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Essex Street, STRAND, built circa 1680, on the grounds of old Essex House, one of several building speculations undertaken by Nicholas Barbone, the great builder referred to above by Strype. Sir William Scroggs, Chief-Justice, K.B., of whom Roger North draws such a curious picture (Lives, vol. i. p. 315), “died (1681) in Essex Street of a polypus in the heart.” Arthur Maynwaring, Sir Simon Harcourt, and Dr. Hugh Chamberlain were among the earliest residents. Here, in the middle of the last century, was established an Oratorical Society called the Robin Hood Club, “chiefly composed” (says The Connoisseur, March 28, 1754) “of lawyers' clerks, petty tradesmen, and the lowest mechanics, where it is usual for the advocates against religion to assemble and openly avow their infidelity.” The presiding genius was a baker, which explains a misspelling in the following extract of a quiz of Henry Fielding's.
Importinent questions consarning relidgin and gubermint, handyled by the Robinhoodians. . . . This evenin the questin at the Robinhood was, Whether relidgin was of any youse to a sosyaty ; baken bifor mee, Tommas Whytebred, baker. Covent Garden Journal, March 8, 1752; Works, vol. viii. p. 200.
The baker, however, must have been a man of eloquence and ability, and perhaps of education, as Sir Harry Erskine, not the least eminent of the young soldiers whom the success of Cornet Pitt led to a parliamentary career, is stated by Horace Walpole to have received lessons from him.
Of late he had turned his talent to rhetoric, and studied public speaking under the baker at the Oratorical Club, in Essex Street, from whence he brought so fluent, so theatrical, so specious, so declamatory a style and manner, as might have transported an age and audience not accustomed to the real graces and eloquence of Mr. Pitt.—Memoirs of George II., vol. i. p. 42.
Walpole adds in a note to this passage :
This went by the name of the Robin Hood Society, and met every Monday. Questions were proposed, and any person might speak on them for seven minutes ; after which the baker, who presided with a hammer in his hand, summed up the arguments.-Ibid.
Burke spoke here in his early Temple days; and it is told that when he took a pension Sheridan said, “ It is no wonder he should come upon the country for his bread, when he formerly went to a baker for his eloquence.” Goldsmith was introduced to the society by his countryman Derrick.
Struck by the eloquence and imposing aspect of the president, who sat in a large gilt chair, he thought nature had meant him for a lord chancellor. “No, no," whispered Derrick, who knew him to be a wealthy baker from the City, "only for a master of the rolls.”— Forster's Goldsmith, vol. i. p. 310.
At the Essex Head, now Nos. 40 and 41, Dr. Johnson established in the year 1783 a little evening club, occasionally called “Sam's," for the benefit of Samuel Greaves, the landlord, an old servant of Mr. Thrale's. “The terms," says Johnson, “are lax and the expenses light. We meet thrice a week, and he who misses forfeits twopence." The forfeit was found too small, and a member, for every night of non
attendance, incurred, very soon after, the heavier mulct of threepence. Boswell has printed the rules, drawn up by Johnson, for the regulation of this club,1
The Young Pretender when in London, for the first and last time, was lodged in the house of Lady Primrose in this street.
That this unfortunate man was in London about the year 1754, I can positively assert. He came hither contrary to the opinion of all his friends abroad, but he was determined, he said, to see the capital of that kingdom over which he thought himself born to reign. After being a few days at a lady's house in Essex Street in the Strand, he was met by one who knew his person, in Hyde Park, and who made an attempt to speak to him; this circumstance so alarmed the lady at whose house he resided that a boat was provided the same night and he returned instantly to France. -Thicknesse's Memoirs, vol. i. p. 213.
It was in September 1750, and not in 1754, that the Young Pretender was in London, as we learn from Dr. King, who had a long conversation with him in Lady Primrose's dressing-room, and from the positive statement of the Pretender himself.2 Dr. Lawrence, the friend and favourite physician of Johnson, died at his house in this street, June 13, 1783
The “Musick Room” in this street was famous in its day.
On Thursday next the 22nd of this instant, November, at the Musick School in Essex Buildings'; over against St. Clement's Church in the Strand, will be continued a concert of vocal and instrumental musick, beginning at five of the clock every evening. Composed by Mr. Banister, London Gazette, November 18, 1678.
Subsequently a famous Unitarian Chapel was established here. The chapel is now turned into a lecture hall.
Steps at the end of the street lead to the Thames Embankment and Temple Pier.
Ethelburga's (St.), BISHOPSGATE STREET, a church in Bishopsgate Ward, a little beyond the entrance to the church of St. Helen's, and on the same side of the street, dedicated to the daughter of Ethelbert, King of Kent. It escaped the Great Fire, and still retains some of its original Early English masonry. Dryden's antagonist, Luke Milbourne, died April 15, 1720, Rector of St. Ethelburga's-within-Bishopsgate, and lecturer of St. Leonard's, Shoreditch. Pope has called him “the fairest of critics,” because he exhibited his own translation of Virgil to be compared with that which he condemned. The view of this church, by West and Toms (1737), exhibits several of the adjoining houses, and is one of the most interesting of Old London illustrations. The right of presentation to the rectory belongs to the Bishop of London. It has been often repaired and decorated.
Euston Road. The portion of the New Road between Osnaburgh Street and King's Cross was so renamed in 1857. The once famous Brookes's Menagerie was situated at the west end of this road.
i Croker's Boswell, p. 476.
Earl Stanhope's History of England, vol. iv.
Brookes's Original Menagerie, New Road, Fitzroy Square, revived by the late Mr. Brookes's son Paul, who, having travelled for several years to various parts of the globe, for the purpose of collecting and establishing a correspondence, by which he will be enabled to obtain incessantly a supply of the most rare and interesting animals, now has the honour to inform the nobility and gentry that there is on sale a choice collection of curious quadrupeds and birds, chiefly from South America, procured in his last voyage, as well as many remaining of his preceding voyage to Africa, and a multitude from Asia and other foreign countries, lately purchased, as well as pheasants of every variety, poultry, pigeons, etc.- Original advertisement.
The west end of the Road is chiefly remarkable for the stone-yards of the masons, and the east end has been greatly improved by the buildings of the Midland Railway and the handsome Midland Railway Hotel (Sir G. G. Scott, architect). The clock tower is about 300 feet high.
Euston Square, EUSTON ROAD, built in 1825, and so called from the Fitzroys, Dukes of Grafton and Earls of Euston, the ground landlords. Dr. Wolcot (Peter Pindar) died in a house attached to Montgomery's Nursery Gardens, on which Euston Square was built. He died “January 14, 1819, aged eighty-one, at Montgomery's Cottage, Somer's Town, where he had resided for many years ; having been attracted on account of the surrounding nursery grounds." He had been totally blind for some time. He imputed his length of days to having a fire in his room and wearing Aannel all the year round, and to drinking nothing but brandy. His favourite couplet was
Say would you long the shafts of death defy,
Pray keep your inside wet, your outside dry. H. Crabb Robinson records a musical party at No. 11 in 1823, where Wordsworth, Coleridge, Rogers, and Flaxman were gathered together. Wordsworth fell asleep; Flaxman said he could not endure fine music for long; but Coleridge was full of enjoyment. The house belonged to Charles Aders and contained a fine collection of early German pictures. It was a frequent resort of William Blake and many other men of genius ; and has been celebrated by Charles Lamb in a poem beginning "Friendliest of men, Aders," and ending
Whoever enters here, no more presume
Make this thy chapel and thine oratory. Mrs. Aders was the daughter of Raphael Smith, and Coleridge addressed his poem of the “Two Founts” to her. The opening on the north side of Euston Square leads to the terminus of the London and North-Western Railway, in front of which is a statue of Robert Stephenson, erected in 1872. Inside the station is a statue of George Stephenson, by Baily, executed in 1854. The south side of the square was in 1880 renamed Endsleigh Gardens. At the east end of Euston Square is Euston Grove, where, at No. 6, Edward Irving was living in
St. Pancras Church (which see) is on the south-east side.
Evans's Hotel, Covent GARDEN, at the north-west corner of the Piazza, the house was the residence of Edward Russell, Earl of Orford, who died here in 1727, when the title became extinct. It was next occupied by Lord Archer, and subsequently by James West, P.R.S., so celebrated for his library. It was converted into a hotel in 1774, one of the earliest in London. In 1844 it passed into the hands of the genial and enterprising “Paddy" Green, who built a handsome hall, where Lord Archer grew cucumbers and mushrooms, and formed an interesting collection of theatrical portraits. Under him the place became celebrated for its music meetings and suppers; but of late these had fallen into some disfavour, and in 1879 the renewal of the music license was refused. Thackeray's Cave of Harmony was drawn from Evans, and from the Coal Hole in Fountain Court, Strand. The house is now occupied by the New Club.
[See Covent Garden.]
Evans's Row, leading from Hay Hill and Dover Street to Bond Street, called, since 1775, GRAFTON STREET.
Evelina Hospital, SOUTHWARK BRIDGE ROAD, for Sick Children of the Poor. A plain brick building on the Surrey side of Southwark Bridge, built and partially endowed by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild in 1869 in memory of his wife, and up to 1871 wholly supported by the Rothschild family. It has 100 beds, and the number relieved in 1887 were 473 in- and 6068 out-patients. The average income is about £4000.
Eversham Buildings. (See Chalton Street.]
Ewer Street, UNION STREET and GRAVEL LANE, SOUTHWARK. A noted Quakers' Meeting-house is shown in Rocque's Map, 1746, at the corner of Ewer Street. In the last century the buryingground of this place was filled so full as to be raised 8 or 9 feet above the level of the street, so that it burst, and the contents were scattered about the street.
Ewin's (St.) Church, NEWGATE MARKET, stood at the north-east corner of Warwick Lane, and was pulled down 37 Henry VIII. The two churches of St. Ewin's and St. Nicholas Shambles were sold for £1200, and the two parishes were united to form that of Christ Church Newgate Street.
Exchange. [See Middle Exchange, New Exchange, Royal Exchange.]
Exchange Alley, CORNHILL, now called CHANGE ALLEY (which see), was enlarged, if not altogether built after the Great Fire, when "a corner shop at the south end of the new alley, called Exchange Alley, next Lumbard Street," was taken down. The shop belonged to
i Fire of London Papers, in British Museum, vol. xvi. Art. 59.
Alderman Edward Backwell, an eminent banker and goldsmith, ruined by the shutting up of the Exchequer in the reign of Charles II.
April 12, 1669.-This evening, coming home, we overtook Alderman Backwell's coach and his lady, and followed them to their house, and there made them the first visit. . . . Here he showed me the model of his houses that he is going to build in Cornhill and Lombard Street ; but he hath purchased so much there that it looks like a little town and must have cost him a great deal of money.- Pepys.
It appears from a passage in Pepys's Diary that Backwell had the intention of making this improvement before the Fire.
July 3, 1663.—Thence to the 'Change, and meeting Sir J. Minnes there he and I walked to look upon Backwell's design of making another alley from his shop over against the Exchange door, which will be very noble and quite put down the other two.
It is a large place vastly improved, chiefly out of an house of Alderman Backwells, a goldsmith before the Great Fire, well built, inhabited by Tradesmen ; especially that Passage into Lombard Street against the Exchange, and is a place of a very considerable concourse of Merchants, Sea-faring Men, and other Traders, occasioned by the great coffee-houses (Jonathan's and Garway's) that stand there. Chiefly now Brokers, and such as deal in buying and selling of Stocks, frequent it. The Alley is broad and well paved with Free Stones, neatly kept.-Strype, B. ii. p. 149.
There are two or three varieties of a trade token of a coffee-house of still earlier date and fame in this alley. On it is the head of Morat [Amurath] the Great, and the inscription
Morat ye Great men did mee call
Where eare I came I conqver'd all ; 1 and an advertisement in the Mercurius Publicus of March 19, 1663, announces “Coffees, Sherbets, made in Turkie, of lemons, roses and violets perfumed ; Tea, according to its goodness from six to sixty shillings a pound, for sale at the Coffeehouse in Exchange Alley, the sign Morat the Great." In other advertisements it is stated that “The right coffee-powder” is “sold by retail” at the Morat the Great coffee-house at “from four shillings to six shillings and eightpence per pound, as in goodness; that pounded in a mortar at two shillings per pound."
Exchange Alley, in the STRAND. [See New Exchange.]
Exchequer, Court of, one of the oldest offices under the Crown, and usually attached to the palace of the Sovereign, was the Court for the receipt of monies due to the Crown, and for issuing all processes relating thereto. The chief officers were the Chancellor (a Cabinet minister), a Chief Baron, and a Comptroller General.
The Exchequer is a four-cornered board, about ten foot long and five foot broad, fitted in manner of a table for men to sit about ; on every side whereof is a standing ledge, or border, four fingers broad. Upon this board is laid a cloth bought in Easter Term, which is of black colour, rowed with strekes, distant about a foot or a span. ... That this Court then had its name from the Board whereat they sate, there is no doubt to be made ; considering that the Cloth which covered it was thus party-coloured ; which the French call Chequy.—Dugdale, Origines Jurid., ed. 1680, p. 49.
The ancient constitution of the Receipt of the Exchequer, with its Auditor, 4 Tellers, a Clerk of the Pells, etc., was abolished pursuant to 4 Will. IV. c. 15. The first chancellor was Sir John Maunsell, temp.
1 Burn, Traders Tokens, p. 90.