Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

a “Mr. Rosoman, a Devonshire gentleman, the owner of the land.” John Britton, in his Autobiography (vol. i. p. 62), under date 1787, says, “Richard Earlom [d. 1822), the eminent mezzotint engraver, who lived in Rosoman Row would have taken me (as an apprentice) with a small premium, but the opportunity was neglected.” At the end of Rosoman Row was one of the series of ponds which distinguished the district of Clerkenwell and Spa Fields. By it was one of the conduits for the supply of London with water, and close at hand were the London Spa and Merlin's Cave,“ places of great public resort” in the last half of the 18th century. (See Spa Fields.] Both these signs remain, the London Spa in Exmouth Street and Merlin's Cave in Rosoman Street, but they are now ordinary “ wine vaults.”

There was a reservoir at the corner of Rosoman Street, opposite the London Spaw public house, until the erection of the houses there about 1812. On the west side of this reservoir was a building with which water wheels, to aid the supply of London, were once connected ; they are represented in a small inferior print giving a north view of the Metropolis (one of a series of Views of North London from the Bowling Green at Islington), without date, but which was probably engraved about 1780. — Cromwell's History of Clerkenwell, 1828, p. 349.

In Rosoman Street are the Clerkenwell Vestry Hall, St. James's and Cow Cross Mission Halls, and St. Peter and St. Paul Roman

Catholic Church. ✓ Rotherhithe, corruptly REDRIFF, a manor and parish on the right

bank of the Thames, in the county of Surrey, between Bermondsey and Deptford. It is not mentioned in Domesday Book, and was, at the time of the Conquest, a hamlet in the royal manor of Bermondsey. The name appears as “Ætheredes hyd” in a charter of A.D. 898, printed in Birch's Cartularium, vol. ii. p. 220. In the 17th century it had come to be so generally called Redrift that out of twenty trade tokens, recorded by Mr. Burn, nineteen spelt it Redriff; in the twentieth it was Rothorith, 1666.1 Philip Henslowe used to send his horse “to grasse to Redreffe.” The charge in 1600 was twentypence a week.2

The living is a rectory. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, was built 1714-1715 on the site of a smaller church. It was enlarged and the steeple added in 1738. It is a large brick building with stone dressings, and a lantern, and columns of the Corinthian order. The architect is unknown. In the churchyard is the monument erected by the East India Company to the memory of Prince Lee Boo, a native of the Pelew or Palas Islands, and son to Abba Thulle Rupack, or King of the Island Coo-roo-raa, who died from the smallpox in Captain Wilson's house in Paradise Row, December 29, 1784. The inscription records that the stone was erected “as a testimony of the humane and kind treatment afforded by his father to the crew of the Antelope, Captain Wilson, which was wrecked off the island of Coo-roo-raa on the night of the gth of August,

1 Burn, Desc. Cat. of London Traders Tokens, p. 201. 9 Henslowe's Diary, p. 81.

Boon icks of


1783.” Besides the mother church there are three or four district churches. Rotherhithe has always been much inhabited by seafaring people. Admiral Sir John Leake (d. 1720), distinguished on many occasions, from the Relief of Londonderry to the Battle of La Hogue and the reduction of Barcelona, was born at Rotherhithe in 1656. Manning states that the brave old Admiral Benbow was born in Wintershull Street, now Hanover Street, Rotherhithe. But this is a mistake; he was born at Coton Hill, Shrewsbury. Gulliver, so Swift tells us, was long an inhabitant of the place. “It was as true as if Mr. Gulliver had spoken it," was a sort of proverb among his neighbours at Redriff. In Rotherhithe are the extensive Commercial Docks. The south entrance to the Thames Tunnel was in Swan Lane, but since the tunnel has been appropriated for the passage under the Thames of the East London Railway it has been closed to foot-passengers. Rotherhithe has many wharves, stairs, docks, yards, granaries, manufactories and shops, connected with maritime and river traffic.

On June 1, 1765, a fire broke out in a mast-yard near Rotherhithe Church, which destroyed 206 houses.

Some discussion having arisen in connection with Turner's grand picture of “The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her last berth to be broken up, 1838,” as to where was the last berth of the good ship, the Rev. E. J. Beck, Rector of Rotherhithe, wrote a letter to the Times (December 20, 1877), in which is the following interesting passage :

She was broken up not at Deptford, but at Rotherhithe, at the ship-breaking yard then in the occupation of the late Mr. John Beatson. It may interest your readers and the admirers of Turner's beautiful picture to know that the exact spot to which the good ship was towed is within a few yards of the Surrey Canal entrance of the Grand Surrey Commercial Docks. It so happened that while the Temeraire was still in process of destruction a chapel of ease to the old parish church of Rotherhithe was being erected within a short distance of the ship-breaker's yard, and Mr. Beatson presented to the architect (who was a relation of his own) sufficient timber to make the holy table, altar rails, and two large sanctuary chairs, which are still in use in the church of St. Paul's, Globe Street, Rotherhithe, consecrated in June 1850. The last of the wooden ships broken up in the same yard was the Queen, about five years since. The figure-heads of various old ships of the Fleet still adorn the entrance gates in Rotherhithe Street. —Times, December 20, '77.

The last line will recall another memorable picture, “Old Friends," by H. S. Marks, R.A., which attracted much notice at the Royal Academy Exhibition of 1879.

Rotten Row, HYDE PARK, a roadway for saddle-horses only, on the south side of Hyde Park, between Hyde Park Corner and Kensington ; within the last few years a supplementary ride has been formed on the north side of the Serpentine, from Cumberland Gate to Victoria Gate. Many absurd etymologies have been proposed for the name, but the most probable is the apparent one, that it is called after the rotten soil of which it is composed. The privilege of driving along Rotten Row is confined to the Sovereign and the Hereditary Grand

1 Manning's Surrey, vol. i. p. 229.

[ocr errors]

Falconer. In the months of May, June, and part of July, between the hours of twelve and two, and five and seven, Rotten Row is crowded with hundreds of equestrians, ladies in great numbers adding brilliancy to the scene.

Horsed in Cheapside, scarce yet the gayer spark
Achieves the Sunday triumph of the Park;
Scarce yet you see him, dreading to be late,
Scour the New Road and dash thro' Grosvenor Gate :-
Anxious-yet timorous too !-his steed to show,
The hack Bucephalus of Rotten Row.
Careless he seems, yet, vigilantly sly,
Woos the stray glance of ladies passing by,
While his off-heel, insidiously aside,

Provokes the caper which he seems to chide. R. Brinsley Sheridan, Prologue to Lady Craven's Corneily, The Miniature Picture, 1781.

When its quicksilver's down at zero, lo!

Coach, chariot, luggage, baggage, equipage !
Wheels whirl from Carlton Palace to Soho,

And happiest they who horses can engage ;
The turnpikes glow with dust; and Rotten Row

Sleeps from the chivalry of this bright age ;
And tradesmen, with long bills and longer faces,
Sigh-as the post-boys fasten on the traces.

Don Juan, Canto xiii., stanza 44. Round Court, St. MARTIN'S-IN-THE-FIELDS, on the north-west side of the Strand, “almost,” says Hatton, “against Buckingham Street end." It is particularly mentioned in No. 304 of the Spectator, and is carefully laid down in Strype's Map of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields. It was partly in the Bermudas and partly in Porridge Island. The site is now occupied by the Charing Cross Hospital. A once popular book, Johnson's Lives of Highwaymen (fol. 1736), was “Printed for and Sold by Olive Payne at Horace's Head in Round Court in the Strand, over against York Buildings."

Round House (The). [See St. Martin's Lane, Charing Cross.]

Rowland Hill's Chapel, the corner of Little Charlotte Street, Blackfriars Road, called also SURREY CHAPEL. The first stone of this chapel, which in plan was nearly the same as the Whitefield or Countess of Huntingdon's Tabernacles, was laid by Rowland Hill himself, June 24, 1782. The architect was William Thomas. The funds for the building were raised by a subscription, to which Lord George Gordon gave £50. It was opened for service June 8, 1783, and Hill preached his last sermon in it March 31, 1833. The building was 80 feet in diameter, and would accommodate 3000 persons. Hill died at his house adjoining the chapel on the inth of April following, and by his own special desire a grave was dug for him beneath the pulpit which he had filled for fifty years. He was gifted with a rich flow of natural humour, which was always under perfect control, but this was merely a secondary part of the character of his preaching.

hecos: here Nince the day Pronounced

ay of Arts

an instrument, a. 1768. Inhof

His great contemporary Robert Hall pronounced emphatically that “no man has ever drawn, since the days of our Saviour, such sublime images from nature: here Mr. Hill excells every other man.”

In 1876 the congregation, presided over by the Rev. Newman Hall, removed to Christ Church, a large and costly building which they had erected at the junction of the Kennington and Westminster Bridge Roads, on a site formerly occupied by the Female Orphan Asylum, and the body of Rowland Hill was removed at the same time. Rowland Hill practised vaccination before the treatment was sanctioned by public approbation, the vestry of the chapel being then one of the chief London stations. . Hannah More “asked him if it were true that he had vaccinated six thousand people with his own hand. He answered, Madam, it was nearer eight thousand.”

Royal Academy of Arts, BURLINGTON HOUSE, PICCADILLY. The Academy was constituted by an instrument, which was signed by the King (George III.) as patron, December 10, 1768. In this instrument it is described as “a Society for promoting the Arts of Design,” and is to “consist of forty members only, who shall be called Academicians of the Royal Academy; they shall all of them be artists by profession at the time of their admission—that is to say, painters, sculptors, or architects.” In the next clause it is said to be “His Majesty's pleasure that the following forty persons be the original members of the said society,” but only thirty-six are named, of whom two are ladies, and in fact the number was not made up to forty till ten or twelve years later. In December 1769 it was decided to form a class of associates, not to exceed twenty in number, from whom in future the academicians should be chosen, and in 1770 sixteen associates were elected. It was also resolved that there should be six associate engravers, who were not however to be eligible for election to the higher grade.

The Academy established itself and opened its schools at Dillon's print warehouse, formerly Lamb's auction rooms, in Pall Mall, adjoining Carlton House, and immediately east of where the United Service Club now stands; and here, at the first public meeting of the Academy, January 2, 1769, Sir Joshua Reynolds delivered the first of his famous Presidential Discourses. The first exhibition of the Academy was opened in these rooms on April 26, 1769, and contained 136 paintings. In 1771 the King gave the Academy apartments in Somerset House, in that part of the old mansion facing the river which had been added by Inigo Jones. But though well adapted for the ordinary purposes of the society, there were no rooms suited for the exhibitions, which continued to be held in Pall Mall till 1780, when the apartments in New Somerset House, built by Sir William Chambers for the use of the Academy, by special desire of the King, were ready to receive them. They remained here for fifty-eight years, and removed in May 1838 to Trafalgar Square, where they continued thirty-one years, and migrated to Burlington House in 1869.


May, 1780.-You know, I suppose, that the Royal Academy at Somerset House is opened. It is quite a Roman Palace, and finished in perfect taste as well as at boundless expense. It would have been a glorious apparition at the conclusion of the great war ; now it is an insult on our poverty and degradation. ... Gainsborough has five landscapes there, of which one especially is worthy of any collection, and of any painter that ever existed.Walpole to Mason.

May 1, 1780. The Exhibition,-Now will do either to see or not to see! The Exhibition is eminently splendid. There is contour and keeping, and grace, and expression, and all the varieties of artificial excellence. The apartments are truly very noble. The pictures, for the sake of a skylight, are at the top of the house ; there we dined, and I sat over against the Archbishop of York. - Johnson to Mrs. Thrale.

Gainsborough had sixteen pictures in this exhibition, among them the famous Horses drinking at a Trough. Reynolds contributed the portrait of Gibbon, and the almost equally well-known portrait of Miss Beauclerk as Una. The dinner to which Johnson alludes is that which was first given in Old Somerset House before the opening of the Exhibition, and has ever since formed one of the features of the London Season, and to which the highest and the most eminent deem it an honour to be invited. In the “Constitution and Laws” of the Academy it is laid down that “The guests shall consist exclusively of persons in elevated situations, of high rank, distinguished talents, or known patrons of the Arts,” and the rule has been strictly adhered to for now more than a century. Writing to Mrs. Thrale in May 1783, Johnson says, “The Exhibition prospers so much that Sir Joshua says it will maintain the Academy.” Sir Joshua's anticipations were well founded. From that time the Royal Academy has derived the whole of its funds from the produce of the annual exhibition. The members are under the superintendence and control of the Monarch, who confirms all elections, appointments, and alterations in the laws; but the Academy is regarded by the members as a "private society, though it supports a school that is open to the public,”1 a position which the Parliamentary Commission of 1863 considered to be ambiguous. As now constituted the Royal Academy consists of forty royal academicians (including the President) and thirty associates. The honorary members—not a fixed number—comprise “honorary retired academicians,” “honorary foreign academicians"--all artists of distinction, and five “honorary members” (a chaplain, two professors, an antiquary, and a foreign secretary, whose duties are as honorary as their titles). The schools “provide means of instruction for students of painting, sculpture, architecture, and engraving,” and are open, without charge, to students who satisfy the authorities that they “ have already attained such a proficiency as will enable them to draw or model well,” and have a certain rudimentary acquaintance with anatomy, or, if a student in architecture, “a reasonable degree of proficiency” in the elementary stages of that art. The schools are under the direction of the keeper, visitors, and professors, the professorial staff comprising professors of painting, sculpture, architecture, anatomy, and chemistry, a teacher of perspective, 1 Evidence of Mr. Howard, R.A., the Secretary, before Committee of the House of Commons, 1835.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »