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Titus Andronicus; and at the Red Bull the first edition of Lear.
He makes a face like a stabbed Lucretia.1
Lucretia, "with the dagger at her breast and a ridiculous expression of agony in her face, formed a vignette to most of his books," and was stamped on their covers. The earliest English book of glees and catches, Pammelia: Musicke's Miscellanie of Pleasant Roundelays and Catches, was published in 1609 by William Burley, at the sign of the Spread Eagle, at the north door of St. Paul's.
March 29, 1617.-Warrant to pay John Bill, Bookseller in St. Paul's Churchyard, £469:11:0 for books.—Cal. State Pap., 1611-1618, p. 454.
It also appears to have been famed thus early for trunkmakers :
And coffin makers are well paid their rent
For many a woefull wooden tenement
For which the trunk makers in Paul's Church yard
A large revénue this sad year have shared.
Their living customers for trunks were fled
They now made chests or coffins for the dead.
Taylor (the Water Poet), The Fearful Summer, or London's Calamitie. After the Fire the majority of the stationers removed to Little Britain and Paternoster Row; but the Yard was not wholly deserted. At the "Bible and Sun," or No. 65 on the north side of St. Paul's Churchyard, one door west of Canon Alley, lived John Newbery, "the philanthropic bookseller," Goldsmith's "good-natured man, with the red-pimpled face," 2 to whose kind catering for the public we are indebted for the entertaining histories of Mr. Thomas Trip, Giles Gingerbread, and Little Goody Two Shoes. Here, for 60 guineas, Johnson (as agent for Goldsmith) sold the Vicar of Wakefield to Newbery's nephew. The site of Newbery's shop is now occupied by the publishing office of the Religious Tract Society. No. 81, the corner of Ludgate Hill, was the shop of Mr. Harris, another clever provider for the public entertainment in the same way, and, until 1889, occupied by Messrs. Griffiths and Farran. At No. 72 lived J. Johnson, the bookseller; and here in 1784 was published The Task, a poem by William Cowper. No. 62, one door east of Canon Alley, was F. and C. Rivingtons, as chronicled by Peter Pindar :
In Paul's Churchyard, the Bible and the Key
One like a Saint, and one with Cæsar's mien.
In January 1757 Mrs. Carter was lodging at the house of Mr. Wallis, cabinetmaker, St. Paul's Churchyard. The house was "known as 'The Elephant,' and was situated opposite to the south door of the Cathedral." It was in St. Paul's Churchyard that Rowland Hill met William Huntington, S.S. (Sinner Saved), and ran away from him.
His dislike to the S.S. was so great that, as Southey tells us, he took up one of Huntington's books with a pair of tongs, and gave it in that manner to a servant to take downstairs and use it for lighting the fire. Campbell, the poet.
June 2, 1819.-[At Longmans'] met Campbell and walked with him to a little bedroom he has taken in St. Paul's Churchyard, in order to consult medical advice about a complaint he has.-Moore's Diary.
The following curious picture of St. Paul's Churchyard in the time of Cromwell is from a single half-sheet in the British Museum, dated May 27, 1651:
Forasmuch as the Inhabitants of Paul's Churchyard are much disturbed by the souldiers and others, calling out to passingers, and examining them (though they goe peaceably and civilly along), and by playing at nine pinnes at unseasonable houres; These are therefore to command all souldiers and others whom it may concern, that hereafter there shall be no examining and calling out to persons that go peaceably on their way, unlesse they do approach their Guards, and likewise to forbeare playing at nine pinnes and other sports, from the houre of nine of the clocke in the evening till six in the morning, that so persons that are weake and indisposed to rest, may not be disturbed. Given under our hands the day and yeare above written. JOHN BARKESTEAD. BENJAMIN Blundell.
This yard, it would appear, was famous for its trees.
We have had here on Saturday night last and Sunday morning an exceeding high wind, such as seldom hath happened in any country. It hath blown down many houses in the country and many chimneys in this towne, the greatest Elme in Paul's Churchyard, and diverse Trees about the Charter-House and Westminster.Sir John More to Sir Ralph Winwood, London, June 18, 1611.
In the Chapter-house of St. Paul's (on the north side of the yard) was performed, in the reign of James II., the mock ceremony of degrading Samuel Johnson, chaplain to William, Lord Russell. The divines present purposely omitted to strip him of his cassock, which rendered his degradation imperfect, and afterwards saved him his benefice. The churchyard was occasionally chosen as a place of execution for conspicuous offenders, for exposure in the pillory, and for the burning of heretical books. Major William, the loyalist, was on Friday, December 29, 1648, shot by order of the Council of the Army, "against the door that leadeth into St. Faith's Church." 1
The Goose and Gridiron, London Yard (so called from London House, the residence of the Bishops of London), on the north side of St. Paul's, was a noted coaching inn, and the place where one of the first lodges of Freemasons was held from before 1716. Before the Great Fire the site was occupied by the Mitre Inn, a "musick house," famed for its concerts and musical parties. When rebuilt the new landlord gave it its present strange title, perverting according to Mr. Burn, "the Swan and Lyre, the crest and charge on the arms of the Company of Musicians, into the silly Goose and Gridiron." 2
The erection of warehouses on the site of St. Paul's School has
1 Mercurius Elenticus, December 26-January 2, 1648-1649.
considerably altered the appearance of the east side of St. Paul's Churchyard. In 1888 considerable alterations were also made at the north-western corner. [See Queen's Arms Tavern; St. Paul's School.]
Paul's (St.) Coffee-house stood at the corner of the entrance from St. Paul's Churchyard to Doctors' Commons, on the site of Paul's Brewhouse and the Paul's Head Tavern. Here, in 1721, Dr. Rawlinson's books were sold. "They sold," says Thoresby, "at a prodigious rate." The sale took place in the evening, after dinner.
On Tuesday I will wait on you, by one o'clock, at St. Paul's Coffee House, by Doctors' Commons gate, from whence we may go down together at the tavern next door [which was Truby's].-Aaron Hill to David Mallet, June 2, 1743.
18 Paul's (St.), COVENT GARDEN, a parish church on the west side of the market, the design of which is attributed to Inigo Jones, begun 16312 at the expense of the ground landlord, Francis, Earl of Bedford, and consecrated by Juxon, Bishop of London, September 27, 1638. The great delay between the period of erection and the period of consecration was owing to a dispute between the Earl of Bedford and the Rev. William Bray, Vicar of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, on the right of presentation; the earl claiming it as his own, because he had built it at his own expense, and the vicar claiming it as his, because, not being then parochial, it was nothing more than a chapel of ease to St. Martin's. The matter was heard by the King in council, on April 6, 1638.
May 10, 1638.-The new church in the Covent Garden is now at length to be consecrated. The King, upon a petition preferred unto his Majesty by the inhabitants thereof, put an end to the long dispute which hath been betwixt the Earl of Bedford and Mr. Bray, curate or Vicar of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields. It must be a Chapel of Ease until a Parliament settle it a district parish. Mr. Bray must put in an under curate to serve the place. My Lord Bedford's £100 a year, and an house he builded for the minister in cure he presented will not be accepted.Garrard to Wentworth (Strafford Letters, vol. ii. p. 168).
In 1645 the precinct of Covent Garden was constituted a separate parish. In consideration of the building and endowment of this church Oliver Cromwell remitted the sum of £7000 to the sons of the Earl of Bedford, out of the fines to which they were liable under the Act to prevent the multiplicity of buildings in and about London.3 The church was repaired in 1688, and the exterior is thus described in Hatton's New View of London (1708): "The walls are of brick rendered over, but the coins are stone, rustic work." The portico, which had been altered and defaced by the parishioners, was restored by the Earl of Burlington in 1727, at a cost of between three and four hundred pounds: "it had cost the inhabitants about twice as much to spoil it." In 1788 the parish expended £11,000 in improving the building. An ashlering of Portland stone was added to the walls in
1 Thoresby's Diary, vol. ii. p. 365.
"In Covent Garden there is a particular parcel of ground laid out, in the which they intend to build a church or a chapel of ease."—
Howes, ed. 1631, p. 1049.
3 Noorthouck, p. 733 note.
4 Parker's Penny Post, Wednesday, April 19,
lieu of the plaster which had previously covered them, and the rustic gateways imitated by Jones from Palladio, which, like the church, were of brick and plaster, were rebuilt in stone. This work was carried out under the superintendence of Thomas Hardwick. The church was totally destroyed by fire, September 17, 1795, and rebuilt (Thomas Hardwick, architect) on the plan and in the proportions of the original building. When first erected the church was greatly admired for its classic simplicity of form and outline, and especially for its "noble Tuscan portico," exactly in accordance, as was said, with one described. by Vitruvius. Gay, in his Trivia (1716), speaks of it as the "famous temple, with columns of plain magnificence"
That boast the work of Jones' immortal hand.
Walpole, however, who could "see no beauty" in it, called the building a barn, and a barn it has been called ever since, and the portico "a sham."
The barn roof over the portico of the church strikes my eyes with as little idea of dignity or beauty as it could do if it covered nothing but a barn. In justice to Inigo, one must own that the defect is not in the architect, but in the order; who ever saw a beautiful Tuscan building? Would the Romans have chosen that order for a temple? Mr. Onslow, the late Speaker, told me an anecdote that corroborates my opinion of this building. When the Earl of Bedford sent for Inigo, he told him he wanted a chapel for the parishioners of Covent Garden, but added he would not go to any considerable expense; "In short," said he, "I would not have it much better than a barn." "Well! then," replied Jones, "you shall have the handsomest barn in England." The expense of building was £4500.-Horace Walpole, Anecdotes of Painting, ed. 1786, vol. ii. p. 274, and note.
For the portico being a sham, the true entrance being elsewhere, the defect is not in the architect. The architect intended it for a real entrance, but when it was decided that, for ecclesiastical reasons, the altar must occupy the usual position at the east end, the entrance at that end had of necessity to be given up. There were two small doors which were sometimes opened in the summer time.
Of the old church there is a view by Hollar, and a part of it is to be seen in Hogarth's print of "Morning." It was built of brick, with stone columns to the portico, and the roof covered with red tiles. The apex of the pediment was originally ornamented with a stone cross, preserved in Hollar's engraving, and commemorated in an old play.
Come, Sir, what do you gape and shake the head at there? I'll lay my life he has spied the little crosse upon the new church yond', and is at defiance with it.R. Brome's Covent Garden Weeded, or the Middlesex Justice of Peace, 1659. The roadway in front of the church has been widened and the footway has been carried beneath the portico. In 1888 the stone casing was cleared away and the red brick walls were exposed to view. At the same time the small bell turret at the west end was pulled down. The clock was the first long pendulum clock in Europe, and was invented and made, as an inscription in the vestry records, by Richard Harris, of London, in 1641.
The interior was rearranged, and the galleries cleared away under the superintendence of Mr. Butterfield in 1872.
Mrs. Saintly. Of what church are you?
Woodall. Why, of Covent Garden church, I think.
Gervase. How lewdly and ignorantly he answers! She means of what religion are you?-Dryden's Limberham, 4to, 1678.
Maggot. At your similes again! O you incorrigible wit! let me see what poetry you have about you. What's here? a Poem called a "Posie for the Ladies' Delight," "Distichs to write upon Ladies' Busks,"" Epigram written in a Lady's Bible in Covent Garden Church."-A True Widow, by T. Shadwell, 4to, 1679; and see his Miser, 1672.
The parish register records the baptism of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu :
26 May 1689.-Mary daughter of Evelyn Peirpoint, Esq., by the Lady Mary, his wife.
Also the marriage (1764) of Lady Susan Strangways to O'Brien, the handsome actor. It records also the marriage, August 29, 1773, of William Turner, of Maiden Lane, to Mary Marshall, also of the parish of St. Paul's, Covent Garden, and the baptism, May 14, 1775, of their son, Joseph Mallord William Turner, the great landscape painter. The elder Turner was buried here, 1830, and a tablet (the inscription written by the painter) records that "In the vault beneath and near this place, were deposited the remains of William Turner, many years an inhabitant of this parish." Eminent Persons buried in.—The notorious Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset (d. 1645). Sir Henry Herbert (d. 1673), whose "office book as "Master of the Revels" throws so much light on the history of our stage and drama in the time of Charles I. (He was brother to Lord Herbert of Cherbury, and George Herbert.) Samuel Butler (d. 1680), author of Hudibras. He died in Rose Street.
He [Butler] dyed of a consumption, Septemb. 25 (Anno Dni 1680), and buried 27, according to his owne appointment in the church-yard of Covent Garden; sc. in the north part next the church at the east end. His feet touch the wall. His grave, 2 yards distant from the pilaster of the dore (by his desire), 6 foot deepe. About 25 of his old acquaintance at his funerall: I myself being one.-Aubrey's Lives, vol. ii. 263.
Sir Peter Lely, the painter. He died (1680) in the Piazza. His monument, with his bust by Gibbons and his epitaph by Flatman, shared the fate of the church when destroyed by fire in 1795; and Sir Dudley North, the great merchant and political economist, afterwards occupied Lely's house, and died there, December 31, 1691. He was buried near the altar in this church, but twenty-five years afterwards his body was removed to Glemham in Suffolk. Dick Estcourt (d. 1711-1712), the actor and wit. Edward Kynaston (d. 1712), the celebrated actor of female parts at the Restoration; a complete female stage beauty, "that it has since been disputable among the judicious, whether any woman that succeeded him so sensibly touched the audience as he."1 William Wycherley (d. 1715), the dramatist. He died in Bow Street. Pierce Tempest (d. 1717), who drew the Cries of London, known as Tempest's Cries. Grinling Gibbons (d. 1721),
1 Downes's Roscius Anglicanus, 8vo, 1708.