Sydenham, Norwood and Streatham

Old and New London: Volume 6. Originally published by Cassell, Petter & Galpin, London, 1878.

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Edward Walford, 'Sydenham, Norwood and Streatham', in Old and New London: Volume 6, (London, 1878) pp. 303-319. British History Online [accessed 20 May 2024].

Edward Walford. "Sydenham, Norwood and Streatham", in Old and New London: Volume 6, (London, 1878) 303-319. British History Online, accessed May 20, 2024,

Walford, Edward. "Sydenham, Norwood and Streatham", Old and New London: Volume 6, (London, 1878). 303-319. British History Online. Web. 20 May 2024,

In this section



"Hinc … dominos videre colles Et totam licet æstimare Romam."—Martial.

Situation of Sydenham—Its Rapid Growth as a Place of Residence—Sydenham Wells—The Poet Campbell—Death of Thomas Dermody—Thomas Hill—Churches at Sydenham—Rockhill—Sir Joseph Paxton—The Crystal Palace—Anerley—Norwood—The Home of the Gipsies—Knight's Hill—Beulah Spa—North Surrey District Schools—The Catholic Female Orphanage—The Jews' Hospital—Norwood Cemetery—The Royal Normal College and Academy of Music for the Blind—Death of the Earl of Dudley—Streatham—Mineral Springs—Anecdote of Lord Thurlow—The Residence of Mrs. Thrale at Streatham—The Magdalen Hospital.

"Nothing," writes Mr. Laman Blanchard, in "A Guide to the Country round London," "can be more charmingly sylvan, or less suggestive of the approximate City, than the walk across the hill to Sydenham, which reveals a varied and expansive prospect over Kent as we approach its precincts. The town lies in a hollow, and has a number of opulent residents, whose elegant mansions contribute to diversify the scene. On the common has recently been built a handsome church, and along by the railway several stately villas have been called into being by the increased facilities of transit thus afforded, and the acknowledged salubrity of the air." Since this was written, the air remains acknowledged as salubrious as ever; but bricks and mortar have increased, and there are now two or more lines of railway running through the district, and Sydenham has become a place of great resort.

Of old Sydenham was known only as a "genteel hamlet of Lewisham"—to which parish the greater part of it belongs—famed for its sylvan retreats, charming prospects, and, as we have stated in the preceding chapter, for its medicinal springs; but after the opening of the Croydon Railway, about the year 1836, it grew rapidly in favour as a place of residence; and still more rapidly after the opening of the Crystal Palace, on the summit of the hill, in 1854. There have now sprung into existence long lines of villas, detached and semidetached cottages, terraces, so-called parks, and streets.

It was about the middle of the seventeenth century that the mineral waters were discovered on Sydenham Common; and they were occasionally resorted to down to comparatively recent times. Evelyn, after visiting Dulwich College, September 2nd, 1675, "came back [to Deptford] by certain medicinal spa waters, at a place called Sydnam Wells, in Lewisham parish, much frequented in summer." The waters, according to one authority, were "of a mild cathartic quality, nearly resembling those of Epsom;" another writes, that they formed "a purging spring, which has performed great cures in scrofulous, scorbutic, paralytic, and other stubborn diseases;" whilst a third asserts that the waters are "a certain cure for every ill to which humanity is heir." Their popularity waned with that of the other English medicinal waters, but the Wells House continued to attract as a place of summer entertainment, and it served for some time as the head-quarters of the St. George's Bowmen, till the enclosure of Sydenham Common put an end to their archery practice. The Church of St. Philip, in Wells Road, built in 1865–6, covers the site of the wells; it is a neat cruciform structure, with apsidal chancel, and was built from the designs of Mr. Edwin Nash. Mr. James Thorne, in his "Handbook of the Environs of London," tells us there is still standing a cottage in which, according to local tradition, George III. once stayed the best part of a day, whilst he drank of the waters—an escort of the Life Guards forming a cordon around the cottage.

Sydenham is of too modern a growth to have a history; but there are literary associations connected with the place, for "Gertrude of Wyoming" was written there, and its author, the poet Campbell, is almost the only "eminent resident" of the place. His house is on Peak Hill, near Sydenham Station, and, it is said, remains unaltered; but the gardens upon which it looked are gone. Of Campbell, Cyrus Redding writes:—"His mode of life was mostly uniform with that which he afterwards followed in London when he made it his constant residence. He rose not very early, breakfasted, studied for an hour or two, dined a couple or three hours after noon, and then made calls in the village, oftentimes remaining for an hour or more at the house of a maiden lady, of whose conversation he was remarkably fond. He would return home to tea, and then retire again to his study, often until a late hour, sometimes even to an early one."Here, as he wrote after leaving it, the poet spent his happiest years. He came to live here in 1804, shortly after the publication of the "Pleasures of Hope." The following letter, which Campbell wrote to his publisher, Archibald Constable, November 10, 1804, may be of interest here:—"I find myself obliged to remove a few months sooner than I expected to a new house, of which I have taken a lease for twenty-one years. The trouble of this migration is very serious. … I have ventured, on the faith of your support, to purchase the fixtures of a very excellent house, and about £100 worth of furniture, which, being sold along with the fixtures, I get at the broker's appraisement, i.e., half the prime cost. … If you come to London, and drink to the health of Auld Reekie over my new mahogany table—if you take a walk round my garden and see my braw house, my court-yard, hens, geese, and turkeys, or view the lovely country in my neighbourhood—you will think this fixture and furniture money well bestowed. I shall, indeed, be nobly settled, and the devil is in it if I don't work as nobly for it."

Soon after, in 1805, Horner wrote as follows:—"This morning I returned from a visit to our poet Campbell. He has fixed himself in a small house upon Sydenham Common, where he labours hard, and is perfectly happy with his wife and child. I have seldom seen so strong an argument from experiment in favour of matrimony, as the change has operated on the general tone of his temper and morals." Doubtless the poet was perfectly happy when he got away from the excitement of the City, and settled at Sydenham.

The annual rental of Campbell's house was forty guineas. It consists of six rooms, two on each floor, the attic or upper storey of which was converted into a private study. From this elevation Campbell, however, was often compelled to descend during the summer months for change of air to the parlour; for in the upper study he felt, to use his own words, as if enclosed within a hotly seasoned pie. A small garden behind the house, with the usual domestic offices at one end, completed the habitation, and furnished all the conveniences to which either the poet or his amiable wife aspired. "Externally, the new situation had much," writes Dr. Beattie, "to soothe and interest a poetical mind. From the south a narrow lane, lined with hedgerows and passing through a little dell watered by a rivulet, leads to the house, from the windows of which the eye wanders over an extensive prospect of undulating villas, park-like enclosures, hamlets, and picturesque villas shaded with fine ornamental timber, with here and there some village spire shooting up through the forest, reflecting the light on its vane, or breaking the stillness with the chime of its merry bells. Ramifying in all directions he had shady walks where he was safe from all intrusion but that of the Muses, enabling him to combine healthful exercise with profitable meditation. During his leisure hours in summer, as he has sweetly sung, he had a charming variety of—
" 'Spring green lanes,
With all the dazzling field-flowers in their prime,
And gardens haunted by the nightingale's
Long trills, and gushing ecstacies of song.'"

It was while at Sydenham that the idea was started of a poets' club. Let us give Campbell's account of the affair. "One day," he writes—"and how can it fail to be memorable to me when Moore has commemorated it?—Rogers and Moore came down to Sydenham pretty early in the forenoon, and stopped to dine with me. We talked of founding a poets' club, and set about electing the members—not by ballot, but vivâ voce. The scheme failed, I scarcely know how; but this I know, that a week or two afterwards I met with Mr. Perry, of the Morning Chronicle, who asked me how our poets' club was going on. I said, 'I don't know. We have some difficulty in giving it a name. We thought of calling ourselves "The Bees."' 'Oh!' said Perry, 'that is a little different from the common report, for they say you are to be called "The Wasps."' I was so stung with this waspish retort, that I thought no more of the poets' club."

At Campbell's house there were pleasant dinners, the guests including Byron, Rogers, Moore, Cyrus Redding, and the lesser wits of the day, including Thomas Hill, the original "Paul Pry," who lived close by. Lady Charlotte Campbell, daughter of the Duke of Argyll, a poetess, and lover of learning, became the poet's neighbour at Sydenham. She introduced her clansman to that literary coterie which frequented the salons of the Princess of Wales at Blackheath. (fn. 1) Another lady who was living at Sydenham at the time Campbell was there, was Mrs. Allsop, a daughter of Mrs. Jordan, whom Campbell was the means of bringing out on the stage.

Campbell resided here about sixteen years, and during this period wrote "Gertrude of Wyoming," "O'Connor's Child," and "The Battle of the Baltic;" but in course of time he gave up his "noble" work for magazine management, editing, and hack writing, which perhaps redounded but little to his credit. When he undertook the editorship of the New Monthly Magazine he gave up his Sydenham house, and removed to London.

Campbell's convivialities, it seems, were not confined to his house. Sir Charles Bell, in one of his "letters," describes a visit he paid to the poet here, and how, after spending the evening in-doors, he and Campbell "rambled down the village, and walked under the delightful trees in the moonlight;" then "adjourned to the inn, and took an egg and plotty. Tom got glorious in pleasing gradation, &c. … His wife received him at home, not drunk, but in excellent spirits. After breakfast, we wandered over the forest; not a soul to be seen in all Norwood."

Two years before Campbell settled at Sydenham, a more unfortunate poet, Thomas Dermody, died there (July 15, 1802), as we have already stated in our account of Lewisham Church, (fn. 2) in abject misery, in a brickmaker's hut, at Perry Slough, now called Perry Vale, on the opposite side of the railway. The house has long since been removed.

Thomas Hill, whom we have mentioned above, was a well-known man in his day and generation. He was an eccentric drysalter in the City, who, gathering around him Horace and James Smith, John and Leigh Hunt, George Colman, Campbell, Theodore Hook, Barnes, Mathews, Redding, and a knot of literary acquaintances, set up in the days of the Regency as a sort of City Mæcenas. He was something of an antiquary; knew everybody, and apparently everything about everybody; and was always bustling about the offices of the newspapers and magazines. Poole, the author of "Paul Pry," is said to have drawn that character from him. He was a sort of walking chronicle, especially where literary men and newspapers were concerned. It was once said of him that if he stood at Charing Cross at noonday, he would tell the name and business of everybody that passed Northumberland House. Mathews always declared "Tom Hill," as he was called by all who loved him, one of the oldest men he knew; and a writer in the "Railway Anecdote Book" thus speaks of him:—"Mr. Hill was the Hull of his friend Mr Theodore Hook's clever novel of 'Gilbert Gurney,' beyond comparison the best book of its class produced in our time. It is also related that Hill furnished Mr. Poole with the original of his humorous character of 'Paul Pry;' but this statement is very doubtful, for 'Paul Pry,' if we mistake not, is of French extraction. It is, however, more certain that 'Pooh, pooh!' and other habitual expressions of Mr. Hill's, may have been introduced by Mr. Poole into the character. Mr. Hill, it may here be added, had the entrée to both Houses of Parliament, the theatres, and almost all places of public resort. He was to be met with at the private view of the Royal Academy, and every kind of exhibition. So especially was he favoured, that it was recorded by a wag that, when asked whether he had seen the new comet, he replied, 'Pooh, pooh! I was present at the private view!' Mr. Hill, to borrow from Mr. Hook's portrait, 'happened to know everything that was going forward in all circles—mercantile, political, fashionable, literary, or theatrical; in addition to all matters connected with military and naval affairs, agriculture, finance, art, and science—everything came alike to him.'"


Hill established the Monthly Mirror, which brought him much into connection with dramatic poets, actors, and managers. To this periodical Kirke White became a contributor; and this encouragement induced him, about the close of the year 1802, to commit a little volume of poetry to the press. Southey, in his "Life of Kirke White," refers to Mr. Hill as possessing one of the most copious collections of English poetry in existence.

While living at Sydenham, Mr. Hill received his numerous visitors in magnificent style. On one occasion some of the party had to walk to Dulwich to get a conveyance to town. Campbell accompanied his friends. When they separated it was with hats off and three boisterous cheers, "Campbell snatching off his hat," says Cyrus Redding, "not wisely, but too well, pulled off his wig with it, and then, to enhance the merriment upon the occasion, flung both up in the air amidst unbridled laughter." Mr. Adolphus was intimate with Hill for upwards of forty years, and spoke of him as looking fresh and youthful to the last. With reference to his cottage at Sydenham, Mr. Adolphus remarks: "I have dined there with Campbell, James Smith, Jack Johnstone, Mathews, and other celebrities. Burgundy and champagne were given in abundance, and at that time, owing to the state of the war, they were of enormous price—I believe a guinea a bottle." As was to be expected, Hill's affairs soon became deranged, and he was made a bankrupt. His fine library was not sold by auction, but by private contract to Messrs. Longman and Co., and formed the ground-work of that collection of which they published a catalogue, under the title of "Bibliotheca Poetica Anglicana." He died in chambers in the Adelphi, at the age of eighty-one, in the year 1840, leaving a fortune of £15,000 to a stray friend who used to dine with him on Sundays at Hampstead. The following burlesque epitaph on him is from the pen of Cyrus Redding:—
THOMAS HILL; Obilt 1840.
Here at last, taciturn and still,
Lies babbling, prying Thomas Hill.
Marvellous his power in explanations
Of others' business or vocations;
Retailing all he ever knew,
Or knew not—whether false or true,
Happy to give it an addition
That beat Munchausen competition.
With ruddy cheek, and spring-tide eye,
Few thought that he could ever die;
But news grew scant; what should he do,
But die for want of something new,
Who'd lived to eighty-one the chorus
Of others businesses and stories?
Yet truth to tell they're many worse,
Whose histories I might rehearse.
The worst of him I can recite,
I've told—so Thomas Hill, good night!


In the early part of the present century, in Sydenham and its environs, eight hundred acres of common-land were enclosed; and now nearly the whole has been formed into streets, so that this once beautiful rural district is rapidly becoming an integral part of the great metropolis, Sydenham chapelry alone having a population of more than 25,000, and the place altogether comprises some half-dozen ecclesiastical districts. The Church of St. Bartholomew, on what was once Sydenham Common, is a roomy and commodious Gothic edifice, and was erected in 1830. Christ Church, near the Forest Hill railway station, was consecrated in 1855, but was only recently completed by the erection of a tower and chancel; it is in the Early Decorated style of architecture. Holy Trinity Church, Sydenham Park, is of similar architecture, and was built in 1865. St. Saviour's, on Brockley Hill, at the north extremity of Sydenham, is a large Decorated building, and was consecrated in 1866. St. Michael and All Angels', Lower Sydenham, serves as a chapel of ease to St. Bartholomew's. Of St. Philip's, in Wells Road, we have already spoken. Besides these places of worship, there are Free, Presbyterian, Wesleyan, and other chapels; many schools, both public and private; public halls, library and working men's institutes, local societies, and two weekly newspapers.

The most important feature in connection with Sydenham is the Crystal Palace; we say in connection with, for, though not actually in Sydenham—the greater part being said to be in Lambeth parish—it is always considered to belong to it. It occupies the high ground to the south-west of Sydenham. The land over which the palace grounds—nearly three hundred acres in extent—stretch, falls rapidly away to the east, and from the terrace in front of the palace a prospect is obtained of surpassing beauty, over richly-wooded and undulating plains to the distant hills of Kent and Surrey. A little to the north of the palace, and overlooking the grounds, stands Rockhill, from 1852 the residence of Sir Joseph Paxton, the designer of the Crystal Palace, the Great Exhibition building of 1851, of Chatsworth conservatory and gardens, &c.

Sir Joseph Paxton, who was originally introduced to the Duke of Devonshire by his Grace's secretary, Mr. Ridgway, of May Fair, came into his service as a gardener's lad at fourteen shillings a week. He soon showed, however, talents which led to his advancement, and laid out the gardens at Chatsworth in a manner worthy of "Capability" Brown (fn. 3) himself. As Mr. Mark Boyd tells us in his "Social Gleanings," "Great was Mr. Ridgway's astonishment when, some years afterwards, he sat down to dinner at Chiswick with the duke and the other members of the family, and found himself seated by the side of the former gardener's lad, they being the only guests who were not Cavendishes or LevesonGowers." Sir Joseph Paxton designed the Crystal Palace on the plan of a large conservatory which he had erected at Chatsworth, and had the satisfaction of seeing his principles of construction adopted extensively in railway stations and other large structures before his death. He sat for some years as M.P. for Coventry, through the duke's interest, and died at his house at Sydenham in 1865.

As we have already stated, (fn. 4) it was in 1852 that the idea of erecting the Crystal Palace near Sydenham first originated. When the Government declined to purchase the Great Exhibition building in Hyde Park, a few enterprising gentlemen came forward and rescued it from destruction. They purchased it, and the materials were removed to Sydenham, where it was re-erected, but with many modifications of form and detail. The original projectors had no difficulty in securing the aid of Sir Joseph Paxton as director of the park and gardens, which it was intended to unite with the palace; of Mr. Owen Jones and Mr. Digby Wyatt, as directors of the fine art department and of the decorations; and of Mr. Charles Wild, the engineer of the old building, as the engineer for the new one. Sir Charles Fox and Mr. Henderson also were engaged as contractors, and they undertook to take down, remove, and re-erect the structure for £120,000. The "Crystal Palace Company" was then announced, with a capital of £500,000, in 100,000 shares of £5 each. The capital, however, was subsequently increased to £1,000,000, and before the works in the building and grounds were concluded this amount was considerably increased. Two years were spent in extensive and expensive preparations. The first column of the main structure was raised on the 5th of August, 1852. Messrs. Owen Jones and Digby Wyatt were charged with a mission to the Continent, in order to procure examples of the principal works of art in Europe. England was also searched for copies of artistic antiquities; and Sir Joseph Paxton commenced his own operations by securing for the company the extensive and celebrated collection of palms and other plants which it had taken the Messrs. Loddige, of Hackney, (fn. 5) a century to collect. The building was formally opened on the 10th of June, 1854, the Queen, the Prince Consort, the King of Portugal, and other distinguished personages, being present at the ceremony.

In several points the Crystal Palace at Sydenham differs from its predecessor in Hyde Park. There are three transepts instead of one, and the roof of the nave is arched instead of flat, being thus raised forty-four feet higher than the old nave. There are many other differences between the appearance of the old and new Crystal Palaces, but these are among the chief. As before, iron and glass are almost the only materials used in the building. The larger portion of the northern wing, including the tropical department and the Assyrian Court, was destroyed by fire on the 30th of December, 1866, and has been only partially rebuilt since.

Originally the main building was 1,608 feet long, while its prototype was 1,851 feet; but there are wings and a colonnade in the new building, which make a considerable addition in the total length. These wings extend into, and, as it were, enclose the Italian garden. The nave and north and south transepts are 72 feet wide and 104 feet high—just the height of the transept in the Hyde Park building. The central transept is the feature of the new building. It is 384 feet long (the north and south transepts being 336), 120 feet wide, and 168 feet from the floor to the top of the ventilator—its total height, from the garden front, being 208 feet, or six feet higher than the Monument. Another difference in the construction of this building is that there is a basement storey, which was long known by the appellation of "Sir Joseph Paxton's Tunnel." This basement storey, or tunnel, contains apparatus for warming the building by rows of furnaces and boilers, and an iron network forming fifty miles of steam-pipes. There are about thirty boilers, arranged in pairs along the tunnel at regular distances. At each extremity of the building are lofty towers. The west front of the palace abuts upon a broad roadway, formed out of Dulwich Wood; it is a light and airy facade, resembling that of the north side of the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, except that it presents three arched transepts to the eye instead of only one. Attractive as this front of the palace is, that to the east, as seen from the gardens, is much more so. Grace and elegance are certainly combined in the outline; and when the vast edifice reflects the rays of the sun, it sends forth millions of coruscations, and forms an object of surpassing brilliance. The following lines, by a popular poet, appeared shortly after the completion of the building:—
"But yesterday a naked sod,
And see—'tis done!
As though 'twere by a wizard's rod,
A blazing arch of lucid glass
Leaps like a fountain from the grass,
To meet the sun.

"A quiet green, but few days since,
With cattle browsing in the shade,
And lo! long lines of bright arcade
In order raised;
A palace, as for fairy prince,
A rare pavilion, such as man
Saw never since mankind began,
Is built and glazed!"

Thackeray has celebrated the building in a more comic fashion:—
"With ganial foire,
Thransfuse me loyre,
Ye sacred nympths of Pindus;
The whoile I sing
That wondthrous thing,
The Palace made o' windows.
"Say, Paxton, truth,
Thou wondthrous youth,
What stroke of art celestial,
What power was lint
You to invint
This combination cristial?" (fn. 6)

In the interior there is a long and lofty nave, intersected at regular distances and at right angles by three transepts, and with aisles on each side, occupied by various fine art, industrial, and architectural courts, surrounded by galleries supported on light, airy, and apparently fragile columns, with an arched roof of glass, extending from north to south upwards of 1,000 feet. There are two galleries—in the central transept three; the first is gained from the ground by eight flights of steps, one at each end of the north and south transepts, and two at each end of the centre transept; they are about twenty-three feet high. This gallery is twenty-four feet wide; and the landing-places, in the two end transepts, seventy-two feet long and twenty-four feet wide, form platforms from which excellent views of the nave are obtained. The gallery of the central transept crosses the nave at an elevation of 100 feet; and is gained by spiral staircases at each end of the transept. This gallery, as well as the second, is used only as a promenade. The passage along the latter is carried through a series of ring or "bull's-eye" girders, seven feet in diameter, resting upon the columns which project into the nave. There is a very fine view of the country from this gallery; and looking forward through the long vista of circular girders, diminishing gradually in the distant perspective, produces a very singular but fine effect. The view of the park and grounds from the third gallery will well repay the visitor for the trouble of ascent. "Round the upper gallery," Mr. Phillips informs us in his "Guide," "at the very summit of the nave and transepts, as well as round the groundfloor of the building, are placed louvres, or ventilators, made of galvanised iron. By opening or closing these louvres, a service readily performed, the temperature of the Crystal Palace is so regulated, that, on the hottest day of summer, the dry parching heat mounts to the roof to be dismissed, whilst a pure and invigorating supply is introduced at the floor in its place, giving new life to the thirsty plant, and fresh vigour to man. The coolness thus obtained within the palace will be sought in vain, on such a summer's day, outside the edifice." At night the building is very effectively lighted up from above by the aid of a row of jets which run round it, just below the spring of the arching roof.

It would be impossible to give within the limits of this work a detailed account of all the varied attractions of the interior of the building; and, indeed, such a task is rendered needless by the "Guide to the Palace and Park," and the Handbooks to the various Courts, which are published by the Crystal Palace Company, and obtainable in the building. A rough glance at the contents, therefore, is all that we can here pretend to take. Commencing at the southern extremity of the nave, immediately in front of the refreshment counters, is a Gothic screen, consisting of a centre and two wings, in which are placed, in niches, statues of the kings and queens of England, from casts of those statues in the new Houses of Parliament; this screen was designed by Mr. Digby Wyatt. From this spot a view of the whole extent of the nave is obtained, and a beautiful view it is. Immediately in front of the spectator is a large ornamental basin, in which is displayed the Victoria Regia and other tropical aquatic plants; in the centre of the basin stands what has been not inaptly termed "the world-famed crystal fountain," (fn. 7) which on the break-up of the Great Exhibition of 1851 became the property of the directors of the new Crystal Palace. Beyond this, the eye rests upon a long vista, varied on each side with statues, handsome glass cases, displaying various works of modern art and industry, and trees, flowers, and plants, of the tropical regions, blooming in all the brilliance of their native climes; whilst suspended from the galleries are ornamental baskets containing plants.

The Handel Festival Orchestra, which occupies the western portion of the great central transept, was originally erected for the first festival in 1857, and has been since gradually enlarged, until it reached its present pitch of size and completeness. Its diameter is double that of the dome of St. Paul's. At the festival concerts more than 4,000 instrumental and vocal performers are accommodated within its spacious area. The arch which forms the ceiling of the vast structure—one of the largest timber arches yet erected—is of the latest improvement. The organ was built by Messrs. Gray and Davison, expressly for the palace; it has four rows of keys, and contains seventy-four stops and 4,598 pipes.

At the eastern end of the transept, facing the great orchestra, is the theatre, in which are given dramatic performances, pantomimes, &c. Close by is a concert-room capable of containing a large number of performers and listeners, and generally filled on the occasion of the popular concerts given here on Saturday afternoons.

On either side of the nave, on the floor of the palace, are the various courts above referred to, the mere mention of the names of which is sufficient to indicate their nature and character; they are the Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Mediæval, Renaissance, Italian, French, Ceramic, Pompeian, Bohemian, &c. A large portion of the galleries is devoted to the exhibition and sale of pictures, forming one of the main centres of attraction in the building.

Leaving the palace by the flight of granite steps from the central transept, we reach the "upper terrace," which extends along the whole base of the building; it is 1,500 feet long and 50 feet wide. Fifteen feet lower lies the terrace garden, reached by six flights of steps, and bounded on the southern side by a stone balustrade, with numerous recesses. Besides the magnificent central circular basin, throwing out a lofty jet d'eau, there are numerous others of an elliptic shape, profusely intermingled with statues, vases, richly-coloured flower-beds, shrubs, and trees, on which the long shadows of the projecting transepts fall. From the terrace gardens three flights of stone steps, their side balustrades adorned in like manner with statuary, conduct the visitor to a garden fifteen feet lower.

A central walk, nearly 100 feet in breadth, leads from the centre of the terrace garden through the lower garden, where it divides, and, re-uniting on the other side of a basin, 200 feet in diameter, continues on through parterres, laid out in a graceful admixture of the Italian and English styles of ornamental gardening.

The extent of the ground in which these fountains are displayed is ingeniously made to appear greater than it really is, by the skilful mode in which it has been treated. Broken ground, mounds, artificially constructed, crowned with forest trees, and groves of rich evergreen shrubs, forming tortuous alleys of perpetual verdure, and intersecting each other in the most natural manner, impart the effect of size and distance to a space that is comprised in about two hundred acres. Two "water temples" and a "rosary" are amongst the most attractive objects in the gardens; but unquestionably the most prominent attraction of the grounds, irrespective of their natural beauty, is formed by the system of waterworks, which, it is said, far surpass, in their completeness and design, any other display in the world, including even those of Versailles. The whole system is divided into two series—the upper and lower. The former comprises the six basins in the Italian garden, the large central basin in the broad walk, and the two smaller ones on each side of it; in all, nine fountains. These constitute the display on ordinary occasions. Beyond and below them is the lower series, which consist of the two water temples, the cascades, and the numerous groups of fountains arranged in the large lower basins. These are usually known as the "great fountains," and are played on special and grand occasions only. The two "grand" fountains in the lower grounds are by far the largest in the world, and impart the grandest effect to the whole series. The outlines of their two greatest basins are similar in design, each being 784 feet long, with a diameter of 468 feet. The central jet in each is 2¼ inches diameter, and reaches the extraordinary height of more than 250 feet. Around each central jet is a column, composed of fifty 2-inch jets. The force of water which presses on the mouth of these pipes is equivalent to 262 pounds to the square inch. When the whole is in operation, 120,000 gallons of water per minute are poured forth by 11,788 jets; and in one single complete display, lasting half an hour, nearly 4,000,000 gallons are consumed. The artesian well, from which the fountains are supplied with water, is well worthy of notice. It is a brick shaft, 8½ feet in diameter and 247 feet deep. From this depth an artesian bore descends still further for 328 feet, making the entire distance from the surface 578 feet. A supply of water having been thus obtained, the next operation is to raise it from the bottom of the hill, where the well is situate, to a sufficient height to play the fountains. The pressure required to force the respective jets of water to heights ranging from 5 to nearly 300 feet is obtained in the following simple manner. Reservoirs were formed at different levels in the grounds, the highest of all being situated at the top of the hill adjoining the north end of the building; the second, or intermediate reservoir, was on a level with the basin of the great central fountain; and the lower lake, at the extreme end of the grounds, formed the lower reservoir. Three pairs of powerful engines were then erected; one contiguous to the artesian well; the second at the intermediate reservoir; and a third adjoining the north end of the building, close to the highest reservoir. By this system water is pumped by the lower engine to the intermediate reservoir, and from thence by another engine to the upper level, where a third raises it to two enormous tanks, erected on columns, and to the tanks on the top of the two high towers, which play the main jets of the lower fountains. By this arrangement the water, instead of being wasted, is economised, and passing backwards and forwards from one reservoir to the other, is used again and again; the intermediate reservoir collecting it after a display of the upper series, and the lowest one forming a similar receptacle when a display of the large fountains takes place.

Passing round the margin of the great fountain basin, and crossing the broad central walk, which divides the two lower basins, the visitor, by ascending a flight of steps, reaches the grand plateau, which is an embankment fifty feet wide, and commands a general view of the lake, containing three islands, the two largest wholly occupied by lifesized models of the gigantic animals of the ancient world. It is here that one of the most original features of the Crystal Palace Company's grand plan of instruction has been carried out. There all the leading features of geology are found displayed, in so practical and popular a manner, that a child may discern the characteristic points of that useful branch of the history of nature.

The spectator, standing on the upper terrace of the plateau, has before him the largest educational model ever attempted in any part of the world. It covers several acres, and consists of a display of nearly all the rocks that constitute the known portion of the earth's crust, from the old red sandstone to the latest tertiary beds of drift and gravel. Descending by the path, a few paces to the right, we have a nearer view of the older rocks, immediately facing the rustic bridge, the lowest of which, the old red sandstone, is seen just above the water, forming a foundation upon which is superposed the whole mass of cliff on the right, consisting of mountain limestone, mill-stone grit, bands of ironstone, and beds or seams of coal, capped by the new red sandstone. The coalmeasures are thus exhibited between their most evident boundaries, the old red sandstone below, and the new red sandstone above; the whole being re-constructed of several thousand tons of the actual materials, in exact imitation of the Clay Cross coalbeds. The series was carefully tabulated by Professor Ansted, to ensure its geological accuracy, according to Sir Joseph Paxton's designs for the picturesque arrangement of this interesting portion of the grounds.

On the margin of a lake close by are to be seen life-like models of the former gigantic inhabitants of the earth, whose race has long since become extinct, such as the Iguanodon, the Palæotherium, the Anoplotherium, and other antediluvian animals, with names equally interesting, and in all their pristine ugliness.


On gala or fète days, or the occasion of any great festival—as when the Odd Fellows, or the Foresters, or the Licensed Victuallers, attend en masse—the number of visitors to the palace is prodigious, reaching to seventy or eighty thousand; but, nevertheless, commercially, the place has not proved so successful as was at first anticipated. The undertaking was carried out on too grand a scale. It was at first assumed that what people wanted was scientific amusement; the blunder, however, was a costly one, for it reduced the worth of the five-pound shares to a fifth of their nominal value, and created a great deal of unpleasant feeling in the bosoms of a large class of people who believed, in promoting this scheme of popular amusement and instruction, they had made a good investment for themselves. It has been said, and perhaps truthfully, that "if there is sufficient amusement in the way of fireworks or fountains, of concerts and drama, of exhibitions and flower-shows, of painting and statuary, of machinery in motion—so much the better. But the main objects are the eating and drinking, and fine air and fun. What Londoners want is 'an outing.' It is for this that people go to Sydenham; and for this, it must be admitted on all sides, the most complete provision has now been made. If one really requires a wonder, there is the building itself."


We have alluded above to the accidental fire by which a portion of the building was destroyed. This occurred on the 30th of December, 1866; and the larger portion of the northern wing, including the tropical department and the Assyrian Court, was burnt down. An unfortunate chimpanzee, which had been one of the "lions" of the palace, perished in the flames. This wing has only been partially rebuilt, much to the injury of the symmetry of the edifice. Whatever may have been the cause of this disastrous fire, it was, at all events, a curious fact that it occurred on the very day after a lecture on combustion had been given in the palace.

Of late years a large library and reading-room have been added, and lectures on cookery and other branches of useful education, as well as on art and science, have been delivered to numerous classes of students of either sex. A large aquarium also, stocked with salt-water as well as fresh-water fish, now forms one of the attractions of the place; and it is intended by the managers and directors of the company still further to increase the educational appliances of the Crystal Palace.

Anerley, which adjoins Sydenham on the southeast, was at one time noted for its tea-gardens, which for some years served as an attraction to the South Londoners. They were opened in or about the year 1841 by a Mr. Coulson, but do not appear to have attained to a tithe of the popularity of old Ranelagh or of Vauxhall, notwithstanding its swings and "roundabouts," its fireworks, and its al fresco dancing platforms. After passing through various hands, they were finally closed in 1868. A corner of the gardens was taken off on the formation of the Croydon Railway. The Croydon Canal, which formerly ran through the grounds in its course from the Thames at Deptford, has been drained and filled up for several miles, with the exception of a few places in which it remains as ornamental water.

Stretching away from Anerley, towards Mitcham, Tooting, and Streatham, and lying partly in Croydon parish, and partly in the parishes of Battersea, Lambeth, Streatham, and Camberwell, is Norwood, which, at no very remote period, was described as "a village scattered round a large wild common," and as "a principal haunt of the gypsies." The Crystal Palace, though always described as in Sydenham, is said really to belong partly to Norwood, and the high ground on which it stands, together with the rival hills of Hampstead and Highgate, may be regarded as sentinel castles on either side of the valley of the Thames.

In a "History of the Gypsies," published in the first part of the present century, it is said that Norwood had long been a favourite haunt of that brotherhood, on account of its remote and rural character, though lying so handy for both London and Croydon. It appears that besides being occasionally brought before the magistrates for robberies of chickens and other denizens of the farm-yard, the gipsies here were occasionally made by the justices to feel the full force of the laws against vagrancy, and that occasionally they were "hunted down" without having done much to deserve it, being made the scapegoats of others who had fairer skins. Hither the Londoners of the last century resorted in fine weather to have their future lot in life foretold to them by the palmistry of the "Zingari" folk.

Gipsy Hill, and an inn still called the "Queen of the Gipsies," commemorate the inmate of a small outhouse who lived on this hill, and who died here in 1760—it is said at the age of 109 years. Her name was Margaret Finch, and for half a century she had lived by telling fortunes in that rural and credulous neighbourhood. She was buried in a deep square box, as, from her constant habit of sitting with her chin resting on her knees, her muscles had become so contracted that at last she could not alter her position. "This woman," observes Mr. Larwood, in his "History of Signboards," "when a girl of seventeen, may have been one of the dusky gang that pretty Mrs. Samuel Pepys and her companions went to consult in August, 1668, as her lord records in his 'Diary' the same evening, the 11th: 'This afternoon my wife, and Mercer, and Deb went with Pelling to see the gypsies at Lambeth and have their fortunes told; but what they did I did not enquire.'" "A granddaughter of Margaret Finch," Mr. Larwood adds, "was living in a cottage close by in the year 1800."

Norwood must really have derived its name from being the "wood" that lay to the "north" of the large ecclesiastical town of Croydon; for it lies to the south of London. Two centuries ago Norwood was really a wood and nothing more. Aubrey, giving an account of Croydon at that period, in his "Perambulation of Surrey," writes: "In this parish lies the great wood, called Norwood, belonging to the see of Canterbury, wherein was an ancient remarkable tree, called Vicar's Oak, where four parishes meet in a point." These parishes, doubtless, were Lambeth, Camberwell, Lewisham, and Croydon.

The wood and the gipsies too have long since been swept away, and are now known only by tradition. Among the few mansions of note that once existed in this neighbourhood, the most conspicuous was Knight's Hill, which was built for Lord Chancellor Thurlow by Henry Holland, the architect of Carlton House and of old Drury Lane Theatre, which was burnt down in 1809. Notwithstanding the splendid views said to be obtained from the upper windows of the mansion, it appears that Lord Thurlow never resided in it, but contented himself with a smaller house, called Knight's Hill Farm. In Twiss's "Life of Lord Eldon," it is stated that "Lord Thurlow built a house in the neighbourhood of London. Now," adds the author, "he was first cheated by his architect, and then he cheated himself; for the house cost more than he expected, so he never would go into it. Very foolish, but so it was. As he was coming out of the Queen's Drawing-room, a lady, whom I knew very well, stopped him, and asked him when he was going into his new house. 'Madam,' said he, 'the queen has just asked me that impudent question; and as I would not tell her, I will not tell you.'" Mr. Thorne, in his "Environs of London," states that the house and grounds were reported to have cost £30,000. Both have now disappeared, having, with his lordship's adjoining manor of Leigham, been appropriated for building purposes.

Another noted place in Upper Norwood, during the second quarter of the present century, was Beulah Spa, which was founded on an extensive scale in 1831, for the purpose of rendering available the medicinal properties of a spring strongly impregnated with sulphate of magnesia. The Spa had been known to the inhabitants of Norwood from time immemorial; but it existed only as a bubbling spring, to which the rustics resorted for the cure of trifling maladies, until about the year 1828, when the then proprietor of the surrounding grounds, some thirty acres in extent, expended large sums in converting them into a place of recreation, with charming walks, terraces, and rustic lodges, a "pump," orchestra, reading-room, &c., the whole being carried out from the designs of Mr. Decimus Burton. In its altered state it was opened for public use in August, 1831. It is now forgotten as a place of resort, and even its chalybeate spring has passed comparatively out of memory. The water was a saline purgative, much resembling the Cheltenham water, and, like that of the Epsom water, owed its medical qualities chiefly to the sulphate of magnesia which was dissolved in it; but some other saline substances, as sulphate of soda, common or marine salt, and chloride of sodium, were likewise contained in this water in small proportions.

In 1839 a fête for the Freemasons' Girls 'School was given here, under the special patronage of the Queen Dowager. The vocal and instrumental concert provided for the occasion was of first-rate order; Grisi, Persiani, Rubini, Ivanhoff, &c., lending their assistance on the occasion.

The readers of Thackeray will not have forgotten the charity fête at Beulah Spa, devised by Lady de Sudley, on behalf of the "British Washerwoman's Orphans' Home," which figures in Cox's "Diary."

The Spa is thus described by a writer in the Mirror for April, 1832:—"We entered the grounds at an elegant rustic lodge, where commences a new carriage-road to Croydon, which winds round the flank of the hill, and is protected by hanging woods. The lodge is in the best taste of ornate rusticity, with the characteristic varieties of gable, dripstone, portico, bay-window, and embellished chimney: of the latter there are some specimens in the best style of our older architects. Passing the lodge, we descended by a winding path through the wood to a small lawn or glade, at the highest point of which is a circular rustic building, used as a confectionery and reading-room, near which is the Spa, within a thatched apartment. The spring rises about fourteen feet, within a circular rockwork enclosure; the water is drawn by a contrivance at once ingenious and novel; a glass urn-shaped pail, terminating with a cock of the same material, and having a stout rim and cross-handle of silver, is attached to a thick worsted rope, and let down into the spring by a pulley, when the vessel being taken up full, the water is drawn off by the cock." Notwithstanding that the grounds were furnished with all the appliances for well-to-do water-drinkers, Beulah Spa enjoyed but a brief run of popularity. In the end it collapsed, and the site was handed over to the builders. Some portion of the grounds, however, have been preserved; and there is (or was recently) within them a hydropathic establishment, where the curative qualities of the water may be tested.

On the hill overlooking what was once Beulah Spa, Mr. Sims Reeves has lived for many years.

Norwood is situated on a series of beautiful valleys and hills, the latter rising, it is said, to the height of 300 feet above the level of the sea at low water; but, like Sydenham, is being rapidly converted into a region of bricks and mortar. It possesses seven or eight churches, a large number of dissenting chapels and mission-houses, capacious and comfortable hotels, together with hydropathic and homœopathic establishments. The Queen's Hotel at Norwood, close to the Crystal Palace, is said to be the largest private hotel in the kingdom.

Among the institutions of various kinds which abound in this locality, a prominent place is held by the North Surrey District School, in the Anerley Road. It is a very large and complete establishment, covering an area of about fifty acres. It provides accommodation and the means of industrial training for nearly 1,000 children from the surrounding district unions.

The Roman Catholic Orphanage of Our Lady, founded in 1848, is under the charge of a religious community of ladies, and contains about 320 orphan and poor children, who are lodged, fed, and clothed, until they are fit to be placed in situations as domestic servants, for which they are specially trained. The children, when placed in service, are watched over by the community, who give prizes annually to those who keep their situations longest, and can supply the best characters. There is also a home attached, into which the orphans are received when out of situation and in sickness, provided they have conducted themselves satisfactorily. The institution is a branch from the Monastery de la Notre Dame des Orphelines, at La Delwrande, in Normandy, celebrated for its treatment of orthopœdic diseases, from which many English families are said to have derived great benefit. The building here was commenced in 1855, and was erected from the designs of Mr. Wardell. It is of Gothic design, with a tower in the centre, and covers a large extent of ground. A part of the edifice, entirely distinct from the orphanage, is used as a boardingschool for young ladies of the higher classes.

Noticeable for its architectural as well as philanthropic character is the Jews' Hospital, Lower Norwood, which was erected in 1863, from the designs of Mr. Tillot, "for the maintenance of the aged poor, and the industrial training of friendless children." The Jews' Hospital, one of the oldest charitable institutions of the Jews in England, was originally established in Mile End, in the year 1806. Large sums were collected by its founders, Messrs. B. and A. Goldsmid; considerable legacies have been bequeathed to it; the benevolent family of Rothschild have greatly benefited it; and the members of the Jewish body generally have at all times given it their support. The change from so crowded a locality as Mile End to the present eligible site of the hospital has, doubtless, proved advantageous to the institution, and to the Jewish community generally. The edifice, which is constructed of brick with stone dressings, is a good specimen of the Jacobean style of architecture. Over the hall, &c., is a synagogue, with a gallery, having an open timber roof.

The schools of the Westmoreland Society, for children of parents residing within seventy-five miles of London, are at Lower Norwood. Close by, on the slopes of a gentle hill, and occupying some forty acres of ground, is Norwood South Metropolitan Cemetery. It was one of the earliest of our great metropolitan cemeteries, having been founded in 1839. The grounds are well laid out, and command good views across Sydenham, Penge, and Beckenham. The cemetery is becoming rapidly filled with monuments. Many men of mark have their last resting-place here: among them Justice Talfourd, Douglas Jerrold, Angus Reach, Laman Blanchard, Sir Wm. Cubitt (the celebrated engineer); Sharon Turner, the historian; Sir Wm. Napier, the historian of the Peninsular War; James Wm. Gilbart, the founder of the London and Westminster Bank; and Frederick Robson, the comedian.

In Upper Norwood is the Royal Normal College and Academy of Music for the Blind, which was established in 1874, to afford a thorough general and musical education to the youthful blind of both sexes, who possess the requisite talent so as to qualify them for self-maintenance. The founders of the college, recognising that all of the different kinds of handicraft suitable for the blind were thoroughly taught in various establishment throughout the country, have confined themselves to the special work of preparing the blind as teachers, organists, and pianoforte tuners. The college is designed to form a supplement to the other institutions, and in no sense is it expected that it will take the place of the older establishments, or in any way interfere with their work. The college embraces three distinct departments—that of general education, of music, and pianoforte tuning. Each has been carefully planned, furnished with the most modern appliances, and provided with experienced teachers especially adapted to their part of the work.

At Norwood, in 1833, died the Earl of Dudley, having been insane for the last few months of his life. He had always been eccentric; but in the early part of 1832 he was declared by Sir Henry Halford to be insane, having committed a variety of harmless extravagances; and his last days were passed in retirement.

On the southern side of Norwood, and extending about a mile and a half along the Brighton road from Brixton Hill towards Croydon, is the village of Streatham, about which we must write somewhat briefly, as we must not travel too far afield from the metropolis. It is a large, rambling district, occupying for the most part high ground, with a good deal of open heath still unenclosed. It abounds in mansions encompassed by wellwooded grounds.

At the time of the Domesday survey Streatham was divided into several manors, the chief of which, called Totinges, which included the hamlet of Tooting, was held by the Abbot of St. Mary de Bec, and hence came to be known as TootingBec. From that period till the time of the "dissolution" of religious houses, it changed ownership on several occasions. In 1553 it was sold to John Dudley, Earl of Warwick, and half a century later it was purchased by Sir Giles Howland. Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of John Howland, conveyed the property, by marriage, in 1695, to Wriothesley, Marquis of Tavistock, afterwards third Duke of Bedford, and Baron Howland of Streatham. The marriage ceremony was performed by Bishop Burnet, at Streatham House, Lord Wriothesley being only fifteen years old. Francis, fifth Duke of Bedford, conveyed the mansion to his brother, Lord William Russell, who was murdered by his Swiss valet, Courvoisier. (fn. 8) Lord William made the old house his residence, but about the close of the last century conveyed it to the Earl of Coventry, by whom it was pulled down, a more modern mansion being erected in its place.

There are at Streatham mineral springs which, as Aubrey informs us, were discovered about fourteen years before he wrote (A.D. 1659). They were first noticed in consequence of the ground giving way while the horses were ploughing in the field where they were situated. Persons afterwards employed in weeding in dry weather, it appears, drank some of the water, and found it purgative. The owner of the field at first forbade people to take the water; but before the end of the reign of Charles II. it came into common use. Lysons says that in his time (1810) the Streatham water was sent in large quantities to some of the London hospitals. The well still exists, but its fame has departed.

On the high road between the villages of Streatham and Tooting, somewhat less than a century ago, stood a turnpike gate, which was the scene of an amusing escapade, arising out of the convivial habits of Lord Thurlow. The Lord Chancellor had been dining with Mr. Jenkinson (afterwards Lord Liverpool) at Addiscombe, his seat near Croydon, together with Dundas, and the younger Pitt, then Chancellor of the Exchequer. On their return late in the evening on horseback, they found the gate open, and as they had no servant with them, and were all more or less "merry" with wine, they rode through without staying to pay the toll. The gatekeeper, aroused by the sound of their horse-hoofs as they galloped through, sprang up, rushed out into the road, and fired a blunderbuss after them, but fortunately without effect. He took them, no doubt, for a gang of highwaymen who had been committing robberies along the road. The story got about, much to the amusement of the quidnuncs of "Brooks's" and "White's" clubs; and it was afterwards celebrated in the "Rolliad," the author of which poem writes, alluding to Pitt—
"How, as he wandered darkling o'er the plain,
His reason drowned in Jenkinson's champagne,
A rustic's hand, but righteous fate withstood,
Had shed a Premier's for a robber's blood."

But Streatham, perhaps, has chiefly derived its celebrity from Dr. Johnson's connection with it. Streatham Place was the residence of Henry Thrale, the opulent brewer of Southwark, to whom we have already introduced the reader, (fn. 9) when Johnson was first presented to him by his friend Murphy, in 1764; and during Thrale's life Streatham Place was to Johnson a second home. Johnson did not become an inmate or constant guest at Mr. Thrale's house here till about 1766, when his constitution seemed to be giving way, and he was visited by fits of deep and gloomy melancholy, which Mrs. Thrale (afterwards Mrs. Piozzi), with her wonted vivacity and cheerfulness, did her best to dispel. An apartment was fitted up for him; a knife and fork were constantly laid for him; companions and friends were invited from London without stint, to entertain him and to be entertained by him. His favourite strolling-place in the grounds was known as Dr. Johnson's Walk. The summer-house in the garden was one of the doctor's favourite resorts, when on a visit to his kind and hospitable friends. Here he made many pious meditations and resolutions; among the latter may be mentioned one which still exists in his own handwriting, dated as late as 1781, "To pass eight hours every day in some serious employment."

As Mrs. Piozzi herself tells us, in her "Johnsoniana," "Dr. Johnson would here spend the middle days of the week, returning to his household near Fleet Street every Saturday, to give them three good dinners and his company, before he came back to us on the Monday night," thus reversing the process of our own day, which usually takes hard-working people into the suburbs from Saturday till Monday. In the drawing-room at Streatham he revelled in the freedom of his discourse, released, as he doubtless felt himself, from the restraints of the clubs and coffee-houses of Covent Garden. It was here, for instance, that, when asked somewhat abruptly by a silly young fellow, whether he would recommend him to marry, he set him down with the quick reply, "Sir, I would advise no man to marry who is not likely to propagate understanding."

Of Mrs. Piozzi (Mrs. Thrale), whose name is destined always to shine in the world of literature as a "queen of society," we have already spoken at some length in the chapter above referred to; but a few words more about her may not be out of place here. "Mrs. Thrale always appeared to me," writes Sir N. W. Wraxall, in his "Historical Memoirs," "to possess at least as much information and a mind as cultivated as Mrs. Montagu, and even more wit; but she did not descend among men from such an eminence, and she talked much more, as well as more unguardedly, upon every subject. She was the provider and conductress of Dr. Johnson, who lived almost entirely under her roof, . . . . . both in town and at Streatham. He did not, however, spare her more than other women in his attacks, if she courted or provoked his animadversion." "I cannot withhold from Mrs. Thrale," says Dr. Johnson, "the praise of being the author of that admirable poem, 'The Three Warnings.'" The long and constant hospitality of Mr. and Mrs. Thrale, at their house at Streatham, to Dr. Johnson, extended over almost the last twenty years of his life.

Miss Thrale, Johnson's "Queeny," was among those who sat by the learned doctor's death-bed, in spite of the differences which had arisen between him and her mother, on account of her second marriage. Baretti, who acted for about ten years as teacher of Italian to the daughters of Mrs. Thrale, on the recommendation of Dr. Johnson, afterwards assailed that lady's memory most ungratefully.


Hung up in the library at Mrs. Piozzi's house was a series of portraits of literary characters, painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds, including those of Garrick, Goldsmith, Dr. C. Burney, Edmund Burke, Lord Lyttelton, Mrs. Piozzi herself and her daughter, and, of course, Dr. Johnson. This gallery of portraits was sold in 1816, when they fetched various prices, ranging from £80 up to £378, at which price the burly doctor himself was knocked down. They would easily fetch four times that price now-a-days. An odd volume of "Saurin on the Bible," with a memorandum by Dr. Johnson on the title-page, and some manuscript notes by Mrs. Piozzi, fetched no less than £42 in a sale of Mrs. Piozzi's effects at Brighton, in 1857. The teapot which used to stand on Mrs. Piozzi's table, and from which Dr. Johnson drank never-ending cups of the cheering liquid, was bought at the same time by Mrs. Marryatt. It held more than three quarts, and was of Oriental porcelain, painted and gilt.

Before closing this chapter, we may state that about the year 1870 the Magdalen Hospital was removed hither from Blackfriars Road, where it had existed as one of the best-known charitable institutions in London for upwards of a century. We shall have more to say about it when we reach Blackfriars Road on our return journey.



  • 1. See p. 230, ante.
  • 2. See p. 245, ante.
  • 3. See Vol. V., p. 154.
  • 4. See Vol. V., p. 38.
  • 5. See Vol. V., p. 514.
  • 6. See "Thackeray's Works," vol. xi.
  • 7. See Vol. V., p. 38.
  • 8. See Vol. IV., p. 375.
  • 9. See ante, p. 34.