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labours of Mr. Thorne, but as considerable alterations and additions have since been made, and I have seen the book through the press, I must be held responsible for the accuracy of the work as it now appears, and I trust that those who feel inclined to criticise its pages will consider the many opportunities of falling into error to which a compiler is liable who has to deal with the many thousands of facts connected with the sequence of London history for some thousand years. A reference to the index will show how many and various are the allusions to the great men and women who have been associated with the wonderful life of this great City.1
The year 1850, when the Handbook was last issued, exactly divides the nineteenth century in half, but equally it divides off a period of little change from one almost of revolution. Although before 1850 great changes, such as the formation of Regent Street in 1813-1820 and of New Oxford Street in 1847, had been carried out, yet large districts of London still remained unaltered.
As property, however, grew in value it was found that the enhanced value made it profitable to erect handsome buildings in place of poor houses, and the City was gradually rebuilt. In time the same process was carried out in the West End, and dwelling-houses were turned into offices, while the suburbs in consequence increased in extent, owing largely to the requirements of the shopkeeper, who left his house in town to the undisputed claims of business.
But this rebuilding is not all that has to be considered. Institutions have been altered and charities reorganised to an extent that is only fully recognised by one who has worked on this subject. Every attempt has been made to note all these changes, and to bring the information up to the date of publication.
Mr. Cunningham in his Preface expressed his thanks to the many gentlemen who had assisted him in the compilation of his work, and among these are such distinguished names as the Right Hon. John Wilson Croker ; Mr. Samuel Rogers, the poet ; Mr. Lockhart ; Earl Stanhope ; Mr. Forster; and Mr. T. Hudson Turner. I too wish to express my cordial thanks to those who have assisted me; they are numerous, for in all instances I have received cordial assistance from the officers of institutions to whom I have applied, as well as others.
I wish, however, to mention a few. I am much indebted to MajorGeneral Sir Edmund Ducane, K.C.B., Surveyor-General of Prisons ; E. Maunde Thompson, Esq., F.S.A., Principal Librarian of the British Museum ; Professor Flower, C.B., F.R.S., Director of the Natural History Museum ; George Scharf, Esq., C.B., Keeper and Secretary of the National Portrait Gallery ; M. S. S. Dipnall, Esq.; A. J. Hipkins, Esq., F.S.A. ; F. G. Hilton Price, Esq., F.S.A.; John Biddulph Martin, Esq.; Sir Owen Roberts, F.S.A., Clerk of the Clothworkers' Company; Rev. W. H. Milman, Librarian of Sion College ; J. B. Bailey, Esq., College of Surgeons; John Inglis, Esq., Secretary of the Trinity House; Rev. W. J. Loftie, F.S.A.; G. L. Gomme, Esq., F.S.A. ; Professor Hales, F.S.A. ; Danby P. Fry, Esq. ; W. Rendle, Esq. (already mentioned); Philip Norman, Esq., F.S.A., who communicated to me valuable information respecting such old inscriptions on houses as may still exist; R. F. Sketchley, Esq., who placed at my disposal the collections of years connected with the celebrated dead buried in the churches of ancient London; J. E. Gardner, Esq., F.S.A., who gave me information from his own extensive knowledge and references to his matchless collection of London views.
i The compiler will be greatly obliged to any of his readers who will be so good as to send him
any corrections or references to further informa. tion.
In an especial manner I feel that my warmest thanks are due to two gentlemen who have seen the proofs, and have with unwearied pains helped me throughout the work with information and valuable suggestions. I allude to Mr. Richard B. Prosser and Mr. Wyatt Papworth, F.R.I.B.A. I suppose no man living has so extensive a knowledge of the buildings of London and their architects as Mr. Papworth. This unique knowledge has been with unstinted kindness placed at my disposal. No words of mine can express adequately my sense of the value of the assistance I have received in the prosecution of this great work, but I wish, while thanking my friends, to make it clearly understood that they are not responsible for any mistakes I may have made. For these I take all the responsibility, but I trust, in spite of some such, that in the future the present work will obtain the same credit for accuracy that in its old form it has obtained in the past.
H. B. W.
Page 34, Quotation from M'Crie's Life of Knox should be transferred to p. 32.
Page 2, line 18 from top, for “ Jupp in 1799" read “Japp in 1796."
second Earl of Holland and sixth Earl of Warwick." Page 264, line 15 from top, for “sympanum” read “ tympanum.” Page 351, line 18 from top, for “ daughter” read “grand-daughter” and omit
"then." Page 382, line 23 from top, omit “Dryden” and quotation. Page 391, line 30 from top, transpose sentence and place “and another set" after
" Venus and Adonis."
Vol. III Page 59, line 14 from bottom, for “ Usher” read “Ussher." Page 134, line 14 from top, for “ Lord Grey and Lord North” read “Lord Grey
and North." Page 202, line 13 from bottom, for “Cave, Underhill” read “Cave Underhill." Page 265, line 14 from bottom, for "so called from Charles Howard, Earl of
Carlisle, who built the house between 1786 and 1790,” read “so called from the Howards, Earls of Carlisle.”
The history of London for many centuries is contained in the pages of this book, but it will be found divided out under the headings of the different buildings and localities and not in a connected sequence. It may therefore be useful here to set down a few notes on the various changes that have taken place in London, but as the space at our disposal is small, these notes must necessarily be brief.
That London was a place of considerable importance in British times was a belief firmly held by historians up to a comparatively recent period. We find it imbedded in that great monument of John Carpenter—the Liber Albus, where we read that London (p. 427) was “founded after the pattern and manner, and in remembrance of Great Troy, and to the present day contains within itself the laws and ordinances, dignities, liberties, and royal customs of ancient Great Troy." Now scepticism has gone to the opposite extreme, and denies the very existence of a British London.
The name, however, seems to show that there must have been some early settlement here, for whatever the etymology may really be, no one disputes that it is of Celtic origin.
Although Geoffrey of Monmouth's picture of a great British city of Troynovant, founded by Brut, a descendant of Æneas, must be dismissed as an absurdity, we need not dispute the existence of a British settlement before the Roman Conquest. The place, although probably small, must have been chosen for its commanding position on the banks of a fine river.
The discovery in 1867 by General Pitt Rivers (then Colonel Lane Fox) of what appeared to be the remains of pile-buildings near London Wall and Southwark Street throws some light upon this subject. The piles averaged 6 to 8 inches square, others of a smaller size were 4 inches by 3 inches, and one or two were as much as a foot square. They were found in the peat just above the virgin gravel, and with them were found the refuse of kitchen middens, broken pottery, etc., of the Roman period. There is every reason to believe that the piles were sunk by the Britons rather than by the Romans, and General Pitt Rivers thinks it probable that they are the remains of the British capital of Cassivellaunus situated in the marshes, and of necessity built on piles. The fact that these piles were found on both sides of the river points to the conclusion which we may arrive at by other means, that there were two settlements, one on the north and the other on the south bank of the Thames. If so, they would probably be within the territories of distinct and possibly hostile tribes. There might have been a ferry and even a bridge, as asserted by Dion Cassius.1 A ferry, and still more a bridge, whether a bridge of boats or a more permanent structure, would necessarily involve a treaty or agreement between the two tribes on the opposite banks. For although we are apt to speak of the Britons as if they were all one people, because they all lived in one island, it is well to remember that they were not one people in fact, and that the several tribes formed separate states. If there were any permanent means of communication across the Thames, between the Cantii in the south and the Trinobantes on the north, it could have been established and maintained only with their mutual consent. It is necessary here to mention that the great authority of Dr. Guest is strongly opposed to the notion of a British town having preceded the Roman camp.
1 Journ. Anthropol. Soc., vol. v. pp. Ixxi-lxxx.
He affirms that the valley of the Lea was the western boundary of the Trinobantes, and that the district between the Lea and the Brent was merely a march of the “Catuvellauni”. through which ran a wide trackway, but in which was neither town, village, nor inhabited house.2 The Catuvellaunian state was either formed or much extended by Cassivellaunus.
It may appear somewhat rash to dispute so eminent an authority and so careful an observer, but surely this is much too wide a generalisation from the facts at our disposal. There can be no doubt that the Britons made considerable progress during the period between Julius and Claudius, and it is possible that London as a British settlement may have come into existence during that period. But it must also be borne in mind that the ancient British coins which have been met with show that there was a Greek influence at work among the Britons long before they had any connection with the Romans; most of those coins having been modelled on Greek money of the age of Philip of Macedon and Alexander the Great. This seems to prove that there must have been considerable commercial intercourse between the Britons and, through Gaul, the Greeks of Marseilles ; while some of the coins are believed to be of even older date. In the voyage of discovery conducted by Pytheas of Marseilles, apparently in or about the year 330 B.C., he visited Kent, and seems to have sailed along the eastern coast of Britain as far as the Shetland Isles; and though London is not mentioned in any of the fragmentary notices which have 1 Hist. Rom., lib. IX. C. 20.
2 Origines Celtica, etc., 1883, vol. ii. Pp. 391, 405.