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Bold Britons, at a brave Bear-garden Fray,
Are rouz'd: and, clatt'ring Sticks, cry Play, Play, Play.
And mutter to himself, Ha! gens barbare!
And, Gad, 'tis well he mutters; well for him;
Our Butchers else would tear him limb from limb.—
DRYDEN, Epilogue to Aurengzebe, 1670.
Among the Additional MSS. in the British Museum 1 is a warrant of Lord Arlington's, dated March 28, 1676, for the payment of £10 "to James Davies, Esq., master of His Majesty's Bears, Bulls, and Dogs, for making ready the roomes at the Bear Garden and Bayteing the Beares before the Spanish Ambassadors, the 7 January last, 1675." From the Works Accounts of the Crown for 1628-1629 there appears to have been a "Bear Stake Gallery" at Whitehall in the reign of Charles I. In William III.'s reign this species of amusement was removed to Hockley-in-the-Hole, "as more convenient for the butchers and such like," then the chief patrons of this once royal amusement. [See Paris Garden; Hockley-in-the-Hole.]
Mr. Rendle says that there were at least four Bear Gardens-two amphitheatres shown on the Agas Map (called respectively the Bull Baiting and the Bear Baiting), another at the north end of the Bear Garden Lane so called, leading from Maid Lane to the river, and one-the Hope-used also as a play-house, at the south end of the same lane.
✓ Bear Lane, now BEER LANE, leading from Great Tower Street to Lower Thames Street, opposite the Custom House.
At the east end of Tower Street, on the south side, have ye Beare Lane, wherein are many fair houses, and runneth down to Thames Street.-Stow, p. 51.
By the river, opposite the end of Bear Lane, was BEAR QUAY (divided later into Great Bear Quay and Little Bear Quay), appropriated chiefly to the landing and shipment of corn.
Bear Key is between Wiggins Key and the Custom House Key. Here is a very great market for wheat and other sorts of grain, brought hither from the neighbouring counties; the market-days are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.— Hatton, New View of London (1708), vol. ii. p. 784.
Bear Street, LEICESTER SQUARE, so called from the Bear and Ragged Staff, the armorial ensign of the noble families of Neville and Dudley. There is still a Bear and Staff public-house in this street. In the Vestry Minutes of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, 1677, it is called "Little Leicester Street, alias Bear Street." In Strype's Map, 1720, it appears as Bear Lane.
Roland Lefevre, "Lefevre of Venice," portrait painter (1608-1677), died in this street.
Bear and Harrow, behind ST. CLEMENT'S. [See Butcher Row.]
"a fair and large house, so called as pertaining unto them of that
1 No. 5750.
family. Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury (1397-1414), com
monly for his time was lodged there.1 It was destroyed in the Great Fire.
Beaufort Buildings, STRAND, opposite Exeter Street.
Then on the south side of the Strand, near adjoining to the Savoy, but more westwardly, is Beaufort Buildings; which formerly was a very large house, with a garden towards the river Thames, with waste ground and yards behind it eastward, called Worcester House, as belonging to the Earl of Worcester, and descending to Henry, Duke of Beaufort; his Grace finding it crazy, and by its antiquity grown very ruinous, and although large yet not after the modern way of building, thought it better to let out the ground to undertakers, than to build a new house thereon, the steepness of the descent to the Thames rendering it not proper for great courts, nor easy for coaches, if the house were built at such a distance from the street as would have been proper: and having at the same time bought Buckingham [afterwards Beaufort] House at Chelsea, in an air he thought much healthier, and near enough to the town for business. However his Grace caused a lesser house to be there built for himself to dispatch business in, at the end of a large street leading to it, and having the conveniency of a prospect over the Thames. . . This house of the Duke, with some others, was lately burnt down by the carelessness of a servant in one of the adjacent houses.-Strype, B. iv. p. 119.
On Saturday, in the evening, about five o'clock, a violent fire broke out in Beaufort Buildings, in the Strand, in the house of John Knight, Esq., Treasurer of the Custom House, which in less than two hours burnt that house down to the ground, and also consumed the Duke of Beaufort's house and another.-The Postman of the year, 1695, No. 80.
Again, on the morning of March 19, 1875, the re-edified Beaufort House, then partly in the occupation of Mr. Rimmel, perfumer, as a manufactory, was totally destroyed by fire, together with some of the adjoining houses. It was soon after rebuilt, and is now Rimmel's factory. In a house on the site of Beaufort Buildings, Aaron Hill, dramatist, was born in 1685. George Arbuthnot, the son of the great wit, and Pope's executor, died at his office in these buildings. Henry Fielding lived here, with his sister, it is said.2
It seems that "some parochial taxes" for his house in Beaufort Buildings had long been demanded by the collector. "At last Harry went off to Johnson and obtained by a process of literary mortgage the needful sum. He was returning with it, when he met an old college chum whom he had not seen for many years. asked his chum to dinner with him at a neighbouring tavern, and learning that he was in difficulties, emptied the contents of his pocket into his. On returning home he was informed that the collector had been twice for the money. 'Friendship has called for the money and had it,' said Fielding, 'let the collector call again."-Thackeray, English Humourists, Fielding.
At the corner of Beaufort Buildings in the Strand (the east corner, now No. 96) lived Charles Lillie, the perfumer-known to every reader of The Tatler and Spectator. Rudolph Ackermann (d. 1834), the wellknown print-seller and publisher, went to No. 96, and about 1796 he removed to No. 101. In 1827 he returned to 96, which had been rebuilt for him by John B. Papworth, architect. The weekly evening gatherings in his great room of artists, literary men, and persons of artistic tastes, and the exhibition of new prints, pictures, etc., did
1 Stow, p. 84.
2 Gentleman's Magasine, 1786, p. 659.
much in their day to promote a taste for art and extend artistic culture. Richard Brothers, "the Prophet" (then a half-pay naval officer), lived at No. 5 Beaufort Buildings, Strand, September 9, 1790,-the year of his "first call,"-when he sent a letter to the Admiralty, refusing to take the oath required to enable him to draw his pay.
Beaufort House, CHELSEA, stood at the north end of Beaufort Row, and, with the grounds, extended 100 yards west towards the river. It was originally the mansion of the great Sir Thomas More. Edward VI. granted it to William Pawlet, Marquis of Winchester. From the Pawlets the house passed by purchase to the Dacre family; from the Dacres by bequest to the great Lord Burghley; from Lord Burghley to his son, Sir Robert Cecil, who sold it to Henry Fiennes, Earl of Lincoln, from whom it passed by marriage to Sir Arthur Gorges. In 1619 Sir Arthur conveyed it to Lionel Cranfield (Lord Treasurer Middlesex). In 1625 Lord Cranfield sold it to King Charles I., and in 1627 the King bestowed it upon his own and his father's favourite, the Duke of Buckingham. It was at this time called Chelsea House. Under Cromwell the house was inhabited by Whitelocke, the memorialist, but at the Restoration was recovered by the second Duke of Buckingham, who sold it, in 1664, to John Godden, Esq. Digby, Earl of Bristol, was its next illustrious inhabitant, whose widow sold it (January 1682) to Henry, Marquis of Worcester, afterwards Duke of Beaufort, when it was known as Beaufort House. When for sale in 1682, Evelyn suggested that it should be purchased by subscription, and a school for Military Exercises established in it, but his proposal found no support. The Beauforts sold it, in 1738, to Sir Hans Sloane, and in 1740 the house was taken down. Inigo Jones's gateway, built for the Lord Treasurer Middlesex, was given by Sir Hans Sloane to the Earl of Burlington, who removed it to his garden at Chiswick, where it is still to be seen.
January 15, 1678-1679.-I went with my Lady Sunderland to Chelsey, and dined with the Countesse of Bristol in the greate house, formerly the Duke of Buckingham's, a spacious and excellent place for the extent of ground and situation in good aire. The house is large, but ill contrived, though my Lord of Bristol, who purchased it after he sold Wimbledon to my Lord Treasurer, expended much money on it. There were divers pictures of Titian and Vandyke, and some of Bassano very excellent. . . . Of Vandyke, my Lord of Bristol's picture, with the Earl of Bedford's at length, at the same table. There was in the garden a rare collection of orangetrees, of which she was pleased to bestow some upon me.-Evelyn.
September 3, 1683.—I went to see what had been done by the Duke of Beaufort on his late purchased house at Chelsey, which I once had the selling of for the Countesse of Bristol; he had made greate alterations, but might have built a better house with the materials and cost he had been at.—Evelyn.
The Clock-house at the north end of Millman Row, long famous for the sale of fruit, flowers, distilled waters, and gingerbread, was originally the lodge to the gate of the stable-yard of Beaufort House.1
1 There is a view of the house by Kip (fol.1707). The front faced the river.
Beaumont Street, MARYLEBONE, leading from Weymouth Street to High Street. When Walter Savage Landor was rusticated from Trinity College, Oxford, 1795, he took rooms at "38 Beaumont Street, Portland Place."
18 Bedford Avenue, COVENT GARDEN, a turning out of Bow Street on the south side of Covent Garden Theatre, leading to the Piazza. The entrances to the pit and galleries of the old Covent Garden Theatre were in Bedford Avenue. It was situated where the Floral Hall was afterwards built.
18 Bedford Chapel, BLOOMSBURY STREET, a proprietary chapel, which originally stood in Charlotte Street, before the alterations caused by the creation of New Oxford Street, when the name of this portion of Charlotte Street was changed to Bloomsbury Street. In 1846 this chapel was remodelled. It was occupied for a time by the Rev. J. M. Bellew, and is now occupied by the Rev. Stopford Brooke, who has seceded from the Church of England.
Bedford Coffee-House, a celebrated coffee-house, "under the Piazza in Covent Garden," frequented by Garrick, Quin, Foote, Macklin, Murphy, Churchill, Collins the poet, Fielding, Pope, Sheridan, Horace Walpole, and others.1 It stood in the north-east corner, near the entrance to Covent Garden Theatre, and has long ceased to exist.
This coffee-house is every night crowded with men of parts. Almost every one you meet is a polite scholar and a wit. Jokes and bon-mots are echoed from box to box; every branch of literature is critically examined, and the merit of every production of the press, or performance of the theatres, weighed and determined.—The Connoisseur, No. 1, January 31, 1754.
Tiger Roach (who used to bully at the Bedford Coffee-House because his name was Roach) is set up by Wilkes's friends to burlesque Luttrel and his pretentions. Murphy to D. Garrick, April 10, 1769 (Garrick Corr., vol. i. p. 339.) Garrick had letters addressed to him here in 1744.
In 1763 was published Memoirs of the Bedford Coffee-House. By Genius, dedicated to the Most Impudent Man Alive.
August 15, 1776.-The Hon.-, son to Lord
[Mr. Damer, son of Lord Malton] shot himself about 3 in the morning at the Bedford Arms in Covent Garden: "after having," says Horace Walpole, "supped there with four common
The Rev. Mr. Hackman spent the hours prior to murdering Miss Reay, as she was leaving Covent Garden Theatre, April 17, 1779, in the Bedford Coffee-House, and "behaved with great calmness, and drank a glass of capillaire, etc." 3
I went to the Bedford Coffee-House in the evening, where I met my friends, from thence proceeded to the play.-Smollet, Roderick Random, c. 40.
The "Bedford," the "Garden," the "Town," the "Ton," the "Houses," emphatically pronounced by a well-dressed man, mark the speaker to be a gentleman of gallantry and pleasure, and probably a wit and a critic.-Captain Grose, Essays, p. 87. A gentleman still living informs me that being once with Hogarth at the Bedford
1 Garrick Corr., vol. i. p. 11.
2 Gentleman's Magazine, 1776, p. 383; Wal
pole, vol. vi. p. 369.
3 Walpole to Ossory, vol. vii. p. 191.
Coffee House, he observed him to draw something with a pencil on his nail. ing what had been his employment, he was shown the countenance (a whimsical one) of a person who was then at a small distance.-Nichols, Anecdotes of Hogarth, 3d. ed., 1785, p. 15.
Dr. J. T. Desaguliers, the distinguished natural philosopher, died "in his lodgings at the Bedford Coffee-House," February 29, 1774, in extreme poverty.
Here poor neglected Desaguliers fell!
He who taught two gracious kings to view
Without a guinea, and without a grave.-CAWTHORN.
1 Bedford Head, "a noted tavern for eating, drinking, and gaming, in Southampton Street, Covent Garden." It existed as early as 1716, when it is referred to in an advertisement as "The Duke of Bedford's Head Tavern in Southampton Street, Covent Garden."2 In 17601770 it was kept by Wildman, the brother-in-law of Horne Tooke, and at one time an intimate friend of John Wilkes. His commission to purchase "a little Welsh horse," for which Wilkes never paid, figures in the letter from "Junius to the Rev. Mr. Horne" of July 24, 1771. In his defence Wilkes says, I had long known Mr. Wildman and for several years belonged to a club which met once a week at the Bedford Head.3
I believe I told you that Vernon's birthday passed quietly, but it was not designed to be pacific; for at twelve at night, eight gentlemen dressed like sailors, and masked, went round Covent Garden with a drum beating up for a volunteer mob; but it did not take; and they retired to a great supper that was prepared for them at the Bedford Head, and ordered by Whitehead, the author of Manners.- Walpole to Mann, November 23, 1741.
Let me extol a cat on oysters fed;
POPE, 2d Sat. of Horace, B. ii.
POPE, Sober Advice.
Bedford House, BLOOMSBURY, the town-house of the Dukes of Bedford, erected in the reign of Charles II., for Thomas Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, the Lord Treasurer, whose only daughter and heir married William Lord Russell, the patriot. The house was built on the site of the old manor house of the Blemunds, who. gave their name to Bloomsbury. The first Earl of Southampton, Lord Chancellor Wriothesley, who obtained the manor in the reign of Henry VIII., died at this house, July 30, 1550. Architects ascribe the new house to Inigo Jones, who died eight years before the Restoration. It may therefore possibly have been by his pupil Webb. The house occupied the whole north side of the present Bloomsbury Square, and the grounds extended northward so as to take in the southern
1 Edmund Curll (1736), note on Pope's Sober Advice.
2 London Gazette, June 23-26, 1716.
3 Letters of Junius, vol. i. p. 367.