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Pit Place, DRURY LANE. (See Cockpit Theatre.]

Plasterers' Hall, the Hall of the Ancient Fraternity of the Plasterers is No. 23 ADDLE STREET, Wood STREET, CHEAPSIDE. The company was incorporated by Henry VIII., in March 1501, by the title of the Master and Wardens of the Fraternity of the Blessed Mary of Plasterers, London. The ancient hall of the company was destroyed in the Great Fire. The present hall was designed by Sir Christopher Wren. It has been for many years occupied as a warehouse, and the ornamental features have been pretty nearly destroyed.

Playhouse Passage, GOLDING LANE. [See Fortune Theatre.]
Playhouse Yard, BLACKFRIARS. [See Blackfriars Theatre.]

Playhouse Yard, DRURY LANE. So called because it led to Drury Lane Theatre. The Rate-books of St. Martin's give the names of the actors rated to the poor for Drury Lane Theatre, at the junction of the two companies, in 1681 :

Playhouse Yard. Nicholas Burt, Robert Shattrell, Nicholas Moone, William Cartwright, Philip Griffith, Thomas Clarke, Martin Powell, Joseph Haynes. £6, Theatre Royall.

And so the names stand in 1683 and 1684. Subsequently they are omitted. Nicholas Moone was perhaps a mistake for Michael Mohun, the celebrated Major Mohun.

Playhouse Yard, WHITEFRIARS. [See Whitefriars Theatre.]

Playing Card Makers' Company. This company was incorporated by letters patent of Charles II., October 22, 1629, under the name of the Master, Wardens, and Commonalty of the Mistery of the Makers of Playing-Cards of the City of London. A livery was granted them in 1792, but they possess no hall. The card makers rank eightythird amongst the City companies.

Plough Court, LOMBARD STREET, runs south into Lombard Court, which itself runs west into Clement's Lane and east into Gracechurch Street. Alexander Pope is believed to have been born in this court. “The house, which by the tradition of its inmates, claims the honour of being Pope's birthplace, is at the bottom of Plough Court, and faces you as you enter the passage from Lombard Street. It belonged to the well-known William Allen, and he succeeded a Mr. Bevan."

Mr. Sylvanus Bevan, admitted an apothecary in 1715, first associated the house with the drug trade. He was resident in the premises in 1735. A descendant, Joseph Gurney Bevan, received first as an apprentice, afterwards as a partner, William Allen, F.R.S. (d. 1843), eminent alike as a man of science and a philanthropist, and in their hands the establishment grew into great importance. The old house was pulled down in November 1872, and its site, together with that of other houses, were re-arranged for Allen and Hanbury's drug shop, and numerous city offices.

1 Carruthers's Life of Pope, p. 4.

Plowden Buildings. A row of chambers in the Temple, and so called (recently) after Edmund Plowden, an eminent lawyer in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, whose Reports and Queries are still referred to by every student of the old law. Here is Middle Temple Hall.

Plumbers' Hall, Bush LANE, CANNON STREET, CITY; taken down to make way for the Cannon Street Railway Station, and not rebuilt. The Company, a fraternity, says Strype, "of large and very memorable antiquity," was first incorporated by James I. in 1611, and is the thirtyfirst in rotation of the Livery Companies of London. The hall had been rebuilt about 1830.

The first instance of actual punishment inflicted on Protestant Dissenters was in June 1567, when a company of more than one hundred were seized during their religious exercises at Plummers' Hall, which they had hired on pretence of a wedding, and fourteen or fifteen of them were sent to prison.—Hallam, Const. Hist. of England, chap. iv. (10th ed.) vol. i.

p.

182. Poets' Corner, WESTMINSTER ABBEY. The eastern angle of the south transept of Westminster Abbey was called Poets' Corner from the burial there of Chaucer, Spenser, and other eminent English poets. It is not known when this name was first applied to the place. It is not used in Dart's Westmonasterium, 1723, and the first use of the name has been noted in Entick's London, 1766.

The Poets' Corner is the place they choose,
A false nursery for an infant muse,
Unlike that corner where true Poets lie.

Crabbe, The Newspaper (1785). This is the ordinary entrance into Westminster Abbey. The name is also given to the houses bordering the passage from Palace Yard to the Abbey door. On May 28, 1813, Wilberforce writes to Southey from “No. 1 Poets' Corner, Westminster.” The houses, four in all, are now occupied by architects, surveyors, engineers and solicitors as offices. There is an important article on Poets' Corner by Henry Poole, master mason of the abbey, in the Antiquary, vol. iv. p. 137.

Poland Street, OXFORD STREET, Dr. Burney (author of the History of Music) and Dr. Macaulay (husband of Mrs. Macaulay, the historian) both resided in this street. Dr. Burney came to live here in 1760, when his second daughter Fanny was eight years old. Seventytwo years afterwards she wrote :

The new establishment was in Poland Street ; which was not then, as it is now, a sort of street that, like the rest of its neighbourhood, appears to be left in the lurch. House fanciers were not yet as fastidious as they are become at present, from the endless variety of new habitations. Oxford Road, as at that time Oxford Street was called, into which Poland Street terminated, had little on its further side but fields, gardeners' grounds, or uncultivated suburbs. Portman, Manchester, Russell, Belgrave Squares, Portland Place, etc.; had not yet a single stone, or brick laid, in signal of intended erection ; while in plain Poland Street, Mr. Burney then had successively for his neighbours, the Duke of Chandos, Lady Augusta Bridges, the Hon. John Smith and the Miss Barrys, Sir Willoughby and the Miss Astons; and well noted by Mr. Burney's little family, on the visit of his black majesty to England, sojourned almost immediately opposite to it, the Cherokee King.-Memoirs of Dr. Burney, vol. i. p. 134. In this house died his first wife, Esther Sleepe, the mother of Fanny Burney, of Dr. Charles Burney, and of that Admiral Burney who when a schoolboy had seen the handcuffs placed on the wrists of Eugene Aram, while in early manhood had witnessed the death of Captain Cook, and in his closing years was a much loved companion of Charles Lamb. Here, September 29, 1766, died the old Earl of Cromarty, who was pardoned by King George II. for the part he took in the Rebellion of 1745. Sir William Chambers, the architect, lived here before he removed to Berners Street about 1770. Gavin Hamilton, the painter, lived in this street in 1779, after his return from Italy. In 1787 William Blake took lodgings in this street — the house “ No. 28 (now (1863, a tobacconist's in 1890] a cheesemonger's shop, and boasting three brass bells), not many doors from Oxford Street, on the right-hand side going towards that thoroughfare."1 He left it for Hercules Buildings, Lambeth, in 1793. Schnebbelie, the engraver of many views of Old London, was living here in 1792. The poet Shelley on his expulsion from Oxford in 1811 took lodgings at No. 15, in this street.

Polygon (The), CLARENDON SQUARE, SOMERS Town, was so called from its shape. Here for several years lived William Godwin. It has been asserted that it was here he wrote Caleb Williams and Political Justice; but he did not remove to Somers Town till after the publication of the latter work, when he took a house in Chalton Street (running from the Polygon) and there wrote Caleb Williams. He took the house in the Polygon shortly before his marriage with Mary Wollstonecraft (March 29, 1797). She lived there, and there died (Sunday, September 10, 1797), after giving birth to the authoress of Frankenstein, but he continued till her death at 25 Evesham Buildings. He then moved his books to the Polygon and made his wife's room his study.2 Godwin continued to reside in the Polygon till August 1807, when he removed to Skinner Street. J. T. Willmore, the line engraver, lived for many years at No. 23. The Polygon, now enclosed by the dirty neighbourhood of Clarendon Square, was, when Godwin lived in it, a new block of houses, pleasantly seated near fields and nursery gardens.

Polytechnic Institution, 309 REGENT STREET, built in 1837 and opened 1838 (James Thomson, architect), incorporated for the advancement of the Arts and Practical Science, especially in connection with agriculture, mining, machinery, manufactures, and other branches of industry. The collection was very miscellaneous, and there were popular lectures illustrated by dissolving views, musical entertainments, etc. The diving-bell in the Great Hall constituted a permanent attraction. The great hall was 120 feet by 40 feet, by 38 feet high in the centre. In 1848 the building was extended southward by the

1 Gilchrist's Life of Blake, vol. i. p. 60.
? K. Paul's Life of Godwin, vol. i. p. 288; Memoir of Mary Wollstonecraft.

large lecture hall to seat 1200 persons, when the façade was widened by the same architect. The institution was closed on September 3, 1881. The building is now used as a Young Men's Christian Institute, partly for general education, and partly as a technical school, and the name is continued.

Pontack's, a celebrated French eating-house, in ABCHURCH LANE, City, where the annual dinners of the Royal Society were held till 1746, when the dinner was removed to the Devil Tavern at Temple Bar. It no longer exists. Misson the French refugee, who wrote in 1697, says :

One word more about the cooks' shops, to give a full idea of the thing. Generally four spits, one over another, carry round each five or six pieces of butcher's meat (never anything else, if you would have a fowl or a pigeon you must bespeak it), beef, mutton, veal, pork, and lamb; you have what quantity you please cut off, fat, lean, much or little done ; with this a little salt and mustard upon the side of a plate, a bottle of beer, and a roll—and there is your whole feast. Those who would dine at one or two guineas per head are handsomely accommodated at our famous Pontack's ; rarely and difficultly elsewhere.—Misson, Travels, p. 146.

Pontack, who was somewhat of a character,-well read, according to Evelyn, in philosophy, but chiefly the rabbins, exceedingly addicted to cabalistic fancies, and." an eternal babbler," --set up as his sign a portrait of his father, the President of Bordeaux. Pontack's portrait is introduced in Plate III. of the Rake's Progress as having been put up in the place of Julius Cæsar's !

Near this Exchange (the Royal Exchange) are two very good French EatingHouses, the one at the sign of Pontack, a President of the Parliament of Bourdeaux, from whose name the best French Clarets are called so, and where you may bespeak a dinner, from four or five shillings a head to a guinea, or what sum you please; the other is Kivat's, where there is a constant ordinary, as abroad, for all comers, without distinction, and at a very reasonable price.—Macky, A Journey through England, 8vo. 1722, vol. i. p. 175.

July 13, 1683.-I had this day much discourse with Monsieur Pontaq, son to the famous and wise prime President of Bordeaux. This gentleman was owner of that excellent vignoble of Pontaq and Obrien, from whence come the choicest of our Bordeaux wines ; and I think I may truly say of him, what was not so truly said of St. Paul, that much learning had made him mad. . . . He spake all languages, was very rich, had a handsome person, and was well bred ; about 45 years of age.

November 30, 1693.-Much importuned to take the office of President of the Royal Society, but I again declined it. Sir Robert Southwell was continued. We all dined at Pontac's, as usual.—Evelyn.

May 3, 1699.-I come to wait upon you with a request that you would meet Sir Robert Southwell, Sir Christopher Wren, and other friends, at Pontac's to-day at dinner, to make an Act of Council at Gresham College.Bentley to Evelyn. The object was “to move the King” to purchase Bishop Stillingfleet's library for the Royal Society.

What wretch would nibble on a hanging shelf,
When at Pontack's he may regale himself?

The Hind and Panther Transvers'd.

1 Advertisement in London Gazette, 1670, and Daily Courant, February 3, 1722.

Drawers must be trusted, through whose hands convey'd
You take the liquor, or you spoil the trade ;
For sure those honest fellows have no knack

Of putting off stum'd Claret for Pontack.- Ibid. Mrs. Witwoud. I know two several companies gone into the city, one to Pontack's, and t'other to the Rummer.--Southerne, The Wives' Excuse, 4to, 1692.

They all agreed that his advice
Was honest, wholesome, grave, and wise ;
But not one man would quit his vice;
For after all his vain attacks
They rose and dined well at Pontack's.

Sir C. Sedley, The Doctor and his Patients. August 16, 1711.—I was this day in the City, and dined at Pontack's with Stratford and two other merchants. Pontack told us, although his wine was so good, he sold it cheaper than others; he took but seven shillings a flask. Are not these pretty rates ?—Swift, Journal to Stella, vol. ii. p. 323.

January 26, 1713.—'Tis odd that this very day (see Powis House) Lord Somers, Wharton, Somerset, Halifax, and the whole club of Whig Lords, dined at Pontac's in the City, as I received private notice, they have some damned design.-Swift to Mrs. Dingley.

Immediately after the South Sea smash we read :

Advices from the Royal Exchange inform us that the Minute in the great Coffee Houses, of the Routs of the Brokers, are strangely altered of late ; for instead of being gone to Pontack's, gone to Brand's, gone to Caveach's ; they now run, gone to the Chop House, gone to the Grill House, etc. These advices add too that the Jews and late South Sea Directors have left off boiling their Westphalia hams in Champagne and Burgundy.--Mist's Journal of April 1, 1721.

Read, the mountebank, who has assurance enough to come to our table up stairs at Garraway's, swears he'll stake his coach and six horses, his two blacks, and as many silver trumpets, against a dinner at Pontack’s. --Dr. Radcliffe (Radcliffe's Life, 12mo, 1724, p. 41). Pontack's successor was a lady, and a fortunate one.

Thursday, January 15, 1736.-William Pepys, banker in Lombard Street, was married at St. Clement's Church in the Strand, to Mrs. Susannah Austin, who lately kept Pontack's, where with universal esteem she acquired a considerable fortune.Weekly Oracle, quoted by Burn, p. 13.

On April 19, 1740, the Duke and Duchess of Portland, with Mrs. Pendarves and five other friends, sallied out at 10 A.M., in two hackneycoaches, for a day's sight-seeing in the City. They wound up with "a very good dinner at Pontack's.” 1

Pool (The) is that part of the Thames between London Bridge and Limehouse Point where colliers and other vessels lie at anchor. From London Bridge to King's Head Stairs, Rotherhithe, is called the Upper Pool; from King's Head Stairs to Cuckold's Point, opposite Limehouse, the Lower Pool. Stations are provided in the Pool for about 250 colliers, where they can unload into lighters. Navigation in the Pool is under strict regulations. The Pool (la Pole) was a recognised term for this part of the river as early as the 13th century. In the Articles of Ancient Usage, collected and promulgated in the reign of Edward I., it is ordered in the article against forestallers

1 Delany's Autobiography and Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 82.

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