A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.
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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:—
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, or portreeve.
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 bridge.
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 Without."
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 principal streets.
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 from Stepney.
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 gigantic capital.
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 metropolis.
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 before possess.
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 Deptford.
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 Rotherhithe.
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 houses.
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 Poultry.
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 servants.
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 officers.
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 generally.
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 day.
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 officers.
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 Tower.
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 the city.
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 reserved.
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 officer.
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 Fields.
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 £10 householders.
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 inviolate.
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 Henry VII.
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.
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.|
|Parish.||Population||Value in the King's Books.||Present Net Income.||Patrons.|
|St. Andrew, Holborn R.||5966 (fn. n1)||18||0||0.||1336||The Duke of Buccleuch.|
|St. Peter, Saffron Hill C.||—||—||—||The Rector.|
|Trinity Chapel, Gray's Inn Road C.||—||—||—||The Rector.|
|St. Bartholomew the Great R.||3414||8||0||0||680||Trustees of the late W. Phillips, Esq.|
|St. Bartholomew the Less V.||744||13||6||8||30||St. Bartholomew's Hospital.|
|St. Botolph, without Aldersgate P.C.||4491 (fn. n2)||—||450||The Dean and Chapter of Westminster, the appropriators.|
|St. Botolph, Aldgate P.C.||9525 (fn. n3)||—||247||R. Kynaston, Esq., the impropriator.|
|St. Botolph, without Bishopsgate R.||10,969||20||0||0||2290||The Bishop.|
|All Saints' Chapel P.C.||258||The Rector of St. Botolph's.|
|St. Bride V.||6655||16||0||0||562||The Dean and Chapter of Westminster, the appropriators.|
|Trinity District Church P.C.||—||—||The Vicar.|
|St. Dunstan-in-the-West R.||3266||26||4||9½||490||Trustees of the late Rev. Charles Simeon.|
|St. Thomas, Rolls' Liberty P.C.||—||—||200||Hyndman's Trustees.|
|St. Giles, without Cripplegate V.||13,255||32||5||0||2018||The Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, the appropriators.|
|St. Sepulchre V.||8524 (fn. n4)||20||0||0||666||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.||579||—||69||The Crown.|
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.
|Parish.||Population.||Value in the King's Books.||Present Net Income.||Patrons.|
|St. George the Martyr R.||7897 (fn. n5)||—||569||The Duke of Buccleuch.|
|St. George, Bloomsbury R.||16,981||—||1153||The Crown.|
|Trinity Church, Woburn Square P.C.||—||—||500||The Rector of St. George's.|
|St. Giles-in-the-Fields R.||37,311||—||968||The Crown.|
|Trinity P.C.||—||—||338||The Rector of St. Giles'.|
|Christ Church, Endell-street P.C.||—||—||—||The Rector of St. Giles'.|
|St. Peter ad Vincula, Tower R.||1107||18||13||4||—||The Constable of the Tower of London.|
|CITY AND LIBERTY OF WESTMINSTER.|
|Parish.||Population.||Value in the King's Books.||Present Net Income.||Patrons.|
|St. Anne, Soho R.||16,480||—||909||The Bishop.|
|St. Clement Danes R.||11,582 (fn. n6)||52||7||1||518||The Marquess of Exeter.|
|St. George, Hanover Square R.||66,453||—||1000||The Bishop.|
|Grosvenor Chapel P.C.||400||The Rector and Churchwardens of St. George's.|
|Hanover District Chapel, Regent-st. P.C.||560||The Rector of St. George's.|
|St. Mark's District Chapel P.C.||700||The Rector of St. George's.|
|St. James, Piccadilly R.||37,398||—||1468||The Bishop.|
|Archbishop Tenison's Chapel P.C.||320||The Rector of St. James', and eight Trustees.|
|St. Philip's Chapel, Regent-street P.C.||400||The Bishop and the Rector of St. James's.|
|St. Margaret's Chapel P.C.||459||The Dean and Chapter of Westminster, the appropriators.|
|St. James', Berwick-street C.||—||Trustees.|
|York Street Chapel C.||—||The Rector of St. James's.|
|St. James,' Hampstead Road C.||—||Trustees.|
|St. John, Millbank R.||26,223||—||359||The Dean and Chapter of Westminster.|
|St. Mary, Vincent-square P.C.||—||—||—||The Rector of St. John's.|
|St. Stephen P.C.||—||—||300||Miss A. Burdett Coutts.|
|St. Margaret R.||30,258||—||—||The Dean and Chapter of Westminster.|
|Broadway Chapel C.||—||—||—||The Rector of St. Margaret's.|
|St. Martin-in-the-Fields V.||25,190 (fn. n7)||12||0||0||1258||The Bishop.|
|St. Matthew, Spring Gardens P.C.||—||—||200||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.||2520||13||8||4||266||The Crown.|
|St. John the Baptist, Savoy P.C.||414||—||130||The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.|
|St. Paul, Covent Garden R.||5718||—||580||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.)|
|Parish.||Population.||Value in the King's Books.||Present Net Income.||Patrons.|
|Christchurch R.||14,616 (fn. n8)||—||870||The Trustees of Marshall's Charities.|
|St. George the Martyr R.||46,644 (fn. n9)||18||13||9||730||The Crown.|
|St. Mary Magdalen C.||—||—||—||The Rector of St. George's.|
|St. John Horsleydown R.||10,115||—||500||The Crown.|
|St. Mark's District P.C.||—||—||130||The Crown and the Bishop, alternately.|
|St. Olave P.C.||6745 (fn. n10)||68||4||9½||682||The Crown.|
|St. Saviour P.C.||18,219||—||800||The Parishioners, who appoint two ministers, between whom the income is divided.|
|St. Thomas P.C.||1759||—||215||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 St. Stephen.
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 other devices.
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 antiquary.
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 celebrated chapel.
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 Dr. Mead.
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 completed.
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, are beautiful.
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.
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 well attended.
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 allowance.
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 schools.
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 out-patients yearly.
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 reduced.
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 institution.
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 Transactions.
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, Sackville-street, 1821.
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 mentioned.
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 each.
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 college.
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 counties.
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 foundations.
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, Aldersgate-street.
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.