Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

Milton refers scornfully to “That old wives tale of a certaine Queene of England that sunk at Charing Crosse and rose up at Queene-hithe.” 1

A sleeping watchman here we stole the shoes from,
There made a noise, at which he wakes, and follows;
The streets are dirty, takes a Queenhithe cold,

Hard cheese, and that, chokes him o' Monday next.
Beaumont and Fletcher. Monsieur Thomas (Works, by Dyce, vol. vii. p. 375).

From a right hand I assure you
The eel boats here that lie before Queenhythe

• Came out of Holland.-Ben Jonson, Staple of News. Mistress Birdlime. But I'll down to Queenhive and the watermen which were wont to carry you to Lambeth Marsh shall carry me thither.—Westward Ho, vol. iv. p. 1 (1607, 4to).

In the first quarter of the 17th century Queenhithe seems to have been the headquarters of the London watermen, whose place of assembly was an alehouse called the Red Knight.

In this time of Lent I being in the watermen's garrison of Queen-hive (whereof I am a souldier) and having no imploiment, I went with an intent to incounter with that most valiant and hardy champion of Queen-hive commonly called by the name of Red Knight.-Westward for Smelts (Percy Soc. vol. lxxviii. p. 6).

When the Earl of Essex found that the attempt to “raise” the City was hopeless, and that he would scarce succeed in returning to Essex House by Ludgate, he made his way to Queenhithe and escaped thence in a boat. Tom Hill (Paul Pry) carried on his business as a drysalter in Queenhithe. 2

Queenhithe (Ward of), one of the twenty-six wards of London ; so called from the old wharf of the same name. This was originally a royal demesne, and is said to have been granted by Henry III. to his queen, and thence to have been known as the Queen's Soke or liberty. As such it had independent jurisdiction, but like the other sokes ultimately became an electively represented ward. General Boundaries.-North, Knight Rider Street and Trinity Lane; south, the Thames; east, Bull Wharf Lane; west, Paul's Wharf, part of St. Peter's Hill, and the upper end of Lambert Hill. Stow enumerates seven churches in this ward : (1) church of the Holy Trinity in Trinity Lane (now united with St. Michael, Queenhithe ; (2) St. Nicholas Cold Abbey, in Knight Rider Street; (3) St. Nicholas Olave, Bread Street Hill (destroyed in the Great Fire, and not rebuilt); (4) St. Mary-deMonte-Alto, or Mounthaunt, in Old Fish Street Hill (destroyed in the Great Fire, and not rebuilt); (5) St. Michael's, Queenhithe ; (6) St. Mary Summerset, in Thames Street, facing Broken Wharf (taken down and the parish united with St. Nicholas Cole Abbey); (7) St. Peter's, Paul's Wharf (destroyed in the Great Fire, and not rebuilt). And two Halls of Companies: (1) Painter Stainers' Hall; (2) Blacksmiths' Hall. The principal streets in the ward are parts of Upper Thames Street and Queen Victoria Street.

1 Milton, Premonstrant's Defence (Works, 2 Letter, dated Queenhithe, May 17, 1803. 1641, vol. i. p. 223).

3 Stow; Norton,

Rag Fair, or, ROSEMARY LANE, now Royal Mint STREET (so named from its passing along the back of the Royal Mint), runs from Sparrow Corner, Tower Hill, to Cable Street, Wellclose Square, a place where old clothes and frippery are sold.1

The articles of commerce by no means belie the name. There is no expressing the poverty of the goods; nor yet their cheapness. A distinguished merchant engaged with a purchaser, observing me to look on him with great attention, called out to me, as his customer was going off with his bargain, to observe that man, “For,” says he, “I have actually clothed him for fourteen pence.”Pennant, p. 433.

Where wave the tattered ensigns of Rag Fair.—Pope, The Dunciad.

Thursday last one Mary Jenkins, who deals in old clothes in Rag Fair, sold a pair of breeches to a poor woman for sevenpence and a pint of beer. Whilst they were drinking it in a public house, the purchaser in unripping the breeches found quilted in the waistband eleven guineas in gold, Queen Anne's coin, and a thirty pound bank note, dated in 1729, which last she did not know the value of till after she sold it for a gallon of twopenny purl.-The Public Advertiser, February 14, 1756. Royal Mint Street has hardly so evil a reputation as Rosemary Lane, but it is a squalid place, lined with old clothes' shops and stalls, and on Sunday mornings the aspect of Rag Fair, as it is still commonly called, is anything but edifying.

Ragged Staff Court, DRURY LANE, the last alley on the left side going towards St. Giles's, derived its name no doubt from one of the many inns which took the cognisance of the Dudleys for their sign. 1646.—To William Burnett in a seller in Ragged Staff Yard, being poore and

Is. 6d,

Vestry Books of si, Giles-in-the-Fields. This practice of dwelling in cellars, which thirty or forty years ago appeared to be universal in St. Giles's, is first mentioned in the Vestry Minutes of the parish in 1637.

To prevent the great influx of poor people into the parish, ordered that the beadles do present every fortnight on the Sunday, the names of all new comers, undersetters, inmates, divided tenements, persons that have families in cellars, and other abuses. The Metropolis Management Act, 1855 (cap. 120, sects. 103, 104), dealt with these cellar dwellings.

Rahere Street, GOSWELL ROAD to north end of CENTRAL STREET, belongs to the Governors of St. Bartholomew's Hospital, by whom it was built circ. 1808, and so called from Rahere, the founder of St. Bartholomew's Priory, on the site of the present hospital. The ground on which Rahere Street stands was designed, early in the present century, to have been the site of a new Smithfield Market, but the negotiation was broken off by the City authorities, and the street, as we now see it, built by the hospital authorities instead.

Railway Clearing House, SEYMOUR STREET, EUSTON SQUARE. The Clearing House was established in 1842 to do for the various Railway Companies what was done for the Bankers by their Clearing

1 Pope, Note to the Dunciad VOL. III


very sicke

House. It is regulated by an Act of Parliament passed in 1850. A sort of imaginary company is formed called the Clearing House, to which all the railways stand related as debtors and creditors, and which manages all the cross accounts from one company to another. The managers are elected by the Companies interested in its working. The business has grown to an enormous extent of late years, and the staff of clerks which at the foundation of the office consisted of twenty now consists of about 2000.

Rainbow Tavern, No. 15 FLEET STREET, a well-conducted and well-frequented tavern (famous for its stout), and originally established as a coffee-house by James Farr, as early as 1657.

When coffee first came in, he [Sir Henry Blount] was a great upholder of it, and hath ever since been a great frequenter of coffee-houses, especially Mr. Farr's, at the Rainbowe, by Inner Temple Gate.-Aubrey's Lives, vol. ii. p. 244.

I find it recorded that one James Farr, a barber, who kept the coffee-house which is now the Rainbow, by the Inner Temple Gate (one of the first in England), was, in the year 1657, presented by the Inquest of St. Dunstan's-in-the-West, for making and selling a sort of liquor called coffee, as a great nuisance and prejudice of the neighbourhood, etc. And who would then have thought that London would ever have 3000 such nuisances, and that coffee would have been (as now) so much drunk by the best of quality and physicians.—Hatton's New View of London, Svo, 1708.

I have received a letter desiring me to be very satirical upon the little muff that is now in fashion ; another informs me of a pair of silver garters buckled below the knee, that have been lately seen at the Rainbow Coffee House in Fleet Street. The Spectator, No. 16. The Phoenix Fire Office (the second office established in this country for insurance against fire) was located at the Rainbow Tavern in Fleet Street as early as 1682.1

The sign existed before the establishment of the coffee-house. There is an imprint of 1641 as follows :-“Printed by Richard Bishop for Daniel Pakeman at the sign of the Rainbow in Fleet Street near the Inner Temple Gate.”

Ram Alley, now MITRE COURT, FLEET STREET, over against Fetter Lane.

Ram Alley [is] taken up by publick houses ; a place of no great reputation, as being a kind of privileged place for debtors, before the late Act of Parliament [9 and 10 Will. III., c. 27, s. 15] for taking them away. It hath a passage into the Temple and into Serjeants' Inn in Fleet Street.—Strype, B. iii. p. 277. It was of no great reputation a century earlier.

Methinks he is a ruffian in his style,

Cuts, thrusts, and foins at whomsoe'er he meets !
And strows about Ram Alley meditations.

Character of Marston : Return from Parnassus, 1606.
And though Ram Alley stinks with cooks and ale,
Yet say there's many a worthy lawyer's chamber

'Buts upon Ram Alley.
Ram Alley, or Merry Tricks ; a Comedy by Lo. Barrey, 4to, 1611.
1 Delaune, Anglia Metrop., 1690, p. 352 ; Hatton, New View, 1708, p. 787.

Come you to seek a virgin in Ram Alley,
So near an Inn-of-Court, and amongst cooks,

Ale-men and laundresses ?-Ibid.

. The knave thinks still he's at the Cook's shop in Ram Alley,
Where the clerks divide, and the elder is to choose ;

And feeds so slovenly !-Massinger, A New Way to Pay Old Debts. Ben Jonson, in his Staple of News, 1625, represents Lickfinger, “My cook, that unctuous rascal,” as the glory of the kitchen, and master of a shop in Ram Alley. From this play we learn also that some portions at least of the City banquets were supplied from this locality, for Lickfinger had managed to convey twenty eggs from the number supplied to him for “the Custard Politic,”—the huge custard prepared for the Lord Mayor's feast. The Ram's Alley cooks also supplied dinners at the taverns; thus Lickfinger furnished "the great feast” which Penniboy junior gave at the Apollo.1

1627.—That Christmas the Temple Sparks had installed a Lieutenant, a thing we country folk call a Lord of Misrule. The Lieutenant had on Twelfth-eve last, late in the night, sent out to collect his rents in Ram Alley and Fleet Street, limiting five shillings to every house. At every door they winded their Temple horn, and if it procured not entrance at the second blast or summons, the word of command was-Give fire Gunner! The Gunner was a robustious Vulcan and his engine a mighty smith's hammer.-L'Estrange's Reign of King Charles, p. 72.

Belford, sen. Here's Mr. Cheatly shall sham and banter with you, or any one you will bring, for five hundred pound of my money.

Belford, jun. Rascally stuff, fit for no places but Ram Alley or Pye Corner. The Squire of Alsatia, by T. Shadwell, 4to, 1688.

July 5, 1668.-With Sir W. Coventry, and we walked in the Park together a good while. He mighty kind to me; and hear many pretty stories of my Lord Chancellor's being heretofore made sport of by Peter Talbot, the priest, in his story of the death of Cardinal Bleau ; by Lord Cottington, in his Dolor de las Tripas ; and by Tom Killegrew in his being bred in Ram Ally, and bound prentice to Lord Cottington.-- Pepys.

The Fire [of London) decreased, having burned all on the Thames side to the new buildings of the Inner Temple, next to Whitefriars, and having consumed them was stopped by that vacancy from proceeding further into that house ; but laid hold on some old buildings which joined to Ram Alley, and swept all those into Fleet Street.—Lord Clarendon's Autobiography, ed. 1827, vol. iii. p. 90.

The specialty of Ram Alley did not escape Sir Walter Scott, though the reference to it comes rather curiously from the mouth of a highborn lady addressing the Queen.

The Queen said, when she stepped into the boat, that Saye's Court looked like a guard-house and smelt like an hospital. -—"Like a cook's shop in Ram Alley rather,” said the Countess of Rutland. -Kenilworth, vol. i. p. 284.

There was a Ram. Alley in Leadenhall Street, and others by Smithfield, Spitalfields and Rotherhithe.

Ramilies Street. (See Blenheim Street.]

Ranelagh, a place of public entertainment, erected on the site of the gardens of a villa of Earl Ranelagh, at Chelsea, from the designs of William Jones, architect, in 1742. The principal room (the

I Staple of News, Act iii. Sc. I. etc,

Rotunda) was 150 feet in diameter, with an orchestra in the centre, and tiers of boxes all round. The chief amusement was promenading (as it was called) round and round 1 the circular area below, and taking refreshments in the boxes, while the orchestra executed different pieces of music. It was a kind of “Vauxhall under cover," warmed with coal-fires. The rotunda is said to have been projected by Lacy, an actor, and the patentee of Drury Lane Theatre. The coup d'æil, Dr. Johnson declared, “was the finest thing he had ever seen.” The last appearance (if one may use the expression) of Ranelagh was when the installation ball of the Knights of the Bath, in 1802, was given there. It was closed after July 8, 1803, and an order made, September 30, 1805, for pulling it down. The site of Ranelagh is now part of Chelsea Hospital garden, between Church Row and the river, to the east of the hospital, the roadway and the barracks. No traces of it remain.

I have been breakfasting this morning at Ranelagh Garden ; they have built an immense amphitheatre, with balconies full of little ale houses; it is in rivalry to Vauxhall, and costs above twelve thousand pounds. The building is not finished, but they get great sums by people going to see it and breakfasting in the house : there were yesterday no less than three hundred and eighty persons, at eighteen pence a piece. Walpole to Mann, April 22, 1742.

The invalides at Chelsea intend to present Ranelagh Gardens as a nuisance, for breaking their first sleep with the sound of fiddles. It opens I think to-night.Gray to Mr. Chute, vol. ii. p. 187.

Two nights ago Ranelagh Gardens were opened at Chelsea ; the prince, princess, duke, much nobility, and much mob besides were there. There is a vast amphi. theatre, finely gilt, painted, and illuminated; into which everybody that loves eating, drinking, staring, or crowding is admitted for twelve pence. The building and disposition of the gardens cost sixteen thousand pounds. Twice a week there are to be ridottos at guinea tickets, for which you are to have a supper and music. I was there last night, but did not find the joy of it. Vauxhall is a little better, for the garden is pleasanter, and one goes by water.-Walpole to Mann, May 26, 1742.

Every night constantly I go to Ranelagh ; which has totally beat Vauxhall. Nobody goes anywhere else—everybody goes there. My Lord Chesterfield is so fond of it that he says he has ordered all his letters to be directed thither.—Walpole to Conway, June 29, 1744.

Walpole has a great many other references to Ranelagh, and notices of it might be multiplied to any extent from other writers. Smollett, speaking from the Matt. Bramble point of view, says, " What are the amusements of Ranelagh ? One half of the company are following one another's tails, in an eternal circle, like so many blind asses in an olive mill, where they can neither discourse, distinguish nor be distinguished; while the other half are drinking hot water under the denomination of tea, till nine or ten o'clock at night, to keep them awake for the rest of the evening." On the other hand, the gay young niece was in raptures with everything. The concerts and the company were the permanent attraction, but during several seasons masquerades drew the fashionable world in crowds. Bonnell Thornton's Burlesque Ode on St. Cecilia's Day, set to music by Dr. Burney, was performed

1 There is a little poem of Bloomfield's describing this promenading round and round,

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »