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Title: A Walk from London to Fulham

Author: Thomas Crofton Croker

Editor: T. F. Dillon Croker

Release Date: July 29, 2009  [eBook #29541]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)


This ebook was transcribed by Les Bowler.

From London to Fulham

by the late

revised and edited by his son,

with additional illustrations, by




Note by T. F. Dillon Croker.


Dedication to Thomas Wright, Esq., M.A., F.S.A.


Memoir of the late Thomas Crofton Croker, F.S.A., M.R.I.A., Etc.


Text of ‘A Walk from London to Fulham.’


Index of Places.


Index of Names of Persons.



p. vNOTE.

A series of papers which originally appeared in ‘Fraser’ are now, for the first time, published in a collected form with the consent of the proprietors of that Magazine.  It should, however, be stated, that this is not a mere reprint, but that other matter has been inserted, and several illustrations, which did not appear originally, are now added, by which the work is very materially increased: the whole having undergone a necessary revision.

Since the late Mr. Crofton Croker contributed to ‘Fraser’ the ‘Walk from London to Fulham,’ there have been many important changes on the road: time has continued to efface interesting associations; more old houses have been pulled down, new ones built up, and great alterations and improvements have taken place not contemplated a few years ago.  It would be impossible, for example, that any one who has not visited the locality during the last few years could recognize the narrow lanes p. viof yesterday in the fine roads now diverging beyond the South Kensington Museum, which building has so recently been erected at the commencement of Old Brompton; but modern improvements are seemingly endless, and have of late become frequent.  It is in the belief that the following pages will be an interesting and acceptable record of many places no longer in existence, that they are submitted to the public in their present shape by


p. viito

My dear Mr. Wright,

As a mark of sincere regard to an old and esteemed friend of my late Father, I offer these pages to you.

Yours most faithfully,


19 Pelham Place,
      Brompton, 1860.

of the late

The late eminent genealogist, Sir W. Betham of Dublin, Ulster King-at-Arms, well known as the author of numerous works on the Antiquities of Ireland, and Mr. Richard Sainthill, an equally zealous antiquary still living in Cork, were two of the most intimate friends and correspondents of the late Mr. Crofton Croker.

The first-named gentleman drew up an elaborate table tracing the Croker pedigree as far back as the battle of Agincourt.  The Croker crest—“Deus alit eos”—was granted to Sir John Croker, who accompanied Edward IV. on his expedition to France in 1475, as cup and standard-bearer; but without going back to the original generation, or tracing the Limerick or any other branch of the family, it will be sufficient to say here that the Crokers, if they did not “come over with William the Conqueror” came originally from Devonshire, and settled in Ireland in the reign of Elizabeth.  Thomas Crofton Croker was the only son of Thomas Croker, who, after twenty-five years of arduous and p. xfaithful military service in North America, Holland, and Ireland, and after having purchased every step in the army, was gazetted brevet-major on the 11th May, 1802, in the same regiment which he had at first joined (the 38th, or 1st Staffordshire Foot), and in which he had uninterruptedly served.  Indeed, he was so much attached to his regiment, that, in his case at least, the Staffordshire knot became perfectly symbolic.  The closer the knot was drawn the firmer the tie became.  He commenced, continued, and ended an honourable life of activity in the service of his country from mere boyhood, until ill-health and a broken constitution forced him to sell his commission.  Thomas Croker was the eldest son of Richard Croker, of Mount Long in the county of Tipperary, who died on the 1st January, 1771; and his mother was Anne, the daughter of James Long of Dublin, by the Honourable Mary Butler, daughter of Theobald the seventh Earl of Cahir.  Thomas Croker was born on the 29th March, 1761.  In 1796 he married Maria, eldest daughter and co-heir of Croker Dillon of Baltidaniel in the county of Cork, and on the 15th January, 1798, Thomas Crofton Croker was born at the house of his maternal grandmother in Buckingham Square, Cork, receiving his first Christian name after his father, and his second after his godfather, the Honourable Sir E. Crofton, Bart.

While very young, during the years 1812 and 1815, Crofton Croker made several excursions in the south of Ireland, studying the character and traditions of the country, on which occasions he was frequently accompanied by Mr. Joseph Humphreys, a Quaker, afterwards master of the p. xiDeaf and Dumb Institution at Claremont near Dublin.  In 1813 he was placed with the mercantile firm of Messrs. Lecky and Mark, and in 1817 he appeared as an exhibitor in the second exhibition of the Cork Society, for he had already displayed considerable talent as an artist.  In 1818 he contributed to an ephemeral production called ‘The Literary and Political Examiner:’ on the 22nd March of that year his father died, and he left Ireland, not to revisit it until he made a short excursion there in 1821 with Alfred Nicholson and Miss Nicholson (who afterwards became Mrs. Croker), children of the late Mr. Francis Nicholson, one of the founders of the English water-colour school, and who died in 1844 at the patriarchal age of ninety-one years.

Crofton Croker’s first visit to England was paid to Thomas Moore in Wiltshire; and soon after his establishing in London he received from the late Right Hon. John Wilson Croker an appointment at the Admiralty, of which office his namesake (but no relation) was secretary, and from which he (Crofton) retired in 1850 as senior clerk of the first class, having served upwards of thirty years, thirteen of which were passed in the highest class.  This retirement, although he stood first for promotion to the office of chief clerk, was compulsory upon a reduction of office, and was not a matter of private convenience.  In 1830 Crofton Croker married Miss Marianne Nicholson, and the result of their union was an only child, Thomas Francis Dillon Croker, born 26th August, 1831, the writer of the present memoir.

The literary labours of Crofton Croker were attended p. xiiwith more gratifying results than his long and unwearied official services.  The ‘Researches in the South of Ireland’ (1824), an arrangement of notes made during several excursions between the years 1812 and 1822, was his first important work.  It was published by John Murray, the father of the present publisher of the ‘Quarterly Review,’ and contained illustrations by Mr. Alfred and Miss Nicholson: with the ‘Fairy Legends,’ however, the name of Crofton Croker became more especially associated, the first edition of which appeared anonymously in 1825, and produced a complimentary letter from Sir Walter Scott, which has been published in all subsequent editions.  The success of the first edition of the legends was such as immediately to justify a second, which appeared the next year, illustrated with etchings after sketches by Maclise, and which was followed by a second series (Parts 2 and 3) in 1827.  The third part, although it appeared under the same title, namely ‘Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland,’ may be considered as forming almost a separate work, inasmuch as it comprised the fairy superstitions of Wales and other countries, in addition to those current in Ireland.  A translation of the legends by the Brothers Grimm appeared in Germany in 1825, and another in Paris in 1828 (‘Les Contes Irlandais, précédés d’une introduction par M. P. A. Dufau’), but it was not until 1834 that Murray published them in a condensed form in his ‘Family Library,’ the copyright of which edition, as revised by the author, was purchased of Murray by the late Mr. Tegg, and is now published by his son.  In October, 1826, Croker was introduced to Sir p. xiiiWalter Scott at Lockhart’s in Pall Mall.  Sir Walter recorded the interview thus:—“At breakfast Crofton Croker, author of the Irish fairy tales—little as a dwarf, keen-eyed as a hawk, and of easy, prepossessing manners, something like Tom Moore.  Here were also Terry, Allan Cunningham, Newton, and others.”  At this meeting, Sir Walter Scott suggested the adventures of Daniel O’Rourke as the subject for the Adelphi pantomime, and, at the request of Messrs. Terry and Yates, Croker wrote a pantomime founded upon the legend, which was produced at the Adelphi the same year.  It succeeded, and underwent two editions: the second was published in 1828, uniform with the legends, and entitled ‘Daniel O’Rourke; or, Rhymes of a Pantomime, founded on that Story.’  Croker wrote to his sister (Mrs. Eyre Coote, alive at the present time) the following account of the breakfast party at Lockhart’s, which, though already published in ‘The Gentleman’s Magazine’ (November, 1854), is sufficiently interesting to be repeated.  He first mentions “the writing and preparing for the Adelphi Theatre a Christmas pantomime from the renowned adventures of Daniel O’Rourke, two or three meetings with Sir Walter Scott, some anxious experiments in lithography under the directions of Mr. Coindet, one of the partners of Englemann’s house of Paris, who has lately opened an establishment here, which will be of the utmost importance to the advancement of the art in this country, and of which I hope soon to send you specimens.”  Then he adds: “To tell half the kindness and attention which I received from Sir Walter Scott would be impossible.  The breakfast party at Lockhart’s consisted of p. xivAllan Cunningham, Terry (the actor), Newton (the artist), a Dr. Yates of Brighton, Captain, Mr., and Mrs. Lockhart, Miss Scott, Mr. Hogg, and your humble servant.  We had all assembled when Sir Walter entered the room.  Maclise’s sketch does not give his expression, although there is certainly a strong likeness—a likeness in it which cannot be mistaken; but I have a very rough profile sketch in pen and ink by Newton, which is admirable, and which some time or other I will copy and send you.  When I was introduced to the ‘Great Unknown’ I really had not the power of speaking; it was a strange feeling of embarrassment, which I do not remember having felt before in so strong a manner; and of course to his ‘I am glad to see you, Mr. Croker, you and I are not unknown to each other,’ I could say nothing.  He contrived to say something neat to every one in the kindest manner—a well-turned compliment, without, however, the slightest appearance of flattery—something at which every one felt gratified.  After speaking for a few moments to Mr. Terry and Allan Cunningham, he returned to where I stood fixed and ‘mute as the monument on Fish Street Hill;’ but I soon recovered the use of my tongue from the easy manner in which he addressed me, and no longer seemed to feel myself in the presence of some mighty and mysterious personage.  He spoke slowly, with a Scotch accent, and in rather a low tone of voice, so much so, indeed, that I found it difficult to catch every word.  He mentioned my ‘Fairy Legends,’ and hoped he should soon have the very great enjoyment of reading the second volume.  ‘You are our—I speak of the Celtic nations’ (said Sir Walter)—‘great authority now on fairy p. xvsuperstition, and have made Fairy Land your kingdom; most sincerely do I hope it may prove a golden inheritance to you.  To me,’ (continued Sir Walter) ‘it is the land of promise of much future entertainment.  I have been reading the German translation of your tales and the Grimms’ very elaborate introduction.’  Mr. Terry mentioned having received from me Daniel O’Rourke in the shape of a Christmas pantomime.  ‘It is an admirable subject,’ said Sir Walter, ‘and if Mr. Croker has only dramatized it with half the skill of tricking up old wives’ tales which he has shown himself to possess, it must be, and I prophesy, although I have not seen it, it will be as great a golden egg in your nest, Terry, as Mother Goose was to one of the greater theatres some years ago.’  He then repeated by heart part of the conversation between Dan and the Eagle, with great zest.  I must confess it was most sweet from such a man.  But really I blush, or ought to blush, at writing all this flattery.”  Here the origin of Maclise’s illustrations to the legends is thus given by the editor of the ‘Gentleman’s Magazine.’  “The artist, who had not then quitted his native city of Cork, was a frequent visitor to Mr. Sainthill (the author of ‘Olla Podrida’), at the time that the first edition of the work appeared.  Mr. Sainthill read the tales aloud from time to time in the evening, and Maclise would frequently, on the next morning, produce a drawing of what he had heard.  These were not seen by Mr. Croker until his next visit to Cork: but when he did see them he was so much pleased with them that he prevailed upon Mr. Sainthill to allow them to be copied for his forthcoming edition: and this was done by Maclise, and p. xvithe drawings were engraved by W. H. Brooke, and Maclise’s name was not attached to them, but merely mentioned by Mr. Croker in his preface.”

Scott made favourable mention of the ‘Fairy Legends’ in the collected edition of the ‘Waverley Novels’ published in 1830.  In a note on Fairy Superstitions to Chapter XI. of ‘Rob Roy,’ speaking of the elfin traditions peculiar to the wild scenery where Avon Dhu or the River Forth has its birth, he observes: “The opinions entertained about these beings are much the same with those of the Irish, so exquisitely well narrated by Mr. Crofton Croker.”  Again, in his ‘Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft,’ Scott says: “We know from the lively and entertaining legends published by Mr. Crofton Croker, which, though in most cases, told with the wit of the editor and the humour of his country, contain points of curious antiquarian information” as to what the opinions of the Irish are.  And again, speaking of the Banshee: “The subject has been so lately and beautifully investigated and illustrated by Mr. Crofton Croker and others, that I may dispense with being very particular regarding it.”  This was indeed gratifying from such an authority.  The late Thomas Haynes Bayley dedicated to Crofton Croker a volume entitled ‘Songs from Fairy Land.’

Having dwelt at considerable length upon the legends, the required limits of this notice will not permit more than a reference to the literary works of Mr. Croker which succeeded them; and as there is but occasion for their enumeration, they shall be here given in the order of their appearance, merely premising that the tales of p. xvii‘Barney Mahoney’ and ‘My Village versus Our Village,’ were not by Mr. Croker, although they bore his name: they were, in reality, written by Mrs. Croker.  The list stands thus:—

1828–9.  ‘The Christmas-Box, an Annual Present for Children, a collection of Tales edited by Mr. Croker, and published by Harrison Ainsworth’ (Sir Walter Scott, Lockhart, Ainsworth, Maria Edgeworth, and Miss Mitford were among the contributors).

1829.  ‘Legends of the Lakes; or, Sayings and Doings at Killarney, collected chiefly from the Manuscripts of R. Adolphus Lynch, Esq., H. P. King’s German Legion, with illustrations by Maclise (Ebers).’  A second edition, compressed into one volume as a guide to the Lakes, appeared in 1831.  (Fisher.)

From this time Croker became contributor to the ‘Gentleman’s’ and ‘Fraser’s’ Magazines.  In 1832 he was a steward at the famous literary dinner given to Hogg the Ettrick Shepherd.

1835.  ‘Landscape Illustrations to Moore’s Irish Melodies, with Comments for the Curious.’  (Only one number appeared.)  (Power.)

1837.  ‘A Memoir of Joseph Holt, General of the Irish Rebels in 1798.  From Holt’s Autobiographical MS. in the possession of Sir W. Betham.’  (Colburn.)

‘The Journal of a Tour through Ireland in 1644, translated from the French of M. de la Boullaye le Gouz, assisted by J. Roche, Father Prout, and Thomas Wright.’  (Boone.)  Dedicated to the elder Disraeli, “in remembrance of much attention and kindness received from him p. xviiimany years ago;” which dedication was cordially responded to by that author.

1839.  ‘The Popular Songs of Ireland.’  (Colburn.)

1843.  A Description of Rosamond’s Bower, Fulham [18] (the residence of Mr. Croker for eight years), with an inventory of the pictures, furniture, curiosities, etc., etc.  (Privately printed.)

It was here that Moore, Rogers, Maria Edgeworth, Lucy Aikin, “Father Prout” (Mahony), Barham (Ingoldsby), Sydney Smith, Jerdan, Theodore Hook, Lover, Planché, Lords Braybrooke, Strangford, and Northampton, Sir G. Back, John Barrow, Sir Emerson Tennent, Wyon, Mr. and Mrs. S. C. Hall, T. Wright, and many others were the guests of Mr. Croker.  One room in the house was fitted up as a Museum, where such visitors delighted to assemble.

During subsequent years Mr. Croker produced several minor works on antiquarian and popular subjects, some of them printed for private circulation among his friends, and others as contributions to the different societies of which he was a member.  He died at his residence, 3, Gloucester Road, Old Brompton, on the 8th of August, 1854, aged 57, and was buried in the private grave of his father-in-law, Mr. Francis Nicholson, in the Brompton Cemetery, a sketch of which, by Mr. Fairholt, appears in these pages.  It should not be forgotten that Mr. Crofton Croker was a contributor to the ‘Amulet,’ ‘Literary Souvenir,’ and ‘Friendship’s Offering,’ as well as (more extensively) to p. xixthe ‘Literary Gazette,’ when that journal possessed considerable influence under the editorship of W. Jerdan.  Mr. Croker also edited for the Camden and Percy Societies (in the formation of which he took an active part) many works of antiquarian interest.  He was connected, also, with the British Archæological Association as one of the secretaries (1844–9) under the presidency of Lord Albert Conyngham (the late Lord Londesborough).  That recently-deceased nobleman was one of Mr. Croker’s most attached friends, and opposite his Lordship’s pew in Grimston church, Yorkshire, a neat marble tablet was erected bearing the following inscription: “In memory of Thomas Crofton Croker, Esq., the amiable and accomplished author of the ‘Fairy Legends of Ireland,’ and other works, Literary and Antiquarian.  This tablet is erected by his friend Lord Londesborough, 1855.”

To enumerate all the societies and institutions of which Crofton Croker was a member, honorary or otherwise, would in these pages be superfluous; but one society shall be here especially mentioned as originating with Mr. Croker and a few members of the Society of Antiquaries.  In 1828 a club was established, composed of a select few F.S.A.’s, in consequence of an excursion during the summer to the site, which, in the time of the Romans, had been occupied by the city of Noviomagus.  In a field at Keston, near Bromley Common in Kent, Mr. Croker had learned that the remains of a Roman building were apparent above the grass, and it was to ascertain this fact that the excursion was undertaken.  An excavation was made, and a few fragments of Roman pottery and a stone coffin were discovered.  From p. xxthis circumstance the club was called the Noviomagian Society.  Mr. Croker was elected its president, and although most of the original members had died off, he continued in that office until within a very few months of his death.  There are amongst them at the present time many highly-valued friends of their late president, who succeed in keeping up their meetings in the true Noviomagian spirit.  Long may they be spared to assemble together, occasionally introducing fresh life to the little society, that its pleasant gatherings may not be allowed to die out!  A portrait of Mr. Croker was painted a few years before his death by Mr. Stephen Pearce (the artist of the ‘Arctic Council’).  It is a characteristic and an admirable likeness.  The next best is that in Maclise’s well-known picture of ‘All Hallow Eve’ (exhibited in the Royal Academy in 1833), on which Lover, in describing the engraving, has remarked: “And who is that standing behind them?—he seems ‘far more genteel’ than the rest of the company.  Why, ’tis Crofton Croker, or, as he is familiarly called amongst his friends, ‘The honourable member for fairy-land.’  There you are, Crofty, my boy! with your note-book in your hand; and maybe you won’t pick up a trifle in such good company.”  It may be added, that Mr. Croker was for many years one of the registrars of the Royal Literary Fund.  And now, in drawing this slight sketch of Mr. Croker’s life to a close, the writer hopes that it may not be an uninteresting addition to the present volume.

T. F. D. C.


knightsbridge to the bell and horns, brompton.

Anyone Obliged by circumstances to lead the life of a pendulum, vibrating between a certain spot distant four miles from London, and a certain spot just out of the smoke of the metropolis,—going into town daily in the morning and returning in the evening,—may be supposed, after the novelty has worn off, from the different ways by which he can shape his course, to find little interest in his monotonous movement.  Indeed, I have heard many who live a short distance from town complain of this swinging backwards and forwards, or, rather, going forwards and backwards over the same ground every day, as dull and wearisome; but I cannot sympathise with them.  On the contrary, I find that the p. 22more constantly any particular line of road is adhered to, the more intimate an acquaintance with it is formed, and the more interesting it becomes.

In some measure, this may be accounted for by studious habits; a tolerable memory, apt to indulge in recollections of the past, and to cherish rather than despise, when not impertinent, local gossip, which re-peoples the district with its former inhabitants,—

“Sweet Memory! wafted by thy gentle gale
Oft up the tide of time I turn my sail,
To view the fairy haunts of long-lost hours
Blest with far greener shades—far fresher flowers.”

“We have all by heart,” observes the author of the Curiosities of Literature, “the true and delightful reflection of Johnson on local associations, where the scene we tread suggests to us the men or the deeds which have left their celebrity to the spot.  ‘We are in the presence of their fame, and feel its influence.’”  How often have I fancied, if the walls by which thousands now daily pass without a glance of recognition or regard, if those walls could speak, and name some of their former inmates, how great would be the regret of many at having overlooked houses which they would perhaps have made a pilgrimage of miles to behold, as associated with the memory of persons whose names history, literature, or art has embalmed for posterity, or as the scene of circumstances treasured up in recollection!

If the feelings could be recalled, and faithfully recorded, which the dull brick walls that I cannot help regarding with interest must have witnessed, what a romantic chapter p. 23in the history of the human mind would be preserved for study and reflection!—

“Ay, beautiful the dreaming brought
   By valleys and green fields;
But deeper feeling, higher thought,
   Is what the City yields.”

The difficulty, however, is incredible of procuring accurate information as to any thing which has not been chronicled at the moment.  None but those who have had occasion to search after a date, or examine into a particular fact, can properly estimate their value, or the many inquiries that have to be made to ascertain what at first view would appear to be without embarrassment,—so deceptive is the memory, and so easy a thing is it to forget, especially numbers and localities, the aspect and even names of which change with a wonderful degree of rapidity in the progress of London out of town.  Thus many places become daily more and more confused, and at last completely lose their identity, to the regret of the contemplative mind, which loves to associate objects with the recollection of those who “have left their celebrity to the spot.”

These considerations have induced the writer to arrange his notes, and illustrate them by such sketches as will aid the recognition of the points mentioned, the appearance of which must be familiar to all who have journeyed between London and Fulham,—a district containing, beside the ancient village of that name, and remarkable as adjacent to the country seat of the Bishop of London, two smaller villages, called Walham Green and Parson’s Green.  The p. 24former of which stands on the main London road, the latter on the King’s Road,—which roads form nearly parallel lines between Fulham and the metropolis.  For all information respecting the neighbourhood of Knightsbridge the reader may be referred to a recently published work “The Memorials of the Hamlet of Knightsbridge, with notices of its immediate neighbourhood,” by the late Henry George Davis, edited by Charles Davis (Russell Smith).

From Knightsbridge, formerly a suburb, and now part of London, the main roads to Fulham and Hammersmith branch off at the north end of Sloane Street (about a quarter of a mile west of Hyde Park Corner), thus:—


And at the south termination of Sloane Street, which is 3,299 feet in length, the King’s Road commences from Sloane Square.

The Main Fulham Road passes for about a mile through a district called by the general name of Brompton, which p. 25is a hamlet in the parish of Kensington.  The house, No. 14 Queen’s Buildings, Knightsbridge, on the left-hand or south side of the road, Hooper’s Court at the corner of Hooper’s Court, occupied, when sketched in 1844, as two shops, by John Hutchins, dyer, and Moses Bayliss, tailor, and now (1860) by Hutchins alone, was, from 1792 to 1797 inclusive, the residence of Mr. J. C. Nattes, an artist, who deserves notice as one of the sixteen by whose association, in 1805, the first exhibition of water-colour paintings was formed.

From 1792 to 1797 this house was described as No. 14 Queen’s Buildings, Knightsbridge; but in the latter year the address was changed to No. 14 Knightsbridge Green. [25a]  In 1800 it was known as No. 14 Knightsbridge, and in 1803 as No. 14 Queen’s Row, Knightsbridge. [25b]  In 1810 as Gloucester Buildings, Brompton. [25c]  In 1811 as Queen’s Buildings. [25d]  In 1828 as Gloucester Row. [25e]  In 1831 as Gloucester Buildings; [25f] and it has now reverted to its original name of Queen’s Buildings, Knightsbridge, in opposition to Queen’s Buildings, Brompton, the division being Hooper’s Court, if, indeed, the original name was not p. 26Queen’s Row, Knightsbridge, as this in 1772 was the address of William Wynne Ryland (the engraver who was hanged for forgery in 1783).  When houses began to be built on the same side of the way, beyond Queen’s Row, the term “Buildings” appears to have been assumed as a distinction from the row west of Hooper’s Court; which row would naturally have been considered as a continuation, although, in 1786, the Royal Academy Catalogue records Mr. J. G. Huck, an exhibitor, as residing at No. 11 Gloster Row, Knightsbridge.

These six alterations of name within half a century, to say nothing of the previous changes, illustrate the extreme difficulty which attends precise local identification in London, and are merely offered at the very starting point as evidence at least of the desire to be accurate.

About the year 1800, the late residence of Mr. Nattes became the lodgings of Arthur Murphy, too well known as a literary character of the last century to require here more than the mere mention of his name, even to those who are accustomed to associate every thing with its pecuniary value; as Murphy’s portrait, painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds for Mr. Thrale, sold at Christie’s in the sale of Mr. Watson Taylor’s pictures (June, 1823), for £94 10s.  Murphy had prepared his translation of Tacitus [26] for the press, at his house on Hammersmith Terrace (the last at the west end); but declining health and circumstances induced his removal into lodgings near London, at “14 Knightsbridge.”  From these apartments “he soon removed to others in Brompton Row, where he did not p. 27remain long, not liking the mistress of the house, but returned to his former residence (No. 14), where he resided till the time of his death.”  In 1803, the late Lord Sidmouth (then Mr. Addington), conferred a pension of £200 a-year on Murphy, “to mark the sense” his majesty entertained “of literary merit, particularly when accompanied with sound principles and unquestionable character;” which gracious mark of royal favour Murphy acknowledged on the 2nd of March, from “14 Queen’s Row, Knightsbridge.”  Here he wrote his life of Garrick, [27a] a work which, notwithstanding Mr. Foot’s ingenious defence of it, shews that Garrick’s life remains to be written, and that Murphy’s intellectual powers were, at the time when he composed it, in a state of decay.

Murphy, according to his biographer, “possessed the first and second floors of a very pleasant, neat house, where there was a long gravel walk in the garden; [27b] and though his library had been much diminished, yet, in the remaining part, he took care to reserve the Elzevir editions of the classics.  Mrs. Mangeon (the mistress of the house) was a neat and intelligent woman, and Mr. Murphy secured her friendship by giving her son a presentation to Christ’s Hospital.  Anne Dunn, his own servant-maid, was an excellent servant, honest, faithful, and attentive; so that, what with the services he had rendered to the mistress of the house, and what with the intrinsic fidelity of his female domestic, he could put the whole family into p. 28a state of requisition, and command an elegant table, as well as ready attention, upon any particular occasion.  Such was the situation of a man of genius, and an author, in the decline of a long life, and in a country at the highest pitch of grandeur and wealth.  But it must be remembered, that the comforts he possessed were not derived from the profits of literature.”

During the last year of Arthur Murphy’s life he possessed a certain income of £500, and added to this was £150 for the copyright of his Tacitus, which, however, was less than half the sum he had been frequently offered for it.  The translation of Sallust, which Murphy left unfinished, was completed by Thomas Moore, and published in 1807.

Murphy appears to have perfectly reconciled his mind to the stroke of death.  He made his will thirteen days previous to it, and dictated and signed plain and accurate orders respecting his funeral.  He directed his library of books and all his pictures to be sold by auction, and the money arising therefrom, together with what money he might have at his bankers or in his strong box, he bequeathed to his executor, Mr. Jesse Foot, of Dean Street, Soho.  To Mrs. Mangeon (his landlady) he gave “all his prints in the room one pair of stairs and whatever articles of furniture” he had in her house, “the bookcase excepted.”  And to his servant, Anne Dunn, “twenty guineas, with all his linen and wearing apparel.”  After the completion of this will, Murphy observed, “I have been preparing for my journey to another region, and now do not care how soon I take my departure.”  And on the p. 29day of his death (18th June, 1805) he frequently repeated the lines of Pope:—

“Taught, half by reason, half by mere decay,
To welcome death and calmly pass away.”

All that we can further glean respecting the interior of Murphy’s apartment is, that in it “there was a portrait of Dunning (Lord Ashburton), a very striking likeness, painted in crayons by Ozias Humphrey.”

Humphrey, who was portrait-painter in crayons to George III., and in 1790 was elected member of the Royal Academy, resided, in 1792 and 1793, at No. 19 Queen’s Buildings, Knightsbridge; but whether this was the fifth house beyond Nattes’, or the No. 19 Queen’s Buildings, now called Brompton Road (Mitchell’s, a linen-draper’s shop), I am unable, after many inquiries, to determine.  It will be remembered that Dr. Walcott (Peter Pindar) introduced Opie to the patronage of Humphrey, and there are many allusions to “honest Ozias,” as he was called in the contemporary literature.

“But Humphrey, by whom shall your labours be told,
How your colours enliven the young and the old?”

is the comment of Owen Cambridge; and Hayley says,

“Thy graces, Humphrey, and thy colours clear,
From miniatures’ small circle disappear;
May their distinguished merit still prevail,
And shine with lustre on the larger scale.”

A portrait of Ozias Humphrey, painted by Romney in 1772, is preserved at Knowle, a memorial of the visit of those artists to the Duke of Dorset.  It has been twice engraved, and the private plate from it, executed by p. 30Caroline Watson in 1784, is a work of very high merit.  In 1799 Humphrey resided at No. 13 High Row, Knightsbridge, nearly opposite to the house in which Murphy lodged, and there, with the exception of the last few months, he passed the remainder of his life.

At No. 21 Queen’s Buildings (the second house beyond that occupied by Ozias Humphrey), Mr. Thomas Trotter, an ingenious engraver and draughtsman, resided in 1801.  He engraved several portraits, of which the most esteemed are a head of the Rev. Stephen Whiston and a head of Lord Morpeth.  Nearly the last work of his burin was a portrait of Shakspeare, patronized by George Steevens.  Trotter died on the 14th February, 1803, having been prevented from following his profession in consequence of a blow on one of his eyes, accidentally received by the fall of a flower-pot from a window.  He, however, obtained employment in making drawings of churches and monuments for the late Sir Richard Hoare, and other gentlemen interested in topographical illustration.

Queen’s Buildings, Brompton, are divided, rather than terminated, at No. 28 (Green’s, an earthenware-shop) by New Street, leading into Hans Place—“snug Hans Place,” which possesses one house, at least, that all literary pilgrims would desire to turn out of their direct road to visit.  Miss Landon, alluding to “the fascinations of Hans Place,” playfully observes, “vivid must be the imagination that could discover them—

‘Never hermit in his cell,
Where repose and silence dwell,
Human shape and human word
Never seen and never heard,’

p. 31had a life of duller calm than the indwellers of our square.”  Hans Place may also be approached from Sloane Street, and No. 22 Hans Place, is the south-east corner.  No. 22 Hans Place Among its inmates have been Lady Caroline Lamb, [31] Miss Mitford, Lady Bulwer, Miss Landon, Mrs. S. C. Hall, and Miss Roberts.  How much of the “romance and reality” of life is in a moment conjured up in the mind by the mention of the names here grouped in local association!

The editor of the memoirs of L. E. L. records two or three circumstances which give a general interest to Hans Place.  Here it was that Miss Landon was born on the 14th August, 1802, in the house now No. 25; and “it is remarkable that the greater portion of L. E. L.’s existence was passed on the spot where she was born.  From Hans Place and its neighbourhood she was seldom absent, and then not for any great length of time; until within a year or two of her death, she had there found her home, not indeed in the house of her birth, but close by.  Taken occasionally during the earlier years of childhood into the p. 32country, it was to Hans Place she returned.  Here some of her school time was passed.  When her parents removed she yet clung to the old spot, and, as her own mistress, chose the same scene for her residence.  When one series of inmates quitted it, she still resided there with their successors, returning continually after every wandering, ‘like a blackbird to his nest.’”

The partiality of Miss Landon for London was extraordinary.  In a letter, written in 1834, and addressed to a reverend gentleman, she ominously says, “When I have the good luck or ill luck (I rather lean to the latter opinion) of being married, I shall certainly insist on the wedding excursion not extending much beyond Hyde Park Corner.”

When in her sixth year (1808), Miss Landon was sent to school at No. 22 Hans Place.  This school was then kept by Miss Bowden, who in 1801 had published ‘A Poetical Introduction to the Study of Botany,’ [32a] and in 1810 a poem entitled ‘The Pleasures of Friendship.’ [32b]  Miss Bowden became the Countess St. Quentin, and died some years ago in the neighbourhood of Paris.  In this house, where she had been educated, Miss Landon afterwards resided for many years as a boarder with the Misses Lance, who conducted a ladies’ school.  “It seems,” observes the biographer of L. E. L., “to have been appropriated to such purposes from the time it was built, nor was L. E. L. the first who drank at the ‘well of English’ within its walls.  Miss Mitford, we believe, was educated there, and Lady Caroline Lamb was an inmate for a time.”

It is the remark of Miss Landon herself, that “a history p. 33of the how and where works of imagination have been produced would often be more extraordinary than the works themselves.”  “Her own case,” observes a female friend, “is, in some degree, an illustration of perfect independence of mind over all external circumstances.  Perhaps to the L. E. L., of whom so many nonsensical things have been said, as that she should write with a crystal pen, dipped in dew, upon silver paper, and use for pounce the dust of a butterfly’s wing, a dilettante of literature would assign for the scene of her authorship a fairy-like boudoir, with rose-coloured and silver hangings, fitted with all the luxuries of a fastidious taste.  How did the reality agree with this fancy sketch?  Attic, No. 22 Hans Place Miss Landon’s drawing-room, [33] indeed, was prettily furnished, but it was her invariable habit to write in her bed-room.  I see it now, that homely-looking, almost uncomfortable room, fronting the street, and barely furnished with a simple white bed, at the foot of which was a small, old, oblong-shaped, sort of dressing-table, quite covered with a common worn writing-desk, heaped with papers, while some strewed the ground, the table being too small for aught besides the desk; a little high-backed cane chair, which gave you any idea rather than that of comfort.  A few books scattered about completed the author’s paraphernalia.”

p. 34In this attic did the muse of L. E. L. dream of and describe music, moonlight, and roses, and “apostrophise loves, memories, hopes, and fears,” with how much ultimate appetite for invention or sympathy may be judged from her declaration that, “there is one conclusion at which I have arrived, that a horse in a mill has an easier life than an author.  I am fairly fagged out of my life.”

Miss Roberts, who had resided in the same house with Miss Landon, prefixed a brief memoir to a collection of poems by that lamented lady, which appeared shortly after her death, her own mournful lines—

Alas! hope is not prophecywe dream,
But rarely does the glad fulfilment come;
We leave our land, and we return no more.”

And within less than twenty months from the selection of these lines they became applicable to her who had quoted them.

Emma Roberts accompanied her sister, Mrs. M’Naughten, to India, where she resided for some time.  On her sister’s death Miss Roberts returned to England, and employed her pen assiduously and advantageously in illustrating the condition of our eastern dominions.  She returned to India, and died at Poonah, on the 17th September, 1840.  Though considerably the elder, she was one of the early friends of Miss Landon, having for several years previous to her first visit to India boarded with the Misses Lance in Hans Place.

“These were happy days, and little boded the premature and melancholy fate which awaited them in foreign climes.  We believe,” says the editor of the ‘Literary Gazette,’ “that it was the example of p. 35the literary pursuits of Miss Landon which stimulated Miss Roberts to try her powers as an author, and we remember having the gratification to assist her in launching her first essay—an historical production, [35] which reflected high credit on her talents, and at once established her in a fair position in the ranks of literature.  Since then she has been one of the most prolific of our female writers, and given to the public a number of works of interest and value.  The expedition to India, on which she unfortunately perished, was undertaken with comprehensive views towards the further illustration of the East, and portions of her descriptions have appeared as she journeyed to her destination in periodicals devoted to Asiatic pursuits.”

The influence of Miss Landon’s literary popularity upon the mind of Miss Roberts very probably caused that lady to desire similar celebrity.  Indeed, so imitative are the impulses of the human mind, that it may fairly be questioned if Miss Landon would ever have attuned her lyre had she mot been in the presence of Miss Mitford’s and Miss Rowden’s “fame, and felt its influence.”  Miss Mitford has chronicled so minutely all the sayings and doings of her school-days in Hans Place (H. P., as she mysteriously writes it), that she admits us at once behind the scenes.  She describes herself as sent there (we will not supply the date, but presume it to be somewhere about 1800) “a petted child of ten years old, born and bred in the country, and as shy as a hare.”  The schoolmistress, a Mrs. S---, “seldom came near us.  Her post was to sit all day, nicely dressed, in a nicely-furnished drawing-room, busy with some piece of delicate needlework, receiving mammas, aunts, and godmammas, answering questions, and administering as much praise as she conscientiously could—p. 36perhaps a little more.  In the school-room she ruled, like other rulers, by ministers and delegates, of whom the French teacher was the principal.”  This French teacher, the daughter of an émigré of distinction, left, upon the short peace of Amiens, to join her parents in an attempt to recover their property, in which they succeeded.  Her successor is admirably sketched by Miss Mitford; and the mutual antipathy which existed between the French and English teacher, in whom we at once recognise Miss Rowden:—

“Never were two better haters.  Their relative situations had probably something to do with it, and yet it was wonderful that two such excellent persons should so thoroughly detest each other.  Miss R.’s aversion was of the cold, phlegmatic, contemptuous, provoking sort; she kept aloof, and said nothing.  Madame’s was acute, fiery, and loquacious; she not only hated Miss R., but hated for her sake knowledge, and literature, and wit, and, above all, poetry, which she denounced as something fatal and contagious, like the plague.”

Miss Mitford’s literary and dramatic tastes seem to have been acquired from Miss Rowden, whom she describes as “one of the most charming women that she had ever known:”—

“The pretty word graziosa, by which Napoleon loved to describe Josephine, seemed made for her.  She was full of a delicate grace of mind and person.  Her little elegant figure and her fair mild face, lighted up so brilliantly by her large hazel eyes, corresponded exactly with the soft, gentle manners which were so often awakened into a delightful playfulness, or an enthusiasm more charming still, by the impulse of her quick and ardent spirit.  To be sure she had a slight touch of distraction about her (distraction French, not distraction English), an interesting absence of mind.  She united in her own person all the sins of forgetfulness of all the young ladies; mislaid her handkerchief, her shawl, her gloves, her work, her music, her p. 37drawing, her scissors, her keys; would ask for a book when she held it in her hand, and set a whole class hunting for her thimble, whilst the said thimble was quietly perched upon her finger.  Oh! with what a pitying scorn our exact and recollective Frenchwoman used to look down on such an incorrigible scatterbrain!  But she was a poetess, as Madame said, and what could you expect better!”

Such was Miss Landon’s schoolmistress; and under this lady’s especial instruction did Miss Mitford pass the years 1802, 3, and 4; together they read “chiefly poetry;” and “besides the readings,” says Miss Mitford, “Miss R. compensated in another way for my unwilling application.  She took me often to the theatre; whether as an extra branch of education, or because she was herself in the height of a dramatic fever, it would be invidious to inquire.  The effect may be easily foreseen; my enthusiasm soon equalled her own; we began to read Shakspeare, and read nothing else.”

In 1810 Miss Mitford first appeared as an authoress, by publishing a volume of poems, which, in the course of the following year, passed into a second edition.

At No. 21 Hans Place, the talented artistes, Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Wigan, resided some time.

Returning from Hans Place to the Fulham Road through New Street, No. 7 may he pointed out as the house formerly occupied by Chalon, “animal painter to the royal family;” and No. 6 as the residence of the Right Hon. David R. Pigot, the late Solicitor-General for Ireland, while (in 1824–25) studying in the chambers of the late Lord Chief-Justice Tindal, for the profession of which his pupil rapidly became an eminent member.

Brompton was formerly an airy outlet to which the p. 38citizen, with his spouse, were wont to resort for an afternoon of rustic enjoyment.  It had also the reputation of being a locality favourable to intrigue.  Steele, shrewdly writing on the 27th July, 1713, says:—

“Dear Wife,—If you please to call at Button’s, we will go together to Brompton.

“Yours ever,
Richard Steele.” [38a]

Now is Brompton all built or being built over, which makes the precise locality of crescents and rows puzzling to old gentlemen.  Its heath is gone, and its grove represented by a few dead trunks and some unhealthy-looking trees which stand by the road-side, their branches lopped and their growth restrained by order of the district surveyor; and Brompton National School, nearly opposite to New Street, a building in the Tudor style, was, in 1841, wedged in there “for the education of 400 children, after the design of Mr. George Godwin, jun.;” so at least the newspapers of the day informed the public.

Brompton Row on the north, or right-hand side of the main Fulham Road, now consists of fifty-five respectable-looking houses, uniform, or nearly so, in appearance; and, according to the statements in the ‘Gentleman’s Magazine’ [38b] and Mr. Faulkner’s ‘History of Kensington’ [38c] here died Arthur Murphy.  But although this was not the case, in Brompton Row have lived and died authors, and actors, and artists, whose performances deserve full as much consideration from posterity.

p. 39No. 14 Brompton Row was the abode for more than ten years (1820 to 1831) of John Vendramini, a distinguished engraver.  No. 14 Brompton Row He was born at Roncade, near Bassano, in Italy, and died 8th February, 1839, aged seventy.  Vendramini was a pupil of Bartolozzi, under whom he worked for many years, and of the effect he produced upon British art much remains to be said.  In 1805 Vendramini visited Russia, and on his return to England engraved ‘The Vision of St. Catherine,’ after Paul Veronese; the ‘St. Sebastian,’ after Spagnoletti; ‘Leda,’ after Leonardo da Vinci; and the ‘Raising of Lazarus,’ from the Sebastian del Piombo in the National Gallery.

No. 14 Brompton Row, in 1842, was the residence of the late Mr. George Herbert Rodwell, a favourite musical and dramatic composer, who died January 22nd, 1852.

At No. 23 Brompton Row resided Mr. Walter Hamilton, who, in 1819, published, in two volumes 4to, ‘A Geographical, Statistical, and Historical Description of Hindostan and the Adjacent Country;’ according to Lowndes’ ‘Bibliographer’s Manual,’ “an inestimable compilation, containing a more full, detailed, and faithful picture of the whole of India than any former work on the subject.”  Embellishment p. 40Mr. Hamilton subsequently lived for a short period at No. 8 Rawstorne Street, which street divides No. 27 (a confectioner’s shop), and No. 28 (the Crown and Sceptre) Brompton Row, opposite to the Red Lion (a public-house of which the peculiar and characteristic style of embellishment could scarcely have escaped notice at the time when the annexed sketch was made, 1844, but which decoration was removed in 1849.)  Soon after his return to his house in Brompton Row, Mr. Hamilton died there in July or August, 1828.

Rawstorne Street leads to Montpellier Square (built about 1837).  In this square, No. 11, resides Mr. F. W. Fairholt, the distinguished artist and antiquary, to whose pencil and for much valuable information the editor of these pages is greatly indebted; and No. 38 may be mentioned as the residence of Mr. Walter Lacy the favourite actor.

Mrs. Liston, the widow of the comedian, resided at No. 35 Brompton Row, and No. 45 was the residence of the ingenious Count Rumford, the early patron of Sir Humphry Davy.  The Count occupied it between the years 1799 and 1802, when he finally left England for France, where he married the widow of the famous chemist, Lavoisier, and died in 1814.  Count Rumford’s name was Benjamin Thompson, or Thomson.  He was a native of the small town of Rumford (now Concord, in New England), and obtained the rank of major in the Local Militia.  In the war with America he rendered important services to p. 41the officers commanding the British army, and coming to England was employed by Lord George Germaine, and rewarded with the rank of a provincial lieutenant-colonel, which entitled him to half-pay.  No. 45 Brompton Row In 1784 he was knighted, and officiated for a short time as one of the under-secretaries of state.  He afterwards entered the service of the King of Bavaria, in which he introduced various useful reforms in the civil and military departments, and for which he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general, and created a count.  At Munich, Count Rumford began those experiments for the improvements of fire-places and the plans for the better feeding and regulation of the poor, which have rendered his name familiar to every one,

“As his own household hearth.”

No. 45 was distinguished some years ago by peculiar projecting windows, now removed, outside of the ordinary windows—an experimental contrivance by Count Rumford, it is said, for raising the temperature of his rooms.

The same house, in 1810, was inhabited by the Rev. p. 42William Beloe, the translator of Herodotus, and the author of various works between the years 1783 and 1812.  In his last publication, ‘The Anecdotes of Literature,’ Mr. Beloe says, “He who has written and published not less than forty volumes, which is my case, may well congratulate himself, first, that Providence has graciously spared him for so long a period; secondly, that sufficient health and opportunity have been afforded; and, lastly, that he has passed through a career so extended and so perilous without being seriously implicated in personal or literary hostilities.”  It is strange that a man who could feel thus should immediately have entered upon the composition of a work which appeared as a posthumous publication in 1817, under the title of ‘The Sexagenarian; or, the Recollections of a Literary Life;’ and which contains the following note:—

“Dr. Parr branded Beloe as an ingrate and a slanderer.  He says, ‘The worthy and enlightened Archdeacon Nares disdained to have any concern in this infamous work.’  The Rev. Mr. Rennell, of Kensington, could know but little of Beloe; but, having read his slanderous book, Mr. R., who is a sound scholar, an orthodox clergyman, and a most animated writer, would have done well not to have written a sort of postscript.  From motives of regard and respect for Beloe’s amiable widow, Dr. Parr abstained from refuting B.’s wicked falsehoods; but Dr. Butler, of Shrewsbury, repelled them very ably in the ‘Monthly Review.’”

At No. 46 Brompton Row, Mr. John Reeve, an exceedingly popular low comedian, died, on the 24th of January, 1838, at the early age of forty.  Social habits led to habits of intemperance, and poor John was the Bottle Imp of every theatre he ever played in.  “The last time I saw him,” p. 43says Mr. Bunn, in his ‘Journal of the Stage,’ “he was posting at a rapid rate to a city dinner, and, on his drawing up to chat, I said, ‘Well, Reeve, how do you find yourself to-day?’ and he returned for answer, ‘The lord-mayor finds me to-day!’”

Brompton Grove commences on the south, or left-hand side of the main Fulham Road, immediately beyond the Red Lion (before mentioned as opposite to 28 Brompton Row), and continues to the Bunch of Grapes public-house, which was pulled down in August, and rebuilt in September, 1844, opposite to No. 54 Brompton Row, and in the wall of which public-house was placed a stone, with “Yeoman’s Row, 1767,” engraved upon it—the name of a street leading to the “Grange,” and, in 1794, the address of Michael Novosielski, the architect of the Italian Opera House.  In that year he exhibited, in the Royal Academy, three architectural designs, viz:—

“558.  Elevation of the Opera House, Haymarket;

“661.  Section of the New Concert Room at the Haymarket; and

“663.  Ceiling of the New Concert Room at the Opera House.”

But of Novosielski and the Grange more hereafter.

Brompton Grove now consists of two rows of houses, standing a little way back from the main road, between which rows there was a green space (1811), now occupied by shops, which range close to the footway, and have a street, called Grove Place, in the centre.

Upper Brompton Grove, or that division of the Grove nearest London, consists of seven houses, of which No. 4 p. 44was the abode of Major Shadwell Clerke, who has reflected literary lustre upon the ‘United Service,’ by the able and judicious manner in which he conducted for so many years the periodical journal distinguished by that name.  Major Clerke died 19th April, 1849.

Lower Brompton Grove consisted of three houses only in 1844, numbered 8, 9, and 10; the 11 of former days being of superior size, and once known as “Grove House.”  The 12, which stood a considerable way behind it, as the “Hermitage,” and the 13, as the “House next to the Bunch of Grapes,” all of which, except No. 8, claim a passing remark.

In No. 9, where he had long resided, died, on the 12th of August, 1842, Mr. John Sidney Hawkins, at the age of eighty-five.  He was the eldest son of Sir John Hawkins, the well-known author of the ‘History of Music,’ and one of the biographers of Dr. Johnson.  Mr. Hawkins was brother of Letitia Matilda Hawkins, the popular authoress, and a lady of whom the elder Disraeli once remarked, that she was “the redeeming genius of her family.”  Mr. Hawkins, however, was an antiquary of considerable learning, research, and industry; but his temper was sour and jealous, and, throughout his whole and long literary career, from 1782 to 1814, he appears to have been embroiled in trifling disputes and immaterial vindications of his father or himself.

No. 10 Brompton Grove, now occupied by the “Sisters of Compassion,” was the residence of James Petit Andrews, Esq., younger brother of Sir Joseph Andrews, Bart., and one of the magistrates of Queen Square Police Office; a p. 45gentleman remarkable for his humane feelings as well as for his literary taste.  His exertions, following up those of Jonas Hanway, were the occasion of procuring an Act of Parliament in favour of chimney-sweep apprentices.  Mr. Andrews was the author of a volume of ancient and modern anecdotes in 1789, to which a supplemental volume appeared the following year.  He also published a ‘History of Great Britain, connected with the Chronology of Europe;’ [45a] and a continuation of Henry’s ‘History of Great Britain:’ [45b] soon after the appearance of which he died, on the 6th of August, 1797.

Grove House (called in 1809 and 1810, as already mentioned, No. 11 Brompton Grove), was, for many years, the residence of Sir John Macpherson, Bart.; and here he died, at an advanced age, on the 12th of January, 1821.

Grove House

In 1781 he was appointed Member of the Supreme Council of Bengal, and when proceeding to the East Indies, in the ‘Valentine,’ Indiaman, distinguished himself in an action with the French fleet in Praya Bay.  Sir John, who was a very large man, to encourage the sailors to stand to their guns, promised and paid them from his own pocket five guineas a man, which, coupled with his bravery during the action, so pleased the seamen, that one of p. 46them swore “his soul must be as big as his body,” and the jokes occasioned by this burst of feeling terminated only with Sir John Macpherson’s life.  “Fine soles!—soles, a match for Macpherson’s!” was a Brompton fishmonger’s greeting to Sir John, etc.  In the neighbourhood of Brompton he was known by the sobriquet of “the Gentle Giant,” from his usually riding a very small pony, flourishing in the most determined manner a huge oak stick over the little animal’s head, but, of course, never touching it with his club.

Upon the after-dinner conversation at Grove House of Mr. Hugh Boyd rests chiefly that gentleman’s claim to be considered as one of the many authors of ‘Junius.’  His host, having temporarily retired from table, Boyd’s words were, “that Sir John Macpherson little knew he was entertaining in his mansion a political writer, whose sentiments were once the occasion of a chivalrous appeal from Sir John to arms,”—immediately adding, “I am the author of ‘Junius.’”  The will of Sir John Macpherson is a remarkable document, and contains the following tribute to the character of George IV.:—

“I conclude this, my last will and testament, in expressing my early and unalterable admiration of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, the truly glorious reigning prince of the British empire; and I request my executors to wait upon his royal highness immediately after my decease, and to state to him, as I do now, that I have bequeathed to his royal highness my celebrated antique statue of Minerva, which he often admired, with any one of my antique rings that would please his royal highness.  I likewise request you to assure his royal highness that I will leave him certain papers, which prove to a demonstration that the glorious system which he has realised for his country and the world, in his difficult reign of eight years, was the early system of his heart and his ambition.”

p. 47The large room on the east side of Grove House, shown in the annexed sketch, was used as the drawing-room, and measured thirty-two feet by eighteen.  It was built by Sir John Macpherson for the purpose of entertaining the Prince Regent.

Grove House from the East (1844)

Grove House was afterwards occupied by Mr. Wilberforce, who, in his diary of the 2nd of July, 1823, notes, “Took possession of our new house at Brompton.”

Mr. Wilberforce remained there about a year, and his successor in the tenancy was Mr. Jerdan, the agreeable and well-known editor of the ‘Literary Gazette’ (1817–50).  This house, pulled down in 1846, stood upon the ground which now forms the road entrance to Ovington Square.

A narrow lane, which ran down by the west side of Grove House, led to the Hermitage, a retreat of the much admired Madame Catalani during her sojourn this country, and subsequently converted into an asylum for insane persons.  This building was pulled down in 1844, and Grove Place has been erected on its site.

The Hermitage (1844)

p. 48In the house (No. 13 Brompton Grove) which stood a little way back from the road, between Grove House and the Grapes public-house, and which was taken down in December, 1844, and in the previous June, when sketched, occupied by a stone-mason, Mr. Banim lodged from May, 1822, to October, 1824.  No. 13 Brompton Grove (1844) While residing here, he was engaged in contributing to and editing a short-lived weekly paper, entitled the ‘Literary Register,’ the first number of which appeared on the 6th of July, 1822, and which publication terminated with the forty-fourth, on the 3rd of May, 1823, when Banim devoted his attention to preparing the ‘Tales of the O’Hara Family’ for the press.  It is a remarkable local coincidence, that Gerald Griffin, who

“To his own mind had lived a mystery,”

the contemporary rival of Banim, as an Irish novelist and dramatist, should have immediately succeeded him in the tenancy of “13 Brompton Grove,” as this house was sometimes called.

“About this period (1825) he [Griffin] took quiet, retired lodgings, at a house at Brompton, now a stonemason’s, close by Hermitage Lane, which separated it from the then residence of the editor of the ‘Literary Gazette,’ and a literary intercourse rather than a personal intimacy, though of a most agreeable nature, grew up between them.” [48]

p. 49On the 10th of November, 1824, Griffin, writing to his brother, commences a letter full of literary gossip with,—

“Since my last I have visited Mr. J--- several times.  The last time, he wished me to dine with him, which I happened not to be able to do; and was very sorry for it, for his acquaintance is to me a matter of great importance, not only from the engine he wields—and a formidable one it is, being the most widely-circulated journal in Europe—but, also, because he is acquainted with all the principal literary characters of the day, and a very pleasant kind of man.”

To the honest support of the ‘Literary Gazette’ at this critical period in Griffin’s life may be ascribed the struggle which he made for fame and fortune through the blind path of literary distinction.  He came a raw Irish lad to the metropolis, with indistinct visions of celebrity floating through his poetical mind; or, as he candidly confesses himself,—

“A young gentleman, totally unknown, even to a single family in London, with a few pounds in one pocket and a brace of tragedies in the other, supposing that the one will set him up before the others are exhausted,” which, he admits, “is not a very novel, but a very laughable, delusion.”

Banim’s kindness—his sympathy, indeed, for Griffin, deserves notice.

“I cannot tell you here,” writes the latter, “the many, many instances in which Banim has shown his friendship since I wrote last; let it suffice to say, that he is the sincerest, heartiest, most disinterested being that breathes.  His fireside is the only one where I enjoy anything like social life or home.  I go out (to Brompton Grove) occasionally in an evening, and talk or read for some hours, or have a bed, and leave next day.”

Again, in a letter dated 31st of March, 1824, Griffin says:—

p. 50“What would I have done if I had not found Banim?  I should have instantly despaired on ****’s treatment of me.  I should never be tired of talking about and thinking of Banim.  Mark me! he is a man, the only one I have met since I left Ireland, almost.  We walked over Hyde Park together on St. Patrick’s Day, and renewed our home recollections by gathering shamrocks, and placing them in our hats, even under the eye of John Bull.”

Michael’s Place, on the same side of the way with the Bunch of Grapes, is railed off from the main Fulham Road, although a public footpath admits the passenger as far as No. 14.  It consists of forty-four houses, and was a building speculation of Michael Novosielski, already mentioned, whose Christian name it retains, having been commenced by him in 1786.  But the shells of his houses for many years remained unfinished, and in 1811, the two last houses (Nos. 43 and 44) of Michael’s Place were not built.  Novosielski died at Ramsgate, in 1795; and his widow, for some years after his death, occupied No. 13.

No. 8 Michael’s Place No. 8 Michael’s Place, to be recognized by its bay-windows, was, for several years, the residence of the Rev. Dr. Croly, now rector of St. Stephen’s, Walbrook, distinguished in the pulpit by his eloquence, admired as a writer in almost every walk of English literature, and respected and beloved by those who know him.  Croly’s fame must live and die with our p. 51language, which he has grasped with an unrivalled command.

Brompton Square is opposite to the commencement of Michael’s Place, to which it will be necessary to return, after a visit to the square.

At No. 6 has lived Mr. John Baldwin Buckstone, the actor-author, or author-actor, so well known and esteemed by the public.  And at No. 14 has resided Mr. Edward Fitzwilliam, the musical composer, who died on the 19th of January, 1857, at the early age of 33.

No. 21 was, between the years 1829 and 1833, the residence of Spagnoletti, the leader of the Opera band.  He was succeeded in the tenancy by Mrs. Chatterly, a lively and accomplished actress, who continued to occupy the same house after her marriage with Mr. Francis Place.

Nos. 22, 23, 24, Brompton Square At No. 22 (which now belongs to the well-known and much respected actor Mr. James Vining, and is at present tenanted by Mr. Shirley Brooks) George Colman the younger died on the 26th of October, 1836, at the age of 74, having removed to this house from No. 5 Melina Place, Kent Road.  “He ceased to exist on the 17th of October, p. 521836,” says his medical attendant, in a letter published in the memoirs of the Colman family.  But this is an error, as on the 19th of October he appears to have written to Mr. Bunn.  The last earthly struggle of George Colman has been thus described:—

“It has never fallen to my lot to witness in the hour of death so much serenity of mind, such perfect philosophy, or resignation more complete.  Up to within an hour of his decease he was perfectly sensible of his danger, and bore excruciating pain with the utmost fortitude.

“At one period of his life a more popular man was not in existence,” observes Mr. Bunn; “for the festive board of the prince or the peer was incomplete without Mr. Colman.  He has left behind him a perpetuity of fame in his dramatic works; and much is it to be lamented that no chronicle has been preserved of his various and most extraordinary jeux-d’esprit.  He has, moreover, left behind quite enough of renown, could he lay claim to none other, to be found in the following tribute from the pen of Lord Byron:—‘I have met George Colman occasionally, and thought him extremely pleasant and convivial.  Sheridan’s humour, or rather wit, was always saturnine, and sometimes savage; he never laughed (at least that I saw and I have watched him), but Colman did.  If I had to choose, and could not have both at a time, I should say, let me begin the evening with Sheridan, and finish it with Colman.  Sheridan for dinner, Colman for supper.  Sheridan for claret or port, but Colman for everything, from the madeira and champagne at dinner, the claret with a layer of port between the glasses, up to the punch of the night, and down to the grog or gin-and-water of daybreak.  Sheridan was a grenadier company of life-guards, but Colman a whole regiment—of light infantry, to be sure, but still a regiment.’”

The sale of Colman’s effects took place on the 29th of November, 1837; among the pictures sold was the well-known portrait of George Colman the elder, by Sir Joshua Reynolds, which has been engraved; another by Gainsborough, also engraved; a third in crayons, by Rosalba; p. 53and a fourth by Zoffani, which formerly belonged to Garrick, a highly-finished miniature of Shakspeare, by Ozias Humphrey, executed in 1784 (a copy of which, made for the Duchess of Chandos, sold at her sale for £40); some watercolour drawings, by Emery, Mrs. Terry, and others; some engravings; more than 1,000 volumes of French and English books; and a collection of miscellanies, including the MSS. of the elder Colman’s most admired productions, and several by George Colman the younger,—amounting in all to twenty-six pieces.  John Reeve bought largely of the books; but before two months had elapsed Reeve himself was no more.

No. 23 Brompton Square is occupied by Mr. William Farren, who was for a long period the unrivalled representative of old men upon the stage, [53] and who took his farewell at the Haymarket Theatre in 1855; and No. 24, between the years 1840 and 1843, was the residence of Mr. Payne Collier, who has given to the public several editions of Shakspeare, and who has been long distinguished by his profound knowledge of dramatic literature and history, and his extensive acquaintance with the early poetry of England.

Mr. Collier’s house, in Brompton Square, stood between that which Mr. William Farren occupies, and one (No. 25) of which Mr. Farren was proprietor, and has now been sold.  At No. 28 resides Mr. William Frogatt Robson, Solicitor and Comptroller of Droits of Admiralty.  Mr. William p. 54Farren has resided at No. 30, next door to Mr. Henry Luttrell (No. 31), “the great London wit,” as Sir Walter Scott terms him, well known in the circles of literature as the author of many epigrams, and of a volume of graceful poetry, entitled ‘Advice to Julia,’ and who died on 19th December, 1851, aged 86.

In addition to these literary and dramatic associations of Brompton Square, Liston resided for some time at No. 40, Mr. Yates and Mr. John Reeve at 57 and 58; and that pair of comic theatrical gems, Mr. and Mrs. Keeley, have been inhabitants of No. 19.

First grave Brompton New Church, a little beyond the Square, is dedicated to the Holy Trinity.  The architect was Mr. Donaldson, and the first stone was laid in October, 1826.  On the 6th of June, 1829, the Bishop of London consecrated this church and its burial-ground, which had been a flower-garden.  When the first grave was made in the month following, many of the flowers still appeared among the grass; and, after viewing it, Miss Landon wrote the following verses.  The “first grave” is in the extreme south-west of the corner churchyard, close to the narrow pathway that skirts the wall, leaving only space for a grave between.  The inscription p. 55on the stone which originally marked the “first grave,” was,—

to the memory of
mr. iohn corpe
of this parish
of st. george’s hanover square
who departed this life
18th of july 1829
aged 51 years.

“A single grave! the only one
   In this unbroken ground,
Where yet the garden leaf and flower
   Are lingering around.
A single grave!—my heart has felt
   How utterly alone
In crowded halls, where breathed for me
   Not one familiar tone.

“The shade where forest-trees shut out
   All but the distant sky,—
I’ve felt the loneliness of night,
   When the dark winds pass’d by.
My pulse has quicken’d with its awe,
   My lip has gasp’d for breath;
But what were they to such as this—
   The solitude of death?

“A single grave!—we half forget
   How sunder human ties,
When round the silent place of rest
   A gather’d kindred lies.
We stand beneath the haunted yew,
   And watch each quiet tomb,
And in the ancient churchyard feel
   Solemnity, not gloom!

“The place is purified with hope—
   The hope, that is, of prayer;
And human love, and heavenward thought,
   And pious faith, are there!
p. 56The wild flowers spring amid the grass,
   And many a stone appears
Carved by affection’s memory,
   Wet with affection’s tears.

“The golden chord which binds us all
   Is loosed, not rent in twain;
And love, and hope, and fear, unite
   To bring the past again.
But this grave is so desolate,
   With no remembering stone,
No fellow-graves for sympathy,—
   ’Tis utterly alone!

“I do not know who sleeps beneath,
   His history or name,
Whether, if lonely in his life,
   He is in death the same,—
Whether he died unloved, unmourn’d,
   The last leaf on the bough,
Or if some desolated hearth
   Is weeping for him now?

“Perhaps this is too fanciful,
   Though single be his sod,
Yet not the less it has around
   The presence of his God!
It may be weakness of the heart,
   But yet its kindliest, best;
Better if in our selfish world
   It could be less repress’d.

“Those gentler charities which draw
   Man closer with his kind,
Those sweet humilities which make
   The music which they find:
How many a bitter word ’t would hush,
   How many a pang ’t would save,
If life more precious held those ties
   Which sanctify the grave.”

p. 57Now (1860) the grave-stone has received two additional inscriptions, and the character of the upright stone has been altered.

Reeve’s Grave Corpe was a ladies’ shoemaker, and his son carried on that business at No. 126 Mount Street, Berkeley Square, after the father’s death.  While sketching the grave, the sexton came up, and observed, “No one has ever noticed that grave, sir, before, so much as to draw it out for a pattern, as I suppose you are doing.”

John Reeve’s grave (“alas, poor Yorick!”) is in the first avenue at the back of the church, to the left hand, and immediately at the edge of the path that runs parallel with the north side of the building.  The stone, which is similar to others in the same vicinity, is inscribed:—

in memory
iohn reeve esq.
late of the
theatre royal adelphi.
obiit january. 24th. 1838.

also of
iohn reeve esq.
uncle of the above
obiit jany. 22nd. 1831 aged 71.

In the central path, leading from the Church Tower, is the grave of Harriet Elizabeth Farren, who died 16th of p. 58June, 1857, aged 68.  She made her first appearance in London in 1813, as Desdemona.

Bell and Horns sign Close to Brompton New Church, at a public-house called the Bell and Horns, [58] the road branches off again; that branch which goes straight forward leading to Old Brompton, Earl’s Court, Kensington, and North End, Fulham.  The turn to the left, or bend to the south, being the main Fulham Road.  Here, till within the last few years, was standing the stump of an old tree, shown in the accompanying sketch.  Stump A cluster of trees at the commencement of the Old Brompton Road have also been removed, and the road has been considerably widened.  On the right-hand side, adjoining Brompton New Church, is the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, a Roman Catholic Establishment of considerable extent, which stands on the ground once occupied by Mr. Pollard’s school.  It was opened on 22nd March, 1851, and was originally located in King William Street, Strand.  It is bounded on the east by the avenue of lime trees leading up to Holy Trinity Church, on the north by its cemetery, on the west by the South Kensington Museum, and on the south by the road, which has been widened by the commissioners to eighty feet.  The superior in p. 59London is the Rev. F. W. Faber, and at Birmingham, the Rev. J. H. Newman, D.D.  The building, which does not show its size to advantage from the road, is erected in the shape of the letter T.  Some idea of the scale on which the building is executed may be gathered from the following dimensions.  The oratory 72 feet long, 30 wide, 29 high.  The library 72 feet long, 30 wide, 23 high.  The refectory 50 feet long, 30 wide, 28 high.  The corridors of the house 164 feet long, 9 wide, 14 high.  The architect is Mr. Scoles.  Next to the oratory is the South Kensington Museum, which was built upon the Kensington Gore estate, Oratory and Museum purchased by the Royal Commissioners with the surplus funds derived from the Exhibition of 1851.  It was opened on the 24th June, 1857, and is a result of the School of Design, founded at Somerset House in 1838.  It is the head-quarters of the Government Department of Science and Art, previously deposited in Marlborough House, which is under the management p. 60of Mr. Henry Cole.  The collections are temporarily placed in a range of boiler-roofed buildings, hence the term “Brompton boilers” has been applied to them.  There are specimens here of ornamental art, an architectural, trade, and economical museum; a court of modern sculpture, and the gallery of British Art, founded on the munificent gift of Mr. John Sheepshanks.  Mr. Sheepshanks having bestowed on the nation a collection of 234 oil paintings, mostly by modern British artists, and some drawings, etc., the whole formed by himself, including some of the most popular works of Wilkie, Mulready, Sir Edwin Landseer, Leslie, and other eminent artists of the English school.  To these have been since added, in several large rooms, the Turner Collection, and the pictures from the Vernon Gallery; also the collection bequeathed to the nation by the late Mr. Jacob Bell, and the pictures by British artists removed from the National Gallery; all which are well lighted from the roof.  The objects of ornamental art consist of medieval furniture and decoration, painted glass, plaster casts, electrotype copies, photographs, engravings, and drawings, etc., the whole designed with the view of aiding general education, and of diffusing among all classes those principles of science and art which are calculated to advance the individual interests of the country, and to elevate the character of the people: facilities are afforded for taking copies of objects upon application at the Art Library.  The Educational collections formed by the Government, which are in the central portion of the building, comprise specimens of scientific instruments, objects of natural history, models, casts, and a p. 61library; refreshment and waiting rooms are provided; and there are lectures delivered in a building devoted to that purpose.  The admission, which is from ten till four, five or six, according to the season, is free on Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday, also on Monday and Tuesday evening, from seven till ten, when the galleries are lighted; on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, being students’ days, the admission is 6d.

In form the building is rectangular, the centre or nave is 42 feet wide, and is open from the floor to the roof.  Along the aisles galleries run, access to which is obtained by two large central staircases at the ends of the building, which is for the most part lighted from the roofs.  There is ample ventilation, and by means of hot water pipes, the building is heated when required.  The exhibition space in floor and galleries is nearly one acre and a half, exclusive of the wall space in the galleries and aisles.  The arrangement, it may be seen from this description, is much the same as that adopted in the Great Exhibition of 1851.  There are separate catalogues for each department to be had, which give the visitor all necessary information.  The building was constructed from designs and drawings prepared by Messrs. Charles D. Young and Co. of Great George Street, Westminster.  Opposite the Museum is Thurloe Place.  No. 1 may be mentioned as the residence of Mr. Henry Holl, well known some years ago as the light comedian of the Haymarket Theatre.  That gentleman has now retired from the profession, but in addition to some dramatic productions written many years since, he is the author of two or three successful pieces recently produced.  It is not the intention p. 62of the writer to follow the course of the Old Brompton Road, but he will at once return to the main road after alluding to the newly-formed magnificent approaches from this point to Kensington, by Exhibition Road and Prince Albert’s Road, on the site of Brompton Park, now broken up. [62]  A winter garden is in course of formation here, and the Horticultural Society intend to appropriate part of the ground for their annual fêtes.  The total amount expended on the purchase and laying out of the Kensington Gore Estate from 1851 to 1856 inclusive, was £277,309.


from the bell and horns, brompton, to little chelsea.

To return to the continuation of Michael’s Place.  It is divided between Nos. 11 and 12 by Michael’s Grove, which led to Brompton Grange, for some years the seat of the favourite veteran vocalist, Braham, who made his appearance as a public singer at the age of ten years, and so far back as 1787.  The Grange was taken down in October 1843, and, in the course of twelve months, its spacious grounds were covered by a decided crescent and other buildings.  Brompton Grange, which was constructed by Novosielski for his own residence, was, previous to Mr. Braham’s tenancy, occupied by a gentleman of large fortune and weak nerves, which were most painfully affected by the tone of a bell.  After considerable research, this spot was selected for his London residence, in the belief that there he would be secure from annoyance.  But the folly of human anticipation was speedily illustrated by the building of Brompton Church on the north side of his abode, and of Chelsea New Church on the west; so that, whatever way the wind blew,

“The sound of the church-going bell”

p. 64was certain of being wafted to the Grange, which was got rid of in consequence.

From Michael’s Grove, Brompton Crescent is nearly a straight row of twenty-five houses, and forms an angle to the line of the main Fulham Road, uniting with Michael’s Place at “Crescent House,” where the carriage communication was formerly interrupted by a bar, in place of which a post supporting two lamps is now substituted.

No. 9 was for some time in the occupation of Dr. Oswald Wood, the translator (1835) of Von Hammer’s ‘History of the Assassins,’ and who died at the early age of thirty-eight, on the 5th of November, 1842, in the West Indies, where he held the appointment of Provost-Marshal of Antigua.

At No. 13 Brompton Crescent resided Charles Incledon, the rival of his neighbour Braham, whose singing he was wont to designate as “Italianised humbug;” declaring that no one but himself, Charles Incledon, knew how to sing a British ballad: and it must be admitted, that “The Storm” and “Black-eyed Susan,” as sung by Incledon, produced a deep impression on the public mind.  He was a native of Cornwall, and the son of a medical gentleman.  As a chorister, under the tuition of Jackson, in Exeter Cathedral, Incledon acquired his knowledge of music; for when he was fifteen he entered the Royal Navy, in which he served in the West Indies from 1779 to 1783, when he abandoned the naval profession, and joined a theatrical company at Southampton.  After a popular professional career of upwards of forty years as a public singer, Incledon died at Worcester, on the 11th of February, 1826.

Of Incledon many amusing anecdotes are told, chiefly p. 65caused by his inordinate vanity, and his mental singleness of purpose.  He thought of no one but himself; he saw nothing beyond the one and immediate object at which he grasped; and yet these faults were caused rather by natural weakness of intellect than by an unkind or selfish disposition.  In fact, Incledon lived and died a petted servant of the public; which administered intoxicating draughts of applause to his self-esteem.

Mr. G. Rodwell, already mentioned as having been an inhabitant of No. 14 Brompton Row, resided at No. 15 Brompton Crescent, in 1830.

No. 20 Brompton Crescent was, between the years 1822 and 1844, occupied by Mr. Planché, well known as, perhaps, the most prolific and skilful dramatic writer of the day, and as a gentleman of high literary and antiquarian attainments.  His connexion with the last musical efforts of the German composer Weber, in his opera of ‘Oberon,’ which was produced at Covent Garden on the 12th of May, 1826, [65] cannot be forgotten; and to Planché’s knowledge of costume and taste for pictorial effects the English stage is deeply indebted.  In the drawing-room of this house have some of our most agreeable acting dramas been composed, and nothing could have been, in its style and appointments, more typical of Planché’s dialogue than was the apartment—smart and neat, fit for all occasions, and suited in a moment to the present purpose, whatever that might be.  It was polished and elegant; but there was nothing superfluous, beyond a bit of exquisite china on the p. 66mantel-piece, or a picture, excellent in its way, on the wall; something which pleased the eye, and which the mind received and relished like a nicely-pointed joke.  A well-painted portrait of Planché himself, by Briggs, the Royal Academician, which has been engraved, hung opposite to the fireplace; and, as if to carry out the similitude between Planché’s writings and the place where they were written, folding-doors revealed a back drawing-room, which, like his memory, was richly stored with the works of heralds and antiquaries, and of our elder dramatists and poets, so judiciously arranged, that in a moment he was certain of producing the precise passage or the effect which he desired.  At the same time so completely was this little battery of knowledge masked under quaint bindings and tasteful covers, that no one suspected what a mine of learning lay beneath; nor, like his own mental resources, was a volume displayed without cause, or unclasped without its effect.

Speaking earnestly to Planché respecting the pains and pleasures of authorship, L. E. L. once said, “I would give this moment all the fame of what I have written, or ever shall write, for one roar of applause from a crowded house, such as you must have heard a thousand times.”

Mr. Planché afterwards removed to a new and detached house, built on the site of Brompton Grange.  He has now quitted the neighbourhood.

Mr. C. J. Richardson, an architect, whose publications illustrative of Tudor architecture and domestic English antiquities have materially tended to diffuse a feeling of respect for the works of our ancestors, and to forward the growing desire to preserve and restore edifices which time p. 67and circumstances have spared to the country, has resided at No. 22 Brompton Crescent.  At No. 28 in this crescent, Mrs. Liston died in 1854.

The continuation of Michael’s Place, which we left on our right to visit Michael’s Grove and Brompton Crescent, is the corner house, now Dr. Cahill’s and Mr. Hewett’s.  At No. 12, Lewis Schiavonetti, a distinguished engraver, died on the 7th of June, 1810, at the age of fifty-five.  He was a native of Bassano, in the Venetian territory, and the eldest son of a stationer, whose large family and moderate circumstances made him gladly accept the offer of Julius Golini, a painter of some repute, to receive his son, at the age of thirteen, for instruction in the arts.  No. 12 Michael’s Place In three years after, Golini expired in the arms of his youthful pupil.  Upon the death of his master he determined to seek the patronage of Count Remaudini, who had given employment to Bartolozzi and Volpato, and began to study the mechanical process of engraving, under a poor man named Lorio, who, unable to support himself by his profession, officiated as sacristan to a church, and could offer him no better accommodation for study than the sacristy.  The circumstances of Schiavonetti not permitting him to seek for higher instruction, he p. 68remained with this master about twelve months, when, finding that he had learned all that poor Lorio was able to teach, and feeling an aversion to work occasionally among dead bodies, he determined to alter his situation.  A copy of a ‘Holy Family,’ from Bartolozzi, after Carlo Maratta, gained Schiavonetti immediate employment from Count Remaudini, and attracted the notice of Suntach, an engraver and printseller in opposition to Remaudini.

About this time there came to Bassano a Mr. Testolini, of Vicenza, a wretched engraver of architecture, but a man of consummate craft and address.  He became acquainted with Schiavonetti at Suntach’s, and, finding in his genius and tractable disposition, a tool which he could use to great advantage, he engaged him to work at his house.  Bartolozzi’s engravings in the chalk manner were then in great repute at Bassano, and Testolini made several abortive attempts to discover the process.  His young friend succeeded better, and imitated several of Bartolozzi’s prints to perfection; and Testolini took some of Schiavonetti’s productions to the son of Bartolozzi at Venice, and passed them off as his own.  They gained him an introduction to that artist, and an invitation to London, where he was then in full occupation, and his works highly appreciated.  The change of climate seems to have deteriorated the talents of Testolini; but such was his adroitness that he gained a complete ascendancy over the easy temper of Bartolozzi, and lived in his house at North End, Fulham, about three years.  During that time, finding that yet more important advantages might be derived from the aid of his former friend, he made several propositions to Schiavonetti to come p. 69to London.  These were for a time declined: the rising fame of the young artist caused his talents to be better appreciated, and some Venetian noblemen offered him a pension and constant employment if he would abandon his proposed emigration.  Testolini, to frustrate this, induced Bartolozzi to write a letter of persuasion, partly dictated by himself; and, confident of its effect, he set out for Italy to bring Schiavonetti over.  During his absence Bartolozzi gained an insight into his real character and interested views, and, on his return with his protégé, told him that his house was no longer open to him, but that Schiavonetti was welcome to consider it his home.  Testolini, however, having found a house in Sloane Square, soon persuaded Schiavonetti that it would be better for him to follow his fortune than to remain with Bartolozzi, to which Schiavonetti consented.  This circumstance terminated the connexion between Bartolozzi and Schiavonetti; and shortly after the reputation of the latter as an engraver became established in London, where he conducted every transaction he was engaged in with an uprightness and integrity that cause his memory to be equally respected as a gentleman and as an artist.  The ‘Madre Dolorosa,’ after Vandyke; the portrait of that master in the character of Paris; Michael Angelo’s cartoon of the ‘Surprise of the Soldiers on the banks of the Arno;’ a series of etchings from designs by Blake, illustrative of Blair’s ‘Grave,’ with a portrait of Blake after Phillips; the ‘Landing of the British troops in Egypt,’ from De Loutherbourg; and the etching of the ‘Canterbury Pilgrims,’ from Stothard’s admired picture, are some of the most esteemed works of Lewis Schiavonetti.  p. 70His funeral, which took place on the 14th June 1810, from Michael’s Place, was attended by West, the president, Phillips, Tresham, and other members of the Royal Academy, by his countryman Vendramini, and almost all the distinguished engravers of the day, with other artists and friends to art.

The greater portion of No. 13, Michael’s Place, is shown in the sketch of No. 12, and the former may be mentioned as the residence of the widow of the builder, Madame Novosielski, who died here on the 30th November, 1820.  This was the address of Miss Helen Faucit, immediately previous to her successful appearance in the English drama before a French audience, and is at present in the occupation of Mr. Weigall, an artist whose works are highly prized.

Mrs. Billington, the well-known singer and actress, has resided at No. 15.

Miss Pope, an actress of considerable reputation, died at No. 17, Michael’s Place, on the 30th July, 1818, aged seventy-five.  Her talents had been cultivated by the celebrated Mrs. Clive, and she was distinguished by the notice of Garrick.  As a representative of old women, Miss Pope is said to have been unrivalled; and, for more than half a century, she remained constant to the boards of Drury Lane Theatre, never having performed at any other with the exception of a season at Dublin and another at Liverpool.

Mr. John Heneage Jesse, in 1842, while engaged in the publication of ‘Memoirs of the Court of England, from the Revolution of 1688 to the Death of George II.,’ 3 vols. 8vo, a continuation of his ‘History of the Court p. 71of England during the Reign of the Stuarts,’ lodged at No. 18.

Mr. Yates, the manager of the Adelphi Theatre, and an actor of considerable and varied powers, resided at No. 21, Michael’s Place, immediately previous to his accepting a short engagement in Ireland, where he ruptured a blood-vessel, and returned to England in so weak a state that he died on the 21st June, 1842, a few days after his arrival at the Euston Hotel, Euston Square, from whence it was considered, when he reached London, imprudent to remove him to Brompton.  He was in the forty-fifth year of his age, and made his first appearance in London at Covent Garden on the 7th November, 1818.  On the 30th November, 1823, Mr. Yates married Miss Brunton, an exemplary woman and an accomplished actress, who had retired from the profession for some years previous to her death, aged 61, on 30th August, 1860.  Before Mr. Yates’ tenancy, No. 21 was the residence of Mr. Liston, whose comic humour will long be remembered on the stage.

Mrs. Davenport, a clever actress and an admirable representative of old women, died at No. 22, on 8th May, 1843, aged eighty-four.  On the 25th of May, 1830, she retired from the stage, after an uninterrupted service of thirty-six years at Covent Garden Theatre, where she took her “first, last, and only benefit,” performing the Nurse in ‘Romeo and Juliet.’

No. 25, Michael’s Place, may be pointed out as the house in which Miss Pope, “the other delicious old woman,” dwelt previous to her removal to No. 17; and No. 26, as the lodgings of Mrs. Mathews, when occupied in the p. 72composition of the ‘Memoirs’ of her husband, [72] the eminent comedian,—

“A man so various, that he seemed to be,
Not one, but all mankind’s epitome.”

At No. 33 died Madame Delille, in 1857, at an advanced age.  This lady was the mother of the late Mr. C. J. Delille, professor of the French language in Christ’s Hospital and in the City of London School, and French examiner in the University of London.  Mr. Delille’s French Grammar is universally adopted by schools, in addition to his ‘Répertoire Littéraire,’ and his ‘Leçons et Modèles de Poésie Française.’

The ground upon which Michael’s Place and Brompton Crescent are built was known by the name of “Flounder Field,” from its usual moist and muddy state.  This field contained fourteen acres, and is said to have been part of the estate of Alderman Henry Smith, which in this neighbourhood was upwards of eighty-four acres.  He was a native of Wandsworth, where he is buried.  It has been asserted that, from very humble circumstances, he rose to be an alderman of London—from circumstances so humble, indeed, that Salmon, in his ‘Antiquities of Surrey,’ mentions that he had been in early life whipped out of Mitcham parish for begging there.  Being a widower, and without children, he made over all his estates in 1620 to trustees for charitable purposes, reserving out of the produce £500 a-year for himself.  He died in 1627–8, and the intent of his will appears to have been to divide his estate equally between the poorest of his kindred, and in case p. 73of any surplus it was to be applied to the relief and ransom of poor captives.  Mr. Smith is said, but we know little of the history of this benevolent and extraordinary man, to have himself suffered a long captivity in Algiers.  No application having been made for many years to redeem captives, in 1772 an act of parliament was passed “to enable the trustees of Henry Smith, Esq., deceased, to apply certain sums of money to the relief of his poor kindred, and to enable the said trustees to grant building leases of an estate in the parishes of Kensington, Chelsea, and St. Margaret’s, Westminster.”

No. 1, North Terrace, leading into Alexander Square, was for some time the residence of the celebrated “O.” Smith, who, though a great ruffian upon the stage, was in private life remarkable for his quiet manners and his varied attainments.  At the end of this terrace is the Western Grammar School.

Alexander Square, on the north or right-hand side of the main Fulham Road, between the Bell and Horns public-house and Pelham Crescent, consists of twenty-four houses built in the years 1827 and 1830, and divided by Alfred Place: before each portion there is a respectable enclosure, and behind numerous new streets, squares, and houses have been built, extending to the Old Brompton Road.

No. 19, Alexander Square, was the residence of Captain Glascock, who commanded H.M.S. Tyne, and whose pen has enriched the nautical novel literature of England [73] with the same racy humour which has distinguished his p. 74professional career.  When commanding in the Douro, some communications which Glascock had occasion to make to the Governor of Oporto not having received that attention which the English captain considered was due to them, and the governor having apologised for his deafness, Glascock replied that in future he would write to his excellency.  He did so, but the proceeding did not produce the required reply.  Glascock was then told that the governor’s memory was defective; so he wrote again, and two letters remained unanswered.  In this state of things it was intimated to Captain Glascock by a distinguished diplomatist, that, as his letters might not have been delivered, he ought to write another.  “Certainly,” replied that officer; “my letters to his excellency, as you say, might not have been delivered, for I have had no report absolutely made to me that they had ever reached his hands: but I will take care this time there shall be no mistake in the delivery, for you shall see me attach my communication to a cannonball, the report of which I can testify to my government; and, as my gunner is a sure shot, his excellency will (Glascock was an Irishman) have my epistle delivered into his hand.”  This intimation produced at once the desired effect of a satisfactory reply and apology.

Captain Glascock was one of the inspectors under the Poor Relief Act in Ireland.  He died in 1847.

No. 24 Alexander Square is the residence of Mr. George Godwin, the editor of the ‘Builder,’ and one of the honorary secretaries of the Art Union,—an association which has exercised an important influence upon the progress of the fine arts in England.  Mr. Godwin is likewise p. 75favourably known to the public as the author of several essays which evince considerable professional knowledge, antiquarian research, and a fertile fancy.

The bend of the Fulham Road terminates at

The Admiral Keppel

The old Admiral Keppel public-house, from whence the road proceeds in a straight line to Little Chelsea; Marlborough Road and Keppel Street, leading to Chelsea, branching off at each side of the tavern.  Since this sketch was taken, the old building has been pulled down (1856), and a large hotel erected on the same spot, by B. Watts, where, in addition to the usual comforts of an inn, hot and cold baths may be had.

In 1818 the Admiral Keppel courted the custom of passing travellers by a poetical appeal to the feelings of both man and beast:—

“Stop, brave boys, and quench your thirst;
If you won’t drink, your horses murst.”

There was something rural in this: the distich was painted in very rude white letters on a small black board; and when Keppel’s portrait, which swung in air, like England’s flag, braving

“The battle and the breeze,”

p. 76was unhinged and placed against the front of the house, this board was appended as its motto.  Both, however, were displaced by the march of public-house improvement; the weather-beaten sign of the gallant admiral’s head was transferred to a wall of the back premises, where its “faded form” might, until recently, have been recognised; but, though the legible record has perished, opus vatum durat.

Amelia Place is a row of nine houses immediately beyond the Admiral Keppel.  Within the walls of the last low house in the row, and the second with a verandah, the Right Hon. John Philpot Curran died on the 14th of October, 1817.  It had then a pleasant look-out upon green fields and a nursery-garden, now occupied by Pelham Crescent.  Here it was, with the exception of a short excursion to Ireland, that Curran had resided during the twelve months previous to his death.  No. 7 Amelia Place Curran’s public life may be said to have terminated in 1806, when he accepted the office of Master of the Rolls in Ireland, an appointment of £5000 a year.  This situation he retained until 1815, when his health required a cessation from its laborious attendance.  Upon his retirement from office, he “passed through the watering-places with the p. 77season,” and then fixed himself at No. 7, Amelia Place, Brompton, which house has now Kettle’s boot and shoe warehouse built out in front.  To no other contemporary pen than that of the Rev. George Croly can be ascribed the following glowing sketch of Curran:—

“From the period in which Curran emerged from the first struggles of an unfriended man, labouring up a jealous profession, his history makes a part of the annals of his country: once upon the surface, his light was always before the eye, it never sank and was never outshone.  With great powers to lift himself beyond the reach of that tumultuous and stormy agitation that must involve the movers of the public mind in a country such as Ireland then was, he loved to cling to the heavings of the wave; he, at least, never rose to that tranquil elevation to which his early contemporaries had one by one climbed; and never left the struggle till the storm had gone down, it is to be hoped for ever.  This was his destiny, but it might have been his choice, and he was not without the reward, which, to an ambitious mind conscious of its eminent powers, might be more than equivalent to the reluctant patronage of the throne.  To his habits legal distinction would have been only a bounty upon his silence; his limbs would have been fettered by the ermine; but he had the compensation of boundless popular honour, much respect from the higher ranks of party, much admiration and much fear from the lower partizans.  In Parliament he was the assailant most dreaded; in the law-courts he was the advocate deemed the most essential; in both he was an object of all the more powerful passions of man but rivalry,—

‘He stood alone and shone alone.’”

During Curran’s residence in Amelia Place he suffered two slight apoplectic attacks; but he, nevertheless, “occasionally indulged in society, and was to his last sparkle the most interesting, singular, and delightful of all table companions.”  The forenoon he generally passed in a solitary ramble through the neighbouring fields and gardens (which have now disappeared), and in the evening he enjoyed the p. 78conversation of a few friends; but, though the brilliancy of his wit shone to the last, he seemed like one who had outlived everything in life that was worth enjoying.  This is exemplified in Curran’s melancholy repartee to his medical attendant a few days before his decease.  The doctor remarked that his patient’s cough was not improved.  “That is odd,” remarked Curran, “for I have been practising all night!”

On Thursday, the 9th of October, Curran dined abroad for the last time with Mr. Richard (“Gentleman”) Jones, [78] of No. 14 Chapel Street, Grosvenor Place, for the purpose of being introduced to George Colman “the Younger.”  The party, besides the host and hostess, consisted of Mr. Harris and Sir William Chatterton.  Colman that evening was unusually brilliant, anticipating, by apt quotation and pointed remark, almost everything that Curran would have said.  One comment of Curran’s, however, made a deep impression on all present.  Speaking of Lord Byron’s ‘Fare thee well, and if for ever,’ he observed that “his lordship first weeps over his wife, and then wipes his eyes with the newspapers.”  He left the dinner-table early, and, on going upstairs to coffee, either affected not to know or did not remember George Colman’s celebrity as a wit, and inquired of Mrs. Jones who that Mr. Colman was?  Mr. Harris joined them at this moment, and apologised for his friend Colman engrossing so much of the conversation to himself, adding, that he was the spoiled child of society, and that even the Prince Regent listened with attention when George Colman talked.  “Ay,” said Curran, with a p. 79melancholy smile, “I now know who Colman is; we must both sleep in the same bed.”

The next morning Curran was seized with apoplexy, and continued speechless, though in possession of his senses, till the early part of Tuesday the 14th, when he sunk into lethargy, and towards evening died without a struggle; so tranquil, indeed, were the last moments of Curran, that those in the room were unable to mark the precise time when his bright spirit passed away from this earth.  His age has been variously stated at sixty-seven, sixty-eight, and seventy.

The first lodging which John Banim, the Irish novelist, temporarily occupied in England (April, 1822) was in the house where his illustrious countryman had breathed his last, and from whence Banim removed to 13, Brompton Grove, as already noticed.  Banim’s first wish, when he found himself in England, was to visit the scene of Curran’s death; led to the spot by a strong feeling of patriotic admiration, and finding, by a bill in the window, that lodgings were to be let there, he immediately took them, “that he might dream of his country,” as he energetically told the writer, “with the halo of Curran’s memory around him.”

Dropped Capitals for In Pelham Crescent, which consists of twenty-seven houses, and is divided in the centre, between Nos. 14 and 15, by Pelham Place, both Crescent and Place built upon part of the nursery-grounds over which Curran had wandered, dwell at No. 10 Mr. and Mrs. Keeley.  At No. 20 resides Mr. John Cooper the well-known veteran actor.  M. Guizot, the celebrated French p. 80statesman, after the overthrow of the government of Louis Philippe, resided for some time at No. 21, where Madame Guizot, his mother, died in March, 1848, at the advanced age of eighty-three; and the same house was, by a singular coincidence, afterwards occupied by Ledru Rollin.  Pelham Place, at the back of the Crescent, is notable for having, at No. 2, Mr. Lazarus, the celebrated clarionet player, and at No. 8 resides Mr. A. Harris, the present lessee of the Princess’s Theatre.

Nearly opposite to Pelham Crescent is Pond Place, where Mr. Curtis, the eminent botanist, of whom more hereafter, died on the 7th July, 1799; and a little further on, on the same side of the way, appears Chelsea New Church, dedicated to St. Luke.


Dropped Capital T he first stone of this church was laid on the 12th October, 1820, and the New Church was consecrated on the 18th October, 1824.  The architect was Mr. Savage of Walbrook. [80]  The burial-ground in which it stands had been consecrated on the 21st November, 1812; and an Act of Parliament, 59 George III., cap. 35, 1819, authorised the appropriation of part of that ground for the site of building a church.  In the burial-ground repose the remains of Dr. John M’Leod, the companion and friend of the gallant Sir Murray Maxwell, and the author of ‘A Narrative of a Voyage in H.M.S. Alceste to the Yellow Sea, and of her Shipwreck in the Straits of Gaspar,’ published in 1817.  p. 81On his return to England, the services of Dr. M’Leod were rewarded by his appointment to the Royal Sovereign yacht, which he did not long enjoy, as he died in lodgings in the King’s Road, Chelsea, on the 9th November, 1820, at the age of thirty-eight.

Signor Carlo Rovedino, a bass singer of some reputation, also lies buried in this churchyard.  He was a native of Milan, and died on the 6th of October, 1822, aged seventy-one.  The remains of Blanchard and Egerton, two actors of established character, repose here side by side.  William Blanchard was what is termed “a useful comedian;” whatever part was assigned to him, he made the most of it.  At the age of seventeen, he joined a provincial theatrical company at York, his native city, and in 1800, after fourteen years of laborious country practice, appeared at Covent Garden as Bob Acres in ‘The Rivals,’ and Crack in ‘The Turnpike Gate.’  At the time of his death, 9th May, 1835, he resided at No. 1, Camera Square, Chelsea.  Blanchard had dined with a friend at Hammersmith, and left him to return home about six in the evening of Tuesday.  On the following morning, at three o’clock, poor Blanchard was found lying in a ditch by the roadside, having been, as is supposed, seized by a fit; in the course of the evening he was visited by another attack, which was succeeded by one more violent on the Thursday, and on the following day he expired.

Daniel Egerton—“oh! kingly Egerton”—personified for many years on the stage of Covent Garden all the royal personages about whom there was great state and talk, but who had little to say for themselves.  He was respected p. 82as being, and without doubt was, an industrious and an honest man.  Having saved some hardly-earned money, Egerton entered into a theatrical speculation with a brother actor, Mr. Abbott, and became manager of one of the minor houses, by which he was ruined, and died in 1835, under the pressure of his misfortunes.  His widow, whose representations of the wild women of Scott’s novels, Madge Wildfire and Meg Merrilies, have distinguished her, died on the 10th August, 1847, at Brompton, aged sixty-six, having supported herself nobly amidst the troubles of her latter days.  Mrs. Egerton was the daughter of the Rev. Peter Fisher, rector of Torrington, in Devonshire.  She appeared at the Bath theatre soon after the death of her father in 1803, and in 1811 made her first appearance at Covent Garden Theatre as Juliet.

On the right-hand side, a little off the main road, is Onslow Square, which was built upon the site of the extensive house and grounds once occupied as a lunatic asylum.  The row of large trees now in the centre of the square was formerly the avenue from the main road to this house.  Mr. Henry Cole, C.B. lives at No. 17, Onslow Square; he is well known to the public as a member of the Executive Committee of the Crystal Palace, a promoter of art manufactures, and the author of numerous works published under the nom de plume of “Felix Summerly.”  No. 31 is the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Martin (better known as Miss Helen Faucit).  At No. 34 resides Baron Marochetti, the celebrated sculptor, who settled in England after the French revolution of February, 1848, and has obtained high patronage here.  At the back of the house is p. 83the studio, with an entrance from the main road, where the avenue of trees continues.  W. M. Thackeray, the popular writer, lives at No. 36, and Rear-Admiral Fitzroy, the distinguished geographer and navigator, is at No. 38.

A few yards beyond Sydney Place (leading into Onslow Square), on the opposite side of the road, is Sydney Street, leading direct to St. Luke’s Church, the late incumbent of which, the Rev. Charles Kingsley, who died on 29th February, 1860, aged 78, was the father of the well-known popular writer, the Rev. Charles Kingsley, of Eversley Rectory, Hants.  Sydney Street was originally called Upper Robert Street, as being the continuation of Robert Street, Chelsea; but, under some notion of raising its respectability, the inhabitants agreed to change the name.  It happened, however, that the corner house adjoining the Fulham Road, on the western side, was occupied by a surgeon, who imagined that the change in name might be injurious to his practice, and he took advantage of his position to retain the old name on his house.  Thus for some time the street was known by both names, but that of Upper Robert Street is now entirely abandoned.  The opposite corner house, No. 2, Sydney Street, was for some years occupied by the Rev. Dr. Biber, author of the ‘Life of Pestalozzi,’ and editor and proprietor of the ‘John Bull’ newspaper.  On his selling the ‘John Bull,’ it became incorporated with the ‘Britannia.’

No. 24 was for some time the residence of Mr. Thomas Wright, the well-known antiquary and historical writer, who now lives at No. 14.

Robert Street, which connects the main Fulham Road p. 84with the King’s Road, passes directly before the west side of the spacious burial-ground, and immediately opposite to the tower of St. Luke’s Church; at No. 17 formerly resided Mr. Henry Warren, the President of the New Society of Water-Colour Painters.

Returning to the main Fulham Road, and passing the Cancer Hospital, now in course of erection, we come to York Place, a row of twenty-two well-built and respectable houses on the south, or, according to our course, left-hand side of the road.

No. 15, York Place, was, between the years 1813 and 1821, the retirement of Francis Hargrave, a laborious literary barrister, and the editor of ‘A Collection of State Trials,’ [84] and many other esteemed legal works.  Here he died on the 16th of August, 1821, at the age of eighty-one.

In 1813, when obliged to abandon his arduous profession, in consequence of over-mental excitement, the sum of £8,000 was voted by Parliament, upon the motion of Mr. Whitbread, for the purchase of Mr. Hargrave’s law books, which were enriched with valuable notes, and for 300 MSS., to be deposited in the library of Lincoln’s Inn, for public use.  As documents of national historical importance may be particularised, Mr. Hargrave’s first publication, in 1772, entitled ‘The Case of James Somerset, a Negro, lately determined by the Court of King’s Bench, wherein it is attempted to demonstrate the present unlawfulness of Domestic Slavery in England;’ his ‘Three Arguments in the two causes in Chancery on the last Will of Peter Thellusson, Esq., with Mr. Morgan’s p. 85Calculation of the Accumulation under the Trusts of the Will, 1799;’ and his ‘Opinion in the Case of the Duke of Athol in respect to the Isle of Man.’

Opposite to York Place was a fine, open, airy piece of ground to which Mr. Curtis, the eminent naturalist, removed his botanical garden from Lambeth Marsh, as a more desirable locality.  Upon the south-east portion of this nursery-ground the first stone was laid by H.R.H. Prince Albert, on the 11th July, 1844, of an hospital for consumption and diseases of the chest, and which was speedily surrounded by houses on all sides; probably a circumstance not contemplated at the time the ground was secured.

The botanical garden of Mr. Curtis, as a public resort for study, was continued at Brompton until 1808, when the lease of the land being nearly expired, Mr. Salisbury, who in 1792 became his pupil, and in 1798 his partner in this horticultural speculation, removed the establishment to the vacant space of ground now inclosed between Sloane Street and Cadogan Place, where Mr. Salisbury’s undertaking failed.  A plan of the gardens there, as arranged by him, was published in the ‘Gentleman’s Magazine’ for August, 1810. [85]

Mr. Curtis, whose death has been already mentioned, was the son of a tanner, and was born at Alton, in Hampshire, in 1746.  He was bound apprentice to his grandfather, a quaker apothecary of that town, whose house was contiguous to the Crown Inn, where the botanical knowledge of John Lagg, the hostler, seems to have excited rivalry in the breast of young Curtis.  In the course of events he p. 86became assistant to Mr. Thomas Talwin, an apothecary in Gracechurch Street, of the same religious persuasion as his grandfather, and succeeded Mr. Talwin in his business.  Mr. Curtis’s love of botanical science, however, increased with his knowledge.  He connected with it the study of entomology, by printing, in 1771, ‘Instructions for Collecting and Preserving Insects,’ and in the following year a translation of the ‘Fundamenta Entomologiæ’ of Linnæus.  At this time he rented a very small garden for the cultivation of British plants, “near the Grange Road, at the bottom of Bermondsey Street,” and here it was that he conceived the design of publishing his great work, ‘The Flora Londinensis.’

“The Grange Road Garden was soon found too small for his extensive ideas.  He, therefore, took a larger piece of ground in Lambeth Marsh, where he soon assembled the largest collection of British plants ever brought together into one place.  But there was something uncongenial in the air of this place, which made it extremely difficult to preserve sea plants and many of the rare annuals which are adapted to an elevated situation,—an evil rendered worse every year by the increased number of buildings around.  This led his active mind, ever anxious for improvement, to inquire for a more favourable soil and purer air.  This, at length, he found at Brompton.  Here he procured a spacious territory, in which he had the pleasure of seeing his wishes gratified to the utmost extent of reasonable expectation.  Here he continued to his death;”

having, I may add, for many years previously, devoted himself entirely to botanical pursuits.

To support the slow sale of ‘The Flora Londinensis,’ Mr. Curtis, about 1787, started ‘The Botanical Magazine,’ which became one of the popular periodicals of the day, and Dr. Smith’s and Mr. Sowerby’s ‘English Botany’ was modelled after it.

p. 87What Mr. Curtis, as an individual, commenced, the Horticultural Society are endeavouring, as a body, to effect.

Immediately past the Hospital for Consumption is Fowlis Terrace, a row of newly-built houses, running from the road.

At the corner of Church Street (on the opposite side of the road) is an enclosure used as the burial-ground of the Westminster Congregation of the Jews.  There is an inscription in Hebrew characters over the entrance, above which is an English inscription with the date of the erection of the building according to the Jewish computation a.m. 5576, or 1816 a.d.  Beside it is the milestone denoting that it is 1½ mile from London.

The Queen’s Elm Turnpike, pulled down in 1848, was situated here, and took its name from the tradition that Queen Elizabeth, when walking out, attended by Lord Burleigh, [87a] being overtaken by a heavy shower of rain, found shelter here under an elm-tree.  After the rain was over, the queen said, “Let this henceforward be called The Queen’s Tree.”  The tradition is strongly supported by the parish records of Chelsea, as mention is made in 1586 (the 28th of Elizabeth, and probably the year of the occurrence), of a tree situated about this spot, “at the end of the Duke’s Walk,” [87b] as “The Queen’s Tree,” around which an arbour was built, or, in other words, nine young p. 88elm-trees were planted, by one Bostocke, at the charge of the parish.  The first mention of “The Queen’s Elm,” occurs in 1687, ninety-nine years after her Majesty had sheltered beneath the tree around which “an arbour was built,” when the surveyors of the highway were amerced in the sum of five pounds, “for not sufficiently mending the highway from the Queen Elm to the bridge, and from the Elm to Church Lane.”  In a plan of Chelsea, from a survey made in 1664 by James Hamilton, and continued to 1717, a tree occupying the spot assigned to “The Queen’s Elm,” is called “The Cross Tree,” and in the vestry minutes it is designated as “The High Elm,” which latter name is used by Sir Hans Sloane in 1727.  Bostocke’s arbour, however, had the effect of giving to the cross-road the name of “The Nine Elms.”  Steele, on the 22nd June, 1711, writing to his wife, says, “Pray, on the receipt of this, go to the Nine Elms, and I will follow you within an hour.” [88]  And so late as 1805, “The Nine Elms, Chelsea,” appeared as a local address in newspaper advertisements.

Again let me crave indulgence for minute attention to the changes of name; but much topographical difficulty often arises from this cause.

The stump of the royal tree, with, as is asserted, its root remaining in the ground undisturbed, a few years ago existed squared down to the dimensions of an ordinary post, about six feet in height and whitewashed.  But the identity appears questionable, although a post, not improbably fashioned out of one of the nine elms which grew around it, stood till within the last few years in front of a p. 89public-house named from the circumstance the Queen’s Elm, which house has been a little altered since the annexed sketch was made, by the introduction of a clock between the second floor windows, and the house adjoining has been rebuilt, overtopping it.

Queen’s Elm Public House

On the opposite or north side of the Fulham Road, some small houses are called Selwood Place, from being built on part of the ground of “Mr. Selwood’s nursery,” which is mentioned in 1712 by Mr. Narcissus Luttrell, of whom more hereafter, as one of the sources from which he derived a variety of pear, cultivated by him in his garden at Little Chelsea.

Chelsea Park, on the same side of the way with the Queen’s Elm public-house, and distant about a furlong from it, as seen from the road, appears a noble structure with a magnificent portico.  Chelsea Park Portico The ground now called Chelsea Park belonged, with an extensive tract of which it formed the northern part, to the famous Sir Thomas More, and in his time p. 90was unenclosed, and termed “the Sand Hills.”  It received the present name in 1625, when the Lord-Treasurer Cranfield (Earl of Middlesex) surrounded with a brick wall about thirty-two acres, which he had purchased in 1620 from Mr. Blake.  In 1717 Chelsea Park, which extended from the Fulham to the King’s Road, was estimated at forty acres, and belonged to the Marquis of Wharton, with whom, when appointed in 1709 Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, Addison went over as Secretary.  It subsequently became the scene of a joint-stock company speculation under a patent granted in 1718 to John Appletree, Esq., for producing raw silk of the growth of England, and for raising a fund for carrying on the same.  This undertaking was divided into shares of £5 each, of which £1 was paid down.  Proposals were published, a subscription-book opened, in which several hundred names were soon entered; a deed of trust executed and enrolled in Chancery; directors were chosen by the subscribers for managing the affairs of the Company; and, Chelsea Park being thought a proper soil for the purpose and in a convenient situation, a lease was taken of it for 122 years.  Here upwards of 2000 mulberry-trees were soon planted, and extensive edifices erected for carrying on the work: this number of trees was, however, but a small part of what the company intended to plant if they were successful.  In the following year Mr. Henry Barham, F.R.S., who was probably a member of the company, published ‘An Essay on the Silk Worm,’ in which he thinks “all objections and difficulties against this glorious undertaking are shown to be mere phantoms and trifles.”  The event, however, p. 91proved that the company met with difficulties of a real and formidable nature; for though the expectation of this gentleman, who questioned not that in the ensuing year they should produce a considerable quantity of raw silk, may have been partly answered, the undertaking soon began to decline, and, in the course of a few years, came to nothing.  It must, however, be admitted that the violent stock-jobbing speculations of the year 1720, which involved the shares of all projects of this nature, might have produced many changes among the proprietors, and contributed to derange the original design.  However, from that period to the present time, no effort has been made to cultivate the silkworm in this country as a mercantile speculation, although individuals have continued to rear it with success as an object of curiosity.

Walpole, in his ‘Catalogue of Engravers,’ tells us that James Christopher Le Blon, a Fleming by birth, and a mezzotint-engraver by profession, some time subsequent to 1732, “set up a project for copying the cartoons in tapestry, and made some very fine drawings for that purpose.  Houses were built and looms erected in the Mulberry Ground at Chelsea; but either the expense was precipitated too fast, or contributions did not arrive fast enough.  The bubble burst, several suffered, and Le Blon was heard of no more.”  Walpole adds, “It is said he died in an hospital at Paris in 1740:” and observes that Le Blon was “very far from young when he knew him, but of surprising vivacity and volubility, and with a head admirably mechanic, but an universal projector, and with at least one of the qualities that attend that vocation, either a dupe or a p. 92cheat; I think,” he continues, “the former, though, as most of his projects ended in air, the sufferers believed the latter.  As he was much an enthusiast, perhaps like most enthusiasts he was both one and t’ other.”

The present mansion was built upon a portion of Chelsea Park by Mr. William Broomfield, an eminent surgeon, who resided in it for several years.  The late possessor was Sir Henry Wright Wilson, Bart., to whose wife, Lady Frances Wilson (daughter of the Earl of Aylesbury), was left a valuable estate in Hampshire, [92] said to be worth about £3,000 a year, under the following very singular circumstances.  Her ladyship was informed one morning in February, 1814, while at breakfast, that an eccentric person named Wright, who had died a few days previously at an obscure lodging in Pimlico, had appointed her and Mr. Charles Abbott his executors, and after some legacies had bequeathed to Lady Frances the residue of his property by a will dated so far back as August, 1800.  As Lady Frances declared herself to be unacquainted even with the name of the testator, she at first concluded that there was some mistake in the matter.  After further explanation, the person of Mr. Wright was described to her, and Lady Frances at last recollected that the description answered that of a gentleman she had remembered as a constant frequenter of the Opera some years previously and considered p. 93to be a foreigner, and who had annoyed her extremely there by constantly staring at her box.  To satisfy herself of the identity, she went to the lodgings of the late Mr. Wright, and saw him in his coffin, when she recognized the features perfectly as those of the person whose eyes had so often persecuted her when she was Lady Frances Bruce, but who had never spoken to her, and of whom she had no other knowledge whatever.

Mr. Wright left legacies of £4,000 to the Countess of Rosslyn, £4,000 to the Speaker of the House of Commons, £1,000 to the lord-chancellor, and the same sum to Archdeacon Pott, the rector of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, which church Mr. Wright had been in the habit of frequenting, having as little acquaintance with any of these parties as he had with Lady Frances Wilson.  It may be supposed from these facts that Lady Frances Wilson was exceedingly beautiful, and that an admiration of her charms might have influenced Mr. Wright to make this extraordinary bequest in her favour; but those who knew Lady Frances well assert that such could not possibly have been the case, as she was far from beautiful at any period of her life; and the oddity of the story is, and it seemed to be the general opinion, that Mr. Wright’s legacy was intended for a lady who usually occupied a box next to that in which Lady Frances sat, and who, at the period, was regarded as the belle of the Opera.

Thistle Grove, on the opposite side of the road from Chelsea Park, leads, by what had been a garden pathway, to the Old Brompton Road.  At each side of “the Grove,” now occupying the sites of trees, are detached villas, p. 94houses, lodges, and cottages, named, or not named, after the taste of their respective proprietors; one of which, on the left hand, some fourteen houses distant from the main Fulham Road, was for many years the residence of Mr. John Burke, whose laborious heraldic and genealogical inquiries induced him to arrange and publish various important collections relative to the peerage and family history of the United Kingdom, in which may be found, condensed for immediate reference, an immense mass of important information.

In Thistle Grove Mr. J. P. Warde, the well-known actor, died in 1840.

Immediately beyond Chelsea Park the village of Little Chelsea commences, about the centre of which, and on the same side of the way, at the corner of the road leading to Battersea Bridge, stands the Goat in Boots public-house.  Goat in Boots In 1663, there was a “house called the Goat at Little Chelsea,” which, between that year and 1713, enjoyed the p. 95right of commonage for two cows and one heifer upon Chelsea Heath.

How the Goat became equipped in boots, and the designation of the house changed, has been the subject of various conjectures; the most probable of which is, that it originates in a corruption of the latter part of the Dutch legend,—

mercurius is der goden boode,”
(Mercury is the messenger of the gods,)

which being divided between each side of a sign bearing the figure of Mercury—a sign commonly used in the early part of the last century to denote that post-horses were to be obtained—“der goden boode” became freely translated into English, “the goat in boots.”  To Le Blon is attributed the execution of this sign and its motto; but, whoever the original artist may have been, and the intermediate retouchers or repainters of the god, certain it is that the pencil of Morland, in accordance with the desire of the landlord, either transformed the petasus of Mercury into the horned head of a goat, his talaria into spurs upon boots of huge dimensions, and his caduceus into a cutlass, or thus decorated the original sign, thereby liquidating a score which he had run up here, without any other means of payment than what his pencil afforded.  The sign, however, has been painted over, with considerable additional embellishments from gold leaf, so that not the least trace of Morland’s work remains, except, perhaps, in the outline.

Park Walk (the road turning off at the Goat in Boots) proceeds to the King’s Road, and, although not in a direct line, to Battersea Bridge.  Opposite the Goat in Boots is p. 96Gilston Road, leading to Boltons and St. Mary’s Place.  At No. 6, St. Mary’s Place, resides J. O. Halliwell, F.R.S., F.S.A., the well-known Shaksperian scholar, whose varied contributions to literature have been crowned by the production of his folio edition of Shakspere—a work still in progress.  At No. 8, Mr. Edward Wright, the popular actor, resided for a short time.

A few paces further on the main Fulham Road, at the north or opposite side, stood “Manor House,” now termed Manor Hall, and occupied by St. Philip’s Orphanage, a large, old-fashioned building, with the intervening space between it and the road screened in by boards,—which were attached to the antique iron gate and railings about twenty years ago, when it became appropriated to a charitable asylum.  Previously, Manor House had been a ladies’ boarding-school; and here Miss Bartolozzi, afterwards Madame Vestris, was educated.

Seymour Place, which leads to Seymour Terrace, is a cul-de-sac on the same side of the main Fulham Road, between Manor Hall and the Somerset Arms public-house, which last forms the west corner of Seymour Place.

At No. 1, Seymour Terrace expired, on the 19th of June, 1824, in her twenty-fifth year, Madame Riego, the widow of the unfortunate patriot General Riego, “the restorer and martyr of Spanish freedom.”  Her short and eventful history possesses more than ordinary melancholy.  While yet a child she had to endure all the hardships and privations consequent upon a state of warfare, and under the protection of her maternal grandfather, had to seek refuge from place to place on the mountains of Asturias from the p. 97French army.  At the close of 1821 she was married to General Riego, to whom she had been known and attached almost from infancy, and, in the spring of the following year, became, with her distinguished husband, a resident in Madrid.  But the political confusion and continued alarm of the period having appeared to affect her health, the general proceeded with her in the autumn to Granada, where he parted from his young and beloved wife, never again to meet her in this world, the convocation of the extraordinary Cortes for October 1822 obliging him to return to the capital.

Accompanied by the canon Riego, brother to her husband, and her attached sister, Donna Lucie, she removed in March to Malaga, from whence the advance of the French army into the south of Spain obliged them to seek protection at Gibraltar, which, under the advice of General Riego, they left for England on the 4th of July, but, owing to an unfavourable passage, did not reach London until the 17th of August.  Here the visitation which impended over her was still more calamitous than all that had preceded it.  Within little more than two months after her arrival in London, the account arrived of General Riego’s execution. [97]

Gerald Griffin, the Irish novelist, in a letter dated 22nd of November, 1823, says,—

“I have been lately negotiating with my host (of 76 Regent Street) for lodgings for the widow and brother of poor General Riego.  They p. 98are splendid apartments, but the affair has been broken off by the account of his death.  It has been concealed from her.  She is a young woman, and is following him fast, being far advanced in a consumption.  His brother is in deep grief.  He says he will go and bury himself for the remainder of his days in the woods of America.”

The house,

No. 1, Seymour Place,

No. 1 Seymour Place as it was then, Seymour Terrace, Little Chelsea, as it is now called, became, about this period, the residence of the unhappy fugitives.  Griffin, who appears to have made their acquaintance through a Spanish gentleman, named Valentine Llanos, writes, in February, 1824,—

“I was introduced the other day to poor Madame Riego, the relict of the unfortunate general.  I was surprised to see her look much better than I was prepared to expect, as she is in a confirmed consumption.”

Mental grief, which death only could terminate, had at that moment “marked” Madame Riego “for his own;” yet her look, like that of all high-minded Spaniards, to a stranger was calm—“much better than he was prepared to expect.”

On the 18th of May, exactly one month and a day before the termination of her sufferings, Griffin says,—

“The canon Riego, brother to the poor martyr, sent me, the other day, a Spanish poem of many cantos, having for its subject the career p. 99of the unhappy general, and expressed a wish that I might find material for an English one in it, if I felt disposed to make anything of the subject.  Apropos, Madame Riego is almost dead.  The fire is in her eye, and the flush on her cheek, which are, I believe, no beacons of hope to the consumptive.  She is an interesting woman, and I pity her from my soul.  This Mr. Mathews, who was confined with her husband, and arrived lately in London, and who, moreover, is a countryman of mine, brought her from her dying husband a little favourite dog and a parrot, which were his companions in his dungeon.  He very indiscreetly came before her with the remembrances without any preparation, and she received a shock from it, from which she has not yet, nor ever will recover.  What affecting little circumstances these are, and how interesting to one who has the least mingling of enthusiasm in his character!”

Madame Riego died in the arms of her attached sister, attended by the estimable canon.  In her will she directed her executor, the canon, to assure the British people of the gratitude she felt towards them for the sympathy and support which they extended to her in the hours of her adversity.  But what makes the will peculiarly affecting is her solemn attestation to the purity and sincerity of the political life of General Riego.  She states that she esteems it to be the last act of justice and duty to the memory of her beloved husband, solemnly to declare, in the awful presence of her God, before whose judgment-seat she feels she must soon appear, that all his private feelings and dispositions respecting his country corresponded with his public acts and professions in defence of its liberties.

A few yards beyond the turn down to Seymour Place, on the opposite side of the road, stood, until pulled down in 1856, to make room for the new one, the additional p. 100workhouse to St. George’s, Hanover Square, for which purpose Shaftesbury House was purchased by that parish in 1787; and an Act of Parliament passed in that year declares it to be in “St. George’s parish so long as it shall continue to be appropriated to its present use.”  Shaftesbury House Back of Shaftesbury House The parochial adjuncts to Lord Shaftesbury’s mansion, which remained, until the period of its demolition, in nearly the same state as when disposed of, have been considerable; but the building, as his lordship left it, could be at once recognised through the iron gate by which you entered, and which was surmounted by a lion rampant, probably the crest of one of the subsequent possessors.  It is surprising, indeed, that so little alteration, externally as well as internally should have taken place.  The appearance of the back of Shaftesbury House, as represented in an old print, was unchanged, with the exception of the flight of steps which led to the garden being transferred to the west (or shaded side) of the wing—an p. 101addition made by Lord Shaftesbury to the original house.  This was purchased by him in 1699 from the Bovey family, as heirs to the widow of Sir James Smith, by whom there is reason to believe it was built in 1635, as Stone was engraved on a stone which formed part of the pavement in front of one of the summer-houses in the garden.

The Right Honourable Sir James Smith was buried at Chelsea 18th of November, 1681.  He was probably the junior sheriff of London in 1672.


“It does not appear,” says Lysons, “that Lord Shaftesbury pulled down Sir James Smith’s house, but altered it and made considerable additions by a building fifty feet in length, which projected into the garden.  It was secured with an iron door, the window-shutters were of the same metal, and there were iron plates between it and the house to prevent all communication by fire, of which this learned and noble peer seems to have entertained great apprehensions.  The whole of the new building, though divided into a gallery and two small rooms (one of which was his lordship’s bedchamber), was fitted up as a library.  The earl was very fond of the culture of fruit-trees, and his gardens were planted with the choicest sorts, particularly every kind of vine which would bear the open air of this climate.  It appears by Lord Shaftesbury’s letters to Sir John Cropley that he dreaded the smoke of London as so prejudicial to his health, that whenever p. 102the wind was easterly he quitted Little Chelsea,” where he generally resided during the sitting of Parliament.

In 1710 the noble author of ‘Characteristics,’ then about to proceed to Italy, sold his residence at Little Chelsea to Narcissus Luttrell, Esq., who, as a book-collector, is described by Dr. Dibdin as “ever ardent in his love of past learning, and not less voracious in his bibliomaniacal appetites” than the Duke of Marlborough.  Sir Walter Scott acknowledges in his preface to the works of Dryden the obligations he is under to the “valuable” and “curious collection of fugitive pieces of the reigns of Charles II., James II., William III., and Queen Anne,” “made by Narcissus Luttrell, Esq., under whose name the editor quotes it.  This industrious collector,” continues Sir Walter, “seems to have bought every poetical tract, of whatever merit, which was hawked through the streets in his time, marking carefully the price and the date of the purchase.  His collection contains the earliest editions of many of our most excellent poems, bound up, according to the order of time, with the lowest trash of Grub Street.  It was dispersed on Mr. Luttrell’s death,” adds Sir Walter Scott, and he then mentions Mr. James Bindley and Mr. Richard Heber as having “obtained a great share of the Luttrell collection, and liberally furnished him with the loan of some of them in order to the more perfect editing of Dryden’s works.”

This is not exactly correct, as Mr. Luttrell’s library descended with Shaftesbury House to Mr. Sergeant Wynne, and from him to his eldest son, after whose death it was sold by auction in 1786.  On the title-page of the p. 103sale-catalogue the collection is described as “the valuable library of Edward Wynne, Esq., lately deceased, brought from his house at Little Chelsea.  Great part of it was formed by an eminent and curious collector in the last century.”  At the sale of Mr. Wynne’s library, Bindley purchased lot ’209, Collection of Poems, various, Latin and English, 5 vols. 1626, &c.,’ for seven guineas; and ’211, Collection of Political Poems, Dialogues, Funeral Elegies, Lampoons, &c., with various Political Prints and Portraits, 3 vols. 1641, &c.,’ for sixteen pounds; and it is probable that these are the collections to which Sir Walter Scott refers.

Dr. Dibdin, in his enthusiastic mode of treating matters of bibliography, endeavours to establish a pedigree for those who

“Love a ballad in print a’ life,”

from Pepys, placing Mr. Luttrell the Second in descent.

“The opening of the eighteenth century,” he observes, “was distinguished by the death of a bibliomaniac of the very first order and celebrity; of one who had no doubt frequently discoursed largely and eloquently with Luttrell upon the variety and value of certain editions of old ballad poetry, and between whom presents of curious old black-letter volumes were in all probability passing, I allude to the famous Samuel Pepys, secretary to the Admiralty.”

Of Narcissus Luttrell he then says:—

“Nothing would seem to have escaped his lynx-like vigilance.  Let the object be what it may (especially if it related to poetry), let the volume be great or small, or contain good, bad, or indifferent warblings of the Muse, his insatiable craving had ‘stomach for all.’  We may consider his collection the fountain-head of these copious streams, which, after fructifying in the libraries of many bibliomaniacs in the first half of the eighteenth century, settled for awhile more determinedly in the curious book-reservoir of a Mr. Wynne, and hence breaking up and taking a different direction towards the collections of p. 104Farmer, Steevens, and others, they have almost lost their identity in the innumerable rivulets which now inundate the book-world.”

It is to the literary taste of Mr. Edward Wynne, as asserted by Dr. Dibdin, that modern book-collectors are indebted for the preservation of most of the choicest relics of the Bibliotheca Luttrelliana.

“Mr. Wynne,” he continues, “lived at Little Chelsea, and built his library in a room which had the reputation of having been Locke’s study.  Here he used to sit surrounded by innumerable books, a great part being formed by ‘an eminent and curious collector in the last century.’”

What Dr. Dibdin says respecting Mr. Wynne’s building a library and Locke’s study is inaccurate, as there can be no reasonable doubt that the room or rooms his library occupied were those built by Lord Shaftesbury, which had (and correctly) the reputation of having been his lordship’s library, and the study, not of Locke, although of Locke’s pupil and friend.  It is not even probable that Lord Shaftesbury was ever visited by our great philosopher at Little Chelsea, as from 1700 that illustrious man resided altogether at Oates, in Essex, where he died on the 28th of October, 1704.

Whether to Lord Shaftesbury or to Mr. Luttrell the embellishments of the garden of their residence are to be attributed can now be only matter for conjecture, unless some curious autograph-collector’s portfolio may by chance contain an old letter or other document to establish the claim.  Their tastes, however, were very similar.  They both loved their books, and their fruits and flowers, and enjoyed the study of them.  Summer-house An account drawn up by Mr. Luttrell of several pears which he cultivated at Little p. 105Chelsea, with outlines of their longitudinal sections, was communicated to the Horticultural Society by Dr. Luttrell Wynne, one hundred years after the notes had been made, and may be found printed in the second volume of the Transactions of that Society.  In this account twenty-five varieties of pears are mentioned, which had been obtained between the years 1712 and 1717 from Mr. Duncan’s, Lord Cheneys’s, Mr. Palmer’s, and Mr. Selwood’s nursery.

Until recently it was astounding to find, amid the rage for alteration and improvement, the formal old-fashioned shape of a trim garden of Queen Anne’s time carefully preserved, its antique summer-houses respected, and the little infant leaden Hercules, which spouted water to cool the air from a serpent’s throat, still asserting its aquatic supremacy, under the shade of a fine old medlar-tree; and all this too in the garden of a London parish workhouse!  Hercules fountain Not p. 106less surprising was the aspect of the interior.  The grotesque workshop of the pauper artisans, said to have been Workshop Lord Shaftesbury’s dairy, and over which was his fire-proof library, was then an apartment appropriated to a girls’ school.

On the basement story of the original house the embellished mouldings of a doorway, carried the mind back to Doorway the days of Charles I., and, standing within which, p. 107imagination depicted the figure of a jolly Cavalier retainer, with his pipe and tankard; or of a Puritanical, formal servant, the expression of whose countenance was sufficient to turn the best-brewed October into vinegar.  The old carved door leading into this apartment is shown in the annexed sketch.

Nor should the apartment then occupied by the intelligent master of the workhouse be overlooked.  The panelling of the room, its chimney-piece, and the painting and Fireplace with painting above framework above it, placed us completely in a chamber of the time of William III.  And we only required a slight alteration in the furniture, and Lord Shaftesbury to enter, to feel that we were in the presence of the author of ‘Characteristics.’

p. 108The staircase, too, with its spiral balusters, as seen through the doorway, retained its ancient air.

Staircase seen through doorway

Narcissus Luttrell died here on the 26th of June, 1732, and was buried at Chelsea on the 6th of July following; where Francis Luttrell (presumed to be his son) was also buried on the 3rd of September, 1740.  Shaftesbury House then passed into the occupation of Mr. Sergeant Wynne, who died on the 17th of May, 1765; and from him it descended to his eldest son, Mr. Edward Wynne, the author of ‘Eunomus: a Dialogue concerning the Law and Constitution of England, with an Essay on Dialogue,’ 4 vols. 8vo; and other works, chiefly of a legal nature.  He died a bachelor, at Little Chelsea, on the 27th of December, 1784; and his brother, the Rev. Luttrell Wynne, of All Souls, Oxford, inherited Shaftesbury House, p. 109and the valuable library which Mr. Luttrell, his father, and brother, had accumulated.  The house he alienated to William Virtue, from whom, as before mentioned, it was purchased by the parish of St. George’s, Hanover Square, in 1787; and the library formed a twelve-days’ sale, by Messrs. Leigh and Sotheby, commencing on the 6th of March, 1786.  The auction-catalogue contained 2788 lots; and some idea of the value may be formed from the circumstance, that nine of the first seventeen lots sold for no less a sum than £32 7s., and that four lots of old newspapers, Nos. 25, 26, 27, and 28, were knocked down at £18 5s.  No. ‘376, a collection of old plays, by Gascoigne, White, Windet, Decker, &c., 21 vols,’ brought £38 17s.; and No. 644, Milton’s ‘Eiconoclastes,’ with MS. notes, supposed to be written by Milton, was bought by Waldron for 2s., who afterwards gave it to Dr. Farmer.  Dr. Dibdin declares, that “never was a precious collection of English history and poetry so wretchedly detailed to the public in an auction-catalogue” as that of Mr. Wynne’s library; and yet it will be seen that it must have realised a considerable sum of money.  He mentions, that “a great number of the poetical tracts were disposed of, previous to the sale, to Dr. Farmer, who gave not more than forty guineas for them.”


from little chelsea to walham green.

After what has been said respecting Shaftesbury House, it may be supposed that its associations with the memory of remarkable individuals are exhausted.  This is very far from being the case; and a long period in its history, from 1635 to 1699, remains to be filled up, which, however, must be done by conjecture: although so many circumstances are upon record, that it is not impossible others can be produced to complete a chain of evidence that may establish among those who have been inmates of the additional Workhouse of St. George’s, Hanover Square—startling as the assertion may appear—two of the most illustrious individuals in the annals of this country; of one of whom Bishop Burnet observed, [110] that his “loss is lamented by all learned men;” the other, a man whose “great and distinguishing knowledge was the knowledge of human nature or the powers and operations of the mind, in which he went further, and spoke clearer, than all other writers who preceded him, and whose ‘Essay on the p. 111Human Understanding’ is the best book of logic in the world.”  After this, I need scarcely add that Boyle and Locke are the illustrious individuals referred to.

The amiable John Evelyn, in his ‘Diary,’ mentions his visiting Mr. Boyle at Chelsea, on the 9th March, 1661, in company “with that excellent person and philosopher, Sir Robert Murray,” where they “saw divers effects of the eolipile for weighing air.”  And in the same year M. de Monconys, a French traveller in England, says, “L’après diné je fus avec M. Oldenburg, [111] et mon fils, à deux milles de Londres en carosse pour cinq chelins à un village nommé le petit Chelsey, voir M. Boyle.”  Now at this period there probably was no other house at Little Chelsea of sufficient importance to be the residence of the Hon. Robert Boyle, where he could receive strangers in his laboratory and show them his great telescope; and, moreover, notwithstanding what has been said to prove the impossibility of Locke having visited Lord Shaftesbury on this spot, local tradition continues to assert that Locke’s work on the ‘Human Understanding’ was commenced in the retirement of one of the summer-houses of Lord Shaftesbury’s residence.  This certainly may have been the case if we regard Locke as a visitor to his brother philosopher, Boyle, and admit his tenancy of the mansion previous to that of Lord Shaftesbury, to whom Locke, it is very probable, communicated the circumstance, and which might have indirectly led to his lordship’s purchase of the premises.  Be that as it may, it is an interesting association, with something more than mere fancy for its p. 112support, to contemplate a communion between two of the master-minds of the age, and the influence which their conversation possibly had upon that of the other.

Boyle’s sister, the puritanical Countess of Warwick, under date 27th November, 1666, makes the following note: “In the morning, as soon as dressed, I prayed, then went with my lord to my house at Chelsea, which he had hired, where I was all that day taken up with business about my house.” [112]  Whether this refers to Little Chelsea or not is more than I can affirm, although there are reasons for thinking that Shaftesbury House, or, if not, one which will be subsequently pointed out, is the house alluded to.

Charles, the fourth Earl of Orrery, and grand-nephew to Boyle the philosopher, was born at Dr. Whittaker’s house at Little Chelsea on the 21st July, 1674.  It was his grandfather’s marriage with Lady Margaret Howard, daughter of the Earl of Suffolk, that induced the witty Sir John Suckling to write his well-known ‘Ballad upon a Wedding,’ in which he so lusciously describes the bride:—

“Her cheeks so rare a white was on,
No daisie makes comparison;
   Who sees them is undone;
For streaks of red were mingled there,
Such as are on the Cath’rine pear—
   The side that’s next the sun.

“Her lips were red; and one was thin,
Compared to that was next her chin—
   Some bee had stung it newly;
But, Dick, her eyes so guard her face,
I durst no more upon her gaze,
   Than on the sun in July.”

p. 113The second Earl of Orrery, this lady’s son, having married Lady Mary Sackville, daughter of the Earl of Dorset, is stated to have led a secluded life at Little Chelsea, and to have died in 1682.  His eldest son, the third earl, died in 1703, and his brother, mentioned above as born at Little Chelsea, became the fourth earl, and distinguished himself in the military, scientific, and literary proceedings of his times.  In compliment to this Lord Orrery’s patronage, Graham, an ingenious watchmaker, named after his lordship a piece of mechanism which exhibits the movements of the heavenly bodies.  With his brother’s death, however, in 1703, at Earl’s Court, Kensington, the connection of the Boyle family with this neighbourhood appears to terminate.

Doctor Baldwin Hamey, an eminent medical practitioner during the time of the Commonwealth, and a considerable benefactor to the College of Physicians, died at Little Chelsea on the 14th of May, 1676, after an honourable retirement from his professional duties of more than ten years.

Mr. Faulkner’s ‘History of Kensington,’ published in 1820, and in which parish the portion of Little Chelsea on the north side of the Fulham Road stands, mentions the residence of Sir Bartholomew Shower, an eminent lawyer, in 1693; Sir Edward Ward, lord chief baron of the Exchequer, in 1697; Edward Fowler, lord bishop of Gloucester, in 1709, who died at his house here on the 26th August, 1714; and Sir William Dawes, lord bishop of Chester, in 1709, who, I may add, died Archbishop of York in 1724.  But in Mr. Faulkner’s ‘History of p. 114Chelsea,’ published in 1829, nothing more is to be found respecting Sir Bartholomew Shower than that he was engaged in some parochial law proceedings in 1691.  Sir Edward Ward’s residence is unnoticed.  The Bishop of Gloucester, who is said to have been a devout believer in fairies and witchcraft, is enumerated among the inhabitants of Paradise Row, Chelsea (near the hospital, and full a mile distant from le petit Chelsey); and Sir William Dawes, we find from various entries, an inhabitant of the parish between the years 1696 and 1712, but without “a local habitation” being assigned to him.  All this is very unsatisfactory to any one whose appetite craves after map-like accuracy in parish affairs.

Bowack, in 1705, mentions that

“At Little Chelsea stands a regular handsome house, with a noble courtyard and good gardens, built by Mr. Mart, now inhabited by Sir John Cope, Bart., a gentleman of an ancient and honourable family, who formerly was eminent in the service of his country abroad, and for many years of late in Parliament, till he voluntarily retired here to end his days in peace.”

And here Sir John Cope died in 1721.  Can he have been the father of the

“Hey, Johnnie Cope, are ye wauking yet,
Or are ye sleeping, I would wit?
O haste ye, get up, for the drums do beat;
O fye, Cope! rise up in the morning!”

—of the Sir John Cope who was forced to retreat from Preston Pans in “the ’45,” and against whom all the shafts of Jacobite ribaldry have been levelled?

p. 115Faulkner says that this house, which was “subsequently occupied by the late Mr. Duffield as a private madhouse, has been pulled down, and its site is now called Odell’s Place, a little eastward of Lord Shaftesbury’s;” that is to say, opposite to Manor Hall, and Sir John Cope’s house was not improbably the residence of two distinguished naval officers, Sir James Wishart and Sir John Balchen.  The former was made an admiral, and knighted by Queen Anne in 1703, and appointed one of the lords of the Admiralty, but was dismissed from the naval service by George I. for favouring the interests of the Pretender, and died at Little Chelsea on the 30th of May, 1723.  In the ‘Daily Courant,’ Monday, July 15, 1723, the following advertisement appears:—

“To be sold by auction, the household goods, plate, china ware, linen, &c., of Sir James Wishart, deceased, on Thursday the 18th instant, at his late dwelling-house at Little Chelsea.  The goods to be seen this day, to-morrow, and Wednesday, before the sale, from 9 to 12 in the morning, and from 3 to 7 in the evening.  Catalogues to be had at the sale.

“N.B.  A coach and chariot to be sold, and the house to be let.”

Admiral Sir John Balchen resided at Little Chelsea soon after Sir James Wishart’s death.  In 1744, Admiral Balchen perished in the Victory, of 120 guns, which had the reputation of being the most beautiful ship in the world, but foundered, with eleven hundred souls on board, in the Bay of Biscay.

On the 31st of March, 1723, Edward Hyde, the third Earl of Clarendon, died “at his house, Little Chelsea;” but where the earl’s house stood I am unable to state.

Mrs. Robinson, the fascinating “Perdita,” tells us, in her p. 116autobiography, that, at the age of ten (1768), she was “placed for education in a school at Chelsea.”  And she then commences a most distressing narrative, in which the last tragic scene she was witness to occurred at Little Chelsea.

“The mistress of this seminary,” Mrs. Robinson describes as “perhaps one of the most extraordinary women that ever graced, or disgraced, society.  Her name was Meribah Lorrington.  She was the most extensively accomplished female that I ever remember to have met with; her mental powers were no less capable of cultivation than superiorly cultivated.  Her father, whose name was Hull, had from her infancy been master of an academy at Earl’s Court, near Fulham; and early after his marriage, losing his wife, he resolved on giving this daughter a masculine education.  Meribah was early instructed in all the modern accomplishments, as well as in classical knowledge.  She was mistress of the Latin, French, and Italian languages; she was said to be a perfect arithmetician and astronomer, and possessed the art of painting on silk to a degree of exquisite perfection.  But, alas! with all these advantages, she was addicted to one vice, which at times so completely absorbed her faculties as to deprive her of every power, either mental or corporeal.  Thus, daily and hourly, her superior acquirements, her enlightened understanding, yielded to the intemperance of her ruling infatuation, and every power of reflection seemed absorbed in the unfeminine propensity.

“All that I ever learned,” adds Mrs. Robinson, “I acquired from this extraordinary woman.  In those hours when her senses were not intoxicated, she would delight in the task of instructing me.  She had only five or six pupils, and it was my lot to be her particular favourite.  She always, out of school, called me her little friend, and made no scruple of conversing with me (sometimes half the night, for I slept in her chamber) on domestic and confidential affairs.  I felt for her very sincere affection, and I listened with peculiar attention to all the lessons she inculcated.  Once I recollect her mentioning the particular failing which disgraced so intelligent a being.  She pleaded, in excuse of it, the unmitigable regret of a widowed heart, and with compunction declared that she flew to intoxication as the only refuge from the pang of prevailing sorrow.”

p. 117Mrs. Robinson remained more than twelve months under the care of Mrs. Lorrington,

“When pecuniary derangements obliged her to give up her school.  Her father’s manners were singularly disgusting, as was his appearance, for he wore a silvery beard, which reached to his breast, and a kind of Persian robe, which gave him the external appearance of a necromancer.  He was of the Anabaptist persuasion, and so stern in his conversation, that the young pupils were exposed to perpetual terror; added to these circumstances, the failing of his daughter became so evident, that even during school-hours she was frequently in a state of confirmed intoxication.”

In 1772, three years afterwards, when Mrs. Robinson was fourteen, her mother, Mrs. Darby, was obliged, as a means of support, to undertake the task of tuition.

“For this purpose, a convenient house was hired at Little Chelsea, and furnished for a ladies’ boarding-school.  Assistants of every kind were engaged, and I,” says Mrs. Robinson, “was deemed worthy of an occupation that flattered my self-love, and impressed my mind with a sort of domestic consequence.  The English language was my department in the seminary, and I was permitted to select passages both in prose and verse for the studies of my infant pupils; it was also my occupation to superintend their wardrobes, to see them dressed and undressed by the servants, or half-boarders, and to read sacred and moral lessons on saints’ days and Sunday evenings.

“Shortly after my mother had established herself at Chelsea, on a summer’s evening, as I was sitting at the window, I heard a deep sigh, or rather groan of anguish, which suddenly attracted my attention.  The night was approaching rapidly, and I looked towards the gate before the house, where I observed a woman, evidently labouring under excessive affliction.  I instantly descended and approached her.  She, bursting into tears, asked whether I did not know her.  Her dress was torn and filthy; she was almost naked, and an old bonnet, which nearly hid her face, so completely disfigured her features, that I had not the smallest idea of the person who was then almost sinking before me.  I gave her a small sum of money, and inquired the cause of her apparent agony.  She took my hand, and pressed it to her lips.  p. 118‘Sweet girl,’ said she, ‘you are still the angel I ever knew you!’  I was astonished.  She raised her bonnet; her fine dark eyes met mine.  It was Mrs. Lorrington.  I led her into the house; my mother was not at home.  I took her to my chamber, and, with the assistance of a lady, who was our French teacher, I clothed and comforted her.  She refused to say how she came to be in so deplorable a situation, and took her leave.  It was in vain that I entreated—that I conjured her to let me know where I might send to her.  She refused to give me her address, but promised that in a few days she would call on me again.  It is impossible to describe the wretched appearance of this accomplished woman.  The failing to which she had now yielded, as to a monster that would destroy her, was evident, even at the moment when she was speaking to me.  I saw no more of her; but, to my infinite regret, I was informed, some years after, that she had died, the martyr of a premature decay, brought on by the indulgence of her propensity to intoxication—in the workhouse of Chelsea!”

Mrs. Robinson adds, that—

“The number of my mother’s pupils in a few months amounted to ten or twelve; and, just at a period when an honourable independence promised to cheer the days of an unexampled parent, my father unexpectedly returned from America.  The pride of his soul was deeply wounded by the step which my mother had taken; he was offended even beyond the bounds of reason.


“At the expiration of eight months, my mother, by my father’s positive commands, broke up her establishment, and returned to London.”

Nearly opposite to the workhouse is the West Brompton Brewery, formerly called “Holly Wood Brewery,” and immediately beyond it an irregular row of six houses, which stand a little way back from the road, with small gardens before them.  The first house is now divided into two, occupied, when the sketch was made in 1844, by Miss Read’s academy (Tavistock House) and Mrs. Corder’s Preparatory School; the latter (Bolton House) to be p. 119distinguished by two ornamented stone-balls on the piers of the gateway, was a celebrated military academy, at which many distinguished soldiers have been educated.  Bolton House gateway The academy was established about the year 1770, by Mr. Lewis Lochee, who died on the 5th of April, 1787, and who, in 1778, published an ‘Essay on Castrametation.’  “The premises,” says Mr. Faulkner, “which were laid out as a regular fortification, and were open to view, excited much attention at the time.”  When balloons were novelties, and it was supposed might be advantageously used in the operations of warfare, they attracted considerable notice; and, on the 16th of October, 1784, Mr. Blanchard ascended from the grounds of the Military Academy, near Chelsea.  The anxiety to witness this exhibition is thus described in a contemporary account:—

“The fields for a considerable way round Little Chelsea were crowded with horse and foot; in consequence of which a general devastation took place in the gardens, the produce being either trampled down or torn up.  The turnip grounds were totally despoiled by the multitude.  All the windows and houses round the academy were filled with people of the first fashion.  Every roof within view was covered, and each tree filled with spectators.”

Mr. Blanchard, upon this occasion, ascended with some difficulty, accompanied by a Mr. Sheldon, a surgeon, whom p. 120he landed at Sunbury, from whence Blanchard proceeded in his balloon to Romsey, in Hampshire, where he came down in safety, after having been between three and four hours in the air.

After Mr. Lochee’s death, his son, Mr. Lewis Lochee, continued the establishment which his father had formed, but, unfortunately for himself, engaged in the revolutionary movements which agitated Flanders in 1790; where, “being taken prisoner by the Austrians, he was condemned to be hanged.  He, however, obtained permission to come to England to settle his affairs, upon condition of leaving his only son as a hostage; and, upon his return to the Continent, he suffered the punishment of death.” [120]

“His son, a schoolfellow of mine,” adds Mr. Faulkner, “afterwards married a daughter of the late Mr. King, an eminent book auctioneer of King Street, Covent Garden, and, lamentable to relate, fell by his own hands,” 8th of December, 1815.

The residence beyond Mr. Lochee’s Military Academy is named Warwick House—why, unless, possibly, the name has some reference to Boyle’s brother-in-law, the Earl of Warwick, I am at a loss to determine.  The next house is Amyot House.  Then comes Mulberry House, formerly the residence of Mr. Denham, a brother of the lamented African traveller, Colonel Denham.  The fifth house is called Heckfield Lodge, an arbitrary name p. 121bestowed by its late occupant, Mr. Milton, the author of two clever novels, ‘Rivalry,’ and ‘Lady Cecilia Farrencourt,’ recently published, and brother to the popular authoress, Mrs. Trollope.  And the sixth and last house in the row, on the west side of which is Walnut-tree Walk, leading to Earl’s Court and Kensington, is distinguished by the name of Burleigh House, which, some one humorously observed, [121] might possibly be a contraction of “hurley burley,” the house being a ladies’ school, and the unceasing work of education, on the main Fulham Road, appearing here for the first time to terminate.  Burleigh House (1844) The following entry, however, in the parish register of Kensington, respecting the birth of the fourth Earl of Exeter, on the 21st of May, 1674, may suggest a more probable derivation:—“15 May.  Honble. John Cecill, son and heir apparent of the Rt. Honble. John Lord Burleigh and the Lady Anne his wife born at Mr. Sheffield’s.”

William Boscawen, the amiable and accomplished translator of Horace, resided at Burleigh House; and here he died, on the 6th of May, 1811, at the age of fifty-nine.  He had been called to the bar, but gave up that profession in 1786, on being appointed a commissioner for victualling p. 122the navy.  An excellent classical scholar, and warmly attached to literary pursuits, Mr. Boscawen published, in 1793, the first volume of a new translation of Horace, containing the ‘Odes,’ ‘Epodes,’ and ‘Carmen Sæculare.’  This, being well received, was followed up by Mr. Boscawen, in 1798, by his translation of the ‘Satires, Epistles, and Art of Poetry,’—completing a work considered to be in many respects superior to Francis’s translation.  As an early patron and zealous friend of the Literary Fund, Mr. Boscawen’s memory will be regarded with respect.  Within five days of his death, he wrote a copy of verses for the anniversary meeting, which he contemplated attending:—

“Relieved from toils, behold the aged steed
Contented crop the rich enamell’d mead,
Bask in the solar ray, or court the shade,
As vernal suns invite, or summer heats invade!
But should the horn or clarion from afar
Call to the chase, or summon to the war,
Roused to new vigour by the well-known sound,
He spurns the earth, o’erleaps the opposing mound,
Feels youthful ardour in each swelling vein,
Darts through the rapid flood, and scours the plain!

“Thus a lorn Muse, who, worn by cares and woes,
Long sought retirement’s calm, secure repose,
With glad, though feeble, voice resumes her lay,
Waked by the call of this auspicious day.”

Alas! the hand which on May morning had penned this introduction to an appeal in the cause of literary benevolence,—that hand was cold; and the lips by which, on the following day, the words that had flowed warmly from the p. 123heart were to have been uttered,—those lips were mute in death within a week.

On the 16th of April, 1765, Mr. James House Knight, of Walham Green, returning home from London, was robbed and murdered on the highroad in the vicinity of Little Chelsea; the record of his burial in the parish register of Kensington is, “Shot in Fulham Road, near Brompton.”  For the discovery of the murderers a reward of fifty pounds was offered; and, on the 7th of July following, two Chelsea pensioners were committed to prison, charged with this murder, on the testimony of their accomplice, another Chelsea pensioner, whom they had threatened to kill upon some quarrel taking place between them.  The accused were tried, found guilty, hanged, and gibbeted; one nearly opposite Walnut-tree Walk, close by the two-mile stone, the other at Bull Lane, a passage about a quarter of a mile farther on, which connects the main Fulham Road with the King’s Road, by the side of the Kensington Canal.  In these positions, for some years, the bodies of the murderers hung in chains, to the terror of benighted travellers and of market-gardeners, who

“Wended their way,
In morning’s grey,”

towards Covent Garden, until a drunken frolic caused the removal of a painful and useless exhibition.  A very interesting paper upon London life in the last century occurs in the second volume of Knight’s ‘London;’ in which it is observed that “a gibbet’s tassel” was one of the first sights which met the eye of a stranger approaching London from the sea.

p. 124“About the middle of the last century, similar objects met the gaze of the traveller by whatever route he entered the metropolis.  ‘All the gibbets in the Edgware Road,’ says an extract from the newspapers of the day in the ‘Annual Register’ for 1763, ‘on which many malefactors were being hung in chains, were cut down by persons unknown.’  The all and the many of this cool matter-of-fact announcement conjure up the image of a long avenue planted with ‘gallows-trees,’ instead of elms and poplars,—an assemblage of pendent criminals, not exactly ‘thick as leaves that strew the brook in Valombrosa,’ but frequent as those whose feet tickling Sancho’s nose, when he essayed to sleep in the cork forest, drove him from tree to tree in search of an empty bough.

“Frequent mention is made in the books, magazines, and newspapers of that period, of the bodies of malefactors conveyed after execution to Blackheath, Finchley, and Kennington Commons, or Hounslow Heath, for the purpose of being there permanently suspended.  In those days the approach to London on all sides seems to have lain through serried files of gibbets, growing closer and more thronged as the distance from the city diminished, till they and their occupants arranged themselves in rows of ghastly and grinning sentinels along both sides of the principal avenues.”

This picture is not over-coloured; and it is to the following occurrence in the main Fulham Road that the removal of these offensive exhibitions is to be attributed.  Two or three fashionable parsons, who had sacrificed superabundantly to the jolly god at Fulham, returning to London, where they desired to arrive quickly, had intellect enough to discover that the driver of their post-chaise did not make his horses proceed at a pace equal to their wishes, and, after in vain urging him to more speed, one of them declared that, if he did not use his whip with better effect, he should be made an example of for the public benefit, and hanged up at the first gibbet.  The correctness of the old saying, that “when the head is hot the p. 125hand is ready,” was soon verified by the postboy being desired to stop at the gibbet opposite Walnut-tree Walk, which order, unluckily for himself, he obeyed, instead of proceeding at a quicker pace.  Out sprung the inmates of his chaise; they seized him, bound him hand and foot, and throwing a rope, which they had fastened round his body, over the gibbet, he soon found himself, in spite of his cries and entreaties, elevated in air beside the tarred remains of the Chelsea pensioner.

The reverend perpetrators of the deed drove off, leaving the luckless postboy to protest, loudly and vainly, to “the dull, cold ear of death,” against the loathsome companionship.  When the first market-gardener’s cart passed by, most lustily did he call for help; but every effort to get free only tended to prolong his suspense.  What could the carters and other early travellers imagine upon hearing shouts proceeding from the gibbet, but that the identical murderer of Mr. Knight had by some miracle come to life, and now called out, “Stop! stop!” with the intention of robbing and murdering them also?  And they, feeling that supernatural odds were against them, ran forwards or backwards, not daring to look behind, as fast as their feet could carry alarmed and bewildered heads, leaving the fate of their carts to the sagacity of the horses.  Finding that the louder he called for help the more alarm he excited, the suspended postboy determined philosophically to endure the misery of his situation in dignified silence.  But there he was suffered to hang unnoticed; or, if remarked, it was only concluded that another criminal had been added to the gibbet, as its second tassel.  The p. 126circumstance, however, of a second body having been placed there speedily came to the knowledge of a magistrate in the neighbourhood, who had taken an active part in the apprehension of Mr. Knight’s murderers; and he proceeded, without delay, to the spot, that he might satisfy himself as to the correctness of the report.  Judge, however, his astonishment on hearing himself addressed by name from the gibbet, and implored, in the most piteous manner, to deliver from bondage a poor postboy, whose only offence was that he would not goad on two overworked horses to humour a pair of drunken gentlemen.  These “drunken gentlemen” are said to have been men of rank and influence: their names have never transpired, but the outrage with which they were charged led to the immediate removal from the Fulham Road of the last pair of gibbets which disgraced it.

Upon the ground which was occupied by the gibbet where the kind-hearted postboy was strung up, a solitary cottage stood some years ago; and tradition asserted, that both the murderer and his gibbet were buried beneath it.  Solitary cottage This cottage is now pulled down; Lansdowne Villas and Hollywood Place have been erected on the spot, and villas and groves continue to the ‘Gunter Arms,’ a public-house that p. 127takes its name from Richard Gunter, the well-known confectioner, by the side of which is Gunter Grove.  This is now the starting-point of the Brompton omnibuses, which formerly did not go beyond Queen’s Elm.  Edith Grove, a turning between Lansdowne Villas and Gunter Grove, is in a direct line with Cremorne Gardens.

Proceeding on our road towards Fulham, the next point which claims attention is the extensive inclosure of the West of London and Westminster Cemetery Company,—a company incorporated by act of parliament 1st of Victoria, cap. 180.  The burial-ground was consecrated on the 12th of June, 1840, and extends from the Fulham Road to what is called, generally, “Sir John Scott Lillie’s Road,” and sometimes “Brompton Lane Road,” which, in fact, is a continuation, to North End, Fulham, of the line of the Old Brompton Road,—the point, as the reader may recollect, that we turned off from at the Bell and Horns, in order to follow the main Fulham Road to Little Chelsea.  The public way on the east of the burial-ground is called Honey Lane, and on the west the boundary is the pathway by the side of the Kensington Canal.  The architect of the chapel and catacombs is Mr. Benjamin Baud.  The cemetery is open for public inspection, free of charge, from seven in the morning till sunset, except on Sundays, when it is closed till half-past one o’clock.  The first interment took place on the 18th of June, 1840, from which time, to the 22nd of November, there were thirty-four burials, the average number being then four per week.  It is scarcely necessary to add, that a considerable average increase has taken place; but the first step in statistics is always curious.

p. 128One of the most interesting instances of longevity which the annals of the West of London and Westminster Cemetery Company present occurs on a stone in the north-east corner of the burial-ground, where the age recorded of Louis Pouchée is 108; but this does not agree with the burial entry made by the Rev. Stephen Reid Cattley—“Louis Pouchée, of St. Martin’s in the Fields, viz., 40 Castle Street, Leicester Square, buried Feb. 21, 1843, aged 107.”

This musical patriarch, however, according to a statement in the ‘Medical Times,’ [128] was admitted as a patient to St. George’s Hospital November 24, 1842.  January 4, went out, and died, about three months afterwards, of diarrhoea and dysentery.

Another instance of longevity, though not so extraordinary, is one which cannot be contemplated without feeling how much influence the consciousness of honest industry in the human mind has upon the health and happiness of the body.  A gravestone near a public path on the south-east side of the burial-ground marks the last resting place of Francis Nicholson, landscape-painter, who died the 6th March, 1844, aged 91 years.

Mr. Nicholson originally practised as a portrait-painter, but the simplicity and uprightness of his heart did not permit him to tolerate or pander to the vanities of man (and woman) kind.  To flatter was with him an utter impossibility; and, as he could not invariably consider the “human face divine,” he was incapable of assuming the courtly manners so essential in that branch of the p. 129profession.  He never, indeed, quite forgave himself for an approach to duplicity committed at this time upon an unfortunate gentleman, who sat to him for his portrait, and who squinted so desperately, that in order to gain a likeness it was necessary to copy moderately the defect.  The poor man, it seemed, perfectly unconscious of the same, on being invited to inspect the performance, looked in silence upon it a few moments, and, with rather a disappointed air, said—

“I don’t know—it seems to me—does it squint?”

“Squint!” replied Nicholson, “no more than you do.”

“Really! well, you know best of course; but I declare I fancied there was a queer look about it!”

The opening of the Water-Colour Exhibition, in 1805, may be dated as the commencement of Mr. Nicholson’s fame and success in London.  In conjunction with Glover, Varley, Prout, and others, an advance in the art of watercolour painting was made, such as to astonish and call forth the admiration of the public.

In a manuscript autobiography which Mr. Nicholson left behind him, and which is full of curious anecdotes, he gives the following account of the formation of that exhibition.

“Messrs. Hills and Pyne asked me to join in the attempt to establish such a society, which I readily agreed to.  It was a long time before a number of members sufficient to produce so many works as would be required to cover the walls of the exhibition room in Brook Street could be brought to join it.  Artists were afraid they might suffer loss by renting and fitting up the room, the expense being certain and the success very doubtful.  After a great while the society was formed, and, in the first and second exhibition, the sale of drawings was so p. 130considerable, and the visitors so numerous, that crowds of those who had refused to join were eager to be admitted into the society.”

Nicholson’s Grave Since the annexed sketch of Mr. Nicholson’s grave was taken, the stone bears the two additional melancholy inscriptions of Thomas Crofton Croker, son-in-law of Francis Nicholson, who died 8th August, 1854, and Marianne, widow of Thomas Crofton Croker, who died 6th October, 1854; and an iron railing has been erected on either side of the grave.

St. Mark’s Chapel Opposite to the Cemetery gates is Veitch’s Royal Exotic Nursery.

St. Mark’s Chapel, within the grounds of the college, stands opposite to St. Mark’s Terrace, a row of modern houses immediately beyond the cemetery.  The grounds extend to the King’s Road, and contain about eleven acres, surrounded by a brick wall; and the entrance to the National Society’s training college is from that road.  p. 131Stanley House, or Stanley Grove House, which was purchased in 1840 for upwards of £9000 by the society, stood upon the site of a house which Sir Arthur Gorges, the friend of Spenser, allegorically named by him Alcyon, [131] built for his own residence; and upon the death of whose first wife, a daughter of Viscount Bindon, in 1590, the poet wrote a beautiful elegy, entitled ‘Daphnaida.’  In the Sydney papers mention is made, under date 15th November, 1599, that, “as the queen passed by the faire new building, Sir Arthur Gorges presented her with a faire jewell.”  He died in 1625; and by his widow, the daughter of the Earl of Lincoln, the house and adjacent land, then called the “Brickhills,” was sold, in 1637, to their only daughter, Elizabeth, the widow of Sir Robert Stanley; which sale was confirmed by her mother’s will, dated 18th July, 1643.  The Stanley family continued to reside here until 1691, when by the death of William Stanley, Esq., that branch of this family became extinct in the male line.

The present house, a square mansion, was built soon afterwards; and the old wall, propped by several buttresses, inclosing the west side of the grounds, existed on the bank of the Kensington Canal until it was washed down by a very high tide.  This new or square mansion remained unfinished and unoccupied for several years.  In 1724 it belonged to Henry Arundel, Esq. and on the 24th May, 1743, Admiral Sir Charles Wager, a distinguished naval officer, died here, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.  After passing through several hands, p. 132Stanley Grove became the property of Miss Southwell, afterwards the wife of Sir James Eyre, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, who sold it in 1777 to the Countess of Strathmore.

Here her ladyship indulged her love for botany by building extensive hot-houses and conservatories, and collecting and introducing into England rare exotics.

“She had purchased,” says her biographer, “a fine old mansion, with extensive grounds well walled in, and there she had brought exotics from the Cape, and was in a way of raising continually an increase to her collection, when, by her fatal marriage, the cruel spoiler came and threw them, like loathsome weeds, away.”

Mr. Lochee, before mentioned, purchased Stanley Grove from the Countess of Strathmore and her husband, Mr. Bowes.  It was afterwards occupied by Dr. Richard Warren, the eminent physician, who died in 1797, and who is said to have acquired by the honourable practice of his profession no less a sum than £150,000.  In January 1808, Mr. Leonard Morse, of the War Office, died at his residence, Stanley House, and about 1815 it was purchased by the late Mr. William Richard Hamilton, who ranks as one of the first scholars and antiquaries of his day.  Between that year and 1840 Mr. Hamilton resided here at various periods, having occasionally let it.  He made a considerable addition to the house by building a spacious room as a wing on the east side, in the walls of which casts from the frieze and metopes of the Elgin marbles were let in.

When Mr. Hamilton proceeded as envoy to the court of Naples in 1821, Stanley Grove House became the residence p. 133of Mrs. Gregor, and is thus described by Miss Burney, who was an inmate at this time, in the following playful letter [133] to a friend, dated 24th September, 1821:—

“Whilst you have been traversing sea and land, scrambling up rocks and shuddering beside precipices, I have been stationary, with no other variety than such as turning to the right instead of the left when walking in the garden, or sometimes driving into town through Westminster, and, at other times, through Piccadilly.  Poor Miss Gregor continues to be a complete invalid, and, for her sake, we give up all society at home and all engagements abroad.  Luckily, the house, rented by Mrs. Gregor from William Hamilton, Esq. (who accompanied Lord Elgin into Greece) abounds with interesting specimens in almost every branch of the fine arts.  Here are statues, casts from the frieze of the Parthenon, pictures, prints, books, and minerals; four pianofortes of different sizes, and an excellent harp.  All this to study does Desdemona (that’s me) seriously incline; and the more I study the more I want to know and to see.  In short, I am crazy to travel in Greece!  The danger is that some good-for-nothing bashaw should seize upon me to poke me into his harem, there to bury my charms for life, and condemn me for ever to blush unseen.  However, I could easily strangle or stab him, set fire to his castle, and run away by the light of it, accompanied by some handsome pirate, with whom I might henceforward live at my ease in a cavern on the sea-shore, dressing his dinners one moment, and my own sweet person the next in pearls and rubies, stolen by him, during some of his plundering expeditions, from the fair throat and arms of a shrieking Circassian beauty, whose lord he had knocked on the head.  Till these genteel adventures of mine begin, I beg you to believe me, dear Miss ---,

“Yours most truly,
S. H. Burney.”

Theodore Hook notes, in one of his manuscript journals, “5th July, 1826.  W. Hamilton’s party.  Stanley Grove.”

About 1828, Stanley Grove was occupied by the p. 134Marquess of Queensberry; and, in 1830–31, by Colonel Grant, at the rent, it was said, of £1000 per annum.

On the west side of the house the National Society added a quadrangle, built in the Italian style after the design of Mr. Blore; and, in the grounds near the chapel, an octagonal building as a Practising School, for teaching the poor children of the neighbourhood.

Practising School

Crossing the Kensington Canal over Sandford Bridge, Sandford Bridge sometimes written “Stanford” and “Stamford,” we enter p. 135the parish of Fulham.  The road turning off on the west side of the canal is called “Bull Lane;” and a little further on a footway existed not long since, known as Bull Alley; both of which passages led into the King’s Road, and took their names from the Bull public-house, which stood between them in that road.  Bull Alley Bull Alley is now converted into a good-sized street, called Stamford Road, which has a public-house (the Rising Sun) on one side, and a bookseller’s shop on the other.  Here, for a few years, was a turnpike, which has been recently removed and placed lower down the road, adjoining the Swan Tavern and Brewery, Walham Green, established 1765.  No. 4, No. 3 Stamford Villas Houses are being built in all directions opposite several “single and married houses,” with small gardens in front and the rear, known as Stamford Villas, where, at No. 2, resided, in 1836 and 1837, Mr. H. K. Browne, better known, perhaps, by his sobriquet of “Phiz,” as an illustrator of popular periodical works.

No. 3 and No. 4 are shown in the annexed cut, and No. 3 may be noticed as having been the residence of Mr. Kempe, the author of ‘A History of p. 136St. Martin-le-Grand,’ the editor of the ‘Losely Papers,’ and a constant contributor, under the signature of A. J. K., to the antiquarian lore of the ‘Gentleman’s Magazine.’  Mr. Kempe died here on 21st August, 1846.  The three last houses of the Stamford Villas are not “wedded to each other,” and in the garden of the one nearest London, Mr. Hampton, who made an ascent in a balloon from Cremorne, on the 13th June, 1839, with every reasonable prospect of breaking his neck for the amusement of the public, came down by a parachute descent, without injury to himself, although he carried away a brick or two from the chimney of the house, much to the annoyance of the person in charge, who rushed out upon the aeronaut, and told him that he had no business to come in contact with the chimney.  His reply exhibited an extraordinary coolness, for he assured the man it was quite unintentional upon his part.

The milestone is opposite the entrance to No. 20 Stamford Villas, which informs the pedestrian that it is one mile to Fulham; and passing Salem Chapel, which is on the right hand side of the main road, we reach the village of Walham Green.


walham green to fulham.

The village of Walham Green, which is distant from Hyde Park Corner between two and a half and three miles, appears to have been first so called soon after the revolution of 1688.  Before this, it was known as Wansdon Green, written also Wandon and Wandham; all of which names, according to Lysons, originated from the manor of Wendon, so was the local name written in 1449, which in 1565 was spelled Wandowne.  As the name of a low and marshy piece of land on the opposite side of the Thames to Wandsworth, through which wandered the drainage from the higher grounds, or through which the traveller had to Wendon (pendan) his way to Fulham; it would not be difficult to enter into speculations as to the Anglo-Saxon origin of the word, but I refrain from placing before the reader my antiquarian ruminations while passing Wansdown House, for few things are more fascinating and deceptive than verbal associations.  Indeed, if indulged in to any extent, they might lead an enthusiast to connect in thought the piers of Fulham (bridge) with the Piers of p. 138Fulham, who, in the fourteenth or fifteenth century, “compyled many praty conceytis in love under covert terms of ffyssyng and ffowlyng;” and which curious poem may be found printed in a collection of Ancient Metrical Tales, edited by the Rev. Charles Henry Hartshorne. [138]

Two of “some ancient houses, erected in 1595, as appeared by a date on the truss in the front of one of them,” were pulled down at Walham Green in 1812; after which the important proceedings in the progress of this village in suburban advancement consisted in the establishment of numerous public-houses; the filling up of a filthy pond, upon the ground gained by which act a chapel-of-ease to Fulham, dedicated to St. John, has been built, after the design of Mr. Taylor, at the estimated expense of £9683 17s. 9d.  The first stone was laid on the 1st of January, 1827; and it was consecrated by the Bishop of London on the 14th of August, 1828.  This was followed by the building of a charity-school upon an angular patch of green, or common land, where donkeys had been wont to graze, and the village children to play at cricket.  Then the parish pound was removed from a corner of the high road, near a basket-maker’s, to a back lane, thereby destroying the travelling joke of “Did you ever see the baskets sold by the pound?”  And, finally, Walham Green has assumed a new aspect, from the construction of the Butchers’ Almshouses, the first stone of which was laid by the late Lord Ravensworth, on the 1st of July, 1840.  Since that time, fancy-fairs and bazaars, with horticultural exhibitions, have been fashionably patronised at Walham p. 139Green by omnibus companies, for the support and enlargement of this institution.

“Hail, happy isle! and happier Walham Green!
Where all that’s fair and beautiful are seen!
Where wanton zephyrs court the ambient air,
And sweets ambrosial banish every care;
Where thought nor trouble social joy molest,
Nor vain solicitude can banish rest.
Peaceful and happy here I reign serene,
Perplexity defy, and smile at spleen;
Belles, beaux, and statesmen, all around me shine;
All own me their supreme, me constitute divine;
All wait my pleasure, own my awful nod,
And change the humble gardener to the god.”

Thus, in the ‘London Magazine’ for June 1749, did Mr. Bartholomew Rocque prophetically apostrophise Walham Green,—the “belles, beaux, and statesmen,” by which he was surrounded being new varieties of flowers, dignified by distinguished names.  In 1755, he printed a ‘Treatise on the Cultivation of the Hyacinth, translated from the Dutch;’ and in 1761 an ‘Essay on Lucerne Grass,’, of which an enlarged edition was published in 1764.  Mr. Rocque [139] resided in the house occupied by the late Mr. King, opposite to the Red Lion, where Mr. Oliver Pitts now carries on business as builder and carpenter.

Immediately after leaving Walham Green, on the south, or left-hand side, of the main Fulham road, behind a pair of carriage gates, connected by a brick wall, stands the p. 140mansion of Lord Ravensworth; in outward appearance small and unostentatious, without the slightest attempt at architectural decoration, but sufficiently spacious and attractive to have received the highest honour that can be conferred on the residence of a subject, by her Majesty and Prince Albert having visited the late lord here on the 26th of June, 1840.  The grounds at the back of the house, though not extensive, were planted with peculiar skill, care, and taste, by the late Mr. Ord; and on that occasion recalled to memory the words of our old poet, the author of ‘Britannia’s Pastorals,’ William Browne:—

“There stood the elme, whose shade so mildely dym
Doth nourish all that groweth under him:
Cipresse that like piramides runne topping,
And hurt the least of any by the dropping;
The alder, whose fat shadow nourisheth
Each plant set neere to him long flourisheth;
The heavie-headed plane-tree, by whose shade
The grasse grows thickest, men are fresher made;
The oak that best endures the thunder-shocks,
The everlasting, ebene, cedar, boxe.
The olive, that in wainscot never cleaves,
The amourous vine which in the elme still weaves;
The lotus, juniper, where wormes ne’er enter;
The pyne, with whom men through the ocean venture;
The warlike yewgh, by which (more than the lance)
The strong-arm’d English spirits conquer’d France;
Amongst the rest, the tamarisks there stood,
For housewives’ besomes only knowne most good;
The cold-place-loving birch, and servis-tree;
The Walnut-loving vales and mulberry;
The maple, ashe, that doe delight in fountains,
Which have their currents by the side of mountains;
The laurell, mirtle, ivy, date, which hold
Their leaves all winter, be it ne’er so cold;
p. 141The firre, that oftentimes doth rosin drop;
The beech, that scales the welkin with his top:
All these and thousand more within this grove,
By all the industry of nature strove
To frame an arbour that might keepe within it
The best of beauties that the world hath in it.”

Since the royal visit, Lord Ravensworth’s residence has been called Percy Cross, but no reason has been assigned for the alteration of name from Purser’s Cross, which is mentioned as a point “on the Fulham road between Parson’s Green and Walham Green,” so far back as 1602, and at which we shall presently arrive.  View of Percy Cross No connection whatever that I am aware of exists between the locality and the Percy family, and it only affords another, very recent local example of what has been as happily as quaintly termed “the curiosity of change.”  The most favourable aspect of the house is, perhaps, the view gained of it from a neighbouring garden across a piece of water called Eel Brook, which ornaments an adjacent meadow.

John Ord, Esq., the creator of Lord Ravensworth’s London residence, is better known as “Master Ord.”  He was the only son of Robert Ord, Chief Baron of the Court of Exchequer in Scotland.  In 1746 Mr. Ord entered Trinity College, Cambridge, and in 1762, vacated a lay fellowship p. 142by marriage with Eleanor, the second daughter of John Simpson, Esq., of Bradley, in the county of Durham.  After being called to the bar, Mr. Ord practised in the Court of Chancery; and, in 1774, was returned to parliament as member for Midhurst.  In 1778 he was appointed Master of Chancery; and the next session, when returned member for Hastings, was chosen chairman of “Ways and Means,” in which situation his conduct gave much satisfaction.  Mr. Ord retired from parliament in 1790, and in 1809 resigned his office of Master in Chancery, and that of Attorney-General for Lancaster the following year, when “he retired to a small place at Purser’s Cross, in the parish of Fulham, where he had early in life amused himself in horticultural pursuits, and where there are several foreign trees of his own raising remarkable both for their beauty and size.”

Lysons, in 1795, says—

“While I am speaking upon this subject” (the trees planted by Bishop Compton in the gardens of Fulham Palace), “it would he unpardonable to omit the mention of a very curious garden near Walham Green in this parish, planted, since the year 1756, by its present proprietor, John Ord, Esq., Master in Chancery.  It is not a little extraordinary that this garden should, within the space of forty years (such have been the effects of good management and a fertile soil), have produced trees which are now the finest of their respective kinds in the kingdom.  As a proof of this may be mentioned the sophora Japonica, planted anno 1756, then about two feet high, now eight feet in girth, and about forty in height; a standard Ginko tree, planted about the year 1767, two feet three inches in girth; and an Illinois walnut, two feet two inches in girth, growing where it was sown about the year 1760.  Among other trees, very remarkable also for their growth, though not to be spoken of as the largest of their kind, are a black walnut-tree (sown anno 1757), about forty feet high, and five feet four inches in girth; a cedar of Libanus (planted in p. 1431756), eight feet eight inches in girth; a willow-leaved oak (sown anno 1757), four feet in girth; the Rhus Vernix, or varnish sumach, four feet in girth; and a stone pine of very singular growth.  Its girth at one foot from the ground is six feet four inches; at that height it immediately begins to branch out, and spreads, at least, twenty-one feet on each side, forming a large bush of about fourteen yards in diameter.”

The second edition of Lysons’ ‘Environs of London’ appeared in 1810, when the measurement of these trees, in June 1808 and December 1809, was placed in apposition.  Faulkner’s ‘History of Fulham,’ published in 1813, carries on the history of their growth for three years more; but as, from the marginal pencil note signed J. M., and dated January 1835 in Lysons’, I am led to conclude that some of these interesting trees exist no longer, the following tabular view compiled from these sources may not be unacceptable to the naturalist, who is well aware that

“Not small the praise the skilful planter claims,
From his befriended country.”

About the time of Mr. Ord’s death, 6th June, 1814, his garden contained much that is remarkable in horticulture:—

“There was,” we are told, “a good collection of American plants; amongst others, a fine Andromeda Arborea, planted about eight inches high in March 1804; and now (1812) eleven feet eight inches high.

“The Glastonbury Thorn flowered here on Christmas day, 1793.

“In the kitchen garden is (1812) a moss-rose, which has been much admired.  Many years ago Mr. Ord ordered his gardener to lay a moss-rose, which, when done, he thought looked so well, he would not allow the layers to be taken off, but laid them down year after year, till it covered the ground it does at present, viz. a diameter of forty-seven feet; want of room has confined it to its present size for several years.”


p. 144Girth at 3 feet from the ground in 1793

Girth in June 1808

Girth in December 1809

Girth in 1812 (Faulkner)

Girth in Jan 1835 J.M.


f.   i.

f.  i.

f.  i.

f.  i.

f.  i.

Sophora japonica, [144a] in 1809, about 50 feet in height; it flowered for the first time in August 1807, and has continued to flower the two succeeding years.


8    0


9   4


9   7½


10  1


0   0

Ginko-tree (Ginko biloba, standard) about 37 feet high.


2    3


3   6


3   9


3   10


0   0

A tree from an Illinois-nut, given by Mr. Aiton to Mr. Ord, about 40 feet high. [144b]


2    2


2  10


2  11


3    0


0   0

A black walnut-tree, (juglans niger), sown where it stands in 1757, about 64 feet high in 1809.


5    4


6  11 [144c]


7   3


10   0


A cedar of Lebanon, when planted being two years old, in 1809 being about 55 feet high.


8    8


9  11 [144d]


9   9


10   0


A willow-leaved oak, sown in 1757.


4    0


5   5 [144e]


5   7


5    10


The rhus vernix, or varnish sumach.


4    0


4   10


4   10


5     1


Fraxinus ornus, which is covered with flowers every year.






3    10


Gleditsia triacanthus, sown in 1759, produced pods 2 feet long in 1780, but the seeds imperfect.






4     8


Acacia common, sown in 1757, planted where it stands in 1758.





7     7






6     9


Tulip-tree, sown where it stands in 1758, first flowered in 1782.






5     6


Cyprus deciduus, sown in 1760




5     6


Corylus colurna (Constantinople hazel), between 30 and 40 feet high, bears fruit, but imperfect.





3     2


Virginian cedar, (red) sown in 1758





4     0


Guilandina dioica, or bonduc




2     1


Juglans alba, or white hickory.





3     1


Lombardy, or Po poplar, a cutting in 1766 near 100 feet high.





10    0


Poplar, planted in 1772




8     6


Another column headed 1845, carrying out this view, would be an important addition to statistical observation.

p. 145Two agaves, or American aloes, flowered in Mr. Ord’s greenhouse in the summer of 1812, one of which was a beautiful striped variety.  The plants had been there since the year 1756.  Amid all these delightful associations, there is one melancholy event connected with the place.  On the night of the 9th September, 1807, a fire broke out in the garden-house of Mr. Ord’s residence (a cottage upon the site of the present stables): the flame raged so furiously as to burn the principal gardener, an old and valued servant, almost to ashes before any help could be afforded to him.  Upon the following Sunday (13th), the Rev. John Owen, the then curate of Fulham, preached so effective a sermon upon the uncertainty of the morrow, [145] that having printed a large impression “without any loss to himself,” a second edition appeared on the 3rd of the following month.

In the second volume of the ‘Transactions of the Horticultural Society,’ a beautifully-coloured representation of ‘Ord’s apple’ may be found, illustrative of Mr. Salisbury’s communication respecting it, which was read to the Society on the 17th of January, 1817.  After acknowledging his obligations to Mrs. Anne Simpson, the sister of Mrs. Ord, and who Mr. Salisbury represents as “being as fond of gardening as her late brother-in-law, Mr. Ord,” it is stated that,—

“About forty years ago, the late John Ord, Esq. raised, in his garden at Purser’s Cross, near Fulham, an apple-tree from the seed of the New-town pippin, imported from North America.  When this tree began to bear, its fruit, though without any external beauty, proved remarkably good, and had a peculiar quality, namely, a p. 146melting softness in eating, so that it might be said almost to dissolve in the mouth.  The late Mr. Lee, of Hammersmith, often had grafts of this tree, and he sold the plant so raised first with the name of Ord’s apple, and subsequently with the name of New-town pippin. . . . .

“This seedling tree,” continues Mr. Salisbury, “is now (1817) of large dimensions, its trunk being four feet four inches round at a yard above the ground; but it has of late years been very unhealthy, and scarcely borne any fruit worth gathering, its roots having, no doubt, penetrated into a stratum of unfavourable soil.”

Mrs. Anne Simpson sowed some pippins from this remarkable tree,—

“And two of the healthiest seedlings of this second generation were planted out to remain in the kitchen-garden, which are now (1817) about twenty years old.  One of these trees began to bear fruit very soon, which is not unlike that of its parent in shape, with a thin skin; and, being a very good apple, grafts of it have been distributed about the metropolis with the name of Simpson’s pippin.  The other seedling of the second generation was several years longer in bearing fruit; and, when it did, the apples were quite of a different shape, being long, with a thick skin and poor flavour, and so numerous as to be all very small.  Of late years, however, they have gradually improved so much in flavour, as to become a remarkably spirited, juicy apple, attaining a good size, which has probably been promoted by thinning them, though a full crop has always been left upon the tree; and they are now greatly esteemed by all who taste them.”

This apple is in perfection for eating from Christmas to the middle of March.  The skin is thick, and always of a green colour while on the tree, but tinged with copper-coloured red, and several darker spots on the sunny side; after the fruit has been gathered some time, the green colour changes to a yellowish cast.  It may be mentioned that, before the death of the late Lord Ravensworth, the house was inhabited by those celebrated artistes, Madame Grisi and Signor Mario.

p. 147On the opposite side of the road to Lord Ravensworth’s, and a few yards beyond it, on the way to Fulham, is Walham Lodge, formerly Park Cottage, a modern well-built house, which stands within extensive grounds, surrounded by a brick wall.  This was for some years the residence of Mr. Brand, the eminent chemist, who particularly distinguished himself by the course of lectures which he delivered on geology, at the Royal Institution, in 1816; and which may be dated as the popular starting point of that branch of scientific inquiry in this country.

A house, now divided into two, and called Dungannon House and Albany Lodge, abuts upon the western boundary wall of the grounds of Walham Lodge.  Dungannon House—Albany Lodge Tradition stoutly asserts that this united cottage and villa were, previous to their division, known by the name of Bolingbroke Lodge, and that here Pope did, more than once,

“Awake my St. John,”

by an early morning visit.

At Albany Lodge, the farthest part of the old house in our view (then Heckfield Villa), resided Mr. Milton, before-mentioned as having lived at Heckfield Lodge, Little Chelsea; both of which names were introduced on the Fulham Road, from that gentleman’s attachment to the name of his reverend father’s living, near Basingstoke.

p. 148Dungannon House formerly went by the name of Acacia Cottage, and was so called from a tree in the garden.  It was for many years the country residence of Mr. Joseph Johnson, of St. Paul’s Churchyard, a publisher worthy of literary regard; and here he died on the 20th of December, 1809.  He was born at Liverpool, in 1738; and, after serving an apprenticeship in London, commenced business as a medical bookseller, upon Fish Street Hill; “a situation he chose as being in the track of the medical students resorting to the hospitals in the Borough, and which probably was the foundation of his connexions with many eminent members of that profession.”

Having entered into partnership, he removed to Paternoster Row, where his house and stock were destroyed by fire, in 1770: after which, feeling the advantage of a peculiar locality, he carried on business alone, until the time of his death, at the house which all juvenile readers who recollect the caterers for their amusement and instruction will remember as that of “Harris and Co., corner of St. Paul’s Churchyard.”  This step was considered at the time, by “the trade,” as a bold and inconsiderate measure; but it was successfully imitated by the late Mr. Murray, in his removal from Fleet Street to Albemarle Street; and, indeed, John Murray, as a publisher, seems only to have been a fearless copyist, in many matters, of Joseph Johnson.  Whether, as a tradesman, he was judicious or not in so doing, is a question upon which there may be two opinions; but there can be no hesitation about the perfect application of Dr. Aikin’s words to both parties:—

“The character Mr. Johnson established by his integrity, good p. 149sense, and honourable principles of dealing, soon raised him to eminence as a publisher; and many of the most distinguished names in science and literature during the last half century appear in works which he ushered to the world.”

The imprint of Johnson is to be found upon the title-pages which first introduced Cowper and Darwin to notice:—

“The former of these, with the diffidence, and perhaps the despondency, of his character, had actually, by means of a friend, made over to him (Johnson) his two volumes of poems, on no other condition than that of securing him from expense; but when the public, which neglected the first volume, had discovered the rich mine opened in the Task, and assigned the author his merited place among the first-rate English poets, Mr. Johnson would not avail himself of his advantage, but displayed a liberality which has been warmly acknowledged by that admirable, though unfortunate, person.”

A score of equally generous anecdotes might be told of Murray.  In one particular, however, there was, as publishers, a decided difference between the views of Johnson and Murray.  Those of Johnson are at present in the ascendancy; but they may produce a revolution in favour of the opinion of John Murray against cheap literature.  Johnson was the opponent of typographical luxury.  Murray, on the contrary, supported the aristocracy of the press, until obliged, “by the pressure from without,” in some degree to compromise his views by the publication of the ‘Family Library.’

In the wing (comparatively speaking a modern addition) attached to this house, and in the room where Mr. Johnson died, is a remarkable chimney-piece, of a monumental character; but I can learn nothing respecting it.

p. 150The history of Dungannon House when Acacia Cottage, could we procure a correct record of all the ideas which Chimney-piece have passed through the human mind within its walls, respecting literature and art, would form a chronicle of singular interest.  The late Mr. Hullmandel, well known as one of the most experienced and successful practitioners of lithography in England, resided here in 1839 and 1840, when he discovered a new process in his favourite art, by simple mental reasoning, upon the application of the process of copperplate aquatint to lithographic purposes.  For this discovery—and it is one of considerable importance—he subsequently took out a patent, under the name of lithotint.  Ever since the infancy of lithography, hundreds of persons connected with the art, beginning with its inventor himself, Senefelder, had endeavoured to produce impressions from stone of subjects executed with the brush, in the same manner as drawings are made with sepia, or Indian ink.  p. 151And it was natural enough that artists should have made every effort to supersede the tedious and elaborate process by which alone a liquid could be rendered available for the purpose of drawing on stone.  The mode of drawing technically called “the ink style,” consists merely of a series of lines, some finer, some thicker, executed on the white surface of the stone, with ink dissolved in water, by means of a fine sable or a steel pen, in imitation of an etching on copper.  All attempts, however, at producing variety of tints, by using the ink thicker or thinner, failed,—the fainter lines either disappearing altogether, or printing as dark as thick ones.  In every attempt made to use this ink as a wash, the result was still more disastrous, producing only one dirty mass of indistinctness, amid which the original drawing was scarcely to be traced.  For twenty years did Mr. Hullmandel labour to attain some mode of printing drawings, made by a series of washes, with a brush, on stone, feeling this to be the great desideratum in the art.  Lithographers in Germany, in France, and in this country, had pronounced it to be “utterly impossible;” when the idea suddenly flashed upon him, that, if he could effect a minute granulation of the ink, by treating it as a copperplate engraver would the ground of an aquatint plate, the relative strength of the different washes might be preserved.  He hastened from Acacia Cottage to his printing-office in London, to put his theory into practice, and was rewarded by the most satisfactory results.

Since that period, several prints, by this process of lithotint, were produced by Mr. Hullmandel, from drawings made by Harding, Nash, Haghe, Walton, and other clever p. 152artists, in which all the raciness, the smartness, and the beauty of touch, are apparent, which hitherto could only be found in the original drawing.  Arundel House—front Arundel House—back In fact, lithotint was not a translation, but a multiplication of the original; and its discovery, or, rather, the proper application of knowledge, became an eventful era in the history of the fine arts.

Arundel House, a few yards beyond Dungannon House, stands on the same side of the road, opposite to Parson’s Green Lane, which leads to the King’s Road.  It is a house of considerable antiquity, judging from the stone mullions brought to light by some repairs,—probably as old as the time of Henry VIII.; although the brick front, as shown above, appears to be the work of the latter part of the seventeenth century.

The back of Arundel House is quite different in character, and retains an p. 153old porch leading into the garden.  At the farther end of the garden a venerable yew-tree arbour exists; and not Arundel House porch and Yew Tree Arbour far from it used to stand a picturesque old pump, with the date 1758 close to the spout; which pump is now removed, and a new one put in its place.  Upon a leaden cistern at the back of Arundel House, the following monogram occurs beneath an earl’s coronet, with the date 1703:— Old Pump and monogram Notwithstanding that this is obviously compounded of the letters L. I. C., or C. I. L., and at the first glance with the p. 154connexion of an earl’s coronet and a date would appear to present no difficulty respecting the correct appropriation, I must confess my inability to state to whom the monogram belonged.  For the name of Arundel I am equally unable to account.  No mention whatever is made of this house by Mr. Faulkner; nor does the name of Arundel occur in the parish records of Fulham, although in 1724, as before mentioned, Stanley Grove House appears to have been in the possession of Henry Arundel.  In the midst of this obscurity, the residence of the late Mr. Hallam, the historian, who occupied Arundel House in 1819, invests it with a literary association of interest.

On the opposite side of the road is the carriage entrance to Park House, which stands in Parson’s Green Lane.  A stone tablet has been let into one of the piers of the gateway, inscribed

Purser’s Cross,
7th August,

This date has reference to an occurrence which the monthly chronologer in the ‘London Magazine’ thus relates:—

“An highwayman having committed several robberies on Finchley Common, was pursued to London, when he thought himself safe, but was, in a little time, discovered at a public-house in Burlington Gardens, refreshing himself and his horse; however, he had time to remount, and rode through Hyde Park, in which there were several gentlemen’s servants airing their horses, who, taking the alarm, pursued him closely as far as Fulham Fields, where, finding no probability of escaping, he threw money among some country people who were at work in the field, and told them they would soon see the end of an unfortunate man.  He had no sooner spoke these words but he pulled p. 155out a pistol, clapped it to his ear, and shot himself directly, before his pursuers could prevent him.  The coroner’s inquest brought in their verdict, and he was buried in a cross road, with a stake drove through him; but ’twas not known who he was.” [155a]

In the ‘Beauties of England and Wales,’ “Purser’s Cross” is said to have been corrupted from “Parson’s Cross,” and the vicinity of Parson’s Green is mentioned in support of the conjecture.  However, that Purser, and not Percy Cross, has been for many years the usual mode of writing the name of this locality is established by the ‘Annual Register’ for 1781, where the following remarkable coincidence is mentioned:—

“Died, 30th December, 1780, at Purser’s Cross, Fulham, Mrs. Elizabeth and Mrs. Frances Turberville, in the seventy-seventh year of their ages, of ancient and respectable west country family; they were twin sisters, and both died unmarried.  What adds to the singularity of this circumstance, they were both born the same day, never were known to live separate, died within a few days of each other, and were interred on the same day.”

Park House presents a fac-simile of an old mansion which stood precisely on the same site, and was known as Quibus Hall, a name, as is conjectured, bestowed upon it in consequence of some dispute respecting possession between the coheirs of Sir Michael Wharton, who died about 1725. [155b]  When rebuilt by Mr. Holland for the late Mr. Powell, it was called High Elms House, and was for some time occupied as a school, conducted by the Rev. p. 156Thomas Bowen, who published in 1798 ‘Thoughts on the Necessity of Moral Discipline in Prisons.’  After Mr. Bowen’s death in the following year, his widow, with the assistance of the Rev. Joshua Ruddock, carried on the establishment until 1825, since which time Park House became the occasional residence of Mr. Powell, of Quex, in the Isle of Thanet, until his death in 1849.  A cottage opposite (formerly “Brunswick Cottage”) was called “Rosamond’s Bower,” during the time the late Mr. Crofton Croker lived in it (1837–46).

In a privately printed description of this cottage, when the residence of Mr. Croker, of which but a very few copies were distributed to his friends, Mr. Croker himself writes:—

“In what, it may be asked, originates the romantic name of ‘Rosamond’s Bower?’  A question I shall endeavour to answer.  The curious reader will find from Lysons’ ‘Environs of London’ (II. 359), that the manor of Rosamonds is an estate near Parson’s Green, in the Old Rosamond’s Bower and Park House, from a Sketch made
about 1750 p. 157parish of Fulham.  Lysons adds, ‘the site of the mansion belonging to this estate, now (1795) rented by a gardener, is said, by tradition, to have been a palace of Fair Rosamond.’  There seems to be, however, no foundation beyond the name for this tradition, and it is unnoticed by Faulkner in his ‘History of Fulham,’ published in 1813.  He merely mentions, adjoining High Elms, or Park House, an old dwelling, which ‘ancient house,’ continues Faulkner, ‘appears to be of the age of Elizabeth, and is commonly called Rosamond’s Bower.’  This ‘ancient house’ was taken down by Mr. Powell, in the year 1826, and the present stables of Park House are built upon the site.  But I have recently learned that the name of ‘Rosamond’s Dairy’ is still attached to an old house probably built between two and three hundred years, which stands a little way back from the high-road at the north-west corner of Parson’s Green.

“I have always felt with Dr. Johnson that relics are venerable things, and are only not to be worshipped.  When, therefore, I took my cottage, in 1837, and was told that the oak staircase in it had belonged to the veritable ‘Rosamond’s Bower,’ and was the only relic of it that existed; and when I found that the name had no longer a precise ‘local habitation’ in Fulham, I ventured, purely from motives of respect for the memory of the past, and not from any affectation of romance, to revive an ancient parochial name which had been suffered to die out, ‘like the snuff of a candle.’  In changing its precise situation, in transferring it from one side of Parson’s Green Lane to the other, a distance, however, not fifty yards from the original site, I trust when called upon to show cause for the transfer, to be reasonably supported by the history of the old oak staircase.  Indeed I may here venture to assert that the change of name from ‘Brunswick Cottage,’—so was ‘Rosamond’s Bower’ called when I took it,—and the assumption of that name, if contrasted with the name changing and name travelling fashion of the district, is a proceeding in which I am fully borne out by numerous precedents.

“Miss Edgeworth, in her reply, dated 31st January, 1840, to the letter of a juvenile correspondent (then nine years of age) inquires, ‘Is Rosamond’s Bower a real name?’  And I well remember the gestures and even some of the jests which the omnibus passengers made when ‘Rosamond’s Bower’ was first painted upon the stone caps of the gate piers, such as Father Prout’s ‘Rosy-man’s Bower near the White Sheaf’ (Wheatsheaf).  But the novelty wore off in a week or p. 158two, and the name has long since ceased to be an object of speculation to any but the inquisitive.  For their information I may state, that in the time of Elizabeth all the gardeners’ cottages in this neighbourhood were called bowers.  It was the Saxon term for a room, and, therefore, applied to the dwelling occupied by the labouring class.  And Rosamond, or Rosaman, is said to have been the name of a family of gardeners bestowed upon the district which they had long cultivated—possibly a sobriquet derived from the fame of their roses in times when that flower was a badge of party distinction. . . .  It only remains for me to add, that ‘Rosamond’s Bower’ stands 22 feet back from the high road, and has a small garden or court before it, measuring, exclusive of the stable-yard, 63 feet.  The garden behind the house is of that form called a gore, gradually narrowing from 63 to 22 feet, in a distance of 550 feet or 183 yards—five turns up and down which ‘long walk’ may be reckoned, by exercise meters, ‘a full mile,’ it being 73 yards over and above the distance, an ample allowance for ten short turnings.  Of the old ‘Rosamond’s Bower’ three representations have been preserved; two of these are pen-and-ink sketches by Mr. Doherty, made about the middle of the last century, one of which is an authority for the name of Pershouse Cross.  The third view appears in a well-executed aquatint plate of ‘Fulham Park School taken from the Play Ground.’

“The foundation of the present ‘Rosamond’s Bower,’ judging from the brickwork on the south side, and the thickness of the walls, is probably as old as the time of Elizabeth—I mean the original building which consisted of two rooms, one above the other, 12 feet square, and 7 feet in height.  On the north side of this primitive dwelling was a deep draw-well.  Subsequently two similar rooms were attached, one of which (the present hall) was built over the well, and two attics were raised upon this very simple structure, thus increasing the number of rooms from two to six.  Then a kitchen was built (the present dining-room), and another room over it (the present drawing-room), at the back of the original building, which thus from a labourer’s hut assumed the air of an eight-roomed cottage.  It was then discovered that the rooms were of very small dimensions, and it was considered necessary to enlarge four of them by the additional space to be gained from bay windows in the dining-room, drawing-room, blue bedchamber, and dressing-room.  But the spirit of improvement seldom rests content, and when it was found that the p. 159kitchen, which looked upon the garden, was a more agreeable sitting-room, both as to aspect and quiet, than the more ancient and smaller room which looked upon the road, it was determined to create another attachment on the north side, by building a kitchen of still larger dimensions, with a scullery and storeroom behind, to replace the old scullery and out-offices by a spacious staircase, and over this new kitchen to place a room of corresponding size, or equal to that of the two bedrooms upon the same line of building.  Thus in 1826 did ‘Rosamond’s Bower’ become a cottage of ten rooms; and as it was soon afterwards presumed from the march of luxury that no one could live in a decade cottage without requiring a coachhouse and stable, an excellent one was built not far from the north side, making the third, though not the last, addition in that direction.

“Parva domus! nemorosa quies,
Sis tu quoque nostris hospitium laribus
Subsidium diu: postes tuas Flora ornet
Pomonaque mensas.”


“It is much more difficult to describe the garden of Rosamond’s Bower than its shape.  I may, however, mention that by means of a sunk fence [159] and a wen-like excrescence upon the original gore, made in the Spring of 1842, the extensive meadow of Park House, with the piece of water which adorns it, appear to belong to my residence so completely, that so far as the eye questions the matter, ‘I am monarch of all I survey.’  Distant View of ‘Rosamond’s Bower’ from the
adjoining Meadow The first lawn of the garden rejoices in two very remarkable trees, one a standard Ayrshire rose, rising ten feet in height from a stem ten inches in circumference, and from which, during sunny June, ‘every breeze, of red rose leaves brings down a p. 160crimson rain.’ [160]  The other a weeping ash of singularly beautiful proportions.  It has been trained, or rather restrained, to the measurement of fifty-six feet in circumference, the stem being two feet round, and the branches shooting out at the height of five feet with incredible luxuriance.  Under its branches I had the pleasure of seeing no less than thirty-eight friends sit down to breakfast on the 22nd June, 1842; and Gunter, who laid covers for forty-four, assured me, that another arrangement with circular tables, made for the purpose, would have comfortably accommodated sixty.  A miniature shrubbery, not in height, but in breadth, intervenes between the first lawn and the flower garden, where, in the centre of beds, stands the ‘Baylis Vase’—a memorial, I sincerely trust, of a more enduring friendship.  Miss Aikin’s question—but a very long acquaintance with that lady’s fame warrants me here writing ‘Lucy Aikin’s question—to me, one evening while walking down the garden, whether that urn had been placed over the remains of any favourite, was the occasion of the following lines being painted on it:—

Think not that here was placed this urn
To mark a spot o’er which to mourn.
Should tender thoughts awake a tear
For fading flowers or waning year,
Remember that another spring,
Fresh flowers and brighter hopes will bring.

Two elevated strawberry beds, facetiously termed ‘twin strawberry hills,’ rear themselves between the vase and the back lawn, the further corners of which are respectively protected from wheelbarrow intrusion by an Irish Quern and a Capsular Stone, venerated in Irish tradition—the former a remarkably perfect, the latter an exceedingly compact specimen, having on one side a double, and on the other a single hollow. . . .  The remaining points of interest in my garden may be noticed in a very few words.  It gradually decreases in breadth, and is fenced off on one side from the garden of a very kind neighbour (which contains two of the finest walnut trees in the parish) by an oak paling partially covered with broad, or Irish, and embellished by the picturesque narrow-leaved ivy.

“On the other side a trim hedge, kept breast high, which runs beside ‘the long walk,’ separates it from the extensive meadow of p. 161Park House, and at the termination the following inscription from one of Herrick’s poems has been placed—

      Thine own dear grounds,
Not envying others larger bounds,
For well thou knowest ’tis not the extent
Of land makes life, but sweet content.

“The garden produces plenty of strawberries, an abundance of raspberries, and generally a good crop of apples and pears, but few vegetables; the cultivation, except of asparagus (of which there are two excellent beds), having been abandoned, as the bird monopoly of peas, caused every shilling’s worth that came to table to cost five, and the ingenuity of the slugs and snails having completely baffled all amateur gardening schemes of defence against their slimy invasions.  Rustic bench Among many experiments I may mention one.  Some vegetables were protected by a circumvallum of salt; but, notwithstanding, the slugs and snails contrived to pass this supposed deadly line of demarcation by fixing themselves on dry leaves which they could easily lift, and thus they wriggled safely over it.  My greatest enjoyment in the garden has been derived from a rustic bench at the north side of the shrubbery, through the back and arms of which a honeysuckle has luxuriantly interlaced itself; there, particularly when recovering from illness, I have sat, and have found, or fancied, that pain was soothed, and depressed spirits greatly elevated, by the monotonous tone of the bees around me.”

The pamphlet from which the above has been taken then enters into a minute description of the curiosities, pictures, &c., collected by Mr. Croker at ‘Rosamond’s Bower,’ which it is unnecessary further to refer to; indeed, although intended for private circulation only, it was not completed, as Mr. Croker was led to believe it might appear but an egotistical description of an unimportant house.

The following particulars, connected with Thomas p. 162Moore’s visit to ‘Rosamond’s Bower,’ may prove interesting:—

On the 6th October, 1838, Moore wrote to Mr. Crofton Croker as follows:—

“Many thanks for your wish to have me at Rosamond’s Bower, even though I was unlucky enough not to profit by that wish—some other time, however, you must, for my sake, try again; and I shall then be most ready for a rummage of your Irish treasures.  Already, indeed, I have been drawing a little upon your ‘Researches in the South of Ireland;’ and should be very glad to have more books of yours to pilfer.

“Yours, my dear Mr. Croker,
“Very truly,
Thomas Moore.”

On the 18th November, 1841, Major-General (then Colonel) Sir Charles O’Donnell lunched at Rosamond’s Bower; before luncheon Mr. Croker happened to point out to him the passage in the preface of the fourth volume of Moore’s Works, p. xxxv, in which the poet says—

“With the melody entitled, ‘Love, Valour, and Wit,’ an incident is connected, which awakened feelings in me of proud, but sad pleasure, to think that my songs had reached the hearts of some of the descendants of those great Irish families, who found themselves forced, in the dark days of persecution, to seek in other lands a refuge from the shame and ruin of their own;—those whose story I have associated with one of their country’s most characteristic airs:—

‘Ye Blakes and O’Donnells, whose fathers resign’d
The green hills of their youth, among strangers to find
That repose which at home they had sigh’d for in vain.’

“From a foreign lady, of this ancient extraction,—whose names, could I venture to mention them, would lend to the incident an additional Irish charm,—I received about two years since, through the hands of a gentleman to whom it had been intrusted, a large portfolio, adorned inside with a beautiful drawing representing Love, Wit, and Valour, as described in the song.  In the border that surrounds the drawing p. 163are introduced the favourite emblems of Erin, the harp, the shamrock, the mitred head of St. Patrick, together with scrolls containing each, inscribed in letters of gold, the name of some favourite melody of the fair artist.

“This present was accompanied by the following letter from the lady herself—”

It is unnecessary to quote this letter, but the gentleman alluded to was Sir Charles O’Donnell, who had brought the parcel from the Continent, and being about to proceed to Canada, and personally unacquainted with Moore, requested Mr. Croker to get it safely delivered; who took the present opportunity of pointing out to Sir Charles this public acknowledgment that his commission had been executed.

They had not been at luncheon many minutes when Mr. Moore was announced, and appeared to be no less pleased at meeting Sir Charles O’Donnell, than the latter was at being introduced to Moore.

A few days afterwards, Mr. Croker received the following note from Mr. Moore:—

November 24, 1841.

Dear Croker,

“I was obliged to leave London much sooner than I originally intended, and thus lost the opportunity of paying you another visit. . . .  My next visit to London will, I hope, be sufficiently free from other avocations to allow me to devote a good deal of time to the examination of your various treasures.  Pray give my kind remembrances to Mrs. Croker.—I constantly think of my great good luck in lighting by chance on so agreeable a dinner-party that day.  The only drawback was, that it spoiled me—both mentally and physically speaking—for the dinner that followed.

“Yours very truly,
Thomas Moore.”

The name of Moore was subsequently cut by Mr. Croker on the back of a chair which the poet occupied during this p. 164visit.  It produced the following epigram by the Rev. Francis Mahony (Father Prout):—

“This is to tell o’ days
   When on this Cathedra,
He of the Melodies
   Solemnly sat, agrah!”

Mr. Thomas James Bell, the next tenant of ‘Rosamond’s Bower,’ altered the name to ‘Audley Cottage,’ which it now bears, and the agreeable associations connected with the former title are in the recollection of many who may be unaware of the change, and may regret the substitution of a name, for which there appears to have been very little reason.

Parson’s Green Lane continues from Rosamond’s Bower to Parson’s Green.  It is for the most part composed of small cottages.  On the left-hand corner of the Green is the ‘White Horse’ public-house, the sign of which was, some few years ago supported by the quaint piece of iron-work shown in the annexed cut.  It is now altered.

Iron-work sign and White Horse Public-House

East End House, on the east side of the Green, next the p. 165pond, was originally built by Sir Francis Child, who was Lord Mayor of London, in 1699.  It was afterwards the residence of Admiral Sir Charles Wager; and Dr. Ekins, Dean of Carlisle, died here 20th November, 1791.  The house was subsequently modernized by the late John Powell, and became the residence of Mrs. Fitzherbert, who erected the porch in front of the house as a shelter for carriages.  Here the Prince of Wales (afterwards George IV.) was a frequent visitor.  Piccolomini lived here for a short time lately.

The celebrated Sir Thomas Bodley lived at Parson’s Green from 1605 to 1609.  The old mansion at the west side of the Green was formerly the Rectory House, and is traditionally reported to have been the residence of Adoniram Byfield, the noted Presbyterian Chaplain to Colonel Cholmondeley’s regiment in the Earl of Essex’s army, who took so prominent a part in Cromwellian politics, that he became immortalized in Hudibras.  The Rectory House An old stone building is noticed by Bowack in 1705, as adjoining this house, and presumed by him to be of three or four hundred years’ standing, and in all probability a chapel for the rectors and their domestics.  This building was pulled down, according to Lysons, about the p. 166year 1742, and the house is now divided into two, that at the corner being occupied by Dr. Lauman’s Academy.  At the south-west side of the Green is the old entrance to Peterborough House, a residence with the recollections of which the names of Locke, Swift, Pope, Gay, Prior, and a crowd of others are associated.

The present Peterborough House, which is a little beyond the old brick gateway, was built by Mr. J. Meyrick, who died there in 1801.  Ho was the father of Sir Samuel Meyrick the well-known antiquary.  Ho purchased the house, in 1794, of R. Heavyside, Esq., and pulled down the old mansion that stood close to the site of the ancient maze, which became converted into a lawn at the rear of the modern house.  The place was originally Old Gate of Peterborough House termed Brightwells, or Rightwells, and here, in 1569, died John Tarnworth, Esq., one of Elizabeth’s privy counsellors, who lies buried at Fulham.

Brightwells afterwards belonged to Sir Thomas Knolles, p. 167who, in 1603, sold it to Sir Thomas Smith, who had been secretary to the unfortunate Earl of Essex, and became, under James I., Clerk of the Council, Latin Secretary, and Master of the Requests; and here he died in 1609, and was buried in the chancel of Fulham Church, where a handsome monument is erected to his memory.  After Sir Thomas Smith’s death, his widow married the first Earl of Exeter, and continued to reside at Brightwells until her death, in 1633.  Sir Thomas Smith’s only daughter having married the Honourable Thomas Carey, the Earl of Monmouth’s second son, he became possessed of the estate in right of his wife, and after him the place was called Villa Carey, which has led to the belief that old Peterborough House was built by him.  It stood facing the pond on Parson’s Green, and at about the same distance from the road as the present house.  Francis Cleyne, who came over to England in the reign of Charles I., was certainly employed to decorate the rooms.  Mr. Carey died about 1635; and his widow, about five years afterwards, married Sir Edward Herbert, Attorney-General to King Charles.  Sir Edward was a firm loyalist, and resided at Parson’s Green till the death of his royal master, when he accompanied Charles II. in his exile, who created him Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, and he died abroad in 1657.  His estate was ordered to be sold with the estates of other loyalists in 1653, but the sale does not appear to have taken place, as Villa Carey, in 1660, was in the possession of Lord Mordaunt, who had married the daughter and heiress of Mr. Carey.  Lord Clarendon bears honourable testimony to the daring spirit and devoted zeal p. 168in the royal cause evinced by this “young gentleman,” and to the no less chivalric conduct of his charming bride.

“He was,” says the historian, “of great vigour of mind, and newly married to a young and beautiful lady of a very loyal spirit and notable vivacity of wit and humour, who concurred with him in all honourable dedications of himself.”

When her husband was arrested and brought to trial in 1658, as a partizan of Charles II., by her contrivance one of the principal witnesses against him was kept out of the way, and his judges, being divided in their opinion of his guilt, he was acquitted only by the casting vote of the President, the notorious John Lisle, who had sat upon the trial of Charles I., by whom he was addressed in the following remarkable strain:—

“And I have now to speak to you Mr. Mordaunt: God hath appeared in justice, and God doth appear in mercy, as the Lord is just to them, so the Lord is exceeding merciful to you, and I may say to you that God appears to you at this time, as he speaks to sinners in Jesus Christ, for Sir, he doth clear sinners in Christ Jesus even when they are guilty, and so God cleareth you.  I will not say you are guilty, but ask your own conscience whether you are or no.  Sir, bless God as long as you live, and bless my Lord Protector, by whose authority you are cleared.  Sir, I speak no more, but I beseech you to speak to God.”

The very active part which Lord Mordaunt had taken in effecting the restoration of Charles II., in which service, according to his epitaph, he “encountered a thousand dangers, provoking and also defeating the rage of Cromwell,” was not rewarded by any extraordinary marks of distinction or favour, and he seems after that event to have quietly resided on his estate at Parson’s Green, where he died in the forty-eighth year of his age, p. 169on the 5th June, 1675, and was buried in Fulham Church.  The son of Lord Mordaunt, who afterwards received the title of Earl of Peterborough, married first, Carey, daughter to Sir Alexander Fraser, of Dover.  His second wife was the accomplished singer Anastasia Robinson, who survived him.  The earl was visited at Peterborough House by all the wits and literati of his time.  Bowack, in 1706, describes the gardens of Peterborough House, as containing twenty acres of ground, and mentions a tulip-tree seventy-six feet in height, and five feet nine inches in girth.  Swift, in one of his letters, speaks of Lord Peterborough’s gardens as the finest he had ever seen about London.

On the same side of the Green as Peterborough House, stood the residence of Samuel Richardson, who removed to Parson’s Green from North End in 1755, and in this house his second wife, who survived him, died in November, 1773, aged seventy-seven.  Formerly the same house belonged to Sir Edward Saunders, Lord Chief Justice of the King’s Bench in 1682.  A sketch of the house will be found in Chambers’ Cyclopædia of English Literature.  Drury Lodge, situated on the King’s Road adjoining Parson’s Green, and immediately opposite the Malt House, formerly known as Ivy Cottage, was built by Walsh Porter in the Gothic style, and is now the residence of Mr. E. T. Smith, who has called the house after his theatre.  The name of the lane which runs down by the side of Drury Lodge has, however, not been altered to Drury Lane, but still retains its old title of Broom Lane.

It is said that on the site of what is now called Drury p. 170Lodge, was formerly a house, the residence of Oliver Cromwell, which was called the Old Red Ivy House.  Part of the old walls of that building form the west side of the present cottage.

Proceeding forward from Purser’s Cross on the main Fulham Road, where St. Peter’s Villa may be noticed as the residence of Madame Garcia in 1842, about a quarter of a mile brings us to Munster House, which is supposed to owe its name to Melesina Schulenberg, created by George II., in 1716, Duchess of Munster.  Munster house (1844) According to Faulkner, it was also called Mustow House—this was not improbably the duchess’s pronunciation; and he adds that tradition makes it a hunting-seat of Charles II., and asserts that an extensive park was attached to it; but Faulkner also tells us that Munster House “was during the greater part of the seventeenth century, the residence and property of Sir William Powell, Bart., who founded the almshouses.”  How, after this statement, Mr. Faulkner could have admitted the tradition, requires some explanation, as he seems to have followed, without acknowledgment, the particulars supplied to Lysons from authentic documents by Mr. Deere, of the Auditor’s Office, who appears merely to have informed p. 171that gentleman, that among the title-deeds of this property there is one of Sir Edward Powell’s, dated 1640, and that Sir William Powell’s will bears date 1680.  According to the same unquestionable records, Munster House came from the Powells into the possession of Sir John Williams, Bart., of Pengethly, Monmouthshire.

In 1795, Lysons says that Munster House was “occupied as a school.”  Faulkner, in 1813, states that it was “in the occupation of M. Sampayo, a Portuguese merchant.”  And his successor in the tenancy was John Wilson Croker, Esq., M.P., then secretary of the Admiralty, and afterwards the Right Hon. Mr. Croker, [171] a gentleman who brilliantly retired into private life, but whose character is so well known, and has been so often discussed in political and literary circles, that I shall only venture to remark the local coincidence of three indefatigable secretaries of the Admiralty, during the most critical periods of England’s history—namely, Sir Philip Stevens, Sir Evan Nepean, and Mr. Croker—having selected the quietude of Fulham as the most convenient and attractive position in the neighbourhood of London, where they might momentarily relax from the arduous strain of official duties.

Marble bust

About 1820, Mr. Croker resigned Munster House as a residence, after having externally decorated it with various Cockney embattlements of brick, and collected there many curious works of art, possibly with a view of reconstruction.  p. 172In the garden were two marble busts, one of which is figured on previous page.  The other a female head, not unlike that of Queen Anne.

There was also a fragment of a group, representing a woman with a child at her side, obviously the decoration of a fountain, and a rustic stone seat, conjectured to have been the bed of a formidable piece of ordnance.

Woman and child—Rustic stone seat

A recent tenant of Munster House, the Rev. Stephen Reid Cattley, who is known to the reading public as the editor of an issue of Fox’s ‘Book of Martyrs,’ was unacquainted with the history of the relics in the garden, and can only remember the removal of two composition lions from the gate-piers of Munster House,—not placed there, it must be observed, by Mr. Croker, but which had the popular effect, for some time, of changing the name to Monster House.  It is now a Lunatic Asylum.  Opposite Munster House is Dancer’s extensive garden for the supply of the London market, by the side of which a road runs leading by a turning on the left direct back to Parson’s Green, or if the straight road is kept, the King’s Road is reached opposite Osborn’s Nursery; adjoining which p. 173nursery is Churchfield House, the residence of Dr. Burchell the African traveller.

Fulham Lodge Fulham Lodge stood on the opposite, or south side, of the road from Munster House, on the ground immediately beyond Munster Terrace, which was built a short time prior to its demolition.  This cottage, for it was no more, was a favourite retirement of the late Duke of York.  An affecting story is told by George Colman the younger, connected with his own feelings while on a visit here.  He had lost sight of an old college friend, the Rev. Robert Lowth, son of the Bishop of London, from the year 1781 to 1822 (one and forty years!), when Colman was surprised and pleased by the receipt of the following letter, written and left upon his table by a gentleman who had called when he was not at home:—

August 16, 1822.

Dear Colman,—It may be some five-and-thirty years since we met, and I believe as near forty years as may be since I was promoted from my garret, No. 3 Peckwater, into your ci-devant rooms in the old Quad, on which occasion I bought your things.  Of all your household furniture I possess but one article, which I removed with myself to my first house and castle in Essex, as a very befitting parsonage sideboard, viz., a mahogany table, with two side drawers, and which still ‘does the state some service,’ though not of plate.  But I have an article of yours on a smaller scale, a certain little flat mahogany box, furnished partially, I should say, with cakes of paint, which probably you p. 174over-looked, or undervalued as a vade-mecum, and left.  And, as an exemplification of the great vanity of over-anxious care, and the safe preservation per contra, in which an article may possibly be found without any care at all, that paint-box is still in statu quo, at this present writing, having run the gauntlet, not merely of my bachelor days, but of the practical cruelties of my thirteen children, all alive and merry, thank God! albeit as unused and as little disposed to preserve their own playthings or chattels from damage as children usually are, yet it survives!  ‘The reason why I cannot tell,’ unless I kept it ‘for the dangers it had passed.’

“Though I have been well acquainted with you publicly nearly ever since our Christ Church days, our habits, pursuits, and callings, having cast us into different countries and tracts, we have not, I think met since the date I speak of.  I have a house at Chiswick, where I rather think this nine-lived box is, and, whether it is or no, I shall be very glad if you will give me a call to dine, and take a bed, if convenient to you; and if I cannot introduce you to your old acquaintance and recollections, I shall have great pleasure in substituting new ones,—Mrs. Lowth and eleven of our baker’s dozen of olive-branches, our present complement in the house department, my eldest boy being in the West Indies, and my third having returned to the military college last Saturday, his vacation furlough having expired.  As the summer begins to borrow now and then an autumn evening, the sooner you will favour me with your company the surer you will be of finding me at Grove House, the expiration of other holidays being the usual signal for weighing anchor and shifting our moorings to parsonage point.  I remember you, or David Curson, had among your phrases, quondam, one of anything being ‘d---d summerly;’ I trust, however, having since tasted the delights of the sweet shady side of Pall Mall, that you have worn out that prejudice, and will catch the season before it flies us, or give me a line, naming no distant day, that I may not be elsewhere when you call, and you will much oblige, yours sincerely,

Robert Lowth.”

“P.S.—In your address to me you must not name Chiswick, but Grove House, Turnham Green, as otherwise it goes into another postman’s walk, who walks it back again to the office, and it does not reach me, per Turnham Green, peripatetic, till the next day, which is toute autre chose.”

p. 175Colman seems to have been sincerely delighted at the receipt of this letter; he answered it immediately, expressing to his old friend how much he had gratified him, and how readily he accepted the invitation.

“After refreshing my friend’s memory,” says Colman, “by touching on some particulars which have already been mentioned, I informed him that I was of late years in the habit of suburban rustication, and that I had passed a considerable part of my summers in a house where I was intimate at Fulham, whither I desired him to direct to me, as much nearer Chiswick than my own abode, being within a few hundred yards of his old family residence, where we last parted.  Whenever I was at this place, I told him the avenue and bishop’s walk by the river side, the public precincts of the moated episcopal domain, had become my favourite morning and evening lounge.  I told him, indeed, merely the fact, omitting all commentary attached to it, for often had I then, and oftener have I since, in a solitary stroll down the avenue, thought of him, regretting the wide chasm in our intercourse, and musing upon human events.”

There is a regret expressed by Colman that he kept no copy of his answer, “which,” he adds, “was written in the ‘flow of soul,’ and at the impulse of the moment?”  Mr. Lowth wrote in reply to Colman, detailing in a most amusing manner his having, in the pursuit of two Cockneys, who had made an attack upon a grove of Orleans plum-trees in his grounds, taken cold, which confined him to his room.

“But for this inter poculum et labra,” continued Mr. Lowth, “it was my intention to have made you my first post restante, with, perhaps, a walk down the old avenue, in my way to town, that identical day; and, still hoping to accomplish three miles and back, I have hoped from day to day, but I cannot get in travelling condition, even for so short a journey.  Therefore I hope you will send me word by my new Yorkshire groom lad, that you will take pot-luck with me on Sunday as the most likely day for you to suburbise.”

p. 176Colman accepted the invitation, believing from the length of Mr. Lowth’s letter (three pages), and the playfulness of his old friend’s communication, that nothing more than an ordinary cold was the matter with him.  A note, however, which followed from one of Mr. Lowth’s daughters, stated that the meeting proposed by her father must be postponed, that he “had become extremely unwell, that bleeding and cupping had been prescribed,” and the most perfect quiet enjoined.

On the day after the receipt of this note, Colman sent over to Grove House, Chiswick, to make inquiries as to Mr. Lowth’s health, when the reply given by an elderly female at the gate, after considerable delay, was that “her master was no more.”

A letter from Dr. Badeley to Colman, dated 22d August, 1822, confirmed the melancholy intelligence, which he had at first hesitated to believe.  It stated that “the decease of Mr. Lowth took place on Sunday evening,” the very evening appointed by him for their anticipated happy reunion; and that his remains were to be interred in the family vault at Fulham on Monday morning at ten o’clock.

“I continued,” said Colman, “at Fulham Lodge, which is nearer in a direct line to the church than to the Bishop’s Palace and the ‘old avenue.’  On Monday the adjacent steeple gave early notice of the approaching funeral; religion and sorrow mingled within me while the slow and mournful tolling of the bell smote upon my heart.  Selfish feelings, too, though secondary, might now and then obtrude, for they are implanted in our nature.  My departed friend was about my own age: we had entered the field nearly at the same time; we had fought, indeed, our chief battles asunder, but in our younger days he had been my comrade, close to me in the ranks: he had fallen, and my own turn might speedily follow.”

p. 177These are the ideas which George Colman the younger records as having passed through his mind while an inmate of Fulham Lodge:—

“My walk next morning,” he says, “was to the sepulchre of the Lowths, to indulge in the mournful satisfaction of viewing the depository of my poor friend’s remains.  It stands in the churchyard, a few paces from the eastern end of the ancient church at Fulham.  The surrounding earth, trampled by recent footsteps, and a slab of marble which had been evidently taken out and replaced in the side of the tomb, too plainly presented traces of those rites, which had been performed on the previous day.  For several mornings I repeated my walk thither, and no summer has since glided away, except the last, when my sojournment at Fulham was suspended, without my visiting the spot and heaving a sigh to the memory of Robert Lowth.”

Theodore Hook’s manuscript Diary contains the following entries with reference to visits made by him at Fulham Lodge:—

“2nd January, 1826.—Called.  Mrs. Carey’s luncheon.

“Thursday, 5th January.—Drove over to Fulham.  Mrs. Carey’s din.  Colman, Harris, Mrs. G.  Good hits.  Mrs. Coutts, ‘Julius Cæsar,’ &c.  Stayed very late, and walked home.”

Fulham Park Road is now where Fulham Lodge stood, and the ground is partly built on, the rest is to be let for building.

This walk is exactly three miles and a half from Hyde Park Corner; and what an Irishman would call the iron mile-stone stood exactly opposite to Ivy Lodge, until placed against the brick wall immediately beyond the railings.

Ivy Lodge was for some years the residence of Rudolph Ackermann, a name, as a printseller, known (it is not p. 178using too broad a word to say) throughout the world, and whose representatives still carry on this business in Regent Street.

Ackermann was a remarkable man.  He was born in 1764, at Stollberg, near Schneeberg, in Saxony; and, having been bred a coach-builder, upon visiting England shortly before the French Revolution, found employment as a carriage-draughtsman, which led to his forming the acquaintance of artists, and becoming a print-publisher in London.  The French refugees, whose necessities obliged them to exercise their acquirements and talents as a means of support, found in Mr. Ackermann’s shop a repository for the exhibition and sale of decorative articles, which elevated this branch of business to an importance that it had never before assumed in England.  Ackermann’s name stands prominently forward in the early history of gas and lithography in England, and he must be remembered as the introducer of a species of illustrated periodicals, by the publication of the ‘Forget-Me-Not;’ to which, or to similar works, nearly every honoured contemporary name in the whole circle of British literature have contributed, and which have produced a certain, but advantageously a questionable, influence upon the Fine Arts.

After the battle of Leipzig, Mr. Ackermann publicly advocated the cause of the starving population of many districts of Germany, in consequence of the calamities of war, with so much zeal and success, that a parliamentary grant of £100,000 was more than doubled by a public subscription.  In the spring of 1830, when residing at Ivy Lodge, he experienced a sudden attack of paralysis; and a p. 179change of air was recommended by his medical attendants.  This led to Mr. Ackermann’s removal to Finchley, where he died on the 30th of March, 1834.

Having now arrived at Fulham, we will in the next chapter accompany the reader in a walk through that ancient village.

The Entrance to Fulham (1844)

p. 180CHAPTER V.


In Faulkner’s ‘History of Fulham’ we learn that the earliest mention of that village occurs in a grant of the manor by Tyrhtilus Bishop of Hereford, to Erkenwald Bishop of London, and his successors, about the year 691; in which grant it is called Fulanham.  Camden in his ‘Britannia’ calls it Fulham, and derives its name from the Saxon word Fulanham, Volucrum Domus, the habitation of birds or place of fowls.  Norden agrees with Camden, and adds, “It may also be taken for Volucrum Amnis, or the river of fowl; for Ham also in many places signifies Amnis, a river, but it is most probable it should be of land fowl, which usually haunt groves and clusters of trees, whereof in this place it seemeth hath been plenty.”  In Somner’s and Lye’s Saxon dictionaries it is called Fulanham, or Foulham, supposed from the dirtiness of the place.  The earliest historical event relating to Fulham, is the arrival of the Danes there in the year 879.  On the right hand side as we enter the village stands Holcrofts’ Hall (formerly Holcrofts’) built about 1708, which is worthy of mention as belonging to John Laurie, Esq., and as having been p. 181the residence of Sir John Burgoyne, where he gave some clever dramatic performances, distinguished not only for the considerable talent displayed by the actors, but remarkable for the scenery and machinery, considering the limited space, the whole of which was superintended by the Honourable Mr. Wrottesley, son of Lord Wrottesley, who afterwards married Miss Burgoyne, an admirable amateur actress: here it was that the celebrated Madame Vestris died, on the 8th August, 1856, in her 59th year.  During the time she lived there it was called Gore Lodge.  The house has been since tenanted for a short time by Mr. Charles Mathews and his present wife.  Holcroft’s Priory, which is opposite, was built upon the site of Claybrooke House, mentioned by Faulkner.  In the back lane (Burlington Road) Fulham Almshouses are situated, opposite to Burlington House, formerly Roy’s well-known academy, on the ground attached to which is now a Reformatory School, built about four years ago.  This lane leads to the termination of the King’s Road by the Ship Tavern.  The Almshouses were originally built and endowed by Sir W. Powell, Bart., and were rebuilt in 1793.  The old workhouse (built 1774) still stands on the left-hand side of the High Street.  It has been in a dilapidated condition for many years, and is about to be pulled down.  The Fulham and Hammersmith Union is now in Fulham Fields.  Cipriani lived in a house adjoining the workhouse.  Further on in Fulham High Street is the Golden Lion Inn.  There is a tradition that Bishop Bonner resided in the Old Golden Lion, and that it had a subterranean communication with the palace.  The late Mr. Crofton Croker p. 182read the following paper at the meeting of the British Archæological Association at Warwick in 1847:—

On the probability of the Golden Lion Inn, at Fulham, having been frequented by Shakespeare about the years 1595 and 1596.

It is certainly extraordinary that of the personal history of a man whose writings are of so high an order of genius that they may almost be considered as works of inspiration, we should know so little, and that conjecture should have to supply so much, as in the biography of William Shakespeare.

Pilgrims as are we at this moment to the birth-place and the tomb of the highest name in the literature of this country, we all feel that we now tread the classic ground of England—ground too rich in unquestionable memories of Shakespeare, to admit of any feeling of jealousy in an attempt to connect his fame by circumstantial evidence with any other locality.  I therefore venture to call attention to the two following entries in the parish records of Fulham, a village in the county of Middlesex, on the Thames, about four miles west of London, and where the Bishop of London has a seat.

In an assessment made on the 12th October, 1625, for the relief of the poor of Fulham side, John Florio, Esq., was rated at six shillings, for his house in Fulham Street.

And in the same assessment upon the “Northend” of the parish, the name of Robert Burbage occurs.

Meagre as this appears to be, and wide of the date at which I aim by thirty years, it is all that I can produce in the shape of novel documentary evidence for an attempt to connect the name of Shakespeare with Fulham; the other points which I have to offer in evidence being admitted facts, although no result has been deduced from them.

In the High Street of Fulham stands a cleanly-looking brick house, square in form and newly built, called the Golden Lion, where any suburban traveller requiring refreshment may be supplied with a mug of excellent ale and bread and cheese, in a parlour having a sanded floor, the room, it must be confessed, smelling rather strongly of tobacco smoke:—

“You may break, you may ruin the vase if you will—
But the scent of the roses will hang round it still;”—

p. 183And so it is, to my mind, with the tobacco smoke of the Golden Lion, which stands upon the site of an old hostelry, or inn, of the Tudor age, which was pulled down in April, 1836, and was described soon afterwards in the ‘Gentleman’s Magazine.’  While the work of destruction Ancient tobacco pipe was going on, a tobacco pipe of ancient and foreign fashion was found behind the old wainscot.  The stem was a crooked shoot of bamboo, through which a hole had been bored, and a brass ornamental termination (of an Elizabethan pattern) formed the head of the pipe.—Why may not this have been the pipe of that Bishop of London who had risen into Elizabeth’s favour by attending Mary on the scaffold at Fotheringay, and who, having fallen into disgrace in consequence of a second marriage at an advanced period of his life, sought, we are told, in the retirement of his house at Fulham, “to lose his sorrow in a mist of smoke,”—and actually died there suddenly on the 15th June, 1596, “while sitting in his chair and smoking tobacco?”

Could this have been the tobacco pipe produced at “Crowner’s ’quest” assembled at the Golden Lion to inquire into the cause of his lordship’s sudden death?  It is not even impossible that it may have been produced there by his son, John Fletcher, whose name is associated with that of Francis Beaumont in our literature.

Mr. Charles Knight has set the example of an imaginary biography of Shakespeare, and has brought many probable and some improbable things together on the subject.—Why, then, has he overlooked the Golden Lion in Fulham?  The name of John Fletcher naturally leads to this question.  At the time of his father’s death, he was in his twentieth year; and who will doubt that, at that period of his life, his father’s (the Bishop’s) house was his home.  That he may have resorted to the Golden Lion, and there have met with Shakespeare, is, therefore, quite as probable as that our great dramatist associated with Fletcher at the Falcon or the Mermaid, if good cause can only be shown for Shakespeare’s having had as much reason to frequent Fulham as the Bank-side—or Borough of London.

p. 184I have already stated that Florio’s house was assessed for the poor-rate in Fulham Street, on the 12th October, 1625, the year of Florio’s death; and be it remembered that Florio was the translator of Montaigne’s Essays, of which a copy of the original edition, bearing Shakespeare’s very rare autograph, was not very long since purchased by the British Museum, at what was considered to be a very large price.  When the genuineness of that autograph was keenly discussed among antiquaries, and the probable date at which the ‘Tempest’ was written, became a question, no one presumed to deny that the coincidences between the passage in the 2nd Act of the ‘Tempest’ where Gonzalo says—

“I’ the commonwealth I would by contraries
Execute all things; for no kind of traffic
Would I admit; no name of magistrate;
Letters should not be known: riches, poverty,
And use of service, none: contract, succession;
Bourn, bound of land, tilth, vineyard, none;
No use of metal, corn or wine or oil;
No occupation; all men idle, all;
And women too; but innocent and pure:
No Sovereignty:”—

is but an echo of the following in Florio’s translation of Montaigne:—

—“It is a nation, would I answer Plato, that hath no kind of traffic, no knowledge of letters, no intelligence of numbers, no name of magistrate, nor of politic superiority; no use of service, of riches, or of poverty; no contracts, no successions; no occupation, but idle, no respect of kindred but common; no apparel, but natural; no manuring of lands, no use of wine, corn, or metal,” etc.


There are other coincidences also, free from the very great difficulty of reconciling satisfactorily printed dates with an imaginary career—which coincidences are too remarkable to have escaped the host of ingenious commentators upon the supposed sources of Shakespeare’s information—of his observation what shall I say?

The coincidence between passages in Daniel’s “Civil Warres,” published in 1595, and passages in Shakespeare’s Richard II., induce Mr. Charles Knight to observe that “We”—thereby meaning himself—“have looked at this poem with some care, and we cannot avoid coming to the conclusion that, with reference to parts of the conduct of the story, and in a few modes of expression, each of which differs from the general narrative and the particular language of the chroniclers, there are similarities betwixt Shakespeare and Daniel which p. 185would lead to the conclusion either that the poem of Daniel was known to Shakespeare, or the play of Shakespeare was known to Daniel.”

This position is, indeed, established by Mr. Knight, who arrives satisfactorily enough for his own conclusion, that of fixing the date of the composition of Shakespeare’s play to 1597; adding, candidly enough, that “the exact date is really of very little importance; and we should not have dwelt upon it had it not been pleasant to trace resemblances between contemporary poets, who were themselves personal friends.”

Now, with regard to dates, and the disputed dates of the composition of the ‘Tempest,’ it is important to ascertain who John Florio and Samuel Daniel were.

We know that Florio was the Italian scholar of his day, and the Court favourite.  We know that Daniel, whose name is now scarcely popularly remembered, was helped into the office of poet-laureat by his connection with Florio as his brother-in-law, by Florio’s recommendations to be the successor of “that poor poet, Edmund Spenser.”  Here, at once, by admitting Shakespeare’s personal intimacy with Florio and Daniel, with his knowledge of their writings, there can be no question; and supposing that he had seen Florio’s translation of Montaigne in MS., much difficulty about dates is got rid of, and we can account for Shakespeare’s acquaintance with Italian literature.

And allow me to add to this the fact noticed by Mr. Collier, in his memoirs of the principal actors in the plays of Shakespeare, printed for the Shakespeare Society, that Shakespeare’s fellow-player, Henry Condell, did some time sojourn at Fulham; for a tract printed in 1625, entitled ‘The Runaway’s Answer to a book “A Rod for Runaways,”’ in reply to a pamphlet published by Decker, is inscribed “to our much respected and very worthy friend, Mr. H. Condell, at his country house at Fulham.”  Again, couple with the name of Condell that of Burbadge, in 1625, at Fulham; is not the association most extraordinary, although there is no further agreement in the Christian name than the first letter, Robert being that in the Fulham assessment of poor-rates, Richard that of Shakespeare’s fellow-actor.  The family name of Burbadge, however, belongs not to Middlesex, but to Warwickshire.  Alas! for the credit sake of ‘Robert Burbadge, of Northend, Fulham,’ in the place in the poor-rate assessment of 1625, where the sum should have been inserted, there is a blank; although twenty-two of his neighbours at North End are contributors of sums varying from 6s. 8d. to 1s.

Joshua Sylvester, who was born in 1563 or 1564, and died in 1618, p. 186thus describes the village of North End, Fulham, where his uncle Plumbe resided, and he (Sylvester) formed the attachment which is the subject of his poem:—

I was wont (for my disport)
Often in the summer season,
To a Village to resort
Famous for the rathe ripe peason,
Where beneath a Plumb-tree shade
Many pleasant walks I made.

And Norden, whom we consider as the father of English topography, dates the address “to all courteous gentlemen,” prefixed to his account of Middlesex and Hertfordshire, from his “poore home, near Fulham, 4th November, 1596.”

Here, then, we have a mass of facts, which render it impossible for us to doubt that the Golden Lion, Fulham, must have been, according to the custom of the times, frequented by Florio and his brother-in-law Daniel; by Fletcher; by Henry Condell, Shakespeare’s fellow-player; by some one of the name of Burbadge; by Joshua Sylvester, and John Norden, about the years 1595 and 1596.  Is there not, then, every reasonable presumption that our immortal Shakespeare was also a member of this clique?

Fireplaces in the old Golden Lion

On the pulling down of the Old Inn by Mr. Powell, the panelling was purchased by Mr. Street, of Brewer Street, and p. 187was afterwards sold to Lord Ellenborough, for the fitting up of his Lordship’s residence, Southam House, Cheltenham.

Fulham High Street, which extends from the London Road to Church Row, appears to have been denominated Bear Street, and is called in the more ancient parish books Fulham Street.  The direct approach to Fulham Church is by Church Row, which branches off to the right of the High Street.  On the left of the churchyard entrance is the Vicarage.  The present vicar is the Rev. R. G. Baker.  Opposite the vicarage is a piece of ground, which was consecrated in 1843 by Bishop Blomfield, who is buried there.  Upon this recent addition to the burial-ground formerly stood Miss Batsford’s seminary for young gentlemen.  There are several curious old monuments in the church, which have been described and engraved by Faulkner, to whose work the curious reader may be referred.  In the churchyard are the tombs and monuments of several of the old bishops of London—Compton, Robinson, Hayter, Gibson, Terrick, Lowth, Sherlock, and Randolph.

The grave of that distinguished author and brilliant wit, Theodore Hook, is immediately opposite the chancel window.  The stone bears the plain inscription “Theodore Edward Hook, died 24th August, 1841, in the fifty-third year of his age.”

Old entrance to Pryor’s Bank, 1844 [188b]

Leaving the church by the other entrance, we are in Church Lane.  The first house opposite the gate of the churchyard is Pryor’s Bank, to which a separate chapter of our little volume is devoted, so that we can pass on immediately to the next house, Thames Bank, the present residence of Mr. Baylis, whose well-known p. 188taste will no doubt soon change its present aspect.  Granville Sharp’s [188a] House stood opposite.  It was pulled down about twenty-five years ago.  John’s Place (erected 1844) is on the site.

Next to Thames Bank, formerly stood Egmont Villa, the residence of Theodore Hook, and the house in which he died, now pulled down, the back of which, is shown in the annexed sketch.  This house, though of the smallest dimensions, was fitted up with much good taste.  Back of Egmont Villa There was a small boudoir on the side of the drawing-room, which was very rich in articles of virtù, more especially in some remarkably fine carvings, attributed to Cellini, Brustolini, and others.  These were left to Hook by his brother, the late Dean of Worcester.  p. 189As an improvisatore, Hook was unapproachable.  In regard to his literary merits, let the following suffice, taken from the late Mr. Barham’s life of Hook, published in 1848:—

“There can be no need,” says the Editor, “at this day to enter upon any lengthened criticism of Theodore Hook’s merits as a novelist; they have been discussed over and over again, with little variety of opinion, by every reviewer of the kingdom.  Indeed, both his faults and his excellencies lie on the surface, and are obvious and patent to the most superficial reader; his fables, for the most part ill knit and insufficient, disappoint as they are unfolded; repetitions and omissions are frequent: in short, a general want of care and finish is observable throughout, which must be attributed to the hurry in which he was compelled to write, arising from the multiplicity and distracting nature of his engagements.  His tendency to caricature was innate; but even this would probably have been in a great measure repressed, had he allowed himself sufficient time for correction: while, on the contrary, in detached scenes, which sprang up as pictures in his mind, replete with comic circumstance, in brilliant dialogue and portraiture of character, not to mention those flashes of sound wisdom with which ever and anon his pages are lighted up, his wit and genius had fair play, revelling and rioting in fun, and achieving on the spur of the moment those lasting triumphs which cast into the shade the minor and mechanical blemishes to which we have adverted.”

Hook was a successful dramatist, and an extensive journalist.  Of his novels, ‘Gilbert Gurney’ may be considered to be the most remarkable.

Hook’s furniture was sold by George Robins, in September, 1841.  In 1855 the aqueduct was erected by the Chelsea Water Works Company, for conveying the water from Kingston-upon-Thames to the metropolis, and it was necessary that the contractor, Mr. Brotherhood, should get possession of Egmont Villa, to enable them to erect the p. 190tower on the Fulham side.  Here the piles and timbers of the old Bishop’s Ferry, used for the conveyance of passengers across the river from Putney to Fulham, before the old bridge was built, were discovered.  It was subsequently considered desirable to pull the villa down; and there now remains no trace of the house in which Hook lived and died, and which stood within a few paces of his grave.  Bowack mentions that Robert Limpany, Esq., “whose estate was so considerable in the parish that he was commonly called the Lord of Fulham,” resided in a neat house in Church Lane.  He died at the age of ninety-four.  Beyond the Pryor’s Bank on the right, is the Bishop’s Walk, which runs along the side of the Thames for some little distance, and from hence a view of the Bishop’s Palace is obtained.  This palace has been from a very early period the summer residence of the Bishops of London.  The land consists of about 37 acres, and the whole is surrounded by a moat, over which are two bridges.

Following the course of the Bishop’s Walk, we come to the road leading to Craven Cottage, originally built by the Margravine of Anspach, when Countess of Craven, and since altered and improved by Walsh Porter, who occasionally resided in it till his death in 1809.  Craven Cottage was considered the prettiest specimen of cottage architecture then existing.  The three principal reception-rooms were equally remarkable for their structure, as well as their furniture.  The centre, or principal saloon, supported by large palm-trees of considerable size, exceedingly well executed, with their drooping foliage at the top, supporting the cornice and architraves of the room.  The other p. 191decorations were in corresponding taste.  The furniture comprised a lion’s skin for a hearth-rug, for a sofa the back of a tiger, the supports of the tables in most instances were four twisted serpents or hydras: in fact, the whole of the decorations of the room were of a character perfectly unique and uniform in their style.  This room led to a large Gothic dining-room of very considerable dimensions, and on the front of the former apartment was a very large oval rustic balcony, opposed to which was a large, half-circular library, that became more celebrated afterwards as the room in which the highly-gifted and talented author of ‘Pelham’ wrote some of his most celebrated works.

Craven Cottage was the residence of the Right Hon. Sir E. Bulwer-Lytton, from whom it passed to Mr. Baylis, now of Thames Bank, who parted with it to Sir Ralph Howard, its present occupant, who removed the door shown in the annexed cut, through which the library is seen.

Door of Egyptian Hall at Craven Cottage

Returning to Church Lane, we come out at the bridge, p. 192built in 1729, and close to which is Willow Bank, the late residence of Mr. Delafield and General Conyers.  The Ferry belonged to the See of London, and it was necessary that the consent of the Bishops should be had, for the erection of the bridge and consequent destruction of their Ferry; it was, therefore, stipulated for the right of themselves, their families, and all their dependents, that they should pass over the bridge toll free, which right exists at the present time; and passengers are often very much astonished at hearing the exclamation of “Bishop!” shouted out by the stentorian lungs of bricklayers, carpenters, or others, who may be going to the palace, that being the pass-word for the privilege of going over.  The architect of the bridge was the eminent surgeon, W. Cheselden, who died in 1752, and is buried in the graveyard attached to Chelsea Hospital.  His tomb is close to the railings of the new road, leading from Sloane Street to the Suspension Bridge at Chelsea.  Cheselden was for many years, surgeon of Chelsea Hospital.

The Swan Tavern

Standing by the Ferry is the Swan Tavern, a p. 193characteristic old house, with a garden attached, looking on to the river, and scarcely altered in any of its features since Chatelaine published his views of “The most agreeable Prospects near London,” about 1740.  It is a good specimen of a waterside inn, and appears to have been erected about the time of William III.

At the foot of the bridge is ‘The Eight Bells’ public-house, where the Fulham omnibuses leave for London.

Approach to Putney Bridge

Bridge Street brings us to the point at which we turned off at the termination of the High Street, and on the right-hand side as we look towards London is Church Street (formerly Windsor Street, according to Faulkner), leading up to the Ship Tavern, and thence into the King’s Road.

The Charity School is in Church Street.  This building was erected in 1811.

Retracing our steps towards London, we come to the George at Walham Green, which turns off to the left.  The church stands on the right hand side.  Opposite Walham House, near the church, is North End Lodge, the residence p. 194of the late Mr. Albert Smith, and where he died on the 23rd May, 1860.  As novelist, dramatist, and lecturer, he had achieved considerable reputation; and his unexpected death, at the early age of forty-four, brought to a sudden close the most popular monologue entertainment of this, or of any, time.  Mr. Smith was an amusing writer and a most genial companion, and was ever ready to assist a professional brother in the hour of need.  Against the brick wall, close to the gate of North End Lodge, is a slab with the inscription “From Hyde Park Corner, 3 miles 17 yards.”  We are now in North End, where there are many houses of interest which deserve attention; we will therefore go out of the direct road and return to London by way of North End.


north end.

North End may be described as a series of residences on each side the lane, more than a mile in length, which runs from the church at Walham Green to the main road from Kensington to Hammersmith.  There were but few houses in it when Faulkner published his map in 1813.  Market gardens were on both sides the road, and the gardeners cottagers were very old.  Panelled Door The panelled door, here represented, was fitted to one of them, and evidently was fashioned in the seventeenth century.  The celebrated bookseller, Jacob Tonson, lived for some time at North End.  At York Cottage, which is on the right hand side of the road, about a quarter of a mile from the church, resided for many years Mr. J. B. Pyne, the landscape painter.  At a short distance beyond, the road from Old Brompton crosses into Fulham Fields.  Here, at one corner, is a house (Hermitage Lodge) which was originally constructed as stables to the residence of p. 196Foote, the dramatist and comedian, [196] which still stands on the opposite side of the road leading to Brompton, and where he lived for many years, expending large sums upon its improvement.  It is now called “The Hermitage,” and is completely surrounded by a large garden enclosed by high walls.

Hermitage Lodge (1844) and The Hermitage

Exactly opposite to this house, in the angle of the road, stands an old house in a moderate-sized garden (Cambridge Lodge).  Francis Bartolozzi, the celebrated engraver, who arrived in England in 1764, came to reside here in 1777.  He was born at Florence in 1730, and died at Lisbon in 1813.  His son, Gaetano Bartolozzi, father to the late Madame Vestris, was born in 1757, and died August 25th, 1813.  Passing up the road, beside market gardens, is the old garden wall of Normand House, with some curious brick gates (now closed in): the house is very old; the p. 197date, 1661, is in the centre arch, over the principal gateway, and it is said to have been used as a hospital for persons recovering from the Great Plague in 1665.  Bartolozzi’s House Sir E. Bulwer Lytton has resided here.  In 1813 “it was appropriated for the reception of insane ladies” (Faulkner), and it is now a lunatic asylum for ladies, with the name of “Talfourd” on a brass plate.  A little further on the road, out of which we have turned, is a cottage to the right named Wentworth Cottage.  Here Mr. and Mrs. S. C. Hall once resided.  The willow in front of the cottage was planted by them from a slip of that over the grave of Napoleon at St. Helena.  The land opposite this cottage is now to be let on building lease.  This district, now known as “Fulham Fields,” was formerly called “No Man’s Land,” and according to Faulkner, the local historian, contained, in 1813, “about six houses.”  One of these was “an ancient house, once the residence of the family of Plumbe,” which was pulled down about twenty-three years ago, and replaced by a cluster of dwellings for the labourers in the surrounding market gardens, which extend from Walham Green nearly to the Thames in a north-west direction; “the North End Road,” as it is called, forming the eastern boundary of “Fulham Fields.”  To establish p. 198the connection of Sylvester’s lines, quoted in the late Mr. Crofton Croker’s Paper on the “Golden Lion,” with this locality, the antiquary who pointed it out observed that—

“Our poet had an uncle named William Plumbe, who resided at North End, Fulham, having married the widow of John Gresham, the second son of Sir John Gresham, who was Lord Mayor of London in 1547, and which lady was the only daughter and heir of Edward Dormer of Fulham.  Here it was, while visiting his uncle, that Sylvester formed the attachment which is the subject of his poem (see the folio edition of his works, 1621).  Uncle Plumbe had been a widower; and from monuments which exist, or existed, in the parish church of Fulham, appears to have departed this life on the 9th February, 1593–4, aged sixty.  In the previous May, his widow had lost her son Edmund (or Edward) Gresham, at the age of sixteen; and seriously touched by the rapid proofs of mortality within her house, from which the hand of death had within twelve months removed both a husband and a child, made preparations for her own demise by recording her intention to repose beside their remains: and to her husband’s memory she raised, in Fulham Church, a monument ‘of alabaster, inlaid and ornamented with various-coloured marble,’ leaving a space after her name for the insertion of the date of her death and age, which appear never to have been supplied.”

The arms of “Dormer, impaled with Gresham,” we are told remain, “those of Plumbe are gone.”  Sylvester’s “Triumph of Faith” is consecrated “to the grateful memory of the first kind fosterer of our tender Muses, by my never sufficiently honoured dear uncle, W. Plumb, Esq.”  It is not our intention to linger over the recollections connected with the age of Elizabeth in Fulham Fields or at North End, although there can be no doubt that a little research might bring some curious local particulars to light connected with the history of the literature, the drama, and the fine arts of that period,

p. 199The gardens here provide the London markets with a large supply of vegetables.  A very primitive form of draw-well was common here, consisting of a pole, balanced horizontally on an upright, the bucket being affixed to a rope at one end.  Draw-well The pole is pulled downward for the bucket to descend the well, and when filled, is raised by the weight of wood attached to the opposite end of the pole.  This mode of raising water is still in use in the East, and Wilkinson, in his ‘Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians,’ Series I. vol. ii. p. 4, has engraved representations of this machine, from paintings on the walls of Thebes, of the time of the Pharaohs.  Cottage in Fulham Fields In “Fulham Fields” are still standing many old cottages, inhabited by market-gardeners.  A sketch, taken in 1844, of one of the best examples then existing, is here given as a specimen.

A little beyond “Wentworth Cottage,” the road branches off, the turning to the right going to Hammersmith, and that to the left leading to Fulham.  Hammersmith was a part of Fulham until 1834, when it was formed into a separate parish by Act of Parliament.

p. 200 Elm House Returning to the lane at North End, immediately beyond Bartolozzi’s house, is an old wall, apparently of the time of Charles II., enclosing a tall peculiar-looking house, now called Elm House, once the residence of Cheeseman the engraver, of whom little is known, except that he was a pupil of Bartolozzi, and lived in Newman Street about thirty years ago.  He is said to have been very fond of music, and having a small independence and less ambition, he was content to engrave but little, and with his violoncello and musical friends, passed a very happy life.

A little further on the opposite side of the road stood Walnut-Tree Cottage (pulled down in 1846), once the residence of Edmund Kean, and also of Copley the artist, which took its name from the tree in the fore-court.  Walnut-Tree Cottage We then come to the North End Sunday and Day Schools, erected in 1857.  The road here curves round by the wall of Kensington Hall, a large mansion on the right, built by Slater, the well-known p. 201butcher of Kensington, and it has been called in consequence Slater’s Mansion.  It is at present a school, kept by Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, but it is to be let or sold.

A little further to the left is Deadman’s Lane.  Here, in the midst of garden grounds, stands a venerable and isolated fabric, which would appear to have been built in the reign of James I.  This lane leads to Hammersmith, but a more agreeable way has been made opposite Edith Villas, called Edith Road.  The land is to be let on building lease; and here once stood the house of Cipriani, the painter.  Cipriani’s House Cipriani was born at Florence, in 1727, and died in London in 1785.  He came to England in 1755; and he was one of the members of the Royal Academy at its foundation in 1769, when he was employed to make the design for the diploma given to Academicians and Associates on their admission, which was engraved by Bartolozzi.  The character and works of this artist are thus described by Fuseli: “The fertility of his invention, the graces of his composition, and the seductive elegance of his forms, were only surpassed by the probity of his character, the simplicity of his manners, and the benevolence of his heart.”  A few plates were engraved by himself after his own designs.

p. 202Another curve of the road brings us to the site of Dr. Crotch’s house, where a row of houses, called Grove Cottages, have been built.  Dr. Crotch’s House Dr. Crotch was, in 1797, at the early age of twenty-two, appointed Professor of Music in the University of Oxford, where he received the degree of Doctor of Music.  In 1822 he was appointed Principal of the Royal Academy of Music.  He performed for the last time in public in 1834 in Westminster Abbey, during the royal festival, and died 20th December, 1847, while sitting at dinner.  Dr. Crotch has composed numerous pieces for the organ and pianoforte, and published, in 1812, ‘Elements of Musical Composition and Thorough Bass,’ and subsequently specimens of various styles of music of all ages.  W. Wynne Ryland, the engraver, lived in this house before Dr. Crotch inhabited it.

Opposite where Dr. Crotch’s house formerly stood, facing a turning which is called on one side Lawn Terrace, on the other Ashton Terrace, is a large brick mansion inhabited by Richardson the novelist before his removal to Parson’s Green.  It is of the period of William III., the appearance of which may be recognized from the annexed sketch.  In the garden was a summer-house, in which the novelist wrote before the family were up, and he afterwards, at the p. 203breakfast table, communicated the progress of his story.  House of Richardson How little the exterior has been altered in the last fifty years, a comparison of this sketch, made in 1844, with the print prefixed to the 4th volume of Richardson’s ‘Correspondence,’ will show at a glance.  Sir Richard Phillips’s print was published by him May 26, 1804.  Then, as now, this mansion was divided into two houses, and the half nearest to the eye was that occupied by the novelist, the other half was the residence of a Mr. Vanderplank, a name which frequently occurs in ‘Richardson’s Correspondence.’  Richardson’s house has been subsequently inhabited by the late Sir William and Lady Boothby, the latter, better known to the public as that charming actress Mrs. Nisbett.  A few extracts from ‘Richardson’s Correspondence’ may here prove interesting.

One of the most romantic incidents in the business-like and hospitable life of Richardson, was his correspondence with, and introduction to Lady Bradshaigh, the wife of a Lancashire Baronet, whom he tried to prevail upon to visit him at North End.  After the appearance of the fourth volume of Clarissa Harlowe, a lady, who signed herself Belfour, wrote to Richardson, stating a report that prevailed, that the history of Clarissa was to terminate in a p. 204most tragical manner, and requesting that her entreaties may avert so dreadful a catastrophe.

This correspondence with Mrs. Belfour commenced in October, 1748; and she thus concludes her letter to the novelist, her ladyship taking care to mystify her identity by giving her address, Post-office, Exeter, although resident at Haigh in Lancashire.  “If you disappoint me,” she writes, “attend to my curse.”

“May the hatred of all the young, beautiful, and virtuous for ever be your portion, and may your eyes never behold anything but age and deformity!  May you meet with applause only from envious old maids, surly bachelors, and tyrannical parents; may you be doomed to the company of such! and after death may their ugly souls haunt you!

“Now make Lovelace and Clarissa unhappy if you dare!

“Perhaps you may think all this proceeds from a giddy girl of sixteen; but know I am past my romantic time of life, though young enough to wish two lovers happy in a married state.  As I myself am in that class, it makes me still more anxious for the lovely pair.  I have a common understanding, and middling judgment, for one of my sex, which I tell you for fear you should not find it out.”

The correspondence thus commenced goes on, until the vanity of Richardson induces him to describe to his unknown correspondent his private circumstances: and to a hint given in the January following by Lady Bradshaigh, of her intention to visit London before she is a year older, when she “shall long to see” Mr. Richardson, and “perhaps may contrive that, though unknown to him,” he replies,—

“But do not, my dear correspondent (still let me call you so) say, that you will see me, unknown to myself, when you come to town.  Permit me to hope, that you will not be personally a stranger to me then.”

p. 205This is followed by an acknowledgment from Madame Belfour, that she is not his “Devonshire lady,” having but very little knowledge of the place, though she has a friend there; observing archly, “Lancashire, if you please;” adding an invitation, if he is inclined to take a journey of two hundred miles, with the promise of “a most friendly reception from two persons, who have great reason to esteem” him “a very valuable acquaintance.”

Richardson responded to this invitation by another—

“But I will readily come into any proposal you shall make, to answer the purpose of your question; and if you will be so cruel as to keep yourself still incognito, will acquiesce.  I wish you would accept of our invitation on your coming to town.  But three little miles from Hyde Park Corner.  I keep no vehicle.”

(This was before the age of omnibuses.)

—“but one should be at yours, and at your dear man’s command, as long as you should both honour us with your presence.  You shall be only the sister, the cousin, the niece—the what you please of my incognito, and I will never address you as other than what you choose to pass for.  If you knew, Madam, you would not question that I am in earnest on this occasion; the less question it, as that at my little habitation near Hammersmith, I have common conveniences, though not splendid ones, to make my offer good.”

Richardson, in the letter from which this passage has been extracted, is again led away by his vanity into a description of his person, and very plainly hints at a meeting in the Park, through which he goes “once or twice a week to” his “little retirement.”  He describes himself as

“Short, rather plump than emaciated, about five foot five inches; fair wig; lightish cloth coat, all black besides; one hand generally in his bosom, the other a cane in it, which he leans upon under the p. 206skirts of his coat usually, that it may imperceptibly serve him as a support, when attacked by sudden tremors or startings and dizziness.” . . . “Of a light-brown complexion; teeth not yet failing him; smoothish faced and ruddy cheeked; at some times looking to be about sixty-five, at other times much younger; a regular even pace, stealing away ground, rather than seeming to get rid of it; a grey eye, too often overclouded by mistiness from the head; by chance lively—very lively it will be if he have hope of seeing a lady whom he loves and honours; his eye always on the ladies”—and so on.

In return to this description, Lady Bradshaigh on the 16th December, 1749, half promises a meeting in an appointed place, for she tells the elderly gentleman with “a grey eye, too often overclouded by mistiness from the head,” but “by chance lively,” “that she will attend the Park every fine warm day, between the hours of one and two.  I do not,” adds this perfect specimen of a literary coquette,

“Say this to put you in the least out of your way, or make you stay a moment longer than your business requires; for a walk in the Park is an excuse she uses for her health; and as she designs staying some months in town, if she misses you one day she may have luck another.”

And Lady Bradshaigh proceeds to present, as if in ridicule of Richardson’s portrait as drawn by himself, her own.

“In surprise or eagerness she is apt to think aloud; and since you have a mind to see her, who has seen the King, I give you the advantage of knowing she is middle aged, middle sized, a degree above plump, brown as an oak wainscot, a good deal of country red in her cheeks: altogether a plain woman, but nothing remarkably forbidding.”

Any one might think that a meeting would immediately have followed these communications, and that the novel-writer and the novel-reader would have presented p. 207themselves to each other’s gaze for admiration, at the time and place appointed, and thus the affair which their letters have left upon record might have been satisfactorily wound up in one volume.  But this did not accord with the sentimental typographical taste of the times, which required the dilution of an idea into seven or eight volumes to make it palatable.  For we are told that a young Cantab, who, when asked if he had read Clarissa, replied, “D---n it, I would not read it through to save my life,” was set down as an incurable dunce.  And that a lady reading to her maid, whilst she curled her hair, the seventh volume of Clarissa, the poor girl let fall such a shower of tears that they wetted her mistress’s head so much, she had to send her out of the room to compose herself.  Upon the maid being asked the cause of her grief, she said, “Oh, madam, to see such goodness and innocence in such distress,” and her lady rewarded her with a crown for the answer.

January the 9th (1749–50) has arrived—the tantalizing Lady Bradshaigh, the unknown Mrs. Belfour has been in London six weeks, and the novelist begins “not to know what to think” of his fair correspondent’s wish to see him.  “May be so,” he writes,

“But with such a desire to be in town three weeks; on the 16th December to be in sight of my dwelling, and three weeks more to elapse, yet I neither to see or hear of the lady; it cannot be that she has so strong a desire.”

Let any one imagine the ridiculousness of the situation of “dear, good, excellent Mr. Richardson” at this time.  He had, he confesses,

“Such a desire to see one who had seen the King, that” (he speaking p. 208of himself, says) “though prevented by indisposition from going to my little retirement on the Saturday, that I had the pleasure of your letter, I went into the Park on Sunday (it being a very fine day) in hopes of seeing such a lady as you describe, contenting myself with dining as I walked, on a sea biscuit which I had put in my pocket, my family at home, all the time, knowing not what was become of me.—A Quixotte!

“Last Saturday, being a fine warm day, in my way to North End, I walked backwards and forwards in the Mall, till past your friend’s time of being there (she preparing, possibly, for the Court, being Twelfth Night!) and I again was disappointed.”

On the 28th January, nineteen days after this was written, Lady Bradshaigh, in a letter full of satirical banter, which, however, it may be questionable if Richardson did not receive as replete with the highest compliments to his genius, says,

“Indeed, Sir, I resolved, if ever I came to town, to find out your haunts, if possible, and I have not ‘said anything that is not,’ nor am at all naughty in this respect, for I give you my word, endeavours have not been wanting.  You never go to public places.  I knew not where to look for you (without making myself known) except in the Park, which place I have frequented most warm days.  Once I fancied I met you; I gave a sort of a fluttering start, and surprised my company; but presently recollected you would not deceive me by appearing in a grey, instead of a whitish coat; besides the cane was wanting, otherwise I might have supposed you in mourning.”

Could anything exceed this touch about “a grey, instead of a whitish coat,” except the finishing one of the “mole upon your left cheek?”

“To be sure on the Saturday you mention, I was dressing for court, as you supposed, and have never been in the Park upon a Sunday; but you cannot be sure that I have not seen you.  How came I to know that you have a mole upon your left cheek?  But not to make myself appear more knowing than I am, I’ll tell you, Sir, that I have only seen you in effigy, in company with your Clarissa at Mr. Highmore’s, where I design making you another visit shortly.”

p. 209All this and much more is followed by a most tantalizing and puzzling P.S. to poor Richardson.  His fair, or rather “brown as an oak-wainscot, with a good deal-of-country-red in her cheeks” correspondent, requests him “to direct only to C. L., and enclose it to Miss J., to be left at Mrs. G.’s” etc. etc., previously observing that, “whenever there happens to be a fine Saturday I shall look for you in the Park, that being the day on which I suppose you are called that way.”

Roused into desperation, Richardson on the 2nd February writes to Mrs. Belfour as follows:—

“What pains does my unkind correspondent take to conceal herself!  Loveless thought himself at liberty to change names without Act of Parliament.  I wish, madam, that Lovelace—‘A sad dog,’ said a certain lady once, ‘why was he made so wicked, yet so agreeable?’

“Disappointed and chagrined as I was on Friday night with the return of my letter, directed to Miss J---, rejected and refused to be taken in at Mrs. G---’s, and with my servant’s bringing me word that the little book I sent on Thursday night, with a note in it, was also rejected; and the porter (whom I have never since seen or heard of, nor of the book) dismissed with an assurance that he must be wrong; my servant being sent from one Mrs. G--- to another Mrs. G--- at Millbank; yet I resolved to try my fortune on Saturday in the Park in my way to North End.  The day indeed, thought I, is not promising; but where so great an earnestness is professed, and the lady possibly by this time made acquainted with the disappointment she has given me, who knows but she will be carried in a chair to the Park, to make me amends, and there reveal herself?  Three different chairs at different views saw I.  My hope, therefore, not so very much out of the way; but in none of them the lady I wished to see.  Up the Mall walked I, down the Mall, and up again, in my way to North End.  O this dear Will-o’-wisp, thought I! when nearest, furthest off!  Why should I, at this time of life?  No bad story, the consecrated rose, say what she will: and all the spiteful things I could think of I muttered to myself.  And how, Madam, can I banish them from my memory, p. 210when I see you so very careful to conceal yourself; when I see you so very apprehensive of my curiosity, and so very little confiding in my generosity?  O Madam! you know me not! you will not know me!

“Yesterday, at North End, your billet, apologizing for the disappointment was given me.  Lud! lud! what a giddy appearance! thought I.  O that I had half the life, the spirit! of anything worth remembering I could make memorandums.

“Shall I say all I thought?  I will not.  But if these at last reach your hands, take them as written, as they were, by Friday night, and believe me to be,

“Your admirer and humble Servant,
S. Richardson.”

Sir Walter Scott says, that “the power of Richardson’s painting of his deeper scenes of tragedy has never been, and probably never will be, excelled;” and in Mrs. Inchbald’s ‘Life of Richardson,’ we read, that “as a writer he possessed original genius, and an unlimited command over the tender passions.”  He carried on a foreign literary correspondence, and was on terms of intimacy with many eminent and literary persons of his time, particularly Dr. Young, Dr. Johnson, Aaron Hill, and Arthur Onslow, Esq., Speaker of the House of Commons.

A short distance further on, we enter the Hammersmith Road, opposite a tavern called “The Bell and Anchor,” which stands beside the turnpike, and passing about twenty shops on the left towards Hammersmith, we notice in the fore-court of a house called “The Cedars,” two noble cedar trees of immense girth, one of which is represented in the accompanying cut.  This was formerly the residence of Sir James Branscomb, who, according to Faulkner, “in his early days had been a servant to the Earl of Gainsborough, p. 211and afterwards, for upwards of forty years, carried on a lottery office in Holborn.  He was a common-councilman of the Ward of Farringdon Without, and received the honour of knighthood during his shrievalty.”  The house has been a ladies’ boarding-school for many years.  From the Kensington Road we can return direct to London, having in this chapter departed from our even course on the Fulham Road for the purpose of visiting the North End district.

Tree in the fore-court of “The Cedars”


the pryor’s bank, fulham.

Nestling in trees beneath the old tower of Fulham Church, which has been judiciously restored by Mr. George Godwin, there may be seen from Putney Bridge a remarkable group of houses, the most conspicuous of which will be conjectured from a passing glance to belong to the Gothic tribe.  This house, which has been a pet kind of place of the Strawberry Hill class, is called the Pryor’s Bank, and its history can be told in much less than one hundredth part of the space that a mere catalogue of the objects of interest which it has contained would occupy.  In fact, the whole edifice, from the kitchen to the bedrooms, was a few years since a museum, arranged with a view to pictorial effect; and if it had been called “The Museum of British Antiquities” it would have been found worthy of the name.

In a print, published about forty years since, by J. Edington, 64 Gracechurch Street, of Fulham Church, as seen from the river, the ancient aspect of the modern Pryor’s Bank is preserved.  Fulham Church The situation of this humble p. 213residence having attracted the fancy of Mr. Walsh Porter, he purchased it, raised the building by an additional story, replaced its latticed casements by windows of coloured glass, and fitted the interior with grotesque embellishments and theatrical decorations.  The entrance hall was called the robber’s cave, for it was constructed of material made to look like large projecting rocks, with a winding staircase, and mysterious in-and-out passages.  Vine Cottage One of the bed-rooms was called, not inaptly, the lion’s den.  The dining-room represented, on a small scale, the ruins of Tintern Abbey; and here Mr. Porter had frequently the honour of receiving and entertaining George IV., when Prince of Wales.  It was then called Vine Cottage, [213] and having been disposed p. 214of by Mr. Porter, became, in 1813, the residence of Lady Hawarden; and, subsequently, of William Holmes, Esq., M.P., who sold it to Mr. Baylis and Mr. Lechmere Whitmore about 1834.

By them a luxurious vine which covered the exterior was cut down, and the cottage, named after it, replaced by a modern antique house.  Mr. Baylis being a zealous antiquary, his good taste induced him to respect neglected things, when remarkable as works of art, and inspired him and his friend Mr. Whitmore with the wish to collect and preserve some of the many fine specimens of ancient manufacture that had found their way into this country from the Continent, as well as to rescue from destruction relics of Old England.  In the monuments and carvings which had been removed from dilapidated churches, and in the furniture which had been turned out of the noble mansions of England—the “Halls” and “old Places”—Mr. Baylis saw the tangible records of the history of his country; and, desirous of upholding such memorials, he gleaned a rich harvest from the lumber of brokers’ shops, and saved from oblivion articles illustrative of various tastes and periods, that were daily in the course of macadamisation or of being consumed for firewood.

The materials thus acquired were freely used by him in the construction of a new building upon the site of Vine Cottage, and adapted with considerable skill; but when neither the vine nor the cottage were in existence, it appeared to Mr. Baylis ridiculous to allow a misnomer to attach itself to the spot.  After due deliberation, therefore, respecting the situation upon a delightful bank of gravel, p. 215and the association which an assemblage of ecclesiastic carvings and objects connected with “monkish memories,” there collected, were likely to produce upon the mind, the new house was styled the “Pryor’s Bank.”

As Horace Walpole’s villa was celebrated by the Earl of Bath, so the charms of the Pryor’s Bank have been sung in “the last new ballad on the Fulham regatta”—a jeu d’esprit circulated at an entertainment given by the hospitable owners in 1843:—

“Strawberry Hill has pass’d away,
Every house must have its day;
So in antiquarian rank
Up sprung here the Pryor’s Bank,
Full of glorious tapestry,—
Full as well as house can be:
And of carvings old and quaint,
Relics of some mitr’d saint,
’Tis—I hate to be perfidious—
’Tis a house most sacrilegious.

“Glorious, glowing painted glass,
What its beauty can surpass?
Shrines bedeck’d with gems we see,
Overhung by canopy
Of embroider’d curtains rare—
Wondrous works of time and care!
Up stairs, down stairs, in the hall,
There is something great or small
To attract the curious eye
Into it to rudely pry.

“Here some niche or cabinet
Full of rarities is set;
Here some picture—‘precious bit’—
There’s no time to dwell on it;
Bronzes, china—all present
Each their own sweet blandishment.
p. 216But what makes our pleasure here,
Is our welcome and our cheer;
So I’ll not say one bit more,—
Long live Baylis and Whitmore!”

I would endeavour to convey some idea of the Pryor’s Bank and its now dispersed treasures as they were in 1840, in which year we will suppose the reader to accompany us through the house and grounds; but before entering the house, I would call attention to a quiet walk along the garden-terrace, laved to its verdant slope by the brimming Thames.  Terrace at Pryor’s Bank Suppose, then, we leave those beautiful climbing plants—they are Chilian creepers that so profusely wanton on the sunny wall—and turning sharply round an angle of the river front, cut at once, by the most direct walk, the parties who in luxurious idleness have assembled about the garden fountain; and, lest such folk should attempt to interrupt us in our sober purpose, let us not stop to see or admire anything, until we reach the bay-window summer-house at the end of the terrace.  “How magnificent are those chestnut-trees!” I hear you exclaim; “and this old bay-window!”

p. 217Ay, this summer-house which shelters us, and those noble balusters which protect the northern termination of the terrace, how many thoughts do they conjure up in the mind!  Fountain at Pryor’s Bank These balusters belonged to the main staircase of Winchester House.  Do you remember Winchester House in Broad Street, in the good city of London, the residence of “the loyal Paulets?”  Perhaps not.  There is, however, a print of its last appearance in the ‘Gentleman’s Magazine’ for April, 1839, and by which you will at once identify this summer-house as the bay-window of the principal apartment.  Indeed the editor tells you that “the greater part of the remaining ornamental wood-work has been purchased by Thomas Baylis, Esq., F.S.A., who is fitting up with it the kitchen and some of the new rooms of his house, Pryor’s Bank, Fulham.”

It is stated in the same magazine, that in 1828 the motto of the Paulets, Aymes Loyaulte, was to be seen in the windows of the principal apartment on the first floor, in yellow letters, disposed in diagonal stripes; which motto, it is added, “was probably put there by the loyal Marquis of Winchester, in the time of Charles I., by whom the p. 218same sentence was inscribed in every window of his residence at Basing House, in Hants, which he so gallantly defended against the Parliamentarians.” [218]

Now, is it not more probable that the recollection of this motto in the windows of his paternal mansion, conveyed through the medium of coloured glass, indelibly stamped by sunshine (or daguerreotyped, as we might term it) upon the youthful mind of the gallant marquis those feelings of devoted loyalty which influenced his after conduct, and led him to inscribe with the point of his diamond ring the same motto upon the windows of Basing House?  Turn Buckle Be this as it may, it is gratifying to know that many of the panes of glass which bore that glorious yellow letter motto in Winchester House, at the period when it was doomed to be taken down, are preserved, having been with good taste presented to the present Marquis of Winchester; and two or three which were overlooked have come into the possession of Lord Adolphus Fitzclarence.  But much of the diamond-shaped glass in this bay-window, as it stood upon the terrace of the Pryor’s Bank, was ancient, and very curious.  You could not fail to remark the quaint window-latch, termed “a Turn Buckle.”

p. 219Had we time to linger here, how amusing it might be to attempt to decipher the monograms, and names, and verses inscribed upon the various lozenge-shaped panes of glass, which practically exemplified the phrase of “diamond cut diamond.”

The fragments of the old Royal Exchange, with a Burmese cross-legged idol perched thereon—the urn to the memory of “Poor Banquo;” the green-house, with its billiard-table, and even an alcove, the most charming spot in “the wide world” to talk sentiment in, must not detain us from returning to another angle of the river front, after Alcove: and Angle of the River Front glancing at which, we enter the outer hall or passage, wainscoted with oak and lined above with arras, separated from the inner hall by an oak screen, which was p. 220usually guarded upon gala nights by most respectable “Beef-eaters,” who required the production of invitation Inner Hall with oak screen cards from all visitors.  They permit us to pass without question; and that is a very proper example for you to follow, and a good reason why you should not question me too closely:—

      “Do you think that I
Came here to be the Pryor’s Bank directory?”

You must use your own eyes, and judge for yourself.  I will tell you, however, all that I know as briefly as possible, and point out whatever occurs to me in our scamper, for a scamper it can only be termed: just such a kind of run as a person makes through London who has come up by railroad to see all its wonders in a week.  But I cannot allow you to examine so closely that curiously p. 221carved oak chimney-piece in the inner hall, although I admit that it may be as early as Henry VIII.’s time, and those interesting old portraits.  Where shall we begin?  You wish to inspect everything.  Suppose, then, we commence with the kitchen, and steam it up-stairs to the dormitories, going at the rate of a high-pressure engine.

You are already aware that the kitchen was panelled with oak from the drawing-room of Winchester House, and now you see the whole style of fitting-up accords with that of “bygone days.”  Look, for instance, towards the kitchen window, and you will find that the various cupboards, presses and dressers—even the cooking utensils—correspond; but, although modern improvements have not been lost sight of, antique forms have been retained.  Let one example suffice, that of an ancient gridiron, of beautiful and elaborate workmanship.

Kitchen Window: and Ancient Gridiron

The history of the plates and dishes displayed in this p. 222kitchen would afford an opportunity for a dissertation on the rise and progress of the fine arts in this country, as they present most curious and important specimens of early drawing, painting, and poetry.  The old English plate was a square piece of wood, which indeed is not quite obsolete at the present hour.  The improvement upon this primitive plate was a circular platter, with a raised edge; but there were also thin, circular, flat plates of beech-wood in use for the dessert or confection, and they were gilt and painted upon one side, and inscribed with pious, or instructive, or amorous mottoes, suited to the taste of the society in which they were produced.  Such circular plates are now well known to antiquaries under the name of “roundels,” and were at one time generally supposed by them to have been used as cards for fortune-telling, or playing with at questions and answers.  More sober research into their origin and use shows that they were painted and decorated with conventional patterns by nuns, who left blank spaces for the mottoes, to be supplied by the more learned monks; and a set of these roundels generally consisted of twelve.  As specimens of the style of these mottoes about the time of Henry VII. or VIII. the following may be taken:—

“Wheresoever thou traveleste,
   Este, Weste, Northe, or Southe,
Learne never to looke
   A geven horsse in the mouthe.”

“In friends ther ys flattery,
   In men lyttell trust,
Thoughe fayre they proffer
   They be offten unjuste.”

There are many sets of verses for roundels extant in p. 223manuscript, and a few have been printed; indeed, it appears likely that to the love for this species of composition we owe Tusser’s “Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry,” and most of his other admonitory verses.

After the Reformation, coloured prints superseded the painted and manuscript “poesies” of the nuns and monks, and the elder De Passe, and other artists of the period of James I. and Charles I., produced a variety of oval and circular engravings, which were pasted upon roundels and varnished over.  The subjects generally selected were those which naturally arranged themselves into a set of twelve, as the months.  By the Puritans the beechen roundels thus decorated were regarded with especial dislike, and they returned to the use of the unadorned trencher and “godly platter.”  When the “Merry Monarch” was restored he brought over with him from Holland plates and dishes manufactured at Delft, where the porcelain known as Faenza, Faience, Majolica, and Fynlina ware, made during the fifteenth century in the North of Italy, and upon the embellishments of which, according to Lamartinière, the pencils of Raffaelle, Giulio Romano, and the Caracci, were employed, had been successfully, although coarsely imitated.  And it must be confessed that many of the old Dutch plates, dishes, and bowls, upon the kitchen-shelves of the Pryor’s Bank, deserved to be admired for boldness of design, effective combinations of colour, and the manual dexterity displayed in the execution of the patterns.  The superior delicacy of the porcelain of China, which about this time began to be imported freely into England from the East caused it to p. 224be preferred to the “Dutch ware,” and the consequence of international commerce was, that the Chinese imitated European devices and patterns upon their porcelain, probably with the view of rendering the article more acceptable in the Dutch and English markets.  But while the Chinese were imitating us, we were copying their style of art in the potteries of Staffordshire, with the commercial manufacturing advantage given by the power of transferring a print to the clay over the production of the same effect by means of the pencil, an idea no doubt suggested by our roundels of Charles I.’s time, and which process became of the same relative importance as printing to manuscript.  This was the origin of our common blue-and-white plate, or what is known as “the willow pattern,” where

“Walking through their groves of trees,
   Blue bridges and blue rivers,
Little think those three Chinese
   They’ll soon be smash’d to shivers.”

The popularity of this porcelain pattern must not be ascribed to superior beauty or cheapness, for to the eye of taste surely a pure plain white plate is infinitely superior to an unfeeling copy of a Chinese pagoda, bridge, and willow-tree “in blue print.”  The fact is that the bugbear of a vulgar mind—“fashion”—long rendered it imperative upon every good housewife and substantial householder to keep up a certain dinner-set of earthenware, consisting of two soup-tureens and a relative proportion of dishes and vegetable-dishes, with covers, soup-plates, dinner-plates, and dessert-plates, which were all to correspond; and should any accidental breakage of crockery take place, it was a manufacturing trick to make it a matter of p. 225extra-proportionate expense and difficulty readily to replace the same unless it happened to be of “the blue willow pattern.”  The practice, however, of using for the dessert-service plates of Worcester china painted by hand, and the execution of many of which as works of art call for our admiration as much as any enamel, created a taste for forming what are called harlequin sets, among which, if a few plates happen to be

“Smash’d to shivers,”

the value of the whole set is only proportionately depreciated, and what has been broken may perhaps be advantageously replaced.

Earl of Essex

If you like, we will return to the inner hall, where is a p. 226portrait of the celebrated Earl of Essex, an undoubted original picture, dated 1598, three years previous to his being beheaded (Zucchero), and from it at once enter the library, or breakfast-room.  Here there is a superbly carved Elizabethan chimney-piece.

Elizabethan chimney-piece

What are you about?  You should not have touched so thoughtlessly that “brass inkstand,” as you call it.  It is actually a pix, or holy box, [227] which once contained the host, and was considered “so sacred, that upon the march of armies it was especially prohibited from theft.”  We are told that Henry V. delayed his army for a whole day to discover the thief who had stolen one.  You may admire the pictures as much as you please; they are odd and p. 227hard-looking portraits to my eye; but they are historically curious, and clever, too, for their age.  Pix, or Holy Box Could you only patiently listen to a discussion upon the characters of the originals of the portraits that have hung upon these walls, or the volumes that have filled these shelves; you might gain a deeper insight into the workings of the human heart than, perhaps, you would care to be instructed by.  There were in the next room—the dining-room—into which we may proceed when you please, for only by a sliding door between the library and dining-room are they separated—such pictures!  Sliding door into dining-room An unquestionable ‘Henry VIII.,’ by Holbein; a ‘Queen Mary,’ by Lucas de Heere, from the collection of the late Mr. Dent; and a glorious ‘Elizabeth,’ that had belonged to Nathaniel Rich of Eltham, who we know from the particulars of sale that were in the Augmentation Office, was the purchaser of Eltham Palace, when disposed p. 228of by the Parliament after the death of Charles I.; and we also know from Strype’s Annals of the Reformation, that Elizabeth visited Eltham and passed some days there in 1559, and that she made her favourite Sir Christopher Hatton keeper of the royal palace there.

You should not disturb those books; you will look in vain for the publication of George III.’s ‘Illustration of Shakspeare,’ and corrected in the autograph of the king for a second edition.  How remarkable are the opinions entertained by His Majesty respecting Doctors Johnson and Franklin, and how curious are some of the notes!  This book is the true history of his reign, and would be worth to us fifty black-letter Caxtons.  Mr. Thorpe of Piccadilly can tell you all about it.  Monastic chair and damask curtains Oh, never mind that manuscript in its old French binding, and those exquisitely-wrought silver clasps, and dear old Horace Walpole’s books.  We must enter the dining-room.  Here sit down in this monastic chair, and look around you for five minutes.  This chair Mr. Baylis picked up in Lincoln; and the curtains beside it, they came from Strawberry Hill, and are of genuine Spitalfields damask.  There is no p. 229such damask to be had now.  Eighty years ago were these curtains manufactured, and yet they are in most excellent condition.  The greater portion of the Gothic oak panelling around us originally formed the back of the stalls in the beautiful chapel of Magdalen College, Oxford.  During the late repairs this panelling was removed and sold.  Much of it was purchased by the Marquess of Salisbury for Hatfield House, and the remainder Mr. Baylis bought.  More of the oak panelling in the room, especially the elaborately-wrought specimens and the rich tracery work, have been obtained from Canterbury Cathedral, York Minster, St. Mary’s Coventry, and other churches.

Ornate chimney-piece

The chimney-piece is a rich composition of ancient p. 230carving; the canopy came from St. Michael’s Church, Coventry, and in the niches are some fine figures of the kings and queens of England.  Knight’s armour The fire-back is an interesting relic, as it is the original one placed in the great dining-hall of Burghley House, by Elizabeth’s minister, whose arms are upon it, with the date 1575.  The sideboard, with its canopy of oak, assimilates with the fitting of the room, and had upon its shelves a glittering display of ancient glass and early plate.  Salvers and cups of singular forms and beautiful shapes arose proudly up, one above the other, with dishes of Raffaelle ware beneath them.  But I cannot help seeing that the steel-clad knight, who keeps guard in a recess by the sideboard, attracts more of your attention.  Leathern black jack and iron jug The effigy is an excellent suit of fluted armour of Henry VIIth’s time; and in the opposite recess, those huge drinking-vessels are only an honest old English leathern black jack and an iron jug; the former from St. Cross, Winchester, the latter from the castle of some German baron, and full of feudal character.

As for the other relics in the dining-room, I will only p. 231particularise two or three more; and they are a pair of round and solid well-carved pendents from the chancel of the church of Stratford-on-Avon, which have been removed from their original station immediately over the tomb of Shakspeare; and are now, as you see, inverted and used here as footstools.

“Think of that, Master Brooke!”

The other relic is that matchless piece of sculptured oak Effigy in oak of Emperor Rudolph II. which represents the Emperor Rudolph II., the size of life (five feet six inches in height), and which was brought from Aix-la-Chapelle by the late Sir Herbert Taylor.  What may have been its former history I cannot tell you, but it resembles in execution the exquisite Gothic figures in the chimney-piece of the town-hall at Bruges, and is of about the same height and size.

Are you willing to forsake the thoughtful soberness of antique oak-panelling for the tinsel of Venetian gold and the richness of Genoa velvet, Florentine tapestry, and Persian arras?  If so, we will ascend to the drawing-rooms and gallery.  But stay a moment and permit this lady and oddly-dressed gentleman to pass us on their exit from the gallery, where they have been rehearsing some charming entertainment for the evening, or getting p. 232up some piece of fanciful mummery to amuse the idle guests who have congregated around the garden fountain.  Couple exiting from gallery The light is not favourable for seeing all the pictures that deserve inspection on the staircase—you had better ascend; and now, having reached the head of the semi-staircase, our course is along this lobby to the opposite door-way, which is that of the drawing-room.

Let us enter at once, and in our tour of the Pryor’s Bank regard the ante-drawing-room as a kind of middle or passage-room, belonging either to the gallery or the drawing-room.  I admit that the arrangement of the house, which, however, is very simple, appears puzzling at first: the reason of this is, that the senses are often deceived, from mirrors here and there being so judiciously arranged, that they reflect at happy angles objects which would otherwise escape observation.  It is impossible to convey an idea of the whole effect of the Pryor’s Bank, made up as it has been of carvings of unrivalled richness, grace, and variety, solemn and grotesque.  Statues are there, some of the highest class of art, others which belong to an early Gothic period, and yet an harmonious effect has been produced.  Where p. 233will you take up your position for a general view?  At the other end? or in the oriel window looking on the Bishop’s Walk?

Oriel Window.  Venetian Table

Now if it were not for that richly gilt Venetian table, the companion to which is in the possession of the Earl of Harrington, we might have an excellent view of that magnificently embellished recess, upon the merits of which Mr. Baylis is commenting to another oddly equipped gentleman.  There certainly is something going forward in the fancy-dress way.  On this Venetian table stands a French astronomical clock; upon it are silver medallions of Louis XIII. and XIV., and among its ornaments the monograms of these monarchs appear.

Here is a group, in ivory, of bacchanals, with attendant p. 234boys; a genuine piece of Fiamingo’s work, cut from solid ivory, and formerly in the collection of the Vatican.  Here, Group in Ivory: Tapestried Recess come this way, we may as well pick up something of the history of this tapestried recess, the canopy and seats of which, and the three other recesses in the drawing-room, are fashioned out of the remains of a large throne or dais brought from Florence, and which had belonged to the Medici family.  The materials are of the richest possible kind, being flowers of floss silk upon a ground-work of gold thread, interspersed with silver.  The effect produced by this combination is gorgeous in the extreme.  “And those figures?”  That nearest the eye is a statue of the Emperor Rudolph of Hapsburgh, admirably carved in oak, the armour is of silver damasked with gold.  The other p. 235figure, and a corresponding one on the opposite side of the room, represent Gothic queens, whose robes have been restored in the illuminated style of decoration.  “And the tapestry in the recess?”  Listen to what Mr. Baylis is saying.  “Thinking over it,” remarked Sir Bulwer Lytton to me, “I have very little doubt but that my guess was right—that the fisherman is meant for Antony and the lady for Cleopatra; it was a favourite story in the middle ages, how Antony, wishing to surprise Cleopatra with his success in angling, employed a diver to fix fishes on his hook.  Cleopatra found him out, and, in turn, employed a diver of her own to put waggishly a salt (sea) fish on his hook.”  The story is in Plutarch, and the popularity of the anecdote may be seen by the use Shakspeare makes of it.  Charmian says,—

      “’Twas merry when
You wagered on your angling; when your diver
Did hang a salt fish on his hook, which he
With fervency, drew up.” [235]

It is no doubt correctly conjectured by Sir Bulwer Lytton, that many subjects in tapestry (not Scriptural) have their explanation in Plutarch, the fashionable classic source of tale and legend for our fathers of the middle ages.  Shakspeare, it need scarcely be observed, depends on him for all his classic plots; and he was no less a favourite on the Continent than with us.  If you observe the attitude and expression of Cleopatra, for so we will consider her, you will perceive that there is something impressive, as well as smiling, about her which would suit the words she p. 236is supposed to have uttered, when she had laughed sufficiently at the trick she played him, and which, to the best of my recollection, ran thus, “Leave fishing to us smaller potentates; your angling should be for cities and kingdoms.”

Every article of the furniture merits your attention.  Here is a Venetian chair; [236] it is one of a set of twenty-six, with a sofa, brought from the Gradenigo Palace, and is carved and gilt all over,—the back, and seat, and cushions for the arms, being Genoa red velvet.  Venetian chair Fourteen of these chairs, with the sofa, are in this room; the other twelve were purchased by the Earl of Lonsdale.

Vases of Dresden china, marqueterie tables, and a shrine (see page 237) of gilt carved work at one end of the room, reflected in mirrors of gigantic dimensions, dazzle the senses; and its ceiling studded with blue and gold pendants, and its walls all painted over with quaint devices like the pages of a missal.  Also a magnificent Gothic chimney-piece (see page 238) of Carrara marble, fitted with brass-work of ormolu and chimney-glass.  The chimney was removed from the grand Gothic-room at Carlton House, and cost George IV. many hundred pounds.  Indeed the drawing-room of the Pryor’s Bank seems to be more like some scene in an enchanted palace, p. 237than in an every-day residence upon the bank of the river Thames.


The ante-room is not less splendidly furnished.  Its ceiling is even more elaborately embellished than that of the drawing-room, for the heads of mitred abbots, jolly monks, and demure nuns look down upon us from each intersection of the groining.

p. 238A Florentine cabinet (see page 239), of mosaic work in lapis lazuli, pietra dura, topaz, agates, etc., one of the finest specimens of the kind ever seen,—it eventually came into the possession of Mr. Hurst, who asked fifteen hundred Gothic Chimney-piece guineas for it—a magnificent carved oak chimney-piece (see page 240); chairs which belonged to Queen Elizabeth; and among other pictures, an undoubted one by p. 239Janssen, of “Charles II. dancing at the Hague,” must not detain us, although it be a duplicate of the celebrated picture in the possession of Her Majesty, with which the history of this is completely identical, both having been purchased from the same individual at the same period.

A Florentine Cabinet

“And that portrait of Elizabeth?”  It was given by Charles II. to Judge Twysden.  “And that other portrait?”  Yes, it is Lord Monteagle; not of Exchequer documentary fame, but of Gunpowder Plot notoriety.  And there are portraits of Katharine of Aragon and Prince Arthur from Strawberry Hill.  I positively cannot allow you to dwell p. 240on that chimney-piece of Raffaelle design, carved in oak and coloured in ultra-marine and gold.

I entirely agree with you in thinking it a pity that the Carved Oak chimney-piece vast labours of our ancestors—things upon which they bestowed so much time and thought—should be blown into oblivion by the mere breath of fashion.  How much nobler is the fashion to respect, cherish, and admire them!

And now we are again within the gallery, and look upon the ante-room through the private entrance, and in another second we might be within the bay-window of the gallery; for, place these sketches together at a right angle, side by side, and the part of the sofa which appears in one, is only the continuation of the same seat in the other.  But this must not make you think that the Pryor’s Bank is but a miniature affair, or give you a contemptible idea of the size.  You should rather take your general notion of the proportions of the gallery from a glance at that lady who is studying with so much attention the part she has p. 241undertaken to enact, and look up as to the comparative height of the window at the top compartments made up of ancient Bay-Window:  Private Entrance painted glass, charged with the arms of some of the medieval kings of England, among which you cannot fail to notice those of Richard III.  Those two elaborately-wrought lanterns which depend from the groined ceiling, formerly hung in the Gothic conservatory of Carlton House, and the recesses of the walls are adorned with eleven full-length portraits of kings and queens of Spain painted upon leather.

Look at those ebony and ivory couches, and this ebony chair, from which justice was formerly meted out by the Dutch and English rules to the Cingalese; and see here this great chair, so profusely carved and cushioned with p. 242rich black velvet worked with gold.  Black velvet chair It is said to have been the Electoral coronation chair of Saxony; and the date assigned to it in the ‘Builder’ is 1620.  The armorial bearings embroidered upon the back would probably settle the question; but I know little of foreign heraldry beyond the fact that sufficient attention is not paid to it in this country.

Attached to the gallery at the opposite end of the lobby from which we entered the drawing-room, there is a boudoir, or robing-room—a perfect gem in its way.  Nell Gwynne’s mirror You have only to touch this spring, and that picture starts from the wall and affords us free egress.  Just take one peep into this fairy boudoir.

There hangs against the wall Nell Gwynne’s mirror, in its curious frame of needlework.  Oh!  You wish to take a peep at yourself in Nelly’s looking-glass?  Odds, fish! mind you do not overset that basset table of Japan manufacture—another Strawberry Hill relic.  Now, are you satisfied?  Those p. 243beautiful enamels, and that charming Bermudian brain-stone, the wonderful network of which infinitely exceeds the finest lace?  Well, I must admit that some philosophy is required to feel satisfied when revelling among the ornaments of palaces, the treasures of monasteries, and the decorations of some of the proudest mansions of antiquity; and did we not turn our eyes and regard the infinitely superior works of Nature, alike bountifully spread before the poor and the rich man, the heart might feel an inward sickening at the question.  In the state carved-oak bed-room is a finely carved walnut-wood German cabinet of the true Elizabethan period.

German cabinet (Eizabethan period)

Though within the walls of the Pryor’s Bank, or any other human habitation, all that is rich in art may be p. 244assembled, yet, without the wish to turn these objects to a beneficial purpose, they become only a load of care; but when used to exalt and refine the national taste, they confer an immortality upon the possessor, and render him a benefactor to his species; when used, also, as accessories to the cultivation of kindly sympathies and the promotion of social enjoyment, they are objects of public utility.  The revival of old-fashioned English cordiality, especially at Christmas, had been always a favourite idea with the owners of the Pryor’s Bank, and in 1839 they gave an entertainment which, like

“O’Rourke’s noble feast, will ne’er be forgot
By those who were there or those who were not.”

They were fortunate in securing the aid of Theodore Hook, of pleasant, and, alas! of painful memory, who was their neighbour, with that of some other friends and acquaintances, who thoroughly entered into the whim of recalling olden times by the enactment of masques and other mummeries.

Hook, in his manuscript journal of Thursday, the 26th of December, 1839, notes that he was engaged to dine with Lady Quentin at Kew:—

“Weather dreadful, so resolved to write her an excuse and came home in coach early, so up to Baylis’s, where I was asked to dine.  They came here, and we walked up together; so to rehearsal, and then back again to bed.”

Hook’s letter, in a feigned hand, to Mr. Baylis upon this occasion ran thus:—

“Sir,—Circumstancis hoeing too the Fox hand wether in Lunnun as indered me of goen two Q.  wherefor hif yew plese i ham reddy to cum p. 245to re-ersal two nite, in ten minnits hif yew wil lett the kal-boy hof yewer theeter bring me wud—if you kant reed mi riten ax Mister Kroften Kroker wich his a Hanty queerun like yewerself honly hee as bin longer hatit           yewers two kommand,


      “Master Bailies hesquire,
         Manger hof thee,
T.R.P.B. and halso Proper rioter thereof.”

On Saturday, Hook records in his ‘Diary’ his having refused his “firmest friend’s command” that he should dine with him—“because,” writes Hook, “I cannot on account of the things to be done at Pryor’s Bank.”

Of the memorable Monday, the 30th of December, Hook notes:—

“To-day, not to town, up and to Baylis’s; saw preparations.  So, back, wrote a little, then to dinner, afterwards to dress; so to Pryor’s Bank, there much people,—Sir George and Lady Whitmore, Mrs. Stopford, Mrs. Nugent, the Bully’s, and various others, to the amount of 150.  I acted the ‘Great Frost’ with considerable effect.  Jerdan, Planché, Nichols, Holmes and wife, Lane, Crofton Croker, Giffard, Barrow.  The Whitmore family sang beautifully; all went off well.”

The part of the Great Frost to which Hook alludes was in a masque, written for the occasion, and printed and sold in the rooms, for the benefit of the Royal Literary Fund; and among the record of miscellaneous benefactions to this most admirable charity are registered—“Christmas masquers and mummers at the Pryor’s Bank, Fulham, the seat of Thomas Baylis, Esq., F.S.A., and William Lechmere Whitmore, F.S.A. (1840), £3 12s. 6d.”  Thus carrying out in deed as well as act the benevolent feelings of the season.

What little plot there was in this production had p. 246reference to the season, the house in which it was performed, and temporary events.  Egomet, an imp, most piquantly personified by Mr. John Barrow, opened the affair in a moralising strain prophetically applicable to the moment.

After stating who and what he was, he starts:—

      “But I’m all over wonder.
Surely the kitchen must be somewhere under?
But where’s the room?—the matchless little chamber,
With its dark ceiling, and its light of amber—
That fairy den, by Price’s pencil drawn,
Enchantment’s dwelling-place?  ’Tis gone—’Tis gone!
The times are changed, I said, and men grown frantic,
Some cross in steamboats o’er the vast Atlantic;
Some whirl on railroads, and some fools there are
Who book their places in the pendant car
Of the great Nassau—monstrous, big balloon!
Poor lunatics! they think they’ll reach the moon!
All onward rush in one perpetual ferment,
No rest for mortals till they find interment;
Old England is not what it once has been,
Dogs have their days, and we’ve had ours, I ween.
The country’s gone! cut up by cruel railroads,
They’ll prove to many nothing short of jail-roads.
The spirit vile of restless innovation
At Fulham e’en has taken up his station.
I landed here, on Father Thames’s banks,
To seek repose, and rest my wearied shanks;
Here, on the grass, where once I could recline,
Like a huge mushroom springs this mansion fine.
Astounding work! but yesterday ’twas building;
And now what armour, carving, painting, gilding!
Vexed as I am, yet loth to be uncivil,
I only wish the owner at the ---!”

Father Thames (Mr. Giffard), who had been slumbering between two painted boards, respectively inscribed p. 247middlesex county bank” and “surrey bank,” and surrounded by flower-pots filled with bulrushes and sedge, roused by the intended imprecation upon their host, here interrupted Egomet, and entered into a long dialogue with him, in which he detailed all his grievances so far as gas and steam were concerned.  At length he feels the influence of Hook as “the Great Frost,” who turns

“The old blackguard to solid ice.”

Upon which Egomet’s remark was, that—

“The scene to Oxford shifted in a trice is,
This river-god—no longer Thames, but Isis.”

Father Christmas (Mr. Crofton Croker) then appeared with a long speech about eating, drinking, and making merry, and the wondrous power that a good fire and a cheerful glass have upon the heart.  Beholding “poor Thames a-cold”—“an icy, heartless river”—the question follows, what

      “Do I the matter see?
I’ll thaw you soon—begone to Battersea,
There let thy icebergs float in Chelsea Reach.”

The Great Frost, too, after much buffoonery, turns himself into

“A pleasant fall of fleecy snow,”

which he effected by the vigorous use of the kitchen dredging-box, and an ample supply of flour, therewith bepowdering Jolly Christmas, Father Thames, and Egomet, so plentifully as to leave no doubt upon the minds of the audience respecting the transformation.

Another Christmas revel followed, and then came “a Grand Tournament,” in which a contest between “the p. 248Blue Knight” (Mr. Lechmere Whitmore), and “the Yellow Knight” (Mr. Baylis), each mounted upon hobby-horses, was most fiercely executed.  Nor was the Giant Cormoran (fourteen feet in height), nor the Queen of Beauty, nor the Dragon Queen wanted to complete the chivalry of this burlesque upon the memorable meeting at Eglinton.

The fun which now became

“fast and furious,”

and to which an impudent but most amusing jester (Mr. Jerdan) mainly contributed, was checked only by the announcement of supper; and as the guests descended the stairs from the gallery, or assembled on the lobby, they beheld their cheer borne in procession from the kitchen, headed by a military band and a herald-at-arms.  A cook, with his cap and apron of snowy whiteness, placed a boar’s head

“Bedeck’d with bays and rosemary,”

upon the table; then came two ancient halberdiers, followed by a serving-man in olden livery, carrying the wassail-bowl; then another herald in his tabard, and servitors with Christmas-pie, and brawn, and soup, and turkey, and sirloin of beef, and collared brawn, whereof was an abundant supply, and of the most magnificent dimensions.  Father Christmas, carving-knife in hand, and belted with mincepies, and his attendant Egomet, with followers bearing holly, ivy, and mistletoe, brought up the rear.  Then was sung “beautifully,” as Hook notes, by four voices, the Oxford chant of

“The boar’s head in hand bear I.”

p. 249And here we must drop the curtain, but not without stating that several of the guests felt the enjoyment of the evening so warmly, that it was in long debate among them what suitable acknowledgment in recollection of it should be made to Mr. Baylis and Mr. Whitmore; and, that the actors in the masque presented these gentlemen with an ancient charter horn, which had belonged to the Pickard family, and which they were fortunate enough to secure.  The height of this horn, which is supposed to be that of the Highland buffalo—an animal said to be extinct nearly three hundred years—is one foot two inches, its length is one foot six inches, its width at the top five and a half inches; and it is capable of containing one gallon.

Upon this most gratifying memorial to the owners of the Pryor’s Bank, of the esteem created by their hospitality, suitable inscriptions were placed by the donors, with the motto:—

“While Thames doth flow, or wine is drank,
par-hæl to all at Pryor’s Bank.

The remembrance of the pleasant hours passed within the walls of the Pryor’s Bank will not easily be forgotten, though the character of the interior is changed since this was written.  The first sale took place on the 3rd May, 1841, and five following days: and there was a subsequent sale on the 25th May, 1854, and four following days.  Both these sales took place on the premises, and the Auctioneer, on both occasions, was Mr. Deacon.

Pryor’s Bank is now let to Mr. E. T. Smith, of Her Majesty’s and Drury Lane Theatres.


Acacia Cottage, 148.
“Admiral Keppel,” 75.
Albany Lodge, 147.
Alexander Square, 73–4.
Alfred Place, 73.
Amelia Place, 76.
Amyot House, 120.
Arundel House, 152–4.
Ashton Terrace, 202.
Audley Cottage, 164.

Battersea Bridge, 94.
Bear Street, Fulham, 187.
“Bell and Anchor,” 210.
“Bell and Horns,” 58.
Bishop’s Walk, 190.
Bolingbroke Lodge, 147.
Bolton House, 118.
Boltons, 96.
Bostocke’s Arbour, 88.
“Brickhills,” 131.
Bridge Street, 193.
Brightwells, 166.
Brompton, 24.
— Crescent, 64–7.
— Grange, 63.
— Grove, 43, 48.
— — Lower, 44.
— — Upper, 43.
— Hall, 87.
— National School, 38.
— New Church (Holy Trinity), 54.
— Park, 62.
— Road, 29.
— Row, 26, 38, 42.
— Square, 51–4.
Broom Lane, 169.
Brunswick Cottage, 156.
Bull Alley, 135.
Bull Lane, 135.
— Public House, 135.
“Bunch of Grapes,” 43.
Burleigh House, 121.
Burlington House, 181.
— Road, Fulham, 181.
Butchers’ Almshouses, Walham Green, 138.

Cambridge Lodge, 196.
Cancer Hospital, 84,
Carey Villa, 167.
“Cedars, The,” 210.
Cemetery, West London and Westminster, 127.
Chelsea New Church, 80, 81.
— Park, 89, 90, 93.Church Lane, 187.
— Row, Fulham, 187.
— Street, Brompton, 87.
— — Fulham, 193.
Churchfield House, 173.
Claybrooke House, 181.
Consumption Hospital, 85.
Corder’s, Mrs., Preparatory School, 118.
Craven Cottage, 190–1.
Cremorne Gardens, 127.
Crescent House, 64.
“Crown and Sceptre,” 40.

Dancer’s Nursery, 172.
Deadman’s Lane, 201.
Door, Old, Fulham Fields, 195.
Draw Well in Fulham Fields, 199.
Drury Lodge, 169.
Dungannon House, 147.

Earl’s Court, 58.
East End House, Parson’s Green, 164.
Edith Grove, 127.
p. 251— Road, 201.
— Villas, 201.
Eel Brook, 141.
Egmont Villa, 188.
“Eight Bells,” 193.
Elm House, 200.
Exhibition Road, 62.

Flounder Field,” 72.
Foote’s House (North End), 196.
— Stables (North End), 196.
Fowlis Terrace, 87.
Fulham, 180.
— Almshouses, 181.
— Aqueduct, 189.
— Bridge, 192.
— Charity School, 193.
— Church, 187.
— Ferry, 192.
— Fields, 195, 197–9.
— High Street, 181, 187.
— Lodge, 173–7.
— Palace, 190.
— Park Road, 177.
— Street, 187.
— Vicarage, 187.
— Workhouse, 181.

Gardener’s House, Old, Fulham Fields, 199.
“George, The,” 193.
Gilston Road, 96.
Gloucester Buildings, Brompton, 25.
— Row, Brompton, 25.
— — Knightsbridge, 26.
“Goat in Boots,” 94–5.
“Golden Lion,” Fulham, 181–6.
Gore Lodge, Fulham, 181.
— — Old Brompton, 62.
Grove House, 44–7.
— Place, 43, 47.
“Gunter Arms,” 126.
— Grove, 127.

Hans Place, 30, 37.
— — Attic at, 83.
Heckfield Lodge, 120.
— Villa, 147.
Hermitage, Brompton, 44, 47.
— North End, 196.
— Lodge, North End, 195–6.
High Elms House, 155.
Holcroft’s Hall, 180.
— Priory, 181.
Hollywood Brewery, 118.
— Place, 126.
Honey Lane, 127.
Hooper’s Court, 25.
Hospital for Consumption, 85.

Ivy Cottage, 169.
— House, Old Red, 170.
— Lodge, 177.

Jews’ Burial-ground, 87.
John’s Place, 188.

Kensington Canal, 127, 134.
— Gore Estate, 59.
— Hall, 200.
— Road, 211.
“Keppel, Admiral,” 75.
— Street, 75.
King’s Road, 24.
Knightsbridge, 24.
— Green, 25.
— High Row, 30.

Lansdowne Villas, 126.
Lauman’s Academy, 166.
Lawn Terrace, 202.
Little Chelsea, 94.

Machine for Raising Water (Fulham Fields), 199.
Main Fulham Road, 24.
Manor Hall, 96.
— House, 96.
Marlborough Road, 75.
Michael’s Grove, 63.
— Place, 50, 67, 70–2.
Military Academy, Chelsea, 119.
Montpellier Square, 40.
Mulberry House, 120.
Munster House, 170–2.
— Terrace, 173.
Mustow House, 170.

National School, Brompton, 38.
— Society, Practising School of, 134.
New Street, 30, 37.
p. 252“No Man’s Land,” 197.
Normal School Chapel, 130.
Normand House, 196.
North End, 195–211.
— — Lodge, 193.
— — Road, 197.
— Terrace, 73.

Odell’s Place, 115.
Old Brompton Road, 58.
Onslow Square, 82.
Oratory of St. Philip Neri, 58.
Osborn’s Nursery, 172.
Ovington Square, 47.

Paradise Row, 114.
Park Cottage, 147.
— House, 154–5.
— Walk, 95.
Parson’s Green, 164–9.
— — Lane, 164.
Pelham Crescent, 76, 79.
— Place, 79–80.
Percy Cross, 141, 155.
Peterborough House, 166–9.
Pollard’s School, 58.
Pond Place, 80.
Porch, Old, of Arundel House, 153.
Prince Albert’s Road, 62.
Pryor’s Bank, 187, 212–249.
Pump, Old, in Arundel House, 153.
Purser’s Cross, 141, 154–5.

Queen’s Buildings, Brompton, 25, 30.
— — Knightsbridge, 25, 29, 30.
— Elm, 88–9.
— Turnpike, 87.
— Row, Knightsbridge, 25.
Quibus Hall, 155.

Rawstorne Street, 40.
Read’s, Miss, Academy, 118.
Rectory House, Parson’s Green, 165.
“Red Lion,” 40.
Reformatory School, Fulham, 181.
Rightwells, 166.
“Rising Sun,” 135.
Robert Street, 83–4.
— — Upper, 83.
Rosamond’s Bower, 156–164.
Rosamond’s Bower, Old, 156.
— Dairy, 157.

St. Luke’s Church, Chelsea, 80, 83.
St. Mark’s Chapel, 130.
— College, 130.
— Terrace, 130.
St. Mary’s Place, 96.
St. Peter’s Villa, 170.
St. Philip’s Orphanage, 96.
Salem Chapel, 136.
“Sand Hills,” The, 90.
Sandford Bridge, 134.
School, Practising, at St. Mark’s College, 134.
Selwood’s Nursery, 89.
Selwood Place, 89.
Seymour Place, 96, 98.
— Terrace, 96, 98.
Shaftesbury House, 100–12.
— — Garden of, 104–5.
Sign, Old (“White Horse” at Parson’s Green), 164.
Sir John Scott Lillie’s Road, 127.
“Sisters of Compassion,” 44.
Sloane Square, 24.
— Street, 24.
“Somerset Arms,” 96.
South Kensington Museum, 59–61.
Stamford Road, 135.
— Villas, 135.
Stanley Grove, 132–3.
— — House, 131–2.
— House, 131.
Swan Tavern, Fulham, 192.
— — and Brewery, Walham Green, 135.
Sydney Place, 83.
— Street, 83.

Tavistock House, 118.
Thames Bank, 187.
Thistle Grove, 93–4.
Thurloe Place, 61.

Veitch’s Royal Exotic Nursery, 130.
Vine Cottage, 213–14.

Walham Green, 136–7.
— House, 193.
— Lodge, 147.
p. 253Walnut Tree Cottage, 200.
— — Walk, 121.
Wansdon Green, 137.
— House, 137.
Warwick House, 120.
Wentworth Cottage, 197.
West Brompton Brewery, 118.
Western Grammar School, 73.
“White Horse,” old sign of, 164.
Willow Bank, 192.
Windsor Street, 193.
Winter Garden, Old Brompton, 62.
Workhouse, additional, to St. George’s, Hanover Square, 100.

Yeoman’s Row, 43.
York Cottage, 195.
— Place, 84.


Ackermann, Rudolph, 177–9.
Aikin, Lucy, 160.
Albert, Prince, 85.
Andrews, J. Petit, 44.
Anspach, Margravine of, 190.
Appletree, John, 90.
Arundel, Henry, 131, 154.

Baker, Rev. R. G., 187.
Balchen, Sir John, 115.
Banim, 48–9, 79.
Barham, H., 90, 189.
Barrow, John, 246.
Bartolozzi, F., 68–9, 196.
Batsford, Miss, 187.
Baud, Benjamin, 127.
Baylis, Thomas, 187, 191, 214.
Bayliss, Moses, 25.
Bell, T. J., 164.
Beloe, Rev. W., 42.
Biber, Rev. Dr., 83.
Billington, Mrs., 70.
Blake, Mr., 90.
Blanchard, Mr., 119.
—, William, 81.
Blomfield, Bishop, 187.
Blore, Mr., 134.
Bodley, Sir Thomas, 165.
Bonnor, Bishop, 181.
Boothby, Sir W., 203.
Boscawen, William, 121.
Bovey Family, the, 101.
Bowen, Rev. Thomas, 156.
Bowes, Mr., 132.
Boyd, Hugh, 46.
Boyle, Hon. Robert, 111.
— Family, the, 113.
Bradshaigh, Lady, 203–210.
Braham, John, 63.
Brand, Mr., 147.
Branscomb, Sir James, 210.
Brooks, Shirley, 51.
Broomfield, W., 92.
Brotherhood, Mr., 189.
Browne, H. K. (“Phiz”), 135.
Brunton, Miss, 71.
Buckstone, J. B., 51.
Bulwer, Lady, 31.
Burbage, Robert, 182.
Burchell, Dr., 173.
Burgoyne, Sir John, 181.
—, Miss, 181.
Burke, John, 94.
Burleigh, Lord, 121.
Burney, Miss, 133.
Byfield, Adoniram, 165.

Cahill, Dr., 67.
Carey, Hon. Thomas, 167.
Catalani, Madame, 47.
Cattley, Rev. Stephen Reid, 128, 172.
Cecill, Hon. John, 121.
Chalon, Mr., 37.
Chatterley, Mrs., 51.
Cheeseman, 200.
Cheselden, W., 192.
Child, Sir Francis, 165.
Cipriani, 181, 201.
Clerke, Major Shadwell, 44.
Cleyne, Francis, 167.
Cole, Henry, 60, 82.
Collier, Payne, 53.
Colman, George, the Younger, 51–2, 173–7.
p. 254Conyers, General, 192.
Cooper, John, 79.
Cope, Sir John, 114.
Copley, 200.
Corpe, John, 55.
Cranfield, Lord Treasurer, 90.
Craven, Countess of, 190.
Cribb, R., 94.
Croker, Rt. Hon. John Wilson, 171.
—, Thomas Crofton, 130, 156, 162–3, 181, 198, 247.
—, Mrs. Crofton, 130.
Croly, Rev. Dr., 50, 77.
Cromwell, Oliver, 170.
Crotch, Dr., 202.
Curran, John Philpot, 76–9.
Curtis, Mr., 80, 85–7.

Darby, Mrs., 117.
Davenport, Mrs., 71.
Davis, the late Henry George, 24.
—, Charles, 24.
Dawes, Sir W., 113–114.
Deacon, Mr., 250.
Delafield, Mr., 192.
Delille, C. J., 72.
—, Madame, 72.
Denham, Mr., 120.
—, Colonel, 120.
Doharty, Mr. 158.
Donaldson, Mr., 54.
Dormer, Edward, 198.
Duffield, Mr., 115.
Dunn, Anne, 27–8.

Edington, J., 212.
Egerton, Daniel, 81.
—, Mrs., 82.
Ekins, Dr., 165.
Elizabeth, Queen, 87.
Ellenborough, Lord, 187.
Evelyn, John, 111.
Eyre, Sir James, 132.

Faber, Rev. F. W., 59.
Fairholt, F. W., 40.
Farren, W., 53.
—, Harriet Elizabeth, 57.
Faucit, Helen, 70, 82.
Fitzherbert, Mrs., 165.
Fitzroy, Rear Admiral, 83.
Fitzwilliam, Edward, 51.
Florio, 182, 184–5.
Foot, Jesse, 27, 28.
Foote, Samuel, 196.
Fowler, Edward, 113.

Garcia, Madame, 170.
George IV., 165, 213.
Giffard, Mr., 247.
Glascock, Captain, 73–4.
Godwin, George, jun., 38, 74.
Golini, Julius, 67.
Gorges, Sir Arthur, 131.
Grant, Colonel, 134.
Green, 30.
Gregor, Mrs., 133.
Gresham, John, 198.
Griffin, Gerald, 48, 49, 97–8.
Grisi, Madame, 146.
Guizot, 79.
—, Madame, 80.
Gunter, R., 127.

Hall, S. C., 197.
—, Mrs. S. C., 31, 197.
Hallam, H., 154.
Halliwell, J. O., 96.
Hamey, Dr. Baldwin, 113.
Hamilton, Walter, 39–40.
—, William Richard, 132.
Hampton, Mr., 136.
Hargrave, Francis, 84.
Harris, A., 80.
—, H., 78.
Hartshorne, Rev. C. H., 138.
Hawarden, Lady, 214.
Hawkins, John Sidney, 44.
Heavyside, R., 166.
Herbert, Sir E., 167.
Hewett, Mr., 67.
Holl, Henry, 61.
Holland, Mr., 155.
Holmes, W., M. P., 214.
Hook, Theodore, 133, 177, 187–90, 245–6.
Howard, Sir Ralph, 191.
Huck, J. G., 26.
Hullmandel, Mr., 150–1.
Humphrey, Ozias, 29.
Hutchins, John, 25.
p. 255Hyde, Edward, 3rd Earl of Clarendon, 115.

Incledon, Charles, 64.

Jerdan, W., 47, 248.
Jesse, J. H., 70.
Johnson, Mr. Joseph, 148–9.
Jones, Richard, 78.

Kean, Edmund, 200.
Keeley, Mr., 54, 79.
—, Mrs., 54, 79.
Kempe, A. J., 135.
King, Mr., 139.
Kingsley, Rev. Charles, 83.
Knight, James House, 123.
Knolles, Sir Thomas, 166.

Lacy, Walter, 40.
Lamb, Lady Caroline, 31.
Lance, the Misses, 32.
Landon, Miss (“L. E. L.”), 30–7, 54.
Laurie, John, 180.
Lazarus, H., 80.
Le Blon, James Christopher, 91.
Lillie, Sir John Scott, 127.
Limpany, Robert, 190.
Liston, Mr., 54, 71.
Liston, Mrs., 40, 67.
Lochee, Lewis, 119–20, 132.
Locke, 104, 111.
London, Bishop of, 54.
Lorrington, Meribah, 116.
Lowth, Rev. Robert, 173–6.
Luttrell, Francis, 108.
—, Henry, 54.
—, Narcissus, 89, 102–3, 108.
Lytton, Sir E. Bulwer, 191, 197, 236.

M’Leod, Dr. John, 80.
M’Naughten, Mrs., 34.
Macpherson, Sir John, 45–6.
Mahony, Rev. F., 164.
Mangeon, Mrs., 27–8.
Mario, Signor, 146.
Marochetti, Baron, 82.
Mart, Mr., 114.
Martin, Theodore, 82.
Mathews, Charles, 62, 181.
—, Mrs., sen., 71.
Meyrick, Mr. J., 166.
Milton, Mr., 121, 147.
Mitford, Miss, 31.
Moore, Thomas, 162–3.
Mordaunt, Lord, 167–8.
More, Sir Thomas, 89.
Morland, 95.
Morse, Leonard. 132.
Murphy, Arthur, 26–8, 38.
Murray, John, 148–9.
—, Sir Robert, 111.

Nattes, J. C., 25.
Newman, Rev. J. H., 59.
Nicholson, F., 128–30.
Nisbett, Mrs., 203.
Novosielski, Madame, 70.
—, Michael, 43, 50, 63.

O’Donnell, Major-General Sir Chas., 162–3.
Ord, John, 140–5.
Orrery, 2nd Earl of, 113.
—, Charles, 4th Earl of, 112.
Owen, Rev. John, 145.

Parr, Dr., 42.
Piccolomini, 165.
Pigot, the Right Hon. D. R., 37.
Pitts, Mr. Oliver, 139.
Place, Francis, 51.
Planché, J. R., 65–6.
Plumbe, W., 198.
Pope, 147.
—, Miss, 70–1.
Porter, Walsh, 169, 190, 213.
Pouchée, Louis, 128.
Powell, Mr., 156, 186.
—, Sir W., Bart., 170, 181.
Pyne, J. B., 195.

Queensberry, Marquis of, 134.

Ravensworth, Lord, 138, 140.
Reeve, John, 42, 53–4, 57.
Remaudini, Count, 67.
Rennell, Rev. Mr., 42.
Richardson, C. J., 66.
—, Samuel, 169, 202–210.
Riego, General, 96–9.
—, Madame, 96–9.
Roberts, Emma, 31, 34.
Robins, George, 189.
Robinson, Anastasia, (“Perdita,”) 115–18, 169.
Robson, W. Frogatt, 53.
Rocque, Bartholomew, 139.
Rodwell, G. H., 39, 65.
Rollin, Ledru, 80.
Romney, 29.
Rovedino, Signor Carlo, 81.
Rowden, Miss, 32, 36.
Roy, 181.
Ruddock, Rev. Joshua, 156.
Rumford, Count, 40.
Ryland, William Wynne, 26, 202.

St. John, 147.
St. Quentin, Countess, 32.
Salisbury, Mr., 85, 145.
Sampayo, M., 171.
Saunders, Sir Edward, 169.
Savage, Mr., 80.
Scoles, Mr., 59.
Schiavonetti, Lewis, 67–69.
Schulenberg, Melesina, 170.
Shaftesbury, Lord, 101, 104.
Shakespeare, 182–6.
Sharp, Granville, 188.
Sheepshanks, John, 60.
Shower, Sir Bartholomew, 113.
Simpson, Mrs. Anne, 145–6.
Slater, Mr., 200.
Smith, Albert, 194.
—, E. T., 169, 249.
—, Alderman H., 72.
—, Sir James, 101.
—, “O.,” 73.
—, Sir Thomas, 167.
Southwell, Miss, 132.
Spagnoletti, 51.
Stanley Family, 131.
Stanley, W., 131.
Steele, R., 38, 88.
Strathmore, Countess of, 132.
Street, Mr., 186.
Suckland, Sir John, 112.
Sylvester, Joshua, 185.

Talfourd, 197.
Tarnworth, John, 166.
Taylor, Mr., 138.
Testolini, 68.
Thackeray, W. M., 83.
Tindal, Lord Chief Justice, 37.
Tonson, Jacob, 195.
Trotter, Thomas, 30.
Turberville, Mrs. Elizabeth, 155.
—, Mrs. Frances, 155.
Tyrhtilus, 180.

Vendramini, John, 39.
Vestris, Madame, 62, 96, 181.
Vining, James, 51.
Virtue, William, 109.

Wager, Admiral Sir Charles, 131, 165.
Ward, Sir Edward, 113–14.
Warde, J. P., 94.
Warren, H, 84.
—, Dr. Richard, 132.
Warwick, Countess of, 112.
Watts, B., 75.
Webster, Mr., 62.
Weigall, Mr., 70.
Wharton, Marquis of, 90.
—, Sir Michael, 155.
Whitmore, Lechmere, 214.
Whittaker, Dr., 112.
Wigan, Alfred, 37.
—, Mrs. Alfred, 37.
Wilberforce, Mr., 47.
Williams, Sir John, Bart., 171.
Wilson, Lady Frances, 92.
—, Sir Henry, 92.
Winchester, Marquis of, 218.
Wishart, Sir James, 115.
Wood, Dr. Oswald, 64.
Wright, —, 92–3.
—, Edward, 96.
—, Thomas, 83.
Wrottesley, the Hon. Mr., 181.
Wynne, Edward, 103–4.
Wynne, Rev. Luttrell, 108.
—, Serjeant, 102, 108.

Yates, Mr., 54, 71.
—, Mrs., 71.
York, Duke of, 173.
Young, C. D. and Co., 61.


[18]  See pages 156–164.

[25a]  Catalogues of Royal Academy.

[25b]  Foot’s Life of Arthur Murphy.

[25c]  Lockie’s Topography of London.

[25d]  Mr. J. Salway’s MS. plan, executed for the Kensington trustees.

[25e]  Cruchley’s Map of London.

[25f]  Elmes’ Topography of London.

[26]  4 vols. 4to, published in 1793.

[27a]  2 vols. 8vo, 1801.

[27b]  The extent of this garden may still be estimated by walking round through Hooper’s Court into Sloane Street.

[31]  Born 13th November, 1785, and married to the Honourable William Lamb (afterwards Viscount Melbourne) in 1805.  Lady Caroline published three novels, viz., Glenarvon, in 1816; Graham Hamilton; and Ada Reis, 1823.  Her ladyship died in 1828.

[32a]  8vo, 2nd ed. 1812.

[32b]  Ibid.

[33]  It was the wing attached to the house between it and “the Pavilion.”  From the back a flight of steps descended into a small garden.

[35]  Memoirs of the Rival Houses of York and Lancaster, Historical and Biographical.  1827.  2 vols. 8vo.

[38a]  Correspondence, vol. i. p. 293.

[38b]  Vol. lxxv.  Part I. p. 590.

[38c]  Ed. 1820, p. 616.

[45a]  2 vols. 4to, 1795.

[45b]  1 vol. 4to, and 2 vols. 8vo, 1796,

[48]  ‘Literary Gazette,’ November 25, 1843.

[53]  It is no slight testimony to the genius of Mr. Farren, that since his retirement no actor in London has attempted to represent “Grandfather Whitehead.”

[58]  Rebuilt, and the sign here engraved removed.

[62]  Brompton Park was the retreat of one or two favourite actors.  Mr. Webster, the talented and versatile performer, lessee of the Ade1phi Theatre, resided there for many years.  Mr. and Mrs. Charles Mathews (Madame Vestris) lived at Gore Lodge—now pulled down—a name they afterwards gave to their residence at Fulham.

[65]  Weber died on the 7th of June following, at No. 91, Great Portland Street, in his fortieth year.

[72]  4 vols. 8vo; I. and II. 1838; III. and IV. 1839.

[73]  The ‘Naval Sketch-book,’ 1828; ‘Sailors and Saints,’ 1829; ‘Tales of a Tar,’ 1830; ‘Land Sharks and Sea Gulls,’ 1838.

[78]  Died 30th August, 1851.

[80]  Died 7th May, 1852, aged 74.

[84]  II vols. folio, 1781.

[85]  Vol. lxxx.  Part II.

[87a]  Brompton Hall, said to have been the residence of Lord Burleigh, stands on the Old Brompton Road, which, as pointed out in the previous chapter, branches from the main Fulham Road at the Bell and Horns.

[87b]  The Duke of Buckingham.

[88]  Correspondence, vol. i. p. 219.

[92]  Sir Henry Wilson, who was in Parliament when this estate came into his wife’s possession, ordered iron gates for it; in one of which were wrought his initials, H. W., and to correspond, M.P, was placed in the other.  Before the gates were put up he had to contest his seat, and lost it.

[97]  Riego was executed, on the 7th of October, 1823, at Madrid, with every mark of ignominy.

[110]  Funeral Sermon preached at St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields, 7th January 1691.

[111]  See Birch’s ‘Life of Boyle,’ p. 114.

[112]  MS. Diary.

[120]  The obituary of the ‘Gentleman’s Magazine’ for June 1791, records:—“At Lisle, in Flanders, Lewis Lochee, Esq., late lieutenant colonel of the Belgic Legion, and formerly keeper of the Royal Military Academy at Chelsea.”

[121]  The gates here represented have now given place to a light iron railing, and the posts have been surmounted by balls.

[128]  No. 276, vol. xi. p. 301.

[131]  Todd’s ‘Spenser,’ viii. 23.

[133]  MS.

[138]  Pickering, 1829.

[139]  Mr. Rocque, the florist, was brother to the surveyor of that name, who published a plan of London, Westminster, and Southwark, on twenty-four sheets, in 1747; and a map of London and the country ten miles round, in sixteen sheets, the following year.  He also published a road-book of Great Britain and Ireland in 1763.

[144a]  “This tree was first introduced into England in 1753, by Mr. James Gordon.”—Lysons.

[144b]  “The foliage more resembles that of the juglans nigra than of the Illinois-nut in Kew Gardens.”—Ibid.

[144c]  “At two feet from the ground it was seven feet two inches, and now (1810) seven feet five inches.”—Ibid.

[144d]  “The girth of this tree was taken in 1808 at two feet and a half from the ground.”—Ibid.

[144e]  “At two feet and a half from the ground.”—Ibid.

[145]  James iv. 14.

[155a]  On the same page of the ‘London Magazine’ which chronicles this occurrence, may be found the announcement of the death of “Mr. Joseph Miller, a celebrated comedian.”

[155b]  Lysons, on the authority of the parish books, states that a Sir Michael Wharton was living at Parson’s Green, anno 1654.

[159]  The ground has been recently levelled.

[160]  L. E. L.

[171]  Died, 1858.

[188a]  He died there in 1813.

[188b]  Since this sketch was made, the gateway, with the coat of arms over it, has been removed, and a battlemented and Gothic entrance, more in accordance, perhaps, with the architecture of both church and mansion, has been erected in its stead.

[196]  Died 20th October, 1777, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

[213]  Copied from a picture in oil in the possession of George Bunnett, Esq., of Fulham.

[218]  John, the fifth Marquis of Winchester, sustained a siege in his seat at Basing from August, 1643 to 16th October, 1645, when the place was taken by storm and burned to the ground, “money, jewels, and household stuff” being found therein to the value of £200,000, among which was a rich bed worth £14,000.

[227]  Now in the South Kensington Museum.

[235]  Antony and Cleopatra, act ii. sc. 5.

[236]  Now in the possession of the Duke of Hamilton.


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