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and elaborate drinking fountain erected by Mr. Charles Buxton in memory of his father, Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, and those who with him advocated in Parliament the emancipation of slaves in the British colonies.
George Street, HANOVER SQUARE, built circ. 1719.1 Eminent Inhabitants.—Lord Chancellor Cowper (d. 1723), in No. 13, on the west side, lately the British and Foreign Institute. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu passed the last seven months of her life in a “harpsichord house in this street, and died here, August 21, 1762, at the age of seventy-three. “I am most decently lodged," she used to say with a laugh ; "I have two very decent closets and a cupboard on each floor."2 Pennant, the Historian of London, Francis Charteris was living in this street when he committed the crime (1729) commemorated in that terrible epitaph which will make his name "continue to rot" in the memory of all succeeding generations. At No. 7 Admiral Sir Edward Hawke in 1729. David Mallet, the poet, the "only Scot whom Scotchmen did not commend,” lived in No. 8 from 1758 till his death in 1765. His rent was £46. It was afterwards occupied by Mrs. Hadfield, the mother of Maria Cosway and Mrs. William Combe. A later tenant was Sir William Beechey, R.A. He was succeeded by Thomas Phillips, R.A., who resided in it for forty years, and in it died, April 20, 1845. It was in this house that Byron sat to Phillips for his portrait. John Singleton Copley, the American painter, at No. 25; where his son, Lord Lyndhurst, succeeded him, and died, October 12, 1863, aged ninety. At No. 9, in 1803, Richard Brinsley Sheridan and his son Thomas. Madame de Staël was living at No. 3 in July 1813. Here H. Crabbe Robinson found her seated with Mr. Murray, and aided in drawing up the agreement by which she received 1800 guineas for her work on Germany.
In the days of the Regency George Street, Hanover Square, was the place of assembly of the Four-in-Hand Club. When all were mustered they drove out in regular order, at a slow pace, to Salt Hill, where they dined and came back to town somewhat more rapidly.
Charles Lamb used greatly to admire “the houses at the Bond Street corner of George Street, which his friend Manning used to say were built of bricks resembling in colour the great Wall of China." 4
George Street, PORTMAN SQUARE.
September 25, 1808.—Went by appointment to the Duc d'Angoulême, whom I had not seen since the year 1794 : saw him and Duc de Berri, No. 39 George Street, Portman Square. Called on Monsieur in returning.--Windham's Diary.
In the Court Guide for 1807 the Duke of Orleans (Louis Philippe) is set down as residing in the same house. Thomas Moore had his first London lodging, 1799, at No. 44 in this street. 1 Rate-books of St. Martin's.
3 Pennant to the late J. T. Smith, the Topo2 Lord Wharncliffe's Lady Mary Wortley grapher, in 1792. Montagu, vol. i. p. 99; vol. iii. p. 293.
4 Allsop's Coleridge, vol. i. p. 207.
George Yard, LOMBARD STREET.
Near Ball Alley was the George Inn ; since the Fire rebuilt with very good houses, well inhabited ; and warehouses ; being a large open yard, and called George Yard : at the farther end of which is the George and Vulture tavern; which is a large house and of a great trade, having a passage into St. Michael's Alley.---Strype, B. ii. p. 162.
The George and Vulture, Castle Court, just off George Yard, is well known to the readers of the Pickwick Papers. No. 4 is the Dentside Bank.
George's Coffee-house, in the STRAND, without TEMPLE BAR; in existence as early as 1723, and still, as "The George Hotel,” No. 213 Strand (the corner of Devereux Court), a well-frequented tavern.
Sir James Lowther, after changing a piece of silver in George's coffee-house, and paying twopence for his dish of coffee, was helped into his chariot, for he was then very lame and infirm, and went home; some little time after, he returned to the same coffee-house, on purpose to acquaint the woman who kept it, that she had given him a bad halfpenny, and demanded another in exchange for it. Sir James had about £40,000 per annum, and was at a loss whom to appoint his heir.—Dr. King's Anecdotes, p. 102.
What do you think must be my expence, who love to pry into everything of this kind? Why, truly one shilling. My company goes to George's coffee-house, where, for that small subscription, I read all pamphlets under a three shilling dimensions ; and indeed, any larger ones would not be fit for coffee-house perusal. --Shenstone's Works, vol. iii. p. 12.
The people that were carrying Lord Orford in effigy, to behead him on Tower Hill, came into the box where he was, accidentally at George's, to beg money of him amongst others.--Ibid. vol. iii. p. 33.
I have been eagerly reading Mr. Shenstone's Letters. . . . There is another anecdote equally vulgar and void of truth : that my father sitting in George's coffee-house (I suppose Mr. Shenstone thought that, after he quitted his place, he went to the coffee-houses to learn news), was asked to contribute to a figure of himself that was to be beheaded by the mob. I do remember something like it, but it happened to myself
. I met a mob just after my father was out, in Hanover Square, and drove up to it to know what was the matter. They were carrying about a figure of my sister. This probably gave rise to the other story.--Horace Walpole to Cole, June 14, 1769.
London at that time (1751] had many advantages, which have been long since lost. There were a number of coffee-houses where the town wits met every evening ; particularly the Bedford, in the Piazza, Covent Garden, and George's, at Temple Bar. Young as I was I made my way to those places.-Arthur Murphy (Foot's Life of Murphy, p. 11).
By law let others toil to gain renown!
Lloyd, The Law Student,
Taste, An Epistle to a Young Critic, 4to, 1753. His (Goldsmith's) letters were addressed to the Temple Exchange coffee-house,
near Temple Bar, where the waiter “George,” whom he celebrates in the third number of his Bee, took charge of them.--Forster's Life and Times of Goldsmith. B. 2, c. ü.
George's (St.) Cathedral, St. GEORGE'S ROAD, ST. GEORGE'S FIELDS, the Cathedral of the (Roman) diocese of Southwark (the largest Roman Catholic church which had been erected in this country), built from the designs of A. W. Pugin, architect, in the Decorated period of Gothic architecture. The first stone was laid September 8, 1840; and the cathedral dedicated, July 4, 1848. The building is calculated to hold 3000 people seated. It is 240 feet long by 72 feet wide. a building it has been excessively praised and censured. Ruskin called it an "eruption of diseased crotchets." Pugin himself wrote of it, "St. George's was spoilt by the very instructions laid down by the Committee, that it was to hold 3000 people on the floor at a limited price; in consequence, height, proportion, everything was sacrificed to meet these conditions." This is, perhaps, the best excuse that can be offered for its meagreness; but “these conditions" did not compel the absence of all nobleness of form and dignity of scale in a building of such dimensions. The interior is more effective than the exterior, but it suffers from want of height. The original cost was about £40,000. Cardinal Wiseman was enthroned in St. George's Cathedral, December 6, 1850. Adjoining are a convent for Sisters of Mercy, and a school for 300 children.
George (St.) Church, BOTOLPH LANE, BILLINGSGATE, a short distance from Eastcheap, on the west side.
This parish church of St. George, in Buttolph Lane, is small, but the monuments, for two hundred years past, are well preserved from spoil.–Stow, p. 79.
The church described by Stow was destroyed in the Great Fire, and the present one erected in its stead by Sir Christopher Wren. It was finished in 1674, and serves as well for the parish of St. Botolph, Billingsgate. The exterior has a tower, 67 feet high to the top of the balustrade, with some good carvings, but no spire. The interior is broad and simple in design, and characteristic of Wren's manner. It consists of nave and aisles, divided by columns of the Composite order, which support a vaulted roof. The church is nearly square, being 53 feet 6 inches by 49 feet, and is 36 feet high. William Sherlock, Dean of St. Asaph's (d. 1707), and father of Thomas Sherlock, Bishop of London, was appointed to this rectory in 1669. Observe.--Inscription to the memory of Alderman Beckford, on the sword-iron on the south side of the church.
After the Fire the parish of St. Botolph, Billingsgate, was united by Act of Parliament to this parish.
George's (St.) Church, GEORGE STREET, HANOVER SQUARE, was designed by John James, architect, begun in 1713, and consecrated by Bishop Gibson, March 23, 1724. Like St. George's, Bloomsbury, it was dedicated to St. George “in compliment to the King," George I.
It is of course classic in style. The body of the church is plain; but it has a Corinthian portico of good proportions (70 feet long by 60 feet wide and 40 feet 6 inches high), and a tower with columns of a corresponding order whịch together form a picturesque group (100 feet high). This was one of the fifty new churches, and contains a good Jesse window, of 16th-century work, brought from Mechlin by the Marquis of Ely, purchased by public subscription, and placed in the church in 1841 with additions by T. Willement, glass painter. The parish was taken out of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields. The ground for the church was given by Lieut. General Stewart, who some time after bequeathed £4000 for a parish school. In this church (formerly the most fashionable church for marriages in London, in which the great Duke of Wellington has given away so many brides) some remarkable marriages have been solemnised—the Duchess of Kingston, March 8, 1769, to the Duke of Kingston, her first husband (Mr. Hervey, afterwards Earl of Bristol) being then alive. She is described in the register as a spinster. Her trial for bigamy is among the causes célèbres. Sir William Hamilton, September 6, 1791, to the Lady Hamilton, so intimately connected with the story of Lord Nelson. Her name in the register is Emma Harte. Richard Cosway, to Maria Hatfield, 1771; the bride was given away by Charles Townley, Esq., the collector of the Townley Marbles, now in the British Museum. Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, to Lady Augusta Murray, December 5, 1793, afterwards declared by the Prerogative Court to be void under the terms of the Royal Marriage Act. The marriage was by banns, and as it seemed "singular that banns should be published when one of the parties was of the Royal Family” without the clergy making any inquiry or even ascertaining the residence of the “Augustus Frederick” who was to be married, it was decided to summon the rector and curates before the Privy Council. Lord Eldon—then engaged for the Crown—tells the result with much unction:
The rector first appeared; he said he had the most respectable curates, and he had always most solemnly enjoined them not to marry parties without having first enquired about their residence. The curates were then examined, and they said their's was a most respectable parish clerk, who wore a gown, and they had always most solemnly given a like injunction to him. The clerk was then called, and he declared that no man in the parish had a more excellent, careful wife than he had, and that he daily gave her most solemnly a like injunction. She then made her appearance, and said that she must sometimes be about her own, and not about parish business ; but that she had two female servants, as discreet as any in the parish, and she had always given them a like solemn injunction, when anybody brought a paper about publication of banns in her and her husband's absence, to make proper enquiries about the parties' residence. All this put Lord Thurlow out of humour, and he then said to me angrily, “Sir, why have you not prosecuted, under the Act of Parliament, all the parties concerned in this abominable marriage?” To which I answered, “That it was a very difficult business to prosecute--that the Act, it was understood, had been drawn by Lord Mansfield, and Mr. Attorney General Thurlow, and Mr. Solicitor General Wedderburne, and unluckily they had made all parties present at the marriage guilty of felony; and as nobody could prove the marriage except a person who had been present at it, there could be no prosecution, because
nobody present could be compelled to be a witness. This put an end to the matter.
The Muse displays
Gay favours, thick as flakes of snow,
Lord Macaulay's Valentine, In the burial-ground on the road to Bayswater, belonging to this parish, and near the west wall, Laurence Sterne, the author of Tristram Shandy and the Sentimental Journey, is buried. He died in Old Bond Street in this parish. [See Bayswater.] It was for this living that Dr. Dodd offered a bribe to Lord Chancellor Bathurst, and was struck off the list of King's Chaplains.
Among the descendants of Thomas Plantagenet, Duke of Gloucester, fifth son of Edward III., was Mr. Stephen James Penny, the late sexton of St. George's, Hanover Square, who christened his eldest son (we believe still living) Plantagenet. -A. Hayward's Selected Essays, vol. ii. p. 188.
George's (St.) Church, HART STREET, BLOOMSBURY, a parish church, consecrated January 28, 1731, was designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor (d. 1736), architect of St. Mary Woolnoth, and pupil of Sir Christopher Wren. The portico is good, and the steeple has found an enduring remembrance in the background of Hogarth's “Gin Lane."
The steeple is a master-stroke of absurdity, consisting of an obelisk, crowned with the statue of King George I., and hugged by the royal supporters. -Horace Walpole.
When Henry VIII. left the Pope in the lurch,
Contemporary Epigram. The statue of George I. was erected by William Hucks, the rich brewer (d. 1740). The parish was taken out of St. Giles-in-theFields. The churchyard (now made into a recreation ground) has an entrance from Handel (formerly Henrietta) Street, Brunswick Square. Here are buried-Rev. Samuel Ayscough (d. 1804), known by his Shakespeare Index ; Joseph Shepherd Munden, the actor, (d. 1832); and Edmund Lodge (d. 1839), known by his Illustrations of English History, and by his Portraits of Illustrious Personages.
1 Walpole, vol. vi. p. 55. VOL. II