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Soper Lane, soap-making as somut he is in er
declined the honour, d. 1806), the eminent animal painter, lived here for some years.
Soper Lane, now QUEEN STREET, CHEAPSIDE, Stow says, “took that name not of soap-making as some have supposed, but of Alen le. Sopar, in the 9th of Edward II.” But he is in error. It was called Soper Lane as early as 1288, and undoubtedly from the sopers, or soapmakers, dwelling there. The pepperers succeeded them.
In this Soper's Lane the Pepperers anciently dwelt, wealthy Tradesmen who dwelt in spices and Drugs. Two of this trade were divers times Mayors in the reign of King Henry III. ; viz. Andrew Bocherel and John de Gisorcio or Gisors. In the reign of King Edward II, anno 1315, they came to be governed by rules and orders, which are extant in one of the books of the Chamber under this title, Ordinatio Piperarum de Soper's Lane.—Strype, B. iii. p. 15.
When Mary and Philip rode through the City, they were accompanied by Cardinal Pole and Gardiner. Before the Cardinal was carried a cross, and as the party rode on, the Cardinal ostentatiously blessed the multitude; but these only “ greatly laughed him to scorn” for his pains, and would neither take off their caps nor bow to the cross. This manifestation, from the houses as well as the streets, fired Gardiner with unseemly rage ; and his cry to his servants was, “Mark that house !” “Take this knave, and have him to the Compter !” “Such a sort of heretics, who ever saw?” “I will teach them, an I live.” “This did I hear him say," writes Mowntayne, “I standing at Soper Lane end.”—J. G. Nichols, Narratives of the Reformation (Camd. Soc.)
Sir Baptist Hicks, Viscount Campden, of the time of James I., whose name is preserved in Hicks's Hall and Campden Hill, Kensington, was a mercer, at the sign of the White Bear, at Soper Lane End, in Cheapside. Bulstrode Whitelocke was residing in Soper Lane in 1631, when his son James was born. [See Queen Street.]
South Bank, REGENT'S PARK, a row of cottages on the south bank of the Regent's Canal, west of the Regent's Park. One of these was built by Ugo Foscolo, and named Digamma Cottage, to commemorate his share in that celebrated controversy. The neighbouring Alpha Road and Beta Place probably owe their names to this Digamma Cottage.
South Eastern Railway. The original terminus of this Company was on the Surrey or Southwark side of London Bridge. The first 1} mile ran on arches side by side with the East Greenwich Railway, the next 8 miles on the Croydon Railway, and the continuation to Reigate Station, 201 miles from London, on the Brighton Railway. The South Eastern works began at Reigate Station (Redhill is the junction now) and ran to Tunbridge, Ashford, Canterbury, Ramsgate, Deal, Folkestone, and Dover. The whole line to Dover was opened in February 1844. It is now carried to the Cannon Street Station in the City and the Charing Cross Station at the west end
-both large and costly structures with magnificent hotels attached. To reach each of these the Thames is crossed by an iron girder bridge. Besides the original line the Company have constructed branch lines to
1 Stryłe, B. i. p. 287.
Tunbridge Wells and Hastings; a Mid-Kent line to Bickley; North Kent to Dartford, Gravesend, and Maidstone ; a line to Guildford, Aldershot, and Reading, and suburban lines to Greenwich, Woolwich, Peckham Rye, etc. Pleasant excursions, returning the same day, may be made by this line to Box Hill and Dorking, Penshurst, Hever Castle, Tunbridge Wells, Knole and Canterbury.
South Kensington, a new district so named, formed chiefly out of Brompton and Brompton West, and having for its nucleus the estate purchased by the Commissioners of the Great Exhibition of 1851. The district has no very definite limits, but is generally considered to extend from the west end of the Brompton Road to Kensington proper, and to have for its north and south boundaries Kensington Gore and the Harrington estate. It is traversed by broad roads, lined by spacious and high-rented dwellings, intermingled with still more costly mansions and “gardens"; and within its limits are the South Kensington Museum and Schools of Science and Art, the Natural History Museum, and the Imperial Institute ; also the South Kensington and Gloucester Road Stations of the Metropolitan Railway.
South Kensington Museum has grown out of the collection of models, casts, prints, and other examples purchased for the purpose of Instruction in Design and Ornamental Art in the Schools of Design. In 1851 the Board of Trade appointed a committee to select objects for purchase, notable "entirely for the excellence of their art or workmanship,” to the amount of £5000, from the Great Exhibition of that year. These objects were exhibited at Marlborough House and opened in September 1852 as a Museum of Ornamental Art. It was then decided to take an annual vote for the formation of a systematic collection representing the application of fine art to industry of all periods. In 1856 Parliament voted £10,000 for the transference of the Science and Art Department (which see] to the estate at South Kensington purchased by the Commissioners of the Exhibition of 1851, and an iron building was erected, under the superintendence of Sir William Cubitt, upon the south-eastern portion of the estate, at a cost of £15,000. The Museum was opened on June 22, 1857, by the Queen, accompanied by the Prince Consort. Immediately after the opening the erection of permanent buildings was commenced, and the Picture Galleries, the Schools of Art, the North and Central Courts, the Keramic Gallery, Lecture Theatre, and Refreshment Rooms were completed and opened in successive years. The greater portion of the iron building was taken down in 1868 and re-erected as a Branch Museum at Bethnal Green (which see]. The South Kensington Museum stands on 12 acres of land, and the site was acquired by Government at a cost of £60,000.
At either end of the South Court are the two fine frescoes by Sir Frederick Leighton, Bart., P.R.A., executed in a process, called by its inventor, Mr. Gambier Parry, “Spirit fresco.” The subject at the
north end is The Industrial Arts as applied to War, and that at the south end The Industrial Arts as applied to Peace. The contents of the Museum have now grown to vast dimensions, and it will only be possible to indicate very briefly the character of the chief collections. An admirable series of Guides to the contents of the Museum, each forming a handbook to a particular subject, has been published by the Department.
Pictures.—Mr. John Sheepshanks presented his fine collection of pictures of English painters in 1857, “with a view to the establishment of a collection of pictures and other works of art fully representing British art and worthy of national support.” The Sheepshanks gallery includes 26 of the finest works of Mulready, 16 by Landseer, 20 by Leslie, and 4 by Turner.
The collection of water-colour paintings is of great value, and is composed of the gift of Mrs. Ellison, Mr. William Smith, Mr. C. T. Maud, and the bequests of the Rev. C. H. Townshend and Mr. J. M. Parsons. The gallery contains works by Paul Sandby, T. Girtin, J. S. Cotman, Turner, Varley, David Cox, De Wint, Copley Fielding, Prout, W. Hunt, etc.
The Raphael Cartoons, which were exhibited at Hampton Court from the reign of William III. till 1865, were in that year allowed by Her Majesty to be removed to the Museum, when a special gallery was prepared for them.
Architectural Court.—The majority of the objects are full-sized reproductions in plaster of architectural works of large dimensions. In 1884 a series of casts illustrative of the history of antique sculpture, copies of the best examples in the principal continental galleries, was added to the Museum.
Pottery.—The Keramic Gallery contains a fine collection of earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain. There are no less than five pieces of the famous Oiron (or Henri Deux) ware. A fine collection of English pottery was presented by Lady Charlotte Schreiber and the late Mr. C. Schreiber.
Jones Collection.—In 1882 the Museum was enriched by the important bequest of Mr. John Jones of Piccadilly, which consisted of a collection of furniture, Sèvres and other porcelain, enamelled miniatures by Janet, Petitot, and others; paintings, sculpture, bronzes, etc.
The Japanese and Chinese collections in the South and Oriental Court are of great value and interest. The historical collection of Japanese pottery was formed by the Japanese Government for the Museum.
Mention must also be made of the Della Robbia ware, majolica, bronzes, woodwork of various countries, textiles, and the fine collection of historical musical instruments in the west Arcade.
National Art Library.—This library contains upwards of 70,000 volumes bearing directly upon art, and in addition 240,000 drawings, prints, engravings of ornaments, and photographs of art objects. A
range of galleries on the first floor has lately been specially erected for this library.
Science and Educational Library.—The nucleus of this library is the collection which formed part of the Educational Exhibition held in St. Martin's Hall in 1854; a portion of the library of the Royal School of Mines in Jermyn Street has recently been added. The library contains over 64,000 volumes.
Dyce and Forster Collections. The valuable libraries of the Rev. Alexander Dyce, the Shakespearian scholar, and John Forster, the critic and biographer of Dickens, are kept distinct from the other collections, and a reading-room is attached to them. The Dyce collection consists of oil paintings, miniatures, engravings, a few manuscripts, and upwards of 11,000 volumes of printed books. The Forster collection consists of oil and water-colour paintings, drawings, engravings, manuscripts, autographs, and upwards of 18,000 volumes of printed books.
Science Collections.—A Museum of Science was contemplated as an integral part of the Science and Art Department from its création, but owing to a variety of circumstances the collections were not developed as much as the art collections. Some (among them the food collection) were removed to the Bethnal Green Museum, and the development of the science collections remained in abeyance till 1881. The Patents, Designs, and Trade Marks Act of 1883 having transferred the control and management of the Patent Museum to the Science and Art Department, the iron building which had hitherto contained the Patent Museum was vacated in 1886, and the collections were rearranged in the Exhibition galleries between the Imperial Institute and the Natural History Museum.
India Museum [which see] is temporarily placed in the Exhibition galleries.
The remarkable growth of the South Kensington Museum was largely due to the untiring energy of the late Sir Henry Cole, K.C.B., who occupied the position of Director for many years. He was succeeded by Sir Philip Cunliffe Owen, K.C.B., K.C.M.G., the present director.
The Museum is open on Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays from 10 A.M. till 10 P.M., free ; and on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 A.M. till 4, 5, or 6 P.M., according to the daylight, on payment of sixpence for each person. The Exhibition galleries and Indian section are open free daily from 10 A.M. till 4, 5, or 6 P.M., according to the season.
South Molton Street, New Bond STREET, from Brook Street to Oxford Street. William Blake, the poet and eccentric painter, lived for seventeen years at No. 17 in this street. Here he had interviews with angels and persons of scarcely inferior distinction. “South Molton Street, Sunday, August 1807.—My wife was told by a spirit to look for her fortune by opening by chance a book which she
had in her hand. It was Bysshe's Art of Poetry. She opened the following. . . . I was so well pleased with her luck that I thought I would try my own." : In excavating, a few years back, in front of a public-house at the east corner of this street, at a depth of about 6 feet from the pavement, an old conduit head was discovered, having on it the City arms with the date 1627. · I can cut watch-papers and work cat-gut; make quadrille baskets with pins, and take profiles in shade ; ay, as well as the Lady at No. 62 South Molton Street, Grosvenor Square. - Mrs. Cowley's Belle's Stratagem, 1780. On the front of No. 36 (the third house from Oxford Street) is an inscription : "This is South Molton Street 172 1."
South Place, FINSBURY, north of Finsbury Circus. Mr. W. J. Fox, M.P. (Publicola), was for many years minister of South Place Chapel.
South Place, KNIGHTSBRIDGE, on the south side of what is now known as the Kensington Road. Here was the residence of the elder Sterling, that "gallant shewy stirring gentleman the Magus of the Times,” to whom and to whose house reference is so often made in Carlyle's Life of John Sterling.
South Sea House, north-east end of THREADNEEDLE STREET, the hall or place of business of “The Governor and Company of Merchants of Great Britain trading to the South Seas and other parts of America.” The Company, incorporated in 1711, consisted of holders of navy and army bills and other unfunded debts, to the amount of £9,177,967:15:4, who were induced to fund their debts on reasonable terms, by being incorporated into a Company, with the monopoly of the trade to the South Sea and Spanish America. Government, says Mr. M'Culloch, was far from blameless in the affair. The word “bubble," as applied to any ruinous speculation, was first applied to the transactions of the South Sea Company, and, often as the word has been used since, never was it more applicable to any scheme than to the South Sea project of the disastrous year of 1720.
When Sir Isaac Newton was asked about the continuance of the rising of the South Sea Stock, he answered, that he could not calculate the madness of the people.--Spence's Anecdotes, p. 368.
What made Directors cheat in South-Sea year?
Pope, Works, vol. iv. p. 242. In the extravagance and luxury of the South Sea Year, the price of a haunch of venison was from three to five Pounds.—Ibid.
Adam Anderson, author of the History of Commerce (d. 1765), was forty years a clerk in the South Sea House. The Company has long ceased to be a trading body, and its remaining stock has been converted into annuity stock.
At the north east extremity of Threadneedle Street, where it enters Bishopsgate Street, is situated the South Sea House. This house stands upon a large extent of ground; running back as far as Old Broad Street facing St. Peter le Poor. The