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Title: A Book for a Rainy Day
       or, Recollections of the Events of the Years 1766-1833

Author: John Thomas Smith

Editor: Wilfred Whitten

Release Date: May 9, 2017 [EBook #54693]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


Produced by MWS and the Online Distributed Proofreading
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This Edition was first Published in 1905



The highly flattering manner in which my work, entitled Nollekens and his Times, was generally received, induced me to collect numerous scattered biographical papers, which I have considerably augmented with a variety of subjects, arranged chronologically, according to the years of my life.

Some may object to my vanity, in expecting the reader of the following pages to be pleased with so heterogeneous a dish. It is, I own, what ought to be called a salmagundi, or it may be likened to various suits of clothes, made up of remnants of all colours. One promise I can make, that as my pieces are mostly of new cloth, they will last the longer. Dr. Johnson has said:

“All knowledge is of itself of some value. There is nothing so minute or inconsiderable, that I would not rather know, than not.”

Lord Orrery, in a letter to Dr. Birch, dated November, 1741, makes the following observation:

“I look upon anecdotes as debts due to the public, which every man, when he has that kind of cash by him, ought to pay.”

J. T. Smith.



From an Engraving by William Skelton of the Drawing by John Jackson, R.A.
NANCY DAWSON Facing page 10
From a Contemporary Print.
From a Drawing by Robert Cruikshank.
From the Engraving by Charles Bretherton of the Caricature by Henry William Bunbury.
From the Drawing by Rowlandson (Microcosm of London).
From a Painting by Nathaniel Hone, mezzotinted by Grenwoode.
From a Contemporary Print.
From an Etching by John Thomas Smith.
From an Etching by John Thomas Smith.
From an Etching by John Thomas Smith.
From an Etching by John Thomas Smith.
From a Drawing by Pugin and Rowlandson.
From the Drawing by Thomas Trotter, done from life, and engraved by Priscott.
Transcriber’s Note: this picture was omitted from the original book’s list of illustrations, and has here been added.
From the Portrait by John Keyse Sherwin, engraved by the painter.
From the Painting by Gilbert Stuart in the National Portrait Gallery.
From the Drawing by Dance, engraved by Ridley.
From the Print, “Morning,” by Hogarth.
From an Etching by John Thomas Smith.
From the Drawing by Pugin and Rowlandson (Microcosm of London).
From the Drawing by Pugin and Rowlandson (Microcosm of London).
From Contemporary Prints.
From a Contemporary Print.
From the Painting by John Russell, R.A., in the National Portrait Gallery.
J. W. M. TURNER, R.A. 152
From a Water-Colour Drawing by John Thomas Smith in the British Museum Print Room.
From a Drawing by Rowlandson.
From a Drawing by Thomas Clark, engraved by William Bond.
From the Portrait painted by himself, in the National Portrait Gallery.
From the Drawing by Pugin and Rowlandson (Microcosm of London).
From the Drawing by Pugin and Rowlandson (Microcosm of London).
From a Caricature (based upon a Drawing by Bartolozzi) in the National Portrait Gallery.
After a Painting by Romney.
From the Painting by William Brockedon in the National Portrait Gallery.
From the Drawing by Pugin and Rowlandson (Microcosm of London).
From a Painting by Johann Zoffany, R.A., engraved by Worthington.
From a Drawing by James Lonsdale.
From the Painting by Domenico Pellegrini in the National Portrait Gallery.
From the Painting by Romney, engraved by John Ogbourne.
From a Contemporary Print.
From the Painting by Hogarth, engraved by H. Bourne.
From the Drawing by Henry William Bunbury, engraved by Bretherton.
From a Contemporary Print.
From an Etching by John Thomas Smith.
From the Painting by Thomas Phillips, R.A., in the National Portrait Gallery.
From a Drawing by Robert Cruikshank.
From an Engraving by P. Vandrebane.
From the Painting by Romney in the National Portrait Gallery.
From the Painting by himself in the Royal Academy.



The first two editions of A Book for a Rainy Day appeared in 1845, twelve years after John Thomas Smith’s death, and a third appeared in 1861. As these editions do not contain half a dozen notes other than Smith’s own, this may claim to be the first annotated edition. It is also the first in which numerous original misprints have been (as I hope) corrected.

The lapse of seventy years has made many notes necessary. I have endeavoured to write these in the spirit of the book, making them something more than brief categorical answers to questions suggested by Smith’s journal. His own notes were interesting after-thoughts, and for this reason, and to avoid confusion, the great majority are now incorporated in his text. Where any are retained as footnotes, Smith’s authorship is indicated. If my additions to the book seem profuse, I can only plead that the Rainy Day offers to the annotator that abundance of material which has long pleased and bewildered its “Grangerisers.” And our climate has not improved.

I wish to acknowledge the use I have made of the Dictionary of National Biography, Notes and Queries, Mr. Wheatley’s London Past and Present, Mr. George Clinch’s Bloomsbury and St. Giles’s, and his Marylebone and St. Pancras, Mr. Warwick Wroth’s London Pleasure Gardens of the Eighteenth Century, Mr. Percy Fitzgerald’s[x] Life of Garrick, Mr. Austin Dobson’s Hogarth, Mr. Laurence Binyon’s Catalogue of Drawings by British Artists in the Print Department, the Gentleman’s Magazine, the works of Cunningham and Redgrave, and such autobiographies as those of Henry Angelo, Thomas Dibdin, John Taylor, W. H. Pyne, Sir Nathaniel Wraxhall, B. R. Haydon, Madam D’Arblay, Dr. Trusler, and Letitia Hawkins. It is remarkable how John Thomas Smith’s own books supplement each other. His Nollekens and his Times is an inexhaustible budget of facts, and its usefulness has been increased by the index provided in Mr. Gosse’s edition of 1895.

It should be remembered that the year-dates which Smith uses as chapter headings do not represent the times at which the respective chapters were written. I judge that Smith was engaged on the Rainy Day only in the last three years of his life. His chronology is rather happy-go-lucky. For example, it must not be supposed that Dr. Burgess, of Mortimer Street, wore his cocked hat and deep ruffles in 1816, or that in that year Alderman Boydell might have been seen putting his head under the pump in Ironmonger Lane. These men died some years earlier. In accordance with the text of the third edition, Smith’s curious mention of the death of Dr. Johnson will be found under the year 1803.

W. W.

June 1905.



John Thomas, or “Rainy Day,” Smith was born in a London hackney coach, on the evening of the 23rd of June 1766. His mother had spent the evening at the house of her brother, Mr. Edward Tarr, a convivial glass-grinder of Earl Street, Seven Dials, and the coach was conveying her back with necessary haste to her home at No. 7 Great Portland Street. Sixty-seven years later, the man who had entered thus hurriedly into the world left it with almost equal unexpectedness in his house, No. 22 University Street, after holding for seventeen years the post of Keeper of the Prints at the British Museum.

As a writer John Thomas Smith takes no high rank; but he is a delightful gossip, full of his two subjects: London and Art. We know him when he exclaims to a visitor in the Print Room, “What I tell you is the fact, and sit down, and I’ll tell ye the whole story.” Smith’s narrative manner is always that: “Sit down, and I’ll tell ye the whole story.” Such historians are often found in life, mighty recollectors before the Lord, who[xii] talk books which no one can inspire them to write. And it is well that when Smith did write he took small pains to be fine or literary. Writing as a man, and not as the scribes, he produced in his Nollekens and his Times one of the most entertaining harum-scarum biographies ever seen, and in his Book for a Rainy Day, or Recollections of the Events of the Years 1766-1833, a budget of memories which has perhaps been less read and more quoted than any book of its kind.

Smith’s valuable quality is his interest in the life he lived and saw lived. He was zealous to record those trivial facts of to-day which become piquant to-morrow, a habit that reveals itself in the way he mentions his birth as happening “whilst Maddox was balancing a straw at the Little Theatre in the Haymarket, and Marylebone Gardens re-echoed the melodious notes of Tommy Lowe.” In a friend’s album he wrote—

“I can boast of seven events, some of which great men would be proud of:

“I received a kiss when a boy from the beautiful Mrs. Robinson;

“Was patted on the head by Dr. Johnson;

“Have frequently held Sir Joshua Reynolds’s spectacles;

“Partook of a pint of porter with an elephant;

“Saved Lady Hamilton from falling when the melancholy news arrived of Lord Nelson’s death;


“Three times conversed with King George the Third;

“And was shut up in a room with Mr. Kean’s lion.”

These events are more curious than fateful, and, indeed, Smith’s career is little more than a record of plates etched and books published. He is entertaining because he was out and about in London for sixty years, and looked upon anecdotes as “debts due to the public.”

Almost as soon as Mrs. Smith’s hackney coach had brought her to No. 7 Great Portland Street—a house whose site is now covered, as I reckon, by No. 38—Dr. William Hunter, brother of the great John Hunter, arrived from Jermyn Street, and performed his duties with the skill of a Physician-Extraordinary to the Queen. The attendance of such a man proves the material comfort of the Smith family. Nathaniel Smith, the flustered father, was principal assistant to Joseph Nollekens, the sculptor, and he had worked for Joseph Wilton and the great Roubiliac. For Wilton he carved three of the nine masks, representing Ocean and eight British rivers, now seen on the Strand front of Somerset House. He had taken to wife a Miss Tarr, a Quakeress. Their boy’s christening was dictated by family history. He was named John after his grandfather, a Shropshire clothier, whose bust, modelled by Nathaniel Smith, was[xiv] the first publicly exhibited by the Associated Artists at Spring Gardens; and Thomas after his great-uncle, Admiral Thomas Smith, who had earned in Portsmouth Harbour (more cheaply, perhaps, than Smith would have allowed) the name of “Tom of Ten Thousand.”

Smith early went into training to be a gossiping topographer. Old Nollekens, already a Royal Academician, and the most sought-after sculptor of portrait busts (“Well, sir, I think my friend Joe Nollekens can chop out a head with any of them,” was Dr. Johnson’s tribute to his genius), often took his assistant’s little son for a ramble round the streets. One day he led Thomas to the Oxford Road to see Jack Rann go by on the cart to Tyburn, where he was to be hanged for robbing Dr. William Bell of his watch and eighteenpence. The boy remembered all his life the criminal’s pea-green coat, his nankin small-clothes, and the immense nosegay that had been presented to him at St. Sepulchre’s steps. In another walk, Mr. Nollekens showed him the ruins of the Duke of Monmouth’s house in Soho Square. In a Sunday morning ramble they watched the boys bathing in Marylebone Basin, on the site of Portland Place. And, again, they stood at the top of Rathbone Place, while Nollekens recalled the mill from which Windmill Street was named, and the halfpenny hatch which had admitted people to the miller’s grounds.


In the sculptor’s studio, at No. 9 Mortimer Street, where at the age of twelve he began to help his father, Smith met sundry great people. One day, Mr. Charles Townley, the collector of the Townley marbles, noticed him, and “pouched” him half a guinea to purchase paper and chalk. Dr. Johnson, who was sitting for his bust, once looked at the boy’s drawings, and, laying his hand heavily on his head, croaked, “Very well, very well.” On a February day in 1779, that wag Johnny Taylor, who was to be Smith’s life-long friend, put his head in at the studio door and shouted the news that Garrick’s funeral had just left Adelphi Terrace for Westminster Abbey. Away flew Smith to see the procession, and to record it, in his old age, in the Rainy Day.

As a youth, Smith wished to learn engraving under Bartolozzi, but the great Italian declined a pupil, and it was through the influence of Dr. Hinchliffe, Bishop of Peterborough, one of his father’s patrons, that he entered the studio of John Keyse Sherwin, the engraver. Here he received his kiss from the beautiful “Perdita” Robinson; and when Mrs. Siddons sat to Sherwin for her portrait as the Grecian Daughter, he raised and lowered the window curtains to obtain the effect of light desired by his master.

Three years later Smith launched out as young drawing-master, pencil-portrait draughtsman, and[xvi] topographical engraver. He found a patron in Mr. Richard Wyatt, of Milton Place, Egham. Through this gentleman he obtained commissions as a topographical artist from influential collectors like the Duke of Roxburgh, Lord Leicester, and Horace Walpole. Moreover, Sir Joshua Reynolds and Benjamin West sometimes engaged him to bid for them at print auctions. At this time he was a frequent visitor to the drawing-room of Mrs. Mathew, in Rathbone Place, where Flaxman was often found, and where William Blake read aloud his early poems.

The small artist, and particularly the topographical artist, had his chance in the second half of the eighteenth century. The productions of Wilson, Reynolds, Romney, and Gainsborough had stirred up the arts of engraving, which allied themselves closely to literature and life. It was the age of portly topographies and county histories, with their ceremonious array of plates; of itinerant portrait and view painting; and of night-sales of books and prints at which sociable collectors sat under eccentric auctioneers, and at which noblemen were as commonly seen as they were at boxing and trotting matches fifty years later. Shops abounded for the sale of new prints, and auctions were frequent for the distribution of old. Human types were produced of which we know little to-day. Smith has drawn some of them[xvii] with easy and natural touches in his chapter on the print-buyers who attended Langford’s and Hutchins’ sale rooms, in Covent Garden, in 1783. There he was in his element. Not much passed in the art world in the fifty years following that date that Smith did not know.

When twenty-two, he married. The girl of his choice was Anne Maria Pickett, who belonged to a respectable family at Streatham, and who, after forty-five years of married life, was left his widow. They had one son and two daughters. The son died at the Cape in the same year as his father, 1833. One daughter was married to Mr. Smith, a sculptor, and the other to Mr. Paul Fischer, a miniature painter. Soon after his marriage he was invited by Sir James Winter Lake to take up his residence at Edmonton, where he taught drawing to their daughter, and doubtless had other pupils. When he applied (unsuccessfully) for the post of drawing-master to Christ’s Hospital, Sir James and Lady Lake’s testimonial made a point of the fact that he had never touched up their daughter’s work, “a practice too often followed by drawing-masters in general.” At this period Smith practised as an itinerant portrait painter, a branch of art which then had its vogue, and was to number William Hazlitt among its professors. At Edmonton it was that he “profiled, three-quartered, full-faced, and buttoned up the[xviii] retired embroidered weavers, their crummy wives and tight-laced daughters.” At Edmonton, too, he watched the reception of his first book, the Antiquities of London and its Environs. Smith’s career for the next thirty years may be conveniently sketched in a list of his residences and the work he accomplished in each.

In 1797 he was at No. 40 Frith Street, Soho, a house which still exists, with its ground floor converted into a French wine shop. There he published his Remarks on Rural Scenery, consisting of etching of cottage and village scenes in the neighbourhood of London, with a preliminary essay on drawing.

In 1800 he was living with his father at 18 May’s Buildings, or the “Rembrandt Head,” as it was styled, in St. Martin’s Lane. In this year the discovery of curious paintings during the alterations to St. Stephen’s Chapel for the enlargement of the House of Commons, attracted Smith’s attention, and, after making careful copies of these relics, he projected his Antiquities of Westminster.

In February 1806, Smith published an etching of the scene on the Thames when Nelson’s remains were brought from Greenwich to Whitehall. He tells us that on showing it to Lady Hamilton she swooned in his arms. The plate is inscribed: “Published February 15, 1806, by John Thomas Smith, at No. 36 Newman Street.” This house remains unaltered.


In 1807 he issued his Antiquities of Westminster, his address appearing in the imprint as 31 Castle Street East, Oxford Street.

In 1810, May’s Buildings reappears in the imprint of his Antient Topography of London, but it may be that this address was not residential. The site of this house is merged in Messrs. Harrison’s printing works.

In 1815-17, Smith lived at No. 4 Chandos Street, Covent Garden, whence he issued his Vagabondiana, or Anecdotes of Mendicant Wanderers through the Streets of London.

In 1816 he succeeded William Alexander as Keeper of the Prints, and it is probable that he soon afterwards took up his residence at No. 22 University Street.[1] He was living here in 1828, when he published, through Henry Colburn, of New Burlington Street, “Nollekens and his Times: comprehending a Life of that celebrated Sculptor; and Memoirs of Several Contemporary Artists, from the time of Roubiliac, Hogarth, and Reynolds, to that of Fuseli, Flaxman, and Blake.” This, his most ambitious work, must be noticed more particularly[xx] because of its bearing on Smith’s life and character. Mr. Gosse, who has edited it, with the addition of a graceful essay on Georgian Sculpture, describes it as “perhaps the most candid biography ever published in the English language.” In its pages Smith exposes the domestic privacies and miserly habits of the sculptor and his wife. There are pages of sordid gossip which a dismissed charwoman might probably have found unacceptable to her cronies and supporters. Yet the book cannot be described as venomous. It is cheerily and unscrupulously candid, and this even in the matter of the author’s own disappointment. Nollekens, he assures us, had again and again given him reason to believe that he would be handsomely remembered in his will. “That you may depend upon, Tom,” were his words. It is easy to see that Smith may have come to expect this as the bright event of his later years. His Museum appointment had lifted him out of drudgery, and the promised legacy may have presented itself to him as the final deliverance from care. Nollekens had been kind to him as a boy, and had remained his friend through life. He was a widower, childless, and enormously rich. No artist had known better how to make art profitable. His purchases of antiques in Rome had been most prudent; so, also, his investments. As a sculptor of portrait busts he stood alone, and in his long working life[xxi] he had “chopped out” the heads of many hundreds of wealthy and illustrious persons. When he died in April 1823, no one was surprised that his estate was declared to be of the value of £300,000. But very little of it went to “Tom,” who, to his intense chagrin, received a bare hundred pounds as one of the three executors.

Five years later, Smith brought out his hit-back biography. Its general veracity cannot be doubted. It is a veracity sharpened, not deflected, by malice. But it is clear that Smith found other satisfactions in writing the book than that of exposing the weaknesses of his old friend. He enjoyed the long and minute chronicle of life in Mortimer Street and in the studios and galleries he had frequented. Nollekens comes and goes in a world of gossip about London, art, and people. True, at any moment a mischievous gust may blow aside the veils to show us Mrs. Nollekens, in second-hand finery, beating down the price of a new broom or a chicken with cunning affability, or the sculptor pocketing nutmegs at the Royal Academy dinners to be added to the Mortimer Street larder. If you protest against these and worse freedoms, you are grateful for the hundred little touches of locality and custom that accompany them. The daily life of the eighteenth century is before you: the parlour, the street, the print shop.

Of Smith’s reign in the Print Room not much[xxii] can be gathered. He was much liked and respected by those who consulted him in his department. We are told that he was kind to young artists of promise, and gently candid to those of no promise. His recollections and anecdotes were the delight of his visitors, one of whom has left us a racy specimen of his flow of humour and gossip. I refer to the following passage of Boswellian reminiscence, appended to the second and third edition, of the Rainy Day.

“His two old friends, Mr. Packer, who had been a partner in Combe’s brewery, and Colonel Phillips, who had accompanied Captain Cooke in one of his voyages round the world, were constant attendants in the Print Room, and contributed towards the general amusement. Of the former of these gentlemen, who died in 1828, at the advanced age of ninety, Mr. Smith used to tell a remarkable story, which we are rather surprised not to find recorded in his Reminiscences. It was our fortune to be the first to communicate to Mr. Smith the fact of his old friend’s decease, and that he had bequeathed to him a legacy of £100. ‘Ah, Sir!’ he said, in a very solemn manner, after a long pause, ‘poor fellow, he pined to death on account of a rash promise of marriage he had made.’ We humbly ventured to express our doubts, having seen him not long before looking not only very un-Romeo like, but very hale[xxiii] and hearty; and besides, we begged to suggest that other reasons might be given for the decease of a respectable gentleman of ninety. ‘No, Sir,’ said Mr. Smith; ‘what I tell you is the fact, and sit ye down, and I’ll tell ye the whole story. Many years ago, when Mr. Packer was a young man employed in the brew-house in which he afterwards became a partner, he courted, and promised marriage to, a worthy young woman in his own sphere of life. But, as his circumstances improved, he raised his ideas, and, not to make a long story of it, married another woman with a good deal of money. The injured fair one was indignant, but, as she had no written promise to show, was, after some violent scenes, obliged to put up with a verbal assurance that she should be the next Mrs. Packer. After a few years the first Mrs. P. died, and she then claimed the fulfilment of his promise, but was again deceived in the same way, and obliged to put up with a similar pledge. A second time he became a widower, and a third time he deceived his unfortunate first love, who, indignant and furious beyond measure, threatened all sorts of violent proceedings. To pacify her, Mr. P. gave her a written promise that, if a widower, he would marry her when he attained the age of one hundred years! Now he had lost his last wife some time since, and every time he came to see me at the Museum, he fretted and fumed because he should be obliged to marry[xxiv] that awful woman at last. This could not go on long, and, as you tell me, he has just dropped off. If it hadn’t been for this, he would have lived as long as Old Parr. And now,’ finished Mr. Smith, with the utmost solemnity, ‘let this be a warning to you. Don’t make rash promises to women; but if you will do so, don’t make them in writing.’”

Had John Thomas Smith been granted the scriptural span of life, he might have read the Pickwick Papers. But the implacable call came in March 1833, and he left various enterprises unfinished. He had collected the materials for a gossipping history of Covent Garden; these have never been edited. The well-known Antiquarian Rambles in the Streets of London, published in 1846, originated in Smith’s notes, but four-fifths of the book was certainly written by its editor, Dr. Charles Mackay.

The book from which Smith has his sobriquet was published in 1845. A Book for a Rainy Day places its author in that line of London’s watchful lovers which began with John Stow and has not ended with Sir Walter Besant. Now, when London’s streets are changing as they have not changed since the Great Fire, he lies in that bare field of the dead behind the Bayswater Road, where, on the grave of a greater writer, you read the words, “Alas! poor Yorick.”

W. W.



The Reader is requested to keep in mind that those events which I relate of myself when “mewling in my nurse’s arms,” and until my fourth year, were communicated to me by my parents, and that my statements from that period are mostly from my own memory;—Miranda proved to Prospero that she recollected an event in her fourth year.


My father informed me, that in the evening of the 23rd of June 1766, which must have been much about the time when Marylebone Gardens echoed the melodious notes of Tommy Lowe,[2] and whilst there was The Devil to Pay at Richmond with Mr. and Mrs. Love,[3] my[2] mother, on returning from a visit to her brother, Mr. Edward Tarr,[4] became so seriously indisposed, that she most strenuously requested him to allow her to return home in a hackney coach, whilst he went to Jermyn Street for Dr. Hunter.[5] Upon that gentleman’s arrival at my father’s door, No. 7, in Great Portland Street,[6] Marylebone, he assisted the nurse in conveying my mother and myself to her chamber. Although I dare not presume to suppose that the vehicle in which I was born had been the equipage of the great John Duke of Marlborough, or Sarah his Duchess, at all events I probably may be correct in the conjecture that the hack was in some degree similar to those introduced by Kip, in his Plates for Strype’s edition of Stowe.[7]


Hackney chairs were then so numerous, that their stands extended round Covent Garden, and often down the adjacent streets;[8] these vehicles frequently enabled physicians to approach their patients in a warm state. The forms of those to which I allude are also given in Kip’s prints above mentioned; and who knows but that they, in their turn, have conveyed Voltaire from the theatre to his lodging in Maiden Lane?[9]

That sedans were of ancient use I make no doubt, as I find one introduced in Sir George Staunton’s Embassy to China.[10] Pliny has stated that his uncle was much accustomed to be carried abroad in a chair.[11] My parents,[4] after a fireside debate, agreed that I should have two Christian names: John, after my grandfather, a Shropshire clothier, whose bust, modelled by my father, was one of the first publicly exhibited by the Associated Artists in 1763, before the establishment of the Royal Academy;[12] and Thomas, to the honour of our family, in remembrance of my great-uncle, Admiral Smith, better known under the appellation of “Tom of Ten Thousand,”[13] of whom I[5] have a spirited half-length portrait, painted by the celebrated Richard Wilson, the landscape painter, previous to his visiting Rome, when he resided in the apartments on the north side of Covent Garden, which had been occupied first by Sir Peter Lely, and afterwards by Sir Godfrey Kneller.[14] From this picture there is an excellent engraving in mezzotinto, by Faber.


I have heard my mother relate, that when at Greenwich this year for the benefit of her health, an aged pie and cheesecake woman lived there, who was accompanied through the town by a goose, who regularly stopped at her customer’s door, and commenced a loud cackling; but that whenever the words “Not to-day” were uttered, off it waddled to the next house, and so on till the business of the day was ended. My mother also remarked, that when ladies walked out, they carried nosegays in their hands, and wore three immense lace ruffle cuffs on each elbow.[15]

In the month of March, this year, died Mary Mogg, at Oakingham, the woman who gave rise to Gay’s celebrated ballad of “Molly Mogg.”[16]


In all ages there has been a fashion in amusements, as well as in dress: grottoes, which were numerous round London, appear by the advertisements to have been places of great resort, but above all Finch’s, in St. George’s Fields, was the favourite. The following is a copy of one of the musical announcements:—

“6th of May, 1766.

Mr. Houghton and Mr. Mitchell’s Night.

At Finch’s Grotto Garden, This Day, will be performed a Concert of Vocal and Instrumental Music. Singing as usual.

“N.B. For that Night only, the Band will be enlarged. Tickets to be had at the Bar of the Gardens. Admittance One Shilling.”[17]



Being frequently thrown into my cradle by the servant, as a cross little brat, the care of my tender mother induced her to purchase one of Mr. Burchell’s anodyne necklaces, so strongly recommended by two eminent physicians, Dr. Tanner, the inventor, and Dr. Chamberlen, to whom he had communicated the prescription; and it was agreed by most of my mother’s gossiping friends, that the effluvia arising from it when warm acted in so friendly a manner, that my fevered gums were considerably relieved.[18]

Go-carts, the old appendages of our nurseries, continuing in use, I was occasionally placed in one; and as[9] its advantages have been noticed in my work entitled Nollekens and his Times, I shall now only refer the reader for its form to Number 186 of “Rembrandt’s Etchings;”[19] that being similar, as my father informed me, to those used in London in my infantine days.[20]

The cradle having of late years been in a great degree superseded by what is called a cot,[21] and its shape not being remarkable, I shall for a moment beg leave to deal in a foreign market, in order to gratify the indefatigable organ of inquisitiveness of some of my readers, who may wish to know in what sort of cradle Stratford’s sweet Willy slumbered. Possibly it might in some respects have accorded with the representation of one in a small plate by Israel Von Meckenen,[22] and this conjecture is not improbable, as that plate was engraved about the sixteenth century; and it is well known that in most articles of furniture, as well as dress, we had long borrowed from[10] our continental neighbours, whether good, bad, or indifferent. It gives me great pleasure to observe that, owing to the vast improvements made by our draughtsmen for English upholsterers, in every article of domestic decorative furniture, England has now little occasion to borrow from other nations.


“See how she comes to give surprise
With joy and pleasure in her eyes.”
Old Song, “Nancy Dawson”

Nancy Dawson, the famous hornpipe dancer, died this year, May 27th, at Hampstead; she was buried behind the Foundling Hospital, in the ground belonging to St. George the Martyr, where there is a tombstone to her memory, simply stating, “Here lies Nancy Dawson.” Every verse of a song in praise of her, declares the poet to be dying for Nancy Dawson; and its tune, which many of my readers must recollect, is, in my opinion, as lively as that of “Sir Roger de Coverley.” I have been informed that Nancy, when a girl, set up the skittles at a tavern in High Street, Marylebone.[23] Sir William Musgrave, in[11] his Adversaria (No. 5719), in the British Museum, says that “Nancy Dawson was the wife of a publican near Kelso, on the borders of Scotland.”[24]


At the age when most children place things on their heads and cry “Hot pies!” I displayed a black pudding upon mine, which my mother, careful soul, had provided for its protection in case I should fall. This is another article mentioned in Nollekens and his Times; and having there stated that Rubens, in a picture at Blenheim, had painted one on the head of a son of his, walking with his wife Elenor,[25] and as the mothers of future days may wish to know its shape, I beg to inform them that there is an engraving of it by MacArdell. But as the receipt for a pet pudding would be of little use to the maker were one ingredient omitted, it would be equally difficult to produce a similar black pudding to mine, were I not to state that it was made of a long narrow piece of black silk or satin, padded with wadding, and then formed to the head according[12] to the taste of the parent, or similar to that of little Rubens.[26]

In this year the Royal Academy was founded, consisting of members who had agreed to withdraw themselves from various clubs, not only in order to be more select as to talent, but perfectly correct as to gentlemanly conduct. It would have been a valuable acquisition to the History of the Fine Arts in England, had Mr. Howard favoured us with the Rise and Progress of the Royal Academy.[27]


Perhaps no one could have been more talked of than Mr. Wilkes, particularly on May 10th, when a riot took place on account of his imprisonment.[28] His popularity was carried to so great an extent, that his friends in all classes displayed some article on which his effigy was portrayed, such as salad or punch bowls, ale or milk jugs, plate, dishes, and even heads of canes. The squib engravings of him, published from the commencement of his notoriety to his silent state when Chamberlain of London, would extend to several volumes. Hogarth’s portrait of him, which by the collectors was considered[14] a caricature, my father recommended as the best likeness.

The following memoranda respecting Henry Fuseli, R.A., are extracted from the Mitchell Manuscripts in the British Museum. The letter is from Mr. Murdock, of Hampstead, to a friend at Berlin, dated Hampstead, 12th June 1764:—

“I like Fuseli very much; he comes out to see us at times, and is just now gone from this with your letter to A. Ramsay, and another from me. He is of himself disposed to all possible economy; but to be decently lodged and fed, in a decent family, cannot be for less than three shillings a day, which he pays. He might, according to Miller’s wish, live a little cheaper; but then he must have been lodged in some garret, where nobody could have found their way, and must have been thrown into ale-houses and eating-houses, with company every way unsuitable, or, indeed, insupportable to a stranger of any taste; especially as the common people are of late brutalised.

“Some time hence, I hope, he may do something for himself; his talent at grouping figures, and his faculty of execution, being really surprising.”

In the same volume, in a letter dated Hampstead, 12th Jan. 1768, the same writer says to the same friend—

“Fuseli goes to Italy next spring, by the advice of Reynolds (our Apelles), who has a high opinion of his genius, and sees what is wanting to make him a first-rate.”[29]



In another, dated Hampstead, 13th December 1768: “Fuseli is still here; but proposes to set out for Italy as soon as his friends can secure to him fifty pounds yearly, for a few years. Dr. Armstrong,[30] who admires his genius, has taxed himself at ten pounds, and has taken us in for as much more; and indeed it were shameful that such talents should be sunk for want of a little pecuniary aid.”

The ladies this year wore half a flat hat as an eye-shade.


Lord North, in a letter addressed to Sir Eardley Wilmot from Downing Street, bearing date this year, April 1st, says—

“My friend Colonel Luttrell having informed me that many persons depending upon the Court of Common Pleas are freeholders of Middlesex, etc., not having the honour of being acquainted with you himself, desires me to apply to you for your interest with your friends in his behalf. It is manifest how much it is for the honour of Parliament, and the quiet of this country in future times, that Mr. Wilkes should have an antagonist at the next Brentford election; and that his antagonist should meet with a respectable support. The state of the country has been examined, and there is the greatest reason to believe that the Colonel will have a very considerable show of legal votes, nay, even a majority, if his friends[16] are not deterred from appearing at the poll. It is the game of Mr. Wilkes and his friends to increase those alarms, but they cannot frighten the candidate from his purpose; and I am very confident that the voters will run no risk. I hope, therefore, you will excuse this application. There is nothing, I imagine, that every true friend of this country must wish more than to see Mr. Wilkes disappointed in his projects; and nothing, I am convinced, will defeat them more effectually, than to fill up the vacant seat for Middlesex, especially if it can be done for a fair majority of legal votes.

“I am, Sir, with the greatest truth and respect, your most faithful, humble servant,


The Judge, in his answer, dated on the following day, observed, “It would be highly improper for me to interfere in any shape in that election.” (See the Wilmot Letters, in the British Museum.)[31]

This year ladies continued to walk with fans in their hands.


Most of the citizens who had saved money were very fond of retiring to some country-house, at a short distance from the Metropolis, and more particularly to Islington, that being a selected and favourite spot. Charles Bretherton, Jun., made an etching, from a drawing by[17] Mr. Bunbury,[32] of a Londoner, of the above description, whose waistcoat-pockets were large enough to convey a couple of fowls from a City feast home to his family. The print is entitled, “The Delights of Islington,” and bears the following inscription at the top:—

WHEREAS my new Pagoda has been clandestinely carried off, and a new pair of Dolphins taken from the top of the Gazebo, by some Bloodthirsty Villains; and whereas a great deal timber has been cut down and carried away from the Old Grove, that was planted last Spring, and Pluto and Proserpine thrown into my Basin: from henceforth, Steel Traps and spring guns will be constantly set for the better extirpation of such a nest of villains,

By me, Jeremiah Sago.


On a garden notice-board, in another print, also after Bunbury, published at the same time, is inscribed,


No Gentlemen or Ladies to be admitted with nails in their shoes.[33]


For the information of the collectors of Bunbury’s prints, I beg to state that there is in Mrs. Banks’s collection of visiting cards, etc., in the British Museum, a small etching said to have been his very first attempt when at Westminster School. It represents a fellow riding a hog, brandishing a birch-broom by way of a baster, with another at a short distance, hallooing.

As Mr. Walpole is silent as to Jonathan Richardson’s place of interment, the biographical collector will find the following inscription in the burial-ground behind the Foundling Hospital, belonging to the parish of St. George the Martyr:—

Elizabeth Richardson,
Died 24th Dec. 1767,
Aged 74 years.
Jonathan Richardson,
Died 10th June, 1771,
Aged 77; both of this parish.[34]



The gaiety during the merry month of May was to me most delightful; my feet, though I knew nothing of the positions, kept pace with those of the blooming milkmaids, who danced round their garlands of massive plate, hired from the silversmiths to the amount of several hundreds of pounds, for the purpose of placing round an obelisk, covered with silk fixed upon a chairman’s horse. The most showy flowers of the season were arranged so as to fill up the openings between the dishes, plates, butter-boats, cream-jugs, and tankards. This obelisk was carried by two chairmen in gold-laced hats, six or more handsome milkmaids in pink and blue gowns, drawn through the pocket-holes, for they had one on either side: yellow or scarlet petticoats, neatly quilted, high-heeled shoes, mob-caps, with lappets of lace resting on their shoulders; nosegays in their bosoms, and flat Woffington hats, covered with ribbons of every colour. But what crowned the whole of the display was a magnificent silver tea-urn[20] which surmounted the obelisk, the stand of which was profusely decorated with scarlet tulips. A smart, slender fellow of a fiddler, commonly wearing a sky-blue coat, with his hat profusely covered with ribbons, attended; and the master of the group was accompanied by a constable, to protect the plate from too close a pressure of the crowd, when the maids danced before the doors of his customers.[35]

One of the subjects selected by Mr. Jonathan Tyers, for the artists who decorated the boxes for supper-parties in Vauxhall Gardens,[36] was that of Milkmaids on May-day.[21] In that picture (which, with the rest painted by Hayman and his pupils, has lately disappeared) the garland of plate was carried by a man on his head; and the milkmaids, who danced to the music of a wooden-legged fiddler, were extremely elegant. They had ruffled cuffs, and their gowns were not drawn through their pocket-holes as in my time; their hats were flat, and not unlike that worn by Peg Woffington, but bore a nearer shape to those now in use by some of the fish-women at Billingsgate. In Captain M. Laroon’s Cries of London, published by Tempest, there is a female entitled “A Merry Milkmaid.”[37] She is dancing with a small garland of plate upon her head; and from her dress I conclude that the Captain either made his drawing in the latter part of King William III.’s reign, or at the commencement of that of Queen Anne.


My dear mother’s declining state of health urged my father to consult Dr. Armstrong,[38] who recommended her to rise early and take milk at the cowhouse. I was her companion then; and I well remember that, after we had passed Portland Chapel, there were fields all the way on either side. The highway was irregular, with here[22] and there a bank of separation; and that when we had crossed the New Road, there was a turnstile (called in an early plan, which I have seen since, “The White House”), at the entrance of a meadow leading to a little old public-house, the sign of the “Queen’s Head and Artichoke”: it was much weather-beaten, though perhaps once a tolerably good portrait of Queen Elizabeth. The house was reported to have been kept by one of Her Majesty’s gardeners.[39]

A little beyond a nest of small houses contiguous, was another turnstile opening also into fields, over which we walked to the Jew’s Harp House, Tavern and Tea Gardens.[40] It consisted of a large upper room, ascended by an outside[23] staircase, for the accommodation of the company on ball nights; and in this room large parties dined. At the south front of these premises was a large semicircular enclosure with boxes for tea and ale drinkers, guarded by deal-board soldiers between every box, painted in proper colours. In the centre of this opening were tables and seats placed for the smokers. On the eastern side of the house there was a trapball-ground; the western side served for a tennis-hall; there were also public and private skittle-grounds. Behind this tavern were several small tenements, with a pretty good portion of ground to each. On the south of the tea-gardens a number of summer-houses and gardens, fitted up in the truest Cockney taste; for on many of these castellated edifices wooden cannons were placed; and at the entrance of each domain, of about the twentieth part of an acre, the old inscription of “Steel-traps and spring-guns all over these grounds,” with an “N.B. Dogs trespassing will be shot.”

In these rural retreats the tenant was usually seen on Sunday evening in a bright scarlet waistcoat, ruffled shirt, and silver shoe-buckles, comfortably taking his tea with his family, honouring a Seven-Dial friend with a nod on his peregrination to the famed Wells of Kilburn. Willan’s farm,[41] the extent of my mother’s walk, stood at about a quarter of a mile south; and I remember that the room in which she sat to take the milk was called “Queen Elizabeth’s Kitchen,” and that there was some stained glass in the windows.

On our return we crossed the New Road; and, after[24] passing the back of Marylebone Gardens,[42] entered London immediately behind the elegant mansions on the north side of Cavendish Square. This Square was enclosed by a dwarf brick wall, surmounted by heavy wooden railing. Harley Fields had for years been resorted to by thousands of people, to hear the celebrated Mr. George Whitefield, whose wish, like that of Wesley, when preaching on execution days at Kennington Common, was to catch the ears of the idlers. I should have noticed Kendall’s farm,[43] which in 1746 belonged to a farmer of the name of Bilson, a pretty large one, where I have seen eight or ten immense hay-ricks all on a row; it stood on the site of the commencement of the present Osnaburg Street, nearly opposite the “Green Man,” originally called the “Farthing Pie House.”[44]



To the honour of our climate, which is often abused, perhaps no country can produce instances of longevity equal to those of England of this year, viz.:—at 100, 2; 101, 5; 102, 6; 103, 3; 105, 4; 106, 3; 107, 4; 108, 5; 109, 4; 110, 2; 111, 2; 112, 3; 114, 1; 118, 1; 125, Rice, a cooper in Southwark; 133, Mrs. Keithe, at Newnham, in Gloucestershire; 138, the widow Chun, at Ophurst, near Lichfield.[45]


The “Mother Red-cap,” at Kentish Town, was a house of no small terror to travellers in former times.[26] This house was lately taken down, and another inn built on its site; however, the old sign of “Mother Red-cap” is preserved on the new building. It has been stated that Mother Red-cap was the “Mother Damnable” of Kentish Town in early days; and that it was at her house the notorious “Moll Cut-purse,” the highway-woman of the time of Oliver Cromwell, dismounted and frequently lodged.[46]

As few persons possess so retentive a memory as myself, I make no doubt that many will be pleased with my recollections of the state of Tottenham Court Road at this time. I shall commence at St. Giles’s churchyard, in[27] the northern wall of which there was a gateway of red and brown brick. Over this gate, under its pediment, was a carved composition of the Last Judgment, not borrowed from Michael Angelo, but from the workings of the brain of some ship-carver.[47] This was and is still admired by the generality of ignorant observers, as much as Mr. Charles Smith[48] the sculptor’s “Love among the Roses” is by the well-informed; and, perhaps, a more correct assertion was never made than that by the late worthy Rev. James Bean,[49] when speaking of an itinerant musician, “that bad music was as agreeable to a bad ear as that of Corelli or Pergolesi was to persons who understood the science.”

At this gate stood for many years an eccentric but inoffensive old man called “Simon,” some account of whom will be found in a future page. Nearly on the site of the new gate, in which this basso relievo has been most conspicuously placed, stood a very small old house towards Denmark Street, tottering for several years whenever a heavy carriage rolled through the street,[28] to the great terror of those who were at the time passing by.

I must not forget to observe that I recollect the building of most of the houses at the north end of New Compton Street (Dean Street and Compton Street, Soho, were named in compliment to Bishop Compton, Dean of St. Paul’s, who held the living of St. Anne), and I also remember a row of six small almshouses, surrounded by a dwarf brick wall, standing in the middle of High Street.[50]

On the left-hand of High Street, passing on to Tottenham Court Road, there were four handsomely finished brick houses, with grotesque masks on the key-stones above the first-floor windows, probably erected in the reign of Queen Anne. These houses have lately been rebuilt without the masks; fortunately my reader may be gratified with a sight of such ornaments in Queen Square, Westminster.[51] There is a set of engravings of masks, of a small quarto size, considered as the designs of Michael Angelo; and in the sale of Mr. Moser, the first keeper of the Royal Academy, which took place at Hutchinson’s in 1783, were several plaster casts, considered to be taken from models by him. The next object of notoriety is a large circular boundary stone, let into the pavement in the middle of the highway, exactly where Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road meet in a right angle. When the charity boys of St. Giles’s parish walk the boundaries, those who have deserved flogging are whipped at this stone, in order that, as they grow up, they may remember[29] the place, and be competent to give evidence should any dispute arise with the adjoining parishes. Near this stone stood St. Giles’s Pound.[52] Two old houses stood near this spot on the eastern side of the street, where the entrance gates of Meux’s brewery have been erected: between the second-floor windows of one of them the following inscription was cut in stone: “Opposite this house stood St. Giles’s Pound.” This spot has been rendered popular by a song, attributed to the pen of a Mr. Thompson, an actor of the Drury Lane Company:

“On Newgate steps Jack Chance was found,
Bred up near St. Giles’s Pound.”[53]


The ground behind the north-west end of Russell Street was occupied by a farm occupied by two old maiden sisters of the name of Capper. They wore riding-habits, and men’s hats; one rode an old grey mare, and it was her spiteful delight to ride with a large pair of shears after boys who were flying their kites, purposely to cut their strings; the other sister’s business was to seize the clothes of the lads who trespassed on their premises to bathe.[54]

From Capper’s farm were several straggling houses; but the principal part of the ground to the “King’s Head,” at the end of the road, was unbuilt upon. The “Old King’s Head” forms a side object in Hogarth’s beautiful and celebrated picture of the “March to Finchley,” which may be seen with other fine specimens of art in the Foundling Hospital, for the charitable donation of one shilling.

I shall now recommence on the left-hand side of the road, noticing that on the front of the first house, No. 1, in Oxford Street, near the second-floor windows, is the[31] following inscription cut in stone: Oxford Street, 1725. In Aggas’s plan of London, engraved in the beginning of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the commencement of this street is designated “The Waye to Uxbridge”; farther on in the same plan the highway is called “Oxford Road.” Hanway Street, better known by the vulgar people under the name of Hanover Yard, was at this time the resort of the highest fashion for mercery and other articles of dress. The public-house, the sign of the “Blue Posts,” at the corner of Hanway Street, in Tottenham Court Road, was once kept by a man of the name of Sturges, deep in the knowledge of chess, upon which game he published a little work, as is acknowledged on his tombstone in St. James’s burial-ground, Hampstead Road.[55] From[32] the “Blue Posts” the houses were irregularly built to a large space called Gresse’s Gardens, thence to Windmill Street, strongly recommended by physicians for the salubrity of the air. The premises occupied by the French charity children were held by the founders of the Middlesex Hospital, which were established in 1755, where the patients remained until the present building was erected in Charles Street. Colvill Court, parallel with Windmill Street northward, was built in 1766; and Goodge Street,[56] farther on, was, I conjecture, erected much about the same time. Mr. Whitefield’s chapel was built in 1754, upon the site of an immense pond, called The Little Sea. This pond, so called, is inserted in Pine and Tinney’s plan of London, published in 1742, and also in the large one issued by the same persons in 1746.[57] Beyond the chapel[58] the four[33] dwellings, then called “Paradise Row,” almost terminated the houses on that side. A turnstile opened into Crab-tree Fields.[59] They extended to the “Adam and Eve” public-house, the original appearance of which Hogarth has also introduced into his picture of the “March to Finchley.” It was at this house that the famous pugilistic skill of Broughton and Slack was publicly exhibited, upon an uncovered stage, in a yard open to the North Road.[60]


“Fain would I die preaching.”


The rare and beautiful etching of the before-mentioned picture by Hogarth was the production of Luke Sullivan,[61] a native of Ireland, but how he acquired his knowledge of art I have not been able to learn; most probably he was of Dame Nature’s school, where pupils can be taught gratis the whole twenty-four hours of every day as long as the world lasts. Sullivan’s talents were not confined to the art of engraving; he was, in my humble opinion, the most extraordinary of all miniature painters. I have three or four of his productions, one of which was so particularly fine, that I could almost say I have it on my retina at this moment. It was the portrait of a most lovely woman as to features, flesh, and blood. She was dressed in a pale green silk gown, lapelled with straw-coloured[35] satin; and in order to keep up a sweetness of tone, the artist had placed primroses in her stomacher; the sky was of a warm green, which blended harmoniously with the carnations of her complexion; her hair was jet, and her necklace of pearls.

Lord Orford, whose early attachment to the sleepy-eyed beauties of King Charles II.’s Court, and those with the lascivious leer of that of Louis XIV., as may be inferred by their numerous portraits in the cabinets at Strawberry Hill, would no doubt have preferred his favourites, Cooper and Petitot—names eternally, and many times unjustly, extolled by the admirers of their works to the injury of our artists, whose talents equal, if not surpass, those of every country put together, in, I think I may say, every branch of the fine arts. Upon this too general opinion of the pre-eminence of Petitot, I have now and then had a battle with Mr. Paul Fischer, the miniature painter, who certainly has produced some most highly finished and excellent likenesses of the Royal Family and several persons of fashion, particularly of King George IV. and Sir Wathen Waller, Bart.[62]

Notwithstanding Tottenham Court Road was so infested by the lowest order, who kept what they called a Gooseberry Fair,[63] it was famous at certain times of the year, particularly in summer, for its booths of regular theatrical performers, who deserted the empty benches of Drury Lane Theatre, under the mismanagement of Mr.[36] Fleetwood,[64] and condescended to admit the audience at sixpence each. Mr. Yates, and several other eminent performers, had their names painted on their booths.

The whole of the ground north from Capper’s farm, at the back of the British Museum, so often mentioned as being frequented by duellists, was in irregular patches, many fields with turnstiles. The pipes of the New River Company were propped up in several parts to the height of six and eight feet, so that persons walked under them to gather watercresses, which grew in great abundance and perfection, or to visit the “Brothers’ Steps,” well known to the Londoners. Of these steps there are many traditionary stories; the one generally believed is, that two brothers were in love with a lady, who would not declare a preference for either, but coolly sat upon a bank to witness the termination of a duel, which proved fatal to both. The bank, it is said, on which she sat, and the footmarks of the brothers when pacing the ground, never produced grass again. The fact is that these steps were so often trodden that it was impossible for the grass to grow. I have frequently passed over them; they were in a field on the site of Mr. Martin’s chapel, or very nearly so, and not on the spot as communicated to Miss Porter, who has written an entertaining novel on the subject.[65]


Aubrey, in his Miscellanies, states: “The last summer, on the day of St. John Baptist (1694), I accidentally was walking in the pasture behind Montague House; it was twelve o’clock. I saw there about two or three and twenty young women, most of them well habited, on their knees very busie, as if they had been weeding. I could not presently learn what the matter was; at last a young man told me that they were looking for a coal under the root of a plantain to put under their heads that night, and they should dream who would be their husbands. It was to be found that day and hour.”[66]


“Sixteen String Jack.”



I well remember when, in my eighth year, my father’s playfellow, Mr. Joseph Nollekens, leading me by the hand to the end of John Street, to see the notorious terror of the king’s highways, John Rann, commonly called Sixteen-string Jack, on his way to execution at Tyburn, for robbing Dr. Bell, Chaplain to the Princess Amelia, in Gunnesbury Lane. The Doctor died a Prebendary of Westminster. It was pretty generally reported that the sixteen strings worn by this freebooter at his knees were in allusion to the number of times he had been acquitted. Fortunately for the Boswell illustrators, there is an etched portrait of him; for, be it known, thief as he was, he had the honour of being recorded by Dr. Johnson.[67] Rann was a smart fellow, a great favourite with a certain description of ladies, and had been coachman to Lord Sandwich, when his Lordship resided in the south-east corner-house of Bedford Row. The malefactor’s coat was a bright pea-green; he had an immense nosegay, which he had received from the hand of one of the frail sisterhood, whose practice it was in those days to present flowers to their favourites from the steps of St. Sepulchre’s church,[39] as the last token of what they called their attachment to the condemned,[68] whose worldly accounts were generally brought to a close at Tyburn, in consequence of their associating with abandoned characters. On our return home, Mr. Nollekens, stooping close to my ear, assured me that, had his father-in-law, Mr. Justice Welch, been high constable, we could have walked all the way to Tyburn by the side of the cart.[69]

At this time houses in High Street, Marylebone, particularly on the western side, continued to be inhabited by families who kept their coaches, and who considered themselves as living in the country, and perhaps their family affairs were as well known as they could have been had they resided at Kilburn.[70] In Marylebone, great and[40] wealthy people of former days could hardly stir an inch without being noticed; indeed, so lately as the year 1728, the Daily Journal assured the public that “many persons arrived in London from their country-houses in Marylebone”; and the same publication, dated October 15th, conveys the following intelligence:—

“The Right Hon. Sir Robert Walpole comes to town this day from Chelsea.”

The following lines were inserted by the late Sir William Musgrave, in his Adversaria (No. 5721):—

“Sir Robert Walpole in great haste
Cryed, ‘Where’s my fellow gone?’
It was answered by a man of taste,
‘Your fellow, Sir, there’s none.’”

One Sunday morning my mother allowed me, before we entered the little church[71] in High Street, Marylebone, to stand to see the young gentlemen of Mr. Fountayne’s boarding-school cross the road, while the bell was chiming for sacred duties. I remember well a summer’s sun shone with full refulgence at the time, and my youthful eyes were dazzled with the various colours of the dresses of the youths, who walked two and two, some in pea-green, others sky-blue, and several in the brightest scarlet; many of them wore gold-laced hats, while the flowing locks of others, at that time allowed to remain uncut at[41] schools, fell over their shoulders. To the best of my recollection, the scholars amounted to about one hundred. As the pleasurable and often idle scenes of my schoolboy days are pictured upon my retina whenever Crouch End, or the name of my venerable master, Norton,[72] are mentioned, and as others may feel similar delight with respect to the places at which they received their early education, I shall endeavour to gratify a few of my readers by a description of the house and playground of Mr. Fountayne’s academy. For this purpose it may not be irrelevant to notice something of the antiquity of that once splendid mansion, in which so many persons have passed their early and innocent hours.

Topographers who mention Marylebone Park inform us that foreign ambassadors were in the time of Queen Elizabeth and James I. amused there by hunting, and that the oldest parts of this school were the remains of the palace in which they were entertained. The earliest topographical representation which I am enabled to instance, is a drawing made by Joslin, dated 1700, formerly in the possession of his Grace the Duke of Buckingham, of which I published an etching. It comprehends the field-gate and palace, its surrounding walls and adjacent buildings in Marylebone to the south-west, including a large mansion, which in all probability had been Oxford House, the grand receptacle of the Harleian Library. Fortune, I am sorry to say, has not favoured me with the power of continuing the declining history of the palace to the period at which it became an academy, nor can I discover the time in which Monsieur de la Place first occupied it.[73] A daughter of De la Place married[42] the Rev. Mr. Fountayne,[74] whose name the school retained until its final demolition in 1791, at which period I remember seeing the large stone balls taken from the brick piers of the gates.

Of this house, when a school, I recollect a miserably executed plate by Roberts, probably for some magazine; there is also a quarto plate displaying a knowledge in perspective, engraved by G. T. Parkyns, from a drawing by J. C. Barrow;[75] but the most interesting, and I must consider the most correct, are four drawings made by Michael Angelo Rooker,[76] formerly in my possession, but now in the illustrated copy of Pennant’s London in the British Museum.[77] These have enabled me to insert the[43] following description of a few parts of the mansion. The first drawing is a view of the principal and original front of the palace, or manor-house, with other buildings open to the playground; it was immediately within the wall on the east side of the road, then standing upon the site of the present Devonshire Mews. This house consisted of an immense body and two wings, a projecting porch in the front, and an enormously deep dormer roof, supported by numerous cantilevers, in the centre of which there was, within a very bold pediment, a shield surmounted by foliage with labels below it. The second drawing exhibits the back, or garden front, which consisted of a flat face with a bay window at each end, glazed in quarries;[78] the wall of the back front terminated with five gables. In the midst of some shrubs stands a tall, lusty gentleman dressed in black, with a white Busby-wig and a three-cornered hat, possibly intended for the figure of the Rev. Mr. Fountayne, as he is directing the gardener to distribute some plants. The third drawing, which is taken from the hall, exhibits the grand staircase, the first flight of which consisted of sixteen steps; the hand-rails were supported with richly carved perforated foliage, from its style, probably of the period of Inigo Jones. The fourth drawing consists of the decorations of the staircase, which was tessellated. This mansion was wholly of brick, and surmounted by a large turret containing the clock and bell. Mr. Fountayne was noticed by Handel as well as Clarke, the celebrated Greek scholar.[79] These[44] gentlemen frequently indulged in musical parties, which were attended by persons of rank and worth, as well as fashion and folly.



John Mac Nally … “well known about Parliament Street, and the Surrey foot of Westminster Bridge.”

Mrs. Fountayne was a vain, dashing woman, extremely fond of appearing at Court, for which purpose, as was generally known, she borrowed Lady Harrington’s jewels.[80] Indeed, her passion for display was carried to such an extreme, that she kept her carriage, and that without the knowledge of her husband, by the following artful manœuvre. As the scholars were mostly sons of persons of title and large fortunes, she professed to have many favourites, who had behaved so well that she was often tempted to take them to the play, which so pleased the parents that they liberally reimbursed her in the coach and theatrical expenses, though she actually obtained orders upon those occasions from her friend Mrs. Yates, by which contrivance she was enabled to keep the vehicle in which they were conveyed to the theatres; Mrs.[45] Yates,[81] however, was amply repaid for her orders by the number of tickets which Mrs. Fountayne prevailed on the parents of the scholars to take at her benefits.[82]

Previous to a consultation of physicians respecting the doubtful case of a young gentleman boarder, one of Mr. Fountayne’s daughters overheard something like the following dialogue by placing herself behind the window hangings:—Doctor: “You look better.”—“Yes, sir; I now eat suppers, and wear a double flannel jacket.” At this time the lady behind the curtains tittered. “Hark! what noise is that?” interrogated an old member of Warwick Lane’s far-famed college.[83] “Oh,” said another of the faculty, “it’s only the sneezing of a cat.” After this, instead of saying a word about magnesia, Gaskin’s powder, or oil of sweet almonds, they resumed their conversation upon their indulgences, and finally ended with some severe philippic upon Lord North’s administration. This occupied a considerable portion of their time before the house-apothecary (who had called them in) was questioned as to what he had given the patient. His draught being perfectly consistent with the college pharmacopœia, they all agreed that he could not do better[46] than repeat it as often as he thought proper; and thus the important consultation ended.

In the hall of this house was a parrot, so aged that its few remaining feathers were for years confined to its wrinkled skin by a flannel jacket, which in very cold weather received an additional broadcloth covering of the brightest scarlet, so that Poll, like the Lord Mayor, had her scarlet days. Poll, who had been long accustomed to hear her mistress’s general invitation to strangers who called to inquire after the boarders, relieved her of that ceremony by uttering, as soon as they entered, “Do pray walk into the parlour and take a glass of wine!” but this she finally did with so little discrimination, that when a servant came with a letter or a card for her mistress, or a fellow with a summons from the Court of Conscience, he was greeted by the bird with equal liberality and politeness.

In this year the houses of the north end of Newman Street commanded a view of the fields over hillocks of ground now occupied by Norfolk Street,[84] and the north and east outer sides of Middlesex Hospital garden-wall were entirely exposed. From the east end of Union Street, where Locatelli the sculptor subsequently had his studio,[85] the ground was very deep; and much about[47] that spot, more to the east, stood a cottage with a garden before it, with its front to the south. This was kept by John Smith, one of Mr. Wilton the sculptor’s oldest labourers; immediately behind this cottage was a rope-walk, which extended north to a considerable distance under the shade of two magnificent rows of elms. Here I have often seen Richard Wilson the landscape painter and Baretti walk.[86] At the right-hand side of this rope-walk there was a pathway on a bank, commencing from the site of the foundation of the present workhouse, belonging to St. Paul’s, Covent Garden. This house was then planned out, and finished in the ensuing year, according to the date on its western front.

The bank extended northwards to the “Farthing Pie House,” now the sign of the “Green Man,” and was[48] kept by a person of the name of Price, a famous player on the salt-box.[87] Of this highly respectable publican there is an excellent mezzotinto engraving by Jones, after a picture by Lawranson. It commanded views of the old “Queen’s Head and Artichoke,” the old “Jew’s-Harp House,” and the distant hills of Highgate, Hampstead, Primrose, and Harrow. I was then in my eighth year, and frequently played at trap-ball between the above-mentioned sombre elms.

The south and east ends of Queen Anne[88] and Marylebone[49] Streets were then unbuilt, and the space consisted of fields to the west corner of Tottenham Court Road; thence to the extreme of High Street, Marylebone Gardens, Marylebone Bason, and another pond called Cockney-ladle.[89]


I recollect the building of the north side of Marylebone Street, the whole of that portion of Portland Street north of Portland Chapel, the site of Cockney-ladle, Duke Street, Portland Place, and the greatest part of Harley Street, Wimpole Street, and Portland Place, and Devonshire Place when Marylebone Bason was the terror of many a mother.[90] Of this Bason Chatelain executed a spirited etching, of a quarto size, which is now considered by the topographical collectors a great rarity. The carriage and principal entrance to Marylebone Gardens was in High Street; the back entrance was from the fields, beyond which, north, was a narrow, winding passage, with garden-palings on either side, leading into High Street. In this passage were numerous openings into small gardens, divided for the recreation of various cockney florists, their wives, children, and Sunday smoking visitors. These were called the “French Gardens,” in consequence of having been cultivated by refugees who fled their country after the Edict of Nantes.[91] I well remember my grandmother taking me through this passage to Marylebone Gardens, to see the fireworks, and thinking them prodigiously grand. As the following notices of Marylebone Gardens have given me no small pleasure in collecting, and as they afford more information of that once fashionable place of recreation than has hitherto been brought together, or perhaps known to any other individual, I without hesitation offer my gleanings[92] to the reader,[51] chronologically arranged, commencing with Pepys’s visit in

1668.—“When we abroad to Marrowbone, and there walked in the garden; the first time I ever was there, and a pretty place it is.”[93]

1691.—Long’s bowling-green at the “Rose,” at Marylebone, half a mile distant from London, is mentioned in the London Gazette, January 11.[94]

1718.—“This is to give notice to all persons of quality, ladies and gentlemen, that there having been illuminations in Marybone bowling-greens on his Majesty’s birthday every year since his happy accession to the throne; the same is (for this time) put off till Monday next, and will be performed, with a consort of musick, in the middle green, by reason there is a Ball in the gardens at Kensington with illuminations, and at Richmond also.” (See the Daily Courant, Thursday, May 29.)

1738-9.—Mr. Gough enlarged the gardens, built an orchestra, and issued silver tickets at 12s. for the season, each ticket to admit two persons. From every one without[52] a ticket 6d. was demanded for the evening; but afterwards, as the season advanced, the admission was 1s. for a lady and gentleman. The gardens were open from six till ten.

1740.—An organ, built by Bridge, was added to the band, admittance 6d. each; but afterwards, when the new room was erected, the admission was increased to 1s.

1741. May 23.—A grand martial composition of music was performed by Mr. Lampe, in honour of Admiral Vernon, for taking Carthagena.



“A silver haired man of the name of Lilly.”

1742.—The proprietor of the Mulberry Garden, Clerkenwell, indulged in the following remarks upon five places of similar amusement:—

Ruckhoult has found one day and night’s alfresco in the week to be inconvenient.[95]

Ranelagh House, supported by a giant, whose legs will scarcely support him.[96]

Mary le Bon Gardens down on their marrow-bones.

New Wells at low water.[97]


At Cuper’s the fire almost out.”[98] (See the Daily Post, July 28.)

1743.—The holders of Marybone Garden tickets let them out at reduced prices for the evening. Ranelagh tickets were also advertised to be had at Old Slaughter’s Coffee-house at 1s. 3d. each, admitting two persons. Vauxhall tickets were likewise to be had at the same place at 1s. each, admitting two persons. (See the Daily Advertiser for April 23.)

1744.—Miss Scott was a singer, Mr. Knerler played the violin, and Mr. Ferrand an instrument called the Pariton.[99]

1746.—Robberies were now so frequent and the thieves so desperate, that the proprietor of the gardens was obliged to have a guard of soldiers to protect the company to and from London. The best plan of the gardens has been given in Plate I. of Rocque’s Plan of London, published in 1746.

1747.—Miss Falkner, singer;[100] Henry Rose, first violin;[54] and Mr. Philpot, organist.—Admittance to the garden, 6d.; to the concert, 2s.

1748.—Miss Falkner, singer. No persons to be admitted to the balls unless in full dress.

1749.—It appears by the advertisements that dress-balls and concerts were the only amusements of this year.

1750.—Miss Falkner, Mr. Lowe, and Master Phillips, were the singers.

1751.—John Trusler was sole proprietor of the Gardens.[101] Singers, Miss Falkner, Master Phillips, and Master Arne. On the 30th of August there was a ball; and as the road had been repaired, coaches drove up to the door—a ten-and-sixpenny ticket admitted two persons. The doors opened at nine o’clock.

1752.—Miss Falkner and Mr. Wilder singers.

1753.—The Public Advertiser of May 25, June 20, September 10 and 24, states that the gardens were much more extensive by taking in the bowling-green, and considerably improved by several additional walks; that lights had been erected in the coach-way from Oxford Road, and also on the footpath from Cavendish Square to the entrance to the gardens; and that the fireworks were splendid beyond conception. A large sun was exhibited at the top of a picture, a cascade, and shower of fire, and grand air-balloons (perhaps these were the first air-balloons in England) were also most magnificently displayed; and likewise that red fire was introduced. This is the earliest instance of Red fire I have been able to meet with. Mrs. Chambers and Master Moore were singers.


1756.—Two rooms were opened for dinner-parties. Trusler, the proprietor of the gardens, was a cook.

1757.—Mr. Thomas Glanville, Mr. Kear, Mr. Reinhold, and Mr. Champneys were singers.

1758.—The Gardens opened on May the 16th; the singers were, Signora Saratina, Miss Glanvil, and Mr. Kear. No persons were admitted to the ball-rooms without five-shilling tickets, which admitted a gentleman and two ladies; and only twenty-six tickets were delivered for each night. Mr. Trusler’s son produced the first burletta that was performed in the Gardens; it was entitled “La Serva Padrona,” for which he only received the profits of the printed books.[102]


1759.—The Gardens were opened for breakfasting; and Miss Trusler made the cakes. Mr. Reinhold and Mr. Gaudrey were the singers.

1760.—The Gardens, greatly improved, opened on Monday, May 26th, with the usual musical entertainments. The Gardens were opened also every Sunday evening after five o’clock, where genteel company were admitted to walk gratis, and were accommodated with coffee, tea, cakes, etc.

The following announcement appears in the Daily Advertiser of May 6th, this year:—

“Mr. Trusler’s daughter begs leave to inform the Nobility and Gentry, that she intends to make Fruit-Tarts during the fruit Season; and hopes to give equal satisfaction as with the rich Cakes, and Almond Cheesecakes. The Fruit will always be fresh gathered, having great quantities in the Garden; and none but Loaf Sugar used, and the finest Epping Butter. Tarts of a Twelvepenny size will be made every day from One to Three o’clock; and those who want them of larger sizes to fill a Dish, are desired to speak for them, and send their dish or the size of it, and the Cake shall be made to fit.

“The Almond Cheesecakes will be always hot at one o’clock as usual; and the rich Seed and Plum-cakes sent to any part of the town, at 2s. 6d. each. Coffee, Tea, and Chocolate, at any time of the day; and fine Epping Butter may also be had.”[103]


1761.—An excellent half-sheet engraving, after a drawing made by J. Donowell, published this year, represents Marybone Gardens, probably in their fullest splendour. The centre of this view exhibits the longest walk, with regular rows of young trees on either side, the stems of which received the irons for the lamps at about the height of seven feet from the ground. On either side this walk were latticed alcoves: on the right hand of the walk, according to this view, stood the bow-fronted orchestra with balustrades, supported by columns. The roof was extended considerably over the erection, to keep the musicians and singers free from rain. On the left hand of the walk was a room, possibly for balls and suppers. The figures in this view are so well drawn and characteristic of the time, that I am tempted to recommend the particular attention of my reader to it.

The Gardens were opened gratis this year, and the organ was played while the company took their tea.

1762.—The Gardens were in fine order this year, and visited by the Cherokee Kings—admittance sixpence.[104][58] Mr. Trusler took care to keep out improper company; Miss Trusler continued to make the cakes.

1763.—The Gardens were taken by the famous Tommy Lowe,[105] who engaged Mrs. Vincent, Mrs. Lampe, Jun., Miss Mays, Miss Hyat, Miss Catley, and Mr. Squibb, as singers.

August 12th, Mr. Storace had a benefit;[106] the singers were, Brother Lowe, Miss Catley, Miss Smit, and Miss Plenius. Music. Mr. Samuel Arnold. A large room was cleared in the great house for the brethren to dress in.

Miss Catley’s night was on the 16th of August. Tickets were sold at Miss Catley’s, facing the Gardens.[107]

1764.—The Gardens opened on the 9th May; singers, Mr. Lowe, Mrs. Vincent, Mrs. Lampe, Jun., Miss Moyse, Miss Hyat, and Mr. Squibb. Mr. Trusler left the Gardens this year, and went to reside in Boyle Street, where his daughter continued to make her cakes, etc.

Mr. Lowe returned public thanks to the nobility and gentry for patronising the Gardens.




This year a stop was put to tea-drinking in the Gardens on Sunday evenings.

Mr. Lowe offered a reward of ten guineas for the apprehension of any highwayman found on the road to the Gardens.[108]

1765.—This year, Mrs. Collett, Miss Davis, and Mrs. Taylor were the singers.

1766.—£1, 11s. 6d. was the subscription for two persons for the season. The doors opened on the 1st of May, at six o’clock, and the Gardens closed on the 4th of October, for the season. The principal singers were, Tommy Lowe, Taylor, Raworth, Vincent, and Miss Davis. I have an engraving of a Subscription Ticket, inscribed “No. 222, Marybone, admit two, 1766.” As this ticket is adorned by two palm-branches, surmounted with two French-horns, and has also a music book, I conclude it must have been used on a concert night. This year an exhibition of bees took place in the Gardens, and the public were again accommodated with tea at eightpence per head.

1767.—Mrs. Gibbons was a singer there this season.

1768.—Lowe gave up the Gardens, declaring his loss in the concern to have been considerable.[109]


Mr. Phillips, a singer, in the announcement of his benefit this season, states that tickets were to be had at his house, the “Ring and Pearl,” St. Martin’s Court; and also at Young Slaughter’s Coffee-house, in St. Martin’s Lane. The following are the titles of a few of the Marybone Garden songs of this year:—

The composers of the above songs were Heron and James Hook (father of Theodore Hook); the singers, Reynoldson, Taylor, and Miss Froud. During the time I was collecting the titles of these and other songs, I noticed an immense number which were dedicated to Chloe. Of this I took the titles of no fewer than thirty-five published between the years 1724 and 1740. Why to Chloe? I have no Stephen Weston now to apply to.[110] Dibdin tells us, when praising the good ship Nancy, that Nancy was his wife, and that being the fact, accounts for the number of songs he has left us of his “Charming Nan.”[111]


[1769.—In this year, omitted by Smith, the Gardens were taken over by Dr. Samuel Arnold, the musician. The years 1769-73 were their best period.]

1770.—On June 18th, there was a concert of vocal and instrumental music. First violin, and a concerto, by Mr. Barthelemon; concerto organ, Mr. Hook. The fireworks were under the direction of Signor Rossi. The principal singers this season were, Mr. Reinhold, Mr. Bannister,[112] Mrs. Thompson, Mrs. Barthelemon, and Master Cheney. The music by Signor Pergolesi,[113] with alterations and additional songs by Mr. Arnold. In July, an awning was erected in the garden for the better accommodation of the visitors; and books of the performance were sold at the bar, price sixpence.

1771.—Mr. Bannister, Mrs. Thompson, Miss Catley, and the highly respected Mrs. John Bannister (then Miss Harper) were the singers of this year.

1772.—This season the singers were, Mr. Bannister, Mr. Reinhold, Mrs. Calvert, Mrs. Forbes, Mrs. Cartwright, and Mrs. Thompson. Music by Signor Giardani,[114] Mr. Hook, and Mr. Arnold.


For the convenience of the visitors, coaches were allowed to stand in the field before the back entrance. Mr. Arnold was indicted at Bow Street for the fireworks.[115] Torré, the fire-worker, divided the receipts at the door with the proprietor.

1773.—Proposals were issued for a subscription evening to be held every Thursday during the summer, for which tickets were delivered to admit two persons. The Gardens were opened for general admission three evenings in the week only. On Thursday, May 27th, Acis and Galatea was performed, in which Mr. Bannister, Mr. Reinhold, Mr. Phillips, and Miss Wilde were singers. Signor Torré, the fire-worker, was assisted by Monsieur Caillot of Ranelagh Gardens.

On Friday, September 15th, Dr. Arne conducted his celebrated catches and glees. On the 16th of September, Mr. Clitherow was the fire-worker, for the benefit of the waiters, who parted with their unsold tickets at the doors of the Gardens for whatever they could get. Mr. Winston was in possession of an impression of an admission ticket for this season.



1774.—The Gardens opened on May 20th. The principal singers were, Mr. Dubellamy, Miss Wewitzer (sister of the dramatic performer), and Miss Trelawny. The Gardens were opened this year on Sunday evenings for walking recreation, admittance sixpence. The receipts of one evening were at the Town-gate £10, 7s. 6d., at the Field-gate £11, 7s.[116] This year Signor Torré, one of the[63] fire-workers of the Gardens, had a benefit; the admission was 3s. 6d.[117] Signor Caillot was then also a fire-worker in the Gardens; and I find by two shop-bills, in Miss Banks’s collection in the British Museum, that Benjamin Clitherow and Samuel Clanfield had also been employed as fire-workers.

Doctor Kenrick delivered his lectures on Shakspeare in these Gardens this year.[118]

1775.—After frequent inquiries, and a close examination of the newspapers of this year, I could not find any advertisement like those of preceding times with singing and fireworks. The Gardens are thus mentioned during the first part of the season, in the Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser of Monday, May 29th:—


To-morrow, the 30th instant, will be presented


“In three Parts, being an attempt at a sketch of the[64] Times in a variety of Caricatures, accompanied with a whimsical and satirical Dissertation on each Character.

By R. Baddeley, Comedian.[119]





And Part the Third will consist of a short Magic Sketch called

Punch’s Election.

“Admittance 2s. 6d. each, Coffee or Tea included. The doors to be opened at seven, and the Exordium to be spoken at eight o’clock.

“Vivant Rex et Regina.”


At the foot of Mr. Baddeley’s subsequent bills the Gardens are announced to be still open on a Sunday evening for company to walk in. Some of the papers of this year declare, under Mr. Baddeley’s advertisements, that “no person going into the Gardens with subscription tickets will be entitled to tea or coffee.”

The next advertisement was on Tuesday, June 20th.


This Evening will be delivered



In which will be introduced

“A Dialogue between Small Cole and Fiddle-stick; Billy Bustle, Jerry Dowlas, and Patent; with the characters of Jerry Sneak in Richard the Third, Shylock in Macbeth, Juno in her Cups, Momus in his Mugs, and the Warwickshire Lads. To conclude with a dialogue between Billy Buckram and Aristophanes, in which Nick Nightingal, or the Whistler of the Woods, will make his appearance, as he was lately shown at the Theatre Royal, in the character of a Crow.

“Admittance 2s. 6d., coffee or tea included.

“The Lecture will be repeated To-morrow, Thursday, and Saturday.”


“June 21st.


This Evening will be delivered




“After a new Poetical Exordium, a variety of THEATRICAL DELINEATIONS will be introduced.

“Mr. Fiddle-stick, Mr. Small Coal, Mrs. Artichoke, Mrs. H—l—y; Bustle the Bookseller; Mr. Patent, Mr. G——k; Jerry Sneak, Richard III., Mr. W——; another Richard, Mr. S—th; Shylock, in Macbeth, M—n—.

“‘What, alas! shall Orpheus do?’ Sig. M—ll—o; ‘Juno in her Cups,’ Miss C—t—y; ‘The Early Horn,’ Mr. M. D—— B——y; ‘This is, Sir, a Jubilee,’ Mr. B—n—r; ‘Where, Which, and Wherefore,’ Sig. L—at—ni; ‘Within my Breast,’ Mr. V.; ‘Sweet Willy O,’ Mrs. B—d—y; ‘The Mulberry Tree,’ M—k—r; ‘Ye Warwickshire Lads,’ Mr. V. and Mr. D.

Scene in Harlequin’s Invasion, Mr. D——d, Mr. P——ns, and Mr. B—n—by.

Othello, Mr. B——y; Nurse, Mrs. P——t; Cymbeline, Mr. H——st; Iachimo, Mr. P——r; Mr. Posthumous, Mr. R——h; Pantomime, Mr. F——t and Mr. W——n.[121]

The Doors to be opened at Seven o’clock, and to begin at Eight.


“Admittance 2s. 6d. each, coffee or tea included.

“The Lecture will be repeated to-morrow and Saturday next.”

“June 23rd.


“By Virtue of a Licence from the Board of Ordnance, a


will be exhibited on Tuesday next at


In honour of His Majesty’s Birthday.

“Further particulars will be advertised on Monday next.”

“Indeed, Sir!” is the general exclamation of a passenger in a stage coach, whenever any one observes that he had seen Garrick perform; at least, such an observation has fallen from many of my fellow-travellers, when I have asserted that I had had the pleasure of seeing that great actor. On the 25th of November, 1775, my father first took me to a play, and it was with one of Mr. Garrick’s orders, when he performed in The Alchemist.[122]

1776.—Marylebone Gardens opened this year on the 11th of May, by authority. The “Forge of Vulcan” was represented.[123] On the 16th of the same month the Fantoccini was introduced; on June 3rd Breslaw exhibited his sleight of hand, and also his company of singers, upon which occasion handbills were publicly distributed. Admittance 2s.[124] On the 25th Mrs. Stuart had a ball, and[68] Signor Rebecca (well known for his productions at the Pantheon) painted some of the transparencies.[125]

Subscription tickets to the Gardens were issued at £1, 11s. 6d. to admit two persons every evening of performance. The Gardens were opened on Sunday evenings, with tea, coffee, and Ranelagh rolls. Caillot was the fire-worker this season.


This, as well as the preceding year, was particularly famous for the breed of Canary birds, consisting of Junks, Mealies, Turncrowns, and the Swallow-throats. They were all “fine in feather and full in song,” and could sing in the highest perfection many delightful strains, such as the nightingale’s, titlark’s, and woodlark’s, by candle-light as well as day. The breeders lived in Norwich, Colchester, Ipswich, etc. The sellers in London were principally publicans, and those most in vogue kept the signs of the “Queen’s Arms,” Newgate Street;[69] the “Green Dragon,” Narrow Wall, Lambeth; the “Crown and Horse-shoe,” Holborn; the “Wheatsheaf,” Fleet Market; the “Marquis of Granby,” Fleet Market; the “Old George,” Little Drury Lane; and the “Black Swan,” Brown’s Lane, Spitalfields.[126]

It appears by the various advertisements from the numerous owners of cockpits, that the cruel sport of cock-fighting afforded high amusement this year to the unfeeling part of London’s inhabitants. Of the number of cockpits half a dozen will be quite enough to be recorded on this page.

1. The “Royal Cockpit,” in the Birdcage Walk, St. James’s Park. This Royal Cockpit afforded Hogarth characters for one of his worst of subjects, though best of plates.

2. In Bainbridge Street, St. Giles’s.

3. Near Gray’s Inn Lane.

4. In Pickled-Egg Walk.

5. At the New Vauxhall Gardens, in St. George’s in the East.

6. That at the “White Horse,” Old Gravel Lane, near Hughes’s late riding-school, at the foot of Blackfriars Bridge.[127]


Disputes having frequently occurred as to the characters in which Garrick last appeared, by persons not sufficiently in possession of documents at hand to enable them to decide their controversies, I am induced to conclude that such disputants will be pleased to see a statement of the nights of his acting, the titles of the plays in which he performed, and the names of the characters which he represented, as well as those of the principal actresses who performed with him during the last year of his appearance on the stage. The original play-bills of the time, collected by the late Dr. Burney, now in the British Museum, have enabled me to give this information in the following chronological order:—


Nights of
Title of Play. Names of Characters.
Jan. 18. The Alchemist. Abel Drugger, Mr. Garrick. (Doll Common, by Mrs. Hopkins.)
20. The Discovery Sir Anthony Branville. (Lady Flutter, by Mrs. Abington.)
22. Ditto. Ditto.
24. Ditto. Ditto.
26. Ditto. Ditto.
29. Ditto. Ditto.
30. The Provoked Wife Sir John Brute. (Lady Brute, by Miss Younge.)
31. Ditto. Ditto.
Feb. 3. Zara Lusignan. (Zara, by Miss Younge.)
5. The Provoked Wife Sir John Brute. (Lady Brute, by Miss Younge.)
7. The Discovery Sir Anthony Branville. (Lady Flutter, by Mrs. Abington.)
9. Every Man in his Humour. Kitely. (Mrs. Kitely, Mrs. Greville.)
12. Much Ado about Nothing. Benedict. (Beatrice, by Mrs. Abington.)
14. Rule a Wife and have a Wife. Leon. (Estifania, by Mrs. Abington.)
March 6. Zara Lusignan. (Zara, by Miss Younge.)
7. Zara Lusignan. (Zara, by Miss Younge.)
April 11. The Alchemist. Abel Drugger. (Doll Common, by Mrs. Hopkins.)[72]
16. Much Ado about Nothing. Benedict. (Beatrice, by Mrs. Abington.)
25. Every Man in his Humour. Kitely. (Mrs. Kitely, by Mrs. Greville.)
27. Hamlet Hamlet. (Ophelia, by Mrs. Smith.)
30. The Provoked Wife. Sir John Brute. (Lady Brute, Miss Younge.)
May 2. Rule a Wife and have a Wife. Leon. (Estifania, Mrs. Abington)
7. The Stratagem. Archer. (Mrs. Sullen, Mrs. Abington.)
9. Much Ado about Nothing. Benedict. (Beatrice, by Mrs. Abington.)
13. King Lear King Lear. (Cordelia, Miss Younge.)
16. The Wonder Don Felix. (Violante, by Mrs. Yates.)
21. King Lear King Lear. (Cordelia, by Miss Younge.)
23. The Suspicious Husband. Ranger. (Mrs. Strickland, Mrs. Siddons; Clarinda, Mrs. Abington.)
27. King Richard the Third. King Richard. (Lady Anne (first time), Mrs. Siddons.)
30. Hamlet Hamlet. (Ophelia, by Mrs. Smith.)
31. The Suspicious Husband. Ranger. (Mrs. Strickland, Mrs. Siddons; Clarinda, Mrs. Abington.)
June 1. Ditto. Ditto.[73]
3. King Richard the Third. King Richard. (Lady Anne, by Mrs. Siddons.)
5. King Richard the Third. King Richard. (Lady Anne, by Mrs. Siddons.) By command of their Majesties.
8. King Lear King Lear. (Cordelia, Mrs. Younge.)
10. The Wonder Don Felix. (Violante, by Mrs. Yates.)[128]


Notwithstanding it has been said that Mr. Garrick spoke slightingly of Mrs. Siddons’s talents, the above list incontrovertibly proves that he considered her powers sufficiently great to appear in principal characters with him no fewer than six nights of the last nine in which he performed.

I shall now subjoin a similar list of Mrs. Siddons’s nights of performance at Drury Lane Theatre, during the last year of Mr. Garrick’s acting.[129]

Jan. 13, 15, 17. Epicœne, or The Silent Woman (as a Collegiate Lady).
Feb. 1, 2, 3. The Blackamoor Washed White.
Between Feb. 15
and April 18
(22 nights).
The Runaway (as Miss Morley).
May 23. The Suspicious Husband (as Mrs. Strickland).
24. The Runaway (as Miss Morley).
27. King Richard the Third (as Lady Anne).
31. The Suspicious Husband (as Mrs. Strickland).
June 1.
3. King Richard the Third (as Lady Anne).
5. Ditto. Ditto. By command of their Majesties.

Of six plays of which there were no bills in the Burney collection, I was enabled to add instances of the performance[75] of Mrs. Siddons on those nights from a portion of that truly rare and valuable library purchased by Government of the late Dr. Burney’s son for the British Museum.

Ladies this year wore goloshes, four distinct falls of lace from the hat to the shoulders, and rolled curls on either side of the neck: they continued to carry fans.[130]


I remember well that in an autumn evening of this year, during the time my father lived in Norton Street,[131] going with him and his pupils on a sketching party to what is now called Pancras Old Church; and that Whitefield’s Chapel in Tottenham Court Road, Montague House, Bedford House, and Baltimore House,[132] were then uninterruptedly[76] seen from the churchyard, which was at that time so rural that it was only enclosed by a low and very old hand-railing, in some parts entirely covered with docks and nettles. I recollect also that the houses on the north side of Ormond Street commanded views of Islington, Highgate, and Hampstead, including in the middle distance Copenhagen-house, Mother Red-cap’s, the Adam and Eve, the Farthing Pie House, the Queen’s Head and Artichoke, and the Jew’s Harp House.[133]

Early in this year Spiridione Roma,[134] who had cleaned the pictures of the Judges then hanging in Guildhall, published a prospectus for Bartolozzi’s print from the portrait of Mary Queen of Scots in Drapers’ Hall, said to have been painted by Zucchero.[135]


At this period I began to think there was something in a prognostication announced to my dear mother by an old star-gazer and tea-grouter,[136] that, through life, I should be favoured by persons of high rank; for, in this[77] year, Charles Townley, Esq. (the collector of the valuable marbles which now bear his name in the British Museum), first noticed me when drawing in Mr. Nollekens’ studio, and pouched me half a guinea to purchase paper and chalk.[137] This kindness was followed up by Dr. Samuel Johnson, who was then sitting for his bust. The Doctor, after looking at my drawing, then at the bust I was copying, put his hand heavily upon my head, pronouncing “Very well, very well.” Here I frequently saw him, and recollect his figure and dress with tolerable correctness. He was tall, and must have been, when young, a powerful man: he stooped, with his head inclined to the right shoulder: heavy brows, sleepy eyes, nose very narrow between the eye-brows, but broad at the bottom; lips enormously thick; chin, wide and double. He wore a stock and wristbands; his wig was what is called a “Busby,” but often wanted powder. His hat, a three-cornered one; coats, one a dark mulberry, the other brown, inclining to the colour of Scotch snuff, large brass or gilt buttons; black waistcoat and small-clothes—sometimes the latter were corduroy; black stockings, large easy shoes, with buckles; his gait was wide and awkwardly sprawling; latterly he used a hooked walking-stick, in consequence of his having saved the life of a young man as he was crossing from Queenhithe to Bankside.


One of the Doctor’s sticks of this shape brought me into a scrape. It was given to me by the late William Tunnard, Esq., of Bankside;[138] he received it from his friend Mr. Perkins;[139] it was one of many that the Doctor kept at Thrale’s. This stick I promised to my worthy and liberal friend the Rev. James Beresford, of Kibworth, Market Harborough;[140] but, alas! when I went to “stick-corner” somebody had walked it off. However, if this page should meet the eye of its present possessor, I hope, even should the “Bannister” I now rest upon be deemed useless by Time’s sandy-glass, his conscience may order the Johnsonian relic to be delivered to the above-named gentleman, whose property I declare it unquestionably to be. My present strong stick, named “Bannister,” was given to me when afflicted with the gout, by a fellow-sufferer, universally known under the friendly appellation of “Honest Jack.”

I once saw him follow a sturdy thief, who had stolen his handkerchief in Grosvenor Square, seize him by the collar with both hands, and shake him violently, after which he quickly let him loose; and then, with his open hand, gave him so powerful a smack on the face, that sent him off the pavement staggering.


“Pockets which might have almost held the two volumes of his folio dictionary.”


Ladies appeared for the first time in riding-habits of men’s cloth, only descending to the feet; they also walked with whips like short canes, with a thong at the end. The elderly ladies continued to wear goloshes. Fans were in general use.

For the honour of female genius, be it here recorded, that, in the Ladies’ Pocket-book, published this year, an engraved group of nine whole-length female figures was published, viz. Miss Carter, Mrs. Barbauld, Angelica Kauffman, Mrs. Sheridan, Mrs. Lenox, Mrs. Montague, Miss More, Mrs. Macaulay, and Mrs. Griffith, each lady in the character of a Muse. Four Pocket-books appeared this year, entitled Ladies’ Pocket-book, Ladies’ own Memorandum Book, Ladies’ Annual Journal, and Ladies’ Complete Pocket-book.[141]



On Monday, February 1st, Taylor, the facetious pupil of Frank Hayman, and the old friend of Jonathan Tyers, lifted Nollekens’ studio door-latch, put in his head, and announced, “For the information of some of the sons of Phidias, I beg to observe, that David Garrick is now on his way to pay his respects to Poet’s Corner. I left him just as he was quitting the boards of the Adelphi.”[142] I am now employing the exact words he made use of, though certainly the levity was misapplied on so solemn an occasion.

I begged of my father, who then carved for Mr. Nollekens, to allow me to go to Charing Cross to see the funeral pass, which he did with some reluctance. I was there in a few minutes, followed him to the Abbey, heard the service, and saw him buried.[143]


Mr. Garrick died on the 20th of January, in the back room of the first floor, in his house in the Adelphi. The ceiling of the drawing-room was painted by Zucchi: the subject, Venus attired by the Graces. The chimneypiece in this room is said to have cost £800.[144]

On a night when Mr. Garrick was acting the part of Lear, one of the soldiers who stood on the stage blubbered like a child. Mr. Garrick, who was as fond of a compliment as most men, when the play was over, sent for the man to his room, and gave him half a crown. It was the custom formerly for two soldiers to stand on the stage during the time of performance, one at either end of the proscenium.


This year the Grotto Garden, Rosamond Row, near the London Spa, was kept by Jackson, a man famous for grottoes and fireworks. He had made great additions to it, viz. a new Mounted Fountain, etc. The admittance was sixpence.[145]


“She imprinted a kiss on my cheek, and said, ‘There, you little rogue.’”

J. T. Smith


Although I could model and carve a little, I longed to be an engraver, and wished much to be placed under Bartolozzi, who then lived in Bentinck Street, Berwick Street.[146] My father took me to him, with a letter of introduction from Mr. Wilton, the sculptor. Mr. Bartolozzi, after looking at my imitations of several of Rembrandt and Ostade’s etchings, declared that he should have been glad some years previous to take such a youth, but that, in consequence of ill-treatment from some of his pupils, he had made up his mind to take no more. The Bishop of Peterborough (Dr. Hinchliffe),[147] one of my father’s[83] patrons, then prevailed on Sherwin to let me in at half-price; and under his roof I remained for nearly three years. Here I saw all the beautiful women of the day; and, being considered a lively lad, I was noticed by several of them. Here I received a kiss from the beautiful Mrs. Robinson.

This impression was made upon me nearly as I can recollect in the following way:—It fell to my turn that morning, as a pupil, to attend the visitors, and Mrs. Robinson came into the room singing. She asked to see a drawing which Mr. Sherwin had made of her, which he had placed in an upper room. When I assured her that Mr. Sherwin was not at home, “Do try to find the drawing of me, and I will reward you, my little fellow,” said she. I, who had seen Rosetta, in Love in a Village, the preceding evening, hummed to myself, as I went upstairs, “With a kiss, a kiss, and I’ll reward you with a kiss.”

I had no sooner entered the room with the drawing in my hand, than she imprinted a kiss on my cheek, and said, “There, you little rogue.” I remember that Mrs. Darby, her mother, accompanied her, and had brought a miniature, painted by Cosway, set in diamonds, presented by a high personage, of whom Mrs. Robinson spoke with the highest respect to the hour of her dissolution.[148] The[84] colour of her carriage was a light blue, and upon the centre of each panel a basket of flowers was so artfully painted, that as she drove along it was mistaken for a coronet.[149]


Early in the month of December, this year, Sherwin painted, engraved, and published a glorious portrait of Mrs. Siddons, in the character of the Grecian Daughter. That lady sat in the front room of his house, St. James’s Street. I obeyed Mr. Sherwin’s orders in raising and lowering the centre window-curtains, the shutters of the extreme ones being closed for the adjustment of that fine light and shade upon her face which he has so beautifully displayed in the print. This print, in consequence of a purse having been presented to Mrs. Siddons by her admirers in the profession of the Law, was dedicated to “The Gentlemen of the Bar.”[150]


“A glorious portrait.”


By the liberality of my amiable friend, William Henderson, Esq.,[151] I am in possession of a cast taken by Lochee, the modeller, from the face of this wonderful actress, which I intend leaving to that invaluable gallery of theatrical portraits, so extensively formed by that favourite offspring of Nature, Charles Mathews,[152] Esq., at Kentish Town; but should that collection ever be dispersed, which I most heartily trust it never will be, then I desire that it may go to the Green-room of[86] Drury Lane Theatre. To this bequest I subscribe my name,

Witnesses to this my declaration,


One of the numerous subjects which I drew this year for Mr. Crowle,[154] was the old brick gateway entrance to St. Giles’s churchyard, then standing opposite to Mr. Remnent’s timber-yard, in which drawing I introduced the figure of old Simon, a very remarkable beggar, who, together with his dog, generally took their station against one of the gate-piers. This man, who wore several hats, at the same time suffered his beard to grow, which was of a dirty yellow-white. Upon his fingers were numerous brass rings. He had several waistcoats, and as many coats, increasing in size, so that he was enabled by the extent of the uppermost garment to cover the greater part of the bundles, containing rags of various colours; and distinct parcels with which he was girded about, consisting of books, canisters containing bread, cheese, and other articles of food; matches, a tinder-box, and meat for his dog;[87] cuttings of curious events from old newspapers; scraps from Fox’s Book of Martyrs, and three or four dog’s-eared and greasy thumbed numbers of the Gentleman’s Magazine.

From these and such like productions he gained a great part of the information with which he sometimes entertained those persons who stopped to look at him.

When I knew him,—for he was one of my pensioners,—he and his dog lodged under a staircase in an old shattered building called “Rats’ Castle,” in Dyot Street, mentioned in Nollekens and his Times as that artist’s rendezvous to discover models for his Venuses. Dyot Street has disappeared, and George Street is built on its site.[155] His walks extended to the entrances only of the adjacent streets, whither he either went to make a purchase at the baker’s or the cook’s shops. Rowlandson drew and etched him several times; in one instance Simon had a female placed before him, which the artist called “Simon and Iphigenia.” There is a large whole-length print of him, published by John Seago, with the following inscription:—

Simon Edy, born at Woodford, near Thrapston, Northamptonshire, in 1709: died May 18, 1783.[156]


Respecting his last dog, for he had possessed several, which wicked boys had beguiled from him, or the skinners of those animals had snatched up, the following anecdote is interesting:—A Smithfield drover, whose dog’s left eye had been much injured by a bullock, solicited Simon to take him under his care till he got well. The mendicant cheerfully consented, and forthwith, with a piece of string, confined him to his arm; and when, by being more quiet, he had regained his health sufficiently to resume his services to his master, old Simon, with the most affectionate reluctance, gave him up, and was obliged to content himself with the pleasure of patting his sides on a market-day, when he followed his master’s drove to the slaughter-house in Union Street. These tender and stolen caresses from the hand which had bathed his wound, Rover would regularly stop to receive at St. Giles’s porch, and then hastily run to get up with the bullocks. Poor Simon, after missing the dog as well as his master for some weeks, was one morning most agreeably surprised to see the faithful animal crouch behind his feet, and with an uplifted and sorrowful eye, for he had entirely lost the blemished one, implore his protection by licking his beard, as a successor to his departed and lamented keeper. Rover followed Simon, according to Dr. Gardner’s idea, to “his last and best bedroom”;[157][89] or, according to Funeral Weever,[158] his “bed of ease.” Shortly before Simon’s death, I related to Mrs. Nollekens several instances of Rover’s attachment. “I think, Sir,” observed that lady, “you once told me that he had been a shepherd’s dog from Harrow-on-the-Hill. I don’t like a shepherd’s dog: it has no tail,[159] and its coat is as rough as the bristles of a cocoanut. No, Sir, my little French dog is my pet.” However, fortunately for poor Simon, the Hon. Daines Barrington[160] was present when Dr. Johnson’s Pekuah[161][90] made this silly remark, for he never after passed the kind-hearted mendicant without giving him sixpence. There was an elegy printed for poor Simon, with a woodcut portrait of him.


“Sir, I was once a Quaker, and have never left their principles.”

Ugly and deficient in sight and tail as Rover certainly was, it is also as equally unquestionable that Simon never had occasion to carry him to Fox Court, St. James’s Street, for the recovery of his health, under the direction of Dr. Norman,[162] the canine physician, so strenuously recommended upon all occasions by George Keate, the poet,[163] and far-famed[91] connoisseur. No, poor Rover was kept in health by being allowed to range the streets from six till nine, the hours in which the nightly stealers of the canine race, and the dexterous of all dentists, were on their way to Austin’s, at Islington,[164] to dispose of their cruel depredations upon many a true friend to the indigent blind, “to whom the blackbird sings as sweetly as to the fairest lady in the land.”


Mr. West, to whom I had sat for the head of St. John in his picture of the Last Supper, for the altar of St. George’s Chapel, Windsor,[165] frequently engaged me to bid for him at[92] auctions, an honour also occasionally conferred on me for similar services by Sir Joshua Reynolds. It was during one of these commissions in this year, that the late Richard Wyatt, Esq., of Milton Place, Egham, Surrey, noticed me; he was then starting as a collector of pictures, prints, and drawings.[166] That gentleman kindly invited me to his house, and not only introduced me to his amiable family, but to his most intimate neighbours. He allowed me the use of a horse, to enable me more readily to visit the beauties of Windsor Park and Forest, the scenery of which so attracted and delighted me, that during one month’s stay I made nearly one hundred studies. The two Sandbys were visitors to my patron; and to Thomas, then Deputy Ranger of Windsor Great Park, a situation given to him by his Royal Highness William, Duke of Cumberland (Thomas Sandby had been engineer draughtsman to his Royal Highness at the battle of Culloden), I am indebted for my knowledge of lineal perspective. The Misses Wyatt were delightful persons, and much noticed at the Egham Balls, for one or two of which occasions I had the pleasure of painting butterflies on a muslin dress, and also imitating the “Sir Walter Raleigh,” the “Pride of Culloden,” and other curious and rare carnations, on tiffany, for their bouquets, which were then scented and much worn.

I was here introduced to Viscount Maynard, to whom Mr. Wyatt had been guardian. His Lordship married the celebrated Nancy Parsons,[167] and was a most spirited[93] draughtsman of a horse. Among other gentlemen, I was also introduced to the late Sir Richard Colt Hoare, Bart.,[168] and the late Rev. George Huddesford,[169] of Oxford, Kett’s satirist, and the witty author of poems entitled Salmagundi, dedicated to Mr. Wyatt. Several of these I have often heard him most humorously sing, particularly those of “the renowned History and rare Achievements of John Wilkes.” The chorus ran thus:—

“John Wilkes he was for Middlesex,
They chose him knight of the shire;
And he made a fool of Alderman Bull,
And call’d Parson Horne a liar.”


“The Barber’s Nuptials,” which may be seen in the Elegant Extracts, and almost every other collection of fugitive poetry, was also written by him.[170]

Mr. Huddesford had studied under Sir Joshua Reynolds, and had copied many of the President’s pictures with tolerable ability, with an intention of pursuing the arts, but his master-talent was more conspicuously displayed in compositions of fruit, in which his representations of ripe and melting peaches, and the rich transparent grape, were inimitable. The late Sir George Beaumont, Bart., with whom Mr. Huddesford had been extremely intimate, was in possession of a remarkably fine specimen by him, which the worthy baronet frequently allowed to be copied.

Huddesford, after the death of Warton, chalked on the walls of the College—

“The glorious sun of Trinity is set,
And nothing left but farthing-candle Kett.”[171]

He published The Elements of General Knowledge, which were called, at Oxford “The Elements of General Ignorance”; and his last work, Emily, procured him the name of Emily[95] Kett. His supposed resemblance to a horse was the occasion of much academical waggery:—his letter-box was often filled with oats; and when he wished to have his portrait taken, he was sent to the famous Stubbs,[172] the horse painter, who, on receiving him, and expecting to hear whether his commission was to be for a filly or a colt, was much surprised to find Kett pompously announce that he expected the likeness to be in full canonicals.

Samuel Woodforde (afterwards a Royal Academician)[173] was employed by Mr. Wyatt, in consequence of an introduction by Sir Richard Colt Hoare, Bart., to paint trees and landscapes on the panels of his drawing-room, mostly from scenes in Windsor Park and Forest. Mr. Wyatt was one of Opie’s early friends. He painted for that gentleman several of the Burrell and Hoare family; indeed, he was instrumental in bringing that artist out of his humble and modest lodging in Orange Court, Leicester Fields,[174] to his house in Queen Street, next door to that for many years occupied by that comic and most exemplary child of Nature, the late Miss Pope,[175] whose inimitable acting as Miss Allscrip, in The[96] Heiress, not only delighted the public, but was deservedly complimented by its author, General Burgoyne, who at one time lived in Hertford Street, May Fair, in the house that had been inhabited by Lord Sandwich, and subsequently by R. B. Sheridan and Mr. Dent.[176]

This year, Mr. Flaxman, who then lived in Wardour Street, introduced me to one of his early patrons, the Rev. Henry Mathew, of Percy Chapel, Charlotte Street, which was built for him;[177] he was also afternoon preacher at St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields. At that gentleman’s house, in Rathbone Place, I became acquainted with Mrs. Mathew and her son, the late John Hunter’s favourite pupil. With that gentleman, in his youthful days, I had many an innocent frolic. I was obliged to him in several instances, and can safely say no one could excel him as an amiable friend, a dutiful son, or excellent husband. At Mrs. Mathew’s most agreeable conversaziones I first met the[97] late William Blake,[178] the artist, to whom she and Mr. Flaxman had been truly kind. There I have often heard him read and sing several of his poems. He was listened to by the company with profound silence, and allowed by most of the visitors to possess original and extraordinary merit. A time will come when the numerous, though now very rare, works of Blake (in consequence of his taking very few impressions from the plates before they were rubbed out to enable him to use them for other subjects) will be sought after with the most intense avidity.[179] He was considered by Stothard and Flaxman (and will be by[98] those of congenial minds, if we can reasonably expect such again) with the highest admiration. These artists allowed him their most unqualified praise, and were ever anxious to recommend him and his productions to the patrons of the Arts; but alas! they were not so sufficiently appreciated as to enable Blake, as every one could wish, to provide an independence for his surviving partner Kate, who adored his memory. The late Sir Thomas Lawrence has been heard to declare that England would be for ever immortalized by the productions of Sir Joshua Reynolds, Flaxman, and Stothard.

Mrs. Mathew was not only a great encourager of musical composers, particularly the Italians, but truly kind to young artists. She patronized Oram, Loutherbourg’s assistant: he was the son of Old Oram, of the Board of Works, an artist whose topographical pictures possess considerable merit, and whose name is usually introduced in picture catalogues under the appellation of “Old Oram.”[180]

Mr. Flaxman, in return for the favours he had received from the Mathew family, decorated the back parlour of their house, which was their library, with models (I think they were in putty and sand) of figures in niches, in the Gothic manner; and Oram painted the window in imitation of stained glass; the bookcases, tables, and chairs were also ornamented to accord with the appearance of those of antiquity.

Rathbone Place, at this time, entirely consisted of private houses, and its inhabitants were all of high respectability.[99] I have heard Mrs. Mathew say that the three rebel lords, Lovat, Kilmarnock, and Balmerino, had at different times resided in it; and that she had also been informed that the floor of her parlours, which is now some steps above the street, was even with the floor of the recess under the front pediment of St. Paul’s Cathedral.


Many a summer’s evening, when I have been enjoying Runnymede, and its far surrounding variegated meadows, from the wooden seat of Cooper’s Hill (upon which were engraven numerous initials of lovers, and the dates of their eternal vows), little did I think that in my future days it would be in my power to state that I had made drawings of most of the parish churches as well as family mansions which were then in view, for the topographical collections of the Duke of Roxborough, Lord Leicester, the Hon. Horace Walpole, Mr. Bull, Mr. Storer, Dr. Lort, Mr. Haughton James, Mr. Crowle, and Sir James Winter Lake, Bart.[181] Several of these, which have since been distributed, I now[100] and then meet with in the portfolios of more modern illustrators, and they bring to my recollection some truly pleasing periods. It was in the old house at Ankerwycke that I was introduced by Lady Lake to Lady Shouldham. It was at Old Windsor that I dined with Mrs. Vassal, and at Staines Bridge with the beautiful Miss Towry, since Lady Ellenborough. It was at Chertsey I was first introduced to Mr. Douglas, Colonel St. Paul, and those truly kind-hearted characters, Mr. Fox and Mrs. Chamberlain Clark. At Staines I was benefited by the skill of Dr. Pope;—at Harrow made known to Dr. Drury;—at Southgate to Alderman Curtis;—at Trent Park to Mr. Wigston;—at Forty Hill, Enfield, to the antiquary Gough;—at Bull’s Cross to the facetious Captain Horsley, brother to the Bishop of Rochester, and the Boddams;—at the “Firs,” Edmonton, to my ever-to-be-revered friend the late Sir James Winter Lake, Bart.;—at Weir Hall to the benevolent and highly esteemed Mr. Robert Jones, Mr. Webster and his friendly son;—at Bruce Castle to Mr. Townsend;—at Tottenham to Mr. John Snell, and to Mr. Samuel Salt. This gentleman informed me that he was one of the four who buried Sterne.[182][101] Of the friendly inhabitants of these houses, and many others to whom I had the pleasure of being known, within the extensive view from Cooper’s Hill, very few are now living.

During the Races on Runnymede, I have often seen their late Majesties George the Third and Queen Charlotte driving about in an open four-wheeled chaise, enjoying the pleasures of the course on equal terms with the visitors. I remember to have been spoken to three times by his Majesty; once on a very foggy morning at a stile near Clewer, when I stepped back to give a gentleman, who had nearly approached it in the adjoining field, the preference[102] of coming over first; but upon his saying, “Come over, come over,” I knew the voice to be the King’s, consequently I took off my hat, and obeyed. His Majesty observed in his quick manner, when getting over, “A thick fog, thick fog.” Another time, when I was drawing an old oak in Windsor Park, the King and Queen drove very near me in their chaise, and one of his Majesty’s horses shied at my paper; upon which the King called out to me, “Shut your book, sir, shut your book!”

The last time I was noticed by the King, I must say his Majesty appeared to be a little startled, as well he might. It was under the following circumstances. Wishing to make a drawing of one of the original stalls in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, before they were finally taken down, a shilling prevailed upon one of the workmen to lock me in during his dinner-hour. However, it so happened that his Majesty, who frequently let himself into the Chapel at that time to look at the progress of the works, did not perceive me, as I stood in a corner, but on his return from the altar, he asked, “Who are you, sir? Oh! you startled my horse in the park the other day. What are you about?” I then held up my drawing; and his Majesty, who must have noticed my embarrassment, did me the honour to say, “Very correct; I believe you are at Mr. Wyatt’s,—a very good man;—I have a high regard for him and all his family.”

During the time I was studying the scenery of Windsor Park, Mr. Thomas Sandby, who was busily engaged in placing the numerous stones to form the representation of rocks and caverns at the head of the Virginia Water, in Windsor Park, frequently dug for stones in Bagshot Heath. Fortunately he discovered one of an immense size, which he thought would afford him a massive breadth[103] in his composition, but it was so large he was under the necessity of breaking it with gunpowder; however, fortune favoured his design by blowing it into two nearly equal parts, so that he was enabled to join them on their destined spot to great advantage as to general effect. This was Mr. Thomas Sandby’s second attempt at the water-head;[183] he had in the first instance failed by using only sand and clay, for which failure that worthy man was not only nicknamed “Tommy Sandbank,” but roughly scourged by the throng of Huddesford, who composed a song upon the occasion, from which I have selected the following verses:—

When Tom was employ’d to construct the Pond Head,
As he ponder’d the task, to himself thus he said:
“Since a head I must make, what’s a head but a noddle?
So I think I had best take my own for a model.”
Derry down, etc.
Then his work our projector began out of hand,
The outside he constructed with rubbish and sand;
But brains on this head had been quite thrown away,
Those he kept for himself, so he lined it with clay.
But the water at length, to his utter dismay,
A bankruptcy made, and his head ran away;—
’Twas a thick head for certain; but, had it been thicker,
No head can endure that is always in liquor.
Hence, by way of a Moral, the fallacy’s shown
Of the maxim that two heads are better than one;—
For none e’er was so scurvily dealt with before,
By the head that he made and the head that he wore.
Derry down, etc.


“A chiel’s amang ye takin’ notes.”

For many years the back parlour of the “Feathers”[184] public-house (a sign complimentary to its neighbour, Frederick, Prince of Wales, who inhabited Leicester House), which stood on the side of Leicester Fields, had been frequented by artists, and several well-known amateurs. Among the former were Stuart,[185] the Athenian traveller; Scott,[186] the marine painter; old Oram, of the[105] Board of Works;[187] Luke Sullivan,[188] the miniature painter, who engraved that inimitable print from Hogarth’s picture of the “March to Finchley,” now in the Foundling Hospital; Captain Grose,[189] the author of Antiquities of England, History of Armour,[190] etc.; Mr. Hearne,[191] the elegant and correct draughtsman of many of England’s Antiquities (so beautifully engraved by his amiable friend Byrne), Nathaniel Smith, my father, etc. The amateurs were Henderson, the actor; Mr. Morris, a silversmith; Mr. John Ireland, then a watchmaker in Maiden Lane, and since editor of Boydell’s edition of Dr. Trusler’s work,[106] Hogarth Moralized; and Mr. Baker, of St. Paul’s Churchyard, whose collection of Bartolozzi’s works was unequalled.[192] When this house, the sign of the “Feathers,” was taken down to make way for Dibdin’s Theatre, called the “Sans Souci,” several of its frequenters adjourned to the “Coach and Horses” public-house in Castle Street, Leicester Fields; but in consequence of their not proving customers sufficiently expensive for that establishment, the landlord one evening venturing to light them out with a farthing candle, they betook themselves to Gerard Street, and thence to the “Blue Posts” in Dean Street, where the club dwindled into two or three members, viz. Edridge, the portrait draughtsman; Alexander, of the British Museum; and Edmunds, the upholsterer, who had been undertaker to the greater part of the club.[193]

Mr. Baker, the gentleman before mentioned, being a single man, and sometimes keeping rather late hours, was now and then accompanied by a friend half way home, by way of a walk. It was on one of these nights, that, just as he and I were approaching Temple Bar, about one o’clock, a most unaccountable appearance[107] claimed our attention,—it was no less an object than an elephant, whose keepers were coaxing it to pass through the gateway. He had been accompanied by several persons from the Tower Wharf with tall poles, but was principally guided by two men with ropes, each walking on either side of the street, to keep him as much as possible in the middle on his way to the menagerie, Exeter Change; to which destination, after passing St. Clement’s Church, he steadily trudged on with strict obedience to the commands of his keepers. I had the honour afterwards of partaking of a pot of Barclay’s Entire with this same elephant, which high mark of his condescension was bestowed when I accompanied my friend the late Sir James Winter Lake, Bart., to view the rare animals in Exeter Change—that gentleman being assured by the elephant’s keeper that if he would offer the beast a shilling, he would see the noble animal nod his head and drink a pot of porter. The elephant no sooner had taken the shilling, which he did in the mildest manner from the palm of Sir James’s hand, than he gave it to the keeper, and eagerly watched his return with the beer. The elephant then, after placing his proboscis to the top of the tankard, drew up nearly the whole of the then good beverage. The keeper observed, “You will hardly believe, gentlemen, but the little he has left is quite warm;” upon this we were tempted to taste it, and it really was so. This animal was afterwards disposed of for the sum of one thousand guineas.[194]


“The first square inhabited by the great.”

J. T. Smith



Possibly the present frequenters of print sales may receive some little entertainment from a description of a few of the most singular of those who constantly attended the auctions during my boyish days. The elder Langford, of Covent Garden, introduced by Foote as Mr. Puff, in his farce of The Minor,[195] I well remember; yet by reason of my being obliged to attend more regularly the subsequent evening sales at Paterson’s and Hutchins’s—next-door-neighbour auctioneers, on the north side of King Street, Covent Garden,[196] I am better enabled[109] to speak to the peculiarities of their visitors than those of Mr. Langford.

It was in 1783, during the sales of the extensive collection of Mr. Moser, the first keeper of the Royal Academy,[197] and Mr. Millan, bookseller at Charing Cross,[198] that I noticed the following remarkable characters. I shall, however, first endeavour to describe the person of Paterson, a man much respected by all who really knew him; but perhaps by none with more sincerity than Doctor Johnson, who had honoured him by standing godfather to his son Samuel, and whom he continued to notice as he grew up with the most affectionate regard, as appears in the letters which the doctor wrote in his favour to his friends Sir Joshua Reynolds and Mr. Humphrey, printed by Boswell.[199] Mr. Paterson was in height about five feet[110] eight inches, and stooped a little in the shoulders. When I first knew him, he was a spare man, and wore a powdered clubwig, similar to that worn by Tom Davies, the bookseller and biographer of Garrick, of whom there is an engraved portrait. Paterson was really a walking library, and of manners precisely coinciding with the old school. I remember that by a slight impediment in his speech, he always pronounced the letter R as a V; for instance, Dart’s History of Canterbevy, and a dromedary, he pronounced a dwammedavy; notwithstanding this defect, he publicly lectured on the beauties of Shakspeare.

Mr. Gough,[200] the Editor of Camden’s Britannia, was the constant frequenter of his book-sales. This antiquary was about the same height as the auctioneer, but in a wig very different, as he wore, when I knew him, a short shining[111] curled one. His coat was of “formal cut,” but he had no round belly; and his waistcoat and smallclothes were from the same piece. He was mostly in boots, and carried a swish-whip when he walked. His temper I know was not good, and he seldom forgave those persons who dared to bid stoutly against him for a lot at an auction: his eyes, which were small and of the winky-pinky sort, fully announced the fretful being. As for his judgment in works of art, if he had any it availed him little, being as much satisfied with the dry and monotonous manner of Old Basire,[201] as our late President West was with the beautiful style of Woollett and Hall.

Dr. Lort,[202] the constant correspondent of Old Cole,[203][112] was a man of his own stamp, broad and bony, in height nearly six feet, of manners equally morose, and in every respect just as forbidding. His wig was a large Busby, and usually of a brown appearance, for want of a dust of powder. He was chaplain to the Duke of Devonshire; and as he wore thick worsted stockings, and walked anyhow through the mud, considered himself in no way obliged to give the street-sweepers a farthing. He had some wit, however, but it was often displayed in a cowardly manner, being mostly directed towards his little opponent, Doctor Gossett,[204] who was unfortunately much afflicted by deformity, and of a temper easily roused by too frequent a repetition of threepenny biddings at Paterson’s. Paterson sold his books singly, and took threepence at a bidding.

Hutchins was about five feet nine inches, but in appearance much shorter by reason of his corpulency. His high forehead, when compared with a perpendicular, was at an angle of forty-five. He was what Spurzheim would call a simple honest man: his wife was of the same build, but most powerfully possessed the organ of inquisitiveness, which induced her to be a constant occupant of a pretty large and easy chair, by the side of the fire in the auction-room, in order that she might see how business was going on. Mr.[113] and Mrs. Hutchins appeared so affectionately mutual in all their public conclusions, that Caleb Whitefoord, the witty wine-merchant, one of the print-sale visitors, attempted to flourish off the following observation as one of his invention: “You see,” said he to Captain Baillie, “Cocker is not always correct; one and one do not in this instance make two.”[205]

Caleb Whitefoord[206] was what is usually called a slight-built[114] man, and much addicted when in conversation to shrug up his shoulders. He had a thin face, with little eyes; his deportment was gentlemanly, though perhaps sometimes too high for his situation in life. His dress, upon which he bestowed great attention, was in some instances singular, particularly in his hat and wig, which were remarkable as being solitary specimens of the Garrick School. He considered himself a first-rate judge of pictures, always preferring those by the old masters, but which he endeavoured to improve by touching up; and when in this conceited employment, I have frequently seen him fall back in his chair, and turn his head from one shoulder to the other, with as much admiration of what he had done, as Hogarth’s sign-painter of the Barley-mow in his inimitable print of Beer Street.



Captain William Baillie[207] was also an amateur in art;[115] he suffered from an asthma, which often stood his friend by allowing a lengthened fit of coughing to stop a sentence whenever he found himself in want of words to complete it. When not engaged in his duties as a commissioner of the Stamp Office, he for years amused himself in what he called etching; but in what Rembrandt, as well as every true artist, would call scratching. He could not draw, nor had he an eye for effect. To prove this assertion, I will “end him at a blow,” by bringing to my informed reader’s recollection the captain’s execrable plate, which he considered to be an improvement upon Rembrandt’s “Three Trees.” Mr. West classed him amongst the conceited men.—“Sir,” said the venerable President, “when I requested him to show me a fine impression of Rembrandt’s Hundred Guilder print, he placed one of his own restored impressions before me, with as much confidence as my little friend Edwards[208] attempts to teach Perspective in the Royal Academy.” Captain Baillie commonly wore a camlet coat, and walked so slowly and with such measured steps, that he appeared like a man heavily laden with jack-boots and Munchausen spurs; and whenever he entered an auction-room, he generally permitted his cough to announce his arrival.

Mr. Baker,[209] an opulent dealer in lace, was nightly[116] to be found bidding for the choicest impressions, which he seldom allowed any antagonist, however powerful, to carry away. He was well-proportioned, and though sometimes singular in his manner, and too negligent in his dress, was a most honourable man.

Mr. Woodhouse, of Tokenhouse Yard, was also a bidder for fine things; he did not possess so much of the milk of human kindness as Mr. Baker; indeed, his manners were at times a little repulsive, although he had been many years principal cashier in Sir George Prescott’s banking-house. He was an extensive collector of Cipriani’s drawings.[210]

Mr. Musgrave,[211] of Norfolk Street, frequently attended auctions of prints, but particularly those of pictures; he was an accomplished gentleman in his address, and most feelingly benevolent in his actions. His figure was short, his features pleasing, and he seldom went abroad without a rose in his button-hole. When I state that no man could have had fewer enemies, I think even the descendants of “Vinegar Tom”[212] will never haunt my bedside.


There was another truly polite and kind-hearted attendant at Hutchins’s sales, Mr. Pitt, of Westminster. The manners of this gentleman were precise, and he wore a large five-story white wig.

The next collector at this period was Mr. Wodhull,[213] the translator of Euripides. He was very thin, with a long nose and thick lips; of manners perfectly gentlemanly. The great singularity of his appearance arose, perhaps, from his closing his coat from the first button, immediately under his chin, to the last, nearly extending to the bottom of his deep-flap waistcoat-pockets. He seldom spoke, nor would he exceed one sixpence beyond the sum which he had put down in his catalogue, to give for the articles he intended to bid for; and though he frequently went away without purchasing a single lot, or even speaking to any one during the whole evening, he always took off his hat, and bowed low to the company before he left the auction-room.

Mr. Rawle, an accoutrement-maker, then living in the Strand, was a visitor: he was the friend of Captain Grose, and the executor of Thomas Worlidge,[214] the etcher. In his early days he had collected many curious and[118] valuable articles. His cabinets contained numerous interesting portraits in miniature of Elizabethan characters. He was a professed Commonwealth man, and possessed many of the Protector’s, or, according to some writers, the usurper’s letters. He also prided himself upon having the leathern doublet, sword, and hat in which Oliver dissolved the Parliament, and showed a helmet that he could incontrovertibly prove had belonged to him. He likewise frequently expatiated for a considerable time upon a magnificent wig, which he said had been worn by that Merry Monarch, King Charles the Second.[215] This singular character never would allow more than a halfpenny-worth of vegetables to be put upon his table, though they were ever so cheap; and when they were above his price, he went without.[216]

Another singular character of the name of Beauvais,[119] who at one time had flourished at Tunbridge Wells as a miniature-painter,[217] attended the evening auctions. This man, who was short and rather lumpy in stature, indeed nearly as wide as he was high, was a native of France, and through sheer idleness became so filthily dirty in his person and dress, that few of the company would sit by him. Yet I have seen him in a black suit with his sword and bag, in the evening of the day on which he had been at Court, where for years he was a constant attendant. This “Sack of Sand,” as Suett the actor generally called him, sat at the lower end of the table; and as he very seldom made purchases, few persons ventured to converse with him. He frequently much annoyed Hutchins by the loudest of all snoring; and now and then Doctor Wolcot would ask him a question, in order to indulge in a laugh at his mode of uttering an answer, which Peter Pindar declared to be more like the gobbling of a turkey-cock than anything human. He lived in a two-pair-of-stairs back room in St. James’s Market; and, after his death, Hutchins sold his furniture. I recollect his spinet, music-stool, and a few dog’s-eared sheets of lessons sold for three-and-sixpence.

Mr. Matthew Mitchell,[218] the banker, frequently joined[120] these parties, and seldom went away without a purchase of prints under his arm. He was extremely well-proportioned, and walked in what I have often heard the ladies of the old school style a portly manner. He was remarkable for a width of chin, which was full as large as Titus Oates’s, and a set of large white teeth. His features altogether, however, bespoke a good-natured and liberal man. This gentleman was very kind to me when I was a boy, and I never hear his name mentioned but with unspeakable pleasure.


Mr. Mitchell had a most serious antipathy to a kitten. He could sit in a room without experiencing the least emotion from a cat; but directly he perceived a kitten, his flesh shook on his bones, like a snail in vinegar. I once relieved him from one of these paroxysms, by taking a kitten out of the room; on my return he thanked me, and declared his feelings to be insupportable upon such an occasion. Long subsequently I asked him whether he could in any way account for this agitation. He said he could not, adding that he experienced no such sensations upon seeing a full-grown cat; but that a kitten,[121] after he had looked at it for a minute or two, in his imagination grew to the size of an overpowering elephant.

At this period Hogarth’s prints were in such high request, that whenever anything remarkable appeared, it was stoutly contested: for Mr. Packer, of Combe’s Brewhouse, was one of the most enterprising of the Hogarth collectors. This gentleman, though his manners sometimes appeared blunt, was highly respected by all who really knew him: it was at this time he became my friend.[219]

He was tall, of good proportion, and well-favoured. He had his peculiarities in dress, particularly as to his hat, which was an undoubted original. Mr. Packer’s opponents in Hogarth prints were two persons, one of the name of Vincent, a tall, half-starved-looking man, who walked with a high gilt chased-headed cane (he had been a chaser of milk-pots, watch-cases, and heads of canes, and he always walked with this cane as a show-article), and the other of the name of Powell, better known under the appellation of “Old black wig.”

Henderson, the player,[220] who was also a collector of[122] Hogarth’s works, seldom made his appearance on these boards—John Ireland being his deputy-manager.[221]

I must not omit to mention another singular but most honourable character, of the name of Heywood, nicknamed “Old Iron Wig.” His dress was precise, and manner of walking rather stiff. He was an extensive purchaser of every kind of article in art, particularly Rowlandson’s drawings; for this purpose he employed the merry and friendly Mr. Seguier,[222] the picture-dealer, a schoolfellow of my father’s, to bid for him.

I shall now close this list by observing that my early friend and fellow-pupil, Rowlandson, who has frequently made drawings of Hutchins and his print-auctions, has produced a most spirited etching, in which not only many of the above-described characters are introduced, but also most of the printsellers of the day. There is another, though it must be owned very indifferent, plate, containing what the publisher called “Portraits of Printsellers,” from a monotonous drawing by the late Silvester Harding, whose manner of delineation made persons appear to[123] be all of one family, particularly his sleepy-eyed and gaudily-coloured drawings of ladies.


At this time my mimic powers induced Delpini the clown,[223] who had often been amused with several of my imitations of public characters, to mention me to Mr. John Palmer,[224] who, after listening to my specimens, promised me an engagement at the Royalty Theatre, which was then erecting; but as that gentleman was too sanguine,[124] and failed in procuring a licence, I, as well as many other strutting heroes, was disappointed.

After this my friends advised me to resume the arts; and, with the usual confidence of an unskilful beginner, I at once presumed to style myself “drawing-master.” However, my slender abilities, or rather industry, were noticed by my kind patrons, who soon recommended me to pupils, and by that pursuit I was enabled, with some increase of talent, to support myself for several years. It is rather extraordinary that mimicry with me was not confined to the voice, for I could in many instances throw my features into a resemblance of the person whose voice I imitated. Indeed, so ridiculous were several of these gesticulations, that I remember diverting one of my companions by endeavouring to look like the various lion-headed knockers as we passed through a long street. Skilful, however, as I was declared to be in some of my attempts, I could not in any way manage the dolphin knockers in Dean Street, Fetter Lane. Their ancient and fish-like appearance was certainly many fathoms beyond my depth; and as much by reason of my being destitute of gills, and the nose of that finny tribe, extending nearly in width to its tremendous mouth, I was obliged to give up the attempt.

When first I saw these knockers, which were all of solid brass, seventeen of the doors of the four-and-twenty houses in Dean Street were adorned with them, and the good housewives’ care was to keep them as bright as the chimney-sweeper’s ladle on May-day. As my mind from my earliest remembrance was of an inquisitive nature, my curiosity urged me to learn why this street, above all others, was thus adorned; and my inquiry was, as I then thought, at once answered satisfactorily.


This ground and the houses upon it belong to the Fishmongers’ Company, was the answer returned by one of the oldest inhabitants; and the heraldic reader will recollect that the arms of that worshipful and ancient body are dolphins. Not being satisfied with this assertion, however, I went to Fishmongers’ Hall, and was there assured that the Company never had any property in Dean Street, Fetter Lane. On the 17th of May, 1829, I visited this street in order to see how many of my brazen-faced acquaintances exposed themselves, and I found that Dean Street was nearly as deficient in its dolphin knockers as a churchyard is of its earliest tombstones, for out of seventeen only three remained.[225]

In the commencement of this year I took lodgings in Gerrard Street, and acquiesced in the regulations of my landlady; one of the principal of which was, that I never was to expect to be let in after twelve o’clock, unless the servant was apprised of my staying out later, and then she was to be permitted to sit up for me. Being in my twenty-first year, of a lively disposition, and moreover fond of theatrical representations, I did not at all times “remember[126] twelve”; for although Mrs. Siddons sounded it so emphatically upon my ear, I could never quit the theatre till half an hour after. My finances at this period being sometimes too slender to afford an additional lodging for the night, and not often venturing to expose myself to insult, or the artful and designing, by perambulating the city, unless the moon invited me, I fortunately hit upon the following expedient, which not only sheltered me from rain, but afforded me a seat by the fireside. I either used to go to the watch-house of St. Paul, Covent Garden, or that of St. Anne, Soho; so, having made myself free of both by agreeing with the watch-house keeper to stand the expense of two pots of porter upon every nocturnal visit, I was enabled to see what is called “life and human nature.”


One of the curious scenes witnessed upon a more recent occasion afforded me no small amusement. Sir Harry Dinsdale, usually called Dimsdale, a short, feeble little man, was brought in to St. Anne’s watch-house, charged by two colossal guardians of the night with conduct most unruly. “What have you, Sir Harry, to say to all this?” asked the Dogberry of St. Anne. The knight, who had been roughly handled, commenced like a true orator, in a low tone of voice, “May it please ye, my magistrate, I am not drunk; it is languor. A parcel of the bloods of the Garden have treated me cruelly, because I would not treat them. This day, Sir, I was sent for by Mr. Sheridan to make my speech upon the table at the Shakspeare Tavern, in Common Garden; he wrote the speech for me, and always gives me half a guinea, when he sends for me to the tavern. You see I didn’t go in my Royal robes; I only put ’um on when I stand to be member.” Constable—“Well, but Sir Harry, why are you brought here?” One of the watchmen then observed, “That though Sir Harry was but a[127] little shambling fellow, he was so upstroppolus and kicked him about at such a rate, that it was as much as he and his comrade could do to bring him along.” As there was no one to support the charge, Sir Harry was advised to go home, which, however, he swore he would not do at midnight without an escort. “Do you know,” said he, “there’s a parcel of raps now on the outside waiting for me.”

The constable of the night gave orders for him to be protected to the public-house opposite the west end of St. Giles’s Church, where he then lodged. Sir Harry hearing a noise in the street, muttered, “I shall catch it; I know I shall.” “See the conquering hero comes” (cries without). “Ay, they always use that tune when I gain my election at Garrett.”

Although many of my readers may recollect Sir Harry Dinsdale, yet it may be well for the information of others to state who and what he was. Before I commence his history, however, I should observe that the death of Sir Jeffery Dunstan, a dealer in old wigs, who had been for many years returned member for Garrett, first gave popularity to Harry Dinsdale, who, from the moment he stood as candidate, received mock knighthood, and was ever after known under the appellation of “Sir Harry.”[226] There[128] are several portraits of this singular little object, by some called “Honeyjuice,” as well as of his more whimsical predecessor, Sir Jeffery Dunstan, better known as “Old Wigs.” Sir Harry exercised the itinerant trade of a muffinman in the afternoon; he had a little bell, which he held to his ear, smiling ironically at its tingling. His cry was “Muffins! muffins! ladies come buy me! pretty, handsome, blooming, smiling maids.” Flaxman the sculptor, and Mrs. Mathew, of blue-stocking memory, equipped him as a hardware man, and as such I made two etchings of him.




“His first appearance on any stage.”

Many a time when I had no inclination to go to bed at the dawn of day, I have looked down from my window to see whether the author of the Sublime and Beautiful had left his drawing-room, where I had seen that great orator during many a night after he had left the House of Commons, seated at a table covered with papers, attended by an amanuensis who sat opposite to him.[227] Major Money, who had nearly been lost at sea with his balloon, at that time lodged in the same house. Of the Major’s perilous[129] situation at sea, the elder Reinagle made a spirited picture, of which there is an engraving.[228]

In this year I had the honour for the first time of exhibiting at the Royal Academy. My production was a portrait of the venerable beech-tree which stood within memory at a short distance from Sand-pit Gate, in Windsor Forest, and which tree has been so admirably painted by West. This picture, which measures five feet in height and seven in length, was sold by auction at Mr. West’s house, in May 23rd, 1829. My drawing, as well as many of my studies made from that delightful display of forest scenery, was highly finished in black chalk; it was purchased by the late Earl of Warwick, who was not only an admirable draughtsman himself, but kind to young artists. By that nobleman I was introduced to the Hon. F. Charles Greville [the Earl’s brother and a Vice-President of the Royal Society], whose taste for the Fine Arts is too well known to need any eulogium from me.[229] This gentleman gave Cipriani above one hundred guineas for an elaborate drawing of the famous Barberini vase, brought to England by Sir William Hamilton.[230] Several learned writers have[130] given their conjectures as to the subject so beautifully sculptured on this vase; but I understand that nothing has been adduced as yet that sufficiently elucidates it. This vase is deposited in the British Museum.

This grey and silver beech was the loftiest in the forest, and particularly beautiful when the sun shone upon its ancient limbs; his capacious and hollow trunk, with a small additional hut, afforded accommodation for a woodman, his wife, four children, a sow and a numerous litter of pigs. This happy family retreat, which had frequently been noticed by King George III., was at last unavoidably obliged, from the symptoms it exhibited of falling, to submit to the woodman’s axe—that woodman whose family had weathered many a storm, and had been screened from the scorching sunbeams under its majestic branches, several of which, by reason of its “bald and high antiquity,” had not issued foliage for many a summer. The King, however, who never suffered the humblest of his subjects whose industry he had noticed, to sigh under calamity, ordered a snug, neat brick cottage to be built for the honest occupant and his dependents, which was erected in the same forest, and at as short a distance as possible from the former residence.

One curious and interesting discovery resulted from the demolition of this venerable tree. The woodman, who had allowed the smoke from his peat-piled fire to[131] pass through one of the hollow limbs of the tree for several years without sweeping it, had, by accumulated incrustations, produced a mass of the finest brown colour, resembling the present appearance of that used by Rembrandt, so much coveted by the English artists. The discovery was made by Mr. Paul Sandby, who was fortunately passing at the time the timber was on the ground, who immediately secured a tolerable quantity to enable him to prove that the smoke from forest fuel, united with the heated branch of a hollow and aged beech, produced the finest bistre: his son, the present Mr. Sandby, gave me a lump of it, which I presented to the late Sir George Beaumont.[231] Having mentioned this bistre to several Roman artists, they informed me that a strong decoction of the sap of the ilex, or evergreen oak, produces a colour nearly similar; and of this I have had satisfactory proof. These, and suchlike bistres, would be much safer for the artist to use than that called sepia, which is made from the ink of the cuttle-fish, which, being a marine production, ever retains its saline and pernicious qualities, as may be seen in several of the numerous drawings made by Guercino, where the colour[132] has left a blot, which has completely eaten through the paper. However, after all the trials of our experimentalists to match the present tint of Rembrandt’s drawings, and however pleasingly ingenious their discoveries have been, still I am inclined to believe that much, if not the whole, of the effect of old drawings is owing to that produced by time; and in this idea I am borne out by a small drawing which the ever-to-be-revered Flaxman made with a pen in common writing-ink: he drew it when I was a lad, and it is now a deep rich brown. May we not also fairly conclude, from the brown tint of most of our old manuscripts, that time has thus operated upon the ink? if so, the question is, what will the future colour of that which we now use in imitation, consisting of many ingredients, be, after fifty-five years, the elapsed time since I received my drawing from the kind hand of Flaxman? It is a curious fact, however, that the ink used by the ancient Egyptians on nearly two hundred specimens of the written inscriptions on papyrus collected by Mr. Salt,[232] now in the British Museum, are as jet a black as Cozens’s[233] blotting-ink, or Day and Martin’s far-famed blacking.


Although not considered an Adonis by the ladies, yet most of those to whom I had the pleasure to be known, noticed me as a favourite, and by some my appearance in company was cordially greeted. “Friend Thomas,”[133] asked one, “pray what play didst thou see last night?” With this appellation I was frequently addressed, in consequence of my mother having been a member of the Society of Friends. “Love’s Labour Lost,” being my answer to the pre-engaged fair one, uttered perhaps with a smile, she was induced to rejoin, “If you had not hitherto been so blind a son of Venus, you would not have lost my smiles.” After this rebuke, my pursuit became brisker, and I at last fixed my heart upon my first wife.[234] Upon becoming a Benedict, I partly recovered the use of my senses, gave up my clubs, dissolved many connections, and in order to be faithful to my pledge, “to love and to cherish,” I applied myself steadily to my etching-table, and commenced a series of quarto plates, to illustrate Mr. Pennant’s truly interesting account of our great city (entitled Some Account of London), which I dedicated to my patron, Sir James Winter Lake, Bart.

Sir James was a governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company,—a situation, it is well known, he filled with credit to himself as well as the satisfaction of every one connected with that highly-respected body. Sir James most kindly invited me to take a house near him at Edmonton, where I had the honour, for the space of seven years, of enjoying the steady friendship of himself and family. Lady Lake, who then retained much of her youthful beauty, by her elegance of language and extreme affability charmed every one. To clever people of every description she was kind, and benevolent to the poor.

The Lake family consisted of Sir James, his lady, their sons, James, Willoughby, Atwill, and Andrew,—their[134] daughters, Mary, Charlotte, and Anne.[235] Their residence, which had long been their family mansion, was distant about a mile from the Angel Inn, and was called “The Firs,” in consequence of the approach to the house being planted on either side with double rows of that tree.


“For my own part, I am not at all brought to believe her story.”

Horace Walpole


This year proved more lucrative to me than any preceding, for at this time I professed portrait painting both in oils and crayons; but, alas! after using a profusion of carmine, and placing many an eye straight that was misdirected, before another season came, my exertions were mildewed by a decline of orders, owing not only to the salubrity of the air of Edmonton, but to the regularity of those who had sat to me, for they would neither die nor quit their mansions, but kept themselves snug within their King-William iron gates and red-brick-crested piers, so that there was no accommodation for new-comers; nor would the red land-owners allow one inch of ground to the Tooley Street Camomile Cottage[135] builders.[236] However, I experienced enough to convince me that, had I diverged along the cross-roads towards the Bald-faced Stag, the highway to the original Tulip-tree at Waltham Abbey, or the green lanes to Hornsey Wood House, I might have considerably increased my income; but this would have been impossible without a conveyance. Nevertheless, as it was, the reader will hardly believe that my marches of fame were far more extensive than those of Major Sturgeon;[237] his were confined to marches and counter-marches, from Ealing to Acton, and from Acton to Ealing, next-door neighbours: now, my doves took a circuitous flight from Tottenham to “Kicking Jenny” at Southgate; then to Enfield, ay, even to its very Wash, rendered notorious by Mary Squires and Bet Canning;[238] thence over Walton’s famed river Lea: thence[136] up to Chingford’s ivy-mantled tower; down again, crossing the Lea with the lowing herd, to Tottenham High Cross, finishing where they put up on the embattlements of the once noble Castle of Bruce.

It was in the centre of the above vicinities, at “Edmonton so gay,” the rendezvous of Shakspeare’s merry devil,[239] that I profiled, three-quartered, full-faced, and buttoned up the retired embroidered weavers, their crummy wives, and tightly-laced daughters. Ay, those were the days! my friends of the loom, as Tom King declared in the prologue to Bon Ton, when Mother Fussock could ride in a one-horse chaise, warm from Spitalfields, on a Sunday![240]


Many a rural walk have I and my beloved enjoyed, accompanied by our uninvited, playful, tailed butterfly-hunter,[137] through the lonely honeysuckled lanes to the “Widow Colley’s,” whose nut-brown, mantling home-brewed could have stood the test with that of Skelton’s far-famed Elyn—the ale-wife of England, upon whose October skill Henry VIII.’s Poet Laureate sang.[241] Sometimes our strolls were extended to old Matthew Cook’s Ferry, by the side of the Lea, so named after him, and well known to many a Waltonian student. Matthew generally contrived to keep sixteen cats, all of the finest breed, and, as cats go, of the best of tempers, all of whom he had taught distinct tricks; but it was his custom morning and evening to make them regularly, one after the other, leap over his hands joined as high as his arms could reach: and this attention to his cats, which occupied nearly the whole of his time, afforded him as much pleasure as Hartry, the cupper in May’s Buildings,[242] and his assistant could receive in phlebotomizing, in former days, above one hundred customers on a Sunday morning, that being the only leisure time the industrious mechanic could spare for the operation.


Melancholy as Cook’s Ferry is during the winter, it is still more so in the time of an inundation, when it is almost insupportable; and had not Matty enjoyed the society of his cats, who certainly kept the house tolerably free from rats and mice, at the accustomed time of a high flood he must have been truly wretched. In this year, during one of these visitations, in order to gratify my indefatigable curiosity, I visited him over the meadows, partly in a cart and partly in a boat, conducted by his baker and Tom Fogin, his barber. We found him standing in a washing-tub, dangling a bit of scrag of mutton before the best fire existing circumstances could produce, in a room on the ground floor, knee-deep in water, whilst he ever and anon raised his voice to his cats in the room above, where he had huddled them for safety.

The baker, after delivering his bread in at the window, and I, after fastening our skiff to the shutter-hook, waited the return of Fogin, who had launched himself into a tub to shave Matthew, who had perched himself on the coroneted top of a tall Queen Anne’s chair, and drawn his feet as much under him as possible, and then, with the palms of his hands flat upon his knees to keep the balance true, was prepared to suck in Fogin’s tales in the tub during his shave. Tom retailed all the scandal he had been able to collect during the preceding week from the surrounding villages; how Dolly alias Matthew Booth, a half-witted fellow, was stoutly caned by old John Adams, the astronomical schoolmaster, for calling him “a moon-hauler,”—how Mr. Wigston trespassed on Miss Thoxley’s waste,—of the sisters Tatham being called the “wax dolls” of Edmonton, whose chemises Bet Nun had declared only measured sixteen inches in diameter,—of old Fuller, the banker, riding to Ponder’s End with a stone in his mouth[139] to keep it moist, in order to save the expense of drink,—upon Farmer Bellows’s and old Le Grew’s psalm-singing,—of Alderman Curtis and his Southgate grapery, and of his neighbour, a divine gentlem—man, I had very nearly called him, who had horsewhipped his wife.


I remember on a midsummer morn of this year making one of a party of pleasure, consisting of the worthy baronet Sir James Lake, the elder John Adams,[243] schoolmaster of Edmonton, Samuel Ireland,[244] author of the Thames, Medway, etc. We started from my cottage at Edmonton, and took the road north. The first house we noticed was an old brick mansion at the extreme end of the town, erected at about the time of King Charles I., opposite butcher Wright’s. This dilapidated fabric was let out in tenements, and the happiest of its inmates was a gay old woman who lived in one of its numerous attics. She gained her bread by spinning, and as we ascended she was singing the old song of “Little boy blue, come blow me your horn” to a[140] neighbour’s child, left to her care for the day. “Well, Mary,” quoth the a-b-c-darian, “you are always gay; what is your opinion of the lads and lasses of the present time, compared with those of your youthful days?” “I’ faith,” answered Mary, “they are pretty much the same.” She was then considerably beyond her eightieth year. We then proceeded to Ponder’s End, where I conducted my fellow-travellers to a field on the left, behind the Goat public-house, to see “King Ringle’s Well,” but why so called even Mr. Gough has declared he was unable to discover.[245]

The next place we visited consisted of extensive moated premises, called “Durance,” on the right of the public road. This house, as tradition reported, had been the residence of Judge Jeffreys; and here it is said that he exercised some severities upon the Protestants.[246]

We then returned through Green Street; and at a cottage we discovered an Elizabethan door, profusely studded with flat-headed nails. This piece of antiquity Samuel Ireland stopped to make a drawing of, which circumstance I beg the reader will keep in mind, as it will[141] be mentioned hereafter. We then, after descanting upon the beauties of Waltham Cross, proposed to visit the father of the Tulip-trees, an engraving of which appeared in Farmer’s History of Waltham Abbey.[247] We looked in vain for a portion of King Harold’s tomb. There were remains of it in Strutt’s early days: he made a drawing of them. Our next visit was to a small ancient elliptic bridge in a field a little beyond the pin-manufactory; this bridge has ever been held as a great curiosity, and one of high antiquity. As we returned through Cheshunt, we rummaged over a basket of old books placed at the door of the barber’s shop, where Sir James Lake bought an excellent copy of Brooke’s Camden’s Errors for sixpence, and also an imperfect copy of Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy, for the sake of a remarkably fine impression of a portrait of its author on the title-page. After dining at the Red Lion, we visited another old moated mansion, the property of Dr. Mayo, said to have been originally a house belonging to Cardinal Wolsey, or in which he had at one time resided.[248] After crossing a drawbridge, and passing through the iron gates, the gardener ushered us into a spacious hall, and showed us a curiously constructed chair, in which he said[142] the Cardinal’s porter usually sat. Of this singular chair above mentioned I made a drawing, and had the honour to furnish the late Marquis of Lansdowne with a copy, to enable his Lordship to have a set made from it. In an adjoining room was a bedstead and furniture, considered to be that in which the Cardinal had slept; it was of a drab-coloured cloth, profusely worked over with large flowers in variously coloured silks. We were then conducted to an immense room filled with old portraits. I recollect noticing one in very excellent preservation of Sir Hugh Myddelton, with an inscription on the background totally differing from the one by Cornelius Janssen, engraved by Vertue.[249] Thus ended this pleasant excursion.


That Vandyke did not possess that liberal patron in King Charles I. which his biographers have hitherto stated, is unquestionably a fact, which can be proved by a long bill which I have lately seen (by the friendly indulgence of Mr. Lemon[250] and his son), in the State Paper Office, docketed by the King’s own hand. For instance, the picture of his Majesty dressed for the chase (which I conjecture to be the one engraved by Strange),[251] for[143] which Vandyke had charged £200, the King, after erasing that sum, inserted £100; and down in proportion, nay, in some instances they suffered a further reduction. Of several of the works charged in the bill, which his Majesty marked as intended presents to his friends, I recollect one of two that were to be given to Lord Holland was reduced to the sum of £60. Other pictures in the bill the King marked with a cross, which is explained at the back by Endymion Porter, that as those were to be paid for by the Queen, the King had left them for her Majesty to reduce at pleasure.

That a daughter of Vandyke was allowed a pension for sums owing by King Charles I. to her father, is also true, as there is a petition in consequence of its being discontinued still preserved in the State Paper Office, in which that lady declares herself to be plunged into the greatest distress, adding that she had been cheated by the purchaser of her late father’s estate, who never paid for it.[252]

It would be the height of vanity in me to offer anything[144] beyond what the author of The Sublime and Beautiful has said of Sir Joshua Reynolds, who died this year at his house in Leicester Square.[253] As Mr. Burke’s character of this most powerful of painters may not be in the possession of all my readers, I shall here reprint it.[254]

“The illness of Sir Joshua Reynolds was long, but borne with a mild and cheerful fortitude, without the least mixture of anything irritable or querulous, agreeably to the placid and even tenor of his whole life.

“He had, from the beginning of his malady, a distinct view of his dissolution; and he contemplated it with that entire composure which nothing but the innocence, integrity, and usefulness of his life, and unaffected submission to the will of Providence, could bestow. In this situation he had every consolation from family tenderness, which his own kindness to his family had indeed well deserved.

“Sir Joshua Reynolds was, on very many accounts, one of the most memorable men of his time. He was the first Englishman who added the praise of the elegant arts to the other glories of his country. In taste, in grace, in facility, in happy invention, and in the richness and harmony of colouring, he was equal to the great masters of the renowned ages. In portrait he was beyond them; for he communicated to that description of the art, in which English artists are the most engaged, a variety, a fancy, and a dignity derived from the higher branches,[145] which even those who professed them in a superior manner did not always preserve, when they delineated individual nature. His portraits remind the spectator of the invention of history and the amenity of landscape. In painting portraits, he appeared not to be raised upon that platform, but to descend to it from a higher sphere. His paintings illustrate his lessons; and his lessons seem to be derived from his paintings. He possessed the theory as perfectly as the practice of his art. To be such a painter, he was a profound and penetrating philosopher.

“In full happiness of foreign and domestic fame, admired by the expert in art, and by the learned in science, courted by the great, caressed by sovereign powers, and celebrated by distinguished poets, his native humility, modesty, and candour never forsook him, even on surprise or provocation, nor was the least degree of arrogance or assumption visible to the most scrutinising eye, in any part of his conduct or discourse.

“His talents of every kind, powerful from nature, and not meanly cultivated by letters—his social virtues in all the relations and in all the habitudes of life—rendered him the centre of a very great and unparalleled variety of agreeable societies, which will be dissipated by his death. He had too much merit not to excite some jealousy, too much innocence to provoke any enmity. The loss of no man of his time can be felt with more sincere, general, and unmixed sorrow. ‘Hail! and farewell!’”

The following letter was addressed to me by my worthy friend Colonel Phillips:[255]


Dear Sir,—If it was not for having you older than your friends would wish you, I should be glad you had been of the party, where I heard an argument between Dr. Johnson and Sir Joshua Reynolds, on the wonderful power of the human eye. Dr. Johnson made a quotation which I do not remember. ‘Sir,’ said Sir Joshua, in reply, ‘that divine effect is produced by the parts appertaining to the eye, and not from its globe, as is generally supposed; the skull must be justly proportioned.’

Mrs. Cholmondeley.[256]—‘My dear Sir Joshua, was there nothing in the magic of Garrick’s eye? its comicality. The Duke of Richmond, the Duke of Dorset, and young Sheridan[257] have superb eyes; but I don’t know what effect they would have on the stage.’

Sir Joshua.—‘Little or none, Madam; the great beauty of the Duke of Richmond’s eye proceeded from its fine and uncommon colour, dark blue, which would be totally lost on the stage, the light being constantly either too high or too low. Garrick’s eye, unaccompanied by the action of his mouth, would not fascinate. When you are near a person, a pretty woman for instance, and[147] have a good light, the contraction and expansion of the pupilla, which bids defiance to our art, is delightful; it is more perceptible in fine grey and light blue eyes, than in any other colour. We, however, cannot deny the majestic look of the Belvedere Apollo, though unassisted by iris, pupil, eye-lashes, or colour.’

Dr. Johnson.—‘Sir, a tiger’s eye, and, I am told, a snake’s, will intimidate birds, so that they will drop from trees for its prey, without using their wings.’

“After Dr. Johnson had quaffed about twenty-four cups of tea, he gave a blow of considerable length from his mouth, drew his breath, and said, ‘Sir, I believe you are right, it is but rational to suppose so: I wish that rogue Burke was here.’

“I am sorry, my dear Sir, that my memory is not better, so as to give you verbatim what passed. I feel like a person giving evidence in a court, trammelled by the apprehension of saying too much, or, as a late friend of mine said, ‘remembering a great many circumstances that never happened;’ and I only write this to show my readiness to comply with any request you could possibly make of your obliged friend,

M. Phillips.”

“If you ask how it comes, the faithful Bossy was not present; Bossy was not always producible after dinner.”


“Tell Lady Besborough that my eyes will look up to the coffin-lid as brightly as ever.”

Wednesday, 27th March.



No Cross Buns.

“Mrs. Hand respectfully informs her friends, and the public, that in consequence of the great concourse[148] of people which assembled before her house at a very early hour, on the morning of Good Friday; by which her neighbours (with whom she has always lived in friendship and repute) have been much alarmed and annoyed; it having also been intimated, that to encourage or countenance a tumultuous assembly at this particular period, might be attended with consequences more serious than have hitherto been apprehended; desirous, therefore, of testifying her regard and obedience to those laws by which she is happily protected, she is determined, though much to her loss, not to sell Cross Buns on that day, to any person whatever;—but Chelsea Buns as usual.

“Mrs. Hand would be wanting in gratitude to a generous public, who, for more than fifty years past, have so warmly patronised and encouraged her shop, to omit so favourable an opportunity of offering her sincere acknowledgments for their kind favours; at the same time, to assure them she will, to the utmost of her power, endeavour to merit a continuance of them.”[258]



The origin of wooden tessellated floors having been a subject of much inquiry among many of my friends, I here insert a copy of an advertisement introduced in a catalogue of books, published 1676, under the licence of Roger L’Estrange.[259]

“There is now in the press, and almost finished, that excellent piece of architecture,[260] written by Andrea Palladio, translated out of Italian, with an Appendix, touching Doors and Windows, by Pierre le Muet, Architect to the French King: translated out of French, by G. R.; also Rules and Demonstrations, with several designs for the framing any manner of Roofs, either above pitch, or under pitch, whether square or bevel; never published before; with designs of Floors of Variety of small pieces of Wood, lately made in the Palace of the Queen-Mother, at Somerset House—a curiosity never practised in England.

“The third Edition, corrected and enlarged, with the new model of the Cathedral of St. Paul’s as it is now building.”

The floors of the oldest parts of the British Museum,[261][150] retained specimens of this tessellated work, until they were removed on the construction of the new building.


Having often heard my father expatiate upon the extraordinary talents of Keyse,[262] the proprietor of Bermondsey Spa, as a painter, I went one July evening to Hungerford, and engaged “Copper Holmes”[263] to scull me to “Pepper Alley Stairs”; from thence I proceeded to the gardens. This I was the more anxious to accomplish, as that once famed place of recreation was most rapidly on the decline. I entered under a semicircular awning next to the proprietor’s house, which I well remember was a large wooden-fronted building, consisting of long square divisions, in imitation of scantlings of stone. My surprise was great, for no one appeared, but three idle waiters, and they were clumped for the want of a call. The space before the orchestra, which was about a quarter the size of that of Vauxhall, was in the centre, totally destitute of trees, the few that these gardens could then boast of being those planted close to the fronts of the surrounding boxes of accommodation, as a screen to prevent the public from overlooking the gardens.


My attention was attracted by a board with a ruffled hand, within a sky-blue painted sleeve, pointing to the staircase which led “To the Gallery of Paintings.” In this room I at first considered myself as the only spectator; and as the evening sun shone brilliantly, the refraction of the lights gave me a splendid and uninterrupted view of the numerous pictures with which it was closely hung, each of which had just claims to my attention, as I found myself frequently walking backwards to enjoy their deceptive effects. When I had gone round the gallery, which by the bye was oblong, and in size similar to that of the Academician, J. M. W. Turner, in Queen Anne Street, I voluntarily recommenced my view, but, in stepping back to study the picture of the Green-stall, “I ask your pardon,” said I, for I had trodden upon some one’s toes; “Sir, it is granted,” replied a little thick-set man, with a round face, arch look, closely curled wig, surmounted by a small three-cornered hat, put very knowingly on one side, not unlike Hogarth’s head in his print of the Gates of Calais. “You are an artist, I presume; I noticed you from the end of the gallery when you first stepped back to look at my best picture. I painted all the objects in this room from nature and still life.” “Your Greengrocer’s Shop,” said I, “is inimitable; the drops of water on that Savoy appear as if they had just fallen from the element. Van Huysum could not have pencilled them with greater delicacy.” “What do you think,” said he, “of my Butcher’s Shop?” “Your pluck is bleeding fresh, and your sweetbread is in a clean plate.” “How do you like my bull’s eye?” “Why it would be a most excellent one for Adams or Dollond[264] to lecture upon. Your knuckle[152] of veal is the finest I ever saw.” “It’s young meat,” replied he; “any one who is a judge of meat can tell that from the blueness of its bone.” “What a beautiful white you have used on the fat of that South Down leg! or is it Bagshot?”[265]

“Yes,” said he, “my solitary visitor, it is Bagshot; and as for my white, that is the best Nottingham, which you or any artist can procure at Stone and Puncheon’s, in Bishopsgate Street Within. Sir Joshua Reynolds,” continued Mr. Keyse, “paid me two visits. On the second, he asked me what white I had used; and when I told him, he observed, ‘It is very extraordinary, Sir, how it keeps so bright; I use the same.’ ‘Not at all, Sir,’ I rejoined: ‘the doors of this gallery are open day and night; and the admission of fresh air, together with the great expansion of light from the sashes above, will never suffer the white to turn yellow. Have you not observed, Sir Joshua, how white the posts and rails on the public roads are, though they have not been repainted for years?—that arises from constant air and bleaching.’



“Come,” said Mr. Keyse, putting his hand upon my shoulder, “the bell rings, not for prayers, nor for dinner, but for the song.” As soon as we had reached the orchestra, the singer curtsied to us, for we were the only persons in the gardens. “This is sad work,” said he, “but the woman[153] must sing according to our contract.” I recollect that the singer was handsome, most dashingly dressed, immensely plumed, and villainously rouged; she smiled as she sang, but it was not the bewitching smile of Mrs. Wrighten,[266] then applauded by thousands at Vauxhall Gardens. As soon as the Spa lady had ended her song, Keyse, after joining me in applause, apologised for doing so, by observing that, as he never suffered his servants to applaud, and as the people in the road (whose ears were close to the cracks in the paling to hear the song), would make a bad report if they had not heard more than the clapping of one pair of hands, he had in this instance expressed his reluctant feelings.

As the lady retired from the front of the orchestra, she, to keep herself in practice, curtsied to me with as much respect as she would had Colonel Topham been the patron of a gala night.[267] “This is too bad,” again observed Keyse; “and I am sure you cannot expect fireworks!” However, he politely asked me to partake of a bottle of Lisbon, which upon my refusing, he pressed me to accept of a catalogue of his pictures.

Blewitt[268] (who at that time lived in Bermondsey[154] Square), the scholar of Jonathan Battishill,[269] was the composer for the Spa establishment. The following verse is the first of his most admired composition,—“In lonely cot by Humber’s side.”

My old and worthy friend Joseph Caulfield,[270] Blewitt’s favourite pupil, of whom he learned thorough bass, related to me the following anecdote of a musical composer, as told him by his master:—“When I was going upstairs,” said Blewitt, “to the attics, where one of my instructors lived (for I had many), I hesitated on the second-floor landing-place, upon hearing my master and his wife at high words. ‘Get you gone!’ said the lofty paper-ruffled composer, ‘retire to your apartments!’ This command of her lord she did not immediately obey; however, in a short time after, I heard the clattering of plates against the wall, and upon entering the room, I discovered that the lady had retired, but not before she had covered the whitewashed wall profusely with the unbroiled sprats.”

“I was at a musical party,” continued my friend Joseph, “at Lord Sandwich’s,[271] in Hertford Street, Mayfair,[155] when, among other specimens of the best masters, I heard Battishill’s beautiful composition of

“Amidst the myrtles as I walk,
Love and myself thus entered talk,
‘Tell me,’ said I, in deep distress,
‘Where I may find my Shepherdess.’”[272]

Upon expressing my pleasure at hearing the above performed in so superior a style, his Lordship told me he had written a sequel, which he thus repeated:—

“Love said to me, ‘Thou faithful swain,
Thy search in myrtle groves is vain;
Examine well thy noblest part,
Thou’lt find her seated in thy heart.’”

It appears that in poetry, as well as in painting and prints, and also in dwellings, decorations, and dress, there has ever been a fashion for a time. Battishill was the composer of that justly celebrated glee, commencing with “Underneath this myrtle shade.” Myrtles, after having had a great run, were succeeded by Cupid’s darts; and that little rogue Love played old gooseberry with the hearts of Chloes and Colins, Robins and Robinets; then the ever-blooming lasses of Patterdale and Richmond Hill attracted our giddy notice. These were succeeded[156] by “Bacchus in green ivy bound,” giving “Joy and pleasure all around.” After that, moonlight meetings were preferred, and “Buy a broom, ladies,” was continually dinning our ears “through and through.”


In the summer of this year, the late John Wigston, Esq., then of Millfield House, Edmonton, having repeatedly expressed a wish to see the famous George Morland before he commenced a collection of his pictures, I having been known to that child of nature in my boyish days, offered to introduce them to each other.[273] Morland then resided in Charlotte Street, Fitzroy Square, in the house formerly inhabited by Sir Thomas Apreece. He received us in the drawing-room, which was filled with easels, canvases, stretching-frames, gallipots of colour, and oil-stones; a stool, chair, and a three-legged table were the only articles of furniture of which this once splendid apartment could then boast. Mr. Wigston, his generous-hearted visitor, immediately bespoke a picture, for which he gave him a draft for forty pounds, that sum being exactly the money he then wanted; but this gentleman had, like most of that artist’s employers, to ply him close for his picture.


“There! go back and tell the pawnbroker to advance me five guineas more upon it.”

As Mrs. Wigston had a great desire to see Morland, he was invited to take a day’s sport with the hounds, which the artist accepted, with a full assurance of punctuality. However, as usual with that eccentric man, he only arrived time enough for dinner, accompanied by[157] eight of those persons denominated his friends. Mrs. Wigston, an elegant and most accomplished lady, was in consequence deprived of a sight of this far-famed genius. I was deputed by my honoured friend Mr. Wigston to take Mrs. Wigston’s abdicated chair, and carved for this pretty set, consisting of persons unaccustomed to sit at such a table. Our worthy host soon discovered their strong propensity for spirituous liquors, three of them even during dinner, instead of taking wine, of which there were many sorts on the table, calling for a glass of brandy. After hearing several jokes and humorous songs from some of the party, George Morland declared he must go, having an engagement with Mrs. Laye, and other friends, at “Otter’s Pool.”[274]

When Morland and his party entered the stable-yard, the following altercation took place between Mr. Wigston and his groom.

Mr. Wigston.—“Bring out these gentlemen’s horses.”

Groom.—“Horses, horses! they’ll find ’um at the ‘Two Jolly Brewers.’ Horses, indeed!”

Mr. Wigston.—“And why, Sir, were they sent there?”

Groom.—“Why, I would not suffer such cattle to come near your stud; for I never saw such a set-out in my life!”

The party accordingly betook themselves to the “Brewers”; but upon our return to the honest though rough diamond of a groom, he observed that it was past two o’clock, and that the dog ought to have been let loose two hours ago!



Although my mother continued till the time of her death in the habit of the Society of Friends, and my father followed most of the popular Methodists, I, from my earliest days of reflection, gave a preference to the Established Church of England. Notwithstanding this, my inquisitiveness now and then induced me to hear celebrated preachers of every sect. I remember one Sunday morning in this year, after intending to enter some church on my way to dine with my great-aunt on Camberwell Green, my ears were most agreeably greeted with the swelling pipes of the Surrey Chapel organ.[275] Why, thinks I to myself, should not I hear Rowland Hill? Surely it must be now full twenty years since I saw him in Moorfields, at my last visit to the Tabernacle. In I accordingly went; and though a smile with me was always deemed highly indecorous during divine worship, yet the truth must out; I could not help sometimes laughing—as heartily, though not so loudly, I hope, as all of us when led into the enjoyment of Momus’s strongest fits by the inimitable Mathews.

No sooner was the sermon over and the blessing[159] bestowed, than Rowland electrified his hearers by vociferating, “Door-keepers, shut the doors!” Slam went one door; bounce went another; bang went a third; at last, all being anxiously silent as the most importantly unexpected scenes of Sir Walter Scott could make them, the pastor, with a slow and dulcet emphasis, thus addressed his congregation:—“My dearly beloved, I speak it to my shame, that this sermon was to have been a charity sermon, and if you will only look down into the green pew at those—let me see—three and three are six, and one makes seven, young men with red morocco prayer-books in their hands, poor souls! they were backsliders, for they went on the Serpentine River, and other far distant waters, on a Sabbath; they were, however, as you see, all saved from a watery grave. I need not tell ye that my exertions were to have been for the benefit of that benevolent institution the Humane Society.—What! I see some of ye already up to be gone; fie! fie! fie!—never heed your dinners; don’t be Calibans, nor mind your pockets. I know that some of ye are now attending to the devil’s whispers. I say, listen to me! take my advice, give shillings instead of sixpences; and those who intended to give shillings, display half-crowns, in order not only to thwart the foul fiend’s mischievousness, but to get your pastor out of this scrape; and if you do, I trust Satan will never put his foot within this circle again. Hark ye! I have hit upon it; ye shall leave us directly. The Bank Directors, you must know, have called in the dollars; now, if any of you happen to be encumbered with a stale dollar or two, jingle the Spanish in our dishes; we’ll take them, they’ll pass current here. Stay, my friends, a moment more. I am to dine with the Humane Society on Tuesday next, and it would[160] shock me beyond expression to see the strings of the Surrey Chapel lay dangle down its sides like the tags upon Lady Huntingdon’s servants’ shoulders. Now, mind what I say, upon this occasion I wish for a bumper as strenuously as Master Hugh Peters did, when he recommended his congregation in Broadway Chapel to take a second glass.” It is recorded that when he found the sand of his hour-glass had descended, he turned it, saying, “Come, I know you to be jolly dogs, we’ll take t’other glass.”[276] I understand that Rowland Hill is not made up of veneer, but of solid well-seasoned stuff, with a heart of oak, and ever willing to exercise kindness to his fellow-creatures, upon the system of my friend Charles Lamb.[277]


“His ideas come red hot from the heart.”


In May this year I applied to my worthy friend, Mr. John Constable, now a Royal Academician, for any particulars which he might be able to procure respecting Gainsborough, he being also a Suffolk man; and I had the pleasure of receiving the following letter:—

East Bergholt, 7th May, 1797.

Dear Friend Smith,—If you remember, in my last I promised to write again soon, and tell you what I could about Gainsborough. I hope you will not think me negligent when I inform you that I have not been able to learn anything of consequence respecting him: I can assure you it is not for the want of asking that I have not been successful, for indeed I have[161] talked with those who knew him. I believe in Ipswich they did not know his value till they lost him. He belonged to something of a musical club in that town, and painted some of their portraits in a picture of a choir; it is said to be very curious.

“I heard it was in Colchester; I shall endeavour to see it before I come to town, which will be soon. He was generally the butt of the company, and his wig was to them a fund of amusement, as it was often snatched from his head and thrown about the room, etc.; but enough of this. I shall now give you a few lines verbatim, which my friend Dr. Hamilton, of Ipswich, was so good as to send me; though it amounts to nothing, I am obliged to him for taking the commission.

“‘I have not been neglectful of the inquiries respecting Gainsborough, but have learned nothing worth your notice. There is no vale or grove distinguished by his name in this neighbourhood. There is a place up the river-side where he often sat to sketch, on account of the beauty of the landscape, its extensiveness, and richness in variety, both in the fore and back grounds. It comprehended Bramford and other distant villages on one side; and on the other side of the river extended towards Nacton, etc. Friston alehouse must have been near, for it seems he has introduced the Boot signpost in many of his best pictures. Smart and Frost[278] (two drawing-masters in Ipswich) often go there now to take views; whether they be inspired[162] from pressing the same sod with any of this great painter’s genius, you are a better judge than I am. Farewell.’

“This, my dear friend, is the little all I have yet gained, but though I have been unsuccessful, it does not follow that I should relinquish my inquiries. If you want to know the exact time of his birth, I will take a ride over to Sudbury, and look into the register.[279] There is an exceeding fine picture of his painting at Mr. Kilderby’s, in Ipswich.

“Since I last wrote to you I have made another attempt at etching; have succeeded a little better, but yet fall very short. I shall send you an impression soon.

“I doubt there is nothing in my last parcel of cottages worth your notice; am obliged to you for the little sketch after Hobbima. I understand the present exhibition is a very good one; I understand Sir G. Beaumont excels. My friend Gubbins informs me that you have finished Lady Plomer’s Palace,[280] and that you have made a sketch from the fire in the Minories; surely it must have put our friend C——h to the rout.[281] Thine sincerely,

John Constable.”


Mrs. Pope, the actress, died this year in Half Moon Street, Piccadilly, and was buried in the cloisters of Westminster Abbey.[282]

Being anxious to add something more to the memory of this amiable character, I applied to her surviving husband; when that gentleman very obligingly favoured me with the following copy of a record, which he made soon after her death:—

“The best of women and the best of wives drew her last breath at half-past two o’clock on Wednesday morning, the 15th of March, 1797.

“Her illness lasted about seven weeks; her complaint palsy, beginning in her head, and depriving her of the use of her left hand. Her death was an awful lesson; her loss irreparable.”[283]


In the room with the bow-window on the first-floor of the same house, Mr. Pope[284] produced some excellent portraits in crayons, of persons of the first fashion, many of them little inferior in every respect to those of the celebrated Francis Cotes;[285] the inimitable whole-length portrait of Grattan, of which there is an engraving, will be a lasting and mutual record of the artist and patriot. The following letter, given to me by my late worthy friend Dr. Mathew, was written by Mrs. Pope, to her friend Mrs. Mathew, of Rathbone Place:—

Dublin, July 6th.

“I flatter myself that my ever loved and most highly esteemed friends will be pleased to receive the assurance of my health, and to know that I am in the possession of as much comfort as my mind is capable to receive out of England. Thank God, all things as yet go on well, and the exertions of business do not seem to do that injury to my health which I had great reason to fear. We have acted six nights, Jane Shore first, a very great house, well received, and Pope’s speech to Gloster twice repeated, which I think proves in a great degree the loyalty of the people.


Gloster’s speech, thus:—

“‘What if some patriot for the public good
Should vary from your scheme,—new mould the State?
“‘Hastings.—Curse on the innovating hand that ’tempts it!
Remember him, the villain, righteous Heaven,
In thy great day of vengeance: blast the traitor
And his pernicious counsels; who for wealth,
For power, the pride of greatness, or revenge,
Would plunge his native land in civil wars.’

“It is impossible to describe the effect this speech had on the audience. I think you would have been gratified to have heard it; it is the first time a speech in a tragedy was ever repeated. Perhaps it proves the loyalty of this city. I hear there are sad doings in the country parts of Ireland; I trust we shall meet with nothing of it: we stay in Dublin all this month, then go to Cork. Our second characters were Mr. and Mrs. Beverley, highly esteemed and greatly spoken of; third, Belvidera and Jaffier—with good success. Their last new play, How to grow Rich, twice; and yesterday Elizabeth and Essex, which, by the way, Pope acted well. Next week Columbus. I count the nights, though now I trust I shall be able to go through them all. So much for myself.

“And now, my friends, let me beg that you will favour me with a little account of yourselves. I ardently wish to hear that you are all well and happy, in the full possession of that true felicity, which your goodness of heart so justly merits. God bless you both! Mr. Pope unites with me in respectful remembrance to the Baron, and affectionate esteem to the whole family, particularly in respect and affection to Mrs. and Miss Mathew. Adieu:[166] I don’t like to leave off, and yet I hardly think you can read what I have already written.

“Ever your most affectionate

E. Pope.”


This year, in consequence of the death of Mr. Green,[286] who had been drawing-master to Christ’s Hospital, I stood candidate for the situation; and, though I was unsuccessful, my testimonials being so flattering, I cannot withstand the temptation of printing them, whatever may be said by my enemies, who may not be able to produce anything half so honourable.

“May 10th, 1798.

“We whose names are subscribed, having seen specimens of drawings by John Thomas Smith, are of opinion that he is qualified for the office of drawing-master in the school of Christ’s Hospital.

I not only think him qualified as an artist, but greatly to be respected as a man.

Being not personally acquainted with Mr. J. T. Smith, I have examined his performances, and I think him well qualified for the above office.

I have known him from a child, and think him an honest man and well qualified for the office.


I have long been acquainted with Mr. J. T. Smith’s merits as a good artist and a worthy man.

We subscribe to the above opinion.—

I have long known Mr. Smith as an artist and respectable man, and believe him to be perfectly capable of filling the office he solicits with honour.

We subscribe to the above opinion.

We have known Mr. Smith for upwards of fourteen years, and we have found him an able drawing-master to our daughter, whose drawings he has never touched upon; a practice too often followed by drawing-masters in general: and we believe him to be a truly valuable member of society, as a husband, father, and good man.

We can never subscribe our names with greater satisfaction, than in signifying the very high opinion we have of Mr. Smith, both as to his talents and character.

I fully subscribe to the above opinion,

I believe Mr. Smith to be a very deserving man, and well qualified for the situation he is ambitious of obtaining.

Thomas Allen has a great respect for Mr. Smith, both as a man and an artist.


I am personally acquainted with Mr. J. T. Smith, and esteem him one of the best of men.

I am happy to bear testimony to the character of Mr. Smith as a man, and to find him so highly respected as an artist.

I have long known Mr. Smith to be an ingenious artist, an able instructor, and a benevolent and honest man.

I have known Mr. Smith many years, and believe him very capable of filling the office of drawing-master to Christ’s Hospital with credit to himself and advantage to the charity.

Providence, which placed me next door to Mr. J. T. Smith for several years, made me intimately acquainted with a faithful husband, an affectionate father, and an honest man.


“I reflect with horror upon such a fellow as I am, and with such a kind of art, with house-rent to pay and employers to look for.”


On the 4th of August this year, died at his mansion in Rutland Square, Dublin, the Right Hon. James, Earl of Charlemont,[287] who was born 18th of August, 1728.[169] This gentleman was truly a nobleman, for he was one of the greatest patrons of the fine arts this country could boast of. He was the great friend of Hogarth; bought many of his pictures, particularly that most elegant performance so justly celebrated under the title of “The Lady’s Last Stake,” so admirably engraven by Mr. Cheesman.[288] The following is a copy of an original letter given to me by a late worthy friend; it is addressed to the late Sir Lawrence Parsons, Bart.,[289] and written by Lord Charlemont within eight months of his Lordship’s death.

Dublin, 12th Jan., 1799.

My dear Sir Lawrence,—As nothing has ever affected me with more painful astonishment than the shameful apathy and consequent silence of the country at the present desperate crisis of our fate as a nation, so have I experienced few more real pleasures than in having found, by the public papers, that a meeting of your county, at least, has been called; a pleasure which, though principally derived from my ardent zeal for the public service, is still further increased[170] by my friendship for you, as I am too well acquainted with your sentiments to doubt for a moment that such call has been in the highest degree satisfactory and flattering to your feelings. Neither can I entertain the slightest apprehension that the result of any meeting of Irishmen will be other than the firm and spirited condemnation of a measure, replete with every disgrace and danger in their country. Never, indeed, were my beloved countrymen so forcibly called upon as at the present emergency, maturely to form their opinions and to speak aloud the dictates of their hearts. Their ancestors call upon them from their graves to preserve those national rights which they have transmitted to them. Their children from their cradles, with mute but prevailing eloquence, beseech them to protect and to defend their birthrights; and, with a more awful voice, their country calls upon them not by their silence to betray her dearest interests, or by their supineness to leave her enslaved whom they found free! Thus invoked, is it possible that Irishmen should remain silent?

“But surely I need dwell no longer upon a subject with which you are so much better acquainted; and, indeed, the state of my health, and particularly of my eyes, is such as to render it impossible for me to write more.—I must therefore, however unwillingly, conclude by assuring you that I am, and ever shall be, my dearest Parsons, your most faithful and truly affectionate


In this year, James Barry, the painter of those mighty pictures on the walls of the great room of the Society of Arts, received a severe blow by having his name erased from those of the Royal Academicians by King George III.,[171] who believed what had been represented respecting the Professor’s conduct in the Royal Academy.[290]

Buckingham Street, Fitzroy Square.

Dear Sir,—Permit me to thank you for the satisfaction of having seen that curious monument of English antiquity, St. Stephen’s Chapel, Westminster, when the ancient architecture and painting were discovered by the removal of the modern wainscot, which formed the interior of the House of Commons.

“Notwithstanding this branch of antiquity has never been my particular pursuit, I am highly gratified to see such materials in the general history of art rescued from oblivion by publication, for which, Sir, we are indebted to your zeal and industry, as some of the interesting pictures were effaced soon after their discovery, by ignorant curiosity; in addition to the careless and ruinous manner in which the discovery itself was made, of which circumstances I complained to several persons on the spot,[172] particularly to the Rev. Mr. Brand,[291] Secretary to the Antiquarian Society.

“As the best testimony I can give to the fidelity and ability of your publication, give me leave to subscribe my name for a copy of the work, and to offer such assistance as I can give, in general observations on the arts of design, when St. Stephen’s Chapel was in its splendour.

“I remain, dear Sir, with great regard, your much obliged

John Flaxman.”

The admission of one hundred additional members into the House of Commons, arising from the union with Ireland, obliged Mr. Wyatt to cut away the side-walls of the room internally, in order to make recesses for two extra benches.[292]




In the autumn of this year I passed a most agreeable day with the Hon. Hussey Delaval,[293] at his house near Parliament Stairs.[294] This learned and communicative gentleman, among whose works that on Colours is generally considered the most interesting, was as friendly to me, as the jealousy of that well-known odd compound of nature, my antagonist, John Carter,[295] who was of our party, would allow; for with that artist’s opinions as to Gothic architecture, Mr. Delaval so entirely coincided,[174] that he employed him to provide the ornamental decorations of his house, which were mostly in putty mixed with sand, and in some instances cast from the decorations of several Gothic structures, particularly Westminster Abbey. This house was originally fire-proof, the floors being of stone or composition, and the window-sashes of cast iron, but since the death of Mr. Delaval, wood has been substituted for the sashes and other parts.

The apartments are ten in number, besides small offices. The lower rooms consist of two halls: in the north wall of the first are three pretty Gothic recesses for seats, for servants or persons in waiting; the second hall is filled with Gothic figures placed upon brackets under canopies. The chimney-piece and other parts of the dining-parlour looking over the Thames, are decorated in a similar manner; the kitchen is on the same floor towards the north. The staircase leading to the first-floor is a truly tasteful little specimen, not equalled by anything at Strawberry Hill, which, by reason of Mr. Bentley’s[296] fancy mouldings interfering so often with parts which are really chaste, must be considered a mule building. The drawing-room and library also look over the water. On the same floor are two bed-chambers towards the west; above which are two attics, with a door opening upon the embattled leads over the drawing-room.[175] Upon these leads we took our wine—attended by female servants only, as Mr. Delaval never would allow a man-servant to enter the house, but with messages—and here enjoyed the glowing, Cuyp-like effect of the sun upon west-country barges laden either with blocks of stone or fresh-cut timber, objects ever picturesque on the water. Mr. Delaval was so pleased with this scenery, and the pencil of my friend G. Arnald, Associate of the Royal Academy, that he bespoke two pictures of him, Views up and down the River, the figures in which, by the order of Mr. Delaval, were painted by his friend G. F. Joseph, A.R.A. They were exhibited at Somerset House.[297]


How often do we find peculiar attachments and propensities in the minds of persons of reported good understanding. Within my time, many men have indulged most ridiculously in their eccentricities. I have known one who had made a pretty large fortune in business, get up at four o’clock in the morning and walk the streets to pick up horseshoes which had been slipped in the course of the night, with no other motive than to see how many he could accumulate in a year. I also remember a rich[176] soap-boiler who never missed an opportunity of pocketing nails, pieces of iron hoops, and bits of leather, in his daily walks; and these he would spread upon a large walnut-tree three-flapped dining-table, with a similar view to that of the above-mentioned gentleman. This wealthy citizen would often put on a red woollen cap, in shape like those worn by slaughter-house men, and a waggoner’s frock, in order to stoke his own furnace; after which, he would dress, get into his coach, and, attended by tall servants in bright blue liveries, drive to his villa, where his hungry friends were waiting his arrival.

The allusion to these peculiarities, which certainly are harmless, will serve by way of prelude to a more extraordinary one. The late Duke of Roxburgh,[298] whose wonderful library will ever be spoken of with the highest delight by bibliomaniacs, had an attachment to the portraits of malefactors as closely as Rowland Hill to his petted toad. I made many drawings of such characters for his Grace during their trials or confinement; that which I made this year, was of Governor Wall, whose trial produced much discussion.[299] Having been deprived of admission at the[177] Old Bailey on the day of his trial, I went to the Duke, and he immediately wrote to a nobleman high in power, for an order to admit me to see the unfortunate criminal in the condemned cell, which application was firmly, and, in my humble opinion, very properly, refused. I walked home, where I found Isaac Solomon waiting to show me some of his improved black-lead pencils. Isaac, upon hearing me relate to my family the disappointment I had experienced, assured me that he could procure me a sight of the Governor, if I would only accompany him in the evening to Hatton Garden, and smoke a pipe with Dr. Forde, the Ordinary of Newgate,[300] with whom he said he was particularly intimate. Away we trudged; and, upon entering the club-room of a public-house, we found the said Doctor most pompously seated in a superb masonic chair, under[178] a stately crimson canopy placed between the windows. The room was clouded with smoke, whiffed to the ceiling, which gave me a better idea of what I had heard of the Black Hole of Calcutta than any place I had seen. There were present at least a hundred associates of every denomination; of this number, my Jew, being a favoured man, was admitted to a whispering audience with the Doctor, which soon produced my introduction to him.

“Man’s life is all a mist, and in the dark our fortunes meet us.” Standing beneath a masonic lustre, the Doctor immediately recognised me as a friend of John Ireland, but more particularly of his older crony, Atkinson Bush; he requested me to take a pipe, to me a most detestable preliminary. He then whispered, “Meet me at the felon’s door at the break of day.” There I punctually applied, but, notwithstanding the order of the Doctor, I found it absolutely necessary, to protect myself from an increasing mob, to show the turnkey half-a-crown, who soon closed his hand and let me in. I was then introduced to a most diabolical-looking little wretch, denominated “the Yeoman of the Halter,” Jack Ketch’s head man. The Doctor soon arrived in his canonicals, and with his head as stiffly erect as a sheriff’s coachman when he is going to Court, with an enormous nosegay under his chin, gravely uttered, “Come this way, Mr. Smith.”

As we crossed the Press-yard a cock crew; and the solitary clanking of a restless chain was dreadfully horrible. The prisoners had not risen. Upon our entering a stone-cold room, a most sickly stench of green twigs, with which an old round-shouldered, goggle-eyed man was endeavouring to kindle a fire, annoyed me almost as much as the canaster fumigation of the Doctor’s Hatton Garden friends.



The prisoner entered. He was death’s counterfeit, tall, shrivelled, and pale; and his soul shot so piercingly through the port-holes of his head that the first glance of him nearly petrified me. I said in my heart, putting my pencil in my pocket, God forbid that I should disturb thy last moments! His hands were clasped, and he was truly penitent. After the Yeoman had requested him to stand up, “he pinioned him,” as the Newgate phrase is, and tied the cord with so little feeling, that the Governor, who had not given the wretch the accustomed fee, observed, “You have tied me very tight;” upon which Dr. Forde ordered him to slacken the cord, which he did, but not without muttering. “Thank you, Sir,” said the Governor to the Doctor, “it is of little moment.” He then observed to the attendant, who had brought in an immense iron shovelful of coals to throw on the fire, “Ay, in one hour that will be a blazing fire;” then, turning to the Doctor, questioned him: “Do tell me, Sir: I am informed I shall go down with great force; is it so?” After the construction and action of the machine had been explained, the Doctor questioned the Governor as to what kind of men he had at Goree. “Sir,” he answered, “they sent me the very riffraff.” The poor soul then joined the Doctor in prayer; and never did I witness more contrition at any condemned sermon than he then evinced.

The sheriff arrived, attended by his officers, to receive the prisoner from the keeper. A new hat was then partly flattened on his head; for, owing to its being too small in the crown, it stood many inches too high behind. As we were crossing the Press-yard, the dreadful execrations of some of the felons so shook his frame, that he observed, “the clock had struck;” and, quickening his pace, he soon arrived at the room where the sheriff was to give a receipt for his[180] body, according to the usual custom. Owing, however, to some informality in the wording of this receipt, he was not brought out so soon as the multitude expected; and it was this delay which occasioned a partial exultation from those who betted as to a reprieve, and not from any pleasure in seeing him executed. For the honour of England, I may say we are not so revengeful as some of our Continental neighbours have been; as Mrs. Cosway[301] assured me that she was in the room with David, then esteemed the first painter in Paris, at the time that he and Robespierre were in power; and that when the Reporter, from the guillotine, came in to announce eighty as the number of persons executed that morning, David, in the greatest possible rage, exclaimed, “No more!”



After the execution, as soon as I was permitted to leave the prison, I found the Yeoman selling the rope with which the malefactor had been suspended, at a shilling an inch; and no sooner had I entered Newgate Street, than a lath of a fellow, past threescore years and ten, who had just arrived from the purlieus of Black Boy Alley,[302] woe-begone as Romeo’s apothecary, exclaimed,—“Here’s the identical rope at sixpence an inch.” A group of tatterdemalions soon collected round him, most vehemently expressing their eagerness to possess bits of the cord. It was pretty obvious, however, that the real business of this agent was to induce the Epping butter-men[181] to squeeze in with their canvas bags, which contained their morning receipts in Newgate market.[303] A little further on, at the north-east corner of Warwick Lane, stood “Rosy Emma,” exuberant in talk, and hissing-hot from Pie Corner,[304] where she had taken her morning dose of gin and bitters; and as she had not waited to make her toilet, was consequently a lump of heat.

“Now, my readers, I have been told,
Love wounds by heat, and Death by cold;
Of size she would a barrow fill,
But more inclining to sit still.”

Possibly she might have been a descendant of Orator Henley, and I make no doubt at one time passionately admired by her Henry. I can safely declare, however, that her cheeks were purple, her nose of poppy-red or cochineal.

“The lady was pretty well in case,
But then she’d humour in her face;
Her skin was so bepimpled o’er,
There was not room for any more.”

Her eyes reminded me of Sheridan’s remark on those of Dr. Arne, “Like two oysters on an oval plate of stewed beet-root.”[305] I regretted most exceedingly, while she[182] was cutting her rope and twisting her mouth, that most of her once-famed ivories had absconded; but it gave me inexpressible delight to see that her lips were not at all chapped. If Emma’s lips had been ever so deeply cracked, she could not have benefited by my friend “Social Day” Coxe’s[306] Conservatoria, as it was not then sold.

Emma in her tender blossom, I understand, assisted her mother in selling rice-milk and furmety to the early frequenters of Honey Lane market; and in the days of her full bloom, new-milk whey in White Conduit Fields, and at the Elephant and Castle. She must have been, as to her outward charms, during her highest flattery, little inferior to the beautiful Emma Lyon;[307] but in her[183] last stage, perhaps not altogether unlike the heroine so voluptuously portrayed by my late highly talented friend, the Rev. George Huddesford, in his poem entitled “The Barber’s Nuptials.”[308] Rosy Emma, for so she was still called, was the reputed spouse of the Yeoman of the Halter, and the cord she was selling as the identical noose was for her own benefit. This was, according to the delightful writer, Charles Lamb,

“For honest ends, a most dishonest seeming.”[309]


“Romney! expert infallibly to trace …
The mind’s impression too on every face.”

Now, as fame and beauty ever carry influence, Emma’s sale was rapid; had she been as lamentable as a Lincolnshire goose after plucking-time, “Misery’s Darling,” or like Alecto when at the entrance of Pandemonium, she would have had a sorry sale.[310] This money-trapping[184] trick, steady John, the waiter at the Chapter Coffee-house, assured me was invariably put in practice whenever superior persons or notorious culprits had been executed. Then to breakfast, but with little or no appetite; however, after selecting one of Isaac Solomon’s H.B.’s, I made a whole-length portrait of the late Governor by recollection, which Dr. Buchan, the flying physician of the “Chapter”[311] frequenters, and several of the Pater-Noster[185] vendors of his Domestic Medicine, considered a likeness; at all events, it was admitted into the portfolio of the Duke, with the following acknowledgment written on the back: “Drawn by memory.”


About this time, in order to see human nature off her guard, I agreed with a good-tempered friend of mine, one of Richard Wilson’s scholars, to perambulate Bartholomew[186] Fair, which we did in the evening, after taking pretty good care to leave our watches at home. Our first visit was to a show of wild beasts, where, upon paying an additional penny, we saw the menagerie-feeder place his head within a lion’s mouth.

Our attention was then arrested by an immense baboon, called General Jacko, who was distributing his signatures as fast as he could dip his pen in the ink, to those who enabled him to fill his enormous craw with plums, raisins, and figs. The next object which attracted our notice was a magnificent man, standing, as we were told, six feet six inches and a half, independent of the heels of his shoes. The gorgeous splendour of his Oriental dress was rendered more conspicuous by an immense plume of white feathers, which were like the noddings of an undertaker’s horse, increased in their wavy and graceful motion by the movements of the wearer’s head.

As this extraordinary man was to perform some wonderful feats of strength, we joined the motley throng of spectators at the charge of “only threepence each,” that being vociferated by Flockton’s[312] successor as the price of the evening admittance.


After he had gone through his various exhibitions of holding great weights at arm’s-length, etc., the all-bespangled master of the show stepped forward, and stated to the audience that if any four or five of the present company would give, by way of encouraging the “Young Hercules,” alias the “Patagonian Samson,” sixpence apiece, he would carry them all together round the booth, in the form of a pyramid.

With this proposition my companion and myself closed; and after two other persons had advanced, the fine fellow threw off his velvet cap surmounted by its princely crest, stripped himself of his other gewgaws, and walked most majestically, in a flesh-coloured elastic dress, to the centre of the amphitheatre, when four chairs were placed round him, by which my friend and I ascended, and, after throwing our legs across his lusty shoulders, were further requested to embrace each other, which we no sooner did, cheek-by-jowl, than a tall skeleton of a man, instead of standing upon a small wooden ledge fastened to Samson’s girdle, in an instant leaped on his back, with the agility of a boy who pitches himself upon a post too high to clear, and threw a leg over each of our shoulders; as for the other chap (for we could only muster four), the Patagonian took him up in his arms. Then, after Mr. Merryman had removed the chairs, as he had not his full complement, Samson performed his task with an ease of step most stately, without either the beat of a drum, or the waving of a flag.

I have often thought that if George Cruikshank, or my older friend Rowlandson, had been present at this scene of a pyramid burlesqued, their playful pencils would have been in running motion, and I should have been considerably[188] out-distanced had I then offered the following additional description of our clustered appearance. Picture to yourself, reader, two cheesemonger, ruddy-looking men, like my friend and myself, as the sidesmen of Hercules, and the tall, vegetable-eating scarecrow kind of fellow, who made but one leap to grasp us like the bird-killing spider, and then our fourth loving associate, the heavy dumpling in front, whose chaps, I will answer for it, relished many an inch thick steak from the once far-famed Honey Lane market,[313] all supported with the greatest ease by this envied and caressed Pride of the Fair, to whose powers the frequenters of Sadler’s Wells also bore many a testimony.

In the year 1804, Antonio Benedictus Van Assen engraved a whole-length portrait of this Patagonian Samson, at the foot of which his name was thus announced, “Giovanni Baptista Belzoni.” This animated production was executed at the expense of the friendly Mr. James Parry, the justly celebrated gem and seal engraver, of Wells Street, Oxford Street.


“Belzoni is a grand traveller, and his English is very prettily broken.”

Lord Byron

After the close of Bartholomew Fair, this Patagonian was seen at that of Edmonton, exhibiting in a field behind the Bell Inn, immortalised by Cowper in his “Johnny Gilpin;” and I have been assured that, so late as 1810, at Edinburgh, he was, during his exhibition in Valentine and Orson, soundly hissed for not handling his friend the bear, at the time of her death, in an affectionate manner. Several years rolled on, and he was nearly forgotten in England,[189] until the year 1820, and then many people recognised in the Egyptian traveller Belzoni the person who had figured away at fairs, as I have stated. The following anecdotes, in private circulation, of this extraordinary man may not be considered wholly uninteresting.

He was a native of Padua, and educated in order to become a profound monk; but, during the frenzy of war, being noticed by the French army, in consequence of his commanding figure, to be admirably well calculated for a fugleman, prudently avoided seizure for so deadly a service, by getting together what few things time would permit him, and so left Rome. I should have stated to the reader that, upon his arrival in London in the year 1803, he walked into Smithfield during Bartholomew Fair time, where he was seen by the master of a show, who, it is said, thus questioned his Merry Andrew:—“Do you see that tall-looking fellow in the midst of the crowd? he is looking about him over the heads of the people as if he walked upon stilts; go and see if he’s worth our money, and ask him if he wants a job.” Away scrambled Mr. Merryman down the monkey’s post, and, “as quick as lightning,” conducted the stranger to his master, who, being satisfied of his personal attractions, immediately engaged, plumed, painted, and put him up.

The reader will readily conceive that a man like Belzoni, seriously educated for the duties of the Church, and accustomed to associate with people of good manners, could with no little reluctance endure the vulgar society his pecuniary circumstances alone compelled him to associate with. However, after the expiration of nine years, in the course of which time he had married and saved money, he and his wife were enabled to visit Portugal, Spain, and Malta, from which place they embarked for[190] Egypt. Fortunately for Belzoni, the wife he had chosen more than equally shared his numerous dangers, by spiritedly joining in all his enterprises, which some of my readers will recollect are most delightfully described by herself in what she styles “A Trifling Account,” printed at the end of her husband’s Travels in Egypt, Nubia, etc.[314]

As most of my readers have perused this work, I shall only state that, shortly after the arrival of Belzoni and his wife in England, my friend Dr. Richardson,[315] the traveller,[191] who had been kind to them in every possible way when in Egypt, introduced me to them when they lodged in Downing Street, Westminster. Here I not only had great pleasure in seeing my steady supporter again, but enjoyed most pleasantly the conversation I had with his enterprising partner, whose sensible and intrepid cast of features well accorded with her artless, unsophisticated, and interesting “Trifling Account,” to which I have alluded.

In 1784, when Sir Ashton Lever petitioned the House of Commons for a lottery for his museum, Mr. Thomas Waring made the following declaration before the Committee to whom the petition was referred:—“That he had been manager of Sir Ashton’s collection ever since it had been brought to London in the year 1775; that it had occupied twelve years in forming; and that there were upwards of twenty-six thousand articles. That the money received for admission amounted, from February 1775 to February 1784, to about £13,000, out of which £660 had been paid for house-rent and taxes.” Sir Ashton Lever proposed that his whole museum should go together, and that there should be 40,000 tickets at one guinea each.[316]



Few people would believe that so lately as this year, the Duke of Dorset, Lord Winchilsea, Lord Talbot, Colonel Tarleton, Mr. Howe, Mr. Damer, Hon. Mr. Lennox, and the Rev. Mr. Williams played at cricket in an open field near White Conduit House.[317] Who could have conjectured[193] that Du Val’s Lane, branching from Holloway, within memory so notoriously infested with highwaymen that few people would venture to peep into it even in mid-day, should, in 1831, be lighted with gas?[318]


In 1784, Nathaniel Hillier’s[319] collection of prints was sold by Christie: they were well selected as to impression, but much deteriorated in value by Mr. Hillier’s attachment to strong coffee, with which he had stained them. It has been acknowledged by one of the family that, what with the expense of staining, mounting, and ruling, his collection only brought them one-fifth of the cost of the prints in the first instance.

Dr. Samuel Johnson also died this year [1784]; during the time the surgeon was engaged in opening his body, Sir John Hawkins, Knight, was in the adjoining room seeing to the weighing of the Doctor’s tea-pot, in the presence of a silversmith, whom Sir John, as an executor, had called upon to purchase it.[320]



“Mr. Townley presents his compliments to Mr. West, and requests that, when he sees Mr. Lock[321] at his house, he will be so good as to deliver to him the packet sent herewith, containing two prints from Homer’s head,—Mr. T. not knowing where Mr. Lock lives in town. The drawing representing the ‘Triumphs of Bacchus’ by Rubens,[322] in the eighth night’s sale at Greenwood’s, differing much from the bas-relief in the Borghese Villa, from which Caracci is supposed to have composed his picture of that subject in the Farnese Gallery,[323] Mr. T. has no intention to bid for it.

Park St., Westminster, 21st Feb. 1787.”

My dear Sir,—I return you many thanks for your kind information respecting the sale of the marbles at the late Lord Mendip’s house at Twickenham.[324] Had I been there and in spirits, the fine Oriental alabaster vase would not have been sold so cheap, and would[196] probably have come to Park Street. I should also have probably purchased the medallion of an elderly man over a chimney-piece. I shall be glad to find out who bought it, and at what price. I should also have liked the ancient fountain. Pray, what was it sold for, and who bought it?

“I mean to take a farewell look at the robaccia at Wilton, to verify my former notes on that collection.

“I flatter myself that many bad symptoms of my long disorder begin to abate, though it still, I feel, has strong hold upon me. I shall remain here about a fortnight longer, then return to Park Street.

“If you will give me the pleasure of a line from you, you may direct to me, No. 36, Milsom Street, Bath. I am, sir, ever most faithfully yours, etc.

C. Townley.

Bath, 36, Milsom Street, 11th June 1802.”


In the month of June this year, the late Atkinson Bush,[325] then of Great Ormond Street, brought to my house Mr. Parton, vestry-clerk of St. Giles’s-in-the-Fields, with a view to obtain such particulars of that parish as I was acquainted with, he being then busily engaged in collecting materials for its history. In the course of conversation, I was astonished to find that it was his intention to have a plan of the parish engraved for his work, purporting to have been taken between the years twelve and thirteen hundred, a period more than two[197] centuries and a half earlier than Aggas’s plan of London, and from which I could not help observing that in my opinion he had most glaringly borrowed. When he assured me he had not, my request was then to know his authority for producing such a plan, but for that question he was not provided with an answer, nor did he appear to be willing to be probed by further interrogatories. To my great astonishment, when Mr. Parton’s book made its appearance, I not only found this plan professing to be between the years twelve and thirteen hundred so minutely made out, with every man’s possession in the parish most distinctly attributed, but every plot of garden so neatly delineated, with the greatest variety of parterres, walks with cut borders, as if the gardener of William III. or Queen Anne had then been living. As Mr. Parton omitted to give any authority for the introduction of so wonderfully early a piece of ichnography, I applied to several leading men in the parish of St. Giles, but could gain no intelligence whatever respecting it: so much for this plan of St. Giles’s parish, as produced by Mr. Parton.[326]

“The Townley Marbles.”


On the 7th of November of this year, aged 65, died at Rome the celebrated Angelica Kauffmann, who was appointed a member of the Royal Academy by King George III. at its foundation.[327] That she was a great[198] favourite with the admirers of art may be inferred by the numerous engravings from her productions by Bartolozzi and the late William Wynn Ryland.[328] Her pictures[199] are always tasteful, and often well composed, clearly and harmoniously coloured, and extremely finished with a most delicate but spirited pencil. Indeed, her talents were so approved by her brother Academicians, that those gentlemen allotted her compartments of the ceiling in their council-chamber at Somerset Place for decoration, in which most honourable and pleasing task she so well acquitted herself, that her performances are the admiration of every visitor, but more particularly those who possess the organ of colour. She etched numerous subjects; the best impressions are those before the plates were aqua-tinted.

When I was a boy, my father frequently took me to Golden Square to see her pictures, where she and her father had for many years resided in the centre house on the south side. There are several portraits of her, but none so well-looking as that painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds, of which there is an engraving by Bartolozzi.


Angelica Kauffmann was a great coquette, and pretended to be in love with several gentlemen at the same time.[329] Once she professed to be enamoured of Nathaniel Dance;[330] to the next visitor she would divulge the great secret that she was dying for Sir Joshua Reynolds. However, she was at last rightly served for her duplicity by marrying a very handsome fellow personating Count de Horn. With this alliance she was so pleased, that she made her happy conquest known to her Majesty Queen Charlotte, who was much astonished that the Count should have been so long in England without coming to Court. However, the real Count’s arrival was some time afterwards announced at Dover; and Angelica Kauffmann’s husband turned out to be no other than his valet de chambre. He was prevailed upon subsequently to accept a separate maintenance.[331] After this man’s death she married Zucchi,[201] and settled in Rome. During her residence there, she was solicited by the artists in general, but more particularly by the English, to join them in an application to this country for permission to bring their property to England duty free; and as I possess the original letter which that lady wrote to Lord Camelford[332] upon the subject, I cannot refrain from inserting it.

My Lord,—I do not know, if by having lived several years in England, and having the honour to be a R.A., I may be sufficiently entitled to join with the artists of Great Britain in their request, or better to say, in returning thanks to your Lordship for patronising them in a point so very essential, which is to assist them in obtaining the free importation of their own studies, models, or designs, collected for their improvement during their own stay abroad.

“The heavy duty set upon articles of that nature causes that the artist, whose circumstances do not permit him to pay perhaps a considerable sum, must either be deprived of what he keeps most valuable, or buy his own works at the public sale at the Custom House. This I have myself experienced on my coming to England,—and I mention it here, in consequence of the opinion of some of my friends, who think that my assertion, added[202] to what other artists may have reported to that purpose, may be of some use to obtain their object.

“I heard from Dr. Bates,[333] and Mr. Reveley,[334] the architect, how very much your Lordship is inclined to support the earnest supplication drawn up by some of the artists, which proves your Lordship to be a protector of the fine arts, and of those who profess them. Consequently I have some reason to hope that I may not be judged too impertinent for addressing these lines to you. I have the honour to be, with the greatest respect, my Lord, your Lordship’s most obliged humble servant,

Angelica Kauffmann.

Trinità de’ Monti, the 26th Dec. 1787.”

This year, my laborious work, entitled Antiquities of Westminster, was delivered to its numerous and patient subscribers.[335] The following congratulatory letter is one of the many with which I have been honoured by its extensive and steady friends:—

Lichfield Cathedral Close, Thursday, 2nd July 1807.

“Mr. White[336] presents his best respects to Mr. Smith. His precious little box, from some unaccountable delay in Cambridge, did not arrive till yesterday evening, accompanied by a letter, which receives this early acknowledgment.[203] Though Mr. White has not had leisure to inspect critically the literary portion of Mr. Smith’s elegant and splendid volume, yet his whole time since it came has been occupied in studying and admiring its numerous, accurate, and highly finished engravings, which alone give it a superiority to any book of art’s illustration which Mr. White can at present recollect. Mr. Smith’s offer of a few loose prints is peculiarly kind and acceptable; and Mr. White so far avails himself of it.

“Mr. White cannot refrain expressing his concern and astonishment, that Mr. Smith should have experienced so bitter a recession from friendly promises and assistance, as Mr. H. obliged him to feel; at the same time, the candid and unequivocal statement which Mr. Smith has made, must exonerate him from the world’s reproof, and account for the long protraction of the work. Mr. White cannot but indulge the hope, that so noble an addition to our architectural antiquities, so admirable an elucidation of every precedent history of London, will most amply remunerate the pocket, though no success can recompense that anxiety of mind which Mr. Smith has undergone. The beautiful Cathedral of Lichfield has been recently ornamented with some very fine ancient painted windows, from the dissolved convent near Lille. If Mr. Smith would publish them in colours, Mr. White thinks that the subscription would fill rapidly; and if Mr. Smith would but come down and look at them, Mr. White would be happy in extending every accommodation, and rendering every assistance to him. When the windows are known, the plan will be certainly adopted by other artists of inferior competency.”



On the first of November this year, George Dance, the Royal Academician, signed the dedication page of his first volume of portraits of eminent men drawn in pencil, with parts touched lightly with colour from life, and engraved by William Daniell, A.R.A., now a Royal Academician (he died 1837), consisting of thirty-six in number. The second volume, which also contained thirty-six in number, was published in 1814.[337]

Fuseli, when viewing several of these portraits, was heard by one of Mr. Dance’s sitters to make the following observations upon the likenesses. Of Benjamin West he said, “His eye is like a vessel in the South Sea,—I can just spy it through the telescope;” of that of Joseph Wilton the sculptor, he observed, “How simple are the thinking parts of this man’s head, and how sumptuous the manducatory;” of that of James Barry he made the following declaration, “This fellow looks like the door of his own house;” of that of Northcote he exclaimed, “By Cot, he is looking sharp for a rat;” and of that of Sir William Chambers, he observed, drawling out his words, “What a grate, heavy, humpty-dumpty, this leaden fellow is.”[338]


“By Cot, he is looking out sharp for a rat.”



In this sort of wit Fuseli had a formidable force of gunnery, and his shot seldom missed its destination; however, it cannot shatter the above work, as most of the portraits are of worthies too well known even to need it necessary to engrave their names under them.

The greater portion of these likenesses are highly valuable to the illustrators of Boswell’s Life of Johnson, and, indeed, most of the modern biographical publications.


I cannot more pleasantly close this year than by inserting[206] a copy of one of John Bannister’s bills for his Budget;[339] and as the original is now an extreme rarity, I conclude that some of those “gude folks” who witnessed the delightful humour displayed by that gifted son of Thespis, may possibly be better enabled to recollect how much they giggled twenty-three years ago.

“Oh the days when I was young!”

The type of the long lines in the original bill, which is of a small folio size, being too small to be read without spectacles, I have necessarily, in some instances, been obliged to increase the number of lines in the following copy.



Patronised by their Majesties,
Before whom Mr. Bannister had the honour of performing,
At the Queen’s House, Frogmore.

The Public are most respectfully informed,
On Wednesday, the 29th of November, 1809,
Will be presented,

A Miscellaneous Divertisement,
With considerable vocal and rhetorical variations, called

Or, An Actor’s Ways and Means!

Consisting of
Recitations and Comic Songs;
Which will be sung and spoken by
Mr. Bannister, of the late Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

“The above Divertisement is entirely new; the prose and verse which compose it having been written expressly for the occasion of Mr. Bannister’s Tour, by Messrs. Colman, Reynolds, Cherry, T. Dibdin, C. Dibdin, Jun., and others.


The whole of the Entertainment has been arranged and revised by Mr. Colman.

The songs (which Mr. Reeve, Jun., will accompany on the pianoforte,) are principally composed by Mr. Reeve.

Prospectus of the Divertisement.

“Part I.—Exordium.—Mr. Bannister’s Interview with Garrick.—Garrick’s Manner attempted by Mr. Bannister in a Shaving Dialogue.—Mr. Doublelungs in the Clay-pit.—Macklin’s advice to his Pupils.—The Ship’s Chaplain, and Jack Haulyard, the Boatswain; or, Two Ways of Telling a Story.—Sam Stern.—The Melodramaniac, or Value of Vocal Talent.—Mr. and Mrs. O’Blunder, or, Irish Suicide!

“Part II.—Superannuated Sexton.—Original Anecdotes of a late well-known eccentric Character.—Trial at the Old Bailey.—Cross-Examination.—Counsellor Garble.—Barrister Snip-snap.—Serjeant Splitbrain.—Address to the Jury.—Simon Soaker, and Deputy Dragon.

“Part III.—Club of Queer Fellows!—President Hosier.—Speech from the Chair.—Mr. Hesitate.—Mr. Sawney Mac Snip.—Musical Poulterer.—Duet between a Game Cock and a Dorking Hen.—Mr. Molasses.—Mr. Mimé.—Monotony exemplified.—Mr. Kill-joy, the Whistling Orator.—Susan and Strephon.—Budget closed.

Rotation of Comic Songs to be introduced on this particular occasion.




The doors to be opened at six o’clock, and to begin precisely at seven. Boxes, Upper Circle, 4s.; Lower Circle, 3s.; Pit, 2s., Gallery, 1s.

N.B. Care has been taken to have the Theatre well aired.”



My reader will find by the following copy of a paper written by the Rev. Stephen Weston, B.D.,[340] and read at the Society of Antiquaries’ meeting, 25th January 1810, that the term Swan-hopping is to be considered a popular error.

“It appears in the Swan-rolls, exhibited by the Right Honourable Sir Joseph Banks, that the King’s were doubly marked, and had what was called two nicks, or notches. The term, in process of time, not being understood, a double animal was invented, unknown to the Egyptians and Greeks, with the name of the Swan with Two Necks. But this is not the only ludicrous mistake that has arisen out of the subject, since Swan-upping, or the taking up of Swans, performed annually by the Swan companies, with the Lord Mayor of London at their head, for the purpose of marking them, has been changed by an unlucky aspirate into Swan-hopping, which is not to the purpose, and perfectly unintelligible.”[341]



In the summer of this year, the Earl of Pembroke allowed me to copy a picture at Wilton, painted by the celebrated architect, Inigo Jones. It is a view of Covent Garden in its original state, when there was a tree in the middle. The skill with which he has treated the effect is admirable.

There is also, in that superb mansion, a companion picture of Lincoln’s Inn Fields by the same artist.


The political career of John Horne Tooke, Esq., is well known, and the fame of his celebrated work, entitled the Diversions of Purley, will be spoken of as long as paper lasts.

In the year 1811 a most flagrant depredation was committed in his house at Wimbledon by a collector of taxes, who daringly carried away a silver tea and sugar caddy, the value of which amounted, in weight of silver, to at least twenty times more than the sum demanded, for a tax which Mr. Tooke declared he never would pay. This gave rise to the following letter:—


Gentlemen,—I beg it as a favour of you, that you will go in my name to Mr. Judkin, attorney, in Clifford’s[210] Inn, and desire him to go with you both to the Under Sheriff’s Office, in New Inn, Wych Street.

“I have had a distress served upon me for taxes, at Wimbledon, in the county of Surrey.

“By the recommendation of Mr. Stuart, of Putney, I desire Mr. Judkin to act as my attorney in replevying the goods; and I desire Mr. Croft and Mr. Dilke to sign the security-bond for me that I will try the question.

“Pray show this memorandum to Mr. Judkin.

John Horne Tooke.

Wimbledon, May 17th, 1811.”

As Mr. Croft and Mr. Dilke were proceeding on the Putney Road, they met the tax-collector with the tea-caddy under his arm, on his way back with the greatest possible haste to return it, with an apology to Mr. Tooke,—that being the advice of a friend. The two gentlemen returned with him, and witnessed Mr. Tooke’s kindness when the man declared he had a large family.[342]


On the 18th of March this year (1812), Mr. Tooke died, at his house at Wimbledon. He was put into a strong elm shell. The coffin was made from the heart of a solid oak, cut down for the purpose. It measured six feet one inch in length; in breadth at the shoulders, two feet two inches; the depth at the head, two feet six inches; and the depth at the feet, two feet four inches. This enormous depth of coffin was absolutely necessary, in consequence of the contraction of his body. His remains were conveyed in a hearse and six, to Ealing, in Middlesex, attended by three mourning coaches with four horses to each. It was Mr. Tooke’s wish to have been buried in his own ground; but to this the executors very properly made an objection.[343]


At the sale of the effects of the Rev. William Huntington (vulgarly called the “Coal-heaver”), which commenced on the 22nd of September, and continued for three following days, at his late residence, Hermes Hill, Pentonville, one of his steady followers purchased a barrel of ale, which had been brewed for Christmas, because he would have something to remember him by.[344]


“I cannot get D.D. for want of cash, therefore I am compelled to fly to S.S., by which I mean Sinner Saved.”



Mr. John Nixon, of Basinghall Street, gave me the following information respecting the Beefsteak Club. Mr. Nixon, as Secretary, had possession of the original book. Lambert’s Club was first held in Covent Garden Theatre, in the upper room, called the “Thunder and Lightning;” then in one even with the two-shilling gallery; next in an apartment even with the boxes; and afterwards in[213] a lower room, where they remained until the fire. After that time, Mr. Harris insisted upon it, as the playhouse was a new building, that the Club should not be held there. They then went to the Bedford Coffee-house next door. Upon the ceiling of the dining-room they placed Lambert’s original gridiron, which had been saved from the fire. They had a kitchen, a cook, and a wine-cellar, etc., entirely independent of the Bedford Coffee-house. When the Lyceum, in the Strand, was rebuilt, Mr. Arnold fitted up a room for the Beefsteak Club, where it remained until the late fire.

The society held at Robins’s room was called the “Ad Libitum” Society, of which Mr. Nixon had the books; but it was a totally different society, quite unconnected with the Beefsteak Club.[345]



One of the biographers of Mrs. Abington, the first actress who played the part of Lady Teazle in the School for Scandal, and so justly celebrated in characters of ladies in high life, states that she died on the 1st of March 1815,[215] in her 84th year. Another informs us that she died on the 4th; but neither of the writers say where she died, or where she was buried; on inquiry, I found that she died at Pall Mall.[346] Of all the theatrical ungovernable ladies under Mr. Garrick’s management, Mrs. Abington, with her capriciousness, inconsistency, injustice, and unkindness, perplexed him the most. She was not unlike the miller’s mare, for ever looking for a white stone to shy at. And though no one has charged her with malignant mischief, she was never more delighted than when in a state of hostility, often arising from most trivial circumstances, discovered in mazes of her own ingenious construction.[347]

Mrs. Abington, in order to keep up her card-parties, of which she was very fond, and which were attended by many ladies of the highest rank, absented herself from her abode to live incog. For this purpose she generally took a small lodging in one of the passages leading from Stafford Row, Pimlico,[348] where plants are so placed at the windows as nearly to shut out the light, at all events, to render the apartments impervious to the inquisitive eye of such characters as Liston represented in Paul Pry.[216] Now and then she would take the small house at the end of Mount Street, and there live with her servant in the kitchen, till it was time to reappear; and then some of her friends would compliment her on the effects of her summer’s excursion.

Adelphi, November 9.

“Mr. Garrick’s compliments to Mrs. Abington, and has sent her on the other side a little alteration (if she approves it, not else) of the epilogue, where there seems to be a patch: it should, he believes, run thus:—

“Such a persecution!
’Tis the great blemish of the constitution!
No human laws should Nature’s rights abridge,
Freedom of speech, our dearest privilege;
Ours is the wiser sex, though deemed the weaker,
I’ll put the Question, if you’ll cheer me, Speaker.
“Suppose me now bewig’d, etc.[349]

“Mrs. A. is at full liberty to adopt this alteration or not. Had not our house overflowed last night in a quarter of an hour, from the opening of Covent Garden had suffered much. As it was, there was great room in the pit and gallery at the end of the third act.

“Much joy I sincerely wish you at your success in Lady Bab. May it continue till we both are tired, you with playing the part, and I with seeing it.

Mrs. Abington, 62, Pall Mall.



“I have found another letter, which you will see is part of the history I took the liberty of troubling you with. I cannot express how much I am obliged to you for your goodness and friendly confidence in telling me what you had heard of this trumpery matter, as it has given me an opportunity of convincing you, in some little degree, that my conduct stands in no need of protection, nor can at any time subject me to fears from threatful insinuations of necessitous adventurers. I am, Sir, your very much obliged and humble servant,

F. Abington.”


“Mrs. Abington will feel herself most extremely mortified indeed if she has not some hope given her that Mr. and Mrs. Cosway will do her the very great honour of coming to her benefit this evening.

“She has been able to secure a small balcony in the very midst of persons of the first rank in this country, which she set down in the name of Mrs. Cosway, till she hears further; it holds two in front, and has three rows holding two upon each, so that Mr. Cosway may accommodate four other persons after being comfortably seated with Mrs. Cosway.

February 10th. Nine o’clock.”

Adelphi, December 8th.

Dear Madam,—I altered the beginning of your epilogue, merely for your ease and credit. I leave it wholly to your own feelings to decide what to speak or what to reject. I find the epilogue is liked, and therefore I would make it as tolerable as possible for you. I[218] assure you, upon my word, that if you please yourself, you will please me. In my hurry I find, looking over the lines this afternoon, that I have made a false chime. I have made directed and corrected to chime, which will not do: suppose them thus,

“Does not he know, poor soul, to be detected
Is what you hate, and more to be corrected.—

or thus:—

“Does not he know, in faults to be detected
Is what you hate, and more to be corrected.[350]

“I most sincerely wish you joy of your friend’s success. The comedy will be in great vogue.

“I am, Madam, your very humble Servant,

D. Garrick.”

Bad pen, and gouty fingers,
Poor Anacreon, thou growest old![351]

Pall Mall, November 4th, 1794.

“Mrs. Abington begs leave to present her compliments to Mr. Webster, and to assure him that she feels perfectly ashamed of the trouble which she has repeatedly given him, and is now about to give him; but, indeed, she has so much dependence upon the goodness of his heart, as well as of his understanding, that she flatters herself he will forgive her committing herself to him, upon matters which require more sense as well as more management than falls to the share of the generality of her acquaintance.[219] The enclosed letter will explain to Mr. Webster the nature of Mrs. Abington’s present difficulty, as he will see she is in danger of losing the fine picture which has been for near six years in the hands of Mr. Sherwin, for the purpose of making a print from it. There is not one moment to be lost, if Mr. Webster will have the goodness to undertake the business; and she begs of him not to mention the matter further.

“The picture is the property of Mrs. Abington, and given by Sir Joshua Reynolds to Mr. Sherwin at his own particular request, that Sir Joshua would favour him so far as to let him have the preference of the many artists who, at the time the picture was painted, applied for it to engrave a plate from it.

“Mrs. Abington begs leave to present her kindest love and regards to Mrs. Webster, and flatters herself that the whole family are perfectly well.

“She has this moment heard that all the armaments will now end in peace.

“To John Webster, Esq., Duke Street, Westminster.”

As Sherwin’s plate from this beautiful picture was published by the late Mr. John Thane,[352] on February 1st, 1791, and as Mrs. Abington’s letter to Mr. Webster is dated November 4th, 1794, it appears that the engraver retained it nearly four years after the plate was finished; so that, according to Mrs. Abington’s date, it must have been upwards of two years in hand.


My old friend, Mr. Thomas Thane, son of the publisher, who is now in possession of the plate, kindly gave me impressions of it in three states. The first is a great rarity: a proof before any letters, and the reduction of the plate. The second is after the sides of the plate had been reduced, with the names of the painter, engraver, and publisher, perfectly engraved, and the name of Roxalana slightly etched. The third and last state is, after the etched name Roxalana has been taken out and engraved higher in the plate, to make room for some lines of poetry.

At page 70 of the Wilmot Letters in the British Museum is the following letter, addressed by the Hon. Horace Walpole to Mrs. Abington the actress:—

Paris, September, 1771.

“If I had known, Madam, of your being at Paris, before I heard it from Colonel Blaquière,[353] I should certainly have prevented your flattering invitation, and have offered you any services that could depend on my acquaintance here. It is plain I am old, and live with very old folks.”[354]


Further on the same writer observes:—

“I have not that fault at least of a veteran, the thinking nothing equalled to what they admired in their youth. I do impartial justice to your merit, and fairly allow it not only equal to that of any actress I have seen, but believe the present age will not be in the wrong, if they hereafter prefer it to those they may live to see. Your allowing me to wait on you in London, Madam, will make me some amends for the loss I have had here; and I shall take an early opportunity of assuring you how much I am, Madam, your most obliged humble servant,

Horace Walpole.”

Madam,—You may certainly always command me and my house. My common custom is to give a ticket for only four persons at a time; but it would be very insolent in me, when all laws are set at nought, to pretend to prescribe rules. At such times there is a shadow of authority in setting the laws aside by the legislature itself; and though I have no army to supply their place, I declare Mrs. Abington may march through all my dominions at the head of as large a troop as she pleases;—I do not say, as she can muster and command, for then I am sure my house would not hold them. The day, too, is at her own choice; and the master is her very obedient humble servant,

Hor. Walpole.

Strawberry Hill, June 11, 1780.”

Mrs. Abington to Mrs. Jordan.

No. 19, Eton Street, Grosvenor Place,

January 6th, 1807.

“I beg leave, dear Madam, to make my grateful acknowledgments for the favour of your kind remembrance.[222] Your ticket with those of dear Miss Betsworth, and the Miss Jordans, was sent to my present habitation on New Year’s day.

“I have not slept in London since I came from the Wealds of Kent, where I passed my summer upon a visit to Sir Walter and Lady Jane James, and their lovely family.[355] It is near a grand scene of Gothic magnificence, called Bayham Abbey, a seat of Lord Camden’s, the brother of Lady Jane. In their peaceful retreat and accomplished society, I have very much recovered my health and spirits, and hope to have the happiness of seeing you soon, as I am now looking for something to inhabit in London. In the meantime, if you, dear Madam, or the Miss Jordans, will do me the honour of calling at my present abode, which are two rooms, where I keep my clothes and trumpery, I shall be much flattered; and beg you to accept the compliments of the season, and a sincere wish that you may see many, many returns, with every happiness you are so well entitled to expect. Adieu, my dearest Madam. Be pleased to make my compliments to the ladies, and believe me your most obliged, etc.,

F. Abington.”[356]


“The very sound of the little familiar word bud from her lips … was a whole concentrated world of the power of loving.”—Leigh Hunt



As a playful relaxation from my former more serious applications, I commenced my work of the most remarkable London Beggars, with biographical sketches of each character.[357] By this publication I gained more money[224] than by all my antiquarian labours united. Her late Majesty, Queen Charlotte, and the Princess Elizabeth, much encouraged their publicity; but I must acknowledge that my greatest success was owing to the warm and friendly exertions of the late Charles Cowper,[358] Esq., of the Albany, a gentleman whose memory must be dear to every one who had the pleasure of knowing him.

Much about this time, the Print Room of the British Museum was closed, in consequence of the death of the highly talented Mr. William Alexander, when several friends exerted their interest to procure me the situation of Keeper, an appointment which, I hope, I have held with no small benefit to that National Institution, and with credit to myself. The interest required to obtain this appointment may be conceived, when the number of candidates is considered. The following letter was written by his Grace the late Archbishop of Canterbury to one of his Grace’s relations:—

Addington, Sept. 16th, 1816.

My dear Madam,—With such interest as Mr. J. T. Smith possesses, I am astonished he should think it worth while to waste his strength in pursuit of such a trifling office as that which is now vacant in the Museum.

“It is impossible to resist the testimony which your[225] Ladyship, and many others, have borne to his merits and qualifications. He certainly shall have my vote; and I have reason to believe he will have the votes of the other two principal Trustees, to whom the appointment belongs.

C. Cantuar.[359]


Perhaps the only gala day now which gladdens the heart of the loyal spectator, is the one afforded by Thomas Doggett, comedian, on the 1st of August, to commemorate the accession of the House of Brunswick. This scene is sure to be picturesque and cheerful, should the glorious sun, “that gems the sea, and every land that blooms,” reflect the pendent streamers of its variegated show, in the quivering eddies of Father Thames’s silver tide. At what time Mr. Thomas Doggett was born, I am ignorant. All I have been able to glean of him is, that Castle Street, Dublin, has been stated as the place of his birth; and that he had the honour of being the founder of our water games. Colley Cibber, speaking of him, says, “As an actor he was a great observer of Nature; and as a singer he had no competitor.” He was the author of the Country Wake, a comedy, and was a patentee of Drury Lane Theatre until 1712; and my friend, Mr. Thomas Gilliland,[360] in his work entitled The Dramatic Mirror, states his death to have taken place on the 22nd of September 1721.

In 1715, the year after George I. came to the throne, Doggett, to quicken the industry and raise a laudable[226] emulation in our young men of the Thames, whereby they not only may acquire a knowledge of the river, but a skill in managing the oar with dexterity, gave an orange-coloured coat and silver badge, on which was sculptured the Hanoverian Horse, to the successful candidate of six young watermen just out of their apprenticeship, to be rowed for on the 1st of August, when the current was strongest against them, starting from the “Old Swan,” London Bridge, to the “Swan” at Chelsea. On the 1st of August 1722, the year after Doggett’s death, pursuant to the tenor of his will, the prize was first rowed for, and has been given annually ever since.[361]

“They gripe their oars; and every panting breast
Is raised by turns with hope, by turns with fear deprest.”


This gratifying sight I have often witnessed; and the never-to-be-forgotten Charles Dibdin considered it so pleasing a subject, that in 1774 he brought out at the Haymarket Theatre a ballad opera, entitled The Waterman, or the First of August. In this piece, Tom Tug, the hero, is in love with a gardener’s daughter, before whom he sings,

“And did you not hear of a jolly young waterman,
Who at Blackfriars’ Bridge used for to ply;
And he feathered his oars with such skill and dexterity,
Winning each heart, and delighting each eye,” etc.

Poor Tug, who considered himself slighted for another lover, whom the girl of his heart appeared to prefer, after declaring that he would go on board a man-of-war to cast away his care, sings a song, of which the following is the first verse:—

“Then farewell, my trim-built wherry,
Oars and coat and badge farewell!
Never more at Chelsea ferry
Shall your Thomas take a spell,” etc.

However, Tom rowed for Doggett’s Coat and Badge, which he had an eye upon, in order to obtain the girl, if possible, by his prowess. She was seated at the Swan, and admired the successful candidate before she discovered him to be her suitor Thomas, then

“Blushed an answer to his wooing tale.”

The part of Tom Tug was originally performed by[228] Charles Bannister, and esteemed so great a favourite, that Mr. Garrick selected the entertainment of The Waterman, to follow the comedy of The Wonder, on the evening of his last performance on the stage.[362] Had the author of The Waterman, when composing that little entertainment, suspected that the Plague’s blood-red bills of

Lord, have mercy upon us,”

had been fixed upon this house, the Swan, his Muse most likely would have whispered, “You must not sadden these scenes.” Pepys, in his Diary, made the following entry:—

April 9th, 1666.—Thinking to have been merry at Chelsey, but being come almost to the house, by coach, near the water-side, a house alone, I think the Swan, a gentleman walking by called to us to tell us that the house was shut up of the sickness.”


It is scarcely possible for any person, possessing the smallest share of common observation, to pass through ten streets in London, without noticing what is generally denominated a character, either in dress, walk, pursuits, or propensities. As even my enemies are willing to give me credit for a most respectful attention to the ladies, I hope they will not in this instance impeach my gallantry, because I place the fair sex at the head of my table of remarks, as to the eccentricity of some of their dresses.[229] Miss Banks,[363] the sister of Sir Joseph, was looked after by the eye of astonishment wherever she went, and in whatever situation she appeared. Her dress was that of the Old School; her Barcelona quilted petticoat had a hole on either side for the convenience of rummaging two immense pockets, stuffed with books of all sizes. This petticoat was covered with a deep stomachered gown, sometimes drawn through the pocket-holes, similar to those of many of the ladies of Bunbury’s time, which he has introduced in his prints. In this dress I have frequently seen her walk, followed by a six-foot servant with a cane almost as tall as himself.

Miss Banks, for so that lady was called for many years, was frequently heard to relate the following curious anecdote of herself. After making repeated inquiries of the wall-vendors of halfpenny ballads for a particular one which she wanted, she was informed by the claret-faced woman, who strung up her stock by Middlesex Hospital-gates,[230] that if she went to a printer in Long Lane, Smithfield, probably he might supply her Ladyship with what her Ladyship wanted. Away trudged Miss Banks through Smithfield, “all on a market-day”; but before she entered Mr. Thompson’s shop, she desired her man to wait for her at the corner, by the plumb-pudding stall. “Yes, we have it,” was the printer’s answer to the interrogative. He then gave Miss Banks what is called a book, consisting of many songs. Upon her expressing her surprise when the man returned her eightpence from her shilling, and the great quantity of songs he had given her, when she only wanted one,—“What, then!” observed the man, “are you not one of our chanters? I beg your pardon.”

It has been stated that this lady and Lady Banks, out of compliment to Sir Joseph, who had been deeply engaged in the production of wool, had their riding-habits made of his produce, in which dresses those ladies at one period upon all occasions appeared. Indeed, so delighted was Miss Banks with this overall-covering, that she actually gave the habit-maker orders for three at a time,—and they were called Hightum, Tightum, and Scrub. The first was her best, the second her second best, and the third her every-day one.

I have been informed that once, when Miss Banks and her sister-in-law visited a friend with whom they were to stay several days, on the evening of their arrival they sat down to dinner in their riding-habits. Their friend had a large party after dinner to meet them, and they entered the drawing-room in their riding-habits. On the following morning they again appeared in their riding-habits; and so on, to the astonishment of every one, till the conclusion of their visit.

Being in possession of an immense number of tradesmen’s[231] tokens current at this time, I left them in Soho Square, with a note begging Miss Banks’s acceptance of any she might want. After a few hours, her footman’s knock at my door announced the arrival of Miss Banks, who entered the parlour holding up the front of her riding-habit with both hands, the contents of which she delivered upon the table, at the same time observing “that she considered herself extremely obliged to me for my politeness, but that, extraordinary as it might appear, out of so many hundred there was not one that she wanted.”

Although Miss Banks displayed great attention to many persons, there were others to whom she was wanting in civility. I have heard that a great genius, who had arrived a quarter of an hour before the time specified upon the card for dinner, was shown into the drawing-room, where Miss Banks was putting away what are sometimes called rattle-traps.[364] When the visitor observed, “It is a fine day, Ma’am,” she replied, “I know nothing at all about it; you must speak to my brother upon that subject when you are at dinner.” Notwithstanding the very singular appearance of Miss Banks, she was in the prime of life, a fashionable whip, and drove four-in-hand.

Mrs. Carter,[365] the translator of Epictetus, was also[232] singular in her dress. Her upper walking-garment, in the latter part of her life, which was cut short, was more like a bed-gown than anything else. The last time I met this benevolent lady was in 1801, at Mrs. Dards’s exhibition,[366] an immense collection of artificial flowers made entirely by herself with fish-bones, the incessant labour of many years. I remember, in the course of conversation, Mrs. Dards observed, “No one can imagine the trouble I had in collecting the bones for that bunch of lilies of the valley; each cup consists of the bones which contain the brains of the turbot; and from the difficulty of matching the sizes, I never should have completed my task had it not been for the kindness of the proprietors of the London, Free-Masons’, and Crown and Anchor Taverns, who desired their waiters to save all the fish-bones for me.”


“… barring his eccentricities.”

This ingenious person distributed a card embellished with flowers and insects, upon which was engraven the following advertisement:—

No. 1, Suffolk Street, Cockspur Street.

Mrs. Dards begs leave to inform her friends in particular, and the public in general, that after a labour of thirty years, she has for their inspection and amusement opened an exhibition of shell-work, consisting of a great variety of beautiful objects equal to nature, which are[233] minutely described in the catalogue. Likewise is enabled to gratify them

With bones, scales, and eyes, from the prawn to the porpoise,
Fruit, flies, birds, and flowers, oh, strange metamorphose!

“Open from ten to six in the summer,—from ten to four in the winter.

Admittance 1s. Catalogue 6d.”

Mr. Jennings,[367] latterly known as Constantine Noel, barring his eccentricities, was an accomplished gentleman, a traveller of infinite taste, and one of the most liberal[234] and entertaining companions imaginable. Mr. Noel’s figure was short, thin, and much bent by age; and he was very singular in his dress. The crown of his hat fitted his head as close as a pitch-plaster; his coat was short, of common cloth, and, like Mr. Wodhull’s, regularly buttoned up from his waist to his chin. His stockings were not striped blue and white, like those of Sir Thomas Stepney,[368] but of pepper-and-salt mixture, and of worsted. He stepped astride in consequence of the bowness of his legs, and generally attracted notice by striking his walking-stick hard on the stones with his right arm fully extended, while his left hung swinging low before him. He wore thick-sole shoes, with small buckles, and seldom showed linen beyond the depths of his stock.

My father, who knew him well, used to relate the annexed anecdote. Mr. Noel one day, when at the corner of Rathbone Place, close to Wright’s, the intelligent grocer, finding himself rather fatigued, called repeatedly to the first coachman, who, after laughing at him for some time, increased the insult by observing, “A coach, indeed! a coach! who’s to pay for it?”

“You rascal,” exclaimed Mr. Noel, clenching his stick in the position of chastisement, “why don’t you come when I call, Sir; I’ll make an example of you, I will.”

The coachman continued laughing, till a gentleman[235] accosted Mr. Jennings thus:—“My worthy friend, what is all this about?”

The coachman was immediately curbed; and when Mr. Noel’s friend had parted with him, by shaking his hand in the coach, the coachman, touching the front of his hat, wished to know of his honourWhere to?

“I’ll give you a pretty dance,” replied Mr. Noel; “drive me to h——, you rascal; to Whitechapel, and from thence to Hyde Park Corner. I’ll take care it shall be long enough before you get any dinner, you rascal, I will.” Then, with a nod and a smile to the assembled crowd, he declared, to their no small amusement, “I’ll punish him.”

Dr. Burges, of Mortimer Street, whose singular figure has been etched by Gillray, under which he wrote, “From Warwick Lane,” was one of the last men who wore a cocked-hat and deep ruffles. What rendered his appearance more remarkable, he walked on tiptoe.[369]

It was the regular custom of Mr. Alderman Boydell, who was a very early riser, at five o’clock, to go immediately to the pump in Ironmonger Lane. There, after placing his wig upon the ball at the top of it, he used to sluice his head with its water. This well-known and highly respected character,[370] who has done more for the British artists than[236] all the print-publishers put together, was also one of the last men who wore the three-cornered hat commonly called “Egham, Staines, and Windsor.”

I recollect another character, a bricklayer, of the name of Pride, of Vine Street, Piccadilly, who wore the three-cornered hat commonly called “The Cumberland Cock.”[371]


In October this year the venerable Mrs. Garrick departed this life, when seated in her armchair in the front drawing-room of her house in the Adelphi. She had ordered her maid-servants to place two or three gowns upon chairs, to determine in which she would appear at Drury Lane Theatre that evening, it being a private view of Mr. Elliston’s improvements for the season. Perhaps no lady in public and private life held a more unexceptionable character. She was visited by persons of the first rank; even our late Queen Charlotte, who had honoured her with a visit at Hampton, found her peeling onions for pickling. The gracious Queen commanded a knife to be brought, saying, “I will peel some onions too.” The late King George IV. and King William IV., as well as other branches of the Royal Family, frequently honoured her with visits.


In the course of conversation with Mrs. Garrick (to whom I had been introduced by the late Dr. Burney), that lady expressed a wish to see the collection of Mr. Garrick’s portraits, which the Doctor had most industriously collected. After the honourable trustees had purchased the Doctor’s library, which contained ten folio volumes of theatrical portraits, I reminded Mrs. Garrick of her wish, in consequence of which I received the following letter:—

“Mr. Beltz[372] presents his compliments to Mr. Smith, and is desired by his respected friend Mrs. Garrick to acquaint him, in answer to the favour of his letter of the 12th inst., that she proposes (unless she should hear from Mr. Smith that it will be inconvenient to him) to do herself the pleasure of calling on him at the British Museum on Tuesday next, between twelve and one, for the purpose of inspecting the prints of Mr. Garrick, to which Mr. Smith refers.

Heralds’ College, Aug. 18th, 1821.”

On the appointed morning Mrs. Garrick arrived, accompanied by Mr. Beltz. She was delighted with the portraits of Mr. Garrick, many of which were totally unknown to her. Her observations on some of them were extremely interesting, particularly that by Dance, as Richard III.[373] Of that painter she stated, that Mr. Garrick,[238] who had been the artist’s best friend and benefactor, behaved in the most dirty manner in return; for in the course of his painting the picture Mr. Garrick had agreed to give him two hundred guineas for it. One day at Mr. Garrick’s dining-table, where Dance had always been a welcome guest, he observed that Sir Watkin Williams Wynn,[374] who had seen the picture, spontaneously offered him three hundred guineas for it. “Did you tell him it was for me?” questioned Mr. Garrick. “No, I did not.” “Then you mean to let him have it?” Garrick rejoined. “Yes, I believe I shall,” replied the painter. “However,” observed Mrs. Garrick, “my husband was very good; he bought me a most handsome looking-glass, which cost him more than the agreed price of the picture; and that was put up in the place where Dance’s picture was to have hung.” Mrs. Garrick being about to quit her seat, said she should be glad to see me at Hampton. “Madam,” said I, “you are very good; but you would oblige me exceedingly by honouring me with your signature on this day.” “What do you ask me for? I have not taken a pen in my hand for many months. Stay, let me compose myself; don’t hurry me, and I will see what I can do. Would you like it written with my spectacles on, or without?” Preferring the latter, she wrote “E. M. Garrick,” but not without some exertion.

“I suppose now, Sir, you wish to know my age. I was born at Vienna, the 29th of February, 1724, though my coachman insists upon it that I am above a hundred. I was married at the parish of St. Giles at eight o’clock[239] in the morning, and immediately afterwards in the chapel of the Portuguese Ambassador, in South Audley Street.”

A day or two after Mrs. Garrick’s death, I went to the Adelphi, to know if a day had been fixed for the funeral. “No,” replied George Harris, one of Mrs. Garrick’s confidential servants; “but I will let you know when it is to take place. Would you like to see her? she is in her coffin.” “Yes, I should.” Upon entering the back room on the first-floor, in which Mr. Garrick died, I found the deceased’s two female servants standing by her remains. I made a drawing of her, and intended to have etched it. “Pray, do tell me,” looking at one of the maids, “why is the coffin covered with sheets?” “They are their wedding sheets, in which both Mr. and Mrs. Garrick wished to have died.” I was informed that one of these attentive women had incurred her mistress’s displeasure by kindly pouring out a cup of tea, and handing it to her in her chair. “Put it down, you hussey; do you think I cannot help myself?” She took it herself, and a short time after she had put it to her lips, died. This lady continued her practice of swearing now and then, particularly when any one attempted to impose upon her. A stonemason brought in his bill with an overcharge of sixpence more than the sum agreed upon; on which occasion he endeavoured to appease her rage by thus addressing her:—“My dear Madam, do consider”—“My dear Madam! What do you mean, you d—— fellow? Get out of the house immediately. My dear madam, indeed!!”

On the following day I received the promised letter, by the post.

Sir,—The funeral is fixed to leave the Adelphi Terrace soon after ten o’clock to-morrow morning. Mrs. Garrick’s[240] carriage, the Dowager Lady Amherst’s, Dr. Maton’s, and Mr. Carr’s[375] are the only carriages that will join the funeral. Your obedient servant,

George Harris,

“Servant to Mrs. Garrick.”

On the day of the funeral, Miss Macauley,[376] the authoress, wishing to see this venerable lady interred, placed herself under my protection; but when we arrived at the Abbey, we were refused admittance by a person who observed, “If it be your wish to see the waxwork, you must come when the funeral’s over, and you will then be admitted into Poets’ Corner, by a man who is stationed at the door to receive your money.”

“Curse the waxwork!” said I; “this lady and I came to see Mrs. Garrick’s remains placed in the grave.”—“Ah,[241] well, you can’t come in; the Dean won’t allow it.” As soon as the ceremony was over, we were admitted for sixpence at the Poets’ Corner, and there we saw the earth that surrounded the grave, and no more, as we refused to pay the demands of the showmen of the Abbey. Surely this mode of admission to see the venerable structure, and the monuments put up there at a most liberal expense by the country, as memorials of departed worth, is an abominable disgrace to the English Government.[377]

Being disappointed in a sight of the burial, I applied to my friend, the Rev. Thomas Rackett, one of Mrs. Garrick’s executors, for a list of those persons who attended the funeral.


Christopher Philip Garrick, and Nathan Egerton Garrick, great-nephews of David Garrick; the Rev. Thomas Rackett, and George Frederick Beltz, Esq., Lancaster Herald, Executors of Mrs. Garrick’s will.



Thomas Carr, Esq., Mrs. Garrick’s solicitor; and Mrs. Carr.


Mr. James Deane, Agent to Mr. Carr, frequently employed by Mrs. Garrick; Mr. Freeman, of Spring Gardens, Mrs. Garrick’s apothecary.

Thomas Rackett.[378]

December 4th, 1827.


“The fops that join to cry you down
Would give their ears to get her.”
Edward Moore on Garrick’s Marriage

As Mr. Garrick was married by his friend, the celebrated Dr. Francklin,[379] who at that time had a chapel in Great Queen Street, I was anxious to ascertain whether the ceremony took place there or at the parish church. I therefore applied to my friend, the Rev. Charles[243] M’Carthy, who favoured me with the following certificate:—

June 22, 1749. David Garrick, of St. Paul, Covent Garden; and Eva Maria Violetti, of St. James’s, Westminster.


In 1822, to the disgrace of the Antwerp picture collectors, notwithstanding their professed zeal for the protection of high works of art, they allowed the most precious gem, their boasted corner-stone, to be carried away from their city. However, to the great honour of Mr. Smith, the picture-dealer, it was secured for England.

This corner-stone, which had been coveted by most of the amateurs in the world, was no less a treasure than the picture known under the appellation of the “Chapeau de[244] Paille,”[381] by Rubens, which had been in the Lunden’s, and then the Steir’s family, from the time it was sold after the painter’s death, to the 29th of July, 1822, the day on which it was brought to auction for the benefit of the last possessor’s family.

When the auctioneer ordered the doors of the case in which it was kept to be thrown open, every person took off his hat, and greeted the picture with loud and repeated cheerings. After the company had, for some time, gratified their eyes, the doors were locked and biddings commenced, the company remaining uncovered till the bidders were silent. It was then knocked down for the sum of thirty-two thousand seven hundred florins, to a foreigner displaying an orange ribbon, hired by the real purchaser, Mr. Smith, who suspected that if an Englishman had offered to bid, he would have brought down a direful opposition. When it was discovered that it was to be conveyed to England, the Antwerpers not only shed tears, but followed it to Mr. Smith’s place of residence, expressing the strongest desire to take their farewell look.[245] Mr. Smith, not willing to risk its safety, gave a seaman five guineas to convey it on shipboard by night, and saw it safely landed on British ground.

Upon its arrival in London, King George IV. commanded a sight of it; and on the morning of Tuesday, September 3rd, Mr. Smith had it conveyed from his house in Marlborough Street, to Carlton Palace, where it was placed in the King’s dressing-room, the King keeping the key of the case, that only private friends might see it. After the expiration of a fortnight, the picture was returned; and in the month of March, 1823, it was publicly exhibited at Stanley’s rooms. The Right Hon. Sir Robert Peel became its liberal purchaser and protector. This picture is painted on oak, and has been joined at the lower part across the hands, and there is every reason for believing that Rubens painted it in the frame, as the ground was unpainted upon, within the width of the rabbit.

The popular report respecting this picture is, that it was the portrait of Elizabeth Lunden, a young woman to whom Rubens was particularly partial, who died of the small-pox, to the great grief of the painter.

In this year I find the following letter in my album:—

My dear Sir,—Your desire to know the place of my nativity, the profession for which I was intended, my first appearance on the stage, and in town. This both honours and gratifies me, inasmuch as your request places my name with men of genius and education, the persons of all others I am most ambitious to be found with.

“The city of Bristol gave me birth, in 1778.[382] I was[246] brought up an artist, which profession I quitted for studies more congenial to my feelings. Immortal Shakspeare wrought the change, and his great contemporaries added fuel to flame. Notwithstanding this mighty stimulus, in the year 1798 I made my first attempt, in the part of young Hob, in Hob in the Well,[383] in a town in Radnorshire, the theatre a barn in the environs; the receipts seven shillings; my share sevenpence. I removed from this luxury to the Stafford Company, thence to the York Theatre, where I succeeded my friend Mathews, and in which situation I remained seven years.

“October 12th, 1809, I made my début in London, in the Theatre Royal, Lyceum, with the Drury Lane Company. The devouring element had destroyed that magnificent pile Old Drury, which caused the professors to employ that place of refuge. The pieces I selected for the terrific ordeal, were The Soldier’s Daughter and Fortune’s Frolic;[384] the characters, Timothy Quaint and Robin Roughhead. The public were infinitely more kind than my negative merits deserved; and with gratitude I acknowledge, that up to the present period, their bounty very far exceeds the humble ability of their devoted servant, and your true friend,

Edward Knight.[385]

Theatre Royal, Drury Lane,

Garden Cottage, Covent Garden, ground chambers,

Nov. 15th, 1823.”



The following notice is written in my album this year, by Major Cartwright:—

“John Cartwright, born at Marnham, near Tuxford, in the county of Nottingham, on the 17th of September, 1740, old style, corresponding with the 28th, new style. In the year 1758 he entered the naval service, under the command of Lord Howe; was promoted to a lieutenancy in September, 1762, and continued on active service until the spring of 1771. Then retiring to recruit his health, he remained at Marnham till invited by his old Commander-in-chief, in the year 1775 or 1776; but not approving of the war with America, he declined accepting the proffered commission. About the same time he became Major of the regiment of Nottinghamshire Militia, then for the first time raised in that county, in which he served seventeen years.

“When George III. arrived at the year of the Jubilee, a naval promotion of twenty Lieutenants to the rank of Commanders, and the name of J. C. standing the twentieth on the list, he was commissioned as a Commander accordingly.

“In the year 1802 he published The Trident, a work in quarto, having for its object to promote that elevation of character which can alone preserve the vital spirit of[248] a navy, as well as to furnish an inexhaustible patronage of the arts.

John Cartwright, residing in Burton Crescent, 26th Jan., 1824.”

The Major died on the 23rd of September this year, at his house in Burton Crescent, at the venerable age of eighty-four.[386]


An author, in whose real character I was for many years deceived, frequently importuned me to caricature literary females. But this malicious advice, being repugnant to my feelings, I never could listen to, nor is it my intention even to make public a memory-sketch now in my possession of the adviser, when he was stooping over and pretending to kiss the putrid corpse of him a portion of whose vast property he is in possession of, and, I was going to say, happily enjoys.[387] Profoundly learned as the person above[249] alluded to considers himself to be, the reader will, after perusing the following lines, written purposely for my album, be convinced that jealousy towards the fair sex must be that man’s master-passion.


Lives there, redeemed from dull oblivion’s waste,
One cherished line that Shakspeare’s hand has traced?
Vain search! though glory crowns the poet’s bust,
His story sleeps with his unconscious dust.
Born—wedded—buried! Such the common lot,
And such was his. What more? almost a blot!
Even on his laurelled head with doubt we gaze;
And fancy best his lineaments portrays.
Thus like an Indian deity enshrined,
In mystery is his image; whilst the mind
To us bequeathed, belongs to all mankind.
Yet here he lived; his manly high career
Of strange vicissitude, was measured here.
Not his the envied privilege to hail
The Eternal City! or in Tempe’s vale
Breathe inspiration with luxurious sighs,
And dream of Heaven beneath unclouded skies.
His sphere was bounded, and we almost trace
His daily haunts, where he was wont to chase
Unwelcome cares, or visions fair recall;
His breath still lingers on the cloistral wall,
With gloom congenial to his spirit fraught;
And thou, O Thames, his lonely sighs hast caught.
When one, the rhyming Charon of his day,
Who tugged the oar, yet conned a merry lay,
Full oft unconscious of the freight he bore,
Transferred the musing bard from shore to shore.
Too careless Taylor! hadst thou well divined
The marvellous man to thy frail skiff consigned,
Thou shouldst have craved one tributary line,
To blend his glorious destiny with thine!
Nor vain the prayer!—who generous homage pays
To genius, wins the second meed of praise.[388]

The much-famed Cup, carved from Shakspeare’s Mulberry-tree, lined with, and standing on a base of silver, with a cover surmounted by a branch of mulberry leaves and fruit, also of silver-gilt, which was presented to Mr. Garrick on the occasion of the Jubilee at Stratford-upon-Avon, was sold by Mr. Christie on May the 5th, 1825,[389] who addressed the assembly nearly in the following words, for the recollection of which I am obliged to the memory of my worthy friend, Henry Smedley, Esq.:[390]

“Though this is neither the age nor the country in which relics are made the objects of devotion, yet that which I am now to submit to you must recall to your recollection the Stratford Jubilee, when the pilgrims to the shrine of Avon were actuated by a zeal as fervent as[251] could have been exhibited either at Loretto or Compostella. Let me then entreat a liberal bidding, when I invoke you by the united names of Shakspeare and of Garrick. I perceive that this little Cup is now submitted to eyes well accustomed to appreciate the most exquisite treasures of ancient arts; and that the rough and natural bark of the mulberry-tree is regarded with as much veneration as the choicest carving of Cellini or Fiamingo.”

After one hundred guineas had been bid, Mr. Christie added, “I was wishing that I had some of Falstaff’s sack here, with which I might fill the Cup, and pledge this company, so as to invigorate their biddings; but I think I may say now that at least there is no want of spirit among them.”


The term busby, now sometimes used when a large bushy wig is spoken of, most probably originated from the wig denominated a buzz, frizzled and bushy. At all events, we are not satisfied that the term busby could have arisen, as many persons believe, from Dr. Busby, Master of Westminster School, as all his portraits either represent him with a close cap, or with a cap and hat.[391]

During a most minute investigation of a regular series of English portraits, which I was led into by a friend, in order, if possible, to clear up this point, I was induced to[252] look for the origin of wigs in England, and their various sorts and successions, by commencing at the time of William the Conqueror. In this search I was not able to find any representation of wigs earlier than those worn by King Charles II.[392] upon his Restoration, in proof of which I refer the reader to Faithorne’s numerous portraits of that monarch, and he will find that that sort of wig continued to be worn, with very little deviation, by succeeding kings till George II.’s time, with whom it ended. The Merry Monarch, it has been stated, followed the fashion of wearing a wig from Louis XIV.,[393] with whom that custom commenced[253] with the kings of France. The Duke of Burgundy wore a wig.

King George III. commenced his reign with wearing his own hair dressed and powdered in the style of Woollett’s beautiful engraving of his Majesty,[394] after a picture painted by Ramsey. King George III. wore a wig, in the latter part of his reign, made from one of those worn by Mr. Duvall, one of the masons of the Board of Works, with which shape his Majesty was much pleased.

The line in Pope,

“Eternal buckle takes in Parian stone,”

alludes to the wig carved on the monument of Sir Cloudesley Shovel in Westminster Abbey.[395]

This sort of wig, which received the appellation of “A Brown George,” was also worn by several persons of rank, particularly the late Earl of Cremorne.[396] Townsend,[254] a Bow-street officer, condescendingly noticed by the King, thought proper to wear a wig of this kind, in which he appeared at the morning service in Westminster Abbey.

It is worthy of observation, that in the reign of King Charles II. the Lord Mayors of London followed his Majesty’s example, by wearing wigs precisely of the same make, and equal to those worn by the Royal Family, the highest courtiers, and persons of the first eminence in official capacities. Nay indeed, Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey, a wood and coal-monger, wore wigs of this shape, perhaps because he was a Justice of the Peace within the King’s Court. The same kind of wig, equally deep, but with curls rather looser and more tastefully flowing, was also worn by the following high literary characters in the reigns of Charles II., James II., William III., and Queen Anne:—Waller, Dryden, Addison, Steele, Congreve, Vanbrugh, Butler, Rowe, Prior, Wycherley, etc.[397] Of these, perhaps the two last-mentioned were the most foppish in their wigs, particularly Wycherley, from whom the sets of large and beautifully engraven combs of the finest tortoise-shell are named. With these combs (which were carried in cases in their pockets) the wearers of wigs adjusted their curls, ruffled and entangled by the wind. These combs are held as curiosities by many of our old families. The last I saw was in the possession of the friendly Dr. Meyrick, author of The History of Armour. I have somewhere read that Wycherley, who was esteemed one of the handsomest men of his day, was frequently seen standing in the pit of the theatre combing and adjusting the curls of his wig,[255] whilst in lolling conversation with the first ladies of fashion in the boxes.[398] Most of Sir Godfrey Kneller’s portraits were painted in this flowing wig, particularly that celebrated series entitled Queen Anne’s Admirals.[399] These pictures were lately moved by command of King George IV. from Hampton Court Palace to the Nautical Gallery in Greenwich Hospital, where they are placed to the highest advantage among numerous other portraits of England’s naval victors.

The actors at this time wore immense wigs, particularly Bullock, Penkethman, etc.; Cibber’s was in moderation. It must here be observed, that I now allude to their private wigs; their state wigs were, as they are now, purposely caricatured to please the galleries.[400] I believe that the first wig worn by an English divine was that of John Wallis,[401][256] engraved by Burghers, and published at Oxford in the year 1699; it was profusely curled, but not so deep over the shoulders as those of statesmen.

There were many singular, and, indeed, learned characters whose wigs were peculiarly shaped, such, for instance, as that of Bubb Doddington, Lord Chesterfield, and the Duke of Newcastle. MacArdell’s print of Lord Anson, after a picture by Sir Joshua Reynolds, was, I have every reason to think, the first of the shape erroneously called the Busby. This sort, Dr. Samuel Johnson, Armstrong, Hunter, the Rev. George Whitfield, Lord Monboddo, etc., wore in their latter years.


“The fellow took me for a tailor.”

The earliest engraved portraits of Dr. Johnson exhibit a wig with five rows of curls, commonly called “a story wig.”[402] Among the old dandies of this description of wig we may class Mr. Saunders Welch, Mr. Nollekens’ father-in-law—he had nine storeys. So was that worn by Mr. Nathaniel Hillier,[403] an extensive print-collector, as is represented[257] in an engraved portrait of that gentleman. Dr. Goldsmith’s wig was small and remarkably slovenly, as may be seen by Bretherton’s etching. Sir Joshua’s portrait of him is without a wig. Mr. Garrick’s wigs (I mean his private ones) were three in number,—the first is engraved by Wood, published in the year 1745; the second is by Sherwin, engraved for Tom Davies; the last is from a private plate by Mrs. Solly, after a drawing by Dance. I will leave off here with the wig, and give a few instances of the tails. These perhaps originated with the Chinese, but the first specimen of a tail, which I have hitherto been able to procure, to which a date can be given, is in Sherwin’s print of Frederick, King of Prussia.[404]


The Londoners, but more particularly the inhabitants of Westminster, who had been for years accustomed to recreate within the chequered shade of Millbank’s willows, have been by degrees deprived of that pleasure, as there are now very few trees remaining, and those so scanty of foliage, by being nearly stript of their bark, that the[258] public are no longer induced to tread their once sweetly variegated banks.[405]

Here, on many a summer’s evening, Gainsborough, accompanied by his friend Collins, amused himself by sketching docks and nettles, which afforded the Wynants and Cuyp-like effects to the foregrounds of his rich and glowing landscapes. Collins resided in Tothill Fields, and was the modeller of rustic subjects for tablets of chimneypieces in vogue about seventy years back. Most of them were taken from Æsop’s Fables, and are here and there to be met with in houses that have been suffered to remain in their original state. I recollect one, that of the “Bear and Bee-hives,” in the back drawing-room of the house formerly the mansion of the Duke of Ancaster on the western side of Lincoln’s Inn Fields.[406]


Millbank, which originally extended with its pollarded willows from Belgrave House[407] to the White Lead Mills at the corner of the lane leading to “Jenny’s Whim,” afforded similar subjects to those selected by four of the old rural painters; for instance, the boat-builders’ sheds on the bank, with their men at work on the shore, might have been chosen by Everdingen;[408] the wooden steps from the bank, the floating timber, and old men in their boats, with the Vauxhall and Battersea windmills, by Van Goyen;[409] the various colours of the tiles of the cart-sheds, entwined by the autumnal tinged vines, backed with the most prolific orchards, with the women gathering the garden produce for the ensuing day’s market, would have pleased Ruysdael;[410] and the basket-maker’s overhanging smoking hut, with a woman in her white cap and sunburnt petticoat, dipping her pail for water, might have been represented by the pencil of Dekker.[411] It was within one of the Neat House Gardens[412] near this bank that Garnerin’s kitten[260] descended from the balloon which ascended from Vauxhall Gardens in the year 1802.[413] This descent is thus handed down in a song attributed to George Colman the younger, entitled

Puss in a Parachute.

Poor puss in a grand parachute
Was sent to sail down through the air,
Plump’d into a garden of fruit,
And played up old gooseberry there.
The gardener, transpiring with fear,
Stared just like a hundred stuck hogs;
And swore, though the sky was quite clear,
’Twas beginning to rain cats and dogs.
Mounseer, who don’t value his life,
In the Thames would have just dipped his vings,
If it vasn’t for vetting his vife,
For vimen are timbersome things:
So at Hampstead he landed her dry;
And after this dangerous sarvice,
He took a French leave of the sky,
And vent back to Vauxhall in a Jarvis.



Most willingly would I have resigned all the pleasures I ever enjoyed, save that of my wedding-day, to have joined the throng of enthusiastics in art, who assembled at Nuremberg this year, to do homage to the memory of that morning star in art, Albert Dürer. Of the many descriptions of the proceedings upon that glorious occasion, none gave me higher delight than that of Mr. L. Schutze,[414] of Carlsruhe, an artist of very considerable abilities, who, upon my requesting him to favour me with an account, goodnaturedly complied with my wishes, but with all the diffidence of one who had not long written in the English language.

“At the festival which took place in Nuremberg, 1828, on the 6th and 7th of April, the month on which Albert Dürer died three hundred years before, some pupils of Cornelius in Munich, intended to paint some transparent sceneries, the most interesting ones, taken from his life, and to exhibit them at the Festival. For this purpose they gave notice to the magistrates and to the artists that they would arrive on the 28th of March. The magistrates and artists were quite satisfied with this offer, and resolved to welcome them some miles from Nuremberg.[262] Two gentlemen of consideration offered their coaches, with four horses, and the most part of the artists took post-coaches, all with four horses. One gentleman, Mr. Campe,[415] a very clever man, and member of the Artists’ Society, who led the procession, which consisted of eight coaches with about thirty artists, took a barrel with wine in his coach, and also a very old and interesting pitcher, which was presented to A. Dürer by one of his particular friends. About eight miles from Nuremberg, in Reichersdorf, we stopped at the inn, intending to wait for the artists from Munich. Mr. Campe ordered a good breakfast, and put up his barrel and golden pitcher. Scarcely was all prepared, and the breakfast ready, when we saw the artists arrive (we called them ‘Cornelians,’ after the name of their master[416]), with a flag and green branches in their caps, and merry singing. A loud vivat was the first expression of welcome; they were quite astonished to find there so great a company. We now invited them to come in, and to take refreshments after their fatigues. The first proceeding was now to fill the pitcher with wine, and to drink their health. There were about thirty-six artists from Munich. After having made some speeches, having taken the breakfast, and emptied the barrel, we, all quite refreshed and pleased, took place in our chair-waggons, into which we invited also the Cornelians, and rode back to Nuremberg.

“At the old castle we all descended from our waggons, and saw the old building, which is so very interesting in[263] the history of Germany. Then we went down to the house of Albert Dürer, where all the strangers who arrived entered their names in a book. Several gentlemen of consideration had offered to give lodging to some of the strange artists, which was accepted with great pleasure by them. Many others of them had free lodging in the inns. The magistrates paid all their necessaries during their stay. Every day artists and strangers arrived, and the house of Albert Dürer was the place of meeting. The Cornelians began to paint their transparencies: they had drawn the sketches for them already in Munich. There were seven pictures; they represented, firstly, Albert Dürer coming in receiving instructions from Wohlgemuth; secondly, his marriage ceremony; thirdly, the Banquet in Utrecht; fourthly, the Goddess of Art crowns Albert Dürer and Raphael; fifthly, Dürer on board ship; sixthly, the death of Dürer’s mother; seventhly, Dürer’s death. We artists in Nuremberg painted Dürer’s figure, and several allegories and writings, about sixty feet high altogether, also transparencies, which we intended to exhibit on the road, opposite his house.

“Cornelius and many of the first artists from Munich, and from other parts of Germany, arrived, and Dürer’s house was always crowded: certainly a very interesting time to make acquaintance with artists from several parts of the continent, and also to see again old friends. The 6th of April, in the morning at six o’clock, we went altogether to the grave of Albert Dürer. It was very bad weather, all the night, much snow was falling, and a very disagreeable wind blew. When we arrived at the grave, and the musicians, who were with us, began to play, and we began to sing, the sun at once appeared and looked friendly down upon us. We sang three songs with accompaniments[264] of instruments; and then a speech was made, after which we went home. Scarcely were we arrived there, when it again began to snow, and it was very disagreeable all the day.

“After noon, at half past six o’clock, an Oratorium composed by Schneider,[417] took place in the Town-house. Mr. Schneider came himself from Dessau, two hundred and fifty miles from Nuremberg, to direct it. In the Town-house may still be seen a triumphal procession, painted on the wall by Albert Dürer. On one side the musicians were placed, and opposite to them the seven transparencies were exhibited; they were beautifully finished and pleased everybody.

“After the oratorium a splendid supper took place, where all the artists took part, and also several gentlemen of consideration. Mr. Campe distributed to those present some printed poems and books, containing interesting tales or descriptions of clever men, contemporaries of Albert Dürer. Then there were music and dancing.

“On the 7th, at nine in the morning, there was a meeting in the Town-house; all the artists were dressed in black, and had flat hats and swords, except the strangers. The magistrates distributed medals with Dürer’s portrait. At half past eleven o’clock the procession began:—the magistrates, the two burgomasters, the clergymen, many officers, and all the artists, about three hundred persons together. The military with music made a line in the streets through which the procession passed. The King was expected, but did not come. In the Milk-market (now called Albert Dürer’s Place) the procession commenced;[265] some speeches were made, then the foundation-stone of a monument to Albert Dürer was laid, and trumpets and cymbals resounded. Then all was finished, and all went home. At two o’clock a brilliant dinner took place in the Court of Bavaria, accompanied by music; and several poems and songs were distributed, and the poor were not forgotten,—a rich collection being made for them. In the theatre, the play called Albert Dürer was performed; and then our great transparency was illuminated, and on the house where Albert Dürer was born, and likewise where he had lived during the latter part of his life, several inscriptions were illuminated. A procession with flambeaux and fireworks ended the festival-day. Some of the richest inhabitants arranged dinners and suppers, and other rejoicings, to honour the artists. The magistrates ordered also a very brilliant supper on the last evening, before the artists parted, and bade them farewell.

L. Schutze.



For the following dates I am indebted to Albert Dürer’s Diary, contained in the Foreign Quarterly Review for January 1833, a work replete with most interesting information. Albert Dürer was born in 1471; his father taught him the goldsmith’s craft. In 1486 he was bound for three years to Michael Wohlgemuth, an engraver on wood. He was married to Agnes, an un-lamb-like daughter of Hans Frey. He died on the 6th of April, 1528, of a decline. His wife, an avaricious shrew, “gnawed him to his very heart,—he was dried up to a faggot.”[418] Little did[266] Albert Dürer think, particularly from the period of his unhappy marriage to the hour of his dissolution, when he was only fifty-seven years of age, that such honours would be paid to his memory.

The following letter is perhaps worth insertion here:—

Queen Street, Mayfair,

Dec. 22, 1828.

My dear Sir,—Shortly after my return from Rome, in 1798, I espied a bust in Rosso Antico, lying under a counter at a broker’s shop, in Great Portland Street. I recognised its antiquity; it was a Faun, large as life, in the best style of art. I bought it for the trifling sum of £1. I had it in my study many months. During this period, I often assisted Nollekens in the architectural department of his monuments, receiving no thanks; but an invitation one day, as we talked Italian together. On accidentally mentioning my antique Faun, he came to see it, and was so struck with its beauty, that he would never rest till he got it out of my hands. He succeeded, by offering me some models of his own, and ten pounds. Wishing to oblige him, I let him have the bust, and he sent me two miserable models not much higher[267] than my thumb, of a Bacchus and Ariadne, since broken to pieces.

“This bust was in the collection at his sale, and it was knocked down by Christie to the Duke of Newcastle for a hundred and sixty pounds.

“With great respect, ever yours truly,

Charles Heathcote Tatham.”[419]

The following letter is curious:—

“In the winter of 1815, making a tour of the Netherlands, I was in Bruges when the well-known statue, or rather group, of the ‘Virgin and Child,’ by Michael Angelo Buonarotti, which had been carried from the church of Notre Dame to Paris, was restored, in a packing-case, to that church. On this occasion a procession of the priests and officers of the church, and of some of the municipal officers, took place; and a Mass was celebrated. About a month afterwards, I was again in Bruges, and saw this fine work of art replaced in its former situation, on the altar of one of the small chapels. It is, indeed, a wonderful work.

“I was about the same period in Antwerp, and was present when the pictures which had been taken to Paris, arrived in carriages, and were escorted into the city by an[268] English regiment, then in garrison there (either the 15th or 25th of infantry), preceded by the band of that regiment playing ‘God save the King,’ and accompanied by the members of the Academy of Antwerp, and the magistracy of the city. I own I felt all the pride of an Englishman at seeing these works of art, which British valour had regained, thus restored to the places from whence they had been pillaged.

Stephen Porter.[420]

Temple, Feb. 5, 1828.”

In July, I went to Hungerford Stairs to gain what information I could respecting “Copper Holmes.” A waterman, whose face declared he had seen a few liberal days, accosted me with the usual question, “Oars, sculler?” I shook my head; but, upon a nearer approach, asked him the following question, “How long has Copper been dead?” “There sits his widow at that window mending her stockings,” said he; “we’ll go and put it to her.”

On approaching her the waterman said, “This gentleman wants to know how long Copper has been dead?” “How do you do?” said I, “your husband has often in my early days rowed me to Pepper Alley.” “He died,” said the woman (who retained enough in her care-worn features to induce me to believe she had been pretty), sticking her needle on her cap, “he died, poor fellow, on the 3rd of October, 1821, and a better man never trod shoe-leather. He was downright and honest, and what he said he would do, he did. I had been his wife two-and-twenty years; but he married me after he left the Ark. His first wife[269] lived in the Ark with her children.” “What vessel had the Ark been?” “She had been a Westcountryman, and it cost him altogether (with her fittings-up with sheets of copper) one hundred and fifty pounds, and that gave him the name of ‘Copper Holmes.’ His Christian name was Thomas. Ay, Sir, his lawsuit with the City crippled him:[421] but I will say this for him, his Majesty had not a better subject than poor Copper.” While she uttered this declaration, both her eyes, which were seriously directed to her nose, were moistened with the tears of affectionate memory, which induced me to turn to my new acquaintance the waterman, and ask where he was buried? “In the Waterman’s churchyard, Sir, under the pump-pavement on the south side of St. Martin’s church.[422] Lord bless you! don’t you know the Waterman’s burying-ground? I could take you to the spot where fifty of us have been buried.” “What was his age?” “Sixty-six when he died.”

After parting with the widow, I requested the master of the ceremonies to allow his man to ferry me over to the King’s Head Stairs, Lambeth Marsh. “He shall,” said Charles Price; “and I’ll go with you, too.” The waggish, though youthful countenance of the lad employed to bring in our boat, revived the pleasure Mathews had afforded[270] me in his description of Joe Hatch,[423] and induced me to inquire after the waterman whose look, voice, and manner he had borrowed for that inimitable representation. “George Heath, you mean, Sir,” answered the boy; “Of Strand Lane,” observed Price; “Heath is his real name. Lord bless ye, he’s a good-hearted fellow! Why, I have often known him put his hand in his pocket and relieve a fellow-creature in distress.”

This mention of Hatch induced me to question Price as to the Halfpenny Hatch,[424] where Astley had first rode,[425][271] before he took the ground at the foot of Westminster Bridge, on which the present Amphitheatre stands. Before Price could answer, as we had made the shore, “You will find the Halfpenny Hatch (for it still remains, though in a very ramshackled state) at the back of St. John’s Church, Waterloo Road, at the end of Neptune Place,” I was told upon my landing by a little chubby, shining, red-faced woman, in what was formerly called a mob-cap. Thither I went, and to my great surprise found the Halfpenny Hatch in a dell, by reason of the earth being raised for the pavement of the adjacent streets.[426] Field was the name of the person who occupied the house; and, only a few years ago, money was received for the accommodation of the public who chose to go through the hatch. It was built subsequent to the year 1771, by Curtis, the famous botanist,[427] whose name it[272] still retains; but the original Hatch-house, Mrs. Field informed me, was still standing at the back of the present one.

The ground belonging to the Halfpenny Hatch was freehold, of about seven acres, and sold by the Curtis family to Messrs. Basing, Atkins, and Field, for the sum of £3500. They disposed of it in about six months afterwards to Mr. Roupell, the present owner, for the sum of £8000.[428] Being determined to take a sketch of the remains of this vine-mantled Halfpenny Hatch, I took water at Strand Lane Stairs[429] on the following evening, where I found George Heath busily engaged in his boat. Upon seeing a poor chimney-sweeper who descended the steps with me, he stood up and cried out, “I tell you what,[273] Sir Cloudesley Shovel, although you are a miller, depend upon it, I’ll dust your jacket for the injury you have done my vessel.” A ferryman observed, “His wife was gone to take a walk up Highgate Hill.” “A strainer,” observed George Heath. During the time occupied in sketching, William Field, who lives in the Hatch, pointed out part of the gate which had received a bullet, supposed to have been aimed by some scoundrel at the elder Mr. Curtis, who providentially escaped, though the ball, which came from a considerable distance, passed only a few inches above his head.


On the 25th of July, 1829, being on my way to the great Sanctuary, my pleasure was inconceivable upon observing that the intended repairs of Whitehall Chapel had commenced. The scaffolding was erected before its street-front, and the masons had begun their restorations at the south corner, strictly according with the fast decaying original.[430] “Well,” said I to my respected friend, Mr. Henry Smedley, whose house I had entered just as the chimes of the venerable Abbey and St. Margaret’s had agreed to complete their quarters for nine, “I am delighted to find that Inigo’s beautiful front of Whitehall is in so fair a way of recovery.”[431]

Bonington’s drawings, held at a respectful distance from the butter-dish, were the next topic of conversation.[432][274] “I agree with you,” observed my friend, “they are invaluable; even his slightest pencil-touches are treasures. I have shown you the studies from the figures which surround Lord Norris’s monument in the Abbey; have they not all the spirit of Vandyke?[433] Ay, that drawing of the old buildings seems to be your favourite; what a snug effect, and how sweetly it is coloured!—there never was a sale of modern art so well attended.”

After taking boat at the Horse Ferry for Vauxhall,—for the reader must be informed that Mr. Smedley and myself had an engagement to pass the day with Mr. William Esdaile, on Clapham Common,[434]—I asked the waterman[275] some questions as to “Copper Holmes.” He could not speak correctly as to the time of his death, but said that he had been much reduced by the lawsuit he had with the City about his barge. “Yes, that I know,” said I; “and it certainly was a nuisance on the banks of the Thames, and also an encroachment upon the City’s rights and privileges.”

On arriving at Mr. Esdaile’s gate, Mr. Smedley remarked that this was one of the few commons near London which had not been enclosed.[435] The house had one of those plain fronts which indicated little, but upon ascending the steps I was struck with a similar sensation to those of the previous season, when first I entered this hospitable mansion. If I were to suffer myself to utter anything like an ungrateful remark, it would be that the visitor, immediately he enters the hall, is presented with too much at once, for he knows not which to admire first, the choice display of[276] pictures which decorate the hall, or the equally artful and delightful manner in which the park-like grounds so luxuriantly burst upon his sight. Mr. Esdaile entered the library during our admiration of its taste of design and truly pleasing effect.

The walls are painted with a subdued red, a colour considered by most artists best calculated to relieve pictures, particularly those with broad gold frames. The first picture which attracted our notice was the upper one of two upon the easel nearest the window. The subject is a Virgin and Child, attributed to Albert Dürer, though I must own the style is so elegantly sweet, with so little of the German manner, that I should have considered it the work of a high Italian master. The upper one of the two pictures on the correspondent easel near the bookcase, is from the exquisite pencil of Adrian Ostade; it was the property of Monsieur de Calonne,[436] at whose auction Mr. Esdaile purchased it when he became a collector of pictures.

It would be highly presumptuous in me to attempt to describe the pictures from so cursory a view. Suffice it to say, they are chiefly of the first class; and I cannot charge the possessor with an indifferent specimen. Wilson and[277] Gainsborough were honoured with two of the best places in this room, which commands a most beautiful view of the grounds. In passing to the best staircase, our eyes were attracted by the works of Rubens, Ruysdael, Salvator Rosa, etc. I was highly gratified with the standing of the colours of one of the rich landscapes from the easel of my old and worthy friend, George Arnald, A.R.A. This picture was originally purchased by my revered patron, Richard Wyatt, of Milton Place, Egham, at whose sale Mr. Esdaile bought it. Two sumptuously rich and large dishes of Oriental china, with their stands, occupy the corners of the staircase, which leads to several chambers; the walls of the left-hand one of which are adorned with drawings, framed and glazed, by Cipriani and Bartolozzi; but more particularly with several architectural ruins by Clerisseau, in his finest manner. On the north side of this room stands a magnificent japan glazed case, which contains specimens of the Raphael ware and Oriental porcelain, with two richly adorned alcoves, with figures of Gibbon the historian, and his niece, manufactured at Dresden.

In Mr. Esdaile’s bedroom are other specimens of curious porcelain, of egg-shell plates, cups and covers of the dragon with five claws, and two exquisite black and mother-o’-pearl flower-pots, from the collection of the Duchess-Dowager of Portland. On the top of a curiously wrought cabinet, in the drawing-room below stairs, stand three dark rich blue vases of Sèvres, and two vases of deep blue, embossed with gold leaves, from the Chelsea manufactory. These articles, with a curious figure of Harlequin set in precious stones, the body of which is formed of an immense pearl, were purchased by Mr. Esdaile at the sale of her late gracious Majesty Queen Charlotte. The lower parts of the japan case in the upper room are filled with drawings;[278] so are two other cases which stand on the western side of the room, made purposely for their reception.

The first drawings of our repast this day (for it would take twenty to see the whole) were those by the inimitable hand of Rembrandt, many of which were remarkably fine, one particularly so, of a man seated on a stile near some trees, which appear to have been miserably affected by a recent storm. This drawing is slight, and similar in manner to the artist’s etching, called by some collectors the “Mustard Print.” One of the drawings with landscapes on both sides is remarkably curious, as they are drawn with what is called “the Metallic Pen”; it is certainly the first specimen of the kind I have seen. The Ostade drawings were our next treat, two of which the artist etched; one is the long print of a merry-making on the outside of an alehouse, penned and washed; the other is of the backgammon-players, completely finished in water-colours. At this time the servant announced nooning; after which Mr. Smedley requested to see Hogarth’s prints, in order to report to Mr. Standly[437] the rarities in Mr. Esdaile’s collection. In this, however, we were disappointed, as it did not contain any which that gentleman did not possess.

On our return to Mr. Esdaile’s room, we were indulged with several of Hogarth’s drawings. A volume containing numerous drawings by Wilson was then placed on the table. “Bless me,” said I, “here is the portrait of my great-uncle, Tom of Ten Thousand.”[438] This is the identical drawing thus described by Edwards:—“It may, however,[279] be asserted, that he drew a head equal to any of the portrait-painters of his time. A specimen of which may be seen by a drawing, now in the possession of J. Richards, Esq., R.A.,[439] which is the portrait of Admiral Smith, and which was drawn before Wilson went abroad. It is executed in black and white chalk, as large as life, upon brown French paper, and is treated in a bold, masterly manner; but this is not a work which can authorise the critic to consider him as superior to the other portrait-painters of his day.”[440]

This drawing was made by Wilson, before he commenced the picture which I am now in possession of, so well engraved in mezzotinto by Faber. Of these inestimable drawings, which are mostly in black chalk, stumped, perhaps the most interesting are those for Celadon and Amelia, and the Niobe. Valuable and truly epic as these specimens certainly are, I must say, for my own part, I should give the preference to the book containing those by Gainsborough, of rustic scenery. I had seen many of them before, in the possession of the artist, Colonel Hamilton, Mr. Nassau, and Mr. Lambert. Two that were possessed by the latter, are stamped with Gainsborough’s initials in gold.

Dr. Richardson,[441] Mr. Esdaile’s son-in-law, having arrived, and dinner being announced, we gave up these[280] fascinating sources of pleasure, for that which would enable us to enjoy them another day.

The Doctor, with his accustomed elegance of manners, delighted us during our repast with some most interesting observations made during his travels; after which, Flora invited us to the garden, where Mr. Esdaile had, with his usual liberality, allowed her to display some of her most rare as well as picturesque sweets. On our return from the enchanting circuit of the grounds, our general conversation was on the pleasures we had received; and, indeed, so delighted were we with the entertainment of the day, that we talked of little else till our arrival at Westminster Bridge.



Beautiful and truly valuable as Mr. Esdaile’s drawings unquestionably are, it would not only be considered an impeachment upon my judgment, but a conviction of the deepest injustice towards that wonderful collection so classically formed by Sir Thomas Lawrence, were I not unequivocally to state, that this latter is by far the most choice, as well as extensive, of any I have yet seen or heard of, and perhaps it may be stated with equal truth, ever formed. What catalogue can boast so formidably of Michael Angelo, Raphael, Claude, Rubens, and Rembrandt?[442] Surely none; for I have seen those of Sir Peter Lely, the Duke of Argyle, and Hudson,[443] at[281] the last of whose sales the immortal Sir Joshua employed me as one of his bidders, his pupil Mr. Score[444] was another. It would be assuming too much, to attempt a description of the individual and high importance of the productions of all the four above-mentioned masters, possessed by the liberal President.

As prospective pleasures are seldom realised, a truth many of my readers must acknowledge, and being determined never to colour a picture at once, but to await the natural course of events,[445] I on the 3rd of August started with my wife for Hampton Court, not only to see the present state of that palace, but to notice the sort of porcelain remaining there, without fixing upon any further plan for the completion of the day’s amusement.

King William III., who took every opportunity of[282] rendering these apartments as pleasing to him as those he had left in the house in the Wood, introduced nothing by way of porcelain, beyond that of delf, and on that ware, in many instances, his Majesty had W. R., surmounted by the crown of England, painted on the fronts. Of the various specimens of this clumsy blue and white delf, displayed in the numerous rooms of this once magnificent palace, the pride of Wolsey and splendour of Henry VIII., the eight large pots for the reception of King William III.’s orange-trees, now standing in her Majesty’s gallery, certainly have claims to future protection. As for the old and ragged bed-furniture, it is so disgraceful to a palace, that, antiquary as I in some degree consider myself, I most heartily wish it in Petticoat Lane. In passing through the rooms, I missed the fine whole-length picture of Admiral Nottingham,[446] and also the thirty-four portraits of the Admirals. The guide informed me that they were presented by our present King, William IV., to the Painted Hall at Greenwich. “A noble gift,” said I, “but where can they put them up?” In order to take some refreshment, we entered the parlour of the “Canteen,” that being the sign of the suttling-house of the Palace. During our stay,[283] Legat’s[447] fine engraving from Northcote’s forcibly effective picture of the “Death of the Princes in the Tower,” which honoured the room, caught the attention of one of two other visitors to the Palace. “Bless me,” said he, “are those brutes going to smother those sweet babes? Why, they are as beautiful as the Lichfield children.”[448] The observation was not made to me, and as the subject has been too often mentioned, I shall forbear saying more about it.

As my wife and I were strolling on, in order to secure places for our return to London in the evening, I ventured to pull the bell at Garrick’s Villa, and asked for permission to see the temple in which Roubiliac’s figure of Shakspeare had originally been placed.[449] Mr. Carr, the present proprietor of the estate, received us with the greatest politeness. Upon expressing a hope that my love for the fine arts would plead my apology for the intrusion, he assured me it would afford him no small pleasure to walk with us to the lawn. “Do sit down, for a tremendous storm appears to be coming on; we must wait a little.” His lady, of most elegant manners, at this moment entered the room and cordially joined in her husband’s wishes to gratify our curiosity, observing that, if we pleased, she would show us the house. This offer was made in so delightful a manner, that we were truly sensible of the indulgence.

Upon returning to a small room which we had passed through from the hall, “Ah! ah!” said I, “you are[284] curious in porcelain, I see,—the crackle. What fine Dresden! I declare here is a figure of Kitty Clive, as the Fine Lady in Lethe, from the Chelsea manufactory.”[450] There is an engraving of this by Moseley, with the landscape background etched by Gainsborough. This figure of Mrs. Clive, which was something less than a foot in height, was perfectly white, and one of a set of celebrated characters, viz., John Wilkes; David Garrick, in Richard the Third; Quin, in Falstaff; Woodward, in the Fine Gentleman; the Duke of Cumberland, etc. Most of these were characteristically coloured, and are now and then to be met with.[451]

“How you enjoy these things!” observed Mrs. Carr. “This is the drawing-room; the decorated paper is just as it was in Mr. Garrick’s time; indeed, we have had nothing altered in the house. I never enter this room without regretting the enormous expense we were obliged to incur, in taking down a great portion of the roof, owing to a very great neglect in the repairs of the house during Mrs. Garrick’s time. Fortunately it was discovered just as we took possession of the premises, or the consequences might have been fatal.” “Your grounds are beautiful,” observed my wife. “Yes,” said Mrs. Carr, “and[285] several of the trees were planted by Mrs. Garrick; that mulberry-tree was a sucker from Shakspeare’s tree at Stratford; that tulip-tree was one of her planting, and so was the cedar. Now you shall see our best bed-room.” The end of this room which contains the bed is divided from the larger portion by a curtain suspended across the ceiling, which gives it the appearance of a distinct drawing-room, for the comfort of a visitor, if indisposed. “We will now go to Mr. and Mrs. Garrick’s bed-room.” Notwithstanding the lowness of the ceiling, the room still carries an air of great comfort. Here we were again gratified with a display of some choice specimens of Oriental porcelain.

We then descended to the dining-room, in which were portraits of the Tracy family. On one side of the chimneypiece hangs a half-length picture of Mrs. Garrick, holding a mask in her right hand. This was painted by Zoffany,[452] before her marriage, who was one of her admirers; over the sideboard hangs a portrait of Tom Davies, the author of the Life of Garrick, who had been his steadfast friend.[453] We then returned to the bow-room, in which we were first received; from thence we entered the library, and were then shown Mr. Garrick’s dressing-table. On our return to the bow-room, I asked Mr. Carr in what part of the house Hogarth’s Election pictures had hung. “In this,” said he; “one on either side of the fireplace.”[454]


The rain still continuing, our amiable shelterers insisted on our staying dinner, as it was impossible to see the Temple in such a storm. We accepted this hospitable invitation; and in the course of conversation Mrs. Carr assured us that we were not only seated upon the sofa frequently occupied by Dr. Johnson, but also the identical cover. “Now, Mrs. Smith, I will show you my Garrick jewels, which Mr. Carr, in consequence of a disappointment I received, by their not being left to me by will, according to Mrs. Garrick’s repeated promises, most liberally purchased for me at the price fixed upon them by Messrs. Rundell and Bridge; for I must inform you that the intimacy of my family with Mrs. Garrick was of thirty years’ standing, and that lady and I were inseparable.” The first treasure produced was a miniature of Mr. Garrick, set in brilliants; the second, a rich bracelet of pearls, containing the hair of Mr. and Mrs. Garrick. Mrs. Carr politely presented my wife and myself with impressions of a profile of Mr. Garrick, contemplating the features of Shakspeare.

After dinner was announced, and in the course of taking our wine, I thanked our worthy hosts for their hospitality. “This house,” said Mr. Carr, “was ever famous for it. Dr. Johnson has frequently knocked up Mr. and Mrs. Garrick at a very late hour, and would never go to bed without a supper.”[455] I asked his opinion as[287] to the truth of the anecdote related by Lee Lewis concerning Mrs. Garrick’s marriage. “There certainly is,” he replied, “a mystery as to who her father was.” Mrs. Carr observed that, after Mrs. Garrick had read Lewis’s assertions, she, with her usual vivacity, exclaimed, “He is a great liar; Lord Burlington was not my father, but I am of noble birth.”

“Is it true,” I asked, “that Lord Burlington gave Mr. Garrick £10,000 to marry her?”

“No, nor did Mrs. Garrick ever receive a sum of money from Lord Burlington: she had only the interest of £6000, and that she was paid by the late Duke of Devonshire.”[456]


The rain now subsided; and as we passed through the passage cut under the road, Mrs. Carr stopped where Mrs. Garrick had frequently stood, while she related the following anecdote. ‘Capability Brown,’[457] was consulted[289] as to the communication of these grounds with those by the water. Mr. Garrick had an idea of having a bridge to pass over the road, similar to the one at Pain’s Hill;[458] but this was objected to by Capability Brown, who proposed to have a tunnel cut. Mr. Garrick at first did not like that idea; but Dr. Johnson observed, “David! David! what can’t be over-done may be under-done.”[459]

As we entered the Temple, instead of seeing a vacant recess, we were agreeably surprised to find that the present owner had occupied it by a cast of Roubiliac’s statue of Shakspeare, most carefully taken by Mr. Garrard,[460] similar to the one with which he furnished the late Mr.[290] Whitbread for the hall of Drury Lane Theatre. On our return to the villa, we were shown a small statue of Mr. Garrick, in the character of Roscius; but by whom it was modelled I was not able to learn. The following inscription was placed under the plinth:—“This figure of Garrick was given to Mr. Garrard, A.R.A., by his widow, and is now respectfully presented to Mrs. Carr, to be placed in Garrick’s Villa, July 14, 1825.”

In the bow-room, in which we again were seated, is a portrait of Mr. Hanbury Williams, and also two drawings of Mr. and Mrs. Garrick, by Dance, of which there are lithographic engravings by Mrs. Solly, the daughter of the Rev. Mr. Racket, with impressions of which that lady honoured me for my wife’s illustrated copy of the Life of Dr. Johnson. Mrs. Solly also favoured me with a sight of a pair of elegant garnet bracelets, which had been left to her by Mrs. Garrick. The bell, Nollekens’s old friend, announced the arrival of the stage, and we took our departure.

On the following morning, taking advantage of the Museum vacation allowed to officers of that establishment, and feeling an inquisitive inclination to know in what way the portraits of the admirals had been disposed of in Greenwich Hospital, I went thither, where I found a display of great taste in the distribution of the pictures which adorn the Painted Hall of that national and glorious institution. Many of my readers will recollect that in second editions of works errors are usually corrected. Such, I understand, has been the case in the hanging of the pictures in this splendid gallery; for, in the first instance, numerous small and also indifferent subjects were hung at the top of the room, and the spectator was told that this arrangement was merely to produce uniformity,[291] until a period arrived when larger and better productions could occupy their places. The liberality of King William IV., who gave no fewer than fifty-five pictures, in addition to the very valuable presents made by the Governors of the British Institution, enabled Mr. Seguier, keeper of the royal collection, to display his best taste in the re-arrangement.

All the small pictures have been taken away, and a most judicious display of whole-length portraits, the size of life, occupy their spaces. Modern artists must not only be pleased with the truly liberal manner in which their works are here exhibited, but will rejoice in having an opportunity of retouching and improving their pictures, from the manner in which the light falls upon them—an advantage always embraced in large edifices by the old masters, but perhaps more particularly by Rubens, who, it is well known, worked upon his performances after they had been elevated to their respective destinations. I must own, without a wish to cast the least reflection upon the works of other modern artists displayed in this gallery, that the noble picture of the Battle of Trafalgar, painted by Arnald, the Associate of the Royal Academy, at the expense of the Governors of the British Institution, at present arrests most powerfully the attention.

As I was admiring the dignity of the Hampton Court admirals, who never appeared to such advantage, a well-known voice whispered over my shoulder, “You are not aware, perhaps, that Vandevelde painted the sea-distances in those pictures?” “No,” answered I; “that is a very interesting fact;” adding that “I could not believe Kneller to have been the painter of all the heads.” Mr. Seguier rejoined, “Dahl, in my opinion, painted some of[292] them.”[461] In the course of conversation he gave me no small pleasure by observing that he had read my work of Nollekens and his Times.—“I can answer as to the truth of nine-tenths of what you have asserted,” said he, “having known the parties well.”

Upon leaving this interesting gallery, a pleasing thought struck me, that if a volume of naval history, commencing with the early ballads in the Pepysian Library, and ending with the delightful compositions of Dibdin, were printed, and given to every collier’s apprentice as a reward for his good behaviour, it might create in him that spirit of emulation which, when drafted from his vessel, would induce him to defend the long-famed wooden walls of Old England most undauntedly. Humble as the versification of these our old ballads may justly be considered, yet I have frequently seen the tear of gratitude follow the melody of Incledon while singing the song of “Admiral Benbow.”[462]


“He found a voice for the British sailor.”

Tom Taylor


“What, upon the old trot, Master?” observed a funny-mover,[463] as I descended the rotten old stairs of Hungerford Market. “Will you make one with us? I know you don’t mind where you steer.” We had hardly made Chelsea Reach, when one of our crew noticed a foundered freshman, who had most ingeniously piloted himself into a cluster of osiers, in order to adjust his cravat, as a lady in our boat was to meet him that evening in Vauxhall Gardens. Our steersman, who was fond of a bit of fun, thus assailed him, “I say, Maty, why you’re water-logged there; you put me in mind of the Methodist parson who ran adrift last Saturday nearly in the same place: he made a pretty good thing of it.” “Ay,” observed a dry old fresh-water passenger in our boat, “I saw the fellow; and when the Battersea gardeners[464] quizzed him, he attempted to stand[294] up like a poplar; but the wind operating upon his head, it hung like a bulrush. However, when he was seated, instead of advising them to make ready for simpling-time, or bespattering them with low language, he exercised his pulpit volubility in favour of vegetables, declaring that for years he had lived upon them, and insisted that every young person of every climate should eat nothing else, strengthening this opinion with the following quotation from Jeremy Taylor, who declared that ‘a dish of lettuce and a clear fountain would cool all his heats.’ After this he most strenuously advised them to ask more money for their pecked fruit than they had been accustomed to receive, observing, that they should keep Shakspeare’s caution in mind, ‘Beware all fruit but what the birds have pecked.’[465] At the close of his address, a descendant of old Mother Bagley, called ‘The King of Spades,’ proposed to his men not only to join him in all their coppers, but to fresh-water the poor fellow’s boat, for which he thanked them, and declared that he was almost ready to float in his own perspiration; but that he, like Sterne’s[466] ‘Starling,’ could not get out. The Mortlake boys soon gave him three cheers, and away he scuttled like an eel towards Limehouse Hole, sticking as close to his boat as a toad to the head of a carp.”

At this the lady simpered. “Bless your heart, fair one,” observed the narrator, addressing the lady who was destined for Vauxhall Gardens, “you never saw such a skeleton as this vegetable-eater. As for his complexion, it was for all the world like—what shall I say?”

“Perhaps a Queen Anne’s guinea,” observed our[295] waterman, “that they used to let into the bottom of punch-ladles”—many of which were frequently to be seen in the pawnbrokers’ windows in Wapping.

“As for his voice during his preaching,” rejoined our entertaining companion, “no lamb’s could be more innocent.”

As we were tacking about, the wind standing fair to drop the lady at Vauxhall-stairs, our old weathergage, the waterman, who reminded me of Copper Holmes, thus addressed a lopped Chelsea Pensioner:—“I say, old Granby,[467] people say that he who loves fighting is much more the sexton’s friend than his own.” “Ay, Master Smelter,” answered the corporal, “we are all alive here, and, like the Greenwich boys, willing to fight again; Old England for ever!”

I then requested the waterman to put me on shore, in order to visit Chelsea College, purposely to see what had been done with my friend Ward’s allegorical picture of the Triumph of the Duke of Wellington. The Right Hon. Noblemen and Gentlemen, Governors of the British Institution, wishing to perpetuate the memory of the noble victory on the plains of Waterloo, they, with their accustomed liberality to the fine arts, commissioned James Ward, Esq., R.A., to paint an allegorical picture worthy a place in the Hall of that glorious establishment, Chelsea Hospital. Having heard that Mr. Ward’s picture had been hung up, I went thither, but, to my utter astonishment, found it not only suspended without a frame (just as a showman in a fair would put out his large canvas to display “the true[296] and lively portraiture” of a giant, the Pig-faced Lady, or the Fire-eater), but with its lower part projecting over a gallery, just like the lid of a kitchen salt-box; so that the upper and greater half, being on an inclined plane, had copiously received the dust, and doubtless, if it be allowed to accumulate, the Duke’s scarlet coat will undergo a brick-dust change, and his cream-coloured horses become the dirtiest of all the drabs.

If this picture be considered worth preserving, why expose it so shamefully to injury by suffering it to hang as it does? If, on the contrary, why not at once consign it to the waters of oblivion, by casting it into Chelsea Reach? Mr. Ward’s superior talents have been in numerous instances acknowledged by some of the best judges.

Descending Villiers Street on one of my peregrination mornings, a tremendous storm obliged me to request shelter of Mrs. Scott, the wife of the present keeper of York Terrace, and successor of Hugh Hewson, a man who declared himself to be the genuine character famed by Dr. Smollett in The Adventures of Roderick Random, under the appellation of Hugh Strap.[468] Here I met with[297] a young man whose father had attended Hewson’s funeral, who informed me that Hugh had been frequently known to amuse the ambulators of that walk by recapitulating the enterprising events which had taken place during his travels with the Doctor. Hugh, who had for years followed the trade of a hairdresser, was buried in St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields, and his funeral was attended by three generations.

On my way towards Hungerford Stairs, my organ of inquisitiveness was arrested by two carvings in stone, of a wheatsheaf and sickles, let into either side of the north-end houses in the alley leading to the “The Swan.” A waterman informed me that the south portion of Hungerford Market was originally allotted for the sale of corn, but I have since learned that that device is the crest of the Hungerford family. “Pray now,” said I to my oracle, “do enumerate the signs of Swans remaining on the banks of the Thames, between London and Battersea Bridges.” “Why, let me see, Master, there’s the Old Swan at London Bridge, that’s one;—there’s the Swan in Arundel Street, two;—then ours here, three;—the Swan at Lambeth, that’s down, though;—well then, the Old Swan at Chelsea, but that has long been turned into a brewhouse, though that was where our people rowed to formerly, as mentioned[298] in Doggett’s Will; now they row to the sign of the New Swan beyond the Physic Garden; we’ll say that’s four;—then there’s the two Swan signs at Battersea, six.”[469]

Next evening, away I trudged to take water with George Heath (Mathews’s Joe Hatch) at Strand Lane. “I find the Swan to be your usual sign up the river,” said I.

“Why, yes,” replied George; “I don’t know what a coach, or a waggon and horses, or the high-mettled racer have to do with our river. Bells now, bells, we might have bells, because the Thames is so famous for bells.” Bless me, thought I, how delighted would my old friend Nollekens have been, had he heard this remark!


“You like bells, then, Master Heath?”

“Oh yes! I was a famous ringer in my youth, at St. Mary Overies. They are beautiful bells; but of all the bells give me Fulham; oh, they are so soft, so sweet![470][299] St. Margaret’s are fine bells; so are St. Martin’s; but after all, Fulham for my money, I say. I forget where you said I was to take you to, Master?”

“Row me to Hungerford,” said I.

Here I alighted, and then went round to Wood’s coal-wharf, at the foot of Northumberland Street,[471] where the said Mr. Wood dwells in the very house in which Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey resided, who was strangled in Somerset House.[472] Sir Edmund Berry was a woodmonger, and became[300] the court justice. In this appointment he was so active, that during the time of the Great Plague, 1665, which continued to rage in 1666, upon the refusal of his men to enter a pest-house, to bring out a culprit who had furnished a thousand shops with at least a thousand winding-sheets stolen from the dead, he ventured in alone, and brought the wretch to justice. In Evelyn’s interesting work on medals, the reader will find that four were struck, commemorative of Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey’s death; and in addition to the elaborately engraved portraits noticed by Granger, he will also find an original picture of him in the waiting-room adjoining the vestry of St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields, where he was interred, and his funeral sermon preached by Dr. Lloyd.[473]

In a little work published in 1658, entitled The Two Grand Ingrossers of Coals, viz. the Woodmonger and the Chandler,[474] the reader will find the subtle practices of the coal-vendors shortly after that article was in pretty general use.


It is curious to observe how fond Horace Walpole, and indeed all his followers, have been of attributing the earliest encouragement of the fine arts in England to King Charles I. That is not the fact; nor is that Monarch entitled, munificent as he was, to that degree of praise which biographers have thought proper to attribute to him as a liberal patron; and this I shall immediately prove. King Henry VIII. was the first English Sovereign who encouraged painting, in consequence of Erasmus introducing Hans Holbein to Sir Thomas More, who showed his Majesty specimens of that artist’s rare productions. Upon this the king most liberally invited him to Whitehall, where he gave him extensive employment, not only in decorating the panels and walls of that palace with portraits of the Tudors, as large as life, but with easel pictures of the various branches of his family and courtiers, to be placed over doors and other spaces of the state chambers.

Holbein may be recorded as the earliest painter of portraits in miniature, which were mostly circular, and all those which I have seen were relieved by blue backgrounds. He was also the designer and draughtsman of numerous subjects for the use of the court jewellers, as may be seen in a most curious volume preserved in the print-room of the British Museum, many of which are beautifully coloured. Holbein must have been a most indefatigable artist, for he was not only employed to paint that fine picture of King Henry granting the charter to the Barber-Surgeons,[475][302] now to be seen in Barbers’ Hall, Monkwell Street,[476] that in Bridewell of King Edward VI. granting the charter to the citizens of London,[477] but numerous portraits for the Howards, and other noble families; indeed, the quantity of engravings from the burin of Hollar and other artists, from Holbein’s works, prove that painter to have been just as extensively employed as Vandyke.


“He was esteemed the best Justice of Peace in England.”


King Charles I., it is stated, became possessed of numerous portraits drawn by Holbein, of several personages of the crown and court of King Henry VIII., from characters high in office, to Mother Jack,[478], considered to have been the nickname of Mrs. Jackson, the nurse of Prince Edward. These interesting drawings, it is said, the King parted with for a picture; but how they again became the property of the Crown, I am uninformed. However, true it is that they were discovered in Kensington[303] Palace, and taken from their frames and bound in two volumes. During Mr. Dalton’s[479] librarianship he etched many of them in his coarse and hurried manner. Since then Mr. Chamberlaine,[480] his successor, employed Mr. Metz[481] to engrave one or two as specimens of an intended work, but Mr. Bartolozzi’s manner being considered more likely to sell, that artist was engaged to produce the present plates, which certainly are far from being facsimiles of Holbein’s drawings, which I have seen. Many of this master’s invaluable pictures are engraved and published in the work entitled Portraits of Illustrious Personages of Great Britain; accompanied by the biographical lucubrations of Edmund Lodge, Esq.[482]

The liberality of the brothers Paul and Thomas Sandby, Royal Academicians, will be remembered by every person who had the pleasure of being acquainted with them; but more particularly by those who benefited by their disinterested communications and cheering encouragement in their art. For my own part, I shall ever consider myself indebted to them for a knowledge of lineal perspective.[304] By their indefatigable industry, the architecture of many of the ancient seats of our nobility and gentry will be perpetuated; and I may say, but for the very accurate and elaborate drawings taken by Paul from Old Somerset House gardens, exhibiting views up and down the river, much of the Thames scenery must have been lost.[483] The view up the river exhibits the landing-stairs of Cuper’s Gardens, and that part of the old palace of Whitehall then inhabited by the Duchess of Portland, upon the site of which the houses of that patron of the arts, Lord Farnborough,[484] and other noblemen and gentlemen, have recently been erected. The one down the river displays an uninterrupted view of the buildings on either side to London Bridge, upon which the houses are seen, by reason of Blackfriars Bridge not then being erected. These drawings are in water-colours, and are preserved in the thirteenth volume of Pennant’s interesting account of London, magnificently illustrated, and bequeathed to the print-room of the British Museum by the late John Charles Crowle, Esq.[485]


Should my reader’s boat ever stop at York Watergate,[486] let me request him to look up at the three upper balconied windows of that mass of building on the south-west corner of Buckingham Street. Those, and the two adjoining Westminster, give light to chambers occupied by that truly epic historical painter, and most excellent man, Etty, the Royal Academician, who has fitted up the balconied room with engravings after pictures of the three great masters, Raphael, Nicholas Poussin, and Rubens.

The other two windows illumine his painting-room, in which his mind and colours resplendently shine, even in the face of one of the grandest scenes in Nature, our river Thames and city edifices, with a most luxuriant and extensive face of a distant country, the beauties of which he most liberally delights in showing to his friends from the leads of his apartments, which, in my opinion, exhibit the finest point of view of all others for a panorama. The rooms immediately below Mr. Etty’s[487] are[306] occupied by Mr. Lloyd, a gentleman whose general knowledge in the graphic art, I and many more look up to with the profoundest respect. The chambers beneath Mr. Lloyd’s are inhabited by Mr. Stanfield,[488] the landscape-painter, whose clear representations of Nature’s tones have raised the scenic decorations of Drury Lane Theatre to that pinnacle of excellence never until his time attained, notwithstanding the productions of Lambert, Richards, nay, even Loutherbourg. Mr. Stanfield’s easel pictures adorn the cabinets of some of our first collectors, and are, like those of Callcott, Constable, Turner, Collins, and Arnald, much admired by the now numerous publishers of little works, who unquestionably produce specimens of the powers of England’s engravers, which immeasurably out-distance the efforts of all other countries.

However, although I am willing to pass the highest encomiums on the landscape-engraver for his Liliputian labours, I am much afraid, in the course of time, we shall have productions smaller still; and that the diminutive size of a watch-paper, measuring precisely in diameter one inch, two-eighths, and one-sixteenth, will be the noblest extent of their labours. To men of their talent (and there are several among these pigmy burinists), I will venture, now I am upon the silver streams of noble Father Thames, to lead their attention to Woollett’s Fishery,[307] but more particularly to West’s La Hogue, and then let them ask themselves this question: Would it not redound more to our glory to be master of equal excellence in the grand style in which those works are produced, than to contribute too long to the illustrations of scrapbooks only? Yes, gentlemen, I think you would say so. Let me endeavour, then, to arrest your gravers from this blinding of the public, by reducing your works to so deplorable a nicety, that by-and-by you will find yourselves totally blind. Why not, as talent is not wanting, prove to the collectors that England has more Woolletts than one? It is true there are several at present engaged in engraving plates from the fine old pictures in the National Gallery, who have my cordial good wishes for their success; yet I trust that, after that task is at an end, they will, with a considerable augmentation to their numbers, pay a becoming respect so justly due to modern painters of their own country, whose works in historical subjects, as well as portraits and landscape, extinguish unquestionably those of foreign powers; and I may say, with equal truth, equal most of those of the old schools. Such a publication, however successful their present one may be, I can answer for it would be patronised by the noblemen and gentlemen of England with redoubled liberality, and in such tasks the engravers will have the opportunity of producing finer things by the more powerful, and indeed inestimable advantage of having their progressive proofs touched upon by the painters themselves.

“Pull away, my hearty” (for I was again in a boat).—“To Westminster, Master?”—“Ay, to Westminster.”

Being now in view of the extensive yards which for ages have been occupied by stone and marble merchants, “Ay,” said I, “if these wharfs could speak, they, no[308] doubt, like the Fly, would boast of their noble works. Was it not from our blocks that Roubiliac carved his figures of Newton, the pride of Cambridge, and that of Eloquence, in Westminster Abbey; Bacon’s figure of Mars, now in Lord Yarborough’s possession; Rossi’s Celadon and Amelia, and Flaxman’s mighty figure of Satan, in the Earl of Egremont’s gallery at Petworth; as well as three-fourths of Nollekens’s numerous busts, which, according to whisperings, have only been equalled by Chantrey? And then, has not our Carrara been conveyed to the studios of Westmacott and Baily?[489]


“This little man cuts us all out in sculpture.”



After the truly interesting information the print-collectors have received from the pen of Mr. Ottley,[490] a gentleman better qualified than any I know to speak on works of art, more particularly those of the ancient schools of Italy, it would be the highest audacity in me to offer my own observations, however conversant my friends are pleased to consider me on those subjects. All I shall therefore now add to Mr. Ottley’s valuable stock of knowledge are the following circumstances, which occurred respecting that beautiful impression in sulphur, taken from a pax, engraved by Tomaso Finiguerra, before the said impression was so liberally purchased by the Duke of Buckingham, who has most cheerfully afforded it an asylum at Stowe. It has been for many years in the Print-Room of the British Museum.[491]

Mr. Stewart favoured me, at my earnest request, with the following statement of the fortunate manner in which[310] he secured this unique and inestimable production as a treasure for England.

“The sulphur cast, from the celebrated pax of ’Maso Finiguerra, came into my hands in the following manner:—The Cavalier Seratti, in whose valuable collection it originally existed, was captured in going from Cagliari to Leghorn, and carried to Tunis, where he resided, I believe, for one or two years; but, dying in captivity, the Dey of Tunis took possession of the whole of his property. Such part of it as was not of any intrinsic value was sold to a party of Jews, who brought it over to Malta with a view of sending it to Great Britain for sale. This took place about the commencement of 1804. The property coming from Barbary was of course placed in the lazaretto. While there the plague broke out in the island, and it was a full year before the property was liberated. The Jews by this time had become apprehensive, owing to the numerous obstacles they had encountered in the realisation of their projects; and my friend the Abbate Bellanti, librarian to the Government Library, with a view to retain the collection in his native island, induced a Maltese merchant to make the Jews such an offer for the whole of the Seratti collection as they at last accepted. The merchant, however, retracted; and the abbot, after having made himself responsible for the bargain towards the Jews, found himself in an unpleasant predicament. In this dilemma he applied to me, and I readily engaged to fulfil the agreement which the merchant had forfeited. The sulphur in question formed the object of a separate bargain. I paid the value of £15 for it. I was very unfortunate in the transmission of my collection to England, two ships having been cast away in the Channel in November, 1815, both[311] with a considerable portion of my property on board. I was more successful with the third portion, which arrived in 1816; in this was the sulphur cast. I never would have parted with it but for the above accident, whereby at that time I was much straitened in my circumstances.

“The sulphur I sold to Mr. Colnaghi for £150, which I thought a low price at the time for such an interesting and unique curiosity, indispensable for illustrating and fixing the date of the invention of the art of engraving (as it is now called). This sulphur, with the print preserved at Paris, and the pax of Finiguerra himself, preserved at Florence, together with the entry in the journal of the Goldsmiths’ Company, also preserved at Florence, showing the date of the completion of the pax to be 1452, form altogether an irrefragable chain of proof which must satisfy the most sceptical. By a memorandum in Seratti’s own handwriting, which is amongst my papers (but having been sent from Bombay to Liverpool, I have not yet got), it appears that he purchased the sulphur from a painter, who bought it with a heap of other trinkets at the stall of a petty dealer in Florence: and on acquiring it Seratti compared it with the pax itself, and ascertained it to be the genuine work of Finiguerra.

“I may add a few observations of my own, not altogether irrelevant to the subject.

“The silver vessel, or pax, generally enclosed some relic, and was kissed by the congregation or other individuals in token of devotion; and the Count Seratti mentions that the one of which this sulphur is in part a facsimile, is very much worn by this repeated act of devoutness. The word pax appears to be a corruption of pyxis, a box; and we have in Shakspeare a pyx of little value. The engraving was usually filled up with a metallic[312] mixture of a dark composition, which, being fused by the action of fire, became incorporated with the vessel itself. This process was called Niello, or Anniello, Niellare, or Anniellare; hence our anneal, the term probably derived from nigellum, or perhaps even from Mêl, the Indian term for black, and applied to indigo, by which name that dye was originally known in Europe, and it was probably used in the composition before alluded to. The term anniello, and the purpose to which these pyxes were applied, is further illustrative of a passage in Shakspeare, which I believe has hitherto puzzled commentators. It is this:—Hamlet accuses his uncle of having dispatched his father ‘unhousel’d, unanointed, unanneal’d;’ it alludes to the custom in Catholic countries of offering relics preserved in their pyxes to be kissed after extreme unction.

“I shall be happy to communicate any further particulars respecting this interesting vestige of art which may be required of me, in as far as I am able.

J. Stewart.

2nd May, 1829.


The glowing evening of the 16th of July added lustre to the enchanting grounds of William Atkinson, Esq. of Grove End, Paddington;[492] and perhaps, if I were to assert that few spots, if any, excel in the variety of its tasteful walks and unexpected recesses, I should not outstep the verge of truth.

The villa was designed by Mr. Atkinson, with his[313] usual attention to domestic comfort; the grounds were peculiarly manured under his direction, and the rarest trees and choicest plants he could procure from all the known parts of the globe were planted by his own hand, and that too in the course of the last twelve years. On the knolls the antiquary will find sculpture from Carthage; and in the silent trickling dells the mineralogist specimens of the varieties of English stone, imbedded in the most picturesque strata. The delightful surprise of the spectator is beyond belief, particularly on turning back to view his trodden path, when that sun which fired the mind of Claude sparkles among the gently waving branches from climes he may never visit. Upon my observing to Mrs. Atkinson that in this meandering retreat my mind would be instantly soothed, that lady then recalled to my recollection Allan Ramsay’s Gentle Shepherd, by repeating the following lines:

“How wholesome is’t to breathe the vernal air,
And all the sweets it bears, when void of care.”[493]

Here the Waltonian, too, will find a seat, and view the canal—

“Kissing with eddies soft the bordering grass.”

My thanks are here offered to my friend Mr. West,[494] late of Drury Lane Theatre, now a professor of music,[314] for the kind loan of an imperfect copy (which he met with at a stall) of a work of rarity, of which I have not been able to hear of another copy. It is not mentioned by Watt, and, what is more remarkable, the Rev. Hartwell Horne,[495] of the British Museum, never heard of it. It is a small quarto, bearing the following title:—


“London: printed, and to be sold by A. Baldwin, near the Oxford Arms, in Warwick Lane, 1702, where is to be had the first and second volume, or any single month, from January, 1701, to this time; price of each, one shilling.”[496]

Page 191 of the third volume affords the admirers of wax effigies the following information:—


Sir,—You having promised to give an account of the[315] curiosities of art, as well as the wonders of nature, I thought it would oblige the public to acquaint you that the effigies of his late Majesty, King William III., of glorious memory, is curiously done to the life in wax, dressed in coronation robe, with so majestic a mien that nothing seems wanting but life and motion, as persons of great honour upon the strictest view have with surprise declared. Likewise the effigies of several persons of quality, with a fine banquet, and other curiosities in every room, passing to and from the King’s apartment, are all to be seen at Mrs. Goldsmith’s, in Green Court, in the Old Jury, London.”

From the following flummery bespattered on this wax-worker by the editor of the Post Angel, I may, with the greatest probability, conclude that his substance was just as vulnerable as that of many of the hirelings who feed themselves by puffing what they denominate “the fine arts,” and that he had no objection to a dozen of port, had it been ever so crusted.

“The Observator” states that “the ingenuity of man hath found out several ways to imitate Nature, and represent natural bodies to the eye by sculpture, picture, carving, waxwork, etc.; and though some of the ancients were famed for this art, as Zeuxis and Apelles, yet our last ages have outstripped them, and made considerable improvements, as may be easily discernible to those who are skilled in antiquities, and have observed the rude and coarse pieces of the ancients. Those that question the truth of this, need but step to that famous artist, Mrs. Goldsmith, in the Old Jewry, whose workmanship is so absolute (in the effigies which she has made of his late Majesty), as it admits of no correction. She also made the late Queen, the Duke of Gloucester, to the general satisfaction[316] of a great number of the nobility and gentry. I am not for the Hungarian’s wooden coat of mail, the work of fifteen years; nor Myrmeride’s coach with four horses, so little that you might hide them under a fly’s wing: these are but a laborious loss of time, an ingenious profusion of one of the best talents we are entrusted with; but this effigy of his late Majesty has taken up but a small part of Mrs. Goldsmith’s time, and yet it is made with so much art, that nothing seems wanting but life and motion. I own,” continues this time-server, “’tis little wonder to see a picture have motion; but Mrs. Goldsmith is such a person (as all will own that see this effigy which she has made of King William), that she has almost found the secret to make even dead bodies alive.”


“We are all going to heaven, and Van Dyck is of the company.”

His dying words


“You are never idle,” observed my old, OLD, very OLD friend John Taylor,[497] as he entered my parlour on the 3rd of November, in his ninety-third year: “bless me, how like that is to your father! Well, Howard is a very clever fellow! Pray now, do tell me, did your father know Churchill? My friend Jonathan Tyers introduced me to[317] him in Vauxhall Gardens much about the time Hogarth represented him as a bear with a pot of porter.[498] I think, to the best of my recollection, the print was brought out in 1763. Mr. Tyers asked Mr. Churchill what he thought of it. ‘Oh!’ said he, ‘it is a silly thing, Sir. I should have thought Hogarth had known better.’” I then requested Mr. Taylor to describe Mr. Churchill’s dress for Vauxhall Gardens. “Oh! not as a clergyman, not in black, as he appeared in the pit of the theatre. Let me see: his coat was blue, edged with a narrow gold lace; a buff waistcoat; but I won’t be certain whether that was laced or not—I rather think it was not. He had black silk small-clothes, white silk stockings, small silver shoe-buckles, and a gold-laced three-cornered hat.”

“Did you know Gainsborough, Sir?” “Oh! I remember him; he was an odd man at times. I recollect my master Hayman coming home after he had been to an exhibition, and saying what an extraordinary picture Gainsborough had painted of the Blue Boy; it is as fine as Vandyke.”[499] “Who was the Blue Boy, Sir?” “Why,[318] he was an ironmonger, but why so called I don’t know. He lived at the corner of Greek and King Streets, Soho; an immensely rich man.” “Did you know Mrs. Abington?” “Oh yes; she was a most delightful actress of women of fashion, though she made herself very ridiculous by attempting the part of Scrub.[500] Mr. Hoole, when he heard she was to play the character that evening, sent for a chair and went to see her; but he said it was so truly ridiculous, that he was quite disgusted. Ay, I see you have got Nollekens’s bust of Dr. Johnson. I made two drawings of him when I was at Oxford: one was for Sir Robert Chambers,[501] who married the pretty Miss Wilton, that went[319] to India; who had the other, I can’t immediately say. I remember the Doctor asked me what countryman I was.—‘A Londoner, Sir, a Londoner.’ ‘And where born?’ ‘In the parish of Ethelburga, in Bishopsgate Within.’ It is a very small church; but my father and mother[502] were buried there, though I suppose, by this time, there’s nothing of them left. My friend Jonathan Tyers took milk and water for upwards of twenty years at his meals, though he very well knew what a good glass of wine was, as well as any man in England. Ay, and a fine haunch of venison, too. Many and many a time I have dined with him in the gardens, when I was making the drawing for Boydell, of Hayman’s picture of the Admirals. Mr. Tyers gave very excellent dinners, I must say.”

The truly skilful manner in which Mr. John Seguier has proceeded with the pictures painted by Rubens, which adorn the ceiling of Whitehall Chapel, will, I hope, prove a lasting record of his success in picture-cleaning. When first I ascended the scaffold, my astonishment was beyond conception at the enormous size of the objects. The children are more than nine feet, and the full-grown figures from twenty to twenty-five in height. The pictures were in a most filthy and husky state. However, it afforded me infinite delight to hear Mr. Seguier declare, that he firmly believed he should be able to remove Cipriani’s washy colouring completely; and that he expected to find that of Rubens in its pristine state. Upon my seeing these pictures on the floor, after they had been cleaned,[503] I found his predictions verified, and can now,[320] by the judicious nourishment afforded to the canvas, announce their effect to be truly glorious. Every precaution has been taken, under the able direction of Sir Benjamin Clarke Stevenson, to render the roof impervious to the most inveterate weather, so that posterity, in all probability, may long enjoy the beauties of these masterpieces of art.

Upper Gower Street, Bedford Square, 16th November 1832.

My dear Sir,—As I am desirous to make your valuable collection of letters from bygone professional characters complete, gratify me by accepting the accompanying original communication from Mrs. Abington to Mrs. Jordan.[504] It will call to your remembrance the period when that skilful and excellent man, John Bannister, delighted the town by his performances; whose retirement from public life in June, 1815 (after thirty-seven years of hard and honest service), opened the doors of Old Drury to a young aspirant for histrionic honours in the person of your humble servant.

“I need not here enumerate all the advantages derived from a constant association with such an artist as John Bannister. An uninterrupted friendly intercourse of many years manifested the sincerity in which he penned the following note to me a short time after my appearance at Drury Lane Theatre:—

“‘65 Gower Street, Dec. 30, 1815.

“‘My dear Sir,—I have been confined to my room more than three weeks with the gout; but I am now recovering,[321] though slowly. Early next week, will you favour me with a visit in Gower Street? It will please me to give you all the information and gratification in my power, and to converse with you personally about theatrical matters.

“‘You are my successor, and I beg leave to say that I do not know any person more calculated to tread in my shoes. I sincerely hope you may never have occasion for the gouty ones! I remain, my dear Sir, yours sincerely,

“‘John Bannister.’[505]

“‘To J. P. Harley, Esq., Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.’

“And now, my dear Sir, with every sincere hope for your continued health and happiness, believe that I am very truly yours,

J. P. Harley.[506]

To John Thomas Smith, British Museum.”



Mrs. Piozzi, in her anecdotes of Dr. Johnson, speaking of Porridge Island, says it “is a mean street in London, filled with cook-shops, for the convenience of the poorer inhabitants; the real name of it I know not, but suspect that it is generally known by to have been originally a term of derision.”

Porridge Island consisted of a nest of old rat-deserted houses, lately forming narrow alleys south of Chandos Street, and east of St. Martin’s church, which were originally occupied by numerous cooks for the accommodation of the workmen engaged in erecting the said church.[507]


[1] Two other residences of Smith’s, less definitely associated with his books or etchings, are recorded. The first is No. 8 Popham Terrace, near the Barley Mow Tavern, in Frog Lane, Islington. His sojourn here is mentioned, without dates, by Lewis in his History of Islington (1842). Frog Lane is now Popham Road, of which Popham Terrace appears to have been part. In 1809, Smith was living at No. 4 The Polygon, Somers Town.

[2] Thomas Lowe had taken Marylebone Gardens in 1763, at a rent of £170. Fresh from his triumphs as a tenor at Vauxhall, he made concerts the principal entertainment. In 1768 he compounded with his creditors.

[3] This theatre at Richmond was built two years before Smith’s birth, and was opened in May 1765, by Mr. Love, who spoke a prologue by Garrick. Love was the stage name of James Dance, who, as a son of George Dance, R.A., the City Architect, adopted it that he might not “disgrace his family,” a proceeding on which Genest comments: “Shall we never have done with this miserable cant? Foote, with much humour, makes Papillion say, in The Lyar: ‘As to Player, whatever might happen to me, I was determined not to bring a disgrace upon my family; and so I resolved to turn footman.’” The Devil to Pay, by Charles Coffey, was adapted from a play by Jevon called The Devil of a Wife, first produced at Drury Lane in 1731, when Love played “Jobson” and Mrs. Love “Nell.”

[4] “A convivial glass-grinder, then residing at No. 6, in Earl Street, Seven Dials, and who had, for upwards of fifty years, worn a green velvet cap,” is Smith’s note on his uncle. In his Nollekens he says: “In the British Museum there is a brass medal of Vittore Pisano, a painter of Verona, executed by himself … his cap, which is an upright one with many folds, reminded me of that sort usually worn, when I was a boy, by the old glass-grinders of the Seven Dials.”

[5] Dr. William Hunter (1718-83) was elder brother of the celebrated Dr. John Hunter, to whom in 1768 he gave up his house in Jermyn Street, taking possession of the one he had built for himself in Windmill Street. In 1764 he had been appointed Physician Extraordinary to the Queen. He became a foundation member of the Royal Academy, as Professor of Anatomy. It is related that half an hour before his death he exclaimed: “Had I a pen, and were I able to write, I would describe how easy and pleasant a thing it is to die.”

[6] Now rebuilt as No. 38.

[7] Strype’s edition of Stow, 1720, contains many such plates. John Kip, the engraver, was born in Amsterdam. He died at Westminster in 1722.

[8] In the miscellaneous pages of his Nollekens, Smith reports Elizabeth Carter, of “Epictetus” fame, as saying to a Covent Garden fruiterer, named Twigg (jocularly known as the “Twig of the Garden”): “I recollect, Sir, when Mr. Garrick acted, hackney chairs were then so numerous that they stood all round the Piazzas, down Southampton Street, and extended more than half-way along Maiden Lane, so much were they in requisition at that time.”

[9] Voltaire first came to London in May 1726, after his confinement in the Bastille, landing at Greenwich on a cloudless night. His first impressions of London are quoted by Mr. Archibald Ballantyne in his interesting Voltaire’s Visit to England. After being the guest of Bolingbroke, Voltaire returned to Paris in a state of indecision, but, again crossing the Channel, he settled at Wandsworth, where he found a friend and host in Sir Everard Falkener. He met Pope, and improved his English by attending the theatres. Chetwood says: “I furnished him every evening with the play of the night (at Drury Lane), which he took with him into the orchestra (his accustomed seat): in four or five months he not only conversed in elegant English, but wrote it with exact propriety.” Voltaire became a well-known figure in London, and wrote his Henriade in his London lodging at the sign of the “White Peruke,” Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, next door to the Bedford Head.

[10] Notes of Proceedings and Occurrences during the British Embassy to Pekin, 1816. Geo. Thos. Staunton, 1824. Printed for Private Circulation.

[11] Pliny the Younger, in writing to his friend, Baebius Macer, on the habits and life of his uncle, C. Plinius Secundus (Pliny the elder), says: “A shorthand writer constantly attended him, … who, in the winter, wore a particular sort of warm gloves, that the sharpness of the weather might not occasion any interruption to my uncle’s studies; and for the same reason, when in Rome, he was always carried in a chair. I recollect his once taking me to task for walking. ‘You need not,’ he said, ‘lose these hours.’ For he thought every hour gone that was not given to study” (Letters of Pliny the Younger, bk. iii. letter 5, p. 82. Bohn’s Classical Library).

[12] The Catalogue of this exhibition is entitled: “A Catalogue of the Paintings, Sculptures, Architecture, Models, Drawings, Engravings, etc., now exhibiting under the Patronage of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce, at their Great Room in the Strand, London.” It credits Mr. Nathaniel Smith, St. Martin’s Lane, with the following:—

210. A bust as large as life.

211. A figure of Time, imitating a bronze.

[13] Smith’s naval ancestor won his sobriquet, “Tom of Ten Thousand,” very easily. He had compelled the French corvette Gironde to salute the British colours in Plymouth Sound, for which, on complaint, he was dismissed the navy for exceeding his instructions, but was shortly reinstated. The public believed that he had fired into the Gironde to compel its respect to our flag, and on this exaggerated report gave him the name “Tom of Ten Thousand.” Smith, who rose to high rank, but won no great personal distinction, presided over the court-martial which condemned Admiral Byng in 1757.

It may be added that the name “Tom of Ten Thousand” has been borne by several men, notably by Thomas Thynne of Longleat, who was so called on account of his wealth. He was murdered in Pall Mall in February 1682, by three assassins hired by Count Königsmark. The murder is realistically portrayed on his tomb in the south aisle of Westminster Abbey. Another “Tom of Ten Thousand” was Thomas Hudson, a native of Leeds, who lost a large fortune in the South Sea Scheme, and, becoming insane, wandered the streets of London for years, leaning on a crutch.

[14] These coincidences of residence seem to be overstated by Smith. It must have been after, not before, his visit to Italy, which he made in his 36th year, that Wilson took apartments in the Piazza on the north side of Covent Garden. He lived above the rooms of Cock, the auctioneer, who was followed by Langford, and later still by George Robins. Sir Peter Lely had lived in the same house from 1662 until his death in 1680, and here his collections were sold in 1667. Smith seems to be wrong about Kneller. This painter’s house had been on the east side of the Square, known as the Little Piazza. Its garden, stretching back to Bow Street, was the scene of the famous quarrel between Kneller and Dr. Ratcliffe. A tenant who did precede Wilson was Hogarth, who, though he did not reside at Cock’s, had exhibited here his “Mariage à la Mode” gratis, with a view to its sale.

Wilson had a model made of a portion of the Piazza, which he used as a receptacle for his implements. The rustic work of the piers was provided with drawers, and the openings of the arches held pencils and oil bottles. An unbending devotion to his Italian manner of painting (he so Italianised a view of Kew Gardens that George the Third failed to recognise it) and a rough temper brought this fine painter to humbler dwellings in Charlotte Street, Great Queen Street, and Foley Place; finally, to a room in Tottenham Street. His fortunes were mended at the last by his appointment as Librarian to the Royal Academy, and his succession to a small estate in Wales on the death of his brother.

[15] See a plate in the Lady’s Magazine of 1870, in which Miss Catley wears such elbow ruffles in the character of Rosetta in Love in a Village.

[16] The death of Molly Mogg was thus announced in the Gentleman’s Magazine: “Mrs. Mary Mogg, at Oakingham: she was the person on whom Gay wrote the song of ‘Molly Mogg.’” This song was first printed in Mist’s Weekly Journal of August 27, 1726, with a note stating that “it was writ by two or three men of wit (who have diverted the public both in prose and verse), upon the occasion of their lying at a certain inn at Ockingham, where the daughter of the house was remarkably pretty, and whose name is Molly Mogg.” These “men of wit” were supposed to have been Pope, Swift, and Gay, and it was believed that they had together concocted the song, but the weight of evidence is in favour of Gay’s sole authorship. There is, however, enough doubt to warrant one in holding to the pleasant tradition that the three poets, over their cups at the Rose Inn, made the song which began (original version):—

“Says my Uncle, I pray you discover
What has been the cause of your woes,
That you pine and you whine like a lover?
I’ve seen Molly Mog of the Rose.
Oh, Nephew! your grief is but folly,
In town you may find better prog;
Half a crown there will get you a Molly,
A Molly much better than Mog.
The school boys delight in a play-day,
The schoolmaster’s joy is to flog;
The milk-maid’s delight is in May day,
But mine is in sweet Molly Mog.”

[17] Finch’s Grotto Garden stood on the site now occupied by the headquarters of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade. It was opened—six years before John Thomas Smith was born—on the strength of a spring in the grounds which a Dr. Townshend was willing to declare medicinal. Concerts and fireworks were given with fair success, and here “Tommy” Lowe accepted engagements after his failure in the management of Marylebone Gardens. The tavern was burnt down in May 1795, and was replaced by another called the “Goldsmith’s Arms,” afterwards styled the “Old Grotto New Reviv’d.” This tavern bore the inscription—

“Here Herbs did grow
And flowers sweet,
But now ’tis call’d
Saint George’s Street.”

All that is known about Finch’s Grotto is told by Mr. Warwick Wroth in his admirable London Pleasure Gardens of the Eighteenth Century.

[18] This famous aid to the teething of children was invented about the year 1717, when there appeared a Philosophical Essay upon the Celebrated Anodyne Necklace, dedicated to Dr. Paul Chamberlen (who died in this year), and the Royal Society. This tract, quoted by Mr. J. Eliot Hodgkin in Notes and Queries of Feb. 16, 1884, argues the advantages of the necklace as follows:—

“For since the difficult Cutting of Children’s Teeth proceeds from the hard and strict Closure of their Gums; If you get Them but once separated and opened, the Teeth will of themselves Naturally come Forth; Now the Smooth Alcalious Atoms of the Necklace, by their insinuating figure and shape, do so make way for their Protrusion by gently softening and opening the hard swelled Gums, that the Teeth will of themselves without any difficulty or pain Cut and come out, as has been sufficiently proved.”

Mr. Hodgkin describes the necklace as “of beads artificially prepared, small, like barley-corns,” costing five shillings. An early depôt was Garraway’s at the Royal Exchange Gate. In Smith’s day they were sold in Long Acre by Mr. Burchell at the sign of the Anodyne Necklace, and the price was still “5s. single,” with “an allowance by the dozen to sell again.” Burchell advertised: “After the Wearing of which about their Neck but One night, Children have immediately cut their Teeth with Safety, who but just before were on the Brink of the Grave.”

[19] According to Daulby’s numbering.

[20] For some curious erudition on go-carts see Smith’s Life of Nollekens, where he says (1829 ed. i. 221): “When I was a boy, the go-cart was common in every toy-shop in London; but it was to be found in the greatest abundance in the once far-famed turners’ shop in Spinning-wheel Alley, Moorfields: a narrow passage leading from those fields to the spot upon which the original Bethlehem Hospital stood in Bishopsgate Street. In 1825-26, however, both Spinning-wheel Alley and Old Bethlehem were considerably altered and widened, and subsequently named Liverpool Street.”

[21] Hone says: “The late King George IV. and his brothers and sisters, all the royal family of George III., were rocked. The rocker was a female officer of the household, with a salary” (Every Day Book). Rocker cradles are to-day made in Ireland by villagers, and sold from door to door.

[22] Two artists, father and son, bore the name of Israel von Meckenen. They flourished in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, and appear to have collaborated on some 250 prints. The British Museum has a fine set of their engravings.

[23] The stone inscribed “Here lies Nancy Dawson” no longer exists. M. Dorsay Ansell, the obliging keeper of the burial-grounds (now laid out as one recreation-ground) of St. George the Martyr and St. George’s, Bloomsbury, is frequently applied to for information as to its existence. Eighteen years ago, when these grounds were formed, careful search was made for interesting stones, and the gravestone of Zachary Macaulay, among others, was discovered by Mr. Ansell. That of Nancy Dawson was never found, but it may be buried out of sight.

Nancy Dawson is stated to have died at Haverstock Hill, May 27, 1767. Her portrait in oils still hangs in the Garrick Club, and the print-sellers are familiar with her figure in theatrical costume. She is believed to have been born about 1730, to have been the daughter of a Clare Market porter, and to have lived in poverty in St. Giles’s or in a Drury Lane cellar. The rather ill-supported narratives of her career speak, as does Smith, of her waiting on the skittle-players at a Marylebone tavern, which Mr. George Clinch thinks (Marylebone and St. Pancras) may have been the old “Rose of Normandy” in High Street.

Nancy Dawson’s fortune was made in 1759 in the Beggars’ Opera. The man who danced the hornpipe among the thieves happened to have fallen ill, and his place was taken by Nancy, who was then a rising young actress. From that moment her success was secure. Her real monument is the song beginning—

“Of all the girls in our town,
The black, the fair, the red, the brown,
That dance and prance it up and down,
There’s none like Nancy Dawson!
Her easy mien, her shape so neat,
She foots, she trips, she looks so sweet,
Her ev’ry motion’s so complete,
I die for Nancy Dawson!”

[24] Musgrave’s note continues: “Whom she deserted upon his discovering that she had an intrigue with the exciseman of that district.”

[25] Rubens’s beautiful second wife, Helena Fourment, who was only sixteen when he married her. She is the subject of not a few of his pictures.

[26] Nollekens, the sculptor, highly approved of puddings for children, and would say, “Ay, now, what’s your name?” “Mrs. Rapworth, sir.” “Well, Mrs. Rapworth, you have done right; I wore a pudding when I was a little boy, and all my mother’s children wore puddings.”

[27] The parent of the Royal Academy, as an exhibiting body, was the Foundling Hospital in Guilford Street. A number of painters, including Hogarth, Reynolds, Richard Wilson, and Gainsborough, agreed to present pictures to Captain Coram’s charity. These were shown with such success, that the possibility of holding remunerative exhibitions was perceived, and in 1760 a free exhibition was opened in the rooms of the Society of Arts. In following years exhibitions were held in Spring Gardens. In 1765 the “Incorporated Society of Artists of Great Britain” obtained its charter; but disputes arose, and three years later twenty or more painters successfully petitioned George III. to establish the “Royal Academy of Arts in London.” So many of the original members of the Royal Academy are mentioned by Smith, that it will be useful to insert their names. They were all nominated by George III.:

A year and a day after the foundation of the Royal Academy, it was resolved: “There shall be a new order, or rank of members, to be called Associates of the Royal Academy.” Of the first twenty Associates, the following are mentioned in the Rainy Day: Richard Cosway, John Bacon, James Wyatt, Joseph Nollekens, James Barry (all of whom were afterwards R.A.’s); and Antonio Zucchi, Michael Angelo Rooker, and Biagio Rebecca.

The first Royal Academy exhibition was opened to the public in Pall Mall “immediately east of where the United Service Club now stands” (Wheatley) on the 26th of April, 1769. Two years later, the King assigned rooms in Somerset House to the Academy, but his offer was not utilised until the new Somerset House was ready, in 1780. Here the annual exhibitions were held for fifty-eight years. The Academicians then migrated to the eastern half of the National Gallery building in Trafalgar Square. In 1869 the removal to Burlington House was made. The history of the rise and progress of the Royal Academy, which Smith wished might have been undertaken by its secretary, Henry Howard, R.A., has been written very fully by William Sandby, and again recently by the late J. E. Hodgson, R.A., and Mr. F. A. Eaton in collaboration.

[28] In this riot in St. George’s Fields, five or six people were killed by the Guards, and about fifteen wounded.

[29] Henry Fuseli (1741-1825) had come to London in 1763. On presenting himself before Sir Joshua Reynolds, the following dialogue occurred: “How long have you studied in Italy?” “I never studied in Italy—I studied in Zurich—I am a native of Switzerland—do you think I should study in Italy? and, above all, is it worth while?” “Young man, were I the author of these drawings, and were I offered ten thousand a year not to practise as an artist, I would reject the proposal with contempt.”

[30] Dr. John Armstrong, whose poem, “The Art of Preserving Health,” was long famous, is now best remembered as the author of a few stanzas in Thomson’s Castle of Indolence describing the morbid effects of indolence. Haydon writes of Fuseli: “He swore roundly, a habit which he told me he contracted from Dr. Armstrong.”

[31] Sir John Eardley-Wilmot, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, decided several cases arising out of Wilkes’s libels: his reply to Lord North’s extraordinary letter was the only one he could make. In spite of Wilkes’s easy victory at the poll, the House of Commons declared that Colonel Luttrell ought to have been elected, and his name was substituted for Wilkes’s in the return, a proceeding which inflamed the situation.

[32] Henry William Bunbury stands apart from his fellow-caricaturists as a wealthy amateur. He was the second son of the Rev. Sir William Bunbury, Bart., of Great Barton, Suffolk, and married Catherine Horneck, the “Little Comedy” of Goldsmith. Bretherton was an engraver and printseller in Bond Street. He engraved nearly all Bunbury’s drawings, and it was said that he alone could do so with good effect.

[33] For almost a century the exodus of the London citizens to the outlying country was considered fair game for satire. Bunbury’s caricature of 1772 only records the humours which Robert Lloyd had touched in “The Cit’s Country Box,” printed in No. 135 of the Connoisseur.

“The trav’ler with amazement sees
A temple, Gothic or Chinese,
With many a bell and tawdry rag on,
And crested with a sprawling dragon.
A wooden arch is bent astride
A ditch of water four feet wide;
With angles, curves, and zigzag lines,
From Halfpenny’s exact designs.
In front a level lawn is seen,
Without a shrub upon the green;
Where taste would want its first great law,
But for the skulking sly Ha-Ha;
By whose miraculous assistance
You gain a prospect two fields distance.
And now from Hyde Park Corner come
The gods of Athens and of Rome:
Here squabby Cupids take their places,
With Venus and the clumsy graces;
Apollo there, with aim so clever,
Stretches his leaden bow for ever.”

Even Cowper saw little but absurdity in the demand for villas and “summer-houses.”

“Suburban villas, highway-side retreats,
That dread th’ encroachment of our growing streets,
Tight boxes neatly sash’d, and in a blaze
With all a July sun’s collected rays,
Delight the citizen, who, gasping there,
Breathes clouds of dust, and calls it country air.”

Horace Smith, Lord Byron, and Thomas Hood all touched more or less satirically on this subject.

[34] There is a confusion here. Walpole in his Anecdotes of Painting deals only with Jonathan Richardson the elder (1665-1745), portrait painter and critic; Smith refers to his son (1694-1771). The two were greatly attached to each other. There was a story that they sketched each other’s faces every day. Old Richardson, who wrote a treatise on Paradise Lost, was able to study the classics only through his son, on whom he doted. Hogarth made a caricature, which he suppressed, of the father using his son as a telescope to read the writers of Greece and Rome. W. H. Pyne says of Old Richardson in Wine and Walnuts: “He seldom rambled city-ways, though sometimes he stepped in at the ‘Rainbow,’ where he counted a few worthies, or looked in at Dick’s and gave them a note or two. He would not put his foot on the threshold of the ‘Devil,’ however, for he thought the sign profane. Fielding would run a furlong to escape him; he called him Doctor Fidget.”

[35] The milkmaids’ chief haunt was Islington, whence hundreds of them carried the milk into London every morning. In his print “Evening,” the scene of which is laid outside the “Middleton Head,” Hogarth has an Islington milkmaid milking a cow, and in his “Enraged Musicians,” a milkmaid with her cry of Milk Belouw contributes to the town noises. The “garlands of massive plate” which the milkmaids carried round on May Day were borrowed of pawnbrokers on security. One pawnbroker, says Hone, was particularly resorted to. He let his plate at so much per hour, under bond from housekeepers for its safe return. In this way one set of milkmaids would hire the garland from ten o’clock till one, and another from one till six, and so on during the first three days of May. These customs had all but passed away when Smith wrote his Rainy Day, but long after the milkmaids had ceased to celebrate the London May Day the chimney-sweepers brought out their Jacks-in-the-green, specimens of which have been seen in the streets in the last twenty years. In 1825, Hone speaks of the dances round the “garland” as a “lately disused custom.”

[36] The boxes and pavilions at Vauxhall were decorated with paintings at the suggestion of Hogarth, who permitted his “Four Times of the Day” to be copied by Francis Hayman. He also presented Tyers with a picture from his own hand, “Henry VIII. and Anne Boleyn,” receiving in acknowledgment a gold ticket inscribed “In perpetuam Beneficii memoriam,” and giving admission to “a coachfull” of people. The Vauxhall paintings chiefly represented sports and sentimental scenes. Among Hayman’s works were, “The Game of Quadrille,” “Children Playing at Shuttlecock,” “Leap Frog,” “Falstaff’s Cowardice Detected,” etc. In November 1841, twenty-four of these pictures, all in a dirty condition, were sold in the Gardens at prices varying from 30s. to £10.

[37] Marcellus Lauron, or Laroon (1653-1702), was born at the Hague, and came to London, where he painted draperies for Sir Godfrey Kneller and executed his “Cryes of London,” engraved by Tempest. His son, Captain Marcellus Lauron, or Laroon, was soldier, artist, and actor, and a friend of Hogarth.

[38] Probably Dr. George Armstrong, brother of Dr. John Armstrong, author of the poem, “The Art of Preserving Health.”

[39] In Smith’s boyhood the “Queen’s Head and Artichoke” was a rural tavern and tea-garden in Marylebone Park, quarter of a mile north of the New Road, now Marylebone Road. The Marylebone Gardens were in decline, and their place was taken by three smaller resorts, the “Queen’s Head and Artichoke,” the “Jew’s Harp,” and the “Yorkshire Stingo.” The two first-named places were connected by a zigzag path known as Love Lane. In his Nollekens Smith has this choice morsel: “Mrs. Nollekens made it a rule to allow one servant—as they kept two—to go out on the alternate Sunday; for it was Mrs. Nollekens’ opinion that if they were never permitted to visit the ‘Jew’s Harp,’ ‘Queen’s Head and Artichoke,’ or Chalk Farm, they never would wash theirselves.” The site of the “Artichoke” was covered by Decimus Burton’s Colosseum.

[40] The “Jew’s Harp,” dubiously explained as a corruption of jeu trompe, i.e. toy-trumpet, stood near the lower portion of the Broad Walk in Regent’s Park. Its arbours and tea-garden were long an attraction to the London youth. Here Arthur Onslow, when Speaker, was accustomed to sit in an evening smoking his pipe, and sharing in the tavern talk. The landlord’s discovery that his guest was the Speaker of the House of Commons cost him his customer, for when Onslow found himself received at the “Jew’s Harp” with ceremony, he discontinued his visits.

[41] This farm in the possession of Thomas Willan was taken by order of the Treasury for the formation of Regent’s Park in 1794. It contained about 288 acres.

[42] Marylebone Gardens had their main entrance in High Street, Marylebone, and extended eastward to Harley Street.

[43] Richard Kendall’s farm, comprising about 133 acres, was absorbed in Regent’s Park.

[44] The “Green Man” (rebuilt) stands east of Portland Road, Metropolitan Railway Station, on the site of the “Farthing Pie House,” at which scraps of mutton put into a crust were sold for a farthing. The rural state of this neighbourhood, and the regrets which the spread of London awakened, are set forth in Dr. Ducarel’s speech in the chapter, “Nothing to Eat,” in Ephraim Hardcastle’s (William Henry Pyne’s) delightful Wine and Walnuts:—

“‘Verily I cannot get this mighty street out of my head,’ said the Doctor. ‘And then there is the new park—what do you call it? Mary-le-bone—no, the Regent’s Park: it seems to be an elegant, well-planned place, methinks, and will have a fine effect, no doubt, with its villas and what not, when the shrubs and trees have shot up a little. But I shall not live to see it, and I care not; for I remember those fields in their natural, rural garb, covered with herds of kine, when you might stretch across from old Willan’s farm there, a-top of Portland Street, right away without impediment to Saint John’s Wood, where I have gathered blackberries when a boy—which pretty place, I am sorry to see, these brick-and-mortar gentry have trenched upon. Why, Ephraim, you metropolitans will have half a day’s journey, if you proceed at this rate, ere you can get a mouthful of fresh air. Where the houses are to find inhabitants, and, when inhabited, where so many mouths are to find meat, must be found out by those who come after.’”

[45] Smith seems to have understated the facts. James Easton, the author of a curious work, entitled “Human Longevity, recording the name, age, place of residence, and year of the decease of 1712 persons, who attained a century and upwards, from A.D. 66 to 1799, etc.” (Salisbury, 1799), enumerates sixty-one cases in this year as against Smith’s forty-eight. He gives the following particulars of the three cases named by Smith:—

“Mrs. Keithe—133, of Newnham, Gloucestershire. She, lived moderately, and retained her senses till within fourteen days of her death. She left three daughters, the eldest aged one hundred and eleven; the second one hundred and ten; the youngest one hundred and nine. Also seven great, and great great grandchildren.

“Mr. Rice—115, of Southwark, cooper.

“Mrs. Chun—138, near Litchfield, Staffordshire; resided in the same house one hundred and three years. By frequent exercise, and temperate living, she attained so great longevity. She left one son and two daughters, the youngest upwards of one hundred years.”

[46] According to one story, Mother Damnable was Jinney, the daughter of a Kentish Town brick-maker, named Jacob Bingham. After living with a marauder named Gipsy George, who was hanged for sheep-stealing, Jinney passed from the protection of one criminal to another, until she was left a lonesome and embittered woman. She lived in her own cottage, built on waste land by her father, and abused everyone.

“’Tis Mother Damnable! that monstrous thing,
Unmatch’d by Macbeth’s wayward women’s ring.
For cursing, scolding, fuming, flinging fire
I’ the face of madam, lord, knight, gent, cit, squire.”

The story went that on the night of her death hundreds of persons saw the Devil enter her house. On the site rose the inn which bore her portrait as its sign. Smith’s mention of the terror with which it was regarded may have reference to its loneliness and gruesome traditions. In his own day the inn was a pleasant resort. “Then the old Mother Red Cap was the evening resort of worn-out Londoners, and many a happy evening was spent in the green fields round about the old wayside houses by the children of poorer classes. At that time the Dairy, at the junction of the Hampstead and Kentish Town roads, was not the fashionable building it is now, but with forms for the pedestrians to rest on, they served out milk fresh from the cow to all who came” (John Palmer, St. Pancras). This dairy, so long a landmark to North Londoners, has just disappeared in favour of a “Tube” railway station.

[47] This curious work may still be seen in Little Denmark Street, where its forty or fifty writhing figures, incrusted with grime, look at a little distance like some ordinary floral design. The original “Resurrection Gate” was erected about the year 1687, in accordance with an order of the vestry. The bill of expenses is extant, and its terms were contributed by Dr. Rimbault to Notes and Queries of June 23, 1864, showing the cost to have been £185, 14s. 6d., of which £27 was paid for the carving to an artist named Love. In 1900, the present Tuscan gate in Little Denmark Street was erected with the old carving inserted.

[48] Probably Charles Harriot Smith, the architect, who was at first a stone-carver. He died in 1864.

[49] The Reverend James Bean was Vicar of Olney, Buckinghamshire, and assistant librarian at the British Museum. He died in 1826, and was buried in St. George’s, Bloomsbury, burial-ground.

[50] Strype says these almshouses bore the inscription, “St. Giles’s Almshouse, anno domini 1656.” They were removed in 1782.

[51] Originally Queen Anne’s Square and now Queen Anne’s Gate.

[52] The Pound stood, as Smith indicates, in the broad space where St. Giles High Street, Tottenham Court Road, and Oxford Street met; it was removed in 1765.

[53] This song, entitled “Just the Thing,” is valuable as a portrait of the eighteenth-century “hooligan,” ancestor of Mr. Clarence Rook’s nineteenth century “Alf” in Hooligan Nights:—

“On Newgate steps Jack Chance was found,
And bred up near St. Giles’s Pound,
My story is true, deny it who can,
By saucy, leering Billingsgate Nan.
Her bosom glowed with heartfelt joy
When first she held the lovely boy.
Then home the prize she straight did bring,
And they all allow’d he was just the thing.
At twelve years old, I have been told,
The youth was sturdy, stout, and bold;
He learn’d to curse, to swear, and fight,
And everything but read and write.
But when he came to man’s estate,
His mind it ran on something great,
A-thieving then he scorn’d to tramp;
So hir’d a pad and went on the scamp.
At clubs he all Flash Soup did sing.
And they all allow’d he was just the thing.
His manual exercise gone through,
Of Bridewell, Pump, and Horse Pond too,
His back had often felt the smart
Of Tyburn strings at the tail of a cart.
He stood the patter, but that’s no matter,
He gammon’d the Twelve, and work’d on the water,
Then a pardon he got from his gracious King,
And swaggering Jack was just the thing.
Like a captain bold, well arm’d for war.
With bludgeon stout, or iron bar,
At heading a mob, he never did fail,
At burning a mass-house, or gutting a jail;
But a victim he fell to his country’s laws,
And died at last in religion’s cause.
No Popery! made the blade to swing,
And when tuck’d up he was just the thing.”

[54] Mr. George Clinch, in his Marylebone and St. Pancras, says that there is some reason to think that a portion at least of Capper’s farm still remains. A large furniture establishment at Nos. 195-198, Tottenham Court Road, exhibits on a wall in the rear two tablets marking the boundary of St. Pancras and St. Giles-in-the-Fields, and bearing eighteenth-century dates. An old lease of the property, Mr. Clinch adds, contains a clause binding the tenant to keep stabling for forty head of cattle, and it is known that the premises were once used as a large livery stable.

[55] Hanway Street now boasts only one milliner, but has several art and curiosity shops of the kind Smith loved. The “Blue Posts” (rebuilt) is still at the corner of Hanway Street. Mr. Joshua Sturges’ book, published in 1800, was on draughts, not chess. It was entitled Guide to the Game of Draughts, and was dedicated by permission to the Prince of Wales. It has an engraved frontispiece, “Figure of the Draught Table.”

Sturges was probably not buried, as Smith states, in the Hampstead Road, but in St. Pancras cemetery (see Notes and Queries, Series II. x. 64). Lovers of draughts may be glad to have a copy of his epitaph. It ran thus: “Sacred to the Memory of Mr. Joshua Sturges. Many years a Respectable licensed Victualler in this Parish; who departed this Life the 12th of August, 1813. Aged 55 years. He was esteemed for the many excellent Qualities he possessed, and his desire to improve the Minds, as also to benefit the Trade of his Brother Victuallers. His Genius was also eminently displayed to create innocent and rational amusement to Mankind, in the Production of his Treatise on the difficult game of Draughts, which Treatise received the Approbation of his Prince, and many other Distinguished Characters. In private Life he was mild and unassuming; in his public capacity neither the love of Interest or domestic ease, could separate this faithful Friend from the Society of which he was a Member, in the performance of Duties which his Mind deemed Paramount to all others. His example was worthy of Imitation in this World. May his Virtues be rewarded in the next. Peace to his Soul, and respected be his Memory.”

[56] Goodge Street (named after a Marylebone property owner) still retains some of its original houses, but no house whose ground floor has not been converted into a shop. Windmill Street, on the other hand, is a quaint little street of artificers in wood and metal, instrument makers, etc., many of its houses remaining in their first state, with forecourts. The rural traditions of this street are supported at No. 40 by a vine, bearing bunches of unripened grapes in August 1903. Colvill Court is now called Colvill Place, but it is essentially a court. The name Gresse’s Gardens (after the father of Alexander Gresse the water-colour painter) survives in Gresse Street, a queer little dusty, dusky byway, easy to enter from Rathbone Place, but difficult to quit at its southern end by Tudor Place. Here His Majesty’s mail vans are stabled.

[57] This pond is plainly marked also in Rocque’s map of 1745. Considering its interesting name, it has obtained singularly little mention by topographers.

[58] Whitefield built his chapel—in 1756, not 1754—on land leased for seventy-one years from General Fitzroy. He opened it on November 7th of the same year, preaching a sermon from the text, “Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” A house for the minister and twelve almshouses were added, and the chapel enlarged. Whitefield proposed to be buried in its vaults, and told to his congregation, “Messrs. John and Charles Wesley shall also be buried there. We will all lie together.” All three were buried elsewhere, but Mrs. Whitefield was buried here: her remains and those of all other persons, except Augustus Toplady, were removed to Chingford cemetery when the present building was begun. A remarkable monument was that to John Bacon, R.A., the sculptor, with its impressive inscription: “What I was as an artist seemed to me of some importance while I lived, but what I really was, as a believer in Jesus Christ, is the only thing of importance to me now.” After a serious fire in 1857, the original brick building was altered out of knowledge, and was finally demolished in 1889. For some years an iron chapel and an appeal for subscriptions occupied the ground. In 1892 the present ornately fronted chapel, inscribed “Whitefield Memorial,” was built. In 1903, the present minister, the Reverend C. Silvester Horne, received “recognition” as the thirteenth minister in succession to Whitefield.

[59] More correctly, Crab and Walnut Tree Field.

[60] Smith makes a slip in locating the historic fight between Broughton and Slack in April 1750, at the “Adam and Eve” tavern. It took place in Broughton’s own Amphitheatre near Adam and Eve Court in the Oxford Road. Smith correctly states the position of this Amphitheatre in his Antient Topography of London (1810): “Broughton’s Amphitheatre is still standing; it is at the south-west corner of Castle Street, Wells Street; the lower part is a coal shed, the upper a stage for timber.” Its site is now occupied by No. 62 Castle Street East, close to Adam and Eve Court.

Here it was that the founder of the modern prize-ring, whose “Broughton rules” were observed everywhere until 1838, met disaster in his fight with the plucky Norwich butcher. The result was his retirement from the ring, and the loss by his backer, the Duke of Cumberland, of a bet of £10,000. In his later years, Broughton lived in Walcot Place, Lambeth, where he died, aged 85. He was buried in Lambeth Church. A monument to him in the West Walk of the Cloisters of Westminster Abbey describes him as “Yeoman of the Guard”; and it is stated in the Dictionary of National Biography that a place among the Yeomen was obtained for him by the Duke of Cumberland. In his Historical Memorials of Westminster Abbey, Dean Stanley says: “After his name on the gravestone is a space, which was to have been filled up with the words ‘Champion of England.’ The Dean objected, and the blank remains.” But the blank does not remain. It was filled in 1832 with the names of Roger Monk, another Yeoman of the Guard, and his wife. It is worthy of note, too, that the earliest name on the tablet is that of Broughton’s wife, Elizabeth, who was actually buried here.

[61] See note p. 105.

[62] Fischer had the further distinction of being married to a daughter of J. T. S., whose other daughter married a Mr. Smith, a sculptor.

[63] Gooseberry Fair followed the suppressed Tottenham Fair. Both were held in and about the Adam and Eve Tavern. Richard Yates and Ned Shuter appeared together at various London fairs.

[64] Charles Fleetwood threw Drury Lane into confusion both behind and before the scenes, by his unpunctual payment of salaries, and by attempting to introduce pantomimes against the wishes of the old play-goers. This led to noisy scenes in 1744, in one of which Horace Walpole stigmatised Fleetwood as “an impudent rascal” from his box, and was embarrassed by the enthusiastic approval of the audience.

[65] The exact site of the famous Footsteps is not easily determined. Dr. Rimbault (Notes and Queries, February 2, 1850) says that it was reputed to be “at the extreme termination of the north-east end of Upper Montague Street.” It is placed a little farther west by Robert Hill, the water-colour painter, who stated in a letter, quoted by Mr. Wheatley in his London: “I well remember the Brothers’ Footsteps. They were near a bank that divided two of the fields between Montague House and the New Road, and their situation must have been, if my recollection serves me, what is now Torrington Square.” Smith says the Footsteps were “on the site of Mr. Martin’s chapel, or nearly so.” Mr. John Martin, the Baptist minister, had the chapel in Keppel Street. It still exists. This brings the Footsteps a few yards south, but Smith’s indefiniteness must be taken into account. That these markings were visible as late as 1800 is proved by the following entry in the Commonplace Book of Joseph Moser: “June 16th, 1800. Went into the fields at the back of Montague House, and there saw, for the last time, the Forty Footsteps: the building materials are there to cover them from the sight of man.” The feeling with which these curious marks were regarded by educated people may be judged by a letter quoted in the Gentleman’s Magazine of December 1804, in which the writer expresses his conviction that “the Almighty has ordered it as a standing monument of his great displeasure of the horrid sin of duelling,” an opinion in which the poet Southey concurred. In 1828, Miss Jane Porter published her novel, The Field of the Forty Footsteps.

[66] Nearly a hundred years later, a similar superstition survived in London, and is thus noted by Brand in his Popular Antiquities: “In the Morning Post, Monday, May 2nd, 1791, it was mentioned ‘that yesterday, being the first of May, according to annual and superstitious custom, a number of persons went into the fields and bathed their faces with the dew on the grass, under the idea that it would render them beautiful.’”

[67] The occasion was a dinner at Tom Davies’s in 1762. “Boswell: Does not Gray’s poetry, sir, tower above the common mark? Johnson: Yes, sir; but we must attend to the difference between what men in general cannot do if they would, and what every man may do if he would. Sixteen-string Jack towered above the common mark.” Dr. William Bell, whom Rann robbed, was Rector of Christ Church, London, 1780-99, and treasurer of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

[68] Probably a mistake. These nosegays were given to condemned criminals on their way to Tyburn by the St. Sepulchre authorities. Rann was one of the last to receive the gift.

[69] Saunders Welch, the father of Mrs. Nollekens, was educated in Aylesbury workhouse, and for many years was a grocer in Museum Street, then Queen Street. He succeeded Fielding as a Justice of the Peace for Westminster. Smith says in his Nollekens that he met many people who recollected seeing him as High Constable of Westminster, “dressed in black, with a large, nine-storey George the Second’s wig highly powdered, with long flowing curls over his shoulder, a high three-cornered hat, and his black baton tipped with silver at either end, riding on a white horse to Tyburn with the malefactors.” A long and warm friendship existed between Saunders Welch and Dr. Johnson. “Johnson, who had an eager and unceasing curiosity to know human life in all its variety, told me that he attended Mr. Welch in his office for a whole winter, to hear the examinations of the culprits” (Boswell).

[70] To-day, High Street, Marylebone, is perhaps the most perfect High Street left in London. Neither from its north end in Marylebone Road nor from Oxford Street does it receive heavy traffic; its shops exist for the fine streets and squares around it, and it offers them the best of most things, from a tender chicken to a county history.

[71] “In the year 1741, the old church in which Hogarth has introduced his “Rake at the Altar with the Old Maid” was taken down, and the present one built on its site; so that the writers who have stated that the scene took place in the present edifice must acknowledge their error, if they will take the trouble to refer to Hogarth’s fifth plate of the Rake’s Progress, where they will find its publication to have taken place June 25, 1735.”—S.

[72] Probably Christopher Norton, of the St. Martin’s Lane Academy.

[73] Tradition reports that from Elizabeth it came to the Forsyths, and thence to the Duke of Portland. In his Marylebone and St. Pancras, Mr. Clinch writes: “In the year 1703 a large school was established here by Mr. De la Place. That gentleman’s daughter married the Rev. John Fountayne, Rector of North Sidmouth, in Wiltshire, and the latter succeeded Mr. De la Place in the school. The school is said to have obtained a considerable reputation among the nobility and gentry, whose sons there received an educational training previously to their removal to the universities.”

[74] “Mr. Fountayne had one son, afterwards Dean of York, and three daughters, viz. Mrs. Hargrave, Mrs. Jones, and Mrs. Metz. Mrs. Hargrave was lately living; she was the wife of Counsellor Hargrave, and was esteemed a great beauty. Another daughter of Monsieur De la Place married the Rev. Mr. Dyer, brother to the author of Grongar Hill, to whose nephew, the late Mr. Dyer, the printseller, I am obliged for some parts of the above information.”—S.

[75] Reproduced in Mr. Clinch’s Marylebone and St. Pancras (1890).

[76] Michael Angelo Rooker (1743-1801), the water-colour painter and engraver. “His works are drawn with conscientious accuracy, and show a sweet pencil” (Redgrave). He died March 3, 1801, in Dean Street, Soho, and was buried in the ground belonging to St. Martin-in-the-Fields, in the Kentish Town Road. Examples of his work are hung at South Kensington.

[77] The wonderful extra-illustrated copy presented to the Museum by John Charles Crowle, and valued at £5000.

[78] That is to say tiled.

[79] The Rev. John Fountayne was more than “noticed” by Handel; the two men were intimate. A grandson of Fountayne wrote in 1832: “One evening as my grandfather and Handel were walking together and alone, a new piece was struck up by the band. ‘Come, Mr. Fountayne,’ said Handel, ‘let us sit down and listen to this piece—I want to know your opinion of it.’ Down they sat, and after some time the old parson, turning to his companion, said, ‘It is not worth listening to—it’s very poor stuff.’ ‘You are right, Mr. F.,’ said Handel, ‘it is very poor stuff—I thought so myself when I had finished it.’ The old gentleman, being taken by surprise, was beginning to apologise; but Handel assured him there was no necessity; that the music was really bad, having been composed hastily, and his time for the production limited; and that the opinion given was as correct as it was honest” (Hone’s Year Book). “Clarke” was doubtless Dr. Adam Clarke, the Wesleyan, who died in Bayswater in 1832, and was well known for his bibliographical and theological works.

[80] Lady Harrington might well lend her jewels, since she often borrowed. Horace Walpole tells how, at the Coronation of George III., she appeared “covered with all the diamonds she could borrow, hire, or seize, with the air of Roxana, the finest figure at a distance.”

[81] The great actress. She played Violante to Garrick’s Don Felix in the actor’s last appearance.

[82] In his Memoirs, the Rev. John Trusler, who was educated at Dr. Fountayne’s school, does not spare Mrs. Fountayne’s tuft-hunting tendencies. In one instance she was covered with ridicule through the action of a Soho pastry-cook named Jenkins, who, wishing his son to enter the school, arranged that he should do so under the name of the Prince De Chimmay. When Mrs. Fountayne discovered that his father made tarts a mile from the school door, “she had the laugh so much against her, that she could not show her face for months.”

[83] The Royal College of Physicians, then housed in Warwick Lane.

[84] Norfolk Street was the northern continuation of Newman Street; it is now merged in Cleveland Street.

[85] John Baptist Locatelli, a native of Verona, had his studio in Union Street, Tottenham Court Road, from 1776. He was befriended by Horace Walpole, with whom he quarrelled bitterly over a group representing Theseus offering assistance to Hercules. Walpole refused to take this work, although he had already paid the sculptor £350 on account, and was probably justified, since Nollekens said the group looked “like the dry skins of two brickmakers stuffed with clotted flocks from an old mattress.” Locatelli worked also for the brothers Adam, and he superintended the carving of the basso-relievos put up by Nollekens on the outside of the Sessions House, Clerkenwell Green. In 1796 he left England for Milan, where Buonaparte employed him and granted him a pension. (See Smith’s Life of Nollekens, 1829, pp. 119-123, and Thornbury’s British Artists, vol. ii. pp. 9-16).

[86] Wilson, upon whom a note has been given under the year 1766, lived at No. 36 Charlotte Street, Fitzroy Square, within a few minutes’ walk of this group of elms. He was accustomed of a fine evening, says Redgrave, to throw open his window and invite his friends to enjoy with him the glowing sunset behind the Hampstead and Highgate hills. Fitzroy Square was not begun until 1790-94. To-day the miles between Charlotte Street and these northern heights are filled by streets. Nevertheless, Hampstead church can still be seen from Charlotte Street, piercing the northern distance, and, but for the slight deflection of Rathbone Place, it would be visible from Oxford Street. John Constable afterwards lived in the same street. The elms under which Wilson and Baretti walked must have had their roots in the ground on which the east side of Cleveland Street is built.

[87] It is difficult to form an idea of this instrument. It was beaten with a rolling-pin, and appears to have been used as a drum in such a way (according to the manner in which it was struck) as to produce something like notes. This is indicated in Bonnell Thornton’s burlesque, Ode to St. Cecilia’s Day, in which occur the well-known lines which amused Dr. Johnson:—

“In strains more exalted the salt-box shall join,
And clattering and battering and clapping combine;
With a rap and a tap while the hollow side sounds.
Up and down leaps the flap, and with rattling rebounds.”

The character of the neighbourhood round the “Farthing Pie House” (Portland Road Station) in Smith’s boyhood, may be judged by Smith’s statement in his Vagabondiana, that “when the sites of Portland Place, Devonshire Street, etc., were fields, the famous Tommy Lowe, then a singer at Mary-le-bone Gardens, raised a subscription, to enable an unfortunate man to run a small chariot, drawn by four muzzled mastiffs, from a pond near Portland Chapel, called Cockney Ladle, which supplied Mary-le-bone Bason with water, to the ‘Farthing Pie House’ … in order to accommodate children with a ride for a halfpenny.”

[88] By Queen Anne Street Smith means the street which has borne the successive names of Little Queen Anne Street, Queen Anne Street East, Foley Place, and (now) Langham Street. The present Queen Anne Street is on the west side of Portland Place; it was originally Great Queen Anne Street, then Queen Anne Street West. A curious interest attaches to these streets, neither of which runs, as it seems destined to do, into Portland Place. Thus:—

Map illustrating the streets described above.

Their failure to run directly into Portland Place (see dotted lines) is a relic of Foley House which occupied the site of the Langham Hotel, and interposed its gardens where these streets would have joined. It was afterwards intended to build a Queen Anne Square at the foot of Great Portland Street, but this project fell through.

[89] There were many ponds in the fields on which the streets of St. Pancras and Marylebone are built. In an early view of Whitefield’s Tabernacle, a pond is delineated on a spot now covered, as nearly as may be judged, by Torrington Square. Farther west, on the site of Duke Street, Portland Place, was the Cockney Ladle, in which small boys bathed at the risk of having their clothes seized by the parish beadles. Close by this—on the site of the backs of the east side of Harley Street—was the Marylebone Basin, a dangerously deep water. Many drownings occurred in ponds of which no trace or memory remains. Thus, the St. James’s Chronicle of August 8, 1769, says: “Two young chairmen [i.e. carriers of sedan chairs] were unfortunately drowned on Friday Evening last, in a Pond behind the North-Side of Portman-Square. They had been beating a Carpet in the Square, and being thereby warm and dirty agreed to bathe in the above Pond, not being aware of its great Depth. The Man who first went in could swim, and while he was swimming his Companion went in, but being presently out of his Depth he sunk. The Swimmer immediately made to the Place to save his Companion; but he, coming up again under the Swimmer, laid fast hold of him, and they both sunk down together and were drowned.”

[90] “On Friday last, Mr. Carlile, a Quaker of about 17 years of age, had the misfortune to fall into Marylebone-Bason, and was drowned” (Daily Advertiser, June 18, 1744).

[91] And from their contiguity to a French Protestant chapel, founded in 1756.

[92] The difficulty of writing recent history is exemplified by Smith in his account of Marylebone Gardens, which is far excelled by Mr. Warwick Wroth’s chapter on Marylebone Gardens in his London Pleasure Gardens of the Eighteenth Century (1896). Fully to annotate Smith’s chronology of these gardens would require many pages, and the result would be unsatisfactory. I shall therefore deal with only the more prominent names he mentions.

[93] May 7, 1668.

[94] M. Wroth says: “In 1691 the place was known as Long’s Bowling Green at the Rose, and for several years (circ. 1679-1736) persons of quality might have been seen bowling there during the summer-time.

‘At the Groom Porters battered bullies play;
Some Dukes at Marybone bowl time away.’”

These lines, often erroneously attributed to Lady Mary Wortley Montague, occur in Pope’s The Basset-table, an Eclogue.

[95] Rockhoult, or Rockholt House, was at Leyton, in Essex, and was “for a short period an auxiliary place of amusement for the Summer to the established Theatres” (Gentleman’s Magazine, July 1814). It was opened about 1742, and was apparently regarded as “the place to spend a happy day.” A ballad to “Delia” exclaimed—

“Delia, in whose form we trace
All that can a virgin grace,
Hark where pleasure, blithe as May,
Bids us to Rockholt haste away.”

[96] “The principal shareholder and manager of Ranelagh at this date was Sir Thomas Robinson, Bart., M.P., whose gigantic form was for many years familiar to frequenters of the Rotunda; a writer of 1774 calls him its Maypole, and Garland of Delights. Robinson lived at Prospect Place, adjoining the gardens.”

[97] The New Wells belonged to the Islington group of pleasure gardens, and stood on ground now occupied by Lower Rosomon Street, Clerkenwell. It flourished 1737-50, and numbered a collection of rattlesnakes among its attractions.

[98] Cuper’s Gardens, a great resort. The Feathers Tavern at the end of Waterloo Bridge is the successor of the tavern originally in the gardens, the site of which is traversed by the Waterloo Road. They were closed in 1759, after which Dr. Johnson, passing them in a coach with Langton, Beauclerk, and Lady Sydney Beauclerk (mother of his friend), jokingly proposed, to Lady Sydney’s horror, that they should lease them: “She had no notion of a joke, sir; she had come late into life, and had a mighty unpliable understanding.”

[99] Advertised as “the Pariton, an instrument never played in publick before.”

[100] Mary Ann Falkner was a niece of George Falkner, the Dublin printer, whom Foote caricatured on the stage. She appeared at Marylebone from 1747 to about 1752, giving such songs as “Amoret and Phyllis,” “The Happy Couple,” and “The Faithful Lover.” Much sought after, she remained faithful to her husband, a linen draper named Donaldson, until his conduct threw her under the protection of the second Earl of Halifax.

[101] M. Wroth says, on good evidence, that Trusler became proprietor only in 1756.

[102] The career of young John Trusler, afterwards the Rev. Dr. Trusler, is interesting. Without a collegiate training, he took Holy Orders, and officiated as a curate in London. His eye for business revealed to him the possibilities of sermon-mongering, and he was soon making a respectable income by supplying clergymen all over the country with sermons in script characters. His operations became something of a scandal, and Cowper scourged him in “The Task”—

“He grinds divinity of other days
Down into modern use, transforms old print
To zigzag manuscript, and cheats the eyes
Of gallery critics by a thousand arts.
Are there who purchase of the doctor’s ware?
Oh, name it not in Gath! It cannot be
That grave and learned clerks should need such aid.
He doubtless is in sport, and does but droll,
Assuming thus a rank unknown before—
Grand caterer and dry-nurse of the Church!”

Trusler also issued the morning and evening services so printed and punctuated as to indicate to incompetent readers how they should be delivered. Cowper writes—

“He teaches those to read, whom schools dismiss’d,
And colleges, untaught; sells accent, tone,
And emphasis in score, and gives to prayer
The adagio and andante it demands.”

Prospering at this business, Trusler set up a publishing establishment in Wardour Street, from which he issued manuals of all kinds, including his most respectable work, Hogarth Moralised, in which Mrs. Hogarth became a partner and collaborator. At the age of 85 he died in his villa at Englefield Green, Middlesex.

[103] Miss Trusler’s seed and plum cakes were famous. In a judgment on Mrs. Cornelys for keeping an objectionable house, Sir John Fielding sagely remarked that her Soho assemblies were unnecessary, having regard to the many attractions elsewhere, such as “Ranelagh with its music and fireworks, and Marylebone Gardens, with music, wine, and plum-cake.”

[104] The arrival of three Cherokee Indian chiefs in the spring of 1762 roused the liveliest interest in London. These braves came over in token of friendship after the ratification of a treaty of peace at Charlestown, South Carolina. They were well-made men, six feet in height, and were dressed, says the Gentleman’s Magazine (May 1762), “in their own country habit with only a shirt, trousers, and mantle round them; their faces are painted of a copper colour, and their heads adorned with shells, feathers, ear-rings, and other trifling ornaments. They neither of them can speak to be understood, and very unfortunately lost their interpreter in their passage. A house is taken for them in Suffolk Street, and cloaths have been given them in the English fashion.” Among the thousands of Londoners who went to see the “Cherokee Kings” was Oliver Goldsmith.

[105] By an indenture dated August 30, 1763. This document, which Smith’s namesake Thomas Smith quoted in his History of the Parish of Marylebone, shows that the Gardens were attached to the Rose Tavern, and that they contained walks, statuary, boxes, benches, and musical appliances and books. Lowe’s lease was for fourteen years at the annual rent of £170.

[106] Not the well-known Stephen Storace (who was born only in this year), but his father, a Neapolitan, described by George Hogarth as “a good performer on the double bass in the band of the Opera House.”

[107] Nan Catley won hearts by her breezy manner and air of camaraderie. Hers “was the singing of unequalled animal spirits; it was Mrs. Jordan’s comedy carried into music.… She was bold, volatile, audacious” (Boaden: Life of Mrs. Siddons).

[108] Long before this, Dick Turpin had appeared in the Garden itself, and had surprised Mrs. Fountayne, the wife of the Marylebone schoolmaster, with a kiss. He impudently remarked, “Be not alarmed, madam; you can now boast that you have been kissed by Dick Turpin. Good-morning!”

[109] Lowe was now glad to obtain singing engagements at Sadler’s Wells and other tea-gardens. His career from riches to poverty is illustrated in the story, told by John Taylor in his Records of My Life, that, soon after becoming master of Marylebone Gardens, he was seen riding thither in his chariot with a large iron trunk behind it, which he explained he had purchased “to place the profits of the Gardens in.” Taylor adds that he had last seen Lowe in a lane near Aldersgate Street, coming out of a butcher’s shop, with some meat in a checked handkerchief.

[110] An editorial note in the third edition of the Rainy Day suggests that this name was made popular by Prior’s “Chloe.” This seems probable, for Prior gave all the vogue of an ideal to this woman, who, in real life, was the wife of a coachman in Long Acre, and was described by Johnson as “a despicable drab of the lowest species.”

[111] See note on Weston, p. 208.

[112] Charles Bannister, the vocalist and actor, father of the more famous John Bannister.

[113] Signor Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, born near Ancona in the first decade of the eighteenth century, composed numerous operas and oratorios. Of the former his La Serva Padrona was revived in London as late as 1873.

[114] Felix Giardini, a Piedmontese musician, came to England in 1750, and met with encouragement. He died in Russia in 1793. After hearing him play at Bath, Gainsborough bought his viol-di-gamba, but was soon disgusted to find that the music remained with the Italian. Horace Walpole was not enthusiastic about Giardini as a composer, and advised Mason to employ Handel to set his Sappho. “Your Act is classical Athenian; shall it be subdi-di-di-vi-vi-vi-ded into modern Italian?”

[115] Dr. Arnold’s appearance at Bow Street was in respect of a rocket-stick which had descended in the sacrosanct garden of Mrs. Fountayne.

[116] “To James Winston, Esq. [secretary to the Garrick Club, and several times mentioned in the diary of John Payne Collier], I am obliged for the above notices; indeed, to that gentleman’s disinterested indulgence I am also indebted for many other curious particulars introduced in this work, selected from his most extensive and valuable library of English Theatrical Biography, both in manuscript and in print, a collection formed by himself during the last thirty years.”—S.

[117] “Torré was a printseller in partnership with the late Mr. Thane, and lived in Market Lane, Haymarket.”—S.

[118] Dr. William Kenrick, the rampageous critic and playwright. His comedy The Duellist is his best-remembered work. In July 1774 he began a course of lectures in the “Theatre for Burlettas” at Marylebone Gardens, which he termed “a School of Shakespeare,” an entertainment which he also gave at the Devil Tavern in Fleet Street. Kenrick attacked Dr. Johnson’s Shakespeare. On Goldsmith saying that he had never heard of Kenrick’s writings, the doctor replied: “Sir, he is one of the many who have made themselves public, without making themselves known.”

It is curious that Smith omits to mention Dr. Johnson’s rampageous visit to the Gardens to see Torré’s fireworks, with his friend George Steevens, the Shakesperian commentator. It may have taken place in this year, 1774.

[119] Robert Baddeley began his connection with the stage as cook to Foote. He was the original Moses in the School for Scandal. It was he who bequeathed £100 to provide the cake and wine which actors and journalists still consume on Twelfth Night. He is stated by Dr. Doran to have been the last actor to wear the royal livery of scarlet, which, as “His Majesty’s Servants,” the Drury Lane players were entitled to assume.

[120] A posthumous son of Henry Carey, author of “Sally in our Alley.” “Saville Carey I have heard sometimes touch Nan Catley’s manner feebly in the famous triumph of her hilarity, ‘Push about the Jorum’” (Boaden: Life of Mrs. Siddons). His worthless daughter, Nance Carey, bore to one Kean, a tailor, or a builder, a child whom she neglected and abandoned. This boy became Edmund Kean, the great actor (Doran’s Their Majestys’ Servants, vol. ii. pp. 523-26).

[121] These initials thinly disguise such well-known entertainers as Garrick, Bannister, Mrs. Baddeley, and the singers Mr. Darley, Mr. Vernon, and Nan Catley, all of whom were imitated by the versatile Carey.

[122] As Abel Drugger, one of his finest parts.

[123] The “Forge of Vulcan” was Signor Torré’s masterpiece; in it appeared Venus and Cupid in dialogue, in more or less relevant circumstances of flame and lava.

[124] Fantoccino, the Italian puppet-entertainment, was introduced to France by an Italian named Marion (hence “marionettes”), and then into England. The great London Fantoi show of the eighteenth century was Flockton’s.

Breslaw, the conjurer, began his London appearances in 1772, in Cockspur Street. In 1774 he gave his entertainment on alternate days here and at the “King’s Arms” opposite the Royal Exchange. It is told of him while performing at Canterbury, he promised the Mayor that if the duration of his licence were extended he would give one night’s receipts to the poor. The Mayor agreed, and the conjurer had a full house. Hearing nothing further of the money, the Mayor called on Breslaw to inquire. The following dialogue ensued.

“Mr. Mayor, I have distributed the money myself.”

“Pray, sir, to whom?”

“To my own company, than whom none can be poorer.”

“This is a trick!”

“Sir, we live by tricks.”

[125] Baggio Rebecca, decorative painter, died in 1808. Of his election as Associate of the Royal Academy in 1771, Leslie says: “Academic advancement was rapid in those days. Every man who displayed the least ability was certain of election.” Rebecca had a small share in decorating the Royal Academy lecture-room at Somerset House.

[126] Most of these localities have ceased to be the resort of bird-fanciers. To-day the chief London quarters for song-birds are St. Giles’s, Leadenhall Market, and, above all, Sclater Street in Spitalfields, known as “Club Row.”

[127] The sights in this famous cockpit are recorded by Hogarth in his print of 1759, and by Rowlandson in Ackermann’s Microcosm of London (1808).

Bainbridge Street survives as a narrow lane behind New Oxford Street, leading from Dyott Street to the back of Meux’s brewery.

At the beginning of the eighteenth century the cockpit behind Gray’s Inn (its exact locality is not easily discovered), enjoyed “the only vogue” (Hatton). Mr. William B. Boulton (The Amusements of Old London, 1901) quotes a description of it by Von Uffenbach, a German traveller, who says it was specially built for the sport.

Pickled-Egg Walk, afterwards Crawford’s Passage (now Crawford Passage, Ray Street, Clerkenwell), was named after the proprietor of the Pickled-Egg Tavern, who brought from the West of England a recipe for pickled eggs and supplied this novel cate to his customers. Pink mentions a tradition that Charles II. once paused here in a suburban journey and ate a pickled egg. The mains fought at the cockpit here were regularly advertised in the newspapers.

Charles Hughes and Charles Dibdin, the song-writer, opened the “Royal Circus and Equestrian Philharmonic Academy” in 1782.

Cock-fighting was made illegal in 1849, but a statement in Cocking and its Votaries (1895), by S. A. T. (for private circulation), makes it quite manifest that “not a few wealthy men in England still follow up this sport, stealthily but with much zeal—a fact that is as discreditable to the guardians of the law as it is to themselves.” I quote Mr. J. Charles Cox in his admirable edition of Strutt’s Sports and Pastimes (1903).

[128] Behind this formal entry lies the most affecting farewell scene ever enacted on a London stage. The doors of Drury Lane Theatre were opened at “half after five” on that evening of June 10, 1776, and the profits of the performance were announced to be given to the Theatrical Fund. It was but the last of a series of farewell nights in which Garrick had played his great parts for the last time to densely crowded houses. As Mr. Percy Fitzgerald says: “Other actors retire in one night, Garrick’s departure filled a whole season and only culminated on this last night.” “Last night,” he wrote, “I played Abel Drugger for the last time. I thought the audience were cracked, and they almost turned my brain.”

On June 5, King George and his Queen attended to see Garrick’s last “Richard.” Distinguished people were turned nightly from the doors, and many became almost frantic to think that they must see Garrick now or never again. Hannah More wrote: “I pity those who have not seen him. Posterity will never be able to form the slightest idea of his perfections.… I have seen him within three weeks take leave of Benedick, Sir John Brute, Kitely, Abel Drugger, Archer, and Leon.”

On the last night, of all, Garrick played Don Felix in Mrs. Centilivre’s comedy, which he chose, perhaps, as a foil to the tragedy of his farewell. In his Life of the actor Mr. Fitzgerald thus describes the supreme moment: “He retired slowly—up—up the stage, his eyes fixed on them with a lingering longing. Then stopped. The shouts of applause from that brilliant amphitheatre were broken by sobs and tears. To his ears were borne from many quarters the word ‘Farewell! Farewell!’ Mrs. Garrick was in her box, in an agony of hysterical tears. The wonderful eyes, still brilliant, were turned wistfully again and again to that sea of sympathetic faces, one of the most brilliant audiences perhaps that ever sat in Drury Lane; and at last, with an effort, he tore himself from their view.”

[129] Garrick’s last season at Drury Lane was Mrs. Siddons’ first. She was but twenty-one years of age, and made no striking success, though “her type was enlarged in the bill” (Boadley).

[130] A single short fall of lace from the hat has been far from unfashionable in recent years. Fans were carried later than 1776. A print of two ladies in outdoor costume in the Gallery of Fashion, published in May 1796, is reproduced by Fairholt, who remarks: “Both ladies carry the then indispensable article—a fan.” Indeed, the fashion-plates of the eighteenth century disclose hardly any period in which fans were not carried out of doors.

[131] Norton Street is now Bolsover Street, running south from near Portland Road Station, parallel east of Great Portland Street. In the eighteenth century it had considerable pretensions. From it Sir William Chambers’s funeral proceeded to the Abbey in March 1796. Wilson, Turner, and Wilkie all painted here. It is now a dull macadamised street in whose houses upholstering, steel-cutting, etc., are carried on.

[132] Smith erroneously notes that “this house, subsequently inhabited by the Duchess of Bolton, Sir John Nicholl, Sir Vicary Gibbs, and by Sir Charles Flower, Bart., has been recently pulled down, and several houses built upon the site.” The premises remain to this day, but they form several houses. As early as 1776 Northouck noted that Baltimore House was “either built without a plan, or else has had very whimsical owners; for the door has been shifted to different parts of the house, being now carried into the stable-yard.”

[133] The map engraved for Northouck’s History of London in 1772 shows that Smith was justified in these statements. The unexpected break in the houses which still occurs on the south side of Guilford Street is a relic of the desire to leave this square open to Highgate. This intention was defeated when the north side of Guilford Street was built. Thenceforward the north-westward growth of London was rapid, and by 1845 rurality had been pushed up to Chalk Farm by advancing brick and mortar.

[134] This Italian painter exhibited portraits and water colours at the Royal Academy from 1774 to 1778. He painted the principal ceiling at the old East India House.

[135] This painting is said to represent Mary, and her son James (afterwards James I. of England) as a boy four years of age. Doubts have been thrown on its history. (See Gentleman’s Magazine, vols. xlviii. and xlix.)

[136] A fortune-teller by tea-leaves, the leaves being “grouted” or turned over in the cup.

[137] At this time Charles Towneley (1737-1805) was living at No. 7 Park Street (now, with Queen Anne’s Square, named Queen Anne’s Gate), where he entertained, among others, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Nollekens, and Johann Zoffany. The Townley collection of Greek and Roman statues, altars, urns, busts, etc., now in the British Museum, was freely shown to the public in Park Street.

[138] It was from Mr. Tunnard’s house, on Bankside, that Smith etched the river procession which brought Nelson’s body to Whitehall, mentioned in Smith’s note, p. 182.

[139] The manager, and afterwards part proprietor, of Thrale’s brewery. He hung a fine mezzotint portrait of Johnson in the counting-house, and when Mrs. Thrale, in Johnson’s presence, asked him why he had done so, he replied, “Because, madam, I wish to have one wise man there.” “Sir,” said Johnson, “I thank you. It is a very handsome compliment, and I believe you speak sincerely.”

[140] The Rev. James Beresford became Rector of Kibworth Beauchamp, Lincoln, in 1812. He died in 1840.

[141] Elizabeth Carter, of “Epictetus” fame, the friend of Dr. Johnson. See note, p. 231.

Anna Letitia Barbauld, the well-known miscellaneous writer, whose poem “Life! I know not what thou art” is her one imperishable composition.

Angelica Kauffman, the painter (1741-1807). See Smith’s account of her under the year 1807.

Mrs. Sheridan was the beautiful, clever, and faithful wife of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, whom she assisted in the management of Drury Lane Theatre.

Charlotte Lenox, born in New York, 1720, was the author of The Life of Harriot Stuart, in which she portrayed her own youth. She found interest in high quarters, and was given apartments in Somerset House, which, however, she lost when that building was demolished. Dr. Johnson insisted on his friends sitting up all night at the Devil Tavern to celebrate Mrs. Lenox’s “first literary child” (Harriot Stuart), an immense apple pie being part of the entertainment. In the morning the waiters were so sleepy that the party had to wait two hours for their reckoning.

Mrs. Montague, the original “blue stocking,” had little womanly taste, but her mind was well stored and active; she lived in an atmosphere of English and foreign talent, and her assemblies at Montague House, in Portman Square, are historical. Dr. Johnson was severe on her Essay on the Writings and Genius of Shakespeare, remarking: “Reynolds is fond of her book, and I wonder at it; for neither I nor Beauclerk nor Mrs. Thrale could get through it.”

Hannah More had appeared in the London literary firmament in 1774; her tragedy Percy had just been given by Garrick, and her star was in brightest ascension.

Such was the fame of Mrs. Catherine Macaulay, author of a forgotten History of England, that Dr. Wilson, Rector of St. Stephen’s, Walbrook, erected a statue to her in the chancel of that church during her lifetime. It was very properly removed by his successor.

Mrs. Elizabeth Griffith wrote several plays which Garrick presented with success. The Letters of Henry and Frances, which she wrote in collaboration with her husband, a dramatist, were popular.

[142] At No. 5 (now No. 4) Adelphi Terrace, Garrick lived between 1772 and 1779. He died at about 8 a.m. The house is distinguished by a commemorative tablet, as also (recently and more artistically) is his previous residence in Southampton Street, Strand.

[143] Boswell says: “Garrick’s funeral was talked of as extravagantly expensive, but Dr. Johnson, from his dislike to exaggeration, would not allow that it was distinguished by an extraordinary pomp. ‘Were there not six horses to each coach?’ said Mrs. Burney. Johnson: ‘Madam, there were no more six horses than six phœnixes.’” On this Croker notes: “There certainly were, and Johnson himself went in one of the coach and six.” Richard Cumberland saw Johnson standing beside the grave, at the foot of Shakespeare’s statue, bathed in tears. Horace Walpole wrote to the Countess of Ossory, February 1, 1779: “Yes, madam, I do think the pomp of Garrick’s funeral perfectly ridiculous,” and he gave his reasons with epigrammatic force. Others were of the same opinion; and John Henderson, the actor, wrote “a rather bitter impromptu on Mr. Garrick’s Funeral,” in which Garrick is represented as directing the pageant.

“‘Call all my carpenters—bid George attend.
And ransack Monmouth Street from end to end;
Buy all the black, defraud the starving moth.
Or let him, if he will, defile the cloth:
Bring moth and all—we have no time to lose—
If there’s not black enough, then buy the blues.’
Thus far he spoke, in an imperial tone,
And quite forgot the funeral was his own.”

[144] Antonio Zucchi, A.R.A., who became Angelica Kauffmann’s second husband, was employed by the brothers Adam, the architects of the Adelphi. The cost of the mantelpiece is given by Mr. Wheatley as £300, the probable figure. Mrs. Garrick died in the same house in 1822.

[145] The “English Grotto,” as it was called, was one of the Islington group of tea-gardens. Its proprietor, Jackson, pleased his public by an ingenious water-mill, an “enchanted fountain,” and a display of gold and silver fish. A pleasingly rustic view in the Crace collection is reproduced by Mr. Wroth in London Pleasure Gardens of the Eighteenth Century.

[146] Francesco Bartolozzi, R.A., was an original member of the Royal Academy, and he engraved its diploma. His rapid rise, and his appointment to be engraver to the King at £300 a year, were disturbing to Sir Robert Strange, who treated him with misplaced contempt. “Let Strange beat that if he can,” exclaimed Bartolozzi, on executing his “Clytia.” Unfortunately he was improvident, and his studio became a manufactory of facile chalk studies, to many of which he put only the finishing touches. After a brilliant career in England, he went to Lisbon, where he was knighted, and died there in 1815, in his 88th year.

[147] John Hinchliffe (1731-94), the son of a livery-stable keeper in Swallow Street, was born in Westminster, and educated at Westminster School. He was consecrated Bishop of Peterborough, Dec. 17, 1769. He bought some of Smith’s youthful imitations of Rembrandt and Ostade. A note on Sherwin will be found under 1782.

[148] In 1781, Mary Robinson (1758-1800), known as “Perdita,” had ceased to be the mistress of the Prince of Wales, afterwards George IV., whose bond for £20,000, never paid, was exchanged for the pension of £500 a year awarded her by Fox in 1783. She was portrayed by Reynolds twice, and by Romney, Gainsborough, Hoppner, Zoffany, and twice by Cosway.

The original name of Mrs. Robinson’s family had been M’Dermott, which had been changed by an ancestor to Darby. Mrs. Darby had brought up her daughter under difficult circumstances. Obliged to earn her own living during her husband’s absence in America, she started a ladies’ boarding school in Little Chelsea, in which the future “Perdita” (as we learn from her autobiography) taught English literature to the daughters of the well-to-do citizens, and read to them “sacred and moral lessons on saints’ days and Sunday evenings.” The “high personage” referred to in this paragraph is of course the Prince, in whom Richard Cosway, the courtly miniaturist, found a lavish patron.

[149] Anticipating, on a higher scale, Dickens’s servant-girl bride, who, on stepping into a hackney-coach after the ceremony, “threw a red shawl, which she had, no doubt, brought on purpose, negligently over the number on the door, evidently to delude pedestrians into the belief that the hackney-coach was a private carriage” (Sketches by Boz).

[150] Smith’s first master, John Keyse Sherwin, had been a pupil of Bartolozzi. In his studio in St. James’s Street, he was patronised by the Duchesses of Devonshire and Rutland, Lady Jersey, and other ladies of rank, many of whom were eager to figure in his drawing of “The Finding of Moses,” in which the Princess Royal appeared as Pharaoh’s daughter. He was a wonderfully skilful portrait artist: “I have often seen him,” says Smith, “begin at the toe, draw upwards, and complete it at the top of the head in a most correct and masterly manner. He had also an extraordinary command over the use of both his hands.” He was an irregular worker, however, and debt and dissipation helped to kill him at the age of 39.

The sitting given to Sherwin by Mrs. Siddons took place soon after her re-appearance at Drury Lane Theatre, the beginning of her real fame, October 10, 1782. After opening with Isabella in Garrick’s version of The Fatal Marriage, she played Euphrasia in The Grecian Daughter.

[151] William Henderson, a collector, lived at No. 33 Charlotte Street, Fitzroy Square, where he was the neighbour of Constable.

[152] Mathews’ collection, the formation of which had been the passion of his later years, was not dispersed. It consisted almost entirely of portraits, and on these he is said to have laid out about £5000. For their accommodation the younger Mathews built a special gallery for his father at Ivy Cottage, Kentish Town, from a design by Pugin. In gratifying his tastes, Mathews found that he had sacrificed his privacy to sight-seers; the rural cottage in which he had sought peace became a show-place. The collection ultimately passed to the Garrick Club.

[153] Apparently Smith refers to his will, as it then existed; but, as a matter of fact, he left no will. On his death, letters of administration were granted to his widow, the value of his estate being only £100. The second of the two witnesses was doubtless John Pritt Harley. See note, p. 321.

[154] John Charles Crowle of Fryston Hall, Wakefield, lawyer and antiquary, was a member of the Dilettanti Society, and its Secretary, 1774-78. He was a noted joker and boon companion, and left a tangible proof of his interest in art and antiquity in the illustrated and interleaved copy of Pennant’s History of London which he bequeathed to the British Museum. He died in 1811.

[155] Rats’ Castle is described by Smith in his Nollekens as “a shattered house then standing on the east side of Dyot Street, and so called from the rat-catchers and canine snackers who inhabited it, and where they cleaned the skins of those unfortunate stray dogs who had suffered death the preceding night.” Nollekens obtained models for his Venuses from Mrs. Lobb, an elderly lady in a green calash, at the Fan Tavern in Dyot Street. This street was named after Richard Dyot, a parishioner of St. Giles-in-the-Fields. “The name was changed to George Street in consequence of a filthy song which attained wide popularity, but the original name was restored in 1877” (Wheatley).

[156] This inscription appears to be incorrect. An editorial note to the 1845 (second) edition of the Rainy Day points out that this well-known beggar died April 25, 1788, and that the Gentleman’s Magazine recorded his death thus: “In Bridewell, where he was confined a second time as a vagrant, the man known by the name of Old Simon, who for many years has gone about this city covered with rags, clouted shoes, three old hats upon his head, and his fingers full of brass rings. On the following day, the Coroner’s Inquest sat on his body, and brought in their verdict, ‘Died by the visitation of God.’”

[157] Dr. John Gardner, a well-known character, erected his tomb in the churchyard of St. Leonard’s, Shoreditch, some years before his death, and inscribed it:

Dr. John Gardner’s Last and Best Bedroom,

but finding that he was assumed to be already dead, and that his practice as a worm-doctor in Norton Folgate was declining, he interpolated the word “intended” thus:

Dr. John Gardner’s Intended Last and Best Bedroom.

A correspondent of Notes and Queries, Aug. 25, 1860, wrote: “I remember him well; a stout, burly man with a flaxen wig: he rode daily into London on a large roan-coloured horse.” It was said that he was buried in an erect position by his own wish. Gardner’s tombstone is still carefully preserved, and is a curiosity of the Hackney Road, whence the inscription can be read through the churchyard railings. It now runs:


Dr. John Gardner’s
Last and best Bedroom
Who departed this life the 8th
Of April, 1835, in his 84th year.
Also are here Interred two of His
Sons and Two of His Granddaughters.

[158] “Funeral Weever”: John Weever (1576-1632), poet and antiquary; author of Ancient Funeral Monuments, 1631.

[159] “I know not whether Mrs. Nollekens was of Lord Monboddo’s opinion, that men originally had tails; but I could have informed her that it has been asserted that the species of monkeys that have no tails are more inclined to show tricks than those that have.”—(Smith.)

[160] The antiquary, and correspondent of White of Selborne. He joined this year (1783) the club founded by Johnson at the Essex Head in Essex Street, Strand.

[161] Mrs. Nollekens was Mary, second daughter of Mr. Saunders Welch, the police magistrate. Her flightiness and parsimony are Smith’s endless sport in his Life of her husband, and he was willing to believe that her character resembled that of Pekuah, the favourite attendant of the princess, in Rasselas. Miss Hawkins says in her Anecdotes, that Johnson drew Pekuah from Mary Welch, and that she had this from Anne Welch. In any case, the Doctor found “Pekuah’s” vivacity agreeable. Smith relates: “I have heard Mr. Nollekens say that the Doctor, when joked with about her, observed, ‘Yes, I think Mary would have been mine, if little Joe had not stepped in.’”

[162] “The name of Norman was so extensively known, that I consider it hardly possible for many of my readers to be ignorant of his fame; indeed, so much was he in requisition, that persons residing out of Town would frequently order the carriage for no other purpose than to consult Dr. Norman as to the state of Biddy’s health, just as people of rank now consult Partington or Thompson as to the irregularities of their children’s teeth” (Smith: Nollekens).

[163] George Keate was a man of miscellaneous talent. His best-known literary works are his serio-comic poem “The Distressed Poet” (1787), and his “Account of the Pelew Islands from the Journal of Captain Henry Wilson.” He enjoyed the friendship of Voltaire at Geneva, and was careful that the world should know it. In her Early Diary, Miss Burney gives a good portrait of Keate as she met him “at the house of six old maids, all sisters, and all above sixty.” She found him a “sluggish” conversationalist who aimed continually at making himself the subject of discussion, “while he listened with the greatest nonchalance, reclining his person upon the back of his chair and kicking his foot now over, and now under, a gold-headed cane.”

[164] This dealer probably bought dog-skins. “The dexterous of all dentists” may be explained by the following passage in Smith’s Vagabondiana (1817): “It is scarcely to be believed that some few years ago a woman of the name of Smith regularly went over London early in the morning, to strike out the teeth of dead dogs that had been stolen and killed for the sake of their skins. These teeth she sold to bookbinders, carvers, and gilders, as burnishing tools.”

[165] The Last Supper was one of many religious subjects which the Quaker artist painted for his uncritical patron, George III. It was a transparent painting, and was let into the east window, which was structurally altered for its accommodation; but it was long ago removed, and the window restored. It is a commonplace that West’s powers lagged far behind his ambition. “Twenty years after his death,” says Mr. E. T. Cook, “some of his pictures, for which he had been paid 3000 guineas, were knocked down at a public sale for £10; and such of his pictures as had been presented to the National Gallery have now been removed to the provinces.” West’s work for George III. is represented by seventeen paintings in the Queen Anne’s Drawing-Room at Hampton Court. These include “Hannibal Swearing never to make Peace with Rome,” “The Death of Epaminondas,” “The Death of General Wolfe” (a picture of some value), “The Final Departure of Regulus from Rome,” etc.

[166] Richard Wyatt of Egham was a well-known amateur, and the patron of John Opie. He married Priscilla, daughter of John Edgell of Milton Place, and had three sons and four daughters.

[167] Anne, or Nancy, Parsons is supposed to have been the daughter of a Bond Street tailor. She lived under the protection of a Mr. Horton, a West India merchant, with whom she went to Jamaica. On her return she lodged in Brewer Street, and, after living with Duke of Dorset and others, became the mistress of the Duke of Grafton. Junius bitterly says: “The name of Miss Parsons would hardly have been known if the first Lord of the Treasury had not led her in triumph through the Opera House, even in the presence of the Queen. When we see a man act in this manner, we may admit the shameless depravity of his heart, but what are we to think of his understanding?” Ultimately Nancy Parsons married Charles, second Viscount Maynard.

[168] Sir Richard Colt Hoare, second baronet (1758-1838), began life in the family bank, but, being made independent of business, he married a daughter of William Henry, Lord Lyttelton, and devoted himself to travel, study, and his art collections. He completed histories of ancient and modern Wiltshire, and smaller works, and was an excellent example of the wealthy antiquary.

[169] George Huddesford (1749-1809) was an artist in early life, studying under Reynolds; in middle life he took to scribbling, and showed a turn for satire. A collected edition of his works appeared in 1801, entitled: “The Poems of George Huddesford, M.A., late Fellow of New College, Oxford. Now first collected, including Salmagundi, Topsy-Turvy, Bubble and Squeak, and Crambe Repetita, with corrections and original additions.”

[170] These verses begin—

“In Liquorpond-street, as is well known to many,
An Artist resided who shaved for a penny.
Cut hair for three-halfpence, for three pence he bled,
And would draw, for a groat, every tooth in your head.
What annoy’d other folks never spoil’d his repose,
’Twas the same thing to him whether stocks fell or rose;
For blast and for mildew he car’d not a pin,
His crops never fail’d, for they grew on the chin.”

[171] Henry Kett (1761-1825) was a frequent subject of caricatures. The learned Thomas Warton’s comment on his “Juvenile Poems” was—

“Our Kett not a poet!
Why, how can you say so?
For if he’s no Ovid
I’m sure he’s a Naso.”

From his long face he was known as “Horse” Kett, and, enjoying the joke, he would say that he was going to “trot down the ‘High.’”

[172] George Stubbs, A.R.A., the great horse-painter of the eighteenth century. He painted sixteen race-horses, including Eclipse, for the Turf Review. His physical strength was such that he was said to have carried a dead horse up three flights of stairs to his dissecting attic. His “Fall of Phaeton” was popular, and showed him capable of great things. Many of Stubbs’s finest pictures are now in the possession of the King, the Duke of Westminster, Lord Rosebery, and Sir Walter Gilbey, who has produced an important work on his life and art. Stubbs lived for forty years at 24 Somerset Street, Portman Square.

[173] Woodforde was a dull but correct painter of historical subjects. He died at Ferrara.

[174] In Horwood’s map of London, of 1799, Orange Court is seen behind the King’s Mews.

[175] Miss Pope lived in Great Queen Street for forty years. Among her friends she was known as Mrs. Candour, from her playing that character, and from her habit of taking the part of any person spoken against in company. “I never heard her speak ill of any human being.… I have sometimes been even exasperated by her benevolence,” says James Smith, who writes delightfully about her in his Memoirs. Churchill sang her praises—

“See lively Pope advance in jig and trip,
Corinna, Cherry, Honeycombe, and Snip.”

The actress did not die in Great Queen Street, but at 17 Michael’s Place, Brompton, July 30, 1818.

[176] General John Burgoyne (1722-92) took part in the War of Independence, and surrendered with 5000 men at Saratoga on October 15, 1777. After a term as Commander-in-Chief in Ireland, he gave rein to his literary tastes, and wrote, among other plays, his delightful comedy, The Heiress. He died at No. 10 Hertford Street, August 4, 1792.

[177] It stood in Charlotte Street, looking east along Windmill Street. Robert Montgomery, of “Satan” memory, became minister of this chapel in 1843.

[178] Mrs. Mathew, wife of the Rev. Henry Mathew, of Percy Chapel, was famous for her assemblies at her house, No. 27 Rathbone Place, and her encouragement of artists. Here were seen Mrs. Barbauld, Mrs. Chapone, Mrs. Carter, the translator of Epictetus, and Mrs. Edward Montagu. Mrs. Mathew “was so extremely zealous in promoting the celebrity of Blake, that, upon hearing him read some of his early efforts in poetry, she thought so well of them as to request the Rev. Henry Mathew, her husband, to join Mr. Flaxman in his truly kind effort in defraying the expense of printing them” (Smith: Nollekens). Mr. Mathew consented, and wrote the “advertisement” for the volume, which was entitled Poetical Sketches, by W. B., and bore the date 1783. Not a few of the old houses in Rathbone Place remain, with their ground floors turned into shops. In these or similar houses lived Nathaniel Hone, R.A., who died here in 1784; Ozias Humphry, R.A., at No. 29; E. H. Bailey, the sculptor; and Peter de Wint.

[179] Smith’s prediction was strikingly borne out at the sale of the Earl of Crewe’s collection of the productions of Blake, held at Sotheby’s rooms March 30, 1903. The Illustrations of the Book of Job, containing twenty-two engravings, twenty-one original designs in colours, and a portrait of Blake by himself, was keenly contested. Bidding began at £1500, and ended at £5600, at which price the Job passed to Mr. Quaritch. Blake’s original inventions for Milton’s “L’Allegro” and “Il Penseroso” brought £1960, and all the remaining sixteen lots fetched high prices.

[180] Edward Oram, son of Old Oram, assisted Philip James De Loutherbourg, R.A., in the management of the Drury Lane scenery and stage effects. “Old” William Oram, “of the Board of Works,” was Surveyor to that body. He was much employed in panel decoration.

[181] John Ker, third Duke of Roxburgh, the book collector.—Sir John Fleming Leicester, first Baron de Tabley (1762-1827), was a patron of artists, and a good draughtsman. The public were freely admitted to his collection of British pictures at his house at 24 Hill Street, Berkeley Square.—Mr. Richard Bull was a well-known figure at the print sales and a subscriber to Smith’s publications.—Anthony Morris Storer, an ardent collector and “Graingeriser,” extra-illustrated Grainger’s Biographical History of England, and left the work to Eton College. A rather candid sketch of Storer is drawn by Rev. J. Richardson in his entertaining Recollections of the Last Half Century.—A note on Dr. Lort will be found elsewhere.—Mr. Haughton James, F.R.S., was born in Jamaica; he became a member of the Dilettanti Society in 1763.—Mr. Charles John Crowle and Sir James Winter Lake, Bart., so frequently mentioned by Smith, are the subjects of other notes.

[182] In this list of Smith’s patrons the following are of interest:—The “beautiful Miss Towry” was Anne, daughter of Captain George Phillips Towry, R.N., commissioner of victualling, who became the wife of Lord Ellenborough, afterwards Lord Chief Justice of England, Oct. 17, 1782. Her beauty was so great that passers-by would linger to watch her watering the flowers on the balcony of their house in Bloomsbury Square. Lady Ellenborough bore thirteen children, and, surviving her husband many years, died in Stratford Place, Oxford Street, Aug. 16, 1843, aged 74. Her portrait was painted by Reynolds.

Mr. Douglas was James Douglas, author of Nenia Britannica, a Sepulchral History of Great Britain. As a youth he helped Sir Ashton Lever to stuff birds for his museum. His abilities in painting were considerable, and we owe to him a full-length portrait of Captain Grose. His Travelling Anecdotes is an interesting book.

By “Mr. Chamberlain Clark” Smith means Mr. Richard Clark, but he antedates his title of City Chamberlain, to which post he was appointed only in 1798; he held it until 1831, and was Lord Mayor in 1784.

Dr. Joseph Drury was Headmaster of Harrow for twenty years, 1785-1805. He will always be remembered as Lord Byron’s headmaster.

John Wigston figures in Smith’s notes under the year 1796 as a patron of Morland.

Information concerning Captain Horsley and the Boddams will be found in Robinson’s History of Enfield.

Mr. Henry Hare Townsend was the owner of Bruce Castle, which he sold in 1792; it was afterwards occupied by Rowland Hill, who brought hither his school, disciplined on the “Hazlewood” system, before he became a public man and the founder of penny postage.

The Mr. Samuel Salt, whose name comes last in Smith’s list of his patrons, is no other than Charles Lamb’s Samuel Salt of the Inner Temple. “July 27. At his chambers in Crown Office Row, Inner Temple, Samuel Salt, Esq., one of the benchers of that hon. society, and a governor of the South Sea Company” (Gentleman’s Magazine, July 1792).—Lawrence Sterne, at whose burial he assisted, was laid in the St. George’s (Hanover Square) burial-ground, facing Hyde Park, March 22, 1788. Sterne’s grave is well kept.

[183] The formation of Virginia Water was carried out at the instance of the Duke of Cumberland, as Ranger of Windsor Forest. Thomas Sandby, his Deputy Ranger, lived in the Lower Lodge, where he was soon joined by his brother Paul, the eminent water-colourist. The construction of the Virginia Water occupied him for several years, but it was completed long before the birth of Smith. The works were entirely destroyed by a storm in September 1768, and Smith witnessed in this year, 1785, only the finishing touches to the then reconstructing lake.

[184] In 1796, the Feathers Tavern, on the east side of the square, made way for Charles Dibdin’s “Sans Souci” theatre, in which he gave a single-handed entertainment. Here he produced his song, “My Name d’ye see’s Tom Tough.”

[185] The wealthy and talented “Athenian” Stuart (1713-88) had his sobriquet from his journey to Athens, and his account of Greek architecture embodied in The Antiquities of Athens Measured and Delineated, compiled by himself and his fellow-traveller, Nicholas Revett, and completed by Newton and Reveley. Hogarth satirised Stuart’s first volume (1762) in his print, “The Five Order of Perriwigs as they were worn at the Late Coronation, measured Architectonically.”

[186] Samuel Scott, whose paintings, “Old London Bridge,” “Old Westminster Bridge,” and a “View of Westminster,” are in the National Gallery, was one of Hogarth’s companions in the famous “Tour,” described in Gostling’s verses.

“Sam Scott and Hogarth, for their share,
The prospects of the sea and land did.”

Scott’s portrait by Hudson is in the National Gallery.

[187] See note, p. 98.

[188] Luke Sullivan engraved several of Hogarth’s works, and among them his “Paul before Felix” (now in Lincoln’s Inn), to which he sat as model for the angel. He was a handsome, dissipated Irishman, and lodged at the “White Bear” in Piccadilly. His etching of the “March to Finchley” is superb. Ireland says that Hogarth had difficulty in keeping him at work on this plate. Sullivan was destroyed by his habits, and died prematurely.

[189] Francis Grose (1731-91), the famous antiquary, humorist, and spendthrift, who is immortalised by Burns—

“A chield’s amang you takin’ notes,
And, faith, he’ll prent it.”

[190] Valuable as this book certainly was for a number of years, it is now superseded by the elaborate work produced by Dr. Meyrick [A Critical Inquiry into Ancient Armour, by Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick, 1824], an inestimable and complete treasure to the historian, the artist, and the stage.—S.

[191] Thomas Hearne (1744-1817) belonged to that group of artists whose tinted topographical drawings initiated water-colour. He died in Macclesfield Street, Soho, April 13, 1817, and was buried in Bushey churchyard by Dr. Monro, Turner’s “good doctor” of the Adelphi, who used to set Turner and Girtin to make drawings for him in the Adelphi at the price of “half a crown apiece and a supper.”

[192] See note on Mr. Baker, p. 115.

[193] Henry Edridge, A.R.A. (1769-1821), was born in Paddington, established himself as a portrait painter in Dufour’s Place, Golden Square, in 1789, and died in Margaret Street, Cavendish Square. He was the friend and pupil of Thomas Hearne, and, like him, was buried in Bushey churchyard by the benevolent Dr. Monro. The British Museum Print Room has pencil portraits by Edridge, and three of his sketch-books.—William Alexander (1761-1816) preceded Smith as Keeper of the Prints and Drawings in the British Museum. He was a skilful water-colourist, and the Print Room has his original sketches for the illustrations in the officially published Ancient Terra-cottas and Ancient Marbles, dealing with the Museum collections.—Edmunds was an upholsterer in Compton Street, Soho.

[194] The elephant was Chunee, the “Jumbo” of the Georgian era. Smith writes of his arrival under 1785, but it was not until 1809 that he and Mr. Baker could have seen Chunee coming from the docks. This famous elephant stood eleven feet in height, and was the attraction at Mr. Cross’s menagerie until March 1826, when his death was ordered. Chunee’s carcass was valued at £1000. Lord Byron must have seen Chunee when he “saw the tigers sup” in 1813, and Thomas Hood’s lament on his death is well known. Exeter Change, which stood at the Strand end of Burleigh Street, did not long survive its elephant: in April 1829 it was sold out of existence by George Robins.

[195] Abraham Langford (1711-74), the most fashionable auctioneer of his day, had his rooms in the Piazza, Covent Garden. He was buried in St. Pancras churchyard, and identical laudatory verses were cut on both sides of his tombstone—

“His spring was such as should have been,
Adroit and gay, unvexed by Care or Spleen,
His Summer’s manhood, open, fresh, and fair,
His Virtue strict, his manners debonair,” etc.

Foote satirised Langford in The Minor as Smirke (not Puff) the auctioneer, who raises a Guido from “forty-five” to “sixty-three ten” by declaring that “it only wants a touch from the torch of Prometheus to start from the canvas.”

[196] Samuel Paterson (1728-1802), originally a stay-maker, became a bookseller, and about 1753 opened auction rooms in what remained of Essex House, which stood much on the site of Devereux Court, Essex Street. He afterwards removed to Covent Garden. He would have succeeded better in business had he been less fond of reading the books he sold. He was the first auctioneer who sold books in lots.—Hassell Hutchins, the auctioneer of King Street, Covent Garden, died in 1795.

[197] It was George Michael Moser (1704-83) who made the historic interruption: “Stay, stay, Toctor Shonson is going to say something.” Born at Schaffhausen, he rose from cabinet-making (in Soho) and the chasing of watch-cases and cane heads, to be the First Keeper of the Royal Academy. Sir Joshua Reynolds pronounced him the first gold-chaser in the kingdom. He enamelled trinkets for watches with so much skill as to set a fashion, and it was said that George II. once ordered him a hat full of money for some of his works. Moser lived in Craven Buildings, which have lately been demolished to make way for Aldwych and Kingsway. He died, however, in his official keeper’s residence at Somerset House.

[198] John Millan had a bookshop at Charing Cross for more than fifty years. Richard Gough, the antiquary, frequented Millan’s shop, which he describes as “encrusted with Literature and Curiosities like so many stalactitical exudations.” Behind sat “the deity of the place, at the head of a Whist party.”

[199] Johnson’s letter to Sir Joshua Reynolds on behalf of young Paterson was dated June 2, 1783; his three letters to Ozias Humphrey, April 5, April 10, and May 31, 1784. He asks Humphrey to allow the boy to frequent his studio and see him paint. The Doctor had chosen good teachers for the youth. “Humphrey’s miniatures, before those of any other, remind us of the excellences and graces of Reynolds” (Redgrave: A Century of Painters, i. 421). Humphrey had himself been greatly encouraged in his youth by Reynolds, who said to him: “Born in my country, and your mother a lace-maker!—why, Vandyck’s mother was a maker of lace,” and he lent him some of his pictures to copy.

[200] Richard Gough (1735-1809), the antiquary whose British Topography, Sepulchral Monuments, translation of Camden’s Britannia, and other works, are in every great library. The Britannia occupied him seven years, and his investigations led him all over the country. It is said that during the seven years in which he was translating it he remained so accessible to his family at Enfield, that no member of it was aware of his undertaking. He was esteemed by Horace Walpole, who, however, often made a jest of his antiquary mind. Thus: “Gough, speaking of some Cross that has been renowned, says ‘there is now an unmeaning market-house in its place.’ Saving his reverence and our prejudices, I doubt there is a good deal more meaning in a market-house than in a cross” (Letter to Rev. W. Cole, Nov. 24, 1780).

[201] There were four Basires in direct succession. Smith refers to the second in the line, James Basire (1730-1802), the illustrator of Vetusta Monumenta. He compares him unfavourably with William Woollett (1735-85) and John Hall (1739-97), but it is not clear that West despised Basire, who, indeed, engraved his Pylades and Orestes.

[202] Dr. Lort was Librarian, not Chaplain, to the Duke of Devonshire. He moved in the Johnson set. For nineteen years he held the Rectory of St. Matthew’s, Friday Street, in which church (now demolished) there was a tablet to his memory. He died at 6 Savile Row, Nov. 5, 1790, after a carriage accident at Colchester. A water-colour portrait of him, by Sylvester Harding, is in the British Museum Print Room. In her diary Madam D’Arblay gives an entertaining picture of Dr. Lort as he appeared in the Thrale circle at Streatham, where on one occasion he talked against Dr. Johnson to his face without, it seems, any tragic results. “His manners,” she says, “are somewhat blunt and odd, and he is altogether out of the common road, without having chosen a better path.”

[203] Old Cole, i.e. William Cole (1714-1782), was pronounced by Horace Walpole an “oracle in any antique difficulties.” The two travelled France together. Cole, who for many years was in Holy Orders, had filled forty folio volumes with notes on Cambridgeshire, concerning which he wrote to Walpole: “They are my only delight—they are my wife and children.” He earned such nicknames as Old Cole, Cole of Milton (where he lived), and Cardinal Cole (from his leanings to Romanism). Cole’s “wife and children” are now in the British Museum MSS. Department.

[204] The Rev. Dr. Isaac Gossett was proud of his long series of priced catalogues. Every bookseller knew his fad for milk-white vellum. So keen a bibliophile was Gossett, that an illness which kept him from the sale of the Pinelli collection vanished when he was given permission to inspect one of the volumes of the first Complutensian Polyglot Bible of Cardinal Ximenes, on vellum, and in the original binding. Dr. Gossett died in Newman Street, December 16, 1812, and was buried in Old Marylebone cemetery.

[205] Edward Cocker (1631-7?), writing master and arithmetician, is referred to in the phrase “according to Cocker.” The Dictionary of National Biography gives 1675 as the date of his death, but Mr. Wheatley (London Past and Present) quotes the Register of Burials at St. George the Martyr’s, Southwark: “Mr. Edward Cocker, Writing Mr. Aug. 26, 1676.”

[206] The wine and wit of Caleb Whitefoord (1734-1810) were both good. Smith reports Mrs. Nollekens as saying: “My dear Mrs. Pardice, you may safely take a glass of it, for it is the last of twelve which Mr. Caleb Whitefoord sent us as a present; and everybody who talks about wine should know his house has ever been famous for claret.” Smith, who often acidulates his ink, suggests that Whitefoord’s little presents and constant attendance on the Nollekens’ household showed the covetous collector rather than the kindly man. Burke, who thought meanly of Whitefoord’s services as secretary of the Commission for concluding peace with America, described him as a “diseur de bons mots.” Goldsmith mourns his wasted abilities in his “Retaliation”—

“Here Whitefoord reclines, deny it who can;
Tho’ he merrily lived, he is now a grave man.
What pity, alas! that so lib’ral a mind
Should so long be to Newspaper Essays confin’d!
Whose talents to fit any station were fit,
Yet happy if Woodfall confessed him a wit.”

Whitefoord’s Cross Readings of the newspapers—a form of humour that has been revived somewhat recently—delighted the town in 1766; Goldsmith envied him the idea, and Johnson praised his pseudonym—“Papyrius Cursor.” The following are specimens of these Cross Readings:—

“Yesterday Dr. Pretyman preached at St. James’s—
And performed it with ease in less than sixteen minutes”
“Several changes are talked of at Court—
Consisting of 9050 triple bob-majors.”
“Sunday night many noble families were alarmed—
By the constable of the watch, who apprehended them at cards.”

The wealthy wine-merchant and art lover lived to be the patron in David Wilkie’s painting, “The Letter of Introduction.” He died in Argyll Street, and was buried in the churchyard of St. Mary’s, Paddington, where lie Nollekens, Mrs. Siddons, Haydon, and many others of note.

[207] Captain William Baillie’s copies of Rembrandt’s etchings are still bought—by the simple—in the print-shops. The captain quitted the 18th Light Dragoons in 1761, and joined the Covent Garden Colony of artists. He knew everybody. Henry Angelo heard him say that for more than half a century he had passed his mornings in going from one apartment to another over the Piazza. His works, which have now little value, were issued by Boydell in 1792, and re-issued in 1803. One of his exploits, mentioned by Redgrave, was to purchase for £70 Cuyp’s fine “View of Dort” and convert it into two separate pictures called “Morning” and “Evening,” which were afterwards piously purchased for £2200 and reunited. Captain Baillie died Dec. 22, 1810, aged eighty-seven, at Lisson Green, Paddington. He was for many years a commissioner of Stamp Duties.

[208] Edwards’ Anecdotes of Painters is a useful little supplement to Walpole’s larger work. He was buried in old St. Pancras churchyard, now a recreation ground, where his name, however, does not appear on the memorial erected by the Baroness Burdett-Coutts to those whose graves were obliterated. His portrait in chalk is in the Print Room.

[209] Mr. George Baker, the lace-man, died in St. Paul’s Churchyard in 1811. He compiled “A Catalogue of Books, Poems, Tracts, and small detached Pieces, printed at the Press at Strawberry Hill, belonging to the late Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford,” 4to. Twenty copies only were printed, and were distributed in May 1811. Mr. Baker made a lifelong hobby of print-collecting, and his Hogarths, Woolletts, and Bartolozzis were scarcely surpassed.

[210] Woodhouse’s pictures and drawings were sold in 1801; the catalogues are in the British Museum.

[211] Joseph Musgrave, Esq., was a subscriber to Smith’s Antiquities of Westminster.

[212] “The most acid of all Manningtree’s evil and jealous-minded spirits, originally held in the service of that famous witch-finder-general, Matthew Hopkins” (Smith).—Hopkins, after bringing old women to execution as witches, was himself “swum” and hanged in 1647 for witchcraft. “Vinegar Tom” was one of the “imps” which a one-legged beggar woman named Elizabeth Clarke was persuaded by Hopkins to declare was under her control. Hopkins had originally been a lawyer at Manningtree.

[213] Samuel Wodhull, who lived wealthily in Berkeley Square, is best remembered for his translation of Euripides (1774-82), the first complete rendering of the Greek tragedian in English. He was buried at Thenford, his native place, in Northamptonshire.

[214] Thomas Worlidge (1700-66), a skilful etcher after Rembrandt, and illustrator of a book on antique gems, was nicknamed “Scritch-Scratch.” He is said to have had thirty-three children by his three marriages. He lived in the famous house in Great Queen Street (now divided and numbered 55-56) in which Reynolds had been the pupil of Thomas Hudson, and which now bears a tablet proclaiming it one of the homes of Sheridan.

[215] After Rawle’s death, his effects were sold at Hutchins’, Covent Garden, where this Charles the Second wig was bought by Suett, the actor, who, says Smith, “to prove to the company that it would suit him better than his harum-scarum opponent, put it upon his head, and, thus dignified, went on with his biddings, which were sometimes sarcastically serious, and at others ludicrously comic. The company, however, though so highly amused, thought it ungenerous to prolong the biddings, and therefore one and all declared that it ought to be knocked down to him before he took it off his head. Upon this Suett immediately attempted to take it off, but the ivory hammer, with the ruffled hand of the auctioneer, after being once flourished over his head, gave it in favour of the eccentric comedian.” Suett appeared in this wig in Fielding’s Tom Thumb, and we are told that “sick men laughed themselves well to see him peeping out of the black forest of hair.” Finally this wonderful wig was lost in the fire which destroyed the theatre at Birmingham. Mrs. Booth, the mother of the actress, was met by Suett, and all he said was: “Mrs. Booth, my wig’s gone.”

[216] Rawle died November 8, 1789 (Gentleman’s Magazine, 1789).

[217] From the Public Advertiser, July 12, 1774: “Miniature Painting.—Mr. Beauvais, well known at Tunbridge Wells to several of the nobility and gentry for taking a striking likeness, either in water colours or India ink. Miniature pictures copied by him from large pictures, to any size, and pictures repaired if damaged. He also teaches, by a peculiar method, Persons of the least capacity to take a Likeness in India Ink, or with a black lead pencil, in a short time. To be spoke with at Mr. Bryan’s, the ‘Blue Ball,’ St. Martin’s Street, Leicester Fields, from eleven to one o’clock.”

[218] “A most facetious, fat gentleman,” is Henry Angelo’s description of Mr. Mitchell, the wealthy partner in the bank of Hodsol & Company, and the unstinting patron of Rowlandson. Mitchell lived in Beaufort Buildings, in the Strand, which two years ago were demolished for the extension of the Savoy Hotel. Here the worthy banker loved to gather round him such choice spirits as Thomas Rowlandson, John Nixon, and Thomas Wolcot (Peter Pindar). “Well do I remember,” says Henry Angelo, “sitting in this comfortable apartment, listening to the stories of my old friend Peter Pindar, whose wit seemed not to kindle until after midnight, at the period of about his fifth or sixth glass of brandy and water. Rowlandson, too, having nearly accomplished his twelfth glass of punch, and replenishing his pipe with choice Oronooko, would chime in. The tales of these two gossips, told in one of those nights, each delectable to hear, would make a modern Boccaccio.”

[219] William Packer of Great Baddow, and of Charlotte Street, Bloomsbury, was many years in the brewery of Combe, Delafield, & Company in Castle Street, Long Acre. This brewery was the nucleus of Watney, Combe, Reid, & Co.’s present establishment.

[220] John Henderson (1747-85) was known as the “Bath Roscius” from his success at Bath under John Palmer. After a great career at Drury Lane, he died at his house in Buckingham Street, Adelphi, November 25, 1785, it was said from a poison accidentally given to him by his wife. In addition to his Hogarths, he collected books relating to the drama. His library was described by the auctioneer who dispersed it as “the completest assemblage of English dramatic authors that has ever been exhibited for sale in this country.” It contained many books of crimes and marvels.

[221] John Ireland (died 1808) must not be confounded with the Shakespearian impostor. He was brought up to watchmaking in Maiden Lane. With Henderson he frequented the Feathers Tavern in Leicester Fields, and he wrote the actor’s biography. He is best known by his Illustrations to Hogarth, published by Boydell, and containing his portrait by Mortimer as frontispiece to the third volume.

[222] The employee is better remembered than the employer. William Seguier (1771-1843), topographical landscape-painter and picture restorer, was appointed Keeper of the Royal Pictures by George IV. He was also the first director of the National Gallery. Haydon pays him this tribute: “June 19, 1811. Seguier called, on whose judgment Wilkie and I so much rely. If Seguier coincides with us we are satisfied, and often we are convinced we are wrong if Seguier disagrees.”

[223] Carlo Antonio Delpini, the best clown of his day, played at Drury Lane and Covent Garden. He devised many stage mechanisms for pantomimes. In 1783 he arranged a masquerade at the Pantheon in celebration of the coming of age of the Prince of Wales, from whom in his old age he received a gift of £200. Delpini, we are told, had a presentiment that he should not die till the year “eight,” which was realised, for he died in the year 1828, at the age of 88. He was born in the parish of St. Martin, at Rome, and drew his last breath in the parish of St. Martin, London (to be precise, in Lancaster Court, Strand).

[224] John Palmer (1742-98), the original Joseph Surface, was known off the stage as Jack Plausible. Once, in patching up a quarrel with Sheridan, he said: “If you could see my heart, Mr. Sheridan,” and was answered, “Why, Jack, you forget I wrote it.” The Royalty Theatre, at which Smith hoped to be employed by him, was the ill-starred house in Well Street, in St. George’s in the East. The opposition of the great theatres caused its degeneration to a house for pantomimes and concerts. Palmer fell into debt and into Surrey Gaol. Nevertheless he appeared at Drury Lane as late as 1798. He is described by Charles Lamb as “a gentleman with a slight infusion of the footman,” for which reason “Jack in Dick Amlet was insuperable.” Palmer died on the stage. His last uttered words, spoken in The Stranger, are said to have been: “There is another and a better world,” but this has been disputed: it is contended that the words really uttered by him as he fell were those in the fourth act: “I left them at a small town hard by.”

[225] Just forty years after Smith’s visit, in 1869, a correspondent of Notes and Queries had the curiosity to make a similar journey of discovery. He found only one of the dolphin knockers remaining, that on the door of No. 6. In June 1903 I found that this had gone the way of all men and knockers, but I am told it was there up to the early nineties. The neighbourhood can still show a few door-knockers of ancient types. There are old lion’s head-and-ring knockers in Gunpowder Alley and Hind Court. At No. 3 Red Lion Court is a good knocker, into which is introduced a bat with outstretched wings. The old knocker of No. 9 Bell’s Buildings, Salisbury Square, is adorned with the figure of a naked boy playing on a pipe. There is a fine example of a dolphin knocker at 25 Queen Anne’s Gate.

[226] The Garrat mock elections have often been described. Garrat was a rural spot between Wandsworth and Tooting. A committee organised to protect the village common from encroachments developed into a roaring municipal farce which was repeated after every General Election. The publicans of the southern villages willingly subscribed to the carnival, and reaped handsome profits; while Foote spread the fame and vogue of the elections by his farce The Mayor of Garrat. A mock knighthood was given, as a matter of course, to each mayor on his election. The first recorded mayor was Sir John Harper, a retailer of brick-dust, and the next, the most famous of all, Sir Jeffery Dunstan, a humorous vagabond whose ostensible trade was in old wigs. He was constantly portrayed, or used as the basis of caricature. In one print he is seen standing on a stool, asking “How far is it from the first of August to Westminster Bridge?” “Sir Jeffery” used his tongue with great freedom, and the authorities were so destitute of humour as to arrest him and obtain his imprisonment. The next Mayor of Garrat was Sir Harry Dinsdale. He was born in Shug Lane, Haymarket, in 1758, and appears to have haunted the Soho neighbourhood, for he married a woman out of St. Anne’s workhouse. He died in 1811.

[227] It must have been from his house No. 37, on the north side of Gerrard Street, now a restaurant, but retaining its old appearance and marked by a commemorative tablet, that Burke went to Westminster Hall on May 10, 1787, to impeach Warren Hastings. Of Burke’s life in Gerrard Street we have no nearer glimpse than that given by Smith.

[228] General John Money (1752-1817) was one of the earliest of English aeronauts. It was in an ascent from Norwich, July 22, 1785, that he was carried out to sea, where he “remained for seven hours struggling with his fate” before he was rescued.—Philip Reinagle, R.A. (1749-1833), was an animal, landscape, and dead game painter. Examples of his landscape work are at South Kensington.

[229] The Charles Greville here referred to was an early patron of Lawrence at Oxford, when the artist was a mere boy; also of Romney, whose portrait of Wortley Montague, the eccentric pseudo-Turk, he both bought and copied.

[230] Sir William Hamilton (1730-1803), who married Emma Hart, Nelson’s Lady Hamilton, was a keen archæologist, and made a magnificent collection of Greek vases, which he sold to the British Museum. He purchased the Barberini, or “Portland,” vase from Byres, the architect, and sold it for 1800 guineas to the Duchess of Portland, in the sale of whose property it was bought by the family in 1829 for £1029. On February 7, 1745, after its acquisition by the British Museum (Montagu House), it was wantonly broken in pieces by a visitor named William Lloyd, who was sentenced to a fine or imprisonment. The fine was paid anonymously.

[231] Smith’s little present to Sir George Beaumont is the more interesting to us, because of that painter’s well-known love of brown, and his dictum that “there ought to be at least one brown tree in every landscape.” Beaumont’s name is inseparably associated with the National Gallery, and also with Wordsworth’s noble poem on his picture of Peele Castle in a Storm, containing the lines—

“Ah! then if mine had been the painter’s hand
To express what then I saw; and add the gleam,
The light that never was on sea or land,
The consecration, and the Poet’s dream,—
I would have planted thee, thou hoary pile,
Amid a world how different from this!
Beside a sea that could not cease to smile;
On tranquil land, beneath a sky of bliss.”

[232] Henry Salt, the great traveller and British consul-general in Egypt. He sold antiquities to the British Museum, and had dealings, resulting in a quarrel, with Belzoni.

[233] Smith evidently refers to the plan affected by Alexander (not the greater John Rosher) Cozens, of throwing a blot, and then working it into a landscape composition.

[234] Smith expresses himself rather oddly here, for he married only once, his wife being Anne Maria Prickett, who, after a union of forty-five years, was left his widow.

[235] Sir James Winter Lake, Bart., a man of wealth and culture, compiled “Bibliotheca Lakeana” (a catalogue of his library) in 1808, and “British Portraits and Historical Prints, collected by J. W. L.” in the same year. His extra-illustrated Granger’s History extended to forty large folio volumes.

Lady Lake is mentioned in one of the many amusing dialogues recorded by Smith in his Life of Nollekens. Panton Betew, the silversmith of Old Compton Street, Soho, talking to Nollekens of their common memories, says: “Ay, I know there were many very clever things produced there (at Bow); what very curious heads for canes they made at that manufactory! I think Crowther was the proprietor’s name; he had a very beautiful daughter, who is married to Sir James Lake. Nat. Hone painted a portrait of her, in the character of Diana, and it was one of his best pictures.”

[236] Smith’s general meaning is plain, but I cannot with confidence explain the reference to Tooley Street. It may be no more than a slightly contemptuous way of referring to villa-building tradesmen (nobodies, like the three Tooley Street tailors) who at that time were building their Camomile Cottages in the country.

[237] The part of Major Sturgeon, J.P., “the fishmonger from Brentford,” was played by Foote in his own comedy, The Mayor of Garratt (1763). Sturgeon brags: “We had some desperate duty, Sir Jacob … such marchings and counter-marchings from Brentford to Ealing, from Ealing to Acton, from Acton to Uxbridge. Why, there was our last expedition to Hounslow; that day’s work carried off Major Molassas.”… Zoffany painted Foote in this character.

[238] Elizabeth Canning (1734-73), a domestic servant in Aldermanbury, startled London in 1753 by the circumstantial story she told of her capture in Moorfields, and her subsequent imprisonment and ill-treatment at Enfield by “Mother Wells” and a gipsy woman, Mary Squires. After Squires had been condemned to death, and Wells had been burned in the hand, the case was revised, with the result that Squires was pardoned and her accuser transported for perjury. The affair, which had originally come before Henry Fielding, the novelist, at Bow Street, aroused an incredible amount of feeling in London.

[239] The Merry Devil of Edmonton was for long carelessly attributed to Shakespeare. Mr. Sidney Lee, in his Shakespeare’s Life and Work, says: “It is a delightful comedy … but no sign of Shakespeare’s workmanship is apparent.”

[240] Thomas King (1730-1805) was a clever comedian. His stage career in London lasted fifty-four years. In November 1789 he played the part of Sir John Trotley in Garrick’s Bon Ton, or High Life above Stairs. “His acting,” says Charles Lamb, “left a taste on the palate sharp and sweet as a quince; with an old, hard, rough, withered face, like a john-apple, puckered up into a thousand wrinkles; with shrewd hints and tart replies.” The prologue of Bon Ton has these lines:—

“Ah! I loves life, and all the joys it yields—
Says Madam Fussock, warm from Spital-fields.
Bone Tone’s the space ’twixt Saturday and Monday,
And riding in a one-horse chair o’ Sunday!
’Tis drinking tea on summer afternoons
At Bagnigge-Wells, with China and gilt spoons!
’Tis laying by our stuffs, red cloaks, and pattens,
To dance Cow-tillions, all in silks and sattins!”

[241] Skelton says of Eleanor Rumming—

“She breweth noppy ale,
And maketh thereof fast sale
To travellers, to tinkers.
To sweaters, to swinkers,
And all good ale-drinkers.”

The woman kept an alehouse at Leatherhead, which, it is thought, Skelton may have visited when staying with his royal master at Nonsuch Palace. It has been claimed, however, on interesting evidence, that her alehouse was “Two-pot House,” between Cambridge and Hardwicke. (See Gentleman’s Magazine, Nov. 1794, and Chambers’ Book of Days under June 21.)

[242] This passage in St. Martin’s Lane was built by a Mr. May, who lived in a house of his own design in St. Martin’s Lane. Here Smith himself lived at his father’s house, the Rembrandt Head, No. 18, for some years; the house is now absorbed in Messrs. Harrison’s printing establishment. I have found no trace of Hartry, the valiant cupper, but only of a dentist of that name, who may have been his son.

[243] John Adams, teacher of mathematics, published The Mathematician’s Companion (1796). “The following use was made of Hogarth’s plates of the Idle and Industrious Apprentices, by the late John Adams, of Edmonton, schoolmaster. The prints were framed and hung up in the schoolroom, and Adams, once a month, after reading a lecture upon their vicious and virtuous examples, rewarded those boys who had conducted themselves well, and caned those who had behaved ill” (Smith: Nollekens).

[244] Samuel Ireland was father of William Henry Ireland, who forged Shakespearean MSS. and put forward the spurious play Vortigern. In his well-known Graphic Illustrations of Hogarth he proves himself rather “a snapper-up of unconsidered trifles than a contributor of serviceable information” (Austin Dobson: William Hogarth: enlarged ed. 1898). This work must not be confused with John Ireland’s Hogarth Illustrated.

[245] Perhaps it was an ordnance map mistake. “On the south side of Nag’s Head Lane, near Ponder’s End, is a deep well, probably the brick conduit noted in Ogilby’s roads 1698, and known by the name of Tim Ringer’s Well (King’s Ring Well, 2076 in the ordnance map), which was formerly considered infallible as a remedy for inflammation of the eyes” (Hodson and Ford: History of Enfield, 1873).

[246] Durance, or Durants, was visited by James I. when it was the home of Sir Henry Wroth, to whom Ben Jonson wrote his lines—

“How blessed art thou, canst love the country, Wroth
And though so near the City and the Court,
Art ta’en with neither’s vice or sport.”

Wroth’s executors sold the manor to Sir Thomas Stringer, who married a daughter of Judge Jeffreys.

[247] “But above all, I must not forget the Tulip Tree, the largest and biggest that ever was seen; there being but one more in Great Britain (as I am informed), and that at the Lord Peterborough’s. It blows with innumerable flowers in the months of June and July” (John Farmer: History of Waltham Abbey).

[248] Known as Cheshunt House or the Great House. When Smith visited it in 1791, it had been much modernised. There is no evidence, says Thorne (Environs of London), that the o’er great Cardinal ever lived there. Ten years after Smith’s visit, the Rev. Charles Mayo pulled down the larger part of the building in order to repair the remainder. After his time it remained desolate and neglected.

[249] Cornelius Janssen (1590-1665) is best remembered for his portrait of Milton as a boy, engraved in the first volume of Professor Masson’s Life of the poet. His original portrait of Sir Hugh Myddelton, now in the committee room of the Goldsmiths’ Hall, represents the great engineer with his left hand resting on a conch from which a stream of water gushes; over this are inscribed the words: “Fontes Fondinæ.” This portrait was presented to the Company by Lady Myddelton.

[250] Robert Lemon, the archivist. He discovered Milton’s “De Doctrina Christiania,” and gave assistance to Sir Walter Scott.

[251] Sir Robert Strange was engraver to Prince Charles. His distinguished career was chequered by his political sympathies, and by his bitter criticism of the Royal Academy, in consequence, partly, of its exclusion of engravers. Knighted by George III. (after he had engraved West’s apotheosis of the three royal children), he died in his last London home in Great Queen Street, July 5, 1792. See note, p. 82.

[252] The bill of which Smith gives particulars is quoted in full by William Hookham Carpenter in his Pictorial Notices of Sir Anthony Van Dyck (1844). “It is more than probable that the account had been submitted to the supervision of Bishop Juxon, who, by the influence of Archbishop Laud, was appointed to the office of Lord Treasurer in 1635, which he held till 1641; and Anthony Wood tells us ‘he kept the King’s purse when necessities were deepest, and clamours were loudest.’” Vandyke had from Charles, in addition to payments against pictures, an annuity of £200 a year and houses at Blackfriars and Eltham.

[253] On February 23. After lying in state in the Royal Academy, the remains of Sir Joshua Reynolds were interred, on Saturday, March 3, in the crypt of St. Paul’s Cathedral, near the resting-place of Sir Christopher Wren. The pall was borne by ten peers, and the Archbishop of York took part in the service.

[254] Burke’s tribute had appeared in the Annual Register.

[255] Lieut.-Colonel Molesworth Phillips, whose career links Dr. Johnson to Charles Lamb, was the companion of Captain Cook on his last voyage. His marriage in 1782 to Susannah Elizabeth, daughter of Dr. Charles Burney, and sister of Fanny Burney, brought him into the Johnson set. He escorted Miss Burney to Westminster Hall to hear Warren Hastings on his defence. Lamb, recalling his old whist-playing friends in his “Letter of Elia to Robert Southey,” names him as “the high-minded associate of Cook, the veteran Colonel, with his lusty heart still sending cartels of defiance to old Time.” He died in 1832.

[256] Mrs. Cholmondeley, who appears several times in Boswell’s Life, was a younger sister of Peg Woffington, and the wife of the Hon. and Rev. George Cholmondeley.

[257] “Sheridan had very fine eyes, and he was very vain of them. He said to Rogers on his deathbed, ‘Tell Lady Besborough that my eyes will look up to the coffin-lid as brightly as ever.’”

[258] The Old Bun House at Chelsea flourished for nearly a century and a half, and yielded a livelihood to four generations of the same family. In its best days it was the resort of royalty and rank. Queen Charlotte presented Mrs. Hand with a silver mug, containing five guineas. The shop had a pleasant arcaded front, and, besides buns, offered its customers the sight of a number of curiosities. As many as fifty thousand people would assemble here on Good Friday mornings, and it is clear that Mrs. Hand had reason to issue her curious notice. The site of the Bun House and its garden is on the north side of the Pimlico Road, between Union Street and Westbourne Street. The name of Bunhouse Place, at the back, commemorates the establishment, which disappeared in 1839.

The danger of a mob assembling outside a London bun-shop on Good Friday morning has passed away. Mr. Henry Attwell sadly observed, in Notes and Queries, April 28, 1900, that “the last Good Friday of the nineteenth century” found the hot-cross bun degenerated from a spiced bun (“the spice recalling to the few who cared about its religious suggestiveness the embalming of our Lord”) into a vulgarised currant bun marked with deep indentures for convenience of division, instead of the old slight cross in which there was a touch of mystery.

[259] Roger L’Estrange, the pamphleteer and miscellaneous writer (1616-1704), was deprived of his office of surveyor and licenser of the press in 1688.

[260] The First Book of Architecture, first published in English in 1668.

[261] Then Montagu House. “I apprehend,” says Smith, in his Antient Topography of London, “that the custom of inlaying, or tesselating, wooden floors commenced in England in the reign of King Charles the First, and ended in that of Queen Anne. I have secured patterns of four such floors: two belonging to the reign of Charles the First, and two to that of Charles the Second. No. 1 is from that part of Whitehall lately inhabited by the Duchess of Portland. No. 2 is from Somerset House. Nos. 3 and 4 are from the present old gallery and waiting-room in the Marquis of Stafford’s house in Cleveland Row.”

[262] One of the first exhibitors before the establishment of the Royal Academy (S.). Keyse opened Bermondsey Spa in 1770, and in 1780 obtained a music licence. His greatest bid for public favour was a farewell representation of the Siege of Gibraltar. The present Spa Road crosses the site of the gardens, which were closed about 1805.

[263] See note, p. 269.

[264] George Adams (died 1773) and his son George (died 1796) were mathematical instrument makers to George III. A book by the father on Terrestrial Globes was supplied with a dedication to the King by Dr. Johnson.—Peter Dollond (1730-1820) was second in the line of opticians. He was succeeded by his nephew, George Huggins, who assumed the name of Dollond.

[265] A critic wrote:

“Keyse’s mutton
Show’d how the painter had a strife
With nature, to outdo the life.”

Keyse’s realism had been anticipated by such painters as Jordaens and Snyder, whose butcher’s meat remains painfully juicy in the galleries of Brussels and Antwerp.

[266] “Mrs. Wrighten had a vivacious manner and a bewitching smile, and her ‘Hunting Song’ was popular” (Wroth: London Pleasure Gardens).

[267] Captain Edward Topham (1751-1820), after a brilliant regimental career in the Horse Guards, gave himself up to fashion and drama. He produced several plays, and in 1787 founded the World, a scurrilous daily paper, which brought him into the law courts. In Rowlandson’s well-known Vauxhall, the foremost figure in the crowd is an elderly beau, standing bolt upright, and defying through his glass the stare of a gaudy female of mature years who has found another cavalier. This is Captain, afterwards Major, Topham. He wrote the life of Elwes, the miser.

[268] Jonas Blewitt, who died in 1805, lived at Bermondsey, near the Spa Gardens, for which he wrote many songs. He wrote a Treatise on the Organ, and must not be confused with his son, the better-known Jonathan Blewitt, the musical director of the Surrey Theatre.

[269] Jonathan Battishill (1738-1801), composer, organist of Christ Church, Newgate Street, and St. Clement’s, Eastcheap, first became known by his music to the song “Kate of Aberdeen.” His anthems were sung in St. Paul’s Cathedral, and he set many of Charles Wesley’s hymns to music.

[270] Smith underlines Joseph to distinguish him from his better-known brother, James Caulfield, who was the author and printseller, and the publisher of much “Remarkable Persons” literature. Joseph Caulfield was a musical engraver, and a capable teacher of the pianoforte. He lived in Camden Town.

[271] John Montagu, fourth Earl of Sandwich (1718-92), “was the soul of the Catch Club, and one of the Directors of the Concert of Ancient Music, but he had not the least real ear for music, and was equally insensible of harmony and melody” (Charles Butler’s Reminiscences). It was his treachery to Wilkes that gave Lord Sandwich his popular nickname, Jemmy Twitcher, taken from Macheath’s words in the Beggar’s Opera: “That Jemmy Twitcher should peach me, I own surprised me.”

[272] About the year 1770 Battishill wrote this glee in a competition for a gold medal offered by the Noblemen’s Catch Club.

[273] Smith had been Morland’s fellow-student at the Royal Academy, and they had frequently walked home together. Among his innumerable addresses, Morland had several in the Fitzroy Square region.

[274] Otter’s Pool was a country house at Aldenham, Herts, afterwards for many years the seat of Sir James Shaw Willes, the judge of common pleas.

[275] Surrey Chapel is now occupied by a large machinery firm. Rowland Hill used to say, in allusion to its octagonal form, that he liked a round building because there were no corners for the devil to hide in. Here he won the devotion of his congregation and the esteem of the many distinguished people who came to hear him. Sheridan said: “I go to hear Rowland Hill because his ideas come red-hot from the heart.” Dean Milner said to him, “Mr. Hill! Mr. Hill! I felt to-day ’tis this slap-dash preaching, say what they will, that does all the good.” He died at his house in Blackfriars Road, April 11, 1833, aged 88, and was buried in a vault under his pulpit.

[276] This fanatical advocate of Charles the First’s execution (at St. Margaret’s, Westminster) was one of the regicides executed in 1660.

[277] Smith is nowhere mentioned by Lamb, and other evidence of their acquaintance is wanting.

[278] George Frost (1754-1821) is remembered as the intimate friend of Constable. Smart was John Smart (1740-1811), the miniature painter. He died in London.

“His genius lov’d his Country’s native views;
Its taper spires, green lawns, or sheltered farms;
He touch’d each scene with Nature’s genuine hues,
And gave the Suffolk landscape all its charms.”

[279] Smith had evidently asked Constable to ascertain for him the exact date of Gainsborough’s birth. This is still uncertain: it took place in Sepulchre Street, Sudbury, at the end of April or beginning of May 1727. He was baptized on 14th May of that year in the Independent meeting-house in Sudbury.

[280] James Gubbins was a subscriber to Smith’s Remarks on Rural Scenery (1797), a volume of etchings of cottage and rural scenes around London. One of its drawings represents a squatter’s shanty in Epping Forest, bowered in trees, and is entitled “Lady Plomer’s Palace on the summit of Hawke’s Hill Wood, Epping Forest.”

[281] The Minories drawing referred to by Constable was Smith’s etching in his Antient Topography of the north and east walls of the Convent of St. Clare, the remains of which were destroyed by fire on March 23, 1797. Only a year before, Mr. John Cranch (the C——h of Constable’s letter) had presented Smith with a sketch of the convent. Constable, therefore, refers to the swift supersession of Cranch’s sketch by Smith’s drawing after the fire.

[282] Elizabeth Pope died on 15th March of this year, aged 52. The funeral to the Abbey was met everywhere by great crowds. Her abilities had not been dimmed by those of Garrick, Mrs. Siddons, and Miss Farren, and her private life was blameless. The resemblance she bore to Lady Sarah Lennox was such that George III., seeing her act late in her career, exclaimed to his queen, “She is like Lady Sarah still.” There is a fine story of her parting with Garrick. On June 8, 1776, his last appearance but one, when he was playing Lear to her Cordelia, Garrick said to her with a sigh: “Ah, Bess! this is the last time of my being your father; you must now look out for someone else to adopt you.” “Then, sir,” she exclaimed, dropping on her knees, “give me a father’s blessing.” Garrick, deeply touched, raised her, and said, “God bless you!”

[283] Nevertheless Pope married two more wives. His most lasting affections appear to have been set on table delicacies. Once, when Kean asked him to act with him at Dublin, and take a benefit there, he declined, saying: “I must be at Plymouth at the time; it is exactly the season for mullet.” He maintained that there was but one crime: peppering a beef-steak.

[284] Pope had begun life as a crayon portrait painter in his birthplace, Cork. A highly finished water-colour portrait of Henry Grattan, from his hand, is in the British Museum Print Room.

[285] Francis Cotes, born in Cork Street, 1725, was a foundation member of the Royal Academy, and famous for his crayon portraits. He built himself a house in Cavendish Square (No. 32), in which Romney afterwards lived for twenty-one years, followed by Sir Martin A. Shee. It was demolished in 1904. The British Museum has four portrait subjects by Cotes in crayon. He is poorly represented in the National Gallery by a small portrait of Mrs. Brocas.

[286] Benjamin Green, born at Halesowen, became a drawing-master at Christ’s Hospital, and member of the Incorporated Society of Artists. He published many topographical plates, and engraved the illustrations in Morant’s History and Antiquities of the County of Essex (1768). His drawings of Canonbury Tower and Highbury Barn are in the British Museum Print Room. He died about 1800.

[287] The Right Honourable James Caulfield, first Earl of Charlemont (1728-99), distinguished himself in Ireland politically; in London he mixed with the Reynolds and Johnson set and was a member of the Dilettanti Club. In the college at St. Andrews, which Johnson and Boswell playfully imagined might be staffed by members of the Literary Club, Lord Charlemont was assigned the chair of modern history, and it was on Lord Charlemont that Boswell, Burke, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and others laid the task of bringing Dr. Johnson’s conversational powers into play by asking him whether a ludicrous statement in the newspapers that he was taking dancing lessons from Vestris was true.

[288] Thomas Cheesman, who had been pupil to Bartolozzi, engraved “The Lady’s Last Stake, or Picquet, or Virtue in Danger,” after Hogarth. He lived, successively, at 40 Oxford Street, 71 Newman Street, and 28 Francis Street. His portrait, by Bartolozzi, is in the National Portrait Gallery.

[289] Sir Lawrence Parsons (1758-1841), afterwards Earl of Rosse. Like Lord Charlemont, he was opposed to the Union, and twelve days after the date of this letter he moved in the Irish House of Commons an address to the Crown to expunge a paragraph in favour of the Union. This was carried by a majority of five votes.

[290] Had James Barry possessed no more than a tithe of the suavity of Reynolds or West, his career would have been more fortunate. In vain Burke, his best friend, pointed out that his business was to paint, not to dispute. He used his chair of painting at the Royal Academy to vilify the members to the students. In 1799 the climax arrived, and the Academicians resolved on his expulsion. The King consented, and the following entry appears in the records: “I have struck out the adjoining name, in consequence of the opinion entered in the minutes of the Council, and of the General Meeting, which I fully approve. April 23, 1779.—G. R.” No work of Barry’s is in the National Gallery, but he has an enduring memorial in his six great paintings in the hall of the Society of Arts, John Street. Here he finally lay in state among his works—as Haydon said, “a pall worthy of the corpse.”

[291] John Brand (1744-1806), the excellent historian of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and author of the Popular Antiquities. He came to London in 1784, to fill the rectory of St. Mary-at-Hill. In the same year he was appointed Resident Secretary of the Society of Antiquaries, but he continued to discharge his duties in the City, and died there, suddenly, in his rectory. He was buried in the chancel of his church.

[292] The publication Flaxman indicates, and to which he wishes to subscribe, is Smith’s important “Antiquities of Westminster, the old Palace, St. Stephen’s Chapel (now the House of Commons).… Containing two hundred and forty-six engravings of topographical subjects, of which one hundred and twenty-two no longer remain.”

The reduction of the thickness of the side walls of St. Stephen’s Chapel from three feet to one foot gave additional four feet to the width of the chamber. So soon as the wainscotting was removed, it was seen that the walls were adorned with beautiful paintings of scriptural and historical subjects. The discovery excited great interest, both on account of the antiquity of the paintings, which were found to date from Edward III., and the fact that they were painted in oils and were consequently among the earliest specimens of that class of painting. Smith obtained permission to copy them. He began work each morning, as soon as it was light, and was followed so closely by the workmen that they sometimes demolished in the afternoon the painting he had copied in the morning. This task occupied him for six weeks. These valuable drawings are engraved and coloured in the Antiquities of Westminster.

[293] Edward Hussey Delaval (1729-1814) of Seaton-Delaval, Northumberland, the chemist, has a claim on the remembrance of Londoners. In 1769 he and Benjamin Franklin were commissioned to report to the Royal Society on the best means of protecting St. Paul’s from lightning. Parliament Stairs, where his house stood, was at the west end of the present Houses of Parliament, giving access to the river from Abingdon Street. Delaval, who traced his descent from the Conqueror’s standard-bearer at Hastings, died here, aged 85.

[294] Parliament Stairs were open several months in the summer for the accommodation of those gentlemen of Westminster School, who practise the manly and healthy exercise of rowing; the key was held by Mr. Tyrwhitt, whose servants regularly opened and closed the gates night and morning.—S.

[295] John Carter, F.R.S. (1748-1817), is airily described by Michael Bryan as “a harmless and inoffensive drudge.” He was employed by the Society of Antiquaries, and by Horace Walpole and others. His chief work, The Ancient Architecture of England, occupied him many years. Carter was enthusiastically musical, but the two operas on which he ventured are forgotten.

[296] Richard Bentley, only son of Dr. Bentley, the Master of Trinity. He designed beautiful illustrations for Walpole’s edition-de-luxe of six of Gray’s poems, including the Elegy, and gave much assistance in the architectural treatment of Strawberry Hill. Walpole was under no delusion about their joint experiments in Gothic. “Neither Mr. Bentley nor my workmen had studied the science,” he wrote to Thomas Barrett (June 5, 1788); “my house therefore is but a sketch for beginners.”

[297] George Arnald (1763-1841) is represented in the National Gallery by one pleasing landscape, hung in Room XX., “On the Ouse, Yorkshire.” Some of his London subjects are reproduced by Smith in his Westminster. His “View of the Palace and Abbey,” painted in 1803, just excludes Delaval’s house on the left.—George Francis Joseph, A.R.A. (1764-1846), was a well-known portrait painter in his day. He is represented in the National Gallery by portraits of Spencer, Perceval, and Sir Stamford Raffles, and in the British Museum Print Room by a water-colour portrait of Charles Lamb, engravings from which appear in many editions of Lamb’s works.

[298] John Ker, third Duke of Roxburgh (1740-1804), one of the greatest of book-collectors, lived at No. 11 St. James’s Square. Smith’s epithet “the late” appertains to the time at which he wrote this passage.

[299] The case of Colonel Joseph Wall was remarkable for the culprit’s twenty years’ evasion of justice. His crime was the murder of a soldier while he was Lieutenant-Governor of Goree, in Senegambia, in 1782. The command of the fort at Goree was an inferior appointment, usually given to some claimant who stood in no great favour with the War Minister, and the troops of the garrison were commonly regiments in disgrace. Wall exercised his authority with great cruelty, and in 1782 punished Benjamin Armstrong, a sergeant, with a wilful severity which resulted in his death. Aware of the nature of his action, Wall fled to France. He then came to England, and was tried by court-martial for cruelty; but the proceedings hung fire, and he went to reside at Bath. He was re-arrested in 1784, but escaped to the Continent. Finally, in 1797, he wrote to the Home Secretary, offering to stand his trial for murder. He was tried, and sentenced to death, and, though the likelihood of a reprieve seemed great, was hanged outside Newgate, January 28, 1802.

[300] The Gentleman’s Magazine records that Dr. Forde, the Ordinary of Newgate, was “a very worthy man, and was much and deservedly esteemed by the City magistrates, who, on his retirement from office, settled on him an annuity which provided for the comforts of his latter days.” Dr. Forde no doubt satisfied the City authorities, but the Parliamentary Committee which investigated the state of the prison in 1814 reported: “Beyond his attendance in chapel, and on those who are sentenced to death, Dr. Forde feels but few duties to be attached to his office. He knows nothing of the state of morals in the prison; he never sees any of the prisoners in private; … he never knows that any have been sick till he gets a warning to attend their funeral; and does not go to the infirmary, for it is not in his instructions.” Dr. Forde was succeeded by the Rev. Mr. Cotton, who first officiated August 8, 1814.

[301] Maria Cosway, wife of Richard Cosway, the miniaturist.

[302] Black Boy Alley was notorious in the eighteenth century, and at one time was infested by a gang who drowned their victims in the Fleet River. No fewer than twenty-one were executed at once, after which the humour of the neighbourhood called the place Jack Ketch’s Common. In 1802, and earlier, Black Boy Alley was the scene of a weekly display of badger-baiting.

[303] In the eighteenth century, Epping sent butter and sausages to the London market, but the industry declined long ago.

[304] Pie Corner was at the Smithfield end of Giltspur Street, a short distance north from the Old Bailey. “A very fine dirty place,” is D’Urfey’s description of this spot, where the Great Fire of London ended. It was long famous for its greasy cook-shops.

[305] In his Nollekens Smith puts the same jibe into the mouth of John Hamilton Mortimer, the painter. “Mortimer made Dr. Arne, who had a very red face with staring eyes, furiously angry by telling him that his eyes looked ‘like two oysters just opened for sauce put upon an oval side-dish of beet-root.’”

[306] Peter Coxe, an auctioneer, and the author of a poem in four cantos called “The Social Day,” published in 1823. He wrote also “The Exposé, or Napoleon Buonaparte unmasked in a Condensed Statement of his Career and Atrocities” (1809). His emollient has escaped my search. Coxe was one of a long line of well-known men who lived in the middle one of the three houses into which Schomberg House, Pall Mall, was divided. He died in 1844.

[307] This generous woman, better known under the lawful title of Lady Hamilton, when I showed her my etching of the funeral procession of her husband’s friend, the immortal Nelson, fainted and fell into my arms; and, believe me, reader, her mouth was equal to any production of Greek sculpture I have yet seen (S.).—Smith’s etching was entitled, “An Accurate View (drawn and etched by J. T. Smith, Engraver of the Antiquities of London and Westminster) from the house of W. Tunnard, Esq., on the Bankside, adjoining the Scite of Shakespeare’s Theatre, on Wednesday the 8th January 1806, when the remains of the great Admiral Lord Nelson were brought from Greenwich to Whitehall.”


“The Fair One, whose charms did the Barber enthral,
At the end of Fleet Market of fish kept a stall:
As red as her cheek no boil’d lobster was seen,
Not an eel that she sold was as soft as her skin.”
The Barber’s Nuptials.

[309] From The Wife’s Trial, Lamb’s dramatic version of Crabbe’s Confidant. See Mr. Lucas’s Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, vol. v. p. 257.

[310] All previous relic-selling at Newgate was, however, eclipsed by the sale held in the partly demolished prison on Wednesday, 4th February 1903. The following account appeared in the City Press of 7th February:—

“In its way, probably, the sale which Messrs. Douglas Young & Co. conducted in the middle of the week, within the gloomy precincts of crime-stricken Newgate, was the most unique and memorable of its kind ever held. Crowds of the curious and speculative were naturally attracted to the fortress prison site.

“Interest more particularly hovered around the old toll bell, with its famous loyal inscription, and solid ton of metal. The hour was late when the lot (No. 188 in the catalogue) was reached, but that circumstance did not in any way detract from the briskness of the bidding. Starting at £30, the offers rapidly mounted; and, finally, the prized souvenir of many a tragic decade passed into the hands of Mr. Richardson (acting as agent for Madame Tussaud’s) for the exact sum of £100. The old flagstaff, whence the black flag was hoisted immediately after an execution had taken place, fell to the enterprise of Mr. Fox, a Cape gentleman, who, for 11½ guineas, has ensured that in future the Union Jack shall flutter in South African breezes from its fateful masthead.

“The famous oak and iron-cased half-latticed door associated with memories of Mrs. Elizabeth Fry, of philanthropic fame, went for £20; while Sir George Chubb secured for £30, amidst some cheering, the wonderful old massive oak and iron-bound half-latticed main entrance door that was fixed up when the prison was rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1666. A warder’s key-cupboard, fitted with shelf and iron hooks—identical with the one referred to in Barnaby Rudge—extracted £12, 10s. from the pockets of the bidder; while the appointments of the condemned cells, both male and female, realised fairly good prices—the former in particular.

“The chapel pulpit, at £8, 10s., was a distinctly disappointing figure; while it cannot be said that £5, 15s. was an extravagant sum to pay for the complete equipment of the execution shed. The taste for criminology, in the shape of the plaster casts of the heads of nine victims of the gallows, worked out at five guineas.

“Some of the liveliest bidding of the day took place over the numerous lots of copper washing bowls, in which the inmates of Newgate testified that cleanliness was next to godliness. The lowest price realised was £2, 12s. 6d. for a set of three bowls; while sets of four realised, on several occasions, as much as £5. Altogether it was a sale in which monotony and curiosity singularly intermingled, and, withal, one ever to be remembered by those who happened to be present.”

[311] The flying physician of the Chapter Coffee House was Dr. William Buchan, who, in the last half of the eighteenth century, was regularly consulted at this coffee-house in St. Paul’s Alley by ailing bookmen. His advice frequently took this form: “Now, let me prescribe for you. Here, John, bring a glass of punch for Mr.——, unless he likes brandy and water better. Take that, sir, and I’ll warrant you’ll soon be well. You’re a peg too low, you want stimulus, and if one glass won’t do, call for a second.” His place was in a box in the north-east corner of the room, known as the “Wittenagemot,” where he not only prescribed, but acted as an arbiter of debate. James Montgomery, in his Memoirs, describes him as “of venerable aspect, neat in his dress, his hair tied behind with a large ribbon, and a gold-headed cane in his hand, quite realising my idea of an Esculapian dignitary.”

Buchan was, indeed, a physician of repute, and his Domestic Medicine, or the Family Physician, was not only the first English work of its kind, but ran into nineteen large editions. It was said that the publishers gave him £700 down for it, and reaped £700 a year. In Russia and in America and the West Indies the book was welcomed. The Empress Catherine sent the author a gold medallion and a complimentary letter.

To members of the Society of Friends the career of this genial doctor is of some interest, inasmuch as at one time he was physician to the Yorkshire branch of the Foundling Hospital at Ackworth, an unfortunate institution which in 1779 was taken over by this Society, to become the flourishing and historic school of to-day. Buchan lived many years with his son at No. 6 Percy Street, Rathbone Place, and died there February 25, 1806, aged seventy-six. He was buried in the west cloister of Westminster Abbey, near Dr. Richard Jebb, and Wollett, the engraver.

[312] Flockton was for nearly half a century a showman at St. Bartholomew’s and Sturbridge Fairs. These lines appeared on some of his bills:—

“To raise the soul by means of wood and wire,
To Screw the fancy up a few pegs higher;
In miniature to show the world at large,
As folks conceive a ship who’ve seen a barge,
This is the scope of all our actors’ play,
Who hope their wooden aims will not be thrown away!”

He died at Camberwell, April 12, 1794, leaving £5000, most of which he bequeathed to his company. An engraving of his show bears the almost Yankee inscription, “The Only Booth in the Fair;” and on the balustrade of the stairs to its entrance is inscribed the curiously modern injunction, “Tumble up! tumble up!”

[313] Honey Lane Market, famous in the eighteenth century for its provisions, keeps its name close to Cheapside. In 1835, the pillared and belfried market-house gave place to the City of London School, since removed to the Thames Embankment. The “Market” is still an odd oasis of domestic shopping in the City’s larger operations.

[314] This was Belzoni’s “Narrative of the Operations and Recent Discoveries within the Pyramids, Temples, Tombs, and Excavations, in Egypt and Nubia;—and of a—Journey to the Coast of the Red Sea, in search of—the Ancient Berenice;—and another to—the Oasis of Jupiter Ammon. By G. Belzoni. London:—John Murray, Albemarle Street.—1820.” At the end of the book comes “Mrs. Belzoni’s Trifling Account—of the—Women of Egypt, Nubia, and Syria.”

That Belzoni, turned author, retained the physical strength of his showman days, is shown in a story told by Dr. Smiles in his Memoirs of John Murray. “Like many other men of Herculean power, he was not eager to exhibit his strength, but on one occasion he gave proof of it. Mr. Murray had asked him to accompany him to the Coronation of George IV. They had tickets of admittance to Westminster Hall, but on arriving there they found that the sudden advent of Queen Caroline, attended by a mob claiming admission to the Abbey, had alarmed the authorities, and who had caused all doors to be shut. That by which they should have entered was held close and guarded by several stalwart janitors. Belzoni thereupon advanced to the door, and, in spite of the efforts of these guardians, including Tom Crib and others of the pugilistic corps who had been engaged as constables, opened it with ease, and admitted himself and Mr. Murray.”

[315] Dr. Robert Richardson (1779-1847) went to Egypt and Palestine with the Earl of Belmore in 1816, and published his Travels in 1822. Lady Blessington lent the book to Byron, who said: “The author is just the sort of man I should like to have with me for Greece—clever both as a man and a physician.” Richardson afterwards settled in Rathbone Place. He died in Gordon Street, Gordon Square, Nov. 5, 1847.

[316] The creator of the Leverian Museum was the eldest son of Sir Darcey Lever, of Alkrington, near Manchester. As a young man he had delighted in horses and birds. His treasures had grown in interest and numbers, until he was persuaded to turn a private hobby into a public speculation. He hired Leicester House in 1771, and for thirteen years maintained and increased it, at a cost of £50,000, against which he could set only £13,000 in receipts. In 1784 he was authorised to issue 36,000 guinea tickets, of which one was to entitle the holder to the entire museum. A proposal for the purchase of the museum by the nation, which Dr. Johnson favoured, came to nothing. Only 8000 tickets had been sold when the drawing took place. The one prize, the museum, was drawn by a Mr. Parkinson, who thus acquired for a guinea the largest general collection in Europe, including the curiosities collected by Captain Cook in his South Sea voyages.

Sir Ashton Lever died suddenly in 1788, at Manchester. Meanwhile Mr. Parkinson had built the Rotunda in Albion Place, at the south end of Blackfriars Bridge, for the display of the “Museum Leverianum.” The scheme failed, and in 1806 the museum was sold by auction at King & Lochee’s rooms in King Street, Covent Garden, the sale lasting sixty-five days. The catalogue filled 410 octavo pages, and there were 7879 lots. The deserted “Rotunda” at Blackfriars deteriorated until it was known to Tom Taylor as “something very much like a penny gaff.” Taylor, by the way, tells us that Sir Ashton Lever conceived the idea of sending a ship-load of potatoes to the defenders of Gibraltar, and this was done.

[317] By “this year” Smith means 1784. His note is little more than a copy of the following newspaper paragraph of May 29, 1784, quoted by Lewis in his History of Islington: “Thursday a grand cricket-match was played in the White Conduit Fields. Among the players were the Duke of Dorset, Lord Winchilsea, Lord Talbot, Colonel Tarleton, Mr. Howe, Mr. Damer, Hon. Mr. Lennox, and the Rev. Mr. Williams. A pavilion was erected for refreshments, and a number of ladies attended.”

John Frederick Sackville, third Duke of Dorset (1745-99), was a member of the Hambledon Club, and of the committee which drew up the original laws of the M.C.C. He employed several of the best cricketers of his day, and presented Sevenoaks with a cricket ground. As our Ambassador to France he arranged for a British cricket eleven to play in Paris, but the Revolution disturbances prevented the match.

The Earl of Winchilsea (1752-1826) was also a member of the Hambledon. He introduced four wickets, two inches higher than the standard. “The game is then rendered shorter by easier bowling out,” said the Hampshire Chronicle, but the Earl’s plan is still a dream and a controversy.

The Hon. Mr. Lennox is referred to in a newspaper of the period as “nephew to his grace of Richmond,” and he and Lord Winchilsea are described as the chief performers at White Conduit House.

Colonel Sir Banastre Tarleton went through the War of Independence with distinction, and lived with “Perdita” (Mary Robinson) for some years, receiving from her much devotion. He represented Liverpool in Parliament for twenty-two years, and attained the rank of General.

The White Conduit Club, of which these gentlemen were members, has a high importance in the history of cricket, for out of it sprang, in 1787, the Marylebone Cricket Club. “The M.C.C. Club,” says Mr. Andrew Lang in a sketch of cricket history, “may be said to have sprung from the ashes of the White Conduit Club, dissolved in 1787. One Thomas Lord, by the aid of some members of the older association, made a ground in the space which is now Dorset Square. This was the first ‘Lord’s’.” Two removals brought the ground to its present location in St. John’s Wood, where the first recorded match was played, June 22, 1814.

[318] Du Val’s Lane is now represented by Hornsey Road. It seems to have been originally “Devil’s Lane,” but to have been popularly re-named from Claude Duval (1643-70), the highwayman, who, like Dick Turpin, favoured this district. Born at Domfront in Normandy, Du Val came to England in the train of the Duke of Richmond, and took to the road. He was famous for his gallantries to his victims. He was captured on January 17, 1669 or 1670, in the Hole-in-the-Wall Tavern, Chandos Street, and although intercession was made for him by ladies of rank, he was hanged at Tyburn within four days. The exhibition of his body at the Tangier Tavern, St. Giles’s, drew such crowds that it had to be stopped. It is hard to believe that Du Val was accorded a grave in the centre aisle of Covent Garden Church, and that his epitaph began—

Here lies Du Vall: Reader, if male thou art,
Look to thy purse; if female, to thy heart;

but it is so stated in the Memoirs of Monsieur Du Val, 1670. His funeral, we read, “was attended with many flambeaux, and a numerous train of mourners, whereof most were of the beautiful sex.”

[319] Nathaniel Hillier, of Pancras Lane, merchant, died March 1, 1783, aged 76 (Gentleman’s Magazine).

[320] This tea-pot passed into the possession of that eccentric virtuoso, Henry Constantine Noel, of whom Smith gives an account under 1818. Noel had the following extraordinary inscription engraved on it:—

“We are told by Lucian, that the earthen lamp, which had administered to the lucubrations of Epictetus, was at his death purchased for the enormous sum of three thousand drachmas: why, then, may not imagination equally amplify the value of this unadorned vessel, long employed for the infusion of that favourite herb, whose enlivening virtues are said to have so often protracted the elegant and edifying lucubrations of Samuel Johnson; the zealous advocate of that innocent beverage, against its declared enemy, Jonas Hanway. It was weighed out for sale under the inspection of Sir John Hawkins, at the very minute when they were in the next room closing the incision through which Mr. Cruickshank had explored the ruinated machinery of its dead master’s thorax; so Bray the silversmith, conveyed there in Sir John’s carriage, thus hastily to buy the plate, informed its present possessor, Henry Constantine Noel, by whom it was, for its celebrated services, on the 1st of November 1788, rescued from the undiscriminating obliterations of the furnace.”

[321] In this letter, Charles Townley, the collector of the Townley marbles, probably refers to William Lock (1732-1810), the wealthy connoisseur, and a friend of Madame d’Arblay. He lived at Norbury Park, where he was hospitable to Madame de Staël. He was described as the “arbiter, advocate, and common friend of all lovers of art.”

[322] The “Triumph of Bacchus” was one of eight great pictures which Rubens painted for the palace at Madrid.

[323] Annibale Caracci was employed by Cardinal Farnese to decorate the famous gallery that bears his name. He produced a masterly series of frescoes.

[324] Welbore Ellis, first Baron Mendip, was the third owner of Pope’s Villa at Twickenham, after the poet.

[325] “1811, Feb. 3.—In Great Ormond Street, Atkinson Bush, Esq., in the 76th year of his age” (European Magazine, February 1811).

[326] Parton’s book, Some Account of the Hospital and Parish of St. Giles’ in the Fields, Middlesex (1822), by “the late” Mr. John Parton, gives the plan in question, but does not touch on the matter of its authenticity. It is clear, however, that his plans and maps are largely conjectural.

[327] A distinction she shared with Miss Mary Moser. These are the only women who have been members of the Royal Academy, but it cannot be said that their talent was very exceptional. Peter Pindar irreverently said that Mary Moser was made an R.A. for “a sublime Picture of a Plate of Gooseberries.”

[328] The annals of British art do not contain a more tragic story than that of “the late” William Wynn Ryland. A man of great talent, he was engraver to George III., and an exhibitor at the Royal Academy; but it was his fate to be hanged at Tyburn for forging a bond of several thousand pounds. How he presented this document in person at the India House, is narrated by Henry Angelo as a proof of his extraordinary self-command.

“The cashier, on receiving the document, examined it carefully, and referred to the ledger; then, comparing the date, observed, ‘Here is a mistake, Sir; the bond, as entered, does not become due until to-morrow.’

“Ryland, begging permission to look at the book, on its being handed to him, observed: ‘So I perceive—there must be an error in your entry of one day;’ and offered to leave the bond, not betraying the least disappointment or surprise. The mistake appearing to the cashier to be obviously an error in his office, the bond was paid to Ryland, who departed with the money. The next day the true bond was presented, when the forgery was discovered, of course; and, within a few hours after, the fraud was made public, and steps were taken for the recovery of the perpetrator.

“This document, lately in the possession of a gentleman now deceased, I have often seen. It is, perhaps, the most extraordinary piece of deceptive art, in the shape of imitation, that was ever produced.”

A reprieve for Ryland was sought on the ground of his extraordinary abilities, but, as was usual in cases of forgery, without success. George III. is said to have replied: “No; a man with such ample means of providing for his wants could not reasonably plead necessity as an excuse for his crime.” But the artist’s petition for a respite was both granted and renewed. He explained that he desired no extension of life except as the means of completing his last engraving, and so adding to his wife’s stock of plates. The subject was Queen Eleanor sucking the poison from the arm of her husband, Edward I., from a painting by Angelica Kauffmann. He laboured hard on this work, and when he received the first proof from his printer, said, “Mr. Haddril, I thank you; my task is now accomplished.” He was hanged within a week, and his was the last execution at Tyburn. Henry Angelo says that, like Dr. Dodd, Ryland was allowed to proceed to Tyburn in a mourning coach.

The story of William Blake’s prophecy of Ryland’s end is well known. His father had intended to apprentice him to Ryland, but was frustrated by the unaccountable attitude of the boy, who, after they had called on the engraver at his studio, said, “Father, I do not like the man’s face; it looks as if he will live to be hanged.” Twelve years later came the fulfilment. Col. W. F. Prideaux recently mentioned in Notes and Queries that he possesses a curious collection concerning Ryland’s case which was formed by the Rev. H. Cotton, the ordinary of Newgate. It includes the original handbill offering a reward for Ryland’s apprehension, and a drawing of the engraver’s mother by John Thomas Smith.

[329] In the Dictionary of National Biography, Miss E. T. Bradley sums up the impressions Angelica Kauffmann made: “Goldsmith wrote some lines to her; Garrick, whom she painted, was much fascinated by her, and Fuseli paid addresses to her. Her most serious flirtation, however, was with Sir Joshua Reynolds, whose acquaintance she made directly she arrived in London. He painted her portrait twice. She frequently visited his studio, and painted a weak and uncharacteristic portrait of the painter, which Bartolozzi engraved. Nathaniel Dance, whom she had met in Italy, is also said to have been hopelessly in love with her.”

[330] Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland, first baronet (1734-1811), met Angelica Kauffmann in Italy, and was said to have been hopelessly in love with her. He was an original member of the Royal Academy, but resigned his diploma in 1790 on his marriage to Mrs. Drummer, known facetiously as “The Yorkshire Fortune,” from her possession of £18,000 a year. He assumed the additional name of Holland, and sat in Parliament for Grinstead. In his time he was a capable but stiff portrait painter, and painted full-length portraits of George III. and his Queen.

[331] A deed of separation was obtained from Pope Pius VI. After the “Count’s” death, Angelica Kauffmann married in London, July 14, 1781, Antonio Pietro Zucchi, a Venetian painter who had long lived in England, and had been employed by Adam, the architect. He decorated Garrick’s house in the Adelphi. He died in 1795.

[332] Thomas Pitt, first Baron Camelford, was a prominent politician and an opponent of Lord North. At Twickenham, where he settled in 1762, he and Horace Walpole exchanged ideas on Gothic architecture.

[333] Probably the well-known Dr. Bates, M.D., of Missenden, Bucks.

[334] Willey Reveley, architect, and editor of vol. iii. of Stuart’s Antiquities of Athens.

[335] Smith’s task had been protracted by his tiresome quarrel with his collaborator, John Sidney Hawkins. They pamphletted and “vindicated” to their hearts’ content, but the dispute is not worth unravelling.

[336] Henry White, then Sacrist of Lichfield Cathedral.

[337] George Dance, who died in 1825, was the architect of the recently demolished Newgate Prison, also of St. Luke’s Hospital and the Guildhall entrance façade. He was the last survivor of the foundation members of the Royal Academy, and was buried in St. Paul’s Cathedral. William Daniell, R.A., was well known for his Indian and Oriental illustrations. He painted a panorama of Madras, and another of “The City of Lucknow and the mode of Taming Wild Elephants.” His painting, “A View of the Long Walk, Windsor,” is in the royal collection.

[338] Fuseli’s quaint violences of speech were many, and gained in effect from his Swiss accent. He swore roundly, a habit which Haydon says he caught from his friend Dr. Armstrong, the poet. He said a subject should interest, astonish, or move; if it did none of these, it was worth “noding by Gode.” A visitor to his imposing, but unsuccessful, Milton Gallery of forty paintings, said to him, “Pray, sir, what is that picture?” “It is the bridging of Chaos; the subject from Milton.” “No wonder,” said the inquirer, “I did not know it, for I never read Milton, but I will.” “I advise you not, sir, for you will find it a d——d tough job.” He said, on looking at Northcote’s painting of the angel meeting Balaam and his ass: “Northcote, you are an angel at an ass, but an ass at an angel.” Once, at the table of Mr. Coutts, the banker, Mrs. Coutts, dressed like Morgiana, came dancing in, presenting her dagger at every breast. As she confronted Nollekens, Fuseli called out, “Strike—strike—there’s no fear; Nolly was never known to bleed.” He recommended a sculptor to find some newer emblem of eternity than a serpent with a tail in its mouth. The something newer (says Cunningham) startled a man whose imagination was none of the brightest, and he said, “How shall I find something new?” “Oh, nothing so easy,” said Fuseli; “I’ll help you to it. When I went away to Rome I left two fat men cutting fat bacon in St. Martin’s Lane; in ten years’ time I returned, and found the two fat men cutting fat bacon still; twenty years more have passed, and there the two fat fellows cut the fat flitches the same as ever. Carve them—if they do not look like an image of eternity, I wot not what does.”

[339] In the last ten years of his stage career Bannister travelled with his “Budget” of songs, anecdotes, and imitations, through England, Scotland, and Ireland.

[340] The Rev. Stephen Weston, F.R.S. (1747-1830), a well-known antiquary and classical scholar, held the Devonshire livings of Mainhead and Little Hempston, Devon, but left that county after the death of his wife. He engaged in some spirited attempts to translate Gray’s Elegy into Greek, and published his Elegia Grayiana, Græce, in 1794. He was fond of the French capital, and published The Praise of Paris in 1803. An old friend of Nollekens, he was present at the funeral so airily described by Smith in his life of the sculptor.

[341] Swan upping (or marking) is still carried out yearly on the Thames by the representatives of the Crown and by the Dyers’ and Vintners’ Companies, who have the privilege of keeping swans on the river. Formerly the state barges of the City went up to Staines, and ceremonies were performed. Even to-day the expedition of the swan-markers is picturesque; the skiffs bear the flags of the several authorities, the markers wear flannels and distinguishing jerseys, and the overseers don special tunics and peaked caps. The birds are caught by means of long hooked poles.

[342] Tooke did not, therefore, “try the question” of his silver caddy; but had it not been returned he would have done so in his character of the inimitable litigant. “A court of law,” says Hazlitt, in his masterly portrait of Tooke in The Spirit of the Age, “was the place where Mr. Tooke made the best figure in public. He might assuredly be said to be ‘native and endued unto that element.’ He had here to stand merely on the defensive: not to advance himself, but to block up the way: not to impress others, but to be himself impenetrable. All he wanted was negative success; and to this no one was better qualified to aspire. Cross purposes, moot-points, pleas, demurrers, flaws in the indictment, double meanings, cases, inconsequentialities, these were the playthings, the darlings of Mr. Tooke’s mind; and with these he baffled the Judge, dumbfounded the Counsel, and outwitted the Jury. The report of his trial before Lord Kenyon is a masterpiece of acuteness, dexterity, modest assurance, and legal effect. It is much like his examination before the Commissioners of the Income Tax—nothing could be got out of him in either case!”

[343] He had, indeed, prepared a tomb for himself in his garden at Wimbledon, and the funeral invitations, as first sent out, contemplated his burial here. He was buried in a family vault at Ealing, to which the following inscription was added: “JOHN HORNE TOOKE, late of Wimbledon, Author of the Diversions of Purley: was born June 1736, and died March 18, 1812, contented and happy.”

[344] The Rev. William Huntington obtained influence over multitudes by a grotesque piety and a compelling pulpit manner. He appended the initials S.S. to his name, signifying “Sinner Saved.” His true name was Hunt, and he himself tells how he added two syllables to it as a disguise after being called upon to support an illegitimate child. The son of a Kentish day labourer, he had been errand boy, gardener, cobbler, and coal-heaver. At last he turned wholly preacher, and in that character came up to London from Thames Ditton, “bringing two large carts, with furniture and other necessaries, besides a post-chaise well filled with children and cats,” as he relates. He became minister of Margaret Street Chapel, where he urged the power of prayer, telling his hearers that whenever he wanted a thing—a horse, a pair of breeches, or a pound of tea—he prayed for it and it came. In 1788 his admirers built him a chapel in the Gray’s Inn Road at a cost of £9000. He called it Providence Chapel, and was shrewd enough to obtain the personal freehold. He carried pulpit brusqueness to the extreme. “Wake that snoring sinner!” and “Silence that noisy numskull!” were his frequent observations. By his marriage with the widow of Sir James Sanderson, who had been Lord Mayor of London, he gained wealth, and in 1811 he became the tenant of Dr. Valangin’s mansion on Hermes Hill, Pentonville. This eminent Swiss physician had named his estate Hermes Hill in honour of Hermes Trismegithus, the fabled discoverer of chemistry. Huntington’s health failed him, and he exchanged the air of Pentonville for Tunbridge Wells, where he died July 1, 1813. Smith’s story of the disciple who purchased a barrel of beer at the sale of Huntington’s effects is apparently true. Extravagant prices were paid for less perishable souvenirs. An arm-chair worth fifty shillings fetched sixty guineas, and an ordinary pair of spectacles seven guineas. The Pentonville mansion has long disappeared, but Hermes Street dingily perpetuates its curious history.

[345] Smith’s Beef Steak friend, John Nixon, was an Irish factor, who, with his brother Richard, lived over his warehouses in Basinghall Street. He was wealthy and convivial, a bachelor, a good business man, an admirable host, an amateur actor, and a comic artist. His drawing of “The Jolly Undertakers” regaling themselves at the Falcon Tavern, near Clapham Junction, is well known; the landlord’s name was Robert Death, and the undertakers are seen regaling themselves “at Death’s door.” Nixon’s original picture long remained at the Falcon (now rebuilt), and was considered a fixture.

The history of the Sublime Society of Beef Steaks was mournfully recalled two years ago by the closing and subsequent sale of its last home, the Lyceum Theatre. John Rich, the patentee of Covent Garden Theatre, is usually named as its founder, but the germ of the Society (its members loathed the name of Club) lay in the creature needs of his scene painter, George Lambert, of whom Edwards relates in his Anecdotes of Painting

“As it frequently happened that he was too much hurried to leave his engagements for his regular dinner, he contented himself with a beefsteak broiled upon the fire in the painting-room. In this hasty meal he was sometimes joined by his visitors, who were pleased to participate in the humble repast of the artist. The savour of the dish and the conviviality of the accidental meeting inspired the party with a resolution to establish a club, which was accordingly done under the title of the ‘Beefsteak Club’; and the party assembled in the painting-room. The members were afterwards accommodated with a room in the playhouse, where the meetings were held for many years.”

Among the earlier members were Hogarth, Theophilus Cibber, George IV., when Prince of Wales, the Earl of Sandwich, George Colman, Wilkes. Charles Morris, the Laureate of the Beefsteaks, was admitted in 1785, and remained a member till his death in 1838, after being for more than fifty years the life and soul of the Society. “Die when you will, Charles, you’ll die in your youth,” were Curran’s words, and Morris died young at ninety-three. His “Sweet shady side of Pall Mall” is the best London song of its kind.

The Society dined and wined itself into the nineteenth century without a thought of change, but when Covent Garden Theatre was burnt down in 1808, the Beefsteakers, who had taken shelter at the Bedford Coffee House, went to the Lyceum Theatre at the invitation of Samuel James Arnold. There, for sixty years, they met in a banquet room behind the stage. In 1867 the number of members had fallen to eighteen, and in that year the famous coterie closed its doors and sent its Lares and Penates to Christie’s, that mart of abandoned playthings. “Brother” Walter Arnold’s Life and Death of the Sublime Society of Beef Steaks (1871) is a singularly complete and interesting memorial of the “jolly old Steakers of England.”

The “Ad Libitum” Society, of which Nixon was also a member, and which was quite distinct from the Beefsteaks, held its meetings successively at the Shakespeare Tavern, the Piazza Coffee House, Robins’s Rooms, and the Bedford Coffee House. Thomas Dibdin gives a list of its members in his Reminiscences.

[346] Mrs. Abington died on the 4th.

[347] Garrick’s troubles with this actress were such that he wrote to her in reply to one of her complaints: “Let me be permitted to say, that I never yet saw Mrs. Abington theatrically happy for a week together.” During his later managership Garrick had ceaseless struggles with his actresses, by which he was greatly wearied. “The lively ‘Pivy’ Clive, the stately Mrs. Barry, Pope, the established Hoyden of the theatre, Miss Younge, Mrs. Yates, Mrs. Abington, all tried the effect of a modified revolt” (Percy Fitzgerald: Life of Garrick).

[348] Stafford Row was near Stafford Gate, St. James’s Park. Mrs. Yates died here in 1787, and Mrs. Radcliffe, the author of the Mysteries of Udolpho, in 1823.

[349] These lines occur in the epilogue to General Burgoyne’s comedy, The Maid of the Oaks, written by him expressly for Mrs. Abington, who performed the part of Lady Bab Lardoon in the season 1773-74. Garrick wrote the epilogue in question to be spoken by Mrs. Abington.

[350] These lines do not belong to The Maid of the Oaks, the subject of Garrick’s letter of 9th November. I have not been able to trace them.

[351] See Wilmot’s Letters, British Museum.—S.

[352] John Thane (1748-1818) was a well-known printseller in Soho, and the editor of British Autography: a Collection of Facsimiles of the Handwriting of Royal and Illustrious Personages, with their Authentic Portraits (1793).

[353] John Blaquière (1732-1812) sat in both Irish and United Kingdom Parliaments. At this time (1771) he was Secretary of Legation in Paris.

[354] This letter is the earliest from Walpole to Mrs. Abington in Peter Cunningham’s collection, where it bears the more precise date, September 1, 1771. At that time Walpole had no private acquaintance with Mrs. Abington. Eight years later, Mrs. Abington is still seeking his acquaintance, for he writes in April 1779 to excuse himself from an invitation she had sent him. But on May 22, 1779, Walpole says at the end of a letter to the Honourable H. S. Conway: “I am going to sup with Mrs. Abington, and hope Mrs. Clive will not hear of it.” No doubt he did so, and it was after this stage in their acquaintance that he wrote the letter of June 11, 1780 (see opposite page).

[355] Sir Walter James James, first Baronet (1759-1829), married Jane, sister of John Jeffreys, second Earl, and first Marquis, Camden.

[356] At this time Mrs. Jordan was absent from the stage, in obedience to her lover, the Duke of Clarence, afterwards William IV. By him she had ten children. She had also four children by Sir Richard Ford, and a daughter by her Cork manager, Richard Daly. But, says Leigh Hunt, she “made even Methodists love her.” In 1811 the Duke of Clarence made an arrangement by which she received £4400 a year for the maintenance of herself and all her children, on condition that if she returned to the stage the Duke’s daughters and £1500 a year were to revert to him. All these daughters married well. Mrs. Jordan died embarrassed and unhappy at St. Cloud, a good deal of mystery shrouding her end. Tate Wilkinson tells how she finally exchanged her maiden name of Bland for Jordan. “You have crossed the water, my dear,” he said to her once, “so I’ll call you Jordan.” “And by the memory of Sam! if she didn’t take my joke in earnest, and call herself Mrs. Jordan ever since.”

[357] In a letter dated January 24, 1816, in my possession, which was evidently intended to be sent as a circular to some of his stauncher patrons, Smith states that he had found the previous year very “unprofitable to the Arts,” and that owing to the great number of families who left England for France “last season” (i.e. after Waterloo), his income had been small. He has applied himself closely to his etching table, and is now able to lay before his correspondent the first three numbers of a small work at a remarkably cheap rate. This was his Vagabondiana, or Anecdotes of Mendicant Wanderers through the Streets of London, with Portraits of the Most Remarkable drawn from Life. The increase of beggars in London had engaged serious attention, and legislation was in the air. The Society for the Suppression of Mendicity was founded in 1818. Smith’s work is the artistic forerunner of Charles Lamb’s Complaint of the Decay of Beggars in the Metropolis, written in 1822, when “the all-sweeping besom of sectarian reform” had done its work. The Herculean legless beggar whose portrait Lamb draws with so much gusto, appears in Smith’s gallery of etchings. But whereas Mr. E. V. Lucas identifies him as Samuel Horsey, I venture to think he was the beggar named John MacNally. Smith’s figure of Horsey hardly suggests a Hercules, nor does another portrait of him from Kirby’s “Wonderful and Scientific Museum.” I suggest that the beggar of whom Lamb wrote, in 1822, “He seemed earth-born, an Antæus, and to suck in fresh vigour from the soil which he neighboured; he was a grand fragment; as good as an Elgin marble; the nature, which should have recruited his left leg and thighs, was not lost, but only retired into his upper parts, and he was half a Hercules,” was identical with the beggar whom John Thomas Smith describes as an “extraordinary torso”: “His head, shoulders, and chest, which are exactly those of Hercules, would prove valuable models for the artist.” This Hercules is John MacNally. Were there two London legless beggars who could suggest to two minds such images of antique magnificence of physique? It is possible, but unlikely.

[358] First cousin, once removed, of the poet.

[359] Charles Manners-Sutton, Archbishop of Canterbury 1805-28.

[360] Thomas Gilliland, whose Dramatic Mirror is still consulted, was not too popular with the actors and actresses whose lives he compiled. He was practically warned off the Green-room of Drury Lane Theatre by Charles Mathews, the elder.

[361] Smith is mistaken as to the date of the first race. This was rowed on August 1, 1716. A portrait of a waterman in his boat, still preserved in the Watermen’s Hall, St. Mary’s Hill, is supposed to represent the first wearer of the coat and badge, a white horse being painted on the back-board of the boat. It is said that John Broughton, afterwards the prize-fighter, and the founder of boxing, was this winner. Under Doggett’s will, only one prize, the coat and badge, was given, but additional prizes have been added under the will of Sir William Jolliff, in 1820, and by the Fishmongers’ Company. These prizes are generous. Even the last of the six young watermen to reach the winning-post is sure of £2; the other unsuccessful candidates receive sums from £3 to £6 each. The winner of the race is £10 in pocket, his name is added to the long roll of previous winners, and he wears Doggett’s coat (made to fit him) among the coated élite of Watermen’s Hall.

A clever and genial man, Doggett was known everywhere by his immense wig, on the top of which, not without the aid of pins, rested a small cocked hat. He carried a rapier, and took snuff incessantly. Only two portraits of him are known: one represents him dancing the Cheshire Round with the motto, “Ne sutor ultra crepidam,” and the Garrick Club has a portrait, but its authenticity is questioned.

[362] The Waterman was, indeed, announced as the after-piece to The Wonder, but Garrick had no part in it, and his great farewell scene rendered its performance impossible alike to actors and audience.

[363] Sarah Sophia Banks (1744-1818) was a virtuoso, and collector of natural history specimens. She kept house for her brother, Sir Joseph Banks, at 32 Soho Square, at the corner of Frith Street. Here Sir Joseph, who is mentioned by Smith elsewhere, gave his Sunday evening conversaziones, at which Cavendish and Wollaston were the prominent guests. Sir Henry Holland describes these evenings in his Recollections. Gifford of the Quarterly remarked to Moore, that the Banks’ mansion was to science what Holland House was to literature. Horace Walpole poked incessant fun at Sir Joseph’s curiosity about remote Atlantic islands, and Peter Pindar scribbled verses like this:—

“To give a breakfast in Soho,
Sir Joseph’s bitterest foe
Must certainly allow him peerless merit:
Where on a wagtail and tom-tit
He shines, and sometimes on a nit:
Displaying powers few gentlemen inherit.”

The house was afterwards the home of the Linnæan Society, and is now the Hospital for Diseases of the Heart.

[364] Knick-knacks.

[365] Elizabeth Carter (1717-1806), of “Epictetus” fame, was the daughter of a Kent parson. She enjoyed the friendship of Dr. Johnson, to whom she was introduced by Cave. Mrs. Carter wrote Nos. 44 and 100 of the Rambler, essays which Johnson esteemed highly. Her resolution in acquiring a knowledge of Greek and Latin was extraordinary: she placed a bell at the head of her bed, and arranged that the sexton, who rose between four and five o’clock, should ring it by means of a cord which descended into the garden below. Her translation of Epictetus appeared in 1758; it was published by subscription at one guinea, and she made £1000 by it. Her attainments brought her many distinguished friends, and it was thought that Dr. Secker, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, wished to marry her. Mrs. Carter was one of the little company who dined with Johnson at Mrs. Garrick’s house, May 3, 1783, when Hannah More, looking at Johnson, “was struck with the mild radiance of the setting sun.”

[366] Mrs. Dards’ exhibition was at No. 1 Suffolk Street, Cockspur Street. The British Museum has one of her catalogues, dated 1800.

[367] This singular character, whose real name was Henry Constantine Jennings (1731-1819), died within the Rules of the King’s Bench, after spending one fortune on works of art and losing another on the turf. About 1778 he brought to England the antique sculpture known as Alcibiades’ Dog (now at Duncombe Park, Yorkshire), whence he had his nickname, “Dog Jennings.” His purchase of this work for a thousand guineas was the subject of one of Dr. Johnson’s conversations, recorded by Boswell. Jennings lived in the most easterly of the five houses into which Lindsey House, Chelsea, was divided in 1760. In Smith’s Nollekens he appears as a little man in a brown coat walking in Marylebone Fields, where Nollekens was for giving him twopence, mistaking him for a pauper.

Jennings was twice married, and at one time laid claim to a lapsed peerage. At Chelsea, where he maintained his house and grounds in a state of luxurious neglect, it was his custom twice a day to exercise himself with a ponderous lead-tipped broadsword: then (to use his own words), “mount my chaise horse, composed of leather and inflated with wind like a pair of bellows, on which I take exactly one thousand gallops.” Among his treasures was a statue of Venus, which he prized so highly, that for the first six months after acquiring it he had it placed during dinner at the head of his table, with two footmen in laced liveries in attendance on it—a situation that to-day would be worthy of Mr. Anstey’s humour.

[368] Sir Thomas Stepney, ninth and last baronet of Prendergast, Pembroke, died September 12, 1825, aged 65. He was long a member of White’s Club, and wore blue and white striped stockings, a peculiarity he shared with Nollekens, the sculptor. A worthier distinction was his descent from Sir Anthony Vandyke. Sir John Stepney, the third baronet, had married the daughter and heiress of the painter.

[369] Of John Burges, M.D. (1745-1807), there is a manuscript memoir in the library of the Royal College of Physicians. He made a fine collection of the materia medica, which ultimately passed to the college, where it is still preserved. Gillray’s legend “From Warwick Lane” refers, of course, to the earlier location of the college in the city.

[370] At the Royal Academy dinner of 1789 the health of Alderman Boydell as “the Commercial Mæcenas of England” was proposed by Edmund Burke. It was in this year that the Alderman began to exhibit in Pall Mall the works which he had commissioned for his Shakespeare Gallery. Next year he became Lord Mayor. Unfortunately, he miscalculated his financial powers, and the outbreak of the French Revolution entailed on him such loss of foreign custom that his death in 1804 was clouded by misfortune. He had employed nearly all the best artists and engravers of his day, and had spent £350,000 in his business. His Shakespeare Gallery, consisting of 170 pictures, was disposed of by lottery; the winner being Tassie, the gem-modeller, who sold them at Christie’s for £6157.

[371] First fashionable in 1745, and named after William, Duke of Cumberland. Smith might have seen it in his boyhood. It was smartly cocked in front.

[372] George Frederick Beltz (1777-1841), Lancaster Herald, and author of Memorials of the Order of the Garter, was one of Mrs. Garrick’s executors, and wrote the memoir of her in the Gentleman’s Magazine of November 1822.

[373] “Mr. Dance, in this picture of Garrick, has been guilty of an egregious anachronism. He has actually given Richard the Third the star of the Order of the Garter, when he ought to have known that it was not introduced before the reign of King Charles I.” (Smith: Nollekens).

[374] Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, fifth baronet (1772-1840), a generous patron of artists. His town house in St. James’s Square had fine pictures. He died after a fall from his horse in the hunting-field.

[375] The Dowager Lady Amherst would appear to be Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of Lieutenant-General Honourable George Cary, who married, 1767, Jeffrey, first Lord Amherst, Field-Marshal, who died in 1797, aged 80. Lady Amherst died in 1830.—William George Maton, M.D., dated his fortune from the day when he was approached by an equerry at Weymouth as a person who might be able to name a plant (arundo epigejos) which one of the royal princesses had found. He was thus brought into the presence of Queen Charlotte, and later became her physician extraordinary. Maton died on March 30, 1835, and was buried at St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields. There is a tablet to him in Salisbury Cathedral.—Mr. Carr was Mrs. Garrick’s solicitor, and was to be the next occupant of the famous Garrick Villa at Hampton.

[376] Elizabeth Wright Macauley, novelist, actress, and preacher of the gospel, died at York, March 1837, aged 52, in rather straitened circumstances. Her London home was at 52 Clarendon Square, St. Pancras. She published, in 1812, Effusions of Fancy, a collection of poems consisting of the “Birth of Friendship,” the “Birth of Affection,” and the “Birth of Sensibility.” In the last year of her life she had travelled the country lecturing on “Domestic Philosophy,” and giving recitations.

[377] At an earlier time the Abbey had been free to sight-seers, but a wanton injury to the figure of George Washington in Major André’s monument had led to the imposition of admission fees. Not long after Smith’s encounter, Charles Lamb wrote his protest against these fees, of which he says: “In no part of our beloved Abbey now can a person find entrance (out of service time) under the sum of two shillings.” Lamb’s complaint may have been rather overstrained by reason of its incorporation in his bitter letter to Southey in the London Magazine for October 1823.

Free admission was given to the larger part of the Abbey under Dean Ireland. Authorised guides were first appointed in 1826, and the nave and transepts were opened, and the fees lowered in 1841 at the suggestion of Lord John Thynne (Dean Stanley: Historical Memorials of Westminster Abbey).

[378] The Rev. Thomas Rackett (1757-1841), Rector of Spetisbury with Charlton-Marshall, Dorset. He was a musician, a naturalist, an antiquary, and a friend of Garrick. He had been guided as a youth by Dr. John Hunter. His daughter Dorothea married Mr. S. Solly of Heathside, near Poole. She is mentioned on p. 290.

[379] Dr. Francklin was probably the “Thomas Franklin” who signed the round-robin to Dr. Johnson asking him to re-write Goldsmith’s epitaph in English. Here the absence of the c from the name causes Croker to doubt the identity, and Dr. Birkbeck Hill to reject it. It is curious that Smith, with Garrick’s marriage certificate before him, makes the name agree with the questioned signature in the memorial to Johnson. Francklin knew Johnson and dedicated to him a translation of Lucian. “Boswell. I think Dr. Franklin’s definition of Man a good one—A tool-making animal. Johnson. But many a man never made a tool; and suppose a man without arms, he could not make a tool.” Francklin founded the Centinel, a paper of the Tatler variety, and published many translations. He was the first Chaplain to the Royal Academy, and composed a song, “The Patrons,” that was sung at the inaugural dinner.

[380] This certificate does not answer Smith’s inquiry: the place of the marriage. As a matter of fact, Dr. Francklin’s chapel, where the ceremony was performed, was not in Great Queen Street, but in Queen Street, near Russell Street, now Museum Street. The Charity School opposite the side entrance of Mudie’s Library marks the site of the chapel in which the knot was tied between David Garrick and Eva Maria Violetti. The facts are given correctly by a writer in Notes and Queries (March 31, 1877), who puts in the following documents:—

“On the 22nd June, 1749, Garrick was married to Eva Maria Violetti by M. Francklin, at his chapel near Russell Street, Bloomsbury; and afterwards, according to the rites of the Roman Catholic Church, by the Rev. M. Blyth, at the chapel of the Portuguese Embassy in South Audley Street” (Garrick’s Correspondence, 1831).

“Yesterday was married, by the Rev. Mr. Francklin, at his chapel, Russell Street, Bloomsbury, David Garrick, Esq., to Eva Maria Violetti” (General Advertiser, June 23, 1749).

[381] No picture in the National Gallery is better known and admired than Rubens’s “Chapeau de Paille.” It is a portrait of Mdlle. Lunden, with whom Rubens was in love. He is said to have painted her portrait without her knowledge while she sat in her garden, and to have obtained her acceptance of the picture. On her untimely death Rubens begged back this portrait, which her family had christened “Le Chapeau de Paille,” promising a replica in exchange. This is the National Gallery picture. In it, instead of a straw hat (chapeau de paille), Rubens has introduced a beaver hat (chapeau de poil), but the original name is still in vogue, though the name “Chapeau de Poil” appears on the frame of the picture in Room xii. of the National Gallery. In 1822 the picture passed from the Lunden family to M. Van Niewenhuysen for 89,000 florins, and from him it was acquired, through Smith the printseller, by the British Government.

[382] Edward Knight, known as Little Knight, is universally stated to have been born in Birmingham in 1774; “Bristol” and “1778” are probably misprints.

[383] Flora, or Hob in the Well, a farce by Cibber, adapted from Thomas Doggett’s Country Wake.

[384] The Soldier’s Daughter is a comedy by Cherry, Timothy Quaint being a minor character.—Fortune’s Frolic is a farce by Allingham. Robin Roughhead, a labourer, succeeds to the title and wealth; then he marries his humble sweetheart, Dolly, and makes the best of landlords.

[385] Of Knight as an actor we read: “There was an odd quickness, and a certain droll play about every muscle of his face, that fully prepared the audience for the jest that was to follow. His Sim, in Wild Oats, may be termed the most chaste and natural performance on the stage.” It was remarked of Knight, however, that he was too fond of laughter and tears, “squeezing his eyelids, and fidgetting and pelting about, till he got the necessary moisture.”

[386] A bronze statue in the garden of Burton Crescent shows Cartwright as a small, excessively bald man, seated with what might be a blue-book in his hand. A luxuriant fig tree was threatening to engulf him in its foliage in September 1905. The inscription states that he was “The First Consistent and Persevering Advocate of Universal Suffrage, Equal Representation, Vote by Ballot, and Annual Parliaments.” For every evil, even for cold weather or bad plays, he prescribed “Annual Parliaments and Universal Suffrage.” The Reverend J. Richardson, in his Recollections, says that for many years the Lords of the Admiralty gave Cartwright half-pay, without suspecting that the “John Cartwright” on their books was their arch-critic, “Major” Cartwright, whose commission in the Nottinghamshire Militia had put this handle to his name and disguised his identity.

[387] It may be hoped that, had Smith lived to prepare his Book for a Rainy Day for the press, he would have expunged these embittered references to the wealth of Nollekens and legateeship of Francis Douce.

[388] Elizabeth Ogilvy Benger (1778-1827) was an amiable woman and a popular writer of history and biography. She was a friend of the Lambs, Mrs. Barbauld, Mrs. Aikin, Campbell, and others. Among her works are Memoirs of Mary Queen of Scots and Anne Boleyn, and a poem on the slave-trade.

[389] From Mr. W. Roberts’ “Memorials of Christie’s, it appears that the original cup from Shakespeare’s mulberry tree, which was presented to David Garrick by the Mayor and Corporation, at the time of the Jubilee at Stratford, realised 121 guineas on April 30, 1825.” Smith mis-states the date. On May 30, 1903, a figure of Shakespeare carved from the tree was sold at Sotheby’s for £13, 5s.

[390] See note, p. 273.

[391] This derivation has been questioned by others. The New English Dictionary leaves the point doubtful, but quotes the Globe of July 24, 1882: “The ‘Busby,’ so often used colloquially when a large bushy wig is meant, most probably took its origin … not from Dr. Busby, the famous headmaster of Westminster School, but from the wig denominated a ‘Buzz,’ from being frizzled and bushy.” May it not be that the word sprang from “buzz,” in association with the name of the famous headmaster?—the one originating and the other confirming its use.

[392] Nevertheless periwigs were known in England considerably earlier. Fairholt mentions one that was ordered “for Sexton, the king’s fool,” in the reign of Henry VIII. In Hall’s Satires (1598) a courtier is made to lose his periwig while trying to bow on a windy day. Other instances are quoted by Fairholt in Costume in England.

[393] The Duke of Wellington once entertained a dinner-table with an account of Louis XIV.’s wig. His remarks were thus reported, at first hand, in Notes and Queries of Nov. 25, 1871, by Mr. Herbert Randolph:—

“I was in the year 1834 or 1835 dining in company with the Duke of Wellington at Betshanger in Kent, then the seat of Frederick Morice, Esq., now of Sir Walter James. It was about the time when the Bishop of London (Dr. Blomfield) had first appeared in the House of Lords without his wig, and a smart controversy arising out of the fact was going on. Opposite to the Duke at table hung a portrait of an admiral of Queen Anne’s time, an ancestor of Mr. Morice, and the finely painted ‘Ramillies wig’ upon his head caught the Duke’s attention. He took occasion from this to give, in his terse and decided manner, a complete history of wigs, having evidently mastered the subject in reference to the question of the day. He concluded, to the point, by saying: ‘Louis the Fourteenth had a hump, and no man, not even his valet, ever saw him without his wig. It hung down his back, like the judges’ wigs, to hide the hump. But the Dauphin, who hadn’t a hump, couldn’t bear the heat, so he cut it round close to the poll; and the episcopal wig that you are all making such a fuss about is the wig of the most profligate days of the French court.’”

[394] It was Woollett’s pleasing custom to celebrate the completion of a plate by firing a cannon from the roof of his house, No. 36 Charlotte Street, Fitzroy Square. On this occasion he doubtless used an extra charge of powder.

[395] No allusion to Sir Cloudesley Shovel was intended by Pope. The line occurs in the Moral Essays, Epistle iii.—

“When Hopkins dies, a thousand lights attend
The wretch, who living saved a candle’s end;
Shouldering God’s altar a vile image stands,
Belies his features, nay extends his hands;
That live-long wig which Gorgon’s self might own,
Eternal buckle takes in Parian stone.”

Pope’s own note to the last line reads: “Ridicule the wretched taste of carving large periwigs on bustos, of which there are several vile examples among the tombs of Westminster and elsewhere.” Pope’s real victim, Hopkins, was “Vulture” Hopkins, who died in his house in Broad Street in 1732, leaving a fortune of £300,000 with peculiar conditions attached. Several thousand pounds were expended on his funeral.

[396] Thomas Dawson, Viscount—not Earl—of Cremorne, died 1813.

[397] The full-dress wigs of English judges are the nearest survival of the great Queen Anne wigs familiar in the portraits of these men. They are made of white horse hair, elaborately treated.

[398] Combing the wig in the theatre and the drawing-room was a habit, like twirling the moustache. Dryden pictures the wits rising as one man in the pit of the theatre and beginning to comb their wigs while they stared at a new masked beauty. “It became the mark of a young man of ton to be seen combing his periwig in the Mall, or at the theatre” (Fairholt: Costume in England). Hats were not worn on perukes that cost forty or fifty pounds. In Wycherley’s Love in a Wood (1672) we read: “A lodging is as unnecessary a thing to a widow that has a coach, as a hat to a man that has a good peruke.”

[399] It is said that, as a rule, Lely’s male portraits of the Charles II. period can be distinguished at once from Kneller’s portraits of the Court of William III., by observing that in the former the ends of the wig descend on the chest, in the latter they fall behind the shoulders.

[400] The distinction is particularly important in the case of Cibber, whose wig in the part of Sir Fopling Flutter was so admired that he regularly had it brought in a sedan-chair to the footlights, where he publicly donned it with great applause. Cibber’s modest private wig can be studied in Roubiliac’s coloured bust in the National Portrait Gallery.

[401] John Wallis, D.D. (1616-1703), a distinguished mathematician as well as theologian.

[402] Several particulars of Johnson’s wigs are given by Boswell. The improvements he made in his dress through the influence of Mrs. Thrale included “a Paris-made wig of handsome construction.” “In general,” says Croker, “his wigs were very shabby, and their fore parts were burned away by the near approach of the candle, which his short-sightedness rendered necessary in reading. At Streatham Mrs. Thrale’s butler always kept a better wig in his own hands, with which he met Johnson at the parlour door, when the bell had called him down to dinner; and this ludicrous ceremony was performed every day.”

[403] “Mr. Hillier, I believe, was of the same family as the late Nathaniel Hillier of Stoke, near Guildford, one of whose daughters married Colonel Onslow. He was a most extensive collector of engravings, and his cabinets contained numerous rarities, but he spoiled all his prints by staining them with coffee, to produce, as he thought, a mellow tint, but by which process he not only deprived most of them of their pristine brilliancy, but rendered their sale considerably less productive” (Smith). The trick of staining prints with coffee was once fairly common among collectors.

[404] Probably the pendent bobs or “dildos” on the “campaign” wig introduced in the reign of Charles II. were the origin of the pigtail. The “Ramillies” wig, named after the battle of 1706, had a long plaited tail, and immediately became the fashion. By 1731 the pigtail wig had reached its height of popularity and absurdity.

“But pray, what’s that much like a whip,
Which with the air does wav’ring skip
From side to side, and hip to hip?”

asks a country visitor in The Metamorphosis of the Town, and is answered—

“Sir, do not look so fierce and big,
It is a modish pigtail wig.”

[405] Horwood’s map of London (1799) shows the river walk from Abingdon Street almost to Chelsea Bridge between willows, along the water-edge, and nursery gardens. A good idea of Millbank as it was at this period may be obtained from the Earl of Albemarle’s Fifty Years of my Life (vol. i. cap. vi.), where we see the boys of Westminster School roaming these spaces, hiring guns from Mother Hubbard, and obtaining dogs and badgers from their obliging friend, William Heberfield, “Slender Billy,” who was mercilessly hanged in 1812 for passing forged notes. See a curious account of Palmer’s village in Charles Manby Smith’s Curiosities of London Life (1853). Smith has an etching of the Willow Walk in his Remarks on Rural Scenery (1797).

[406] William Collins, a modeller of mantelpieces and friezes, was an intimate friend of Nathaniel Smith (J. T. S.’s father), and is described by Smith, in his Antient Topography of London, as a fascinating modeller in clay and wax, and carver in wood. He took many of his subjects from Æsop’s Fables, and was much employed by Sir Henry Cheere, the statuary, who then had workshops near the south-east corner of Henry the Seventh’s Chapel. Roubillac worked here when he first came to England. Collins died in Tothill Fields, May 31, 1793. His mantelpiece in Ancaster House remains.

[407] Belgrave House stood at the west end of Millbank Row, the continuation of Abingdon Street. The Millbank of Gainsborough’s days extended from this point southward and westward (as it rounded the obtuse promontory) as far as the White Lead Mills, whence Turpentine Lane led north to the Jenny’s Whim Tavern and bridge. This picturesque wooden bridge spanned a reservoir of the Chelsea water-works.

[408] Albert van Everdingen (1621-1725), a Dutch painter of landscapes and sea-pieces.

[409] Jan van Goyen (1596-1656) was born at Leyden. His favourite subjects were river banks with peasants. Three of his pictures are in the National Gallery.

[410] Jacob van Ruysdael (1628-82), the greatest of Dutch landscape painters.

[411] Cornelius Gerritz Dekker (died 1678) painted at Haarlem; one of his landscapes is in the National Gallery.

[412] The Neat House Gardens added much to the pleasantness of the river walk at Millbank. They were held by gardeners who grew fruit and vegetables here for the London markets. About 1831 the soil taken to form St. Katherine’s Docks was brought up the river and laid upon them; after which Lupus Street and many other Pimlico streets were built on their site. It is a pity that no local name-relic exists of gardens which Massinger knew as a place for musk-melons (City Madam, Act iii. sc. 1), which Pepys visited with his wife, and which “would have pleased Ruysdael.”

[413] On August 3, 1802, Garnerin, or Garnerini, ascended in a balloon from Vauxhall Gardens with his wife and Mr. Glasford. A cat, which they dropped in a parachute, fell safely in a garden at Hampstead, and the balloon itself, after passing over the Green Park, Paddington, etc., descended in a paddock at Lord Rosslyn’s, at the top of Hampstead Hill. Mrs. Garnerin afterwards lost her life through ascending from Paris with fireworks.

[414] I conjecture that this is a misprint, and that Smith’s correspondent was St. Schültze, an artist and writer of ability, of whom Eckermann, in his Conversations with Goethe, writes, May 15, 1826: “I talked with Goethe to-day about St. Schültze, of whom he spoke very kindly. ‘When I was ill a few weeks since,’ said he, ‘I read his Heitere Stunden’ (Cheerful Hours) ‘with great pleasure.’ If Schültze had lived in England, he would have made an epoch; for, with his gift of observing and depicting, nothing was wanting but the sight of life on a large scale.”

[415] Friederich Campe compiled for the occasion a little book called Reliquien von Albrecht Dürer.

[416] Peter von Cornelius. Born at Düsseldorf in 1783, he achieved his great reputation at Munich, where he directed the Academy and embellished many public buildings. He died so late as 1867.

[417] Johann Gottlieb Schneider (1789-1864), of Dresden, one of the first organists of his day.

[418] After Dürer’s death from a decline, his close friend, Porkheimer, wrote to Johann Tscherte, of Vienna: “Nothing grieves me deeper than that he should have died so painful a death, which, under God’s providence, I can ascribe to nobody but his huswife, who gnawed into his very heart, and so tormented him, that he departed hence the sooner; for he was dried up to a faggot, and might nowhere seek a jovial humour, or go to his friends.… She and her sister are not queans; they are, I doubt not, in the number of honest, devout, and altogether God-fearing women; but a man might better have a quean, who was otherwise kindly, than such a gnawing, suspicious, quarrelsome, good woman, with whom he can have no peace or quiet, neither by day nor by night.”

[419] The architect, and author of a fine work on Ancient and Ornamental Architecture at Rome and in Italy, the materials for which he collected in the tour he mentions to Smith. He married the daughter of Smith’s acquaintance, Williams, a well-known button-maker in St. Martin’s Lane. William Blake found in him a good friend, and was worshipped by his son, Frederick Tatham, who said that a stroll with Blake was “as if he were walking with the Prophet Isaiah.” Late in life Charles Tatham fell into money difficulties, but obtained the post of warden of Greenwich Hospital, where he died in 1842.

[420] Stephen Porter of the Middle Temple, and of Trinity College, Cambridge, translated from the German a play called Lovers’ Vows, by Augustus von Kotzebue, 1798.

[421] Copper Holmes had constructed a floating home out of a West Country vessel, which cost him £150. He appears to have had his name “Copper” from the metal he acquired with this hulk. His ark was considered a nuisance, and the City authorities brought an action to compel him to remove it. He died in 1821.

[422] “The flat pavement on the southern side of the church, facing the “Golden Cross,” is called “the Watermen’s Burying-ground,” from the number of old Thames watermen who were brought thither to their last long rest from Hungerford, York, and Whitehall Stairs” (Walford: Old and New London).

[423] The reference is to an impersonation of Joe Hatch, the waterman, which Charles Mathews included in one of the single-handed “At Home” entertainments which he started in 1818. “One of the best occasional delineations of character, is that of Joe Hatch, a waterman, who is also termed the Thames Chancellor and Boat Barrister, a fellow (we presume a real portrait, though we have not the good fortune to know the original) who lays down the law of his craft, promotes and allays quarrels, and gratifies his fare with a ‘long, tough yarn’ of his own adventures” (Memoirs of Charles Mathews).

[424] “Curtis’s Halfpenny Hatch was a passage across St. George’s Fields from Narrow Wall, opposite Somerset House. It was a halfpenny toll-way through extensive nursery grounds” (Wine and Walnuts). It is now commemorated in the name Hatch Row, Roupell Street, Lambeth, and I have found that Palmer Street is still called, locally, “up the Hatch,” though, of course, nothing in the shape of a Hatch has existed within living memory. “Hatches,” or gates, at which halfpennies were levied, were common on the outskirts of London. Nollekens told Smith that he remembered one in Charlotte Street, kept by a miller, and another between the Oxford Road (Oxford Street) and Grosvenor Square.

[425] Philip Astley, the great equestrian, was inspired by the feats of Johnson and others at the Three Hats Tavern, Islington, to give his exhibitions in an open field near the Waterloo Road. The price of admission was sixpence. Astley started with only one horse, given him by General Elliott, in whose regiment he had served. A clown named Porter supplied the comic relief. In 1770 he moved to the foot of Westminster Bridge, where his famous Amphitheatre took shape. He is said rarely to have given more than five pounds for a horse, troubling “little for shape, make, or colour; temper was the only consideration.” His circus was repeatedly burnt down, but it became one of the recognised sights of London. On September 12, 1783, Horace Walpole writes: “I could find nothing at all to do, and so went to Astley’s, which indeed was much beyond my expectation. I do not wonder any longer that Darius was chosen king by the instructions he gave to his horse; nor that Caligula made his a consul.”

After Astley’s death in 1814, his manager, the great Ducrow, became the head of the circus business. The Ducrow family monument is a striking object in Kensal Green cemetery, where also is seen the monument of the Cooke family, whose head, Thomas Cooke, owned a circus in Astley’s time, and took it to Mauchline in 1784, where it was visited by Burns. The writer of an interesting article on the Cookes in the Tatler of July 29, 1903, says: “The aristocrats of the sawdust, they have been entertaining for at least 120 years, and to-day wherever there is a circus there is a Cooke.”

[426] This “dell” is still apparent in Salutation Court, in which is Hatch Row.

[427] William Curtis (1746-99) had this botanical garden in Lambeth Marsh, and there collected some of the material for his Flora Londinensis. Later, he opened his large establishment at Brompton. In 1782, he rendered a curious service to the suburbs by writing A Short History of the Brown-Tail Moth, to allay “the alarm which had been excited in the country round the Metropolis by an extraordinary abundance of the caterpillars of this moth, and which was so great, that the parish officers … attended in form to see them burnt by bushels at a time” (Nichol’s Literary Anecdotes). Curtis was buried in Battersea parish church.

[428] Richard Palmer Roupell, a wealthy lead-smelter in Gravel Lane, Southwark, owned much property in Southwark, Lambeth, and elsewhere. He lived at Aspen House, Brixton. There is a Roupell Road at Streatham and a Roupell Street in Lambeth. The name of Curtis, the botanist, deserves, but has not found, similar perpetuation in the neighbourhood.

[429] Strand Lane Stairs was the river outlet of Strand Lane, a narrow street which ran down from the Strand east of Somerset House. As Mr. Wheatley points out, it was originally the channel of the rivulet which crossed the Strand under Strand Bridge. The landing-place is now lost under the Embankment, but the upper portion of the lane still exists, and leads to the famous Roman Bath, which every Londoner intends to, but does not, visit.

[430] This restoration of the Chapel (the Banqueting House) was carried out by Sir John Soane, 1829-30.

[431] Henry Smedley, of Westminster, gave up the profession of the law for the study of the arts. He died in his house in the Broad Sanctuary, March 14, 1832.

[432] Richard Parkes Bonnington had not been dead a year when this talk was proceeding. His success had outrun his strength, and a most promising career was closed by consumption, September 23, 1828. He lies in St. James’s Church in Pentonville. Bonnington’s work is much appreciated in France. In the Louvre, where he studied as a boy, there are one or two fine examples of his work. The National Gallery has his “Venice: the Pillars of Piazzetta.” That the British Museum Print-Room has a fine collection of his sketches is largely due to the fact that he died during a visit to England, and that his drawings went to Christie’s, where they fetched £1200.

[433] This elaborate and beautiful work stands in the centre of St. Andrew’s Chapel. Beneath a canopy supported on columns lie the effigies of Lord and Lady Norris, and round them kneel their six soldier sons, four of whom died on the field. In his Antient Topography Smith tells how Roubiliac admired this stately cenotaph. “When my father had occasion to go to his master (Roubiliac) during the time he was putting up Sir Peter Warren’s monument in the Abbey, he was generally found standing by the monument of Norris, or by that of Vere. On one of these attendances he was observed with his arms folded before the north-west corner figure of one of the six knights (the sons) who support the cenotaph of Lord Norris, and appeared as if rivetted to the spot. My father, who had thrice delivered his message, without being once noticed, was at last smartly pinched on the elbow by Roubiliac, who at the same time said, but in a soft and smothered tone of voice, ‘Hush! Hush! He’ll speak presently.’”

[434] William Esdaile (1758-1837) was a partner in the banking house of Esdaile, Hammet, & Co., 21 Lombard Street. He took up print-collecting and bought lavishly. Falling into ill health, he spent the last five years of his life in poring over his prints, and died in his Clapham house, October 2, 1837. The disposal of his remarkable collection at Christie’s occupied sixteen days, and was attended by buyers from the Continent.

[435] The Clapham visited by Smith was that of Lord Macaulay’s young manhood and of Ruskin’s boyhood, and was rural and open beyond the belief of the present generation. In his recently published Life and Letters of Sir George Grove, Mr. Charles L. Graves says: “All the way from Wandsworth Road to Clapham Junction the neighbourhood was a favourite resort for solid City people, the wealthiest living on Clapham Common. But Clapham was thoroughly rural and not even semi-suburban in the ‘twenties’ and ‘thirties.’ Mr. Edmund Grove distinctly recollects seeing a man in the stocks at Clapham, then a most picturesque village with a watch-house for the ‘Charlies,’ and old inns with timbered fronts and spacious courtyards.”

[436] Charles Alexandre de Calonne succeeded Necker as comptroller-general of finance in 1783. He was unable to reduce French finance to order, and in 1787 found it advisable to retire to England. In Sir Nathaniel Wraxhall’s Memoirs I find the following:—

“The tester of Calonne’s bed having fallen upon him during the night, together with a portion of the ceiling of the room, he narrowly escaped suffocation. All Paris, when the fact became known, exclaimed, ‘Juste ciel!’ The tester of a bed is denominated in French ‘le ciel du lit.’… With him may be said to have commenced the emigration (to England) which soon became so general.”

[437] Henry Peter Standly, of St. Neot’s, an active magistrate, possessed an unrivalled collection of Hogarth’s prints and drawings, which was dispersed at Christie’s in 1845. He purchased drawings of landscapes from Smith.

[438] See note, p. 4.

[439] John Inigo Richards, R.A., was one of the original members of the Royal Academy, and its secretary from 1788. He was for many years principal scene-painter at Covent Garden. He died in his Academy apartments, Dec. 18, 1810.

[440] Edwards’s Anecdotes of Painters.—S.

[441] Probably Dr. Robert Richardson, M.D., who had been travelling physician to Lord Mountjoy. He died in Gordon Street, Bloomsbury, November 5, 1847.

[442] Enthusiasm for art and carelessness of money went to the forming of Sir Thomas Lawrence’s unrivalled collection. Cunningham says: “Of every eminent artist he had such specimens as no other person possessed; not huddled into heaps, or scattered like the leaves of the Sibyl, but arranged in fine large portfolios properly labelled and enshrined.”

[443] Smith could not have seen the whole of Sir Peter Lely’s collection of prints and drawings. These were sold by auction in 1687, the sale lasting more than a month.—Thomas Hudson (1701-79) painted the portraits of members of the Dilettanti Society, and, being wealthy, collected many fine prints and drawings.—Archibald Campbell, third Duke, formed a very fine library.

[444] This name is given as Serre in the three old editions of the Rainy Day—a very misleading erratum. William Score was born in Devonshire about 1778. He became a pupil of Joshua Reynolds, and regularly exhibited portraits at the Royal Academy.

[445] “Sir Joshua Reynolds commenced two of his finest historical pictures without settling in what way the compositions were to be completed, or, indeed, without even thinking of their subjects. The head of Count Ugolino at Knowle, and the Infant Christ in Macklin’s picture, were painted on the canvases long before the artist considered subjects or combinations” (S.).—This historical painting, says Northcote, existed simply as a head of the Count until Burke and Goldsmith praised it, whereupon Sir Joshua had his canvas enlarged in order that he might add the other figures. When finished, the picture was bought by the Duke of Dorset for 400 guineas. It is not Reynolds at his best, and Charles Lamb, who saw it at the Reynolds exhibition held in 1813 in Pall Mall, criticised it rather severely.

[446] Charles Howard, Earl of Nottingham, Lord High Admiral at the defeat of the Armada, best known to history as Lord Howard of Effingham. The portrait Smith missed was painted by Frederigo Zucchero, whose (attributed) portraits of Queen Elizabeth, Leicester, Raleigh, and James I. are in the National Portrait Gallery. His Howard is now in the Painted Hall at Greenwich. The portraits of the Admirals were presented to Greenwich Hospital by George IV. (not William IV.) in 1823. William IV. added five naval pictures in 1835. As will be seen on a later page, Smith’s curiosity about the hanging of these pictures led him to visit Greenwich next day.

[447] Francis Legat, a Scotch engraver, came to London about 1780, and lived at 22 Charles Street, Westminster. Here he engraved “Mary Queen of Scots resigning her Crown” after Hamilton in 1786, and later Northcote’s painting. He died in 1809.

[448] Chantrey’s group, “The Sleeping Children,” in Lichfield Cathedral.

[449] This statue is now in the British Museum.

[450] The Chelsea porcelain manufacture was founded about 1745, and was at the height of its fame from 1750 to 1764 under Mr. Sprimont. The works finally closed in 1784. The Chelsea potters went forthwith to Derby, where they founded the Chelsea-Derby pottery. Remains of the old Chelsea furnaces, in which Dr. Johnson was allowed to test his compositions, are still to be seen in the cellars of the Prince of Wales Tavern, at the corner of Justice Walk and Lawrence Street, Chelsea.

[451] The case of Chelsea china in the British Museum contains similar figures of the Earl of Chatham, George III., a Thames waterman wearing Doggett’s Coat and Badge, etc.

[452] Johan Zoffany, R.A., born at Frankfort about 1735, painted portraits of Garrick, one of the best representing the actor as Abel Drugger.

[453] Thomas Davies, the actor and bookseller, more famous as the introducer to Dr. Johnson of Boswell. Johnson wrote the first sentence of his Memoirs of David Garrick.

[454] These pictures were the “Canvass,” the “Poll,” the “Chairing,” and the “Election Feast.” They are said to have been painted by Hogarth for about forty-five guineas apiece. At the sale of Garrick’s pictures at Christie’s in June 1823 they were bought by Sir John Soane, and are in the Soane Museum.

[455] In 1829 the surprising period of seventy-three years had elapsed since Garrick became the tenant of his famous villa. He had enlarged and improved the house, planted many trees in the grounds, and erected on his lawn a “Grecian Temple” to receive the statue of Shakespeare by Roubiliac which now stands in the entrance hall of the British Museum. Here also stood his famous Shakespeare chair, designed by Hogarth: it is now in the possession of the Baroness Burdett-Coutts. At Hampton Garrick received his friends with great hospitality, and occasionally gave fêtes champêtres with the accompaniments of fireworks and illuminations. Horace Walpole, finding himself a fellow-visitor with the Duke of Grafton, Lord and Lady Rochford, the Spanish Minister, and other great people, wrote to Bentley: “This is being sur un assez bon ton for a player.” Garrick gave treats to the children of Hampton in his grounds. After his death, Hampton House and the house in Adelphi Terrace were occupied for forty-three years by Mrs. Garrick. She preserved the Hampton furniture exactly as her husband left it.

[456] The mystery of Mrs. Garrick’s origin has never been cleared up. Some authorities say that she was the daughter of a respectable Vienna citizen named John Veigel. According to the story told by Charles Lee Lewis (see his Memoirs, 1805), and denied by Mrs. Garrick, she was the fruit of a liaison which the Earl of Burlington formed with a young lady of family on the Continent. At the time of her birth the Earl was back in England, whence he remitted funds for his daughter’s support. The money is said to have been dishonestly retained by the person in whose charge she was placed, and the child herself to have been forced to earn a living as a dancer. The Earl, hearing of this, arranged that she should come to England and dance for a higher salary. Later he took her into his house as companion and teacher to his legitimate daughter. Then Garrick appeared on the scene, and the benevolent Earl said to him: “Do you think you could satisfactorily receive her from my hands with a portion of ten thousand pounds?—and here let me inform you that she is my daughter.”

The above story is told by Lee Lewis on the authority of “an aged domestic who lived at the time it happened at Burlington House, Piccadilly.” Apparently the same gossiping lady is referred to in the following note in Mr. Percy Fitzgerald’s Life of Garrick: “A curious little story comes to me, told originally by a housekeeper in the Burlington family, and, though based on such a loose foundation, may be worth repeating. On this authority, the story ran that Lord Burlington, coming to see her, was struck by a picture, and, on inquiry, found she was actually the daughter of a lady whom he had known abroad. The result was the discovery that the Violette was actually his daughter. The authority of the old housekeeper seems below the dignity of biography, but her testimony comes to us very circumstantially.”

The story of Violette’s relationship to the Earl of Burlington was supported by the covert kindness which she received from that nobleman. But it has to be remembered that she was the “rage” of the whole town, “the finest and most admired dancer in the world,” according to Walpole, and that Lady Burlington, not less than her lord, was so fond of her, that she would accompany her to the theatre, and wait in the wings with a pelisse to throw over her when she came off the stage. Mr. Fitzgerald’s conclusion on the whole matter is that “her father was someone of rank at Vienna, possibly one of the Starenberg family, from whom it is said she brought letters of introduction to England.”

[457] Lancelot Brown (1715-83) is generally considered the founder of modern “natural” as distinct from “formal” landscape-gardening. He laid out Kew, the grounds of Blenheim, and parts of St. James’s Park and Kensington Gardens. His conversational abilities, extolled by Hannah More, contributed to his fame. John Taylor relates that he once assisted the gouty Lord Chatham into his carriage. “Now, sir, go and adorn your country,” said the grateful statesman. To which Brown aptly replied: “Go you, my lord, and save it.”

[458] Pain’s Hill, at Cobham, Surrey, was considered a triumph of landscape gardening by Horace Walpole and other connoisseurs. Its owner, the Hon. Charles Hamilton, not content with artificial ruins and temples disposed after the pictures of Poussin and Claude, added a hermitage and engaged a hermit at £700 a year. But as the hermit had all the hardship, and Hamilton all the sentiment, the arrangement broke down.

[459] Mr. Carr’s mention of Johnson’s frequent visits recalls the answer he made to Garrick when asked how he liked the spot: “Ah, David! it is the leaving of such places that makes a death-bed terrible.” Some interesting matter relating to the Garricks at Hampton will be found in Mr. Henry Ripley’s History and Topography of Hampton-on-Thames. The existence of the villa has recently been threatened by the westward extension of London’s electric tramways, but, happily, the danger of its removal has been averted.

[460] George Garrard, A.R.A. (1760-1826), animal painter and sculptor, led a successful movement to obtain copyright protection for works of plastic art. He died at Queen’s Buildings, Brompton.

[461] Michael Dahl (1656-1743) was born in Stockholm. He settled in London, and became the rival of Kneller. “If he excelled, it was only in the mediocrity by which he was surrounded” (Redgrave). He was buried in St. James’s Church, Piccadilly.

[462] “I have not heard that song better performed since Mr. Incledon sung it. He was a great singer, sir, and I may say, in the words of our immortal Shakespeare, that, take him for all in all, we shall not look upon his like again.” In these words Hoskins of the Cave of Harmony complimented Colonel Newcome on his rendering of “Wapping Old Stairs.” Incledon began life in the navy, where he sang himself into the good graces of his Admiral. Coming to London in 1783, he became a public singer; but it was not until 1790 that his success was established by his performance in The Poor Soldier at Covent Garden. In his later years he relied mainly on the provinces, in which he travelled under the style of “The Wandering Melodist.” Though exquisite in song he was clumsy in appearance. Leslie, the painter, describes him as having “the face and figure of a low sailor,” yet with these “the most manly and at the same time the most agreeable voice I ever heard.” Another good authority records that his voice “was of extraordinary power, both in the natural and the falsetto. The former, from A to G, a compass of about fourteen notes, was full and open, neither partaking of the reed nor the string, and sent forth without the smallest artifice; and such was its ductility, that when he sang pianissimo, it retained its original ductility. His falsetto, which he could use from D to E or F, or about ten notes, was rich, sweet, and brilliant.”

[463] Funny-movers attended to the boats. A funny was a narrow, clinker-built pleasure boat for a pair of sculls. “A most melancholy accident happened one evening this week in the river off Fulham. A young couple, on the point of marriage, took a sail in a funny, which unfortunately upset, and the two lovers were drowned” (Annual Register, 1808).

[464] The Battersea market-gardeners were famous. A rhyme of 1802 says—

“Gardeners in shoals from Battersea shall run,
To raise their kindlier hot-beds in the sun.”

The first asparagus raised in England is said to have come from Battersea; and such was the extent of the market-gardens, that large numbers of Welshwomen tramped thither every spring for employment in the summer months.

[465] Not Shakespeare.

[466] In A Sentimental Journey. See “The Passport,” “The Captive,” and “The Starling.”

[467] “Old Granby” was doubtless intended as a jesting compliment to the pensioner, in allusion to the bluff Lord Manners, Marquess of Granby, renowned for his toughness and gallantry.

[468] Hugh Hewson died in 1809, and it appears from a newspaper of that year, quoted by Robert Chambers (Favourite Authors: Smollett), that he was proud of being the prototype of Strap. “His shop was hung round with Latin quotations, and he would frequently point out to his acquaintance the several scenes in Roderick Random pertaining to himself, which had their foundation, not in the Doctor’s inventive fancy, but in truth and reality. The Doctor’s meeting him at a barber’s shop at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and the subsequent mistake at the inn; their arrival together in London, and the assistance they experienced from Strap’s friend, were all of that description.”

But there are four Straps in the field. Faulkner, in his Chelsea, finds the “real” Strap in one William Lewis, a book-binder, who died in 1785. Smollett, he says, induced Lewis to set up business in Chelsea, and procured him customers. “I resided seven years in the same house with his widow, and had frequent opportunities of hearing a confirmation of the anecdotes of her husband, as related by the celebrated novelist.”

Another claimant was one Duncan Niven, a Glasgow wig-maker, referred to in the Gentleman’s Magazine as “the person, it is said, from whom Dr. Smollett took his character of Strap in Roderick Random.”

Lastly, one Hutchinson, a Dunbar barber, had some pretensions to be Strap.

[469] Of these taverns the most famous are the Old Swans at London Bridge and Chelsea. The former stood for centuries beside Swan Stairs (now represented by the Old Swan Pier), and was well known to all passengers on the river who elected to avoid the dangerous “shooting” of London Bridge. On July 30, 1763, Dr. Johnson and Boswell landed for this reason at the Old Swan on their way down to Greenwich, re-embarking at Billingsgate.

The name of the Old Swan of Chelsea, an inn known to Pepys, is perpetuated in Old Swan House, a modern residence built from the designs of Mr. Norman Shaw. The “New Swan,” which, however, was really a second “Old Swan,” has also disappeared, but, according to Mr. R. Blunt’s excellent Historical Handbook to Chelsea, its quaint garden, entered by steps from the river, under the long signboard, is within the memory of many residents.

[470] “The bells of this church were recast by Ruddle, and tuned by Mr. Harrison, the inventor of the Timekeeper; they are esteemed equal to any peal of bells in this Kingdom, and have nearly the same sound as those of Magdalen College, Oxford” (Faulkner: Historical Account of Fulham, 1813).

[471] In Magna Britannia it is not only stated that this street was originally called Hartshorn Lane, but that Ben Jonson once lived in it (S.). The belief that Ben Jonson lived here as a boy rests on the statement of Fuller, who, in his Worthies, says: “Though I cannot with all my industrious inquiry find him in his cradle, I can fetch him from his long coats. When a little child he lived in Hartshorn Lane, near Charing Cross, where his mother married a bricklayer for her second husband.”

[472] The circumstances of this crime have remained an unsolved mystery. Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey was found in a ditch near Primrose Hill on the evening of October 17, five days after his disappearance from his house in Green Lane, Strand, and five weeks after hearing Titus Oates swear to the existence of a Popish plot. Smith’s statement that he was murdered in Somerset House rests on the utterly corrupt and contradictory testimony of Miles Prance, the Roman Catholic silversmith. His evidence, however, sent three men to the gallows, who protested their innocence to the last. The whole subject is re-examined by Mr. Andrew Lang in Longman’s Magazine of August 1903.

Four different medals were struck to commemorate and characterise the murder. In one of these Godfrey is represented walking with a sword through his body, while on the reverse St. Denis is shown carrying his head in his hand, with the inscription—

“Godfrey walks uphill after he is dead;
Dennis walks downhill carrying his head.”

The design of another medal illustrates Prance’s statement that Godfrey’s body was first moved from Somerset House in a sedan chair, and then on a horse to Primrose Hill.

The burial of the murdered Justice in St. Martin’s Church was attended by more than a thousand people of distinction, and his portrait was placed in the vestry-room, where it hangs to this day.

[473] William Lloyd (1627-1717), successively Bishop of St. Asaph, Lichfield-and-Coventry, and Worcester, was Vicar of St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields 1677-80.

[474] “The two grand Ingrossers of Coles: viz. The Woodmonger, and the Chandler. In a dialogue, expressing their unjust and cruell raising the price of Coales, when, and how they please, to the generall oppression of the Poore. Penn’d on Purpose to lay open their subtile practices, and for the reliefe of many thousands of poore people, in, and about the Cities of London, and Westminster. By a Well-willer to the prosperity of this famous Common-wealth. London, Printed for John Harrison at the Holy-Lamb at the East end of S. Pauls, 1653.”

[475] It has been demonstrated by Mr. Sidney Young in his learned work, The Annals of the Barber Surgeons (1890), that this painting cannot represent the granting of the Charter by Henry VIII. This event occurred in 1512, when the King was but twenty-one years of age; Holbein makes him a man of fifty. Mr. Young believes Holbein’s subject to be the Union of the Barbers Company with the Guild of Surgeons, accomplished by Act of Parliament in 1540.

[476] Of this picture, which narrowly escaped the Fire of London, Pepys thus speaks in his Memoirs:—August 28, 1688. “And at noon comes by appointment Harris to dine with me: and after dinner he and I to Chyrurgeons’-hall, where they are building it new,—very fine; and there to see their theatre, which stood all the fire, and (which was our business) their great picture of Holbein’s, thinking to have bought it, by the help of Mr. Pierce, for a little money: I did think to give £200 for it, it being said to be worth £1000; but it is so spoiled that I have no mind to it, and is not a pleasant, though a good picture.”—S.

[477] This painting represents Edward VI. presenting the Royal Charter of Endowment to the Lord Mayor in 1552; it cannot, therefore, be by Holbein, who died in 1543. Walpole attributes the painting to Holbein, but says the picture was not completed by him. He states that Holbein introduced his own head into one corner. Wornum thinks that there is not a trace of this master’s hand in the picture.

[478] Her portrait has not been identified with certainty. An old Windsor catalogue, however, contains her name.

[479] Richard Dalton was keeper of pictures and antiquary to George III., and one of the artists who presented to George III. the petition for the foundation of the Royal Academy. In 1774, Dalton published about ten etchings from Holbein’s drawings. Perhaps his greatest service to British art was his bringing Bartolozzi to England.

[480] John Chamberlaine (1745-1812), antiquary, succeeded Dalton in 1791, and published “Imitations of Original Drawings, by Hans Holbein, in the Collection of His Majesty, for the Portraits of Illustrious Persons at the Court of Henry VIII.” He died at Paddington Green.

[481] Conrad Martin Metz (1755-1827) studied engraving in London under Bartolozzi; he engraved and imitated many drawings by the old masters.

[482] Edmund Lodge (1756-1839), Clarenceux Herald in 1838. His book, known briefly as Lodge’s Portraits, was originally issued in forty folio parts.

[483] Of Sandby’s “View of Westminster from the garden of old Somerset House” there is an engraving by Rawle in Smith’s Westminster Antiquities.

[484] Charles Long, Baron Farnborough (1761-1838), was Secretary of State for Ireland, and held other important posts. Thomas Moore calls him “the most determined placeman in England” (Memoirs, iv. 28). His advice was sought on the decoration of the royal palaces and on London street improvements. He gave many fine pictures to the National Gallery.

[485] These views may still be seen in Crowle’s “Pennant,” in the Print Room. The first represents London from Somerset House about 1795, and the second Somerset House from the east showing the Lambeth site of Westminster Bridge, etc. In addition, there are in the Crace collection two London views by Thomas Sandby, and seven by Paul. See note on Crowle, p. 86.

[486] In Smith’s day the river washed the base of the Water Gate, covering at high tide the gardens in which the London County Council’s band now plays in summer in London now possesses an approximation to an out-of-door Parisian café. Samuel Scott’s “View of Westminster from the Thames,” National Gallery, Room xix., shows the old state of things.

[487] Etty removed to Buckingham Street in the summer of 1824, from Stangate Walk, Lambeth. At first he took the “lower floor,” but, says Gilchrist, “the top floor was the watch-tower for which our artist sighed,” and he soon obtained it. Here, “having above him,” as he said, “none but the Angels, and the Catholics who had gone before him,” he lived for twenty-three years, finding an excellent housekeeper in his niece. The house stands unaltered, presenting five storeys to the river just behind the Water Gate. Etty’s last years (he died in 1849) were given to his birth-place, York, where his tomb is an object of interest in the grounds of St. Mary’s Abbey.

[488] Clarkson Stanfield (1793-1867), the marine and landscape painter, was scene-painter at three London theatres, including Drury Lane. “Incomparably the noblest master of cloud-form of all our artists,” was Ruskin’s praise of this artist; “the soul of frankness, generosity, and simplicity,” was Dickens’s praise of the man.

[489] Roubiliac’s statue of Newton, made for Trinity College, was pronounced by Chantrey “the noblest, I think, of all our English statues.” Similarly Roubiliac’s figure of Eloquence was considered by Canova “one of the noblest statues he had seen in England”: it occurs in the monument to John, Duke of Argyll and Greenwich, in Poets’ Corner.

John Bacon, R.A. (1740-99), established his reputation by his figure of Mars, which won him the good word of West, the patronage of the Archbishop of York, and his election as A.R.A. See note on p. 33.

John Charles Felix Rossi, R.A. (1762-1839), was born at Nottingham. He executed statues of Lord Cornwallis, Lord Heathfield, and others in St. Paul’s Cathedral, and decorated Buckingham Palace. His “Celadon and Amelia” was executed in Rome. His is the colossal figure of Britannia in Liverpool Exchange. He was buried in St. James’s churchyard, Hampstead Road.

Flaxman’s “Michael vanquishing Satan” was commissioned by Lord Egremont, and is now at Petworth.

Of busts, alone, Nollekens executed at least two hundred.

Chantrey’s genius was fully acknowledged by Nollekens, who would say when asked to model a bust: “Go to Chantrey; he’s the man for a bust! he’ll make a good bust for you! I always recommend him” (Smith: Nollekens).

Londoners see Sir Richard Westmacott’s statues every day without knowing it. His is the Achilles statue to Wellington in Hyde Park, the Duke of York on the York Column, and the statue of Fox in Bloomsbury Square. His statues in St. Paul’s and the Abbey are numerous; the Abbey has his beautiful monument to Mrs. Warren, a mother and child.

Edward Hodges Baily, R.A. (1788-1867), studied under Flaxman. The bas-relief on the Marble Arch is his, several statues in St. Paul’s, and the figure of Nelson in Trafalgar Square.

[490] William Young Ottley (1771-1836), author of The Origin and Early History of Engraving. His knowledge of painting is described as “astonishing” by Samuel Rogers. On Smith’s death Ottley became Keeper of the Prints.

[491] Maso Finiguerra, a skilful Florentine goldsmith, engraved in 1452 a silver plate to be used as a pax in the church of San Giovanni, and in order to judge of the effect of his design, the lines of which he intended to fill with enamel, he poured some liquid sulphur upon the plate. He then succeeded in taking impressions of the design on paper. These impressions were once thought to be the earliest known engravings. It is now proved that they were not, and that Finiguerra may have had direct instruction from an early German engraver.

[492] The site of Mr. Atkinson’s villa and grounds is indicated by Grove End Road, west of Lord’s Cricket Ground.

[493] Smith misquotes Ramsay, who wrote—

“How halesome ’tis to snuff the cawler air,
And all the sweets it bears, when void of care.”

Gentle Shepherd, 1st ed., Act i. Sc. i. 5, 6.

[494] William West, actor and composer, lived to a great age, and was known as the “Father of the Stage.” Some of his songs, such as “When Love was fresh from her Cradle Bed,” were popular. He died in 1888.

[495] The Rev. Thomas Hartwell Horne, Rector of St. Edmund the King and St. Nicholas Acon, was a valuable servant of the British Museum, to which he came as cataloguer in 1824. He died at his house in Bloomsbury Square, January 27, 1862. Watt was Robert Watt, the bibliographer, compiler of Bibliotheca Britannica, etc.; he died in 1819.

[496] The Post Angel, of which the British Museum has a copy, was one of the enterprises of John Dunton. His rigmarole preface sets forth that “by Post-Angels I mean all the invisible Host of the Middle Region, that are employed about us either as Friends or Enemies”; his design is “to shew how we should enquire after News, not as Athenians but as Christians, or (in other words) a Divine Employment of every Remarkable Occurrence.” Features of this periodical were “The Lives and Deaths of the most Eminent Persons that Died in that Month,” and recurrent pious reflections under the head of “The Spiritual Observator.”

[497] John Taylor, who was Smith’s life-long friend and the most genial and patriarchal of artists, died at his house in Cirencester Place, November 21, 1838, in his ninety-ninth year. Smith mentions under the year 1779, that he had been the pupil of Frank Hayman, after which he took up the drawing of portraits in pencil, for which he received seven-and-sixpence to a guinea each. It is said that, in Oxford alone, in six or eight years, Taylor drew, or painted, more than three thousand heads. Finding this employment poorly paid, he took the advice of his fellow-artist “Jack” Gresse and set up as drawing-master, investing his savings in annuities which were to expire in 1840. He died just in time to escape want. See the early reference to Taylor, p. 80.

[498] This caricature was brought out on September 7, 1762, and was entitled “The Bruiser, C. Churchill (once the Reverend!) in the Character of a Russian Hercules, regaling himself after having kill’d the Monster Caricatura that so sorely galled his virtuous friend, the Heaven-born Wilkes.” Mr. Austin Dobson says: “Churchill, who had been ordained a priest and abandoned that calling, appears as a bear, grasping a club, which is inscribed ‘Lye 1, Lye 2,’ etc., and regaling himself with a quart pot of ‘British Burgundy.’”

[499] Hayman died in 1776, so that this statement has a bearing on the vexed question of the date of the “Blue Boy,” which some writers put as late as 1779. Sir Walter Armstrong is convinced that 1770 is the correct date. If so, Gainsborough could not have painted the picture, as he is said to have done, to confute a passage in Sir Joshua Reynolds’s eighth Discourse, which was not delivered until December 1778. The Blue Boy was Master Jonathan Buttall, the ironmonger’s son. The subject, history, and ownership of this famous picture have been the subjects of a controversy second only, in lengthy inconclusiveness, to that on the Letters of Junius. In all probability the original picture is the one in the possession of the Duke of Westminster.

[500] When advanced in life, and unfitted for sprightly parts, Mrs. Abington determined to appear as Scrub, the man-of-all-work to Lady Bountiful in Farquhar’s comedy, The Beaux’ Stratagem. “I was present,” says John Taylor, in his Records of My Life, “and remember nothing in her performance that might not have been expected from an actor of much inferior abilities. As a proof, too, that, like many of her profession, she thought herself capable of characters not within the scope of her powers, I once saw her play Ophelia to Mr. Garrick’s Hamlet; and, to use a simile of my old friend Dr. Monsey, she appeared like a mackerel on a gravel walk.”

[501] Hitherto, in the Rainy Day, William Chambers has appeared, another misleading slip. Sir Robert was the Indian judge, and is referred to by Johnson in a letter to Boswell, dated March 5, 1774: “Chambers is married, or almost married, to Miss Wilton, a girl of sixteen, exquisitely beautiful, whom he has, with his lawyer’s tongue, persuaded to take her chance with him in the East.” Miss Wilton was the daughter of Joseph Wilton, R.A., the sculptor.

[502] Mr. Taylor’s father was not only highly respected, but for many years held a principal situation in the Custom House (S.).

[503] They were cleaned and “restored” by John Francis Rigaud, R.A.

[504] Doubtless the letter from Mrs. Abington to Mrs. Jordan, printed under the year 1815.

[505] John Bannister (Honest Jack) left the stage on the night of June 1, 1815, when he played in Kenney’s comedy The World, and The Children in the Wood. “Your whole conscience stirred with Bannister’s performance of Walter in the Children in the Wood,” says Lamb; and Haydon, who in 1826 met Bannister by accident in Chenies Street, Bedford Square, writes: “He held out his hand just as he used to do on the stage, with the same frank native truth. As he spoke, the tones of his favourite ‘Walter’ pierced my heart. It was extraordinary, the effect. ‘Bannister,’ said I, ‘your voice recalls my early days.’—‘Ah,’ said he, ‘I had some touches, had I not?’”

[506] John Pritt Harley (1786-1858) distinguished himself as singer and actor. He appeared at Drury Lane in 1815, the year of Bannister’s retirement, and succeeded to many of that comedian’s parts. He was known as Fat Jack—from his thinness. “I have an exposition of sleep upon me,” were his last words, spoken on the stage of the Princess’s Theatre on August 20, 1858. He had hardly made his exit when he was seized with paralysis, and he died at 14 Upper Gower Street two days later. Harley was an excellent Shakespearean clown, and an ardent collector of walking-sticks.

[507] Porridge Island and another rookery called The Bermudas disappeared about 1829. These were cant names.





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