-bourne, was found insufficient, and a new supply
was obtained from the springs in the village of Tyburn;
in 1285, a conduit in Cheapside was first supplied with
this water, by leaden pipes. The fee-farm of Queenhythe had, previously to this period, been purchased
from Richard, Earl of Cornwall, by the corporation,
subject to an annual quit-rent of £50; thus affording
additional facilities for the increased commerce of the
metropolis. In 1258, a dreadful famine was experienced,
from the high price of corn; and 20,000 persons are
said to have died of hunger. In 1262, a considerable
part of West-cheap was reduced to ashes by a fire caused
by some unknown incendiaries. In 1266 the Earl of
Gloucester, in rebellion against Henry III., entered the
city with an army, and built bulwarks, cut trenches,
and made other defences.
In the year 1296, in the reign of Edward I., the wards
of London, first formed by Alfred, but uncertain as to
their number, were extended to twenty-four, with each a
presiding alderman, and common-councilmen appointed
to be chosen annually, as at present, for the several precincts: a common seal was also granted to the city.
Edward III., who began his reign in 1327, decreed that
the mayor should be one of the judges of Oyer and Terminer, or gaol delivery of Newgate; that the citizens
should not be compelled to go to war out of the city;
and moreover that the liberties and franchises of the
city should not, after this time, on any pretext, be taken
into the king's hands: he also granted that the mayor
should be the only escheator within the city. In 1338,
the serjeants of the mayor and sheriffs were empowered
to bear maces of silver gilt, with the king's arms engraven on them; in 1340, tolls were imposed for paving
the streets. In 1348 a great plague occurred; and in
the course of the same year, Sir Walter Manny founded
the Charter-House, near Smithfield, with Pardon churchyard adjoining, to be a place of burial for such as died
of the plague. In 1354 it was ordained that the aldermen, who had been hitherto changed yearly, should
not be removed without some especial cause. In 1380
occurred Wat Tyler's rebellion, when William Walworth,
mayor, was knighted in the field, together with several
aldermen, for their gallant behaviour; and the dagger is
said to have been added to the city arms on account of
Walworth having killed the rebel Tyler in Smithfield
with that weapon. In 1406, London was afflicted with
another great plague, which swept away upwards of
30,000 people. In 1416, Sir Henry Barton, mayor,
ordained that lanterns, with lights, should be hung out
on winter evenings, between Hallowtide and Candlemas;
and in the following year this custom was general. In
1417, a new guildhall was built on the site of the present edifice, in lieu of a mean cottage, formerly occupied
as such, in Aldermanbury; and in 1419 Leadenhall was
erected as a public granary. The supply of water being
found insufficient, in 1443 pipes were laid from Paddington. In 1449, the Kentish rebel, Jack Cade, made
his entry into London.
About the year 1460 occurs the earliest notice of the
use of brick in the buildings of London; this material
was first made in Moorfields, and afterwards gradually
superseded wood. New conduits, and cisterns for water,
were also constructed. In 1469, the Tower being delivered to the mayor and his brethren the aldermen,
they set at liberty King Henry VI., who was confined
there. Under Richard III. and Henry VII., various
additions were made to the royal palace at Westminster;
and the latter monarch, besides founding his magnificent chapel at the abbey adjoining, rebuilt Baynard's
Castle in Thames-street. In the thirteenth year of his
reign, several gardens in Finsbury were destroyed, and
formed into a field for archers; whence the origin of the
present Artillery Company. During this reign, also, the
river Fleet was made navigable, Houndsditch was arched
over, and many less works of utility or ornament were
completed. Henry VIII. continued the improvements
of the metropolis; in his reign the police was better
regulated, many nuisances were removed, the streets
and avenues were mended and paved, and various
regulations were carried into effect for supplying the
metropolis with provisions sufficient to answer the demands of its increasing population. The greatest alteration made in the aspect of the city, in this reign, was
effected in the year 1535, by the dissolution of religious
houses, of which upwards of twenty had been founded
between the reign of Edward I. and the period of suppression, besides those before mentioned, amounting in
all to fifty-four monasteries, exclusively of minor institutions. The religious establishments, usually occupying
large plots of ground, now gave way to the erection of
schools, hospitals, manufactories, noblemen's mansions,
and other edifices. Two royal palaces, St. James' and
Bridewell, were among the splendid structures erected
by Henry VIII.; and to the same monarch is to be
attributed a considerable part of the buildings in New
Palace Yard, Westminster, and at Whitehall, particularly
the Cock-pit, and the fine gateway by Holbein, which
formerly stood at the latter palace; as also the laying
out of St. James' Park. Until the Reformation, the
government of Westminster had been vested solely in
its abbot, but in the settlement of that great revolution
it was placed first in the hands of a bishop, and subsequently in those of the Dean of Westminster, in whom
it still, in some degree, continues. Near this period,
notwithstanding a recent revival of commerce, and the
enlargement of the metropolis, it is stated that there
were not above four merchant vessels exceeding 120
tons burthen in the river Thames; and afterwards it is
observed, in a letter from a London merchant to Sir
William Cecil, that there was "not a city in Europe,
having the occupying that London had, that was so
slenderly provided with ships:" yet a spirit of enterprise
was then very general among our merchants. By an
act in the seventh of Edward VI., for the general regulation of taverns and public-houses, it was directed that
there should be only forty in the city and liberties of
London, and three in Westminster. In this reign also,
Southwark was annexed to London, and constituted a
twenty-sixth ward, under the name of "Bridge ward
The commencement of Elizabeth's reign was distinguished by the building of the Royal Exchange, and
various other works of public utility. In 1580, from
the great increase of the city, that queen prohibited the
erection of any new buildings within three miles of the
city gates, and ordained that only one family should
inhabit each house; while another proclamation, in 1583,
commanded that no new building should be erected
within three miles of London and Westminster, that
one dwelling-house should not be converted into two or
more, and that the commons within three miles of
London should not be inclosed. At this period, notwithstanding the danger that was anticipated by increasing the size of the metropolis, contemporary plans
show that the greater part of London was contained
within the walls; and even in those narrow limits there
were numerous gardens, upon the sites of which have
since been formed lanes, courts, and alleys. On the
whole of the space now constituting the parishes of St.
Margaret, Westminster; St. Martin-in-the-Fields; St.
Paul, Covent Garden; St. Anne, Soho; St. Giles-in-theFields; St. George, Bloomsbury; and even including
the extensive parish of St. Mary-le-bone, there were not
at that time 2000 houses. All the north side of the city,
continuing through Clerkenwell, as far as Shoreditch
church, was very thinly scattered with dwellings. The
whole of Spitalfields, Goodman's-fields, Bethnal-green,
and Stepney and Limehouse fields, were, as their names
import, open spaces of ground, having here and there
groups of cottages and gardens; and on the Surrey side
of the river, with the exception of the borough of
Southwark, Bermondsey, and part of Lambeth parish
next to the Thames, the entire space was devoid of
buildings. In 1594, the Thames water was first conveyed into houses, by means of an engine of a pyramidal
form, erected at Broken wharf, to which succeeded the
"London-Bridge Water-Works;" and in 1613, that
great work of public benefit, the New River, which was
projected and executed by Sir Hugh Myddelton, was
brought to its head at Clerkenwell, from Amwell, in
Hertfordshire. In 1616, the sides of the principal
streets, which had before been laid with pebbles, were
paved with broad stones and flags.
Building continued to advance after the death of Elizabeth; and we find that most part of Spitalfields, and
about 320 acres to the south and south-east of it, were
then covered with houses. James I., alarmed at this
rapid growth of the metropolis, issued his proclamation,
in 1618, against the erection of new buildings; but the
suburbs, notwithstanding, had greatly increased in 1640,
especially towards the west, in the parishes of St. Gilesin-the-Fields, and St. Paul, Covent Garden. In 1643,
Cheapside cross was demolished, by the authority of
the common-council, as a relic of superstition, thus
increasing unintentionally the width and accommodation of a great central thoroughfare. Another attempt
was made, during the Protectorate, in 1656, to prevent
the enlargement of the metropolis; for which purpose,
all houses built since the year 1620, within ten miles of
it, were taxed, and fines were imposed on those persons
who raised new buildings within that distance. About
1661, many streets, on the site of St. James' parish, were
built or finished, particularly St. James' street, Pall-Mall,
and Piccadilly; other thoroughfares were ordered to be
widened; and candles, or lights in lanterns, were to be
hung out by the occupier of every house fronting the
street, between Michaelmas and Lady-day, from nightfall until nine o'clock, when it was presumed that people
retired to bed. The dreadful plague, in 1665, put a
temporary stop to the increase of the metropolis. This
infection was generally thought to have been brought
from Holland, about the close of the year 1664, and
made its appearance in the neighbourhood of Drurylane: 68,596 persons are calculated to have perished in
the course of the year 1665, during which, London was
so far deserted by its inhabitants, that grass grew in the
The great Fire of London, the most terrible conflagration that the metropolis ever suffered, succeeded "the
Plague year," as it is emphatically styled: it broke out
on Sunday, the 2nd of September, 1666, at the house of a
baker in Pudding-lane, Thames-street. The houses
being for the most part of wood, with projecting stories,
the uppermost of which, from the narrowness of the
streets, almost touched each other, and a strong easterly
wind blowing at the time, the fire spread rapidly and
continued raging until Thursday, when it was nearly
extinguished; having destroyed 13,200 houses and
89 churches, the venerable Cathedral of St. Paul, the
greater part of the corporation halls, London bridge, and
other public edifices, covering an extent of 436 acres of
ground. The value of the property involved in the destruction was estimated at upwards of £10,000,000. To
perpetuate the remembrance of the melancholy event,
"The Monument," on Fish-street-hill, was erected by
order of parliament; it was commenced in 1671, and
finished in 1677, from a design by Sir Christopher Wren.
In rebuilding the city, many improvements were effected:
the streets, which were before so narrow that, according
to Sir William Davenant's facetious remark, "they
seemed to have been contrived in the days of wheelbarrows," were widened; conduits and other obstructions were removed, and the buildings in general were
constructed on a more substantial and regular plan. An
increased number of houses, amounting to nearly 4000,
was gained, by building on the sites of the gardens
belonging to the halls and merchants' residences; and
although the noble plans of Wren and Evelyn, for
rebuilding the metropolis, were rejected, it arose, on the
whole, with augmented splendour. Many houses in
Southwark having been destroyed by an extensive fire,
in 1676, an act was passed for rebuilding them of brick
instead of wood.
In 1685, the population in Spitalfields and St. Giles'
was much increased by the settlement of French Protestant manufacturers, who had left their native country
in consequence of the revocation of the edict of Nantes;
and in the same year, the western suburbs growing in
importance, the two parishes of St. Anne, Soho, and St.
James, were formed, out of the parish of St. Martin inthe-Fields. In 1689, the district called the Seven Dials
was built, on a spot named Cock and Pye Fields. From
the great increase of the commerce and shipping of
London, the suburbs to the east of the Tower had
become so populous in 1694 that a new parish was constituted by the name of St. John's, Wapping. Sohosquare and Golden-square were built at the close of the
century. At this time, also, what was called the Penny
Post had its origin, a proof of the enlargement of the
capital; and the number of hackney-coaches, which in
Cromwell's time was limited to 300, had increased to
900, exclusively of 200 sedan-chairs. Shortly after, in the
reign of Queen Anne, 50 new churches were erected in
the metropolis and its vicinity. In 1722, the Chelsea
Water-Works' Company was established, for supplying
the city of Westminster and the western suburbs with
water. A few years subsequently, Hanover-square, Cavendish-square, with the streets adjacent, and Bedfordrow, Red Lion-square, Hatton Garden, &c., were built:
the streets from Leicester-square and St. Martin's lane
to the Haymarket and Soho, and thence nearly to
Knightsbridge, were finished in the reign of George II.;
and in 1729, the north side of Oxford-street was partly
built, with many streets near it. In 1730, the hamlet
of Spitalfields was so populous, in consequence of the
prosperity of the silk manufacture, as to make it necessary to form it into a distinct parish, which received
the name of Christ-Church; and about the same period
the parishes of St. George-in-the-East, St. Anne (Limehouse), and St. Matthew (Bethnal-green), were separated
The improvements in the construction of the buildings, and in the local regulations of the metropolis,
during the reign of George III., were considerable.
About the year 1760, most of the city gates were pulled
down. In 1762, an act was passed to remove the shop
signs, which, projecting from almost every house into
the middle of the street, materially obstructed the light
and air; at the same time the water-spouts, which projected in like manner, were taken down, and the names
of the streets were ordered to be affixed at the corners
of each. In the mode of erecting dwelling-houses, many
salutary alterations were effected by the Building act.
In 1768, commissioners were appointed by act of parliament for paving, lighting, and watching the streets,
and for regulating the stands of hackney-coaches; and
in 1774, an act was passed for placing fire-cocks in the
water-pipes, with conspicuous notices of their distances
and situations, and for keeping fire-engines and ladders
in every parish. About 1795, in pursuance of a legislative enactment authorizing a lottery for the purpose,
called "The City Lottery," Snow-hill, and the western
side of Temple Bar, were materially widened and improved; several companies were established about the
same period for supplying the metropolis with water,
and others subsequently for lighting the streets and
shops with gas.
London is eminently fortunate in being situated upon
rising ground, and on a river of ample extent. The
Thames, flowing through the town, is agitated twice in
twenty-four hours, by a tide which ascends fifteen miles
above it; and, by its winding in this part of its course,
greatly contributes not only to the embellishment, but
to the healthful ventilation, of the metropolis. It is
crossed by five magnificent bridges of stone, a bridge of
cast-iron, and a foot-bridge on the suspension principle;
its mean breadth here is about 400 yards, and were the
noble plans that have been proposed for embanking it,
and forming quays and terraces along its sides, carried
into effect, this important adjunct to the salubrity, and
to the commerce, of London, would present an appearance truly splendid, enhanced by the beauty of adequate
approaches. Occupying a gentle slope on the north
side of the river, with a level tract on the southern
bank, the city is surrounded on every side, for nearly
twenty miles, by thickly-scattered villages and seats.
The streets are regularly paved, having a central carriage
way, and a foot-path on each side; the pavement of the
former is chiefly composed of square blocks of granite,
and the latter is laid with large flags. Some, however,
of the wider streets in the western part of the metropolis are macadamized, and a few thoroughfares are
paved with wood, which, however, is not in so much
favour as when first laid down. Almost the whole of
the houses are of brick; the larger edifices are built of
stone, or covered with stucco resembling it.
Strictly speaking, the city of London is still confined
within its ancient bounds, and the limits of the corporate jurisdiction; but as a continuity of buildings has
connected it with Westminster, Southwark, and the
neighbouring villages and hamlets, the name is, in common usage, given to them all collectively, their respective proper names being no more than subdivisions of
one great metropolis. In this general view, London
may be said to consist of several divisions; one of which,
The City, properly so called, comprehends the most ancient and central part of London, and is almost exclusively occupied by shops, warehouses, counting-houses,
and public offices devoted to business. The East End of
the Town includes Wapping, Shadwell, Ratcliffe-highway,
&c., extending from Tower-hill, eastward, to the East
India Docks. This part has within the last half century
assumed an importance unknown to preceding ages,
vast commercial docks and warehouses having been
constructed; the inhabitants, consisting of shipwrights,
ship-owners, and captains of vessels, pilots, sailors, shopkeepers, and others, are generally connected with the
shipping interests, and are supported by the business of
the port. The West End, the most modern and elegant
part of London, is inhabited by the nobility and gentry,
is the seat of Government, the residence of the court,
and the centre of fashion; and consists principally of
handsome squares and streets, which may be said to
extend westward from the meridian of Charing Cross.
Lastly, there is Southwark, on the south bank of the
Thames, comprehending five parishes, connected with
others by extensive ranges of houses, and chiefly inhabited by merchants, traders, and manufacturers; it
had formerly only one main street, called the Borough
High-street, leading from London bridge towards Newington, but the buildings now stretch in various directions, and form a town several miles in extent. That
part of the metropolis on the north-west, the latest enlargement, and the most systematic in its arrangement,
comprehends an immense mass of buildings, between
Holborn and Somers-town, and in the parishes of St.
Mary-le-bone and Paddington. Besides these, the towns
or villages of Chelsea, Knightsbridge, Paddington, Camden-town, Pentonville, Islington, Mile-End, Limehouse,
Rotherhithe, Bermondsey, Newington, Camberwell,
Lambeth, &c., may be considered as appendages to this
Thus regarded, the extent of London, from west to
east, along the banks of the Thames, or from the upper
end of Knightsbridge to the lower end of Poplar, is
seven miles and a half; and its breadth from north to
south, or from Islington to Kennington, about five miles
and a half: its circumference is full thirty miles, and
hence it may be fairly estimated, that the buildings of
the metropolis cover at least twenty square miles. The
town north of the Thames is traversed, in the direction
of east and west, by two principal ranges of streets,
which may be termed the great southern and northern
lines, forming under various names, a communication
from one end to the other. The streets running north
and south, which connect the above-mentioned lines,
are comparatively short, as are also those from the
southern line to the river. Those from the northern
line towards the New-road are longer; but with the
exception of Tottenham-Court-road and its continuation
to Camden-town, St. John's street to the extremity of
Islington, Bishopsgate-street, Shoreditch, and some
others, they are all of moderate length.
The beauty of the environs is greatly enhanced by a
chain of hills to the north of the town, forming an
amphitheatre, of which Hampstead, Highgate, and
Muswell hills are the most prominent features. On
the east and west are extensive plains, stretching twenty
miles in each direction, along the banks of the Thames,
and forming a most fertile, populous, and interesting
valley: those which lie eastward of the city feed numerous herds of cattle, while those westward are chiefly
employed in the production of fruit and vegetables for
the supply of the London market. That part of the
metropolis which is south of the Thames occupies a flat
surface, bounded by a landscape beautifully varied from
west to east by the heights of Richmond, Wimbledon,
Epsom, Norwood, and Blackheath; the view terminating
with Leith hill, Box hill, the Reigate hills, the Wrotham
hills, and Shooter's hill. On every side, the approaches
are spacious and kept in admirable order, and, like the
town, lighted with gas. Country houses of opulent
merchants and tradesmen, or mansions of the nobility
and gentry, standing detached and surrounded by plantations, or arranged together in successive handsome
rows, are every where to be seen, in the vicinity of these
roads; together with numerous villages, some of which
imitate the commercial activity of the heart of the
The increase of London, since the commencement
of the present century, is visible on all sides, especially
on the western and northern, where the buildings in the
parishes of Paddington, St. Mary-le-bone, Bloomsbury,
and St. Pancras, have been amazingly extended, by the
formation of streets, squares, and places, for the most
part after elegant designs. In the same quarter of the
town, the Regent's Park has been laid out, and surrounded with stately ranges of brick buildings stuccoed
so as to resemble stone. A great number of excellent
residences have been completed on the space behind
Gower-street, formerly called the Long-Fields, and these
again are adjoined eastward by the new church of St.
Pancras, and the elegant streets in its neighbourhood.
Proceeding further towards the east, we perceive the
village of Islington to have joined the city on one side,
and St. Pancras on the other, and to have stretched
itself over the White Conduit fields (celebrated amongst
our early places of amusement) to the hamlet of Holloway, and through that link to Highgate and Hornsey.
In the parishes of Shoreditch, Hackney, Stratford-le-Bow,
&c., the extent of building has every where immensely
increased; and at the direct eastern extremity of London are the East and West India, the London, and the
St. Katherine's docks. Upon the Southwark side of the
Thames is Newington, with the streets adjacent to it,
connecting Camberwell and Kennington with Southwark. On viewing the surface of Rotherhithe, Bermondsey, Walworth, Camberwell, Kennington, and
Lambeth, all on the south side of London, much ground
is yet occupied as fields or gardens; but these parishes
may be said, notwithstanding, to form an immense connected town in many places, and are again joined to
Deptford and Greenwich, on the east; and to Peckham,
Stockwell, Clapham, Battersea, &c., on the south and
south-west. In that part of Pimlico called the Five
Fields the late Marquess of Westminster erected several
beautiful squares and uniform lines of streets, on what
was formerly waste ground; constituting one of the
most handsome metropolitan improvements. Further
additions are now in progress, between Pimlico and the
river Thames, under the direction of Mr. Cubitt, whose
plan includes the formation of a road to Vauxhall bridge,
the inclosing and planting of Eccleston-square, and the
erection of a considerable number of streets.
The advantageous alterations in the western part of
the metropolis include the widening of the Strand, &c.;
the elegant buildings on the site of Carlton House and
Gardens; the erections and embellishments in the vicinity of Whitehall; the laying out of St. James' Park,
and various changes and buildings in the interior of, and
at the entrances to, Hyde Park; the mass of new streets
and mansions on the north side of Pimlico; and many
additions to the buildings of the Regent's Park and its
neighbourhood, as well as on the intermediate space
connecting Westminster with St. Mary-le-bone, formed
by the fine line of Regent-street, and the streets and
places branching from it. One of the most important
improvements recently effected in the city, is the formation of a line of street from London bridge to the Mansion House, and by the side of the latter, northward, to
Moorfields; and a corresponding change has been
wrought in the character of the buildings of the vicinity,
which are now of uniform architecture.
Within the last few years, several club-houses have
been erected, of exceedingly handsome design; that
styled the Oxford and Cambridge Universities' Clubhouse is especially worthy of notice, as are also the
Army and Navy Club-house, the Conservative Clubhouse, and the Reform Club-house, which last has been
much admired for the great convenience of its arrangements. Crosby Hall, the Temple Church, the College
of Surgeons, in Lincoln's-Inn Fields, the Treasury buildings, the Carlton Club-house, and other structures, have
been restored or remodelled. Of other buildings of
recent date, contributing to the adornment of the metropolis, may be named, Goldsmiths' Hall, in the rear of
the General Post Office; Fishmongers' Hall; the London and Westminster Bank, Lothbury; the Globe, Sun,
Alliance, and other insurance offices; the Hall of Commerce, Threadneedle-street; and the Royal Exchange;
all in the city. Among the buildings in other parts are,
the Palace of Westminster, the British Museum, the new
Hall and Library of Lincoln's Inn, and the terminus of
the London and Birmingham railway, Euston-square.
It may be observed that a new feature has been bestowed
upon some parts of the environs, by the formation of
cemeteries, laid out with much taste, and ornamented
with appropriate buildings; and that in the east of
the metropolis, a park named the Victoria has been inclosed. But to particularize all the various improvements of recent years would far exceed the limits of this
article: their number and consequence may be inferred
from the circumstance that not less than 80 new churches
have been erected by the Commissioners appointed under
act of parliament, and from the Bishop of London's fund;
nearly all having districts allotted to them, many of
which already contain a vast population. So numerous,
indeed, are the improvements constantly being carried
into effect, that scarcely a month passes in which there
is not brought forward some plan of elegant embellishment, of public or private utility, or of civil or commercial advantage. In size, population, and wealth; in the
extent, grandeur, and number of its religious edifices, its
public establishments, its charitable institutions, its
docks, and bridges; in the elegance of its squares, and
the commodiousness of its habitations, the superiority of
the metropolis is manifest.
Royal Palaces, and Houses of Parliament.
St. James' Palace is an ancient building, which, though
irregular in its parts, and with an appearance far from
imposing, is said, from its great extent and the number of
fine apartments it contains, to be the best adapted for
royal parade of any in Europe. It derives its name from
the hospital of St. James, a religious foundation acquired
by Henry VIII., who, in 1532, gave lands in Suffolk in
exchange for its site, and then erected a manor-house,
part of which, consisting of the presence chamber and
the north gateway, is preserved in the present structure.
The mansion did not, however, fully become a royal residence till the time of William III., and the period during
which it has been inhabited by royalty comprises only
the reigns of that monarch, Queen Anne, and the two
first Georges; George III. and his successors have held
their courts here, but their domestic residence has been
elsewhere. Buckingham Palace occupies the site of old
Buckingham House, so named because it was erected
(in 1703) by John Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham, on a
piece of ground which had been a place of public entertainment called the Mulberry Gardens. Buckingham
House was purchased as a residence for queen Charlotte
in 1761, by a grant from parliament of £21,000. The
present palace, which is an enlargement or rebuilding of
the former mansion, was commenced in 1825, under the
superintendence of Mr. Nash, on whose death in 1835
the completion of the design was entrusted to Mr. Blore.
When the extensive additions now in progress are carried
out, about a million sterling will have been spent upon
the palace. The situation of the building has obtained
more praise than the building itself. In front lies St.
James's Park, with its lake and islands: on the left are
the superb classic mansions of Lord Spencer and the
Duke of Sutherland, and the other fine buildings which
face the Green Park; while on the right is Westminster
Abbey; with the Horse Guards, Treasury, and Admiralty, in perspective.
The Lords' and Commons' Houses of Parliament,
which were destroyed by a fire that broke out on the
evening of the 16th of October, 1834, occupied parts of
the old palace of Westminster, and, though possessing a
certain degree of splendour, were chiefly venerable for
their age and the purposes to which they were appropriated. The House of Lords was a large oblong room,
originally the Court of Requests, and was fitted up for
its recent purpose on the union with Ireland, when the
fine tapestry of the previous House of Lords, representing the defeat of the Spanish Armada, was removed
thither, and the apartment was otherwise handsomely
decorated: at the upper end of the room was the throne,
which had been renovated a few years before the fire, in
a style of great magnificence; and a new entrance had
a short time previously been added, with a superb staircase and gallery, by Mr. Soane. The House of Commons
was originally the chapel of St. Stephen, out of which it
was formed chiefly by raising a floor above the pavement, and adding an inner roof, considerably below the
ancient one. Upon the destruction of these two interesting edifices, and prior to their re-erection on a scale
of appropriate magnificence, preparations were made for
the temporary accommodation of the Lords and Commons, by fitting up the library of the old House of
Lords, which had escaped the effects of the conflagration,
for the former, and by roofing anew and otherwise adapting the old House of Lords for the latter.
The buildings of the Palace of Westminster now
in course of erection, after the designs, and under the
superintendence, of Charles Barry, will form an extensive range in the later English style, extending southward from the end of Westminster bridge along the west
bank of the Thames, from which a considerable portion
of the site has been gained by embankment. The river
front is nearly 900 feet in length, and of singularly rich
design: at the south-west corner of the building will be
the Victoria Tower, 346 feet high, occupying an area of
100 square feet, and forming the royal entrance. The
plan of the interior is exceedingly simple and beautiful.
From the Central Hall, an octagon 70 feet in diameter,
a corridor on the north leads to the Commons' lobby
and house; while another on the south conducts to the
Peers' lobby and house, and, still further to the south,
the Victoria Hall, the Royal Gallery (a noble apartment
108 feet long, 45 feet wide, and 45 feet high, to be filled
with paintings and sculpture), and the queen's Robingroom, communicating with the royal staircase and Victoria Tower. On the west of the Central Hall is St.
Stephen's Hall, built on the site of the chapel of St.
Stephen; communicating, by noble flights of steps, with
Westminster Hall, and constituting an approach of
singular magnificence. The buildings fronting the river
comprise the libraries of the two houses, the conference
room, and numerous committee-rooms, with the Speaker's
residence at the north end, and that for the usher of the
black rod at the southern extremity. The west portion
of the Palace also contains a number of parliamentary
offices, and in other parts are halls and rooms admirably
arranged, perfecting the accommodations of this splendid
pile, which altogether covers an area of nine acres, and
has eleven open courts. The portion consisting of the
House of Lords was first occupied by the peers in the
spring of 1847. This gorgeous apartment is 91 feet
long: it is of Riga wainscot, richly carved; and its throne
of solid oak elaborately carved and highly gilded, its
stained-glass windows, emblazoned ceiling, and other
fittings up of exquisite workmanship, present very satisfactory evidence of the advance which the arts have
made in this country within the last few years.
The Parks, Squares, &c.
St. James's Park, so called from the palace of the same
name, contains about 200 acres, of which the central
part is laid out in a pleasing manner, varied with water,
shrubberies, and intersecting gravel-walks, while the
sides are adorned with several avenues of stately trees.
Its eastern extremity is occupied by the Horse Guards,
the Treasury, and other government offices, which have
a noble appearance; the ground plot of the entire park
is oblong, and nearly two miles in circuit. The Green
Park is a triangular piece of ground lying south of the
western part of Piccadilly, and adjoining St. James's Park
and the Gardens of Buckingham House. On its north
side is a large basin, with a promenade round it; near
which was, till lately, the Ranger's house, embowered in
a fine plantation, now thrown open, adding to the beauty
of the prospect. Hyde Park, which stretches from the
western extremity of the metropolis to Kensington
Gardens, and contains about 400 acres, is a spot of great
rural beauty, the drives round it forming one of the
chief recreations of the fashionable; it is adorned, in the
lower part, by a winding sheet of water, called the Serpentine river. The entrances have been much improved
within the last few years: at the Piccadilly opening is a
handsome screen of the Ionic order, consisting of three
arches, united by an open colonnade, with two side
arches; facing which is an arched gateway (an imitation
of the arch of Severus at Rome) leading to Buckingham
Palace. Kensington Gardens are beautiful and extensive
pleasure-grounds, attached to the palace at Kensington,
and were formerly part of Hyde Park; they are open to
all respectable persons, and form one of the most delightful promenades in the metropolis during the months of
summer. The Regent's Park formed on the site of what
was Mary-le-bone fields, and containing about 450 acres,
for the magnificence of the buildings by which it is surrounded, and the picturesque style in which it is laid
out, indisputably excels the others, and will do so in a
still greater degree as the trees with which it is planted
approach maturity. Victoria Park, for the establishment
of which parliament lately voted £100,000, occupies about
290 acres, on the banks of the Regent's canal, at the east
end of London: it is as yet only in its infancy, but already
forms a very striking improvement to the neighbourhood.
The residences of the nobility, though formerly scattered over the whole town, and particulary along the
northern bank of the Thames, from the Temple to
Whitehall, are now almost exclusively confined to the
western portion of it; and such of the higher class as
have not detached mansions, reside in spacious structures,
in finely-formed squares and streets. Belgrave-square,
one of the most distinguished ornaments of the metropolis, is 684 feet long and 617 broad; the houses are
large and uniform, and adorned with Corinthian columns.
Grosvenor-square has a finely-planted area of six acres
surrounded by splendid houses. It derives its name
from having been erected by Sir Richard Grosvenor,
Bart., and constitutes part of the Marquess of Westminster's immense estates in this vicinity. Russell-square
is of extraordinary size; the buildings are elegant, and
the centre forms a perfect miniature landscape-garden,
laid out with every regard to taste and variety. St.
James's square is small, but inhabited by some of the
principal nobility: George III. was born in one of the
mansions. Leicester-square formerly possessed a degree
of fashionable attraction which it has now lost; having
included Leicester and Saville Houses, the former the
residence of Frederick, Prince of Wales, father of
George III., and the latter that of the celebrated Sir
George Saville. Lincoln's Inn Fields, also, was inhabited by the first nobility, at the time that Newcastle
House, one of the largest mansions which it comprises,
was the residence of the Duke of Newcastle, prime
minister to George II. The area of this square is exceedingly spacious, and beautifully planted: the whole
of its western side is composed of the masterly erections
of Inigo Jones, amongst which is the building formerly
called Lindsey and afterwards Ancaster House. Among
the other chief squares, are, Portman, Berkeley, Hanover,
Manchester, Cavendish, Bedford, Montagu, Bryanston,
and Trafalgar squares; all of which contain large and
elegant houses. The fashionable neighbourhood of Pimlico contains several new squares, besides Belgravesquare noticed above; and to the north of Hyde Park,
towards Paddington, are some handsome squares, also
of very recent erection.
Portland Place was, some years since, almost the only
street that in point of width, length, and the uniform
grandeur and elegance of its buildings, would have been
deemed worthy of especial notice. But the construction
in 1820 and following years of the line of street extending northwards from the site of Carlton House, under
the names of Waterloo place, the Quadrant, and Regentstreet, and communicating with Portland-place by means
of Langham-place, forms a new era in our domestic architecture; and for vast length, width, and uniform elegance,
this immense range of buildings, as a whole, is not exceeded by any in Europe. Carlton-terrace, built on the
site of Carlton House, corresponds in beauty of style with
the avenue last named; and eastward of the fine street
called Pall-Mall an opening has been formed, to obtain
a view of the noble portico of St. Martin's church.
Beyond this church, on the north side of the Strand, to
Exeter Change, eastward, the Strand improvements have
been made, which impart to the whole neighbourhood a
character of magnificence that it did not in any degree
Bridges and Tunnel.
The bridges which unite the southern with the northern part of the metropolis are remarkable for their
architecture, magnitude, and solidity.
London Bridge, begun March 15th, 1824, and completed Aug. 1st, 1831, under the superintendence of
Mr. Rennie, at a cost of £506,000 exclusively of the
expense of approaches, and of removing the old bridge,
is an elegant and substantial edifice of Haytor granite,
928 feet long, and, within the abutments, 782 feet;
with five noble arches, of which the centre has a span
of 152 feet, and the four others one of about 135. The
approaches at each end are carried over arches, and
communicate with spacious streets; that on the Surrey
bank of the river, from exposing to view the whole of
St. Saviour's church, possesses some grandeur. The old
bridge was founded in 1176, and originally supported
a street of houses, with a chapel, entrance gateways,
&c., which remained with various alterations till 1756,
when the whole of the buildings were cleared away.
Southwark Bridge is a magnificent structure of castiron, with stone piers and abutments, designed by Mr.
Rennie; and consists of three arches, of which the central rises 24 feet, with a span of 240 feet, and each
of the side arches is 210 feet in the span. The whole
was completed in March, 1819, at an expense, including
the approaches, of £800,000; being one of the most
stupendous works of the kind ever formed of such materials. Many of the solid castings weigh ten tons each,
and the total weight of the iron employed is about 5780
tons. The abutments are laid in radiating courses, with
large blocks of Bramley Fall and Whitby stones.
Blackfriars Bridge was named at the time of its
foundation, "Pitt's bridge," as a testimony of the respect
entertained by the citizens of London for the character
and talents of that eminent statesman, William Pitt,
Earl of Chatham, whose name was accordingly inscribed
on a plate laid under the foundation stone. The first
stone was laid by the lord mayor, Sir Thomas Chitty,
on the 31st October, 1760; and in 1770 the work was
completed, at an expense of £160,000, which was defrayed
by a toll for several years. The bridge has nine elliptical arches; the span of the central arch is 100 feet, the
arches on each side decreasing gradually towards the
shores, being respectively 98, 93, 83, and 70 feet wide,
leaving a clear water way of 788 feet.
Waterloo Bridge, which is longer than any of the
preceding bridges, affords a fine level passage across the
river, and, from the beauty and simplicity of the design,
and its stability, is calculated to remain a monument of
architectural skill down to remote ages. The original
projector was Mr. George Dodd, but in consequence of
a misunderstanding between him and the company, the
execution of the work devolved on Mr. Rennie; it was
commenced in 1811, and completed in 1817, at an
expense, including the approaches, much exceeding
£1,000,000 sterling. The bridge consists of nine elliptical arches, each of 120 feet span, and 35 feet elevation;
it is 42 feet broad, being of the same width as Blackfriars bridge, and its length is 1242 feet.
Westminster Bridge, built between the years 1739 and
1750, at a cost of £389,500, is 1223 feet long, and 44
wide, and consists of thirteen large, and two small, semicircular arches, with fourteen intermediate piers and
abutments: on its top were, till lately, 28 semi-octagonal
recesses, twelve of which were covered by demi-cupolas.
The two middle piers contain each 3000 solid feet, or
200 tons of Portland stone. The central arch is 76 feet
wide; the others diminish in width by 4 feet equally on
each side, and the two smaller ones close in shore are
each about 25 feet wide. At the period of its erection
this bridge was esteemed one of the noblest structures
of the kind in the world; its architect was M. Labylie,
an ingenious native of Switzerland: but, although not a
century old, like that of Blackfriars it exhibits evident
marks of decay, from the decomposition of the stone.
Some necessary repairs having been effected, the bridge
was re-opened at Christmas, 1846.
Vauxhall Bridge, commenced in 1813, and completed
in 1826, at an expense exceeding £300,000, is a light
and elegant structure, consisting of nine arches of cast
iron, each of 78 feet span, having between 11 and 12 feet
rise, and resting on rusticated stone piers laid with
Roman cement; the whole length is 809 feet. This
bridge, like those of Southwark and Waterloo, was
erected by an incorporated company of shareholders,
who are authorised to levy a toll.
The Charing-Cross Suspension Foot Bridge, completed
in 1844, originated in the increased traffic between the
opposite shores of the Thames, occasioned by the erection
of Hungerford Market and the steam-packet piers on
the north side. This elegant structure, which is after a
design by I. K. Brunel, Esq., F.R.S., is about 14 feet
wide, and 1342 feet 6 in. long, extending from Hungerford stairs to the Belvidere-road, Lambeth: of this length,
676 ft. 6 in. form the central span, between the two
piers. The piers are 55 feet in height above the footpath, and 84 above high water, and form two handsome
towers in the Italian style, with the chains passing
through the attic of each; at the abutments, on each
side of the river, the chains are secured in huge masses
of granite. The cost of the masonry was, by contract,
£60,000; of the iron work, which exceeds 700 tons in
weight, £17,000; of the approaches, £13,000; and the
entire expense has been estimated at £102,254.
The Thames Tunnel is one of the most remarkable
works in the country. The idea of forming a subway
under the bed of the Thames, to connect Rotherhithe
with the opposite shore at Old Gravel-lane, Wapping,
which had been abandoned after a fruitless attempt in
1809, was revived on a more extended scale, by Mr.
Brunel, now Sir I. M. Brunel, Knt., in 1824; and the
sum of £200,000 having been raised by transferable
shares of £50 each, the work was commenced in March,
1825. The undertaking was checked, however, by
several accidents: after the tunnel had been completed
to the extent of 400 feet, it was filled with water by an
irruption of the river, in 1827, and again in 1828; and
Sir I. Brunel's attempt, like that of his predecessor, was,
after a great expenditure of money, and the loss of
several lives, discontinued in the latter year, and thought
to be entirely relinquished. The works remained for
more than seven years in a state of suspense; but after
clearing the tunnel of the water, the structure of the
double archway was found to be perfectly sound; the
operations were consequently resumed, and the whole of
the tunnel, which is 1200 feet in length, was completed
at an expense of £446,000, and opened to the public,
for foot passengers, on the 25th of March, 1843. The
tunnel consists of two arcades, forming distinct ways
for going and returning, and each containing a roadway
and footway, lighted by gas. The form of the arcade is
cylindrical, and from its base to the level of the river at
high water, the height is 75 feet.
Besides the monuments and statues erected in the interiors of churches and other buildings, and which are
noticed in other parts of the article, London is remarkable for its many out-door statues. The oldest of these
is the figure of Queen Elizabeth, formerly at Ludgate, but
now placed in front of St. Dunstan's church, Fleet-street;
a performance not remarkable as a work of art, but of
considerable interest as a piece of antiquity. At CharingCross, on the spot where Edward I. raised one of his
many crosses in memory of Eleanor, stands the noble
equestrian statue of Charles I., cast by Le Sueur, in 1633,
condemned by the parliament during the civil war, but
adroitly preserved by a common brazier, and erected on
its present site in 1674. The four statues at Temple Bar,
sculptured by John Bushnell, were erected in or about
the year 1672, and represent James I., the two Charleses,
and, it is thought, Anne of Denmark. Of James II.
there is a bronze standing statue behind Whitehall,
executed, according to Walpole, by Grinlin Gibbons; it
is a work of much interest, and possesses great ease of
attitude. Another statue by Gibbons, in the square of
Chelsea Hospital, represents Charles II. in the dress of
a Roman emperor.
In St. James's square is a bronze equestrian statue of
William III., by the younger Bacon, erected in 1808.
Queen Anne is commemorated at the west end of St. Paul's,
also in Queen-square, Westminster, and Queen-square,
Bloomsbury; and there are two equestrian statues of
George I., one of them, the gift in 1726 of Sir Richard
Grosvenor, forming the centre ornament of the green in
Grosvenor-square; and the other, purchased at the sale
at Canons, decorating the centre of Leicester-square.
Golden-square contains a standing statue of George II.
The statue of Sir Hans Sloane, in the Physic garden,
Chelsea, was the work of Rysbrack: that of Edward VI.
before St. Thomas's Hospital, and that of Guy before
Guy's Hospital, were by Scheemaker, a statuary of
Rysbrack's rank and period. In Cavendish-square is a
statue of the Duke of Cumberland, the hero of Culloden,
raised by Lieut.-Gen. Strode in 1770, and to which Sir
Joshua Reynolds refers in his Tenth Discourse, as "an
equestrian statue in a modern dress, sufficient to deter
future artists from any such attempt." The quadrangle
of Somerset House contains a noble statue of George III.,
on a pedestal, at the foot of which is an emblematic cast
of the Thames; the whole executed in bronze, by the
elder Bacon, in 1788. A second statue of this monarch,
by Wyatt, wholly devoid of dignity, was placed in Cockspur-street in 1836. Of George IV. there is an equestrian statue at the north-east end of Trafalgar-square;
it was originally intended for the triumphal arch before
Buckingham palace, and occupied Sir Francis Chantrey
ten years: the price was 9000 guineas. A good statue
of William IV., by S. Nixon, has been placed at the junction of Gracechurch-street and King William street, on
the exact site of the famous Boar's Head, Eastcheap.
It is a standing figure, upwards of 14 feet in height, with
a lofty columnar pedestal; is of Devonshire granite;
and cost £2200, paid by the corporation.
The Duke of Wellington has been honoured by the
erection of three statues: the first, the Achilles in Hyde
Park, by Westmacott, was raised in 1822. The equestrian statue in front of the Exchange, inaugurated June
18th, 1844, was begun by Chantrey, and completed by his
assistant, Mr. Weekes; it is 14 feet high, and stands on
a pedestal of equal height: the cost was £9000, exclusively of the metal, which was given by government.
The third is the remarkable colossal statue, also equestrian, executed by Wyatt, and placed on the top of the
arched gateway at Constitution-hill in Sept. 1846. This
work, which occupied the artist more than six years,
and cost £30,000, is about thirty feet in height, and
weighs forty tons; it is executed in gun-metal supplied
from the Ordnance at Woolwich. The Nelson monument,
Trafalgar-square, is a fluted granite column, surmounted
by a Corinthian capital, on which a statue by E. H.
Baily, 18 feet high, is placed, making the total height
176 feet. The other statues are, a standing statue of
Francis, Duke of Bedford, in Russell-square, by Westmacott, erected in 1809, and a sitting figure of Charles James
Fox, in Bloomsbury-square, erected in 1816, and by the
same sculptor; a statue of the Duke of Kent, by Gahagan,
at the top of Portland-place, raised in 1820; a figure of
Major Cartwright, by Mr. Clarke, of Birmingham, in
Burton-crescent; a fine pedestrian statue of Pitt, in
Hanover-square, 12 feet high, and for which Chantrey
received £7000; another, of the same height, of Canning
in Palace-yard, for which Westmacott received a like
sum; and a colossal bronze statue of the Duke of York,
also by Westmacott, which was placed on the top of the
column in Waterloo-place in 1836. At a public meeting held in the summer of 1847, it was resolved to erect
a monument to Caxton, in the city of Westminster.
The Italian Opera House, a magnificent edifice, situated at the lower end of the Haymarket, on the western
side, is appropriated exclusively to the performance of
Italian operas, and ballets. The edifice was burnt down
in 1790, soon after which it was rebuilt, though not externally completed till 1818, from a design by Mr. Nash.
It is of brick cased with stucco, and is surrounded by a
colonnade supported on cast-iron pillars of the Doric
order; the front is decorated with figures in bas-relief,
representing the origin and progress of music, executed
in 1821: the boxes, of which there are five tiers, will
accommodate about 900 persons, and the pit and gallery
about 800 each. Drury Lane Theatre had its origin in a
cock-pit, which was converted into a place of theatrical
entertainment, and pulled down and rebuilt, under the
name of the Phœnix, in the reign of James I. A patent for
dramatic performances having been granted to Killigrew
by Charles II., a new theatre was erected on the site of
the present structure; and the actors having belonged
to the king's household, their successors at the theatre
have ever since been styled "His Majesty's Servants."
The theatre was burnt in 1671, and rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren, but was displaced in 1793 by one much
larger from a design by Holland, which, however, was
destroyed by fire in 1809; the present edifice was
erected in 1811, under the superintendence of Mr. B.
Wyatt. The portico, supporting a statue of Shakspeare,
was added in 1820; and a new colonnade, along the side
extending from Bridges-street to Drury-lane, was erected
in 1832. The interior was rebuilt in 1822, on a scale of
great splendour. Covent Garden Theatre was established
by Sir W. D'Avenant, who received a patent in 1662,
under which successive companies acted at the theatre in
Lincoln's-Inn Fields, until the erection in 1733 of the
original theatre in Covent Garden, the destruction of
which, by fire, in 1808, led to the erection of the present
magnificent structure, which was opened Sept. 18th,
1809. It is of the Doric order, in imitation of the Temple
of Minerva in the Acropolis at Athens, and was built
from a design by Mr. Smirke, jun., at an expense of
£150,000. Important alterations were made, and the
whole theatre was elegantly re-embellished, in the early
part of 1847, with a view to the performances of the
new Italian operatic company.
The Haymarket Theatre was erected originally in 1702,
and the present edifice was built from a design by Mr.
Nash, and opened in 1821; it is licensed for the performance of regular dramas, and is principally open
during the summer. The St. James's Theatre was erected
from the designs of Mr. Beazley, for Braham, the eminent vocallst, and was opened on the 14th December,
1835: the design failing, the building is now let to Mr.
Mitchell, who has a first-rate company here in the
spring and summer, for the performance of French
plays. The Adelphi Theatre, opposite Adam-street,
Strand, was originally opened in 1806 by Mr. Scott, a
colour-maker in the neighbourhood, under the title of
the Sans Pareil, but in 1820 passed into other hands:
the front was rebuilt in 1840. The Lyceum Theatre,
New Wellington-street, Strand, was opened in July
1834, and presents a pleasing elevation of the Corinthian order, consisting of a portico of six columns, extending over the pavement. The Olympic Theatre, Wychstreet, conveniently situated about midway between the
city and the west-end, was built by Mr. Astley in 1806,
as a place of exhibition, during the winter season, for
equestrian performances and rope-dancing; it was afterwards purchased by Elliston, and appropriated to stageperformances only. The Princess's Theatre, in Oxfordstreet, erected from designs by Mr. T. Marsh Nelson, in
1840, is an elegant structure of the horse-shoe form,
decorated by French artists, and having annexed to it
one of the largest concert-rooms in London. The Royal
Amphitheatre, near Westminster Bridge, which is preeminently distinguished for equestrian exhibitions, was
opened about 1767, by Mr. Astley, as a riding-school,
and converted into a regular theatre in 1780, burnt
down in 1794, again in 1803, and a third time on the
8th June, 1841, when Mr. Ducrow's loss was estimated
at £10,000. The present commodious structure was
erected by Mr. Batty, and is capable of accommodating
4000 persons. The Surrey Theatre, Blackfriars-road,
formerly the Royal Circus, was first opened in 1781; it
was destroyed by fire in 1805, and was soon after rebuilt from a design by Signor Cabanel. When under
the management of Elliston, this theatre occupied a
high position, which it lost upon that actor's death.
The Victoria Theatre, Waterloo-road, was also designed
by Signor Cabanel, and was opened in 1818; it will
contain 2000 persons. The Strand Theatre, near Somerset House, is a minor establishment upon a very small
scale, opened in 1832. Among the several other theatres
is that of Sadler's Wells, in St. John street road, erected
in 1765, and so called from some wells anciently situated there, and from a person who in 1643 opened a
place of entertainment in the neighbourhood.
Of the higher class of amusement are the nobility's
balls, held at Willis' rooms, King-street, St. James',
commonly called Almack's, from the name of their former proprietor; where also, and at Hanover-square
rooms and other places, concerts are given. Oratorios
are likewise performed at certain periods, the present
age being distinguished, above all others in England, for
the patronage bestowed upon the science of music; and
there are various other miscellaneous public performances; but they are so multifarious and changeable, as
to preclude a particular description.
The business of London has three principal branches.
The traffic of the port, with the foreign trade and domestic wholesale business; the manufactures; and the retail
trade. In 1268, the half-year's customs for foreign
merchandise in the city were only £75. 6. 10.: in 1331,
they amounted to £8000. In 1354, the duty on goods
imported was only £580, and on exports, £81,624. In
1641, just before the commencement of the civil war,
the customs yielded £500,000 per annum, the effect of a
long series of peaceful days; and from the year 1671
to 1688 they were, on an average, £555,752. In 1709,
they had increased to £2,319,320; and in the year
ending April, 1799, they amounted to £3,711,126: the
gross sum now annually collected is about eleven millions. The astonishing increase in the extent of commercial intercourse of late years may be inferred from
the fact, that about 3000 ships, of the total burthen of
600,000 tons, manned by 33,000 sailors, now belong to
the port: the barges and other small craft, employed in
shipping and unlading, are not fewer than between 3000
and 4000; numerous barges and other craft are engaged in the inland trade, and there are vast numbers of
steam-boats and wherries for passengers. About 8000
watermen are employed in navigating the wherries and
craft, 4000 labourers in lading and unlading ships, and
several thousand revenue officers are constantly doing
duty on the river. The entire tonnage at the East and
West India docks, for 1845, was 330,503 tons; at the
London dock, 273,795; and at St. Katherine's, 157,191;
making a total of 774,489 tons. The scene of this great
traffic occupies a space more than four miles in length
(reaching from London bridge to Deptford) and from
400 to 500 yards in average breadth; and may be described as consisting of four divisions, three of them
called the Upper, Middle, and Lower pools, and the
fourth comprising the space between Limehouse and
London has long been celebrated for its manufactures, as well as its commerce. In the reign of Henry I.,
the English goldsmiths had become so eminent for
working the precious metals, as to be frequently employed by foreign princes; and the perfection of various
other manufactures at this period appears both from
history and antique remains. The manufacturers were,
in that reign, sufficiently numerous to form fraternities,
or companies, some of which have ceased to exist, some
have declined, as the Cappers, Bowyers, Fletchers, &c.,
while others still flourish, and are much increased in the
number of their members, in the extent of their property and patronage, and in general importance. In
1556, a manufactory for the finer sorts of glass was
established in Crutched Friars; and flint-glass, not
exceeded by that of Venice, was made at the same time
at the Savoy. About five years afterwards, the manufacture of knit-stockings was introduced, through the
ingenuity of William Rider, an apprentice on London
bridge, who, happening to see a pair from Mantua, at
the house of an Italian, made another pair exactly
similar to them, which he presented to William, Earl of
Pembroke. The manufacture of knives was shortly
after begun by Thomas Matthews, of Fleet bridge, and
has since eclipsed that source of employment at Sheffield, where it was much earlier established. Silk-wove
stockings were first made from the invention of Lee, a
student at Oxford, in the time of Elizabeth, whose reign
forms so splendid an era in the commercial and trading
history of the metropolis. Coaches were introduced in
1564, and in less than twenty years they became an
extensive article of manufacture; in 1565 the manufacture of pins was begun, and soon after, that of needles.
The making of "earthen furnaces, earthen fire-pots, and
earthen ovens, transportable," began about the 16th
year of Elizabeth, an Englishman of the name of Dyer
having brought the art from Spain; and in 1579, the
same individual being sent to Persia at the expense of
the city of London, brought home the art of dyeing and
weaving carpets. In 1577, pocket-watches were imported from Nuremberg, in Germany, and the making
of them was almost immediately commenced. In the
reign of Charles I., saltpetre was made in such quantities
as not only to supply the whole of England, but the
greater part of the continent. The manufacture of silk,
as well as of various articles of plate, had also become
extensive. The printing of calicoes was commenced in
1676, and about the same year, weaving-looms were
brought from Holland. The other articles of manufacture, introduced or practised in the metropolis at this
time, are too numerous to particularize.
The silk manufacture, which, under its different modifications, now affords employment to so many thousands,
was first established at Spitalfields by the expelled French
Protestants, after the revocation of the edict of Nantes,
in 1685. Since that period the productions of London
have greatly increased, both in extent and value, in
articles of elegance and utility, such as cutlery, jewellery,
gold and silver ornaments, japan-ware, cut-glass, cabinet
work, &c.; as well as commodities requiring a great
mart for their consumption, export, or sale, as porter,
English wines, vinegar, refined sugar, soap, &c. In short,
the manufactures of London, as well as its commerce,
are vast and flourishing, many of the goods made here
surpassing in quality those of any other part of the
country; the coach-builders and harness-makers, who
are very numerous, far excel those of any other city in
the world. For the more scientific manufactures, also,
such as those of machinery, optical and mathematical
instruments, &c., London has always been celebrated.
Ship-building is carried on to a great extent.
Docks, Canals, and Railways.
Intimately connected with the commerce of the metropolis is the establishment of inclosed docks, which
were rendered necessary from the insecurity of property
on the river, and the daring plunder committed on it.
The West India Docks, which were the first constructed,
are situated on what may be called the isthmus of that
peninsular part of London named the Isle of Dogs, and
communicate with the Thames at Limehouse on the
west, and at Blackwall on the east. They were commenced in June, 1800, and finished in August, 1802;
and occupy, with the ground attached to them, an area
of 204 acres. The import dock is 2600 feet long, 510
broad, and 29 feet deep, and the export dock is of the
same dimensions, except in breadth; both are inclosed
by walls five feet thick, and surrounded by a series of
very lofty and extensive warehouses. Parallel with the
docks is a canal, which cost between £300,000 and
£400,000, to enable merchant vessels of any burthen to
avoid the circuitous navigation round the Isle of Dogs.
The East India Docks, commenced in 1804, and completed in 1806, are lower down the river, but at no
great distance from the former, and, like them, consist
of an import and an export dock, the former about 1400
feet long and 560 wide, and the latter 780 feet long and
520 wide; the depth of each is 30 feet, and the space
which they occupy is 28 acres. A basin was added to
the export dock in 1817. The London Dock covers 20
acres of ground, between Ratcliffe-highway and the
Thames, is capable of containing 200 sail of merchantmen, and may be appropriated to any branch of commerce; it was opened February 1st, 1805, and is surrounded, like the former, with immense warehouses,
beneath which are capacious cellars. A branch dock
was opened in 1828. St. Katherine's Docks, commenced
in 1825, and completed in 1829, afford a better mode of
ingress and egress than any of the other docks, as
vessels drawing 20 feet of water may be admitted from
two to three hours after high water, and small vessels
and lighters at all periods of the tide; the total outlay
attending their construction (including the purchase of
considerable property, capable of returning its price on
re-sale) amounted to £1,827,113.
Notwithstanding the numerous canals which intersect the interior of the kingdom, the inland navigation
to the metropolis is confined. The Paddington canal
was opened July 10th, 1800, and, leading from Paddington, after a short course unites with the Grand Junction
canal. The latter extends to the Oxford canal at
Braunston, in Northamptonshire, by which it is connected with the Coventry and Birmingham canal, the
Grank Trunk canal, &c.; thus forming a regular line of
water conveyance from London into Lancashire and Yorkshire. The Regent's canal, opened August 1st, 1820, connects the Paddington line with the Thames on the east or
mercantile side of the city, and, skirting the northern
suburbs, has occasioned a vast influx of trade, with its
accompanying warehouses, wharfs, &c., at Paddington,
Battle-Bridge, the City-road, and other places. Its
length is nine miles, within which space are comprised
twelve locks and thirty-seven bridges; the canal cost
upwards of half a million of money, and was seven years
in construction, under the superintendence of Mr. Nash.
On the south side of the river is the Grand Surrey canal,
which passes through the south-eastern suburbs, from
Camberwell to the Thames at the lower extremity of
The railways which have their termini on the northern side of the Thames, are, the Birmingham, completed
September 17th, 1838; the Blackwall, finished July 4th,
1840; the Great Western, leading to Bath and Bristol,
and also affording convenient access to South Wales
and the south-western counties of England, opened in
August, 1840; and the Eastern Counties, which divides at
Stratford, near London, into two branches, one leading
to Cambridge, opened July 1845, and the other to Colchester, in Essex, opened March 1843. The lines that
quit London on the southern side of the river are, the
Greenwich, a short line, opened December 26th, 1838;
the Croydon, which, leading southward to that town, was
opened June 1st, 1839, and was continued to the coast
of Sussex, at Brighton, September 21st, 1841, and more
lately to the coast of Kent, at Dovor; and the SouthWestern, running through Surrey and Hants to Southampton, and opening a communication with the sea in
that direction, finished May 11th, 1840. The last line
has a branch to Richmond, opened July 1846.
Public Buildings connected with Commerce.
The late Royal Exchange, situated on the north side
of Cornhill, was built in the reign of Charles II., from
the design of an architect named Jerman, in lieu of the
original Exchange, founded in 1566, by Sir Thomas
Gresham, an eminent merchant, nearly on the spot
where the ancient Tun prison stood, and at first named
Britain's Bourse, which was destroyed by the great fire
in 1666. The entire building, erected at an expense of
£80,000, occupied a quadrangular space, 203 feet long,
and 171 broad; the south and north fronts had lofty
central gateways, richly decorated with sculpture, and
stately piazzas. The galleries over the four sides of the
building, originally divided into 200 shops, were occupied by the Royal Exchange Assurance and other offices,
and by Lloyd's Coffee-house, celebrated as a place of
meeting for underwriters and insurance brokers. Above
the piazza which surrounded the quadrangular area in
the centre of the building, was an ornamented entablature, over which were twenty-four niches, nineteen of
them occupied by statues of the English sovereigns,
from Edward I. down to George III., excepting Edward
II., Richard II., Henry IV., and Richard III. This
noble building was consumed by a fire which broke out
in the night of the 10th of January, 1838; and a new
one has been completed on the same spot, for which a
wider space was made, by taking down many adjoining
The foundation stone of the new Exchange was laid by
His Royal Highness Prince Albert, Jan. 17th, 1842;
the building was contracted for at the sum of £115,900,
and was completed, from the design of Mr. Tite, and
opened by the Queen, Oct. 28th, 1844: the total cost
was £180,000, and the sum expended in the purchase
and demolition of the adjacent Bank-buildings and
other premises, £190,000. The form is an irregular
quadrangle, 293 feet in length, of which the eastern and
western fronts only are parallel, the former 175, and
the latter 90, feet in width. The west front is embellished with a portico of Corinthian columns, 41 feet in
height, supporting a pediment, enriched with entablature and cornice: the sculpture in the pediment is by
Westmacott. The north and south fronts are relieved
with series of pilasters of the same order, supporting an
entablature and cornice surmounted by a balustrade;
and in the centre of each of these fronts is a lofty
arched portal leading to the inner area, and surmounted
by an attic rising above the balustrade. The east front,
of similar design, is distinguished by a campanile turret,
rising above the central compartment to the height of
170 feet. The area of the Exchange, including the
surrounding piazza, is 170 feet in length, and 113 in
width, and the building above the piazza is appropriately
decorated: in the centre of the area is a statue of Her
Majesty, by Lough; and in other parts of the building
are statues of Prince Albert, Queen Elizabeth, Charles II.,
Whittington, Gresham, and Myddelton.
The Bank of England was commenced in 1732, when
the central part of the present building was erected on
the site of the house and garden of Sir John Houblon, the
first governor: the east wing was completed about the
year 1786; and the north front, and the side towards
Prince's-street, were added in 1825, when considerable
alterations and improvements were made throughout
the whole of the interior. The buildings are chiefly of
stone, and are included in an area of irregular quadrangular form, the exterior wall of which measures 365 feet
in front, 440 feet on the western side, 410 feet on the
northern side, and 245 feet on the eastern side; the area
comprises, together with the various buildings and
offices, eight open courts, with apartments stored with
bullion, coin, &c., under ground. Prior to the erection
of the present huge edifice, the business of this great
national corporation was transacted at Grocers' Hall, in
The Stock Exchange, situated in Capel-court, opposite
the eastern entrance to the Bank, was completed in
1804; and an additional building for the transfer of
foreign stock was subsequently erected. No persons can
transact business but such as are balloted for annually
by a committee; the number of Jew brokers is limited
to twelve, and these, before they are entitled to admission, must purchase a ticket of the lord mayor, which,
being sold to the highest bidder, generally costs from
£1200 to £1500, and is a perquisite of the chief magistrate.
The South Sea House is a substantial and handsome
building of brick, ornamented with Portland stone, with
a noble gateway entrance leading into a court having a
piazza: the company was incorporated in 1711, for an
exclusive trade to the South Seas.
The East India House, which ranks amongst the most
magnificent public structures in the city, may, in consequence of the important additions made to the old
building erected in 1726, be considered almost a new
edifice. It contains numerous apartments and offices,
of the former of which several are of large dimensions
and stately architecture, especially the grand court-room,
the new sale-room, the old sale-room, the rooms for the
committee of correspondence, the library, and the museum, all embellished with emblematical designs and
paintings, statues, portraits, &c. In consequence, however, of the company's charter for exclusive trading
having expired without a renewal, a great reduction has
taken place in the establishment.
The Custom House stands on the north bank of the
river, at a small distance westward of the Tower, having
been removed to its present situation after the destruction of the former edifice by fire in 1814: it was begun
in 1815, and occupies a great extent of ground, reaching from Billingsgate eastward, nearly to the site of the
old Custom House, being 489 feet long by 107 feet
wide, and erected at an expense of £167,050. It contains numerous apartments and offices appropriated to
the vast extent of business carried on, of which the
principal is the Long Room, 190 feet in length, 66 feet
in breadth, and about 55 feet in height; and the
vaults and store-cellars beneath the building are very
extensive. Attached to the establishment are about
650 clerks and officers, besides 1000 tide-waiters and
The Corn Exchange, for the disposal of all kinds of
grain through the medium of corn-factors, originally
consisted only of a handsome brick building, on the east
side of Mark-lane; but the vast increase of business requiring additional space, a new and commodious edifice
of stone was erected in 1828, adjoining the former. The
market is held on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, the
first being the principal day.
The Excise Office, in Broad-street, was erected in 1763,
when the business of the excise, established in 1643, and
at first carried on in the Old Jewry, was transferred
thither; the town business is here transacted by nine
commissioners, having under them numerous clerks and
The Commercial Hall, in Mincing-lane, built by subscription in 1811, for the sale of the various kinds of
colonial produce, contains five public sale-rooms, a large
coffee-room, several show-rooms, and numerous counting-houses let to merchants. The Hall of Commerce,
Threadneedle-street, is a very remarkable building,
erected from the designs of its proprietor, Mr. Moxhay,
at a cost of £60,000. Its object is, to concentrate under
one roof all matters relating to trade and commerce,
numerous apartments being provided for meetings, sales,
and arbitrations: the chief room is of admirable proportions, 130 feet long, 44 wide, and 50 high; the
subscribers' reading-room is also of large dimensions.
The Auction Mart, in Bartholomew-lane, opened in 1810,
principally for the sale of estates by public auction, is
built of Portland stone, and, though not very large, exhibits much lightness, and gracefulness of design.
The Trinity House, Tower Hill, was completed in 1795,
previously to which the company occupied a house in
Water-lane, near the Custom House. The corporation
received a charter from Henry VIII., in 1516, when the
English navy began to assume an ascendancy; and was
invested with extensive powers, which it still exercises
in full vigour, with a view to foster and protect the
shipping, both military and commercial. The members
examine those children in Christ's Hospital intended for
the sea service, also the masters of king's ships, appoint
pilots for the Thames, and settle the rate of pilotage,
erect lighthouses and landmarks, and grant licences to
poor seamen not free of the city to navigate on the
Thames; besides transacting a variety of other business connected with the river, and maritime affairs
The Post Office was completed in 1829, from the plans
of Sir Robert Smirke, under an act passed in 1815, a
great portion of the interval having been consumed in
the purchase and removal of the houses which were
crowded upon the site. It is an isolated structure, of
massive dimensions and handsome design, composed
externally of Portland stone, and is about 389 feet long,
130 broad; and 64 high, standing at the junction of the
street called St. Martin's-le-Grand with Newgate-street,
a more central and convenient situation than that which
the old building occupied in Lombard-street. The façade
towards St. Martin's-le-Grand exhibits the principal
architectural display, which is chiefly comprised in three
porticoes of the Ionic order, one at each end consisting
of four columns, and one in the centre of six, the latter
being surmounted by a pediment.
The markets held in different parts of the metropolis
amount to 16 flesh markets, and 25 for corn, hay, vegetables, &c. Smithfield has of late years been considerably
enlarged and improved, and is the grand mart for the
sale of live-stock, which takes place on Mondays and
Fridays, on which latter day is also a sale of horses:
upwards of 180,000 bullocks and 1,360,000 sheep are,
on an average, annually sold. Corent Garden market is
celebrated for its early and abundant supply of fruit,
vegetables, herbs, and flowers; the incommodious and
mean buildings which crowded the large area of the
market, were all taken down in 1829-30, and a new and
handsome market-place completed at the cost of the
Duke of Bedford, the proprietor. The old Fleet market
was removed by the corporation of the city, and a new
and spacious market-place called Farringdon Market constructed, which was opened in 1829, at an expense of
£80,000, exclusively of £200,000 laid out in the purchase
of houses previously occupying the site. Hungerford
Market was rebuilt in 1831-3 on an enlarged and exceedingly commodious plan, the expense being defrayed by
subscriptions on shares. London has at present only
one fair, well known by the name of Bartholomew Fair,
which is held in September in Smithfield, and, though
anciently famous for the sale of cloth and other commodities, has been latterly resorted to merely for amusement, and now scarcely exists but in name: it was
granted by Henry II. to the convent of St. Bartholomew.
Municipality, and Legal Jurisdiction.
The City of London, properly so called, consists of
that part anciently within the walls, together with the
Liberties, which immediately surround them; the extent
does not exceed 800 acres. The boundaries are known
by the Bars, which formerly consisted of posts and chains,
but are now marked by lofty stone obelisks bearing the
city arms, which may be seen eastward in Whitechapel,
the Minories, and Bishopsgate-street; northward in
Goswell-street, at the end of Fan-street, and in St.
John's street; and westward, at Middle-row, Holborn.
At the western end of Fleet-street the boundary is the
stone gateway called Temple Bar.
The whole is divided into 25 wards, exclusive of
Bridge ward Without, which comprehends the liberties
of the borough of Southwark, granted to the city in
1550, and constituted a distinct ward. The wards are
subdivided into several precincts, each of which returns
one common council-man; the total number of precincts
being two hundred and thirty-six. Aldersgate ward derived its name from the city gate called Aldersgate,
which has been thought by some antiquaries to have
taken that denomination from being the oldest gate, by
others from the alder-trees which anciently grew in the
marshy soil in the neighbourhood. Aldgate ward is denominated from the gate of the same name. Bassishaw
ward, the smallest in the city, contains only two precincts, and consists principally of one large street, called
Basinghall-street, the name of which is a corruption of
Basings haugh, or hall, a large mansion here, formerly
belonging to the family of Basing. Billingsgate ward,
situated on the side of the Thames, is divided into twelve
precincts. Bishopsgate ward took its name from the
gate which stood almost in the centre of it, between the
ends of Camomile-street and Wormwood-street, dividing
it into two parts, Within and Without. It has nine
precincts; five within, and four without, the gate. The
principal streets are Bishopsgate-street, and part of Fenchurch-street. The buildings in this ward are among
the most ancient in the metropolis; the great fire of
1666 not having extended far in this direction, and not
at all to that part of the ward situated without the gate.
Bread-street ward is nearly in the centre of the city, between the ward of Farringdon Within, and Cordwainers',
Queen-hythe, and Castle-Baynard wards. It takes its
name from the bread market formerly held on the present site of Bread-street, the bakers anciently not being
allowed to sell bread in their shops or houses, but only
in the open market. Bridge ward Within is so named
from its contiguity to London bridge, which, at the time
it had houses upon it, formed three precincts. Broadstreet ward is so denominated from a street in it which
obtained the name of Broad-street from being, before
the fire, one of the widest within the walls.
Candlewick ward took its name from Candlewick (now
Cannon) street, formerly much occupied by wax and
tallow chandlers. Castle-Baynard ward takes its name
from the ancient castle which stood on the site of the
present Carron wharf. The fortress was originally built
by William Baynard, a soldier of fortune who accompanied the Norman William in his invasion of England;
and afterwards passed into the hands of the Fitzwalters,
who make a prominent figure in the early history of
London, and who possessed, by virtue of this castellanship, the honour of being hereditary standard-bearers to
the city. The soke, or liberty, anciently attached to the
castle, forms the present ward. Cheap ward, situated in
the centre of the city, takes its name from the Saxon
word Chepe, signifying a market; the present Cheapside
having been anciently called "West Chepe," to distinguish it from another market called "East Chepe."
Before the street called Walbrook, which intersects this
ward, was covered in, barges were towed up it from the
Thames, as far as Bucklersbury. The standard, or cross,
in Chepe, is familiar to the readers of civic history as the
ancient place of execution within the city. Colemanstreet ward is so called from Coleman-street, the principal street in it, supposed to derive its name from a family
of the name of Coleman, who lie buried in St. Margaret's church, Lothbury, and who might have been the
builders, owners, or principal inhabitants of this part of
the city. Cordwainers' ward derives its name from Cordwainers'-street, now Bow-lane, which was a mart for
curriers, shoemakers, and others working in leather.
Cornhill ward is named from the principal street in it,
anciently the city market for corn; the precincts are
four. The extent of this ward is small, the principal
thoroughfare being Cornhill, which is a spacious street
of large well-built houses, and part of the great central
thoroughfare through the city. Cripplegate ward took
its name from the city gate called Cripplegate; it comprises two divisions, Cripplegate Within, and Cripplegate
Without, the walls. Dowgate ward is supposed by some
antiquaries to take its name from dwyr-gate, meaning in
the ancient British language Water-gate, which Stowe
considers to have been the trajectus, or ferry across the
Thames, in the line of the Watling-street.
Farringdon wards Within and Without were originally
but one ward, the aldermanry of which was purchased
by a family of the name. It was divided into two wards
in the 17th of Richard II. Farringdon Within comprehends that part of the city which lay immediately within
the walls, on the western side; Farringdon Without includes all that part which lay without the walls, as far
as Temple Bar. The former contains seventeen precincts, the latter sixteen; and the two wards include a
considerable number of the principal thoroughfares of
the town: viz., Ludgate-hill, Fleet-street, part of Cheapside, St. Paul's churchyard, Hatton Garden, Skinner
and Newgate streets, and West Smithfield; besides the
whole of Black and White Friars, St. Paul's cathedral,
Christ's hospital, and numerous other buildings, important places, and objects. Langbourn ward takes its name
from a brook that ran from Fenchurch-street to the
Thames: the stream spread so much near the head of
the spring, that the neighbourhood received from it the
name of "Fenny about;" and this circumstance is still
perpetuated in the name of Fenchurch-street. Limestreet ward is said to have received its name from the
making and selling of lime here; or, according to others,
from lime-trees having been anciently planted on the
spot. Though small, this ward includes parts of several
parishes. Portsoken ward takes its name from being
situated without the wall, or gate, of the city, the word
portsoken signifying the franchise ad Portam: it anciently
included a considerable part of the Tower liberties.
Queen-hythe ward takes its name from the harbour of
Queen-hythe, which was formerly a principal place of
loading and unloading goods, and was so called because
the customs payable there were assigned by King John
to his queen Eleanor, and to the queens of England who
should succeed her, for their private use. The ground,
for a considerable space around the harbour, formed a
soke, which was governed by the queen's bailiffs. In
the time of Henry III., however, it came into the hands
of Richard, Earl of Cornwall, who conveyed it, in return
for an annuity, to the Mayor and Corporation of London.
Tower ward is the first in the eastern part of the city
within the walls, and takes its name from its vicinity to
the Tower. Vintry ward comprises a space on the bank
of the Thames, where the merchants of Bordeaux bonded
and sold their wines. This spot was at the south end
of Three-Cranes-lane, so called from the cranes with
which the wine was landed; and at the north-eastern
corner of the lane, in Thames-street, opposite to Collegehill, stood a spacious and stately edifice, called the
Vintry, from its being appropriated to the stowage of
wine. Walbrook ward was so called from the brook
which intersected the city wall at Dowgate, and flowed
into the Thames.
Bridge ward Without, although so long annexed to
London, was never entirely incorporated with it, and is
wholly unrepresented in the common council; its civil
government is administered by a steward and a bailiff
appointed by the court of the lord mayor and aldermen.
The Surrey magistrates, notwithstanding the royal grants
to the city, retain the power of appointing constables
and licensing victuallers, and exercise other magisterial
authority within the limits of the ward. Whenever a
vacancy occurs in the office of alderman of it, it is customary for the lord mayor and aldermen to appoint
thereto the senior alderman, who then has the title of
"Father of the City," this nominal office being regarded
as an honourable sinecure, which relieves from the
fatigues of business. That portion of the borough of
Southwark without the city jurisdiction, is called the
Clink Liberty, and is under the Bishop of Winchester,
who appoints a steward and bailiff.
The entire civil government of London is vested
in its own corporation, or body of citizens, by successive
charters of the English sovereigns, confirmed for the
last time by a charter in the 23rd of George II. As then
settled, the corporation consists of the lord mayor, two
sheriffs for London and Middlesex conjointly, 26 aldermen, the common-councilmen of the several wards, and
the livery; assisted by a recorder, chamberlain, commonserjeant, comptroller, city remembrancer, town-clerk,
and various other officers.
The Lord Mayor is elected on Sept. 29th: the livery
in guildhall, or common assembly, choose two aldermen
by show of hands, who are presented to the Court of
Lord Mayor and Aldermen, by whom one of the aldermen so chosen, usually the senior, is declared mayor
elect; on the 9th of November following he enters on
his office. He is supreme magistrate of the city, and
has, since the reign of Edward III., borne the title of
"The Right Hon. the Lord Mayor." It is necessary
that the nominee should be free of one of the great city
companies, should have served the office of sheriff, and
be alderman at the time of election. The prerogatives
are of great extent and importance: as the immediate
representative of the sovereign, the mayor takes precedence of every other subject within the limits of the
city, and, in the event of the monarch's decease, becomes
the first officer in the realm, takes his seat at the privy
council board, and signs before all other subjects. According to a custom which has prevailed nearly 300
years, he sits every morning at the mansion-house, to
hear and determine causes of offence within the jurisdiction of the city. He is a perpetual coroner and escheator for London, the Liberties, and Southwark; chief
justice in all commissions for trial of felony and gaol
delivery; and judge of all courts of wardmote for the
election of aldermen. In other respects, he ordinarily
has authority all over the city and part of the suburbs:
as conservator of the Thames, his jurisdiction extends
eastward on the river as far as Yardale, or Yantlet, and
the mouth of the river Medway; and westward to Colne
ditch, above Staines bridge; and he is perpetual commissioner in all affairs relating to the river Lea. To the
lord mayor also belongs the ancient court of Hustings,
which preserves the laws, rights, franchises, and customs
of the city. He acts as chief butler at all coronations,
receiving a golden cup and ewer for his fee; and is first
commissioner of the lieutenancy.
The Aldermen are chosen for life, by the free householders of every ward, that of Bridge Without excepted,
to which the aldermen themselves elect. Those aldermen
who have filled the civic chair are justices of the quorum;
and all the other aldermen are justices of the peace
within the city. They are subordinate governors of their
respective wards, under the jurisdiction of the mayor,
and exercise an extensive power within their own districts. They hold courts of wardmote, for the election
of common-councilmen and other officers, the regulation
of the business of the ward, the removal of obstructions,
&c.; and are officially addressed by the title of "Your
Worship." The Common-councilmen, whose office is annual, and whose number, which formerly varied, is fixed
at 236, are chosen by the inhabitant householders, being
freemen, in the same manner as the aldermen, except
that the lord mayor presides at the election of an alderman, and the alderman at that of a common-councilman.
The election for each ward takes place on St. Thomas's
The representatives of the wards, with the lord mayor
and aldermen, constitute what is called the court of
Common Council, or "Three City Estates," the powers of
which are extensive. This court has the entire disposal
of the funds of the corporation, makes such by-laws as
are necessary for the regulation of its concerns, and
possesses the right of nomination to several of the subordinate city offices; it has the style of "Honourable."
The council cannot assemble without a summons from
the lord mayor, and then for one sitting only; but it is
his duty to call a meeting whenever it is demanded by
requisition, and the law compels him to assemble the
court a certain number of times during his mayoralty.
The council annually elects six aldermen and twelve
councilmen, as a committee for letting the city lands,
and chooses another committee of four aldermen and
eight councilmen for transacting the affairs of Gresham
College; besides the appointment of which and several
other committees, the court, by virtue of a royal grant,
annually chooses a governor, deputy, and assistants, for
the management of the city lands in Ireland. In short,
the civil administration, in all its branches, within the
jurisdiction of the corporation (which in all cases embraces the city, and part of the borough of Southwark,
and in some extends beyond), is exercised by the corporation, or its officers.
The Sheriffs of London and Middlesex, who are, strictly
speaking, officers of the queen, are chosen by such citizens as are of the livery, out of their own number, in
the guildhall, upon Midsummer-day, but are not sworn
into office until Michaelmas-day, when each sheriff enters
into a bond of £1000 to the corporation to serve it
faithfully; after which, they proceed in state to Westminster, to be accepted on behalf of the sovereign, by
the barons of the exchequer. The mode of nominating
the sheriff is for the lord mayor to drink in succession
to fourteen respectable citizens, two of whom are elected,
but he cannot properly nominate a commoner as sheriff,
if there be an alderman who has not served that office,
though it is frequently done. The jurisdiction of the
two sheriffs is, to a considerable extent, perfectly separate; but if either die, the other cannot act until a new
one be chosen; for there must be two sheriffs for London, which, by charter, is both a city and a county,
though they make but one jointly for the county of
Middlesex. By grant of Edward IV., in 1473, the sheriffs are appointed to have sixteen serjeants, and every
serjeant his yeoman; also a secondary, six clerks, a
clerk of the papers, four under-clerks, and two undersheriffs. Of the officers associated with the corporation
in the government of the city, the principal is the Recorder, who is appointed by the lord mayor and aldermen
for life, with a salary of £2500 per annum, and usually
acts as judge at the Old Bailey and other courts, and
takes precedence in councils and courts before all aldermen who have not filled the office of mayor. The Chamberlain, Common-Serjeant, and Town Clerk, are officers
ranking next to the recorder, and have respectively
duties to perform of great importance, as have also the
City Comptroller and City Remembrancer. There are
various inferior city officers.
Common Halls, which are assemblies of the livery
only called on extraordinary occasions, are convenable
on requisition of several members to the lord mayor, who
presides. The livery, a body of about 12,000 persons,
is composed of the respective liverymen of the City
Companies, which are 91 in number. The first twelve
on the list are called the Chief or Great Companies, viz.,
Mercers, Grocers, Drapers, Fishmongers, Goldsmiths,
Skinners, Merchant-Tailors, Haberdashers, Salters, Ironmongers, Vintners, and Clothworkers; and are sometimes styled "The Honourable." The less important
have the title of "Worshipful." Nearly 50 of the
companies have halls, some of which are remarkable as
buildings, and others for their curiosities and paintings;
most of them have "clerks," or solicitors, with offices
on the premises, who keep the company's records, and
transact its legal business. Several of these companies
attend the mayor on his inauguration, in their livery
gowns, with banners, streamers, music, &c., and on the
water, conveyed in elegant state barges; concluding the
ceremonies of the procession with sumptuous dinners
at their respective halls. The Freedom of the City is
obtained by apprenticeship to a freeman; by redemption, fine, or ransom; and by gift of the corporation:
to be a liveryman, however, it is necessary to be free of
one of the incorporated companies. The city returns
four Members to parliament, who are elected by the
liverymen, and, under the act of the 2nd of William IV.,
cap. 45, by the £10 householders; the number of
electors is 20,030, and the sheriffs are the returning
The Guildhall, or common hall of the corporation,
where their courts, meetings, and festivals are held, is
situated at the upper end of King-street, Cheapside, and
comprises numerous buildings and apartments. It was
originally erected by subscription, in 1411 (prior to
which period the corporation assembled in a small
structure in Aldermanbury); but having been greatly
damaged by the fire in 1666, the present pile was
formed from such parts as remained, excepting the new
front facing King-street, which, with several other additions and repairs, was completed in 1789. The magnitude and grandeur of the hall may be estimated from
the fact that it is capable of holding 6000 or 7000
persons, and actually accommodated that number at the
great feast given to the allied sovereigns in 1814. Of
the apartments in the rear, appropriated to the use of
the corporation, the principal is the council-chamber, a
large room in which the lord mayor, aldermen, and
common council, hold their courts, or city parliaments.
The courts of Queen's Bench, Common Pleas, Exchequer, and Bankruptcy, occupy the site of the ancient
guildhall, chapel, and Blackwell hall; and near the same
spot are the Court of Requests, the Irish Chamber, and
other offices of the corporation, forming a mass of convenient, though not very elegant, buildings.
The Mansion House was finished in 1753, at an
expense of £42,638, as a residence for the chief magistrate, who before had no suitable dwelling in which to
exercise the duties, and maintain the state and dignity,
of his office. It stands on the site of the Stocks' market, at the western end of Lombard-street, in the most
central part of the city; and is a spacious and stately
edifice, constructed entirely of Portland stone, but of
rather ponderous aspect. In front is a fine portico,
composed of six large fluted Corinthian columns, rising
from a massive rustic basement, and surmounted by a
pediment, the tympanum of which exhibits a good piece
of sculpture by Taylor, emblematic of the dignity and
opulence of the city of London, and the various virtues
by which they have been established and maintained.
The body of the building presents two tiers of lofty
windows, and over these, and above the portico, is an
attic story surmounted by a balustrade; the cornices are
rich and deep, and supported by Corinthian pilasters.
These parts, in themselves elegant and complete, are
deformed by a supplementary piece of building raised on
the top contrary to the architect's wish, to give a loftier
ceiling to a ball-room. The interior is arranged with
taste and judgment, possessing, amongst other state
apartments, a magnificent banquet-room, called "The
Egyptian Hall," 90 feet long (the whole width of the
mansion), and 60 feet broad, with a richly-ornamented
concave roof; a ball-room, with a drawing-room; and a
state chamber, containing a magnificent state bed.
Courts of Law, &c.
The Lord Mayor's Court is held in the Queen's Bench,
Guildhall, by the mayor, recorder, and aldermen, for
actions of debt and trespass, for appeals from inferior
courts, and for foreign attachments; giving decision in
all cases whatsoever, in fourteen days, at an expense not
exceeding 30s. The Court of Hustings is the ancient
and supreme court of the city, for pleas of land and
common pleas. The sheriffs' Courts of Record are held
every Wednesday and Friday for actions entered at
Giltspur-street Compter; and on Thursday and Saturday for actions entered at the Poultry Compter, which
are for debts, trespasses, accounts, covenant-breaking,
attachments and sequestrations, to any amount. The
sheriffs, or their deputies, may sit with the judge of
these courts upon trials if they please. The Court of
Requests and of Conscience, at which commissioners
presided, took cognizance of debts under £10; the
number of suits determined annually was about 5000,
and the amount of debts recovered, £8000. The lord
mayor and aldermen appointed monthly such aldermen
and commoners for commissioners as they thought fit;
and these, or any three of them, composed a court, held
on Wednesday and Saturday, from 12 till 2 o'clock.
This court was abolished by a special act of parliament
passed in July 1847, and a new court for the recovery
of small debts was established, with provisions similar
to those of the general county debt-courts: the judge of
the sheriffs' court is the judge also of this. The other
city courts are, the Chamberlain's Court, held every day,
to determine differences between masters and apprentices, and to admit such persons as are duly qualified to
the freedom of the city; the Court of Orphans, held
before the mayor and aldermen, as guardians of the
children of deceased freemen under twenty-one years of
age; a Court of Conservancy, held by the mayor and
aldermen four times a year, as before stated; a Court of
Petty-Sessions, for small offences, held daily at the Mansion House in the forenoon, by the mayor and one alderman, and daily at Guildhall, by two aldermen in rotation;
the Coroner's Court, to inquire into the cause of sudden
death; and the Court of the Tower, held within the verge
of the city, for trying actions of debt, trespass, and
covenants, by a steward appointed by the Constable of
The exercise of its own military government is one of
the peculiar privileges possessed by the city from the
earliest times; its forces formerly consisted of what
were termed the trained bands, but now of two regiments of militia, raised according to an act of parliament passed in 1794, by ballot, and consisting of 2200
men. The officers are appointed by the commissioners
of the queen's lieutenancy for the city of London, of
whom the lord mayor is the principal; and one regiment may in certain cases be placed by the queen under
her general officers, and marched to any place not exceeding twelve miles from the capital, or to the nearest
encampment; the other at all such times remaining in
By the act of the 4th and 5th of William IV., cap. 36,
the city of London and the county of Middlesex, and
certain adjacent parts of Essex, Kent, and Surrey, were
placed under the jurisdiction of a new court of Oyer and
Terminer and Gaol Delivery, called the Central Criminal
Court, to be held at the sessions-house in the Old Bailey,
twelve times in the year at least, or oftener, if necessary.
The justices and judges of the court have power exclusively to try persons accused of various crimes specified
in the act, of which the justices of the peace for the
cities of London and Westminster, the liberty of the
Tower, the borough of Southwark, and the above-named
counties, are now restrained from taking cognizance;
they have also the power to try for offences committed
on the high seas. The justices of the peace for the
above-named divisions are still allowed to hold their
respective general quarter-sessions; and by an especial
clause the rights and privileges of the city of London are
The government of Westminster, until the Reformation, was arbitrary, under the abbot and monks; then
under a bishop, and dean and chapter; and subsequently, by an act passed in the 27th of Elizabeth, the
civil control was placed in the hands of the laity, the
dean being still empowered to nominate the chief
officers. The principal magistrates are, a high steward,
usually a nobleman, the office being generally held for
life; and a high bailiff chosen by the steward, also for
life. The bailiff has the chief management of parliamentary elections for Westminster, as well as authority
over all the other bailiffs; he summons juries, and in
the courts leet sits next to the deputy steward. To him
all fines and forfeitures belong, which renders the situation very lucrative, and occasions a considerable sum
to be given for it. Besides these, are sixteen burgesses,
whose functions in all respects resemble those of the
alderman's deputies of the city of London, each having
a ward under his jurisdiction; and from the burgesses
are elected two head burgesses, one for the city, and the
other for the liberties, who in the court leet rank next
to the high bailiff. There is also a high constable, who
is chosen by the court leet, and to whom all the other
constables are subordinate. The four principal courts
for the city and liberties of Westminster are, the Court
of the Duchy of Lancaster, held in Somerset-place; the
Court of Quarter-Sessions of the peace, held by the justices for the city and liberties, four times a year, at the
guildhall, Westminster; the St. Martin's-le-Grand Court;
and the Westminster Court, or court leet. The three
first are courts of record; the duchy court being for all
matters of law and equity relating to the duchy of Lancaster; that of quarter-sessions, for all trespasses, petty
larcenies, and other minor offences committed in Westminster and its liberties; and that of St. Martin's-leGrand, for the trial of all personal actions appertaining
to that particular liberty. The court leet, which is held
by the Dean of Westminster, or his deputy, is for
choosing parochial officers, preventing or removing
nuisances, &c. The Palace Court, or Marshalsea, held
formerly at the Old Court-house in the Borough, but
now in Scotland-yard, opposite the Admiralty, has
jurisdiction of all civil suits within twelve miles of
Whitehall, the city of London excepted, and takes
cognizance of debts to any amount above 40s.; but
actions for debts above £20 may be removed into any
of the superior courts. One of the county debt-courts
established in 1847 is fixed at Westminster. The city
and liberties return two members to parliament, who
are elected by the inhabitant householders; the number
of voters is 14,801, and the high bailiff is returning
Southwark was governed by its own bailiffs until
1327; but the city suffering great inconvenience from
the number of malefactors that escaped thither from
the jurisdiction of the city magistrates, the mayor of
London was then, by charter, constituted bailiff of
Southwark, and empowered to govern it by his deputy.
Edward VI. granted the "Borough, or Town of Southwark," to the city of London, for a pecuniary consideration; and afterwards, for a further payment of
the same kind, it was made a twenty-sixth ward to the
city, by the name of Bridge-ward Without. It became,
in consequence, subject to the lord mayor, who has
under him a steward and a bailiff, the former of whom
holds a Court of Record every Monday at St. Margaret's
Hill, for debts, damages, and trespasses. There is also a
Court of Record for the Clink liberty, held near Bankside,
in Southwark, by the Bishop of Winchester's steward,
for actions of debt, trespass, &c., within that liberty;
and one of the county debt-courts established in 1847,
is fixed at Southwark. The borough returns two members to parliament, who are chosen by the inhabitant
householders of the old borough, which comprised 401
acres, and by the £10 householders of an enlarged
district, which, by the act of the 2nd and 3rd of William
IV., cap. 64, was formed for elective purposes, and the
limits of which include by estimation an area of 1649
acres. The number of voters for the parliamentary
representatives is 5353, and the high bailiff of Southwark is returning officer.
For the suburbs there are several courts. Of these,
the Sheriff's Courts for the county of Middlesex are for
actions of debt, trespass, assault, &c. East Smithfield
Court is a court leet and court baron to inquire into
nuisances, &c.; in the court baron, pleas are held to the
amount of 40s. General and Quarter Sessions of the
peace, for the liberty of the Tower of London, are held
by the justices of that liberty, eight times a year, for
petty larcenies, trespasses, felonies, misdemeanors, &c.
Eight of the county debt-courts established in 1847, are
held in the suburbs, namely, at Bloomsbury, Bow,
Brompton, Islington, Lambeth, Mary-Ie-bone, Shoreditch, and Whitechapel.
In the metropolis are also held the four great law
courts of the kingdom, the Queen's Bench, Common Pleas,
Exchequer, and High Court of Chancery. The three first
are held alternately at Westminster Hall, and Guildhall
in the city; and the Court of Chancery alternately at
Westminster Hall and Lincoln's Inn, the causes being
heard by the chancellor or vice-chancellors. The rooms
in Westminster Hall in which the business of the courts
is transacted are situated on the western side of the
great hall, and were elegantly fitted up by the late Sir
John Soane. The great hall was part of the ancient
palace of Westminster, and is celebrated as the scene of
many important events in English history: the first
hall was founded by William Rufus, but the present
edifice was for the most part erected by Richard II. It
is considered to be the largest apartment in Europe unsupported by pillars, being 270 feet long, 74 broad, and
90 high: the floor is of stone; the side walls and ends
are pierced with elegant windows, and the roof, which
deserves particular admiration, is of chesnut, forming
an immense arch, sustained by carved angels bearing
shields of the founder's arms. Parliaments were anciently held in the hall, and it was the court of justice
in which the sovereign presided in person; the coronation feasts have been held here for many ages, and it is
also occasionally used for the trial of peers, or persons
impeached by the commons. There is likewise the Rolls'
Court, held by the Master of the Rolls generally in the
Rolls' Chapel, Chancery-lane. Civil and ecclesiastical
causes are tried at Doctors' Commons. The ecclesiastical
courts are, the Court of Arches, for appeals from inferior
ecclesiastical courts in the province of Canterbury, and
of which the Court of Peculiars is a branch; the Prerogative Court, for causes relative to wills and administrations; and the Faculty Court, empowered to grant
dispensations to marry, &c. The High Court of Admiralty takes cognizance of all maritime pleas, criminal
and civil: the latter are determined according to the
civil law, the plaintiff giving security to prosecute, and,
if cast, to pay what is adjudged; the former are tried
by special commission, at the sessions-house in the Old
Bailey, by a judge and jury, and a judge of the common
law assists. A Court of Bankruptcy was created by the
act 1st and 2nd William IV., c. 56; it is held in Basinghall-street. A Court for the relief of Insolvent Debtors was
instituted a few years subsequently, for releasing debtors
in England and Wales, who have been imprisoned and
apply by petition to be liberated, upon surrendering
their effects to their creditors; the commissioners, who
preside as judges, hold their sittings at a newly-erected
court-house, situated in Portugal-street, Lincoln's Inn
In addition to the parliamentary representation already
mentioned, four Metropolitan Boroughs, namely, Finsbury, Mary-le-bone, Tower Hamlets, and Lambeth,
comprising a numerous constituency, were created under
the act of the 2nd of William IV., cap. 45, each empowered to send two members, who are elected by the
Prisons, and Police.
The Prisons for Criminals are, Newgate, Cold-bathfields, Giltspur-street Compter, Pentonville Model prison,
Millbank, House of Detention Clerkenwell, Tothill-fields
Bridewell, and the gaol for the county of Surrey, Southwark. The Prisons for Debtors were, the Debtors' prison
(White Cross-street), the Queen's Bench, the Fleet, the
Marshalsea, and the Borough Compter; but in 1842 an
act was passed "for consolidating the Queen's Bench,
Fleet, and Marshalsea Prisons, and for regulating the
Queen's Prison," by which it was enacted that the prison previously called that of the Marshalsea of the
Court of Queen's Bench should be termed the Queen's
Prison, and should be the only prison for all debtors,
bankrupts, or other persons, who before the passing of
the act might have been confined in the Queen's Bench,
Fleet, and Marshalsea prisons. Of the buildings, the
majority are extensive, and in several instances, though
gloomy, not inelegant, piles. Newgate, the general
criminal prison for the city of London and the county
of Middlesex, and, since the establishment of the Central
Criminal Court, for various other populous districts adjacent to the metropolis, may be particularly mentioned.
It is constructed of stone, divided within into several
court-yards, and possesses a handsome uniform front
towards the west, consisting of two wings, with the
governor's house forming the centre.
The city, as already stated, is under the control of its
own magistracy, consisting of the mayor and aldermen,
&c.; and an act of parliament has been obtained (2nd
and 3rd Victoria) for the formation of an effective Police
force: the number of constables is above 500. By the
Metropolitan Police act, 10th George IV., c. 44, the
whole of the metropolis, exclusively of that part immediately denominated the City and Liberties, was consolidated into a Metropolitan Police district, to supersede
the local arrangements previously existing in the several
parishes. It extends eastward to Stratford, Poplar,
and Greenwich; southward to Streatham, Tooting, and
Wandsworth; westward to Acton, Ealing, and Brentford; and northward to Hampstead, Islington, Newington, and Hackney. Each division is under the charge
of a superior officer, and the total number of men composing the force is 5800: there are eleven courts, with
stipendiary magistrates to each of them.
Inns of Court.
The London Inns of Court were originally like colleges in a university, but confined to the study of the
law. Though their origin cannot be exactly ascertained,
they may be presumed to have owed their rise to the
establishment of the courts of justice at Westminster,
by Henry III., which collected in their neighbourhood
the whole body of common lawyers, or practitioners,
who began to form themselves into a society (supposed
at Thavies' Inn, Holborn), in a collegiate manner.
Hence their place of residence was denominated an inn
(Hostell), or House of Court; and the king, in 1244,
forbade the teaching of law in schools set up in the
city, as had been customary, and restricted its study to
the inn. The increase of the societies, as well as their
division into Inns of Court and Inns of Chancery, was
not recognized till the reign of Edward III., when the
students were called apprentices of the law (from the
Fr. Apprendre); and the Inns of Court became appropriated solely to the students of the common law, as
were the Inns of Chancery to such clerks as studied the
forming of writs and other processes in chancery. The
inns have now become mere residences, not for lawyers
only, but any persons who choose to hire chambers in
them; and the law-student, before being called to the
bar, is only obliged to be entered of one of these places,
and dine in the common hall a certain number of terms;
after which, should his admission not be opposed by the
members, an occurrence that rarely happens, he is legally
qualified to plead and conduct causes. The Inns of
Court are not incorporated, consequently the masters,
principals, benchers, &c., by whom they are governed,
can make no by-laws, nor possess estates, &c.; yet they
have certain orders which, by consent and prescription,
have obtained the force of law. The societies are entirely supported by sums paid for admissions and for
chambers; and from the benchers, or seniors, in whom
the control is vested, a treasurer is usually chosen to
manage these funds: the other members may be divided
into outer barristers, inner barristers, and students.
The principal Inns of Court are four; the Inner Temple, Middle Temple, Lincoln's Inn, and Gray's Inn. The
Inns of Chancery are seven, viz., Clifford's Inn, Lyon's
Inn, Clement's Inn, and New Inn, belonging to the two
Temples; Furnival's Inn, belonging to Lincoln's Inn;
and Staple's Inn and Barnard's Inn, belonging to Gray's
Inn. Thavies' Inn, Scroop's Inn, Chester Inn or Strand
Inn, as well as Johnson's Inn, and some others in the
city, have long been disused. Of the two Serjeants' Inns,
in Fleet-street and Chancery-lane, the latter only is appropriated as chambers for the Serjeants-at-law, who
removed thither from Symond's Inn, which is falling to
decay, and merely tenanted as chambers by any one who
chooses to rent them. Serjeants' Inn, Fleet-street, consists now of private residences.
The Temple is so called from its original inhabitants,
the Knights Templars, who, on quitting their old house
in Southampton-buildings, Holborn, in the reign of
Henry II., built a house in Fleet-street, thence called
the New Temple, which occupied all the ground from
White Friars to Essex-street. On their suppression by
Edward II., the Temple, after two or three intermediate
grants from the crown, was given by Edward III. to the
monastery of St. John of Jerusalem, the prior of which
afterwards demised it to the lawyers, supposed to have
removed hither from Thavies' Inn, at a yearly rent of
£10, a sum for which they still enjoy from the crown
the whole of this splendid property. The Temple is at
present divided between the two societies, the Inner and
Middle Templars, each consisting of benchers, barristers,
and students, the government being vested in the
benchers. In term-time the members dine in the hall
of the society, which is called keeping commons; to dine
a fortnight in each term, is deemed keeping the term, and
twelve terms qualify a student, after being called to the
bar, to plead and manage causes in the courts. The
Temple church is noticed hereafter.
Lincoln's Inn occupies, with its gardens and squares,
a very extensive plot of ground on the western side of
Chancery-lane. It has a fine brick gateway opening
from Chancery-lane, built by Sir Thomas Lovel in the
reign of Henry VIII.; a hall erected by the same
person, where the Lord Chancellor holds his sittings;
and a chapel built by Inigo Jones. The new library
and dining-hall, of which the first stone was laid by
Vice-Chancellor Sir Knight Bruce on April 20th, 1843,
were opened by Her Majesty in October 1845, and form
a handsome range of building of the latest Tudor character, the west front overlooking Lincoln's Inn Fields.
The length, from north to south, is upwards of 230 feet:
at the north-west angle is an octagonal turret, of considerable elevation. The hall is truly magnificent; it
measures 120 feet in length, and 45 feet in general
width, this width being increased at the north end to 60
feet by two spacious oriels at the extremities of the dais,
which make that part of the hall a kind of transept: the
roof is of oak, open, and remarkably lofty. Of the other
apartments the principal is the library, 80 feet in length,
by 40 in width, and presenting, like the hall, a ceiling,
windows, and fittings-up, of unusually rich design. The
old hall and library have been judiciously preserved
Gray's Inn principally consists of two quadrangles,
separated by a hall and chapel; and two handsome
ranges of building called Verulam and Raymond Buildings. Most of the other inns consist of double courts,
surrounded by large brick buildings divided into chambers; all of them have halls, in some cases surrounded
by gardens, and several have good libraries.
Government Offices and other Public Buildings.
The offices more immediately connected with the
affairs of government occupy a grand line of buildings,
stretching entirely across the eastern extremity of St.
James' Park, from Spring Gardens to Downing-street.
The most northern is the Admiralty: next is the War
Office, or Horse Guards; then the Treasury; and lastly,
the offices of the Secretaries of State.
The War Office, or Horse Guards, derives its latter appellation from the circumstance of that branch of the
military mounting guard here. It is a noble, though
rather heavy, building, erected by Ware, at an expense
of more than £30,000, and contains a variety of apartments in which is transacted all business relative to the
British army; a handsome portal leads through it from
St. James' Park into the fine open street of Whitehall.
The Admiralty, originally called Wallingford House, and
facing Whitehall, has a beautiful screen by Adams,
which, with the spacious portico, renders this on the
whole a commanding pile; the Lords of the Admiralty
have offices here, with private apartments. The Treasury
is an extensive pile, partly formed out of the remains of
Whitehall palace: the west front looks into St. James'
Park; that next Whitehall has been rebuilt in a splendid
style by Mr. Barry, and now presents a remarkably
ornate façade in the Corinthian style, extending from
Downing-street to Dover House in one uninterrupted
line of 296 feet. Besides the Board of Treasury, the
edifice contains a variety of offices, amongst which are
the Home Office, the Board of Trade, and the Council
Chamber. The buildings of the other Government offices
situated in the immediate vicinity of the above, and
which consist of the offices of the Secretaries of State for
Foreign Affairs and for the Colonies, the Board of Control for the affairs of India, the offices of the Crown
Lands, and of the Board of Works, &c., have nothing in
them particularly worthy of notice.
Somerset House, the most noble collection of
Government offices in London, derives its name from
being built on the site of the splendid palace erected
by the Protector Somerset in the reign of Edward VI.
After having been for several ages occasionally inhabited
by the queens of England, the structure was rebuilt, as
it now stands, under the superintendence of Sir William
Chambers, in 1775. It occupies a space about 800 feet
in width, and 500 in depth; and for magnitude, as well
as architectural merit, ranks among the foremost of the
public buildings in London. The magnificent Strand
front, the extensive quadrangular court, and the yet
grander front next the Thames, with the terrace, one of
the finest in the world, all combine, with the numerous
spacious apartments and offices which the building contains, to excite admiration. It comprises the offices of
the Poor-Law Commission, of the Registrar-General, and
of the Tithe Commission; also the Naval Office, Navy
Pay Office, Malt Office, Stamp Office, the Offices of the
Chancellors of the duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster,
the Hawkers' and Pedlers' Office, Stage-coach Office,
Legacy-duty Office, and the whole revenue establishment
of the Tax Offices; all which are situated in the quadrangle that forms the main body of the pile. The front
next the Strand has been munificently devoted to the
use of the Royal Society, the Society of Antiquaries, and
other institutions; apartments have been assigned for
the board constituting the University of London, and
others have been appropriated to the School of Design,
instituted by the Government within the last few years,
for elementary instruction in drawing, in modelling from
the antique and from nature, and in the use of oil and
water colours. The buildings of King's College form the
eastern wing of the south front of the edifice, which,
without it, was incomplete.
"The Tower," as it is familiarly called, stands on
the northern bank of the Thames, and consists of a
large pile of building, the irregularity of which arises
from its having been erected and enlarged by various
sovereigns, at distant periods of time: it served the
purpose of a fortified palace to many of the early
monarchs of England. Tradition ascribes its origin to
Julius Cæsar, but the earliest authentic account of it is,
that William the Conqueror, having little reliance on the
fidelity of his new subjects of London, on fixing his residence in the metropolis, built a strong fortress to overawe them, on part of the present site of the Tower. In
1078, he appointed Gundulph, Bishop of Rochester, a
skilful architect, to superintend the building of a larger
fort; being the same, though repaired or rebuilt by some
of his successors, which is now called the White Tower.
It is situated in the centre of the fortress, and is of a
square shape, with four watch-towers, one of which is
used as an observatory. This part of the building contains, besides a small armoury for the sea service, an old
Norman chapel, dedicated to St. John, in which the
kings and queens who resided here performed their devotions; the apartment is of an oblong form, circular at
the east end, and supported by short round pillars, and
in it the ancient records of the kingdom are now kept.
In 1082, William Rufus laid the foundations of a castle
southward, and near to the river, which was finished by
his successor, Henry I.: beneath it were two gates, one
called Traitors' gate, through which state prisoners were
conveyed to their cells, and the other bearing the name
of the Bloody gate. Henry III. added a strong gate
and bulwark to the west entrance, repaired and whitened
the square tower, which probably gave it the name it
still retains, and extended the fortress by a mud wall,
which was superseded by one of brick by Edward IV.,
who built within this inclosure the present Lion's tower.
Charles II. and the succeeding sovereigns, down to
George IV., made various additions and alterations
within the area inclosed by the ancient fortifications;
and the exterior walls now include an area of twelve
acres and five roods. The exterior circuit of the ditch
or grass moat which entirely surrounds it, is 3156 feet;
it is separated from the Thames by a broad quay, with a
platform for mounting 61 pieces of cannon, which are
brought out and fired on all occasions of public rejoicing. The interior forms a parish within itself, subject to
the visitation of the Bishop of London, and contains
several streets, and a variety of interesting buildings,
consisting of the Tower parochial church, or Royal Free
Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula, the White Tower, the
Ordnance Office, the Record Office, the Jewel Office, the
Horse Armoury, &c., houses belonging to the officers of
the Tower, barracks for the garrison, and two suttlinghouses, commonly used by the officers of the garrison.
The great fire, by which a large portion of this celebrated
edifice was destroyed, took place on the 30th of October,
1841, and extended to the Grand Storehouse, the Table or
Bowyer Tower, with two stores on each side of it, and the
Butler's Tower: in the Storehouse, or armoury, which was
345 feet long, were not less than 280,000 stand of arms,
ready for use, besides a vast quantity of military trophies,
many of them ancient and of great historical interest.
On the site of the Storehouse have been erected the
Waterloo barracks for 1000 men, at a cost of nearly
£30,000; they extend 280 feet in length, and are in
the castellated style of the fifteenth century. The
government is entrusted to a Constable, generally a
person of high rank, under whose command are a lieutenant and a deputy-lieutenant, the latter being called
the governor, with several subordinate officers, besides
forty wardens, who bear the same rich antique uniform as was worn by the corps at its formation by
The Mint, originally situated within the limits of the
Tower, and the business of which was afterwards for
some time carried on at Soho, near Birmingham, now
stands at the north-eastern corner of Tower Hill, on the
site of the old Victualling-Office; it contains steamengines, and all the numerous mechanical works for
facilitating the operations of the coinage. The building
is of noble design, with a handsome stone front, surmounted by a balustrade. The wings are ornamented
with pilasters; and in the centre are several demicolumns, over which is a pediment bearing the arms of
England: over the porch is a gallery with balustrades,
&c., of the Doric order.
At what precise period
London was constituted the
head of a diocese is uncertain, but it is evident that
it acquired the distinction
not long after the introduction of Christianity into
Britain. It appears to have
been at first an archbishopric; but when the metropolitical power was transferred
to Canterbury, in consequence of the conversion to
Christianity of Ethelbert, King of Kent, by Augustine,
London sank into a bishopric, and Melitus was made
the first bishop, in 604. The diocese was co-extensive
with the ancient kingdom of the East Saxons, comprehending the counties of Middlesex and Essex, and part
of Hertfordshire. Under the ecclesiastical arrangements
provided by the act of the 6th and 7th of William IV.,
c. 77, it consists of the city of London, the county of
Middlesex, ten parishes in Essex, the town of Deptford,
and seven other parishes in Kent, and certain parishes
in Surrey. Though locally in the province of Canterbury,
it is exempt from the visitation of the archbishop; and
the Bishop of London enjoys precedence over all the
other bishops, ranking in dignity next to the Archbishop
of York. The ecclesiastical establishment is composed
of a bishop, dean, precentor, chancellor, treasurer, two
archdeacons, thirty-two canons or prebendaries (four of
whom are residentiary, and, with the dean, constitute
the chapter), twelve petty or minor canons, six vicarschoral, a subdean, and inferior officers. The bishop has
the patronage of the archdeaconries, chancellorships,
precentorship, treasurership, non-resident canonries, and
one resident canonry; the other resident canonries are
in the gift of the Crown. The Dean and Chapter possess
the patronage of the petty canonries. The petty canons
were incorporated as a body politic, in 1399, by letterspatent of Richard II.; they are governed by a warden,
chosen from among themselves, and have a common
seal. Amongst the Bishops of London have been, St.
Dunstan, who died in 988; Wengham, Lord Chancellor,
who died 1262; Chishull, Lord Chancellor, 1280;
Wentworth, Lord Chancellor, 1339; Sudbury and
Courtenay, Archbishops of Canterbury; Braybrooke,
Lord Chancellor, 1404; Kemp, successively Archbishop
of York and of Canterbury, and a cardinal; Warham,
Archbishop of Canterbury; Edmond Bonner; Ridley,
the martyr, 1555; Grindall and Sandys, Archbishops of
York; Bancroft, Abbot, Laud, Juxon, and Sheldon,
Archbishops of Canterbury; Gibson, 1746; Sherlock,
1761; Lowth, 1787; and Beilby Porteus, who died in
the year 1809.
Arms of the Bishopric.
|PARISHES IN THE CITY OF LONDON WITHIN THE WALLS.
||Value in the King's Books.
||Present Net Income.
|S. Alban, Wood-street, with R.
||The Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, and Eton College, alternately.
|St. Olave, Silver-street R.
|Allhallows, Barking V.
||The Archbishop of Canterbury.
|Allhallows, Bread-street, with R.
||The Archbishop, and the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury, alternately.
|St. John the Evangelist R.
|Allhallows the Great, with R.
||The Archbishop of Canterbury.
|Allhallows the Less V.
|Allhallows, Lombard-street R.
||The Dean and Chapter of Canterbury.
|Allhallows, Staining P.C.
||The Master and Wardens of the Grocers' Company, who are also the impropriators.
|Allhallows on the Wall with St. Augustine consolidated R.
|St. Alphage R.
|St. Andrew Undershaft with St. Mary-Axe consolidated R.
|St. Andrew by the Wardrobe, with R.
||The Crown, and the Parishioners of St. Anne's, alternately.
|St. Anne, Blackfriars R.
|St. Anne and St. Agnes, with R.
||The Bishop, and Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, alternately.
|St. John Zachary R.
|St. Antholin, with R.
||The Crown, and the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, alternately.
|St. John the Baptist R.
|St. Augustine, Watling-street, with R.
||The Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's.
|St. Faith R.
|St. Bartholomew by the Royal Exchange (no church) R.
||The Crown, and the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, alternately.
|St. Bene't Fink (no church) P.C.
||The Dean and Canons of Windsor, the appropriators.
|St. Bene't Gracechurch, with R.
||The Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, and the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury, alternately.
|St. Leonard, Eastcheap R.
|St. Bene't, Paul's Wharf, with. R.
||The Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's.
|St. Peter R.
|St. Botolph, Billingsgate, with R.
||The Crown, and the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, alternately.
|St. George, Botolph-lane R.
|Christchurch, with V.
||St. Bartholomew's Hospital, and the Dean and Chapter of Westminster, the appropriators, alternately.
|St. Leonard, Foster-lane R.
|St. Clement, Eastcheap, with R.
||The Bishop, and the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, alternately.
|St. Martin Orgars R.
|St. Dionis Backchurch R.
||The Dean and Chapter of Canterbury.
|St. Dunstan in the East R.
||The Archbishop of Canterbury.
|St. Edmund the King, with R.
||The Crown, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, alternately.
|St. Nicholas Acons R.
|St. Ethelburga R.
|St. Helen, Bishopsgate V.
||The Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's.
|St. James, Duke's-place Don.
||The Mayor and Aldermen, the impropriators.
|St. James, Garlick Hythe R.
|St. Katharine, Coleman R.
|St. Katharine Creechurch P.C.
||The Master and Fellows of Magdalen College, Cambridge, the impropriators.
|St. Lawrence, Jewry, with V.
||Balliol College, Oxford, and the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, alternately.
|St. Mary Magdalene, Milk-street R.
|St. Magnus, with R.
|St. Margaret, New Fish-st., united R.
|St. Margaret, Lothbury, with R.
||The Crown, and the Bishop, alternately.
|St. Christopher-le-Stocks R.
|St. Margaret Pattens, with R.
||The Crown, the Mayor and Aldermen, and the Mayor and Common Council, by turns.
|St. Gabriel, Fenchurch R.
|St. Martin, Ludgate R.
|St. Martin Outwich R.
||The Merchant Tailors' Company.
|St. Mary, Abchurch, with R.
||Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.
|St. Lawrence P.C.
|St. Mary, Aldermanbury, with P.C.
|St. Thomas R.
|St. Mary Aldermary, with R.
||The Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, alternately.
|St. Thomas the Apostle R.
|St. Mary-le-Bow, with R.
||The Archbishop of Canterbury two turns, and the Grocers' Company one.
|Allhallows, Honey-lane, and R.
|St. Pancras, Soper-lane R.
|St. Mary at Hill, with R.
||The Duke of Northumberland, and the Parishioners, alternately.
|St. Andrew Hubbard R.
|St. Mary Magdalene, Old Fish-st., with R.
||The Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's.
|St. Gregory by St. Paul P.C.
|St. Mary Somerset, with R.
||The Bishops of London and Hereford, alternately.
|St. Mary Mounthaw united R.
|St. Mary Woolnoth, with R.
||The Crown, and J. Thornton, Esq., alternately.
|St. Mary Woolchurch Haw united R.
|St. Matthew, Friday-street, with R.
||The Bishop, and the Duke of Buccleuch, alternately.
|St. Peter, Westcheap R.
|St. Michael, Bassishaw R.
||The Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's.
|St. Michael, Cornhill R.
||The Drapers' Company.
|St. Michael, Crooked-lane R.
||The Archbishop of Canterbury.
|St. Michael, Queen-hythe, with R.
||The Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, and the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury, alternately.
|Trinity the Less R.
|St. Michael Pater-noster Royal, with R.
||The Dean and Chapter of Canterbury, and the Bishop of Worcester, alternately.
|St. Martin Vintry R.
|St. Michael, Wood-street, with R.
||The Crown, and the Parishioners, alternately.
|St. Mary Staining R.
|St. Mildred, Bread-street, with R.
||The Queen, and W. Storketh, Esq., alternately.
|St. Margaret Moses R.
|St. Mildred, Poultry, with R.
||The Crown, and the Mercers' Company, alternately.
|St. Mary Colechurch R.
|St. Nicholas Cole Abbey, with R.
||The Crown, and the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, alternately.
|St. Nicholas Olave R.
|St. Olave, Hart-street, with St. Nicholas in the Shambles R.
|St. Olave, Old Jewry, with V.
|St. Martin, Ironmonger-lane R.
|St. Peter, Cornhill R.
||The Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Council.
|St. Peter-le-Poor R.
||The Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's.
|St. Stephen, Coleman-street V.
|St. Stephen, Walbrook, with R.
||The Crown, and the Grocers' Company, alternately.
|St. Bene't Sherehog R.
|St. Swithin, London-stone, with R.
||The Dean and Chapter of Canterbury, and the Rev. H. G. Watkins, alternately.
|St. Mary Bothaw R.
|St. Vedast, Foster-lane, with R.
||The Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, alternately.
|St. Michael le Quern R.
The above 97 parishes, with the addition of the precinct of White Friars, form the poor-law union of the City of London, which is under the
care of 101 guardians, each parish electing one, with the exception of St. Anne's (Blackfriars), Christ-church (Newgate-street), and St.
Stephen's (Coleman-street), which elect two each; the population amounts to 55,920.
|Parishes In The City Of London Without The Walls.
||Value in the King's Books.
||Present Net Income.
|St. Andrew, Holborn R.
||5966 (fn. a)
||The Duke of Buccleuch.
St. Peter, Saffron Hill C.
Trinity Chapel, Gray's Inn Road C.
|St. Bartholomew the Great R.
||Trustees of the late W. Phillips, Esq.
|St. Bartholomew the Less V.
||St. Bartholomew's Hospital.
|St. Botolph, without Aldersgate P.C.
||4491 (fn. b)
||The Dean and Chapter of Westminster, the appropriators.
|St. Botolph, Aldgate P.C.
||9525 (fn. c)
||R. Kynaston, Esq., the impropriator.
|St. Botolph, without Bishopsgate R.
All Saints' Chapel P.C.
The Rector of St. Botolph's.
|St. Bride V.
||The Dean and Chapter of Westminster, the appropriators.
Trinity District Church P.C.
|St. Dunstan-in-the-West R.
||Trustees of the late Rev. Charles Simeon.
St. Thomas, Rolls' Liberty P.C.
|St. Giles, without Cripplegate V.
||The Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, the appropriators.
|St. Sepulchre V.
||8524 (fn. d)
||St. John's College, Oxford.—Impropriators of two-thirds of the rectorial tithes, the Parishioners, the Vicarage being endowed with one-third.
|Trinity in the Minories P.C.
The West London union is formed of St. Bride's, St. Bartholomew's (the Great and the Leas), St. Dunstan's-in-the-West, St. Andrew's Lower or
City Liberty, the Bridewell precinct, and part of St. Sepulchre's parish; and the population amounts to 32,370.
PARISHES ADJACENT TO THE CITY OF LONDON.
(Which are not separately described in the work.)
The three first are in the Holborn, and the last in the Tower, Division of the Hundred of Ossulstone, county of Middlesex.
||Value in the King's Books.
||Present Net Income.
|St. George the Martyr R.
||7897 (fn. a)
||The Duke of Buccleuch.
|St. George, Bloomsbury R.
Trinity Church, Woburn Square P.C.
The Rector of St. George's.
|St. Giles-in-the-Fields R.
The Rector of St. Giles'.
Christ Church, Endell-street P.C.
The Rector of St. Giles'.
|St. Peter ad Vincula, Tower R.
||The Constable of the Tower of London.
|CITY AND LIBERTY OF WESTMINSTER.
||Value in the King's Books.
||Present Net Income.
|St. Anne, Soho R.
|St. Clement Danes R.
||11,582 (fn. a)
||The Marquess of Exeter.
|St. George, Hanover Square R.
Grosvenor Chapel P.C.
The Rector and Churchwardens of St. George's.
Hanover District Chapel, Regent-st. P.C.
The Rector of St. George's.
St. Mark's District Chapel P.C.
The Rector of St. George's.
|St. James, Piccadilly R.
Archbishop Tenison's Chapel P.C.
The Rector of St. James', and eight Trustees.
St. Philip's Chapel, Regent-street P.C.
The Bishop and the Rector of St. James's.
St. Margaret's Chapel P.C.
The Dean and Chapter of Westminster, the appropriators.
St. James', Berwick-street C.
York Street Chapel C.
The Rector of St. James's.
St. James,' Hampstead Road C.
|St. John, Millbank R.
||The Dean and Chapter of Westminster.
St. Mary, Vincent-square P.C.
The Rector of St. John's.
St. Stephen P.C.
Miss A. Burdett Coutts.
|St. Margaret R.
||The Dean and Chapter of Westminster.
Broadway Chapel C.
The Rector of St. Margaret's.
|St. Martin-in-the-Fields V.
||25,190 (fn. b)
St. Matthew, Spring Gardens P.C.
The Vicar of St. Martin's.
Burleigh Chapel (St. Michael) C.
The Vicar of St. Martin's.
St. John, Broad Court C.
The Vicar of St. Martin's.
|St. Mary-le-Strand R.
|St. John the Baptist, Savoy P.C.
||The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
|St. Paul, Covent Garden R.
||The Duke of Bedford.
Pimlico and Knightsbridge, in St. George's parish, are separately described in the work.
The Strand poor-law union is formed of St. Mary's-le-Strand with the Duchy of Lancaster, St. Paul's (Covent Garden), St. Clement Danes',
the Precinct of the Savoy, and the Liberty of the Rolls.
|Borough Of Southwark.
(In the Diocese of Winchester.)
||Value in the King's Books.
||Present Net Income.
||14,616 (fn. a)
||The Trustees of Marshall's Charities.
|St. George the Martyr R.
||46,644 (fn. b)
St. Mary Magdalen C.
The Rector of St. George's.
|St. John Horsleydown R.
St. Mark's District P.C.
The Crown and the Bishop, alternately.
|St. Olave P.C.
||6745 (fn. c)
|St. Saviour P.C.
||The Parishioners, who appoint two ministers, between whom the income is divided.
|St. Thomas P.C.
||St. Thomas' Hospital.
There are likewise numerous extra-parochial and independent Liberties; namely, in the city Without the Walls,
Barnard's Inn, Bridewell Hospital and Precinct, Clifford's Inn, Furnival's Inn, Gray's Inn, Lincoln's Inn,
Serjeants' Inn (Chancery-lane), Staple Inn, White Friars'
Precinct, Inner Temple, and Middle Temple. Adjacent
to the city are, St. Catherine by the Tower (Precinct),
Old Artillery Ground Liberty, Charter-House, Ely-place,
Norton-Falgate Liberty, Rolls Liberty, Old Tower Without (Precinct), and East Smithfield Liberty. In the
city and Liberty of Westminster are, the Close of the
Collegiate Church of St. Peter, Duchy of Lancaster
(Precinct), Privy Gardens, and Whitehall, and the Verge
of the palaces of St. James' and Whitehall.
St. Paul's Cathedral, the chief ecclesiastical edifice
of the metropolis, and of the empire, and the masterpiece of its architect, Sir Christopher Wren, is a magnificent structure, occupying the highest and most central
spot of ground in the city, and nearly covering the site
of the ancient cathedral built by Bishop Maurice, which
was destroyed by the fire of 1666. The commission for
the erection of the present edifice is dated in 1673, the
interval between the fire and that period having been
employed in endeavouring to repair the old fabric, which
was at length found impracticable. The first stone of
the structure, which was built from the third design of
the architect, was laid June 21st, 1675: the walls of the
choir and aisles were finished in ten years, together
with the porticoes on the north and south sides; and
the lantern was crowned with the last stone in 1710, in
the lifetime of the architect, by his son Christopher.
The building was erected at the national expense, and
cost a million and a half of money; the iron balustrade
surrounding the churchyard, which, with its seven iron
gates, weighs 200 tons, cost £11,202. The extent of
ground occupied is two acres and sixteen perches. The
edifice is wholly constructed of the best Portland stone,
in the form of a Latin cross, 514 feet long, and 216
broad; and from the intersection rises a stately cupola,
towering above the rest of the structure, and universally
admired for its grandeur and elegant proportions. The
cupola is 215 feet high, 145 in diameter, and 430 in
circumference; and is ornamented with 32 columns
below, and a range of attic antæ above, the exterior
circuit of which is flanked by a noble balustrade. From
its summit rises a lantern adorned with large Corinthian
pillars, surrounded at the base by a gallery, and terminating in a superb gilt ball and cross, the height of
which from the floor of the church is 404 feet. The
other principal architectural features of the exterior are,
the two semicircular porticoes at the north and south
ends of the transept, and the magnificent entrance at
the western end. The great western entrance is composed
of a double story of twelve lofty Corinthian columns
below, and eight of the Composite order above, supporting a grand enriched pediment, representing the conversion of St. Paul, and crowned with a colossal figure
of that saint, and other statues; the whole stands upon
an elevated base, the ascent to which is by a flight of
22 black marble steps, extending the entire length of
the portico. At each of the northern and southern
extremities of this elevation is a campanile turret, of
two stories, of light pierced workmanship, terminating
in a dome formed by curves of contrary flexure, and
surmounted with a gilt pine-apple. In a spacious area
in front is a statue of Queen Anne. The north and south
sides of the cathedral, which have an air of uncommon
elegance, comprise richly decorated windows and niches,
and are ornamented with scrolls, fruitage, and other
suitable enrichments. The interior of the edifice, which
consists of a nave, choir, aisles, transept, side chapels,
&c., is of correspondent beauty, and, like the exterior, is
constructed in the purest style of classical architecture.
The concave of the grand cupola, painted by Sir James
Thornhill, exhibits designs illustrative of some of the
most remarkable occurrences in the life of St. Paul; the
space beneath the dome is appropriated to the reception
of monuments and statues of British heroes, and other
illustrious dead, which, being composed of the finest
marbles, and generally of good design, add to the rich
appearance of this part of the cathedral. In the crypt
under the church, and immediately below the centre of
the dome, is the tomb of Admiral Lord Nelson.
The parochial churches may, for the most part,
be divided into two classes; namely, those built by Sir
Christopher Wren, or his pupils, since the great fire;
and those which escaped that calamity. Of the former,
the following most deserve notice. The church of St.
Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside, which, and St. Bride's, Fleetstreet, possess the most elegant steeples of any in London, is a successful endeavour to perpetuate the origin
of its name of Le Bow, which arose not only from the
body having been erected on arches, or a Norman crypt
(which still remains), but from the edifice having a
steeple, or lantern, resting on bows. This beauty is
retained in the present structure, the lofty spire of which
is partly supported by flying buttresses, Corinthian
columns, and an elegant circular gallery; the whole
being a masterly display of the five orders. The steeple
of St. Bride's, which is of a totally different form, but
equally beautiful, consists of a series of elegant stories,
diminishing in exact proportion as they ascend: it
originally reached the altitude of 234 feet, but was
reduced some years ago, on account of its having been
damaged by lightning. The chaste and elegant church
of St. Stephen, Walbrook, which stands on the site of an
edifice built in 1420, deserves notice on account of the
unrivalled beauty of its interior, which, for propriety of
elevation, simple grandeur of style, and tasteful embellishment, stands alone among the religious structures of
the metropolis; the dome springing from the intersection
is supported by eight arches, rising from as many Corinthian columns, so disposed as to give to the whole
an effect of great lightness and spaciousness. Over the
altar is a fine painting, by West, of the Stoning of
The above-named churches are amongst the finest of
the 50 built by Sir Christopher Wren. The following
claim notice either for their architectural character, or
historical interest. St. Michael's, Wood-street, which is
of the Ionic order, was erected in 1669; the original
tower has of late years been replaced by a clumsy spire.
So early as the year 1359, the church was liberally
endowed; and Stow asserts that the head of James IV.
of Scotland was buried here, after the battle of FloddenField. St. Mary's, Aldermanbury, which has a large
western tower with angular pinnacles, occupies the site
of a church refounded by Alderman Keeble, in the
fifteenth century: Judge Jeffreys was buried in it. St.
Mary's-at-Hill, Lower Thames-street, only partially destroyed by the great fire, is remarkable for containing
some curious records, extracts from which have been
published; it has a plain square brick tower. St.
Vedast's, Foster-lane, which possesses a very handsome
stone spire, of exact symmetry, contains an altar-piece
of singular elegance: the railing before it is peculiarly
rich; the border that surrounds the nimbus, or glory, is
composed for the most part of three cherubim, half
immersed in clouds, and six winged infants, in the
highest possible relief, one sounding two trumpets, and
the others bearing palm branches, the carving being
either from the chisel of Gibbons, or some successful
rival of that great artist. St. Sepulchre's, Snow-hill, is a
spacious stone structure, modernised in 1670 from the
extensive remains of the former church, built in 1440;
it has a fine groined porch, or entrance, and a lofty
square tower with tall angular pinnacles, which, together
with the interior, show that it must, before the fire, have
been a noble edifice of English architecture. St. Mary's
Woolnoth, Lombard-street, is a fine specimen of the
Tuscan order, erected by Nicholas Hawksmoor, a pupil
of Wren's. The exterior is of stone; the northern
elevation is ornamented with large semicircular rusticated
arches, and the western end has a double tower with
Composite columns, a balustrade, and other ornaments:
the interior is of exquisite proportions, and chastely
decorated. St. Michael's, Cornhill, has a beautiful tower,
which renders it one of the most conspicuous features
of the city. The tower is surmounted by four fluted
turrets, and is admirably light and elegant; the various
orders of architecture are harmoniously combined.
There is a monument in the church to the memory of
Fabian, the chronicler, who was an alderman of London.
St. Lawrence's, Jewry, rebuilt in 1677, is a neat edifice,
with a very elegant interior, and contains a monument
of Archbishop Tillotson. St. Peter's, Cornhill, according
to an inscribed brass plate in it, was the first Christian
church erected in Britain; it is said to have been built
by King Lucius, so early as the year 179. The present
structure is plain but neat, and has a tower of red brick,
with a spire terminating in a large key, the emblem of
the patron saint. St. Bene'ts, Paul's Wharf, was erected
in 1181, and rebuilt in 1682, and is said to contain the
remains of Inigo Jones. St. Swithin's, Cannon-street, a
small but elegant church, with a tower and spire, was
built in 1680, on the site of one of very ancient foundation, and attracts additional notice from the famous
"London Stone" being placed in front of it. Christ
Church, Newgate-street, is a spacious edifice of stone,
with a lofty tower, and is much frequented on account
of the singing being performed by the scholars of
Christ's Hospital, who attend divine service in it, and
whose combined voices, from their great number, produce an extraordinary effect. Previously to the dissolution of monasteries, this was the site of the Grey
friars' church, which was 300 feet long, and decorated
with noble monuments; the portion rebuilt was the
choir only of the ancient structure. St. Alban's, Woodstreet, is a handsome stone edifice, with a lofty turreted
tower, and, within, is of good proportions, containing a
richly-ornamented altar-piece, and a pulpit finely carved.
The Saxon king, Athelstan, is said to have had a palace
adjoining this church; and his name, corrupted and
abridged, is thought to be preserved in Addle-street,
formerly called King Adel-street, running by the side of
it. The church of St. Margaret Pattens, Rood-lane, was
rebuilt in 1687; the carving of the altar-piece is by
Grinlin Gibbons. St. Michael's, College-hill, celebrated
as the burial-place of the famous mayor, Richard Whittington, who founded a college here, has a tower surmounted by a singularly beautiful turret, decorated with
Corinthian columns: the ceiling, which is finely coved,
is said to be the largest ceiling of any church in London
unsupported by a column.
Some of the churches which escaped the great fire are
of very considerable architectural merit, and most of
them contain curious and interesting monuments:—
St. Andrew's, Undershaft, Leadenhall-street, which obtained the adjunct to its name from a May-pole, or
shaft, formerly set up on every first of May, and which
was higher than the church steeple, is in the later
English style, having been rebuilt in 1522, at the expense of William Fitzwilliam, founder of the noble house
of Wentworth. The interior is decorated with great
taste; the ceiling is adorned with angels, and the compartments over the pillars which support it are painted
in imitation of basso-relievo. The eastern window is
richly ornamented with stained glass, in five compartments, representing the sovereigns Edward VI., Elizabeth, James I., Charles I., and Charles II.; and the
pulpit is a fine specimen of carving. The most remarkable
monument is that of John Stow, the London historian,
who is represented sitting at study. St. Helen's,
Bishopsgate-street, affirmed by Dr. Stukeley to stand on
the site of a church which existed in the time of the
Roman dominion in Britain and was dedicated to
the Empress Helena, was the church of an adjoining
priory of Benedictine nuns, part only being then
appropriated to the use of the parishioners. It is chiefly
remarkable for its ancient and curious monuments. St.
James', Duke's-place, was built in the reign of James I.,
on the site of the priory of the Holy Trinity at Aldgate,
from the materials of the conventual buildings. St.
Bartholomew's the Less and the Great were both conventual churches, founded by Rayhere (said to have been
jester to Henry I.), who has a tomb, with his effigy, in
the latter. St. Bartholomew the Less, which belonged
to the hospital of St. Bartholomew, has been altered
and modernised so much that it retains no ancient
feature worthy of description. St. Bartholomew's the
Great is a fine specimen, and the only one remaining in
London, of massive Norman architecture, the nave being
supported by ponderous low round columns; the present church is only the choir of that of the priory. St.
Giles', Cripplegate, erected in 1546, on the site of the
church which was built by Alfune, first master of St.
Bartholomew's Hospital, in 1090, and was burnt down
in the year 1545, is a light well-proportioned structure,
containing the remains of Speed the historian, and Fox
the martyrologist, and remarkable as the church in
which Oliver Cromwell was married.
The Abbey, and Churches without the City Proper.
These exhibit as great a variety in their age and construction as those within the limits of the city, and may
be divided into three classes; the churches of ancient
erection, those of Queen Anne and her immediate
successors, and the newly-built churches. The churches
of the first class are, in the City and Liberties of Westminster, the abbey church of St. Peter, St. Margaret's
church, St. John the Baptist's (in the Savoy), and the
Temple church; in Southwark, St. Saviour's church;
and in the suburbs, Stepney church; to which, though
different in style, may be added St. James', Westminster,
and St. Anne's, Soho. The principal churches built in
the reign of Anne and her successors George I., II., and
III., are those of St. Martin; St. George, Hanoversquare; St. Giles-in-the-Fields; St. George, Bloomsbury; St. Mary-le-Strand; St. Clement Danes; St.
Paul, Covent Garden; and St. John the Evangelist,
Millbank; all of which are in Westminster or its
liberties; St. George's, St. Thomas', St. Mary's Bermondsey, and Christchurch, situated in Southwark;
and on the northern and eastern sides of the metropolis,
the churches of Bishopsgate, Spitalfields, Shoreditch,
St. Luke, St. James Clerkenwell, St. John Clerkenwell,
Aldgate, Whitechapel, Bethnal-Green, Limehouse, St.
George-in-the-East, Shadwell, and Wapping.
London contains no churches of the Anglo-Saxon
period, excepting small portions of Westminster Abbey
church, concealed from view by their subterranean
situation. Those edifices in the Anglo-Norman style,
and of later architecture, most deserving of notice in
Westminster, Southwark, &c., are the following:—
Westminster Abbey, or, more properly the collegiate church of St. Peter at Westminster, is ascribed
to Sebert, King of the East Saxons. Edward the Confessor rebuilt the church in 1065; and by Pope Nicholas II. it was appointed the place of inauguration for
the kings of England. On the general suppression of
religious houses, Henry VIII. converted the Benedictine
abbey attached to this church into a college of Secular
canons, under the government of a dean; and afterwards appointed a bishop, making Westminster the head
of a diocese, comprising the entire county of Middlesex,
except Fulham, which was retained by the Bishop of
London; but this establishment was dissolved by Edward
VI., who restored the college, which was again changed
by Queen Mary into an abbey. Elizabeth put an end
to that institution in 1560, and founded the present
establishment, which is a college consisting of a dean
and nine (to be reduced to six) Secular canons, or prebendaries, who have the patronage of the six minor
canonries. A school was attached by Elizabeth, for 40
scholars, called the Queen's, to be educated in the
liberal scieuces, preparatory to their removal to the
university; as is more particularly noticed hereafter.
To the establishment also belong choristers, singing
men, an organist, and twelve almsmen. It is supposed
that a school was annexed to the abbey so long ago as
the time of Edward the Confessor.
The present church was built by Henry III. and his
successors, and completed by the last abbot, with the
exception of the two towers at the western entrance,
which are the work of Sir Christopher Wren, and the
northern doorway, called the "beautiful gate," which
was erected at the expense of the unfortunate Bishop
Atterbury. Its length is 360 feet, the breadth of the
nave 72 feet, and the length of the transept 195 feet.
On entering the western door, the whole body of the
church, highly impressive from its loftiness, lightness,
and symmetry, presents itself at one view, terminated
by the fine painted window over the portico of Henry
the Seventh's chapel. The nave is separated from the
choir by a screen; the choir, in the form of a semioctagon, is surrounded by several chapels. The roofs
of the nave and transept are supported by two rows of
arches, one above the other, resting on beautiful and lofty
clustered columns of Purbeck marble. Corresponding
with the central range of pillars are demi-pillars in the
side walls, which, as they rise, spring into semi-arches, and
meet others opposite in acute angles; by which means
the roof is thrown into a variety of segments of arches
decorated with ornamental carvings. The aisles receive
light from a middle range of windows, which, with the
four large ones at the ends of the nave and the transept,
give light to the whole of the main building. The great
western window is splendidly painted, representing
figures of the patriarchs Moses and Aaron, the arms
of Edward the Confessor, those of Westminster, and
The choir, one of the most beautiful in Europe, is
terminated towards the east by the ancient high altar,
beyond which, at a small distance, is seen the magnificent shrine of Edward the Confessor, rising from the
centre of the chapel which bears his name. The pavement before the altar-table is a splendid specimen of
ancient Mosaic work, and one side of the inclosure is
formed by the venerable tombs and effigies of Aymer de
Valence and Edward Crouchback, the monuments of
King Sebert, Anne of Cleves, &c. The choir is inclosed in the northern and southern sides by handsome
stalls, the floor being paved with black and white
marble, and the roof ornamented with white tiles,
divided into compartments, which are bordered with
gilt carved work. The ceremony of the coronation of
the kings and queens of England is performed in this
part of the abbey.
The best executed monuments are the productions of
Roubilliac, Rysbrach, Flaxman, Westmacott, and Bacon.
In the southern extremity of the transept are monuments to the memory of many of the most eminent
British poets, whence this spot has received its name of
Poets' Corner: here are amongst others, the names and
memorials of Chancer, Spenser, Shakspeare, Ben Jonson, Milton, Dryden, Butler, Thomson, Gay, Goldsmith,
Addison, Johnson, &c.; with the tombs of Handel and
Garrick. In the southern aisle the most remarkable
monuments are those of Dr. Watts, W. Hargrave, Esq.,
and Captain James Cornwall, At the western end of
the abbey are those of Sir Godfrey Kneller, Dr. Mead,
Sir Charles Wager, the Earl of Chatham, &c. On the
northern side of the entrance into the choir is a monument to Sir Isaac Newton, and near it one of Earl
Stanhope. Near the great gates, and opposite the tomb
of the Earl of Chatham, lie the remains, about twelve
feet from each other, of the two great political rivals,
Charles James Fox and William Pitt, the monument of
the latter of whom is over the western entrance. A
monument to Lord Mansfield is erected under one of
the lofty arches at the northern end of the transept.
Around the choir are eight chapels, dedicated respectively to St. Benedict, St. Nicholas, St. Paul, St. Erasmus, St. John the Baptist, St. John the Evangelist, St.
Michael, and St. Andrew; and in them is a variety of
tombs, erected to the memory of distinguished persons:
the three last-named chapels have been converted into a
single one. Besides these, are two others deserving
particular description, viz., the chapel of Edward the
Confessor, and Henry the Seventh's Chapel. Edward
the Confessor's Chapel stands immediately behind the
altar of the church, upon an elevated floor, to which
there is a flight of steps. It is remarkable for containing the shrine of its patron saint, King Edward the Confessor, and the tombs of several of the ancient English
monarchs, from which circumstance it has been denominated "the Chapel of the Kings." The saint's shrine,
erected pursuant to the orders of Henry III., by Peter
Cavalini, stands in the centre, and was curiously ornamented with mosaic work of coloured stones, with gilding, and other embellishments, but only some fragments
now remain. Of the regal monuments around, that of
Henry III. is distinguished by large panels of polished
porphyry, inclosed with mosaic work of scarlet and gold,
and that monarch's effigy of brass gilt, the size of life.
The remains of Edward I. are contained in a plain coffin
of grey marble. The tomb of Edward III. has his
statue of brass gilt, and is surrounded by statues of his
children and others. There is a tomb erected to the
memory of Richard II. and his queen, Anne of Bohemia,
with their effigies. Editha, consort of the Confessor;
Eleanor, the affectionate wife of Edward I.; and the
heroic Philippa, consort of Edward III., have tombs
with their effigies; the tombs of brass gilt, and the
effigies of alabaster. The tomb of Henry V. is inclosed
in a beautiful chantry chapel. The coronation chairs,
and the stone brought from Scone by Edward I.; the
sword and shield of King Edward III., the saddle and
helmet used by Henry V. at the battle of Agincourt;
and various models of churches by Sir Christopher
Wren, are shown among the curiosties here. Along
the frieze of the screen of the chapel are fourteen legendary sculptures, relating to the history of Edward
the Confessor, which were executed in the reign of
Henry III., and are well worthy the attention of the
Henry the Seventh's Chapel, universally admitted to be
one of the richest specimens of later English architecture in the kingdom, adjoins the eastern extremity of
the abbey. It was erected as a mausoleum for himself
and his family by the king whose name it bears, on the
site of a smaller chapel, dedicated, like the present, to
the Virgin Mary; and cost £14,000, a sum estimated
to have been equal to a quarter of a million of our present currency. The exterior of the edifice is remarkable
for richness and variety, which are greatly increased
by fourteen buttresses, with crocketed turrets, projecting from the several angles of the building, and are
beautifully ornamented with canopies, niches, and other
decorations: these buttresses add strength as well as
beauty to the edifice, being connected with the upper
part of the walls of the nave by pointed arches. The
interior, lighted by a double range of windows of magnificent dimensions and elegant workmanship, consists
of a nave and two small aisles, and is entered by a flight
of black marble steps, under a noble arch, that leads to
a pair of large wrought brazen gates, thickly plated with
gold. The nave is 99 feet long, 66 broad, and 54 high,
and terminates at the eastern end in a curve, having five
deep recesses, entered by open arches. The lofty stone
ceiling, with its innumerable ornaments, excites the
highest admiration. Numerous oratories, canopies, and
other embellishments, adorn the sides and ends of the
chapel. In the centre stands the altar-tomb of Henry
VII., executed by Torregiano, in basaltic stone, ornamented with the royal effigy, and surrounded by a
magnificent screen of the same material; the whole said
to have cost £1000. Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth,
Mary, Queen of Scots, Margaret of Richmond, several
of the Brunswick family, and numerous other royal and
distinguished persons, have been interred within this
St. Margaret's Church, an elegant specimen of the
architecture of the period of Edward IV., stands near
the northern entrance of the abbey, and is remarkable
for its beautiful eastern window of painted glass, representing the Crucifixion. This window was intended
to be presented by the magistrates of Dort, in Holland,
to Henry VII., for his chapel; but he dying before it
was finished, after passing through the hands of various
owners, it was at last purchased for its present situation
for the sum of £420. A board in the church is inscribed
to the memory of Sir Walter Raleigh, who was beheaded
in 1618, in Palace yard adjoining. Here is likewise a
tablet to William Caxton, the first English printer,
lately erected by the Roxburghe Club. The members
of the house of commons attend divine service in this
church on particular occasions.
The Temple Church, dedicated to St. Mary, supposed to have been originally founded in 1185, and
which was either partly or wholly rebuilt by the Knights
Templars in 1247, was, after various dilapidations and
injudicious repairs, completely restored to its pristine
character, and reopened for divine service in November,
1842. This highly interesting structure consists chiefly
of two portions: the one, a circular tower forming a
vestibule to the other part, is a beautiful specimen of the
middle and transitional styles of Norman architecture,
and of the various gradations whereby it passed into the
early English style, of which the eastern, or second portion of the church is one of the purest and most elegant
specimens extant. The western entrance to the circular
tower is by a deeply recessed and elaborately-enriched
Norman doorway. From the basement of the interior
rises a series of six clustered and filleted columns of
Purbeck marble, supporting a triforium embellished with
intersecting arches resting on slender shafted columns;
and immediately above the main columns, are six openings into a gallery behind them, in which have been deposited the numerous monuments that previously disfigured the walls. The clerestory is lighted by a range
of six circular-headed windows, one of which is filled
with stained glass; and the groined roof is ornamented
with paintings in appropriate devices. On the tessellated
pavement are several recumbent effigies of Knights
Templars, and behind the columns is a circular aisle,
the walls of which are adorned with a series of arches,
resting on a platform of stone, and having, in the
spandrils, human heads of grotesque character. From
the circular tower, three lofty and finely-pointed arches
lead into the nave and aisles of the eastern portion of
the church, or choir, which is appropriated to the performance of public worship. The nave is separated from
the aisles by beautiful ranges of clustered columns of
Purbeck marble, and is lighted on each side by a series
of five lofty triple lancet windows; at the east end are
three similar windows, of which the central one, immediately above the altar, is of larger dimensions. The
eastern windows are all embellished with stained glass,
representing scriptural subjects most minutely detailed,
and various emblematical devices illustrative of the order
of Knights Templars; in the side windows are several
shields of armorial bearings, in stained glass, and on the
north side, the central window has been made to form a
recess for the organ, which has been removed from its
former situation, where it impeded the principal entrance
from the circular tower. The roof is richly groined, and
elaborately painted; and between the windows are slender
shafts of Purbeck marble, rising from plinths, and supporting the ribs of the groining of those portions of the
roof which cover the aisles. Among the numerous distinguished characters whose remains have been interred
in the church, are Plowden, Selden, Lord Thurlow, and
St. John the Baptist's, now almost the only remnant of the palace of the Savoy, in the Strand, (which
was rebuilt in 1245, and converted into an hospital in
1509, when the present church appears to have been
erected), has a beautiful roof, divided into panels, on
which numerous religious and heraldic devices are carved,
and contains several ancient monuments of the Willoughby, Howard, and Compton families; it was repaired in 1820, and other embellishments have been just
St. Saviour's, Southwark, formerly collegiate, is
the most spacious parochial church in the metropolis,
and one of the finest specimens of ancient architecture;
it has a nave, aisles, choir, transept, and Lady chapel.
The old nave was swept away some years ago, and a
new building erected in its stead, which is divided from
the transept by a screen reaching to the roof; it contains
a magnificent organ, a genuine part of the old pile,
although lately enlarged. The Lady chapel has been
renovated at a very great expense, defrayed by subscription, and is considered one of the handsomest specimens
of the early English style now subsisting. A portion of
the church appears to be of the period of Henry II. or
III., and another portion of that of Henry IV., in whose
reign it was partly rebuilt. Twenty-six pillars, in two
rows, support the roof of this interesting edifice; and the
galleries in the walls of the choir are adorned with arches,
in a similar manner to Westminster Abbey. The tower,
which is sustained on four very strong pillars, is 150
feet high to the top of the large angular pinnacles, and
contains a peal of twelve fine-toned bells. During the
progress of the embellishment and repairs, in the month
of July, 1830, the remains of Lancelot Andrews, Bishop
of Winchester, who died Sept. 21st, 1626, were discovered in a state of great preservation, in a leaden coffin,
walled up with brick, within his monument in Bishop's
chapel; a subterraneous passage leading from the church
was exposed to view soon afterwards. Gower, the ancient English poet, has a small monument in the church,
and several other eminent men lie interred here. The
churchwardens of St. Saviour's, with other parish officers, form a corporate body, by charter of Henry VIII.,
granted at the dissolution of the college or priory of
Augustine canons here, when the inhabitants purchased
the conventual church, and made it parochial.
St. James', and St. Anne's Soho, are remarkable,
the former for its fine interior, containing a beautiful
marble font, sculptured by Gibbons; and the latter as
the burial-place of Theodore, King of Corsica, who lies
in the churchyard, beneath a gravestone inscribed with
some lines from the pen of Lord Orford.
Although Sir Christopher Wren was the architect
principally employed in rebuilding the city churches
after the great fire of London, yet the erection of a few
in different parts of the metropolis was confided to his
contemporaries. There were also several good churches
built in the succeeding reigns, by other architects; and
the following, as the most interesting of these, are entitled to a brief notice. St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, which
has been invariably admired for its portico, the finest
church portico in London, is entitled to a comparison
with the best works of Sir Christopher Wren; it was
erected between the years 1721 and 1726, from a design
by James Gibbs, and unites the light and picturesque
beauty of the modern temple with the sober grandeur
and solidity of Grecian architecture. The formation of
Trafalgar-square opened up a good view of this splendid
edifice, which previously was obscured by numerous
buildings. St. George's, Hanover-square, is remarkable
for a portico of the Corinthian order, consisting of six
columns, with an entablature and pediment; and the
steeple is also an excellent piece of architecture: over
the altar-piece is a painting of the Last Supper, attributed to Sir James Thornhill. St. Mary's-le-Strand,
though sometimes censured for its affected display of
the five orders of architecture, and otherwise too lavish
ornament, is a handsome edifice, erected by Gibbs, in
1717, just after his return from Italy. St. Clement Danes'
has a lofty steeple by Gibbs, and the body of the church
is said to have been designed by Sir Christopher Wren.
St. Paul's, Covent Garden, which was originally erected
by Inigo Jones, at the expense of the Earl of Bedford,
and on the 17th of Sept. 1795, was burnt down, was
rebuilt in imitation of the original edifice, and has a
noble massive portico of the Tuscan order, with an
interior of great neatness and simplicity: Butler, the
author of Hudibras, and Dr. Wolcot, better known under
the assumed name of Peter Pindar, lie buried in the
churchyard. St. Giles-in-the-Fields, erected in 1734, at
an expense of £10,000, from a design by Henry Flightcroft, is constructed entirely of stone, in a simple yet
elegant style, with a lofty handsome steeple; the entrance
gateway has a fine sculptured entablature, representing
the Day of Judgment. St. George's, Bloomsbury, erected
by Nicholas Hawksmoor, in 1731, is a singular and not
very harmonious, compound of the Tuscan and Corinthian orders, constructed entirely of stone, with a good
portico in front, and a pyramidical steeple, grotesquely
ornamented. St. John the Evangelist's, Millbank, designed by Sir John Vanbrugh, is remarkable for having
four steeples, one at each corner, which give it rather a
whimsical apperance; several of its details, however,
The churches erected since the commencement of the
present century are exceedingly numerous. Some of
the earlier of these are eminent specimens of architectural display, particularly St. Pancras', Mary-le-Bone, All
Souls' (Langham-place), St. Luke's (Chelsea), St. Dunstan's-in-the-West, &c.; but those erected within the
last few years, a period particularly remarkable for the
number of new churches, are principally edifices in a
simple and unadorned style, with few pretensions to
beauty of architecture, or richness of ornament. The
church in Berwick-street, in the parish of St. James',
Westminster, consecrated July 23rd, 1839, is one of the
largest erected in the metropolis for several years; the
cost of its erection and the purchase of the site having
exceeded £14,000. Here also may be noticed the munificent design of Miss Burdett Coutts, who is erecting a
church (St. Stephen's), schools, and a parsonage-house,
in Rochester-row, Westminster, at a cost of £25,000,
exclusively of £10,000 paid for buildings on the site, and
£10,000 for the endowment of the living.
In the various parts of the metropolis are altogether
about 380 churches and places of worship in connexion
with the Establishment, and about 280 meeting-houses
for dissenters. These latter chiefly belong to Independents, Wesleyans, Baptists, and Calvinistic Methodists; about twenty of them are devoted to Roman
Catholic worship, and special mention may be made of
the Roman Catholic church of St. George the Martyr,
Lambeth, now in progress, which will constitute one of
the largest and most magnificent ecclesiastical structures
raised since the Reformation.
Colleges and Schools.
The University of London,
Somerset House, was originally instituted by charter
granted on the 28th of Nov.
1836; but on the 5th of
December, 1837, a second
charter was bestowed, by
which the former was revoked, and some of its details modified. The prominent objects are the advancement of religion and
morality, and the promotion
of useful knowledge; and the university is intended to
hold forth to all classes and denominations an encouragement for pursuing a regular and liberal course of
education by conferring academical degrees. The senate
consists of a chancellor, vice-chancellor, and 36 fellows;
and examiners in the classics, mathematics, natural
history, chemistry, &c., are appointed, for granting the
several degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts,
Bachelor of Laws, Doctor of Laws, Bachelor of Medicine, and Doctor of Medicine. The chancellor is appointed by the crown; and the vice-chancellor, whose
office is annual, by the senate, from among the fellows.
When the number of fellows shall be reduced below the
number of 25, the members of the senate are empowered
to elect 12 more, in order to complete the number of
36: the Queen is visitor.
Seal of the University.
King's College is so named from its having been founded
under the immediate patronage of George IV., who presented the proprietors with the site, on the condition
that the college should be completed in conformity with
the design of Somerset House, of which it now forms
the eastern wing. It was erected at an estimated expense, as given by the architect, Sir Robert Smirke, of
£140,000, exclusively of £17,000 for the purchase and
removal of houses next the Strand, to make room for
the principal front, and £10,000 for furniture; making,
with additional items, £170,000, besides the cost of
furnishing the library and museum. The funds for the
erection and support of the institution were raised by
donations, and by shares of £100 each, the dividends
on which are not to exceed four per cent., the surplus
to be applied exclusively to the benefit of the college.
The design of the institution is, to afford to the youth
of the metropolis a course of instruction similar to that
pursued at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge.
The principal, with a competent number of professors,
is appointed by the council, among the members of which,
as perpetual governors, are, the Archbishop of Canterbury and York, the Lord Chancellor, Lord Chief Justice
of the Court of Queen's Bench, Secretary of State for the
Home Department, Speaker of the House of Commons,
Deans of St. Paul's and Westminster, and the Lord
Mayor. By this body all the fundamental regulations
respecting the discipline and course of education are
approved; and the Archbishop of Canterbury is perpetual visiter. A valuable museum of philosophical
instruments and astronomical apparatus, originally
formed by George III. at the Royal Observatory in Kew
Gardens, was presented to the institution by Her
Majesty, and opened by Prince Albert in June 1843.
Attached to the college is a preparatory school, which is
University College was established with a view to
afford a liberal education principally to those who are
excluded from honours at Oxford and Cambridge by the
statutes of religious conformity: the students are divided into three classes, according to the different departments of literature in which they are engaged. The
institution is governed by a council of 24, six of whom
are chosen annually; and this body appoints the professors. The funds of the institution must be not less
than £150,000, nor more than £300,000; each proprietor has the right of appointing one pupil, and
receives four per cent. on every share. The building,
the first stone of which was laid on the 30th of April,
1827, by the late Duke of Sussex, occupies, with its
appendages, seven acres of ground, near the New road,
purchased for £90,000. That portion which has been
already erected consists entirely of stone; the theatres,
lecture-rooms, and other apartments of the interior, are
all of elegant architecture, and commodiously adapted
to their respective purposes. A scholastic department,
in addition to the collegiate, was subsequently established,
as preparatory to the latter. The college has received a
valuable addition to its museum from Gore Clough,
Esq., consisting of specimens and preparations of morbid
anatomy and midwifery, with numerous prints and
drawings, collected at an expense of nearly £3000.
Westminster School, situated within the precincts of
Westminster Abbey, was founded in 1560, by Queen
Elizabeth, for 40 scholars, who receive an education
preparatory for the Universities; beside whom many of
the sons of the nobility and gentry are educated, as
private scholars. Eight boys are elected annually on
the foundation; and four more, called "Bishop's boys,"
are appointed by the dean, on the establishment of Dr.
Williams, Bishop of Lincoln, who directed an annual
pecuniary allowance to be made to each, which is withheld until the boys are entered at St. John's College,
Cambridge, when the Dean and Chapter add so much as
will make up £20 a year for four years. The bishop
also endowed four scholarships in the same college, for
boys of the school, preference being given to those on
his own foundation, each of the value of £20 per annum,
for four years. The other University advantages are,
eight studentships and scholarships at Corpus Christi
and Trinity Colleges, Cambridge, the former of the
value of from £50 to £60 per annum, the latter of £25;
three scholarships at St. John's College, founded by
Sir Robert Wood, Knt., in 1659; a second nomination to three more at Corpus Christi College, of the
annual value of £20 each, founded by Archbishop
Parker, in 1569; and a rent-charge of £20, assigned by
Dr. Triplett, in 1668, towards the support of four boys
from this school at the University.
The Charter-House, which comprises an hospital as
well as a school, is so named from the word Chartreuse,
the site having been occupied by a convent of Carthusian
monks. It was built and endowed in the reign of James
I., by Thomas Sutton, a merchant of great opulence
and liberality; and the purchase and completion of the
buildings cost upwards of £20,000. The establishment
of this noble seminary consists of a master, a preacher,
two schoolmasters, and 44 scholars, who are supported
free of every expense. The boys, presented by the
governors in rotation, are instructed in classical learning, and wear an academical dress, resembling that of
the scholars of Eton and Westminster; and besides
those on the foundation, numerous boys are received,
the sons of private gentlemen, whose education is paid
for. The hospital is for 80 decayed gentlemen, who
have been merchants, or military officers, each of whom
is allowed £14 a year, with a gown, provisions, fuel,
and two handsome apartments: they dine in a common
hall, and attend prayers daily in the chapel. The
buildings occupy the whole site of the monastery, which,
with its gardens and grounds, was of great extent; and
several portions of the monastic edifice, still remaining,
present a very antique and venerable appearance. From
the revenue of the institution, 29 exhibitioners, at either
of the universities, are allowed £80 per annum for the
first four years, and, if they graduate regularly, £100
per annum for the next four years. The school has also
ten exhibitions at Christ-Church, Pembroke, Worcester,
and University Colleges, Oxford, founded by Elizabeth
Holford, in 1720; and its governors have the patronage
of nine ecclesiastical benefices. A district church, dedicated to St. Thomas, has been erected on part of the
land attached to the buildings; the net income of the
incumbent is £150, and the patronage is vested in the
Bishop of London.
St. Paul's School, at the east end of St. Paul's churchyard, was founded in 1509, by the celebrated Dr. Colet,
Dean of St. Paul's, for the free education of 153 boys,
by a master, an usher, and a chaplain, under the direction of the Mercers' Company, who are perpetual trustees,
the master of the company being senior surveyor of the
school. The revenue is upwards of £5000; in addition
to which, the company are in the receipt of £1000 annually, on an average, arising from £18,834. 15. three
per cent. reduced annuities, and the produce of tithes in
the county of Northumberland, bequeathed by Viscount
Campden, about 1685, for the endowment of exhibitions
at Trinity College, Cambridge, in behalf of the school,
for which nine exhibitioners are allowed £100 per annum each for five years. There are also, an unlimited
number of exhibitions of the value of £50 a year each,
tenable for seven years, at either university; one of £30
a year at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, founded
by John Stock, Esq., in 1781, tenable for seven years;
five at Trinity College, Cambridge, of £10 per annum
each, founded by Mr. Perry; four scholarships at Corpus
Christi College, founded in 1766, by George Sykes, Esq.;
and two exhibitions of £10 per annum each, jointly with
the free grammar school at Dorchester, at St. John's
College, Cambridge, founded by Dr. Gower, for clergymen's sons. The school has an interest in Sir Robert
Wood's scholarships, in default of candidates from the
schools at Canterbury and Westminster. The premises
were rebuilt in the year 1824, entirely of stone, in an
elegant style, and with several enlargements, including
a fine arcade for the recreation of the boys.
Merchant Tailors' School, founded in 1561, by Sir
Thomas White, and liberally endowed by him and other
members of the Merchant Tailors' Company, is conducted by a principal and three under masters, who
teach the classics; and by two writing-masters, for
whom a room has been constructed out of some smaller
apartments previously occupied by the junior masters.
The number of boys is limited to 250, and they are presented by the members of the court of assistants, each
exercising the privilege in turn; the boys pay £5. 2.
each on admission, and £2. 2. per quarter, with some
other trifling charges: one-half of the admission fees
are set apart for founding exhibitions at the Universities.
The school has 37 fellowships at St. John's College,
Oxford; six scholarships at Pembroke College, Cambridge, of the value of £40 a year each, tenable for
seven years, founded by the Rev. C. Parkyn; six civillaw fellowships of £50 per annum each, at St. John's
College; and two exhibitions of £50 per annum each,
one at St. John's College, and the other at Pembroke
College, founded by Dr. Stuart; also five divinity
scholarships of £4. 8. each, founded by Walter Fish;
four of £4 per annum each, founded by John Vernon,
in 1615; and one scholarship of £4 per annum, founded
by John Wooler, all the ten being at St. John's College;
and an exhibition, of uncertain value, to either University, arising from the amount of donations by individuals
educated at the school. There are a by-fellowship and
two scholarships at Catherine Hall, Cambridge, founded
by Thomas Holwey, for boys from Eton or Merchant
Tailors' school; and the school has an interest in Sir
Robert Wood's scholarships, in default of boys from
Canterbury and Westminster schools. The buildings of
the establishment, situated on the east side of Suffolklane, Cannon-street, consist of the school, a house for
the head master, a library, and a chapel.
Christ's Hospital, Newgate-street, founded by Edward
VI. in 1552, is the noble and celebrated establishment
commonly denominated the Blue-coat school, from the
costume of the children supported and educated in it.
This institution, famed for its antiquity, extent, and high
character, occupies the site of the Grey friars' monastery,
the buildings of which, having gone to decay, have been
rebuilt in conformity with the original style. There is
an establishment at Hertford, to which the younger boys
are generally sent, preparatory to entering on the foundation in London. In London and at Hertford, are
from 1300 to 1400 boys, who are clothed, boarded, and
educated. The lord mayor and corporation of London
are governors and directors ex officio, and there are other
governors, amounting in all to about 350, who must be
donors of £400 and upwards. The Hall, from a design
by Mr. John Shaw, is one of the grandest and most
imposing modern attempts at later English architecture;
it stands on the site of the "little cloisters" of the
monastery, measuring more than 180 feet in length, and
of proportionate height and width. The structure is of
stone; and the style, agreeing with the date of the
charity, has been copied from the Hall of Hampton
Court palace, from which noble model, however, it
differs in many respects, though in strict accordance
with the style adopted: the houses in Newgate-street
directly in front have been taken down, and the site is
now occupied by a pair of handsome iron gates. The
staircases, and a fine cloister beneath, correspond, and
concur with the interior of the Hall itself to render this
one of the most magnificent banqueting-rooms in England. The revenue of the hospital, arising from landed
and funded property purchased with the donations of
numerous private individuals, amounts to about £45,000.
There are six exhibitions at Pembroke College, Cambridge, each of the value of £90 for the first four years
and £50 for the last three years, each scholar receiving
£50 for an outfit; an exhibition of £70, with the same
outfit, at any college in Oxford, every seventh year;
two scholarships of £40 per annum each, at Pembroke
College, Cambridge, founded by Mr. Sergeant Moses;
six of £10 per annum each, three at Emmanuel College,
and three at Christ's College, Cambridge, founded by
John Brown in 1662; and two exhibitions of £12 per
annum, at Emmanuel College, founded by Emmanuel
Richards, the holders of which receive also an extra
The City of London School, in Milk-street, Cheapside,
was established in 1837, by the corporation, for the sons
of respectable persons engaged in professional, commercial, or trading pursuits. The general plan of instruction includes the English, Latin, Greek, French,
and German languages, writing, arithmetic, book-keeping, geography, mathematics, history, and incidental
subjects; the Scriptures are read and taught in the
school, and the business of each day is commenced and
terminated with prayer. In addition to the fees from
pupils, the establishment has an income of £900 per
annum, from estates left by John Carpenter, clerk to
the city in the time of Henry VI.; and eight foundation
scholarships have been attached to the school, as rewards of merit, to be determined by an examination at
Midsummer, and the candidates for which must be between 11 and 15 years of age, and have been at least
three years at the school. The advantages of each
scholarship are equal to £35 per annum; besides a premium of £50 on the scholar leaving the establishment,
if he has continued in it for three years after gaining
the scholarship. Such of the foundation scholars as
proceed to the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, or
London, with a view to taking a degree, are allowed to
retain their scholarships for a sufficient period, and receive the sum of £25 a year each in respect thereof, as
an exhibition towards their expenses. The following
scholarships and exhibitions are also attached to the
school, for the benefit of pupils proceeding from the
school to the universities of Oxford or Cambridge;
namely, a scholarship of the value of £30 per annum,
established by the committee of "The Times" Testimonial; a scholarship or exhibition, endowed by the
corporation with £400 paid by the late Mr. Tegg as a
fine for not serving the office of sheriff, and an additional
sum of £100 given by him in augmentation of the fund;
two scholarships, of £50 per annum each, established
by Hen. Beaufoy, Esq., F.R.S., for the encouragement
of the study of mathematics with reference to their application to practical purposes; a scholarship or exhibition, value £50 per annum, by David Salomons, Esq.,
formerly sheriff, tenable for four years at Oxford, Cambridge, or London university; and a scholarship by the
committee for raising a testimonial to the memory of the
late Mr. John Travers. Several medals, and many other
prizes, are also competed for by the pupils.
St. Olave's Grammar-School, near the line of the
Greenwich railway, was founded in 1570, for the sons of
inhabitants of the parish of St. Olave; and provides an
excellent general education, entirely free. It is divided
into a classical and an English department; the difference being, that in the former the ancient classics are
taught in addition to the ordinary branches of an English education, whilst in the latter they are omitted.
The usual number of scholars is between 500 and 600:
the funds are now about £3000 a year; and there are
two university exhibitions of £80 each, connected with
The edifices in which many of the other schools are
held are handsome, and the pupils numerous.
London contains many hospitals for the sick and
diseased; a still greater number of almshouses for the
maintenance of the aged; asylums for the support of
indigent persons of various other descriptions; and
numerous dispensaries for gratuitously supplying the
poor with medicine and medical aid at their own dwellings; exclusively of which, the Livery Companies alone
distribute above £64,000 annually in charities, and there
is a multitude of institutions for the relief of the distressed, of a less public and prominent nature. The
aggregate amount of the sums annually expended in
public charities in London has been estimated at little
less than £1,000,000 sterling. The hospitals were chiefly
founded by the munificence of private individuals; some
of them being endowed with permanent revenues, and
others supported by annual or occasional voluntary subscriptions. Many of the buildings are of immense extent, and imposing architecture, and their internal regulations are worthy of their magnitude and importance:
the medical assistance is the best the profession can
supply; the attendance ample, and the rooms and wards,
bedding, &c., clean and wholesome. The almshouses
and other institutions for the support of the aged and
indigent exhibit not merely an appearance, but the real
possession, of competence and ease. The chief hospitals
are as follows:—
St. Bartholomew's Hospital, which was incorporated in
the last year of the reign of Henry VIII., originally belonged to the priory of St. Bartholomew, in Smithfield,
founded in 1102 by Rayhere, said to have been jester to
King Henry I. The present edifice was constructed by
Gibbs in 1729, and consists of four magnificent piles of
stone building, forming the four equal sides of a quadrangle, and connected by stone gateways. Persons injured by accident are received at all hours, and those
afflicted with disease are admitted on petition.
St. Thomas' Hospital, in High-street, Southwark, of
monastic foundation, but re-founded by Edward VI.,
was rebuilt in 1693, in three beautiful squares, to which
the governors, in 1732, added a fourth magnificent pile
of building at their own expense. It is now composed
of four quadrangular courts, comprising numerous wards,
with a chapel and parochial church; and of a new wing
built in a style corresponding with the other architectural
improvements made at the southern approaches to London bridge. The annual expenditure is about £10,000.
St. Thomas' and St. Bartholomew's Hospitals are both
under the control of the lord mayor and aldermen.
Guy's Hospital, which stands at a short distance from
St. Thomas', was founded by Thomas Guy, citizen of
London, who expended £18,793 on its erection during
his lifetime, and endowed it with the immense sum of
£220,000 at his death. The building consists of a centre and two wings, with a separate edifice in the rear for
lunatic patients, and includes thirteen large wards, a
hall and chapel, a theatre for lectures, a laboratory, a
museum of anatomical preparations, and a library; it
can make up 550 beds, and affords relief also to 2000
The London Hospital, in Whitechapel-road, was established in 1740, and the present building was erected
in 1759, when the charity was incorporated. The patients
relieved are sick and wounded seamen, and other persons
connected with the river and maritime affairs; their
number amounts annually to many thousands. The
building is extremely large, and possesses an extensive
front towards the road.
The Middlesex Hospital, in Charles-street, Oxfordstreet, was built in 1745, for the reception of sick and
lame patients, the relief of lying-in married women and
of out-patients, and the admission at all hours of persons
wounded by accidents; in 1792 an addition was made
to it by a beneficent individual, for affording relief to
persons afflicted with cancers, who, if they choose, may
remain in the hospital for life; and in 1836 the charity
was incorporated. The wings of the building have been
lately extended, and its exterior has been improved in
appearance by stuccoing it, and adding a little to its
height; it is capable of receiving 300 patients.
The Westminster Hospital "for the relief of the sick
and needy from all parts," was founded in 1719, in
James-street, Westminster, from which it was lately removed to the corner of Prince's-street, where a handsome
and substantial edifice of stone has been erected, opposite to the grand entrance to the abbey; the charity was
incorporated in the year 1836.
The New Bethlehem Lunatic Hospital, Lambeth, founded
by Henry VIII., and removed from its old situation in
Moorfields, in 1812, is on a scale of real magnificence,
the grand front being 580 feet in length, and resembling
rather a palace than an erection for the purposes of
charity. The building is of brick, and comprises a centre
and two wings, the former being surmounted by a dome,
and decorated with an Ionic portico of six columns
supporting the arms of the United Kingdom; the whole
was completed at an expense of about £100,000, from a
design by Mr. Lewis. It is capable of receiving 460
patients, and is under the government of the mayor and
aldermen; the annual income is about £18,000.
St. Luke's Hospital, also for lunatics, established by
voluntary contributions, "for the relief of all indigent
lunatics," on account of the inadequacy of the last-mentioned establishment, is a noble building, situated in
Old-street, with a front 493 feet long, remarkable for
simple grandeur. Its interior arrangement constitutes
a perfect model for similar charities; the number of
patients is limited to 300. The original building was
erected in 1732, on the north side of Upper Moorfields,
and the present was commenced in 1751, and completed
in 1786, at an expense of £55,000.
Bridewell Hospital occupies the site of Bridewell palace
near Fleet-street; before the fire of London it consisted
of several quadrangles, and it is even now of great extent. The establishment was founded by Edward VI.
for the relief of distress, and the punishment of vagrants,
and is still used as a house of correction for dissolute
persons, committed by the mayor and aldermen, and
idle apprentices, committed by the chamberlain of the
city; and for the temporary maintenance of distressed
vagrants, till they can be passed to their places of settlement. It is under the government of the corporation.
In 1843, a new house of occupation was opened in St.
George's Fields, where the honest and industrious poor
are instructed in useful trades.
St. George's Hospital, near Hyde Park Corner, was instituted in 1733, and the edifice was lately rebuilt on a
magnificent plan; the charity was incorporated in 1834.
The Charing-Cross Hospital, King William street, was
founded in 1818, and the present building was erected
in 1831; the charity consists of two branches, a dispensary for the relief of the sick poor at their own homes,
and an hospital for the reception of those more severely
afflicted. The King's College Hospital, situated in Portugal-street, Lincoln's Inn, was opened April 13th, 1840,
and is of incalculable benefit. The North London Hospital, in connexion with University College, was founded
in 1833-4, when the main part was erected; the south
wing was added in 1838, and the first stone of the north
wing was laid by Lord Brougham in May, 1846. Since
the foundation of the hospital, £67,000 have been expended in erecting and furnishing the buildings, and in
relieving the suffering poor. St. Mary's Hospital, for
Mary-le-bone and Paddington, was projected in 1843;
and a large amount of subscriptions having been raised,
the building was commenced, under the auspices of
Prince Albert, in June, 1845. The site was partly granted
by the trustees of the Paddington estate, and partly purchased, and consists of an acre and a quarter of land
contiguous to the terminus of the Great Western railway.
Among the other institutions are, the Royal Free Hospital, founded in 1828, and removed in 1843, from
Greville-street, Hatton Garden, to healthier and more
extensive premises in Gray's Inn Road; the London
Fever Hospital, opened in 1803; the Seamen's Hospital,
for sick and diseased seamen in the port of London,
who are accommodated on board the "Dreadnought,"
moored off Greenwich, established in 1821, and incorporated in 1833; the Hospital for Consumption, and Diseases of the Chest, instituted in 1841; the Sanatorium,
Devonshire-place House, New Road, also opened in
1841; the Metropolitan Convalescent Institution, established in 1843; and the Lock Hospital, Asylum, and
Chapel, situated formerly in Grosvenor-place, but now
at Westbourne-green, Paddington, and of which the first
was instituted in 1746, the second in 1787, and the third
in 1764. The Lying-in Hospitals and Charities are numerous, and some of the buildings are exceedingly spacious and handsome.
Literary, Philosophical, and other Learned and Scientific Institutions, &c.
The number of these is very great, and is constantly
increasing. The oldest is Gresham College, founded and
endowed by Sir Thomas Gresham, who bequeathed his
residence in Bishopsgate-street, and other property, for
the use and support of professors of divinity, astronomy,
music, geometry, law, physic, and rhetoric. The professors were to reside and have a common table in the
house, and to read their lectures daily, both in Latin
and English. Little is recorded of the college prior to
the middle of the 17th century, when it was occupied
as a military garrison, and all the professors, except
one, were constrained to leave it. After the Restoration, the lectures were resumed; but a second interruption soon arose from the great fire of 1666; upon which
Gresham College, which had fortunately escaped the
flames, was for several years "employed for carrying on
the trade and transacting the public affairs of the city."
Early in the ensuing century, the buildings seem to have
fallen into lamentable decay; the institution continued
to decline, and in 1768 an act of parliament was passed,
authorising the sale of the college to the commissioners
of excise, for the purpose of building a new excise-office
on the site. The lectures were now delivered, at certain
periods of the year, in a room in the exchange; and
on the destruction of that building by the late fire, the
trustees took the opportunity afforded them, of placing
the establishment on a better footing. A building
specially devoted to the lectures was completed in 1843,
in Basinghall-street, at a cost of £5000; it contains a
large library, and a theatre capable of accommodating
500 persons. The admission is gratuitous.
Out of the Gresham foundation arose the Royal Society,
from the conferences in the college of certain scholars
and philosophers, about 1645. For some years the members had no settled plan; but when Charles II. was
restored to the throne, they began to form themselves
into a society, and in 1662 the king granted them a
charter of incorporation. In 1710 their museum and
library were removed from Gresham College to Cranecourt, Fleet-street: the meetings are now held at Somerset House. Papers of the highest scientific importance
have appeared in the "Philosophical Transactions" of
the society. Another society of the first consequence,
and of early origin, is the Society of Antiquaries, which
holds its meetings on the same floor, and on the same
evenings as the society just noticed. It was incorporated in 1751, and possesses a very curious library, with
numerous antiquities of different descriptions: the most
interesting papers read at the meetings are printed in
the "Archæologia" of the society.
The Royal Institution, in Albemarle-street, was founded
in 1800, for the purpose of diffusing the knowlcdge, and
facilitating the general introduction, of useful mechanical inventions and improvements, and for teaching, by
courses of philosophical lectures and experiments, the
application of science to the common purposes of life.
The important discoveries developed here by Sir Humphrey Davy conferred great celebrity on the establishment. The building contains a very complete chemical
laboratory, a commodious theatre in which the various
professors deliver the lectures, a well-stocked library,
and apartments for various other purposes. The London
Institution is noticed under the head of "Libraries."
The Royal Society of Literature, St. Martin's place, was
instituted by George IV., at the suggestion of Dr. Burgess, afterwards Bishop of Salisbury, in 1823; and
consists of a number of associates in receipt of pensions
from the crown. The design is the advancement of
literature by the publication of inedited remains of
ancient literature, by endeavouring to preserve the
purity of our language, by the reading and the publication
of papers, and by maintaining a correspondence with
learned foreigners. During the lifetime of the royal
founder, the society was continued on the liberal scale
at first laid down; but at his death, its funds were
considerably diminished, and the number of associates
Of the institutions connected with the fine arts, the
principal is the Royal Academy, incorporated in 1768,
when Sir Joshua Reynolds, who received the honour of
knighthood on the occasion, was appointed president.
It comprises forty academicians, twenty associates, and
six associate engravers, with professors of anatomy,
painting, sculpture, architecture, and perspective. The
National Gallery, the eastern half of which is appropriated to the annual exhibition of the Royal Academy,
was built for the reception of a number of pictures which
had been purchased by, or presented to, the government, for the benefit of the public at large. It occupies a splendid site in Trafalgar-square, but is an uninteresting structure; and although the length of it is
nearly 500 feet, the rooms are quite inadequate to the
purpose for which they were designed. The nucleus
of the collection was formed by the purchase of a gallery
of 38 pictures belonging to Mr. Angerstein, for which
parliament voted the sum of £60,000. In 1826 Sir
George Beaumont made a formal gift of his paintings,
fifteen in number: in 1831 the Rev. William Holwell Carr bequeathed the whole of his collection of 31
pictures; and in 1838 Lord Farnborough left 15 pictures, chiefly Dutch and Flemish, with a few Italian.
Among other donors may be named Lieut.-Col. Olney,
George IV., William IV., the late Duke of Northumberland, and the British Institution. Several purchases
have been lately made, and the total number of paintings is now about 120.
The British Institution, Pall-mall East, was founded
in 1805 by Sir John Bernard, for the encouragement of
art and artists, by an annual exhibition of works borrowed for the occasion from any quarter; and by another exhibition of works of living artists, for sale. For
this object, the edifice raised by Alderman Boydell for
the Shakspeare gallery, was purchased. The exterior
is decorated with a piece of sculpture by Banks, representing Shakspeare accompanied by Poetry and Painting: in the hall is a colossal statue of Achilles, also by
Banks, and esteemed one of the noblest efforts of his
genius. The gallery is well adapted to its present use.
The Society of British Artists, Suffolk-street, Pall-mall,
was established in 1823, for the exhibition of paintings,
sculpture, architecture, and engravings; and, like the
Royal Academy, admits the works of artists generally,
whether belonging to its own body or not. It possesses
a fine gallery for exhibition, containing about 700 feet
of wall, well lighted. The Society of Painters in Water
Colours, Pall-mall East, was instituted in 1804, in consequence of the insufficiency of space at the Academy,
and the serious disadvantages attending the exhibition
of water-colour drawings among paintings in oil. For
some time, drawings in oil as well as in water-colours
were received; but in 1821, the original intention was
reverted to, and the annual exhibitions have since comprised water-colour paintings only. The New Society
of Painters in Water Colours was projected in 1832, and
fully established in 1835, when the first exhibition took
place in Exeter Hall: the present rooms are in Pallmall.
The Society of Arts, one of the most important associations in the metropolis, was established in 1754, to
promote the arts, manufactures, and commerce of the
United Kingdom, by donations both honorary and pecuniary, for useful inventions and improvements not protected by patent. It owes its origin to Mr. Wm. Shipley, brother of the Bishop of St. Asaph, aided by the
influence of Lords Folkestone and Romney: its premises in John-street, Adelphi, were first occupied in
1774. Upwards of £100,000 have been distributed in
rewards. In the great room, forty-seven feet in length
and forty-two in breadth, by forty feet in height, is a
series of splendid paintings by the gifted Barry: the
society possesses also a large collection of ingeniously
constructed models, and a good library. The Art-Union
of London was instituted a few years ago, and has a large
number of subscribers, among whom paintings are distributed as prizes at the drawing which takes place
every year. The Institute of the Fine Arts was established in 1843. The School of Design, established by
the government, is conducted in several of the rooms
formerly allotted to the Royal Academy's exhibition,
Somerset House: here are numerous specimens of art,
including a valuable collection of casts; also a suitable
library. A branch school has been opened in Spitalfields. The Institution of Civil Engineers, Great Georgestreet, Westminster, was established in 1828; and the
Royal Institute of British Architects, Grosvenor-street,
some time subsequently.
The British Museum, a national repository, as well of
antiquities and curiosities as of books and manuscripts,
was established by act of parliament in 1753. Its
originator was Sir Hans Sloane, who bequeathed his
museum to the nation, on condition that parliament
should pay £20,000 to his executors, and provide a
house for its reception. This was accomplished by
means of £85,000 raised by lottery for the purpose;
and other collections being added, the whole were deposited in the noble mansion formerly belonging to the
Duke of Montague, in Great Russell-street, Bloomsbury.
To the natural history specimens of Sloane's collection,
were added those which Captain Cook, Vancouver, and
other naturalists and men of science, had brought home
during their exploratory voyages; as well as a rich collection of British zoology from Col. Montague; a collection of minerals purchased from Mr. Hatchett; and
various zoological and mineral specimens from other
quarters. The fine arts were at first but little attended
to; but this has become, by degrees, one of the most
valuable departments. In 1772, an important step was
taken by the purchase of Sir William Hamilton's collection of vases, including some of the finest Greek and
Roman specimens. In 1801, George III. presented the
Egyptian antiquities and sculptures, the acquisition of
which had resulted from Abercromby's campaign in
Egypt: in 1805, the beautiful collection of the Townley
sculptures was purchased, for £28,200; and by this
time the trustees found it desirable to establish a separate department of antiquities. The Phigalian marbles
were bought in 1815; and the splendid collection
formed by Lord Elgin, in 1816. Among the more
recent accessions are, Major-General Hardwicke's collection of stuffed birds; and, in the department of antiquities and the fine arts, the Persepolitan sculptures, the
bronzes of Mr. Payne Knight, the Siris bronzes, the
Babylonian antiquities, and the Xanthian marbles. The
walls of the Museum are decorated with above a hundred portraits; there are numberless prints and drawings
of great value, collections of coins and medals, and other
curiosities too numerous and various to be mentioned.
The library is noticed under the next head. The original buildings have by degrees been wholly removed, and
new ranges erected in their stead: the last portion of
the old edifice was sold by auction in Sept. 1845. The
present structure forms a square, 500 feet from north to
south, and 350 from east to west, with a spacious open
court in the centre: the main front presents an imposing facade of the Ionic order, with a portico and projecting wings enriched with columns.
The Soane Museum, Lincoln's Inn Fields, was gradually
accumulated, at an expense of more than £50,000, by
Sir John Soane, the architect, who in 1833 obtained a
special act of parliament, for the purpose of bequeathing
and endowing the collection for the perpetual use of the
public, together with the building in which he had arranged it. The contents are of a very miscellaneous
description, consisting of architecture, antiquities, modern sculpture, busts of remarkable persons, gems, rare
books, and pictures: one of the most remarkable objects is the Belzoni sarcophagus, purchased by Sir John
Soane for £2000. The Missionary Museum, Blomfieldstreet, consists of a large collection of natural history,
and of idols and other appendages of heathen worship
and ceremonies; it belongs to the London Missionary
Society. The Museum of Economic Geology is connected with the Office of Woods and Forests, and
was formed with a view to shew the application of
geology to the useful purposes of life, by collecting specimens of the mineral produce of Great Britain. A
laboratory is attached to it, and pupils receive instruction in the analysis of soils, ores, &c. The buildings,
erected in 1848, form a striking architectural feature,
with a north front towards Piccadilly, a little to the east
of St. James's church, and a south front towards Jermynstreet; the width of each being 70 feet, and the depth
from one to the other 150 feet. The style is the Italian;
the entrances are of bold design, and the quoins of decorative masonry at the angles of the building are deeply
moulded, and highly effective. On the ground-floor are,
a large hall for the display of heavy specimens of marbles,
fossils, &c.; a lecture-room capable of accommodating
500 persons; a library; and officers' apartments. The
upper or principal floor is chiefly occupied by one large
room for a museum, 95 feet long and 52 wide, with
tiers of galleries; while the third floor contains, besides
other rooms, a Mining Record office, 66 feet by 24, and
16 feet high. The United-Service Museum, which, like
the preceding, is of recent origin, consists of models of
ships, statues, paintings, and many highly interesting
foreign curiosities, brought together by British officers:
the formation of a library is included in the design of
The Zoological Society, instituted in 1826, owes its
origin to Sir Stamford Raffles, Lord Auckland, Sir H.
Davy, and other lovers of science, anxious to promote the
study of zoology. The museum of the society contains
several thousand specimens of stuffed birds and animals;
the collection made by Sir S. Raffles in Sumatra; and a
curious collection of horns; the greater part of these
varieties being presents from various quarters. The
gardens and menagerie of the society, on the north side
of the Regent's Park, were opened in 1828; they were
laid out under the superintendence of Mr. Decimus
Burton, and form one of the greatest attractions of the
metropolis. In the inner circle of the Park are the
grounds of the Royal Botanic Society. This society
was incorporated in 1839, by a charter granted to the
Duke of Norfolk, the Duke of Richmond, the Earl of
Albemarle, Lieut.-Col. Rushbrooke, Mr. Barnes, and Mr.
Sowerby, for the promotion of botany in all its branches,
and its application to medicine, arts, and manufactures.
The gardens comprise 18 acres, and are admirably disposed, affording a pleasing proof of how much may be
done in landscape gardening on the most unpromising
site: the winter garden is a very prominent feature,
occupying a large extent of ground, and entirely inclosed
with glass. The Horticultural Society was founded in
1804, and possesses gardens at Chiswick, about five
miles from Hyde Park Corner, where some very splendid
fruit and flower shows take place during the summer.
The Linnean Society, Soho-square, occupies the residence
of Sir Joseph Banks, who bequeathed it for the purpose.
This institution was founded by Sir J. E. Smith in 1788,
and incorporated in 1802, for the study of natural
history, particularly botany. The Geological Society,
Somerset House, was established in 1807, and incorporated in 1826; it has published several volumes of
The College of Physicians was established by a charter
of Henry VIII. in 1523; Dr. Thomas Linacre, the king's
physician, giving to the president and fellows his house
in Knightrider-street, Doctors' Commons, whence the
society subsequently removed to Amen-corner. The
college having been destroyed by the great fire of 1666,
a new edifice was built in 1674, by Wren, in Warwicklane, Newgate-street. This structure still remains; but
the present college is situated in Pall-mall, to which the
society removed in 1825, an elegant Ionic building having
been completed by Sir Robert Smirke. The College of
Surgeons was incorporated in the 40th of George III.,
and has its hall in Lincoln's Inn Fields. The buildings
have lately been remodelled and enlarged, and present a
chaste and impressive appearance: the chief attraction
is the museum of the college, formed by John Hunter at
a cost of about £70,000, and purchased from his widow
by the government for £15,000. Apothecaries' Hall
exercises all the functions of a college, an act passed in
1815 rendering it compulsory on all persons intending
to practise as "apothecaries" in England or Wales, to
be examined here by a court chosen by the company.
The buildings, situated in Water-lane, Blackfriars,
were erected in 1670. The Pharmaceutical Society of
Great Britain, Bloomsbury-square, was instituted in 1841.
It consists of the leading chemists and druggists of the
kingdom, associated for the purpose of raising the standard of education amongst their body, and thus securing
the public against unqualified persons. The society has
been incorporated by royal charter; and professorships
of botany, materia medica, chemistry, and pharmacy,
have been established. The other medical institutions
are, the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society, Bernersstreet, Oxford-street, founded in 1805, and chartered in
1834; the Medical Society of London, Bolt-court, founded
in 1773; the Westminster Medical Society, Sackville-street,
1809; the South London Medical Society, Southwark
Literary Institution, 1845; the Harveian Society, Edwardstreet, Portman-square, 1831; the Physical Society, Guy's
Hospital, 1772; the Hunterian Society, Blomfield-street,
Finsbury, 1819; and the Royal Medico-Botanical Society,
The Royal College of Chemistry was instituted a few
years ago for instruction in analytical chemistry; it has
its building in Hanover-square, and in the rear are the
laboratories, the first stone of which was laid by Prince
Albert in June, 1846. The Royal Polytechnic Institution,
Regent-street, was formed in 1838, by a body of scientific
gentlemen, who subsequently obtained a charter of incorporation. The building is of extraordinary size, its
depth from the street being 320 feet: there are a spacious entrance-hall, a theatre or lecture-room capable of
holding 500 persons, and what is called the great hall,
which extends 120 feet in length, and is 40 feet in width.
Throughout the rooms, are disposed innumerable specimens of machinery and manufactures, philosophical
apparatus, natural history, and the fine arts. Among the
other institutions connected with science, are, the Royal
Astronomical Society, Somerset House, established in the
year 1820; and the British Association for the advancement of science.
The Royal Asiatic Society, Grafton-street, Bond-street,
was founded in 1820, for the investigation and encouragement of art, science, and literature, connected with
the East: it has a good library and museum; and
among its members, who are chiefly oriental travellers
and scholars, are many persons eminent for literary
talent. The Royal Geographical Society, Waterloo-place,
is honourably distinguished by the expeditions which it
has sent out to remote parts of the globe. The Statistical Society, St. James's square, was founded in 1834;
it has a large number of members, and publishes a valuable journal containing papers illustrative of the condition of the country and of the people. In connexion
with the study of antiquities, are, the Archæological Institute, in the Haymarket; the British Archæological Association; and the Ecclesiological Society, which was established at Cambridge under the name of the Camden
Society, but was removed to London, with an altered
title, in 1846. The Numismatic Society may also be
The Law Institution, Chancery-lane, established in
1825, has a capacious and elegant building, the portico
of which, supported by six columns of the Ionic order,
forms a striking relief to the monotonous aspect of the
neighbourhood in which the edifice is situated. The
interior is judiciously arranged, comprising a grand
hall, library, club-room, office of registry, lecture-room,
&c.; the whole occupying a frontage of 60 feet, with a
depth of 140. The chief "Literary and Scientific Institutions" are, the Russell Institution, Great Coram-street;
the Mechanics', in Southampton-buildings; the City of
London, Aldersgate-street; that at Crosby Hall; the
Westminster, in Little Smith-street; the Southwark, in
the Borough-road; and the institutions in Islington,
Mary-le-bone, Poplar, and the Commercial-road, Ratcliff.
Within the last few years, also, several societies have
been formed for the publication of rare books and MSS.
which could not be undertaken by private hands. They
are named the Camden Society, the Shakspeare, the
Parker, the Ælfric, the Percy, the Cavendish, the Ecclesiastical History Society, and the Hakluyt Society.
The library of the British Museum had its origin, as
already remarked, in the bequest to the public by Sir
Hans Sloane of his great collection, which comprised a
valuable library. On the completion of the building,
were added the Harleian collection of MSS., the Cottonian library, and the library of Major Edwards; all
of which had been acquired by the government from
different sources. George II. presented the library
which had been collected by the kings of England since
Henry VIII., and which included the libraries of Cranmer and Casaubon: he also relinquished, in favour of
the Museum, the privilege which the crown had received
in the reign of Anne, of being supplied with a copy of
every publication entered at Stationers' Hall. During
the long reign of George III. the collection was vastly
increased. The king himself presented a large assortment of pamphlets relating to the civil war of the 17th
century. Sir Joseph Banks' library of natural history,
Dr. Birch's library, the musical libraries of Dr. Burney
and Sir John Hawkins, Garrick's collection of plays,
and a large number of other collections, were either presented or purchased. To the Sloane, Cottonian, and
Harleian MSS., were added the Royal, the Lansdowne,
the Hargrave, the Oriental, the Arundel, the Bridgewater, and minor collections. More recent donations are
those of George IV., who gave the magnificent library
collected by his father; and the Rt. Hon. Thomas
Grenville, at whose death in 1846 the whole of his books,
valued at £42,000, passed to the Museum. The total
number of volumes is now about 300,000.
The London Institution was formed in the autumn of
1805, by the exertions of a few public-spirited individuals, as a public library for the more especial use of
the city; and a charter of incorporation was obtained
in Jan. 1807. The temporary house fixed upon for this
purpose, until a suitable building could be erected, was,
in the first place, the old mansion of Sir Robert Clayton,
in the Old Jewry, and subsequently a house in King's
Arms-yard, Coleman-street. In 1815, the present elegant building, which has the advantage of a peculiarly
fine situation, in Finsbury-circus, was constructed, partly
from the funds of the society, and partly from the
voluntary contributions of such of its members as were
friendly to the measure: the first stone was laid by the
lord mayor, S. Birch, Esq., accompanied by the civic
state officers, and the proprietors; and the edifice was
completed and opened in 1819. The acquisition of a
fine library, the diffusion of knowledge by means of
lectures and experiments, and the providing for the
subscribers a reading-room, furnished with the best
English and foreign periodicals, are the principal objects of the institution; to accomplish which, nearly
1000 gentlemen and merchants subscribed 75 guineas
The Red-Cross-street Library was founded for Protestant dissenting ministers by Dr. Williams, about the
year 1716, and, in consequence of gifts and purchases
since that time, now contains about 20,000 volumes, for
the most part on Theological subjects.
Sion College, LondonWall, is both a charitable and a literary institution. The building was originally an hospital
for blind paupers, and, after passing through various
hands, was purchased for the erection of Sion College, for
the use of the London clergy, who were incorporated by
Charles I. The purchase was made in consequence of
the will of Dr. Thomas White, vicar of St. Dunstan's in
the West, who left £3000 for the purpose. The library
was the gift of the Rev. John Simpson, rector of St.
Olave's, Hart-street, one of Dr. White's executors; but it
was afterwards considerably increased, both before and
after the fire of London, which destroyed a great number
of the books. It now consists of a very extensive collection, like the preceding, chiefly of a Theological kind:
all rectors and vicars within the city are fellows of the
The Guildhall Library was founded by the corporation of the city, in 1824, and contains many valuable
works upon the history of London and the adjoining
The London Library, St. James's square, established
a few years ago, contains 30,000 volumes: there are
above 800 members, among whom the books circulate.
London possesses a great number of other libraries,
independently of those attached to different charitable
The antiquities of London, which were for the most
part destroyed in 1666, but were, till within the last
hundred years, still numerous, have of late, through the
extension of commercial enterprise, and the progress of
modern improvement, externally almost disappeared.
The monasteries, forming the first class, amounted to
nearly 50, and included the following orders. The Convents of Monks were those of St. Peter, Westminster,
founded by Sebert, in 605, for Benedictines; St. Saviour, Bermondsey, by Ailwin Child, in 1082, for Cluniacs;
St. Mary of the Graces, of Eastminster Abbey, Towerhill, by Edward III., in 1359, for Cistercians; and the
Chartreuse, or Charter-House, near Smithfield, by Sir
Walter Manny, Knt., in 1371, for Carthusians. The
Nunneries were those of St. Mary, Clerkenwell, by
Jordan Briset and wife, in 1100, for Benedictines; St.
John the Baptist, Holywell, Shoreditch, by Richard I.,
in 1186 (refounded by Sir Thomas Lovell, Knt., in 1510),
for Benedictines; St. Helen, Bishopsgate-street, by William Basing, in 1212, for Benedictines; and St. Clare,
or Nuns Minoresses, Minories, by Blanch, Queen of
Navarre, in 1203. The Friaries were, the Franciscan,
Newgate-street, by John Ewin, mercer, in 1225; Carmelite, Fleet-street, by Sir Richard Grey, in 1241; Dominican, by Hubert de Bourgh, in 1242, in Holborn, and
refounded at Ludgate, by Archbishop Kilwarby, in 1279;
Augustine, Throgmorton-street, by Humphrey Bohun, in
1253; and Crouched or Crutched, Hart-street, Towerhill, by Ralph Hosier and Richard Laberne, in 1298.
The Colleges were those of St. Mary Overy, or St.
Saviour, Southwark, by Mary Overy, in 1000, for Augustine canons; St. Martin-le-Grand, by Ingelric and
Girard, in 1056, for Augustine canons; Holy Trinity,
Aldgate, by Queen Maud, in 1108; London College,
Guildhall, by Peter Fanlone, Adam Francis, and Henry
Frowich, in 1299; Corpus Christi, St. Lawrence, Pountney-lane, by Sir John de Pountney, in 1346; St. Michael's,
Crooked-lane, by Sir William Walworth, in 1380; the
Holy Ghost and St. Mary, College-hill, Thames-street, by
Sir Richard Whittington, Knt., in 1418; and Jesus
College, St. Paul's Cathedral. The Hospitals were
those of St. John of Jerusalem, Smithfield, by Jordan
Briset and wife, in 1100; St. Giles-in-the-Fields,
Bloomsbury, by Queen Matilda, in 1102, for lepers; St.
Bartholomew, in Smithfield, by Rayhere, in 1102; St.
Thomas of Acon, Cheapside, by Thomas Fitz-Theobald de
Heily and wife, in 1170; St. Mary, Norton-Falgate, by
Walter Brune and wife, in 1179, for Canons regular;
Knights Templars, Holborn, and afterwards Fleet-street,
in 1185, refounded in 1245; St. Mary, Bethlehem,
Bishopsgate-street, by Simon Fitz-Mary, in 1246; Elsnige
Spital, London Wall, by William Elsnige, in 1329; St.
Thomas, Southwark; St. James, Pall-mall; and the Savoy,
for lepers and infirm. The only Priory was that of
St. Bartholomew, Smithfield, by Rayhere, in 1102, for
Canons regular of the order of St. Augustine. There
was a Domus Conversorum, Rolls Chapel, Chancerylane, founded by Henry III., in 1233, for Converted
Jews. The Guilds, or Fraternities of Priests,
&c., were those of All-hallows, Barking, Tower-street;
Leadenhall, Leadenhall-street; St. Peter, Cornhill; St.
Augustine's Papey, Camomile-street; Holy Trinity, Aldersgate-street, &c. There were also in London the five
cells, or hermitages, of St. Catherine, Wapping; St.
James-in-the-Wall, Cripplegate; St. Mary, Rouncival,
Charing Cross; the hermitage of St. James, opposite;
and Our Lady of Pien, Westminster.
Of the above establishments, Westminster abbey, independently of its fine church and cloisters, still retains
its beautiful chapter-house, the shell of the great hall,
the abbot's residence (now the deanery), to which are
attached the ancient kitchen, and the celebrated Jerusalem chamber; the abbey close, with numerous old
buildings, and the exterior walls of its spacious gardens.
The Charter-House retains its original gateway in Charterhouse-square, several of the monks' cells, now blocked
up, part of the exterior wall surrounding the convent
and gardens, and other inferior parts incorporated in
walls and passages, &c. "The Nonnes Quies," at St.
Helen's, still exists, with the original nuns' seats of oak,
and the ancient grating, through which they could see
divine service performed from the vaulted crypts beneath the hall of the nunnery. The Augustine friars'
has the fine nave of its church now occupied as a Dutch
place of worship. Of Crutched friars there remain Sir
John Milbourne's almshouses, which adjoined the east
end of the friary church; they have a curious tablet
of the Virgin Mary, encircled by angels. The remains
of St. Mary Overy's, which have partially given way to
the approaches to London bridge, consisted, besides
the fine conventual church, of a considerable length of
ancient stone vaulting, supporting a chapel, or hall;
and various detached parts, in doors, archways, &c., in
Montague-close. The priory of St. Bartholomew's the
Great has the whole choir of its Norman church
converted into the present church; also its east cloister,
the shell of its dining-hall, with fine vaults beneath, and
various smaller parts: the fratry, galleries, prior's house,
and various other remains, were destroyed by fire, in
May 1830. Of the Temple, there remain the very
beautiful church, with its circular vestibule, and the
tombs of the ancient cross-legged knights, parts of the
cloisters entering into it, and some old Norman arch-work
incorporated in the walls of the Inner Temple Society's
kitchen. The Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem retains
its large and well-known gateway from St. John's-lane,
the choir of the conventual church converted to the
present parochial church of St. John (beneath which
is the fine original crypt), with part of the chapels of
the south aisle, and some smaller remains. Elsnige
Spital has part of its entrance porch and steeple incorporated in the present church of St. Alphage. In St.
James' palace may still be discerned many parts of the
hospital. The Savoy church is that of its ancient
hospital. Of the Domus Conversorum there still remains
the old chapel, called the Rolls chapel.
Amongst the remaining metropolitan antiquities, which
are too reduced in number to render a classification
necessary, may be enumerated several large fragments
of the Walls of London, at the back of Fore-street, in
Cripplegate churchyard; in the burial-ground of St.
Alphage, London Wall; at the back of the houses in
Falcon-square; beneath the houses next Aldersgate, and
in St. Botolph's churchyard there; at the back of the
Old Bailey; at the Cock in the Corner, Ludgate; and
at the back of George-alley, next Tower-hill: the last,
which is by far the largest, oldest, and most perfect
portion, is intermixed with an abundance of Roman
brick. There are crypts, or stone arched cellars,
belonging to ancient mansions, beneath Gerrard's Hall,
Basing-lane, and at Crosby House, Bishopsgate-street;
the great hall, with much of the superstructure, of the
latter princely residence, is also standing, and may rank
as the finest example of domestic architecture in London.
The churches which, either wholly or in part, exhibit
good specimens of ancient building, and were not conventual, are, Bow church, Cheapside, which still retains its
Norman crypt; and St. Sepulchre's, which possesses a
beautiful groined avenue from Snow-hill. There are
also various ancient parts, or incorporations, deserving
notice in the churches of St. Olave, Hart-street; St.
Giles, Cripplegate; St. Andrew Under-Shaft, &c. The
most celebrated remnant of antiquity, however, of all
which appertains to London, is the supposed Roman
milliary, in Cannon-street, denominated London stone,
which, whether of Roman or British origin, was undoubtedly once of considerable magnitude, and is the
first and oldest of our metropolitan antiquities.
Of the Roman antiquities recently discovered, some of
the most numerous, various, and interesting were found
in 1834, 5, and 6, in the course of the operations connected with the new thoroughfare across the heart of
the city, from London bridge to the line of the old wall
at Moorgate; adjoining St. Clement's church, in St.
Clement's lane, Eastcheap, a tessellated pavement was
met with, and in other places were discovered different
kinds of earthenware vessels, specimens of Samian ware,
coins, knives, and vast numbers of iron instruments.
More lately, in pulling down the French Protestant
church in Threadneedle-street, a very perfect piece of
tessellated pavement was laid open, at about nine or ten
feet below the level of the floor of the church; the
colours were remarkably fresh and glowing, and among
them a deep yellow or tawny predominated. About the
same time, a curious part of the old Roman wall of
London was laid open, when digging for the extension
of the Blackwall railway, behind the Minories. The wall
proved to be 7½ feet thick, and principally consisted of
five courses of squared stones, regularly laid, with two
layers of flat bricks below them, and two similar layers
above, the stones were a granulated limestone, such as
might have been procured from the chalk quarries of
Greenhithe or Northfleet, and the bricks, which were
evidently Roman, had as fine a grain as common
pottery. In 1842-3, vestiges of Roman buildings were
discovered in digging for the foundation of the Royal
Exchange, and of the new French Protestant church,
Among the distinguished natives of the metropolis
may be enumerated the following:—Ingulphus, abbot of
Croyland, who lived at the time of the Norman Conquest;
Thomas à Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury; Matthew
of Westminster, a monkish historian of the fourteenth
century; Geoffrey Chaucer, the first great English poet,
born in 1328; Dr. John Colet, the founder of St. Paul's
school, born in 1466; Sir Thomas More, author of the
political romance entitled "Utopia," lord chancellor
under Henry VIII., in whose reign he was beheaded for
denying the king's supremacy, born in Milk-street,
1480; John Leland, the antiquary; John Stow, author
of the "Survey of London," born in Cornhill, 1525;
William Camden, author of the "Britannia," born in the
Old Bailey, 1551; Edmund Spenser, author of the
"Faery Queen," born in East Smithfield about 1553;
Francis Bacon, Lord Verulam, the father of modern
philosophy, born in 1561; Edward Alleyn, a celebrated
actor, the founder of Dulwich College, born in 1566;
Inigo Jones, the reviver of a taste for classical architecture in England, born in 1572; Dr. John Donne, a
distinguished poet and divine, born in 1573; and Ben
Jonson, the dramatist, poet-laureate in the reign of
James I., born in 1574.
Of the seventeenth century were, John Milton, the
author of "Paradise Lost," born in Bread-street, 1608;
Algernon Sidney, the republican writer, executed on
account of the Rye-house plot, in 1683, born about 1617;
Abraham Cowley, the poet, born in Fleet-street, 1618;
Sir William Temple, eminent as a statesman and public
writer, born in 1629; Dr. Isaac Barrow, the divine, born
in 1630; Dr. Edmund Halley, celebrated as a mathematician and an astronomer, born in 1656; Daniel Defoe,
the author of "Robinson Crusoe," born in 1660;
Anthony Ashley Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury, a distinguished writer on morals and metaphysics, born in
1671; Colley Cibber, a dramatic writer and actor, poetlaureate to George I., born in Southampton-street,
Strand, 1671; Sir John Vanbrugh, the eminent architect
and dramatist, born about 1672; Alexander Pope, the
poet, born in Lombard-street in 1688; George Lillo,
a goldsmith, who wrote "George Barnwell," and other
popular dramas, born in 1693; Philip Dormer Stanhope,
Earl of Chesterfield, distinguished as a statesman and a
cultivator of polite literature, born in 1694; William
Hogarth, the painter, born in Ship-court, Old Bailey,
in 1698; and Dr. John Jortin, a learned theological
writer, born in 1698.
Of the next century were, Dr. Philip Doddridge, an
eminent dissenting divine and scripture commentator,
born in 1702; John Dollond, the inventor of an achromatic telescope, born in 1706; Dr. T. A. Arne, a
distinguished musician, born in 1710; Richard Glover,
author of "Leonidas," and other poems, born in 1712;
James Stuart, author of the "Antiquities of Athens,"
born in 1713; Thomas Gray, author of the "Elegy
written in a Country Churchyard," and other works,
born in Cornhill, 1716; Sir William Blackstone, author
of "Commentaries on the Laws of England," born in
Cheapside, 1723; John Wilkes, publisher of the "North
Briton," born in 1726; Charles Churchill, the celebrated
satirist, born in 1731; Richard Gough, F.S.A., editor of
"Camden's Britannia," born in 1735; Dr. Samuel
Horsley, theological writer, born about 1737; Arthur
Young, Secretary to the Board of Agriculture, born in
1741; William Mitford, author of a valuable "History of
Greece," and other works, born in 1744; Sir William
Jones, the Orientalist and juridical writer, born in 1746;
the Hon. Anne Seymour Damer, born in 1748; Capel
Lofft, a poet and miscellaneous writer, born in 1751;
Dr. John Milner, a learned Roman Catholic prelate, born
in 1752; Sir Samuel Romilly, distinguished as a lawyer
and a statesman, born in 1757; George Morland, the
painter, born in 1764; the Right Hon. George Canning,
born in 1770; Charles Lamb, the essayist, born in 1775;
and Lord Byron, the author of "Childe Harold," and
other poems, born in Holles-street, Cavendish-square,
in the year 1788.