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account of its being situated on the banks of a tidal river, with the south-west wind blowing from the country, and the north-east softened by blowing over the town.
Vauxhall Gardens existed for nearly two centuries, and when we read Pepys and Evelyn, Addison and Fielding, we cannot help feeling that in the 17th and 18th centuries our countrymen lived a much more out-of-door Continental sort of life than we do now. A forgotten poet of the last century likens Vauxhall Gardens to Eden, and Fielding in his Amelia expresses himself unable to describe the extreme elegance and beauty of the place.
Ranelagh came into being about 1733, and soon afterwards we hear Johnson exclaiming, "When first I entered Ranelagh, it gave me an expansion and gay sensation in my mind, such as I never experienced anywhere else!"
Either in the time of James I. or in the next reign, a portion of the St. James's Fields were laid out for the convenience of the players of the newly introduced game of Pall Mall. Games did not flourish during the years of the Commonwealth, and at the Restoration the courtiers found the Pall Mall less secluded than they left it. In consequence of the road being partly built upon, Charles II. set aside a portion of St. James's Park for the purposes of his favourite game. The street at first was given the name of the Queen Catharine, but this name was never popular, and the usual designation was the “Old Pall Mall.” St. James's Park was originally in the country, but when Pall Mall was built and fashionable people began to frequent it, it became, from its vicinity to the palace of Whitehall and St. James's House, a part of the town. One corner of the park had been occupied by a favourite place of entertainment called Spring Garden, but after the Restoration building was commenced there. As early as . 1661 the inhabitants of Charing Cross, who enjoyed a fine view of the trees in the park, petitioned the King that no further houses might be erected in the Spring Gardens. The ground built upon was called “Inner Spring Gardens” and “Outer Spring Gardens,” and many illustrious persons came to live in the new quarter. Maitland, writing some 150 years ago, in speaking of London, says, “This ancient city has engulphed one city (Westminster), one borough (Southwark), and fortythree villages." Were he living now he would have been able to make large additions to his list.
In the year 1222 the parish of St. Margaret constituted the whole of Westminster, but a very few years afterwards a large portion was abstracted to form the parish of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, which for four or five centuries included nearly all the west of London. The parish of St. Paul, Covent Garden, was carved out of St. Martin's in 1645; that of St. Anne, Soho, in 1678; and that of St. James in 1685; but it was not until 1725, when the parish of St. George, Hanover Square, was constituted, that the extreme west was taken away from the parish of St. Martin. These dates show very clearly the slow but steady
growth westward. It must not be forgotten that there was also a considerable growth eastward. The revocation of the Edict of Nantes in October 1685, and the consequent migration into this country of a large number of industrious French Protestants, caused a considerable growth in the east end of London. It was then that the silk manufactories at Spitalfields were established.
William III. cared little for London, the smoke of which gave him asthma, and when a great part of Whitehall was burnt in 1691, he purchased Nottingham House and made it into Kensington Palace. For convenience of communication with London, the King caused a broad road to be made through Hyde Park, which was lighted by lanterns at night. Kensington was then an insignificant village, but the arrival of the Court soon caused it to grow into importance.
In the 18th century London had grown into a City of very considerable proportions, but it had not become positively unwieldy in size, and it would seem to have been esteemed an exceedingly agreeable place to live in. It certainly produced some of the most devoted Londoners. Dr. Johnson, although he came to London after his first youth was past, and although he always retained a fond affection for his birthplace, Lichfield, thought that London was the only place in the world where a man could really live. He was constantly moving, and he therefore had a considerable experience of various parts of the town. At first he went to Exeter Street, Strand, then he migrated to Greenwich. He brought his wife to Woodstock Street, near Hanover Square, then he moved to Castle Street, Cavendish Square, after that he was in the Strand, in Boswell Court, in the Strand again, in Bow Street, in Holborn, in Fetter Lane, and in Holborn again. In Gough Square he compiled the great Dictionary, but when that work was finished, and supplies no longer came in from the publishers, Johnson was forced to seek a cheaper lodging in Staple Inn. He then crossed Holborn to Gray's Inn. Afterwards he went to Inner Temple Lane, to Johnson's Court, and in Bolt Court, close by his beloved Fleet Street, he died.
A still more representative Londoner was Hogarth. He did not change his quarters so often as Johnson, but he has left us a series of the most marvellous pictures of the London life of his time—and this life in all its phases is mirrored in his pictures and engravings. He shows us tavern life, and theatrical life, also the hospitals, the prisons, and streets. It is a very unlovely picture, but the cruelty and crime that is painted so true to life must have caused many to labour for a reformation of manners, a reformation that was brought about in the end, and in the attainment of that end the labours of Hogarth must not be forgotten. It is perhaps necessary to mention that this artist's topography is not always to be trusted, as it was often sacrificed to pictorial effect.
In conclusion, it is necessary to speak of the great northern and southern growth of London.
In 1756, and for some years subsequently, the land behind
Montague House (now the British Museum) was occupied as a farm, and when in that year a proposal was made to plan out a new road, he tenant and the Duke of Bedford strongly opposed it. In 1772 all beyond Portland Chapel, in Great Portland Street, was country, and in illustration of this it may be mentioned that the mother of John Thomas Smith (author of a Book for a Rainy Day), being recommended to rise early and take milk at the cowhouse, used to cross the New Road and walk to a place called Williams's Farm, near the Jews' Harp House Tavern and Tea Gardens, on the borders of Marylebone (now Regent's) Park. Bedford House in Bloomsbury Square had its full view of Hampstead and Highgate from the back, and Queen's Square was built open to the north in order that the inhabitants might obtain the same view. The north-east end of Upper Montague Street is the site of the celebrated “Brothers Steps” or “Field of Forty Footsteps," which took this name from a legendary story that two brothers were in love with one lady, who would not declare a preference for either, but coolly sat on a bank to witness the termination of a duel that proved fatal to both. It is said that the bank upon which the lady sat, and the footmarks of the brothers when pacing the ground, never produced grass again. Southey went to see the steps and counted seventy-six, and Joseph Moser saw them in 1806, just before they were built over. Bedford Square was planned in the last years of the 18th century, and Russell Square in 1804.
To show how rural the northern portion of this district was, it may be mentioned that the gardens of the houses in Upper Gower Street were famous for the fine celery grown there. Camden Town was begun in 1791, and the High Street consisted of a terrace of houses looking over Marylebone Park. The houses on the west side when they were built were only allowed to be low in height, so that the opposite houses might not lose their view. It is only of late years that upper storeys have been added to them. Now the northern growth has gone on so rapidly that the hills of Hampstead and of Highgate have been reached. After the Great Exhibition of 1851, another extensive district was added to London—that of South Kensington. With the opening of the Crystal Palace at Sydenham in 1854 a great increase in the southern portion of the town commenced. While houses were in this way being added to houses, the river as the centre and very life of London was forgotten. As a consequence, the place was ugly and wanting in homogeneity—there was no point where one could take a visitor and say that is London. With the creation of the noble embankments this is changed, and we can now be proud of our City. London has marched on, swallowing up all that it has overtaken. Sometimes villages have been brought into the circuit, and sometimes open fields without a history have been built upon. It is significant of the ever onward growth of London, which swallows up villages and country fields alike, that there are something like twentyfive High Streets in London. This unparalleled increase in the size
of London has necessitated the present movement for the formation of parks and the retention of open spaces. In the 17th and 18th centuries a walk would take the Londoner outside the circle of houses, but now the pilgrim must undertake a railway journey to do the same thing. Hence the due reservation of open spaces, and the planting of trees in the roads and avenues has become a positive necessity for the health of the Community. The tide of change just alluded to, which has so completely altered the appearance of London, is not likely to cease its flow. Much has already been done in the rebuilding of business premises and mansions, and in the erection of residential flats, and doubtless we shall see in the future a great work done in the improvement of buildings in the East End The School Board has dotted its buildings all over London, and the late Metropolitan Board of Works greatly improved the appearance of London by the construction of the Thames Embankments and the planning of new streets, and made the place more healthy by means of improved drainage. But much more has still to be done, and the London County Council has an important public work before it. The Londoner will, as an archæologist, regret the many interesting relics of the past which have been swept away, but as a patriot he will rejoice at what has already been done for the improvement of the sanitary condition and the architectural appearance of the greatest city in the world.
PAST AND PRESENT.
Abbey Road, St. John's WOOD. John Gibson Lockhart, the editor of the Quarterly Review (1826-1853), and biographer of Scott, lived at No. 44-a house in a garden-during the last years of his London life. He died at Abbotsford, December 1854.
Abbey Street, BERMONDSEY. The eastern extension of Long Lane, east of Bermondsey Street, marks the site of Bermondsey Abbey. [See Bermondsey.) North of Abbey Street is the church of St. Mary Magdalene, from which the abbey buildings and precinct extended southwards. The principal gateway of the Abbey, with its postern, was still standing “at the north-west corner of King John's Court” in 1806 (it was drawn for Wilkinson's Londina Illustrata in 1805), but was shortly afterwards removed for the formation of Abbey Street. The east gateway in Grange Walk, south-east of Abbey Street, was demolished about 1760.
1808.—The Bermondseans for a love of alteration have this year contrived a new road of no perceptible use or convenience through the very heart of the existing walls of the abbey.-J. Carter, Gentleman's Magazine, 1808.
Abchurch Lane, connecting LOMBARD STREET with CANNON STREET, was so named from the parish of St. Mary Abchurch, or Upchurch, as Stow says he had seen it written. Mr. John Moore, "author of the celebrated worm-powder" (d. 1737), lived in this lane.
Oh learned friend of Abchurch Lane,
Who sett'st our entrails free !
Since worms shall eat e'en thee.-POPE.
Here, in the house of Thomas Shepherd, “a merchant upon Change,” in the reign of Charles II., William Lord Russell, Algernon