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beautiful Miss Chudleigh, afterwards the notorious Duchess of Kingston, appeared in such a remarkable 'nocostume,' that the Princess of Wales publicly threw a veil over her.
When these apartments were visited by Sir William Chambers, preparatory to the erection of the present building, he walked through rooms where foot had not intruded for nearly a hundred years, amid mouldering walls, broken casements, crumbling roofs, and decaying furniture. In one the chandelier still hung from the ceiling, and velvet curtains, tawny with age, fringed with a few shreds of gold and spangles, hung in tatters. In another were articles of different agesbroken couches and tattered hangings, screens, sconces, and fire-dogs, and the vestiges of a throne. What a bogified place it must have been! Quite a Valhalla for the Spiritrappers.
Old Somerset House was pulled down, and the present building erected in its place. The terrace elevation was made in expectation of the embankment of the Thames -not more than eighty years ago! Mr. Smiles narrates that Telford, the great engineer, passing over Waterloo Bridge with a friend, pointed to some finely-cut stones on the corner nearest the bridge. 'You see those stones there. Forty years since I hewed and laid them, when working on that building as a common mason.'
The Royal Academy Exhibition was held here until its removal to the National Gallery-with which, as the late Sir Robert Peel said, we had helped to spoil the finest square in Europe. Many of you (gentlemen, of course) must remember the old Torus and the big Farnese Hercules in the wire cage at the bottom of the stairs.
In Craven Street lived James Smith, one of the authors of Rejected Addresses.'
In James I.'s time London had grown great westward; and on the site of the present Adelphi a New Exchange or Britain's Burse was opened, but failed to rival its royal namesake in the old London city. The new Exchange became a Bazaar,
and the most fashionable lounge in Westminster, after the Restoration, and many of the dramatists of the day have laid scenes of intrigue in the galleries of the New Exchange. The city merchants' wives and daughters came hither to ape the manners of the quality, and country ladies eagerly sought for lodgings near it, that they might stand glaring in balconies and staring out of window.' The walks formed a favourite promenade with the fops about town, and who came here to show their clothes and chat with the stall-keepers.
The Duchess of Albemarle, when the wife of Thomas Radford, here sold wash-balls, powder, and gloves, and when touting her wares'Choice of fine essences, sir. Very good wash-balls, sir' (as was the custom)-no doubt attracted the attention of General Monk.
The Duchess of Tyrconnel, known as the 'White Widow,' hired a stall and sold haberdashery. She wore a white dress, wrapping her whole person, and a white mask, which she never removed, and excited much interest and curiosity (Walpole).
Some twenty years ago, a lady clothed entirely in white, shoes and all, used to walk the streets of London. We never could learn her story. The black lady, whom many may remember haunting the Bank of England, was said to have been the sister of a clerk hung for forgery, and that she always carried the fatal pen with which the crime had been committed in her girdle.
The old Savoy Palace was named after its founder, Peter, Earl of Savoy, and John, King of France, was confined there after the battle of Poictiers; and there he died, when he honourably returned from France, unable to procure his ransom. Old John of Gaunt, time-honoured Lancaster,' held possession when Wat Tyler's mob burnt the Savoy about his ears; and the palace remained in partial ruins until Henry VII. endowed it as a hospital for one hundred poor persons, and dedicated it to St. John the Baptist. At the suppression of the hospital, its beds and furniture were given to St. Thomas and Bridewell hospitals.
The Savoy fell into disrepute; and Queen Elizabeth, when taking the air, was assailed by its evil people. Warrants were issued in vain against these rogues; and a person demanding a debt due to him of another in the Savoy sanctuary was dipped in tar, rolled in feathers, carried in a wheelbarrow, and bound to the Maypole in the Strand-rather a bold plea to an action for debt, and worthy of the Kentucky man, whose answer to a dishonoured bill was that he was a citizen of the wilds, and his home was in the setting sun. Samuel Foote considered 'tar and feathers a very genteel dress, as it fitted close to the skin and kept out the rain.' After the Restoration, the Commissioners for the Revision of the Liturgy met here, and were called the Savoy Conference. That eminent religionist, Charles II., established a French church here. The Great Hall was, after a while, divided into several apartments, and deserters, men pressed for military service, Dutch recruits, and the sick and wounded, were lodged in the Savoy. Marriages were advertised to be performed here, and a true register kept, for a guinea, stamp included. But time and neglect swept down what remained of the old Palace, and the builders of Waterloo Bridge carried away the rubbish. The little chapel, built in 1505, remained until destroyed by fire in 1864-its churchyard a model of tidiness and reverent care. It had a most interesting monument within, that of Anne Killegrew, the painter and poet:
'Such noble vigour did her verse adorn, That it seemed borrowed where 'twas only born,
Unmixed with foreign filth and undefiled, Her worth was more than man-her innocence a child.'
The great Lord Burleigh, and his son after him, had a house in the Strand, where we dare say the former often shook his paternal head at the latter, after the manner of his representative in the 'Critic.' Elizabeth paid him a visit, and when entering, the Chamberlain pointed out the lowness of the threshold. For your master's sake,' she said,' I will stoop, though I would not for the King of Spain.' The Royal lady once told
Burleigh, when he could not rise to receive her, 'My lord, we make use of you not for the badness of your legs, but for the goodness of your head.'
A house belonging to the see of Carlisle stood on the site of Beaufort Buildings, and, passing at the Reformation to the Bedford family, became Russell House, until the building of Bedford House on the site of the present Southampton Street. The Chancellor Clarendon occupied this house until the completion of his new house in Piccadilly; and here, on the 3rd of September, 1660, between eleven and two at night, the Duke of York married Anne Hyde, the Chancellor's daughter.
Salisbury House stood on the site of Salisbury and Cecil Streets, and was built by Sir R. Cecil. Queen Elizabeth was present at the housewarming.
York House belonged to the Archbishop of York in the time of Queen Mary. Here the great Lord Bacon was born, and when a boy played in St. James's Fields, where the echo of a brick conduit attracted the infant philosopher, and made him seek out the cause. At York House he kept his sixtieth birthday, and there desired to die; for York House,' he said, 'is the house where my father died, and where I first breathed, and where I will yield my last breath, if it so please God and the king.' But the Great Seal was taken from him, and he returned to York House no more, being forbidden to come within the verge of the court. The Duke of Buckingham obtained the grant of York House from James I., and erected the rustic water-gate still standing. The House was leased to the Duke of Northumberland in 1628, and contained a fine collection of pictures and sculptures. The 'superstitious' pictures were sold by order of Parliament, and the house given by Cromwell to General Fairfax, whose daughter married George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham,
The Duke resided here after the Restoration, and subsequently sold the mansion for 3000l., when it was pulled down, and George Street, Villiers Street, Duke Street, Of Alley, and Buckingham Street, were erected.
Suffolk House-known to us as Northumberland House-named after the Earl of Suffolk (father of the memorable Frances, Countess of Essex and Somerset), was so called until it passed by marriage to the tenth Earl of Northumberland. At
his death it devolved on Elizabeth Percy, whose first husband, Henry Cavendish, Earl of Ogle, died when she was very young. Her second husband, Mr. Thomas Thynne, was shot in his coach in Pall Mall one Sunday, in 1682, and in Westminster is a ludicrously accurate group_in marble, representing the deed. Her third husband-married in the May of the following year-was the proud Duke of Somerset. The fortunate lady, therefore, had three husbands before she was eighteen. The house was formerly three sides of a quadrangle; the principal front was to the Strand, with gardens and watergate towards the Thames.
In Northumberland Court Nelson lodged; and if his gallant spirit ever visits the glimpses of the moon, we wonder what he thinks of Trafalgar Square, with his own unfinished column, and the ridiculous watersquirts called fountains.
In Hartshorne Lane Ben Jonson lived, when he went to a private school in St. Martin's Church, before he became a Westminster boy, under Camden, to whom he addresses a grateful and graceful epigram.*
*As the workmen in September, 1823, were excavating a vault to receive the remains of the lady of Sir Robert Wilson, in the north aisle of Westminster Abbey, they discovered, at the head of it, a leaden coffin placed in the ground perpendicularly, with the head downwards in a hole about two feet square. At the top of the hole was a square stone about eighteen inches wide, on which were the initials B. J.,' cut in characters rather illegible. On inquiry amongst the old men of the Abbey, they stated that the tradition is, that when Ben Jonson was seriously ill, he was asked where he would be buried. He said, 'If I can get foot ground in Westminster Abbey I will be interred there:' and on the Dean of
Let us now return to Temple Bar, in order to notice the right-hand side of the Strand. We will not say anything about the barber's shop in that side of the Bar, except that it used to excite the loyal animadversion of our friend the late Mr. Gilbert A'Beckett, who would always affect apprehensions lest the gates of Temple Bar should prove ineffective at keeping out an invading army, because the army might bolt in through the barber's. The London barbers, by the by, were a very important body at one time, when they were designated barber surgeons, and when close shaving was the fashion with others than the cheap haberdashers (who only tried to 'shave the ladies'), and the barber's pole indicated that you could be bled with the lancet as well as the razor. This privilege was taken away in 1745 by Act of Parliament. To attract customers, one exhibited a short-bladed instrument as the dagger with which Walworth killed Wat Tyler, and another wrote over his door
Rove not from pole to pole, but here turn in, Where naught exceeds the shaving but the gin.'
On our right hand stood until very lately the last of the Bulk Shops of the Strand, and forming part of Butchers' Row. In this house had resided generations of fishmongers, the last being Crockford-or Old Crocky-the notorious gamblinghouse keeper. We were told by one who knew him that it was his custom to risk the loss only of a certain sum; when that was gone, he would leave the table and go home. If he won a certain amount he would retire from the play, go home, drop his winnings down his own area, and then return to see what more Fortune had in store for him. When he became rich he would not allow the old shop to be altered, possibly that it might remind him of the days of his innocency, when he sold other
Westminster being applied to, he gave sufficient ground to admit the corpse in a perpendicular position, as it was found. The skeleton of the deceased was entire, and in a singular state of preservation.