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Street, and one of the executors of Dr. White, a library. Letters patent incorporating the College were granted by Charles I., July 3, 1630.. Other letters patent containing an exemplification of the former Charter of Incorporation of 1630, and in no way altering it, were granted by Charles II., June 20, 1664. The College consists of the incumbents of the City of London and its suburbs.
By prescription the suburbs are taken to be the parishes which touched the City walls in any part of its circumference at the date of the foundation of the College, and parishes which, as time has gone on, have been carved out of the original suburban parishes. The Governing Body is elected annually on the third Tuesday after Easter Tuesday, and consists of a President, two Deans, and four Assistants. The objects for which the College was incorporated are thus set forth in Dr. White's will: “For the Glory of God the good of his Church and redress of many inconveniences not prejudicial to the Lord Bp. of London's jurisdiction whom I would have visitor he and his Successors for ever, but to maintain truth in Doctrine, love in conversing together, and to repress such sins as follow us as men; that they might be admonished and ordered there rather to make them amend or else the College to send them and their cause to the Bishop to be punished accordingly."
The almshouse was to shelter ten poor men and ten poor women; of these eight were to be of the Merchant Taylors' Company, six from the parish of St. Dunstan in the West, four from the City of Bristol, and two from the parish of St. Gregory by St. Paul's. Besides their rooms the almsfolk were to receive a small pension.
The Library, coeval with the College, though no part of the original foundation, has from the first been the chief glory of the College. The late Lord Campbell, when summing up in a case in which the President and Court had to defend their dismissal of an unsatisfactory employé thus spoke of it: “The Corporation of Sion College is one of the most venerable institutions of the country, the library being very splendid and one that has been of very great service both to literature and to science It is most excellent, and I think the public are indebted to the Governors of Sion College in seeing that the public have the full benefit of that noble library.”
From the first the Library, though belonging to the President and Fellows of the College, has always been considered to have a public character. The times during which it is open are 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. on every week day except Saturday, when it closes at 2 P.M. During these hours students are freely admitted to consult such works as they may desire to see, though, if it seems to the Librarian desirable, he may require the production of a recommendation from a beneficed clergyman. Upon payment of half a guinea per annum the Fellows and all licensed curates in the metropolis acquire the privilege of borrowing books from the Library, and of using the Common Room, which is well supplied with all the leading periodicals, with newspapers and with writing materials. To obtain the same privileges incumbents not being Fellows are required to pay an annual guinea. Up to the date of the first Copyright Act the Library depended for its supply of books upon voluntary contributions in money and in kind, and a small entrance fee paid by the Fellows. These contributions were very liberal, and resulted in the formation of the nucleus of a library of exceptional interest. To mention a few of the principal benefactors—Elizabeth, Viscountess Camden, gave £200, and there were various contributions of £100 and of £50 each. Nathaniel Torporley, Walter Travers, Simeon Ashe, George, Earl of Berkeley, John Lawson, Eleanor, relict of the celebrated printer, Thomas James, gave whole libraries to the college. Mrs. James as many as 3000 volumes, Earl Berkeley 1676 volumes, many of them very choice. The Rev. E. Waple close upon 1900 volumes, besides duplicates, which sold for £155. In 1679 King Charles II. presented a Jesuit library seized at Holbeck in the West Riding; few, however, of these volumes reached the College, and these in a very sorry condition, the greater part were made away with by pursuivants, etc. A new source of supply was opened up in the reign of Queen Anne, as Sion College Library was one of those named in the first Copyright Act, and so became entitled to a copy of every work entered at Stationers' Hall until 1836, when under 6 and 7 William IV., c. 110, this privilege was taken away and a money compensation voted to replace it. At present the sum annually spent in the purchase of additions to the library is £370. The new buildings of the College upon the Victoria Embankment were formally opened by H.R.H. the Prince and Princess of Wales on December 15, 1886. Previous to this the College had occupied premises situated in London Wall between Aldermanbury on the east and Philip Lane on the west, the former site of Elsing Spital. The old library was built along the east side of Philip Lane; it was 125 feet in length, 25 feet in width. The hall, a building of no architectural interest, stood back in the College garden. The only feature in the old buildings of any artistic merit was the gateway.
In the short period which elapsed between the opening in 1630 of the original buildings of the College (of which those just spoken of were apparently a tolerably faithful reproduction) and the Great Fire of London, there were several sets of chambers for students in the College gardens. In one of these sets lived Thomas Fuller whilst collecting materials for his Church History. This book is dated from Sion College. Up to the year 1845 the rooms occupied by the almsfolk were under the Library, to which they were a constant source of danger from fire. In 1845 a new almshouse was built in another part of the College property, some of the rooms looking into Philip Lane.
With the view, however, of removing the College and its valuable Library to a more accessible site, an Act of Parliament was obtained in 1884, which sanctioned the assignment to the almsfolk of a definite portion of the property in place of a somewhat vague claim to a
small proportionate share of the whole. The Act also sanctioned the abolition of the almshouse, the almsfolk to receive premiums of much larger amount than those payable to them before. The arrangement thus sanctioned has worked so well that there are now forty instead of twenty pensioners, with pensions of from £30 to £40 a year instead of £17. At the same time a new Governing Body was provided for what had now become Sion Hospital. This set the President and Court of Governors free to purchase the present freehold side of the College, which they acquired from the City for £31,625, and to erect the new building thereon from the designs of Mr. (now Sir) Arthur Blomfield at a cost of £26,000, the money for the purpose being raised by the sale of a large part of the freehold of the old site. In the new buildings the library is well housed and the other business of the College is carried on as it was carried on heretofore in London Wall.
Sion Hill. (See College Hill.] ✓
Sise Lane, City, from Bridge Row to Queen Victoria Street, a corruption of St. Syth's Lane or St. Osyth's Lane; from the church of St. Bennet Sherehog or Syth, destroyed in the Great Fire, and not rebuilt. A large part of the northern end of Sise Lane was swept away in constructing Queen Victoria Street.
Skinner Street, HOLBORN, was formed in 1802, and received its name from Alderman Skinner, through whose exertions it was built. The old highway between Newgate Street and Holborn Bridge, before Skinner Street was made, was Snow Hill, a circuitous, very narrow, very steep, and very dangerous roadway. William Godwin, author of Caleb Williams, kept a bookseller's shop for several years in this street in the name of his wife. Charles Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare, and Mary Lamb's Mrs. Leicester's School were published by “M. J. Godwin, at the Juvenile Library, 41 Skinner Street.”
Popular Works for the Amusement and Instruction of Young Persons Published by M. J. Godwin & Co., French and English City Juvenile and School Library, No. 41 Skinner Street, Snow Hill (a Corner House). --Advertisement at the end of Lamb's Adventures of Ulysses, 1819.
The house was on the north side, at the angle of Snow Hill, and nearly opposite Turnagain Lane. It was swept away for the London, , Chatham and Dover Railway; and what remained of Skinner Street was cleared away in 1867 for the Holborn Viaduct.
Skinners' Hall, DowGATE Hill. The hall of the Skinners' Company, the sixth on the list of the Twelve Great Companies of London. The Company was incorporated in 1327, and the government vested in a master, four wardens, and a court of assistants. The hall, mentioned as early as the reign of Henry III., was destroyed in the Great Fire, and rebuilt shortly after at a cost of over £1800. The East India Company held their meetings for a time in this hall, for
which they paid a yearly rent of £300. The present front, Ionic in character, with the Skinners' arms in the pediment, was added by Richard Jupp, the Company's architect, in 1790. The dining-hall was rebuilt 1847-1850 under the direction of G. B. Moore. The drawing-room is lined with cedar wood, traditionally said to have been given by the East India Company to the Skinners Company. A few years since (under the mastership of Charles Barry, architect) the old ceiling was removed, and a new decorated carved ceiling added, and the old work redecorated, making a very handsome apartment. The mode of electing a master is curious. A cap of maintenance is carried into the hall in great state, and is tried on by the old master, who announces that it “will not fit” him. He then passes it on to be tried by several next him. Two or three more misfits occur, till at last the cap is handed to the intended new master, for whom it was made.
The wardens are elected in the same manner. Observe.—Portrait of Sir Andrew Judd, Lord Mayor of London in 1551, and founder of the large and excellent school at Tunbridge, of which the Skinners' Company have the patronage and supervision. [See Skinners' Well.]
Skinners' Well, CLERKENWELL, on the west side of the church, but now closed; one of six wells forming the River of Wells, which had its rise in the high ground about Clerkenwell, and, running due south, fell into the Fleet river at the bottom of Holborn Bridge and Snow hill. It was so called, says Stow, “ for the skinners of London held there certain plays yearly, played of Holy Scripture.” In Rocque's Map of 1745 a Skin Market occupies the ground on both sides of what is now Perceval Street. Its memory is preserved in Skinner Street and Market Street. The latter occupies part of the site and the former leads to it.
In the year 1390, the 14th of Richard II., I read the Parish Clerks of London, on the 18th of July, played interludes at Skinners' Well, near unto Clarkes' Well, which play continued three days together; the king, queen, and nobles being present.1 Also in the year 1409, the roth of Henry IV., they played a play at the Skinners' Well, which lasted eight days and was of matter from the Creation of the world. There were to see the same the most part of the nobles and gentles in England. - Stow, p. 7.
Skinners' Well is almost quite lost, and so it was in Stow's time. But I am certainly informed, by a knowing parishioner, that it lies on the west of the church, enclosed within certain houses there. The parish would fain recover the well again, but cannot tell where the pipes lie. Dr. Rogers, who formerly lived in an house there, shewed Mr. E. H., late churchwarden, two marks in a wall in the Close where these pipes (as he affirmed) laid, that it might be known after his death. --Strype, B. iv. p. 69.
Slaughter's Coffee-house, a famous coffee-house at the upper end of the west side of St. Martin's Lane, three doors from Newport Street, so called after Thomas Slaughter, the landlord by whom it was established in the year 1692. Slaughter died in or about the year 1740, and in 1741 was succeeded in his business by Humphrey Bailey. A second Slaughter's (New Slaughter's, as it was called) was established in the same street about 1760, when the original establishment adopted the name of “Old Slaughter's,” by which designation it was known till within a few years of the final demolition of the house to make way for the new avenue between Long Acre and Leicester Square made 1843-1844. The chief frequenters of the house were artists living in St. Martin's Lane. Here Roubiliac was often to be found, and Wilson was an occasional visitor; and here, in early life, Wilkie would enjoy a small dinner at a small cost. Abraham De Moivre, the great mathematician, in his old age and penury (he died in 1754, aged eighty-seven), used to attend at Slaughter's Coffee-house to pick up a pittance by the solution of questions relative to games of chance. Goldsmith, in his Account of Various Clubs (Essay VI.): says “If a man be passionate, he may vent his rage among the old orators at Slaughter's coffee-house, and damn the nation because it keeps him from starving."
1 It appears by Devon's Issues of the Ex- the Passion of our Lord, and the Creation of the chequer from Henry III. to Henry VI.(8vo, 1837, World, performed by them at Skinners' Well, in p. 244), that the sum of 6 10 was paid to the Parish 1391, after the Feast of St. Bartholomew (Sbaks. Clerks and others on account of the play of Soc. Pap., vol. i. p. 43).
Sloane Street, a very long street lying between Knightsbridge and the King's Road, and so called after Sir Hans Sloane, the physician, and Lord of the Manor of Chelsea. It was planned in 1780 by the architect Henry Holland. (See Cadogan Place; Chelsea ; Hans Place.]
On the 26th of October (1818) Mrs. Inchbald went once more into private lodgings at No. 48 in Sloane Street ; a situation to which she had always professed uncommon dislike. -Boaden, Life of Mrs. Inchbald, vol. ii. p. 230.
Originally on the east side, near Sloane Square, was Holy Trinity Church, erected from the designs of James Savage, architect, and consecrated May 8, 1830. This church was pulled down in 1889, and replaced by a new one, built from the designs of J. D. Sedding, architect, at a cost of nearly £35,000, defrayed by Earl Cadogan. Consecrated by the Bishop of London, May 13, 1890.
In Sloane Square, at the south end of Sloane Street, lived (1790-1797) Francis Legat, the engraver of Northcote's Murder of the Princes in the Tower and other excellent plates.
When Lord Byron, at ten years of age, was brought to London for the benefit of Dr. Matthew Baillie's advice, his mother took apartments in Sloane Terrace, the second turning south of Cadogan Place, on the east side of Sloane Street. Here too he came for the Saturdays and Sundays, and for all holidays, during the two years he was at Dr. Glennie's School at Dulwich.
Smart's Quay, LOWER THAMES STREET, east of Billingsgate. Smart's Key, so called of one Smart sometime owner thereof. ---Stow, p. 78.
One Wotton, a gentilman borne and sometyme a marchauntt of good credyte, who fallinge by tyme into decay, kepte an alehowse at Smart's keye, neere Byllingesgate, and after, for some mysdemeanor beinge put downe, he reared upp a new trade of lyffe, and in the same howse he procured all the cuttpurses abowt this Cittie to