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The noted Mother Needham, convicted (April 29, 1731) for keeping a disorderly house in Park Place, St. James's, was fined is., to stand twice in the Pillory, viz. once in St. James's Street over against the End of Park Place, and once in the New Palace Yard, Westminster, and to find sureties for her Good Behaviour for three years.-Fog's Weekly Journal, Saturday, May 1, 1731.
Yesterday (May 6, 1731) the noted Mother Needham stood in the Pillory in Park Place, near St. James's Street, and was roughly handled by the populace. She was so very ill that she lay along on her face, and so evaded the law which requires that her face should be exposed.—Grub Street Journal (Nichols's Hogarth, p. 190).
She died before she could be exposed the second time.
Park Street, GROSVENOR SQUARE, from South Street to Oxford Street. At No. 113 died (1827) Miss Lydia White, celebrated for her lively wit and for her blue-stocking parties, unrivalled, it is said, in the soft realm of blue May Fair.
At one of Miss Lydia White's small and most agreeable dinners in Park Street, the company (most of them, except the hostess, being Whigs) were discussing in rather a querulous strain, the desperate prospects of their party. · Yes," said Sydney Smith, “we are in a most deplorable condition ; we must do something to help ourselves ; I think we had better sacrifice a tory virgin.” This was pointedly addressed to Lydia White, who, at once catching and applying the allusion to Iphigenia, answered, “I believe there is nothing the whigs would not do to raise the wind.”— Rev. W. Harness to Rev. A. Dyce (Remains, p. 70, notes). :
November 13, 1826.-Went to poor Lydia White's and found her extended on a couch, frightfully swelled, unable to stir, rouged, jesting and dying. She has a good heart, and is really a clever creature, but unhappily, or rather happily, she has set up the whole staff of her rest in keeping literary society about her. The world has not neglected her. She can always make up her circle, and generally has some people of real talent and distinction.—Sir Walter Scott, Diary.
Miss Nelly O'Brien, the original of three of Sir Joshua's most brilliant portraits, died here in 1768, when one of the three pictures, tradition says, was sold for three pounds, instead of the thousands it would now fetch. No. 123 was the residence of Richard Ford, author of the Handbook for Spain. Sir Humphry Davy lived at No. 26 from 1825 until his death. Sir William Stirling Maxwell, M.P., lived for some years at No. 7.
Park Street, WESTMINSTER, now with Queen Square renamed Queen Anne's Gate. Eminent Inhabitants. The learned Stillingfleet, Bishop of Worcester, died here March 27, 1699; the equally learned Dr. Bentley Bentley was Stillingfleet's chaplain and was residing here with him (1690) when his first publication, the Epistle to Dr. Mill, saw the light These continued to be his London quarters till the beginning of 1696, when he obtained apartments in St. James's Palace.1 William Windham, the statesman, was living at No. 5 in 1796. At No. 5 Miss Lydia White resided in 1814, and till her removal to Park Street, Grosvenor Square (which see). At No. 6 William Smith, M.P. for Norwich, the champion of the Dissenters. His dinners were famous. On March 19, 1796, Samuel Rogers describes himself as meeting here Fox, Parr, Tierney, Mackintosh and Francis. “Sheridan
1 Monk's Bentley, 4to, p. 55.
sent an excuse.” 1 “William Wordsworth, No. 6 Park Street, Westminster," appears on an autograph visiting card of about 1835. The Rev. H. F. Cary, the translator of Dante, went to live at No. 10 in 1837, when he left the British Museum on the appointment of Panizzi as keeper of the printed books. No. 7 was the house of Charles Townley, collector of the Townley marbles, now in the British Museum ; he died here January 3, 1805. Every room of Mr. Townley's house was filled with statues, bust, relievi, votive altars, sepulchral urns, inscriptions, and terra cottas; his visitors comprised a large proportion of those eminent for their rank or attainments, and his Sunday dinners, “principally for professors of the Arts, when Sir Joshua Reynolds and Zoffany generally enlivened the circle,” were in their way famous. A View of Mr. Townley's Gallery was one of Zoffany's most successful pictures. The house was afterwards the residence of Spring Rice (Lord Monteagle). “The late Royal Cockpit. . . remained a nextdoor nuisance to Mr. Townley for many years.'
Parker Street, DRURY LANE to LITTLE QUEEN STREET, formerly called Parker's Lane. Mr. Philip Parker had a house here in 1623. In 1661 Mr. William Shelton purchased for £458, 1os. certain tenements on the south side of this lane, described as having been “lately in possession of the Dutch Ambassador.” Here he founded a school for fifty poor boys, which continued till 1763, when the funds were declared to be inadequate to its support and the school was closed. The funds were allowed to accumulate till 1815, when a new school house was erected in Lloyd's Court, and the charity revived after a slumber of fifty-two years. The schools are abolished, and the charity was amalgamated with others in 1886.
Parker Street, PRINCES STREET, WESTMINSTER, was formerly called Benet Street, as the adjacent property belonged to Benet or Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. The old name was changed when a number of disorderly occupants were ejected about fifty years ago, and the new one was given in compliment to Archbishop Parker, who bequeathed his.valuable library to Corpus Christi College.
Parliament Stairs, the landing-place for OLD PALACE YARD. In the earliest maps the name is Old Palace Bridge.
Parliament Street, WESTMINSTER, an open and important street, between Whitehall and the Houses of Parliament, made pursuant to 29 George II., c. 38 (1756), previously to which King Street was the only highway between Whitehall and Westminster Abbey. The spies employed to watch Wilkes reported on November 12, 1762, that he went to Woodfall's the printers at Charing Cross; from thence to Mr. Churchill's in Parliament Street, but did not stay; from thence he went home to dinner." 3 The Right Hon. Henry Grattan was resident at No. 4 in 1807. [See King Street.] 1 Sharpe, p. 17; and see Dyce's Rogers, p. 81. 2 Smith s Nollekens, vol. i. pp. 256-267.
3 Grenville Papers, vol. ii. p. 160.
Parson's Court, BRIDE LANE, FLEET STREET. In 1657 the buildings of brick betwixt the Inner Temple Lane and Hare Court were set ; and in 1662 those in Parson's Court, near the east end of the church.1
Before the Great Fire there was a parsonage house in Bride's Lane, long since leased out by the Church of Westminster, which hath the impropriation and parsonage. It is now divided into several tenements. That place is now called Parson's Court. ---Strype (1720), B. iii. p. 267.
Patent Office, 25 SOUTHAMPTON BUILDINGS, CHANCERY LANE. The terms Patent Office, Patent Bill Office, Great Seal Patent Office, have been applied at various periods to different offices connected with the Court of Chancery to denote one of the many offices through which letters patent under the Great Seal had to pass before the grant was complete. In 1852 the procedure in connection with grants of letters patent for inventions was greatly simplified, a body of Patent Commissioners being appointed, who were put into possession of the building erected in accordance with an Act of Parliament for building an office for the Masters in Chancery (32 George III., c. 42, 1792), who were abolished in the year above mentioned. The Patent Law Amendment Act 1852, provided amongst other things that all the specifications of letters patent should be printed and published, and should be open to free inspection. This necessitated the formation of a library, and it occurred to the late Mr. Richard Prosser, of Birmingham, who took a prominent part in the question of patent law reform, that a collection of scientific works would be a valuable adjunct to the printed specifications. Accordingly he placed at the disposal of the Commissioners of Patents a very large portion of his private library, which, with a smaller collection belonging to Mr. Bennet Woodcroft, for many years the energetic head of the office, formed the nucleus of what is now the finest library of scientific and technical works in the kingdom. It was first opened to the public in April 1855 in a very humble way, and for many years there were constant complaints of the want of proper accommodation for readers. Its value was at a very early period acknowledged by the Government, and an annual grant is voted by Parliament for its maintenance. At length a new storey was added to the building, a spacious reading-room being included in the design, but the library is rapidly growing. It is open free daily from 10 A.M. to 10 P.M., and for many years it enjoyed the distinction of being the only really free library in London. In 1883 an Act was passed transferring the granting of patents to the Board of Trade, the registration of trademarks and designs being also added to the work of the Patent Office. Of late years the business of the office has increased enormously, the number of applications for patents amounting to nearly 20,000 annually. The Patent Ofice Museum consisted of a collection of historical relics and models connected with the history of invention, and was for many years located in one of the “Brompton Boilers," as the corrugated iron sheds which
1 Origines Juridicales.
originally formed the South Kensington Museum were irreverently nicknamed. The collection was handed over to the Science and Art Department in 1883, and is now incorporated with the Science Collection. (See Science and Art Department.]
Samuel Pepys mentions in his Diary a “Patent Office in Chancery Lane" under date March 12, 1668-1669, which was probably at the Rolls Office.
Paternoster Row, a narrow street immediately north of St. Paul's Churchyard, long inhabited by stationers, afterwards by mercers, and now chiefly by booksellers. It is familiarly known as The Row. Stow says (p. 126):
Paternoster Row so called, because of stationers or text writers that dwelt there, who wrote and sold all sorts of books then in use, namely A.B.C., with the Pater Noster, Ave, Creed, Graces, etc.
Should you feel any touch of poetical glow
TOM MOORE. But Paternoster Row was so named in the 13th century, long before any stationer settled in it. There can be no doubt that it was called Paternoster Row, as Mr. Riley observes, "from its being the residence of the trade of Paternostrers, or makers of paternosters, or prayer-beads, for the use probably, more especially, of the worshippers at St. Paul's.” 1 “Paternostrer” often occurs as a designation in City archives of the 13th and 14th centuries, and there is a record in 1374 of a devise of his premises in Paternoster Row, by “Richard Russell, paternostrer."
This street, before the Fire of London, was taken up by Eminent Mercers, Silkmen and Lacemen; and their shops were so resorted unto by the nobility and gentry in their coaches, that oft times the street was so stop'd up that there was no passage for Foot Passengers. But since the said Fire, those Eminent Tradesmen have settled themselves in several other parts ; especially in Covent Garden, in Bedford Street, Henrietta Street and King Street. And the inhabitants in this street are now (1720] a mixture of Trades People, and chiefly Tire-Women, for the sale of commodes, top-knots, and the like dressings for the females. There are also many shops of Mercers and Silkmen; and at the upper end some stationers, and large Warehouses for Booksellers; well situated for learned and studious men's access thither ; being more retired and private. -Strype, B. iii. p. 195.
Let any man, whose years and strength of head will allow it, look back and recollect how things stood in London about fifty years ago, with respect to some particular trades, and compare it with what it is now; and he will be struck with surprise at the changes made in the time. The mercers, particularly, were few in number but great dealers ; Paternoster Row was the centre of their trade; the street was built for them; the spacious shops, back-warehouses, skylights, and other conveniences, made on purpose for their trade are still to be seen; and their stocks were prodigiously great. The street was wont to be thronged with customers ; the coaches were obliged to stand in two rows, one side to go in, the other to go out, for there was no turning a coach in it ; and the mercers kept two beadles to keep the order of the street ; about fifty principal shops took up the whole ; the rest were dependents upon that trade, as about the middle of Ivy Lane, the lacemen ; about
i Riley, Memorials, vol. xx.
the end of the street next Cheapside, the button-shops; and near at hand in Blowbladder Street, the crewel shops, silkmen, and fringe shops. They held it where in this figure, about twenty years after the Fire ; and even in that line the number increasing as the gay humour came on, we saw outlying mercers set-up about Aldgate, the east-end of Lombard Street, and Covent Garden ; in a few years more Covent Garden began to get a name, and at length, by degrees, intercepted the quality so much, the streets also being large and commodious for coaches, that the Court came no more into the City to buy clothes ; but on the contrary the Citizens ran to the east and west ; Paternoster Row began to be deserted and abandoned of its trade ; and in less than two years the mercers had well nigh forsook the place, to follow the trade, seeing that the trade would not follow them. ... The Paternoster mercers, as I remember, went all away to Covent Garden ; and there for some years was the centre of trade. . . Within about ten years more the trade shifted again ; Covent Garden began to decline, and the mercers, increasing prodigiously, went back into the City; there, like bees unhived, they hovered about awhile, not knowing where to fix; but at last, as if they would come back to the old hive in Paternoster Row, but could not be admitted, the swarm settled on Ludgate Hill.—Defoe's Complete Tradesman (1745), chap. li.
November 21, 1660.-My wife and I went to Paternoster Row, and there we bought some green watered moyre for a morning waistcoat.—Pepys.
May 17, 1662.-After dinner my Lady (Sandwich] and she [Mrs. Sanderson), and I on foot to Paternoster Row, to buy a petticoat against the Queen's coming for my lady, of plain satin.-Pepys.
January 8, 1665-1666.—To Bennett's in Paternoster Row, few shops there being yet open [after the plague), and there bought velvet for a coat, and camelott for a cloak for myself; and thence to a place to look over some fine counterfeit damasks to hang my wife's closet, and pitched upon one.-Pepys.
Pepys records other visits, but even then there were other traders than mercers there, for on one occasion he notes how, "seeing and saluting Mrs. Stokes, my little goldsmith's wife in Paternoster Row," he "there bespoke a silver chafing-dish for warming plates.”
Here in 1757 lived Griffiths the bookseller, when he took in Goldsmith to bed and board, and to write criticisms for his Monthly Review. In a garret here Goldsmith wrote reviews of Home's Douglas, Wilkie's Epigoniad, Smollett's History, Burke's Sublime and Beautiful, and Gray's Odes. Griffiths's sign was the Dunciad, and Smollett speaks of “those significant emblems, the owl and long-eared animal, which Mr. Griffiths so sagely displays for the mirth and information of mankind.” The Letters of Junius were addressed to "Mr. Printer Woodfall in Paternoster Row." The house was at the corner of Ivy Lane, the office door, at which the Junius letters were sometimes thrown in, was in the latter street. The Woodfalls afterwards removed into Salisbury Square. Near where Dolly's Chop House afterwards stood, Tarlton (d. 1588), the celebrated clown of Queen Elizabeth's reign, kept an ordinary called The Castle. The house was destroyed in the Great Fire, and rebuilt on a larger scale; the great room, which was decorated in an expensive manner, being used for the concerts of the Castle Musical Society. Later the Castle was closed and the great room became the Oxford Bible warehouse. It was again burnt down, January 8, 1770. [See Dolly's Chop House ; Chapter Coffee-house.] In Paternoster Row lived Mrs. Anne Turner, the inventor of yellow
1 Tarlton's Jests, by Halliwell, p. 21.