This etext was prepared by David Price, email firstname.lastname@example.org, from the 1888 Cassell & Co. edition.
LONDON IN 1731
by Don Manoel Gonzales
Don Manoel Gonzales is the assumed name of the writer of a "Voyage to Great Britain, containing an Account of England and Scotland," which was first printed in the first of the two folio volumes of "A Collection of Voyages and Travels, compiled from the Library of the Earl of Oxford" (Robert Harley, who died in 1724, but whose industry in collection was continued by his son Edward, the second Earl), "interspersed and illustrated with Notes." These volumes, known as the "Harleian Collection," were published in 1745 and 1746. The narrative was reproduced early in the present century in the second of the seventeen quartos of John Pinkerton's "General Collection of the best and the most interesting Voyages and Travels of the World" (1808-1814), from which this account of London is taken. The writer does here, no doubt, keep up his character of Portuguese by a light allusion to "our extensive city of Lisbon," but he forgets to show his nationality when speaking of Portugal among the countries with which London has trade, and he writes of London altogether like one to the City born, when he describes its inner life together with its institutions and its buildings.
The book is one of those that have been attributed to Defoe, who died in 1731, and the London it describes was dated by Pinkerton in the last year of Defoe's life. This is also the latest date to be found in the narrative. On page 93 of this volume, old buildings at St. Bartholomew's are said to have been pulled down in the year 1731, "and a magnificent pile erected in the room of them, about 150 feet in length, faced with a pure white stone, besides other additions now building." That passage was written, therefore, after 1731, and could not possibly have been written by Defoe. But if the book was in Robert Harley's collection, and not one of the additions made by his son the second earl, the main body of the account of London must be of a date earlier than the first earl's death in 1724. Note, for instance, the references on pages 27, 28, to "the late Queen Mary," and to "her Majesty" Queen Anne, as if Anne were living. It would afterwards have been brought to date of publication by additions made in or before 1745. The writer, whoever he may have been, was an able man, who joined to the detail of a guide-book the clear observation of one who writes like an educated and not untravelled London merchant, giving a description of his native town as it was in the reign of George the First, with addition of a later touch or two from the beginning of the reign of George the Second.
His London is London of the time when Pope published his translation of the "Iliad," and was nettled at the report that Addison, at Button's Coffee House, had given to Tickell's little venture in the same direction the praise of having more in it of Homer's fire. Button's Coffee House was of Addison's foundation, for the benefit of Daniel Button, an old steward of the Countess of Warwick's, whom he had settled there in 1812. It was in Russell Street, Covent Garden, and Addison brought the wits to it by using it himself. "Don Manoel Gonzales" describes very clearly in the latter part of this account of London, the manner of using taverns and coffee- houses by the Londoners of his days, and other ways of life with high and low. It is noticeable, however, that his glance does not include the ways of men of letters. His four orders of society are, the noblemen and gentlemen, whose wives breakfast at twelve; the merchants and richer tradesmen; after whom he places the lawyers and doctors; whose professional class is followed by that of the small tradesmen, costermongers, and other people of the lower orders. This, and the clearness of detail upon London commerce, may strengthen the general impression that the description comes rather from a shrewd, clear-headed, and successful merchant than from a man of letters.
The London described is that of Addison who died in 1719, of Steele who died in 1729, of Pope who died in 1744. It is the London into which Samuel Johnson came in 1738, at the age of twenty-nine—seven years before the manuscript of "Manoel de Gonzales" appeared in print. "How different a place," said Johnson, "London is to different people; but the intellectual man is struck with it as comprehending the whole of human life in all its variety, the contemplation of which is inexhaustible." Its hard features were shown in the poem entitled London—an imitation of the third satire of Juvenal—with which Johnson began his career in the great city, pressed by poverty, but not to be subdued:-
"By numbers here from shame or censure free, All crimes are safe but hated poverty. This, only this, the rigid law pursues, This, only this, provokes the snarling Muse. The sober trader, at a tattered cloak, Wakes from his dream and labours for a joke; With brisker air the silken courtiers gaze, And turn the varied taunt a thousand ways. Of all the griefs that harass the distressed, Sure the most bitter is a scornful jest; Fate never wounds more deep the generous heart Than when a blockhead's insult points the dart."
When Don Manoel's account of London was written the fashionable world was only beginning to migrate from Covent Garden—once a garden belonging to the Convent of Westminster, and the first London square inhabited by persons of rank and fashion—to Grosvenor Square, of which Don Manoel describes the new glories. They included a gilt equestrian statue of King George I. in the middle of its garden, to say nothing of kitchen areas to its houses, then unusual enough to need special description: "To the kitchens and offices, which have little paved yards with vaults before them, they descend by twelve or fifteen steps, and these yards are defended by a high palisade of iron." Altogether, we are told, Grosvenor Square "may well be looked upon as the beauty of the town, and those who have not seen it cannot have an adequate idea of the place."
But Covent Garden is named by "Don Manoel Gonzales," with St. James's Park, as a gathering-place of the London world of fashion. The neighbouring streets, it may be added, had many coffee-houses, wine-cellars, fruit and jelly shops; fruit, flowers, and herbs were sold in its central space; and one large woman thoughtfully considering the fashion of the place, sat at her stall in a lace dress of which the lowest estimate was that it must have cost a hundred guineas.
LONDON IN 1731. CONTAINING A DESCRIPTION OF THE CITY OF LONDON; BOTH IN REGARD TO ITS EXTENT, BUILDINGS, GOVERNMENT, TRADE, ETC.
London, the capital of the kingdom of England, taken in its largest extent, comprehends the cities of London and Westminster, with their respective suburbs, and the borough of Southwark, with the buildings contiguous thereto on the south side of the river, both on the east and west sides of the bridge.
The length thereof, if we measure in a direct line from Hyde Park gate, on the west side of Grosvenor Square, to the farthest buildings that are contiguous in Limehouse, that is, from west to east, is very near five miles in a direct line; but if we take in the turnings and windings of the streets, it cannot be less than six miles. The breadth in many places from north to south is about two miles and a half, but in others not above a mile and a half; the circumference of the whole being about sixteen miles.
The situation next the river is hilly, and in some places very steep; but the streets are for the most part upon a level, and the principal of them nowhere to be paralleled for their length, breadth, beauty, and regularity of the buildings, any more than the spacious and magnificent squares with which this city abounds.
As to the dimensions of the city within the walls, I find that the late wall on the land side from the Tower in the east, to the mouth of Fleet Ditch in the west, was two miles wanting ten poles; and the line along the Thames, where there has been no walls for many hundred years, if ever, contains from the Tower in the east, to the mouth of the same ditch in the west, a mile and forty poles; which added to the circuit of the wall, on the land side, makes in the whole three miles thirty poles; and as it is of an irregular figure, narrow at each end, and the broadest part not half the length of it, the content of the ground within the walls, upon the most accurate survey, does not contain more than three hundred and eighty acres; which is not a third part of the contents of our extensive city of Lisbon: but then this must be remembered, Lisbon contains a great quantity of arable and waste ground within its walls, whereas London is one continued pile of buildings. The city gates are at this day eight, besides posterns, viz.: 1, Aldgate; 2, Bishopsgate; 3, Moorgate; 4, Cripplegate; 5, Aldersgate; 6, Newgate; 7, Ludgate; and, 8, The Bridgegate.
1. Aldgate, or Ealdgate, in the east, is of great antiquity, even as old as the days of King Edgar, who mentions it in a charter to the knights of Knighton-Guild. Upon the top of it, to the eastward, is placed a golden sphere; and on the upper battlements, the figures of two soldiers as sentinels: beneath, in a large square, King James I. is represented standing in gilt armour, at whose feet are a lion and unicorn, both couchant, the first the supporter of England, and the other for Scotland. On the west side of the gate is the figure of Fortune, finely gilded and carved, with a prosperous sail over her head, standing on a globe, overlooking the city. Beneath it is the King's arms, with the usual motto, Dieu et mon droit, and under it, Vivat rex. A little lower, on one side, is the figure of a woman, being the emblem of peace, with a dove in one hand, and a gilded wreath or garland in the other; and on the other side is the figure of charity, with a child at her breast, and another in her hand; and over the arch of the gate is this inscription, viz., Senatus populusque Londinensis fecit, 1609, and under it, Humphrey Weld, Mayor, in whose mayoralty it was finished.
2. Bishopsgate, which stands north-west of Aldgate, is supposed to have been built by some bishop about the year 1200. It was afterwards several times repaired by the merchants of the Hanse Towns, on account of the confirmation of their privileges in this city. The figures of the two bishops on the north side are pretty much defaced, as are the city arms engraven on the south side of it.
3. Aldersgate, the ancient north gate of the city, stands to the westward of Bishopsgate. On the north, or outside of it, is the figure of King James I. on horseback, who entered the city at this gate when he came from Scotland, on his accession to the throne of England. Over the head of this figure are the arms of England, Scotland, and Ireland; and on one side the image of the prophet Jeremy, with this text engraved, "Then shall enter into the gates of this city, kings and princes sitting on the throne of David, riding on chariots and on horses, they and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem." And on the other side, the figure of the prophet Samuel, with the following passage, "And Samuel said unto all Israel, Behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that you have said unto me, and have made a king over you." On the south, or inside of the gate, is the effigy of King James I. sitting on his throne in his robes.
4. Newgate, so called from its being built later than the other principal gates, is situated on the north-west corner of the city, said to be erected in the reign of Henry I. or King Stephen, when the way through Ludgate was interrupted by enlarging the cathedral of St. Paul's and the churchyard about it. This gate hath been the county jail for Middlesex at least five hundred years. The west, or outside of the gate is adorned with three ranges of pilasters and their entablements of the Tuscan order. Over the lowest is a circular pediment, and above it the King's arms. The inter columns are four niches, and as many figures in them, well carved, and large as the life. The east, or inside of the gate, is adorned with a range of pilasters with entablements as the other, and in three niches are the figures of justice, mercy, and truth, with this inscription, viz., "This part of Newgate was begun to be repaired in the mayoralty of Sir James Campel, Knight, anno 1630, and finished in the mayoralty of Sir Robert Ducie, Bart., anno 1631; and being damnified by the fire in 1666, it was repaired in the mayoralty of Sir George Waterman, anno 1672."
5. Ludgate, the ancient western gate of the city, stands between Newgate and the Thames, built by King Lud about threescore years before the birth of our Saviour. It was repaired in the reign of King John, anno 1215, and afterwards in the year 1260, when it was adorned with the figures of King Lud and his two sons, Androgeus and Theomantius; but at the Reformation, in the reign of Edward VI., some zealous people struck off all their heads, looking upon images of all kinds to be Popish and idolatrous. In the reign of Queen Mary, new heads were placed on the bodies of these kings, and so remained till the 28th of Queen Elizabeth, anno 1586, when the gate, being very ruinous, was pulled down, and beautifully rebuilt: the east or inside whereof was adorned with four pilasters and entablature of the Doric order, and in the intercolumns were placed the figures of King Lud and his two sons (who are supposed to have succeeded him) in their British habits again; and above them the queen's arms, viz., those of France and England quarterly, the supporters a lion and a dragon. It was afterwards repaired and beautified, anno 1699, Sir Francis Child lord mayor. The west or outside of the gate is adorned with two pilasters and entablature of the Ionic order; also two columns and a pediment adorning a niche, wherein is placed a good statue of Queen Elizabeth in her robes and the regalia; and over it the queen's arms between the city supporters, placed at some distance. This gate was made a prison for debtors who were free of the city, anno 1 Richard II., 1378, Nicholas Brember then mayor, and confirmed such by the mayor and common council, anno 1382, John Northampton mayor.
The Tower of London is situated at the south-east end of the city, on the river Thames, and consists in reality of a great number of towers or forts, built at several times, which still retain their several names, though at present most of them, together with a little town and church, are enclosed within one wall and ditch, and compose but one entire fortress.
It was the vulgar opinion that the Tower was built by Julius Caesar; but, as I have before shown, history informs us that Caesar made no stay in England, that he erected no town or fortress, unless that with which he enclosed his ships on the coast of Kent, nor left a single garrison or soldier in the island on his departure.
This Tower, as now encompassed, stands upon twelve acres of ground, and something more, being of an irregular form, but approaching near to that of an oblong, one of the longest sides lying next the river, from whence it rises gradually towards the north, by a pretty deep ascent, to the armoury, which stands upon the highest ground in the Tower, overlooking the White Tower built by William the Conqueror, and the remains of the castle below it on the Thames side, said to be built by William Rufus.
As to the strength of the place, the works being all antique, would not be able to hold out four-and-twenty hours against an army prepared for a siege: the ditch indeed is of a great depth, and upwards of a hundred feet broad, into which the water of the Thames may be introduced at pleasure; but I question whether the walls on the inside would bear the firing of their own guns: certain it is, two or three battering-pieces would soon lay them even with the ground, though, after all, the ditch alone is sufficient to defend it against a sudden assault. There are several small towers upon the walls; those of the largest dimensions, and which appear the most formidable, are the Divelin Tower, on the north-west; and the Martin Tower on the north-east; and St. Thomas's Tower on the river by Traitor's Bridge; which I take to be part of the castle said to be built by William Rufus. There is also a large tower on the outside the ditch, called the Lions' Tower, on the south-west corner, near which is the principal gate and bridge by which coaches and carriages enter the Tower; and there are two posterns with bridges over the ditch to the wharf on the Thames side, one whereof is called Traitor's Bridge, under which state prisoners used to enter the Tower.
The principal places and buildings within the Tower, are (1) The parochial church of St. Peter (for the Tower is a parish of itself, in which are fifty houses and upwards, inhabited by the governor, deputy-governor, warders, and other officers belonging to the fortress).
(2) To the eastward of the church stands a noble pile of building, usually called the armoury, begun by King James II. and finished by King William III., being three hundred and ninety feet in length, and sixty in breadth: the stately door-case on the south side is adorned with four columns, entablature and triangular pediment, of the Doric order. Under the pediment are the king's arms, with enrichments of trophy-work, very ornamental. It consists of two lofty rooms, reaching the whole length of the building: in the lower room is a complete train of artillery, consisting of brass cannon and mortars fit to attend an army of a hundred-thousand men; but none of the cannon I observe there were above four-and-twenty pounders; the large battering-pieces, which carry balls of thirty- two and forty-eight pounds weight, I perceive, are in the king's store-houses at Deptford, Woolwich, Chatham, and Portsmouth. In the armoury also we find a great many of the little cohorn mortars, so called from the Dutch engineer Cohorn, who invented them for firing a great number of hand-grenades from them at once; with other extraordinary pieces cast at home, or taken from the enemy.
In the room over the artillery is the armoury of small arms, of equal dimensions with that underneath, in which are placed, in admirable order, muskets and other small arms for fourscore thousand men, most of them of the newest make, having the best locks, barrels, and stocks, that can be contrived for service; neither the locks or barrels indeed are wrought, but I look upon them to be the more durable and serviceable, and much easier cleaned. There are abundance of hands always employed in keeping them bright, and they are so artfully laid up, that any one piece may be taken down without moving another. Besides these, which with pilasters of pikes furnish all the middle of the room from top to bottom, leaving only a walk through the middle, and another on each side, the north and south walls of the armoury are each of them adorned with eight pilasters of pikes and pistols of the Corinthian order, whose intercolumns are chequer-work of carbines and pistols; waves of the sea in cutlasses, swords, and bayonets; half moons, semicircles, and a target of bayonets; the form of a battery in swords and pistols; suns, with circles of pistols; a pair of gates in halberts and pistols; the Witch of Endor, as it is called, within three ellipses of pistols; the backbone of a whale in carbines; a fiery serpent, Jupiter and the Hydra, in bayonets, &c. But nothing looks more beautiful and magnificent than the four lofty wreathed columns formed with pistols in the middle of the room, which seem to support it. They show us also some other arms, which are only remarkable for the use they have been put to; as the two swords of state, carried before the Pretender when he invaded Scotland in the year 1715; and the arms taken from the Spaniards who landed in Scotland in the year 1719, &c.
The small arms were placed in this beautiful order by one Mr. Harris, originally a blacksmith, who was properly the forger of his own fortune, having raised himself by his merit: he had a place or pension granted him by the government for this piece of service in particular, which he richly deserved, no nation in Europe being able to show a magazine of small arms so good in their kind, and so ingeniously disposed. In the place where the armoury now stands was formerly a bowling-green, a garden, and some buildings, which were demolished to make room for the grand arsenal I have been describing.
In the horse-armoury the most remarkable things are some of the English kings on horseback in complete armour, among which the chief are Edward III., Henrys V. and VII., King Charles I. and II., and King William, and a suit of silver armour, said to belong to John of Gaunt, seven feet and a half high. Here also they show us the armour of the Lord Kingsale, with the sword he took from the French general, which gained him the privilege of being covered in the king's presence, which his posterity enjoy to this day.
The office of ordnance is in the Tower, with the several apartments of the officers that belong to it, who have the direction of all the arms, ammunition, artillery, magazines, and stores of war in the kingdom.
The White Tower is a lofty, square stone building, with a turret at each angle, standing on the declivity of the hill, a little below the armoury, and disengaged from the other buildings, where some thousand barrels of powder were formerly kept; but great part of the public magazine of powder is now distributed in the several yards and storehouses belonging to the government, as at Woolwich, Chatham, Portsmouth, Plymouth, &c., to prevent accidents, I presume; for should such a prodigious quantity of powder take fire, it must be of fatal consequence to the city, as well as the Tower. The main guard of the Tower, with the lodgings of the officers, are on the east side of this building.
In the chapel of the White Tower, usually called Caesar's Chapel, and in a large room adjoining on the east side thereof, sixty-four feet long, and thirty-one broad, are kept many ancient records, such as privy-seals in several reigns, bills, answers, and depositions in chancery, in the reigns of Queen Elizabeth, King James I., and King Charles I., writs of distringas, supersedeas, de excommunicato capiendo, and other writs relating to the courts of law; but the records of the greatest importance are lodged in the Tower called Wakefield Tower, consisting of statute rolls from the 6th of Edward I. to the 8th of Edward III.
Parliament rolls beginning anno 5 of Edward II. and ending with the reign of Edward IV.
Patent rolls beginning anno 3 of John, and ending with the reign of Edward IV. In these are contained grants of offices, hands, tenements, temporalities, &c., passing under the great seal.
Charter rolls, from the 1st of King John to the end of Edward IV. in which are enrolments of grants, and confirmations of liberties and privileges to cities and towns corporate, and to private persons, as markets, fairs, free warren, common of pasture, waifs, strays, felons' goods, &c.
The foundations of abbeys and priories, of colleges and schools, together with lands and privileges granted to them.
The patents of creation of noblemen.
Close rolls, from the 6th of King John, to the end of Edward IV., in which are writs of various kinds, but more especially on the back of the roll are entered the writs of summons to parliament, both to the lords and commons, and of the bishops and inferior clergy to convocations. There are also proclamations, and enrolments of deeds between party and party.
French rolls, beginning anno 1 of Edward II. and ending with Edward IV., in which are leagues and treaties with the kings of France, and other matters relating to that kingdom.
Scotch rolls, containing transactions with that kingdom.
Rome, touching the affairs of that see.
Vascon rolls, relating to Gascoign.
There are also other rolls and records of different natures.
In this tower are also kept the inquisitions post mortem, from the first year of King Henry III., to the third year of Richard III.
The inquisitions ad quod damnum, from the first of Edward II. to the end of Henry V.
Writs of summons, and returns to Parliament, from the reign of Edward I. to the 17th of Edward IV.
Popes' bulls, and original letters from foreign princes.
All which were put into order, and secured in excellent wainscot presses, by order of the house of peers, in the year 1719 and 1720. Attendance is given at this office, and searches may be made from seven o'clock in the morning to eleven, and from one to five in the afternoon, unless in December, January, and February, when the office is open only from eight to eleven in the morning, and from one to four, except holidays.
The next office I shall mention is the Mint, where, at present, all the money in the kingdom is coined. This makes a considerable street in the Tower, wherein are apartments for the officers belonging to it. The principal officers are:- l. The warden, who receives the gold and silver bullion, and pays the full value for it, the charge being defrayed by a small duty on wines. 2. The master and worker, who takes the bullion from the warden, causes it to be melted, delivers it to the moneyers, and when it is minted receives it from them again. 3. The comptroller, who sees that the money be made according to the just assize, overlooks the officers and controls them. 4. The assay-master, who sees that the money be according to the standard of fineness. 5. The auditor, who takes the accounts, and makes them up. 6. The surveyor-general, who takes care that the fineness be not altered in the melting. And, 7, the weigher and teller.
The Jewel-office, where the regalia are reposited, stands near the east end of the Armoury. A list is usually given to those who come daily to see these curiosities in the Jewel-house, a copy whereof follows, viz.:
A list of his Majesty's regalia, besides plate, and other rich things, at the Jewel-house in the Tower of London.
1. The imperial crown, which all the kings of England have been crowned with, ever since Edward the Confessor's time.
2. The orb, or globe, held in the king's left hand at the coronation; on the top of which is a jewel near an inch and half in height.
3. The royal sceptre with the cross, which has another jewel of great value under it.
4. The sceptre with the dove, being the emblem of peace.
5. St. Edward's staff, all beaten gold, carried before the king at the coronation.
6. A rich salt-cellar of state, the figure of the Tower, used on the king's table at the coronation.
7. Curtana, or the sword of mercy, borne between the two swords of justice, the spiritual and temporal, at the coronation.
8. A noble silver font, double gilt, that the kings and royal family were christened in.
9. A large silver fountain, presented to King Charles II. by the town of Plymouth.
10. Queen Anne's diadem, or circlet which her majesty wore in proceeding to her coronation.
11. The coronation crown made for the late Queen Mary.
12. The rich crown of state that his majesty wears on his throne in parliament, in which is a large emerald seven inches round, a pearl the finest in the world, and a ruby of inestimable value.
13. A globe and sceptre made for the late Queen Mary.
14. An ivory sceptre with a dove, made for the late King James's queen.
15. The golden spurs and the armillas that are worn at the coronation.
There is also an apartment in the Tower where noble prisoners used to be confined, but of late years some of less quality have been sent thither.
The Tower where the lions and other savage animals are kept is on the right hand, on the outside the ditch, as we enter the fortress. These consist of lions, leopards, tigers, eagles, vultures, and such other wild creatures as foreign princes or sea-officers have presented to the British kings and queens.
Not far from the Tower stands London Bridge. This bridge has nineteen arches besides the drawbridge, and is built with hewn stone, being one thousand two hundred feet in length, and seventy- four in breadth, whereof the houses built on each side take up twenty-seven feet, and the street between the houses twenty feet; there being only three vacancies about the middle of the bridge where there are no houses, but a low stone wall, with an iron palisade, through which is a fine view of the shipping and vessels in the river. This street over the bridge is as much thronged, and has as brisk a trade as any street in the city; and the perpetual passage of coaches and carriages makes it troublesome walking on it, there being no posts to keep off carriages as in other streets. The middle vacancy was left for a drawbridge, which used formerly to be drawn up when shipping passed that way; but no vessels come above the bridge at this day but such as can strike their masts, and pass under the arches. Four of the arches on the north side of the bridge are now taken up with mills and engines, that raise the water to a great height, for the supply of the city; this brings in a large revenue which, with the rents of the houses on the bridge, and other houses and lands that belong to it, are applied as far as is necessary to the repair of it by the officers appointed for that service, who are, a comptroller and two bridge-masters, with their subordinate officers; and in some years, it is said, not less than three thousand pounds are laid out in repairing and supporting this mighty fabric, though it be never suffered to run much to decay.
I come next to describe that circuit of ground which lies without the walls, but within the freedom and jurisdiction of the City of London. And this is bounded by a line which begins at Temple Bar, and extends itself by many turnings and windings through part of Shear Lane, Bell Yard, Chancery Lane, by the Rolls Liberty, &c., into Holborn, almost against Gray's-Inn Lane, where there is a bar (consisting of posts, rails, and a chain) usually called Holborn Bars; from whence it passes with many turnings and windings by the south end of Brook Street, Furnival's Inn, Leather Lane, the south end of Hatton Garden, Ely House, Field Lane, and Chick Lane, to the common sewer; then to Cow Cross, and so to Smithfield Bars; from whence it runs with several windings between Long Lane and Charterhouse Lane to Goswell Street, and so up that street northward to the Bars.
From these Bars in Goswell Street, where the manor of Finsbury begins, the line extends by Golden Lane to the posts and chain in Whitecross Street, and from thence to the posts and chain in Grub Street; and then runs through Ropemakers Alley to the posts and chain in the highway from Moorgate, and from thence by the north side of Moorfields; after which it runs northwards to Nortonfalgate, meeting with the bars in Bishopsgate Street, and from thence runs eastward into Spittlefields, abutting all along upon Nortonfalgate.
From Nortonfalgate it returns southwards by Spittlefields, and then south-east by Wentworth Street, to the bars in Whitechapel. From hence it inclines more southerly to the Little Minories and Goodman's Fields: from whence it returns westward to the posts and chain in the Minories, and so on more westerly till it comes to London Wall, abutting on the Tower Liberty, and there it ends. The ground comprehended betwixt this line and the city wall contains about three hundred acres.
There is no wall or fence, as has been hinted already, to separate the freedom of the City from that part of the town which lies in the county of Middlesex, only posts and chains at certain places, and one gate at the west end of Fleet Street which goes by the name of Temple Bar.
This gate resembles a triumphal arch; it is built of hewn stone, each side being adorned with four pilasters, their entablature, and an arched pediment of the Corinthian order. The intercolumns are niches replenished; those within the Bar towards the east, with the figures of King James I. and his queen; and those without the Bar, with the figures of King Charles I. and King Charles II. It is encircled also with cornucopias, and has two large cartouches by way of supporters to the whole; and on the inside of the gate is the following inscription, viz., "Erected in the year 1671, Sir Samuel Starling, Mayor: continued in the year 1670, Sir Richard Ford, Lord Mayor: and finished in the year 1672, Sir George Waterman, Lord Mayor."
The city is divided into twenty-six wards or governments, each having its peculiar officers, as alderman, common council, &c. But all are subject to the lord mayor, the supreme magistrate of this great metropolis. Of each of these wards take the following account.
1. Portsoken ward is situate without Aldgate, the most easterly ward belonging to the City; and extends from Aldgate eastward to the bars. The chief streets and places comprehended in it, are part of Whitechapel Street, the Minories, Houndsditch, and the west side of Petticoat Lane.
Whitechapel is a handsome broad street, by which we enter the town from the east. The south side, or great part of it, is taken up by butchers who deal in the wholesale way, selling whole carcases of veal, mutton, and lamb (which come chiefly out of Essex) to the town butchers. On the north side are a great many good inns, and several considerable tradesmen's houses, who serve the east part of England with such goods and merchandise as London affords. On the south side is a great market for hay three times a week.
Tower ward extends along the Thames from the Tower on the east almost to Billingsgate on the west, and that part of the Tower itself which lies to the westward of the White Tower is held by some to be within this ward. The principal streets and places contained in it are Great Tower Street, part of Little Tower Street and Tower Hill, part of Thames Street, Mark Lane, Mincing Lane, Seething Lane, St. Olave Hart Street, Idle Lane, St. Dunstan's Hill, Harp Lane, Water Lane, and Bear Lane, with the courts and alleys that fall into them.
Great Tower Hill lies on the outside of the Tower Ditch towards the north-west.
Upon this hill is a scaffold erected, at the charge of the City, for the execution of noble offenders imprisoned in the Tower (after sentence passed upon them).
The names of the quays or wharves lying on the Thames side in this ward between the Tower and Billingsgate, are Brewer's Quay, Chester Quay, Galley Quay, Wool Quay, Porter's Quay, Custom-House Quay, Great Bear Quay, Little Bear Quay, Wigging's Quay, Ralph's Quay, Little Dice Quay, Great Dice Quay, and Smart's Quay, of which, next to the Custom-House Quay, Bear Quays are the most considerable, there being one of the greatest markets in England for wheat and other kinds of grain, brought hither by coasting vessels.
The public buildings in this ward (besides the western part of the Tower above-mentioned to be within the City) are the Custom House, Cloth-workers' Hall, Bakers' Hall, and the three parish churches of Allhallows Barking, St. Olave Hart Street, and St. Dunstan's in the East.
The Custom House is situated on the north side of the Thames, between the Tower and Billingsgate, consisting of two floors, in the uppermost of which, in a wainscoted magnificent room, almost the whole length of the building, and fifteen feet in height, sit the commissioners of the customs, with their under officers and clerks. The length of this edifice is a hundred and eighty-nine feet, and the general breadth twenty-seven, but at the west end it is sixty feet broad. It is built of brick and stone, and covered with lead, being adorned with the upper and lower orders of architecture.
3. Aldgate, or Ealdgate Ward. The principal streets and places in it are Aldgate Street, Berry Street, part of St. Mary Axe, part of Leadenhall Street, part of Lime Street, Billiter Lane and Square, part of Mark Lane, Fenchurch Street, and Crutchedfriars.
The public buildings in this ward are the African House, the Navy Office, Bricklayers' Hall, the churches of St. Catherine Creechurch, St. James's, Duke's Place, St. Andrew Undershaft, St. Catherine Coleman, and the Jews' Synagogues.
The Royal African House is situated on the south side of Leadenhall Street, near the east end of it. Here the affairs of the company are transacted; but the house has nothing in it that merits a particular description.
The Navy Office is situated on the south side of Crutchedfriars, near Tower Hill, being a large, well-built pile of buildings, and the offices for every branch of business relating to the navy admirably well disposed.
The Jews' synagogues are in Duke's Place, where, and in that neighbourhood, many of that religion inhabit. The synagogue stands east and West, as Christian churches usually do: the great door is on the west, within which is a long desk upon an ascent, raised above the floor, from whence the law is read. The east part of the synagogue also is railed in, and the places where the women sit enclosed with lattices; the men sit on benches with backs to them, running east and west; and there are abundance of fine branches for candles, besides lamps, especially in that belonging to the Portuguese.
4. Lime Street Ward. The principal streets and places in it are part of Leadenhall Street, and Leadenhall Market, part of Lime Street, and part of St. Mary Axe.
Leadenhall Market, the finest shambles in Europe, lies between Leadenhall Street and Fenchurch Street. Of the three courts or yards which it consists of, the first is that at the north-east corner of Gracechurch Street, and opens into Leadenhall Street. This court or yard contains in length from north to south 164 feet, and in breadth from east to west eighty feet: within this court or yard, round about the same, are about 100 standing stalls for butchers, for the selling of beef only, and therefore this court is called the beef market. These stalls are either under warehouses, or sheltered from the weather by roofs over them. This yard is on Tuesdays a market for leather, to which the tanners resort; on Thursdays the waggons from Colchester, and other parts, come with baize, &c., and the fellmongers with their wool; and on Fridays it is a market for raw hides; on Saturdays, for beef and other provisions.
The second market yard is called the Greenyard, as being once a green plot of ground; afterwards it was the City's storeyard for materials for building and the like; but now a market only for veal, mutton, lamb, &c. This yard is 170 feet in length from east to west, and ninety feet broad from north to south; it hath in it 140 stalls for the butchers, all covered over. In the middle of this Greenyard market from north to south is a row of shops, with rooms over them, for fishmongers: and on the south side and west end are houses and shops also for fishmongers. Towards the east end of this yard is erected a fair market-house, standing upon columns, with vaults underneath, and rooms above, with a bell tower, and a clock, and under it are butchers' stalls. The tenements round about this yard are for the most part inhabited by cooks and victuallers; and in the passages leading out of the streets into this market are fishmongers, poulterers, cheesemongers, and other traders in provisions.
The third market belonging to Leadenhall is called the Herb Market, for that herbs, roots, fruits, &c., are only there sold. This market is about 140 feet square; the west, east, and north sides had walks round them, covered over for shelter, and standing upon columns; in which walks there were twenty-eight stalls for gardeners, with cellars under them.
The public buildings in this ward are Leadenhall, the East India House, Pewterers' Hall, and Fletchers' Hall.
Leadenhall is situated on the south side of Leadenhall Street. It is a large stone fabric, consisting of three large courts or yards, as has been observed already; part of it is at present a warehouse, in the occupation of the East India Company, where the finest calicoes, and other curiosities of the Eastern part of the world, are reposited; another part of it is for Colchester baize, and is open every Thursday and Friday. Here was also anciently a chapel, and a fraternity of sixty priests constituted to celebrate Divine Service every day to the market people; but was dissolved with other religious societies at the Reformation.
On the south side of Leadenhall Street also, and a little to the eastward of Leadenhall, stands the East India House, lately magnificently built, with a stone front to the street; but the front being very narrow, does not make an appearance answerable to the grandeur of the house within, which stands upon a great deal of ground, the offices and storehouses admirably well contrived, and the public hall and the committee room scarce inferior to anything of the like nature in the City.
There is not one church in this ward at present. The officers of the ward are, an alderman, his deputy, four common-council men, four constables, two scavengers, sixteen for the wardmote inquest, and a beadle.
5. Bishopsgate Ward is divided into two parts, one within Bishopsgate, and the other without.
The streets and places in this ward, within the gate, are, all Bishopsgate Street, part of Gracechurch Street, all Great and Little St. Helen's, all Crosby Square, all Camomile Street, and a small part of Wormwood Street, with several courts and alleys that fall into them.
That part of this ward that lies without Bishopsgate extends northwards as far as the bars, being the bounds of the City freedom on this side.
The principal streets and places in this ward, without the gate, are, Bishopsgate Street, Petty France, Bethlem Court and Lane, and Devonshire Square; besides which, there are little courts and alleys without number between Bishopsgate Street and Moorfields.
The public buildings in this ward are Leather-sellers' Hall, Gresham College, the churches of St. Botolph, Bishopsgate, St. Ethelburga, and St. Helen.
London Workhouse, for the poor of the City of London, also stands in this ward, just without Bishopsgate, being a long brick edifice four hundred feet in length, consisting of several work-rooms and lodging rooms for the vagrants and parish children brought thither, who are employed in spinning wool and flax, in sewing, knitting, or winding silk, or making their clothes or shoes, and are taught to write, read, and cast accounts. The grown vagrants brought here for a time only are employed in washing, beating hemp, and picking oakum, and have no more to keep them than they earn, unless they are sick; and the boys are put out apprentices to seafaring men or artificers, at a certain age, and in the meantime have their diet, clothes, physic, and other necessaries provided for them by the house, which is supported by private charities, by sums raised annually by the City, or by the labour of the children, which last article produces seven or eight hundred pounds per annum.
6. Broad Street Ward contains part of Threadneedle Street, Bartholomew Lane, part of Prince's Street, part of Lothbury, part of Throgmorton Street, great part of Broad Street, Winchester Street, Austinfriars, part of Wormwood Street, and part of London Wall Street, with the courts and lanes running into them.
The public buildings in this ward are Carpenters' Hall, Drapers' Hall, Merchant Taylors' Hall, the South Sea House, the Pay Office, Allhallows on the Wall, St. Peter's Poor, the Dutch Church, St. Martin's, St. Bennet's, St. Bartholomew's, St. Christopher's, and the French Church.
The most magnificent and beautiful edifice of the kind in this ward, and indeed in the City of London, is the South Sea House, lately erected at the north-east corner of Threadneedle Street, near Bishopsgate Street, and over against the church of St. Martin Outwich. It is built of stone and brick.
The several offices for transacting the business of this great company are admirably well disposed; and the great hall for sales is nowhere to be paralleled, either in its dimensions or ornaments, any more than the dining-room, galleries, and chambers above.
7. Cornhill Ward comprehends little more than the street of the same name, and some little lanes and alleys that fall into it, as Castle Alley, Sweeting's or Swithin's Alley, Freeman's Yard, part of Finch Lane, Weigh House Yard, Star Court, the north end of Birching Lane, St. Michael's Alley, Pope's Head Alley, and Exchange Alley.
Cornhill Street may, in many respects, be looked upon as the principal street of the City of London; for here almost all affairs relating to navigation and commerce are transacted; and here all the business relating to the great companies and the Bank are negotiated. This street also is situated near the centre of the City, and some say, upon the highest ground in it. It is spacious, and well built with lofty houses, four or five storeys high, inhabited by linendrapers and other considerable tradesmen, who deal by wholesale as well as retail, and adorned with the principal gate and front of the Royal Exchange. Here also it is said the metropolitan church was situated, when London was an archbishopric.
Exchange Alley, so denominated from its being situated on the south side of this street, over against the Royal Exchange, has long been famous for the great concourse of merchants and commanders of ships, and the bargains and contracts made there and in the two celebrated coffee-houses in it, which go under the respective names of "Jonathan's" and "Garraway's," where land, stocks, debentures, and merchandise, and everything that has an existence in Nature, is bought, sold, and transferred from one to another; and many things contracted for, that subsists only in the imagination of the parties.
The public buildings in this ward are, the Royal Exchange, and the churches of St. Peter and St. Michael.
The Royal Exchange is situated on the north side of Cornhill, about the middle of the street, forming an oblong open square, the inside whereof is a hundred and forty-four feet in length from east to west, and a hundred and seventeen in breadth from north to south; the area sixty-one square poles, on every side whereof is a noble piazza or cloister, consisting of twenty-eight columns and arches that support the galleries above.
The length of the building on the outside is two hundred and three feet, the breadth a hundred and seventy-one, and the height fifty- six. On the front towards Cornhill also is a noble piazza, consisting of ten pillars; and another on the opposite side next Threadneedle Street, of as many; and in the middle of each a magnificent gate. Over the Cornhill gate is a beautiful tower, a hundred and seventy-eight feet high, furnished with twelve small bells for chimes; and underneath the piazzas are capacious cellars, which serve for warehouses.
The whole building is of Portland stone, rustic work; above the arches the inward piazza is an entablament, with fine enrichments; and on the cornice a range of pilasters, within entablature, and a spacious compass pediment in the middle of the corners of each of the four sides. Under the pediment on the north side are the king's arms; on the south those of the City; and on the east the arms of Sir Thomas Gresham. And under the pediment on the west side the arms of the Company of Mercers, with their respective enrichments. The intercolumns of the upper range are twenty-four niches, nineteen of which are filled with the statues of the kings and queens regent of England, standing erect with their robes and regalia, except that of King James II. and King George II., which are habited like the Caesars.
On the south side are seven niches, of which four are filled, viz.:-
1. The most easterly figure, which has this inscription in gold letters, Edvardus Primus Rex, Anno Dom. 1272. 2. Westward, Edvardus III. Rex, Anno Dom. 1329. 3. Henricus V. Rex, Anno Domini 1412. 4. Henricus VI. Rex, Anno Domini 1422.
On the west side five niches, four of which are filled, viz.:-
1. Under the most southerly figures is subscribed in gold letters, Edvardus IV. Rex, Anno Domini 1460. 2. Northward (the crown pendent over his head) Edvardus V. Rex, Anno Domini 1483. 3. Henricus VII. Rex, Anno Domini 1487. 4. Henricus VIII. Rex, Anno Domini 1508.
On the north side seven niches are filled, viz.:-
1. The most westerly, subscribed in golden characters, Edvardus VI. Rex, Anno Domini 1547. 2. Maria Regina, Anno Domini 1553. 3. Elizabetha Regina, Anno Domini 1558. 4. Is subscribed Serenissim & Potentissim' Princip' Jacobo Primo, Mag. Brit' Fran' & Hibern' Reg. Fid. Defensori, Societas Pannitonsorum posuit, A.D. 1684. 5. [Greek text which cannot be reproduced] Serenissimi & Religiosissimi Principis Caroli Primi, Angliae, Scotiae, Franciae Hiberniae Regis, Fidei Defensoris; Bis Martyris (in Corpore Effigie) Impiis Rebellium Manibus, ex hoc loco deturbata confracta, Anno Dom. 1647. Restituta hic demum collocata, Anno Dom. 1683. Gloria Martyrii qui te fregere Rebelles non potuere ipsum quem voluere Deum. 6. Carolus Secundus Rex, Anno Domini 1648. 7. Jacobus II. Rex, Anno Domini 1685.
On the east side five niches, one of which is vacant, the other filled, viz.:-
1. The most northerly contains two statues, viz., of King William and Queen Mary, subscribed Gulielmus III. Rex, & Maria II. Regina, A.D. 1688. S. P. Q. Londin' Optim Principibus, P. C. 1695. 2. Anna Regina Dei Gratia Mag. Britan' Franciae & Hiberniae, 1701. 3. George I. inscribed Georgius D. G. Magnae Britan' Franciae & Hiberniae Rex, Anno Dom. 1714. S.P.Q.L. 4. Southerly the statue of King George II. in the habiliment of a Caesar, wreathed on the head, and a battoon or truncheon in his hand, little differing from that of Charles II. in the centre of the area, only in looking northward; inscribed Georgius II. D. G. Mag. Brit. Fra. & Hib. Rex, Anno Dom. 1727. S.P.Q.L.
On the four sides of the piazza within the Exchange are twenty-eight niches, which are all vacant yet, except one near the north-west angle, where is the figure of Sir Thomas Gresham. The piazza itself is paved with black and white marble, and the court, or area, pitched with pebbles; in the middle whereof is the statue of King Charles II. in a Roman habit, with a battoon in his hand, erected on a marble pedestal, about eight feet high and looking southward; on which side of the pedestal, under an imperial crown, wings, trumpet of fame, sceptre and sword, palm branches, &c., are these words inscribed, viz.:-
Carolo II. Caesari Britannico, Patriae Patri, Regum Optimo Clementissimo Augustissimo, Generis Humani Deliciis, Utriusq; Fortunae Victori, Pacis Europae Arbitro, Marium Domino, ac Vindici Societatis Mercatorum Adventur' Angliae, quae per CCCC jam prope Annos Regia benignitate floret, Fidei Intemeratae & Gratitudinis aeternae hoc Testimonium venerabunda posuit, Anno Salutis Humanae 1684.
On the west side of the pedestal is neatly cut in relievo the figure of a Cupid reposing his right hand on a shield containing the arms of England and France quartered, and in his left hand a rose.
On the north side are the arms of Ireland on a shield, supported by a Cupid.
On the east side the arms of Scotland, with a Cupid holding a thistle all in relievo.
The inner piazza and court are divided into several stations, or walks, where the merchants of the respective nations, and those who have business with them, assemble distinctly; so that any merchant or commander of a vessel is readily found, if it be known to what country he trades. The several walks are described in the following ground-plot of the Exchange:-
0 North 1 2 3 4 - 7 8 9 10 5 6 11 West East 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 - 23 24 25 26 - - 27 South
0. Threadneedle Street 1. East Country Walk 2. Irish Walk 3. Scotch Walk 4. Dutch and Jewellers 5. Norway Walk 6. Silkmens Walk 7. Clothiers Walk 8. Hamburgh Walk 9. Salters Walk 10. Walk 11. American Walk 12. Castle Alley 13. Turkey Walk 14. Grocers and Druggists Walk 15. Brokers, &c of Stocks Walk 16. Italian Walk 17. Swithin's Alley 18. East India Walk 19. Canary Walk 20. Portugal Walk 21. Barbadoes Walk. 22. French Walk 23. Virginia Walk 24. Jamaica Walk. 25. Spanish Walk 26. Jews Walk 27. Cornhill
Near the south gate is a spacious staircase, and near the north gate another, that lead up to the galleries, on each side whereof are shops for milliners and other trades, to the number of near two hundred, which brought in a good revenue at first, nothing being thought fashionable that was not purchased there; but the milliners are now dispersed all over the town, and the shops in the Exchange almost deserted.
8. Langbourn Ward, so called of a bourne, or brook, that had its source in it, and run down Fenchurch Street, contains these principal streets: part of Lombard Street, part of Fenchurch Street, part of Lime Street, and part of Gracechurch Street, with part of the courts, lanes, and alleys in them, particularly White Hart Court, Exchange Alley, Sherbourne Lane, Abchurch Lane, St. Nicholas Lane, Mark Lane, Mincing Lane, Rood Lane, Cullum Court, Philpot Lane, and Braben Court.
The public buildings in this ward are, the Post Office, Ironmongers' Hall, Pewterers' Hall; the churches of Allhallows, Lombard Street, St. Edmund's, Lombard Street, St. Mary Woolnoth, St. Dionis Backchurch, and St. Allhallows Staining.
The Post Office is situated on the south side of Lombard Street, near Stocks Market. It was the dwelling-house of Sir Robert Vyner, in the reign of King Charles II. The principal entrance is out of Lombard Street, through a great gate and passage that leads into a handsome paved court, about which are the several offices for receiving and distributing letters, extremely well contrived.
Letters and packets are despatched from hence every Monday to France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Flanders, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Kent, and the Downs.
Every Tuesday to the United Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, and to all parts of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
Every Wednesday to Kent only, and the Downs.
Every Thursday to France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and all parts of England and Scotland.
Every Friday to the Austrian and United Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, and to Kent and the Downs.
Every Saturday to all parts of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
The post goes also every day to those places where the Court resides, as also to the usual stations and rendezvous of His Majesty's fleet, as the Downs, Spithead, and to Tunbridge during the season for drinking waters, &c.
Letters and packets are received from all parts of England and Scotland, except Wales, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; from Wales every Monday and Friday; and from Kent and the Downs every day.
His Majesty keeps constantly, for the transport of the said letters and packets, in times of peace,
Between England and France, three packet-boats; Spain, one in a fortnight; Portugal, one ditto; Flanders, two packet-boats; Holland, three packet-boats; Ireland, three packet-boats.
And at Deal, two packet-boats for the Downs.
Not to mention the extraordinary packet-boats, in time of war with France and Spain, to the Leeward Islands, &c.
A letter containing a whole sheet of paper is conveyed eighty miles for 3d., and two sheets 6d. and an ounce of letters but 1s. And above eighty miles a single letter is 4d., a double letter 8d., and an ounce 1s. 4d.
9. Billingsgate Ward is bounded by Langbourn Ward towards the north, by Tower Street Ward on the east, by the River Thames on the south, and by Bridge Ward Within on the west. The principal streets and places in this ward are, Thames Street, Little East Cheap, Pudding Lane, Botolph Lane, Love Lane, St. Mary Hill, and Rood Lane.
The wharves, or quays, as they lie on the Thames side from east to west, are, Smart's Quay, Billings gate, Little Somer's Quay, Great Somer's Quay, Botolph Wharf, Cox's Quay, and Fresh Wharf which last is the next quay to the bridge; of which Billingsgate is much the most resorted to. It is a kind of square dock, or inlet, having quays on three sides of it, to which the vessels lie close while they are unloading. By a statute of the 10th and 11th of William III. it was enacted, "That Billingsgate should be a free market for fish every day in the week, except Sundays." That a fishing-vessel should pay no other toll or duty than the Act prescribes, viz., every salt-fish vessel, for groundage, 8d. per day, and 20d. per voyage; a lobster boat 2d. per day groundage, and 13d. the voyage; every dogger boat, or smack with sea-fish, 2d. per day groundage, and 13d. the voyage; every oyster vessel, 2d. per day groundage, and a halfpenny per bushel metage. And that it should be lawful for any person who should buy fish in the said market to sell the same in any other market or place in London, or elsewhere, by retail." And because the fishmongers used to buy up great part of the fish at Billingsgate, and then divide the same among themselves, in order to set an extravagant price upon them, it was enacted, "That no person should buy, or cause to be bought, in the said market of Billingsgate, any quantity of fish, to be divided by lot among the fishmongers, or other persons, with an intent to sell them afterwards by retail; and that no fishmonger should buy any more than for his own use, on pain of 20 pounds." And by the 6th Annae it was enacted, "That no person should buy fish at Billingsgate to sell again in the same market; and that none but fishermen, their wives, or servants, should sell fish by retail at Billingsgate; and that none should buy or sell fish there before the ringing of the market bell."
The public buildings in this ward are Butchers' Hall, and the churches of St. Mary Hill, St. Margaret Pattens, and St. George, in Botolph Lane.
10. Bridge Ward Within contains London Bridge, New Fish Street, Gracechurch Street as far as Fenchurch Street, Thames Street from Fish Street to the Old Swan, part of St. Martin's Lane, part of St. Michael's Lane, and part of Crooked Lane.
The public buildings in this ward are London Bridge, the Monument, Fishmongers' Hall, and the churches of St. Magnus and St Bennet, Gracechurch Street.
The Monument stands on the west side of Fish Street Hill, a little to the northward of the bridge, and was erected by the legislative authority, in memory of the Fire, anno 1666, and was designed by Sir Christopher Wren. It has a fluted column, 202 feet high from the ground; the greatest diameter of the shaft 15 feet, and the plinth, or lowest part of the pedestal, 28 feet square, and 40 feet high; the whole being of Portland stone, except the staircase within, which is of black marble, containing 345 steps, ten inches and a half broad, and six inches deep; and a balcony on the outside 32 feet from the top, on which is a gilded flame. The front of the pedestal, towards the west, contains a representation of the Fire, and the resurrection of the present city out of the ruins of the former.
11. Candlewick or Cannon Street Ward contains part of Great East Cheap, part of Candlewick, now called Cannon Street, part of Abchurch Lane, St. Nicholas Lane, St. Clement's Lane, St. Michael's Lane, Crooked Lane, St. Martin's Lane, St. Lawrence Poultney Lane, with the courts and alleys that fall into them.
In Cannon Street is that remarkable stone called London Stone, which has remained fixed in the ground many hundred years, but for what end is uncertain, though supposed by some to be the place from whence the Romans began to compute the number of miles anciently to any part of the kingdom.
12. Walbrook Ward contains the best part of Walbrook, part of Bucklersbury, the east end of Budge Row, the north end of Dowgate, part of Cannon Street, most of Swithin's Lane, most of Bearbinder Lane, part of Bush Lane, part of Suffolk Lane, part of Green Lattice Lane, and part of Abchurch Lane, with several courts and lanes that fall into them.
Stocks Market consists of a pretty large square, having Cornhill and Lombard Street on the north-east, the Poultry on the north-west, and Walbrook on the south-east. Before the Fire it was a market chiefly for fish and flesh, and afterwards for fruit and garden stuff.
In this market Sir Robert Vyner, Bart. and Alderman, erected a marble equestrian statue of King Charles II., standing on a pedestal eighteen feet high, and trampling on his enemies.
The public buildings in this ward are Salters' Hall, the churches of St. Swithin and St. Stephen, Walbrook.
13. Dowgate, or Dowgate Ward, so called from the principal street, which has a steep descent or fall into the Thames, contains part of Thames Street, part of St. Lawrence-Poultney Hill, part of Duxford Lane, part of Suffolk Lane, part of Bush Lane, part of Dowgate Hill, Checquer Yard, Elbow Lane, and Cloak Lane; and the southward of Thames Street, Old Swan Lane, Cole Harbour, Allhallows Lane, Campion Lane, Friars Lane, Cozens Lane, Dowgate Dock, and the Steel Yard.
The public buildings in this ward are Tallow-chandlers' Hall, Skinners' Hall, Innholders' Hall, Plumbers' Hall, Joiners' Hall, Watermen's Hall, and the church of Allhallows the Great.
14. Vintry Ward (which was so called from the wine merchants who landed and sold their wines here) contains part of Thames Street, New Queen Street, Garlick Hill, College Hill, and St. Thomas Apostles.
The public buildings in this ward are Vintners' Hall, Cutlers' Hall, the churches of St. Michael Royal and St. James, Garlick Hill.
Vintners' Hall is situated on the south side of Thames Street, between Queen Street and Garlick Hill, being built on three sides of a quadrangle fronting the street. The rooms are large, finely wainscoted and carved, particularly the magnificent screen at the east end of the great hall, which is adorned with two columns, their entablature and pediment; and on acroters are placed the figure of Bacchus between several Fames, with other embellishments; and they have a garden backwards towards the Thames.
15. Cordwainers' Street Ward, so called from the cordwainers (shoemakers), curriers, and other dealers in leather, that inhabited that part of the town anciently, includes Bow Lane, New Queen Street, Budge Row, Tower Royal Street, Little St. Thomas Apostle's, Pancras Lane, a small part of Watling Street, a little part of Basing Lane, and St. Sythe's Lane.
The public buildings in this ward are the church of St. Anthony, St. Mary Aldermary, and St. Mary-le-Bow.
16. Cheap Ward. The principal streets and places in this ward are Cheapside, the Poultry, part of Honey Lane Market, part of the Old Jewry, part of Bucklersbury, part of Pancras Lane, part of Queen Street, all Ironmonger Lane, King Street, and St. Lawrence Lane, and part of Cateaton Street, part of Bow Lane, and all Guildhall.
The public buildings in this ward are, Guildhall, Mercers' Chapel and Hall, Grocers' Hall, the Poultry Compter, the churches of St. Mildred, Poultry, and St. Lawrence Jewry.
Guildhall, the town house of this great City, stands at the north end of King Street, and is a large handsome structure, built with stone, anno 1666, the old hall having been destroyed by the Fire in 1666. By a large portico on the south side we enter the principal room, properly called the hall, being 153 feet in length, 48 in breadth, and 55 in height. On the right hand, at the upper end, is the ancient court of the hustings; at the other end of the hall opposite to it are the Sheriff's Courts. The roof of the inside is flat, divided into panels; the walls on the north and south sides adorned with four demy pillars of the Gothic order, painted white, and veined with blue, the capitals gilt with gold, and the arms finely depicted in their proper colour, viz., at the east the arms of St. Edward the Confessor, and of the Kings of England the shield and cross of St. George. At the west end the arms of the Confessor, those of England and France quarterly, and the arms of England. On the fourteen demy pillars (above the capital) are the king's arms, the arms of London, and the arms of the twelve companies. At the east end are the King's arms carved between the portraits of the late Queen, at the foot of an arabathram, under a rich canopy northward, and those of King William and Queen Mary southward, painted at full length. The inter-columns are painted in imitation of porphyry, and embellished with the portraitures, painted in full proportion, of eighteen judges, which were there put up by the City, in gratitude for their signal service done in determining differences between landlord and tenant (without the expense of lawsuits) in rebuilding this City, pursuant to an Act of Parliament, after the Fire, in 1666.
Those on the south side are, Sir Heneage Finch, Sir Orlando Bridgeman, Sir Matthew Hale, Sir Richard Rainsford, Sir Edward Turner, Sir Thomas Tyrrel, Sir John Archer, Sir William Morton.
On the north side are, Sir Robert Atkins, Sir John Vaughan, Sir Francis North, Sir Thomas Twisden, Sir Christopher Turner, Sir William Wild, Sir Hugh Windham.
At the west end, Sir William Ellis, Sir Edward Thurland, Sir Timothy Littleton.
And in the Lord Mayor's Court (which is adorned with fleak stone and other painting and gilding, and also the figures of the four cardinal virtues) are the portraits of Sir Samuel Brown, Sir John Kelynge, Sir Edward Atkins, and Sir William Windham, all (as those above) painted in full proportion in their scarlet robes as judges.
The late Queen Anne, in December, 1706, gave the City 26 standards, and 63 colours, to be put up in this hall, that were taken from the French and Bavarians at the battle of Ramillies the preceding summer; but there was found room only for 46 colours, 19 standards, and the trophy of a kettle-drum of the Elector of Bavaria's. The colours over the Queen's picture are most esteemed, on account of their being taken from the first battalion of French guards.
From the hall we ascend by nine stone steps to the Mayor's Court, Council Chamber, and the rest of the apartments of the house, which, notwithstanding it may not be equal to the grandeur of the City, is very well adapted to the ends it was designed for, namely, for holding the City courts, for the election of sheriffs and other officers, and for the entertainment of princes, ministers of State, and foreign ambassadors, on their grand festivals.
17. Coleman Street Ward. The principal streets in this ward are the Old Jewry, part of Lothbury, Coleman Street, part of London Wall, and all the lower part of Moorfields without the walls.
The public buildings are Bethlem or Bedlam Hospital, Founders' Hall, Armourers' Hall, the churches of St. Olave Jewry, St. Margaret, Lothbury, and St. Stephen, Coleman Street.
New Bethlem, or Bedlam, is situated at the south end of Moorfields, just without the wall, the ground being formerly part of the town ditch, and granted by the City to the governors of the hospital of Old Bethlem, which had been appropriated for the reception of lunatics, but was found too strait to contain the people brought thither, and the building in a decaying condition.
The present edifice, called New Bedlam, was begun to be erected anno 1675, and finished the following year. It is built of brick and stone; the wings at each end, and the portico, being each of them adorned with four pilasters, entablature and circular pediment of the Corinthian order. Under the pediment are the King's arms, enriched with festoons; and between the portico and each of the said wings is a triangular pediment, with the arms of the City; and on a pediment over the gate the figures of two lunatics, exquisitely carved. The front of this magnificent hospital is reported to represent the Escurial in Spain, and in some respects exceeds every palace in or about London, being 528 feet in length, and regularly built. The inside, it is true, is not answerable to the grand appearance it makes without, being but 30 feet broad, and consisting chiefly of a long gallery in each of the two storeys that runs from one end of the house to the other; on the south side whereof are little cells, wherein the patients have their lodgings, and on the north the windows that give light to the galleries, which are divided in the middle by a handsome iron gate, to keep the men and women asunder.
In order to procure a person to be admitted into the hospital, a petition must be preferred to a committee of the governors, who sit at Bedlam seven at a time weekly, which must be signed by the churchwardens, or other reputable persons of the parish the lunatic belongs to, and also recommended to the said committee by one of the governors; and this being approved by the president and governors, and entered in a book, upon a vacancy (in their turn) an order is granted for their being received into the house, where the said lunatic is accommodated with a room, proper physic and diet, gratis. The diet is very good and wholesome, being commonly boiled beef, mutton, or veal, and broth, with bread, for dinners on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, the other days bread, cheese, and butter, or on Saturdays pease-pottage, rice-milk, furmity, or other pottage, and for supper they have usually broth or milk pottage, always with bread. And there is farther care taken, that some of the committee go on a Saturday weekly to the said hospital to see the provisions weighed, and that the same be good and rightly expended.
18. Basinghall, or Bassishaw Ward, consisteth only of Basinghall Street, and a small part of the street along London Wall.
The public buildings of this ward are Blackwell Hall, Masons' Hall, Weavers' Hall, Coopers' Hall, Girdlers' Hall, and St. Michael Bassishaw Church.
Blackwell Hall is situated between Basinghall Street on the east, and Guildhall Yard on the west, being formerly called Bakewell Hall, from the family of the Bakewells, whose mansion-house stood here anno 1315, which falling to the Crown, was purchased by the City of King Richard II., and converted into a warehouse and market for woollen manufactures; and by an act of common council anno 1516, it was appointed to be the only market for woollen manufactures sold in the City, except baize, the profits being settled on Christ's Hospital, which arise from the lodging and pitching of the cloth in the respective warehouses, there being one assigned for the Devonshire cloths, and others for the Gloucester, Worcester, Kentish, Medley, Spanish cloths, and blankets. The profits also of the baize brought to Leadenhall are settled on the same hospital. These cloths pay a penny a week each for pitching, and a halfpenny a week resting; stockings and blankets pay by the pack, all which bring in a considerable revenue, being under the direction of the governors of Christ's Hospital. This hall was destroyed by the Fire, and rebuilt by Christ's Hospital, anno 1672. The doorcase on the front towards Guildhall is of stone, adorned with two columns, entablature, and pediment of the Doric order. In the pediment are the King's arms, and the arms of London under them, enriched with Cupids, &c.
19. Cripplegate Ward is usually divided into two parts, viz., Cripplegate within the walls and Cripplegate without.
The principal streets and places in Cripplegate Ward within the walls are Milk Street, great part of Honey Lane Market, part of Cateaton Street, Lad Lane, Aldermanbury, Love Lane, Addle Street, London Wall Street, from Little Wood Street to the postern, Philip Lane, most of Great Wood Street, Little Wood Street, part of Hart Street, Mugwell Street, part of Fell Street, part of Silver Street, the east part of Maiden Lane, and some few houses in Cheapside to the eastward of Wood Street.
The principal streets and places in Cripplegate Ward Without are Fore Street, and the Postern Street heading to Moorfields, Back Street in Little Moorfields, Moor Lane, Grub Street, the south part to the posts and chain, the fourth part of Whitecross Street as far as the posts and chain, part of Redcross Street, Beach Lane, the south part of Golden Lane as far as the posts and chain, the east part of Golden Lane, the east part of Jewin Street, Bridgewater Square, Brackley Street, Bridgewater Street, Silver Street, and Litton Street.
The public buildings in this ward are Sion College, Barber-Surgeons' Hall, Plasterers' Hall, Brewers' Hall, Curriers' Hall, the churches of St. Mary Aldermanbury, St. Alphege, St. Alban, Wood Street, and St. Giles, Cripplegate.
Sion College is situated against London Wall, a little to the eastward of Cripplegate, where anciently stood a nunnery, and afterwards a hospital founded for a hundred blind men, anno 1320, by W. Elsing, mercer, and called Elsing's Spittal: he afterwards founded here a priory for canons regular, which being surrendered to King Henry VIII. anno 1530, it was purchased by Dr. Thomas White, residentiary of St. Paul's, and vicar of St. Dunstan's in the West, for the use of the London clergy, who were incorporated by King Charles I., anno 1631, by the name of the president and fellows of Sion College, for the glory of God, the good of His Church, redress of inconveniences, and maintaining of truth in doctrine, and love in conversation with one another, pursuant to the donor's will; which college is governed by the president, two deans and four assistants, who are yearly elected out of the London clergy, on the third Tuesday after Easter; but none of them reside there, the whole being left to the care of the librarian. The great gate against London Wall is adorned with two columns, their entablature and pitched pediment of the Tuscan order, whereon is this inscription in gold letters:-
Collegium Sionis a Thoma White, S. T. P. Fundatum Anno Christi 1631, in Usum Clerici Lond. Bibliotheca a Johanne Simpson, S. T. B. Extracta, a diversis Benefactor, Libris locupletata, & in posterum locupletanda. Vade & fac similiter.
The college consists of a handsome hall, the president's lodgings, chambers for students, and a well-disposed library, one hundred and twenty feet in length, and thirty in breadth, which is at this day very well replenished with books, notwithstanding both library and college were burnt down anno 1666. It was rebuilt and furnished by contributions from the London clergy and their friends. The library is kept in exact order, and there are all imaginable conveniences for those who desire to consult their books.
20. Aldersgate Ward. The principal streets and places in this ward are, Foster Lane, Maiden Lane, Noble Street, St. Martin's-le-Grand, Dean's Court, Round Court, Angel Street, Bull-and-Mouth Street, St. Anne's Lane, Aldersgate Street, Goswell Street, Barbican, Long Lane, and Little Britain.
St. Martin's-le-Grand was anciently a magnificent college, founded by Jugelricus and Edwardus his brother, anno 1056, and confirmed by William the Conqueror, by his charter, dated anno 1068, in the second year of his reign, who also gave all the moorlands without Cripplegate to this college, exempting the dean and canons from the jurisdiction of the bishop, and from all legal services, granting them soc and sac, toll and theam, with all liberties and franchises that any church in the kingdom enjoyed.
This college was surrendered to King Edward VI. in the second year of his reign, anno 1548, and the same year the church pulled down, and the ground leased out to persons to build upon, being highly valued on account of the privileges annexed to it, for it still remains a separate jurisdiction. The sheriffs and magistrates of London have no authority in this liberty, but it is esteemed part of Westminster, and subject only to the dean and chapter of that abbey.
The public buildings in this ward are, Goldsmiths' Hall, Coachmakers' Hall, London House, Thanet House, Cooks' Hall, the church of St. Anne within Aldersgate, St. Leonard, Foster Lane, and St. Botolph, Aldersgate.
21. Farringdon Ward within the walls, so called to distinguish it from Farringdon Ward without, was anciently but one ward, and governed by one alderman, receiving its name of William Farendon, goldsmith, alderman thereof, and one of the sheriffs of London who purchased the aldermanry of John le Feure, 7 Edward I., anno 1279. It afterwards descended to Nicholas Farendon, son of the said William, who was four times mayor (and his heirs), from whence some infer that the aldermanries of London were formerly hereditary.
Farringdon Ward Within contains St. Paul's Churchyard, Ludgate Street, Blackfriars, the east side of Fleet Ditch, from Ludgate Street to the Thames, Creed Lane, Ave Mary Lane, Amen Corner, Paternoster Row, Newgate Street and Market, Greyfriars, part of Warwick Lane, Ivy Lane, part of Cheapside, part of Foster Lane, part of Wood Street, part of Friday Street, and part of the Old Change, with several courts and alleys falling into them.
The public buildings in this ward are, the Cathedral of St. Paul, St. Paul's School, the King's Printing House, the Scotch Hall, Apothecaries' Hall, Stationers' Hall, the College of Physicians, Butchers' Hall, Saddlers' Hall, Embroiderers' Hall, the church of St. Martin Ludgate, Christ's Church and Hospital, the church of St. Matthew, Friday Street, St. Austin's Church, the church of St Vedast, and the Chapter House.
Austin the monk was sent to England by Pope Gregory the Great, to endeavour the conversion of the Saxons, about the year 596, and being favourably received by Ethelbert, then King of Kent, who soon after became his proselyte, was by the authority of the Roman see constituted Archbishop of Canterbury, the capital of King Ethelbert's dominions. The archbishop being thus established in Kent, sent his missionaries into other parts of England, making Melitus, one of his assistants, Bishop of London; and King Ethelbert, to encourage that city to embrace Christianity, it is said, founded the Cathedral of St. Paul about the year 604.
This Cathedral stands upon an eminence in the middle of the town, disengaged from all other buildings, so that its beauties may be viewed on every side; whereas we see only one front of St. Peter's at Rome, the palace of the Vatican, and other buildings contiguous to it, rendering the rest invisible; and though the riches and furniture of the several chapels in St. Peter's are the admiration of all that view them, yet they spoil the prospect of the fabric. If we regard only the building, divested of the rich materials and furniture which hide the beauties of the structure, St. Paul's, in the opinion of many travellers, makes a better appearance than St. Peter's: nor does the white Portland stone, of which St. Paul's is built, at all give place to the marble St. Peter's is lined or incrusted with; for the numerous lamps and candles that are burnt before the altars at St. Peter's so blacken and tarnish the marble, that it is not easy to distinguish it from common stone.
As to the outside of St. Paul's, it is adorned by two ranges of pilasters, one above the other; the lower consist of 120 pilasters at least, with their entablature of the Corinthian order, and the upper of as many with entablament of the Composite order, besides twenty columns at the west and four at the east end, and those of the porticoes and spaces between the arches of the windows; and the architrave of the lower order, &c., are filled with great variety of curious enrichments, consisting of cherubims, festoons, volutas, fruit, leaves, car-touches, ensigns of fame, as swords and trumpets in saltier crosses, with chaplets of laurel, also books displayed, bishops' caps, the dean's arms, and, at the east end, the cypher of W.R. within a garter, on which are the words Honi soit qui mal y pense, and this within a fine compartment of palm-branches, and placed under an imperial crown, &c., all finely carved in stone.
The intercolumns of the lower range of pilasters are thirty-three ornamental windows and six niches, and of the upper range thirty- seven windows and about thirty niches, many whereof are adorned with columns, entablature, and pediments; and at the east end is a sweep, or circular space, adorned with columns and pilasters, and enriched with festoons, fruit, incense-pots, &c., and at the upper part is a window between four pieddroits and a single cornice, and those between two large cartouches.
The ascent to the north portico is by twelve steps of black marble; the dome of the portico is supported and adorned with six very spacious columns (forty-eight inches diameter) of the Corinthian order. Above the doorcase is a large urn, with festoons, &c. Over this (belonging to the upper range of pilasters) is a spacious pediment, where are the king's arms with the regalia, supported by two angels, with each a palm-branch in their hands, under whose feet appear the figures of the lion and unicorn.
You ascend to the fourth portico (the ground here being low) by twenty-five steps. It is in all other respects like the north, and above this a pediment, as the other, belonging to the upper order, where is a proper emblem of this incomparable structure, raised, as it were, out of the ruins of the old church, viz., a phoenix, with her wings expanded, in flames, under which is the word RESURGAM insculped in capital characters.
The west portico is adorned and supported with twelve columns below and eight above, fluted, of the respective orders as the two ranges, the twelve lower adorned with architrave, marble frieze, and a cornice, and the eight upper with an entablature and a spacious triangular pediment, where the history of St. Paul's conversion is represented, with the rays of a glory and the figures of several men and horses boldly carved in relievo by Mr. Bird. The doorcase is white marble, and over the entrance is cut in relieve the history of St. Paul's preaching to the Bereans (as in Acts xvii. 2). It consists of a group of nine figures, besides that of St. Paul, with books, &c., lively represented by the same hand as "The Conversion."
On the south side of the church, near the west end, is a forum or portal, the doorcase being enriched with cartouches, volutas, and fruit, very excellently carved under a pediment, and opposite to this on the north side is the like doorcase. And, in brief, all the apertures are not only judiciously disposed for commodiousness, illumination of the fabric, &c., but are very ornamental.
At the west end is an acroteria of the figures of the twelve apostles, each about eleven feet high, with that of St. Paul on the angle of the pediment, and those of the four evangelists, two of each cumbent between as many angles on a circular pediment. Over the dials of the clock on the fronts of the two towers, also an entablature and circles of enrichment, where twelve stones compose the aperture, answering to the twelve hours.
The said towers are adorned with circular ranges of columns of the Corinthian order, with domes upon the upper part, and at the vertex of each a curious pineapple.
The choir has its roof supported with six spacious pillars, and the church with six more, besides which there are eight that support the cupola and two very spacious ones at the west end. All which pillars are adorned with pilasters of the Corinthian and Composite orders, and also with columns fronting the cross-aisle, or ambulatory, between the consistory and morning prayer chapel, which have each a very beautiful screen of curious wainscot, and adorned each with twelve columns, their entablatures arched pediments, and the king's arms, enriched with cherubims, and each pediment between four vases, all curiously carved. These screens are fenced with ironwork, as is also the cornice at the west end of the church, and so eastward beyond the first arch.
The pillars of the church that support the roof are two ranges, with their entablature and beautiful arches, whereby the body of the church and choir are divided into three parts or aisles. The roof of each is adorned with arches and spacious peripheries of enrichments, as shields, leaves, chaplets, &c. (the spaces included being somewhat concave), admirably carved in stone; and there is a large cross aisle between the north and south porticoes, and two ambulatories, the one a little eastward, the other westward from the said cross-aisle, and running parallel therewith. The floor of the whole is paved with marble, but under the cupola and within the rail of the altar with fine porphyry, polished and laid in several geometrical figures.