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The conduit adjoining it was first built of stone by Henry de Waleis, but it was re-erected in 1401 ; and the standard in 1582, for water from the Thames, brought by an artificial forcer invented by Peter Morris, a Dutchman, the first person who conveyed Thames water into houses by pipes of lead. The standard stood near the junction of Cornhill with Leadenhall Street, and was an object of such mark that distances throughout England were measured from it as the heart of the City.
Then into Corn-Hyl anon I yode,
Lydgate, London Lickpenny. I have seen a Quinten set upon Cornehill, by the Leadenhall, where the attendants on the lords of the merry disports have run and made great pastime.—Stow, p. 36. The Drapers' Company had a hall on Cornhill in the 14th century, and in 1511 Roger Achley, the Mayor, dwelt in a house here for which he paid £1:6:8 rent. There are two churches
upon Cornhill, -St. Peter's and St. Michael's, both on the south side. The Royal Exchange is on the north. Gray, the poet, was born December 26, 1716, in a house on the site of No. 41. The original house was destroyed by fire, March 25, 1748, and immediately rebuilt by Gray.
The house I lost was insured for £500, and with the deduction of three per cent they paid me £485. The rebuilding will cost £590, and the other expenses, that necessarily attend it, will mount that sum to £650.----Gray to Wharton, June 5, 1748.
I give to Mary Antrobus of Cambridge, spinster, my second cousin, by the mother's side, all that my freehold estate and house in the parish of St. Michael, Cornhill, London, now let at the yearly rent of sixty-five pounds, and in the occupation of Mr. Nortgeth, perfumer.-Gray's Will.
Mr. Brayley mentions that as late as 1824 the house No. 41 was inhabited by a perfumer.
It has now been for many years in the occupation of Mr. Barraud, the watch and chronometer maker, by whose time-piece City men are wont to set their watches. When Crabbe, the poet, came to London in 1780, his only acquaintance was a Mrs. Richardson, the wife of the senior partner in the firm of Burcham and Co., linen drapers, No. 77 Cornhill, and to be near her he took lodgings at W. Vickery's, a hair-dresser, 119 Bishopsgate Within. At the point formed by the junction of Cornhill and Lombard Street was the shop of the bookseller, Thomas Guy, the founder of Guy's Hospital. In the years previous to the suppression of lotteries it was the office of Bish, the lottery agent, or “last contractor,” as he styled himself in his advertisements, 1826, of "the last state lottery in this kingdom." No. 15 was Alderman Birch's (Lord Mayor in 1815), the oldest confectioners in London, and famous especially for turtle soup. Birch died in 1840, having sold the business four years before. The shop (now Messrs. Ring and Brymer, noted caterers of City banquets)
i Londiniana, vol. iii. p. 98.
in its exterior and interior work still shows the style of 1815 or earlier. Notice the character of the decorations. No. 65, at the other end of Cornhill, was the office of Messrs. Smith and Elder, the publishers, and is noteworthy for its connection with Thackeray, Charlotte Brontë and her biographer Mrs. Gaskell. It was from this, “Our storehouse being in Cornhill,” wrote Thackeray in his preface to the first number of the Cornhill Magazine, we date and name our magazine from its place of publication.” The shops in Cornhill are mostly small, but the rents are probably higher than anywhere else in London. Of late years, however, several banks, assurance offices, and chambers of considerable size and architectural pretension have been built here. (See Pope's Head Alley ; St. Michael's Alley; Freeman's Court; Birchin Lane; The Tun; The Standard.]
Cosin Lane (now COUSIN LANE), Upper Thames Street, by Dowgate Dock.
So named of William Cosin that dwelt there in the 4th of Richard II., as divers his predecessors, father, grandfather, etc., had done before him. William Cosin was one of the sheriffs in the year 1306. ---Stow, p. 87.
Cotton House, WESTMINSTER, near the west end of Westminster Hall. The town-house of Sir Robert Cotton, the founder of the famous Cotton Library (who died here of a fever in 1631), of his son, and of his grandson.
In the passage out of Westminster Hall into the Old Palace Yard, a little beyond the stairs going up to St. Stephen's Chapel (now the Parliament House) on the left hand, is the house belonging to the ancient and noble family of the Cottons ; wherein is kept a most inestimable library of manuscript volumes, famed both at home and abroad. -Strype, B. vi. p. 55. The Cotton Library was secured to the nation by 12 Will. III., C. 7, and Cotton House sold to the Crown in the reign of Queen Anne (1706-1707) for £4500, by Sir John Cotton, the great-grandson of the founder. Sir Christopher Wren describes the house at this time as in a “very ruinous condition,” and that for a substantial repair “it would have to be taken down." 2 In consequence of this report the Library was removed in 1712 to Essex House in the Strand, and afterwards, in 1730, to Ashburnham House in Dean's Yard, where in 1731, while under Bentley's charge, a fire broke out in which 111 valuable volumes were destroyed and ninety-nine rendered imperfect. The Cotton Collection, transferred in 1753 to the British Museum, was contained, while at Cotton House, in fourteen cases, over which were placed the heads of the twelve Cæsars, and Cleopatra and Faustina. The pressmarks of the Cæsars are still used, to distinguish the Cotton MSS. from other collections. Charles I. lay at Cotton House during his trial in Westminster Hall. After the trial he slept at Whitehall, and the night before the execution at St. James's Palace.
1 Mr. Hilton Price contributed a paper on Journal of the Institute, vol. viii. pt. 4, pp. 181"Cornhill and its Vicinity" to the Institute of Bankers in March 1887, which is printed in the 2 Harl. MSS., 6850.
Walking one morning with Lieutenant-General Cromwell in Sir Robert Cotton's Garden, he inveighed bitterly against them, saying in a familiar way to me: “If thy father were alive he would let some of them hear what they deserve :" adding farther · “that it was a miserable thing to serve a Parliament.”—Ludlow's Memoirs, Vivay ed. vol. i. p. 185. See also Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, ed. 1826, B. v. p. 332 ; and Herbert's Narrative.
The Italian witnesses on the trial of Queen Caroline were lodged in what was then (1820) called Cotton House.
County Fire Office, No. 50 REGENT STREET. This commanding building was designed, 1819, by Robert Abraham for the office which was established in 1807. The alteration of the Piccadilly Circus in connection with the formation in 1887 of Shaftesbury Avenue has taken considerably from the effect of its position, which was previously a very commanding one.
Court Theatre, SLOANE SQUARE, was opened in January 1871, and pulled down in the autumn of 1887. A theatre occupied the site at the beginning of the present century, but in 1818 a chapel was built which was replaced by the late theatre. A new Court Theatre near the site of the former one was opened in 1888.
Covent Garden, properly Convent Garden, and so called from having been originally the garden of the Abbey at Westminster.
It is so described in an Inquis. after the decease of one Robert Reed, of the parish of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Gent. (taken on 2 August, 9 Elizabeth), who is thereby stated to have held of the Dean and Chapter of the Collegiate Church of Westminster, some messuages with gardens thereto, “scituantur inter regiam viam ducentem de Charinge Crosse usque Londinum ex parte Australi et gardinum nuper pertinens Monasterio Sancti Petri Westmonasteriensis vocatum le Covent Garden ex parte boriali, et abuttant super terram monasterii de Abingdon versus occidens.” Then by an Inquis. taken after the decease of Francis, Earl of Bedford, on 29 Dec"., 28 Eliz., it was found that he held " I acras terre, et pasture, cum pertinentiis vocať The Covent Garden jacentes in parochia Scî Martini in campis juxta Charinge Crosse in Com' Midd' ac vii acras terre et pasture vocat' The longe acre adjacentes prope Covent Garden in parochia predictâ.”—T. Edlyne Tomlins, MS. communication.
This Covent Garden and the lands belonging to it was first granted by Edward VI. to his uncle the Duke of Somerset ; which upon his attainder came back to the Crown. And then in the month of May, 1552, there was a patent granted to John, Earl of Bedford, of Covent Garden, lying in the parish of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, next Charing Cross, with seven acres called Long Acre, of the yearly value of £6:6:8, parcel of the possessions of the late Duke of Somerset, To have to him and his heirs, to be held in Soccage and not in Capite. --Strype, B. vi. p. 88. In the Archeologia (vol. xxx. p. 494) is a copy of a lease from the Earl of Bedford to Sir William Cecil, dated September 7, 1570, of "all that his porcyon or percell of grounde lyenge in the East Ende, and being percell of the Enclosure or Pasture communely called Covent Garden, scituate in Westm', which porcyon the said Sr Willm Cecill doeth and of late yeares hath occupied at the sufferaunce of the said Earl, and hath bene and ys now dyvyeded from the rest of the said enclosure called Covent Garden, on the west syde of the said porcyon or p'cell nowe demysed wth certain Stulpes and Rayles of Wood, and is fensed wth a wall of mudde or earth on the East next