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SIR JOHN BARNARD.
ently situated for the London brethren, as standing on the banks of the river Thames. Eleven Elders were chosen, and their offices described in a register entitled The Orders of Wandsworth. This was the first Presbyterian church in England. It was at Wandsworth also that the patriotic citizen Sir John Barnard received his education. This Little Man, adored by the Common Hall, was for many years an active member of the Corporation of London. He served the City in Parliament for nearly forty years ; and opposed most strenuously Sir Robert Walpole, especially in his plan of introducing the Excise into this country. He died in 1764 ; and in the Royal Exchange the citizens have gratefully placed a statue to his memory. He was knighted by George the Second; but this mark of Court favour, did not induce him to swerve from his steady line of patriotic duty. He always gloried in his independence, owing, to the free choice of his constituents, his place in the House of Commons. He therefore abhorred every species of corruption and bribery. He died at an advanced age, and lies interred at Mortlake. He appears to have been a true lover of his country.
In the vicinity of Wandsworth, is the hamlet of Garratt, known for its mock Election on the recurrence of a new Parliament. Foote, in 1763, produced a farce, called the Mayor of Garratt, which afforded his comic genius an opportunity of caricaturing several public characters of the day. The origin of the Mayor and Members of Garratt may be thus explained :--
About fifty years ago, some persons, who lived near that part of Wandsworth which adjoins Garratt-lane, had formed a kind of club, not merely to eat and drink, but to concert measures for removing the encroachments made on that part of the common. As the members were most of them persons of low circumstances, they agreed at every meeting to contribute a trifle in order to make up a purse for the de. fence of their collective rights. When a sufficient sum of money was subscribed, they applied to a worthy attorney in the neighbourhood, who brought an action in the name of the President (or, as they called bim, the Mayor) of the club against the incroachers. They gained their suit, with costs. The incroachments were destroyed; and, ever after, the President, who lived many years, was called “The Mayor of Garratt !" This event happening at the time of a General Election, the ceremony, upon every new Parliament, of choosing out-door Members for the borough of Garratt has been constantly kept up, and is still continued to the emolument of all the publicans at Wandsworth, who annually subscribe to the incidental expenses of this mock election !
Putney, a few miles further on, and nearer the river Thames, is separated by a bridge from Fulham. It contains six hundred houses, and two thousand inhabitants. The church, an old Gothic structure, bas at the east end a curious chapel, the roof of which is adorned with rich tapestry. This place gave birth to the un, fortunate Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, whose
12 OBELISK. MR, HARTLEY'S FIRE-PLATES.
father was a blacksmith! But
Honour and shame from no condiiion rise;
In the year 1647, Putney was made the head-quarters of Oliver Cromwell; and his military councils were held in the Church, around the Communion Table !
Upon Putney Common, in 1786, was raised an OBELISK, covered with inscriptions. The side towards the road informs us that it was erected 110 years after the Fire of London, on the anniversary of the dreadful event, and in memory of an invention for the securing of buildings from the ravages of the merciless conflagration! This alludes to a house adjoining, three stories high, and two rooms on a floor, built by David Hartley, Esq. with fire-plates between the cielings and floors. Sis experiments were made in the year 1776; one in particular, when their Mac jesties and some of the Royal Family were in a room over the ground floor while the apartment beneath was burning with the utmost fury! The remaining inscriptions merely record that the House of Commons, in 1774, granted Mr. Hartley £2,500 for this invention; and that the Court of Common Council shewed their gratitude by conferring upon the ingenious author the freedom of the City. Rewards the most liberal ought not to be withheld, when the head devises, and the hand executes, plans conducive to the happiness of mankind.