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The exhaustless interest and endless suggestiveness of 
Ancient and Modern London have induced the author 
to collect in these volumes some of its more curious 
characteristics. His object has been more especially 
to present to the reader, who enjoys the Past without 
underrating the Present, a collection of Strange 
Stories, Scenes, Adventures, and Vicissitudes 
associated with London. 

Romance, we know, has been accused of corrupting 
the truth of history ; but the romantic character which 
the following Narratives possess, has not been gained 
by a sacrifice of truth, since our Romance consists of 
marvellous incidents, verifying the saying that " Truth 
is stranger than Fiction." As in Nature, so in Art — 

" 'Tis distance lends enchantment to the view : " 

but the " modern instances " in these volumes are as re- 
markable, in character as the notable things of centuries 
ago. Whether we regard London as a walled town, as 
a labyrinth of courts and alleys, or as a majestic city, 
with 2600 miles of streets, and 360,000 inhabited houses, 



we shall find, alike in every period, a succession of scenes 
calculated to excite curiosity and awaken wonder. 

This work ranges from the building of the first Bridge 
at London to the present century. In the earlier nar- 
ratives we have avoided the acquaintance of the old 
chronicle, as unsuited for popular reading. Here are 
Historic Sketches of many of the leading events 
with which the History of London is chequered. In 
Remarkable Duels, in the modern sense of the term, 
and in the sketches of NOTORIOUS HIGHWAYMEN, we 
get some glimpses of the wild life of the Metropolis in 
the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries ; and in the 
are pictured many dark deeds, while Love and MAR- 
RIAGE present us with lights and shadows of human life 
always interesting. 

















WORLD," ....... 60 










" OLD PARR," ....... 94 













CROMWELL'S SKULL, . . . . 135 





ADDISON'S "CAMPAIGN," ..... 154 






THE RIOTS OF 1780, ..... 











IN 1847-8, ..... 

THE CHARTISTS IN 1 848, .... 










MOHUN, ...... 


LENOX, .... 










































GRAPH, .... 


































WALES, ....... 


HOUSE, ....... 






























ffxstuxit Slutdjcs. 

Story of the Ferryman's Daughter, St Alary 
Overs, and the First London Bridge. 

In the British Museum is a singularly curious, although 
probably fabulous, tract of 30 pages, entitled "The True 
History of the Life and Sudden Death of old John 
Overs, the rich Ferryman of London, showing how he 
lost his life by his own covetousness. And of his 
daughter Mary, who caused the Church of St Mary 
Overs in Southwark to be built ; and of the building 
of London Bridge." The History opens as follows : 
— "Before there was any Bridge at all built over the 
Thames, there was only a Ferry, to which divers Boats 
belonged, to transport all Passengers betwixt Southwark 
and Churchyard Alley, that being the high-road way 
betwixt Middlesex and Sussex and London. The Ferry 
was rented of the City, by one John Overs, which he 
enjoyed for many years together, to his great profit ; for 
it is to be imagined, that no small benefit could arise 

VOL. I. A 

2 Romance of Loudon. 

from the ferrying over footmen, horsemen, all manner of 
cattle, all market folks that came with provisions to the 
City, strangers, and others." 

Overs, however, though he kept several servants and 
apprentices, was of so covetous a soul, that, notwith- 
standing he possessed an estate equal to that of the best 
Alderman in London, acquired by unceasing labour, 
frugality, and usury, yet his habit and dwelling were 
both strangely expressive of the most miserable poverty. 
He had an only daughter, " of a beautiful aspect," says 
the tract, " and a pious disposition ; whom he had care 
to see well and liberally educated, though at the cheapest 
rate ; and yet so, that when she grew ripe and mature 
for marriage, he would suffer no man of what condition 
or quality soever, by his goodwill, to have any sight of 
her, much less access to her." A young gallant, how- 
ever, who seems to have thought more of being the 
Ferryman's heir than his son-in-law, took the oppor- 
tunity, while he was engaged at the Ferry, to be admitted 
into her company. " The first interview," says the story, 
" pleased well ; the second better; the third concluded 
the match between them." 

" In all this long interim, the poor silly rich old 
Ferryman, not dreaming of any such passages, but 
thinking all things to be as secure by land as he knew 
they were by water," continued his former wretched and 
penurious course of life. To save the expense of one 
day's food in his family, he formed a scheme to feign 
himself dead for twenty-four hours, in the vain expecta- 
tion that his servants would, out of propriety, fast until 
after his funeral. Having procured his daughter to 
consent to this plot, even against her better nature, he 
was put into a sheet, and stretched out in his chamber, 

Story of the Ferryman's Daughter. 3 

having one taper burning at his head, and another at his 
feet, according to the custom of the time. When, how- 
ever, his servants were informed of his decease, instead 
of lamenting they were overjoyed, and, having danced 
round the body, they broke open his larder, and fell to 
banqueting. The Ferryman bore all this as long, and 
as much like a dead man, as he was able; "but when he 
could endure it no longer," says the tract, " stirring and 
struggling in his sheet, like a ghost with a candle in 
each hand, he purposed to rise up, and rate 'em for their 
sauciness and boldness; when one of them, thinking 
that the Devil was about to rise in his likeness, being in 
a great amaze, catched hold of the butt-end of a broken 
oar, which was in the chamber, and being a sturdy 
knave, thinking to kill the Devil at the first blow, 
actually struck out his brains." It is added that the 
servant was acquitted, and the Ferryman made accessary 
and cause of his own death. 

The estate of Overs then fell to his daughter, and her 
lover hearing of it, hastened up from the country ; but, 
in riding post, his horse stumbled, and he broke his neck 
on the highway. The young heiress was almost dis- 
tracted at these events, and was recalled to her faculties 
only by having to provide for her father's interment ; for 
he was not permitted to have a Christian burial, being 
considered as an excommunicated man, on account 
of his extortions, usury, and truly miserable life. The 
Friars of Bermondsey Abbey were, however, prevailed 
upon, by money, their Abbot being then away, to give 
a little earth to the remains of the wretched Ferryman. 
But, upon the Abbot's return, observing a grave which 
had been recently covered in, and learning who lay 
there, he was not only angry with his Monks for having 

4 Romance of London. 

done such an injury to the Church for the sake of gain, 
but he also had the body taken up again, laid on the 
back of his own ass, and turning the animal out of the 
Abbey gates, desired of God that he might carry him to 
some place where he best deserved to be buried. The 
ass proceeded with a gentle and solemn pace through 
Kent Street, and along the highway, to the small pond 
once called St Thomas a Waterings, then the common 
place of execution, and shook off the Ferryman's body 
directly under the gibbet, where it was put into the 
ground without any kind of ceremony. 

Mary Overs, extremely distressed by such a battalion 
of sorrows, and desirous to be free from the importu- 
nities of the numerous suitors for her hand and fortune, 
resolved to retire into a cloister, which she shortly after- 
wards did, having first provided for the building of 
that church which commemorates her name. 

There is extant a monumental effigy preserved in the 
Church, which is commonly reported to be that of 
Audery, the Ferryman, father of the foundress of St 
Mary Overies. As a supplement to the story contained 
in the tract, it is related that the pious maiden, out of 
her filial love, had the effigy sculptured in memory of 
her father ; since it was thought to represent the cada- 
verous features of the old waterman : it represents a 
skeleton in a shroud ; but the workmanship is of the 
15th century, and Audery certainly died long before the 
time of William I. Captain Grose has engraved this 
effigy in his Antiquities, and describes it as "a skeleton- 
like figure, of which the usual story is told, that the per- 
son thereby represented attempted to fast forty days in 
imitation of Christ," adding that he died in the attempt, 
having first reduced himself to that appearance. 

Story of the Ferryman's Daughter. 5 

Stow attributes the building of the first Wooden 
Bridge over the Thames at London to the pious brothers 
of St Mary's Monastery, on the Bank side ; and this on 
the authority of Linsted, the last Prior of St Mary 
Overies, who, on surrendering his Convent at the Dis- 
solution, had a pension assigned him of £ 100 per annum, 
which he enjoyed until 1553. From the Supplement to 
Dugdale's Monasticon, Stow states that " a Ferry being 
kept in the place where the Bridge is built, the Ferry- 
man and his wife deceasing, left the said Ferry to their 
only daughter, a maiden named Mary ; which, with the 
goods left her by her parents, as also with the profits 
rising of the said Fern-, built a house of Sisters in the 
place where now standeth the east part of St Mary 
Overies Church, above the choir, where she was buried. 
Unto which house she gave the oversight and profits of 
the Ferry. But, afterwards, the said house of Sisters 
being converted into a College of Priests, the Priests 
built the bridge of timber, as all the other great bridges 
of this land were, and, from time to time, kept the same 
in good reparations. Till, at length, considering the 
great charges of repairing the same, there was, by aid of 
the Citizens of London, and others, a Bridge built with 
arches of Stone," &c. This version has been much 
opposed by antiquaries, who are not inclined to attribute 
the building of the first Wooden Bridge to the Monks of 

* See Chronicles of London Bridge, by an Antiquary, pp. 40 44. 

Romance of L ondon. 

The Ballad of " London Bridge is Broken 


THIS very popular nurse's song, which is a metrical 
illustration of the connection of the River Lee and 
London Bridge, has a scattered history, which it is 
difficult to trace. One of the most elegant copies of 
the ballad is to be found in Ritson's rare and curious 
Gammer Gurtoiis Garland; or, The Nursery Parnassus, 
and is as follows : — 

London Bridge is broken down, 

Dance o'er my Lady Lee ; 
London Bridge is broken down, 

Willi a gay lady. 

How shall we build it up again '. 

Dance o'er my Lady Lee ; 
How shall we build it up again ? 

With a gay lady. 

Silver and gold will be stolen away, 

Danes; o'er my Lady Lee ; 
Silver and gold will be stolen away, 

With a gay lady. 

Build it up with iron and steel, 

Dance o'er my Lady Lee ; 
Build it up with iron and steel, 

With a gay lady. 

Iron and steel will bend and bow, 

Dance o'er my Lady Lee ; 
Iron and steel will bend and bow, 

With a gay lady. 

Build it up with wood and clay, 

Dance o'er my Lady Lee ; 
Build it up with wood and clay, 

With a gay lady. 

"London Bridge is Broken Down? 


"Wood and clay will wash away, 

Dance o'er my Lady Lee ; 
Wood and clay will wash away, 

With a gay lady. 

Build it up with stone so strong, 

Dance o'er my Lady Lee ; 
Huzza ! 'twill last for ages long, 

With a gay lady. 

Another copy of this ballad contains the following 
stanzas, wanting in Ritson's, and coming in immediately 
after the third verse, " Silver and gold will be stolen 
away ; " though the propositions for building this Bridge 
with iron and steel, and wood and stone, have, in this 
copy also, already been made and objected to. 

Then we must set a man to watch, 

Dance o'er my Lady Lea ; 
Then we must set a man to watch, 

With a gay La-dee. 
Suppose the man should fall asleep, 

Dance o'er my Lady Lea ; 
Suppose the man should fall asleep, 

With a gay La-dee. 
Then we must put a pipe in his mouth, 

Dance o'er my Lady Lea ; 
Then we must put a pipe in his mouth, 

With a gay La-dee. 
Suppose the pipe should fall and break, 

Dance o'er my Lady Lea ; 
Suppose the pipe should fall and break, 

With a gay La-dee. 

Then we must set a dog to watch, 

Dance o'er my Lady Lea ; 
Then we must set a dog to watch, 

With a gay La-dee. 
Suppose the dog should run away, 

1 )ance o'er my Lady Lea ; 
Suppose the dog should run away, 

With a gay La-dee. 

8 Romance of London. 

Tli en we must chain him to a post, 

Dance o'er my Lady Lea ; 
Then we must chain him to a post, 

With a gay La-dee. 

In these verses it will be observed how singularly and 
happily the burthen of the song often falls in with the 
subject of the new line ; though, probably, the whole 
ballad has been formed by making fresh additions, in a 
long series of years, and is, perhaps, almost interminable 
when received in all its different versions. The stanzas 
last quoted are the introductory lines of an old ballad, 
which the copyist, more than seventy years previously, 
had heard plaintively warbled by a lady who was born 
in the reign of Charles II., and who lived till nearly that 
of George II. Another copyist observes that the ballad 
concerning London Bridge formed, in his remembrance, 
part of a Christmas carol, and commenced thus : — 

Dame, get up and bake your pies, 
On Christmas-day in the morning : 

"The requisition," he continues, "goes on to the Dame 
to prepare for the feast, and her answer is — 

London Bridge is broken down, 
On Christmas-day in the morning. 

These lines are from a Newcastle carol : the inference 
has always been that, until the Bridge was rebuilt, some 
stop would be put to Dame Christmas's operations ; but 
why the falling of a part of London Bridge should form 
part of a Christmas carol at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, is a 
connection, doubtless, long since gathered into the wallet 
which Time carries at his back, wherein he puts alms 
for oblivion, though we may remark that the history and 
features of the old Bridge of that famous town had a 

Noted Residents on Old London Bridge. 9 

very close resemblance to that of London. The author 
of the Chronicles of London Bridge refers the composition 
of the ballad to some very ancient date, when, London 
Bridge lying in ruins, the office of Bridge Master was 
vacant; and his power over the river Lee — for it is, 
doubtless, that river which is celebrated in the chorus 
to this song — was for a while at an end. The ancient 
Music to the Song is preserved : it has been adapted to 
the feet as well as the tongue : about sixty years ago, 
one moonlight night, in a street in Bristol, was heard a 
dance and chorus of bovs and girls, to which the words 
of this Ballad gave measure. The breaking-down of 
the Bridge was announced as the dancers moved round 
, in a circle, hand-in-hand ; the question, ' How shall we 
build it up again ? ' was chanted by the leader, whilst 
the rest stood still." 

Noted Residents on Old London Bridge. 

Several traditional mistakes have b.een perpetuated, as 
to persons supposed to have dwelt upon London Bridge. 
Thus, the author of Wine and Walnuts tells us that 
John Bunyan resided for some time upon the Bridge, 
though we fail to discover any such circumstance in 
either of the lives of that good man now extant ; but he 
certainly preached for some time at a chapel in South- 
ward Perhaps, however, the first assertion may be 
explained by a passage in the Preface to " The Labours 
of that eminent Servant of Christ, Mr John Bunyan," 
London, 1692, folio, where it is stated that in 168S he 
published six books, being the time of James II.' s liberty 
of conscience, and was seized with a sweating distemper, 
which, after his some weeks' going about, proved his 

i o Romance of L ondon. 

death at his very loving friend's, Mr Strudwick's, a 
grocer — at the sign of the Star — " at Holborn Bridge, 
London, on August 31st." 

It is also recorded on the same page of Wine and 
Walnuts, that Master Abel, the great importer of wines, 
was another of the marvels of old London Bridge ; he 
set up a sign, " Thank God, I am Abel" quoth the wag, 
and had in front of his house the sign of a bell. It is 
possible there may be some traditionary authority for 
this story ; but in the very rare tracts relating to 
Alderman Abel, preserved in the British Museum, 
there is nothing concerning his residence on London 

The same chapter contains some authentic notices of 
Artists who really did live upon the venerable edifice. 
Of these, one of the most eminent was Hans Holbein, 
the great painter of the court of Henry VIII. ; though 
we can hardly suppose that he inhabited the Nonesuch 
House, yet his actual residence is certified by Lord 
Orford, in his Anecdotes of Painting, as follows: "The 
father of the Lord Treasurer Oxford, passing over 
London Bridge, was caught in a shower, and stepping 
into a goldsmith's shop for shelter, he found there a 
picture of Holbein, — who had lived in that house, — 
and his family. He offered the goldsmith £100 for it, 
who consented to let him have it, but desired first to 
show it to some persons. Immediately after happened 
the great Fire of London, and the picture was de- 

Another famous artist of London Bridge was Peter 
Monamy, so excellent a painter of marine subjects as 
to be considered but little inferior to Vandevelde him- 
self. Lord Orford says of him, that "he received his 

Noted Residents on Old London Bridge. 1 1 

first rudiments of drawing from a sign and house painter 
on London Bridge:" and that "the shallow waves that 
rolled under his window, taught young Monamy what 
his master- could not teach him, and fitted him to paint 
the turbulence of the ocean." 

Edwards, in his Continuation of Walpole's Anecdotes, 
tells us that Dominic Serres, the marine painter, who 
died in 1793, once kept shop on London Bridge. To 
these may be added Jack Laguerre, the engraver, a 
great humourist, wit, singer, player, caricaturist, mimic, 
and a good scene-painter, son of that Louis who painted 
staircases and saloons, where, as Pope says, "sprawl 
the saints of Verrio and Laguerre." His residence was 
on the first floor of the dwelling of a waggish book- 
seller and author-of-all-work, named Crispin Tucker, 
the owner of half-a-shop, on the east side, under the 
southern gate of the Bridge. The artist's studio was 
chiefly in the bow-window in a back room, which pro- 
jected over the Thames, and trembled at every half-ebb 
tide. Here also Hogarth resided in his early life, when 
he engraved for old John Bowles, at the Black Horse, 
in Cornhill. His studio resembled, we are told in Wine 
and Walnuts, "one of the alchemist's laboratories from 
the pencil of the elder Teniers. It was a complete, 
smoke-stained confusionary, with a German stove, 
crucibles, pipkins, and nests of drawers with rings of 
twine to pull them out ; here a box of asphaltum, there 
glass-stoppered bottles, varnishes, dabbers, gravers, 
etching-tools, walls of wax, obsolete copper-plates, 
many engraved on both sides, and poetry scribbled over 
the walls ; a pallet hung up as an heir-loom, the colours 
dry upon it, hard as stone ; all the multifarious arcanalia 
of engraving, and, lastly, a Printing Press ! " And in 

1 2 Romance of L ondon. 

Wine and Walnuts is an amusing account of Dean 
Swift's and Pope's visits and conversations with the 
noted Crispin Tucker. 

Not only the ordinary buildings in the Bridge Street, 
which were formerly occupied as shops and warehouses, 
but even the Chapel of St Thomas, which, in later 
years, was called Chapel House, and the Nonesuch 
House,* were used for similar purposes before they were 
taken down. Dr Ducarel relates that the house over 
the chapel belonged to Mr Baldwin, haberdasher, who 
was born there; and when, at seventy-one, he was 
ordered to go to Chislehurst for a change of air, he 
could not sleep in the country, for want of the "noise," 
the roaring and rushing of the tide beneath the Bridge, 
" he had always been used to hear." We gather from 
the Morning Advertiser for April 26, 1798, that Alder- 
man Gill and Wright had been in partnership upwards 
of fifty years ; and that their shop stood on the centre of 
London Bridge, and their warehouse for paper was 
directly under it, which was a chapel for divine service, 
in one of the old arches ; long within legal memory, the 
service was performed here every Sabbath and Saint's- 
day. Although the floor was always at high-water 
mark, from ten to twelve feet under the surface; yet such 
was the excellency of the materials, and the masonry, 
that not the least damp, or leak, ever happened, and 
the paper was kept as safe and dry as it would have 
been in a garret. 

Again, in Seymour's Survey of London and West- 

* This remarkable house was constructed in Holland, entirely of wood, 
and, being brought over in pieces, was erected on London Bridge with 
wooden pegs only, not a single nail being used in the whole fabric. It 
stood near the northern entrance to the Bridge. 

Smitlificld and its Tournaments. 1 3 

minster, 1734, it is stated that, at that time, one side of 
the Nonesuch House was inhabited by Mr Bray, a 
stationer, and the other by Mr Wed, a drysalter. 

Sin it /ificld and its Tournaments. 

Many remarkable Tournaments are recorded as having 
taken place at Smithfield, especially during the reign 
of Edward I IT. Here that warlike monarch frequently 
entertained with feats of arms his illustrious captives, 
the kings of France and Scotland; and here, in 1374, 
towards the close of his long reign — when the charms 
of Alice Pierce had infatuated the doting monarch — he 
sought to gratify his beautiful mistress by rendering 
her the " observed of all observers/' at one of the most 
magnificent tournaments of which we have any record. 
Gazing with rapture on her transcendant beauty, he 
conferred on her the title of " Lady of the Sun ; " and 
taking her by the hand, in all the blaze of jewels and 
loveliness, led her from the royal apartments in the 
Tower to a triumphal chariot, in which he took place 
by her side. The procession which followed consisted 
of the rank and beauty of the land, each lady being 
mounted on a beautiful palfrey, and having her bridle 
held by a knight on horseback. 

A still more magnificent tournament — for invitations 
had been sent to the flower of chivalry at all the courts 
of Europe — was held at Smithfield in the succeeding 
reign of Richard II. The opening festivities are graphi- 
cally painted by Froissart, who was not improbably a 
witness of the gorgeous scene he describes. "At three 
o'clock on the Sunday after Michaelmas-day, the cere- 
mony began. Sixty horses in rich trappings, each 

14 Romance of London. 

mounted by an esquire of honour, were - seen advancing 
in a stately pace from the Tower of London ; sixty ladies 
of rank, dressed in the richest elegance of the day, fol- 
lowed on their palfreys, one after another, each leading 
by a sirVer chain a knight completely armed for tilting. 
Minstrels and trumpets accompanied them to Smithfield 
amidst the shouting population ; there the queen and 
her fair train received them. The ladies dismounted, 
and withdrew to their allotted seats ; while the knights 
mounted their steeds, laced their helmets, and prepared 
for the encounter. They tilted each other till dark. 
They all then adjourned to a sumptuous banquet, and 
dancing consumed the night, till fatigue compelled every 
one to seek repose. The next day the warlike sport 
commenced ; many were unhorsed ; many lost their 
helmets ; but they all persevered with eager courage and 
emulation, till night again summoned them to their 
supper, dancing, and concluding rest. The festivities* 
were again repeated on the third day." The court 
subsequently removed to Windsor, where King Richard 
renewed his splendid hostilities, and at their conclusion 
dismissed his foreign guests with many valuable presents. 
This picturesque scene is from the pen of Captain Jesse. 

Planta?enet Pigs. 

We gather from The Guildhall White Book, lately tran- 
slated and published by the suggestion of the Master of 
the Rolls, the following curious regulations as to the 
City Pigs in the fifteenth century : — 

Pork seems to have been (141 2) more extensively 
consumed than any other kind of butchers'-meat, judging 
from the frequent mention of swine, and the laws about 

Plantagenet Pigs. 15 

them, living and dead. " Lean swine " are named as 
frequentors of Smithfield Market, apparently as a means 
of improving their condition. In Edward Longshanks's 
days, persons living in the City were allowed to keep 
swine " within their houses/' with as free a rSnge as 
that porcine pet of the Irish schoolmaster. But these 
Plantagenet pigs were not to occupy sties that encroached 
on the streets. At a later day, the permission to keep 
them even within one's house would seem to have been 
limited, as we have seen, to master-bakers ; and it seems 
to have been at all times a standing rule, that swine were 
not to be allowed to roam about the streets, fosses, lanes, 
or suburbs of the City. If an. erring specimen was 
found, grunting along his solitary way, defiant of statutes 
and ordinances in such cases made and provided, then 
might such vagrant porker, whether straying in the mere 
naughtiness of his heart, or compelled by hunger, be 
lawfully slain by whatsoever citizen lighted on him in 
his vagabondage, — said citizen being also at liberty to 
retain what had been pig but was now pork, the carcase 
whole and entire ; unless, indeed, the pig's sometime 
owner bought it of him at a stipulated sum. Not even 
this license for any citizen to kill any stray pig was 
considered effectual enough to answer the legislative 
purpose. The vagrant propensity that emptied so many 
a sty of its denizen became a nuisance ; for we read that 
early in the reign of Edward I. four men were " chosen 
and sworn to take and kill all swine found wandering 
within the walls of the City, to whomsoever they might 
belong." We find, however, that the Renter of St 
Anthony's Hospital (the patron Saint of swine)' was " a 
privileged person " in this respect, though his honesty 
was impeachable, since he had to make oath that he 

1 6 Romance of London. 

would not " avow any swine found at large in the City," 
nor " hang any bells around their necks, but only around 
those pigs which have been given them in pure alms." 

" Whittington and his Cat!' 

The nursery tale of the poor boy, who rose to be a 
wealthy merchant and Lord Mayor of London, chiefly 
through a large cum of money obtained for him by the 
sale of a cat, is a proven fiction ; and we have to seek 
some other explanation of this special wonder. Mr 
Keightley has well observed there were tales of a similar 
nature current both before and at Whittington's date, 
in several other countries — in South America, in 
Denmark, in Tuscany, in Venice, and in Persia. During 
the Middle Ages, and, doubtless, at other periods, there 
were current a multitude of tales and stories belonging 
to no individual, but perfectly fabulous, but which the 
popular mind was continually fixing upon persons who 
had rendered themselves remarkable, as a manner of 
expressing the popular appreciation of their character, 
or explanation of the means by which they gained it. 
Hence the same story is told of different persons, at 
different periods, and in different countries. Such was 
the origin of the story of Whittington and his Cat. Its 
incidents were not possible in Whittington's time, but 
they sfre exactly in accordance with the sentiments and 
state of things in the reign of Elizabeth, when, as far as 
the Whittington story is concerned, it seems to have 

Still some curious facts are adduced in support of the 
legend. Mr Deputy Lott, F.S.A., in a paper read by 

" Whittington arid his Cat? \y 

him to the London and Middlesex Archaeological 
Society, says : — 

" At Mercers' Hall, is a portrait on canvas of a man 
about sixty years of age, in a fine livery gown and black 
cap of the time of Henry VIII., such as Yeomen of the 
Guard now wear. The figure reaches about half the 
length of the arms from the shoulders ; on the left hand 
of the figure is a black and white cat, whose right ear 
reaches up to the band or broad turning-down of the 
skirt of the figure ; on the left hand upper corner of the 
canvas is painted ' R. Whittington, 1536.' The size of 
the canvas of this portrait has for some reason been 
altered, and the inscription has evidently been painted 
since the alteration ; yet it is hardly to be supposed it 
was then invented, and if not, it carries the vulgar 
ooinion of some connection between Whittington and a 
cat as far back as 1536. From the portrait being on 
canvas, it must have been painted at a much later period 
than the date it bears. 

" But there is an engraved portrait by Reginald 

Elstrack, who flourished in 1590, in which Whittington's 

hand rests on a cat: this print was executed towards the 

end of the reign of Elizabeth, when we know the story 

existed, and was probably then invented. Elstrack first 

engraved Whittington with his hand on a scull, evidently 

not knowing or despising the legend ; but persons would 

not buy this print until the cat was substituted for the 

scull : the cat had then become popular. Neither 

Grafton nor Holinshed says anything of the legendary 

history of Sir Richard Whittington : but it must have 

been current in the reign of Elizabeth ; for in the first 

scene of Beaumont and Fletcher's Knight of the Burning 

Pestle (161 3), the citizen says to the prologue, 'Why 
vol. 1. B 

1 8 Romance of London. 

could you not be contented, as well as others, with the 
legend of Whittington ? ' The word ' legend ' in this 
place would seem to indicate the story of the cat. Cats, 
as we know, fetched a high price in America when it 
was first colonised by the Spaniards. Two cats, we are 
told, were taken out as a speculation to Cuyaba, where 
there was a plague of rats, and they were sold for a 
pound of gold. Their first kittens fetched each thirty 
pieces of eight, the next generation not more than 
twenty, and the price gradually fell as the colony became 
stocked with these. The elder Almagro is said to have 
given 600 pieces of eight to the person who presented 
him with the first cat which was brought from South 

It is strange what a propensity the vulgar have for 
applying some other cause than industry, frugality, and 
skill, seconded by good fortune (the usual and general 
road, I believe, to wealth), to the acquisition of riches. 
I hardly ever knew, says Mr Lott, in my own country, 
an instance of the attainment to opulence by a man 
who, as the phrase goes, had risen from nothing, that 
there was not some extraordinary mode of accounting 
for it circulated among the vulgar. 

In Popular Music of the Olden Time, by W. Chappell, 
F.S.A., is the following: — "The earliest notice of 'Turn 
again, Whittington,' as a tune — if a mere change of 
bells may come under that denomination — is in Shirley's 
Constant Maid, Act II. Scene 2, 1640, where the niece 
says : — 

" ' Faith, how many churches do you mean to build 
Before you die ? Six bells in every steeple, 
And let them all go to the City tune, 
"Turn again, Whittington," — who they say 

"Whittington and his Cat." 19 

Grew rich, and let his land out for nine lives 
'Cause all came in by a cat.' " 

A ballad was entered at Stationers' Hall a few months 
later, then a drama on the same subject. 

The imputed " low birth " of Whittington is more 
distinctly disproved : he is shown to have descended 
from the Whittingtons, who were owners of land in 
Gloucestershire, as early as the reign of Edward I.; their 
estate being at Pauntley, where, in the church, are 
emblazoned the arms of Whittington, impaling Warren, 
"thus closely identifying our hero, whose wife was Alice 
Fitzwarren, with the Pauntley family beyond dispute." 
It is equally certain that Richard Whittington was the 
son of Sir Richard W r hittington. That he rose early to 
wealth and civic honours, and was four times Lord 
Mayor of London, is proved by the municipal records. 
He rebuilt a church, founded a college, and was altogether 
a munificent citizen. In his third mayoralty, 1419, he 
entertained Henry of Agincourt, and his bride, Catherine 
of France. Never before did a merchant display such 
magnificence as was then exhibited in the Guildhall, 
whether the account of precious stones to reflect the light 
of the chandeliers, choicest fish, exquisite birds, delicate 
meats, choirs of beautiful females, wine-conduits, rare 
confections, and precious metals, be at all constrained, 
is problematical. " Surely," cried the amazed king, 
"never had a prince such a subject. Even the fires are 
filled with perfumes." — "If your highness," said Sir 
Richard, " inhibit me not, I will make these fires still 
more grateful." As he ceased speaking, and the king 
nodding, acquiesced, he drew forth a packet of bonds, 
and, advancing to the fire, resumed, "Thus do I acquit 
your highness of a debt of .£60,000." 

20 Romance of London. 

In 1389, Whittington superintended the festivities of 
a masked tournament in Smithfield, lately the scene of 
a rebel tumult. " Those who came in the king's party," 
says Fabian, " had their armour and apparel garnished 
with white harts, that had crowns of gold about their 
necks. Twenty-four thus appareled led the horses of 
the same number of ladies by chains of gold. The 
jousts continued four days, in the presence of the king, 
the queen, and the whole court, his Majesty himself 
giving proofs of his skill and dexterity. During the 
whole time open house was kept, at the king's expense, 
at the Bishop of London's palace, for the entertainment 
of all persons of distinction." 

To return to the Cat : there is still another explana- 
tion. Richard Gough, the antiquary, believes that the 
cat, if not a rebus for some ship by which Whittington 
made his fortune, was the companion of his arm-chair, 
like Montaigne's. 

The subject is treated with excellent humour by 
Foote, in his comedy of the Nabob, where he makes Sir 
Matthew Mite satirically thus address the Society of 
Antiquaries : — 

" The point I mean to clear up is an error crept into 
the life of that illustrious magistrate, the great Whit- 
tington, and his no less eminent cat : and in this dis- 
quisition four material points are in question : — 1st. Did 
Whittington ever exist ? 2d. Was Whittington Lord 
Mayor of London ? 3d. Was he really possessed of a 
cat ? 4th. Was that cat the source of his wealth ? That 
Whittington lived, no doubt can be made ; that he was 
Lord Mayor of London is equally true ; but as to his 
cat, that, gentlemen, is the Gordian Knot to untie. And 
here, gentlemen, be it permitted me to define what a 

"' Whittington and his Cat." 2 1 


cat is. A cat is a domestic, whiskered, four-footed 
animal, whose employment is catching- of mice ; but let 
puss have been ever so subtle, let puss have been ever 
so successful, to what could puss's captures amount ? No 
tanner can curry the skin of a mouse, no family make a 
meal of the meat ; consequently, no cat could give 
Whittington his wealth. From whence, then, does this 
error proceed ? Be that my care to point out. The 
commerce this worthy merchant carried on was chiefly 
confined to our coasts : for this purpose he constructed 
a vessel, which, for its agility and lightness, he aptly 
christened a cat. Nay, to this our day, gentlemen, all 
our coals from Newcastle are imported in nothing but 
cats. From thence, it appears, that it was not the 
whiskered, four-footed, mouse-killing cat, that was the 
source of the magistrate's wealth ; but the coasting, 
sailing, coal-carrying cat : that, gentlemen, was Whit- 
tington's cat." 

There is a strange mixture of banter with fact in the 
above passage. Now, when Whittington was yet a boy, 
the burning of coal was considered such a public 
nuisance that it was prohibited by Act of Parliament 
under pain of death ; but, singular enough, by the time 
he had been thrice Lord Mayor of London, 1418, the 
importation of coal formed a considerable branch of the 
commerce of the Thames ; and although a person was 
once executed for a breach of this law, it is supposed 
that a dispensation was made in Whittington's favour ; 
for from the first opening of the coal trade in England, 
and for ages after, it had a reputation for making for- 
tunes only exceeded by that of the mines of Golconda 
and Peru. The catta, or collier, is, to this day, called a 

22 Romance of London. 

The spot at Highgate Hill, whereon the legend states 
Whittington stopped when he heard the sound of Bow 
Bells, which he imagined prophesied his becoming Lord 
Mayor, is believed to have been originally the site of a 
wayside cross, belonging to the formerly adjacent lazar- 
house, or hospital, and Chapel of St Anthony ; this 
memorial was removed, and Whittington is stated to have 
placed there an obelisk, surmounted by a cross, which 
remained until 1795, when was erected another stone, 
which has since been twice renewed. The hospital 
cross would thus appear to have suggested the Whit- 
tington monument, which popular belief has, from 
time to time, renewed. 

The greatest similitude of the Cat story is found in 
the Eastern fable. Sir William Gore Ouseley relates, 
on the authority of a Persian MS., that, in the tenth 
century, one Keis, the son of a poor widow in Siraf, 
embarked for India, with his sole property, a cat. There 
he fortunately arrived at a time when the palace was 
so infested by mice, or rats, that they carried off the 
king's food, and persons were employed to drive them 
from the royal banquet. Keis produced his cat, the 
noxious animals soon disappeared : and magnificent 
rewards were bestowed on the adventurer of Siraf, who 
returned to that city* 

Crosby Place, Shakspeare, and Richard III. 

THIS interesting domestic mansion, in Bishopsgate 
Street, presents a specimen of architecture which is as 

* The Rev. Mr Lysons, in his ingenious volume upon this inquiry, 
favours the legendary origin. 

Crosby Place, Shakspcare, and Richard III. 23 

good as any perpendicular work remaining of the kind ; 
it was commenced building by Sir John Crosbie, about 
1470 ; and scarcely was it completed before its munifi- 
cent founder died. Stow describes the mansion as 
" built of stone and timber, very large and beautiful, and 
the highest at that time in London." Eight years 
subsequent to Crosbie's death, 1483, we find in posses- 
sion no less a person than Richard Plantagenet, Duke 
of Gloucester, afterwards King Richard III. He was, 
probably, a tenant under Sir John Crosbie's executors. 
Arriving in London on the 4th of May 1483, Fabian 
tells us, the Duke caused the king to be removed to the 
Tower, and the Duke lodged himself in Crosby Place. 
We learn also from Holinshed that " by little and little 
all folke withdrew from the Tower, and drew unto 
Crosbie's in Bishopsgate Street, where the Protector kept 
his household. The Protector had the resort ; the king 
in manner desolate." Here, according to tradition, the 
crown was offered to him by the mayor and citizens on 
the 25th of June 1483. On the 27th he was proclaimed ; 
and on the following day he left Crosby Place for his 
palace of Westminster. 

From the circumstance of Richard's residence here 
(says the Rev. T. Hugo), this mansion derives one of its 
special attractions. Not simply, however, from the fact 
itself, but from the notice which it has on this account 
received from one, who has only to make a place the 
scene of his matchless impersonations in order to confer 
on it an immortality of interest. In this manner, one 
greater than Richard Plantagenet has done that for 
Crosby Place, which the mere fact that it was the home 
of a king would not of itself impart. Thrice in the play 
of Richard III., our own Shakspeare has referred to it 

24 Romance of London. 

by name. First, in Act I. Scene 2, we have the Duke, 
reconciled at length to the Lady Anne, thus addressing 
her : — 

If thy poor devoted servant may 
But beg one favour at thy gracious hand, 
Thou dost confirm his happiness for ever. 

Anne. What is it? 

Glo. That it may please you leave these sad designs 
To him that hath more cause to be a mourner, 
And presently repair to Crosby Place ; 
Where — after I have solemnly interred, 
At Chertsey monastery, this noble king, 
And wet his grave with my repentant tears, — 
I will with all expedient duty see you. 

The reunion was here (we will not censure the slight 
anachronism on the poet's part), and it led to Glouces- 
ter's marriage with the lady whose vituperation of him 
had been so unmeasured. 

In another scene, 3, Act I., where he commissions his 
assassins to murder Clarence, he adds — 

When you have done, repair to Crosby Place. 

And again, in Act III. Scene 1, with Buckingham and 
Catesby, where Gloucester sends the letter to sound 
Hastings with reference to his designs upon the crown, 
he says at parting — 

Shall we hear from you, Cates-by, ere we sleep s 
Catcshy. You shall, my lord. 
Glo. At Crosby Place, there shall you find us both. 

Come, let us sup betimes ; that afterwards 
We may digest our complots in some form 

Here the supper was eaten, and the complots were 
digested. Crosby Place, Shakspeare, and Richard, are 
thus identified. It has been said that " the reason why 

Crosby Place, Shakspeare, and Richard III. 25 

this building received the attention which it has from 
Shakspeare, was from some association existing in his 
own mind." Doubtless ; but the writer considers that 
"it is not too much to suppose that he had been admitted 
in the humble guise of a player to entertain the guests 
having assembled in the banqueting hall," and had thus 
seen and admired its beauties. This Mr Hugo is dis- 
posed to regard as a most gratuitous fancy. We are in- 
debted to Mr Hunter, in his interesting illustrations of 
the^ life, studies, and writings of Shakspeare, for the 
knowledge of the fact that, by an assessment' of the date 
of October 1, 1598, the 40th of Elizabeth, Shakspeare is 
proved to have been an inhabitant of the parisli of St 
He/ens, in which Crosby Place is situated. He is 
assessed in the sum of £$, 13J. 4d., not an inconsiderable 
sum in those days. Distinguished by the special favour 
of Queen Elizabeth and her successor, the personal friend 
of such men as Southampton, Pembroke, and Mont- 
gomery, the " star of poets " was often, it is hoped, a 
welcome visitor at Crosby Place, and looked up at those 
graceful timbers, and that elegant oriel, from an honoured 
seat at the high table. The lady who tenanted the 
house during some of the best known years of Shak- 
speare's life was the Dowager Countess of Pembroke, 
Sydney's sister, Pembroke's mother, immortalised by 
rare Ben Jonson : and it is not too much to say that 
"gentle" Will found himself here not unfrequently, 
and ever as a caressed and honoured guest. — Trans- 
actions of the London and Middlesex A rclicso logical 

Romance of London. 

Sorrows of Sanctuary. 

The histories of the privileged precincts in the me- 
tropolis, known as sanctuaries, have many touching 
episodes. Thus, Miss Halsted, in her historical memoir 
on Richard III., relates, that "To sanctuary Richard 
of Gloucester removed the Lady Anne, when, says the 
chronicler of Croyland, he ' discovered the maiden in 
the attire of a kitchen-girl in London,' in which degrad- 
ing garb Clarence had concealed her ; and Gloucester 
'caused her to be placed in the Sanctuary of St Mar- 
tin,' while he openly and honourably sought from the 
king his assent to their marriage. The Lady Anne 
had been the playmate of Gloucester's childhood, and 
the object of his youthful affections. Before either had 
passed the age of minority, she had drunk deeply of the 
cup of adversity ; from being the affianced bride of the 
heir-apparent to the throne, and receiving homage at the 
French court as Princess of Wales, she was degraded 
to assume the disguise of a kitchen girl in London, 
reduced to utter poverty by the attainder of herself and 
parents. Such was the condition of Warwick's proud 
but destitute child, the ill-fated co-heiress of the Nevilles, 
the Beauchamps, the Despencers, and in whose veins 
flowed the blood of the highest and noblest in the land. 
The Croyland historian exonerates Richard from the 
unfounded charge of seeking the affection of ' young 
Edward's bride ' before the tears of ' widowhood ' had 
ceased to flow ; and equally so of his outraging a 
custom most religiously and strictly observed in the 
fifteenth century, which rendered it an offence against 
the Church and society at large for ' a widow ' to espouse 

Sorrows of Sanctuary. 27 

a second time before the first year of mourning had 

The Sanctuary of Westminster, the precinct under 
the protection of the abbot and monks of Westminster, 
adjoined Westminster Abbey, on the west and north 
sides. In this sanctuary, Edward V. was " born in 
sorrow, and baptized like a poor man's child." In 1483, 
her cause being lost, and the Duke of Gloucester having 
seized the young Edward, the queen " gate herself in all 
the hast possible, with her yoonger son and her 
daughters, out of the palace of Westminster, in which 
she then lay, into the sanctuarie, lodging herself and her 
company there in the abbot's place." When the Arch- 
bishop came from York Place to deliver the Great Seal 
to her, he arrived before day. " About her he found 
much heavinesse, rumble, hast, and businesse, carriage 
and conveiance of her stuffe into sanctuarie, chests, 
coffers, packers, fardels, trussed all on men's backes, no 
man unoccupied, some lading, some going, some dis- 
charging, some comming for more, some breaking downe 
the wals to bring in the next way. The Queen herselfe 
sate alone on the rushes all desolate and dismaied, whom 
the Archbishop comforted in the best manner he could, 
shewing her that he trusted the matter was nothing so 
sore as she tooke it for, and that he was put in good 
hope and out of fearebythe message sent him from the 
Lord Chamberlaine." "Ah ! wo worth him," quoth she, 
" for he is one of them that laboureth to destroy me and 
my blood." The Archbishop returned " yet in the dawn- 
ing of the day, by which time he might in his chamber- 
window see all the Thames full of boates of the Duke of 
Gloucester's servants, watching that no man should go 
to sanctuary, nor none pass unsearched." Soon after, 

28 Romance of London. 

the Cardinal and the Lords of the Council came from 
the treacherous Protector, desiring her to surrender up 
her child. " She verilie thought she could not keepe him 
there, nowe besett in such places aboute. At the last, 
shee tooke the yoong Duke by the hand, and said unto 
the Lordes, ' Heere I diliver him, and his brother in 
him, to keepe, into your handes, of whome I shall aske 
them both afore God and the worlde.' .... There- 
withall shee said unto the child, ' Farewell ! mine owne 
sweete sonne, God sende you good keeping; let mee 
kisse you yet once ere you goe, for God knoweth when 
wee shall kisse together againe.' And therewith shee 
kissed him, and blessed him, turned her backe and 
wept, and went her waie, leaving the child weeping ar 

The Hungcrfords at Charing Cross. 

The histories of the noble houses which anciently 
skirted the northern bank of the Thames, between 
London Bridge and Westminster, present many dark 
deeds, vicissitudes of fortune, and terrible enormities 
of crime. One of these mansions was centuries ago a 
portion of the possessions of the Hungerfords of Wilt- 
shire ; and, although the face of the property was 
materially changed two centuries ago, the Hungerford 
name lingered in the market, bridge, and street, until 

Nearly three centuries and a half ago, one of this 
family, Dame Agnes Hungerford, was attainted of 
murder, her goods were forfeited to the king's grace, 
and the lady suffered execution at Tybourn, on the 
20th of February 1523, and was buried in the church 

The Hungerfords at Charing Cross. 29 

of the Grey Friars, of which we have the following 
record in their chronicle: "And this yere in feverelle 
the xxth day was the lady Alys Hungrford was lede 
from the Tower unto Holborne, and there put into a 
carte at the churchyard with one of her servanttes, and 
so caryed unto Tyborne, and there both hongyd, and 
she burryed at the Gray freeres, in the nether end of 
the myddes of the church on the North syde." 

A great mystery hangs about the records of this 
heinous crime. Stow states that the lady died for 
murdering her husband, which is by no means clear. 
No other Alice Lady Hungerford, identifiable with 
the culprit, could be discovered but the second of the 
three wives of Sir Walter, who was summoned to Par- 
liament as Lord Hungerford of Heytesbury, in 1536; 
and, considering that the extreme cruelty of that person 
to all his wives is recorded in a letter written by the 
third and last of them, and that his career was at last 
terminated with the utmost disgrace in 1540, when he 
was beheaded (suffering at the same time as the fallen 
minister, Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex), it was 
deemed not improbable that the unfortunate lady 
might have been condemned for some desperate attempt 
upon the life of so bad a husband which had not actually 
effected its object, or even that her life and character had 
been sacrificed to a false and murderous accusation. 

In this state the- mystery remained until the discovery 
of the inventory of the goods of the lady attainted ; 
when, although the particulars of the tragedy remain 
still undeveloped, we find that the culprit must have 
been a different person from the lady already noticed ; 
and the murdered man, if her husband, of course not 
the Lord Walter. 

30 Romance of London. 

It is ascertained by the document before us, that the 
Lady Hungerford who was hung at Tybourn on the 
23d of February 1523, was really a widow, and that she 
was certainly attainted of felony and murder; moreover, 
that her name was Agnes, not Alice, as stated in the 
Grey Friars' chronicle. This inventory further shows 
that the parties were no other than the heads of the 
Hungerford family; and it is made evident that the lady 
was the widow of Sir Edward Hungerford, the father of 
Walter, Lord Hungerford, already mentioned ; and we 
are led to infer that it was Sir Edward himself who had 
been poisoned or otherwise murdered by her agency. 
It is a remarkable feature of the inventory, that many 
items of it are described in the first person, and con- 
sequently from the lady's own dictation ; and towards 
the end is a list of "the rayment of my husband's, which 
is in the keping of my son-in-lawe." By this expression 
is to be understood step-son, and that the person so 
designated was Sir Walter Hungerford, Sir Edward's 
son and heir. From this conclusion it follows that the 
lady was not Sir Walter's mother, who appears in the 
pedigree as Jane, daughter of John Lord Zouche of 
Haryngworth, but a second wife, whose name has not 
been recorded by the genealogists of the family. 

To this circumstance must be attributed much of the 
difficulty that hag hitherto enveloped this investigation. 
The lady's origin and maiden name are still unknown. 
The inventory describes her as '"''Agnes, Lady Hunger- 
ford, zvydozve ;" and there is evidence to show that she 
was the second wife of Sir Edward Hungerford, of 
Heytesbury, who, in his will, after bequeathing small 
legacies to churches and friends, gives the residue of his 
goods to "Agnes Hungerforde my wife." 

The Hutigerfords at Charing- Cross. 3 1 

But though the inventory assists materially in clearing 
up three points in this transaction, viz. — 1. the lady's 
Christian name ; 2. whose wife she had been ; and, 3. 
that her crime was "felony and murder;" the rest of the 
story remains as much as ever wrapped in mystery. It 
it not yet certain who was the person murdered ; and of 
the motives, place, time, and all other particulars, we 
are wholly ignorant. Stow, the chronicler, who repeats 
what he found in the Grey Friars' chronicle, certainly 
adds to that account the words, " for murdering her 
husband." But, as Stow was not born until two years 
after Lady Hungerford's execution, and did not compile 
his own chronicle until forty years after it, and as we 
know not whether he was only speaking from hearsay, 
or on authority, the fact that it was the husband still 
remains to be proved. 

Excepting on the supposition that the Lady Agnes 
was a perfect monster among women, it is almost incon- 
ceivable that she should have murdered a husband who, 
only a few weeks, or days, before his death, in the pre- 
sence of eleven gentlemen and clergymen known to them 
both, signed a document by which he made to her 
(besides the jointure from lands) a free and absolute gift 
of all his personal property, including the accumulated 
valuables of an ancient family \ and this, to the entire 
exclusion of his only son and heir ! When the character 
of that son and heir, notoriously cruel to his own wives, 
and subsequently sent to the scaffold for an ignominious 
offence, is considered ; and when it is further recollected 
that he was not the son, but only the step-son of this 
lady, certain suspicions arise which more than ever 
excite one's curiosity to raise still higher the curtain 
that hides the tragedy. 

2)2 Romance of London. 

The inventory includes a long and curious catalogue 
of the lady's own dress and personal ornaments ; with a 
list of some obligations or bonds for money; some items 
of household stuff remaining at Jier husband's house at 
Charing Cross; and lastly the raiment of her husband, 
which was in the keeping of her son-in-law. These 
curious details are abridged from a Paper in tlte ArcJi- 
apologia, vol. xxxviii., by J. G. Nichols, F.S.A., and the 
Rev. J. Jackson, F.S.A. 

There is another singular story of the Hungerford 
family, which may have originated from two of its 
members having met with ignominious deaths. The 
legend is of the device of a toad being introduced into 
the armorial bearings of the Hungerfords, in memory of 
the degradation of some member of the family. This 
tale, the Rev. Mr Jackson pronounces in every way 
nonsensical. "Argent, three toads sable," is certainly 
one of their old quarterings ; as may be seen upon one 
of the monuments in the chapel at Farleigh Castle, near 
Bath. " But," says Mr Jackson, " it was borne by the 
Hungerfords for a very different reason. Robert, the 
second lord, who died A.D. 1459, h a d married the 
wealthy heiress of the Cornish family of Botrcaux ; and 
this was one of the shields used by her family, being, in 
fact, nothing more than an allusion, not uncommon in. 
heraldry, to the name. This was spelled variously, 
Botrcaux or Boterelles ; and the 'device was probably 
assumed from the similarity of the name of the old 
French word Bolterol, a toad (see Cotgrave), or the old 
Latin word Bottcrclla. The marriage with the Bottreaux 
heiress, and the assumption of her arms, having taken 
place many years before any member of the Hunger- 
ford family was attainted or executed (as some of 

The Hungerfords at Charing Cross. 33 

them afterwards were), the popular story falls to the 

We now come to a wilder trait of the Hungerford 
family, in an eccentric memorial of one of its members. 
Sir Edward Hungerford, who was created a Knight of 
the Bath at the coronation of Charles II., is known as 
" the spendthrift : " he is said to have given 500 guineas 
for a wig to figure in at some ball ; to keep up his foolish 
game, he sold, at one time, twenty-eight manors ; and 
he pulled down part of his large town-house, Charing 
Cross, and converted the other portion into tenements 
and a market, in the year 1650. It is curious to find 
dedicated to "the virtuous and most ingenious" Edward 
Hungerford, &c, a son of the spendthrift Sir Edward, a 
small volume entitled " Humane Prudence ; or, The Art 
by which a man may Advance himself and his Fortune ; " 
this book aiming to do for the son what his father, the 
dissipator of the Hungerford estates, most grossly 
neglected — to set an example of prudence to his son. 
The glory of the Hungerfords was not forgotten in the 
market-house ; for, in a niche on the north side, was 
placed a bust of one of the family in a large wig — Sir 
Edward, in the 500-guinea wig ! Beneath was a pom- 
pous Latin inscription, with the date of its erection, 

We remember the bewigged bust, which disappeared 
with the old market-house ; but the evil genius still 
hovered over the site of Hungerford House, and in 
more than name, in the failure of New Hungerford 
Market, was prolonged the misfortune so long asso- 
ciated with the Hungerford family. 

V< .1 . !. 

34 Romance of London. 

yane Shore, her true History. 

NEITHER of our historians gives the name of this noted 
woman's parents. Sir Thomas More says : " What her 
father's name was, or where she was born, is certainly 
not known ; " but both More and Stow state she was 
born in London. She was married "somewhat too 
soon " to William Shore, goldsmith and banker, of 
Lombard Street, — her age 16 or 17 years. She lived 
with Shore seven years, and about 1470 she became 
concubine to King Edward IV., " the most beautiful 
man of his time." In his resplendent court she de- 
lighted all by her beauty, pleasant behaviour, and 
proper wit ; for she could read well and write, which 
few of the brightest ladies then could. 

Edward died in 1482 ; and, within two months, Jane 
was accused by Gloucester, the usurper, of sorcery and 
witchcraft : he caused her to be deprived of the whole 
of her property, about 3000 marks, equal now to about 
;£ 20,000. She was then committed to the Tower, but was 
released for want of proof of sorcery. She was next 
committed, by the Sheriffs, to Ludgate prison, charged 
with having been the concubine of Hastings, for which 
she walked in penance. Gloucester then consigned her 
to the severity of the Church. She was carried to the 
Bishop's palace, clothed in a white sheet, with a taper 
in her hand, and from thence conducted to St Paul's 
Cathedral and the cross, before which she made a con- 
fession of her only fault. " Every other virtue bloomed 
in this ill-fated fair with the fullest vigour. She could 
not resist the solicitations of a youthful monarch, the 
handsomest man of his time. On his death she was 

Jane Shore. 35 

reduced to necessity, scorned by the world, and cast 
off by her husband, with whom she was paired in her 
childish years, and forced to fling herself into the arms 
of Hastings." 

"In her penance she went," says Holinshed, "in 
countenance and pace demure, so womanlie, that albeit 
she were out of all araie, save her kettle onlie, yet went 
she so faire and lovelie, namelie, while the wondering of 
the people cast a comlie rud in her cheeks (of which she 
before had most misse), that hir great shame wan hir 
much praise among those that were more amorous of 
hir bodie, than curious of hir soule. And manie good 
folks that hated hir living (and glad were to see sin 
corrected), yet pitied they more hir penance, than 
rejoiced therein, when they considered that the Pro- 
tector procured it more of a corrupt intent than any 
virtuous affection." 

Rowe, in his play, has thrown this part of her story 
into this poetical dress:— 

Submissive, sad, and lonely was her look ; 
A burning taper in her hand she bore ; 
And on her shoulders, carelessly confused, 
With loose neglect her lovely tresses hung ; 
Upon her cheek a faintish flush was spread ; 
Feeble she seemed, and sorely smit with pain ; 
While, barefoot as she trod the flinty pavement, 
Her footsteps all along were marked with blood. 
Yet silent still she passed, and unrepining ; 
Her streaming eyes bent ever on the earth, 
Except when, in some bitter pang of sorrow, 
To heaven she seemed, in fervent zeal, to raise, 
And beg that mercy man denied her here. 

After her penance, she was again committed to Lud- 
gate, where she was kept close prisoner. The king's 
solicitor would have married her but for Richard's 

36 Romance of Louden. 

interference. After his death, at Bosworth, Jane was 
liberated from Ludgate. There is a tradition that she 
strewed flowers at the funeral of Henry VII. Calamitous 
was the rest of her life ; and she died in 1533 or 1534, 
when more than fourscore years old ; and no stone 
tells where her remains are deposited. For almost half 
a century, Jane Shore was a living monitress to avoid 
illicit love, however fascinating ; and the biographer, 
poet, and historian made her such for nearly three 
centuries after death ; in ancient chronicle and ballad, 
in historical record, in chap-book, and upon our stage, 
the grave moral has lasted to our time. Sir Thomas 
More says that Jane begged her bread ; and the 
dramatist has adopted this error. A black-letter 
ballad, in the Pepys collection, makes Jane die of 
hunger after doing penance, and a man to be hanged 
for relieving her ; both which are fictions, and led to 
the popular error of Jane's being starved in a ditch, and 
thus giving the name to Shoreditch : — 

I could not get one bit of bread, 
Whereby my hunger might be fed ; 
Nor drink, but such as channels yield, 
Or stinking ditches in the field. 
Thus, weary of my life at lengthe, 
I yielded up my vital strength 
Within a ditch of loathsome scent, 
Where carrion dogs did much frequent : 
The which now, since my dying dayc, 
Is Shoreditch call'd, as writers saye. 

But this ballad is not older than the middle of the 
17th century ; and no mention is made of Jane so dying 
in a ballad by Th. Churchyard, dated 1587. Dr Percy 
erroneously refers ShoreditcJi to " its being a common 
sewer, vulgarly shore, or drain." It is also called 

Story of a King's Head. 


Scrditch; which is the most correct, according to the 
above explanation. Stow declares this ancient manor, 
parish, and street of London to have been called Soers- 
ditch more than 400 years before his time ; and Weever 
states it to have been named from Sir John de Soer- 
dich, lord of the manor temp. Edward III., and who 
was with that king in his wars with France. Two miles 
north-east of Uxbridge is Ickenham Hall, the seat of 
the Soerdich family, who have been owners of the 
manor from the time of Edward III. 

Story of a Kings Head. 

STOW relates the following strange discovery of the 
disposal of the head of James IV. of Scotland, in the 
chronicler's description of the Church of St Michael, 
Wood Street :■ — 

" There is," he says, "but without any outward monu- 
ment, the head of James IV., King of Scots, of that 
name, slain at Flodden Field, and buried here by this 
occasion. After the battle, the body of the said king 
being found, was closed in lead, and conveyed from 
thence to London, and so to the monastery of Sheen, in 
Surrey, where it remained for a time, in what order I am 
not certain. But since the dissolution of that house in 
the reign of Edward VI., Henry Gray, Duke of Suffolk, 
being lodged and keeping house there, I have been 
shewed the same body so lapped in lead close to the 
head and body, was thrown into a waste room amongst 
the old timber, lead, and other rubble. Since the which 
time, workmen there (for their foolish pleasure) hewed 
off his head. And Launcelot Young, master-glazier to 
Queen Elizabeth, feeling a sweet savour to come from 

38 Romance of London. 

thence, and seeing the same dried from moisture, and 
yet the form remaining with the hair of the head and 
beard red, brought it to London to his house in Wood 
Street, where (for a time) he kept it for the sweetness ; 
but in the end caused the sexton of that church to bury 
it amongst other bones taken out of the charnel," &c. 

The above statement is contradicted by the Scottish 
historians ; but Weever is positive that Sheen was the 
place of James's burial. There is also another story of 
a body with a chain round the waist, said to have been 
found in the moat of Home Castle, and by the tradition 
identified with that of James IV. of Scotland ; but this 
has been disproved by Sir Walter Scott. 

A correspondent of the Athcnceum, 1852, writes: 
" The curious French Gazette records that the king was 
killed within a lance's length of the Earl of Surrey ; and 
Lord Dacre, in his letter to the Lords of the Council 
(orig. Cal. B. ii. 115), writes that he found the body of 
James, and, after informing Surrey by writing, brought 
it to Berwick ; whilst a tablet, which was fixed to the 
tomb of this very Earl of Surrey, afterwards second Duke 
of Norfolk, in Thetford Abbey, and recounted the prin- 
cipal occurrences in his eventful life (see Weever and a 
MS. copy of the time of Eliz. Jul. c. vii.), stated, 'And 
this done [the battle], the said Earl went to Berwick to 
establish all things well and in good order, and sent for 
the dead body of the King of Scots to Berwick; and when 
the ordnance of the King of Scots was brought out of 
the field and put in good suretie, and all other things in 
good order, then the said Earl took his journey towards 
York, and there abode during the King's pleasure, and 
carried zuith Jiim the dead body of the aforesaid King of 
Scots, and lay there until such time as the King's high- 

Queen Elisabeth by Torchlight. 39 

ness came from beyond the sea after his winning of 
Turwin and Torney. And then his highness sent for 
him to meet him at Richmond, and so he did, and 
delivered unto his highness the dead body of the King of 
Scots, which dead body teas delivered into the Charter- 
house there, and there to abyde during the King's pleasure' 
The person of the King of Scotland must have been as 
well known to Lord Dacre from his recent conferences 
with him, as to the Earl of Surrey from his residence at 
the Court of Scotland on the occasion of his conducting 
the Princess, afterwards Queen Margaret, thither ; and 
the monastery of Sheen (Shene) alluded to by Stow, 
having been occupied by monks of the Carthusian 
order, will be easily recognised as the Charter-house of 
Richmond, spoken of in the epitaph of the Duke of 

Queen Elizabeth by Torchlight, 

BISHOP GOODMAN, in his Memoirs of the Court of 
King James I. (the manuscript of which is preserved in 
the Bodleian Library), has left this curious account of 
Queen Elizabeth's popularity, as well as a portraiture of 
the Virgin Queen: — 

" In the year 1588, I did then live at the upper end of 
the Strand, near St Clement's Church, when suddenly 
there came a report unto us (it was in December, much 
about five of the clock at night, very dark), that the Queen 
was gone to council, and if you will see the Queen, you 
must come quickly. Then we all ran ; when the court 
gates were set open, and no man did hinder us from 
coming in. Then we came where there was a far greater 
company than was usual at Lenten Sermons ; and when 

40 Romance of London. 

we had stayed there an hour, and that the yard was full, 
there being a number of torches, the Oueen came out in 
great state. Then we cried, ' God save your Majesty ! 
God save your Majesty !' Then the Queen turned unto 
us, and said, 'God bless you all, my good people!' Then 
we cried again, ' God save your Majesty ! God save your 
Majesty ! ' Then the Queen said again unto us, ' You 
may well have a greater prince, but you shall never have 
a more loving prince ! ' and so, looking one upon another 
for a while, the Queen departed. This wrought such an 
impression upon us, for shows and pageants are ever best 
seen by torchlight, that all the way long we did nothing 
but talk what an admirable Queen she was, and how we 
would adventure our lives to do her service. Now this 
was in a year when she had most enemies, and how easily 
might they then have gotten into the crowd and multi- 
tude to have done her a mischief! 

" Take her then in her yearly journeys at her coming 
to London, where you must understand that she did 
desire to be seen and to be magnified ; but in her old 
age she had not only wrinkles, but she had a goggle 
throat, a great gullet hanging out, as her grandfather 
Henry VII. is ever painted withal. [Walpole, in his 
Royal and Noble Authors, has given the impression of 
one of Elizabeth's coins, which was struck apparently a 
few years before her death. It represents her very old 
and ugly.] And truly, there was then a report that the 
ladies had gotten false looking-glasses, that the Queen 
might not see her own wrinkles ; for, having been ex- 
ceeding beautiful and fair in her youth, such beauties 
are very aptest for wrinkles in old age. 

"So then the Queen's constant custom was, a little 
before her coronation*-day, to come from Richmond to 

Romance of the Bcaucliainp Tower, 41 

London, and dine with the Lord Admiral (the Earl of 
Effingham) at Chelsea ; and to set out from Chelsea at 
dark night, where the Lord Mayor and the Aldermen 
were to meet her, and here, all the way long, from 
Chelsea to Whitehall, was full of people to see her, and 
truly any man might very easily have come to her 
coach. Now, if she thought that she had been in 
danger, how is it credible that she should so adventure 
herself? King James, who was as harmless a King as 
any was in our age, and consequently had as few enemies, 
yet wore quilted doublets, stiletto-proof: the Queen had 
many enemies ; all her wars depended upon her life. 
She had likewise very fearful examples : the first Duke 
of Guise was shot; Henry III., the French King, was 
stabbed ; the Duke of Orange was pistoled — and these 
might make the Queen take heed." 

Charles Howard, Earl of Effingham, above named, 
was a great favourite of Queen Elizabeth. He was the 
only person who had influence sufficient to persuade 
the Queen to go to bed in her last sickness ; she having 
an apprehension of some prediction, as it was thought, 
that she should die in it. 

Romance of the Beauchamp Tower. 

It has been fancifully said that " walls have ears." 
The walls of the " prison-lodgings " in the Tower of 
London, however, bear more direct testimony of their 
former occupants ; for here the thoughts, sorrows, and 
sufferings of many a noble soul and crushed spirit are 
literally cut in stone. The Beauchamp or Cobham 
Tower, a curious s'pecimen of the military architecture 
of the 12th and 13th centuries, is the most interesting 

42 Romance of London. 

portion of our ancient prison fortress ; and in its recent 
repair, the records of many noteworthy persons confined 
within its walls haye been carefully preserved. 

The Tower originally derived its name from Thomas 
de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, who was imprisoned 
here in 1397. It consists of three apartments, one 
above the other, besides a few small passages and cells. 
The lower room is partly below the ground, and must 
have been a dismal place of imprisonment. A circular 
staircase leads to the other apartments, in which have 
been confined so many eminent individuals. Many of 
these have here endeavoured to shorten the tedious 
hours by records on the stone walls of their names and 
sentiments ; and hard must be the heart which could 
look unmoved at many of the inscriptions. 

These memorials have been cleansed by an ingenious 
chemical process from dirt and paint. During this 
operation many new names have been brought to light 
which have been for long hidden from plaster. &c. 
Amongst these is a sculptured rebus— a bell inscribed 
TA. and Thomas above, the memorial of Dr Abel, 
chaplain to Queen Catherine of Arragon. Thomas 
Abel was a man of learning, a great master of instru- 
mental music, and~well skilled in modern languages. 
These qualifications introduced him at Court, and he 
became domestic chaplain to Queen Catherine of Ar- 
ragon, wife of Henry VIII., and served her Majesty in 
the above-mentioned capacity. When the validity of 
the marriage of the Queen and Henry VIII. became a 
question, the affection which Dr Abel bore towards his 
mistress led him into the controversy to which it gave rise, 
and he opposed the divorce both by words and writings. 
By giving in to the delusion of the " Holy Maid of 

Romance of the Bcaiichamp Tower. 43 

Kent " he incurred a misprision, and was afterwards 
condemned and executed in Smithfield, together with 
others, for denying the King's supremacy, and affirming 
his marriage with Oueen Catherine to be jrood. 

Another sculpture — a kneeling figure — portrays 
Robert Bainbridge, who was imprisoned for writing a 
letter offensive to Queen Elizabeth ; James Gilmor, 
1569; Thomas Talbot, 1462. This is the oldest in- 
scription which has been found in the prison : this 
gentleman here was in 1464, and had kept Henry VI. 
prisoner at Waddington Hall, in Lancashire. 

In the State Prison room is IANE. IANE cut in 
letters of the Elizabethan style, which attract more at- 
tention from visitors than memorials of more elaborate 
design and execution. These letters are supposed to 
have been cut by Lord Guildford Dudley, as a solace, 
when he was confined in a separate prison from his un- 
happy wife. This is the only memorial preserved of 
Lady Jane Grey in the Tower. 

One of the most elaborate devices is that of John 
Dvdle, Earl of Warwick, tried and condemned in 1553 
for endeavouring to deprive Mary of the crown ; but 
being reprieved, he died in his prison-room, where he 
had wrought upon the wall his family's cognisance, the 
lion, and bear, and ragged staff, underneath which is 
his name ; the whole surrounded by oak-sprigs, roses, 
geraniums, and honeysuckles, emblematic of the Chris- 
tian names of his four brothers, as appears from this 
unfinished inscription : — 

Yow that these beasts do wel behold and se, 
May deme with ease wherefore here made they be 
Withe borders eke wherein (there may be found) 
4 brothers' names, who list to scrche the grovnd. 

44 Romance of London. 

The names of the brothers were Ambrose, Robert, 
Guildford, and Henry : thus, A, acorn ; R, rose ; G, 
geranium ; and H, honeysuckle : others think the rose 
indicates Ambrose, and the oak Robert (robnr). In an- 
other part is carved an oak-tree bearing acorns, signed 
R. D. ; the work of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. 

Here are several devices of the Peverils, on a cruci- 
fix bearing a heart, wheatsheaves, a portrait, initials, 
&c. A reference to Sir Walter Scott's novels of the 
Fortunes of Nigel and Peveril of the Peak, shows that 
their distinguished author had made himself acquainted 
with the various portions of the Tower. The lower 
right-hand inscription is one of several bearing the name 
of Peveril. The wheatsheaves are the armorial bearings 
of the Peverils of Derbyshire. It is by no means un- 
likely that, on the sight of these stones, Sir Walter 
Scott formed the plan of his novel. The room, above 
the entrance of the Bloody Tower, in which the young 
Princes are said to have been murdered by Richard 
III., agrees with the account of the place of meeting 
between Georgina Harriet, his god-daughter, and Nigel. 
There is here a secret closet near the roof, of no seeming 
use, except to conceal an observer from the prisoners, 
which may have afforded the idea of the " lug " in which 
James I. ensconced himself. 

These inscriptions tell their own sad stories : 

" O . Lord . whic . art . of . heavn . King . Graunt . 
gras . and . lvfe . everlastig . to . Miagh . thy . servant . 
in . prison . alon . with * * * * Tomas Miagh." Again : 

Thomas Miagh, whiche lieth here alon, 

That fayne wovld from hens be gon, 

By tortyre straunge mi troth was 

tryeel, yet of my libertie denied. 1581, Thomas Myagh. 

Romance of the Bcauchamp Tower, 45 

He was a prisoner for treason, tortured with Skeving- 
ton's irons and the rack. Next is the inscription of 
Thomas Clarke : — 

" Hit is the poynt of a wyse man to try and then 
trvste, for hapy is he whome fyndeth one that is ivst. 
T. C." Again : " T. C. I leve in hope and I gave 
credit to mi frinde in time did stande me moste in 
hande, so wovlde I never do againe, excepte I hade him 
sver in bande, and to al men wiche I so vnles, ye svssteine 
the leke lose as I do. Vnhappie is that mane whose 
actes doth procvre the miseri of this hovs in prison to 
indvre. 1576, Thomas Clarke." 

" Thomas Willyngar, goldsmithe. My hart is yours 
tel dethe." By the side is a figure of a bleeding "hart," 
and another of " dethe;" and "T. W." and " P. A." 

Thomas Rose, 

Within this Tower strong 

Kept close 

By those to whom he did no wrong. May 8th, 1666. 

The figure of man, praying, underneath " Ro. Bain- 
bridge" (1587-8). 

"Thomas Bawdewin, 1585, J vly. As vertve maketh 
life, so sin cawseth death." 

"J- C. 1538." "Learne to feare God." " Reprens . 
le . sage . et . il . te . armera. — Take wisdom, and he 
shall arm you." 

The memorial of Thomas Salmon, 1622, now let into 
the wall of the middle room, was formerly in the upper 
prison-lodging : it records a long captivity, and consists 
of a shield surrounded by a circle ; above the circle the 
name "T. Salmon;" a crest formed of three salmons, 
and the date 1622; underneath the circle the motto Nee 

46 Romance of London. 

tcmere, ncc timorc — "Neither rashly nor with fear." Also 
a star containing the abbreviation of Christ, in Greek, 
surrounded by the sentence, Sic vive vt vivas — " So live 
that thou mayest live." In the opposite corner are the 
words, Et morire ne morieris — "And die that thou 
mayest die not." Surrounding a representation of Death's 
head, above the device, is the enumeration of Salmon's 
confinement : " Close prisoner 8 moneths, 32 wekes, 224 
dayes, 5376 houres." 

On the ground floor are "Walter Parlew," dated 
"1569" and "1570"; an anchor, and "Extrema 
Christus." Near these is " Robart Dudley/' This 
nobleman was the third son of John Dudley, Duke of 
Northumberland, who was beheaded on Tower Hill in 
1553, for high treason. At his death, his sons were still 
left in confinement, and Robert was, in 1554, arraigned 
at Guildhall, on the plea of high treason, and condemned 
to be hanged, drawn, and quartered. He lay under this 
sentence till the following year, when he and his brothers, 
Ambrose and Henry, were liberated by command of 
Queen Mary, and afterwards rose into high favour at the 
courts of Mary and Elizabeth.* 

On the ground-floor also is : — 

The man whom this house can not mend, 
Hath evill becom, and worse will end. 

" Round this (Beauchamp) chamber (says Mr Hep- 
worth Dixon), a secret passage has been discovered in 
the masonry, in which spies were, no doubt, set to listen, 
and report the conversation or soliloquies of prisoners, 
when they, poor souls, believed themselves alone." The 

* .See Inscriptions and Devices in the Beauchamp Toiaer, by W. R. Dick. 

Traitors Gate, in the Tower. 47 

men who lived in the Tower have named this passage 
the Whispering Gallery. 

The Beauchamp Tower was used as a prison for male 
offenders only. Some years since, a door of ancient 
oak, knotted with iron, was seen below the plaster: this 
door opened to a sort of terrace leading to the Bell 
Tower, containing the alarm-bell of the garrison : here 
were confined Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, and sub- 
sequently the Princess Elizabeth, and other illustrious 
captives ; in this roof-promenade they took the air. 
The walls bear some memorials, among which is "Rcspice 
finem, W. D." 

One of Sir Walter Raleigh's prison-lodgings is thought 
to have been the second and third stories of the Beau- 
champ Tower ; here he devoted much time to chemistry 
and pharmaceutical preparations. " He has converted," 
says Sir William Wade, Lieutenant of the Tower, " a 
little hen-house in the garden into a still-house, and here 
he doth spend his time all the day in distillations ; . . . 
. . he doth show himself upon the wall in his garden to 
the view of the people : " here Raleigh prepared his 
" Rare Cordial,"' which, with- other ingredients added by 
Sir Kenelm Digby and Sir A. Fraser, is the Confcctio 
Aromatica of the present London Pharmacopoeia. 

Traitors Gate, in the Tower. 

One of the most picturesque relics of this ancient prison- 
house is the Traitors' Gate — the water entrance to the 
Tower — and through which so many captives passed 
never to return. Here the Princess Elizabeth sat on the 
steps in the midst of rain and storm, declaring that she 
was no traitor. Scores of pages of history and events 

48 Romance of London. 

affording materials for both the poet and the painter 
come into the memory at the mention of the name of 
this gloomy portal. 

Mr Ferrey, the architect, remarks : " Few persons can 
be aware of the solemn grandeur which this water-gate 
must have presented in bygone times, when its architec- 
tural features were unmutilated. Gateways and barbi- 
cans to castles are usually bold and striking in their 
design ; but a water-gate of this kind, in its perfect state, 
must have been quite unique." The internal features, 
however, now can scarcely be discerned. The general 
plan of the structure consists of an oblong block, each 
corner having an attached round turret of large dimen- 
sions. The south archway, which formed the water 
approach from the Thames, guarded by a: portcullis, is 
now effectually closed by a wharf occupying the entire 
length of the Tower. " The water," he continues, 
" originally flowed through the base of the gate-house, 
and extended probably beyond the north side of it to 
the Traitors' Steps, as they were called. Here the super- 
incumbent mass of the gateway is supported by an 
archway of extraordinary boldness, such as is not to be 
found in any other gateway, and is a piece of masterly 
construction. A staircase in the north-west turret con- 
ducts to the galleries, or wall passages, formed on a level 
with the tops of the archway. A stranger, on looking 
at the Traitors' Gate as it is now encumbered, could 
possibly form an idea of its ancient dignity. The whole 
of the upper part is crammed with offices, and disfigured 
in every possible manner; and the gloom of the Traitors 
Gate is now broken up by the blatant noise of steam- 
machinery for hoisting and packing war-weapons." The 
vibration of the machinery has already so shaken the 

The Bloody Tower. . 49 

south-eastern turret, that it is now shored up in order to 
prevent its falling. 

Mr Ferrey adds, that the enormous size of the north 
archway must have been for the admission of several 
barges or vessels to pass within the present boundary 
of the gateway walls, when the outer portcullis was 
closed ; whilst that the Thames once penetrated further 
to the north. By this entrance 

Went Sidney, Russell, Raleigh, Cranmer, More. 

The Bloody Tower. 

ADJOINING the Wakefield, or Record Tower, is the 

structure with the above terrific name. Here, in a dark 

windowless room, in which one of the portcullises was 

worked, George, Duke of Clarence, is said to have been 

drowned in malmsey ; in the adjoining chamber, the two 

princes are said to have been "smothered ; " whence the 

name of Bloody Tower. This has been much disputed ; 

but in a tract temp. James I., we read that the above 

" turret our elders termed the Bloody Toivcr ; for the 

bloodshed, as they say, of those infant princes of 

Edward IV., whom Richard III., of cursed memory (I 

shudder to mention it), savagely killed, two together 

at one time." In the latter chamber was imprisoned 

Colonel Hutchinson, whose wife, daughter of Sir Allen 

Apsley, Lieutenant of the Tower, where she was born, 

relates the above traditions. This portion was formerly 

called the Garden Tozuer ; it was built temp. Edward III., 

and is the only ancient place of security as a state 

prison in the Tower. It is entered through a small 

door in the inner ballium ; it consists of a day-room and 

a bed-room, and the leads on which the prisoner was 
vol. 1. D 

50 Romance of London. 

sometimes allowed to breathe the air. The last person 
who occupied these apartments was Arthur Thistle- 
wood, the Cato Street conspirator. Westward are the 
Lieutenants Lodgings (the Lieutenant's residence), 
chiefly timber-built, temp. Henry VIII. ; in 1610 was 
added a chamber having a prospect to all the three 
gates of the Tower, and enabling the lieutenant to call 
and look to the warders. In the Council Chamber the 
Commissioners examined Guy Fawkes and his accom- 
plices, as commemorated in a Latin and Hebrew 
inscription upon a parti-coloured marble monument ; 
and elsewhere in the building there was discovered, 
about 1845, "an inscription carved on an old mantlepiece 
relating to the Countess of Lenox, grandmother of 
James I., ' commytede prysner to thys Logynge for the 
Marige of her Sonne my Lord Henry Darnle and the 
Queen of Scotlande." Here a bust of James I. was 
set up, in 1608, by Sir William Wade, then Lieutenant; 
the walls are painted with representations of men inflict- 
ing and suffering torture ; and the room is reputed to be 
haunted ! The last person confined in the lodgings here 
was Sir Francis Burdett, committed April 6, 18 10, for 
writing in Cobbett's Weekly Register. 

The Bloody Tozvcr gateivay, built temp. Edward III. 
(opposite Traitors' Gate), is the main entrance to the 
Inner Ward : it has massive gates and portcullis, com- 
plete, at the southern end ; but those at the north end 
have been removed. We read in Weale's London, p. 
160, that "the gates are genuine, and the portcullis is 
said to be the only one remaining in England fit for use. 
The archway forms a noble specimen of the Doric order 
of Gothic. For a prison-entrance, we know of no more 
perfect model." 

Two Prisoners in the Bell Tower. 5 1 

It is worthy of remark that only the grim features 
of the Tower which tell of the dark deeds done within 
its walls have been preserved ; for, of the Royal Palace, 
the abode of our Sovereigns to the time of Charles II., 
no view exists. The site is now occupied by wharves 
and machinery. 

Two Prisoners in the Bell Tower. 

The Rev. Thomas Hugo, F.S.A., in his admirable 
paper, read to the London and Middlesex Archaeological 
Society, upon the Bell Tower of the Tower of London, 
thus picturesquely introduces two of the illustrious 
tenants of this historical prison-house — this gloomy 
dungeon, and the scarcely less gloomy chamber immedi- 
ately above it. Of course, the identification of particular 
prisoners with particular spots is legendary, and we 
can very rarely adduce precise and historical proof of 
the correctness of such attribution. Where, however, 
tradition has constantly gone in one direction, and 
where, age after age, the same legend has obtained, it 
seems to savour of perverse incredulity to hesitate to 
accept what is not plainly and flagrantly opposed to 
likelihood. Assuming as a fact what tradition asserts, 
— that these walls once looked upon two faces, among, 
doubtless, many others, whose owners possess consider- 
able attractions for the minds of Englishmen. The 
first of the two was the venerable Fisher, Bishop ol 
Rochester, who fell under the headsman's axe for deny- 
ing the spiritual supremacy of Henry VIII. 

The Bishop of Rochester was one of the foremost 
men of his age, and was for many years confessor to 
the king's grandmother, the Countess of Richmond ; 

$2 Romance of London. 

and it is- supposed that her munificence towards our 
two universities — by founding St John's and Christ's 
Colleges at Cambridge, and the professorships of 
divinity in both Oxford and Cambridge — was mainly 
owing to his pious advice and direction. He sided, as 
was likely, against the king in the matter of Queen 
Katharine,, whose cause he warmly advocated, and, 
as also was likely, drew down upon himself the dis- 
pleasure of his unscrupulous sovereign. At length 
when called before the Lambeth council, and com- 
manded to acknowledge the king's supremacy, he 
resolutely refused to do so, and was forthwith com- 
mitted to the Tower. 

He had now reached his eightieth year, and the cold 
damp dungeon into which he was thrust was not calcu- 
lated to prolong his days. Perhaps his enemies desired 
that death should naturally remove him, and remove 
from them also the odium which could not fail to attach 
to all who should be instrumental in his more direct 
and manifest destruction. His constitution, however, 
was proof against his position, and for many months he 
bore his privations as became a good soldier in a cause 
on which his heart and soul were set Out of his pain- 
ful dungeon he wrote to Mr Secretary Cromwell in 
these words : — " Furthermore, I beseech you to be good 
master to me in my necessity, for I have neither suit 
nor yet other clothes that are necessary for me to wear, 
but that be ragged and rent shamefully. My diet also, 
God knoweth how slender it is at many times ; and now 
in mine age my stomack may not away with but a few 
kinds of meat, which, if I want, I .decay forthwith, and 
fall into coughs and diseases of my body, and cannot 
keep myself in health. And as our Lord knoweth, I 

Two Prisoners in the Bell Tower. 5 3 

have nothing left unto me to provide any better, but as 
my brother of his own purse layeth out for me to his 
great hindrance. Therefore, good Master Secretary, I 
beseech you to have some pity upon me, and let me 
have such things as are necessary for me in mine age, 
and especially for my health. . . . Then shall you bind 
me for ever to be your poor beadsman unto Almighty 
God, who ever have you in His protection and custody." 

This was written in the depth of a bitter winter, for 
the asred writer concludes: — "This, I beseech you, to 
grant me of your charity. And thus our Lord send you 
a merry Christmas, and a comfortable, to your heart's 
desire. — At the Tower, the 22nd day of December." 
The Bishop left this abode of persecution for his bloody 
death on Tower Hill. 

The scene again changes, and this time a very different 
prisoner enters the portals of the Bell Tower. It is now 
the fair and blooming face of a young and noble lady, 
afterwards the Queen of this great country, then known 
by the name of the Princess Elizabeth. Her sister, ever 
sullen and suspicious, had removed her, to the danger 
of her life, from her home at Ashridge, in Hertfordshire, 
and after necessary delay at Redborne, St Alban's, 
South Mimms, and Highgate,' she at length, some days 
after the beginning of her journey, arrived at Whitehall. 
Within a fortnight she was lodged in her prison in the 
Tower. Doubtless you knowthe'story; but her entrance 
into the fortress deserves a moment's mention. The 
barge was directed to enter by Traitors' Gate, much 
to the annoyance of the fair prisoner. It rained hard 
(an old chronicler says), and a certain unnamed lord 
offered her his cloak ; but she "put her hand back with 
a "-ood dash," and then, as she set her foot on the dreaded 

54 Romance of London. 

stairs, she cried out aloud — " Here landeth as good a 
subject, being a prisoner, as ever landed at these stairs: 
and before Thee, O God, I speak it, having none other 
friends but Thee." A few minutes afterwards found her 
a fast prisoner, and, as tradition tells, in the very turret 
to which we have been drawing your attention. 

What became of the Heads of Bishop 
Fisher and Sir Thomas More. 

Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, and Sir Thomas More, 
were two of the most eminent persons who were executed 
for not acknowledging King Henry VIII. as supreme 
head of the Church of England. Bishop Fisher was 
executed on St Alban's Day, the 22nd of June 1535, 
about ten in the morning ; and his head was to have been 
erected upon Traitors' Gate, London Bridge, the same 
night ; but that it was delayed, to be exhibited to Queen 
Anne Boleyn. We gather these particulars from a 
curious duodecimo, written by Hall, but attributed to 
Dr Thomas Baily, 1665, who further relates: — "The 
next day after his burying, the head, being parboyled, 
was pricked upon a pole, and set on high upon London 
Bridge, among the rest of the holy Carthusians' heads 
that suffered death lately before him. And here I can- 
not omit to declare unto you the miraculous sight of 
this head, which, after it had stood up the space of 
fourteen dayes upon the bridge, could not be perceived 
to wast nor consume : neither for the weather, which was 
then very hot, neither for the parboyling in hot water, 
but grew daily fresher and fresher, so that in his lifetime 

Heads of Fislicr and More. 5 5 

he never looked so -well ; for his cheeks being beautified 
with a comely red, the face looked as though it had 
beholden the people passing by, and would have spoken 
to them ; which many took for a miracle that Almighty 
God was pleased to shew above the course of nature in 
thus preserving the fresh and lively colour in his face, 
surpassing the colour he had being alive, whereby was 
noted to the world the innocence and holiness of this 
blessed father that thus innocently was content to lose 
his head in defence of his Mother the Holy Catholique 
Church of Christ. Wherefore the people coming daily 
to see this strange sight, the passage over the bridge 
was so stopped with their going and coming, that almost 
neither cart nor horse could passe ; and therefore at the 
end of fourteen daies the executioner was commanded 
to throw down the head, in the night-time, into the River 
of Thames ; and in the place thereof was set the head of 
the most blessed and constant martyr Sir Thomas 
More, his companion and fellow in all his troubles, who 
suffered his passion," on Tuesday "the 6th of July next 
following, about nine o'clock in the morning." 

The bodies of Fisher and More were buried in the 
chapel of St Peter in the Tower ; the head of More, says 
his great-grandson, in his life of him, printed in 1726, 
"Was putt upon London Bridge, where as trayters' 
heads are sett vpon poles; and hauing remained some 
moneths there, being to be cast into the Thames, because 
roome should be made for diuerse others, who in plentiful 
sorte suffered martyrdome for the same supremacie; 
shortly after it was bought by his daughter Margarett, 
least, — as she stoutly affirmed before the councell, being 
called before them for the same matter, — it should be 
foode for fishes ; which she buried where she thought 

56 Romance of London. 

fittest." The Chancellor's pious daughter is said to have 
preserved this relic in a leaden case, and to have ordered 
its interment with her own body, in the Roper vault, 
under a chapel adjoining St Dunstan's, Canterbury, 
where the head, it is stated, was seen in the year 171 5, 
and again subsequently. 

Aubrey, however, states that the body of More was 
buried in St Luke's Church, Chelsea; "after he was 
beheaded, his trunke was interred in Chelsey Church, 
near the middle of the south wall, where was some slight 
monument erected, which being worn by time, about 
1644, Sir [John ?] Lawrence, of Chelsey (no kinne to 
him), at his own proper costs and charges, erected to. his 
memorie a handsome inscription of marble." — {Aubrey s 
Lives). The monument was again restored, in 1833, by 
subscription. It was originally erected, in 1532, by 
More himself, and the epitaph (in Latin) was written by 
him. Over the tombs are the crest of Sir Thomas More ; 
namely, a Moor's head, and the arms of himself and his 
two wives. 

Execution of Lady yane Grey. 

TlIE Tower is a remarkable monument of the great, yet 
not to its advantage ; " for the images of the children 
of Edward IV., of Anne Boleyn, and Jane Grey, and 
of the many innocent victims murdered in times of 
despotism and tyranny, pass like dark phantoms before 
the mind." 

The place of execution within the Tower, on the 
Green, was reserved for putting to death privately ; and 
the precise spot whereon the scaffold was erected is 
nearly opposite the door of the Chapel of St Peter, and 

Execution of Lady Jane Grey. 57 

is marked by a large oval of dark flints. Hereon many 
of the wisest, the noblest, the best, and the fairest heads 
of English men and English women of times long 
passed away, fell from such a block and beneath the 
stroke of such an axe, as may now be seen in the 
armouries. One of the most touching of these sad 
scenes was the heroic end of the accomplished and 
illustrious Lady Jane Grey. The preparations for her 
execution are thus detailed in " The Chronicle of Oueen 
Jane : " — 

. " By this tyme was ther a scaffolde made upon the 
grene over agaynst the White Tower, for the saide lady 
Jane to die upon. Who with hir husband was appoynted 
to have been put to death the fryday before, but was 
staied tyll then, for what cause is not knowen, unlesse 
yt were because hir father was not then come into the 
Tower. The saide ladye being nothing at all abashed, 
neither with feare of her own deathe, which then 
approached, neither with the sight of the ded carcase of 
hir husbande, when he was brought in to the chappell, 
came fourthe, the levetenant leding hir, in the same 
gown wherin she was arrayned, hir countenance nothing 
abashed, neither hir eyes eny thing, moysted with teares, 
although her ij gentylwomen, mistress Elizabeth Tylney 
and mistress Eleyn, wonderfully wept, with her boke in 
her hand, whereon she praied all the way till she cam to 
the saide scaffolde, wheron when she was mounted, &c." 

Here the diarist breaks off. The following account 
of her Last Moments is from the pamphlet entitled 
"The Ende of the Lady Jane Dudley." 

" First, when she mounted upon the scaffolde, she 
sayd to the people standing thereabout: 'Good people, 
I am come hether to die, and by a lawe I am condemned 

5 8 Romance of L ondon. 

to the same. The facte, in dede, against the quenes 
highnesse was unlawfull, and the consenting thereunto 
by me: but touching the procurement and desyre therof 
by me or on my halfe, I doo wash my handes therof in 
innocencie, before God, and the face of you, good Chris- 
tian people, this day,' and therewith she wrong her 
handes, in which she had hir booke. Then she sayd, 
' I pray you all, good Christian people, to beare me wit- 
ness that I dye a true Christian woman, and that I looke 
to be saved by none other meane but only by the mercy 
of God in the merites of the blood of His only Sonne 
Jesus Christ : and I confesse, when I dyd know the 
word of God I neglected the same, loved my selfe and 
the world, and therefore this plague or punyshment is 
happely and worthely happened unto me for my sins ; 
and yet I thank God of His goodnesse that He hath thus 
geven me a tyme and respet to repent. 

"'And now, good people, while I am alyve, I pray 
you to assyst me with your prayers.' And then, knelyng 
downe, she turned to Fecknam, saying, 'Shall I say 
this psalme ? ' And he said 'Yea.' Then she said the 
psalme of Miserere mei Dens in English, in most devout 
manner, to the end. Then she stode up, and gave her 
maiden mistris Tilney her gloves and handkercher, and 
her book to maister Bruges, the lyvetenantes brother; 
forthwith she untyed her gown. The hangman went to 
her to help her of therewith ; then she desyred him to 
let her alone, turning towardes her two gentlewomen, 
who helped her off therwith, and also with her frose 
paast and neckercher, geving to her a fayre handkercher 
to knytte about her eyes. Then the hangman kneeled 
downe, and asked her forgevenesse, whome she forgave 
most willingly. Then he willed her to stand upon the 

Where zvas Anne Boleyn Buried? 59 

strawe : whifth doing, she sawe the block. Then she 
sayd, ' I pray . you dispatch me quickly.' Then she 
kneeled down, saying, ' Wil you take it of before I lay 
me downe?' and the hangman answered her, 'No, 
Madame.' SlTe tyed the kercher about her eyes ; then 
feeling for the blocke, saide, ' What shall I do ? Where 
is it ? ' One of the standers-by guyding her therunto, 
she layde her heade down upon the block, and stretched 
forth her body and said: 'Lorde, into Thy hands I 
commende my spirite ! ' And so she ended." 

Where was Anne Boleyn Buried? 

THERE is a tradition at Salle, in Norfolk, that the 
remains of Anne Boleyn were removed from the Tower, 
and interred at midnight, with the rites of Christian 
burial, in Salle Church; and that a plain, black stone, 
without any inscription, is supposed to indicate the place 
where she was buried. In Blomefield's Norfolk, no 
allusion is made to any such tradition, in the accounts 
of the Boleyn family, and their monuments. Lord 
Herbert of Cherbury, in his History of King Henry 
VIII., does not state how or where she was buried. 
Holinshed, Stow, and Speed say, that her body, with 
her head, was buried in the choir of the chapel in the 
Tower; and Sandford, that she was buried in the chapel 
of St Peter, in the Tower. Burnet, who is followed by 
Henry, Hume, and Lingard, says that her body was 
thrown into a common chest of elm-tree that was made 
to put arrows in, and was buried in the chapel within 
the Tower, before twelve o'clock. Sharon Turner quotes 
the following passage from Crispin's account of Anne 
Boleyn's execution, written fourteen days after her death, 

60 Romance of London. 

viz. : " Her ladies immediately took up her head and 
the body. They seemed to be without souls, they were 
so languid and extremely weak ; but fearing that their 
mistress might be handled unworthily by inhuman men, 
they forced themselves to do this duty ; and though 
almost dead, at last carried off her dead body wrapt in a 
white covering." A letter in the Gentleman's Magazine, 
October 1815, states: "The headless trunk of the 
departed Queen was said to be deposited in an arrow- 
chest, and buried in the Tower Chapel, before the High 
Altar. Where that stood, the most sagacious antiquary, 
after a lapse of less than 300 years, cannot now deter- 
mine ; nor is the circumstance, though related by 
eminent writers, clearly ascertained. In a cellar, the 
body of a person of short stature, without a head, not 
many years since was found, and supposed to be the 
reliques of poor Anne ; but soon after reinterred in the 
same place, and covered up." 

The stone in Salle Church was sometime since raised, 
but no remains were to be found underneath it. Miss 
Strickland states that a similar tradition is assigned to 
a blackstone in the church at Thornden-on-the-Hill : but 
Morant, in his History of Essex, does not notice it. 

Sir Walter Raleigh Writing his " History 

of the World!' 

RALEIGH was first imprisoned in the Tower in 1592 
(eight weeks), for winning the heart of Elizabeth Throg- 
morton, one of Queen Elizabeth's maids of honour, " not 
only a moral sin, but in those days a heinous political 
offence." Raleigh's next imprisonment was in 1603 : after 

Raleigh's "History of the World." 61 

being first confined in his own house, he was conveyed 
to the Tower, next sent to Winchester Gaol, returned 
from thence to the Tower, imprisoned for between two 
and three months in the Fleet, and again removed to 
the Tower, where he remained until his release, thirteen 
years afterwards, to undertake his new Expedition to 
Guiana. Mr Payne Collier possesses a copy of that rare 
tract, A Good Speed to Virginia, 4to, 1609, with the 
autograph on the title-page, " W. Ralegh, Turn Lond.," 
showing that at the time this tract was published 
Raleigh recorded himself as a prisoner in the Tower of 
London. During part of the time, Lady Raleigh resided 
with her husband ; and here, in 1605, was born Carew, 
their second son. After she had been forbidden to 
lodge with her husband in the Tower, Lady Raleigh 
lived on Tower Hill. 

At his prison-lodging in the Beauchamp Tower, Sir 
Walter wrote his political discourses, and commenced 
his famous History of the World, which he published in 
16 14. Raleigh wrote his History avowedly for his 
patron, Prince Henry of Wales, the heir-apparent to the 
throne ; upon whose death Sir Walter is stated to have 
burnt the continuation of the work, which he had 
written. Another account in the Journal de Paris, 
1787, relates that one day, while writing the second 
volume, Raleigh, being at the window of his apartment, 
and thinking gravely of the duty of the historian, and 
the respect due to truth, suddenly his attention was 
attracted by a great noise and tumult in the court under 
his eye. He saw a man strike another, whom, from his 
costume, he supposed to be an officer, and who, drawing 
his sword, passed it through the body of the person- who 
struck him ; but the wounded man did not fall till he 

62 Romance of London. 

had knocked down his adversary with a stick. The 
guard coming up at this moment, seized the officer, and 
led him away ; while at the same time the body of the 
man who was killed by the sword-thrust was borne by 
some persons, who had great difficulty in penetrating 
the crowd which surrounded them. 

Next day Raleigh received a visit from an intimate 
friend, to whom he related the scene which he had wit- 
nessed the preceding day, when his friend said that 
there was scarcely a word of truth in any of the circum- 
stances he had narrated ; that the supposed officer was 
no officer at all, but a domestic of a foreign ambassador; 
that it was he who gave the first blow ; that he did not 
draw his sword, but that the other had seized it and 
passed it through the body of the domestic before any 
one had time to prevent him ; that at this moment a 
spectator among the crowd knocked down the murderer 
with a stick ; and that some strangers bore away the 
body of the dead 1 

" Allow me to tell you," replied Raleigh to his friend, 
"that I may be mistaken about the station of the 
murderer; but all the other circumstances are of the 
greatest exactitude, because I saw every incident with 
my own eyes, and they all happened under my window 
in that very place opposite us ; where you may see one 
of the flag-stones higher than the rest." — " My dear 
Raleigh," replied his friend, " it was on that very stone 
that I was sitting when the whole occurred, and I 
received this little scratch that you see on my cheek in 
wrenching the sword out of the hands of the murderer ; 
and, upon my honour, you have deceived yourself on all 

Sir Walter, when alone, took the manuscript of the 

Raleigh A ttempts Suicide in the Tower. 63 

second volume of his History, and, reflecting upon what 
had passed, said, " How many falsehoods must there be 
in this work ! If I cannot assure myself of an event 
which happened under my own eyes, how can I venture 
to describe those which occurred thousands of years 
before I was born, or those even which have passed at 
a distance since my birth ? Truth ! truth ! this is the 
sacrifice that I owe thee." Upon which he threw his 
manuscript, the work of years, into the fire, and watched 
it tranquilly consumed to the last leaf.* 

Sir Walter Raleigh Attempts Suicide in 

the Tower. 

JAMES T. had not long been seated on the throne before 
two or three plots against him were discovered. Among 
these was one named the Spanish or Lord Cobham's 
treason, to which he wickedly declared he had been 
instigated by Raleigh ; and, although Cobham, shortly 
afterwards, fully and solemnly retracted all that he had 
said against Sir Walter, he was committed to the Tower, 
on a charge of high treason, in July 1602. While there 
he made an attempt at suicide by stabbing himself, 
aiming at the heart, but he only succeeded in inflicting 
a deep wound in the left breast. We have Cecil's written 
word for this ; it was long disputed. The following 
letter which Raleigh wrote to his wife before he com- 
mitted the act, is from a contemporary copy, transcribed 
from Serjeant Yelverton's Collectionin All-Souls' College, 

* Abridged from Curiosities of History, 1S57. 

64 Romance of London. 

" Sir Walter Raleigh to his Wife, after he had hurt 
himself in the Toiver. 

"Receive from thy unfortunate husband these his 
last lines, these the last words that ever thou wilt receive 
from him. That I can live to think never to see thee 
and my child more, I cannot. I have desired God and 
disputed with my reason, but nature and compassion 
hath the victory. That I can live to think how you are 
both left a spoil to my enemies, and that my name 
shall be a dishonour to my child, I cannot, I cannot 
endure the memory thereof: unfortunate woman, un- 
fortunate child, comfort yourselves, trust God, and 
be contented with your poor estate. I would have 
bettered it if I had enjoyed a few years. Thou art a 
young woman, and forbear not to marry again : it is 
now nothing to me ; thou art no more mine, nor I thine. 
To witness that thou didst love me once, take care that 
thou marry not to please sense, but to avoid poverty, 
and to preserve thy child. That thou didst also love me 
living, witness it to others ; to my poor daughter, to 
whom I have given nothing ; for his sake, who will be 
cruel to himself to preserve thee. Be charitable to her, 
and teach thy son to love her for his father's sake. For 
myself, I am left of all men that have done good to 
many. All my good terms forgotten, all my errors 
revived and expounded to all extremity of ill ; all my 
services, hazards, and expenses for my country, plantings, 
discoveries, flights, councils, and whatsoever else, malice 
hath now covered over. I am now made an enemy and 
traitor by the word of an unworthy man ; he hath pro- 
claimed me to be a partaker of his vain imaginations, 

Raleigh Attempts Suicide in tlie Tower. 65 

notwithstanding the whole course of my life hath 
approved the contrary, as my death shall approve it. 
Woe, woe, woe be unto him by whose falsehood we are 
lost ! he hath separated us asunder ; he hath slain my 
honour, my fortune ; he hath robbed thee of thy husband, 
thy child of his father, and me of you both. O God ! 
Thou dost know my wrongs ; know then, thou my wife 
and child : know then, Thou my Lord and King, that I 
ever thought them too honest to betray, and too good 
to conspire against. But my wife, forgive thou all as I 
do ; live humble, for thou hast but a time also. God 
forgive my Lord Harry (Cobham), for he was my heavy 
enemy. And for my Lord Cecil, I thought he never 
would forsake me in extremity ; I would not have done 
it him, God knows. But do not thou know it, for he 
must be master of thy child, and may have compassion 
of him. Be not dismayed that I died in despair of 
God's mercies ; strive not to dispute it, but assure 
thyself that God hath not left me, and Satan tempted 
me. Hope and despair live not together. I know it is 
forbidden to destroy ourselves, but I trust it is forbidden 
in this sort, that we destroy not ourselves despairing of 
God's mercy. 

"The mercy of God is immeasurable, the cogitations 
of men comprehend it not. In the Lord I have ever 
trusted, and I know that my Redeemer liveth : far is it 
from me to be tempted with Satan : I am only tempted 
with sorrow, whose sharp teeth devour my heart. O God, 
Thou art goodness itself, Thou canst not be but good to 
me ! O God, Thou art mercy itself, Thou canst not be 
but merciful to me ! 

"For my state is conveyed to feoffees, to your cousin 

Brett and others ; I have but a bare estate for a short life 
vol. 1. 1; 

66 Romance of L ondon. 

My plate is at gage in Lombard Street ; my debts are 
many. To Peter Vanlore, some £600. To Antrobus 
as much, but Cumpson is to pay ^300 of it. To 
Michel Hext (Hickes), ;£ioo. To George Carew, ;£ioo. 
To Nicholas Sanders, .£100. To John Fitzjames, £100. 
To MrWaddom, £100. To a poor man, one Hawker, 
for horses, £jo. To a poor man called Hunt, £"20. 
Take first care of these, for God's sake. To a brewer, 
at Weymouth, and a baker for my Lord Cecill's ship 
and mine, I think some £2>o ; John Renolds knowethit. 
And let that poor man have his true part of my return 
from Virginia ; and let the poor men's wages be paid 
with the goods, for the Lord's sake. Oh, what will my 
poor servants think at their return, when they hear I 
am accused to be Spanish, who sent them, to my great 
charge, to plant and discover upon his territory ! Oh, 
intolerable infamy ! O God ! I cannot resist these 
thoughts ; I cannot live to think how I am derided, to 
think of the expectation of my enemies, the scorns I 
shall receive, the cruel words of lawyers, the infamous 
taunts and despites, to be made a wonder and a spec- 
tacle ! O death ! hasten thee unto me, that thou 
mayest destroy the memory of these, and lay me up in 
dark forgetfulness. O death ! destroy my memory, 
which is my tormenter ; my thoughts and my life can- 
not dwell in one body, But do thou forget me, poor 
wife, that thou mayest live to bring up thy poor child. 
I recommend unto you my poor brother, A. Gilbert. 
The lease of Sanding is his, and none of mine : let him 
have it, for God's cause ; he knows what is due to me 
upon it. And be good to Kemis, for he is a perfect 
honest man, and hath much wrong for my sake. For 
the rest, I commend me to them, and them to God. 

Execution of Sir Walter Raleigh. 67 

And the Lord knows my sorrow to part from thee and 
my poor child ; but part I must by enemies and injuries, 
part with shame and triumph of my detractors ; and 
therefore be contented with this work of God, and for- 
get me in all things but thine own honour, and the love 
of mine. I bless my poor child, and let him know his 
father was no traitor. Be bold of my innocence, for 
God, to whom I offer my life and soul, knows it. And 
whosoever thou choose again after me, let him be but 
thy politique husband ; but let my son be thy beloved, 
for he is part of me, and I live in him, and the difference 
is but in the number, and not in the kind. And the 
Lord for ever keep thee and them, and give thee com- 
fort in both worlds." 

This document, the genuineness of which is accre- 
dited, at once determines the much-vexed question, 
whether or not Sir Walter Raleigh did attempt to stab 
himself in the Tower. 

The Execution of Sir Walter Raleigh. 

RALEIGH was executed on the 29th of October (old 
style) 161 8, in Old Palace Yard, at eight in the morn- 
ing of Lord Mayor's Day, " so that the pageants and 
fine shewes might draw away the people from beholding 
the tragedie of one of the gallantest worthies that ever 
England bred." Early in the morning his keeper 
brought a cup of sack to him, and inquired how he 
was pleased with it. "As well as he who drank of 
St Giles's bowl as he rode to Tyburn," answered the 
;ht, and said it was good drink, if a man might 
but tarry by it. " Prithee, never fear, Ceeston," cried 
he to his old friend Sir Hugh, who was repulsed from 

6S Romance of London. 

the scaffold by the sheriff, " I shall have a place ! " A 
man bald from extreme age pressed forward " to see 
him," he said, " and pray God for him." Raleigh took 
a richly- embroidered cap from his own head, and 
placing it on that of the old man, said, " Take this, 
good friend, to remember me, for you have more need 
on it than I." " Farewell, my lords," was his cheerful 
parting to a courtly group who affectionately took their 
leave of him, " I have a long journey before me, and 
I must e'en say good by." " Now I am going to God," 
said that heroic spirit, as he trod the scaffold, and, 
gently touching the axe, added, " This is a sharp medi- 
cine, but it will cure all diseases." The very headsman 
shrank from beheading one so illustrious and brave, 
until the unquailing soldier addressed him, " What 
dost thou fear ? Strike, man ! " In another moment 
the mighty soul had fled from its mangled tenement. 

Cayley adds : The head, after being shown on either 
side of the scaffold, was put into a leather bag, over 
which Sir Walter's gown was thrown, and the whole 
conveyed away in a mourning-coach by Lady Raleigh. 
It was preserved by her in a case during the twenty- 
nine years which she survived her husband, and after- 
wards with no less piety by their affectionate son Carew, 
with whom it is supposed to have been buried at West 
Horsley, in Surrey. The body was interred in the 
chancel near the altar of St Margaret's, Westminster. 

In the Pepys Collection at Cambridge is a ballad with 
the following title : "Sir Walter Rauleigh his Lamenta- 
tion, who was beheaded in the Old Pallace of West- 
minster the 29th of October 1618. To the tune of 

Poisoning of Sir Thomas Overbury. 69 

The Poisoning of Sir Thomas Overbury. 

ONE of the most monstrous episodes of the corrupt reign 
of James I. was the terrible means by which Sir Thomas 
Overbury, who had strenuously exerted his influence to 
prevent the marriage of the Earl of Somerset with Lady 
Essex, was, first by the contrivance of the unprincipled 
woman whom he had already made his enemy, thrown 
into the Tower ; and soon after taken off by poison 
administered to him by her means, and with the privity 
of her husband. She owed much of the depravity of her 
disposition to the pernicious lessons of Mrs Turner, who 
lived as a dependent and companion to Lady Essex in 
the house of the Earl of Suffolk. This abandoned 
woman afterwards became the wife of a physician, at 
whose death, owing to their extravagant and riotous 
living, she was left in very straitened circumstances, and 
only the more ready to become the agent of wicked 
purposes. Sir Thomas Overbury " made his brags " 
that he had won for Somerset the love of his lady by his 
letters and industry: "To speak plainly," says Bacon, 
" Overbury had little that was solid for religion or moral 
virtue, but was wholly possest with ambition and vain- 
glory: he was naught and corrupt; a man of unbounded 
and impudent spirit." Mrs Turner, through her poverty, 
was only too glad to become again the confidante and 
adviser of Lady Essex, to whom Rochester had betrayed 
Overbury, who had enlarged to him on the depraved 
character of his proposed wife. Thereupon, the Countess 
vowed the destruction of Overbury. First, she offered 
;£iCOO to Sir John Wood to murder the object of her 
resentment in a duel. Then she concocted with 

70 " Romance of London. 

Rochester a scheme by which, by a representation to 
King James, Overbury, on the ground of having shown 
contempt for the royal authority, was committed to the 
Tower, where he was detained a close prisoner under the 
guardianship of a new lieutenant, wholly in the interest 
of his enemies, who had procured the removal of the 
former lieutenant of the fortress. 

Sir Thomas Overbury was found dead in the Tower, 
from an infectious disease, as was alleged ; and he was 
hastily and secretly buried, according to the register 
of the 'Chapel in the Tower, Sept. 15, 161 3. He was 
strongly suspected to have been poisoned ; but the 
matter was passed over without investigation, and the 
crime was not fully discovered until two years after its 
commission. A new minion now appeared at Court, 
and the fickle King resolved to get rid of his former 
favourite. On a warrant from Lord Chief Justice 
Coke, Somerset and his wife were arrested for having 
occasioned the death of Sir Thomas Overbury ; and 
along with them persons of inferior rank who had acted 
as their accomplices. These were Mrs Turner ; Ehves, 
the Lieutenant of the Tower; Weston, the warder, who 
had been entrusted with the immediate custody of Over- 
bury ; and Franklin, the apothecary. It appeared on 
the trial that Mrs Turner and the Countess of Somerset 
had had frequent consultations with Simon Forman, 
a noted dealer in love-philtres, then in high fashion : 
he was also a conjuror, and died on the day he had 
prognosticated, which was before the Overbury pro- 
ceedings had been instituted. It did not appear that 
Forman had any active concern in the murder ; but it 
was proved that Mrs Turner procured the poison from 
Franklin, the apothecary, and handing it to the warder, 

Poisoning of Sir Thomas Overbury. 7 1 

Weston, the latter, under her instructions, and with the 
complicity of the Lieutenant, administered it. In that 
rare book, Truth brought to Light by Time, we read 
that Overbury was poisoned with aquafortis, white 
arsenic, mercury, powder of diamonds, lapis cortilus, 
great spiders, and cantharides, — whatever was, or was 
believed to be, most deadly, "to be sure to hit his com- 
plexion." The poisoning was perpetrated with fiendish 
perseverance. It appeared in evidence that arsenic 
was always mixed with his salt. Once he desired pig 
for dinner, and Mrs Turner put into it lapis cortilus ; 
at another time he had two partridges sent him from 
the Court, and water and onions being the sauce, Mrs 
Turner put in cantharides instead of pepper; so that 
whatever Overbury took was poisoned. 

The guilt of all the parties was completely established, 
and they were executed at Tyburn. Mrs Turner was 
hanged on the 15th of November 161 5, and excited 
immense interest. She was a woman of great beauty, 
and had much affected the fashion of the day. Her 
sentence was to be "hang'd at Tiburn in her yellow 
Tiffiny Ruff and Cuff, she being the first inventor and 
wearer of that horrid garb." The Ruff and Cuff were 
got up with yellow starch, and in passing her sentence, 
Lord Chief Justice Coke told her that she had been 
guilty of 'the seven deadly sins, and declared that as she 
was the inventor of the yellow starched ruffs and cuffs, 
so he hoped that she would be the last by whom they 
would be worn. He accordingly ordered that she should 
be handed in the sear s h e h a(1 mac | e so fashionable. 
The execution attracted an immense crowd to Tyburn, 
and many persons of quality, ladies as well as gentle- 
men, in their coaches. Mrs Turner had dressed herself 

72 Romance of London. 

specially for her execution : her face was highly rouged, 
and she wore a cobweb-lawn ruff, yellow starched : an 
account printed next day, states that " Her hands were 
bound with a black silk ribbon, as she desired, and a 
black veil, which she wore upon her head, being pulled 
over her face by the executioners ; the cart was driven 
away, and she left hanging, in whom there was no 
motion at all perceived." She made a very penitent 
end. As if to insure the condemnation of yellow starch, 
the hangman had his hands and cuffs of yellow, 
"which," says Sir S. D'Ewes, "made many after that 
day, of either sex, to forbear the use of that coloured 
starch, till it at last grew generally to be detested and 

The two principal criminals, the wretched Somerset 
and his wife, had their better merited punishment com- 
muted into confiscation of their property, and an im- 
prisonment of some years in the Tower. 

A Farewell Feast in the Tower. 

Bishop Gardiner was a prisoner in the Tower, while 
Sir John Markham was lieutenant of the fortress ; at 
which period, the long examinations published in the 
first edition of Foxe's A ctes and Alonuments, disclose a 
remarkable picture of what occurred when a prisoner of 
high rank received his discharge. At Midsummer, in 
155 1, the bishop was daily expecting that this would be 
his happy lot, and he, therefore, commanded his servant, 
John Davy, to write the rewards, duties, and gifts due 
to Master Lieutenant, and the Knight-Marshal, and the 
King's servants, such as he intended to bestow on his 
departing. He also caused him to send for a piece of 

The Gunpowder Plot Detected. 73 

satin, to be divided among the Lady Markham and 
others, as he should think meet: which satin was bought, 
and this deponent (John Davy) had the most part thereof 
in keeping. Also the said bishop, about the same time, 
made his farewell feast (as they then called it) in the 
Council-chamber in the Tower, containing two or three 
dinners, whereat he had the Lieutenant and the Knight- 
Marshal and their wives, with divers others, as Sir 
Arthur Darcy and the lady his wife, Sir Martin Bowes, 
Sir John Godsalve, with divers others, such as it pleased 
the Lieutenant and Knight-Marshal to bring. 

Sir John Markham the Lieutenant, and Sir Ralph 
Hopton the Knight-Marshal, when examined on the 
same occasion, both asserted that the bishop called it 
his farewell supper ; but when asked whether there was 
" any custom of any such farewell supper to be made of 
the prisoners when leaving the Tower?" they answered 
that they could not depose. 

Before the above period, Sir John Gage was Con- 
stable of the Tower, but, as a Roman Catholic, much 
distrusted ; wherefore the government of the fortress 
rested chiefly with the Lieutenant. But it appears 
that the same distrust extended towards Sir John 

The Gunpowder Plot Detected. 

The materials for elucidating the causes, circumstances, 
and consequences of the Powder Plot have been sifted 
over and over again ; notwithstanding the abundance of 
documents in the State Paper Office, they are not so 
complete as they were once known to be ; and " it is 
remarkable that precisely those papers which contribute 

74 Romance of London. 

the most important evidence against Garnet and the 
other Jesuits are missing." — (Mr Jardine's Narrative') 
The Plot-room, in which the plot was hatched, is shown 
to this day in Catesby Hall, near Daventry ; the dark 
lantern which Guido Fawkes carried when apprehended, 
is shown in the Ashmolean collection at Oxford ; and 
the famous monitory letter to Lord Mounteagle is 
preserved in our Parliament Offices : but the tangled 
thread of the foul transaction remains to be unravelled 
— to show how " seven gentlemen of name and blood," 
as Fawkes called the conspirators, attempted to proceed 
to the extremity of " murdering a kingdom in its chief 

The plot originated in the discontents of the Roman 
Catholics under James I., and ended with the detection, 
examination, and execution of the principal conspirators. 

The first meeting of five of them — Catesby, Wright, 
Winter, Fawkes, and Percy, took place at a house in 
the fields beyond St Clement's Lane, where, having 
severally taken an oath of secrecy and fidelity, the 
design was discussed and approved ; after which they all 
adjourned to an upper room in the same house, where 
they heard mass and received the sacrament from Father 
Gerard, a Jesuit missionary, in confirmation of their vow. 
Next was purchased a house, with a garden attached 
to it, next door to the Parliament House, by Percy, a 
relative of the Duke of Northumberland, under the 
pretence of using it as his official residence, he being a 
gentleman pensioner. The keys of this house were 
confided to Fawkes, who was not known in town, and 
who was to act as Percy's servant. From the cellar of 
this house a mine was to be made through the wall of 
the Parliament House, and a quantity of combustibles 

The Gunpowder Plot Detected. 75 

was then to be deposited beneath the House of Lords. 
To facilitate operations, another house was taken at 
Lambeth, where the necessary timber and combustibles 
were collected in small quantities, and removed by night 
to the house at Westminster. A man named Keyes, 
who had been recently received into the conspiracy, 
was placed in charge at Lambeth; and he, with John 
Wright's brother, Christopher, were enlisted to assist in 
the construction of the mine. 

On the nth December 1604, the "seven gentlemen" 
entered the house late at night, having provided them- 
selves with tools, and a quantity of hard-boiled eggs, 
baked meats, and patties, to avoid exciting suspicion by 
going abroad frequently for provisions. All day long 
they worked at the mine, carrying the earth and rubbish 
into a little building in the garden, spreading it about 
and covering it carefully over with turf. In this manner, 
these determined men worked away at a wall three yards 
in thickness, without intermission, until Christmas eve; 
Fawkes wore a porter's frock over his clothes, by way of 
disguise. At the same time they consulted respecting 
ulterior measures ; planned the seizure of the Duke of 
Vork, afterwards Charles I., and of the Princess Elizabeth ; 
they also arranged for the general rendezvous in War- 
wickshire, where, soon after, they enlisted various other 

Parliament was now unexpectedly prorogued on the 
7th February ; the execution of the plot was thus 
postponed for a year. The conspirators resumed their 
labours in F*ebruary, when they had half-pierced 
through the stone, wall by great perseverance and 
exertion. Father Grecnway remarks, that it seemed 
incredible how men of their quality could undergo such 

j6 Romance of London. 

severe toil, and especially how Catesby and Percy, who 
were unusually tall men, could endure the intense fatigue 
of working day and night in a stooping posture. Their 
operations were not carried on without occasional alarms, 
notwithstanding their precautions. " They were one 
day surprised by the tolling of a bell, which seemed to 
proceed from the middle of the wall under the Parlia- 
ment House. All suspended their labour and listened 
with alarm and uneasiness to the mysterious sound. 
Fawkes was sent for from his station above. The tolling - 
still continued, and was distinctly heard by him as well 
as the others. Much wondering at this prodigy, they 
sprinkled the wall with holy water, when the sound 
immediately ceased. Upon this they resumed their 
labour, and after a short time the tolling commenced 
again, and again was silenced by the application of holy 
water. This process was repeated frequently for several 
days, till at length the unearthly sound was heard no 
more." — {jardine^) 

Shortly after this alarm, one morning, while working 
upon the wall, they heard a rustling noise in a cellar 
nearly above their heads. At first, they thought they 
were discovered : but Fawkes, being despatched to 
reconnoitre, it turned out that the occupier of the cellar 
was selling off his coals in order to remove, and that the 
noise proceeded from this cause. Fawkes carefully 
surveyed the place, which proved to be a large vault 
immediately under the House of Lords, and very con- 
venient for their purpose. The difficulty of carrying the 
mine through the wall had lately very much increased. 
Besides the danger of discovery from the heavy blows in 
working the stone foundations, as the work extended 
towards the river, the water began to flow in upon them, 

The Gunpowder Plot Detected. jj 

and not only impeded their progress, but showed that 
the mine would be an improper depository for the 
powder and combustibles. The cellar had now become 
vacant, and it was hired in Percy's name, under the 
pretext that he wanted it for the reception of his own 
coals and wood. The mine was abandoned, and about 
twenty barrels of powder were forthwith carried by night 
across the river from Lambeth, and placed in the cellar 
in hampers ; large stones and the iron bars and other 
tools used by them in mining were thrown into the 
barrels among the powder, the object of which Fawkes 
afterwards declared to be " to make the breach the 
greater," and the whole was covered over with faggots 
and billets of wood. In order to complete the deception, 
they also placed a considerable quantity of lumber and 
empty bottles in the cellar. 

The preparations were complete about the beginning 
of May 1605. They then carefully closed the vault, hav- 
ing first placed certain marks about the door inside, 
by which they might, at any time, ascertain if it had 
been entered in their absence ; and, as Parliament was 
not to meet till the 3rd October, they agreed to separate 
for some months, lest suspicion might arise from their 
being seen together in London. 

In the meantime, fresh and wealthy accessions were 
made to the ranks of the conspirators ; and Sir Everard 
Digby, Ambrose Rookwood, Francis Tresham, and the 
Littletons, three Roman Catholic gentlemen of station, 
were drawn into the plot. To meet any power which 
might be brought against them after the blow was 
struck, Catesby had raised a body of horsemen, under 
the pretence that they were for the service in the 
Spanish force in Flanders. 

78 Romance of London. 

The great day (November 5) at length approached, 
and the confederates held frequent consultations at a 
lone house near Enfield Chase, and another alike solitary 
on the Marches near Erith. Here their plan of operations 
was completed. A list of all the Peers and Commoners 
whom it was thought desirable to save was made out, 
and it was resolved that each of these should on the very 
morning receive an urgent message to withdraw himself 
from Westminster. To Guy FaAvkes, as a man of tried 
courage and self-possession, was allotted the perilous 
office of firing the mine. This he was to perform by 
means of a slow match which would allow him time to 
escape to a vessel provided in the river for the purpose 
of conveying him to Flanders. 

It has been commonly supposed that the plot was 
discovered through Tresham's misgivings and desire 
towards his friends : he was especially anxious to warn 
Lord Mounteagle, who had married Tresham's sister. 
Catesby hesitated, whereupon Tresham suggested further 
delay on the ground that he could not, unless time was 
allowed him, furnish the money he had engaged to pro- 
vide. This proposal confirmed the suspicions which 
Catesby entertained of Tresham's fidelity, but he thought 
it prudent to dissemble. 

On Saturday, the 26th of October, ten days before 
the intended meeting of Parliament, Lord Mounteagle 
ordered a supper to be prepared, not at his residence in 
town, but at a house belonging to him at Hoxton. 
While at table in the evening a letter was delivered to 
him by one of his pages, who said he received it from 
a tall man whose features he did not recognise. Mount- 
eagle opened the letter, and seeing that it had neither 
signature nor date, requested a gentleman in his service, 

The Gunpowder Plot Detected. 79 

named Ward, to read it aloud. This letter is too well 
known to need reprinting here. On the following day 
the very gentleman who had read the letter at Mount- 
eagle's table called on Thomas Winter and related the 
occurrence of the preceding evening; adding that his 
Lordship had laid the mysterious missive before the 
Secretary of State ; and ending by conjuring him, if 
he were a party to the plot which the letter hinted at, to 
fly at once. 

Winter affected to treat the affair as a hoax ; but, as 
soon as possible, he communicated the intelligence to his 
colleague. Catesby instantly suspected that Tresham 
was the writer. Three days later, in consequence of 
an urgent message, Tresham ventured to meet Catesby 
and Winter in Enfield Chase. On being taxed with 
treachery, he repelled the charge, and maintained his 
innocence with so many oaths, that, although they had 
resolved to despatch him, they hesitated to take his life 
on bare suspicion. Fawkes was then sent to examine 
the cellar. He found all safe. Upon his return they 
told him of the intelligence they had got, and excused 
themselves for sending him on so dangerous an errand. 
Fawkes, with characteristic coolness, declared he should 
have gone with equal readiness if he had known of the 
letter ; in proof of which he undertook to revisit the 
cellar once every day till the 5th of November. 

On the 3rd of November the conspirators were apprised 
by Ward that the letter had been shown to the King, 
A council was held : some proposed to fly ; others 
refused to credit the story ; and, finally, they resolved 
to await the return of Percy. Percy exerted all his _ 
powers to reassure his associates, and, after much dis- 
cussion, Fawkes agreed to keep guard within the cellar, 

80 Romance of London. 

Percy and Winter to superintend the operations in Lon- 
don, and Catesby and John Wright departed for the 
general rendezvous at Dunchurch. We now reach the 
catastrophe. On Monday afternoon, Nov. 4, the Lord 
Chamberlain, whose province it was to ascertain that 
the needful preparations were made for the opening of 
the Session, visited the Parliament House, and, in com- 
pany with Lord Mounteagle, entered the vault. He 
asked who occupied the cellar ; and then, fixing his eye 
on Fawkes, who pretended to be Percy's servant, he 
observed there was a large quantity of fuel for a private 
house. He then retired to report his observations to 
the King, who, upon hearing that the man was "a 
very tall and desperate fellow," gave orders that the 
cellar should be carefully searched. Fawkes in the 
meantime had hurried to acquaint Percy, and then, such 
was his determination, returned alone to the cellar. 

About two in the morning (it was now the 5 th of 
November), Fawkes opened the door of the vault and 
came out, booted and dressed as for a long journey. At 
that instant, before he could stir further, he was seized 
and pinioned by a party of soldiers, under the direction 
of Sir Thomas Knevit. Three matches were found in 
his pocket, and a dark lantern behind the door. He at 
once avowed his purpose, and declared that if he had 
been within when they took him he would have blown 
all up together. The search then began ; and, on the 
removal of the fuel, two hogsheads and thirty-two barrels 
of gunpowder were discovered. 

It was nearly four o'clock before the King and 
Council had assembled, when Fawkes was carried to 
Whitehall, and there, in the Royal bedchamber, under- 

The Gunpowder Plot Detected. 8 1 

went examination.* Though bound and helpless, he 
never for an instant quailed. He answered every ques- 
tion put to him with perfect coolness and decision. His 
name, he said, was John Johnson, his condition that of 
a servant to Mr Percy. He declined to say if he had 
accomplices, but declared his object was, when the 
Parliament met that day, to have destroyed all there 
assembled. Being asked by the King how he could 
plot the death of his children and so many innocent 
souls, he answered, " Dangerous diseases require des- 
perate remedies." A Scottish nobleman asked him for 
what end he had collected so much powder. " One of 
my ends," said he, "was to blow Scotchmen back to their 
native place." After several hours spent in questioning 
him he was conveyed to the Tower. His subsequent 
fate, and that of his accomplices, need not be detailed 

The vault, popularly called " Guy Fawkes's Cellar," 
was a crypt-like apartment beneath the old House of 
Lords, the ancient Parliament-chamber at Westminster, 
believed to have been rebuilt by King Henry II. on 
the ancient foundations of Edward the Confessor's reign. 
This building was taken down about the year 1823, 
when it was ascertained that the vault had been the 
ancient kitchen of the Old Palace ; and near the south 
end the original buttery-hatch was discovered, together 
with an adjoining pantry or cupboard. The house 
through which the conspirators obtained access to the 
vault was in the south-east corner of Old Palace 

Subsequent to this complete detection of the plot, 

* This scene has been admirably painted by Mr John Gilbert, and 
engraved in the Illustrated London News ; and detailed as above. 
VOL. I. F 

82 Romance of London. 

it was the custom to search and carefully examine the 
several vaults and passages under the Houses of Parlia- 
ment, previous to the Sovereign opening the Session. 
This precautionary inspection was performed by certain 
officers of Parliament, headed by the Usher of the 
Black Rod, who went through the vaults, and examined 
the various nooks and recesses. The search took place 
on the morning of the day of the royal ceremonial. 

In Spelman's time, the Judges went to church in state 
on this day. Bishop Sanderson, in one of his sermons, 
says : " God grant that we nor ours ever live to see 
November the Fifth forgotten, or the solemnity of it 
silenced." The solemnity long out-lived the bishop ; 
but nearly two hundred years later (in 1858), the 
services were removed from the Book of Common 

It has been commonly supposed that the plot was 
discovered through Francis Tresham's misgivings and 
desire to warn his friends. Mr Jardine has investi- 
gated the various speculations respecting the author- 
ship of the letter to Lord Mounteagle, and the curious 
doubts as to whether this letter was not a device to 
conceal the prior revelation of the plot by Tresham in 
a different manner. The circumstances under which 
the letter was received, Tresham's intimations to the 
confederates that the plot was known, his anxiety that 
his friends should fly, his pressing offers of money to 
Catesby, and it is added by Roman Catholic writers, 
though this Mr Jardine discredits, Tresham's own 
death in prison, are supposed to point to the conclusion 
that the plot was disclosed by some machinery of which 
the Government were unwilling to risk the exposure. 

At all events, the discovery of the meaning of the 

The Gunpowder Plot Detected. 83 

ambiguous expressions in the letter to Lord Mount- 
eagle was not due to the discernment of the King ; for 
Lord Salisbury, in a narrative of the detection of the 
plot, to be found in the State Paper Office, declares 
that this interpretation of the letter had occurred to him- 
self and the Lord Chamberlain, and had been communi- 
cated by them to several Lords of the Council before 
the subject had been mentioned to the King. To the 
suggestions of the same discerning personages it was also 
owing that the plot, though discovered, was allowed for 
a week to run its course, and that no search was under- 
taken at the cellar till the 4th of November, the day 
before the meeting of Parliament. Then Guy Fawkes 
was seized, and the plot, after a flight and feeble insur- 
rection, came to a close. 

John Varley, the painter, well known to have been 
attached to astrology, used to relate a tradition, that 
the Gunpowder Plot was discovered by Dr John Dee, 
with his Magic Mirror ; and he urged the difficulty, if 
not impossibility, of interpreting Lord Mounteagle's 
letter without some other clue or information than 
hitherto gained. Now, in a Common Prayer Book, 
printed by Baskett, in 1737, is an engraving of the 
following scene. In the centre is a circular mirror, on a 
stand in which is the reflection of the Houses of Par- 
liament by night, and a person entering carrying a dark 
lantern. Next, on the left side are two men in the 
costume of James's time, looking into the mirror : one, 
evidently the King ; the other, from his secular habit, 
not the Doctor (Dee), but probably Sir Kenelm Digby. 
On the right side, at the top, is the eye of Providence 
darting a ray on the mirror ; and below are some legs 
and hoofs, as if evil spirits were flying out of the pic- 

84 Romance of London. 

ture. The plate is inserted before the service for the 5 th 
of November, and would seem to represent the method 
by which, under Providence (as is evidenced by the eye), 
the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot was, at that time, 
seriously believed to have been effected. The tradition 
must have been generally and seriously believed, or it 
never could have found its way into a Prayer Book 
printed by the King's Printer. — (A. A., Notes and 
Queries, 2nd S. No. 201.) 

It is true that the fame of Dee's Magic Mirror Divi- 
nation was at its zenith about the time of the Gun- 
powder Plot, and this may have led to the mirror being 
adopted as a popular emblem of discovery ; or it may 
be a piece of artistic design rather than evidence of its 
actual employment in the discovery. 

Two Tippling Kings. 

In 1608, when Christian IV. of Denmark, brother of 
the Queen of James I., came into England to visit him, 
both the kings got drunk together, to celebrate the 
meeting. Sir John Harrington, the wit, has left a most 
amusing account of this Court revel and carousal. He 
tells us that " the sports began each day in such manner 
and such sorte, as well nigh persuaded me of Mahomet's 
paradise. We had women, and indeed wine too, of such 
plenty, as would have astonished each beholder. Our 
feasts were magnificent, and the two royal guests did 
most lovingly embrace each other at table. I think the 
Dane had strangely wrought on our good English 
nobles ; for those whom I could never get to taste good 
liquor, now follow the fashion, and wallow in beastly 
delights. The ladies abandon their sobriety, and are 

Tzvo Tippling Kings, S5 

seen to roll about in intoxication. In good sooth, the 
Parliament did kindly to provide his Majestie so season- 
ably with money, for there have been no lack of good 
livinge, shews, sights, and banquetings from morn to 

" One da}- a great feast was held, and after dinner 
the representation of Solomon, his temple, and the 
coming of the Queen of Sheba was made, or (as I may 
better say) was meant to have been made, before their 
Majesties, by device of the Earl of Salisbury and 
others. But, alas ! as all earthly things do fail to poor 
mortals in enjoyment, so did prove our presentment 
thereof. The lady who did play the Queen's part did 
carry most precious gifts to both their Majesties ; but 
forgetting the steppes arising to the canopy, overset 
her caskets into his Danish Majesty's lap, and fell at 
his feet, though I think it was rather in his face. 
Much was the hurry and confusion ; cloths and napkins 
were at hand to make all clean. His Majestie then 
got up, and would dance with the Queen of Sheba ; 
but he fell down and humbled himself before her, and' 
was carried to an inner chamber, and laid on a bed of 
state, which was not a little defiled with the presents 
of the Queen, which had been bestowed on his gar- 
ments ; such as wine, cream, jelly, beverage, cakes, 
spices, and other good matters. The entertainment 
and show went forward, and most of the presenters 
went backward or fell down ; wine did so occupy their 
upper chambers. Now did appear, in rich dress, Hope, 
Faith, and Charity. Hope did essay to speak, but 
wine rendered her endeavours so feeble that she with- 
drew, and hoped the King would excuse her brevity. 
Faith was then all alone, for I am certain she was not 

S6 Romance of London. 

joyned to good works, and left the court in a stagger- 
ing condition. Charity came to the King's feet, and 
seemed to cover the multitude of sins her sisters had 
committed ; in some sorte she made obeyance, and 
brought giftes, but said she would return home again, 
as there was no gift which heaven had not already 
given his Majesty. She then returned to Hope and 
Faith, who were both sick .... in the lower 
hall. Next came Victory, in bright armour, and pre- 
sented a rich sword to the king, who did not accept it, 
but put it by with his hand ; and by a strange medley 
of versification, did endeavour to make suit to the 
King. But Victory did not triumph long ; for, after 
much lamentable utterance, she was led away like a 
silly captive, and laid to sleep in the outer steps of the 
ante-chamber. Now did Peace make entry, and strive 
to get foremoste to the King ; but I grieve to tell how 
great wrath she did discover unto those of her attend- 
ants ; and much contrary to her semblance, made rudely 
war with her olive branch, and laid on the pates of those 
who did oppose her coming." * 

Funeral of James I. 

This was a most magnificent and costly pageant In 
the Calendar of State Papers, edited by Mr Bruce, and 
still more, of course, in the documents of which it is the 
abstract, will be found what a petitioning there was on 
the part of sundry very interested, if not afflicted, per- 
sonages, to be admitted " poor mourners " in the 
procession from Denmark (Somerset) House to West- 

* Nugce Antiques, ed. 1804, vol. 1., quoted in a note to Peyton's "Cata- 
strophe of the Stuarts," in the Secret History oj the Court of James I., vol ii. 

Funeral of James I. 87 

minster. These " poor mourners " got their sable 
cloaks for their attendance and officious affliction. 
While these persons obtained cloaks, parishes were 
supplied with black cloth, and did not like to be over- 
looked in the distribution. Thus, we meet with the 
minister and churchwardens of All Hallows, Barking-, 
petitioning the Commissioners of the royal funeral 
" that some part of the cloth for mourning for the late 
King, distributed among the poor of the divers parishes 
in London, may be given to their parish, which is one 
of the poorest within the walls of the city." 

It is further singular to discover in Mr Bruce's 
volume that it was not the poor alone who thought to 
draw profit from the King's funeral. His Majesty's 
gunners are there spoken of as praying that " as they 
had allowance of reds at the coronation of their de- 
ceased master, they may now, at his funeral, have 
allowance of blacks ! " And observe how the report of 
this artillery petition struck on the tympanum of 
" Henry Russell, sworn drummer extraordinary 1 " 
requiring " that he may have black cloth, as the rest of 
his fellows shall have." After the drummer come " the 
Keepers of His Majesty's cormorants," who "pray that 
they may have mourning zveeds," not for the birds, but 
for themselves. They had at least as good right to it 
as the household of the Duke of Buckingham, who 
might have put decent black on his own lacqueys at his 
own cost. But the people had to pay for all. Mr Bruce 
registers a letter from John Chamberlain to Sir Dudley 
Carleton, the contents of which inform us that " the 
great funeral took place on the 7th of May 1625, and 
was the greatest ever known in England. Blacks were 
given to 9000 persons. Inigo Jones did his part in 

S8 Romance of London. 

fashioning the hearse. The King was chief mourner. 
The Lord Keeper's sermon was two hours," — which 
must have been an intolerable bore, for Williams was no 
orator, and his sermon was a contrast between the 
Solomon of old and the Solomon who had just died, 
not of course to the disparagement of the defunct 
James ; and, finally, we have the sum total of expenses, 
including fifty pounds fee to Surgeon Walker for 
embalming the body, set down as " Charge about 
;£ 50,000 ! " In July, the nation felt the extravagance 
committed in conveying James to the God's Acre at 
Westminster, in May. In recording Sir John Coke's 
report of a message of Charles to the Commons, Mr 
Bruce refers to a portion where the House was told 
that " the ordinary revenue is clogged with debts and 
exhausted with the late King's funeral and other ex- 
penses of necessity and honour." Thus ended that 
smart and fatal attack of ague, from all apprehension of 
which, the courtiers at Theobald's sought to entice the 
shaking monarch by singing the old distich : — 

Ague in the spring 
Is physic for a King. 

As for the exhaustion of the treasury, Charles did 
not think much of it when his own coronation was in 
question. He did not, however, forget the two hours' 
funeral sermon on the Solomons, by Williams, and the 
testy Welshman was accordingly not only forbidden to 
preach another discourse at the crowning, but compelled 
to appoint thereto the little man he most intensely 
hated — Laud. — From the Athencsum review of Mr 
Brace's work. 

Historical Coincidences. 89 

Historical Coincidences. 

By a signal providence (says Wheatly), the bloody 
rebels chose that day for murdering their King, on 
which the history of Our Saviour's sufferings (Matt. 
xxvii.) was appointed to be read as a Lesson. The 
blessed martyr had forgot that it came in the ordinary 
course ; and therefore, when Bishop Juxon (who read 
the morning office immediately before his martyrdom) 
named this chapter, the good Prince asked him if he 
had singled it out as fit for the occasion ; and when he 
was informed it was the Lesson for the Day, could not 
without a sensible complacency and joy admire how 
suitably it concurred with his circumstances. 

Macaulay, in his History of England, speaking of the 
Seven Prelates committed to the Tower by James II., 
says : " On the evening of Black-Friday, as it was 
called, on which they were committed, they reached 
their prison just at the hour of divine service. They 
instantly hastened to the chapel. It chanced that in 
the second lesson are these words : ' In all things ap- 
proving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much 
patience, in afflictions, in distresses, in stripes, in impri- 
sonments.' All zealous churchmen were delighted with 
this coincidence, and remembered how much comfort a 
similar coincidence had given nearly 40 years before, to 
Charles I., at the time of his death." 

A strange story of the ill-fated bust of Charles I. 
carved by Bernini, is thus told : Vandyke having drawn 
the King in three different faces, — a profile, three- 
quarters, and a full face, — the picture was sent to Rome 
for Bernini to make a bust from it. He was unaccount- 

90 Romance of London. 

ably dilatory in the work ; and upon this being com- 
plained of, he said that he had set about it several 
times, but there was something so unfortunate - in the 
features of .the face that he was shocked every time that 
he examined it, and forced to leave off the work ; and, 
if there was any stress to be laid on physiognomy, he 
was sure the person whom the picture represented was- 
destined to a violent end. The bust was at last finished, 
and sent to England. As soon as the ship that brought 
it arrived in the river, the King, who was very impatient 
to see the bust, ordered it to be carried immediately to 
Chelsea. It was conveyed thither, and placed upon a 
table in the garden, whither the King went with a train 
of nobility to inspect the bust. As they were viewing- 
it, a hawk flew over their heads with a partridge in his 
claws which he had wounded to death. Some of the 
partridge's blood fell upon the neck of the bust, where 
it remained without being wiped off. This bust was 
placed over the door of the King's closet at Whitehall, 
and continued there till the palace was destroyed by 
fire. — (Pamphlet on the Character of Charles I., by 
Zachary Grey, LL.D.) 

Howell, in a letter to Sir Edward Spencer, Feb. 20, 
1647-8, refers to the proximate execution of Charles I. 
as follows : " Surely the witch of Endor is no fable ; 
the burning Joan of Arc, at Rouen, and the Marchio- 
ness d'Anere, of late years, in Paris, are no fables : the 
execution of Nostradamus for a kind of witch, some 
fourscore years since, who, among other things, foretold 
that the Senate of London will kill their King" 

Queen Henrietta Maria doing Penance at Tyburn. 91 

Queen Henrietta Maria doing Penance 

at Tyburn. 

In ' the Crowle Pennant, in the British Museum, is 
a German print of considerable rarity,, representing 
Henrietta Maria, Queen of Charles I., doing penance 
beneath the triangular gallows at Tyburn. At -a short 
distance is the confessor's carriage, drawn by six 
horses ; the Queen is kneeling in prayer beneath the 
gibbet ; in the coach is seated "the Luciferian Con- 
fessour," and a page, bearing a lighted torch, stands to 
the left of the carriage door. The authenticity of this 
print has been impeached : but we have a distinct 
record of the strange scene which the engraver has 
here illustrated. 

It will be recollected that by the marriage articles 
of Charles I. and Henrietta Maria, the latter was per- 
mitted to have a large establishment of Roman Catholic 
priests, from which it was inferred that the marriage 
was assented to on the part of the Papal Hierarchy, 
with the secret intention of rendering it the stepping- 
stone to the re-establishment of the Roman Catholic 
religion in this country. The glaring imprudence with 
which the Queen's household endeavoured to effect their 
purpose, and the very indirect subjugation in which 
they enthralled their royal mistress, however, occasioned 
their absolute dismissal from the kingdom, by Charles 
himself, within little more than a twelvemonth after 
their arrival here. 

Henrietta Maria is described in letters of her time as 
a beautiful woman, in stature reaching to the King's 
shoulders : she was " nimble and quiet, black-eyed, 

92 Romance of London. 

brown haired, and in a word a brave lady." Very 
soon after her arrival in England, her enthralment by 
the priesthood was witnessed by the King : being at 
dinner, and being carved pheasant and venison by His 
Majesty, the Queen ate heartily of both, notwithstand- 
ing her confessor, who stood by her, had forewarned 
her that it was the eve of St John the Baptist, and was 
to be fasted. 

Henrietta's clergy were the most superstitious, tur- 
bulent, and Jesuitical priests that could be found in 
all France. Among their " insolencies towards the 
Queene," it is recorded that Her Majesty was once 
sentenced by her confessor to make a pilgrimage to 
Tyburn, and there to do homage to the saintship of 
some recently-arrived Roman Catholics. " No longer 
agoe than upon St James, his day last, those hypo- 
critical dogges made the pore Queene to walk afoot 
(some sidd barefoot) from her house at St James's, to 
the gallowes at Tyborne, thereby to honour the saint 
of the day, in visiting that holy place, where so many 
martyrs (forsooth!) had shed their blood in defence of 
the Catholic cause. Had they not also been made to 
dabble in the dirt in a fowl morning, fro' Somersett 
House to St James's, her Luciferian Confessour riding 
allong by her in his coach ! Yea, they made her to go 
barefoot, to spin, to eat her meat out of tryne (treen or 
Avooden) dishes, to wait at table, and serve her servants, 
with many other ridiculous and absurd penances. It is 
hoped, after they are gone, the Queene will, by degrees, 
finde the sweetness of liberty in being exempt from 
those beggarly rudiments of Popish penance." — (Ellis's 
Original Letters, First Series, vol. iii. pp. 241-3. Harl. 
MSS. 383.) 

Queen Henrietta Maria doing Penance at Tyburn. 93 

It appears that the French -were first turned out 
of St James's and sent to Somerset House : a letter 
states that they were immediately ordered " to depart 
thence (St James's) to Somerset House, although the 
women howled and lamented as if they had been going 
to execution, but all in vaine, for the Yeoman of the 
Guard, by that Lord's (Conway) appointment, thrust 
them and all their country folkes out of the Queen's 
lodging, and locked the dores after them. It is said, 
also, the Queen, when she understood the design, grewe 
very impatient, and brake the glass windows with her 
fiste : but since, I hear, her rage is appeased, and the 
King and shee, since they went together to Nonsuche, 
have been very jocund together." 

Then, we have an amusing account of the pecula- 
tions committed by these "French freebooters" on the 
Queen's " apparrell and linen," when they left her little 
more than one gown to her back. In about a month, 
the King, probably from some fresh machination of the 
discarded train, thus issued his commands to the Duke 
of Buckingham : — 

" Steenie, — I have received your letter by Die Greame. 
This is my Answer : I command you to send all the 
French away to-morrow out of the Towne. If you can, 
by fair means (but stike not longe in disputing), other- 
ways force them away, dryving them away lyke so 
maine wyld beastes untill ye have shipped them, and so 
the Devill go with them. Lett me heare no answer but 
of the performance of my command. So I rest, 
" Your faithful, constant, loving friend, 

" Charles R. 

"Oaking, the "jth of August 1626." 

Yet, the crew would not go without an order from 

94 Romance of London. 

the King, which reply being sent post, next morning 
His Majesty despatched to London the Captain of the 
Guard, with yeomen and messengers, heralds and trum- 
peters, first to proclaim the King's pleasure at Somerset 
House Gate ; which, if not speedily obeyed, the yeomen 
were to turn all the French out of Somerset House by 
head and shoulders, and shut the gate after them ; but 
they went the next tide. 

" Old Parr r 

THOMAS PARR, familiarly known as "Old Parr," accord- 
ing to the inscription upon his tomb in Westminster 
Abbey, was born in Salop, in 1483, but the day of his 
birth is not given ; it is added : " He lived in the reign 
of ten princes, Edward IV., Edward V., Richard III., 
Henry VII., Henry VIII., Edward VI., Mary, Eliza- 
beth, James I., and Charles I., aged 152 years; and 
was buried here Nov. 15, 1635." In 1635, about a 
month before Parr's death, Taylor, the Water-poet, pub- 
lished a pamphlet, entitled : " The Olde, Olde, very 
Olde Man ; or, The Age and Long Life of Thomas 
Parr, the Sonne of John Parr of Winnington, in the 
Parish of Alderbury, in the County of Shropshire, who 
was born in the reign of King Edward IV., and is now 
living in the Strand, being aged 152 years and odd 
months. His manner of Life and Conversation in so 
long a Pilgrimage ; his Marriages, and his bringing up 
to London about the end of September last, 1635." 
According to Taylor, in the lifetime of his first wife, 
Parr having been detected in an amour with " faire 
Catherine Milton," at the age of 105 : 

" Old Parr." 95 

'Twas thought meet, 
He should be purg'd, by standing in a sheet ; 
Which aged (he) one hundred and five yeare 
In Alderbury parish church did weare. 

The Earl of Arundel, being in Shropshire visiting his 
manors, heard of this "olde man," and was pleased to 
see him ; his lordship ordered a litter and two horses 
for his easy conveyance, and that a daughter-in-law 
should attend him ; he was likewise accompanied by 
a kind of Merry-Andrew, known as John the Foole. 
These were all brought by easy journies to London. 
At Coventry, as he passed, folks were very curious, 
coming in such crowds that Parr was well nigh stifled. 
The Earl had Parr brought to Arundel House, to be 
shown to Charles I. He was at first lodged at No. 405 
Strand, the Queen's Head public-house (rebuilt in the 
present reign). This information Mr J. T. Smith re- 
ceived, in 1 8 14, from a person, then aged 90, to whom 
the house was pointed out by his grandfather, then 88. 

Parr became domesticated in the Earl of Arundel's 
house, but his mode of living was changed ; he fed high, 
drank wine, and died Nov. 14, 1635, at the age of 152 
years 9 months. His body, by the King's command, 
was dissected by Harvey, who attributed Parr's death 
to peripneumony, brought on by the impurity of the 
London atmosphere, and sudden change in diet. 

Taylor thus describes Parr in the last stage of his 
existence : — 

His limbs their strength have left, 
His teeth all gone (but one), his sight bereft, 
His sinews shrunk, his blood most chill and cold, 
Small solace, imperfections manifold : 
Yet still his spirits possesse his mortal trunk, 
Nor are his senses in his ruines shrunk ; 

g6 Romance of London. 

But that his hearing's quicke, his stomach good, 
Hee '11 feed well, sleep well, well digest his food. 
Hee will speak heartily, laugh and be merry ; 
Drink ale, and now and then a cup of sherry ; 
Loves company, and understanding talke, 
And (on both sides held up) will sometimes walke. 
And, though old age his face with wrinkles fill, 
Hee hath been handsome, and is comely still ; 
Well fac'd ; and though his beard not oft corrected, 
Yet neat it grows, not like a beard neglected. 
From head to heel, his body hath all over 
A quick-set, thick-set, natural hairy cover. 

Taylor gives some account of Parr's domestic life : — ■ 

A tedious time a batchelour he tarried, 
Full eightie years of age before he married. 
With this wife he liv'd years thrice ten and two, 
And then she died (as all good wives will doe). 
Shee dead, he ten years did a widower stay, 
Then once more ventur'd in the wedlock way, 
And in affection to his first wife, Jane, 
He tooke another of that name againe. 

Of Parr's issue, the Water-poet writes in plain prose : 
■■ He hath had two children by his first wife, a son and 
a daughter. When he was over a hundred years oid, 
was sworn to him an illegitimate child, for which his 
incontinence, he did penance by standing in a sheet, 
in the parish church of Alberbury." Granger tells the 
story differently. He writes thus : — At 120 he married 
Catherine Milton, his second wife, by whom he had 
a child : even after that he was employed in threshing 
and other husbandry work. And when about 152 years 
of age, he was brought to London, by Thomas, Earl of 
Arundel, and carried to court. The King, Charles I., 
said to him, " You have lived longer than other men, 
what have you done more than other men ? " He replied, 
" I did penance when I was a hundred years old:' 

"Old Parr." 97 

Taylor's pamphlet, entitled " The Okie, Okie, very 
Olde Man," was published while the patriarch was 
residing in London ; and the statements in which work- 
have rarely been controverted. 

We are assured that Parr laboured hard the greater 
part of his long life, and that his food was in general 
very simple and even coarse : — 

Good wholesome labour was his exercise, 

Down with the Iamb, he with the lark would rise, 

The cock his night-clock, and till day was done, 

His watch and chief sun-dial was the sun. 

lie thought green cheese most wholesome with an onion, 

He ate coarse meslin-bread, drank ' milk or 

Buttermilk,' or for a treat, ' cyder or perry.' 

His physic was ' nice treacle ' or ' Mithridate. 

He entertained no gout, no ache he felt, 

The air was good and temperate where he dwelt, 

"While mavisses and sweet-tongued nightingales 

Did chant him roundelays and madrigals, 

Thus, living within bounds of Nature's laws, 

Of his long lasting life may be some cause. 

Of Parr's bodily appearance the poet assures us — 

From head to heel the body hath all over, 
A quick-set, thick-set, nat'rall hairy coyer. 

Although we have the above evidence of Parr's ex- 
treme age, it is not documentary ; and the birth dates 
back to a period before parish registers were instituted 
by Cromwell. Still, the fact of Henry Jenkins's age is 
not so well authenticated as Parr's. 

It may not be generally known that his grandson, 
Robert Parr, born at Kinver, 1633, died 1757, having 
lived to the age of 124. 

There is a portrait of Parr, stated to be by Rubens : 
and among the pictures in the Ashmolean Museum at 
Oxford, we remember to have seen a portrait of Parr 

vol. 1. <; 

98 Romance of L ondon. 

two-thirds length, reasonably presumed to have been 
painted from the life, being in the manner of the period : 
it has not been engraved. 

In 1 8 14, old Parr's cottage at Alderbury was stand- 
ing : it had undergone very little alteration since the 
period when Parr himself occupied it. 

George and Blue Boar Inn. — The 
Intercepted Letter. 

The long-known George and Blue Boar Inn, Holborn, 
which was taken down in 1864, for the site of the Inns 
of Court Hotel, is associated with a great event in our 
national history. Here was intercepted the letter of 
Charles I., by which Ireton discovered it to be the 
King's intention to destroy him and Cromwell, which 
discovery brought about Charles's execution. In the 
Earl of Orrery's Letters we read : " While Cromwell was 
meditating how he could best ' come in ' with Charles, 
one of his spies — of the King's bedchamber — informed 
him that his final doom was decreed, and that what it 
was might be found out by intercepting a letter sent 
from the King to the Queen, wherein he declared what 
he would do. The letter, he said, was sewed up in the 
skirt of a saddle, and the bearer of it would come with 
the saddle upon his head that night to the Blue Boar 
Inn, in Holborn ; for there he was to take horse and go 
to Dover with it. This messenger knew nothing of the 
letter in the saddle ; but some persons at Dover did. 
Cromwell and Ireton, disguised as troopers, taking with 
them a trusty fellow, went to the Inn in Holborn ; and 
this man watched at the wicket, and the troopers con- 
tinued drinking beer till about ten o'clock, when the 

Lord Sanquhar s Revenge. 99 

sentinel at the gate gave notice that the man with the 
saddle was come in. Up they got, and, as the man 
was leading out his horse saddled, they, with drawn 
swords, declared they were to search all who went in 
and out there ; but, as he looked like an honest 
man, they would only search his saddle. Upon this 
they ungirt the saddle, and carried it into the stall 
where they had been drinking, and left the horseman 
with the sentinel ; then, ripping up one of the skirts of 
the saddle, they found the letter, and gave back the 
saddle to the man, who, not knowing what he had 
done, went away to Dover. They then opened the 
letter, in which the King told the Queen that he 
thought he should close with the Scots. Cromwell 
and Ireton then took horse and went to Windsor ; and, 
finding they were not likely to have any tolerable 
terms with the King, they immediately from that time 
forward resolved his rum." — The Earl of Orrery's 
State Letters. 

Lord Sanquhar s Revenge : a Story of 

The ancient precinct of Whitefriars appears to have 
been noted as the abode of fencing-masters, professors 
of languages, music, and other accomplishments. Here, 
in the reign of James I., Turner, the fencing-master, 
kept his school, at which Lord Sanquhar, a Scotch 
nobleman, one day, when playing with Turner at foils, 
in his excitement to put down a master of the art, was 
pressed by him so hard, that his Lordship received a 
thrust which put out one of his eyes. "This mischief," 
says the narrator, "was much regretted by Turner; and 

I oo Romance of L ondon. 

the Baron, being conscious to himself that he meant his 
adversary no good, took the accident with as much 
patience as men that lose one eye by their own default 
use to do for the preservation of the other." " Some 
time after," continues this writer, " being in the court 
of the great Henry of France, and the King (courteous 
to strangers), entertaining discourse with him, asked 
him ' How he lost his eye ? ' he (cloathing his answer 
in a better shrowd than a plain fencer's) told him, ' It 
was done with a sword.' The King replies, ' Doth 
the man live?' and that question gave an end to the 
discourse. The Baron, however, bore the feeling of 
revenge in his breast some years after, till he came into 
England, when he resolved to take vengeance upon 
the unfortunate fencing-master. For this purpose he 
hired two of his countrymen, Gray and Carliel ; but 
Gray's mind misgave him, and Carliel got another 
accomplice named Irweng. These two, about seven 
o'clock on a fine evening in May, repaired to the 
Friars, and there saw Turner drinking with a friend at 
a tavern door: they saluted one another, and Turner 
and his friend asked Carliel and Irweng to drink, but 
they turning about cocked a pistol, came back imme- 
diately, and Carliel, drawing it from under his coat, 
discharged it upon Turner, and gave him a mortal 
wound near the left pap ; so that Turner, after having 
said these words, ' Lord, have mercy upon me ! I am 
killed,' immediately fell down. Carliel and Irweng fled : 
Carliel to the town ; Irweng towards the river, but mis- 
taking his way, and entering into a court where they 
sold wood, which was no thoroughfare, he was taken. 
Carliel likewise fled, and so did also the Baron of San- 
quhar, The ordinary officers of justice did their utmost, 

Martyrdom of Kitig Charles I. ioi 

but could not take them ; for, in fact, as appeared after- 
wards, Carliel fled into Scotland, and Gray towards the 
sea, thinking to go to Sweden, and Sanquhar hid himself 
in England." 

James having made the English jealous by the favour 
he had shown to the Scotch, thought himself bound to 
issue a promise of reward for the arrest of Sanquhar 
and the assassins. It was successful ; and all three were 
hung — Carliel and Irweng in Fleet Street, at the White- 
friars Gate, where the entrance to Bouverie Street now 
is ; and Sanquhar in front of Westminster Hall. 

Scarcely a trace of old Whitefriars remains ; but some 
buildings named " Hanging Sword Alley" remind one 
of the schools of defence, and Sanquhar's revenge. 

Martyrdom of King Charles I. 

SUCH is the designation of this anniversary of English 
history — one of the darkest, the deepest, and most 
impressive of any age or time — January 30th, 1649. 

Charles was taken on the first morning of his trial, 
January 20th, 1649, in a sedan-chair, from Whitehall 
to Cotton House, where he returned to sleep each day 
during the progress of the trial in Westminster Hall. 
After this, the King returned to Whitehall ; but on 
the night before his execution he slept at St James's. 
On January 30th he was "most barbarously murthered 
at his own door, about two o'clock in the afternoon." 
(Histor. Guide, 3rd imp. 1688.) Lord Leicester and 
Dugdale state that Charles was beheaded at Whitehall 
Gate. The scaffold was erected in front of the Ban- 
queting-house, in the street now Whitehall. Sir Thomas 
Herbert states that the King was led out by " a passage 

s . B LliiitAR 

1 02 Romance of L ondon. 

broken through the wall," on to the scaffold ; but Ludlow 
asserts that it was out of a window, according to Vertue, 
of a small building north of the Banqueting-house, 
whence the King stepped upon the scaffold. A picture 
of the sad scene, painted by Weesop, in the manner of 
Vandyke, shows the platform, extending only in length 
before two of the windows, to the commencement of the 
third casement. Weesop visited England from Hol- 
land in 164.1, and quitted England in 1649, saying 
"he would never reside in a country where they cut 
off their King's head, and were not ashamed of the 

The immediate act of the execution has thus been 
forcibly described : — " Men could discover in the King 
no indecent haste or flurry of spirits — no trembling of 
limbs — no disorder of speech — no start of horror. The 
blow was struck. An universal groan, as it were — a 
supernatural voice, the like never before heard, broke 
forth from the dense and countless multitude. All 
near the scaffold pressed forward to gratify their oppo- 
site feelings by some memorial of his blood — the blood 
of a tyrant or a martyr! The troops immediately 
dispersed on all sides the mournful or the agitated 

After the execution, the body was embalmed under 
the orders of Sir Thomas Herbert and Bishop Juxon, 
and removed to St James's. Thence the remains 
were conveyed to Windsor, where they were silently 
interred, without the burial service, on the 7th of 
February, in a vault about the middle of the choir 
of St George's Chapel. One hundred and sixty-five 
years after the interment, — in 181 3, — the remains of 
King Charles were found accidentally, in breaking away 

Martyrdom of King Charles I. 103 

part of the vault of Henry VIII. On the leaden coffin 
being opened, the body appeared covered with cerecloth ; 
the countenance of the King was apparently perfect as 
when he lived ; the severed head had been carefully 
adjusted to the shoulders; the resemblance of the features 
to the Vandyke portraits was perfect, as well as the 
oval shape- of the head, pointed beard, &c. ; the fissure 
made by the axe was clearly discovered, and the flesh, 
though darkened, was tolerably perfect ; the back of 
the head and the place where it rested in the coffin 
was stained with what, on being tested, was supposed 
to be blood. The coffin is merely inscribed " King 
Charles, 1648;" the whole funeral charges were but 
£229, $s. 

Sir Robert Halford was one of the most staunch 
Royalists in Leicestershire, and frequently assisted the 
King with money in his difficulties ; and it is a remark- 
able circumstance that a descendant of his family, the 
late Sir Henry Halford, should be the only person, 
besides the Prince Regent, who viewed the body of 
the decapitated King, upon its discovery at Windsor. 
Sir Henry cut off a lock of the King's hair, and made 
Sir Walter Scott a present of a part, which he had set 
in virgin gold ; with the word " Remember" surrounding 
it in highly-relieved black letters. 

On the morning of the execution, Charles gave to 
his faithful attendants these interesting memorials : to 
Sir Thomas Herbert the silver alarm watch, usually 
placed at the royal bedside ; to Bishop Juxon, a Gold 
Medal mint-mark, a rose, probably for a £$ or £6 
piece, which had been submitted to the King by 
Rawlins, the engraver, for approval — the likeness of 
the sovereign is very good ; also the George (the jewel 

1 04 Romance of L ondon . 

of the Order of the Garter) worn by Charles but a few 
moments previous to his decapitation. 

These relics have been preserved, together with the 
Pocket-handkerchief used by Charles at the time of his 
execution : it is of fine white cambric, and marked with 
the crown, and initials, " C. R. ;" also, the Shirt and 
Drawers worn by the King ; and the Holland sheet 
which was thrown over his remains. 

The Story of Don Pantaleon Set. 

On the south side of the Strand, there was built under 
the auspices of King James I., out of the rubbish of 
the old stables of Durham House, a "New Exchange," 
planned somewhat on the model of the Royal Exchange 
in the City, with cellars beneath, a walk above ; and 
over that rows of shops, which were principally occu- 
pied by sempstresses and milliners, who dealt in small 
articles of dress, fans, gloves, cosmetics, and perfumery. 
Here, at the sign of the Three Spanish Gipsies, sat 
Ann Clarges, who sold wash-balls, powder, gloves, &c, 
and taught girls plain work ; she became sempstress to 
Colonel Monk, contrived to captivate him, was married 
to him, it is believed while her first husband was living ; 
she died Duchess of Albemarle. At the Revolution, in 
1688, there sat in the New Exchange another sempstress, 
whose fortunes were the reverse of the rise of Ann Clarges. 
This less favoured lady was Frances Jennings, the 
reduced Duchess of Tyrconnel, wife to Richard Talbot, 
lord-deputy of Ireland under James II. : she supported 
herself for a few days (till she was known, and otherwise 
provided for) by the little trade of this place. To avoid 
detection she invariably wore a white mask, and a white 

The Story of Don Pantalcon Sa. 105 

dress, and was, therefore, known as the White Widow. 
This anecdote (of questionable veracity) was ingeniously- 
dramatised by Mr Douglas Jerrold, for Covent Garden 
Theatre, in 1840, as "The White Milliner." 
Gay has not forgotten to tell us — 

The sempstress speeds to 'Change with red-tipt nose. 

Thither flocked the gay gallants to gossip with the fair 
stallkeepers, and ogle the company. Pepys was a fre- 
quent visitor here. In the winter of 1653, there came 
to England an ambassador from the King of Portugal, 
with a very splendid equipage ; and in his retinue his 
brother, Don Pantaleon Sa, a Knight of Malta, and " a 
gentleman of a haughty and imperious nature." One 
day in November, Don Pantaleon was walking with two 
friends, in the Exchange, when a quarrel arose between 
them and a young English gentlemen, named Gerard, 
who accused the Portuguese of speaking in French 
disparagingly of England ; one of the Portuguese gave 
Mr Gerard the lie ; they then began to jostle, swords 
were drawn, and all three fell upon Gerard, and one of 
them stabbed him with his dagger in the shoulder. A 
few unarmed Englishmen interfered^ separated the com- 
batants, and got the Portuguese out of the Exchange, 
one of them with a cut upon his cheek. 

Next evening Don Pantaleon, to take his revenge, 
v/ith fifty followers; two Knights of Malta, led on by a 
Portuguese Captain in buff; all having generally double 
arms, swords and pistols, and coats of mail ; two or three 
coaches brought ammunition, hand-grenades, and bottles, 
and little barrels of powder and bullets ; and boats were 
provided ready at the water-side. They had resolved 
to fall upon every Englishman they should find in or 
about the Exchange. They entered all with drawn 

io6 Romance of London. 

swords ; the people fled for shelter into the shops ; there 
were few Englishmen present, but of these four were 
severely wounded by the Portuguese. A Mr Greenaway, 
of Lincoln's Inn, was walking with his sister and a lady 
whom he was to have married : these he placed for 
safety in a shop ; he then went to see what was the 
matter, when the Portuguese, mistaking Greenaway for 
Gerard, gave the word, and he was killed by a pistol 
shot through the head. The crowd now grew enraged, 
and Don Pantaleon and the Portuguese retreated to the 
house of embassy, caused the gates to be shut, and put 
all the servants in arms to defend it. Meanwhile, the 
Horse Guard on duty had apprehended some of the 
Portuguese; and Cromwell sent Colonel Whaley in 
command, who pursued others to the Ambassador's 
house with his horse, and there demanded that the rest 
should be given up. The Ambassador insisted upon 
his privilege, and that by the law of nations his house 
ivas a sanctuary for all his countrymen ; but finding the 
officer resolute, and that he was not strong enough for 
the encounter, desired time to send to the Lord General 
Cromwell, which was granted, and he complained of 
the injury, and desired an audience. Cromwell sent a 
messenger in reply, to state that a gentleman had been 
murdered, and several other persons wounded, and that 
if the criminals were not given up, the soldiers would 
be withdrawn, and " the people would pull down the 
house, and execute justice themselves." Under this 
threat, Don Pantaleon, three Portuguese, and an English 
boy, the Don's servant, were given up ; they were 
confined in the guard-house for the night, and next 
day sent prisoners to Newgate, whence in about three 
weeks the Don made his escape, but was retaken. 

The Story of Don Pantaleon Sa. 107 

By the intercession of the Portuguese merchants, the 
trial was delayed till the 6th of July in the following 
year, when the prisoners were arraigned for the crime of 
murder. Don Pantaleon, at first, refused to plead, as 
he held a commission to act as Ambassador, in the 
event of his brother's death, or absence from England. 
He was then threatened with the press, when he pleaded 
not guilty. A jury of English and foreigners brought 
in a verdict of guilty, and the five prisoners were 
sentenced to be hanged. Every effort was made to 
save Don Pantaleon's life; but Cromwell's only reply 
was: "Blood has been shed, and justice must be satis- 
fied." The only mercy shown was a respite of two days, 
and a reprieve from the disgraceful death of hanging ; 
the Ambassador having requested that he might be per- 
mitted to kill his brother with his own sword, rather 
than he should be hanged. 

A remarkable coincidence concluded this strange 
story. While Don Pantaleon lay in Newgate, awaiting 
his trial, Gerard, with whom the quarrel in the New 
Exchange had arisen, got entangled in a plot to 
assassinate Cromwell, was tried and condemned to be 
hanged, which, as in the Don's case, was changed to 
beheading. Both suffered on the same day, on Tower 
Hill. Don Pantaleon, attended by a number of his 
brother's suite, was conveyed in a mourning-coach with 
six horses, from Newgate to Tower PI ill, to the same 
scaffold whereon Gerard had just suffered. The Don, 
after his devotions, gave his confessor his beads and 
crucifix, laid his head on the block, and it was chopped 
off at two blows. On the same day, the English boy- 
servant was hanged at Tyburn. The three Portuguese 
were pardoned. Pennant says that Gerard died with 

1 08 Romance of L ondon. 

intrepid dignity ; Don Pantaleon with all the pusil- 
lanimity of an assassin. Cromwell's stern and haughty 
justice, and perfect retribution exacted on this occasion, 
have been much extolled : it tended to render his 
Government still more respected abroad ; and settled a 
knotty point as to " the inviolability of ambassadors." 

Sir Richard Willis's Plot against 
Charles II. 

At Lincoln's Inn, in the south angle of the great 
court, leading out of Chancery Lane, formerly called 
the Gate-house Court, but now Old Buildings, and on 
the left hand of the ground floor of No. 24, Oliver 
Cromwell's Secretary, Thurloe, had chambers from 1645 
to 1659. Thither one night came Cromwell for the 
purpose of discussing secret and important business. 
They had conversed together for some time, when 
Cromwell suddenly perceived a clerk asleep at his desk. 
This happened to be Mr Morland, afterwards Sir 
Samuel Morland, the famous mechanician, and not 
unknown as a statesman. Cromwell, it is affirmed, drew 
his dagger, and would have despatched him on the 
spot, had not Thurloe, with some difficulty, prevented 
him. He assured him that his intended victim was 
certainly sound asleep, since, to his own knowledge, he 
had been sitting up the two previous nights. But 
Morland only feigned sleep, and overheard the conversa- 
tion, which was a plot for throwing the young King 
Charles II., then resident at Bruges, and the Dukes of 
York and Gloucester, into the hands of the Protector ; 
Sir Richard Willis having planned that, on a stated 
day, they should pass over to a certain port in Sussex, 

Willis's Plot against Charles IT. 109 

where they would be received on landing by a body of 
5CO men, to be augmented on the following morning by 
2coo horse. Had the royal exiles fallen into the snare, 
it seems that all three would have been shot immedi- 
ately on reaching the shore ; but Morland disclosed the 
designs to the royal party, and thus frustrated the 
diabolical scheme. 

The suites of chambers of which we have been speak- 
ing were chiefly erected about the time of King James 
I. ; and notwithstanding that square-headed doorways 
have superseded the arches, and sashed windows have 
taken the places of the original lattices and mullions, 
the buildings retain much of their original character.* 
Curious it is to reflect, as we pass through " the great 
legal thoroughfare " of Chancery Lane, that in Thurloe's 
chambers, by a slight stratagem, was saved, some two 
centuries since, the Royal cause of England. Cromwell 
must often have been in these chambers at Lincoln's 
Inn ; and here, by the merest accident, was discovered 
in the reign of William III. a collection of papers con- 
cealed in the false ceiling of a garret, in the same house, 
by a clergyman who had borrowed the rooms during 
the long vacation, of his friend, Mr Tomlinson, the 
owner of them. This clergyman soon after disposed of 
the papers to Lord Chancellor Somers, who caused 
them to be bound up in 67 volumes in folio. These 
form the principal part of the Collections afterwards 
published by Dr Birch, known by the name of the 
Thurloe State Papers. 

The above anecdote is told by Birch, in his Life 
of Thurloe, but rests upon evidence which has been 
questioned. There is a tradition, too, that Cromwell 

* Lincoln's Inn and its Library, by Spilsbury. 

no Romance of L ondon. 

had chambers in or near the Gate-house, but his name 
is not in the registers of the Society ; his son Richard 
was admitted as student in the 23rd year of Charles II. 

Mansion of a City Merchant Prince. 

The fine old mansion or palace of Sir Robert Clay- 
ton (of the time of Charles II.), on the east side of 
Old Jewry, was taken down in the year 1863. The 
street has a host of memories : indeed, for its length, it 
is one of the most historical thoroughfares in the 
city of London. Sir Robert Clayton (who has lately 
been often named as the munificent benefactor to St 
Thomas's Hospital) built the above stately mansion in 
the Old Jewry, for keeping his shrievalty, in the year 

1671. It was nobly placed upon a stone balustraded 
terrace, in a courtyard, and was of fine red brick, 
richly ornamented. John Evelyn, who was a guest at 
a great feast here, describes, in his Diary, Sept. 26, 

1672, the mansion as "built indeede for a greate 
magistrate at excessive cost. The cedar dining-room 
is painted with the history of the Gyants' War, 
incomparably done by Mr Streeter ; but the figures are 
too near the eye." Mr Bray, the editor of the Diary, 
added, in 1818, "these paintings have long since been 
removed to the seat of the Clayton family, at Marden 
Park, near Godstone, in Surrey ; " in the possession of 
the present Baronet. In 1679-80 Charles II. and the 
Duke of York supped at the mansion in the Old Jewry, 
with Sir Robert Clayton, then Lord Mayor. The 
balconies of the houses in the streets were illuminated 
with flambeaux ; and the King and the Duke had a 
passage made for them by the Trained Bands upon the 

Mansion of a City Merchant Prince. 1 1 1 

guard from Cheapside. Sir Robert represented the 
metropolis nearly thirty years in Parliament, and was 
Father of the City at his decease. His son was created 
a Baronet in 173 1-2. Sir James Thornhill painted the 
staircase of the old Jewry mansion with the story of 
Hercules and Omphale, besides a copy of the Rape of 
Dejanira, after Guido. 

The house was a magnificent example of a City 
merchant's residence, and had several tenants before it 
was occupied by Samuel Sharp, the celebrated surgeon. 
In 1806, it was opened as the temporary home of the 
London Institution, with its library of 10,000 volumes. 
Here, in the rooms he occupied as librarian of the 
Institution, died Professor Porson, on the night of 
Sunday, Sept. 25, 1S08, with a deep groan, exactly as 
the clock struck twelve. Dr Adam Clarke has left a 
most interesting account of his visits to Porson here. 
The Institution removed from the house in 18 10, and it 
was next occupied as the Museum of the London 
Missionary Society, and subsequently divided into 
offices. The Lord Mayor's Court was latterly held here. 
Although it had been built scarcely two centuries, this 
mansion was a very handsome specimen of the palace 
of a merchant prince, with ceilings and walls glowing 
with gold, and colour, and classic story ; and, with its 
spacious banqueting-room, carrying us back to the 
sumptuous civic life of the seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries, when our rich citizens lived in splendour upon 
the sites whereon they had accumulated their well- 
earned wealth. 

] 1 2 Romance of L ondon. 

Treasure-Seeking in the Tower. 

PEPYS, in various entries in his Diary, describes this 
very strange secret : — "October 30, 1662. To my Lord 
Sandwich, who was in his chamber all alone, and did 
inform me, that our old acquaintance, Mr Wade, hath 
discovered to him ^"7000 hid in the Tower, of which he 
was to have two for the discovery, my Lord two, and 
the King the other three, when it was found ; and that 
the King's warrant to search, runs for me and one Mr 
Lee. So we went, and the guard at the Tower-gate 
making me leave my sword, I was forced to stay so long 
at the alehouse close by, till my boy run home for my 
cloak. Then walked to Minchen Lane, and got from 
Sir H. Bennet the King's warrant, for the paying of 
.£2000 to my Lord, and other two of the discoverers. 
(This does not agree with the first statement as to sharing 
the money.) After dinner we broke the matter to the 
Lord Mayor, who did not, and durst not, appear the 
least averse to it. So Lee and I and Mr Wade were 
joined by Evett, the guide, W. Griffin, and a porter with 
pickaxes. Coming to the Tower, our guide demands a 
candle, and down into the cellars he goes. He went 
into several little cellars and then out of doors to view, 
but none did answer so well to the marks as one arched 
vault, where, after much talk, to digging we went, till 
almost eight o'clock at night, but could find nothing; 
yet the guides were not discouraged. Locking the door, 
we left for the night, and up to the Deputy-Governor, 
and he do undertake to keep the key, that none shall go 
down without his privity. November 1st. To the Tower 
to make one triall more, where we staid several hours, 

Colonel Blood Steals the Crown from the Tozver. 1 1 3 

and dug a great deal under the arches, but we missed of 
all, and so went away the second time like fools. To 
the Dolphin Tavern. Met Wade and Evett, who do 
say that they had it from Barkestead's own mouth. He 
did much to convince me that there is good ground for 
what he goes about. November 4th. Mr Lee and I 
to the Tower to make our third attempt upon the cellar. 
A woman, Barkestead's confidante, was privately brought, 
who do positively say that this is the place where the 
said money was hid, and where he and she did put up 
the £7000 in butter-firkins. We, full of hope, did resolve 
to dig all over the cellar, which, by seven o'clock at night, 
we performed. At noon we sent for a dinner, dined 
merrily on the head of a barrel, and to work again. But, 
at last, having dug the cellar quite through, removing 
the barrels from one side to the other, we were forced to 
pay our porters, and give over our expectations, though, 
I do believe, there must be money hid somewhere." 
Under December 17th, we read : — " This morning come 
Lee, Wade, and Evett, intending to have gone upon our 
new design upon the Tower, but, it raining, and the work 
being to be done in the open garden, we put it off to 
Friday next." Such is the last we hear of this odd affair. 

Colonel Blood Steals the Crown from the 


Scarcely had the public amazement subsided at Colonel 
Blood's outrage upon the Duke of Ormond,* when, with 
the view of repairing his fallen fortunes, he plotted to 
steal the crown, the sceptre, and the rest of the regalia 
from the Tower, and share them between himself and 

* See pp. 130-132. 

1 1 4 Romance of L ondon . 

his accomplices. The regalia were, at this time, in the 
care of an aged man, named Talbot Edwards, who was 
exhibitor of the jewels, &c, and with whom Blood first 
made acquaintance, disguised "in a long cloak, cassock, 
and canonical girdle," with a woman whom he represented 
as his wife, who accompanied him to see the crown and 
jewels. The lady feigned to be taken ill, upon which 
they were conducted into the exhibitor's lodgings, where 
Mr Edwards gave her a cordial, and treated her other- 
wise with kindness. They thanked him, and parted ; 
and, in a few days, the pretended parson again called 
with a present of gloves for Mrs Edwards, in acknow- 
ledgment of her civility. The parties then became inti- 
mate, and Blood proposed a match between Edwards's 
daughter and a supposed nephew of the Colonel, whom 
he represented as possessed of ^200 or ^300 a year in 
land. It was arranged, at Blood's suggestion, that he 
should bring his nephew, to be introduced to the lady, 
at seven o'clock on the morning of the ninth of May 
1 67 1 ; and he further asked leave to bring with him two 
friends to see the regalia, at the above early hour, as 
they must leave town in the forenoon. 

Strype, the antiquary, who received his account from 
the younger Edwards, tells us that, "at the appointed 
time the old man rose ready to receive his guest, and 
the daughter dressed herself gaily to receive her gallant, 
when, behold, parson Blood, with three men, came to 
the jewel-house, all armed with rapier blades in their 
canes, and each with a dagger and a pair of pistols. 
Two of his companions entered with him, and a third 
stayed at the door, to watch. Blood told Edwards that 
they would not go upstairs until his wife came, and 
desired him to show his friends the crown, to pass the 

Blood Steals the Crown from the Tozver. 1 1 5 

time. This was agreed to ; but no sooner had they 
entered the room where the crown was kept, and the 
door, as usual,, been shut,* than 'they threw a cloth 
over the old man's head, and clapt a gag into his mouth.' 
Thus secured, they told him, that 'their resolution was 
to have the crown, globe, and sceptre ; and if he would 
quietly submit to it, they would spare his life, otherwise, 
he was to expect no mercy.' Notwithstanding this threat, 
Edwards made all the noise he could, to be heard above ; 
1 they then knocked him down with a wooden mallet, 
which they had brought with them to beat together and 
flatten the crown — and told him that if yet he would be 
quiet, they would spare his life, but if not, upon his next 
attempt to discover them, they would kill him, and they 
pointed three daggers at his breast,' — and the official 
account states, stabbed him in the belly. Edwards, 
however, persisted in making a noise, when they struck 
him on the head, and he became insensible, but, recover- 
ing, lay quiet. The three villains now went deliberately 
to work : one of them, Parrot, put the globe (orb) into 
his breeches ; Blood concealed the crown under his 
cloak ; and another was proceeding to file the sceptre 
assunder, in order that it might be put into a bag, 
• because too long to carry.' " 

Thus, they would have succeeded, but for the oppor- 
tune arrival of young Mr Edwards, from Flanders, 
accompanied by his brother-in-law, Captain Beckman, 
who proceeded upstairs to the apartments occupied by 
the Edwardses. Blood and his accomplices, thus inter- 

* In the room in the Martin tower, where the regalia were kept, before 
the erection of the new Jewel Office, the crown, &c, were shown behind 
strong iron bars, which, it was slated, were put up in consequence of 
Blood's robbery ; on one occasion, a female spectator passed her hands 
through the bars, and nearly tore the crown to pieces. 

1 1 6 Romance of London. 

rupted, instantly decamped with the crown and orb, 
leaving the sceptre, which they had not time to file. 
Edwards, now freed from the gag, shouted "Treason!" 
" Murder !" and his daughter rushing out into the court, 
gave the alarm, and cried out that the crown was 
stolen. Edwards and Captain Beckman pursued the 
thieves, who reached the drawbridge ; here the warder 
attempted to stop them, when Blood discharged a pistol 
at him ; he fell down, and they succeeded in clearing 
the gates, reached the wharf, and were making for St 
Katherine's-gate, where horses were ready for them, 
when they were overtaken by Captain Beckman. 
Blood discharged his second pistol at the Captain's 
head, but he escaped by stooping, and seized Blood, 
who struggled fiercely ; but on the crown being wrested 
from him, in a tone of disappointment he exclaimed, 
" It was a gallant attempt, however unsuccessful, for it 
was for a crown !" A few of the jewels fell from the 
crown in the struggle, but they were recovered and 
replaced. Blood, with Parrot (who had the orb and 
the most valuable jewel of the sceptre — the baleas 
ruby — in his pocket), were secured, and lodged in the 
White Tower, and three others of the party were sub- 
sequently captured. Parrot was a dyer in Thames 
Street. One of the gang was apprehended as he was 
escaping on horseback. 

Young Edwards now hastened to Sir Gilbert Talbot, 
master of the jewel-house, and described the transac- 
tion, which Sir Gilbert instantly communicated to the 
King, who commanded him to return forthwith to the 
Tower, and when he had taken the examination of 
Blood, and the others, to report it to him. Sir Gilbert, 
accordingly, returned ; but the King, in the meantime, 

Blood Steals the Crown from the Tozver. 1 1 7 

was persuaded by some about him to hear the examina- 
tion himself; and the prisoners, in consequence, were 
immediately sent to Whitehall ; a circumstance which 
is thought to have saved them from the gallows. Blood 
behaved with great effrontery ; being interrogated on 
his recent outrage on the Duke of Ormond, he acknow- 
ledged, without hesitation, that he was one of the 
party ; but on being asked who were his associates, he 
replied that " he would never betray a friend's life, nor 
deny a guilt in defence of his own." Lest the conceal- 
ments of his associates should detract from the romance 
of his life, he also voluntarily confessed to the King 
that he, Blood, on one occasion, concealed himself 
among the reeds above Battersea, in order to shoot his 
Majesty while bathing in the Thames, over against 
Chelsea, where he often went to swim ; — that he had 
taken aim for that purpose, but "his heart was checked 
by an awe of Majesty;" and he did not only himself 
relent, but also diverted his associates from the design. 
This story was, probably, false ; but it had its designed 
effect on the King, strengthened by Blood's declaration 
that there were hundreds of his friends disaffected to 
the King and his ministers ; whereas, by sparing the 
lives of the few, he might oblige the hearts of many, 
"who, as they had been seen to do daring mischief, 
would be as bold, if received into pardon and favour, to 
perform eminent services for the crown." 

Thus did the audacious and wary villain partly over- 
awe and partly captivate the good nature of the King, 
who not only pardoned Blood, but gave him a grant in 
land of ^500 a year in Ireland, and even treated him 
with great consideration, "as the Indians reverence 
devils, that they may not hurt them." Blood is said 

1 1 8 Romance of London. 

also to have frequented the same apartments in White- 
hall as the Duke of Ormond, who had some time before 
barely escaped assassination. 

Charles received a cutting rebuke for his conduct 
from the Duke of Ormond, who had still the right of 
prosecuting Blood for the attempt on his life. When 
the King resolved to take the Colonel into his favour, 
he sent Lord Arlington to inform the Duke that it was 
his pleasure that he should not prosecute Blood, for 
reasons which he was to give him ; Arlington was 
interrupted by Ormond, who said, with formal polite- 
ness, that "his Majesty's command was the only reason 
that could be given ; and therefore he might spare the 
rest." Edwards and his son, who had been the means 
of saving the regalia, were treated with neglect ; the 
only rewards they received being grants on the Ex- 
chequer, of ;£200 to the old man, and ^"ioo to his son ; 
which they were obliged to sell for half their value, 
through difficulty in obtaining payment. 

Strype adds, " What could have been King Charles's 
real motive for extending mercy to Blood must for ever 
be a mystery to the world : " unless it was to employ 
his audacity " to overawe any man who had not integ- 
rity enough to resist the measures of a most profligate 

Colonel Blood, not long after his Tower exploit, was 
met in good society by Evelyn, who, however, remarked 
his "villainous, unmerciful look; a false countenance, 
but very well spoken, and dangerously insinuating." 
Evelyn has, however, committed a strange error with 
respect to Blood ; for he inserts in his Diary, under 
May 10, 1 67 1 (the very day after the Colonel's Tower 
exploit), that he, Evelyn, " dined at Mr Treasurer's 

Blood Steals tlic Crown from the Tower. 119 

in company with M. de Grammont, and several French 
noblemen, and one Blood, that impudent, bold fellow, 
who had not long before attempted to steal the imperial 
crown itself out of the Tower," &c. Evelyn must be 
in error. " He could not," remarks Mr Cunningham, 
"have dined the next day at Sir Thomas Clifford's." 
Blood latterly lived in Westminster, traditionally, in 
a house at the corner of Peter and Tufton Streets. 
He subsequently libelled his former patron, the Duke 
of Buckingham, who obtained in the Court of King's 
Bench a verdict of ^10,000 damages. Blood was thrown 
into prison, but found bail. But the effect was too 
much for him, and after fourteen days' sickness he fell 
into a lethargy, and expired August 24, 16S0. 

Blood was quietly interred in New Chapel Yard, 
Broadway, Westminster, two days after. "But," says 
Cunningham, "dying and being buried were considered 
by the common people in the light of a new trick on 
the part of their old friend the Colonel. So the coroner 
was sent for, the body taken up, and a jury summoned. 
There was some difficulty at first in identifying the 
body. At length the thumb of the left hand, which in 
Blood's lifetime was known to be twice its proper size, 
set the matter everlastingly at rest; the jury separated, 
and the notorious Colonel was restored to his grave in 
the New Chapel Yard. 

In the Luttrell collection of Broadsides in the 
British Museum, is one styled "An Elegie on Colonel 
Blood, notorious for stealing the crown," in which we 
read : — 

Thanks, ye kind fates, for your last favour shown, — 
For stealing Blood, who lately stole the crown. 

The conclusion is': — 

120 Romance of London. 

At last our famous hero, Colonel Blood, — 

Seeing his projects all will do no good, 

And that success was still to him denied, — 

Fell sick with grief, broke his great heart, and died. 

The Literary Fund Society possess, in their house 
on the Adelphi Terrace, the two daggers employed by 
Blood and Parrot at the Tower ; they are beautifully 
chased and inlaid ; the handles are of a dark-red wood, 
and the sheaths of embossed leather. Blood's dagger 
(the larger one) is engraved with a griffin-like figure, 
and is dated 1620; Parrot's is engraved plainly on 
both sides with the fleur-de-lis. 

Both weapons are described as above, and engraved 
in the Illustrated London News. 

77ie Story of Nan Clarges, Duchess of 


The most singular portion of General Monk's private 
history is his marriage, the validity of which was 
contested upon the trial of an action at law between 
the representatives of Monk and Clarges, when some 
curious particulars came out respecting the family of 
the Duchess. 

" It appeared that she was the daughter of John 
Clarges, a farrier in the Savoy, and farrier to Colonel 
Monk, in 1632. She was married in the Church of 
St Lawrence Pountney, to Thomas Ratford, son of 
Thomas Ratford, late a farrier servant to the Prince 
Charles, and resident in the Mews. She had a daughter, 
who was born in 1634, and died in 1638. Her husband 
and she ' lived at the Three Spanish Gypsies, in the 
New Exchange, and sold wash-balls, powder, gloves, 

The Story of Nan Clarges. 121 

and such things, and she taught girls plain work* 
About 1647, she, being a sempstress to Colonel Monk, 
used to carry him linen.' In 1648, her father and 
mother died. In 1649, she and her husband 'fell out 
and parted/ But no certificate from any parish register 
appears, reciting his burial. In 1652, she was married 
in the Church of St George, Southwark, to ' General 
George Monk ; ' and in the following year was delivered 
of a son, Christopher (afterwards the second and last 
Duke of Albemarle), who was suckled by Honour 
Mills, who sold apples, herbs, oysters, &c. One of 
the plaintiff's witnesses swore, ' that a little before 
the sickness, Thomas Ratford demanded and received 
of him the sum of twentv shillings ; that his wife saw 
Ratford again after the sickness, and a second time 
after the Duke and Duchess of Albemarle were dead.' 
A woman swore, ' she saw him on the day his wife 
(then called Duchess of Albemarle) was put into her 
coffin, which was after the death of the Duke, her second 
husband, who died the 3d of January, 1669-70. 

"A third witness swore, that 'hesaw Ratford about July 
1660.' In opposition to this evidence, it was alleged, 
that 'all along, during the lives of Duke George and 
Duke Christopher, this matter was never questioned,' 
that the latter was universally received as only son of 
the former, and that 'this matter had been thrice before 
tried at the bar of the King's Bench, and the defendant 
had three verdicts.' A witness swore that he owed 
Ratford five or six pounds, which he had never demanded. 
And a man, who had married a cousin to the Duke of 
Albemarle, had been told by his wife, that Ratford died 
five or six years before the Duke married. Lord Chief 

* See p. 104, ante. 

1 2 2 Romance of L on don. 

Justice Holt told the jury, 'If you are certain that Duke 
Christopher was born while Thomas Ratford was living, 
you must find for the plaintiff. If you believe he was 
born after Ratford was dead, or that nothing appears 
what became of him after Duke George married his 
wife, you must find for the defendant.' A verdict was 
given for the defendant, who was only son to Sir 
Thomas Clarges, knight, brother to the illustrious 

It does not appear on which of these accounts the 
jury found a verdict for the defendant — whether because 
Ratford was dead, or because nothing had been heard 
of him ; so that the Duchess, after all, might have been 
no Duchess. However, she carried it with as high a 
hand as if she had never been anything else, and Monk 
had been a blacksmith. Pepys gives some spiteful 
notices of her ; describing her as " ever a plain and 
homely dowdy," and " a very ill-looked woman," and 
going still further : — 

4th (Nov. 1666). Pepys says that Mr Cooling tells 
him, " the Duke of Albemarle is grown a drunken sot, 
and drinks with nobody but Troutbecke, whom nobody 
else will keep company with. Of whom he told me 
this story : that once the Duke of Albemarle in his 
drink taking notice, as of a wonder, that Nan Hide 
should ever come to be Duchess of York : ' Nay,' says 
Troutbecke, ' ne'er wonder at that, for if you will give 
me another bottle of wine, I will tell you as great, if 
not greater, miracle/ And what was that, but that our 
dirty Besse (meaning his Duchess) should come to be 
Duchess of Albemarle." 

"4th (April, 1667). I find the Duke of Albemarle 
at dinner with sorry company, some of his officers of 

The Story of Nan Clargcs. 123 

the army ; dirty dishes and a nasty wife at table, and 
bad meat, of which I made but an ill dinner. Colonel 
Howard asking how the Prince (Rupert) did (in the 
last fight) ; the Duke of Albemarle answering, ' Pretty 
well ; ' the other replied, ' but not so well as to go to 
sea again.' — ' How ! ' says the Duchess, ' what should he 
go for, if he were well, for there are no ships for him to 
command ? And so you have brought your hogs to a 
fair market,' said she." 

The Duchess of Albemarle is supposed to have had 
a considerable hand in the Restoration. She was a 
great loyalist, and Monk was afraid of her ; so that it 
is likely enough she influenced his gross understanding, 
when it did not exactly know what to be at. Aubrey 
says, that her mother was one of the " five women 
barbers," thus sung of in a ballad of the time : 

Did you ever hear the like, 

Or ever hear the fame, 
Of five women barbers, 

That lived in Drury Lane ? 

After all, her father, John Clarges, must have been a 
man of substance in his trade. According to Aubrey's 
Lives (written about 1680), Clarges had his forge upon 
the site of No. 317, on the north side of the Strand. 
" The shop is still of that trade," says Aubrey ; " the 
corner shop, the first turning, on y e right hand, as you 
come out the Strand into Drury Lane : the house is now 
built of brick." The house alluded to is believed to be 
that at the right-hand corner of Drury Court, now a 
butcher's. An adjoining house, in the court, is now a 
whitesmith's, with a forge, &c. Upon Monk's being 
raised to the Dukedom, and her becoming Duchess of 
Albemarle, her father, the farrier, raised a Maypole in 

124 Romance of L ondon, 

the Strand, nearly opposite his forge, to commemorate 
his daughter's good fortune. She died a few days after 
the Duke, and is interred by his side in Henry VII. 's 
Chapel, Westminster Abbey. The Duke was succeeded 
by his son, Christopher, who married Lady Elizabeth 
Cavendish, granddaughter of the Duke of Newcastle, and 
died childless. The Duchess's brother, Thomas Clarges, 
was a physician of note ; was created a baronet in 1674, 
and was ancestor to the baronets; whence is named 
Clarges Street, Piccadilly. 

Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey — His 
Mysterious Death. 

One of the darkest blots upon our Annals is the so- 
called Popish Plot in 1678, first broached by the in- 
famous Titus Oates and Dr Tongue, and accusing the 
Roman Catholics of an atrocious conspiracy to assassi- 
nate the King, massacre all Protestants, and establish a 
Popish dynasty in the Duke of York. So little attention 
was at first given by Charles and his Council to Oates's 
discoveries, that nearly six weeks were suffered to elapse 
before any serious or strict examination was made into 
the truth or falsehood of the Plot. At length, Oates 
and his accomplice, Tongue, resolved in some way to 
make the matter public; and, as a preparatory step, 
Oates drew up a narrative of particulars, to the truth 
of which he solemnly deposed before Sir Edmund Berry 
Godfrey, who was an eminent Justice of the Peace. 
" This," says Burnet, " seemed to be done in distrust of 
the Privy Council, as if they might stifle his evidence ; 
which to prevent he put into safe hands. Upon that 
Godfrey was chid for his presuming to meddle in so 

Murder of Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey. 125 

tender a matter," and, as appeared from subsequent 
events, a plan was immediately laid to murder him ; 
and this, within a few weeks, was but too fatally 

In the meantime, the Council, which had now taken 
up the business with warmth, ordered various arrests 
of Jesuits and Papists to be made. Coleman, Secretary 
to the Duke of York, was first committed to the charge 
of a messenger ; and whilst in his custody, it was gene- 
rally believed that he had a long private conversation 
with Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey, who, "it is certain," 
says Burnet, " grew apprehensive and reserved ; for, 
meeting me in the street, after some discourse on .the 
present state of affairs, he said, he believed he himself 
should be knocked on the head;" and Godfrey's sus- 
picion of his own danger was confirmed by evidence 
before the House of Commons. . Coleman, though crimi- 
nated by Oates's statements, was a personal friend of 
Godfrey, and warned by him in consequence of the 
danger to which he was exposed. 

About a fortnight afterwards, on Saturday, October 
12, Godfrey was missing from his house in Green's 
Lane, in the Strand, near Hungerford Market, where 
he was a wood-merchant, his wood-wharf being at the 
end of what is now Northumberland Street. Nor could 
the most sedulous search obtain any other tidings of 
Godfrey for some days, but that he was seen near St 
Clement's Church, in the Strand, on the day above 
mentioned ; he left home at nine in the morning. Shortly 
after this, he was seen in Marylebonc, and at noon of 
the same day had an interview on business with one of 
the churchwardens of St Martin's-in-the-Fields. From 
this time Godfrey was never seen again alive; nor was 

126 Roma)ice of Lojidou. 

any message received by his servants at home. Sunday 
came, and no tidings of him ; Monday, Tuesday, Wed- 
nesday, and Thursday followed with the like result. At 
six o'clock on the evening of the last-mentioned day, 
the 17th, as two men were crossing a field on the south 
side of Primrose Hill, they observed a sword-belt, stick, 
and a pair of gloves, lying on the side of the hedge : they 
paid no attention to them at the time, and walked on to 
Chalk Farm, then called at the White House, where 
they mentioned to the master what they had seen, and 
he accompanied them to the spot where the articles lay ; 
one of the men, stooping down, looked into the adjoin- 
ing ditch, and there saw the body of a man lying on 
his face. It was Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey: "his 
sword was thrust through him, but no blood was on 
his clothes, or about him ; his shoes were clean ; his 
money was in his pocket, but nothing was about his 
neck [although when he went from home, he had a 
large laced band on], and a mark was all round it, an 
inch broad, which showed he had been strangled. His 
breast was likewise all over marked with bruises, and 
his neck was broken : and it was visible he was first 
strangled, then carried to that place, where his sword 
was run through his dead body." He was conveyed to 
the White House, and information sent to the authorities. 
A jury was impannelled, to inquire into the cause of 
death ; the evidence of two surgeons showed that God- 
frey's death must have been occasioned by strangulation, 
and his body then pierced with the sword, which had 
been left sticking in the wound. The ditch was dry, 
and there were no marks of blood in it, and his shoes 
were perfectly clean, as if, after being assassinated, he 
had been carried and deposited in the place where he 

Murder of Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey. 127 

■was found. A large sum of money and a diamond ring- 
were found in his pockets, but his pocket-book, in which, 
as a magistrate, he used to take notes of examina- 
tions, was missing. Spots of white wax, an article which 
he never used himself, and which was only employed 
by persons of distinction, and by priests, were scattered 
over his clothes ; and from this circumstance persons 
were led to conclude that the Roman Catholics were the 
authors of his death. 

This full confirmation of the suspicions of the public — 
that Sir Edmund Berry was murdered had been the 
general discourse long before any proof appeared — was 
regarded as a direct testimony of the existence of the 
Popish Plot ; warrants were signed for twenty-six persons 
who had been implicated by Oates, and who surren- 
dered themselves, and were committed to the Tower. 

Still, many persons were fully persuaded that the 
Popish Plot had no real existence. The King is sup- 
posed to have disbelieved it, but never once exercised 
his prerogative of mercy ; it is said he dared not ; his 
throne, perhaps his life, was at stake ; and in the popular 
ferment, upon evidence incredible, or rather impossible 
to be true, innocent men were condemned to death, and 
executed. " Who can read," says Mr Fox, "the account 
of that savage murmur of applause, which broke out 
upon one of the villains at the bar swearing positively 
to Stafford's having proposed the murder of the King ? 
And how is this horror deepened when we reflect, that 
in that odious cry were probably mingled the voices of 
men to whose memory every lover of the English con- 
stitution is bound to pay the tribute of gratitude and 

From White House, the corpse of Godfrey was con- 

1 2 8 Romance of L ondon. 

veyed home, and embalmed, and, after lying in state 
for two clays at Bridewell Hospital, was carried from 
thence, with great solemnity, to St Martin's Church, to 
be interred. The pall was supported by eight knights, 
all Justices of the Peace ; and in the procession were all 
the City Aldermen, together with seventy-two clergymen, 
in full canonicals, who walked in couples before the body, 
and a great multitude followed after. The clergyman, 
who preached a sermon on the occasion, was supported 
on each side by a brother divine. The body was interred 
in the churchyard ; and a tablet to the memory of Sir 
Edmund Berry was erected in the east cloister of West- 
minster Abbey. 

As yet, however, the perpetrators of this murder had 
not been discovered, though a reward of ^500 and the 
King's protection had been offered to any person making 
the disclosure ; but, within a few days afterwards, one 
William Bedloe, who had once been servant to Lord 
Bellasis, and afterwards an ensign in the Low Countries, 
was brought to London from Bristol, where he had been 
arrested by his own desire, on affirming that he was 
acquainted with some circumstances relating to Godfrey's 
death. He stated that he had seen the murdered body 
in Somerset House (then the Queen's residence), and 
had been offered a large sum of money to assist in 
removing it. " It was remembered that at that time the 
Queen was for some days in so close a confinement that 
no person was admitted. Prince Rupert came there to 
wait on her, but was denied access. This raised a strong 
suspicion of her ; but the King would not suffer that 
matter to go any further." {Burnet.) Coleman, who 
was soon afterwards convicted of High Treason, when 
he lay in Newgate, confessed that he had spoken of the 

Murder of Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey. 129 

Duke of York's designs to Godfrey; "upon which the 
Duke gave orders to kill him." 

Soon after, Miles Prance, a goldsmith, who had some- 
time wrought in the Queen's Chapel, was taken up on 
suspicion of having been concerned in the death of 
Godfrey ; and on his subsequent confession and testi- 
mony, confirmed by Bedloe and others, Green, Hill, 
and Berry, all in subordinate situations at Somerset 
House, were convicted of the murder, which they had 
effected in conjunction with two Irish Jesuits, who had 
absconded. It appeared that the unfortunate Magis- 
trate had been inveigled into Somerset House, at the 
water gate, under the pretence of his assistance being 
wanted to allay a quarrel ; and that he was immediately 
strangled with a twisted handkerchief, after which Green, 
" with all his force, wrung his neck almost round." On 
the fourth night after, the assassins conveyed his body 
to the place where it was afterwards discovered, near 
Primrose Hill, and there one of the Jesuits ran his sword 
through the corpse, in the manner it was found. Green, 
Berry, and Hill were executed ; each of them affirming 
his innocence to the very last. 

This horrible event is commemorated in a contem- 
porary medal of Sir Edmund Berry, representing him, 
on the obverse, walking with a broken neck and a sword 
in his body ; and, on the reverse, St Denis bearing his 
head in his hand, with this inscription : — 

Godfrey walks up-hill after he was dead, 
Denis walks down-hill carrying his head. 

There is, also, a medal, with the head of Godfrey 
being strangled ; and the body being carried on horse- 
back, with Primrose Hill in the distance : also a large 

vol. 1. i 

130 Romance of London. 

medallion, with the Pope and the Devil ; the strangu- 
lation by two Jesuits ; Godfrey borne in a sedan ; and 
the body, with the sword through it. 

Col. Blood's Attack upon the Great Duke 
of Ornwnd, in St y antes s Street. 

The adventures of the notorious Colonel Thomas 
Blood, form one of the most curious and entertaining 
chapters in the strange history of the period in which he 
lived. This extraordinary man appears to have been 
of respectable family, and was at one time in the com- 
mission of the peace. In 1663, the Act of Settlement 
in Ireland, and the consequent proceedings, having 
seriously affected his fortunes, he from that time nour- 
ished an inveterate animosity to the Duke of Ormond, 
then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, whom he considered 
as the originator of the measures from which he suffered. 
To revenge himself upon the Duke, he entered into a 
conspiracy with a number of other malcontents for 
exciting a general insurrection, and, as a preliminary 
step, for the surprisal of the Castle of Dublin. The 
plot was discovered, and some of the conspirators 
apprehended about twelve hours before the appointed 
time for its execution. Blood, however, escaped, and 
lived to make a more desperate attempt upon his 
old enemy, the great Duke, in the public streets of 
London. His object in this daring undertaking has 
been variously interpreted. By some it is conceived to 
have been the extortion of advantages by the deten- 
tion of the Duke ; by others he is supposed to have 
been actuated by a deep feeling of revenge, which he 

Blood's A ttack on the Duke of Ormond. 131 

determined to gratify by hanging the Duke at Tyburn ! 
Whatever his purpose, it is plain, from Carte's account 
of this incredible outrage, that he was within an ace of 
accomplishing it : — 

"The Prince of Orange came this year (1670) into 
England, and being invited, on December 6, to an 
entertainment in the city of London, his Grace at- 
tended him thither. As he was returning homewards 
on a dark night, and going up St James's Street, at 
the end of which, facing the Palace, stood Clarendon 
House, where he then lived, he was attacked by Blood 
and five of his accomplices. The Duke always used to 
go attended with six footmen These six foot- 
men used to walk three on each side of the street, over 
against the coach ; but, by some contrivance or other, 
they were all stopped, and out of the way when the 
Duke was taken out of his coach by Blood and his son, 
and mounted on horseback behind one of the horsemen 
in his company. The coachman drove on to Clarendon 
House, and told the porter that the Duke had been 
seized by two men who had carried him down Pic- 
cadilly. The porter immediately ran that way, and 
Mr James Clarke, chancing to be at that time in the 
court of the house, followed with all possible haste, 
having first alarmed the family, and ordered the ser- 
vants to come after him as fast as they could. Blood, 
it seems, either to gratify the humour of his patron, 
who had set him upon this work, or to glut his own 
revenge by putting his Grace to the same ignominious 
death which his accomplices in the treasonable design 
upon Dublin Castle had suffered, had taken a strong 
fancy into his head to hang the Duke at Tyburn. 

"Nothing could have saved his Grace's life but that 

132 Romance of L ondon. 

extravagant imagination and passion of the villain, 
who, leaving the Duke, mounted and buckled, to one 
of his comrades, rode on before, and (as is said) ac- 
tually tied a rope to the gallows, and then rode back to 
see what was become of his accomplices, whom he met 
riding off in a great hurry. The horseman to whom 
the Duke was tied was a person of great strength ; but, 
being embarrassed by his Grace's struggling, could not 
advance as fast .as he desired. He was, however, got a 
good way beyond Berkeley (now Devonshire) House, 
towards Knightsbridge, when the Duke, having got his 
foot under the man's, unhorsed him, and they both fell 
down together in the mud, where they were struggling 
when the porter and Mr Clarke came up. . . . .The 
King, when he heard of this intended assassination of 
the Duke of Ormond, expressed a great resentment 
on that occasion, and issued out a proclamation for the 
discovery and apprehension of the miscreants concerned 
in the attempt." 

The Heroic Lady Fanshawe. 

In Portugal Row, the south side of Lincoln's Inn Fields, 
sometime lived, in the reign of Charles II., Sir Richard 
Fanshawe, an accomplished person, a scholar, and " in 
whose quaint translation of the Camoens," says Leigh 
Hunt, "there is occasionally more genuine poetry than 
in the less unequal version of Mickle." He was recalled 
from an embassy in Spain for having signed a treaty 
without authority ; but his wife suspected him to have 
been sacrificed to make way for Lord Sandwich, as his 
successor. Lady Fanshawe was a very frank and cordial 
woman, and wrote an interesting memoir of her husband, 

TJie Heroic Lady Fanshawe. 133 

who died on the intended day of his return to England, 
of a violent fever, not improbably caused by this 
awkward close of his mission. Lady Fanshawe was 
also a courageous woman. During a former voyage 
with her husband to Spain, the vessel was attacked by 
a Turkish galley, well manned ; and she writes, " We 
believed we should be all carried away slaves, for this 
man had so laden his ship with goods from Spain, that 
his guns were useless, though the ship carried sixty 
guns ; he called for brandy, and after he had well 
drunken, and all his men, which were near two hundred, 
he called for arms, and cleared the deck as well as he 
could, resolving to fight rather than lose his ship, which 
was worth thirty thousand pounds ; this was sad for us 
passengers, but my husband bid us be sure to keep in 
the cabin, and not appear — the women — which would 
make the Turks think we were a man-of-war, but if 
they saw women they would take us for merchants and 
board us. He went upon the deck, and took a gun and 
bandoliers, and sword, and, with the rest of the ship's 
company, stood upon deck, expecting the arrival of the 
Turkish man-of-war. This beast, the captain, had 
locked me up in the cabin ; I knocked and called long 
to no purpose, until at length the cabin-boy came and 
opened the door; I, all in tears, desired him to be so 
good as to give me his blue thrum cap he wore, and his 
tarred coat, which he did, and I gave him half-a-crown, 
and putting them on, and flinging away my night-clothes, 
I crept up softly, and stood upon the deck by my 
husband's side, as free from sickness and fear, as, I 
confess, from discretion ; but it was the effect of that 
passion which I could never master." However, after 
some parley, the Turk's man-of-war tacked about, and 

1 34 Romance of London. 

the other continued its course. But, when Sir Richard 
Fanshawe saw it convenient to retreat, looking upon his 
wife, he blessed himself, and snatched her up in his arms, 
saying, "Good God, that love can make this change!" 
and though he seemingly chid her, he would laugh at it 
as often as he remembered that voyage. 

On Lady Fanshawe's return to England, she took a 
house in Holborn Row (the north side of Lincoln's Inn 
Fields), where she must have looked upon the houses 
opposite with many a pang of grief. She returned in 
a sea of troubles, which she bore with submission to 
the Divine will. " I had not," she writes, " God is my 
witness, above twenty-five doubloons by me at my 
husband's death, to bring home a family of threescore 
servants, but was forced to sell one thousand pounds' 
worth of our own plate, and to spend the Queen's present 
of two thousand doubloons in my journey to England, 
not owing nor leaving one shilling debt in Spain, I 
thank God; nor did my husband leave any. debt at home, 
which every ambassador cannot say. Neither did these 
circumstances following prevail to mend my condition ; 
much less found I that compassion I expected upon 
the view of myself, that had lost at once my husband, 
and fortune in him ; with my son, but twelve months 
old, in my arms ; four daughters, the eldest but thirteen 
years of age ; with the body of my dear husband daily 
in my sight for near six months together, and a dis- 
tressed family, all to be by me in honour and honesty 
provided for ; and, to add to my afflictions, neither 
persons sent to conduct me, nor pass, nor ship, nor 
money to carry me one thousand miles, but some few 
letters of compliment from the chief ministers, bidding 
' God help me ! ' as they do to beggars, and they 

CrotmvelVs Skull. 135 

might have added, ' they had nothing for me,' with 
great truth. But God did hear, and see, and help 
me, and brought my soul out of trouble ; and, by His 
blessed providence, I and you live, move, and have our 
being, and I humbly pray God that blessed providence 
may ever relieve our wants. Amen." 

Cromwell 's Skull, 

There is said to be a skull, maintained, by statements 
of considerable weight, to be the veritable skull of the 
Protector, carefully kept in the hands of some person 
in London — in great secrecy, it is added, from the 
apprehension that a threat intimated in the reign of 
George III., that, if made public, it would be seized by 
the Government, as the only party to which it would 
properly belong. The execution of such a threat, it 
need scarcely be added, is not now probable, whatever 
may have been former apprehensions. 

The identity of the skull of Cromwell may, however, 
be much disputed ; Mr W. A. Wilkinson, of Beckenham, 
Kent, is said to possess the skull, with arguments on 
which the genuineness of the relic is proved. 

In the Morning Chronicle, March 18th, 1799, we 
read — " The Real Embalmed Head of the powerful and 
renowned Usurper, Oliver Cromwell ; with the Original 
Dies for the Medals struck in honour of his Victory at 
Dunbar, &c, are now exhibited at No. 5, in Mead 
Court, Old Bond Street (where the Rattlesnake was 
shown last year) : a genuine Narrative relating to the 
Acquisition, Concealment, and Preservation of these 
Articles, to be had at the place of Exhibition." 

The following is found in the Additional MS. in 

136 Romance of L ondon. 

the British Museum, and is dated April 21, 1813; 
" The head of Oliver Cromwell (and, it is believed, the 
genuine one) has been brought forth in the City, and 
is exhibited as a favour to such curious persons as the 
proprietor chooses to oblige. An offer was made this 
morning to bring it to Soho Square, to show it to Sir 
Joseph Banks, but he desired to be excused from 
seeing the remains of the old Villainous Republican, 
the mention of whose very name makes his blood boil 
with indignation. The same offer was made to Sir 
Joseph forty years ago, which he then also refused. 
The history of this head is as follows : — Cromwell was 
buried in Westminster Abbey, with all the state of 
solemn ceremony belonging to Royalty ; at the Re- 
storation, however, his body, and those of some of his 
associates, were dug up, suspended on Tyburn gallows 
for a whole day, and then buried under them ; the 
head of the Arch Rebel, however, was reserved, and 
a spike having been driven through it, it was fixed at 
the top of Westminster Hall, where it remained till 
the great tempest at the beginning of the 18th century 
(1703), which blew it down, and it disappeared, having 
probably been picked up by some passenger. The 
head in question has been the property of the family 
to which it belongs for many years back, and is con- 
sidered by the proprietor as a relic of great value ; it has 
several times been transferred by legacy to different 
branches of the family, and has lately, it is said, been 
inherited by a young lady. 

" The proofs of its authenticity are as follows : — 
It has evidently been embalmed, and it is not probable 
that any other head in this island has, after being 
embalmed, been spiked and stuck up, as that of a 

A Story of Middle Temple Gate. 137 

traitor. The iron spike that passed through it is worn 
in the part above the crown of the head almost as thin 
as a bodkin, by having been subjected to the variations 
of the weather; but the part within the skull which is 
protected by its situation, is not much corroded ; the 
woodwork, part of which remains, is so much worm- 
eaten, that it cannot be touched without crumbling ; 
the countenance has been compared by Mr Flaxman, 
the statuary, with a plaster cast of Oliver's face taken 
after his death, of which there are several in London, 
and he declares the features are perfectly similar." 

Mark Noble (whose authority is questionable) tells 
us that all the three heads (Cromwell's, Ireton's, and 
Bradshaw's) were fixed upon Westminster Hall ; and 
he adds that Cromwell's and Bradshaw's were still there 
in 1684, when Sir Thomas Armstrong's head was placed 
between them. 

A Story of Middle Temple Gate. 

THE original gate-house of the Middle Temple (rebuilt 
by Wren, as we now see it, in 1684) has a somewhat 
strange history. 

Collins, in his Peerage, relates that in the reign of 
Henry VI L, when Cardinal Wolsey was only a school- 
master at Lymington, in Somersetshire, Sir Amias 
Paulett, for some misdemeanour committed by him, 
clapped him in the stocks ; which the Cardinal, when 
he grew into favour with Henry VIII., so far resented, 
that he sought all manner of ways to give him trouble, 
and obliged him to dance attendance at London for 
some years, and by all manner of obsequiousness, to 
curry favour with him. During the time of his attend- 

138 Romance of London. 

ance, being commanded by the Cardinal not to depart 
London without license, he took up his lodgings at the 
great gate of the Temple towards Fleet Street. Caven- 
dish states that Sir Amias, while prisoner here, " had 
re-edified the [gate-house] very sumptuously, garnishing 
the same on the outside thereof, with Cardinals' hats 
and arms, and divers other devices, in so glorious a sort, 
that he thought thereby to have appeased his old unkind 
displeasure." By others it is said to have been Sir 
Amias's resentment. However, Wolsey was too politic 
to regard the matter in either of the above lights ; for, 
in a commonplace book of Sir Roger Wilbraham, who 
was Master of the Requests in the time of Queen 
Elizabeth, we read that the Cardinal, passing through 
Fleet Street in pontificalibus, and spying his own arms, 
asked who set them up. The answer was, Sir Anthony 
Pagett. [This must be Sir Amias's act.] Wolsey 
smiled, saying, " He is now well reclaimed ; for where 
before he saw him in disgrace, now he honoured him." 

Aubrey states that Wolsey laid a fine upon Sir Amias 
to build the gate ; and that in 1680, the arms of Paulett 
were then in glass there. " The Cardinall's amies were, 
as the storie sayes, on the outside in stone, but time has 
long since defaced that, only you may still discerne the 
place ; it was carv'd in a very mouldering stone." [See 
Choice Notes from Notes and Queries) 

We may here note an interesting fact, gracefully 
related by Leigh Hunt, in The Town. " It is curious to 
observe the links between ancient names and their 
modern representatives, and the extraordinary contrast 
sometimes exhibited between the two. The 'Judge,' 
who by Henry's orders went to turn Wolsey out of his 
house, without any other form of law — a proceeding 

The Story of Nell Gwynne. 1 39 

which excited even the fallen slave to a remonstrance 
— was named Shelley, and was one of the ancestors of 
the Poet ! the most independent-minded and generous 
of men." 

The Story of Nell Gwynne. 

The "pretty witty Nell" was born on Feb. 6, 1650, in 
the Coal Yard, Drury Lane, the last turning on the 
east side, as you walk towards St Giles's. The horo- 
scope of her nativity, the work perhaps of Lilly, is to 
be seen among Ashmole's papers, in the Museum at 
Oxford. It shows what stars were supposed to be in 
the ascendant at the time. Her father, it is said, 
was Captain Thomas Gwynne, of an ancient family in 
Wales. Other accounts state that her father was a 
fruiterer in Covent Garden. Her mother, who lived 
to see her daughter the favourite of the King, was 
accidentally drowned in a pond near the Neat Houses 
at Chelsea. Her early calling was to be sent dressed 
as an orange-girl, to sell fruit and attract attention 
at the theatres, as we gather from a poem of the time> 
attributed to Lord Rochester : — 

But first the basket her fair arm did suit, 
Laden with pippins and Hesperian fruit ; 
This first step raised, to the wondering pit she sold 
The lovely fruit smiling with streaks of gold. 

Nell was now an orange-girl, holding her basket of fruit 
covered with vine-leaves in the pit of the King's Theatre, 
and taking her stand with her fellow fruit-women in the 
front row of the pit, with her back to the stage ; and 
the cry of " Oranges ! will you have any oranges ?" 
She was ten years old at the Restoration of Charles II., 

140 Romance of London. 

in 1660. The theatres were reopened ; women came on 
the stage, and the King and Queen, the Dukes of York 
and Buckingham, the chief courtiers, and the maids 
of honour, were among the constant frequenters of the 
public playhouses. The King's Theatre stood in Drury 
Lane, on the site of the present building : it was first 
opened April 8, 1663, when Nell was a girl of thirteen. 
Our earliest introduction to her we owe to Pepys, the 
diarist, who sat next to her at the King's House, when 
s~he was sixteen, and was fascinated with her foot, 
described as the least of any woman's in England. But 
she was first lifted from humble life by a young merchant 
who had taken a fancy to her smart wit, fine shape/ and 
the smallness of her feet ; she remembered him in after 
life, and to her interest he owed his appointment in the 
Guards. Nell soon became an actress, noted for her 
beauty and her merry laugh ; her first part was Lady 
Wealthy, in the comedy of The English Monsieur, a 
"mighty pretty play," in which the women did very 
well ; " but, above all, little Nelly." She succeeded so 
as to represent prominent parts in stock plays : one cf 
her successes was Celia, in the Humorous Lieutenant 
of Beaumont and Fletcher ; after this performance, at 
which Pepys was present, he says, Mrs Knep " brought 
to us Nelly, a most pretty woman, who acted the great 
part of Celia to-day very fine, and did it pretty well. 
I kissed her, and so did my wife, and a mighty pretty 
soul she is : " he sums up with " specially kissing of 
Nell." But her greatest part was the " comical " 
Florimel, in Dry den's Secret Love, or the Maiden Queen, 
to Hart's Celadon ; the incidents and allusions carrying 
a personal application to the mistress and gallant. 
Nelly was now living in the fashionable part of Drury 

The Story of Nell Gwy nne. 141 

Lane, the Strand end, near the lodgings of Lacy, the 
actor, at the top of Maypole Alley, and over against the 
gate of Craven House ; at the bottom of the alley was 
the far-famed Strand Maypole, upon the site of which 
is the Church of St Mary-le-Strand ; the alley is now 
Drury Court. Pepys describes pretty Nelly standing 
at her lodgings' door in her smock-sleeves and bodice, 
looking at " merry milkmaids with garlands upon their 
pails, dancing with a fiddle before them." 

Nelly next lived with Lord Buckhurst, keeping 
" merry house " at Epsom : — 

All hearts fall a-leaping wherever she comes, 

And beat night and day like my Lord Craven's drums. 

Nell was soon left by Buckhurst. Hart, her great 
admirer, hated her] and she grew very poor, and 
resumed her old parts at Drury Lane. On the 19th 
October 1667, the Earl of Orrery's Black Prince was 
produced at the King's House, Nelly playing Alizia, 
or Alice Piers, the mistress of Edward III. ; the King 
was present, and was so charmed with her beauty 
and wit, that it was soon reported that " the King had 
sent for Nelly;" and it proved true. She was often 
at Whitehall, but still attended to her theatrical en- 
gagements; but Dryden's Conquest of Granada, in 
which Nelly had a part, was postponed for a season, 
through her being near giving birth to the future Duke 
of St Albans, and being therefore unable to appear. 
When the play was produced, with Nelly as Almahide, 
in her broad-brimmed hat and waist-belt, Charles 
became more than ever enamoured : 

There Hart's and Rowley's souls she did ensnare, 
And made a king a rival to a player. 

1 42 Romance of London. 

At the birth of Charles Beauclerk, Nelly was living 
in apartments in Lincoln's Inn Fields, soon after which 
she removed to a house at the east end of the north 
side of Pall Mall ; and next year to a house on the 
south side, with a garden towards St James's Park, 
which was at first conveyed to her by the King on 
lease, but subsequently free to Nell and her repre- 
sentatives for ever ; the site is now occupied by No. 79. 
Nelly was now called " Madame Gwin," and the King's 
amours being freely talked of in Parliament, led to 
Sir John Coventry being waylaid, and his nose cut to 
the bone, that he might remember the offence he had 
given to his sovereign. 

Evelyn records a walk made on the 2nd of March 
167 1, in which he attended Charles through St 
James's Park, where he both saw and heard " a familiar 
discourse between the King and Mrs Nelly, as they 
called an impudent comedian, she looking out of 
her garden on a terrace at the top of the wall, the 
King standing on the green walk under it." The 
garden was attached to her house in Pall Mall ; and 
the ground on which Nelly stood was a mount or raised 
terrace, of which a portion may still be seen under the 
Park-wall of Marlborough House. Of this scene Mr 
Ward has painted a picture of surprising truthfulness 
and beauty* Among Madame Gwynne's Papers (Bills 
sent to Nelly for payment), there is a charge for this 
very mount. There is no reason to suspect Nelly 
unfaithful to the King, or that Charles did not appre- 
ciate her fidelity : the people rejoiced at their sovereign's 
loose life, and Nelly became the idol of the town, and 

* Engraved as the frontispiece to Mr Peter Cunningham's piquant 
Story of Nell Gwynne, from which this paper is, in the main, abridged. 

The Story of Nell Gwynne. 143 

known as "the Protestant Mistress." Her Popish 
rival, the Duchess of Portsmouth, was very hard upon 
Nell when she said, " Anybody may know she has been 
an orange-wench by her swearing." 

Nell Gwynne was delivered, 25th December 1671, of 
a second child by the King, who was called James in 
compliment to the Duke of York : the boy thrived, and 
became, as his brother still continued, a favourite with 
his father. On December 27, 1676, the King created 
his eldest son Baron of Headington and Earl of 
Burford. The mother's house at Windsor was named 
Burford House, and the King had its staircases painted 
by Verrio ; and this was the rendezvous of all who 
wished to stand well at the Castle. 

Nell did not forget her aged mother, who resided 
at one time with her in Pall Mall ; for in an apothe- 
cary's bill, accidentally discovered among the Ex- 
chequer papers, are charges for cordial jelups with 
pearls for " Master Charles," and a cordial for " old 
Mrs Gwynne." Other bills (1674-6) include charges 
for a French coach, and for a great cipher from the 
chariot painter ; for a bedstead, with silver ornaments ; 
for side boxes at the Duke's Theatre, to which she 
never went alone, but often with as many as four 
persons, Nell paying for all ; for great looking-glasses ; 
for cleansing and burnishing the warming-pan ; for 
the hire of sedan-chairs; for dress, furniture, and 
table expenses; for white satin petticoats and white 
and red satin night-gowns ; for kilderkins of strong 
ale, ordinary ale, and "a barrel of eights;" for alms 
to poor men and women ; for oats and beans, and 
" chancy " oranges at threepence each ; " for a fine 
landskip fan ; " for scarlet satin shoes covered with 

144 Romance of L ondon. 

silver lace, and a pair of satin shoes laced over with 
gold for " Master Charles." 

The idea of founding a Royal Hospital at Chelsea 
for aged and disabled soldiers, is said to have origi- 
nated with Nelly ; the first stone was laid by the King 
in 1682. Nelly's benevolence and sympathy with 
the suffering strengthen the evidence of the tradition 
as to the foundation ; and some sixty years ago her 
portrait served as the sign of a public-house adjoining 
the Hospital; the tradition is still rife in Chelsea. 
Dedications of books, at this period, to "Madame 
Eleanor Gwynne," though adulatory, bespeak her 
popularity. In 1680, died her second and youngest 
son, James; and in 1684, the boy Earl of Burford 
was created Duke of St Albans, and appointed to 
the then lucrative offices of Registrar of the High 
Court of. Chancery and Master Falconer of England. 
The latter office is still enjoyed by the present Duke 
of St Albans. The former office, the Registrarship, 
was lost to the Duke of St Albans through the stern 
justice of Lord Thurlow ; for the patent having ex- 
pired during his Chancellorship, his Lordship refused 
to renew it. The only letter of Nelly's composition 
known to exist, relates to this period of her life. It is 
written on a sheet of very thin gilt-edged paper, in a 
neat Italian hand, not her own, from Burford House, 
" for Madam Jennings over against the Tub Tavern in 
Jermyn Street, London." 

Charles II. ended his dissolute life, sensible of his 
sins, and seeking forgiveness from his Maker. His 
dying request, made to his brother and successor, con- 
cluded with "Let not poor Nelly starve." While her 
grief was still fresh, the "gold stuff" grew scarcer 

The Story of Nell Gwynne. 145 

than ever; and if not actually arrested for debt in 
the spring of 1685, she was certainly outlawed for the 
non-payment of certain bills, for which some of her 
tradesmen, since the death of the King-, had become 
very clamorous. Her resources were now slender 
enough. But, the new King had not forgotten the 
dying request of his only brother, " Let not poor Nelly 
starve;" and the secret service expenses of King 
James show a payment to Richard Graham, Esq., of 
£729, 2s. 3^/., "to be by him paid over to the several 
tradesmen, creditors of Mrs Ellen Gwynne, in satisfac- 
tion of their debts for which the said Ellen stood out- 
lawed." In the same year, the King relieved Nelly 
by two additional payments of ^500 each ; and two 
years after, made a settlement of property upon her, 
and "after her death, upon the Duke of St Alban's 
and his issue male, with the reversion in the Crown." 

Nelly now fell sick. Her friend, Dr Tenison, Vicar 
of St Martin's, in which parish Pall Mall is situ- 
ated, attended her. She made her will, and signed it 
E. G. only : she could not sign her name. She died 
of apoplexy in November 1687, in her 38th year, but 
the exact day is unknown ; she is said to have died 
piously and penitently. Her father is said to have died 
in a prison at Oxford ; and she left ^"20 yearly for the 
releasing of poor debtors out of prison, every Christ- 

On the night of the 17th November 1687, Nelly 
was buried, according to her own request, in the 
church of St Martin's-in-the-Fields. The expenses of 

* In a Report on the Poultry Compter, in 1S11, it is mentioned that 
the prisoners received sixty-five penny loaves every eight weeks, the gift 
of Eleanor Gwynne. 

Vol,. 1. K 

146 Romance of London. 

her funeral, £375, were advanced from the next quar- 
ter's allowance of £1500 a-year which King James 
had settled upon her. Dr Tenison, too, complied with 
her request, and preached her funeral sermon. 

King James continued the mother's pension to her 
son, and gave him the colonelcy of a regiment of 
horse : he distinguished himself at the siege of Bel- 
grade, became in after-life a Knight of the Garter, 
and died father of eight sons, by his wife, the high- 
born and wealthy heiress, Lady Diana de Vere, a 
beauty in the Kneller collection at Hampton Court. 
The title still exists — and has been in our time con- 
spicuously before the public from the vast wealth of 
the late Harriet, Duchess of St Alban's, widow of 
Coutts, the banker, but originally known, and favour- 
ably too, upon the comic boards. " Not unlike, in 
many respects, were Eleanor Gwynne and Harriet 
Mellon. The fathers of both were in the army, and 
both never knew what it was to have a father. Both 
rose by the stage — both had wealthy admirers — and 
both were charitable and generous" (Cunningham.) 

There are many portraits of Nell Gwynne, yet very 
few genuine : the only picture in the Royal collection 
is a too grave and thoughtful picture at Hampton 
Court. The Duke of Buccleuch has a miniature head 
by Cooper, of which it is said the Exchequer papers 
record the price paid to the painter. The most curious 
engraved portrait of her is that after Gascar, engraved 
abroad — it is thought by Masson — in which she wears 
a laced chemise, lying on a bed of roses, from which her 
two children, as Cupids, are withdrawing the curtains — 
King Charles II. in the distance : she wears as well 
the famous Rupert necklace of pearls. The Burney 

Francis Bacon in Grays Inn. 147 

impression of this print, in the British Museum, cost 
£39, iSs. Among the relics of Nelly are a warming- 
pan, with the motto, " Fear God, and serve the King;" 
and a looking-glass, of elegant form, and carved figure 
frame, said to have belonged to her. 

Douglas Jerrold wrote a well-constructed comedy of 
Nell Gwynne, or the Prologue, attempting to show 
" some glimpses of the silver lining of a character, to 
whose influence over an unprincipled voluptuary we 
owe a national asylum for veteran soldiers, and whose 
brightness shines with the most amiable lustre in many 
actions of her life, and in the last disposal of her 
worldly effects." 

Francis Bacon in Grays Inn. 

BACON'S attachment to gardens and to rural affairs, one 
almost fancies is shown even in the speech which he 
made before the nobility, when, first taking his seat 
in the High Court of Chancery, he hoped "that the 
brambles that grow about justice might be rooted 
out;" adding that "fresh justice was the sweetest." 
At Gorhambury you see the old fish-ponds which were 
Bacon's favourite haunt ; though the summer-house 
which he built in the orchard (answering to the diasta or 
summer-room of the younger Pliny, at his beloved Lau- 
rentium) has long disappeared, and the mansion itself 
has shared the same fate. His Essay, " Of Gardens," 
written in 1625, gives us "particulars for the climate of 
London," where he loved to practise the tasteful art. 
Gray's Inn gardens were laid out under his direction, 
as attested in the following entries : — 

"In the 40 Eliz., at a pension of the bench, 'the 

148 Romance of London. 

summe of £7, i$s. ^d. laid out for planting elm trees' 
in these gardens, was allowed to Mr Bacon (afterwards 
Lord Verulam and Lord Chancellor). On the 14th 
November, in the following year, there was an order 
made for a supply of more young elms ; and it was 
ordered ' that a new rayle and quickset hedges ' should 
be set upon the upper long walk, at the discretion of 
Mr Bacon and Mr Wilbraham ; the cost of which, as 
appeared by Bacon's account, allowed 20th April, 42 
Eliz., was £60, 6s. 8d. Mr Bacon erected a summer- 
house on a small mount on the terrace, in which, if we 
may be allowed to conjecture, it is probable he fre- 
quently mused upon the subjects of those great works 
which have rendered his name immortal." — Pearce's 
Inns of Co7irt. 

To this day here is a Catalpa tree, raised from one 
planted by Bacon, slips of which are much coveted. 
The walks were in high fashion in Charles II.'s time ; 
we read of Pepys and his wife, after church, walking 
" to Gray's Inne, to observe fashions of the ladies, 
because of my wife's making some clothes." 

Bacon is traditionally said to have lived in the large 
house facing Gray's Inn garden-gates, where Fulke 
Greville, Lord Brooke, frequently sent him home-brewed 
beer from his house in Holborn. Basil Montagu, how- 
ever, fixes Bacon's abode on the site of No. 1 Gray's 
Inn Square, first floor ; the house was burnt February 
17th, 1679, with sixty other chambers (Historian js Guide, 
3rd edit. 1688), which demolishes Lord Campbell's 
speculative statement, that Bacon's chambers " remain 
in the same state as when he occupied them, and are 
still visited by those who worship his memory." (Lives 
of the Lord Chancellors, vol. ii. p. 274.) Mr Mon- 

Lord Craven and the Queen of Bohemia. 149 

tagu, who died in 1852, possessed a glass and silver- 
handled fork, with a shifting silver spoon-bowl, which 
once belonged to Lord Bacon, whose crest, a boar, 
modelled in gold, surmounts the fork-handle. 

Lord Craven and the Queen of Bohemia. 

William Lord Craven, the hero of Creutznach, by 
his romantic attachment to Elizabeth, the titular Queen 
of Bohemia, has inseparably associated their names in 
history. According to the old Yorkshire tradition, 
Craven's father, Lord Mayor in 161 1, was born of such 
poor parents that they sent him, when a boy, by a 
common carrier to London, where he became a mercer 
in Leadenhall Street, and grew rich. His son, the sol- 
dier of fortune, distinguished himself under Gustavus 
Adolphus ; and at the storming of Creutznach in 1632, 
his determined bravery led to the fortress being taken 
after two hours' conflict, in which all the English officers 
were wounded. Craven then attached himself to the 
King and Queen of Bohemia. She was the daughter 
of James I., and, with the reluctant consent of her 
parents (particularly of her mother, who used to twit 
her with the title of Goody Palsgrave), was married to 
Frederick, the Elector Palatine, for whom the Protestant 
interest in Germany erected Bohemia into a kingdom, 
in the vain hope, with the assistance of his father-in-law, 
of competing with the Catholic Emperor. Frederick 
lost everything, and his widow became a dependent on 
the bounty of Craven, who had fought in her husband's 
cause, and helped to bring up her children. It is through 
her that the family of Brunswick succeeded to the throne 
of this kingdom, as the next Protestant heirs of James I. 

150 Romance of London. 

James's daughter, being a woman of lively manners, a 
queen, and a Protestant leader, excited great interest 
in her time, and received more than the usual portion of 
flattery from the romantic. Donne wrote an epithala- 
mium on her marriage, beginning — 

Here lies a she sun, and a he moon there. 

Sir Henry Wotton had permission to call her his "royal 
mistress," which he was as proud of as if he had been a 
knight of old. And when she lost her Bohemian king- 
dom, it was said that she retained a better one, for that 
she was still the " Queen of Hearts." Sir Henry wrote 
upon her his elegant verses beginning — 

You meaner beauties of the night, 

in which he calls her 

Th' eclipse and glory of her kind. 

Her courage and presence of mind were so conspicu- 
ous, and her figure and manners so attractive, though 
not to be called a consummate beauty, that in her royal 
husband's time, "half the army were in love with her." 

In 1664, Charles II. conferred upon her heroic ad- 
mirer the titles of Viscount Craven and Earl Craven ; 
and on the death of Monk, gave him the Colonelcy of 
the Coldstream regiment of Foot-guards. His Lordship 
resided in Drury House, which he rebuilt : it was then 
called Craven House. Earl Craven is said to have been 
privately married to the widowed Queen of Bohemia (he 
was her junior by twelve years) ; "and thus," remarks 
Dr Whitaker, " the son of a Wharfdale peasant matched 
with a sister of Charles I." 

In Craven House, the romantic Queen would appear 
from some accounts to have resided ; but the truth 

Lord Craven and tJic Queen of Bohemia. 151 

is, she lived in the adjoining house, probably built for 
her by Lord Craven, and called, for many years after- 
wards, Bohemia House, and finally converted into a 
public-house, which bore her head for its sign. There 
is said to have been a subterranean communication 
between the two houses, the sites of which, and grounds, 
are now occupied by Craven Buildings and the Olympic 

The Queen quitted Bohemia House for Leicester 
House, "afterwards Norfolk House, in the Strand," where 
she died in February 166 1-2. Whether Lord Craven 
attended her at this period does not appear; but she 
left him her books, pictures, and papers. Sometimes 
he accompanied her to the play: he built the fine house 
of Hampstead Marshall, on the banks of the river 
Kennet, in Berkshire, as a sort of asylum for his injured 
Princess : it cost, although not finished, ^60,000, and 
was destroyed by fire in 171 8. 

Lord Craven long resided in Craven House ; he was 
famed for his bustling activity : whenever there was a 
fire in- London, Lord Craven was sure to be seen riding 
about to give orders to the soldiers, who were at such 
disasters called out to preserve order ; and his horse is 
said to have " smelt a fire as soon as it happened." 
Pepys describes Craven as riding up and down, " like a 
madman," giving orders to the soldiery ; and Lord Dorset 
sings of " Lord Craven's drums " beating day and night. 
When there was a talk in his old age of giving his 
regiment to somebody else, Craven said, that " if they 
took away his regiment they had as good take away his 
life, since he had nothing else to divert himself with." 
The next king, however, William III., gave it to 
General Talmash ; yet the old lord is said to have gone 

1 5 2 Romance of London. 

on, busy to the last. He died in 1697, aged nearly 89 
years. He was intimate with Evelyn, Ray, and other 
naturalists, and delighted in gardening. " The garden 
of Craven House ran in the direction of the present 
Drury Lane ; so that where there is now a bustle of a 
very different sort, we may fancy the old soldier busying 
himself with his flower-beds, and John Evelyn discours- 
ing upon the blessings of peace and privacy."* 

Craven and Monk, Duke of Albemarle, heroically 
stayed in town during the dreadful pestilence ; and, at 
the hazard of their lives, preserved order. For their 
noble services, two or three great silver flagons were 
made, as gifts of the King. Craven continued to reside 
at Craven House, Drury Lane, throughout the whole 
time of the Plague in 1665-6. He first hired and then 
purchased a field on which pest-houses (said to be thirty- 
six in number) were built by him for persons afflicted 
with that disease, and in which a common burial-ground 
was made for thousands who died of it. In 1687, the 
Earl gave this field and its houses in trust for the poor 
of St Clement's Danes, St Martin's-in-the-Fields, St 
James's, Westminster, and St Paul's, Covent Garden, 
to be used only in case of the plague re-appearing; and 
the place came to be known as the Earl of Craven's Pest- 
field, the Pest-field, the Pest-house-field, or Craven-field. 
In 1734, the surrounding district having become covered 
with houses and streets, a private Act, 7th George II. 
c. 1 1, discharged this pest-house-field from its charitable 
trusts, transferring them without alteration to other 
land and messuages at and near Byard's Watering Place 
(Bayswater), Paddington, now called Craven Hill. 

A singular memorial of this heroic man existed to 
* See The Town. By Leigh Hunt, edit. 1858. 

Lord Craven and the Queen of Bohemia. 153 

our time. Craven Buildings were erected in 1723, 
upon part of the grounds attached to Craven House. 
On the wall at the bottom of the buildings was formerly 
a fresco painting of the gallant Earl, who was repre- 
sented in armour, mounted on a white charger, and 
with a truncheon in his hand, and the letters W. C. 
This portrait was twice or thrice repainted in oil ; the 
last time by Edwards, A.R.A., author of A Treatise on 
Perspective: the picture has been some years obliterated.* 
The Craven Head Tavern was one of the offices of 
Craven House; and the adjoining stabling belonged to 
the mansion. 

Craven Buildings have had some remarkable tenants : 
Hayman, the painter, contemporary with Hogarth, 
lived here. The famous actress, Mrs Bracegirdle, had 
likewise a house here, which was afterwards inhabited 
by the equally celebrated Mrs Pritchard. In the back 
parlour of No. 17, Dr Arne composed the music of 
Comus. Elliston had a house during his lesseeship of 
the Olympic Theatre, and communicating with it ; and 
the same house was temporarily occupied by Madame 
Vestris and Mr William Farren, as Olympic lessees. 

It was in Drury Lane that Pepys, 7th June 1665, 
saw two or three houses marked with a red cross upon 
the doors, and "Lord have mercy upon us" writ there, 
and the first of the kind he ever saw. 

It will be recollected, from the several accounts of 
the Plague in London, that a cross was affixed by the 
authorities to the door of the house where there was in- 
fection. In the Guildhall Library, not long since, among 

* In Pennant's London, edit. 1813, we read : "The portrait which 
was preserved by the late Earl, with laudable attention, is now covered 
with plaster." 

154 Romance of L ondon. 

some broadsides, was found one of these " Plague 
Crosses." It was the ordinary size of a broadside, and 
bore a cross extending to the edges of the paper, on 
which were printed the words, " Lord have mercy upon 
us." In the four quarters formed by the limbs of the 
cross, were printed directions for managing the patient, 
regulations for visits, medicines, food, and water. This 
" Cross " is not now to be found. 

Addisons " Campaign? 

THIS celebrated poem originated as follows. The 
Lord Treasurer, Godolphin, though not a reading man, 
was mortified, and not without reason, by the exceed- 
ing badness of the poems which appeared in honour 
of the Battle of Blenheim. One of these poems has 
been rescued from oblivion by the exquisite absurdity 
of three lines : — 

Think of two thousand gentlemen at least, 
And each man mounted on his capering beast ; 
Into the Danube they were pushed by shoals. 

Where to procure better verses the Treasurer did not 
know. He understood how to negotiate a loan, or 
remit a subsidy : he was also well versed in the history 
of running horses and fighting cocks ; but his acquaint- 
ance amongst the poets was very small. He consulted. 
Halifax ; but Halifax affected to decline the office of 
adviser. " I do know," he said, " a gentleman who 
would celebrate the battle in a manner worthy of the 
subject ; but I will not name him/' Godolphin, who 
was expert at the soft answer which turneth away 
wrath, gently replied that the services of a man such 
as Halifax had described should be liberally rewarded. 

Addison's " Campaign? 155 

Halifax then mentioned Addison, but, mindful of the 
dignity as well as of the pecuniary interest of his friend, 
insisted that the Minister should apply in the most 
courteous manner to Addison himself, and this Godol- 
phin promised to do. 

Addison then occupied a garret up three pair of 
stairs, over a small shop in the Haymarket In this 
humble lodging he was surprised, on the morning fol- 
lowing the conversation between Godolphin and Hali- 
fax, by a visit from no less a person than the Right 
Honourable Henry Boyle, then Chancellor of the 
Exchequer, and afterwards Lord Carleton. This high- 
born Minister had been sent by the Lord Treasurer as 
ambassador to the needy poet. Addison readily un- 
dertook the proposed task — a task which, to so good 
a Whig, was probably a pleasure. When the poem 
was little more than half finished he showed it to 
Godolphin, who was delighted with it, and particularly 
with the famous similitude of the Angel. Addison 
was instantly appointed to a Commissionership worth 
about two hundred pounds a year, and was assured 
that this appointment was only an earnest of greater 

The Campaign came forth, and was as much admired 
by the public as by the Minister. Its chief merit is 
that which was noticed by Johnson — the manly and 
rational rejection of fiction. Lord Macaulay, from 
whose admirable paper on Addison these details are 
condensed, there refers to the battles with which Homer 
was familiar, of men who sprung from the gods — 
communed with the gods face to face — of men, one 
of whom could, with ease, hurl rocks, which two sturdy 
hinds of a later period would be unable to lift. He, 

1 5 6 Romance of London. 

therefore, naturally represented their martial exploits 
as resembling in kind, but far surpassing in magnitude, 
those of the stoutest and most expert combatants of 
his own age. These are termed by Macaulay, " magni- 
ficent exasperations of the real hero;" and with his 
usual fondness for parallel, so successful in this great 
master of the art of writing, Macaulay remarks : " In 
all rude societies, similar notions are found. There are, 
at this day, countries where the Lifeguardsman Shaw 
would be considered as a much greater warrior than 
the Duke of Wellington. Bonaparte loved to describe 
the astonishment with which the Mamelukes looked 
at his diminutive figure. Mourad Bey, distinguished 
above all his fellows by his bodily strength, and by 
the skill with which he managed his horse and sabre, 
could not believe that a man who was scarcely five feet 
high, and rode like a butcher, could be the greatest 
soldier in Europe." 

The detestable fashion of exaggeration was copied 
in modern times, and continued to prevail down to the 
aee of Addison. Several versifiers had described Wil- 
liam turning thousands to flight by his single prowess, 
and dyeing the Boyne with Irish blood. Nay, so 
estimable a writer as John Philips, the author of the 
Splendid Shilling, represented Marlborough as having 
won the battle of Blenheim merely by strength of muscle 
and skill in fence. 

Addison, with excellent sense and taste, departed 
from this ridiculous fashion. He reserved his praise for 
the qualities which made Marlborough truly great — 
energy, sagacity, military science. But, above all, the 
poet extolled the firmness of that mind which, in the 
midst of confusion, uproar, and slaughter, examined 

A ddisoiis " Campaign." 1 5 7 

and disposed everything with the serene wisdom of a 
higher intelligence. 

Here it was that he introduced the famous compari- 
son of Marlborough to an Angel guiding the whirl- 
wind. Macaulay then points to one circumstance which 
appears to have escaped all the critics. The extra- 
ordinary effect which his simile produced when it first 
appeared, and which to the following generation seemed 
inexplicable, is doubtless to be chiefly attributed to a 
line which most readers now regard as a feeble paren- 
thesis : — 

Such as of late o'er pale Britannia pass'd. 

"Addison spoke not of a storm, but of the storm. The 
great tempest of 1703 — the only tempest which, in our 
latitude, has equalled the rage of a tropical hurricane — 
had left a dreadful recollection in the minds of all men. 
No other tempest was ever in this country the occasion 
of a parliamentary address, or of a public fast. Whole 
fleets had been cast away. Large mansions had been 
blown down. One prelate had been buried beneath 
the ruins of his palace. London and Bristol had pre- 
sented the appearance of cities just sacked. Hundreds 
of families were still in mourning. The prostrate trunks 
of large trees, and the ruins of houses, still attested, in 
all the southern counties, the fury of the blast. The 
popularity which the simile of the Angel enjoyed among 
Addison's contemporaries has always seemed to us to 
be a remarkable instance of the advantage which, in 
rhetoric and poetry, the particular has over the general." 
The house in which Addison lodged has not been 
identified in the Haymarket of our time. We have a 
minute record of Pope having visited the house with the 

158 Romance of London. 

feeling of homage to genius. The Bard of Twicken- 
ham is stated to have asked Walter Harte to ascend 
three pair of stairs, and enter a small top room above 
a small shop in the Haymarket ; when they were within 
the room, Pope said to Harte, " In this garret Addison 
wrote his Campaign? 

Thackeray has cleverly illustrated this bright turn in 
Addison's fortunes. He quotes from the Campaign 
Marlborough's equanimity, and the wonderful simile : — 

So when an angel, by Divine command, 
With rising tempests shakes a guilty land 
(Such as of late o'er pale Britannia pass'd), 
Calm and serene he drives the furious blast ; 
And pleas'd the Almighty's orders to perform, 
Rides on the whirlwind, and directs the storm. 

"Addison left off at a good moment," adds Thackeray. 
"That simile was pronounced to be the greatest ever 
produced in poetry. That angel, that good angel, flew 
off with Mr Addison, and landed him in the place of 
Commissioner of Appeals — vice Mr Locke, providen- 
tially promoted. In the following year, Mr Addison 
went to Hanover with Lord Halifax, and the year after 
was made Under-Secretary of State. O angel visits! 
you come ' few and far between ' to literary gentlemen's 
lodgings! Your wings seldom quiver at second-floor 
windows now ! " 

Ladies Excluded from the House of Lords. 

It was in the year 1738 that it was resolved to exclude 
ladies from the galleries of the two Houses of Parlia- 
ment. The execution of the resolution led to a strange 

Ladies Excluded from the House of Lords. 159 

scene, which is thus cleverly described in a letter of this 
date, by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu : — 

"At the last warm debate in the House of Lords, it 
was unanimously resolved there should be no crowd of 
unnecessary auditors ; consequently, the fair sex were 
excluded, and the gallery destined to the sole use of the 
House of Commons. Notwithstanding which deter- 
mination a tribe of dames resolved to show on this 
occasion that neither men nor laws could resist them. 
These heroines were — Lady Huntingdon, the Duchess 
of Queensbury, the Duchess of Amaster, Lady West- 
moreland, Lady Cobham, Lady Charlotte Edwin, Lady 
Archibald Hamilton and her daughter, Mrs Scott, Mrs 
Pendarves, and Lady Saunderson. I am thus parti- 
cular in their names, because I look upon them to be 
the boldest assertors, and most resigned sufferers for 
liberty I ever read of. They presented themselves at 
the door at nine o'clock in the morning, when Sir 
William Saunderson respectfully informed them the 
Chancellor had made an order against their admittance. 
The Duchess of Queensbury, as head of the squadron, 
pished at the ill-breeding of a mere lawyer, and desired 
him to let them upstairs privately. After some modest 
refusals, he swore by G — he would not let them in. 
Her Grace, with a noble warmth, answered by G — 
they would come in, in spite of the Chancellor and the 
whole House. This being reported, he then resolved to 
starve them out ; an order was made that the door 
should not be opened till they had raised the siege. 
These Amazons now showed themselves qualified for 
the duty even of foot soldiers ; they stood there till five 
in the afternoon, without either sustenance or evacua- 
tion, every now and then playing volleys of thumps, 

160 Romance of London. 

kicks, and raps against the door, with so much violence 
that the speakers in the House were scarce heard. 
When the Lords were not to be conquered by this, the 
two Duchesses (very well apprised of the use of strata- 
gem in war) commanded a dead silence for half-an- 
hour ; and the Chancellor, who thought this a certain 
proof of their absence (the Commons also being very 
impatient to enter), gave order for the opening of the 
door ; upon which they all rushed in, pushed aside their 
competitors, and placed themselves in the front rows of 
the gallery. They stayed there till after eleven, when 
the House rose ; and during the debate gave applause, 
and showed marks of dislike, not only by smiles and 
winks (which have always been allowed in such cases), 
but by noisy laughs and contempts ; which is supposed 
the true reason why poor Lord Hervey spoke so miser- 

Jemmy Dawson. 

KENNINGTON Common was, in the last century, the 
place of execution for the county of Surrey ; at the 
present day it presents nothing to remind us of its 
criminal history. It is no longer the place of the 
gibbet, or has its green turf trodden down by crowds 
flocking to pugilistic contests, or the orations of political 
brawlers ; but it is now a healthful place of recreation, 
with its lawn, its shrubs, and flowers. With the great 
Chartist gathering in 1848 upon this spot, the political 
fame of Kennington Common may be said to have 

Still, one of its last century events lingers" in the 
simple tenderness and pathos of one of the songs of Shen- 

Jan my Dawson. 1 6 1 

stone, which narrates in its homely verse the mournful 
tale of Captain James Dawson, one of the eight officers 
of the Manchester regiment of volunteers in the service 
of the young Chevalier, who were hanged, drawn, and 
quartered on Kennington Common, in 1746. 

Shenstone, " whose mind was not very comprehensive, 
nor his curiosity active," was content to take the event 
of his song from a narrative first published in the Parrot 
of August 2, 1746, as follows: — Mr James Dawson was 
one of those unfortunate gentlemen who suffered on 
Kennington Common for high treason ; and had he 
either been acquitted or received the Royal mercy 
after condemnation, the day of his enlargement was to 
have been the day of his marriage. The following are 
the particulars of his execution, and the fate of the 
unfortunate young lady to whom he was sincerely 
attached : — 

"On her being informed that Mr Dawson was to be 
executed, not all the persuasions of her kindred could 
prevent her from going to the place of execution ; she 
accordingly followed the sledge in a hackney coach, 
accompanied by a gentleman nearly related to her, and 
a female friend. Having arrived at the place of execu- 
tion, she got near enough to see the fire kindled that 
was to consume him, and all the other dreadful prepa- 
rations, without betraying any of those emotions her 
friends apprehended. But when all was over, and she 
found he was no more, she threw her head back in the 
coach, and ejaculating, ' My dear, I follow thee ! Lord 
Jesus, receive our souls together ! ' fell on the neck of her 
companion, and expired the very moment she had done 
speaking. Most excessive grief, which the force of her 
resolution had kept smothered within her breast, is 

Vol.. 1. L 

1 62 Romance of L ondon. 

thought to have put a stop to the vital motion, and suf- 
focated at once all the animal spirits." In the Whitehall 
Evening Post of August 7, 1746, the above narrative is 
copied, and the remark added, that "upon inquiry, every 
circumstance was literally true." The catastrophe is 
thus reproduced in Shenstone's song : — 

But though, dear youth, thou shouldst be dragged 

To yonder ignominious tree, 
Thou shalt not want a faithful friend 

To share thy bitter fate with thee. 

O then her mourning coach was called, 

The sledge moved slowly on before ; 
Though borne in her triumphal car, 

She had not loved her favourite more. 

She followed him, prepared to view 

The terrible behests of law ; 
And the last scene of Jemmy's woes 

With calm and steadfast eye she saw. 

Distorted was that blooming face, 

Which she had fondly loved so long ; 
And stifled was that tuneful breath, 

Which in her praise had sweetly sung ; 

And severed was that beauteous neck, 

Round which her arms had fondly closed ; 

And mangled was that beauteous breast, 
On which her love-sick head reposed ; 

And ravished was that constant heart, 

She did to every heart prefer; 
For though it would its King forget, 

'Twas true and loyal still to her. 

Amid those unrelenting flames 

She bore this constant heart to see ; 
And when 'twas mouldered into dust, 

Now, now, she cried, I follow thee. 

Secret Visits of the Young Pretender. 1G3 

My death, my death alone can show 

The pure and lasting love I bore : 
Accept, O Heaven ! of woes like ours, 

And let us, let us weep no more. 

The dismal scene was o'er and past, 

The lover's mournful hearse retired ; 
The maid drew back her languid head, 

And, sighing forth his name, expired. 

Secret Visits of the Young Pretender to 


At Christmas 1864, the appearance in the Times journal 
of a letter from the Queen's Librarian at Windsor Castle 
relating to the Stuart papers acquired by George IV., 
when Prince Regent, and deposited in the Royal Library 
by William IV., led to a revival of the historic doubt 
as to the Secret Visits of Prince Charles Edward (the 
young Pretender) to London ; and produced the follow- 
ing very interesting evidences, contributed by a pains- 
taking correspondent to the above-named journal. 

It seems to be pretty generally taken for granted that 
Prince Charles Edward paid but one single visit to Lon- 
don ; whereas four different occasions have been recorded 
in which he is said to have risked his liberty, if not his 
life, by making secret journeys to the British metropolis. 
The first of these presumed adventures is thus set forth 
by Forsyth, the accomplished traveller in Italy : — 

" England was just respiring from the late Rebellion, 
when in 1748, on the faith of a single gentleman, he (the 
Prince) set off for London in a hideous disguise, under 
the name of Smith. On arriving there, he was introduced 
at midnight into a room full of conspirators whom he 
had never seen. ' Here/ said his conductor, ' is the per- 

164 Romance of London. 

son you want,' and left him locked up in this mysterious 
assembly. These were men who imagined themselves 
equal at that time to treat with him for the throne of 
England. ' Dispose of me, gentlemen, as you please,' 
said Charles. ' My life is in your power, and I therefore 
can stipulate for nothing. Yet give me, I entreat you, 
one solemn promise, that, if your design should succeed, 
the present family shall be sent safely and honourably 
home.' For a few days the young adventurer was flat- 
tered with the glorious prospect, until difficulties arose 
on the part of the French Ambassador, whose Court had 
cooled in the Stuart cause. Charles remained on the 
rack of suspense for a week in London, where different 
persons recognised him in the streets, but (such was 
ever his only good fortune) none betrayed him. He 
then returned to Paris to encounter cruel indignation, 
and was there arrested and expelled the kingdom." — 
Forsytes Remarks on Italy, p. 436, 4th ed. 

Lord Stanhope, in his History of England (vol. iii. p. 
253, note, 2d ed.), takes it for granted that Forsyth has 
mistaken the year 1748 for 1750; but, presuming that 
Forsyth, whose " scrupulous accuracy" Lord Stanhope 
himself admits, is correct in his data that the visit was 
made previously to the Prince's arrest and imprisonment 
by the French Court, in that case it must unquestionably 
have taken place before the year 1750. The coincidence 
is rather a curious one that the nickname of " Smith" 
was the same which the Prince's great-grandfather, 
Charles I., adopted on the occasion of his clandestine 
and romantic visit to Spain in 1623. (Howell's Letters, 
p. 132, 10th ed.) 

That Prince Charles visited London in the year 1750 
is unquestionable ; indeed, the following extract from 

Secret Visits of the Young Pretender. 165 

Dr Kings Anecdotes of his own Time (p. 196 and p. 199, 
note, 2d ed.), arc of themselves sufficient to remove any 
doubt on the subject : — 

"September 1750, I received a note from my Lady 
Primrose, who desired to see me immediately. As soon 
as I waited on her (in Essex Street, Strand), she led me 
into her dressing-room and presented me to the Prince. 
If I was surprised to find him there, I was still more 
astonished when he acquainted me with the motives 
which had induced him to hazard a journey to England at 
this juncture. The impatience of his friends who were 
in exile had formed a scheme which was impracticable ; 
but although it had been as feasible as they had repre- 
sented to him, yet no preparation had been made, nor 
was anything ready to carry it into execution. He was 
soon convinced that he had been deceived, and therefore, 
after a stay in London of five days only, he returned to 
the place from whence he came. 

" He came one evening to my lodgings, and drank tea 
with me. My servant, after he was gone, said to me 
that he thought my new visitor was very like Prince 
Charles. ' Why/ said I, ' have you ever seen Prince 
Charles ? ' ' No, sir/ replied 'the fellow, ' but this gentle- 
man, whoever he maybe, exactly resembles the busts of 
Prince Charles.' The truth is, these busts were taken in 
plaster of Paris from his face." 

This is the particular visit, the duration of which has 
been a matter of discussion between the Queen's Libra- 
rian and Lord Stanhope, and which the Prince has twice 
recorded in his memoranda, once in the Old and again 
in the New Style : — 

" O.S. Ye 5th Sept. 1750 arrived ; ye nth parted to 

1 66 Romance of London. 

" N.S. At London ye 16th ; parted from London ye 


Thus, not reckoning the broken days of arrival and 
departure, it will be seen that Dr King's statement 
{Anecdotes, p. 197) that the Prince's stay in London lasted 
for " five days only," is perfectly correct. 

The two notes compared and found inconsistent as to 
dates by Lord Stanhope may be reconciled by remem- 
bering the eleven days' difference between old and new 
style in the middle of the last century. In No. 1 the 
Pretender says he " parted from London the 22d and 
arrived at Paris the 24th ; " the dates, new style, are the 
same as those he gives in No. 2 as " O.S., the nth 
parted to Dover . . . the 13th at Paris," the old style 
being eleven days earlier. 

The next assumed visit of Charles* Edward to London 
took place, according to Hume, in 1753 ; or, according 
to Philip Thicknesse, in his Memoirs, "about the year 
1754." The following extract of a letter from Hume to 
Sir John Pringle, dated February 10, 1773, contains the 
principal particulars respecting this visit, such as they 
were related to the historian by one of the most devoted 
of the partisans of the House of Stuart, Earl Maris- 
chal : — 

" That the present Pretender was in London in the 
year 1753 I know with the greatest certainty, because I 
had it from Lord Marischal, who said it consisted with 
his certain knowledge. Two or three days after his 
Lordship gave me this information he told me that the 
evening before he had learned several curious particulars 
from a lady who I imagine to be Lady Primrose, though 
my lord refused to name her. The Pretender came to 
her house in the evening without giving her any pre- 

Secret Visits of the Young Pretender. 167 

paratory information, and entered the room where she 
had a pretty large company with her, and was herself 
playing at cards. He was announced by the servant 
under another name. She thought the cards would 
have dropped from her hands on seeing him, but she had 
presence enough of mind to call him by the name he had 
assumed, to ask him when he came to England, and how 
long he intended to stay there. After he and all the 
company went away, the servants remarked how won- 
derfully like the strange gentleman was to the Prince's 
picture, which hung on the chimney-piece in the very 
room in which he entered. My lord added (I think 
from the authority of the same lady) that he used so 
little precaution that he went abroad openly in daylight 
in his own dress, only laying aside his blue riband and 
star ; walked once through St James's, and took a turn 
in the Mall. About five years ago I told this story to 
Lord Holdernesse, who was Secretary of State in the 
year 1753 ; and I added I supposed this piece of intelli- 
gence had escaped his Lordship. ' By no means,' said 
he, ' and who, do you think, first told it me ? It was the 
King himself (George II.), who subjoined, "and what do 
you think, my lord, I should do with him?"' Lord 
Holdernesse owned that he was puzzled how to reply ; 
for if he declared his real sentiments they might savour 
of indifference to the Royal Family. The King per- 
ceived his embarrassment, and extricated him from it 
by adding, ' My lord, I shall just do nothing at all, and 
when he is tired of England he will go abroad again.' I 
think this story, for the honour of the late King, ought 
to be more generally known." {Nichols s Literary Anec- 
dotes of the iSth Century ', vol. ix. p. 401.) 

The fact of this remarkable conversation having taken 

1 6$ Romance of L ondon. 

place between the King and his Minister has been repu- 
diated by Lord Stanhope {Hist, of Engl., vol. iv. p. 13), 
on the supposition that the date to which it is assign- 
able is during the Prince's visit to London in September 
1750; and accordingly, as his Lordship discovers that 
during all that month George II. was absent in his Hano- 
verian dominions, he naturally arrives at the conclusion 
that the conversation could never have taken place. 
Not only, however, does Hume, in his letter to Sir John 
Pringle, three times over mention the year as having 
been 1753, but Lord Holdernesse, who vouches for the 
truth of it, was not appointed Secretary of State till 
1751. By some much more curious conception Sir 
Walter Scott, who has told the world so much that is 
interesting respecting Charles Edward, has not only 
committed the anachronism of making George III., 
instead of George II., the hero of the foregoing anec- 
dote, but instances it as proof of the " goodness oi heart 
and soundness of policy " of the former monarch. (Red* 
gauntlet, note to chapter xi.) The following is the 
passage in Thicknesses Memoirs (p. 340), previously 
referred to as tending to corroborate the assumption 
that the Prince paid a secret visit to London in or 
about the year 1753 : — 

" That this unfortunate man was in London about the 
year 1754 is positively asserted. He came hither con- 
trary to the opinions of all his friends abroad, but he 
was determined, he said, to see the capital of that king- 
dom over which he thought himself born to reign. After 
being a few hours at a lady's house in Essex Street, in 
the Strand, he was met by one who knew his person in 
Hyde Park, and who made an attempt to kneel to him. 
This circumstance so alarmed the lady at whose house 

Secret Visits of the Voting Pretender. 1 69 

he resided, that a boat was procured the same night, and 
he returned instantly to France." 

The details of the Prince's visit to Essex Street, as 
related by Hume, are curiously substantiated by a me- 
morandum of the Right Hon. Charles Williams Wynn, 
to whom they were "often repeated" by his grand- 
mother, who received them direct from Lady Primrose 
herself. It appears from Mr Wynn's account that, in 
whatever year the visit to which he refers may have 
occurred, the Prince on that occasion was introduced to 
Lady Primrose and her guests by the name of " Browne." 
{Diaries of a Lady of Qualify, p. 290.) 

The fourth and last of the assumed secret visits of 
Charles Edward to London dates in 1761, this being the 
occasion on which he is popularly supposed to have 
been a spectator of the coronation of George III. The 
following is Hume's account of the latter incident, as 
related to him by the Earl MarischaL on whose sole 
authority its credibility seems to rest : — 

" What will surprise you more, Lord Marischal, a few 
days after the coronation of the present King, told me he 
believed the Pretender was at that time in London, or at 
least had been so very lately, and had come over to see 
the show of the coronation, and had actually seen it. I 
asked my lord the reason for this strange fact. ' Why,' 
says he, ' a gentleman told me so that saw him there, 
and that he even spoke to him and whispered in his ear 
these words, 'Your Royal Highness is the last of all 
mortals whom I should expect to see here.' ' It was 
curiosity that led me,' said the other; ' but I assure you,' 
added he, ' that the person who is the object of all this 
pomp and magnificence is the man I envy the least.' 
You sec this story is so nearly traced from the fountain- 

1 70 Romance of London. 

head as to wear a great face of probability. Query — • 
What if the Pretender had taken up Dymock's gaunt- 
let ? " {Nichols's Lit. Anecdotes, v. ix. p. 401.) 

With regard to the Prince's renunciation of the 
Roman Catholic religion, there are two passages in 
his Memoranda (Times, December 27, 1864) which are 
valuable as showing that that event took place in 1750. 
With regard to the abstract fact of the Prince's conver- 
sion to Protestantism, it has already been substantiated 
by a letter, preserved among Bishop Forbes's MSS., 
from the Prince to his' friends in Scotland, dated August 
12, 1762 ; — " Assure my friends in Britain that I am in 
perfect health. . . . They may be assured that I shall 
live and die in the religion of the Church of England, 
which I have embraced." {Chambers 's History of the 
Rebellion of 1745, p. 422, 6th ed.) According to Hume, 
it was in the church of St Mary-le-Strand, or, as it was 
then styled, "the New Church in the Strand," that Charles 
Edward formally renounced the Roman Catholic faith. 

It may be mentioned that the Lady Primrose who has 
been more than once referred to was the same lady whose 
house in Essex Street, in 1747, afforded a home to the 
celebrated Flora Macdonald after her release from the 
mild durance in which she had been detained by the 
Government. Lady Primrose, whose maiden name was 
Drelincourt, was the daughter of the Dean of Armagh, 
and widow of Hugh, third Viscount Primrose. 

The Riots of 1 780. 

THESE disgraceful tumults originated in the meeting 
held by the Protestant Association in Coachmakcrs' 
Hall, whereat, on May 29, 17S0, the following rcsolu- 

The Riots of i y So. 171 

tion was proposed and carried : — " That the whole body 
of the Protestant Association do attend in St George's 
Fields on Friday next, at 10 of the clock in the morning, 
to accompany Lord George Gordon to the House of 
Commons on the delivery of the Protestant Petition [for 
the repeal of the Roman Catholic Relief Bill]." His 
Lordship, who was present, observed, " If less than 
20,oco of his fellow-citizens attended him on that day, 
he would not present their petition/' On the day ap- 
pointed (Friday, the 2d of June), the Association 
assembled in St George's Fields. There was a vast 
concourse, and their numbers increasing, they marched 
over London Bridge in separate divisions ; and through 
the City to Westminster — 50,000, at least, in number. 
Lord George Gordon and his followers wore blue ribands 
in their hats ; and each division was preceded by its 
respective banner, bearing the words " No Popery." At 
Charing Cross they were joined by additional numbers, 
on foot, on horseback, and in carriages. All the avenues 
to both Houses of Parliament were entirely filled. 
About eight, the Lords adjourned, and were suffered to 
go home ; though the rioters declared that if the other 
House did not repeal the Bill, there would at night be 
terrible mischief. Lord George Gordon was running 
backwards and forwards, from the windows of the 
Speaker's Chamber, denouncing all that spoke against 
him to the mob in the lobby. Still, the members were 
besieged, and were locked up for four hours ; and there 
was a moment when they thought they must have 
opened the doors, and fought their way out sword in 
hand. Lord North was very firm, and at last they got 
the guards and cleared the pass. 

Blue banners had been waved from the tops of houses 

1 7 2 Romance of L ondon. 

at Whitehall as signals to the people, while the coaches 
passed, whom they should applaud or abuse. Sir George 
Savile's and Charles Turner's coaches were demolished. 
At half-past ten, a new scene opened ; the mob forced 
the Sardinian Minister's Chapel in Lincoln's Inn Fields, 
and gutted it : he saved nothing but two chalices, lost 
the silver lamps, &c, and the benches, being tossed in 
the street, were food for a bonfire, with the blazing 
brands of which they set fire to the inside of the chapel, 
nor, till the Guards arrived, would suffer the engines to 
play. The Roman Catholic Chapel in Warwick Street, 
Golden Square, shared the same fate ; and, " as the 
owner was a Prince of Smugglers, as well as Bavarian 
Minister, great quantities of rum, tea, and contraband 
goods were found in his house." 

On Monday the mob gutted Sir George Savile's house 
in Leicester Fields, burnt all the furniture and pictures, 
but the building was saved ; though the rioters tore 
up the iron railings, which they carried off as weapons. 
Next day, they pulled down Sir John Fielding's house 
in Bow Street, and burnt his goods in the street. They 
then went to Newgate, to demand their companions who 
had been seized, demolishing a chapel. The Keeper 
could not release them but by the Sheriff's permission, 
which he sent to ask. At his return he found all the 
prisoners released, and Newgate in a blaze. The mob 
had broken the gates with crows and other instruments, 
and climbed up the outside of the cell which joined the 
two great wings of the building, where the felons were 
confined. They broke the roof, tore away the rafters, 
descended and released the prisoners. Crabbe, the poet, 
then a young man in London, has described the scene in 
his journal : — " I stood andjsaw," he says, " about twelve 

The Riots of '1780. 173 

women and eight men ascend from their confinement to 
the open air, and conducted through the streets in their 
chains. Three of these were to be hanged on Friday. 
You have no conception of the phrenzy of the multitude. 
Newgate was at this time open to all ; anyone might 
get in ; and, what was never the case before, anyone 
might get out." 

From Newgate the mob went to Bloomsbury Square, 
pulled down the house of the great Lord Mansfield, 
and burnt his library: but what his Lordship most re- 
gretted to have lost was a speech that he had made on 
the question of the privilege of Parliament ; he said that 
it contained all the eloquence and all the law he was 
master of; that it was fairly written out, and that he 
had no other copy. 

On Wednesday, the rioters broke open the Fleet, the 
King's Bench, and the Marshalsea, and Wood Street 
Compter, and Clerkenwell Bridewell, and released all 
the prisoners. At night they set fire to the King's 
Bench. The Warden of the Fleet had been directed 
by the Lord Mayor not to resist the mob, which might 
have been easily dispersed by a few soldiers. The con- 
flagration must here have been terrible — three sides of 
Fleet Market in flames, besides portions of Fetter Lane 
and Shoe Lane. This was called the " fatal day." Mr 
Langdale, a wealthy Catholic distiller in Holborn, the 
day before had tried to appease the mob by money and 
liquor, but now they staved in the casks, and set his 
premises on fire ; and many of the rioters were killed 
by drinking the spirits. Barnard's Inn, adjoining Lang- 
dale's distillery, was also fired. Seven distinct confla- 
grations were to be seen at once. The mob extorted 
money from several persons and houses, on threats of 

1 74 Romance of L ondon. 

burning them as Catholics ; and the Duke of Glouces- 
ter, who went disguised in a hackney-coach to Fleet 
Market, was stopped and plundered. This day a mob 
of 5000 set off for (to sack and burn) Caen Wood (Lord 
Mansfield's), but were met on the road by a militia regi- 
ment and driven back. 

" On Wednesday," says Dr Samuel Johnson, " I 
walked with Dr Scott (Lord Stowell) to look at New- 
gate, and found it in ruins, with the fire yet glowing. 
As I went by, the Protestants were plundering the 
Session-house at the Old Bailey. There were not, I 
believe, a hundred ; but they did their work at leisure, 
in full security, without sentinels, without trepidation, 
as men lawfully employed, in full day." The Bank was 
attempted the same night ; but the height of the panic 
had passed, and Wilkes headed the party that drove 
them away. The fires, however, were still kept up, and 
it was not till the 9th that the city was free from out- 
rage. Eleven thousand troops had been assembled in 
and near London, and camps held in St James's and 
Hyde Parks. The King, during the nights of the riots, 
sat up with several general officers at the Queen's riding- 
house, whence messengers were constantly despatched 
to report the movements of the mob ; and a large num- 
ber of troops were in the Queen's Gardens and around 
Buckingham House, where the King frequently visited 
the Queen and the royal children. When he was told 
that the mob was attempting to get into St James's and 
the Bank, he forbade the soldiers to fire, but ordered 
that they should keep off the rioters with their bayonets. 

On the 9th, Lord George Gordon, whose perfect 
sanity has since been questioned, was arrested by mes- 
sengers at his own house in Wimpole Street ; he was 

Bcckford's Monumental Speech. 175 

examined by the Council, and thence committed a pri- 
soner to the Tower, and for ten days was not allowed to 
see his friends. He was tried for treason in the Court 
of King's Bench, but, principally through the powerful 
eloquence of Erskine, was acquitted. In 1788, having 
been twice convicted of libel, he was compelled' to seek 
safety in flight; but being arrested in Holland, and sent 
back to England, he was committed to Newgate, where 
he died Nov. 1, 1793 : he is buried in the cemetery of St 
James's Chapel, Hampstead Road, without a stone to 
distinguish the place of his interment. 

Many persons lost their lives in affrays with soldiers, 
and in the havoc and general confusion of the tumults ; 
but it is remarkable that although fifty-eight of the 
rioters were condemned to death by the Commission 
appointed to try them, only twenty-five of them actually 
suffered. The places of execution were selected near to 
the spot where the criminal's offences had been com- 
mitted — a person was hanged at the Old Bailey "for 
demolishing the house of Mr Akerman, Keeper of 
Newgate." Seven were hanged in St George's Fields ; 
and on this site of the focus of the Gordon Riots, sixty 
years later, in 1840, was founded the largest Roman 
Catholic church erected in this country since the Refor- 
mation, a remarkable instance of the improved tolerant 
spirit of the times, 

Alderman Beckford and his Monumental 


Tins celebrated partisan, demagogue some call him, 
was alderman of Billingsgate Ward, and occupied a 
prominent position in city politics, especially in the first 

1 76 Romance of London. 

ten years of the reign of George III. This notoriety 
was much aided by his connection with Earl Chatham, 
who unquestionably used the alderman as a sort of 
political tool. Beckford was of an ancient Gloucester- 
shire family : among the principal adherents of Richard 
III. at Bosworth, was Sir William Beckford. After the 
conquest of Jamaica, in 1656, the Beckford family rose 
to high station and increased in wealth ; and the father 
of the Alderman, Peter Beckford, was Speaker of the 
House of Assembly of Jamaica. To his heir, Peter, 
succeeded William, of Fonthill, in Wiltshire. Here he 
resided in an old mansion, which was burnt down in the 
year 1755 ; the loss was estimated at £30,000. When 
this calamity happened, the Alderman was. in London : 
on being informed of the event, he took out his pocket- 
book, and began to write. When asked what he was 
doing, " Only calculating," he replied, "the expense of 
rebuilding it. I have an odd fifty thousand in a drawer, 
and I will build it up again. It will not be above a thou- 
sand pounds a-piece difference to my charity children." 
Fonthill House was accordingly rebuilt with fine stone. 
It was a lofty mansion, with a centre of four storeys, and 
wings connected by colonnades ; it was sumptuously fur- 
nished. In 1770, upon the death of the Alderman, his 
only son, the author of Vathck, succeeded to the property. 
Here he entertained Lord Nelson, and Sir William and 
Lady Hamilton, with great magnificence, in 1800; but 
a few years after, the mansion was taken down, when 
the materials alone were sold for £10,000. 

To return to the Alderman's history. As early as 
1754 he had obtained some notoriety. Walpole writes : 
" Beckford and Delaval, two celebrated partisans, met 
lately at Shaftesbury ; the latter said — 

Beckford' s Monumental Speech. 177 

' Art thou the man whom men famed Beckford call ? ' 

T'other replied — 

'Art thou the much more famous Delaval? ' " 

Beckford sat in Parliament for the City, and was twice 
Lord Mayor ; he died of rheumatic fever during his 
second mayoralty, June 21, 1770. In the previous 
month he carried a strong Remonstrance to the King, 
garnished with my Lord Mayor's own ingredients. 
"The Court, however," says Walpole, " was put in some 
confusion by my Lord Mayor, who, contrary to all form 
and precedent, tacked a volunteer speech to the Remon- 
strance. It was wondrous loyal and respectful, but, 
being an innovation, much discomposed the -ceremony. 
It is always usual to furnish a copy of what is to be said 
to the King, that he may be prepared with his answer. 
In this case he was reduced to tuck up his train, jump 
from the throne, and take sanctuary in his closet, or 
answer extempore, which is not part of the royal trade, 
or sit silent and have nothing to reply." The City, to 
mark their sense of Beckford's spirit, erected in the 
Guildhall a monumental statue of. the Lord Mayor in 
the act of addressing the King ; and, as an inscription, 
is cut his own speech to King George III., spoken, or 
said to have been spoken, in great excitement. 

The circumstances are, however, much disputed. To 
explain these, we must premise that for some time pre- 
viously " remonstrances," not always expressed in very 
courteous terms, had been addressed by the Corporation 
to the King (George III.) on the subject of various 
alleged grievances. At these, the latter, jealous of the 
slightest infringement on his prerogative, took excessive 
umbrage, and replied to them accordingly. The intcr- 

VOL. I. M 

173 Romance of London. 

ference of the Government with an election for Mid- 
dlesex was the occasion for renewed offence; and the 
citizens, as usual, gave vent to their feelings in a " peti- 
tion and remonstrance." It was the King's angry reply- 
to this address which is said to have drawn from Beck- 
ford the famous speech which is now engraven on 
his monument. It has been stoutly disputed whether 
Beckford actually did address George III. in the words 
written down in history for him, and which also appear 
on his monument in Guildhall. These words, besides 
being recorded in marble, appear also in the minutes 
of the Common Council of the day on which they are 
stated to have been uttered ; still, there has long been a 
tradition in the neighbourhood of Guildhall, that Home 
Tooke, who wrote them for Beckford, tampered with 
the minute-books in the Town-clerk's office, and,inserted 
what was intended to have been spoken by Beckford, 
had his Majesty given him the opportunity. Mr Peter 
Cunningham first embodied that doubt in a communi- 
cation to the Times ; and, since then, in his new edition 
of Horace Walpoles Letters, he has strengthened the 
statement by some contemporary authorities bearing 
on the subject. His note, in vol. v. p. 238, is as follows : 
— " The speech here alluded to is the one which the 
Alderman addressed to his Majesty, on the 23d of May, 
with reference to the King's reply, that ' he should have 
been wanting to the public, as well as to himself, if he 
had not expressed his dissatisfaction at the late address.' 
At the end of the Alderman's speech, in his copy of the 
City Addresses, Mr Isaac Reed has inserted the follow- 
ing note : — ' It is a curious fact, but a true one, that 
Beckford did not utter one syllable of this speech. It 
was penned by Home Tooke, and by his art put on the 

Beckford'' s Monumental Speech. 179 

records of the City, and on Beckford's statue; as he 
told me, Mr Braithwaite, Mr Sayers, &c., at the Athe- 
nian Club. — Isaac Reed' There can be little doubt that 
the worthy commentator and his friends were imposed 
upon." In the Chatham Correspondence, vol. iii. p. 460, 
a letter from Sheriff Townsend to the Earl expressly 
states, that, with the exception of the words " and 
necessary" being left out before the word " revolution," 
the Lord Mayor's speech, in the Public Advertiser of the 
preceding day, is verbatim the one delivered to the 
King. ( Wright.) Gifford says (Ben Jonson, vi. 481) that 
Beckford never uttered before the King one syllable of 
the speech upon his monument — and Gifford's statement 
is fully confirmed both by Isaac Reed (as above), and 
by Maltby, the friend of Rogers and Home Tooke. 
Beckford made a " Remonstrance Speech" to the King; 
but the speech on Beckford's monument is the after- 
speech written for Beckford by Home Tooke. — See 
Mitford's Gray and Mason Correspondence, pp. 438, 439. 
— Cu n n ingham. 

Beckford's mansion in Soho Square, at the corner of 
Greek Street, was, in 1863, sold for £6400 to the House 
of Charity. It had long been the office of the old Com- 
missioners of Sewers, and was subsequently occupied 
by the Board of Works. The interior has some well- 
designed chimney-pieces, architraves, door and window 
dressings, which are bold and characteristic specimens 
of the time. To keep alive his influence with the City, 
Lord Chatham maintained a correspondence with Beck- 
ford ; and Walpole states that the day before .the Alder- 
man died, Chatham " forced himself into the house, and 
got away all the letters he had written to that dema- 
gogue." About two months before the Alderman's 

i8o Romance of London. 

death, in the days of " Wilkes and Liberty," Walpole 
notes : — " The Lord Mayor had enjoined tranquillity — 
as Mayor. As Beckford, his own house, in Soho Square, 
was embroidered (illuminated) with ' Liberty ' in white 
letters three feet high." 

Beckford's only son, and heir to his enormous fortune, 
Lord Chatham's godchild, was, at the period of his 
father's death, a boy ten years of age. Three years later, 
Lord Chatham thus describes him to his own son Wil- 
liam : — " Little Beckford is just as much compounded 
of the elements of air and fire as he was. A due pro- 
portion of terrestrial solidity will, I trust, come and 
make him perfect." " He was afterwards," says Lord 
Mahon, " well known in a sphere totally different from 
his father's — the author of Vathek — the fastidious man 
of taste — the fantastic decorator of Ramalhao and 
Fonthill." It may be doubted whether the right pro- 
portion of "terrestrial solidity" ever came. He died in 
1844, in his eighty-fourth year, and is enshrined in a 
pink granite sarcophagus. 

Royalty Deduced from a Tub- Woman. 

In 1768, there appeared in the newspapers the following 
paragraph : — " During the troubles of the reign of 
Charles I., a country girl came to London in search of a 
place ; but not succeeding, she applied to be allowed to 
carry out beer from a brewhouse. These women were 
then called tub-zvomcn. The brewer, observing her to 
be a very good-looking girl, took her from this low 
situation into his house, and afterwards married her ; 
and while she was yet a young woman, he died, and 
left her a large fortune. She was recommended, on 

Unfortunate Baronets. 1 8 1 

giving up the brewer)'-, to Mr Hyde, a most able lawyer, 
to settle her husband's affairs ; he, in process of time, 
married the widow, and was made Earl of Clarendon. 
Of this marriage there was a daughter, who was after- 
wards wife to James II., and mother of Mary and Artne, 
queens of England." This statement was answered by 
a letter in the London Chronicle, December 20, 1768, 
proving that " Lord Clarendon married Frances, the 
daughter of Sir Tfiomas Aylesbury, knight and baronet, 
one of the Masters of Request to King Charles I., by 
whom he had four sons — viz., Henry, afterwards Earl of 
Clarendon ; Lawrence, afterwards Earl of Rochester ; 
Edward, who died unmarried ; and James, drowned on 
board the Gloucester frigate : also two daughters — Anne, 
married to the Duke of York ; and Frances, married to 
Thomas Keightley, of Hertingfordbury, in the county pf 
Herts, Esq." This story appears to have been a piece of 
political scandal. The mother of the Protector, Oliver 
Cromwell, is said to have conducted with great ability 
the affairs of her husband's brewhouse at Huntingdon. 
This some republican spirit appears to have thought an 
indignity ; so, by way of retaliation, he determined on 
sinking the origin of the inheritors of the Crown to the 
lowest possible grade — that of a tub-woman ! 

The same story has been told of the wife of Sir 
Thomas Aylesbury, great-grandmother of the two 
queens ; and, for anything we know yet of her family, it 
may be quite true. 

Unfortunate Baronets. 

The story of the Gargraves — for two centuries or more 
a family of the highest position in Yorkshire — is a 

iS2 Romance of London. 

melancholy chapter in the romance of real life. Its 
chiefs earned distinction in peace and war ; one died in 
France, Master of the Ordnance to King Henry V. ; 
another, a soldier too, fell with Salisbury at the siege of 
Orleans ; and a third filled the Speaker's chair of the 
House of Commons. What an awful contrast to this 
fair picture does the sequel offer ! Thomas Gargrave, the 
Speaker's eldest son, was hung at York for murder ; and 
his half-brother, Sir Richard, having wasted a splendid 
estate, was reduced to abject want. At Doncaster, his 
excesses are still the subject of traditional story, and his 
love of gaming is commemorated in an old painting, 
long preserved in the mansion at Badsworth, in which 
he is represented playing at the old game of "shot," 
the right hand against the left, for the stake of a cup of 
ale. The close of Sir Richard's story is as lamentable 
as its course. An utter bankrupt in means and reputa- 
tion, he is stated to have been reduced to travel with the 
pack-horses to London, and was at last found dead in an 
old hostelry ! 

A similarly melancholy narrative applies to another 
great Yorkshire house. Sir William Reresby, baronet, 
son and heir to the celebrated author, succeeded, at the 
death of his father, in 1689, to the beautiful estate of 
Thryberg, in Yorkshire, where his ancestors had been 
seated uninterruptedly from the time of the Conquest, 
and he lived to see himself denuded of every acre of his 
broad lands. Le Neve, in the MSS. preserved in the 
Herald's College, states that he became a tapster in the 
King's Bench Prison, and was tried and imprisoned for 
cheating in 171 1. He died in great obscurity. Gaming 
was among Sir William's follies — particularly cock- 
fighting. The tradition at Thryberg is (for his name is 

The Victory of Cullodai. 183 

not quite forgotten), that the fine estate of Dennaby was 
staked and lost on a single main. 

Sir William Reresby was not the only baronet who 
disgraced his order at that period. In 1722, Sir Charles 
Burton was tried at the Old Bailey for stealing a seal ; 
pleaded poverty, but was found guilty, and sentenced to 
transportation, which sentence was afterwards commuted 
for a milder punishment. 

The Victory of Cullorfen. 

Great were the faint-heartedness which seized almost 
all the loyal part of the country, and the folly and con- 
fusion which reigned, when Prince Charles was making 
his way to Edinburgh, and on from Edinburgh to the 
South. Jupiter Carlyle was with Smollett in the British 
Coffee-house, a great place of resort for Scotchmen, 
when the news of the victory of Culloden, which put an 
end to so much disgrace, came to London. Smollett 
then lived in Mayfair, and Carlyle had to take supper 
in New Bond Street, and they went very cautiously 
through the streets of uproarious London to their desti- 
nations. The mobs were riotous, the squibs were flying, 
and the two canny Scots retired into a narrow entry to 
pocket their wigs lest they should be burnt, and to draw 
their swords lest they should be attacked. Smollett 
went further, and cautioned Carlyle not to open his 
mouth lest he should betray his country, and excite the 
insolence of the mob against the Scotch marauders; 
" for John Bull," said he, " is as haughty and valiant to- 
night as he was as abject and cowardly on the Black 
Wednesday when the Highlanders were at Derby." 
After the trembling pair got to the top of the Hay- 

1 84 Romance of London. 

market, through an incessant fire of squibs, they took to 
the narrow lanes, and met nobody but a few boys at a 
pitiful bonfire, to which they contributed sixpence in 
grateful memory of the singeing which their wigs had 
escaped from an infuriated mob. 

Cumberland Gate, Hyde Park, and Great Cumber- 
land Street, were named after the hero of Culloden. In 
the latter street is a public-house, with a full-length por- 
trait of the Duke of Cumberland for its sign. Horace 
Walpole has an excellent reflection upon this sort of 
celebrity. "I was yesterday," he writes, in 1747, "out 
of town, and the very signs as I passed through the vil- 
lages led me to some quaint reflections on the mortality 
of fame and popularity. I observed how the Duke of 
Cumberland's head had succeeded almost universally to 
Admiral Vernon's, as his head had left few traces of the 
Duke of Ormond's. I pondered these things in my heart, 
and said unto myself, ' Surely, all glory is but a sign 1" 

Stiicide of Lord Clive. 

As the reflective lover of the metropolis walks upon the 
west side of Berkeley Square, he may be reminded that 
in the house, No. 45, the great Lord Clive put an end 
to himself — with a razor, some say with a penknife — on 
the 22d of November 1774, having just completed his 
forty-ninth year. 

Walpole relates the catastrophe, with a difference. 
Writing from Arlington Street, November 23, he says : 
" The nation had another great loss last night — Lord 
Clive went off suddenly. He had been sent for to town 
by some of his Indian friends — and died. . . . Lord 
H. has just been here, and told me the manner of Lord 

Suicide of L ord Clive. 1 8 5 

dive's death. Whatever had happened, it had flung 
him into convulsions, to which he was very subject. Dr 
Fothergill gave him, as he had done on like occasions, a 
dose of laudanum ; but the pain in his bowels was so 
violent, that he asked for a second dose. Dr Fother- 
gill said, 'if he took another, he would be dead in an 
hour.' The moment Fothergill was gone, he swallowed 
another, for another, it seems, stood by him, and he is 
dead." In his next letter, Nov. 24, Walpole writes : 
" A great event happened two days ago, — a political and 
moral event, — the sudden death of that second Kouli 
Khan, Lord Clive. There was, certainly, illness in the 
case ; the world thinks more than illness. His constitution 
was exceedingly broken and disordered, and grown sub- 
ject to violent pains and convulsions. He came unex- 
pectedly to town last Monday, and they say, ill. On 
Tuesday, his physician gave him a dose of laudanum, 
which had not the desired effect. Of the rest, there are 
two stories : one, that the physician repeated the dose ; 
the other, that he doubled it himself, contrary to advice. 
In short, he has terminated a life at fifty of so much 
glory, reproach, art, wealth, and ostentation ! He had 
just named ten members for the new Parliament." 

Thus fell the founder of the British Empire in India. 
Some lineaments of the character of the man (says Lord 
Macaulay) were very early discerned in the child. Let- 
ters written by him in his seventh year indicate his 
strong will and fiery passions, sustained by a constitu- 
tional intrepidity which sometimes seemed hardly com- 
patible with soundness of mind. " Fighting," says one 
of his uncles, "to which he is out of measure addicted, 
gives his temper such a fierceness and imperiousness, 
that he flies to it on every trifling occasion." 

1 8 6 Romance of L ondon. 

At the period of his death, Clive appeared secure in 
the enjoyment of his fortune and his honours. " He 
was surrounded," says Macaulay, "by attached friends 
and relations ; and he had not yet passed the season of 
vigorous bodily and mental exertion. But clouds had 
long been gathering over his mind, and now settled on 
it in thick darkness. From early youth he had been 
subject to fits of that strange melancholy 'which re- 
joiceth exceedingly, and is glad when it can find the 
grave.' While still a writer at Madras, he had twice 
attempted to destroy himself. Business and prosperity 
had produced a salutary effect on his spirits. In India, 
while he was occupied with great affairs, in England, 
while wealth and rank had still the charm of novelty, 
he had borne up against it. He had now nothing to do, 
and nothing to wish for. His active spirit in an inactive 
situation drooped and withered like a plant in an un- 
congenial air. The malignity with which his enemies 
had pursued him, the indignity with which he had been 
treated by the committee, the censure, lenient as it was, 
which the House of Commons had pronounced, the 
knowledge that he was regarded by a large portion of 
his countrymen as a cruel and perfidious tyrant, all con- 
curred to irritate and depress him. In the meantime, 
his temper was tried by acute physical suffering. Dur- 
ing his long residence in tropical climates, he had con- 
tracted several painful distempers. In order to obtain 
ease, he called in the help of opium ; and he was gra- 
dually enslaved by this treacherous ally. To the last, 
however, his genius occasionally flashed through the 
gloom. It was said that he would sometimes, after 
sitting silent and torpid for hours, rouse himself to the 
discussion of some great question, would display full 

Funeral of Nelson. I Sy 

vigour in all the talents of the soldier and the states- 
man, and then would sink back into his melancholy- 
repose. ...... 

In his death, " the awful close of so much prosperity 
and glory, the vulgar saw only a confirmation of all 
their prejudices ; and some men of real piety and genius 
so far forgot the maxims both of religion and of philo- 
sophy, as confidently to ascribe the mournful event to 
the just vengeance of God, and to the horrors of an evil 
conscience. It is with very different feelings that we 
contemplate the spectacle of a great mind ruined by the 
weariness of satiety, by the pangs of wounded honour, 
by fatal diseases, and more fatal remedies." 

He made magnificent presents — even to Royalty. 
Walpole tells us, in 1767, "Lord Clive is arrived, has 
brought a million for himself, two diamond drops, worth 
£12,000, for the Queen; a scimitar, dagger, and other 
matters, covered with brilliants, for the King, and worth 
£20,000 more. These dandles are presents from the 
deposed and imprisoned Mogul, whose poverty can still 
afford to give him such bribes. Lord Clive refused some 
overplus, and gave it to some widows of officers : it 
amounted to £90,000." 

Funeral of Nelson. 

The Victory, with the remains of our greatest naval 
hero, arrived at Sheerness, Sunday, December 25, 1805. 
On the following morning, the body was placed on 
board the Chatham yacht, proceeding on her way to 
Greenwich. The coffin, covered with an ensign, was 
placed on deck. Tuesday, she arrived at Greenwich ; 

1 8 8 Romance of L ondon. 

the body, still being in the coffin made of the wreck of 
V Orient, was then enveloped in the colours of the Vic- 
tory, bound round by a piece of rope, and carried by 
sailors, part of the crew of the Victory, to the Painted 
Hall, where preparations were made for the lying -in- 
state on January 5, 6, and 7, 1806. 

On January 8, the first day's procession by water took 
place, and the remains were removed from Greenwich to 
Whitehall, and from thence to the Admiralty, with great 
pomp and solemnity. The procession of barges was 
nearly a mile long, and minute guns were fired during 
its progress.* The banner of emblems was borne by 
Captain Hardy, Lord Nelson's captain. The body was 
deposited that night in the captain's room at the Ad- 
miralty, and attended by the Rev. John Scott : it is the 
room to the left, as you enter the hall. 

On Thursday, January 9, the procession from the 
Admiralty to St Paul's moved forward about eleven 
o'clock in the morning ; the first part consisting of 
cavalry regiments, regimental bands with muffled drums, 
Greenwich pensioners, seamen from the Victory, about 
200 mourning coaches, 400 carriages of public officers, 
nobility, &c, including those of the Royal Family, the 
Prince of Wales, Duke of Clarence, &c, taking part in 
the procession. The body, upon a funeral car, was , 
drawn by six led horses. The military force numbered 
nearly Sooo men. At Temple Bar, the City officers took 
their place in the procession. Upon arriving at the 
Cathedral, they entered by the west gate and the great 

* The Author of the present volume, then 4 years 5 months old, has 
a distinct recollection of seeing this water procession, for which he was 
held up by a nurse, at the back window of a house, two doors from the 
south foot of London Bridge, which commanded a view of the river. 

Funeral of Nelson. 1 89 

west door (fronting Ludgate Street), ranging themselves 
according to their ranks. The seats were placed under 
the dome, in each archway, in front of the piers, and in 
the gallery over the choir. The seats beneath the dome 
took the shape of the dome, and held 3056 persons : 
from the dome to the great west door, behind an iron 
railing, persons were allowed to stand. The body 
was placed on a bier, erected on a raised platform, 
opposite the eagle lectern. At the conclusion of the 
service in the choir, a procession was formed to the 
grave, with banners, &c. The interment being over, 
Garter proclaimed the style ; and the comptroller, trea- 
surer, and steward of the deceased, breaking their staves, 
gave the pieces to Garter, who threw them into the 
grave. The procession, arranged by the officers of arms, 
then returned. 

For a few days the public were admitted by a shilling 
fee, and allowed to enter the enclosed spot, directly over 
the body, looking down about ten feet, and were grati- 
fied with a sight of the coffin in the crypt, placed upon a 
platform covered with black cloth. Upon this spot was 
subsequently erected an altar-tomb, upon which was 
placed the coffin, within a black marble sarcophagus, 
originally made by order of Cardinal Wolsey, but left 
unused in the tomb-house adjoining St George's Chapel, 
Windsor. It is surrounded with a viscount's coronet 
upon a cushion ; on the pedestal is inscribed " Nelson." 
The remains and the tomb have been removed a short 
distance ; and upon the spot has been placed the granite 
sarcophagus containing the remains of the great Duke of 

Nelson's flag was to have been placed within his 
coffin, but just as it was about to be lowered for that 

190 Romance of London. 

purpose, the sailors who assisted at the ceremony, with 
one accord, rent it in pieces, that each might preserve a 
fragment while he lived. The leaden coffin in which the 
remains had been brought home, was, in like manner, 
cut in pieces, which were distributed as " relics of Saint 
Nelson " — as the gunner of the Victory called them. . 


Lord CastlereagJis Blunders. 

CASTLEREAGH was the most inelegant rhetorician in the 
House of Commons. He possessed unquestionably very 
considerable power of mind. An excellent judge, him- 
self one of the most skilful of living debaters, and who 
sat with Castlereagh in the House of Commons, has said 
that he often pursued his object in debate with striking 
discernment and sagacity. But, in doing this, he blun- 
dered through every conceivable confusion of metaphor. 
He would often hesitate, often seem confused, often 
express himself by some strange Irishism that became 
the ridicule of his opponents ; but he seldom lost the 
thread of his argument, or delivered a speech that was 
logically inconsequential. 

It was a strange instance of the feebleness of rhetoric 
against the strength of rotten burghs, that the Govern- 
ment of the country was so long represented, in the most 
polished assembly of Europe, by a man who could not 
speak in debate with the signs of education which almost 
any gentleman would evince in his conversation. When 
Lord Castlereagh said, in the House of Commons, that 
" he would then embark into the feature on which the 
proposition before him mainly hinged," there is no 
wonder that Tom Moore asked what were the features of 
a gate ? When he commenced a reply to an inquiry — 

Accession of Queen Victoria., 191 

if he really said as was reported — touching a resolution 
of the Allies at Vienna, with the words, " I and the other 
Sovereigns of Europe," the House must have laughed at 
the awkward slip which let fall the conviction, no doubt 
justly 'resting on his mind, that he had been on an 
equality at Vienna with every crowned head. It was 
the custom and delight of Sir James Mackintosh to 
• record every inelegant phrase as it dropped from Castle- 
reagh's mouth, in a little book which was ever in his 
pocket as he went down to the House. This little book, 
an hour or two later, was reproduced at many a Whig 
dinner-table. "What do you think Castlereagh has 
been saying just now?" Mackintosh would ask, almost 
before shaking hands with his host and hostess, as he 
drew the little book out of his pocket-; and all conver- 
sation was suspended to hear the best joke of the 
evening. We know not what Sir James Macintosh's 
literary executors did with that little book ; but if they 
destroyed it, they have certainly incurred the penalties 
of a high breach of trust. 


Accession of Queen Victoria. 

In the Diaries of a Lady of Quality, we find the follow- 
ing very interesting entry : — 

" June 1837. — On Monday we were listening all day 
for the tolling of the bells, watching whether the guests 
were going to the Waterloo dinner at Apsley House. 
On Tuesday, at 2\ a.m., the scene closed, and in a very 
short time the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord 
Conyngham, the Chamberlain, set out to announce the 
event to their young Sovereign. They reached Ken- 
sington Palace at about five ; they knocked, they rang, 

1 9 2 Romance of L ondon. 

they thumped for a considerable time before they could 
rouse the porter at the gates ; they were again kept 
waiting in the courtyard, then turned into one of the 
lower rooms, where they seemed forgotten by everybody. 
They rang the bell, desired that the attendant of the 
Princess Victoria might be sent to inform H.R.H. that 
they requested an audience on business of importance. 
After another delay, and another ringing to inquire the 
cause, the attendant was summoned, who stated that the 
Princess was in such a sweet sleep she could not venture 
to disturb her. Then they said, ' We are come to the 
Quccji on business of state, and even her sleep must give 
way to that.' It did : and to prove that she did not keep 
them waiting, in a few minutes she came into the room 
in a loose white nightgown and shawl, her nightcap 
thrown off, and her hair falling upon her shoulders — her 
feet in slippers, tears in her eyes, but perfectly collected 
and dignified. 

" The first act of the reign was of course the sum- 
moning the Council, and most of the summonses were 
not received till after the early hour fixed for its meeting. 
The Queen was, upon the opening of the doors, found 
sitting at the head of the table. She received first the 
homage of the Duke of Cumberland, who, I suppose, 
was not King of Hanover when he knelt to her ; the 
Duke of Sussex rose to perform the same ceremony, 
but the Queen, with admirable grace, stood up, and, 
preventing him from kneeling, kissed him on the fore- 
head. The crowd was so great, the arrangements were so 
ill-made, that my brothers told me the scene of swearing 
allegiance to their young Sovereign was more like that of 
the bidding at an auction than anything else." [Sir David 
Wilkie has painted the scene — but with a difference.] 

The Royal Exchange Motto. 193 

The Royal Exchange Motto. 

VARIOUS statements have been made regarding the 
origin and cause of placing the motto on the pediment 
of the Royal Exchange, London, — " The earth is the 
Lord's, and the fulness thereof," — the general impres- 
sion being that it was suggested by the late Prince 
Consort. Mr Tite, M.P., architect of the Exchange, thus 
explains the matter:— "As the work (the building of 
the Exchange) proceeded, his Royal Highness took 
much interest in the modelling and carving of the 
various groups, and condescended very frequently to 
visit the studio of the sculptor in Wilton Place. The 
reader may recollect that the figure of Commerce stands 
on an elevated block or pedestal in the centre of the 
group, and it became a subject of earnest consideration 
with Mr Westmacott and myself in what way the plain- 
ness of this block could be relieved ; for although in the 
original model, on a small scale, this defect did not 
strike the eye, yet in the execution it was very apparent. 
Wreaths, fasces, festoons, were all tried, but the effect 
was unsatisfactory ; and in this state of affairs Mr West- 
macott submitted the difficulty to his Royal Highness. 
After a little delay, Prince Albert suggested that the 
pedestal in question would be a very appropriate situa- 
tion for a religious inscription, which would relieve the 
plainness of the surface, in an artistic point of view, and 
at the same time have the higher merit of exhibiting 
the devotional feelings of the people and their recog- 
nition of a superior Power ; and he particularly wished 
that such inscription should be in English, so as to be 
intelligible to all. This happy thought put an end to 
VOL. i. n 

1 94 Romance of L ondon. 

all difficulty ; and as Dr Milman, the learned Dean of 
St Paul's, had kindly advised me in reference to the 
Latin inscriptions on the frieze and in the Merchants' 
Area, Mr Westmacott consulted him on this subject 
also; and he suggested the words of the Psalmist, which 
were at once adopted." 

London Residence of the Emperor of the 
French in 1847-8. 

On the north side of King Street, leading from St 
James's Square, are three or four newly-built houses 
of handsome Italian style, which form an agreeable 
contrast with the plain dingy-looking edifices adjoining. 
The house most to the west of this short row is destined 
to be for future time one of the places of mark in the 
metropolis ; for here, for some time, resided, in com- 
paratively humble circumstances, the remarkable man 
who, for twenty years, held the power of benefiting not 
merely France, but the whole of Europe. It is curious 
to contrast the position of Louis Napoleon at that time 
with the lofty position he afterwards attained, treated 
as he was with marked coldness by the English aris- 
tocracy, and abused and ridiculed by the chief of the 
press ; there were, however, the Count d'Orsay and 
others who knew him well — who had faith in the man, 
and dared to say that all he required was opportunity. 
It was when a resident in this house that the Prince was 
sworn in as one of the 150,000 special constables who 
came forward in 1848 to prevent the dreaded onslaught 
of the Chartist rioters. 

On the outbreak of the last French revolution, Louis 
Napoleon left London for Paris, and addressed a letter 

Residence of the French Emperor in 1847-8. 195 

to the Provisional Government of France to the follow- 
ing effect : — 

"At the very moment of the victory of the people, 
I went to the Hotel de Ville. The duty of every good 
citizen is to assemble around the Provisional Govern- 
ment of the Republic. I consider it the first duty to be 
discharged, and shall be happy if my patriotism may be 
usefully employed. — Receive, &c, 

" Napoleon Bonaparte. 

" Paris, Feb. 26." 

On the 28th of February he sent a second letter to 
the Provisional Government, as follows : — 

" GENTLEMEN, — The people of France having de- 
stroyed by their heroism the vestiges of foreign invasion, 
I hasten from the land of exile to place myself under 
the banner of the Republic just proclaimed. 

" Without any other ambition than that of serving 
my country, I announce my arrival to the members of 
the Provisional Government, and assure them of my 
devotedness to the cause they represent, as well as my 
sympathy for their persons. 

"Napoleon Louis Bonaparte." 

The Times of that date observed : — " Prince Louis 
Napoleon has, we believe, actually embarked for France, 
and landed at Boulogne, the scene of his former foolish 
attempt. He declares, however, that he goes to France 
merely as a citizen, to tender his services to his country." 

The correspondent of the Times, writing from Paris, 
says : — " All royal arms, or other emblems of royalty, 
are taken down or defaced ; still there are people who 

1 96 Romance of London. 

take it into their heads that the Count de Paris or the 
Duke de Bordeaux have a chance! Prince Louis Napo- 
leon's name begins to be mentioned, and I have heard 
one cry of ' Vive l'Empereur ! ' " 

The progress of Louis Napoleon towards the attain- 
ment of supreme power is so well known as to need no 
particular allusion here. Amid the splendours of the 
Imperial Court — amid that excess of power which the 
once contemned and ridiculed exile long wielded, his 
former lodgings in King Street, and the many associa- 
tions connected with them, were, we dare say, not en- 
tirely forgotten. It is well known that when he returned 
to this country as an Emperor, to be greeted with an 
ovation at every step of his progress, while the Imperial 
cortege was passing through St James's Street, Louis 
Napoleon particularly directed the attention of the 
Empress to the house he resided in as %.proscrit* 

The Chartists in 1848. 

The 10th of April 1848 is a noted day in our political 
calendar, from its presenting a remarkable instance of 
nipping in the bud apparent danger to the peace of the 
country, by means at once constitutional and reassuring 
public safety. It was on this day that the Chartists, as 
they were called, from developing their proposed altera- 
tions in the representative system, through the "People's 
Charter," made in the metropolis a great demonstration 
of their numbers : thus hinting at the physical force 
which they possessed, but probably without any serious 
design against the public peace. On this day the 
Chartists met, about 25,000 in number, on Kennington 

* From the Illustrated Times. 

The Chartists in 1848. 197 

Common, whence it had been intended to march in 
procession to the House of Commons with the Charter 
petition ; but the authorities having intimated that the 
procession would be prevented by force if attempted, 
it was abandoned. Nevertheless, the assembling of the 
<7tftfj7-politicians from the north, by marching through 
the streets to the place of meeting, had an imposing 
effect. Great preparations were made to guard against 
any mischief: the shops were shut in the principal 
thoroughfares; bodies of horse and foot police, assisted 
by masses of special constables, were posted at the 
approaches to the Thames bridges; a large force of the 
regular troops was stationed out of sight in convenient 
spots; two regiments of the line were kept ready at 
Millbank Penitentiary; 1200 infantry at Deptford, and 
30 pieces of heavy field-ordnance were ready at the 
Tower, to be transported by hired steamers to any re- 
quired point. The meeting was held, but was brought 
to "a ridiculous issue, by the unity and resolution of the 
metropolis, backed by the judicious measures of the 
Government, and the masterly military precautions of 
the Duke of Wellington." 

" On our famous 10th of April, his peculiar genius was 
exerted to the unspeakable advantage of peace and 
order. So effective were his preparations that the most 
serious insurrection could have been successfully en- 
countered, and yet every source of provocation and 
alarm was removed by the dispositions adopted. No 
military display was anywhere to be seen. The troops 
and the cannon were all at their posts, but neither shako 
nor bayonet was visible ; and for all that met the eye, 
it might have been concluded that the peace of the 
metropolis was still entrusted to the keeping of its 

198 Romance of L ondon. 

own citizens. As an instance, however, of his forecast 
against the worst, on this memorable occasion, it may- 
be observed that orders were given to the commissioned 
officers of artillery to take the discharge of their pieces 
on themselves. The Duke knew that a cannon-shot too 
much or too little might change the aspect of the day ; 
and he provided, by these remarkable instructions, both 
for imperturbable forbearance as long as forbearance 
was best, and for unshrinking action when the moment 
for action came." — Memoir ; Times, Sept. 15-16, 1852. 

The Chartists' Petition was presented to the House 
of Commons on the above day, signed, it was stated, by 
5,706,000 persons". 

Apsley House. 

This noble mansion, at Hyde Park Corner, Piccadilly — 
" No. 1, London," as the foreigner called it — is erected 
partly upon a piece of ground given by George II. to 
an old soldier named Allen, whom the King recognised 
as having served in the battle of Dettingen. Upon this 
spot Allen built a tenement in place of the apple-stall, 
which, by sufferance, had been kept thereon by his wife; 
and before the erection of Apsley House, in 1784, this 
piece of ground was sold, for a considerable sum, by 
Allen's descendants, to Apsley, Lord Bathurst. The 
maternal apple-stall is shown in a print, dated 1766. 

More celebrated, however, is the mansion as the town- 
house of Arthur, Duke of Wellington ; and for the price- 
less testimonials which it contains to the true greatness 
of that illustrious man. Yet, during the unhealthy 
excitement, when the Reform Bill agitators clung to 
the wheels of the Lord Mayor's stage-coach, as it rolled 

Apslcy House. 199 

into the courtyard of St James's, Apsley House was 
attacked by lawless brawlers, who threw stones at the 
very gallery in which was celebrated every year the 
victory which saved England and Europe ! It was to 
protect his mansion, after the windows had been broken 
by the mob, that the Duke had affixed the bullet-proof 
iron Venetian blinds, which were not removed during 
his Grace's lifetime. "They shall remain where they 
are," was his remark, " as a monument of the gullibility 
of a mob, and the worthlessness of that sort of popu- 
larity for which they who give it can assign no good 
reason. I don't blame the men that broke my windows. 
They only did what they were instigated to do by 
others who ought to have known better. But if any one 
be disposed to grow giddy with popular applause, I 
think a glance towards these iron shutters will soon 
sober him." 

Lastly, on fine afternoons, the sun casts the shadow 
of the Duke's equestrian statue full upon Apsley House, 
and the sombre image may be seen, gliding spirit-like 
over the front. 

|>cm:irluiblc gitck 

Trial by Battle, 

In the year 1S18 an appeal was made to the Court of 
King's Bench to award this ancient mode of trial in a 
case of murder. The body of one Mary Ashford was 
found drowned, with marks of dreadful ill-treatment 
upon it, and Abraham Thornton was committed to take 
his trial for the murder. The grand jury found a true 
bill, but, after a long and patient trial, the petty jury 
returned a verdict of " not guilty." The country were 
much divided on the subject ; and the evidence was very 
contradictory on the trial, especially as to time and dis- 
tance. Mr Justice Holroyd, who tried the case, was 
satisfied with the verdict. The poor murdered girl's 
relations preferred an appeal, which involved a solemn 
tender of trial by battle. It would be useless to dwell 
on the arguments used by the counsel on either side: 
the court divided in favour of the prisoner's claim to trial 
by zvagcr of battle, and the challenge was formally given 
by throwing down a glove upon the floor of the court ; 
but the combat did not take place, and the prisoner 
escaped from the punishment which, even. on his own 
admission of guilt, he had so fully incurred. A wretched 
outcast, shunned and dreaded by all who knew him, a 
few months after his liberation, Thornton attempted to 
proceed to America : the sailors of the vessel in which 
he was about to take his passage refused to proceed to 

Trial by Battle. 201 

sea with such a character on board ; but, disguising him- 
self, he succeeded in a subsequent attempt to procure a 
passage, and thus relieved this country of his presence. In 
consequence of the above revival of this barbarous prac- 
tice, a bill was brought in by the then Attorney-General, 
and was passed into a law, by which Wager of Battle, and 
all similar proceedings, were abolished altogether. 

Mr Hewitt, in his able work on Ancient Arms and 
Armour, says : " In the thirteenth century we first obtain 
a pictorial representation of the legal duel or wager of 
battle — rude, it is true, but curiously confirming the 
testimony that has come down to us of the arms and 
apparel of the champions," — on one of the miscellaneous 
rolls in the Tower, of the time of Henry III. The com- 
batants are Walter Blowberne and Haman le Stare, the 
latter being the vanquished champion, and figuring a 
second time undergoing the punishment incident to his 
defeat — that is, hanging. Both are armed with the 
quadrangular-bowed shield and a baton headed with a 
double beak ; and are bareheaded, with cropped hair, in 
conformity with an ordinance of the camp-fight. An 
example agreeing with this description, with the excep- 
tion of the square shield appearing to be flat instead of 
bowed, occurs on a tile-pavement found, in 1856, within 
the precincts of Chertsey Abbey, Surrey. 

The legal antiquaries were disappointed of the rare 
spectacle of a judicial duel, by the voluntary abandon- 
ment of the prosecution. A writer of the time observed : 
— "Should the duel take place, it will be indeed a singular 
sight to behold the present venerable and learned judges 
of the Court of King's Bench, clothed in their full cos- 
tume, sitting all day long in the open air in Tothill 
Fields, as the umpires of a match at single-stick. Nor 
will a less surprising spectacle be furnished by the 

202 Romance of London. 

learned persons who are to appear as the counsel of the 
combatants, and who, as soon as the ring is formed, will 
have to accompany their clients within the lists, and to 
stand, like so many seconds and bottle-holders, beside 
a pair of bare-legged, bare-armed, and bare-headed 
cudgellists." The subject, ludicrous as it seemed, was 
one of considerable seriousness and importance. The 
reflection that in the nineteenth century a human life 
might be sacrificed, to a practice which might have 
been conceived too absurd, impious, and cruel, to have 
outlived the dark ages, could not be entertained without 
pain. In the following year, however, this barbarous 
absurdity was nullified by an Act (59 Geo. III. c. 46) 
abolishing all criminal appeals and trial by battle in all 
cases, both civil and criminal, and thus purifying the law 
of England from a blot which time and civilisation had 
strangely failed to wear away. 

Dr Luke Booker, of Dudley, wrote a kind of moral 
drama on this occasion, which he entitled The Mysterious 

The Field of Forty Footsteps. 

In the rear of Montague House, Bloomsbury, until the 
present generation, the ground lay waste, and being on 
the edge of the great town, presented a ready arena for 
its idle and lawless dangerous classes. It appears to 
have been originally called Long Fields, and afterwards 
Southampton Fields. They were the resort of depraved 
persons, chiefly for fighting pitched battles, especially on 
the Sabbath-day ; such was the state of the place up to 

Montague House and Gardens occupied seven acres. 
In the latter were encamped, in 17S0, the troops 
stationed to quell the Gordon riots ; and a print of the 

TJic Field of Forty Footsteps. 203 

period shows the ground in the rear of the mansion laid 
out in grass-terraces, flower-borders, lawns, and gravel- 
walks, where the gay world resorted on a summer's 
evening. The back being open to the fields extending 
to Lisson Grove and Paddington ; north, to Primrose 
Hill, Chalk Farm, Hampstead, and Highgate ; and east, 
to Battle Bridge, Islington, St Pancras, &c. : the north 
side of Queen Square was left open, that it might not 
impede the prospect. Dr Stukeley, many years rector 
of St George's Church, in his MS. diary, 1749, describes 
the then rural character of Queen Square and its 
neighbourhood. On the side of Montague Gardens, 
next Bedford Square, was a fine grove of lime-trees ; 
and the gardens of Bedford House, which occupied the 
north side of the present Bloomsbury Square, reached 
those of Montague House. We can, therefore, under- 
stand how, a century and a half since, coachmen were 
regaled with the perfume of the flower-beds of the gar- 
dens belonging to the houses in Great Russell Street, 
which then enjoyed " wholesome and pleasant air." 
Russell Square was not built until 1804, although Bal- 
timore House was erected in 1763; and it appears to 
have been the only erection since Strype's Survey to 
this period, with the exception of a chimney-sweeper's 
cottage, still further north, and part of which is still to 
be seen in Rhodes's Mews, Little Guildford Street. In 
1800, Bedford House was demolished entirely; which, 
with its offices and gardens, had been the site where the 
noble family of the Southamptons, and the illustrious 
Russells, had resided during more than 200 years, almost 
isolated. (Dr Rimbault.) 

The Long Fields would seem to have been early 
associated with superstitious notions ; for Aubrey tells 
us, that on St John Baptist's Day, 1694, he saw, at mid- 

204 Romance of London. 

night, twenty-three young women in the parterre behind 
Montague House, looking for a coal, under the root of a 
plantain, to put under their heads that night, " and they 
should dream who would be their husbands." 

But there is stronger evidence of this superstition in 
association. A legendary story of the period of the 
Duke of Monmouth's Rebellion relates a mortal conflict 
here between two brothers, on account of a lady, who 
sat by ; the combatants fought so ferociously as to de- 
stroy each other ; after which, their footsteps, imprinted 
on the ground in the vengeful struggle, were said to 
remain, with the indentations produced by their advanc- 
ing and receding; nor would any grass or vegetation 
ever grow over these forty footsteps. Miss Porter and 
her sister upon this fiction, founded their ingenious 
romance, Coming Out, or the Field of Forty Footsteps ; but 
they entirely depart from the local tradition. At the 
Tottenham Street Theatre was produced, many years 
since, an effective melodrama, founded upon the same 
incident, entitled the Field of Forty Footsteps. 

Southey records this strange story in his Common- 
place Book (Second Series, p. 21). After quoting a letter 
from a friend, recommending him to "take a view of 
those wonderful marks of the Lord's hatred to ducllinsr. 
called The Brothers Steps," and describing the locality, 
Southey thus narrates his own visit to the spot : — 

" We sought for near half an hour in vain. We could find no steps at 
all within a quarter of a mile, no, nor half a mile of Montague House. 
We were almost out of hope, when an honest man, who was at work, 
directed us to the next ground, adjoining to a pond. There we found what 
we sought, about three-quarters of a mile north of Montague House, and 
500 yards east of Tottenham Court Road. The steps are of the size of a 
large human foot, about three inches deep, and lie nearly from north-east 
to south-west. We counted only seventy-six ; but we were not exact in 
counting. The place where one or both the brothers are supposed to have 

The Famous Cheshire Will Case. 205 

fallen is still bare of grass. The labourer also showed us the bank where 
(the tradition is) the wretched woman sat to see the combat." 

Southey adds his full confidence in the tradition of 
the indestructibility of the steps, even after ploughing 
up, and of the conclusions to be drawn from the circum- 
stance. — Notes and Queries, No. 12. 

Joseph Moser, in one of his Commonplace Books, gives 
this account of the footsteps, just previous to their being 
built over : — 

"June 16, 1800. Went into the fields at the back of Montague House, 
and there saw, for the last time, the forty footsteps ; the building materials 
are there, ready to cover them from the sight of man. I counted more 
than forty, but they might be the footprints of the workmen." 

We agree with Dr Rimbault that this evidence estab- 
lishes the period of the final demolition of the footsteps, 
and also confirms the legend that forty was the original 

In the third edition of A Booh for a Rainy Day, we 
find this note upon the above mysterious spot : — 

" Of these steps there are many traditionary stories : the one generally 
believed is, that two brothers were in love with a lady, who would not 
declare a preference for either, but coolly sat down upon a bank to witness 
the termination of a duel, which proved fatal to both. The bank, it is 
said, on which she sat, and the footmarks of the brothers when passing the 
ground, never produced grass again. The fact is, that these steps were so 
often trodden that it was impossible for the grass to grow. I have fre- 
quently passed over them ; they were in a field on the site of St Martin's 
Chapel, or very nearly so, and not on the spot as communicated to Miss 
Porter, who has written an entertaining novel on the subject." 

The Famous Cheshire Will Case. 

The Will of Dame Lady Anne Fytton, widow, intro- 
duces us to two families — the Fittons of Gawsworth, 
and the Gerards, their cousins. The son and heir of 

2o6 Romance of London. 

Lady Anne was Sir Edward Fytton, whose sister Pene- 
lope married Sir Charles Gerard. Fytton and Gerard ! 
what a coil the men who bore these names made some 
years after Lady Anne was entombed at Gawsworth ! 
Will upon will, lawsuit upon lawsuit — how fierce and 
foul the struggle, which began in one century with for- 
gery, and concluded in the next with murder in Hyde 

They who now pass through Gerrard Street and 
Macclesfield Street, Soho, pass over ground where the 
son and heir of Sir Charles Gerard, first baron of that 
name, and subsequently Earl of Macclesfield, kept a 
gay house, surrounded by trim gardens, and a sulky 
French wife, whom Charles II. forbade continuing her 
attendance on the Queen, because the lady let her 
tongue wag rudely against the Castlemaine whom 
Gerard himself received at his mansion. That lord, 
who gave up his commission of the Guards for a dou- 
ceur of £12,000 from the King, who wanted the dignity 
for Monmouth, was a fine dresser, a false friend, a tale- 
bearer against Clarendon, and altogether not a man to 
be esteemed. His uncle, Sir Edward Fytton of Gaws- 
worth, had died childless, entailing (it was said) his 
estates on a kinsman, William Fytton, who was suc- 
ceeded in the possession by his son Alexander. To 
oust the latter, nineteen years after the death of Sir 
Edward, and thirty after the entail had been confirmed, 
as alleged, by a deed-poll, Gerard produced a will which 
would be looked for in vain in the Ecclesiastical Court 
at Chester, It purported to be that of Gerard's uncle, 
Sir Edward, duly made in the nephew's favour. Hot, 
fierce, anxious, was the litigation that followed. Fytton 
pleaded the deed-poll, but Gerard brought forward one 

The Famous Cheshire Will Case. 207 

Abraham Granger, who made oath that he had forged 
the name of Sir Edward to that deed under menace of 
mortal violence. Thereupon the judgment of the Chan- 
cellor was given in favour of Gerard, and the deed 
declared to be a forgery. Fytton, as soon as he heard 
the judgment pronounced, "rose up," says Roger North, 
" and went straight down to a shop in the Hall, took up 
his Lordship's picture, paid his shilling, and, rolling up 
his purchase, went off, desiring only an opportunity in 
a better manner to resent such an ancient piece of jus- 

Then ensued the strangest part of this will story. 
Abraham Granger, impelled by remorse or liberal pay- 
ment, or desire to escape a great penalty by acknow- 
ledging the smaller offence, appeared in court, and con- 
fessed that he had perjured himself when he swore that 
he had forged the name of Sir Edward. The confession, 
however, was unsupported, and Fytton, who was con- 
sidered the responsible person, was condemned to fine, 
imprisonment, and pillory. But he was not a man to 
be kept from greatness by having suffered such degra- 
dation. Turning Romanist, he was patronised by James 
the Second, who made him Chancellor of Ireland and 
Baron Gawsworth, and who found in him a willing and 
unscrupulous instrument in James's Irish Parliament, 
and active in passing Acts of Forfeiture of Protestant 
property and Attainder of Protestant personages. 

The family quarrel, as we have said, ended in blood. 
Gerard died in 1693, Earl of Macclesfield. He was 
succeeded by his two sons, Charles, who died childless, 
in 1701, and Fytton Gerald, Earl of Macclesfield, who 
died, without heirs, in 1702. Ten years later occurred, in 
Hyde Park, that savage duel between Lord Mohun, and 

208 Romance of London. 

the Duke of Hamilton, in which both adversaries were 
slain. Political animosities, which ran very high at this 
period, gave a peculiar acrimonious character to the 
transaction ; but the main cause was — these two men, 
Mohun and Hamilton, were husbands of co-heiresses, 
who were disputing possession of the old Cheshire 
estates of the Fyttons ; and they brought to a sanguin- 
ary end the old Cheshire will case,* as will be seen in 
our next narration. 

Duel between the Duke of Hamilton and 
Lord Mohun. 

On the 15th of November 171 2, this most sanguinary 
duel was fought near Prince's Lodge, in Hyde Park. 
The spot was known as " the Ring," parts of which can 
be distinctly traced on the east of the Ranger's grounds. 
This memorable struggle is minutely detailed in Trans- 
actions during the Reign of Queen Anne, published at 
Edinburgh in 1790, by Charles Hamilton, a member of 
the illustrious house of Hamilton, who was led to take a 
peculiar interest in the subject. 

It appears that upon the return of Lord Bolingbroke 
from Paris, Queen Anne was pleased to nominate the 
Duke of Hamilton her Ambassador Extraordinary and 
Plenipotentiary to France. Previously to his departure 
upon this embassy, his Grace laboured to bring to issue 
a Chancery suit, which for some time had lain depend- 
ing between Lord Mohun and him, whose respective 
consorts were nieces of the late Earl of Macclesfield. 
By appointment the two lords met on the morning of 

* Abridged from the AthencEum, 

Duke of Hamilton and Lord Mohun. 209 

the 13th November, at the chambers of Olebar, a Master 
in Chancery. Upon hearing the evidence of Mr Whit- 
worth, formerly steward of the Macclesfield family, an 
old man, whose memory was much impaired by age, the 
Duke of Hamilton said, " There is no truth or justice in 
him." Lord Mohun replied, " I know Mr Whit worth ; 
he is an honest man, and has as much truth as your 
Grace." This grating retort was not noticed by the 
Duke. Having concluded their business, the parties 
separated without any heed or apparent animosity.'"' 
Lord Mohun that night supped at the Queen's Arms 
Tavern, in Pail Mall, in the company of General 
Macartney and Colonel Churchill, both violent men, and 
declared partisans of the Duke of Marlborough. From 
the tavern Lord Mohun retired to his own house, in 
Marlborough Street. Early next morning, he paid a 
hurried visit to General Macartney and Colonel Churchill, 
who both occupied lodgings in the same house. At- 
tended by these two gentlemen, his Lordship afterwards 
proceeded to Marlborough House, where it is but too 
plain that the offending party was prevailed upon to send 
a challenge to the party offended. 

Next day General Macartney with Lord Mohun went 
to the Rose Tavern : the Duke and his Lordship retired 
into a private room, and ordered a bottle of claret, a part 
of which they drank. The Duke joined some company 
who expected him; and the. General returned to my 
Lord Mohun, with whom he went away. 

Lord Mohun that evening again supped at the Queen's 

* The above and all the following circumstances are extracted with 
fidelity from different examinations taken before the Privy Council after 
the Duke's cruel catastrophe, and from the trial of General Macartney in 
the Court of King's Bench. 

VOL. I. O 

2 1 o Romance of L ondon. 

Arms in Pall Mall, with the Duke of Richmond, Sir 
Robert Rich, Colonel Churchill, and a stranger. About 
twelve at night, General Macartney came in, took Lord 
Mohun to the Bagnio, in Long Acre, ordered a room 
with two beds : here the General and his Lordship 
slept ; having desired to be called at six o'clock in the 

Uncommon pains were taken to keep up Lord Mohun's 
spirits, who seems to have had very little inclination for 
the duel. Yet he was not a novice at fighting, for his 
Lordship had been engaged in other broils. Swift says 
he had twice been tried for murder. The Duke so little 
apprehended foul play being designed against him, that 
at seven o'clock on the next morning, 15th November, as 
he was dressing himself to repair to the place appointed, 
he recollected that he stood in need of a second. He 
despatched a footman to Colonel Hamilton, in Charing 
Cross, with a request that he would dress himself with 
expedition, as he would speedily be with him. The 
Duke stepped into his chariot, ordered the coachman to 
drive to the Colonel's lodgings, went in, and hurried him 
away. They drove on to Hyde Park, where the coach- 
man stopped. The Duke ordered him to drive on to 
Kensington. Colonel Hamilton subsequently deposed 
before the Privy Council : " Coming to the lodge, we saw 
a hackney-coach at a distance, on which his Grace said, 
' There is somebody he must speak with ; ' but driving 
up to it, and seeing nobody, he asked the coachman, 
4 Where are the gentlemen you brought ? ' He answered, 
'A little before.' The Duke and I got out in the bottom, 
and walked over the Pond's Head, when we saw Lord 
Mohun and General Macartney before us. After this 
we all jumped over the ditch into the nursery, and the 

Duke of Hamilton and Lord MoJiun. 2 1 1 

Duke, turning to Macartney, told him, ' Sir, you are the 
cause of this, let the event be what it will.' Mac- 
artney answered, ' My lord, I had a commission for it.' 
Then Lord Mohun said, ' These gentlemen shall have 
nothing to do here ;' at which Macartney replied, ' We 
will have our share.' Then said the Duke, 'There is 
my friend ; he will take his share in my dance.' We all 
immediately drew. Macartney made a full pass at me, 
which passing down with great force, I wounded myself 
in the instep ; however, I took the opportunity to close 
with and disarm Macartney ; which being done, I turned 
my head, and seeing my Lord Mohun fall with the Duke 
upon him, I flung down both the swords, and ran to the 
Duke's assistance. As I was raising up my Lord Duke, 
I saw Macartney make a push at his Grace. I imme- 
diately looked whether he had wounded him, but per- 
ceiving no blood, I took up my sword, expecting that 
Macartney would attack me again, — but he walked off. 
Just as he was going, came up the keepers and others, 
to the number of nine or ten, among the rest the Duke's 
steward, who had brought with him a surgeon, who, on 
opening his Grace's breast, soon discovered a wound on 
the left side, which entered between the left shoulder 
and pap, and went slantingly down through the midriff 
into his belly. 

" The surgeons, who afterwards opened the body, at 
the same time confirmed this circumstance. Let any 
person at all acquainted with the fencing attitudes 
determine whether such a wound could have been given 
by the opposed adversary in the act of fighting, or 
whether, while lying transfixed, extended on his back, 
he could have thrust his sword into his opponent's bosom 
in the manner above described, particularly when it is 

2 1 2 Romance of L ondon. 

considered that the Duke had only accidentally slipped 
down upon the wet grass* 

"John Reynolds, of Price's Lodge, further deposed 
that he was within thirty or forty yards from the lords 
when they fell ; that my Lord Mohun fell into the ditch 
upon his back, and the Duke of Hamilton leaning over 
him. That the two seconds ran into them, and imme- 
diately himself, who demanded the seconds' swords, 
which they gave him ; but that he was forced to wrest 
the Duke's sword out of his hand. That he assisted in 
lifting up the Duke, who was lying on his face, and in 
supporting him while he walked about thirty yards, 
when he said he could walk no farther." 

There is another version of this sanguinary affair in a 
letter from Macartney, who had fled to the Continent, 
written to a friend of his in town. This represents 
Lord Mohun striving to prevent the duel, for which pur- 
pose, on his behalf, Macartney waited upon the Duke 
to accommodate the matter ; for which purpose also 
his Grace had sent messengers in quest of Macartney. 
It was then proposed that the parties should meet that 
night at the Rose Tavern, in Covent Garden. Macart- 
ney and Lord Mohun went together, and there found 
the Duke of Hamilton alone, and (says Macartney) 
"his whole dress was changed from a long wig and 
velvet clothes I had left him in to a riding wig and stuff 
coat, without either star or ribbon, only a St Andrew's 
cross, and an old white cloak." " You see, sir," said my 
Lord Duke, smiling, " that I am come en cavalier^ " I 

* Lest it. should be surmised that he might have held his sword in the 
left hand, it should here be mentioned that in running Lord Mohun 
through the body his Grace had received a wound in the right arm, which 
evinces that the right hand was his sword hand. 

Duke of Hamilton and Lord Alohun. 2 r 3 

see it, indeed, my Lord," said I ; " but I hope it is on 
some other gallant occasion, no way relating- to our last 
discourse." His Grace replied, "No, faith, 'tis for the 
business you know of, for le mis prcst-a-tout." " My 
Lord," said I, " I am come here by your Grace's com- 
mands, not without hopes that, discoursing with your 
Grace and your friend, things might be better under- 
stood, and perhaps settled to both your satisfactions." 
" My friend is here," said my Lord Duke ; and, going to 
the door, called very loudly, " Jack, come in." Imme- 
diately enters Colonel Hamilton in a red coat with gold 
buttons; and the Duke, presenting him to me, said, 
" Sir, here is the gentleman who is to entertain you." 
Then, turning to Colonel Hamilton, says, "Do you 
hear, Jack? " Lord Mohun and I have an affair to 
decide which no one is to know of but yourself and 
Mr Macartney." "With all my heart," says Colonel 
Hamilton; "Mr Macartney and I know one another 
very well." There being wine upon the table, I drank 
to him Duke Hamilton's health ; he pledged it, and his 
Grace drank to me ; on which I filled another glass and 
said, " My Lord, let me drink to a happy conclusion of 
this affair." "With all my heart," said the Duke. 

No time of meeting was then arranged, and Mac- 
artney left the Duke and Colonel Hamilton together. 
Macartney declared that till Hamilton came into the 
room, he had not lost hopes of an accommodation ; but 
the Duke presenting to Macartney, for an antagonist, a 
gentleman who had a long prejudice to him, for being 
made major over his head in the Scots Greys, besides 
a later difference which happened in Scotland, this 
unhappy rencontre made him incapable of further pro- 

2 1 4 Romance of L ondon . 

Macartney thus relates the struggle : — " Immediately 
both lords drew, and I can give little account of their 
action, being at the same instant engaged with Colonel 
Hamilton, with whom, after some parrying, I closed in ; 
and getting his sword from him with my left hand, he 
caught hold of mine with his right hand just below the 
hilt. 'Sir,' said I, 'struggle not, for I have your sword.' 
' Sir/ said he, ' I have a grip of yours ;' ' Quit it, then,' 
said I, ' and don't force me to run you through the back, 
but let's haste to save them.' I saw the lords then 
struggle and fall together, their ground being much 
changed in the action. While I was yet uttering the 
words I mentioned last to Colonel Hamilton, the keeper 
came up and found us two in this posture, standing 
upon our legs close struggling, his sword in my left 
hand, free over his right shoulder, and my sword in my 
right hand, he pulling at the blade with both his. One 
of the keepers took our two swords, and I think another 
ran at the same instant to the lords, crying out, ' What 
a deal of mischief is done here ! Would to God we 
had come sooner! You gentlemen are such strange 
creatures!' As we stepped to the lords, as I think not 
above four yards from us, Lord Mohun was not alto- 
gether on his back, but in a manner between lying and 
sitting, bending forward to Duke Hamilton, of whose 
sword he laid a hold with his left hand. Duke 
Hamilton was on his knees leaning to his left almost 
across Lord Mohun, and holding Lord Mohun's sword 
also fast with his left hand, both striving, but neither 
able, to disengage himself from t'other. One of the 
keepers, with Colonel Hamilton, first lifted the Duke, 
while with another I endeavoured the same service to 
my Lord Mohun, who immediately said to me, ' I be- 

Duke of Hamilton and Lord Mohun. 2 1 5 

lieve I am killed, for I have several wounds in my 
belly.' ' Good God forbid,' said I, and turning him off 
his wounded side and belly, strove in vain to give him 
relief. I saw the Duke, supported by the Colonel and 
another, walk some yards, but staggering, which I im- 
puted to a great gash I saw in his leg, which I thought 
had cut the sinews. I continued my care about my 
Lord Mohun till hopes were passed, and then sent his 
body home in the same coach that brought us." Swift, 
in his Journal to Stella, Nov. 15, 171 2, says: — "The 
Duke was helped into the Cake House by the Ring in 
Hyde Park, and died on the grass before he could reach 
the house." 

This duel assumed a high political colour. The Duke 
was regarded as the head of the Jacobite party, and 
Lord Mohun a zealous Whig. The Duke's appoint- 
ment as ambassador alarmed the Whigs, on the sup- 
position that this nobleman favoured the Pretender. 
Macartney disappeared, and escaped in disguise to the 
Continent. Colonel Hamilton declared upon oath, be- 
fore the Privy Council, that when the principals en- 
gaged, he and Macartney followed their example ; that 
Macartney ivas immediately disarmed ; but the Colonel, 
seeing the Duke fall iipon his antagonist, threw away 
the swords, and ran to lift him up; that while he was 
employed in raising the Duke, Macartney, having taken 
up one of the swords, stabbed his Grace over Hamil- 
ton's shoulder, and retired immediately. A proclama- 
tion was issued, promising a reward of £^00 to those 
who should apprehend or discover Macartney ; and the 
Duchess of Hamilton offered ,£300 for the same purpose. 
The Tories exclaimed against this event as a party duel. 
They treated Macartney as a cowardly assassin ; and 

2 1 6 Romance of L ondon. 

affirmed that the Whigs had posted others of the same 
stamp all round Hyde Park to murder the Duke of 
Hamilton, in case he had triumphed over his antagonist, 
and escaped the treachery of Macartney. The Whigs, 
on the other hand, affirmed that it was altogether a pri- 
vate quarrel ; that Macartney was entirely innocent of 
the perfidy laid to his charge ; and that he afterwards 
submitted to a fair trial, at which Colonel Hamilton pre- 
varicated in giving his evidence, and was contradicted bv 
the testimony of divers persons who saiv the combat at a 
distance. These details are from Smollett's Continuation 
of Hume's History of England. 

Macartney surrendered, and taking his trial in the 
Court of King's Bench, the deposition of Colonel Hamil- 
ton was contradicted by two park-keepers ; the General 
was acquitted of the murder, and found guilty of man- 
slaughter only — was restored to his rank in the army, 
and gratified with the command of a regiment. 

Meanwhile, General Macartney having found favour 
at the Court of Hanover, was afterwards employed by 
George I. in bringing over the 6000 Dutch troops at the 
breaking out of the Preston Rebellion ; soon after 
which, in accordance with the ribald taste of the day, 
the tragic duel was turned into the following 


Duke Hamilton was as fine a Lord, 

Fal lal de ral de re, O, 
As ever Scotland could afford ; 

Fal lal de ral de re, O. 
For personal valour few there were , 
Could with his Grace the Duke compare : 
How he was murdered you shall hear. 

Fal lal de ral de re, O. 

Duke of Hamilton and L ord MoJiun. 2 1 7 

Lord Mohun and he fell out of late, 

Fal, &c. 
About some trifles of the State ; 

Fal, &c. 
So high the words between them rose, 
As very soon it turned to blows : 
How it will end there 's nobody knows. 

Fal, &c. 

Lord Mohun, who never man could face, 

Fal, &c. 
Unless in some dark and private place, 

Fal, &c. 

He sent a challenge unto his Grace. 

Fal, &c. 

Betimes in the morning his Grace arose, 

Fal, &c. 
And straight to Colonel Hamilton goes ; 

Fal, &c. 
Your company, sir, I must importune, 
Betimes in the morning, and very soon, 
To meet General M'Cartney and Lord Mohun. 

Fal, &c. 

The Colonel replies, I am your slave, 

Fal, &c. 
To follow your Grace unto the grave. 

Fal, &c. 
Then they took coach without delay, 
And to Hyde Park by break of day — - 
Oh ! there began the bloody fray. 

Fal, &c. 

No sooner out of coach they light, 

Fal, &c. 
But Mohun and M'Cartney came in sight— 

Fal, &c. 

Oh ! then began the bloody fight. 

Fal, &c. 

2 1 S Romance of London. 

Then bespoke the brave Lord Mohun, 

Fal, &c. 
I think your Grace is here full soon ; 

Fal, &c. 
I wish your Grace would put it bye, 
Since blood for blood for vengeance cry, 
And loath I am this day to die. 

Fal, &c. 

Then bespoke the Duke his Grace, 

Fal, &c. 
Saying, Go find out a proper place ; 

Fal, &c. 
My Lord, to me the challenge you sent— 
To see it out is my intent, 
Till my last drop of blood be spent. 

Fal, &c. 

Then these heroes' swords were drawn, 

Fal, &c. 
And so lustily they both fell on ; 

Fal, &c 
Dulse Hamilton thrust with all his might 
Unto Lord Mohun thro' his body quite, 
And sent him to eternal night. 

Fal, &c. 

By this time his Grace had got a wound, 

Fal, &c. 
Then on the grass, as he sat down, 

Fal, &c. 
Ease M'Cartney, as we find, 
Cowardly, as he was inclined, 
Stabb'd his Grace the Duke behind, 

Fal, &c. 

This done, the traitor ran away, 

Fal, &c. 
And was not heard of for many a day ; 

Fal, &c. 

L ord Byron and Chaworth. 2 1 9 

In Christian land, let's hear no more 
Of duelling and human gore, 
The story's told — I say no more — 

But fal lal de ral de re, O. 

Duel between Lord Byron and Mr 

EVERY reader of the " Life of Lord Byron " will recol- 
lect that the granduncle of the illustrious poet, in the 
year 1765, took his trial in the House of Peers, for kill- 
ing in a duel, or rather scuffle, his relation and neigh- 
bour, Mr Chaworth, " who was run through the body, 
and died next day." 

Lord Byron and Mr Chaworth were neighbours in the 
country, and they were accustomed to meet, with other 
gentlemen of Nottinghamshire, at the Star and Garter 
Tavern, in Pall Mall, once a month, what was called the 
Nottinghamshire Club. 

The meeting at which arose the unfortunate dispute 
that produced the duel, was on the 26th of January 1765, 
at which were present Mr John Hewet, who sat as chair- 
man ; the Hon. Thos. Willoughby ; Frederick Montagu, 
John Sherwin, Francis Molineux, Esqrs., and Lord 
Byron; William Chaworth, George Donston, and Charles 
Mcllish, junior, Esq.; and Sir Robert Burdett ; who 
were all the company present. The usual hour was soon 
after four, and the rule of the club was to have the bill 
and a bottle brought in at seven. Till this hour all was 
jollity and good humour ; but Mr Hewet, happening to 
start some conversation about the best method of pre- 
serving game, setting the laws for that purpose out of 
the question, Mr Chaworth and Lord Byron were of 
different opinions ; Mr Chaworth insisting on severity 

220 Romance of London. 

against poachers and unqualified persons ; and Lord 
Byron declaring that the way to have most game was to 
take no care of it at all. Mr Chaworth, in confirmation 
of what he had said, insisted that Sir Charles Sedley 
and himself had more game on five acres than Lord 
Byron had on all his manors. Lord Byron, in reply, 
proposed a bet of one hundred guineas, but this was not 
laid. Mr Chaworth then said, that were it not for Sir 
Charles Sedley's care, and his own, Lord Byron would 
not have a hare on his estate ; and his Lordship asking, 
with a smile, what Sir Charles Sedley's manors were, 
was answered by Mr Chaworth, — Nuttall and Bulwell. 
Lord Byron did not dispute Nuttall, but added, B.ulwell 
was his ; on which Mr Chaworth, with some heat, replied, 
" If you want information as to Sir Charles Sedley's 
manors, he lives at Mr Cooper's, in Dean Street, and, I 
doubt not, will be ready to give you satisfaction ; and, 
as to myself, your Lordship knows where to find me, in 
Berkeley Row." 

The subject was now dropped ; and little was said, 
when Mr Chaworth called to settle the reckoning, in 
doine which the master of the tavern observed him to be 
flurried. In a few minutes, Mr Chaworth, having paid 
the bill, went out, and was followed by Mr Donston, 

whom Mr C asked if he thought he had been short 

in what he had said ; to which Mr D replied, " No ; 

he had gone rather too far upon so trifling an occasion, 
but did not believe that Lord Byron or the company 
would think any more of it." Mr Donston then returned 
to the club-room. Lord Byron now came out, and 
found Mr Chaworth still on the stairs : it is doubtful 

whether Lord B called upon Mr C , or Mr C 

called upon Lord B ; but both went down to the 

Lord Byron and Chaworth. 221 

first landing-place — having dined upon the second floor, 
and both called a waiter to show an empty room, which 
the waiter did, having first opened the door, and placed 
a small tallow-candle, which he had in his hand, on the 
table ; he then retired, when the gentlemen entered, and 
shut the door after them. 

In a few minutes, the affair was decided ; the bell was 
rung, but by whom is uncertain : the waiter went up, 
and, perceiving what had happened, ran down stairs 
frightened, told his master of the catastrophe, when he 
ran up to the room, and found the two antagonists 
standing: close together : Mr Chaworth had his sword in 
his left hand, and Lord Byron his sword in his right ; 

Lord B 's left hand was round Mr Chaworth, and 

Mr C 's right hand was round Lord B 's neck, and 

over his shoulder. Mr C desired Mr Fynmore, the 

landlord, to take his sword, and Lord B delivered up 

his sword at the same moment : a surgeon was sent for, 
and came immediately. In the meantime, six of the 
company entered the room ; when Mr Chaworth said 
that "he could not live many hours ; that he forgave 
Lord Byron, and hoped the world would ; that the affair 
had passed in the dark, only a small tallow-candle 
burning in the room ; that Lord Byron asked him, if he 
addressed the observation on the game to Sir Charles 
Sedley, or to him ? — to which he replied, ' If you have 
anything to say, we had better shut the door,' that 
while he was doing this, Lord Byron bid him draw, and 
in turning he saw his Lordship's sword half drawn, on 
which he whipped out his own sword, and made the first 
pass; that the sword being through my Lord's waist- 
coat, he thought that he had killed him ; and, asking 
whether he was not mortally wounded, Lord Byron, 

222 Romance of London. 

while he was speaking, shortened his sword, and stabbed 
him in the belly." When Mr Hawkins, the surgeon, 
arrived, he found Mr Chaworth sitting by the fire, with 
the lower part of his waistcoat open, his shirt bloody, 
and his hand upon his belly. He inquired if he was in 
immediate danger, and being answered in the affirmative, 
he desired his uncle, Mr Levinz, might be sent for. In 
the meantime, he stated to Mr Hawkins, that Lord 

Byron and he (Mr C ) entered the room together ; 

that his Lordship said something of the dispute, on 

which he, Mr C , fastened the door, and turning 

round, perceived his Lordship with his sword either 
drawn, or nearly so ; on which he instantly drew his 
own, and made a thrust at him, which he thought had 
wounded or killed him ; that then perceiving his Lord- 
ship shorten his sword to return the thrust, he thought 
to have parried it with his left hand, at which he looked 
twice, imagining that he had cut it in the attempt; that 
he felt the sword enter his body, and go deep through 
his back ; that he struggled, and being the stronger 
man, disarmed his Lordship, and expressed his appre- 
hension that he had mortally wounded him ; that Lord 
Byron replied by saying something to the like effect ; 
adding that he hoped now he would allow him to be as 
brave a man as any in the kingdom. Mr Hawkins 
adds that, pained and distressed as Mr Chaworth then 
was, and under the immediate danger of death, he re- 
peated what he had heard he had declared to his friends 
before, — that he had ratherbe in his present situation, than 
live under the misfortune of having killed another person. 
After a little while, Mr Chaworth seemed to grow 
stronger, and was removed to his own house : addi- 
tional medical advice arrived, but no relief could be 

Lord Byron mid Chaworth. 223 

given him : he continued sensible till his death. Mr 
Levinz, his uncle, now arrived with an attorney, to 
whom Mr Chaworth gave very sensible and distinct 
instructions for making his will. While this was being 
done, Mr Chaworth described to his uncle the catas- 
trophe, as he had related it to Mr Hawkins, — lamenting 
his own folly in fighting in the dark, an expression that 
conveyed no imputation on Lord Byron ; and implied 
no more than that by fighting with a dim light, he had 
given up the advantage of his own superiority in swords- 
manship, and had been led into the mistake that he 
was in the breast of his Lordship, when he was but 
entangled in his waistcoat ; for under that mistake he 
certainly was when Lord Byron shortened his sword, 
and ran him through the body : he added to Mr Levinz, 
that he died as a man of honour, and expressed satis- 
faction that he was in his present situation, rather than 
in that of having the life of any man to answer for. 
The will was now executed, and the attorney, Mr Part- 
ington, committed to writing the last words Mr Cha- 
worth was heard to say. This writing was handed to 
Mr Levinz, and gave rise to a report that a paper was 
written by the deceased, and sealed up, not to be opened 
till the time that Lord Byron should be tried; but no 
paper was written by Mr Chaworth, and that written 
by Mr Partington was as follows : — " Sunday morning, 
the 27th of January, about three of the clock, Mr 
Chaworth said that my Lord's sword was half-drawn ; 
and that he, knowing the man, immediately, or as quick 
as he could, whipped out his sword, and had the first 
thrust; that then my Lord wounded him, and he dis- 
armed my Lord, who then said, ' By G — d, I have as 
much courage as any man in England.'" 

224 Romance of London. 

Lord Byron was committed to the Tower,, and was 
tried before the House of Peers, in Westminster Hall, 
on the 1 6th and 17th of April 1765. The prisoner 
was brought to the bar by the deputy-governor of the 
Tower, having the axe carried before him by the 
gentleman gaoler, who stood with it on the left hand 
of the prisoner, with the edge turned from him. Lord 
Byron's defence was reduced by him into writing, and 
read by the clerk. The Peers present, including the 
High Steward, declared Lord Byron, on their honour, 
to be not guilty of murder, but of manslaughter ; with 
the exception of four Peers, who found him not guilty 
generally. On this verdict being given, Lord Byron 
was called upon to say why judgment of manslaughter 
should not be pronounced upon him. His Lordship 
immediately claimed the benefit of the first Edward 
VI., cap. 12, a statute by which, whenever a Peer was 
convicted of any felony for which a commoner might 
have Benefit of Clergy, such Peer, on praying the bene- 
fit of that Act, was always to be discharged without 
burning in the hand, or any penal consequence what- 
ever. The claim of Lord Byron being accordingly 
allowed, he was forthwith discharged on payment of his 
fees. This singular privilege was supposed to be abro- 
gated by the 7 & 8 Geo. IV., cap. 28, s. 6, which abo- 
lished Benefit of Clergy ; but some doubt arising on the 
subject, it was positively put an end to by the 4 & 5 
Vict., cap. 22. {Celebrated Trials connected zvith the 
Aristocracy. By Mr Serjeant Burke.) 

Mr Chaworth was the descendant of one of the oldest 
houses in England, a branch of which obtained an Irish 
Peerage. His grandniece, the eventual heiress of the 
family, was Mary Chaworth, the object of the early 

The Duke of York, and Colonel Lenox. 225 

unrequited love of Lord Byron, the poet. Singularly- 
enough, there was the same degree of relationship 
between that nobleman and the Lord Byron who killed 
Mr Chaworth, as existed between the latter unfortunate 
gentleman and Miss Chaworth. 

Lord Byron survived the above trial thirty-three 
years, and, dying in 1798, leaving no surviving issue, 
the title devolved on his grandnephew, the poet, who, 
in a letter, thus refers to the fatal rencontre : — " As to 
the Lord Byron who killed Mr Chaworth in a duel, so 
far from retiring from the world, he made the tour of 
Europe, and was appointed master of the stag-hounds 
after that event ; and did not give up society until his 
son had offended him by marrying in a manner con- 
trary to his duty. So far from feeling any remorse for 
having killed Mr Chaworth, who was a 'spadassin,' and 
celebrated for his quarrelsome disposition, he always 
kept the sword which he used on that occasion in his 
bedchamber, and there it still was when he died." 

Duel between the Duke of York and Colonel 


In the year 1789, the Duke of York said, or was re- 
ported to have said, that Colonel Lenox (afterwards 
Duke of Richmond), of the Coldstream Guards, had 
submitted to language at D'Aubigny's Club, to which 
no gentleman ought to submit ; and on the Colonel's 
requesting to be informed to what language his Royal 
Highness alluded, the Duke replied by ordering the 
Colonel to his post. After parade, the conversation 
was renewed in the orderly-room. The Duke declined 

VOL. I. P 

226 Romance of London. 

to give his authority for the alleged words at 
D'Aubigny's, but expressed his readiness to answer for 
what he had said, observing that he wished to derive no 
protection from his rank : when not on duty he wore a 
brown coat, and hoped that Colonel Lenox would con- 
sider him merely an officer of the regiment, to which 
the Colonel replied that he could not consider his 
Royal Highness as any other than the son of his King. 
Colonel Lenox then addressed a circular to the mem- 
bers of the Club, and failing to receive the required 
information, again applied to his Royal Highness to 
withdraw the offensive words, or afford the means of 
verifying them. 

On a renewed refusal of explanation, a hostile mes- 
sage was delivered, and the parties met at Wimbledon 
Common ; his Royal Highness attended by Lord Raw- 
don, and Colonel Lenox by the Earl of Winchilsea. 
The ground was measured at twelve paces : Lenox fired 
first, and the ball grazed his Royal Highness's side-curl ; 
the Duke of York did not fire. Lord Ravvdon then 
interfered, and said that he thought enough had been 
done. Lenox observed that his Royal Highness had 
not fired. Lord Rawdon said it was not the Duke's 
intention to fire ; his Royal Highness had come out, 
upon Colonel Lenox's desire, to give him satisfaction, 
and had no animosity against him. Lenox pressed 
that the Duke should fire, which was declined, with a 
repetition of the reason. Lord Winchilsea then ex- 
pressed his hope that the Duke of York would have no 
objection to say, he considered Colonel Lenox a man of 
honour and courage. The Duke replied that he should 
only say that he had come out to give Colonel Lenox 
satisfaction, and did not mean to fire at him — if Colonel 

The Duke of York and Colonel Lenox. 227 

Lenox was not satisfied, he might fire again. Lenox 
said, he could not possibly fire again at the Duke, as 
his Royal Highness did not mean to fire at him. On 
this, both parties left the ground. The affair led to a 
prolonged discussion among the officers of the Cold- 
stream Guards, who at length passed a resolution that 
Colonel Lenox had behaved with courage, but not 
(under very trying circumstances) with judgment. 

The Prince of Wales (George IV.), however, took up 
the matter with a high hand, as an insult to his family. 
The 4th of June being the King's birthday, a State ball 
was given at St James's Palace, which came to an 
abrupt conclusion, as thus described in a magazine of 
the period : — " There was but one dance, occasioned, 
it is said, by the following circumstance : — Colonel 
Lenox, who had not danced a minuet, stood up with 
Lady Catherine Barnard. The Prince of Wales did not 
see this until he and his partner, the Princess Royal, 
came to Colonel Lenox's place in the dance, when, 
struck with the incongruity, he took the Princess's hand, 
just as she was about to be turned by Colonel Lenox, 
and led her to the bottom of the dance. The Duke of 
York and the Princess Augusta came next, and they 
turned the Colonel without the least particularity or 
exception. The Duke of Clarence, with the Princess 
Elizabeth, came next, and his Royal Highness followed 
the example of the Prince of Wales. The dance pro- 
ceeded, however, and Lenox and his partner danced 
down. W T hcn they came to the Prince and Princess, 
his Royal Highness took his sister, and led her to her 
chair by the Queen. Her Majesty, addressing herself 
to the Prince of Wales, said, 'You seem heated, sir, and 
tired !' 'lam heated and tired, madam,' said the Prince, 

228 Romance of L ondon. 

' not with the dance, but with dancing in such company.' 
' Then, sir,' said the Queen, ' it will be better for me to 
withdraw, and put an end to the ball!' 'It certainly 
will be so,' replied the Prince, ' for I never will counten- 
ance insults given to my family, however they may be 
treated by others.' Accordingly, at the end of the 
dance, Her Majesty and the princesses withdrew, and 
the ball concluded." 

A person named Swift wrote a pamphlet on the affair, 
taking the Duke's side of the question. This occasioned 
another duel, in which Swift was shot in the body by 
Colonel Lenox. The wound, however, was not mortal, 
for there is another pamphlet extant, written by Swift 
on his own duel. 

Colonel Lenox immediately after exchanged into the 
35th Regiment, then quartered at Edinburgh, where he 
became very popular ; it w r as suspected from his quarrel 
with the Duke being attributed to a lurking feeling of 
Jacobitism — Lenox being a left-handed descendant of 
the Stewart race. 

" Fighting Fitzgerald? 

The records of Tyburn, or of Newgate, do not yield a 
parallel to the worthlessness of the individual who, in 
the last century, was infamously known as " Fighting 
Fitzgerald." By birth and fortune a gentleman, by 
profession a soldier, he possessed not a single attribute 
of either character : in manners offensively low and 
vulgar; in language vituperative ; in habits a gamester 
and a brawler ; the most noted duellist on record, yet a 
coward at heart was this ferocious impostor. 

In the course of his wicked life, he fought upwards 

" Fighting Fitzgcraldr 229 

of twenty duels, killing or wounding eighteen of his 
antagonists, and except a severe wound in the head, 
received in his first rencontre, never meeting with a 
scratch. At one period of his career, he came in colli- 
sion with Captain Scawen, of the Guards. From that 
gentleman having stigmatised his conduct, Fitzgerald 
determined to bully him into an apology, and meeting 
the Captain at the Cocoa-tree Tavern, he demanded, in 
his usual swaggering manner, whether Captain Scawen 
had ever dared to take liberties with his name and char- 
acter. "Liberties, sir!" was the response, "no liberties 
can be taken with that which is already infamous." A 
meeting was the consequence, the parties passing over 
to the Continent for the purpose, and they fought on 
the Austrian territory, near Tournay. Fitzgerald fired 
first, and his ball passed close under the Captain's chin. 
Scawen then prepared to fire, but Fitzgerald anticipated 
the intention, by firing his second pistol at his opponent, 
but declaring to have done so by accident! — a cold- 
blooded attempt at murder. Captain Scawen then 
refused to fire, and the duel was put an end to by the 
Captain apologising. 

In Fitzgerald's final duel with Major Cunningham, 
that officer insisted upon fighting with swords, when the 
secret of long impunity and success was detected. The 
Major having passed Fitzgerald's guard, and by a 
powerful thrust, struck against the other's breast, the 
weapon snapped, striking against a steel surface, when 
Cunningham taxed his opponent with wearing armour, 
and he was driven off the field. After this defeat, Fitz- 
gerald retired to his Irish property : he lived a life of 
violence and outrage, and closed his career of crime with 
the murder of two neighbouring gentlemen, for which 

230 Romance of L ondon. 

he was tried, convicted, and executed. Twice the rope 
broke in the attempt to hang him ; and twice he fell to 
the ground, supplicating for five minutes' longer life. 
Such was the end of " Fighting Fitzgerald." 

Primrose Hill. 

PRIMROSE Hill has also been the scene of several san- 
guinary duels, one of which took place on April 6, 1803, 
between Lieut.-Col. Montgomery and Captain Macna- 
mara, in consequence of a quarrel between them in 
Hyde Park. They met the same evening : Capt. M.'s 
ball entered the right side of Col. M.'s chest, and passed 
through the heart. He instantly fell without uttering a 
word, but rolled over two or three times, as if in great 
agony, and groaned ; being carried into Chalk Farm 
tavern, he expired in about five minutes. Col. Mont- 
gomery's ball went through Capt. Macnamara, entering 
on the right side, just above the hip : it passed through 
the left side, carrying part of the coat and waistcoat in 
with it, and taking part of his leather breeches and the 
hip-button away with it on the other side. Capt. Mac- 
namara was tried for manslaughter at the Old Bailey ; 
he received an excellent character from Lords Hood, 
Nelson, Hotham, and Minto, and a great number of 
highly respectable gentlemen: the jury pronounced a 
verdict of Not Guilty. 

Primrose Hill has been also called Green-Berry-Hill, 
from the names of the three persons who were executed 
for the assassination of Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey, 
and who were said to have brought him hither after he 
had been murdered at Somerset House. 

Lord Camelford, the Duellist. 231 

Lord Camelford, the Duellist. 

The turbulent career of this eccentric peer, bruiser, and 
duellist, presents several strange and amusing incidents. 
He was the great-grandson of the famous Governor Pitt, 
who acquired most of his ample fortune in India by the 
purchase of the "Pitt diamond," which was sold in 
Europe, with great profit, to the Duke of Orleans, 
Resrent of France. 

Lord Camelford was born in 1775 ; and in spirit and 
temper, when a boy, was violent and unmanageable. 
He was bred to the Royal Navy, and accompanied 
Captain Vancouver in the ship Discovery, where, through 
his refractoriness and disobedience of orders, he was 
treated with necessary severity of discipline. On his 
return home, he challenged his captain, and meeting 
him in Bond Street, was only prevented from striking 
him by the interference of his brother. In the public 
life of the metropolis, his pugnacity most strangely dis- 
played itself. On the night of April 2, 1799, during a 
riot at Drury Lane Theatre, Lord Camelford savagely 
assaulted and wounded a gentleman, for which assault 
a jury of the Court of King's Bench returned a verdict 
against him of £500. Soon after this affair he headed 
an attack upon four watchmen in Cavendish Square, 
when, after an hour's conflict, his Lordship and the 
other assailants were captured, and, guarded by twenty 
armed watchmen, were conveyed to the watch-house. 
In another freak of this kind, on the night of a general 
illumination for Peace in 1801, Lord Camelford would 
not suffer lights to be placed in the windows of his 
apartments, at a grocer's in New Bond Street. The 

232 Romance of L ondon. 

mob assailed the house with a shower of stones at the 
windows, when his Lordship sallied out, and with a 
stout cudgel kept up a long conflict, until he was over- 
powered by numbers, and retreated in a deplorable con- 
dition. His name had now become a terror. Entering, 
one evening, the Prince of Wales's Coffee-House in Con- 
duit Street, he sat down to read the newspapers. Soon 
after came in a conceited fop, who seated himself opposite 
his Lordship, and desired the waiter to bring a pint of 
Madeira, and a couple of wax candles, and put them 
into the next box. He then drew to himself Lord 
Camelford's candle, and began to read. His Lordship 
glanced at him indignantly, and then continued reading. 
The waiter announced the fop's commands completed, 
when he lounged round into the box, and began to read. 
Lord Camelford then, mimicking the tone of the cox- 
comb, called for a pair of snuffers, deliberately walked 
to his box, snuffed out both candles, and his Lordship 
deliberately returned to his seat. The coxcomb, boiling 
with rage, roared out, " Waiter ! who is this fellow that 
dares thus to insult a gentleman ? Who is he ? What 
is he? What do they call him?" "Lord Camelford, 
sir," replied the waiter. "Who? Lord Camelford!" 
returned the fop, in a tone of voice scarcely audible, 
terror-struck at his own impertinence — " Lord Camel- 
ford ! What have I to pay ?" On being told, he laid 
down the money, and stole away without daring to taste 
his Madeira. 

James and Horace Smith relate that they happened 
to be at the Royal Circus when " God save the King " 
was called for, accompanied by a cry of " Stand up !" 
and " Hats off !" An inebriated naval lieutenant, per- 
ceiving a gentleman in an adjoining box slow to obey 

Lord Camelford, the Duellist. 233 

the call, struck off his hat with his stick, exclaiming, 
"Take off your hat, sir!" The other thus assaulted 
proved to be, unluckily for the lieutenant, Lord Camel- 
ford. A set-to in the lobby was the consequence, where 
his Lordship quickly proved victorious. " The devil is 
not so black as he is painted," said Mr James Smith to 
his brother ; " let us call upon Lord Camelford, and 
tell him that we were witnesses of his being assaulted." 
The visit was paid on the ensuing morning, at Lord 
Camelford's lodgings, No. 148 New Bond Street. Over 
the fireplace of the drawing-room were ornaments 
strongly expressive of the pugnacity of the peer. A 
long thick bludgeon lay horizontally supported on two 
brass hooks. Above this was placed one of lesser 
dimensions, until a pyramid of weapons gradually arose, 
tapering to a horsewhip : — 

Thus, all below was strength, and all above was grace. 

Lord Camelford received his visitors with great civility, 
and thanked them warmly for the call ; adding that 
their evidence would be material, it being his intention 
to indict the lieutenant for an assault. "All I can say 
in return is this," exclaimed the peer, with great cordi- 
ality, "if ever I see you engaged in a row, upon my 
soul I '11 stand by you." Messrs Smith expressed them- 
selves thankful for so potent an ally. 

Lord Camelford's irritable disposition, which had 
involved him in numberless quarrels and disputes, at 
length paved the way to his fatal catastrophe — about a 
fortnight after the scene at the Royal Circus. He had, 
for some time, been acquainted with a Mrs Simmons, 
who had formerly lived under the protection of Captain 
Best, a friend of his Lordship. An officious person had 

2 34 Romance of London. 

represented to him that Best had said to this woman 
something scandalous of Lord Camelford. This so in- 
censed his Lordship, that on March 6th, 1804, meeting 
with Best at the Prince of Wales's Coffee-House, he 
went up to him and said, loud enough to be heard by all 
who were present, " 1 find, sir, that you have spoken of 
me in the most unwarrantable terms." Captain Best 
replied that he was quite unconscious of having deserved 
such a charge. Lord Camelford replied, that he was 
not ignorant of what he had said to Mrs Simmons, and 
declared him to be " a scoundrel, a liar, and a ruffian." 
A challenge followed, and the meeting was fixed for the 
next morning. During the evening, the captain trans- 
mitted to Lord Camelford the strongest assurances that 
the information he had received was unfounded, and 
that, as he had acted under a false impression, he should 
be satisfied if he would retract the expressions he had 
made use of; but this his Lordship refused to do. Cap- 
tain Best then left the coffee-house. A note was soon 
afterwards delivered to his Lordship, which the people 
of the house suspected to contain a challenge. Infor- 
mation was lodged at Marlborough Street, but no steps 
were taken by the police to prevent the meeting, until 
near two o'clock the following morning, when officers 
were stationed at Lord Camelford's door : it was then 
too late. 

Lord Camelford had already left his lodgings, to 
sleep at a tavern, so as to avoid the officers. Agreeably 
to an appointment made by their seconds, his Lordship 
and the captain met early in the morning, at a coffee- 
house in Oxford Street, where Mr Best made another 
effort to prevail on Lord Camelford to retract the 
expressions he had used. To all remonstrance he 

Lord Camel ford, the Duellist. 235 

replied, " Best, this is child's play — the thing must go 


Accordingly, his Lordship and Captain Best, on 
horseback, took the road to Kensington, followed by a 
post-chaise, in which were the two seconds. On their 
arrival at the Horse and Groom, the parties dismounted, 
and proceeded by the path to the fields behind Holland 
House. The seconds measured the ground, and took 
their stations at the distance of thirty paces — twenty- 
nine yards. Lord Camelford fired first, but without 
effect. An interval of several seconds followed, and, 
from the manner and attitude of Captain Best, the per- 
sons who viewed the transaction at a distance, imagined 
that he was asking whether his Lordship was satisfied. 
Best then fired, and his Lordship fell at full length. 
The seconds, together with the captain, immediately ran 
to his assistance, when he is said to have seized the 
latter by the hand, and to have exclaimed, " Best, I am 
a dead man ; you have killed me, but I freely forgive 
you." The report of the pistols had alarmed some men 
who were at work near the spot, when Captain Best 
and his second thought it prudent to provide for their 
own safety. One of Lord Holland's gardeners now 
approached, and called to his fellow-labourers to stop 
them. On his arrival, Lord Camelford's second, who 
had been supporting him as well as he was able, ran for 
a surgeon, and Mr Thompson, of Kensington, soon after 
came to his assistance. His Lordship then asked the 
man " why he had called out to stop the gentlemen, and 
declared that he did not wish them to be stopped ; that 
he himself was the aggressor, that he forgave the gentle- 
man who had shot him, and hoped God would forgive 
him too." Meanwhile, a chair was procured, and his 

236 Romance of L ondon. 

Lordship was carried to Little Holland House, where, 
after three. days' suffering, he expired. 

We have seen that Lord Camelford, in his heart, 
acquitted Captain Best ; he acknowledged also, in con- 
fidence to his second, that he himself was in the wrong ; 
that Best was a man of honour ; that he could not 
prevail on himself to retract words he had once used. 
The reason of the obstinacy with which he rejected all 
advances towards a reconciliation was that his Lordship 
entertained an idea that his antagonist was the best shot 
in England ; and to have made an apology would have 
exposed his Lordship's courage to suspicion. 

On the morning after his decease, an inquest was 
held on the body, and a verdict of wilful murder returned 
against " Some person or persons unknown ;" on which 
a bill of indictment was preferred against Captain Best 
and his friend, which was ignored by the grand jury. 

A Literary Duel. 

It was at the period when Fraser's Magazine was in the 
zenith of its popularity, that its publisher got involved 
in two unpleasant results — a horse-whipping and a duel. 
The Hon. Mr Grantley Berkeley's narrative states that 
a lady conceived the idea of asking for his assistance, 
though she knew him only by repute, in a delicate diffi- 
culty, in which none of her own friends were able to 
assist her ; and we learn that he did take up her quarrel, 
upon excellent grounds, and with very immediate and 
considerable effect. The culprit in the case was the 
well-known Dr Maginn, who, having the lady in his 
power, from his then influence as a literary critic, was 
pressing upon her, as the price of averting his hostility, 

A Literary Dud. 237 

a dishonourable compliance with desires which were at 
once base and mercenary. Mr Berkeley boasts that he 
succeeded in taking Dr Maginn's intended prey out of 
his paws, though he was afterwards warned by Lady 
Blessington, who was subsequently made cognisant of 
the circumstances, that Maginn would watch for an 
opportunity of having his revenge. The opportunity 
which came was the publication, some time afterwards, 
of a novel by Mr Grantley Berkeley, which Dr Maginn 
took the opportunity of criticising in Fraser s Magazine, 
not, however, with a fair criticism, but with a malignant 
insinuation against Lady Huston (Dowager-Duchess 
of Grafton, and the cousin of the author), to whom he 
had very naturally dedicated the work. It would have 
been reasonable that any man, at whose lady relative a 
scandalous insult was thus pointed, should feel a little 
tingling of the blood in consequence ; and accordingly 
Mr Grantley Berkeley, accompanied by his brother 
Craven, and armed with a stout horsewhip, waited on 
Mr Fraser, the publisher of the magazine, to demand 
the name and address of the author of the article in 
question. The author was Dr Maginn, but, as Mr Fraser 
declined to name him, Mr Berkeley assumed that he 
might hold Mr Fraser himself responsible, and thereupon 
he hauled him out by the collar, and administered a most 
severe chastisement. For the moment the assault was 
treated as a police case, but it was soon converted into 
the subject of a civil action ; and in the meantime Dr 
Maginn, though with no exceeding alacrity, threw him- 
self in the way of Mr Berkeley, and arrangements were 
made for a hostile meeting. 

In the duel which thereupon took place, neither com- 
batant fought with his own pistols; though both of them 

238 ' Romance of London. 

fought with Mr Grantley Berkeley's choice gunpowder, 
to his own extreme disgust. They fired three shots at 
each other, Mr Berkeley aiming at his antagonist's legs, 
but only succeeding in hitting the heel of his boot and the 
hinge of his own brother Henry's pistol-case, on which it 
rested. We remember hearing at the time that the latter, 
who had followed his brother on horseback to the field, 
and was looking on from behind the nearest hedge, was 
by no means gratified by this damage to his property, 
and that his disgust at this incident was almost the only 
sentiment he expressed upon this occasion. At all events, 
no further damage was done in the encounter, except 
what appears to have been the dispersion of some cotton 
wadding, under Dr Maginn's shirt-front, by the third 
and last shot from Mr Grantley Berkeley's pistol. Mr 
Fraser was Dr Maginn's second, and Major Fancourt 
was that of Mr Berkeley. Subsequent to this a counter- 
action for libel was brought by Mr Berkeley against Mr 
Fraser in the Exchequer, but the litigation on both 
sides was compromised by the simple payment of Mr 
Fraser's doctor's bill. Mr Henry Berkeley subsequently 
had a correspondence with Dr Maginn on another 
occasion, when he again assailed the honour of the 
Berkeley family, in which, metaphorically, the wadding 
flew out of the doctor a second time, while the public 
result of the whole, according to the opinion of the 
author and principal in the business, and, indeed, in 
that also of some other more reasonable people, was to 
the effect that " it put a wholesome restraint upon the 
herd of libellers who, in the Age and Satirist newspapers, 
and Fraser's Magazine, had for years been recklessly 
trading upon scandals affecting families of distinction." — > 
Times' Revietv. 

A Terrible Duel. 239 

A Terrible Duel. 

In the reign of James I., when duelling rose to a fear- 
ful height, the following conflict occurred between the 
Duke of B. and Lord B., concerning a certain beautiful 
Countess of E. The Duke challenged the Lord, and, 
contrary to usage, gave him the choice of weapons, the 
challenger's privilege. They met the next morning — a 
cold, rainy, miserable morning ; time, five o'clock ; place, 
the first tree behind the lodge in Hyde Park. They 
stripped off their fine scarlet coats trimmed with gold 
and silver lace — the Duke excessively indignant that 
they should examine his vest, so as to be certain there 
was no unlawful protection underneath, but the Lord, 
more accustomed to the formalities, submitting to the 
search coolly enough — and then they took their pistols, 
before taking to their swords, according to the fashion 
of the times. At the first fire the Duke missed, but 
Lord B. hit his Grace near the thumb ; at the second 
fire, the Duke hit the Lord. They then drew their 
swords and rushed on each other. After the first or 
second thrust Lord B. entangled his foot in a tuft of 
grass, and fell ; but, supporting himself with his sword 
hand, he sprung back, and thus avoided a thrust made 
at his heart. The seconds then interfered, and attempted 
to bring about a reconciliation ; but the Duke — who 
seems to have been the most fiery throughout — angrily 
ordered them back, threatening to stab the first who 
again interfered. After much good play and fine 
parrying, they came to a " close lock, which nothing but 
the key of the body could open." Thus they stood, 
unable to strike a blow, each afraid to give the other 

240 Romance of London. 

the smallest advantage, yet each struggling to free him- 
self from his entanglement. At last, by one wrench 
stronger than the others, they tore themselves away ; 
and at the same time both their swords sprang out of 
their hands — Lord B.'s six or seven yards in the air. 
This accident, however, did not retard them long ; they 
seized their weapons again and fought on. The Lord 
was then wounded in the sword arm ; but, bearing back, 
and before the Duke had quite recovered from his lunge, 
he ran him through the body. The blow left the Lord 
unguarded ; and, with the sword through him, the Duke 
cut and thrust at his antagonist, who had only his naked 
hand wherewith to guard himself. After his hand had 
been fearfully mangled with putting aside his enemy's 
sword, the Lord was in his turn run through — one rib 
below the heart. Again the seconds interfered ; again 
without success ; when the Lord, faint from loss of 
blood, fell backward, and, in falling, drew his sword out 
af the Duke's wound. " Recovering himself a little 
before he was quite down, he faltered forward, and fall- 
ing with his thigh across his sword, snapped it in the 
midst." The Duke then took his own sword, broke 
it, and, sinking on the dead body of his antagonist, 
sighed deeply, turned once, and died : the cold, drizzling 
rain falling chill on the stiffening bodies and the dank 

* Abridged from Chambers's " Book of Days." 

^tAatlam ^xcfyimmmm 

Heroes of the Road. 

In that curious record, Narcissus Luttrell's Diary, we 
find some fearful pictures of the crimes of the people, 
and the work of the public executioner — the institution 
which, since the days of Hubert de Burgh, had made 
Tyburn memorable ground. There was no official in 
the kingdom so actively employed in Luttrell's day as 
the finisher of the law. Every month the Old Bailey 
judges turned over to him a crowd of wretches, who 
were not necessarily of the lowest classes, to be hung, 
burnt in the hand, branded on the cheek, or to be 
whipped. Occasionally, the judges gave this busy func- 
tionary a woman to burn alive, for clipping the King's 
coin, — a crime in which parsons, baronets, bankers, bar- 
risters, and beggars dabbled, in spite of the inevitable 
penalty of hanging for male clippers, and of burning 
alive for females. A gang of gentlemen clippers, dis- 
satisfied with the condition of the law, as it regarded 
them and their offences, passed over to Flanders and 
commenced clipping the Spanish King's coin. Where- 
upon they were caught, and the chief of them were, 
according to our diarist, "boyld to death," or, as he 
elsewhere describes it, "scalded alive." 

Awful as were the executioner and his work, the 
criminal delighted to exhibit his contempt for him. 

"A highwayman (1690), lately condemned at the Sessions, was going to 
he tied up by the hangman according to custom, but he knock't down the 
hangman in the face of the court, and made very indecent reflections on 
the court." Nay, at the very gallows, we witnessed this incident : — "The 


242 Romance of London. 

same day six persons were executed at Tyburn ; some of them behaved 
themselves very impudently, calling for sack, and drank King James's health, 
and affronted the ordinary at the gallows, and refused his assistance ; and 
bid the people return to their obedience, and send for King James back." 
While thieves and murderers at the gallows thus had their own way, 
except in one trifle — that of hanging — the streets were at the mercy of 
those not yet captured. "Most part of this winter (1690-1) have been so 
many burglaries committed in this town and the adjacent parts of it, and 
robberies of persons in the evening, as they walk't the streets, of their hats, 
periwigs, cloaks, swords, &c, &c, as was never known in the memory of 
any man living." 

If an honest man called a hackney-coach to ride 
home, he was anything but secure from being strangled ! 
These vehicles were hired as being convenient for 
assassinations. Clinch, the physician, was made away 
with in one of them ; and when the Government re- 
solved to put the hackney-coach system under the 
regulation of commissioners, the coachmen and their 
wives raised a riot. The first found their bloody privi- 
leges annihilated, and the ladies were horrified at the 
prospective loss of booty. 

It was especially the murderers who were the jolliest 
at Tyburn. We read of one Paynes, who " had killed 
five or six persons in a short time " (1694), and he " kickt 
the ordinary out of the cart at Tyburn, and pulled off 
his shoes, saying hee 'd contradict the old proverb, and 
net dye in them." Kicked the ordinary out of the cart ! 
We should feel indescribable regret at this insult on the 
reverend gentleman, were it not for the circumstance 
that he probably deserved it. The Newgate ordinary 
in those days was not much, if at all, better than his 
flock. It was no uncommon thing for a score of high- 
waymen together to be in Newgate, and they oftener 
drank than prayed with the ordinary, who preferred 
punch, as Fielding says, in his Jonathan Wild, the 
rather that there is nothing said against that liquor in 
Scripture ! Nothing escaped the hands of the highway- 

Heroes of the Road. 243 

men, — they even stole " the King's pistolls during his 
stay at Petworth, in Sussex" (1692). If any class was 
more active than the thieves, it was that of the French 
privateers, — one vessel of which roving species " came 
up the river (1693), intending to have seized the yacht 
that carried the money down to pay the fleet, but was 
taken, and she is now before Whitehall." 

It was a narrow escape ! But no privateer, no ordi- 
nary or extraordinary highwayman, equalled in the 
pursuit of his peculiar industry the busy individual 
who (April 27, 1692) "was this day convicted at Session- 
house, for sacrilege, rape, burglary, murder, and robbing 
on the highway ; all committed in twelve hours' time." 
The father of iniquity himself could hardly have sur- 
passed this worthy son, whose dexterity and rapid style 
of performance appear to have saved his neck, for Mr 
Luttrell does not record his execution. Not that very 
severe punishments were not often inflicted, — as in an 
entry for "Tuesday, 4th July" (1693), which tells us 
that "one Cockburne, a nonjuring person, is banished 
Scotland for ever." 

These details may appear insignificant, but they are 
not so, in so far as they intimate much of the quality 
and contents of Luttrell's Brief Relation, scarcely a page 
of which is without its crimes and criminals. They 
reflect, too, with truthful gloominess the aspect of the 
times, and wc will not leave them without adverting to 
a very celebrated personage, whose name is sometimes 
taken to be a myth, though his office is acknowledged 
to be a terrible reality. Under the head of January 
1685-6, we find it recorded that "Jack Ketch, the hang- 
man, for affronting the Sheriffs of London, was com- 
mitted to Bridewell, and is turned out of his place, and 

244 Romance of London. 

one Rose, a butcher, put in." This was ruin for John, 
and as good as an estate for the butcher. But some 
men provoke fortune to desert them, and Rose was one 
of such men. In the May of the year above named, we 
read that " five men of those condemned at the Sessions 
were executed at Tyburn : one of them was one Pascha 
Rose, the new hangman, so that now Ketch is restored 
to his place."* 

Under the reign of Queen Anne, too, we read that a 
certain scoundrel named Harris, though one of the 
Queen's guard, was also a noted highwayman, at the 
head of a gang, and after much practice was brought 
very near Tyburn; "but," says Luttrell, "'tis said 
William Penn, who obtained the Queen's pardon for 
Harris, condemned for robbing on the highway, has also 
got a commission for him to be lieutenant of the militia 
in Pennsylvania, to which plantation he is to be trans- 
ported." Nor was Harris's vocation ungentiemanly, 
since gentlemen took to it, and were caught at it, as we 
find by an entry in Luttrell's diary to the effect that, 
"Saturday, Sir Charles Burtern, barrt, was committed 
for robbery on the highway, near St Alban's." 

Claude Duval 

Was a famous highwayman of the 17th century, who 
made Holloway, between Islington and Highgate, fre- 
quently the scene of his predatory exploits. In Lower 
Holloway he was long kept in memory by D aval's Lane, 
which, strangely enough, was previously called Devil's 
Lane, and more anciently Tolentone Lane. 

Macaulay, in his History of England, tells us that 

* From a paper in the Athenaum on Luttrell's work. 

Jemmy Whitney ', the Handsome Highwayman. 245 

Claude Duval " took to the road, became captain of a 
formidable gang," and that it is related "how, at the 
head of his troop, he stopped a lady's coach, in which 
there was a booty of four hundred pounds ; how he took 
only one hundred, and suffered the fair owner to ransom 
the rest by dancing a coranto with him on the heath." 
Mr Frith has made this celebrated exploit the subject 
of one of his wonderful pictures, which has been en- 

Duval's career was cut short : he was arrested at the 
Hole-in-the-Wall, in Chandos Street, Covent Garden, 
and was executed at Tyburn, January 21, 1669, in the 
twenty- seventh year of his age ; and, after lying in state 
at the Tangier Tavern, St Giles's, was buried in the 
middle aisle of St Paul's Church, Covent Garden ; his 
funeral was attended with flambeaux, and a numerous 
train of mourners, " to the great grief of the women." 
Within memory, Duval's Lane was so infested with 
highwaymen, that few persons would venture to peep 
into it, even in mid-day; in 1S31 it was lighted with 

yemmy Whitney, the Handsome High- 

Tins hero of his day (1692), while jauntily airing 
himself in Bishopsgate Street, was attacked by the 
police officials, one of whom he traversed with "a 
bagonet," during a fight which the intrepid scoundrel 
sustained for an hour against the officers and a mob. 
Subsequently, most of his gang were captured, — and 
among them were a livery stable-keeper, a goldsmith, 

246 Romance of London. 

and a man-milliner ! The last must have been an ambi- 
tious fellow, for "taking to the road" was looked upon 
as rather a dignified pursuit; and no less a person than 
" Captain Blood, the son of him that stole the crown," 
was said at this very period to be keeping up his gen- 
tility by stopping his Majesty's mails. Whitney, popu- 
lar as he was, had nothing of the Macheath in him. He 
was no sooner in irons than he "offers to discover his 
accomplices, and those that give notice where and when 
money is conveyed on the road in coaches and waggons, 
if he may have his pardon." He is compelled, however, 
to stand to his indictments ; and though he is found 
guilty only on three out of five, as the penalty is death, 
the difference to him is not material. He is confidently 
said to have " broke " Newgate, but with " forty pounds 
weight of iron on his legs." " He had his taylor," says 
Mr Luttrell, "make him a rich embroidered suit, with 
perug and hat, worth ;£ioo; but the keeper refused to 
let him wear them, because they would disguise him 
from being known." After conviction, he again offered 
to "peach," and plots having been favourable to villains 
in times past, " 'tis said he has been examined on a 
design to kill the king." Then we hear of him address- 
ing letters to the heads of Government ; and the rascal 
enters so circumstantially into a conspiracy to slay the 
King in Windsor Forest, that a reprieve reaches him, to 
enable him to reveal everything. He is even carried in 
a sedan to Whitehall ! The wary fellow, however, stipu- 
lates that he should have a free pardon before he 
" makes his discovery." The high contracting parties 
cannot agree, and Whitney is made to oscillate between 
the gaol and the gibbet. He is carried to Tyburn, and 
brought back with the rope round his handsome neck. 

Dick Turpin. 2^7 

He will, nevertheless, tell nothing but under previous 
full pardon. A warrant is then issued to hang him " at 
the Maypole in the Strand." This, however, is not 
done ; but, finally, the Government being convinced that 
he has nothing to reveal, give him up to justice ; and 
Mr Luttrell compliments him by noticing him under his 
Bagshot brevet-captaincy ; and tells us that " Yesterday 
(Wednesday, 1st of February 1693), being the 1st in- 
stant, captn James Whitney, highwayman, was executed 
at Porter's Block, near Cow Crosse, in Smithficld ; he 
seemed to dye very penitent ; was an hour and a halfe 
in the cart before turn'd off." — From the Athcnccuni 
paper on Luttrell 's Diary. 

Dick Ttirpin. 

The great feat of Turpin's life was his ride from London 
to York in twelve hours, mounted on his bonny Black 
Bess, as told in the story-books, and made by Mr Harri- 
son Ainsworth the startling episode of his popular novel 
of Rockivood. This is all very ingenious ; but it is 
doubted whether Turpin ever performed the journey at 
all. Lord Macaulay had no faith in the story. He was 
dining one day at the Marquis of Lansdowne's ; the 
subject of Turpin's ride was started, and the old story 
of the marvellous feat, as generally told, was alluded to, 
when Macaulay astonished the company by assuring 
them that the entire tale from beginning to end was 
false ; that it was founded on a tradition of at least three 
hundred years old ; that, like the same anecdote fathered 
on different men in succeeding generations, it was only 
told of Turpin because he succeeded the original hero in 
the public taste; and that, if any of the company chose 

248 Romance of London. 

to go with him to his library, he would prove to them 
the truth of what he had stated in " black and white," — a 
favourite phrase with Lord Macaulay.* 

Turpin was long the terror of the North Road. Upon 
a verdant plot of ground, opposite the Green Man, 
Finchley, on the road to Barnet, was a large oak, which 
had weathered some centuries, and was known as 
" Turpin's Oak," from the notorious Dick having often 
taken up his station behind this tree when he was intent 
upon a freebooting excursion. Its closeness to the high 
road rendered it a very desirable reconnoitring spot for 
Turpin, as well as for highwaymen generally, who a 
century and a quarter ago were continually robbing the 
mails, as well as commercial travellers (bagmen) pro- 
ceeding to and fro between London and the north of 
England. From time to time were taken out of the 
bark of this oak pistol-balls which had been discharged 
at the trunk to deter highwaymen, should any have 
been at hand, from attacking the parties travelling. Mr 
Nuthall, the solicitor, was upon one occasion stopped in 
his carriage by two highwaymen, who came from behind 
this oak, as he was proceeding to his country-house at 
Monken-Hadley ; when Mr N., being armed with pistols, 
wounded one of the thieves so severely, that he died of 
the effects. 

Many years after the above encounter, as Mr Nut- 
hall was returning from Bath to the metropolis, he was 
attacked by a highwayman on Hounslow Heath ; who, 
on his demands not being complied with, fired into the 
carriage. Mr Nuthall returned the fire, and, it was 
thought, wounded the man, as he rode off precipitately. 
On arriving at the inn, Mr N. wrote a description of the 
* J. C. Hotten, in Notes and Queries, 2d S. ix. 

llf'Lea;?, the Fashionable Highwayman. 249 

fellow to Sir John Fielding, but had scarcely finished 
the letter when he expired. 

Turpin was a gay gallant ; Mrs Fountain, a celebrated 
beauty of her day, and nearly related to Dean Fountain, 
was once saluted by Turpin in Marylebone Gardens. 
" Be not alarmed, madame," said the highwayman ; 
" you can now boast of having been kissed by Turpin;" 
and the hero of the road walked off unmolested. Turpin 
was hanged at York in 1739. 

M'Lean, the Fashionable Highwayman, 

FIGURED in the first half of the last century, and is 
portrayed by Horace Walpole with exquisite humour. 
He was robbed by M'Lean in the winter of 1749, of 
which Walpole gives this account : — " One night in the 
beginning of November 1749, as I was returning from 
Holland House by moonlight, about ten o'clock, I was 
attacked by two highwaymen in Hyde Park, and the 
pistol of one of them going off accidentally, razed the 
skin under my eye, left some marks of shot on my face, 
and stunned me. The ball went through the top of the 
chariot, and if I had sat an inch nearer to the left side, 
must have gone through my head." {Short Notes.) One 
of these highwaymen was M'Lean. He also robbed 
Lord Eglinton, Sir Thomas Robinson of Vienna, Mrs 
Talbot, &c. He took an odd booty from the Scotch 
Earl, a blunderbuss. 

M'Lean's history is very particular ; for he confesses 
everything, and is so little of a hero that he cries and 
begs, and, Walpole believes, if Lord Eglinton had been 
in any luck, might have been robbed of his own blunder- 
buss. His father was an Irish Dean ; his brother was 

2 5 o Romance of L oudou. 

a Calvinist minister in great esteem at the Hague. 
M'Lean himself was a grocer in Welbeck Street, but 
losing a wife that he loved extremely, and by whom he 
had one little girl, he quitted his business with two 
hundred pounds in his pocket, which he soon spent, and 
then took to the road with only one companion, Plunket, 
a journeyman apothecary. 

M'Lean was taken in the autumn of 1750, by selling a 
laced waistcoat to a pawnbroker in Monmouth Street, 
who happened to carry it to the very man who had 
just sold the lace. M'Lean impeached his companion, 
Plunket, but he was not taken. The former had a 
lodging in St James's Street, over against White's, and 
another at Chelsea; Plunket one in Jermyn Street; and 
their faces were as well known about St James's as any 
gentleman who lived in that quarter, and who perhaps 
went on the road too. 

M'Lean had a quarrel at Putney Bowling-green, two 
months before he was taken, with an officer whom he 
had challenged for disputing his rank ; but the captain 
declined, till M'Lean should produce a certificate of his 
nobility, which he had just received. Walpole says: — 
" If he had escaped a month longer, he might have heard 
of Mr Chute's genealogic expertness, and come hither 
to the College of Arms for a certificate. There were a 
wardrobe of clothes, three-and-twenty purses, and the 
celebrated blunderbuss, found at his lodgings, besides a 
famous kept mistress. As I conclude he will suffer, I 
wish him no ill. I don't care to have his idea, and am 
almost single in not having been to see him. Lord 
Mountford, at the head of half White's, went the first 
day ; his aunt was crying over him. As soon as they 
were withdrawn, she said to him, knowing they were of 

M'Lean, the Fashionable Highwayman. 25 1 

White's : ' My dear, what did the Lords say to you ? 
Have you ever been concerned with any one of them ?' 
— Was it not admirable? what a favourable idea people 
must have of White's ! — and what if White's should not 
deserve a much better ? But the chief personages who 
have been to comfort and weep over the fallen hero are 
Lady Caroline Petersham and Miss Ashe ; I call them 
Polly and Lucy, and ask them if he did not sing— 

' Thus I stand like the Turk with his doxies around.' " 

To this Mr Cunningham adds : — Gray has made M'Lean 
immortal in his Long Story: — 

A sudden fit of ague shook him ; 
He stood as mute as poor M'Lean. 

See also Soame Jenyns in his poem of The Modem Fine 
Lady, written this year : — 

She weeps if but a handsome thief is hung. 

To which he appends this note : — " Some of the brightest 
eyes were at this time in tears for one M'Lean, con- 
demned for robbery on the highway." 

Walpole, in his next letter, dated Sept. 1, writes : — 
"My friend M'Lean is still the fashion; have not I 
reason to call him my friend ? He says, if the pistol 
had shot me, he had another for himself. Can I do less 
than say I will be hanged if he is ?" Next, on Sept. 
20: — "M'Lean is condemned, and will hang. I am 
honourably mentioned in a Grub Street ballad for not 
having contributed to his sentence. There are as many 
prints and pamphlets about him as about the earth- 

M'Lean was hung at Tyburn ; shortly after Walpole 
writes, Oct. 18 :— " Robbing is the only thing that goes on 

252 Romance of L ondon. 

with any vivacity, though my friend M'Lean is hanged. 
The first Sunday after his condemnation, three thousand 
people went to see him ; he fainted away twice with the 
heat of his cell. You can't conceive the ridiculous rage 
there is of going to Newgate ; and the prints that are 
produced of the malefactors, and the memoirs of their 
lives and deaths, set forth with as much parade as — as — 
Marshall Turenne's — we have no generals worth making 
a parallel." 

Mr John Taylor, long connected with the Sim news- 
paper, describes M'Lean as a tall, showy, good-looking 
man, and a frequent visitor at Button's coffee-house, on 
the west side of Russell Street, Covent Garden.* 

A Mr Donaldson told Taylor that, observing M'Lean 
paid particular attention to the barmaid of the coffee- 
house, the daughter of the landlord, gave a hint to the 
father of M 'Lean's dubious character. The father cau- 
tioned his daughter against the highwayman's addresses, 
and imprudently told her by whose advice he put her 
on her guard ; she as imprudently told M'Lean. The 
next time Donaldson visited the coffee-room, and was 
sitting in one of the boxes, M'Lean entered, and in a 
loud tone said, " Mr Donaldson, I wish to spake to you 
in a private room." Mr D. being unarmed, and natu- 
rally afraid of being alone with such a man, said, in 
answer, that as nothing could pass between them that 
he did not wish the whole world to know, he begged 
leave to decline the invitation. " Very well," said 
M'Lean, as he left the room, " we shall meet again." 
A day or two after, as Mr Donaldson was walking near 
Richmond, in the evening, he saw M'Lean on horse- 

* Button's subsequently became a private house, and Mrs Inchbald 
lodged there. 

Metropolitan Highwaymen. 253 

back ; but, fortunately, at that moment a gentleman's 
carriage appeared in view, when M'Lean immediately- 
turned his horse towards the carriage, and Donaldson 
hurried into the protection of Richmond as fast as he 
could. But for the appearance of the carriage, which 
presented better prey, it is probable that M'Lean would 
have shot Mr Donaldson immediately. 

Metropolitan Highwaymen. 

The highwayman was, in thieves' slang, called the 
Toby-man, who, issuing forth from the purlieus of Chick 
Lane, or Hatton Wall, in the guise of a well-mounted 
cavalier, armed with pistols and conteau de ckasse, gal- 
lantly spurring his flashy bit of blood up Holborn Hill, 
on his route to Hounslow, with his half-cast military 
style and degage air, would give the town, and especially 
the female portion of it, assurance of an accomplished 
and amiable cut-throat ; and who, for a time, took the 
air in this ostensible way with as much impunity as 
nonchalance. He knew his term, and could reckon 
when he would be wanted, for there were watching him 
those who understood the crime-market better than to 
put him up before he was worth his price. Blood- 
money* was the tenure of his prolonged career : he had 
his day, and made the most of it ; and if, through a vista 
of dashing exploits, not ungraced by the smiles of the 
fair, perhaps including some passages of gallantry and 
tenderness at Ranclagh, and other resorts of fashion, he 

* The division of the reward allowed for the capture of a noted criminal 
was frequently arranged at a " Blood-feast." In Hogarth's " Industry 
and Idleness," one of the scenes is a place significantly distinguished as 
"The Blood Bowl House," Chick Lane. 

254 Romance of L ondon. 

caught ever and anon uncomfortable glimpses of the 
gibbet, still he got inured to the anticipation, and he 
had in reserve the final glory of " dying game." And, 
when his time was up, it still was something to be 
escorted to Newgate with as much state as a nobleman 
committed for high treason ; and at his trial to recognise 
from the dock many a member of the Clubs, and fair 
frequenters of the assemblies, with whom he had gambled 
or gallanted during the time which he carried it with a 
high hand, in spite of something stronger than a slight 
suspicion. At length, ripe and sentenced, covered with 
profession and honours, his last ride up Holborn resem- 
bled, indeed, a triumph rather than aught disgraceful, 
or of a penitential character. The knight of roads, 
apparelled in his best and gayest, and wearing with 
jaunty gallantry the favours and farewell tokens of 
more than one languishing and love-sick fair, would 
defy, in appearance at least, the heavy tolling of St 
Sepulchre's bell, and the lugubrious address of the 
sexton as he passed the churchyard. Proceeding with 
undaunted air, the hero of a general holiday, he would 
quaff St Giles's bowl by the way, and, arriving at Tyburn- 
tree, and having made his speech and final bow, he 
would kick off his shoes, and submit to be turned off 
with the grace of a courtier. Thus died the hero of the 
High Toby, destined to be celebrated by St Giles's 
minstrelsy, and to furnish the theme of many a stirring 
relation, when weary turnkeys and thief-takers would 
sip their purl round the fire at night, in Newgate lobby, 
and talk of the good old times. 

One of the most notorious heroes of the road was 
John Rann, " Sixtecn-string Jack," who was executed 
at Tyburn, November 30, 1774, for robbing the Rev 

Metropolitan Highwaymen. 255 

Dr Bell, chaplain to the Princess Amelia, in Gannes- 
bury Lane. Rann was a smart fellow, and a great 
favourite with a certain description of ladies ; he had 
been coachman to the Earl of Sandwich, when his Lord- 
ship resided in the south-east corner house of Bedford 
Row. It was pretty generally reported that the sixteen 
strings worn by this freebooter at his knees were in allu- 
sion to the number of times he had been tried and 
acquitted. However, he was caught at last ; and J. T. 
Smith records his being led, when a boy, by his father's 
playfellow, Joseph Nollekens, to the end of John Street, 
to see the notorious terror of the King's highway, Rann, 
on his way to execution. The malefactor's coat was a 
bright pea-green ; he had an immense nosegay, which 
he had received from the hand of, one of the frail sister- 
hood, whose practice it was in those days to present 
flowers to their favourites from the steps of St Sepul- 
chre's Church, as the last token of what they called 
their attachment to the condemned, whose worldly ac- 
counts were generally brought to a close at Tyburn, in 
consequence of their associating with abandoned charac- 
ters. Such is Mr Smith's account of the procession of 
the hero to Tyburn ; and Nollekens assured Smith, had 
his father-in-law, Mr Justice Welsch, been high-con- 
stable, they could have walked all the way to Tyburn 
by the side of the cart. 

Mr Grantley Berkeley recounts the circumstances under 
which Lord Berkeley shot a highwayman who stopped 
him in 1774-5, and the recital of Which he heard from 
Lord Berkeley himself, this being very different from 
the description in the Gentleman s Magazine, and that 
published in the memoirs of Mr Berkeley's aunt, the 
Margravine of Anspach. Mr Berkeley hints further, 

256 Romance of L ondon. 

that no less a person than the Lord Bishop of Twysden 
of Raphoe was given to these marauding enjoyments 
some twenty years previously to the attack on his 
father, and that he was the Bishop who was shot through 
the body on Hounslow Heath, and for whom the inquiry 
was gently made in the Gentleman's Magazine: "Was 
this the Bishop who was taken ill on Hounslow Heath 
and carried back to his friend's house, where he died of 
an inflammation of the bowels ?" This episcopal high- 
wayman was the father of the celebrated Lady Jersey, 
notorious for her friendship with the Prince of Wales * 

Mr Grantley Berkeley, in his Life and Recollections, 
tells a story of one Hawkes, commonly called "The 
Flying Highwayman," who, in the disguise of a Quaker, 
at an inn, observed the movements of an unsuspicious 
traveller, and the places on his person where he disposed 
his valuables, &c. ; and who actually, while this person's 
back was turned, removed the priming from his pistols, 
and then at their next rencontre plundered him conve- 
niently and pleasantly of everything. It appears that the 
highwayman himself was captured shortly afterwards at a 
country inn by two adroit Bow Street runners, who were 
themselves disguised as clod-hoppers, and the manner 
in which they surprised him makes a very telling story 
in Mr Berkeley's interesting work. There is a very 
curious supplement to the above interesting narrative, in 
the statement that the eccentric Lord Coleraine paid a 
visit to "The Flying Highwayman" when in Newgate, 
and offered him a handsome price for his horse. The 
high-minded Hawkes responded warmly, " Sir, I am as 
much obliged to you for your proposal as for your visit. 
But," he added, in a tone and with a manner which 

* Times' Revieiv, 

Metropolitan Highwaymen. 257 

implied his increasing confidence, "the mare won't suit 
you, perhaps, if you want her for the road. It is not 
every man that can get her up to a carnage!" Lord 
Coleraine was so pleased with this little trait of profes- 
sional sympathy, that he advanced him ,£50 to effect his 
escape, but in this the highwayman failed ; so he hon- 
ourably returned the money as of no use, and submitted 
to his fate. 

A century ago, hanging was a punishment of daily 
occurrence, and appears to have been looked upon as 
one of the most natural occurrences in the world ; yet 
highway robbery increased frightfully. Whole columns 
in small print appear in the newspapers in the month of 
March, signed by Fielding as head of the police (the 
brother of the novelist), and containing a long list of 
robberies in the neighbourhood of the metropolis, with 
descriptions of the perpetrators, and offers of reward for 
their apprehension ; while Blackheath and its neighbour- 
hood had become so dangerous that the inhabitants of 
Greenwich and the adjoining parishes found it necessary 
to enter into an association, and to contribute to a fund 
out of which they offered so much a head, on a gradu- 
ated scale, for mounted highwaymen, footpads, house- 
breakers, &c, taken alive or dead. 

Sir John Fielding, the magistrate just named, in his 

Description of London and Westminster, in 1775, says : — 

" Robberies on the highway in the neighbourhood of 

London are not very uncommon ; these are usually 

committed early in the morning, or in the dusk of the 

evening ; and, as the times are known, the danger may 

be for the most part avoided. But the highwaymen 

here are civil, compared to those of other countries, do 

not often use you with ill manners, have been frequently 
vol. 1. k 

258 Romance of L ondon. 

known to return papers and curiosities with much 
politeness, and never commit murder unless, they are 
hotly pursued, and find it difficult to escape. 

" There are harboured in London a considerable gang 
of rogues, who for ingenuity and dexterity exceed all in 
the world of their fraternity. These are the pickpockets 
of the place, who have made their occupation a science, 
of which they are exquisite professors. They look upon 
themselves as a sort of incorporated body, and seem to 
have a regular correspondence among themselves. For, 
as many of these are always under confinement in the 
public prison, there is scarce anything of extraordinary 
value lost, but what may, upon proper application to 
them, be effectually recovered in a short time. The 
way to avoid injury from this industrious fraternity is to 
avoid crowds, to leave your watch at home, and to carry 
no more money in your pocket than will barely serve 
for the purpose of the day." 

Travelling on the New Road after nightfall seems 
formerly to have been attended with some risk, as will 
appear from such notices as the following, appended to 
the Sadlers' Wells advertisements and bills of the per- 
formances : — " A horse-patrole will be sent in the New 
Road at night, for the protection of the nobility and 
gentry who go from the squares and that end of the 
town : the road also towards the City will be properly 
guarded," "June, 1783. — Patroles, horse and foot, are 
.stationed from Sadlers' Wells Gate, along the New Road, 
to Tottenham Court Turnpike, &c, between the hours 
of eight and eleven." 

In 1746, robberies were so frequent, and the thieves 
so desperate, that the proprietor of Marylebone Gardens 
was obliged to have a guard of soldiers to protect the 

Metropolitan Highwaymen. 259 

company to and from London, half a mile distance. In 
1794, when Mr Lowe was lessee of Marylebone Gardens, 
he offered a reward of ten guineas for the apprehension 
of any highwayman found on the road to the Gardens. 

Even in the town itself, highwaymen pursued their 
game. Mr Cunningham tells us that " the iron bars of 
the two ends of Lansdowne Passage (a near cut from 
Curzon Street to Hay Hill) were put up late in the 
last century, in consequence of a mounted highwayman, 
who had committed a robbery in Piccadilly, having 
escaped from his pursuers through this narrow passage 
by riding his horse up the steps. This anecdote was 
told by the late Thomas Grenville to Sir Frankland 
Lewis. It occurred while George Grenville was minister, 
the robber passing his residence in Bolton Street, full 
gallop." {Handbook of London, 2d ed. p. 281.) 

Horace Walpole relates that, late in September 1750, 
as he was sitting in his own dining-room, on a Sunday 
night, in Arlington Street, the clock had not struck 
eleven, when he heard a loud cry of " Stop thief! " A 
highwayman had attacked a post-chaise in Piccadilly, 
within fifty yards of Walpole's house : the fellow was 
pursued, rode over the watchman, almost killed him, 
and escaped. 

In 1786 — a period when robberies in capitals appear 
to have been a sort of fashion— ron January 7, half an 
hour after eight, tJie mail from France was robbed in 
Pall Mall — yes, in the great thoroughfare of London, 
and within call of the guard at the palace. The chaise 
had stopped, the harness was cut, and the portmanteau 
was taken out of the chaise itself. About Strawberry 
Hill highway robberies were very frequent ; the parson 
and his wife and servant were stopped by footpads, 

260 Romance of London. 

just by Walpole's gate, and were not so fortunate as the 
lady who, in going to a party at a neighbour's, was 
robbed of her purse — of bad money, which she always 
carried in anticipation of being plundered ; Walpole, 
her companion in the chaise, lost his purse of nine 

Near a century earlier a strange robbery was com- 
mitted in Pall Mall. Dr Sydenham, the celebrated 
physician, lived in this street from 1658 until 1689, when 
he died. Mr Fox told Mr Rogers that Sydenham was 
sitting in his window, looking on the Mall, with a pipe in 
his mouth, and a silver tankard before him, when a 
fellow made a snatch at the tankard, and ran off with it. 
Nor was he overtaken, said Fox, before he got among 
the bushes in Bond Street, and there they lost him. 

The Great Western Road into London, crossing the 
stream at Knightsbridge, was often nearly impassable 
from its depth of mud. Wyat's men, in his rebellion of 
1554, having crossed the Thames at Kingston, entered 
London by this approach, and were called " draggletails," 
from the wretched plight they were in. The badness of 
the road delayed their march so much that it materially 
helped their discomfiture. It was no better in 1736, when 
Lord Hervey, writing from Kensington, complained that 
'* the road between this place and London is grown so 
infamously bad, that we live here in the same solitude as 
we should do if cast on a rock in the middle of the ocean ; 
and all the Londoners tell us there is between them and 
us a great impassable gulf of mud," Added to this was 
the danger from highwaymen and footpads. " Even so 
late as 1799," writes Mr Davis, "it was necessary to 
order a party of light horse to patrol every night from 
Hyde Park Corner to Kensington ; and it is within the 

Highwaymen and Footpads. 261 

memory of many when pedestrians walked to and from 
Kensington in bands sufficient to ensure mutual pro- 
tection, starting at known intervals, of which a bell 
gave due warning." * But since 1830 all has changed. 
However, it is not ten years since the hawthorn hedges 
finally disappeared at the Gore, and the blackbird and 
starling were heard. Snipe and woodcocks are said to 
have been shot at Knightsbridge within the memory 
of man. And we find Mrs Anne Pitt, sister of Lord 
Chatham, abandoning her house at Knightsbridge, 
through its being desolate, lonely, and unsafe. 

In the Kensington register of burials there is an entry 
telling of their terrible condition : — " 29th November 
1687. Thomas Ridge, of Portsmouth, who was killed by 
thieves, almost at Knightsbridge." And Lady Cowper, 
in her diary, October 1715, writes : — " I was at Kensing- 
ton, where I intended to stay as long as the camp was in 
Hyde Park, the roads being so secure by it, that we might 
come from London at any time in the night without 
danger, which I did very often." Sixteen years before 
this (1699), Evelyn, in his diary, complains of robberies 
here even while coaches and travellers were passing. 

That the innkeepers connived at this state of things 
we have evidence in the memoirs of Sheffield, Duke of 
Buckingham, who, having quarrelled with the Earl of 
Rochester, the wit, they agreed to fight on horseback, a 
way in England a little unusual, but Rochester chose it. 
" Accordingly," says the Duke, " I and my second lay 
by the night before at Knightsbridge privately, to avoid 
the being secured at London upon any suspicion ; which 
yet we found ourselves more in danger of there, because 
we had all the appearance of highwaymen, that had a 
* Memorials of Knightsbridge, 

262 Romance of London. 

mind to be skulking in an old inn for one night; but this, 
I suppose, the people of the house were used to, and so 
took no notice of us, but liked us the better!' And, in the 
Rehearsal, we have this allusion to the innkeepers' habits 
and characters : — " Smith : But pray, Mr Bayes, is not 
this a little difficult, that you were saying e'en now, 
to keep an army thus concealed in KnigJitsbridge ? — 
Bayes: In "Knights-Bridge stay. — Johnson: No, not if 
the innkeepers be his friends." 

The audacity of the footpads on this road is attested 
by the Gentleman's Magazine, April 1740, recording 
that " the Bristol mail from London was robbed a little 
beyond Knightsbridge by a man on foot, who took the 
Bath and Bristol bags, and, mounting the post-bof s horse, 
rode off towards London." On the 1st of July 1774, 
William Hawke was executed for a highway robbery 
here ; and two men were executed on the 30th of the 
ensuing November for a similar offence. In the same 
year, December 27, Mr Jackson, of the Court of Requests 
at Westminster, was attacked at Kensington Gore by 
four footpads : he shot one dead, and the others de- 
camped. Even so late as 1799, it was necessary to order 
a party of light horse to patrol every night from Hyde 
Park Corner to Kensington. 

" The Half-way House," an inn midway between 
Knightsbridge and Kensington, had long been a place 
of ill-repute ; in the autumn of 1846 it was taken down, 
at an expense of .£3500, besides the purchase of the fee : 
near the site is the Prince of Wales's Gate, Hyde Park. 
We find this place referred to in the trial of a highway- 
man, who was sentenced to death for a robbery in 1752. 
The principal witness deposed : — " The chaise to the 
Devizes having been robbed two or three times, as I was 

Highwaymen and Footpads. 263 

informed, I was desired to go in it, to see if I could take 
the thief, which I did, on the 3d of June, about half-an- 
hour after one in the morning. I got into the post- 
chaise ; the post-boy told me the place where he had 
been stopped was near the Half-way House, between 
Knightsbridge and Kensington. As we came near the 
house, the prisoner came to us on foot, and said, ' Driver, 
stop ! ' He held a pistol-tinderbox to the chaise, and 
said, ' Your money, directly ; you must not stay — this 
minute, your money.' I took out a pistol from my coat- 
pocket, and from my breeches-pocket a five-shilling 
piece and a dollar. I held the pistol concealed in one 
hand, and the money in the other. I held the money 
pretty hard ; he said, ' Put it in my hat.' I let him take 
the five-shilling piece out of my hand ; as soon as he had 
taken it, I snapped my pistol at him ; it did not go off; 
he staggered back, and held up his hands, and said, 
'O Lord! O Lord!' I jumped out of the chaise; 
he ran away ; and I after him, about 600 or 700 yards, 
and there took him. I hit him a blow in the back ; he 
begged for mercy on his knees ; I took his neckcloth off, 
and tied his hands with it, and brought him back to the 
chaise ; then I told the gentlemen in the chaise that was 
the errand I came upon ; and wished them a good jour- 
ney, and brought the prisoner to London. — Question by 
the Prisoner: Ask him how he lives. — Norton: I keep 
a shop in Wych Street, and sometimes I take a thief." 
The post-boy stated on the trial that he had told Norton, 
if they did not meet the highwayman between Knights- 
bridge and Kensington, they should not meet him at all 
— a proof of the frequency of these occurrences in that 

Mr Walker, the police magistrate, writing some thirty 

264 Romance of London. 

years ago (1835), gives this picture of the security 
of persons in the metropolis ; although the general 
impression is the reverse. " Considering the enormous, 
and in many parts demoralised, population of London, 
it is quite marvellous there should be so little personal 
insecurity. I have been in the habit for many years of 
going about alL parts of town and the environs at all 
hours, without any precaution, and I never experienced 
on any occasion the slightest molestation; and I scarcely 
ever met in society any one whose actual experience 
was different.* It was not so formerly, as the following 
instances will serve to show. At Kensington, within the 
memory of man, on Sunday evenings a bell used to be 
rung at intervals to muster the people returning to town. 
As soon as a band was assembled, sufficiently numerous 
to insure mutual protection, it set off ; and so on till all 
had passed. George IV. and the late Duke of York, 
when very young, were stopped one night in a hackney- 
coach, and robbed, on Hay Hill, Berkeley Square. 
The Prince and a party, among whom were old Colonel 
Lowther and General Hulse, had been to a house of ill- 
repute in Berkeley Street. They were returning on 
Hay Hill, when they were stopped, and their money 
was demanded, by a man who presented a pistol at 
them. Among them all they could only muster half-a- 
crown. To cross Hounslow Heath, or Finchley Com- 
mon, now both enclosed, after sunset, was a service of 
great danger. Those who ventured were always well 
armed, and some few had even ball-proof carriages. 

* Sir Richard Phillips, in one of the editions of the Picture of London, 
gives similar experience ; but, a few years before his death, Sir Richard 
was robbed of his gold watch as he stood in New Palace Yard gazing 
at the King in procession to open Parliament. 

Field Lane. 265 

There is a house still standing, I believe, on Finchley 
Common, which, in those days, was the known place of 
rendezvous for highwaymen. Happily, these things are 
now matters of history. 

" I will add one more instance of change. A retired 
hackney-coachman, giving an account of his life to a 
friend of mine, stated that his principal gains had been 
derived from cruising at late hours, in particular quar- 
ters of the town, to pick up drunken gentlemen. If they 
were able to tell their address, he conveyed them 
straight home ; if not, he carried them to certain 
taverns, where the custom was to secure their property 
and put them to bed. In the morning he called to take 
them home, and was generally handsomely rewarded. 
He said there were other coachmen who pursued the 
same course, and they all considered it their policy to 
be strictly honest. The bell at Kensington and the 
coachmen's cruises may be referred back a little more 
than seventy years, and afford indisputable and consol- 
ing proofs of improvement in security, wealth, and 
temperance. I like to look on the bright side of 

The romance of thievery has in a great measure 
departed, though much of the reality is left in another 
shape. The clumsy practice of criminal robbery has 
dwindled, and has chiefly fallen into the hands of boys, 
trained to their nefarious course by the fence, who takes 
the lion's share of the spoil. This character has been 
portrayed to the life by the author of Oliver Twist, in 
the admirable impersonation of Fagin, whose den is 
localised in Field Lane, which extended from the foot of 
Holborn Hill, northward, parallel with the Fleet Ditch : 
it was thus vividly painted in 1837 : — 

266 Romance of London. 

"Near to the spot on which Snow Hill and Holborn 
meet, there opens, upon the right hand as you come 
out of the City, a narrow and dismal alley leading to 
Saffron Hill. In its filthy shops are exposed for sale 
huge bunches of pocket-handkerchiefs of all sizes and 
patterns — for here reside the traders who purchase them 
from pickpockets. Hundreds of these handkerchiefs 
hang dangling from pegs outside the windows, or flaunt- 
ing from the door-posts ; and the shelves within are 
piled with them. Confined as the limits of Field Lane 
are, it has its barber, its coffee-shop, its beer-shop, and 
its fried fish warehouse. It is a commercial colony of 
itself, — the emporium of petty larceny, visited at early 
morning and setting-in of dusk by silent merchants, who 
traffic in dark back-parlours, and go as strangely as 
they come. Here the clothesman, the shoe-vamper, and 
the rag-merchant display their goods as sign-boards to 
the petty thief ; and stores of old iron and bones, and 
heaps of mildewy fragments of woollen stuff and linen, 
rust and rot in the grimy cellars."* 

It is curious to find the initiatory processes of picking 
pockets, as taught by Fagin to Oliver Twist, practised 
in the metropolis nearly three centuries ago. Stow 
relates the case of " One Walton, a gentleman born, and 
some time a merchant of good credit, but fallen by time 
into decay. This man kept an alehouse at Smart's Key, 
near Billingsgate, and after, for some misdemeanour, 
put down, he reared up a new trade of life, and in the 
same house he procured all the cut-purses about the 
City to repair to his house. There was a schoolhouse 
set up to teach young boys to cut purses. Two devices 
were hung up : one was a pocket, and another was a 

* Oliver Tivist. By Charles Dickens. 

Field Lane. 267 

purse. The pocket had in it certain counters, and was 
being hung with hawk's-bells, and over the top did hang 
a little sacring bell. The purse had silver in it. And 
he that could take out a counter without any noise, was 
allowed to be a public Foyster ; and he that could take 
a piece of silver out of the purse without noise of any of 
the bells, was adjudged a judicial Nypper, according to 
their terms of art. A Foyster was a pickpocket ; a 
Nypper was a pick-purse, or cut-purse." 

When the clearance was commenced a quarter of a 
century ago for the new street from the foot of Holborn 
Hill in the direction of Clerkenwell, a nestling-place of 
crime was disturbed in Field Lane, but much of the old 
abomination remained in the alleys and other narrow 
places at the back of Cowcross ; whence the Fleet Ditch 
was then open as far as Ray Street, Clerkenwell, near 
the spot formerly known as Hockley-in-the-Hole. This 
place, noted for its bear and bull baitings, and gladia- 
torial exhibitions, from the time of Charles II., is referred 
to in the Spectator ; likewise by Pope, Gay, Fielding, 
and other authors of the last century. Among other 
exhibitions with which the public were regaled, a hand- 
bill, dated 1710, specifies the Baiting of a Mad Ass; 
also, a Green Bull, probably his first introduction to the 
pleasures of Hockley-in-the-Hole. Some of the streets 
of this neighbourhood retain names significant of early 
times. Brookhill, and Turnmill Street, convey a remi- 
niscence of the Turnmill Brook which ran down here into 
the Fleet, and of the mill belonging to the Knights 
Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem, which was turned 
byjts waters. Hard by, the Clerkenwell, now repre- 
sented by a small pump, was once the scene of the 
performance of dramatic mysteries by the Worshipful 

268 Romance of London. 

Company of the Parish Clerks of London. On the 
eastern bank of the Fleet was Cowcross, so called from 
a cross which formerly stood there ; and not far from 
which, at the entrance to Chick Lane from Smithfield, 
anciently stood the Gallows, denominated the Elms, 
another significant boundary ; in addition to which may 
be mentioned the Whipping Post, which stood at the 
end of Bowling Green Lane, Clerkenwell ; the Stocks 
and the Pillory were formerly situated in Holborn, near 
the entrance to Ely Place. 

On the demolition, in 1844, of Chick Lane, or West 
Street, a great sensation was excited by certain disco- 
veries made in the old Red Lion public-house, formerly 
a noted receptacle for thieves. Here were found trap- 
doors, sliding panels, blind passages; and other provisions 
for the evasion of pursuers ; a plank thrown across the 
Fleet Ditch in the rear of the house being the mode of 
escape to the opposite bank in case of hot pursuit. 
Certain skeletons were also shown to visitors here as 
having been found on the premises ; but it is now known 
that these latter accessories had only been procured in 
order to make up a show, to which rank and fashion 
resorted with an avidity that almost rivalled the marvel- 
lous performance of the Cock Lane Ghost.* 

The extraordinary insecurity of London and its neigh- 
bourhood a hundred years ago will be best understood by 
the following notes of highway robberies at that period : — 

Jan. 3. " Saturday last (Jan. 3), about ten in the evening, as a post-chaise 
was coming to town between the turnpike and Tottenham Court Road and 
the first mile-stone, with the Earl of March and George Augustus Selwyn, 
Esq., a highwayman stopped the postillion, and swore he would blow his 
brains out if he did not stop; on which the Earl of March jumped out of 
the chaise and fired a pistol, and the highwayman immediately rode off." 
— Lloyd's Evening Post, Jan. 7. 

* Abridged from Mr Wykeham Archer's Vestiges of Old London, 

Chick Lane. 269 

" Last Sunday night, a man was plundered by two footpads in Moor- 
fields.' —AW* Weekly Journal. 

Jan. 5. "On Monday night," a gentleman going over Moornelds "was 
attacked by two men and a woman, and was beaten and had his pockets 
rifled." — Lloyd's Evening Post. 

Jan. II. "Yesterday evening," a gentleman was robbed by a single 
highwayman near Vauxhall turnpike. " He is supposed to be the same 
person that has committed several robberies for some days past round that 
part of the country." — Ibid. Friday, Jan. 9. 

" On Sunday evening, as Justice Hervey, of Islington, and his son were 
coming in his chariot on the Paddington Road," they were attacked by 
two highwaymen, who, however, were defeated in their design. It appears 
that the justice and his son carried pistols loaded, and that his footman was 
armed with a carbine. — Ibid. Jan. 14. 

" On Sunday night last," as Dr Lewis, a physician of Kingston, in Surrey, 
was returning in his post-chaise from London, he was stopped near Vaux- 
hall by two highwaymen, and robbed of eighteen guineas and his gold 
watch, — Ibid. Jan. 16. 

Jan. 12. On Monday night, a gentleman and his son were robbed by 
footpads on their way from Blackheath to the Borough. " Their behaviour 
was very civil, and they returned five shillings to bring them to town." — 
Ibid. Jan. 14. 

Jan. 13. " On Tuesday evening, the Lord Viscount Gage was stopped in 
a post-chaise between Hounslow and Brentford, by a single highwayman, 
who robbed him of his purse, and made off." — Ibid. Jan. 16. 

Jan. 1 4. " Wednesday morning, about three o'clock, as a farmer was 
coming with ki load of hay to London, he was stopped and robbed the 
other side of Shepherd's Bush by a single highwayman, who stripped him 
so clean that he could not pay the turnpike, but was obliged to leave his 
bridle as security for the money." — Ibid. Jan. 16. 

Jan. 23 was the day after that of the nomination for the election for the 
county of Surrey, held at Epsom. " This morning early, two gentlemen, 
returning from the general meeting held yesterday, at Epsom, were robbed 
a little on this side that place," by three footpads; "the villains wished 
them joy of their electioneering." — Ibid. Jan. 23. 

The operations of these depredators were no doubt 
assisted by the neglect of the roads, and by the darkness 
of the January nights. The London Chronicle, in the 
earlier half of the month, informs us that — 

"It was so very dark on Tuesday night last (January 6), that seven 
coaches and post-chaises were overturned between Greenwich and Dart- 
ford, and remained there till Wednesday morning." 

^aQtxtxm, €mm*, uvto ^itnisljments. 

Ancient Civil Punishments. 

In the White Book, compiled by Richard Carpenter, 
1419, in the Mayoralty of Richard Whittington, we find 
these curious enactments, 

Foreign merchants were not allowed to deal with 
foreign merchants, or " merchant strangers," as they 
were called ; and in an instance where this regulation 
was infringed, the merchandise was forfeited. In the 
same manner a foreigner forfeited meat which he had 
sold after the curfew had been rung out at St Martin's- 
le-Grand. A merchant who had set a price upon his 
own corn was sent to prison, and another was sentenced 
to the pillory for offering to sell corn above the common 
selling price. A chaplain was committed to the Tun (a 
round prison on Cornhill) for "being a night-walker;" a 
publican was sentenced to the thew (a sort of pillory) 
for using a false quart ; certain bakers who had holes in 
their tables, by means whereof (through some contriv- 
ance unknown to us simple men of the nineteenth cen- 
tury) they contrived to steal their neighbours' dough, 
were condemned to the pillory ; one woman was sent to 
the Tun for being out at night after lawful hours, and 
another was sentenced to the thew for being a " common 
scold ;" furs were forfeited because they had new work 
with old ; a man was fjned half a mark for drawing 

Ancient Civil Punishments. 271 

a sword ; and amongst a number of punishments for 
deceptions, scandals, and evil-speaking, one person was 
adjudged imprisonment for a year and a day, and the 
pillory once a quarter for three hours, with a whetstone 
tied round his neck, for lies that were disproved. 

Amongst the punishments that most frequently occur 
are the forfeitures, fines, imprisonments, and pillories 
awarded for selling " putrid meat," " stinking fish," birds 
that were not fit to be eaten, and bread with pieces of 
iron in it, probably intended to increase its weight. The 
arts of fraud were never practised more dexterously, or 
over a larger surface, than by our virtuous progenitors 
of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. There was 
scarcely a single craft in which duplicities were not 
committed ; and the records teem with illustrations of 
these delinquencies, some of them, indeed, being unintel- 
ligible in the present day. We hear, for example, of 
"false hats," "false bow-strings," "false queeks" (a 
kind of chess-board), and " false gloves, breeches, and 
pouches." Other swindles are more comprehensible : 
such as hides imperfectly tanned; plated latten sold for 
silver ; drinking measures with a thick coat of pitch in- 
serted in the bottom, to diminish their capacity ; false 
dice ; and coal-sacks of deficient size. In some cases 
the forfeited articles were burned ; in others they were 
seized and detained ; and in many instances the fraudu- 
lent dealers were personally punished. Nor was the 
watchfulness of the city authorities limited to the crimes 
of trade ; morals were looked after with equal activity. 
Anybody who walked out at unseasonable hours, or 
who bought or sold after curfew, was at once pounced 
upon (unless he was lucky enough to effect his escape 
through the favouring darkness), and lodged in the 

272 Romance of London. 

round-house on Cornhill ; cut-purses, who were adroit, 
numerous, and possessed of unbounded audacity, were 
generally consigned to the pillory ; and the same fate 
awaited any ingenious vagrant who practised the " Art 
of Magic."* 

Cage and Stocks at Loudon Bridge. 

We do not find that in the days of Queen Mary, Lon- 
don Bridge was made the scene of any of the numerous 
Protestant martyrdoms, which have eternally blotted 
her short but sanguinary reign. There is, however, in 
Foxe's Martyrs a short anecdote of a curious incident 
in St Magnus Church. Upon the death of Pope Julius 
III., in 1555, Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester 
and Lord Chancellor, wrote to Bonner, Bishop of Lon- 
don, to command him, in Queen Mary's name, to order 
those prayers to be used throughout his diocese which 
the Roman Church has appointed during a vacancy in 
.the Papal See. Upon this commandment, says Foxe, 
on Wednesday in Easter week, the 17th of April, there 
were hearses set up, and dirges sung, for the said Julius 
in divers places. Now, it chanced that a woman came 
into St Magnus Church, at the bridge-foot, and there 
seeing a hearse, and other preparation, asked what it 
meant ; a bystander said it was for the Pope, and that 
she must pray for him. "Nay," quoth she, "that I will 
not, for he needeth not my prayer ; and seeing he could 
fomive us all our sins, I am sure he is clean himself: 
therefore, I need not pray for him." She was heard to 
say these dangerous words ; and by and by was carried 
unto the cage at London Bridge, and " bade coole her- 

* Abridged from the London Review. 

Flogging at Bridewell. 273 

selfe there." In some of the editions of Foxe, there is 
an engraving representing this incident, which shows 
that the Stocks and Cage stood by one of the archways 
on the -bridge, and in one of the vacant spaces which 
looked on to the water. 

About half a century before this, Cages and Stocks 
had been ordered to be set up in every ward of the city 
by Sir William Capell, draper, and Lord Mayor, in 
1503. The last Stocks were removed about forty years 

Flogging at Bridewell. 

One of the sights of London formerly was to go to 
Bridewell Hospital, in Blackfriars, and there see the 
unfortunate prisoners flogged for offences committed 
without the prison. Both men and women, it appears, 
were whipped on their naked backs, before the Court of 
Governors. The President sat with his hammer in his 
hand, and the culprit was taken from the post when the 
hammer fell. The calls to knock when women were 
flogged were loud and incessant — " Oh, good Sir Robert, 
knock ! Pray, good Sir Robert, knock," which became 
at length a common cry of reproach among the lower 
orders, to denote that a woman of bad character had 
been whipped in Bridewell : 

"This labour past, by Bridewell all descend, 
As morning prayers and flagellations end." 

Pope's Dunciad. 

Ned Ward, in his London Spy, gives this account of 
the Bridewell Whippings in 1699: — "We turned into 
the gate of a stately edifice my friend told me was 
Bridewell, which to me seemed rather a prince's palace 

vol. 1. s 

274 Romance of L ondon. 

than a house of correction ; till gazing round me, I saw 
in a room a parcel of ill-looking mortals, stripped to 
their shirts like haymakers pounding a pernicious weed, 
which I thought, from their unlucky aspects, seemed to 
threaten their destruction. From thence we turned into 
another court, the buildings being, like the former, mag- 
nificently noble ; where straight before us was another 
grate, which proved the women's apartment. We fol- 
lowed our noses, and walked up to take a view of the 
ladies, who we found were shut up as close as nuns; 
but, like so many slaves, were under the care and direc- 
tion of an overseer, who walked about with a very flexible 
weapon of offence, to correct such hempen-journeywomen 
as were unhappily troubled with the spirit of idleness. 
My friend now reconducted me into the first quadrangle, 
and led me up a pair of stairs into a spacious chamber, 
where the court was sat in great grandeur and order. 
A grave gentleman was mounted in the judgment-seat, 
armed with a hammer, like a change-broker at Lloyd's 
Coffee-house, and a woman under the lash in the next 
room, where folding-doors were opened, that the whole 
court might view the punishment. At last down went 
the hammer, and the scourging ceased ; so that, I pro- 
test, till I was undeceived I thought they had sold 
their lashes by auction. The honourable court, I ob- 
served, was chiefly attended by fellows in blue coats 
and women in blue aprons. Another accusation being 
then delivered by a flat-cap against a poor wench, who 
having no friend to speak in her behalf, proclamation was 

made, viz., ' All you who are willing E th T 11 

should have present punishment, pray hold up your 
hands ;' which was done accordingly, and she was 
ordered the civility of the house." Hogarth, in the 

Witchcraft Penance on London Bridge. 275 

Fourth Plate of his Harlot's Progress, tells the moral 

Madam Creswell, the celebrated gay woman of King 
Charles the Second's reign, died a prisoner in Bridewell. 
She desired by will to have a sermon preached at her 
funeral, for which the preacher was to have £10; but 
upon this express condition, that he was to say nothing 
but what was well of her. After a sermon on the 
general subject of morality, the preacher concluded 
with saying, " By the will of the deceased, it is expected 
that I should mention her, and say nothing but what 
was WELL of her. All that I shall say of her, therefore, 
is this : She was born well, she lived well, and she died 
well; for she was born with the name of Creszvell, she 
lived in Clerkenwell, and she died in Brldezvell." 

In the precincts of Bridewell lived John Rose, who is 
said by Stow to have invented a lute early in the reign 
of Queen Elizabeth: he is also thought to have been 
" Rose, the old Viol-maker;" concerts of viols being the 
musical entertainments after the practice of singing 
madrigals grew into disuse. To this John Rose's son is 
traced the " Old Rose," immortalised in the song men- 
tioned by Izaak Walton, and known to us by " Sing Old 
Rose, and burn the bellows." 

Witchcraft Penance on London Bridge. 

In the year 1440, the Bridge Street, by which is meant 
as well the passage over the Thames as the main street 
beyond it on each side, was one scene of the public 
penance of Eleanor Cobham, Duchess of Gloucester, for 
Witchcraft. The inflexible honesty of the Duke, who 
was Protector of England during the minority of Henry 

276 Romance of London. 

VI., and presumptive heir to the Crown, had created 
against him a violent party, the heads of which were 
Cardinal Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester, and 
William de la Pole, first Duke of Suffolk. With regard 
to his sovereign, however, not all the spies which were 
placed about Humphrey Plantaganet, Duke of Glou- 
cester, by these powerful and inveterate enemies, could 
find even a pretence for the slightest charge; though 
that which they were unable to discover in him, they 
found in his Duchess, who was then accused of Witch- 
craft and High Treason. It was asserted that she had 
frequent conferences with one Sir Roger Bolinbroke, a 
priest, who was supposed to be a necromancer ; and 
Margaret Jourdain, a witch of Eye, near Westminster ; 
assisted and advised by John Hum, a. priest; and 
Thomas Southwell, Priest and Canon of St Stephen's, 
Westminster. Shakspeare, in his Second Part of Henry 
VI., Act I., Scene 2, makes the Duchess ask Hum — 

Hast thou as yet conferr'd 
With Margery Jourdain, the cunning witch ; 
And Roger Bolinbroke, the conjuror ? 
And will they undertake to do me good ? 

Hum. This they have promised, — to show your highness 
A spirit rais'd from depth of underground, 
That shall make answer to such questions, 
As by your grace shall be propounded him. 

Again, in Scene 4, we have Bolinbroke at his work, 
assisted by Mother Jourdain, and Southwell, the 
priest : — 

Duchess. Well said, my masters ; and welcome all 
To this geer ; the sooner the better. 

Bolin. Patience, good lady ; wizards know their times : 
Deep night, dark night, the silent of the night, 
The time of night when Troy was set on fire ; 

Witchcraft Penance on London Bridge. 277 

The time when screech-owls cry, and ban-dogs howl, 
And spirits walk, and ghosts break up their graves, — 
That time best fits the work we have in hand. 
Madam, sit you, and fear not ; whom we raise, 
We will make fast within a hallow'd verge. 

Here they perform the ceremonies appertaining, and 
make the circle ; Bolinbroke, or Southwell, reads, " Con- 
juro te," &c. It thunders and lightens terribly; then 
the spirit riseth, &c. York and Buckingham enter 
hastily, and lay hands upon " the traitors and their 
trash." In Act II., Scene 1, Buckingham thus describes 
to the King the actors : — 


A sort of naughty persons, lewdly bent, — ■ 
Under the countenance and confederacy 
Of Lady Eleanor, the Protector's wife, 
The ringleader and head of all this rout, — 
Have practis'd dangerously against your state, 
Dealing with witches, and with conjurors : 
Whom we have apprehended in the fact ; 
Raising up wicked spirits from underground. 

In Scene 3, we have the sentence, and next the pen- 
ance. The Duchess, though made to ask questions as 
to the King's fate, was in reality charged with having 
his image made of wax, which, being placed before a 
slow fire, should cause his strength to decay as the wax 
melted. The result of the inquiry was that Jourdain 
was burned in Smithfield : — 

The witch in Smithfield shall be burned to ashes. 

Southwell died before his execution in the Tower ; 
Bolinbroke was hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn ; 
and on November 9th, the Duchess was sentenced to 
perform public penance at three open places in London. 
On Monday, the 13th, she came by water from West- 

278 Romance of London. 

minster, and landing at the Temple Bridge, walked, at 
noon-day, through Fleet Street, bearing a waxen taper 
of two pounds weight to St Paul's, where she offered it 
at the high altar. On the Wednesday following she 
landed at the Old Swan, and passed through Bridge 
Street and Gracechurch Street to Leadenhall, and at 
Cree Church, near Aldgate, made her second offering ; 
and on the ensuing Friday she was put on shore at 
Oueenhithe, whence she proceeded to St Michael's 
Church, Cornhill, and so completed her penance. In 
each of these processions her head was covered only by 
a kerchief ; her feet were bare ; scrolls, containing a 
narrative of her crime, were affixed to her white dress ; 
and she was received and attended by the Mayor, 
Sheriffs, and Companies of London. 

From the Harleian MS., No. 585, we learn more pre- 
cisely the fate of Roger Bolinbroke — that the same day 
on which he was condemned at Guildhall, he was drawn 
from the Tower of London to Tyburn, and there hanged, 
headed, and quartered, and his head set up on London 
Bridge : his quarters were disposed of at Hereford, 
Oxford, York, and Cambridge. 

Striking in the Kings Court. 

CONTEMPTS against the royal palaces have been always 
looked upon as high offences ; and by the ancient law 
before the Conquest, fighting in the king's palace, or 
before the king's judges, was punished with death. By 
the statute 33 Henry VIII., c. 12, malicious striking in 
the king's palace, wherein his royal person resides, 
whereby blood is drawn, was punishable by perpetual 
imprisonment, and fine at the king's pleasure, and also 

Striking in the Kings Court. 279 

with the loss of the offender's right hand ; the solemn 
execution of which sentence is prescribed in the statute 
at length ; but by 9 Geo. IV., c. 31, this punishment is 
repealed. It appears, however, to be a contempt of the 
kind now in question to execute the ordinary process of 
the law, by arrest or otherwise, within the verge of a 
royal palace, or in the Tower, unless permission be first 
obtained from the proper authority* 

Sir Richard Baker, in his Chronicle, thus minutely 
describes the execution of the above barbarous sen- 
tence : — 

On the 10th of June 1541, Sir Edmund Knevet of 
Norfolk, Knight, was arraigned before the officers of the 
Green Cloth for striking one Master Cleer of Norfolk, 
within the Tennis Court of the King's House. Being 
found guilty, he had judgment to lose his right hand, 
and to forfeit all his lands and goods ; whereupon there 
was called to do execution, first, the Sergeant Surgeon, 
with his instruments pertaining to his office ; then the 
Sergeant of the Wood-yard, with a mallet and block to 
lay the hand upon ; then the King's Master Cook, with 
a knife to cut off the hand ; then the Sergeant of the 
Larder, to set the knife right on the joint ; then the 
Sergeant Farrier, with searing-irons to sear the veins ; 
then the Sergeant of the Poultry, with a cock, which 
cock should have his head smitten off upon the block, and 
with the same knife ; then the Yeoman of Chandry, 
with sear-cloths ; then the Yeoman of the Scullery, with 
a pan of fire to heat the irons, a chafer of water to cool 
the ends of the irons, and two forms for all officers to set 
their stuff on ; then the Sergeant of the Cellar, with 
wine, ale, and beer ; then the Sergeant of the Ewry, 

* Stephen's Commentaries. 

2 8 o Romance of L ondon. 

with bason, ewre, and towels. All things being thus 
prepared, Sir William Pickering, Knight-Marshal, was 
commanded to bring in his prisoner, Sir Edmund 
Knevet, to whom the Chief-Justice declared his offence, 
which the said Knevet confessed, and humbly submitted 
himself to the king's mercy ; only he desired that the 
king would spare his right hand and take his left ; "Be- 
cause," said he, " if my right hand be spared, I may live 
to do the king good service : " of whose submission and 
reason of his suit, when the king was informed, he 
granted him to lose neither of his hands, and pardoned 
him also of his lands and goods. — Chronicle, ed. 

Chamberlayne describes the ceremony as follows : — 
The Sergeant of the King's Wood-yard brings to the 
place of execution a square block, a beetle, and a staple 
and cords to fasten the hands thereto. The Yeoman of 
the Scullery provides a great fire of coals by the block, 
where the searing-irons, brought by the chief Farrier, 
are to be ready for the chief Surgeon to use. Vinegar 
and cold water are to be brought by the Groom of the 
Saucery ; and the chief officers of the Cellar and Pantry 
are to be ready, one with a cup of red wine, and the 
other with a manchet, to offer the criminal. The Ser- 
geant of the Ewry is to bring the linen to wind about and 
wrap the arm ; the Yeoman of the Poultry, a cock to 
lay to it ; the Yeoman of the Chandlery, seared cloths ; 
and the Master Cook, a sharp dresser-knife, which at 
the place of execution is to be held upright by the 
Sergeant of the Larder, till execution be performed by 
an officer appointed thereunto. After all, the criminal 
shall be imprisoned during life, and fined and ransomed 
at the king's will. 

Torture. — The Rack. 2 8 1 

Torture. — The Rack. 

When, in 1628, Felton was about to be put on his trial 
for the assassination of the Duke of Buckingham, it was 
suggested by the King that Felton might be put to the 
rack, in order to make him discover his accomplices ; 
but the judges unanimously declared that the laws of 
England did not allow the use of torture. This was the 
first adjudication of the illegality of this mode of ex- 
torting confession. Lingard says, upon this point : — 
" Notwithstanding the formal opinion of the judges in 
the case of Felton, there is no doubt that the practice 
continued during the whole reign of Charles I., as a 
warrant for applying the torture to one Archer, in 1640, 
is to be seen at the State Paper Office. This, however, 
appears to have been the last occasion on which this 
odious practice was resorted to. There is no trace of it 
during the Commonwealth ; and in the reign of Charles 
II., where we might have expected to find it, there is not 
a single well-authenticated instance of the application of 
the torture. 

" The following is an account of the kinds of torture 
chiefly employed in the Tower: — The rack was a large 
open frame of oak, raised three feet from the ground. 
The prisoner was laid under it on his back on the floor ; 
his wrists and ankles were attached by cords to two 
collars at the ends of the frame ; these were moved by 
levers in opposite directions, till the body rose to a level 
with the frame ; questions were then put, and if the 
answers, did not prove satisfactory the sufferer was 
stretched more and more, till the bones started from 
their sockets. The ' scavenger's daughter ' was a broad 

282 Romance of L ondon, 

hoop of iron, so called, consisting of two parts, fastened 
to each other by a hinge. The prisoner was made to 
kneel on the pavement, and to contract himself into as 
small a compass as he could. Then the executioner, 
kneeling on his shoulders, and having introduced the 
hoop under his legs, compressed the victim close to- 
gether, till he was able to fasten the extremities over 
the small of the back. The time allotted to this kind 
of torture was an hour and a half, during which time 
it commonly happened that from excess of compression 
the blood started from the nostrils ; sometimes, it was 
believed, from the extremities of the hands and feet. 
Iron gauntlets, which could be contracted by the aid of 
a screw; these were also called manacles. They served 
to compress the wrists, and to suspend the prisoner in 
the air, from two distant points of a beam. He was 
placed on three pieces of wood piled one on the other, 
which, when his hands had been made fast, were suc- 
cessively withdrawn from under his feet. ' I felt,' said 
F. Gerard, one of the sufferers for the Gunpowder Plot, 
' the chief pain in my breast, belly, arms, and hands. 
I thought that all the blood in my body had run into 
my arms, and began to burst out at my fingers' ends. 
This was a mistake ; but the arms swelled till the 
gauntlets were buried within the flesh. After being 
thus suspended an hour I fainted, and when I came to 
myself I found the executioners supporting me in their 
arms ; they replaced the pieces of wood under my feet, 
but as soon as I was recovered they removed them 
again. Thus I continued hanging for the space of five 
hours, during which I fainted eight or nine times.' 

"A fourth kind of torture was a cell called 'Little 
Ease/ of so small dimensions, and so constructed that the 

Pressing to Death. 283 

prisoner could neither stand, walk, sit, nor lie in it at full- 
length ; he was compelled to draw himself up in a squat- 
ting posture, and so remain during several days." 

Hallam observes, that though the English law never 
recognised the use of torture, yet there were many 
instances of its employment in the reign of Elizabeth 
and James ; and, among others, in the case of the 
Gunpowder Plot. He says, indeed, that in the latter 
part of the reign of Elizabeth, " the rack seldom stood 
idle in the Tower." 

SirWalter Raleigh, at his trial, mentioned that Kentish 
was threatened with the rack, and that the keeper of 
this horrid instrument was sent for. Campion, a Jesuit, 
was put to the rack in the reign of Elizabeth ; and in 
Collier's Ecclesiastical History are mentioned other in- 
stances during the same reign. Bishop Burnet, like- 
wise, in his History of the Reformation, states that Anne 
Askew was tortured in the Tower in 1546 ; and that the 
Lord Chancellor, throwing off his gown, drew the rack 
so severely that he almost tore her body asunder.* It 
appears from the Cecil Papers that all the Duke of 
Norfolk's servants were tortured by order of Queen 
Elizabeth, who also threatened Hayward, the historian, 
with the rack. 

Pressing to Deafh. 

BETWEEN the Court-house in the Old Bailey and 
Newgate prison is a large open space, known as the 
Press-yard, from its having been the scene of the ter- 
rible punishment of " Pressing to Death " for standing 

* Prints of the Rack are to be seen in the old edition of Foxe's "Book 
of Martyrs." 

284 Romance of L on don. 

mute — that is, when a prisoner, arraigned for treason 
or felony, either made no answer at all, or answered 
foreign to the purpose. He was examined by judges : 
if found to be obstinately mute, then, in treason, it was 
held that standing mute was equivalent to conviction ; 
and the law was the same as to all misdemeanours. 
But upon indictment for any other felony, the prisoner, 
after trina admonitio, and a respite of a few hours, was 
subject to the barbarous sentence of peine forte et dure ; 
viz., to be remanded to prison and put into a low dark 
chamber, and there laid on his back on the bare floor 
naked, unless where decency forbade ; that there should 
be placed on his body as great a weight of iron as he 
could bear, and more : that he should have no susten- 
ance, save only on the first day three morsels of the 
worst bread, and on the second three draughts of stand- 
ing water that should be nearest to the prison-door ; 
and that, in this situation, such should be alternately 
his daily diet till he died, or, as anciently the judgment 
ran, till he answered. 

In the Perfct Account of the Daily Intelligence, April 
1 6th, 165 1, we find it recorded : — " Mond. April 14th. — 
This Session, at the Old Bailey, were four men pressed 
to death that were all in one robbery, and, out of 
obstinacy and contempt of the court, stood mute and 
refused to plead." 

It appears from the Session Papers that tying the 
thumbs together of criminals, in order to compel them 
to plead, was practised at the Old Bailey in the reign 
of Queen Anne. Among the cases is that of Mary 
Andrews, in 172 1, who continued so obstinate that 
three whipcords were broken before she would plead. 
And in 171 1, Nathaniel Haws had his thumbs squeezed, 

Pressing tc Death. 285 

after which he continued seven minutes under the press 
with 250 lbs., and then submitted. 

In the year 1659, Major Strangewayes was tried 
before Lord Chief-Justice Glyn for the murder of Mr 
John Fussel, and, refusing to plead, was pressed to death. 
By the account of this execution, which is added to the 
printed trial, he died in about eight minutes, many 
people in the Press-yard casting stones upon him to 
hasten his death. From the description of the press, it 
appears that it was brought nearly to a point where it 
touched his breast. It is stated likewise to have been 
usual to put a sharp piece of wood under the criminal, 
which might meet the upper part of the rack in the 
sufferer's body. Holinshed states that the back of the 
criminal was placed upon a sharp stone. Other prece- 
dents mention the tying his arms and legs with cords, 
fastened at different parts of the prison, and extending 
the limbs as far as they could be stretched.* 

No. 674 of the Universal Spectator records two in- 
stances of pressing in the reign of George II. : — "Sept. 
5, 1741. — On Tuesday was sentenced to death at the 
Old Bailey, Henry Cook, the shoemaker, of Stratford, 
for robbing Mr Zachary on the highway. On Cook's 
refusing to plead, there was a new press made, and fixed 
to the proper place in the Press-yard ; there having been 
no person pressed since the famous Spiggot, the high- 
wayman, which is about twenty years ago. Barnworth, 
alias Frasier, was pressed at Kingston, in Surrey, about 
sixteen years ago." 

These horrible details have often been discredited ; 
but records of pressing, so late as 1770, exist ; with the 
addition, however, that " the punishment was seldom 
* Barrington, On the More Ancient Statutes. 

286 Romance of London. 

inflicted, but some offenders have chose it in order to 
preserve their estates for their children. Those guilty of 
this crime are not now suffered to undergo such a length 
of torture, but have so great a weight placed on them 
that they soon expire." 

Discovery of a Murder. 

In a collection of anecdotes, written about the beginning 
of the last century, in the Rawlinson MSS., is the fol- 
lowing singular narrative : — 

Dr Airy, Provost of Queen's College, Oxon. (1599— 
1616), passing with his servant accidentally through St 
Sepulchre's Churchyard, in London, where the sexton 
was making a grave, observing a skull to move, showed 
it to his servant, and then to the sexton, who, taking it 
up, found a great toad in it, but withal observed a ten- 
penny nail stuck in the temple-bone ; whereupon the 
Doctor presently imagined the party to have been 
murdered, and asked the sexton if he remembered whose 
skull it was. He answered it was the skull of a man 
who died suddenly, and had been buried twenty-two 
years before. The Doctor told him that certainly the 
man was murdered, and that it was fitting to be inquired 
after, and so departed. The sexton thinking much upon 
it, remembered some particular stories talked of at the 
death of the party, as that his wife, then alive, and mar- 
ried to another person, had been seen to go into his 
chamber with a nail and hammer, &c. ; whereupon he 
went 'to a justice of the peace, and told him all the 
story. The wife was sent for, and witnesses were found 
who testified that and some other particulars ; she con- 
fessed, and was hanged. 

Origin of the Coventry Act. 287 

Origin of the Coventry Act. 

The famous Coventry Act against cutting and maiming 
had its origin in the following piece of barbarous 
revenge : — Sir John Coventry was on his way to his own 
house, in Suffolk Street, in the Haymarket, from the 
Cock Tavern, in Bow Street, where he had supped, when 
his nose was cut to the bone at the corner of the street 
" for reflecting on the King." It appears that a motion 
had recently been made in the House of Commons to 
lay a tax on playhouses. The Court opposed the 
motion. The players, it was said (by Sir John Birken- 
head), were the King's servants, and a part of his plea- 
sure. Coventry asked, " Whether did the King's plea- 
sure lie among the men or the women that acted ? " 
— perhaps recollecting more particularly the King's visit 
to Moll Davis, in Suffolk Street, where Charles had 
furnished a house most richly for her, provided her with 
" a mighty pretty fine coach," and given her a ring of 
;£/00, " which," says the page, " is a most infinite 
shame." The King determined to leave a mark upon 
Sir John Coventry for his freedom of remark, and he 
was watched on his way home. "He stood up to the 
wall," says Burnet, " and snatched the flambeau out of 
the servant's hands ; and with that in one hand, and the 
sword in the other, he defended himself so well, that he 
got more credit by it than by all the actions of his life. 
He wounded some of them, but was soon disarmed, and 
they cut his nose to the bone, to teach him to remember 
what respect he owed to the King." Burnet adds, that 
his nose was so well sewed up, that the scar was scarce 
to be discerned. 

288 Romance of L oiidon . 

" In the age of Charles, the ancient high and chival- 
rous sense of honour was esteemed Quixotic, and the 
Civil War had left traces of ferocity in the manners and 
sentiments of the people. Encounters, where the as- 
sailants took all advantages of number and weapons, 
were as frequent, and held as honourable, as regular 
duels. Some of these approached closely to assassi- 
nation, as in the above case, which occasioned the 
Coventry Act, an Act highly necessary, for so far did 
our ancestors' ideas of manly forbearance differ from 
ours, that Killigrew introduces the hero of one of his 
comedies, a cavalier, and the fine gentleman of the 
piece, lying in wait for and slashing the face of a poor 
courtezan who had cheated him." * 

Rise of Judge Jeffreys, 

TOWARDS the middle of the seventeenth century, there 
was a rough country-boy, a pupil of St Paul's School, 
who stood watching a procession of the Judges on their 
way to dine with my Lord Mayor. The father of- the 
boy wished to bind him apprentice to a mercer ; but 
the aspiring lad, as he looked on the train of Judges, 
registered a vow that he too would one day ride through 
the City, the guest of the Mayor, and die a Lord Chan- 
cellor. His sire pronounced him mad, and resigned 
himself to the idea that his obstinate son would one day 
die with his shoes on. 

The boy's views, however, were completely realised, 
and the father's prophecy was also in part fulfilled. The 
connection of the notorious Jeffreys with the City was, 

* Leigh Hunt's Town. 

Rise of Judge Jeffreys. 2S9 

from an early period, a very close one. He drank hard 
with, and worked hard for, the City authorities, and 
was as well known in the taverns of Aldermanbury as 
Shaftesbury was in the same district, when he was in- 
spired by the transitory ambition of himself becoming 
Vice-king in the City. From the time that Jeffreys 
became Common Serjeant — but more especially from 
the period he became Recorder — he kinged it over the 
Vice-king. He was Lord Mayor, Common Council, 
Court of Aldermen, and supreme Judge, all in one ; and 
the first-named officer had really a melancholy time of 
it during the period Jeffreys had sway in the City. At 
the feasts he was a tippling, truculent fellow, — brow- 
beating the men, and staring the most dauntless of the 
women out of countenance. In the latter pastime he 
was well matched, perhaps excelled, by his learned 
brother Trevor; and my Lord Mayor Bludworth had 
good reason to remember both of them. The Mayor 
had a fair daughter, the young and wild widow of a 
Welsh squire, and one who made City entertainments 
brilliant by her presence, and hilarious by her conduct 
and her tongue. There was a wonderful amount of 
homage rendered to this Helen, to whom it mattered 
little in what form or speech the homage was rendered. 
The rudest could not bring a blush upon her cheek; 
her ear was never turned away from any suitor of the 
hour, and every lover was received with a laugh and 
a welcome by this most buxom of Lord Mayor's 

When she finally accepted the hand of Jeffreys, her 
own was in the hand of Trevor ; and no City match was 
ever so productive of a peculiar sort of satirical ballad 

as this one, which united the said Mayor's rather too 
vol. 1. . t 

290 Romance of London. 

notorious daughter with the not yet too infamous Sir 
George. Poets and poetasters pelted him with anony- 
mous epigrams ; aldermen drank queer healths to him 
in their cups ; and lively-tongued women, in his own 
court, when he was too hard upon them, would thrust 
at him an allusion to his lady from Guildhall, which 
would put him into a fume of impotent indignation. 

There is not one man in a thousand, probably, who 
is aware that the blood of Jeffreys and the Mayor of 
London's daughter afterwards flowed in noble veins. 
They had an only son, — a dissolute, drunken fellow, with 
whom even aldermen were too nice to have a carouse, 
and whose appearance at a feast scared Mayors who 
could take their claret liberally. This likely youth, 
whose intoxication broke down the solemnity of Dry- 
den's funeral, married, in spite of his vices, a daughter 
and sole heiress of the House of Pembroke. The only 
child of this marriage was Henrietta, who married the 
Earl of Pomfret, and enabled Queen Caroline to have a 
grand-daughter of the infamous Judge for her Lady of 
the Bedchamber. One of Lady Pomfret's many children, 
Charlotte Finch, was well known to many of our sires. 
She was governess to George the Third's children, whom 
she often accompanied to the City to witness the annual 
show; the great-great-grand-daughter of Judge Jeffreys 
and the Guildhall light-o'-love thus having the superin- 
tendence of the conduct and morals of the young Princes 
and Princesses. — From the Athenczum, No. 1723, 

Stories of the Star-Chamber, 

THIS odious Court, named from the ceiling of the 
chamber being anciently ornamented with gilded stars, 

Stories of the Star-Chamber. 291 

is not mentioned as a Court of Justice earlier than the 
reign of Henry VII., about which time the old titles of 
" the Lords sitting in the Star-Chamber," and " the 
Council in the Star-Chamber," seem to have been 
merged into the one distinguishing appellation of " the 
Star-Chamber." The Judges, before and subsequent to 
this alteration, were " the Lords of the Council," as they 
are still termed in the Litany of the Church service. 
The modes of proceeding before the council were by 
the mouth, or by bill and answer. After the sittings, 
the Lords dined in the inner Star-Chamber, at the 
public expense. In political cases, " soden reporte," as 
it was called, is thought to have meant private and 
secret information given to the council. The person 
accused, or suspected, was immediately apprehended 
and privately examined. If he confessed any offence, 
or if the cunning examiner drew from him, or he let 
fall, any expressions which suited their purpose, he was 
at once brought to the bar, his confession or examination 
was read, he was convicted out of his own mouth, and 
judgment was immediately pronounced against him. 
Upon admissions of immaterial circumstances thus 
aggravated, and distorted into confessions of guilt, the 
Earl of Northumberland was prosecuted by word of 
mouth, in the Star-Chamber, for being privy to the 
Gunpowder Plot, and was sentenced to pay a fine of 
;£ 30,000, and be imprisoned for life. 

The Star-Chamber held its sittings, from the end of 
Queen Elizabeth's reign until the final abolition of the 
court by Parliament in 164.1, in apartments on the 
eastern side of New Palace Yard ; these buildings bore 
the date 1602, and E. R. and an open rose on a star; 
they corresponded with the " Starre-Chamber" in 

2 Q2 Romance of L ondon. 

Aggas's plan of London in 1570. The last of the build- 
ings was taken down in 1836 ; drawings were then made 
of the court, which had an enriched ceiling, but no 
remains of the star ornamentations, notwithstanding, 
behind the Elizabethan panelling, the style of the 
chamber was Tudor-Gothic. The remains are preserved 
at Leasowe Castle, the seat of the Hon. Sir Edward 
Cust, in Cheshire. 

Imagination can scarcely picture a more terrible judi- 
cature. This tribunal was bound by no law, but created 
and defined the offences it punished ; the judges were 
in point of fact the prosecutors ; and every mixture of 
those two characters is inconsistent with impartial jus- 
tice. Crimes of the greatest magnitude were treated of 
in this court, but solely punished as trespasses, the 
council not having dared to usurp the power of inflicting 

Among the many abuses of the process was, that in 
the time of Queen Elizabeth, "many solicitors who 
lived in Wales, Cornwall, or the farthest parts of the 
North, did make a trade to sue forth a multitude of 
subpoenas to vex their neighbours, who, rather than 
they would travel to London, would give them any 
composition, though there were no colour of complaint 
against them." The process might anciently be served 
in any place : in Catholic times, usually in the market 
or the church. The highest number of the council who 
attended the court in the reigns of Henry VII. and 
VIII. was nearly forty, of whom seven or eight were 
prelates ; in the reign of Elizabeth the number was 
nearly thirty, but it subsequently declined. The Chan- 
cellor was the supreme judge, and alone sat with his 
head uncovered. Upon important occasions, persons 

Persons of Note Imprisoned in the Fleet. 293 

who wished "to get convenient places and standing" 
went there by three o'clock in the morning. The 
counsel were confined to a "laconical brevity;" the 
examinations of the witnesses were read, and the mem- 
bers of the court delivered their opinions in order, from 
the inferior upwards, the , Archbishop preceding the 

Every punishment, except death, was assumed to be 
within the power of the Star-Chamber Court. Pillory, 
fine and imprisonment, and whipping, wearing of papers 
through Westminster Hall, and letters "seared in the 
face with hot irons," were ordinary punishments. Henry 
VII. had a fondness for sitting in the Star-Chamber: 
the court was the great instrument for his "extort 
doynge;" and "the King took the matter into his own 
hands," was a Star-Chamber phrase ; and " my attorney 
must speak to you," was a sure prelude to a heavy fine. 
"Wolsey made a great show of his magnificence in the 
Star-Chamber; he proceeded to the sittings of the 
court in great state, his mace and seal being carried 
before him; "he spared neither high nor low, but 
judged every estate according to their merits and 
deserts." After his fall, with the exception of occa- 
sional interference in religious matters and matters of 
police, we seldom hear of the Star-Chamber. (See the 
very able dissertation by John Bruce, F.S.A., Archeso- 
logia, vol. viii.) 

Persons of Note Imprisoned in the Fleet. 

For nearly eight centuries was the Fleet a place of 
security or confinement, and the terror of evil-doers of 
almost every grade : its cells and dungeons were tenanted 

294 Romance of London. 

by political and religious martyrs ; besides a host of 
men of more pliant consciences, whom the law stigma- 
tised as debtors. 

The early history of the prison is little better than a 
sealed book, the burning of the building by Wat Tyler 
being the only noticeable event. By the regulations of 
this period, the Warden might arm the porters at the 
gates with halberts, bills, or other weapons. 

In the reigns of Edward VI. and Queen Mary, several 
victims of those bigoted times were committed here. 
Bishop Hooper was twice sentenced to the Fleet, which 
he only quitted, in 1555, for the stake and the fire at 
Gloucester. In the Fleet his bed was " a little pad of 
straw, with a rotten covering ; his chamber was vile and 
stinking." It was expected that he would have accom- 
panied Rogers, a prebendary of St Paul's, to the stake ; 
but Hooper, after his trial, was led back to his cell, to 
be carried down to Gloucester, to suffer among his own 
people. Next morning he was roused at four o'clock, 
and being committed to the care of six of Queen Mary's 
guard, they took him, before it was light, to the Angel 
Inn, St Clement's, tJien standing in the fields; thence he 
was taken to Gloucester, and there burnt, with dreadful 
torments, on the 9th of February : the spot is marked 
by a statue of the Bishop, beneath a Gothic canopy, 
which was inaugurated in 1863, on the 308th anniver- 
sary of Hooper's martyrdom. 

The Fleet was originally the prison for persons com- 
mitted from the Court of Star-Chamber. Bacon, in 
early life, held the office of Registrar of this infamous 
Court, worth about ^"1600 per annum. In his Life of 
King Henry VLL, he characterises the Court as " one of 
the sagest and noblest institutions of the kingdom;" 

Persons of Note Imprisoned in the Fleet. 295 

"composed of good elements, for it consisteth of coun- 
sellors, peers, prelates, and chief judges." 

From the reign of Elizabeth to the sixteenth of Charles 
I. (1641), the Star-Chamber was in full activity. Among 
the political victims consigned to the Fleet were Prynne 
and Lilburne. Prynne was committed here for writing 
his His trio was tix, taken out of the prison, and, after 
suffering pillory, branding, mutilation of the nose, and 
loss of ears, was remanded to the Fleet. Lilburne, 
"Free-born John," and his printer, were committed to 
the Fleet for libel and sedition : the former was smartly 
whipped at " the cart's tail," from the prison to the 
pillory, placed between Westminster Hall and Star- 
Chamber, and subsequently "doubly ironed" in the 
prison wards. 

After the abolition of the Star-Chamber, in 1641, the 
Fleet became a prison for contempt of the Courts of 
Chancery, Common Pleas, and Exchequer ; and it con- 
tinued a prison for debtors, for which purpose it appears 
to have been used from the thirteenth century at least, 
by a petition from John Frauncey, a debtor in the Fleet, 
A.D. 1290. 

Wycherley, the wit and dramatist, lay in the Fleet 
seven years, ruined through his Countess' settlement 
being disputed, was thrown into prison, and is said to 
have been at last relieved by James II., who having 
gone to see Wycherley's Plain Dealer acted, was so 
delighted, that he gave orders for the payment of the 
author's debts, and settling a pension of £200 a-year on 
him. The history has an apocryphal air. 

Sir Richard Baker, the Chronicler, was one of the 
most unfortunate debtors confined here : he married in 
1620, and soon after got into pecuniary difficulties, and 

2g6 Romance of London. 

was thrown into the Fleet Prison, where he spent the 
remaining years of his life, and died in 1644-45, in a 
state of extreme poverty. Mr Cunningham, from the 
Rate-books of St Clement's Danes, tells us that Sir 
Richard lived in Milford Lane, Strand, from 1632 to 
1639 ; possibly Lady Baker resided here. Sir Richard 
wrote his Chronicle, published in 1641, and other works, 
as a means of subsistence during his imprisonment. 
The Chronicle was for a century the popular book 
among the squires and ancient country gentlemen of the 
school of Sir Roger de Coverley. Sir Richard's resid- 
ence in the Fleet was not very compatible with refer- 
ence to authorities and antiquarian research ; though 
full of errors, it has given more pleasure and diffused 
more knowledge than historical works of far higher 
pretensions. It is now little read ; but we may remark, 
by the way, that some historical works written, and most 
read in our time, are by no means the most accurate. 
Baker's Chronicle is certainly one of the most amusing 
" prison books," and has been treated with much un- 
merited ridicule. Sir Richard was buried in the nearest 
church, old St Bride's, the burial-place of the Fleet 
Wardens. Francis Sandford, author of the Genealogical 
History, died in the Fleet in 1693. 

To Howel's imprisonment here we owe his very 
entertaining Familiar Letters, several of which are dated 
from here. By " A Letter to the Earl of B., from the 
Fleet," Nov. 20, 1643, Howel was arrested "one morn- 
ing betimes," by five men, armed with " swords, pistils, 
and bils," and some days after committed to the Fleet ; 
and he adds, "As far as I see, I must lie at dead 
anchor in this Fleet a long time, unless some gentle gale 
blow thence to make mc launch out." Then we find 

Persons of Note Imprisoned in the Fleet. 297 

him solacing himself with the reflection that the English 
people are in effect but prisoners, as all other islanders 
are. Other Letters, by Howel, are dated from the 
Fleet, 161 5-6-7 ; some are dated from various places, 
but are believed to have been written in the Fleet : still 
they bear internal evidence that Howel had visited these 

Howel's Letters, already mentioned, have had a reflex 
in our time in Richard Oastler's Fleet Papers, " a weekly 
epistle on public matters," inscribed to Thomas Thorn- 
hill, Esq. of Fixby Hall, Yorkshire, whose steward 
Oastler had been, and at whose suit he was imprisoned 
here: he was liberated by subscription, February 12, 
1844, and has left an interesting account of his imprison- 
ment. Of Oastler, a colossal bronze group, by Philip, 
has been erected at Bradford, in memory of his advocacy 
of the Ten-Hours Factory Bill. 

Among the distinguished prisoners here was the im- 
petuous Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, who was first 
committed here for sending a challenge ; he was allowed 
in the prison the use of two servants to wait upon him, 
but not permitted to entertain any of his friends at 
table. He made several applications for his release : he 
pleads to the Privy Council " the fury of reckless youth," 
and the inoffensiveness of his past life ; and begs that if 
he may not be liberated, he may, at least, be removed to a 
place of confinement in better air ; he was then removed 
to Windsor, and in four days released. In 1543, Surrey 
was summoned before the Privy Council, at the instance 
of the City authorities, for having eaten flesh in Lent ; 
and for having with young Wyatt, the poet's son, and 
Pickering, gone about the streets at midnight breaking 
windows with stone-bows. To the first charge he pleaded 

298 Romance of London. 

a licence ; submitting to sentence on the second, for 
which he was again sent to the Fleet. During his 
imprisonment he wrote his Satire upon the Citizens, 
in which he pretends that he broke their windows to 
awaken them to a sense of their iniquities, commenc- 


London ! hast thou accused me 
Of breach of laws ? the root of strife, 
Within whose breast did boil to see, ' 
So fervent hot, thy dissolute life ; 
That even the hate of sins that grow 
Within thy wicked walls so rife, 
For to break forth did convert so, 
That terror could it not repress. 

Surrey's grave irony has misled the editor of his Poems, 
who states the poet's motive to have been a religious 
one ; a very absurd defence of a vinous frolic of window- 

We pass to another class of committals. Keys was 
sent here for marrying the Lady Mary Grey, the sister 
of Lady Jane Grey ; Dr Donne, for marrying Sir George 
More's daughter without her father's knowledge ; Sir 
Robert Killigrew, for speaking to Sir Thomas Overbury 
as he came from visiting Sir Walter Raleigh ; the 
Countess of Dorset, for pressing into the Privy Chamber, 
and importuning James I., "contrary to command- 
ment ; " and Lucius Carey, Viscount Falkland, for 
sending a challenge. 

Nash was imprisoned here for writing the satirical 
play of the Isle of Dogs, never printed : he died at the 
early age of thirty-five, having " prodigally conspired 
against good hours." Pope might well designate the 
Fleet "the Haunt of the Muses." Robert Lloyd, 
Churchill's friend, was here in 1764. Parson Ford, who 

Persons of Note Imprisoned in the Fleet. 299 

figures in Hogarth's Midnight Conversation, died here 
in 1 73 1 ; and Parson Keith, of May Fair, was here in 
1758. Mrs Cornelys, who gave, in Carlisle House, balls, 
concerts, and masquerades, unparalleled in the annals of 
public fashion, by her improvidence was reduced to 
become " a vendor of asses' milk," and, sinking still 
lower, died in the Fleet in 1797. 

Another eccentric person may be added to the list — 
the Chevalier Desseasau, a native of Russia, who in early 
life bore a commission in the service of that country ; 
but, having severely wounded a brother officer in a duel, 
the Chevalier came to England, and here passed the 
remainder of his days. He soon became acquainted 
with Foote, Murphy, Goldsmith, and Johnson : he was 
a frequenter of Anderton's Coffee-house in Fleet Street, 
a tavern called " The Barn " in St Martin's Lane, and 
several coffee-houses in Covent Garden. He at length 
became reduced in his circumstances, and so distressed 
as to be confined for debt in the Fleet Prison ; but such 
was the confidence placed in his honour, that he was 
allowed to go out of the prison whenever he pleased. 
He died at his lodgings in Fleet Market, in 1775, 
aged seventy, and was interred in St Bride's Church- 

Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, was living "within 
the rules of the Fleet" in 1707 ; " Curll's Corinna," Mrs 
Thomas, was also a ruler ; and Richard Savage, to be 
secure from his creditors, was directed by his friends to 
take a lodging " within the liberties of the Fleet," 
and here his friends sent him every Monday a 

* Abridged from Walks and Talks about London ; interpolated. 

300 Romance of Loudon. 

The Rising of Sir Thomas Wyat. 

It is curious to find this event of three centuries since 
chronicled with as much minuteness as would be re- 
ported an occurrence of yesterday, in a morning news- 
paper. Wyat and his followers lay at Deptford until 
Saturday, the 5th of February 1554, when "this daie 
before noone all horsemen were by a drom commanded 
to be at sainct James felde, and the footemen com- 
manded to be in Fynsbury felde to muster. This day, 
about iij. of the clocke, sir Thomas Wyat and the 
Kentyshemen marched forwarde from Debtford to- 
wardes London with v. auncientes, being by estimation 
about ij. thousand men ; which their comyng, so soone 
as it was perceyved, ther was shot off out of the White 
tower a vi. or viij. shott ; but myssed them, somtymes 
shoting over, and somtymes shoting short. After the 
knowledge thereof once had in London, forthwith the 
draybridge was cutt downe and the bridge gates shut." 
The Londoners were preparing. " The mayre and the 
sheryves harnessyd theymselves, and commanded eche 
man to shutt in their shoppes and wyndowes, and being 
redy in harnes to stande every one at his dore, what 
chance soever might happen." The taking of wares, 
the running up and down, the weeping women, children 
and maids running into houses, and shutting the doors 
for fear, were great. " So terryble and fearfull at the 
fyrst was Wyat and his armyes comying to the most 
part of the cytezens," who, the chronicler adds, were not 
accustomed to " suche incursions to their cyty." Wyat 
entered into Kent Street, and by St George's Church 
into Southwark ; himself and part of his company came 

The Rising of Sir Thomas Wyat. 301 

down Barmesy (Bermondsey) Street. The people of 
Southwark did not oppose the new comers, but enter- 
tained them. Wyat laid two pieces of ordnance at the 
Bridge foot, another at St George's, another at Ber- 
mondsey Street, &c. As a price had been set upon his 
head, he had the name of Thomas Wyat fairly written, 
and set on his cap. He paid all his men, and saw that 
they paid the inhabitants ; and his motive in quitting 
Southwark was to save the place ; for the Lieutenant of 
the Tower had directed all his great ordnance against 
Southwark and the church towers of St Tooley's and St 
Marie Overies. 

Wyat retired to Kingston ; and from thence pro- 
ceeded towards the western part of London, through 
Brentford. " The quenes scout, apon his retourne to 
the court, declared their coming to Brainforde, which 
subden newes was so fearefull that therwith the quene 
and all the court was wonderfully affryghted. Dromes 
went thoroughe London at iiij. of the clocke, warninge 
all soldears to arme themselves and to repaire to 
Charinge crosse. The quene was once determyned 
to come to the Tower furthwith, but shortlie after she 
sende worde she would tarry ther to se the uttermost. 
Mayny thought she wolde have ben in the felde in 
person. Here was no small a-dowe in London, and 
likewise the Tower made great preparation of defence. 
By x. of the clocke, or somewhat more, the erle of 
Penbroke had set his troopp of horsemen on the hille 
in the higheway above the new brige over against say net 
James ; his footemen was sett in ij. battailles somewhat 
lower, and ncrer Charinge crosse. At the lane turning 
downe by the brike wall from Islington-warde he had 
sett also certayn other horsemen, and he had planted 

302 Romance of L ondon. 

his ordenance apon the hill side. In the meane season 
Wyat and his company planted his ordenance apon the 
hill beyonde sainct James, almost over agaynst the park 
corner ; and himself, after a few words spoken to his 
soldears, came downe the olde lane on foote, hard by 
the courte gate at saincte James's, with iiij. or v. auncy- 
entes ; his men marching in goode array. Cutbart 
Vaughan, and about ij. auncyentes, turned downe to- 
wards Westminster. The erle of Pembroke's horsemen 
hoveryd all this while without moving, untyll all was 
passed by, saving the tayle, upon which they did sett 
and cut of. The other marched forwarde, and never 
stayed or retourned to the ayde of their tayle. ... At 
Charinge crosse ther stoode the lord chamberlayne, with 
the garde and a nomber of other, almost a thousande 
persons, the whiche, upon Wyat's coming, shott at his 
company, and at last fiedd to the court gates, which 
certayn pursued, and forced them with shott to shyt the 
court gates against them. In this repulse the said lord 
chamberlayn and others were so amazed that men 
cryed Treason ! treason ! in the court, and had thought 
that the erle of Pembroke, who was assayling the tayle 
of his enemys, had gon to Wyat, taking his part agaynst 
the quene, . . . The said Wyat, with his men, marched 
still forwarde, all along to Temple barre, also thoroghe 
Fleete street, along tyll he cam to Ludgate, his men 
going not in eny goode order or array. . . . Thus Wyat 
cam even to Ludgate, and knockyd calling to come in, 
saying, there was Wyat, whom the quene had graunted 
their requestes ; but the lorde William Howard standing 
at the gate, saide, ' Avaunt, traytour ! thou shalt not 
come in here,' And then Wyat awhill stayed, and, as 
some say, rested him apon a seate [at] the Bejlsavage 

The Story of George Barnwell. 303 

gate ; at last, seing he coulde not come in, and belike 
being deceaved of the ayde which he hoped out of the 
cetye, retourned back agayne in arraye towards Charinge 
crosse, and was never stopped tyll he cam to Temple 
barre, wher certayn horsemen which cam from the felde 
met them in the face ; and then begann the fight agayne 
to wax hote." 

The fate of Wyat and his followers need not be de- 
tailed ; the latter were taken, and thrust into prisons, 
" the poorest sort " being, in the words of the chronicle, 
" en a hepp in churches." 

The Story of George Barnwell. 

The discrepancies in this old London story are so 
numerous and conflicting as almost to defy adjustment. 
"The unhappy youth," says Dr Rimbault, "is said to 
have figured in the criminal annals of the time of Queen 
Elizabeth ; but I have never met with any authenticated 
notice of his trial and condemnation," The story, we 
need scarcely observe, describes the career of a London 
apprentice hurried on to ruin and murder by an infamous 
woman, who at last delivers him up to justice and an 
ignominious death. These circumstances were drama- 
tised by George Lillo, in hfs well-known tragedy, The 
London Merchant ; or, The History of George Barnwell, 
first acted in 1731 ; and stated to be founded upon the 
old ballad of George Barnwell, which, Bishop Percy says, 
"was printed, at least, as early as the seventeenth 
century." In that production, Barnwell's uncle (who is 
murdered) is described as a wealthy grazier dwelling in 
Ludlow; in a wood near which place the ballad also 
describes the murder to have been committed. This 

304 Romance of London. 

" Tragical Narrative," says Bishop Percy, " seems to 
relate to a real fact ; but when it happened I have not 
been able to discover." The Ludlow Guide Book 
" notices the circumstance as traditional there, and the 
very barn and homestead, a short distance on the left 
before entering Ludlow from the Hereford road, we are 
told by Dr Rimbault, are still pointed out as the ancient 
residence of the victim." 

Lillo's tragedy, with poetical licence, makes the scene 
of the uncle's murder to be within a short distance of 
London, and tradition places it in the grounds formerly 
belonging to Dr Lettsom, and now those of the Gram- 
mar School at Camberwell, in Surrey, Maurice, the 
historian of Hindostan, admits this recognition into his 
poem of Camberwell Grove, in the following apos- 
trophe : — 

Ye towering elms, on whose majestic brows 

A hundred rolling years have shed their snows. 

Admit me to your dark sequester'd reign, 

To roam with contemplation's studious train ! 

Your .haunts I seek, nor glow with other fires 

Than those which Friendship's ardent warmth inspires ; 

No savage murderer with a gleaming blade — 

No Barnwell to pollute your sacred shade ! 

Still, the old ballad lays the scene of Barnwell's dissi- 
pation in the metropolis ; in Shoreditch lived Mrs Mill- 
wood, who led him astray : — 

George Barnwell, then, quoth she, 

Do thou to Shoreditch come, 
And ask for Mrs Millwood's house, 

Next door unto the Gun. 

Now, Shoreditch was formerly notorious for the easy 
character of its women ; and to die in Shoreditch was 
not a mere metaphorical term for dying in a sewer. 

The Story of George Barnwell, 305 

(Cunningham!) Curiously enough, the common notion 
of Shoreditch being named after Jane Shore, the mis- 
tress of Edward IV., is a vulgar error perpetrated by a 
ballad in Percy's Rcliqucs; its notoriously bad character, 
in each case, may have led to its being chosen for the 
poetical locality. Lillo, by transferring the scene from 
a wood near Ludlow to Camberwell Grove, doubtless 
added to the popularity of the drama, by the celebrity 
of the latter site as one of the most beautiful and roman- 
tic localities in the neighbourhood of the metropolis. 

Lillo, in writing his three plays, George Barnwell, 
A rden of Feversham, and Fatal Curiosity, evidently had 
but one purpose in view, to exhibit the progress from 
smaller to greater crimes ; to which point he would, of 
course, pay more attention than to accuracy of locality. 
Thus, the impure passion of Barnwell, the ill-suppressed 
attachment of Arden's wife for the lover of her youth, 
and the impatience under poverty of the Wilmots (in 
Fatal Curiosity), are the three beginnings of vice, all of 
which terminate in murder. Not only is the purpose of 
these plays the same, but the same measures are adopted 
in all for its attainment. In each there is a tempter and 
a tempted ; the first determined in vice, the latter rather 
weak than intrinsically vicious ; thus Barnwell is led on 
by Millwood, Arden's wife by her paramour, Mosly, and 
Wilmot by his wife, Agnes. George Barnwell is the 
least meritorious in execution : here " inflation knows 
no bounds ; nature is sunk altogether, and the virtuous 
characters are not human beings, but speakers of moral 
essays, and those in the worst style. The prose of 
Barnwell is remarkable ; in many places line after line 
will read as blank verse, which might lead to a surmise 

that it was originally written in verse, and chopped up 
vol. 1. u 

306 Romance of London. 

into prose ; unless, indeed, the same metrical style may 
be that which naturally follows from inflated declama- 
tion." Nevertheless, it was said at the time of the pro- 
duction of Barnwell, that it drew more tears than the 
rant of Alexander the Great. It attracted attention at 
once; for in the Daily Post, Monday, July 5, 1731 (the 
year of its production), we find : " Last Friday a 
messenger came from Hampton Court to the play- 
house, by the Queen's command, for the manuscript of 
George Barnwell, for Her Majesty's perusal, which Mr 
Wilks carried to Hampton Court early on Saturday 
morning ; and we hear it is to be performed shortly at 
the theatre in Hampton Court, for the entertainment of 
the royal family," &c. 

To return to the discrepancies of locality. Lillo's 
drama shows us the culprit, in companionship with his 
heartless seducer, led from a London prison to the 
scaffold; and Dr Rimbault, writing in 1858, tells us 
that, some few years since, an old parochial document 
was said to have come to light, showing that George 
Barnwell had been the last criminal hanged at St 
Martin' s-in-the-Fields, before the Middlesex executions 
were, more generally than before, ordered at Tyburn ; 
yet the ballad, of much older date than the play, says 
that Barnwell was not gibbeted here, but sent " beyond 
seas," where he subsequently suffered capital punish- 
ment for some fresh crime. 

The popularity of the drama on the stage doubtless 
led to its being wrought into a story book, as is fre- 
quently done in the present day. Of Barnwell there 
have been several versions, including pamphlets. In 
1 8 17 was published a narrative, with great pretension 
to authority, it being stated in the title-page as " by a 

The Story of George Barnwell 307 

Descendant of the Barnwell family." It is entitled, 
"Memoirs of George Barnwell; the unhappy subject 
of Lillo's celebrated Tragedy ; derived from the most 
authentic sources," &c. ; the preface is dated from " St 
Gad's, Dec. 21, 1809." This book, extending to some 
150 pages, we suspect to be of little or no authority; it 
is written in the worst possible style, and its inflation 
transcends that of the drama itself. The family of the 
Barnwells are stated to have flourished in the vale of 
Evesham, the uncle to have lived at Camberwell, in 
Surrey, and the apprentice's master to have been "Mr 
Strickland, a very considerable woollen draper in Cheap- 
side." Next we have the Thorowgood and Truman, 
and Maria, from the drama ; Sarah Millwood is " the 
daughter of a respectable merchant in Bristol ; " her 
husband loses his life in a midnight broil ; the widow 
sees young Barnwell coming out of a banking-house in 
Lombard Street, she allures him to " her residence in 
Cannon Street," where, the image of the chaste Maria 
flitting from George's view, the wicked widow triumphs; 
she removes to "a lodging in Moorfields ;" he plunders 
his masters cash-drawer of a hundred pound note, 
coaxes his uncle out of money : then we have a borrow- 
ing from the ballad — George is cautioned by an anony- 
mous letter, and is referred to "Mrs Millwood, near the 
Gun, in Shoreditcn:" he perpetrates the murder in 
Camberwell Grove, and his uncle's body is " found by a 
farmer's servant, and carried, with the assistance of some 
passengers, to an old public-house hard by, which was 
well known by the sign of the Tiger and the Tabby." 
Meanwhile, Barnwell's disappearance from his place of 
business is advertised by his master ; the murderer has 
fled into Lincolnshire; he is betrayed to his master by 

308 Romance of London. 

Millwood, confesses his guilt, and is "committed to the 
Marshalsea Prison in Southwark, to take his trial at the 
next Surrey Assizes." The date of the trial is here 
given, " 1 8th of October 1706, before the Lord Chief 
Baron Bury and Mr Justice Powell." Millwood, in her 
evidence, deposed that she " lived in Shoreditch, next 
door to the Gun," a suspicious coincidence with the 
words in the ballad of the previous century. Barnwell 
was found guilty, and executed, according to the above 
volume, on Kennington Common. To the account of 
the trial it is added that Lillo, the dramatist, was con- 
temporary with Barnwell, which seems to gainsay its 
true origin of the story from the old ballad. Barnwell's 
tragical history has also been made the basis of a novel, 
in three volumes, by Mr Thomas Skinner Surr, author 
of the Winter in London, in which, however, there is 
little of the narrative of assumed facts, or regard to the 
colour of the period ; it is almost entirely a work of 

Not the least remarkable incident of the drama of 
George Barnwell is the several anecdotes relative to the 
effect produced by its performance on young men who 
have followed vicious courses, and have been reclaimed 
by this tragedy. With this view, the play was usually 
performed at the theatres, on the night after Christmas- 
day, and on Easter Monday ; but this practice has been 
for some years discontinued, as it failed to prove attrac- 
tive. Among the instances of its former effect is the 
following, related by Ross, the comedian : — 

"In the year 1752, during the Christmas holidays, I 
played George Barnwell, and the late Mrs Pritchard 
played Millwood. Doctor Barrowby, physician to St 
Bartholomew's Hospital, told me he was once sent for 

The Story of George Barnwell. 309 

by a young gentleman in Great St Helen's, apprentice 
to a very capital merchant. He found him very ill with 
a slow fever, a heavy hammer pulse that no medicine 
could touch. The nurse told him he sighed at times so 
very heavily that she was sure something lay heavily on 
his mind. The Doctor sent every one out of the room, 
and told his patient he was sure that something op- 
pressed his mind, and lay so heavy on his spirits that 
it would be in vain to order him medicine unless he 
would open his mind freely. After much solicitation on 
the part of the Doctor, the youth confessed there was 
something lay heavy at his heart, but that he would 
sooner die than divulge it, as it must- be his ruin if it 
was known. The Doctor assured him, if he would make 
him his confidant, he would, by every means in his 
power, serve him, and that the secret, if he desired it, 
should remain so to all the world but to those who 
might be necessary to relieve him. 

"After much conversation, he told the Doctor he was 
the second son to a gentleman of good fortune in Hert- 
fordshire, that he had made an improper acquaintance 
with a mistress of a captain of an Indiaman then abroad, 
that he was within a year of being out of his time, and 
had been entrusted with cash, drafts, and notes, which 
he had made free with, to the amount of two hundred 
pounds ; that going two or three nights before to Drury 
Lane, to see Ross and Mrs Pritchard in their characters 
of George Barnwell and Millwood, he was so forcibly 
struck that he had not enjoyed a moment's peace since, 
and wished to die to avoid the shame he saw hanging 
over him. The Doctor asked him where his father was ? 
lie replied he expected him there every minute, as he 
was sent for by his master on his being taken so very 

3 1 o Romance of London. 

ill. The Doctor desired the young gentleman to make 
himself perfectly easy, as he would undertake his father 
should make all right ; and to get his patient in a pro- 
mising way, assured him, if his father made the least 
hesitation, he should have the money of him. The 
father soon arrived : the Doctor took him into another 
room, and, after explaining the whole cause of his son's 
illness, begged him to save the honour of his family and 
the life of his son. The father, with tears in his eyes, 
gave him a thousand thanks, said he would start to his 
banker and bring the money. While the father was 
gone, Dr Barrowby went to his patient, and told him 
everything would be settled in a few minutes to his ease 
and satisfaction ; that his father was gone to his banker 
for the money, and would soon return with peace and 
forgiveness, and never mention or even think of it more. 
" What is very extraordinary, the Doctor told me, 
that in a few minutes after he communicated this news 
to his patient, upon feeling his pulse, without the help 
of any medicine, he was quite another creature. The 
father returned with notes to the amount of two hundred 
pounds, which he put into the son's hands, — they wept, 
kissed, embraced ; the son soon recovered, and lived to 
be a very eminent merchant. Doctor Barrowby never 
told me the name, but the story he mentioned often in 
the green-room of Drury Lane Theatre ; and after tell- 
ing it one night, when I was standing by, he said to me : 
— ' You have done some good in your profession, more, 
perhaps, than many a clergyman who preached last 
Sunday ' — for the patient told the Doctor the play raised 
such horror and contrition in his soul that he would, if 
it would please God to raise a friend to extricate him 
out of that distress, dedicate the rest of his life to reli- 

The Story of George Ban live 11. 3 1 1 

gion and virtue. Though I never knew his name, or 
saw him to my knowledge, I had, for nine or ten years, 
at my benefit a note sealed up, with ten guineas, and 
these words : — ' A tribute of gratitude from one who was 
highly obliged and saved from ruin by seeing Mr Ross's 
performance of Barnwell.' 

" I am, dear sir, yours truly, 

" David Ross." 

The tragic story has not escaped whipping by the 
satirist, as well as by the pantomimist. James Smith, 
in one of the " Rejected Addresses," thus happily turns 
the story into racy burlesque, — as " George Barnwell 
Travestie : " — 

George Barnwell stood at the shop-door, 
A customer hoping to find, sir ; 
His apron was hanging before, 
But the tail of his coat was behind, sir. 
A lady so painted and smart, 
Cried, Sir, I 've exhausted my stock o' late ; 
I 've got nothing left but a groat — 
Could you give me four penn'orth of chocolate? 
Rum ti, &c. 

Her face was rouged up to the eyes, 
Which made her look prouder and prouder ; 
His hair stood on end with surprise, 
And hers with pomatum and powder. 
The business was soon understood ; 
The lady, who wish'd to be more rich, 
Cried, Sweet sir, my name is Millwood, 
And I lodge at the Gunner's in Shoreditch. 
Rum ti, &c. 

Now nightly he stole out, good lack! 
And into her lodging would pop, sir ; 
And often forgot to come back, 
Leaving master to shut up the shop, sir. 

3 1 2 Romance of London. 

Her beauty his wits did bereave — 
Determined to be quite the crack, O, 
He lounged at the Adam and Eve, 
And call'd for his gin and tobacco. 
Rum ti, &c. 

And now — for the truth must be told, 

Though none of a 'prentice should speak ill — 

He stole from the till all the gold, 

And ate the lump-sugar and treacle. 

In vain did his master exclaim, 

Dear George ! don't engage with that dragon ; 

She '11 lead you to sorrow and shame, 

And leave you the devil a rag on. 

Your rum ti, &c. 

George is kicked out of doors, soon spends his last 
guinea, when Millwood gets angry and remonstrates : — 

If you mean to come here any more, 
Pray come with more cash in your pocket. 

She then suggests making " Nunky surrender his dibs/' 
and he is equipped for the crime : — 

A pistol he got from his love — 
'Twas loaded with powder and bullet ; 
He trudged off to Camberwell Grove, 
But wanted the courage to pull it. 
There 's Nunky as fat as a hog, 
While I am as lean as a lizard ; 
Here 's at you, you stingy old dog ! — 
And he whips a long knife in his gizzard. 
Rum ti, &c. 

All you who attend to my song, 

A terrible end of the farce shall see, 

If you join the inquisitive throng 

That follow'd poor George to the Marshalsea. 

L ady Henrietta Berkeley. 3 1 3 

If Millwood were here, dash my wigs, 
Quoth he, I would pummel and lam her well ; 
Had I stuck to my prunes and my figs, 
I ne'er had stuck Nunky at Camberwell. 
Rum ti, &c. 

Their bodies were never cut down ; 
For granny relates with amazement, 
A witch bore 'm over the town, 
And hung them on Thorowgood's casement. 
The neighbours, I 've heard the folks say, 
The miracle noisily brag on ; 
And the shop is, to this very day, 
The sign of the George and the Dragon. 
Rum ti, &c. 

Lady Henrietta Berkeley. 

THIS unfortunate lady, whose beauty and attractions 
proved her ruin, was fifth daughter of George, first 
Earl of Berkeley. Mary, her eldest sister, married, in 
the reign of Charles II., Ford, Lord Grey, of Werke — 
a nobleman of infamous memory, and to whose artifices 
the Lady Henrietta fell a victim. It seems that he had 
encouraged a passion for her when she was a girl, and 
basely taking advantage of the opportunities which his 
alliance with her family afforded, succeeded in effecting 
her ruin when she was little more than seventeen. After 
she had acknowledged an affection for him, the intrigue 
was continued about a year without discovery, but with 
great risk; and, on one occasion, as he himself confessed, 
he was two days locked in her closet without food, 
except a little sweetmeats. At length the suspicions of 
the Countess of Berkeley being excited by some trivial 
accident, she commanded her third daughter, the Lady 
Arabella, to search her sister's room ; on which the latter 
delivered up a letter she had just been writing to Lord 

3 1 4 Romance of L ondon. 

Grey, to this effect : — " My sister Bell did not suspect 
our being together last night, for she did not hear the 
noise. Pray come again on Sunday or Monday; if the 
last, I shall be very impatient." 

This disclosure took place at Berkeley House, in 
London ; and every precaution was taken to prevent 
correspondence or any clandestine meeting between 
the parties ; notwithstanding which, Lady Henrietta 
contrived to elope from Durdanes, a seat of the Berke- 
leys near Epsom, and to join Lord Grey in London, 
with whom she resided, for a short time, in a lodging- 
house at Charing Cross. 

The Earl of Berkeley then indicted him, and several 
other persons, for conspiring to ruin his daughter, by 
seducing her from her father's house. The trial came 
on in November 1682, at Westminster Hall ; and, after 
a most affecting scene, the Lady Henrietta being her- 
self present, and making oath that she had left home 
of her own accord, the jury were preparing to with- 
draw to consider their verdict, when a new tone was 
given to the proceedings by the lady declaring, in oppo- 
sition to her father's claim of her person, that "she would 
not go with him, that she was married, and under no 
restraint, and that her husband was then in court." A 
Mr Turner, son of Sir William Turner, then stepped 
forward and declared himself married to the lady. 
Sergeant Jeffreys then endeavoured to prove that 
Turner had been married before to another person, 
then alive, and who had children by him ; but in this 
he failed. Turner then asserted there were witnesses 
ready to prove his marriage with Lady Henrietta, but 
the Earl of Berkeley disputed the Court having the 
cognisance of marriages, and desired that his daughter 

Lady Henrietta Berkeley. 3 1 5 

might be delivered up to him. The Lord Chief Justice 
saw no reason but his lordship might take his daughter; 
but Justice Dolben maintained they could not dispose of 
any other man's wife, and they said they were married. 
The Lord Chief Justice then declared the lady free for 
her father to take her ; and that if Mr Turner thought 
he had a right to the lady, he might take his course. 
The lady then declared she would go with her husband, 
to which the Earl replied, " Hussey, you shall go with 
me." It was then asked if Lord Grey might be dis- 
charged of his imprisonment. Sergeant Jeffreys ob- 
jected ; to which the Chief Justice replied : — " How can 
we do that, brother ? The commitment upon the writ, 
De Homine Replegiando, is but till the body be produced; 
there she is, and says she is under no restraint." It was 
then argued that the lady was properly the plaintiff, that 
Lord Grey could not be detained in custody, but that 
he should give security to answer the suit. Accordingly 
he was bailed out. Then followed : — 

Earl of Berkeley. — My Lord, I desire I may have my 
daughter again. L. C. J. — My Lord, we do not hinder 
you ; you may take her. Lady Henrietta. — I will go 
with my husband. Earl of Berkeley. — Then, all that are 
my friends, seize her, I charge you. Z. C. J. — Nay, let 
us have no breaking of the peace in the Court. 

Despite, however, of this warning of the Chief Justice, 
Lord Berkeley again claiming his daughter, and attempt- 
ing to seize her by force in the Hall, a great scuffle 
ensued, and swords were drawn on both sides. At this 
critical moment the Court broke up, and the Judge, 
passing by, ordered his tipstaff to take Lady Henrietta 
into custody and convey her to the King's Bench, whither 
Mr Turner accompanied her. On the last day of term 

3 1 6 Romance of L ondon. 

she was released by order of the Court, and the business 
being, in some way, arranged among the parties during 
the vacation, the lawsuit was not persevered in. 

Lady Henrietta herself is stated to have died, un- 
married, in the year 1710 ; consequently, the claim of 
Turner must have been a mere collusion to save Lord 
Grey. — A bridged, from Sir Bernard Burke s A necdotes of 
the A ristocracy, vol. ii. 

A ssassinatioji of Mr Thynne in Pall Mall. 

As the visitor to Westminster Abbey passes through 
the south aisle of the choir, he can scarcely fail to notice 
sculptured upon one of the most prominent monuments 
a frightful scene of assassination, which was perpetrated 
in one of the most public streets of the metropolis, late 
in the reign of Charles II. 

This terrible and mysterious transaction still remains 
among the darkest of the gloomy doings during the 
period of the Restoration, and the violence of faction 
consequent upon it. The murder of Thynne originated 
partly in a love affair, and partly, in all probability, from 
a secret political motive. The names and the interests 
of some of the proudest and most powerful families in 
the realm were involved in this nefarious homicide ; and 
it is quite clear that while the actual assassins paid the 
forfeit of their crime, the instigator, or instigators, for 
there may have been more than one, were allowed to 

The interesting but innocent subject of the whole 
matter — the mainspring of the deed — was a daughter of 
the noble house of Percy, Lady Elizabeth, who, before 
she had completed her thirteenth year, was married, so 

Assassination of Mr Thynne. 317 

far at least as the performance of the ceremony went, to 
Henry Cavendish, styled Earl of Ogle, the only son of 
Henry, second Duke of Newcastle of that house. But 
Lord Ogle, who had taken the name and arms of Percy, 
died in the beginning of November 1680, within a year 
after his marriage, leaving his father's dukedom without 
an heir, and the heiress of the house of Northumberland 
a prize for new suitors. 

The fortunate man, as he was doubtless deemed, who, 
after only a few months, succeeded in carrying off from 
all competitors the youthful widow, was Thomas Thynne, 
Esq., of Longleat, in Wiltshire, from his large income 
called " Tom of Ten Thousand." The society in which 
he moved was the highest in the land. He had been 
at one time a friend of the Duke of York, afterwards 
James II. ; but, having quarrelled with his Royal High- 
ness, he had latterly attached himself with great zeal 
to the Whig or opposition party in politics, and had 
become an intimate associate of their idol, or tool for 
the moment, the Duke of Monmouth. He had sate 
as one of the members for Wiltshire in four parlia- 
ments. At Longleat, where he lived in a style of great 
magnificence, Thynne was often visited by Monmouth : 
he is the Issachar of Dryden's glowing description, in 
the Absalom and Achitophel, of the Duke's popularity- 
and-plaudit-gathering progresses : — 

From east to west his glories he displays, 
And, like the sun, the Promised Land surveys. 
Fame runs before him, as the morning star, 
And shouts of joy salute him from afar ; 
Each house receives him as a guardian god, 
And consecrates the place of his abode. 
But hospitable treats did most commend, 
Wise Issachar, his wealthy western friend. 

3 1 8 Romance of London. 

A set of Oldenburg coach-horses, of great beauty, which 
graced the Duke's equipage, had been presented to him 
by Thynne. 

The heiress of the house of Percy was nearly con- 
nected by affinity with the families both of Lord Russell 
and Lord Cavendish ; Lady Russell was a sister of her 
mother ; and the family of her late husband, Lord Ogle, 
was a branch of that of the Earl of Devonshire ; so 
that it may be supposed Thynne was probably in part 
indebted for his success in his suit to the good offices of 
his two noble friends. It would appear, however, from 
an entry in Evelyn's Diary, that the Duke of Monmouth 
was more instrumental than either. 

The lady was fated to be a second time wedded only 
in form : her marriage with Thynne appears to have 
taken place in the summer or autumn of this year 1681 ; 
and she was separated from him immediately after the 
ceremony. One account is, that she fled from him of 
her own accord into Holland ; another, and more pro- 
bable version of the story, makes Thynne to have con- 
sented, at her mother's request, that she should spend a 
year on the Continent. It is to be remembered that she 
was not yet quite fifteen. The legality of the marriage, 
indeed, appears to have been called in question. 

It was now, as some say, that she first met Count 
Koningsmarck at the Court of Hanover; but in this 
notion there is a confusion both of dates and persons. 
The Count, in fact, appears to have seen her in England, 
and to have paid his addresses to her before she gave 
her hand, or had it given for her, to Thynne : on his 
rejection he left the country ; but that they met on the 
Continent there is no evidence or likelihood. 

Koningsmarck appears to have returned to England 

Assassination of Mr Thynne. 319 

in the early part of the year 16S1. At this time Tom 
of Ten Thousand, with the heiress of Northumberland, 
his own by legal title if not in actual possession, was 
at the height both of his personal and his political 

On the night of Sunday, the 12th of February 1682, 
all the Court end of London was startled by the news 
that Thynne had been shot passing along the public 
streets in his coach. The spot was towards the eastern 
extremity of Pall Mall, directly opposite to St Alban's 
Street, no longer to be found, but which occupied 
nearly the same site with the covered passage now 
called the Opera Arcade. St Alban's Place, which was 
at its northern extremity, still preserves the memory of 
the old name. King Charles at Whitehall might almost 
have heard the report of the assassin's blunderbuss ; 
and so might Dryden, sitting in his favourite front room 
on the ground-floor of his house on the south side of 
Gerrard Street, also hardly more than a couple of fur- 
longs distant. 

Meanwhile, an active search continued to be made 
after Koningsmarck, in urging which Thynne's friends, 
the Duke of Monmouth and Lord Cavendish, are 
recorded to have been especially zealous. 

About eight o'clock on the night of Sunday, the 19th, 
exactly a week after the commission of the murder, he 
was apprehended at Gravesend ; and on the Monday 
following he was brought up, under a guard of soldiers, 
to London. 

Thynne had survived his mortal wound only a few 
hours, during which the Duke of Monmouth sat by the 
bedside of his dying friend. He expired at six in the 
morning. Koningsmarck and the other three prisoners, 

3 20 Romance of L ondon. 

after being examined, were lodged in Newgate ; and, 
an indictment having been found against them by the 
grand jury, at Hick's Hall, on Monday, the 27th of 
February 1681, they were the next day brought up to 
the bar at the Old Bailey to be arraigned and tried : 
Charles George Borosky, alias Boratzi, Christopher 
Vratz, and John Stern, as principals in the murder ; 
and Charles John Count Koningsmarck, as accessory 
before the fact. 

The evidence, and indeed their own confessions, 
clearly proved the fact of Borosky shooting Thynne, 
and Vratz and Stern being present assisting him. 

With respect to Koningsmarck, besides the testimony 
of his accomplices, which of course went for nothing 
against him, the other evidence showed him living 
concealed in a humble lodging, and holding communi- 
cation with the murderers before and almost at the time 
of the murder. He had also fled immediately after the 
offence was committed, and expressions of his in anger 
against Thynne for espousing Lady Ogle, were given 
by the witnesses. To this it was answered by Konings- 
marck, that the men accused were his followers and 
servants, and that of necessity he had frequent com- 
munion with them, but never about this murder ; that 
when he arrived in London, he was seized with a dis- 
temper which obliged him to live privately till he was 
cured ; and, finally, that he never saw, or had any 
quarrel with, Mr Thynne. This defence, though morally 
a very weak one, was certainly strengthened by the 
absence of direct legal proof to connect the Count with 
the assassination ; and also by the more than ordinarily 
artful and favourable summing up of Chief Justice 
Pemberton, who seemed determined to save him. 

Assassination of Mr Thymic. 321 

To the universal astonishment (save of Charles and 
his court), the Count was acquitted, while his poor tools 
were hanged ; the body of one of them, a Pole, being 
gibbetted "at Mile-End, — being the road from the sea- 
ports where most of the northern nations do land." 
How the Count slipped his neck from the halter is 
pretty clearly indicated. Not only was the King's 
inclination in favour of the Count known ; but " one 

Mr B , a woollen-draper in Covent Garden, who 

was warned to be on Count Koningsmarck's tryall jury, 
was askt if 500 guinies would do him any harm, if he 
would acquit the Count ; but there being jurymen 
besides enough, he was not called ; yet this he hath 
attested." This was a large sum to offer to a single 
juryman, for there is little doubt but the full pannel was 
as well paid. 

The convicted prisoners were hanged in Pall Mall 
the 10th of March following ; and Borosky, who fired 
the blunderbuss, was suspended in chains near Mile- 
End, as above stated. 

Evelyn tells us that " Vratz went to execution like 
an undaunted hero, as one that had done a fnendly 
office for that base coward, Count Koningsmarck, who 
had hopes to marry his widow, the rich Lady Ogle, and 
was acquitted by a corrupt jury, and so got away." 
Vratz told a friend of Evelyn's, who accompanied him 
to the gallows, and gave him some advice, " that he did 
not value dying of a rush, and hoped and believed God 
would deal with him like a gentleman!' 

Count Koningsmarck found it expedient to export 
himself from this country as fast as he could, after he 
had paid his fees and got out of the hands of the officers 
of justice at the Old Bailey. 

vol. 1. x 

322 Romance of L ondon. 

According to the Amsterdam Historical Dictionary, 
he went to Germany to visit his estates in 1683 ; was 
wounded at the siege of Cambray, which happened that 
same year; afterwards went with his regiment to Spain, 
where he distinguished himself at the siege of Gerona, 
in Catalonia, and on other occasions ; and, finally, in 
1686, having obtained the permission of the French 
King, accompanied his uncle, Otho William, to the 
Morea, where he was present at the sieges of Navarin 
and Modon, and at the Battle of Argos, in which last 
affair he so overheated himself that he was seized with 
a pleurisy, which carried him off. 

To end the story, we return to her with whom it 
began, the heiress of the long line and broad domains 
of the proud Percies. Lady Ogle, as she was styled, 
became an object of still greater public interest or 
curiosity than ever, on the catastrophe of her second 
husband. Her third husband was Charles Seymour, 
Duke of Somerset. 

The life of his wife, the commencing promise of which 
was so bright, and which was afterwards chequered with 
such remarkable incidents, not unmixed with the wonted 
allotment of human sorrow, terminated on the 23rd of 
November 1722. The Duchess, when she died, was in 
her fifty-sixth year. She had brought the Duke thirteen 
children, seven sons and six daughters, of whom only 
one son and three daughters arrived at maturity. 

Murder of Mount fort, the Player. 

This tragic scene, which can scarcely be called a duel, 
is thus circumstantially related in Mr Cunningham's 
excellent Handbook of London. In Howard Street, 

Murder of J\I on ntfort, the Player. 323 

between Surrey Street and Norfolk Street, in the 
Strand, lived William Mountfort, the player, who was 
murdered before his own door on the night of the 9th 
of December 1692. " The story is an interesting one. 
A gallant of the town, a Captain Richard Hill, had 
conceived a passion for Mrs Bracegirdle, the beautiful 
actress. He is said to have offered her his hand, and to 
have been refused. His passion at last became ungo- 
vernable, and he at once determined on carrying her 
off by force. For this purpose, he borrowed a suit of 
night-linen of Mrs Radd, the landlady in whose house 
in Buckingham Court he lodged ; and induced his 
friend, Lord Mohun, to assist him in his attempt ; he 
dodged the fair actress for a whole day at the theatre, 
stationed a coach near the Horseshoe Tavern in Drury 
Lane, to carry her off in, and hired six soldiers to force 
her into it, as she returned from supping with Mr Page, 
in Prince's Street (off Drury Lane), to her own lodging 
in the house of Mrs Dorothy Brown, in Howard Street. 
As the beautiful actress came down Drury Lane, at ten 
at night, accompanied by her mother and brother, and 
escorted by her friend Mr Page, one of the soldiers 
seized her in his arms, and endeavoured to force her 
into the coach. Page resisting the attempt, Hill drew 
his sword, and struck a blow at Page's head, which fell, 
however, only on his hand. The lady's screams drew 
a rabble about her, and Hill, finding his endeavours 
ineffectual, bid the soldiers let her go. 

" Lord Mohun, who was in the coach all this time, 
now stept out of it, and with his friend Hill, insisted 
on seeing the lady home, Mr Page accompanying them, 
and remaining with Mrs Bracegirdle some time after for 
her better security. Disappointed in their object, Lord 

324 Romance of London v 

Mohun and Captain Hill remained in the street ; Hill 
with his sword drawn, and vowing revenge, as he had 
done before to Mrs Bracegirdle on her way home. Here 
they went to the Horseshoe Tavern in Drury Lane, for 
a bottle of canary, of which they drank in the middle of 
the street. In the meantime, Mrs Bracegirdle sent her 
servant to Mr Mountfort's house in Norfolk Street 
adjoining, to know if he was at home. The servant 
returned with an answer that he was not, and was sent 
again by her mistress to desire Mrs Mountfort to send 
to her husband to take care of himself; ' in regard my 
Lord Mohun and Captain Hill, who (she feared) had 
no good intention toward him, did wait him in the 
street.' Mountfort was sought for in several places 
without success, but Mohun and Hill had not waited 
long before he turned the corner of Norfolk Street with, 
it is said by one witness (Captain Hill's servant), his 
sword over his arm. It appears, in the evidence before 
the coroner, that he had heard while in Norfolk Street 
(if not before), of the attempt to carry off Mrs Brace- 
girdle, and was also aware that Lord Mohun and Hill 
were in the street, for Mrs Brown, the landlady of the 
house in which Mrs Bracegirdle lodged, solicited him to 
keep away. Every precaution was, however, ineffectual. 
He addressed Lord Mohun (who embraced him, it would 
appear, very tenderly), and said how sorry he was to 
find that he (Lord Mohun) would justify the rudeness 
of Captain Hill, or keep company with such a pitiful 
fellow (' or words to the like effect '), ' and then,' says 
Thomas Leak, the Captain's servant, ' the Captain came 
forward and said he would justify himself, and went 
towards the middle of the street, and Mr Mountfort 
followed him and drew.' Ann Jones, a servant (it 

Murder of Mountfort, the Player. 325 

would appear, in Mrs Bracegirdle's house), declared 
in evidence that Hill came behind Mountfort, and gave 
him a box over the ear, and bade him draw. It is said 
they fought ; Mountfort certainly fell with a desperate 
wound on the right side of the belly, near the short rib, 
of which he died the next day, assuring Mr Page, while 
lying on the floor in his own parlour, as Page declares 
in evidence, that Hill ran him through the body before 
he could draw his sword. Lord Mohun affirmed they 
fought, and that he saw a piece of Mountfort's sword 
lying on the ground. As Mountfort fell, Hill ran off, 
and the Duchy watch coming up, Lord Mohun sur- 
rendered himself, with his sword still in the scabbard. 

" The scene of this sad tragedy was that part of 
Howard Street which lies between Norfolk Street and 
Surrey Street. Mountfort's house was two doors from 
the south-west corner. Mountfort was a handsome 
man, and Hill is said to have attributed his rejection by 
Mrs Bracegirdle to her love for Mountfort, an unlikely 
passion, it is thought, as Mountfort was a married man, 
with a good-looking wife of his own — afterwards Mrs 
Verbruggen, and a celebrated actress withal. Mount- 
fort (only thirty-three when he died) lies buried in the 
adjoining church of St Clement's Danes. Mrs Brace- 
girdle continued to inhabit her old quarters. ' Above 
forty years since,' says Davics, ' I saw at Mrs Brace- 
girdle's house in Howard Street a picture of Mrs Barry, 
by Kneller, in the same apartments with the portraits 
of Betterton and Congreve.' Hill's passionate prompter 
on the above occasion was the same Lord Mohun who 
fell in a duel with the Duke of Hamilton." 

326 Romance of L ondou. 

Two Extraordinary Suicides at London 


A MELANCHOLY instance of suicide, which took place 
in 1689, is recorded by historians of London Bridge 
as bearing testimony to the power of the torrent of 
the Thames at that period. It is thus narrated in the 
Travels and Memoirs of Sir JoJin Rcresby, Bart. : — 
"About this time," says the author, "a very sad 
accident happened, which, for a while, was the dis- 
course of the whole town : Mr Temple, son to Sir 
William Temple, who had married a French lady with 
20,000 pistols, a sedate and accomplished young 
gentleman, who had lately by King William been made 
Secretary of War, took a pair of oars, and drawing near 
the Bridge, leapt into the Thames, and drowned him- 
self, leaving a note behind him in the boat to this effect : 
'My folly in undertaking what I could not perform, 
whereby some misfortunes have befallen the King's 
service, is the cause of my putting myself to this sudden 
end ; I wish him success in all his undertakings, and a 
better servant.'" Pennant, in repeating this anecdote, 
adds, that it took place on the 14th of April; that the 
unhappy man loaded his pockets with stones to destroy 
all chance of safety, and instantly sank ; adding that 
"his father's false and profane reflection on the occasion 
was, ' that a wise man might dispose of himself, and 
make his life as short as he pleased/ How strongly 
did this great man militate against the precepts of 
Christianity, and the solid arguments of the most wise 
and pious heathen ! " (Cicero, in his S omnium Sci- 

Two Suicides at London Bridge. 327 

The second suicide, of date about half a century later 
than that of Mr Temple, was committed under a like 
mistaken influence and perverted reasoning. Eustace 
Budgell, who contributed to the Spectator the papers 
marked " X," through Addison's influence obtained 
some subordinate offices under Government in Ireland. 
A misunderstanding with the Lord-Lieutenant, Lord 
Bolton, and some lampoons which Budgell was indis- 
creet enough to write in consequence, occasioned his 
resignation. From that time he appears to have trodden 
a downward course ; he lost .£20,000 in the South Sea 
bubble, and spent .£5000 more in unsuccessful attempts 
to get into Parliament. In order to save himself from 
ruin, he joined the knot of pamphleteers who scribbled 
against Sir Robert Walpole, and he was presented with 
.£1000 by the Duchess of Marlborough. Much of the 
Craftsman was written by him, as well as a weekly 
pamphlet called The Bee, which commenced in 1733, and 
extended to one hundred numbers. But his necessities 
reduced him to dishonest methods for procuring support, 
and he obtained a place in the Dunciad, not on account 
of want of wit, but want of principle, by appearing as a 
legatee in Tindal's will for £2000, to the exclusion of his 
next heir and nephew; a bequest which Budgell is 
thought to have obtained surreptitiously, and the will 
was set aside. With this stain on his character, Budgell 
fought on for some time, but he became still deeper 
involved in lawsuits, his debts accumulated, and at last 
he dreaded an execution in his house. This prompted 
the alternative of suicide. In 1736, he took a boat at 
Somerset Stairs, and ordering the waterman to row 
down the river, he threw himself into the stream as they 
shot London Bridge. Having, like Mr Temple, taken 

328 Romance of London. 

the precaution of filling his pockets with stones, like 
him, Budgell rose no more. It is singular that Pennant 
should have overlooked this latter suicide, for in his 
London he remarks, " Of the multitudes who have 
perished in this rapid descent (the torrent at the bridge), 
the name of no one of any note has reached my know- 
ledge except that of Mr Temple, only son of the great 
Sir William Temple." 

On the morning before that on which Budgell 
drowned himself, he had endeavoured to persuade a 
natural daughter, at that time not more than eleven 
years of age, to accompany him. She, however, refused, 
and afterwards entered as an actress at Drury Lane 
Theatre. Budgell left in his secretary a slip of paper, 
on which was written a broken distich, intended, per- 
haps, as an apology for his act : — 

What Cato did, and Addison approved, 
Cannot be wrong. 

It is unnecessary to point out the fallacy of his 
defence of his conduct, there being as little resemblance 
between the cases of Budgell and Cato, as there is 
reason for considering Addison's Cato written with the 
view of defending suicide. 

Extraordinary Escape from Death. 

Sheriff Hoare, in his Journal of his Shrievalty, relates 
that, on Monday, November 24, 1740, five persons were 
executed at Tyburn, when a most extraordinary event 
happened to one of them — William Duell, aged seven- 
teen years, indicted for a rape, robbery, and murder, 
and corvicted of the rape. Duell, after having been 

Extraordinary Escape from Death. 329 

hung up by the neck with the others, for the space of 
twenty-two minutes, or more, was cut down, and being 
begged by the Surgeons' Company, was carried in a 
hackney-coach to their hall to be anatomised. But 
just as they had taken him out of the coach, and laid 
him on a table in the hall, in order to make the 
necessary preparations for cutting him up, he was, to 
the great astonishment of the surgeon and assistants, 
heard to groan ; and upon examination, finding he had 
some other symptoms of life, some of the surgeons let 
him bleed ; after having taken several ounces, he began 
to stir, and in a short space of time was able to rear 
himself up, but could not immediately speak so as to be 
heard articulately. Messages were sent to the Sheriffs, 
and the news was soon spread about, insomuch that by 
five o'clock in the afternoon a great mob had gathered 
about Surgeons' Hall, in the Old Bailey, which intimi- 
dated the Sheriffs and their officers from attempting to 
carry Duell back the same day in order to hang him up 
again, and complete his execution ; " as," says Sheriff 
Iloare, "we might have done by virtue of our warrant, 
which was to execute him at any time in the day." 
Therefore they kept him till about twelve o'clock at 
night, when, the mob being dispersed, the Sheriff signed 
an order for his rc-commitment to Newgate, whither he 
was accordingly carried in a hackney-coach ; being put 
into one of the cells, and covered up, and some warm 
broth given him, he began so far to recover as to be 
able to speak, and ask for more victual, but did not yet 
seem sensible enough to remember what had happened. 
Two days afterwards, the Sheriffs waited on the Duke 
of Newcastle, Secretary of State, to know his Majesty's 
pleasure regarding the disposal of the criminal who had 

330 Romance of L ondon. 

thus strangely escaped dissection and death, and who 
was then in Newgate, "fully recovered in health and 
senses." His Grace desired the Sheriffs to draw up a 
narrative of the circumstances in writing, which was 
accordingly done ; and it was added, that the prisoner 
had been found guilty on no other evidence but his 
own confession before a Justice of the Peace. 

The story of the lad's recovery now became known, 
and persons flocked to Newgate to see him and ask him 
questions, but he remembered nothing of his being 
carried to execution, or even of his being brought to 
trial ; yet Grub Street Papers cried about the streets 
gave accounts of the wonderful discoveries he had made 
in the other world, of the ghosts and apparitions he had 
seen, " and such like invented stuff to get a penny." 
The conjectures of his not dying under the execution 
were various ; some suggesting it was because he was 
not hung up long enough ; others, that the rope was 
not rightly placed ; others, from the light weight of his 
body. But the true reason, as Sheriff Hoare was in- 
formed, was accounted for physically, — he having been 
in a high fever since his commitment to Newgate, for 
the most part light-headed and delirious ; and, conse- 
quently, having no impression of fear upon him, and 
his blood circulating with violent heat and quickness, 
might be the reason why it was the longer before it 
could be stopped by suffocation ; and this likewise 
accounted for his not knowing anything, that had hap- 
pened (he being so ill) either at his trial or execution. 

It does not appear from the Sheriff's Journal whether 
Duell received a pardon ; but the Gentleman s Magazine 
for December, in the above year, informs us that he was 
transported for life. It also varies the statement of the 

Hitman Heads on Temple Bar. 331 

resuscitation — that when one of the servants at Surgeons' 
Hall was washing the body for dissection, he found the 
breath to come quicker and shorter, on which a surgeon 
took some ounces of blood from him, and in two hours 
he was able to sit up in a chair. 

That this was by no means the only instance of the 
resuscitation of the human body after it had been con- 
veyed to Surgeons' Hall for dissection, is evident from 
the following curious order, made at a Court of Assist- 
ants, on the 13th of July 1587, which is copied from the 
minute-books of the Company, and here modernised : 
" Item. It is agreed that if any body which shall at any 
time hereafter happen to be brought to our hall for the 
intent to be wrought upon by the anatomists of our 
Company, shall revive or come to life again, as has of late 
been seen, the charges about the same body so reviving 
shall be borne, levied, and sustained by such person or 
persons who shall happen to bring home the body. 
And, further, shall abide such order or fine as this 
House shall award." Here we see that the charges 
were more attended to by the Court than any other 

Human Heads on Temple Bar. 

After the remains of traitors ceased to be placed on 
London Bridge, when the right to dispose of the quar- 
tered remains of the subject devolved on the Crown, that 
right, as regards those who had suffered for high treason 
in London, was, with few exceptions, wholly or partially 
exercised in favour of Temple Bar. Thus the City Bar 
became the City Golgotha. The first person so exposed 
was Sir Thomas Armstrong, the last victim of the Rye 

332 Romance of London. 

House Plot. He was executed at Tyburn ; his head 
was set up on Westminster Hall, and one of the quarters 
upon Temple Bar. Sir John Friend and Sir William 
Perkins, conspirators in the plot to carry off the King in 
1695, on his return from Richmond to Kensington, were 
the next ornaments of the Bar ; the head and limbs of 
Friend, and the headless trunk of Perkins, being placed 
upon its iron spikes. Evelyn refers to this melancholy 
scene " as a dismal sight, which many pitied. I think 
there never was such a Temple Bar till now, except once 
in the time of King Charles the Second — viz., Sir Thomas 
Armstrong." The head of Sir John Friend was set up 
on Aldgate ; on account, it is presumed, of that gate 
being in the proximity of his brewery. Sir John Fen- 
wick, nearly the last person to suffer on account of this 
conspiracy, is not associated with the Bar ; but there is 
a remarkable coincidence in the death of King William 
being not altogether unassociated with the execution of 
this northern baronet. The King, on the morning of 
February 21, 1702, rode into the Home Park at Hampton 
Court, to inspect the progress of a new canal there, and 
was mounted on a sorrel pony, which had formerly been 
the property of the unfortunate Sir John Fenwick. 
W'illiam having reached the works, the pony accidentally 
placed his foot in a molehill, and fell ; the King's collar- 
bone was fractured by the fall, of the effects of which he 
expired March 8. The adherents of James eulogised 
their beloved " Sorrel ; " and the wit of Pope was shown 
in the following jeu d' esprit, contrasting the safety of 
Charles in the oak at Boscobel, with the accident to 
William in the gardens at Hampton : — 

Angels who watched the guardian oak so well, 
How chanced ye slept when luckless Sorrel fell ! 

Human Heads on Temple Bar. ^33 

To return to Temple Bar. The next head placed on 
its summit was that of Colonel Henry Oxburg, who 
suffered for his attachment to the cause of the Pretender. 
Next was the head of Christopher Layer, another of 
the Pretender's adherents, whose head frowned from 
the crown of the arch for a longer period than any other 
occupant. On the 17th of May 1 723, nearly seven 
months after his trial, he was conducted from the Tower 
to Tyburn, seated in a ditch, habited in a full dress 
suit, and a tye-wig ; and at the place of execution he 
declared his adherence to King James (as he called the 
Pretender), and advised the people to take up arms on 
his behalf. " The day subsequent to his execution, his 
head was placed on Temple Bar ; there it remained, 
blackened and weather-beaten with the storms of many 
successive years, until, as we have remarked, it became 
its oldest occupant. Infancy had advanced into matured 
manhood, and still that head regularly looked down 
from the summit of the arch. It seemed part of the 
arch itself." * A curious story is told of Counsellor 
Layer's head. One stormy night it was blown from off 
the Bar into the Strand, and there picked up by Mr 
John Pearce, an attorney, who showed it to some persons 
at a public-house, under the floor of which it was stated 
to have been buried. Dr Rawlinson, the antiquary, 
meanwhile, having made inquiries after the head, with a 
wish to purchase it, was imposed upon with another 
instead of Layer's head ; the former the Doctor pre- 
served as a valuable relic, and directed it to be buried 
in his right hand, which request is stated to have been 
complied with. 

* Temple Bar ; the City Golgotha. By a Banister of the Inner Temple. 

334 Romance of L ondon. 

The heads of the victims of the fatal Rebellion of '45 
were the last placed upon the Bar ; those being Townley 
and Fletcher. Walpole writes to Montague, August 16, 
1746, " I have been this morning at the Tower, and 
passed under the new heads at Temple Bar, where 
people make a trade of letting spying-glasses at a half- 
penny a look." There is a scarce print, in which the 
position of the heads is shown, and portraits cleverly 
engraved. For several weeks people flocked to this 
revolting exhibition, which yielded to some a savage 
pleasure. Dr Johnson relates the following impression 
from the sight. " I remember once being with Gold- 
smith in Westminster Abbey. While he surveyed Poets' 
Corner, I said to him : — 

Forsitan et nostrum nomen miscebitur istis. 

When we got to the Temple Bar, he stopped me, 
pointed to the heads upon it, and slily whispered me, 

Forsitan et nostrum nomen miscebitur istis." 

Johnson was a Jacobite at heart. 

Another instance of political feeling is narrated. On 
the morning of January 20, 1766, between two and 
three o'clock, a person was observed to watch his oppor- 
tunity of discharging musket-balls, from a still cross- 
bow, at the two remaining heads upon Temple Bar. 
On his examination he affected a disorder of his senses, 
and said his reason for so doing was his strong attach- 
ment to the present Government, and that he thought 
it was not sufficient that a traitor should only suffer 
death, and that this provoked his indignation ; and that 
it had been his constant practice for three nights past to 
amuse himself in the same manner ; but the account 

Human Heads on Temple Bar. 335 

adds, " It is much to be feared that he is a near relation 
to one of the unhappy sufferers." Another account 
states that, " Upon searching him, above fifty musket- 
balls were found wrapped in a paper with this motto, 
Eripuit ille vitam" It is added, that on March 31, 
1772, one of the heads fell down; and that shortly 
after, the remaining one was swept down by the wind. 
The last of the iron poles or spikes was not removed 
from the Bar until the commencement of the present 

Among persons living in the present century who 
recollected these grim tenants of the Bar, were the fol- 
lowing : — J. T. Smith relates that in 1825, a person, aged 
87, remembered the heads being seen with a telescope 
from Leicester Fields ; the ground between which and 
Temple Bar was then thinly built over. Mrs Black, the 
wife of the editor of the Morning Chronicle newspaper, 
when asked if she remembered the heads on the spikes 
on the Bar, used to reply, very collectedly, and, as usual 
with her, without any parade of telling the story she had 
to relate, "Boys, I recollect the scene zvcll I I have seen 
on that Temple Bar, about which you ask, two human 
heads — men's heads — traitors' heads — spiked on iron 
poles. There were two. I saw one fall. Women shrieked 
as it fell ; men, I have heard, shrieked : one woman near 
me fainted. Yes, I recollect seeing human heads upon 
Temple Bar." 

The other person who remembered to have seen human 
heads upon spikes on Temple Bar was one who died in 
December 1856 — Mr Rogers, the banker-poet. "I well 
remember," he said, "one of the heads of the rebels 
upon a pole at Temple Bar — a black, shapeless lump. 
Another pole was bare, the head having dropped from 

336 Romance of London. 

it." Mr Rogers, we take it, was the last surviving person 
who remembered to have seen a human head on a spike 
on the Bar. 

Adventure with a Forger. 

Dr Somerville, of Edinburgh, in his Second Journey- 
to London, relates the following singular adventure, 
which is especially interesting for the portrait which it 
gives of Sir John Fielding, the police magistrate : — 

" One of our travelling companions, whose behaviour 
had excited various conjectures in the course of our 
journey, was apprehended at the Bank of England the 
day after our arrival on the charge of forgery. He had, 
in fact, forged and circulated the notes of the bank to a 
very large amount. He was carried before Sir John 
Fielding, who in a few hours discovered the lodgings of 
the several persons who had places in the York coach 
along with the suspected forger. I happened to be in 
the gallery of the House of Commons when one of Sir 
John's officers arrived at my sister's house in Panton 
Square, requiring my immediate attendance at the Police 
Office ; and it was not without entreaty that the mes- 
senger was prevailed upon to desist from his purpose of 
following me to the House, upon the condition of one 
of my friends becoming security for my attendance in 
Catherine Street at eight o'clock next morning. The 
prisoner had, during the night, made an attempt to 
escape by leaping from the window of the room where 
he was confined ; and having failed in this attempt, his 
resolution forsook him ; and he made a voluntary con- 
fession of his guilt in the presence of Sir John Fielding, 
a few minutes before my arrival. Sir John, when in- 

Adventure with a Forger. 337 

formed of my being a minister of the Church of Scot- 
land, desired me to retire with the culprit, whose name 
was Mathewson, to the adjoining chapel, and give him 
admonitions suitable to his unfortunate situation. In 
consequence of my advice, he made a more ample con- 
fession on returning to the bar. The circumstances 
which he added to his former confession were not, how- 
ever, injurious to himself, otherwise I should not have 
urged him to mention them, but such as I thought could 
not be concealed consistently with the sincerity of that 
repentance which he now professed. 

" I was so much amused and interested with the 
appearance of Sir John Fielding, and the singular adroit- 
ness with which he conducted the business of his office, 
that I continued there for an hour after the removal of 
Mathewson, while Sir John was engaged in the investi- 
gation of other cases. Sir John had a bandage over his 
eyes, and held a little switch or rod in his hand, waving 
it before him as he descended from the bench. The 
sagacity he discovered in the questions he put to the 
witnesses, and a marked and successful attention, as I 
conceived, not only to the words, but to the accents and 
tones of the speaker, supplied the advantage which is 
usually rendered by the eye ! and his skilful arrange- 
ment of the questions leading to the detection of con- 
cealed facts, impressed me with the highest respect for 
his singular ability as a police magistrate. This testi- 
mony I give not merely on the observation I had the 
opportunity of making on the day of my appearance 
before him. 

" I frequently afterwards gratified my curiosity by 

stepping into Sir John Fielding's office when I happened 

to pass near Catherine Street. The accidental circum- 
vui.. 1. Y 

33S Romance of L ondon. 

stance of my having been his fellow-traveller to London, 
gave me some interest in Mathewson, who, before his 
being removed from the office of Sir John Fielding, had 
addressed me in the most pathetic and earnest language, 
beseeching me to condescend to visit him in prison. I 
first saw him again in Clerkenwell, where he was com- 
mitted till the term of the Old Bailey Sessions. The 
hardened, ferocious countenances of the multitude of 
felons all in the same apartment, the indecency and pro- 
faneness of their conversation, and the looks of derision 
which they cast upon me, awakened sensations of horror 
more than of pity, and made me request to be relieved 
from the repetition of this painful duty. I did not, 
therefore, return to Clerkenwell ; but after Mathewson's 
trial, and a few days before his execution (for he was 
executed), I made him a visit in Newgate. There I 
found him sitting in the condemned hold, with two other 
criminals under sentence of death. I requested the 
officer who superintended this department to permit me 
to retire with Mathewson to a private room, where he 
entered into a detailed confession of his guilt. Mathew- 
son, at our interview in Sir John Fielding's office, made 
known to me a circumstance which he thought gave him 
a strong claim to my humane services. He told me that 
his father had for a long time been in the service of Lord 
Minto, the Lord Justice-Clerk, and that he had been 
afterwards patronised by his Lordship and all his family 
on account of his diligence and fidelity. He had heard 
my name mentioned at the inn at Newcastle, a circum- 
stance which determined him to take a place in the same 
coach ; and, indeed, I had observed that he officiously 
clung to me in the progress of our journey. He attended 
Mr Maclagan and me to the playhouse on Saturday 

Eccentric Benevolence. 339 

evening after our arrival at York, to the Cathedral ser- 
vice on Sunday morning, and to Dr Cappe's chapel in 
the afternoon — though, on account of his suspicious 
appearance and the petulance of his manner, we gave 
him broad hints of our inclination to dispense with his 
company : and we were not a little surprised to find 
him seated in the stage-coach next morning, as, on our 
way from Newcastle, he had told us that he was to go 
no farther than York." 

Eccentric Benevolence. 

EDWARD, sixth Lord Digby, who succeeded to the 
peerage in 1752, was a man of active benevolence. At 
Christmas and Easter, he was observed by his friends 
to be more than usually grave, and then always to have 
on an old shabby blue coat. Mr Fox, his uncle, who 
had great curiosity, wished much to find out his nephew's 
motive for appearing at times in this manner, as in 
general he was esteemed more than a well-dressed man. 
On his expressing an inclination for this purpose, Major 
Vaughan and another gentleman undertook to watch 
his Lordship's motions. They accordingly set out ; and 
observing him to go to St George's Fields, they followed 
him at a distance, till they lost sight of him near the 
Marshalsea Prison. Wondering what could carry a 
person of his Lordship's rank and fortune to such a 
place, they inquired of the turnkey if a gentleman 
(describing Lord Digby) had not just entered the 
prison ? 

" Yes, masters," exclaimed the fellow, with an oath ; 
" but he is not a man, he is an angel ; for he comes here 
twice a year, sometimes oftcner, and sets a number of 

340 Romance of London. 

prisoners free. And he not only docs this, but he gives 
them sufficient to support themselves and their families 
till they can find employment. This," continued the 
man, " is one of his extraordinary visits. He has but a 
few to take out to-day." 

" Do you know who the gentleman is ? " inquired the 

" We none of us know him by any other marks," 
replied the man, " but by his humanity and his blue 

The next time his Lordship had on his almsgiving 
coat, a friend asked him what occasioned his wearing 
that singular dress. The reply was, by Lord Digby 
taking the gentleman shortly after to the George Inn, 
in the Borough, where seated at dinner were thirty 
individuals whom his Lordship had just released from 
the Marshalsea Prison by paying their debts in full. 

The Execution of Lord Ferrers. 

In the last year of the reign of George II. (1760), our 
criminal annals received an addition, which, for atro- 
city, has few parallels. Horace Walpole, in his Letters, 
relates this event with his accustomed minuteness and 

In January of the above year, Earl Ferrers, while 
residing at his seat, Staunton Harcourt, in Leicestershire, 
murdered Johnson, his steward, in the most barbarous 
and deliberate manner. The Earl had been separated 
by Parliament from his wife, a very pretty woman, 
whom he married with no fortune, for the most ground- 
less barbarity, and then killed his steward for having 
been evidence for her. " He sent away all his servants 

The Execution of Lord Ferrers. 341 

but one," says Walpole, "and, like that heroic murderess, 
Queen Christina, carried the poor man through a gallery 
and several rooms, locking them after him, and then bid 
the man kneel down, for he was determined to kill him. 
The poor creature flung himself at his feet, but in vain ; 
was shot, and lived twelve hours. Mad as this action 
was from the consequences, there was no frenzy in his 
behaviour ; he got drunk, and at intervals talked of it 
coolly; but did not attempt to escape, till the colliers beset 
his house, and were determined to take him alive or 
dead. He is now in the gaol at Leicester, and will soon 
be removed to the Tower, then to Westminster Hall, 
and I suppose to Tower Hill ; unless, as Lord Talbot 
prophesied in the House of Lords, ' Not being thought 
mad enough to be shut up till he had killed somebody, 
he will then be thought too mad to be executed ;' but 
Lord Talbot was no more honoured in his vocation than 
other prophets are in their own country." 

Lord Ferrers was tried by his peers in Westminster 
Hall, and found guilty; he was condemned to be 
hanged, and to the mortification of the peerage, to be 
anatomised, according to the tenor of the new Act of 
Parliament for murder. The night he received the 
sentence he played at picquet with the Tower warders, 
would play for money, and would have continued to 
play every evening, but they refused. The governor 
of the Tower shortened his allowance of wine after his 
conviction, agreeably to the late strict Acts on murder. 
This he much disliked, and at last pressed his brother, 
the clergyman, to intercede, that at least he might 
have more porter ; for, said he, what I have is not a 
draught. His brother protested against it, but at last 
consenting (and he did obtain it), then said the Earl, 

34 2 Romance of London. 

" Now is as good a time as any to take leave of you — ■ 
adieu !" 

On the return of the Earl from his trial and con- 
demnation, and when the procession reached Thames 
Street, a servant of some oilmen there, who had been 
set to watch the boiling of some inflammable substances, 
and who left his charge on the fire, went out to see the 
pageant, and on his return the man found the whole of 
the oilman's premises in flames : seven dwelling-houses 
were consumed, with all the warehouses on Fresh 
Wharf, and the roof of St Magnus Church ; the whole 
of the destruction being estimated at ^40,000. 

On the last morning, May 5, the Earl dressed himself 
in his wedding-clothes, saying he thought this at least 
as good an occasion for putting them on as that for 
which they were first made. He wore them to Tyburn : 
this marked the strong impression on his mind. His 
courage rose on the occasion ; even an awful procession 
of above two hours, with that mixture of pageantry, 
shame, and ignominy, nay, and of delay, could not 
dismount his resolution. He set out from the Tower 
at nine, amidst crowds, thousands. First went a string 
of constables ; then one of the sheriffs in his chariot 
and six, the horses dressed with ribbons ; next, Lord 
Ferrers, in his own landau* and six, his coachman crying 
all the way ; guards at each side ; the other sherift's 
carriage following empty, with a mourning coach and 
six, a hearse, and the Horse Guards. Observe, that the 
empty chariot was that of the other sheriff, who was in 
the landau with the prisoner, and who was Vaillant, the 

* The carriage was, after the execution, driven to Acton, where it was 
placed in the coach house, was never again used, but remained there until 
it fell to pieces. The Earl's wife was burned to death in 1S07. 

The Execution of Lord Ferrers. 343 

French bookseller, in the Strand. Lord Ferrers at first 
talked on indifferent matters, and observing the pro- 
digious confluence of people (the blind was drawn up 
on his side), he said — " But they never saw a lord 
hanged, and perhaps will never see another." One of 
the dragoons was thrown by his horse's leg entangling 
in the hind-wheel. Lord Ferrers expressed much con- 
cern, and said, " I hope there will be no death to-day 
but mine," and was pleased when Vaillant told him the 
man was not hurt. Vaillant made excuses to him on 
the office. " On the contrary,''' said the Earl, " I am 
much obliged to you. I feared the disagreeableness of 
the duty might make you depute your under-sheriff. As 
you are so good as to execute it yourself, I am persuaded 
the dreadful apparatus will be conducted with more 
expedition." The chaplain of the Tower, who sat back- 
wards, then thought it his turn to speak, and began to talk 
on religion ; but Lord Ferrers received it impatiently. 

Meanwhile, the procession was stopped by the crowd. 
The Earl said he was thirsty, and wished for some wine 
and water. The Sheriff refused him. "Then," said the 
Earl, " I must be content with this," and took some pig- 
tail tobacco out of his pocket. As they drew nigh, he 
said, " I perceive we are almost arrived ; it is time to 
do what little more I have to do ; " and then, taking out 
his watch, gave it to Vaillant, desiring him to accept it 
as a mark of gratitude for his kind behaviour, adding, 
"It is scarce worth your acceptance, but I have nothing 
else ; it is a stop watch, and a pretty accurate one." 
He gave five guineas to the chaplain, and took out as 
much for the executioner. Then giving Vaillant a 
pocket-book, he begged him to deliver it to Mrs Clifford, 
his mistress, with what it contained. 

2,44 Romance of L ondon. 

When they came to Tyburn, the coach was detained 
some minutes by the conflux of the people ; but as soon 
as the door was opened, Lord Ferrers stepped out, and 
mounted the scaffold : it was hung with black by the 
undertaker, and at the expense of his family. Under 
the gallows was a new invented stage, to be struck from 
beneath him. He showed no kind of fear or discom- 
posure, only just looking at the gallows with a slight 
motion of dissatisfaction. He spoke little, kneeled for 
a moment to the prayer, said " Lord, have mercy upon 
me, and forgive me my errors," and immediately 
mounted the upper stage. He had come pinioned with 
a black sash, and was unwilling to have his hands tied, 
or his face covered, but was persuaded to both. When 
the rope was put upon his neck, he turned pale, but 
recovered his countenance instantly, and was but seven 
minutes from leaving the coach to the signal given for 
striking the stage. As the machine was new, they were 
not ready at it ; his toes touched it, and he suffered a 
little, having had time, by their bungling, to raise his 
cap ; but the executioner pulled it down again, and they 
pulled his legs, so that he was soon out of pain, and 
quite dead in four minutes. He desired not to be 
stripped and exposed ; and Vaillant promised him, 
though his clothes must be taken off, that his shirt 
should not. The decency ended with him, the sheriffs 
fell to eating and drinking on the scaffold, and helped 
up one of their friends to drink with them, as the body 
was still hanging, which it did for above an hour, and 
then was conveyed back with the said pomp to Surgeons' 
Hall to be dissected : there is a print of " Lord Ferrers, 
as he lay in his coffin at Surgeons' Hall." The execu- 
tioners fought for the rope, and the one who lost it 

Baltimore House. 345 

cried. The mob tore off the black cloth as relics ; 
" but," says Walpole, " the universal crowd behaved with 
great decency and admiration, as well they might ; for 
sure no exit was ever made with more sensible resolution, 
and with less ostentation." 

Earl Ferrers had petitioned George II. that he might 
die by the axe. This was refused. " He has done," 
said the old king, " de deed of de bad man, and he shall 
die de death of de bad man." One luxury, however, 
Lord Ferrers is reported to have secured for the last 
hour of his life — a silken rope. 

The night before his death he made one of his 
keepers read Hamlet to him, after he was in bed ; he 
paid all his bills in the morning, as if leaving an inn ; 
and half-an-hour before the sheriffs fetched him, corrected 
some Latin verses he had written in the Tower. 

His violence of temper and habitual eccentricities 
occasioned'him to be set down as a madman by his con- 
temporaries, and he is so held in the few historical 
records which name him. He hated his poor wife, and 
one of his modes of annoying her was to put squibs and 
crackers into her bed, which were contrived to explode 
just as she was dropping asleep. But she extricated 
herself through a separation by Act of Parliament, and 
obtained further atonement in a more congenial second 
union, many years after, with Lord Frederic Campbell, 
brother to the Duke of Argyll. 

Baltimore House. 

Tins noble mansion, in Russell Square, at the south 
corner of Guildford Street, was built for Lord Baltimore 
in the year 1759: subsequent to the formation of the 

346 Romance of London. 

square, the house was divided into two handsome resi- 
dences, after standing above forty years ; the premises 
comprising, with gardens, a considerable portion of the 
east side of the site of the square. 

Baltimore House acquired a celebrity, or rather noto- 
riety, disgraceful to its titled owner, by a criminal 
occurrence there, which excited a considerable sensation 
at the time. Frederick, seventh Baron of Baltimore, 
who succeeded his father in his title and estates in 1751, 
was a man of dissolute character; he married the 
daughter of the Duke of Bridgewater, but his licentious- 
ness and infidelity rendered the nuptial life a scene of 
unhappiness. He is known to have kept agents in 
various parts of the metropolis for the infamous purpose 
of providing him fresh victims to his passion. Hearing 
through one of his agents, a Mrs Harvey, in November 
1767, that a young Quaker milliner, named Sarah 
Woodcock, keeping shop on Tower Hill, was remarkably 
beautiful, Lord Baltimore went there several times, 
under pretence of purchasing lace ruffles and other 
articles. At length she was decoyed into his lordship's 
carriage by one Isaacs, a Jew, who had become an 
accomplice of Mrs Harvey in the vile' conspiracy. 
Under pretence of taking Woodcock to a lady, who 
would give her orders for millinery, the carriage was 
driven rapidly from Tower Hill, with the glasses up ; 
and it being dark, Woodcock was unaware of its being 
other than a hackney-coach, until at length they arrived 
in the court-yard of Baltimore House. Upon alighting, 
she was ushered by Mrs Harvey through a splendid 
suite of rooms, when Lord Baltimore made his appear- 
ance, and Woodcock became greatly alarmed, as she 
recollected his calling upon her at Tower Hill. Under 

Baltimore House. 347 

pretext of his being steward to the lady she was to be 
introduced to, the poor milliner became more composed. 
Lord Baltimore withdrew, and soon returned with a Mrs 
Griffinburgh, whom he represented as the lady about to 
order the goods — this being another of the creatures of 
Lord Baltimore ; she continued, under various pretences, 
to detain Woodcock until a late hour, when she became 
importunate to depart. 

Keeping up the semblance of a steward, Lord Balti- 
more took her over several apartments, and afterwards 
insisted upon her staying to supper; after which, being 
left alone with her, he made advances which she in- 
dignantly repelled. Doctor Griffinburgh, husband of 
the woman of that name, with Mrs Harvey, came to 
assist his lordship in his vile arts ; but Woodcock still 
refused to consent, forced her way to the door, and 
insisted upon going home. At a late hour, she was con- 
ducted to a bed-room, where, with agonising distress, 
she continued walking about till morning, lamenting her 
unhappy situation ; the two women, Griffinburgh and 
Harvey, being in bed in the same room. In the morn- 
ing, Woodcock was conducted to breakfast; but refused 
to cat, and demanded her liberty, and wept incessantly; 
Lord Baltimore meanwhile vowing his excessive love, 
and urging it as an excuse for detaining her; and when- 
ever she went towards the windows of the house, to 
make her distress evident to passengers in the streets, 
the women forced her away. Lord Baltimore persevered 
for some hours, by turns soothing and threatening her : 
at length, under pretence of taking her to her father, if 
she would dry her eyes, and put on clean linen (supplied 
to her by Mrs Griffinburgh), she was hurried into a 
coach, and conveyed to Woodcote Park, Lord Balti- 

348 Romance of London. 

more's family seat, at Epsom ; the Doctor and the two 
infamous women accompanying Woodcock, who, at 
Woodcote, yielded to his lordship's wicked arts. 

Meanwhile, Woodcock's friends had obtained a clue 
to her detention at Woodcote, and, after a fortnight's 
painful anxiety at her absence, a writ of Habeas Cor- 
pus was obtained, and she was restored to her liberty. 
Lord Baltimore and his two female accomplices were 
tried at the assizes at Kingston-upon-Thames, 25th 
March 1768. After a long investigation of evidence, and 
much deliberation by the jury, Lord Baltimore was 
acquitted, the case appearing to have been one of seduc- 
tion rather than violation, and the jury considering 
Woodcock not altogether guiltless ; and there was an 
informality in her deposition, arising evidently from the 
agitation of her mind. 

After the trial, Lord Baltimore, who was a man of 
some literary attainments, disposed of his property, and 
quitted the kingdom. He died at Naples, in Septem- 
ber 1771 ; and his remains being brought to England, 
lay in state in one of the large rooms of Exeter Change, 
and were then buried in Epsom Church, with much 
funeral pomp ; the cortege extending from the church to 
the eastern extremity of Epsom. 

After Lord Baltimore's tenancy had expired, this 
house was inhabited by the Duchess of Bolton ; Wed- 
derburne, Lord Chancellor Loughborough ; Sir John 
Nicholl, Sir Vicary Gibbs, and by Sir Charles Flower, 
Bart. The mansion did not altogether loose its noto- 
riety until its division into two residences : the unity of 
the house is still preserved in the pitch of the slated 
roof; one of the residences is named Bolton House, and 
the corner of Guildford Street, Bolton Gardens. 

The Minters of Southwark. 349 

J. T. Smith tells us that he remembered, in 1777, 
going with his father and his pupils on a sketching 
party to what was subsequently called Pancras Old 
Church ; and that Whitefield's Chapel in Tottenham 
Court Road, Montague House, Bedford House, and 
Baltimore House, were then uninterruptedly seen from 
the churchyard, which was at that time so rural that it 
was only enclosed by a low and very old hand-railing, 
in some parts entirely covered with docks and nettles. 
Smith remembered also that the houses on the north 
side of Ormond Street commanded views of Islington, 
Highgate, and Hampstead ; including in the middle 
distance Copenhagen House, Mother Redcap's, the 
Adam and Eve, the Farthing Pie-house, the Queen's 
Head and Artichoke, and the Jew's-harp House. 

The Minters of Southwark. 

A LARGE portion of the parish of St George the Martyr 
is called the Mint, from a "mint of coinage" having 
been kept there by Henry VIII., upon the site of Suf- 
folk Place, the magnificent seat of Charles Brandon, 
Duke of Suffolk, nearly opposite the parish church. 
Part of the mansion was pulled down in 1557, and on 
the site were built many small cottages, to the increasing 
of the beggars in the Borough. Long before the close 
of the seventeenth century, the district called the Mint 
had become a harbour for lawless persons, who claimed 
there the privilege of exemption from all legal process, 
civil or criminal. It consisted of several streets and 
alleys ; the chief entrance being from opposite St 
George's Church by Mint Street, which had, to our 
_time, a lofty wooden gate : there were other entrances, 

350 Romance of L ondon. 

each with a gate ; like Whitefriars, it had its Lombard 
Street. It thus became early an asylum for debtors, 
coiners, and vagabonds; and of "the traitors, felons, 
fugitives, outlaws, condemned persons, convict persons, 
felons, defamed, those put in exigent of outlawry, felons 
of themselves, and such as refused the law of the land." 
who had, from the time of Edward VI., herded in St 
George's parish. The Mint at length became such a 
pest that its privileges were abolished by law ; but it 
was not effectually suppressed until the reign of George 
I., one of whose statutes relieved all those debtors under 
£$o, who had taken sanctuary in the Mint from their 
creditors. The Act of 1695-6 had proved inefficient for 
the suppression of the nuisance, though it inflicted a 
penalty of ^"5°° on anv one wno should rescue a pri- 
soner, and made the concealment of the rescuer a trans- 
portable offence. In 1705, a fraudulent bankrupt fled 
here from his creditors, when the Mint-men resisted a 
large body of constables, and a desperate conflict en- 
sued at the gate before the rogue was taken. A child 
had been murdered within these precincts, when the 
coroner's officer was seized by the Mint-men, thrown 
into " the Black Ditch " of liquid mud ; and, though 
rescued by constables, he was not suffered to depart 
until he had taken an oath on a brick, in their cant 
terms, never to come into that place again. 

At the clearance of the place, in 1723, the exodus 
was a strange scene : " Some thousands of the Minters 
went out of the land of bondage, alias the Mint, to be 
cleared at the quarter-sessions of Guildford, according 
to the late Act of Parliament. The road was covered 
with them, insomuch that they looked like one of the 
Jewish tribes going out of Egypt ; the cavalcade con- 

The 21 Inters of Southwark. 3 5 1 

sisting of caravans, carts, and waggons, besides numbers 
on horses, asses, and on foot. The drawer of the two 
fifditincr cocks was seen to lead an ass loaded with 
geneva, to support the spirits of the ladies upon the 
journey. 'Tis said that several heathen bailiffs lay in 
ambuscade in ditches on the road to surprise some of 
them, if possible, on their march, if they should straggle 
from the main body ; but they proceeded with so much 
order and discipline that they did not lose a man upon 
this expedition." 

The Mint was noted as the retreat of poor poets. 
When it was a privileged place, "poor Nahum Tate" 
was forced to seek shelter here from extreme poverty, 
where he died in 1716 : he had been ejected from the 
laureateship, at the accession of George I., to make way 
for Rowe. Pope does not spare the needy poets : — 

No place is sacred, not the church is free, 
E'en Sunday shines no Sabbath-day to me : 
Then from the Mint walks forth the man of rhyme, 
Happy to catch me just at dinner-time. 

Johnson has truly said : " The great topic of his (Pope's) 
ridicule is poverty ; the crimes with which he reproaches 
his antagonists are their debts, their habitation in the 
Mint, and their want of a dinner." 

In Gay's Beggars' Opera, one of the characters 
(Trapes) says : " The Act for destroying the Mint was 
a severe cut upon our business. Till then, if a customer 
stept out of the way, we knew where to have her." Mat 
o' the Mint is one of Macheath's gang. This was also 
one of the haunts of Jack Sheppard ; and Jonathan 
Wild kept his horses at the Duke's Head, in Redcross 
Street, within the precincts of the Mint. Marriages were 
performed here, as in the Fleet, the Savoy, and in May 

352 Romance of L ondon. 

Fair. In 171 5, an Irishman, named Briand, was fined 
£2000 for marrying an orphan, about thirteen years of 
age, whom he decoyed into the Mint. The following 
curious certificate was produced at his trial: — "Feb. 16, 
1715. These are therefore to whom it may concern, 
that Isaac Briand and Watson Anne Astone were 
joined together in the holy state of matrimony (Nemine 
contradicente) the day and year above written, according 
to the rites and ceremonies of the Church of Great 
Britain. — Witness my hand, Jos. Smith, Cler." 

The Mint of the present century was mostly noted 
for its brokers' shops, and its " lodgings for travellers ;" 
and in one of the wretched tenements of its indigent 
and profligate population occurred the first case of 
Asiatic cholera in 1832. Few of the old houses re- 

Stealing a Dead Body. 

THE burial-ground of St George the Martyr, Queen 
Square, Bloomsbury, is a long and narrow slip of ground 
behind the Foundling Hospital, to which a remarkable 
circumstance is attached. On October 9, 1777, the 
grave-digger and others were detected in the act of 
stealing a corpse from this ground for dissection, the 
only instance of this kind then ever known, and which, 
in consequence, involved a difficulty in the decision of 
the law, from its being the first indictment on record for 
such a crime. 

John Holmes, the grave-digger of St George's, 
Robert Williams, his assistant, and Esther Donaldson 
were tried under an indictment for a misdemeanour, 
before Sir John Hawkins, chairman, at Guildhall, West- 

Stealing a Dead Body. 353 

minster, 6th December 1777, for stealing the dead body 
of one Mrs Jane Sainsbury, who died in the October 
preceding, and was interred in the burial-place of the 
said parish. Mr Howarth, counsel for the prosecution, 
stated the case to the jury. Mr Keys, counsel for the 
prisoners, objected to the indictment, and contended 
that if the offence was not felony, it was nothing, for it 
could not be a misdemeanour, therefore not cognisable 
by that court, or contrary to any law whatever. Sir J. 
Hawkins inquired of Mr Howarth the reason for not 
indicting for a felony, as thereby the court was armed 
with power to punish as severely as such acts deserved. 
Mr Howarth explained this, by saying, that to constitute 
a felony there must be a felonious act of taking away 
property ; and if the shroud, or any other thing, such as 
the pillow, &c, or any part of it, had been stolen, it 
would have been a felony. In this case, he said, nothing 
of that kind had been done, the body only having been 
stolen ; and though, in their hurry of conveying away the 
deceased, the thieves had torn off the shroud, and left 
pieces in the churchyard, yet there being no inten- 
tion of taking them away, it was no felony, and, there- 
fore, only a misdemeanour. Mr Keys again insisted it 
was no misdemeanour ; but Sir John Hawkins very 
ably refuted him, reminding him that if his objection 
was good, it was premature, for it would come as a 
motion for an arrest of judgment. The trial then went 

Mr Eustanston, who lived near the Foundling Hos- 
pital, deposed, that going by that hospital, about eight 
o'clock in the evening, with some other gentlemen, they 
met the prisoner, Williams with a sack on his back, 
and another person walking with him. Having some 

vol r. z 

354 Romance of London. 

suspicion of a robbery, he stopped Williams, and asked 
him what he had got there ? to which he replied, " I 
don't know;" but that pulling- the sack forcibly from 
his back, he begged to be let go, and said he was " a 
poor man just come from harvest." Mr Eustanston 
then untied the sack, and, to his astonishment, found 
the deceased body of a woman, her heels tied up tight 
behind her, her hands tied together behind, and cords 
round her neck, forcibly bending her head almost 
between her legs. They were so horrified as to be 
prevented securing the companion of Williams, but 
they took him to the Round House, where he was well 
known to be the assistant grave-digger to Holmes, and 
went by the name of Bobby. Next day, Holmes being 
applied to as he was digging in the burial-ground, de- 
nied all knowledge of Bobby, or Williams, or any such 
man. Neither could he recollect if any body had been 
buried within the last few days, or if there had, he could 
not tell where. However, by the appearance of the 
mould, they insisted on his running into the ground his 
long iron crow, and then they discovered a coffin, only six 
inches under ground, out of which the body had been 
taken. This coffin had been buried a few days before, 
very deep ; the ground was further examined, and 
another coffin was discovered, put of which the body of 
Mrs Jane Sainsbury had been stolen ; and whilst this 
search was taking place, Holmes was detected hiding in 
his pockets several small pieces of shroud, which lay 
around the grave. 

Mr Sainsbury was under the painful necessity of 
appearing in court, when he identified the body found 
on Williams as that of his deceased wife. Williams 
was proved to have been constantly employed by 

Execution of Dr Dodd. 355 

Holmes, in whose house were found several sacks 
marked H. Ellis — the mark upon the sack in which 
Mrs Sainsbury was tied. The jury found the two men 
guilty, but acquitted Esther Donaldson. They <vere 
sentenced to six months' imprisonment, and each to be 
severely whipped twice in the last week of their confine- 
ment, from Kingsgate Street to Dyott Street, St Giles's, 
full half a mile ; but the whipping was afterwards re- 

In St George's burial-ground the first person interred 
was Robert Nelson, author of Fasts and Festivals ; this 
was done to reconcile others to the place who had taken 
a violent prejudice to it. Dr Campbell, author of the 
Lives of the Admirals, and Jonathan Richardson, the 
painter, and his wife, are buried here ; also, Nancy 
Dawson, the famous hornpipe dancer, who died at 
Hampstead, May 27th, 1767 ; the tombstone to her 
memory in St George's ground simply states — " Here 
lies Nancy Dawson." 

The Execution of Dr Dodd. 

" THE unfortunate Dr Dodd," as he is called, was gifted 
with showy oratorical power; he shone in London, and 
when a young man, as a popular preacher. George III. 
made him his chaplain in ordinary ; but, in 1774, he 
was indiscreet enough to write an anonymous letter to 
the wife of the Chancellor Bathurst, offering £2000 for 
the nomination to the rectory of St George's, Hanover 
Square. On the writer being discovered, George III. 
struck him off the list of royal chaplains. In 1776, a 
chapel was built for Dodd, in Charlotte Street, Bucking- 

356 Romance of London. 

ham Gate ; " great success attended the undertaking," 
writes the Doctor ; ' ; it pleased and it elated me." 

Horace Walpole says : — " Dodd was, undoubtedly, 
a bad man, who employed religion to promote his 
ambition, humanity to establish a character, and any 
means to gratify his passions and vanity, and extricate 
himself out of their distressing consequences. Having 
all the qualities of an ambitious man but judgment, 
he gladly stooped to rise ; and married a kept mistress 
of Lord Sandwich, and encouraged her love of drinking 
that he might be at liberty in the evenings to indulge 
himself in other amours. The Earl of Chesterfield, 
ignorant of or indifferent to his character, committed 
his heir to his charge, and was exceedingly partial to 
him ; nor was his pupil's attachment alienated by the 
Doctor's attempt to make a simoniacal purchase of a 
crown-living from the Lord Chancellor. Even his 
miscarriage in that overture he had in great measure 
surmounted by varied activity, and by ostensible virtues 
in promoting all charitable institutions, in particular 
that excellent one for discharging prisoners for debt, of 
which he is said to have been the founder. Still were 
his pleasures indecently blended with his affected 
devotion ; and in the intervals of his mission, he in- 
dulged in the fopperies and extravagance of a young 
Maccaroni, both at Paris and the fashionable watering- 
places in his own country. The contributions of pious 
matrons did not, could not, keep pace with the expense 
of his gallantries." In this state of things, Dodd com- 
mitted his last fatal act. Importuned by creditors, he 
forged a draft on his own pupil, Lord Chesterfield, for 
^4200. He was instantly detected and seized, not 
having had the discretion to secure himself by flight ; 

Execution of Dr Dodd. 357 

nor did the Earl discover that tender sensibility so 
natural and so becoming a young man. From that 
moment the Doctor's fate was a scene of protracted 
horrors, and could but excite commiseration in every 
feeling breast. Yet he seemed to deserve it, as he at once 
abandoned himself to his confusion, shame, and terror, 
and had at least the merit of acting no parade of forti- 
tude. He swooned at his trial, avowed his guilt, con- 
fessed his fondness for life, and deprecated his fate with 
agonies of grief. Heroism under such a character had 
been impudence. As the Earl was not injured, the case 
happened to be mitigated. An informality in the trial 
raised the prisoner's hopes ; and as the case was thought 
of weight enough to be laid before the judges, these 
hopes were increased ; but his sufferings were only 
protracted, for the judges gave, after some time, an 
opinion against him. Thus he endured a second 

" The malevolence of men and their good nature dis- 
played themselves in their different characters against 
Dodd. His character appeared so bad to Dr Newton, 
Bishop of Bristol, that he saidj ' I am sorry for Dr 
Dodd.' Being asked why, he replied, ' Because he is to 
be hanged for the least crime he ever committed.' 
Every unfavourable anecdote of his life was published, 
and one in particular that made deep impression. The 
young lord, his pupil, had seduced a girl, and when 
tired of her, had not forgotten the sacrifice she had 
made. He sent by Dr Dodd her dismission and ^"iooo. 
The messenger had retained ^900 for his trouble. On 
the other hand, the fallen apostle did not lose the 
hearts of his devotees. All his good deeds were set 
forth in the fairest light, and his labours in behalf of 

3 5 8 Romance of L ondon. 

prisoners were justly stated in balance against a fraud 
that had proved innoxious. Warm and earnest sup- 
plications for mercy were addressed to the throne in 
every daily paper, and even some very able pleas were 
printed in his favour. The Methodists took up his 
cause with earnest zeal ; Toplady, a leader of the sect, 
went so far as to pray for him. Such application raised 
the criminal to the dignity of a confessor in the eyes of 
the people — but an inexorable judge had already pro- 
nounced his doom. Lord Mansfieldj who never felt 
pity, and never relented unless terrified, had indirectly 
declared for execution of the sentence even before the 
judges had given their opinion. An incident that 
seemed favourable weighed down the vigorous scale. 
The Common Council of London had presented a 
petition of mercy to the King. Lord Mansfield urged 
rigour, and even the Chancellor seconded it ; though, as 
Dr Dodd had offended him, it would have been more 
decent to take no part, if not a lenient one. The case 
of the Perreaus was cited, and in one newspaper it 
was barbarously said that to pardon Dr Dodd would 
be pronouncing that the Perreaus had been murdered. 
Still the Methodists did not despair, nor were remiss. 
They prevailed on Earl Percy to present a new petition 
for mercy, which, it was said, no fewer than twenty-three 
thousand persons had subscribed ; and such enthusiasm 
had been propagated on behalf of the wretched divine, 
that on the eve of his death, a female Methodist stopped 
the King in his chair and poured out volleys of execra- 
tions on his inexorability. A cry was raised for Dodd's 
respite, for the credit of the clergy ; but it was answered 
that, if the honour of the clergy was tarnished, it was 
by Dodd's crime and not by his punishment. He ap- 

Execution of Dt Dodd. 359 

pealed to Dr Johnson for his intercession, and Johnson 
compassionately drew up a petition of Dr Dodd to the 
Kinc:, and of Mrs Dodd to the Oueen. He wrote The 
Convict's Address to his Unhappy Brethren, a sermon 
which Dr Dodd delivered in the chapel of Newgate ; 
also, Dr Dodd's Last Solemn Declaration, and other 
documents and letters to people in power ; all without 
effect. The King was inclined to mercy; but the law 
was allowed to take its course; and on the 27th of June 
1777, Dodd was conveyed, along with another malefactor, 
in an open cart from Newgate to Tyburn, and there 
hanged in the presence of an immense crowd. In ap- 
prehension of an attempt to rescue the criminal, twenty 
thousand men were ordered to be reviewed in Hyde 
Park during the execution, which, however, though 
attended by an unequalled concourse of people, 
passed with the utmost tranquillity." 

A friend of George Selwyn (who delighted in wit- 
nessing executions) has thus described the exit : — 
" Upon the whole, the piece was not very full of events. 
The Doctor, to all appearances, was rendered perfectly 
stupid from despair. His hat was flapped all round, 
and pulled over his eyes, which were never directed to 
any object around, nor ever raised, except now and 
then lifted up in the course of his prayers. He came in 
a coach, and a very heavy shower of rain fell just upon 
his entering the cart, and another just at his putting 
on his nightcap. During the shower, an umbrella. was 
held over his head, which Gilly Williams, who was 
present, observed was quite unnecessary, as the Doctor 
was going to a place where he might be dried. 

u The executioner took both the Doctor's hat and 

360 Romance of London. 

wig off at the same time. Why he put on his wig 
again, I do not know, but he did ; and the Doctor took 
off his wig a second time, and tied on a nightcap, which 
did not fit him ; but whether he stretched that, or took 
another, I could not perceive. He then put on his 
nightcap himself, and upon his taking it, he certainly 
had a smile on his countenance, and very soon after- 
wards, there was an end of all his hopes and fears on 
this side the grave. He never moved from the place 
he first took in the cart ; seemed absorbed in despair, 
and utterly dejected ; without any other signs of ani- 
mation, but in praying. I stayed until he was cut 
down, and put into the hearse." The body was hurried 
to the house of Davies, an undertaker, in Goodge Street, 
Tottenham Court Road, where it was placed in a hot 
bath, and every exertion made to restore life — but in 

Walpole tells us that the expected commiseration at 
the execution was much drawn aside by the spectacle of 
an aged father, who accompanied his son, one Harris, 
who was executed for a robbery at the same time. The 
streaming tears, grey hairs, agony, and, at last, the 
appearance of a deadly swoon in the poor old man, who 
supported his son in his lap, deepened the tragedy, but 
rendered Dr Dodd's share in it less affecting. 

It may be added that, in 1772, Dr Dodd wrote a 
pamphlet entitled, The Frequency of Capital Punishments 
inconsistent with Justice, Sound Policy, and Religion; 
and that two days before he forged the bond on Lord 
Chesterfield, he preached for his last time, and his text 
was, " Among these nations thou shalt .find no ease, 
neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest : but the 
Lord shall give them a trembling heart and failing of 

Execution of Dr Dodd. 361 

eyes, and sorrow of mind ; and thy life shall hang in 
doubt before thee, and thou shalt fear day and night, 
and shalt have no assurance of thy life." (Dr Doran : 
Horace Walpole's Last Journals) How fearfully do 
these coincidences with Dr Dodd's fate give evidence 
of the perturbed state of his mind. 

Among the good service which he did to society, was 
his being an early promoter of the Magdalen Hospital, 
for whose benefit he preached a sermon in 1759 ; and 
again, in 1760, before Prince Edward, Duke of York: 
both sermons are eloquent compositions, were printed, 
and large editions were sold. Walpole describes his 
going to the first Magdalen House, beyond Goodman's 
Fields, with a party, in four coaches, with Prince Ed- 
ward, to hear the sermon : he sketches the sisterhood, 
about one hundred and thirty, all in greyish-brown 
stuffs, broad handkerchiefs, and fiat straw hats with a 
blue ribbon, pulled quite over their faces. " The chapel 
was dressed with orange and myrtle, and there wanted 
nothing but a little incense to drive away the devil or to 
invite him." After prayers, Dr Dodd preached in the 
French style, and very eloquently and touchingly. " He 
apostrophised the lost sheep, who sobbed and cried from 
their souls ; so did my Lady Hertford and Fanny 
Pelham, till, I believe, the City dames took them both 
for Jane Shores." Dodd then addressed his Royal 
Highness, whom he called Most Illustrious Prince, be- 
seeching his protection. After the service, the Governor 
kissed the Prince's hand, and then tea was served by the 
matron in the parloir. Thence the company went to 
the refectory, where the Magdalens, without their hats, 
were at tables, ready for supper. " I was struck and 
pleased," says Walpole, " with the modesty of two of 

362 Romance of L ondon. 

them, who swooned away with the confusion of being 
stared at." 

The " Story of the Unfortunate Dr Dodd," related by 
Mr Percy Fitzgerald, and published in the spring of 
1865, adds a bright relief in the person of the Rev. 
Weedon Butler, who was associated with Dodd, and was 
his amanuensis, and his assistant in his literary work 
and his church duty ; but he did not participate in any 
of Dodd's dissipation, or was he cognisant of his villany. 
His admiration for the popular author and fashionable 
preacher must have been very great even to the last. 
Weedon Butler was at Dodd's side during his execution ; 
and, on the night after, he carried the body to Cowley, 
there had it buried, and inscribed the name over it ; and 
often afterwards visited the grave. 

The Story of Hackmdn and Miss Reay. 

This romantic tale Horace Walpole refers to as the 
strangest story he had ever heard ; " and which," adds 
he, " I cannot yet believe, though it is certainly true." 
The gay Earl of Sandwich, First Lord of the Admiralty 
during Lord North's administration, in passing through 
Covent Garden, espied behind the counter of a milliner's 
shop — No. 4, at the West-end corner of Tavistock 
Court, on the south side of Covent Garden Market — a 
beautiful girl, named Reay : one account states, his 
Lordship was purchasing some neckcloths. She was 
the daughter of a labourer at Elstree ; others state that 
her father was a staymaker, in Holywell Street, Strand ; 
she had been apprenticed to a mantuamaker in Clerken- 
well Close, with whom she served her time out. A year 
or two after this, she was first seen by Lord Sandwich, 

The Story of Hack man and Miss Rcay. 363 

who had her removed from her situation, had her 
education completed, rendered her a proficient in his 
favourite arts of music and singing, and then she became 
.his Lordship's mistress. He was old enough to be her 

Lord Sandwich took Miss Reay to his seat — Hinchin- 
brook, in Huntingdonshire, and there introduced her to 
his family circle, to the distress of Lady Sandwich- 
Here Miss Reay soon distinguished herself in the 
oratorios and other musical performances, at Hinchin- 
brook : her behaviour is described as very circumspect ; 
she even captivated a bishop's lady, who was really 
hurt to sit directly opposite to her, and mark her dis- 
creet conduct, and yet to find it improper to notice her; 
" she was so assiduous to please, was so very excellent, 
yet so assuming/' that the bishop's lady was quite 
charmed with her. At this time Captain Hackman, 
68th Foot, was recruiting at Huntingdon : he appeared 
at a ball, was invited to the oratorios at Hinchinbrook, 
and was much caressed there. The captain was young 
and handsome : he fell in love with Miss Reay, and she 
is understood not to have been insensible to his passion. 
Hackman proposed marriage ; but she told him she did 
not choose to carry a knapsack. Another account 
states that Miss Reay was desirous of marriage, but 
feared to hurt the feelings of the man who had educated 
her, in which sentiment Hackman, with all his passion, 
is said to have partaken. Walpole states that he was 
brother to a respectable tradesman in Cheapside ; that 
he was articled to a merchant at Gosport, but, at nine- 
teen, entered the army ; during his acquaintance with 
Miss Reay, he exchanged the army for the church, 
and was presented to the living of Wyvcrton, in Norfolk. 

3 64 Romance cf L on don. 

Meanwhile, Miss Reay had complained to Mr Cradock, 
a friend of Lord Sandwich, of being alarmed by ballads 
that had been sung, or cries that had been made, 
directly under the windows of the Admiralty, that 
looked into St James's Park ; adding, such was the fury 
of the mob, that she did not think either herself or Lord 
Sandwich was safe whenever they went out ; the lady 
also represented to Mr Cradock that her situation was 
precarious, that no settlement had been made upon her, 
that she was anxious to relieve Lord Sandwich of ex- 
pense ; that she had a good chance of success at the 
Italian Opera as a singer, and that ,£3000 and a free 
benefit had been offered to her. 

A sudden stop was now put to Hackman's final expec- 
tations, and he became desperate ; Lord Sandwich has 
placed Miss Reay under the charge of a duenna ; Hack- 
man grew more jealous; He was induced to believe that 
Miss Reay had no longer a regard for him, and he re- 
solved to put himself to death. In this resolution, a 
sudden impulse of frenzy included the unfortunate object 
of his passion. 

On the evening of April 7, 1779, Miss Reay went, with 
her female attendant, to Covent Garden Theatre, to see 
Love in a Village. She had declined to inform Hack- 
man how she was engaged that evening ; he appears to 
have suspected her intentions, watched her, and saw her 
carriage pass by the Cannon Coffee -House (Cockspur 
Street, Charing Cross), where he had posted himself. 
Hackman followed. The ladies sat in a front box, and 
three gentlemen, all connected with the Admiralty, occa- 
sionally paid their compliments to them ; Mr Hackman 
was sometimes in the lobby, sometimes in an upper side- 
box, and more than once at the Bedford Coffee-House 

The Story of Hack man and Miss Rcay. 365 

to take brandy-and-water, but still seemed unable to 
gain any information. The dreadful consummation was, 
that at the door of the theatre, directly opposite the 
Bedford Coffee-House, Hackman suddenly rushed out, 
and as a gentleman was handing Miss Reay into the 
carriage, with a pistol he first destroyed this most un- 
fortunate victim. 

Another report states the catastrophe thus : — " Miss 
Reay was coming out of Covent Garden Theatre, in 
order to take her. coach, accompanied by two friends, a 
gentleman and a lady, between whom she walked in the 
piazza. Mr Hackman stepped up to her without the 
smallest menace or address, put a pistol to her head, and 
shot her instantly dead. He then fired another at him- 
self, which, however, did not prove equally effectual. 
The ball grazed upon the upper part of the head, but 
did not penetrate sufficiently to produce any fatal effect; 
he fell, however, and so firmly was he bent on the entire 
completion of the destruction he had meditated, that he 
was found beating his head with the utmost violence with 
the butt-end of the pistol, by Mr Mahon, apothecary, of 
Covent Garden, who wrenched the pistol from his hand. 
He was carried to the Shakespeare, where his wound was 
dressed. In his pocket were found two letters ; the one 
a copy of a letter which he had written to Miss Reay. 
When he had recovered his faculties, he inquired with great 
anxiety concerning Miss Reay ; and being told she was 
dead, he desired her poor remains might not be exposed 
to the observation of the curious multitude. About five 
o'clock in the morning, Sir John Fielding came to the 
Shakespeare, and not finding Hackman's wounds of 
a dangerous nature, ordered him to Tothill Fields 
Bridewell. The body of Miss Reay was carried 

3C/6 Romance of London. 

into the Shakespeare Tavern for the inspection of 
the coroner." 

Walpole details the assassination as follows : — " Miss 
Reay, it seems, has been out of order, and abroad but 
twice all the winter. She went to the play on Wed- 
nesday night for the second time with Galli the singer. 
During the play, the desperate lover was at the Bedford 
Coffee-House, and behaved with great calmness, and 
drank a glass of capillaire. Towards the conclusion he 
sallied into the piazza, waiting till he saw his victim 
handed by Mr Macnamara (an Irish Templar, with whom 
Miss R. had been seen to coquet during the perform- 
ance in the theatre). He (Hackman) came behind her, 
pulled her by the gown, and, on her turning round, 
clapped the pistol to her forehead, and shot her through 
the head. With another pistol he then attempted to 
shoot himself, but the ball only grazing his brow, he 
tried to dash out his brains with the pistol, and is more 
wounded by those blows than by the ball. 

" Lord Sandwich was at home, expecting her to 
supper, at half an hour after ten. On her not returning 
an hour later, he said something must have happened : 
however, being tired, he went to bed half an hour after 
eleven, and was scarce in bed before one of his servants 
came in, and said Miss Reay was shot. He stared, and 
could not comprehend what the fellow meant ; nay, lay 
still, which is full as odd a part of the story as any. At 
twelve came a letter from the surgeon to confirm the 
account. Now, is not the story full as strange as ever 
it was ? Miss Reay has six children ; the eldest son is 
fifteen, and she was at least three times as much." 

Among the inquirers at the Admiralty, next morning, 
was Mr Cradock, who described the scene of horror and 

The Story of Hackman and Miss Rcay. 367 

distress, as told him by old James, the black. Lord 
Sandwich for a while stood, as it were, petrified, till, sud- 
denly seizing a candle, he ran up-stairs, and threw himself 
on the bed ; and in an agony exclaimed, " Leave me 
for a while to myself — I could have borne anything but 
this ! " [Walpole states that his Lordship was already 
in bed.] Mr Cradock doubted whether Lord Sandwich 
was aware there was any connection between Mr Hack- 
man and Miss Reay. She was buried in the church at 
Elstree, " where," says Leigh Hunt, very prettily, " she 
had been a lowly and happy child, running about with 
her blooming face, and little thinking what trouble it 
was to cost her." The Hertfordshire village, some five- 
and-forty years after, was brought into notice, in con- 
nection with the murder of Weare, the gambler, whose 
body was thrown into the pond at Elstree. 

Lord Sandwich retired for a few days to Richmond. 
On his return to the Admiralty, where the portrait of 
Miss Reay still hung over a chimney-piece, Mr Cradock 
found his Lordship in ill health ; he rarely dined out 
anywhere, and any reference to or reminder of Miss 
Reay greatly embarrassed him. He survived her twelve 
years. She had borne him nine children, five of whom 
were then alive. One of these attained to distinction — ■ 
namely, Mr Basil Montague, the eminent lawyer and 
man of letters, who died in 1851, in his eighty-second 

Hackman was tried at the Old Bailey for the murder. 
He confessed at the bar that he had intended to kill 
himself, and protested that but for a momentary frenzy 
he should not have destroyed her, " who was more dear 
to him than life." He was, however, furnished with two 
pistols, which told against him on that point. Boswell, 

368 Romance of London. 

the biographer of Dr Johnson, was at the trial, and tells 
us that the Doctor was much interested by the account 
of what passed, and particularly with Hackman's prayer 
for mercy of heaven. He said in a solemn, fervent tone, 
" I hope he shall find mercy." In talking of Hackman, 
Johnson argued as Judge Blackstone had done, that his 
being furnished with two pistols was a proof that he 
meant to shoot two persons. Mr Beauclerk said, " No ; 
for that every wise man who intended to shoot himself, 
took two pistols, that he might be sure of doing it at 
once. Lord — ■— 's cook shot himself with one pistol, 

and lived ten days in great agony. Mr , who loved 

buttered muffins, but durst not eat them because they 
disagreed with his stomach, resolved to shoot himself, 
and then he ate three buttered muffins for breakfast 
before shooting himself, knowing that he should not be 
troubled with indigestion ; lie had two charged pistols ; 
one was found lying charged upon the table by him, 
after he had shot himself with the other." " Well (said 
Johnson, with an air of triumph), you see here one pistol 
was sufficient." Beauclerk replied, smartly, " Because it 
happened to kill him," It is impossible to settle this 

Boswell addressed a long letter to the St James s 
Chronicle upon this painful subject. He commences by 
observing: "I am just come from attending the Trial 
and Condemnation of the unfortunate Mr Hackman, 
who shot Miss Reay, and I must own that I felt an 
unusual Depression of Spirits, joined with that Pause 
which so solemn a warning of the dreadful effects that 
the passion of Love may produce, must give all of us 
who have lively Sensations and Warm Tempers." He 
goes on in a very apologetic strain : — 

The Story of Hack man and Miss Rcay. 369 

"As his (Mr Hackman's) manners were uncommonly- 
amiable, his mind and heart seem to have been uncom- 
monly Pure and Virtuous. It may seem strange at 
first, but I can very well suppose that, had he been less 
virtuous, he would not now have been so criminal. His 
case is one of the most remarkable that has ever 
occurred in the History of Human Nature; but it is by 
no means unnatural. The principle of it is very philo- 
sophically explained and illustrated in the ' Hypocon- 
driack,' a periodical paper peculiarly adapted to the people 
of England, and which now comes out monthly in the 
London Magazine." 

He then quotes a passage from the paper, which is 
too long to extract. The paper so praised Boswell 
himself was the author of. 

Walpole says : — " On his trial, Hackman behaved very 
unlike a madman, and wished not to live. He is to 
suffer on Monday, and I shall rejoice when it is over; 
for it is shocking to reflect that there is a human being 
at this moment in so deplorable a situation." 

Hackman was executed on April 19, 1779. He was 
taken to Tyburn in a mourning-coach, containing, be- 
sides the prisoner, a sheriff's officer, and James Boswell, 
who, like Selwyn, was fond of seeing executions. The 
latter was not a spectator of Hackman's end ; but his 
friend, the Earl of Carlisle, attended the execution, to 
give some account of Hackman's behaviour. " The poor 
man behaved with great fortitude ; no appearances of 
fear were to be perceived, but very evident signs of 
contrition and repentance. He was long at his prayers ; 
and when he flung down his handkerchief for the sign 
for the cart to move on, Jack Ketch, instead of instantly 
whipping on the horse, jumped on the other side of 

vol. 1. 2 A 

3/0 Romance of London. 

him to snatch up the handkerchief, lest he should lose 
his rights. He then returned to the head of the cart, 
and jehu'd him out of the world." 

In the St James's Chronicle of April 20, 1779, is the 
following fuller account of the execution: — "A little 
after five yesterday morning, the Rev. Mr Hackman 
got up, dressed himself, and was at private meditation 
till near seven, when Mr Boswell and two other gentle- 
men waited on him, and accompanied him to the chapel, 
when prayers were read by the Ordinary of Newgate, 
after which he received the Sacrament ; between eight 
and nine he came down from chapel and was haltered. 
When the sheriff's officer took the cord from the bag to 
perform his duty, Mr Hackman said, ' Oh ! the sight of 
this shocks me more than the thought of its intended 
operation :' he then shed a few tears, and took leave of 
two gentlemen. He was then conducted to a mourning- 
coach, attended by Mr Villette, the Ordinary ; Mr Bos- 
well ; and Mr Davenport, the Sheriff's Officer — when 
the procession set out for Tyburn in the following 
manner — viz., Mr Miller, City Marshal, on horseback, 
in mourning, a number of sheriff's officers on horseback, 
constables, &c, Mr Sheriff Kitchen, with his Under- 
Sheriff, in his carriage ; the prisoner, with the afore- 
mentioned persons in the mourning-coach, officers, &c. ; 
the cart hung with black. 

" On his arrival at Tyburn, Mr Hackman got out of 
the coach, mounted the cart, and took an affectionate 
leave of Mr Boswell and the ordinary. When Mr 
Hackman got into the cart under the gallows, he imme- 
diately kneeled down with his face towards the horses, 
and prayed some time; he then rose and joined in 
prayer with Mr Villettc and Mr Boswell about a quarter 

The Story of Hackman and Miss Rcay. 371 

of an hour, when he desired to be permitted to have a 
few minutes to himself. The clergymen then took 
leave of him. His request being granted, he informed 
the executioner when he was prepared he would drop 
his handkerchief as a signal ; accordingly, after praying 
about six or seven minutes to himself, he dropped his 
handkerchief, and the cart drew from under him." 

A curious book arose out of this tragical story. In 
the following year was published an octavo, pretending 
to contain the correspondence of Hackman and Miss 
Reay. The work was entitled, Love and Madness, or 
Story too true, in a Series of Letters between parties 
whose names would, perhaps, be mentioned, were they less 
known or less lamented. London, 1780. The book ran 
through several editions. The author was Sir Herbert 
Croft, Bart. Walpole says of it : "I doubt whether the 
letters are genuine ; and yet, if fictitious, they are exe- 
cuted well, and enter into his character ; hers appear 
less natural, and yet the editors were certainly more 
likely to be in possession of hers than his. It is not 
probable that Lord Sandwich should have sent what he 
found in her apartments to the press. No account is 
pretended to be given of how they came to light." 
Walpole is frequently mentioned in a long letter by 
Hackman, pretending that Miss Reay desired him to 
give her a particular account of Chatterton ; he gives 
a most ample one, but it is not probable that he went 
to Bristol to collect the evidence. 

3 7 2 Romance of L ondon. 

Attempts to Assassinate George III. 

Two desperate attempts were made upon the life of 
George III., in addition to attacks by the populace 
and by individuals. 

On the morning of August 2, 1786, as the King was 
stepping out of his post-chariot, at the garden entrance 
of St James's Palace, a woman, who was waiting there, 
pushed forward, and presented a paper, which his 
Majesty received with great condescension. At that 
instant, she struck a concealed knife at the Kine's 
breast, which his Majesty happily avoided by bowing 
as he received the paper. As she was making a second 
thrust, one of the yeomen caught her arm, and, at the 
same instant, one of the King's- footmen wrenched the 
knife out of the woman's hand. The King, with amaz- 
ing temper and fortitude, exclaimed at the instant, " I 
have received no injury; do not hurt the woman, the 
poor creature appears insane." This account is given 
by Mrs Delany, in her Letters, who adds, " His Majesty 
was perfectly correct in his humane supposition. The 
woman underwent a long examination before the Privy 
Council, who finally declared that they were ' clearly 
and unanimously of opinion, that she was, and is, in- 
sane.' The instrument struck against the King's waist- 
coat, and made a cut, the breadth of the point, through 
the cloth. Had not the King shrunk in his side, the 
blow would have been fatal. Margaret Nicholson was 
committed to Bethlehem Hospital as a criminal lunatic, 
and was removed with the other inmates from the old 
hospital in Moorfields to the new hospital in Lambeth, 
where she, died May 14, 1828, in her ninety-ninth year, 
having been confined in Bethlehem forty-two years." 

Attempts to Assassinate George III. 373 

The second attempt of this diabolical nature was 
made by James Hadfield, in Drury Lane Theatre, on 
the night of May 15, 1800. In the morning, the King 
had been present at a field-day in Hyde Park, when, 
during the exercise, a shot wounded a young gentleman 
who stood near his Majesty. The event, which hap- 
pened in the evening, added very much to the anxiety 
that had been felt from what had occurred in the 
morning. Their Majesties having announced their 
intention of going to Drury Lane Theatre, the house 
was extremely crowded. The Princesses first came 
into their box, as usual, the Queen next, and then the 
King. The audience had risen to receive and greet 
the royal family by clapping of hands, and other testi- 
monies of a flection, when at the instant his Majesty 
entered, and was advancing to bow to the audience, a 
man, who had placed himself about the middle of the 
second front row of the pit, raised his arm and fired a 
pistol, which was levelled towards the box. The flash 
and the report caused an instant alarm through the 
house ; after an awful suspense of a few moments, the 
audience, pe'reeiving his Majesty unhurt, a burst of 
most enthusiastic joy succeeded, with loud exclamations 
of "Seize the villain! " "Shut the doors ! " The curtain 
was by this time drawn up, and the stage was crowded 
by persons of all descriptions from behind the scenes. 
A gentleman who stood next the assassin immediately 
collared him, and, after some struggling, he was con- 
veyed over into the orchestra, where the pistol was 
wrenched from him, and delivered to one of the per- 
formers on the stage, who held it up to public view. 
There was a general cry of " Show the villain ! " who by 
this time was conveyed into the music-room, and given in 

374 Romance of London. 

charge of the Bow Street officers. The cry still con- 
tinuing to seize him, Mr Kelly, the stage manager, came 
forward to assure the audience that he was safe in 
custody. The band then struck up " God save the 
King," in which they were cordially joined, in full 
chorus, by every person in the theatre, the ladies waving 
their handkerchiefs and huzzaing. Never was loyalty 
more affectionately displayed. Mr Sheridan, ever in 
attendance when the King visited the theatre, the 
moment the alarm was given, stepped into the green- 
room, and with that readiness of resource which rarely 
forsook him, in a few minutes wrote the following 
additional stanza, which was sung : — 

From every latent foe, 
From the assassin's blow, 

Thy succour bring; 
O'er him Thine arm extend, 
From every ill defend, 
Our Father, King, and Friend ; 

God save the King ! 

This extempore verse, inferred by the audience at 
once to have been written by Sheridan, was particularly 
gratifying to their feelings, and drew forth bursts of 
the loudest and most impassioned applause. 

His Majesty, who at the first moment of alarm had 
displayed serenity and firmness, was now evidently 
affected by the passing scene, and seemed for a moment 
dejected. The Duke and Duchess of York, who were 
in their private box below, hastened to the King, who 
was eagerly surrounded by his family. 

After the Duke of York had conversed for a few 
moments with the King, His Royal Highness and Mr 
Sheridan went into the music-room, where the traitor 
was secured. Being interrogated, he said his name was 

Attempts to Assassinate George III. 375 

• Hadfield, and it appears he formerly belonged to the 
15th Light Dragoons, and served under the Duke of 
York in Flanders, where he was made prisoner. He 
was much scarred in the forehead, of low stature, and 
was dressed in a common surtout, with a soldier's jacket 

In the music-room he appeared extremely collected, 
and confessed that he had put two slugs into the pistol. 
He said he was weary of life. Sir William Addington 
then came in, and at his request no further interrogations 
were made, and the man was conveyed to the prison in 
Coldbath Fields, where, in the course of the evening, the 
Prince of Wales and the Dukes of York, Clarence, and 
Cumberland went to see him. 

As soon as the event came to the knowledge of the 
ministers, a Privy Council was summoned, and at ten 
o'clock the traitor was carried to the Secretary of State's 
office, where the Cabinet ministers and principal law 
officers were assembled, and he continued under exa- 
mination for some time. 

Hadfield was brought to trial on June 26 following, 
and after an investigation of eight hours, a verdict of 
" Not Guilty " was returned. He was then remanded 
for safe custody to Newgate, and ultimately being 
proved of insane mind, he was committed to Bethlehem. 
Mr N. P. Willis, when he visited the new hospital in 
1840, conversed with Hadfield, whom he describes as 
quite sane, after having been in Bedlam for forty years. 
" He was a gallant dragoon, and his face," says Mr 
Willis, " is seamed with scars, got in battle before his 
crime. He employs himself with writing poetry on the 
death of his birds and cats, whom he has outlived in 
prison, and all the society he had in his long and weary 

376 Romance of London, 

imprisonment. He received us very courteously, and 
called our attention to his favourite canary, showed us 
his poetry, and all with a sad, mild, subdued resigna- 
tion that quite moved me." Hadfield died in the year 
after Mr Willis's visit. 

Trial and Execution of Governor Wall. 

EARLY in the year 1802, great interest was excited by 
the trial of Lieutenant-Colonel Wall, who was charged 
with murder committed twenty years before. It was 
while Governor and Commandant of Goree, an island 
on the coast of Africa, that Wall committed the offence 
which brought him to the scaffold — viz., the murder of 
one Benjamin Armstrong, by ordering him to receive 
eight hundred lashes on the iothjuly 1782, of which he 
died in five days afterwards. 

" Some time after the account of the murder of Arm« 
strong reached the Board of Admiralty, a reward was 
offered for the apprehension of Wall, who had come to 
England, and he was taken. He, however, contrived 
to escape while in custody at Reading, and fled to the 
Continent : he sojourned there, in France and some- 
times in Italy, under an assumed name, where he lived 
respectably, and was admitted into good society. He 
particularly associated with the officers of his own 
country who served in the French army, and was well 
known at the Scotch and Irish colleges in Paris. He 
now and then incautiously ventured into England and 
Scotland. While thus, at one time, in Scotland he 
made a high match. He wedded a scion of the great 
line of Kintail — viz., Frances, fifth daughter (by his wife, 
Lady Mary Stewart, daughter of Alexander, sixth Earl 

Trial and Execution of Governor Wall. 377 

of Galloway) of Kenneth Mackenzie, Lord Fortrose, 
M.P., and sister of Kenneth, last Earl of Seaforth. Wall 
came finally to England in 1797. He was frequently 
advised by the friend who then procured him a lodging to 
leave the country again, and questioned as to his motive 
for remaining ; he never gave any satisfactory answer, 
but appeared, even at the time when he was so studi- 
ously concealing himself, to have a distant intention 
of making a surrender, in order to take his trial. 

" His high-born wife showed him throughout his 
troubles the greatest devotion : she was with him in 
Upper Thornhaugh Street, Bedford Square, where he 
lived under the name of Thompson when he was appre- 
hended. It is most probable that, had he not written to 
the Secretary of State, saying he was ready to surrender 
himself, the matter had been so long forgotten, that he 
would never have been molested ; but once he was in 
the hands of the law, the Government had but one 
obvious course, which was to bring him to trial ; which 
was accordingly done, at the Old Bailey, on the 20th 
January 1802. The main point of Wall's defence was 
Armstrong's being concerned in a mutiny, which, how- 
ever, was not alluded to in a letter from Wall to 
Government, on his return from Goree. He was found 
guilty, and condemned to be executed on the following 
morning. A respite was sent, deferring his execution 
until the 25th. On the 24th he was further respited till 
the 28th. His wife lived with him for the last fortnight 
prior to his conviction. During his confinement he 
never went out of his room, except into the lobby to 
consult his counsel. He lived well, and was sometimes 
in good spirits. lie was easy in his manners and plea- 
sant in conversation ; but during the night he frequently 

378 Romance of London. 

sat up in his bed and sung psalms, being overheard by 
his fellow-prisoners. 

" From the time of the first respite until twelve 
o'clock on the nigmt before his execution, Wall did not 
cease to entertain hopes of his safety. The interest 
made to save him was very great. The whole of the 
day previous occupied the great law officers ; the Judges 
met at the Lord Chancellor's in the afternoon. The 
conference lasted upwards of three hours, but ended 
unfavourably to Wall. The prisoner had an affecting 
interview with his wife, the Hon. Mrs Wall, the night 
before his death, from whom he was painfully separated 
about eleven o'clock. 

" When the morning arrived, Wall ascended the scaf- 
fold, accompanied by the Rev. Ordinary ; there arose 
three successive shouts from an innumerable populace, 
the brutal but determined effusion of one common 
sentiment, for the public indignation had never been so 
high since the hanging of Mrs Brownrigg, who had 
whipped her apprentices to death." * 

John Thomas Smith, the well-known artist, who had 
made for the Duke of Roxburgh, the famous biblioma- 
niac, many drawings of malefactors, was commissioned 
by the Duke to add to the collection a portrait of 
Governor Wall. Smith had missed the trial at the Old 
Bailey ; and the Duke failed to secure an order for the 
artist to se'e the criminal in the condemned cell. How- 
ever, Smith, by an introduction to Dr Ford, the Ordinary 
of Newgate, succeeded in his wishes. He found the 
Doctor in the club-room of a public-house in Hat ton 
Garden, pompously seated in a superb masonic chair, 

* Celebrated Trials connected with the Army and Navy. By Teler 
Burke, Sergeant-at-Law. 1 865. 

Trial and Execution of Governor Wall. 379 

under a crimson canopy, — smoking his pipe ! The 
introduction over, and its object explained, the Doctor 
whispered (the room was crowded with company), 
" Meet me at the felons' door at the break of day." There 
Smith punctually applied ; but, notwithstanding the 
order of the Doctor, he found it necessary, to protect 
himself from an increasing mob, to give half-a-crown to 
the turnkey, who let him in. He was then introduced 
to a most diabolical-looking little wretch, designated 
" the Yeoman of the Halter," Jack Ketch's head-man. 
Doctor Ford soon arrived in his canonicals, with an 
enormous nosegay under his arm, and gravely uttered, 
" Come this way, Mr Smith," who thus describes the 
scene he witnessed : — 

" As we crossed the press-yard, a cock crew ; and the 
solitary clanking of a restless chain was dreadfully 
horrible. The prisoner had not risen. Upon our enter- 
ing a stone-cold room, a most sickly stench of green 
twigs, with which an old, round-shouldered, goggle-eyed 
man was endeavouring to kindle a fire, annoyed me 
almost as much as the canaster fumigation of the 
Doctor's Hatton Garden friends. 

" The prisoner entered. He was death's counterfeit, 
tall, shrivelled, and pale ; and his soul shot so piercingly 
through t]ie port-holes of his head, that the first glance 
of him nearly petrified me. I said in my heart, putting 
my pencil in my pocket, ' God forbid that I should 
disturb thy last moments.' His hands were clasped, and 
he was truly penitent. After the yeoman had requested 
him to stand up, ' he pinioned him,' as the Newgate 
phrase is, and tied the cord with so little feeling, that 
the Governor, who had not given the wretch the accus- 
tomed fee, observed, ' You have tied me very tight ; ' 

380 Romance of London. 

upon which Dr Ford ordered him to slacken the cord, 
which he did, but not without muttering. ' Thank you, 
sir,' said the Governor to the Doctor, ' it is of little 
moment.' He then observed to the attendant, who had 
brought in an immense shovelful of coals to throw on 
the fire, 'Ay, in one hour that will be a blazing fire ;' 
then, turning to the Doctor, questioned him, ' Do tell 
me, sir — I am informed I shall go down with great 
force ; is it so ? ' After the construction and action 
of the machine had been explained, the Doctor ques- 
tioned the Governor as to what kind of men he had 
at Goree. ' Sir,' he answered, ' they sent me the very 
riffraff.' The poor soul then joined the Doctor in prayer ; 
and never did I witness more contrition at a condemned 
sermon than he then evinced. 

" The Sheriff arrived, attended by his officers, to 
receive the prisoner from the keeper. A new hat was 
then partly flattened on his head, for, owing to its being 
too small in the crown, it stood many inches too high 
behind. As we were crossing the press-yard, the dread- 
ful execration of some of the fellows so shook his frame, 
that he observed, 'the clock had struck,' and, quicken- 
ing his pace, he soon arrived at the room where the 
Sheriff was to give a receipt for his body, according to 
the usual custom. Owing, however, to some informality 
in the wording of this receipt, he was not brought out so 
soon as the multitude expected ; and it was this delay 
which occasioned a partial exultation from those who 
betted as to a reprieve, and not from any pleasure in 
seeing him executed. 

" After the execution, as soon as I was permitted to 
leave the prison, I found the yeoman selling the rope 
with which the malefactor had been suspended at a 

Trial and Execution of Governor Wall. 3S 1 

shilling an inch ; and no sooner had I entered Newgate 
Street, than a lath of a fellow, past threescore years 
and ten, and who had just arrived from the purlieus of 
Black Boy Alley, exclaimed : ' Here's the identical rope 
at sixpence an inch.' A group of tatterdemalions soon 
collected round him, most vehemently expressing their 
eagerness to possess bits of the cord. It was pretty 
obvious, however, that the real business of this agent was 
to induce the Epping buttermen to squeeze in their 
canvas bags, which contained the morning receipts in 
Newgate Market. A little further on, at the north-east 
corner of Warwick Lane, stood Rosy Emma, exuberant 
in talk and piping-hot from Pie Corner, where she had 
taken in her morning dose of gin and bitters. Her 
cheeks were purple, her nose of poppy-red, or cochineal. 
Her eyes reminded me of Sheridan's remark on those 
of Dr Arne, ' like two oysters on an oval plate of stewed 
beetroot.' Emma, in her tender blossom, I understand 
assisted her mother in selling rice-milk and furmety to 
the early frequenters of Honey Lane Market ; and in 
the days of her full bloom, new-milk whey in White 
Conduit Fields, and at the Elephant and Castle. Rosy 
Emma — for so she was still called — was the reputed 
spouse of the Yeoman of the Halter, and the cord she 
was selling as the identical noose, was for her own 
benefit — 

For honest ends, a most dishonest seeming. 

Now, as fame and beauty ever carry influence, Emma's 
sale was rapid. This money-trapping trick, steady 
John, the waiter at the Chapter Coffee-House, assured 
me, was invariably put into practice whenever superior 
persons or notorious culprits had been executed. Then 
to breakfast, but with little or no appetite. However, 

3 8 2 Romance of London. 

I made a whole-length portrait of the Governor, by 
recollection, which Dr Buchan, the flying physician of 
the Chapter frequenters, and several of the Paternoster 
vendors of his Domestic Medicine, considered a likeness ; 
at all events, it was admitted into the portfolio of the 
Duke of Roxburgh, with the following acknowledg- 
ment written on the back : — ' Drawn by Memory.' " * 

After hanging a full hour, Wall's body was cut down, 
put into a cart, and immediately conveyed to a building 
in Cowcross Street to be dissected. Wall was dressed 
in a mixed-coloured loose coat, with a black collar, 
swan-down waistcoat, blue pantaloons, and white silk 
stockings. He appeared a miserable and emaciated 
object, never having quitted the bed of his cell from the 
day of condemnation till the morning of his execution. 

The body of the wretched Governor was not exposed 
to public view as usual in such cases. Mr Belfour, 
Secretary to the Surgeons' Company, applied to Lord 
Kenyon, Lord Chief Justice of the Court of King's 
Bench, to know whether such exposure was necessary ; 
and finding that the forms of dissection only were 
required, the body, after those forms had passed, was 
consigned to the relations of the unhappy man upon 
their paying fifty guineas to the Philanthropic Society. 
The remains were interred in the churchyard of St 

Case of Eliza Penning) tJie Suspected 


MANY are the cases in our criminal history of the 

extreme danger of convicting for capital offences on- 

* A Book for a Rainy Day. By J. T. Smith. Third Edition. 1861. 

Case of Eliza Feinting. 3 S3 

presumptive or circumstantial evidence alone ; but in no 
instance, within memory of the present generation, was 
the public sympathy more intensely, and, as since 
proved, more justly, excited than in the following case : 
— Elizabeth (Eliza) Fcnning, cook in the family of Mr 
Olibar Turner, law stationer, of Chancery Lane, was 
tried on April 11, 1815, at the Old Bailey, before the 
Recorder, "that she, on the 21st day of March, felo- 
niously and unlawfully did administer to, and cause to 
be administered to, Olibar Turner, Robert Gregson 
Turner, and Charlotte Turner, his wife, certain deadly 
poisons (to wit, arsenic), with intent the said persons to 
kill and murder." There were other counts, varying the 
offence. Mr Gurney conducted the prosecution. The 
poison, it was stated, had been mixed in some yeast 
dumplings, of which the family, as also Eliza Fenning, 
had freely partaken at dinner. Although violent sick- 
ness and excruciating pain was the result, in no case, 
fortunately, did death ensue. Of those who suffered 
the most was Eliza Fenning. Medical evidence proved 
that arsenic was mixed with the dough from which the 
dumplings had been made. No counsel in criminal 
cases being then permitted to address the jury on behalf 
of the prisoner (except on points of law), poor Eliza 
Fenning could only assert her innocence, saying — " I am 
truly innocent of the whole charge ; indeed I am ! I 
liked my place ; I was very comfortable." The jury in 
a few minutes returned a verdict of Guilty, and the 
Recorder immediately passed sentence of death. 

Had it not been for this calamitous event, in a very 
few days Eliza Fenning would have been married to 
one in her own position of life. Her bridal dress was 
prepared ; with girlish pride she had worked a little 

3 S4 Romance of London. 

muslin cap, which she proposed wearing on that joyous 
occasion. In this bridal dress, and little muslin cap, 
on the morning of the 25th of July she followed the 
Ordinary of Newgate through the gloomy passages of 
the prison to the platform of death. Here again she 
firmly denied her guilt ; and with the words on her 
lips, " I am innocent ! " her soul passed into eternity. 

We quote these details from Mr J. Holbert Wilson's 
privately-printed Catalogue : it is added, from a com- 
munication made to this gentleman by one acquainted 
with Mr Fenning's family : " If my information be cor- 
rect, Eliza Fenning was as guiltless of the crime for 
which she suffered as any reader of this note ; but some 
years elapsed before the proof of it was afforded. At 
length, however, Truth, the daughter of Time, unveiled 
the mystery. On a bed, in a mean dwelling at Chelms- 
ford, in Essex, lay a man in the throes of death, his 
strong frame convulsed with inward agony. To those 
surrounding that bed/ and watching his fearful exit 
from the world, he disclosed that he was the nephew of 
a Mr Turner, of Chancery Lane ; that many years since, 
irritated with his uncle and aunt, with whom he resided, 
for not supplying him with money, he availed himself 
of the absence for a few minutes of the servant-maid 
from the kitchen, stepped into it, and deposited a 
quantity of powdered arsenic on some dough he found 
mixed in a pan. Eliza Fenning, he added, was wholly 
ignorant of these facts. He made no further sign, but 
like the rich man in the Testament, ' he died and was 
buried.' I will not presume to carry the parallel 

Mr Hone published a narrative of the above case, 
with a portrait of the poor girl ; this vvas replied to, and 

Wainwrighti the Poisoner. 385 

there was much contention upon the matter. The 
medical man who had given evidence on the trial suf- 
fered considerably in his practice. She was the last 
person condemned by Sir John Sylvester, Recorder. 

It appears that the circumstance which gave colour 
to the case against the accused was, that she had often 
pressed her mistress to let her make some yeast dum- 
plings, at which she stated herself to be a famous hand. 
On the 2 1st of March the brewer left some yeast, and, 
instead of getting the dough from the baker's the 
accused made it herself* 

Wainwright \ the Poisoner. 

The system of defrauding insurance societies seems 
first to have manifested itself in the fraudulent destruc- 
tion of ships, with their cargoes, or warehouses with 
their contents. Cases such as these are found often 
enough to have occupied the attention of our criminal 
lawyers towards the close of the last century. They 
were trivial, indeed, compared with the desperate 
lengths and deadly depths to which in a few short 
years this new form of crime extended itself. For- 
merly, we believe, in every office, all the benefits of 
insurance were forfeited in case of fraud, death by 
suicide, duelling, or the hands of the executioner. 
Gradually, but not wisely, most of these provisos for 
non-payment were abandoned, and soon we hear of 
various endeavours to deceive and defraud. Lives 
notoriously unsafe were insured. Suicides, that the 
premium might descend to the family, strange as it is, 
have more than once been known to occur ; and at last, 

* Abridged from Walks and Talks about London. 
VOL. I. 2 B 

3S6 Romance of London. 

between the years 1S30 and 1835, the various metro- 
politan offices began to realise the alarming extent to 
which they were open to the machinations of clever, 
but unprincipled and designing, men and women. 

The man by whom this lesson was taught was Thomas 
G. Wainwright. He was first known in the literary 
circles of the metropolis, as an able writer and critic 
in the London Magazine, under the nom-de-plume of 
Janus Weathercock. It is painful, now that after 
events have shown the fearful depths to which he' fell, 
to trace in his writings the evil influences which were 
then plainly operating within. Passionate impulses, 
not only unchecked but fostered ; a prurient imagina- 
tion, rioting in the conception and development of 
luxurious and criminal pictures, intimate but too plainly 
to the moralist the fruit which the autumn of a summer 
so unhealthy might be expected to produce. Men of 
this class, it may truly be said, are ever trembling on 
the brink of a precipice ; their hour of trial comes, and 
they fall. So was it with Wainwright. Poverty, that 
most trying of earthly tests, came upon him, and found 
him not only unnerved and unarmed, but ready to 
adopt any means of escape from its galling assaults, 
however unscrupulous and deadly. An evil imagina- 
tion, morbidly forced, and too prolific in the wildest 
sueeestions, flattered him with the means of evasion — 
nay, of obtaining even wealth ; and warily and delibe- 
rately, but unconscious of an avenger at his heels, he 
proceeded to carry them into effect. 

At this period of his history — 1825 — Wainwright 
ceased to write. He and his wife (for by this time he 
was united to an amiable and accomplished woman) 
went to visit his uncle, to whose property he was be- 

Wainwright, the Poisoner. 387 

lieved to be the intended heir. During that visit the 
uncle died, leaving the property in question to his 
nephew, by whom it was speedily dissipated. 

Shortly afterwards, Miss Helen and Miss Madeline 
Abercrombie, step-sisters to Mrs Wainwright, fatally 
for the life of one, and destructively to the peace of all, 
became inmates of the family. It is impossible, what- 
ever be our wish, to clear the memory of Helen Aber- 
crombie from the very gravest suspicions. Be it sup- 
posed that, controlled by a power to which she had 
fatally rendered herself subservient, it was only in- 
tended, when these insurances were effected, that by a 
fictitious death the means should be obtained from the 
offices to linger out their lives alone in some foreign 
land. The supposition that Wainwright at this time 
really purposed compassing her death is scarcely ten- 
able. She was the most prominent actress in the busi- 
ness, anxious to insure to a considerable extent, and 
hesitating not at falsehood in the endeavour. It is, 
therefore, impossible to acquit her of complicity. In- 
surances to the extent of £18,000 or £20,000 were 
effected, and then fearfully indeed were the tables turned 
on the unhappy dupe. 

Meanwhile Wainwright, like a chained tiger, was 
goaded by poverty. Time was requisite : time must 
elapse before the insurance card could be safely played. 
In the interim, money must be had ; and, availing him- 
self of the fact of some stock lying in the Bank of Eng- 
land, to the dividends only on which he and his wife 
were entitled, he proceeded to forge the names of the 
trustees to six several powers of attorney, authorising 
the sale of the principal. This, too, soon went, and the 
melancholy denouement drew rapidly on. 

388 Romance of L ondon. 

Miss Abercrombie now professed her intention of 

going abroad, and made a will, leaving her property to 

her sister, and assigning her policy for ^3000 in the 

Palladium — which zvas only effected for a space of three 

years — to Wainwright. 

The very night following she was taken ill ; in a day 
or two, Dr, now Sir Charles, Locock was called in ; the 
usual probable causes were at once suggested and 
accepted ; exposure to cold and wet, followed by a late 
and indigestible supper and gastric derangement, was 
the natural diagnosis. No danger was apprehended ; 
but suddenly, when alone in the house, with the excep- 
tion at least of her sister and domestics, Miss Aber- 
crombie died. In justice to Wainwright, it should 
be remembered that he was not present. A post-mortem 
examination was held ; and the cause of death was 
attributed to sudden effusion into the ventricles of the 
brain. This, it need scarcely be added, was only con- 

In due course, application was made to the several 
offices for the heavy amounts insured, and refused. 
This was an unexpected turn in the affair ; and Wain- 
wright, unable to remain longer in England, went abroad 
— after having brought an action, however, against one 
insurance office, which was decided against him. About 
this time, too, his forgery on the Bank of England was 
discovered, and to return to England was tantaniount 
to encountering certain death. He remained, therefore, 
in France, and there his master apparently soon found 
other work for him to do. He insured the life of a 
countryman and friend, also resident at Boulogne, for 
^5000, in the Pelican Office. After one premium only 
had been paid, this life too fell ; and Wainwright was 

Ratdiffc Highway Murders. 389 

apprehended, and for nearly half-a-year incarcerated in 
Paris. It is said strychnine was found in his possession ; 
but probably at that period, no chemist, not even 
Orfila, would have ventured to attempt proving poison- 
ing thereby. 

Impelled, apparently by that blind and inexplicable 
impulse which is said so often to draw criminals back 
again to the scenes of their past guilt, Wainwright, not- 
withstanding the imminent peril attendant on such a 
step, ventured to return to London. The reader who 
has followed the slight and imperfect clue we have 
endeavoured to supply, may conjecture the motive which 
attracted him into the meshes long woven and laid for 
him. He was recognised, and in the course of a few 
hours captured and lodged in Newgate ; and now, see- 
ing his case utterly desperate — his liberty, if not his life, 
hopelessly forfeited — he basely turns traitor to his surviv- 
ing confederate, or confederates, and tenders information 
which may justify the offices in refusing to pay the 
various policies to Madeline Abercrombie. If we rightly 
apprehend the case, this is the key to the whole. 

After a consultation held by all the parties interested, 
and with the sanction of the Government, it was deter- 
mined to try him for the forgery on the bank only. He 
was sentenced to transportation for life, and no long 
time after his arrival at Sydney he died in the General 
Hospital of that city. 

Ratcliffe Highway Murders. 

THE murders of Marr and Williamson, in Ratcliffe 
Highway, arc among the best-remembered atrocities of 
the present century. Marr kept a lace and pelisse 

3Q0 Romance of London. 

warehouse at 29 Ratcliffe Highway; and about mid- 
night on Saturday, the 7th of December 181 1, had sent 
his female servant to purchase oysters for supper, whilst 
he was shutting up the shop windows. On her return, 
in about a quarter of an hour, the servant rang the bell 
repeatedly without any person coming. The house was 
then broken open, and Mr and Mrs Marr, the shop-bo}?-, 
and a child in the cradle (the only human beings in the 
house), were found murdered. 

The murders of the Marr family were followed, twelve 
days later, by the murders of Williamson, landlord of 
the King's Arms public-house, in Gravel Lane, Ratcliffe 
Highway, his wife, and female servant. This was in 
the night, and a lodger, hearing a noise below, stole 
down-stairs, and there, through a staircase window, saw 
the murderers searching the pockets of their victims ; he 
returned to his bedroom, tied the bedclothes together, 
and thus let himself down into the street, and escaped. 
The alarm was given, but the murderers escaped over 
some waste ground at the back of the house, and were 
never traced. Some circumstances, however, implicated 
a man named Williams, who was committed to prison, 
and there hanged himself. His body was carried on a 
platform, placed in a high cart, past the houses of Marr 
and Williamson, and was afterwards thrown, with a 
stake through his breast, into a hole dug for the pur- 
pose, where the New Road crosses, and Cannon Street 
Road begins. 

Great was the terror throughout the metropolis and 
suburbs after these atrocities. " Many of our readers," 
says Macaulay, " can remember the terror which was on 
every face — the careful barring of doors — the providing 
of blunderbusses and watchmen's rattles. We know of 

The Cato Street Conspiracy. 391 

a shopkeeper who, on that occasion, sold about three 
hundred rattles in about ten hours." It was very- 
common to see from the street, placed in an up-stairs 
window, a blunderbuss, with an inscription, in large 
letters, " Loaded/' to terrify evil-doers, though, in some 
cases, they were thus provided with a ready weapon for 

The Cato Street Conspiracy. 

EARLY in the year 1820 — a period of popular discon- 
tent — a set of desperate men banded themselves together 
with a view to effect a revolution by sanguinary means, 
almost as complete in its plan of extermination as the 
Gunpowder Plot. The leader was one Arthur Thistle- 
wood, who had been a soldier, had been involved in a 
trial for sedition, but acquitted, and had afterwards 
suffered a year's imprisonment for sending a challenge 
to the minister, Lord Sidmouth. Thistlewood was 
joined by several other Radicals, and their meetings in 
Gray's Inn Lane were known to the spies Oliver and 
Edwards, employed by the Government. Their first 
design was to assassinate the ministers, each in his own 
house ; but their plot was changed, and Thistlewood 
and his fellow-conspirators arranged to meet at Cato 
Street, Edgware Road, and to proceed from thence to 
butcher the Ministers assembled at a Cabinet dinner, 
on February 23 rd, at Lord Harrowby's, 39 Grosvenor 
Square, where Thistlewood proposed, as " a rare haul, 
to murder them altogether." Some of the conspirators 
were to watch Lord Harrowby's house, one was to call 
and deliver a despatch-box at the door, the others were 
then to rush in and murder the Ministers as they sat 

392 Romance of London. 

at dinner; and, as special trophies, to bring away with 
them the heads of Lords Sidmouth and Castlereagh in 
two bags provided for the purpose ! They were then to 
fire the cavalry barracks ; and the Bank and Tower 
were to be taken by the people, who, it was hoped, 
would rise upon the spread of the news. 

This plot was, however, revealed to the Ministers by 
Edwards, who had joined the conspirators as a spy. 
Still, no notice was apparently taken. The preparations 
for dinner went on at Lord Harrowby's till eight o'clock 
in the evening, but the guests did not arrive. The Arch- 
bishop of York, who lived next door, happened to give 
a dinner party at the same hour, and the arrival of the 
carriages deceived those of the conspirators who were on 
the watch in the street, till it was too late to give warning 
to their comrades who had assembled at Cato Street in 
a loft over a stable, accessible only by a ladder. Here, 
while the traitors were arming themselves by the light 
of one or two candles, a party of Bow Street officers 
entered the stable, when Smithers, the first of them who 
mounted the ladder, and attempted to seize Thistlewood, 
was run by him through the body, and instantly fell ; 
whilst, the lights being extinguished, a few shots were 
exchanged in the darkness and confusion, and Thistle- 
wood and several of his companions escaped through a 
Avindow at the back of the premises ; nine were taken 
that evening with their arms and ammunition, and the 
intelligence conveyed to the Ministers, who, having dined 
at home, met at Lord Liverpool's to await the result of 
what the Bow Street officers had done. A reward of 
;£iooo was immediately offered for the apprehension of 
Thistlewood, and he was captured before eight o'clock 
next morning while in bed at a friend's house, No. 8 

The Cato Street Conspiracy. 393 

White Street, Little Moorflelcls. The conspirators were 
sent to the Tower, and were the last persons imprisoned 
in that fortress. On April 20th, Thistlewood was con- 
demned to death after three days' trial ; and on May 1st, 
he and his four principal accomplices, Ings, Brunt, Tidd, 
and Davidson, who had been severally tried and con- 
victed, were hanged at the Old Bailey, and their heads 
cut off. The remaining six pleaded guilty ; one was 
pardoned, and five were transported for life. 

In 1830, three of these conspirators — Strange, Wilson, 
and Harris — were seen by Judge Therry, at Bathurst, 
New South Wales. Strange was living in 1862 ; he was 
for many years chief constable of the Bathurst district, 
and was then the terror of bushrangers, for capturing 
several of whom he- was rewarded by the Colonial 
Government. The reckless disregard of danger that, in 
a bad cause, made him an apt instrument for the deed 
that doomed him to transportation, made him, when 
engaged in a good cause, an invaluable constable. He 
obtained a ticket-of -leave soon after his arrival from Sir 
T. Brisbane, for capturing, in a single-handed struggle, 
Robert Story, the notorious bushranger of his time, and 
many other marauders of less note. If it were known 
that " the Cato Street Chief" (the title by which as chief 
constable he was known) was in search of the plunderers 
who then prowled along the roads, they fled from the 
district, and his name was quite a tower of strength to 
the peaceable portion of the community. At present he 
is the head of a patriarchal home on the banks of the 
Fish River, at Bathurst, surrounded by children and 
grandchildren, all industrious persons, in the enjoyment 
of a comfortable competence. Wilson was also for some 
time an active constable under Strange. On obtaining 

3 94 Romance of L ondon. 

the indulgence of a ticket-of-leave he married, and be- 
came the fashionable tailor of the district, with a sign- 
board over his shop announcing him as "Wilson, Tailor, 
from London." 

Vanx, the Swindler and Pickpocket. 

James Hardy Vaux, remembered by his contribution 
to convict literature, presented a strong instance of the 
constant tendency to crime that some individuals ex- 
hibit. He was, when very young, transported to New 
South Wales for life. After the usual probationary 
course, he obtained a conditional pardon, which placed 
him in the position of a free citizen in New South Wales, 
provided he did not leave the colony. The violation of 
the condition of residence subjected him to be remitted 
to his first sentence — transportation for life. He escaped, 
however, and, on his arrival in England, had the hardi- 
hood to publish a book descriptive of his career in the 
colony, which attracted some attention in London about 
the year 1818. 

This is, by no means, an ordinary work; it is very 
minute ; though it is hard to credit such a narrative, 
unreservedly. He tells us that he generally spent his 
mornings, from one to five o'clock, the fashionable 
shopping hours, in visiting the shops of jewellers, watch- 
makers, pawnbrokers, &c. Depending upon his address 
and appearance, he made a circuit of the town in the 
shops, commencing in a certain street and going regu- 
larly through it, on both sides of the way. His practice 
was to enter a shop, and request to look at gold seals, 
brooches, rings, or other small articles of value ; and 
while examining them, and looking the shopkeeper in 

Vaux, the Swindler and Pickpocket. 395 

the face, he contrived, by sleight-of-hand, to conceal two 
or three, sometimes more, in the sleeve of his coat, 
which was purposely made wide. Sometimes he would 
purchase a trifling article, to save appearances ; another 
time he took a card of the shop, promising to call again ; 
and as he generally saw the remaining goods returned 
to the window, a place from which they had been taken, 
before he left the shop, there was hardly a probability 
of his being suspected, or of the property being missed. 
In the course of his career, Vaux was never detected in 
the fact ; though, once or twice, so much suspicion arose, 
that he was obliged to exert all his effrontery, and to 
use very high language, in order, as the cant phrase is, 
to bounce the tradesmen out of it; and Vaux's fashion- 
able appearance, and affected anger at the insinuations, 
mostly convinced his accuser that he was mistaken, and 
induced him to apologise for the affront. He even some- 
times carried away the spoil, notwithstanding what had 
passed ; and he often paid a second and a third visit to 
the same shop, with as good success as the first. To 
prevent accidents, however, he made it a rule never to 
enter a second shop with any stolen property about 
him ; for, as soon as he quitted the first, he privately con- 
veyed his booty to his assistant, Bromley, who awaited 
him in the street, and who, for this purpose, proved very 

By this course of depredation, Vaux acquired, on the 
average, about ten pounds a week, though he some- 
times neglected shopping for several days together. 
This was not, indeed, his only pursuit, but was his 
principal morning occupation ; though, when a favour- 
able opportunity offered for getting a guinea by any 
other means, Vaux never let it slip. In the evening, he 

3 g6 Romance of L ondon. 

generally attended one of the theatres, where he mixed 
with the best company in the boxes, and at the same 
time enjoyed the performance. He frequently con- 
veyed pocket-books, snuff-boxes, and other portable 
articles from the pockets of their proprietors into his 
own. Here he found the inconvenience of wanting a 
companion, who might receive the articles in the same 
manner as Bromley did in the streets ; but, though he 
knew many of the light-fingered gentry, whose appear- 
ance was good, yet, their faces being well known to the 
police-officers who attended the theatre, they would not 
have been allowed to enter the house. Here Vaux had 
the advantage, for being just arrived in England, and a 
new face upon the town, he carried on his depredations, 
under the very nose of the officers, without suspicion. 
Having, however, at first, no associate, he was obliged 
to quit the theatre, and conceal his first booty in some 
private spot, before he could make, with prudence, a 
second attempt. 

Upon the whole, Vaux was very successful as to the 
number of articles he filched — not so, as to their value. 
He very frequently obtained nine or ten pocket-books, 
besides other articles, in one evening; and these being 
taken from well-dressed gentlemen, he had reason to 
expect that he should some day meet with a handsome 
sum in bank-notes ; but fortune did not so favour him, 
for, during nearly twelve months' almost nightly attend- 
ance at some public place, did not yield more than £20 
in a book, and that only on one occasion. He several 
times got five, ten, or eleven pounds, but commonly 
one, two, or 'three pounds; and generally four books 
out of the five contained nothing but letters or memo- 
randa, or other useless papers. At the same time Vaux 

Vena; the Swindler and Pickpocket. ^cyj 

knew frequent instances of common street pickpockets 
getting a booty of fifty, one hundred, and sometimes 
three or four hundred pounds. However, Vaux never 
failed to pay the expenses of the night. It sometimes 
happened that the articles he got, particularly pocket- 
books, were advertised by the losers, within a few days, 
as " Lost," and a reward offered for their restoration ; 
where the reward was worth notice, Vaux restored the 
property by means of a third person whom he could 
confide in, and whom he previously tutored for the 

Vaux soon afterwards made his way to Dublin, where 
he was again convicted of larceny, and transported for 
seven years, under the assumed name of James Stewart. 
On the arrival of the ship that conveyed him to New 
South Wales, this then somewhat remarkable person i$ 
thus described : His address was very courteous, and 
his voice was of a remarkably soft and insinuating tone. 
He expressed a deep contrition for his past life, vowed 
amendment, poured forth his gratitude for the mercy 
that had been shown to him, expressing a hope that by 
his future conduct he might prove that it had not been 
unworthily bestowed. Perhaps he meant at the moment 
all that he uttered, but, so incapable had he become of 
resisting any temptation to crime, that within a twelve- 
month after his arrival a second time as a convict, he 
committed a felony for which he was sent to work for 
two years in irons on the public roads. 

393 Romance of L on don. 

A Murderer taken by means of the 
Electric Telegraph. 

The capture of the murderer Tawell, through the 
instrumentality of the Electric Telegraph, is among the 
earliest, as well as the most remarkable, instances of its 
marvellous achievements. Although the facts of this 
case may be in the recollection of some readers, we shall 
here narrate its main points, in so far as they show the 
wondrous working of the telegraph. 

On Wednesday, the 1st of January 1845, a woman, 
named Sarah Hart, was found by her neighbours 
struggling in the agonies of death, in her cottage at 
Salthill, a short distance from the Slough station of the 
Great Western Railway. On the evening of the occur- 
rence, the neighbour who overheard the poor woman's 
screams went into an adjoining garden, and there, by 
the dim light of a candle, which she carried in her hand, 
she distinctly saw a man, in the garb of one of the 
Society of Friends, retreating hastily from the cottage 
whence the screams proceeded ; and further, this neigh- 
bour recognised the fugitive as bearing the appearance 
of a man who was an occasional frequenter of the house. 
He was seen to glance hurriedly about, and then to 
make for the Slough road. The neighbour, Mary Ash- 
lee, who witnessed his precipitate flight, then entered 
the house, where she found Sarah Hart just upon the 
point of expiring. Having summoned surgical assist- 
ance, she communicated her suspicions to her neigh- 
bours ; and the Rev. E. T. Champneys, Vicar of Upton- 
cum-Chalvey, hearing of the mysterious death of the 
deceased, and that a person in the dress of a Quaker 

Murder and the Electric Telegraph. 399 

was the last man who had been seen to leave her 
cottage, he proceeded to the Slough station, thinking it 
likely the fugitive might proceed to town by the railway. 
The reverend gentleman saw the individual described 
pass through the railway booking-office, when he com- 
municated his suspicions to Mr Howell, the superinten- 
dent of the station. The man (Tawell) then left in a 
first-class carriage without interruption ; and, at the 
same instant, Mr Howell sent off, by the electric tele- 
graph, a full description of his person, with instructions 
to cause him to be watched by the police, upon his 
arrival at Paddington. 

The words of the communication were precisely as 
follows : — 

The Message. 

"A murder has just been committed at Salthill, and 
the suspected murderer was seen to take a first-class 
ticket for London by the train which left Slough at 
7I1. 42m. r.M. He is in the garb of a Quaker, with a 
brown great-coat on, which reaches nearly down to his 
feet ; he is in the last compartment of the second first- 
class carriage." 

Within a few minutes was received 

The Reply. 
" The up-train has arrived ; and a person answering, 
in every respect, the description given by the telegraph, 
came out of the compartment mentioned. I pointed 
the man out to Sergeant Williams. The man got into 
a New Road omnibus, and Sergeant Williams into the 
same." Thus, while the suspected man was on his way 
to the metropolis at a fast rate, the telegraph, with still 
greater rapidity, sent along the wire which skirted the 

400 Romance of London. 

path of the carriage in which he sat the startling in- 
structions for his capture. 

On the omnibus arriving at the Bank, Tawell got 
out, crossed oyer to the statue of the Duke of Welling- 
ton, where he stopped for a short time, looking about, 
it is supposed, to see if any person was following him. 
He then proceeded to the Jerusalem Coffee-House ; 
thence, over London Bridge, to the Leopard Coffee- 
House, in the Borough ; then back again to Cannon 
Street, in the city, to a lodging-house in Scott's Yard, 
where he was apprehended with £12, 10s. in his pocket, 
and documents that led to his being identified. 

Thus the capture was completed ; and it was well 
observed, in a report of the inquest held upon the mur* 
dered woman, that " had it not been for the efficient 
aid of the electric telegraph, both at Slough and Pad- 
dington, the greatest difficulty, as well as delay, would 
have occurred in the apprehension of the party now in 
custody." Altogether, this application of the telegraph 
produced in the public mind an intense conviction of 
its vast utility to the moral welfare of society. 

It need not be added how Tawell was tried, con- 
victed, condemned, and executed for the murder ; some 
time after which, few persons looked at the telegraph 
station at Slough without feeling the immense import- 
ance of this novel application of man's philosophy to 
the protection of his race. The transmission of the 
signals is practically instantaneous ; and the conversa- 
tion, by means of the keys, may be carried on by an 
experienced person almost as rapidly as a familiar piece 
of music could be played. 

It is a curious, but perhaps not currently known fact, 
that in the alphabet used by this electric telegraph there 

Murder and the Electric Telegraph. 401 

are no separate signs or symbols for J, Q, or Z, though 
each of these are represented by their synonymes, or 
sister sounds, G, K, and S. This is occasionally found 
awkward. Its convenience, at any rate, was illustrated 
in the particular case of Tawell, who probably might 
have escaped, had it not been that the manipulator at 
Paddington was aware of the adverse results that might 
arise from the imperfection connected with the feature 
in question. It was the particular character or Quaker 
costume of Tawell that led to his immediate detection. 
The manipulator at Slough had to communicate the 
fact to the authority at Paddington, that the suspected 
party was a Quaker. This puzzled him, from the fact of 
there being no exclusive symbol for in the category 
of electric letters ; and the using of the letter K for this 
purpose might have led to confusion and loss of time. 
While the clerks were carrying on an interchange of 
" not understand," "repeat," &c, &c, six or seven times, 
the train might have arrived, and Tawell have altogether 
escaped detection. It fortunately happened that the 
person then working the telegraph at Paddington knew 
the defect, and comprehended at once, both mechanically 
and mentally, what was intended to be conveyed. Of 
course, had Tawell got out between Slough and Pad- 
dington, and not at the latter terminus, he would have 
escaped, as the telegraph did not work at the inter- 
mediate stations. 

John Tawell, it appears, from Judge Therry's work 
on Australia, published in 1864, was a returned convict, 
and a model specimen of prison reformation. Previous 
to his transportation to New South Wales, for forgery, 
upwards of forty years before, his occupation in England 

was that of a commercial traveller. His career in the 
vol. 1. 2 c 

402 Romance of London. 

colony exhibited a strange mixture of shrewdness and 
money-making talent, combined with an outward show 
of religion. On obtaining partial exemption from con- 
vict discipline, he became the principal druggist, and 
had one of the showiest shops of that kind in Sydney. 
After a prosperous career he sold his business to a 
respectable chemist for ^"14,000. This sum he judi- 
ciously invested in buildings and other pursuits of profit. 
For nearly two years Tawell occupied a house opposite 
to Mr Therry's in Sydney. He struck the late judge as 
being a remarkably well-conducted person. He was a 
member of the Society of Friends, and he wore the 
broad-brimmed hat, appeared always in a neat and 
carefully-adjusted costume, and his whole appearance 
.and manner impressed one with the notion of his being 
a very saintly personage. He always sought the society 
in public of persons of reputed piety. Mr Therry often 
met him in the street, accompanied by a secretary or 
collector to a charitable institution, whom he assisted in 
obtaining contributions for benevolent objects. At one 
time he took up the cause of temperance in such an 
intemperate spirit, that he ordered a puncheon of rum 
iie had imported to be staved on the wharf in Sydney, 
and its contents poured into the sea, saying that he 
would " not be instrumental to the guilt of dissemi-- 
nating such poison throughout the colony." At another 
time his zeal took a religious turn, and he built in 
Macquarie Street a commodious meeting-house for 
the Society of Friends. 

Stories of the Bank of England. 403 

Stories of the Bank of England. 

THE traditions of the Bank of England present rackings 
of human cunning", all which a little honesty might have 
saved. Several narratives of this class are related in 
Mr Francis's popular History of the Bank. Such are his 
stories of Stolen Notes. For example, a Jew having 
purchased £20,000 worth of notes of a felon banker's- 
clerk, the Jew, in six months, presented them at the 
Bank, and demanded payment ; this was refused, as the 
bills had been stolen. The Jew, who was a wealthy and 
energetic man, then deliberately went to the Exchange, 
and asserted publicly that the Bank had refused to 
honour their own bills for £20,000 ; that their credit 
was gone ; their affairs in confusion ; that they had 
stopped payment. The Exchange wore every appearance 
of alarm ; the Hebrew showed the notes to corroborate 
his assertion; he declared they had been remitted to him 
from Holland : his statement was believed. He then 
declared he would advertise the refusal of the Bank : 
information reached the directors, and a messenger 
was sent to inform the holder that he might receive 
the cash in exchange for the notes. The fact is, the 
law could not hinder the holder of the notes from 
interpreting the refusal that was made of payment as 
he pleased — for instance, as a pretext to gain time, and 
belief in this would have created great alarm ; all which 
the directors foresaw — though this was at an early period, 
when the reputation of the company was not so firmly 
established as at the present time. 

Of Lost Notes there arc some entertaining narratives. 
Thus, in 1740, a bank director lost a £30,000 bank- 

404 Romance of London. 

note, which he was persuaded had fallen from the 
chimney-piece of his room into the fire. The Bank 
directors gave the loser a second bill, upon his agree- 
ment to restore the first bill should it ever be found, or 
to pay the money itself should it be presented by any 
stranger. About thirty years after this had occurred, 
the director having been long dead, and his heirs in 
possession of his fortune, an unknown person presented 
the lost bill at the Bank, and demanded payment. It 
was in vain that they mentioned to this person the 
transaction by which the bill was annulled ; he would 
not listen to it ; he maintained that it had come to him 
from abroad, and insisted upon immediate payment. 
The note was payable to bearer ; and the thirty thou- 
sand pounds were paid him. The heirs of the director 
would not listen to any demands of restitution, and the 
Bank was obliged to sustain the loss. It was discovered 
afterwards that an architect, having purchased the 
director's house, had taken it down, in order to build 
another upon the same spot, had found the note in a 
crevice of the chimney, and made his discovery an 
engine for robbing the Bank. 

The day on which a Forged Note was first presented 
at the Bank of England forms a memorable event in its 
history. For sixty-four years the establishment had 
circulated its paper with freedom ; and, during this 
period, no attempt had been made to imitate it. He 
who takes the initiative in a new line of wrong-doing, 
has more than the simple act to answer for ; and to 
Richard William Vaughan, a Stafford linen-draper, be- 
longs the melancholy celebrity of having led the van in 
this new phase of crime in the year 1758. The records 
of his life do not show want, beggary, or starvation 

Stories of Fleet Marriages. 405 

urging him, but a simple desire to seem greater than he 
was. By one of the artists employed, and there were 
several engaged on different parts of the notes, the dis- 
covery was made. The criminal had filled up to the 
number of twenty, and deposited them in the hands of 
a young lady to whom he was attached, as a proof of 
his wealth. There is no calculating how much longer 
bank-notes might have been free from imitation, had 
this man not shown with what ease they might be 
counterfeited. Thenceforth forged notes became 

In the latter part of the last century, and the earlier 
portion of the present, the cashier of the Bank was 
Abraham Newland, by whom all prosecutions for for- 
gery of the notes of that establishment were instituted. 
Strange to say, the largest loss ever perhaps sustained 
by the Bank, through the dishonesty of a servant, was 
through Newland's nephew, Robert Astlett, a clerk in 
the establishment. It amounted to £320,000, which 
consisted in plundered Exchequer Bills, and was equal 
to the entire half-yearly dividend of 1803, the year in 
which the fraud was perpetrated. Astlett escaped 
through the bungling of the Bank counsel in framing 
the indictment against him. He was tried under the 
Bank Act, to make his conviction the more certain ; 
had he been tried under the ordinary law applicable to 
common cases of embezzlement, he would have been 

^obt antr ^KtxwQt 

Stories of Fleet Marriages. 

These unlicenced marriages are said to have originated 
with the incumbents of Trinity, Minories, and St 
James's, Duke's Place, who claimed to be exempt from 
the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London, and performed 
marriages without banns or licence, till Elliott, Rector 
of St James's, was suspended in 1616. The trade was 
then taken up by clerical prisoners living within the 
Rules of the Fleet, who, having neither money, character, 
nor liberty to lose, were just the men to adopt such a 
traffic. Mr Burn, who has devoted much attention to 
these strange practices, enumerates eighty-nine Fleet 
parsons, most of them lusty, jolly fellows, but thorough 
rogues and vagabonds, guilty of various offences, many of 
them too gross to be named. They openly plied their 
trade, as in the following specimens : — 

"G.R. — At the ttue chapel, at the old Red Hand and Mitre, three 
doors up Fleet Lane, and next door to the White Swan, marriages are 
performed by authority by the Rev. Mr Symson, educated at the University 
of Cambridge, and late chaplain to the Earl of Rothes. — N.B. Without 

"J. Lilley, at ye Hand and Pen, next door to the China Shop, Fleet 
Bridge, London, will be performed the solemnisation of marriages by a 
gentleman regularly bred at one of our universities, and lawfully ordained 
according to the institutions of the Church of England, and is ready to wait 
on any person in town or country." 

" Marriages with a licence, certificate, and crown-stamp, at a guinea, at 
the New Chapel, next door to the China Shop, near Fleet Bridge, London, 

Stories of Fleet Marriages. 407 

by a regular bred clergyman, and not by a Fleet parson, as is insinuated in 
the public papers ; and that the town may be freed mistakes, no clergyman 
being a prisoner within the Rules of the Fleet dare marry j and to obviate 
all doubts, the chapel is not on the verge of the Fleet, but kept by a 
gentleman who was lately chaplain on board one of his Majesty's men-of- 
war, and likewise has gloriously distinguished himself in defence of his 
King and country, and is above committing those little mean actions that 
some men impose on people, being determined to have everything con- 
ducted with the utmost decorum and regularity, such as shall always be 
supported on law and equity." — Daily Advertiser. 

There was great competition in the business. Thus, 
at one corner might be seen in a window — " Wed dines 
performed cheap here;" and on another, " The Old and 
True Register ; " and every few yards along the Ditch 
and up Fleet Lane, similar announcements. But the 
great trade was at the " marriage-houses," whose land- 
lords were also tavern-keepers. The Swan, the Lamb, 
the Horse-shoe and Magpie, the Bishop Biaire, the Two 
Sawyers, the Fighting Cocks, the Hand and Pen, were 
places of this description ; as were the Bull and Garter 
and King's Head (kept by warders of the Fleet Prison). 
The parson and landlord (the latter usually acted as 
clerk) divided the fee between them, after paying a 
shilling to the plyer, or tout, who brought in the cus- 
tomers. The marriages were entered in a pocket-book 
by the parson, and on payment of a small fee copied 
into the regular register of the house, unless the inter- 
ested parties desired the affair to be kept secret. Mar- 
riages were performed in the Fleet previously to 1754, 
in the Prison Chapel. 

In the Grub Street Journal of January 1735, wc 
read : — "There are a set of drunken, swearing parsons, 
with their myrmidons, who wear black coats, and pre- 
tend to be clerks and registers of the Fleet, and who 
ply about Ludgate I Till, pulling and forcing people to 

408 Romance of London. 

some peddling ale-house or brandy-shop to be married; 
even on a Sunday, stopping them as they go to church, 
and almost tearing their clothes off their backs." Pen- 
nant confirms this : — " In walking along the streets in 
my youth, on the side next the prison, I have often been 
tempted by the question, ' Sir, will you be pleased to 
walk in and be married ? ' Along this most lawless 
space was frequently hung up the sign of a male and 
female, with hands conjoined, with 'Marriages performed 
within ' written underneath. A dirty fellow invited you. 
The parson was seen walking before his shop; a squalid, 
profligate figure, clad in a tattered plaid night-gown, 
with a fiery face, and ready to couple you for a dram 
of gin or roll of tobacco." 

The following are a few cases : — Since Midsummer 
last, a young lady of birth and fortune was deluded and 
forced from her friends, and by the assistance of a wry- 
necked, swearing parson, married to an atheistical 
wretch, whose life is a continued practice of all manner 
of vice and debauchery. And since the ruin of my 
relative, another lady of my acquaintance had like to 
have been trepanned in the following manner : — This 
lady had appointed to meet a gentlewoman at the Old 
Play House, in Drury Lane, but extraordinary business 
prevented her coming. Being alone when the play was 
done, she bade a boy call a coach for the city. One 
dressed like a gentleman helps her into it, and jumps in 
after her. " Madam," says he, " this coach was called 
for me, and since the weather is so bad, and there is no 
other, I beg leave to bear you company ; I am going 
into the city, and will set you down wherever you 
please." The lady begged to be excused, but he bade 
the coachman drive on. Being come to Ludgate Hill, 

Stories of Fleet Marriages. 409 

he told her his sister, who waited his coming but five 
doors up the court, would go with her in two minutes. 
He went, and returned with his pretended sister, who 
asked her to step in one minute, and she would wait 
upon her in the coach. The poor lady foolishly followed 
her into the house, when instantly the sister vanished, 
and a tawny fellow, in a black coat and a black wig, 
appeared. " Madam, you are come in good time ; the 
doctor was just agoing!" "The doctor!" says she, 
horribly frightened, fearing it was a madhouse, " what 
has the doctor to do with me? " " To marry you to that 
gentleman. The doctor has waited for you these three 
hours, and will be paid by you or that gentleman before 
you go ! " " That gentleman," says she, recovering her- 
self, "is worthy a better fortune than mine;" and 
begged hard to be gone. But Doctor Wryneck swore 
she should be married ; or, if she would not, he would 
still have his fee, and register the marriage for that 
night. The lady, finding she could not escape without 
money or a pledge, told them she liked the gentleman 
so well she would certainly meet him to-morrow night, 
and gave them a ring as a pledge, " which," says she, 
"was my mother's gift on her death-bed, enjoining that, 
if ever I married, it should be my wedding-ring;" by 
which cunning contrivance she was delivered from the 
black doctor and his tawny crew. 

The indecency of these practices, and the facility 
they afforded for accomplishing forced and fraudulent 
marriages, were not the only evils. Marriages could be 
antedated, without limit, on payment of a fee, or not 
entered at all. Parties could be married without declar- 
ing their names. Women hired temporary husbands at 
the Fleet, in order that they might be able to plead 

4 1 o Romance of L ondon. 

coverture to an action for debt, or to produce a certifi- 
cate in case of their being enceinte. These hired 
husbands were provided by the parson for five shillings 
-each ; sometimes they were women. And for half-a- 
guinea a marriage might be registered and certified that 
never took place. Sometimes great cruelty was prac- 
tised. In 17 19, Mrs Anne Leigh, an heiress, was 
decoyed from her friends in Buckinghamshire, married 
at the Fleet Chapel against her will, and barbarously 
ill-used by her abductors. 

The following are a few extracts from the Register of 
the Fleet Marriages ; — 

" 1740. Geo. Grant and Ann Gordon, bachelor and 
spinster : stole my clothes-brush." In the account of 
another marriage, we find, " Stole a silver spoon." 

" A wedding at which the woman ran across Ludgate 
Hill in her shift, 'in pursuance of a vulgar error that a 
man was not liable for the debts of his wife if he married 
her in this dress,' " 

" Married at a barber's shop next Wilson's — viz., 
one Kerrils, for half-a-guinea, after which it was ex- 
torted out of my pocket, and for fear of my life de- 

" 5 Nov. 1742 was married Benjamin Richards, in the 
parish of St Martin's-in-the-Fields, B T and Judith Lance, 
do. sp. at the Bull and Garter, and gave [a guinea] for 
an ante-date to March ye nth, in ye same year, which 
Lilley comply'd with, and put em in his book accord- 
ingly, there being a vacancy in the book suitable to the 

" Mr Comyngs gave me half-a-guinea to find a bride- 
groom, and defray all expenses. Parson 2s. 6d. Hus- 
band do., and 5s. 66. myself. [We find one man 

Stories of Fleet Marriages. 41 1 

married four times under different names, receiving five 
shillings on each occasion, 'for his trouble !"' 

" 1742, May 24. — A soldier brought a barber to the 
Cock, who, I think, said his name was James, barber by 
trade, was in part married to Elizabeth ; they said they 
were married enough/' 

"A coachman came, and was half-married, and would 
give but 3s. 6d., and went off." 

" Edward and Elizabeth were married, and 

would not let me know their names." 

In one case, the parson was obliged to marry a couple 
in terrorem: but "some. material part was omitted." 

All classes flocked to the Fleet to marry in haste, 
from the barber to the officer in the Guards — from the 
pauper to the peer of the realm. Among the aristo- 
cratic patrons of its unlicenced chapels we find Lord 
Abergavenny ; the Hon. John Bourke, afterwards Vis- 
count Mayo ; Sir Marmaduke Grcsham ; Anthony 
Henley, Esq., brother of Lord Chancellor Northington ; 
Lord Banff; Lord Montagu, afterwards Duke of Man- 
chester; Viscount Sligo ; the Marquis of Annandale ; 
William Shipp, Esq., father of the first Lord Mulgrave ; 
and Henry Fox, afterwards Lord Holland, of whose 
marriage Walpole thus writes to Sir Horace Mann : — 
" The town has been in a great bustle about a private 
match, but which, by the ingenuity of the Ministry, has 
been made politics. Mr Fox fell in love with Lady 
Caroline Lenox (eldest daughter of the Duke of Rich- 
mond), asked her, was refused, and stole her. Flis father 
was a footman ; her great-grandfather a king — Jiinc illec 
laclirymcc ! All the blood-royal have been up in arms." 

In the Fleet, the errant Edward Wortley Montague 
(Lady Mary's son) was married ; also Charles Churchill, 

4 1 2 Romance of L oudon. 

the poet. In 1702, the Bishop of London interfered to 
prevent the scandalous practice, but with little effect; 
and it was not until the passing of the Act of Parlia- 
ment, in 1754, that the practice was put an end to : on 
the day previously (March 24), in one register-book 
alone, were recorded 217 marriages, the last of the 
Fleet weddings. In 1S21, a collection of the Registers 
of Fleet Marriages, and weighing more than a ton, was 
purchased by the Government, and deposited in the 
Bishop of London's Registry, Doctors' Commons : the 
earliest date is 1674. They are not now, as formerly, 
received in evidence. 

After the Marriage Bill of 1754, however, the Savoy 
Chapel came into vogue. On January 2, 1754, the 
Public Advertiser contained this advertisement : " By 
Authority. — Marriages performed with the utmost pri- 
vacy, decency, and regularity, at the Ancient Royal 
Chapel of St John the Baptist, in the Savoy, where 
regular and authentic registers have been kept from 
the time of the Reformation (being two hundred years 
and upwards) to this day. The expense not more than 
one guinea, the five-shilling stamp included. There 
are five private ways by land to this chapel, and two 
by water." The proprietor of this chapel was the Rev. 
John Wilkinson (father of Tate Wilkinson, of theatrical 
fame), who fancying (as the Savoy was extra-parochial) 
that he was privileged to issue licences upon his own 
authority, took no notice of the new law. In 1755, he 
married no less than 1190 couples. The authorities 
began at last to bestir themselves, and Wilkinson 
thought it prudent to conceal himself. He engaged a 
curate, named Grierson, to perform the ceremony, the 
licences being still issued by himself, by which arrange- 

Story of Richard Lovelace. 4 1 3 

ment he thought to hold his assistant harmless. Among 
those united by the latter were two members of the 
Drury Lane company. Garrick, obtaining the certifi- 
cate, made such use of it that Grierson was arrested, 
tried, convicted, and sentenced to fourteen years' trans- 
portation, by which sentence 1400 marriages were de- 
clared void. 

Story of Richard Lovelace. 

Richard Lovelace, one of the most elegant of the 
cavaliers of Charles I., will long be remembered by his 
divine little poem, " To Althea, from Prison," which 
he composed in the Gate House, at Westminster ; it 

begins with : — 

" When Love with unconfined wings 
Hovers within my gates, 
And my divine Althea brings 
To whisper at my grates — 
When I lie tangled in her hair, 

And fetter'd in her eye, 
The birds that wanton in the air 
Know no such liberty. 

• * • • • • 

Stone walls do not a prison make, 

Nor iron bars a cage, 
Minds innocent and quiet tahe 

That for an hermitage. 
If I am freedom in my love, 

And in my soul am free : 
Angels alone, that soar above, 

Enjoy such liberty." 

This accomplished man, who is said by Wood to have 
been in his youth " the most amiable and beautiful 
person that eye ever beheld," and who was lamented 
by Charles Cotton as an epitome of manly virtue, died 

4 1 4 Romance of L ondon . 

at a poor lodging in Gunpowder Alley, Shoe Lane, in 
1658, an object of charity. 

Leigh Hunt, with the fellow-feeling of a poet, says : — 
" He (Lovelace) had been imprisoned by the Parlia- 
ment, and lived during his imprisonment beyond his 
income. Wood thinks that he did so in order to sup- 
port the royal cause, and out of generosity to deserving 
men and to his brothers. He then went into the ser- 
vice of the French King, returned to England after 
being wounded, and was again committed to prison, 
where he remained till the King's death, when he was 
set at liberty. Having then," says his biographer, 
" consumed all his estate, he grew very melancholy 
(which brought him at length into a consumption), 
became very poor in body and purse, and was the 
object of charity, went in ragged clothes (whereas, 
when he was in his glory, he wore cloth of gold and 
silver), and mostly lodged in obscure and dirty places, 
more befitting the worst of beggars than poorest of 
servants," &c. " Geo. Petty, haberdasher in Fleet 
Street," says John Aubrey, " carried 20 shillings to 

him every Monday morning from Sir ■ Manny, 

and Charles Cotton; Esq., for months : but was 

never repaid." As if it was their intention he should 
be ! Poor Cotton, in the excess of his relish of life, 
lived himself to be in want ; perhaps wanted the ten 
shillings that he sent. The mistress of Lovelace is 
reported to have married another man, supposing him 
to have died of his wounds in France. Perhaps this 
helped to make him careless of his fortune ; but it is 
probable that his habits were naturally showy and 
expensive. Aubrey says he was proud. He was ac- 
counted a sort of minor Sir Philip Sydney. We speak 

1 J j 'ckerly and h is Countess. 4 1 5 

the more of him, not only on account of his poetry 
(which, for the most part, displays much fancy, injured 
by want of selectness), but because his connection with 
the neighbourhood probably suggested to Richardson 
the name of his hero in Clarissa." 

Wycherly and his Countess. 

In lodcrinsrs on the west side of Bow Street, Covent 
Garden, over against the Cock Tavern, lived Wycherly, 
the dramatist, with his wife, the Countess of Drogheda. 
Here Wycherly happened to be ill of a fever. " Dur- 
ing his sickness (says his biographer, Cibber), the King 
(Charles II.) did him the honour of a visit; when, 
finding his fever indeed abated, but his body extremely 
weakened, and his spirits miserably shattered, he com- 
manded him to take a journey to the south of France, 
believing that nothing could contribute more to the 
restoring his former state of health than the gentle air 
of Montpelier during the winter season : at the same 
time, the King assured him, that as soon as he was able 
to undertake the journey, he would order five hundred 
pounds to be paid him to defray the expenses of it. 

" Mr Wycherly accordingly went to France, and 
returned to England the latter end of the spring fol- 
lowing, with his health entirely restored. The King 
received him with the utmost marks of esteem, and 
shortly after told him he had a son, who he resolved 
should be educated like the son of a king, and that he 
could make choice of no man so proper to be his 
governor as Mr Wycherly ; and that for this service he 
should have fifteen hundred pounds a-ycar allotted to 
him ; the King also added, that when the time came 

41 6 Romance of London. 

that his office should cease, he would take care to make 
such a provision for him as should set him above the 
malice of the world and fortune. These were golden 
prospects for Mr Wycherly, but they were soon by a 
cross accident dashed to pieces. 

"Soon after this promise of his Majesty's, Mr Dennis 
tells us that Mr Wycherly went down to Tunbridge, to 
take either the benefit of the waters or the diversions 
of the place, when, walking one clay upon the Wells- 
walk with his friend, Mr Fairbeard, of Gray's Inn, just 
as he came up to the bookseller's, the Countess of 
Drogheda, a young widow, rich, noble, and beautiful, 
came up to the bookseller and inquired for the Plain 
Dealer. ' Madam,' says Mr Fairbeard, ' since you are 
for the Plain Dealer, there he is for you/ pushing Mr 
Wycherly towards her. ' Yes,' says Mr Wycherly, 
' this lady can bear plain-dealing, for she appears to be 
so accomplished, that what would be a compliment to 
others, when said to her would be plain dealing.' ' No, 
truly, sir,' said the lady, ' I am not without my faults 
more than the rest of my sex ; and yet, notwithstanding 
all my faults, I love plain-dealing, and am never more 
fond of it than when it tells me of a fault.' ' Then, 
madam,' says Mr Fairbeard, ' you and the plain dealer 
seem designed by heaven for each other.' In short, Mr 
Wycherly accompanied her upon the walks, waited upon 
her home, visited her daily at her lodgings whilst she 
stayed at Tunbridge ; and after she went to London, at 
her lodgings in Hatton Garden : where, in a little time, 
he obtained her consent to marry her. This he did, by 
his father's command, without acquainting the King; 
for it was reasonably supposed, that the lady's having 
a great independent estate, and noble and powerful 

[ I j 'dicrly and his Countess. 4 1 7 

relations, the acquainting the King with the intended 
match would be the likeliest way to prevent it. As 
soon as the news was known at court, it was looked 
upon as an affront to the King, and a contempt of his 
Majesty's orders ; and Mr Wycherly's conduct after 
marrying made the resentment fall heavier upon him ; 
for being conscious he had given offence, and seldom 
going near the court, his absence was construed into 

"The Countess, though a splendid wife, was not 
formed to make a husband happy ; she was in her 
nature extremely jealous ; and indulged in it to such a 
decree, that she could not endure her husband should 
be one moment out of her sight. Their lodgings were 
over against the Cock Tavern, whither, if Mr Wycherly 
at any time went, he was obliged to leave the windows 
open, that his lady might see there was no woman in 
the company." 

" The Countess," says another writer, '< made him 
some amends by dying in a reasonable time." His title 
to her fortune, however, was disputed, and his circum- 
stances, though he had property, were always con- 
strained. He was rich enough, however, to marry a 
young woman eleven days before he died ; but his 
widow had no child to succeed to the property. In his 
old age he became acquainted with Pope, then a youth, 
who vexed him by taking him at his word, when asked 
to correct his poetry. Wycherly showed a candid 
horror at growing old, natural enough to a man who 
had been one of the gayest of the gay, very handsome, 
and a " Captain." He was captain in the regiment of 
which Buckingham was colonel. 

Wycherly's acquaintance with the Duchess of Clevc- 

VOL. I. 2D 

4 1 8 Romance of L oiidon. 

land commenced oddly enough. One day, as he passed 
the Duchess's coach, in the Ring - , in Hyde Park, she 
leaned from the window and cried out, loud enough to 
be heard distinctly by him, " Sir, you 're a rascal ; you 're 
a villain " [alluding to a song in his first play]. Wy. 
cherly, from that instant, entertained hopes. 

Story of Beau Fielding. 

Beau Fielding was thought worthy of record by Sir 
Richard Steele, as an extraordinary instance of the 
effects of personal vanity upon a man not without wit. 
He was of the noble family of Fielding, and was re- 
markable for the beauty of his person, which was a 
mixture of the Hercules and the Adonis. It is de- 
scribed as having been a real model of perfection. He 
married for his first wife the Dowager Countess of 
Purbeck; followed the fortunes of James II., who is 
supposed to have made him a major-general, and per- 
haps a count ; returned, married a woman of the name 
of Wadsworth, under the impression that she was a lady 
of fortune ; and, discovering his error, addressed or 
accepted the addresses of the notorious Duchess of 
Cleveland, and married her ; but she, discovering her 
mistake in time, indicted him for bigamy, and obtained 
a divorce. Before he left England to follow James, 
" Handsome Fielding," as he was called, appears to 
have been insane with vanity and perverse folly. He 
always appeared in an extraordinary dress ; sometimes 
rode in an open tumbril, of less size than ordinary, the 
better to display the nobleness of his person ; and his 
footmen appeared in liveries of yellow, with black 
feathers in their hats, and black sashes. When people 

Story of B can Fielding. 419 

laughed at him, he refuted them, as Steele says, "by 
only moving." Sir Richard says he saw him one day 
stop and call the boys about him, to whom he spoke as 
follows : — 

" Good youths, — Go to school, and do not lose your 
time in following my wheels ; I am loth to hurt you, 
because I know not but you are all my own offspring. 
Hark ye, you sirrah with the white hair, I am sure you 
are mine, there is half-a-crown for you. Tell your 
mother, this, with the other half-crown I gave her, . . . 
comes to five shillings. Thou hast cost me all that, and 
yet thou art good for nothing. Why, you young dogs, 
did you never see a man before ? " " Never such a one 
as you, noble general," replied a truant from Westmin- 
ster. " Sirrah, I believe thee ; there is a crown for thee. 
Drive on, coachman." Swift puts him in his list of 
Mean Figures, as one who " at fifty years of age, when 
he was wounded in a quarrel upon the stage, opened his 
breast and showed the wound to the ladies, that he 
might move their love and pity ; but they all fell a 
laughing." His vanity, which does not appear to have 
been assisted by courage, sometimes got him into 
danger. He is said to have been caned and wounded 
by a Welsh gentleman, in the theatre in Lincoln's Inn 
Fields ; and pressing forward once at a benefit of Mrs 
Oldfield's, " to show himself," he trod on Mr Fulwood, 
a barrister, who gave him a wound twelve inches deep." 
" His fortune, which he ruined by early extravagance, he 
thought to have repaired by his marriage with Mrs 
Wadsworth, and endeavoured to do so by gambling ; 
but he succeeded in neither attempt, and after the short- 
lived splendour with the Duchess of Cleveland, returned 
to his real wife, whom he pardoned, and died under her 

420 Romance of London. 

care. During the height of his magnificence, he carried 
his madness so far, according to Steele, as to call for 
his tea by beat of drum ; his valet got ready to shave 
him by a trumpet to horse ; and water was brought for 
his teeth, when the sound was changed to boots and 

Beau Wilson. 

ONE of the gayest men about town towards the end of 
the reign of William III., was a young man of fashion 
who lived in the most expensive style : his house was 
sumptuously furnished ; his dress was costly and extra- 
vagant ; his hunters, hacks, and racers were the best 
procurable for money ; and he kept a table of regal 
hospitality. Now, all this was done without any osten- 
sible means. All that was known of him was, that his 
name was Edward Wilson, and that he was the fifth son 
of Thomas Wilson, Esq., of Keythorpe, Leicestershire, 
an impoverished gentleman. Beau Wilson, as he was 
called, is described by Evelyn as a very young gentle- 
man, " civil and good-natured, but of no great force of 
understanding," and " very sober and of good fame." He 
redeemed his father's estate, and portioned off his sisters. 
When advised by a friend to invest some of his money 
while he could, he replied, that however long his life 
might last, he should always be able to maintain him- 
self in the same manner, and therefore had no need 
to take care for the future. 

All attempts to discover his secret were vain ; in his 
most careless hours of amusement he kept a strict guard 
over his tongue, and left the scandalous world to con- 
jecture what it pleased. Some good-natured people 

Beau Wilson. 421 

said he had robbed the Holland mail of a quantity of 
jewellery, an exploit for which another man had suffered 
death. Others said he was supplied by the Jews, for 
what purpose they did not care to say. It was plain he 
did not depend upon the gaming-table, for he never 
played but for small sums. 

How long he might have pursued his mysterious 
career, it is impossible to say : it was cut short by 
another remarkable man on the 9th of April 1694. On 
that day, Wilson and a friend, one Captain Wightman, 
were at the Fountain Tavern, in the Strand, in company 
with the celebrated John Law, who was then a man about 
town. Law left them, and the captain and Wilson took 
coach to Bloomsbury Square. Here Wilson alighted, 
and Law reappeared on the scene ; as soon as they met, 
both drew their swords, and after one pass, the Beau fell, 
wounded in the stomach, and died without speaking a 
sinele word. Law was arrested, and tried at the Old 
Bailey for murder. The cause of the quarrel did not then 
come out, but Evelyn says: "The quarrel arose from his 
(Wilson's) taking away his own sister from lodging in a 
house where this Law had a mistress, which the mistress 
of the house, thinking a disparagement to it, and losing by 
it. instigated Law to this duel." Law declared the meet- 
ing was accidental, but some threatening letters from 
him to Wilson were produced on the trial, and the jury, 
believing that the duel was unfairly conducted, found 
him guilty of murder, and he was condemned to death. 
The sentence was commuted to a fine, on the ground 
of the offence amounting only to manslaughter ; but 
Wilson's brother appealed against this, and while the 
case was pending a hearing, Law contrived to escape 
from the King's Bench, and reached the Continent in 

422 Romance of London. 

safety, notwithstanding a reward offered for his appre- 
hension. He ultimately received a pardon in 17 19. 

Those who expected Wilson's death would clear up 
the mystery attached to his life, were disappointed. He 
left only a few pounds behind him, and not a scrap of 
evidence to enlighten public curiosity as to the origin of 
his mysterious resources. 

While Law was in exile, an anonymous work appeared 
which professed to solve the riddle. This was The 
Unknown Lady 's Pacquct of Letters, published with the 
Countess of Dunois' Memoirs of the Court of England 
(1708), the author, or authoress, of which pretends to 
have derived her information from an elderly gentle- 
woman, " who had been a favourite in a late reign of the 
then she-favourite, but since abandoned by her." Ac- 
cording to her account, the Duchess of Orkney (William 
III.'s mistress) accidentally met Wilson in St James's 
Park, incontinently fell in love with him, and took him 
under her protection. The royal favourite was no 
niggard to her lover, but supplied him with funds to 
enable him to shine in the best society, he undertaking 
to keep faithful to her, and promising not to attempt to 
discover her identity. After a time, she grew weary of 
her expensive toy, and alarmed lest his curiosity should 
overpower his discretion, and bring her to ruin. This 
fear was not lessened by his accidental discovery of her 
secret. She broke off the connection, but assured him 
that he should never want for money, and with this 
arrangement he was forced to be content. The " elderly 
gentlewoman," however, does not leave matters here, but 
brings a terrible charge against her quondam patroness. 
She says, that having one evening, by her mistress' orders, 
conducted a stranger to her apartment, she took the 

The Unfortunate Roxana. 423 

liberty of playing eaves-dropper, and heard the Duchess 
open her strong box and say to the visitor : " Take this, 
and, your work done, depend upon another thousand 
and my favour for ever ! " Soon afterwards poor Wilson 
met his death. The confidant went to Law's trial, and 
was horrified to recognise in the prisoner at the bar the 
very man to whom her mistress addressed those mys- 
terious words. Law's pardon she attributes to the lady's 
influence with the King - , and his escape to the free use 
of her gold with his jailers. Whether this story was a 
pure invention, or whether it was founded upon fact, it 
is impossible to determine. Beau Wilson's life and death 
must remain among unsolved mysteries. This compact 
story is from Chambers's Book of Days. 

The Unfortunate Roxana. 

One of the earliest female performers was an actress at 
the theatre at Vere Street. Her name is not ascertained, 
but she attained an unfortunate celebrity in the part of 
Roxana, in the Siege of Rhodes. She fell a victim to 
Aubrey de Vere, the last Earl of Oxford of that name, 
under the guise of a private marriage. The story is told 
by Grammont, who, though apocryphal, pretends to say 
nothing on the subject in which he is not borne out by 
other writers. His lively account may be laid before 
the reader. 

"The Earl of Oxford," says one of Grammont's 
heroines, " fell in love with a handsome, graceful actress, 
belonging to the Duke's theatre, who performed to per- 
fection, particularly the part of Roxana in a very 
fashionable new play, insomuch that she ever after 
retained that name. This creature being both very 

424 Romance of London. 

virtuous and very modest, or, if you please, wonderfully 
obstinate, proudly rejected the presents and addresses 
of the Earl of Oxford. The resistance inflamed his 
passion ; he had recourse to invectives and even spells ; 
but all in vain. This disappointment had such an effect 
upon him that he could neither eat nor drink ; this did 
not signify to him ; but his passion at length became so 
violent that he could neither play nor smoke. In this 
extremity, Love had recourse to Hymen ; the Earl of 
Oxford, one of the first peers of the realm, is, you know, 
a very handsome man ; he is of the Order of the Garter, 
which greatly adds to an air naturally noble. In short, 
from his outward appearance, you would suppose he was 
really possessed of some sense ; but as soon as ever you 
hear him speak, you are perfectly convinced to the con- 
trary. This passionate lover presented her with a 
promise of marriage, in due form, signed with his own 
hand ; she would not, however, rely upon this ; but the 
next day she thought there could be no danger, when 
the Earl himself came to her lodgings attended by a 
sham parson, and another man for a witness. The 
marriage was accordingly solemnised with all due cere- 
monies, in the presence of one of her fellow-players, who 
attended as a witness on her part. You will suppose, 
perhaps, that the new countess had nothing to do but to 
appear at court according to her rank, and to display 
the Earl's arms upon her carriage. This was far from 
beine the case. When examination was made concern- 
ing the marriage, it was found to be a mere deception ; 
it appeared that the pretended priest was one of my 
Lord's trumpeters, and the witness his kettle-drummer. 
The parson and his companion never appeared after the 
ceremony was over ; and as for the other witness, he 

Jill's Centlivre, and Iter TJircc Husbands. 425 

endeavoured to persuade her that the Sultana Roxana 
might have supposed, in some part or other of a play, 
that she was really married. It was all to no purpose 
that the poor creature claimed the protection of the 
laws of God and man, both which were violated and 
abused, as well as herself, by this infamous imposi- 
tion ; in vain did she throw herself at the King's feet to 
demand justice, she had only to rise up again without 
redress ; and happy might she think herself to receive 
an annuity of one thousand crowns, and to resume the 
name of Roxana, instead of Countess of Oxford." 

Mrs Centlivre, and Jier Three Husbands. 

In Spring Gardens, Dec. 1, 1723, died Mrs Centlivre, 
the sprightly authoress of the Wonder, the Busy Body, 
and the Bold Stroke for a Wife. She was buried at St 
Martin's-in-the-Fields. She is said to have been a 
beauty, an accomplished linguist, and a good-natured, 
friendly woman. Pope put her in his Dunciad, for 
having written, it is said, a ballad against his Homer 
when she was a child ! But the probability is, that she 
was too intimate with Steele and other friends of 
Addison while the irritable poet was at variance with 
them. It is not impossible, also, that some raillery of 
hers might have been applied to him, not very pleasant 
from a beautiful woman against a man of his personal 
infirmities, who was naturally jealous of not being well 
with the sex. Mrs Centlivre is said to have been 
seduced when young by Anthony Hammond, father of 
the author of the Love Elegies, who took her to Cam- 
bridge with him in boy's clothes. Thfs did not hinder her 
from marrying a nephew of Sir Stephen Fox, who died 

426 Romance of London. 

a year thereafter, nor from having two husbands after- 
wards. Her second was an officer in the army, of the 
name of Carrol, who, to her great sorrow, was killed in 
a duel. Her third husband, Mr Centlivre, who had the 
formidable title of Yeoman of the Mouth, being principal 
cook to Queen Anne, fell in love with her when she was 
performing the part of Alexander the Great, at Windsor; 
for she Avas at one time an actress, though she never 
performed in London. Her Bold Stroke for a Wife was 
pre-condemned by Wilks, who said, coarsely enough, — 
" not only would her play be damned, but she herself 
for writing it." ' 

Stolen Marriages at KuigJitsbridge. 

On the western outskirts of the metropolis, at Knights- 
bridge, formerly stood a little building called Trinity 
Chapel, near the French Embassy, on the site of a lazar- 
house, or hospital, the foundation of which is hidden in 
obscurity : what is more remarkable, it is not exactly 
known when the hospital ceased to exist ; the last allu- 
sion to it is in 1720. The chapel itself, built in 1699, 
and refaced in 1789, has been replaced by a more 
ecclesiastical structure. This was one of the places 
where irregular marriages were solemnised, and it is 
accordingly often noticed by the old dramatists. Thus, 
in Shadwell's Sullen Lovers, Lovell is made to say, 
"Let's dally no longer; there is a person at Knights- 
bridge that yokes all stray people together ; we '11 to him, 
he '11 despatch us presently, and send us away as lovingly 
as any two fools that ever yet were condemned to mar- 
riage." Some of the entries in this marriage register are 
suspicious enough— "secrecy for life," or "great secrecy," 

H The Handsome Englishman? 427 

or " secret for fourteen years," being appended to the 
names. Mr Davis, in his Memorials of Knightsbridge, 
was the first to exhume from this document the name of 
the adventuress, " Mrs Mary Ayiif," whom Sir Samuel 
Morland married as his fourth wife, in 1687. Readers 
of Pepys will remember how pathetically Morland wrote, 
eighteen days after the wedding, that when he had 
expected to marry an heiress, " I was, about a fortnight 
since, led as a fool to the stocks, and married a coach- 
man's daughter not worth a shilling." In 1699, an entry 
mentions one " Storey at y e Park Gate." This worthy 
it was who gave his name to what is now known as 
Story's Gate. He was keeper of the Aviary to Charles 
II., whence was derived the name of the Birdcage Walk. 
In the same year, " Cornelius Van der Velde, Limner," 
was married here to Bernada Vander Hagen. This was 
a brother of the famous William Van der Velde, the 
elder, and himself a painter of nautical pictures, in the 
employment of Charles II. — Saturday Review. 

1 1 

The Handsome Englishman" 



ABOUT the year 1730, Mr Edward Walpole (afterwards 
Sir Edward, and brother of Horace Walpole) returned 
from his travels on the Continent, where the liberality 
of his father, the famous Sir Robert Walpole, had 
enabled him to make a brilliant figure ; through his 
gallantries he had no other appellation in Italy than 
" the handsome Englishman." On his return to London, 
Mr Walpole had lodgings taken for him at a Mrs 
Rennie's, a child's coat maker, at the bottom of Pall 
Mall. On returning from visits, or public places, he 
often passed a quarter of an hour in chat with the 

428 Romance of London. 

young women of the shop. Among them was one who 
had it in her power to make him forget the Italians, and 
even the beauties of the English court. Her name was 
Mary Clement ; her father was, at that time or soon 
after, postmaster of Darlington, a place of £50 per 
annum, on which he supported a large family. This 
young woman had been apprenticed to Mrs Rennie, and 
discharged her duties with honesty and sobriety. Her 
parents, however, from their small means, could supply 
her very sparingly with clothes or money. Mr Walpole 
observed her wants, and made her small presents in a 
way not to alarm the vigilance of her mistress, who 
exacted the strictest morality from the young persons 
under her care. Miss Clement is described as beautiful 
as an angel, with good but uncultivated sense. Mrs 
Rennie had begun to suspect that a connection was 
forming which would not tend to the honour of her 
apprentice. She apprised Mr Clement of her suspicions; 
he immediately came up to town, met his daughter with 
tears, expressed his fears ; adding that he should take 
her home, where, by living prudently, she might chance 
to be married to some decent tradesman. The girl 
apparently acquiesced ; but, whilst her father and her 
mistress were conversing in a little dark parlour behind 
the shop, the object of their cares slipped out, and, 
without, hat or cloak, ran directly through Pall Mall to 
Sir Edward Walpole's house, at the top of the street, 
where, the porter knowing her, she was admitted, though 
the master was absent. She went into the parlour, 
where the table was laid for dinner, and impatiently 
awaited Sir Edward's return. The moment came— he 
entered, and was heard to exclaim with great joy — 
" You here ! " What explanation took place was in 

" The Handsome Englishman" 429 

private ; but the fair fugitive sat down that day, and 
never after left it. 

The fruits of this connection were Mrs Keppel, 
Maria, afterwards Lady Waldegrave, and subsequently 
Duchess of Gloucester ; Lady Dysart, and Colonel 
Walpole, in the birth of whom, or soon after, the mother 
died. Never could fondness exceed that which Sir 
Edward cherished for the mother of his children ; nor 
was it confined to her or them only, since he provided 
in some way or other for all her relations. His grief 
at his loss was great ; he repeatedly declined overtures 
of marriage, and gave up his life to the education of his 
children. He had been prompted to unite himself to 
Miss Clement, by legal ties, but the threats of his father, 
Sir Robert, prevented his marriage; the statesman 
avowing- that if he married Miss Clement, he would not 
only deprive him of his political interest, but exert it 
against him.- It was, however, said by persons who had 
opportunity of knowing, that had Miss Clement sur- 
vived Sir Robert, she would then have been Lady 
Walpole. * 

About the year 1758, the eldest daughter, Laura, 
became the wife of the Honourable and Reverend 
Frederick Keppel, brother to the Earl of Albemarle, 
and afterwards Bishop of Exeter. The Misses Walpole 
now took high rank in society. The sisters of Lord 
Albemarle were their constant companions ; introduced 
them to persons of quality and fashion ; in a word, they 
were received everywhere but at court. The shade 
attending their birth shut them out from the drawing- 
room till marriage, as in the case of Mrs Keppel, had 
covered the defect, and given them the rank of another 
family. The second daughter of the above union, 

430 Romance of London. 

Laura, married in 1784. " One of my hundred nieces," 
says Horace Walpole, " has just married herself by an 
expedition to Scotland. It is Mrs Keppel's second 
daughter, a beautiful girl, and more universally admired 
than her sister or cousins, the Waldegraves. For such 
an exploit her choice is not a very bad one ; the swain 
is eldest son of Lord Southampton. Mrs Keppel has 
been persuaded to pardon her, but Lady Southampton 
is inexorable ; nor can I quite blame her, for she has 
thirteen other children, and a fortune was very requisite ; 
but both the bride and the bridegroom are descendants 
from Charles II., from whom they probably inherit 
stronger impulses than a spirit of collateral calculation." 
Lord Southampton was grandson of the Duke of Graf- 
ton ; the Bishop of Exeter's mother was Lady Anne 
Lenox, daughter of the first Duke of Richmond. 

No one had watched the progress of Sir Edward 
Walpole's family upwards with more anxiety than the 
Earl Waldegrave, who, though one of the proudest 
noblemen in the kingdom, had long cherished a passion 
for Maria Walpole. The struggle between his passion 
and his pride was not a short one ; and having con- 
quered his own difficulties, it now only remained to 
attack the lady, who had no prepossession ; and Lord 
Waldegrave, though not young, was not disagreeable. 
They were married in 1759, and had issue three daugh- 
ters ; Elizabeth Laura, married to her cousin ; George, 
fourth Earl Waldegrave ; Charlotte Maria, married to 
George, Duke of Grafton ; and Anne Horatio, married 
to Lord Hugh Seymour. In April 1763, Earl Walde- 
grave died of small-pox, and his lady found herself a 
young widow. Had Lord Waldegrave possessed every 
advantage of youth and person, his death could not 

" The Handsome Englishman. " 43 1 

have been more sincerely regretted by his amiable 
relict. Again she emerged into the world ; she refused 
several offers ; amongst others, the Duke of Portland 
loudly proclaimed his discontent at her refusal. But 
the daughter of Mary Clement was destined for royalty ; 
and it became within the bounds of probability that the 
descendants of the postmaster of Darlington, and Mary 
Clement, the milliner of Pall Mall, might one day have 
swayed the British sceptre. Lady Waldegrave, after 
the Earl's decease, became the wife of His Royal High- 
ness William Henry, Duke of Gloucester, by whom she 
was mother of the late Duke of Gloucester, and of the 
Princess Sophia of Gloucester. 

Horace Walpole has recorded some amusing traits of 
his brother, Sir Edward, who had a house at Englefield 
Green, and is styled by Horace, " Baron of Englefield." 
" He is very agreeable and good-humoured, has some 
very pretty children, and a sensible and learned man 
that lives with him, one Dr Thirlby, who, while in Sir 
Edward's house, is said to have kept a miscellaneous 
book of Memorables, containing whatever was said or 
done amiss by Sir Edward, or any part of his family. 
The master of the house," says Horace, "plays extremely 
well on the bass-viol, and has generally musical people 
with him." As to personal acquaintance with any of 
the Court beauties, little could be said; but to make 
amends, he was perfectly master of all the quarrels that 
had been fashionably on foot about Handel, and could 
give a very perfect account of all the rival modern 
painters. He was the first patron of Roubiliac, the 
sculptor, who, when a young man, chanced to find a 
pocket-book containing a considerable number of bank- 
notes, and some papers, apparently of consequence to 

432 Romance of London. 

the owner, Sir Edward Walpole, the prompt return of 
which was gracefully acknowledged by Sir Edward's 
commissions to the young sculptor. Horace Walpole 
did not live on good terms with his brother ; for he says 
— " There is nothing in the world the Baron of Engle- 
field has such an aversion for as for his brother." 

Horace, writing January 8, 1784, says : — {i My brother, 
Sir Edward, is, I fear, dying : yesterday we had no 
hopes; a sort of glimmering to-day, but scarcely 
enough to be called a ray of hope. He has, for a 
great number of years, enjoyed perfect health, and even 
great beauty, without a wrinkle, to seventy-seven ; but 
last August his decline began by an aversion to all 
solids. He came to town in the beginning of Novem- 
ber ; his appetite totally left him; and in a week he 
became a very infirm, wrinkled old man. We think 
that he imagined he could cure himself by almost total 
abstinence. With great difficulty he was persuaded to 
try the bark ; it restored some appetite, and then he 
would take no more. In a word, he has starved him- 
self to death, and is now so emaciated and weak, that 
it is almost impossible he should be saved, especially as 
his obstinacy continues ; nor will he be persuaded to 
take sustenance enough to give him a chance, though 
he is sensible of his danger, and cool, tranquil, per- 
fectly in his senses as ever. A cordial, a little whey, a 
dish of tea, it costs in all infinite pains to induce him 
to swallow. I much doubt whether entire tractability 
could save him ! " 

Walpole, in another letter, remarks : " I doubt my 
poor memory begins to peel off; it is not the first crack 
I have perceived in it. My brother, Sir Edward, 
made the same complaint to me before he died, and I 

A Mayfair Marriage. 433 

suggested a comfort to him, that does not satisfy my- 
self. I told him the memory is like a cabinet, the 
drawers of which can hold no more than they can. Fill 
them with papers ; if you add more, you must shove 
out some of the former. Just so with the memory : 
there is scarce a day in our lives that something, serious 
or silly, does not place itself there, and, consequently, 
the older we grow, the more must be displaced to make 
room for new contents. ' Oh ! ' said my brother, ' but 
how do you account for most early objects remaining?' 
Why, the drawers are lined with gummed taffety. The 
first ingredients stick ; those piled higgledy-piggledy 
upon them, are tossed out without difficulty, as new 
are stuffed in ; yet I am come to think that mice and 
time may gnaw holes in the sides, and nibble the papers 


A Mayfair Marriage. 

In the autumn of 1 748, a young fellow, called Hand- 
some Tracy, was walking in the Park with' some of his 
acquaintance, and overtook three girls : one was very 
pretty ; they followed them ; but the girls ran away, 
and the company grew tired of pursuing them, all but 
Tracy. He followed to Whitehall Gate, where he 
gave a porter a crown to dog them : the porter hunted 
them — he, the porter. The girls ran all round West- 
minster, and back to the Haymarket, where the porter 
came up with them. He told the pretty one she must 
go with him, and kept her talking till Tracy arrived, 
quite out of breath, and exceedingly in love. He in- 
sisted on knowing where she lived, which she refused 
to tell him ; and after much dispute, went to the house 
of one of her companions, and Tracy with them. He 

VOL. I. 2 E 

434 Romance of London. 

there made her discover her family, a butter-woman in 
Craven Street, and engaged her to meet him the next 
morning in the Park ; but before night he wrote her 
four love-letters, and in the last offered two hundred 
pounds a-year to her, and a hundred a-year to her 
mother! Griselda made a confidence to a staymaker's 
wife, who told her that the swain was certainly in love 
enough to marry her, if she could determine to be 
virtuous and refuse his offers. " Ay," said she, " but 
if I should, and lose him by it ? "• However, the mea- 
sures of the cabinet council were decided for virtue ; 
and when she met Tracy the next morning in the Park, 
she was convoyed by her sister and brother-in-law, and 
stuck close to the letter of her reputation. She would 
do nothing, she would go nowhere. At last, as an 
instance of prodigious compliance, she told him, if he 
would accept such a dinner as a butter-woman's daughter 
could give, he should be welcome. Away they walked 
to Craven Street ; the mother borrowed some silver to 
buy a leg of mutton, and they kept the eager lover 
drinking till twelve at night, when a chosen committee 
waited on the faithful pair to the minister of Mayfair. 
This was the Rev. Alexander Keith, who had a chapel 
in Curzon Street ; at which marriages (with a licence on 
a 5s. stamp and certificate) were performed for a guinea. 
Keith was in bed, and swore he would not get up to 
marry the King, but that he had a brother over the way, 
who perhaps would, and who did. The mother bor- 
rowed a pair of sheets, and they consummated at her 
house ; and the next day they went to their own palace. 
In two or three days the scene grew gloomy ; and the 
husband coming home one night, swore he could bear 
it no longer. " Pear ! bear what ? " " Why, to be 

George III and " The Fair Quakeress? 43 5 

teased by all my acquaintance for marrying a butter- 
woman's daughter. I am determined to go to France, 
and will leave you a handsome allowance.''' " Leave 
me ! Why, you don't fancy you shall leave me ? I 
will go with you." " What ! you love me, then ? '' 
" No matter whether I love you or not, but you sha'n't 
go without me."* And the)'- went. 

George III. and "The Fair Quakeress" 

In the middle of the last century there dwelt in Market 
Street, St James's, a linen-draper named Wheeler, a 
Quaker, whose niece, Hannah Lightfoot, " the fair 
Quakeress," served in her uncle's shop. The lady 
caught the eye of Prince George in his walks and 
rides from Leicester House to St James's Palace ; and 
she soon returned the attractions of such a lover. The 
Duchess of Kingston is said to have arranged their 
meeting, through a member of a family living in Exeter 
Street, Knightsbridge. Hannah is stated to have been 
privately married to the Prince, in 1759, in Kew Church; 
another story gives it as a Mayfair marriage, by Parson 
Keith, at Curzon Street Chapel ; and to this it was 
added that children were born of the union, of whom a 
son was sent, when a child, to the Cape of Good Hope, 
under the name of George Rex : now, in 1830 there 
was living in the colony a settler of this name, who was 
sixty-eight years of age, and the exact resemblance in 
features to George III. 

Another version is, that Prince George's intrigue 
alarming the royal family, it was contrived to marry 
the fair Quakeress to a young grocer, a former admirer, 
* Walpole'a Letters and Correspondence^ ii. 127. 

436 Romance of London. 


named Axford, of Ludgate Hill. The Prince was incon- 
solable ; and a few weeks after, when Axford was one 
evening from home, a royal carriage was driven to the 
door, and the lady was hurried into it by the attendants 
and carried off. Where she was taken to, or what became 
of her, was never positively known ; it is stated that she 
died in 1765, and that her death disturbed the royal 
mind. Axford, broken-hearted, retired into the country ; 
he sought information about his wife at Weymouth and 
other places, but without effect. He married again, and 
had a family, and died about 18 10. 

There is a fine portrait of Hannah Lightfoot, by Sir 
Joshua Reynolds, at Knowle Park, Kent, which was, 
doubtless, painted by order of George III. In the cata- 
logue she is called Mrs Axford. In Sir Bernard Burke's 
Dictionary of the Landed Gentry is the pedigree of " Pry- 
therch of Abergole," by which it appears that the gentle- 
man who is said to have married her granddaughter, has 
had by her no less than fourteen children. It is added 
that Hannah's father, Henry Wheeler, Esq., of Surrey 
Square, " was the last of the family who saw her on her 
going to Keith Chapel, in Mayfair, to be married to a 
person of the name of Axford, a person the family knew 
nothing of ; he never saw her or heard of her after the 
marriage took place ; every inquiry was made, but no 
satisfactory information was ever obtained respecting 

George III. ' and Lady Sarah Lenox. 

Lady Sarah Lenox, born in 1745, was one of the 
numerous children of the second Duke of Richmond of 
his creation (grandson of King Charles II.) and Lady 

Lady Sarah Lenox. 437 

Sarah Cadogan, daughter of Marlborough's favourite 
general. Lady Sarah grew up an extraordinary beauty. 
Horace YValpole, in 1761, describes her as taking part 
in some private theatricals which he had witnessed at 
Holland House. The play selected to be performed by 
children and very young ladies was Jane Shore : Lady 
Sarah Lenox enacting the heroine ; while the boy, after- 
wards eminent as Charles James Fox, was Hastings. 
Walpole praises the acting of the performers, but par- 
ticularly that of Lady Sarah, who, he says, " was more 
beautiful than you can conceive . . in white, with her 
hair about her ears, and on the ground, no Magdalen by 
Corrcggio was half so lovely and expressive." 

The charms of this lovely person had already made 
an impression on the heart of George III., then newly 
come to the throne at two-and-twenty. There seems 
no reason to doubt that the young monarch formed the 
design of raising his lovely cousin (for such she was) to 
the throne. 

Early in the winter 1760-1, the King took an oppor- 
tunity of speaking to Lady Sarah's cousin, Lady Susan 
Strangeways, expressing a hope at the drawing-room, 
that her ladyship was not soon to leave town. She said 
she should. " But," said the King, " you will return in 
summer for the coronation." Lady Susan answered 
that she did not know — she hoped so. " But," said the 
King again, » they talk of a wedding. There have been 
many proposals ; but I think an English match would 
do better than a foreign one. Pray tell Lady Sarah 
Lenox I say so." Here was a sufficiently broad hint to 
inflame the hopes of a family, and to raise the head of a 
blooming girl of sixteen to the fifth heavens. 

It happened, however, that Lady Sarah had already 

43 3 Romance of London. 

allowed her heart to be preoccupied, having formed a 
girlish attachment for the young Lord Nevvbottle, grand- 
son of the Marquis of Lothian. She did not, therefore, 
enter into the views of her family with all the alacrity 
which they desired. ■ According to a narrative of Mr 
Grenville, " She went the next drawing-room to St 
James's, and stated to the King, in as few words as she 
could, the inconveniences and difficulties in which such 
a step would involve him. He said that was his business ; 
he would stand them all : his part was taken, he wished 
to hear hers was likewise. In this state it continued, 
whilst she, by advice of her friends, broke off with Lord 
Newbottle, very reluctantly on her part. She went into 
the country for a few days, and by a fall from her horse 
broke her leg. The absence which this occasioned gave 
time and opportunities for her enemies to work ; they 
instilled jealousy into the King's mind upon the subject 
of Lord Newbottle, telling him that Lady Sarah still 
continued her intercourse with him, and immedjately the 
marriage with the Princess of Strelitz was set on foot ; 
and, at Lady Sarah's return from the country, she found 
herself deprived of her crown and her lover Lord New- 
bottle, who complained as much of her as she did of the 
King. While this was in agitation, Lady Sarah used to 
meet the King in his rides early in the morning, driving 
a little chaise with Lady Susan Strangeways ; and once 
it is said that, wanting to speak to him, she went dressed 
like a servant-maid, and stood amongst the crowd in the 
guard-room, to say a few words to him as he passed 
by." Walpole also relates that Lady Sarah would 
sometimes appear as a haymaker in the park at Holland 
House, in order to attract the attention of the King as 
he rode past ; but the opportunity was lost. 

Lady Sarah Lenox. 439 

It is believed that Lady Sarah was allowed to have 
hopes till the very day when the young sovereign an- 
nounced to his council that he had resolved on wedding 
the Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. She 
felt ill-used, and her friends were all greatly displeased. 
With the King she remained an object of virtuous ad- 
miration — perhaps also of pity. He wished to soften the 
disappointment by endeavouring to get her established 
in a high position near his wife ; but the impropriety of 
such a course was obvious, and it was not persisted in. 

Lady Sarah, however, was asked by the King to take 
a place among the ten unmarried daughters of dukes 
and earls who held up the train of his Queen at the 
coronation ; and this office she consented to perform. 
It is said that, in the sober, duty-compelled mind of the 
sovereign, there always was a softness towards the 
object of his youthful attachment. Walpole relates 
that he blushed at his wedding service when allusion 
was made to Abraham and Sarah. 

Lady Sarah Lenox in 1764 made a marriage which 
proved that ambition was not a ruling principle in her 
nature, her husband being "a clergyman's son," Sir 
Thomas Charles Bunbury, Bart. Her subsequent life 
was in some respects infelicitous, her marriage being 
dissolved by Act of Parliament in 1776. By her next 
marriage to the Hon. Major-General George Napier, 
she became the mother of a set of remarkable men, 
including the late Sir Charles James Napier, the con- 
queror of Scinde ; and Lieutenant-General Sir William 
Napier, the historian of the Peninsular War. Her lady- 
ship died at the age of eighty-two, in 1826, believed to 
be the last surviving great granddaughter of Charles II.* 

* Abridged from Chambers's Book of Days. 

440 Romance of London. 

Love and Madness. 

ABOUT the year 17S0, a young East Indian, whose 
name was Dupree, left his fatherland to visit a distant 
relation, a merchant, on Fish Street Hill. During the 
young man's stay, he was waited on by the servant of 
the house, a country girl, Rebecca Griffiths, chiefly 
remarkable for the plainness of her person and the 
quiet meekness of her manners. The circuit of pleasure 
run, and yearning again for home, the visitor at length 
prepared for his departure : the chaise came to the door, 
and shaking of hands, with tenderer salutations, adieus, 
and farewells, followed in the usual abundance. Re- 
becca, in whom an. extraordinary depression had for 
some days previously been perceived, was in attend- 
ance, to help to pack the luggage. The leave-taking of 
friends and relations at length completed, with a guinea 
squeezed into his humble attendant's hand, and a brief 
" God bless you, Rebecca ! " the young man sprang into 
the chaise, the driver smacked his whip, and the vehicle 
was rolling rapidly out of sight, when a piercing shriek 
from Rebecca, who had stood to all appearance vacantly 
gazing on what had passed, alarmed the family, then 
retiring into the house. They hastily turned round : to 
their infinite surprise, Rebecca was seen wildly follow- 
ing the chaise. She was rushing with the velocity of 
lio-htning- alon<j the middle of the road, her hair stream- 
ing in the wind, and her whole appearance that of a 
desperate maniac ! 

Proper persons were despatched after her, but she waa 
not secured till she had gained the Borough ; when she 
was taken in a state of incurable madness to Bethlehem 
Hospital, where she some years after died. The guinea 

Emma, Lady Hamilton. 441 

he had given her — her richest treasure, her only wealth 
— she never suffered, during life, to quit her hand ; she 
grasped it still more firmly in her dying moments, and 
at her request, in the last gleam of returning reason — 
the lightening before death — it was buried with her. 
There was a tradition in Bedlam, that through the 
heartless cupidity of the keeper, it was sacrilegiously 
wrenched from her, and that her ghost might be seen 
every night, gliding through the dreary cells of that 
melancholy building, in search of her lover's gift, and 
mournfully asking the glaring maniacs for her lost 

It was Mr Dupree's only consolation, after her death, 
that the excessive homeliness of her person, and her 
retiring air and manners, had never even suffered him 
to indulge in the most trifling freedom with her. She 
had loved hopelessly, and paid the forfeiture with sense 
and life. 

Emma, Lady Hamilton, 

A CHARACTERISTIC letter of this extraordinary woman 
has been communicated to Notes and Queries, April 18, 
1 861. Mrs Burt, the lady to whom the letter is ad- 
dressed, was well acquainted with Emma Lyons when 
she was a barefooted girl residing at Hawarden, near 
Chester, and gaining a livelihood by driving a donkey, 
laden with coals and sand for sale. Mrs Burt, having 
occasion to come to London, brought Emma with her 
at the request of Mrs Lyons, then occupying some 
situation in the household of Sir W. Hamilton.* When 

* Emma is also said to have begun life in the metropolis as a barmaid 
at the Coach and Horses Inn, in Flood Street, Westminster, but to have 
been discharged for misconduct. 

442 Romance of London. 

in the course of time, the little barefooted girl became 
Lady Hamilton, she, during her absence from England, 
occasionally wrote to her old friend and former pro- 
tectress ; but, so far as is known, this is the only one of 
those letters now in existence, and is in the possession 
of a grandson of Mrs Burt : — 

" M rs Burt, at M r 
Boberts, no. 16 uppet 
John s Street, Marlebone 

"Caserta, near Naples, dec br 26 th 1792. 

"My dear Mrs Burt, I Receved your very kind Letter 
this morning & am surprised to hear my poor dear 
grandmother can be in want, as I left her thirty pound 
when I Left england besides tea sugar & several thing* 
& it is now five weeks since I wrote to a friend of ours 
& endeed a relation of my husbands to send twenty 
pound more so that my Grandmother must have had it 
on cristmas day, you may be sure I should never 
neglect that dear tender parent who I have the greatest 
obligations to, & she must have been cheated or she 
never cou'd be in want, but you did very Right my 
dearest friend to send her the four Guines which I will 
send you with enterest & a thousand thanks endeed I 
Love you dearly my dear M rs Burt & I think with plea- 
sure on those happy days I have pass'd in your Com- 
pany, I onely wait for an answer from our friend with 
the account of my grandmothers having Receved her 
twenty pounds & I will then send you an order on him 
for your money, & I send a piece of Silk to make you a 
Gown we send it in the ship Captain newman, who sails 
for england this month, but my next Letter I will send 
you a bill of Loading. I wrote you a Long Letter Last 

Emma, Lady Hamilton. 443 

march, but I am affraid you never got it, which I am 
sorry for as their was a Long account of my reception 
at the Court of naples, endeed the Queen has been so 
Kind to me I cannot express to you she as often invited 
me to Court & her magesty & nobility treats me with 
the most kind and affectionate regard. I am the hap- 
piest woman in the world my husband is the best & 
most tender of husbands & treats me and my mother 
with such goodness & tenderness, endeed I love him 
dearly, if I cou'd have my dear grandmother with me, 
how happy I shou'd be, but gods will be done, she shall 
never want & if she shou'd wish for any thing over 
above what I have sent her Let her have it & I will 
repay you with cntrest & thanks, you see my dear M rs 
Burt in a year & 2 months she will have had fifty 
pounds theirfore I have nothing to Lay to my charge, I 
write to M rs Thomas who Lives on the spot, & who I 
hope will see she is kindly used, I enclose this in a 
friends Letter to save you the postage which is very 
dear. I will write to you as soon as we have Receved 
the answer that the twenty pounds are receved & I 
then will say more about M r Connor, my dear mother 
desires her best Love to you & your Brother, & pray 
present my Compliments to him & when you write to 
Michell say every thing thats kind from us to him. 
Miss Dodsworth, M rs Greffor now, is brought to bed & 
the King was god father and made her a present of a 
Gold watch set in pearls twelve Sylver Candlesticks, a 
Sylver tea board & Sylver coffey pot Suger Basen, &c. 
&c. She is a very good wife and M r Greffor is a good 
man & the King is very fond of him when the Court is 
at Caserta we go with them and I see M' 3 Greffor often. 
Sir William is now on a shooting party with the King, 

444 Romance of London. 

the Queen is at Caserta & our family is now there 
we onely Come to naples for a few days. I am now at 
Caserta, we have a good many english with us the 
duchess of ancaster Lord & Lady cholmondly Lady 
plymouth Lady webster Lady Forbes &c. &c. they all 
dined with me yesterday. I expect Sir William home 
to night. God Bless you my dear M rs Burt, & thank 
you for all your goodness write soon & believe me your 
ever true and affectionate friend 

"Emma Hamilton. 
" Direct for Lady Hamilton 
at naples." 

The anxiety evinced in this letter by Lady Hamilton 
for the comfort of her aged relative, places her in a most 
pleasing light ; and the mixing up of this matter with 
the accounts of the distinguished circle of which she was 
so brilliant an ornament, is very curious. The original 
is written in a bold hand, but not with the freedom of a 
practised writer. 

It is to the credit of Lady Hamilton, that in her 
prosperity she was neither ashamed of her origin nor 
unmindful of her friends. Young Burt, the son of Mrs 
Burt, and articled to an engraver, was a frequent guest 
at Merton, where he sat at table with the great Nelson 
himself, and has heard Lady H. delight her company 
with songs, celebrating the deeds of the hero, and amuse 
them with reminiscences of her village life. 


BreacJies of Promise. 

Mr Parker, who had been a partner in Combe's 
Brewery, was one of the oldest and dearest friends of 

Breaches of Promise. 445 

John Thomas Smith, of the British Museum. Parker 
died in 1828, at the advanced age of ninety ; and of him 
Mr Smith used to tell a remarkable story, which, says 
the editor of A Book for a Rainy Day* we are rather 
surprised not to find recorded in his reminiscences. It 
was our fortune to be the first to communicate to Mr 
Smith the fact of his old friend's decease, and that he 
had bequeathed to him a legacy of £i 00. "Ah, sir!" 
he said, in a very solemn manner, after a long pause, 
" poor fellow ! he pined to death on account of a rash 
promise of marriage he had made." We humbly ven- 
tured to express our doubts, having seen him not long 
before looking not only very un-Romeo-like, but very 
hale and hearty; and besides, we begged to suggest that 
other reasons might be given for the decease of a re- 
spectable gentleman of ninety. " No, sir," said Mr 
Smith, "what I tell you is the fact, and sit ye down, and 
I '11 tell you the whole story. Many years ago, when Mr 
Parker was a young man, employed in the brewhouse in 
which he afterwards became a partner, he courted and 
promised marriage to a worthy young woman in his own 
sphere of life. But, as his circumstances improved, he 
raised his ideas, and, not to make a long story of it, 
married another woman with a good .deal of money. 
The injured fair one was indignant, but as she had no 
written promise to show, was, after some violent scenes, 
obliged to put up with a verbal assurance that she should 
be the next Mrs Parker. After a few years the first 
Mrs P. died, and she then claimed the fulfilment of his 
promise, but was again deceived in the same way, and 
obliged to put up with a similar pledge. A second time 

* See A Book far a Rainy Day. By John Thomas Smith. Third 
Edition. 1S61. 

44-6 Romance of London. 

he became a widower, and a third time he deceived his 
unfortunate first love, who, indignant and furious beyond 
measure, threatened all sorts of violent proceedings. To 
pacify her, Mr P. gave her a written promise that, if a 
widower, he would marry her when he attained the age 
of one hundred years ! Now, he had lost his last wife 
some time since, and every time he came to see me at 
the Museum, he fretted and fumed, because he should 
be obliged to marry that awful old woman at last. This 
could not go on long, and, as you tell me, he has just 
dropped off. If it had not been for this, he would have 
lived as long as Old Parr. And now," finished Mr Smith, 
with the utmost solemnity, " let this be a warning to you. 
Don't make rash promises to women ; but, if you do so, 
don't make them in writing." 

Marriage of Mrs Fitzherbert and the 
Prince of Wales. 

The beautiful and accomplished Mrs Fitzherbert was 
the daughter of Walter Smythe, Esq., of Brambridge, 
Hants, and was first married to Edward Weld, Esq., of 
Lulworth, Dorsetshire ; secondly, to Thomas Fitzher- 
bert, Esq., of Swismerton, Staffordshire. She became a 
second time a widow, living on a handsome jointure, and 
greatly admired in society on account of her beauty 
and accomplishments; when, in 1785, being twenty-nine 
years of age, she became acquainted with the Prince of 
Wales, who was six years younger. He fell distractedly 
in love with her, and was eager to become her third hus- 
band ; but she, well aware that the Royal Marriage Act 
made the possibility of anything more than an appearance 

Jlfrs FitzJicrbcrt and the Prince of Wales. 447 

of decent nuptials in this case very doubtful, resisted all 
importunities. It has been stated, on good authority, 
that to overcome her scruples, the Prince one day caused 
himself to be bled, put on the appearance of having 
made a desperate attempt on his own life, and sent some 
friends to bring her to see him. She was thus induced 
to allow him to engage her with a ring in the presence 
of witnesses ; but she afterwards broke off the intimacy, 
went on the Continent, and for a long time resisted all 
the efforts made by the Prince to induce her to return. 
It is told as a curious fact in this strange love history, 
that one of the persons chiefly engaged in attempting 
to bring about this ill-assorted union was the notorious 
Duke of Orleans (Philip Egalite). 

Towards the close of 1785, it was bruited that the 
heir-apparent to the British Crown was about to marry a 
Roman Catholic widow lady, named Fitzherbert. Even 
Horace Walpole is very mysterious about the rumour, 
for in February 1786, he writes to Sir Horace Mann: 
" I am obliged to you for your accounts of the House 
of Albany (Pretender family) ; but that extinguishing 
family can make no sensation here, when we have other 
guess-matter to talk of in a higher and more flourishing 
race; and yet, were rumour — ay, much more than 
rumour, every voice in England — to be credited, the 
matter, somehow or other, reaches even from London to 
Rome. I know nothing but the buzz of the day, nor 
can say more upon it ; if I send you a riddle, fancy or 
echo from so many voices will soon reach you and 
explain the enigma, though I hope it is essentially void 
of truth, and that appearances rise from a much more 
common cause." Mr Fox, to whose party the Prince 
had attached himself, wrote to his Royal Highness on 

44-8 Romance of London. 

the ioth of December a long letter, pointing out the 
dangerous nature of the course he was following. " Con- 
sider," said he, " the circumstances in which you stand : 
the King not feeling for you as a father ought ; the 
Duke of York professedly his favourite, and likely to be 
married to the King's wishes ; the nation full of its old 
prejudices against Catholics, and justly dreading all dis- 
putes about succession." Then the marriage could not 
be a real one. " I need not," said he, " point out to your 
good sense what source of uneasiness it must be to you, 
to her, and, above all, to the nation, to have it a matter 
of dispute and discussion whether the Prince is or is not 
married." The whole letter, written in a tone of sincere 
regard for the Prince, was highly creditable to the good 
sense of the writer. 

The Prince answered on the instant, thanking Mr 
Fox for his advices and warnings, but assuring him they 
were needless. "Make yourself easy, my dear friend; 
believe me, the world will now soon be convinced that 
there not only is [not] but never was, any ground for 
those reports which have of late been so malevolently 

Ten days after the date of this letter— namely, on the 
2 1 st of December, the Prince and Mrs Fitzherbert were 
married by an English clergyman, before two witnesses. 
Mr Fox, misled by the Prince, on the next discussion of 
the subject in the House of Commons, contradicted the 
report of the marriage in toio, in point of fact as well as 
of law ; it not only never could have happened legally, 
but it never did happen in any way whatever, and had, 
from the beginning, been a base and malicious falsehood. 
Home Tooke, in a strong pamphlet which he wrote upon 
the subject, presumed so far on the belief of the mar- 

Flight of the Princess Charlotte. 449 

riage as to style Mrs Fitzherbert " her Royal Highness." 
However, the public generally were not deceived. Mrs 
Fitzherbert lived for several years with great openness 
as the wife of the Prince of Wales, and in the enjoyment 
of the entire respect of society, more especially of her 
husband's brothers. A separation only took place about 
1795, when the Prince was about to marry (for the pay- 
ment of his debts) the unfortunate Caroline of Bruns- 
wick. Mrs Fitzherbert survived this event forty-two 
years, and never during the whole time ceased to be 
visited." The lady occasionally resided at Brighton, in 
a neat stone-coloured villa, with verandas in front, at 
the south-east corner of Castle Square : this house was 
built by the architect, Mr Porden, for Mrs Fitzherbert, 
and was furnished in a superb style. Here Mrs Fitzher- 
bert died on the 29th of March 1837, in her eighty-first 

Flight of the Princess Charlotte from 
Warwick House. 

THE marriage of the Princess Charlotte with the Prince 
of Orange was, in 1813, it is well known, most studi- 
ously desired by her royal father, the Prince Regent, 
who, however, appears to have been opposed in his 
wishes by the young lady herself, as well as certain 
members of her household. Miss Knight, the Princess's 
sub-governess or companion, in explanation to Sir 
Henry Halford, the Mentor sent by the Regent to for- 
ward his views, suggested that her beloved Princess was 
really somewhat intractable, and that they were not to 
blame if she showed a will of her own. Thus, when the 
Princess was told, soon after that, she was to meet the 
vol. r. 2 F 

450 Romance of London. 

Prince of Orange at Lady Liverpool's, she put on a 
blister prematurely, and kept away from the party. 
Yet, soon after, she went to Egham races, which Miss 
Knight thought more reprehensible; and she manifested 
a yet more obstinate will of her own when Sir Henry 
Halford, in addition to his usual prescriptions, proposed 
to her to marry the Prince of Orange aforesaid. " Marry 
I will," said she to the Princess of Wales, " and that 
directly, in order to enjoy my liberty, but not the Prince 
of Orange. I think him so ugly that I am sometimes 
obliged to turn my head away in disgust when he is 
speaking to me," She told Sir Henry she was willing 
to marry the Duke of Gloucester, but not the Prince, and 
Miss Knight felt hurt that she should so commit herself; 
though this preference of her cousin was better received 
by the Regent than might have been expected. 

Sir Henry returned to the charge on the subject of the 
Orange match, and he must have been a good diploma- 
tist, for he speedily overcame the Princess's aversion. 
A long conference with her on the 29th of November 
appears to have turned the current, and she was soon 
receiving presents and meeting the would-be futur. 
The Princess said, " He is by no means so disagreeable 
as I expected ; " and when the Regent took her aside 
one night at Carleton House, and said, " Well, it will 
not do, I suppose ? " she answered, " I do not say that. 
I like his manner very well, as much as I have seen of 
it ; " upon which the Prince was overcome with joy, and 
joined their hands immediately, and the Princess came 
home and told Miss Knight she was engaged. 

Nevertheless, the Orange match was not to be, for it 
went off on the resolute determination of the Princess, 
if she did marry the Prince, not to quit England and 

Flight of the Princess Charlotte. 45 1 

live in Holland. Her father would probably have gladly 
settled her anywhere out of his own sight, but she was 
invincible upon this point. It is implied that the Grand 
Duchess Catherine secretly aided her determination, with 
a view to secure the Orange for a princess of Russia. 

Miss Knight was now sent for by the enraged Regent, 
and ordered to admonish his daughter, which she did, 
though to very little purpose. The Regent expressed 
violent displeasure, but his daughter adhered to her 
stipulation. The Princess of Wales wrote with glee to 
Lady Charlotte Campbell that her daughter had declared 
" she would not see her father or any of the family till 
their consent to her remaining in this country had been 
obtained, or that otherwise the marriage would be broken 
off/' The Princess took a course of her own, which no 
one was able to influence. Lord Liverpool, among 
others, made several fruitless attempts to induce her 
Royal Highness to waive her demands, and at length 
affected to yield to them. Thereupon the Princess of 
Wales was excluded from the Queen's Drawing-Rooms, 
because the Regent did not choose to meet her, and the 
waters w r ere further troubled on this account. The 
Prince of Orange apparently consented to the Princess 
Charlotte's terms, but the Regent still pressed her, while 
the Queen went so far as to buy her wedding-clothes, 
though the question was unsettled. When the Princess 
heard that it was the intention of the Regent to sent for 
the Orange family, and to have the wedding immedi- 
ately, she was in a state of great alarm, and resolved to 
have a further explanation with the futur himself, and it 
finished by a definite rupture. The Emperor of Russia, 
then in this country, attempted to act as mediator, but 
failed. Of course, after him the Bishop of Salisbury 

4 5 2 R omance of L on don. 

failed also; though he intimated that unless Princess 
Charlotte would write a submissive letter to her father, 
and hold out a hope that in a few months she might be 
induced to give her hand to the Prince of Orange, 
arrangements would be made by no means agreeable 
to her inclinations. Her Royal Highness wrote to the 
Regent a most submissive and affectionate letter, but 
held out no hope of renewing the treaty of marriage ; nor 
was it renewed. 

Miss Knight had failed in enforcing the Regent's 
wishes upon his daughter. She asserts that sometime 
previously the Regent tapped her on the shoulder and 
said, " Remember, my dear Chevalier, that Charlotte 
must lay aside this idle nonsense of thinking that she 
has a will of her own ; while I live she must be subject 
to me as she is at present, if she were thirty, or forty, or 
five-and-forty." This programme must, however, under 
any circumstances have failed. The Regent withdrew 
his support. The Duchess of Leeds sent in her resig- 
nation, and Miss Knight's dismissal followed. 

The dismissal came in this wise. One day in July, 
about six o'clock, the Regent and the Bishop came to 
Warwick House, but the former alone came up, and 
desired Miss Knight would leave him with the Princess 
Charlotte. He was shut up with her alone for three- 
quarters of an hour, and then had another quarter of an 
hour assisted by the Bishop. But when the door opened, 
"she came out in the greatest agony," and told Miss 
Knight that she was wanted, and had only one instant 
to tell her that she and all the servants were to be dis- 
missed, that she herself was to be confined to Carlton 
House for five days, then to go to Crartbourne Lodge, 
where she was to sec no one but the Queen once a-week, 

. Fliglit of tlie Princess Charlotte. 453 

and that if she did not go immediately, the Prince 
would sleep at Warwick House that night, as well as all 
the new ladies. Miss Knight begged her to be calm, 
but she fell on her knees in the greatest agitation, 
exclaiming, " God Almighty! grant me patience ; " and 
then Miss Knight went up for her own share of the 
rating. The Prince apologised for putting a lady to 
inconvenience, but said he wanted her room that even- 
ing ; and summary ejectment followed. 

Then came the afterpiece, so frequently canvassed by 
other authorities. While this interview was taking place, 
the Princess Charlotte had slipped down the back stairs, 
called a hackney-coach, and fled to her mother's. The 
rush of great dignitaries after her has been recorded in 
many histories, with the irreverent expression of Lord 
Eldon, " that she kicked and bounced," but for a long 
time declined to leave her asylum. 

The following version of the affair is from the pen of 
Lord Brougham : — In a fine evening of July, about the 
hour of seven, when the streets are deserted by all 
persons of condition, the young Princess Charlotte 
rushed out of her residence in Warwick House, un- 
attended, hastily crossed Cockspur Street, flung herself 
into the first hackney-coach she could find, and drove 
to her mother's house in Connaught Place. The Princess 
of Wales having gone to pass the day at her Blackheath 
villa, a messenger was despatched for her, another for 
her law adviser, Mr Brougham, and a third for Miss 
Mercer Elphinstone, the young Princess's bosom friend. 
Brougham arrived before the Princess of Wales had 
returned ; and Miss Elphinstone had alone obeyed the 
summons. Soon after the royal mother came, accom- 
panied by Lady Charlotte Lindsay, her lady-in-waiting. 

454 Romance of London. 

It was found that the Princess Charlotte's fixed resolu- 
tion was to leave her father's house, and that which he 
had appointed for her residence, and to live thenceforth 
with her mother. But Mr Brougham is understood to 
have felt himself under the painful necessity of explain- 
ing to her that, by the law, as all the twelve judges but 
one had laid it down in George I.'s reign, and as it was 
now admitted to be settled, the King or the Regent had 
the absolute power to dispose of the persons of all of the 
Royal Family while under age. The Duke of Sussex, 
who had always taken her part, was sent for and at- 
tended the invitation to join in these consultations. It 
was an untoward incident in this remarkable affair, 
that he had never seen the Princess of Wales since the 
investigation of 1 806, which had begun upon a false 
charge brought by the wife of one of his equerries, and 
that he had, without any kind of warrant from the fact, 
been supposed by the Princess to have set on, or at least 
supported, the accuser. He, however, warmly joined in 
the whole of the deliberations of that singular night 
As soon as the flight of the young lady was ascertained, 
and the place of her retreat (discovered, the Regent's 
officers of state and other functionaries were despatched 
after her. The Lord Chancellor Eldon first arrived, but 
not in any particularly imposing state, or, " regard being 
had " to his eminent station ; for, indeed, he came in a 
hackney-coach. Whether it was that the example of 
the Princess Charlotte herself had for the day brought 
this simple and economical mode of conveyance into 
fashion, or that concealment was much studied, or that 
despatch was deemed more essential than ceremony 
and pomp — certain it is, that all who came, including 
the Duke of York, arrived in similar vehicles, and that 

Flight of the Princess Charlotte. 455 

some remained enclosed in them, without entering the 
royal mansion. At length, after much pains and many- 
entreaties, used by the Duke of Sussex and the Princess 
of Wales herself, as well as Miss Elphinstone and Lady 
C. Lindsay (whom she always honoured with a just 
regard), to enforce the advice given by Mr Brougham, 
that she should return without delay to her own resi- 
dence, and submit to the Regent, the young Princess, 
accompanied by the Duke of York and her governess, who 
had now been sent for, and arrived in a royal carriage, 
returned to Warwick House, between four and five o'clock 
in the morning. There was then a Westminster election 
in progress, in consequence of Lord Cochrane's expul- 
sion ; and it is said that on her complaining to Mr 
Brougham that he, too, was deserting her, and leaving 
her in her father's power, when the people would have 
stood by her — he took her to the window, when the 
morning had just dawned, and, pointing to the Park, 
and the spacious streets which lay before her, said that 
he had only to show her a few hours later on the spot 
where she now stood, and all the people of this vast 
metropolis would be gathered together on that plain, 
with one common feeling in her behalf — but that the 
triumph of one hour would be dearly purchased by the 
consequences which must assuredly follow in the next, 
when the troops poured in, and quelled all resistance 
to the clear and undoubted law of the land, with the 
certain effusion of blood — nay, that through the rest 
of her life she never would escape the odium which, 
in this country, always attends those who, by breaking 
the law, occasion such calamities. This consideration, 
much more than any quailing of her dauntless spirit, 
or faltering of her filial affection, is believed to have 

45<3 Romance of London. 

weighed upon her mind, and induced her to return 

Warwick House, which was set apart for the residence 
of the Princess Charlotte, stood at the end of Warwick 
Street, which stretches from Cockspur Street towards 
Carlton House Terrace. It had once been the residence 
of Sir Philip Warwick, the Royalist writer of the most 
picturesque memoirs of the times of the Civil War. It 
was out of repair and uncomfortable, "resembling a con- 
vent ; " but here the Princess and Miss Knight looked 
upon themselves as settled, and the former thought her- 
self emancipated and comparatively happy.* 

George IV. and his Queen. 

Immediately after the death of George III., Queen 
Caroline, although with more than suspicion hanging 
over her head, hastened to England to claim her right 
to the throne of a man who could hardly be considered 
her husband. His estrangement from her, the aversion 
he had manifested from the first moment of their ill- 
assorted marriage, was the only excuse the unfortunate 
woman could plead for her errors. The announcement 
of her journey to England, and the news of her demands 
for a regal reception, caused a great sensation. " Great 
bets," says Lord Eldon, " are laid about it. Some 
people have taken 50 guineas, undertaking in lieu of 
them to pay a guinea a day till she comes." .£50,000 
a-year were offered if she would consent to play the 
Queen of England at some Continental court. She in 
her turn demanded a palace in London, a frigate, and 

* Abridged, in part, from the Times review of Miss Knight's Auto- 

George IV. and Jiis Queen. 457 

the restoration of her name to the Church service. 
Nothing short of the prayers of the faithful would 
satisfy her craving for worldly distinction. Mr Wil- 
berforce, with characteristic indulgence, admired her 
for her spirit, though he feared she had been " very 
profligate." Her arrival in London was the signal for 
a popular ovation, " more out of hatred to the king 
than out of regard for her." For many weeks the 
stout lady in the hat and feathers was the favourite of 
the populace, and Alderman Wood's house in South 
Audley Street, where she had taken up her quarters, 
was at all hours of the day surrounded by a mob of 
noisy king -haters. Mr Wilberforce, in a letter to 
Hannah More, recounts their proceedings: "A most 
shabby assemblage of quite the lowest of the people, 
who every now and then kept calling out, ' Queen ! 
Queen 1 ' and several times, once in about a quarter of 
an hour, she came out of one window of a balcony and 
Alderman Wood at the other." At which the crowd 
cheered prodigiously. When her trial was decided 
upon, this misguided woman, determined to brazen it 
out at all hazards, threatened to come daily to West- 
minster Hall in " a coach and six in high style" and 
she also insisted on being present at the coronation. 
" She has written to the king," says Mr Th. Grenville, 
" when, and in what dress, she should appear at the 
coronation. I presume the answer will be : in a white 
sheet, in the middle aisle of the Abbey." 

The strictest orders were given for her exclusion, but 
still she came, and among the extraordinary and dis- 
graceful scenes of the time is that of a Queen of Eng- 
land " trying every door of the Abbey and the Hall/' 
and at length withdrew. 

45 S Romance of London. 

" It is worthy of remark that no Diary or Journal 
published since 1821 throws any new light upon the 
question of the guilt or innocence of the Queen ; but it 
is significant that Lord Grenville, who had exculpated 
her in 1806 upon the occasion of the Delicate Investi- 
gation, seems to have had no doubt as to her miscon- 
duct in 1 82 1, and both voted and spoke against her on 
the second reading of the Bill. This is not the place to 
discuss a nasty personal subject, with regard to which, 
we suppose, most historians will not differ ; but what- 
ever may have been the sins of Caroline of Brunswick, 
the behaviour of George IV. towards her had been of 
such a kind that, in our judgment, political considera- 
tions alone can account for the support which the majo- 
rity of the House of Lords afforded him at the trial. 
In fact, it is evident from many sources, that the real 
issue in the case was lost sight of by all parties ; and, 
if it may be laid to the charge of the people that they 
backed the Queen solely in the interest of revolution, 
it is equally certain that the mass of the aristocracy who 
sided with the King, only did so because they thought 
that the constitution was in danger."* 

* Saturday Revicvh 

aip crmthinil Btaxx cs. 

A Vision in the Tower. 

In the reign of Henry III., who far outwent his prede- 
cessors in his extensive additions to the Tower, there is 
recorded the following strange scene : — 

In 1239, the King had accumulated within the walls 
of the fortress an enormous treasure, which he intended 
to use for its still greater strength and adornment. 
Fate, however — unless we choose to impute it to human 
design — seemed against him. The works were scarcely 
completed when, on the night of St George in the fol- 
lowing year, the foundations gave way, and a noble 
portal, with walls and bulwarks, on which much ex- 
pense had been incurred, gave way and fell without a 
moment's warning, as if by the effect of an earthquake. 
Stranger still, no sooner were the works restored than, 
in 1 241, the whole again fell down, on the very night 
and, as we are told, in the very self-same hour, which 
had proved so destructive to them in the year preced- 
ing. Matthew Paris — a most trustworthy and excel- 
lent historian — relates the whole occurrence in his 
Latin Chronicle, and gives a reason for the fall of the 
portal and rampart, which exhibits a famous character 
of the previous age in a light which to many of my 
audience is no doubt new. He relates how that as a 

4C0 Romance of London. 

certain priest was sleeping, a vision was granted to him. 
He saw a venerable figure in the robes of an archbishop, 
with the cross in his hand, walk up to the walls, and, 
regarding them with a stern and threatening aspect, 
strike them with the cross which he held, and forthwith 
they fell as if of some natural convulsion. He asked a 
priest, who seemed in attendance on the archbishop, 
who he was ? and was answered, that the blessed 
martyr of Canterbury, the sainted Becket, by birth a 
Londoner, knowing that these walls were erected, not 
for defence of the kingdom, but for the injury and pre- 
judice of the Londoners his brethren, had taken this 
summary mode of repressing the king's designs. On 
the following morning the vision was found to have 
been accompanied with palpable proof that, if not the 
archbishop, some all-powerful agency had effected the 
result desired. Becket was a warm defender and 
princely patron of the people ; and the Londoners 
rejoiced at the destruction of these new buildings, 
which they said were a thorn in their eyes, and de- 
lighted to attribute their ruin to one whose memory 
they so greatly revered. — The Rev. T. Hugo, F.S.A. 

The Legend of Kilburn. 

Kilburn, a hamlet in the parish of Hampstead, is 
named from the priory situated near the spot subse- 
quently occupied by a tavern, or tea-drinking house, at 
a fine spring of mineral water, called Kilburn Wells, 
at the distance of rather more than two miles from. 
London, north-westward, on the Edgeware Road. It 
derived its origin from a recluse or hermit, named 

The L cgcnd of Kilbum. 46 1 

Goodwyn, \\\\o, retiring hither in the reign of Henry I., 
for the purpose of seclusion, built a cell near a little 
rivulet, called, in different records, Cuneburna, Keele- 
bourne, Coldbourne, and Kilbourne, on a site surrounded 
with wood. The stream rises near West End, Hamp- 
stead, and, after passing through Kilburn to Bayswater, 
it supplies the Serpentine reservoir in Hyde Park, and 
eventually flows into the Thames near the site of Rane- 
lagh. Whether Goodwyn grew weary of his solitude, 
or from whatever cause, it appears from documents yet 
extant, that between the years 1128 and 1134, he 
granted his hermitage of Cuncbama with the adjoining 
lands to the conventual church of St Peter's, West- 
minster, " as an alms for the redemption of the whole 
convent of brethren," under the same conditions and 
privileges with which " King Ethelrede had granted 
Hamstede,' i to which manor Kilburn had previously 
appertained, to the same church. 

There is a curious traditionary relation connected 
with Kilburn Priory, which, however, is not traceable to 
any authentic source. The legend states, that at a place 
called Saint John's Wood, near Kilburn, there was a 
stone of a dark-red colour, which was the stain of the 
blood of Sir Gervase de Mertoun, which flowed upon it 
a few centuries ago. Stephen de Mertoun, being ena- 
moured of his brother's wife, frequently insulted her 
by the avowal of his passion, which she, at length, 
threatened to make known to Sir Gervase ; to prevent 
which, Stephen resolved to waylay his brother, and slay 
him. This he effected by seizing him in a narrow lane, 
and stabbing him in the back, whereupon he fell upon a 
projecting rock, which became dyed with his blood. In 
his expiring moments Sir Gervase, recognising hig 

462 Romance of L ondon. 

brother, upbraided him with his cruelty, adding, " This 
stone shall be thy deathbed." 

Stephen returned to Kilburn, and his brother's lady 
still refusing to listen to his criminal proposals, he con- 
fined her in a dungeon, and strove to forget his many 
crimes by a dissolute enjoyment of his wealth and 
power. Oppressed, however, by his troubled conscience, 
he determined upon submitting to religious penance ; 
and, ordering his brother's remains to be removed to 
Kilburn, he gave directions for their re-interment in a 
handsome mausoleum, erected with stone brought from 
the quarry where the murder was committed. The 
identical stone on which his murdered brother had 
expired formed a part of the tomb ; and the eye of the 
murderer resting upon it, the legend adds, blood zvas seen 
to issue from it ! Struck with horror, the murderer 
hastened to the Bishop of London, and, making con- 
fession of his guilt, demised his property to the Priory 
of Kilburn. Having thus acted in atonement for his 
misdeeds, grief and remorse quickly consigned him to 
the grave. 

Omens to Charles I. and James II. 

In the career of these unfortunate monarchs we fall 
upon some striking prophecies, not verbal but symbolic, 
if we turn from the broad highway of public histories 
to the by-paths of private memoirs. Either Clarendon, 
it is, in his Life (not his public history), or else Laud, 
who mentions an anecdote connected with the corona- 
tion of Charles I. (the son-in-law of the murdered 
Bourbon), which threw a gloom upon the spirits of the 
royal friends, already saddened by the dreadful pesti- 

Omens to Charles I and James II. 463 

lence which inaugurated the reign of this ill-fated 
prince, levying a tribute of. one life in sixteen from the 
population of the English metropolis. At the corona- 
tion of Charles, it was discovered that all London would 
not furnish the quantity of purple velvet required for 
the royal robes and the furniture of the throne. What 
was to be done ? Decorum required that the furniture 
should be all en suite. Nearer than Genoa no consider- 
able addition could be expected. That would impose 
a delay of 150 days. Upon mature consideration, and 
chiefly of the many private interests that would suffer 
amongst the multitudes whom such a solemnity had 
called up from the country, it was resolved to robe the 
Kins: in white velvet. But this, as it afterwards occurred, 
was the colour in which victims were arrayed. And 
thus, it was alleged, did the King's council establish an 
augury of evil. Three other ill omens, of some celebrity, 
occurred to Charles I. — viz., on occasion of creating his 
son Charles a Knight of the Bath ; at Oxford some 
years after ; and at the bar of that tribunal which sat in 
judgment upon him. 

The reign of his second son, James II., the next reign 
that could be considered an unfortunate reign, was in- 
augurated by the same evil omens. The day selected 
for the coronation (in 1685) was a day memorable for 
England — it was St George's day, the 23rd of April, 
and entitled, even on a separate account, to be held a 
sacred day as the birthday of Shakespeare in 1564, and 
his deathday in 1616. The King saved a sum of sixty 
thousand pounds by cutting off the ordinary cavalcade 
from the Tower of London to Westminster. Even this 
was imprudent. It is well known that, amongst the 
lowest class of the English, there is an obstinate pre- 

464 Romance of London. 

judice (though unsanctioned by law) with respect to the 
obligation imposed by the ceremony of coronation. So 
long as this ceremony is delayed, or mutilated, they 
fancy that their obedience is a matter of mere prudence, 
liable to be enforced by arms, but not consecrated either 
by law or by religion. The change made by James was, 
therefore, highly imprudent ; shorn of its antique tradi- 
tionary usages, the yoke of conscience was lightened 
at a moment when it required a double ratification. 
Neither was it called for on motives of economy, for 
James was unusually rich. This voluntary arrangement 
was, therefore, a bad beginning ; but the accidental 
omens were worse. They are thus reported by Blenner- 
hassett {History of England to the end of George I., vol. 
iv. p. 1760, printed at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 175 1). 
" The crown being too little for the king's head, was 
often in a tottering condition, and like to fall off." 
Even this was observed attentively by spectators of the 
most opposite feelings. But there was another simul- 
taneous omen, which affected the Protestant enthusiasts, 
and the superstitious, whether Catholic or Protestant, 
still more alarmingly. " The same day the king's arms, 
pompously painted in the great altar window of a Lon- 
don church, suddenly fell down without apparent cause, 
and broke to pieces, whilst the rest of the window 
remained standing." Blennerhassett mutters the dark 
terrors which possessed himself and others. " These," 
says he, "were reckoned ill omens to the king." 

Premonition and Vision to Dr Donne. 465 

Premonition and I r ision to Dr Donne. 

In the crypt of St Paul's Cathedral is a monumental 
effigy, in a winding-sheet, a piece of sculpture which 
excites more curiosity than many a modern memorial 
in the church. This is the portrait in stone of John 
Donne, Dean of St Paul's, and a poet of great power 
and touching sweetness, a writer of nervous prose, and 
an eloquent preacher. In Walton's life of him, there is 
something remarkably affecting in that passage wherein 
there is the foreboding of ill in the mind of Donne's 
wife — and the account of the vision which appeared to 
him. At this time of Mr Donne's and his wife's living in 
Sir Robert's house, in Drury Lane (Sir R. Drewry), the 
Lord Hay was by King James sent upon a glorious 
embassy to the French king, Henry IV. ; and Sir Robert 
put on a sudden resolution to subject Mr Donne to be 
his companion in that journey. And this desire was 
suddenly made known to his wife, who was then with 
child, and otherwise under so dangerous a habit of body 
as to her health, that she protested an unwillingness to 
allow him any absence from her, saying her divining 
soul boded her some ill in his absence, and therefore 
desired him not to leave her. This made Mr Donne lay 
aside all thoughts of his journey, and really to resolve 
against it. But Sir Robert became restless in his 
persuasions for it, and Mr Donne was so generous as to 
think he had sold his liberty when he had received so 
many charitable kindnesses from him — and told his wife 
so ; who, therefore, with an unwilling willingness, did 
give a faint consent to the journey, which was proposed 
to be but for two months : within a few days after this 

VOL. I. 2 O 

4.66 Romance of London. 

resolve, the Ambassador, Sir Robert, and Mr Donne, 
left London, and were the twelfth day got safe to Paris. 
Two days after their arrival there, Mr Donne was left 
alone in the room, where Sir Robert and he, with some 
others, had dined : to this place Sir Robert returned 
within half-an-hour, and as he left, so he found Mr 
Donne alone, but in such an ecstacy, and so altered as to 
his looks, as amazed Sir Robert to behold him, insomuch 
as he earnestly desired Mr Donne to declare what had 
befallen him in the short time of his absence ; to which 
Mr Donne was not able to make a present answer, but 
after a long and perplexed pause, said — " I have seen a 
dreadful vision since I saw you ; I have seen my dear 
wife pass twice by me through this room, with her hair 
hanging about her shoulders, and a dead child in her 
arms ; this I have seen since I saw you." To which Sir 
Robert replied, " Here, sir, you have slept since I saw 
you, and this is the result of some melancholy dream, 
which I desire you to forget, for you are now awake." 
To which Mr Donne replied, " I cannot be surer that I 
now live, than that I have not slept since I saw you ; and 
I am as sure that, at her second appearing, she stopped 
and looked me in the face and vanished." 

Rest and sleep had not altered Mr Donne's opinion 
the next day, for he then affirmed this vision with a 
more deliberate and so confirmed a confidence, that he 
inclined Sir Robert to a faint belief that the vision was 
true. It is well said that desire and doubt have no rest, 
and it proved so with Sir Robert ; for he immediately 
sent a servant to Drury House, with a charge to hasten 
back, and bring him word whether Mrs Donne were 
alive, and if alive, in what condition she was as to her 
health. The twelfth day the messenger returned with 

Premonition and Vision to Dr Donne. 467 

this account : — " That he found and left Mrs Donne 
very sad and sick in her bed ; and that, after a long 
and dangerous labour, she had been delivered of a dead 
child. And, upon examination, the abortion proved to 
be the same day, and about the very hour that Mr 
Donne affirmed he saw her pass by him in his 

There is much good sense and true feeling in the 
observations of good Izaac Walton upon this case — so 
delightful is the quaint style, which is the good plain 
dress of truth : " This," he adds, "is a relation that will 
beget some wonder, and it well may, for most of our 
world are at present possessed with an opinion that 
visions and miracles are ceased. And though it is most 
certain that two lutes, being both strung and tuned to 
an equal pitch, and then one played upon, the other that 
is not touched, being laid upon a table, will (like an echo 
to a trumpet) warble a faint audible harmony in answer 
to the same tune ; yet many will not believe there is 
any such thing as a sympathy of souls ; and I am well 
pleased that every reader do enjoy his own opinion." 

Walton says he had not this story from Donne him- 
self, but from a " Person of Honour," who " knew more 
of the secrets of his heart than any person then living," 
and who related it "with such circumstance and asseve- 
ration," that, not to say anything of his hearer's belief, 
Walton did "verily believe" that the gentleman "him- 
self believed it." 

Drury House was in the parish of St Clement's 
Danes, in the Strand. Donne, soon after his wife's 
death, preached in the church a sermon, taking for his 
text, " Lo, I am the man that have seen affliction." He 
also had erected in the church his wife's tomb by 

468 Romance of London. 

Nicholas Stone ; it was destroyed when St Clement's 
Church was rebuilt in 16S0. 

Apparition in the Tower. 

AUBREY relates, in his Miscellanies, " Sir William Dug- 
dale did inform me that Major-General Middleton (since 
Lord) went into the Highlands of Scotland, to endeavour 
to make a party for Charles I. ; an old gentleman (that 
was second-sighted) came and told him that his endea- 
vour was good, but he would not be successful : and, 
moreover, that they would put the king to death, and 
that several other attempts would be made, but all in 
vain ; but that his son would come in, but not reign, but 
at last would be restored." This Lord Middleton had a 
great friendship with the Laird Bocconi, and they had 
made an agreement, that the first of them that died 
should appear to the other in extremity. The Lord 
Middleton was taken prisoner at Worcester fight, and 
was prisoner in the Tower of London under three locks. 
Lying in his bed pensive, Bocconi appeared to him : my 
Lord Middleton asked him if he were dead or alive ? he 
said, dead, and that he was a ghost ; and told him that 
within three days he would escape, and he did so, in his 
wife's clothes. When he had done his message, he gave 
a frisk, and said : — 

Given?ii, Givenni, 'tis very strange, 

In the world to see so sudden a change. 

And then gathered up and vanished. This account Sir 
William Dugdale had from the Bishop of Edinburgh. 
And this (says Aubrey) he hath writ in a book of mis- 

Lilly, tJic Astrologer. 469 

ccllanies, which I have seen, and is now deposited with 
other books of his in the Museum of Oxford. 

Lilly, the Astrologer. 

LILLY lived in credulous times. He first acquired a 
taste for fortune-telling by accompanying his mistress 
to " a cunning or wise man/' as to the chance of surviv- 
ing her husband, with whom she was dissatisfied. When 
she died, Lilly, who had been her surgical attendant, 
found attached to her armpit a bag in which were several 
sigils, as he terms them ; the obtaining of which contri- 
buted to strengthen his predilection for the occult sciences. 
He chanced to become acquainted with an eccentric 
personage named Evans, who gave him the first bent 
toward the studies which tinctured so strongly his future 
life. Lilly studied for some time under Evans, until 
they quarrelled regarding the casting of a figure, when 
the teacher and pupil parted. Our hero had already 
bought a great quantity of astrological books, and was 
so far initiated as to carry on his pursuit without assist- 

He retired to the country for four or five years ; after 
which, in 164.1, "perceiving there was money to be got 
in London," he returned thither, and began assiduously 
to labour in his vocation. He soon became known, more 
especially as he did not content himself with practising 
the arts of prophesying and magic in private, but also 
published a work, termed Merlin the Younger, which he 
continued subsequently to issue as a periodical almanack. 
This arrested the attention of men very speedily, and his 
fame became universal. 

4/0 Romance of London. 

One of his trumpery bundles of periodical prophecies 
attracted the anxious attention of Parliament, whose 
members, not altogether approving of some of the 
author's dark sayings, ordered him to be imprisoned. 
As the sergeant-at-arms, however, was conveying him 
away, a personage stepped forward, who saved the as- 
trologer from the distress of a long imprisonment, which, 
after he was once in gaol, might have been his doom. 
" Oliver Cromwell, lieutenant-general of the army, having 
never seen me, caused me to be produced again, where 
he steadfastly beheld me for a good space, and then I 
went with the messenger." Nevertheless, he was not 
taken at that time to gaol, and though he gave himself 
up to custody next day from motives of deference to 
the Parliament, he was liberated again immediately by 
Cromwell's interposition. Whether or not Cromwell 
believed in the astrologer's power, it is impossible to say, 
but certainly he and his party owed some gratitude to 
Lilly. At the siege of Colchester, when the parliamen- 
tarian soldiers grew doubtful of the issue of the attack, 
and slackened somewhat in their exertions, Lilly and 
another person of the same character were sent for to 
encourage the besiegers, which they did by predicting 
the speedy surrender of the place, as it really fell out. 
Another example of the same kind occurred when Crom- 
well was in Scotland. On the eve of one of the battles 
fought by Oliver, a soldier mounted himself on an emi- 
nence, and as the troops filed past him, he cried out, 
" Lo, hear what Lilly saith ; you are in this month pro- 
mised victory ; fight it out, brave boys — and then read 
that month's prediction ! " 

Our astrologer declares that, in the early part of the 
Civil War, his opinions leant decidedly to the side of the 

Lilly, the Astrologer. 471 

Royalists, until they gave him some ground of offence. 
His sentiments in reality, however, appear to have been 
strongly guided by the circumstance of which party was 
at the time uppermost. He prophesied first for the 
King ; when his cause declined, our hero prophesied 
stoutly for the Parliament ; and when its influence waned, 
he put forth some broad hints of its approaching fall. 
King Charles himself put great confidence in the powers 
of Lilly ; for at the time of his stay, or rather confine- 
ment, at Hampton Court, when he meditated an escape 
from the soldiery that surrounded him, he despatched a 
secret messenger to the astrologer, desiring him to pro- 
nounce what would be the safest place of refuge and 
concealment. Lilly erected a figure and gave an answer, 
but the prediction was not put to the proof; the King, 
before it could be acted on, being removed to the Isle of 
Wight. In his Memoirs, Lilly boasts that he procured 
for Charles, when in Carrisbroke Castle, a file and a 
bottle of aqua-fortis, with which to sever the bars of his 
window asunder. 

Next, the House of Commons, after the Great Fire of 
London, called the astrologer once more before them, 
and examined him as to his forc-knoivlcdge of that 
calamity, which was then attributed to conspirators. 
Lilly answered them in the following words : " May it 
please your honours, after the beheading of the late 
King, considering that in the three subsequent years the 
Parliament acted nothing which concerned the settle- 
ment of the nation in peace ; and seeing the generality 
of the people dissatisfied, the citizens of London dis- 
contented, and the soldiery prone to mutiny, I was 
desirous, according to the best knowledge God had 
given me, to make inquiry by the art I studied, what 

47 2 Romance of L oudon. 

might from that time happen unto the Parliament and 
the nation in general. At last, having satisfied myself 
as well as I could, and perfected my judgment therein, I 
thought it most convenient to signify my intentions and 
conceptions thereof, in types, hieroglyphics, &c, without 
any commentary, that so my judgment might be con- 
cealed from the vulgar, and made manifest only to the 
wise — I herein imitating the examples of many wise 
philosophers who had done the like. . . . Having found 
that the city of London should be sadly afflicted with a 
Great Plague, and not long after with an exorbitant 
Fire, I framed these hieroglyphics as represented in my 
book, which have in effect proved very true," One of 
the wiseacres of the Committee then asked him, " Did 
you foresee the year ? " " I did not," replied Lilly, " nor 
was desirous ; of that I made no scrutiny." The astro- 
loger then told them that he had found, after much 
pains, that the fire was not of man, but of God. 

To give the reader some idea of the folly which could 
believe him to have predicted the Fire and Plague, we 
may mention that, in the book where the prophecy is 
said to occur, he gives sixteen pages of woodcuts, being 
enigmatical emblems of what was to befall the city for 
many hundred years to come. On the eighth page is a 
set of graves and zvinding-sliects, and the thirteenth some 
houses on fire, and this is the prediction ! The Fire and 
Plague were almost in one year, and the figures in the 
book are in very different places, though he meant the 
emblems to indicate consecutive events. Besides, a 
rebellion would have filled the graves, a burnt warehouse 
would have answered the figure fire, just as well as the 
plague or the burning of half the city. The hiero- 
glyphics", we may add, depicted every event under the 

Lilly, the Astrologer. 473 

sun, so that the astrologer in no case could have been 
put out. The inferior and uneducated classes of the 
community followed, with blind superstition, the example 
set before them by their betters. Love, sickness, trade, 
marriage, and on a thousand other subjects, was the 
astrologer daily consulted, not only by the citizens of 
London, but by residents in every corner of the land. 
And so skilfully and equivocally did he frame his re- 
sponses, that he was very seldom brought into annoy- 
ance from the failure of his predictions. This was 
fortunate for him, for though the courts of law would 
not meddle with a true prophet, they did not scruple to 
punish a bungler in the art. On one occasion, a " half- 
witted young woman " brought him before the courts to 
answer for having taken two-and-sixpence from her for 
a prediction regarding stolen goods. Lilly spoke for 
himself, and having satisfied the court that astrology 
was a lawful art, he got easily off by proving the woman 
to be half mad. 

Of his success in deception, there exist abundance of 
proofs. The number of his dupes was not confined to 
the vulgar and illiterate, but included individuals of real 
worth and learning, who courted his acquaintance and 
respected his predictions. We know not whether it 
"should more move our anger or our mirth " to see an 
assemblage of British senators — the contemporaries of 
Milton and Clarendon, of Hampden and Falkland — in 
an age which roused into action so many and such 
mighty energies, gravely engaged in ascertaining the 
causes of a great national calamity, from the prescience 
of a knavish fortune-teller, and puzzling their wisdoms 
to interpret the symbolical flames which blazed in the 
mis-shapen woodcuts of his oracular publications. From 

474 Romance of L ondon. 

this disgrace to the wisdom of the seventeenth century, 
we have to make one memorable exception. 

Butler, in his Hudibras, has inimitably portrayed 
Lilly under the character of Sidrophel ; nearly all that 
the poet has ascribed to him, as Dr Grey remarks, in his 
annotations, the reader will find verified in his autobio- 
graphy : — 

Quoth Ralph, Not far from hence doth dwell 
A cunning man, hight Sidrophel, 
That deals in Destiny's dark Counsels, 
And sage Opinions of the Moon sells, 
To whom all People far and near 
On deep Importances repair ; 
When Brass and Pewter hap to stray, 
And Linen slinks out of the way ; 
When Geese and Pullen are seduced, 
And Sows of Sucking Pigs are chows'd ; 
When Cats do feel indisposition 
And need the opinion of Physician ; 
When Murrain reigns in Hogs and Sheep, 
And Chickens languish of the Pip ; 
When Yeast and outward means do fail 
And have no power to work on Ale ; 
When Butter does refuse to come, 
And Love grows cross and humoiirsome, 
To Him with Questions and with Urine 
They for Discovery flock, or Curing. 

Hudibras, Part ii. Canto 3. 

Of Lilly's Wliite King's Prophecy eighteen hundred 
copies were sold in three days, and it was oft reprinted. 
Lilly left to a tailor, whom he had adopted, the copy- 
right of this almanack, which he had continued f 
lish for thirty successive years. 

Touching for the Evil. 475 

Touching for the Evil. 

The Touching' for Disease by the royal hand is men- 
tioned by Peter of Blois in the twelfth century ; and it 
is stated to be traceable to Edward the Confessor. Sir 
John Fortescue, in his defence of the house of Lancaster 
against that of York, argued that the crown could not 
descend to a female, because the Queen is not qualified 
by the form of anointing her, used at the coronation, to 
cure the disease called " the King's Evil." Aubrey re- 
fers to "the king's evill, from the king curing of it with 
his touch." This miraculous gift was almost reserved 
for the Stuarts to claim. Dr Ralph Bathurst, one of the 
chaplains to King Charles I., "no superstitious man," 
says Aubrey, protested to him that " the curing of the 
king's evill by the touch of the king doth puzzle his 
philosophic ; for when they were of the House of Yorke 
or Lancaster, it did." The solemn words, " I touch, but 
God healeth," were always pronounced by the sovereign 
when he "touched" or administered "the sovereign 
salve," as Bulwer calls it. Then we read of vervain root 
and baked toads being worn in silken bags around the 
neck, as charms for the evil. 

The practice of touching was at its full height in the 
reign of Charles II. ; and in the first four years after his 
restoration he "touched" nearly 24,000 persons. Pepys, 
in his Diary, June 23, 1666, records how he waited at 
Whitehall, " to see the king touch people for the king's 
evil." He did not come, but kept the poor persons 
waiting all the morning in the rain in the garden : 
" afterward he touched them in the banqueting-house." 
The practice was continued by Charles's successors. 

4/6 Romance of London. 

The Hon. Dairies Barrington tells of an old man who 
was witness in a cause, and averred that when Oueen 
Anne was at Oxford, she touched him, then a child, for 
the evil : the old man added, that he did not believe 
himself to have had the evil; but "his parents were 
poor, and he had no objection to a bit of gold." Again, 
Dr Johnson, when a boy, was taken by his father from 
Lichfield to London to be touched for the evil by 
Queen Anne, in 17 12, and whom Johnson described as 
a lady in diamonds, and a long black hood. Mrs Bray 
speaks of a " Queen Anne's farthing " being a charm for 
curing the king's evil in Devonshire. 

At a late period, the use of certain coins was in com- 
mon vogue, which, being touched by the king, were 
supposed to have the power of warding off evil or 
scrofula. These coins are called Royal Touch-pieces : 
several are preserved in the British Museum ; and Mr 
Roach Smith has one which has been so extensively 
used that the impression is quite abraded. The Pre- 
tender had his touch-pieces, and thought that he had a 
right to the English crown, and therefore had the power 
to confer the royal cure : probably, the claim, in either 
case, was equal. 

" The practice was supposed to have expired with the 
Stuarts; but the point being disputed, reference was 
made to the library of the Duke of Sussex, and four 
several Oxford editions of the Book of Common Prayer 
were found, all printed after the accession of the House 
of Hanover, and all containing as an integral part of the 
service 'the office for the healing.'" — Lord Bray broohe's 
Notes to Pepyss Diary. 

David Ramsay and the Divining Rod. 477 

David Ramsay and the Divining-Rod. 

AMONG the many strange tales told of the mysterious 
use of the Divining-rod is the following in Lilly's Life 
and Times : — 

"In the year 1634, David Ramsay, his Majesty's 
clock-maker, had been informed that there was a great 
quantity of treasure buried in the cloister of West- 
minster Abbey ; he acquaints Dean Williams therewith, 
who was also then Bishop of Lincoln ; the Dean gave 
him liberty to search after it, with this proviso, that if 
any was discovered, his church should have a share of 
it. Davy Ramsay finds out one John Scott, who pre- 
tended the use of the Mosaical rods, to assist him 
herein. I was desired to join with him, unto which I 
consented. One winter's night, Davy Ramsay, with 
several gentlemen, myself, and Scott, entered the 
cloisters ; we played the hazel rod round about the 
cloister ; upon the west side of the cloisters the rods 
moved one over another, an argument that the treasure 
was there. The labourers digged at least six feet deep, 
and there we met with a coffin ; but in regard it was not 
heavy, we did not open, which we afterwards much 
repented. From the cloisters we went into the Abbey- 
church, where, upon a sudden (there being no wind when 
we began), so fierce, so high, so blustering and loud a 
wind did rise, that we verily believed the west end of the 
church would have fallen upon us. Our rods would not 
move at all ; the candles and torches, all but one, were 
extinguished, or burned very dimly. John Scott, my 
partner, was amazed, looked pale, knew not what to 
think or do, until I gave directions and command to 

4/3 Romance of London. 

dismiss the demons ; which, when done, all was quiet 
again, and each man returned to his lodging late, about 
twelve o'clock at night. I could never since be induced 
to join with any in such like actions (Davy Ramsay 
brought a half-quartern sack to put the treasure in). 

"The true miscarriage of the business was by reason 
of so many people being present at the operation, for 
there were about thirty, some laughing, others deriding 
us ; so that if we had not dismissed the demons, I 
believe most part of the Abbey church had been blown 
down. Secrecy and intelligent operators, with a strong 
confidence and knowledge of what they are doing, are best 
for this work." 

Lady Davies, the Prophetess. 

The prophetic Madame Davers, who is mentioned by 
Randolph in 1638, is the notorious Lady Eleanor 
Davies, the youngest daughter of George, Earl of 
Castlehaven, and wife of Sir John Davies, Attorney- 
General for Ireland. She was a remarkable woman, 
but unfortunately believed that a prophetic mantle had 
descended upon her. The idea that she was a prophetess 
arose from finding that the letters of her name, twisted 
into an anagram, might be read, Reveal, O Daniel '! 
For some of her prophetical visions she was summoned 
before the High Commission Court. " Much pains," 
says Dr Heylin, "was taken by the Court to dispossess 
her of this spirit ; but all would not do till the Dean of 
Arches shot her with an arrow from her own quiver, and 
hit upon the real anagram. Dame Eleanor Davies, 
Never so mad a ladic ! She was subsequently prose- 

Dr Lamb, the Conjuror. 479 

cuted for " An enthusiastic epistle to King Charles," 
for which she was fined ^"3000, and imprisoned two 
years in the Gatehouse, Westminster. Soon after the 
death of Sir John Davies, she married Sir Archibald 
Douglas, but seems not to have lived happily with either 
of her husbands. She died in the year 1652. 

Dr Lamb, the Conjuror. 

Dr John Lamb, of Tardebigger, in Worcester, was a 
vile impostor, who practised juggling, fortune-telling, 
recovering lost goods, and likewise picked the pockets 
of lads and lasses, by showing the earthly countenances 
of their future husbands and wives in his crystal glass. 
He was indicted at Worcester for witchcraft, &c, after 
which he removed to London, where he was confined 
for some time in the King's Bench Prison. He there 
practised as a doctor with great success, till, having 
committed an outrage on a young woman, he was tried 
at the Old Bailey, but saved from punishment by the 
powerful influence of his patron and protector, Bucking- 
ham, whose confidential physician he was. The popular 
voice accused Lamb of several grave offences, particularly 
against women ; and on the very same day that the 
Duke was denounced in the House of Commons as the 
cause of England's calamities, his dependent and doctor 
was murdered by an infuriated mob in the city of 
London. The story of his death, from a rare contem- 
porary pamphlet, is worth transcribing : — 

" On Friday, he (Dr Lamb) went to see a play at the 
Fortune Theatre, in Golden Lane, Cripplcgate, where 
the boys of tho town, and other unruly people, having 

4S0 Romance of L ondon. 

observed him present, after the play was ended, flocked 
about him, and (after the manner of the common people, 
who follow a hubbub when it is once set on foot) began 
in a confused manner to assault and offer him violence. 
He, in affright, made towards the city as fast as he 
could, and hired a company of sailors that were there to 
be his guard. But so great was the fury of the people, 
who pelted him with stones and other things that came 
next to hand, that the sailors had much to do to bring 
him in safety as far as Moorgate. The rage of the 
people about that place increased so much, that the 
sailors, for their own sake, were forced to leave the pro- 
tection of him ; and then the multitude pursued him 
through Coleman Street to the Old Jewry, no house 
being able or daring to give him protection, though he 
attempted many. Four constables were there raised 
to appease the tumult, who, all too late for his safety, 
brought him to the Counter in the Poultry, where he 
was bestowed upon command of the Lord Mayor. For, 
before he was brought thither, the people had had him 
down, and with stones and cudgels, and other weapons, 
had so beaten him that his skull was broken, and all 
parts of his body bruised and wounded ; whereupon, 
though surgeons in vain were sent for, he never spoke a 
word, but lay languishing till the next morning, and 
then died." 

On the day of Lamb's death, placards containing the 
following words were displayed on the walls of London : 
" Who rules the kingdom ? — The King. Who rules the 
King? — The Duke. Who rules the Duke? — The devil. 
Let the Duke look to it, or he will be served as his 
doctor was served." A few weeks afterwards the Duke 
was assassinated by Felton. 

Murder and an Apparition. 48 1 

In a very rare pamphlet giving an account of Lamb 
is a woodcut of his " ignominious death," the citizens 
and apprentices pelting him to death, June 13, 1628. 

Murder and an Apparition. 

AUBREY relates, in his Miscellanies, that in 1647, the 
Lord Mohun's son and heir (a gallant gentleman, va- 
liant, and a great master of fencing and horsemanship) 
had a quarrel with Prince Griffin ; there was a challenge, 
and they were to fight on horseback in Chelsea Fields 
in the morning. Mr Mohun went accordingly to meet 
him, but about Ebury Farm,* he was met by some, who 
quarrelled with him and pistoled him ; it was believed, 
by the order of Prince Griffin ; for he was sure that Mr 
Mohun, being so much the better horseman, would have 
killed him had they fought. 

Now, in James Street, in Covent Garden, did then 
lodcre a crentlewoman, a handsome woman, but common, 
who was Mr Mohun's sweetheart. Mr Mohun was 

* Ebury or Eybury Farm, "towards Chelsea," was a farm of 430 
acres, meadow and pasture, let on lease by Queen Elizabeth (when we 
hear of it for the first time), to a person of the name of Whashe, who paid 
£zi per annum, and by whom " the same was let to divers persons, who, 
for their private commodity, did enclose the same, and had made pastures 
of arable land ; thereby not only annoying her Majesty in her walks and 
progresses, but to the hindrance of her game, and great injury of the com- 
mon, which at Lammas was wont to be laid open " (Strype). Eybury 
Farm occupied the site of what is now Ebury Square, and was originally 
of the nature of Lammas-land, or land subject to lay open as common, 
after Lammas-tide, for the benefit of the inhabitants of the parish. The 
Neat at Chelsea was of the same description, and the owners of Piccadilly 
Hall and Leicester House paid Lammas-money to the poor of St Martin's 
long after their houses were erected, as late as the reign of Charles II. — 
Cunningham's Handbook oj London, 2nd edit. p. 172. 

VOL. I. 2 H 

482 Romance of London. 

murdered about ten o'clock in the morning; and at that 
very time, his mistress, being in bed, saw Mr Mohun 
come to her bedside, draw the curtain, look upon her, 
and go away ; she called after him, but no answer ; 
she knocked for her maid, asked her for Mr Mohun ; she 
said she did not see him, and had the key of her cham- 
ber-door in her pocket. This account (adds Aubrey) 
my friend aforesaid had from the gentlewoman's own 
mouth, and her maid's. 

A parallel story to this is, that Mr Brown (brother- 
in-law to the Lord Coningsby) discovered his murder 
to several. His phantom appeared to his sister and her 
maid in Fleet Street, about the time he was killed in 
Herefordshire, which was about a year since, 1693. 

A Vision of Lord Herbert of Cher bury. 

A PASSAGE in the life of this profound and original 
thinker, but of fanciful temperament, presents us with 
one of the most striking instances recorded in modern 
times of direct divine interposition. 

Lord Herbert, who lived in the reigns of James I. and 
Charles I., and who died in the same year as the latter 
monarch, is described by Leland to have been "of the 
first that formed deism into a system, and asserted the 
sufficiency, universality, and absolute perfection, of 
natural religion, with a view to discard all extraordinary 
revelation as useless and needless. He was inimical to 
every positive religion, but admitted the possibility of 
immediate revelation from heaven, though he denied 
that any tradition from others could have sufficient 
certainty. Five fundamental truths of natural religion 

A Vision of Lord Herbert of Clicrbury. 483 

he held to be such as all mankind are bound to acknow- 
ledge, and damned those heathens who do not receive 
them as summarily as any theologian. 

These opinions are the groundwork of Herbert's work 
De Veritatc, &c, having completed which he showed it 
to the great scholar, Hugo Grotius, who having perused 
it, exhorted him earnestly to print and publish it ; 
" howbeit," says Herbert, in his Memoirs, the earliest 
instance of autobiography in our language, "as the 
frame of my whole book was so different from anything 
which had been written heretofore, I found I must either 
renounce the authority of all that had been written 
formerly, concerning the method of finding out truth, 
and consequently insist upon my own way, or hazard 
myself to a general censure, concerning the whole 
argument of my book ; I must confess it did not a little 
animate me that the two great persons above-mentioned 
(Grotius and Tieleners) did so highly value it, yet as I 
knew it would meet with much opposition, I did con- 
sider whether it was not better for me awhile to suppress 
it ; being thus doubtful in my chamber, one fair day in 
the summer, my casement being opened towards the 
south, the sun shining clear, and no wind stirring, I took 
my book De Veritate in my hand, and kneeling on my 
knees, devoutly said these words : — 

" ' O thou eternal God, Author of the light which now 
shines upon me, and giver of all inward illuminations, I 
do beseech Thee of Thy infinite goodness to pardon a 
greater request than a sinner ought to make ; I am not 
satisfied enough whether I shall publish this book De 
Veritate ; if it be to Thy glory, I beseech Thee give me 
some sign from heaven; if not, I shall suppress it.' 

" I had no sooner spoken these words, but a loud, 

484 Romance of L 07idon. 

though yet gentle noise came from the heavens (for it 
was like nothing on earth), which did so comfort and 
cheer me, that I took my petition as granted, and that 
I had the sign I demanded, whereupon also I resolved 
to print my book ; this (how strange soever it may 
seem) I protest before the eternal God is true, neither 
am I in any way superstitiously deceived herein, since 
I did not only clearly hear the noise, but in the serenest 
sky that I ever saw, being without all cloud, did to my 
thinking see the place from whence it came. 

" And now I sent my book to be printed," &c. 

Dr Leland makes the following observations on this 
part of the narrative : — " I have no doubt of his lord- 
ship's sincerity in the account. The serious air with 
which he relates it, and the solemn protestation he 
makes, as in the presence of the eternal God, will not 
suffer us to question the truth of what he relates — viz., 
that he both made that address to God which he men- 
tions, and that in consequence of this, he was persuaded 
that he heard the noise he takes notice of, and which he 
took to come from heaven, and regarded as a mark of 
God's approbation of the request he had made ; and, 
accordingly, this great man was determined by it to 
publish the book. He seems to have considered it as a 
kind of imprimatur given to him from heaven, and as 
signifying the divine approbation of the book itself, and 
of what was contained in it." — View of the, Deistical 
Writers, i. 27. 

Lord Herbert " dyed (1648) at his house in Queen 
Street, in the parish of St Giles's-in-the-Fields, very 
serenely ; asked what was the clock, and then, sayd he, 
an hour hence I shall depart ; he then turned his head 
to the other side and expired." — Aubrey's Lives, ii. 387. 

A Vision on London Bridge. 485 

A Vision on London Bridge. 

In a very rare and curious pamphlet in the Royal 
Library, in the British Museum, we find the following 
account of a Vision seen upon London Bridge in March 
1661. The book itself is only a small quarto of lour 
leaves ; but the title is magnificent : " Strange News 
from the West, being Sights seen in the Air Westward, 
on Thursday last, being the 21 day of the present 
March, by divers persons of credit standing on London 
Bridge between 7 and 8 of the clock at night. Two 
great Armies marching forth of two Clouds, and en- 
countering each other; but, after a sharp dispute, they 
suddenly vanished. Also, some remarkable Sights that 
were seen to issue forth of a Cloud that seemed like a 
Mountain, in the shape of a Bull, a Bear, a Lyon, and 
an Elephant and Castle on his back, and the manner 
how they all vanished." 

The following are the details of the vision : — " Upon 
the 2 1st day of March, about, or between 7 and 8 of the 
clock at night, divers persons living in the City, as they 
came over London Bridge, discovered several clouds in 
strange shapes, at which they suddenly made a stand, to 
see what might be the event of so miraculous a change 
in the motion of the Heavens. The first cloud seemed 
to turn into the form or shape of a Cathedral, with a 
tower advancing from the middle of it upwards, which 
continued for a small space, and then vanished away. 
Another turned into a tree, spreading itself like an oak — 
as near as could be judged — which, in a short space, 
vanished. Between these two was, as it were standing, 
a great mountain, which continued in the same form 

486 Romance of London. 

near a quarter of an hour ; after which, the mountain 
still remaining, there appeared several strange shapes, 
one after another, issuing out of the said mountain, 
about the middle of the right side thereof; the first 
seemed to be formed like a Crokedile, with its mouth 
wide open ; this continued a very short space, and, by- 
degrees, was transformed into the form of a furious 
Bull ; and, not long after, it was changed into the form 
of a Lyon ; but it continued so a short time, and was 
altered into a Bear, and soon after into a Hog, or Boar, 
as near as those could guess who were spectators. After 
all these shapes had appeared, the mountain seemed to 
be divided and altered into the form of two monstrous 
beasts, fastened together by the hinder parts, drawing 
one apart from the other : that which appeared on the 
left hand resembled an Elephant with a castle upon its 
back ; that upon the right hand, we could not so well 
determine, but it seemed to us like a Lyon, or some 
such like beast. 

" The castle on the back of the Elephant vanished, 
the Elephant himself losing his shape ; and where the 
castle stood, there rose up a small number of men, as 
we judged, about some four or six ; these were in con- 
tinual motion. The other beast, which was beheld on 
the right hand, seemed to be altered into the form of a 
horse, with a rider on its back, and, after a small pro- 
portion of time, the whole vanished, falling downward. 
Then arose another great cloud, and in small time it 
formed itself into the likeness of the head of a great 
Whale, the mouth of which stood wide open. After this, 
at some distance, on the right hand, appeared a cloud, 
which became like unto a head or cap, with a horn, or 
ear on each side thereof, which was of a very consider- 

A Vision on London Bridge. 487 

able length. Between these two rose a few men, who 
moved up and down with a swift motion ; and immedi- 
ately after, they all vanished except one man, who still 
continued moving up and down, with much state and 
majesty. In the meantime arose near adjacent unto 
this head, or cap, another cloud, out of which cloud 
issued forth an Army, or great body of men ; and upon 
the left hand arose another Army, each of which 
marched one towards the other ; about this time the 
single man vanished away — and the two Armies seemed 
to approach very near each other and encounter, main- 
taining a combat one against the other, and, after a 
short combat, all vanished. During all this time, there 
seemed to our best apprehension, a flame of fire along 
the Strand, towards the city of London." Such is the 
account of these " strange sights," as they are truly 

This was the age for seeing wonders in the air, which 
it was sometimes dangerous not to see. The author of 
the History of the Great Plague tells us that he was in 
some danger from a crowd in St Giles's, because he 
could not discover an Angel in the air holding a drawn 
sword in his hand. 

The author of the Chronicles of London Bridge well 
observes: " Minds of more weakness than piety gave a 
ready faith to such visions ; and in convulsed or sorrow- 
ful times, were often hearing voices which spake not, 
and seeing signs which were never visible : willing to 
deceive, or be deceived, they saw, like Folonius, clouds 
' backed like an ousel/ or ' very like a whale : ' 

" So hypochondriac fancies represent 
Ships, armies, battles, in the firmament ; 
Till emaller eyes the exhalations solve, 
And all to its first matter, clouds, resolve." 

4 8 S Romance of L ondon. 

A Mysterious Lady. 

In James Street, Covent Garden, towards the begin- 
ning of the last century, lived a mysterious lady, who 
died in the month of March 1720, and was then de- 
scribed as " unknown." She was a middle-sized person, 
with dark brown hair and very beautiful features, and 
mistress of every accomplishment of high fashion. Her 
age appeared to be between 30 and 40. Her circum- 
stances were affluent, and she possessed many rich 
trinkets, set with diamonds. Mr John Ward, of 
Hackney, published several particulars of her in the 
newspapers ; and, amongst others, that a servant had 
been directed by her to deliver him a letter after her 
death ; but as no servant appeared, he felt himself 
required to notice those circumstances, in order to 
acquaint her relations that her death occurred suddenly 
after a masquerade, where she declared she had con- 
versed with the King ; and it was remembered that she 
had been seen in the private apartments of Queen Anne, 
though, after the Queen's demise, she lived in obscurity. 
This unknown arrived in London from Mansfield, in 
1 7 14, drawn by six horses. She frequently said that 
her father was a nobleman, but that her elder brother 
dying unmarried, the title was extinct ; adding, that she 
had an uncle then living, whose title was his least re- 
commendation. It was conjectured that she might be 
the daughter of a Roman Catholic who had consigned 
her to a convent, whence a brother had released her 
and supported her in privacy. She was buried at St 
Paul's, Covent Garden. 

Story of the Cock Lane Ghost. 4S9 

Story of the Cock Lane Ghost. 

EVERY one has heard of this noted imposture, and most 
persons agree that it made much more noise in its day 
than all the spirits in Queen Anne's reign put together. 
After the lapse of a hundred years, we hear it repeatedly 
referred to as a sort of climax of imposition ; and the 
story will bear repetition. The scene is a narrow lane, 
over against Pie Corner, in Smithfield, where the Great 
Fire of London ended. 

In the year 1762, Mr Parsons, the clerk of St 
Sepulchre's Church, lived in 'a house in Cock Lane, 
West Smithfield. Being a frugal man, Parsons let 
lodgings ; and being an unlucky one, he let his lodgings 
to a lady who went by the name of Miss Fanny, and 

was the sister of the deceased wife of a Mr K , with 

whom Fanny cohabited. Miss Fanny took into her bed, 
" in the absence of the gentleman, who was in the 
country," her landlord's daughter, a child twelve years 
old. Some days afterwards, Miss Fanny complained to 
the family of violent knockings, which kept her awake 
at night. They were like the hammering of a shoe- 
maker upon his lapstone, and were attributed to that 
cause ; but the neighbour shoemaker ceased work on 
Sunday, and the hammerings were as loud as ever. The 
nuisance became serious. Mr and Mrs Parsons invited 
their neighbours to hear the noises, and every one came 
away convinced that there was a ghost behind the 
wainscoting. The clergyman of the parish was invited 
to exorcise, but he prudently declined to come to 
knocks with such a ghost. Miss Fanny, who hardly 
cared to have so much public attention drawn upon her 

490 Romance of L ondon. 

private arrangements, quitted, and went to live at 
Clerkenwell. She afterwards there died, and was buried 
in St John's Church. 

For eighteen months, quiet had reigned in Cock 
Lane ; but immediately Miss Fanny died, the knockings 
recommenced. In whatever bed the child was placed, 
knockings and scratchings were heard underneath, and 
the girl appeared to be violently agitated as by fits. 
Parsons, the father, had now, either in fraud or in con- 
viction, thoroughly taken the matter up 4 He undertook 
to question the ghost, and dictated how many knocks 
should serve for an answer affirmative or negative. By 
much cross-examination, it was discovered that the 
rapper was the ghost of Miss Fanny, who wished to 
inform the world that " the gentleman," whom we wot 
of, had poisoned her, by putting arsenic into her purl 
when she was ill of the small-pox. 

The girl became alarmed ; and the story getting 
wind, the house in Cock Lane, in which the father lived, 
was visited by hundreds and thousands of people — 
many from mere curiosity, and others, perhaps, with a 
higher object in view. Indeed, it became a fashion to 
make up parties to visit the scene of the imposture. 
Horace Walpole (January 29, 1762) says, " I am 
ashamed to tell you that we are again dipped into an 
egregious scene of folly. The reigning fashion is a 
ghost — a ghost that would not pass muster in the 
paltriest convent in the Apennine. It only knocks and 
scratches ; does not pretend to appear or to speak. The 
clergy give it their benediction ; and all the world, 
whether believers or infidels, go to hear it." Again : 
" I could send you volumes on the ghost, and I believe, 
if I were to stay a little, I might send its life, dedicated 

Story of the Cock Lane Ghost. 491 

to my Lord Dartmouth, by the ordinary of Newgate, its 
two great patrons. A drunken parish clerk set it on 
foot, out of revenge, the Methodists have adopted it, 
and the whole town think of nothing else. 

" I went to hear it," says Walpole, " for it is not an 
apparition, but an audition. We set out from the Opera, 
changed our clothes at Northumberland House, the 
Duke of York, Lady Northumberland, Lady Mary 
Coke, Lord Hertford, and I, all in one hackney-coach, 
and drove to the spot : it rained in torrents ; yet the 
lane was full of mob, and the house so full we could not 
get in ; at last they discovered it was the Duke of York, 
and the company squeezed themselves into one another's 
pockets to make room for us. The house, which is bor- 
rowed, and to which the ghost has adjourned, is wretch- 
edly small and miserable ; when we opened the chamber, 
in which were fifty people, with no light but one tallow- 
candle at the end, we tumbled over the bed of the child 
to whom the ghost comes, and whom they are murder- 
ing by inches in such insufferable heat and stench. At 
the top of the room are ropes to dry clothes. I asked 
if we were to have rope-dancing between the acts? We 
heard nothing ; they told us, as they would at a puppet- 
show, that it would not come that night till seven in the 
morning ; that is when there are only 'prentices and old 
women. We stayed, however, till half-an-hour after one. 
The Methodists have promised their contributions ; pro- 
visions are sent in like forage, and all the taverns and 
ale-houses in the neighbourhood make fortunes. The 
most diverting part is to hear people wondering when it 
ic ill be found out, as if there was anything to find out — 
as if the actors would make their noises when they can 
be discovered." 

492 Romance of L ondon. 

Mrs Montague writes to Mrs Robinson — " As I sup- 
pose you read the newspapers, you will see mention of 
the ghost ; but without you were here upon the spot, 
you could never conceive that the most bungling per- 
formance of the silliest imposture could take up the 
attention and conversation of all the fine world/' Grave 
persons of high station, and not thought of as candi- 
dates for Bedlam, came away from Cock Lane shaking 
their heads thoughtfully. The clerk of St Sepulchre's 
found the ghost the most profitable lodger he had ever 
had. The wainscots were pulled down, and the floor 
pulled up, but they saw no ghost, and discovered no 
trick. The child was removed to other houses, but the 
ghost followed, and distinctly rapped its declaration that 
it would never leave her. 

As the noises were made for the detection, it is said, 
of some human crime, many gentlemen, eminent for 
their rank and character, were invited by the Rev. Mr. 
Aldrich, of Clerkenwell, to investigate the reality of the 
knockings ; and this was the more necessary, as the 
supposed spirit had publicly promised, by an affirmative 
knock, that one would attend any one of the gentlemen 
into the vault under the church of St John, Clerken- 
well, where the body was deposited, and give a token 
of her presence by a knock upon her coffin. This in- 
vestigation took place on the night of the ist of Feb- 
ruary 1762; and Dr Johnson, one of the gentlemen 
present, printed at the time an account of what they 
saw and heard : — About ten at night the gentlemen 
met in the chamber in which the girl, supposed to be 
disturbed by a spirit, had, with proper caution, been 
put to bed by several ladies. They sat rather more 
than an hour, and hearing nothing, went down-stairs, 

Story of the Cock Lane Ghost. 493 

when they interrogated the father of the girl, who denied, 
in the strongest terms, any knowledge or belief of fraud. 
The supposed spirit had before publicly promised, by 
an affirmative knock, that it would attend one of the 
gentlemen into the vault under the church of St John, 
Clerkenwell, where the body is deposited, and give a 
token of her presence there by a knock upon her coffin ; 
it was therefore determined to make this trial of the 
existence or veracity of the supposed spirit. While 
they were inquiring and deliberating, they were sum- 
moned into the girl's chamber by some ladies who were 
near her bed, and who had heard knocks and scratches. 
When the gentlemen entered, the girl declared that she 
felt the spirit like a mouse upon her back, and was 
required to hold her hands out of bed. From that 
time, though the spirit was very solemnly required to 
manifest its existence by appearance, by impression on 
the hand or body of any present, by scratches, knocks, 
or any other agency, no evidence of any preternatural 
power was exhibited. The spirit was then very seriously 
advertised, that the person to whom the promise was 
made of striking the coffin was then about to visit the 
vault, and that the performance of the promise was then 
claimed. The company at one o'clock went into the 
church, and the gentleman to whom the promise was 
made went with another into the vault. The spirit was 
solemnly required to perform its promise, but nothing 
more than silence ensued : the person supposed to be 
accused by the spirit then went down with several 
others, but no effect was perceived. Upon their return, 
they examined the girl, but could draw no confession 
from her. Between two and three she desired and was 
permitted to go home with her father. It is, therefore, 

494 Romance of London. 

the opinion of the whole assembly, that the child has 
some art of making or counterfeiting a particular noise, 
and that there is no agency of any higher cause. 

Of course the inquiry made the matter worse. John- 
son had discovered, at the utmost, that the spirit told 
lies ; whereas the point in dispute was whether the 
spirit made noises. As matter of probability, it could 
scarcely be less probable that the spirit should be a 
false spirit, than that it should be a spirit at all. John- 
son was laughed at by the whole town, and fashion was 
beginning to tire of its toy. 

Churchill ridiculed the inquiry in a poem in four 
books, called the "Ghost"— a poem whereof little is 
now remembered but the sketch of Johnson, under the 
name of Pomposo. 

We quote the rest of the story from a contemporary : 
— It was now given out that the coffin in which the 
body of the supposed ghost had been deposited, or at 
least the body itself, had been displaced, or removed 

out of the vault. Mr K , therefore, thought proper 

to take with him to the vault the undertaker who buried 
Miss Fanny, and such other unprejudiced persons as, on 
inspection, might be able to prove the weakness of such 
a suggestion. 

Accordingly, on February 25th, in the afternoon, Mr 

K , with a clergyman, the undertaker, clerk, and 

sexton of the parish, and two or three gentlemen, went 
into the vault, when the undertaker presently knew the 
coffin, which was taken from under the others, and easily 
seen to be the same, as there was no plate or inscrip- 
tion ; and, to satisfy further, the coffin being opened 
before Mr K , the body was found in it. 

Others, in the meantime, were taking other steps to 

Story of the Cock Lane Ghost. 495 

find out where the fraud, if any, lay. The girl was 
removed from house to house, and was said to be con- 
stantly attended with the usual noises, though bound 
and muffled hand and foot, and that without any motion 
in her lips, and when she appeared asleep : nay, they 
were often said to be heard in rooms at a considerable 
distance from that where she lay. 

At last her bed was tied up, in the manner of a ham- 
mock, about a yard and a half from the ground, and 
her hands and feet extended as wide as they could 
without injury, and fastened with fillets for two nights 
successively, during which no noises were heard. 

The next day, being pressed to confess, and being 
told that if the knockings and scratchings were not 
heard any more, she, her father, and mother, would be 
sent to Newgate ; and half an hour being given her to 
consider, she desired she might be put to bed to try if 
the noises would come : she lay in her bed this night 
much longer than usual, but no noises. This was on a 

Sunday, being told that the approaching night only 
would be allowed for a trial, she concealed a board 
about four inches broad, and six long, under her stays. 
This board was used to set the kettle upon. Having got 

into bed, she told the gentleman she would bring F 

at six the next morning. 

The master of the house, however, and a friend of 
his being informed by the maids that the girl had taken 
a board to bed with her, impatiently waited for the 
appointed hour, when she began to knock and scratch 
upon the board, remarking, however, what they them- 
selves were convinced of, " that these noises were not 
like those which used to be made." She was then told 

496 Romance of London. 

that she had taken a board to bed, and on her denying 
it, searched, and caught in a lie. 

The two gentlemen, who with the maids were the only 
persons present at the scene, sent to a third gentleman, 
to acquaint him that the whole affair was detected, and 
to desire his immediate attendance ; but he brought 
another along with him. 

Their concurrent opinion was that the child had been 
frightened into this attempt by the threats which had 
been made the two preceding nights ; and the master of 
the house also, and his friend, both declared " that the 
noises the girl had made that morning had not the least 
likeness to the former noises." 

Probably the organs with which she performed these 
strange noises were not always in a proper tone for that 
purpose, and she imagined she might be able to supply 
the place of them by a piece of board. 

At length, Mr K , the paramour of Fanny, thought 

proper to vindicate his character in a legal way. On the 
10th of July, the father and mother of the child, one 
Mary Frazer, who, it seems, acted as an interpreter be- 
tween the ghost and those who examined her, a clergy- 
man, and a reputable tradesman, were tried at Guildhall, 
before Lord Mansfield, by a special jury, and convicted 

of conspiracy against the life and character of Mr K ; 

and the "Court, choosing that he who had been so much 
injured on this occasion should receive some reparation 
by the punishment of the offenders, deferred giving sen- 
tence for seven or eight months, in the hope that the 
parties might, in the meantime, make it up. Accord- 
ingly, the clergyman and tradesman agreed to pay Mr 
K a round sum, some say between five and six hun- 
dred pounds, to purchase their pardon, and were there- 

Story of the Cock Lane Ghost. 497 

upon dismissed with a severe reprimand. The father 
was ordered to stand in the pillory three times in one 
month, once at the end of Cock Lane, and after that 
one year in the King's Bench Prison ; Elizabeth, his 
wife, one year ; and Mary Frazer, six months in Bride- 
well, with hard labour. But the father appearing to be 
out of his mind at the time he was first to stand on the 
pillory, the execution of that part of his sentence was 
deferred to another day, when, as well as on other days 
of his standing there, the populace, instead of pelting 
him, collected for him a considerable sum of money. 
Mr Brown, of Amen Corner, who had published some 
letters on the affair, did not fare so well ; for he was fined 
.£50. The mistress of the Ladies' Charity School, on 
Snow Hill, was a believer in the story; for, in the school 
minutes, 1763, the Ladies of the Committee censured 
the mistress for listening to the story of the Cock Lane 
Ghost, and " desired her to keep her belief in the article 
to herself." 

In the course of the year, Oliver Goldsmith wrote for 
Newbury, the publisher, a pamphlet descriptive of the 
Cock Lane Ghost, for which he received three guineas ; 
it is reprinted in Cunningham's edition of Goldsmith's 
Collected Works. 

The trick is thought to have been carried on by 
means of ventriloquism, a faculty then little understood. 
The girl ultimately confessed as much. She died so 
recently as 1807, having been twice married ; her second 
husband was a market-gardener at Chiswick. {London 
Scenes and London People, 1863.) Such is the author's 
explanation ; but the more probable story is, that the 
bed-clothes being opened, the board was found, upon 

vol. 1. 2 1 

498 Romance of Lotidon. 

which the girl had been accustomed to rap ; and this 
simple process annihilated the Cock Lane Ghost. 

Another explanation is, that K had incurred the 

resentment of Parsons by pressing him for the payment 
of some money he had lent him ; and revenge for which 
is supposed to have prompted the diabolical contrivance. 
The Rev. Mr Moore, to whom the spirit promised to 
strike the coffin, and who accompanied Dr Johnson in 
the investigation, was so overwhelmed by the detection 
of the imposture that he did not long survive it. 

We have another circumstance to add relating to the 
body of Fanny, which we have received from Mr Wyke- 
ham Archer. When this artist was drawing in the crypt 
of St John, in a narrow cloister on the north side (there 
being, at that time, coffins and fragments of shrouds, 
and human remains lying about in disorder), the sexton's 
boy pointed out to Mr Archer one of the coffins, and 
said it was " Scratching Fanny." Being thus reminded 
of the Cock Lane Ghost, Mr Archer removed the lid of 
the coffin, which was loose, and saw therein the body of 
a woman, which had become adipoccre ; the face perfect, 
handsome oval, with aquiline nose. (Mr Archer asked, 
" Will not arsenic produce adipocere ?") She was said to 
have been poisoned, although the charge is understood 
to have been disproved. Mr A. was assured by one of 
the churchwardens that the coffin had always been 
understood to contain the body of the woman whose 
spirit was said to have haunted the house in Cock Lane. 

In the Liber A/bus (1419), we read that, in the Plan- 
tagenet times, loose women, and men who encouraged 
them, were led through the town — the men to the pil- 
lory, with mocking minstrels, and the women, with the 

Story of the Cock Lane Ghost. 499 

same mockery, through Cheap and Newgate — to Cock 
Lane, there to take up their abode, just outside the City 
walls. In Cock Lane, some sixty years since, wholesale 
whipmakers lived, and grew wealthy ; the place being 
handy to Smithfield. 


Abel, Dr, in the BeauchampTower, 

Accession of Queen Victoria, 191 

Addison's Campaign, 154 

Albemarle (Ann Clarges), Duchess 
of, her Story, 120-124 

Ann, the Lady, in Westminster 
Sanctuary, 26 

Anne Boleyn, where buried, 59 

Apparition in the Tower, 468 

Apsley House and the Duke of 
Wellington, 19S 

Aristocratic Fleet Marriages, 410 

Assassinations of George III., At- 
tempted, 372 

Assassination of Mr Thynne in Pall 
Mall, 316 


Bacon, Francis, in Gray's Inn, 147 
Baker, Sir Richard, in the Fleet 

Prison, 295 
Ballad of Duke Hamilton, 216 
Ballad of" London Bridge is Broken 

Down," 6 
Baltimore House, Story of, 345 
Baltimore, Lord, Trial of, 348 
Bainbridge, Robert, in the Beau- 
champ Tower, 43 

Bank of England, Stories of the, 

Bank-Notes, Forged, 404 
Bank-Notes Lost, 403 
Bank-Notes Stolen, 403 
Barnwell, George, Story of, 303- 


Baronets, Unfortunate, 1S1 

Beau Fielding, Story of, 418 
Beau Wilson, Story of, 420-423 
Beauchamp Tower, Romance of the, 

Beau clerk, Charles, first Duke of St 

Alban's, 142 
Beckford, William, Boyhood of, 1 76 
Beckford's Monumental Speech, 175 
Bell Tower, Two Prisoners in, 51 
Benevolence, Eccentric, of Lord 

Digby, 339 
Berkeley, the Hon. G., and Dr 

Maginn, Duel between, 236 
Berkeley, Lady Henrietta, Misfor- 
tunes of, 313 
Best, Captain, and Lord Camelfonl, 

Duel between, 233-236 
Blood, Colonel, his attack upon the 

Duke of Ormond, 130 
Blood, Colonel, Death and Burial 

of, 119 
Blood, Colonel, steals the Crown, 




Bloody Tower, in the Tower of 

London, 49 
Bloomsbury, Rural, 202 
Body -stealing, first case of, 352- 

Bohemia, Queen of, and Lord 

Craven, 149 
Bracegirdle, Mrs, carried off by Lord 

•Mohun, 323 
Breaches of Promise, Stories of, 

Bridewell Whippings, 273 
Brothers' Steps, Story of, 204 
Buckhurst and Nell Gwynne, 141 
Budgell, Eustace, Suicide of, 327, 

Byron, Lord, and Mr Chaworth, 

Duel between, 219-225 

Cage and Stocks at Old London 

Bridge, 272 
Camelford, Lord, the Duellist, 231 
Caroline, Queen of George IV., 


Castlereagh, Lord, his Blunders, 

Cat Story, Eastern, 22 

Catesby and Percy, and the Gun- 
powder Plot, 74 

Cato Street Conspiracy, Account of 
the, 391 

Centlivre, Mrs, and her Three Hus- 
bands, 425 

Charing Cross and the Hungerfords, 

Charles I., Bernini's Bust of, 89 

Charles L, Martyrdom of, 101 

Charles I., Relics of, 103 

Charles II. and Colonel Blood, 

116, 117 
Charles II., death of, 144 
Charles II. and Nell Gwynne, 140 
Charlotte, Princess, her flight from 

Warwick House, 449 
Charlotte, Princess, and her pro- 
posed marriage to the Prince of 
Orange, 449 
Chartists, the, in 184S, 196 
Chaworth, Mr, and Lord Byron, 

Duel between, 219-225 
Chelsea Church and Sir Thomas 

More's Remains, 56 
Chelsea Hospital and Nell Gwynne, 

Cheshire Will Case, Famous, 205 
Chick Lane, or West Street, de- 
molished, 268 
Christian IV., King of Denmark, 

Clarges, Ann, Duchess of Albe- 
marle, Story of, 120-124 
Clarges, Ann, at the New Ex- 
change, 104 
Clarges, the Strand Farrier, 123 
Clayton, Sir Robert, his mansion in 

Old Jewry, 110 
Clerkenwell, Old, Brutal sports in, 

Clive, Lord, Suicide of, 1S4 
Cock Lane in ancient times, 498 
Cock Lane Ghost, Story of, 4S9-499 
Coincidences, Historical, 89 
Coventry Act, Origin of the, 2S7 
Court Revel, Strange, 84 
Craven House, Drury Lane, 152, 

Craven, Lord, and the Queen of 
Bohemia, 149 



Creswell, Madam, in Bridewell, 275 
Cromwell, Oliver, and Lilly the 

Astrologer, 470 
Cromwell's Skull, Story of, 135 
Crosby Place, Shakspeare, and 

Richard III., 22 
Crown, the, stolen by Colonel 

Blood, 113 
Culloden, Victory of, 183 
Cunningham's Story of Nell Giuynne, 

I $2 


Daggers of Blood and Parrot, 

Davies, Lady, the Prophetess, 478 
Dee's Magic Mirror and the Gun- 

powder Plot, 83 
Divining Rod, the, in Westminster 

Abbey, 477 
Dodd, Dr, Execution of, 355 
Don Pantaleon Sa, Story of, 104- 

Donne, Dr, Premonition and Vision 

to, 465 
Dudley, Earl of Warwick, in the 

Beauchamp Tower, 43 
Dudley, Robart, in the Beauchamp 

Tower, 46 
Duel between the Duke of Hamilton 

and Lord Mohun, 208-219 
Duel between the Duke of York and 

Col. Lenox, 225-228 
Duel between Lord Byron and Mr 

Chaworth, 219-225 
Duel between Lord Camelford and 

Captain Pest, 233, 234 
Duels of " Fighting Fitzgerald," 228 
Duel, a literary one, 236 

Duel, a terrible one, 239 
Duval, Claude, the Highwayman, 

Ebury Farm, Chelsea, 481 
Elizabeth, Princess, in the Bell 

Tower, 53 
Elizabeth, Princess, at Traitors' 

Gate, 48 
Elizabeth, Queen, by Torchlight, 39 
Escape from Death, Extraordinary, 

Execution of Cato Street Conspira- 
tors, 393 
Execution of Dr Dodd, 355 
Execution of Don Pantaleon Sa and 

Gerard, 107 
Execution of Earl Ferrers for Mur- 
der, 342, 343 
Execution of Eliza Fenning, 384 
Execution of Governor Wall, de- 
scribed by J. T. Smith, 378 
Execution of Hackman for Murder, 

Execution of Lady Jane Grey, 56 
Execution of Thynne's Murderers, 

Execution of Sir Walter Raleigh, 67 

Fanshawe, the Heroic Lady, 132 
Farewell Feast in the Tower, 72 
Fawkes, Guido, and his fellow-con- 
spirators, 74 
Fawkes, Guido, before James L, 81 
Fenning, Eliza, the supposed poi- 
soner, case of, 382 
Ferrers, Lord, Execution of, 340 



Ferryman's Daughter, " Story of 

the, I 
Field of Forty Footsteps, Story of, 

Fielding, Beau, Story of, 418 
Fielding, Sir John, and London 

Robberies, 257 
Fielding, Sir John, Sketch of, 336 
Field Lane, Fagin, and Oliver Twist, 

265, 266 
" Fighting Fitzgerald," his Duels, 

Fire and Plague, Great, foretold by 

Lilly, 471 
Fisher, Bishop, Funeral of, 54 
Fisher, Bishop, in the Tower, 51—54 
Fitzherbert, Mrs, married to the 

Prince of Wales, 446 
Fleet Marriages, Stones of, 406- 

Fleet Marriage Registers, 409 
Fleet Prison, Persons of Note in, 


Flogging at Bridewell, 273 
Forger, Adventure with, 336 
Fonthill and the Beckfords, 1 76 
Forty Footsteps, Story of, 202 
Fox, Mr, and the Marriage of the 
Prince of Wales and Mrs Fitzher- 
bert, 447 
Funeral of James I., 86 
Funeral of Lord Nelson, 187 


Gargraves, Stories of the, 181 
George Barnwell, Story of, 303-313 
George Barnwell Travestie, 311 
George and Blue Boar Inn, Hol- 
born, 98 

George III. and Alderman Beck- 
ford, 177 

George III. and " the Fair Qua- 
keress," 435 

George III. and Lady Sarah Lenox, 

George IV. and his Queen, 456 

Godfrey, Sir Edmund Berry, Death 
of, 124 

Goodman, Bishop, his account of 
Queen Elizabeth by Torchlight, 

Gordon, Lord George, and Riots of 

17S0, 170-175 
Gray's Inn Gardens and Francis 

Bacon, 147 
Grey, Lady Jane, Execution of, 56 
Gunpowder Plot Detected, 73-84 
" Guy Fawkes's Cellar," 81 


Hackman and Miss Reay, Story of, 

Hadfield, James, attempting to shoot 
George III., 373 

"Half-way House' between Knights- 
bridge and Kensington, 262 

Hamilton, Duke of, and Lord Mo- 
hun, their Duel, 208-219 

Hamilton, Emma, Lady, Letters of, 

Handsome Englishman, the, Story 

of, 427-433 

Hawkes, " The Flying Highway- 
man," 256 

Heads of Bishop Fisher and Sir 
Thomas More, 54 

Henrietta Maria, Queen, her Pen- 
ance at Tyburn, 91 



Herbert, Lord, his Vision, 482-4S4 

Heroes of the Road, 241 

Highwayman shot by Lord Berke- 
ley, 255 

Highwaymen, Notorious, 241-269 

Highway Robberies in Pall Mall and 
Piccadilly, 260 

High way Robberies bet ween Knights- 
bridge and Kensington, 260, 261 

Hoare, Sheriff, his Account of an 
Escape from Death, 328 

Holborn Hill, last ride up, 254 

Howard, Henry, Earl of Surrey, in 
Fleet Prison, 297 

Howel, the Letter-writer, in the 
Fleet Prison, 296 

Human Heads on Temple Bar, 

331 ' 

Hungerfords, the, at Charing Cross, 

Inscriptions and Devices in the 
Beauchamp Tower, 41-47 

Jack Ketch, 243 

James I., Funeral of, 86 

James IV. of Scotland, Story of his 

Head, 37 
Jane Shore, her true History, 34 
Jeffreys, Judge, Rise of, 2S8 
Jemmy Dawson, tragic Story of, 

Jemmy Whitney, the Handsome 

Highwayman, 245 
Johnson, Dr, and the Cock Lane 

Ghost, 492 


Kilburn, the Legend of, 460 
King's Head, Story of one, 37 
Kings, Two Tippling, 84 
Koningsmarck, Count, and the Mur- 
der of Thynne, 318-322 


Ladies excluded from the House of 

Lords, 158 
Lamb, D., the Conjuror, account of, 

Layer's Head on Temple Bar, 333 
Lenox, Colonel, and the Duke of 

York, Duel between, 225-228 
Lenox, Lady Sarah, and George 

III., 436 
Letter of Emma, Lady Hamilton, 

Letter, Intercepted, at the George 

and Blue Boar Inn, 98 
Letter to Lord Mounteagle on the 

Gunpowder Plot, 78 
Letter, the only one, of Nell Gwynne, 

Letter of Sir W. Raleigh to his 

Wife, 64 
Lightfoot, Hannah, " the fair Qua- 
keress," 435 
Lillo's George Barnwell, 303 
Lilly, the Astrologer, Account of, 

Lincoln's Inn and Willis's Plot, 10S 
Lincoln's Inn Fields, Lady Fan- 

shawe in, 134 
London Bridge, the first, I 
"London Bridge is Broken Down," 

Ballad of, 6 



London Bridge, Old, Noted Resi- 
dents on, 9 
Love and Madness, Story of, 440 
Loz'e and Madness, by Sir Herbert 

Croft, 371 
Love and Marriage, Stories of, 

Lovelace, Richard, Story of, 413 
Luttrell, Narcissus, his Diary, 241 


Macaulay, Lord, on Addison's 

Campaign, 154 
Macaulay, Lord, his Account of 

Lord Clive, 185 
M 'Lean, the Fashionable Highway- 
man, 249 
Magdalen Hospital and Dr Dodd, 

Maginn, Dr, and the Hon. Grantley 

Berkeley, Duel between, 236 
Mansion of a City Merchant Prince, 

Marriages, Fleet, 406 
Marriages, Stolen, at Knightsbridge, 

May Fair Marriage, a Story, 433 
Metropolitan Highwaymen, noted, 


Middle Temple Gate, Story of, 137 

M inters of South wark, the, 349 
Mohun, Lord, and the Duke of 

Hamilton, their Duel, 208-219 
Mohun, Lord, kills Mountfort, the 

Player, 325 
Montague House and Gardens, 202 
Montague, Lady Mary Wortley, and 

the Exclusion of Ladies from the 

House of Lords, 159 

More, Sir Thomas, Head of, 54 
Mounteagle, Lord, and Gunpowder 

Plot, 78 
Murder and an Apparition, 481 
Murder of Sir Edmund Berry God- 
frey, 124-130 
Murder of Mountfort, the Player, 

Murder, Strange Discovery of, 286 
Murderer taken by means of the 

Electric Telegraph, 398 
Mysterious Death of Sir Edmund 

Berry Godfrey, 124-130 
Mysterious Lady, Story of, 488 


Napoleon III., London Residence 
of, 194 

Nell Gwynne, Story of, 139-147 

Nelson, Funeral of, 187 

New Exchange, Strand, 104 

New Road Robberies, 258 

Nicholson, Margaret, attempts to 
assassinate George III., 372 

November the Fifth and Gunpow- 
der Plot, 78 


Omens to Charles I. and James II., 

Orange Girls and the Old Theatres, 


Ormond, Duke of, attacked by Col. 
Blood, 130 

Overs, St Mary, and the First Lon- 
don Bridge, 1 

Overbury, Sir Thomas, Poisoning 
of, 69 

Oxford, Earl of, and Roxana, 423 




Painters Resident on Old London 

Bridge, 10 
Palace, Royal, in the Tower, 51 
Tall Mall, Nell Gywnne living in, 

Parliament House and Gunpowder 

Plot, 73-82 
" Parr, Old," account of, 94 
Penance of Jane Shore, 35 
Penance of Queen Henrietta Maria 

at Tyburn, 91 
Penance for Witchcraft on London 

Bridge, 275 
Pepys's Account of the Duke and 

Duchess of Albemarle, 122 
Pepys and Nell Gwynne, 140 
Pepys seeking Treasure in the Tower, 


Pest Field and Plague Crosses, 


Peverils in the Beauchamp Tower, 


Pigs in the Streets of London, 14 

Plantagenet Pigs, 14 

Poisoning of Sir Thomas Overbury, 

Popish Plot, the, and Godfrey's 

Murder, 127 
Premonition and Vision to Dr 

Donne, 465 
Pressing to Death, 283 
Pretender, the Young, his Secret 

Visits to London, 163-170 
Primrose Hill and Sir Edmund 

Berry Godfrey, 126-128 
Primrose Hill and its Duels, 230 
Princes in the Tower, Murder of, 


Frisons burnt in the Riots of 1780, 

172, 173 
Prisoners, Noted, in the Fleet, 294 
Punishments, Ancient Civil, 270 


Rack, Punishment of the, 2S1- 

Raleigh, Sir Walter, attempts sui- 
cide, 6t, 

Raleigh, Sir Walter, Execution of, 

Raleigh's, Sir W., Prison-lodgings 
in the Tower, 47 

Raleigh, Sir W., writing his History, 

Ramsay, David, and the Divining. 
Rod, 477 

Ratcliffe Highway Murders in 1S11, 

Reay, Miss, shot by Hackman, 

Reresby, Sir W., Story of, 182 

Richard, Duke of Gloucester, at 
Crosby Place, 22 

Riots of 1780, account of, 170 

Rising of Sir Thomas Wyat, 300 

Robberies, Highway, a century ago, 
268, 269 

Rogueries, Crimes, and Punish- 
ments, 270-405 

Ross, and the Play of George Barn- 
well, 308 

Roxana, Story of the unfortunate, 


Royal Exchange Motto, 193 
Royalty deduced from a Tub-woman, 

1 So 
Rules of the Fleet Prison, 299 




St Paul's Crypt, Nelson, and Wel- 
lington, 189 
Salmon, Thomas, in the Beauchamp 

Tower, 45 
Sandwich, Earl, and Miss Reay, 

Sanquhar, Lord, his Revenge, 99. 
Savoy Chapel Marriages, 412 
Selwyn's Account of Dr Dodd's 

Execution, 359 
Shakspeare and Crosby Place, 24 
Shore, Jane, her Tree History, 34 
Sixteen-string Jack, the Highway- 
man, 254 
Skull of Cromwell, 135 
Smithfield and its Tournaments, 13 
Sorrows of Sanctuary, 26 
Southwark Minters, the, 349 
Stanhope, Lord, on the Secret Visits 
of the Young Pretender to Lon- 
don; 164 
Star-Chamber Stories, 290 
Stealing a Dead Body, 352 
Storm, Great, of 1703, 157 
Striking in the King's Court pun- 
ished, 278 
Suicide of Lord Clive, 184 
Suicides, two extraordinary, at Lon- 
don Bridge, 326 
Supernatural Stories, 459 

Tav/ell, the Murderer, and the 

Electric Telegraph, 398 
Temple, Mr, Suicide of, 326 
Thornton, Abraham, and Trial by 

Battle, 199 

Thynne, Mr, assassinated in Pall 

Mall, 316 
Torchlight Procession of Queen 

Elizabeth, 39 
Torture and the Rack Punishments, 

Touching for the Evil, Account of, 

Tournaments in Smithfield, 13 
Tower, and Anne Boleyn's Burial, 

Tower, the, and Beauchamp Tower, 

Tower, Col. Blood steals the Crown 

from, 113 
Tower, and the Bloody Tower, 49 
Tower, and Execution of Lady Jane 

Grey, 56 
Tower, Farewell Feast in, 72 
Tower, and Sir Thomas Overbury, 

Tower, and Traitor's Gate, 47 
Tower, and Sir Walter Raleigh, 60- 

63 ' 

Townley and Fletcher's Heads on 
Temple Bar, 334 

Treasure Seeking in the Tower, 112 

Trial by Battle, 199 

Trial of Lord Byron for Duelling, 

Trial of Hackman for Murder, 367 

Turner, the Whitefriars' Fencing- 
master, 99 

Turner, Mrs, and Yellow Starch, 


Turpin, Dick, the Highwayman, 

Tyburn Executions, 242 

Tyburn, Penance of Queen Hen- 
rietta Maria at, 91 



VaUX, James Hardy, the Swindler 

and Fickpocket, 394-397 
Victoria, Queen, Accession of, 191 
Vision on London Bridge, 4S5 
Vision of Lord Herbert of Cher- 
bury, 482-484 
Vision in the Tower, 459 


Wainwright, the Poisoner, Case 

of . 3S5-3S9 

Wall, Governor, Trial and Execu- 
tion of, 376-382 

Walpole, Horace, his Account of 
Lord Clive, 184-187 ; The Cock 
Lane Ghost, 490 ; Dr Dodd, 
35 6 -359 5 Earl Ferrers, 345 ; the 
Murder of Miss Reay, 366 ; 
M'Lean, 249, 251 

Walpole, Edward, the Handsome 
Englishman, 427-433 

Wellington, Duke of, and Aspley 
House, 198; Chartist agitation,i97 

Westminster Sanctuary, 27 
Whitefriars and Lord Sanquhar's 

Revenge, 99 
White Widow, Story of the, 104,105 
" Whittington and his Cat," Story 

of, 16 
Whittington and Stone, Highgate 

Hill, 22 
Will Case, the Famous Cheshire, 

Willis's Plot against Charles II. 

Wilson, Beau, Story of, 420-423 
Witchcraft Penance on London 

Bridge, 275 
Wolsey and Middle Temple Gate, 137 
Wycherly and his Countess, Story 

of, 415-418 
Wycherley in the Fleet Prison, 

Wyat, Sir Thomas, Rising of, 300 

York, Duke of, and Colonel Lenox, 
Duel between, 225-228 





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