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dotes (1825), the original sign, on the front of the house, was a Satyr of the woods with a group of Bacchanals.
Bagnigge House, a mansion adjoining the Wells on the south, had over the chimney-piece of one of the principal rooms the royal arms, the garter, and other heraldic bearings, and “between them the bust of a woman in Roman dress, let deep into a circular cavity of the wall. . . . It is said to represent Mrs. Eleanor Gwin, who sometimes made this place her summer residence.".1 There was a tradition that she came here in order to take the bath in the adjacent Cold Bath Fields, where half a century later "a nude statue” was shown by the proprietor of the bath as a portrait of the frail beauty. The bust, as already mentioned, was transferred to the Long Room of Bagnigge Wells. A square stone placed "over an old Gothic portal,” taken down in 1757, bore the inscription : “This is Bagnigge House neare the Pinder a Wakefielde, 1680." When what remained of Bagnigge House and Wells was demolished, about 1862, this stone was inserted in the front of a small house, one of a row erected on the site.
Bagnigge Wells, BAGNIGGE WELLS ROAD, now King's Cross ROAD, a place of public entertainment opened in consequence of the discovery of the medicinal properties of two wells, “the water of one of which purges, the other is a chalybeat." This place of entertainment appears to have been opened earlier than is generally stated, for Dr. Rimbault pointed out (Notes and Queries, ist S., vol. ii. p. 228) that Bickham's curious work, The Musical Entertainer (circ. 1738), contains an engraving of Tom Hippersley mounted in the “singing rostrum ” regaling the company with a song. As early as 1760, when Dr. John Bevis published "An Experimental Inquiry concerning the contents, qualities, and medicinal virtues of the two Mineral Waters lately discovered at Bagnigge Wells, near London," the wells "were got into great repute," and "elegant accommodation provided” for visitors. Bagnigge Wells was then literally in the country, the valley between Coppice Row and Battle Bridge being known as Bagnigge Wash or Bagnigge Vale.
These wells are a little way out of London, in the high road from Coppice Row, or Sir John Oldcastle's, which, about a quarter of a mile farther, at Battle Bridge turnpike, comes into the great new road from Paddington to Islington, affording an easy access to the springs for coaches from all parts : and the footpath from Tottenham Court Road, by Southampton Row, Red Lion Street, and the Foundling Hospital, running close by the wells is no less convenient for such as prefer walking exercise. . . . A tradition goes that the place of old was called Blessed Mary's Well, but that the name of the Holy Virgin having in some measure fallen into disesteem after the Reformation, the title was altered to Black Mary's Well, as it now stands upon Mr. Rocque's Map, and then to Black Mary's Hole (as it commonly stands on later maps], though there is a very different account of these later appellations.Bevis, pp. 1-4. [See Black Mary's Well.]
No satisfactory derivation has been given of the origin of the name Bagnigge. One of the most likely is from the A. S. bag,
1 Bevis, p. 2.
badge, a badger (as in Bagenthorpe, Badgeworth), and ig, igge, an island; although this does not account for the n. The place was a swamp—the Fleet here forming Bagnigge Wash—the land abounding in springs, and a somewhat raised spot in its midst may well have been noted as a resort of badgers.
The Wells are noticed as a place of public entertainment by William Woty in his Shrubs of Parnassus, 1760. A good coloured print, after George Morland, shows them a little later in all their glory; and there is a large mezzotint print of the “Long Room, Bagnigge Wells,” by J. R. Smith, from a drawing by T. Sanders, dated 1772, which shows that the wells were then frequented by people of fashion. It represents the assembly room, with the master of the ceremonies in a tall wig and sword, cocked-hat in hand, receiving the visitors. Tea is being carried round by a page, who has in one hand a tray with a very small tea-pot and proportionally small cups, and in the other a steaming kettle. At one end of this long room was a fine-toned organ,” at the other the bust spoken of below. But the quality of the visitors quickly deteriorated.
Says Madame Fussock, warm from Spitalfields,
COLMAN, Prologue to Bon Ton, 1775.
To swallow dust and call it air, In 1808 it is described as having "something romantic and pleasant in the situation. But it is liable to inundations from the river of Fleet, on which it is situated. Here is a commodious room, which contains a good organ for the amusement of the company, usually played on during the summer season by a respectable performer.” 1 When Lysons wrote, about 1810, it was “a noted place of entertainment, much resorted to by the lower sort of tradesmen.” Somewhat later the favourite resort appears to have been the gardens, which were laid in irregular walks, and "decorated with leaden statues, alcoves, and fountains," and had as their chief ornaments a “circular Corinthian Temple,” in the centre of which was a double pump, one piston supplying the cathartic water, the other the chalybeate; and a hexagonal castellated grotto covered with shells, whilst along the back ran the Fleet river.2
We remember the Wells nearly sixty years since, with its gardens and round fish ponds, with a fountain of Cupid bestriding a swan spouting water, a rustic cottage, and a grotto to contain twenty persons, and elder bushes, willows, huge docks, and other river-side greenery, with bowers or boxes for tea-drinkers, and two large pastoral figures—a man with a scythe and a woman with a hay-rake and bird's nest. S
In its last years the company declined below even “the lower sort of tradesmen." Thus in a popular London street ballad of some fifty years back we read of the costermonger hero and his doxy that 1 Hughson's London, vol. vi. p. 364.
2 Cromwell, History of Clerkenwell, 1828. 3 John Timbs, in Leisure Hour.
Every evening he was seen
He was quite a dandy dogs’-meat man. By 1842 the Wells was “almost a ruin,”1 and shortly after the place was closed, and house and gardens dismantled.
The “pastoral figures” were a few years back in the possession of Dr. Lonsdale of Carlisle. The long room was converted into a brewer's store-room; and for many years a signboard over the tap gave notice that “Here was the famous Bagnigge Wells.” But these vestiges have disappeared. The brewhouse was transformed into an engineer's workshop, but that disappeared, and the wells themselves are filled up and lost. The very name of the road has, by a foolish freak of the Metropolitan Board of Works, been changed from Bagnigge Wells Road to King's Cross Road, thus destroying, with all that was distinctive in the name, the last local memorial of the Old Wells.
Bagnio (The Duke's) LONG ACRE, later known as THE QUEEN's, 2 stood on the south side of Long Acre, between Conduit Court and Leg Alley. It was built in 1682, and rebuilt and enlarged in 1694.3 Lord Mohun left this Bagnio in a hackney coach to fight his famous duel in Hyde Park with the Duke of Hamilton. It afterwards became a house of ill-fame, and gave its name as a generic to similar places.
This Bagnio is erected near the west end of Long Acre, in that spot of ground which hath been called by the name of Salisbury Stables. At the front of it, next the street, is a large commodious house, wherein dwells that honourable person, Sir William Jennings · : who, having obtained His Majesty's Patent for the making of all public Bagnios and Baths, either for sweating, bathing, washing, etc., is the only undertaker of this new building. In this house there are several rooms set apart for the accommodation of such as shall come to the Bagnio ; and to the further side of it the structure of the Bagnio is adjoined, so that the first room we enter to go into the Bagnio is a large hall where the porter stands to receive the money. through an entry into another room, where hangs a pair of scales to weigh such as, out of curiosity, would know how much they lose in weight while they are in the Bagnio. . . . The Bagnio itself is a stately edifice, of an oval figure, in length 45 feet, and in breadth 35. 'Tis covered at the top with a high and large cupola, in which there are several round glasses fixt to let in light, which are much larger and no fewer in number than those at the Royal Bagnio [in Bath Street]. On the east side of the Bagnio there !is a coffee-house fronting the street, with this inscription on the sign, “The Duke's Bagnio Coffee House.”
The same reception and entertainment do also women find, only with this difference, viz., on Women's Days there are all imaginable conveniences of privacy, and not a man to be seen, but all the servants are of the female sex.-A Description of the Duke's Bagnio, by Sam. Haworth, M.D., 12mo, 1683.
Hence we pass
i Lewis, History of Islington, p. 36. 2 Hatton, p. 797.
5953, pt. i. p. 115. Of the Bagnio, with its cupola. 3 Strype, B. vi. p. 74; London Gasette, No. roof, there is a view on the metal tickets of ad3019. There is a view of it, done in 1694, among mission for women, well known to the curious in Bagford's Prints in the Museum.-Harl. MS., such matters.
The charges in 1708 were, “5s. some, and 2s. 6d. other rooms. The floor of the bath still remains, but boarded over, at No. 3 Endell Street.
Bagnio (The Royal), BATH STREET, NEWGATE STREET.
Was built and first opened in December 1679; built by Turkish Merchants.Aubrey's Lives, vol. ii. p. 244.
A neat contrived building after the Turkish mode, seated in a large handsome yard, and at the upper end of Pincock Lane, which is indifferent well built and inhabited. This Bagnio is much resorted unto for sweating, being found very good for aches, etc., and approved of by our physicians. --Strype, B. iii. p. 195.
Royal Bagnio, situate on the north side of Newgate Street, is a very spacious and commodious place for sweating, hot-bathing, and cupping ; they tell me it is the only true Bagnio after the Turkish model, and hath 18 degrees of heat. It was first opened Anno 1679. . . . Here is one very spacious room with a cupola roof, besides others lesser ; the walls are neatly set with Dutch tile. The charge of the house for sweating, rubbing, shaving, cupping, and bathing, is 4 shillings each person. There are nine servants who attend. The days for ladies are Wednesdays and Saturdays, and for gentlemen Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays; and to show the healthfulness of sweating thus, here is one servant who has been near 28 years, and another 16, though 4 days a-week constantly attending in the heat.-Hatton's New View of London, 8vo, 1708, p. 797. The Bath, with its cupola roof, its marble steps, and Dutch tiled walls, was used as a Cold Bath, and called the Old ROYAL BATHs, until 1876, when it was pulled down to make way for a lofty range of offices.
Bagnio Court, NEWGATE STREET, was so called from the Bagnio described in the preceding article. In 1843 the name was changed to Bath Street; and in 1869 all the houses on the east side of the street were swept away to make room for the new Post Office.
Bail (Le). [See Old Bailey.]
Bainbridge Street, New OXFORD STREET, once notorious in the annals of crime, was built prior to 1672, and derives its name from an eminent inhabitant of St. Giles's in the reign of Charles II. It leads from Dyott Street westward into New Oxford Street, and is chiefly occupied by the buildings of Meux's brewery. Before the brewery was built the street led into Tottenham Court Road.
Baker Street, PORTMAN SQUARE to YORK PLACE, MARYLEBONE ROAD, named after Sir Edward Baker of Ramston, a friend of Mr. Portman. Eminent Inhabitants. —Lord Camelford (who fell in the duel with Best), at No. 64, in the year 1800.
May 22, 1799.-Called on Mr. Pitt, who was gone out. Went to Monsieur. Visit to Monsieur, Baker Street, No. 1.–Windham, Diary, p. 409. The Right Hon. Henry Grattan, the distinguished orator, died May 14, 1820, in No. 27 Upper Baker Street. Mrs. Siddons, on the east side, at the top of Upper Baker Street, looking into the Regent's Park ; here she died June 8, 1831.
In 1817 Mrs. Siddons took the lease of a house pleasantly situated, with an adjoining garden and small green, at the top of Upper Baker Street, on the right side towards the Regent's Park. Here she built an additional room for her modelling.--Campbell's Life of Mrs. Siddons, p. 360.
August 29, 1817.—But, adieu ! I must dress to dine what I call out of town —the top house in Baker Street.-H. L. Piozzi, Letter to Sir James Fellowes.
1 Hatton, P. 797.
Pitt lived at the north end of Baker Street, No. 14 York Place.
Ladies, are you aware that the Great Pitt lived in Baker Street ? What would not your grandmothers have given to be asked to Lady Hester's parties in that now decayed mansion ?- Thackeray's Vanity Fair, p. 421.
Sir Alexander Boswell, the poet, and eldest son of Johnson's biographer, lodged for some time at No. 65. No. 69 was the residence of John Braham the great tenor. Here, at the “Bazaar in Baker Street” (No. 58), was the Wax Work Exhibition and Chamber of Horrors, well and widely known as Madame Tussaud's. Madame Tussaud died in this house, April, 15, 1850, aged ninety. The exhibition has been removed to a new building in Marylebone Road. The Smithfield Club held their Annual Cattle Show at the back of the Bazaar from 1839 to 1861, when they removed to the Agricultural Hall, Islington. By Adam Street is Portman Chapel, erected about 1779-1782. Edward Bulwer (afterwards Lord Lytton) was born at No. 31 in 1803, on the east side.
Bakers' Hall, No. 16 HARP LANE, GREAT TOWER STREET, a neat plain building erected on the site of one destroyed by fire in January 1715; the last words spoken by Robert Nelson, the author of Fasts and Festivals, were an allusion to the flames which were visible from his dying bed at Kensington. The hall was repaired and the interior restored about 1825, under the superintendence of James Elmes, architect, author of the Life of Sir Christopher Wren. The Banqueting Hall is large, has a good oak screen, with Corinthian columns, pilasters, and entablature, and contains several portraits of benefactors and eminent members of the Company.
In this Hart Lane is the Bakers' Hall, sometime the dwelling-house of John Chichley, Chamberlain of London, who was son to William Chichley, Alderman of London; brother to William Chichley, Archdeacon of Canterbury; nephew to Robert Chichley, Mayor of London ; and to Henry Chichley, Archbishop of Canterbury. Stow, p. 51. The bakers of London were of old divided into “White Bakers" and “Brown (or tourte) Bakers," no maker of white bread being allowed to make tourte, and by the regulations of the City the loaves brought into the city by the bakers of Stratford-le-Bow were required to be heavier in weight than the loaves of the same price supplied by the London bakers. Every baker was to “have his own seal, as well for brown bread as for white bread,” wherewith to stamp his loaves, and each alderman was required to “view the seals of the bakers in his ward.” The penalties for “default," either in quality or weight, " in the bread of a baker of the City” were very severe.”2 The City bakers were to hold four principal "hallmotes” in the year, on days fixed, to regulate the assay of bread and for other trade matters, when all who did not attend, or “reasonably excuse or essoin themselves," were to be amerced in a penalty of 21 pence. The bakers remained a guild by prescription till 1486, when Henry VII. gave them a Charter of Incorporation.
1 Strype, B. v. p. 338.
2 Liber Albus, p. 231.
3 Ibid., p. 30.