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Iņ 1794 (August 17) the amphitheatre and nineteen adjoining houses were destroyed by fire. In 1803 (September 2) it was again burnt down, the mother of Mrs. Astley jun. perishing in the flames.
Base Buonapartè, fill'd with deadly ire,
Rejected Addresses. This was said or sung in 1812 ; and in 1841 (June 8) it was a third time burnt down, Mr. Ducrow, who had been one of Astley's riders and became manager, dying insane soon after, from the losses he sustained. Old Astley, who was born at Newcastle-under-Lyme in 1742, died in Paris, October 20, 1814. He is said to have built nineteen different theatres. Tom Dibdin tells how, in his young days, Philip Astley paid him 14 guineas for three Burlettas and a Pantomime, and insisted on putting his own name to them, as he had “bought the thingumbobs.”—Dibdin's Autobiography.
In 1862 Astley's was converted into the Theatre Royal, Westminster, by Mr. Dion Boucicault, and is now both theatre and amphitheatre.
Astronomical Society (Royal), BURLINGTON HOUSE, PICCADILLY. Instituted 1820, "for the Encouragement and Promotion of Astronomy;' and incorporated by Royal Charter, dated March 7, ist of Will. IV. Entrance-money, £2 : 25.; annual subscription, £2 : 2s. Annual general meeting, second Friday in February. Medal awarded every year. Apartments were in the first instance granted to the Society at Somerset House, but on the erection of new wings to Burlington House for the use of the learned Societies, apartments were provided for the Royal Astronomical Society in the west wing. The Society has a good mathematical library, and a few astronomical instruments.
Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb. [See Deaf and Dumb Asylum.]
Atheling Street, is an old form of the name of Watling Street, and is so given by Leland. Among the manuscripts of the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's is a document of 25 Edw. III., in which mention is made of a tenement in Athelyng Street.—Historical MSS. Comm., Appendix to Ninth Report, p. 5. There does not appear to be any actual authority for connecting this street with the old Roman road.
Athenæum Club, Pall Mall, instituted in 1824 by the Right Hon. John Wilson Croker, Sir Thomas Lawrence, Sir F. Chantrey, Mr. Jekyll, Sir Humphry Davy, etc., "for the association of individuals known for their literary or scientific attainments, artists of eminence in any class of the Fine Arts, noblemen and gentlemen distinguished as liberal patrons of Science, Literature, or the Arts.” The members are chosen by
ballot, except that the committee have the power of electing yearly, from the list of candidates for admission, a limited number of persons "who shall have attained to distinguished eminence in Science, Literature, or the Arts, or for Public Services,” the number so elected not to exceed nine in each year. The numberof ordinary members is fixed at 1200; entrance fee, 30 guineas; yearly subscription, 8 guineas. One black ball in ten excludes. The present Club-house (Decimus Burton, architect) was built in 1829, and opened February 8, 1830. Pending its erection the members occupied the house at the south-west corner of Regent Street. The first meetings were held in the rooms of the Royal Institution, and Faraday acted for a short time as honorary secretary. “The original prospectus and early list of members have his name attached to them."-Life, vol. i. p. 380.
The only Club I belong to is the Athenæum, which consists of twelve hundred members, amongst whom are to be reckoned a large proportion of the most eminent persons in the land, in every line-civil, military, and ecclesiastical, peers spiritual and temporal (ninety-five noblemen and twelve bishops), commoners, men of the learned professions, those connected with Science, the Arts, and Commerce in all its principal branches, as well as the distinguished who do not belong to any particular class. Many of these are to be met with every day, living with the same freedom as in their own houses. For 6 guineas a year every member has the command of an excellent library, with maps, of the daily papers, English and foreign, the principal periodicals, and every material for writing, with attendance for whatever is wanted. The building is a sort of palace, and is kept with the same exactness and comfort as a private dwelling. Every member is a master without any of the trouble of a master. He can come when he pleases, and stay away as long as he pleases, without anything going wrong
He has the command of regular servants without having to pay or to manage them. He can have whatever meal or refreshment he wants, at all hours, and served up with the cleanliness and comfort of his own house. He orders just what he pleases, having no interest to think of but his own. In short, it is impossible to suppose a greater degree of liberty in living.--Walker's Original. The library is the best Club Library, and contains one of the choicest collections of books of reference in London. The number of volumes is between 50,000 and 60,000.
There is a JUNIOR ATHENÆUM CLUB, which, though of much more recent date, is also a large and flourishing body. For their club-house they were fortunate in securing HOPE HOUSE, the fine mansion erected in 1848-1849 by H. T. Hope, Esq., of Deepdene, in Piccadilly, at the corner of Down Street.
Athenian Club, Strand, a social club which in the early years of the 19th century met for dinners and conversation at the Crown and Anchor Tavern in the Strand. It has long been extinct.
December 31, 1804.-I dined at the Athenian Club at the Crown and Anchor : a society of gentlemen, men of great fortune, M.P.'s, rich City merchants, philosophers, and men of literature, John Kemble is a member.—Sir Charles Bell's Letters, p. 32.
Auction Mart, BARTHOLOMEW LANE, opposite the eastern front of the Bank of England, was designed by John Walters, architect, 18081810, for the sale of estates, annuities, shares in public institutions,
pictures, books, and other property, by public auction. The building and site was bought in 1864 by the Alliance Bank, who sold it to the Estate Company. It was pulled down in 1865, and rebuilt for offices from the design of Edward A. Gruning, architect. The Alliance Bank occupies the ground floor and basement. A new AUCTION MArt, Italian Renaissance in style, was built in TOKENHOUSE YARD, Lothbury, from the designs of Mr. S. Clarke, and is now the chief mart in the city for the sale of estates and houses by auction.
There was an Auction-house standing near the Royal Exchange in the reign of James II. Several printed catalogues exist of sales that took place there in that reign. Dr. Seaman's sale, in the year 1676, was the first book-auction, and Samuel Paterson the earliest auctioneer who sold books singly in lots—the first bidding for which was sixpence.
Audit Office, SOMERSET HOUSE, now Exchequer and Audit Department Office for Auditing the Public Accounts), existed as an office under the name of the Office of the Auditors of the Imprests (or sums imprested, i.e. advanced to and charged against public officers), temp. Henry VIII. The Audit Commission was established in 1785, and the salaries, formerly paid by fees upon the passing of accounts, are now paid out of moneys voted by Parliament, fees of every kind being abolished. Almost all the Home and all the Colonial expenditure of the country is examined at this office. Edward Harley and Arthur Maynwaring were the two auditors of the imprests in the reign of Anne. Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford, obtained many curious public papers from his brother Edward. If he had emptied the office, the nation had been a gainer, for the papers the brother appropriated were bought by Government for the British Museum, and much of what he left-all, indeed, but what Sir William Musgrave, a commissioner, gathered and presented to the British Museum-destroyed by order of another Government.
Audley Square forms a part of South Audley Street. Here Spencer Perceval, Prime Minister 1809-1812, was born in November 1762. The Duke of York had a house in the square at the time of his death (1827). He died at the Duke of Rutland's house in Arlington Street.
Audley Street (North), runs from OXFORD STREET to the west side of GROSVENOR SQUARE. It was so called after Hugh Audley, of the Inner Temple, Esq., who died "infinitely rich ” on November 15, 1662. The title of a pamphlet, published at the time, records his history—“The Way to be Rich, according to the practice of the Great Audley, who began with £200 in the year 1605, and died worth £400,000, this instant November, 1662." His land, described in an old Survey (circ. 1710), among King George III.'s maps in the British Museum, as "Mr. Audley's land," lay between “Great Brook Field," and “Shoulder of Mutton Field.” He left a large portion of his property to Thomas Davies, a bookseller in St. Paul's Churchyard, and
one of his executors, afterwards Sir Thomas Davies, and Lord Mayor of London in 1677. On the east side is S. Mark's Church, built 18251828, from the designs of J. P. Gandy-Deering, at a cost of about £5550. In it lies Sir Hudson Lowe, Governor of St. Helena (d. 1844), whose name is inseparably connected with the great Napoleon. In a house on the east side, a few doors from the chapel, and since divided into two, the Countess of Suffolk (mistress of George II.) is said to have lived. The house was designed by the Earl of Burlington, and built at the King's expense. Maria Edgeworth, on her later visits to London, resided with her sister, Mrs. Wilson, at No. 1 North Audley Street. At No. 26 the Misses Berry. The ground floor has given place to a pianoforte warehouse; but the private door opens upon the original house staircase, and the drawing-rooms are tenanted by a glover.
Audley Street (South), GROSVENOR SQUARE, extends from the west side of Grosvenor Square southwards to Curzon Street. Built in 1730. Eminent Inhabitants.—Lord Bute lived at No. 73 during his greatest unpopularity, and died there March 10, 1792 ; in the Wilkes riots, March 1769, the mob made a furious attack on his house. In 1758 Home, the author of Douglas, was in lodgings in this street, “to be near Lord Bute.” Holcroft, the dramatist, about 1761, worked for some time with his father in a cobbler's stall in this street. General Paoli, till he had a house of his own. Boswell, when in London, constantly resided at General Paoli's, where he was “entertained with the kindest attention,” and when Boswell was ill in bed at Paoli's house, Johnson brought Reynolds to sit with him.-Boswell's Johnson, by Croker, p. 505, etc. Sir William Jones (opposite Audley Square), his widow died here in 1829. In 1814 Charles X. of France, in No. 72. Louis XVIII. lived at one time in this street. No 77 was Alderman Sir Matthew Wood's. Here Queen Caroline took up her abode on her arrival from Italy in June 1820, and used at first to appear on the balcony and bow to the mob assembled in the street. The Alderman and his family removed to Fladong's Hotel. In No. 14 Sir Richard Westmacott, the sculptor, executed all his principal works, and there died, September 1, 1856. At No. 8, Archbishop Markham (d. 1807). At No. 15 Baron Bunsen was living in 1841. Curzon House, No. 8, was till 1876 the residence of Earl Howe. In the vaults and cemetery of Grosvenor Chapel, on the east side of the street, are interredAmbrose Philips, the poet, ridiculed by Pope (d. 1749); Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (d. 1762); David Mallet, the poet (d. 1765); William Whitehead, poet (d. 1785); John Wilkes (d. 1797), to whom there is a tablet with this inscription from his own pen, “The remains of John Wilkes, a Friend to Liberty." Lord Chancellor Northington was married in this chapel, 1743, by (the future) Bishop Newton. On June 22, 1749, David Garrick was married to Eva Maria Violette in the Roman Catholic Chapel of the Portuguese Embassy in South Audley Street
Augmentation Office, DEAN'S YARD, WESTMINSTER, was established in 1704, for the purpose of augmenting the value of poor livings by means of Queen Anne's Bounty. The Queen Anne's Bounty Office still exists, but it is not now known by this name.
Augmentations Court was established in 1535 by Act of 27 Henry VIII., for managing the revenues and possessions of all the religious houses under £200 a year which had been given to the King, and for determining suits relating to them. The full title was “Court of the Augmentations of the Revenues of the King's Crown."
January 31, 1536-1537.-Warrant (with the King's sign manual) to the Treasurer of the Augmentations to pay £662:0:1 to Anthony Dennye, keeper of the King's manor beside Westminster, and Paymaster of the buildings there, for the erection of a house for the officers of the Augmentation, within the old Palace of Westminster. -Appendix to Eighth Report of Historical MSS. Comm., pt. 2, p. 21a.
The Court was abolished by Mary in 1553, and restored by Elizabeth in 1558. This building at Westminster, which projected out nto the roadway, was pulled down in 1793.
Augustine's (St.) Church, at the corner of WATLING STREET and OLD CHANGE, and immediately behind No. 35 St. Paul's Churchyard, in the ward of Farringdon Within, was designed in 1682 by Sir Christopher Wren, and opened for public service September 23, 1683. The old church, anciently denominated Ecclesia Sancti Augustini ad Portam, from its vicinity to the south-east of St. Paul's Churchyard,"I was destroyed in the Great Fire, and the parish of St. Faith-under-St. Paul's united at the same time to the newly erected St. Augustine's. The steeple, 132 feet 6 inches high, was not finished till 1695, and was much repaired about 1850. The interior of the church, of the Ionic order, is 51 feet long, 45 wide, and 30 high. It was restored in 1829 at a cost of about £2400. The presentation to the conjoined rectory is in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's. The Rev. R. H. Barham (Thomas Ingoldsby) died in 1845, rector of the united parishes. In April 1532 a memorable scene took place in the old church. James Rainham, a barrister of the Middle Temple, who had been persuaded by Sir Thomas More and the rack to recant, had no peace of mind until he declared his repentance.
And immediately the next Sunday after he came to St. Augustine's, and made a public confession and abjuration of his recent weakness. — Foxe, Acts and Monuments, vol. iv. p. 702.
Augustine's (St.) in the Wall, in LIME STREET Ward, a parish church so called, says Stow, "for that it stood adjoining to the wall of the City.” Also known as St. Augustine's Papey. It was originally a rectory in the patronage of the Prior and Convent of Holy Trinity; but in the beginning of the 15th century it was united to the Parish of All Hallows in the Wall. About the year 1430 the church was conveyed by the Rector of the united parish to the Brethren of the Papey. Upon the suppression of the Fraternity in the reign of
1 Maitland, p. 376. VOL. I