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With careful brows at Tom's and Will's they meet,
Rowe, Epilogue to Tamerlane, 4to, 1703 After the Play the best company generally go to Tom's and Will's Coffee Houses near adjoining, where there is playing at Picket, and the best of conversation till midnight. Here you will see blue and green ribbons and Stars sitting familiarly, and talking with the same freedom as if they had left their quality and degrees of distance at home.—Macky, A Journey through England, Svo, 1722, vol. i. p. 172.
Mr. Murphy said he remembered when there were several people alive in London who enjoyed a considerable reputation merely from having written a paper in The Spectator. He mentioned particularly Mr. Ince, who used to frequent Tom's Coffee House. -Boswell. Life of Johnson, Svo ed., p. 505.
The house in which I reside (17 Great Russell Street, Covent Garden) was the famous Tom's Coffee House, memorable in the reign of Queen Anne ; and for more than half a century afterwards : the room in which I conduct my business as a coin dealer, is that which, in 1764, by a guinea subscription among nearly seven hundred of the nobility, foreign ministers, gentry, and geniuses of the age—was made the card-room, and place of meeting for many of the now illustrous dead, and remained so till 1768, when a voluntary subscription among its members induced Mr. Haines, the then proprietor (and the father of the present occupier of the house), to take in the next room westward, as a coffee-room ; and the whole floor en suite was constructed into card and conversation rooms. —William Till, Descriptive Particulars of English Coronation Medals.
The Craftsman in 1727 was printed for R. Francklin “under Tom's Coffee-house in Covent Garden ;” and here lived Lewis, the bookseller, the original publisher of Pope's “Essay on Criticism."1 The house was pulled down and rebuilt in 1865.
Tomlin's Town, or Tomlin's New Town, has now vanished from the Directories, but in Maps of 1810-1819 it is the name given to the site of the present Oxford Square and Cambridge Square, at the back of the St. George's burial-ground and west of the Edgeware Road.
Took's Court, CHANCERY LANE—Cursitor Street to Furnival Street. Richard Brinsley Sheridan, in the last year of his life, was an inhabitant of a spunging-house in this court. Here he wrote his angry letter to Whitbread, printed in Moore's Life (vol. ii. p. 242). The court is now largely occupied by law stationers and law writers. No. 21 is the Chiswick Press or Whittingham's well-known printing office, and the offices of the Athenæum and Notes and Queries are next door.
Tooley Street, SOUTHWARK, near the south foot of London Bridge, is a corruption of St. Olave's Street, and derives its name from the adjoining church of St. Olave, Southwark. To the advertisement put forth in Cromwell's time by Thomas Garway, the founder of Garraway's Coffee-house, is appended the following notice :
Advertisement.—That Nicholas Brook, living at the sign of the Frying-Pan in St. Tulies Street against the Church, is the only known man for making of Mills for grinding of Coffee powder, which Mills are by him sold from 40 to 45 shillings the Mill.—Ellis's Letters, second series, vol. iv. p. 61.
1 Prospectus of Carte's Life of Ormond, dated February 2, 1733.
: Henry Machyn's Diary, p. 303, speaks of
“Sent Towllys in Southwarke." In the 17th century such transitional forms as St. Tules, St. Soules, St. Tooleys, are to be met with.
Tooley Street was known as Short Southwark, to distinguish it from the High Street or Long Southwark; about the church was a small liberty called the Berghené or Little Burgundy. See Berghené.] It will long continue to be famous from the well-known story related by Canning of “the three tailors of Tooley Street,” who formed a meeting for redress of popular grievances, and began their petition to the House of Commons, “We the people of England." On the south side, approached by a narrow court, was St. Saviour's Grammar School, removed for the railways. In White Horse Court, immediately adjoining, was the inn of the Prior of Lewes, in Suffolk. A transition Norman crypt, part of the inn, was remaining within the last forty years. East of St. Olave's Church was the inn of the Abbot of St. Augustine, afterwards in the possession of the St. Leger, Grenville and Fletcher families, a memorial of it being preserved to our own day in Sillinger Wharf. Tooley Street has been much altered of late years, and a portion of the south side swept away for the approaches and extensions of the South Eastern and London and Brighton Railways. On the north side are several new piles of large and substantial warehouses. Here is a memorial tablet to " James Braidwood, Superintendent of the London Fire Brigade, who was killed near this spot in the execution of his duty, at the great fire on the 22nd June, 1861, erected by the “M” Division of Police."
Torrington Square, No. 55 was the last London residence of Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas, editor of Nelson's Despatches and Letters, and author of the very useful Chronology of History. He died at Boulogne in 1848. The Rev. Joseph Hunter, also a well-known antiquary (d. 1861), resided at No. 30.
Tothill, a manor in Westminster, possessed, in the reign of Henry III., by John Maunsel, who rose to the dignity of Chancellor of England. Here he entertained the King and his court, the company being so numerous that they were accommodated in a large tent, or tents; his own manor-house being too small.
“Toot hills” occurs in many parts of England, in the several forms of " Toot,” Tut, Tot, Tote, etc. The origin of Tothill, in this instance, appears to be that given in an ancient lease, which particularises a close called the Toothill, otherwise the Beacon Field. There is a place of the same name near Caernarvon Castle also called the Beacon Hill. The Toot Hill was the highest ground in a locality, which would be used as a post of observation, for the erection of a beacon, or a stronghold. Thus in the second book of Samuel, v. 7, where the authorised version has “Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion,” Wicliffe renders it “Forsooth David toke the tote hill Syon”; and in verse 9, "So David dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David,” Wicliffe has “David dwelt in the tote hill.” Canon Isaac Taylor 1 thinks that “places called Tot Hill, Toot Hill or Tooter Hill
1 Words and Places, p. 326.
may possibly have been seats of Celtic worship.” It has been supposed by Mr. G. Lawrence Gomme that this was the site of the Folk-moot at Westminster. (See Antiquary, vol. xi., p. 6.)
Tothill Fields (particularly so called) comprised that portion of land between Tothill Street, Pimlico, and the river Thames; this is a somewhat uncertain boundary—but it is the best that can be given, or, as Jeremy Bentham says, writing in 1798, “If a place could exist of which it could be said that it was in no neighbourhood, it would be Tothill Fields.” 1
In early times Tothill Fields was the theatre of great tournaments and ceremonies. On occasion of the coronation of Eleanor, Queen of Henry III., 1236, "royal solemnities and goodly jousts” were held in Tothill Fields; and in 1256
John Mansell, the King's councillor and priest, did invite to a stately dinner the Kings and Queens of England and Scotland, Edward the King's son, Earls, Barons, and Knights, the Bishop of London, and divers citizens, whereby his guests did grow to such a number, that his house at Totehill could not receive them, but that he was forced to set up tents and pavilions to receive his guests, whereof there was such a multitude that seven hundred messes of meat did not serve for the first dinner. Stow, p. 176.
It was also the place in which were held wagers of battle.
In the same yere (1441) was a fightyng at the Tothill between too theses, a pelour and a defendant, and the pelour hadde the field and victory of the defendant withinne thre strokes.- A Chronicle of London, 4to, 1827, p. 128.
Such scenes were not uncommon in Tothill Fields. Stow describes a challenge of this kind, which should have been fought in Trinity term, 1571, respecting “a certain Manour, and demaine lands belonging thereunto, in the Isle of Harty, adjoining to the Isle of Sheppey in Kent,” with all his usual interesting minuteness of dress and circumstance, but the passage is too long to cite. Later it was a frequent scene of more private combats.
Staines. I accept it: the meeting place?
Lod. I have expected you these two hours, which is more than I have done to all the men I have fought withal since I slew the High German in Tuttle. - Shirley, The Wedding, Act iv. Sc. 3 (1629). The last duel in Tothill Fields of which we have any account took place, May 9, 1711, between Sir Cholmley Dering, Knight of the Shire for Kent, and a gentleman of the name of Thornhill. Swift tells Stella on the same day, on the authority of Dr. Freind (who had just left the dying man), “They fought at sword and pistol this morning in Tuttle i Twenty-eighth Report of Finance Committee, p. 79. 2 Stow, by Howes, ed. 1631, p. 669.
Fields, the pistols so near that the muzzles touched. Thornhill discharged first, and Dering having received the shot discharged his pistol as he was falling, so it went into the air. . . . This makes a noise here, but you don't value it.” On the 21st of the following August Swift completes the story. “Thornhill, who killed Sir Cholmley Dering, was murdered by two men at Turnham Green last Monday night: as they stabbed him they bid him remember Sir Cholmley Dering." Dering was to have been married the week after the duel.
Punishments for various offences, and particularly, as would seem, for necromancy and witchcraft, were often inflicted here ;1 and archery and other sports practised.
According to my Lord's saying, my cousin Thomas and I, the Sunday after I had your letters, when the King (Henry VIII.] schote yn Tothylle (no date, but before 1514], I spoke two times unto the King's Grace for your servants, and he asked of me where they were, “let me see them,” and I called them unto the King and Nott shot afore him. My Lord Treasurer said good words of you and them both, and so did Mr. Cumton (William Compton), M. Brandon [Duke of Suffolk] and Mr. Garnys. - Trevelyan Papers, vol. ii. p. 10.
The privilege of holding a weekly market and an annual fair was granted to the Abbot of Westminster by Henry III. in 1248, the market to be held in Tuthill, the fair in St. Margaret's churchyard, but in 1542 the fair also removed to Tothill Fields. As long as they remained unbuilt on Tothill Fields were used for military musters and as public playing-ground.
The men of Hartfordshire lie at Mile-End,
Decker, The Gentle Craft, vol. i. p. 11. August 25, 1651.—The Trained Bands of London, Westminster, etc., drew out into Tuttle Fields, in all about 14,000, the Speaker and divers members of the Parliament were there to see them.-Whitelocke.
We have done him no injury, but once I stroke his shins at foot-ball in Tuttle. -Randolph, Hey for Honesty (1651), Works, p. 474.
Locke in the directions for a foreigner visiting London, which he wrote in 1679, says he may see "shooting in the long-bow and stobball in Tothill Fields.” Howell refers to the gardens.
July 25, 1629.-I have sent you herewith a hamper of melons, the best I could find in any of Tothill Field Gardens.—Howell to Sir Arthur Ingram (Letters, p. 214).
The Maze, represented in Hollar's View of Tothill Fields, was made anew in 1672.2
There is a Maze at this day in Tuthill Fields, Westminster, and much frequented in the summer time in fair afternoons.-Aubrey, Anec, and Trad., p. 105.
In emergencies Tothill Fields were used as a place of sepulture after a fashion very strange to modern notions. Thus, in the plague year of 1665, Pepys writes :1 Walcott's Westminster, p. 325.
2 Churchwardens' Accounts of St. Margaret's, Westminster. i Walcott's Westminster, p. 329.
July 18.-I was much troubled this day to hear at Westminster how the officers do bury the dead in the open Tuttle-fields, pretending want of room elsewhere ; whereas the new chapel churchyard was walled-in at the publick charge in the last plague time, merely for want of room ; and now none, but such as are able to pay dear for it, can be buried there.—Pepys.
The church wardens' Accounts of St. Margaret's, Westminster, exhibit a payment of thirty shillings to Thomas Wright, for sixty-seven loads of soil “ laid on the graves in Tothill Fields, wherein 1200 Scotch prisoners, taken at the Battle of Worcester, were buried.”
A Bridewell House of Correction or Prison was built here in 1655, enlarged in 1788, and continued to be used till the opening of the New Prison in 1834. On the side of the Sessions House, Broad Sanctuary, is fixed the doorway of the old Tothill Fields Prison, which was removed in 1836. A bear-garden was in existence here as late as 1793. Vincent Square occupies part of the site.
Tothill, Tuthill, or Tuttle Street, from the Broad Sanctuary to the Broadway, WESTMINSTER.
Tothill Street, a large street in Westminster, between Petty France (west) and the Old Gate House (east).-Hatton, Svo, 1708, p. 84. Such is Hatton's description; but the Gatehouse has long been level with the ground, and Petty France has since been transformed into York Street. Our notions have also changed about its size—no one would call it "a large street” now. In the 16th and 17th centuries there were mansions on both sides of Tothill Street, those on the south having gardens reaching to the Park. Stourton House, at the southwest end of the street, was the residence of the Lords Dacre of the South; opposite to it lived Lord Grey de Wilton; and at Caron House died, 1612, Sir George Carew. At Lincoln House Sir Henry Herbert had his office as Master of the Revels in 1664-1665.2 On May 28, 1623, Endymion Porter wrote to his wife Olive that “Lady Carey in Tuttle Street " is to pay her“ £112 for money lent by him to her son in Spain.” 3 Before the middle of the 17th century smaller houses were beginning to be built here.
1634.—The tobacco licences go on apace, they yield a good fine and a constant yearly rent, but the buildings yield not that profit that was expected as yet. My Lord Maynard compounded for £500 for some twenty houses built in Tuttle Street. -Garrard, Strafford Letters, vol. i. p. 263.
Betterton, the actor, was born in this street some time in 1635. Thomas Amory, the author of John Buncle, died here in 1789, aged ninety-seven. In a house near the Gate House Edmund Burke lived for some time.
Ben Jonson, in the Staple of News, speaks of
All the news of Tuttle Street, and both the Alm'ries, the two Sanctuaries, long and round Woolstaple, with King's Street and Cannon Row to boot.
2 Walcott, p. 282.
3 Cal. State Pap., 1619-1623, p. 590.