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son said, “Sir, Goldsmith is a great sloven and justifies his disregard of propriety by my practice. To-night I desire to show him a better example.” Mr. Forster says that the Vicar of Wakefield was written here. On the right, in this court, is the Old Cheshire Cheese, one of the oldest, and for many years the most popular, of our London chophouses.
Woburn Square, between RUSSELL SQUARE and GORDON SQUARE, was originally intended to be called Rothesay Square. Mrs. Bentley, the actress, died at her house in this square, January 14, 1850, in her sixty-fifth year. Christ Church, on the east side of the square, was designed by Lewis Vulliamy, architect.
Wonder (The), a Tavern near LUDGATE, which Roger North mentions as frequented by his celebrated brother, Sir Dudley North, who "loved a chirping glass in an evening." On one occasion, when he had been taking more than enough of these chirping glasses "with the citizens then called Tories,” he met with an accident which had nearly proved fatal.
Wood Street, CHEAPSIDE, runs from Cheapside into London Wall. Stow has two suppositions about the origin of the name: first, that it was so called because it was built throughout of wood ; and secondly, and more probably, that it was so called after Thomas Wood, one of the sheriffs in the year 1491, who dwelt in this street, an especial benefactor to the church of St. Peter-in-Cheap, and the individual at whose expense “the beautiful front of houses in Cheap over against Wood Street end were built." His predecessors,” says Stow, "might be the first builders, owners, and namers of this street.”2 Entering Wood Street from Cheapside, the yard on the left, with a tree in it, marks the site of the church of St. Peter-in-Cheap. For many years a pair of rooks built their nest in this tree. The Cross Keys Inn derives its name from the church of St. Peter. A little higher up, on the righthand side (where the street indents a little), stood Wood Street Compter. At the corner of Hugin Lane (so called of one Hugan, who dwelt there) is the church of St. Michael, Wood Street, the final repository of the head of James IV., who fell at Flodden. Gresham Street, lying to the right, was called Lad Lane, or Ladle Lane ; and that part lying to left, Maiden Lane, from a sign of the Virgin. Still higher up on the right, and at the corner of Love Lane, is the church of St. Alban, Wood Street. In 1569 the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's leased three houses in Wood Street to the Corporation in reversion for ninety-nine years after 1602, at the rent of £8 per annum.3 In Strype's time the street was famous for the manufacture of wedding-cakes.4
February 29, 1663-1664. —To one Royall, a stone cutter, over against the Spur, at the upper end of Wood Street. I eat for my dinner a Wood-street cake, which cakes are famous for being well made.
Journal of Sir Thomas Browne's Son, Edward (Browne's Works, i. 52).
1 Dobie's St. Giles, p. 199.
2 Stow, p. 3.
3 Cal. State Papers, 1547-1580, p. 327. 4 Strype, B. iii. p. 91.
The street is now largely occupied by warehouses (drapery, lace, silk, and hosiery), many of the warehouses being spacious and costly structures.
Sir John Cheke, who taught "Cambridge and King Edward Greek," died from shame at his own moral cowardice in renouncing Protestantism on September 13, 1557, at the house of his friend, Mr. Peter Osborne, in Wood Street. There is a letter from him of July 16, 1657, “ from my house in Wood Streete.” In 1645-1648 Dr. Wallis and other eminent scientific men used to meet weekly at the house of Dr. Goddard in Wood Street, "on account of his having a workman skilled in grinding glasses for microscopes and telescopes." Thomas Ripley, the architect (d. 1758), kept in early life a carpenter's shop and a coffeehouse in this street. Cheapside Cross stood at Wood Street end. Here proclamations continued to be read long after the cross was taken down. The Castle here, on the east side, is mentioned in 1684 as one of the most important of London inns. It is still standing, and is used as an office for Pickford vans.
At the corner of Wood Street, when daylight appears,
And a river flows on through the vale of Cheapside.
Wordsworth, The Reverie of Poor Susan, 1797 (Works, vol. ii. p. 95). Wood Street Compter was first established in 1555, when, on the feast of St. Michael the Archangel in that year, the prisoners were removed from the old Compter in Bread Street to the new Compter in Wood Street, Cheapside. This Compter was burnt down in the Great Fire.3 It stood on the east side of the street, where the houses recede a little, and was removed to Giltspur Street in 1791. There were two Compters in London: the Compter in Wood Street, under the control of one of the sheriffs, and the Compter in the Poultry, under the superintendence of the other. Under each sheriff was a secondary, a clerk of the papers, four clerk sitters, eighteen serjeantsat-mace (each serjeant having his yeoman), a master keeper, and two turnkeys. The serjeants wore blue-coloured cloth gowns, and the words of arrest were, “Sir, we arrest you in the King's Majesty's name, and we charge you to obey us.” In the reign of Henry VI. it was ordered that the sheriffs might exact payment from prisoners electing to be in "the Compter rather than go to Newgate or to Ludgate . four pence, six pence, eight pence, or twelve pence per week each person, towards the rent of the said house, without more.” 4 But this tariff speedily fell into oblivion. There were three sides : the knights' ward (the dearest of all), the master's side (a little cheaper), and the Hole (the cheapest of all). The register of entries was called The Black Book. Garnish was demanded at every step, and the hall, at least the hall of the Wood Street Compter, was hung with the story of the Prodigal Son.
1 Hawkins's Life of Johnson, p. 375. 3 Of the building erected after the Fire, there is a view by J. T. Smith.
4 Liber Albus, p. 447.
2 Stow, p. 3.
The scene of The Counter Scuffle, a piece of low humour inserted in Dryden's Third Miscellany, and quoted by Scott in the Fortunes of Nigel, is laid in Wood Street Compter, One of the most amusing passages in the novel is founded on it :
And now let each one listen well,
In High Lent.
A Gentleman can nowhere get more knowledge.
Decker, The Roaring Girle, vol. iii. p. 189. V
Wooden Bridge, Pimlico, the old bridge over the principal “cut” in the great Pimlico marsh—now drained and dry. This is the bridge to which Flaxman refers in the following description of the residence in 1807 of Anker Smith, the celebrated engraver : “In case you should desire to know his address, it is above the Water-works, nearer to the Bridge, on the opposite side of the road, Chelsea, name on the door.” [See Jenny's Whim.] The bridge exists still in a vastly altered form as Ebury Bridge.
Woodmongers' Hall, DUKE's PLACE, ALDGATE.
After the fall of the church [Trinity Church, Duke's Place] the inhabitants had service in the Woodmongers' Hall, then called the Duke's Hall, in Duke's Place. — Cal. Jac. Dom. Add., p. 648. The ancient fraternity of Woodmongers or Fuellers, who were also the vendors of sea coal, were incorporated as a company, 3 James I. (August 29, 1605), and were entrusted with the government of the cars and carts to be employed in the City and Liberties of London ; but on complaints of the carmen and others this trust was taken from them and given to the President and Governors of Christ's Hospital. In 1665 the Company surrendered their Charter, but by an Act of the Common Council in 1694, they obtained the privilege of keeping 120 carts "for the more effectual carrying on their business ” (Strype, Maitland, etc.) The Company has long been practically extinct, or merged in that of the Carmen.
Woodstock Street, on the south side of OXFORD STREET, between New Bond Street and South Molton Street. Dr. Johnson was living in this street in the year 1737.2
Woodyard (The), WHITEHALL, an outlying portion of the palace, between the Thames and Scotland Yard. In Vertue's plan it is surrounded by buildings—the Small Beer Buttery, the Great Bakehouse, the Queen's Bakehouse, the Charcoal House, the Spicery, the Cyder House, etc. On the west side is “Lady Churchill's Laundry,” and on the east a set of apartments belonging to Mrs. Churchill (mother of the Duke of Berwick).
1 "The Compter's Commonwealth, by William vol. v. p. 43; Heywood's play of the Fair Maid Fennor, his Majesty's servant," 4to, 1617; Strype, of the Exchange; and Dyce's Middleton, vol. i. B. iii. p. 51; Dodsley's Old Plays, ed. Collier,
2 Croker's Boswell, p. 30.
September 12, 1676.—To London, to take order about the building of an house, or rather an apartment, which had all the conveniences of an house, for my deare friende, Mr. Godolphin and lady, which I undertooke to contrive and survey, and employ workmen, till it should be quite finished ; it being just over against his Majestie's Woodyard by the Thames side, leading to Scotland Yard.—Evelyn.
Woolmen, Company of, ranks forty-third in the City Companies. The fraternity of Woolmen, sometimes called Woolmongers, was established by prescription in the 2d Edward IV., 1462, and empowered to grant licences to woolwinders in the City and Libertiesthe last licence so granted being in 1770. The Company has no hall, but obtained a grant of livery from the Court of Aldermen in 1825.
Woolsack (The), a tavern WITHOUT ALDGATE, famous for its pies. Ben Jonson mentions it in The Alchemist, and in The Devil is an Ass; and Machyn records that its “goodman” was carried to the Tower early in the morning of July 20, 1555. There are 17th-century tokens of a Woolsack in Houndsditch, perhaps the same.
Woolstaple (The), WESTMINSTER, occupied as nearly as possible the site of the present Bridge Street, outside the north wall of New Palace Yard. Wool was in the 13th and 14th centuries the great article of export from England, and the war-making Plantagenets kept the trade in it under their immediate control. Stow says that the staple was here in the reign of Edward I., and that the merchants of the staple with the parishioners of St. Margaret's “built of new the said church, the great chancel excepted, which was lately before new built by the Abbot of Westminster.” By 17 Edward III. (1343) it was enacted that "
no silver be carried out of the realm on pain of death; and that whosoever transporteth wool should bring over for every sack four nobles of silver bullion.” Edward was preparing at this time for his great invasion of France. Ten years later (1353), by a new Act, the staple of wool, before kept at Bruges, was ordained to be kept at Westminster, to begin on “the next morrow after the Feast of St. Peter ad Vincula” (August 1), to the “ great benefit of the King," says Stow, "and loss unto strangers and merchants; for there grew unto the King by this means (as it was said) the sum of one thousand one hundred and two pounds by the year more than any his predecessors had received.” Next year the Parliament granted the King, for the prosecution of the French war, "fifty shillings of every sack of wool transported over seas, for the space of six years next ensuing.” At this time all wool sent from London had to be brought for “trowage” to the Westminster Woolstaple. The imposition was in no long time remitted in favour of the City of London; but as late as Henry VI. the King had “six wool-houses within the Staple at Westminster," which he granted to the Dean and Canons of St. Stephen at Westminster. Out of this endowment, apparently, Henry VIII. founded on the site St. Stephen's Hospital for eight maimed soldiers. This was removed in 1735, and eight almshouses built in St. Anne's Lane, bearing the inscription, "Woolstaple Pensioners, 1741.” 2
Ben Jonson, in enumerating Westminster localities, speaks of “Tuttle Street, and both the Alm'ries, the two Sanctuaries, long and round, Woolstaple, with Kinges Street and Cannon Row to boot." 3
Worcester House, in the STRAND, stood on the site of the present Beaufort Buildings. An earlier Worcester House was in St. James, Garlickhithe, overhanging the river. The Strand house originally belonged to the see of Carlisle, but, at the Reformation, was presented by the Crown to the noble founder of the Bedford family. Under the Earls of Bedford it was known as Bedford or Russell House, a name which it bore till the family moved over the way and built a second Bedford House, on the site of the present Southampton Street, when the inn of the see of Carlisle took the name of its new occupant, Edward, second Marquis of Worcester, the Earl of Glamorgan of the Civil Wars, and the author of the Century of Inventions. The Marquis of Worcester died in 1667, and his son Henry was created, in 1682, Duke of Beaufort; hence Beaufort Buildings. During the Commonwealth, Worcester House in the Strand was used for committees of all kinds, and furnished by Parliament for the Scotch commissioners.5 Subsequently, according to Whitelocke, it was sold by Parliament to the Earl of Salisbury, "at the rate of Bishop's Lands." 6 But on May 2, 1657, there was brought into Parliament a “Bill for settling of Worcester House in the Strand upon Margaret Countess of Worcester, during the life of Edward Earl of Worcester"; and on April 14, 1659, it was resolved that “ Margaret Countess of Worcester, shall have the actual possession of Worcester House delivered up to her on March 25 next; and in the mean time the rent of £300 be paid her for the said house for this year; and that the sum of £400 be paid in recompense of all demands for detaining of Worcester House from her since her title thereunto. by the late Acts of Parliament."? Twelve days after the entrance of Charles II. into London on his Restoration, the Marquis of Worcester wrote and offered his house (free of rent) to the great Lord Clarendon.
In a word, if that your Lordship pleased to accept of me, I am the most real and affectionate servant, and as a little token of it, be pleased to accept of Worcester House to live in, far more commodious for your Lordship than where you now are [Dorset House], though not in so good reparation, but such as it is, without requiring from your Lordship one penny rent (yet that only known between your Lordship
i Stow, pp. 768, 169.
4 Machyn's Diary, p. 301 ; Stow. 2 Wallcot, Memorials of Westminster, p. 79.
5 Whitelocke, ed. 1732, p. 80.
6 Ibid. p. 289. 3 Ben Jonson, Staple of News, Act iii. Sc. 2.
7 Burton's Diary.