Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

is a late-built (1708] court, with fair brick buildings, called Queen's Court. At the upper end thereof, east, is a curious picture of the late Queen Anne in full proportions." This court is now called Queen Square, but the buildings can hardly be thought fair, and the "curious picture” has disappeared. In Bartholomew Close lived Dr. Caius, the famous physician, and founder of Caius or Key's College, Cambridge. Here,

Here, “as a place of retirement and abscondence," in a friend's house, till the Act of Oblivion came out, i.e. from May to August, 1660, lived John Milton. Here Hubert Le Sæur, the sculptor, lived; and here he modelled his statue of Charles I., at Charing Cross. Here died, in 1623, Dr. Francis Anthony, inventor of the Aurum Potabile. And here, in Palmer's printing office, setting the types for the third edition of Wollaston's Religion of Nature, 1725, Benjamin Franklin worked as a common journeyman printer. Franklin himself says the second edition, but as he did not arrive in England until December 1724, and the second edition was published during the lifetime of the author, that is before October 29, 1724, it must have been the third edition upon which Franklin was employed.—See Mr. Edward Solly's article in The Bibliographer, vol. iii., 1883, pp. 3, 4. He lodged at this time in Little Britain, next door to a bookseller of the name of Wilcox. “I continued,” he says, “at Palmer's nearly a year."

But they must take up with Settle and such as they can get ; Bartholomew Fair writers, and Bartholomew Close printers. — Dryden, Vindication of the Duke of Guise.

There are still printers in Bartholomew Close, though fewer than formerly. In Little Bartholomew Close was Bartholomew Chapel, a portion of St. Bartholomew's Priory, for long a noted Dissenters' meeting-house. Attached were schools, founded in 1717, for educating and clothing 60 boys and 40 girls, the children of Protestant Dissenters of all denominations. Both chapel and schools were destroyed by fire in May 1830, and not rebuilt. At No. 25 is the Royal General Dispensary, the oldest institution of the kind in the Kingdom, it having been founded in 1770. It still flourishes, and a new building was erected for its use in 1879-1880 from the designs of Mr. W. W. Lee. It affords medical aid freely to all applicants, but makes a small fixed charge for medicine (twopence for every supply) a system which is found to work well.

Bartholomew Fair, a once famous fair, held every year in Smithfield, and so called because it was kept at Bartholomew Tide, and held within the precinct of the Priory of St. Bartholomew in Smithfield. The duration of the Fair was limited by Henry II. to three days (the Eve of St. Bartholomew, the day, and the morrow), and the privilege of holding it assigned by the same sovereign to the Prior of St. Bartholomew. This was for several centuries the great Cloth Fair 1 MS. Records of St. Bartholomew's Hospital. He paid four pounds a year for his house.

2 E. Philips, Godwin, p. 378.

of England. Clothiers repaired to it from the most distant parts, and had booths and standings erected for their use within the precinct of the Priory, on the site of what is now called Cloth Fair. The gates of the precinct were closed at night for the protection of property, and a Court of Pie Poudre erected within its verge for the necessary enforcement of the laws of the Fair, of debts and legal obligations. In this court, according to Blackstone, “the most expeditious court of justice known to the law of England," 1-offences were tried the same day, and the parties punished, in the stocks or at the whipping-post, directly after condemnation.

At the dissolution of religious houses the privilege of the Fair was in part transferred to the Mayor and Corporation, and in part to Richard Rich, Lord Rich (d. 1560), ancestor of the Earls of Warwick and Holland. It ceased, however, to be a “Cloth Fair” of any great importance in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. The drapers of London found another and more extensive market for their woollens; and the clothiers, in the increase of communication between distant places, a wider field for the sale of their manufactures. It subsequently became a Fair of a very diversified character. Monsters, motions, i.e. puppetshows, drolls, and rarities, were the new commodities to be seen. The three days were extended to fourteen, the Fair commencing on August 22 instead of September 2; and Bartholomew Fair was converted into a kind of London Carnival for persons of every condition and degree in life. The serious-minded Evelyn records his having seen "the celebrated follies," as he calls them, of the place; and in 1740 Frederick, Prince of Wales, visited the Fair in a sort of semi-state, and wearing his blue ribbon, star, and garter, Manager Rich "introducing his royal guest to all the entertainments of the place.” The rarities in the way of Natural History attracted Sir Hans Sloane, who, to give an enduring remembrance to what he had seen, employed a draughtsman to draw and colour the rarer portions of the exhibition ; and to the last Wombwell's and Atkins's Menageries were, next to Richardson's show, the chief attractions of the Fair. The fourteen days were found too long, for the excesses committed were very great; and in the

year 1708 the period of the Fair was limited to its old duration of three days. Considerable restrictions were imposed on the keepers of shows and stalls in 1845; the Fair rapidly dwindled to a shabby collection of toy and gingerbread stalls and fruit barrows; and in 1855 it was suppressed as a nuisance.

The Fair was opened by the Lord Mayor, and the proclamation for the purpose read before the entrance to the Cloth Fair. On these occasions it was the custom for the Lord Mayor to call upon the keeper of Newgate, and partake of “a cool tankard of wine, nutmeg, and sugar.” This custom, which ceased in the second mayoralty of Sir Matthew Wood (1817), occasioned the death of Sir John Shorter, Lord Mayor in 1688, whose daughter was the first wife of Sir Robert 1 Commentaries, B. iii. c. 4, $ 3.

? Strype, B. iii. p. 240.

Walpole. In holding the tankard, he let the lid flap down with so much force that his horse started, and he was thrown to the ground with great violence.

He died the next day. It is worthy of observation that every year upon St. Bartholomew's Day, when the Fair is held, it is usual for the Mayor (attended by the twelve principal Aldermen) to walk in a neighbouring field, dressed in his scarlet gown. . . . When the Mayor goes out of the precincts of the City, a sceptre [mace), a sword, and a cap are borne before him, and he is followed by the principal Aldermen in scarlet gowns, with gold chains, himself and they on horseback. Upon his arrival at a place appointed for that purpose, where a tent is pitched, the mob begin to wrestle before him, two at a time; the conquerors receive rewards from the magistrates. After this is over, a parcel of live rabbits are turned loose among the crowd, who are pursued by a number of boys, who endeavour to catch them with all the noise they can make. While we were at the Show, one of our company, Tobias Salander, Doctor of Physic, had his pocket picked of his purse, with nine crowns du soleil, which, without doubt, was cleverly taken from him by the Englishman who always kept very close to him that the Doctor did not in the least perceive it.—Hentzner's Travels, A.D. 1598.

On Saturday last [August 22, 1724), in the afternoon, the Lord Mayor came with great state and solemnity to Smithfield, and proclaimed Bartholomew Fair. His worship’s coach stopped at the Lodge door of Newgate, where Mr. Reuse, the deputy-turnkey, appeared, in the absence of Mr. Pitt, the keeper (who is indisposed), and treated his Lordship, the Sheriffs and Alderman, with a lemonade, after a very handsome and pleasing manner ; which custom is observed to all the Mayors at the proclaiming of Bartholomew Fair. --Applebee's Journal, August 29, 1724.

The old amusements were wrestling and shooting, motions, puppets, operas, tight-rope dancing, and the exhibition of dwarfs, monsters, and wild beasts. Quack doctors, corn-cutters, and tooth-drawers, attended; and there were gamesters of many kinds and cut-purses plenty. Among Bagford's collections in the British Museum, is a Bartholomew Fair Bill of the time of Queen Annę; the exhibition at Heatly's Booth of

'a little opera called the ‘Old Creation of the World newly revived, with the addition of the Glorious Battle obtained over the French and Spaniards by His Grace the Duke of Marlborough !"" Between the acts, jigs, sarabands, and antics were performed, and the whole entertainment concluded with “The Merry Humours of Sir John Spendall, and Punchinello; with several other things not yet exposed.” Heatly is supposed to have had no better scenery than the pasteboard properties of our early theatres.

The chaos, too, he had descried
And seen quite through, or else he lied ;
Not that of Past-board which men show

For groats at Fair of Bartholomew.-Hudibras, c. i. Another attraction was the ox roasted whole, a yearly custom, referred to by Osborn in his works.2 Roasted pigs were among the chief allurements, and many booths were devoted to their sale. In Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair, a treasury of information respecting the Fair of his day, roasted pig plays a prominent part, and as Gifford remarks in his Notes, “our old authors abound in allusions to this circumstance." Nor were other attractions wanting.

i Harl. MS., 5931.

2 Ed. 1710, p. 8.

Littlewit. Win, you see 'tis in fashion 'to go to the Fair, Win; we must to the Fair, too, you and I, Win.

Mrs. Lit. I would I might : but my mother will never consent to such a profane motion, she will call it.

Lit. I have a device, a dainty device. . . . Win, long to eat of a pig, sweet Win, in the Fair, do you see, in the heart of the Fair, not at Pye Corner. Your mother will do anything, Win, to satisfy your longing.

[In the Fair, Enter KNOCKEM and Whit from Ursula's booth.] Knock. Gentlemen, the weather's hot : whither walk you ? have a care of your fine velvet caps, the Fair is dusty. Take a sweet delicate booth, with boughs, here in the way and cool yourselves in the shade, you and your friends. The best pig and bottle-ale in the Fair, sir. Old Ursula is cook, there you may read [Points to the sign, a Pig's Head, with a large writing under it). The pig's head speaks it.

Whit. A delicate show pig, little mistress, ith sweet sauce and crackling.

Lit. [Gazing at the inscription). This is fine verily. Here be the best pigs, and she does roast them as well as ever she did. The pig's head says.-Ben Jonson, Bart. Fair, Act i. Sc. I; Act iii. Sc. I.

Now London's Mayor, on saddle new,
Rides to the Fair of Bartlemew;
He twirls his chain and looketh big,
As if to fright the head of pig,

That gaping lies on every stall. -DAVENANT. O the motions that I, Lanthorn Leatherhead, have given light to in my time! Jerusalem was a stately thing, and so was Nineveh, and the City of Norwich, and Sodom and Gomorrah, with the Rising of the 'Prentices, and the pulling down the bawdyhouses there upon Shrove Tuesday ; but the Gunpowder Plot, there was a getpenny! I have presented that to an eighteen or twentypence audience nine times in an afternoon. Your home-born projects prove ever the best, they are so easy and familiar ; they put too much learning in their things now o'days. —Ben Jonson, Bart. Fair, Act v. Sc. 1.

Waspe. I have been at the Eagle and the Black Wolf, and the Bull with the five legs, and the dogs that dance the Morrice, and the Hare of the Tabor.-Ben Jonson, Bart. Fair, Act. v. Sc. 3.

I was at Bartholomew Fair. Coming out, I met a man that would have taken off my hat; but I secured it, and was going to draw my sword, crying out, “Begar!” “Damned Rogue !” “Morbleu!” etc., when on a sudden I had a hundred people about me crying, “Here, Monsieur, see Jephthah's Rash Vow.”—“Here, Monsieur, see the tall Dutchwoman.”—“See the Tiger!” says another.-—"See the Horse and no horse, whose tail stands where his head should do."-"See the German Artist, Monsieur.”—“See the Siege of Namur, Monsieur.”—“A Journey to London,” Dr. King's Works, vol. i. p. 204.

The Tiger in Bartholomew Fair, that yesterday gave such satisfaction to persons of all Qualities by pulling the feathers so nicely from live fowls, will, at the request of several persons, do the same this day; price 6d. each.--The Postman, Tuesday, September 9, 1701.

Each person having a booth, paid so much per foot during the first three days. The Earl of Warwick and Holland is concerned in the toll gathered the first three days in the Fair, being a penny for every burthen of goods brought in or carried out; and to that end there are persons that stand at all the entrances into the Fair ; and they are of late years grown so nimble, that these Blades will extort a penny if one hath but a little bundle under one's arms, and nothing related to the fair. --Strype, B. iii. p. 285.

Trash. Mar my market, thou too proud pedlar! do thy worst, I defy thee, I, and thy stable of hobby-horses. I pay for my ground as well as thou dost.-Ben Jonson, Bart. Fair, Act ii. Sc. I.

Leatherhead. Sir, it stands me in six and twenty shillings, besides three shillings for my ground.—Ben Jonson, Bart. Fair, Act iii. Sc. 1.

1 Lord Kensington, to whom the tolls descended, 1830. For "Lady Holland's Mob," see Every sold his right to the Corporation of London in Day Book, vol. i. p. 1229.



August 30, 1667.—I to Bartholomew Fayre to walk up and down ; and there among other things find my Lady Castlemaine at a puppet-play (Patient Grizill), and the street full of people expecting her coming out. I confess I did wonder at her courage to come abroad, thinking the people would abuse her. But they, silly people, do not know the work she makes, and therefore suffered her with great respect to take coach, and she away without any trouble at all._ Pepys.

My sister and Lady Inchiquin are just come from Bartholomew Fair and stored us all with fairings. - Lady Rachael Russell to her husband, August 24, 1680.

Sly Merry Andrew, the last Southwark Fair,
(At Barthol'mew he did not much appear;

So peevish was the edict of the Mayor). —PRIOR, Merry Andrew. A place very notorious, especially at Fair-time, was the Cloisters, “a passage,” says Strype, “from King Street into Smithfield, through a fair cloister, well paved with freestone. On both sides of which are rows of shops, most taken up by semstresses and milliners.” 2 During the Fair these were used as raffling shops and places of worse resort.

It was now a merry time of the year, and Bartholomew Fair was begun. I had never made any walks that way, nor was the Fair of much advantage to me; but I took a turn this year into the Cloisters, and there I fell into one of the raffling shops. -De Foe's Moll Flanders, written in the year 1683.

The Observator of August 21, 1703, writes :—The Cloisters, what strange medley of lewdness has that place not long since afforded! Lords and ladies, aldermen and their wives, squires and fiddlers, citizens and rope-dancers, mistresses and maids, masters and apprentices! This is not an ark like Noah's, which received the clean and the unclean ; only the unclean beasts enter this ark, and such as have the devil's livery on their backs.

Thy magistrates who should reform the Town,
Punish the poor men's faults but hide their own,
Suppress the Player's Booths in Smithfield Fair,
But leave the Cloisters, for their wives are there,
Where all the scenes of lewdness do appear.—De Foe,

Reformation of Manners, written about 1700. Gradually the Cloisters were suffered to go to ruin, and the last vestiges were demolished about 1850.

The public theatres were invariably closed at Bartholomew Fair time; drolls, like Estcourt and Penkethman, finding Bartholomew Fair a more profitable arena for their talents than the boards of Dorsetgarden or of old Drury Lane. Mrs. Pritchard (the great predecessor of Mrs. Siddons) first attracted attention at Bartholomew Fair, by her manner of singing

Sweet, if you love me, smiling turn, Here, for Mrs. Mynn 3 and her daughter Mrs. Leigh, Elkanah Settle, the rival for years of Dryden, was reduced at last to string speeches and contrive machinery; and here, in the droll of "St. George for England," he made his last appearance, hissing in a green leather dragon of his own invention.

1 August 30, 1667, was the day on which the 3 Among Bagford's Collection of Bills in the Great Seal was taken from Lord Clarendon, more British Museum is one of Mrs. Mynn's Company by the means of this very countess than perhaps of actors acting at“Ben Jonson's Bootb”-Harl. of any other person.

MS., 5931. 2 Strype's Stow, 1720, vol. i. p. 284.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »