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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, the 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 archeologist, 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!
Vain is thy art, thy powder vain,
Since worms shall eat e'en thee.-POPE.
In the open square called Abchurch Yard, at the junction of Sherborne Lane, is the church of St. Mary Abchurch, designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1686. [See St. Mary Abchurch.]
Here, in the house of Thomas Shepherd, "a merchant upon Change," in the reign of Charles II., William Lord Russell, Algernon
Sidney, the Duke of Monmouth, and others opposed to the party of the Duke of York, were accustomed to meet. The Mother Wells, whose cakes or "pasties" are celebrated in Webster's Northward Ho (1607) and Haughton's Englishman for my Money (1616, acted 1598), had her establishment in this lane. Burn describes a token of John Lucas at the White Bear "in Abchurch Lane, 1665,-his half-peny." The White Bear was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. Five and twenty years later Abchurch Lane could boast of a still more celebrated tavern and eating-house. [See Pontacks.]
Abercorn Place, ST JOHN'S WOOD.
Charles R. Leslie, R.A.,
died at No. 2, on May 5, 1859. He removed here from Pine Apple Place in 1847.
Abergavenny, or Burgaveny House, at the north end of Ave Maria Lane, was the residence of Henry Nevill, sixth Earl of Abergavenny (d. 1587).
At the north end of Ave Mary Lane, is one great house, builded of stone and timber, of old time pertaining to John, Duke of Britaine, Earl of Richmond, as appeareth by the records of Edward II. Since that it is called Pembrook's Inn, near unto Ludgate; as belonging to the Earls of Pembrook, in the times of Richard II. the 18th year; and of Henry VI. the 14th year. It is now called Burgaveny House, and belongeth to Henry, late Lord of Burgaveny.-Stow, Survey of London, p. 127.
In December 1558 Sir Nicholas Bacon writes to Matthew Parker to come to him "at Burgeny House in Paternoster Row," and the future archbishop in reply inquires at what time he may wait on his "worship at Burgeny or at Newmarket." The house was afterwards purchased by the Company of Stationers, who made it their Hall. It was destroyed in the fire of 1666, and the present hall erected on the site. [See Stationers' Hall.]
Abingdon Street, WESTMINSTER, runs north and south parallel to the Thames from Old Palace Yard to Millbank Street. It is said to commemorate the name of Mary Abingdon, or Habington, sister to the Lord Monteagle, the lady to whom is ascribed the famous letter which occasioned the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot.2 But this is very unlikely, as Abingdon Street was only formed under the provisions. of the Act 23 Geo. II., 1750, the previous thoroughfare, called Dirty Lane, being "a narrow lane, pestered with coaches, narrow and inconvenient." 3 Thomas Telford, engineer of the Menai Bridge, lived and died (December 25, 1834) at No. 24 in this street. Richard Bentley, the great critic, and in 1787 Isaac Hawkins Browne, lived here. gallant Sir John Malcolm lived at No. 12, David Roberts, R.A., at No. 8. In Abingdon Buildings, a turning between Nos. 16 and 17 at the Old Palace Yard end of Abingdon Street, Richard Cumberland lived shortly after his marriage in 1759.*
1 Parker's Letters, pp. 49, 52.
4 Memoirs of Richard Cumberland, 1806, p. 156.
Abney Park Cemetery, STOKE NEWINGTON (3 miles from the General Post Office) consisting of 30 acres, was opened by the Lord Mayor, May 20, 1840. Here is a statue of Dr. Isaac Watts, by Baily, R.A., erected to commemorate the residence for 36 years of Watts at Abney Park, the seat of his friend Sir Thomas Abney, Lord Mayor in 1700. The site of the house is included in the cemetery. Among those buried here may be mentioned William Hone, George Offor, the collector of Bunyan's works, and Sir Charles Reed, M.P. (18191881), late Chairman of the London School Board.
Academy of Arts (Royal). [See Royal Academy.]
Academy of Music (Royal). [See Royal Academy of Music.] Achilles (STATUE OF-so called). [See Hyde Park.]
Adam Street. [See Adelphi.]
Adam and Eve, at the corner of the Hampstead and Euston Roads, is supposed to stand on the site of the Old Manor House of Tottenhall, and in July 1796 the General Court Baron of the Lord of the Manor was held at this tavern. The Adam and Eve was at one time famous for its cream cakes and for its menagerie, and the gardens were a favourite resort of pleasure-seekers until the end of the last century, when the character of the visitors deteriorated. Lunardi the aeronaut came down into these gardens in May 1783, after having ascended from the Artillery ground. The rural condition of the neighbourhood in Hogarth's day is seen from his picture of "The March to Finchley."
Determined to be quite the crack, O!
Eden Street was built on the gardens of the old tavern.
Adam and Eve Court, OXFORD STREET, a turning on the north side, west of Wells Street, and nearly opposite the Pantheon. In a card designed by Hogarth for James Figg, he is described as "Master of ye noble science of defence" dwelling "on ye right hand in Oxford Road near Adam and Eve Court."
Addison Road, KENSINGTON, runs from the Kensington Road, west of Holland House, to the Uxbridge Road, opposite Royal Crescent, named after Joseph Addison, who lived at Holland House after his marriage with the Countess of Warwick.
My Lord Holland has always some of these Highland sheep at Kensington, in his beautiful park and farm, which he disfigured and half spoiled during the building madness of his colleague Robinson's matchless prosperity of 1824 and 1825. When in the former of these years I saw Addison Road come and cut his beautiful farm across, and when I saw Cato Cottage and Homer Villa start up on the side of that road, I said My Lord (and I am very sorry for it) will pay pretty dearly for his taste for the classics.-Cobbett's Northern Tour, p. 88.