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with great success at Ranelagh. The usual charge for admission was 25. 6d., “tea and coffee included.” When fireworks were exhibited, the charge was 5s.
There is a good view of the interior of the Rotunda, with the company at breakfast, in the 1754 edition of Stow; and the ground plan of the gardens is carefully laid down in Horwood's Map of
London, 1794-1799. Several other views have been published. & Ranelagh House, CHELSEA, erected circ. 1691, to the east of the
present hospital, by Richard, Earl of Ranelagh, on a piece of ground near Chelsea College, granted to him by William III., on March 12, 1689-1690, for the term of sixty-one years, and built, it is said, after a design by Lord Ranelagh himself. The house was taken down in 1805. This Lord Ranelagh, who died in 1712, was the Jones of De
Grammont's Memoirs. v Ranelagh Street, Pimlico, now the eastern part of Ebury Street.
I paced upon my beat
With steady step and slow,
Thackeray, Lines on a late Hospicious Event. Ratcliffe, a manor and hamlet in the parish of STEPNEY, between Shadwell and Limehouse.
Radcliffe itself hath also been encreased in building eastward (in place where I have known a large highway with fair elm trees on both the sides), that the same hath now taken hold of Limehurst or Lime host, corruptly called Lime house, some time distant a mile from Radcliffe. ... The first building at Radcliffe in my youth (not to be forgotten) was a fair free-school and alms-houses, founded by Avice Gibson, wife to Nicholas Gibson, grocer ; but of late years shipwrights and (for the most part) other marine men, have built many large and strong houses for themselves, and smaller for sailors, from thence almost to Poplar, and so to Blackwall.–Stow (1603), p. 157
Ratcliffe is still for the most part occupied by marine men and those dependent upon or connected with them. But the buildings are rather places of business than dwellings, and the building space has been largely encroached upon for docks and yards. Lancelot Andrewes, the learned Bishop of Winchester of the reigns of James and Charles, received his first “education in grammar-learning in the Coopers’ freeschool at Ratcliffe, under Mr. Ward.” 2 When Sir Walter Raleigh was organising the expedition to Cadiz in 1596, he literally lived on the river for many weeks. In his letters to Cecil this place is often referred to as Ratleife and Racklieif.
Ratcliffe Cross is mentioned by Dryden, and still exists, though it does not find a place in the Post Office Directory. It runs from the intersection of the old road from Stepney (Butchers' Row) with Broad Street, Shadwell, and Narrow Street, Limehouse, to Ratcliffe Cross Stairs, formerly a much used landing-place and ferry. At Ratcliffe 1 Appendix to Seventh Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records, p. 82.
2 Biog. Brit., vol. i. p. 184.
Cross, though far outside the City, was the ancient hall. of the
Tom. I have heard a ballad of him (the Protector Somerset) sung at Ratcliff Cross
Mol. I believe we have it at home over our kitchen mantle tree.-Dryden's Misc. Poems, ed. 1727, vol. iii. p. 296.
Ratcliffe Dock, on the west of Ratcliffe Cross, was one of those natural creeks so much prized by our ancestors.
Ratcliffe Highway runs from EAST SMITHFIELD to SHADWELL HIGH STREET, and was so called from the manor of Ratcliffe, in the parish of Stepney, towards which it led. Its name has been changed to St. GEORGE STREET. From end to end the street has a maritime savour. In some way or other every shop and place of business or resort seems to be dependent on ships or sailors. The very churches and institutions—Seamen's Mission Hall, Seamen's Chapel, Seamen's Free Reading - Room, Bethel Station; and, unfortunately, flaring drinking, dancing, and music rooms, and haunts of a far worse order. Here, among other "dens," are the Chinese opium-smokers' sties. William Hogarth engraved a shop bill, in the manner of Callot, for “William Hardy, goldsmith and jeweller, in Ratcliff Highway, near Sun Tavern Fields,” of which only one impression is known. 455 houses and 36 warehouses were burnt down on July 23, 1794.
The murders of Marr and Williamson in Ratcliffe Highway are among the most notorious atrocities of the present century. Marr kept a lace and pelisse warehouse at 29 Ratcliffe Highway, and about twelve at night, on Saturday December 7, 1811, had sent his female servant to purchase oysters for supper, whilst he was shutting up the shop windows. On her return, in about a quarter of an hour, she rang the bell repeatedly without any person coming. The house was then broken open, and Mr. and Mrs. Marr, the shop-boy, and a child in the cradle (the only human beings in the house) were found murdered. The murders of the Marr family were followed, twelve days later, and about twelve at night, by the murders of Williamson, landlord of the King's Arms public-house, in Old Gravel Lane, Ratcliffe Highway, his wife, and female servant. A man named Williams, the only person suspected, hanged himself in prison, and was carried on a platform, placed on a high cart, past the houses of Marr and Williamson, and afterwards thrown, with a stake through his breast, into a hole dug for the purpose where the New Road crosses and Cannon Street Road begins. Sir Thomas Lawrence made a drawing of this miscreant immediately after he was cut down. These murders form the subject of De Quincey's remarkable essay entitled Murder considered as a Fine Art.
Many of our readers can remember the state of London just after the murders of Marr and Williamson-the terror which was on every face—the careful barring of doors — the providing of blunderbusses and watchmen's rattles. We know of a shopkeeper who on that occasion sold three hundred rattles in about ten hours.Macaulay's Essays (Mackintosh's Hist. of the Revolution).
1 Maitland, p. 610.
2 Sale Catalogue, second day, No. 267.
At Nos. 179 and 180 Ratcliffe Highway (or St. George Street) is the remarkable establishment of Mr. “Charles Jamrach, naturalist”the largest dealer in wild animals in Europe, where you may at any time purchase anything in that line from an elephant, giraffe, or rattlesnake to a dormouse or Java sparrow. Here and in his stores in Old Gravel Lane, close by, "you may be supplied with hyænas by the dozen, lions in neat little lots of twenty to five and twenty each; parcels of giraffes, snakes, or boa-constrictors; and samples of tigers, buffaloes, eagles, monkeys, bears and kangaroos.” In one room, the late rector of St. George's tells us, 2000 paroquets "may sometimes be seen flying loosely about.” 1
In Princes Square, Ratcliffe Highway, is the Swedish Protestant Church, in which Emanuel Swedenborg (d. 1772), whose followers form the New Jerusalem Church (Swedenborgians), was buried, by the side of Dr. Solander, the companion round the world of Sir Joseph Banks. In this church, on Sunday, September 18, 1748, an order was read prohibiting all natives of Sweden and their servants from wearing gold or silver in any shape about their dress.2
Rathbone Place, in OxFORD STREET, was so called after a carpenter and builder of that name.3 A stone inscribed “RATHBONES PLACE, IN OXFORD STREET, 1718," was on the front of a house at the east corner of Oxford Street, which was taken down and rebuilt in 1864. The stone was replaced in the wall of the new house.
Rathbone Place at this time (1784) entirely consisted of private houses, and its inhabitants were all of high respectability. I have heard Mrs. Mathew say (the wife of the incumbent, for whom Percy Chapel was built) that the three rebel lords, Lovat, Kilmarnock, and Balmerino, had at different times resided in it. - A Book for a Rainy Day, by J. T. Smith, p. 85. Mr. Mathew's house in Rathbone Place was a favourite resort of Flaxman, Stothard, and Blake. [See Percy Chapel.] Flaxman as a mark of esteem decorated the parlour, Mathew's library, with “models of figures in niches, in the Gothic manner, and Oram painted the window in imitation of stained glass,” 4 the bookcases and furniture being also ornamented in a corresponding style.
Mr. Nollekens stopped at the corner of Rathbone Place, and observed that when he was a little boy she was born August 1737] his mother often took him to the top of that street to walk by the side of a long pond, near a windmill, which then stood on the site of the chapel in Charlotte Street (see Percy Chapel] ; and that a halfpenny was paid by every person at a hatch belonging to the miller, for the privilege of walking in his grounds.—Smith’s Life of Nollekens, vol. i. p. 37.
In July 1742 Bolingbroke wrote from Rathbone Place to the Earl of Marchmont asking him to dine the next day with himself and Pope at Twickenham, and “ carry him to Battersea in the evening.” Ozias Humphrey, R.A. (d. 1810), was living at No. 29 Rathbone Place from 1777 to 1785, when he went to India. Nathaniel Hone, R.A., painter of the picture called “The Conjurer" (an'attack on Sir Joshua Reynolds's method of composing his pictures), died at his house, No. 29 Rathbone Place, August 14, 1784. Baron Maseres at No. 14 in 1803. The well-known publication called the Percy Anecdotes, edited by Sholto and Reuben Percy, derives its name from the Percy Coffeehouse, in Rathbone Place (now no more), where the idea of the work was first started by Mr. George Byerley and Mr. Joseph Clinton Robertson, the Sholto and Reuben Percy of the collection. E. H. Bailey, R.A., the sculptor, was living here in 1826, and another inhabitant was Peter De Wint, the eminent water-colour painter.
1 Parkinson's Places and People; Rev. H. Jones, East and West London. . Gent. Mag., September 1748, p. 425.
3 Parton's St. Giles's, p. 47.
4 Smith, p. 84.
Raven Alley, WHITECHAPEL ROAD, is mentioned in Hudibras Redivivus (4to, 1707):
Yet I'm no upstart Albumazer ;
From the six Steps in Raven Alley.
Rawthmell's Coffee - house, HENRIETTA STREET, COVENT GARDEN, a fashionable coffee-house between 1730 and 1775, and so called after a Mr. John Rawthmell, long a respectable parishioner of St. Paul's, Covent Garden. Here the " Society of Arts” was first established (1754), and here Armstrong, the poet of the "Art of Preserving Health," was a frequent visitor.
Ray Street, CLERKENWELL, formerly Hockley in the Hole. present name is derived from the proprietor. Here is, or was, the well where the parish clerks before the Reformation performed a miracle-play once a year, and from which the district of Clerkenwell derived its name. The old Ray Street was nearly swept away in the Clerkenwell improvements of 1856 and subsequent years.
Some years earlier the clerks' well was discovered to be dangerously polluted by the infiltration of sewage, and closed, and shortly after the pump, which had for many years marked its site, was removed. [See Clerkenwell.]
Record Office (Public), FETTER LANE, was erected from the designs of Mr. (afterwards Sir James) Penniethorne, 1856-1870, to contain the national archives previously deposited in the Chapel in the White Tower (see Tower]; the Chapter-house, Westminster Abbey; the Rolls Chapel in Chancery Lane ; Carlton Ride in St. James's Park, and the State Paper Office, St. James's Park. The building, which was erected on the Rolls estate between Chancery Lane and Fetter Lane,
a vast castellated structure, well adapted internally to the safe keeping of the inestimable documents and allowing ready access to them. The muniment rooms are “cubes of seventeen feet, fitted up in the most economical manner as to space," and filled with documents. These rooms are ranged along narrow brick-paved passages, the entrances to
which on either hand are by iron doors. The shelves are of slate, and every effort has been made to render the whole fire-proof.
The documents are of great extent and of unequalled historical interest and value. They include a long series of royal charters, chancery records from the reign of John, Exchequer records, the great rolls of the Pipe, the Gascon rolls, the judicial records of the Curia Regis and other courts, the courts of the Star Chamber and Requests, the early Year-books, the documents relating to the suppression of monasteries, the vast array of documents classed under the head of Domestic Records reaching from the reign of Henry VIII., and including colonial as well as home archives, and relating to the crown and household and wardrobe expenditure, the secret service, War-office, and Admiralty. The archives may be said to commence with that unrivalled national survey, the Domesday Book of William ; and among the more interesting of the later examples are the Treaty of Peace between Henry VIII. and Francis I., to which is attached the beautiful gold seal in high relief which is said to be the work of Benvenuto Cellini; the deed of recognition of Edward as Sovereign and direct Lord of Scotland, and numerous royal autograph letters.
Access to the documents may be obtained on application, and signing the name and address in a book kept for the purpose.
Red Bull Theatre stood at the upper end of St. John Street, on what was until recently called “Red Bull Yard,” and Woodbridge Street, St. John's Street Road. Mr. Payne Collier conjectures that it was originally an inn-yard, converted into a regular theatre late in the reign of Queen Elizabeth.
: Cit. Why so, Sir : go and fetch me him then, and let the Sophy of Persia come and christen him a child.
Boy. Believe me, Sir, that will not do so well : 'tis stale ; it has been tried before at the Red Bull.—Beaumont and Fletcher, The Knight of the Burning Pestle, vol. iv. p. 1.
Last week at a puppet play, at St. John Street, the house fell, six persons were killed, and thirty or forty hurt.-Chamberlain to Carleton, August 23, 1599 (Cal. State Pap., p. 306). Prynne speaks of it in 1633 as a theatre that had been "lately reedified and enlarged.” It was closed during the plague of 1636-1637.
The Red Bull in St. Johns Streete, who for the present (alack the while) is not suffred to carrie the flagge in the mainetop.-A New Book of Mistakes, 1637. The King's players, under Killigrew, performed within its walls till a stage in Drury Lane was ready to receive them. "The Red Bull stands empty for fencers," writes Davenant in 1663 ; "there are no tenants in it but old spiders.”
It was afterwards employed for trials of skill. Mr. Collier possessed a printed challenge and acceptance of a trial at eight several weapons, to be performed betwixt two scholars of Benjamin Dobson and William Wright, masters of the noble science of defence. The trial was to come off " at the Red Bull, at the upper end of St. John's Street, on