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At the chapel in this street, on June 22, 1749, David Garrick was married to Mademoiselle Violette. Dr. Francklin performed the service. The ceremony was repeated on the same day according to the Roman Catholic forms in the Chapel of the Portuguese Embassy in South Audley Street. 18 Russell Street, COVENT GARDEN, built 1634, and so called after the Russells, Earls and Dukes of Bedford, the ground landlords. In 1720 “it was a fine broad street, well inhabited by tradesmen ;"1 it is now rather poorly inhabited. Remarkable Places in.—Will's Coffeehouse, on the north side of the west-end corner of Bow Street, Button's Coffee-house, “on the south side, about two doors from Covent Garden ;"2 Tom's Coffee-house, on the north side; Rose Tavern, next Drury Lane Theatre. (See these names.] The candidates for being touched for the King's Evil, July 1660, were required first to repair “to Mr. Knight the King's Surgeon, living at the Cross Guns in Russell Street, Covent Garden, over against the Rose Tavern.” Eminent Inhabitants. —Carr, Earl of Somerset, implicated in the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury; he was living here, on the north side, in 1644, the year before his death. Joseph Taylor, 1634-1641, one of the original performers in Shakespeare's plays. [See Piazza.] John Evelyn, the Diarist.
October 18, 1659.— I came with my wife and family to London : tooke lodgings at the 3 Feathers in Russell Street, Covent Garden, for all the winter, my son being very unwell. There is a token of “John Hatten at the Three Feathers in Russell Streete," in the Beaufoy Collection, Guildhall.3 Evelyn was at this time acting as a secret agent in London for Charles II. Major Mohun, the actor, on the south side; in 1665 he was assessed at 1os., the highest rate levied in the street. Thomas Betterton, the actor; he died here in 1710, and here, “at his late lodgings,” his “books, prints, drawings, and paintings” were sold after his death. Tom Davies, the bookseller, on the south side, “over against Tom's Coffeehouse," later the Caledonian Coffee-house. Tom Davies had originally a shop in Duke's Court. He began at Russell Street in 1762, and became a bankrupt in 1778.
The very place where I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the illustrious subject of this work deserves to be particularly marked. It was No. 8. I never pass by without feeling reverence and regret. -Boswell, by Croker, p. 133, note.
This (1763] is to me a memorable year ; for in it I had the happiness to obtain the acquaintance of that extraordinary man whose memoirs I am now writing. ... Mr. Thomas Davies, the actor, who then kept a bookseller's shop in Russell Street, Covent Garden, told me that Johnson was very much his friend, and came frequently to his house, where he more than once invited me to meet him ; but by some unlucky accident or other, he was prevented from coming to us. . . . At last, on Monday, the 16th of May, when I was sitting in Mr. Davies' back parlour, after having drunk tea with him and Mrs. Davies, Johnson unexpectedly came into the
3 Burn, p. 203.
2 Johnson's Life of Addison.
shop; and Mr. Davies having perceived him through the glass door in the room in which we were sitting, advancing towards us he announced his awful approach to me somewhat in the manner of an actor on the part of Horatio when he addresses Hamlet on the appearance of his father's ghost, “Look, my Lord, it comes !”... Mr. Davies mentioned my name, and respectfully introduced me to him. I was much agitated.; and recollecting his prejudice against the Scotch, of which I had heard much, I said to Davies, “Don't tell where I come from.” “From Scotland," cried Davies roguishly. “Mr. Johnson," said I, “I do indeed come from Scotland, but I cannot help it." ... This speech was somewhat unlucky, for with that quickness of wit, for which he was so remarkable ... he retorted, “That, Sir, I find is what a great many of your countrymen cannot help."-Boswell, by Croker, pp. 131-133. Another bookseller in Russell Street is remembered by association with a great English writer. When Edward Gibbon, at sixteen years of age, by solitary study of the writings of Father Parsons, had made up his mind to embrace the Roman Catholic faith, he sought counsel of “Mr. Lewis, a Roman Catholic bookseller in Russell Street, Covent Garden," who recommended him to a priest of whose name and order the great historian was ignorant when he wrote his Memoirs. It has since been ascertained that he was a Jesuit named Baker, one of the chaplains to the Sardinian Ambassador. The conversion of a Gentleman Commoner of Magdalen made a great stir in 1753, and the Russell Street bookseller was called before the Privy Council. The offence committed by Gibbon and Baker amounted to high treason in the statute book of those days. Baker remained unnoticed ; against Gibbon “the gates of Magdalen were for ever shut.” Dr. Armstrong the poet died at his house in Russell Street, September 7, 1779. Charles Lamb (Elia) took lodgings in October 1817 at “Mr. Owen's, Nos. 20 and 21 Great Russell Street, Drury Lane." The house was the west corner of Bow Street, “ delightfully situated,” says Talfourd, “between the two theatres :" "the house belonged," writes Procter, “to an ironmonger (or brazier) and was comfortable and clean,-and a little noisy."1 Lamb himself describes his lookout as follows: “Drury Lane Theatre in sight from our front and Covent Garden from our back-room windows.”
November 21, 1817.-We are in the individual spot I like best in all this great city. The theatres with all their noises. Covent Garden dearer to me than any gardens of Alcinous, where we are morally sure of the earliest peas and 'sparagus. Bow Street where the thieves are examined within a few yards of us. Mary had not been here four and twenty hours before she saw a thief. She sits at the window working; and casually throwing out her eyes, she sees a concourse of people coming this way, with a constable to conduct the solemnity. These little incidents agreeably diversify a female life.-Lamb to Miss Wordsworth (Letters, p.
He remained here till the middle of 1823.2 No. 19 was the shop of Barker the bookseller, at which Lamb purchased the folio Beaumont and Fletcher, over which as Elia he gossiped so pleasantly in his essay on “Old China.” There is much wit in Wycherley's play of The Country Wife about Mr. Horner's lodgings in this street : that kind of wit, 1 H. Crabb Robinson, vol. ii. p. 79.
2 Proctor, p. 249.
however, which suffers from transplanting. Russell Street was the name given to both Great and Little Russell Street in 1859. Previously Great Russell Street extended from Covent Garden Market to Brydges Street (now Catherine Street), and Little Russell Street from Brydges Street to Drury Lane. 1 Rutland Gate, KENSINGTON ROAD, KNIGHTSBRIDGE, built 18381840, and so called from a large house on the site, belonging to the Dukes of Rutland. John, third Duke of Rutland, died here in 1779. The detached house, the last on the south-west side, was built by John Sheepshanks, Esq., the distinguished patron of British Art, who here assembled that noble collection of English pictures which he afterwards presented to the nation, and which now forms one of the great attractions of the galleries at South Kensington. 1 Rutland House, at the upper end of ALDERSGATE STREET, near what is now called Charter House Square. Here, in 1656, “at the back part of Rutland House,” the drama revived under Sir William Davenant-Cromwell, who, Carlyle says, “was very fond of music,” having by the interposition of Whitelocke consented to the performance of Declamation and Musick after the Manner of the Ancients. The scenes were by John Webb, kinsman and executor of Inigo Jones. The first of the entertainments was published on September 3, in honour no doubt of the Protector's birthday.) Rutland Place, Charterhouse Square, commemorates the site. 18 Rutland Place, UPPER THAMES STREET. [See Puddle Dock.]
Ryder Street, St. James's, formerly Great and LITTLE RYDER STREET, from St. James's Street to Bury Street, was built in 1674, and was so named after a Captain Ryder, who, as early as 1660, had set up gates on the Parish Lammas.2 One of Swift's Letters, written from Letcombe, near Wantage, in 1714, is addressed to “ Mrs. Esther Vanhomrigh, at her lodgings over against the Surgeon's in Great Ryder Street, near St. James';” and on December 13, 1712, Swift himself was living “over against the house in Little Rider Street, where D. D. lodged.” Ten years later (June 1, 1722), when attempting to soothe the feelings of the unhappy Vanessa, he asks her to “remember ... Rider Street."
Sablonière Hotel, LEICESTER SQUARE, occupied the south corner of the east side. The northern half of it was previously the residence of William Hogarth. (See Leicester Square. The old Sablonière must not be confounded with the present Hótel Sablonière, which is at the north corner of the east side of the square. When Kosciusko was in England he wrote to Dr. Walcott (Peter Pindar) from “Sablonière's
1 "The Siege of Rhodes, made a representation Street, London.--London, printed by J. M. for by the Art of Prospective in Scenes, and the Story Henry Herringman, 1656," 4to. sung in Recitative Musick, at the back part of Rutland House, in the upper end of Aldersgate ? Rate-books of St. Martin's.
Hotel,” requesting a visit, as he was unable, "on account of weakness from his wounds," to call on him. He could not, he told Walcott, “ visit England without seeing an author who had given him so much pleasure, particularly in his prison at St. Petersburgh.” After that Walcott “constantly visited him.” The house was pulled down in 1870, and a new building on its site was erected for Archbishop Tenison's Schoolhouse,
Sackville Street, PICCADILLY, to Vigo STREET; said to be the longest street in London of any consequence without a turning out of it on either side, and the only one without a lamp-post. It was built about 1679.2 Sir William Petty, the earliest English writer on Political Economy, lived, in the reigns of Charles II. and James II., in the corner house on the east side, opposite St. James's Church. Dr. Joseph Warton had lodgings here in 1792,3 Arthur Young, the father of agricultural science, lived at No. 32 for a long series of years, and died there, April 12, 1820, at the age of eighty-one. He had been blind for the last ten years of his life. The house where he lived was occupied by the Board of Agriculture, of which he was secretary. Sir Everard Home was living at No. 30 in 1809. Boswell, writing in 1785, mentions that the Literary Club, when the Turk's Head in Gerard Street was converted into a private house, “moved first to Prince's in Sackville Street," then to Baxter's (Le Telier's) in Dover Street.
Sacred Harmonic Society, established in 1832, famous for performances in Exeter Hall of the sacred oratorios of Handel, Haydn, Mendelssohn, and other great composers. With a chorus 500 strong of carefully trained voices, and an admirable orchestra, the concerts of the Society, under the direction of Sir Michael Costa, were for many years among the greatest treats which the lover of good music enjoyed. There was an important musical library in connection with the Society, now in the possession of the Royal College of Music. In 1880 Exeter Hall was purchased for the Young Men's Christian Association, and the Sacred Harmonic Society had to decide between a removal to other quarters or dissolution. After some hesitation it was resolved to continue operations, and on December 3, 1880, they commenced their forty-ninth season by a performance at St. James's Hall; but the Society is now dissolved. The Handel Festivals at the Crystal Palace, where Handel's oratorios are performed by a band and choir of unparalleled magnitude, originated with and were conducted by the Sacred Harmonic Society. They are now carried on by the Crystal Palace Company.
Saddlers’ Hall, 141 CHEAPSIDE (north side, between Foster Lane and Gutter Lane), the hall of the Saddlers' Company, the twenty-fifth on the list of the City Companies, and one of the most ancient and honourable, and of the minor Companies one of the most wealthy. Herbert thinks there can be "little doubt of the Saddlers being a veri1 Annual Biog. and Obit., 1820; Peter Pindar. 2 Rate-books of St. Martin's,
3 Nichols's Lit. Anec., vol. ix. p. 473.
table Anglo-Saxon gild; and, consequently, the oldest on record of all the present Livery Companies.” 1 The first Charter of Incorporation was granted to the Company, 37 Edward III., December 1363. In the persecution of 1545 Anne Askew was examined at Saddlers' Hall.2
Frederick, Prince of Wales (father of George III.), was a saddler, and from a balcony erected in front of the hall was once a spectator, in disguise, of the Lord Mayor's show; and when his eldest son (afterwards George III.) was christened, the Saddlers had a grand illumination and a bonfire before their hall.3
The Prince was desirous of seeing the Lord Mayor's Show privately, for which purpose he entered the City in disguise. At that time it was the custom for several of the City companies, particularly those who had no barges, to have stands erected in the streets through which the Lord Mayor passed in his return from Westminster; in which the freemen of companies were accustomed to assemble. It happened that his Royal Highness was discovered by some of the Saddlers' Company; in consequence of which he was invited into their stand, which invitation he accepted, and the parties were so well pleased with each other that his Royal Highness was soon after chosen Master of the Company, a compliment which he also accepted.- Edwards's Anecdotes of Painting, 4to, 1808, p. 14.
In the great hall of the Company is a full-length portrait of the Prince, by T. Frye. Sir Richard Blackmore, the poet and physician, lived either within or in a house adjoining this hall. Among the Miscellaneous Works of Tom Brown are epigrams and verses "To Sir R- BI— , on the Two Wooden Horses before Saddlers' Hall," “To the Merry Poetasters at Saddlers' Hall in Cheapside," and "To a Famous Poet and Doctor, at Saddlers' Hall.” In the earliest mentioned copy occurs this couplet :
'Twas kindly done of the good-natur'd cits,
To place before thy door a brace of tits. Two horses, argent, it may be stated, are the supporters of the Company's arms. With a view to identify the particular dwelling of Sir Richard Blackmore, Sir Peter Laurie (himself a member) caused the books of the Company to be examined, but without success.
The present handsome hall was erected in 1822 from the designs of Jesse Gibson. The buildings in front were erected 1863-1864, and the street façade designed by F. W. Porter, the Company's architect. The Company possesses an enriched funeral pall of crimson velvet, date about 1500.4 When funerals were conducted with more pomp and heraldic ceremony than they now are, it was customary, on the death of a master or eminent member of a Company, for his body to lie in state in the hall ; and sometimes the City halls were let on great occasions for the purposes of lyings in state. The pall of the Saddlers' and the pall of the Fishmongers' Company (a still finer one) were used on such occasions. Besides various charitable gifts the Company have a fine range of almshouses, called after the founder
i Herbert, History of the Twelve Great Livery 3 Daily Post, June 22, 1738. Companies, vol. I, p. 17.
4 Engraved by Shaw in his Dresses and Decora2 Foxe, vol. v. p. 538.
tions of the Middle Ages.