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Wesleyan Centenary Hall and Mission House, BISHOPSGATE STREET WITHIN, facing Threadneedle Street, erected from the designs of W. F. Pocock, 1839-1840, provides offices for transacting the ordinary business of the Society, and a large hall for holding public meetings and occasional religious services.
West India Docks, at the time of construction the most magnificent in the world (William Jessop, engineer), cover 295 acres, and lie between Limehouse and Blackwall, on the left bank of the Thames. The first stone was laid by William Pitt, July 12, 1800, and the Import Dock was opened for business August 21, 1802. The docks as a whole were formally opened by Lord Minto, July 12, 1806, exactly six years from the laying of the first stone. The northern, or Import Dock, is 170 yards long by 166 wide, and will hold 204 vessels of 300 tons each; and the southern, or Export Dock, is 170 yards long by 135 yards wide, and will hold 195 vessels. South of the Export Dock is a canal nearly three-quarters of a mile long, cutting off the great bend of the river, connecting Limehouse Reach with Blackwall Reach, and forming the northern boundary of the Isle of Dogs. It was originally constructed by the Corporation of London, and called the City Canal. Being unremunerative as a ship canal it was sold to the West India Dock Company in 1829. The two docks, with their warehouses, are enclosed by a lofty wall 5 feet in thickness, and have held at one time 148,563 casks' of sugar, 70,875 barrels and 433,648 bags of coffee, 35,158 pipes of rum and Madeira, 14,021 logs of mahogany, and 21,350 tons of logwood. The water area of the West India Docks is about 98 acres; the storage capacity of the warehouses 31,531,725 cubic feet. Though they retain their old name the docks belong to the East and West India Dock Company-formed by the amalgamation of the two companies in 1838—and are used by every kind of shipping. (See East India Docks.]
West Street, UPPER ST. MARTIN's LANE to CAMBRIDGE CIRCUS. West Street Chapel, between Nos. 10 and 11, was La Tremblade, one of the original Huguenot churches in London.? John Wesley frequently preached in this chapel between the years 1743 and 1793. The pulpit was also filled at various times by Whitefield, Romaine, and Fletcher of Madeley. The chapel is now opened as a free church in connection with St. Giles's parish. On the corner house of West Street and St. Martin's Lane is a parish mark with the date 1691.
Westbourne, a bourne, brook, or streamlet of water rising a little north of Paddington, and passing Bayswater and the east end of the present Serpentine, through the Five Fields (or what is now called Belgravia) on to Westbourne Place, Sloane Square, direct to the Thames at Chelsea. It is now the Ranelagh sewer. Here, from
Smiles, Huguenots, p. 266.
1805 to 1817, Mrs. Siddons had a cottage, called Westbourne Farm, on which her husband wrote verses. General Lord Hill occupied a house by Paddington, pleasantly situated in the fields, with country all around it. The construction of the Great Western Railway altered the appearance of the place, and every part has since been built over.
Westminster, a city, constituted by royal charter and by many public privileges, but since swallowed up in the general vortex of modern London. It extends as far as Kensington and Chelsea westward, to the City of London boundary (Temple Bar) eastward, to the Thames southward, and to Marylebone northward. It therefore embraces the whole of St. Paul's, Covent Garden; St. Clement's Danes ; St. Mary-le-Strand; the precinct of the Savoy ; St. Martin's-inthe-Fields; St. James's, Westminster; St. George's, Hanover Square; St. Margaret's, and St. John the Evangelist. Here was a Benedictine monastery (Westminster Abbey), from which it derives its name, and here the Kings and Queens of England, from Edward the Confessor to Queen Elizabeth, had their principal palace (Westminster Palace).
Thorney may be defined as an island lying off the coast of Middlesex in the estuary of the Thames. It was very scientifically described for us about half a century ago by William Bardwell of Park Street, Westminster, one of the architects of the “Westminster Improvement Company.” He says it is about 470 yards long and 370 yards wide, and is washed on the east side by the Thames, on the south by a rivulet running down College Street, on the north by another stream which flows or flowed through Gardener's Lane, the two being joined by the “Long Ditch” which formed a western boundary, as nearly as possible where Prince's Street is now. Within the narrow limits thus described stand both the Abbey and the Houses of Parliament and other familiar buildings. - Loftie's Westminster Abbey (Portsolio, 1889, p. 21).
Three hundred years before Domesday Book (1086) the extent of the rural manor of Westminster was mentioned in a Charter of Offa King of Mercia dated 785. . In the 6 Henry III. (1222) a decree of Cardinal Archbishop Langton and certain Bishops and Priors, who appear to have sat in arbitration on some difference which had arisen on the question, curtails from the east side of the parish all the precinct of the Savoy, the entire area of St. Mary le Strand and St. Clement Danes, and . parts of St. Giles and St. Andrew Holborn . St. Margaret Westminster as thus left comprised the present parishes of St. Paul Covent Garden, St. Martin-in-the Fields, St. James Piccadilly, St. Anne Soho, St. George Hanover Square and St. John the Evangelist, Westminster, and as if in compensation for the detachment of the east side, three manors were added to the parish on the west and north-west. Paddington had also been confirmed as an appendage of Westminster by Stephen (1135) and Henry II. (1154). By a charter of 17 Richard II. (1393) the parishes of St. Mary le Strand and St. Clement Danes, together with that of St. Martin's-in-theFields, then newly formed, were declared to be possessed by the Abbot as part of the manor of Westminster. Further changes were also made by Letters Patent in the reigns of Henry VIII. (1534) and James I. (1604). —Report of the Vestry of the United Parish of St. Margaret and St. John the Evangelist, 1889, pp. 3, 4.
Though a city Westminster has no municipality, but is governed by a High Steward, elected by the Dean of the collegiate church of St. Peter's, Westminster (Westminster Abbey), and by a High Bailiff, also elected by the Dean, and by sixteen burgesses and the like number of assistants. Henry VIII. made it the seat of a bishop, who was called the Bishop of Westminster, but only one person received that distinction, Thomas Thurleby, or Thirlby, afterwards Bishop of Ely. Westminster returned two members to Parliament since the time of Henry VIII. until the Reform Act of 1885, and was long almost a nomination borough of the Court, but for nearly a century was notorious for generally returning radical members to Parliament after contests so severe that the Westminster elections of Mr. Fox and Sir Francis Burdett are points of importance in the history of the British Constitution. 1
By the last Reform Act it was divided into St. George's, Hanover Square, Strand, and Westminster, each division returning one member. From being the seat of the Courts of Law the name of Westminster became at an early date synonymous with the law itself.
Not much unlyke the bargayne that I herd of late shoulde be betwixt two fryndes for a horse. Thus thys bargayne became a Westminster matter : the lawyers gote twyse the valewe of the horse.—Bp. Latimer's First Sermon, p. 28.
The very valuable report of the Vestry already quoted from in this article contains notes on local government in Westminster from preReformation times to the present day. The compiler (Mr. John Edward Smith, Vestry Clerk) writes, “Several Charters, each under the Great Seal of the Monarch of the time, the earliest dates from 1256 (40 Henry III.), have been brought to light during the past five years. The parish muniment room at the Town Hall also contains thousands of manuscript books and records of parochial affairs from the year 1464. (3 Edward IV.) to the present day, in addition to the Vestry Minutes dating from 1585."
Westminster Abbey, the Collegiate Church or Abbey of St. Peter's, Westminster— the "minster west” of St. Paul's, London, is said, on somewhat legendary authority, to have been founded by Sebert, King of the East Saxons, circ. 616. It is, however, mentioned in a charter of Offa, King of Mercia, A.D. 785, and must have existed before that date. The present abbey was founded by King Edward the Confessor, and dedicated to St. Peter. It was fifteen years in building, and only completed in time to permit of its consecration on Innocents' Day, December 28, 1065, a week before the King died. The church was built in the Norman style, and was regarded as a structure of matchless grandeur and beauty. ing as it did almost the whole area of the present building-was in itself portentous. . . . The east end was rounded into an apse. A tower rose in the centre crowned with a cupola of wood. At the western end were erected two smaller towers, with five large bells.
i Some curious particulars concerning early down his men at a strange rate, and cudgelled Westminster Elections will be found in the corre- him into ditches full of water, and yet we say spondence of Secretary Vernon, vol. ii. pp. 135-137, they were the aggressors.” The poll was taken and vol. iii. p. 159. Vernon (who sat for Westmin- in Covent Garden Church porch for the first time ster), speaking of the opposition of Sir Harry Colt, in November 1701. The election generally lasted observes—“We had a mighty appearance against forty days. him in the field, both of horse and foot, who run
size-occupyThe hard strong stones were richly sculptured. The windows were filled with stained glass. The roof was covered with lead. The cloisters, chapter-house, refectory, dormitory, the infirmary with its spacious chapel, if not completed by Edward, were all begun and finished in the next generation on the same plan.” 1 But of this goodly edifice hardly anything remains except a few fragments of the substructure. In this abbey our kings and queens have been crowned, from Edward the Confessor to Queen Victoria ; and here very many of them are buried, some with and others without monuments.
A man may read a sermon, the best and most passionate that ever man preached, if he shall but enter into the sepulchre of kings. Where our kings have been crowned, their ancestors lie interred, and they must walk over their grandsire's head to take his crown. There is an acre sown with royal seed, the copy of the greatest change—from rich to naked, from cieled roof to arched coffins, from living like gods to die like men. ... There the warlike and the peaceful, the fortunate and the miserable, the beloved and the despised princes mingle their dust, and pay down their symbol of mortality ; and tell all the world, that when we die our ashes shall be equal to kings, and our accounts easier, and our pains or our crowns shall be less. - Jeremy Taylor's Holy Dying, chap. i. sect. 2.
The abbey is 511 feet long (or 403 exclusive of Henry VII.'s Chapel); the transepts, 203 feet across; height of roof, 101 feet 8 inches from the pavement; height of towers, 225 feet. The choir, which extends far west of the transepts, is 155 feet long; the nave, 154 feet. What remains exist of the Confessor's church are the substructure of the Dormitory, or Chapel of the Pyx, and the dark cloister south of the south transept. Of the existing church the oldest parts are Edward the Confessor's Chapel, or Chapel of the Kings, choir, and transepts, which were built by Henry III., and are Early English, or First Pointed, in style. The four bays west of the transept (including the west end of the choir and the first bay of the nave) are of the time of Edward I., and are Early Decorated, or Second Pointed, in style. The remainder of the nave, to the west door, was built in the 15th century, under Sir Richard Whittington as Commissioner. Henry VII.'s Chapel is late Perpendicular, very richly ornamented with panelling, etc. The lower part of the western towers and the façade were fairly well repaired by Sir C. Wren, who had been appointed surveyor in 1698. This work was begun about 1713, and completed about 1723
Nicholas Hawksmoor succeeded Wren, and in 1735 he proposed the raising of the towers, which was completed 1739, in a mixture of Gothic and Italian details.2 Sir Gilbert Scott was appointed architect to Westminster Abbey in 1849, and retained that office till his death in 1878. During those years not only did he pay unremitting attention to the maintenance of the fabric, but carried out a continuous though gradual restoration of its ornamental details as well as
i Dean Stanley's Historical Memorials of other matters is Dean Stanley's most interesting Westminster Abbey, p. 25.
Historical Memorials of Westminster Abbey, 2 The best (and a very sufficient) guide to the 4th edition, 1876. The Misses Bradley, daughters architecture of the Abbey is Sir Gilbert Scott's of the present Dean, have compiled a very useful Glianings from Il’estminster cbbey, as in all guide.
constructive features. His chief works here, as enumerated by himself, were “two pulpits, three grilles, altar rails, the gable and pinnacles of the south transept, sundry tops of pinnacles, a new altar-table in the sanctuary of the church, and another in Henry VII.'s Chapel.” Also "the hardening of the decayed internal surfaces with shellac dissolved in spirits of wine;" the cleansing and renovating the “bronze effigies of Kings and others ;” the portals of the north transept, being the so-called Solomon's Porch," and, perhaps the greatest triumph of all, the entire restoration of the beautiful Chapter House. The upper part of the north transept has just (August 1890) been completed by Mr. J. L. Pearson, R.A., the present architect.
The following eminent persons are buried in Westminster Abbey. (The names of those persons buried without monuments or inscribed gravestones are printed in italics.) KINGS AND QUEENS.—King Sebert,
-his tomb was certainly here if his body was not; Edward the Confessor; Henry III. ; Edward I. and Queen Eleanor; Edward III. and Queen Philippa; Richard II. and his Queen; Henry V.; Henry VII. and his Queen; Anne of Cleves, Queen of Henry VIII. ; Edward VI.; Mary I.; Mary, Queen of Scots; Queen Elizabeth; James I. and his Queen; Queen of Bohemia, daughter of James I. and mother of Prince Rupert ; Charles II.; Anne Hyde, first wife of James II.; William III. and Queen Mary; Queen Anne ; George II. and Queen Caroline. EMINENT MODERN STATESMEN.—Lord Chancellor Clarendon ; Savile Lord Halifax; Sir William Temple; Craggs; Pulteney, Earl of Bath; the great Lord Chatham ; William Pitt ; Fox; Canning; Castlereagh; Wilberforce; Palmerston. EMINENT SOLDIERS.-Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke ; Sir Francis Vere; Prince Rupert; Monk, Duke of Albemarle ; William, Duke of Cumberland, the hero of Culloden; Marshal Wade. The INDIAN STATESMEN.—Sir George Staunton and Lord Lawrence; and the INDIAN GENERALS.—Lord Clyde ; Sir James Outram ; and Sir George Pollock. EMINENT SEAMEN. — Admiral Blake ; Admiral Dean ; Sir E. Spragg ; Montague, Earl of Sandwich; Sir Cloudesley Shovel; Earl of Dundonald (Lord Cochrane). EMINENT POETS.-Chaucer ; Spenser; Beaumont; Ben Jonson; Michael Drayton ; Sir Robert Ayton ; Sir W. Davenant; Cowley; Denham; Roscommon; Dryden; Prior; Congreve; Addison; Rowe; Gay; Macpherson, who gave "Ossian” to the public; R. B. Sheridan; and Thomas Campbell. EMINENT ANTIQUARIES, HISTORIANS, and PROSE WRITERs generally.—Camden; Spelman; Isaac Casaubon; Archbishop Ussher; Dr. Samuel Johnson ; Lord Lytton ; Bishop Thirwall; Grote; Macaulay ; Charles Dickens; Rennell, the geographer; Thomas Telford and Robert Stephenson, the engineers; Sir William Chambers, James Wyatt, Sir Charles Barry, and Sir Gilbert Scott, the architects; Banks, the sculptor; David Livingstone, the African missionary and traveller; and Sir Rowland Hill, the originator of the penny post. EMINENT MEN OF SCIENCE.
1 Scott, Autob. Recollections, p. 287, etc. ; Gleanings from Westminster Abbey.