(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Clubs and club life in London; with anecdotes of its famous coffee houses, hostelries, and taverns, from the seventeenth century to the present time"

DA 



CORNELL 

UNIVERSITY 

LIBRARY 




DATE DUE 




''^"s^i^; 



'r»-v,i.;. 



"NSuss-ar" 



^(-^ 






PRINTED IN U.S.A. 



Cornell University Library 
DA 686.T58 




3 1924 028 067 076 




The original of tliis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924028067076 



CLUBS AND CLUB LIFE IN 
LONDON 



?!.■ 



CLUBS AND CLUB LIFE IN 
LONDON 

WITH ANECDOTES OF ITS FAMOUS COFFEE 

HOUSES, HOSTELRIES, AND TAVERNS 

FROM THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY 

TO THE PRESENT TIME 

BY 

JOHN TIMES, F.S.A. 

AUTHOR OF "ENGLISH ECCENTRICS AND ECCENTRICITIES" 




A NEW EDITION 
WITH FORTY-ONE ILLUSTRATIONS 

LONDON 

CHATTO & WINDUS 

1899 






,■ \ \ ?.; I r^ 'f VIA 



J. 



;. ■■ - 






.<.:•. i- o ^^ ii -> ■ ~ ■ ' 


^rj H'i 


■ ■/'■ ■- 




■ ') ■iM't "iH ' ': ■ '■ 


. _ f .'1 '/l 


■ : ' 




:-q ailT '/I 


,. ,^ 




.-'H! 


/ri K- 






i-:; ,,-:.; 


-HjJ.rJ il;:ij. .;-.■: ■ 



3 ^ 6'i'7A & 



Uc 



PRELIMINARY. 

O IX years ago the publisher of the present work 
issued a " History of Signboards," which met 
with so much approval from the critical press and 
from general readers, that the authors might not 
unreasonably have been accused of vanity — or some- 
thing very like vanity — at their achievement. A 
companion volume was then contemplated under the 
title of " A History of the Clubs, Tavern Coteries, 
and ' Parlour Companies ' of Old London." Material 
was gathered, and the late William Pinkerton, Esq., 
F.S.A., of Hounslow, undertook the preparation of 
the book. But in the meantime another active 
antiquary had prepared a work of similar character 
to the one we had proposed, and this interesting 
book, with numerous illustrations, prepared expressly 
for the present edition, is now issued as a sequel 
to the " History of Signboards." 

Piccadilly, 

Novemier J, 1872. 



CONTENTS. 



Origin of Clubs 

The Mermaid Club . 

Tue Apollo Club 

Early Political Clubs 

The October Club . 

The Saturday, and Brothers Clubs 

The Scriblerus Club . 

The Calved Head Club . 

The King's Head Club 

Street Clubs 

The Mohocks . 

Blasphemous Clubs 

Mug-house Clubs 

The Kit-Kat Club 

The Tatter's Club in Shire-lane 

The Royal Society Club 

The Cocoa-Tree CM 

AlmacKs Club .... 

AlmacHs Assembly Rooms 

Brookeis Club . 

" Fighting Fitzgerald" at Brookes' s 

Arthur's Club .... 

Whitis Club .... 

Boodles Club . 



F.\GB 
I 

r 
? 

14 
16 
20 
21 
30 
52 

35 
3& 
3& 

47 
54 

56' 

691 

7 1' 
75 
76 

8r 

91 
92- 

10$ 



CONTENTS. 



The Beef-steak Society 








I'AGE 


Captain Morris, the Bard of the Beefsteak Society 


127 


Beef-steak Clubs 


• • • • 


135 


Club at Tom's Coffee-house 






136 


The King of Clubs . 







. 140 


Watier's Club . 


, 




143 


Mr. Canning at the Clifford-street Club 




144 


Eccentric Clubs 






146 


Jacobite Club . 


. 




' 152 


The Wittinagemot of the Chapter 


Coffee-hous 


e 


153 


The Roxburghe Club Dinners 






159 


The Society of Bast Overseers, Westminster 




16s 


The Robin Hood . 






168 


The Blue-stocking Club 








169 


The Ivy Lane Club . 








171 


The Essex Head Club 








173 


The Literary Club . 








174 


Goldsmith's Clubs . 








187 


The Dilettanti Society 








189 


The Royal Naval Club 








196 


The Wyndham Club . 








198 


The Travellers' Club 








198 


The United Service Club 








201 


The Alfred Club . 








202 


The Oriental CM . 








204 


The Athenceum Club 








205 


The University Club 








"11 


Economy of Clubs 






, . 


211 


The Union Club 








216 


The Garrick Club . 






. 


218 


The Reform Club . 






. 


227 



CONTENTS. XX 

PAGH 

The Carlton Club . . ... . . 233 

The Cotiservative Club . ... . . . 234 

The Oxford and Cambridge Club . , . . . 23$ 

The Guards Club , , , ^ 237 

The Army and Navy Club . :, .. , . »37 
Theyunior United Service Club . . . . 239 

Crockfords Club . . . . . .240 

" King Allen" " The Golden Ball" and Scrope Davies . 244 
The Four-in-ITand Club . . . . . .246 

Whist Clubs .251 

Princes Club Racquet Courts 254 

An Angling Club . : . ^ . . . .257 
The Red Lions . . . '.■ . . . .258 

The Coventry, Erectheum, and Partlimon Clubs . .260 
Antiquarian Clubs, — The Noviomagians . . .261 
The Eccentrics . . . . . . . ,262 

Douglas Jerrold's Clubs 263 

Cltess Clubs 267 



COFFEE-HOUSES. 



Early Coffee-houses .... 
Gwrraway's Coffee-house . •; ■ . v 
Jonathan's Coffee-house 
Rainbow Coffee-house ... 
Nandds Coffee-house . . . 

DicKs Coffee-house .... 
The ''Lloyd's " of the Time of Charles TL 
Lloyd^s Coffee-house .... 
The Jerusalem Coffee-house 
Baker's Coffee-house .... 
Coffee-houses in Ned Ward's Time 



269 

273 
278 
280 
284 
285 
286 
289 

293 
294 

294 



CONTENTS. 



Coffee-houses of the Eighteenth Century 
Coffee-house Sharpers in \ii(t . 
Don Saltero's Coffee-house 
Sahop-houses . 
The Smyrna Coffee-house 
St. James's Coffee-house 
Tlu British Coffee-house 
Will's Coffee-house . 
Button's Coffee-house 
Dean Swift at Button's 
Tonis Coffee-house 
2^e Bedford Coffee-house, in Covent Garden 
Macklin's Coffee-house Oratory . 
Tom Kin^s Coffee-house , 
Piazza Coffee-house .... 
The Chapter Coffee-house . 
Child's Coffee-house .... 
London Coffee-house .... 
Turk's Head Coffee-house in Change Alley 
Squires Coffee-house 
Slaughter's Coffee-house 
Will's and Series Coffee-houses . 
The Grecian Coffee-house . 
Georgis Coffee-house 
The Percy Coffee-house 
Peel^s Coffee-house . 



297 
304 

305 
309 
3°9 
310 

3f5 
315 
323 
331 
332 
333 
338 
340 
342 
343 
345 
345 
347 
349 
352 
356 
357 
359 
360 
361 



CONTENTS. 



TAVERNS. 

"Die Taverns of Old London 
The Bear at the Bridge Foot 
Mermaid Taverns ... 
T%e Boar's Head Tavern . 
Three Cranes in the Vintry 
London Stone Tavern 
The Robin Hood 
PontacKs, Abckurch-lane . 
Popis Head Tavern 
The Old Swan, Thames-street . 
Cock Tavern, Threadneedle-street 
Crown Tavern, Threadneedle-street 
The King's Head Tavern, in the Poultry 
The Mitre, in Wood-street . . 

The Salutation and Cat Tavern 
"Salutation" Taverns 
Queen's Arms, St. PauPs Churchyard 
Dollfs, Paternoster Row . 
Aldersgate Taverns .... 
" The Mourning Crown " 
Jerusalem Taverns, Clerkenwell . 
White Hart Tavern, Bishopsgate Without 
The Mitre, in Fenchurch-street 
The Kings Head, Fenchurch-street 
The Elephant, Fenchurch-street 
TTu African, St. MichaePs Alley 
The Grave Maurice Tavern 
Mathematical Society, Spitalfields 
Globe Tavern, Fleet-street . 



PAGE 
362 

373- 
374 
37+ 
377 
378- 
37& 
379 
380 

381 
381 

382- 

383 

388 

389 
390 
391 
392 
393 
395 
395 
397 
39» 
400 
400 
401 
402 

4°3 
404 



xii CONTENTS. 






FAGB 


The Devil Tavern 40S 


The Yeung Devil Tavern . 




411 


Cock Tavern, Fleet-street . 




411 


The Hercules' Pillars Taverns 


. • • • . 


413 


Hole-in-the- Wall Taverns . 


. 




415 


The Mitre, in Fleet-street . 


. ,> 




416 


Ship Tavern, Temple Bar 


. • . 




417 


The Palsgrave Head, Temple Bar 




418 


Heycock's, Temple Bar .... 




419 


The Crown and Anchor, Strand 




419, 


The Canary-House, in the Strand 




420 


The Fountain Tavern 




421 


Tavern Life of Sir Richard Steele 




422 


Clare Market Taverns .... 




423 


The Craven Head, Drtiry Lane 




424 


The Cock Tavern, in Bow-street 




425 


The Queen's Head, Bow-street . 




427 


The Shakspeare Tavern .... 




427 


Shuter, and his Tavern Places . . . . 




429 


The Pose Tavern, Covent Garden 




429 


Evan^s, Covent Garden . . . . ' 




431 


The Fleece, Covent Garden 




433 


The Bedford Head, Covent Garden , 




434 


The Salutation, Tavistock-street . 




434 


The Constitution Tavern, Covent Garden . 




435 


The Cider Cellar . . . ... 




436 


Offley's, Henrietta^street . . . . 




• 437 


The Rummer Tavern . . 




438 


Spring Garden Taverns .... 




439 


^' Heaven" and " Hell" Taverns, Westminster 




441 


"Bellamy's Kitchen" 


• 




. 443 



CONTENTS. xiii 

PAGE 

A Coffee-house Canary-bird 444 

Star and Garter, Pall Mall . . . o . 445 
Thatched Howe Tavern, St. yarned s-street . 450 

^^ The Running Footman" May Fair , . , 452 

Piccadilly Inns and Tatems . . - « 453 

Islin^on Taverns 456 

Copenhagen House 460 

Topham, the Strong Man, and his Taverns . .463 

The Castle Tavern, Holborn 464 

Marylebone and Padditigton Taverns . . , 466 

Kensington and Brompton Taverns : . . .472 

Knightsbridge Taverns .477 

Ranelagh Gardens .... • . 483- 

Cremome Tavern and Gardens 484 

The Mulberry Garden 485 

Pimlico Taverns 485 

Lambeth, — Vauxhall Taverns and Gardens, etc, . .487 

Freemason^ Lodges 489 

Whitebait Taverns 492 

The London Tavern .... . 498 

The Clarendon Hotel .... 502 

Freemasons^ Tavern, Great Queen' s-streef . -504 

The Albion, Aldersgate-slreet . , , , - S°^ 

St. Jame^s Hall 5°7 

Theatrical Taverns ... . ^ . 508 

APPENDIX. 

AlmacKs .... . . • S^P 

Clubs at the Thatched House . . . • S'^ 

The Kit-kat Club ... ... 511 



CONTENTS. 



Watier's Club .... 

Clubs of 1814 

Gaming-Houses kept by Ladies . 

Beef-sieak Society .... 

Whitis Club ... 

The Royal Academy Club . 

Destruction of Taverns by Ftre . 

The Tzar of Muscovy's Head, Tower-street 

Hose Tavern, Tower-street 

The Nag's Head Tavern, Cheapside . 

The Hummums, Covent Garden 

Origin of Tavern Signs 

Index . . ... 



PAGE 

5" 
S13 
S14 
S16 
517 
518 

5^9 
519 

520 
522 

523 
524 
533 




CLUB LIFE OF LONDON 



THE BELL A T EDMONTON. 




Famous in connexion witli John Gilpin's Ride, and more recently as i 
favourite resting-place of Charles Lamb when out walking. 



CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 



Origin of Clubs. 

THE Club, in the general acceptation of the term, may- 
be regarded as one of the earliest offshoots of Man's 
habitually gregarious and social inclination ; and as an 
instance of -that remarkable influence which, in an early 
stage of society, .tiie powers of Nature exercise over the 
fortunes of mankind. It may not be traceable to the time 

Wlien Adam dolve, and Eve span ; 

but, it is natural to^imagine that concurrent with the force 
of nu^iibers must Tiavfe incre?ised the tepde;ncy of men to 
associat,^ for, some common , object, T)iig ma,y have been 
the enjoyment of the staple of life ; for, our elegant Essayist, 
writing with , ages . of experience at his beck, has truly 
said " all celebrated Clubs were founded upqn eating and 
drinking, which are points where most men agrep, and in 
which the learned and the illiterate, the dull and the 
airy, the philosopher and the buffoon, can all of them bear 
a part." 

For special proof of the antiquity of the practice -it may 
suffice to refer to the polished Athenians, who had, besides 
their general symJ>osia, {nendly meetings, where every one 
sent his own portion of the feast, bore a proportionate part of 
the expense, or gave a pledge at a fixed price. A regard for 
clubbism existed even in Lycurgan Sparta : the public tables 
consisted generally of fifteen persons each, and all vacancies 



2 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

were filled up by ballot, in which unanimous consent was 
indispensable for election ; and the other laws, as described 
by Plutarch, differ but slightly from those of modern Clubs. 
Justus Lipsius mentions a bonS. fide Roman Club, the 
members of which were bound by certain organised rules 
and regulations. Cicero records {De Senedute) the pleasure 
he took in frequentipg tlje meetings of "those social Jarties 
of his time, termed confraternities, where, according to a 
good old custom, a president was appointed j and he adds 
that the principal satisfaction he received from such enter- 
tainments, arose much lesfe "from the pleasures of the palate 
than from the opportunity thereby afforded him of enjoying 
excellent company and conversation.* .' 

The cognomen Club claims descent from the Anglo- 
Saxon ; for Skinner derives it from clifian, cleofiah (our 
cleave), from the division of the reckoning amoiig the guests 
around the table. The word signifies uniting to divide, like 
clave, including the correlative meanings to adhere and to 
separate. " In conclusion, Club is evidently^ as faras form 
is concerned, derived from cleave " (to split), but in signifi- 
cation it would seem to be more . closely alied to cleave (to 
adhere). It is not surprising that two verbs, identical in 
form (in Eng.) and connected in signification, should sorno- 
ticnes coalesce.t 

To the Friday-street or more properly Bread-street Club, 
said to have been originated by Sir Walter. Raleigh, was 
long assigned the priority of date in England ; but we have 
an instance of two centuries earlier. In the reign of 
Henry IV., there was a Club called " La Court de bone 



* Sketch of the Rise and Progress of the Royal Society Club. i860. 
(Not published.) 

t Notes and Queries, 3rd S. i. p. 295, in which is noted : — "A good 
illustration of the coiinexion between the ideas of division and union 
is afforded by the two equivalent words partner and associi, the former 
pointing especially to thetfivision of profits, the latter to the community 
of interests." 



ORIGIN OF CLUBS. 3 

Compagnie," of which the worthy old poet Occleve was a 
member, and probably Chaucer. In the works of the 
former are two ballads, written about 1413 ; one, a congratu- 
lation from the brethren to Henry Somer, on his appoint- 
ment of the Sub-Treasurer of the Exchequer, ajid who 
received Chaucer's pension for him. In the other ballad, 
Occleve, after dwelling on some of, their rules and obser- 
vances, gives Somer notice that he is expected to be in the 
chair at their next meeting, and that the " styward " has 

warned him that he is 

for the dyiier arraye 
Ageyn Thirsday next, and nat is delaye. 

That there were certain conditions to be observed- by 
this Society, appears from the latter . epistle,, which com- 
mences with an answer to a letter of remonstrance the 
" Court " has received from Henry Somer, against some 
undue extravagance, and a- breach of their rules:* This 
Society of four centuries and a half since was evidently a 
jovial company. ,;,.,, 

Still, we do not yet find the term '.' Club J' Mr. Carlyle, 
in his History of Frederick the Great, assumes that the vow 
of the Chivalry Orders — Geliibde — in vogue about A.b. 1190, 
" passed to us in a singularly dwindled condition : Club we 
now call it." To this it is objected that^ the mere re- 
semldance in sound of Geliibde scaAClubAs inconclusive, for 
the Orders of Templars, HospitaUets, and Prussian Knights, 
were never called clubs in England ; and the origin of the 
noun need not be sought for beyond its verb to f/«^i when 
persons joined in papng the cost of the mutual entertain- 
ment. Moreover, .^/«^^ in German means the social (r/«^ ; 
and that word is borrowed from the English, the native 
word being Zeche, which, from its root and compound. 



* Notes and Queries, No. 234, p. 383. Communicated by Mr 
Edward Foss, F,S.A. 

B 2 



4 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON 

conveys the idea generally of joint expenditure, and sp^ecially 
in drinking.* ' ' ■- . . i 

Aljout the end of the Sixteenth or the beginning of the 
seventeenth century, there was established the fanltfus Club 
at the Mermaid Tkvem, in Br^id-street, of which Shak- 
speare, Beaumont^ Fletcher, Raleigh, Selden, Donne, &c., 
were members. Ben Jonson had a Club, of which he 
appears to have been the founder, that met at the Devil 
Tavern, between Middle-Temple gate and Temple Bar. 

Not until shortly after this date do we find the word Club. 
Aubrey says : " We now use the word dvbbe for a sodality in 
a taveme." In 1659, Aubrey became a member of the 
Rota, a political Glut), which met at the Turk's Head, in 
New Palace Yard : " here we had," says Aubrey, " (very 
formally) a balloting box, and balloted how things should be 
carried, by way of "Tentamens. The room was every even- 
ing as full as it could be crammed. "f Of this Rota political 
Club we shall presently say more. It is worthy of notice 
that politics were thus early introduced in English Club-lifg. 
Dryden, some twenty years after the above date, asks : 
"What right has. any man to meet in factious Clubs to 
vilify the Govemnient ?" 

' Three years after the • Great Fire, in 1669, there was 
established in: the City,- the Civil Club, whicli exists to this 
day. All the members are citizens, and are proud of their 
Society, oh account of its ! antiquity, and of its being the 
only Club which attaches to its staff the reputed office of a 
chaplain. The members appealr to have first clubbed 
together foi the sake of mutual aid and support ; but the 
name of the founder of the Club, and the circumstances of 
its origin, have unfortunately been lost with its early 
records. The time at which it was established was one 



* Notes and Queries, 2nd S. vol. xii. p. 386. Communicated by 
Mr. Buckton. 
t Memoir of Aubrey, by John Britton, 410, p. 36. 



ORIGIN OF CLUBS. S 

of severe trials^i when the Great Plague and the, Great 
Eire had broken up much society, and many old assbqiations ; 
the object and recommendation 'being, as one of the rules 
expresses it, "that members should. give preference. to each 
other in their respective callings;" and,, that "but one 
person of the same trade or profession should be a member 
of the Club." This is the rule of ±e old middle>-class clubs 
called "One of a Trade." 

The Civil Club met for many years at the Old ^Ship 
Tavern, in Water-lane, upon which being takeri.down, the 
Club removed to the New Corn Exchange, .Tavern, in Mark- 
lane. The records, which are extant, show among former 
members Parliament men, baronets, and aldermen ; , the 
chaplain is the incumbent of St. Olave-by-the-Tower, Hart- 
street Two high ' carved chairs, be;aring date 1669, are 
used by the stewards. . . : , , ; 

- At the time of th§ Revolution, the fTre^pn : Club, as it 
was commonly called, 'met at the Rosp Tavern, in Covent 
GaFden; to consult with, Lord .Colchestej, Mr. Thpmas 
Whaiton, Colonel Talmash, Colonel Godfrey, and, many 
Oitherg cff their party ; and tit was .thfre resqlved that the 
regiment. under Lieutetfant-.Colonel Lapgstone's con)n>and, 
should desert, en tire,, as they did, on Sunday, Npv., i§§8.* 

In Friday-street, Cheapside, was held .tji? 'Wednesday 
Club, at which, in 1695, certain .conferences, tpok Tilace 
under 4he, direction of Willijim ,Pa,ter?pjn,-whiplji;;iultima,tely 
Ipd to the, establishment of the; Baaks.^pfr, England. Such, is 
the general belief j.butlMn.'Saxe. Bannister, in .his ,Z«/^ of 
Pater-^on, p. 93, obsicrves :,'," It >as,been 3,,niatter .of much 
doubt whether the .'Bank of England was originally proposed 
from a Club or Society ;in the City oil^ndon. .jTJie Dialogue 
Conferences of the Wedmdaj! . GM, '\n Friday-street, have 
been quoted as if first, published ipL,,,i$9S, No auch 
publication has been met with of a date: before, J 7°^ '" ^Pd 

• Macphersdn's History of tnglaml, Vol;, iiu— Original jpajjcrs. 



6 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Mr. Bannister states his reasons for supposing it was not 
preceded by any other book. Still, Paterson wrote the 
papers entitled the Wednesday Club Conferences. 

Club is defined by Dr. Johnson to be " an assembly of 
good fellows, meeting under certain conditions;" but by 
Todd, "an association of persons subjected to particular 
rules." It is plain that the latter definition is at least not 
that of a Club, as distinguished from any other kind of 
association; although it may be more comprehensive than 
is necessary, to take in all the gatherings that in modern 
times' have' assumed the name of Clubs. Johnson's, how- 
ever, is the more exact account of the true old Enghsh 
Club. 

The golden period of the Clubs was, however, in the time 
of the Spectator, in whose rich humour their memories are 
embalmed. " Man," writes Addison, in No. 9, "is said to 
be a sociable animal \ and as an instance of it we may ' ob- 
serve, that we take all occasions and pretences of forming 
ourselves into those little nocturnal assemblies, which are 
commonly known by the name of Clubs. When a set of 
men find themselves agree in any particular, though never 
so trivial, they establish themselves into a kind of fraternity, 
and meet once or twice a week, upon the account of such a 
fantastic resemblance." 

Pall Mall was noted for its tavern Clubs more than two 
centuries since. " The first time that Pepys mentions Pell 
Mell," writes Cunningham, "is under the 26th of July, 1660, 
where he says 'We went to Wood's (our old house foi 
clubbing), and there we spent till ten at night.' This is 
not only one of the earhest references to Pall Mall as an in- 
habited locality, but one of the earhest uses of the word 
' clubbing,' in its modern signification of a Club, and ad- 
ditionally interesting, seeing that the street still maintains 
what Johnson would have called its ' clubbable ' character."' 

Ixi Spends Anecdotes {Supplemental), we read: "There 
was a Club held at the King's Head, in Pall Mall, that 



THE MERMAID CLUB. 7 

arrogantJy called itself ' The World.' Lord Stafihope, then 
(now Lord Chesterfield), Lord Herbert, &c., were members. 
Epigrams were proposed to be written on the glasses, by 
each member after dinner; once, when Dr. Young was 
invited thither, the Doctor would have declined writing, 
because he had no diamond : Lord Stanhope lent him his, 
and he wrote immediately — 

Accept a miracle, instead of wit ; 

See two dull lines with Stanhope's pencil writ. 

The first modem Club mansion in Pall Mall was No. 86, 
opened as a subscription house, called the Albion Hotel. 
It was originally built for Edward Duke of York, brother 
of George IIL, and is now the office of Ordnance. 
(Correspondence.) 

The Mermaid Club. 

This fainous Club was held at the Mermaid Tavern, which 
was long said to have stood in Friday-street, Cheapside ; 
but Ben Jonson has, in his own verse, settled it in Bread- 
street : 

At Bread-street's Mermaid having dined and merry, 
Proposed to go to Holbom in a wherry. 

Ben Jonson, ed. Gifford, viii. 342. 

Mr. Hunter also, in his Notes on Shakspeare, tells us that 
Mr. Johnson, at the Mermaid, in Bread-Street, vintner, 
occurs as creditor for I'js. in a schedule annexed to the will 
of Albain Butler, of CliflFord's Inn, gentleman, in 1603. 
Mr. Bum, in the Beaufoy Catalogue, also explains : " the 
Mermaid in Bread-street, the Mermaid in Friday-street, and 
the Mermaid in Cheap, were all one and the same. The 
tavern, situated behind, had a way to it from these thorough- 
fares, but' was nearer to Bread-street than Friday-street" In 
a note, Mr. Burn adds : " The site of the Mermaid is clearly 
defined firom the circumstance of W. R., a haberdasher ol 
small wares, ' twixt Wood-street and Milk-street,' adopting 



8 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

the same sign ' over against the, Mermaid Tavern in Cheap- 
side.' " The Tavern was destroyed in the Great Fire. 

Here Sir Walter Raleigh is traditionjilly, said to have in- 
stituted " The Mermaid Club." Gifford has thus described 
the Club, adopting the tradition and the Friday-street loca- 
tion : " About this time [1603] Jonson probably began to 
acquire that turn for conviviality for which he was afterwards 
noted. Sir Walter Raleigh, previously to his unfortunate 
engagement with the wretched Cobham and others, had 
instituted a meeting of beaux esprits at the Mermaid, a 
celebraVed' tavern in Friday-street. ' Of this Club, which 
combined more talent aiid genius than ever met together 
before or since^ our 'author was a member; and here 
for many years he regularly repaired, ' 'with ' Shakspeare, 
Beaumont, Fletcher, Selden, Cotton, Carew, Martin, Doririe, 
and many others, whose names, even at this distant period, 
call up a mingled feeling of reverence and respect." But 
this is doubted. : A writer in the Athenceum, Sept. 16, 1.S65, 
states; "The origin of the common tale of R.aleigli founding 
the . Mermaid Club, of which Shakspeare is paid to have been 
a member, has not been traced. Is it older than Gifford?" 
Again : " Gifford's apparent- invention of the Mermaid Club. 
Prove to us that Raleigh founded the Mermaid Club, that 
the wits alteridfed it under his presidency, and you will have 
made a real contribution to our knowledge of Shakspeaie's 
time, even if you fail to shovy. that our Poet was a member-; 
of that Club.!', The. tradition, it is thought, must be added 
to the long list of Shakspearian dpnbts. 

Nevertheless, Fuller has described the wit-comba,ts be-^' 
tween Shakspeare and Ben Jon$pn, "which he beheld," 
meaning with his mind's eye, for he was only eight years of - 
age when , Shakspearp :died; "a circumstancej" says Mr.^ 
Charles Knight, .'^whi^ appears to- have been forgotten by 
some wh.o,have written, of ,thfse-; matters.",, But we have a 
noble jrecjprd left of the wit-combats in the celebrated epistle 
of Beaumont,^o Jonson -i^ , , -.- , 



THE APOLLO CLUB. 9 

Methinks the litfle wit I had is lost 
■ ^ Since I saw you.; for wit is like a rest 

Held up at tennis, which men do the best 

With the best gamesters : what things have we seen 

Done at the Mermaid. ! heard, wor^s that have been 

So nimble, a^d so full of subtile flame. 

As if that every one from whence they came 

Had meant to put his whole wit in a jest. 

And had fesolv'd to live a fool the rest ; 

Of his dull life j then when there hath been thrown 

Wit able enough to justify the town 

For three days past, wit that might warrant be 

For the whole city to talk foolishly 

'Till that were cancell'd ; and when that was gone 

We left an air behind us, which alone 

Was able to make the two next companies 

Right witty ; though but downright fools, -mere wise. 

The Apollo Club. 

The noted tavern, with the, sign of St. Dunstan pulling the 
Devil by the nose, stood between Temple Bar and the 
Middle Temple gate. It was a bouse of great resort in the 
reign of James I., and then kept by Simon Wadloe. 

In Ben Jonson's Stable of News, played in 1625, Penny- 
boy Canter advises, to 

Dine in Apollo, with Pecunia 
At brave Duke Wadloe's. 

Pennyboy junior replies — 

Content, i'th' faith; ; . , • . 

i ,Our meal shall be brought thither \ Simon the King 
Will bid us welcome. 

At whatr period Ben Jonson began to frequent ;this tavern 
is not certain; but we have his record that he wrote The 
DeviLis an Asse^ -p^ysA '^^ 1,616, when he and his .boys 
(adopted sons) "drank bad wine at the Devil." The 
principalroom was called ',' the Oracle of. Apollo," a large 
room evidently built apart, from the tavern ; and from Prior's 



10 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

and Charles Montagu's Hind and Panther Transversed it is 
shown to have been an upper apartment, or on the first 

story : — 

Hence to the Devil — 

Thus to the place where Jonson sat, we climb, 

Leaning on the same rail that guided him. 

Above the door was the bust of Apollo; and the following 
verses, " the Welcome," were inscribed in gold letters upon 
a black board, and "placed over the door at the entrance 
into the Apollo 

Welcome all, who lead or follow, 

To the Oracle of Af olio — 

Here he speaks out of his pottle, 

Or the tripos, his Tower bottle ; 

All his answers are divine. 

Truth itself doth flow in wine. 

Hang up all the poor hop-drinkers, 

Cries old Sim the king of skinkers ; 

He that half of life abuses, 

That sits watering with the Muses. 

Those dull girls no good can mean us ; 

Wine it is the milk of Venus, 

And the Poet's horse accounted : 

Ply it, and you all are mounted. 

'Tis the true Phoebeian liquor. 

Cheers the brain, makes wit the quicker, 

Pays all debts, cures all diseases. 

And at once three senses pleases. 

Welcome all, who lead or follow, 

To the Oracle of A folio. 

Beneath these verses was the name of the author, thus 
inscribed — " O Rare Ben Jonson," a posthumous tribute 
from his grave in Westminster Abbey. The bust appears 
modelled from the Apollo Belvedere, by some skilful person 
of the olden day, but has been several times painted. " The 
Welcome," originally inscribed in gold letters, on a thick 
black-painted board, has since been wholly repainted and 
gilded ; but the old thickly-lettered inscription of Ben's day 
may be seen as an embossment upon the modern painted 



■ THE APOLLO CLUB. n 

background. These poetic memorials are both preserved in 
the banking-house of the Messrs. Child. 

" The Welcome," says Mr. Burn, "it may be inferred, 
\vas placed in the interior of the room j so also, above the 
fireplace, were the Rules of the Club, said by early writers 
to have been inscribed in marble, but were in truth gilded 
letters upon a black-painted board, similar to the verses of 
the Welcome. These Rules are justly admired for the con- 
ciseness and elegance of the Latinity.'' They have been 
felicitously translated by Alexander Broome, one of the wits 
who frequented the Devil, and who was one of Ben Jonson's 
twelve adopted poetical sons. Latin inscriptions were also 
placed in other directions, to adorn the house. Over the 
clock in the kitchen, in 1731, there remained " Si nocturna 
tibi noceat potatio vini, hoc in mane hibes iterum, et fuerit 
medicina.'' Aubrey reports his uncle Danvers to have said 
that " Ben Jonson, to be near the Devil tavern, in King 
James's time, lived without Temple-barre, at a combe- 
maker's shop, about the Elephant and Castle /' and James 
Lord Scudamore has, in his Homer d la Mode, a travesty, 

said — 

Apollo had a flamen, 
Who in 's temple did say Amen. 

This personage certainly Ben Jonson represented in the great 
room of the Devil Tavern. Hither came all who desired to 
be " sealed of the tribe of Ben." " The Leget Conviviales,'' 
says Leigh Hunt, "which Jonson wrote for his Club, and 
which are to be found in his works, are composed in his 
usual style of elaborate and compiled learning, not without 
a taste of that dictatorial self-sufficiency, which, notwith- 
standing all that has been said by his advocates, and the 
good qualities he undoubtedly possessed, forms an indelible 
part of his character. ' Insipida poemata,' says he, ' nulla 
recitaniur' (Let nobody repeat to us insipid poetry) ; as if 
all that he should read of his own must infallibly be other- 
wise. The Club at the Devil does not appear to have 



12 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

resembled the higher one at the Mermaid, where Shakspeaie 
and Beaumont used to meet him. He most probably had 
it aU to himself." 

In the Rules of the Apollo Club, women of character 
were not excluded from attending the meetings— /'/-(7iJ« 
feminee non repudiantur. Marmion, one of Jonson's con- 
temporary dramatists, describes him in his presidential chair, 
as " the boon Delphic god :" — 

Careless. I am full 

Of Oracles. I am come from Apollo. 

Emilia. From Apollo ! 

Careless. From the heaven 

Of my delight, where the boon Delphic god 
Drinks sack, and keeps his bacchanalia, 
And has his incense and his altars smoaking, 
And speaks in sparkling prophecies ; thence I come, 
My brains' perfutiied with the rich Indian vapour, 
And heightened with conceits. From tempting beauties, 
From dainty music and poetic strains. 
From bowls of nectar and ambrosial dishes. 
From witty varlets, 'fine coinpanion's, 
And froni a mighty continent of pleasilre. 
Sails thy brave Careless. 

Randolph was by Ben- Jonson- adopted for his son, and 
that upon the following occasion. "Mr. Randolph having, 
been at London so l6hg as that he might truly have had a 
parley with his Empty Purse, was resolved to see Ben 
Jonson, with his associates, which, as he heard, at a set time 
kept a Club together at the Devil Tavern, neere Temple 
Ban accordingly, at the time appointed, he went thither, 
but beifig unknown to therh, and wanting money, which to 
an ingenious spirit is the most daunting thing in the world, 
he peeped in the room where they were, which being espied 
by Ben Jonson, and seeing him in a scholar's, threadbare 
habit, ' John Bo-peep,' says he, ' come in,' which accordingly 
he did ; when immediately they began to rhyme upon the 
meanness of liis clothes, asking him if he could not make a 



EARLY POLITICAL CLUBS. 13 

verse ?' and without to call for a quart of sack : there being 
four of them, he immediately thus replied, 

" I, John Bo-peep, to you four, sheep, — 
With each one his go6d fleece ; 
If that you are willing to give me five shilling, 
"Ilis fifteen-pence aTpiece." 

" By Jesus !" quoth Ben Jonson (his usual oath), " I 
believe this is my son Randolph;" which being made known 
to them, he was kindly entertained into their company, and 
Ben Jonson ever after called him son. He wrote The Muses' 
Looking-glass, Cambridge Duns, Parley with his. Empty 
Purse, and other poems. 

We shall have more to say of the Devil Tavern, which 
has other celebrities besides Jonson. 

Early Political Clubs. 

Our Clubs, or social gatherings, which date from the 
Restoration, were exclusively political. The first we hear of 
was the noted Rota, or Coffee Club, as Pepys calls it, which 
was founded in 1659, as a kind of debating society for the 
dissemination of Repubhcan opinions, which Harrington 
had painted in his fairest colours in his Oceana. It met in 
New Palace Yard, " where they take water at one Miles's, 
the next house to the stares, at one Miles's, where was made 
purposely a large ovall table, with a passage in the middle 
for Miles to deliver his coffee." Here Harrington gave 
- nightly lectures on the advantage of a commonwealth and 
of the ballot. The Club derived its name from a plan, which 
it was its design to promote, for changing a certain number 
of Members of Parliament annually by rotation. Sir William 
Petty was one of its members. Round the table, "in a 
room every evening as full as it could be crammed," says 
Aubrey, sat Milton and Marvell, Cyriac Skinner, Harring- 
ton, Nevill, and their friends, discussing abstract political 
questions. Aubrey calls them " disciples and virtuosi." 



14 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

The place had its dissensions and brawls : ",one time Mr. 
Stafford and his friends came in dnmk from the tavern, and 
affronted the Junto ; the soldiers offered to kick them down 
stayres, but Mr. Harrington's moderation and persuasion 
hindered it." 

To the Rota, in January, 1660, came Pepys, and "heard 
very good discourse in answer to Mr. Harrington's answer, 
who said that the state of the Roman government was not 
a settled government ; and so it was no wonder the .balance 
of prosperity was in one hand, and the command in another, 
it being therefore always in a posture of war: but it was 
carried by ballot that it was a steady government ; though, 
it is true, by the voices it had been carried before that, that 
it was an unsteady government. So to-morrow it is to be 
proved by the opponents that the balance lay in one hand 
and the government in another." The Club was broken up 
after the Restoration ; but its members had become marked 
men. Harrington's Oceana is an imaginary account of the 
construction of a commonwealth in a country, of which 
Oceana is the imaginary name. " Rota-men" occurs by way 
of comparison in Hudibras, part ii. canto 3 : 

But Sidrophel, as full of tricks 
As Rota-men of politics. 

Besides the Rota, there was the old Royalist Club, "The 
Sealed Knot," which, the year before the Restoration, had 
organized a general insurrection in favour of the King. 
Unluckily, they had a spy amongst them — Sir Richard 
Willis, — who had long fingered Cromwell's money, as one 
of his private " intelligencers ;" the leaders, on his mforma- 
tion, were arrested, and committed to prison. 

The October Club. 

The writer of an excellent paper in the National Review, 
No. VIII., well observes that "Politics under Anne had 
grown a smaller and less dangerous game than in the pre- 



THE OCTOBER CLUB. 15 

ceding century. The original political Clubs of the Common- 
wealth, the Protectorate, and the Restoration, plotted revo- 
lutions of government. The Parliamentary Clubs, after the 
Revolution of 1688, manoeuvred for changes of administra- 
tion. The high-flying Tory country gentleman and country 
member drunk the health of the King — sometinies over the 
water-decanter, and flustered himself with bumpers in honour 
of Dr. Sacheverell and the Church of England, with true- 
blue spirits of his own kidney, at the October Club, which, 
like the Beef Steak Club, was named after the cheer for 
which it was i^x&t^,-^October ale; or rather, on account of 
the quantities of the ale which the members drank. The 
hundred and fifty squires, Tories to tlie backbone, who, 
under the above name, met at the Bell Tavern, in King 
Street, Westminster, were of opinion that the party to which 
they belonged were too backward in punishing and turning 
out the Whigs ; and they gave uifinite trouble to the Tory 
administration which came into office under the leadership 
of Harley, St. John, and Harcourt, in 17 10. The Adminis- 
tration were for proceeding moderately with their rivals, and 
for generally replacing opponents with partisans. The 
October Club were for immediately impeaching every 
member of the Whig party, and for turning out, without a 
day's grace, every placeman who did not wear their colours 
and shout their cries." 

Swift was great at the October Club, and he was employed 
to talk over those who were amenable to reason, and to 
appease a discontent which was hastily ripening into mutiny. 
There are allusions to such negotiations in more than one 
passage of ^t Journal to Stella, in 1711. In a letter, 
February 10, 1710-11, he says : "We are plagued here with 
an October Club ; that is, a set of above a hundred Parlia- 
ment men of the country, who drink October beer at home, 
and meet every evening at a tavern near the Parliament, to 
consult affairs, and drive thmgs on to extremes against the 
Wings, to call the old ministry to account, and get off five 



. i6 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

or six heads." Swift's Advice humbly offered, to the Members 
of the' October: Club, had the desired effect of softening some, 
and convincing others, until the whole body of malcontents 
was first divided and finally dissdIVed. The treatise is a 
masterpiece- of Silirift's political skill, judiciously palliating 
those ministerial errors which could not be denied, and 
artfully intimating those excuses, which, resting upon the 
disposition of Queen Anne herself, could; not, in policy or 
decency, be openly pleaded. 

The red-hot " tantivies," for whose loyalty the October 
Club was not thorough-going enough, seceded from the 
original body, and formed " the March Club," more Jaco- 
bite and rampant in its hatred of the Whigs, than the Society 
from which it branched. 

King Street would, at this time, be a strange location for 
a Parliamentary Club, like the October j narrow and obscure 
as is the street, we must remember that a century ago, it was 
the only thoroughfare to the Palace at Westminster and the 
Houses of Parliament. When the October was broken up, 
the portrait of Queen Arine, by Dahl,^ which ornamented the 
club-room, was bought of the .Club, after the Queen'Scdeath, 
by the Corporation of Salisburj*, and may still bfe seen' in 
their Council-chamber. (<Z\am\Xy'^^v!!^ Handboih, and edit., 

p.. 364.) ,!-.. ;-V - , 

The Saturday, and Brothers Glubs. 

Few men appear to have so well, studied: the social. and 
political objects of Club-life as Dean^ Swift. One: of his 
resorts was the old Saturday Club. / JHe. tells Stella (to 
whom he specially reported most df. his club arrangements), 
in 1711, there were " Lord I^eeper, Lord Rivers,; Mr. 
Secretary, Mr. Harley, and I." Ofjthesame Club he writes, 
in 17 13 : "I dined with Lord. Treasurer,, arid -shaiLagain to- 
morrow, which is his day, when all: the iminjstersi dine with 
him. He calls it whipping-day*i; , Itl is .alyfrays on Saturday ; 



Relics of the Sublime Society of. Beefsteaks. 




The Old Gridiron, recently sold at Christie's. 





The Rine. 





Old Badge. 



Modern Badge. 



THE SATURDAY, AND BROTHERS CLUBS. 17 

and we do, indeed, rally him about his faults on that day, 
I was of the original Club, when Only poor Lord Rivers, 
Lord Keeper, and Lord Boliilgbroke came; but now 
Ormond, Anglesey, Lord Stewart, Dartrticfuth, and other 
rabble intrude, and I scold at it ; but now they pretend as 
good a title as I ; and, indeed, many Saturdays I am not 
there. The company being too many, I don't love it." 
Ir the same year Swift framed the rules of the Brothers 
-^ Club, which met every Thursday. " The end of our Club," 
he says, " is to advance conversation and friendship, and to 
reward learning without interest or recommendation. We 
take in none but men of wit, or men of interest ; and if we 
go on as we began, no other Club in this town will be worth 
talking of." 

The Journal about this time is very full of Brothers Arran 
and Dupplin, Masham and Ormond, Bathurst and Harcourt, 
Orrery and Jack Hill, and other Tory magnates of the Club, 
or Society as Swift preferred to call it. We find him enter- 
taining his "Brothers" at the Thatched House Tavein, in 
St. James's Street, at the cost of Seven good guineas. He 
must have been an influential member; he writes: "We 
are now, in all, nine lords and ten commoners. The Duke 
of Beaufort had the confidence to propose his brother-in- 
law, the Earl of D'anby, to be a member, but I opposed it so 
warmly, that it was waived. Danby is not above twenty, 
and we will 'have' no more boys ; and we want -bftt two to 
make tip our n'umb^r."' I staid till eight, and 'then we all 
went away soberly. The Duke of Ormetfd's trekt last week 
cost 20/., though 'it was only four dishes' and four Without 
a dessert >■' arid I bespoke it in order to beeheap. Yet I 
could not prevail to change ' the house.' L"Ord Treasurer is 
in a rage with us for being so extragaivarit ; and the wine 
was not reckoned neither, for that is always' brought in by- 
him that is- president." '■' - 

Nftt long after thisj Swift' writes : "'Our Society does not 
meet' now as -aSUal';' for which I am blamed; but till 

c 



ig CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Treasurer will agree to give us money and employments to 
bestow, I am averse to it, and he gives us nothing but 
promises. We now resolve to meet but once a fortnight, 
and have a committee every other week of six or seven, to 
consult about doing some good. I proposed another message 
to Lord Treasurer by three principal members, to give a 
hundred guineas to a certain person, and they are to urge it 
as well as they can." 

One day. President Arbuthnot gives the Society a dinner, 
dressed in the Queen's, kitchen : " we eat it in Ozinda's 
Coifee-house just by St. James's. We were never merrier or 
better company, and did not part till after eleven." In 
May, we hear how " fifteen of our Society dined together 
under a canopy in an arbour at Parson's Green last Thurs- 
day. I never saw anything so fine and romantic." 

Latterly, the Club removed to the Star and Garter, in 
Pall Mall, owing to the dearness of the Thatched House ; 
after this, the expense was wofuUy complained of At these . 
meetings, we may suppose, the literature of politics fomied 
the staple of the conversation. The last epigram, the last, 
pamphlet, the last Examiner, would be discussed with keen; 
relish; and Swift mentions one occasion on which an im- 
promptu subscription was got up for a poet, who had 
lampooned Marlborough : on which occasion all the com- 
pany subscribed two guineas each, except Swift himself,' 
Arbuthnot, and Friend, who only gave one. Bolingbroke, 
who was an active member, and Swift were on a footing of 
great familiarity. St. John used to give capital dinnel-s and 
plenty of champagne and burgundy to his hterary coadjutor, 
who never ceased to wonder at the ease with which our 
Secretary, got through his labours, and who worked for him 
in turn with the sincerest devotion, though always, asserting 
his equality, in the sturdiest manner. 

Many pleasant glimpses of convivial meetings are afforded 
in the Journal to Stella, when there was " much drinking, 
little thinking," and the business which they had met to 



THE SATURDAY, AND BROTHERS CLUBS. 19 

consider was deferred to a more convenient season. 
Whether (observes a contemporary) the power of conversa- 
tion has declined or not, we certainly fear that the power of 
drinking has ; and the imagination dwells with melancholy 
fondness on that state of society in which great men were 
not forbidden to be good fellows, which we fancy, whether 
rightly or wrongly, must have been so superior to ours, in 
which wit and eloquence succumb to statistics, and claret 
has given place to coffee. 

The Journal to Stella reveals Swift's sympathy for poor 
starving authors, and how he carried out the objects of the 
Society, in this respect. Thus, he goes to see " a poor poet, 
one Mr. Diaper, in a nasty garret, very sick," described in 
the Journal as " the author of the Sea Eclogues, poems of 
Mermen, resembling pastorals and shepherds ; and they are 
very pretty and the thought is new." -Then Swift tells us he 
thinks to recommend Diaper to the Society ; he adds, "I 
must do something for him, and get him out of the way. 
I hate to have any new wits rise; but when they do 
rise, I would encourage them ; but they tread on our 
heels and thrust us off the stage." Only a few days before. 
Swift had given Diaper twenty guineas from Lord Bolihg- 
broke. 

Then we get at the business of " the Brothers," when we 
learn that the printer attended the dinners ; and the Journal 
tells us : "There was printed a Grub-street speech of Lord 
Nottingham, and he was such an owl to complain of it 
in the House of Lords, who have taken up the printer for it. 
I heard at Court that Walpole, (a great Whig member,) said 
that I. and my whimsical Club writ it at one of our meetings, 
and that I should pay for it. He will find he lies ; and I 
shall let him know by a third hand my thoughts of him." 
. . . "To-day I published The Fable of Midas, a poem 
printed on a loose half-sheet of paper. I know not how it 
will take; but it passed wonderfully at our Society to- 
night." At one dinner, the printer's news is that the 

c 2 



20 CLUB LIFE OF J.0NO0N. 

Chancellor of the Exdiequerhad sent Mr* Adisworth,. the 
author of the Examiner, .tvicenty guineas. 

There were gay sparks among " the Brothers," as Colonel 
or "Duke " Disney, "a fellow of abundance of humour, an 
old battered rake, but very honest ; not an old man, -but an 
old rake. It was he that said of Jenny Kingdown, the maid 
of honour, who is a little old, ' that since she could not get 
a husband, the Queen should give her a brevet to act as a 
married woman.'" — Journal to Stella. 

The Scriblefus Club. 

" The Brothers,'' as we have already seen, was a political 
Club, which, . having in great measure served its purpose, 
was broken up. Next year,. I7i4', Swift ; was again in 
London, and in place of "the Brothers,". formed the cele- 
brated "Scriblenis Qub," an association lather of a liteiary 
than a political character. Oxford and St. , John^ Swift, 
Arbuthnot, Pope, . and Gay, were members. ^ Satire uponjthe 
abuse of human learning was their leading object T9ie 
name originated as follows. - Oxford used playfully to; call 
Swift Martin, and from/this sprung ,Martimis Scriblerus.. 
Swift, as is well known, is the name of one species' of 
swallow, (the largest and most, powerful flier of theTtribe,) 
and .Martin is the name of another species, .the wall-swallow, 
which constructs its Jiest in buildings. 

Part of ;the labours of the Society has been preserved in 
P. P., Clerk: of the, Parish, the most memorable satire upon 
Burnet's History of his Omn.:>Time, and part has been 
rendered immortal by the Travels of Lemuel Gulliver:, but, 
says Sir Walter Scott, in his Life ofSmift, "the violenceiof 
political faction, -like a storm that spares the laurel no more 
than the cedar, dispersed this little band of literary brethren, 
and prevented the accomplishment of a task for which 
talents :so various, so extended, and so brilHant, can never 
again be united." 



THE CALVES HEAD CLUB. 21 

Oxford and ' Bolingbfoke, themselves accomplished 
scholars, patrions and friends both of the persons and to 
genius' thus assbciated, led the wSy, by their mutual ani- 
mosity, to the dissolution of the confraternity. Their 
discord had now risen to the highest pitcK '^ Swift tried the 
force of ^ humorous expostulation in his fable of the Fagot, 
where the ministers are called upon to contribute their 
▼arious badges of office, to make the bundle strong and 
secure. But all was in vain ; and, at length, tired with this 
scene of murmuring and discontent,- quarrel, ihisuriderstand- 
ing, and halted, the 'Dean, who was almost the only common 
friend who laboured to 'Compose these differences, made a 
final effort' at reconciliation ; but his scheme came to nothing, 
and Swift-' retreated from the ' scene ' of 'discord, ' without 
taking part with either of his contending friends, and went to 
the house of the Reverend Mr. Gery, at Upper Letcombe, 
Berkshire, where he resided for some weeks in the strictest 
seclusioUf; This secession of Swift from the " political w'orld 
excited the ^greatest surprise : the public wondered, — the 
party writers* exulted in a- thousand ineffectual libels agkinst 
the retreating chanipion of the ■ 'high church, — and his 
friends conjured him in numerous letters to return and 
reassume the task 'of a peacernaker; this, he positively 
declined. 

The Calves' Head Club. 

The Calves' Head Club, in '^ridiciile of the memory of 
Charles I.,^' has a strange history. It is first noticed in a 
tract reprinted in the Harleian Miscellany. It is entitled 
" The Secret History of the Calves' Head Cliib; or the Re- 
publican unmasked. Wherein is fully shown the Religion of 
the Calved Head Heroes, in their Anniversary Thanksgiving 
Songs on the 2,0th of J^anuary, by them called Anthems, for 
the years i6^^,' i6<)/^, 1695, 1696^ 1697. Now published to 
demonstrate the restless implacable Spirit of a certain party still 



22 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

amongst us, who are never to be satisfied until the present 
Establishment in Church and State is subverted. The Second 
Edition. London, 1 703." The Author of this Secret History, 
supposed to be Ned Ward, attributed the origin of the Club 
to Milton, and some other friends of the Commonwealth, in 
opposition to Bishop Nixon, Dr. Sanderson, and others, who 
met privately every 30th of January, and compiled a private 
form of service for the day, not very different from that long 
used. "After the Restoration," says the writer, " the eyes 
of the government being upon the whole party, they were 
obliged to meet with a great deal of precaution ; but in the 
reign of King William they met almost in a public manner, 
apprehending no danger." The writer further tells us, he 
was informed that it was kept in no fixed house, but that 
they moved as they thought convenient. The place where 
they met when his informant was with them was in a blind 
alley near Moorfields, where an axe hung up in the club- 
room, and was reverenced as a principal symbol in this 
diabolical sacrament. Their bill of fare was a large dish of 
calves' heads, dressed several ways, by which they repre- 
sented the king and his friends who had suffered in his 
cause; a large pike, with a small one in his mouth, as an 
emblem of tyranny ; a large cod's head, by which they 
intended to represent the person of the king singly; a boar's 
head with an apple in its mouth, to represent the king by 
this as bestial, as by their other hieroglyphics they had done 
foolish and tyrannical. After the repast was over, one of 
their elders presented an Icon Basilike, which was with great 
solemnity burnt upon the table, whilst the other anthems 
were singing. After this, another produced Milton's Defensio 
Fopuli Anglicani, upon which all laid their hands, and made 
a protestation in form of an oath for ever to stand by and 
maintain the same. The company only consisted of Inde- 
pendents and Anabaptists ; and the famous Jeremy White, 
formerly chaplain to Oliver Cromwell, who no doubt came 
to sanctify with his pious exhortations the ribaldry of the 



THE CALVES' HEAD CLUB. 23 

day, said grace. After the table-cloth was removed, the 
anniversary anthem, as they impiously called it, was sung, 
and a calf s skull filled with wine, or other liquor ; and then 
a brimmer went about to the pious memory of those worthy 
patriots who had killed the tyrant and relieved their country 
from his arbitrary sway : and, lastly, a collection was made 
for the mercenary scribbler, to which every man contributed 
according to his zeal for the cause and ability of his purse. 

The tract passed, with many- augmentations as valueless 
as the original trash, through no less than nine editions, the 
last dated 1716. Indeed, it would appear to be a literary 
fraud, to keep alive the calumny. All the evidence produced 
concerning the meetings is from hearsay : the writer of the 
Secret History had never himself been present at the Club ; 
and his friend from whom he profe'sses to have received his 
information, though a Whig, had no personal knowledge of 
the Club. The slanderous rumour about Milton having to 
do with the institution of the Club may be passed over as 
unworthy of notice, this untrustworthy tract being the only 
authority for it. Lowndes says, " this miserable tract has 
been attributed to the author oilludibrds;" but it is altogether 
unworthy of him. 

Observances, insulting to the memory of Charles I., were 
not altogether unknown. Heame tells us that on the 30th 
of January, 1706-7, some young men in All Souls College, 
Oxford, dined together at twelve o'clock, and amused them- 
selves with cutting off the heads of a number of woodcocks, 
" in contempt of the memory of the blessed martyr." They 
tried to get calves-heads, but the cook refused to dress 
them. 

Some thirty years after, there occurred a scene which 
seemed to give colour to the truth of the Secret History. 
On January 30, 1735, "Seme young noblemen and gentle- 
men met at a tavern in SuffglkTStreet,, called themselves the 
Calves' Head Club, dressed- ftR\ft.ealfs head in a napkin, 
and after some hurras threw ;it, into a bonfire, and dipped 



24 , CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

napkins, in .their red wine and waved them out of the 
window. The mob had strong beer given them, and for a 
time hallooed as well as the best, but .taking disgust at some 
healths proposed^ grew so outrageous that they broke all the 
windows, and forced themselves into the house; but the 
guards being sent for, prevented further mischief. The 
Weekly Chronicle oi'SehiMaxy i, 1735, states that the damage 
was estimated at 'some hundred pounds,' and -that the 
guards were posted all night in the street, for the security of 
the neighbourhood." 

In L'Abbd Le Blanc's Letters we find this account of the 
affair,: — ;"Some young men of quality chose to abandon 
themselves to the debauchery of drinking, healths on the 
30th of January, a day appointed by the Church of England 
for ageneral fast, to expiate the murder of Charles I., whom 
they honour as a martyr. As soon as they were heated with 
wine, they began to: sing. This gave great offence to the 
people, who stopped - before the tavern, and gave them 
abusive language. One of these rash young men put his 
head out of the window and drank to the memory of the 
army which dethroned this King, and to the rebels which 
cut off his head upon a scaffold. The stones^ immediately 
flew from all parts, thie furious populace broke the windows 
'of the house,- arid would haVe^et fire to it; and these silly 
young men had a great deal of difficulty to save themselves." 

Miss Banks tells us that " Lord-Middlesex, Lord Boyne, 
and Mr. SeawalHs Shirley, were certainly present ; probably. 
Lord John Sackville, Mr. Ponsonby, afterwards Lord Bes- 
borough, was not there. Lord Boyne's finger was broken 
by a stone which came in at the window. Lord Harcourt 
was supposed to be present.'' Horace Walpole adds : " The 
mob destroyed part of the house ; Sir William (called- Hell- 
fire) Stanhope was one of the members." 

This riotous occurrence was the occasion of some verses 
in The Gmb-sireef Journal, from which the following lines 
may be quoted as throwing additional light on the scene:— 



THB CALVES HEAD CLVB. 2% 

Strange times. !^ when noble peers, secure from riot. 
Can't keep NolJ's atmual festival in quiet, 
Through sasheis, brojte,, dirt,, stones, and brands thrown at 'em, 
Which, if not sc^d- wais brandralu^ magnatitm. 
Forced to run dovifn .to vaults for s^er quarters. 
And in coal-holj^s their, ribbons hide and garters. 
They thought their feast in dismal fray, thus, ending. 
Themselves to shades of death and hell descending ; 
This might have been, had stout Clare Market mobsters. 
With cleavers arm'd, outmarch'd St. James's lobsters ; 
.Numskulls they'd split, to furnisl^ other revels, 
And make a Calves' -head Feast ^r worms and devils. 

The manner in which Noll!s. (Oliver Gromwell's) "annual 
festival" is here alluded to, seems to show that the bonfire 
with the calf s-head and other accompaniments, had been 
exhibited .in previous years. In confirmation of this fact, 
there exis^^ a priat; entitled. J%e True E-ffigies. of the Members 
of the Calve£-Head Club, held on the ■^oth of January, 1734, 
in Suffolk Street, in the County of Middlesex ; being the year 
before the riotous ' occurrence above related. This print 
show,s. a.ibOjnfire.in the, centre; of the foreground, with the 
mobij iin the :background, a house with three windows, the 
central, wJpdQw, exhibiting two men, one, of whom is about 
to. throw the caiPs-head into- the bonfire below. The window 
on 'the right shows three persons drinking healths ; that on 
the left, two other persons, one of whom wears, a mask, 
and, has an axe in his .hand. 

There are two other prints^ one engraved by the father of 
Vandergucht, from a drawing by Hogarth. 

After the tablecloth was removed (says the author), an 
anniversary anthem was sung, and a calf s skull filled with 
wine or other liquor, and out of which the company drank 
to the pious memory of those worthy patriots who had, killed 
the tyrant; and; lastly, a collection was made for the. writer 
pf the, anthem, to which, every man contributed according 
to his zeal or his means. The concluding lines of the 
.anthem for the year 1697 are a:s follow ;-— 



26 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Advance the emblem of the action, 

Fill the calPs skull full of wine ; 
Drinking ne'er was counted faction, 

Men and gods adore the vine. 
To the heroes gone before us, 

Let's renew the flowing bowl ; 
While the lustre of their glories 

Shines like stars from pole to pole. 

The laureate of the Club and of this doggrel was Benjamin 
Bridgwater, who, alluding to the observance of the 30th of 
January by zealous Royalists, wrote : — 

They and we, this day observing. 

Differ only in one thing ; 
They are canting, whining, starving ; 

We, rejoicing, drink, and sing. 

Among Swift's poems will be remembered " Roland's 
Invitation to Dismal to dine with the Calf s-Head Club" : — 

While an alluding hymn some artist sings. 
We toast " Confusion to the race of kings." 

Wilson, in his Life of De Foe, doubts the truthfulness of 
Ward's narrative, but adds : " In the frighted mmd of a 
high-flying churchman, which was continually haunted by 
such scenes, the caricature would easily pass for a likeness." 
" It is probable," adds the honest biographer of De Foe, 
" that the persons thus collected together to commemorate 
the triumph of their principles, although in a manner dictated 
by bad taste, and outrageous to humanity, would have con- 
fined themselves to the ordinary methods of eatilig and 
drinking, if it had not been for the ridiculous farce so 
generally acted by the Royalists upon the same day. The 
trash that issued from the pulpit in this reign, upon the 30th 
of January, was such as to excite the worst passions in the 
hearers. Nothing can exceed the grossness of language 
employed upon these occasions. Forgetful- even of common 
decorum, the speakers ransacked the vocabulary of the 
vulgar for terms of vituperation, and hurled their anathemas 



THE CALVES HEAD CLUB. 37 

with wrath and fury against the objects of their hatred. The 
terms rebel and fanatic were so often upon their lips, that 
they became the reproach of honest men, who preferred the 
scandal to the slavery they attempted to estabUsh. Those 
who could profane the pulpit with so much rancour in the 
support of senseless theories, and deal it out to the people 
for religion, had little reason to complain of a few absurd 
men who mixed politics and calves' heads at a tavern ; and 
still less, to brand a whole religious community with their 
actions." 

The strange story was believed till our own time, when it 
was fully disproved by two letters written a few days after 
the riotous occurrence, by Mr. A. Smyth, to Mr. Spence, 
and printed in the Appendix to his Anecdotes, 2nd edit. 
1858 : in one it is stated, " The affair has been grossly mis- 
represented all over the town, and in most of the public 
papers : there was no calf's-head exposed at the window, 
and afterwards thrown into the fire, no napkins dipt in claret 
to represent blood, nor nothing that could give any colour 
to any such reports. The meeting (at least with regard to 
our friends) was entirely accidental," etc. The second 
letter alike contradicts the whole story ; and both attribute 
much of the disturbance to the unpopularity of the Adminis- 
tration; their health being unluckily proposed, raised a 
few faint claps but a general hiss, and then the disturbance 
began. A letter from Lord Middlesex to Spence, gives a 
still fuller account of the affair. By the style of the letter 
one may judge what sort of heads the members had, and 
what was reckoned the polite way of speaking to a waiter in 

those days ; — 

" Whitehall, Feb. y« 9th, 1735. 

" Dear Spanco, — I don't in the least doubt but long before 
this time the noise of the riot on the 30th of January has 
reached you at Oxford ; and though there has been as many 
lies and false reports raised upon the occasion in this good 
city as any reasonable man could expect, yet I fancy eveh 



28 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

those may be improved or increased before they come to 
you. Now, that you may be able to defend your friends (as 
I don't in the least doubt you have an inclination to do), 
111 send you the matter of fact literally and truly as it 
happened, upon my honour. Eight of us happened to meet 
together the 30th of January, it might have been the loth 
of June, or any other day in the year, but the mixture of 
the company has convinced most reasonable people by this 
time that it was not a designed or premeditated affair. We 
met, then, as I told you before, by chance upon this day, 
and after dinner, having drunk very plentifully, especially 
some of the company, some of us going to the window un- 
luckily saw a little nasty fire made by some boys in the street, 
of straw I think it was, and immediately cried out, ' D — n it, 
why should not we have a fire &s well as anybody else ?' Up 
comes the drawer, ' D — ^n you, you rascal, get us a bonfire.' 
Upon which the imprudent puppy runs down,; and without 
making any difficulty (which he- might have' done by a 
thousand excuses, and which if he had,' in all probability, 
some pf us would have come more to our senses), sends for 
the faggots, and in an instant behold a large fire blazing 
before the door. Upon which some of us> wiser, or rather 
soberer than the rest, bethinking themselves then, for the 
first time, what day it was, and fearing the consequences a 
bonfire on that day might have, proposed drinking loyal and 
popular healths to the mob (out of the window), which by 
this time was very great, in order to convince them we did 
not intend it as a ridicule upon that day. The healths that 
were drank out of the window were these, and these only: 
the King, Queen, and Royal Family, the Protestant Succes- 
sion, Liberty and Property, the present Administration. 
Upon which the first stone was flung, and then began our 
siege : which, for the time it lasted j was at least as furious 
as that of Philipsbourg ; it was more than an hour before we 
got any assistance; the more sober part of us, doing this, 
had a fine time of it, fighting to prevent fighting ; in danger 



THE CALVES HEAD CLUB. 29 

of being knocked on the head by the stones that came in at 
the windows ; in danger of being run through by our mad 
friends, who, sword in hand, swore they would go out, 
though they first made their way through us. At length the 
justice, attended by a strong body of guards, came and 
dispersed the populace. The person who first stirred up the 
mob is known ; he first gave them money, and then harangued 
them in a most violent manner ; I don't know if he did not 
fling the first stone himself. He is an Irishman and a priest, 
and belonging to Imberti, the Venetian Envoy. This is 
the whole story from which so many calves' heads, bloody 
napkins, and the Lord knows what, has been made ; it has 
bieen the talk of the town and the country, and small beer 
and bread and cheese to my friends the gatretteers in Grub- 
street, for these few days past. I, as well as your fiiends, 
hojje to see yoii soon in town. After so much prose, I can't 
help ending witli a few verses : — 

O had I lived; in merry Charles's days. 

When dull the wise were called, and wit had praiSe ; 

When deepest politics could never pass 

For aught; but surer tokens of an ass ; 
' When >nbt the frolicks of one drunken night 

Couldjtouch your honour, make your ,£ime- less bright ; . , 
. Tho' mob'form'd scandal rag'd, and Papal spi^ht. n, 

" Middlesex." 

To sum up, the whole affair was a hoax, kept klive by the 
pretended "Secret Histoiy." An accidental riot, fellowing 
a debauch on one 30th of Ja;iuary, has been distributed be- 
tween two successive years, owjrig-tQ a misappteheftSipn of 
the niodb of reckoniijg ):itiie' pre^al^nt in theearlyjiart dfthe 
lasi cejituiT^'; ■and,'ftere'is''%ci' ihbre- reason' for, belie\ang in 
the eHstepcf'ofTCalVe^^'ftfea^Cliib in ^734-5' than there 
isforbe\i'e\dn|it'Vxisflat'.the'pr^s,eiit,tim'e. ^ 



3P CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

The King's Head Club. 

• Another Club of this period was the " Club of Kings," or 
" the King Club," all the members of which were called 
" King." Charles himself was an honorary member. 

A more important Club was " the King's Head Club," 
instituted for affording the Court and Government support, 
and to influence Protestant zeal : it was designed by the 
unscrupulous Shaftesbury : the members were a sort of De- 
cembrists of their day; but they failed in their aim, and 
ultimately expired under the ridicule of being designated 
" hogs in armour." " The gentlemen of that worthy Society," 
says Roger North, in his Examen, "held their evening 
sessions continually at the King's Head Tavern, over 
against the Inner Temple Gate. But upon the occasion of 
the signal of a green ribbon, agreed to be worn in their hats 
in the days of street engagements, like the coats-of-arms of 
valiant knights of old, whereby all warriors of the Society 
might be distinguished, and not mistake friends for enemies, 
they were called also the Great Ribbon Club. Their seat 
was in a sort of Carfour at Chancery-lane end, a centre of 
business and company most proper for such anglers of 
fools. The house was double balconied in the front, as 
may be yet seen, for the clubsters to issue forth in fresco 
with hats and no peruques ; pipes in their mouths, merry 
faces, and diluted throats, for vocal encouragement of the 
canaglia below, at bonfires, on usual and unusual occasions. 
They admitted all strangers that were confidingly intro- 
duced ; for it was a main end of their Institution to make 
proselytes, especially of the raw estated youth, newly come 
to town. This copious Society were to the faction in and 
about London a sort of executive power, and, by corre- 
spondence, all over England. The resolves of the more 
retired councils of the ministry of the Factioii were brought 
in here, and orally insinuated to the company, Vhether it 



THE KING'S HEAD CLUB. 31 

were lyes, defamations, commendations, projects, etc., and 
so, like water diffused, spread all over the town ; whereby 
that which was digested at the Club over night, was, like 
nourishment, at every assembly, male and female, the next 
day : — and thus the younglings tasted of political adminis- 
tration, and took themselves for notable counsellors." 

North regarded the Green Ribbon Club as the focus of 
disaffection and sedition, but his mere opinions are not 
to be depended on. Walpole calls him " the voluminous 
squabbler in behalf of the most unjustifiable excesses of 
Charles the Second's Administration." Nevertheless, his 
relation of facts is very curious, and there is no reason 
to discredit his account of those popular " routs,'' to use his 
own phrase, to which he was an eye-witness. 

The conversation and ordinary discourse of the Club, he 
informs us, "was chiefly upon the subject of Braveur, 
in defending the cause of Liberty and Property; what 
every true Protestant and Englishman ought to venture to 
do, rather than be overpowered with Popery and Slavery." 
They were provided with silk armour for defence, " against 
the time that Protestants were to be massacred," and, in 
order "to be assailants upon fair occasion," they had 
recommended to them, " a certain pocket weapon which, 
for its design and efficacy, had the honour to be called 
a Protestant Flail. The handles resembled a farrier's blood- 
stick, and the fall was joined to the end by a strong nervous 
ligature, that, in its swing, fell just short of the hand, and 
was made of Lignum Vita, or rather, as the poets termed it, 
Mortis.'' This engine was " for street and crowd-work, and 
lurking perdue in a coat-pocket, might readily saUy out to 
execution ; and so, by clearing a great Hall or Piazza, or so, 
carry an Election by choice of Polling, called knocking 
down!" The armour of the hogs is further described as 
" silken back, breast, and potts, that were pretended to be 
pistol-proof, in which any man dressed up was as safe as in 
a house, for it was impossible any one would go to strike 



32 CLUB LIFE OM LONDON. 

him for laughing, so ridiculous was the figure, as they say, 
oi hogs in armour." 

In describing the Pope-burning procession of the 1 7th of 
November, 1680, Roger North says, that "the Rabble first 
changed their title, and were called the Mob in the 
assemblies of this Club. It was their Beast of Burthen, 
and called first, mobile vtdgiis, but fell naturally into the 
contraction of one syllable, and ever since is become proper 
English." 

We shall not describe these Processions : the grand object 
was the burning of figures, prepared for the occasion, and 
brought by the Mob in procession, from the further end of 
London with " staffiers and link-boys sounding,'' and " coming 
up near to the Club-Quality in the balconies, against which 
was provided a huge boniire ;" " and then, after numerous 
platoons and volleys of squibs discharged, these Bamboches 
were, with redoubled noise, committed to the flames." 
These outrageous celebrations were suppressed in 1683. 

Street Clubs. 

During the first quarter of the last century, there were 
formed in the metropolis " Street Clubs," of the inhabitants 
of the same street ; so that a man had but to stir a few 
houses from his own door to enjoy his Club and the society 
of his neighbours. There was another inducement: the 
streets were then so unsafe that " the nearer home a man's 
club lay the bettei; for his clothes and his purse. Even 
riders in coaches were not safe from mounted footpads, and 
from the danger of upsets in the huge ruts and pits which 
intersected the streets. The passenger who could not afford a 
coach had to pick his way, after dark, along the dimly-lighted, 
ill-paved thoroughfares, seamed by filthy open kennels, 
besprinkled from projecting spouts, bordered by gaping 
cellars, guarded by feeble old watchmen, and beset with 
daring street-robbers. But there were worse terrors of the 



THE MOHOCKS. 33 

night than the chances of a splashing or a sprain, — risks 
beyond those of an interrogatory by the watch, or of a 
'stand and deliver' from a footpad." These were the. 
lawless rake-hells who, banded into clubs, spread terror and 
dismay through the streets. Sir John Fielding, in his 
cautionary book, published in 1776, described the dangerous 
attacks of intemperate rakes in hot blood, who, occasionally 
and by way of bravado, scour the streets, to show their 
manhood, not their humanity ; put the watch to flight ; and 
now and then murdered some harailess, inoffensive person. 
Thus, although there are in London no ruffians and bravos, 
as in some parts of Spain and Italy, who will kill for hire, 
yet there is no resisting anywhere the wild sallies of youth, 
and the extravagances that flow from debauchery and wine. 
One of our poets has given a necessary caution, especially 
to strangers, in the following lines : — 

Prepare for death, if here at night you roain, 
And sign your -ivill before you sup from home ; 
Some fiery fop with new commission vain, 
Who sleeps on brambles 'till he kills his man ; 
Some frolic druiikard, reeling from a feast, 
Provokes a broil, and stabs you iii a jest. 
Yet, ev'n these heroes, mischievously. gay, 
Lords of the street, and terrors of the way ; 
Flush'd as they are with folly, youth,, and wine, 
Their prudent insults to the poor confine ; 
Afar they mark the flambeau's bright approach, 
And shun the shining train and gilded coach. 

The Mohocks. 

This nocturnal fraternity met in the days of Queen Anne : 
but it had been for many previous years the favourite a;muse- 
ment of dissolute young men to form themselves into Clubs 
and Associations for committing all sorts of excesses in the 
public streets, and alike attacking orderly pedestrians^ and 
even defenceless women. These Cltibs took various slang' 

D 



34 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

designations. At the Restoration they were " Mums " and 
" Tityre-tus." They were succeeded by the " Hectors " and 
" Scourers," when, says Shadwell, " a man could not go from 
the Rose Tavern to the Piazza once, but he must venture 
his life twice." Then came the " Nickers," whose delight it 
was to smash windows with showers of halfpence ; next were 
the " Hawkabites ;" and lastly, the " Mohocks." These 
last are described in the Spectator, No. 324, as a set of men 
who have borrowed their name from a sort of cannibals, in 
India, who subsist by plundering and devouring all the 
nations about them. The president is styled " Emperor of 
the Mohocks j" and his arms are a Turkish crescent, which 
his iinperial majesty bears at present in a very extraordinary 
manner engraven upon his forehead ; in imitation of which 
the Memfcers prided themselves in tattooing ; or slashing 
people's faces with, as Gay wrote, " new invented wounds." 
Their avowed design was mischief, and upon this foundation 
all their rales and orders were framed. They took care to 
drink themselves to a pitch beyond reason or humanity, and 
then made a general sally, arid attacked all who were in the 
streets. Some were knocked down, others stabbed, and others 
cut and carbonadoed. To put the watch to a total rout, and 
mortify some of those inoffensive militia, was reckoned a 
coup d'klat. They had special barbarities, which they 
executed upon their prisoners. " Tipping the • lion " was 
squeezing the nose flat to the face and boring out the eyes 
with their fingers. " Dancing-masters " were those who 
taught their scholars to cut capers by running swords 
through their legs. The " Tumblers " set women on their 
heads. The " Sweaters " worked in parties of half-a-dozen, 
surrounding their victims with the points of their swords. 
The Sweater upon whom the patient turned his back, pricked 
him in " that part whereon schoolboys are punished ;'' and 
as he veered round from the smart, each Sweater repeated 
this pinking operation ; " after this jig had gone two or three 
times round, and the patient was thought to have sweat 



THE MOHOCKS. 35 

sufficiently, he was very handsomely rubbed down by some 
attendants who carried with thtem instruments for that pur- 
pose, when they discharged him. An adventure of this kind 
is narrated in No. 332 of the Spectator: it is there termed a 
bagnio, for the orthography of which the writer consults the 
sign-posts of the bagnio in Newgate-street and that in 
Chancery-lane. 

Another savage diversion of the Mohocks was their thrust- 
ing women into barrels, and rolling them down Snow or 
Liidgate Hill, as thus sung by Cay, in his Trivia : — 

Now is the time that rakes their revels keep ; 

Kindlers of riot, enemies of sleep. 

His scattered pence the flying Nicker flings, 

And with the copper shower the casement rings. 

Who has not heard the Scourer's midnight fame? ^ 

Who has not trembled at the Mohock's name ? 

Was there a watchman took his hourly rounds 

Safe from their blows or new-invented wounds ? 

I pass their desperate deeds and mischiefs, done 

Where from Snow-hill black steepy torrents run ; 

How matrons, hooped within the hogshead's womb. 

Were tumbled furious thence ; the rolling tomb 

O'er the stones thunders, bounds from side to side ; 

So Regulus, to save his country, died. 

Swift was inclined to doubt these savageries, yet went ion 
some apprehension of them. He writes, jnst at the date of 
the above Spectator : " Here is the devil and all to do with 
these ^ Mohocks. Grub-street papers about them fly like 
lightning, and a list printed of near eighty put into several 
prisons, and all a lie, and I begin to think there is no truth, 
or very little in the whole story. He that abused Davenant 
was a drunken gentleman ; none of that gang. My man tells 
me that one of the lodgers heard in a coffee-house, publicly, 
that one design of the Mohocks was upon me, if they could 
catch me ; and though I believe nothing of it, I forbear 
walking late ; and they have put me to the charge of some 
shillings already." — yourtial to Stella, 1712. 

D 2 



36 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Swift mentions, among the outrages of the Mohocks, that 
two of them caught a maid of old Lady Winchilsea's at the 
door of her house in the Park with a candle, and had just 
lighted out somebody. They cut all her face, and beat her 
without any provocation. 

At length the villanies of the Mohocks were attempted to 
be put down by a Royal proclamation, issued on the i8th 
of March, 1712 : this, however, Ijad very little effect, for we 
soon find Swift exclaiming: "They go on still and cut 
people's faces every night ! but they shan't cut mine ; I like 
it better as it is." 

Within a week after the Proclamation, it was proposed 
that Sir Roger de Coverley should go to the play, where he 
had not been for twenty years. The Spectator, No. 335, 
says : " My friend asked me if there would not be some 
danger in coming home late in case the Mohocks should be 
abroad. ' I assure you,' says he, ' I thought I had fallen 
into their hands last night; for I observed two or three 
lusty black men that followed me half-way up Fleet-street, 
and mended their pace behind me in proportion as I put on 
to get away from them.' " However, Sir Roger threw them 
out, at the end of Norfolk Street, where he doubled the 
corner, and got shelter in his lodgings before they could 
imagine what was become of him. It was finally arranged 
that Captain Sentry should' make one of the party for the 
play, and that Sir Roger's coach should be got ready, the 
fore wheels being newly mended. " The Captain," says the 
Spectator, " who did not fail to meet rne at, the apppinted 
hour, bid Sir Roger fear nothing, for that he had put on the 
same sword which he made use of at the battle of Steenkirk. 
Sir Roger's servants, and among the rest,- my old friend the 
butler, had, I found, provided themsdves with good oaken 
plants, to attend their master upon this occasion. When he 
placed him in his coach, with myself at his left hand, the 
Captain before him, and his butler at the head of ■ his 
footmen in the rear, we convoyed him in safety to the play- 



THE MOHOCKS. 



37 



house." The play was Ambrose Phillips's new tragedy of 
The Distressed Mother: at its close, Sir Rogelr went out fully 
satisfied with his entertainment; and, says the Spectator, 
"we guarded him to his lodging in the same manner that 
we guarded him to the playhouse;" 

The subject is resumed with much humour, by Budgell, 
in the Spectator, No. 347, where the doubts as to the actual 
existence of Mohocks are examined. " They will have it," 
says the Spectator, "that the Mohocks are like those spectres 
and apparitions which frighten several towns and villages in 
Her Majesty's dominions, though they were never seen by 
any of the inhabitants. Others are apt to think that these 
Mohocks are a kind of bull-beggars, first invented by 
prudent married men and masters of families, in order to 
deter their wives and daughters from taking the air at un- 
seasonable hours ; and that when they tell them ' the Mo- 
hocks will catch them,' it is a caution of the same nature 
with that of our forefathers, when they bid their children 
have a care of Raw-head and Bloody-bones." Then we 
have, from a Correspondent (A tiie Spectator, " the manifesto 
of Taw Waw Eben Zan Kaladar, Emperor of the Mohocks," 
' vindicating his imperial dignity from the false aspersions 
cast on it, signifying the imperial abhorrence and detestation 
of such tumultuous and irregular proceedings ; and notifying 
that all wounds, hurts, damage, or detriment, received in 
limb or limbs, otherwise than shall he hereafter specified, shall 
be committed to the care of the Emperor's surgeon, and 
cured at his own expense, in some one or other of those 
hospitals which he is erecting for that purpose. 

Among other things it is decreed "that they never tip the 
lion upon man, woman, or child, till the clock at St. 
Dunstan's shall have struck one ;" " that the sweat be never 
given till between the hours of one and two ;" " that the 
sweaters do establish their hummums in such close places, 
alleys, nooks and corners, that the patient 01 patients may 
not be in danger of catching cold ;" " that the tumblers, to 



38 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

whose care we chiefly commit the female sex, confine them- 
selves to Drury Lane and the purlieus of the Temple," etc. 
"Given from our Court at the Devil Tavern," etc. 
.: The Mohocks held together until nearly the end of the 
reign of George the First. 

Blasphemous Clubs. 

The successors of the Mohocks added blasphemy to riot. 
Smollett attributes the profaneness and profligacy of the 
period to the demoralization produced by the South Sea 
Bubble ; and Clubs were formed specially for the indulgence 
of debauchery and profaneness. Prominent among these 
was " the Hell-fire Club," of which the Duke of Wharton 
was a leading spirit : — 

Wharton, the scorn and wonder of our days, 
Whose ruling passion was the lust of praise. 
Born with whate'er could win it from the wise, 
Women and fools must like him, or he dies. 
Though wondering senates hung on all he spoke. 
The club must hail him master of the joke. — Pope. 

So high did the tide of profaneness run at this time, that a 
Bill was brought into the House of Lords for its suppression. 
It was in a debate on this Bill that the Earl of Peterborough 
declared, that though he was for a Parliamentary King, he 
was against a Parliamentary religion ; and that the Duke of 
Wharton pulled an old family Bible out of his pocket, in 
order to controvert certain arguments delivered from the 
episcopal bench. 

Mug-house Clubs. 

Among the political Clubs of the metropolis in the early 
part of the eighteenth century, one of the most popular was 
the Mug-house Club, which met in a great Hall in Long 
Acre every Wednesday and Saturday, during the winter. 
The house received its name from the simple circumstance 



MUG-HOUSE CLUBS. .39 

that each member drank his ale (the only liquor . used) , out 
of a separate mug. The Club is described as a mixture of 
gentlemen, lawyers, and statesmen, who met seldom .under 
a. hundred. In A journey through England, 1732, we read 
of this Club : 

" But the most diverting and amusing of all is the Mug- 
house Club in Long Acre. 

"They have a grave old Gentleman, in his own gray 
Hairs, now within a few months of Ninety years old, .who is 
their President, and sits in an arm'd chair some steps higher 
than the rest of the company to keep the whole Room in 
order. A Harp plays all the time at the lower end of the 
Room ; and every now and then one or other of the Com- 
pany rises and entertains the rest with a song, and (by the 
by) some are good Masters. Here is nothing drunk but 
Ale, and evary Gentleman hath his separate Mug, which he 
chalks on the Table where he sits as it is brought in; and 
every one retires when he pleases, asJrom.a Coffeerhouse. 

" The Room is always so diverted with Songs, and drinking 
from one Table to another to one . another's Healths, that 
there is no room for Politicks, or anything that can sow'r 

conversation. . _ 

. " Dpe must be there by seven to get Room, and after ten 
the Company are for the most part gone. 
. ,! '^ This is a Winter's Amusement, that is agreeable enough 
,to, a Stranger for once or twice, and he is well, diverted with 
the.different Humours, when the Mugs overflow." 
■ Although in the early days of this Club there was no room 
for politics, or anything that could sour conversation, the 
Mug-house subsequently became a rallying-place for the 
most virulent political antagonism, arising.. out of the change 
of dynasty, a weighty matter to debate over mugs of ale. 
The death of Anne brought on the Hanover succession. 
The Tories had then so much the better of the other party, 
that they gained the mob on all public occasions to their 
side. It then became necessary for King George's friends 



40 CLUB LIFE OF L0NJ30N. 

to do something to counteract this tendency. Accordingly, 
they established Mug-houses, like that of Long Acre, through- 
out the metropolis, for well-afifected tradesmen to meet and 
keep up the spirit of loyalty to the Protestant succession. 
First, they had one in St. John's-lane, chiefly under the 
patronage of Mr. Blenman, member of the Middle Temple, 
who took for his motto, " Pro rege et lege." Then arose 
the Roebuck Mug-house, in Cheapside, the haunt of a 
fraternity of young men, who had been organized for political 
action before the end of the late reign. 

According to a pamphlet on the subject, dated in 17x7, 
" the next Mug-houses opened in the City were at Mrs. 
Read's, in Salisbury-court, in Fleet-street, and at the Harp 
in Tower-street, and another at the Roebuck in Whitechapel. 
■ About the same time several other Mug-houses were erected 
in the suburbs, for the reception and entertainment of the 
like loyal Societies : viz. one at the Ship, in Tavistock-street, 
Coveiit Garden, which is mostly frequented by royal officers 
of the army, another at the Black Horse, in Queen-street 
near Lincoln's Inn Fields, set up and carried on by gentle- 
men, servants to that noble patron of loyalty, to whom this 
vindication of it is inscribed [the Duke of Newcastle] ; a 
third was set up at the Nag's Head, in James-street, Covent 
Garden ; a fourth at the Fleece, in Burleigii-street, near 
Exeter Change ; a fifth at the Hand and Tench, near the 
Seven Dials; several in Spittlefields, by the French refugees ; 
one in Southwark Park; and another in the Artillery- 
ground." Another rioted Mug-house was the Magpie, with- 
out Newgate, which house still exists as the Magpie and 
Stump, in the Old Bailey. At all these houses it was 
customary in the forenoon to exhibit the whole of the mugs 
belonging to the estabhshment, in a row in front of the 
house. 

' The frequenters of these several Mug-houses formed them- 
selves into " Mug-house Clubs," known severally by some 
distinctive name, and each Club had its President to rule its 



MUG-HOUSE CLUBS. 41 

meetings and keep ordeh The President was treated with 
great ceremony and respect : he was conducted to his chair 
every evening at about seven o'clock, by members carrying 
candles before and behind him, and accompanied with 
music. Having taken a seat, he appointed a Vice-president, 
and drank the health of the company assembled, a compli- 
ment which the company returned. The evening was then 
passed in drinking successively loyal and other healths, and 
in singing songs. Soon after ten they broke up, the Presi- 
dent naming his successor for the next evening ; and before 
he left the chair, a collection was made for the musicians. 

We shall now see how these Clubs took so active a part 
in the violent political struggles of the time. The Jacobites 
had laboured with much zeal to secure the alliance of the 
street mob, and they had used it with great effect, in con- 
nexion with Dr. Sacheverell, in overturning Queen Anne's 
Whig Government, and paving the way for the return of the 
exiled family. Disappointment at the accession of George I. 
rendered the party of the Pretender more unscrupulous ; the 
mob was excited to greater excesses, and the streets of the 
metropolis were occupied by an infuriated rabble, and pre- 
sented a nightly scene of riot. It was under these circum- 
stances that the Mug-house Clubs volunteered, in a very 
disorderly manner, to be champions of order ; and with this 
purpose it became part of their evening's entertainment to 
march into the street, and fight the Jacobite mob. This 
practice commenced in the autumn of 17 15, when the Club 
called the Loyal Society, which met at the Roebuck in 
Cheapside, distinguished itself by its hostility to Jacobitism. 
On one occasion this Club burned the Pretender in effigy. 
Their first conflict with the mob, recorded in the newspapers, 
occurred on the 31st of January, 1715, the birthday of the 
Prince of Wales, which was celebrated by illuminations and 
bonfires. There were a few Jacobite alehouses, chiefly on 
Holbom Hill, in Sacheverell's period ; and on Ludgate-hill : 
the frequenters of the latter stirred up the mob to raise a 



42 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

riot there, put out the bonfire, and break the windovfs which 
were illuminated. The Loyal Society, meij, receiving in- 
telligence of what was going on, hurried to the spot, and 
thrashed and defeated the rioters. 

On the 4th of November in the same year, the birthday 
of King William III., the Jacobite mob made a large bonfire 
in the Old Jewry, to bum an effigy of the King ; but the 
Mug-house men came upon them again, gave them " due 
chastisement with oaken plants," extinguished their bonfire, 
and carried King William in triumph to the Roebuck. 
Next day was the commemoration of Gunpowder Treason, 
and the loyal mob had its pageant. A long procession was 
formed, having in front a figure of the .infant .Pretender, 
accompanied by two men bearing each a warming-pan, 
in allusion to the story about his birth ; and followed by 
effigies in gross caricature of the Pope, the Pretendejr, the 
Diike of Ormond, Lord Bolingbroke, and the Earl of Marr, 
with halters round their necks ; and all of them were to be 
burned in a large bonfire made in Cheapside. The pro- 
cession, starting from the Roebuck, went through Newgate- 
street, and up Holbom-hill, where they compelled the bells 
of St. Andrew's church, of which SachevereU wa? rector, to 
ring; thence through Lincoln's Inn Fields and Coyent 
Garden to the gate of St. James's Palape ; returning by way 
.of Pall Mall and the Strand, and through St. Paul's 
Churchyard. They had met with no interruption, on their 
way, but on their return to Cheapside, they found that, 
during their absence, that quarter had been invaded by the 
Jacobite mob, who had carried away all the fuel which had 
been collected for the bonfire. 

On November 17, in the same year, the Loyal Society 
met at the Roebuck to celebrate the anniversary , of the 
Accession of Queen Elizabeth ; and, while busy with their 
mugs, they received information that the Jacobites were 
assembled in great force, in St. Martin's-le-Grand, and were 
preparing to burn the effigies of King William and King 



MUG-HOUSE CLUBS. 43 

George, along with the Duke of Marlborough. They were 
so near, in fact, that their party-shouts of High Church, 
Ormond, and King James, must have been audible at the 
Roebuck, which stood opposite Bow Church. The Jacobites 
were starting on their procession, when they were overtaken 
in Newgate-street, by the Mug-house men from the Roebuck, 
and a desperate encounter took place, in which the 
Jacobites were defeated, and many of them were seriously 
injured. Meanwhile the Roebuck itself had been the scene 
of a much more serious tumult. During the absence of the 
great mass of the members of the Club, another body 
of Jacobites, much more numerous than those engaged in 
Newgate Street, suddenly assembled, attacked the Roebuck 
Mug-house, broke its windows, and those of the adjoining 
houses, and with terrible threats, attempted to force the 
door. One of the few members of the Loyal Society who 
remained at home, discharged a gun upon , those of the 
assailants who were attacking the door, and killed one of 
their leaders. This and the approach of the Lord Mayor 
and city officers, caused the mob to disperse j but the 
Roebuck was exposed to attacks during several following 
. nights, after which the mobs remained tolerably quiet during 
the winter. 

Early in 17 16, however, these riots were renewed with 
greater violence, and preparations were made for an active 
campaign. The Mug-houses were re-fitted, and re-opened 
with ceremonious entertainments. New songs were com- 
posed to stir up the Clubs ; and collections of these 
Mug-house songs were printed. The Jacobite mob was 
heard beating with its well-known call, marrow-bones and 
cleavers, and both sides were well equipped with staves ot 
oak, their usual arms for the fray, though other weapons and 
missiles were in common use. One of the Mug-house songs 
thus describes the way in which these street fights were 
conducted : — 



44 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Since the Tories could not fight, 
And their master took his flight, 

They labour to keep up their faction ; 
With a bough and a stick. 
And a stone and a brick, 

They equip their roaring crew for action. 

Thus in battle array, 
At the close of the day, 

After wisely debating their plot, 
Upon windows and stall 
They courageously fall, 

And boast a great victory they've got. 

But, alas ! silly boys ! 
For all the mighty noise 

Of their " High Church and Ormond forever !" 
A brave Whig, with one hand. 
At George's command, 

Can make their mightiest hero to quiver. 

On March 8, another great Whig anniversary, the day 
of the death of WilUam III., commenced the more serious 
Mug-house riots of 1716. A large Jacobite mob assembled 
to their own watch-cry, and marched along Cheapside, to 
attack the Roebuck ; but they were soon driven back by a 
small party of the Royal Society, who then marched in 
procession through Newgate Street, to the Magpie and 
Stump, and then by the Old Bailey to Ludgate Hill. When 
about to return, they found the Jacobite mob had collected 
in great force in their rear ; and a fierce engagement 
■took place in Newgate Street, when the Jacobites were 
again worsted. Then, on the evening of the 23rd of April, 
the anniversary of the birth of Queen Anne, there were 
great battles in Cheapside, and at the end of Giltspur 
Street ; and in the immediate neighbourhood of the Roe- 
buck and the Magpie. Other great tumults took place on 
the 29th of May, Restoration Day; and on the loth of 
June, the Pretender's birthday. From this time the Roebuck 
is rarely mentioned. 

The Whigs, who met in the Mug-house, kept by Mr, 



MUG-HOUSE CLUBS. 45 

Read, in Salisbury Court, Fleet Street, appear to have been 
peculiarly noisy in their cups, and thus rendered themselves 
the more obnoxious to the mob. On one occasion, July 
20, their violent party-toasts, which they drank in the 
parlour with open windows, collected a large crowd of 
persons, who became at last so incensed by some tipsy 
Whigs inside, that they commenced a furious attack upon 
the house, and threatened to pull it down and make a 
bonfire of its materials in the middle of Fleet Street. The 
Whigs immediately closed their windows and barricaded 
the doors, having sent a messenger by a back door, to the 
Mug-house — in Tavistock Street, Covent Garden, begging 
that the persons there assembled would come to the rescue. 
The call was immediately responded to ; the Mug-house 
men proceeded in a body down the Strand and Fleet 
Street, armed with staves and bludgeons, and commenced 
an attack on the mob, who still threatened the demolition 
of the house in Salisbury Court. The inmates sallied out, 
armed with pokers and tongs, and whatever they could lay 
their hands upon, and being joined by their friends froni 
Covent Garden, the mob was put to flight, and the Mug- 
house men remained masters of the field. 

The popular indignation was very great at this defeat; 
and for two days crowds collected in the neighbourhood, 
and vowed they would have revenge. But the knowledge 
that a squadron of horse was drawn up at Whitehall, ready 
to ride into the City on the first alarm, kept order. , On the 
third day, however, the people found a leader in the person 
of one Vaughan, formerly a Bridewell boy, who instigated 
the mob to take revenge for their late defeat. They 
followed him with shouts of " High Church and Ormond ! 
down with the Mug-house !" and Read, the landlord 
dreading that they would either burn or pull down his 
house, prepared to defend himself. He threw up a window 
and presented a loaded blunderbuss, and, vowed ,he -wrould 
discharge its contents into the body of the first man who 



46 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

advanced agaiinst :his house. This threat exasperated the 
mob, who ran dgainst the door with furious yellsv Read 
was as good as his word, — ^he fired, and the unfortunate 
man Vaughan fell dead upon the spot. The people, now 
frantic, severe to hang up the landlord from his own sign- 
post. They forced the door, pulled down the sign, and 
entered the hotise, where Read would assuredly have beeri 
sacrificed to their fury, if they had found him. He, 
however, had with great risk escaped by a back-door. 
Disappointed at this, the mob broke the furniture to pieces, 
destroyed everything that lay in their way, and left only the 
bare walls of the house. They now threatened to burn the 
whole street, and were about to set fire to Read's house, 
when the Sheriffs, with a posse of constables, arrived. The 
Riot Act was read, but disregarded j and the Sheriffs sent 
to Whitehall for a detachment of the military. A squadron 
of horse sooii arrived, and cleared the streets, taking five 
of the most active rioters into custody. 

Read, the landlord, was captured on the following day, 
and tried for the wilful murder of Vaughan ; he was, however, 
acquitted of the capital charge, and found guilty of man- 
slaughter only. The five rioters were also brought to trial, 
and met with a harder fate. They were all found guilty of 
riot and rebellion, and sentenced to death at Tyburn. • 

This exMiple damped the courage of the rioters, and 
alarmed all parties; so that we hear no more of the Mug- 
house riots, until a few months later, a paihphlet appeared 
with the title, Down with the Mug; or Reasons for suppress^ 
ing the Mug-houses, by an author who only gave the initials 

Sir H — ^ — M , but who seems to have so much of what 

was thought to be a Jacobite spirit, that it provoked a 
reply, entitled the Mug Vi?idicated. 

The account of 1722 states that many an encounter they 
had, and many were the riots, till at last tke Government 
was obliged by an Act of Parliament to put an end to this 
strife, which had this good effect, that upon pulling down of 



THE KIT-KAT CLUB. 47 

the Mug-house in Salisbury Court, for which some boys 
were hanged on this Act, the city has not been troubled 
with them since. 

There is some doubt as to the first use of the term "Mug. 
house." In a scarce Collection of One Hundred and Eighty 
Loyal Songs, all written since 1678^ Fourth Edition, 1694, 
is a song in praise of the " Mug," which shows that Mug- 
houses had that name previous to the Mug-house riots. It 
has also been stated that the beer-mugs were originally 
fashioned into a grotesque resemblance of Lord Shaftes- 
bury's face, or " ugly mug," as it was called, and that this is 
the derivation of the word. 

, The Kit-Kat Club. 

This famous Club was a threefold celebrity — political, 
literary, and artistic. It was the great Society of Whig 
leaders, formed about the year 1700, tenip. William III., 
consisting of thirty-nine noblemen and gentlemen zealously 
attached to the House of Hanover; among whom the Dukes 
of Somerset, Richmond, Grafton, Devonshire, and Marl- 
borough, and (after the accession of George I.) the Duke of 
Newcastle ; the Earls of Dorset, Sunderland, Manchester, 
Wharton, and Kingston ; Lords Halifax and Somers ; Sir 
Robert Walpole, Vanbrugh, Congreve, Granville, Addison, 
Garth, Maynwaring, Stepney, and Walsh. They are said to 
have first met at an obscure house in Shire-lane, by Temple 
Bar, at the house of a noted mutton-pieman, one Christopher 
Katt; from whom the Club, and the pies that formed a 
standing dish at the Club suppers, both took their name of 
Kit-Kat. In the Spectator, No. 9, however, they are said to 
have derived their title not from the maker of the pie, but 
from the pie itself, which was called a Kit-Kat, as we now 
say a Sandwich ; thus, in a prologue to a comedy of 1700 : 

A Kit-Kat is a supper for a lord ; 
but Dr. King, in his Art of Cookery, is for the pieman : 
Immortal made, as Kit-Kat by his pies. 



48. CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

The origin and early history of the Kit-Kat Club is obscure. 
Elkanah Settle addressed, in 1699, a manuscript poem "To 
the most renowned the President and the rest of the Knights 
of the most noble Order of the Toast," in which verses is 
asserted the dignity of the Society ; and Malone supposes 
the Order of the Toast to have been identical with the Kit- 
Kat Club : this was in 1699. The toasting-glasses, which 
we shall presently mention, may have something to do with 
this presumed identity. 

Ned Ward, in his Secret History of Clubs, at once connects 
the Kit-Kat Club with Jacob Tonson, " an amphibious 
mortal, chief merchant to the Muses." Yet this is evidently 
a caricature. The maker of the mutton-pies, Ward main- 
tains to be a person named Christopher, who lived at the 
sign of the Cat and Fiddle, in Gray's Inn-lane, whence he 
removed to keep a pudding-pye shop, near the Fountain '• 
Tavern, in the Strand. Ward commends his mutton-pies, • 
cheese-cakes, and custards, and the pieman's interest in the 
sons of Parnassus ; and his inviting "a new set of Authors 
to a collation of oven trumpery at his friend's house, where 
they were nobly entertained with as curious a batch of pastry 
delicacies as ever were seen at the winding-up of a Lord 
Mayor's feast;'' adding that "there was not a mathematical 
figure in all Euclid's Elements but what was presented to 
the table in baked wares, whose cavities were filled with fine 
eatable varieties fit for the gods or poets." Mr. Charles 
Knight, in the Shilling Magazine, No. 2, maintains that by 
the above is meant, that Jacob Tonson, the bookseller, was 
the pieman's " friend," and that to the customary "whet" 
to his authors he added the pastry entertainment. Ward 
adds, that this grew into a weekly meeting, provided his, the 
bookseller's friends would give him the refusal of their 
juvenile productions. This " generous proposal was very 
readily agreed to by the whole poetic class, and the cook's 
name being Christopher, for brevity called Kit, and his sign ■ 
being the Cat and Fiddle, they very merrily derived a quaint 




Crockford's, St. James's Street. (Gaming Club, 1827-40.) 




White's Club, on the left of St. James's Palace. 
(From a Drawing of the time of Queen Anne.) 



THE KIT-KAT CLUB. 49 

denomination from puss and her master, and from thence 
called themselves of the Kit-Cat Club." 

A writer in the Book of Days, however, states, that 
Christopher Cat, the pastry-cook, of King-street, West- 
minster, was the keeper of the tavern, where the Club met ; 
but Shire-lane was, upon more direct authority, the pieman's 
abode. 

We agree with the National Review, that " it is hard to 
believe, as we pick our way along the narrow and filthy 
pathway of Shire-lane, that in this blind alley [?], some 
hundred and fifty years ago, used to meet many of the finest 
gentlemen and choicest wits of the days of Queen Anne and 
the first George. Inside one of those frowsy and low-ceiled 
rooms, now tenanted by abandoned women or devoted to 
the sale of greengroceries and small coal, — Halifax has 
conversed and Somers unbent, Addison mellowed over a 
bottle, Congreve flashed his wit, Vanbrugh let loose his easy 
humour, Garth talked and rhymed." 

The Club was Hterary and gallant as well as political.. 
Tl,e nieir.beis subscribed 400 guineas for the encourage- 
ment of good comedies in 1 709. The Club had its toast- 
ing-glasses, inscribed with a verse, or toast, to some reigning 
beauty J among whom were the four shining daughters of 
the Duke of Marlborough — Lady Godolphin, Lady Sunder- 
land, Lady Bridgewater, and Lady Monthermer; Swift's 
friends, Mrs. Long and Mrs. Barton, the latter the lovely 
and witty niece of Sir Isaac Newton j the Duchess of Bolton, 
Mrs. Brudenell, and Lady Carlisle, Mrs. DL Kirk, and Lady 
Wharton. 

Dr. Arbuthnot, in the following epigram, seems to derive 
the name of the Club from this custom of toasting ladies 
after dinner, rather than from the renowned maker of 
tiutton-pies : — 

Whence deathless Kit-Kat took his name. 

Few critics can unriddle : 
Some say from pastrycook it came. 

And some from Cat and Fiddle. 

E 



Sa CLUB LIFE Of LONDON. 

From no trim beaus its name it boasts, 

Grey statesmen or green wits, 
But from this pell-mell pack of toasts 

Of old Cats and young Kits. 

Lord Halifax wrote for the toasting-glasses the following 

verses in 1703 ; — 

The Duchess of St, Albans. 
The line of Vere, so long renown'd in arms, 
Concludes with lustre in St. Alban's charms. 
Her conquering eyes have made their race complete : 
They rose in valour, and in beauty set. 

The Duchess of Beaujort. 
Offspring of a tuneful sire, 
Blest with more than mortal fire ; 
likeness of a Mother's face, 
Blest with more than mortal grace : 
You with double charms surprise. 
With his wit, and with her eyes. 

The Lady Mary Churchill. 
Fairest and latest of the beauteous race. 
Blest with your parent's wit, and her first blooming face ; 
Born with our liberties in William's reign. 
Your eyes alone that liberty restrain. 

The Lady Sunderland. 
All Nature's charms in Sunderland appear, 
Bright as her eyes, and as her reason clear ; 
Yet still their force to man not safely known, 
Seems undiscover'd to herself alone. 

The Mademoiselle Spankeim. 
Admir'd in Germany, ador'd in France, 
Your charms to brighten glory here advance : 
The stubborn Britons own your beauty's claim. 
And with their native toasts enrol your name. 

To Mrs. Barton. 
Beauty and wit strove, each in vain, 
To vanquish Bacchus and his train ; 
But Barton with successful charms, 
From both their quivers drew her arms. 
The roving God his sway resigns. 
And awfully submits his vines. 



THE KIT-KAT CLUB. 51 

In Spence's Anecdotes (note) is the following additional 
account of the Club: "You have heard of the Kit-Kat 
Club," says Pope to Spence. " The master of the house 
where the club met was Christopher Katt; Tonson was 
secretary. The day Lord Mohun and the Earl of Berkeley 
were entered of it, Jacob said he saw they were just going 
to be ruined. When Lord Mohun broke down the gilded 
emblem on the top of his chair, Jacob complained to his 
friends, and said a man who would do that, would cut a 
man's throat. So that he had the good and the forms of the 
society much at heart. The paper was all in Lord Halifax's 
handwriting of a subscription of four hundred guineas for 
the encouragement of good comedies, and was dated 1709, 
soon after they broke up. Steele, Addison, Congreve, Garth, 
Vanbrugh, Manwaring, Stepney, Walpole, and Pulteney, 
were of it ; so was Lord Dorset and the present Duke. 
Manwaring, whom we hear nothing of now, was the ruling 
man in all conversations ; indeed, what he wrote had very 
little merit in it. Lord Stanhope and the Earl of Essex were 
also members. Jacob had his own, and all their pictures, 
by Sir Godfrey Kneller. Each member gave his, and he is 
going to build a room for them at Bam Elms." 

It is from the size at which these portraits were taken (a 
three-quarter length), 36 by 28 inches, that the word Kit- 
Kat came to be applied to pictures. Tonson had the room 
built at Barn Elms ; but the apartment not being sufficiently 
large to receive half-length pictures, a shorter canvas was 
adopted. In 18 17, the Club-room was standing, but the 
pictures had long been removed ; soon after, the room was 
united to a bam, to form a riding-house. 

In summer the Club met at the Upper Flask, Hampstead 
Heath, then a gay resort, with its races, ruffles, and private 
marriages. 

The pictures passed to Richard Tonson, the descendant 
of the old bookseller, who resided at Water-Oakley, on the 
banks of the Thames : he added a room to his villa, and 

E 2 



52 CLUB LIFE. OF LONDON. 

here the portraits were hung. On his death the pictures 
were bequeathed to Mr. Baker, of Bayfordbury, the repre- 
sentative of the Tonson family : all of them were included 
in the Art Treasures Exhibition at Manchester and some in 
the International Exhibition of 1862. 

The poHtical significance of the Club was such that 
Walpole records that though the Club was generally men- 
tioned as "a set of wits," they were in reality the patriots 
that saved Britain. According to Pope and Tonson, Garth, 
Vanbrugh, and Congreve were the three most honest- 
hearted, real good men of the poetical members of the 
Club. 

There were odd scenes and incidents occasionally at the 
club meetings. Sir Samuel Garth, physician to George I., 
was a witty member and wrote some of the inscriptions for 
the toasting-glasses. Coming one night to the Club, Garth 
declared he must soon be gone, having many patients to 
attend; but some good wine being produced, he forgot 
them. Sir Richard Steele was of the party, and reminding 
him of the visits he had to pay. Garth immediately pulled 
out his list, which numbered fifteen, and said, " It's no great 
matter whether I see them to-night, or not, for nine of them 
have such bad constitutions that all the physicians in the 
world can't save them ; and the other six have such good 
constitutions that all the physicians in the world can't kill 
them." 

Dr. Hoadley, Bishop of Bangor, accompanied Steele and 
Addison to one of the Whig celebrations by the Club, of 
King WilUam's anniversary ; when Steele had the double 
duty of celebrating the day and drinking his friend Addison 
up to conversation pitch, he being hardly warmed by that 
time. Steele was not fit for it. So, John Sly, the hatter of 
facetious memory, being in the house, took it into his head 
to come into the company on his knees, with a tankard of 
ale in his hand, to drink off to the immortal memory , and to 
return in the same manner. Steele, sitting next Bishop 



THE KIl-KAT CLUB. S3 

Hoadley, whispered him, " Do laugh : it is humanity to 
laugh." By-and-by, Steele being too much in the same con- 
dition as the hatter, was put into a chair, and sent home. 
Nothing would satisfy him but being carried to the Bishop 
of Bangor's, late as it was. However, the chairmen carried 
him home, and got him upstairs, when his great com- 
plaisance would wait on them downstairs, which he did, and 
then was got quietly to bed. Next morning Steele sent the 
indulgent bishop this couplet : 

Virtue with so much ease on Bangor sits, 

All faults he pardons, though he none commits. 

Mr. Knight successfully defends Tonson from Ward's 
satire, and nobly stands forth for the bookseller who 
identified himself with Milton, by first making Paradise 
Lost popular^ and being the first bookseller who threw open 
Shakspeare to a reading public. "The statesmen of the 
Kit-Kat Club," he adds, " lived in social union with tlie 
Whig writers who were devoted to the charge of the poetry 
that opened their road to preferment ; the band of orators 
and wits were naturally hateful to the Tory authors that 
Harley and Bolingbroke were nursing into the bitter satirists 
of the weekly sheets." Jacob Tonson naturally came in for 
a due share of invective. In a poem entitled Pactions 
Displayed, he is ironically introduced as " the Touchstone of 
all modern wit ;" and he is made to vilify the great ones of 
Bam Elms : 

I am the founder of your loved Kit-Kat, 

A club that gave direction to the State : 

'Twas there we first instructed all our youth 

To talk profane, and laugh at sacred truth : 

We taught them how to boast, and rhyme, and bite. 

To sleep away the day, and drink away the night. 

;'onson deserved better of posterity. 



54 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 



The Tatler's Club in Shire-lane. 

Shire-lane, alias Rogue-lane, (which falleth into Fleet- 
street by Temple Bar,) has lost its old name — it is now 
called Lower Serle's-place. If the morals of Shire-lane 
have mended thereby, we must not repine. 

Here lived Sir Charles Sedley; and here his son, the 
dramatic poet, was born, " neere the Globe." Here, too, 
lived Elias Ashmole, and here Antony \ Wood dined with 
him : this was at the upper end of the lane. Here, too, 
was the Trumpet tavern, where Isaac Bickerstaff met his 
Club. At this house he dated a great number of his papers ; 
and hence he led down the lane into Fleet-street, the. 
deputation of " Twaddlers " from the country, to Dick's 
Coffee-house, which we never enter without remembering 
the glorious humour of Addison and Steele, in the Tatter, 
No. 86. Sir Harry Quickset, Sir Giles Wheelbarrow, and 
other persons of quality, having reached the Tatler's by 
appointment, and it being settled that they should " adjourn 
to some public-house, and enter upon business,'' the pre- 
cedence was attended with much difficulty ; when, upon a 
false alarm of "lire," all ran down as fast as they could, 
without order or ceremony, and drew up in the street. 

The Tatler proteeds : " In this order we marched down 
Sheer-lane, at the upper end of which I lodge. When we 
came to Temple Bar, Sir Harry and Sir Giles got over, but 
a run of coaches kept the rest of us on this side of the street ; 
however, we all at last landed, and drew up in very good 
order before Ben Tooke's shop, who favoured our rallying 
with great humanity; from whence we proceeded again; 
until we came to Dick's Coifee-house, where I designed to 
carry them. Here we were at our old difficulty, and took 
up the street upon the same ceremony. We proceeded 
through the entry, and were so necessarily kept in order by 
the situation, that we were now got into the coffee-house 



THE TATLER'S CLUB IN SHIRE-LANE. 55 

itself, where, as soon as we had arrived, we repeated our 
civilities to each other; after which we marched up to 
the high table, which has an ascent to it inclosed in the 
middle of the room. The whole house was alarmed at 
this entry, made up of persons of so much state and rus- 
ticity." 

The Taller' s Club is immortalized in his No. 132. Its 
members are smokers and old story-tellers, rather easy than 
shining companions, promoting the thoughts tranquilly bed- 
ward, and not the less comfortable to Mr. Bickerstaff, 
because he finds himself the leading wit among them. There 
is old Sir Jefirey Notch, who has had misfortunes in the 
world, and calls every thriving man a pitiful upstart, by no 
means to the general dissatisfaction ! there is Major Match- 
lock, who served in the last Civil Wars, and every night tells 
them of his having been knocked off his horse at the rising 
of the London apprentices, for which he is in great esteem ; 
there is honest Dick Reptile, who says little himself, but 
who laughs at all the jokes ; and there is the elderly 
bencher of the Temple, and, next to Mr. Bickerstaff, the 
wit of the company, who has by heart the couplets of 
Hudibras, which he regularly applies before leaving the 
Club of an evening ; and who, if any modern wit or town 
froUc be mentioned, shakes his head at the dulness of the 
present age, and tells a story of Jack Ogle. As for Mr. 
Bickerstaff himself, he is esteemed among them because 
they see he is something respected by others ; but though 
they concede to him a great deal of learning, they credit him 
with small knowledge of the world, "insomuch that the 
Major sometimes, in the height of his military pride, calls 
me philosopher; and Sir Jeffrey, no longer ago than last 
night, upon a dispute what day of the month it was then 
in Holland, pulled his pipe out of his mouth, and cried, 
' What does the scholar say to that ?' " 

Upon Addison's return to England he found his friend 
Steele established among the wits : and they were both 



56 CLUB LII'E OF LONDON. 

received with great honour at the Trumpet, as well as at 
Will's, and the St. James's. 

The Trumpet public-house lasted to our time; it was 
changed to the Duke of York sign, but has long disappeared : 
we remember an old drawing of the Trumpet, by Sam. 
Ireland, engraved in the Monthcy Magazine. 

The Royal Society Club. 

In Sir R. Kaye's Collection, in the British Museum, we 
find the following account of the institution of a Society 
which at one time numbered among its members some of 
the most eminent men in London, in a communication 
to the Rev. Sir R. Kaye by Sir Joseph Ayloffe, an original 
member :— " Dr. Halley used to come on a Tuesday from 
Greenwich, the Royal Observatory, to Child's Coflfee-house, 
where literary people met for conversation : and he dined 
with his sister, but sometimes they stayed so long that he 
was too late for dinner, and they likewise, at their own 
home. They then agree to go to a house in Dean's-court, 
between an ale-house and a tavern, now a stationer's shop, 
where there was a great draft of porter, but not drank in the 
house. It was kept by one Reynell. It was agreed that 
one of the company should go to Knight's and buy fish in 
Newgate-street, having first informed himself how many 
meant to stay and dine. The ordinary and liquor usually 
came to half-a-crown, and the dinner only consisted of fish 
and pudding. Dr. Halley never eat anything but fish, for 
he had no teeth. The number seldom exceeded five or six. 
It began to take place about 1731; soon afterwards 
Reynell took the King's Arms, in St. Paul's Churchyard; 
and desired Dr. Halley to go with him there. He and 
others consented, and they began to have a little meat. On 
Dr. Halley's death, Martin Foulkes took the chair. They 
afterwards removed to the Mitre (Fleet-street), for the 
convenience of the situation with respect to the Royal 



THE ROYAL SOCIETY CLUB. 57 

Society, and as it was near Crane-court, and numbers 
wished to become members. It was necessary to give it a 
form. The number was fixed at forty members ; one of 
whom was to be Treasurer and Secretary of the Royal 
Society." 

Out of these meetings is said to have grown the Royal 
Society Club, or, as it was styled durmg the first half 
century of its existence, the Club of Royal Philosophers. 
" It was established for the convenience of certain members 
who lived in various parts, that they might assemble and dine 
together on the days when the Society held its evening meet- 
ings ; and from its almost free admission of members of the 
Council detained by business, its liberality to visitors, and 
its hospitable reception of scientific foreigners, it has been 
of obvious utility to the scientific body at large." (Rise and 
Progress of the Club, privately printed.) 

The foundation of the Club is stated to have been in 
the year 1743, and in the Minutes of this date are the 
following :^ 

" Jiules and Orders to be observed by the Thursday's Club, 
called the Royal Philosophers. — A Dinner to be ordered every 
Thursday for six, at one shilling and sixpence a head for 
eating. As many more as come to pay one shilling and 
sixpence per head each. If fewer than six come, the 
deficiency to be paid out of the fund subscribed. Each 
subscriber to pay down six shillings — viz. for four dinners, to 
make a fund. A pint of wine to be paid for by every one 
that comes, be the number what it will, and no more, unless 
more wine is brought in than that amounts to." 

In addition to Sir R. Kaye's testimony to the existence 
of a club of an earlier date than 1743, there are in the 
Minutes certain references to "antient Members of the 
Club ;" and a tradition of the ill omen of thirteen persons 
dining at the table said to be on record in the Club papers : 
"that one of the Royal Philosophers entering the Mitre 
Tavern, and finding twelve others about to discuss the fare, 



58 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

retreated, and dined by himself in another apartment, in 
order to avert the prognostic." Still, no such statement is 
now to be found entered, and if ever it were recorded, 
it must have been anterior to 1743; curiously enough, 
thirteen is a very usual number at these dinners. 

The original Members were soon increased by various 
Fellows of the Society ; and at first the Club did not consist 
exclusively of Royals; but this arrangement not having 
been found to work well, the membership was confined to 
the Fellows, and latterly to the number of forty. Every 
Member was allowed to introduce one friend ; but the 
President of the Royal Society was not limited in this 
respect. 

We must now say a few words as to the several places at 
which the Club has dined. The Society had their Anniversary 
Dinner at Pontack's celebrated French eating-house, in Ab- 
church-lane. City, until 1746. Evelyn notes : "30 Nov. 1694. 
Much importuned to take the office of President of the 
Royal Society, but I again declined it. Sir Robert South- 
well was continued. We all dined at Pontac's, as usual." 
Here, in 1699, Dr. Bentley wrote to Evelyn, asking him to, 
meet Sir Christopher Wren, Sir Robert Southwell, and other 
friends, at dinner, to consider the propriety of purchasing 
Bishop Stillingfleet's library for the Royal Society. 

From Pontack's, which was found to be inconveniently 
situated for the majority of the Fellows, the Society re- 
moved to the Devil Tavern, near Temple Bar. 

The Minutes record that the Club met at the Mitre 
Tavern, in Fleet-street, " over against Fetter-lane," from the 
date of their institution j this house being chosen from its 
being handy to Crane-cOurt, where the Society then met. 
This, be it remembered, was not the Mitre Tavern now 
standing in Mitre-court, but "the Mitre Tavern, in Fleet- 
street," mentioned by Lilly, in his Life, as the place where 
he met old Will. Poole, the astrologer, then living in Ram- 
alley. The Mitre, in Fleet-street, Mr. J. H. Bum, in his 



THE ROYAL SOCIETY CLUB. 59 

excellent Account of the Beatrfoy Tokens, states to have been 
originally established by a William Paget, of the Mitre in 
Cheapside, who removed westward after his house had been 
destroyed m the Great Fire of September, 1666. The 
house in Fleet-street was lastly Saunders's Auction-room, 
No. 39, and was demolished by Messrs. Hoare, to enlarge 
the site for their new banking-house, the western portion of 
which now occupies the tavern site. The now Mitre, in 
Mitrecourt, formerly Joe's, is but a recent assumption of 
name.* 

In 1780, the Club removed to the Crown and Anchor 
Tavern, in the Strand, where they continued to dine for 
sixty-eight years, until that tavern was converted, in 1848, 
into a Club-house. Then they removed to the Freemasons' 
Tavern, in Great Queen Street ; but, in 1857, on the removal 
of the Royal Society to Burlington House, Piccadilly, it was 
considered advisable to keep the Club meetings at the 
Thatched House, in St. James's Street, where they continued 
until that tavern was taken down. 

During the early times, the docketings of the Club ac- 
counts show that the brotherhood retained the title of Royal 
Philosophers to the year 1786, when it seems they were only 
designated the Royals ; but they have now settled into the 
" Royal Society Club." The elections are always an ex- 
citing matter of interest, and the fate of candidates is 
occasionally severe, for there are various instances of re- 
jections on two successive annual ballots, and some have 
been black-balled even on a third venture ; some of the 
defeated might be esteemed for talent, yet were considered 
unclubbable. 

Some of the entries in the earliest minute-book are very 
curious, and show that the Philosophers did not restrict 
themselves to " the fish and pudding dinner." Here is the 



• See Walks and Talks about London, p. 246. The Mitre in Fleet 
street was also the house frequented by Dr. Johnson. 



6o CLUB LIFE "^ LONDON. 

bill of fare for sixteen persons, a few years after the Club 
was established : " Turkey, boiled, and oysters ; Calves' 
head, hashed ; Chine of Mutton ; Apple pye ; 2 dishes of 
herrings ; Tongue and udder ; Leg of pork and pease ; 
S'loin of beef j Plum pudding; butter and cheese." Black 
puddings are stated to have figured for many years at every 
dinner of the Club. 

The presents made to the Club were very numerous, and 
called for special regvilations. Thus, under the date of May 
3, 1750, it is recorded: "Resolved nem. con., That any 
nobleman or gentleman complimenting this company 
annually with venison, not less than a haunch, shall, during 
the continuance of such annuity, be deemed an Honorary 
Member, and admitted as often as he comes, without paying 
the fine, which those Members do who are elected by 
ballot." At another Meeting, in the same year, a resolution 
was passed, " That any gentleman complimenting this 
Society annually with a Turtle shall be considered as an 
Honorary Member ;" and that the Treasurer do pay Keeper's 
fees and carriage for all venison sent to the Society, and 
charge it in his account. Thus, besides gratuities to cooks, 
there are numerous chronicled entries of the following 
tenour : — " Keeper's fees and carriage of a buck from the 
Hon. P. Yorke, 14^-. ; Fees, etc., for Venison and Salmon, 
j^i. \^s. ; Do., half a Buck from the Earl of Hardwick, 
£,1. 5s. ; Fees and carriage for a Buck from H. Read, Esq., 
;£i. 3 J. 6d. ; Fees for Venison and Game from Mr. Banks, 
£1. gs. 6d; . . . August 15, 1751. The Society being 
this day entertained with halfe a Bucke by the Most 
Hon"" the Marquis of Rockingham, it was agreed, fiem. con., 
to drink his health in claret. Sept. 5th, 1751. — The Com- 
pany being entertained with a whole Bucke (halfe of which 
was dressed to-day) by Henry Read, Esq., his health was 
drunk in claret, as usual ; and Mr. Cole (the landlord) was 
desired to dispose of the halfe, and give the Company 
Venisons instead of it next Thursday.'' The following week 



THE ROYAL SOCIETY CLUB. 6r 

the largess is again gravely noticed : "The Company being 
this day regaled with the other halfe of Mr. Read's buck 
(which Mr. Cole had preserved sweet), his health was again 
drank in claret." 

Turtle has already been mentioned among the presents. 
In 1784, the circumnavigator Lord Anson honoured the 
Club by presenting the members with a magnificent Turtle, 
when the Club drank his Lordship's and other turtle donors' 
healths in claret. On one occasion, it is stated that the 
usual dining-room could not be occupied on account of a 
turtle being dressed which weighed 400 lb. ; and another 
minute records that a turtle, intended to be presented to the 
Club, died on its way home from the West Indies. 

James Watt has left the following record of one of the 
Philosophers' turtle feasts, at which he was present : — " When 
I was in London in 1785, I was received very kindly by 
Mr. Cavendish and Dr. Blagden, and my old friend Smeaton, 
who has recovered his health, and seems hearty. I dined at 
a turtle feast with them, and the select Club of the Royal 
Society ; and never was turtle eaten with greater sobriety 
and temperance, or more good fellowship." 

The gift of good old English roast-beef also occurs among 
the presents, as in the subjoined minute, under the date of 
June 27, 1751, when Martin Folkes presided: "William 
Hanbury, Esq., having this day entertained the company 
with a chine of Beef which was 34 inches in length, and 
weighed upwards of 140 pounds, it was agreed, nem. con., 
that two such chines were equal to half a Bucke or a Turtle, 
and entitled the Donor to be an Honorary Member of this 
Society." 

Then we have another record of Mr. Hanbury's mu- 
nificence, as well as his conscientious regard for minuteness 
in these matters, in this entry : "Mr. Hanbury sent this day 
another mighty chine of beef, and, having been a little de- 
ficient with regard to annual payments of chines of beef, 
added three brace of very large carp by way of interest." 



62 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Shortly after, we find Lord Morton contributing " two pigs 
of the China breed." 

In addition to the venison, game, and other viands, there 
was no end of presents of fruits for dessert. In 1752, Mr. 
Cole (the landlord) presented the company with a ripe 
water-melon from Malaga. In 1753, there is an entry 
showing that some tusks, a rare and savoury fish, were sent 
by the Earl of Morton ; and Egyptian Cos-lettuces were 
supplied by Philip Miller, who, in his Gardener's Dictionary; 
describes this as the best and most valuable lettuce known ; 
next he presented " four Cantaloupe melons, equal — if not 
superior — in flavour to pine-apples." In July, 1763, it is 
chronicled that Lord Morton sent two pine-apples, cherries 
of two sorts, melons, gooseberries of two sorts, apricots, and 
currants of two sorts. 

However, this practice of making presents got to be un- 
popular with the Fellows at large, who conceived it to be 
undignified to receive such gifts; and, in 1779, it was 
" resolved that no person in future be admitted into the 
Club in consequence of any present he shall make to 
it." This singular custom had been in force for thirty 
years. The \z.\z%\. formal thanks for " a very fine haunch of 
venison" were voted to Lord Darnley on the 17th of June, 
1824. 

The Club Minutes show the progressive rise in the charges 
for dinner. From 1743 to 1756 the cost was is. 6d. a head. 
In the latter year it was resolved to give ^s. per head for 
dinner and wine, the cominons for absentees to remain at 
IS. 6d., as before. In 1775, ^^ price was increased to 4^. 
a head, including wine, and 2d. to the waiter; in 1801, to 
Sx. a head, exclusive of wine, the increased duties upon 
which made it necessary for the members to contribute an 
annual sum for the expense of wine, over and above the 
charge of the tavern bills. 

In 177s, the wine was ordered to be laid in at a price 
not exceeding £^s ^ W9^i or ^s- 6^. a bottle j to have a 



7 HE ROYAL SOCIETY CLUB. 63 

particular seal upon the cork, and to be charged by the 
landlord at 2s. 6d. a bottle. The Club always dined on the 
Society's meeting-day. Wray, writing of a Club-meeting in 
1776, says that, "after a capital dinner of venison, which 
was absolutely perfect, we went to another sumptuous 
entertainment, at the Society, where five electrical eels, all 
alive, from Surinam, were exhibited ; most of the company 
received the electrical stroke ; and then we were treated 
with the sight of a sucking alligator, very lively." 

It has been more than once remarked that a public dinner 
of a large party of philosophers and men of science and 
letters generally turns out to be rather a dull affair ; perhaps, 
through the enibarras of talent at table. Not so, however, 
the private social Clubs, the offshoots of Public Societies, 
like the Royal Society Club, and others we could mention. 
The Royals do not appear to have been at all indifferent to 
these post-prandial wit-combats. " Here, my jokes I crack 
with high-born Peers," writes a Philosopher, alluding to the 
Club dinners ; and Admiral Smyth, in his unpubhshed Rise 
and Progress, tells us, that to this day "it unites hilarity, ahd 
the macrones verborum of smart repartee, with strictures on 
science, literature, the fine arts — and, indeed, every branch 
of human knowledge." 

The administration of the affairs of the Club was minutely 
attended to : when, in 1776, it was considered necessary to 
revise " the commons," a committee was appointed for the 
purpose, consisting of Messrs. Aubert, Cuthburt, Maskelyne, 
Russell, and Solander, who decided that "should the 
number of the company exceed the number provided for, 
the dinner should be made up with the beefstakes, mutton- 
chops, lamb-chops, veal-cutlets, or pork-stakes, instead of 
made dishes, or any dearer provisions." And " that two- 
pence per head be allowed for the waiter {which seems to 
have hem the regtilar gratuity for many years). Then, the 
General Committee had to report that the landlord was to 
charge for gentlemen's servants, "one shilling each for dinner 



64 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

and a pot of porter ;" and " that when toasted cheese was 
called for, he was to make a charge for it." 

In 1784, the celebrated geologist, Faujas da Saint-Fond 
(Barthdlemy), with four other distinguished foreigners, 
partook of the hospitality of the Club, of which, in 1797, 
M. Faujas pubHshed an account. " He mentions the short 
prayer or grace with which Dr. Maskelyne blessed the com- 
pany and the food — the solid meats and unseasoned vege- 
tables — the quantities of strong beer called porter, drank 
out of cylindrical pewter pots d'u7i seul trait — the cheese to 
provoke the thirst of drinkers — the hob-a-nobbing of healths — 
and the detestable coffee. On the whole, however, this honest 
Frenchman seems to have been delighted with the entertain- 
ment, or, as he styles it, 'the convivial and unassuming 
banquet,'" and M. Faujas had to pay "seven livres four sols" 
for his commons. Among the lighter incidents is the record 
of M. Aubert having received a present from the King of 
Poland, begged to have an opportunity of drinking His 
Majesty's health, and permission to order a bottle of 
Hermitage, which being granted, the health was drank by 
the company present ; and upon one of the Club-slips of 
1798, after a dinner of twenty-two, is written, "Seven shil- 
lings found under the table." 

The dinner-charges appear to have gradually progressed 
from \s. 6d. to ioj. per head. In 1858-9 the Club-dinners had 
been 25, and the number of diners 309, so that the mean was 
equal to 12-36 for each meeting, the visitors amounting to 49; 
and it is further computed, that the average wine per head 
of late, waste included, is a considerable fraction less than a 
pint, imperial standard measure, in the year's consumption. 

Among the distinguished guests of the Club are many 
celebrities. Here the chivalrous Sir Sidney Smith described 
the atrocities of Djezza Pasha j and here that cheerful 
baronet — ^Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin — by relating the result 
of his going in a jolly-boat to attack a whale, and in narra- 
tina: the advantages specified in his proposed patent for 



THE ROYAL SOCIETY CLUB. 65 

fattening fowls, kept " the table in a roar." At this board, 
also, our famous circumnavigators and oriental voyagers 
met with countenance and fellowship — as Cook, Fumeaujt, 
Gierke, King, Bounty Bligh, Vancouver, Guardian Rioil, 
Flinders, Broughton, Lestock, Wilson, Huddart, BasS, 
Tuckey, Horsburgh, &c. ; while the Polar explorers, from 
the Hon. Constantine Phipps, in 1773, down to Sir Leopold 
M'Clintock,ini86o, were severally and individually welcomed 
as guests. But, besides our sterling sea-worthies, we find in 
ranging through the documents that some rather outlandish 
visitors were introduced through their means, as Chet Quang 
and Wanga Tong, Chinese; Ejutak and Tuklivina, Esqui- 
maux; Thayen-danega, the Mohawk chief; while Omai, of 
Ulareta, the celebrated and popular savage, of CooKs Voyages, 
was so frequently invited, that he is latterly entered on the 
Club papers simply as Mr. Omai." 

The redoubtable Sir John Hill dined at the Club in com- 
pany with Lord Baltimore on the 30th of June, 1748. Hill 
was consecutively an apothecary, actor, playwright, novelist, 
botanist, journalist, and physician ; and he published upon 
trees and flowers, Betty Canning, gems, naval history, religion, 
cookery, and what not. Having made an attempt to enter 
the Royal Society, and finding the door closed against him, — 
perhaps a pert vivacity at the very dinner in question sealed 
the rejection, — ^he revenged himself by publishing an impu- 
dent quarto volume, vindictively satirizing the Society. 

Ned Ward, in his humorous Account of the Clubs of 
London, published in 1709, describes "the Virtuoso's Club 
as first established by some of the principal members of the 
Royal Society, and held every Thursday, at a certain Tavern 
in Comhill, where the Vintner that kept it has, according to 
his merit, made a fortunate step from his Bar to his Coach. 
The chief design of the aforementioned Club was to propa- 
gate new whims, advance mechanical exercises, and to pro- 
mote useless as well as useful experiments." There is humour 
in this, as well as in his ridicule of the Barometer : " by this 

F 



.66 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

notable invention," he .says, "our gentlemen and ladies of 
the middle quality are infallibly told when it's a right season 
to put on their best clothes, and when they ought not-to 
venture an intrigue in the fields without their cloaks and 
unibrellas." His ridicule of turning salt water into fresh, 
finding a new star, a,ssigning reasons for a spot in the moon, 
and a' "wry step" in the sun's progress, were Ward's points^ 
laughed at in his time, but afterwards established as facts. 
There have been greater mistakes made since Ward's time ; 
but this does not cleanse him of filth and foulness. 

Ward's record is evidence of the existence of the Royal 
Society Club, in 1709, before the date of the Minutes. 'Dr. 
Hutton, too, records the designation of Halley's Glub — 
undoubted testimony; about 1737, he; Halley, though seized 
with paralysis, once a week, within a very short time of his 
death, met his friends in town, on Thursdays, the day of the 
Royal Society's ^meeting, at ■" Dr. Halley's Club." Upon this 
evidence Admiral Smyth establishes the claim that the Royal 
Society Club was actually established by a zealous philso- 
pher, " who was at once proudly eminent as an astronomer, 
a mathematician, a physiologist, a naturahst, a scholar, an 
antiquary, a poet, a meteorologist, a geographer, a navi- 
gator, -a nsiutical surveyor, and a truly social member- of the 
community — in a word, our founder was the illustrious 
Halley — the Admirable Crichton of science." 

A memorable dinner-party took place on August the nth, 
1859, when among the visitors was Mr. Thomas Maclear 
(now Sir Thomas), the Astronomer-Royal at the Cape- of 
Gooci Hope, who had just anived in England from r; the 
southern hemisphere, after an absence of a quarter of a 
century. "On this day, were present, so to speak; the 
representa,tives of the three great applications by which the 
present age is distinguished, namely, of Railuuays, Mr. 
. Stephenson ;, of the Electric Telegraph, Mr. Wheatstone:; 
and of the Hentiy Fast, Mr. Rowland Hill — an assemblage 
never ae;ain to, occur.".. {Adntiral Smyth's History of the Club.) 



THE ROYAL SOCIETY CL UB. 6f 

Among thef anecdotes which float about, it iS related that 
the eccentric Hon. Henry Cavendish, "the' Chib-Croesus," 
attended the metetings with only money enough in his pocket 
to pay for his dinner, and that he may hkye dechned taking 
tavern-soup, may have picked his teeth with a fork, may 
invariably have hung his hat oil the same peg, and may have 
always stuck his cane in his right boot ; but' more apocryphal 
is the anecdote that one evening Cavendish observed a very 
pretty girl iodking out froni an upper window on the opposite 
side of the street, watching the philosophers at dihner. She 
attracted notice, and one by one they got up and mustered 
round the window to admire the fair one. Cavendish, who 
thought they Were looking at the moon, bustled up to them ' 
in his odd way, and when he saw the real object of their 
study, turned ■ away with intense disgust, and grunted out 
" Pshaw j" the amorous conduct of his brother Philosophers 
having horrified the woma.n-hating Cavendish. ' ' 

Another assertion is that he, Cavendish, left a thumping' 
le^cy to Lord Bessboiough, in gratitude for his Lordship's 
piqiiant conversation at the Club ; but no such reasoh can be 
found in the Will lodged at Doctors' Commons'. The 
Testator named therein three' of his' Club-mates, namel}', 
Alexander Dalrymple, to receive Spop/., Dr. Hunter, 5000/., 
and Sir Charles Blagd6n (coadjutor in the Water question), 
15,000/. After certain other bequests, the will proceeds,— 
" The remainder of the funds (nearly 700,005/.) to be 
di-vided, one-sixth to the .Earl of Bessborough,' while the 
cousin. Lord George Henry Cavendish, had two-sixths, 
instead of one;" "it is therefore," says Admiral Smyth, 
" patent that the mbney thus passed over from uncle to 
nephew, was a mere consequence of relationship, aiid not at 
all owing to any flowers or powers of conversation at the 
Royal Society Club," 

Admiral Smyth, to whose SiAmiraMQ J»-ids of the History 
of the Club we' have to make acknov/ledgement, remarks 
that the hospitality of the'- Royal Society has been " of 

F a 



68 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

material utility to the well-working of the whole machine 
which wisdom called up, at a time when knowledge was 
quitting scholastic niceties for the truths of experimental 
philosophy. This is proved by the number of men of 
note — both in ability and station — ^who have there congre- 
gated previously to repairing to the evening meeting of the 
body at large; and many a qualified person who went 
thither a guest has returned a candidate. Besides inviting 
our own princes, dukes, marquises, earls, ministers of state, 
and nobles of all grades to the table, numerous foreign 
grandees, prelates, ambassadors, and persons of distinction — 
from the King of Poland and Baron Munchausen, down to 
the smart little abbd and a 'gentleman unknown' — ^are 
found upon the Club records. Not that the amenities of 
the fraternity were confined to these classes, or that, in the 
Clubbian sense, they form the most important order ; for 
bishops, deans, archdeacons, and clergymen in general — 
astronomers — ^mathematicians — sailors — soldiers — engineers 
— medical practitioners — poets — artists — travellers — ^musi- 
cians — opticians — men of repute in every acquirement, 
were, and ever will be, welcome guests. In a word, 
t:he names and callings of the visitors offer a type of the 
philosophical discordia concors ; and among those guests 
possessed of that knowledge without which genius is almost 
useless, we find in goodly array such choice names as 
Benjamin Franklin, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Gibbon, Costard, 
Bryant, Dalton, Watt, Bolton, Tennant, Wedgwood, Abys- 
sinian Bruce, Attwood, Boswell, Brinkley, Rigaud, Brydone, 
Ivory, Jenner, John Hunter, Brunei, Lysons, Weston, 
Cramer, Kippis, Westmacott, Corbould, Sir Thomas Law- 
rence, Turner, De La Beche, et hoc genus omne." 

The President of the Royal Society is elected President of 
the Club. There were always more candidates for admission 
than vacancies, a circumstance which had some influence in 
leading to the formation of a new Club, in 1847, composed 
of eminent Fellows of the Society. The name of this new 



THE COCOA-TREE CLUB. 69 

Association is " the Philosophical Club," and its object is 
" to promote, as much as possible, the scientific objects of 
the Royal Society, to facilitate intercourse between those 
Fellows who are actively engaged in cultivating the various 
branches of Natural Science, and who have contributed to 
its progress; to increase the attendance at the Evening 
Meetings, and to encourage the contribution and the dis- 
cussion of papers." Nor are the dinners forgotten; the 
price of each not to exceed ten shillings. 

The statistical portion of the Annual Statement of i86o,f 
shows that the number of dinners for the past year amounted 
to 25, at which the attendance was 312 persons, 62 o 
whom were visitors, the average being = 1 2 -48 each time : 
and the Treasurer called attention to the fact that out of 
the Club funds in the last twelvemonth, they had paid not 
less than 9/. (>s. for soda and seltzer water ; 8/. 2 j. i>d. for 
cards of invitation and postage; and 25/. for visitors, that 
is, 8j. o|^. per head. 

The Cocoa-Tree Club. 

This noted Club was the Tory Chocolate-house of Queen 
Anne's reign ; the Whig Coffee-house was the St. James's, 
lower down, in the same street, St. James's. The party 
distinction is thus defined : — " A Whig will no more go to 
the Cocoa-tree or Ozinda's, than a Tory will be seen at the 
■coffee-house of St. James's." 

The Cocoa-tree Chocolate-house was converted into a 
Club, probably before 1746, when the house was the head- 
quarters of the Jacobite party in Parliament. It is thus 
referred to in the above year by Horace Walpole, in a 
letter to George Montagu :— " The Duke has given Brigadier 
Mordaunt the Pretender's coach, on condition he rode up 
to London in it. ' That I will, sir,' said he, ' and drive till 
it stops of its own accord at the Cocoa-tree.' " 
■ Gibbon was a member of this Club, and has left this 



70 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

entry in his journal of 1762 : — ^^"Nov. 24. I dined at the 
Cocoa Tree with* * *, who, under a great appearance of 
oddity, conceals more real humour, good sense, and even 
knowledge, than half those who laugh at him.: We went 
thence to the play {The Spanish Friar) ; and when it was 
. over, retired to the Cocoa-tree. That respectable body, of 
which I have the honour of being a member, affords every 
evening a sight truly English. Twenty or thirty, perhaps, 
of the first men in the kingdom in point of fashion and 
fortune supping at little tables covered with a nalpkin, in the 
middle of a coffee-room, upon a bit of cold meat, or a 
sandwich, and drinking a glass of punch. At present we 
are full of King's counsellors and lords of the bedchamber ; 
'v\ho, having jumped into the ministry, make a very singular 
medley of their old principles and language with their 
modern ones." At this time, bribery was in full swing : it is 
alleged that the lowest bribe for a vote upon the Peace of 
Fontainebleau, was a bank-note of 200/. ; and that the 
Secretary of the Treasury afterwards acknowledged 25,000/. 
to have been thus expended in a single morning. And in 
1765, on the debate in the Commons on the Regency Bill, 
we read in the Chatham Correspondence : " The Cocoa-tree 
have thus capacitated Her Royal Highness (the Princess of 
Wales) to be Regent : it is well they have not given- us 
a King, if they have not ; for many think, Lord Bute is 
King." 

Although the Cocoa-tree, in its conversion from , a 
Chocolate-house to a Club, may have bettered its reputation 
in some respects, high play, if not foul play, was known 
there twenty years later. Walpole, writing to Mann, Feb. 6, 
1 780, says : ' Within this week there has been a cast at 
hazard at the Cocoa-tree, (in St. James's Street,) the differ- 
ence of which amounted to one hundred and fourscore 
thousand pounds. Mr. O'Birne, an Irish gamester, had won 
one hundred thousand pounds of a young Mr. Harvey of 
Chigwell, just started into an estate by his elder,, brother's 



ALMACK'S ClUB. fi 

dfeath. O'Bliliesiid, "You can never pay me." "I can," 
said the youth': "my estate will 'sell for the debt." '" No," 
said O. : " I will win ten thousand— you shall throw foi' the 
odd ninety."^ They did, and Harvey won." 

The C&coa-iree was one of the^ Clubs to wHich' Lord 
Byron belonged. 

Almack's Club. 

Almack's, the original Brookes's, on the south side of the 
Whig Club-house, was established in Pall Mall, on the site 
of the British Institution, in 1764, by twenty-Seven notilem^n 
and ge'ntlehifen, including the Duke of Rdxbilrghe, the Duke 
of Portland, the Earl of Strathmore, Mr. Crewe (afterwards 
Lord Crewe), and Mr. C. J. Fox. 

Mr. Cunningham was perniitted to inspect the original 
Rules of the Cliib, which show its nature ; here are "a fevV. " 

"21. No gaming in the eating-room, except tossing up 
for reckonings, on penalty of paying the whole bill of the 
members present. 

" 22. Dinner shall be served up exactly at half-past four 
o'dock, and the bill shall be brought in at s'even. 

"26. Almack shall sell no wines in bottles that the Club 
approves of, out of the house. . i- 

" 30. Any member of this Society that shall become a 
candidate for any other Club, (Old White's excepted,) shall 
be ipso facto excluded, and his name struck out of the 
book. 

"40. That every person playing at the new guinea table 
do keep fifty guineas before him. 

"41. That every person playing at the twenty guinea table 
do not keep: less than twenty guineas before him." 

That the play ran high may be inferred from a note against 
the name of Mr. Thynne, in the Club-books: " Mr. Thynne 
having won only 1 2,000 guineas during the last two months, 
retired in disgust, March 2ist, 1772." 

Some of its members were Maccaronis, the "curled 



72 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

darlings " of the day : they were so called from their affecta- 
tion of foreign tastes and fashions, and were celebrated for 
their long curls and eye-glasses. Much of the deep play 
was removed here. "The gaming at Almack's," writes 
Walpole to Mann, February 2, 1770, "which has taken the 
fas of White's, is worthy the decline of our empire, or com- 
monwealth, which you please. The young men of the age 
lose ten, fifteen, twenty thousand pounds in an evening 
there. Lord Stavordale, not one-and-twenty, lost 11,000/. 
there last Tuesday, but recovered it by one great hand at 
hazard. He swore a great oath, ' Now, if I had been play- 
ing deep, I might have won millions.' His cousin, Charles 
Fox, shines equally there, and in the House of Commons. 
He was twenty-one yesterday se'nnight, and is already one 
of our best speakers. Yesterday he was made a Lprd of 
the Admiralty." Gibbon, the historian, was also a member, 
and he dates several letters from here. On June 24, 1776, 
he writes : " Town grows empty, and this house, where I 
have passed many agreeable hours, is the only place which 
still invites the flower of the English youth. The style of 
living, though somewhat expensive, is exceedingly pleasant ; 
and, notwithstanding the rage of play, I have found more 
entertainment and rational society than in any other club to 
which I belong." 

The play was certainly high — only for rouleaus of 50/. 
each, and generally there was 10,000/. in specie on the table. 
The gamesters began by pulling off their embroidered 
clothes, and put on frieze greatcoats, or turned their 
coats inside outwards for luck. They put on pieces of 
leather (such as are worn by footmen when they clean the 
knives) to save their laced rufiSes ; and to guard their eyes 
from the light, and to prevent tumbling their hair, wore high- 
crowned straw hats with broad brims, and adorned with 
flowers and ribbons ; masks to conceal their emotions when 
they played at quinz. Each gamester had a small neat 



ALMA CK'S ASSEMBL Y ROOMS. 73 

Stand by him, to hold his tea ; or a wooden bowl with an 
edge of ormolu, to hold the rouleaus. 

Almack's was subsequently Goosetree's. In the year 
1780, Pitt was then an habitual frequenter, and here his 
personal adherents mustered strongly. The members, we 
are told in the Life of Wilberforce, were about twenty-five in 
number, and included Pratt (afterwards Lord Camden), 
Lords Euston, Chatham, Graham, Duncannon, Althorp, 
Apsley, G. Cavendish, and Lennox; Messrs. Eliot, Sir 
Andrew St. John, Bridgeman (afterwards Lord Bradford), 
Morris Robinson (afterwards Lord Rokeby), R. Smith 
(afterwards Lord Carrington), W. Grenville (afterwards Lord 
Grenville),_ Pepper Arden (afterwards Lord Alvanley), Mr. 
Edwards, Mr. Marsham, Mr. Pitt, Mr. Wilberforce, Mr. 
Bankes, Mr. Thomas Steele, General Smith, Mr. Windham. 

In the gambling at Goosetree's, Pitt played with charac- 
teristic and intense eagerness. When Wilberforce came up 
to London in 1780, after his return to Parliament, his great 
success coloured his entry into public life, and he was at 
once elected a member of the leading clubs — Miles's and 
Evans's, Brookes's and Boodle's, White's and Goosetree's. 
The latter was Wilberforce's usual resort, where his friend- 
ship with Pitt, whom he had slightly known at Cambridge, 
greatly increased : he once lost 100/. at the faro-table, and 
on another night kept the bank, by which he won 600/. ; 
but he soon became weaned from play. 

Almack's Assembly Rooms. 

In the year following the opening of Almack's Club in 
Pall Mall, Almack had built for him by Robert Mylne, the 
suite of Assembly Rooms, in King-street, St. James's, 
which was named after him, " Almack's," and was occasion- 
ally called "Willis's Room's," after the next proprietor. 
Almack likewise kept the Thatched House Tavern, in St. 
James's-street 



74 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

■ ^Alifiack'S was Op'efied Feb.- 20, 1765, and was advertised to 
have been built with hot bricks and boiling water : the ceilings 
were dripping with wet ; but the Duke of Cumberland, the 
Hero of CuUoden, was there. Gilly Williams, a few days after 
the opening, in abetter to George Selwyn, >vrites : " There is 
now opened at Almack's, in three very elegant new-built 
rooms, a ten-guinea subscription, for which you have a ball 
and supper once a week, for twelve weeks. You may imagine 
by the sum the company is chosen ; though, refined as it is, it 
will be scarce able to put out old Soho (Mrs. Comeleys) out of 
countenance! The men's tickets are not transferable, so, if 
the ladies do not like us, they have no oppoirtUhity of changing 
us, but must see the same persons for ever." ..." Our 
female Almack's flourishes beyond description. Almack's 
Scotch face, in a bag-wig, waiting at supper, would divert 
you, as would his lady, in a sack, making tea and curtseying 
to the duchesses." 

Five years later, in 1770, Walpole writes to Montagu: 
■" There is a new Institution that begins to make, and if it 
proceeds, will make a considerable noise. It is a Club of 
both sexes, to be erected at Almack's, on the model of that 
of the men of White's. Mrs. Fitzroy, Lady Pembroke, Mrs. 
Meynell, Lady Molyneux, Miss Pelham, and Miss Lloyd, 
are the foundresses. I am ashamed to say I am of so 
young and fashionable society ; but as they are people I live 
with, I choose to be idle rather than morose. I can go to 
a young supper without forgetting how much sand is run out 
of the hour-glass." 

Mrs. Boscawen tells Mrs. Delany of this Club of lords and 
ladies who first met at a tavern, but subsequently, to satisfy 
Lady Pembroke's scruples, in a room at Almack's. " The 
ladies nominate and choose the gentlemen and-wV^ versA, so 
that no lady can exclude a lady, or gentleman a gentletnan." 
Ladies Rochford, Harrington, and Holderness were black-i 
balled, as was the Duchess of Bedford, who was subsequently 
admitted ! Lord March and Brook Boothby were black. 



ALMA CK 'S ASSEMBL Y ROOMS. 73 

balled- by the ladies, ^ to their great astonishment. There 
was a dinner*'- then supper at eleven, and, says Mrs. 
Boscawen, "play will be deep and constant, probably." 
The frenzy for play was then at its height. "Nothing 
within my memory comes up to it 1" exclaims Mrs. Delany, 
who attributes it to the prevailing "avarice and extraga- 
^'ance." Some men made profit out of it, like Mr. Thyrine. 
"who has won this year so considerably that he has paid off 
all his debts, bought a house and furnished it, disposed of 
his horses, hounds, etc., and struck his name out of all 
expensive subscriptions. But what a horrid r^ection'w. must 
be to an honest mind to build his fortune on the ruin of 
others." 

Almack's large ball-room is about one hundred feet in 
length, by forty feet in width ; it is chastely decorated with 
gilt columns and pilasters, classic medallions, mirrors, etc., 
and is lit with gas, in cut-glass lustres. The largest number 
of persons ever present in this room atone ball was 1700. 

The rooms are let for public meetings, dramatic readings, 
concerts, balls, and occasionally for dinners. Here Mrs. 
Billington, Mr. Braham, and Signer Naldi, gave concerts, 
from 1808 to 18 10, in rivalry with Madame Catalan!, at 
Hanover-square Rooms ; and here Mr. Charles Kemble 
gave, in 1844, his Readings from Shakspeare. 

The Balls at Almack's are managed by a Committee of 
Ladies of high rank, and the only mode of admission is by 
vouchers or personal introduction. 

Almack's has declined of late years ; " a clear proof that 
the palmy days of exclusiveness are gone by in England; 
and though it is obviously impossible to prevent any given 
number of persons from congregating and re-establishing 
an oligarchy, we are quite sure that the attempt would be 
ineffectual, and that the sense of their importance would 
extend little beyond the set."* In 1831 was published 



* Quart ei'ly Review ^ 1840; 



■?6 . CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

AlmacMs, a novel, in which the leaders of fashion were 
sketched with much freedom, and identified in A Key to 
AlmacKs, by Benjamin Disraeli. 

Brookes's Club. 

We have just narrated the establishment of this Club — 
how it was originally a gaming club, and was farmed at first 
by Almack. It was subsequently taken by Brookes, a wine- 
merchant and money-lender, according to Selwyn ; and who 
is described by Tickell, in a copy of verses addressed to 
Sheridan, when Charles James Fox was to give a supper at 
his own lodgings, then near the Club : — 

Derby shall send, if not his plate, his cooks, 

And know, I've brought the best champagne from Brookes, 

From liberal Brookes, whose speculative skill 

Is hasty credit and a distant bill ; 

Who, nursed in clubs, disdains a vulgar trade, 

Exults to trust, and blushes to be paid. 

From Pall Mall Brookes's Club removed to No. 60, on 
the west side of St. James's-street, where a handsome house 
was built at Brookes's expense, from the designs of Henry 
Holland, the architect ; it was opened in October, 1778. 
The concern did not prosper ; for James Hare writes to 
George Selwyn, May 18, 1779, "we are all beggars at 
Brookes's, and he threatens to leave the house, as it yields 
him no profit." Mr. Cunningham tells us that Brookes 
retired from the Club soon after it was built, and died poor 
about the year 1782. 

Lord Crewe, one of the founders of the Club in Pall Mall, 
died in 1829, after sixty-five years' membership of Brookes's. 
Among its celebrities were Burke and Sir Joshua Reynolds, 
Garrick and Hume, Horace Walpole, Gibbon, and Sheridan 
and Wilberforce. Lord March, afterwards Duke of Queens- 
berry, was one of its notorieties — " the old Q., whom many 
now living can remember, with his fixed eye and cadaverous 



BROOKES'S CLUB. >ji 

fe.ce, watching the flow of the human tide past his bow- 
window in Pall M.a\\."—Mitional Review, 1857. [This is 
hardly correct as to locality, smce the Club left Pall Mall in 
1778, and a reminiscent must be more than 80 years of age.] 
Among Selwyn's correspondents are Gilly Williams, Hare, 
Fitzpatrick, the Townshends, Burgoyne, Storer, and Lord 
Carhsle. R. Tickell, in "Lines from the Hon. Charles 
Fox to the Hon. John Townshend cruising," thus describes 
the welcome that awaits Townshend, and the gay life of the 
Club :— 

Soon as to Brookes's thence thy footsteps bend, 
What gratulations thy approach attend ! 
See Gibbon tap his box ; auspicious sign, 
That classic compliment and evil combine. 
See Beauclerk's cheek a tinge of red surprise, 
And friendship gives what cruel health denies. 
Important Townshend ! what can thee witlistand ? 
The ling'ring blackball lags in Boothby's hand. 
E'en Draper checks the sentimental sigh ; 
And Smith, without an oath suspends the die. 

Mr. Wilberforce has thus recorded his first appearance 
at Brookes's : " Hardly knowing any one, I joined, from 
mere shyness, in play at the faro-tables, where George 
Selwyn kept bank. A friend, who knew my inexperience, 
and regarded me as a victim decked out for sacrifice, called 
to me, 'What, Wilberforce, is that you?' Selwyn quite 
resented the interference, and, turning to him, said, in his most 
expressive tone, ' Oh, Sir, don't interrupt Mr. Wilberforce ; 
he could not be better employed !' " 

The Prince of Wales, one day at Brookes's, expatiating 
on that beautiful but far-fetched idea of Dr. Darwin's, that 
the reason of the bosom of a beautiful woman being the 
object of such exquisite delight for a man to look upon, 
arises from the first pleasurable sensations of warmth, 
sustenance, and repose, which he derives therefrom in his 
infancy ; Sheridan replied, " Truly hath it been said, that 
there is only one step from the sublime to the ridiculous. 



j;S CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

All children who are brought up by hand must derive their 
pleasurable sensations from a very different source ; yet I 
believe no one ever heard of any such, when arrived at 
manhood, evincing any very rapturous Or amatory emotions 
at the sight of a wooden spoon." This clever exposure of an 
ingenious absurditity shows the folly of taking for granted 
every opinion w^hich may be broached under the sanction of 
a popular name. 

The conversation at Brookes's, one ' day, turning on Lord 
Henry Petty's projected tax upon iron, one member said, 
that as there was so much opposition to it, it would be 
better to raise the proposed sum upon coals. " Hold ! my 
dear fellow," said Sheridan, " that would be out of the frying 
pan into the fire, with a vengeance." 

Mr. Whitbread, one evening at Brookes's, talked loudly 
and largely against the Ministers for laying what was called 
the war tax upon malt : every one present concurred with 
him in opinion, but Sheridan could not resist the gratifica- 
tion of a hit at the brewer himself. He wrote with his 
pencil upon the back of a letter the following lines, which he 
handed to Mr. Whitbread, across the table : — 

They've raised the price of table drink ; 
What is the reason, do you think ? 
The tax on malt's the cause I hear — 
But what has malt to do with beer ?" 

Looking through a Number of the Quarterly Review, one 
day, at Brookes's, soon after its first appearance, Sheridan 
said, in reply to a gentleman who observed that the editor, 
Mr. Gifford, had boasted of the power of conferring and 
distributing literary reputation : " Very likely ; and in the 
present instance I think he has done it so profusely as to 
have left none for himself." 

Sir Philip Francis was the convivial companion of Fox, 
and during the short administration of that statesman was 
made a Knight of the Bath. One evening, Roger Wilbfaham 



BROOKES' S CLUB. 79 

came up to a whist-table at Brookes's, where Sk PhiUp, who 
for the first time wore the ribbon of the Order, was engaged 
in a rubber, and thus accosted him. Laying hold of the 
ribbon and examining it for some time, he said : "So, this 
is the way they have rewarded you at last : they have ' given 
you a little bit of red ribbpn for your services. Sir Philip, 
have they ? A pretty bit of red ribbon to hang about your 
neckj and that satisfies you, does it? Now, I wonder 
what I shall have. — ^What do you think they will give me 
Sir Philip ?" 

The newly-made Knight, who had twenty-five guineas 
depending on the rubber, and who was not very well 
pleased at the interruption, suddenly turned round, and 
looking at him fiercely, exclaimed, " A halter, and be d^ — d 
to you ! " 

• George III., invariably evinced a strong aversion to 
Fox, the secret of which it is easy to understand. His 
son, the Prince of Wales, threw himself into the arms of 
Fox, and this in the most undisguised manner. Fox 
lodged in St. James's-street, and as soon as he rose, which 
was very late, had a levee of his followers, and of the 
members of the gaming club, at Brookes's, all his disci- 
ples. His bristly black person, and shagged breast quite 
open, and rarely purified by any ablutions, was wrapped 
in a foul linen night-gown, and his bushy hair dishevelled. 
In these cynic weeds, and with epicurean good-humour 
did he dictate his politics, and in this school did the heir of 
the Crown attend his lessons, and imbibe them. 

.. Fox's. , love pf play was desperate. A few evenings 
before he moved the repeal of the Marriage Act; in Feb- 
ruary, 1772, he had been at Brompton on two errands: 
one -to consult 'Justice Fielding on the penal laws; the 
other to.borrow ten thousand pounds, which he brought 
to town at the hazard of being robbed. Fox played admi- 
rably . both, at whist and ■ piquet ; with such skill, 'indeed, 
that by the general admission of Brookes's Club, he 



So CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

might have made four thousand pounds a-year, as they 
calculated, at those games, if he could have confined 
himself to them. But his misfortune arose from playing 
games at chance, particularly at Faro. After eating and 
drinking plentifully, he sat down to the Faro table, and 
inevitably rose a loser. Once, indeed, and once only, he 
won about eight thousand pounds in the course of a 
single evening. Part of the money he paid away to his cre- 
ditors, and the remainder he lost almost immediately. 
Before he attained his thirtieth year, he had completely 
dissipated everything that he could either command, or 
could procure by the most ruinous expedients. He had 
even undergone, at times, many of the severest privations 
annexed to the vicissitudes that mark a gamester's progress ; 
frequently wanting money to defray the common daily 
wants of the most pressing nature. Topham Beauclerc, 
who lived much in Fox's society, affirmed, that no man 
could form an idea of the extremities to which he had been 
driven in order to raise money, after losing his last guinea 
at the Faro table. He was reduced for successive days 
to such distress, as to borrow money from the waiters of 
Brookes's. The very chairmen, whom he was unable to 
pay, used to dun him for their arrears. In 1781, he 
might be considered as an extinct volcano, for the pecu- 
niary aliment that had fed the flame was long consumed. 
Yet he then occupied a house or lodgings in St. James's- 
street close to Brookes's, where he passed almost every 
hour which was not devoted to the House of Commons. 
Brookes's was then the rallying point or rendezvous of the 
Opposition ; where, whUe faro, whist, and supper prolonged 
the night, the principal members of the Minority in both 
Houses met, in order to compare their information, or to 
concert and mature their parliamentary measures. Great 
sums were then borrowed of Jews at exorbitant premiums. 
Fox called his outward room, where the Jews waited till he 
rose, the yeruscUem Chamber. His brother Stephen was 




White's Club, St. James's Street. (Tory.) 
{The Modern Building by Wyatt, 1851.) 







Brookes' (Whig) and White's (Tory) Clubs, 1796. 
{Tlie Ariisfs perspective is slightly faulty.) 



BROOKESS CLUB. 8i 

enormously fat] George Selwyn said he was in the right to 
deal with Shylocks, as he could give them pounds of flesh. 

When Fox lodged with his friend Fitzpatrick, at Mackie's, 
some one remarked that two such inmates would be the 
ruin of Mackie, the oilman ; " No," said George Selwyn ; 
"so far from ruining him, they will make poor Mackie's 
fortune J for he will have the credit of having the finest 
pickles in London." 

The ruling passion of Fox was partly owing to the lax 
training of his father, who, by his lavish allowances, fos- 
tered his propensity for play. According to Chesterfield, 
the first Lord Holland " had no fixed principles in religion 
or morality," and he censures him to his son for being " too 
unwary in ridiculing and exposing them." He gave full 
swing to Charles in his youth : " let nothing be d9ne," said 
his Lordship, " to break his spirit ; the world will do that for 
him." {Selwyn.) At his death, in 1774, he left him 
154,000/. to pay his debts ; it was all bespoke, and Fox 
soon became as deeply pledged as before. 

Walpole, in 1 78 1, walking up St. James's-street, saw a cart 
and porters at Fox's door ; with copper and an old chest 
of drawers, loading. His success at faro had awakened 
a host of creditors ; but, unless his bank had swelled 
to the size of the Bank of England, it could not have 
yielded a sou apiece for each. Epsom, too, had been 
unpropitious ; and one creditor had actually seized and 
caried oS Fox's goods, which did not seem worth removing. 
Yet shortly after this, whom should Walpole find saun- 
tering by his own door but Fox, who came up and talked 
to him at the coach-window, on the Marriage Bill, with 
as much sang froid as if he knew nothing of what had 
happened. 

It was at the sale of Fox's library in this year that 
Walpole made the following singular note : — "lySt, June 
20. Sold by auction, the library of Charles Fox, which 
had been taken in execution. Amongst the books was 



82 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON: 

Mr. Gibbon's first volume of 'Roman History,' which 
appeared, by the title-page, to have been given by the 
author to .Mr.,. Fox, who had written in it the following 
anecdote: — 'The author at Brookes's said there was no 
salvation for the country till six heads of the principal 
persons in the administration were laid on the table ; 
eleven, days later, the same gentleman accepted the place 
of Lord of Trade under those very ministers, and ha,s 
acted with them ever since!' Such was the avidity. of 
bidders for the smallest production of so wonderful a 
genius, that by the, addition of this httle record, the book 
sold for three guineas." 

Lord Tankerville assured Mr. Rogers that Fox once 
played cards with Fitzpatrick at Brookes's from ten o'clock 
at night till near six o'clock the next afternoon, a waiter 
standing by to tell them " whose deal it was," they being 
too sleepy to know. Fox once -yvon about eight thousand 
pounds ; and one of his bond-creditors, who soon heard of 
his good luck, presented himself, and asked for payment, 
" Impossible, Sir," replied Fox ; " I must first discharge 
my debts of honour." The bond-creditor remonstrated. 
" Well, Sir, give me your bond." It was delivered to Fox, 
who tore it in pieces, and threw them into the fire. " ,Now, 
Sir," said Fox, "my debt to you is a debt of honour;" and 
immediately paid him. 

Amidst the , wildest excesses of youth, even wWle the 
perpetual victim of his passion for play, Fox eagerly culti- 
vated at intervals his taste for letters, especially the Greek 
and Roman historians and poets ; and he found resources 
in their works, under the most severe depressions occa- 
sioned by ill-success at the gaming-table. One morning, 
after Fox had passed the whole night in company with 
Topham Beauclerc at faro, the two friends were about to 
separate. Fox had, lost throughout the night, and was in a 
frame of mind approaching desperation. Beauclerc's an- 
xiety for the consequences which might ensue led him to be 



BROOICES'S CLUB. S3 

early at Fox's lodgings ; and on arriving, lie inquired, not 
without apprehension, whether he had risen. The servant 
replied that Mr. Fox was in the dr'awihg-room, When Beau- 
clerc walked upstairs, and cautiously opened the door, 
expecting to behold a frantic gamester stretched on the 
floor, bewailing his losses, or -plunged in moody despair ; 
but he was astonished to find him reading a Greek Hero- 
dotus. " What would you have me do ? " said Fox, "I have 
lost my last shilling," Upon other occasions, after staking 
and losing all that he could raise at faro, infetead of ex- 
claiming against fortune, or manifesting the agitation 
natural under such circumstances, he would lay his head on 
the table, and retain his place, but exhausted by mental 
and bodily fatigue, almost immediately fall into a profound 
sleep! • . . ,. 

One night, at Brookes's, Fox made sonle rettiark on 
Government powder, in allusion to something that had 
happened. Adams considered it a reflection, and sent Fox 
a challenge. FOx wdnt out, and took his station, giving a 
full front. Fitzgerald said, "You iftust stand sideways." 
Fox said, "Why I am as- thick one way as the nther." — 
" Fire," was given : Adams fired, Fox did not, and when 
they said he must, he said, " I'll be d-^d if I do. I have 
-no qiiarrel." They then advanced to shake hands'. Fox 
said, " Adams, you'd have killed ■ me if it had not been 
Government powder." The ball hit him in the groin. 
- Another celebrated character; who frequented Brookes's 
in the days of Selwyn, was Dunning, afi:erwards Lord Ash- 
burton ; and many keen encounters passed between themi. 
Dunning was a short, thick man, with a turn- up nose, a 
■constant shake of the head, and latterly a distressing hectic 
cough — but a wit of the first water. Though he died at the 
comparatively' early age of fifty-two,- he amassed 'a fortune of 
'150,000/. during twenty-five years' practice at the bar; and 
lived -notwithstanding, so liberally, that his mother, an 
attorney's widow, some of the wags at Brookes's wickedly 
G a 



84 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

recorded, left him in dudgeon on the score of his extrava- 
gance, as humorously sketched at a dinner at the lawyer's 
country-house near Fulham, when the following conversation 
was represented to have occurred : — 

" John," said the old lady to her son, after dinner, during 
which she had been astounded by the profusion of the plate 
and viands, — " John, I shall not stop another day to witness 
such shameful extravagance." 

" But, my dear mother," interrupted Dunning, " you ought 

to consider that I can afford it : my income, you know " 

"No income," said the old lady impatiently, "can stand 
such shameful prodigality. The sum which your cook told 
me that very iurbot cost, ought to have supported any 
reasonable family for a week." 

" Pooh, pooh ! my dear mother," replied the dutiful son, 
" you would not have me appear shabby. Besides, what is 
a turbot ?" 

" Pooh, pooh ! what is a turbot ?" echoed the irritated 
dame : " don't pooh me, John : I tell you such goings-on 
can come to no good, and you'll see the end of it before 
long. However, it sha'n't be said your mother encouraged 
such sinful waste, for I'll set off in the coach to Devonshire 
to-morrow morning." 

" And notwithstanding," said Sheridan, " all John's rhe- 
torical efforts to detain her, the old lady kept her word." 

Sheridan's election as a member of Brookes's took place 
under conflicting circumstances. His success at Stafford 
met with fewer obstacles than he had to encounter in St. 
James's-street, where Selwyn's political aversions and 
personal jealousy were very formidable, as were those of 
the Earl of Bessborough, and they and other members of 
the Club had determined to exclude Sheridan. Conscious 
that every exertion would be made to ensure his success, 
they agreed not to absent themselves during the time allowed 
by the regulations of the Club for ballots ; and as one black 
ball sufficed to extinguish the hopes of a candidate, they 



BROOKES'S CLUB. 8s 

repeatedly prevented his election. In order to remove so 
serious an impediment, Sheridan had recourse to artifice. 
On the evening when it was resolved to put him up, he 
found his two inveterate enemies posted as usual. A chair- 
man was then sent with a note, written in the name of her 
father-in-law. Lord Bessborough, acquainting him that a fire 
had broken out in his house in Cavendish Square, and 
entreating him immediately to return home. Unsuspicious 
of any trick, as his son and daughter-in-law lived under his 
roof. Lord Bessborough unhesitatingly quitted the room, 
and got into a sedan-chair. Selwyn, who resided not far 
from Brookes's in Cleveland-row, received, nearly at the 
same time, a verbal message to request his presence, in 
consequence of Miss Fagniani, (whom he had adopted as 
his daughter,) being suddenly seized with alarming indis- 
position. This summons he obeyed ; and no sooner was 
the room cleared, than Sheridan being proposed a member, 
a ballot took place, when he was immediately chosen. Lord 
Bessborough and Selwyn returned without delay, on dis- 
covering the imposition that had been practised on their 
credulity, but they were too late to prevent its effects. 

Such is the story told by Selwyn, in his Memoirs; but the 
following account is more generally accredited. The Prince 
of Wales joined Brookes's Club, to have more frequent inter- 
course with Mr. Fox, one of its earliest members, and who, 
on his first acquaintance with Sheridan, became anxious for 
his admission to the Club. Sheridan was three times pro- 
posed, but as often had the back ball in the ballot, which 
disqualified him. At length, the hostile ball was traced to 
George Selwyn, who objected, because his (Sheridan's) father 
had been upon the stage. Sheridan was apprised of this, 
and desired that his name might be put up again, and that 
the further conduct of the matter might be left to himself. 
Accordingly, on the evening when he was to be balloted for, 
Sheridan arrived at Brookes's arm-in-arm with the Prince of 
Wales, just ten minutes before the balloting began. They 



85 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

were shown into the candidates' waiting-room, when one of 
the dub-waiters was ordered to tell Mr. Selwyn that the 
Prince desired to speak with him immediately. Selwyn 
obeyed the summons, and Sheridan, to whom this version of 
the affair states, Sheridan had no personal dislike, enter- 
tained him for half-an-hour with some political story, which 
interested him very much, but had no foundation in truth. 
During Selwyn's absence, the ballO;ting went on, and Sheridan 
was chosen ; and the result was announced to himself and 
the Prince by the waiter, with the preconcerted signal of 
stroking his chin with his hand. Sheridan immediately rose 
from his seat, and apologizing for a few minutes' absence, 
told Selwyn that " the Prince would finish the narrative, the 
catastrophe of which he would find very remarkable." 

.Sheridan now went upstairs, was introduced to the Club, 
and was soon in all his glory. . The Prince, in the mean- 
time, had not the least idea of being left to conclude a 
story, the thread of which (if it had a thread) he had 
entirely forgotten. Still, by means of Selwyn's occasional 
assistance, the Prince got on pretty well for a few minutes 
when a question from the listener as to the flat contra- 
diction of a part of His Royal Highness' story to that 
of Sheridan, completely posed the narrator, andjie stuck 
fast. After much floundering, the Prince burst into a loud 
laugh, saying, " D — n the fellow, to leave me to finish the 
infernal story, of which I know as much as a child unborn 1 
But, never mind,. Selwyn; as Sheridan does not seem 
inclined to come back, let me go upstairs, and I dare say 
Fox or some of them will be able to tell you all about it." 
They adjourned to the club-room, and Selwyn now detected 
the manoeuvre. Sheridan then rose, made a low bow, and 
apologized to Selwyn, through his dropping into such good 
company, adding, "They have just been making me a 
member, without even one Mack ball, and here I am." 
" The devil they have !" exclaimed Selwyn. — " Facts speak 
for themselves," said Sheridan j "and I thank you for your 



" FIGHTING FITZGERALD " A T BROOKES' S. 87 

friendly suffrage 3 and now, if you will sit down by us, I 
will finish my story." — " Your story ! it is all a lie from 
beginning to end," exclaimed Selwyn, amidst loud laughter 
from all parts of the room. 

Among the members who indulged in high play was 
Alderman Combe, who is said to have made as much money 
in this way as he did by brewing. One evening, whilst he 
filled the office of Lord Mayor, he was busy at a full hazard 
table at Brookes's, where the wit and the dice-box circulated 
together with great glee, and where Beau Brammell was one 
of the party. "Come, Mashtub," said Brummell, who was 
the caster, "what do you set?' — "Twenty-five guineas," 
answered the Alderman. — " Well, then," returned the Beau, 
" have at the mare's pony " (25 guineas). He continued to 
throw until he drove home the brewer's twelve ponies, 
running ; and then, getting up, and making him a low bow, 
whilst pocketing the cash, he said, "Thank you, alderman ; 
for the future, I shall never drink any porter but yours." — 
" I wish, Sir," repUed the brewer, " that every other black- 
guard in London would tell me the same." 

" Fighting Fitzgerald " at Brookes's. 

This notorious person, George Robert Fitzgerald, though 
nearly related to one of the first families in Ireland (Leinster), 
was executed in 1786, for a murder which he had coolly 
premeditated, and had perpetrated in a most cruel and 
cowardly manner. 

His duelling propensities had kept him out of all the first 
Clubs in London. He once applied to Admiral Keith 
Stewart to propose him as a candidate for Brookes's ; when the 
Admiral, knowing that he must either fight or comply with his 
request, chose the latter. Accordingly, on the night when 
the ballot was to take place (which was only a mere form in 
this case, for even Keith Stewart had resolved to black ball 
him), the duellist accompanied the Admiral to St. James's- 



88 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

street, and waited in the room below, while the ballot was 
taken. This was soon done ; for, without hesitation, each 
member threw in a black ball; and when the scrutiny came, 
the company were not a little amazed to find not even mie 
white ball among the number. However, the rejection 
being carried mm. con., the question was, which of the 
members had the hardihood to announce the result to the 
expectant candidate. No one would undertake the office, 
for the announcement was thought sure to produce a 
challenge ; and a duel with Fitzgerald had, in most cases, 
been fatal to his opponent. The general opinion was that 
the proposer. Admiral Stewart, should convey the intelli- 
gence. " No, gentlemen," said he, " I proposed the fellow 
because I knew you would not admit him ; but, by Jove, 
I have no inclination to risk my life against that of a 
madman." 

" But, Admiral," replied the Duke of Devonshire,* " there 
being no white ball in the box, he must know that you have 
black-balled him as well as the rest, and he is sure to call 
you out at all events." 

This posed the Admiral, who, after some hesitation, 
proposed that the waiter should tell Fitzgerald that there was 
me black ball, and that his name must be put up again if he 
wished it. All concurred in the propriety of this plan, and 
the waiter was despatched on the mission. In the mean- 
time, Fitzgerald had frequently rung the bell to inquire " the 
state of the poll," and had sent each waiter to ascertain, but 
neither durst return, when Mr. Brookes took the message 
from the waiter who was descending the staircase, and 
boldly entered the room, with a coffee equipage in his hand. 
" Did you call for coffee. Sir ?" said Mr. Brookes, smartly. 
" D — n your coffee, Sir ! and you too," answered Mr. 
Fitzgerald, in a voice which made the host's blood run cold. 



* This, was the bon-vivant Duke who had got ready for him every 
night, for supper, at Brookes's, a broiled blade-bone of mutton. 



"FIGHTm G FITZGERALD "AT BROOKES S. 89 

" I want to know, Sir, and that without one moment's delay, 
Sir, if I am chose yet ?" 

" Oh, Sir !" replied Mr. Brookes, attempting to smile 
away the appearance of fear, " I beg your pardon, Sir, "but I 
was just coming to announce to you. Sir, with Admiral 
Stewart's compliments, Sir, that unfortunately there was one 
black ball in the box. Sir ; and consequently, by the rules of 
the Club, Sir, no candidate can be admitted without a new 
election, Sir; — which cannot take place, by the standing 
regulations of the Club, Sir, until one month from this time, 
Sir." 

During this address, Fitzgerald's irascibility appeared to 
undergo considerable mollification ; and at its close, he 
grasped Brooke's hand, saying, " My dear Brookes, Pm 
chose ; but there must be a small matter of mistake in my 
election :" he then persuaded Brookes to go upstairs, and 
make his compliments to the gentlemen, and say, as it was 
only a mistake of one black ball, they would be so good as 
to waive all ceremony on his account, and proceed to re-elect 
their humble servant without any more delay at all." Many 
of the members were panic-struck, forseeing a disagreeable 
finale to the farce which they had been playing. Mr. 
Brookes stood silent, waiting for the answer. At length, the 
Earl of March, (afterwards Duke of Queensberry) said 
aloud " Try the efiect of two balls : d — n his Irish impu- 
dence, if two balls don't take effect upon him, I don't know 
what will." This proposition was agreed to, and Brookes 
was ordered to communicate the same. 

On re-entering the waiting-room, Mr. Fitzgerald eagerly 
inquired, " Have they elected me right, now, Mr. Brookes ?" 
the reply was, '-Sorry to inform you that the result of the 
second balloting is— that two black balls were dropped. 
Sir." — "Then," exclaimed Fitzgerald, "there's now two 
mistakes instead of one." He then persuaded Brookes 
again to proceed upstairs, and tell the honourable members 
to " try again, and make no more mistakes." General 



go CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Fitzpatrick proposed that Brookes should reply, "His 
cause was all hopeless, for that he was black-balled all mier, 
from head to foot, and it was hoped by all the members that 
Mr. Fitzgerald would not persist in thrusting himself into 
society where his company was declined." This message 
was of no avail : no sooner had Fitzgerald heard it than he 
exclaimed ; "OTi, I perceive it is a mistake altogether, Mr. 
Brookes, and I must see to the rectifying of it myself, there's 
nothing like dating with principals ; so, I'll step up at once, 
and put this thing to rights, without any more unnecessary 
delay.'' 

In spite of Mr. Brookes's remonstrance, that his entrance 
into the Club-room was against all rule and etiquette; 
Fitzgerald flew upstairs, and entered the room without any 
further ceremony than a bow, saying to the members, who 
indignantly rose at the intrusion, "Your servant, gentlemen — 
I beg ye will be sated." 

Walking up to the fireplace, he thus addressed Admiral 
Stewart : — " So, my dear Admiral, Mr. Brookes informs me 
that I have been elected three times." 

" You have been balloted for, Mr. Fitzgerald, but I am 
sorry to say you have not been chosen," said Stewart. 

"Well, then," replied the duellist, " Aid you black ball 
me ?" — " My good Sir," answered the Admiral, " how could 
you suppose such a thing ?" — " Oh, I sup-posed no such things 
my dear fellow j I only want to know who it was that 
dropped the black balls in by accident, as it were !" 

Fitzgerald now went up to each individual member, and 
put the same question seriatim, "Did you black-ball me, 
Sir?" until he made the round of the whole Club; and in 
each case he received a reply similar to that of the Admiral. 
When he had finished his inquisition, he thus addressed the 
whole body : " You see, Gentlemen, that as none of ye have 
black-balled me, / must be chose; and it is Mr. Brookes that 
has made the mistake. But I was convinced of it from the 
beginning, and I am only sorry that so much time has been 



ARTHUiaS CLUB. 91 

lost as to prevent honourable gentlemen from enjoying each 
other's company sooner." . He then desired the waiter to 
bring him a bottle of champagne, that he might drink long 
life to the Club, and wish them joy of their unanimous 
election of a rael gentleman by father and mother, and who 
never missed his man." 

The members now saw that there was nothing to be done 
but to send the intruder to Coventry, which they appeared 
to do by tacit agreement ; for when Admiral Stewart de- 
parted, Mr. Fitzgerald found himself cut by all his " dear 
friends." The members now formed parties at the whist- 
table ; and no one replied to Fitzgerald's observations nor 
returned even a nod to the toasts and healths which he 
drank in three bottles of champagne, which the terrified 
waiter placed before him, in succession. At length, he 
arose, made a low bow, and took leave, promising to "come 
earlier next night, and have a little more of it." It was then 
agreed that half-a-dozen stout constables should be in 
waiting the next evening to bear him off to the watch-house, 
if he attempted again'tb intrude. Of this measure, Fitzgerald 
seemed to be aware ; for he never again showed himself at 
Brookes's ; though he boasted everywhere that he had been 
unanimously chosen a member of the Club. 

Arthur's Club. 

This Club, established more than a century since, at 
No. 69, St. James's-street, derives its name from Mr. Arthur, 

' the master of White's Chocolate-house in the same street. 

, Mr. Cunningham records : "Arthur died in June, 1761, in 
St. James's-place j and in the following October, Mr. 
Mackreth married Arthur's only child, and Arthur's 
Chocolate-house, as it was then called, became the property 
of this Mr. Mackreth." 

Walpole, writing in 1759, has this odd note: "I stared 
to-day at Piccadilly like a country squire ; there are twenty 



92 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

new stone houses : at first I concluded that all the grooms 
that used to live there, had got estates and built palaces. 
One young gentleman, who was getting an estate, but was 
so indiscreet as to step out of his waj; to rob a comrade, is 
convicted, and to be transported ; in short, one of the 
waiters at Arthur's. George Selwyn says, ' What a horrid 
idea he will give us of the people in Newgate !' " 

Mackreth prospered ; for Walpole, writing to Mann, in 
1774, speaking of the New Parliament, says: "Bob, formerly 
a waiter at White's, was set up by my nephew for two 
boroughs, and actually is returned for Castle Rising with 
Mr. Wedderbume ; 

' Servus curru portatur eodem ;' 

which I suppose will offend the Scottish Consul, as most of 
his countrymen resent an Irishman standing for Westminster, 
which the former reckon a borough of their own. For my 
part, waiter for waiter, I see little difference ; they were all 
equally ready to cry, ' Coming, coming, Sir.' " 

Mackreth was afterwards knighted ; and upon him ap- 
peared this smart and well-remembered epigram : 

When Mackreth served in Arthur's crew, 
He said to Rumbold, " Black my shoe ;" 

To which he answer'd, " Ay, Bob." 
But when retum'd from India's land, 
And grown too proud to brook command, 

He sternly answer'd, " Nay, Bob." 

The Club-house was rebuilt in 1825, upon the site of the 
original Chocolate-house, Thomas Hopper, architect, at 
which time it possessed more than average design : the 
front is of stone, and is enriched with fluted Corinthian 
columns. 

White's Club. 

This celebrated Club was originally established as "White's 
Chocolate-house," in 1698, five doors from the bottom of 
the west side of St. James's-street, " ascending from Sfc 



WHITE'S CLUB. 93 

James's Palace." (Hatton, 1708.) A print of the time 
shows a small garden attached to the house : at the tables 
in the house or garden, more than one highwayman took 
his chocolate, or threw his main, before he quietly mounted 
his horse, and rode down Piccadilly towards Bagshot." 
(Doran's Table Traits.) It was destroyed by fire, April 28^ 
i733> when the house was kept by Mr. Arthur, who sub- 
sequently gave his name to the Club called Arthur's, still 
existing a few doors above the original White's. At the fire, 
young Arthur's wife leaped out of a second floor window, 
upon a feather-bed, without much hurt. A fine collection 
of paintings, belonging to Sir Andrew Fountaine, valued at 
3000/., was entirely destroyed. The King and the Prince 
of Wales were present above an hour, and encouraged the 
firemen and people to work at the engines j a guard being 
ordered from St. James's to keep off the populace. His 
Majesty ordered twenty guineas to be distributed among 
the firemen and others that worked at the engines, and five 
guineas to the guard ; and the Prince ordered the firemen 
ten guineas. "The incident of the fire," says Mr. Cunningham, 
" was made use of by Hogarth, in Plate VI. of the Rake's 
Progress, representing a room at White's. The total ab- 
straction of the gamblers is well expressed by their utter 
inattention to the alarm of the fire given by watchmen, who 
are bursting open the doors. Plate IV. of the same pictured 
moral represents a group of chimney-sweepers and shoe-blacks 
gambling on the ground over-against White's. To indicate 
the Club more fully, Hogarth has inserted the name Black's. 
Arthur, thus burnt out, removed to Gaunt's Cofifee-house, 
next the St. James's Cofifee-house, and which bore the name 
of " White's " — a myth. The Tailer, in his first Number, 
promises that " all accounts of gallantry, pleasure, and 
entertainment, shall be under the article of White's Choco- 
late-house," Addison, in his Prologue to Steele's Tender 
Husband, catches " the necessary spark " sometimes " taking 
snuff at White's." 



94 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

The Chocolate-house, open to any one, became a private 
Club-house : the earliest record is a book of rules and list 
of members of the old Club at White's, dated October 30th, 
1736. The principal members were the Duke of Devon- 
shire ; the Earls of Cholmondeley, Chesterfield, and Rock- 
ingham ; Sir John Cope, Major-General Churchill, Bubb 
Dodington, and Colley Cibber. Walpole tells us that the 
celebrated Earl of -Chesterfield lived at White's, gaming and 
pronouncing witticisms among the boys of quality; "yet 
he says to his son, that a member of a gaming club should 
be a cheat, or he will soon be a beggar," an inconsistency 
which reminds one of old Fuller's saw : " A father that 
whipt his son for swearing, and swore himself whilst he 
whipt him, did more harm by his example than -good by his 
correction." 

Swift, in his Essay on Modern Education, gives the 
Chocolate-house a sad name. " I have heard," he says, 
" that the late Earl of Oxford, in the time of his ministry, 
never passed by White's Chocolate-house (the common 
rendezvous of infamous- sharpers and noble cullies) without 
bestowing a curse upon that famous Academy, as the bane 
of half the English nobility." 

The gambling character of the Club may also be gathered 
from Lord Lyttelton writing to Dr. Doddridge, in 1750. 
" The Dryads of Hagley are at present pretty secure, but I 
tremble to 'think that the rattling of a dice-box- at White's 
may one day or other (if my; son should be a member of that 
noble academy)- shake down all our fine oaks; It is dread- 
ful to see, not only there, but almost in every house in town 
what devastations are made by that destructive fury, the 
spirit of play." 

Swift's character of the company is also borne out by 
Walpole, in a letter to Mann, December 16, 1748 : "There 
is a man about town, Sir William Burdett, a man of very 
good family; but most infamous character. In short, to give 
you his character at once, there is a wager entered in the 



WHITirs CLUB. 95 

bet-book at M'^hite's (a MS. of which I may one day or 
other give you an account), that the first baronet that will be 
hanged is this Sir William Burdett." 

Again, Glover, the poet, in his Autobiography, tells us: 
"Mir. Pelham (the Prime Minister) was originally an officer in 
the army, and a professed gamester • of a narrow mind, low 
parts, etc. . . . Bylong experience and attendance he became 
experienced as a Parliament man ; and even when Minister, 
divided his time to the last between his office and the club 
of gamesters at White's." And, Pope, in the Dunciad, has : 

Or chair'd at White's, amidst the doctors sit, 
Teach oaths to gamesters, and to nobles wit. 

The Club removed, in 1755, to the east side of St. James's- 
street. No. 38. The house had had previously, a noble and 
stately tenant ; for here resided the Countess of Northum- 
berland, widow of Algernon, tenth Earl of Northumberland, 
who died 1688. " My friend Lady Suffolk, her neice by 
marriage," writes Wa^ole, " has talked to me of her having, 
on that alHance, visited hen She then lived in the house 
now White's, at the upper end of St. James'srstreet,-and was 
the last who kept up the ceremonious state of the old peer- 
age. When she went out to visit, a footman, bareheaded, 
walked on each side of her coach, and a second coach \vith 
her women attended her. I think, too, that Lady Suifolk) 
told me that her granddaughter-in-law, the Duchess of 
Somerset, never sat down before her without leave to do so. 
I suppose, the old Duke Charles [the proud Duke] had 
imbibed a good quantity of his stately pride in such a 
school." {Letter to the Bishop of Dromore, September 18; 
1792.) This high-minded dame had published a "Volume 
of Prayers.'' ' 

Among the Rules of the Club,, every, member was to pay 
one guinea a year towards having a good cook ; the names 
of all candidates were to be deposited with Mr. Arthur or 
Bob [Mackreth]. In balloting, every member was to put 



96 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

in his ball, and such person or persons who refuse to com- 
ply with it, shall pay the supper reckoning of that night 
and, in 1769, it was agreed that ' every member of this Club 
who is in the Billiard-Room at the time the Supper is 
declared upon table, shall pay his reckoning if he does not 
sup at the Young Club.' " 

''■ Of CoUey Gibber's membership we find this- odd account 
in Davies's Life of Garrick: — "Colley, we told, had the 
honour to be a member of the great Club at White's ; and 
so I suppose might any other man who wore good clothes, 
and paid his money when he lost it. But on what terms 
did Gibber live with this society ? Why, he feasted most 
sumptuously, as I have heard his friend Victor say, with an 
air of triumphant exultation, with Mr. Arthur and his wife, 
and gave a trifle for his dinner. After he had dined, when 
the Club-room door was opened, and the Laureate was 
introduced, he was saluted with loud and joyous acclama- 
tion of ' O King Coll ! Come in King Coll !' and ' Welcome, 
welcome. King Colley !' and this kind of gratulation, Mr. 
Victor thought, was very gracious and very honourable.'' 

In the Rules quoted by Mr. Cunningham, from the Club- 
books, we find that in 1780, a dinner was ready every day 
during the sitting of Parliament, at a reckoning of \2S. per 
head; in 1797, at xos. 6d. per head, malt liquors, biscuits, 
oranges, apples, and olives included ; hot suppers provided 
at 8j-. per head; and cold meat, oysters, etc., at 4J., malt 
liquor only included. And, "that Every Member who plays 
at Chess, Draughts, or Backgammon do pay One Shilling 
each time of playing by daylight, and half-a-crown each by 
candlelight." 

White's was from the beginning principally a gaming 
Club. The play was mostly at hazard and faro ; no member 
was to hold a faro Bank. Whist was comparatively harmless. 
Professional gamblers, who lived by dice and cards, provided 
they were free from the imputation of cheating, procured 
admission to White's. It was a great supper-house, and there 




Don Saltero's Cofifee House, Cheyne Walk, Chelsea. (See Tatler, No. 34. ) 



feTi.j-.r ' *m 





'-:.^ 




f W : *'.i%>i 






Subscription Rooms, Brookes' Club, (Whig.) 



WHITES CLUB. 97 

was play before and after supper, carried on to a late hour 
and heavy amounts. Lord Carlisle lost 10,000/. in one 
night, and was in debt to the house for the whole. He tells 
Selwyn of a set, in which at one point of the game, stood to 
win 50,000/. Sir John Bland, of Kippax Park, who shot 
himself in 1755, as we learn from Walpole, flirted away his 
whole fortune at hazard. " He t'other night exceeded what 
was lost by the late Duke of Bedford, having at one period 
of the night, (though he recovered the greater part of it,) 
lost two-and-thirty thousand pounds." 

Lord Mountford came to a tragic end through his gambling. 
He had lost money; feared to be reduced to distress; asked 
for a Government appointment, and determined to throw 
the die of life or death, on the answer he received from 
Court. The answer was unfavourable. He consulted several 
persons, indirectly at first, afterwards pretty directly — on the 
easiest mode of finishing life ; invited a dinner-party for the 
day after ; supped at White's, and played at whist till one 
o'clock of the New Year's morning. Lord Robert Bertie 
drank to him " a happy new year ;" he clapped his hand 
strangely to his eyes. In the morning he sent for a lawyer 
and three witnesses ; executed his will ; made them read it 
twice over, paragraph by paragraph; asked the lawyer if that 
will would stand good though a man were to shoot himself? 
Being assured it would, he said, " Pray stay, while I step 
into the next room," — ^went into the next room, and shot 
himself. 

Walpole writes to Mann: "John Damier and his two 
brothers have contracted a debt, one can scarcely expect to 
be believed out of England, — of 70,000/. . . . The young 
men of this age seem to make a law among themselves for 
declaring their fathers superannuated at fifty, and thus dispose 
of their estates as if already their own." " Can you believe 
that Lord Foley's two sons have borrowed money so extrava- 
gantly, that the interest they have contracted to pay, amounts 
to 18,000/. a year." 



98 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. ' 

Fox's love of play was frightful : his best friends are said 
to have been half-ruined in annuities, given by them as 
securities for him to the Jews. Five hundred thousand 
a year of such annuities, of Fox and his Society, were adver- 
tised to be sold, at one time : Walpole wondered what Fox 
would do when he had sold the estates of all his friends. 
Here are some instances of his desperate play. Walpole 
further notes that in the debate on the Thirty-nine Articles, 
February 6, 1772, Fox did not shine, "nor could it be 
wondered at. He had sat up playing at hazard at Almack's, 
from Tuesday evening the 4th, till five in the afternoon of 
Wednesday, sth. An hour before he had recovered 12,000/. 
that he had lost, and by dinner, which was at five o'clock, 
he had ended losing 11,000/. On the Thursday, he spoke 
in the above debate; went to dinner at past eleven at night; 
from thence to White's, where he drank till seven the next 
morning ; thence to Almack's, where he won 6,000/. ; and 
between three and four in the afternoon he set out for New- 
market. His brother Stephen lost 11,000/. two nights after, 
and Charles 10,000/ more on the 13th ; so that, in three 
nights, the two brothers, the eldest not twenty-five, lost 
32,000/" 

Walpole and a party of friends^ (Dick Edgecumbe, George 
Selwyn, and Williams,) in 1756, composed a piece of heraldic 
satire — a coat-of arms for the two gaming-clubs at White's, — 
which was " actually engraving from a very pretty painting 
of Edgecumbe, whom Mr. Chute, as Strawberry King at 
arms," appointed their chief herald-painter. The blazon is 
vert (for a card-table) ; three parohs proper on a chevron 
sable (for a hazard-table) ; two rouleaux in saltire between 
two dice proper, on a canton sable ; a white ball (for elec- 
tion) argent. The supporters are an old and young knave 
of clubs ; the crest, an arm oiit of an earl's coronet shaking 
a dice-box ; and the motto, " Cogit amor nummi." Round 
the arms is a claret-bottle ticket by way of order. The 
painting above mentioned by Walpole of "the Old and 



WHITE'S CLUB. 99 

Young Club at Arthur's." was bought at the sale of Straw- 
berry Hill by Arthur's Club-house for twenty-t^vo shillings. 

At White's, the least difference of opinion invariably 
ended in a bet, and a book for entering the particulars of 
all bets was always laid upon the table ; one of these, with 
entries of a date as early as 1744, Mr. Cunningham tells us, 
had been preserved. A book for entering bets is still laid 
on the table. 

In these betting books are to be found bets on births, 
deaths, and marriages ; the length of a life, or the duration 
of a ministry ; a placeman's prospect of a coronet ; on the 
shock of an earthquake ; or the last scandal at Ranelagh, or 
Madame Cornelys's. A man dropped down at the door of 
White's ; he was carried into the house. Was he dead or 
not ? The odds were immediately given and taken for and 
against. It was proposed to bleed him. , Those who had 
taken the odds the man was dead, protested that the use of 
a lancet would affect the fairness of the bet. 

Walpole gives some ot these narratives as good stories 
" made on White's." A parson coming into the Club on 
the morning of the earthquake of 1750, and hearing bets 
laid whether the shock was caused by an earthquake or the 
blowing-up of powder-mills, went away in horror, protesting 
they were such an impious set, that he believed if the last 
trump were to sound, they would bet puppet-show against 
Judgment." Gilly Williams writes to Selwyn, 1764, "Lord 
Digby is very soon to be married to Miss Fielding." Thou- 
sands might have been won in this house (White's), on his 
Lordsliip not knowing that such a. being existed. 

Mr. Cunningham tells us that "the marriage of a young 
lady, of rank would occasion a bet of a hundred guineas, 
that she would give butli to a live child before the Countess 
of —,—. — -, who had been married three or even more months 
before her. Heavy bets were pending, that Arthur, who was 
then a widower, would be married before a member of the 
Club of about the same age, and also a widower ; and that 

H 2 



icx) CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, would outlive the old 
Duchess of Cleveland." 

" One of the youth at White's," writes Walpole to Mann, 
July lo, 1744, "has committed a murder, and intends to 
repeat it. He betted 1500/. that a man could live twelve 
hours under water ; hired a desperate fellow, sunk him in a 
ship, by way of experiment, and both ship and man have 
not appeared since. Another man and ship are to be tried 
for their lives, instead of Mr. Blake, the assassin." 

Walpole found at White's, a very remarkable entry in 
their very — very remarkable wager-book, which is still pre- 
served. "Lord Mountford bets Sir John Bland twenty 
guineas that Nash outlives Gibber." "How odd," says 
Walpole, " that these two old creatures, selected for their 
antiquities, should live to see both their wagerers put an 
end to their own lives ! Gibber is within a few days of 
eighty-four, still hearty, and clear, and well.. I told him I 
was glad to see him look so well. ' Faith,' said he, ' it is 
very well that I look at all.'" Lord Mountford would 
have been the winner : Gibber died in 1757 ; Nash in 1761. 

Here is a nice piece of Selwyu's ready wit. He arid 
Charles Townshend had a kind of wit combat together. 
Selwyn, it is said, prevailed ; and Charles Townsend took 
the wit home in his carriage, and dropped him at White's. 
" Remember " said Selwyn, as they parted, " this is the first 
set-down you have given me to-day." 

" St. Leger," says Walpole, " was at the head of these 
luxurious heroes — he is the hero of all fashion. I never 
saw more dashing vivacity and absurdity with some flashes 
of parts. He had a cause the other day for ducking a 
sharper, and was going to swear ; the judge said to him, ■ ' I 
see. Sir, you are very ready to take an oath.' ' Yes, my Lord,' 
replied St. Leger, ' my father was a judge.' " St. Leger was 
a lively club member. " Rigby," writes the Duke of 
Bedford, July 2, 1751, "the town is grown extremely thin 
within this week, though White's continues numerous 



WHires CLUB. loi 

enough, with young people only, for Mr. St. Leger's vivacity, 
and the idea the old ones have of it, prevent the great 
chairs at the Old Club from being filled with their proper 
drowsy proprietors." 

In Hogarth's gambling scene at White's, we see the 
highwayman, with the pistols peeping out of his pocket, 
waiting by the fireside till the heaviest winner takes his 
departure, in order to " recoup " himself of his losings. And 
in the Beaux' Straiegem, Aimwell asks of Gibbet, " Ha'nt I 
seen your face at White's ?" — " Ay, and at Will's too," is the 
highwayman's answer. 

M 'Clean, the fashionable highwayman, had a lodging in 
St. James's-street, over against White's ; and he was as well 
known about St. James's as any gentleman who lived in that 
quarter, and who, perhaps, went upon the road too. 
When M'Clean was taken, in 1750, Walpole tells us that 
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 White's, 
" My dear, what did the Lords say to you ? Have you ever 
been concerned with any of them ? Was it not admirable ? 
What a favourable idea people must have of White's ! — and 
wTiiit if White's should not deserve a much better?" 

A waitership at a club sometimes led to fortune. Thomas 
Rumbold, originally a waiter at White's, got an appointment 
in India, and suddenly rose to be Sir Thomas, and 
Governor of Madras. On his return, with immense wealth, 
a bill of pains and penalties were brought into the House 
by Dundas, with the view of stripping Sir Thomas of his 
ill-gotten gains. This bill was briskly pushed through the 
earlier stages ; suddenly the proceedings were arrested by 
adjournment, and the measure fell to the ground. The 
rumour of the day attributed Rumbold's escape to the 
corrupt assistance of Rigby; who, in 1782, found himself, by 
Lord North's retirement, deprived of his place in the Pay 
Office, and called upon to refund a large amount of public 



102 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

moneys unaccounted for. In this strait, Rigby was believed 
to have had recourse to Rumbold. Their acquaintance had 
commenced in earlier days, when Rigby was one of the.' 
boldest " punters " at White's, and Rumbold bowed to him 
for half-crowns. Rumbold is said to have given Rigby a 
large sum of money, on condition of the former being 
released from the impending pains and penalties. The 
truth of this report has been vehemently denied ; but the 
circumstances are suspicious. The bill was dropped : Dun- 
das, its introducer, was Rigby's intimate associate. Rigby's 
nephew and heir soon after married Rumbold's daughter. 
Sir Thomas himself had married a daughter of Dr. Law, 
Bishop of Carlisle. The worthy Bishop stood godfather to 
one of Rumbold's children; the other godfather was the 
Nabob of Arcot, and the child was christened "Mahomet." 
So, at least, Walpole informs Mann.* 

Rigby was a man of pleasure at White's. Wilkes, in 
the North Briton, describes Rigby as "an excellent bon- 
vivant, amiable and engaging; having all the gibes and 
gambols, and flashes of merriment, which set the table in a 
roar." In a letter to Selwyn, Rigby writes : " I am just got 
home from a cock-match, where I have won forty pounds 
in ready money; and not having dined, am waiting till 
I hear the rattle of the coaches from the House of Commons, 
in order to dine at White's. , . . The next morning I heard 
there had been extreme deep play, and that Harry Furnese 
went drunk from White's at six o'clock, and with the ever 
memorable sum of looo guineas. He won the chief part of 
Doneraile and Bob Bertie." 

The Club has had freaks of epicurism. In 1751, seven 
young men of fashion, headed by St. Leger, gave a dinner 
at White's ; one dish was a tart of choice cherries from a 
hot-house ; only one glass was tasted out of each botde of 
champagne. "The bill of fare has got into print," writes 



'National Review," No, 8. 



BOODLES CLUB. 103 

Walpole, to Mann j " and Avith good people has produced 
the apprehension of another earthquake." 

From Mackreth the property passed in 1784, to John 
Martindale, and in 1812, to Mr. Raggett, the father of the 
the present proprietor. The original form of the house was 
designed by James Wyatt. From time to time, White's 
underwent various alterations and additions. In the autumn 
of 1850, certain improvements being thought necessary, it 
came to be considered that the front was of too plain a 
character, when contrasted with the many elegant buildings 
which had risen up around it. Mr. Lockyer was consulted 
by Mr. Raggett as to the possibility of improving the facade ; 
and under his direction, four bas-reliefs, representing the 
four seasons, which occupy the place of four sashes, were 
designed by Mr. George Scharf, jun. The interior was 
redecorated by Mr. Morant. The Club, which is at this 
time limited to 500 members, was formerly composed of the 
high Tory party, but though Conservative principles may 
probably prevail, it has now ceased to be a political club, 
and may rather be termed "Aristocratic." Several of the 
present members have belonged to the Club upwards of 
half a century, and the ancestors of most of the noblemen 
and men of fashion of the present day who belong to the 
Club were formerly members of it. 

The Club has given magnificent entertainments in our 
time. On June 20, 18 14, they gave a ball at Burlington 
House to the Emperor of Russia, the King of Prussia, 
and the allied sovereigns then in England ; the cost was 
9849/. 2s. 6d. Three weeks after this, the Club gave to the 
Duke of Wellington a dinner, which cost 2480/. los. <)d. 

Boodle's Club. 

This Club, originally the "Savoir vivre," which with 
Brookes's and White's, forms a trio of nearly coeval date, 
and each of which takes the present name of its founder, is 



104 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

No. 28, St. James's-street. In its early records it was noted 
for its costly gaities, and the Heroic Epistk to Sir William 
Chambers, 1773, commemorates its epicurism : 

For what is Nature ? King her changes round, 
Her three flat notes are water, plants, and ground ; 
Prolong the peal, yet, spite of all your clatter, 
The tedious chime is still ground, plants, and water ; 
So, when some John his dull invention racks, 
To rival Boodle's dinners or Almack's, 
Three uncouth legs of mutton shock our eyes. 
Three roasted geese, three buttered apple-pies. 

In the following year, when the Clubs vied with each 
other in giving the town the most expensive masquerades 
and ridottos, Gibbon speaks of one given by the members 
of Boodle's, that cost 2000 guineas. Gibbon was early of 
the Club; and, "it must be remembered, waddled as well 
as warbled here when he exhibited that extraordinary person 
which is said to have convulsed Lady Sheffield with 
laughter ; and poured forth accents mellifluous like Plato's 
from that still more extraordinary mouth which has been de- 
scribed as 'a round hole ' in the centre of his face."* 

Boodle's Club-house, designed by Holland, has long been 
eclipsed by the more pretentious architecture of the Club 
edifices of our time ; but the interior arrangements are well 
planned. Boodle's is chiefly frequented by country gentle- 
men, whose status has been thus satirically insinuated by a 
contemporary : " Every Sir John belongs to Boodle's — as 
you may see, for, when a waiter comes into the room arid 
says to some aged student of the Morning Herald, ' Sir John, 
your servant has come,' every head is mechanically thrown 
up in answer to the address.' " 

Among the Club pictures are portraits of C. J. Fox, and 
the Duke of Devonshire. Next door, at No. 29, resided 
Gillray, the caricaturist, who, in 1815, threw himself from an 
upstairs window into the street, and died in consequence. 



London Clubs, 1853, p. 51. 



los 



The Beef-steak Society. 

In Hie Spet;(afor, No. 9, March 10, 1710-11, we read: 
" The Beef-steak and October Clubs are neither of them 
averse to eating or drinking, if we may form a judgment of 
them from their respective titles." This passage refers to 
the Beef-steak Club, founded in the reign of Queen Anne ; 
and, it is believed, the earliest Club with that name. Dr. 
King, in his Ari of Cookery, humbly inscribed to the Beef- 
steak Club, 1709, has these lines : 

He that of hon:)ur, wit, and mirth partakes, 

May be a fit companion o'er Beefsteaks : 

His name may be to futm'e times enrolled 

In Estcourt's book, whose gridiron's framed with gold. 

Estcourt, the actor, was made Providore of the Club ; 
and for a mark of distinction wore their badge, which was a 
small gridiron of gold, hung about his neck with a gi-een silk 
ribbon. Such is the account given by Chetwood, in his 
History of the Stage, 1749 ; to which he adds : " this Club 
was composed of the chief wits and great men of the 
nation." The gridiron, it will be seen hereafter, was as- 
sumed as its badge, by the " Society of Beef-steaks, estab- 
lished a few years later : they call themselves ' the Steaks,' 
and abhor the notion of being thought a Club.'' Though 
the National Review, heretical as it may appear, cannot 
consent to dissever the Society from the earlier Beef-steak 
Club ; which, however, would imply that Rich and Lambert 
were not the founders of the Society, although so circum- 
stantially shown to be. Still, the stubbornness of facts must 
prevail. 

Dick Estcourt was beloved by Steele, who thus introduces 
him m the Spectator, No. 358 : " The best man that I know 
of for heightening the real gaiety of a company is Estcourt, 
whose jovial humour diffuses itself from the highest person at 
an entertainment to the meanest waiter. Merry tales, accom- 



io6 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

panied with apt gestures and lively representations of circum- 
stances and persons, beguile the gravest mind into a consent 
to be as humorous as himself. Add to this, that when a man 
is in his good graces, he has a mimicry that does not debase 
the person he represents, but which, taken from the gravity of 
the character, adds to the agreeableness of it." 

Then, in the Spectator, No. 264, we find a letter from Sir 
Roger de Coverley, from Coverley, " To Mr. Estcourt, at 
his House in Covent Garden," addressing him as " Old 
Comical One," and acknowledging " the hogsheads of neat 
port came safe," and hoping next term to help fill Estcourt's 
Bumper " with our people of the Club." The Bumper was 
the tavern in Covent Garden, which Estcourt opened about 
a year before his death. In this quality Pamell speaks ot 
him in the beginning of one of his poems : — 

Gay Bacchus liking Estcourt's wine 

A noble meal bespoke us, 
And for the guests that were to dine 

Brought Comus, Love, and Jociis. 

The spectator delivers this merited eulogy of the player, 
just prior to his benefit at the theatre : "This pleasant fellow 
gives one some idea of the ancient Pantomime, who is said 
to have given the audience in dumb-show, an exact idea of 
any character or passion, or an intelligible relation of any 
public occurrence, with no other expression than that of his 
looks and gestures. If all who have been obliged to these 
talents in Estcourt will be at Love for Love to-morrow night, 
they will but pay him what they owe him, at so easy a fate 
as being present at a play which nobody would omit seeing,' 
that had, or had not, ever seen it before." 

Then, in the Spectator, No. 468, August 27, 17 12, with what 
touching pathos does Steele record the last exit of this choice 
spirit : " I am very sorry that I have at present a circumstance 
before me which is of very great importance to all who have' 
a relish for gaiety, wit, mirth, or humour : I m.ean the death 
of poor Dick Estcourt. I have been obliged to him for so 



THE BEEF-STEAK SOCIETY. jo? 

many hours of jollity, that it is but a small recompense, 
though all I can give him, to pass a moment or two in sadness 
for the loss of so agreeable a man. . . . Poor Estcourt ! Let 
the vain and proud be at rest, thou wilt no more disturb their 
admiration of their dear selves ; and thou art no longer to 
drudge in raising the mirth of stupids, who know nothing of 
thy merit, for thy maintenance." Having spoken of him 
" as a companion and a man qualified for conversation," — 
his fortune exposing him to an obsequiousness towards the 
worst sort of company, but his excellent qualities rendering 
him capable of making the best figure in the most refined, 
and then havmg told of his maintaining " his good humour 
with a countenance or a language so delightful, without 
offence to any person or thing upon earth, still preserving 
the distance his circumstances obliged him to," — Steele con- 
cludes with " I say, I have seen him do all this in such a 
charming manner, that I am sure none of those I hint at 
will read this, without giving him some sorrow for their 
abundant mirth, and one gush of tears for so many bursts of 
laughter. I wish it were any honour to the pleasant 
creature's memory, that my eyes are too much suffused to 

let me go on " We agree with Leigh Hunt that 

Steele's " overfineness of nature was never more beautifully 
evinced in any part of his writings than in this testimony to 
the merits of poor Dick Estcourt." 

Ned Wardj in his Secret History of Clubs, first edition, 
1709, describes the Beef-steaks, which, he coarsely contrasts 
with " the refined wits of the Kit-Cat." This new Society 
griliado'd beef eaters first settled their meeting at the sign 
of the Imperial Phiz, just opposite to a famous conventicle 
in the Old Jury, a publick-house that has been long eminent 
for the true British quintessence of malt and hops, and a 
broiled sliver offthejuicyrumpofafat, well-fed bullock. . . . 
This noted boozing ken, above all others in the City, was 
chosen out by the Rump-steak admirers, as the fittest 
mansion to entertain the Society, and to gratify their 



loS CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

appetites with that particular dainty they desired to be dis- 
tinguished by. [The Club met at the place appointed, and 
chose for Prolocutor, an Irish comedian]. No sooner had 
they confirmed their Hibernian mimic in his honourable 
post, but to distinguish him from the rest, they made him a 
Knight of St. Lawrence, and hung a silver gridiron (?) about 
his neck, as a badge of the dignity they had conferred upon 
him, that when he sung Pretty Parrot, he might thrum upon 
the bars of his new instrument, and mimic a haughty 
Spaniard serenading his Donna with guitar and madrigal. 
The Zany, as proud of his new fangle as a German mounte- 
bank of a prince's medal, when he was thus dignified and 
distinguished with his cuKnary symbol hanging before his 
breast, took the highest post of honour, as his place at the 
board, where, as soon as seated, there was not a bar in the 
silver kitchen-stuff that the Society had presented him with, 
but was presently handled with a theatrical pun, or an Irish 
witticism. . . . Orders v/ere despatched to the superinten- 
dent of the kitchen to provide several nice specimens of 
their Beef-steak cookery, some with the flavour of a shalot 
or onion; some broil'd, some fry'd, some stew'd, some 
toasted, and others roasted, that every judicious member of 
the new erected Club might appeal to his palate, and from 
thence determine whether the house they had chosen for 
their rendezvous truly deserved that public fame for their 
inimitable management of a bovinary sliver which the world 
had given them. . . . When they had moderately supplied 
their beef stomachs, they were all highly satisfy'd with the 
choice they had made, and from that time resolved to 
repeat their meeting once a week in the same place." [At 
the next meeting the constitution and bye-laws of the new 
little commonwealth were settled ; and for the further 
encouragement of wit and pleasantry thoughout the whole 
Society, there was provided a very voluminous paper book, 
" about as thick as a bale of Dutch linen, into which were to 
be entered every witty saying that should be spoke in the 



THE BEEF-STEAK SOCIETY. 109 

Society :" this nearly proved a failure ; but Ward gives a 
taste of the performances by reciting some that had been 
stolen out of their Journal by a false Brother; here is 
one : — ] 

ON AN ox. 

Most noble creature of the horned race, 

Who labonrs at the plough to earn thy grass, 

And yielding to the yoke, shows man the way 1 

To bear his servile chains, and to obey 

More haughty tyrants, who usurp the sway. 

Thy sturdy sinews till the farmer's grounds. 

To thee the grazier owes his hoarded pounds ; 

'Tis by thy labour, we abound in malt. 

Whose powerful juice the meaner slaves exalt ; 

And when grown fat, and fit to be devour'd, 

The pole-ax frees thee from the teazing goard : 

Thus cruel man, to recompense thy pains, 

First works thee hard, and then beats out thy brains. 

Ward is very hard upon the Kit-Cat community, and tells 
us that the Beef-steaks, " like true Britons, to show their 
resentment in contempt of Kit-Cat pies, very justly gave the 
preference to a rump-steak, most wisely agreeing that the 
venerable word, beef, gave a more masculine grace, and 
sounded better in the title of a true English Club, than 
either pies or Kit-Cat ; and that a gridiron, which has the 
honour to be made the badge of a Saint's martyrdom, was a 
nobler symbol of their Christian integrity, than two or three 
stars or garters ; who learnedly recollecting how great an 
affinity the word bull has to beef, they thought it very con- 
sistent with the constitution of their Society, instead of 
a Welsh to have a Hibernian secretary. Being thus fixed to 
the great honour of a little alehouse, next door to the 
Church, and opposite to the Meeting, they continued to 
meet for some time ; till their fame spreading over all the 
town, and reaching the ears of the great boys and little boys, 
as they came in the evening from Merchant Taylors' School, 
they could not forbear hollowing as they passed the door ; 
^tnd being acquainted with their nights of meeting, they 



no CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

seldom failed when the divan was sitting, of complimenting 
their ears with ' Huzza ! Beef-steak i' — that they might 
know from thence, how much they were reverenced for men 
of learning by the very school-boys." 

" But the modest Club," says Ward, " not affecting 
popularity, and choosing rather to be deaf to all public 
flatteries, thought it an act of prudence to adjourn from 
thence into a place of obscurity, where they might feast 
knuckle-deep in luscious gravy, and enjoy themselves free 
from the noisy addresses of the young scholastic rabble ; 
so that now, whether they have healed the breach, and are 
again returned into the Kit-Cat community, from whence it 
is believed upon some disgust, they at first separated, or 
whether, like the Calves' Head Club they remove from 
place to place, to prevent discovery, I sha'n't presume to 
determine ; but at the present, like Oates's army of pilgrims, 
in the time of the plot, though they are much talk'd of they 
are difficult to be found." The " Secret history " concludes 
with an address to the Club, from which these are specimen 

lines : 

Such strenuous lines, so cheering, soft, and sweet, 
That daily flow from your conjunctive wit, 
Proclaim the power of Beef, that noble meat. 
Your tuneful songs such deep impression make, 
And of such awftil beauteous strength partake, 
Each stanza seems an ox, each line a steak. 
As if the rump in slices, broil'd or stew'd 
In its own gravy, till divinely good, 
Turned all to powerful wit, as soon as chew'd. 

To grind thy gravy out their jaws employ, 
O'er heaps of reeking steaks express their joy, 
And sing of Beef as Homer did of Troy. 

We shall now more closely examine the origin and history 
of the Sublime Society of the Steaks, which has its pedigree, 
its ancestry, and its title-deeds. The gridiron of 1735 is the 
real gridiron on which its first steak was broiled. Henry 
Rich (Lun, the first Harlequin) was the founder, to whotn 



THE BEEF-STEAK SOCIETY. 1 1 1 

Garrick thus alludes in a prologiie to the Irish experiment of 
a speaking pantomime : 

When Lun appeared, with matchless art and whim, 
He gave tlie power of speech to every limb. 
Though maslced and mute conveyed his true intent, 
And told in ifrolic gestm-es what he meant ; 
But now the motley coat and sword of wood, 
Requii'e a tongue to make them understood. 

There is a letter extant, written by Nixon, the treasurer, 
probably to some artist, granting perinission by the Beef- 
steak Society " to copy the original gridiron, and I have 
wrote on the other side of this sheet a note to Mr. White.at 
the Bedford, to introduce you to our room for the purpose 
making your drawing.' The first spare moment I can take 
from my business shall be employed in making a short 
statement of the rise and establishment of the Beef-steak 
Society." 

Rich, in 1732, left the Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre for 
Covent Garden, the success of the Beggar^ Opera having 
" made Gay rich and Rich gay:" He was accustomed to 
arrange the coihic business and construct thd iModels of tricks 
for his pantomimes in his private room at Covent Garden. 
Here resorted men of rank and wit, for Rich's colloquial 
oddities were much relished. Thither came Mordaunt, Earl 
of Peterborough, the friend of Pope, and thus commemorated 

by Swift: 

Mordanto iills the trump of fame ; 

The Christian world his death proclaim ; 

And prints are crowdjed with his name. 

In journeys he outrides the post ; 

Sits up till midnight with his host ; 

Talks politics and gives' the toast, 

A skeleton in outward tigiire ; . ,■ 

His meagi-e corpse, though full ol vigour. 

Would halt behind him, were it bigger, 

So wonderful his expedition ; 

When you havB not the least suspicion, 

He'smth you, like an apparition ; 



112 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Shines in all climates like a star ; 
In senates bold, and fierce in war ; 
A land-commandant and a tar. 

He was then advanced in years, and one afternoon stayed 
talking with Rich about his tricks and transformations, and 
listening to his agreeable talk, until Rich's dinner-hour, two 
o'clock, had arrived. In all these colloquies witii his visitors, 
whatever their rank. Rich never neglected his art. Upon 
one occasion, accident having detained the Earl's coach later 
than usual, he found Rich's chat so agreeable, that he was 
quite unconscious it was two o'clock in the afternoon; when 
he observed Rich spreading a cloth, then coaxing his iire 
into a clear cooking flame, and proceeding, with great gravity, 
to cook his own beef-steak on his own gridiron. The steak 
sent up a most inviting incense, and my Lord could not 
resist Rich's invitation to partake of it. A further supply 
was sent for ; and a bottle or two of good wine from a 
neighbouring tavern prolonged their enjoyment to a late 
hour. But so delighted was the old Peer with the entertain- 
ment, that, on going away, he proposed renewing it at the 
same place and hour, on the Saturday following. He was 
punctual to his engagement, and brought with him three or 
four friends, " men of wit and pleasure about town," as M. 
Bouges would call them ; and so truly festive was the meet- 
ing that it was proposed a Saturday's club should be held 
there, whilst the town remained full. A sumptuary law, even 
at this early period of the Society, restricted the bill of fare 
to beef-steaks, and the beverage to port-wine and punch. 

However, the origin of the Society is related with a 
difference. Edwards, in his Anecdotes of Painting, relates 
that Lambert, many years principal scene-painter at Covent 
Garden Theatre, received, in his painting-room, persons of 
rank and talent ; where, as he could not leave for dinner, he 
frequently was content with a steak, which he himself broiled 
upon the fire in his room. Sometimes the visitors partook 
of the hasty meal, and out of this practice grew the Beef- 



THE BEEF-STEAK SOCIETY. 1 13' 

Steak Society, and the assembling in the painting-room. The 
members were afterwards accommodated with a room in the 
playhouse ; and when the Theatre was rebuilt, the place of 
meeting was changed to the Shakespeare Tavern, where was 
the portrait of Lambert, painted by Hudson, Sir Joshua 
Reynolds's master. 

In the Connoisseur, June 6th, 1754, we read of the Society, 
" composed of the most ingenious artists in the Kingdom," 
meeting " every Saturday in a noble room at the top of 
Covent Garden Theatre," and never suffering "a:ny diet 
except Beef-steaks to appear. These, indeed, are most 
glorious examples : but what, alas ! are this weak endeavours 
of a few to oppose the daily inroads of fricassees and soup- 
maigres f 

However, the apartments in the theatre appropriated to 
the Society varied. Thus, we read of a painting-room even 
with the stage over the kitchen, which was under part of the 
stage nearest Bow-street. At one period, the Society dined 
in a small room over the passage of the theatre. The steaks 
were dressed in the same room, and when they found it too 
hot, a curtain was drawn between the company and the fire. 

We shall now glance at the celebrities who came to the 
painting-room in the Lincoln's Inn Fields theatre, and the 
later locations of the Club, in Covent Garden. To the 
former came Hogarth and his fathfer-in-law, Sir James 
Thomhill, stimulated by their love of the painter's art, and 
the equally potent charm of conviviality. 

Churchill was introduced to the Steaks by his friend 
Wilkes ; but his irregularities were too much for the Society, 
which was by no means particular ; his desertion of his wife 
brought a hornets' swarm about him, so that he soon resigned, 
to avoid the disgrace of expulsion. Churchill attributed this 
flinging of the first stone to Lord Sandwich ; he never for- 
gave the peccant Peer, but put him into the' pillory of his fierce 
satire, which has outlived most of his other writinjgs, and here 
it IS : 

I 



XI4 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

From his youth upwards to the present clay, 

When vices more than years have made liim grey ; 

When riotous excess with wasteful hand 

Shakes life's frail glass, and hastes each ebbing sand ; 

Unmindful from what stock he drew his birth, 

Untainted with one deed of real worth — 

Lothario, holding honoitr at no price. 

Folly, to folly, added vice to vice. 

Wrought sin with greediness, and courted shame 

With greater zeal than good men seek for fame. 

Churchill, in a letter to Wilkes, says, "Your friends at the 
Beef-steak inquired after you last Saturday with the greatest 
zeal, and it gave me no small pleasure that I was the person 
of whom the inquiry was made.'' Charles Price was allowed 
to be one of the most witty of the Society, and it is related 
that he and Churchill kept the table in a roar. 

Formerly, the members wore a blue coat, with red cape 
and cuffs ; buttons with the initials B. S. ; and behind the , 
President's chair was placed the Society's halbert, which, 
with the gridiron, was found among the rubbish after the 
Covent Garden fire. 

Mr. Justice Welsh was frequently chairman at the Beef- 
steak dinner. Mrs. NoUekens, his daughter, acknowledges 
that she often dressed a hat for the purpose, with ribbpns , 
similar to those worn by the yeomen of the guard. The 
Justice was a loyal man, but discontinued his membership 
when Wilkes joined the Society ; though the latter was the 
man at the Steaks. 

To the Steaks Wilkes sent a copy of his infamous Essay 
on Women, first printed for private circulation ; for which 
Lord Sandwich — ^Jemmy. Twitcher — ^himself, as we have 
seen, a member of the Society — moved in the House of 
Lords that Wilkes should be taken into custody; a, 
piece of treason as the act of one brother of the Steaks; j 
against another, fouler than even the trick of "dirty. 
Kidgell," the parson, who, as a friend of the author, got a,, 
copy of the Essay from the printer, and then felt it his duty-. 



THE BEEF-STEAK SOCIE TV. 115 

to denounce the publication ; he had been encouraged to 
inform against Wilkes's Essay by the Earl of March, after^ 
wards Duke of Queensbeny. However, Jemmy Twitcher 
himself was expelled by the Steaks the same year he assailed 
Wilkes for the Essay ; the gfossness and blasphemy of the 
poem disgusted the Society ; and Wilkes never dined there 
after 1763; yet, when he went to France, they hypocritically 
made him an honorary member. 

Garrick was an honoured member of the Steaks ; though 
he did not affect Clubs. The Society possess a hat and 
sword which David wore, probably on the night when he 
stayed so long with the Steaks, and had to play Ranger, at 
Drury-lane. The pit grew restless, the gallery bawled 
" Manager, manager !" Garrick had been sent for to 
Covent Garden, where the Stea,ks then dined, Carriages 
blocked up Russell-street, and he had to. thread his way 
between them ; as he came panting into the theatre, " I 
think, David," said Ford, one of the anxious patentees, 
" considering the stake you and I have in this house, you 
might pay more attention to the business."-^" True, my 
good friend," returned Garrick, " but I was thmking of my 
steak in the other house." , 

Many a reconciliation of parted friends has taken place at 
this Club. Peake, in his Memoirs of the Colman Faintly, 
thus refers to a reconciliation between Garrick and Colman 
the elder, through the Sublime Society : — 

"Whether Mr. Clutterbuck or other, friends interfered to 
reconcile the two dramatists, or whether the considerations 
of mutual interest may not in a great measure have aided in 
healing the breach between Colman and Garrick, is not pre- 
cisely to be determined ; but it would appear, from the sub- 
joined short note from Garrick, that Colman must have made 
some overture to him. 

" ' My dear Colman, — Becket has been with me, and tells 
me of your friendly intentions towards me. I should have 
been beforehand with you, had I not been ill with the beef- 

I 2 



Il6 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Steaks and arrack punch last Saturday, and was obliged to 
leave the play-house. 

" ' He that parts us shall bring a brand from Heav'n, 
And fire us hence. 

" ' Ever yours, old and new friend, 

'"D. Garrick.'" 

The beef-steaks, arrack punch, and Saturday, all savour 
very strongly of a visit to the Sublime Society held at that 
period in Covent Garden Theatre, where many a clever 
fellow has had his diaphragm disordered, before that time 
and since. Whoever has had the pleasure to join their 
convivial board ; to witness the never-failing good-humour 
which predominates there ; to listen to the merry songs, and 
to the sparkling repartee; and to experience the hearty 
welcome and marked attention paid to visitors, could never 
have cause to lament, as Garrick has done, a trifling illness 
the following day. There must have been originally a wise 
and simple code of laws, which could have held together a 
convivial meeting for so lengthened a period. 

Garrick had no slight tincture of vanity, and was fond of 
accusing himself, in the Chesterfield phrase, of the cardinal 
virtues. Having remarked at the Steaks that he had so 
large a mass of manuscript plays submitted to him, that they 
were constantly' liable to be mislaid, he observed that, un- 
pleasant as it was to reject an author's piece, it was an affront 
to his feelings if it could not be instantly found ; and that 
for this reason he made a point of ticketing and labelling 
the play that was to be returned, that it might be forth- 
coming at a moment. '' Afig for your hypocrisy," exclaimed 
Murphy across the table; "you know, Davy, you mislaid 
my tragedy two months ago, and I make no doubt you have 
lost it." — "Yes," replied Garrick; "but you forgot, you 
ungrateful dog, that I offered you more than its value, for 
you might have had two manuscript farces in its stead." 
This is the right paternity of an anecdote often told of other 
parties. 



J HE BEEF-STEAK SOCIF/ry. 117 

Jack Richards, a well-known' presbyter of the Society, 
unless when the " fell serjieant," the gout, had arrested him, 
never absented himself from its board. He was recorder, 
and there is nothing in comedy equal to his passing sentence 
on those who had offended against the rules and observances 
of the Society. Having put on Garrick's hat, he proceeded 
to inflict a long, wordy harangue upon the culprit, who often 
endeavoured most unavailingly to stop him. Nor was it 
possible to see when he meant to stop. But the imperturbable 
gravity with which Jack performed his office, and the fruit- 
less writhings of the luckless being on whom the shower of 
his rhetoric was discharged, constituted the amusement of 
the scene. There was no subject upon which Jack's exu- 
berance of talk failed him ; yet, in that stream of talk there 
was never mingled one drop of malignity, nor of unkind 
censure upon the erring or unhappy. He would as soon 
adulterate his glass of port-wine with water, as dash that 
honest though incessant prattle with one malevolent or un- 
generous remark. 

William Linley, the brother of Mrs. Sheridan, charmed 
the Society -ivith his pure, simple English song : in a melody 
of Ame's, or of Jackson's of Exeter, or a simple air of his 
father's, lie excelled to admiration, — faithful to the charap- 
teristic chastity of the style of singing peculiar to the Linley 
family. Linley had not what is called a fine voice, and port- 
wine and late nights did not improve his organ; but you forgot 
the deficiencies of his power, in the spirit and taste of his 
manner. He wrote a novel in three volumes, which was so 
schooled by the Steaks that he wrote no more : when the 
agony of wounded authorship was over, he used to exclaim 
to his tormentors : — 

This is no flattery ; these are the counsellors 
That feelingly persuade me what I am. 

His merciless Zoilus brought a volume of the work in his 
pocket, and read a passage of it aloud. Yet, Linley never 
betrayed the irritable sulkiness of a roasted author, but took 



Ii8 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

the pleasantries that played around him with impertivrhable 
good-humour : he laughed heartily at his own platitudes, 
and thus the very martyr of the joke became its auxiliary. 
Ijnley is said to have furnished Moore, for his Life of 
Sheridan, with the common-place books in which his brother- 
in-law was wont to deposit his dramatic sketches, and to 
bottle up his jokes he had collected for future use ; but 
many pleasantries of Sheridan were deeply engraved on his 
recollection because they had been practised upon himself, 
or upon his brother Hozy (as Sheridan called him), who was 
an unfailing butt, when he was disposed to amuse himself 
with a practical jest. 

Another excellent brother was Dick Wilson, whose 
volcanic complexion had for many years been assuming 
deeper and deeper tints of carnation over the port-wine of 
the Society. Dick was a wealthy solicitor, and many years 
Lord Eldon's " port-wine-loving secretary." His • fortunes 
were very singular. He was first steward and solicitor, and 
afterwards residuary legatee, of Lord Chedworth. He is 
said to have owed the favour of this eccentric nobleman to 
the legal acumen he displayed at a Richmond water-party; 
A pleasant lawn, under a spreading beech-tree in one of 
Mr. Cambridge's meadows, was selected for tlie dinner ; but 
on pulling to the shore, behold a board in the tree pro- 
claiming, "All persons landing and dining here will be 
prosecuted according to law." Dick Wilson contended that 
the prohibition clearly applied only to the joint act of 
" landing and dining " at the particular spot. If the party 
landed a few yards lower down, and then dined under the 
tree, only one member of the condition would be broken ; 
which would be no legal infringement, as the prohibition — 
being of two acts, linked by a copulative — was not severable. 
This astute argument carried the day. The party dined 
under Mr. Cambridge's beech-tree, and, it is presumed, were 
not "prosecuted according to law." At all events, Lord 
Chedworth, who was one of the diners, was so charmed with 



THE BEEF-STEAK SOCIE TV. 119 

Dick's ready application of his law to practice, that he com- 
mitted to him the management of his large and accumulating 
property. 

Dick stood the fire of the Steaks with good humour ; but 
he was sometimes unmercifully roasted. He had just re- 
turned from Paris, when Arnold, with great dexterity, drew 
him into some Parisian details, with great glee j for Dick 
was entirely innocent of the French language. Thus, in 
enumerating the dishes at a French table, he thought the 
3m/evards delicious; whenCobbecalledout, "Dick,it was well 
they did not serve you at the Palais Royal for sauce to yoiir 
boulevards" The riz de vcan he called 2. rendezvous ; and 
he could not bear partridges served up in 'shoes ; and once, 
intending to ask for a pheasant, he desu-ed the waiter to 
bring him ■& paysannc ! Yet, Dick was shrewd : calling one 
day upon Cobbe at the India House, Dick was left to him- 
self for a few minutes, when he was found by Cobbe, on his 
return, exploring a map of Asia suspended on the wall : he 
was measuring the scale of it with compasses, and then 
applying them to a large tiger, which the artist had intro- 
duced as one of the animals of the country. " By heavens, 
Cobbe," exclaimed Dicli, " I should never have believed it ! 
Surely, it must be a mistake. Observe now^ — here," pointing 
to the tiger, " here is a tiger that measures two-and-twenty 
leagues. By heavens, it is scarcely credible." 

Another of the noteworthy Steaks was "Old Walsh," 
commonly called " the Gentle Shepherd :" he began life as 
a servant of the celebrated Lord Chesterfield, and accom- 
panied his natural son, Philip Stanhope, on the grand tour, 
as valet : after this he was made a. Queen's messenger, and 
subsequently a Commissioner of Customs ; he was a good- 
natured butt for the Society's jokes. Rowland Stephenson, 
the banker, was another Beef-Steaker, then respected for his 
clear head and warm heart, years before he became branded 
as a forger. At the same table was a capitalist of very high 
character — ^William Joseph Denison, who sat many years in 



120 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Parliament for Surrey, and died a inillionnaire : he was a 
man of cultivated tastes, and long enjoyed the circle of the 
Steaks. 

We have seen how the corner-stone of the sublime So- 
ciety was laid. The gridiron upon which Rich had broiled 
his solitary steak, being insufficient in a short, time for the 
supernumerary guests, the gridiron was enshrined as one of 
the tutelary and household emblems of the Club. For- 
tunately, it escaped the fire which consumed Covent Garden 
Theatre in 1808, when the valuable stock of wine of the 
Club shared the fate of the building ; but the gridiron was 
saved. " In that fire, alas !" says the author of 71ie Clubs of 
London, " perished the original archives of the Society. 
The lovers of wit and pleasantry have much to deplore in 
that loss, inasmuch as not only the names of many of the 
early members are irretrievably gone, but what is more to be 
regretted, some of their happiest effiisions ; for it was then 
customary to register in the weekly records anything of 
striking excellence that had been hit off in the course of the 
evening. This, however, is certain, that the Beaf-steaks, 
from its foundation to the present hour, has been — 

' native to famous wits 
Or hospitable.' 

That as guests or members, persons distinguished for 
rank, and social and convivial powers, have, through suc- 
cessive generations, been seated at its festive board — Bubb 
Dodington, Aaron Hill ; Hoadley, author of The Suspicious 
Husband, and Leonidas Glover, are only a few names 
snatched from its early list. Sir Peere Williams, a gen- 
tleman of high birth and fashion, who had already shone 
in Parliament, was of the Club. Then came the days of 
Lord Sandwich, Wilkes, Bonnell Thornton, Arthur Murphy, 
Churchill, and Tickell. This is generally quoted as the 
golden period of the Society." Then there were the Col- 
mans and Garrick; and John Beard, the singer, was 
president of the Club in 1784. 



THE BEEF-STEAK SOCIETY. 121 

The number of the Steaks was increased from twenty- 
four to twenty-five, in 1785, to admit the Prince of Wales, 
an event of sufficient moment to find record in the Anniial 
Register of the year,: " On Saturday, the 14th of May, the 
Prince of Wales was admitted a member of the. Beef-steak 
Club. His Royal Highness having signified his wish of be- 
longing to that Society, and there not being a vacancy, it was 
proposed to make him an honorary member ; but that being 
declined by his Royal Highness, it was agreed to increase 
the number from twenty-four to twenty-five, in consequence 
of which His Royal Highness was unanimously elected. 
The Beef-steak Club has been instituted just fifty years, and 
consists of some of the most classical and sprightly wits in 
the kingdom.'' It is curious to find the Society here 
termed a Club, contrary to its desire, for it stickled much 
for the distinction. 

Arthur Murphy, the dramatist, John Kemble, the Dukes 
of Clarence and of Sussex, were also of the Steaks : these 
princes were both attached to the theatre ; the latter to one 
of its brightest ornaments, Dorothy Jordan. 

Charles, Duke of Norfolk, was another celebrity of the 
Steaks, and frequently met here the Prince of Wales. The 
Duke was a great gourmand, and, it is said, used to eat his 
dish of fish at a neighbouring tavern — the Piazza, or the 
Grand — and then join the Steaks. His fidus Achates 
was Charles Morris, the laureate-lyrist of the Steaks. Their 
attachment was unswerving, notwithstanding it has been 
impeached. The poet kept better hours than his ducal 
friend : one evening, Morris having left the dinner-table 
early, a friend gave some significant hints as to the im- 
provement of Morris's fortunes : the Duke grew generous 
over his wine, and promised ; the performance came, and 
Morris lived to the age of ninety-three to enjoy the realization. 

The Duke took the chair when the cloth was removed. 
It was a place of dignity, elevated some steps above the 
table, and decorated with the insignia of the Society, 



122 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

amongst which was suspended Garrick's Ranger hat. As 
the clock struck five, a curtain drew up, discovering the 
kitchen, in which the cooks were seen at work, through 
a sort of grating, with this inscription from Macbeth ': — ■ 

If it were done, when 'tis done, then 'twere well 
It were done quickly. 

The steaks themselves were in the finest order, in 
devouring them no one surpassed His Grace of Norfolk : 
two or three steaks, fragrant from the gridiron, vanished, 
and when his labours were thought, to be over,, he might' te 
seen rubbing a clean plate with a shalot for the reception of 
another. A pause of ten minutes ensued, and His Grace 
rested upon his knife and fork : he was tarrying for a steak from 
the middle of the rump of beef, where lurks a fifth essence, 
the perfect ideal of tenderness and flavour. The Duke 
was an enormous eater. He would often eat between 
three and four pounds of beef-steak ; and after that take a 
Spanish onion and beet-root, chop them together with oil 
and vinegar, and eat them. After dinner, the Duke was 
ceremoniously ushejred to the chair, and invested with ah 
orange-coloured ribbon, to which a small silver gridiron* 
was appended. In the chair he comported himself with 
urbanity and good humour. Usually, the president was 
the target, at which all the jests and witticisms were fired, 
but moderately ; for though a characteristic equality reigned 
at the Steaks, the influences of rank and station were felt 
there, arid courtesy stole insensibly upon those who at other 
times were merciless assailants on the chair. The Duke's 
conversation abounded with anecdote, terseness of phrase, 
and evidence of extensive reading, which were rarely im- 
paired by the sturdy port-wine of the Society. Charles 
Morris, the bard of the Club, sang one or two of his o>vn 



* At tlie sale of the curiosities belonging to Mr. Harly, the comedian, 
at Gower-street, in November, 1858, a silver gridiron, worn by a mem- 
ber of the Steaks, was sold for \l. y. 



• THE BEEF-STEAK SOCIETY. 123. 

songs, the quintessence of convivial mirth and fancy ; at 
nine o'clock the Duke quitted the chair, and was succeeded 
by Sir John Hippisley, who had a terrible time of it : a 
storm of "arrowy sleet and iron shower" whistled from all 
points in his ears : all rules of civilized warfare seemed 
suspended, and even the new members tried their first timid 
essays upon the Baronet, than whom no man was more 
prompt to attack others. He quitted the Society in conse- 
quence of an odd adventure which really happened to him, 
and which, being related with malicious fidelity by one of 
the Steaks, raised such a shout of laughter at the Baronet's 
expense that he could no longer bear it. Here is the story. 
Sir John was an intelligent man ; Windham used to say of 
him that he was very near being a clever man. He was a 
sort of busy idler; and his ruling passion was that of 
visiting remarkable criminals in prison, and obtaining their 
histories from their own lips. A murder had been com- 
mitted, by one Patch, upon a Mr. Bligh, at Deptford ; the 
evidence was circumstantial, but the inference of his guilt 
was almost irresistible; still many well-disposed persons 
doubted the man's guilt, and amongst them was Sir John, 
who tlioiight the anxiety could only be relieved by Patch's 
confession. For this end. Sir John importuned the poor 
wretch incessantly, but in vain. Patch persisted in asserting 
his innocence, till wearied with Hippisle/s applications, he 
assured the Baronet thkt he would reveal to him, on the 
scaffold, all that he knew of Mr. Bligh's death. Flattered 
with being made the depository of this mysterious commu- 
nication. Sir John mounted the scaffold with Patch, and was 
seen for some minutes in close conference with him. It 
happened that a simple old woman from the country was 
in the crowd at the execution. Her eyes, intent upon the 
^wful scene, were fixed, by an accidental misdirection upon 
Sir John, whom she mistook for the person who was about 
to be executed; and not waiting till the criminal was 
actually turned off, she went away with the wrong impres- 



124 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

sion j the peculiar face, aiid above all, the peculiar nose (a 
most miraculous organ), of Hippisley, being indelibly im- 
pressed upon her memory. Not many days after, the old 
lady met Sir John in Cheapside ; the certainty that he was 
Patch seized her so forcibly that she screamed out to the 
passing crowd, " It's Patch, it's Patch ; I saw him hanged ; 
Heaven deliver me ! " — and then fainted. When this incident 
was first related at the Steaks, a mock inquest was set on 
foot, to decide whether Sir John was Patch or not, and 
unanimously decided in the affirmative. 

Cobb, Secretary of the East India Company, was another 
choice spirit at the Steaks : once, when he filled the vice- 
chair, he so worried the poor president, an Alderman, that he 
exclaimed, " Would to Heaven, I had another vice-president, 
so that I had a gentlevian opposite to me !" — " Why should 
you wish any such thing?" rejoined Cobb; "you cannot 
be more opposite to a gentleman than you are at present" 

After the fire at Covent Garden, the Sublime Society 
were re-established at the Bedford, where they met until 
Mr. Arnold had fitted up apartments for their reception in 
the English Opera House. The Steaks continued to meet 
here until the destruction of the Theatre by fire, in 1830 ; 
after which they returned to the Bedford; and, upon the 
re-building of the Lyceum Theatre, a dining-room was 
again provided for them. " The room they dine in," says 
Mr. Cunningham, " a Uttle Escurial in itself, is most appro- 
priately fitted up — the doors, wainscoting, and roof, of good 
old English oak, ornamented with gridirons as thick as 
Henry the Seventh's Chapel with the portcullis of the 
founder. Everything assumes the shape, or is distinguished 
by the representation, of their emblematic implement, the 
gridiron. The cook is seen at his office through the bars 
of a spacious gridiron, and the original gridiron of the 
Society, (the survivor of two terrific fires), holds a con- 
spicuous position in the centre of the ceiling. Every 
member has the power of inviting a friend." The portraits 



THE BEEF-STEAK SOCIETY. 125 

of several worthies of the Sublime Society were painted : one 
brother "hangs in chain," as Arnold remarked in alluding to 
the civic chain in which he is represented ; it was in allusion 
to the toga in which he is painted, that Brougham, being 
asked whether he thought it a likeness, remarked that it 
could not fail of being like him, " there was so much of the^ 
fur (thief) about it." 

The author of the Clubs in London, who was a member of 
the Sublime Society, describes a right in favouring them, "a 
brotherhood, a sentiment of equality. How you would 
laugh to see the junior member emerging from the cellar, 
with half-a-dozen bottles in a basket ! I have seen Brougham 
employed in this honourable diplomacy, and executing it 
with the correctness of a butler. The Duke of Leinster, in 
his turn, took the same duty. 

" With regard to Brougham, at first siglit you would not 
set him down as having a natural and prompt alacrity for 
the style of humour that prevails amongst us. But Brougham 
is an excellent member, and is a remarkable instance of the 
peculiai influences of this peculiar Society on the human 
character. We took him just as the schools of philosophy, 
the bar, the senate, had made him. Literary, forensic, and 
parliamentary habits are most intractable materials, you will 
say, to make a member of the Steaks, yet no man has 
imbibed more of its spirit, and he enters its occasional 
gladiatorship \vith the greatest glee." 

Admirable were the offhand puns and passes, which, 
though of a legal character, were played off by Bolland, 
another member of the Society. Brougham was putting 
hypothetically the case of a man convicted of felony, and 
duly hanged according to law; but restored to life by 
medical appliances; and asked what would be the man's 
defence if again brought to trial. " Why," returned Bolland, 
" it would be for him to plead a cord and satisfaction." 
[" Accord and satisfaction " is a common plea in legal 
practice.] The same evening Tt-ere "Iked over Dean 



t26 



CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 



Swift's ingenious but grotesque puns upon the names of 
antiquity, such as Ajax, Archimedes, and others equally 
well known. BoUand remarked that when Swift w^as look- 
ing out for those humorous quibbles, it was singular that it 
should never have occurred to him that among the shades 
that accost ^neas in the sixth book of the ^neid, there was 
a Scotchman of the name of Hugh Forbes. Those who 
had read Virgil began to stare. "It is quite plain," said 
Bolland : " the ghost exclaims, ' Olim Euphorbus eram.' " 

The following are the first twenty-four names of the Club, 
copied from their book:* — 



George Lambert. 
William Hogarth. 
John Rich. 
Lacy Ryan. 
Ebenezer Forrest. 
Robert Scott. 
Thomas Chapman. 
Dennis Delane. 
John Thomhill. 
Francis Niveton. 
Sir William Saunderson. 
Richard Mitchell. 

The following were subsequent 

Francis Hayman. 
Theo. Gibber. 
Mr. Saunders Welsh. 
Thomas Hudson. 
John Churchill. 
Mr. Williamson. 

In 1805 the members were — 
Sir J. Boyd. 
Estcourt. 

J. Travanion, jun. 
Earl of Suffolk. 
Crossdill. 

J. Kemble, expelled for his 
mode of conduct. 



John Boson. 
Henry Smart. 
John Huggins. 
Hugh Watson. 
William Huggins. 
Edmund Tuffnell. 
Thomas Salway. 
Charles Neale. 
Charles Latrobe. 
Alexander Gordon. 
William Tathall. 
Gabriel Hunt. 

members : — 

Mr. Beard. 
Mr. Wilkes. 
Lord Sandwicli, 
Prince of Wales. 
Mr. Havard. 
Chas. Price. 

Prince of Wales, 

Charles Howard, Duke of 

Norfolk. 
Mingay. 
Johnson. 
Scudamore. 
Haworth. 



* TTiis and the subsequent lists have been printed by Mr. John 
Green. 



TI1£ BEEF-STEAK SOCIE TV. 1 27 

November 6th, 1814 :-t- 

Stephenson. Wilson. 

Cobb. Ellis. 

Richards. Walsh. 

Sir J. Scott, Bart. Linley. 

Foley. Duke of Norfolk. 

Arnold. Mayo. 

Braddyll. Duke of Sussex. 

Nettleshipp. Morrice. 

Middleton. Bolland. 

Denison. Lord Grantley. 

Johnson. Peter Moore. 

Scudamore. Dunn, Treasurer of Drury 

Nixon. Lane Theatre. 

T. Scott. 

When the Club dined at the Shakspeare, m the room with 
the Lion's head over the mantelpiece, these popular actors 
were members : — 

Lewis. Pope. 

Irish Johnson. Holman. 

Munden. Simmonds. 

Fawcett. 
Formerly, the table-cloths had gridirons in damask on 
them; their drinking-glasses bore gridirons; as did the plates 
also. Among the presents made to the Society are a punch- 
ladle, from Barrington Bradshaw; Sir John Boyd, six spoons; 
mustard pot, by John Trevanion, M.P. ; two dozen water- 
plates and eight dishes, given by the Duke of Sussex ; cruet- 
stand, given by W. Bolland; vinegar-glasses, by Thomas 
Scott. Lord Suffolk gave a silver cheese-toaster ; toasted or 
stewed cheese being the wind-up of the dinner. 

Captain Morris, . 

THE BARD OF THE BEEF-STEAK SOCIETY. 

Hitherto we have mentioned but incidentally Charles 
Morris, the Nestor and the laureate of the Steaks ; but he 
merits fullei record. " Alas ! poor Yorick ! we knew him 
well;" we remember his "political vest," to which he 



128 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON: 

addressed a sweet lyric — ^" The Old Whig Poet to his Old 
Buff Waistcoat."* Nor can we forget his courteous manner 
and his gentlemanly pleasantry, and his unflagging cheerful- 
ness, long after he had retired to enjoy the delights of rural 
life, despite the early prayer of his racy verse : — 

In town let me live then, in town let me die ; 
For in truth I can't relish the country, not I. 
If one must have a villa in summer to dwell, 
Oh ! give me the sweet shady side of Pall Mall. 

This " sweet shady side" has almost disappeared ; and of 
the palace whereat he was wont to shine, not a trace remains, 
save the name. Charles Morris was born of good family, in 
1745, and appears to have inherited a taste for lyric com- 
position ; for his father composed the popular song of Kitty 
Crowder. For half a century, Morris moved in the first- 
circles of rank and gaiety : he was the " Sun of the table," 
at Carlton House, as well as at Norfolk House ; and attach- 
ing himself politically as well as convivially to his table 
companions, he composed the celebrated ballads of " Billy's 
too young to drive us," and " Billy Pitt and, the Farmer," 
which were clever satires upon the ascendant politics of their 
day. His humorous ridicule of the Tories was, however, 
but ill repaid by the Whigs ; at least, if we may trust the 
Ode to the Buff Waistcoat, written in 1815. His "Songs 
Political and Convivial," many of which were sung at the 
Steaks' board, became very popular. In 1830, we possessed 
a copy of Ihe 24th edition, with a portrait of the author, half- 
masked; one of the ditties was described to have been "sung 
by the Prince of Wales to a certain lady," to the air of 
" There's a difference between a Beggar and a Queen j" 
some of the early songs were condemned for their pruriency, 
and were omitted in subsequent editions. His best Ana- 
creontic is the song Ad Poculum, for which Morris received 
the Gold Cup from the Harmonic Society: 



* See Century of Anecdote, vol. i. p. 321. 




United University Club, Pall Mall. 




Oxford and Cambridge Club, Pall Mall. 



CAPTAIN MORRIS. 129 

Come, thou soul-reviving cup ; 

Try thy healing art ; 
Stir the fancy's, visions up, 

And warm my wasted heart. 
Touch with freshening tints of bliss 

Memory's fading dream. 
Give me, while thy lip I kiss. 

The heaven that's in thy stream. 

As the witching fires of wine 

Pierce through Time's.past reign. 
Gleams of joy that once were mine. 

Glimpse back on life again. 
And if boding terrors rise 

O'er my melting mind, 
Hope still starts to clear my eyes, 

And drinks the tear behind. 

Then life's wintry shades new drest, 

Fair as summer seem ; 
Flowers I gather from my breast. 

And sunshine from the stream. 
As the cheering goblets pass. 

Memory culls her store ; 
Scatters sweets around my glass,. 

And prompts my thirst for more. 

Far from toils the great and grave 

To proud ambition give. 
My little world kind Nature gave. 

And simply bade me live. 
On me she fix'd an humble art. 

To deck the Muse's groves. 
And on the nerve that twines my heart 

The touch of deathless love. 

Then, rosy god, this night let me 

Thy cheering, magic share ; 
Again let hope-fed Fancy see 

Life's picture bright and fair. 
Oh ! steal from care my heart away. 

To sip thy healing spring ; 
And let me taste'that bliss to-day 

To-morrow may not bring. 



130 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

The friendship of the Duke of Norfolk and Charles 
Morris extended far beyond the Steaks meetings ; and the 
author of the Clubs of London tells us by what means the 
Duke's regard took a more permanent form. It appears 
that John Kemble had sat very late at one of the night 
potations at Norfolk- House. Charles Morris had just 
retired, and a very small party remained in the dining- 
room, when His Grace of Norfolk began to deplore, 
somewhat pathetically, the smallness of the stipend upon 
which poor Charles was obliged to support his family; 
observing, that it was a discredit to the age, that a man who 
had so long gladdened the lives of so many titled and 
opulent associates, should be left to struggle with the 
difficulties of an inadequate income at a time of life when 
he had no reasonable hope of augmenting it. Kemble 
listened with great attention to the Duke's jeremiade : but 
after a slight pause, his feelings getting the better of his 
deference, he broke out thus, in a tone of peculiar emphasis : — 
" And does your Grace sincerely lament the destitute con- 
dition of your friend, with whom you have passed so many 
agreeable hours ? Your Grace has described that condition 
most feelingly. But is it possible, that the greatest Peer of 
the realm, luxuriating amidst the prodigalities of fortune, 
should lament the distress which he does not relieve ? the 
empty phrase of beneyolence^-the mere breath and vapour 
of generous sentiment, become no man ; they certainly are 
unworthy of your Grace. Providence, my Lord Duke, has 
placed you in a station where the wish to do good and the 
doing it are the same thing. An annuity from your over- 
flowing coffers, or a small nook of land, clipped from your 
unbounded domains, would scarcely be felt by your Grace ; 
but you would be repaid, my Lord, with usury ; — with tears 
of grateful joy ; with prayers warm from a bosom which 
your bounty will have rendered happy." 

Such was the substance of Kemble's harangue. Jack 
Bannister used to relate the incident, by ingeniously putting 



CAPTAIN MORRIS. 131 

the speech into blank verse, or rather the species of prose 
into which Kemble's phraseology naturally fell when he was 
highly animated. But, however expressed, it produced its 
effect. For though the Duke (the night was pretty far gone, 
and several bottles had been emptied)' said notiiirag- ^t the 
time, but stared with some astonishment at so unexpected a 
lecture J riot a month elapsed before Charles Morris was 
invested with a beautiful retreat at Brockham, in Surrey, 
upon the bank of the river Mole, and at the foot of the noble 
range of which Box Hill forms the most picturesque point. 

The Duke went to his rest in 1815. Morris continued to 
be the laureate of the Steaks until the. year 1831, when he 
thus bade adieu, to the Society in his eighty-sixth year ; — 

Adieu to the world I where I gratefully own, 
Few men more delight or more comfort have known : 
To an age far beyond mortal lot have I trod 
The path of pure health, that best blessing of God ; 
And so mildly devout Nature temper'd my frame, 
Holy patience still sooth'd when Adversity came ; 
Thus vrithmind ever cheerful, and tongue never tired, 
I sung the gay strains these sweet blessings inspired ; ; 
And by blmding light mirth with a moral-mix'd stave. 
Won the smile of the gay and the nod of the grave. 
But at length the dull languor of mortal decay 
Throws a weight on its spirit too light for its clay ; r 
And the fancy, subdued, as the body's opprest. 
Resigns the faint flights that scarce wake in the breast. 
A painfiil memento that man 's not to play 
A game of light ffrlly throughXife's sober day ; 

. A just admonition, though viewed with regret, 

■ Still blessedly offered, though thanklessly met. 
Too long, I perhaps, like the many who stray, 
Have upheld the gay themes of the Bacchanal's day ; 
But at length Time has brought, what it ever will bring, 
A shade that excites more to sigh than to smgii 
In this close of Life's chapter, ye high-fivour'd few, 
Take my Muse's last tribute — this painful adieu 1 
Take my w3sh, that your bright social circle on earth 
For ever may flourish in concord and mirti: 
K 2 



132 CtUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

For the long yeats of joy I have shared at your board, i 

Take the thanks of my heart — yirhere ,they long have been stored ; 

And remember, vi-hen Time tolls my last parting (cnell. 

The " old bard " dropp'd a tear, and then bade yfr;— Farewell 1 

In 1835,, however, Mprris revisited the Society, wjio then 
presentedhim with a large silver bowl,,appropriatelyinscribed, 
as a testimonial of- their a^ectionate ssteem ; aivd th.e vene- 
rable bard thus addressed the brotherhood : — 

Well, I'm come, my dear fMends,' your kind wish to obey. 

And drive, by light mirth, all Life's shadows away ; 

And turn the heart's sighs to the throbbings of joy. 

And a grave aged man to a merry old boy. 

'Tis a bold transformation, a daring design. 

And not past the power of Friendship and Wine ; ' ' ' 

And I trust that e'en yet this warm mixture will raise 

A brisk spark of light o'er the shade of my days. 

Shortly after this effusion, he thus alluded to the treasured 
gift of the Society :— 

When my spirits are low, for relief and delight, 

I still place your splendid Memorial in sight ; 

And call to my Muse, when care strives to pursue, 

"Bring the Steaks to my Memory and the' Bowl to my view." 

When brought, at its sight all the blue devils fly, 

And a world of gay visions rise bright to my eye ; . 

Cold Fear Shuns the cup where warm Meinory flows ; 

And Grief, shamed by Joy, hides his budget of Woes. 

'Tis a pure holy fount, where for ever I find 

A sure double charm for the Body and Mind ; 

For I feel while I'm cheer'd by the drop that I lift, r 

I'm Blest by the Motive that hallows the Gift. 

How nicely teiftpered is this chorus to our Bard's " Life's 

a Fable:"— 

Then roll aloi^, , my lyric song ; 

It seasons well the table. 
And tells: a truth to Age and Youth, 

That Life's a fleeting fable. 

Thus Mirth and Woe the brighter show 

From rosy wine's reflection ; - ' ^ 



CAPTAIN MORRIS. 133 

From first to last, this truth hath past-;- 
; , 'Twas wia4e for Care's correction. 

Noyr what those think who water drinlc,. 

Of these old rules of Horafce, 
I sha Vt now Show ; but this I know, • 

His rules do well for -^"n"". 
Old Horace, when he dippd his pen, 
. 'Tw^s wine he had resort to ; 
He chose for use Falernian juice,. 

As I choose old Oporto ; 
At everjr boiit an odecSme out, " ' 

Yet Bacchus kept him twinkling ; 
As well aware more .fir^ was there. 

Which wa^itfd but the sprinkling. 

At Biockham, Mdn;i? "drank thei pure pleasures of the 
rural life," long after many a gay Ijght of his own time had 
flickered out, and becpme^almost forgotten. At length, his 
course ebbed away, July 11, 1838, in his ninety'third year; 
his, illness, which was only of four days, was internal inflam- 
mation. The attainment qf so great an age, and the 
recollection of* Morris's associations, show him to have pre- 
sented a rare combmation of mirth and prudence. He 
retained his gaieti de cmur tp the last ; so that with equal 
truth he remonstrated : 

' When Life charms' my heart, must I Wndly be told, 
. J.'m too gay and too happy for one that's so old ? 

The venerable Batd's remains rest near the east end of 
his parish church of Betchwortb, in the burial ground ; the 
grave is simply -marked by a head and foot-stone, with an 
inscription of three or -four lines :• he who had sung the 
praises of so many choice spririts, has not here a stanza to 
his own memory : such is, to some extent, the natural 
sequitur with men who outlive: their companions. Morris 
was; staid and grave in his general deportment. Moore, in 
bis Diary, has this odd note : " Lin<31ey describes Colman 
at ■ the . Beefsteak Club quite drunk, making extraordinary 
noise while Captain Morris was singing, which disconcerted 



134 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

the latter (who, strange to say, is a very grave, steady 
person) considerably." Yet, Morris could unbend, witii 
great simplicity and feeling. We have often met him, in 
his patriarchal "blue and buff" (blue coat and buff waist- 
coat), in his walks about the lovely country in which he 
resided. Coming, one day, into the bookseller's shop, at 
Dorking, there chanced to be deposited a pianoforte ; when 
the old Bard having looked around him, to see there were 
no strangers present, sat down to the instrument, and played 
and sang with much spirit the air of " The girl I left behind 
me :" yet he was then past his eightieth year. " 

Morris's ancient and rightful office at the Steaks was to 
make the ^unch, and it was amusing to see Jiim at his 
laboratory at the sideboard, stocked with the various pro- 
ducts that enter into the composition of that nectareous 
rtiixture : then smacking an elementary glass or two, and 
giving a significant' nod, the fiat, of its excellence; and 
what could exceed the ecstasy with which he filled the 
glasses that thronged around the' bowl; joying over its 
mantlinjg beauties, and. distributing the fascinating draught 

That flames and dances in its crystal bound ? 

" Well has our laureate earned his wreath," (says the author 
of The Clubs of London, who was often a participator in 
these delights). "At that table, his best songs have been 
s;j.ngj for that table his best songs were written. His 
allegiance has been undivided. Neither hail, nor shower, 
nor snowstorm have kept him away : no engagement, no 
invitation seduced him from it I have seen him there, 
' outwatching the bear,' in his seventy- eighth year; for as 
yet nature had given no signal of decay in frame or faculty ; 
but you saw him in a green and -vigorous old age, tripping 
mirthfully along the downhUl of existence, without languor, 
or gout, or any of the privileges exacted by time for the 
mournful privilege of living. His face is still: resplendent 



BEEFSTEAK CLUBS. 135 

with cheerfulness. 'Die when you will, Charles,' said 
Curran to him, ' you will die in your youth.'" 

Beef-Steak Clubs. 

There are other Beef-steak Clubs to be chronicled; 
Pynej in his rF;«^ and Walnuts, says : " At the same time 
the social Club flourished in England, and about the yeai 
1 749, a Beef-steak Club was established at the Theatre Royal, 
Dublin, of which the celebrated Mts. Margaret Woffiiigton 
was president. It was begun by Mr. Sheridan, but on a 
very different plaii to that in London, no theatrical per- 
former, save on& female, being admitted; and though eallea 
a Club, the manager alone bore all the expenses. The 
plan was, by making a list of about fifty or sixty persons, 
chiefly noblemen and members of Parliament, who were 
invited. Usually about half that number attended, and 
dined in the manager's apartment in the theatre. There 
was no female adniitted but this Peg' Wcffington, so d^nomi- 
tiated by all her contemporaries, who was seated in agreat 
chair at the head of the table, and elected president for the 
season. • 

"'It will readily be believed,' says Mr. -Victor,- in his 
History of the Theatres, who was joint proprietor of the 
house, ' that a club where there were good accommodations, 
such a lovely p-esident, full of wit and spirit, and nothing to 
pay, must soon grow remarkably fashionable.' It did so ; 
but we find it subsequently caused the theatre to" be p'uUed 
to pieces about the inanager's head. 

"Mr. Victor says of Mrs. Margaret, "she possessed 
captivating charms as a jovial, witty bottle companion, but 
few remaining as a mere female.' We have Dr. Johnsbii's 
testiinony, however, who had often gossipped with Mrs. 
Margaret in the green-room at old Drury, more in the lady's 
favour. 

"This author (Victor) says, speaking of the Beef-Steak i 



136 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Club, 'It was a dub of ancient institution- in every theatre 
when the principal performers dined one day in the week 
together (generally Saturday), and authors and other geniuses 
were admitted members.'" 

The Club in Ivy-lane, of which Dr. Johnson was a 
member, was joriginally a Beef-s,teak Club, . , , 

There was also a political Club, called " the Rump Steak, 
or, Liberty Club," in existence in, 1733-4. . The members 
were in ea,ger opposition to, Sir Robert .Walpole. 

At the Bell TayerUj Church-row, Houndsditch, was held 
the Beef-steak Club, instituted by Mr. Beard, Mr. Dunstall, 
Mr. Woodward, Stoppalear, , Bencroft, Qifford, etc. — -See 
Memoirs of Charles Lee Lewis, .yo\. ii. p.. 1,96. , - . 

Club at Tom's Cofifee-house. 

Covent-garden has lost many of its hpuses " studded with 
anecdote and history;" and tlie mutations among what 
Mx. Thackeray affectionately called its "rich cluster of 
brown taverns " are sundry and manifest. Its coffee-houses 
proper have almost disappeaxed, even in name. Yet, in 
the last century, in one short street of Covent-Gardeft — 
Russell-street — flourished three of the most celebrated 
coffee-houses in the metropolis : Will's, Button's, and Tom's. 
The reader need not be reminded of Will's, with Dryden, 
the Tatler apd Spiectator, a,nA its wits' room on the first 
floor ; or Button's, with its lion's head letter-box, and the 
young poets in the back room. Tom's, No. 17, on the 
iiorth side of Russell-street, and of a somewhat later date, 
was taken down in 1865. The premises remained with but 
little alteration, long after they ceased to be a coffee-house. 
It was named after Its origina;l proprietor, Thomas West, 
who, Nqv. 26, 1722, threw himself, in a delirium, from the 
second-floor .window into the street, and died immediately 
(Historical Register for r722). The upper portion of the 
premises was the coffee-house, under which lived T. Lewi's, 
the bookseller, the original pubhsher, in r7ii, of Pope's 



CLUB AT TOM'S COFFEE-HOUSE. 137 

Essay on Criticism. The usual frequenters upstairs may be 
judged of by the following passage in the Journey through 
England, first edit., 17 14 : — "After the play, the best com^ 
pany generally go to Tom's and Will's coffee-houses, near 
adjoining, where there is playing at piquet and the best 
conversation till midnight. Here you will see blue and 
green ribbons, with stars, sitting familiarly and talking with 
the same freedom as if they had left their quality and 
degrees of distance at home ; and a stranger tastes with 
pleasure the universal liberty of speech of the English 
nation. And in all the coffee-houses you have not only the 
foreign prints, but several English ones, with the foreign 
occurrences, besides papers of morality and party disputes." 
Such were the Augustan delights of, a memorable coffee- 
house of the reign of Queen Anne. Of this period is a 
recollection of Mr. Grignon, sen., having seen the "balcony 
of Tom's crowded with npjjlemen in their stars and garters, 
drinking their tea and coffee exposed to the people." We 
find an entry in Walpole's Letters, 1745 : — "A gentlenian, I 
don't know who, the other night at Tom's coffee-house, said, 
on Lord Baltimore refusing to corne into the Admiralty 
because Lord Vere Beaucjerk had tiie pi;ecedence, ' it put hirti 
in mind of Pinkethman's petition in the Spectator, where he 
complains that formerly he used to act second chair in " Dio- 
cletian," but now he was reduced to dance fifth flower-pot.' " 
In 1764 there appears to have been formed here, by a 
guinea subscription, a Club of nearly 700 members — the 
nobility, foreign ministers, gentry, and men of genius of the 
age ; the large room on the first floor being the card-room. 
The Club flourished, so that in 1768, "having considerably 
enlarged itself of late," Thomas Haines, the then proprietor, 
took in the front room of the next house westward as a 
coffee-room. The front room of No. 17 was then appro- 
priated exclusively as a card-room for the subscription club, 
each member paying one guinea annually; the adjoining 
apartment being used as a conversation-room. The sub- 



138 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

scription-books are before us, and here we find in the long 
list .the names of , Sir Thonias Robinson, Bart., who was 
designated " Long Sir Thomas Robinson," to distinguish him 
from his namesake, Sir, Thomas Robinson, created Lord 
Grantham in 1761. "Long Tom," as the former was 
familiarly called, was a Commissioner of Excise and 
Governor of Barbadoes. He was a sad bore, especially to 
the Duke of, Newcastle, the minister, who resided in 
Lincoln's Inn Fields. However, he gave rise to some 
smart things. Lord Chesterfield being asked by, the latter 
Baronet to write some verses upon him, immediately 
produced this epigram : — 

Unlike my subject now shall:be my song, 
It shall lie wittyi and it shan't be long. 

Long Sir Thomas distinguished himself in this odd 
manner. When pur Sovereign had not dropped the folly 
of calling himself " King of France," and it was customary 
at the Coronation of an EngUsh Sovereign to have fictitious 
Dukes of Aquitaine and Normandy to represent the vassalage 
of France, Sir Thomas was selected to fill the second mock 
dignity at. the coronation of George III., to which Churchill 
alludes in his Ghost; but he assigns a wrong dukedom to 
Sir Thomas : 

Could Satire not (though doubtful since 

Whether he plumbel: is or prince) 

Tell of a simple Knight's advance, 

To be a doughty peer of France ? 

Tell how he did a dukedom gain, 

And Robinson was Aquitain. 

Of the two Sir Thomas Robinsons, one was tall and thin, 
the other short and fat: "I can't imagine," said Lady 
Townsend, "why the one should be preferred to the other; 
I see but little difference hetween them : the one is as broad 
as the other is long." 

Next on the books is Samuel Foote, who, after the 
decline of Tom's, was mostly to be seen at the Bedford. 



CLUB AT TOM'S COFFEE-HOUSE. 139 

Then comes Arthur Murphy, lately called to the Bar; 
David Garrick, who then lived in SouthamptonrStreet 
(though he was not a clubbable man) ; John Beard, the fine 
tenor singer; John Webb; Sir Richard Glynne; Robert 
Gosling, the banker ; Colonel Eyre, of Marylebone ; Earl 
Percy; Sir John Fielding, the justice; Paul Methuen, of 
Corsbam; Richard Clive; the great Lord Cliye;. the 
eccentric Duke of Montagu; Sir Fletcher Norton, the ill- 
mannered ; Lord Edward Bentinck ; Dr. Samuel Johnson ; 
the celebrated Marquis of Granby ; Sir F. B. Delaval, the 
friend of Foote; William Tooke, the solicitor; the Hon. 
Charles Howard, sen. ; the Duke . of Northumberland ; Sir 
Francis Gosling; the Earl of Anglesey ; Sir George Brydges 
Rodney (afterwards Lord. Rodney) ; Peter Burrel; Walpole 
Eyre ; Lewis Mendez ; Dr. Swinney ; Stephen Lushington ; 
John Gunning; Henry Brougham, father of Lord Brougham.; 
Dr. Macnamara ; Sir John Trevdyan ; Captain Donellan ; Sir 
W. Wolseley; Walter Chetwynd; Viscount Gage, etc.; — 
Thomas Payne, Esq., of Leicester House; Dr. Schomberg, 
of Pall-Mall; George Colman, the dramatist, then living in 
Great' Queen Street; Dr. Dodd, in Southampton-rowi; 
"James Payne, the architect,. Salisbury-street^ whiqh he rebuilt ; 
William Bowyer, the printer, Bloomsbury-square ; Count 
Bruhl, the Polish Minister; Dr. Goldsmith, Temple (1773), 
etc. • Many a noted name in the list of 700 is very sugges- 
tive of the gay isociety of the period. Among the Club 
musters, Samuel Foote, Sir Thomas Robinson, and Dr. Dodd 
are very frequent : indeed. Sir Thomas seems to have been 
something like a proposor-general.. 

Tom's appears to have been a general Lcoffee-hpuse ; for in 
the parish books of St. Paul's, Covent Garden, is the entry ,: 
. ... £. s. d. 

i(fi Dishes of chocolate . . . ..'.". I 3 o 
- 34jelleys . . :. •,.017 .0 

Biscuits 023 

Mr. Haines, the landlord, was succeeded by his son, 



140 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Thomas, whose daughter is livings at the age of eighty-four, 
and' possesses a portrait, by. Dance, of the elder Haines, 
who,'froin his polite addressywas called among the Club 
" Lord Chesterfield." The above lady has also a portrait, 
in oil, of the younger Haines^ by Grignon; 

The coffee-house business closed in 1814, about which 
time the premises were first occupied ' by Mr. William Till, 
the numismatist. The card-room remained in its original 
condition; "Andhfere," wrote Mr. Till, many years since, 
" the tables on which I exhibit my coins are those which 
were used by the exalted characters whose names are ex- 
tracted from books of the 'Club, still in possession of the 
proprietress of the house." On the death of Mr. Till, Mr. 
Webster succeeded to the tenancy and collection of coins 
and medals, which he removed to No. 6, Henrietta-street, 
shortly before the old premises in Russell-street were taken 
down. He possesses, ,by marriage with, the grand-daughter 
of the second Mr. Haines, the old Club books, as well as 
the curious memorial, the snuff-box of the Clubrroom. It is 
of large size, and fine tortoiseshell ; upon th^ lid, ; in high 
relief, in silver, are the portraits of Charles I. and Queen 
Anne; the Boscobel oak, with Charles II. amid its branches; 
and at the foot of the tree, on a silver plate-, is inscribed 
Thomas Haines. At Will's the small wits grew conceited if 
they dipped but into Mr. Dryden's snuffbox ; and at Tom's 
the box may have enjoyed a similar shrine-like reputation. 
It is nearly all that remains of the old coffee-house in Covent 
Garden, save the recollection of the names of the interesting 
personages who once thronged its rooms in stars and garters, 
but who bore more intellectual distinctions to entitle them to 
remembrance. . , ^ ; jii , . . , 

The King of Clubs. 

This ambitious title was given to a Club set on foot about 
the year 1801. Its founder was Bobus Smith, the brother 
of the great Sydney Smith. The Club at first consisted of a 



THE KING OF CLUBS. 14! 

small knot of lawyers, a few literary characters, and visitors 
generally introduced by those who took the, chief, part in the 
conversation, and seemingly selected for the faculty of being 
good listeners. 

The King of Clubs sat on Saturday of each month, at the 
Crown and Anchor Tavern, in the. Strand, which, at that 
time, was a nest of boxes, each, containing its Club, and 
affording excellent cheer,. though, latterly desecrated by in- 
different dinners and very, questionable wine. The Club 
was a grand talk, the, prevalent topics being books and 
authors; politics quite; excluded, Bobus Smith was a con- 
vivial member in every respect but that of wine ; he was but 
a frigid worshipper, of Bacchus, but he had great humour 
and a species of wit, that revelled amidst the strangest and 
most grotesque combinations. , His manner was somewhat 
of the bow-wow kind ; and when he pounced upon a disputa- 
tious and dull blockhead, he made sad work of him. 

Then there was Richard Sharp, a partner of Boddington's 
West India house, who subsequently, sat in Parliament for 
Port Arlington, in Ireland. He was a thinker and a reasoner, 
and occasionally controversial,: buti overflowed with useful 
and agreeable knowledge, and an unfailing stream of de- 
lightful information. He was . celebrated for his conversa- 
tional talents, and hence called " Conversation Sharp ;" and 
he often had for his guest Sir James Mackintosh, with 
whom he lived, in habits .(rf intimacy. Mr. Sharp published 
a volume of Letters and Essays in Frose and Verse, of which 
a third edition appeared in, 1834. Sharp was confessedly 
the first of the King of Clubs. He indulged, but rarely, in 
pleasajntryj but. when anything of the kind escaped him, it 
was sure to tell... One evening, at the club, there was a talk 
about Tweddel, .then a student in.the; Temple, who had 
greatly distinguished himself at . Cambridge, and was the 
Senior Wrangler and medalist, of his year. Tweddel was not 
a little intoxicated with his University .triumphs ; which led 
Sharp to remark, " Poor fellow 1- he will soon find that his 



14^ CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Cambridge medal will not pass as current coin in London." 
Other frequent attendants were Scarlett (afterwards Lord 
Abinger) ; Rogers, the poet ; honest John Allen, brother of 
the bluest of the blues. Lady Mackintosh ; M. Dumont, the 
French emigrant, who would sometimes recite his friend the 
Abbd de Lisle's verses, with interminable perseverance, in 
spite of yawns and other symptoms of dislike, which his own 
politeness (for he was a highly-bred man) forbade him to 
interpret into the absence of it in others. 

In this respect, however, he was outdone by Wishart, who 
was nothing but quotations, and whose prosing, when he 
did converse, was like the torpedo's touch to all pleasing 
and lively converse. Charles Butler, too, in his long life, 
had treasured up a considerable assortment of reminiscences, 
which, when once set going, came out like a torrent upon 
you; it was a sort of shower-bath, that inundated you the 
moment you pulled the string. 

Curran, the boast of the Irish bar, came to the King of 
Clubs, during a short visit to London; there he met 
Erskine, but the meeting was not congenial. Curran gave 
some odd sketches of a Serjeant Kelly, at the Irish bar, 
whose whimsical peculiarity was an inveterate b^bit of 
drawing conclusions directly at variance with his premises. 
He had acquired the.name of. Counsellor. .Therefore. Curran 
said he was a perfect human personification of a w« j^^wiVzar. 
For instance, meeting Curran on Sunday, near St. Patrick's, 
he said to him, " The Archbishop 'gave us an excellent dis^ 
course this morning. It was well, written and well delivered, 
therefore, I shall make a point of being -at the Four Courts 
to-morrow at ten." At another time, observing to a person 
whom he met in the street, " What a delightful morning this 
is for walking !" he finished his remark on the weather by 
saying, "Therefore I will go home as soon as I can, and 
Btir out no more the wliole day;" His speeches in Court 
were interminable, and his tKereforje kept him going on, 
though; every one thought he had done. "This is so clear 



WALTERS CLUB. 143 

a point, gentlemen," he would tell the jury, "that I am con- 
vinced you felt it to be so the very moment I stated it. I 
should pay your understandings but a poOr compliment to 
dwell on it for a minute ; therefore, I will now proceed to 
explain it to you as minutely as possible." 

Curran seemed to have no very profound respect for the 
character and talents of Lord Norbiiry. Curran went down 
to Carlow on a special retainer ; it was in a case of eject- 
ment A new Court-house had been recently erected, and 
it was found extremely inconvenient, froni the echo, which 
reverberated the mingled voices of judge, 'counsel, crier, to 
such a degree, as to produce constant 'confusion, and great 
interruption of business. Lord Norbury had been, if possible, 
more noisy that morning than ever. Whifct he-was^ arguing 
a point with the counsel, and talking very loudly, an ass 
brayed vehemently from the street, adjoining- the Court- 
house, to the instant interruption of the Chief-Justice, 
" What noise is that ?" exclaimed his Lordship. " Oh, my 
Lord," retorted Curran, " it is merely the echo of the 
Court." 

Watier's Clut. 

This Club was ther grfeat Macao gambling-house of a very 
short period. Mr. Thomas Raikes, who understood all its 
mysteries, describes it as very genteel, adding that no one 
ever quarrelled there. ' "The Club did not endtire for twelve 
years altogether ; the pace was too quick to last : it died a 
natural death in 18 19, "froni the paralysed state of its mem- 
bers ; the house was then taken by a set of blacklegs, who 
instituted a common bank for gambling. To form an idea 
of the ruin produced by this short-lived establishment among 
men whom I have so intimately known, a cursory glance to 
the past suggeststhe following melancholy list, which onljr 
forms a part of its deplorable results. . . . None of the dead 
reached the average age of man." 

Among the members -was Bligh, a notorious madman, of 



144 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

whom Mr. Raikes relates : — " One evening at the Macao 
table, when the play was very deep, Brummell having lost a 
considerable stake, affected, in his farcical way, a very tragic 
air, and cried put,,' Waiter, bring, me a flat candlestick and 
a pistol.' Upon which Bligh, who was sittipg opposite to 
him, calmly produced . two loaded pistols from his coat 
pocket, which he placed on the table, and said, ' Mr. 
Brummell, if you are really desirous to put a period to your 
existence, I am extremely happy to offer you the means 
without troubling the waiter.' The effect upon those present 
may easily be imagined, at finding themselves in the com- 
pany of a known madman who had . loaded weapons about 
him.'' 

Mr. Canning at the Clifford-street Club. 

There was in the last century a deba,ting Club, wliich 
boasted for a short time, a brighter assemblage of talent 
than is usually found to fl.ourish in societies of this descrip- 
tion. Its meetings, which took place once a month, were 
held at the Clifford-street Coffee-house, at the comer 
of Bond-street. The debaters were chiefly Mackintosh, 
Richard Sharp, a Mr. OUyett Woodhouse ; Charles Moore, 
son of the celebrated, traveller ; and Lord, Charles, Town- 
shend, fourth son of the facetious and eccentric Marquis. 
The great primitive principles of civil government were 
then much discussed, It was before ,the French Revolu; 
tion ;had " brought death into the world and. all its woe." 

At the Clifford-street Society, Canning generally took 
" the liberal side " of the above questions. His earliest 
prepossessions are well known to have inclined to this side; 
but he evidently considered the Society rather as a school 
of rhetorical exercise, where he might acquire the use 0/ 
his weapons, than a forum, where the serious professions of 
opinions, , and a consistent adherence to them, could be 
fairly expected of him. pne evening, , the question for 
debate was "the justice, and expediency of resuming the 



THE GlIFFORD-STREET CLUB. 145 

ecclesiastical property of Frdnce." Before: the debate 
began, Canning had taken some pains to ascertain on 
which side the majority of the mernbers seemed inclined to 
speak J and finding that they were generally in favour of 
"the resumption, he expressed his fears that theunanimity 
of sentiment would spoil the discussion ; so, he volunteered 
to speak against it. He did so, and it was a speech of con- 
siderable power, chiefly in reply to the opener, who in a set 
discourse of some length, had asserted the revocable con- 
ditions of the property of the church, which, being created, 
he said, by the state, remained ever after at its disposition. 
Canning denied the proposition that ecclesiastical property 
was the creature oi the state. He contended that though 
it might be so in a new government, yet, speaking his- 
torically, the great as well as the lesser ecclesiastical fiefs 
were coeval with the crown of France, frequently strong 
enough to maintain fierce and not unequal conflicts with it, 
and certaihfy not in their origin emanations from its bounty. 
The church, he said, came well dowered to the state, who 
was now suing for a divorce, in order to plunder her pin- 
money. He contended that the church property stood 
upon the same basis, and ought to be protected by thei 
same sanctions, as private property. It was originally, he- 
said, accumulated from the successive donations with which, 
a pious benevolence sought to enrich the fountains, from- 
which spiritual comfort ought to flow to the wretched, 
the poor, the forsaken. He drew an energetic sketch of 
Mirabeau, the proposer of the measure, by whose side, 
he remarked, the worst characters in history, the Cleons, 
the Catilines, the Cetheguses, of antiquity, would brighten : 
into virtue. He said that the character of the lawgiver- 
tainted the law. It was proffered to the National Assembly^ 
by hands hot and reeking from the cells of sensuality and 
vice ; it came from a brain inflamed and distended into 
frenzy by habitual debauchery. These are, of course, but 
faint sketches of this very early specimen of Canning as 



Missing Page 



Missing Page 



148 CLVB LIFE OF LONDON. 

most of his time over a bottle, he Vvas, in derision, Said' to 
belong. 

' " The Everlasting Club consists of an hundred members, 
who divide the whole twenty-four hours among them in such 
a manner that the Club sits day and night, from one end of 
the year to another : no party presuming to rise till they are 
relieved by those who are in course to succeed them. By 
this means, a member of the Everlasting Club never wants 
company ; for though he is not upon duty himself, he is sure 
to find some who are ; so that if he be disposed' to take a 
whet, a nooning, an evening's draught, or a bottle after mid- 
night, he igoes to the Club, and finds a knot of friends to 
his mind. 

" It is a maxim in this Club that the Steward never dies ; 
for as they succeed one another by way of rotation, no man 
is to quit the great elbow-chair, which stands at the upper 
end of the table, till his successor is ready to fill it ; inso- 
much that there has not been a sede vacante in their 
memory. 

" This Club was instituted towards the end; or, as some 
of them say, about the middle of the Civil Wars, and con- 
tinued with interruption till the time of the Great Fire, 
which burnt them out and dispersed them for several weeks. 
The Steward all that time maintained his post till he had like 
to have been blo'wn up with a neighbouring house, which 
was demolished in order to stop the fire : and would not 
leave the chair at last^ till he had emptied the bottles upon 
the table, and received repeated directions from the Club to 
withdraw himself. This Steward is frequently talked of in 
the Club; and looked upon by every member of it as a 
greater man than the famous captain mentioned in my Lord 
Clarendon, who was birnit in his ship, because he would 
not quit it 'without orders. It is said that towards the close 
of 1700, being the great year of jubilee, the Club had it 
under consideration whether they should break up or con- 
tinue their session ; but after many speeches and debates, it 



ECCENTRIC CLUBS. 



149 



was at length agreed to sit out the other century. This 
resolution passed in a general club nemine contradicente. 

" It appears, by their books in general^ that, since their 
first institution, they have smoked fifty tons of tobacco, 
drank thirty thousand butts of ale, one thousand hogsheads 
of red port, two hundred barrels of, brandy, and one kilder- 
kin of small been There had been likewise a great 
consumption of cards. It is also said that they observe the 
law in Ben Jonson'sCIub, which orders the fire to be always 
kept in (focus perennis esto), as well for the convenience of 
lighting their pipes as to cure the dampness of 'the club- 
room. They have an old woman, in the nature of a vestal, 
whose business is to cherish and perpetuate the fire, which 
bums from generation to, generation, and has seen the glass- 
house fires in and out above an hundred times.! 

" The Everlasting: Club treats all other clubs with an eye 
of contempt, aivd talks even of the Kit-Cat and October as 
a couple of upstarts. Their ordinary discourse, as much as 
I have been able to learn of it, turns. altogether upon such 
adventures as have passed in their own assembly ; of 
members who have taken the glass in their turns for a week 
together, without stirring out of the Club.; of others who 
have not missed their morning's draught for twenty years 
together ; sometimes they speak in rapture of a run of ale 
in King ■ Charles's reign ; and sometimes reflect with 
astonishment upon games at whist, which have been 
miraculously recovered by members of the Society, when in 
all human probability the case was desperate. 

" They delight in several old catches, which they sing at 
all hours, to encourage one another to moisten their clay, 
and grow immortal by drinking, with many other edifying 
exhortations of the like nature. 

"There are four general Clubs held in a year, at which 
time they fill up vacancies, appoint waiters, confirm the old 
fire-maker or elect a new one, settle contributions for coals, 
pipes, tobacco, and other necessaries. 



ijo CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

,. '1 The senior member has outlived the whole Club twice 
over,. and has been drunk with the grandfathers of some of 
the sitting members-." - 

The Lawyer's: Club is thus described in the Spectator, 
No. 372 :^" This Club consists only of attorneys, and at 
this meeting every one proposes to the board, the cause he 
has then in hand, upon which each member gives his judg' 
ment, according to the experience he has iilet with. If it 
happens that any one puts a case of which they have no 
precedent, it is noted down by their chief clerk. Will 
Goosequill (who registers all their proceedirigs),i that one of 
them may go with it next day to a counsel. This is; 
indeed, commendable, and ought to be the 'pdncipal end of 
their meeting ; but had you been there to. have heard them 
relate their methods of managing a cause, their manner of 
drawing out their bills, and, in short, their .arguments upon 
the several ways of abusing, their clients, with the applause 
iJiat is given to him who has done, it most artfully, you would 
before now have given yout remarks, i '.'. . ■ ■. 

'" They are so conscious that their discourses ought to be 
kept a -secret, that -they are- very cautious of admitting any 
person who is not in the profession. When any who are not of 
the law are let in^ the person who introduces him says, he is a 
very honest gentleman, and he is taken, as their cant is, to pay 
costs." The writer adds, "that he is admitted upon the recom- 
mendation of one of their principals, as a very honest, good- 
natured fellow, that will never be in a plot, and only desires 
to drink his bottle and smoke his pipe." : : : 

77ie Little Club, we are told in the Guardian, No* 91, 
began by isending invitations to those not exceeding five feet 
in height to repair to the assembly, but many sent excuses, 
or pretended a non-application. They proceeded to fit up 
a- room for their accommodation, and in the first place had 
all the chairs, stools, and tables removed, which had served; 
the more bulky portion of mankind for many. years, previous 
to which they laboured under very great disadvantages. The • 



ECCENTRIC CLUBS. 151 

Fresideat's ■whole person was, sunk in the elbow-chair, and 
when his ai-ms were spread over it, he appeared (to the great 
lessening of his dignity) like a child in a go-cart. It was 
also so wide in the seg,t,j?is to give a, wag occasion of saymg, 
that " notwithstanding the President sat in it, there was a 
sede vacante." " The. table was so high, that one who came 
by change to the door, ' seeing our chins just above the 
pewter dishes, took us for a circle of men that sat ready to 
be shaved, and sent in half-a-dozen of barbers. Another 
time, one of the Club spoke contumeliously of the. President, 
imagining he had been absent, when he was only ieclipsed by 
a flask of Florence, which stood on the table in a parallel 
line before hig face. We therefore .new-fi^mished the room, 
in all respects propprtionably. to us, and had the door made 
lower, so as to admit no man above five feet high without- 
brushing his foretop; which, whoever does, , is utterly un- 
qualified to git amongst us." , : 

Mr. Daniel, in Y^s^Merrie England in the. Olden Time, has 
dollect^d a farther list of Clubs eifisting in London in 1790., 
He enumerates the following : — The Odd Fellows' Club ; 
the Humbugs (held at the Bllie ifosts, in Covent-garden) ; 
the Samsomc Society ; . the. Society pf Bucks ; the Purl 
Drinkers ; the Society of Pilgrims (held at tlie Woojpack, in 
the Kingsl^d-road). ; the" Thespian Club; the Great Bottle 
Club'; the Je ne, sgai quoi Club (held at tlje Star and 
Garter in^ Pall-Mall, and of which the Prince of Wales, and 
the Dukes of York, Clarence, Orleans, Norfolk, Bedford, 
etc., were meniberp) ; the Sons of the Thames Society ; the 
Blue Stocking Club ; the No Pay No Liquor Club (held at 
the Queen an<i Artichoke, in the Hampstead-foad, and of 
which the ceremony, on a new member's introduction, was, 
after his paying a fee on entrance of one shilling, that he 
should wear a hat, throughout the' first evening, piade in the 
shape of a quart pot, and drink to the health of Bis brother 
members in a gilt goblet of ale) ; the Social Villagers (held 
at the Bedford Arms, in Camden-town), etc. Of the Vil- 



152 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

lagers of our time, Sheridan KnowleSj the dramatist, was a 
jovial member. 

Jacobite Club. 

In the year 1854 a Correspondent of Notes and Queries 
commmiicated to that journal the following interesting 
reminiscenpes of a political Club, with characteristics pf the 
reminiscent. 

" The adherents of the Stuarts are now nearly extinct ; 
but I recollect a few years ago an old gentleman in London, 
who was then upwards of eighty years of age, and who was 
a staunch Jacobite. I have heard him say that, when he 
was a young man, his father belonged to a society in Alders- 
gate-street, called ' The Mourning Bush j' and this Bush was 
to be always in mourning until the Stuarts were restored." 
A member of this society having been met in mourning 
when one of the reigning family had died, was asked by one 
of the members how it so happened ? His reply was, " that 
he was not mourning for the dead, but for the living." The 
old gentleman was father of the Mercers' Company, and his 
brother of the Stationers' Company : they were bachelors, 
and citizens of the old school, hospitable, liberal, and chari- 
table. An instance occurred that the latter had a presen- 
tation to Christ's Hospital- : he was applied to in behalf of a 
person who had a large family ; but the father not being a 
freeman, he could not present it to the son. He imme- 
diately bought the freedom for the father, and gave the son 
the presentation. This is a rare act. The brothers have 
long gone to receive the reward of their goodness, and 
lie buried in the cemetery attached to Mercers' Hall, Cheap- 
side." 

By the above statement, the Club appears to have taken 
the name of the Mourning Bush Tavern, in Aldersgate, of 
which we shall have more to say hereafter. 



'53 

The Wit,tinagemot of the Chapter Coffee- 
house. 

The Chapter Coffee-house, at the corner of Chapter-house 
Court, on the south side of Paternoster-row, waSj in the last 
century, noted as the resort of men of letters, and was famous 
for its punch, pamphlets, and good supply of newspapers. 
It was closed as a coffee-house in 1854, and then altered to 
a tavern. Its celebrity, however, lay in the last century. 
In the Connoisseur, January 31, 1754, we read: "The 
Chapter Coffee-house is frequented by those- encouragers of 
literature, and (as they are styled by an eminent critic) ' not 
the worst judges of merit,' the booksellers. The conversa- 
tion here naturally turns upon the newest publications; but 
their criticisms are somewhat singular. When tliey, say a 
good book, they do not mean to praise the style or sentiment, 
but the quick and extensive sale of it That book is best 
which sells most ; and if the demand for Quarles should be 
greater than for Pope, he would have the highest place on 
the rubric-post." 

The house was much frequented by Chatterton, who writes 
to his mother : " I am quite- familiar at the Chapter Coffee- 
house, and know all the geniuses there.;" and to Mr. Mason: 
" Send me whatever you would have published, and direct 
forme, to be left at the Chapter. Coffee-house, Paternoster- 
row." And, writing from " King's Bench for the present,' 
May 14, 1770, Chatterton says : "A gentleman who knows 
me at the Chapter, as an author, would have introduced me 
as a companion to the young Duke of Northuniberland, in 
his intended general tour. But, alas ! I spake no tongue 
but my own." 

Forster relates an anecdote of Oliver Goldsmith being 
paymaster at the Chapter, for Churchill's friend, Lloyd, who, 
in his careless, way, without a shilling to pay for the enter- 
tainment, had invited him to sup with some friends of Grub- 
street. 



1S4 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

The Glub celebrity of the Chapter was, however, the 
Wittmagemot, as the box in the, north-east comer of the 
coffee-room was designated. Attiong its frequenters was 
Alexander Stephens, editor of the Anmml £iograpfi.y and 
Obituary, who died in 1824, and who left among his papers, . 
printed in the Monthly Magazine^ as " Stephensianaj". his 
recollections of the Chapter, which he frequented in 1797 
to 1805, where,ihe tells us, he always met with intelligent, 
company. We give his reminiscences almost in his own 
words. 

Early in the morning it was occupied by neighbours, who 
were designated the Wet Pd^er Club, as it was their practice 
to open the papers when brought in by the newsmen, and 
read them-before they were dried by the waiter 5 a dry paper- 
they viewed as a stale commodity. In the afternoon, another 
party enjoyed the T^f^ evening papers; and (says Stephens) 
it was these whom I met. 

Dr. Buchan, author of " Domestic Medicine," generally 
held a seat in this box ; and- though he was a Tory, he heard 
the freest discussion with good humour, and commonly acted 
as a moderator. His fine physiognomy, and his white hairs, 
qualified him for this office. ' But the fixture in the box- was; 
a-Mr. Hammond, a Cbventry manufacturer, who, evening 
after evening, for nearly forty-five years, was always to be 
found in his place, and during the entire -period was. much 
distinguished for his severe and often able strictures on the 
events of the day. He had thus debated through the days 
of Wilkes, of the American war, and of the French' war, and 
being on the side of liberty, was constantly in opposition. 
His mode of arguing was Socratic, and he generally applied 
to his adversary the reductio ad absurdum, creating bursts of 
laughter.' ■ ' ' 

The registrar or chronicler of the box was a Mr. Murray, 
an episcopal Scotch minister, who generally sat in one place 
from nine in the riioming till nine at night; and was famous 
for having read, at least once through, every morning and 



THE WITTINAGEMOT, 155 

evening paper published in . London during .the last thirty 
years. His memory being good, he was appealed to when- 
ever any point of fact withm the memory of man happened 
to be disputed. , It was often remarked, however, that such 
incessant daily, reading, did not tend to clear his views. 

Among those, from, whom I constantly profited was Dr. 
Berdmore, ,the master of the Charterhouse; Walker, the 
rhetorician; and Dr.. Towers, the political and:' historical 
writer. Dr. B. abounded in anecdote ; Walker (the Dic- 
tionary-maker) • to the finest enunciation united the most 
intelligent head Ij'eyer met with; arid Towers, /Over his half- 
pint of Lisbon, -was sarcastic and lively, though' never deep. 

Among , our constant visitors was the celebrated Dr. 
George Fordyce, who, having much fashionable practice, 
brought news which had. not generally transpired. He had 
not the appearance of a man of genius, nor did he debate, 
but he possessed sound information on aU subjects. He. 
came to the Chapter after taking his wine, and stayed about 
an hpw, or while he sipped a glass of brandy-and-water ; it 
was then his habit to take another glass ' at th^ -London 
Coffeehouse, and a third at, the Oxford, before; he returned 
to his house in. Essex-street, Strand. 

Dr,.Gower, the urbane and able physician of the Mid-, 
dlesex, was another pretty constant visitor. And it was 
gratifying to hear such, men as .Fordyce, Gower, and Buchan 
in familiar chat Qn- subjects of medicine they seldom 
agreed, and when siich were : started, they generally laughed 
at one another's opinions. They seemed to consider Chap- 
ter punch, or brandy-and-water, as aqua vita ; and, to the 
credit of the house, better punch could not be found in 
London. If any one complained of being indisposed, 
the elder Buchan exclaimed, " Now let me prescribe for 
you without a fee. Here, John or Isaac, bring a glass of 
punch for Mr. - — r-, unless he likes brandy-and-water better. 
Take that. Sir, and I'll warrant you you'll soon be welL 



136 CLUB LIFE OP LONDON. 

You're a peg too low ; you want stimulus, and if one glass 
won't do, call for a second." 

There was a growling man of the name of Dobson, who, 
when his asthma permitted, vented his spleen upon both 
sides; and a lover of absurd paradoxes, author of some 
works of merit, but so devoid of principle, that deserted by 
his friends, 'he would have- died for want, if Dr. Garthshore 
had not placed him as a patient in the empty Fever Insti- 
tution. 

Robinson, the king of the booksellers, was frequently of 
the party, as well as his brother John, a man of some talent : 
and Joseph Johnson the friend of Priestly, and Paine, and 
Cowper, and Euseli, came from St. Paul's Churchyard. 

Phillips, then commencing his " Monthly Magazine," was 
also on a keen look-out for recruits, and with his waistcoat 
pocket full of guineas, to slip his enlistment-money into their 
hand. Phillips, in the winter of 1795-6, lodged and boarded 
at the Chapter, and not only knew the characters referred to 
by Mr. Stephens, but many others equally original, from the 
voracious glutton in politics, who waited for the wet papers 
in the morning twilight, to the comfortless bachelor, who sat 
till the fire was raked out at half-past twelve at night, all of 
whom took their successive stations, like figures in a magic 
lantern. 

Alexander Chalmers, the workman of the Robinsons, and 
through their introduction editor of many large books, also 
enlivened the box with many sallies of wit and humour. He 
always took much pains to be distinguished from his name- 
sake, George, who, he used to say, carried "the leaden 
mace," and he was much provoked whenever he happened 
to be mistaken for his namesake. 

Cahusac, a teacher of the classics ; M'Leod, a writer in 
the newspapers : the two Parry's, of the " Courier," the 
organ of Jacobinism ; and Captain Skinner, a man of elegant 
manners, who personated our nation in the procession of 



: TME wnTINAGEMOT. 1S7 

Anacharsis Clootz, at Paris in 1793, were also in constant 
attendance. 

One Baker, once a Spitalfields manufacturer, a great talker, 
and not less remarkable as an eater, was constant; bul^ 
having shot himself at his lodgings in Kirby-street, it was 
discovered that, for some years, he had had no other meal 
per day besides the supper which he took at the Chapter, 
where there being a choice of viands at the fixed price 
of one shilling, this, with a pint of porter, constituted his 
daily subsistence, till, his last resources failing, he put an 
end to himself. 

Lowndes, the celebrated electrician, was another of our set, 
and a facetious man. Buchan the younger, son of the Doctor, 
generally came with Lowndes ; and though somewhat dog- 
matical, yet he added to the variety and good intelligence of 
our discussions, which, from the mixture of company, were 
as various as the contents of the newspapers. 

Dr. Busby, the musician, and an ingenious man, often 
obtained a hearing, and was earnest in disputing with the 
Tories. And. Macfarlane, the author of the " History of 
George the Third," was generally admired for the soundness 
of his views ; but this worthy man was killed by the pole of 
a coach, during an election procession of Sir Francis Burdett, 
from Brentford. Mr. W. Cook, author of "Conversation," 
constantly exemplified his own rules in his gentlemanly 
manners and well-timed anecdotes. 

Kelly, an Irish schoolmaster, and a man of polished man- 
ners, kept up warm debates by his equivocating politics, 
and was often roughly handled by Hammond and others, 
though he bore his defeats wth constant good humour. 

There was a young man named Wilson, who acquired the 
distinction of Long-bow, from: the number of extraordinary 
secrets of the haut ton, which he used to retail by the hour. 
He was an amusing person, who seemed likely to prove an 
acquisition to the Wittinagemot; but, having run up a score 
of thirty or forty pounds, he suddenly absented himself. 



158 CWB UPS OP LONDON. 

Miss Brun^ the keeper of the Chapter, begfe-ed me, if I met 
with Wilson, to tell him she would give him a receipt for the 
past, and further credit to any- amount, if he would only re- 
turn to the house ; "for," said she, " if he never paid us; he 
was one of the best custoniers we ever -had, contriving, by 
his stories and conversation, to keep a couple of boxes 
crowded the whole hightj by which we made more punch 
and more brandy-and-water, than from any other single 
cause whatever." 

Jacob, afterwards an alderman and M.P., wasa frequent 
visitor, and then as remarkable for his heretical, as he was 
subsequently for his orthodox, opinions in his speeches and 
.writings. 

Waithman, the active and eloquent Common Councilman, 
often mixed with us, a,fld was ' always clear-headed and 
agreeable. One James, who had made a large fortune by 
vending tea, contributed many good anecdotes of the age of 
Wilkes. 

Several Stockbrokers visited us ; and among others of that 
description was Mr. Blake, the banker of Lombard-street, a 
remarkably intelligent old gentleman ; and there was a Mr. 
Paterson, a North Briton, a long-headed' = speculator, who 
taught mathematics to Pitt. 

Some young men of talent came among us from time to 
time; as Lovett, a militia officer; Hennell, a coal merchant, 
and some others ; and these seemed likely to keep up the 
party. But all things have an end: Dr. Buchan died; some 
young sparks affironted our Nestor, Hammond, on which he 
absented himself, after nearly fifty years' attendance; and the 
noisy box of the Wittinagemot was, for some years pre- 
viously to 1820, remarkable for its silence and dulness. 
The two or three last times I was at the Chapter, I heard 
no voice above a whisper;' and I almost shed a tear on 
thinking of men, habits, and times gone by for ever ! 

We shall have more to say of the Chapter Coffee-house 
in Vol. II. 



IS9 



The Roxburghe Gub Dinners. 

The Roxburghe Club claims its foundation: from the 
sale of the library of the late John, Duke of Roxburghe, 
in 1812, which extended -to forty-one days following, with 
a' supplementary catalogue beginning Monday, July 13, 
with the exception of Sundays. Some few days before the 
sale, the Rev. Thomas Frognall Dibden^ who cl3,iiRed the 
title of founder of the Club, suggested the holding of a con- 
vivial meeting at the St. Alban's Tavern after the sale of 
June 17th, upon which day was to besold the rarest lot, 
"II Decamerone di Boccaccio," which produced 2260/. 
The invitation ran thus : — "The honour of your company is 
requested, to dine with the Roxburghe dinner, on 'Wednes- 
day, the 17 th instajit." At the first dinner the number of 
members was limited to twenty-fonr, which at the second 
dinner was extended to thirty-one. The president of this 
club was Lord Spencer; among ofher celebrated members 
were the Duke of Devonshire, the Marquis of, BJandford, 
Lord Morpeth, Lord Gower, Sir Mark Sykes, Sir Egerton 
Brydges, Mr. (afterwafds) Baron Bolland, Mr. Dent, the 
Rev. T. C. Heber, Rev. Rob. Holwell Carr, Sir Walter 
Scott, etc. ; Dr. Dibdin, secretaty. 

The avowed object of the Club was the reprinting of rare 
,and ancient pieces of ancient literature; and, at one of the 
-early meetings, "it was proposed and concluded. for each 
member of the Club to reprint a scarce piece of ancient lore, 
to be given to the members, one copy being on vellum for 
the chairman, and only as many copies as members." 

It may, however, be questioned whether "the dinners" of 
the Club were not more important than the literature. 
They were given at the St. Alban's, at Grillion's, at the Claren- 
don, and the Albion taverns; the Amphytrions evincing sC 
recherche taste in ih&' carte, as the Club did to their vellum 
reprints. Of these entertainments some curious details have 



i6o 



CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 



been recorded by the late Mr. Joseph Haslewood, one of 
the members, in a MS. entitled, " Roxburghe Reyels; or, an 
Account of the Annual Display, culinary and festivous, inter- 
spersed incidentally with Matters of Moment or Merri- 
ment." This MS. was, in 1833, purchased by the Editor cif 
the Athenaum, and a selection from its rarities was subse- 
quently printed in that journal. Among the memoranda, 
we find it noted that, at the second dinner, a few tarried, 
with Mr. Heber in the chair, until, "on arriving at home, 
the click of time bespoke a quarter to four." Among the 
early members was the Rev. Mr. Dodd, one of the masters 
of Westminster School, who, until the year 181 8 (when he 
died), enlivened the Club with Robin-Hood ditties and 
similar productions. The fourth dinner was given at Gril- 
lion's, when twenty members assembled, under the chair- 
manship of Sir Mark Masterman Sykes. The biU on this 
occasion • amounted to 57/., or 2/. lyj-. per man; and the 
twenty "lions" managed to dispose of drinkables to the 
extent of about 33/. The reckoning by (trillion's French 
waiter, is amusing: — 

Dinner du 17-Juin 1815. 

(Not legible) , 
Soder. . . . 
Biere e Ail . 



200 

20 

4 



For la Lettre 
Pour faire un prune 
Pour un fiacre . . 



Waiters 



14 
2 
6 
2 
6 
2 



20 . . . . . . 

Cesser 

Deu sorte de Glasse . I 
Glasse pour 6 . . . o 4 o 
5 Boutelle de Cham-' 

pagne 400 

7 Boutelle deharmetage 5 5° 

1 Boutelle de Hok . . o 15 o 
4 Boutelle de Port ..160 
4 Boutelle de Maderre .200 
22 Boutelle de Bordeaux 15 80 

2 Boutelle deBourgogne i 12 o 

The anniversary of 1818 was celebrated at the Albion, in 
Aldersgate-street : Mr. Heber was in the chair, and the 
Rev. Mr. Carr vice, vice Dr. Dibdin. Although only fifteen 
sat down, they seem to have eaten and drunk for the whole 



SS 6 
I 14 



/S7 o o 



& 






Sf- 



^ J 



r .1 






[□: 



Old Slaughter's Coffee House, St. Mavtin's Lane. 




Tom's Coffee House, Great Russell Street, Covent Garden. 



THE ROXBURGHE CLUB DINNERS. 



l6i 



Club: it was, as Wordsworth says, "forty feeding like one;" 
and the bill, at the conclusion of the night, amounted to 85/. 
gx. 6(/. " Your cits," says Mr. Haslewood, " are the only 
men for a feast ; and, therefore, behold us, like locusts, 
tiavelHng to devour the good things of the land, eastward 
oh ! At a little after seven, with our fancies much delighted, 
we fifteen, sat down." 

The bill of fare was as follows : — 



Turtle Cutlets. 

Boiled Chickens. 
Saut^ of Haddock. 

Turtle. 
Tendrons of Lamb. 
Tongue. 
Turtle Fin. 



FIRST COURSE. 

Turtle.* 
Turbot. 



Turtle Fin. 



Ham. 

Chartreuse. 

Turtle. 

Fillets of Whitings. 

John Dory. R. Chickens. 

Fricandeau of Turtle. 




Turtle.* 
t+t Cold Roast Beef on Side Tables. 
* These Tureens were removed for two dishes of White Bait. 



SECOND COURSE. 

Venison (2 Haunches). 



Tart. 

Jelly. 

R. Quails. 

Salade Italienne 



THIRD COURSE. 

Larded Poults. 

Cheese Cakes. 
Artichoke bottoms. 

Prawns. 

R. Leveret. 

Cr^me Italienne. 



Cabinet Pudding. 



Peas. 
R. Goose. 

M 



Tourt. 



1 62 



CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 



The bill, as a specimen of the advantages of separate 
charges, as well as on other accounts, may be worth pre- 
serving : — 



Bread and Beer . . . o 

Dinners 9 

Cheas and Butter . . o 

Lemons o 

Strong Beer . . . . o 

Madeira 3 

Champagne .... 2 

Satume (sic in MS.) , I 

Old Hock .... 4 

Burgundy o 

Hermitage . . . . o 

Sileiy Champagne . . o 

Sheriy o 

St. Percy' 2 

Old Port 2 

Claret ii 

Turtle Punch . . . o 

Waxlights .... 2 

Desert 6 



Albion 


House. 










June 15 


, 1818. 








9 





Pine-ice creams . . 


1 


16 





9 





Tea and Coffee . . 


I 


8 





9 








14 
10 







2 Haunches of Venison 10 





9 





Sweet sauce and dress 








3 
II 


n 


incT ..... 


I 


4 
10 


f> 





50 lbs. Turtle . 




12 





4 





Dressing do. . . 




2 


2 





H6 





Ice for Wine . . 







6 





> 18 





Rose Water . . 







.') 





) 18 





Soda Water . . 







12 





) 16 





Lemons and Sugar 


for 






7 





do 







S 





II 





Broken Glass . 







.S 


6 


9 





Servants' dinners 







7 





4 






Waiters . ■ • 




I 





n 












10 







;^8S 


9 


6 


) 6 


















" Consider, in the bird's-eye view of the banquet (says 
Mr. Haslewood), the trencher cuts, foh ! nankeen displays ; 
as iatersticed with many a brilliant drop to friendly beck 
and clubbish hail, to moisten the viands, or cool the incipient 
cayenne. No unfamished liveryman would desire better 
dishes, or high-tasted courtier better wines. With men that 
meet to commune, that can converse, and each willing to 
give and receive information, more could not be wanting to 
promote well-tempered conviviality j a social compound of 
mirth, wit, and wisdom ; — combining all that Anacreon was 
famed for, tempered with the reason of Demosthenes, and 
intersected with the archness of Scaliger. It is true we had 
not any Greek verses in praise of the grape ; but we had as 
a tolerable substitute the ballad of the Bishop of Hereford, 
and Robin Hood, sung by Mr. Dodd ; and it was of his 



THE ROXBURGHE CLUB DINNERS. 163 

own composing. It is true we had not any long oration 
denouncing the absentees, the Cabinet council, or any other 
set of men, but there was not a man present that at one 
hour and seventeen minutes after the cloth was removed 
but could not have made a Demosthenic speech far superior 
to any record of antiquity. It is true no trait of wit is going 
to be here preserved, for the flashes were too general ; and 
what is the critical sagacity of Scaliger, compared to our 
chairman? Ancients, beHeve it we were not dead drunk, 
and therefore lie quiet under the table for once, and let a few 
modems be uppermost. 

" According to the long-established principles of ' May- 
sterre Cockerre,' each person had 5/. 14J. to pay — a tremen- 
dous surn, and much may be said tliereon." 

Earl Spencer presided at the dinner which followed the 
sale of the Valdarfer Boccaccio : twenty-one members sat 
down to table at Jaquifere's (the Clarendon), and the bill 
was comparatively moderate, 55/. 13^. Mr. Haslewood 
says, with characteristic sprightliness : " Twenty-one mem- 
bers met joyfully, dined comfortably, challenged eagerly, 
tippled prettily, divided regretfully, and paid the bill most 
cheerfully." 

The foUowrng is the list of " Tostes,'' given at the first 
Dinner, in 181 2 : — 

Vs^t ®xii!X of ije %a%ivi. 

The Immortal Memory of John Duke of Roxburghe. 

Christopher Valdarfer, Printer of the Decameron of 1471. 

Gutemberg, Fust, and Schseffher, the Inventors of 

the Art of Printing. 

William Caxton, the Father of the British Press. 

Dame Juliana Barnes, and the St. Alban's Press. 

Wynkyn de Worde and Richard Pynson, the Illustrious 

Successors of William Caxton. 

The Aldine Family at Venice. 

The Giunta Family at Florence. 

The Society of the Bibliophiles at Paris. 

The Prosperity of the Roxburghe Club. 

The Cause of Bibliomania all over the World 

M 2 



1(54 CLUB LIFE OF LOAWON: 

To show that the pursuits of the Roxburghe Club have 
been estimated with a difference, we quote what may be 
termed " another side of the question ": — 

" Among other follies of the age of paper, which took place 
in England at the end of the reign of George III., a set of 
book-fanciers, who had more money than wit, formed them- 
selves into a club, and appropriately designated themselves 
the Bibliomaniacs. Dr. Dibden was their organ ; and 
among the club were several noblemen, who, in other 
respects, were esteemed men of sense. Their rage was, not 
to estimate books according to their intrinsic worth, but 
for their rarity. Hence, any volume of the vilest trash, 
which was scarce, merely because it never had any sale, 
fetched fifty or a hundred pounds ; but if it were but one of 
two or three known copies, no limits could be set to the 
price. Books altered in the title-page, or in a leaf, or any 
trivial circumstance which varied a few copies, were bought 
by these soi-disant maniacs, at one, two, or three hundred 
pounds, though the copies were not really worth more than 
threepence per pound. A trumpery edition of Boccaccio, 
said to be one of two known copies, was thus bought by a 
noble marquis for 1475/., though in two or three years after- 
wards he resold it for 500/. First editions of all authors, 
and editions by the first clumsy printers, were never sold 
for less than 50/., 100/., or 200/. 

" To keep each other in countenance, these persons 
formed themselves into a club, and, after a Duke, one of 
their fraternity, called themselves the Roxburghe Club. To 
gratify them, facsimile copies of clumsy editions of trumpery 
books were reprinted ; and, in some cases, it became worth 
the while of more ingenious persons to play off forgeries 
upon them. This mania after awhile abated ; and, in future 
ages, it will be ranked with the tuhp and the picture mania, 
during which estates were given for single flowers and 
pictures.'' 

The Roxburghe Club still exists; and, with the Dilet- 



THE SOCIE ry OF PAS T VERSEEKS. 1 65 

tanti Society, may justly be said to have suggested tlie 
Publishing Societies of the present day, at the head of which 
is the Camden. The late Duke of Devonshire was a mu- 
nificent member of the Roxburghe. 

The Society of Past Overseers, Westminster. 

There are several parochial Clubs in the metropolis ; but 
that of the important parish of St. Margaret's, Westminster, 
with " Past Overseers " for its members, has signalized 
itself by the accumulation and preservation of an unique 
heirloom, which is a very curious collection of memorials of 
the last century and a half, exhibiting various tastes and 
styles of art in their respective commemorations, in a sort 
of chronology in silver. 

Such is the St. Margaret's Overseer's Box, which origin- 
ated as follows. It appears that a Mr. Monck purchased, 
at Horn Fair, held at Charlton, Kent, a small tobacco-box 
for the sum of fourpence, from which he often replenished 
his neighbour's pipe, at the meetings of his predecessors and 
companions in the office of Overseers of the Poor, to whom 
the Box was presented in 17 13. In 1720, the Society of 
Past Overseers ornamented the lid with a silver rim, com- 
memorating the donor. In 1726, a silver side case and 
bottom were added. In 1740, an embossed border was 
placed upon the lid, and the under part enriched with an 
emblem of Charity. In 1 746, Hogarth engraved inside the 
lid a bust of the Duke of Cumberland, with allegorical 
figures, and scroll commemorating the Battle of Culloden. 
In 1765, an interwoven scroll was added to the lid, enclos- 
ing a plate with the arms of the City of Westminster, and 
inscribed : " This Box to be delivered to every succeeding 
set of Overseers, on penalty of five guineas." 

The original Horn box being thus ornamented, additional 
cases were provided by the Senior Overseers for the time 
being, — namely, silver plates engraved with emblematical 



155 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

and historical subjects and busts. Among the first are a 
View of the Fireworks in St. James's Park, to celebrate the 
Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, 1749; Admiral Keppel's Action 
off Ushant, and his acquittal after a court-martial ; the Battle 
of the Nile; the Repulse of Admiral Linois, 1804; the 
Battle of Trafalgar, 1805 ; the Action between the San 
Fiorenzo and La Pi6montaise, 1808; the Battle of Water- 
loo, 1815 ; the Bombardment of Algiers, 181 6; View of 
the House of Lords at the Trial of Queen Caroline ; the 
Coronation of George IV. ; and his Visit to Scotland, 1822. 
There are also — Portraits of John Wilkes, Churchwarden 
in 1759 ; Nelson, Duncan, Howe, Vincent; Fox and Pitt, 
1806; George IV. as Prince Regent, 181 1; the Princess 
Charlotte, 1817; and Queen Charlotte, 1818. But the 
more interesting representations are those of local circum- 
stances ; as the Interior of Westminster Hall, with the 
Westminster Volunteers, attending Divine Service at the 
drum-head on the Fast Day, 1803 ; the Old Sessions 
House ; a view of St. Margaret's, from the north-east ; and 
the West Front Tower, and altar-piece. In 1813, a large silver 
plate was added to the outer case, with a portrait of the 
Duke of Wellington, commemorating the centenary of the 
agglomeration of the Box. 

The top of the second case represents the Governors of 
the Poor, in their Board-room, and this inscription : " The 
original Box and cases to be given to every succeeding set 
of Overseers, on penalty of fifty guineas, 1783." On the 
outside of the first case is a clever engraving of a cripple. 

In 1785, Mr. Gilbert exhibited the Box to some friends 
after dinner : at night, thieves broke in, and carried off all 
the plate that had been in use; but the box had been 
removed beforehand to a bedchamber. 

In 1793, Mr. Read, a Past Overseer, detained the Box, 
because his accounts were not passed. An action was 
brought for its recovery, which was long delayed, owing to 
two members of the Society giving Read a release, which 



THE SOCIETY OP PAST OVERSEERS. 167 

he successfully pleaded in bar to the action. This rendered 
it necessary to take proceedings in equity : accordingly, a 
Bill was filed in Chancery against all three, and Read was 
compelled to deposit the box with Master Leeds until the 
end of the suit. Three years of litigation ensued. Eventu- 
ally the Chancellor directed the Box to be restored to the 
Overseers' Society, and Mr. Read paid in costs 300/. The 
extra costs amounted to 76/. 13^. i\d., owing to the illegal 
proceedings of Mr. Read. The sum of 91/. 7J. was at once 
raised; and the surplus spent upon a third case, of octagon 
shape. The top records the triumph : Justice trampling 
upon a prostrate man, from whose face a mask falls upon a 
writhing serpent. A second plate, on the outside of the fly- 
lid, represents the Lord Chancellor Loughborough, pro- 
nouncing his decree for the restoration of the Box, March 5, 
1796. 

On the fourth, or outer case, is the Anniversary Meeting 
of the Past Overseers' Society, with the Churchwardens 
giving the charge previous to delivering the Box to the suc- 
ceeding Overseer, who is bound to produce it at certain 
parochial entertainments, with three pipes of tobacco at the 
least, under the penalty of six bottles of claret ; and to 
return the whole, with some addition, safe and sound, under 
a penalty of 200 guineas. 

A tobacco-stopper of mother-of-pearl, with a silver chain, 
is enclosed within the Box, and completes this unique 
Memorial of the kindly feeling which perpetuates year by 
year the old ceremonies of this united parish ; and renders 
this traditionary piece of plate of great price, far outweighing 
its intrinsic value.* 



* " Westminster." By the Rev. Mackenzie S. C. Walcott, M.A., 
Curate of St. Margaret's, 1849, pp. 105-107. 



t6S 



The Robin Hood. 

In the reign of George the Second there met, at a house 
in Essex-street, in the Strand, the Robin Hood Society, a 
debating Club, at which, every Monday, questions were 
proposed, and any member might speak on them for seven 
minutes; after which the "baker," who presided with a 
hammer in his hand, summed up the arguments. Arthur 
Mainwaring and Dr. Hugh Chamberlain were among the 
earliest members of this Society. Horace Walpole notices 
the Robin Hood as one of the celebrities which Monsieur 
Beaumont saw in 1761 : " It is incredible," says Walpole, 
" what pains he has taken to see :" he breakfasted at Straw- 
berry Hill with Walpole, who was then "as much a curiosity 
to all foreigners as the tombs and lions." 

The Robin Hood became famous as the scene of Burke's 
earliest eloquence. To discipline themselves in pubUc 
speaking at its meetings was then the custom among law- 
students, and others intended for public life ; and it is said 
that at the Robin Hood, Burke had to encounter an oppo- 
nent whom nobody else could overcome, or at least silence : 
this person was the president. Oliver Goldsmith was intro- 
duced to the Club by Samuel Derrick, his acquaintance and 
countryman. Struck by the eloquence and imposing aspect of 
the president, who sat in a large gilt chair, Goldsmith thought 
Nature had meant him for a lord chancellor : " No, no," 
whispered Derrick, who knew him to be a wealthy baker 
from the city, "only for a master of the rolls." Goldsmith 
was little of an orator; but, till Derrick went away to 
succeed Beau Nash, at Bath, seems to have continued his 
visits, and even spoke occasionally ; for he figures in an 
account of the members published at about this time, as "a 
candid disputant, with a clear head and an honest heart, 
though coming but seldom to the society." 

One of the members of this Robin Hood was Peter 



THE BLUE-STOCKING CLUB. 169 

Annet, a man who, though ingenious and deserving in other 
respects, became unhappilly notorious by a kind of fanatic 
crusade against the Bible, for which (published weekly 
papers against the Book of Genesis,) he stood twice in one 
year in the pillory, and then underwent imprisonment in the 
King's Bench. To Annet's room in that prison went 
Goldsmith, taking with him Newbery, the publisher, to 
conclude the purchase of a Child's Grammar from the pri- 
soner, hoping so to relieve his distress ; but on the prudent 
publisher suggesting that no name should appear on the 
title-page, and Goldsmith agreeing that circumstances made 
this advisable, Annet accused them both of cowardice, and 
rejected their assistance with contempt.* 

The Blue-stocking Club. 

The earliest mention of a Blue-Stocking, or Bas Bleu, 
occurs in the Greek comedy, entitled the Banquet of Plu- 
tarch. The term as applied to a lady of high literary taste, 
has been traced by Mills, in his History of Chivalry, to the 
Society de la Calza, formed at Venice in 1400, " when, 
consistently with the singular custom of the Italians, of 
marking academies and other intellectual associations by 
some external sign of folly, the members, when they met in 
literary discussion, were distinguished by the colour of their 
stockings. The colours were sometimes fantastically 
blended ; and at other times one colour, particularly blue, 
prevailed." The Society de la Calza lasted till 1590, when 
the foppery of Italian literature took some other S3maboI. 
The rejected title then crossed the Alps, and found a con- 
genial soil in Parisian society, and particularly branded 
female pedantry. It then diverted from France to England, 
and for awhile marked the vanity of the small advances in 
literature in female coteries. 



* Forster's Life of Goldsmith, p. 253. 



£70 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

But the Bluestocking of the last century is of home- 
groAvth; for Boswell, in his Life of Johnson, date 1781, 
records : " About this time it was much the fashion for 
several ladies to have evening assemblies, where the fair sex 
might participate in conversation with literary and ingenious 
men, animated by a desire to please. One of the most 
eminent members of these societies, when they first com- 
menced, was Mr. Stillingfleet (grandson of the Bishop), 
whose dress was remarkably grave ; and in particular it was 
observed that he wore blue stockings. Such was the excel- 
lence of his conversation, that his absence was felt so great 
a loss that it used to be said, ' We can do nothing without 
the blue stockings ;' and thus by degrees the title was estab- 
lished. Miss Hannah More has admirably described a 
Blue-Stocking Club, in her Bas-Bleu, a poem in which many 
of the persons who were most conspicuous there are men- 
tioned. And Horace Walpole speaks of this production as 
" a charming poetic familiarity called ' the Blue-Stocking 
Club.' " 

The Club met at the house of Mrs. Montagu, at the north- 
west angle of Portman-square. Forbes, in his Life of Beattie, 
gives another account : " This Society consisted originally 
of Mrs. Montagu, Mrs. Vesey, Miss Boscawen, and Mrs. 
Carter, Lord Lyttelton, Mr. Pulteney, Horace Walpole, and 
Mr. Stillingfleet. To the latter gentleman, a man of great 
piety and worth, and author of some works in natural history, 
etc., this constellation of talents owed that whimsical ajjpel- 
lation of ' Bas-Bleu.' Mr. Stillingfleet being somewhat of 
an humourist in his habits and manners, and a little negli- 
gent in his dress, literally wore gi-ay stockings ; from which 
circumstance Admiral Boscawen used, by way of pileasantry, 
to call them " The Blue-Stocking Society,' as if to intimate 
that when these brilliant friends met, it was not for the pur- 
pose of forming a dressed assembly. A foreigner of distinc- 
tion hearing the expression, translated it literally, 'Bas- 
Bleu,' by which these meetings came to be afterwards dis- 



THE IVY-LANE CLUB. 171 

tinguished." Dr. Johnson sometimes joined the circle. 
The last of the Club was the lively Miss Monckton, after- 
wards Countess of Cork, " who used to have the finest bit of 
blue at the house of her mother, Lady Galway." Lady Cork 
died at upwards of ninety years of age, at her house in New 
Burlington-street, in 1840. 

The Ivy Lane Club. 

This was one of the creations of Dr. Johnson's clubbable 
nature, which served as recreation for this laborious worker. 
He was now " tugging at the oar " in Gough-square, Fleet- 
street. Boswell describes him as " engaged in a steady, 
continued course of occupation." " But his enlarged and 
lively mind could not be satisfied without more diversity of 
emplo}Tnent, and the pleasure of animated relaxation. He, 
therefore, not only exerted his talents in occasional compo- 
sition, very different from lexicography, but formed a Club 
in Ivy-lane, Paternoster-row, with a view to enjoy literary 
discussion, and amuse his evening hours. The members 
associated with him in this little Society were — his beloved 
friend, Dr. Richard Bathurst ; Mr. Hawkesworth, afterwards 
well known by his writings ; Mr. John Hawkins, an attor- 
ney ; and a few others of different professions." The Club 
met every Tuesday evening at the King's Head, a beef-steak 
house in Ivy-lane. One of the members, Hawkins, then Sir 
John, has given a very lively picture of a celebration by this 
Club, at the Devil Tavern, in Fleet-street, which forms one 
of the pleasantest pages in the Author's Life of Johnson. 
Sir John tells us : 

" One evening at the [Ivy-lane] Club, Dr. Johnson pro- 
proposed to us celebrating the birth of Mrs. Lennox's first 
literary child, as he called her book, by a whole night spent 
in festivity. The place appointed was the Devil Tavern ; 
and there, about the hour of eight, Mrs. Lennox, and her 
husband, and a lady of her acquaintance now living [1785], 



172 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

as also the Club and friends, to the number of nearly twenty, 
assembled. Our supper was elegant, and Johnson had 
directed that a magnificent hot apple-pye should make a 
part of it, and this he would have stuck with bay-leaves, 
because, forsooth, Mrs. Lennox was an authoress, and had 
written verses ; and further, he had prepared for her a 
crown of laurel, with which, but not until he had invoked 
the Muses by some ceremonies of his own invention, he 
encircled her brows. The night passed, as must be ima- 
gined, in pleasant conversation and harmless mirth, inter- 
mingled, at different periods, with the refreshments of coffee 
and tea. About five, Johnson's face shone with meridian 
splendour, though his drink had been only lemonade ; but 
the far greater part of us had deserted the colours of 
Bacchus, and were with difficulty rallied to partake of a 
second refreshment of coffee, which was scarcely ended 
when the day began to dawn. This phenomenon began to 
put us in mind of our reckoning ; but the waiters were all 
so overcome with sleep, that it was two hours before we 
could get a bill, and it was not till near eight that the 
creaking of the street-door gave the signal for our depar- 
ture." 

When Johnson, the year before his death, endeavoured to 
re-assemble as many of the Club as were left, he found, to his 
regret, he wrote to Hawkins, that Horseman, the landlord, 
was dead, and the house shut up. 

About this time Johnson instituted a Club at the Queen's 
Arms, in St. Paul's Churchyard. " He told Mr. Hook," 
says Boswell, " that he wished to have a City Club, and 
asked him to collect one ; but," said he, " don't let them be 
patriots." (" Boswell's Life," 8th edit. vol. iv. p. 93.) This 
was an allusion to the friends of his acquaintance Wilkes, 
oswell accompanied him one day to the Club, and found 
the members '•' very sensible, well-behaved men." 



173 



The Essex Head Club. 

In the year before he died, at the Essex Head, now 
No. 40, in Essex-street, Strand, Dr. Johnson established a 
little evening Club, under circumstances peculiarly interesting 
as described by Boswell. He tells us that, " notwithstanding 
the complication of disorders under which Johnson now 
laboured, he did not resign himself to despondency and 
discontent, but with wisdom and spirit endeavoured to 
console and amuse his mind with as many innocent enjoy- 
ments as he could procure. Sir John Hawkins has men- 
tioned the cordiality with which he insisted that such of the 
members of the old Club in Ivy-lane as survived, should 
meet again and dine together, which they did, twice at a 
tavern, and once at his house ; and, in order to ensure him- 
self in the evening for three days in the week, Johnson 
instituted a Club at the Essex Head, in Essex-street, then 
kept by Samuel Greaves, an old servant of Mr. Thrale's : it 
was called " Sam's." 

On Dec. 4, 1783, Johnson wrote to Sir Joshua Reynolds, 
giving an account of this Club, of which Reynolds had 
desired to be one ; " the company," Dr. J. says, " is nume- 
rous, and, as you will see by the list, miscellaneous. The 
terms are lax, and the expenses hght. Mr. Barry was 
adopted by Dr. Brocklesby, who joined with me in forming 
the plan. We meet twice a week, and he who misses 
forfeits twopence." It did not suit Sir Joshua to be one of 
this Club ; " but," says Boswell, " when I mention only Mr. 
Daines Barrington, Dr. Brocklesby, Mr. Murphy, Mr. John 
Nichols, Mr. Cooke, Mr. Joddrel, Mr. Paradise, Dr. 
Horsley, Mr. Windham, I shall sufficiently obviate the 
misrepresentation of it by Sir John Hawkins, as if it had 
been a low ale-house association, by which Johnson was 
degraded. The doctor himself, like his namesake. Old Ben, 
composed the Rules of his Club. Boswell was, at this 



174 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

time, in Scotland, and during all the winter. Johnson, 
however, declared that he should be a member, and invented 
a word upon the occasion : " Boswell," said he, " is a very 
clubbable man ;" and he was subsequently chosen of the 
Club. 
Johnson headed the Rules with these lines ; — 

To-day deep thoughts with me resolve to drench 
In mirth, which after no repenting draws. — Milton, 

Johnson's attention to the Club was unceasing, as appears 
by a letter to Alderman Clark, (afterwards Lord Mayor and 
Chamberlain,) who was elected into the Club : the post- 
script is : " You ought to be informed that the forfeits began 
with the year, and that every night of non-attendance incurs 
the mulct of threepence; that is, ninepence a week." 
Johnson himself was so anxious in his attendance, that 
going to meet the Club when he was not strong enough, he 
was seized with a spasmodic asthma, so violent, that he 
could scarcely return home, and he was confined to his 
house eight or nine weeks. He recovered by May 15, 
when he was in fine spirits at the Club. 

Boswell writes of the Essex : " I believe there are few 
Societies where there is better conversation, or more de- 
corum. Several of us resolved to continue it after our great 
founder was removed by death. Other members were 
added ; and now, above eight years since that loss, v/e go 
on happily." 

The Literary Club. 

Out of the casual, but fi'equent meetings of men of talent 
at the hospitable board of Sir Joshua Reynolds, in Leicester- 
square, rose that association of wits, authors, scholars, and 
statesmen, renowned as the Literary Club. Reynolds was 
the first to propose a regular association of the kind, andwa,s 
eagerly seconded by Johnson, who suggested as a model the 
Club which he had formed some fourteen years previously, 



THE LITERARY CLUB. ,-75 

in Ivy-lane j* and which the deaths or dispersion of its 
members had now interrupted for nearly seven years. On 
this suggestion being adopted, the members, as in the earlier 
Club, were limited to nine, and Mr. Hawkins, as an original 
member of the Ivy-lane Club, was invited to join. Topham 
Beauclerk and Bennet Langton were asked and welcomed 
earnestly ; and, of course, Mr. Edmund Burke. The notion 
of the Club delighted Burke ; and he asked admission for 
his father-in-law, Dr. Nugent, an accomplished Roman 
Catholic physician, who lived with him. Beauclerk, in like 
manner, suggested his friend Chamier, then Under-Secretary- 
at-War. Oliver Goldsmith completed the number. But 
another member of the original Ivy-lane, Samuel Dyer, 
making unexpected appearance from abroad, in the follow- 
ing year, was joyfully admitted; and though it was resolved 
to make election difficult, and only for special reasons 
permit addition to their number, the limitation at first 
proposed was thus, of course, done away with. Twenty was 
the highest number reached in the course of ten years. 

The dates of the Club are thus summarily given by Mr. 
Hatchett, the treasurer: — It was founded in 1764, by Sir 
Joshua Reynolds.and Dr. Samuel Johnson, and for some years 
met on Monday evenings, at seven. In 1772, the day of 
meeting was changed to Friday, and about that time, instead 
of supping, they agreed to dine together once in every 
fortnight during the sitting of Parliament. In 1773, the 
Club, which soon after its foundation consisted of twelve 
members, was enlarged to twenty; March ti, 1777, to 
twenty-six; November 27, 1778, to thirty; May 9, 1780, to 
thirty-five ; and it was then resolved that it should never 
exceed forty.: It met originally at the Turk's Head, in 
Gerard-street, and continued to meet there till 1783, when 



* The house in Ivy-lane, which bore the name of Johnson, and where 
Ih?. Literary Chib is said to have been held, was burnt down a few years 
since : it had long been a chop-house. 



176 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

their landlord died, and the house was soon afterwards shut 
up. They then removed to Prince's in Saville-street ; and 
on his house being, soon afterwards, shut up, they removed 
to Baxter's, which afterwards became Thomas's, in Dover- 
street. In January, 1792, they removed to Parsloe's, in 
St. James's-street ; and on February 26, 1799, to the 
Thatched House, in the same Street. 

"So originated and was formed," says Mr. Forster, " that 
famous Club, which had made itself a name in literary 
history long before it received, at Garrick's funeral, the 
name of the Literary Club, by which it is now known. Its 
meetings were noised abroad ; the fame of its conversations 
received eager addition, from the difficulty of obtaining 
admission to it ; and it came to be as generally understood 
that Literature had fixed her head-quarters here, as that 
Politics reigned supreme at Wildman's, or the Cocoa-tree. 
With advantage, let me add, to the dignity and worldly 
consideration of men of letters themselves. ' I believe Mr. 
Fox will allow me to say,' remarked the Bishop of St. Asaph, 
when the Society was not more than fifteen years old, ' that 
the honour of being elected into the Turk's Head Club, is 
not inferior to that of being the representative of West- 
minster or Surrey.' The Bishop had just been elected ; but 
into such lusty independence had the Club sprung up thus 
early, that Bishops, even Lord Chancellors, were known to 
have knocked for admission unsuccessfully; and on the 
night of St. Asaph's election, Lord Camden and the Bishop 
of Chester were black-balled." 

Of this Club, Hawkins was a most unpopular member : 
even his old friend, Johnson, admitted him to be out of place 
here. He had objected to Goldsmith, at the Club, " as a 
mere literary drudge, equal to the task of compiling and 
translating, but little capable of original, and still less of 
poetical composition." Hawkins's " existence was a kind of 
pompous, parsimonious, insignificant drawl, cleverly ridiculed 
by one of the wits in an absurd epitaph: 'Here lies Sir Jonn 




The Trumpet, Shire Lane, Temple Bar. 
[Receiving Hoiiseof" The Taikr.") 




The Cock, Tothill Street, Westminster. 
[Dating from ffeniy Vf.) 



THE LITERARY CLUB. 177 

Hawkins, without his shoes and stauckin?.' " He was as 
mean as he was pompous and conceited. He forbore to 
partake of the suppers at the Club, and begged therefore to 
be excused from paying his share of the reckoning. " And 
was he excused?" asked Dr. Burney, of Johnson. "Oh yes, 
for no man is angry at another for being inferior to himself. 
We all scorned him, and admitted his plea. Yet I really 
believe him to be an honest man at bottom, though, to be 
sure, he is penurious and he is mean, and it must be owned 
that he has a tendency to savageness." He did not remain 
above two or three years in the Club, being in a manner 
elbowed out in consequence of his rudeness to Burke. Still, 
Burke's vehemence of will and sharp impetuosity of temper 
constantly exposed him to prejudice and dislike ; and he 
may have painfully impressed others, as well as Hawkins, at 
the Club, with a sense of his predominance. This was the 
only theatre open to him. " Here only," says Mr. Forster, 
" could he as yet pour forth, to an audience worth exciting, 
the stores of argument and eloquence he was thirsting to 
employ upon a wider stage ; the variety of knowledge, the 
fund of astonishing imagery, the ease of philosophic illustra- 
tion, the overpowering copiousness of words, in which he 
has never had a rival." Miss Hawkins was convinced that 
her father was disgusted with the overpowering deportment 
of Mr. Burke, and his monopoly of the conversation, which 
made all the other members, excepting his antagonist, John- 
son, merely listeners. Something of the same sort is said by 
that antagonist, though in a more generous way. " What I 
most envy Burke for," said Johnson, "is, that he is never what 
we call humdrum ; never unwilling to begin to talk, nor in 
haste to leave off. Take up whatever topic you please, he 
is ready to meet you. I cannot say he is good at listening. 
So desirous is he to talk, that if one is speaking at this end 
of the table, he'll speak to somebody at the other end." 

The Club was an opportunity for both Johnson and Burke ; 
and for the most part their wit-combats seeih not only to 

N 



178 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

have instracted the rest, but to have improved the temper of 
the combataxits, and to have made them more generous to 
each other. " How very great Johnson has been to-night !" 
said Burke to Bennet Langton, as they left the Club together. 
Langton assented, but could have wished to hear more from 
another person. " Oh no !" replied Burke, " it is enough for 
me to have rung the bell to him.'' 

One evening he observed that a hogshead of claret, which 
had been sent as a present to the Club, was almost out; and 
proposed that Johnson should write for another, in such am- 
biguity of expression as might have a chance of procuring it 
also as a gift. One of the company said, " Dr. Johnson 
shall be our dictator." — "Were I," said Johnson, "your 
dictator, you should have no wine : it would be my business 
cavere ne quid detrimenti respublica caperet : — wine is dan- 
gerous ; Rome was ruined by luxury." Burke replied : " If 
you allow no wine as dictator, you shall not have me for 
master of the horse.'' 

Goldsmith, it must be owned, joined the Club somewhat 
unwillingly, saying : " One must make some sacrifices to ob- 
tain good society ; for here I am shut out of several places 
where I used to play the fool very agreeably." His simplicity 
of character and hurried expression often led him into ab- 
surdity, and he became in some degree the butt of the com- 
pany. The Club, notwithstanding all its learned dignity in 
the eyes of the world, could occasionally unbend and play 
the fool as well as less important bodies. Some of its j,ocose 
conyersadons have at times leaked out; and the Society in 
which Goldsiriith could venture to sing his song of "An Old 
Woman 1^o,sse.d in a Blanket " could not be so very staid in 
its gravity. Benn6t Langton and Topham Beauclerk were 
doubtless induced to join the Clu]3^through their devotion 
to Johnson, and the intimacy of these two ' very young and 
aristocratic young men with the stern and somewhat meilan- 
choly moralist. Bennet Langton, was of an ancient family, 
who held their ancestral estate of Langton in Lincolnshire, a 



THE LITERARY CLUB. 179 

great title to respect with Johnson. "Langton, Sir," he 
would say, "has a grant of free warren from Henry the 
Second; and Cardinal Stephen Langton, in King John's 
reign, was of this family." 

Langton was of a mild, contemplative, enthusiastic nature. 
When but eighteen years of age, he was so delighted with 
reading Johnson's Rambler, that he came to London chiefly 
with a view to obtain an introduction to the author. 

Langton went to pursue his studies at Trinity College, 
Oxford, where Johnson saw much of him during a visi. 
which he paid to the University. He found him in close 
intimacy with Topham Beauclerk, a youth two years older 
than himself, very gay and dissipated, and wondered what 
sympathies could draw two young men together of such 
opposite characters. On becoming acquainted with Beau- 
clerk, he found that, rake though he was, he possessed an 
ardent love of literature, an acute understanding, polished 
wit, innate gentility, and high aristocratic breeding. He was, 
moreover, the only son of Lord-Sidney Beauclerk, and grand- 
son of the Diike of St. Albans, and was thought, in some 
particulars, to have a resemblance to Charles the Second. 
These were high recommendations with Johnson ; and when 
the youth testified a profound respect for him, and an ardent 
admiration of 'his talents, the conquest was- Complete ; so 
that in a "short time," says Boswell, "the moral, pious 
Johnson and the gay dissipated Beauclerk were companions.'' 

When these two young men entered the Club, Langton 
was about twenty-two, and Beauclerk about twenty-four years 
of age, and both were launched on London life. Langton, 
however, was still the mild, enthusiastic scholar, steeped to 
the lips in Greek, with fine conversational powers, and an 
invaluable talent for listening. He was upwards of six feet 
high, and very spare. " Oh that we could sketch him !" ex^ 
claims Miss Hawkins, in her Memoirs, "with his mild 
countenance, his. elegant features, and his sweet smile, 
sitting with one leg twisted round the other, as if fearing to 

N 2 



l8o CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

occupy more space than was equitable ; his person inclining 
forward, as if wanting strength to support his weight ; and 
his arms crossed over his bosom, or his hands locked to- 
gether on his knee." Beauclerk, on such occasions, 
sportively compared him to a stork in Raphael's cartoons, 
standing on one leg. Beauclerk was more a " man upon 
town," a lounger in St. James's-street, an associate with 
George Selwyn, with Walpole, and other aristocratic wits, a 
man of fashion at court, a casual frequenter of the gaming- 
table ; yet, with all this, he alternated in the easiest and 
happiest manner the scholar and the man of letters ; lounged 
into the Club with the most perfect self-possession, bringing 
with him the careless grace and pohshed wit of high-bred 
society, but making himself cordially at home among his 
learned fellow-members. 

Johnson was exceedingly chary at first of the exclusive- 
ness of the Club, and opposed to its being augmented in 
number. Not long after its institution. Sir Joshua Reynolds 
was speaking of it to Garrick. " I like it much," said little 
David, briskly, "I think I shall be of you." "When Sir 
Joshua mentioned this to Dr. Johnson,'' says Boswell, "he 
was much displeased with the actor's conceit. ' Hill be of 
us !' growled he ; ' how does he know we will permit him ? 
The first duke in England has no right to hold such lan- 
guage.'" 

When Sir John Hawkins spoke favourably of Gamck's 
pretensions, " Sir,'' replied Johnson, " he will disturb us by 
his buffoonery." In the same spirit he declared to Mr. 
Thrale, that if Garrick should apply for admission, he would 
black-ball him. "Who, Sir?" exclaimed Thrale, with sur- 
prise : " Mr. Garrick — ^your friend, your companion — black- 
ball him ?" " Why, Sir," replied Johnson, " I love my Uttle 
David dearly — better than all or any of his flatterers do ; 
Dut surely one ought to sit in a society like ours, 

Unelbowed by a gamester, pimp, or player. 



THE LITERARY CLUB. iSl 

The exclusion from the Club was a sore mortification to 
Garrick, though he bore it without complaining. He could 
not help continually asking questions about it — what was 
going on there ? — whether he was ever the subject of con- 
versation? By degrees the rigour of the Club relaxed, 
some of the members grew negligent. Beauclerk lost his 
right of membership by neglecting to attend. On his mar- 
riage, however, with Lady Diana Spencer, daughter of the 
Duke of Marlborough, and recently divorced from Viscount 
Bolingbroke, he had claimed and regained his seat in the 
Club. The number of the members had likewise been 
augmented. The proposition to increase it originated with 
Goldsmith. " It would give," he thought, "an agreeable 
variety to their meetings ; for there can be nothing new 
amongst us," said he ; "we have travelled over each other's 
minds." Johnson was piqued at the suggestion. "Sir," 
said he, " you have not travelled over my mind, I promise 
you." Sir Joshua, less confident in the exhaustless fecundity 
of his mind, felt and acknowledged the force of Goldsmith's 
suggestion. Several new members, therefore, had been 
added ; the first, to his great joy, was David Garrick. 
Goldsmith, who was now on cordial terms with him, had 
zealously promoted his election, and Johnson had given it 
his warm approbation. Another new member was Beauclerk's 
friend, Lord Charlemont ; and a still more important one 
was Mr., afterwards Sir William Jones, the linguist. George 
Colman, the elder, was a lively Club-man. One evening at 
the Club he met Boswell ; they talked of Johnson's y^z^^wf)' 
to the Western Islands, and of his coming away "willing to 
believe the second sight," which seemed to excite some 
ridicule. " I was then," says Boswell, " so impressed with 
the truth of many of the stories which I had been told, that 
I avowed my conviction, saying, " He is only willing to be- 
lieve — I do believe ; the evidence is enough for me, though 
not for his great mind. What will not fill a quart bottle will 



i82 CLUB LIFE OF LONDOM. 

fill a pint bottle ; I am filled with belief." — " Are you?" said 
Colman ; " then cork it up." 

Five years after the death of Garrick, Dr. Johnson dined 
with the Club for the last time. This is one of the most 
melancholy entries by Boswell. . "On Tuesday, June 22 
(1784), I dined with him (Johnson) at the Literary Club, 
the last time of his being in that respectable society. The 
other members present were the Bishop of St. Asaph, Lord 
Eliot, Lord Palmerston (father of the Premier), Dr. Fordyce, 
and Mr. Malone. He looked ill ; but he had such a manly 
fortitude, that he did not trouble the company with melan- 
choly complaints. They all showed evident marks of kind 
concern about him, with which he was much pleased, and he 
exerted himself to be as entertaining as his indisposition 
allowed him." 

From the time of Garrick's death the Club was known as 
" The Literary Club," since which it has certainly lost its 
claim to this epithet. It was originally a club of authors by 
profession; it now numbers very few except titled members 
(the majority having some claims to literary distinction), 
which was very far from the intention of its founders. To 
this the author of the paper in the National Review demurs. 
Writing in 1857, he says : " Perhaps it now numbers on its 
list more titled members and fewer authors by profession, 
than its founders would have considered desirable. This 
opinion, however, is quite open to challenge. Such men as 
the Marquis of Lansdowne, the late Lord Ellesmere, Lords 
Brougham, CarHsle, Aberdeen, and Glenelg, hold their place 
in ' the Literary Club ' quite as much by virtue of their con- 
tributions to literature, or their enlightened support of it, as 
by their right of rank." [How many of these noble members 
have since paid the debt of natiire !] 

" At all events," says Mr. Taylor, " the Club still acknow- 
ledges literature as its foundation, and love of literature 
as the tie which binds together its members, whatever their 
rank and callings. Few Clubs can show such a distinguished 



THE LITERARY CLUB. 183 

brotherhood of members as 'the Literary.' Of authors 
proper, from 1764 to this date (1857), may be enumerated, 
besides its original members, Johnson and Goldsmith, Dyer, 
and Percy, Gibbon and Sir William Jones, Colman, the two 
Wartons, Parmer, Steevens, Burney, and Malone, Frere and 
George Ellis, Hallam, Milman, Mountstuart Elphinstone, 
and Lord Stanhope. 

"Among men equally conspicuous in letters and the 
Senate, what names outshine those of Burke and Sheridan, 
Canning, Brougham, and Macaulay ? Of statesmen and 
orators proper, the Club claims Fox, Windham, Thomas 
Grenville, Lord Liverpool; Lords Lansdowne, Aberdeen, and 
Clarendon. Natural science is represented by Sir Joseph 
Banks, in the last century ; by Professor Owen in this. Social 
science can have no nobler representative than Adam Smith ; 
albeit, Boswell did think the Club had lost caste by electing 
him. Mr. N. W. Senior is the political economist of the 
present Club. Whewell must stand alone as the embodi- 
ment of omniscience, which before him was unrepresented. 
Scholars and soldiers may be equally proud of Rennel, Leake, 
and Mure. Besides the clergymen already enumerated" 
as authors, the Church has contributed a creditable list of 
bishops and inferior dignitaries : Shipley of St. Asaph, 
Barnard of Killaloe, Marley of Pomfret, HinchclifFe of 
Peterborough, Douglas of Salisbury, Blomfield of London, 
Wilberforce of Oxford, Dean Vincent of Westminster, Arch- 
deacon Burney ; and Dr. Hawtrey, late master and present 
provost of Eton. 

" Sir Joshua Reynolds and Sir Charles Eastlake are its 
two chief pillars of art, slightly unequal. With them we may 
associate Sir 'William Chambers and Charles Wilkins. The 
presence of Drs. Nugent, Blagden, Fordyce, Warren, 
Vaughan, and Sir Henrj' Halford, is a proof that in the 
Club medicine has from the first kept up its kinship with 
literature. 

" The profession of the Lrav has given the Society Lord 



i84 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Ashburton, Lord Stowell, and Sir William Grant, Charles 
Austin, and Pemberton Leigh. Lord Overstone may stand 
as the symbol of money; unless Sir George Cornewall 
Lewis is to be admitted to that honour by virtue of his 
Chancellorship of the Exchequer. Sir George would, 
probably, prefer his claims to Club membership as a 
scholar and political writer, to any that can be picked out 
of a Budget. 

" Take it all in all, the Literary Club has never degene- 
rated from the high standard of intellectual gifts and personal 
qualities which made those unpretending suppers at the 
Turk's Head an honour eagerly contended for by the wisest, 
wittiest, and noblest of the eighteenth century." 

Malone, in 1810, gave the total number of those who had 
been members of the Club from its foundation, at seventy- 
six, of whom fifty-five had been authors. Since 1810, how- 
ever, literature has far less preponderance. 

The designation of the Society has been again changed to 
"the Johnson Club." Upon the taking down of the 
Thatched House Tavern, the Club removed to the 
Clarendon Hotel, in Bond-street, where was celebrated its 
centenary, in September, 1864. There were present, upon 
this memorable occasion, — in the chair, tlie Dean of St. 
Paul's ; his Excellency M. Van de Weyer, Earls Clarendon 
and Stanhope ; the Bishops of London and Oxford ; Lords 
Brougham, Stanley, Cranworth, Kingsdown, and Harry 
Vane ; the Right Hon. Sir Edmund Head, Spencer 
Walpole, and Robert Lowe; Sir Henry Holland, Sir C. 
Eastlake, Sir Roderick Murchison, Vice-Chancellor Sir W. 
Page Wood, the Master of Trinity, Professor Owen, Mr. G. 
Grote, Mr. C. Austen, Mr. H. Reeve, and Mr. G. Richmond. 
Among the few members prevented from attending were the 
Duke of Argyll (in Scotland), the Earl of Carhsle (in 
Ireland), Earl Russell, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, 
Lord Overstone (at Oxford), Lord Glenelg (abroad), and 
Mr. W. Stirling (from indisposition). Mr. N. W. Senior, 



THE LITERARY CLUB. 1S5 

who was the pohtical economist of the Club, died in 
June, preceding, in his sixty-fourth year. 

Hallam and Macaulay were among the constant atten- 
dants at its dinners, which take place twice a month during 
the Parliamentary season. The custody of the books and 
archives of the Club rested with the secretary, Dr. Milman, 
the Venerable Dean of St. Paul's, who took great pride and 
pleasure in showing to literary friends the valuable collection 
of autographs which these books contain. Among the 
memorials is the portrait of Sir Joshua Reynolds, with 
spectacles on, similar to the picture in the Royal Collection : 
this portrait was painted and presented by Sir Joshua, as 
the founder of the Club. 

Lord Macaulay has grouped, with his accustomed felicity 
of language, this celebrated congress of men of letters. 

" To discuss questions of taste, of learning, of casuistry, 
in language so exact and so forcible that it might have been 
printed without the alteration of a word, was to Johnson no 
exertion, but a pleasure. He loved, as he said, to fold his 
legs and have his talk out. He was ready to bestow the 
overflowings of his full mind on anybody who would start a 
subject, on a fellow-passenger in a stage-coach, or on the 
person who sat at the same table with him in an eating- 
house. But his conversation was nowhere so brilliant and 
striking as when he was surrounded by a few friends, whose 
abilities and knowledge enabled them, as he once expressed 
it, to send him back every ball that he threw. Some of 
these, in 1764, formed themselves into a Club, which 
gradually became a formidable power in the commonwealth 
of letters. The verdicts pronounced by this conclave on 
new books were speedily known over all London, and were 
sufficient to sell off a whole edition in a day, or to condemn 
the sheets to the service of the trunk-maker and the pastry- 
cook. Nor shall we think this strange when we consider 
what great and various talents and acquirements met in the 
little fraternity. Goldsmith was the representative of poetry 



1 86 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

and light literature, Reynolds of the Arts, Burke of political 
eloquence and political philosophy. There, too, were 
Gibbon, the greatest historian, and Jones, the greatest 
linguist of the age. Garrick brought to the meetings his 
inexhaustible pleasantry, his incomparable mimicry, and his 
consummate knowledge of stage effect. Among the most 
constant attendants were two high-born and high-bred 
gentlemen, closely bound together by friendship, but of 
widely different characters and habits, — Bennet Langton, 
distinguished by his skill in Greek literature, by the ortho- 
doxy of his opinions, and by the sanctity of his life ; and 
Topham Beauclerk, renowned for his amours, his knowledge 
of the gay world, his fastidious taste, and his sarcastic wit. 
To predominate over such a society was not easy. Yet 
even over such a society Johnson predominated. Burke 
might indeed have disputed the supremacy to which others 
were under the necessity of submitting. But Burke, though 
not generally a very patient listener, was content to take the 
second part when Johnson was present; and the Club 
itself, consisting of so many eminent men, is to this day 
popularly designated as Johnson's Club." 

To the same master-hand we owe this cabinet picture. 
" The [Literary Club] room is before us, and the table on 
which stand the omelet for Nugent, and the lemons for 
Johnson. There are assembled those heads which live for 
ever on the canvas of Reynolds. There are the spectacles 
of Burke, and the tall thin form of Langton ; the courtly 
sneer of Beauclerk, the beaming smile of Garrick, Gibbon 
tapping his snufif-box, and Sir Joshua with his trumpet in 
his ear. In the foreground is that strange figure which is as 
familiar to us as the figures of those among whom we have 
been brought up — the gigantic body, the huge massy face, 
seamed with the scars of disease ; the brown coat, the black 
worsted stockings, the grey wig with the scorched foretop ; 
the dirty hands, the nails bitten and pared to the quick. We 
see the eyes and the nose moving with convulsive twitches ; 



GOLDSMITH'S CLUBS. 187 

we see the heavy form rolling ; we hear it puffing ; and then 
comes the 'Why, Sir?' and the 'What then, Sir?' and the 
' No, Sir ! ' and the ' You don't see your way through the 
question, Sir ! '" 

Goldsmith's Clubs. 

However Goldsmith might court the learned circle of the 
Literary Club, he was ill at ease there : and he had social 
resorts in which he indemnified himself for this restraint by 
indulging his humour without control. One of these was a 
Shilling Whist Club, which met at the Devil Tavern. The 
company delighted in practical jokes, of which Goldsmith 
was often the butt. One night he came to the Club in a 
hackney-coach, when he gave the driver a guinea instead of 
a shilling. He set this down as a dead loss ; but on the 
next club-night he was told that a person at the street-door 
wanted to speak to him ; he went out, and to his surprise 
and delight, the coachman had brought him back the guinea ! 
To reward such honesty, he collected a small sum from the 
Club, and largely increased it from his own purse, and with 
this reward sent away the coachman. He was still loud in 
his praise, when one of the Club asked to see the returned 
guinea. To Goldsmith's confusion it proved to be a 
counterfeit : the laughter which succeeded showed him that 
the whole was a hoax, and the pretended coachman as much 
a counterfeit as the guinea. He was so disconcerted that 
he soon beat a retreat for the evening. 

Another of these small Clubs met on Wednesday evening, 
at the Globe Tavern, in Fleet-street; where songs, jokes, 
dramatic imitations, burlesque parodies, and broad sallies of 
humour, were the entertainments. Here a huge ton of a 
man, named Gordon, used to delight Goldsihith with singing 
the jovial song of " Nottingham Ale," and looking like a 
butt of it. Here, too, a wealthy pig-butcher aspired to be 
on the most sociable terms with Oliver ; and here was Tom 
King, the comedian, recently risen to eminence by his per- 



i88 CLLB LIFE OF LONDON. 

formance of Lord Ogleby, in the new comedy of The Clan- 
destine Marriage. A member of note was also one Hugh 
Kelly, who was a kind of competitor of Goldsmith, but a 
low one ; for Johnson used to speak of him as a man who 
had written more than he had read. Another noted fre- 
quenter of the Globe and Devil taverns was one Glover, 
who, having failed in the medical profession, took to the 
stage; but having succeeded in restoring to hfe a malefactor 
who had just been executed, he abandoned the stage, and 
resumed his wig and cane, and came to London to dabble 
in physic and literature. He used to amuse the company 
at the Club by his story-telling and mimicry, giving capital 
imitations of Garrick, Foote, Colman, Sterne, and others. 
It was through Goldsmith that Glover was admitted to the 
Wednesday Club ; he was, however, greatly shocked by the 
free-and-easy tone in which Goldsmith was addressed by the 
pig-butcher ; " Come, Noll," he would say as he pledged 
him, " here's my service to you, old boy." 

The evening's amusement at the Wednesday Club was 
not, however, limited; it had the variety of epigram, and 
here was first heard the celebrated epitaph (Goldsmith had 
been reading Pope and Swift's Miscellanies^ on Edward 
Purdon : — 

Here lies poor Ned Purdon, from misery freed, 

Who long was a bookseller's hack ; 
He bad led such a damnable life in this world, 

I don't think he'll wish to come back. 

It was in April of the present year that Purdon closed his 
luckless life by suddenly dropping down dead in Smithfield ; 
and as it was chiefly Goldsmith's pittance that had saved 
him thus long from starvation, it was well that the same 
friend should give him his solitary chance of escape from 
oblivion. " Doctor Goldsmith made this epitaph," says 
William Ballantyne, " in his way from his chambers in the 
Temple to the Wednesday evening Club at the Globe. / 
think he will never come back, I believe he said ; I was 



THE DILETTANTI SOCIETY. 189 

sitting by him, and he repeated it more than once. / think 
he will never come back ! Ah ! and not altogether as a jest, it 
may be, the second and the third time. There was some- 
thing in Purdon's fate, from their first meeting in college to 
that incident in Smithfield, which had no very violent con- 
trast to his own ; and remembering what Glover had said of 
his frequent sudden descents from mirth to melancholy, 
some such faithful change of temper would here have been 
natural enough. ' His disappointments at these times,' 
Glover tells us, ' made him peevish and sullen, and he has 
often left his party of convivial friends abruptly in the even- 
ing, in order to go home and brood over his misfortunes.' 
But a better medicine for his grief than brooding over it, 
was a sudden start into the country to forget it ; and it was 
probably with a feeling of this kind he had in the summer 
revisited Islington ; he laboured during the autumn in a 
room of Canonbury Tower; and often, in the evening, 
presided at the Crown tavern, in Islington Lower-road, 
where Goldsmith and his fellow-lodgers had formed a kind 
of temporary club. At the close of the year he returned to 
the Temple, and was again pretty constant in his attendance 
at Gerard-street." * 

The Dilettanti Society. 

The origin of this Society, which has now existed some 
130 years, is due to certain gentlemen, who had travelled 
much in Italy, and were desirous of encouraging at home a 
taste for those objects which had contributed so much to 
their intellectual gratification abroad. Accordingly, In the 
year 1734, they formed themselves into a Society, under the 
name of Dilettanti (literally, lovers of the Fine Arts), and 
agreed upon certain Regulations to keep up the spirit of 



• See Forster's Life of Goldsmith, pp. 422-424. 



igo CLUB LIFE OF LOyDON. 

their scheme, which combined friendly and social inter- 
course, with a serious and ardent desire to promote the 
Arts. In 1751, Mr. James Stuart, "Athenian Stuart," and 
Mr. Nicholas Revett, were elected members. The Society 
liberally assisted them in their excellent work, " The Anti- 
quities of Athens.'' In , fact it was, in great measure, owing 
to this Society that after the death of the above two eminent 
architects, the work was not entirely relinquished; and a 
large number of the plates were engraved from drawings in 
the possession of the Dilettanti. Walpole, speaking in 1743, 
of the Society, in connexion with an opera subscription, 
says, " The nominal qualification [to be a member] is having 
been in Italy, and the real one, being drunk ; the two chiefs 
are Lord Middlesex and Sir Francis Dashwood, who were 
seldom sober the whole time they were in Italy." We need 
scarcely add, that the qualifications for election are no longer 
what Walpole described them to have been. 

In 1764, the Society, being possessed of a considerable 
sum above what their services required, various schemes 
were proposed for applying part of this, money ; and it was 
at length resolved " that a person or persons properly quali- 
fied, should be sent, with sufficient appointments, to certain 
parts of the East, to collect information relative to the 
former state of those countries, and particularly to procure 
exact descriptions of the ruins of such monuments of 
antiquity as are yet to be seen in those parts." 

Three persons were elected for this undertaking, Mr. 
Chandler, of Magdalen College, Oxford, editor of the Mar- 
tnofa Oxoniensia, was appointed to execute the classical part 
of the plan. Architecture was assigned to Mr. Revett ; and 
the choice of a proper person for taking views and copying 
the bas-rdiefs, fell upon Mr. Pars, a young painter of 
promise. Each person was strictly enjoined to keep a 
regular journal, and hold a constant correspondence with 
the Society. 

The party embarked on June 9, 1764, in the AngJicana, 



THE DILETTANTI SOCIETY. 191 

bound for Constantinople, and were just at the Dardanelles 
on the zsth of August. Having visited the Sigasan Pro- 
montory, the ruins of Troas, with the islands of Tenedos 
and Scio, tliey arrived at Smyrna on the nth of Septem- 
ber. From that city, as their head-quarters, they made 
several excursions. On the 20th of August, 1765, they sailed 
from Smyrna, and arrived at Athens on the 30th of the same 
month, having touched at Suniura and ^gina on their way. 
They stayed at Athens till June 11, 1766, visiting Marathon, 
Eleusis, Salomis, Megaia, and other places in the neighbour- 
hood. Leaving Athens, they proceeded by the little island 
of Calauria to Trezene, Epidaurus, Argos, and Corinth. 
From this they visited Delphi, PatrSj Ehs, and Zante, 
whence they sailed on the 31st of August, and arrived in 
England on the 2nd of November following, bringing with 
them an immense number of drawings, etc., the result of 
which was the publication, at the expense of the Society, of 
two magnificent volumes of " Ionian Antiquities." The 
results of the expedition were also the two popular works, 
" Chandler's Travels in Asia Minor," 1775 ; and his " Travels 
in Greece," in the following year ; also, the volume of 
" Greek Inscriptions," 1774, containing the Sigaean inscrip- 
tion, the marble of which bas been since brought to England 
by Lord Elgin ; and the celebrated documents containing 
the reconstruction of the Temple of Minerva Polias, which 
Professor Wilkins illustrated in his "Prolusiones Archi- 
tectonicse, 1837." 

Walpole, in 1791, has this odd passage upon the Ionian 
Antiquities: "They who are industrious and correct, and 
wish to forget nothing, should go to Greece, where there is 
nothing left to be seen, but that ugly pigeon-house, the 
Temple of the Winds, that fly-cage, Demosthenes's Lantern, 
and one or two fragments of a portico, or a piece of a 
column crushed into a mud wall ; and with such a morsel, 
and many quotations, a lirue classic antiquary can compose a 
whole folio, and call it " Ionian Antiquities." 



192 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

But, it may be asked, how came the Society to associate 
so freely pleasure with graver pursuits ? To this it may be 
replied, that when the Dilettanti first met they avowed 
friendly and social intercourse the first object they had in 
view, although they soon showed that they would combine 
with it a serious plan for the promotion of the Arts in this 
country. For these persons were not scholars, nor even men 
of letters ; they were some of the wealthiest noblemen and 
most fashionable men of the day, who would naturally sup 
■\vith the Regent as he went through Paris, and find them, 
selves quite at home in the Carnival of Venice. These, too, 
were times of what would now be considered very licentious 
merriment and very unscrupulous fun, — times when men of 
independent means and high rank addicted themselves to 
pleasure, and gave vent to their full animal spirits with a 
frankness that would now be deemed not only vulgar but 
indecorous, while they evinced an earnestness about objects 
now thought frivolous which it is very easy to represent as 
absurd. In assuming, however, the name of "Dilettanti" 
they evidently attached to it no light and superficial notion. 
The use of that word as one of disparagement or ridicule is 
quite recent. The same may be said of " Virtli," which, in 
the artistic sense, does not seem to be strictly academical, 
but that of " Virtuoso " is so, undoubtedly, and it means the 
" capable " man, — the man who has a right to judge on 
matters requiring a particular faculty : Dryden says : 
"Virtuoso the Italians call a man ' who loves the noble arts^ 
and is a critic in them,' or, as old Glanville says, ' who dwells 
in a higher region than other mortals.' 

" Thus, when the Dilettanti mention ' the cause of virtue 
as a high object which they will never abandon, they express 
their belief that the union into which they had entered had 
a more important purpose than any personal satisfaction 
could give it, and that they did engage themselves thereby 
in some degree to promote the advantage of their country 
and of mankind. 



THE DILETTANTI SOCIETY. 193 

"Of all the merry meetings these gay gentlemen had 
together, small records remain. We, looking back out of a 
graver time, can only judge from the uninterrupted course 
of their festive gatherings, from the names of the statesmen, 
the wits, the scholars, the artists, the amateurs, that fill the 
catalogue, from the strange mixture of dignities and 
accessions to wealth for which, by the rules of the Society, 
fines were paid, — and above all, by the pictures which they 
possess^ — how much of the pleasantry and the hearty enjoy- 
ment must have been mixed up with the more solid pursuits 
of the Members. Cast your eye over the list of those who 
met togetherat the table of the Dilettanti any time between 
1770 and 1790."* Here occur the names of Sir Joshua 
Reynolds, Earl Fitzwilliam, Charles James Fox, Hon. 
Stephen Fox (Lord Holland), Hon. Mr. Fitzpatrick, Charles 
Howard (Duke of Norfolk), Lord Robert Spencer, George 
Selw)m, Colonel Fitzgerald, Hon. H. Conway, Joseph 
Banks, Duke of Dorset, Sir William Hamilton, David 
Garrick, George Colman, Joseph Windham, R. Payne 
Knight, Sir George Beaumont, Towneley, and others of less 
posthumous fame, but probably of not less agreeable com- 
panionship. 

The funds must have largely benefited by the payment of 
fines, some of which were very strange. Those paid " on 
increase of income, by inheritance, legacy, marriage, or pre 
ferment," are very odd ; as, five guineas by Lord Grosvenor 
on his marriage with Miss Leveson Gower ; eleven guineas' 
by the Duke of Bedford, on being appointed First Lord 
of the Admiralty ; ten guineas compounded for by Bubb 
Dodington, as Treasurer of the Navy ; two guineas by the 
Duke of Kingston for a Colonelcy of Horse (then valued at 
400/. per annum) ; twenty-one pounds by Lord Sandwich on 
going out as Ambassador to the Congress at Aix-la-Chapelle > 
and twopence three-farthings by the same nobleman, on 



* Edinburgh Review, No. 214, p. ^00. 
O 



194 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

becoming Recorder of Huntingdon ; thirteen shillings and 
fourpence by the Duke of Bedford, on getting the Garter ; 
and sixteen shillings and eightpence (Scotch) by the Duke 
of Buccleuch, on getting the Thistle ; twenty-one pounds by ; 
the Earl of Holdemesse, as Secretary of State ; and nine 
pounds, nineteen shillings and sixpence, by Charles James 
Fox, as a Lord of the Admiralty. 

In 1814, another expedition was undertaken by the 
Society, when Sir William Gell, with Messrs. Gandy and 
Bedford, professional architects, proceeded to the Levant. 
Smyrna was again appointed the head-quarters of the 
mission, and fifty pounds per month was assigned to Gell, 
and two hundred pounds per annum to each of the 
architects. An additional outlay was required ; and by this 
means the classical and antique literature of England was 
enriched with the fullest and most accurate descriptions of 
important remains of ancient art hitherto given to the world. 

The contributions of the Society to the sesthetic studies 
of the time also deserve notice. The excellent design to 
publish " Select Specimens of Antient Sculpture preserved 
in the several Collections of Great Britain " was carried into 
effect by Messrs. Payne Knight and Mr. Towneley, 2 vols, 
folio, 1809 — 1835. Then followed Mr. Penrose's "Investi- 
gations into the Principles of Athenian Architecture," printed 
in 1851. 

About the year 1820, those admirable monuments of 
Grecian art, called the Bronzes of Siris, were discovered on 
the banks of that river, and were brought to this country by 
the Chevalier Brondsted. The Dilettanti Society immediately 
organized a subscription of 800/., and the Trustees of the' 
British Museum completed the purchase by the additional 
sum of 200/. 

It was mainly through the influence and patronage of the 
Dilettanti Society that the Royal Academy obtained a 
Charter. In 1774, the interest of 4000/. three per cents, 
■vas appropriated by the former for the purpose of sending 



THE DILETTANTI SOCIETY. 195 

two Students, recommended by the Royal Academy, to 
study in Italy or Greece for three years. 

In 1835 appeared a Second Volume on Ancient Scvilpture. 
The Society at this time included, among a list of sixty-four 
names of the noble and learned, those of Sir William Gell, 
Mr. Towneley, Richard Westmacott, Henry Hallam, the 
Duke of Bedford, Sir M. A. Shee, P.R.A., Henry T. Hope; 
and Lord Prudhoe, afterwards Duke of Northumberland. 

That a Society possessing so much wealth and social 
importance as the Dilettanti should not have built for them- 
selves a man&ion is surprising. In 1747 they obtained a 
plot of ground in Cavendish Square, for this purpose j but 
in 1760, they disposed of the property. Between 1761 and 
1764 the project of an edifice in Piccadilly, on the model of 
the Temple of Pola, was agitated by the Committee ; two 
sites were proposed, one between Devonshire and Bath 
Houses, the other on the west side of Cambridge House. 
This scheme was also abandoned. 

Meanwhile the Society were accustomed to meet at the 
Thatched House Tavern, the large room of which was 
hung with portraits of the Dilettanti. Sir Joshua Reynolds, 
who was a member, painted for the Society three capital 
pictures : — i. A group in the manner of Paul Veronese, 
containing the portraits of the Duke of Leeds,, Lord Dundas, 
Constantine Lord Mulgrave, Lord Seaforth, the Hon. 
Charles Greville, Charles Crowle, Esq., and Sir Joseph 
Banks. 2. A group in the manner of the same master, 
containing portraits of Sir William Hamilton, Sir Watkin W. 
Wynne, Richard Thomson, Esq., Sir John Taylor, Payne 
Galway, Esq., John Smythe, Esq., and Spencer S. Stanhope, 
Esq. 3. Head of Sir Joshua, dressed in a loose robe, and 
in his own hair. The earlier portraits are by Hudson, 
Reynolds's master. 

Some of these portraits are in the costume familiar to us 
through Hogarth; others are in Turkish or Roman dresses. 
There is a mixture of the convivial in all these pictures 

o 2 



ige CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

many are using wine-glasses of no small size : Lord Sand- 
wich, for instance, in a Turkish costume,- casts a most un- 
orthodox glance upon a brimming goblet in his left hand, 
while his right holds a flask of great capacity. Sir Bouchier 
Wray is seated in the cabin of a ship, mixing punch, and 
eagerly embracing the bowl, of which a lurch of the sea would 
seem about to deprive him : the inscription is Duke est 
desipere in loco. ■ Here is a curious old portrait of the Earl of 
Holdemesse, in a red cap, as a gondolier, ^with the Rialto 
and Venice in the background : there is Charles Sackville, 
Duke of Dorset, as a Roman senator, dated 1738; Lord 
Galloway, in the dress of a cardinal ; and a very singular 
likeness of one of the earliest of the Dilettanti, Lord Le 
Despencer, as a monk at his devotions : his Lordship is 
clasping a brimming goblet for his rosary, and his eyes are 
not very piously fixed on a statue of the Venus de' Medici. 
It must be conceded that some of these pictures remind one 
of the Medmenham orgies, with which some of the Dilettanti 
were not unfamiliar. The ceiling of the large room was 
painted to represent sky, and crossed by gold cords in- 
terlacing each other, and from their knots were hung three 
large glass chandeliers. 

The Thatched House has disappeared, but the pictures 
have been well cared for. The Dilettanti have removed to 
another tavern, and dine together on the first Sunday in 
every month from February to July. The late Lord Aber- 
deen, the Marquises of Northampton and Lansdowne, and 
Colonel Leake, and Mr. Broderip, were members; as was 
also the late Lord Northwick, whose large collection of 
pictures at Thirlestane, Cheltenham, was dispersed by sale 
in 1859. 

The Royal Naval Club. 

About the year 1674, according to a document in the 
possession of Mr. Fitch of Norwich, a Naval Club was 
started " for the improvement of a mutuall Society, and an 



THE ROYAL NAVAL CLUB. 197 

encrease of Love and Kindness amongst them ;" and that 
consummate seaman, Admiral Sir John Kempthorrie, was 
declared Steward of the institution. This was the precursor 
of the Royal Naval Club of 1765, which, whether considered 
for its amenities or its extensive charities, may be justly 
cited as a model establishment (Admiral Smyth's "Rise and 
Progress of the Royal Society Club, p. 9.) The members of 
this Club annually distribute a considerable sura among the 
distressed widows and orphans of those who have spent their 
days in the naval service of their country. The Cliib was 
accustommed to dine together at the Thatched House 
Tavern, on the anniversary of the battle of the Nile. 

" Founded on the model of the old tavern or convivial 
Clubs, but confined exclusively to members of the Naval 
Service, the Royal Naval Club numbered among its mem- 
bers men from the days of Boscawen, Rodney, arid 'tiie 
first of June' downwards. It was a favourite retreat for Wil- 
liam IV. when Duke of Clarence ; and his comrade Sir Philip 
Durham, the survivor of Nelson, and almost the last of the 
'old school,' frequented it. Sir Philip, however, was by no 
means one of the Trunnion class. Coarseness and profane 
language, on the contrary, he especially avoided; but in 
'spinning a yam' there has been none like him :since the 
days of Smollett. The loss of the Royal George, from which 
he was one of the few, if, indeed, not the only officer, who 
escaped, was a favourite theme ; and the Admiral, not con- 
tent with having' made his escape, was wont to maintain that 
he swam ashore with his midshipman's dirk in his teeth. 
Yet Sir Philip would allow no one to trench on his manor. 
One day when a celebrated naval captain, with the view of 
quizzing him, was relating the loss of a merchantman on the 
coast of South America, laden with Spitalfields products, 
and asserting that silk was so plentiful, and the cargo so 
scattered, that the porpoises were for some hours enmeshed 
in its folds: 'Ay, ay,' replied Sir Philip, 'I believe you; for 
I was once cruising on that coast myself, in search of a pri- 



igS CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

vateer, and having. lost our fore-topsail one morning in a gale 
of wind, we next day found it tied round a whale's neck by 
way of a cravat.' Sir Philip was considered to have the best 
of itj and the novehst was mute."* 

The Wyndham Club. 

This Glub, which partakes of the character of Arthur's and 
Boodle's, was founded by Lord Nugent, its objects being, as 
stated in Rule i, "to secure a convenient and agreeable place 
of meeting for a society of gentlemen, all connected with each 
other by a common bond of literary or personal acquaintance.!' 

The Club, No. ii, St. James's-square, is named from the 
mansion having been the residence of William Wyndham, 
who has been described, and the description has been gene- 
rally adopted as appropriate, as a model of the true English 
gentleman; and the fitness of the Club designation is 
equally characteristic. He was an accomplished scholar and 
mathematician. Dr. Johnson writing of a visit which W5Tid- 
ham paid him, says : "Such conversation I shall not have 
again till I come back to the regions of Hterature, and there 
Wyndham is 'inter Stellas luna minores.' " 

In the mansion also lived the accomplished John Duke of 
Roxburghe; and here the Rdxburghe Library was sold in 
1812, the sale extending to forty-one days. Lord Chief 
Justice EUenborough lived here in 1814; and subsequently, 
the Earl of Blessington, who possessed a fine collection of 
pictures. 

The Travellers' Club. 

, This famous Club was originated shortly after the Peace 
of 1814, by the Marquis of Londonderry (then Lord Castle- 
reagh), with a view to a resort for, gentlemen who had re- 
sided or travelled abroad, as well as with a view to the 



"London Clubs," 1853. 



THE TRAVELLERS CLUB. 199 

-accommodation ■ of foreigners, wlio, when properly' recom- 
mended, receive an invitation for the period of their stay. 
One of the Rules directs " That no person' be considered 
eligible to the Travellers' Club who shall not have travelled 
out of the British Islands to a distance of atleast 500 miles 
from London in a direct line." Another Rule directs "That 
no dice and no game of hazard be allowed in the rooms of 
the Club, nor any higher stake than guinea points, and that 
no cards be introduced before dinner." 

Prince Talleyrand, during his residence in Londoti, 
generally joined the muster of whist-players at the Travellers'; 
probably, here was the scene of this felicitous rejoinder. 
The Prince was enjoying his rubber, when the conversation 
turned on thcTCcent union of an elderly lady of respectable 

rank. " How ever could Madame de S make such a 

match ? — a person of her birth to marry a valet-de-chambreP' 
"Ah," replied Talleyrand, "it was late in the game: at nine 
we don't reckon honoiirs." 

The present Travellers' Club-house, which adjoins the 
Athenaeum in Pall Mall, was designed by Barry, R.A., and 
built in 1832. It is one of the architect's most admired 
works. Yet, we have seen it thus treated, with more smart- 
ness than judgment, by a critic who is annoyed at its disad. 
vantageous comparison with its more gigantic neighbours : — 

" The Travellers' is worse, and looks very like a sandwich 
at the Swindon station — a small stumpy piece of beef be- 
tween two huge pieces of bread, i.e. the Athenaeum and the 
Reform Clubs, which look as if they were urging their 
migratory neighbour to resume the peregrinations for which 
its members are remarkable. Yet people have their names 
down ten years at the Travellers' previous to their coming 
up for ballot. An election reasonably extended would supply 
funds for a more advantageous and extended position." 

The architecture is the nobler Italian, resembling a 
Roman palace : the plan is a quadrangle, with an open area 
in the middle, so that all the rooms are well lighted. . The 



200 CLUB LIFE OF LONI>ON. 

Pall Mall front has a bold and rich cornice, and . the 
windows are decorated with Corinthian pilasters : the garden 
front varies in the windows, but the Italian taste is preserved 
throughout, with the most careful finish : the roof is Italian 
tiles. To be more minute, the consent of all competent 
judges has assigned a very high rank to this building as a 
piece of architectural design; for if, in point of mere quantity, 
it fall greatly short of many contemporary structures, it sur- 
passes nearly every one of them in quality, and in the artist- 
like treatment. In fact, it marks an epoch in our metro- 
politan architecture ; for before, we had hardly a specimen 
of that nobler Italian style which, instead of the flutter and 
flippery, and the littleness of manner, which pervade most 
of ihe productions of the Palladian school, is characterized 
by breadth and that refined simplicity arising from unity of 
idea and execution, and from every part being consistently 
worked up, yet kept subservient to one predominating effect. 
Unfortunately, the south front, which is by far the more 
striking and graceful composition, is comparatively little seen, 
being that facing Carlton Gardens, and not to be approached 
so as to be studied as it deserves ; but when examined, it 
certainly must be allowed to merit all the admiration it has 
obtained. Though perfect, quiet, and sober in effect, and 
unostentatious in character, this building of Barry's is re- 
markable for the careful finish bestowed on every part of it. 
It is this quality, together with the taste displayed in the 
design generally, that renders it an architectural bijou. 
Alinost any one must be sensible of this, if he will but be at 
the pains to compare it with the United Service Club, eastward 
of which, as far as mere quantity goes, there is much more. 
Another critic remarks : " The Travellers' fairly marks an 
epoch in the architectural history of Club-houses, as being 
almost the first, if not the very first, attempt, to introduce 
into this country that species of rich astylar composition 
which has obtained the name of the Italian palazzo mode, 
by way of contradistinction from Palladianism and its orders. 



THE UNITED SERVICE CLUB. 201 

This production of Barry's has given a. fresh impulse to 
architectural design, and one in a more artistic direction ; 
and the style adopted by the architect has been, applied to 
various other buildings in the provinces as well as in the 
metropolis ; and its influence has manifested ' itself in the 
taste of our recent street architecture." 

The Travellers' narrowly escaped destructionon October 2 4: 
1850, when a fire did great damage to the biUiard-roomsj 
which were, by the way, an afterthought, and addition to 
the original building, but by no means an improvement upon 
the first design, for they: greatly impaired the beauty of the 
garden-front. 

The United Service Club, 

One of the oldest of the modern Clubs, was instituted the 
year after the Peace of 1815, when a few officers of influence 
in both branches of the Service had built for them, by Sir 
R. Smirke, a Club-house at the comer of Charles-street and 
Regent-street, — a frigid design, somewhat relieved by sculp- 
ture on the entrance-front, of Britannia distributing laurels 
to her brave sons by land and sea. Thence the Club re- 
moved to a more spacious house, in Waterloo-place, facing 
the Athenjeumj the Club-house in Charles-street being 
entered on by the Junior United Service Club ; but Smirke's 
cold design has been displaced by an edifice of much more 
ornate exterior and luxurious internal appliances. 

The United Service Club (Senior) was designed by Nash, 
and has a well-planned interior, exhibiting the architect's 
well-known excellence in this branch of his profession. 
The principal front facing Pall Mall has a Roman-Doric 
portico ; and above it a Corinthian portico, with pediment. 
One of the patriarchal members of the Club was Lord Lyne- 
doch, the hero of the Peninsular War, who lived under five 
sovereigns : he died in his 93rd year, leaving behind him a 
name to be held in honoured reinembrance, while loyalty is 
considered to be a real virtue, or military renown a passport 



202 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

to fame. It is a curious fact that the Duke of Wellington 
fought his last battle at an earlier period of life than that in 
which Lord Lynedoch "fleshed his maiden sword;" and 
though we were accustomed to regard the Duke himself as 
preserving his vigour to a surprisingly advanced age, Lord 
L)Tiedoch was at his death old enough to have been the 
father of his Grace. The United Service was the favourite 
Glub of the Duke, who might often be seen dining here on 
a joint J and on one occasion, when he was charged \s. %d. 
instead of u. for it, he bestirred himself till the threepence 
was struck off. The motive was obvious : he took the trouble 
of objecting, so that he might sanction the principle. 

Among the Club pictures is Jones's large painting of the 
Battle of Waterloo j and the portrait of the Duke of 
Wellington, painted for the Club by W. Robinson. . Here 
also are Stanfield's fine picture of the Battle of Trafalgar ; 
and a copy, by Lane, painted in 1851, of a contemporaiy 
portrait of Sir Francis Drake, our " Elizabethan Sea-King." 
The Club-house has of late years been considerably en- 
larged. 

The Alfred Club. 

In the comparatively quiet Albemarle-street was instituted, 
in 1808, the Alfred Club, which has, ab initio, been remark- 
able for the number of travellers and men of letters, who 
form a considerable proportion of its members. Science is 
handsomely housed at the Royal Institution, on the east side 
of the street ; and literature nobly represented by the large 
publishing-house of Mr. Murray, on the west ; both circum- 
stances tributary to the otitmi enjoyed in a Club. Yet, 
strangely enough, its position has been a frequent Source of 
banter to the Alfred. First it was known by its cockney- 
appellation of Half-read. Lord Byron was a member, and 
he tells us that " it was pleasant, a little too sober and 
literary, and bored with Sotheby and Francis DTvernois; 
but one met Rich, and Ward, and Valentia, and many Other 



THE ALFRED CLUB. 203 

pleasant or known people; and it was,, in the whole, a 
decent resource in a rainy day, in a dearth of parties, or 
Parliament, or in an empty season." 

Lord Dudley, writing to the Bishop of LlandafT, says : " I 
am glad you mean to come into the Alfred this time. We 
are the most abused, and most envied, and most canvassed 
Society that I know of, and we deserve neither the one nor 
the other distinction. The Club is not so good a resource 
as many respectable persons would believe, nor are we by 
any means such quizzes or such bores as the wags pretend. 
A duller place than the Alfred there does not exist. I 
should not choose to be quoted for saying so, but the bores 
prevail there to the exclusion of every other interest. You 
hear nothing but idle reports and twaddling opinions. They 
read the Morning Post and the British Critic. It is the 
asylum of doting Tories and drivelling quidnuncs. But 
they are civil and quiet. You belong to a much better Club 
already. The eagerness to get into it is prodigious.'' 

Then, we have the Quarterly Review, with confirmation 
strong of the two Lords : — " The Alfred received its coup- 
de-gr&ce from a well-known story, (rather an indication than 
a cause of its decline,) to the effect that Mr. Canning, whilst 
in the zenith of his fame, dropped in accidentally at a house 
dinner of twelve or fourteen, stayed out the evening, and 
made himself remarkably agreeable, without any one of the 
party suspecting who he was." 

The dignified clergy, who, with the higher class of lawyers,, 
have long ago emigrated to the Athenaeum and University 
Clubs, formerly mustered in such great force at the Alfred,, 
that Lord Alvanley^ on being asked in the bow window at 
White's, whether he was still a member, somewhat irre- 
verently repHed : " Not exactly : I stood it as long as I 
could, but when the seventeenth bishop was proposed I 
gave in. I really could not enter the place without being 
put in mind of my catechism." " Sober-minded people," 
says the Quarterly Review, "may be apt to think this 



204 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

fonned the best possible reason for his. lordship's remaining 
where he was. It is hardly necessary to say that the pre- 
sence of the bishops and judges is universally regarded as an 
unerring test of the high character of a Club." ■ ■ 

The Oriental Club. 

Several years ago, the high dignitaries of the Church and 
Law kept the Alfred to themselves ; but this would not do : 
then they admitted a large number of very respectable good 
young men, who were unexceptionable, but not very 
amusing. This, again, would not do. So, now the Alfred 
joined, 1855, the Oriental, in Hanover-square. And 
curiously enough, thQ latter Club has been quizzed equally 
with the Alfred. In the merry days of the New Monthly 
Magazine of some thirty years since, we read : — " The 
Oriental — or, as the hackney-coachmen call it, the Hori- 
zontal Club— in Hanover-square, outdoes even Arthur's for 
quietude. Placed at the. comer of a cul-de-sac — at least as 
far as carriages are concerned, and in; a part of the square to 
which nobody not proceeding to one of four houses which 
occupy that particular side ever thinks of going, its little 
windows, looking upon nothing, give the idea of mingled 
dulness and inconvenience. From the outside it looks like 
a prison; — enter it, it looks like an hospital, in which a 
smell of curry-powder pervades the ' wards, '-^wards filled 
with venerable patients dressed in nankeen shorts, yellow 
stockings, and gaiters, and faces to match. There may still 
be seen pigtails in all their pristine perfection. It is the 
region of calico shirts, returned writers, and guinea-pigs 
grown into bores. Such is the nabobery, into which Harley- 
street, Wimpole-street, and Gloucester-place, daily empty 
their precious stores of bilious humanity." Time has 
blunted the point of this satiric picture, the individualities of 
which had passed away, even before the amalgamation of 
the Oriental with the Alfred. 



THE A THEN^UM CL UB. 205 

The Oriental Club was established in 1814, by Sir Jchn 
Malcolm, the traveller and brave soldier. The members, 
were noblemen and gentlemen associated with the admi- 
nistration of our Eastern empire, or who have travelled or 
resided in Asia, at St. Helena, in Egypt, at the Cape of 
Good Hope, the Mauritius, or at Constantinople. 

The Oriental was erected in 1827-8, by B. and P. Wyatt, 
and has the usual Chib characteristic of only one tier of 
windows above the ground-floor ; the interior has since been 
redecorated and embellished by CoUman. 

The Athenaeum Club. 

The Athenseum presents a good illustration of the present 
Club system, of which it was one of the earliest instances. 
By reference to the accounts of the Clubs existing about the 
commencement of the present century, it will be seen how 
greatly they differed, both in constitution and purpose, from 
the modem large subscription-houses, called Clubs ; and 
which are to be compared with their predecessors only in so 
far as every member must be balloted for, or be chosen by 
the consent of the rest. Prior to 1824 there was only one 
institution in the metropolis particularly devoted to the 
association of Authors, Literary Men, Members of Parlia- 
ment, and promoters generally of the Fine Arts. AH other 
establishments were more or less exclusive, comprising gentle 
men who screened themselves in the windows of White's, 
or Members for Counties, who darkened the doors ov 
Brookes's ; or they were dedicated to the Guards, or " men 
of wit and pleasure about town." It is true that the Royal 
Society had its convivial meetings, as we have already 
narrated ; and small Clubs of members of other learned 
Societies were held ; but with these exceptions, there were 
no Clubs where individuals known for their scientific or 
literary attainments, artists of eminence in any class of the 
Fine Arts, and noblemen and gentlemen distinguished as 



2o6 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

patrons of science, literature, and the arts, could unite in 
friendly and encouraging intercourse ; and professional 
men were compelled either to meet at taverns, or to be 
confined exclusively to the Society of their particular profes- 
sions. 

To remedy this, on the 17th of February, 1824, a pre- 
liminary meeting, — comprising Sir Humphry Davy, the 
Right Hon. John Wilson Croker, Sir Francis Chantrey, 
Richard Heber, Sir Thomas Lawrence, Dr. Thomas Young, 
Lord Dover, Davie Gilbert, the Earl of Aberdeen, Sir Henry 
Halford, Sir Walter Scott, Joseph Jekyll, Thomas Moore, 
and Charles Hatchett, — ^was held in the apartments of the 
Royal Society, at Somerset House; at this meeting Pro- 
fessor Faraday assisted as secretary, and it was agreed to 
institute a Club to be called " The Society," subsequently 
altered to " The Athenaeum." " The Society " first met in 
the Clarence Club-house ; but, in 1830, the present mansion, 
designed by Decimus Burton, was open to the members. 

The Athenaeum Club-house is built upon a portion of the 
court-yard of Carlton House. The architecture is Grecian, 
with a frieze exactly copied from the Panathenaic procession 
in the frieze of the Parthenon, — the flower and beauty of 
Athenian youth, gracefully seated on the most exquisitely 
sculptured horses, which Flaxman regarded as the most 
precious example of Grecian power in the sculpture of 
animals. Over the Roman Doric entrance-portico is a 
colossal figure of Minerva, by Baily, R.A. ; and the interior 
has some fine casts of chefs-d'oeuvre of sculpture. Here the 
architecture is grand, massive, and severe. The noble 
Hall, 35 feet broad by 57 feet long, is divided by scaglidla 
columns and pilasters, the capitals copied from the Choragic 
Monument of Lysicrates. This is the Exchange, oi- Lounge, 
where the members meet. The floor is the Marmorato 
Veneziano mosaic. Over each of the two fire-places, in a 
niche, is a statue — the Diana Robing and the. Venus 
Victrix, selected by Sir Thomas Lawrence — a very fine 



THE ATffEN^UM CLUB. 207 

contrivance for sculptural display. . The Library is the best 
Club Library in London : it comprises the most rare and 
valuable works, and a very considerable sum is annually 
expended upon the collection, under the guidance of 
members most eminent in literature and science. Above 
the mantelpiece is a portrait of George IV., painted by 
Lawrence, upon which he was engaged but a few hours 
previous to his decease ; the last bit of colour this celebrated 
artist ever put upon canvas being that of the hilt and sword- 
knot of the girdle ; thus it remains unfinished. The book- 
cases of the drawing-rooms are crowned with busts of 
British worthies. Among the Club gossip it is told that a 
inember who held the Library faith of the promise of the 
Fathers, and was anxious to consult their good works, one 
day asked, in a somewhat fahiiliar tone of acquaintance with 
these respectable theologians, " Is Justin Martyr here ?" — 
"I do not know," was the reply; "I will refer to the 
list; but I do not think that gentleman is one of our 
members " 

Mr. Walker, in his very pleasant work, "The Original,'' 
was one of the first to show how by the then new system of 
Clubs the facilities of living were wonderfully increased, 
whilst the expense was greatly diminished. For a few 
pounds a year, advantages are to be enjoyed which no 
fortunes, except the most ample, can procure. The only 
Club (he continues) I belong to is the Athenaeum, which 
consists of twelve hundred members, amongst v/hom are to 
be reckoned a large proportion of the most eminent persons 
in the land, in every line, — civil, military, and ecclesiastical, 
— ^peers spiritual and temporal (ninety-five noblemen and 
twelve bishops), commoners, men of the learned professions, 
those connected with science, the arts, and commerce, in all 
its principal branches, as well as the distinguished who do 
not belong to any particular class. Many of these are to be 
met with every day, living with the same freedom as in their 
•own houses, for 25 guineas entrance, and 6 guineas a year. 



2o8 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON: - 

Every member has the command of an excellent library, 
with maps ; of newspapers, English and foreign ; the prin- 
cipal periodicals ; writing materials, and attendance. The 
building is a sort of palace, and is kept with the same exact- 
ness and comfort as a private dwelling. Every member is 
master, without any of the trouble of a master : he can come 
when he pleases, and stay away when he pleases, without 
anything going wrong; he has the command of regular 
servants, without having to pay or manage them ;. he can 
have whatever meal or refreshment he wants, at all hours, 
and served up as in his own house. He orders just what he 
pleases, having no interest to think of but his own. In 
short, it is impossible to suppose a greater degree of liberty 
in: living. 

" Clubs, as far as my observation goes, are favourable to 
economy of time. There is a fixed place to go to, every- 
thing is served with comparative expedition, and it is not 
customary in general to remain long at table. They are 
favourable to temperance. It seems that when people can 
freely please tliemselves, and when they have an oppor- 
tunity of living simply, excess is seldom committed. From 
an account I have of the expenses at the Athenaeum in the 
year 1832, it appears that 17,323 dinners cost, on an 
average, 2s. g%d. each, and that the average quantity of 
wine for each person was a small fraction more than half- 
a-pint. 

"The expense of building the Club-house was 35,000/., 
and 5,000/. for furnishing ; the plate, Hnen, and glass cost 
2,500/. ; library, 4,000/, and the stock of wine in cellar is 
usually worth about 4,000/ : yearly revenue about 9,000/ 

The economical management of the Club has not, how- 
ever, been effected without a few sallies of humour. In 
1834, we read : " The mixture of Whigs, Radicals, savants, 
foreigners, dandies, authors, soldiers, sailors, lawyers, artists, 
doctors, and Members of both Houses of Parliament, toge- 
ther with ar exceedingly good average supply of bishops, 




Lion-s Head Box at Button's Coffee House. {Designed by Hogarth.) 




White Horse, Chelsea. (Built about 1 5 50. ) 



THE ATHENMUM CLUB. 209 

render the ni'elange very agreeable, despite of some two or 
three bores, who ' continually do dine ; ' and who, not satis- 
fied with getting a f)S. dinner for 3^. 6^., ' continually do 
complain.' " 

Mr. Rogers, the poet, was one of the earliest members 
of the Athenffium, and innumerable are the good things, 
though often barbed with bitterness, which are recorded of 
him. 

Some years ago, judges, bishops, and peers used to con- 
gregate at the Athenaeum ; but a club of twelve hundred 
members cannot be select. " Warned by the necessity of 
keeping up their number and their funds, they foolishly set 
abroad a report that the finest thing in the world was to 
belong to the Athenseum ; and that an opportunity offered 
for hobno bbing with archbishops, and hearing Theodore 
Hook's jokes. Consequently all the little crawlers and 
parasites, and gentility-hunters, from all corners of London, 
set out upon the creep ; and they crept in at the windows, 
and they crept down the area steps, and they crept in unseen 
at the doors, and they crept in under bishops' sleeves, and 
they crept in in peers' pockets, and they were blovm in by the 
winds of chance. The consequence has been, that ninety- 
nine hundredths of this Club are people who rather seek to 
obtain a sort of standing by belonging to the Athenseum, 
than to give it lustre by the talent of its members. Nine- 
tenths of the intellectual writers of the age would be cer- 
tainly black-balled by the dunces. Notwithstanding all 
this, and partly on account of this, the Athenseum is a capital 
Club : the library is certainly the best Club library in 
London, and is a great advantage to a man who writes." * 

Theodore Hook was one of the most clubbable men of 
his time. After a late breakfast^ he would force and strain 
himself at large arrears of literary toil, and then drive 
rapidly from Fulham to town, and pay a visit " first to one 



* New Quarterly Revtew. 
P 



210 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Club, where, the centre of an admiring circle, his intellec- 
tual faculties were again upon the stretch, and again aroused 
and sustained by artificial means : the same thing repeated 
at a second — the same drain and the same supply — ballot 
or general meeting at a third, the chair taken by Mr. Hook, 
who addresses the members, produces the accounts, audits 
and passes them — gives a succinct statement of the pro- 
spects and finances of the Society — parries an awkward 
question — extinguishes a grumbler — confounds an opponent 
— proposes a vote of thanks to himself, seconds, carries it, 
— and returns thanks, with a vivacious rapidity that entirely 
confounds the unorganised schemes of the minority — then a 
chop in ; the committee-room, and just one tumbler of 
brandy-andrwater, or two, and we fear the catalogue would 
not always close there." 

At the A.thenseum, Hook was a great card ; and in a note 
to the sketch of him in the Quarterly Review, it is stated 
that the number of dinners at this Club fell off by upwards 
of three hundred per annum after Hook disappeared from 
his favourite corner, near the door of the coffee-room. That 
is to say, there must have been some dozens of gentlemen 
who chose to dine there once or twice every week of the 
season, merely for the chance of Hook's, being there, arid 
permitting them to draw their chairs to his little table in 
the course of the evening. Oftheextent to which he suffered < 
from this sort of invasion, there are several bitter oblique 
complaints in his novels. The corner alluded to will, we 
suppose, long- retain the name which it derived from him — 
Temperance Corner. Many grave and dignified persons,ges 
being frequent guests, it would hardly have been seemly to 
be calling for repeated supplies of a certain description; 
but the waiters well understood : what the oracle, of the 
corner meant by "Another glass of toast-and-water," or, 
" A little more lemonade." ;; 



The University Club, 

In Suffolk-street, Pall Mali- East; was instituted in 1824, 
and the Club-house, designed by Deering and Wilkins, 
architects, was opened 1826. It is of the Grecian Doric 
and Ionic orders ; and the staircase walls have casts from 
the Parthenon frieze. The Club consists chiefly of Members 
of Parliament who have received University education ; 
several of the judges, and a large number of beneficed 
clergymen. This Club has the reputation of possessing 
the best stocked wine-cellar in London, which is of no small 
importance to Members, clerical or lay. 

Economy of Clubs. 

Thirty years ago, Mr. Walker took some pains to disabuse 
the public mind of a false notion that feiriale society was 
much affected by the multiplication of Clubs.,« He remarks 
that in those hours of the evening, which are peculiarly 
dedicated to society, he could scarcely count twenty mem- 
bers in the suite of rooms upstairs at the Athenaeum Club. 
If female society be neglected, he contended that it was not 
owing to the institution of Clubs, but more probably to the 
long sittings of the House, of Commons, and to the want 
of easy access to family circles. At the Athenaeum he never 
heard it even hinted, that married men frequented it to the 
prejudice of their domestic habits, or that bachelors were 
kept from general society. Indeed, Mr. Walker maintains, 
that Clubs are a preparation and not a substitute for domestic 
life. Compared with the previous system of living, they 
induce habits of economy, temperance, refinement, regularity, 
and good orden ., Still, a Club only offers an imitation of 
the comforts of home, but only an imitation, and one which 
will never supersede the reality. 

However, the question became a subject for pleasant 
p a 



212 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

satire. Mrs. Gore, in one of her clever novels, has these 
shrewd remarks : — " London Clubs, after all, are not bad 
things for family men. They act as conductors to the 
storms usually hovering- in the air. The man forced to 
remain at home and vent his crossness on his wife and chil- 
dren, is a much worse animal to bear with, than the man who 
grumbles his way to Pall Mall, and not daring to swear at the 
Club-servants, or knock about the club-furniture, becomes 
socialized into decency. Nothing like the subordination exer- 
cised in a community of equals for reducing a fiery temper." 

Mr. Hood, in his Comic Anmtal for 1838, took up the 
topic in his rich vein of comic humour, and here is the 

amusing result: — 

CLUBS. 

TURNED UP BY A FEMALE HAND. 

Of all the modem schemes of Man 

That time has brought to bear, 
A plague upon the wicked plan 

That parts the wedded pair ! 
My female friends they all agree 

They hardly know their hubs ; 
And heart and voice unite with me, 

" We hate the name of Clubs !" 

One selfish course the Wretches keep ; 
, They come at morning chimes ; 

To snatch a few short hours of sleep — 
Rise — breakfast — read the Times — 
Then take their hats, and post away, 
Like Clerks or City scrubs, 
k. And no one sees them all the day, — 

They live, eat, drink, at Clubs ! 

With Rundell, Dr. K., or Glasse, 

And such Domestic books. 
They once put up, but now, alas ! 

It's hey ! for foreign cooks, 
" When will you dine at home, my dove f 

I say to Mr. Stubbs. 
" When Cook can make an omelette, love— 

An omelette like the Clubs 1" 



ECONOMY OF CL UBS. i< \ 3 

Time was, their hearts were only placed 

On snug domestic schemes, 
The book for two — united taste, 

And such connubial dreams, — 
Friends, dropping in at close of day, 

To singles,- doubles, rubs, — 
A little music, — then the tray, — 

And not a word of Clubs ! 

But former comforts they condemn ; 

French kickshaws they discuss, 
And take their wine, the wine takes them, 

And then they favour us ; — 
From some offence they can't digest. 

As cross as bears with cubs. 
Or sleepy, dull, and queer, at best — 

That's how they come from Clubs ! 

It's veiy fine to say, " Subscribe 

To Andrews' — can't you read ?" 
When wives, the poor neglected tribe, 

Complain how they proceed ! 
They'd better recommend at once 

Philosophy and tubs, — 
A woman need not be a dunce. 

To feel the wrong of Clubs. 

A set of savage Goths and Picts 

Would seek us now and then, — 
They're pretty pattern- Benedicts 

To guide our single men ! 
Indeed, my daugliters both declare 

" Their Beaux shall not be subs 
To White's, or Black's, oi" anywhere, — 

They've seen enough of Clubs !" 

They say, without the marriage ties. 

They can devote their hours 
To catechize, or botanize — 

Shells, Sunday Schools, and flow'rs — 
Or teach a Pretty Poll new words, 

Tend Covent Garden shrubs. 
Nurse dogs and chirp to little birds — 

As Wives do since the Clubs. 



214 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Alas ! for those departed days 

Of social wedded life, 
When married folks had married ways, 

And liv'd like Man and Wife ! 
Oh ! Wedlock then was pick'd by none — 

As safe a lock as Chubb's ! 
But couples, that should be as one, 

Are now the Two of Clubs ! 

Of all the modern schemes of Man 

That time has brought to bear, 
A plague upon the wicked plan. 

That parts the wedded pair ! 
My wedded friends they all allow 

They meet with slights and snubs. 
And say, " They have no husbands now. 

They're married to the Clubs !" 

The satire soon reached the stage. About five-and- 
twenty years since there was produced, at the old wooden 
Olympic Theatre, Mr. Mark Lemon's farce, The Ladies^ 
Club, which proved one of the most striking pieces of the 
time. "Though in 1840 Clubs, in the modern sense of the 
word, had been for some years established, they were not 
quite recognised as social necessities, and the complaints of 
married ladies and of dowagers with marriageable daughters, 
to the effect that these institutions caused husbands to 
desert the domestic hearth and encouraged bachelors to 
remain single, expressed something of a general feeling. 
Public opinion was ostentatiously on the side of the ladies 
and against the Clubs, and to this opinion Mr. Mark Lemon 
responded when he wrote his most successful farce."* 

Here are a few experiences of Club-life. "There are 
many British lions in the coffee-room who have dined off a 
joint and beer, and have drunk a pint of port wine after- 
wards, and whose bill is but 4J. 3(/. One great luxury in a 
modem Club is that there is no temptation to ostentatious 



* Times journal. 



ECONOMY OF CLUBS. 215 

•expense. At an hotel there is an inclination in some 
natures to be 'a good custumer.' At a Club the best men 
are generally the most frugal — they are afraid of being 
thought like that little snob, Calicot, who is always sur- 
rounded by fine dishes and expensive \rtnes (even when 
aJone), and is always in loud talk with the butler, and in 
correspondence with the committee about the cook. Calicot 
is a rich man, with a large bottle-nose, and people black- 
ball his friends. 

" For a home, a man must have a large Club, where the 
members are recruited from a large class, where the funds 
are in a good state, where a large number every day break- 
fast and dine, and where a goodly number think it necessary 
to be on the books and pay their subscriptions, although 
they do not use the Club. Above all, your home Club should 
be a large Club, because, eveii if a Club be ever so select, 
the highest birth and most unexceptionable fashion do not 
prevent a man from being a bore. Every Club must have its 
bores ; but in a large Club you can get out of their way."* 

" It is a vulgar error to regard a Club as the rich man's 
public-house: it bears no analogy to a public-house : it is as 
much the private property of its members as any ordinary 
•dwelling-house is the property of the man who built it. 

" Our Clubs are thoroughly characteristic of us. We are 
-a fraud people, — it is of no use denying it,— and have a 
horror of indiscriminate association ; hence the exclusive- 
ness of our Clubs. 

"We are an economical people, and love to obtain the 
-greatest possible amount of luxury at the least possible ex- 
pense : hence at our Clubs we dine at prime cost, and 
-drink the finest wines at a price which we should have to 
-pay for slow poison at a third-rate inn. 

" We are a domestic people, and hence our Clubs afford us 
^11 the comforts of home, when we are away from home, or 



* New Quarterly Review. 



8I6 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

when we have none. Finally, we are a quarrelsome people, 
and the Clubs are eminently adapted for the indulgence 
of that amiable taste. A book is kept constantly open to 
receive the out-pourings of our ill-humour against all persons 
and things. The smokers quarrel with the non-smokers; 
the billiard-players wage war against those who don't play ; 
and, in fact, an internecine war is constantly going on upon 
every conceivable trifle ; and when we retire exhausted from 
the fray, sofas and chaises longues are everywhere at hand, 
whereon to repose in extenso. The London Clubs are cer- 
tainly the abodes of earthly bliss, yet the ladies won't 
think so."* 

The Union Club. 

This noble Club-house, at the south-west angle of Trafal- 
gar-square, was erected in 1824, from designs by Sir Robert 
Smirke, R.A. It is much less ornate than the Club-houses 
of later- date; but its apartments are spacious and handsome, 
and it faces one of the finest open spaces in the metropolis. 
As its name implies, it consists of politicians, and professional 
and mercantile men, without reference to partj opinions ; 
and, it has been added, is "a resort of wealthy citizens, who 
just fetch Charing Cross to inhale the fresh air as it is drawn 
from the Park through the funnel, by Berkeley House, out 
of Spring Gardens, into their bay-window." 

James Smith, one of the authors of the " Rejected Ad- 
dresses," was a member of the Union, which he describes as 
chiefly composed of merchants, lawyers, members of Parlia- 
ment, and of " gentlemen at large." He thus sketches a day's 
life here. " At three o'clock I walk to the Union Club, read 
the journals, hear Lord John Russell deified or diablerized, 
do the same with Sir Robert Peel or the Duke of Wellirigton, 
and then join a knot of conversationists by -the fire till six 
o'clock. We then and there discuss the Three per Cent. 



The Builder. 



THE UNION CLUB. 217 

Consols (some of us preferring Dutch Two-and-a-half per 
Cents.), and speculate upon the probable rise, shape, and 
cost of the New Exchange. If Lady Harrington happen to 
drive past our window in her landau, we compare her 
equipage to the Algerine Ambassador's ; and when politics 
happen to be discussed, rally Whigs, Radicals, and Conserva- 
tives alternately, but never seriously, such subjects having 
a tendency to a-eate acrimony. At six, the room begins to 
be deserted; wherefore I adjourn to the dining-room, and 
gravely looking over the bill of fare, exclaim to the waiter, 
' Haunch of mutton and apple-tart !' These viands dis- 
patched, with the accompanying liquids and water, I mount 
upward to the library, take a book and my seat in the arm- 
chair, and read till nine. Then call for a cup of coffee and 
a biscuit, resuming my book till eleven ; afterwards return 
home to bed." The smoking-room is a very fine apartment. 

One of the grumbling members of the Union was Sir 
James Aylott, a two-bottle man; one day, observing Mr. 
James Smith furnished with half-a-pint of sherry. Sir James 
eyed his cruet with contempt, and exclaimed: "So, I see 
you have got one of those d — d Ufe preservers." 

The Club has ever been famed for its cuisine, upon the 
strength of which, we are told that next door to the Club- 
house, in Cockspur-street, was established the Union Hotel, 
which speedily became renowned for its turtle ; it was 
opened in 1823, and was one of the best appointed hotels 
of its day ; and Lord Panmure, a gourmet of the highest 
order, is said to have taken up his quarters in this hotel, 
for several successive seasons, for the sake of the soup.* 



'London Clubs, 1853," p. 75. 



2l8 



The Garrick Club. 

Mr. Thackeray was a hearty lover of London, and has 
left us many evidences of his sincerity. He greatly 
favoured Covent Garden, of which he has painted this 
clever picture, sketched from "the Garden," where are 
annually paid for fruits and vegetables some three millionf 
sterling :— 

" The two great national theatres on one side, a church- 
yard full of mouldy but undying celebrities on the other ; a 
fringe of houses studded in every part with anecdote and 
history ; an arcade, often more gloomy and deserted than a 
cathedral aisle ; a rich cluster of brown old taverns — one of 
them filled with the counterfeit presentment of many actors 
long since silent, who scowl or smile once more from the 
canvas upon the grandsons of their dead admirers ; a some- 
thing in the air which breathes of old books, old pictures, 
old painters, and old authors; a place beyond all other 
places one would choose in which to hear the chimes at 
midnight; a crystal palace — the representative of the 
present — ^which peeps in timidly from a comer upon many 
things of the past ; a withered bank, that has been sucked 
dry by a felonious clerk; a squat building, with a hundred 
columns and chapel-looking fronts, which always stands 
knee-deep in baskets, flowers, and scattered vegetables ; a 
common centre into which Nature showers her choicest 
gifts, and where the kindly fruits of the earth often nearly 
choke the narrow thoroughfares ; a population that never 
seems to sleep, and that does all in its power to prevent 
others sleeping ; a place where the very latest suppers and 
the earliest breakfasts jostle each other on the footways — 
such is Covent-Garden Market, with some of its surrounding 
features." 

About a century and a quarter ago, the parish of St. Paul 
was, according to John Thomas Smith, the only fashionable 



THE GARRICK CLUB. 219 

part of the town, and the residence of a great number of 
persons of rank and title, and artists of the first eminence ; 
and also from the concourse of wits, literary characters, and 
other men of genius, who frequented the numerous coffee- 
houses, wine and cider cellars, jelly-shops, etc., within its 
boundaries, the list of whom particularly includes the 
eminent names of Butler, Addison, Sir Richard Steele, 
Otway, Dryden, Pope, Warburton, Gibber, Fielding, 
Churchill, Bdlingbroke, and Dr. Samuel Johnson; Rich, 
Woodward, Booth, Wilkes, Garrick, and Mackhii'j Kitty 
Glive, Peg Woffington, Mrs. Pritchard, the Duchess of 
Bolton, Lady Derby, Lady Thurlow, and the Duchess of 
St Alban's ; Sir Peter Lely, Sir Godfrey Kneller, and Sir 
James Thornhill ; Vandevelde, Zincke, Lambert, Hogarth, 
Hayman, Wilson, Dance, Meyer, etc. The name of Samuel 
Foote should be added. 

Although the high fashion of the old place has long since 
ebbed away, its theatrical celebrity remains ; and the locality 
is storied with the dramatic associations of two centuries. 
The Sublime Society of Steaks have met upon this hallowed 
ground through a century ; and some thirty years ago there 
was established in the street leading from the north-west 
angle of Covent-Garden Market, a Club, bearing the name 
of our greatest actor. Such was the Garrick Club, instituted 
in 1831, at No. 35, King-street, "for the purpose of bringing 
together the ' patrons ' of the drama and its professors, and 
also for offering literary men a rendezvous ; and the mana- 
gers of the Club have kept those general objects steadily in 
view. Nearly all the leading actors are members, and there 
are few of the active literary men of the day who are not 
upon the list. The large majority of the association is 
composed of the representatives of all the best classes of 
society. The number of the members is limited, and the 
character of the Club is social, and therefore the electing 
committee is compelled to exercise very vigilant care, for it 
is clear that it would be better that ten unobjectionable men 



220 CLUB LIFE QF LONDON. 

should be excluded than that^ one terrible bore should be 
admitted. The prosperity of the Club, and the eagerness to 
obtain admission to it, are the best proofs of its healthy 
management ; and few of the cases of grievance alleged 
against the direction will bear looking into." 

The house in King-street was, previous to its occupation 
by the Garrick men, a family hotel: it was rendered toler- 
ably commodious, but in course of time it was found 
insufficient for the increased number of members ; and in 
1864 the Club removed to a new house built for them a 
little more westward than the old one. But of the old 
place, inconvenient as it was, will long be preserved the 
interest of association. The house has since been taken 
down ; but its memories are embalmed in a gracefully 
written paper, by Mr. Shirley Brooks, which appeared in 
the Illustrated London News, immediately before the re- 
moval of the Club to their new quarters; and is as follows: 

"From James Smith (of "Rejected Addresses") to 
Thackeray, there is a long series of names of distinguished 
men who have made the Garrick their favourite haunt, and 
whose memories are connected with those rooms. The 
visitor who has had the good fortune to be taken through 
them, that he might examine the unequalled collection of 
theatrical portraits, will also retain a pleasant remembrance 
of the place. He will recollect that he went up one side of 
a double flight of stone steps from the street, and entered a 
rather gloomy hall, in which was a fine bust of Shakspeare, 
by Roubiliac, and some busts of celebrated actors ; and he 
may have noticed in the hall a tablet recording the obliga- 
tion of the Club to Mr. Dujrrant, who bequeathed to it the 
pictures collected by the late Charles Mathews. Conducted 
to the left, the visitor found himself in the strangers' dining- 
room, which occupied the whole of the ground-floor. This 
apartment, where, perhaps, more, pleasant dinners had been 
given than in any room in London, was closely hung with 
pictures. The newest was Mr. O'Neil's admirable likeness 



THE GARRICK CLUB. 221 

of Mr. Keeley, and it hung over the fireplace in the front 
room, near Sir Edwin Landseer's portrait of Charles Young. 
There were many very interesting pictures in this room, 
among them a Peg Woffington ; Lee (the author of the 
Bedlam Tragedy, in nineteen acts) ; Mr. Pritchard, and Mr. 
Garrick, an admirable illustration of 

Pritchard's genteel, and Garrick six feet liigh ; 

a most gentlemanly one of Pope the actor, Garrick again as 
Macbeth in the courtrdress, two charming little paiiitings of 
Miss Poole when a child-performer, the late Frederick 
Yates, Mrs. Davison (of rare beauty), Miss Lydia ICelly, 
and a rich store besides. The stranger Would probably be 
next conducted through a long passage until he reached the 
smoking-rooni, which was not a cheerful apartmeint by day- 
light, and empty ; but which at night, and full, was thought 
the most cheerful apartment in town. It was adorned with 
gifts from artists who are members of the Club. Mr. 
Stanfield had given a splendid sea-piece, with a wash of 
waves that set one coveting an excursion ; and Mi. David 
Roberts had given a large and noble painting of Baalbec, 
one of his finest works. These great pictures occupied two 
sides of the room, and the other walls were similarly orna- 
mented. Mrs. Stirling's bright face looked down upon the 
smokers, and there was a statuette of one who loved the 
room — the author of * Vanity Fair.' 

"The visitor was then brought back to the hall, and 
taken upstairs to the drawing-room floor. On the wall as he 
passed he would observe a vast picture of Mr. Charles 
Kemble (long a member) as Macbeth, and a Miss O'Neil as 
Juliet. He entered the coffee-room, as it was called, which 
was the front room, looking into King-street, and behind 
which was the morning-room, for newspapers and writing, 
and in which was the small but excellent library, rich in 
dramatic works. The coffee-room was devoted to the 
members' dinners ; and the late Mr. Thackeray dined for the 



222 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

last time away from home at a table in a niche in which 
hung the scene from The Clandestine Marriagtj where Lord 
Ogleby is preparing to join the ladies. Over the fireplaide 
was another scene from the same play ; and on the mantel- 
piece were Garrick's candlesticks, Kean's ring, and some 
other relics of interest. The paintings in this room were 
very valuable. There was Foote, by Reynolds ; a Sheridan ; 
John Kemble ; Charles Kemble as Charles II. (under which 
picture he often sat in advanced life, when he in no degree 
resembled the audacious, stalwart king in the painting); 
Mrs, Charles Kemble, in male attire; Mrs. Fitzwilliam; 
Charles Matthews, plre; a fine, roystering Woodward, 
reminding one of the rattling times of stage chivalry and 
' victorious Burgundy ;' and in the moming-room was a 
delightful Kitty Clive, another Garrick, and, near the 
ceiling, a row of strong faces of by-gone days — Cooke the 
strongest. 

' ' On the second floor were numerous small and very charac- 
1;ej:istic portraits ; and in a press full of large folios was one 
of the completest and most valuable of collections of 
theatrical prints. In the card-room, behind this, were also 
some very quaint and curious likenesses, one of Mrs. Liston, 
as DollaloUa. There was a sweet face of ' the Prince's ' 
Perdita, which excuses his infatuation and aggravates his 
treachery. When the visitor had seen these things and a few 
busts, among them one of the late Justice Talfourd (an. old 
member), he was informed that he had seen the collection 
and he could go away, unless he were lucky enough to have 
an iftvitation to dine in the strangers' room. 
. " The new Club-house is a little more westward than the 
old on.e,rbut not much, the Garrick having resolved to cling 
to the classic region around Covent-Garden. It is. in 
Garrick-gtreet from the west end of King-street to Cran- 
bourn-street. It has a frontage of ninety-six feet to the 
street ; but the rear was very difficult, from its shape, to 
manage, and Mr. Marrable, the architect, has dealt very 



THE GARRICK CLUB. 223 

cleverly with the quaint form over which he had to lay out 
his chambers. The house is Italian, and is imposing from 
having been judiciously and not over-enrfched. In the hall 
is a very beautiful Italian screen. The noble staircase is of 
carved oak; at tlie top, a landing-place, from which is 
entered the morning-room, the card-toom, and the. library. 
All the apartments demanded by the habits of the day-^ 
some of them were not thought necessary in the days of' 
Garrick — are, of course, provided. The kitchens and all 
their arrangements are sumptuous, and the latest culinary 
improvements are introduced. The system of sunlights 
appears to be very complete, and devices for a perfect 
ventilation have not been forgotten." 

The pictures have been judiciously hung in the new 
rooms : they include — EUiston as Octavian, by Singleton ; 
Macklin (aged 93), by Opie ; Mrs. Pritchard, by Hayman ; 
Peg Woffington, by R. Wilson; Nell Gwynne, by Sir Peter 
Lely; Mrs. Abington; Samuel Foote, by Sir Joshua 
Reynolds ; CoUey Gibber as Lord Foppington ; Mrs. 
Bracegirdle; Kitty Clive; Mrs. Robinson, after Reynolds; 
Garrick as Macbeth, and Mrs. Pritchard,. Lady Macbeth, by 
Zoffany ; Garrick as Richard III., by Morland, sen. ; Young 
Roscius, by Opie ; Quin, by Hogarth; Rich and his family, 
by Hogarth ; iCharles Mathews, four characters, by Harlowe ; 
Nat Lee, painted in Bedlam ; Anthony Leigh as the Spanish 
Friar,, by Kneller; John Liston, by Clint; Munden,. by 
Opie ; John Johnston, by Shee ; Lacy in three characters, 
by Wright ;; Scene from Charles II., by Clint; Mrs.,Siddons 
as Lady Macbeth, by Harlowe; J. P. Kemble as Cato, by 
Lawrence ; Macready as Henry IV., by Jackson ; Edwinj 
by ;Qainsborough ; the - twelve of the School of Gamck ; 
Kean, Young, EUiston, and Mrs. Inchbald, by Harlowe; 
Garrick as Richard III., by Loutherbourg ; Rich as Harle- 
quin ; Moody and Parsons in The Committee, by Vander- 
gucht ; King as Touchstone, by Zoffany ; Thomas Dogget ; 
Henderson, by Gainsborough ; Elder Colman, by Reynolds ; 



224 CLUB LIIE OF LONDON. 

Mrs. Oldfield, by Kneller ; Mrs. Billington ; Nancy Dawson; 
Screen Scene from The School for Scandal, as originally 
cast; Scene from f^«/(ri?Pr^j(?rz/i?^(Garrick and Mrs. Gibber), 
by Zoffany ; Scene from Macbelh (Henderson) ; Scene from 
Love, Law, and Physic (Mathews, Liston, Blanchard, and 
Emery), by Clint; Scene from The Clandestine Marriage 
(King and Mr. and Mrs. Baddeley), by Zoffany ; Weston as 
Billy Button, by Zoffany. 

The following have been presented to the Club : — Busts 
of Mrs. Siddons and J. P. Kemble, by Mrs. Siddons ; of 
Garrick, Captain Marryat, Dr. Kitchiner, and Malibran; 
Garrick, by RoubiUac ; Griffin and Johnson in The Alchemist^ 
by Von Bleeck ; Miniatures of Mrs. Robinson and Peg 
Woffington ; Sketch of Kean, by Lambert ; Garrick Mulberry- 
tree Snuff-box ; Joseph Harris as Cardinal Wolsey, from the 
Strawberry Hill Collection; Proof Print of the Trial of 
Queen Katherine, by Harlowe. 

The Garrick men will, for the sake of justice, excuse the 
mention of a short-coming : at the first dinner of the Club, 
from the list of toasts was omitted " Shakspeare," who, it 
must be allowed, contributed to Garrick's fame. David did 
not so forget the Bard, as is attested in his statue by Roubiliac, 
which, after adorning the Garrick grounds at Hampton, 
was bequeathed by the grateful actor to the British Museum. 

The Club were entertained at a sumptuous dinner by their 
brother member. Lord Mayor Moon, in the Egyptian Hall 
of the Mansion House, in 1855. 

The Gin-punch made with iced soda-water is a notable 
potation at the Garrick ; and the rightful patentee of the 
invention was Mr. Stephen Price, an American gentleman, 
well known on the turf, and as the lessee of Drury-lane 
Theatre. His title has been much disputed — 

Grammatici certant et adhuc sub judice lis est ; 

and many, misled by Mr. Theodore Hook's frequent and 
liberal application of the discovery, were in the habit of 



THE GARRICK CLUB. 225 

ascribing it to him. But Mr. Thomas Hill, the celebrated 
" trecentenarian " of a popular song, who was present at 
Mr. Hook's first introduction to the beverage, has set the 
matter at rest by a brief narration of the circumstances. 
One hot afternoon, in July, 1835, the inimitable author of 
" Sayings and Doings " (what a book might be made of his 
own !) strolled into the Garrick in that equivocal state of 
thirstiness which it requires something more than common 
to quench. On describing the sensation, he was recom- 
mended to make a trial of the punch, and a jug was 
compounded immediately under the personal inspection of 
Mr. Price. A second followed — a third, with the accom- 
paniment of some chops — a fourth — a fifth — a sixth— at the 
expiration of which Mr. Hook went away to keep a dinner 
engagement at Lord Canterbury's. He always ate little, 
and on this occasion he ate less, and Mr. Horace Twiss 
inquired in a fitting tone of anxiety if he was ill. " Not 
exactly," was the reply ; " but my stomach won't bear 
trifling with, and I was tempted to take a biscuit and a glass 
of sherry about three." 

The receipt for the gin punch is as follows : — Pour half a 
pint of gin on the outer peel of a lemon, then a little lemon- 
juice, a glass of maraschino, about a pint and a quarter of 
water, and two bottles of iced soda-water ; and the result 
will be three pints of the punch in question. 

Another choice spirit of the Garrick was the aforesaid 
Hill, " Tom Hill," as he was called by all who loved and 
knew him. He " happened to know everything that was 
going forward in all circles — ^mercantile, political, fashionable, 
literary, or theatrical ; in addition to all matters connected 
with military and naval affairs, agriculture, finance, art, and 
science — everything came alike to him." He was born in 
J 760, and was many years a drysalter at Queenhithe, but 
about 1 8 10 he lost a large sum of money by a speculation in 
indigo; after which he retired, upon the remains of his 
property, to chambers in the Adelphi. While at Queen- 

Q 



226 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

hithe, Jie found leisure to make' a fine coUeiction of old 
books, chiefly old poetry, which were valued at six thousand 
pounds. He greatly assisted' two friendless poets, Bloom^ 
field and Kirke White ; he also established The Monthly 
Mirror, which brought, hirn much into connexion ' with 
dramatic poets, actors, and managers, when he collected 
theatrical curiosities and relics. Hill was the Hull ol 
Hook's clever novel, " Gilbert Gurney," and the reputed, 
original of Paul Pry, though, the latter is doubtful. The 
standard joke about him was his age. He died in 1841, in 
his eighty-first year, though Hook and all his friends always 
affected to consider him as quite a Methuselah. James 
Smith once said that it was impossible to discover his age, 
for the parish register had been burnt in the fire of London ; 
but Hook capped this: — ^^ Pooh, pooh I — (Tom's habitual 
exclamation) — he's one of the Little HiUs that are spoken 
of as skipping in the Psalms." As a mere octogenarian he 
was wonderful enough. No human being would, from his 
appearance, gait, or habits, would have guessed him to be 
sixty. Till within three months of his death, Hill rose at 
five usually, and brought the materials of his breakfast home 
with him to the Adelphi from a walk to Billingsgate ; and at 
dinner he would eat and drink like an adjutant -of fiveTand- 
twenty: One secret was, that a " banyan-day " uniformly 
followed a festivity. He then nursed himself most carefully 
on tea and dry toast, tasted neither meat nor wine, and went 
to bed by eight o'clock. But perhaps the grand secret was, 
the easy, imperturbable serenity of his temper. .He had 
been kind and generous in die day of his wealth ; and 
though his evening was comparatively poor, his cheerful 
heart kept its even beat. > 

Hill was a patierit collector throughout his long life. His 
old English pofetry, which Southey considered the rarest 
assemblage in existence^ was dispersed in 1810 jaild, after 
Hill's jdeath, his literary rarities and memorials occupied 
Evans, of Pall Mall, a clear week to sell by auction: the 



THE REFORM CLUB. zzj 

autograph letters were very interesting, and among' the 
hiemorials were Garrick's Shakspfiare Cup and a vase curved 
from the Bard's mulberry-tree ; and a block of wood from 
Pope's willow, at Twickenham. 

Albert Smith was also of the Garrick, and usually dined 
here before commencing his evening entertainments at the 
Egyptian Hall, in Piccadilly. 

Smith was very clubbable, and with benevolent aims : 
he was a leader of the Fielding Club, in Maiden-lane, 
Covent Garden, which gave several amateur theatrical 
representations towards the establishment of " a Fund for 
the immediate relief of emergencies in the Literary or 
Theatrical world ;" having already devoted a considerable 
sum to charitable piuposes. This plan of relieving the 
woes of others through our own pleasures is a touch of 
nature which yields twofold gratification. 

The Reform Club. 

This political Club was established by Liberal Members 
of the two Houses of Parliament, to aid the carrying of the 
Reform Bill, 1 830-1 83 z. It was temporarily located in Great 
George-street, and Gwydyr House, Whitehall, until towards 
the close of 1837, when designs for a new Club-house were 
submitted by the architects, Blore, Basevi, Cockerell, 
Sydney SmirkCj and Barry. The design of' the latter was 
preferred, and the site selected in Pall Mall, extending from 
the spot formerly occupied by the temporary National 
Gallery. (late the residence of Sir Walter Stirling), on one 
side of the temporary Reform Club-house, over, the vacant 
plot of ground oh the other side. The instructions were to 
produce I a Club-house which would surpass all others in size 
and magnificence; one which should combine all the 
attractions of other Clubs, such as baths, billiard-rooms, 
smoking-rooms, with the ordinary accommodations ; besides 
the additional novelty of private chambers, or dormitories. 
Q 2 



228 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

The frontage towards Pall Mall is about 135 feet, or nearly 
equal to the frontage of the Athenaeum (76 feet) and the 
Travellers' (74 feet); The style of the Reform is pure 
Italian, the architect having taken some points from the 
celebrated Famese Palace at Rome, designed by Michael 
Angelo Buonarroti, in 1545, and built by Antonio Sangallo; 
However, the resemblance between the two edifices has 
been greatly overstated, it consisting only in both of them 
being astylar, with columnar-decorated fenestration. The 
exterior is greatly admired ; though it is objected, and with 
reason, that the windows are too small. The Club-house 
contains six floors and 134 apartments : the basement and 
mezzanine below the street pavement, and the chambers 
in the roof are not seen. 

The points most admired are extreme simplicity and unity 
of design, combined with very unusual richness. The 
breadth of the piers between the windows contributes not a 
little to that repose which is so essential to simplicity, and 
hardly less so to stateliness. The string-courses are par- 
ticularly beautiful, while the cornicione (68 feet from the 
pavement) gives extraordinary majesty and grandeur to the 
whole. The roof is covered with Italian tiles ; the edifice 
is faced throughout with Portland stone, and is a very fine 
specimen of masonry. In building it a strong scaffolding 
was constructed, and on the top was laid a railway, upon 
which was worked a traversing crane, movable along the 
building either longitudinally or transversely; by which 
means the stones were raised from the ground, and placed 
on the wall with very little labour to the mason, who had 
only to adjust the bed and lay the block.* 

In the centre of the interior is a grand hall, 56ft. by 50, 
(the entire height of the building,) resembling an Italian 
cortile, surrounded by colonnades, below Ionic, and above 
Corinthian ; the latter is a picture-gallery, where, inserted in 



Civil En^neer and Architects' yoiirnal, 184^, 



THE REFORM CLUB. 229 

the^ scagliola walls, are whole-length portraits of emment 
political Reformers ; while the upper colonnadehas rich floral 
mouldings, and frescoes of Music, Poetry, Painting, and 
Sculpture, by Parris. The floor of the hall is tessellated ; 
and the entire roof is strong diapered flint-glass, executed 
by Pellatt, at the cost of 600/. The staircase, like that of an 
Italian palace, leads to the upper gallery of the hall, opening 
into the principal drawing-room, which is over the coffee- 
room in the garden-front, both being the entire length of 
the building ; adjoining are a library, card-room, etc., over 
the library and dining-rooms. Above are a billiard-room 
and lodging-rooms for members of the Club ; there being a 
separate entrance to the latter by a lodge adjoining the 
Travellers' Club-house. 

The basement comprises two-storied wine-cellars beneath 
the hall ; besides the kitchen department, planned by Alexis 
Soyer, originally chef-de-cuisine of the Club : it contains novel 
employments of steam and gas, and mechanical applications 
of practical ingenuity ; the inspection of which was long one 
of the privileged sights of London. The cuisine, under 
M. Soyer, enjoyed European fame. Soyer first came to 
England on a visit to his brother, who vras then cook to the 
Duke of Cambridge ; and at Cambridge House, Alexis 
cooked his first dinner in England, for the then Prince 
George. Soyer afterwards entered the service of various 
noblemen, amongst others of Lord Ailsa, Lord Panmure, 
etc. He then entered into the service of the Reform Club', 
and the breakfast given by that Club on the occasion of the 
Queen's Coronation obtained him high commendation. His 
ingenuity gave a sort of celebrity to the great political ban- 
quets given at the Reform. In his O'Connell dinner, the 
soufflts d, la Clontarf wreiQ considered by gastronomes to be 
a rich bit of satire. The banquet to Ibrahim Pacha, July 3, 
1846, was another of Soyer's great successes, when Merlans 
a I'Egyptienne, la Creme d'Egypte and \ I'Ibrahim Pacha, 
mingled with Le Gateau Britannique k I'Amiral (Napier). 



230 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Another famous banquet was that given to Sir C. Napier, 
March 3, 1854, as Commander of the Baltic Fleet; and.the 
banquet given July 20, 1850, to Viscount Palmerston, who 
was a popular leader of the Reform, was, gastronomically as 
well as politically, a brilliant triumph. It was upon this 
memorable occasion that Mr, Bernal Osborne characterized 
the Palmerston policy in this quotation : — 

Warmed by the instincts of a knightly heart, 
That roused at once if insult touched the realm. 

He spumed each State-craft, each deceiving art, 
And met his foes no vizor to his helm. 

This proved his worth, hereafter be our boast — 
Who hated Britons, hated him the most. 

Lord Palmerston was too true an Englishman to be in- 
sensible to " the pleasures, of the table," as attested by the 
hospitahties of Cambridge House, during his administration. 
One of his Lordship's political opponents, writing in 1836, 
says: "Lord Palmerston is redeemed from the last extremity 
of political degradation by his cook." A distinguished 
member of the diplomatic body was once overheard- re- 
marking to an Austrian nobleman upon the Minister's short- 
comings in some respects, adding, " mais on dine fort bien 
chez lui." 

It is always interesting to read a foreigner's opinion of 
English society. The following observations, by the Vis- 
countess de Malleville, appeared originally in the Courrier 
de r Europe, and preceded an account of the Reform. Com- 
mencing with Clubs, the writer remarks : 

" It cannot be denied that these assemblages, wealthy and 
widely extended in their ramifications, selfish in principle, 
but perfectly adapted to the habits of the nation, oifer 
valuable advantages to those who have the good fortune to 
be enrolled in them. , . . The social state and manners of 
the country gave the first idea of them. The spirit of associa- 
tion which is so inherent in the British character, did the 
rest. It is only within the precincts of these splendid 



THE REFORM CLUB. 231 

edifices, where all the requirements of opulent life, all the 
comforts and luxuries of princely habitations, are combined, 
that we can adequately appreciate the advantages and the 
complicated -results produced by such a system of associa- 
tion. For an annual subscription, comparatively of small 
amount, every member of a Club is admitted into a circle, 
which is enlivened and renewed from time to time by the 
accession of strangers of distinction. A well-selected and 
extensive library, newspapers and pamphlets from all parts 
of the world, assist him to pass the hours of leisure and 
digestion. According as his tastes incline, a man may 
amuse himself in the saloons devoted to play, to reading, or 
to conversation. In a word, the happy man, who only goes 
to get bis dinner, may drink the best wines out of the finest 
cut-glass, and may eat the daintiest and best-cooked viands 
ofi" the most costly plate, at such moderate prices as no 
Parisian restaiirateur could afford. The advantages of a 
Club do not end here : it becomes for each of its members 
a second dcwnestic hearth, where the cares of business and 
household annoyances cannot assail him. As a retreat 
especially sacred against the visitations of idle acquaintances 
and tiresome creditors — a sanctuary in which each member 
feels himself in the society of those who act and sympathize 
with him— the Club will ever remain a resort, tranquil, 
elegant, and exclusive ; interdicted to the humble and to the 
insignificant." 

The writer then proceeds to illustrate the sumptuous 
character of our new Club-houses by reference to the Reform. 
" Unlike in most English buildings, the staircase is wide and 
commodious, and calls to mind that of the Louvre. The 
quadrangular apartment which terminates it, is surrounded 
by spacious galleries ; the rich mosaic pavement, in which 
the brilliancy of the colour is only surpassed by the variety 
of the design — the cut-glass ceiling, supported by four rows 
of marble pillars — all these things call to remembrance the 
most magnificent apartments of Versailles in the days of the 



232 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

great king and his splendours. This is the vestibule, which 
is the grand feature of the mansion." The kitchen is then 
described — "spacious as a ball-room, kept in the finest 
order, and white as a young bride. All-powerful steam, the 
noise of which salutes your ear as you enter, here per- 
forms a variety of offices : it diffuses a uniform heat to large 
rows of dishes, warms the metal plates upon which are dis- 
posed the dishes that have been called for, and that are in 
waiting to be sent above : it turns the spits, draws the water, 
carries up the coal, and moves the plate like an intelligent 
and indefatigable servant. Stay awhile before this octagonal 
apparatus, which occupies the centre of the place. Around 
you the water boils and the stew-pans bubble, and a little 
further on is a movable furnace, before which pieces of 
meat are converted into savoury rdtis; here are sauces and 
gravies, stews, broths, soups, etc. In the distance are Dutch 
ovens, marble mortars, lighted stoves, iced plates of metal 
for fish ; and various compartments for vegetables, fruits, 
roots, and spices. After this inadequate, though prodigious 
nomenclature, the reader may perhaps picture to himself a 
state of general confusion, a disordered assemblage, re- 
sembling that of a heap of oyster-shells. If so, he is mis- 
taken ; for, in fact, you see very little, or scarcely anything 
of all the objects above described. The order of their 
arrangement is so perfect, their distribution as a whole, and 
in their relative bearings to one another, are all so intelli- 
gently considered, that you require the aid of a guide to 
direct you in exploring them, and a good deal of time to 
classify in your mind all your discoveries. 

" Let all strangers who come to London for business, or 
pleasure, or curiosity, or for whatever cause, not fail to visit 
the Reform Club. In an age of utilitarianism, and of the 
search for the comfortable, like ours, there is more to be 
learned here than in the ruins of the Coliseum, of the 
Parthenon, or of Memphis." 



233 



The Carlton Club. 

The Carlton is purely a political Club, and was founded 
by the great Duke of Wellington, and a few of his most 
intimate political friends. It held its first meeting in 
Charles-street, St. James's, in the year 1831. In the follow- 
ing year it removed to larger premises, Lord Kensington's, 
in Carlton Gardens. In 1836, an entirely new house was 
built for the Club, in Pail-Mall, by Sir Robert Smirke, R.A. : 
it was of small extent, and plain and inexpensive. As the 
Club grew in numbers and importance, the building became 
inadequate to its wants. In 1846, a very large addition was 
made to it by Mr. Sydney Smirke; and in 1854, the whole 
of the original ediiice was taken down, and rebuilt by Mr. 
Smirke, upon a sumptuous scale j and it will be the largest, 
though not the most costly Club-house, in the metropolis. 
It is a copy of Sansovino's Library of St. Mark, at Venice : 
the entablature of the Ionic, or upper order, is considerably 
more ponderous than that of the Doric below, which is an 
unorthodox defect. The faQade is highly enriched, and 
exhibits a novelty, in the shafts of all the columns being e£ 
red Peterhead granite, highly polished, which, in contrast 
with the dead stone, is objectionable : " cloth of frieze and 
cloth of gold " do not wear well together. In the garden 
front the pilasters, which take the place of columns in the 
entrance front and flank, are of the same material as the 
latter, namely, Peterhead granite, polished. Many predic- 
tions were at first ventured upon as to the perishable nature 
of the lustre of the polished granite shafts ; but these pre- 
dictions have been falsified by time ; nine years' exposure 
having produced no effect whatever on the polished surface. 
Probably the polish itself is the protection of the granite, 
by preventing moisture from hanging on the surface. 

The Carlton contains Conservatives of every hue, from 
the good old-fashioned Tory to the liberal progressist of the 



234 CLUB LIFE OF LONDUiV. 

latest movements, — ^men of high position in fortune and 
politics. 

Some thirty years ago, a Qtiarterly reviewer wrote : " The 
improvement and multiplication of Clubs is the grand 
feature of metropolitan progress. There are between twenty 
and thirty of these admirable establishments, at which a 
man of moderate habits can dine more comfortably for three 
or four shillings (including half a pint of wine), than he 
could have dined for four or five times that amount at the 
coffee-houses and hotels, which were the habitual resort of 
the bachelor class in the coixesponding rank of life during 
the first quarter of the century. At some of the Clubs — the 
Travellers', tlie Coventry, and the Carlton, for example — 
the most finished luxury may be enjoyed at a very mode- 
rate cost . The best judges are agreed that it is utterly 
impossible to dine better than at the Carlton, when the cook 
has fair notice, and is not 'hurried, or confused by a multi- 
tude of orders. But great allowances must be made when 
a simultaneous rush occurs from both Houses of Parliament; 
and the caprices of individual members of such institutions 
are sometimes extremely trying to the temper and reputation 
of a chef." 

The Conservative Club. 

This handsome Club-house, which occupies a portion of 
the site of the old Thatched House Tavern, 74, St. James's- 
street, was designed by Sydney Smirke and George Basevi, 
1845. The upper portion is Corinthian, with columns and 
pilasters, and a frieze sculptured with the imperial crown 
and oak-wreaths ; the lower order is Roman-Doric ; and the 
wings are slightly advanced, with an enriched entrance- 
porch north, and a bay-window south. The interior was 
superbly decorated in colour by Sang : the coved hall, with 
a gallery round it, and the domed vestibule above it, is a 
fine specimen of German encaustic embellishment, in the 
arches, soffites, spandrels, and ceilings ; and the hall-floor is 



THE CONSERVATIVE CLUB. 235 

tessellated, around a noble star of marqueterie. The even- 
ing room, on the first floor, has an enriched coved ceiling, 
and a beautiful frieze of the rose, shamrock, and thistle, 
supported by scagliola Corinthian columns: the morning 
room, beneath, is of the same dimensions, with Ionic pillars. 
The library, in the upper story north, has columns and 
pilasters with bronzed capitals. Beneath is the coffee-room. 
Tlie kitchen is far more spacious than that of the Reform 
Club. In the right wing is a large bay-window, whicli was 
introduced as an essential to the morning room, affording 
the lounger a view of Pall Mall and St. James's-street, and 
the Palace gateway -, this introduction reminding us, by the 
way, of Theodore Hook's oddly comparing the bay-window 
of a coffee-house nearly on the same spot, to an obese old 
gentleman in a white waistcoat. Hook lived for some time 
in Cleveland-row : he used to describe ^e^ real London as 
the space between Pall Mall on the south, Piccadilly north, 
St. James's west, and the Opera-house east. 

This is the second Club of the Conservative party, and 
many of its chiefs are honorary members, but rarely enter 
it : Sir-Robert Peel is said never to have entered this Club- 
house except to view the interior. Other leaders have, 
however, availed themselves of the Club influences to recruit 
their ranks from its working strength. This has been 
political ground for a century and a half; for here, at the 
Thatched House Tavern, Swift met his political Clubs, and 
dined with Tory magnates ; but with fewer appliances than 
in the present day ; in Swift's time " the wine being always 
brought by him that is president."* 



* The Palace clock has connected with it an odd anecdote, which 
we received from Mr. Vulliamy, of Pall Mall, who, with his family, as 
predecessors, had been the royal clockmakers since 1743. When the 
Palace Gate-house was repaired, in 1831, the clock was removed, and 
not put up again. The inhabitants of the neighbourhood, mlissing the 
clock, memorialized William IV. for the replacement of the time- 



236 



The Oxford and Cambridge Club. 

The Oxford and Cambridge Club-house, 71, Pall Mal^ 
for members of the two Universities, was designed by 
Sir Robert Smirke, R.A., and his brother, Mr. Sydney 
Smirke, 1835-8. The Pall Mall fagade is 80 feet in width 
by 75 in height, and the rear lies over-against the court of 
Marlborough House. The ornamental detail is very rich : 
as the entrance-portico, with Corinthian columns ; the bal- 
cony, with its panels of metal foliage ; and the ground-storey 
frieze, and arms of Oxford and Cambridge Universities 
over the portico columns. The upper part of the build- 
ing has a delicate Corinthian entablature and balustrade; 
and above the principal windows are bas-reliefs in panels, 
executed in cement by Nicholl, from designs by Sir R. 
Smirke, as follows: — Centre panel: Minerva and Apollo 
presiding on Mount Parnassus ; and the River Helicon, 
surrounded by the Muses. Extreme panels : Homer singing 
to a warrior, a female and a youth; Virgil singing his 
Georgics to a group of peasants. Other four panels : Milton 
reciting to his daughter ; Shakspeare attended by Tragedy 
and Comedy; Newton explaining his system ; Bacon, his 
philosophy. Beneath the ground-floor is a basement of 
offices, and an entresol or mezzanine of chambers. The 
principal apartments are tastefully decorated ; the drawing- 
room is panelled with papier m&cM ; and the libraries are 
filled with book-cases of beautifully marked Russian birch- 



keeper, when the King inquired why it was not restored ; the reply 
was that the roof was reported unsafe to carry the weight, which His 
Majesty having ascertained, he shrewdly demanded how, if the roof 
were not strong enough to carry the clock, it was safe for the number of 
persons occasionally seen upon it to witness processions, and the com- 
pany on drawing-room days? There was no questioning the calcula- 
tion ; the clock was forthwith replaced, and a minute-hand was added, 
with new dials. (" Curiosities of London," p. 571.) 



THE GUARDS CLUB. 237 

wood. From the back library is a view of Marlborough 
House and its gardens. 

The Guards Club 

Was formerly housed in St. James's-street, next Crockford's, 
north; but, in 1850, they removed to Pall Mall, (No. 70.) 
The new Club-house was designed for them by Henry 
Harrison, and remarkable for its compactness and con- 
venience, although its size and external appearance indicate 
no more than a private house. The architect has adopted 
some portion of a design of Sansovino's in the lower part or 
basement. 

The Army and Navy Club. 

The Army and Navy Club-house, Pall Mall, corner of 
George-street, designed by Pamell and Smith, was opened 
February, 1851. The exterior is a combination from San- 
sovino's Palazzo Cornaro, and Library of St. Mark at 
Venice ; but varying in the upper part, which has Corinthian 
columns, with windows resembling arcades filling up the 
intercolumns ; and over their arched headings are groups of 
naval and military symbols, weapons, and defensive armour 
— ^very picturesque. The frieze has also effective groups 
symbolic of the Army and Navy ; the cornice, likewise very 
bold, is crowned by a massive balustrade. The basement, 
from the Cornaro, is rusticated ; the entrance being in the 
centre of the east or George-stroet front, by three open arches, 
similar in character to those in the Strand front of Somerset 
House ; the whole is extremely rich in ornamental detail. 
The hall is fine ; the coffee-room is panelled with scaghola, 
and has a ceiling enriched with flowers, and pierced for ven- 
tilation by heated flues above ; adjoining is a room lighted 
by a glazed plafond j next is the house dining-room, deco- 
rated in the Munich style ; and more superb is the morning- 
room, with its arched windows, and mirrors forming arcades 



238 CZ UB LIFE OF L ONDVJsr. 

and VistaS' inilumerable. A ihagiiificent stone staircase 
leads to the library and reading-rooms'; and in the third 
storey are billiard and card rooms ; and a smoking-room with 
a lofty dome elaborately decorated in traceried Moresque. 
The apartments are adorned with an equestrian por- 
trait of Queen Victoria, painted by Grant, R.A. ; a piece ot 
Gobelin tapestry (Sacrifice to Diana), presented to the Club 
in 1849 by Prince Louis Napoleon; marble busts of Wil- 
liam IV. and the Dukes of Kent and Cambridge; and 
several life-size portraits of naval and military heroes. The 
Cliib-house is provided with twenty lines of Whishaw's 
Telekouphona, or Speaking Telegraph, which communicate 
from the Secretary's room to the various apartments. The 
cost of this superb edifice, exclusive of fittings, was 35,000/. ; 
the plot of ground on which it stands cost the Club 
52,000/. 

The Club system has added several noble specimens of 
ornate architecture to the metropolis ; to the south side of 
Pall Mall these fine edifices have given a truly patrician air. 
But, it is remarkable that while both parties political have 
contributed magnificent edifices towards the metropolis and 
their opinions ; while the Conservatives can show with pride 
two splendid piles, and the Liberals at least one handsome 
one; while the Army and Navy have recently a third palace — 
the most successful of the three they can boast ; while ' the 
Universities, the ' sciences, even our Lidian empire, come 
forward, the fashionable clubs, the aristocratic clubs, do 
nothing for the general aspett of London, and have made 
no move in a direciiOn where they ought to have been first. 
Can anything be more paltry than that bay-window from 
which the members of White's contemplate the cabstand 
and the Welliiigton Tavern ? and yet a little management 
migfht make that house worthy of its unparalleled situation; 
and if it were extended to Piccadilly, it would be the finest 
thing of its kind in Europe. 



239 



The Junior United Service Club, 

At the comer of Charles-street and Regentstreet, was 
erected in 1855-57, Nelson and James, architects, and has 
a most embellished exterior, enriched with characteristic 
sculpture by John Thomas. The design is described in the 
Builder as in the Italian style of architecture, the bay- 
window in Regent-street forming a prominent feature in the 
composition, above which is a sculptured group allegorical 
of the Army and Navy. The whole of the sculpture and 
ornamental details throughout the building are characteristic 
of the profession of the members of the Club. The exterior 
of the building is surmounted by a richly-sculptured cornice, 
with modillion and dentils, and beneath it an elaborate frieze, 
having medallions with trophies and other suitable emblems, 
separated from each other by the rose, shamrock, and thistle. 
The external walls of the building are of Bath stone, and 
the balustrade around the area is of Portland stone ; and 
upon the angle-pieces of this are bronze lamps, supported 
by figures. The staircase is lighted from the top by a hand- 
some, lantern, filled with painted glass, with an elaborate 
coved and ornamented ceiling around. On the landing of 
the half space are two pairs of caryatidal figures, and single 
figures against the walls, supporting three semicircular arches, 
and the whole is reflected by looking-glasses on the landing. 
On . the upper landing of the staircase is the celebrated 
picture, by Allan, of the Battle of Waterloo. Upon the first 
floor fironting JRegent-street, and over the morning-room, 
and of the same dimensions, is the evening-room, which is 
also used as a picture-gallery, 24 feet high, with a bay- 
window fronting Regent-street. In the gallery are portraits 
of military, and naval commanders; Queen Victoria and 
Prince Albert, and the Emperor Napoleon ; and an alle- 
gorical group in silver, presented to the Club by his Imperial 
Majesty. 



240 



Crockford's Club. 

This noted gaming Club-house, No. 50, on the west side of 
St. James's-street, over against White's, was built for Mr. 
Crockford, in 1827 ; B. and P. Wyatt, architects. 

Crockford started in life as a fishmonger, at the old bulk- 
shop next-door to Temple Bar Without, which he quitted 
for play in St. James's. " For several years deep play went 
on at all the Clubs — ^fluctuating both as to locality and 
amount — till by degrees it began to flag. It was at a low 
ebb when Mr. Crockford laid the foundation of the most 
colossal fortune that was ever made by play. He began 
by taking Watier's old Club-house, in partnership with a 
man named Taylor. They set up a hazard-bank, and won 
a great deal of money, but quarrelled and separated at the 
end of the first year. Taylor continued where he was, had 
a bad year, and failed. Crockford removed to St. James's- 
street, had a good year, and immediately set about building 
the magnificent Club-house which bears his name. It rose 
like a creation of Aladdin's lamp ; and the genii themselves 
could hardly have surpassed the beauty of the internal deco- 
rations, or furnished a more accomplished moltre d'hdtel'&iwi 
Ude. To make the company as select as possible, the 
establishment was regularly organized as a Club, and the 
election of members vested in a committee. ' Crockford's ' 
became the rage, and the votaries of fashion, whether they 
liked play or not, hastened to enrol themselves. The Duke 
of Wellington was an original member, though (unlike 
Bliicher, who repeatedly lost everything he had at play) 
the great Captain was never known to play deep at any 
game but war or politics. Card-tables were regularly 
placed, and whist was played occasionally; but the aim, 
end, and final cause of the whole was the hazard-bank, 
at which the proprietor took his nightly stand, prepared 
for all comers. Le Wellington des Joueurs lost 23,000/, 




Dolly, 

Mistress of " Dolly's Chop House," 

St. Paul's Cliurcliyard, 1700. 










ir' j_ rrrr 
frrf rrn Tr 
frrr rrl-Lrrrr 




The Rose, Fenchurch Street. 
{From an Original Drawing injhi Kin^s Library.) 



CROCKFORD-S CLUB. 241 

at a sitting, beginning at twelve at night, and ending at 
seven the following evening. He and three other noble- 
men could not have lost less, sooner or later, than 100,000/. 
apiece. Others lost in proportion (or out of proportion) to 
their means j but we leave it to less occupied moralists, and 
better calculators, to say how many ruined families went to 
make Mr. Crockford a millionnairc — for a millionnaire he 
ft-as in the English sense of the term, after making the largest 
possible allowance for bad debts. A vast sum, perhaps half 
a million, was sometimes due to him ; but as he won, all his 
debtors were able to raise, and easy credit was the most fatal 
of his lures. He retired in 1840, much as an Indian chief 
retires from a hunting country where there is not game enough 
left for his tribe, and the Club is now tottering to its fall."* 
The Club-house consists of two wings and a centre, with 
four Corinthian pilasters, and entablature, and a balustrade 
throughout; the ground-floor has Venetian wmdows, and 
the upper story, large French windows. The entrance-hall 
Iiad a screen of Roman-Ionic scagliola columns with gilt 
capitals, and a cupola of gilding and stained glass. The 
library has Sienna columns and antae of the Ionic order, from 
the Temple of Minerva Polias; the staircase is panelled with 
scagliola, and enriched with Corinthian columns. The 
grand drawing-room is in the style ot Louis Quatorze : azure 
ground, with elaborate cove ; ceiHng enrichments bronze 
gilt; door-way paintings d, la Watteau; and panelling, masks, 
terminals, heavy gilt. Upon the opening of the Club-house, 
it was described in the exaggerated style, as " the New Pan- 
demonium J the drawing-rooms, or real Hell, consisting of 
four chambers ; the first an ante-room, opening to a salooii 
embellished to a degree which baffles description ; thence 
to a small, curiously-formed cabinet, or boudoir, which opens 
to the supper-room. All these rooms are panelled in the 
most gorgeous manner, spaces being left to be filled up with 



Edinburgh Review, 



248 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

mirrors, silk or gold enrichments ; the ceilings being as 
superb as the walls. A billiard-room on the upper floor 
completes the number of apartments professedly dedicated 
to the use of the members. Whenever any secret manoeuvre 
is to be cai-ried on, there are smaller and more retired places, 
both under this roof and the next, whose walls will tell no 
tales." 

. The cuisine at Crockford's was of the highest class, and 
the members were occasionally very exigeant, and trying 
to the patience of M. Ude. At one period of his presidency, 
a ground of complaint, formally addressed to the Com- 
mittee, was that there was an admixture of onion in the 
souUse. Colonel Damer, happening to enter Crockford's 
one evening to dine early, found Ude walking up and down 
in a towering passion, and naturally inquired what was the 
matter. "No matter. Monsieur le Colonel ! Did you see 
that man who has just gone out ? Well, he ordered a red 
mullet for his dinner. I made him a delicious little sauce 
withmy own hands. The price of the mullet marked on the 
carte was 2s, ; I asked dd. for the sauce. He refuses to pay 
the dd. The imb'ecile apparently believes that the red 
mullets come out of the sea with my sauce in their pockets !" 
The imbkile might have retorted that they do come out of 
the sea with their appropriate sauce in their pockets ; but 
this forms no excuse for damaging the consummate genius of 
a Ude. 

The appetites of some Club members appear to entitle 
them to be qz!^^ gourmands rather than\§»«mi?/.f. Of such 
a member of Crockford's the following traits are related in 
the Quarterly Review, No. no: — "The Lord-lieutenant 
of one of the western counties eats a covey of partridges for 
breakfast every day during the season; and there is a 
popular M.P. at present [1836] about town who would eat a 
covey of partridges, as the Scotchman ate a dozfen of beca- 
ficos, for a whet, and feel himself astonished if his appetite 
was not accelerated by the circumstance. Most people 



CROCJCFORD'S CLUB. 243 

must have seen or heard of a caricature representing a 
gentleman at dinner upon a round of beef, with the landlord 
looking on. 'Capital beef, landlord!' says the gentleman; 
' a man may cut and come again here.' 'You may cut, sir,' 
responds Boniface; 'but I'm blow'dif you shall come again.' 
The person represented is the M.P. in question; and the 
sketch is founded upon fact. He had Occasion to stay late 
in the City, and walked into the celebrated Old Bailey beef- 
shop on his return, where, according to the landlord's com- 
putation, he demolished about seven pounds and a half of 
solid meat, uith a proportionate allowance of greens. His 
exploits at Crockford's have been such, that the founder of 
that singular institution has more than once had serious 
thoughts of giving him a guinea to sup elsewhere : and has 
only been prevented by the fear of meeting with a rebuff 
similar to that mentioned in 'Roderick Random' as received- 
by the master of an ordinary, who, on proposing to buy off 
an ugly customer, was informed by him that he had already 
been bought off' by all the other ordinaries in town, and was 
consequently under the absolute necessity of continuing to 
patf6ni2ie the establishment" 

Theodore Hook was a frequent visitor at Crockford's, 
where play did not begin till late. Mr. Barbara describes 
him, after going the round of the Clubs, proposing, with 
some gay companion, to finish with half-an-hour at Crock- 
ford's : " The half-hour is quadrupled, and the excitement of 
the preceding evening was nothing to that which now 
ensued." He had a receipt of his own to prevent being 
exposed to the night air. "I was very ill," he once said, 
" some months ago, and my doctor gave me particular orders 
not to expose niyself to it ; so I come up [from Fulham] 
eVery day to'Crbckford's, or some other place to dinner, and 
I make it a rule on no account to go hoine again till about 
four or five o'clock' in the morning." 

After Crockford's dSath,* the Club-house was sold by his 
executors for 2,900/:'; held on lease, of which thirty-two 

R a 



244 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

years were unexpired, subject to a yearly rent of 1,400/. It 
is said that the decorations alone cost 94,000/. The in- 
terior was re-decorated in 1849, and opened for the Military, 
Naval, and County Service Club, but was closed again in 
1 85 1. It has been, for several years, a dining-house— " the 
Wellington." 

Crockford's old bulk-shop, west of Temple-bar, was taken 
down in 1846. It is engraved in " Archer's Vestiges of 
London," part i. A view in 1795, '^ ^^ Crowle Pennant, 
presents one tall gable to the street ; but the pitch of the 
roof had been diminished by adding two imperfect side 
gables. The heavy pents originally traversed over each of 
the three courses of windows ; it was a mere timber frame, 
filled up with lath and plaster, the beams being of deal, 
with short oak joints : it presented a capital example of the 
old London bulk-shop (sixteenth century), with a heavy 
canopy projecting over the pathway, and turned up at the 
rim to carry off the rain endwise. This shop had long been 
held by a succession of fishmongers ; and Crockford would 
not permit the house-front to be altered in his lifetime. He 
was known in gaming circles by the sobriquet of "the 
Fishmonger." 

'* King Allen," " The Golden Ball," and Scrope 
Davies, 

In the old days when gaming was in fashion, at Waller's 
Club, princes and nobles lost or gained fortunes between 
themselves. It was the same at Brookes's, one member of 
which. Lord Robert Spencer, was wise enough to apply wha) 
he had won to the purchase of the estate of Vfoolbidding, 
Suffolk. Then came Crockford's hell, the proprietor of 
which, a man who had begun life with a fish-basket, won 
the whole of the ready money of the then existing genera- 
tion of aristocratic simpletons. Among the men who most 
suffered by play was Viscount Allen, or " King Allen," as 



" KING ALLEN" " GOLDEN BALL," ETC. 245 

he was called. This efifeminate dandy had fought like a 
young lion in Spain ; for the dandies, foolish as they looked, 
never wanted pluck. The "King" then lounged about 
town, grew fat, lost his all, and withdrew to Dublin, where, 
in Merrion-square, he slept behind a large brass plate with 
" Viscount Allen " upon it, which was as good to him as 
board wages, for it brought endless invitations from people 
eager to feed a viscount at any hour of the day or night, 
although " King Allen" had more ready ability in uttering 
disagreeable than witty things. 

Very rarely indeed did any of the ruined gamesters ever 
get on their legs again. The " Golden Ball," however, was 
an exception. Ball Hughes fell from the very top of the 
gay pagoda into the mud, but even there, as life was nothing 
to him without the old excitement, he played pitch and toss 
for halfpence, and he won and lost small ventures at battle- 
dore and shuttlecock, which innocent exercise he turned 
into a gambling speculation. After he withdrew, in very 
reduced circumstances, to France, his once mad purchase 
of Oatlands suddenly assumed a profitable aspect. The 
estate was touched by a railway and admired by building 
speculators, and between the two the " Ball," in its last days, 
had a very cheerful and glittering aspect indeed. 

Far less lucky than Hughes was Scrope Davies, whose 
name was once so familiar to every man and boy about 
town. There was good stuff about this dandy. He one 
iiight won the whole fortune of an aspiring fast lad who had 
come of age the week before, and who was so prostrated by 
his loss that kindly-hearted Scrope gave back the fortune 
the other had lost, on his giving his word of honour never 
to play again. Davies stuck to the green baize till his own 
fortune had gone among a score of less compassionate 
gentlemen. His distressed condition was made known to the 
young fellow to whom he had formerly acted with so much 
generosity, and that grateful heir refused to lend him even a 
guinea. Scrope was not of the gentlemen-ruffians of the day 



446 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

who were addicted to cruelly assaulting men weaker than 
themselves. He was well-bred and a scholar; and he bore 
his reverses with a rare philosophy. His home was on a 
bench in the Tuileries, where he received old acquaintances 
who visited him in exile ; but he admitted only very tried 
friends to the little room where he read and slept. He was 
famed for his readiness in quoting the classical poets, and 
for his admiration of Moore, in whose favour those quota- 
tions were frequently made. They were often most happy. 
For example, he translated 'Ubi//«ra nitent non tgo paucis 
ofifendar maculis,' by ' Moore shines so brightly that I cannot 
Jind fault with Little's vagaries/' He also rendered 'Ne 
plus ultra,' ' Nothing is better than Moore I' "* 

The Four-in-Hand Club. 

Gentleman-coaching has scarcely been known in England 
seventy-five years. The Anglo-Erich thonius, the Hon. Charles 
Finch, brother to the Earl of Aylesford, used to drive his 
own coach-and-four, disguised in a livery great coat. Soon 
after his d3ut, however, the celebrated " Tommy Onslow," 
Sir John Lacy, and others, mounted the box in their own 
characters. Sir John was esteemed a renowned judge of 
coach-horses and carriages, and a coachman of the old 
school ; but everything connected with the coach-box has 
undergone such a change, that the Nestors of the art are no 
longer to be quoted. ' Among the celebrities may be men- 
tioned the " B. C. D.," or Benson Driving Club, which held 
its rendezvous at the " Black Dog," Bedfont, as one of the 
numerous driving associations, whose processions used, some 
forty years ago, to be among the most imposing, as well as 
peculiar spectacles in and about the metropolis. 

On the stage, the gentlemen drivers, of whom the mem- 
bers of the Four-in-Hand Club were the exclusive Slite, were 



? Athenaum review of "Captain GronoVs Anecdotes." 



THE FOUR-IN-HAND CLUB. 447 

illustrated rather than caricatured in Goldfinch, in Holcroft's 
comedy The Read to Ruin. Some of them who had not 
"drags" of their own, "tipped" a weekly allowance to 
stage coachmen, to allow them to " finger the ribbons," and 
" tool the team." Of course, they frequently " spilt " the 
passengers. The closeness with which the professional 
coachmen were imitated by the " bucks," is shown in the 
case of Wealthy young Ackers, who had one of his front 
teeth taken out, in order that he might acquire the true 
coachman-like way of " spitting." There were men of 
brains, nevertheless, in the Four-in-Hand, who knew how to 
ridicule such fellow-members as Lord Onslow, whom they 
thus immortalized in an epigram of that day : — 

What can Tommy Onslow do ? 
He can drive a coach and two. 
Can Tommy Onslow do no more ? 
He can drive a coach and four. 

It is a curious fact, that the fashion of amateur cha- 
rioteering was first set by the ladies. Dr. Young has 
strikingly sketched, in his satires, the Delia who was as 
good a coachman as the man she paid for being so : — 

Graceful as John, she moderates the reins, 
And whistles sweet her diuretic strains. 

The Four-in-Hand combined gastronomy with eques- 
trianism and charioteering. They always drove out of 
town to dinner, and the ghost of Sgrope Davies will pardon 
our suggesting that the club of drivers and diners might 
well have taken for their motto, " Quadrigis, petimus bene 
vivere ! "* 

There is another version of the epigram on Torn 

Onslow : — 

Say, what can Tommy Onslow do? 
Can drive a curricle and two. 
Can Tommy Onslow do no more ? 
Yes, — drive a curricle and four. 



• Athenaum, No. 1739' 



248 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

This is the version current, we are told, among Onslow's 
relations in the neighbourhood of Guildford. 

Lord Onslow's celebrity as a whip long preceded the 
existence of the Four-in-Hand Club (the palmy days of 
which belong to the times of George the Fourth), and it 
was not a coach, but a phaeton, that he drove. A corre- 
spondent of the AihencBum writes : "I knew him personally, 
in my own boyhood, in Surrey, in the first years of the 
present century ; and I remember then hearing the epigram 
now referred to, not as new, but as well known, in the 
fallowing form : — 

What can little T. O. do ? 

Drive a phaeton and two. 

Can little T. O. do no more ? 

Yes, — drive a phaeton and four. 

Tommy Onslow was a little man, full of life and oddities, 
one of which was a fondness for driving into odd places ; 
and I remember the surprise of a pic-nic party, which he 
joined in a secluded spot, driving up in his ' phaeton and 
four ' through ways that were hardly supposed passable by 
anything beyond a flock of sheep. An earlier exploit of 
his had a less agreeable termination. He was once 
driving through Thames-street, when the hook of a crane, 
dangling down in front of one of the warehouses, caught 
the hood of the phaeton, tilting him out, and the fall broke 
his collar-bone." 

The vehicles of the Club which were formerly used are 
described as of a hybrid class, quite as elegant as private 
carriages and lighter than even the mails. They were horsed 
with the finest animals that money could secure. In general 
the whole four in each carriage were admirably matched ; 
grey and chestnut were the favourite colours, but occasion- 
ally very black horses, or such as were freely flecked with 
white, were preferred. The master generally drove the 
team, often a nobleman of high rank, who commonly copied 
the dress of a mail coachman. The company usuftlly rode 



THE FOUR-IN-HAND CLUB. 249 

outside, but two footmen in rich liveries were indispensable 
on the back seat, nor was it at all uncommon to see some 
splendidly-attired female on the box. A rule of the Club 
■was that all members should turn out three times a week ; 
and the start was made at mid-day, from the neighbourhood 
of Piccadilly, through which they passed to the Windsor- 
road, — the attendants of each carriage playing on their 
silver bugles. From twelve to twenty of these handsome 
vehicles often left London together. 

There remain a few handsome drags, superbly horsed. 
In a note to Nimrod's life-like sketch, " The Road,"* it is 
stated that "only ten years back, there were from thirty-four 
to forty four-in-hand equipages to be seen constantly about 
town." 

Nimrod has some anecdotical illustrations of the taste for 
the whif, which has undoubtedly declined; and at one 
time, perhaps, it occupied more attention among the higher 
classes of society than we ever wish to see it do again. 
Yet, taken in moderation, we can perceive no reason to 
condemn this branch of sport more than others. "If so 
great a personage as Sophocles could think it fitting to dis- 
play his science in public, in the trifling game of ball, why 
may not an English gentleman exercise his skill on a coach- 
box? If the Athenians, the most polished nation of all 
antiquity, deemed it an honour to be considered skilful 
charioteers, why should Englishmen consider it a disgrace ? 
To be serious, our amateur or gaitlemen-coachmen have done 
much good: the road would never have been what it now 
is, but for the encouragement they gave by their notice and 
support to all persons connected with it. Would the 
Holyhead road have been what it is, had there been no 
such persons as the Hon. Thomas Kenyon, Sir Henry 
Pamell, and Mr. Maddox ? Would the Oxford coachmen 



* Written, it must be recollected, some five-and-thirty years since. 
Reprinted in Murray's "Reading for tlie Rail." 



2SO CLVB LIFE OF LONDON. 

have set so good an example as they have done to their 
brethren of ' the bench,' had there been no such men oh 
their road as Sir Henry Peyton, Lord Clonmel, the late Sir 
Thomas Mostyn; that Nestor of coachmen, Mr. Annesley; 
and the late Mr. Harrison, of Shelswell ? Would not the 
unhappy coachmen of five-and-twenty years back have gone 
on, wearing out their breeches with the bumping of 'the old 
coach-box, and their stomachs with brandy, had not Mr. 
Warde, of Squerries, after many a weary endeavour, per- 
suaded the proprietors to place their boxes upon springs — 
the plan for accomplishing which was suggested by Mr. 
Roberts, nephew to the then proprietor of the White Horse, 
Fetter Lane, London, but now of the Royal Hotel, Calais ? 
What would the Devonshire road have been, but for the 
late Sir Charles Bamfylde, Sir John Rogers, Colonel Prouse, 
Sir Lawrence Palk, and others ? Have the advice and th6 
practice of such experienced men as Mr. Charles Buxton, 
Mr. Heniy Villebois, Mr. Okeover, Sir Bellingham Graham, 
Mr. John Walker, Lord Sefton, Sir Felix Agar,* Mr. Ackers, 
Mr. Maxse, Hon. Fitzroy Stanhope, Colonel Spicer, Colonel 
Sibthorpe, cum multis aliis, been thrown away upon persons 
who have looked up to them as protectors ? Certainly not : 
neither would the improvement in carriages — stage-coaches 
more especially — have arrived at its present heighl^ but for 
the attention and suggestions of such persons as we have 
been speaking of." 

A commemoration of long service in the coaching depart- 
ment may be related here. In the autumn of 1835, a hand- 
some compliment was paid to Mr. Charles Holmes, the 



* Perhaps one of the finest specimens of good coachmanship was 
performed by Sir Felix Agar. He made a bet, which he won, that he 
would drive his own four-horses-in-hand up Grosvenor-place, down the 
passage into Tattersall's Yard, around the pillar which stands in the 
centre of it, and back again into Grosvenor-place, without either of hit 
horses going at a slower pace than a trot. 



WHIST CLUBS. 



251 



driver and part proprietor of the Blenheim coach (from 
Woodstock to London) to celebrate the completion of his 
twentieth year on that well-appointed coacli, a period that 
had elapsed without a single accident to his coach, his pas- 
sengers, or himself; and during which time, \vith the ex- 
ception of a very short absence from indisposition, he had 
driven his sixty-five miles every day, making somewhere about 
twenty-three thousand miles a year. The numerous patrons 
of the coach entered into a subscription to present him with 
a piece of plate; and accordingly a cup, bearing the shape of 
an antique vase, the cover surmounted by a beautifully 
modelled horse, with a coach and four horses on one side, 
and a suitable inscription on the other, was presented to Mr. 
Holmes by that staunch patron of the road. Sir Henry 
Peyton, Bart., in August, at a dinner, at the Thatched 
House Tavern, St James's-street, to which between forty and 
fifty gentlemen sat down. The list of subscribers amounted 
to upwards of two hundred and fifty, including among others 
the Duke of Wellington. 

Whist Clubs. 

To Hoyle has been ascribed the invention of the game of 
■\Vhist This is certainly a mistake, though there can be no 
doubt that it was indebted to him for being first specially 
treated of and introduced to the public in a scientific man- 
ner. He also wrote on piquet, quadrille, and backgammon, 
but little is known of him more than that he was bom in 1672, 
and died in Cavendish-square on 29th August, 1769, at the 
advanced age of ninety-seven. He was a barrister by pro- 
fession, and Registrar of the Prerogative in Ireland, a post 
worth 600/. a year. His treatise on Whist, for which he 
received from the publisher the sum of 1000/., ran through 
five editions in one year, besides being extensively piratbd. 

Whist, Ombre, and Quadrille, at Court were used. 
And Bassett's power the City dames amused, 



a52 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Imperial Whist was yet but slight esteemed, 
And pastime fit for none but rustics deemed. 
How slow at first is still the growth of fame'! 
And what obstructions wait each rising name 1 
Our stupid fathers thus neglected, long. 
The glorious boast of Milton's epic song ; 
But Milton's muse at last a critic found. 
Who spread his praise o'er all the world around ; 
And Hoyle at length, for Whist performed the same, 
And proved its right to universal fame. 

Whist first began to be popular in England about 1 730, 
when it was very closely studied by a party of gentlemen, 
who formed a sort of Club, at the Crown Coffee-house, in 
Bedford-row. Hoyle is said to have given instructions in 
the game, for which his charge was a guinea a lesson. 

The Laws of Whist have been variously given.* More than 
half a century has elapsed since the supremacy of "long 
whist," was assailed by a reformed, or rather revolutionized 
form of the game. The champions of the ancient rules and 
methods did not at once submit to the innovation. The 
conservatives were not without some good arguments on their 
side ; but "short whist " had attractions that proved irre- 
sistible, and it has long since fully established itself as the 
only game to be understood when whist is named. But 
hence, in the course of time, has arisen an inconvenience. 
The old school of players had, in the works of Hoyle 
and Cavendish, manuals and text-books of which the rules, 
cases, and decisions were generally accepted. For short 
whist no such " volume paramount " has hitherto existed. 
Hoyle could' not be safely trusted by a learner, so much con- 
tained in that venerable having become obsolete. Thus, 
doubtful cases arising out of the short game had to be re- 
ferred to the best living players for decision. But there was 
some confusion in the " whist world," and the necessity of a 
code of the modern laws and rules of this " almost perfect " 



Abridged £rom the Times journal. 



WHIST CLUBS. 2S3 

game had become apparent, when a combined effort was 
made by a committee of some of the most skilful to supply 
the deficiency. 

The movement was commenced by Mr. J. Loraine Bald- 
win, who obtained the assistance of a Committee, including 
members of several of the best London Clubs well known as 
whist players. They were deputed to draw up a code of rules 
for the game, which, if approved, was to be adopted by the 
Arlington Club. They performed their task with the most de- 
cided success. The rules they laid down as governing the 
best modern practice have been accepted, not only by the 
Arhngton, but the Army and Navy, Arthur's, Boodle's,, 
Brookes's Carlton, Conservative, Garrick, Guards, Junior 
Carlton, Portland, Oxford and Cambridge, Reform, St. 
James's, White's, etc. To the great section of the whist world 
that do not frequent Clubs, it maybe satisfactory to knov/the 
names of the gentlemen composing the Committee of Codifi- 
cation, whose rules have become law. They are Admiral 
Rouse, chairman; Mr. G. Bentinck, M.P. ; Mr. J. Bushe; Mr. 
J. Clay, M.P.; Mr. C. Greville; Mr. R. ICnightley, M.P.; Mr. 
H. B. Mayne; Mr. G. Payne; and Colonel Pipon. The 
"Laws of Short Whist"* were in 1865 published in a small 
volume ; and to this strictly legal portion of the book is apr 
pended " A Treatise on the Game," by Mr. J. Clay, M.P. 
for Hull. It may be read with advantage by the commencing 
student of whist and the advanced player, and with pleasure 
even by those who are totally ignorant of it, and have no 
wish to learn it. There are several incidental illustrations 
and anecdotes, that will interest those not gifted with the 
faculties good whist requires. Mr. Clay is reported to be 
one of the best, if not the very best, of modem players. 
The Dedication is as follows: "To the Members of the 
Portland Club, admitted among wliona, as a boy, I have 



• "The Laws of Short Whist," edited by J. L. Baldwin, and "A 
Treatise on the Game," by J. C. Harrison, 59, Pall Mall. 



aS4 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

passed many of the pleasantest days , of my life, I have 
learned what little I know of Whist, and have formed many 
of my oldest friendships, this Treatise on Short Whist is 
dedicated with feelings of respect and regard, by their old 
playfellow, J. C." 

Leaving his instructions, like the rules of the committee, 
to a more severe test than criticism, we extract from his first 
chapter a description of the incident to which short whist 
owes its origin. It will probably be quite new to thousands 
who are familiar with the game. 

" Some eighty years back. Lord Peterborough, having one 
night lost a large sum of money, the friends with whom he 
was playing proposed to make the game five points instead 
often, in order to give the loser a chance, at a quicker game, 
of recovering his loss. The new game was found to be so 
lively, and money changed hands with such increased 
rapidity, that these gentlemen and their friends, all of them, 
leading members of the Clubs of the. day, continued to play 
it. It became general in the Clubs, thence was introduced 
to private houses, travelled into the country, went to Paris, 
and has long since so entirely superseded the whist of Hoyle's 
day, that of short whist alone I propose to treat. I shall, 
thus spare the reader, the learning much in the old works 
that it is not necessary for him to know, and not a little 
which, if learned, should be at once forgotten." 

Graham's, in St. James's-street, the greatest of Card Clubs, 
was dissolved about thirty years back. 

Prince's Club Racquet Courts. 

In the early history of the metropolis we find the ,Lon- , 
doners warmly attached to outdoor sports and pastimes,; 
although time and the spread of the great, city have long 
obliterated the sites upon which these popular amusements 
were enjoyed. Smithfield, we know, was the town-green 
foi: centuries before it became the focus of its fanatic fires : 



PRINCE'S CLUB RACQUET COURTS. 255 

Maypoles stood in various parts of the City e^ikI .sub,urbs, as 
kept in remembrance by name to this day ; football was 
played in the main artery of the town — Fleet-street and the 
Strand, for instance ; faille malle was played in St. James's 
Park, and the street which is named after the game ; and 
tennis and otlier games at ball were enjoyed on open 
grounds long before they were played in covered courts ; 
while the bowling-greens in the environs were neither few nor 
far between, almost to our time. 

Tennis, we need scarcely state here, was originally played 
with the hand, at first naked, then covered with a thick 
glove, to which succeeded the bat or racquet, whence the 
present name of the game. A few of our kings have been 
tennis-players. In the sixteenth century tennis courts were 
common in England, being attached to country mansions. 
Later, pla)dng-courts were opened in the metropolis : for 
example, to the houses of entertainment which formerly 
stood at the opposite angles of Windmill-street and the 
Haymarket were attached tennis-courts, which lasted to our 
time : one of these courts exists in James-street, Haymarket, 
to this day. To stroll out from the heated and crowded 
streets of the town to the village was a fashion of the last 
century, as we read in the well-remembered line-^ 

Some dukes at Marybone bowl time away. . 

Taking into account the vast growth of the metropolis, 
we are not surprised at so luxurious a means of healthful 
enjoyment as a racquet court presents being added to the 
establishments or institutions of this very clubbable age. 
Hitherto Clubs had been mostly appropriated to the pur- 
poses of refection ; but why should not the social refinement 
he extended to the enjoyment of so hea,lth-giving a sport and 
manly a pastime as racquet ? The experiment was made, 
and with perfect success, immediately upon the confines of 
one of the most recent settlements of fashion— Belgravia. It 



2S6 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

is private property, and bears the name of Prince's Club 
Racquet Courts. 

The Club, established in 1854, is built upon the Pavilion 
estate, in the rear of the north side of Sloane-street, the 
principal entrance being from Hans-place. The grounds 
are of considerable extent, and were originally laid out by 
Capability Brown. They were almost environed with lofty 
timber-trees ; and the genius of landscape gardening, fos- 
tered by wealth, rendered this glade in the Brompton groves 
of old a sort of rural elysium. 

The Pavilion estate was once the property of Holland, 
the well-known architect, who planned Slcane-street and 
Hans-place, as a building speculation ; and, in the grounds 
nearly between them, built himself what was then considered 
a handsome villa, the front of which was originally designed 
by Holland as a model for the Prince of Wales's Pavilion 
at Brighton ; hence the name, the Pavilion estate. In the 
grounds, among the remains of Brown's ornamental work, 
was an icehouse, amidst the imitative ruins of a priory. 
Here, also, were the Ionic columns (isolated) which were 
formerly in the screen of Carlton House. 

The Club buildings comprise seven closed courts ; a 
tennis court ; gallery and refreshment rooms ; baths, and a 
Turkish bath. 

Prince's Club is a subscription establishment; and its 
government is vested in a committee. Gentlemen desirous 
of becoming members of the Club must be proposed and 
seconded by two of its members. Two of the rules enact — 
that members have the privilege of introducing two friends, 
but that such visitors, if they play, be charged double the 
rate charged to members ; and that no hazard, dice, or 
game of chance be allowed in this Club. Their Royal 
Highnesses the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge 
are members. 



as7 



An Angling Club. 

Professor Owen is accustomed to relate the following very 
amusing incident, which occurred in a Club of some of the 
working scientific men of London, who, with a few others, 
after their winter's work of lecturing is over, occasionally 
sally forth to have a day's fishing. "We have," says Pro- 
fessor Owen, " for that purpose taken a small river in the 
neighbourhood of the metropolis, and near its banks there 
stands a little public-house, where we dine soberly and 
sparingly, on such food as old Izaak Walton loved. We 
have a rule that he who catches the biggest fish of the day 
shall be our president for the evening. In the course of one 
day, a member, not a scientific man, but a high political 
man, caught a trout that weighed 3^ lb. ; but earlier in 
the day he had pulled out a barbel of half a pound weight. 
So while we were on the way to our inn, what did this 
pohtical gentleman do but, with the butt-end of his rod, ram 
the barbel down the trout's throat, in which state he handed 
his fish to be weighed. Thus he scored four pounds, which 
being the greatest weight he took the chair. 

" As we were going away from home, a man of science, — 
it was the President of the Royal Society, — said to the man 
of politics, ' If you don't want that fine fish of yours, I should 
like to have it, for I have some friends to dine with me to- 
morrow.' My Lord took it home, and I heard no more 
until we met on the next week. Then, while we were pre- 
paring our tackle, the President of the Royal Society said 
to our high political friend, ' There were some very extra- 
ordinary circumstances, do you know, about that fish you 
gave me. I had no idea that the trout was so voracious ; 
but that one had swallowed a barbel.' — ' I am astonished to 
hear your Lordship say so,' rejoined an eminent naturaHst ; 
' trout may be voracious enough to swallow minnows — but 
a barbel, my Lord ! There must be some mistake.' — ' Not 

s 



258 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

at all,' replied his lordship, ' for the fact got to my family 
that the cook, in cutting open the throat, had found a barbel 
inside ; and as my family knew I was fond of natural history, 
I was called into the kitchen. There I saw the troiit had 
swallowed a barbel, full half a pound weight.' — ' Out of the 
question, my Lord,' said the naturalist; 'it's altogether 
quite unscientific and unphilosophical.' — ' I don't ' know 
what may be philosophical in the matter — I only know I am 
telling you a matter of fact,' said his Lordship ; and the 
dispute having lasted awhile, explanations were giyen, and 
the practical joke was heartily enjoyed. And " (continued 
Professor Owen) "you will see that both were right aiid 
both were wrong. My Lord was right in his fact — the 
barbel was inside the trout ; but he was quite wrong in his 
hypothesis founded upon that fact, that the trout had there- 
fore swallowed the barbel, — the last was only matter of 
opinion." 

The Red Lions. 

In 1839, when the British Association met in Birmingham, 
several of its younger members happened, accidentally, to 
dine at the Red Lion, in Church-street. The dinner was 
pleasant, the guests well suited to each other, and the meet- 
ing altogether proved so agreeable, that it was resolved to 
continue it from year to year, wherever the Association 
might happen to meet. By degrees the " Red Lions " — the 
name was assumed from the accident of the first meeting- 
place— became a very' exclusive Club ; and under the 
presidency of Professor Edward Forbes, it acquired a 
celebrity which, in its way, almost rivalled that of the 
Association itself. Forbes first drew around him the small 
circle of jovial philosophers at the Red Lion. The names of 
Lankester, Thomson, Bell, Mitchell, and Strickland are down 
in the old muster-roll. Many were added afterwards, as the 
Club was kept up in London, in meetings at Anderton's, in 
Fleet-street. The old cards of invitation were very droll: they 



THE RED LIONS. 259 

were stamped with the figure of a Red Lion erect, with a pot 
of beer in one paw, and a long day pipe in the other, and 
the invitation commenced with " The camivora will feed " 
at such an hour. Forbes, who as pater omnipotens, always 
took the chair, at the first chance meeting round the plain 
table of the inn, gave a capital stock of humour to this feed- 
ing of the naturalists by taking up his coat-tail and roaring 
whenever a good thing was said or a good song sung ; and, 
of course, all the other Red Lions did the same. When 
roaring and tail-wagging became so characteristic an institu- 
tion among the members, Mr. Mitchell, then secretary of the 
Zoological Society, presented a fine lion's skin to the Club ; 
and ever after the President sat with this skin spread over 
his chair, the paws at the elbows, arid the tail handy to be 
wagged. Alas ! this tail no longer wags at Birmingham, and 
after vibrating with languid emotion in London, has now- 
ceased to show any signs of life. The old Red Lion has 
lost heart, and has slumbered since the death of Forbes. 

At the Meeting of the British Association at Birmingham, 
in 1865, an endeavour was made to revive the Red Lion 
dinner on something like its former scale ; the idea being 
probably suggested by the circumstance of the Club having 
been originated in Birmingham. Lord Houghton, who is, 
we believe, " an old Red," presided ; but the idiosyiicrasy 
of the real Red Lion, and his intense love of plain roast and 
boiled, were missed : some sixty guests sat down, not at the 
Red Lion, but at a hotel banquet. Not one of the cele- 
brants on this occasion had passed through his novitiate as 
a Red Lion cub : he was not asked whether he could roar 
or sing a song, or had ever said a good thing, one of which 
qualifications was a, sine qu& non in the old Club. There 
were, however, some good songs : Professor Rankme sang 
" The Mathematician in Love," a song of his own. Then, 
there are some choice spirits among these philosophers. 
After the banquet a section adjourned to the B. Club, 
members of which are chiefly chemical in their serious 

S a 



36o CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

moments. Indeed, all through the meeting there was a 
succession of jovial parties in the identical room at the Red 
Lion.* 

The Coventry, Erectheum, and Parthenon 
Clubs. 

The Coventry, or Ambassadors' Club, was instituted 
about twenty years since, at No. io6, Piccadilly, facing 
the Green Park. The handsome stone-fronted mansion 
occupies the site of the old Greyhound inn, and was bought 
by the Earl of Coventry of Sir Hugh Hunlock, in 1764, for 
10,000/., subject to the ground-rent of 75/. per annum. 
The Club enjoyed but a brief existence : it was closed in 
March, 1854. 

The Erectheum Club, St. James's-square, corner of York- 
street, was established by Sir John Dean Paul, Bart., and 
became celebrated for its good dinners. The Club-house 
was formerly the town depot of Wedgwood's famous 
" ware /' and occupies the site of the mansion built for the 
Earl of Romney, the handsome Sydney of De Grammont's 
Memoirs. 

The Parthenon Club-house (late Mr. Edwards's), east side 
of Regent-street, nearly facing St. Philip's Chapel, was de- 
signed by Nash ; the first floor is elegant Corinthian. The 
south division was built by Mr. Nash for his own residence ; 
it has a long gallery, decorated from a log^a of the Vatican 
at Rome : it is now the Gallery of Illustration. 

" The Coventry Club was a Club of most exclusive ex- 
quisites, and was rich in diplomacy ; but it blew up in 
admired confusion. Even so did Lord Cardigan's Club, 
founded upon the site of Crockford's. The Clarence, the 
Albion, and a dozen other small Clubs have all dissolved, 
some of them with great loss to the members, and the 



Abridged from the Doily Nnws, 



ANTIQUARIAN CLUBS. 261 

Erectheum and Parthenon thought it prudent to join their 
forces to keep the wolf from the door."— New Quarterly 
Review. 

Antiquarian Clubs, — The Noviomagians. 

We have already seen how the more convivially disposed 
members of Learned Societies have, from time to time, 
formed themselves into Clubs. The Royals have done so, 
ab initio. The Antiquaries appear to have given up their 
Club and their Anniversary Dinner; but certain of the 
Fellows, resolving not to remain impransi, many years since, 
formed a Club, styled " Noviomagians," from the identifica- 
tion of the Roman station of Noviomagus being just then 
discovered, or rather 

Rife and celebrated in the mouths 
Of wisest men. 

One of the Club-founders was Mr. A. J. Kempe ; and Mr. 
Crofton Croker was president more than twenty years! 
Lord Londesborough and Mr. Comer, the Southwark 
antiquary, were also Noviomagians ; and in the present 
Club-list are Sir William Betham, Mr. Fairholt, Mr. Godwin, 
Mr. S. C. Hall, Mr. Lemon, etc. The Club dine together 
once a month during the season at the old tavern next the 
burial-place of Joe Miller in Portugal Street. Here the 
Fellows meet for the promotion of good fellowship and 
antiquarian pursuits. " Joking minutes are kept, in which 
would be found many known names, either as visitors or 
associates, — Theodore Hook, Sir Henry ElUs, Britton, 
Dickens, Thackeray, John Bruce, Jerdan, Planchd, Bell, 
Maclise, etc." The Club and its visitors may have caught 
inspiration here ; for in their sallies movere jocum, they have 
imitated the wits at Strawberry Hill, and found Arras for the 
Club, with a butter-boat rampant for the crest, which is very 
significant. 



262 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

In 1855, Lord Mayor Moon, F.S.A., entertained at the 
Mansion House the Noviomagians, and the^office-bearers of 
the Society of Antiquaries to meet them. After dinner, 
some short papers were read, including one by Mr. Lemon, 
of the State Paper Office, presenting some curious illus- 
trations of the state of society in London in the reign of 
James I., showing the Migration of Citizens Westward" 
(See "Romance of London," vol. iii. pp. 315-320.) 

The Eccentrics. 

Late in the last century there met at a tavera kept by one 
Fulham, in Chandos Street, Covent Garden, a convivial 
Club called "The Eccentrics," which was an offshoot of 
" The Brilliants." They next removed to Tom Rees's, in 
May's-buildings, St. Martin's-lane, and here they were 
flourishing at all hours, some thirty years since. Amongst 
the members were many celebrities of the literary and 
political world; they were always treated with indulgence 
by the authorities. An inaugural ceremony was performed 
upon the making of a member, which terminated with a 
jubilation from the President. The books of the Club up to 
the time of its removal from May's-buildings are stated to 
have passed into the possession of Mr. Lloyd, the hatter, of 
the Strand, who, by the way, was eccentric in his business, 
and published a small work descriptive of the various 
fashions of hats worn in his time, illustrated with charac- 
teristic engravings. 

From its commencement the Eccentrics are said to have 
numbered upwards of 40,000 members, many of them hold- 
ing high social possition : among others, Fox, Sheridan, 
Lord Melbourne, and Lord Brougham. On the same 
memorable night that Sheridan and Lord Petersham were 
admitted, Hook was also enrolled j and through this Club 
ijiembership, Theodore is believed to have obtained some 
of his high connexions. In a novel, published in numbers, 



DOUGLAS JERROLD'S CLUBS. ?63 

some thirty years siace, the author, F. W, N. Bayley, 
sketched with graphic vigour the meetings of the Eccentrics 
at the old tavern in May's-buildings. 

Douglas Jerrold's Clubs. 

One of the chapters in "The Life and Remains of 
Douglas Jerrold," by his son Blanchard Jerrold, discourses 
most pleasantly of the several Clubs to which Mr. Jerrold 
became attached. He was of a clubbable nature, and 
delighted in wit combats and brilliant repartees, the flash of 
which was perfectly electric. 

In this very agreeable prkis, we find that towards the end 
of theyear 1824, some young men met at a humble tavern, 
the Wrekin, in the genial neighbourhood of Covent Garden, 
with Shakspeare as their common idol ; and " it was a regu- 
lation of this Club that some paper, or poem, or conceit, 
bearing upon Shakspeare, should be contributed by each 
member. Hither came Douglas Jerrold, and he was soon 
joined by Laman Blanchard. Upon Jerrold's suggestion, 
the Club was called the Mulberries, and their contributions 
were entitled Mulberry Leaves. In the Club were William 
Godwin ; Kenny Meadows, the future illustrator of Shak- 
speare; W. Elton, the Shakspearean actor; and Edward 
Chatfield, the artist. Mr. Jerrold wrote, in the "Illuminated 
Magazine," a touching memoir of the Society — " that knot 
of wise and jocund men, then unknown, but gaily struggling." 

The Mulberry Club lived many years, and gathered a 
valuable crop of leaves — contributions from its members. 
They fell into Mr. Elton's hands, and are now in the pos- 
session of his family. They were to have been published, 
but no one would undertake to see them through the press 
— an office which, in most cases, is a very unthankful one. 
The Club did not, however, die easily : it was changed and 
grafted. " In times nearer the present, when it was called 
the Shakspeare Club, Charles Dickens, Mr. Justice Talfourd, 



254 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Daniel Maclise, Mr. Macready, Mr. Frank Stone, etc. 
belonged to it. Respectability killed it." But some de- 
lightful results of these Mulberry Club meetings are em- 
balmed in Mr. Jerrold's " Cakes and Ale," and their life 
reminds one of the dancing motes in the latter. Then we 
hear of other clubs — the Gratis and the Rationals, of which 
Jerrold was a member. 

"But," says the gentle Memoir, "with clubs of more 
recent date, with the Hooks and Eyes, and lastly with Our 
Club, Douglas Jerrold's name is most intimately associated. 
It may be justly said that he was the life and soul of these 
three gatherings of men. His arrival was a happy moment 
for members already present. His company was sought with 
wondrous eagerness whenever a dinner or social evening 
was contemplated ; for, as a club associate said of him, ' he 
sparkled whenever you touched him, like the sea at night.' 
A writer in the " Quarterly Review " well said of him : ' In 
the bright sallies of conversational wit he has no surviving 
equal.' 

" He was thus greatly acceptable in all social literary Clubs. 
In the Museum Club, for instance, (an attempt made in 
1847 to estabUsh a properly modest and real literary Club,) 
he was unquestionably the member ; for he was the most 
clubbable of men." When members dropped in, sharp shots 
were possibly exchanged : here are a few that were actually 
fired within the precincts of the Museum Club — fired care- 
lessly and forgotten : 

Jerrold defined dogmatism as " puppyism come to ma- 
turity ; " and a. flaming uxorious epitaph put up by a famous 
cook, on his wife's tomb, as " mock turtle." A prosy old 
gentleman, meeting him as he was passing at his usual quick 
pace along Regent-street, poised himself into an attitude, 
and began : " Well, Jerrold, my dear boy, what is going 
on?" — "I am," said the wit, instantly shootmg off. 

At a dinner of artists, a barrister present, having his 
, ealth drunk in connexion with the law, begaii an embarrassed 



DOUGLAS yESROLD'S CLUBS. 265 

answer by saying that he did not see how the law could be 
considered one of the arts, when Jerrold jerked in the word 
black, and threw the company into convulsions. 

A bore remarking how charmed he was with a certain 
opera, and that there was one particular song which always 
carried him quite away — " Would that I could sing it !" 
ejaculated the wit. 

A dinner is discussed. Douglas Jerrold listens quietly, 
possibly tired of dinners, and declining pressing invitations 
to be present. In a few minutes he will chime in, " If an 
earthquake were to engulf England to-morrow, the English 
would manage to meet and dine somewhere among the 
rubbish, just to celebrate the event." 

A friend is anxious to awaken Mr. Jerrold's sympathies in 
behalf of a mutual acquaintance who is in want of a round sum 
of money. But this mutual friend has already sent his hat 
about among his literary brethren on more than one occasion. 

Mr. 's hat is becoming an institution, and friends were 

grieved at the indelicacy of the proceeding. On the above 
occasion, the bearer of the hat was received with evident 
dissatisfaction. " Well," said Douglas Jerrold, " how much 

does want this time ?" — " Why, just a four and two 

noughts will, I think, put him straight," the bearer of the hat 
replied. Jerrold — "Well, put me down for one of the 
noughts." 

" The Chain of Events," playing at the Lyceum Theatre, 
though unsuccessful, is mentioned. " Humph," said 
Douglas Jerrold, "I'm afraid the manager will find it a 
door-chain strong enough to keep everybody out of the 
house," — and so it proved. 

Douglas Jerrold is seriously disappointed with a certain 
book written by one of his friends, and has expressed his 
disappointment. Friend—"! have heard that you said 

was the worst book I ever wrote." Jerrold— "^ No, I 

didn't ; I said it was the worst book anybody ever wrote." 

"A supper of sheep's-heads is proposed, and presently 



266 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

served. One gentleman present is particularly enthusiastic 
on the excellence of the dish, and, as he throws down his 
knife and fork, exclaims, " Well, sheeps'-'heads for ever, say 
I!" /drw/(f—« There's egotism !" 

During a stormy discussion, a gentleman rises to settle the 
matter in dispute. Waving his hands majestically over the 
excited disputants, he begins : — " Gentlemen, all I want is 
common sense." — "Exactly," says Douglas Jerrold, "that is 
precisely what you do want." 

But the Museum Club was broken up by troubled spirits. 
Then succeeded the Hooks and Eyes; then the Club, a 
social weekly gathering, which Jerrold attended only three 
weeks before his death. Hence some of his best sayings 
went forth. 

Jerrold ordered a bottle of old port ; " not elder port," he 
said. 

Walking to his Club with a friend from the theatre, some 
intoxicated young gentleman reeled up to the dramatist and 
said, " Can you tell me the way to the Judge and Jury ?" — 
" Keep on as you are, young gentleman," was the reply ; 
"you're sure to overtake them." 

Asking about the talent of a young painter, his companion 
declared that the youth was mediocre. "Oh!" was the 
reply; " the very worst ochre an artist can set to work with." 

" The laughing hours, when these poor gatherings," says 
Mr. Blanchard Jerrold, " fell firom the welWoaded branch, 
are remembered still in the rooms of Our Club ; and the 
hearty laugh still echoes there, and will, it is my pride to 
believe, always live in the memory of that genial and refined 
circle." 

The Whittington Club originated in 1846, with Douglas 
Jerrold, who became its first President. It was established 
at the Crown and Anchor Tavern in the Strand ; where, in 
the ball-room, hung a picture of Whittington listening to 
Bow-bells, painted by Newenham, and presented to the 
Club by the President. All the Club premises were 



CffESS CLUBS. 267 

destroyed by fire in 1854 ; the picture was not saved, but 
fortunately it had been cleverly engraved. The premises 
have been rebuilt, and the Club still flflurishes. 

Chess Clubs. 

The Clubs in various parts of the Meti'opolis and the 
suburbs, where Chess, and Chess only, forms the staple 
recreation of the members, are numerous. We must, how- 
ever, confine ourselves to the historical data of the early 
Clubs, which record the introduction of the noble game in 
the Metropolis. 

In 1747, the principal if not the only Chess Club in the 
Metropolis met at Slaughter's Coffee-house, St. Martin's-lane. 
The leading players of this Club were — Sir Abraham Janssen, 
Philip Stamma (from Aleppo) j Lord Godolphin, Lord 
Sunderland, and Lord Elibank ; Cunningham, the historian ; 
Dr. Black and Dr. Cowper ; and it was through their invita- 
tion that the celebrated Philidor was induced to visit 
England. 

Another Club was shortly afterwards founded at the 
Salopian Coifee-house, Charing Cross : and a few years later, 
a third, which met next door to the Thatched House 
Tavern, in St. James's-street. It was here that Philidor 
exhibited his wonderful faculty for playing blindfold ; some 
instances of which we find in the newspapers of the period : — 

"Yesterday, at the Chess-Club in St. James's-street, 
Monsieur Philidor performed one of those wonderful exhi- 
bitions for which he is so much celebrated. He played 
three different games at once without seeing either of the 
tables. His opponents were Count Bruhl and Mr. Bowdler 
(the two best players in London), and Mr. Maseres. He 
defeated Count Bruhl in one hour and twenty minutes, and 
Mr. Maseres in two hours ; Mr. Bowdler reduced his games 
to a drawn battle in one hour and three-quarters. To those 
who understand Chess, this exertion of M. Philidor's abilities 



268 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

must appear one of the greatest of which the human memory 
is susceptible. He goes through it with astonishmg accu- 
racy, and often corrects mistakes in those who have the 
board before them." 

In 1795, the veteran, then nearly seventy years of age, 
played three bUndfold matches in public. The last of 
these, which came off shortly before his death, we find 
announced in the daily newspapers thus : — 

"Chess-Club, 1795. Parsloe's, St. James's Street. 

" By particular desire, Mons. PhiUdor, positively for the 
last time, will play on Saturday, the 20th of June, at two 
o'clock precisely, three games at once against three good 
players ; two of them without seeing either of the boards, 
and the third looking over the table. He most respectfully 
invites all the members of the Chess-Club to honour him 
with their presence. Ladies and gentlemen not belonging 
to the Club may be provided with tickets at the above- 
mentioned house, to see the match, at five shillings each.'' 

Upon the death of Philidor, the Chess-Clubs at the 
West-end seem to have declined ; and in 1807, the strong- 
hold and rallying-point for the lovers of the game was " The 
London Chess-Club," which was established in the City, and 
for many years held its meetings at Tom's Coffee-house, in 
Comhill. To this Club we are indebted for many of the 
finest chess-players of the age. 

About the year 1833, a Club was founded by a few 
amateurs in Bedford-street, Covent Garden. This establish- 
ment, which obtained remarkable celebrity as the arena of 
the famous contests between La Bourdonnais and M'Donnell, 
was dissolved in 1840 ; but shortly afterwards, through the 
exertions of Mr. Staunton, was re-formed under the name of 
the " St. George's Club," in Cavendish-square. 



269 



Early Coffee- Houses. 



GOFFEE is thus mentioned by Bacon, in his " Sylva Syl- 
varum": — "They have in Turkey a drink called Coffee, 
made of a Berry of the same name, as Black as Soot, and 
of a Strong Sent, but not Aromatical; which they take, 
beaten into Powder, in Water, as Hot as they can Drink 
it ; and they take it, and sit at it in their Coffee Houses, 
which are like our Taverns. The Drink comforteth the 
Brain, and Heart, and helpeth Digestion" 

And in Burton's "Anatomy of Melancholy," part i., 
sec. 2, occurs, " Turks in their coffee-houses, which much 
resemble our taverns." The date is 162 1, several years 
before coffee-houses were introduced into England. 

In 1650, Wood tells us, was opened at Oxford, the first 
coffee-house, by Jacobs, a Jew, " at the Angel, in the parish 
of St. Peter in the East ; and there it was, by some who 
delighted in novelty, drank." 

There was once an odd notion prevalent that coffee was 
unwholesome, and would bring its drinkers to an untimely 
end. Yet, Voltaire, Fontenelle, and Fourcroy, who were 
great coffee-drinkers, lived to a good old age. Laugh at 
Madame de Sevignd, who foretold that coffee and Racine 
would be forgotten together ! 

A manuscript note, written by Oldys, the celebrated 
antiquary, states that " The use of coffee in England was 
first known in 1657. [It will be seen, as above, that Oldys 
is incorrect.] Mr. Edwards, a Turkey merchant, brought 
from Smyrna to London one Pasqua Rosee, a Ragusan 
youth, who prepared this drink for him every morning. 
But the novelty thereof drawing too much company to him, 



270 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

he allowed his said servant, with another of his son-in-law, 
to sell it publicly, and they set up the first coffee-house in 
London, in St. Michael's-alley, in Cornhill. The sign was 
Pasqua Rosee's owii head." '■ Oldys is slightly in error here j 
Rosee commenced his coffee-house in 1652, and one Jacobs, 
a Jew, as we have just seen, had established a similar under- 
taking at Oxford, two years earlier. One of Rosee's 
original shop or hand-bills, the only mode of advertising in 
those days, is as follows : — 

"THE VERTUE OF THE COFFEE DRINK, 

^^ First made and puilickly sold in England by Fasqua Rosee. 

" The grain or berry called coffee, groweth upon httle 
trees only in the deserts of Arabia. It is brought from 
thence, and drunk generally throughout all the Grand 
Seigneur's dominions. It is a simple, innocent thing, com- 
posed into a drink, by being dried in an oven, and ground 
to powder, and boiled up with spring water, and about half 
a pint of it to be drunk fasting an hour before, and not 
eating an hour after, and to be taken as hot as possibly can 
be endured ; the which will never fetch the skin oft the 
mouth, or raise any blisters by reason of that heat. 

" The Turks' drink at meals and other times is usually 
water, and their diet consists much of fruit ; the crudities 
whereof are very much corrected by this drink. 

" The quality of this drink is cold and dry ; and though 
it be a drier, yet it neither heats nor inflames more than hot 
posset. It so incloseth the orifice of the stomach, and 
fortifies the heat within, that it is very good to help 
digestion; and therefore of great use to be taken about 
three or four o'clock afternoon, as well as in the morning. 
It much quickens the spirits, and makes the heart lightr 
some ; it is good against sore eyes, and the better if you 
hold your head over it and take in the steam that way. It 
suppresseth fumes exceedingly, and therefore is good 
against the head-ache, and will very much stop any de- 



EARLY COFFEE-HOUSES. 2-/1 

fluxion of rheums that distil from the head upon the 
stomach, and so prevent and help consumptions and the 
cough of the lungs. 

"It is excellent to prevent and cure the dropsy, gout,* 
and scurvy. It is known by experience to be better than 
any other drying drink for people in years, or children that 
have any running humours upon them, as the king's evil, 
&c. It is a most excellent remedy against the spleen, 
hypochondriac winds, and the like. It will prevent drow- 
siness, and make one fit for business, if one have occasion 
to watch, and therefore you are not to drink of it after 
supper, unless you intend to be watchful, for it will hinder 
sleep for three or four hours. 

" It is observed that in Turkey, where this is generally 
drunk, that they are not troubled with the stone, gout, dropsy, 
or scurvy, and that their skins are exceeding clear and white. 
It is neither laxative nor restringent. 

" Made and sold in St. Michael' s-alley, in Cornhill, by 
Pasqua Rosee, at th^ sign of Ms own head." 

The new beverage had its opponents, as well as its advo- 
cates. The following extracts from "An invective against 
Coffee," published about the same period, informs us that 
Rosee's partner, the servant of Mr. Edwards's son-in-law, 
was a coachman ; while it controverts the statement that 
hot coffee will not scald the mouth, and ridicules the broken 
English of the Ragusan : — 

" A BROADSIDE AGAINST COFFEE. 
"A coachman was the first (here) coffee made. 
And ever since the rest drive on the trade : 
' Me no good EngcUash 1 ' and sure enough. 
He played the quack to salve his Stygian stuff ; 
' Ver boon for de stomach, de cough, de phthisicky 
And I believe him, for it looks hke physic. 



* In the French colonies, where Coffee is more used than in the 
English, Gout is scarcely known. 



ajz CLUB LIFE OF LONDON: 

Cofifee a crust is charred into a coal, 
The smell and taste of the mock china bowl ; 
Where huff and puff, they labour out their lungs. 
Lest, Dives-like, they should bewail their tongues. 
And yet they tell ye that it will not bum, 
Though on the jury blisters you return ; 
Whose furious heat does make the water rise, 
And still through the alembics of your eyes. 
Dread and desire, you fall to 't snap by snap, 
As hungry dogs do scalding porridge lap. 
But to cure drunkards it has got great fame ; 
Posset or porridge, will 't not do the same ? 
Confusion hiirries all into one scene. 
Like Noah's ark, the clean and the unclean. 
And now, alas ! the drench has credit got, 
And he's no gentleman that drinks it not ; 
That such a dwarf should rise to such a stature ! 
But custom is but a remove from nature. 
A little dish and a large coffee-house. 
What is it but a mountain and a mouse f 

Notwithstanding tliis opposition, coffee soon became a 
favourite drink, and the shops where it was sold, places of 
general resort. 

There appears to have been a great anxiety that the 
Coffee-house, while open to all ranks, should be conducted 
under such restraints as might prevent the better class of 
customers from being annoyed. Acpordingly, the following 
regulations, printed on large sheets of paper, were hung up 
in conspicuous positions on the walls :— 

" EntfT, Sirs, freely, but first, if you please, 
Peruse our civil orders, which are these. 

First, gentry, tradesmen, all are welcome hither, 
And may without affront sit dovrn together : 
Pre-eminence of place none here should mind. 
But take the next fit seat that he can find ; 
Nor need any, if finer persons come, 
Rise up for to assign to them his room ; , 
To limit men's expense, we think not fair. 
But let him forfeit twelve-pence that shall swear 




Four Swans Inn, Bishopsgate Stieet Within. 




m -^ 



■--1 :;■/. ~^1^ >T'»^ 




Homsey Wood House. {Gun Clubs and Bean Feasts.) 



GAKRA IVA Y'S COFFEE-HOVSZ. 273 

He that shall any quarrel here begin, 
•» Shall give each man a dish t' atone the sin ; 

And so. shall he, whose compliments extend 
So far to drink in coffee to his friend ; 
Let noise of loud disputes be quite forborne. 
Nor maudlin lovers here in comers mourn, 
But all be brisk and talk, but not too much ; 
On sacred things, let none presume to touch, 
Nor profane Scripture, nor saucily wrong 
Affairs of state with an irreverent tongue : 
Let mirth be innocent, and each man see 
That all his jests without reflection be ; 
To keep the house more quiet and from blame. 
We banish hence cards, dice, and every game ; 
Nor can allow of wagers, that exceed 
Five shillings, which ofttimes do troubles breed ; 
Let all that's lost or forfeited be spent 
In such good liquor ss the house doth vent. 
And customers endeavour, to their powers. 
For to observe still, seasonable hours. 
Lastly, let each man what he calls for pay, 
A nd so you're welcome to come every day. 

In a print of the period, five persons are shown in a 
coffee-house, one smoking, evidently, from their dresses, of 
different ranks of hfe : they are seated at a table, on which 
are small basins without saucers, and tobacco-pipes, while a 
waiter is serving the coffee. 

Garraway 's Coffee- H ouse. 

This noted Coffee-house, situated in Change-alley, Corn- 
hill, has a threefold celebrity : tea was first sold in England, 
here ; it was a place of great resort in the time of the South 
Sea Bubble ; and has since been a place of great mercantile 
transactions. The original proprietor was Thomas Garway, 
tobacconist and coffee-man, the first who retailed tea, 
recommending for the cure of all disorders. The following 
is the substance of his shop bill : — " Tea in England hath 
been sold in the leaf for six pounds, and sometimes for ten 

T 



274 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

pounds the pound weight, and in respect of 'its former 
scarceness and dearness, it hath been only used as a regalia 
in high treatments and entertainments, and presents made 
thereof to princes and grandees till the year 1651. The 
said Thomas Garway did purchase a quantity thereof, and 
first publicly sold the said tea in leaf and drink, made 
according to the directions of the most knowing merchants 
and travellers into those Eastern countries j and upon 
knowledge and experience of the said Garway's continued 
care and industry in obtaining the best tea, and making 
drink thereof, very many noblemen, physicians, merchants, 
and gentlemen of quality, have ever since sent to him for 
the said leaf, and daily resort to his house in Exchange- 
alley, aforesaid, to drink the drink thereof; and to the end 
that all persons of eminence and quality, gentlemen, and 
others, who have occasion for tea in leaf, may be supplied, 
these are to give notice that the said Thomas Garway hath 
tea to sell from ' sixteen to fifty shillings per pound.' " (See 
the document entire in Ellis's "Letters," series iv., 58.) 

Ggilby, the compiler of the Britannia, had his standing 
lottery of books at Mr. Garway's Coffee-house from April 7, 
1673, till wholly drawn oif. And, in the "Journey through 
England," 1722, Garraway's, Robins's, and Joe's, are de- 
scribed as the three celebrated Coffee-houses : in th'e first, 
the People of Quality, who have business in the City, and 
the most considerable and wealthy citizens frequent. In the 
second the Foreign Banquiers, and often even Foreign 
Ministers. And in the third, the Buyers and Sellers of 
Stock. 

Wines were sold at Garraway's in 1673, "by the candle," 
that is, by auction, while an inch of candle bums. In the 
Tatler, No. 147, we read : " Upon my coming home last 
night, I found a very handsome present of French wine left 
for me, as a taste of 216 hogsheads, which are to be put to 
sale ' at 20/. a hogshead, at Garraway's Coffee-house, in 
Exchange-alley," &c. The sale by candle is not, however, 



GARRAWAY'S COFFEE-HOUSE. 275 

by candle-light, but during the day. At the commencement 
of the sale, when the auctioneer has read a description of 
the property, and the conditions on which it is to be dis- 
posed of, a piece of candle, usually an inch long, is lighted, 
and he who is the last bidder at the time the light goes out 
is declared the purchaser. 

Swift, in his "Ballad on the South Sea Scheme," 1721, 
did not forget Garraway's : — 

There is a gulf, where thousands fell, 

Here all the bold adventurers came, 

A narrow sound, though deep as hell, 

'Change alley is the dreadful name. 

Subscribers here by thousands float, 

And jostle one another down, 
Each paddling in his leaky boat, 

And here they fish for gold and drown. 

Now buried in the depths below, 

Now mounted up to heaven again, 
They reel and stagger to and fro, 

At their wits' end, like drunken men. 

Meantime secure on Garway cliffs, 

A savage race, by shipwiecks fed, 
Lie waiting for the founder'd skiffs, 

And strip the bodies of the dead. 

Dr. Radclifte, who was a rash speculator in the South 
Sea Scheme, was usually planted at a table at Garraway's 
about Exchange time, to watch the turn of the market ; and 
here he was seated when the footman of his powerful rival, 
Dr. Edward Hannes, came into Garraway's and inquired, 
Ity way of a puff, if Dr. H. was there. Dr. RadclifFe, who 
was surrounded with several apothecaries and chirurgeons 
that flocked about him, cried out, " Dr. Hannes was not 
there," and desired to know "who wanted him?" the 
fellow's reply was, " such a lord and such a lord ;" but he 
was taken up with the dry rebuke, " No, no, friend, you are 
mistaken ; the Doctor wants those lords." One of Rad- 
cliffe's ventures was five thousand guineas upon one South 

T 3 



276 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Sea project. When he was told at Garrawa/s that 'twas all 
lost, " Why," said he, " 'tis but going up five thousand pair 
of stairs more." " This answer," says Tom Brown, " deserved 
a statue." 

As a Coffee-house, and one of the oldest class, which has 
withstood, by the well-acquired fame of its proprietors, the 
ravages of time, and the changes that economy and new 
generations produce, none can be compared to Garraway's. 
This name must be familiar with most people in and out of 
the City ; and, notwithstanding our disposition to make 
allowance for the want of knowledge some of our neighbours 
of the West-end profess in relation to men and things east 
of Temple Bar, it must be supposed that the noble person- 
age who said, when asked by a merchant to pay him a visit 
in one of these places, " that he willingly would, if his friend 
could tell him where to change horses," had forgotten this 
establishment, which fostered so great a quantity of dis- 
honoured paper, when in other City coffee-houses it had 
gone begging at \s. and 2s. in the pound.* 

Garraway's has long been famous as a sandwich and 
drinking-room, for sherry, pale ale, and punch. Tea and 
coffee are still served. It is said that the sandwich- 
maker is occupied two hours in cutting and arranging the 
sandwiches before the day's consumption commences. The 
sale-room is an old-fashioned first-floor apartment, with a 
small rostrum for the seller, and a few commonly grained 
settles for the buyers. Here sales of drugs, mahogany, and 
timber are periodically held. Twenty or thirty property 
and other sales sometimes take place in a day. The walls 
and windows of the lower room are covered with sale 
placards, which are unsentimental evidences of the muta- 
bility of human affairs. 

" In 1840 and 1841, when the tea speculation was at its 
height, and prices were fluctuating dd. and Zd. per pound, on 



* The City, 2nd edition. 



GARRAWAY'S COFFEE-HOUSE. 277 

the arrival of every mail, Garraway's was frequented every 
night by a host of the smaller fry of dealers, when there was 
more excitement than ever occurred on 'Change when the 
most important intelligence arrived. Champagne and an- 
chovy toasts were the order of the night ; and every one 
came, ate and drank, and went, as he pleased, without the 
least question concerning the score, yet the bills were 
discharged ; and this plan continued for several months."— 
The City. 

Here, likewise, we find this redeeming picture : — " The 
members of the little coterie, who take the dark corner 
under the clock, have for years visited this house ; they 
number two or three old, steady merchants, a solicitor, and 
a gentleman who almost devotes the whole of his time and 
talents to philanthropic objects, — for instance, the getting 
up of a Ball for Shipwrecked Mariners and their families ; or 
the organization of a Dinner for the benefit of the Distressed 
Needlewomen of the Metropolis ; they are a very quiet 
party, and enjoy the privilege of their seance, uninterrupted 
by visitors." 

We may here mention a tavern of the South Sea time, 
where the " Globe permits " fraud was very successful. 
These were nothing more than square pieces of card on 
which was a wax seal of the sign of the Globe Tavern, 
situated in the neighbourhood of Change-alley, with the in- 
scription, "Sail-cloth Permits.'' The possessors enjoyed 
no other advantage from them than permission to subscribe 
at some future time to a new sail-cloth manufactory pro- 
jected by one who was known to be a man of fortune, but 
who was afterwards involved in the peculation and punish- 
ment of the South Sea Directors. These permits sold for 
as much as sixty guineas in the Alley. 



278 



Jonathan's Coffee-Chouse. 

This is another Change-alley Cofifee-house, which is de- 
scribed in the Toiler^ No. 38, as " the general mart of stock- 
jobbers j" and the Spectator, No. i, tells- us that he " some- 
times passes for a Jew in the assembly of stock-jobbers, af 
Jonathan's." This was the rendezvous, where gambling of 
all sorts was carried on, notwithstanding a former prphibi- 
tion against the assemblage of the jobbers, issued by the 
City of London, which prohibition continued unrepealed 
until 1825. 

In the "Anatomy of Exchange Alley," 17 19, we read : — 
" The centre of the jobbing is in the kingdom of Exchange- 
alley and its adjacencies. The limits are easily surrounded 
in about a minute and a half — Viz., stepping out of Jona- 
than's into the Alley, you turn your face full south ; moving 
on a . few paces, ■ and then turning due east, you advance 
to Garraway's ; from thence going out at the other door, 
you go on still east into Birchin-lane ; and then halting a 
little at the Sword-blade Bank, to do much mischief in 
fewest words, you immediately face to the north, enter 
Cornhill, visit two or three petty provinces there in your 
way west j and thus having boxed your compass, and sailed 
roimd the whole stock-jobbing globe, you turn into Jona- 
than's again.; and so, as most of the great follies of life 
oblige us to do, yovi end, just where you began." 

Mrs. Centlivre, in her comedy of A Sold Stroke for a 
Wife, has a scene from Jonathan's at the above period : 
while the stock-jobbers are talking, the coffee-boys are 
crying " Fresh coffee, gentlemen, fresh coffee ! Bohea tea, 
gentlemen 1" 

Here is another picture of Jonathan's, during the South 
Sea mania ; though not by an eye-witness, it groups, from 
various authorities, the life of the place and the time: — "At 



JONATHAN'S COFFEE-HOUSE. 279 

a table a few yards off sat a couple of men engaged in the 
discussion of a newly-started scheme. Plunging his hand 
impatiently under the deep silver-buttoned flap of his frock- 
coat of cinnamon cloth and drawing out a paper, the more 
business-looking of the pair commenced eagerly to read out 
figures intended to convince the listener, who took a 
jewelled snufF-box from the deep pocket of the green 
brocade waistcoat which overflapped his thigh, and, tapping 
the lid, enjoyed a pinch of perfumed Turkish as he leaned 
back lazily in his chair. Somewhat further oif, standing in 
the middle of the room, was a keen-eyed lawyer, counting 
on his fingers the probable results of a certain speculation 
in human hair, to which a fresh-coloured farmer from St. 
Albans, on whose boots the mud of the cattle market was 
not dry, listened with a face of stolid avarice, clutching the 
stag-horn handle of his thonged whip as vigorously as if it 
were the wealth he coveted. There strode a Nonconformist 
divine, with S. S. S. in every line of his face, greedy for the 
gold that perisheth ; here a bishop, whose truer place was 
Garraway's, edged his cassock through the crowd ; sturdy 
ship-captains, whose manners smack of blustering breezes, 
and who hailed their acquaintance as if through a speaking- 
trumpet in a storm — bookseller's hacks from Grub-street, 
who were wont to borrow ink-bottles and just one sheet of 
paper at the bar of the Black Swan in St. Martin's-lane, and 
whose tarnished lace, when not altogether torn away, showed 
a suspicious coppery redness underneath — ^Jews of every 
grade, from the thriving promoter of a company for import- 
ing ashes from Spain or extracting stearine from sunflower 
seeds to the seller of sailor slops from Wapping-in-the-Wose, 
come to look for a skipper who had bilked him — a sprinkling 
of well-to-do merchants — and a host of those flashy hangers- 
on to the skirts of commerce, who brighten up in days of 
maniacal speculation, and are always ready to dispose of 
shares in some unopened mine or some untried invention — 
passed and repassed with continuous change and murmur 



aSo CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

before the squire's eyes during the quarter of an hour tnat 
he sat ^ert."— Pictures of the Periods, by W. F. Collier, 
LL.D. 

Rainbow Coffee-house. 

The Rainbow, in Fleet-street, appears to have been the 
second Coffee-house opened in the metropolis. 

" The first Coffee-house in London," says Aubrey (MS. 
in the Bodleian Library), " was in St. Michael's-alley, in 
Comhill, opposite to the church, which was set up by one 
Bowman (coachman to Mr. Hodges, a Turkey mer- 
chant, who putt him upon it), in or about the yeare 1652. 
'Twas about four yeares before any other was sett up, and 
that was by Mr. Farr." This was the Rainbow. 

Another account states that one Edwards, a Turkey 
merchant, on his return from the East, brought with him a 
Ragusian Greek servant, named Pasqua Rosee, who pre- 
pared coffee every morning for his master, and with the 
coachman above named set up the first Coffee-house in St. 
Michael's-alley ; but they soon quarrelled and separated, the 
coachman establishing himself in St Michael's churchyard. 
■ — (See pp. 270 and 271, ante.) 

Aubrey wrote the above in 1680, and Mr. Farr had then 
become a person of consequence. In his "Lives" Aubrey 
notes : — "When coffee first came in, Sir Henry Blount was 
a great upholder of it, and hath ever since been a great 
frequenter of coffee-houses, especially Mr. Farre's, at the 
Rainbowe, by Inner Temple Gate." 

Farr was originally a barber. His success as a coffee- 
man appears to have annoyed his neighbours ; and at the 
inquest at St. Dunstan's, Dec. 21st, 1657, among the pre- 
sentments of nuisances were the following : — " We present 
James Farr, barber, for making and selling of a drink called 
coffee, whereby in making the same he annoyeth his neigh- 
bours by evill smells ; and for keeping of fire for the most 
part night and day, wherebv his chimney and chamber hath 



RAINBOW COFFEE-HOUSE. 28t 

been set on fire, to the great danger and affrightment of his 
neighbours." However, Farr was not ousted ; he probably 
promised reform, or amended the alleged annoyance : he 
remained at the Rainbow, and rose to be a person of emi- 
nence and repute in the parish. He issued a token, date 
1666 — an arched rainbow based on clouds, doubtless, 
from the Great Fire — to indicate that with him all was yet 
safe, and the Rainbow still radiant. There is one of his 
tokens in the Beaufoy collection, at Guildhall, and so far as 
is known to Mr. Burn, the rainbow, does not occur on any 
other tradesman's token. The house was let off into tene- 
ments : books were printed here at this very time " for 
Samuel Speed, at the sign of the Rainbow, near the Inner 
Temple Gate, in Fleet-street." The Phoenix Fire Office was 
established here about 1682. Hatton, in 1708, evidently 
attributed Farr's nuisance to the coffee itself, saying : " Who 
would have thought London would ever have had three 
thousand such nuisances, and that coffee would have been 
(as now) so much drank by the best of quality, and physi- 
cians ?" The nuisance was in Farr's chimney and careless- 
ness, not in the coffee. Yet, in our statute-book anno 1660 
(12 Car. II. c. 24), a duty of 4(/. was laid upon every gallon 
of coffee made and sold. A statute of 1663 directs that all 
Coffee-houses should be licensed at the Quarter Sessions. 
And in 1675, Charles II. issued a proclamation to shut up 
the Coffee-houses, charged with being seminaries of sedition; 
but in a few days he suspended this proclamation by a 
second. 

The Spectator, No. 16, notices some gay frequenters of 
the Rainbow : — " I have received a letter desiring me to be 
very satirical upon the little muff that is now in fashion ; 
another informs me of a pair of silver garters buckled below 
the knee, that have been lately seen at the Rainbow Coffee- 
house in Fleet-street." 

Mr. Moncrieff, the dramatist, used to tell that about 1780, 
this house was kept by his grandfather, Alexander Moncrieff, 



282 CLUB LIFE OF LOJ^DON. 

when it retained its original title of "The Rainbow Coffee- 
house." The old Coffee-room had a lofty bay-window, at 
the south end, lookmg into the Temple : and the room was 
separated from the kitchen only by a glazed partition : in 
the bay was the table for the elders. The house has long 
been a tavern ; all the old rooms have been swept away, 
and a large and lofty dining-room erected in their place. 

In a paper read to the British Archaological Association, 
by Mr. E. B. Price, we find coffee and canary thus brought 
into interesting comparison, illustrated by the exhibition of 
one of Farr's Rainbow tokens ; and another inscribed " At 
the Canary- House iii the Strand, id., 1665," bearing also 
the word " Canary " in the monogram. Having noticed the 
prosecution of Farr, and his triumph over his fellow-parish- 
ioners, Mr. Price says : — " The opposition to coffee con- 
tinued j people viewed it with distrust, and even with alarm • 
and we can sympathize with them in their alarm, when we 
consider that they entertained a notion that coffee would 
eventually put an end to the species ; that the genus homo 
would some day or other be utterly extinguished. With our 
knowledge of the beneficial effect of this article on the com- 
munity, and its almost universal adoption in the present day, 
we may smile, and wonder while we smile, at the bare possi- 
bility of such a notion ever having prevailed. That it did 
so, we have ample evidence in the " Women's Petition against 
Coffee," in the year 1674, cited by DTsraeli, "Curiosities of 
Literature," vol. iv., and in which they complain that coffee 
" made men as unfruitful as the deserts whence that un- 
happy berry is said to be brought : that the offspring of our 
mighty ancestors would dwindle into a succession of apes 
and pigmies," &c. The same authority gives us an extract 
from a very amusing poem of 1663, in which the writer 
wonders that any man should prefer Coffee to Canary, tenn- 
ing them English apes, and proudly referring them to the 
days of Beaumont and Fletcher and Ben Jonson. They, 
says he, 



RAINBOW COFFEE-HOUSE. 283 

Drank pure nectar as the gods drink too 
Sublimed with rich Canary ; say, shall then 
These less than coffee's self, these coffee-men, 
These sons of nothing, that can hardly make 
Their broth for laughing how the jest does take. 
Yet grin, and give ye for the vine's pure blood 
A loathsome potion — not yet understood, 
Syrup of soot, or essence of old shoes, 
Dasht with diumals or the book of news ? 

One of the weaknesses of "rare Ben" was his penchant 
for canary. And it would seem that the Mermaid, in Bread- 
street, was the house in which he enjoyed it most : 

But that which most doth take my muse and me. 

Is a pure cup of rich Canary wine, 

Which is the Mermaid's now, but shall be mine. 

Granger states that Charles I. raised Ben's pension from 
100 marks to 100 pounds, and added a tierce of canary, 
which salary and its appendage, he says, have ever since 
been continued to poets laureate. 

Reverting to the Rainbow (says Mr. Price), "it has been 
frequently remarked by ' tavern-goers,' that many of our 
snuggest and most comfortable taverns are hidden from 
vulgar gaze, and unapproachable except through courts, 
blind alleys, or but half-lighted passages." Of this descrip- 
tion was the house in question. But few of its many nightly, 
or rather midnightly patrons and frequenters, knew aught of 
it beyond its famed " stewed cheeses," and its " stout," with 
the various " et ceteras" of good cheer. They little dreamed, 
and perhaps as little cared to know, that, more than two 
centuries back, the Rainbow flourished as a bookseller's 
shop ; as appears by the title-page of Trussell's " History 
of England," which states it to be "printed by M.D., for 
Ephraim Dawson, and are to bee sold in Fleet Street, at 
the signe of the Rainbowe, neere the Inner-Temple 
Gate, 1636." 



284 



Nando's Coffee-house 

Was the house at the east comer of Inner Temple-lane, 
No. 17, Fleet-street, and next door to the shop of Bernard 
Lintot, the bookseller ; though it has been by some con- 
fused with Groom's house. No. 16. Nando's was the 
favourite haunt of Lord Thurlow, before he dashed into law 
practice. At this Coffee-house a large attendance of pro- 
fessional loungers was attracted by the fame of the punch 
and the charms of the landlady, which, with the small wits, 
were duly admired by and at the bar. One evening, the 
famous cause of Douglas v. the Duke of Hamilton was the 
topic of discussion, when Thurlow being present, it was 
suggested, half in earnest, to appoint him junior counsel, 
which was done. This employment brought him acquainted 
with the Duchess of Queensberry, who saw at once the value 
of a man like Thurlow, and recommended Lord Bute to 
secure him by a silk gown. 

The house, formerly Nando's, has been for many years 
a hairdresser's. It is inscribed "Formerly the palace of 
Henry VIII. and Cardinal Wolsey." The structure is of 
the time of James I., and has an enriched ceiling inscribed P 
(triple plumed). 

This was the office in which the Council for the Manage- 
ment of the Duchy of Cornwall Estates held their sittings ; 
for in the Calendar of State Papers, edited by Mrs. Green, 
is the following entry, of the time of Charles, created Prince 
of Wales four years after the death of Henry: — "1619, 
Feb. 25 ; Prince's Council Chamber, Fleet-street. — Council of 
the Prince of Wales to the Keepers of Brancepeth, Raby, 
and Barnard Castles : The trees blown down are only to be 
used for mending the pales, and no wood to be cut for fire- 
wood, nor browse for the deer." 



28s 



Dick's Coffee-house. 

This old Coffee-house, No. 8, Fleet-street (south side, 
near Temple Bar), was originally " Richard's," named from 
Richard Tomer, or Turner, to whom the house was let in 
1680. The Coffee-room retains its olden paneling, and the 
staircase its original balusters. 

The interior of Dick's Coffee-house is engraved as a 
frontispiece to a drama, called The Coffee-house, performed 
at Drury-lane Theatre in 1737. The piece met with great 
opposition on its representation, owing to its being stated 
that the characters were intended for a particular family 
(that of Mrs. Yarrow and her daughter), who kept Dick's, 
the coffee-house which the artist had inadvertently selected 
as the frontispiece. 

It appears that the landlady and her daughter were the 
reigning toast of the Templars, who then frequented Dick's; 
and took the matter up so strongly that they united to con- 
demn the farce on the night of its production ; they suc- 
ceeded, and even extended their resentment to everything 
suspected to be this author's (the Rev. James Miller) for a 
considerable time after. 

Richard's, as it was then called, was frequented by 
Cowper, when he lived in the Temple. In his own account 
of his insanity, Cowper tells us : " At breakfast I read the 
newspaper, and in it a letter, which, the further I perused 
it, the more closely engaged my attention. I cannot now 
recollect the purport of it ; but before I had finished it, it 
appeared demonstratively true to me that it was a libel or 
satire upon me. The author appeared to be acquainted 
with my purpose of self-destruction, and to have written 
that letter on purpose to secure and hasten the execution of 
it. My mind, probably, at this time began to be disordered ; 
however it was, I war, certainly given to a strong delusion. 
I said within myself, ' Your cruelty shall be gratified ; you 



286 CL UB LIFE OF LONDON. 

shall have your revenge,' and flinging down the paper in a 
fit of strong passion, I rushed hastily out of the room; 
directing my way towards the fields, where I intended to 
find some house to die in ; or, if not, determined to poison 
myself; in a ditch, where I could meet with one sufficiently, 
retired." 

It is worth while to revert to the earlier tenancy of the 
Coflfee-house, which was, wholly or in part, the original 
printing-office of Richard Tottel, law-printer to Edward VI., 
Queens Mary and Elizabeth ; the premises were attached 
to No. 7, Fleet-street, which bore the sign of " The Hand 
and Starre," where Tottel lived, and published the law and 
other works he printed. No. 7 was subsequently occupied 
by Jaggard and Joel Stephens, eminent law-printers, temp. 
Geo. I. — III. ; and at the present day the house is most 
appropriately occupied by Messrs. Butterworth, who follow 
the occupation Tottel did in the days of Edward VI., being 
law-pubUshers to Queen Victoria; and they possess the 
original leases, from the earliest grant, in the reign of 
Henry VIII., the period of their own purchase. 

The "Lloyd's" of the Time of Charles II. 

During the reign of Charles II., Coffee-houses grew into 
such favour, that they quickly spread over the metropolis, 
and were the usual meeting-places of the roving cavaliers, 
who seldom visited home but to sleep. The following song, 
from Jordan's "Triumphs of London, 1675," affords a very 
curious picture of the manners of the times, and the sort of 
conversation then usually met with in a well-frequented 
house of the sort, — the " Lloyd's " of the seventeenth 
century : — 

You that delight in wit and mirth, 

And love to hear such news 
That come from all parts of the earth, 

Turks, Dutch, and Danes, and Jews ; 



"LLOYD'S" IN. THE TIME OF CHARLES IL 187 

I'll send ye to the rendezvous, 

Where it is smoaking new ; 
Go hear it at a coffee-house. 

It cannot but be true. 
There battails and sea-fights are fought, 

And bloudy plots displaid ; 
They know more things than e'er was thought, 

Or ever was bewray'd : 
No money in the minting-house 

Is half so bright and new ; 
And coming from the Coffes-Hotise, 

It cannot but be true. 

Before the navies fell to work, 

They knew who should be winner ; 
They there can tell ye what the Turk 

Last Sunday had to dinner. 
Who last did cut Du Ruiter's* corns, 

Amongst his jovial crew ; 
Or who first gave the devil horns, 

AVhicli cannot but be true. 

A fisherman did boldly tell, 

And strongly did avouch, 
He caught a shole of mackerell. 

They parley'd all in Dutch ; 
And cry'd out. Yaw, yaw, yaw, mine hare. 

And as the draught they drew. 
They stunk for fear that Monkt was there : 

This sounds as if 'twere true. 

There's nothing done in all the world, 

From monarch to the mouse ; 
But every day or night 'tis hurl'd 

Into the coffee-house : 



• The Dutch admiral who, in June, 1667, dashed into the Downs 
with a fleet of eighty sail, and many fire-ships, blocked up the mouths 
of the Medway and Thames, destroyed the fortifications at Sheemess, 
cut away the paltry defences of booms and chains drawn across the 
rivers, and got to Chatham, on the one side, and nearly to Gravesend 
on the other, the king having spent in debauchery the money voted by 
Parliament for the proper support of the English navy. 

+ General Monk and Prince Rupert were at this time commanders of 
the English fleet. 



a»8 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

What Lilly* or what Bookert cou'd 

By art not bring about, 
At Coffee-house you'll find a brood, 

Can quickly find it out. 

They know who shall in times to come, 

Be either made or undone, 
From great St. Peter's-street in Rome, 

To Tumbal-streett ™ London. 

They know all that is good or hurt, 

To damn ye or to save ye ; 
There is the college and the court, 

The country, camp, and navy. 
So great an university, 

I think there ne'er was any ; 
In which you may a scholar be. 

For spending of a penny. 

Here men do talk of everything. 

With large and liberal lungs. 
Like women at a gossiping, 

With double tire of tongues. 
They'll give a broadside presently, 

'Soon as you are in view : 
With stories that you'll wonder at, 

Which they will swear are true. 

• Lilly was the celebrated astrologer of the Protectorate, who earned 
great fame at that time by predicting, in June, 1645, " if now we fight, 
a victory stealeth upon us :" a lucky guess, signally verified in the King's 
defeat at Naseby. Lilly thenceforth always saw the stars favourable to 
the Puritans. 

t This man was originally a fishing-tackle-maker in Tower-street, 
during the reign of Charles I. ; but turning enthusiast, he went about 
prognosticating " the downfall of the King and Popery;" and as he and 
his predictions were all on the popular side, he became a great man 
with the superstitious "godly brethren" of that day. 

% Turnbal, or TurnbuU-street, as it is still called, had been for a 
century previous of infamous repute. In Beaumont and Fletcher's play, 
the Knight of the Burning Pestle, one of the ladies who is undergoing 
penance at the barber's, has her character sufficiently pointed out to the 
audience, in her declaration, that she had been "stolen from her friends 
in Turnbal-street. " 



LLOYDS COFFEE-HOUSE. 289 

You shall know there what fashions are, 

How periwigs are curl'd ; 
And for a penny you shall hear 

All novels in the world ; 
Both old and young, and great and small. 

And rich and poor you'll see ; 
Therefore let's to the Coffee all, 

Come all away with me. 

Lloyd's Coffee-house. 

Lloyd's is one of the earliest establishments of the kind j 
it is referred to in a poem printed in the year 1700, called 
the Wealthy Shopkeeper, or Charitable Christian : 

Now to Lloyd's coffee-house he never fails, 
To read the letters, and attend the sales. 

In 1 7 10, Steele (Taller, No. 246) dates from Lloyd's his 
Petition on Coffee-house Orators and Newsvendors. And 
Addison, in Spectator, April 23, 17 11, relates this droll 
incident : — " About a week since there happened to me a 
very odd accident, by reason of which one of these my 
papers of minutes which I had accidentally dropped at 
Lloyd's Coffee-house, where the auctions are usually kept. 
Before I missed it, there were a cluster of people who had 
found it, and were diverting themselves with it at one end 
of the coffee-house. It had raised so much laughter among 
them before I observed what they were about, that I had 
not the courage to own it. The boy of the coffee-house, 
when they had done with it, carried it about in his hand, 
asking everybody if they had dropped a written paper ; but 
nobody challenging it, he was ordered by those merry 
gentlemen who had before perused it, to get up into the 
auction pulpit, and read it to the whole room, that if 
anybody would own it they might. The boy accordingly 
mounted the pulpit, and with a very audible voice read what 
proved to be minutes, which made the whole coffee-house 
very merry : some of them concluded it was written by a 



29° CLUB LIFE OF LOh'DON. 

madman, and others by somebody that had been;taking notes 
out of the Spectator. After it was read, and the boy was 
coming out of the pulpit, the Spectator reached his arm out, 
and desired the boy to give it him; which was done 
according. This drew the whole eyes of the company upon 
the Spectator ; but after casting a cursory glance over it, he 
shook his head twice or thriceat the reading of it, twisted it 
into a kind of match, and lighted his pipe with it. 'My 
profound silence,' says the Spectator, ' together with the 
stea,diness of my countenance, and the gravity of my be- 
haviour during the whole transaction, raised a very loud 
laugh on all sides of me ; but as I had escaped all suspicion 
of being the author, I was very well satisfied, and applying 
myself to my pipe and \h.<t Postman, took no further notice 
of anything that passed about me.' " 

. Nothing is positively known of the original Lloyd ; but in 
1750, there was issued an Irregular Ode, entitled^ Summer's 
Farewell to the Gulph of Venice, in the Southwell Frigate, 
Captain Manly, jun., commanding, stated to be "-printed for 
Lloyd, well-known for obliging the public with, the Freshest 
and Most Authentic Ship News; and sold by A. More, near 
St. Paul's, and at the Pamphlet Shops in London and 
Westminster, MDCCL." •■ ■ 

:. In the Gentkjnan's Magazine, fori 1740, we read :t— 
"11 March, 1740,' Mr. Baker, Master of Lloyd's CpfF^e- 
house, in: Lombard-street, waited on Sir Robert Walpolg 
\vith the news of Admiral Vernon's taking Portobello. This 
was the 'first account ' received thereof, and proving true. Sir 
Robert was pleased to order him a handsome present." 

Lloyd's is, perhaps, the oldest collective establishment' in 
the City. It was first under the management of a single 
individual, who .started it as a room where, the underwriters 
and insurers of ships' cargoes could meet for refreshment 
and conversation. The Coffee-house was originally in 
Lombard-street, at .the.cornec of.AbGhurch-Iane; subse- 
qu^ritly in, Pope's-head-alley,i where it was called "New 



LLOYD'S COFFEE-HOUSE. 291 

Lloyd's Coffee-house;" but on February 14th, 1774, it ivas 
removed to the north-west corner of the Royal Exchange, 
where it remained until the destruction of that building .by 
fire. 

In rebuilding the Exchange, a fine suite of. apartments 
was provided for Lloyd's " Subscription Rooms," which are 
the rendezvous of the most eminent merchants, Shipowners, 
underwriters, insurance, stock, and exchange brokers. Here 
is obtained the earliest news of the arrival and sailing of 
vessels, losses at sea, captures^ recaptures, engagements, and 
other shipping intelligence ; and proprietory of ships and 
fireights are insured by the. underwriters. The rooms are in 
the Venetian style,, with Roman enrichments. They are — 
I. The Subscribers' or Underwriters', the Merchants', and 
the Captains' Room, At the entrance of the room are 
exhibited the Shipping Lists, received from Lloyds' agents 
at home and abroad; and affording particulars of departures 
or arrivals of vessels, wrecks, salvage, or sale of property 
saved, etc. To the right and left are " Lloyd's Books," two 
enormous ledgers : right hand, ships " spoken with,'' or 
arrived at their destined ports ; left hand : records of wrecks, 
fires, or severe collisions, written in a fine Roman hand, in 
" double lines." To assist the underwriters in their calcular 
tions, at the end of the room is an Anemometer, which 
registers the state of the wind day and night ; attached is a 
rain-gauge. : ■; - ' 

The life of the underwriter is one of great anxiety and 
speculation. '.' Among the old stagers_of , the room, there is 
often strong antipathy to the insurance of certain ships. In 
the case of one'vessel it was strangely followed out. She 
was a steady trader, named after one of the most venerable 
members of the room ; and it was a curious coincidence that 
he invariably refused to 'write her' for * a single line.' 
Often he was joked upon the subject, and pressed to ' do a 
litde' for his namesake ; but he as often declined, shaking 
his head in a doubtful manner. One morning the sub- 

u 2 



292 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

scribers were reading the ' double lines,' or the losses, and 
among them was this identical ship, which had gone to 
pieces, and become a total wreck." — " The City," 2nd edit, 
1848. 

The Merchants' Room is superintended by a master, "who 
can speak several languages : here are duplicate copies of 
the books in the Underwriters' Room, and files of English 
and foreign newspapers. 

The Captains' Room is a kind of coffee-room, where 
merchants and ship-owners meet captains, and sales of ships, 
etc., take place. 

The members of Lloyd's have ever been distinguished by 
their loyalty and benevolent spirit. In 1802, they voted 
2000/. to the Life-boat subscription. On July 20, 1803, at 
the invasion panic, they commenced the Patriotic Fund 
with 20,000/. 3-per-cent. Consols; besides 70,312/. is. 
individual subscriptions, and 15,000/. additional donations. 
After the battle of the Nile, in 1798, they collected for the 
widows and wounded seamen 32,423/. ; and after Lord 
Howe's victory, June i, 1794, for similar purposes, 21,281/. 
They have also contributed 5000/. to the London Hospital ; 
1000/ for the suffering inhabitants of Russia in 1813 ; 1000/. 
for the relief of the militia in our North American colonies, 
18 13; and 10,000/. for the Waterloo subscription, in 18 15. 
The Committee vote medals and rewards to those who 
distinguish themselves in saving life from shipwreck. 

Some years since, a member of Lloyd's drew from the 
books the following lines of names contained therein : — 

A Black and a White, with a Brown and a Green, 
And also a Gray at Lloyd's room may be seen ; 
With Parson and Clark, then a Bishop and Pryor, 
And Water, how Strange adding fuel to fire ; 
While, at the same time, 'twill sure pass belief, 
There's a Winter, a Garland, Furze, Bud, and a Leaf; 
With Freshfield, and Greenhill, Lovegrove, and a Dale ; 
Though there's never a Breeze, there's always a Gale. 



THE JERUSALEM COFFEE-HOUSE. 293 

No music is there, though a Whistler and Harper ; 

There's a Blunt and a Sharp, many flats, but no sharper. 

There's a Danniell, a Samuel, a Sampson, an Abell ; 

The first and the last write at the same table. 

Then there's Virtue and Faith there, with Wylie and Rasch, 

Disagreeing elsewhere, yet at Lloyd's never clash. 

There's a Long and a Short, Small, Little, and Fatt, 

With one Robert Dewar, who ne'er wears his hat : 

No drinking goes on, though there's Porter and Sack, 

Lots of Scotchmen there are, beginning with Mac ; 

Macdonald, to wit, Macintosh and McGhie, 

McFarquhar, McKenzie, McAndrew, Mackie. 

An evangelized Jew, and an infidel Quaker ; 

There's a Bunn and a Pye, with a Cook and a Baker, 

Though no Tradesmen or Shopmen are found, yet herewith 

Is a Taylor, a Saddler, a Paynter, a Smyth ; 

Also Butler and Chapman, with Butter and Glover, 

Come up to Lloyd's room their bad risks to cover. 

Fox, Shepherd, Hart, Buck, likewise come every day ; 

And though many an ass, there is only one Bray. 

There is a Mill and Miller, A-dam and a Poole, 

A Constable, Sheriff, a Law, and a Rule. 

There's a Newman, a Niemann, a Redman, a Pitman, 

Now to rhyme with the last, there is no other fit man. 

These, with Young, Cheap, and Lent, Luckie, Hastie, and Slow, 

With dear Mr. Allnutt, Allfrey, and Auldjo, 

Are all the queer names that at Lloyd's I can show. 

Many of these individuals are now deceased; but a 
frequenter of Lloyd's in former years will recognize the 
persons mentioned. 

The Jerusalem Coffee-house, 

Comhill, is one of the oldest of the City news-rooms, and is 
frequented by merchants and captains connected with the 
commerce of China, India, and Australia. 

" The subscription-room is well-furnished with files of the 
principal Canton, Hongkong, Macao, Penang, Singapore, 
Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, Sydney, Hobart Town, Laun- 
ceston, Adelaide, and Port Phillip papers, and Prices 



294 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Current : besides shipping lists and papers from the various 
intermediate stations or ports touched at, as St. Helena, the 
Cape of Good Hope, etc. The .books of East India 
shipping include arrivals, departures, casualties, etc. The 
full business is between two and three o'clock, p.m. In 
1845, John Tawell, the Slough murderer, was capturdd at 
[traced to] the Jerusalem, which he was in the habit of 
visiting, to ascertain information of the state of his property 
in Sydney."—" The City," 2nd edit., 1848. 

Baker's Coffee-house, 

Change-alley, is remembered as a tavern some forty years 
since. The landlord, after whom it is named, may possibly 
have been a descendant from " Baker," the master of 
Lloyd's Rooms. It has been, for many years, a chop- 
house, with direct service from the gridiron, and upon 
pewter ; though on the first-floor, joint dinners are served : 
its post-prandial punch was formerly much drunk. In the 
lower room is a, portrait of James, thirty-five years waiter here. 

Coffee-houses in Ned Ward's Time. 

Of Ward's " Secret History " of the Clubs of his time we 
have already given several specimens. Little is known of 
him personally. Hewaj, probably, born in 1660, and early 
in life he visited the West Indies. Some time before 1669, 
he kept a tavern and punch-house, "next door to Gray's Inn, 
of which we shall speak hereafter. His works are now 
rarely to be met with. His doggrel secured him a place in 
the Dunciad, where not only his elevation to the pillory is 
mentioned, but the fact is also alluded to that his produc- 
tions were extensively shipped to the Plantations or Colonies 
of those days, — 

Nor sail with Ward to ape-and-monkey climes^ 
Where vile mundungus trucks for viler rhymes, 



COFFEE-HOUSES W. NED WARD'S TIME. 295 

the only places, probably, where they were extensively 
read. In return for the doubtful celelDrity thus conferred 
upon his rhymes, he attacked the satirist in a wretched pro- 
duction, intituled " Apollo's Maggot in his Cups ;" his expir- 
ing effort, probably, for he died on the 22nd of June, 1731. 
His remains were buried in the churchyard of Old St. Pancras, 
his body being followed to the grave solely by his wife and 
daughter, as directed by him in his poetical will, written 
some six years before, We learn from Noble that there are 
no less than four engraved portraits of Ned Ward. The 
structure of the " London Spy," the only work of his that 
at present comes under oui' notice, is simple enough. The 
author is self-personified as a countryman, who, tired with 
his " tedious confinement to a country hutt," comes up to 
London; where he fortunately meets with a quondam 
schoolfellow, — a " man about town," in modern phrase, — 
who undertakes to introduce him to the various scenes, 
sights, and mysteries of the, even then, " great metropolis :" 
much like the visit, in fact, from Jerry Hawthorn to Corin- 
thian Tom, only anticipated by some hundred a;nd twenty 
years. " We should not be at all. surprised (says the Gentle- 
-maiis Magazine) to find that the stirring scenes of Pierce 
Egan's ' Life in London ' were first ; suggested by more 
homely pages of the ' London Spy.' " 

At the outset of the work we have a description — not a 
very flattering one, certainly — of a common coffee-house of 
the day, one of the many hundreds with which London then 
teemed. Although coffee had been only known in England 
some fifty years, coffee-houses were already among the most 
favourite institutions of the land; though they had not as 
yet attained the political importance which they acquired in 
the days of the Tatier and Spectator, some ten or twelve 
years later : — 

" ' Come,' says my friend, ' let us step into this coffee- 
house here ; as you are a stranger in the town, it will afford 



296 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

you some diversion.' Accordingly, in we went, where a 
parcel of muddling muckworms were as busy as so many 
rats in an old cheese-loft ; some going, some coming, some 
scribbling, some talking, some drinking, some smoking, 
others jangling; and the whole room stinking of tobacco, 
like a Dutch scoot [schuyt], or a boatswain's cabin. The 
walls were hung round with gilt frames, as a farrier's shop 
with horse-shoes ; which contained abundance of rarities, 
viz.. Nectar and Ambrosia, May-dew, Golden Elixirs, 
Popular Pills, Liquid Snuff, Beautifying Waters, Dentifrices, 
Drops, and Lozenges ; all as infallible as the Pope, ' Where 
every one (as the famous Saffold° has it) above the rest, 
Deservedly has gain'd the name of best:' every medicine 
being so catholic, it pretends to nothing less than univer- 
sality. So that, had not my friend told me 'twas a coffee- 
house, I should have taken it for Quacks' Hall, or the 
parlour of some eminent mountebank. We each of us 
stuck in our mouths a pipe of sotweed, and now began to 
look about us.'' 

A description of Man's Coffee-house, situate in Scotland- 
yard, near the water-side, is an excellent picture of a 
fashionable coffee-house of the day. It took its name from 
the proprietor, Alexander Man, and was sometimes known 
as Old Man's, or the Royal Coffee-house, to distinguish it 
from Young Man's and ] ,itlle Man's, minor establishments 
in the neighbourhood : — 

" We now ascended a pair of stairs, which brought us 
into an old-fashioned room, where a gaudy crowd of 
odoriferous Tom-Essences were walking backwards and 
^forwards with their hats in their hands, not daring to con- 
vert them to their intended use, lest it should put the 
• foretops of their wigs into some disorder. We squeezed 
through till we got to the end of the room, where, at a 
small table, we sat down, and observed that it was as great 
a rarity to hear anybody call for a dish of Politiciaris por- 
ridge, or any other liquor, as it is to hear a beau call for a 



COFFEE-HOUSES OF EIGHTEENTH CENTURY. 297 

pipe of tobacco ; their whole exercise being to charge and 
discharge their nostrils, and keep the curls of their periwigs 
in their proper order. The clashing of their snush-box lids, 
in opening and shutting, made more noise than their 
tongues. Bows and cringes of the newest mode were here 
exchanged, 'twixt friend and friend, with wonderful exact- 
ness. They made a humming like so many hornets in a 
country chimney, not with their talking, but with their 
whispering over their new Minuets and Bories, with their 
hands in their pockets, if only freed from their snush-box. 
We now began to be thoughtful of a pipe of tobacco ; 
whereupon we ventured to call for some instruments of 
evaporation, which were accordingly brought us, but with 
such a kind of unwillingness, as if they would much rather 
have been rid of our company ; for their tables were so very 
neat, and shined with rubbing, like the upper-leathers of an 
alderman's shoes, and as brown as the top of a country 
housewife's cupboard. The floor was as clean swept as a 
Sir Courtly's dining-room, which made us look round, to see 
if there were no orders hung up to impose the forfeiture of 
so much Mop-money upon any person that should spit out 
of the chimney-comer. Notwithstanding we wanted an 
example to encourage us in our porterly rudeness, we 
ordered them to light the wax-candle, by which we ignified 
our pipes and blew about our whiffs ; at which several Sir 
Foplins drew their faces into as many peevish wrinkles, as 
the beaux at the Bow-street Coffee-house, near Covent- 
garden, did, when the gentleman in masquerade came in 
amongst them, with his oyster-barrel muff and turnip- 
buttons, to ridicule their fopperies." 

Coffee-houses of the Eighteenth Century. 

A cabinet picture of the Coffee-house life of a century 
and a half since, is thus given in the well-known " Journey 
through England," in 1 714: " I am lodged," says the tourisli 



298 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

" ill the street called Pall Mall, the ordinary residence of all 
strangers, because of its vicinity to the Queen's Palace, the 
Park, the Parliament'House, the Theatres, and the Choco- 
late and Coffee-houses, where the best company frequent. 
If you would know our manner of living, 'tis thus : wq rise 
by nine, and those that frequent great men's levees, find 
entertainment at them till eleven, or, as in Holland, go to 
tea-tables; aboiit twelve the beau tnonde zs&txiAAt in several 
Coffee or Chocolate houses : the best of which are the Cocoa- 
tree and White's Chocolate-houses, St. James's, the Smyrna, 
Mrs. Rochford'sj and the British Coffee-houses; and all 
these so near one another, that in less than an hour you see 
the company of them all. We are carried to these places in 
chairs (or sedans), which are here very cheap, a guinea a week, 
or a shining per hour, and your chairmen serve you for 
porters to run on errands, as your gondoliers do at Venice. 

" If it be fine weather, we take a tupn into the Park till 
two, when we go to dinner ; and if it be dirty, you are enter- 
tained at piquet or basset at White's, or you may talk politics 
at the Smyrna or St. James's. I must not forget to tell you 
that the parties have their different places, where, however, 
a stranger is always well received ; but a Whig will no more 
go to the Cocoa-tree or Ozinda's, than a Tory will be seen 
at the Coffee-house, St. James's. 

" The Scots go generally to the British, and a mixture of 
all sorts to the Smyrna. There are other little Coffee-houses 
much frequented in this neighbourhood, — Young, Man's for 
officers. Old Man's for stock-jobbers, paymasters, and 
courtiers, and Little Man's for sharpers. I never was so 
confounded in my life as when I entered into this last: I 
saw two or three tables full at faro, heard the box and dice 
rattling in the room above stairs, and was surrounded by a 
set of sharp faces, that I was afraid would have devoured 
me with their eyes. I was glad to drop two or three half- 
crowns at faro to get off with a clear skin, and was over- 
joyed I so got rid of them. 



COFFEE-HOUSES OF EIGHTEENTH CENTURY. 299 

" At two, we generally go to dinner ; ordinaries are not so 
common here as abroad, yet the French have set up two or 
three good ones for the convenience of foreigners in Suifolk- 
street, where one is tolerably well served ; but the general 
way here is to make a party at the Coffee-house to go to 
dine at the tavern, where we sit till six, when we go to the 
play; except you are invited to the table of some great man, 
which strangers are always courted to, and nobly enter- 
tained." 

We may here group the leading Coffee-houses,* the prin- 
cipal of which will be more fully described hereafter : 

"Before 1715, the number of Coffee-houses in London 
was reckoned at two thousand. Every profession, trade, 
class, party, had its favourite Coffee-house. The lawyers 
discussed law or literature, criticized the last new play, or 
retailed the freshest Westminster Hall 'bite' at Nando's 
or the Grecian, both close on the purlieus of the Temple. 
Here the young bloods of the Inns-of-Court paraded their 
Indian gowns and lace caps of a morning ; and swaggered 
in their lace coats and Mechlin ruffles at night, after 
the theatre. The Cits met to discuss the rise and fall of 
stocks, and to settle the rate of insurance, at Garraway's or 
Jonathan's ; the parsons exchanged university gossip, or 
commented on Dr. Sacheverel's last sermon at Truby's or at 
Child's in St. Paul's Churchyard ; the soldiers mustered to 
grumble over their grievances at Old or Young Man's, near 
Charing Cross; the St. James's and the Smyrna were the 
head-quarters of the Whig politicians, while the Tories 
frequented the Cocoa-tree or Ozinda's, all in St. James's- 
street ; Scotchmen had their house of call at Forrest's, 
Frenchmen at Giles's or Old Slaughter's, in St. Martin's- 
lane ; the gamesters shook their elbows in White's and the 
Chocolate-houses round Covent Garden ; the virtuosi 
honoured the neighbourhood of Gresham College ; and the 



* From the National Eeview, No. 8. 



300 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

leading wits gathered at Will's, Button's, or Tom's, in Great 
Russell-street, where after the theatre was playing at piquet 
and the best of conversation till midnight. At all these 
places, except a few of the most aristocratic Coifee or Choco- 
late-houses of the West-End, smoking was allowed. A penny- 
was laid down at the bar on entering, and the price of a dish 
of tea or coffee seems to have been two-pence : this charge 
covered newspapers and lights. The established frequenters 
of the house had their regular seats, and special attention 
from the fair lady at the bar, and the tea or coffee boys. 

" To these Coffee-houses men of all classes, who had either 
leisure or money, resorted to spend both; and in them, 
politics, play, scandal, criticism, and business, went on hand- 
in-hand. The transition from Coffee-house to Club was easy. 
TJius Tom's, a Coffee-house till 1764, in that year, by a 
guinea subscription, among nearly seven hundred of the 
nobility, foreign ministers, gentry, and geniuses of the age, 
became the place of meeting for the subscribers exclusively.* 
In the same way. White's and the Cocoa-tree changed their 
character from Chocolate-house to Club. When once a 
house had customers enough of standing and good repute, 
and acquainted with each other, it was quite worth while — 
considering the characters who, on the strength of assurance, 
tolerable manners, and a laced coat, often got a footing in 
these houses while they continued open to the public, to 
purchase power of excluding all but subscribers." 

Thus, the chief places of resort were at this period Coffee 
and Chocolate-houses, in which some men almost lived, as 
they do at the present day, at their Clubs. Whoever wished 
to find a gentleman commonly asked, not where he resided,- 
but which coffee-house he frequented. No decently attired 
idler was excluded, provided he laid down his penny at the 
Tjar ; but this he could seldom do without strugghng through 



* We question whether the CofTee-house general business was entirely 
£iven up immediately after the transition. 



COFFEE-HOUSES OF EIGHTEENTH CENTURY. 301 

the crowd of beaux who fluttered round the lovely bar-maid. 
F-.r- the proud nobleman or country squire was not to be 
distinguished from the genteel thief and daring highwayman. 
" Pray, sir," says Aimwell to Gibbet, in Farquhar's Beaux 
Stratagem, " ha'n't I seen your face at Will's Coffee-house ?" 
The robber's reply is : " Yes, Sir, and at White's too." 

Three of Addison's papers in the Spectator, (Nos. 402, 481, 
and 568,) are humorously descriptive of the Coffee-houses 
of this period. No. 403 opens with the remark that " the 
courts of two countries do not so much differ from one 
another, as the Court and the City, in their pecuKar ways of 
life and conversation. In short, the inhabitants of St. 
James's, notwithstanding they live under the same laws, and 
speak the same language, are a distinct people from those of 
Cheapside, who are likewise removed from those of the 
Temple on the one side, and those of Smithfield on the 
other, by several climates and degrees in their way of think- 
ing and conversing together." For this reason, the author 
takes a ramble through London and Westminster, to gather 
the opinions of his ingenious countrymen upon a current 
report of the King of France's death. " I know the faces 
of all the principal politicians within the bills of mortality ; 
and as every Coffee-house has some particular statesman be- 
longing to it, who is the mouth of the street where he lives, 
I always take care to place myself near him, in order to 
know his judgment on the present posture of affairs. And, 
as I foresaw, the above report would produce a new face of 
things in Europe, and many curious speculations in our 
British Coffee-houses, I was very desirous to learn the 
thoughts of our most eminent politicians on that occasion. 

" That I might begin as near the fountain-head as possible^ 
I first of all called in at St. James's, where I found the whole 
outward room in a buzz of politics ; the speculations were 
but very indifferent towards the door, but grew finer as you 
advanced to the upper end of the room, and were so much 
improved by a knot of theorists, who sat in the inner room, 



302 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

within the steams of the i coffee-pot, that I there heard the 
whole Spanish monarchy disposed of, and all the line of 
Bourbons provided for in less than a quarter of an hour. 

" I afterwards called in at Giles's, where I saw a board 
of French gentlemen sitting upon the life and death of their 
grand monaique. Those among them. who had espoused 
the Whig- interest very positively affirmed that he had 
departed this life about a week since, and therefore, pro- 
ceeded without any further delay to the release of their 
friends in the galleys, and to their own re-establishment ; 
but, finding they could not agree among themselves, I pro- 
ceeded on' my intended progress. 

" Upon my arrival at Jenny Man's I saw an alert young 
fellow that cocked his hat upon a friend of his, who entered 
just at the same time with myself, and accosted him after 
the following manner : 'Well, Jack, the old prig is dead at 
last. Sharp's the word. Now or never, boy. Up to the 
walls of Paris, directly / with several other deep reflections 
of the same nature. 

" I met with very little variation in the politics between 
Charing Cross and Covent Garden. And, upon my going 
into Will's, I found their discourse was gone off, from the 
death of the French King, to that of Monsieur Boileau, 
Racine, Corneille, and several other poets, whom they 
regretted on this occasion as persons who would have 
obliged the world with very noble elegies on the death of so 
great a prince,- and so eminent a patron of learning. 

" At a Coffee-house near the Temple, I found a couple of 
young -gentlemen engaged ■ very smartly in a dispute on the 
succession to the Spanish monarchy. One of them seemed 
to have. been retained- as advocate for the Duke of Anjou, 
the other for his Imperial Majesty. They were both for 
regarding the title to that kingdom by the statute laws of 
England < but finding them going out of my depth, I. 
pressed -forward: to Paul's Churchyard, where I listened with 
great attention -to a learned man, who gave the company an 



COFFEE-HOUSES OF EIGHTEENTH CENTURY. 303 

account of the deplorable -slate of France during the 
minority of the deceased King. 

" I then turned on my right hand into Fish-street, where 
the ohief politician of that quarter, upon hearing the news, 
(after having taken a pipe of tobacco, and ruminated for 
some time,) 'If,' says he, ' the 'King of France is certainly 
dead, we shall have plenty of mackerel this season : our 
fishery will not be disturbed by privateers, as it has been for 
these ten years past' He afterwards considered how the 
death of this great man would affect our pilchards, and by 
several other remarks infused a general joy into his whole 
audietice. 

" I afterwards entered a by-coffee-liouse that stood at the 
upper end of a narrow lane, where I met with a conjuror 
engaged very warmly with a laceman who was the great sup- 
port of a neighbouring conventicle. The matter in debate 
was whether the late French King was most like Augustus 
Csesar, or Nero. The controversy was carried on with great 
heat on both sides, and as each of them looked upon me 
very frequently during the course of their debate, I was 
"under sonie apprehension that they would -appeal tome, and 
therefore laid down my penniy at the bar, and made the best 
of my way to Cheapside. 

"I here gazed upon the signs for some time before I 
"fouiid one to rny purpose. The first object I met in' the 
coffee-room was a person who expressed a great grief for the 
death of the French King ; but upon his explaining himself, 
I found his sorrow did not arise from the loss of the 
monarch, but for his having sold out of the Bank about three 
days before he heard the news of it. Upon which a haber- 
dasher, who was the oracle of the coffee-house, and had his 
circle of admirers aboiit him, called several to witness that 
he had declared his opinion, above a week before, that the 
French King was certainly dead ; to which he added, that 
considering the late advices we had received from' France, 
it was impossible that it could be otherwise. As he ivas laying 



304 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

these together, and debating to his hearers with great 
authority, there came a gentleman from Garraway's, who 
told us that there were several letters from France just come 
in, with advice that the King was in good health, and was 
cone out a hunting the very morning the post came away j 
upon which the haberdasher stole off his hat that hung upon 
a wooden peg by him, and retired to his shop with great 
confusion. This intelligence put a stop to my travels, which 
I had prosecuted with so much satisfaction; not being a 
little pleased to hear so many different opinions upon so 
great an event, and to observe how naturally, upon such a 
piece of news, every one is apt to consider it to his 
particular interest and advantage." 

Coffee-house Sharpers in 1776. 

The following remarks by Sir John Fielding* upon the 
dangerous classes to be found in our metropoUtan Coffee- 
houses three-quarters of a century since, are described as 
"necessary Cautions to all Strangers resorting thereto." 

" A stranger or foreigner should particularly frequent the 
Coffee-houses in London. These are very numerous in 
every part of the town ; will give him the best insight into 
the different characters of the people, and the justest notion 
of the inhabitants in general ; of all the houses of public 
resort these are the least dangerous. Yet, some of these 
are not entirely free from sharpers. The deceivers of this 
denomination are generally descended from families of some 
repute, have had the groundwork of a genteel education, 
and are capable of making a tolerable appearance. Having 
been equally profuse of their own substance and character, 
and learned, by having been undone, the ways of undoing, 
they lie in wait for those who have more wealth and less 



• " The Magistrate : Desaiption of London and Westminster,* 
1776. 




i^n--, - Zki'i 1 




Simson's Three Tuns, Billingsgate, (i^w/? Dinners. 




Copenhagen House, 1830. 



DON SALTERas COFFEE-HOUSE. 305 

knowledge of the town. By joining you in discourse, by 
admiring what you say, by an ofRciousness to wait upon 
you, and to assist you in anything you want to have or 
know, they insinuate themselves into the company and ac- 
quaintance of strangers, whom they watch every opportunity 
of fleecing. And if one finds in you the least inclination to 
cards, dice, the billiard table, bowling-green, or any other 
sort of gaming, you are morally sure of being taken in. For 
this set of gentry are adepts in all the arts of knavery and 
tricking. If, therefore, you should observe a persouj with- 
out any previous acquaintance, paying you extraordinary 
marks of civility ; if he puts in for a share of your conversa- 
tion with a pretended air of deference ; if he tenders his 
assistance, courts your acquaintance, and would be suddenly 
thought your friend, avoid him as a pest ; for these are the 
usual baits by which the unwary are caught." 

Don Saltero's Coffee-house. 

Among the curiosities of Old Chelsea, almost as well-known 
as its china, was the Coffee-house and Museum, No. 18, 
Cheyne Walk, opened by a barber, named Salter, in 1695. 
Sir Hans Sloane contributed some of the refuse gimcracks 
of his own collection ; and Vice-Admiral Munden, who had 
been long on the coast of Spain, where he had acquired a 
a fondness for Spanish titles, named the keeper of the house 
Don Salter 0, and his Coffee-house and Museum, Don 
Saltero's. 

The place, however, would, in all probability, have en- 
joyed little beyond its local fame, had not Sir Richard Steele 
immortalized the Don and Don Saltero's in The Tatler, 
No. 34, June 28, 1700 ; wherein he tells us of the necessity 
of travelling to know the world by his journey for fresh air, 
no further than the village of Chelsea, of which he fancied 
that he could give an immediate description, from the five 
fields, where the robbers lie in wait, to the Coffee-house, 

X 



30(5 -■ CLUB LIFE OI' LONDON. 

where the literati sit in council. But he found, evat,i in La- 
place so neaf town as this, there were.enorniities and persons 
of eminence, whom he before knew nothing of. 

The Coffeerhouse ^vas almost absorbed by the Museum. 
"When I came into the Coffee-house," says Steele, " I had 
not time to salute the company, before my eyes were di- 
verted by ten thousand gimcracKs. round the room, and on 
the ceiling. When my first astonishment was over, comes 
to me a sage of thin and meagre countenance, which aspect 
made me doubt whether reading or fretting had made it so 
philosophic ; but I very soon perceived him to be of that 
sort which the ancients call ' gingivistee,' in our language 
' tooth-drawers.' I immediately had a respect for the man;- 
for these practical philosophers go upon a very practical 
hypothesis, not to cure, but to take away the part affected. 
My love of mankind made me very benevolent to Mr; 
Salter, for such is the name of this eminent barber and 
antiquary." 

The Don was famous for his punch and his skill on the 
fiddle ; he also drew teeth, and \\T:ote verses ; he described 
his museum in several stanzas, one of which is — 

Monsters of all sorts are seen : 

Strange things in nature as they grew so ; 

Some relicks of the Sheba Queefn, 

And fragments of the fani'd Bob Crusoe. 

Steele then plunges into a deep thought why barbers 
should go further in hitting the ridiculous than any other 
set of men ; and maintains that Don Saltero is descended 
in a right line, not from John Tradescant, as he himself 
asserts, but from the memorable companion of the Knights 
of Mancha. Steele then certifies that all the worthy citizens 
who travel to see the Don's rarities, his double-barrelled 
pistols, targets, coats of mail, his sclopeta, and sword of 
Toledo, were left to his ancestor by the said Don Quixote, 
and by his ancestor to all his progeny down to Saltero. 
Though Steele thus goes far in favotir of Don Saltero's great 



JDON SALTERffS COFFEE-HOUSE. 307, 

merit; he otyects to his imposing several names (without his 
licence) on the collection he has made, to the abuse: of the 
good people of England ; one of which is particularly -calcu- 
lated to deceiw religious persons, to the greait scaqdalof 
the well-disposed, '-.and may introduce heterodox opinions. 
[Among the curiosities presented by Admiral Munden was 
a cofHn, containing the body or relics of a Spanish saint, 
who had wrought miracles.] " He shows you a straw hat; 
which," says Steele, "I know to be made by Madge Peskad, 
within three miles of Bedford ; and tells you ' It is Pontius 
Pilate's wife's chambermaid's sister's hat.' To my knowledge 
of this very hat, it may be added that the covering of straw 
was never used among the Jews, since it -was demanded of 
them, to make bricks without it. Therefore, this is nothing 
but, under the specious pretence of learning and antiquities, 
to impose upon the world. There are other things vhich I 
cannot tolerate ariong his rarities, as, the china figure of the 
lady in the.glassrcase;, the Italian engine, for the imprison- 
ment of those who go abroad with it ; both ' of which I 
hereby order to be taken down, or else he may expect to 
have his letters patent for making punch superseded; be de- 
barred wearing his muff next winter, or ever coming to 
London without his wife." Babillard says that Salter had 
an old grey muff, and that, by wearing it up to his nose, he 
was distinguishable at the distance of a quarter of a mile. 
His wife was none of the best, being much addicted to 
scolding ; and Salter, who liked his glass, if he could make 
a trip to London by himself, was in no haste to return. 

Don Saltero's proved very attractive as an exhibition, and 
drew crowds to the Coffee-house. A catalogue was pub^ 
lished, of which were printed more than forty editions. 
Smollett, the novelist, was among the donors. The cata- 
logue, in 1760, comprehended the following rarities: — 
Tigers' tusks ; the Pope's candle ; the skeleton of a Guinea- 
pig ; a fly-cap monkey j a piece of the true Cross ; the Four 
Evangehsts' heads cut on a cherry-stone; the King of 

X 2 



3o8 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON: 

Morocco's tobacco-pipe ; Mary Queen of Scots' pincushion; 
Queen Elizabeth's prayer-book ; a pair of Nun's stockings ; 
Job's ears, which grew on a tree ; a frog in a tobacco-stopper; 
and five hundred more odd relics ! The Don had a rival, 
as appears by "A Catalogue of the Rarities to be seen at 
Adams's, at the Royal Swan, in Kingsland-road, leading 
from Shoreditch Church, 1756." Mr. Adams exhibited, for 
the entertainment of the curious, " Miss Jenny Cameron's 
shoes ; Adam's eldest daughter's hat ; the heart of the 
famous Bess Adams, that was hanged at Tyburn with 
Lawyer Carr, January 18, 1736-7 ; Sir Walter Raleigh's 
tobacco-pipe ; Vicar of Bray's clogs ; engine to shell green 
peas with ; teeth that grew in a fish's belly ; Black Jack's 
ribs ; the very comb that Abraham combed his son Isaac 
and Jacob's head with ; Wat Tyler's spurs ; rope that cured 
Captain Lowry of the head-ach, ear-ach, tooth-ach, and 
belly-ach ; Adam's key of the fore and back door of the 
Garden of Eden, &c., &C;" These are only a few out of 
five hundred others equally marvellous. 

The Don, in 1723, issued a curious rhyming advertise- 
ment of his Curiosities, dated " Chelsea Knackatory," and 
in one line he calls it " My Museum Coffee-house." 

In Dr. Franklin's "Life" we read: — "Some gentlemen from 
the country went by water to see the College, and Don 
Saltero's Curiosities, at Chelsea." They were shown in the 
coffee-room till August, 1799, when the collection was mostly 
' sold or dispersed ; a few gimcracks were left until about 
1825, when we were informed on the premises, they were 
thrown away ! The house is now a tavern, with the sign of 
" The Don Saltero's Coffee-house." 

The success of Don Saltero, in attracting visitors to his 
coffee-house, induced the proprietor of the Chelsea Bun-house 
to make a similar collection of rarities, to attract customers 
for the buns; and to some extent it was successful. 



309 



Saloop-houses. 

What was, in our time, occasionally sold at stalls in the 
streets of London, with this name, was a decoction of 
sassafras ; but it was originally made from Salep, the roots 
of Orchis mascula, a common plant of our meadows, the 
tubers of which, being cleaned and peeled, are lightly 
browned in an oven. Salep was much recommended in the 
last century by Dr. Percival, who stated that salep had the 
property of concealing the taste of salt water, which pro- 
perty it was thought might be turned to account in long sea- 
voyages. The root has been considered as containing the 
largest portion of nutritious matter in the smallest space ; 
and when boiled, it was much used in this country before 
the introduction of tea and cofifee, and their greatly reduced 
prices. Salep is now almost entirely disused in Great 
Britain ; but we remember many saloop-stalls in our streets. 
We believe the last house in which it was sold, to have been 
Read's Coffee-house, in Fleet-street The landlord of the 
noted Mug-house, in Salisbury-square, was one Read. (See 
p. 44.) 

The Smyrna Coffee-house, 

In Pall Mall, was, in the reign of Queen Anne, famous 
for " that cluster of wise-heads " found sitting every evening, 
from the left side of the fire to the door. The following 
announcement in the Tatler, No. 78, is amusing : " This is 
to give notice to all ingenious gentlemen in and about the 
cities of London and Westminster, who have a mind to be 
instructed in the noble sciences of music, poetry, and 
politics, that they repair to the Smyrna Coffee-house, in 
Pall Mall, betwixt the hours of eight and ten at night, where 
they may be instructed gratis, with elaborate essays by word 
of mouth," on all or any of the above-mentioned arts. The 



3IO CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

disciples are to prepare their bodies with three dishes of 
bohea, and to purge their brains with two pinches of snuff. 
If any young student gives indication of parts, by listening 
attentively, or asking a pertinent question, one of the pro- 
fessors shall distinguish him, by taking snufif out of his box 
in the presence of the whole audience. 

" N.B.— The seat of learning is now removed from the 
corner of the chimney on the left hand towards the window, 
to the round table in the middle of the floor over against the 
fire ; a revolution much lamented by the porters and chair- 
men, who were much edified through a pane of glass that 
remained broken all the last summer." 

Prior and Swift were much together at the' Smyrna : we 
read of their sitting there two hours, " receiving acquaint- 
ance ;" and one entry of Swift's tells us that he walked a 
little in the Park till Prior made him go with him to the 
Smyrna Coffee-house. It seemed to be the place to talk 
politics; but there is a more agreeable 'record of it in 
association with our " Poet of the Year,'' thus given by 
Cunningham : " In the printed copy of Thomson's proposals 
for publishing, by subscription, the Four Seasons, with a 
Hymn on their succession, the following note is appended : 
' Subscriptions now taken in by the author, at the Smyrna 
Coffee-house, Pall Mall.'"* We find the 'Smyrna in a list of 
Coffee-houses in 1810. 

St. James's Coffee-house. 

This was the famous Whig Coffee-house from the time of 
Queen Anne till late in the reign of George III. It was tho 
last house but one on the south-west comer of St. James's- 



* The Dane Coifee-house, between the Upper and. Lower Malls, 
Hammersmith, was frequented by Thomson, who wrote here a part of 
his "Winter." On the Terrace resided, for many years, Arthur Murphy, 
and Loutherbourg, the painter. The latter died there, in 1812. 



ST. yAMES'S COFFEE-HOUSE. 311 

Street, and is thus mentioned in No. i of the Tatler : 
"Foreign and Domestic News you will have from St. 
James's Coffee-house." It occurs also in the passage quoted 
at page 301, from the Spectator. The St. James's was much 
frequented by Swift ; letters- for him were left here. In Jiis 
Journal to Stella he says: " I met Mr. Harley, and he asked 
me how long I had learnt the trick of writing to myself? 
He had seen your letter through the glass case at the 
Coffee-house, and would swear it was my hand." The 
letters from Stella were enclosed under cover to Addison. 

Elliot, who kept, the coffee-house, was, on occasions, 
placed on a friendly footing with his guests. Swift, in his 
Journal to Stella, Nov. 19, 1710, records an odd instance of 
this familiarity : " This evening I christened our coffee-man 
Elliot's child ; when the rogue had a most noble supper, and 
Steele and I sat amongst^ some scurvy company over a bowl 
of punch." 

In the first advertisement of Lady Mary Wortley Mon- 
tagu's " Town Eclogues," they are stated to have been read 
over at the St. James's Coffee-house, when they were 
considered by the general voice to be productions of a 
Lady of Quality. From the proximity of the house to St. 
James's Palace, it was much frequented by . the Guards ; 
and we read of its being no uncommon circumstance to 
see Dr. Joseph Warton at breakfast in the St. James's 
Coffee-house, surrounded by offxers of the Guards, who 
listened with the utmost attention and pleasure to his 
remarks. 

To show the order and regularity observed at the St. 
James's, we may quote the following advertisement, 
appended to the Tatter, No. 25 : — " To prevent all mis- 
takes that may happen among gentlemen of the other end 
of the town, who come but once a week to St. James's 
Coffee-house, either by miscalling the servants^ or requiring 
such things from them as are not properly within their respec- 
tive provinces ; this is to give notice that Kidney, keeper of 



312 CLUB LJi'Ji ux' i^uivjjuiv. 

the book-debts of the outlying customers, and observer of 
those who go oft without paying, having resigned that 
employment, is succeeded by John Sowton ; to whose place 
of enterer of messages and first cofiee-grinder, William Bird 
is promoted ; and Samuel Burdock comes as shoe-cleaner in 
the room of the said Bird." 

But the St. James's is more memorable as the house 
where originated Goldsmith's celebrated poem, " Retalia- 
tion." The poet belonged to a temporary association of 
men of talent, some of them members of the Club, who 
dined together occasionally here. At these dinners he was 
generally the last to arrive. On one occasion, when he was 
later than usual, a whim seized the company to write 
epitaphs on him as " the late Dr. Goldsmith," and several 
were thrown off in a playful vein. The only one extant was 
written by Garrick, and has been preserved, very probably, 
by its pungency : — 

Here lies poet Goldsmith, for shortness called Noll ; 
He wrote like an angel, but talked like poor Poll. 

Goldsmith did not relish the sarcasm, especially coming 
from such a quarter ; and, by way of retaliation, he produced 
the famous poem, of which Cumberland has left a very 
interesting account, but which Mr. Forster, in his " Life of 
Goldsmith,'' states to be " pure romance." The poem itself, 
however, with what was prefixed to it when published, 
sufficiently explains its own origin. What had formerly 
been abrupt and strange in Goldsmith's manners, had now 
so visibly increased, as to Ijecome matter of increased sport 
to such as were ignorant of its cause ; and a proposition 
made .it one of the dinners, when he was absent, to write a 
series of epitaphs upon him (his "country dialect" and his 
awkward person) was agreed to, and put in practice by several 
of the guests. The active aggressors appear to have been 
Garrick, Doctor Bernard, Richard Burke, and Caleb White- 
foord. Cumberland says he, too, wrote an epitaph ; but it 
was complimentary and grave, and hence the grateful return 



ST. JAMESS COFFEE-HOUSE. 313 

he received. Mr. Forster considers Garrick's epitaph to 
indicate the tone of all. This, with the rest, was read to 
Goldsmith when he next appeared at the St. James's Coffee- 
house, where Cumberland, however, says he never again 
met his friends. But " the Doctor was called on for Retali- 
ation," says the friend who published the poem with that 
name, " and at their next meeting produced the following, 
which, I think, adds one leaf to his immortal wreath." 
" ' Retaliation,' " says Sir Walter Scott, " had the effect of 
placing the author on a more equal footing with his Society 
than he had ever before assumed." 

Cumberland's account differs from the version formerly 
received, which intimates that the epitaphs were written be- 
fore Goldsmith arrived : whereas the pun, " the late Dr. 
Goldsmith," appears to have suggested the writing of the 
epitaphs. In the " Retaliation," Goldsmith has not spared the 
characters and failings of his associates, but has drawn them 
with satire, at once pungent and good-humoured. Garrick 
is smartly chastised ; Burke, the Dinner-bell of the House 
of Commons, is not let off ; and of all the more distinguished 
names of the Club, Thomson, Cumberland, and Reynolds 
alone escape the lash of the satirist. The former is not 
mentioned, and the two latter are even dismissed with uri- 
qualified and affectionate applause. 

Still, we quote Cumberland's account of the " Retaliation,'' 
which is very amusing from the closely circumstantial man- 
ner in which the incidents are narrated, although they have 
so little relationship to truth :— " It was upon a proposal 
started by Edmund Burke, that a party of friends who had 
dined together at Sir. Joshua Reynolds's and my house, 
should meet at the St. James's Coffee-house, which accord- 
ingly took place, and was repeated occasionally with much 
festivity and good fellowship. Dr. Bernard, Dean of Derry ; 
a very amiable and old friend of mine, Dr. Douglas, since 
Bishop of Salisbury ; Johnson, David Garrick, Sir Joshua 
Reynolds, Oliver Goldsmith, Edmund and Richard Burke, 



31,4 QLtfB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Hicjtey, with two. or three others, constituted ovir party. At 
one of these meetings an idea was sUggftsted of extemporary 
epitaphs upon the parties present : pen and ink were called 
for, and Garrick, off-hand, wrote an epitaph with a. good deal 
of humour, upon poor' Goldsmith, who was the first in jest, 
as he proved to be in reality, that we committed to. the grave. 
The Dean also gave him an epitaph, and Sir Joshua illumi- 
nated the Dean's verses with a sketch of his bust in" peii and 
ink, inimitably caricatured. Neither Johnson nor Burke 
wrote anything, and when , I perceived that Oliver was 
rather sore, and seemed to watch me with that kind of 
attention . which indicated his expectation of something in 
the .same kind of burlesque with theirs ; I thought it time to 
press the Joke nofurther, and wrote a few couplets at a side- 
table, which, when Lhad finished, and was called upon by 
the company to exhibit, -Goldsmith, with mucli agitation, 
besought me to spare him ; and I was about to tear them, 
when Johnson wrested them out of my hand, and in a loud 
voice read them at the table. I have now lost recollection 
of them, and, in fact, they were little worth remembering ; 
but as they were serious and complimentary, the effect upon 
Goldsmith was the more pleasing, for being so entirely un- 
expected. The concluding line, which was tlie only one I 
can call to mind, was : — 

All moum the poet, I lament the man. 

This I recollect, because he repeated it several times,, and 
seemed much gratified by it. At our next meeting he pro- 
duced his epitaphs, as they- stand in the little posthumous 
poem above mentioned, and this was the last time he ever 
enjoyed the company of his friends."* 

Mr. Cunningham tells us that the St. James's was closed 
about 1806 ; and a large pile of building looking down Pall 
Mall, erected on its site. 



* " Cumberland's Memoirs," vol. i. 



THE BRITISH COFSEE-HOUSE. 315 

The globular oil-lamp was first exhibited by its inventor, 
Mitihael Cole, at the door of the St. James's Coffee-house, 
in 1709; in the patent he obtained, it is mentioned as " a 
new kind of iight." 

The British Coffee-house, 

In Cockspur-street, " long a house of call for Scotchmen," 
has been fortunate in Its landladies. In 1759, it was kept 
by the sister of Bishop Douglas, so well known foi' his works 
against Lauder anii Bower, which may explain its Scottish 
fame, at another period it was kept ' by Mrs. Anderson, 
described in Mackenzie's " Life of Home " as " a woman of 
uncommon talents, and the most agreeable conversation."* 

The British figures' in a political faction of 1750, at which 
.date Walpole writes to "Sir Horace Mann: "The Argyll 
carried all the Scotch against the turnpike ; they were will- 
ing to be carried,, for the Duke of Bedford, in case it should 
have come into the Lords, had writ to the sixteen Peers, 
to solicit their votes ; but with so httle difference, that he 
enclosed all the letters under one cover directed to the British 
Coffee-house." 

Will's Coffee-house, t 

Will's, the predecessor of Button's, and even more cele- 
brated than that Coffee-house, was kept by William Urwin, and 
was the house on the north side of Russell-street, at the end 
of Bow-street — the corner house — now occupied as a ham and 
beef shop, and num,bered twentyrthree. " It was Dryden 



* " Cunninghajn's Walpole," vol. ii, p. 196, note. 
+ Will's Coffee-house first had the title of the Red Cow, then of the 
Rose, and, we.believe, is the same house alluded to in the pleasant story 
in the second number of the Tatter: — 

''Supper and friends expect we at the Rose." 
The Rose, however, was a common sig^ for houses of public entertain- 
ment. 



3i6 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

who made Will's Coffee-house the great resort of the wits of 
his time." {Pope and Spence.) The room in which the poet 
was accustomed to sit was on the first floor ; and his place 
was the place of honour by fire-side in the winter ; and at 
the corner of the balcony, looking over the street, in fine 
weather ; he called the two places his winter and his 
summer seat. This was called the dining-room floor in the 
last century. The company did not sit in boxes as subse- 
quently, but at various tables which were dispersed through 
the room. Smoking was permitted in the public room : it 
was then, so much in vogue that it does not seem to have 
been considered a nuisance. Here, as in other similar 
places of meeting, the visitors divided themselves into 
parties ; and we are told by Ward, that the young beaux 
and wits, who seldom approached the principal table, 
thought it a great honour to have a pinch out of Dryden's 
snuff-box. 

Dean Lockier has left this life-like picture of his interview 
with the presiding genius at Will's : — " I was about seventeen 
when I first came up to town," says the Dean, " an odd- 
looking boy, with short rough hair, and that sort of awkward- 
ness which one always brings up at first out of the country 
vdth one. However, in spite of my bashfulness and 
appearance, I used, now and then, to thrust myself into 
Will's, to have the pleasure of seeing the most celebrated 
wits of that time, who then resorted thither. The second 
time that ever I was there, Mr. Dryden was speaking of his 
own things, as he frequently did, especially of such as had 
been lately pubhshed. ' If anything of mine is good,' says 
he, ' 'tis " Mac-Flecno •" and I value myself the more upon it, 
because it is the first piece of ridicule written in heroics.' 
On hearing this I plucked up my spirit so far as to say, in a 
voice but just loud enough to be heard, ' that " Mac-FIecno " 
was a very fine poem, but that I had not imagined it to be 
the first that was ever writ that way.' On this, Dryden 
turned short upon me, as surprised at my interposing ; asked 



JVILVS COFFEE-HOUSE, 317 

me how long ' I had been a dealer in poetry ;' and added, 
with a smile, ' Pray, Sir, what is it that you did imagine to 
have been writ so before ?' — I named Boileau's ' Lutrin ' and 
Tassoni's ' Secchia Rapita,' which I had read, and knew 
Dryden had borrowed some strokes from each. ' 'Tis true,' 
said Dryden, ' I had forgot them.' A little after, Dryden 
went out, and in going, spoke to me again, and desired me 
to come and see him the next day. I was highly delighted 
with the invitation ; went to see him accordingly ; and was 
well acquainted with him after, as long as he lived." 

Will's Coffee-house was the open market for libels and 
lampoons, the latter named from the established burden 
formerly sung to them : — 

Lampone, lampone, camerada lampone. 

Thei E was a drunken fellow, named Julian, who was a 
characterless frequenter of Will's, and Sir Walter Scott has 
given this account of him and his vocation :— 

" Upon the general practice of writing lampoons, and the 
necessity of finding some mode of dispersing them, which 
should diffuse the scandal widely while the authors remained 
concealed, was founded the self-erected office of Julian, 
Secretary, as he calls himself, to the Muses. This person 
attended Will's, the Wits' Coffee-house, as it was called ; 
and dispersed among the crowds who frequented that place 
of gay resort copies of the lampoons which had been 
privately communicated to him by their authors. ' He is 
described,' says Mr. Malone, 'as a very drunken fellow, and 
at one time was confined for a libel.' Several satires were 
written, in the form of addresses to him as well as the 
following. There is one among the "State Poems" be- 
ginning- 
Julian, in verse, to ease thy wants I write, 
Not moved by envy, malice, or by spite, 
Or pleased with the empty names of wit and sense. 
But merely to supply thy want of pence : 



3l8 CLUB LIFE OF LONDOM 

This did inspire my muse, wlieu out at hod-. 
She saw her needy secretary reel ; ■ 
Grieved that a man, so useful to the age, 
Should foot it in so mean an equipage ; 
A crying scandal, that the fees of sense 
Should not be able to support the expense 
Of a poor scribe, who never thought of wants, - 
When able- to procure a cup of Nantz. 

Another, called a ' Consoling Epistle to Julian,' is said to 
have been written by the Duke of Buckingham. 

" From a passage in one of the ' Letters from the Dead to 
the Living,' we learn, that after Julian's death, and the 
madness of his successor, called Summerton, lampoon felt a 
sensible decay ; and there was no more that brisk spirit of 
verse, that used to watch the follies and vices of the men and 
women of figure, that they could not start new ones faster 
than lampoons exposed them." 

How these lampoons were concocted we gather from 
Bays, in the " Hind and the Panther transversed :" — " 'Tis 
a trifle hardly worth owning; I was 'tother-day at Will's, 
throwing out something of that nature ; and, i' gad, the hint 
was taken, and out came that pictute ; indeed, the poor 
fellow was so civil as to present me with a dozen of 'em for 
my friends ; I think I have here one in my pocket. . . . Ay, 
ay, I can do it if I list, tho' you must not think I have been 
so dull as to mind these things myself; but 'tis the advan- 
tage of our Coffee-house, that from their talk, one may write 
a very good polemical discourse, without ever troubling one's 
head with the books of controversy." 

Tom Brown describes "a Wit and a Beau set up with 
little or no expense. A pair of red stockings and a sword- 
knot set up one, and peeping once a day in at Will's, and 
two or three second-hand sayings, the other.'' 

Pepys, one night, going to fetch home his wife, stopped 
in Covent Garden, at the Great Coffee-house there, as he 
called Will's, where he never was before ; "Where," he adds, 
"DrydeD; the poet (I knew at Cambridge), and all the 



WILL'S COFFEE-HOUSE. ico 

Wits of the town, and Han-is the player, and Mr. Hoole of 
our College. And had 1 had tmie then,'or could at other 
times, it will be good coming thither, for there, I perceive, is 
very witty and pleasant discourse. But! could not tarry, 
and, as it was late, they were all ready to go away." 

Addison passed each day alike, and much in the manner 
that Dryden did. Dryden eniployed his mornings in 
v^riting, dined en fainille, and then went to Will's, " only he 
came home earlier o' nights.'' 

Pope, when very young, was impressed with such venera- 
tion for Dryden, that he persuaded some friends to take him 
to Will's Cofifee-house, and was delighted that he could say 
that he had seen Dryden, Sir Charles Wogan, too, brought 
up Pope from the Forest of Windsor, to dress d /a mode, and 
introduce at Will's Coffee-house. Pope afterwards described 
Dryden as " a plump man with a down look, and not very 
conversible ;" and Cibber could tell no more " but that he 
remembered him a decent old man, arbiter of critical 
disputes at Will's.'' Prior sings of — 

the younger Stiles, 
Whom Dryden pedagogues at Will's ! 

Most of the hostile criticisms on bis x'lays, which Dryden 
has noticed in his various Prefaces, appear to have been 
made at his favourite haunt. Will's Coffee-house. 

Dryden is generally said to have, been returning from 
Will's to his house in Gerard-street, when he was cudgelled 
in Rose-street by three persons hired for the purpose by 
Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, in the winter of 1679. The 
assault, or ",the Rose-alley Ambuscade," certainly took 
place ; but it is not so certain that Dryden was on his way 
from Will's, and he then lived in Long-acre, not Gerard- 
street. 

It is worthy of remark that Swift was accustomed to 
speak disparagingly of Will's, as in his "Rhapsody on 
Poetry :"— 



32« CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Be sure at Will's the following day 

Lie snug, and hear what critics say ; 

And if you find the general vogue 

Pronounces you a stupid rogue, 

Damns all your thoughts as low and little ; 

Sit still, and swallow down your spittle. 

Swift thought little of the frequenters of Will's : he used 
to say, " the worst conversation he ever heard in his life was 
at Will's Coffee-house, where the wits (as they were called) 
used formerly to assemble ; that is to say, five or six men, 
who had writ plays or at least prologues, or had a share in a 
miscellany, came thither, and entertained one another with 
their trifling composures, in so important an air as if they 
had been the noblest efforts of human nature, or that the fate 
of kingdoms depended on them. 

In the first number of the Tatler, Poetry is promised 
under the article of Will's Coffee-house. The place, how- 
ever, changed after Dryden's time : " you used to see songs, 
epigrams, and satires in the hands of every man you met ; 
you have now only a pack of cards; and instead of the cavils 
about the turn of the expression, the elegance of the style, 
and the like, the learned now dispute only about the truth 
of the game." " In old times, we used to sit upon a play 
here, after it was acted, but now the entertainment's turned 
another way." 

The Spectator is sometimes seen " thrusting his head into 
a round of politicians at Will's, and listening with great 
attention to the narratives that are made in these little circular 
audiences." Then, we have as an instance of no one mem- 
ber of human society but that would have some little pre- 
tension for some degree in it, " like him who came to Will's 
Coffee-house upon the merit of having writ a posie of a ring." 
And, " Robin, the porter who waits at Will's, is the best man 
in town for carrying a billet : the fellow has a thin body, swift 
step, demure looks, sufficient sense, and knows the town."* 



The Spectator, No. 398. 



WILL'S COFFEE-HOUSE. 321 

After Dryden's death, in 1701, Will's continued for about 
ten years to be still the Wits' Coffee-house, as we see by 
Ned Ward's account, and by that in the " Journey through 
England" in 1722. 

Pope entered with keen relish into society, and courted 
the correspondence of the town wits and coffee-house critics. 
Among his early friends was Mr. Henry Cromwell, one of 
the cousinry of the Protector's family : he was a bachelor, 
and spent most of his time in London ; he had some pre- 
tensions to scholarship and literature, having translated 
several of Ovid's Elegies, for Tonson's Miscellany. With 
Wycherley, Gay, Dennis, the popular actors and actresses of 
the day, and with all the frequenters of Will's, Cromwell was 
familiar. He had done more than take a pinch out of 
Dryden's snuff-box, which was a point of high ambition and 
honour at Will's ; he had quarrelled with him about a frail 
poetess, Mrs. Elizabeth Thomas, whom Dryden had chris- 
tened Corinna, and who was also known as Sappho. Gay 
characterized this literary and eccentric beau as 

Honest, hatless Cromwell, with red breeches ; 
it being his custom to carry his hat in his hand when walking 
with ladies. What with ladies and literature, rehearsals and 
reviews, and critical attention to the quality of his coffee and 
Brazil snuff, Henry Cromwell's time was fully occupied in 
town. Cromwell was a dangerous acquaintance for Pope at 
the age of sixteen or seventeen, but he was a very agreeable 
one. Most of Pope's letters to his friend are addressed to 
him at the Blue Ball, in Great Wild-street, near Drury-lane, 
and others to " Widow Hambledon's Coffee-house, at the 
end of Princes-street, near Drury-lane, London." Cromwell 
made one visit to Binfield ; on his return to London, Pope 
wrote to him, " referring to the ladies in particular," and to 
his favourite coffee : 

As long as Mocha's happy tree shall grow, 
While berries crackle, or while mills shall go ; 
Y 



322 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

While smoking streams from silver spouts shall glide, 

Or China's earth receive the sable tide, 

While Coffee shall to British nymplis be dear. 

While fragrant steams the bended head shall cheer. 

Or grateful bitters shall delight the taste. 

So long her honours, name, and praise shall last. 

Even at this early period Pope seems to have relied for 
relief from headache to the steam of coffee, which he inhaled 
for this purpose throughout the whole of his life.* 

The Taverns and Coffee-houses supplied the place of the 
Clubs we have since seen established. Although no ex- 
clusive subscription belonged to any of these, we find by 
the account which CoUey Cibber gives of his first visit to 
Will's, in Covent Garden, that it required an introduction to 
this Society not to be considered as an impertinent intruder. 
There the veteran Dryden had long presided over all the 
acknowledged wits and poets of the day, and those who 
had the pretension to be reckoned among them. The poli- 
ticians assembled at the St. James's Coffee-house, from 
whence all the articles of political news in the first Tatlers 
are dated. The learned frequented the Grecian Coffee- 
house in Devereux-court. Locket's, in Gerard-street, Soho, 
and Pontac's, were the fashionable taverns where the young 
and gay met to dine : and White's and other chocolate 
houses seem to have been the resort of the same company 
in the morning. Three o'clock, or at latest four, was the 
dining-hour of the most fashionable persons in London, for 
in the country no such late hours had been adopted. In 
London, therefore, soon after six, the men began to assemble 
at the coffee-house they frequented if they were not set- 
ting in for hard drinking, which seems to have been much 
less indulged in private houses than in taverns. The ladies 
made visits to one another, which it must be owned was a 
much less waste of time when considered as an amusement 
for the evening, than now, as being a morning occupation. 



* Camithers : Life of Pope. 



323 



Button's Coffee-house. 

Will's was the great resort for the wits of Dryd.en's time, 
after whose death it was transferred to Button's. Pope de- 
scribes the houses as " opposite each other, in Russell-street, 
Covent Garden," where Addison established Daniel Button, 
in a new house, about 1712 ; and his fame, after the pro- 
duction of Cato, drew many of the Whigs thither. Button 
had been servant to the Countess of Warwick. The house 
is more correctly described as " over against Tom's, near 
the middle of the south side of the street." 

Addison was the great patron of Button's; but it is said 
that when he suffered any vexation from his , Countess, he 
withdrew the company from Button's house. His chief 
companions, before he married Lady Warwick, were Steele, 
Budgell, Philips, Carey, Davenant, and Colonel Brett. He 
used to breakfast with one or other of them in St. 
James's-place, dine at taverns with them, then to Button's, 
and then to some tavern again, for supper in the evening ; 
and tliis was the usual round of his life, as Pope tells us, in 
" Spence's Anecdotes /' where Pope also says : " Addison 
usually studied all the morning, then met his party at 
Button's, dined there, and stayed five or six hours ; and 
sometimes far into the night. I was of the company for 
about a year, but found it too much for me : it hurt my 
health, and so I quitted it." Again : "There had been a 
coldness between me and Mr. Addison for some time, and w?^ 
had not been in company together for a good while any- 
where but at Button's Coffee-house, where I used to see him 
almost every day." 

Here Pope is reported to have said of Patrick, the lexico- 
grapher, that " a dictionary-maker might know the meaning 
of one word, but not of two put together." 

Button's was the receiving-house for contributions to The 
Guardian, for which purpose was put up a lion's head letter- 

Y 2 



324 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

box, in imitation of the celebrated lion at Venice, as humo- 
rously announced. Thus : — 

"N.B. — Mr. Ironside has, within five weeks last past, 
muzzled three lions, gorged five, and killed one. On Mon- 
day next the skin of the dead one will be hung up, in 
terrorem, at Button's Coffee-house, over against Tom's in 
Covent Garden."* 

" Button's Coffee-house, — 

" Mr. Ironside, I have observed that this day you make 
mention of Will's Coffee-house, as a place where people are 
too polite to hold a man in discourse by the button. Every- 
body knows your honour frequents this house, therefore they 
will take an advantage against me, and say if my company was 
as civil as that at Will's. You would say so. Therefore pray 
your honour do not be afraid of doing me justice, because 
people would think it may be a conceit below you on this 
occasion to name the name of your humble servant, Daniel 
Button. — The young poets are in the back room, and take 
-their places as you directed."! 

" I intend to publish once every week the roarings of 
the Lion, and hope to make him roar so loud as to be heard 
over all the British nation. 

"I have, I know not how, been drawn into tattle of 
-myself, more majorum, almost the length of a whole Guar- 
dian. I shall therefore fill up the remaining part of it with 
what still relates to my own person, and my correspondents. 
Now I would have them all know that on the 20th instant, 
it is my intention to erect a Lion's Head, in imitation of 
those I have described in Venice, through which all the 
■private commonwealth is said to pass. This head is to open 
a most wide and voracious mouth, which shall take in such 
letters and ^papers as are conveyed to me by my correspon- 
dents, it being my resolution to have a particular regard to 
all such matters as come to my hands though the mouth of 



* The Guardian, No. 71. t Ibid., No. %<,. 



BUTTON'S COFFEE-HOUSE. 325 

the Lion. There will be under it a box, of which the key 
will be in my own custody, to receive such papers as are 
dropped into it. Whatever the Lion swallows I shall digest 
for the use of the publick. This head requires some time 
to finish, the workmen being resolved to give it several 
masterly touches, and to represent it as ravenous as possible. 
It will be set up in Button's Coffee-house, in Covent Garden, 
who is directed to shew the way to the Lion's Head, and to 
instruct any- young author how to convey his works into the 
mouth of it with safety and secrecy."* 

" I think myself obliged to acquaint the publick, tnat the 
Lion's Head, of which I advertised them about a fortnight 
ago, is now erected at Button's Coffee-house, in Russell- 
street, Covent Garden, where it opens its mouth at all hours 
for the reception of such intelligence as shall be thrown 
into it. It is reckoned an excellent piece of workmanship, 
and was designed by a great hand in imitation of the antique 
Egyptian lion, the face of it being compounded out of that 
of a lion and a wizard. The features are strong and well 
furrowed. The whiskers are admired by all that have seen 
them. It is planted on the western side of the Coffee-house, 
holding its paws under the chin, upon a box, which con- 
tains everything that he swallows. He is, indeed, a proper 
emblem of knowledge and action, being all head and paws."t 

" Being obliged, at present, to attend a particular affair of 
my own, I do empower my printer to look into the arcana 
of the Lion, and select out of them such as may be of publick 
utility; and Mr. Button is hereby authorized and commanded 
to give my said printer free ingress and egress to the lion, 
without any hindrance, let, or molestation whatsoever, until 
such time as he shall receive orders to the contrary. And, 
for so doing, this shall be his warrant.''^: 

" My Lion, whose jaws are at all times open to intelli- 



* Tlie Guardum, No. 93. + Ibid., No. 114. 

t Ibid., No. 142. 



326 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

gence, informs me that there are a few enormous weapons 
still in being; but that they are to be* aiet.;with only. in 
gaming-houses and some of the obscuri^ttfeatS of lovers, 
in and about DruryJane aiid Covent ^^&t&:Q!i ' i^~ 

This memorable K^'-s H^ad w^-S^SraiJly «?ell carved : 
through the mouth the-'^tSiiS^Vs^^^opjed into a till at 
Button's; and beneath were'iSIStiBed-th'ffse tWCP lines from 
Martial: — ~ • c't^:^ *•■ - '» - ,,- 

Cervantur magni? isti Ceryicibus ungues ^ 
Non nisi delicti pascitur ille fer|. 

The head was designed by Hogarth, and is etched in 
Ireland's " Illustrations." Lord Chesterfield is said to have 
once offered for the Head fifty guineas. From Button's it 
was removed to the Shakspeare's Head Tavern, under the 
Piazza, kept by a person named Tomkyns; and in 1751, 
was, for a short time, placed in the Bedford Coffee-house 
immediately adjoining the Shakspeare, and there employed 
as a letter-box by Dr. John Hill, for his Inspector. In 1769, 
Tomkyns was succeeded by his waiter, Campbell, as pro- 
prietor of the tavern and lion's head, and by him the latter 
was retained until Nov. 8, 1804, when it was purchased by 
Mr. Charles Richardson, of Richardson's Hotel, for 17/. loj., 
who also possessed the original sign of the Shakspeare's 
Head. Afte'r Mr. Richardson's death in 1827, the Lion's 
Head devolved to his son, of whom it was bought by the 
Duke of Bedford, and deposited at Woburn Abbey, where 
it still remains. 

Pope was subjected to much annoyance and insult at 
Button's. Sir Samuel Garth wrote to Gay, that everybody 
was pleased with Pope's Translation, "but a few at Button's;" 
to which Gay adds, to Pope, " I am confirmed that at 
Button's your character is made very free with, as to morals, 
etc." 

Cibber, in a letter to Pope, says : — " When you used to 



* The Guardian, No. 171. 



BU7T0N'S COFFEE-HOUSE. 327 

pass your hours at Button's, you were even there remark- 
able for your satirical itch of provocation ; scarce was there 
a gentleman of any pretension to wit, whom your unguarded 
temper had not fallen upon in some biting epigram, among 
which you once caught a pastoral Tartar, whose resentment, 
that your punishment might be proportionate to the smart 
of your poetry, had stuck up a birchen rod in the room, to 
be ready whenever you might come within reach, of it ; and 
at this rate you writ and rallied and writ on, till you rhymed 
yourself quite out of the coffee-house.'' The "pastoral 
Tartar" was Ambrose Philips, who, says Johnson, "hung up a 
rod at Button's, with which he threatened to chastise Pope." 
Pope, in a letter to Craggs, thus explains the affair : — 
" Mr. Philips did express himself with much indignation 
against me one evening at Button's Coffee-house, (as I was 
told,) saying that I was entered into a cabal with Dean 
Swift and others, to write against the Whig interest, and in 
particular to undermine his own reputation and that of his 
friends, Steele and Addison ; but Mr. Philips never opened 
his lips to my face, on this or any like occasion, though I 
was almost every night in the same room with him, nor ever 
offered me any indecorum. Mr. Addison came to me a 
night or two after Philips had talked in this idle manner, 
and assured me of his disbelief of what had been said, of 
the friendship we should always maintain, and desired I 
would say nothing further of it. My Lord Halifax did me 
the honour to stir in this matter, by speaking to several 
people to obviate a false aspersion, which might have done 
me no small prejudice with one party. Plowever, Philips 
did all he could secretly to continue the report with the 
Hanover Club, and kept in his hands the subscriptions paid 
for me to him, as secretary to that Club. The heads of it 
have since given him to understand, that they take it ill ; 
but (upon the terms I ought to be. with such a man) I 
would not ask him for this money, but commissioned one 
of the players, his equals, to receive it. This is the whole 



328 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

matter j but as to the secret grounds of this malignity, the)' 
will make a very pleasant history when we meet." 

Another account says that the rod was hung up at the bar 
of Button's, and that Pope avoided it by remaining at home — 
" his usual custom." Philips was known for his courage and 
superior dexterity with the sword : he afterwards became ' 
justice of the peace, and used to mention Pope, whenever 
he could get a man in authority to listen to him, as an 
enemy to the Government 

At Button's the leading company, particularly Addison 
and Steele, met in large flowing flaxen wigs. Sir Godfrey 
Kneller, too, was a frequenter. 

The master died in 1731, when in tlie Daily Advertiser, 
Oct S, appeared the following: — "On Sunday morning, 
died, after three days' illness, Mr. Button, who formerly kept 
Button's Coffee-house, in Russell-street, Covent Garden ; a 
very noted house for wits, being the place where the Lyon 
produced the famous Tatlers and Spectators, written by the 
late Mr. Secretary Addison and Sir Richard Steele, Knt, 
which works will transmit their names with honour to pos- 
terity." Mr. Cunningham found in the vestry-books of St 
Paul's, Covent Garden : " 1719, April 16. Received of Mr. 
Daniel Button, for two places in the pew No. 18, on the 
south side of the north Isle, — 2/. 2s." J. T. Smith states 
that a few years after Button, the Coffee-house declined, and 
Button's name appeared in the books of St Paul's, as re- 
ceiving an allowance from the parish. 

Button's continued in vogue until Addison's death and 
Steele's retirement into Wales, after which the house was 
deserted ; the coffee-drinkers went to the Bedford Coffee- 
house, the dinner-parties to the Shakspeare. 

Among other wits who frequented Button's were Swift, 
Arbuthnot, Savage, Budgell, Martin Folkes, and Drs. Garth 
and Armstrong. In 1720, Hogarth mentions " four drawings 
in Indian ink " of the characters at Button's Coffee-house. 
In these were sketches of Arbuthnot, Addison, Pope, (as it 



BUTTON'S COFFEE-HOUSE. 329 

is conjectured,) and a certain Count Viviani, identified years 
afterwards by Horace Walpole, when the drawings came 
under his notice. They subsequently came into Ireland's 
possession.* 

Jemmy Maclaine, or M'Clean, the fashionable highway- 
man, was a frequent visitor at Button's. Mr. John Taylor, 
of the Sun newspaper, describes Maclaine as a tall, showy, 
good-looking man. A Mr. Donaldson told Taylor that, 
observing Maclaine paid particular attention to the barmaid 
of the Coffee-house, the daughter of the landlord, he gave a 
hint to the father of Machine's dubious character. The 
father cautioned the daughter against the highwayman's 
addresses, and imprudently told her by whose advice he put 
her on her guard ; she as imprudently told Maclaine. The 
next time Donaldson visited the Coffee-room, and was 
sitting in one of the boxes, Maclaine entered, and in a loud 
tone said, " Mr. Donaldson, I wish to spake to you in a 
private room." Mr. D. being unarmed, and naturally 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 in- 
vitation. " Very well," said Maclaine, as he left the room, 
" we shall meet again." A day or two after, as Mr. Donald- 
son was walking near Richmond, in the evening, he saw 
Maclaine on horseback ; but, fortunately, at that moment, a 
gentleman's carriage appeared in view, when Maclaine im- 
mediately 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 Maclaine would 
have shot Mr. Donaldson immediately. 

Maclaine's father was an Irish Dean ; his brother was a 
Calvinist minister in great esteem at the Hague. Maclaine 



* From Mr. Sala's vivid "William Hogarth;" Comhill Magazim, 
vol. i. p. 428. 



330 CLim LIFE OP LONDON. 

himself had been 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 htmdred pounds in his 
pocket, which he soon spent, and then took to the road with 
only one companion, Plunket, a journeyman apothecary. 

Maclaine 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. Maclaine impeached his companion, Plunket, but he 
was not taken. The former got into verse : Gray, in his 
" Long Story," sings : 

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

Button's subsequently became a private house, and here 
Mrs. Inchbald lodged, probably, after the death of her 
sister, for whose support she practised such noble and 
generous self-denial. Mrs. Inchbald's income was now 172/. 
a year, and we are told that she now went to reside in a 
boarding-house, where she enjoyed more of the comforts of 
ife. Phillips, the publisher, offered her a thousand pounds 
for her Memoirs, which she declined. She died in a 
boarding-house at Kensington, on the 1st of August, 1821, 
leaving about 6000/. judiciously divided amongst her rela- 
tives. Her simple and parsimonious habits were very 
strange. " Last Thursday," she writes, " I finished scouring 
my bedroom, while a coach with a coronet and two footmen 
waited at my door to take me an airing." 

" One of the most agreeable memories connected with 
Button's," says Leigh Hunt, " is that of Garth, aman whom, 
-for the sprightliness and generosity of his nature, it is a 
pleasure to name. He was one of the most amiable and 
intelligent of a most amiable and intelligent class of men — 
the physicians." 



331 



Dean Swift at Button's. 

It was just after Queen Anne's accession, that Swift made 
acquaintance with the leaders of the wits at Button's* 
Ambrose Philips refers to. him as the strange clergyman 
whom the frequenters of the Coffee-house had observed for 
some days. He knew no one, no one knew him. He 
would lay his hat down on a table, and walk up and down 
at a brisk pace for half an hour without speaking to any 
one, or seeming to pay attention to anything that was going 
forward. Then he would snatch up his hat, pay his money 
at the bar, and walk off, without having opened his lips. 
The frequenters of the room had christened him " the mad 
parson." One evening, as Mr. Addison and the rest were 
observing him, they saw him cast his eyes several times 
upon a gentleman in boots, who seemed to be just come out 
of the country. At last. Swift advanced towards this bucolic 
gentleman, as if intending to address him. They were all 
eager to hear what the dumb parson had to say, and 
immediately quitted their seats to get near him. Swift went 
up to the country gentleman, and in a very abrupt manner, 
without any previous salute, asked him, " Pray, Sir, do you 
know any good weather in the world ?" After staring a little 
at the singularity of Swift's manner and the oddity of the 
question, the gentleman answered, " Yes, Sir, I thank God 
I remember a great deal of good weather in my time." — 
"That is more," replied Swift, "than I can say; I never 
remember any weather that was not too hot or too cold, too 
wet or too dry ; but, however God Almighty contrives it, at 
the end of the year 'tis all very well." 

Sir Walter Scott gives, upon the authority of Dr. Wall, of 
Worcester, who had it from Dr. Arbuthnot himself, the 
following anecdote — less coarse than the version generally 
told. Swift was seated by the fire at Button's : there was 
sand on the floor of the coffee-room, and Arbuthnot, with a 



332 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

design to play upon this original figure, offered him a letter, 
which he had been just addressing, saying at the same time, 
" There — sand that." — " I have got no sand," answered 
Swift, "but I can help you to a httle gravel." This he 
said so significantly, that Arbuthnot hastily snatched back 
his letter, to save it from the fate of the capital of Lilliput. 

Tom's Coffee-house, 

In Birchin-lane, Comhill, though in the main a mercantile 
resort, acquired some celebrity from its having been fre- 
quented by Garrick, who, to keep up an interest in the City, 
appeared here about twice in a winter at 'Change time, when 
it was the rendezvous of young merchants. Hawkins says : 
"After all that has been said of Mr. Garrick, envy must 
own that he owed his celebrity to his merit; and yet, of 
that himself seemed so diffident, that he practised sundry 
little but innocent arts, to insure the favour of the public :" 
yet, he did more. When a rising actor complained to 
Mrs. Garrick that the newspapers abused him, the widow 
replied, "You should write your own criticisms; David 
always did." 

One evening. Murphy was at Tom's, when Colley Gibber 
was playing at whist, with an old general for his partner. 
As the cards were dealt to him, he took up every one in 
turn, and expressed his disappointment at each indifferent 
one. In the progress of the game he did not follow suit, 
and his partner said, " What ! have you not a spade, Mr. 
Gibber ?" The latter, looking at his cards, answered, " Oh 
yes, a thousand ;" which drew a very peevish comment from 
the general. On which. Gibber, who was shockingly ad- 
dicted to swearing, replied, " Don't be angry, for 1 can 

play ten times worse if I like." 



333 



The Bedford Coffee-house, in Covent Garden. 

This celebrated resort once attracted so much attention 
as to have published, " Memoirs of the Bedford Coffee- 
house,'' two editions, 1751 and 1763. It stood "under 
the Piazza, in Covent Garden," in the north-west comer, 
near the entrance to the theatre, and has long ceased to exist. 

In the Connoisseur, No. i, 1754, we are assured that 
" this Coflfee-house is every night crowded with men of parts. 
Almost every one you meet is a polite scholar and a wit. 
Jokes and bon-mots are echoed from box to box : every 
branch of literature is critically examined, and the merit of 
every production of the press, or performance of the theatres, 
weighed and determined." 

And in the above-named " Memoirs," we read that " this 
spot has been signalized for many years as the emporium of 
wit, the seat of criticism, and the standard of taste. — Names 
of those who frequented the house : — Foote, Mr. Fielding, 
Mr. Woodward, Mr. Leone, Mr. Murphy, Mopsy, Dr. 
Ame. Dr. Ame was the only man in a suit of velvet in 
the dog-days." 

Stacie kept the Bedford when John and Henry Fielding, 
Hogarth, Churchill, Woodward, Lloyd, Dr. Goldsmith, and 
many others met there and held a gossiping shilling rubber 
club. Henry Fielding was a very merry feUow. 

The Inspector appears to have given rise, to this reign of 
the Bedford, when there was placed here the Lion from 
Button's, which proved so serviceable to Steele, and once 
more fixed the dominion of wit in Covent Garden. 

The reign of wit and pleasantry did not, however, cease 
at the Bedford at the demise of the Inspector. A race of 
punsters next succeeded. A particular box was allotted to 
this occasion, out of the hearing of the lady at the bar, that 
the double entendres, which were sometimes very indelicate, 
might not offend her. 



334 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

The Bedford was beset with scandalous nuisances, of 
Which the follov/ing letter, from Arthur Murphy to • Garrick, 
April lo, 1769, presents a pretty picture : 

" Tiger Roach (who used to bully at the Bedford Goifee- 
house because his name was Roach) is set up by Wilkes's 
friends to burlesque. Euttrel and his pretensions. I own I 
do not know a more ridiculous circumstance than to be a 
joint candidate with the Tiger. O'Brien used to take him 
off very pleasantly, and perhaps you may, from his represen- 
tation, have some idea of this important Svight. He used to 
sit with a half-starved look, a black patch upon his cheek, 
pale with the idea of murder, or with rank cowardice,' a 
quivering lip, and a downcast eye. In that manner he used 
to sit at a table all alone, and his soliloquy, interrupted now 
and then with faint attempts to throv/ off a little saliva, was 
to the following effect : — ' Hut ! hut ! a mercer's 'prentice 
with a bag-wig; — d — ^n my s — 1, if I would not skiver a 
dozen of them like larks ! Hut ! hut ! I don't understand 
such airs ! — I'd cudgel him back,. breast, and belly, for three 
skips of a louse ! — How do you do, Pat? Hut ! hut ! God's 
blood — ^Larry, I'm glad to see you j — 'Prentices ! a fine thing 
indeed ! — Hut ! hut ! How do you, Dominick ! — D— n niy 
s — 1, what's here to do !' These were the meditations of 
this agreeable youth. From one of these reveries he started 
up one night, when I was there, cstUed a Mr. Bagnell out of 
the room, and most heroically stabbed him in the dark, the 
other having no weapon to defend himself with. In this 
career the Tiger persisted, till at length a Mr. Lennard 
brandished a whip over his head, and stood in a menacing 
attitude, commandiBg him to ask pardon directly. The 
Tiger shrank from the danger, and with a faint voice pro- 
nounced — ' Hut ! what signifies it between you and me ? 
Well! well! I ask your pardon.' 'Speak louder. Sir; I 
don't hear a word you say.' And indeed he was so very tall, 
that it seemed as if the sound, sent feebly from below, could 



BEDFORD COFFEE-HOUSE, COVENT-GARDEN. 335 

not ascend to such a height. This is the hero who is to 
figure at Brentford." 

Foote's favourite Coffee-house was the Bedford. He was 
also a constant frequenter of Tom's, and took a lead in the 
Club held there, and already described.* 

Dr. Barrowby, the well-known newsmonger of the Bedford, 
and the satirical critic of the day, has left this whole-length 
sketch of Foote : — " One evening (he says); he saw a young 
man extravagantly dressed out in a frock suit of green and 
silver lace, bag-wig, sword, bouquet, and point-ruffles, enter 
the room (at the Bedford), and immediately join the critical 
circle at the upper end. Nobody recognised him ; but such 
was the ease of his bearing, and the point of humour and 
remark with which he at once took up the conversation, 
that his presence seemed to disconcert no one, and a sort of 
pleased buzz- of ' who is he ?' was still going round the room 
unanswered, when a handsome carriage stopped at the door ; 
he rose, and quitted the room, and the servants announced 
that his name was Foote, and that he was a young gentleman 
of family and fortune, a student of the Inner Temple, and 
that the carriage had called for him on its way \a the 
assembly of a lady of fashion." Dr. Barrowby once turned 
the laugh against Foote at the Bedford, when he was osten- 
tatiously showing his gold repeater, with the remark — 
" Why, my watch does not go !" " It soon will go" quietly 
remarked the Doctor. Young Collins, the poet, who came 
to town in 1744 to seek his fortune, made his way, to the 
Bedford, where Foote was supreme among the wits and 
critics. •' Like Foote, Collins was fond of fine clothes, and 
walked about with a feather in his hat, very unlike a young 
man who had not a single guinea he could call his own. A 
letter of the time tells us that " Collins was an acceptable 
companion everywhere ; and among the gentlemen who 



See "Club at Tom's Coffee-house," pp. 136—140. 



336 CLUB LIFE OF LONDOKT. 

loved him for a genius, may be reckoned the Doi^tois 
Armstrong, Barrowby, Hill, Messrs. Quin, Garrick, and 
Foote, who frequently took his opinion upon their pieces 
before they were seen by the public. He was particularly 
noticed by the geniuses who frequented the Bedford and 
Slaughter's Coffee-houses."* 

Ten years later (1754) we find Foote again supreme in his 
critical corner at the Bedford. The regulaj frequenters of 
the room strove to get admitted to his party at supper ; and 
others got as near as they could to the table, as the only 
humour flowed from Foote's tongue. The Bedford was now 
in its highest repute. 

Foote and Garrick often met at the Bedford, and many 
and sharp were their encounters. They were the two great 
rivals of the day. Foote usually attacked, and Garrick, who 
had many weak points, was mostly the sufferer. Garrick, in 
early life, had been in the wine trade, and had supplied the 
Bedford with wine; he was thus described by Foote as 
living in Durham-yard, with three quarts of vinegar in the 
cellar, calling himself a wine-merchant. How Foote must 
have abused the Bedford wine of this period ! 

One night, Foote came into the Bedford, where Garrick 
was seated, and there gave him an account of a most 
wonderful actor he had just seen. Garrick was on the 
tenters of suspense, and there Foote kept him a full hour. 
At last Foote, compassionating the suffering listener, brought 
the attack to a close by asking Garrick what he thought of 
Mr. Pitt's histrionic talents, when Garrick, glad of the 
release, declared that if Pitt had chosen the stage, he might 
have been the first actor upon it. 

One night, Garrick and Foote were about to leave the 
Bedford together, when the latter, in paying the bill, dropped 
a guinea; and not finding it at once, said, "Where on 



* Memoir by Moy Thomas, prefixed to CoUins's Poetical Works. 
Bell and Daldy, 1858. 




Hand and. Shears, Smithfield. 
{Noted House for Tailors and Actors.) 




The Old White Hart, Bishopsgate, Jbuilt in 1480, 



BEDFORD COFFEE-HOUSE, COVENT GARDEN. 337 

earth can it be gone to ?" — " Gone to the devil, I think," 
replied Garrick, who had assisted in the search. — " Well 
said, David !" was Foote's reply, " let you alone for making 
a guinea go fiirther than anybody else." 

Churchill's quarrel with Hogarth began at the shilling 
rubber club, in the parlour of the Bedford ; when Hogarth 
used some very insulting language towards Churchill, who 
resented it in the Epistle. This quarrel showed more 
venom than wit : — " Never," says Walpole, " did two angry 
men of their abilities throw mud with less dexterity." 

Woodward, the comedian, mostly lived at the Bedford, 
was intimate with Stacie, the landlord, and gave him his 
(W.'s) portrait, with a mask in his hand, one of the early 
pictures by Sir Joshua Reynolds. Stacie played an excellent 
game at whist One morning, about two o'clock, one of 
his waiters awoke him to tell him that a nobleman had 
knocked him up, and had desired him to call his master to 
play a rubber with him for one hundred guineas. Stacie 
got up, dressed himself, won the money, and was in bed and 
asleep, all within an hour. 

Of two houses in the Piazza, built for Francis, Earl of 
Bedford, we obtain some minute information from the lease 
granted in 1634, to Sir Edmxmd Vemey, Knight Marshal to 
ICing Charles I. ; these two houses being just then erected 
as part of the 'Piazza.. There are also included in the lease 
the " yardes, stables, coach-houses, and gardens now layd, 
or hereafter to be layd, to the said messuages," which 
description of the premises seems to identify them as the 
two houses at the southern end of the Piazza, adjoining ta 
Great Russell-street, and now occupied as the Bedford. 
Coffee-house and Hotel. They are either the same premises, , 
or they immediately adjoin the premises, occupied a century, 
later as the Bedford Coffee-house. (Mr. John Bruce„ 
Archceolog^a, xxxv. 195.) The lease contains a minute speci- 
fication of the landlord's fittmgs and customary accommo- 
dations of what were then some of the most fashionable 



33S CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

residences in the metropolis. In the attached schedule is 
the use of the wainscot, enumerating separately every piece 
of wainscot on the premises. The tenant is bound to keep 
in repair the " Portico . Walke " underneath the premises ; 
he is at all times to have " ingresse, egresse and regresse," 
through the Portico Walk ; and he may " expel, put, or 
drive away out of the said walke any youth or other person 
whatsoever which shall eyther play or be in the said Portico 
Walke in offence or disturbance to the said Sir Edmund 
Vemey." 

The inventory of the fixtures is curious. It enumerates every apart- 
ment, from the beer-cellar, and the strong beer- cellar, the scullery, the 
pantry, and the buttery, to the dining and vi^ithdrawing rooms. Most 
of the rooms had casement windows, but the dining-room next Russell- 
street, and other principal apartments, had "shutting windowes." The 
principal rooms were also "double creasted round for hangings," and 
were wainscoted round the chimney-pieces, and doors and windows. 
In one case, a study, " south towards Russell-street, the whole room was 
wainscoted, and the hall in part." Most of the windows had "soil- 
boards" attached; the room,-doors had generally "stock-locks," in 
some places " spring plate locks " and spring bolts. There is not 
mentioned anything approaching to a fire-grate in any of the rooms, 
except perhaps in the kitchen, where Occurs "a travers barre for the 
chimney." 

Macklin's Coffee-house Oratory. 

After Macklin had retired from the stage, in 1754, he 
opened that portion of the Piazza-houses, in Covent Garden, 
which is now the Tavistock Hotel. Here he fitted up a 
large coffee-room, a theatre for oratory, and other apart- 
ments. To a three-shilling ordinary he added a shilling 
lecture, or " School of Oratory and Criticism f he presided 
at the dinner-table, and carved for the company; after 
which he played a sort of " Oracle of Eloquence." Fielding 
has happily sketched him in his " Voyage to Lisbon : 
" Unfortunately for the fishmongers of London, the Dory 
only resides in the Devonshire seas ; for could any of this 
company only convey one to the Temple of luxury under 



MACKLIN'S COFFEE-HOUSE ORATORY. 339 

the Piazza, where Macklin, the high priest, daily serves up 
his rich offerings, great would be the reward of that fish- 
monger." 

In the Lecture, Macklin undertook to make each of his 
audience an orator, by teaching him how to speak. He 
invited hints and discussions ; the novelty of the scheme 
attracted the curiosity of numbers; and this curiosity he 
still further excited by a very uncommon controversy which 
now subsisted, either in imagination or reality, between him 
and Foote, who abused one another very openly — " Squire 
Sammy " having for his purpose engaged the Little Theatre 
in the Haymarket. 

Besides this personal attack, various subjects were debated 
here in the manner of the Robin Hood Society, which filled 
the orator's pocket, and proved his rhetoric of some value. 

Here is one of his combats with Foote. The subject was 
Duelling in Ireland, which MackUn had illustrated as far as 
the reign of Elizabeth. Foote cried " Order ;" he had a ques- 
tion to put. " Well, Sir," said Macklin, " what have you to 
say upon this subject ?" " I think. Sir," said Foote, " this 
matter might be settled in a few words. What o'clock is it, 
Sir ?" MackUn could not possibly see what the clock had to 
do with a dissertation upon Duelling, but gruffly reported the 
hour to be half-past nine. " Very well," said Foote, " about 
this time of the night every gentleman in Ireland that can 
possibly afford it is in his third bottle of r.laret, and therefore 
in a fair way of getting drunk ; and from . drunkenness pro 
ceeds quarrelling, and from quarelling, duelling, and so 
there's an end of the chapter." The company were much 
obliged to Foote for his interference, the hour being 
considered ; though Macklin did not relish the abridgment. 

The success of Foote's fun upon Macklin's Lectures, led 
him to establish a summer entertainment of his own at the 
Haymarket He took up Macklin's notion of applying 
Greek Tragedy to modem subjects, and the squib was so 
successful that Foote cleared by it 500/. in five nights, 



34° CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

while the great Piazza Coffee-room in Covent Garden was 

shut up, and Macklin in the Gazette as a bankrupt 

But when the great plan of Mr. Macklin proved abortive, 

when as he said in a former prologue, upon a nearly similar 

occasion — 

From scheming, fretting, famine, and despair, 
We saw to grace restor'd an exiled player ; 

when the town was sated with the seemingly-concocted 
quarrel between the two theatrical geniuses, Macklin locked 
up his doors, all animosity was laid aside, and they came 
and shook hands at the Bedford ; the group resumed their 
appearance, and, with a new master, a new set of customers 
was seen. 

Tom King's Coffee-house. 

This was one of the old night-houses of Covent Garden 
Market : it was a rude shed immediately beneath the portico 
of St. Paul's Church, and was one "well known to all 
gentlemen to whom beds are unknown." Fielding in one of 
his Prologues says : 

What rake is ignorant of King's Coffee-house ? 

It is in the background of Hogarth's print of Morning, where 
the prim maiden lady, walking to church, is soured with 
seeing two fuddled beaux from King's Coffee-house caressing 
two frail women. At the door there is a drunken row, in 
which swords and cudgels are the weapons. 

Harwood's Alumni Etonenses, -p. 393, in the account of the 
Boys elected from Eton to King's College, contains this 
entry: "A.D. 17 13, Thomas King, bom at West Ashton, 
in Wiltshire, went away scholar in apprehension that his 
fellowship would be denied him ; and afterwards kept that 
Coffee-house in Covent Garden, which was called by his 
own name." 

Moll King was landlady after Tom's deatn : she was 
witty, and her house was much frequented, though it was 



TOM KINGS COFFEE-HOUSE. 341 

little better than a shed. " Noblemen and the first beaux" 
said Stacie, " after leaving Court would go to her house in 
full dress, with swords and bags, and in rich brocaded silk 
coats, and walked and conversed with persons of every 
description. She would serve chimney-sweepers, gardeners, 
and the market-people in common with her lords of the 
highest rank. Mr. Apreece, a tall thin man in rich dress, 
was her constant customer. He was called Cadwallader by 
the frequenters of Moll's." It is not surprising that Moll 
was often fined for keeping a disorderly house. At length, 
she retired from business — ^and the pillory — to Hampstead, 
where she lived on her ill-earned gains, but paid for a pew 
in church, and was charitable at appointed seasons, and died 
in peace in 1747. 

It was at that period that Mother Needham, Mother 
Douglass {alias, according to Foote's Minor, Mother Cole), 
and Moll King, the tavern-keepers and the gamblers, took 
possession of premises abdicated by people of fashion. 
Upon the south side of the market-sheds was the noted 
" Finish," kept by Mrs. Butler, open all night, the last of the 
Garden taverns, and only cleared away in 1829. This house 
was originally the Queen's Head. Shuter was pot-boy here. 
Here was a picture of the Hazard Club, at the Bedford : it 
was painted by Hogarth and filled a panel of the Cofiee- 
room. 

Captain Laroon, an amateur painter of the time of 
Hogarth, who often witnessed the nocturnal revels at Moll 
King's, made a large and spirited drawing of the interior of 
her Coffee-house, which was at Strawberry Hill. It was- 
bought for Walpole, by his printer, some seventy-five years 
since. There is also an engraving of the same room, in which 
is introduced a whole-length of Mr. Apreece, in a full court- 
dress : an impression of this plate is extremely rare. 

Justice Welsh used to say that Captain Laroon, his friend 
Captain Montague, and their constant companion. Little 
Casey, the Link-boy, were the three most troublesome of all 



342 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

his Bow-street visitors. The portraits of these three heroes 
are introduced in Boitard's rare print of the " Covent Garden 
Morning Frolic." Laroon is brandishing an artichoke. 
C. Montague is seated, drunk, on the top of Bet Careless's 
sedan, which is preceded by Little Casey, as a link-boy. 

Captain 'Laroon also painted a large folding-screen ; the 
figures were full of broad humour, two representing a Quack 
Doctor and his Merry Andrew, before the gaping crowd. 

Laroon was deputy-chairman, under Sir Robert Walpole, 
of a Club, consisting of six gentlemen only, who met, at 
stated times, in the drawing-room of Scott, the marine 
painter, in Henrietta-street, Covent Garden ; and it was una- 
nimously agreed by the members, that they should be at- 
tended by Scott's wife only, who was a remarkable witty 
woman. Laroon made a beautiful conversation drawing of 
the Club, which is highly prized by J. T. Smith. 

Piazza Coffee-house. 

This establishment, at the north-eastern angle of Covent 
Garden Piazza, appears to have originated with Macklin's ; 
for we read in an advertisement in the Ptiblic Advertiser, 
March 5, 1756 : "the Great Piazza Coffee-room, in Covent 
Garden." 

The Piazza was much frequented by Sheridan ; and here 
is located the well-known anecdote told of his coolness 
during the burning of Drury-lane Theatre, in 1809. It is 
said that as he sat at the Piazza, during the fire, taking some 
refireshment, a friend of his having remarked on the philo- 
sophical calmness with which he bore his misfortune, Sheridan 
replied : " A man may surely be allowed to take a glass of 
wine by his ow7i fireside.'' 

Sheridan and John Kemble ofteu dined together at the 
Piazza, to be handy to the theatre. During Kemble's ma- 
nagement, Sheridan had occasion to make a complaint, which 
brought a "nervous" letter from Kemble, to which Sheridan's 



THE CHAPTER COFFEE-HOUSE. 343 

reply is amusing enough. Thus, he writes : " that the 
management of a theatre is a situation capable of becoming 
troublesome, is information which I do not want, and a dis- 
covery which I thought you had made long ago." Sheridan 
then treats Kemble's letter as " a nervous flight," not to be 
noticed seriously, adding his anxiety for the interest of the 
theatre, and alluding to Kemble's touchiness and reserve j 
and thus concludes : 

" If there is anything amiss in your mind not arising from 
the trouhlesomeness of your situation, it is childish and un- 
manly not to disclose it. The frankness with which I have 
dealt towards you entities me to expect that you should have 
done so. 

" But I have no reason to believe this to be the case ; 
and attributing your letter to a disorder which I know ought 
not to be indulged, I prescribe that thou shalt keep thine 
appointment at the Piazza Coffee-house, to-morrow at five, 
and, taking four bottles of claret instead of three, to which 
in sound health you might stint yourself, forget that you 
ever wrote the letter, as I shall that I ever received it. 

"R. B. Sheridan." 

The Piazza fagade, and interior, were of Gothic design. 
The house has been taken down, and in its place was built 
the Floral Hall, after the Crystal Palace model. 

The Chapter Coffee-house. 

In pp. 153-158, we described this as a literary place of 
resort in Paternoster Row, more especially in connexion 
v/ith the Wittinagemot of the last century. 

A very interesting account of the Chapter, at a later 
period (1848), is given by Mrs. Gaskell. The Coffee-house 
is thus described : — 

"Paternoster Row was for many years sacred to pub- 
lishers. It is a narrow flagged street, lying under the shadow 
of St. Paul's ; at each end there are posts placed, so as to 



344 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON: 

prevent the passage of carriages, and thus preserve a solemn 
silence for the deliberations of the ' fathers of the Row.' 
The dull warehouses on each side are mostly occupied at 
present by wholesale stationers ; if they be publishers' shops, 
they show no attractive front to the dark and narrow street. 
Halfway up on the left-hand side is the Chapter CoiFee- 
house. I visited it last June. It was then unoccupied ; it 
had the appearance of a dwelling-house two hundred years 
old or so, such as one sometimes sees in ancient country 
towns ; the ceilings of the small rooms were low, and had 
heavy beams running across them; the walls were wainscoted 
breast-high; the staircase was shallow, broad, and dark, 
taking up much space in the centre of the house. This then 
was the Chapter Coffee-house, which, a century ago, was the 
resort of all the booksellers and publishers, and where the 
literary hacks, the critics, and even the wits used to go in 
search of ideas or employment. This was the place about, 
which Chatterton wrote, in those delusive letters he sent to 
his mother at Bristol, while he was star\'ing in London. 

" Years later it became the tavern frequented by university 
men, and country clergymen, who were up in London for a 
few days, and, having no private friends or access into so- 
ciety, were glad to learn what was going on in the world of 
letters, from the conversation which they were sure to hear 
in the coffee-room. It was a place solely frequented by 
men ; I believe there was but one female servant in the 
house. Few people slept there : some of the stated meetings 
of the trade were held in it, as they had been for more than 
a century ; and occasionally country booksellers, with now 
and then a clergyman, resorted to it. In the long, low, 
dingy room upstairs, the meetings of the trade were held. 
The high narrow windows looked into the gloomy Row ; 
nothing of motion or of change could be seen in the grim 
dark houses opposite, so near and close, although the whole 
breadth of the Row was between. The mighty roar of London 
was round, like the sound of an unseen ocean, yet every 



LONDON COFFEE-HOUSE. 345 

foot-fall on the pavement below might be heard distinctly, 
in that unfrequented street." 

Goldsmith frequented the Chapter, and always occupied 
one place, which for many years after was the seat of literary 
honour there. 

There are Leather Tokens of the Chapter Coffee-house in 
existence. 

Child's Coffee-house, 

In St. Paul's Churchyard, was one of the Spectator's houses. 
" Sometimes," he says, " I smoke a pipe at Child's, and 
whilst I seem attentive to nothing but the Postman, over- 
hear the conversation of every table in the room." It was 
much frequented by the clergy ; for the Spectator, No. 609, 
notices the mistake of a country gentleman in taking all 
persons in scarfs for Doctors of Divinity, since only a scarf 
of the first magnitude entitles him to " the appellation of 
Doctor from his landlady and the Boy at Child's." 

Child's was the resort of Dr. Mead, and other professional 
men of eminence. The Fellows of the Royal Society came 
here. Whiston relates that Sir Hans Sloane, Dr. Halley, 
and he were once at Child's when Dr. H. asked him, W., 
why he was not a member of the Royal Society ? Whiston 
answered, because they durst not choose a heretic. Upon 
which Dr. H. said, if Sir Hans Sloane would propose him, 
W., he, Dr, H., would second it, which was done ac- 
cordingly. 

The propinquity of Child's to the Cathedral and Doctors' 
Commons, made it the resort of the clergy, and ecclesiastical 
loungers. In one respect, Child's was superseded by the 
Chapter, in Paternoster Row. 

London Coffee-house. 

This Coffee-house was established previous to the year 
1 73 1, for we find of it the following advertisement : — 



346 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

"May, 1731. 
"Whereas, it is customary for Coffee-houses and other 
Public-housesj to take 8j. for a quart of Arrack, and 6j. for 
a quart of Brandy or Rum, made into Punch : 

" This is to give Notice, 
" That James Ashley has opened, on Ludgate Hill, the 
London Coffee-house, Punch-house, Dorchester Beer and 
Welsh Ale Warehouse, where the finest and best old Arrack, 
Rum, and French Brandy is made into Punch, with the 
other of the finest ingredients — viz., A quart of Arrack made 
into Punch for six shillings ; and so in proportion to the 
smallest quantity, which is half-a-quartem for fourpence 
halfpenny. A quart of Rum or Brandy made into Punch 
for four shillings; and so in proportion to the smallest 
quantity, which is half-a-quartem lor fourpence halfpenny ; 
and gentlemen may have it as soon made as a gill of Wine 
can be drawn." 

The premises occupy a Roman site; for, in 1800, in the 
rear of the house, in a bastion of the City Wall, was found 
a sepulchral monument, dedicated to Claudina Martina by 
her husband, a provincial Roman soldier ; here also were 
found a fragment of a statue of Hercules and a female head. 
In front of the Coffee-house, immediately west of St. Martin's 
Church, stood Ludgate. 

The London Coffee-house (now a tavern) is noted for its 
publishers' sales of stock and copyrights. It was within the 
rules of the Fleet prison : and in the Coffee-house are 
" locked up " for the night such juries from the Old Bailey 
Sessions, as cannot agree upon verdicts. The house was 
long kept by the grandfather and father of Mr. John Leech, 
the celebrated artist. 

A singular incident occurred at the London Coffee-house, 
many years since: Mr. Brayley, the topographer, was present 
at a party here, when Mr. Broadhurst, the famous tenor, by 
singing a high note, caused a wine-glass on the table to 
break, -the bowl being separated from the stem. 



TURK'S HEAD COFFEE-HOUSE. 347 

At the bar of the London Coffee-house was sold Rowley's 
British Cephalic Snuff. 

Turk's Head CofFee-house in Change Alley. 

From The Kingdom's Intelligencer, a weekly paper, pub- 
lished by authority, in 1662, we learn that there had just 
been opened a " new Coffee-house," with the sign of the 
Turk's Head, where was sold by retail " the right Coffee- 
powder," from 4?. to (>s. 8ci. per pound ; that pounded in a 
mortar, 2s. ; East India berry, is. dd. ; and the right Turkic 
berry, well garbled, at 3^. " The ungarbled for lesse, with 
directions how to use the same." Also Chocolate at 2.3. 6d. 
per pound ; the perfumed from 4s. to los. ; " also,. Sherbets 
made in Turkic, of lemons, roses, and violets perfumed ; and 
Tea, or Chaa, according to its goodness. The house seal 
was Morat the Great. Gentlemen customers and acquain- 
tances are (the next New Year's Day) invited to the sign of 
the Great Turk at this new Coffee-house, where Coffee will 
be on free cost." The sign, was also Morat the Great. 
Morat figures as a tyrant in Dryden's "Aurung Zebe." There 
is a token of this house, with the Sultan's head, in the 
Beaufoy collection. 

Another token in the same collection, is of unusual ex- 
cellence, probably by John Roettier. It has on the obverse, 
Morat y" Great Men did mee call, — Sultan's head ; reverse, 
Where care I came I conquered all. — In the field, Coffee, 
Tobacco, Sherbet, Tea, Chocolate, Retail in Exchange Alee. 
" The word Tea," says Mr. Burn, " occurs on no other tokens 
than those issued from ' the Great Turk ' Coffee-house, in 
Exchange-alley;" in one of its advertisements, 1662, tea is 
from 6s. to 6oj. a pound. 

Competition arose. One Constantine Jennings in Thread- 
needle-street, over against St. Christopher's Church, ad- 
vertised that coffee, chocolate, sherbet, and tea, the 
right Turkey berry, may be had as cheap and as good 



345 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

of him as is any where to be had for money; and that 
people may there be taught to prepare the said liquors 
gratis. 

Pepys, in his "Diary," tells, Sept. 25, 1669, of his sending 
for "a cup of Tea, a China Drink, he had not before 
tasted." Henry Bennet, Earl of Arlington, about 1666, in- 
troduced tea at Court. And, in his " Sir Charles Sedley's 
Mulberry Garden," we are told that " he who wished to be 
considered a man of fashion always drank wine-and-water at 
dinner, and a dish of tea afterwards." These details are con- 
densed from Mr. Burn's excellent " Beaufoy Catalogue." and 
edition, 1855. 

In Gerard-street, Soho, also, was another Turk's Head 
Coffee-house, where was held a Turk's Head Society; in 
1777, we find Gibbon writing to Garrick : " At this time of 
year, (Aug. 14,) the Society of the Turk's Head can no longer 
be addressed as a corporate body, and most of the individual 
members are probably disperssd: Adam Smith, in Scotland; 
Burke in the shades of Beaconsfield ; Fox, the Lord or the 
devil knows where." 

This place was a kind of head-quarters for the Loyal 
Association during the Rebellion of 1745. 

Here was founded "The Literary Club," already described 
in pp. 174—187. 

In 1753, several artists met at the Turk's Head, and from 
thence their Secretary, Mr. F. M. Newton, dated a printed 
letter to the Artists to form a select body for the Protection 
and Encouragement of Art. Another Society of Artists 
met in Peter's-court, St. Martin's-lane, from the year 
1739 to 1769. After continued squabbles, which lasted 
for many years, the principal Artists met together at the 
Turk's Head, where many others having joined them, they 
petitioned the King (George III.) to become patron of a 
Royal Academy of Art. His Majesty consented ; and the 
new Society took a room in Pall Mall, opposite to Market- 
lane, where they remained until the King, in the year 1771, 



SQUIRE'S COFFEE-HOUSE. 349 

granted them apartments in Old Somerset House.—/. T. 
Smith. 

The Turk's Head Coffee-house, No. 142, in the Strand, 
was a favourite supping-house with Dr. Johnson and Boswell, 
in whose Life of Johnson are several entries, commencing 
with 1763 — "At night, Mr. Johnson and I supped in a 
private room at the Turk's Head Coffee-house, in the Strand; 
' I encourage this house,' said he, 'for the mistress of it is a 
good civil woman, and has not much business.' " Another 
entry is — "We concluded the day at the Turk's Head 
Coffee-house very socially." And, August 3, 1673 — "We 
had our last social meeting at the Turk's Head Coffee-house, 
before my setting out for foreign parts." 

The name was afterwards changed to "The Turk's Head, 
Canada and Bath Coffee-house," and was a well-frequented 
tavern and hotel : it was taken down, and a very handsome 
lofty house erected upon the site, at the cost of, we believe, 
eight thousand pounds ; it was opened as a tavern and 
hotel, but did not long continue. 

At the Turk's Head, or Miles's Coffee-house, New Palace- 
yard, Westminster, the noted Rota Club met, founded by 
Harrington, in 1659 : where was a large oval table, with a 
passage in the middle, for Miles to deliver his coffee. (See 
pp. 13, 14), 

Squire's Coffee-house. 

In Fulwood's {vulgo Fuller's) Rents, in Holbom, nearly 
opposite Chancery-lane, in the reign of James I., lived 
Christopher Fulwood, in a mansion of some pretension, of 
which an existing house of the period is said to be the 
remams. "Some will have it," says Hatton, 1708, "that it 
is called from being a woody place before there were buildings 
here; but its being called Fullwood's Rents (as it is in deeds 
and leases), shows it to be the rents of one called FuUwood, 
the owner or builder thereof." Strype describes the Rents, 



3is« CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

or court, as running up to Gra/s-Inn, " into which it has an 
entrance through the gate; a place of good resort, and taken 
up by cofifee-houses, ale-houses, and houses of entertainment, 
by reason of its vicinity to Gray's-Inn. On the east side is 
a handsome open place, with a handsome freestone pave- 
ment, and better , built, and inhabited by private house- 
keepers. At the upper end of this court is a passage into 
the Castle Tavern, a house of considerable trade, as is the 
Golden Griffin Tavern, on the west side." 

Here was John's, one of the earliest Coffee-houses ; and 
adjoining Gray's-Inn gate is a deep-coloured red-brick house, 
once Squire's Coffee-house, kept by Squire, " a noted man 
in Fuller's Rents," who died in 1717. The house is veiy 
roomy; it has been handsome, and has a wide staircase. 
Squire's was one of the receiving-houses of the Spectator: 
in No. 269, January 8, 1711— 1712, he accepts Sir Roger de 
Coverley's invitation to "smoke a pipe with him over a dish 
of coffee at Squire's. As I love the old man, I take delight 
in complying with everything that is agreeable to him, and 
accordingly waited on him to the Coffee-house, where his 
venerable figure drew upon us the eyes of the whole room. 
He had no sooner seated himself at the upper end of the 
high table, but he called for a clean pipe, a paper of tobacco, a 
dish of coffee, a wax candle, and the Supplement [a periodical 
paper of that time], with such an air of cheerfulness and 
good humour, that all the boys in the coffee-room, (who 
seemed to take pleasure in serving him,) were at once em- 
ployed on his several errands, insomuch that nobody else 
could come at a dish of tea, until the Knight had got all his 
conveniences about him." Such was the cofifee-room in the 
Spectator's day. ; 

Gray's-Inn Walks, to which the Rents led, across Field- 
court, were then, a fashionable promenade; and here Sir 
Roger could " clear his pipes in good air ;" for scarcely a 
house intervened thence to Hampstead. Though Ned 
Ward, in his " London Spy," says — " I found- none but a 



SQUIRE'S COFFEE-HOUSE. 351 

parcel of superannuated debauchees, huddled up in cloaks, 
frieze coats, and wadded gowns, to protect their old carcases 
from the sharpness of Hampstead air; creeping up and 
down in pairs and leashes no faster than the hand of a dial, 
or a county convict going to execution ; some talking of 
law, some of religion, and some of politics. After I had 
walked two or three times round, I sat myself down in the 
upper walk, where just before me, on a stone pedestal, we 
fixed an old rusty horizontal dial, with the gnomon broke 
short off." Round the sun-dial, seats were arranged in a 
semicircle. 

Gra/s-Inn Gardens were resorted to by dangerous classes. 
Expert pickpockets and plausible ring-droppers found easy 
prey there on crowded days ; and in old plays the Gardens 
are repeatedly mentioned as a place of negotiation for clan- 
destine lovers, which led to the walks being closed, except 
at stated hours. 

Eetuming to Fulwood's Rents, we may here describe 
another of its attractions, the Tavern and punch-house, 
within one door of Gray's-Inn, apparently the King's Head. 
From some time before 1699, until his death in 1731, Ward 
kept this house, which he thus commemorates, or, in another 
word, puffs, in his " London Spy :" being a vintner himself, 
we may rest assured that he would have penned this in 
praise of no other than himself : 

To speak but the truth of my honest friend Ned, 
The best of all vintners that ever God made ; 
He's free of the beef, and as free of his bread, 
And washes both down with his glass of rare red, 
That tops all the town, and commands a good trade j 
Such wine as will cheer up the drooping King's head. 
And brisk up the soul, though our body's half dead ; 
He scorns to draw bad, as he hopes to be paid ; 
And now his name's up, he may e'en lie abed ; 
For he'll get an estate — there's no more to be said. 

We ought to have remarked, that the ox was roasted, cut 
up., and distributed gratis ; a piece of generosity which, by a 



3S2 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

poetic fiction, is supposed to have inspired the aboti 
limping balderdash. 

Slaughter's Coffee-house. 

This Coffee-house, famous as the resort of painters and 
sculptors, in the last century, was situated at the upper end 
of the west side of St. Martin's-lane, three doors from 
Newport-street. Its first landlord was Thomas Slaughter, 
1692. Mr. Cunningham tells us that a second Slaughter's 
(New Slaughter's), was established in the same street about 
1760, when the original establishment adopted the name of 
" Old Slaughter's," by which designation it was known till 
within a few years of the final demolition of the house to 
make way for the new avenue between Long-acre and 
Leicester-square, formed 1843-44. For many years pre- 
vious to the streets of London being completely paved, 
" Slaughter's " was called " The Coffee-house on the Pave- 
ment." In like manner, "The Pavement," Moorfields, 
received its distinctive name. Besides being the resort of 
artists, Old Slaughter's was the house of call for Frenchmen. 

St. Martin's-lane was long one of the head-quarters of the 
artists of the last century. " In the time of Benjamin West," 
says J. T. Smith, " and before the formation of the Royal 
Academy, Greek-street, St. Martin's-lane, and Gerard-street, 
was their colony. Old Slaughter's Coffee-house, in St. 
Martin's-lane, was their grand resort in the evenings, and 
Hogarth was a constant visitor." He lived at the Golden 
Head, on the eastern side of Leicester Fields, in the 
northern half of the Sabloniere Hotel. The head he cut 
out himself from pieces of cork, glued and bound together ; 
it was placed over the street-door. At this time, young 
Benjamin West was living in chambers, in Bedford-street, 
Covent Garden, and had there set up his easel; he was 
married, in 1765, at St. Martin's Church. Roubiliac wv)s 
often to be found at Slaughter's in early life; probably 



SLAUGHTER'S COFFEE-HOUSE. 353 

before he gained the patronage of Sir Edward Walpole, 
through finding and returning to the baronet the pocket- 
book of bank-notes which the young maker of monuments 
had picked up in Vauxhall Gardens. Sir Edward, to 
remunerate his integrity, and his skill, of which he showed 
specimens, promised to patronize Roubiliac through life, 
and he faithfully penormed this promise. Young Gains- 
borough, who spent three years amid the works of the 
painters in St Martin's-lane, Hayman, and Cipriani, who 
were all eminently convivial, were, in all probability, 
frequenters ol Slaughter's. Smith tells us that Quin and 
Hayman were inseparable friends, and so convivial, that they 
seldom parted till daylight 

Mr. Cunningham relates that here, " in early life, Wilkie 
would enjoy a small dinner at a small cost I have been 
told by an old Irequenter ot the house, that Wilkie was 
always the last dropper-in for a dinner, and that he was 
never seen to dine in the house by daylight The truth is, 
he slaved at his art at home till the last glimpse of daylight 
had disappeared." 

Haydon was accustoined, in the early days of his fitful 
career, to dine here with Wilkie. In his " Autobiography," 
in the year 1808, Haydon writes : " This period of our lives 
was one of great happiness : painting all day, then dining at 
the Old Slaughter Chop-house, then going to the Academy 
until eight, to fill up the evening, then going home to tea — 
that blessing of a studious man — talking over our respective 
exploits, what he [Wilkie] had been doing, and what I had 
done, and then, frequently to relieve our minds fatigued by 
their eight and twelve hours' work, giving vent to the most 
extraordinary absurdities. Often have we made rhymes on 
odd names, and shouted with laughter at each new line that 
was added. Sometimes lazily inclined after a good dinner, 
we have lounged about, near Drury Lane or Covent Garden, 
hesitatmg whether to go in, and often have I (knowing first 
that there was nothing I wished to see) assumed a virtue I 

A A 



354 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. . . 

did n6t possess, and pretending moral siiperiority, preached ' 
to Wilkie on the weakness of not resisting .such tempta- 
tions for the sake of our art and our duty, and marched 
him off to his studies, when he was longing to see Mother 
Goose." ' 

1. T. Smith has narrated some fifteen pages of character- 
istic aiiecdbtes of the artistic visitors of Old Slaughter's, 
which he refers to as "formerly the rendezvous of Pope, 
Dryden, and other wits, and much frequented' by seveikl 
eminently clever men of his day." 

Thither came Ware, the architect, who, when a little 
sickly boy, was apprenticed to a chimney-sweeper, and was 
seen chalking the street-front of Whitehall, by a gentleman, 
who purchased the remainder of the boy's time; gave, him 
ah excellent education ; then sent him to Italy, and, upon 
his return, employed him, and introduced him to his friends = 
as an architect. Ware was "heai'd to tell this stbry while he 
v/as sitting- to Roubiliac for his bust. Ware built Chester- 
field House and several other noble mansions, and compiled 
a Palladio, in folio. : he retained the soot in his skin to the 
day of his death. He was very intimate with Roubiliac, 
who was an opposite eastern neighbour of Old Slaughter's. 
Another architect, Gwynn, who competed with Mylne for 
designing and building Blackfriars Bridge;- was also a 
frequent visitor at Old Slaughter's, as was Gravelot, who 
kept a drawing-school in the Strand, nearly opposite to 
Southampton-street. 

Hudson, who painted the Dilettanti portraits ; M'Ardell, 
the mezzotinto-scraper ; and Luke Sullivan, the engraver of 
Hogarth's March to Finchley, also frequented Old Slaugh- 
ter's ; likewise Theodore Gardell, the portrait painter, who 
was executed for the murder of his landlady ; and Old 
Moser, keeper of the Drawing Academy in Peter's-court. 
Richard Wilson, the landscape painter, was not a regular 
customer here : his favourite house was the Constitution, 
Bedford-street, Covent Garden, where he could indulge in a 



SLAUGHTERS COFFEE-HOUSE. 355 

pot of porter more freely, and enjoy the fun of JMottimer,, 
the painter. 

Parry, the Welsh harper, though totally blind, was one of 
the first draught-players in England, and occasionally played 
wth the frequenters of Old Slaughter's; and here, 'in conse- 
quence of a bet, Roubiliac introduced Nathaniel Smith 
(father of John Thomas), to play at draughts with Parry ; 
the game lasted about half an hour : Parry, was much 
agitated, and Smith proposed to give in ; but as there were 
bets depending, it was played out, and -Smith won. This 
victory brought Smith numerous challenges ; and -the d6ns 
of the Bam, a public-house, in St. Martin's-lane, nearly 
opposite the church, invited him to become a member : but 
Smith declined. ■ The Barn, for many years, was frequented 
by all the noted players of chess and draughts j and it was 
there that they often decided games of the first importance, 
played between persons of the highest rank, living in 
diflferent parts of the world. 

T. Rawle,* the inseparable companion of Captain Grose, 
the antiquary, came often to Slaughter's. 

It was long asserted of Slaughter's Coffee-house that there 
never had been a person of that name as master of the 
house, but chat it was named from its having been opened 
for the use of the men who slaughtered the cattle for the 
butchers of Newport Market, in an open space then adjoin- 



* Rawle was one of his Majesty's accoutrement makers ; and after 
his death, his effects were 'sold by Hutchins, in King-street, Covent 
Garden. Among the lots were a helmet, a sword, and several letters, 
of Oliver Cromwell ; also the doublet in which Cromwell dissolved the 
Long Parliament. Another singular lot was a large black wig, with 
long flowing curls, stated to have been worn by King Charles 11. ; it 
was bought by Suett, the actor, who was a great collector of wigs. He 
continued to act in this wig for many years, in Tom. Thumb, and other 
pieces, tiU it was burnt when the theatre at Birmingham was destroyed 
by fire. Next morning, Suett, meeting Mrs. Booth, the mother of the 
lively actress S. feooth, exclaimed, "Mrs. Booth, my wig's gone 1" 

A A 2 



3SS CLVB LIFE OF LONDON, 

ing. "This," says J. T. Smith, "may be the fact, if we 
believe that coffee was taken as refreshment by slaughtermen, 
instead of purl or porter ; or that it was so called by the 
neighbouring butchers in derision of the numerous and 
fashionable Coffee-houses of the day ; as, for instance, ' The 
Old Man's Coffee-house,' and 'The Young Man's Coffee- 
house.' Be that as it may, in my father's time, and also 
within memory of the most aged people, this Coffee-house 
was called ' Old Slaughter's,' and not The Slaughter, or The 
Slaughterer's Coffee-house." 

In 1827, there was sold by Stewart, Wheatley, and 
Adlard, in Piccadilly, a picture attributed to Hogarth, for 
150 guineas; it was described A Conversation over a Bowl 
of Punch, at Old Slaughter's Coffee-house, in St. Martin's- 
lane, and the figures were said to be portraits of the painter, 
Dr. Monsey, and the landlord, Old Slaughter. But this 
picture, as J. T. Smith shows, was painted by Highmore, 
for his father's godfather, Nathaniel Oldham, and one of the 
artist's patrons; "it is neither a scene at Old Slaughter's 
nor are the portraits rightly described in the sale catalogue, 
but a scene at Oldham's house, at Ealing, with an old 
schoolmaster, a farmer, the artist Highmore, and Oldham 
himself." 

Will's and Series Coffee-houses. 

At the corner of Serle-street and Portugal-street, most 
invitingly facing the passage to Lincoln's Inn New-square, 
was Will's, of old repute, and thus described in the " Epi- 
cure's Almanack," 1815 : "This is, indubitably, a house of 
the first class, which dresses very desirable turtle and 
venison, and broaches many a pipe of mature port, double 
voyaged Madeira, and princely claret ; wherewithal to wash 
down the dust of making law-books, and take out the inky 
blots from rotten parchment bonds ; or if we must quote 
and parodize Will's ' hath a sweet oblivious antidote which 



THE GRECIAN COFFEE-HOUSE. 357 

clears the cranium of that perilous stuff that clouds the 
cerebellum.'" The Coffee-house has some time been 
given up. 

Serle's Coffee-house is one of those mentioned in No. 49 
of the Spectator : " I do not know that I meet in any of my 
walks, objects which move both my spleen and laughter so 
effectually as those young fellows at the Grecian, Squire's, 
Serle's, and all other Coffee-houses adjacent to the Law, 
who rise for no other purpose. but to publish their laziness." 

The Grecian Coffee-house, 

Devereux-court, Strand, (closed in 1843,) was named from 
Constantine, of Threadneedle street, the Grecian who kept 
it. In the Tatkr announcement, all accounts of learning 
are to be " under the title of the Grecian ;" and, in the 
Toiler, No. 6 : " While other parts of the town are amused 
with the present actions, [Marlborough's,] we generally spend 
the evening at this table [at the Grecian], in inquiries into 
antiquity, and think anything new, which gives us new know- 
ledge. Thus, we are making a very pleasant entertainment 
to ourselves in putting the actions of Homer's Iliad into an 
exact journal." 

The Spectatoi's face was very well known at the Grecian, 
a Coffee-house " adjacent to the law." Occasionally it was 
the scene of learned discussion. Thus Dr. King relates 
that one evening, two gentlemen, who were constant com- 
panions, were disputing here, concerning the accent of a 
Greek word. This dispute was carried to such a length, that 
the two friends thought proper to determine it with their 
swords : for this purpose they stepped into Devereux-court, 
where one of them (Dr. King thinks his name was Fitz- 
gerald) was run through the body, and died on the spot. 

The Grecian was Foote's morning lounge. It was handy, 
too, for the young Templar, Goldsmith, and often did it 
echo with Oliver's boisterous mirth ; for " it had become 



3SS CLUB ni'E OF LONDON. 

the favourite^ resort of the Irish and Lancashire Templais, 
whom he -delighted in collecting aroundlhim, in ehtertaia- 
ing with a cordial and unostentatious hospitality, and/ in 
occasionally aniasing with: his. flute, or with whist, neither oi 
which he played very well !" Here Goldsmith occasionally 
■wound up his " Shoemaker's Holiday " with. supper. . ;,, , 

It was at the Grecian that Fleetwood-Shephard told this 
memorable story to Dr. Tancred Robinson, who gave 
Richardson permission to repeat it. " The Earl of Dorset 
was in Little Britain, beating about for books to his taste ; 
there was ' Paradise. Lost.' He was surprised with some 
passages he struck upon, dipping here and there and bought 
if ; the bookseller begged him to speak in its favour, if he 
liked it, for they lay on his handsas waste paper. Jesus ! — 
Shephard was present. My Lord took it home, read it, and 
sent it to Dryden, who in.a short time returned it. '.'This 
man,' says Dryden, ' cuts us all out, and the ancieiits too !'" 

The Grecian Was also frequented by Fellows of tlie 
Royal Society. Thoresby, in his " Diary," tells us, 22nd 
May, 1712, that *' having bought each a. pair of black silk 
stockings in Westminster Hall, they returned by water, and 
then walked, to meefhis friend, Dr. Sloane, the Secretary of 
the Royal Society, at the Grecian Coffee-house, by the 
Temple." And, on June lath, same year, "Thoresby 
attended the Royal Society, where were present, the Presi- 
dent, Sir Isaac Newton, both the Secretaries, the two. 
Professors fromOxford, Dr. Halley and; Kell, with others,, 
whose compafty we after enjoyed at the Grecian Coffee- 
house." '■' • ■■ ■■■ ;..-.., -■ 

In Devereux-court, also, was Tom's Coffee-house, much 
resorted to by men of letters ; among whom; were- Dr. Birch, 
who wrote the History of the Royal Society ^ alsoAkenside, 
the poet ; and^tliere is in print a letter of Pope's, addressed 
to Fortescu'd, his, "counsel learned in the law," at this 
Goifee-house. - • 



359 



George's Coffee-house, 

No. 213, Strand, near Temple Bar, was a noted resort in the 
last and present century. . When it was a coifee-house, one 
day, there came in Sir James Lowther, who after changing 
a piece of silver with the coffee-woman, and paying two- 
pence for his dish of coffee, was'helped into his chariot, for 
he was very lame and iniirm, and went home : some little 
time afterwards, he returned to the same coffee-house, on 
purpose to acquaint the woman who kept it, that she had 
giyen him a bad half-penny, and demanded anofher in 
exchange for it. Sir James had about 40,000/. per annum, 
and was at a loss whom to appoint his heir. 
Shenstone, who found ■ 

THe warmest welcome at an inn, 

found George's to^ be economical., " What do you think," 
he writes, " must be my expense, who love to pry intoevery- 
thingpf the kind? Why, truly one shilling. My company 
goes to George's Coffee-house, where, for that small sub- 
scription . L read all pamphlets under a three shillings' 
dimension; and indeed, any larger would not be fit for 
coffee-house perusal." Shenstone relates that Lord Orford 
was at George's, when the mob, that were carrying his 
Lpr4§hip in effigy, came into the box, where he was, tp beg 
money- of him, amongst others : this story Horace Walpole 
contradict^, ; adding , that he supposes SJienstpne; thought 
that after Lord Orford quitted his place, he went to the 
co.ffeerhouse to learn news. 

Arthur Murphy frequented George's, " where the town 
wits met every evening." Lloyd, the law-student, sings : — 

By law let others toil to gain renown ! 
I'^orio's a gentleman, a man o' the town. 
He nor courts clients, or the law regarding, 
Hurries from Nando's down to Covent Garden, 



36o CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Yet, he's a scholar ; mark him in the pit, 
With critic catcall sound the stops of wit ! 
Supreme at George's, he harangues the throng. 
Censor of style, from tragedy to song. 

The Percy Coffee-house, 

Rathbone-place, Oxford-street, no longer exists ; but it will 
be kept in recollection for its having given name to one of 
the most popular publications, of its class in our time, 
namely, the " Percy Anecdotes, " by Sholto and Reuben 
Percy, Brothers of the Benedictine Monastery of Mont 
Benger," in 44 parts, commencing in 1820. So said the 
title pages, but the names and the locality were suppos'e. 
Reuben Percy was Thomas Byerley, who died in 1824; he 
was the brother of Sir John Byerley, and the first editor of 
the Mirror, commenced by John Limbird, in 1822. Sholto 
Percy was Joseph Clinton Robertson, who died in 1852 ; 
he was the projector of the Mechanics^ Magazine, which he 
edited from its commencement to his death. The name of 
the collection of Anecdotes was not taken, as at the time 
supposed, from the popularity of the " Percy Reliques," but 
from the Percy Coffee-house, where Byerley and Robertson 
were accustomed to meet to talk over their joint work. The 
idea was, however, claimed by Sir Richard Phillips, who 
stoutly maintained that it originated in a suggestion made 
by him to Dr. Tilloch and Mr. Mayne, to cut the anecdotes 
from the many years' files of the Siar newspaper, of which 
Dr. Tilloch was the editor, and Mr. Byerley assistant 
editor ; and to the latter overhearing the suggestion, Sir 
Richard contested, might the " Percy Anecdotes " be traced. 
They were very successful, and a large sum was realised by 
the work. 



36i 



Peele's Coffee-house, 

Nos. 177 and 178, Fleet-street, east comer of Fetter-lane, 
was one of the Coffee-houses of tlie Johnsonian period ; 
and here was long preserved a portrait of Dr. Johnson, on 
the key-stone of a chimney-piece, stated to have been painted 
by Sir Joshua Reynolds. Peele's Avas noted for files of news- 
papers from these dates: Gazette, ij^^; Titnes, 1780; 
Morning Chronicle, 1773; Morning Post, 1773; Morning 
Herald, 1784; Morning Advertiser, 1794; and the evening 
papers from their commencement. The house is now a 
tavern. 




362 



The Taverns of Old London. 

The changes in the manners and customs of our metropolis 
may be agreea,bly gathered from such. gHmpses as we gain of 
the history of " houses of entertainment " in the long lapse 
of centuries. , Their records present innumerable, pictures in 
little of society and modes, the interest of which is increased 
by distance. They show us how the tavern was the great 
focus of news long before the newspaper fully supplied the 
intellectual want. Much of the business of early times was 
transacted in taverns, and it is to some extent in the present 
day. According to the age, the tavern reflects the manners, 
the social tastes, customs, and recreations j and there, in 
days when travelling was difficult and costly, and not unat- 
tended with danger, the traveller told his wondrous tale to 
many an eager listenerj and the man who rarely strayed 
beyond his own parish, was thus made acquainted with the 
life of the world. Then, the old tavern combined, with 
much of the comfort of an English home, its luxuries, with 
out the forethought of providiiig either. Its come-and-go 
life presented many a useful lesson to the man who looked 
beyond the cheer of the moment. The master, or taverner, 
was mostly a person of substance, often of ready wit and 
cheerful manners — to render his public home attractive. 

The " win-hous," or tavern, is enumerated among the 
houses of entertainment in the time of die Saxons ; and no 
doubt existed in England much earlier. The peg-tankard, 
a specimen of which we see in the Ashmolean Collection at 
Oxford, originated with the Saxons j the pegs inside denoted 
how deep each guest was to drink : hence arose the saying, 



TA VEENS OF OLD LONDON. 363 

"lie is a peg too low," when a man was out of- spirits. 
-The. Danes -were even more .ctfnvivial , in their hatoits than the 
Saxons, and may be presumed to have multiplied the number 
of " guest houses," as the early taverns Avere callted. The 
Norman followers of the Conqueror soon fell into the good 
cheer of their predecessors in England. Although.wine was 
made at this period in great abundance from vineyards in 
various parts of England, the trade of the taverns was prin- 
cipally supplied from France. The- traffic for Bordeaux and 
the neighbouring provinces is said to have comnjenced about 
1154, through the marriage of Henry II, with Eleanor of Aqui- 
taine. The Normans were great carriers, and Guienne the 
place whence most of our wines were brdUght j' and which are 
described in this reign, to;haye been sold -in the ships; and 
in the wine-cellars near the f>ubldc place of cookery, onj the 
banks of the Thames. We are now speaking of the. .customs 
of seven centuries since ; of which the public wine-cellar, 
known to our time as the Shades, adjoining old London 
Bridge, was unquestionably a relic. 

The earliest dealers in wines were "of two descriptions : 
the vintners, or importers 5 and the taverners, who kept 
taverns for them, and sold the wine by retail to such_.as 
came to the tavern to drink it,: or fetched it to their own 
hoitiesi ,i 

In a document of the reign of Edward II., we find, men- 
tioned a tenement called. Pin TaVern, situated in the Vintry, 
where the Bordeaux merchants craned their wines out of 
lighters, and other vessels on, _the, Thames ; and here wa$ 
the famous old tavern with the sign of the Three Cranes. 
Chaucer makes the apprentice of this period loving better 
the tavern than the shop: — 

■ A prentis whilom dwelt in our citee,'— 1 . 
At ev'ry bridale- would he siflg-aad hoppe ; 

. He loved bet' the tavern than the slioppe,- 
For when ther any riding was in Chepe, 
Out of the shoppe thider woiild he lepe ; 
And til that he had all the sight ysein - - -. , 

And dancid wil, he wold not com agen. 



364 CLUB LIFE OF LONDOiV. 

Thus, the idle City apprentice was a great tavern haunter, 
which was forbidden in his indenture ; and to this day, the ap- 
prentice's indenture enacts that he shall not "haunt taverns." 

In a play of 1608, the apprentices of old Hobson, a rich 
citizen, in 1560, frequent the Rose and Crown, in the 
Poultry, and the Dagger, in Cheapside. 

Enter Hobson, Two Prentices, and a Bov. 

1 Pren. Prithee, fello.v Goodman, set forth the ware, and looke to 
the shop a little. I'll but drink a cup of wine with a customer, at the 
Rose and Crown in the Poultry, and come again presently. 

2 Pren. I must needs step to the Dagger in Cheafic, to send a letter 
into the country unto my father. Stay, boy, you are the youngest 
prentice ; loolc you to the shop. 

In the reign of Richard II., it was ordained by statute 
that " the wines of Gascoine, of Osey, and of Spain," as well 
as Rhenish wines, should not be sold above sixpence the 
gallon ; and the taverners of this period frequently became 
very rich, and filled the highest civic offices, as sheriffs and 
mayors. The fraternity of vintners and taverners, anciently 
the Merchant Wine Tonners of Gascoyne, became the Craft 
of Vintners, incorporated by Henry VI. as the Vintners' 
Company. 

The curious old ballad of " London Lyckpenny," written 
in the reign of Henry V., by Lydgate, a monk of Bury, 
confirms the statement of the prices in the reign of Richard 
II. He comes to Cornhill, when the wine-drawer of the 
Pope's Head tavern, standing without the street-door, it 
being the custom of drawers thus to waylay passengers, 
takes the man by the hand, and says, — "Will you drink a 
pint of wine?" whereunto the countryman answers, "A 
penny spend I may," and so drank his wine. " For bread 
nothing did he pay" — ^for that was given in. This is 
Stow's account: the ballad makes the tavemer, not the 
drawer, invite the countryman j and the latter, instead of 
getting bread for nothing, complains of having to go away 
hungry ; — 



TA VERNS OF OLD LONDON. 365 

The taverner took me by the sleeve, 
• " Sir," saith he, " will you our wine assay ?" 

I answered, " That cannot much me grieve, 
A penny can do no more than it may ;" 
I drank a pint, and for it did pay ; 
Yet, sore a-hungered from thence I yede, 
And, wanting money, I could not speed, etc. 

There was no eating at taverns at this time, beyond a 
crust to relish the wine ; and he who wished to dine before 
he drank, had to go to the cook's. 

The furnishing of the Boar's Head, in Eastcheap, with 
sack, in Henry IV., is an anachronism of Shakspeare's ; for 
the vintners kept neither sacks, muscadels, malmseys, 
bastards, alicants, nor any other wines but white and claret, 
until 1543. All the other sweet wines before that time 
were sold at the apothecaries' shops for no other use but foi 
medicine. 

Taking it as the picture of a tavern a century later, we 
see the alterations which had taken place. The single 
drawer or taverner of Lydgate's day is now changed to a 
troop of waiters, besides the under skinker, or tapster. 
Eating was no longer confined to the cook's row, for we 
find in FalstaflPs bill " a capon, 2s. 2d. ; sack, two gallons, 
5^. SrtT. ; anchovies and sack, after supper, 2s. bd. ; bread, 
one halfpenny." And there were evidently different rooms* 
for the guests, as Francisf bids a brother waiter "Look 



* This negatives a belief common in our day that a Covent Garden 
tavern was the first divided into rooms for guests. 

+ A successor of Francis, a waiter at the Boar's Head, in the last 
century, had a tablet with an inscription in St. Michael's, Crooked-lane 
churchyard, just at the back of the tavern ; setting forth that he died, 
"drawer at the Boar's Head Tavern, in Great Eastcheap," and was 
noted for his honesty and sobriety ; in that — 

Tho' nurs'd among' full hogsheads he defied 
The charms of wine, as well as others' pride. 

He also practised the singular virtue of drawing good wine and of 



366 CLUB- LIFE OF ZONDON. 

down in the Pomgranite ;" fof which purpose they had 
windows, or loopholes, affording a view from the upper to 
the lower apartments. The custom of naming the principal 
rooms in taverns and hotels is usual to the present day. 

Taverns and wine-bibbing had greatly increased in the 
reign of Edward VI., when it was enacted by statute that 
no more than %d. a gallon should be taken for any French 
wines,; and the consumption limited in private houses to ten 
gallons each person yearly ; that there should not be " aiiy 
more or great number of .taverns in London of such 
tavernes or wine sellers by retaile, above the number of 
fouretye tavernes or wyne sellers," being less than two, 
■upon an average, to each parish. Nor did this number, 
much increase afterwards; for in a return made^to the 
Vintners' Company, late in Elizabeth's reign, there were 
only one hundred and six'ty-eight taverns in the whole city 
and suburbs. . , 

It seems to have been the fashion among old ballad- 
mongers, street chroniclers, and journalists, to sing the 
praises of the taverns, in rough-shod verse, and that lively 
rhyme whiqh, in our day, is termed " patter." Here are a 
few specimens, of various periods. 

In a black-letter poem of Queen Elizabeth's reign, entitled 
"Newes from Bartholomew Fayre," there is this curious 
enumeration : 

There hath been great sale and utterance of Wine, 

Besides Beere, and Ale, aiid Ipocras fine, 

In every country, region, and nation, 

But chiefly in Billingsgate, at the Salutation ; 

And the Boris Head, near London Stone ; 

The Swan at Dowgate, a tavern well knowne ; 

The Mitel- in Cheape, and then the Bull Head ; 

And many like places; that make noses red ; 



talcing care to "fill his pots," as appears by the closing lines of the 

inscription: — .. 

Ye that ori Bacchus have a like dependance, 
Pray copy Bob iii measure and attendance. 



TA VERWS OF OLD ZVNnON. 367 

The Bore's Head in Old Fish-street ; Three Cranes in the Vintry ; 

And now, of late, St. Martins in the Sentree ; 

The Windmill in Lothbury ; thsShip at th' Exchange ; 

King's Head in New Fish-street, where roysterers do range ; 

The Mermaid in Cor-nhill ; Red Lion in the Strand ; 

Three Tuns in Newgate Market ; Old Fish-street at the Swan. 

This enumeration omits ■ the Mourning Bush, adjoining 
Aldersgate, containing divers large rooms and lodgings, and 
shown in Aggas's plan of London, in 1560. There are also 
-omitted The Pope's Head,The London Stone, The Dagger, 
The Rose and Crown, ,etc. , Several of the above Signs have 
been continued to our time in the very places mentioned ; 
but nearly all the original buildings were destroyed in the 
Oreat Fire of 1666 ; and the few which escaped have been 
rebuilt, or so altered, that their former appearance has 
altogether vanished. 

The following list of taverns is given by Thomas Hey- 
-wood, the author of the fine old play of A Woman killed 
iwith Kindness. Heywood, who wrote in 1608, is telling us 
what particular houses are frequented by particular classes 
of people : — 

The Gentry to the King's Head, 

The nobles to the Crown, 

The Knights unto the Golden Fleece, 

And to the Plough the Clown. 

The churchman to the Mitre, 

The shepherd to the Star, 

The gardener hies him to the Rose, 

To the Drum the man of war ; 

To the Feathers, ladies youj the Globe 

The seaman doth not scorn ; 

The usurer to the Devil, and 

The townsman to the Horn. 

The huntsman to the White Hart, 

To the Ship the merchants go, 

But you who do the Muses love. 

The sign called River Po. 

The banquerout to the World's End, 

The fool to the Fortune Pie, 



368 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Unto the Month the oyster-wife, 

The fiddler to the Pie, 

The punk unto the Cockatrice, 

The drunkard to the Vine, 

The beggar to the Bush, then meet. 

And with Duke Humphrey dine. 

In the "British Apollo" of 1710, is the following dog- 
grel :— 

I'm amused at the signs. 

As I pass through the town. 
To see the odd mixture— 

A Magpie and Crown, 
The Whale and the Crow, 

The Razor and the Hen, 
The Leg and Seven Stars, 
The Axe and the Bottle, 

The Tun and the Lut^ 
The Eagle and Child, 

The Shovel and Boot. 

In " Look about You," 1600, we read that " the drawers 
kept sugar folded up in paper, ready for those who called 
for sack/" and we further find in another old tract, that the 
custom existed of bringing two cups of silva- in case the 
wine should be wanted diluted; and this was done by 
rose-water and sugar, generally about a pennyworth. A 
sharper in the Bell/nan of London, described as having 
decoyed a countryman to a tavern, " calls for two pintes of 
sundry wines, the drawer setting the wine with two cups, as 
the custome is, the sharper tastes of one pinte, no matter 
which, and finds fault with the wine, saying ' 'tis too hard, 
but rose-water and sugar would send it downe merrily' — and 
for that purpose takes up one of the cups, telling the 
stranger he is well acquainted with the boy at the barre, 
and can have two-pennyworth of rose-water for a penny of 
him : and so steps from his seate : the stranger suspects no 
harme, because the fawne guest leaves his cloake at the end 
of the table behind him, — ^but the other takes good care 
not to return, and it is then found that he hath stolen 




The Tabard Inn. 
(From Urry's Chaucer.) 




The Tabard Inn in 1780. 



TA VERNS OF OLD L ONDON. 369 

ground, and out-leaped the stranger more feet than he can 
recover in haste, for the cup is leaped with him, for which 
the wood-cock, that is taken in the springe, must pay fifty 
shillings, or three pounds, and hath nothing but an old 
threadbare cloake not worth two groats to make amends for 
his losses." 

Bishop Earle, who wrote in the first half of the seven- 
teenth century, has left this "character" of a tavern of his 
time. " A tavern is a degree, or (if you will) a pair of 
stairs above an alehouse, where men are drunk with more 
credit and apology. If the vintner's nose be at the door, it 
is a sign sufficient, but the absence of this is supplied by the 
ivy-bush. It is a broacher of more news than hogsheads 
and more jests than news, which are sucked up here by 
some spungy brain, and from thence squeezed into a 
comedy. Men come here to make merry, but indeed make 
a noise, and this music above is answered with a clinking 
below. The drawers are the civilest people in it, men of 
good bringing up, and howsoever we esteem them, none can 
boast more justly of their high calling. 'Tis the best theatre 
of natures, where they are truly acted, not played, and the 
business as in the rest of the world up and down, to wit, 
from the bottom of the cellar to the great chamber. A 
melancholy man would find here matter to work upon, to 
see heads, as brittle as glasses, and often broken ; men come 
hither to quarrel, and come here to be made friends ; and if 
Plutarch will lend me his simile, it is even Telephus's sword 
that makes wounds, and cures them. It is the common 
consumption of the afternoon, and the murderer or the 
maker away of a rainy day. It is the torrid zone that 
scorches the face, and tobacco the gunpowder that blows it 
up. Much harm would be done if the charitable vintner 
had not water ready for the flames. A house of sin you 
may call it, but not a house of darkness, for the candles are 
never out ; and it is like those countries, far in the north, 
where it is as clear at midnight as at mid-day. After a 

B B 



370 . CLUB LIFE OF LONDOlf. 

long fitting it, becomes like a street in a dashing shpwer, 
where the spouts are flushing above, and the conduits 
ruinniiig below, etc. To give you the total reckoning of. it, 
it is the busy man's recreation, the idle man's business; the 
melancholy man's sanctuary, the stranger's welcorne, the 
inns-of-court man's entertainment, the scholar's kindness, 
und the citizen's courtesy. '. It is the. study of sparkling vsfits, 
and a cup of comedy their book, whence we leave them." 

The conjunction of vintner and victualler had now become 
common, and would require other accommodation than 
those mentioned by the Bishop, as is shown in Massinger's 
New Way to pay Old Debts, where Justice Greedy makes 
Tapwell's keeping no victuals in his house as an excuse for 
pulling down. his sign : 

Thou never hadst in thy house to stay men's stomachs, 
A piece of SuffoUccheese, or gammon of bacon. 
Or any esculent as; the learned call jt, , 
For iheir emolument, but shea' drin\ only. 
For which gross fault I here do damn thy licence. 
Forbidding thee henceforth to tap or draw ; - ' 
"For instantly I will in mine own person 
Command the constable to pull down thy sign, 
And dq't before I eat. 

And the decayed vintner, who afterwards applies to Well- 
born for payment' of his tavern score, answers, on his 
inquiring who he is : 

'. A decay 'd vintner, sir, 
c , -. i^{ might have thriv'd, but that your Worship broke- me 
With trusfing you with muscadine and eggs, . ■ 

AnA Jive pound sappers, with your after-firinki^gSj 

. When you lodged, upon the Bankside. . , 

Dekker tells us, near this 'time, of regular prdin^es of 
three kinds ■ ist. An ordinary of the longest; reckonbg, 
whither :most of your courtly gallants do resort: ,2nd. A 
twelvepenny ordinary, frequented by the, justice pf the peace, 
a ybiing Knight ; and a threepenny ordinary, to which, your 
London usurer, your stale bachelor, and your thrifty attorney 



TAVEkNS OF OLD LONDON. ■yft 

doth resort. Then Dekker tells us of a custom, especially 
in the City, to send presents of wine from one room to 
another, as a complimentary mark of friendship. " Inquire," 
directs he, " what gallants sup in the next room ; and if 
they be of your acquaintance, do not, after the City fashion, 
send them in a pottle of wine and your name." Then, we 
read of Master Brook sending to the Castle Inn, at Windsor, 
a morning draught of sack. 

Ned Ward, in the " London Spy," i yog, describes several 
famous taverns, and among them the Rose, anciently the 
Rose and Crown, as famous for good wine. "There was 
no parting," he says, " without a glass ; so we went into the 
Rose Tavern in the Poultry, where the wine, according to 
its merit, had justly gained a reputation ; and there, in a 
snug room, warmed with brash and faggot, over a quart of 
good claret, we laughed over our nighf s adventure." 

" From hence,/ pursuant to my friend's inclination, we 

adjourned to the sign of the Angel, in Fenchurch-street, 

■ where the vintner, like a double-dealing citizen, condescended 

as well to draw carman's comfort as the consolatory juice of 

the vine. • . • 

" Having at the King's Head well freighted the hold of 
our vessels with excellent food and delicious wine, at a small 
expense, we scribbled the following lines with chalk, upon 
the wall." (See page 350.) 

The tapster was a male vendor, not " a woman who had 
the c^re of thetap," as Tyrwbitt states. In the 17th century 
ballad, The Times, occurs : 

The bar-boyes and the tapsters 

Leave drawing of their beere, - 
And running forth in haste they cry, 
• - " See, where Mull'd Sack comes here !"'■ 

The ancient drawers and tapsters were now, superseded 
by the barmaid, and a number of waiters : Ward describes 
the barmaid as " all ribboS, lace, and feathers, and making 
such a noise with her bell and her tongue together, that had 

B B 2 



372 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

half-a-dozen paper-mills been at work within three yards oi 
her, they'd have signified no more to her clamorous voice 
than so many lutes to a drum, which alarmed two or three 
nimble fellows aloft, who shot themselves downstairs with 
as much celerity as a mountebank's Mercury upon a 
rope from the top of a church-steeple, every one charged 
with a mouthful of coming, coming, coming.'' The bar- 
maid (generally the vintner's daughter) is described as 
" bred at the dancing-school, becoming a bar well, stepping 
a minuet finely, playing sweetly on the virginals, 'John 
come kiss me now, now, now,' and as proud as she was 
handsome." 

Tom Brown sketches a flirting barmaid of the same time, 
" as a fine lady that stood pulling a rope, and screaming like 
a peacock against rainy weather, pinned up by herself in 
a little pew, all people bowing to her as they passed by, 
as if she was a goddess set up to be worshipped, armed with 
the chalk and sponge, (which are the principal badges that 
belong to that honourable station you beheld her in,) was 
the barmaid." 

Of the nimbleness of the waiters. Ward says in another 
place — "That the chief use he saw in the Monument was, 
for the improvement of vintners' boys and drawers, who 
came every week to exercise their supporters, and learn the 
tavern trip, by running up to the balcony and down again." 

Owen Swan, at the Black Swan Tavern, Bartholomew 
Lane, is thus apostrophized by Tom Brown for the goodness 
of his wine : — 

Thee, Owen, since the God of wme has made 
Thee steward of the gay carousing trade. 
Whose art decaying nature still supplies, 
Warms the feint pulse, and sparkles in our eyes. 
Be bountiful like him, bring t'other _/?iU/{, 
Were the stairs wider we would have the hask. 
'' ■'■ This pow'r we from the God of wine derive, ' 

""■ Draw such as this, and I'll pronounce thou'lt live. ; ' 



373 



The Bear at the Bridge Foot. 

This celebrated tavern, situated in Southwark, on the west 
side of the foot of London Bridge, opposite the end of St. 
Olave's, or Tooley-street, was a house of considerable 
antiquity. We read in the accounts of the Steward of Sir 
John Howard, March 6th, 1463-4 (Edward IV.), " Item, 
payd for red wyn at the Bere in Southwerke, ujd" Garrard, 
in a letter to Lord Strafford, dated 1633, intimates that " all 
back-doors to taverns on the Thames are commanded to be 
shut up, only the Bear at Bridge Foot is exempted, by reason 
of the passage to Greenwich," which Mr. Burn suspects to 
have been " the avenue or way called Bear Alley." 

The Cavaliers' Ballad on the funeral pageant of Admiral 
Deane, killed June 2nd, 1653, while passing by water to 
Henry the Seventh's Chapel, Westminster, has the following 
allusion : — 

From Greenwich towards the Bear at Bridge foot. 
He was wafted with wind that had water to't, 
But I think they brought the devil to boot, 

Which nobody can deny. 

Pepys was told by a waterman, going through the bridge, 
24th Feb. 1666-7, that the mistress of the Beare Tavern, at 
the Bridge-foot, " did lately fling herself into the Thames, 
and drown herself." 

The Bear must have been a characterless house, for among 
its gallantries was the following, told by Wycherley to Major 
Pack, "just for the oddness of the thing." It was this: 
"There was a house at the Bridge Foot where persons of 
better condition used to resort for pleasure and privacy. The 
liquor the ladies and their lovers used to drink at these meet- 
ings was canary ; and among other compliments the gentle- 
men paid their mistresses, this it seems was always one, to 
take hold of the bottom of their smocks, and pouring the wine 



374 CLUB LIFE QF LONDON. 

through that filter, feast their imaginations with the thought 
of what gave the zesto, and so drink a health to the toast." 
The Bear Tavern was taken down in December, 1761, 
when the labourers found gold and silver coins, of the time 
of Elizabeth, to a considerable value. The wall that enclosed 
the tavern was not cleared away until 1764, when the ground 
was cleared and levelled quite up to Pepper Alley stairs. 
There is a Token of the Bear Tavern, in the Beaufroy 
cabinet, which, with other rare Southwark tokens, was found 
under the floors in taking down St. Glave's Grammar School 
in 1839. 

Mermaid Taverns.. 

The celebrated Mermaid, in Bread-street, with the history 
of " the Mermaid Club," has been described in pp. 7-9 ; its 
interest centres in this famous company of wits. 

There was another Mermaid, in Cheapside, next to Paul's 
Gate, and still another in Cornhill. Of the latter we find in 
Bum's Beaufoy Catalogue, that the vintner, buried in St. 
Peter's, Cornhill, in 1606, "gave forty shillings yearly to the 
parson for preaching four sermons every year, so long as the 
lease of the Mermaid, in Cornhill, (the tavern so called,) 
should endure. He also gave to the poor of the said parish 
thirteen penny loaves every Sunday, during the aforesaid 
ease." There are tokens of both; these taverns in the 
Beaufoy Collection. 

The Boar's Head Tavern. 

This celebrated Shakspearean tavern was situated in Great 
Eastcheap, and is first mentioned in the time of Richard II.' ; 
the scene of the revels of Falstaff and Henry V., when 
Prmce of- Wales, in Shakspeare's Henry IV., part 2. Stow 
relates a riot in " the cooks' dwellings " here on St. John's 
eve, 1410, by Princes John and Thomas. The tavern was 
destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666, but was rebuilt in two 



THE BOARS HEAD TAVERN. i%. 

fears, as attested by a boar's head cut ifi stone, with the 
initials of the landlord, I.T., and the date 1668, above the 
first-floor window; this sign-stofie is now in the Guildhall 
library. The house stood ' between •Small-alley and St. 
Michael* s-lane, and in the rear looked upon St. Michd,ers 
churchyard, where was buried a drawer, or -waiteii", at the 
tavern, d. 1720 : in the church was interred John Rhodbway, 
" Vintner at the Bore's Head," 16^3. 

Maitland,. in 1739, mentions the Boar's Head, as "the 
chief tavern in London ", under, the sign. Goldsmith 
("Essays"), Boswell ("Life of Dr. Johnson"), and Washing- 
ton Irving ("Sketch-book"), have idealized' the house as 
the identical place which Falstaff frequented, forgetting its 
destruction in the Great Fire. The site of the Boar's Head 
is very nearly that of the statue of King William IV. 

in 1834; Mr. Kempe, F.S.A., exhibited to the Society of 
Attticjuaries a carved oak figure of Sir John Falstaflf, in the 
costume of the ■ i6th century; it had supported 'an orna- 
mental bracket dver one side of the door of the Boar's Head, 
a figure of Prince Henry sustaining -that on the other. ■ The ' 
Falstaff was the property of one Shelton, a brazier,- whose an- 
cestors had lived in the shop he then occupied in Great 
Eastcheap, since the Great Fire. He well remembered the 
last Shakspeareaii grand dinner-party at the Boar's Head, 
about 1784 :' at an earlier partyi Mr. Wilberforee was pre- 
sent. A boar's head, with tusks, which had been suspended 
in a room of the tavern, perhaps the Half-Moon or Pome- 
granate, (see Henry IV; act il sc. 4,) at the Great Fire, fell 
■down with ' the ruins of the house, and was conveyed to 
Whitechapel Mount, wh'ei-e, many years- after, it was re- 
covered, and identified with its former locality. At a 
pnblic house,' No, 12, Miles-lane, was long preserv'ed a 
tobacco-box, with a painting of the original Boar's Head 
Tavern on the lid.* 



"Curiosities of London," p. 265. 



376 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

In High-street, South wark, in the rear of Nos. 25 and 26, 
was formerly the Boar's Head Inn, part of Sir John Falstolf's 
benefaction to Magdalen College, Oxford. Sir John was 
one of the bravest generals in the French wars, under the 
fourth, fifth, and sixth Henries ; but he is not the Falstaff of 
Shakspeare. In the " Reliquiae Hearnianse," edited by Dr. 
Bliss, is the following entry relative to this bequest : — 

1721. June 2. — The reason why they cannot give so good an account 
of the benefaction of Sir John Fastolf to Magd. Coll. is, because he 
gave it to the founder, and left it to his management, so that 'tis sup- 
pos'd 'twas swallow'd up in his own estate that he settled it upon the 
college. However, the college knows this, that the Boar's Head in 
Southwark, which was then an inn, and still retains the name, tho' 
divided into several tenements (which bring the college about 150/. per 
ann.), was part of Sir John's gift." 

The above property was for many years sublet to the 
family of the author of the present Work, at the rent of 150/. 
per annum ; the cellar, finely vaulted, and excellent for 
wine, extended, beneath the entire court, consisting of two 
rows of tenements, and two end. houses, with galleries, the 
entrance being from the High-street. The premises were 
taken down for the New London Bridge approaches. There 
was also a noted Boar's Head in Old Fish-street 

Can he forget who has read Goldsmith's nineteenth 
Essay, his reverie at the Boar's Head ? — when, having con- 
fabulated with the landlord till long after " the watchman 
had gone twelve," and suffused in the potency of his wine a 
mutation in his ideas, of the person of the host into that of 
Dame Quickly, mistress of the tavern in the days of Sir John, 
is promptly affected, and the Uquor they were drinking seemed 
shortly converted into sack and sugar. Mrs. Quickly's re- 
cital of the history of herself and Doll Tearsheet, whose 
frailties in the flesh caused their being both sent to the 
house of correction, charged with having allowed the famed 
Boar's Head to become a low brothel; her speedy de- 
parture to the world of Spirits ; and Falstaff's impertinences 



THREE CRANES IN THE VJNTRY. yjl 

as affecting Madame Proserpine; are followed by an enume- 
ration of persons who had held tenancy of the house since 
her time. The last hostess of note was, according to Gold- 
smith's account, Jane Rouse, who, having unfortunately 
quarrelled with one of her neighbours, a woman of high re- 
pute in the parish for sanctity, but as jealous as Chaucer's 
Wife of Bath, was by her accused of witchcraft, taken from 
her own bar, condemned and executed accordingly ! — These 
were times, indeed, when women could not scold in safety. 
These and other prudential apophthegms on the part of 
Dame Quickly, seem to have dissolved Goldsmith's stupor 
of ideality ; on his awaking, the landlord is really the land- 
lord, and not the hostess of a former day, when " Falstaff 
was in fact an agreeable old fellow, forgetting age, and 
showing the way to be young at sixty-five. Age, care, 
wisdom, reflection, begone ! I give you to the winds. 
Let's have t'other bottle. Here's to the memory of Shak- 
speare, Falstaff, and all the merry men of Eastcheap."* 

Three Cranes in the Vintry. 

This was one of Ben Jonson's taverns, and has already 
been incidentally mentioned. Strype describes it as situate 
in "New Queen-street, commonly called the Three Cranes 
in the Vintry, a good open street, especially that part next 
Cheapside, which is best built and inhabited. At the lowest 
end of the street next the Thames, is a pair of stairs, the 
usual place for the Lord Mayor and Aldermen to take water 
at, to go to Westminister Hall, for the new Lord Mayor to be 
sworn before the Barons of the Exchequer. This place, with 
the Three Cranes, is now of some account for the coster- 
mongers, where they have their warehouse for their fruit." 
In Scott's " Kenilworth " we hear much of this Tavern. 



"Bum's Catalogue of the Beaufoy Tokens.' 



37S 



London Stone Tavern. 

This tavern, situated in CannonrStreet, near the Stone; is ■■ 
stated, but not correctly, to have been the oldest in London. 
Here was formed a society, afterwards the famous Robin 
Hood, of which the history was published in 1 716, where it 
is stated to have originated in a meeting of the editor's : 
grandfather with the great Sir Hugh Myddelton, of New 
River memory. King Charles II. was introduced to the 
society, disguised, by Sir, Hugh, and the King liked it so 
wiell that he came ' thrice afterwards. " He had," coiitinues 
the narrative, "a piece of black silk over his left cheek, 
which almost' covered it; and his eyebrows, which were 
quite black, he had,. by some artifice or other, converted to 
alight brown, or rather flaxen colour; and had otherwise 
disguised himself so effectually in his apparel and his looks,' 
that nobody knew him but Sir Hugh, by whom he was in- 
troduced." This is very circumstantial, but is very doubtful ; 
since Sir Hugh Myddelton died when Charles was in his 
tenth year. 

The Robin Hood. 

Mr. Akerman- describes a Token of the Robin Hood 
Tavern : — " iohn thomlin.son at the. An archer fitting ■ 
an arrow to his bow; a small figure behind, holding an 
arrow. — JBt. in chiswell street, 1667. In the centre, his 
HALFE PENNY, and I. s. T. Mr. Akerman continues : 

"It is easy to perceive what is intended by the repre-' 
senitation on the obverse of this token. Though ' Littie 
John,' we are told,' stood upwards of six good English feet 
without his shoes, he is here depicted to suit the popular 
humour — a dwarf in size, 'compared with his friend and 
leader, the bold outlaw. The proximity of Chiswell-street 
to Finsbury-fieldS may have led to the adoption of the sign, 
which was doubtless at a time when archery was considered 



PONTACK'S, ASCHURCH-LANE. 379 

an elegant as well as an indispensable accomplishment of 
an English gentleman. It is far from obsolete now, as 
several low public-houses and beer^shops in the vicinity of 
London testify: One of them exhibits Robin Hood and his 
companion dressed in the most approved style of ' Astley's,' 
and underneath the group is the following irresistible invita- 
tion to slake your thirst : — 

Ye archers bold and yeomen good, 
Stop and drink with Robin Hood : 
If Robin Hood is not at home. 
Stop and.drink with little John." 

" Our London readers could doubtless supply the variorum 
copies of this elegant distich^ which, as this is an age for 
' Family Shakspeares,' modernized Chaucers, and new ver- 
sions of ' Robin , Hood's Garland,' we' recommend to the 
notice of the next editor of the ballads in praise of the 
Sherwood freebooter." 

Pontack'Sj Abchurch Lane. 

After the destruction of the White Bear Tavern, in the 
Great Fire of 1666, the proximity of the site for all purposes 
of business, induced M. Pontack, the son of' the President 
of Bordeaux, owner of a famous claret district, to establish a 
tavern, with all the novelties of French "cookery, with his 
father's head as a sign, whence it was popularly called 
"Pontack's Head," The .dinners were from four or five 
shillings a head " to a guinea, or what sum you pleased." 

.Swift frequented the tavern, and writes to" Stella : — 
"Pontack told us, although his wine was so good, he sold it 
dieaper than ojtUws J he took but seven shillings a flask. 
Are not these pretty rates ?" In the "Hind and Panther 
Transversed," we read of drawers : — 

Sure these honest fellows have no knack 
Of putting off stum'd claret for Pontack. 



38o CLUB LIFE OP LONDON. 

The Fellows of the Royal Society dined at Pontack's until 
1746, when they removed to the Devil Tavern. There is a 
Token of the White Bear in the Beaufoy Collection ; and 
Mr. Bum tells us, from " Metamorphoses of the Town," a 
rare tract, 1731, of Pontack's "guinea ordinary," "ragout 
of fatted snails," and " chickens not two hours from the 
shell." In January, 1735, Mrs. Susannah Austin, who lately 
kept Pontack's, and had acquired a considerable fortune, 
was married to William Pepys, banker, in Lombard-street. 

Pope's Head Tavern. 

This noted tavern, which gave name to Pope's Head 
Alley, leading from Cornhill to Lombard-street, is mentioned 
as early as the 4th Edward IV. (1464) in the account of a 
wager between an Alicant goldsmith and an English gold- 
smith ; the Alicant stranger contending in the tavern that 
" Englishmen were not so cunning in workmanship of gold- 
smithry as Alicant strangers ;'' when work was produced by 
both, and the Englishman gained the wager. The tavern 
was left in 16 15, by Sir William Craven, to the Merchant 
Tailors' Company. Pepys refers to "the fine painted 
room" here in 1668-9. I" the tavern, April 14, 1718, 
Quin, the actor, killed in self-defence his fellow-comedian, 
Bowen, a clever but hot-headed Irishman, who was jealous 
of Quin's reputation : in a moment of great anger, he sent 
for Quin to the tavern, and as soon as he had entered the 
room, Bowen placed his back against the door, drew his 
sword, and bade Quin draw his. Quin, having mildly 
remonstrated to no purpose, drew in his own defence, and 
endeavoured to disarm his antagonist. Bowen received a 
wound, of which he died in three days, having acknowledged 
his folly and madness, when the loss of blood had reduced 
him to reason. Quin was tried and acquitted. (" Cunning- 
ham, abridged.") The Pope's Head Tavern was in existence 
in 1756. 



3Si 



The Old Swan, Thames-street, 

Was more than five hundred years ago a house for public 
entertainment: for, in 1323, 16 Edw. II., Rose Wrytell 
bequeathed " the tenement of olde tyme called the Swanne 
on the Hope in Thames-street," in the parish of St. Mary- 
at-hill, to maintain a priest at the altar of St. Edmund, King 
and Martyr, " for her soul, and the souls of her husband, 
her father, and mother :" and the purposes of her bequest 
were established ; for, in the parish book, in 1499, is entered 
a disbursement of fourpence, "for a cresset to Rose 
Wrytell's chantry.'' Eleanor Cobham, Duchess of Glou- 
cester, in 1440, in her public penance for witchcraft and 
treason, landed at Old Swan, bearing a large taper, her feet 
bare, etc. 

Stow, in 1598, mentions the Old Swan as a great brew- 
house. Taylor, the Water-poet, advertised the professor 
and author of the Barmoodo and Vtopian tongues, dwelling 
" at the Old Swanne, neare London Bridge, who will teach 
them at are willing to leame, with agility and facility." 

In the scurrilous Cavalier ballad of Admiral Deane's 
Funeral, by water, from Greenwich to Westminster, in June, 
1653, it is said: — 

The Old Swan, as he passed by, 

Said she would sing him a dirge, lye down and die : 

Wilt thou sing to a bit of a body ? quoth I, 

Which nobody can deny. 

The Old Swan Tavern and its landing-stairs were destroyed 
in the Great Fire ; but. rebuilt. Its Token, In the Beaufoy 
Collection, is one of the rarest, of large size. 

Cock Tavern, Threadneedle-street. 

This noted house, which faced the north gate of the old 
Royal Exchange, was long celebrated for the excellence of 



382 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON: 

its soups, which were served at an economical price, in 
silver. One- of its proprietors was, it is believed, John Ellis, 
an eccentric character, and a writer of some reputation, who 
died in 1791. Eight stanzas addressed to him in praise of 
the tavern, commenced thus : — 

When to Ellis I write, I in verse must indite, 

Come Phoebus, and give me a knock, 
For on Friday at eight, all behind " the 'Change gate," : 

Master Ellis will be at " The Cock." 

After Comparing it to other houses, the Pope's Head, the 
King's Arms, the Black Swan, and the Fountain, and de- 
claring the Cock the best, it ends : 

'Tis time to be gone, for the 'Change has struck one : 

O 'tis an impertinent clock ! • 

For with Ellis I'd stay from December to May ; 

I'll stick to my Friend, and " The Cock !" 

This house was taken down in 1841 ; when, in a claim' for 
compertsation made by the proprietor,- the trade in three 
years was proved to have been 344,720 basins of various 
soups — ^viz. 166,240 mock turtle, 3,920 giblet, 59,360 ox- 
tail, 31,072 bouilli, 84,1 28 gravy and other soups : sometimes 
500 basins of soup were sold in a day. 

Crown Tavern, Threadneedle-street. 

Upon the site of the present chief entrance to the Bank 
of England, in Threadneedle-street, stood the Crown Tavern, 
" behind the 'Change :" it was frequented by the Fellows of 
the Royal Society, when they met at Gresham College ' hard 
by. The Crown was burnt in the Great Fire, but was 
rebuilt ; and about a centtiry ' since, at this tavern, " it was 
not unusual to draw a butt of mountain wine, containing 
\io gallons, in gills, in a morning."—- ^«V John Hawkins. 

Behind the 'Change, we read in the Connoisseur, 1754, a 
a man worth a plum used to order a twopenny mess of 
broth with a boiled chop in it; placing the chop between 



; THE KING'S HEAD TA VERN. 583 

the two crusts of a halfpenny roll, he would wrap it up in 
his clieck handkerchief, and carry it away for the morrow's 
dinner. 

The King's Head Tavern, in the Poultry. 

This Tavern, which stood at the western extremity, of the 
Stocks' Market, was not first known by the sign of the 
King's Head, but the Rose : Machin, in his Diary, Jan. 5, 
1560, thus mentions it: "A gentleman arrested for debt; 
Master Cobham, with divers gentlemen and; serving-men, 
took him from the officers, and carried him to the -Rose 
Tavern, where so great a fray, both the sheriffs were feign to 
£ome, and from the Rose Tavern took all the gentlemen 
and their servants, and carried them to the Compter." 

The house was distiuguished by the device of a large, 
well-painted Rose, erected over a doorway, which was the 
only indication in the main street otisuch an establishment. 
In the superior houses of the metropolis in the sixteenth 
century, room was gained in the rear of the stjreet-line, the 
space in front being economized, so that the line of .shops 
might not be interrupted. Upon this, ,plan, , the larger 
taverns in the City were constructed, wherever the ground 
was sufficiently spacious behind: hence it was that., the 
Poultry tavern of which we are speaking, was approached 
.through a long, narrow, covered passage, opening into a 
.well-lighted quadrangle, around which were the tavern-rooms. 
The sign of the Rose appears to, have been a, costly work, 
since there was the fragment of a leaf of an old account- 
book preserved, when the ruins of the, house were pleared 
after tiie Great Fire, on which were written .these entries : — 
*'Pd. to Hoggestreete, tiie Duche Paynter, for y" Picture of 
a Rose, w*" a Standing-bowle and (glasses, for a.Signe, %xli. 
besides Diners and Drinkings. Also, for a large Table of 
Walnut-tree, for a .Frame ; and for liron-worke and Hanging 
■the Picture, v/«," The artist who is ireferred to. in this 



3S4 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

memorandum, could be no other than Samuel Van Hoog- 
straten, a painter of the middle of the seventeenth century, 
whose works in England are very rare. He was one of the 
many excellent artists of the period, who, as Walpole 
contemptuously says, " painted still-life, oranges and lemons, 
plate, damask curtains, cloth of gold, and that medley of 
familiar objects that strike the ignorant vulgar." 

But, beside the claims of the painter, the sign of the Rose 
cost the worthy tavemkeeper a still further outlay, in the 
form of divers treatings and advances made to a certain 
rather loose man of letters of his acquaintance, possessed of 
more wit than money, and of more convivial loyalty than 
either discretion or principle. Master Roger Blythe fre- 
quently patronized the Rose Tavern as his favourite 
ordinary. Like Falstaff, he was " an infinite thing " upon 
his host's score ; and, like his prototype also, there was no 
probability of his ever discharging the account. When the 
Tavern-sign was about to be erected, this Master Blythe 
contributed the poetry to it, after the fashion of the time, 
which he swore was the envy of all the Rose Taverns in 
London, and of all the poets who frequented them. 
" There's your Rose at Temple Bar, and your Rose in 
Covent Garden, and the Rose in Southwark : all of thera 
indifferent good for wits, and for drawing neat wines too ; 
but, smite me. Master King," he would say, " if I know one 
of them all fit to be set in the same hemisphere with yours ! 
No ! for a bountiful host, a most sweet mistress, unsophisti- 
cated wines, honest measures, a choicely painted sign, and a 
witty verse to set it off withal, — commend me to the Rose 
Tavern in the Poultry !" 

Even the tavern-door exhibited a joyous frontispiece; 
since the entrance was flanked by two columns twisted with 
vines carved in wood, which supported a small square 
gallery over the portico surrounded by handsome iron-work. 
On the front of this gallery was erected the sign, in a frame 
of similar ornaments. It consisted of a central compart. 



THE KINGS HEAD TA VERN. 385 

ment containing the Rose, behind which appeared a tall 
silver cup, called in the language of the time " a standmg- 
bowl," with drinking-glasses. Beneath the painting was this 
inscription ; — 

THIS IS 

THE ROSE TA VERNE 

IN THE POULTREY : 
KEPT BY 

WILLIAM KING, 
Citizen and Vintner. 
This Taveme's like its Signe — a lustie Rose, 
A sight of joy that sweetness doth enclose : 
The daintie Flow're well-pictur'd here is seene, 
But for its rarest sweetes — Come, Searche Within ! 

The authorities of St. Peter-upon-Comhill soon deter- 
mined, on the loth of May, 1660, in Vestry, "that the 
King's Arms, in painted-glass, should be refreshed, and 
forthwith be set up by the Churchwarden at the parish- 
charges j with whatsoever he giveth to the glazier as a 
gratuity, for his care in keeping of them all this while." 

The host of the Rose resolved at once to add a Crown to 
his sign, with the portrait of Charles, wearing it in the centre 
of the flower, and openly to name his tavern " The Royal 
Rose and King's Head." He effected his design, partly by 
the aid of one of the many excellent pencils which the time 
supplied, and partly by the inventive muse of Master 
Blythe, which soon furnished him with a new poesy. There 
is not any fiirther information extant concerning the paint- 
ing, but the following remains of an entry on another torn 
fragment of the old account-book already mentioned, seem 
to refer to the poetical inscription beneath the picture :-^ 
. ..." on y' Night when he made y' Verses for my new 
Signe, a Sqper, and v. Peeces." The verses themselves were 
as follow : — 

Gallants, Rejoice ! — This Flow're is now fuU-blowne ; 

'Tis a Rose-Noble better'd by a Crowne ; 

All you who love the Embleme and the Signe, 

Enter, and prove our Loyaltie and Wine. 

c c 



386 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Beside this inscription, Master King also recorded the 
auspicious event referred to, by causing his painter to 
introduce ii\to the picture a broad-sheet, as if lying on the 
table with the cup and glasses — on which appeared the title, 
"A Kalendar for this Happy Yeare of Restauratioit, 1660, 
now newly Imprinted." 

As the time advanced when Charles was to make his 
entry into the metropolis, the streets were resounding with 
the voices of ballad-singers pouring- forth loyal songs, and 
declaring, with the whole strength of their lungs, that 

The King shall enjoy his own again. 

Then, there were also to be heard, the ceaseless horns and 
proclamations of hawkers and. flying-station ers^ publishing 
the latest passages or rumours touching the royal progress ; 
which, wheither genuine or not, were bought and read, and 
circulated, by all parties. At length all ' the previous 
pamphlets and broad-sheets were swallowed up by a well- 
known tract, still extant, which the news-men of the time 
thiis proclaimed :— " Here is A True Accompt and Narra- 
tive — of his Majesties safe Arrival in England^as 'twas 
reported to the House of Commons, on Friday, the 'z^th day 
of this present May^-with the Resolutions of both Houses 
thereupon : — Also a Letter very lately writ from Dover — 
relating -divers remarkable Passages of his Majesties Recep- 
tion there." 

On eveiy side the signs and iron-work were either 
refreshed, or newly gilt and painted : tapestries and rich 
hangings, which had engendered moth and decay from long 
disuse, were flung abroad again, that they might be ready 
to grace the coming pageant. The paving of the streets 
was levelled and repaired for the expected cavalcade ; and 
scaffolds for spectators were in the course df erection 
throughout all the line of march. Floods of all sorts of 
wines were consumed, as well in the streets as in the 



THE KING'S HEAD TA VERN. 387 

taverns ; and endless healths were devotedly and energeti- 
cally swallowed, at morning, noon, and night. 

At this time Mistress Rebecca King was about to add 
another member to Master King's household :, she received 
from hour to hour accounts of the proceedings as they 
occurred, which so stimulated her curiosity that she declared, 
first to her gossips, and then to her husband, that she "must see 
the King pass the tavern^ or matters might go cross with her." 

A kind of arbour was inade for Mistress Rebecca in the 
small iron gallery surmounting the entrance to the tavern. 
This arbour was of green boughs and flowers, hung round 
with tapestry and garnished with silver plate; and here, 
when the guns at the Tower announced that Charles had 
entered London, Mistress King took her seat, with her 
children and gossips around her. AH the houses in the 
main streets from London-bridge to Whitehall were deco- 
rated, like the tavern, with rich silks and tapestries, hung 
from every scaffold, balcony, and window; which, as 
Herrick says, turned the town into a park, "made green 
and trimmed with boughs." The road through London, so 
far as Temple-Bar, was lined on the north side by the City 
Companies, dressed in their liveries, and raeged in their 
respective stands, with ttheir banners ; and on the south by 
the soldiers of the trained-bands. 

One of the wine conduits stood on the south side of the 
Stocks' Market, over which Sir Robert Yiner . subsequerltly 
erected a triumphal statue of Charles II. Aboiit this spot; 
therefore,' the crowd collected in the Market-place, aided by 
the fierce loyalty supplied from the conduit, appears for a 
time to have brought the procession to a full stop, at the 
moment when- Charles, who; rode between his brothers, the 
Dukes of York and Gloucester, was nearly opposite to the 
newly-named King's Head Tavern. In- this most favourable 
interval. Master Blythe, who stood upon a scaffold in the 
doorway, took the opportunity of elevating a silver cup of 
wine and shouting oUt a health to his Majesty. His ener- 

c C 2 



388 CLUB l-IFE OF LONDON. 

getical action, as he pointed upwards to the gallery, was not 
lost ; and the Duke of Buckingham, who rode immediately 
before the King witn General Monk, directed Charles's 
attention to Mistress Rebecca, saying, "Your Majesty's 
retimi is here welcomed even by a subject as yet unborn." 
As the procession passed by the door of the King's Head 
Tavern, the King turned towards it, raised himself in his 
stirrups, and gracefully kissed his hand to Mistress Rebecca. 
Immediately such a shout was raised from all who beheld it 
or heard of it, as startled the crowd up to Cheapside con- 
duit; and threw the poor woman herself into such an 
ecstasy, that she was not conscious of anything more, until 
she was safe in her chamber and all danger happily over.* 

The Tavern was rebuilt after the Great Fire, and flourished 
many years. It was long a depot in the metropolis for turtle; 
and in the quadrangle of the Tavern might be seen scores of 
turtle, large and lively, in huge tanks of water ; or laid up- 
ward on the stone floor, ready for their destination. The 
Tavern was also noted for large dinners of the City Com- 
panies and other public bodies. The house was refitted in 
1852, but has since been closed. 

Another noted Poultry Tavern was the Three Cranes, 
destroyed in the Great Fire, but rebuilt, and noticed in 1698, 
in one of the many paper controversies of that day. A ful- 
minating pamphlet, entitled "Ecclesia etFactio: a Dialogue 
between Bow Church Steeple and the Exchange Grass- 
hopper," elicited " An Answer to the Dragon and Grass- 
hopper: in a Dialogue between an Old Monkey and a 
Yoimg Weasel, at the Three Cranes Tavern, in the Poultry." 

The Mitre, in Wood- street. 

Was a noted old Tavern. Pepys, in his " Diary," Sept 18, 
1660. records his going "to the Mitre Tavern, in Wood- 

* Abridged from an Account of the Tavern, by an Antiquary. 



THE SALUTA TION AND CA T TA VERN. 389 

street, (a house of the greatest note in London,) where I 
met W. Symons, D. Scoball, and their wives. Here some of 
us fell to handicap, a sport I never knew before, which was 
very good." The tavern was destroyed in the Great Fire. 

The Salutation and Cat Tavern, 

No. 17, Newgate-street (north side), was, according to the 
tradition of the house, the tavern where Sir Christopher 
Wren used to smoke his pipe, whilst St. Paul's was re- 
building. There is more positive evidence of its being a 
place well frequented by men of letters at the above period. 
Thus, there exists a poetical invitation to a social feast held 
here on June 19, 1735-6, issued by the two stewards, 
Edward Cave and William Bowyer : 

Saturday, Jan. 17, 1735-6. 
Sir, 

You're desir'd on Monday next to meet 
At Salutation Tavern, Newgate-street. 
Supper will be on table just at eight, 
\Stewards\ One of St. John's [Bowyer], 'tother of St. John's 
Gate [Cave]. 

This brought a poetical answer from Samuel Richardson 
the novelist, printed in extenso in Bowyer's " Anecdotes :" 

For me, I'm much concerned I cannot meet 
"At Salutation Tavern, Newgate-street," 
Your notice, like your verse, so sweet and short I 
If longer, I'd sincerely thank you for it. 
Howe'er, receive my wishes, sons of verse ! 
May every man who meets, your praise rehearse ! 
May mirth, as plenty, crown your cheerful board. 
And e'vry one part happy — as a lord ! 
That when at home (by such sweet verses fir'd). 
Your families may think you all inspir'd. 
So wishes he, who pre-engag' d, can't know 
The pleasures that would from your meeting flow. 

The proper sign is the Salutation and Cat, — a curious 
combination, but one which is explained by a lithograph 



390 CLUB LIFE OF, LONDON. 

which some years ago hung in the coffee-room. An aged 
dandy is saluting a friend whom he has met in the street, 
and offering him a pinch out of the snuff-box which forms 
the top of his wood-hke cane. This box-nob was, it appears, 
called a " cat " — hence the connexion of terms apparently 
so foreign to each other. Some, not aware of this explana- 
tion, have accounted for the sign by supposing that a tavern 
called " the Cat " was at some time pulled down, and its 
trade carried to the Salutation, which thenceforward joined 
the sign to its own ; but this is improbable, seeing that we 
have never heard of any tavern called " the Cat " (although 
we i/i7 know of "the Barking Dogs ") as a sign. Neither 
does the Salutation take its name from any scriptural or 
sacred source, as the Angel and Trumpets, etc. 

More positive evidence there is to show of the "little 
smoky room at the Salutation and Cat," where Coleridge and 
Charles Lamb sat smoking Oronoko and drinking egg-hot; 
the first discoursing of his. idol, Bowles, and the other re- 
joicing mildly in Cowper and Burns, or both dreaming of 
" Pantisocracy, and golden days to come on earth." 

" Salutation " Taverns. 

The sign Salutation, from scriptural or sacred source, 
remains to be explained. Mr. Akerman suspects the original 
sign to have really represented the Salutation of the Virgin 
by the TVngel — " Ave Maria, gratia plena " — a well-known 
legend on the jettons of the Middle Ages. The change of 
representation was properly accommodated to the times. 
The taverns at that period were the " gossiping shops " of 
the neighbourhood ; and both Puritan and Churchman fre- 
quented them for the sake of hearing the news. The Puritans 
loved the good things of this world, and relished a cup of 
Canary, or Noll's nose lied, holding the maxim — 

Though the devil trepan 
The Adamical man, 

The saint 'stands uninfected. 



QUEEN'S ARMS, ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD. 391 

Hence, perhaps, the Salutation of the Virgin was ex- 
changed for the "booin' and scrapin'"- scene (two men bowing 
and greeting), represented on a token which still exists ; the 
tavern was celebrated in the days of Queen Elizabeth. In 
some old black-letter doggrel, entitled "News from Bar- 
tholemew Fayre," it is mentioned for wine : — 

There hath been great sale and utterance' of wine, 

Besides beere, and ale, and Ipocras fine ; 

In every country, region, and nation. 

But chiefly in fiilhngsgate, at the Salutation. 

The Flower-pot was originally part of the symbol of the 
Annunciation to the Virgin. 

Queen's Arms, St. Paul's Churchyard. 

Garrick appears to have kept up his interest in the city by 
means of clubs, to which he paid periodicar visits. We have 
'already mentioned the club of young merchants, at Tom's 
Coffee-house, in Coirrihill. 'Another Club was held at the 
Queen's Arms Tavern, in St. Paul's Churchyard, where used 
to assemble : Mr. Samuel Sharpe, the surgeon ; Mr. Pater- 
son, the City- solicitor ; Mr. Draper, the bookseller ; Mr. 
Clutterbuck, the mercer j and a few others. 

Sir John Hawkins tells us that " they were none of them 
drinkers, and in order to make a reckoning, called only for 
French wine." These were Garrick's standing council in 
theatrical affairs. 

At the Queen's Arms, after a thirty years' intei-val, Johnson 
renewed his intimacy with some of the members of his old 
Ivy-lane Club. 

Brasbridge, the old silversmith of Fleet-street, was a 
member of the Sixpenny Card-Club held at the Queen's 
Arms : among the members was Henry Baldwyn, who, 
under the auspices of Bonnel Thornton, Colman the 
elder, and Garrick, set up the Si. James's Chronicle, which 
once had the largest circulation of any evening paper. This 



392 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

worthy newspaper-proprietor was considerate and generous 
to men of genius : " Often," says Brasbridge, " at his hospi- 
table board I have seen needy authors, and others con- 
nected with his employment, whose abilities, ill-requited as 
they might have been by the world in general, were by him 
always appreciated." Among Brasbridge's acquaintance, 
also, were John Walker, shopman to a grocer and chandler 
in Well-street, Ragfair, who died worth 200,000/., most 
assuredly not gained by lending money on doubtful security ; 
and Ben Kenton, brought up at a charity-school, and who 
realised 300,000/., partly at the Magpie and Crown in 
Whitechapel. 

Dolly's, Paternoster Row. 

This noted Tavern, established in the reign of Queen 
Anne, has for its sign, the cook Dolly, who is stated to 
have been painted by Gainsborough. It is still a well- 
appointed chop-house and tavern, and the coffee-room with 
its projecting fire-places, has an olden air. Nearly on the site 
of Dolly's, Tarlton, Queen Elizabeth's favourite stage-clown, 
kept an ordinary, with the sign of the Castle. The house, 
of which a token exists, was destroyed in the Great Fire, but 
was rebuilt ; there the " Castle Society of Music " gave their 
performances. Part of the old premises were subsequently 
the Oxford Bible Warehouse, destroyed by fire in 1822, and 
rebuilt. 

The entrance to the chop-house is in Queen's Head 
passage ; and at Dolly's is a window-pane painted with the 
head of Queen Anne, which may explain the name of the 
court. 

At Dolly's and Horsman's beef-steaks were eaten with 
gill-ale. 



393 



Aldersgate Taverns. 

Two early houses of entertainment in Aldersgate were the 
Taborer's Inn and the Crown. Of the former, stated to 
have been of the time of Edward II., we know nothing but 
the name. The Crown, more recent, stood at the end of 
Duck-lane, and is described in Ward's " London Spy," as 
containing a noble room, painted by Fuller, with the Muses, 
the Judgment of Paris, the contention of Ajax and Ulysses, 
etc. "We were conducted by the jolly master,'' says Ward, 
" a true kinsman of the bacchanalian family, into a large 
stately room, where, at the first entrance, I discerned the 
master-strokes of the famed Fuller's pencil ; the whole room 
painted by that commanding hand, that his dead figures 
appeared with such lively majesty that they begat reverence 
in the spectators towards the awful shadows. We accord- 
ingly bade the complaisant waiter oblige us with a quart of 
his richest claret, such as was fit only to be drank in the 
presence of such heroes, into whose company he had done 
us the honour to introduce us. He thereupon gave direc- 
tions to his drawer, who returned Avith a quart of such 
inspiring juice, that we thought ourselves translated into one 
of the houses of the heavens, and were there drinking 
immortal nectar with the gods and goddesses : 

Who could such blessings when thus found resign ? 

An honest vintner faithful to the vine ; 

A spacious room, good paintings, and good wine. 

Far more celebrated was the Mourning Bush Tavern, in 
the cellars of which have been traced the massive founda 
tions of Aldersgate, and the portion of the City Wall which 
adjoins them. This tavern, one of the largest and most 
ancient in London, has a curious history. 

The Bush Tavern, its original name, took for its sign the 



394 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Ivy-hush hung up at the door. It is believed to have been 
the house referred to by ,Stowe, as follows :— "This gate 
(Aldersgate) hath been at sundry times increased with build- 
ing ; namely, on the south Or inner side, a great frame of 
timber, (or house of wood lathed and plastered,) hath 
been added and set up containing divers large rooms 
and lodgings," which were an enlargement of the Bush. 
Fosbroke mentions the Bush as the chief sign of taverns in 
the Middle AgeSj (it being ready to hand,) and so it con- 
tinued until superseded by "a thing to resemble one 
containing three or four tiers of hoops fastened one above 
another with vine leaves and grapes richly carved and gilt." 
He adds : " the owner of the Mourning Bush, Aldersgate, 
was so affected at the decollation of Charles I,, that he 
painted his bush black." From this period the house is 
scarcely mentioned until the year 1719, when- we find ifs 
name changed to the Fountain, whether from political feel- 
ing against the then exiled House of Stuart, or the whim of 
the proprietor we cannot learn ; though it is thought to have 
reference to a spring on the east side of the gate. Tom 
Brown mentions the Fountain satirically, with four or five 
topping taverns of the day, whose landlords are charged 
with doctoring their wines, but whose trade was so great 
that they stood fair for the Alderman's gown. And, in a 
letter from an old vintner in the city to one newly set up in 
Covent Garden, we find the following in the way of advice : 
" as all the world are wholly supported by hard and unintel- 
ligible names, you must take care to christen your wines by 
some hard name, the further fetched so much the better, and 
this policy will serve to recommend the most execrable 
scum in your cellar. I could name several of our brethren 
to you, who now stand fair to sit in the seat of justice, and 
sleep in their golden chain at churches, that had been for^ ed 
to knock off long ago, if it had not been for this artifice. It 
saved the Sun from being eclipsed ; the Crown from being 
abdicated; the Rose from decaying; and the Fountain 



JERUSALEM TAVERNS, CLERKENWELL. 395 

from being dry; as well as both the Devils from being 
confined to utter darkness." 

Twenty years later, in a large plan of Aldersgate Ward, 
1739-40, we find the Fountain changed to the original Bush. 
The Fire of London had evidently, at this time, curtailed 
the ancient extent of the tavern. The exterior is shown in a 
print of the south side of Aldersgate ; it has the character of 
the larger houses, built after the Great Fire, and immediately 
adjoins the gate. The last notice of the Bush, as a place of 
entertainment, occurs in Maitland's " History of London," 
ed. 172s, where it is described as " the Fountain, commonly 
called the Mourning Bush, which has a back-door into St. 
Anne's-lane, and is situated near unto Aldersgate." The 
house was refitted in 1830. In the basement are the 
original wine-vaults of the old Bush ; many of the walls are 
six feet thick, and bonded throughout with Roman brick. 
A very agreeable account of the tavern and the antiquities 
of neighbourhood was published in 1830. 

" The Mourning Crown." 

In Phoenix Alley, (now Hanover Court,) Long Acre, John 
Taylor, the Water Poet, kept a tavern, with the sign of 
" the Mourning Crown," but this being offensive to the 
Commonwealth (1652), he substituted for a sign his own 
head with this inscription — 

There's inany a head stands for a sign ; 
Then, gentle reader, why not mine ? 

He died here in the following year ; and his widow in 
1658. 

Jerusalem Taverns, Clerkenwell. 

These houses took their name from the Knights of St. 
John of Jerusalem, around whose Priory grew up the village 
of Clerkenwell. The Priory Gate remains. At the Sup- 



396 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

pression, the Priory was undermined, and blown up with 
gunpowder; the Gate also would probably have been 
destroyed, but for its serving to define the property. In 
1604, it was granted to Sir Roger Wilbraham for his life. 
At this time Clerkenwell was inhabited by people of con- 
dition. Forty years later, fashion had travelled westward : 
and the Gate became the printing-office of Edward Cave, 
who, in 1 73 1, published here the first number of the 
Gentleman's Magazine, which to this day bears the Gate for 
its vignette. Dr. Johnson was first engaged upon the 
magazine here by Cave in 1737. At the Gate Johnson first 
met Richard Savage ; and here in Cave's room, when visitors 
called, he ate his plate of victuals behind the screen, his 
dress being " so shabby that he durst not make his appear- 
ance." Garrick, when first he came to London, frequently 
called upon Johnson at the Gate. Goldsmith was also a 
visitor here. When Cave grew rich, he had St John's Gate 
painted, instead of his arms, on his carriage, and engraven 
on his plate. After Cave's death in 1753, the premises 
became the " Jerusalem " public-house, and the " Jerusalem 
Tavern." 

There was likewise another Jerusalem Tavern, at the 
comer of Red Lion-street on Clerkenwell-green, which was 
the original St. John's Gate public-house, having assumed 
the name of " Jerusalem Tavern " in consequence of the 
old house on the Green giving up the tavern business, and 
becoming the " merchants' house." In its dank and cob- 
webbed vaults John Britton served an apprenticeship to a 
wine-merchant ; and in reading at intervals by candle-light, 
first evinced that love of literature which characterized his 
long life of industry and integrity. He remembered Clerken- 
well in 1787, with St. John's Priory-church and cloisters ; 
when Spafields were pasturage for cows ; the old garden- 
mansions of the aristocracy remained in Clerkenwell-close ; 
and Sadler's Wells, Islington Spa, Merhn's Cave, and Bag- 
Jiigge Wells, were nightly crowded with gay company. 



WHITE HART TAVERN, BISHOPSGATE WITHOUT. 397 

In a friendly note, Sept 11, 1832, Mr. Britton tells us : 
" Our house sold wines in full quarts, i.e. twelve held three 
gallons, wine measure; and each bottle was marked with 
four lines cut by a diamond on the neck. Our wines were 
famed, and the character of the house was high, whence the 
Gate imitated the bottles and name." 

In 1845, t>y the aid of "the Freemasons of the Church," 
and Mr. W. P. Griffith, architect, the north and south fronts 
were restored. The gateway is a good specimen of groining 
of the 15th century, with moulded ribs, and bosses orna- 
mented with shields of the arms of the Priory, Prior Docwra, 
etc. The east basement is the tavern bar, with a beautifully 
moulded ceiling. The stairs are Elizabethan. The prin- 
cipal room over the arch has been despoiled of its window- 
mullions and groined roof. The foundation-wall of the 
Gate face is 10 feet 7 inches thick, and the upper walls are 
nearly. 4 feet, hard red brick. Stone-cased: the view from the 
top of the staircase-turret is extensive. In excavating there 
have been discovered the original pavement, three feet 
below, the Gate ; and the Priory walls, north, south, and 
west. In 185 1, there was published, by B. Foster, pro- 
prietor of the Tavern, " Ye History of ye Priory and Gate 
of St John." In the principal room of the Gate, over the 
great arch, met the Urban Club, a society, chiefly of authors 
and artists, with whom originated the proposition to cele- 
brate the tercentenary of the birth of Shakspeare, in 1864. 

White Hart Tavern, Bishopsgate Without. 

About forty years since there stood at a short distance 
north of St. Botolph's Church, a large old hostelrie, accordmg 
to the date it bore (1480,) towards the close of the reign of 
Edward IV. Stow, in 1598, describes it as "a fair inn for 
receipt of travellers, next unto the Parish Church of St 
Botolph without Bishopsgate." It preserved much of its 
original appearance, the main front consisting of three bays 



398 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

of two Storeys, whicli, with the interspaces, had throughout 
casements ; and above which was an overhanging storey or 
attic, and the roof rising in three points. Still, this was not 
the original front, which was altered in 1787 : upon the old 
inn yard was built White Hart Court. In 1829; the tavern 
was taken down, and rebuilt, in handsome ' modem style; 
when the entrance into Old Bedlam, and formerly called 
Bedlam Gate, was widened, and the street re-named Liver- 
pool-street.' A iithographof the old tavern was pubhshed 
in 1829. 

Somewhat lower down is the residence of Sir Paul Pindar, 
now wine-vaults, with the sign of' Paul Pindar's Head, 
corner of Half-moon-alley, No. 160, Bishopsgate-street With- 
out. Sir Paul was a wealthy merchant, contemporary with 
Sir Thomas Gresham. The house was built towards the 
end of the i6th century, with' a wood-framed front and 
caryatid brackets ; and the principal windows bayed, their 
lower fronts enriched with panels of carved work. In the 
first-floor front room is a fine original ceiling in stucco, in 
which are the arms of Sir Paul Pindar. In the rear of these 
premises, within a garden, was formerly a lodge, of cor- 
responding date, decorated with four medallions, containing 
figures in Italian taste. In Half-moon-alley was the Half- 
moon Brewhbiise, of which there is a token in the Beaufoy: 
Collection. 

The Mitre, in Fenchurch-street, 

Was one of the political taverns of the Civil War, and was 
kept by Daniel Rawlinson, who appears to have been a 
staunch royalist: his token is preserved in the Beaufoy Col- 
lection. Dr. Richard Rawlinson, whose Jacobite principles 
are sufficiently on record, in a letter to Hearne; the honjuring 
antiquary at Oxford, says of " Daniel Rawlinson, who.kept 
th6 Mitre Tavern in Fenchurch-street, and-of whose being 
suspected in the Rump time, I have heard mtich. The 



THE MITRE, IN FENCHURCH STREET. 399 

Whigs tell this, that upon the King's murder, January 3oth> 
1649, he hung his sign in mourning: he certainly j udged 
right ; the honour of the mitre was much eclipsed by the 
loss of so good a parent to the Church of Eagland ; these 
rogues [the Whigs] say, this endeared him so much to the 
Churchmen, that he strove amain, and got a good estate." 

Pepys, who expressed great personal . fear of 1 the Plague, 
in his Diary, August 6, 1666, notices that notwithstanding 
Dan RowlaHdson!s being, all last year in the country, the 
sickness in a great measure past, one of his men was then 
dead at the Mitre of the pestilence ; his. wife and one of his 
maids both sick, and himself shut up, which, says Pepys, 
" troubles me. mightily. Godpreserve us !" 

Rawlinson's tavern, the Mitre, appears to have been 
destroyed in the Great Fire, and immediately after rebuilt ; 
as Horace Walpole,. from Vertue's notes, states that " Isaac 
Fuller was much employed to paint the great taverns in 
London ; particularly the Mitre, in Fenchurch-street, where 
he adorned all the sides of a great room, in panels, as was 
then the fashion ;" " the figures being as large as life; over 
the chimney, a Venus, Satyr, and sleeping Cupid ; a boy 
riding a goat, and a,nother fallen down :" this was, he adds, 
" the best part of the performance. Saturn devouring a 
child, the colouring raw aijd^the figure, of Saturn too mus- 
cular ; Mercury, Minerva, ■ Diana, and Apollo ; BacchuSr 
Venus, and Ceres, embracing; a young Selinus fallen down, 
and hpl4ing: a goblet into which a boy was pouring wine. 
The Seasons between the windows, and on the ceiling, in a 
large circle, two angels supporting a mitre." ; 

Yet, Fuller was a wretched painter, as borne out by 
Elsum's," Epigram on a Drunken Sot :" — 

J His head does on his shoulder lean, ' ' 

His eyes are sunk, and hardly seen : . , 

Who sees this sot in his own colour, 
Is apt to say, 'twas done by Fuller. :.,,,,,• 

Burn's Beaufoy CafalogM, ' 



4CO 



The King's Head, Fenchurch-street. 

No. 53 is a place of historic interest ; for, the Princess 
Elizabeth, having attended service at the church of All- 
hallows Staining, in Langboum Ward, on her release from 
the Tower, on the 19th of May, 1554, dined off pork and 
peas afterwards, at the King's Head in Fenchurch Street, 
where the metal dish and cover she is said to have used are 
still preserved. The Tavern has been of late years enlarged 
and embellished, in taste accordant with its historical associa- 
tion ; the ancient character of the building being preserved 
in the smoking-room, 60 feet in length, upon the walls of 
which are displayed corslets, shields, helmets, and knightly 
arms. 

The Elephant, Fenchurch Street. 

In the year 1826 was taken down the old Elephant 
Tavern, which was built before the Great Fire, and narrowly 
escaped its ravages. It stood on the north side of Fen- 
church-street, and was originally the Elephant and Castle. 
Previous to the demolition of the premises there were 
removed from the wall two pictures, which Hogarth is said 
to have painted while a lodger there. About this time a 
parochial entertainment which had hitherto been given at 
the Elephant, was removed to the King's Head (Henry 
VIII.) Tavern nearly opposite. At this Hogarth was 
annoyed, and he went over to the King's Head, when an 
altercation ensued, and he left, threatening to stick them all 
up on the Elephant tap-room ; this he is said to have done, 
and on the opposite wall subsequently painted the Hudson's 
Bay Company's Porters going to dinner, representing Fen- 
church-street a century and a half ago. The first picture 
was set down as Hogarth's first idea of his Modem Midnight 
Conversation, in which he is supposed to have represented 
the parochial party at the King's Head, though it differs 




Old Queen's Head, Lower Road, Islington. 
{Pulled dotun 1820.) 




George and Blue Boar, Holborn. ( The Courtyard. 



THE AFRICAN, ST. MICHAEL'S ALLEY. 401 

from Hogarth's print. There was a third picture, Harlequin 
and Pierrot, and on the wall of the Elephant first-floor was 
found a picture of Harlow Bush Fair, coated over with 
paint. 

Only two of the pictures were claimed as Hogarth's. The 
Elephant has been engraved ; and at the foot of the print, 
the information as to Hogarth having executed these paint- 
ings is rested upon the evidence of Mrs. Hibbert, who kept 
the house between thirty and forty years, and received her 
information from persons at that time well acquainted with 
Hogarth. Still, his biographers do not record his abode in 
Fenchurch-street. The Tavern has been rebuilt. 

The African, St. Michael's Alley. 

Another of the Cornhill taverns, the African, or Cole's 
GofTee-house, is memorable as the last place at which 
Professor Person appeared. He had, in some measure, 
recovered from the effects of the fit in which he had fallen 
on the 19th of September, 1808, when he was brought in a 
hackney-coach to the London Institution in the Old Jewry. 
Next morning he had a long discussion with Dr. Adam 
Clarke, who took leave of him at its close ; and this was the 
last conversation Porson was ever capable of holding on 
any subject 

Porson is thought to have fancied himself under restraint, 
and to convince himself of the contrary, next morning, the 
20th, he walked out, and soon after went to the African, in 
St. Michael's Alley, which was one of his City resorts. On 
entering the coffee-room, he was so exhausted that he must 
have fallen had he not cailght hold of the curtain-rod of one 
of the boxes, when he was recognised by Mr. J. P. Leigh, a 
gentleman with whom he had frequently dined at the house. 
A chair was given him ; he sat down, and stared around 
with a vacant and ghastly countenance, and he evidently 
did not recollect Mr. Leigh. He took a little wine, which 

D D 



402 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

revived him, but jpreviously to this his head lay upon his 
breast, and he was continually rnuttering something, but in 
so low and indistinct a tone as scarcely to be audible. He 
then took a little jelly dissolved in warm brandy-and-water, 
which considerably roused him. Still he could make no 
answer to questions addressed to him, except these words, 
which he repeated, probably, twenty times : — " The gentle- 
man said it was a lucrative piece of business, and / think 
so too," — but in a very low tone. A coach was now 
brought to take him to the London Institution, and he was 
helped in, and accompanied by the waiter ; he appeared 
quite senseless all the way, and did not utter a word ; and 
in reply to the question where they should stop, he put his 
head out of the window, and waved his hand when they 
came opposite the door of the Institution. Upon this Dr. 
Clarke touchingly observes : " How quick the transition 
from the highest degree of intellect to the lowest apprehen- 
sions of sense ! On what a precarious tenure does frail 
humanity hold even its choicest and most necessary gifts." 

Porson. expired on the night of Sunday, September 20th, 
with a deep groan, exactly as the clock struck twelve, in the 
forty-ninth year of his age. 

The Grave Maurice Tavern. 

There are two taverns with this name, — in St. Leonard's- 
road and Whitechapel-road. The history of the sign is 
curious. Many years ago the latter house had a written 
sign, " The Grave Morris," but this has been amended. 

But the original was the famous Prince of Orange, Grave 
Maurice, of whom we read in Howel's " Familiar Letters." 
In Junius's " Etymologicon," Grave is, explained to be 
Comes, or Count, as Palsgrave is Palatine Count; of which 
we have an instance in Palsgrave Count, or Elector Pala- 
tine, who married Princess Elizabeth, daughter of James I. 
Their issue were the Palsgrave Charles Louis, the Grave 



MATHEMATICAL SOCIETY, SPITALFIELDS. 403 

Count or Prince Palatine Rupert^ and the Grave Count or 
Prince Maurice, who alike distinguished themselves in the 
Civil Wars. 

The two princes, Rupert and Maurice, for their loyalty 
and courage, were, after the Restoration, very popular; 
which induced the author of the " Tavern Anecdotes " to 
conjecture: "As we have an idea that the Mount at 
Whitechapel was raised to overawe the City, Maurice, before 
he proceeded to the west, might have the command of the 
work on the east side of the metropolis, and a temporary 
residence on the spot where his sign was so lately exhibited." 
At the close, of the troubles of the reign, the two princes 
retired. In 1652, they were endeavouring to annoy the 
enemies of Charles II. in the West Indies, when the Grave 
Maurice lost his life in a hurricane. 

The sign of the Grave Maurice remained against the house 
in the Whitechapel-road till the year 1806, when it was 
taken down to be repainted. It represented a soldier in a 
hat and feather, and blue uniform. The tradition of the 
neighbourhood is, that it is the portrait of a prince of Hesse, 
who was a great warrior, but of so inflexible a countenance, 
that he was never seen to smile in his life ; and that he was, 
therefore, most properly termed grave. 

Mathematical Society, Spitalfields. 

It is curious to find that a century and a half since, science 
found a home in Spitalfields, chiefly among the middle and 
working classes ; they met at small taverns in that locality. 
It appears that a Mathematical Society, which also cultivated 
electricity, was established in 1717, and met at the Mon- 
mouth's Head in Monmouth-street, until 1725, when they 
removed to the White Horse Tavern, in Wheeler-street; 
from thence, in 1735, to Ben Jonson's Head in Pelham- 
street ; and next to Crispin-street, Spitalfields. The mem- 
bers were chiefly tradesmen and artisans ; among those of 

D D 2 



404 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

"higher rank were Canton', Dollond, Thomas Simpson, and 
Crossley. The Society lent their instruments (air-pumps, 
reflecting telescopes, reflecting microscopes, electrical ma- 
chines, surveying instruments, etc.) with books for the use of 
them, on the borrowers giving a note of hand for the value 
thereof. The number of members was not to exceed the 
square of seven, except such as were abroad or in the 
country ; but this was increased to the squares of eight and 
nine. The members met on Saturday evenings : each 
present was to employ himself in some mathematical 
exercise, or forfeit one penny ; and if he refused to answer 
a question asked by another in mathematics, he was to 
forfeit twopence. The Society long cherished a taste for 
exact science among the residents in the neighbourhood of 
Spitalfields, and accumulated a library of nearly 3000 
volumes ; but in 1845, when on the point of dissolution, the 
few remaining members made over their books, records, and 
memorials to the Royal Astronomical Society, of which these 
members were elected Fellows.* This amalgamation was 
chiefly negotiated by Captain, afterwards Admiral Smyth. 

Globe Tavern, Fleet-street. 

In the last century, when public amusements were com- 
paratively few, and citizens dwelt in town, the Globe in 
Fleet-street was noted for its little clubs and card-parties. 
Here was held, for a time, the Robin Hood Club, a 
Wednesday Club, and later, Oliver Goldsmith and his friends 
often finished their Shoemaker's Holiday by supping at the 
Globe. Among the company was a surgeon, who, living on 
the Surrey side of the Thames (Blackfriars Bridge was not 
then built), had to take a boat every night, at ^s. or 4J. 
expense, and the risk of his life ; yet, when the bridge was 
built, he grumbled at having a penny to pay for crossing it. 
Other frequenters of the Globe were Archibald Hamilton, 



' Curiosities of London," p. 678. 



THE DEVIL TAVERN. 405 

'^ with a mind fit for a lord chancellor ;" Carnan, the book- 
seller, who defeated the Stationers' Company upon the 
almanac trial ; Dunstall, the comedian ; the veteran Macklin ; 
Akerman, the keeper of Newgate, who always thought it 
most prudent not to venture home till daylight ; and William 
Woodfall, the reporter of the parliamentary debates. Then 
there was one Glover, a surgeon, who restored to life a man 
who had been hung in Dublin, and who ever after was a 
plague to his deliverer. Brasbridge, the silversmith of Fleet- 
street, was a frequenter of the Globe. In his eightieth year 
he wrote his " Fruits of Experience," full of pleasant gossip 
about the minor gaieties of St. Bride's. He was more fond 
of following the hounds than his business, and failure was 
the ill consequence : he tells of a sporting party of four — 
that he and his partner became bankrupt ; the third, Mr. 
Smith, became Lord Mayor j and the fourth fell into poverty, 
and was glad to accept the situation of patrol before the 
house of his Lordship, whose associate he had been only a 
few years before. Smith had 100,000/. of bad debts on his 
books, yet died worth one-fourth of that sum. We remember 
the Globe, a handsomely-appointed tavern, some forty-five 
years since ; but it has long ceased to be a tavern. 

The Devil Tavern. 

This celebrated Tavern is described in the present work, 
pp. 9-13, as the meeting place of the Apollo Club. Its 
later history is interesting. 

Mull Sack, alias John Cottington, the noted highwayman, 
of the time of the Commonwealth, is stated to have been a 
constant visitor at the Devil Tavern. In the garb and 
character of a man of fashion, he appears to have levied 
contributions on the public as a pickpocket and highway- 
man, to a greater extent than perhaps any other individual 
of his fraternity on record. He not only had the honour of 
picking the pocket of Oliver Cromwell, when Lord Protector, 



406 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

but he afterwards robbed King Charles II., then hving in 
exile at Cologne, of plate valued at 1500/. Another of his 
feats was his robbing the wife of the Lord General Fairfax. 
" This lady," we are told, " used to go to a lecture on a 
weekday, to Ludgate Church, where one Mr. Jacomb 
preached, being much followed by the precisians. Mull 
Sack, obsei-ving this, — and that she constantly wore her watch 
hanging by a chain from her waist, ^-against the next time 
she came there, dressed himself like an officer in the army ; 
and having his comrades attending him like troopers, one 
of them takes out the pin of a coachwheel that was going 
upwards through the gate, by which means, it falling off, the 
passage was obstructed ; so that the lady could not alight at ' 
the church-door, but was forced to leave her coach without. 
Mull Sack, taking advantage of this, readily presented him- 
self to her ladyship ; and having the impudence to take her 
from her gentlemen usher, who attended her alighting, led 
her by the arm into the church j and by the way, with a pair 
of keen or sharp scissors for the purpose, cut the chain in 
two, and got the watch clear away : she not missing it till 
sermon was done, when she was going to see the time of the 
day." At the Devil Tavern Mull Sack could mix with the 
best society, whom he probably occasionally relieved of their 
"watches and purses. There is extant a very rare print of 
him, in which he is represented partly in the garb of-a 
chimney-sweep, his original avocation, and partly in the 
fashionable costume of the period.* 

In the Apollo chamber, at the Devil Tavern', were re- 
hearsed, with music, the Court-day Odes of the Poets 
Laureate : hence Pope, in the " Dunciad :" 

Back to the Devil the loud echoes roll, 

And " Coll !" each butcher roars at Hockley Hole. 

The following epigram on the Odes rehearsals is by a wit 
of those times : 

* Jesse's " London and its Celebrities." 



THE DEVIL TAVERN. 407 

When Laureates make Odes, do you ask of what sort ? 

Do you ask if they're good,, or are evil ? 
You may judge — ^from the Devil they come to the Court, 

And go from the Court to the Devil. 

St. Dunstan's, or the Devil Tavern, is mentioned as a 
house of old repute, in the interlude, Jacke Jugeler, 1563, 
where Jack, having persuaded his cousin jenkin. 

As foolish a knave v^ithall, 
As any is now, within London wall, 

that he was not himself, thrusts him from his master's door, 
and in answer to Jenkin's sorrowful question-^where his 
master and he were to dwell, replies, 

At the Devyll yf you lust, I can not tell ! 

Ben Johnson being one night at the Devil Tavern, a 
country gentleman in the company was obtrusively loquacious 
touching his land and tenements : Ben, out of patience, 
exclaimed, " What signifies to us your dirt and your clods ? 
Where you have an acre of land I have ten acres of wit !" 
" Have you so,'' retorted the countryman, " good Mr. 
Wise-acre ?" " Why, how now, Ben ?" said one of the party, 
" you seem to be quite stung !" " I was never so pricked 
by a hobnail before," grumbled Ben. 

There is a ludicrous reference to this old place in a song 
descnbing the visit of James I. to St. Paul's Cathedral on 
Sunday, 26th of March, 1620 : 

The Maior layd downe his mace, and cry'd, 

" God save your Grace, 
And keepe our King from all evill !" 
With all my hart I then viast, the good mace 

had been in my fist. 
To ha' pawn'd it for supper at the Devill I 

We have already given the famous Apollo " Welcome," 
but not immortal Ben's Rules, which have been thus happily 
translated by Alexander Brome, one of the wits who fre- 



4o8 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

quented the Devil, and who left "Poems and Songs," 1661: 
he was an attorney in the Lord Mayor's Court : 

Bin yo!' son's Sociable Rules for the Apollo. 

Let none but guests, or clubbers, hither come. 
Let dunces, fools, sad sordid men keep home. 
Let learned, civil, merry men, b' invited, 
And modest too ; nor be choice ladies slighted. 
Let nothing in the treat offend the guests ; 
More for delight than cost prepare the feast. 
The cook and purvey'r must our palates know ; 
And none contend who shall sit liigh or low. 
Our waiters must quick-sighted be, and dumb. 
And let the drawers quickly hear and come. 
Let not our wine be mix'd, but brisk and neat, 
Or else the drinkers may the vintners beat. 
And let our only emulation be, 
JNot drinking much, but talking wittily. 
Let it be voted lawful to stir up 
Each other with a moderate chirping cup ; 
Let not our company be or talk too much ; 
On serious things, or sacred, let's not touch 
With sated heads and bellies. Neither may 
JFiddlers unask'd obtrude themselves to play. 
With laughing, leaping, dancing, jests, and songs, 
And whate'er else to grateful mirth belongs, 
Let's celebrate our feasts ; and let us see 
That all our jests without reflection be. 
Insipid poems let no man rehearse, 
Nor any be compelled to write a verse. 
All noise of vain disputes must be forborne, 
And let no lover in a comer mourn. 
To fight and brawl, like hectors, let none dare, 
Glasses or windows break, or hangings tear, 
Whoe'er shall publish what's here done or said 
From our society must be banishM ; 
Let none by drinking do or suffer harm, 
And, while we stay, let us be always warm. 

We must now say something of the noted hosts. Simon 
Wadlow appears for the last time, as a licensed rintner, iii. 
the Wardmote return, of December, 1626 ; and the buria 



THE DEVIL TAVERN. 409 

register of St. Dunstan's records,: "March 3otli, 1627, 
Symon Wadlowe, vintner, was buried out of Fleet-street." 
On St. Thomas's Day, in the last-named year, the name of 
"the widow Wadlowe'' appears ; and in the following year, 
1628, of the eight licensed victuallers, five were widows. 
The widow Wadlowe's name is returned for the last time by 
the Wardmote on December 21st, 1629. 

The name of John Wadlow, apparently the son of old 
Simon, appears first as a licensed victualler, in the Ward- 
mote return, December 21, 1646. He issued his token, 
showing on its obverse St. Dunstan holding the devil by his 
nose, his lower half being that of a satyr, the devil on the 
signboard was as usual, sable ; the origin of the practice 
being thus satisfactorily explained by Dr. Jortin : " The 
devils used often to appear to the monks in the figure of 
Ethiopian boys or men ; thence probably the painters learned 
to make the devil black," Hogarth, in his print of the 
Burning of the Rumps, represents the hanging of the effigy 
against the signboard of the Devil Tavern. 

In a ludicrous and boasting ballad of 1650, we read : 

Not the Vintry Cranes, nor St. Clement's Danes,, 
Nor the Devil can put us down-a. 

John Wadlow's name occurs for the. last time in the Ward- 
mote return of December, 1660. After the Great Fire, he 
rebuilt the Sun Tavern, behind the Royal Exchange : he 
was a loyal man, and appears to have been sufficiently 
wealthy to have advanced money to the Crown ; his auto- 
graph was attached to several receipts among the Exchequer 
documents lately destroyed. 

Hollar's Map of London, 1667, shows the site of the 
Devil Tavern, and its proximity to the barrier designated 
Temple Bar, when the house had become the resort of 
lawyers and physicians. In the rare volume of " Cambridge 
Merry Jests," printed in the reign of Charles II., the will of 
a tavern-hunter has the bequeathment of " ten pounds to be 



410 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

drank by lawyers and physicians at the Devil's Tavern, by 
Temple Bar." 

The Tatter, October ii, 1709, contains Bickerstaff's ac- 
count of the wedding entertainment at the Devil Tavern, in 
honour of his sister Jenny's marriage. He hientions " the 
Rules of Ben's Club in gold letters over the chimney ;" and 
this is the latest notice of this celebrated ode. When, or by 
whom, the board was taken from " over the chimney,'' Mr. 
Burn has failed to discover. 

Swift tells Stella that Oct. 12, 17 10, he dined at the Devil 
Tavern with Mr. Addison and Dr. Garth, when the doctor 
treated. 

In 1 746, the Royal Society held here their Annual Dinner; 
and in 1752, concerts of vocal and instrumental music were 
given in the great room. 

A view of the exterior of the Devil Tavern, with its gable- 
pointed front, engraved from a drawing by Wale, was pub- 
lished in Dodsley's "London and its Environs," 1761. 
The sign-iron bears its pendent sign — the Saint painted as 
a half-length, and the devil behind him grinning grimly over 
his shoulder. On the removal of projecting signs, by 
authority, in 1764, the Devil Tavern sign was placed flat 
against the front, and there remained till the demolition of 
the house. 

Brush Collins, in March, 1775, deliverfed for several 
evenings, in the great room, a satirical lecture on Modem 
Oratory. In the following year, a Pandemonium Club was 
held here ; and, according to a notice in Mr. Burn's posses- 
sion, " the first meeting was to be on Monday, the 4th of 
November, 1776. These devils were lawyers, who were 
about commencing term, to the annoyance of many a 
nitherto happy bon-vivant." 

From bad to worse, the Devil Tavern fell into disuse, and 
Messrs. Child, the bankers, purchased the freehold in 1787, 
for 2800/. It was soon after demolished, and the site is 
now occupied by the houses called Child's-place. 



THE YOUNC DEVIL TAVEI^N. 411 

We have selected and condensed these details from 
Mr. Burn's exhaustive article on the Devil Tavern, in the 
Beaufoy Catalogue. 

There is a token of this tavern, which is very rare. The 
initials stand for Simon Wadlpe, embalmed in Squire 
Western's favourite air " Old Sir Simon the Ring :": — "at 
THE D. AND DVNSTANS. The representation of the saint 
standing at liis anvil, and pulling the nose of the ' d.' with 
his pincers. — R. within temple barre. In the field, 
I. s. w." 

The Young Devil Tavern. 

The notoriety of the Devil Tavern, as common in such 
cases, created an opponent on the opposite side of Fleet- 
street, named " The Young Devil." The Society of Anti- 
quaries, who had previously met at the Bear Tavern, in the 
Strand, changed their rendezvous Jan. 9, 1707-8, to the 
Young Devil Tavern ; but the host failed, and as Browne 
Willis tells us, the Antiquaries, in or about 1709, "met at 
the Fountain Tavern, as we went down into the Inner 
Temple, against Chancery Lane.'' 

Later, a music-room, called the Apollo, was- attempted, 
but with no success : an advertisement for a concert, De- 
cember 19, 1737, intimated "tickets to be had at Will's 
Coffee-house, formerly the Apollo, in Bell Yard, near Temple 
Bar." This may explain the Apollo Court, in Fleet-street, 
unless it is found in the Cock Tavern below. 

Cock Tavern, Fleet-street. 

The Apollo Club, at the Devil Tavern, is kept in remem- 
brxnce by Apollo Court, in Fleet-street, nearly opposite ; 
next door eastward of which is an old tavern nearly as well 
known. It is, perhaps, the most primitive place of its kind 
in the metropolis : it still possesses a fragment of decoration 
of the time of James I., and the writer remembers the 



412 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

tavern half a century ago, with considerably more of its 
original panelling. It is more than two centuries since (1665), 
when the Plague was raging, the landlord shut up his house 
and retired into the country ; and there is preserved one of 
the farthings referred to in this advertir.ement : — "This is to 
certify that the master of the Cock and Bottle, commonly 
called the Cock Alehouse, at Temple Bar, hath dismissed 
his servants, and shut up his house, for this long vacation, 
intending (God willing) to return at Michaelmas next ; so 
that all persons whatsoever who may have any accounts with 
the said master, or farthings belonging to the said house, are 
desired to repair thither before the 8th of this instant, and 
they shall receive satisfaction." Three years later, we find 
Pepys frequenting this tavern : " 23rd April, 1668. Thence 
by water to the Temple, and there to the Cock Alehouse, 
and drank, and eat a lobster, and sang, and mightily merry. 
So almost night, I carried Mrs. Pierce home, and then 
Knipp and I to the Temple again, and took boat, it being 
now night." The tavern has a gilt signbird over the passage 
door, stated to have been carved by Gibbons. Over the 
mantelpiece is some carving, at least of the time of James I. ; 
but we remember the entire room similarly carved, and a 
huge black-and-gilt clock, and settle. The head-waiter of 
our time lives in the verse of Laureate Tennyson— " O plump 
toead-waiter of the Cock !" apostrophizes the " Will Water- 
proof" of the bard, in a reverie wherein he conceives 
William to have undergone a transition similar to that of 
Jove's cup-bearer ; — 

And hence (says he) this halo lives about 

The waiter's hands, that reach j j j 

To each his perfect pint of stout, 

His proper chop to each. 
He looks not with the common breed, 

That with the napkin dally ; 
I think he came, like Gannymede, 

From some delightful valley. 



THE HERCULES' PILLARS TA VERNS. 413 

And of the redoubtable bird, who is supposed to have per- 
formed tlie eagle's part in this abduction, he says : — 

The Cock was of a larger egg 

Than modern poultry drop, 
Stept forward on a firmer leg, 

And cramm'd a plumper crop. 

The Hercules' Pillars Taverns. 

Hercules Pillars Alley, on the south side of Fleet-street, 
near St. Dunstan's Church, is described by Stiype as " alto- 
gether inhabited by such as keep Publick Houses for enter- 
taiment, for which it is of note." 

The token of the Hercules Pillars is thus described by 
Mr. Akerman : — " ed. oldham at y hercvles. A crowned 
male figure standing erect, and grasping a pillar with each 
hand. — R. fillers in fleet street. In the field, his half 
PENNY, e. p. o." "From this example," illustratively observes 
Mr. Akerman, " it would seem that the locahty, called 
Hercules Pillars Alley, like other places in London, took its 
name from the tavern. The mode of representing the 
pillars of Hercules is somewhat novel; and, but for the 
inscription, we should have supposed the figure to represent 
Samson clutching the pillars of the temple of Dagon. At the 
trial of Stephen Colledge, for high-treason, in 1681, an Irish- 
man named Haynes, swore that he walked to the Hercules 
Pillars with the accused, and that in a room upstairs Col- 
ledge spoke of his treasonable designs and feeling. On 
another occasion the parties walked from Richard's coffee- 
house* to this tavern, where it was sworn they had a similar 
conference. Colledge, in his defence, denies the truth of 
the allegation, and declares that the walk from the coffee- 
house to the tavern is not more than a bow-shot, and that 
during such walk the witness had all the conversation to 



Subsequently "Dick's." 



414 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

himself, though he had sworn that treasonable expressions 
had been niade use of on their way thither. 

"Pepys frequented this tavern : in one part of his 'Diary' 
he says, 'With Mr. Creed to Hercules Pillars, where we 
drank.' In another, ' In Fleet-street I met with Mr. Salis- 
bury, who is now grown in less than two years' time so great 
a limner that he has become excellent and gets a great deal 
of money at it. I took him to Hercules Pillars to drink.' " 

Again : " After the play was done, we met with Mr. 
Bateller and W. Hewer, and Talbot Pepys, and they fol- 
lowed us in a hackney-coach ; and we all supped at Her- 
cules Pillars ; and there I did give the best supper I could, 
and pretty merry j and so home between eleven and twelve 
at night." " At noon, my wife came to me at my tailor's, 
and I sent her home, and myself and Tom dined at Her- 
cules Pillars." 

Another noted •" Hercules Pillars " was at Hyde Park 
Corner, near Hamilton-place, on the site of what is now the 
pavement opposite Lord Willoughby's. " Here," says Cun- 
ningham, "Squire Western put his horses up when in pur- 
suit of Tom Jones ; and here Field Marshal the Marquis of 
Gransby was often found." And Wycherley, in his " Plain 
Dealer," 1676, makes the spendthrift Jerry Blackacre, talk 
of picking up his mortgaged silver " out of most of the ale- 
houses between Hercules Pillars and the Boatswain, in 
Wapping." 

Hyde Park Comer was noted for its petty taverns, some 
of which remained as late as 1805. It was to one of these 
taverns that Steele took Savage to dine, and where Sir 
Richard dictated and Savage wrote a pamphlet, which he 
went oi;t and sold for two guineas, with which the reckoning 
was paid. Steele then " returned home, having retired that 
day only to avoid his creditors, and composed a pamphlet 
only to discharge his reckoning." 



4IS 



Hole-in-the-Wall Taverns. 

This odd sign exists in Chancery-lane, at a house on the 
east side, immediately opposite the old gate of Lincoln's- 
Inn ; " and," says Mr. Bum, " being supported by the de- 
pendants on legal functionaries, appears to have undergone 
fewer changes than the law, retaining all the vigour of a new 
establishment." There is another " Hole-in-the-wall " in St. 
Dunstan's-court, Fleet-street, much frequented by printers. 

Mr. Akerman says : — " It was a popular sign, and several 
taverns bore the same designation, which probably originated 
in a certain tavern being situated in some umbrageous re- 
cess in the old City walls. Many of the most popular and 
most frequented taverns of the present day are located in 
twilight courts and alleys, into which Phoebus peeps at Mid- 
summer-tide only when on the meridian. Such localities may 
have been selected on more than one account : they not only 
afforded good skulking ' holes ' for those who loved drinking 
better than work] but beer and other liquors keep better 
in the shade. These haunts, like Lady Mary's farm, were — 

In summer shady, and in winter warm. 

Rawlins, the engraver of the fine and much coveted Ox- 
ford Crown, with a view of the city under the horse, dates a 
quaint supplicatory letter to John Evelyn, ' from the Hole-in- 
liie-Wall, in St. Martin's ; ' no misnomer, we will be sworn, in 
that aggregation of debt and dissipation, when debtors were 
imprisoned with a very remote chance of redemption. In the 
days of Rye-house and Meal-tub plots, philanthropy over- 
looked such little matters ; and Small Debts Bills were not 
dreamt of in the philosophy of speculative legislators. 
Among other places which bore the designation of the Hole- 
in-the-Wall, there was one in Chandos-street, in which the 
famous Duval, the highwayman, was apprehended after an 
attack on — tv/o bottles of wine, probably drugged by a 
' friend ' or mistress." 



4i6 



The Mitre, in Fleet-street. 

This was the true Johnsonian Mitre, so often referred to 
in " Boswell's Life ;" but it has earlier fame. Here, in 1640, 
Lilly met Old Will Poole, the astrologer, then living in Ram- 
alley. The Royal Society Club dined at the Mitre from 
1743 to 1750, the Society then meeting in Crane-court, 
nearly opposite. The Society of Antiquaries met some time 
at the Mitre. Dr. Macmichael, in "The Gold-headed 
Cane," makes Dr. Radcliffe say : — " I never recollect to 
have spent a more delightful evening than that at the Mitre 
Tavern in Fleet-street, where my good friend Billy Nutly, 
who was indeed the better half of me, had been prevailed 
upon to accept of a small temporary assistance, and joined 
our party, the Earl of Denbigh, Lords Colepeper and 
Stowel, and Mr. Blackmore." 

The house has a token : — william paget at the. A 
mitre. — R. mttre in fleet street. In the field, w. e. p. 

Johnson's Mitre is commonly thought to be the tavern 
with that sign, which still exists in Mitre-court, over against 
Fetter-lane ; where is shown a cast of Nollekens' bust of 
Johnson, in confirmation of this house being his resort. 
Such was not the case ; Boswell distinctly states it to have 
been the Mitre Tavern in Fleet- street ; and the records by 
Lilly and the Royal Society alike specify " in Fleet-street," 
which Mr. Burn, in his excellent account of the Beaufoy 
Tokens, explains was the house. No. 39, Fleet-street, that 
Macklin opened, in 1788, as the Poet's Gallery; and lastly 
Saunders's auction-rooms. It was taken down to enlarge the 
site for Messrs. Hoare's new banking-house. The now 
Mitre Tavern, in Mitre-court, was originally called Joe's 
Coffee-house ; and on the shutting up of the old Mitre, in 
Fleet-street, took its name ; this being four years after John- 
son's death. 

The Mitre was Dr. Johnson's favourite supper-house, the 



SHIP TAVERN, TEMPLE BAR. 417 

parties including Goldsmith, Percy, Hawkesworth, and 
Boswell; there was planned the tour to the Hebrides. 
Johnson had a strange neiTOus feeling, which made him 
uneasy if he had not touched every post between the Mitre 
and his own lodgings. Johnson took Goldsmith to the 
Mitre, where Boswell and the Doctor had supped together 
in the previous month, when Boswell spoke of Goldsmith's 
" very loose, odd, scrambling kind of life,'' and Johnson 
defended him as one of our first men as an author, and a 
very worthy man ; — adding, " he has been loose in his 
principles but he is coming right." Boswell was impatient 
of Goldsmith from the first hour of their acquaintance. 
Chamberlain Clarke, who died in 1831, aged 92, was the 
last surviving of Dr. Johnson's Mitre friends. Mr. William 
Scott, Lord Stowell, also frequented the Mitre. 

Boswell has this remarkable passage respecting the 
house : — " We had a good supper, and port-wine, of which 
he (Johnson) sometimes drank a bottle. The orthodox 
high-church sound of The Mitre — the figure and manner 
of the celebrated Samuel Johnson — the extraordinary 
power and precision of his conversation, and the pride 
arising from finding myself admitted as his companion, pro- 
duced a variety of sensations, and a pleasing elevation of 
mind, beyond what I had ever experienced." 

Ship Tavern, Temple Bar. 

This noted Tavern, the site of which is now denoted by 
Ship-yard, is mentioned among the grants to Sir Christopher 
Hatton, 1571. There is, in the Beaufoy Collection, a Ship 
token, dated 1649, which is evidence that the inner tavern 
of that sign was then extant. It was also called the Drake 
from the ship painted as the sign being that in which Sir 
Francis Drake voyaged round the world. Faithome, the 
celebrated engraver, kept shop next door to the Drake. 

E E 



4lS CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

" The Ship Tavern, in the Butcher-row, near Temple Bar," 
occurs in an advertisement so late as June, 1756. 

The taverns about Temple Bar were formerly numerous ; 
and the folly of disfiguring signboards was then, as at a 
later date, a street frolic. " Sir John Denham, the poet, 
when a student at Lincoln's-Inn, in 1635, though generally 
temperate as a drinker, having stayed late at a tavern with 
some fellow-students, induced them to join him in ' a frolic,' 
to obtain a pot of ink and a plasterer's brush, and blot out 
all the signs between Temple Bar and Charing Cross. 
Aubrey relates that R. Estcourt, Esq., carried the ink-pot : 
and that next day it caused great confusion ; but it happened 
Sir John and his comrades were discovered, and it cost 
them some moneys.'' 

The Palsgrave Head, Temple Bar. 

This once celebrated Tavern, opposite the Ship, occupied 
the site of Palsgrave-place, on the south side of the Strand, 
near Temple Bar. The Palsgrave Frederick, afterwards 
King of Bohemia, was affianced to the Princess Elizabeth 
(only daughter of James I.), in the old banqueting house at 
Whitehall, December 27, 16 12, when the sign was, doubtless, 
set up in compliment to him. There is a token of the 
house in the Beaufoy Collection. (See "Burn's Catalogue," 

P- ^25-) 

Here Prior and Montague, in " The Hind and Panther 

Transversed," make the Country Mouse and the City 

Mouse bilk the Hackney Coachman : 

But now at Piccadilly they arrive, 

And taking coach, t'wards Temple Bar they drive^ 

But at St. Clement's eat out the back, 

And slipping through the Palsgrave, bilkt poor hack. 



419 



Heycock's, Temple Bar. 

Near the Palsgrave's Head Tavern, was Heycock's Ordi- 
nary, much frequented by Pariiament men and gallants. 
Andrew Marvell usually dined here : one day, having eaten 
heartily of boiled beef, with some roasted pigeons and as- 
paragus, he drank his pint of port ; and on the coming in of 
the reckoning, taking a piece of money out of his pocket, held 
it up, and addressing his associates, certain members of 
Parliament, known to be in the pay of the Crown, said 
" Gentlemen, who would lett himself out for hire, while the 
can have such a dinner for half-a-crown ?" 

The Crown and Anchor, Strand. 

This famous tavern extended from Arundel-street east- 
ward to Milford-lane, in the rear of the south side of the 
Strand, and occupied the site of an older house with the 
same sign. Strype, in 17^9, described it as "the Crown 
Tavern ; a large and curious house, with good rooms and 
other conveniences fit for entertainments." Here was 
instituted the Academy of Music in 1710J and here the 
Royal Society Club, who had previously met at the Mitre 
in Fleet-street, removed in 1780, and dined here for the 
first time on December 21, and here they continued until 
the tavern was converted into a club-house in 1847. 

The second tavern was built in 1790. Its first landlord 
was Thomas Simkin, a very corpulent man, who, in super- 
intending the serving of a large dinner, leaned over a 
balustrade, which broke, when he fell from a considerable 
height to the ground, and was killed. The sign appears to 
have been originally " The Crown," to which may have been 
added the Anchor, from its being the emblem of St. 
Clement's, opposite; or firom the Lord High Admiral 
having once resided on the site. The tavern contained a 
E E a 



420 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

ball-room, 84 feet by 35 feet 6 inches; in 1798, on the 
birthday of C. J. Fox, was given in this house, a banquet to 
2000 persons, when the Duke of Norfolk presided. The 
large room was noted for political meetings in the stormy 
Tory and Radical times ; and the Crown and Anchor was 
long the rallying-point of the Westminster electors. The 
room would hold 2500 persons : one of the latest popular 
orators who spoke here was Daniel O'Connell, M.P. There 
was originally an entrance to the house from the Strand, by 
a long passage, such as was the usual approach to our old 
metropolitan taverns. The premises were entirely destroyed 
by fire, in 1854, but have been rebuilt* 

Here Johnson and Boswell occasionally supped ; and here 
Johnson quarrelled with Percy about old Dr. Monsey. 
Thither was brought the altar-piece (St. Cecilia), painted by 
Kent for St. Clement's Church, whence it was removed, in 
1725, by order of Bishop Gibson, on the supposition that 
the picture contained portraits of the Pretender's wife and 
children. 

The Canary-House in the Strand. 

There is a rare Token of this house, with the date, 1665. 
The locality of the " Canary House in the Strande," says 
Mr. E. B. Price, " is now, perhaps, impossible to trace \ and 
it is, perhaps, as vain to attempt a description of the wine 
from which it took its name, and which was so celebrated in 
that and the -preceding century. Some have erroneously 
identified it with sack. We find it mentioned among the 
various drinks which Gascoyne so virtuously inveighs 
against in his " Delicate Diet for daintie mouthde Droon- 
kardes," published in 1576 : " We must have March beere, 
dooble-dooble Beere, Dagger ale, Bragget, Renish wine. 
White wine, French wine, Gascoyne wine. Sack, HoUocke, 
Canaria wine, Vino greco, Vinum amabile, and al the wines 



* See Whittington Club, p. 266. 



THE FOUNTAIN TAVERN. 421 

that may be gotten. Yea, wine of its selfe is not sufficient; 
but Sugar, Limons, and sundrj" sortes of Spices must be 
drowned therein." The bibbers of this famed wine were 
wont to be termed " Canary birds." Of its qualities we can 
perhaps form the best estimate from the colloquy between 
" mine hostess of the Boar's Head and Doll Tearsheet ;" in 
which the former charges the latter with having " drunk too 
much Canaries ; and that's a marvellous searching wine, and 
it perfumes the Hood ere one can say, What's this ?"* 

The Fountain Tavern, 

Strand, now the site of Nos. 10 1 and 102, Ries's Divan, 
gave the name to the Fountain Club, composed of political 
opponents of Sir Robert Walpole. Strype describes it as 
" a very fine Tavern, with excellent vaults, good rooms for 
entertainment, and a curious kitchen for dressing of meat, 
which, with the good wine there sold, make it well resorted 
to.'' Dennis, the Critic, describes his supping here with 
Loggan, the painter, and others, and that after supper they 
" drank Mr. Wycherley's health by name of Captain 
Wycherley.'' 

Here, Feb. 12, 1743, was held a great meeting, at which 
near 300 members of both Houses of Parliament were 
present, to consider the ministerial crisis, when the Duke of 
Argyll observed to Mr. Pulteney, that a grain of honesty 
was worth a cart-load of gold. The meeting was held too 
late to be of any avail, to which Sir Charles Hanbury 
Williams alludes in one of his odes to Pulteney, invoking his 
Muse thus : — 

Then enlarge on his cunning and wit ; 
Say, how he harang'd at the Fountain ; 

Say, how the old patriots were bit, 

And a mouse was produc'd by a Mountain. 

♦ We learn from Collier's " Roxburghe Ballads " {Zit. Gaz. No. 1566) 
that in the reign of James I. " sparkling sack " was sold at is. dd. per 
quart, and " Canary — pure French wine," at "jd. 



432 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Upon the Tavern site was a Drawing Academy, of 
which Cosway and Wheatley were pupils ; here also was 
the lecture-room of John Thelwall, the political elocu- 
tionist. At No. loi, Ackermann, the printseller, illuminated 
his gallery with cannel coal, when gas-lighting was a novelty. 

In Fountain-court, named from the Tavern, is the Coal- 
hole Tavern, upon the site of a coal-yard; it was much 
resorted to by Edmund Kean, and was one of the earliest 
night taverns for singing. 

Tavern Life of Sir Richard Steele. 

Among the four hundred letters of Steele's preserved in 
the British Museum, are some written from his tavern 
haunts, a few weeks after marriage, to his " Dearest being on 
earth ;" 

Eight o'clock, Fountain Tavern, Oct. 22, 1707' 
My dear, 

I beg of you not to be uneasy ; for I have done a great deal of 
business to-day very successfully, and vi'ait an hour or two about my 
Gazette. 

In the next he does " not come home to dinner, being 
obliged to attend to some business abroad." Then he 
writes from the Devil Tavern, Temple Bar, January 3, 
1707-8, as follows : — 

I have partly succeeded in my business, and enclose two guineas as 
earnest of more. DearPrue, I cannot come home to dinner; I languish 
for your welfare, and will never be a moment careless more. 

Your faithful husband, etc. 

Within a few days, he writes from a Pall Mall tavern : — 

Dear Wife, 

Mr. Edgecome, Ned Ask, and Mr. Lumley, have desired me to 
sit an hour with them at the George, in Pall Mall, for which I desire 
your patience till twelve o'clock, and that you will go to bed, etc. 

When money-matters were getting worse, Steele found it 
necessary to sleep away from home for a day or two, and 
he -(vrites : — 



CLARE MARKE T TA KERNS. 423 

Tennis-court Coffee-house, May 5, 1 708. 
Dear Wife, 

I hope I have done this day what will be pleasing to you ; in the 
meantime shall lie this night at a baker's, one Leg, over against the 
Devil Tavern, at Charing Cross. I shall be able to confront the fools 
who wish me uneasy, and shall have the satisfaction to see thee cheerful 
and at ease. 

If the printer's boy be at home, send him hither ; and let Mr. Todd 
send by the boy my night-gown, slippers, and clean linen. You shall 
hear from me early in the morning, etc. 

He is found excusing his coming home, being " invited 
to supper at Mr. Boyle's." " Dear Prue," he says on this 
occasion, " do not send after me, for I shall be ridiculous." 
There were Caudles in those days.* 

Clare Market Taverns. 

Clare Market lying between the two great theatres, its 
butchers were the arbiters of the galleries, the leaders of 
theatrical rows, the musicians at actresses' marriages, the 
chief mourners at players' funerals. In and around the 
market were the signs of the Sun ; the Bull and Butcher, 
afterwards Spiller's Head; the Grange j the Bull's Head, 
where met " the Shepherd and his Flock Club," and where 
Dr. Radcliffe was carousing when he received news of the 
loss of his 5000/. venture. Here met weekly a Club of 
Artists, of which society Hogarth was a member, and he 
engraved for them a silver tankard with a shepherd and his 
flock. Next is the Black Jack in Portsmouth-street, the 
haunt of Joe Miller, the comedian, and where he uttered his 
time-honoured "Jests :" the house remains, but the sign has 
disappeared. Miller died in 1738, and was buried in St 
Clement's upper ground, in Portugal-street, where his grave- 
stone was inscribed with the following epitaph, written by 
Stephen Duck: "Here lie the remains of honest Joe 
Miller, who was a tender husband, a sincere friend, a 



" Lives of Wits and Humourists," vol. i. p. 134. 



424 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

facetious companion, and an excellent comedian. He 
departed this life the 15th day of August, 1738, aged 54 

years. 

" If humour, wit, and honesty could save 
The humorous, witty, honest, from the grave. 
This grave had not so soon its tenant found, 
With honesty, and wit, and humour crown'd. 
£^ Or could esteem and love preserve our health. 

And guard us longer from the stroke of Death, 
The stroke of Death on him had later fell, 
Whom all mankind esteem'd and loved so well. " 

The stone was restored by the parish grave-digger at the 
close of the last century; and in 1816, anew stone was set 
up by Mr. Jarvis Buck, chiurchwarden, who added S. Duck 
to the epitaph. The burial-ground has been cleared away, 
and the site has been added to the grounds of King's College 
Hospital. 

At the Black Jack, also called the Jump (from Jack 
Sheppard having once jumped out of a first-floor window, to 
escape his pursuers, the thief-takers,) a Club known as " the 
Honourable Society of Jackers," met until 1816. The roll 
of the fraternity " numbers many of the popular actors since 
the time of Joe MUIer, and some of the wits j from John 
Kemble, Palmer, and Theodore Hook down to Kean, 
Liston, and the mercurial John Pritt Harley. Since the 
dissolution of this last reUc of the sociality of the Joe 
Miller age, ' wit-combats ' have been comparatively unknown 
at the Old Black Jack."* 

The Craven Head, Drury-lane. 

This modem Tavern was part of the offices of Craven 
House, and the adjoining stabling belonged to the mansion ; 
the extensive cellars still remain, though blocked up. 

Craven House was built for William Lord Craven, the 



'Jo. Miller;" a Biography, 18 



THE COCK TAVERN, IN BOW STREET. 425 

hero of Creutznach, upon part of the site of Drury House, 
and was a large square pile of brick, four storeys high, which 
occupied the site of the present Craven-buildings, built in 
1723. That portion of the mansion abutting on Magpie 
alley, now Newcastle-street, was called Bohemia House, and 
was early in the last century, converted into a tavern, with 
the sign of the head of its former mistress, the Queen of 
Bohemia. But a destructive fire happening in the neighbour- 
hood, the tavern was shut up, and the building suffered to 
decay; till, at length, in 1802, what remained of the dilapi- 
dated mansion was pulled down, and the materials sold ; and 
upon the ground, in 1803, Philip Astley erected his Olympic 
Pavilion, which was burnt down in 1849. 

The Craven Head was some time kept by William Ox- 
berry, the comedian, who first appeared on the stage in 
1807 ; he also edited a large collection of dramas. Another 
landlord of the Craven Head was Robert Hales, "the 
Norfolk Giant " (height 7ft. 6in.), who, after visiting the 
United States, where Bamum made a speculation of the 
giant, affd 28,000 persons flocked to see him in ten 
days, — in January, 1851, returned to England, and took the 
Craven Head Tavern. On April nth Hales had the honour 
of being presented to the Queen and Royal Family, when 
Her Majesty gave him a gold watch and chain, which he 
wore to the day of his death. His health had been much 
impaired by the close confinement of the caravans in which 
he exhibited. He died in 1863, of consumption. Hales 
was cheerful and well-informed. He had visited several 
Continental capitals, and had been presented to Louis 
Philippe, King of the French. 

The Cock Tavern, in Bow-street. 

This Tavern, of indecent notoriety, was situated about the 
middle of the east side of Bow-street, then consisting of very 
good houses, well inhabited, and resorted to by gentry for 



426 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON: 

lodgings. Here Wycherley and his first wife, the Countess 
of Drogheda, lodged over against the Cock, "whither, if he 
at any time were with his friends, he was obliged to leave the 
windows open, that the lady might see there was no woman 
in the company, or she would be immediately in a down- 
right raving condition." (" Dennis's Letters.") 

The Cock Tavern was the resort of the rakes and 
Mohocks of that day, when the house was kept by a woman 
called " Oxford Kate." Here took place the indecent 
exposure, which has been told by Johnson, in his life of 
Sackville, Lord Dorset. " Sackville, who was then Lord 
Buckhurst, with Sir Charles Sedley, and Sir Thomas Ogle, 
got dnmk at the Cock, in Bow-street, by Covent-Garden, 
and going into the balcony, exposed themselves to the 
company in very indecent postures. At last, as they grew 
warmer, Sedley stood forth naked, and harangued the 
populace in such profane language, that the public indigna- 
tion was awakened ; the crowd attempted to force the door, 
and being repulsed, drove in the performers with stones, and 
broke the windows of the house. For this misdemeanour 
they were indicted, and Sedley was fined five hundred 
pounds ; what was the sentence of the others is not known. 
Sedley employed Killegrew and another to procure a 
remission of the King, but (mark the friendship of the 
dissolute !) they begged the fine for themselves, and exacted 
it to the last groat." 

Sir John Coventry had supped at the Cock Tavern, on 
the night when, in his way home, his nose was cut to the 
bone, at the corner of Suffolk-street, in the Haymarket, " for 
reflecting on the King, who, therefore, determined to set a 
mark upon him :" he was watched ; when attacked, he stood 
up to the wall, 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, but was soon disarmed, 
and his nose was cut to the bone ; it was so wellsewed up 
that the scar was scarce to be discerned. This attempt at 



THE SHAKSPEAkE TA VERX. 427 

assassination occasioned the Coventry Act, 22 and 23 Car. 
II. c. I, by which specific provisions were made against the 
offence of maiming, cutting off, or disabling, a limb or 
member. 

The Queen's Head, Bow-street. 

This Tavern, in Duke's Court, was once kept by a 
facetious person, named Jupp, and is associated with a piece 
of humour, which may either be matter of fact, or inter- 
preted as a pleasant satire upon etymological fancies. One 
evening, two well-known characters, Annesley Shay and Bob 
Todrington (the latter caricatured by Old Dighton), met at 
the Queen's Head, and at the bar asked for " half a 
quartern " each, with a little cold water. They continued to 
drink until they had swallowed four-and-twenty half-quarterns 
in water, when Shay said to the other, " Now, we'll go." 
" Oh, no," replied he, " we'll have another, and then go.'' 
This did not satisfy the Hibernians, and they continued 
drinking on till three in the morning, when they both agreed 
to GO : so that under the idea of going they made a long 
stay, and this was the origin of drinking, or calling for, goes 
of liquor ; but another, determined to eke out the measure 
his own way, used to call for a quartern at a time, and these, 
in the exercise of his humour, he called stays. We find the 
above in the very pleasant " Etymological Compendium," 
third edition, revised and improved by Merton A. Thorns, 

1853- 

The Shakspeare Tavern. 

Of this noted theatrical tavern, in the Piazza, Covent 
Garden, several details were received by Mr. John Green, 
in 1815, from Twigg, who was apprenticed at the Shak- 
speare. They had generally fifty turtles at a rime; and 
upon an average from ten to fifteen were dressed every 
week ; and it was not unusual to send forty quarts of turtle 
soup a-week into the country, as far as Yorkshire. 



42S CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

The sign of Shakspeare, painted by Wale, cost nearly 
200/. : it projected at the comer, over the street, with very 
rich iron-work. Dick Milton was once landlord ; he was a 
great gamester and once won 40,000/. He would fre- 
quently start with his coach-and-six, which he would keep 
about six months, and then sell it. He was so much re- 
duced, and his credit so bad, at times, as to send out for a 
dozen of wine for his customers; it was sold at xds. a 
bottle. This is chronicled as the first tavern in London 
that had rooms ; and from this house the other taverns were 
supplied with waiters. Here were held three clubs — the 
Madras, Bengal, and Bombay. 

Twigg was cook at the Shakspeare. The largest dinner 
ever dressed here consisted of 108 made dishes, besides 
hams, etc., and vegetables j this was the dinner to Admiral 
Keppel, when he was made First Lord of the Admiralty. 
Twigg told of another dinner to Sir Richard Simmons, of 
Earl's Court, Mr. Small, and three other gentlemen ; it con- 
sisted of the following dishes : — A turbot of 401b., a Thames 
salmon, a haunch of venison, French beans and cucumbers, 
a green goose, an apricot tart, and green peas. The dinner 
was dressed by Twigg, and it came to about seven guineas a 
head. 

The Shakspeare is stated to have been the first tavern in 
Covent Garden. Twigg relates of Tomkins, the landlord, that 
his father had been a man of opulence in the City, but failed 
for vast sums. Tomkins kept his coach and his country- 
house, but was no gambler, as has been reported. He died 
worth 40,000/. His daughter manied Mr. Longman, the 
music-seller. Tomkins had never less than a hundred pipes 
of wine in his cellar ; he kept seven waiters, one cellar-man, 
and a boy. Each waiter was smartly dressed in his ruffles,' 
and thought it a bad week if he did not make 7/. Stacie, 
who partly served his apprenticeship to Tomkins, told Twigg 
that he had betted nearly 3000/ upon one of his race-horse, 



THE ROSE TAVERN, COVEN T GARDEN 429 

of the name of Goldfinder. Stacie won, and afterwards 
sold the horse for a large sum. 

There was likewise a Shakspeare Tavern in Little Russell- 
street, opposite Drury-lane Theatre ; the sign was altered in 
1828, to the Albion. 

Shuter, and his Tavern-places. 

Shuter, the actor, at the age of twelve, was pot-boy at 
the Queen's Head (afterwards Mrs. Butler's), in Covent 
Garden, where he was so kind to the rats in the cellar, by 
giving them sops from porter, (for, in his time, any person 
might have a toast in his beer,) that they would creep about 
him and upon him ; he would carry them about between 
his shirt and his waistcoat, and even called them by their 
names. Shuter was next pot-boy at the Blue Posts, op- 
posite Brydges-street, then kept by EUidge, and afterwards 
by Carter, who played well at billiards, on account of the 
length of his arms. Shuter used to carry beer to the players, 
behind the scenes at Drury-lane Theatre, and elsewhere, 
and being noticed by Hippisley, was taken as his servant, 
and brought on the stage. He had also been at the house 
next the Blue Posts, — the Sun, in Russell-street, which was 
frequented by Hippisley. Mr. Theophilus Forrest, when 
he paid Shuter his money, allowed him in his latter days 
two guineas per week, found him calling for gin, and his shirt 
was worn to half its original size. Latterly, he was hooted 
by the boys in the street : he became a Methodist, and 
died at King John's Palace, Tottenham Court Road. 

The Rose Tavern, Covent Garden. 

This noted Tavern, on the east side of Biydges-street, 
flourished in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and 
from its contiguity to Drury-lane Theatre, and close con- 



43° CLUB LIFE OF LON/)ON. 

nection with it, was frequented by courtiers and men of 
letters, of loose character, and other gentry of no character 
at all. The scenes of The Morning Ramble, or the Town 
Humour, 1672, are laid "at the Rose Tavern, in Covent 
Garden," which was constantly a scene of drunken broils, 
midnight orgies, and murderous assaults by men of fashioni 
who were designated " Hectors," and whose chief pleasure 
lay in frequenting taverns for the running through of some 
fuddled toper, whom wine had made valiant. Shadwell, in his 
comedy of the Scowrers, 1691, written at a time when 
obedience to the laws was enforced, and these excesses had 
in consequence declined, observes of these cowardly ruffians : 
" They were brave fellows indeed ! In those days a man 
could not go from the Rose Tavern to the Piazza once, 
but he must venture his hfe twice." 

Women of a certain freedom of character frequented 
taverns at the commencement of the last century, and the 
Rose, doubtless, resembled the box-lobby of a theatre. In 
the Rake Reformed, 17 18, this tavern is thus noticed : 

Not far from thence appears a pendent sign, 
Whose bush declares the product of the vine, 
Whence to the traveller's sight the full-blown Rose, 
Its dazzling beauties doth in gold disclose ; 
And painted faces flock in tally'd clothes. 

Dramatists and poets resorted to the house, and about 1726 
. Gay and other wits, by clubbing verses, concocted the 
well-known love ditty, entitled " Molly Mogg of the Rose," 
in compliment to the then barmaid or waitress. The 
Welsh ballad, "Gwinfrid Shones," printed in 1733, has also 
this tribute to Molly Mogg, as a celebrated toast : 

Some sing Molly Mogg of the Rose, 
And call her the Oakingham pelle ; 

Whilst others does farces compose, 
On peautiful MoUe Lepelle. 

Hogarth's third print of the Rake's Progress, published in 
1735, exhibits a principal room in the Rose Tavern : Lether- 



EVANS'S, COVENT GARDEN. 431 

coat, the fellow with a bright pewter dish and a candle, is 
a portrait ; he was for many years a porter attached to the 
house. 

Garrick, when he enlarged Drury-lane Theatre, in 1776, 
raised the new front designed by Robert Adam, took in the 
whole of the tavern, as a convenience to the theatre, and 
retained the sign of the Rose in an oval compartment, as a 
conspicuous part of the decoration, which is shown in a 
popular engraving by J. T. Smith. 

In D'Urfey's Songs, 17 19, we find these allusions to the 

Rose : 

A Song in Praise of Chalk, by W. Pettis. 

We the lads at the Rose 

A patron have chose, 
Who's as void as the best is of thinking ; 

And without dedication, 

Will assist in his station, 
And maintains us in eating and drinking. 

Song. — The Nose. 

Three merry lads met at the Rose, 
To speak in the praises of the nose : 
The flat, the sharp, the Roman snout, 
The hawk's nose circled round about. 
The crooked nose that stands awry, 
The ruby nose of scarlet dye ; 
The brazen nose without a face, 
That doth the learned college grace. 
Invention often ban-en grows, 
Yet still there's matter in the nose. 

Evans's, Covent Garden. 

At the north-west comer of Covent Garden Market is a 
lofty edifice, which, with the building that preceded it, 
possesses a host of interesting associations. Sir Kenelm 
Digby came to live here after the Restoration of Charles II. : 
here he was much visited by the philosophers of his day, 
and built in the garden in the rear of the house a laboratory. 



432 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

The mansion was altered, if not rebuilt, for the Earl of 
Orford, better known as Admiral Russell, who, in 1692, 
defeated Admiral de Tourville, and ruined the French fleet. 
The fa9ade of the house originally resembled the forecastle 
of a ship. The fine old staircase is formed of part of the 
vessel Adriiiral Russell commanded at La Hoguej it has 
handsomely carved anchors, ropes, and the coronet and 
initials of Lord Orford. The Earl died here in 1727; and 
the house was afterwards occupied by Thomas, Lord Archer, 
until 1768; and by James West, the great, collector of 
books, etc., and President of the Royal Society, who died 
in 177a. 

Mr. Twigg recollected Lord Archer's garden (now the 
site of the singing-room), at the back of the Grand Hotel, 
about 1765, well stocked; njushrooms and cucumbers were 
grown there in high perfection. 

In 1774, the house was opened by David Low as an 
hotel j the first family hotel, it is said, in London. Gold, 
silver, and copper medals were struck, and given by Low, 
as advertisements of his house ; the gold to the princes, 
silver to the nobility, and copper to the public generally. 
About 1794, Mrs. Hudson, then proprietor, advertised her 
hotel, " with stabling for one hundred noblemen and horses." 
The next proprietors were Richardson and Joy. 

At the beginning of the present century, and some years 
afterwards, the hotel was famous for its large dinner- and 
coffee-room. This was called the " Star," from the number 
of men of rank who frequented it. One day a gentleman 
entered the dining-room, and ordered of the waiter two 
lamb-chops ; at the same time inquiring, " John, have you 
a cucumber ?" The waiter replied in the negative — it was 
so early in the season ; but he would step into the market, 
and inquire if there were any. The waiter did so, and 
returned with — " There are a few, but they are half-a-guinea 
apiece." " Half-a-guinea apiece ! are they small or large?" 
" Why, rather small." " Then buy two," was the reply. This 




The Swiss Cottage, Finchley Road. 
[House of Meeting for Gimans in London.^ 




The Catharine Wheel Inn, Southwarlc. 



THE FLEECE, COVENT GARDEN. 433 

incident has been related of various epicures; it occurred 
to Charles Duke of Norfolk, who died in 1815. 

Evans, of Covent Garden Theatre, removed here from 
the Cider Cellar in Maiden-lane, and, using the large dining- 
room for a singing-room, prospered until 1844, when he re- 
signed the property to Mr. John Green. Meanwhile, the 
character of the entertainment, by the selection of music of 
a higher class than hitherto, brought so great an accession 
of visitors, that Mr. Green built, in 1855, on the site of the 
old garden (Digby's garden) an extremely handsome hall, to 
which the former singing-room forms a sort of vestibule. 
The latter is hung with the collection of portraits of cele- 
brated actors and actresses, mostly of our own time, which 
Mr. Green has been at great pains to collect. 

The sp'ecialitt of this very agreeable place is the olden 
music, which is sung here with great intelligence and spirit ; 
the visitors are of the better and more appreciative class, 
and often include amateurs of rank. The reserved gallery 
is said to occupy part of the site of the cottage in which the 
Kembles occasionally resided during the zenith of their fame 
at Covent Garden Theatre ; and here the gifted Fanny 
Kemble is said to have been born. 

The Fleece, Covent Garden. 

The Restoration did not mend the morals of the taverns 
in Covent Garden, but increased their licentiousness, and 
made them the resort of bullies and other vicious persons. 
The Fleece, on the west side of Brydges-street, was notorious 
for its tavern broils ; L'Estrange, in his translation of 
Quevedo's "Visions," i667,makesoneof the Fleece hectors 
declare he was never well but either at the Fleece Tavern 
or Bear at Bridgefoot, stuffing himself " with food and tipple, 
till the hoops were ready to burst." According to Aubrey, 
the Fleece was " very unfortunate for homicides ;" there were 
several killed there in his time ; it was a private house till 

F F 



434 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

1692. Aubrey places it in York-street, so that there must 
have been a back or second way to the tavern — a very con- 
venient resource. 

The Bedford Head, Covent Garden, 

Was a luxurious refectory, in Southampton street, whose 
epicurism is commemorated by Pope ; — 

Let me extol a cat on oysters fed, 
I'll have a party at the Bedford Head. 

2nd Sat. of Horace, znd Bk. 

When sharp with hunger, scorn you to be fed 
Except on pea-chicks at the Bedford Head ? 

Pope, Sobei- Advice. 

Walpole refers to a great supper at the Bedford Head, 
oxdered by Paul Whitehead, for a party of gentlemen dressed 
like sailors and masked, who, in 1741, on the night of 
Vernon's birthday, went round Covent Garden with a dnim, 
beating up for a volunteer mob ; but it did not take. 

The Salutation, Tavistock-street. 

This was a noted tavern in the last century, at the corner 
of Tavistock-court, Covent Garden. Its original sign was 
taken down by Mr. Yerrel, the landlord, who informed 
J. T. Smith, that it consisted of two gentlemen saluting each 
other, dressed in flowing wigs, and coats with square pockets, 
large enough to hold folio books, and wearing swords, this 
being the dress of the time when the sign was put up, 
supposed to have been about 1707, the date on a stone at 
the Covent Garden end of the court. 

Richard Leveridge, the celebrated singer, kept the Saluta- 
tion after his retiriement from the stage; and here he brought 
out his " Collection of Songs," with the music, engraved and 
printed for the author, 1727. 

Among the frequenters of the Salutation was William 



THE CONSTITUTION TAVERN, COVENT GARDEN. 435 

Cussans, or Cuzzons, a native of Barbadoes, and a most 
eccentric fellow, who lived upon an income allowed him by 
his family. He once hired himself as a potman, and then 
as a coal-heaver. He was never seen to smile. He 
personated a chimney-sweeper at the Pantheon and Opera- 
house masquerades, and wrote the popular song of Robinson 
Crusoe : 

He got all the wood 

That ever he could, 
And he stuck it together with glue so ; 

And made him a hut. 

And in it he put 
The carcase of Robinson Crusoe. 

He was a bacchanalian customer at the Salutation, and 
his nightly quantum of wine was liberal : he would some- 
times take eight pints at a sitting, without being the least 
intoxicated. 

The Constitution Tavern, Covent Garden. 

In Bedford-street, near St. Paul's church-gate, was an old 
tavern, the Constitution (now rebuilt), noted as the resort 
of working men of letters, and for its late hours ; indeed, 
the sittings here were perennial. Among other eccentric 
persons we remember to have seen here, was an ac- 
complished scholar named Churchill, who had travelled 
much in the East, smoked and ate opium to excess, and 
was full of information. Of another grade were two friends 
who lived in the same house, and had, for many years 
"turned night into dayj" rising at eight o'clock in the 
evening, and going to bed at eight next morning. They 
had in common some astrological, alchemical, and spiritual 
notions, and often passed the whole night at the Constitu- 
tion. This was the favourite haunt of Wilson, the landscape 
painter, who then lived in the Garden ; he could, at the 
Constitution, freely indulge in a pot of porter, and enjoy the 

F F 3 



43t> CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

fun of his brother-painter, Mortimer, who preferred this 
house, as it was near his own in Church-passage. 

The Cider Cellar. 

This strange place, upon the south side of Maiden-lane, 
Covent Garden, was opened about 1730, and is described 
as a " Midnight Concert Room," in " Adventures Under- 
ground, 1750." Professor Person was a great lover of 
cider, the patronymic drink for which the cellar was once 
famed ; it became his nightly haunt, for wherever he spent 
the evening, he finished the night at the cider cellar. One 
night, in 1795, as ^^ ^^.t here smoking his pipe, with his 
friend George Gordon, he abruptly said, " Friend George, do 
you think the widow Lunan an agreeable sort of personage, 
as times go ?" Gordon assented. " In that case," replied 
Porson, " you must meet me to-morrow morning at St. 
Martin's-in-the-Fields, at eight o'clock ;" and without saying 
more, Porson paid his reckoning and went home. Next 
morning, Gordon repaired to the church, and there found 
Porson with Mrs. Lunan and a female friend, and the parson 
waiting to begin the ceremony. The service being ended, 
the bride and her friend retired by one door of the church 
and Porson and Gordon by another. The bride and bride- 
groom dined together with friends, but after dinner Porson 
contrived to slip away and passed the rest of the day with a 
learned friend, and did not leave till the family were about 
to retire for the night, when Porson adjourned to the Cider 
Cellar, and there stayed till eight o'clock next morning. 
One of his companions here is said to have shouted before 
Porson, " Dick can beat us all : he can drink all night, and 
spout all day," which greatly pleased the Professor. 

We remember the place not many years after Porson's 
death, when it was, as its name implied, a cellar, and the 
fittings were rude and rough : over the mantel-piece was a 
large mezzotint portrait of Porson, framed and glazed, which 



OFFLEY'S, HENRIETTA STREET. 437 

we take to be the missing portrait named by the Rev. Mr. 
Watson, in his Life of the Professor. The Cider Cellar was 
subsequently enlarged ; but its exhibitions grew to be too 
sensational for long existence. 

Offley's, Henrietta-street. 

This noted Tavern, of our day, enjoyed great and de- 
served celebrity, though short-lived. It was No. 23, on the 
south side of Henrietta-street, Covent Garden, and its fame 
rested upon Burton ale, and the largest supper-room in this 
theatrical neighbourhood ; with no pictures, placards, paper- 
hangings, or vulgar coffee-room finery, to disturb one's relish 
of the good things there provided. Offley, the proprietor, 
was originally at Bellamy's, and " as such, was privileged to 
watch, and occasionally admitted to assist, the presiding 
priestess of the gridiron at the exercise of her mysteries." 
Offley's chop was thick and substantial ; the House of 
Commons' chop was small and thin, and honourable 
Members sometimes ate a dozen at a sitting. Offley's chop 
was served with shalots shred, and warmed in gravy, and 
accompanied by nips of Burton ale, and was a delicious 
after-theatre supper. The large room at that hour was 
generally crowded with a higher class of men than are to be 
seen in taverns of the present day. There was excellent 
dining upstairs, with wines really worth drinking — all with a 
sort of Quakerly plainness, but solid comfort. The fast 
men came to the great room, where the spkialitk was singing 
by amateurs upon one evening of the week ; and to prevent 
the chorus waking the dead in their cerements in the 
adjoining churchyard, the coffee-room window was double. 
The "professionals" stayed away. Francis Crew sang 
Moore's melodies, then in their zenith \ sometimes, in a 
spirit of waggery, an amateur would sing " Chevy Chase " in 
full ; and now and then Offley himself trolled out one of 
Captain Morris's lyrics. Such was this right joyously con- 



438 CLUB LI1<E OF LONDON. 

vivial place some five-and-forty years since upon the singing 
night. Upon other evenings, there came to a large round 
table (a sort of privileged place) a few well-to-do, substan- 
tial tradesmen from the neighbourhood, among whom Vas 
the renowned surgical-instrument maker from the Strand, 
who had the sagacity to buy the iron from off the piles of 
old London Bridge, and convert it (after it had lain for 
centuries under water) into some of the finest surgical 
instruments of the day. Offley's, however, declined : the 
singing was discontinued ; Time had thinned the ranks and 
groups of the bright and buoyant; the large room was 
mostly frequented by quiet, orderly persons, who kept good 
hours ; the theatre-suppers grew few and far between ; the 
merry old host departed — when it was proposed to have his 
portrait painted — but in vain ; success had ebbed away, and 
at length the house was closed.* 

OflHey's was sketched with a free hand, in "Horse 
Offleanse, Bentley's Miscellany," March, 1841. 

The Rummer Tavern. 

The locality of this noted tavern is given by Cunningham, 
as " two doors from Locket's, between Whitehall and Char- 
ing Cross, removed to the water-side of Charing Cross, in 
1710, and burnt down Nov. 7th, 1750. It was kept in the 
reign of Charles II., by Samuel Prior, uncle of Matthew 
Prior, the poet, who thus wrote to Fleetwood Shephard : 

My uncle, rest his soul 1 when living, 

Might have contriv'd me ways of thriving : 

Taught me with cider to replenish 

My vats, or ebbing tide of Rhenish. 

So when for hock I drew prickt white- wine, 

Swear't had the flavour, and was right wine. 

The Rummer is introduced by Hogarth into his picture 



" Walks and Talks about London," 1865, pp. 180-182. 



SPRING GARDEN TAVERNS. 439 

of "Night" Here Jack Sheppard committed his first 
robbery by stealing two silver spoons. 

The Rummer, in Queen-street, was kept by Brawn, a 
celebrated cook, of whom Dr. King, in his " Art of 
Cookery," speaks in the same way as Kit-Kat and Locket. 

King, also, in his " Analogy between Physicians, Cooks, 
and Playwrights," thus describes a visit : — 

" Though I seldom go out of my own lodgings, I was 
prevailed on the other day to dine with some friends at the 

Rummer in Queen-street Sam Trusty would needs 

have me go with him into the kitchen, and see how matters 

went there He assured me that Mr. Brawn had an 

art, etc. I was, indeed, very much pleased and surprised 
with the extraordinary splendour and economy I observed 
there ; but above all with the great readiness and dexterity 
of the man himself His motions were quick, but not 
precipitate ; he in an instant applied himself from one stove 
to another, without the least appearance of hurry, and in the 
midst of smoke and fire preserved an incredible serenity of 
countenance." 

Beau Brummel, according to Mr. Jesse, spoke with a 
relish worthy a descendant of " the Rummer," of the savoury 
pies of his aunt Brawn, who then resided at Kilburn ; she is 
said to have been the widow of a grandson of the celebrity 
of Queen-street, who had himself kept the public-house at 
the old Mews Gate, at Charing Cross. — See Notes and 
Queries, and S., No. xxxvi. 

We remember an old tavern, "the Rummer," in 1825, 
which was taken down with the lower portion of St. Martin's- 
lane, to form Trafalgar-square. 

Spring Garden Taverns. 

Spring Garden is named from its water-spring or fountain, 
set playing by the spectator treading upon its hidden 
machinery — an eccentricity of the EHzabethan garden. 



44° CLUB LIFE OF LOADON. 

Spring Garden, by a patent which is extant, in 1630 was 
made a bowling-green by command of Charles I. " There 
was kept in it an ordinary of six shillings a meal (when the 
king's proclamation allows but two elsewhere); continual 
bibbing and drinking wine all day under the trees ; two or 
three quarrels every week. It was grown scandalous and 
insufiferable ; besides, my Lord Digby being reprehended for 
striking in the king's garden, he said he took it for a 
common bowling-place, where all paid money for their 
coming in." — Mr. Garrard to -Lord Strafford. 

In 1634 Spring Garden was put down by the King's 
command, and ordered to be hereafter no-common bowling- 
place. This led to the opening of " a New Spring Garden " 
(Shaver's Hall), by a gentleman-barber, a servant of the lord 
chamberlain's. The old garden was, however, re-opened ; 
for 13th June, 1649, says Evelyn, "I treated divers ladies 
of my relations in Spring Gardens ;" but loth May, 1654, 
he records that Cromwell and his partisans had shut up and 
seized on Spring Gardens, " w'"" till now had been y* usual 
rendezvous for the ladys and gallants at this season." 

Spring Garden was, however, once more re-opened ; for, 
in "A Character of England," 1659, it is described as "The 
inclosure not disagreeable, for the solemnness of the grove, 
the warbling of the birds, and as it opens into the spacious 
walks at St. James's. ... It is usual to find some of the 
young company here till midnight ; and the thickets of the 
garden seem to be contrived to all advantages of gallantry, 
after they have refreshed with the collation, which is here 
seldom omitted, at a certain cabaret in the middle of this 
paradise, where the forbidden fruits are certain trifling tarts, 
neats' tongues, salacious meats, and bad Rhenish." 

"The New Spring Garden" at Lambeth (afterwards 
Vauxhall) was, flourishing , in 1661-3 ; when the ground at 
Charing" Cross was built upon, as " Inner Spring Garden " 
and " Outer Spring Garden.'' Buckingham-court is named 
from the Duke of Buckingham, one of the rakish frequenters 



"HEAVEN" AND "HELL" TAVERNS. 441 

of the Garden ; and upon the site of Drummond's banking- 
house was " Locket's Ordinary, a house of entertainment 
much frequented by gentry," and a relic of the Spring 
Garden gaiety : 

For Locket's stands where gardens once did spring. 

Dr. Kin^s Art of Cookery, 1709. 

Here the witty and beautiful dramatist, Mrs. Centlivre, 
died, December i, 1723, at the house of her third husband, 
Joseph Centlivre, "Yeoman of the Mouth" (head cook) " to 
Queen Anne."* In her Prologue to Lov^s Contrivances, 
17031 we have, 

At Locket's, Brown's, and at Pontack's enquire 
What modish kickshaws the nice beaux desire, 
What famed ragouts, what new invented sallad, 
Has best pretensions to regain the palate. 

Locket's was named from its first landlord :t its fame 
declined in the reign of Queen Anne, and expired early in 
the next reign. 

" Heaven " and " Hell " Taverns, Westminster. 

At the north end of Lindsay-lane, upon the site of the 
Committee-rooms of the House of Commons, was a tavern 
called ■' Heaven ;" and under the old Exchequer Chamber 
were two subterraneous passages called "Hell "and "Pur- 
gatory." Butler, in Hudibras, mentions the first as 

False Heaven at the end of the Hell ; 

GifTord, in his notes on Ben Jonson, says : " Heaven and 
Hell were two common alehouses, abutting on Westminster 



* " Curiosities of London," pp. 678, 679. 
t Edward Locket, in 1693, took the Bowling-green house, on Putney 
Heath, where all gentlemen might be entertained. In a house built on 
the site of the above died, January 23, 1806, the Right Hon. William 
Pitt. 



442 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Hall. Whalley says that they were standing in his remem- 
brance. They are mentioned, together with a third house, 
called Purgatory, in a grant which I have read, dated in the 
first year of Henry VII." 

Old Fuller quaintly says of Hell : " I could wish it had 
another name, seeing it is ill jesting with edged tools. I 
am informed that formerly this place was appointed a prison 
for the King's debtors, who never were freed thence until 
they had paid their uttermost due demanded of them. This 
proverb is since applied to moneys paid into the Exchequer, 
which thence are irrecoverable, upon what plea or pretence 
whatever." 

Peacham describes Hell as a place near Westminster 
Hall, " where very good meat is dressed all the term time ;" 
and the Company of Parish Clerks add, it is "very much 
frequented by lawyers." According to Ben Jonson, Hell 
appears to have been frequented by lawyers' clerks ; for, in 
his play of the Alchemist, Dapper is forbidden 

To break his fast in Heaven or Hell. 

Hugh Peters, on his Trial, tells us that he went to West- 
minster to find out some company to dinner with him, and 
having walked about an hour in Westminster Hall, and 
meeting none of his friends to dine with him, he went " to 
that place called Heaven, and dined there." 

When Pride " purged " the Parliament, on December 6, 
1648, the forty-one he excepted were shut up for the 
night in the Hell tavern, kept by a Mr. Duke {Cariyle) ; 
and which Dugdale calls " their great victualling-house near 
Westminster Hall, where they kept them all night without 
any beds." 

Pepys, in his " Diary," thus notes his visit : " 28 Jan., 
1659-60. And so I returned and went to Heaven, where 
Ludlin and I dined." Six years later, at the time of the 
Restoration, four days before the King landed, in one of 
these taverns, Pepys spent the evening with Locke and 



" BELLAMY'S KITCHEN." 443 

Purcell, hearing a variety of brave Italian and Spanish 
songs, and a new canon . of Locke's on the words, 
"Domine salvum fac Regem." "Here, out of the win- 
dows," he says, " it was a most pleasant sight to see the 
City, from one end to the other, with a glory about it, so 
high was the light of the bonfires, and thick round the City, 
and the bells rang everywhere." 

After all, " Hell" may have been so named from its being 
a prison of the King's debtors, most probably a very bad 
one : it was also called the Constabulary. Its Wardenship 
was valued yearly at the sum of lu., and Paradise at 4/. 

Purgatory appears also to have been an ancient prison, 
the keys of which, attached to a leathern girdle, says 
Walcot's Westminster, are still preserved. Herein were 
kept the ducking-stools for scolds, who were placed in a 
chair fastened on an iron pivot to the end of a long pole, 
which was balanced at the middle upon a high trestle, thus 
allowing the culprit's body to be ducked in the Thames. 

"Bellamy's Kitchen." 

In a pleasantly written book, entitled " A Career in the 
Commons,'' we find this sketch of the singular apartment, in 
the vicinity of the (Old) House of Commons, called " the 
Kitchen." " Mr. Bellamy's beer may be unexceptionable, 
and his chops and steaks may be unrivalled, but the legis 
lators of England delight in eating a dinner in the place 
where it is cooked, and in the presence of the very fire 
where the beef hisses and the gravy runs ! Bellamy's kitchen 
seems, in fact, a portion of the British Constitution. A 
foreigner, be he a Frenchman, American, or Dutchman, if 
introduced to the ' kitchen,' would stare with astonishment 
if you told him that in this plain apartment, with its im- 
mense fire, meatscreen, gridirons, and a small tub under the 
window for washing the glasses, the statesmen of England 
very often dine, and men, possessed of wealth untold, and 



444 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

with palaces of their own, in which luxury and splendour are 
visible in every part, are willing to leave their stately dining- 
halls and powdered attendants, to be waited upon, while 
eating a chop in Bellamy's kitchen, by two unpretending 
old women. Bellamy's kitchen, I repeat, is part and parcel 
of the British Constitution. Baronets who date from the 
Conquest, and squires of every degree, care nothing for the 
unassuming character of the ' kitchen,' if the steak be hot 
and good, if it can be quickly and conveniently dispatched, 
and the tinkle of the division-bell can be heard while the 
dinner proceeds. Call England a proud nation, forsooth ! 
Say that the House of Commons is aristocratic ! Both the 
nation and its representatives must be, and are, unquestion- 
able patterns of republican humility if all the pomp and 
circumstance of dining can be forgotten in Bellamy's 
kitchen !"* 

A Coffee-house Canary-bird. 

Of "a great Coffee-house" in Pall Mall we find the follow- 
ing amusing story, in the "Correspondence of Gray and 
Mason," edited by Mitford : — 

" In the year 1688, my Lord Peterborough had a great 
mind to be well with Lady Sandwich, Mrs. Bonfoy's old 
friend. There was a woman who kept a great Coffee-house 
in Pall Mall, and she had a miraculous canary-bird that piped 
twenty tunes. Lady Sandwich was fond of such things, had 
heard of and seen the bird. Lord Peterborough came to 
the woman, and offered her a large sum of money for it, but 
she was rich, and proud of it, and would not part with it for 
love or money. However, he watched the bird narrowly, 
observed all its marks and features, went and bought just 
such another, sauntered into the coffee-room, took his oppor- 



* At the noted Cat and Bagpipes tavern, at the south-west comer ofi 
Downing-street, George Rose used to eat his mutton-chop ; he subse- 
quently became Secretary to the Treasury. 



STAR AND CASTES, PALL MALL. 445 

tunity when no one was by, slipped the wrong bird into the 
cage and the right into his pocket, and went off undiscovered 
to make my Lady Sandwich happy. This was just about 
the time of the Revolution ; and, a good while after, going 
into the same coffee-house again, he saw his bird there, and 
said, ' Well, I reckon you would give your ears now that 
you had taken my money.' ' Money !' says the woman, ' no, 
nor ten times that money now, dear little creature ! for, if 
your lordship will believe me (as I am a Christian, it is true), 
it has moped and moped, and never once opened its pretty 
lips since the day that the poor king went away !' " 

Star and Garter, Pall Mall. 

FATAL DUEL. 

Pall Mall has long been noted for its taverns, as well as 
for its chocolate and coffee houses, and " houses for club- 
bing." They were resorted to by gay nobility and men of 
estate ; and, in times when gaming and drinking were 
indulged in to frightful excess, these taverns often proved 
hot-beds of quarrel and fray. One of the most sanguinary 
duels on record — that between the Duke of Hamilton and 
Lord Mohun — was planned at the Queen's Arms, in Pall 
Mall, and the Rose in Covent Garden ; at the former Lord 
Mohun supped with his second on the two nights preceding 
the fatal conflict in Hyde Park. 

Still more closely associated with Pall Mall was the fatal 
duel between Lord Byron and Mr. Chaworth, which was 
fought in a room of the Star and Garter, when the grand- 
uncle of the poet Lord killed in a duel, or rather scuffle, his 
relation and neighbour, "who was run through the body, 
and died next day." The duellists were neighbours in the 
country, and were members of the Nottinghamshire Club, 
which met at the Star and Garter once a month. 

The meeting at which arose the unfortunate dispute tha 
produced the duel was on the 26th of January, 1765, when 



44.6 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

were present Mr. John Hewet, who sat as chairman ; the 
Hon. Thomas Willoughby, Frederick Montagu, John 
Shenvin, Francis Molyneux, Esqrs., and Lord Byron ; 
William Chaworth, George Donston, and Charles Mellish, 
junior, Esq. ; and Sir Robert Burdett, who were all the 
company. The usual hour of dining 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 conversa- 
tion about the best method of preserving game, setting the 
laws for that purpose out of the question, Mr. Chaworth and 
Lord Byron were of different opinions, Mr. Chaworth insist- 
ing on severity 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 confir- 
mation 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 100 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, Bulwell was his, on which Mr. Chaworth, with 
some heat, replied : "If you want information as to Sir 
Chailes Sedley's manors, he lives at Mr. Cooper's, in Dean 
Street, and, I doubt not, will be ready to give you satis- 
faction ; 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 doing 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 



STAR AND GARTER, PALL MALL. 447 

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 doubt- 
ful whether his Lordship called upon Mr. Chaworth, or Mr. 
Chaworth called upon Lord Byron, but both went down to 
the 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 very 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 Byron's left hand was 
round Mr. Chaworth, and Mr. Chaworth's right hand was 
round Lord Byron'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 mean- 
time, 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 roomj 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 j' that while he was doing 
this. Lord Byron bid him draw, and in turning he saw his 



448 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

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 waistcoat, he thought that he had killed 
him ; and, asking whether he was not mortally wounded, 
Lord Byron, while he was speaking, shortened his sword, 
and stabbed him in the belly." 

When Mr. Mawkins, 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 iu the affirmative, he desired his uncle, Mn 
Levinz, might be sent for. In the meantime, he stated to 
Mr. Hawkins, that Lord Byron and he (Mr. Chaworth) 
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 Lordship 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 Loidship, and 
expressed his apprehension 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. 

After a little while, Mr. Chaworth seemed to grow 
stronger, and was removed to his own house : additional 
medical advice arrived but no relief could be given 
him ; he continued sensible till his death. Mr. Levinz, 
his uncle, novy . arrived with an attorney, to whom Mr. 
Chaworth gave very sensible and distinct instructions for 
making his will. The will was then executed, and the 
attorney, Mr. Partington, committed to writing the last 



STAR AND CARTER, PALL MALL. 449 

words Mr. Chaworth 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, riot 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 
27 th 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 disarmed my Lord, who then 

said, ' By G , I have as much courage as any man in 

England.'" 

Lord Byron was committed to the Tower, and was tried 
before the House of Peers, in Westminster Hall, on the( i6th 
and 17th of April, 1765. Lord Byron's defence was reduced 
by him into writing, and read by the clerk. The Peers 
present, including the High Steward, declared Lord Byroii, 
on their honour, to be not guilty of murder, but of man. 
slaughter; 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 ist 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 prayiiig the benefit of that 
Act, was always to be discharged without, burning in the 
hand, or any penal consequence whatever. The claim of 
Lord Byron being accordingly allowed, he was forthwith dis- 
charged on payment of his fees. This smgular privilege was 
supposed to be abrogated by the 7 & 8 Geo. IV. cap. 28, 
s. 6, which abolished Benefit of Clergy j but some doubt 
arising on the subject, it was positively put an end to. by 
the 4 & 5 Vict. cap. aa. (See " Celebrated Trials connected 
with the Aristocracy," by Mr. Serjeant Burke.) 

r. G 



45° CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Mr, Chawprth was the descendant of one of the oldest 
houses in England, a branch of which obtained an Irish" 
peerage. liis grand-niece, the eveiltual heiress of the 
family, was Mgiy Ch^worth,, the 'object of the early unre- 
quited love of Lord Byron, the poet. Singul&rly enough^ 
there was the same degree of relationship between that- 
nobleman and the Lord Byron who killed Mr. Chaworth, as 
existed be;tween the' latter unfortunate gentleman and Mr. 
Chaworth.* 

Several stories are told of the liigh charges of the Star and 
Garter Tavern, even in the reign of Queen Anne. The 
Duke of Ormond, who gave here a dinner to a few friends, 
was charged twenty-one. pounds, six shillings, and eight 
pence, for four, that is, first and second course,' without wine 
or dessert. 

From the Connoisseur of i754> we' learn that the foo'ls of 
quahty of that, day " drove to the Star and Garter to regale 
on macaroni, or piddle with an ortolan at White's or Pontac's." 

At the Star and Garter,, in 17.74, was formed the first 
Gp,cket Club. Sir Horace Mann, who had promoted 
cricket in Kent, and the Duke of Dorset and Lord Tanker- 
ville, leaders of the Surrey and Hants Eleven, conjointly'with 
other noblemen and gentlemen, formed a committee under 
the presidency of Sir William Draper. They met at the Star 
and Garter, and laid down the first riiles of cricket, which 
very rules, form the basis of the laws of cricket of this day. 

Thatched-house Tavern, St. James's-street. 

Come and once more together let -Tis greet . . i , J 

The long-lost pleasures of St. James's-street. — Tic^ell.. , 

Little more than a century and a half ago the parish of 
St. James was described as "all the houses and grounds 
comprehended in a - place heretofore called ' St. James's. 
Fields' and the confines thereof." Previously to this; the 

* Abridged from the " Romance of London," vol. i. pp. 225-232. 



THATCHED HOUSE TAVERN, 451 

above tavern was xcio&t 'pio\ii!kAy 2l thatched 'house. St. 
James's-street dates from 1670 : the poets Waller and Pope" 
lived here ; Sir Christopher Wren died herS, in 1723)33 
did Gibbon,th€ historian, in 1794,'at Elriisley's, the bdok- 
sdkf's, at No. 76, at the comer of Little St. JaineS's-stteet. 
FOx lived lifext to Brookes's iii 1781 ; and Lord Byron 
lodged at No. 8, in 1811; At the south-west end Was the 
St. James's Coffee-house, taken down in j8o6 ; the foreign 
and domestic news house of the Tatler, and the "fountain- 
head " 6f the Spectator'.. Thus early, the street had a sort of 
literaiy fashioi favourable to the growth of taverns and clubs. 
The Thatched House, which was taken down in 1844 and 
1863, had been for nearly two centuries celebrated for its 
club meetings, its large public room, and its public dihners, 
especially those of ouir universities and great schools. It 
was one of Swift's favourite haunts : in somie birthday verses 
he sings :— 

The Deanery-house inay well be inatched, 
. Under correction,, with the Thatch'd. 

The histories of some of the principal Clubs which met 
here, will be found in an earlier portion of this voluiiie ; as 
the Brothers, Literary, Dilettanti,, and others ; (besides a list, 
given in the Appendix.) ■ 

The iloyal Naval Club held its meetings at the Thatched 
House, as did some art societies and kindred associations. 
The large club-room faced St. James's-street,, and .when lit in 
the evening with wax-ca,ndles, in large old glass chandeliers, 
the Dilettanti pictures could be seen from the pavement of the 
street, • Beneath the tavern front was a range, of, low-built 
shops, including that of Rowland, or Rouland, the fashion- 
able coiffeur, who charged five shillings for cutting hair, and 
m^de alarge fortune by his "incomparable ^«//if Macassar." 
Through the tayem was a passage to Thatched House-court, 
iijL the rear; and here, in Catherine- WheelTalley, in -the last 
century, lived :the good old, widow Delany,;after the Doctor's 
death, as noted in her autobiography, edited by Lady 

G G 2 



45? CLUB LIFE OF LONDQtl. 

Llanover. Some of Mrs. Delany's fashionable friends then 
resided in Dean-street, Soho. 

Thatched House-court and the alley have been swept 
away. Elmsle/s was removed for the site of the Conserva- 
tive Club. In an adjoining house lived the famous Betty, 
" the queen of apple-women;" whom Mason has thus em- 
balmed in his " Heroic Epistle :" — 

And patriot Betty fix her fniitshop here. 

It was a famous place for gossip. . Walpole says of a story 
much about, " I should scruple repeating it, if Betty and the 
waiters at Arthm-'s did not talk of it publicly." Again, 
"Would you know what officer's on guard in Betty's 
fniitshop?" 

The Tavern, which has disappeared, was nearly the last 
relic of old St James's-street, although its memories survive 
in various modem Club-houses, and the Thatched House 
will be kept in mind by the graceful sculpture of the Civil 
Service Club-house, erected upon a portion of the site. 

" The Running Footman," May Fair. 

This sign, in Charles-street, Berkeley-square, carries us 
back to the days of bad roads, and joumeyiiig at snail's pace, 
when the travelling equipage of the nobility required that 
one or more men should run in front of the carriage, chiefly 
as a mark of the rank of the traveller; th6y were likewise 
sent on messages, and occasionally for great distances. 

The runhirig footman required to be" a healthy and active 
man ; he wore a light black cap, a jockey-coat, and carried 
a pole with at the top a hollow ball, in which he kept a 
hard-boiled egg and a little white wine, to serve as refresh- 
ment on his journey; and this is supposed to be the origin 
of the footman's silver-mounted cane. The Duke of Queen's- 
berry, who died in 1810, kepta running footman longer than 
his compeers in London; and Mr, Thoms, in Notes and 



PICCADILLY INNS AND TAVERNS. 453 

Queries, relates an amusing anecdote of a man who came 
to be hired for the duty by the Duke. His Grace was in 
the habit of trying their paces, by seeing how they could run 
up and down Piccadilly, he watching them and timing them 
from his balcony. The man put ol a livery biefore the trial ; 
on one occasion, a candidate having run, stood before the 
balcony. " You will do very well for me," said the Duke. 
"And your livery will do very well for me," replied the man, 
and gave the Duke a last proof of his ability by running away 
with it. 

The sign in Charles-street represents a young man, dressed 
in a kind of Jivery, and a cap with a feather in it ; he carries 
the usual pole and is running ; and beneath is, "I am the 
only running footman," which may relate to the superior 
speed of the runner, and this may be a portrait of a celebrity. 

Kindred to the above is the old sign of " The Two 
Chairmen," in Warwick-street, Charing Cross,* recalling the 
sedans or chairs of Fall Mall ; and there is a similar sign on 
Hay Hill. 

Piccadilly Inns and Taverns. 

Piccadilly was long noticed for the variety and extent of 
its Inns and Taverns, although few remain. At the east 
end were formerly the Black Bear and White Bear (originally 
the Fleece), nearly opposite each other. The Black Bear 
was taken down 1820. The White Bear remains : it occurs 
in St. Martin's parish-books, 1685 : here Chatelain and 
Sullivan, the engravers, died j and Benjamin West, the 



* The old Golden Cross Inn, Charing Cross, stood a short distance 
west of the present Golden Cross Hotel, No. 452, Strand. Of the 
former we read : "April 23, 1643.. It was at this period, by order of 
the Conimittee or Commission appointed by the House, the sign of a 
tavern, the Golden Cross, at Charing CroSs, was taken down, as super- 
stitious and idolatrous. "-^In Suffolk-street, Haymarket, was the Tavern 
before which took place " the Calves' "Head Club " riot— See p. 21. 



454 tLUB LIFE OF LONDON.' ^ 

painter^ lodged, the first night after his arrival from Attierica. 
StrjTpe mentions the White Horse Cellar in'i;72o ; and the 
booking-office of the New White Horse Cellar is to this day 
in " the cellar." The Three Kings stables gateway, No^ 75, 
had two Corinthian pilasters, stated by Disfkeli to have be- 
longed to Clarendon House : " the stable-yard at the back 
presents the features'of an old galleried inh'-yard, aii'd it is 
noted as the jplace from which- General Palriier started the 
first Bath mail-coach." (J. W. Archer : " Vestiges," patt vi.) 
The Hercules' Pillars (a sign which meant that no habitation 
was to be found beyond it) stood a few yards west of 
Hamilton-place, and has beeii rhentiohed. The Hercules' 
Pillars,' and another roadside taVerh, the Triumphant Car, 
were standing about 1797, and were mostly frequented by 
soldiers. Two other Piccadilly inns, the White Horse and 
Half Moon, both of considerable extent, have given names 
to streets. ■ ' ■ 

The "older and more celebrated house of entertainment 
was Piccadilly Hall, which appears to have been built by 
one Robert Baker, in " the fields behind the- Mews," leased 
to him by St. Martin's parish, and" sold by his widow to 
Colonel Panton, who buUt Panton-square'and Panton-street. 
Lord Clarendon, in his " History of the Rebellion," spealks 
of " Mr. Hydfe going to a house called Piccadilly for enter- 
tainment and gaming :" this house, with its gravel walks 
and bowling-greens, extending from the comer of Windmill- 
street and the site of Panton-square, as shown in Porter arid 
Faithome's Map, 1658. Mr. Cunningham found (see 
"Handbook," and edit. p. 396), in the parish accounts of 
St. Martin's, " Robt. Backer, of PickadiUey Halle f and the 
receipts for Lammas money paid for the premises as late as 
1676. Sir John Suckling, the poet; was one of the fre- 
quenters ; and, Aubrey remembered Suckling's "sisters 
coming to the Peccadillo bowling-green, crying, for the feare 
he should lose all their portions." The house was taken 
down about 1685 : a tennis-court in the rear remained to 



PICCADILLY TNNS AND TAVERNS. 455 

our time, upon the site of the Argyll Rooms, Great Wind- 
mill-street. The Society of Antiquaries possess a . printed 
proclamation {temp. Charles II. 1671) against the increase 
of buildings in Windmill-fields and, the fields adjoining Sohp; 
and in the Plan of 1658, Great Windmill-street consists of 
Straggling houses, and a windmill in a field west. 

Colonel Panton, who is tiamed above, was a celebrated 
gamester of the time of the Restoration, and in one night, 'it 
is said, he won as many thousands as purchased him an 
estate of above 1500/. a year. "After this goOd. fortune,' 
says Lucas, "he had such an aversion against all manner' of 
games, that he would never handle cards or dice again ; but 
lived very handsomely on his winnings to his dying, day, 
which was in the year i68*. He was the last proprietor of 
Piccadilly Hall, and was in possession of land on the site of 
the streets and buildings which bear his name, as early as 
the year 1664. Yet we remember to have seen it stated 
that Panton-street was named from a particular kind of 
horse-shoe called 3. f anion; and from its contiguity to the 
Haymarket, this origin was long credited. 

, At the north-east end of the Haymarket stood the Gaming- 
house biiilt by the barber of the Earl of Pemboke, and hence 
called Shaver's Hall : it is described by Garrard, in a letter 
to Lord Strafibrd in 1635, as "a, new Spring Gardens, 
erected in the fields' beyond the Mews ;" its tennis-court 
remains in james-street. 

From a Survey of the Premises, made in 1650, we gather 
that Shaver's Hall was strongly built of brick, and covered 
with lead : its large " seller " was divided into six rooms ; 
above these four rooms, and the same in the first storey, to 
which was a balcony, with a prospect southward to the 
.bowling-alleys. In the second storey were six rooms ; and 
over the same a walk, leaded, and enclosed with rails, " very 
curiously carved and, ■wrought," as was also the sta.ircase, 
throughout the house. On the west were large kitchens and 
coal-house, with lofts over, " as also one faire Tennis Court," 



4S6 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

of brick, tiled, " well accommodated with all things fitting for 
the same ;" with upper rooms ; and at the entrance gate to 
the upper bowling-green, a parlour-lodge ; and a double 
flight of steps descending to the lower bowling alley ; there 
was still another bowling alley, and an orchard-wall, planted 
with choice fruit-trees; "as also one pleasant banqueting 
house, and one other faire and pleasant Roome, called the 
Greene Roome, and one other conduit-house, and a other 
Turrets adjoininge to the walls." The ground whereon 
the said buildings stand, together with a fayre Bowling 
Alleys, orchard gardens, gravily walks, and other green 
walks, and Courts and Courtyards, containinge, by estiraa- 
cion, 3 acres and 3 qrs., lying betweene a Roadway leading 
from Charinge Crosse to Knightsbridge west, now in the 
possession of Captayne Geeres, and is worth per ann. cl"."* 

Islington Taverns. 

If you look at a Map of London, in the reign of Queen 
Elizabeth, the openness of the northern suburbs is very re- 
markable. CornhUl was then a clear space, and the ground 
thence to Bishopsgatei-street was occupied as gardens. The 
Spitalfields were entirely open, and Shoreditch church was 
nearly the last building of London in that direction. Moor- 
fields were used for drying linen ; while cattle grazed, and 
archers shot, in Finsbury Fields, at the verge of which were 
three windmills. On the western side of Smithfield was a 
row of trees. Goswell-street was a lonely road, and Islington 
church stood in the distance, with a few houses and gardens 
near it. St. Giles's was also a small village, with open 
country north and west. 

The ancient Islington continued to be a sort of dairy-farm 
for the metropolis. Like her father, Henry VIII., Elizabeth 



* In Jermyn-street, Haymarket, was the One Tun Tavern, a haunt 
of Sheridan's; and, upon the site of "the Little Theatre" is the Cafe 
de I'Europe. 



ISLINGTON TAVERNS. 457 

paid frequent visits to this neighbourhood, where some 
wealthy commoners dwelt ; and her partiality to the place 
left many evidences in old houses, and spots traditionally 
said to have been visited by the Queen, whose delight it was 
to go among her people. 

Islington retained a few of its Elizabethan houses to our 
times ; and its rich dairies were of like antiquity : in the 
entertainment given to Queen Elizabeth at Kenilworth 
Castle, in 1575, the Squier Minstrel of Middlesex glorifies 
Islington with the motto, " Lac caseiis infans ;" and it is still 
noted for its cow-keepers. It was once as famous for its 
cheese-cakes as Chelsea for its buns ; and among its other 
notabilities were custards and stewed " pruans,'' its mineral 
spa and its ducking-ponds ; Ball's Pond dates from the time 
of Charles I. At the lower end of Islington, in 16 11, were 
eight inns, principally supported by summer visitors : 

Hogsdone, Islington, and Tothnam Court, 
For cakes and creame had then no small resort. 

— Wither' s "Britain's Remembrancer," 1628. 

Among the old inns and public-houses were the Crown, 
apparently of the reign of Henry VII., and the old Qneen's 
Head, of about the same date : 

The Queen's Head and Crown in Islington town. 
Bore, for its brewing! the brightest renown. 

Near the Green, the Duke's Head, was kept by Topham, 
" the strong man of Islington ;'' in Frog-lane, the Barley- 
mow, where George Morland painted; at the Old Parr's 
Head, in Upper-street, Henderson the tragedian first acted ; 
the Three Hats, near the turnpike, was taken down in 1839; 
and of the Angel, originally a galleried inn, a drawing may 
be seen at the present inn. Timber gables and rudely- 
carved brackets are occasionally to be seen in house-fronts ; 
also here and there an old " house of entertainment," which 
with the little, remaining of " the Green," remind one of 
-Islington village. 



458 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

The Old Queen's Head was the finest: specimen in the 
neighbourhood of the domestic architecture of the reign of 
Henry YII. It consisted of three storeys projecting over 
each other in front, with bay windows supported by 
brackets and figures carved in wood. The entrance was by 
H central porch,:. supported by caiyatides . of oak, bearing 
Ionic scrolls, i :To the left was the Oak Parlour, with carved 
mantelpiece, of chest-like form.; and caryatid jambs, support- 
ing a slab sculptured with the story of Diana and Actseon. 
The ceiling was a shield, bearing J.M. in a glory, with 
cherubim, two heads of Roman emperors, with fish, flowers, 
and other figures, within wreathed borders, with bosses of 
acorns. 

White Conduit House was first built in the fields, in the 
reign of Charles I., and was named from a stone conduit, 
1641, which supplied the Charterhouse with water by a 
leaden pipe. The tavern was originally a small ale and 
cake house : Sir William Davenant describes a City wife 
going to the fields to " sop her cake in milke ;" and Gold- 
smith, speaks, of tea-drinking parties.here with hot rolls and 
butter. White Conduit rolls were nearly as famous as 
Chelsea buns. The Wheel Pond close by was a noted 
place for duck-hunting. 

In May, 1760, a poetical description of White Conduit 
House appeared in the Gentleman's Magazine. A descrip- 
tion of the old place, in 1774, presents a general picture of 
the tea-garden of that period : " It is formed into walk's, 
prettily disposed. At the end of the principal one is a 
painting which seems to render it (thewalk) in appearance 
longer than it really is. In the centre of- the garden is a 
fish-pond. There are boxes for company, curiously cut into 
hedges, adorned with Flemish and other paintings. There 
are two handsome tea-rooms, and several inferior ones." To 
these were added a new dancing and tea-saloon, called the 
Apollo Room. In 1826, the gardens were opened as a 
minor Vauxhall; and here the charming vocalist, Mrs. 



ISLINGTON TAVERNS.. .459 

Bland, last sang in public. In 183a, the- original tavern 
was taken down, and rebuilt upon a much larger plan;: 1 in 
its principal room 2000 persons could dine. In 1849 'these 
premises were also taken down, the tavern rebuilt upon a 
smaller scale, and the garden-ground let on building leases. 

Cricket was played here by the White Conduit Club, as 
early as 1799,; and one of its attendants, Thomas Lord, 
■ subsequently established the Marylebone Club. 

White Conduit House was for some years kept by Mr. 
Christopho' Barthdlomew, at one time worth 50,000^ He 
had some fortunate hits in the State Lottery, and celebrated 
his good fortune by a public breakfast in his gardens. ' He 
was known to "spend upwards of 2000 guineas a day for 
insiurance : fortune forsook him, and he passed the. latter 
years of his life in great povertyvpartly siibsisting on charity. 
But his gambling propensity led him, in 1807, to purchase 
with a friend a sixteenth of a lottery-ticket, which was dtawn 
a prize of 210,000/., with his moiety of which he purchased a 
small ^.nnuity, which he soon sold, and died in distress in 
1809! "■ ■ ' i 

Bagnigge Wells, on the banks of the Fleet brook, between 
Clerkenwell and old St. Pahcras church, was another tavefn 
of this class. We remember its concert-room and organ, its 
grottoes, fountain and fishpond, its trim trees, its grotesque 
costumed figures, and its bust of Nell Gw)mne tp support 
the tradition that she had a house here. 

A comedy of the seventeenth century has its scene laid at 
the Saraceii's Head, an old hostelrie, which in Queen Mary's 
reign had been hallowed by secret Protestant devotion, and 
stood between River Lane and the City Road. 

Highbury Barn, upon the site of the barn of the monks of 
Canonbury, was another noted tavern.* Nearly opposite 
Canonbury, Tower are the remains of a last-century tea- 



* Canonbury Tavern was in the middle of the last century a small 
ale-house. It was taken by a Mr. Lane, who had been a private soldi^: 



46o CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

garden ; and in Bamsbury is a similar relic. And on the 
entrance of a coppice of trees is Hornsey Wood House, a 
tavern with a delightful prospect. 

Islington abounds in chalybeate springs, resembling the 
Tunbridge Wells water ; one of which was rediscovered in 
1683, in the garden of Sadler's music-house, subsequently 
Sadler's Wells Theatre ; and at the Sir Hugh Myddelton's 
Head tavern was formerly a conversation-picture with 
twenty-eight portraits of the Sadler's Wells Club. In Spa 
Fields was held "Gooseberry Fair," where the stalls of 
gooseberry-fool vied with the " threepenny tea-booths," and 
the beer at " my Lord Cobham's Head," which denotes the 
site of the mansion of Sir John Oldcastle, the Wickliffite, 
burnt in 141 7. 

Copenhagen House. 

This old suburban tavern, which stood in Copenhagen 
Fields, Islington, was cleared away in forming the site of the 
New Cattle Market. 

The house had a curious history. In the time of Nelson, 
the historian of Islington (1811), it was a house of con- 
siderable resort, the situation affording a fine prospect over 
the western part of the metropolis. Adjoining the house 
was a small garden, furnished with seats and tables for the 
accommodation of company ; and a fives ground. The 
principal part of Copenhagen House, although much altered, 
was probably as old as the time of James I., and is tradition- 
ally said to have derived its name from having been the 



he improved the house, but its celebrity was gained by the widow Sutton, 
who kept the place from 1785 to 1808, and built new rooms, and laid 
out the bowling-green and tea-gardens. An Assembly was first estab- 
lished here in the year 1 8 10. Nearly the entire premises, which then 
occupied about four acres, were situated within the old park wall of the 
Priory of St. Bartholomew ; it formed, indeed, a part of the eastern 
side of the house ; the ancient fish-pond was filso connected with the 
.grounds. The Tavern has been rebuilt. 



COPENHAGEN HOUSE. 461 

residence of a Danish prince or ambassador during the 
Great Plague of 1665. Hone, in 1838, says : " It is certain 
that Copenhagen House has been Ucensed for the sale of 
beer, wine, and spirits, upwards of a century ; and for 
refreshments, and as a tea-house, with garden and ground 
for skittles and Dutch pins, it has been greatly resorted to by 
Londoners." The date of this hostelry must be older than 
stated by Hone. Cunningham says : " A public-house or 
tavern in the parish of Islington, is called Copenhagen in 
the map before Bishop Gibson's edition of Camden, 1695." 

About the year 1770 this house was kept by a person 
named Harrington. At his decease the business was con- 
tinued by his widow, wherein she was assisted for several 
years by a young woman from Shropshire. This female 
assistant afterwards married a person named Tomes, from 
whom Hone got much information respecting Copenhagen- 
house. In 1780 — the time of the London riots — 2. body of 
the rioters passed on their way to attack the seat of Lord 
Mansfield at Caen-wood ; happily, they passed by without 
doing any damage, but Mrs. Harrington and her maid were 
so much alarmed that they dispatched a man to Justice 
Hyde, who sent a party of soldiers to garrison the place., 
where they remained until the riots were ended. From this 
spot the view of the nightly conflagrations in the metropolis 
must have been terrific. Mrs. Tomes says she saw nine fires 
at one time. On the New Year's-day previous to this, Mrs. 
Harrington was not so fortunate. After the family had 
retired to rest, a party of burglars forced the kitchen window, 
and mistaking the salt-box, in the chimney-corner, . for a 
man's head, fired a ball through it. They then ran upstairs 
with a dark lantern, tied the servants, burst the lower panel 
of Mrs. Harrington's room door — while she secreted 50/. 
between her bed and: the mattresses — and three of them 
rushed to her bed-side, armed with a cutlass, crowbar, and a 
pistol, while a fourth kept watch outside. They demanded 
her money, and as she denied that she had any> they wrenched 



462 CLUB LIF£ OF LONDON. 

her drawers open with the crowbar, refusing to use the keys 
^e offered to them; In these they found about iv/. belong-' 
ing to her daughter, a little child, lyhomilihey threatened to 
murder unless she ceased crying : while they packed up all 
th6 plate, linen, and clothes, which j they carried oiE They 
went into the cellar, set all the ale barrels running, broke the 
necWs of the wine bottles, spilt the otHe* liquors, and slashed 
a round of beef with their cutlasses; From this wanton 
destnictioh they "returned to the kitchen, where they ate,' 
drank, and sung ; arid eventually frightened Mrs. Harrington' 
into delivering up the 50/. she had secreted, and it was with 
difficulty she escaped with her life. Rewards were oifered 
by Government and the parish of Islington for the appre- 
hension of the robbers ; and in May following one of them, 
named Clarkson, was discovered, and hopes of mercy 
tendered to him if he would discover his accomplices. This 
man was a watchmaker of Clerkenwell : the other 'three' were 
tradesnifen. They were tried and executed,' and Clarkson 
pardoned. He was, however, afterwards executed for 
another robbery. In a sense, this robbery was fortunate to 
Mrs. Harrington. A subscription was raised, which more 
than covered the loss, and the curiosity of the Londoners 
induced them to throng to the scene of the robbery. So 
great was the increase of business, that it became necessary 
to enlarge the premises. Soon afterwards the' house was 
celebrated for fives-playing. This game was oin cAA hand 
tennis, axidi IS a very ancient game. This last addition was 
almost accidental. "I made the first fives-ball," says Mrs. 
Tomes, "that was ever thrown up against 'Copenhagen 
House. One Hickman, a butcher at Highgate^ a country- 
man of mine, called, and, seeing me counting, we talked 
about our country sports, arid, amongst' the rest, ^t/^K -I 
told him we'd have a game some day. I laid do'wn the 
stone myself, and against he came again made a ball'. I 
struck the ball the first blow, he gave it the second — and so 
we played — ^and as iJiefe was company, they liked the sjjorl^ 



TOPffAM, AND HIS TAVERNS. 463 

and it gcJt talked of." This was the beginning of fives-play 
which became so famous at Copenhaigen House. 

TophaiHj the Strong. Man, and his Taverns. 

In Upper-street, Islington, was formerly'a house with the 
sign of the Duke's Head, at the south-east corner of Gadd's 
Row, (now St. Alban's Place,) which was remarkable, towards 
the middle of the last century, on account of its laridlord^ 
Thomas Topham, "the strong man of Islington." He was 
brought up to the trade of a carpenter, but alaandoned it 
soon after his apprenticeship had expired ; and about the 
age of twenty-four became the host of the Red Lion, near 
the old Hospital of St. LukCj in which" house he failed. 
When he had attailj^d his full growth, his stature was about 
five feet ten inchesj'and he soon began to give proof of his 
superior strength and muscular power. The first public 
exhibition of his extraordinary strength waS that of pulling 
against a horse, lying upon his back, and placing his feet 
against the dwarf wall that divided Upper and Lower 
Moorfields. 

By the strength of his fingers, he rolled up a very strong 
and large pewter dish, which was placed among the curiosi- 
ties of the British' Museum, marked near the edge, " April 3, 
1737, Thomas Topham, of London, carpenter, /rolled up 
this dish (made of the hardest pewter) by the streffgth of his 
hands, in the.presence of Dr. John Desaguliers," etc. He 
bro'ke seven or eight pieces of a tobacqo-pipe,. by the . f6rce 
of his middle finger, having laid them oh his first arid third 
fingers.' Having thrust the bowl of a strong tobacco-pipe 
under his garter, his legs being bent, he broke it t6 pieces 
by the tendons of his hams, without altering the position of 
his legs. Another, bowl 'of this kind , he broke (between his 
first and second finger, by pressing them together side\yays. 
He took an iron Vtijhen ppker,_ about a yardlorig,' and three 
inches round, ind bent it nearly to aright angle,' by strikmg 



464 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

upon his bare left arm between the elbow and the wrist. 
Holding the ends of a poker of like size in his hands, and 
the middle of it against the back of his neck, he brought both 
extremities of it together before him j and, what was yet more 
difficult, pulled it almost straight again.' He broke a rope 
of two inches in circumference.; though from his awkward 
manner, he was obliged to exert four times more strength 
than was necessary. He lifted a rolling stone of eight 
hundred pounds' weight with his hands only, standing in a 
frame above it, and taking hold of a chain fastened thereto. 

But his grand feat was performed in. Coldbath Fields, 
May 28, 1 741, in commemoration of the taking of Porto 
Bello, by Admiral Vernon. At this time Topham was land- 
lord of the Apple-tree, nearly facing the entrance to the 
House of Correction ; here he exhibited the exploit of 
lifting three hogsheads of water, weighing one thousand 
eight hundred and thirty-one pounds : he klso pulled against 
one horse, and would have succeeded against two, or even 
four, had he taken a proper position ; but in pulling against 
two, he was jerked from his seat, and had one of his knees 
much hurt. Admiral Vernon was present at the above 
exhibition, in the presence of thousands of spectators ; and 
there is a large print of the strange scene. 

Topham subsequently removed to Hog-lane, Shoreditch. 
His wife proved unfaithful to him, which so distressed him 
that he stabbed her, and so mutilated himself that he died, 
in the flower of his age. ^* 

Many years since, there were several signs in the metro- 
polis, illustrative of Topham's strength : the last was one in 
East Smithfield, where he was represented as " the Strong 
Man pulling against two Horses." 

The Castle Tavern, Holborn. 

This noted tavern, described by Stiype, a century and a 
half ago, as a house of considerable trade, has been, in our 




While Conduit House, 1747. 
( The Conduit in Front. ) 




Vaiixhall Assembly and Gardens, 1751. 



THE CASTLE TAVERN, HOLBOR&. 465 

time, the head-quarters of the Prize Ring, kept by two of 
its heroes, Tom Belcher and Tom Spring. Here was in- 
stituted the Daffy Club ; and the long room was adorned 
with portraits of pugilistic heroes, including Jem Belcher, 
Burke, Jackson, Tom Belcher, old Joe Ward, Dutch Sam, 
Gregson, Humphreys, Mendoza, Cribb, Molyneux, GuUey, 
Randall, Turner, Martin, Harmer, Spring, Neat, Hickman, 
Painter, SCToggins, Tom Owen, etc. ; and among other 
sporting prints, the famous dog. Trusty, the present of Lord 
Camelford to Jem Belcher, and the victor in fifty battles. 
In " Cribb's Memorial to Congress " is this picture of the 
great room : — 

Lent Friday night a bang-up set 
Of milling blades at Belcher's met, 
All high-bred heroes of the Ring, 

Whose very gammon would delight one ; 
Who, nurs'd beneath the Fancy's wing, 

Show all her feathers but the white one. 
Brave Tom, the Champion, with an air 
Almost Corinthian, took the chair, 
And kept the coves in quiet tune, 

By showing such a fist of mutton 
As on a point of order soon 

Would take the shine from Speaker Sutton, 
And all the lads look'd gay and bright, 

And gin and genius flashed about ; 
And whosoe'er grew impolite. 

The well-bred Charapioh serv'd him out. 

In 1828, Belcher retired from the tavern, and was suc- 
ceeded by Tom Spring (Thomas Winter), the immediate 
successor of Cribb, as Champion of England. Spring 
prospered at the Castle many years. He died August 17, 
185 1, in his fifty-sixth year; he was highly respected, and 
had received several testimonials of public and private 
esteem ; among which were these pieces of plate :— ^i. The 
Manchester Cup, presented in 182 1. 2. The Hereford 
Cup, 1823. 3. A noble tankard and a purse, value upwards 

H H 



466 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

of five hundred pounds. 4. A silver goblet, from Spring's 
early patron, Mr. Sant 

Spring's figure was an extremely fine one, and his face 
and fprehe9.d most rema,rkable. His brow had something 
rOf the Greek Jupiter in it, expressing command, energy, de- 
termina,tipn, aTi,d cool courage. Its severity was relieved by 
;the. lo^er jpart of his countenance, the features Jof which 
, denoted mildness and playPalness. His actual height was 
fi,ve feet eleven inches and a half; but, he' could stretch his 
neck so as to make his admeasurement more than six feet. 

Marylebone and Padding^on Taverns. 

Smith, in his very amusing " Book for a Rainy Day," tells 
us that in 1772, beyond Portland Chapel, (now St. Paul's,) 
the highway was irregular, with, here and there a bank of 
separation ; and having crossed the New: Road, there was a 
turnstile, at the entrance of a meadow leading to a little old 
public-house — the Queen's Head and Artichoke — an odd 
association : the sign was much ' weather-beaten, though 
perhaps once a tolerably good portrait of Queen Elizabeth : 
the house was reported to have been kept by one of Her 
Majesty's gardeners. 

A little beyond was another turnstile opening also into 
the fields, over which was a walk to the Jew's Harp Tavern 
and Tea Gardens. It consisted, pf a large upper room, 
ascended by an outside staircase for the accommodation of 
the company on ball-nights. • There were a semicircular 
enclosure of boxes for tea and ale drinkers, and tables and 
seats for the smokers, guarded by. deal-board soldiers be- 
tween every box, painted in proper colours. There were 
trap-ball ^nd tennis-grounds, and; skittle-grounds. South of 
the tea-g£irdens were suminer-houses and gardens, where the 
tenant migtit be seen on Sunday evening, in a bright scarlet 
waistcoat, ruffled shirt, and silver shoe-buckles, comfortably 
taking his tea with his family, honouring a Seven Dials friend 



MARYLEBONE AND PADDINGTON TAVERNS. 467 

with a nod on his peregrination to the famed Wells of 
Kilburn. Such was the suburban rural enjoyment ot .a 
century since on the borders of Marylebone Park. 

There is a capital story told of Mr. Speaker Onslow, who 
when he could escape from the heated atmosphere of the 
House of Commons, in his long service of thirty-three years, 
used to retire to the Jew's Harp. He dressed, himself in 
olain attirej and preferred taking his seat in the chimney- 
ioraer of the kitchen,- where he took part in the passing 
joke and ordinary concerns of the landlord, his family and 
customers ! He continued this practice for a year or two, 
and thus ingratiated himself with his host and his family, 
who, not knowing his name, called him " the gentleman," 
but, from his familiar manners, treated him as one of them, 
selves. It happened, however, one day, that the landlord 
of the Jew's Harp was walking along Parliament street, 
when he met the Speaker, in his state-coach, going up with 
an address to the throne ; and looking narrowly at the 
chief personage, he was astonished and confounded at 
recognising the features of the gentleman, his constant 
customer. He hiuried home and communicated the extra- 
ordinary intelligence to his wife and family, all of whom 
were disconcerted at the liberties which, at different times, 
they had taken with so important a person. In the evening, 
Mr. Onslow came as usual to the Jew's Harp, with his holi- 
day face and manners, and prepared to take his seat, but 
found everything in a state of peculiar preparation, and the 
manners of' the landlord and his wife changed from in- 
difference and. familiarity to form and obsequiousness : the 
children were not allowed to climb upon him, and pull his 
wig as heretofore, and the servants were kept at a distance. 
He, however, took no notice of the change, but, finding that 
his name and rank had by some means been discovered, he 
paid his reckoning, civilly took his departure, and never 
visited the house afterwards. 

The celebrated Speaker is buried in the family vault of 
H H 2 



468 CLVB LIFE OF LONDON. 

the OnslOws, at Merrow ; and in Trinity Church, Guildford, 
is a memorial of him — " the figure of the deceased in a 
Roman habit" and he is resting upon volumes of the Votes 
and Journals of the House of Commons. The monument 
is overloaded with inscriptions and armorial displays : we 
suspect that " the gentleman " of the Jew's Harp chimney- 
corner would rather that such indiscriminate ostentation had 
been spared, especially " the Roman habit." If we remem- 
ber rightly, Speaker Onslow presented to the people of 
Merrow, for their church, a cedar-wood pulpit, which the 
Churchwardens ordered to be painted white 1 

To return to the taverns. Wilson, our great landscape 
painterj was fond of playmg at skittles, and frequented the 
Green Man public-house, in the New-road, at the end of 
Norton-street, originally known under the appellation of the 
" Farthing Pye-house ;" where bits of mutton were put into a 
crust shaped like a pie, and actually sold for a farthing. 
This house was kept by a facetious man named Price, of 
whom there is a mezzotinto portrait : he was an excellent 
salt-box player, and frequently accompanied the famous 
Abel, when playing on the violoncello. Wilkes was a fre- 
quenter of this house to procure votes for Middlesex, as it 
was visited by many opulent freeholders. 

The Mother Redcap, at Kentish Town, was a house of no 
small terror to travellers in former times. It has been 
stated that Mother Redcap was the " Mother Damnable " 
of Kentish Town ; and that it was at her house that tl.e 
notorious Moll Cutpurse, the highwaywoman of the time of 
Oliver Cromwell, dismounted, and frequently lodged. 

Kentish Town has had some of its old taverns rebuilt. 
Here was the Castle Tavern, which had a Perpendicular 
stone chimney-piece ; the house was taken down in 1849 : 
close to its southern wall was a sycamore planted by Lord 
Nelson, when a boy, at the entrance to his uncle's cottage; 
the tree has been spared. Opposite were the old Assembly 
rooms, taken down in 1852 ; here was a table with an 



MARYLEBONE AND PADDINGTON TAVERNS. 469 

inscription by an invalid, who recovered his health by walk- 
ing to this spot every morning to take his breakfast in frort 
of the house. 

Bowling-greens were also among the celebrities of Mary- 
lebone : where, says the grave John Locke (" Diary," 1679), 
a curious stranger "may see several persons of quality 
bowling, two or three times a week, all the summer." The 
bowling-green of the Rose of Normandy Tavern and Gaming- 
house in High-street is supposed to be that referred to in 
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's memorable line ; and it is 
one of the scenes of Captain Macheath's debaucheries, in 
Gay's Beggar's Opera. 

The Rose was built some 230 years ago, and was the 
oldest house in Marylebone parish : it was originally a 
detached building, used as a house of entertainment in con- 
nection with the bowling-green at the back; and in 1659 
the place was described as a square brick wall, set with 
fruit-trees, gravel walks, and the bowling-green ; " all except 
the first, double tetwith quickset hedges, full-grown, and 
kept in excellent order, and indented like town walls." In 
a map of the Duke of Portland's estate, of 1708, there are 
shown two bowling-greens, one near the top of High-street,, 
and abutting on the grounds of the Old Manor House; 
the other at the back of this house : in connection with the 
latter was the Rose Tavern, once much frequented by 
persons of the first rank, but latterly in much disrepute, and 
supposed to be referred to by Pennant, who, when speak- 
ing of the Duke of Buckingham's minute description oF 
the house afterwards the Queen's Palace, says : " He has 
omitted his constant visits to the noted Gaming-house at 
Marybone; the place of assemblage of all the infamous 
sharpers of the time •" to whom his Grace always gave a 
dinner at the conclusion of the season ; and his parting 
toast was, " May as many of us as remain unhanged next- 
spring meet here again." 

These Bowling-greens were afterwards incorporated with 



470 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

the well-known Marylebone Gardens, upon the site of which 
are now built Beaumont-street, part of Devonshire-streety 
and Devonshire place. The principal entrance was in 
High-street. Pepys was here in 1688: " Then we abroad 
to Marrowbone, and there walked in the Gardens : the first 
time I was ever there, and a pretty place it is;" In the 
London Gazette, 1691, we read of "Long's Bowling-green 
at the Rose, at Marylebone, half a mile distant from 
London." The Gardens were at first opened gratis to all 
classes J after the addition of the bowling-grefens, the company' 
became more select, by one shilling entrance money being 
charged, an equivalent being allowed in viands. 

An engraving of 1 761, shows the Gardens in their fullest 
splendour : the centre walk had rows of trees^ with irons for 
the lamps in the stems; on either side; latticed alcoves; 
and on the right, the bow-fronted orchestra with balustrades, 
supported by columns ; with a projecting roof, to keep the 
musicians and singers free from rain ; on the left is a room 
for balls and Suppers. In 1763, the Gardens were taken by 
Lowe, the singer; he kept them until 1769, when he con- 
veyed the property by assignment to his creditors ; the 
deed we remember to have seen in Mr. Sampson Hodgkin- 
sbn's Collection at Acton Green ; from it we learn that the 
premises of -Rysbrack, th6 sculptor, were formerly part of 
the Gardens. Nan Cattley and Signor Storace were among 
the singers. James Hook, father of Theodore - Hook, com- 
posed many songs for the Gardens ; and Dr. Ame, catches 
and glees ; and under his direction was played Handel's 
miisic, followed by fireworks ; and in 1772, a' model-picture ' 
of- Mount Etna, in eruption. Burlettas from Shakspeare 
were recited here in 1774. In r 775, Baddeley, the comedian, 
gave here his Modern Magic Lantern, including Punch's 
Election; next, George Saville Carey his Lecture on 
Mimicry; arid in 1776, fantoccini, sleight-' of hand, and 
representations of the Boulevards at Paris arid Pyra;mids of 
Egypt 



MARYLEBONE AND PADDING^ON TAVERNS. 471 

Chatterton wrote for the Gardens The Revenge, a burletta, 
the manuscript of- which, together witii Chatterton's receipt, 
given to Henslow, the proprietor of the Gardens, for the 
amount paid for the drama, was found by Mr. tjpcott, at a 
cheesemonger's shop, in the City \ it was published, but its 
authenticity was at the time doubted by many eminent 
critics. {Cry^t, November, 1827.) 

Eaddington was long noted for its old Taverns. The 
White Lion, Edgware-road, dates 1524, the year when hops 
were first imported. At the Red Lion, near the Harrow-road, 
tradition says, Shakspeare acted ; and another Red Lion, 
formerly near the Harrow-road bridge over the Bourn, is 
described in an inquisition of Edward VI. In this road is 
also an ancient Pack-horse; and the Wheatsheaf, Edgware- 
rpad, was a favourite resort of Ben Jonson.* 

' Kilburn Wells, a noted tea-drinking tavern and garden, 
sprang up from the fame of tjie spring of mineral water 
there. , , 

Bayswater had, within memory, its tea-garden taverns, 
the most extensive of which were the " physic gardens " of 
Sir John Hill, who here cultivated his medicinal plants, and 
prepared from them his tinctures, essences, etc. The ground 
is now the site of noble mansions. The BaysVirater springs^ 
reservoirs,' and conduits, in olden times, brought here 
thousands of pleasure-seekers ; as did Shepherd's Bush, with" 
its rural name. Acton, with its wells of rnineral water, about 
the middle of the last century, were in high repute ; the 
assembly-robrh was ' then a place of great fashionable re- 
sort, biit on its decline was converted into tenements. The 
two noted taverns^ the Hfits, at Ealing, were much resorted ' 
to in the last century, and early in the preSerit. '''\ 



* Robins's "Paddington, Past and Present." 



472 



Kensington and Brompton Taverns. 

Kensington, on the Great Western-road, formerly had its 
large inns. The coflfee-house west of the Palace Road was 
much resorted to as a tea-drinking place, handy to the 
gardens. 

Kensington, to this day, retains its memorial of the resi- 
dence of Addison, at Holland House, from the period of his 
marriage. The thoroughfare from the Kensington Road to 
Netting Hill is named Addison Road. At Holland House 
are shown the table upon which the Essayist wrote ; his 
jeputed portrait ; and the chamber in which he died. 

It has been commonly stated and believed that Addison's 

.tnarriage with the Countess of Wanvick was a most unhappy 

■ match; and that, to drown his sorrow, and escape from his 

i termagant wife, he would often slip away from Holland 

House to the White Horse Inn, which stood at the corner 

of Lord Holland's Lane, and on the site of the present 

Holland Arms Inn. Here Addison would enjoy his favourite 

jjish of a fillet of veal, his bottle, and perhaps a friend. He 

is also stated to have had another way of showing his spite 

,to the Countess, by withdrawing the company from Button's 

-Cofiee-house, set up by her Ladyship's old servant. More- 

-over, Addison is accused of having taught Dryden to drink, so 

■^s to hastqp his end: how doubly " glorious" old John must 

liave been in his cups. Pope also states that Addison kept 

such late hours that he was compelled to quit his company, 

But both these anecdotes are from Spence and are doubted ; 

and they have done much injury to Addison's character. 

Miss Aikin in her "Life of Addison," endeavours to invalidate 

these imputations, by reference to the sobriety of Addison's 

early life. He had a remarkably sound constitution, and 

could, probably, sit out his companions, and stop short of 

actual intoxication ; indeed, it was said that he was only 

warmed into the utmost brilliancy of table conversation, by 



KENSmCTON AND BROMPTON TA VERNS. 473 

the time that Steele had rendered himself nearly unfit for it. 
Miss Aikin refers to the tone and temper, the correctness of 
taste and judgment of Addison's writings, in proof of 
his sobriety ; and doubts whether a man, himself stained 
with the vice of intoxication, would have dared to stig- 
matize it as in his s69th Spectator. The idea that 
domestic unhappiness led him to contract this dreadful 
habit is then repudiated; and the opposite conclusion 
supported by the bequest of his whole property to his 
lady. " Is it conceivable," asks Miss Aikin, " that any man 
would thus 'give and hazard all he had,' even to his 
precious only child, in compliment to a woman who should 
have rendered his last years miserable by her pride and 
petulance, and have driven him out from his home, to pass 
his comfortless evenings in the gross indulgence of a tavern?" 
Our amiable biographer, therefore, equally discredits the 
stories of Addison's unhappy marriage, and of his intem- 
perate habits. 

The White Horse was taken down many years since. 
The tradition of its being the tavern frequented by Addison 
was common in Kensington when Faulkner printed his 
" History," in 1820. 

There was a celebrated visitor at Holland House who, 
many years later, partook of " the gross indulgence." Sheri- 
dan was often at Holland House in his latter days ; and 
Lady Holland told Moore that he used to take a bottle of 
wine and a book up to bed with him always ; the former 
alone intended for use. In the morning, he breakfasted in 
bed, and had a little brandy or rum in his tea or coffee ; 
made his appearance between one and two, and pretending 
important business, used to set out for town, but regularly 
stopped at the Adam and Eve public-house for a dram, and 
there ran up a long bill, which Lord Holland had to pay. 
This was the old roadside inn, long since taken down. 

When the building for the Great Exhibition of 18.51 was 
in course of construction, Alexis Soyer, the celebrated cook 



474 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

from the Reform Club, hired for a term, Gore House,- and 
converted Lady Blessingtoh's Wiell-appomted mansion and 
grounds into a sort. of \xigQ restaurant,. yfiiv^ our poetical 
cook named "the Symposium." The house was ill plannedfor 
the purpose, and underwent much grotesque decoration and. - 
bizarre embellishment, to meet Soyer's somewhat unorthodox 
taste; for his chief aim was to show the public " something 
they had never seen before." The designation of the place 
— ^Symposium — led to a dangerous joke : "Ah ! I under- 
stand," said a wag, " impose-on-'em." Sbyer was horrified, 
and implored the joker not to name his witticism upon 
'Change in the City, but he disregarded the restaurateur's 
request, and the pun was often repeated between Cornhill 
and Kensington. 

In the reconstruction and renovation of the place, Soyet 
was assisted by his friend Mr. George Augustus Sala, who, 
some years after, when he edited Tefnple Bar, described in 
his very clever manner, what he saw and thought, whilst for 
" many moons he slept, and ate, and drank, and walked, 
and talked, in Gore Houses surrounded by the very strangest 
of company " ; — 

From February to mid-Majch a curious medley o£ carpenters, scene- 
painters, plumbers, glaziers, gardeners, town-travellers for ironmongers, 
wine-merchants, and drapers, held high carnival in -the place. By-arid- 
by came diikes and duchesses, warriors and statesmen, ambassadors, 
actors, artists, authors, .quack-doclors, baHet-dancets,, journalists, Indian 
princes, Irish; members, nearly all that was odd and ajl that; was dis- 
tinguished, native or foreign, in London town. They wandered up and 
down tlie staircases, and in and out of the saloons, quizzing, and talking, 
ani laughing, and flirting sometimes in sly comers. They signed then: 
names in a big book, blazing with gold and morocco, which lay among 
shavings on a carpenter's bench in the library. Where is that wondrous 
collection of autographs, that Libra d'Oro, now ? Mr. Keeley's signa- 
ture followed suit to that of Lord Carlisle. Fanny Cerito inscribed her 
pretty name, with that of "St. Leon " added, next to the signature 
of the magnificent Duchess of Sutherland. I was at work with the 
whitewashers on the stairs, and saw Semiramis sweep past. Baron 
Brunnow met Prof. HoUoway on the neutral groiind of a page of autor 



KENSINGTON AiSTD BROMPTON TAVERNS. 475 

graphs. Jules Janih's name came close to the laborious ' pai^aphh of an 
eminent pugilist. Members of the American Congress found themselves 
in juxtaposition with Freaerick Douglas and the dark gentleman who 
came as ambassador from Hayti. I remember one Sunday, during that 
strange time, seeing Mr. Disraeli, Madame Doche, the Author of 
"Vanity Fair," a privy councillor, a Sardinian attach^, the Marquis of 
Normanby, the late Mr. Flexmore the clown, the Editor of Punch, and 
the Wizard of the North, all pressing to enter the whilom boudoir of 
the Blessington. 

Meanwhile I and the whitewashers were hard at work. We sum- 
moned upholsterers, carvers and gilders to our aid. Troops cf men in 
white caps and jackets began to flit about the lower regions. The 
gardeners were smothering themselves with roses in the adjacent par- 
terres. Marvellous erections began to rear their heads in the grounds, 
of Gore House. The wilderness had become, not exactly a paradise, 
but a kind of Garden of Epicurus, in which some of the features of that 
classical bower of bliss were blended with those of the kingdom of Cock- 
aigne, where pigs are said to run about ready roasted with silver knives 
and forks stuck in them, and crying, "Come, eat us ; our crackling is 
delicious, and the sage-and-dnions with which we are stuffed distils an 
odour as sweet as that of freshly gathered violets." Vans laden with 
vrines, with groceries, with plates and dishes^ with glasses and cande< 
labra, and with bales of calico, and still more calico, were perpetually 
arriving at Gore House. The carriages of the nobili^ and gentry were 
blocked up among railway goods- vans and Parcels Delivery carts. The 
authorities of the place were obliged to send for a detective policeinan ' 
to mount permanent guard at the Gore, for the swell-mob had found us 
out, and flying squadrons of felonry hung on the skirts of our distinguished 
visitors, and harassed their fobs fearfully. Then we sent forth advertise-' ■ 
ments to the' daily papers, and legion's of mothers, grandmothers, and ' 
aunts brought myriads of newly- Washed boys, some chubby and curly- 
haired, some lanky and straight-locked, from whom we seletted the 
conielier youths, and put them into picturesque garbs, confected for us 
by Mr. NicoU. Then we held a competitive examination of pretty, 
girls, and from those who obtained the largest number of marks (of 
respect and admiration) we chose a bevy of Hebes, whose rosy lips, 
black eyes and blue eyes, fair hair and dark hair, very nearly, drove me 
crazy in the spring days of 1851. 

Aiid by the end of April we had completely metamorphosed Gore 
House. I am sure that poor Lady Blessington would not have known 
her coquettish villa again had she visited it, and I am afr&id she would 
not have been much gratified to see that which the upholsterers, the: 
whitewashers, the hangers of calico, and your humble servant, had 



476 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

wrought. As for the venerable Mr. Wilberfbrce, who, I believe, 
occupied Gore House some years before Lady Blessington's tenancy, he 
would have held up his hands in pious horror to see the changes we 
had made. A madcap masquerade of bizarre taste and queer fancies 
had turned Gore House completely inside out. In honest truth, we had 
played the very dickens with it. The gardens were certainly mag- 
nificent, and there was a sloping terrace of flowers in the form of a 
gigantic shell, and literally crammed with the choicest roses, which has 
seldom, I believe, been rivalled in ornamental gardening. But the 
house itself 1 The library had been kindly dealt by, save that from the 
ceiling were suspended a crowd of quicksilvered glass globes, which 
bobbed about like the pendent ostrich-eggs in an Eastern mosque. 
There was a room called the " Floriana," with walls and ceiling fluted 
with blue and white calico, and stuck all over with spangles. There 
was the " Doriana," also in calico, pink and white, and approached by 
a portal calletl the "door of the dungeon of mystery," which was 
studded with huge nails, and garnished with fetters in the well-known 
Newgate fashion. Looking towards the garden were the Alhambra 
Terrace and the Venetian Bridge. The back drawing-room was the 
Night of Stars, or the RSverie de t Etoile folaire ; the night being re- 
presented by a cerulean ceiling painted over with fleecy clouds, and the 
firmament by hangings of blue gauze spangled with stars cut out of silver- 
foil paper ! Then there was the vestibule of Jupiter Tonans, the walls 
covered with a salmagundi of the architecture of .all nations, from the 
Acropolis to the Pyramids of Egypt, from Temple Bar to the Tower of 
Babel. The dining-room became the Hall of Jewels, or the Salon des 
Larmes de Danae, and the " Shower of Gems," with a grand arabesque 
perforated ceiling, gaudy in gilding and distemper colours. Upstairs 
there was a room fitted up as a Chinese pagoda, another as an Italian 
cottage overlooking a vineyard and the Lake of Como ; another as a 
cavern of ice in the Arctic regions, with sham columns imitating ice- 
bergs, and a stuffed white fox — bought cheap at a sale — in the chimney. 
The grand staircase belonged to me, and I painted its walls with a 
grotesque nightmare of portraits of people I had never seen, and hun- 
dreds more upon whom 1 had never set eyes save in the print-shops, till 
I saw the originals grinning, or scowling, or planted in blank amaze- 
ment before the pictorial libels on the walls. 

In the gardens Sir Charles Fox built for us a huge barrack of wood, _ 
glass, and iron, which we called the "Baronial Hall," and which we 
fiUed with pictures and lithographs, and flags and calico, in our own , 
peculiar fashion. We hired a large grazing-meadow at the back of the_ 
gardens, from a worthy Kensington cow-keeper, and having fitted up 
another barrack at one end of it, called it the " Pr^ D'Orsay." We 



KNIGHTSBRIDGE TAVERNS. 47 J 

memorialized the Middlesex magistrates, and, after a great deal of 
trouble, got a licence enabling us to sell wines and spirits, and to have 
music and dancing if we so chose. We sprinkled tents and alcoves all 
over our gardens, and built a gipsies' cavern, and a stalactite pagoda 
with double windows, in which gold and silver fish floated. And finally, 
having engaged an army of pages, cooks, scullions, waiters, barmaids, 
and clerks of the kitchen, we opened this monstrous place on the first 
of May, 185 1, and bade all the world come and dine at Soyer's 
Symposium. 

However, the ungrateful public disregarded the invitation, 
and poor Alexis Sbyer is believed to have lost 4006/. by 
this enteiprise. He died a few years after, at the early age 
of fifty. His friend Mr. Sala has said of him with true 
pathos : — " He was a vain man ; but he was good and kind 
and charitable. There are paupers and beggars even among 
French cooks, and Alexis always had his pensioners and his 
alms-duns, to whom his hand was ever open. He was but 
a cook, but he was my dear and good friend." 

We remember to have heard Soyer say of the writer of 
these truthful words, in reply to an inquiry as to the artist 
of the figures upon the staircase-walls, " He is a very clever 
fellow, of whom you will hear much," — a prediction which 
has been fully verified. 

Brompton, with its two centuries of Nursery fame, lasted 
to our time ; southward, among " the Groves," were the 
Florida, Hoop and Toy, and other tea-garden taverns; there 
remains the Swan, with its bowling-green. 

Knightsbridge Taverns. 

Knightsbridge was formerly a noted " Spring Garden," 
with several taverns, of gay and questionable character. 
Some of the older houses have historical interest. The 
Rose and Crown, formerly the Oliver Cromwell, has been 
licensed above three hundred years. It is said to be the 
house which sheltered Wyat, while his unfortunate Kentish 
followers rested on the adjacent green. A tradition of the 



4-78 CLUB LIF£ OF LONDON. . 

locality also is that Cromwell's body-guard was once 
quartered here, the probability of which is carefully examined 
in Da:vis's " Memorials of Knightsbridge." The house has 
been much modernized of late years; " but," says Mr. Davis, 
"enough still remains. io its. peculiar chimneys, oval-shaped 
windows, the low rooms, large yard, and extensive stabling, 
with the galleries above, and office-like places beneath, to 
testify to its antiquity and former importance." The Rismg 
Sun, hard by, is a seventeenth century red-brick house, 
which formerly had much carved work in the rooms, and a 
good staircase remains. 

The Fox and Bull is the third hbuse that has existed 
under the same sign. The first was Elizabethan with carved 
and panelled rooms, ornamented ceiling; and it was not 
until i799i that the immense fireplaces and dog-irons were 
removed for stove-grates. This house was pulled down 
about 1836, and the second immediately built upon its site; 
this stood till the Albert-gate improvements made the 
removal of the tavern business to its present situation.* 
. The original Fox and Bull is traditionally said to have 



• Stolen Marriages were the source of the old Knightsbridge tavern 
success, and ten books, of marriages and baptisms solemnized here, 1658 
to 1 752, . are preseryed. Trinity Chapel, the old edifice, was one of the 
places where these irregular marriages were solemnized. Thus, in 
Shadwell's Sullen L&vers, Lovell is made to say, '^Let's dally no longer; 
there is a person at Knightsbridge that yokes all stray people together ; 
we'll to him, he'll dispatch us presently, and send us away as lovingly 
as any two fools that ever yet were condemned to marriage." Some of 
the entries in this mariiage register are suspicious enough — "secrecy 
for life," or "great secrecy," or "secret for fourteen years," being 
appended to the names. Mr. Davis, in his " Memorials of Knights- 
bridge, "was the first to exhume from this document the name of the 
adventuress, "Mrs. Mary AyKf," whom Sir Samuel Morland married 
as his fourth wife, in 1697. 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 coachman's daughter not worth 
a shilling." 



KNIGHTSBRIDGE TAVERNS. 479 

been used by Queen Elizabeth on her visits to Lord 
Burghley, at Brompton. Its curious sign is said to be the 
only one of the kind existing. .. .Here. for a long time was 
.maintained that Queen Anne style. of society, where, persons 
of parts and reputation were to be met with in public rooms. 
Captain Corbet was for a long, time its head ; Mr. Shaw, of 
the War Office, supplied.the London. Gazette; and Mr. Harris, 
ofCdVent Garden, his play-bills. Sir Joshua Reynolds, is 
said to have been occasionally a.visitor; as also Sir W. Wyrih, 
the patron of Ryland. George Morland, top, was frequently 
here. The sign was once painted by Sir Joshua, and hung 
tiU 1807, when it was blown down and destroyed in a storm. 
The house is referred to in the Tatler, No. 259. 

At about where William-street joins Lowndes-square was 
"an excellent Spring Garden." Among the entries of the 
Virtuosi, or St. X,uke's Club, established by Vandyke, is the 
following : " Paid and spent at Spring. Gardens, by Knights- 
bridge, forfeiture^' 3/. 15^." Pepys being at Kensington, 
"on a frolic," June 16, 1664, "lay in his drawers, and 
stockings, and waistcoat, tiU five of the clock, and so up, 
walked to Knightsbridge, and there eat a mess of cream, and 
so to St. James's," - etc. And, April 24, 1665, the King 
being in the Park, and sly Pepys being doubtful of being 
seen in any pleasure, stepped out of the Park to Knights- 
bridge, and there ate and drank in the coach. 

Pepys also speaks of -"the World's End," at Knightsbridge, 
which Mr. Davis thinks could only have been the sign 
adopted for the Garden ; and Pepys, being too soon to go 
into Hyde Park, went on to Knightsbridge, and there ate 
and drank at the World's End; and elsewhere the road 
going,*' to the World's Endj a drinking-house by the Park, 
and there merry, and so home late." Congreve, in his 
Love for Love, alludes, in a woman's quarrel, to the place, 
between Mrs. Frail and Mrs. Foresight, in which the former 
says : ' " I don't doubt but you have thought yourself happy 
in a hackney-coach before now. If I had gone to Knights- 



480 CLVB LIFE OF LONDON. 

bridge, or to Chelsea, or to Spring Garden, or Bam Elms, 
with a man alone, something might have been said." The 
house belonging to this Garden stood till about 1826. 

Knightsbridge Grove, approached through a stately 
avenue of trees from the road, was a sporting house. Here 
the noted Mrs. Comelys endeavoured to retrieve her for- 
tunes, after her failure at Carlisle House. Ini785 she gave 
up her precarious trade. " Ten years after," says Davis's 
" Memorials of Knightsbridge," " to the great surprise of the 
pubUc, she reappeared at Knightsbridge as Mrs. Smith, a 
retailer of asses' milk. A suite of breakfast-rooms was 
opened ; but her former influence could not be recovered. 
The speculation utterly failed ; and at length she was con- 
fined to the Fleet Prison. There she ended her shallow 
career, dying August 19, 1797." 

A once notorious house, the Swan, still exists on the 
Knightsbridge-road, a little beyond the Green. It is cele- 
brated by Tom Brown. In Otway's Soldier's Fortune, 1681, 
Sir Davy Dunce says : — 

I have surely lost, and ne'er shall find her more. She promised me 
strictly to stay at home till I came back again ; for ought I know, she 
may be up three pair of stairs in the Temple now, or, it may be, taking 
the air as far as Knightsbridge, with some smooth-faced rogue or another ; 
'tis a damned house that Swan, — that, Swan at Knightsbridge is a con- 
founded house. 

To the Feathers, which stood to the south of Grosyenor- 
row, an odd anecdote is attached. A Lodge of Odd 
Fellows, or some similar society, was in the habit of holding 
its meetings in a room at the Feathers ; and on one occa- 
sion, when a new member was being initiated in the 
mysteries thereof, in rushed two persons, whose abrupt and 
unauthorized entrance threw the whole assemblage into an 
uproar. Summary punishment was proposed by an expe- 
ditious kick into the street ; but, just as it was about to be 
bestowed, the secretary recognised one of the intruders as 
George, Prince of Wales, afterwards George IV. Circum- 



KNIGHTSBRIDGE TAVERNS. 481 

Stances instantly changed: it indeed was he, out on a 
nocturnal excursion ; and accordingly it was proposed and 
carried that the Prince and his companion should be 
admitted members. The Prince was chairman the re- 
mainder of the evening; and the chair in which he sat, 
ornamented, in consequence, with the plume, is still pre- 
served in the parlour of the modern inn in Grosvenor-street 
West, and over it hangs a coarsely-executed portrait of the 
Prince in the robes of the order. The inn, the hospital, 
and various small tenements were removed in 185 1, when 
the present stately erections were immediately commenced. 
On the ground being cleared away, various coins, old horse- 
shoes, a few implements of warfare, and some human 
remains were discovered.* 

Jenny's Whim, another celebrated place of entertainment, 
has only just entirely disappeared ; it was on the site of St. 
George's-row. Mr. Davis thinks it to have been named 
from the fantastic way in which Jenny, the first landlady, laid 
out the garden. Angelo says, it was estabhshed by a fire- 
work-maker, in the reign of George I. There was a large 
breakfast-room, and the grounds comprised a bowling-green, 
alcoves, arbours, and flower-beds ; a fish-pond, a cock-pit, 
and a pond for duck-hunting. In the Connoisseur, May 15, 
1775, we read: "The lower sort of people had their 
Ranelaghs and their Vauxhalls as well as the quaUty. Perrot's 
inimitable grotto may be seen, for only calling for a pint of 
beer ; and the royal diversion of duck-hunting may be had 
into the bargain, together with a decanter of Dorchester, for 
your sixpence, at Jenny's Whim." The large garden here 
had some amusing decejJtions ; as by treading on a spring 
— taking you by surprise — up started different figures, some 
ugly enough to frighten you — a harlequin, a Mother Shipton, 
or some terrific animal. In a large piece of water facing the 
tea-alcoves, large fish or mermaids were showing themselves 



• Davis's "Memorials of Knightsbridge." 
I I 



482 , CLUB LIFE OF LONDON, - 

above the surfece." Horace Walpole> in his Letters, occa- 
sionally alludes to, Jenny's Whim ; in one to Montagu he 
spitefully says— f Here (at Vauxhall) we picked up Lord 
Granby, arrived very drunk from Jenny's Whim.'' , 

Towards the close of the last century, Jenny's- Whim 
began to decline; its morning visitors were not so numerous, 
and opposition was also powerful. It gradually became 
forgotten, and at last sank to the condition of a beerhouse, 
and about 1804- the business altogether ceased.* 

Jenny's Whim has more than once served the novelist for 
an illustration ; as in " Maids of Honour, a Tale of the 
Times of George the First :" — " There were gardens," says 
the writer, mentioning the place, "attached to it, and a 
bowling-green ; and parties were frequently made, composed' 
of ladies and gentlemen, to enjoy a day's amusement there 
in eating strawberries and cream, syllabubs, cake, and 
taking other refreshments, of which a great variety could be 
procured, with cider, perry, ale, wine, and other liquors in 
abundance. ' The gentlemen played at bowls — some em- 
ployed themselves at skittles; whilst the ladies amused 
themselves at a swing, or walked about the garden, admiring 
the sunflowers, hollyhocks, the Duke of Marlborough cut 
out of a filbert-tree, and the roses and daisies, currants and 
gooseberries, that spread their alluring charms in every 
path. 

" This was a favourite rendezvous for lovers in courting 
time — a day's pleasure at Jenny's Whim being considered 
by the fair one the most enticing enjoyment that could be 
offered her ; and often the hearts of the most obdurate have 
given way beiieath the influence of its attractions. Jenny's 
Whim, therefore, had always, during the season, plenty of 
pleasant parties of young people of both sexes. Sometimes 



* The last relic of "Jenny's Whim" was removed in November, 
1865. 



RANELAGH GARDENS. 483- 

all its chambers were filled, and its gardens thronged by gay 
and sentimental visitors."* 

Ranelagh Gardens. 

This famous place of entertainment was opened in 1742, 
on the site of the gardens of Ranelagh House, eastward of 
Chelsea Hospital. It was originally projected by Lacy, the 
patentee of Drury Lane Theatre, as a sort of Winter Vaux- 
hall. There was a Rotunda, with a Doric portico, and arcade 
and gallery; a Venetian pavilion in a lake, to which the 
company were rowed in boats ; and the grounds were planted 
with trees and allees vertes. The several buildings were 
designed by Capon, the eminent scene-painter. There were 
boxes for refreshments, and in each was a painting : in the 
centre was a heating apparatus, concealed by arches, porti- 
coes and niches, paintings, etc. ; and supporting the ceiling, 
which was decorated with celestial figures, festoons of flowers, 
and arabesques, and lighted by circles of chandeliers. The - 
Rotunda was opened with a public breakfast, April 5, 1742. 
Walpole describes the high fashion of Ranelagh: "The 
prince> princess, duke, much nobility, and much mob besides, 
were there." " My Lord Chesterfield is so fond of it, that 
he says he has ordered all his letters to be directed thither." 
The admission was one shilUng ; but the ridottos, with supper 
and music, were one guinea. Concerts were also given here : 
Dr. Ame composed the music jTenducGi and Mara sangj 
and here were first publicly performed the compositions of 
the Catch Club. Fireworks and a mimic Etna were next 
introduced ; and lastly masquerades, described in Fieldmg's 
" Amelia," and satirized in the Connoisseur, No. 66, May i, 
1755 ; wherein the-Sunday evening's tea-drinkings at Rane- 



* In I7SS, a quarto satirical tract was published, entitled "Jenny's 
Whim ; or, a Sure Guide to the Nobility, Gentry, and other Eminent 
Persons in this Metropolis." 

112 



484 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

lagh being laid aside, it is proposed to exhibit "the story 
of the Fall of Man in a Masquerade." 

But the promenade of the Rotunda, to the music of the 
orchestra and organ, soon declined. " There's your famous 
Ranelagh, that you make such a fuss about ; why, what a 
dull place is that !" says Miss Burney's Evelina. In 1802, 
the Installation Ball of the Knights of the Bath was given 
given here ; and the Pic-nic Society gave here a breakfast 
to 2000 persons, when Gamerin ascended in his balloon. 
After the Peace F^te, in 1803, for which allegorical scenes 
were painted by Capon, Ranelagh was deserted, and in 
1804 the buildings were removed. 

There was subsequently opened in the neighbourhood a 
New Ranelagh. 

Cremorne Tavern and Gardens. 

This property was formerly known as Chelsea Farm, and 
in 1803 devolved to the Viscount Cremorne, after whom it 
was named, and who employed Wyatt to build the elegant 
and commodious mansion. In the early part of the present 
century, Cremorne was often visited by George III., and 
Queen Charlotte, and the Prince of Wales. In 1825, the 
house and grounds devolved to Mr. Granville Penn, by 
whom they were much improved. Next, the beauty of the 
spot, and its fitness for a pleasure-garden, led to its being 
opened to the public as "the Stadium." After this, the 
estate fell into other hands, and was appropriated to 
a very different object. A,t length, under the proprietor- 
ship of Mr. T. B. Simpson, the grounds were laid out 
with taste, and the tavern enlarged; and the place has 
prospered for many years as a sort of Vauxhall, with multi- 
tudinous amusements, in variety far outnumbering the old 
proto-gardeni 



483 



The Mulberry Garden, 

Upon the site of which is built the northern portion of 
Buckingham Palace, was planted by order of James I., in 
1609, and in the next two reigns became a public garden. 
Evelyn describes it in 1654 as "y° only place of refresh- 
ment about y® towne for persons of y" best quality to be 
exceedingly cheated at ;" and Pepys refers to it as " a silly 
place," but with " a wilderness somewhat pretty." It is a 
favourite locality in the gay comedies of Charles II. 's reign. 
Dryden frequented the Mulberry Garden ; and according 
to a contemporary, the poet ate tarts there with Mrs. Anne 
Reeve, his mistress. The company sat in arbours, and 
were regaled with cheesecakes, syllabubs, and sweetened 
wine ; wine-and-water at dinner, and a dish of tea afterwards. 
Sometimes the ladies wore masks. " The country ladys, 
for the first month, take up their places in the Mulberry 
Garden as early as a citizen's wife at a new play." — Sir 
Charles Sedley's " Mulberry Garden," 1668. 

A princely palace on that space does rise, 

Where Sedley's noble muse found mulberries. — £>r. King. 

Upon the above part of the garden site was built Goring 
House, let to the Earl of Arlington in 1666, and thence 
named Arlington House; in this year the Earl brought from 
Holland, for 6oj., the first pound of tea received in England; 
so that, in all probability, the first cup of tea made in England 
was drunk iipon the site of Buckingham Palace. 

Pimlico Taverns. 

Pimlico is a name of gardens of public entertainment, 
often mentioned by our early dramatists, and in this respect 
resembles " Spring Garden." In a rare tract, " Newes from 
Hogsdon," 1598, is : " Have at thee, then, my merrie boys, 
and hey for old Ben Pimlico's nut-browne f and the place, 



486 CLUB LIFB OF LONDON. 

in or near Hoxton, was afterwards named from him. Ben 

Jonson has : 

A second Hogsden, 
In days of Pimlico and eye-bright. — The Alchemist. 

" Pimlico-path " is a gay resort of his "Bartholomew Fair;" 
and Meercraft, in " The Devil is an Ass," says : 

I'll have thee, Captain Gilthead, and march up 
And take in Pimlico, and kill the bush 
At every tavern. 

In 1609, was printed a tract entitled "Pimlyco, or Prince 
Red Cap, 'tis a Mad World at Hogsden." Sir Lionel Rash, 
in Green's " Tu Quoque," sends his daughter " as far as 
Pimlico for a draught of Derby ale, that it may bring colour 
into her cheeks." Massinger mentions. 

Eating pudding-pies on a Sunday, 
At Pimlico or Islington. — City Madam. 

Aubrey, in his " Surrey," speaks of " a Pimlico Garden on 
Bankside." 

Pimlico, the district between Knightsbridge and- the 
Thames, and St. James's Park and Chelsea, was noted for its 
public gardens : as the Mulberry Garden, now part of the 
site of Buckingham Palace j the Dwarf Tavern and 
Gardens, afterwards Spring Gardens, between Ebury-street 
and Belgrave-terrace ; the Star and Garter, at the end 
of Five-Fields-row, famous for its equestrianism, fire- 
works, and dancing; and the Orange, upon the site of 
St. Barnabas' church. Here, too, were Ranelagh and 
New Ranelagh. But the largest garden in Pimlico v/as 
Jenny's Whim, already described. In later years it was 
freqtiented by crowds from bull-baiting in the adjoining 
fields. Among the existing old signs are, the Bag o' Nails, 
Arabella-row, from Ben Jonson's " Bacchanals ;" the Com- 
passes, of Cromwell's time (near Grosvenor-row) ; and the 
Gun Tavern and Tea-gardens, Queen's-row, with its arbours 



LAMBETH AND VAVXHALL TAVERNS. 487 

and costumed figures taken down for the Buckingham Gate 
improvements. "Pimlico is still noted for its ale-breweries. 

Lambeth, — Vaxixhall Taverns and Gardens, etc. 

On the south bank of the Thames, at the time of the 
Restoration, were first laid out the New Spring Gardens, at 
Lambeth (Vauxhall), so called to distinguish them from 
Spring Garden, Charing Cross. Nearly two centuries of gay- 
existence had Vauxhall Gardens, notwithstanding the pro- 
:verbial fickleness of our climate, and its ill-adaptation for 
out-door amusements. The incidents of its history are 
better known than those of Marylebone or Ranelagh 
Gardens j so that we shall not here repeat the Vauxhall 
programmes. The gardens were finally closed in 1859, and 
the ground is now built upon : a church, of most beautiful 
design, and a school of art, being the principal edifices. 

"Though Vauxhall Gardens retained their plan to the 
last, the lamps had long fallen off in their golden fires ; the 
punch got weaker, the admission-money less ; and the com- 
pany fell in a like ratio of respectability, and grew dingy, 
not to say raffish, — a sorry falling off from the Vauxhall 
crowd of a century since, when it numbered princes and 
ambassadors ; ' on its tide and torrent of fashion floated all 
the beauty of the time ; and through its lighted avenues of 
trees glided cabinet ministers and their daughters, royal 
dukes' and their wives, and all the red-heeled macaronics.' 
Even fifty years ago, the evening costume of the company 
was elegant : head-dresses of flowers and feathers were seen 
in the promenade, and the entire place sparkled as did no 
other place of public amusement. But low prices brought 
low company. The conventional wax-lights got fewer ; the 
punch gave way to fiery brandy or doctored stout. The 
semblance of Vauxhall was still preserved in the orchestra 
printed upon the plates and mugs ; and the old firework bell 
tinkled as gaily as ever. But matters grew more seedy ; the 



4^S CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

place seemed literally worn out : the very trees were scrubby 
and singed ; and it was high time to say, as well as see, in 
letters of lamps, ' Farewell for ever !' "* 

Several other taverns and gardens have existed at different 
times in this neighbourhood. Cumberland Gardens' site is 
now Vauxhall Bridge-road, and Cuper's Garden was laid 
out with walks and arbours by Boydell Cuper, gardener to 
Thomas, Earl of Arundel, who gave him some of the muti- 
lated Arundelian marbles (statues), which Cuper set up in 
his ground: it was suppressed in 1753: the site is now 
crossed by Waterloo Bridge Road. Belvidere House and 
Gardens adjoined Cuper's Garden, in Queen Anne's reign. 

The Hercules Inn and Gardens occupied the site of the 
Asylum for Female Orphans, opened in 1758 ; and opposite 
were the Apollo Gardens and the Temple of Flora, Mount- 
row, opened 1788. A century earlier there existed, in King 
William's reign, Lambeth Wells, in Three Coney Walk, now 
Lambeth Walk ; it was reputed for its mineral waters, sold 
at a penny a quart, " the same price paid by St. Thomas's 
Hospital." About 1750 a Musical Society was held here, 
and lectures and experiments were given on natural philo- 
sophy by Erasmus King, who had been coachman to Dr. 
Desaguliers. In Stangate-lane, Carlisle-street, is the Bower 
Saloon, with its theatre and music-room, a pleasure haunt of 
our own time. Next is Canterbury Hall, the first established 
of the great Music Halls of the metropolis. 

The Dog and Duck was a place of entertainment in St. 
George's Fields, where duck-hunting was one of its brutal 
amusements. The house was taken down upon the rebuild- 
ing of Bethlehem Hospital j and the sign-stone, representing 
a dog squatting upon his haunches, with a duck in his 
mouth, with the date 1617, is imbedded in the brick wall of 



* See the Descriptions of Vauxhall Gardens in " Curiosities of 
London,'' pp. 745-748; "Walks and Talks about London," pp. 
16-30 ; " Romance of London," vol. iii. pp. 34-44. 



FREEMASONS' LODGES. 489 

the Hospital garden, upon the site of the entrance to the old 
tavern ; and at the Hospital is a drawing of the Dog and 
Duck : it was a resort of Hannah More's " Cheapside 
Apprentice." 

Bermondsey Spa, a chalybeate spring, discovered about 
1770, was opened, in 1780, as a minor Vauxhall, with 
fireworks, pictures of still life, and a picture model of the 
Siege of Gibraltar, painted by Keyse, the entire apparatus 
occupying about four acres. He died in 1800, and the 
garden was shut up about 1805. There are Tokens of the 
place extant, and the Spa-road is named from it. 

A few of the old Southwark taverns have been described. 
From its being the seat of our early Theati-es, the houses of 
entertainment were here very numerous, in addition to the 
old historic Inns, which are fast disappearing. In the 
Beaufoy collection are several Southwark Tavern Tokens ; 
as — The Bore's Head, 1649 (between Nos. 25 and 26 
High-street). Next also is a Dogg and Dvcke token, 1651 
(St. George's Fields) ; the Greene Man, 165 1 (which remains 
in Blackman-street) ; y" Bull Head Taverne, 1667, men- 
tioned by Edward AUeyn, founder of Dulwich College, as 
one of his resorts ; Duke of Suffolk's Head, 1669 ; and the 
Swan with Two Necks. 

Freemasons' Lodges. 

Mr. Elmes, in his admirable work, " Sir Christopher Wren 
and his Times," 1852, thus glances at the position of Free- 
masonry in the MetropoUs two centuries since, or from the 
time of the Great Fire : 

"In 1666 Wren was nominated deputy Grand Master 
under Earl Rivers, and distinguished himself above all his 
predecessors in legislating for the body at large, and in pro- 
moting the interests of the lodges under his immediate care. 
He was Master of the St. Paul's Lodge, which, during the 
building of the Cathedral, assembled at the Goose and 



49° CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Gridiron in St. Paul's Churchyard, and is now the Lodge of 
Antiquity, acting by immemorial prescription, and "regularly 
presided at its meetings for upwards of eighteen years. 
During his presidency he presented that Lodge with three 
mahogany candlesticks, beautifully carved, and- the trowel 
and mallet which he used in laying the first stone of the 
Cathedral, June 21, 1675, which the brethren of that 
ancient and distinguished Lodge still possess' and duly 
appreciate. 

" During the building of the City, Lodges were held by 
the fraternity in different places, and several new ones con- 
stituted, which were attended by the leading architects and 
the best builders of the, day, and amateur brethren of the 
mystic craft. In 1674 Earl Rivers resigned his graiid 
mastership, and George Villieirs, Duke of Buckingham, was 
elected to the dignified office. He left the care of the 
Grand Lodge and the brotherhood to the Deputy Grand 
Master Wren and his Wardens. During the short reign of 
James II., who tolerated no secret societies but the Jesuits, 
the Lodges were but thinly attended : but in 1685 Sir Christo- 
pher Wren was elected Grand Master of the Order, and 
nominated Gabriel Cibber, the sculptor, and Edward Strong, 
master mason at St. Paul's and other of the City churches, 
as Grand Wardens. The Society has continued with various 
degrees of success to the present day, particularly under the 
grand-masterships of the Prince of Wales, afterwards King 
George IV.,* and his brother, the late Duke of Sussex, and 
since the death of the latter, under that of the Earl of 
Zetland ; and Lodges under the constitution of the Grand 
Lodge of England are held in every pa.rt of the habitable 
globe, as its numerically and annually-increasing lists 
abundantly show." 

Sir Francis Palgrave, in an elaborate paper in the Edin- 



* The Prince was initiated in a Lodge at the Key and Garter, 
No. 26, Pall MaU. 



FREEMASONS' LODGES. 491 

burgh Review, April, 1839, however, takes another view of 
the subject, telling us that " the connexion between the 
operative' masons,* and those whom, without disrespect, we 
must term a convivial society of good fellows, met at the 
' Goose and Gridiron, in St. Paul his Churchyard,' appears 
to have been finally dissolved about the beginning of the 
eighteenth century. The theoretical and mystic, for we dare 
not say ancient, Freemasons, separated from the Worshipful 
Company of Masons and Citizens of London about the 
period above mentioned. It appears from an inventory of 
the contents of the chest of the London Company, that not 
very long since, it contained ' a book wrote on parchment, 
and bound or stitched in parchment, containing 113 annals 
of the antiquity, rise, and progress of the art and mystery of 
Masonry.' But this document is not now to be found." 

There is in existence, and known to persons who take an 
interest in the History of Freemasonry, a copper-plate List 
of Freemasons' Lodges in London in the reign of Queen 
Anne, with a representation of the Signs, and some Masonic 
ceremony, in which are eleven figures of well-dressed men, 
in the costume of the above period. There were then 129 
Lodges, of which 86 were in London, 36 in English cities, 
and 7 abroad. 

Freemasonry evidently sprang up in London at the build- 
ing of St. Paul's, and many of the oldest Lodges are in the 
neighbourhood. But the head-quarters of Freemasonry are 
the Grand Hall, in the rear of Freemasons' Tavern, 62, 
Great Queen-street, Lincoln's Inn Fields : it was commenced 
May I, 1775, from the designs of Thomas Sandby, R.A., 
Professor of Architecture in the Royal Academy : 5000/. 
was raised by a Tontine towards the cost ; and the Hall 
was. opened and dedicated in solemn form, May 23, 1776 ; 



* Hampton Court Palace was built by Freemasons, as appears from 
the very curious accounts of the expenses of the fabric, extant among 
the public records of London. 



492 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Lord Petre, Grand Master. " It is the first house built. in 
this country with the appropriate symbols of rnasonry, and 
with the suitable apartments for the holding of lodges, the 
initiating, passing, raising, and exalting of brethren." Here 
are held the Grand and other lodges, which hitherto assem- 
bled in the Halls of the City Companies. 

Freemasons' Hall, as originally decorated, is shown in a 
print of the annual procession of Freemasons' Orphans, by 
T. Stothard, R.A. It is a finely-proportioned room, 92 feet 
by 43 feet, and 60 feet high, and will hold 1500 persons : it 
was re-decorated in 1846 : the ceiling and coving are richly 
decorated ; above the principal entrance is a large gallery, 
with an organ ; and at the opposite end is a coved recess, 
flanked by a pair of fluted Ionic columns, and Egyptian door- 
ways J the sides are decorated with fluted Ionic pilasters ; and 
throughout the room in the frieze are masonic emblems, gilt 
upon a transparent blue ground. In the intercolumniations 
are full-length royal and other masonic portraits, including 
that of the Duke of Sussex, as Grand-Master, by Sir W. 
Beechey, R.A. In the end recess is a marble statue of the 
Duke of Sussex, executed for the Grand Lodge by E. H. 
Baily, R.A. Tlie statue is seven feet six inches high, and 
the pedestal six feet ; the Duke wears the robes of a Knight 
of the Garter, and the Guelphic insignia : at his side is a 
small altar, sculptured with masonic emblems. 

Whitebait Taverns. 

At what period the lovers of good living first went to eat 
Whitebait at " the taverns contiguous to the places where 
the fish is taken," is not very clear. At all events the houses 
did not resemble the Brunswick, the West India Dock, the 
Ship, or the Trafalgar, of the present day, these having much 
of the architectural pretension of a modern club-house. 

Whitebait have long been numbered among the delicacies 
of our tables, for we find " six dishes of Whitebait " in the 



WHITEBAIT TAVERNS. 493 

funeral feast of the munificent founder of the Charterhouse, 
given in the Hall of the Stationers' Company, on May 28, 
1 61 2 — the year before the Globe Theatre was burnt down, 
and the New River completed. For aught we know these 
dehcious fish may have been served up to Henry VIII. and 
Queen Elizabeth in their palace at Greenwich, off which 
place, and Blackwall opposite, Whitebait have been for ages 
taken m the Thames at flood tide. To the river-side taverns 
we must go to enjoy a " Whitebait dinner," for one of the 
conditions of success is that the fish should be directly 
netted out of the river into the cook's cauldron. 

About the end of March, or early in April, Whitebait 
make their appearance in the Thames, and are then small, 
apparently but just changed from the albuminous state of 
the young fry. During June, July, and August immense 
quantities are consumed by visitors to the different taverns 
at Greenwich and Blackwall, 

Pennant says : Whitebait " are esteemed very delicious 
when fried with fine flour, and occasion during the season a 
vast resort of the lower order of epicures to the taverns con- 
tiguous to the places where they are taken." If this account 
be correct, there must have been a strange change in the 
grade of the epicures frequenting Greenwich and Blackwall 
since Pennant's days, for at present the fashion of eating 
Whitebait is sanctioned b} the highest authorities, from the 
Court of St. James's Palace in the West to the Lord Mayor 
and his court in the East ; besides the philosophers of the 
Royal Society, and her Majesty's Cabinet Ministers. Who, 
for example, does not recollect such a paragraph as the 
following, which appeared in the Morning Post of the day 
on which Mr. Yarrell wrote his account of Whitebait, 
September loth, 1835? — 

" Yesterday the Cabinet Ministers went down the river 
in the Ordnance barges to Lovegrove's West India Dock 
Tavern, Blackwall, to partake of their annual fish dinner. 
Covers were laid for thirty-five gentlemen." 



494 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

For our own part, we consider the Ministers did not evince 
their usual good policy in choosing so late a period as 
September, the Whitebait being finer eating in July or 
August, so that their "annual fish dinner "must rather be 
regarded as a sort of prandial wind-up of the Parliamentary 
session than as a specimen of refined epicurism. 

We remember many changes in matters concerning White- 
bait at Greenwich and Blackwall. Formerly, the taverns 
were mostly built with weather-board fronts, with bow- 
windows, so as to command a view of the river. The old 
Ship and the Crown and Sceptre taverns at Greenwich were 
built in this manner; and some of the Blackwall houses were 
of humble pretensions : these have disappeared, and hand- 
some architectural piles have been erected in their places. 
Meanwhile, Whitebait have been sent to the metropolis by 
railway or steamer, where they figure in fishmongers' shops 
and tavern cartes of almost every degree. 

Perhaps the famed delicacy of Whitebait rests as much 
upon its skilful cookery as upon the freshness of the fish. 
Dr. Pereira has published the mode of cooking in one of 
Lovegrave's " bait-kitchens " at Blackwall, The fish shoiild 
be dressed within an hour after being caught, or they are apt. 
to cling together. They are kept in water, from which they 
are taken by a skimmer as required ; they are then thrown 
upon a layer of flour, contained in a large napkin, in which 
they are shaken until completely enveloped in flour ; they 
are then put into a colander, and all the superfluous flour is 
removed by sifting ; the fish are next thrown into hot lard 
contained in. a copper cauldron or stew-pan placed over a 
charcoal fire ; in about two minutes they are removed by a, 
tin skimmer, thrown into a colander to drain, and served up 
instantly, by placing them on a fish-drainer in a dish. The 
rapidity of the cooking process is of the utmost importance ; 
and if it be not attended to, the fish will lose their crispness, 
and be worthless. At table, lemon juice is squeezed over 
them, and they are seasoned with Cayenne pepper ; brown 



WHITEBAIT TA VERNS. 495 

bread and butter is substituted for plain bread ; and tliey are 
eaten with iced champagne, or punch. 
_ The origin of the Ministers' Fish Dinner, already men- 
tioned, has been thus pleasantly narrated : — 

Every year, the approach of the close of the Parliamen- 
tary Session is indicated by what is termed " the Ministerial 
Fish Dinner," in which Whitebait forms a prominent dish ; 
and Cabinet Ministers are the company. The Dinner takes 
place at a principal tavern, usually at Greenwich,' but some- 
times at Blackwall : the dining-room is decorated for the 
occasion, which partakes of a state entertainment. For- 
merly, however, the Ministers went down the river from 
Whitehall in an Ordnance gilt barge : now, a gpvernment 
steamer is employed. The origin of this annual festivity is 
told as follows : — On the banks of Dagenham Lake or 
Reach, in Essex, many years since, there stood a cottage, 
occupied by a princely merchant named Preston, a baronet 
of Scotland and Nova Scotia, and sometime M.P. for 
Dover. He called it his " fishing <;ottage," and often in the 
spring he went thither, with a friend or two, as a relief to 
the toils of parliamentary and mercantile duties. His most 
frequent guest was the Right Hon. George Rose, Secretary 
of the Treasury, and an Elder Brother of the Trinity House. 
Many a day did these two worthies enjoy at Dagenham 
Reach ; and Mr. Rose once intimated to Sir Robert that 
Mr. Pitt, of whose friendship they were both justly proud, 
would, no doubt, delight in the comfort of such a retreat 
A day was named, and the Premier was invited ; and he 
was so well pleased with his reception at the "fishing 
cottage "— tliey were all two if not three botde men — that, 
on taking leave, Mr. Pitt readily accepted an invitation for 
the following year. 

For a few years, the Premier continued a visitor to 
Dagenham, and was always accompanied by Mr. George 
Rose. But the distance was considerable ; the going and 
coming were somewhat inconvenient for the First Minister 



496 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

of the Crown. Sir Robert Preston, however, had his 
remedy, and he proposed that they should in future dine 
nearer London. Greenwich was suggested; we do not hear 
of Whitebait in the Dagenhara dinners, and its introduction, 
probably, dates from the removal to Greenwich.. The party 
of three was now increased to four ; Mr. Pitt being per- 
mitted to bring Lord Camden. Soon after, a fifth guest was 
invited — Mr. Charles Long, afterwards Lord Farnborough. 
All were still the guests of Sir Robert Preston ; but, one by 
one, other notables were invited, — all Tories — and, at last, 
Lord Camden considerately remarked, that, as they were all 
dining at a tavern, it was but fair that Sir Robert Preston 
should be relieved from the expense. It was then arranged 
that the dinner should be given, as usual, by Sir Robert 
Preston, that is to say, at his invitation ; and he insisted on 
still contributing a buck and champagne : the rest of the 
charges were thenceforth defrayed by the several guests ; 
and, on this plan, the meeting continued to take place 
annually till the death of Mr. Pitt. 

Sir Robert was requested, next year, to summon the 
several guests, the list of whom, by this time, included most 
of the Cabinet Ministers. The time for meeting was usually 
after Trinity Monday, a short period before the end of the 
Session. By degrees, the meeting, which was originally 
purely gastronomic, appears to have assumed, in conse- 
quence of the long reign of the Tories, a political or semi- 
political character. Sir Robert Preston died; but Mr. 
Long, now Lord Farnborough, undertook to summon the 
several guests, the list of whom was furnished by Sir Robert 
Preston's private secretary. Hitherto, the invitations had 
been sent privately : now they were despatched in Cabinet 
boxes, and the party was, certainly, for some time, limited 
to the Members of the Cabinet. A dinner lubricates minis- 
terial as well as other business : so that the " Ministerial 
Fish Dinner" may "contribute to the grandeur and pros- 
perity of our beloved country." 




iJ-iiS.-/.^ J 



The White Horse, Kensington 




St. John's Gate, Clerkenwell. (The Urban Club.) 



WHITEBAIT TA VERNS. 497 

The following Carte is from the last edition of the " Art 
of Dining," in Murray's " Railway Reading :"— 

FTsh Dinner at Blackmail or Greenwich. 
La tortue k I'Anglaise. 
La bisque d'ecrevisses. 
Le consomme aux quenelles de merlan. 
De tortue claire. 
Les casseroles de green fat feront le tour de la table. 
Les tranches de saumon (crimped). 
Le poisson de St. Pierre i la creme. 
Le zoutchet de perches. 
,, de truites. 

,, de flottons. 

,, de soles (crimped). 

„ de saumon. 

,, d'anguilles. 

Les lamproies a la Worcester. 
Les croques en bouches de laitances de marquereau. 
Les boudins de merlans a la reine. 
^ .t; { Les soles menues frites. 
.a ^ J Les petits carrelets ,, 

I 'g 1 Croquettes de homard. : 

O p. I Les filets d'anguUIes. 

La ti-uite saumonee k la Tartare. 
Le whitebait : id. k la diable. 

Second Service, . . 

Les petits poulets au cresson — le jambonneau aux epinards. 
La; Mayonnaise de filets de soles— les filets de merlans i I'Arpin. 
Les petits pois a I'Anglaise — les artichauts k la Barigoule. 
La gelee de Marasquin aux fraises — les pets de nonnes. 
Les tartelettes aux cerises — les celestines k la fleur d'orange. 
Le.baba k la compote d'abricots — le fromage Plombiere. 

Mr. Walker, in his " Original," gives an account of a 
dinner he ordered, at Lovegrove's, at Blackwall, where if } ou 
never dined, so much the worse for you : — 

The party will consist of seven men besides myself, and every guest 
is asked for some reason — upon which good fellowship mainly depends ; 
for people bought together nncoimectedly had, in my opinion, better 
be kept separately. Eight I hold the golden number, never to be 

K K 



498 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

exceeded without weakening the efficacy of concentration. The dinner 
is to consist of turtle, followed by no other fish but Whitebait, which is 
to be followed by no other meat but grouse, which are to be succeeded 
simply by apple-fritters and jelly, pastry on such occasions being quite 
out of place. With the turtle, of course, there will be punch ; with the 
Whitebait, champagne ; and with the grouse, claret ; the two former I 
have ordered to be particularly well iced, and they will all be placed in 
succession upon the table, so that we can help ourselves as we please. 
I shall permit no other wines, unless, perchance, a bottle or two of port, 
if particularly wanted, as I hold variety of wines a great mistake. With 
respect to the adjuncts, I shall take care that there is cayenne, with 
lemons cut in halves, not in quarters, within reach of every one, for the 
turtle, and that brown bread and butter in abundance is set upon the 
table for the Whitebait. It is no trouble to think of these little matters 
beforehand, but they make a vast difference in convivial contentment. 
The dinner will be followed by ices, and a good dessert, after which 
coffee and one glass of liqueur each, and no more ; so that the present 
may be enjoyed without inducing retrospective regrets. If the master 
of a feast msh his party to succeed, he must know how to command, 
and not let his guests run riot, each according to his own wild fancy. 

The London Tavern, 

Situated about the middle of the western side of Bishops- 
gate-street Within, presents in its frontage a mezzanine- 
storey, and lofty Venetian windows, reminding one of the 
old-fashioned assembly-room fa9ade. The site of the present 
tavern was previously occupied by the White Lion Tavern, 
which was de£(troyed in an extensive fire on the 7 th of 
November, 1765; it broke out at a peruke-maker's opposite; 
the flames were carried by a high wind across the street, to 
the house immediately adjoining the tavern, the fire speedily 
reaching the corrier j the other angles of Comhill, Grace- 
church-street, and Leadenhall-street, were all on fire at the 
same time, and fifty houses and buildings were destroyed 
and damaged, including, the White Lion and Black Lion 
Taverns. 

Upon the site of the former was founded " The London 
Tavern," oh the Tontine principle; it was commenced in 



THE LONDON TAVERN. 499 

1767, and completed and opened in September, 1768; 
Richard B. Jupp, architect. The front is more than 80 feet 
wide by nearly 70 feet in height. 

The Great Dining-room, or " Pillar-room," as it is called, 
is 40 feet by 33 feet, decorated with medallions and garlands, 
Corinthian columns and pilasters. At the top of the edifice 
is the ball-room, extending the whole length of the structure, 
by 33 feet in width, and 30 feet in height, which may be laid 
out as a banqueting-room for 300 feasters ; exclusively of 
accommodating 150 ladies as spectators in the galleries at 
each end. The walls are throughout hung with paintings, 
and the large room has an organ. 

The Turtle is kept in large tanks, which occupy a whole 
vault, where two tons of turtle may sometimes be seen 
swimming in one vat. We have to thank Mr. Cunningham 
for this information, which is noteworthy, independently of 
its epicurean association, — ^that " turtles will live in cellars 
for three, months in excellent condition if kept in the same 
water in which they were brought to this country. To change 
the water is to lessen the weight and flavour of the, turtle." 
Turtle does not appear in bills of fare of entertainments 
given by Lord Mayors and Sheriffs between the years 1761 
and 1766; and it is not till 1768 that turtle appears by 
name, and then in the bill of the banquet at the Mansion 
House to the King of Denmark. The cellars, which con- 
sist of the whole basement storey, are filled with barrels of 
porter, pipes of port, butts of sherry, etc. Then there are a 
labyrinth of walls of bottle ends, and a region of bins, six 
bottles deep ; the catacombs of Johannisberg, Tokay, and 
Burgundy. "Still we glide on through rivers of sawdust 
through embankments of genial wine. There are twelve 
hundred of champagne down here ; there are between six, 
and seven hundred dozen of claret ; corked up in these bins 
is a capital of from eleven to twelve thousand pounds ; these 
bottles absorb, in simple interest at five per cent., an tncome 

K K 2 



500 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

amounting to some five or six hundred pounds per annum."* 
" It was not, however, solely for uncovering these floods of 
mighty wines, nor for luxurious feasting that the London 
Tavern was at first erected, nor for which it is still exclu- 
sively famous, since it was always designed to provide a 
spacious and convenient place for public meetings. One of 
the earliest printed notices concerning the establishment is 
of this character, it being the account of a meeting for pro- 
moting a public subscription for John Wilkes, on the 12th 
of February, 1769, at which 3000/. were raised, and local 
committees appointed for the provinces. In the Spring 
season such meetings and committees of all sorts are equally 
numerous and conflicting with each other, for they not 
unfrequently comprise an interesting charitable election or 
two ; and in addition the day's entertainments are often 
concluded with more than one large dinner, and an evening 
party for the lady spectators. 

" Here, too, may be seen the hasty arrivals of persons 
for the meetings of the Mexican Bondholders on the second 
floor ; of a Railway assurance ' upstairs, and first to the left;' 
of an asylum election at the end of the passage ; and of the 
party on the ' first-floor to the right,' who had to consider of 
' the union of the Gibbleton line to the Great-Trunk-Due- 
Eastem-Junction.' 

" For these business meetings the rooms are arranged 
with benches, and sumptuously Turkey-carpeted ; the end 
being provided with a long table for the directors, with an 
imposing array of papers and pens. 

" ' The morn, the noon, the day is pass'd ' in the reports, 
the speeches, the recriminations and defences of these 
parties, until it is nearly five o'clock. In the very same 
room the Hooping Cough Asylum Dinner is to tak6 place 
at six ; and the Mexican Bondholders are stamping and 
hooting above, on the same floor which in an -hour is to 



Household Words, 1852. 



THE LONDON TAVERN. 501 

support the feast of some Worshipful Company which makes 
t their hall. The feat appears to be altogether impossible ; 
nevertheless, it must and will be most accurately performed." 

The Secretary has scarcely bound the last piece of red 
tape round his papers, when four men rush to the four 
corners of the Turkey carpet, and half of it is rolled up, dust 
and all. Four other men with the half of a clean carpet 
bowl it along in the wake of the one displaced. While you are 
watching the same performance with the remaining half of 
the floor, a battalion of waiters has fitted up, upon the new 
half carpet, a row of dining-tables and covered them with 
table-cloths. While in turn you watch them, the entire 
apartment is tabled and table-clothed. Thirty men are at 
this work upon a system, strictly departmental. Rinse and 
three of his followers lay the knives ; Burrows and three 
more cause the glasses to sparkle on the board. You 
express your wonder at this magical celerity. Rinse 
moderately replies that the same game is going on in other 
four rooms ; and this happens six days out of the seven in 
the dining-room. 

When the Banquet was given to Mr. Macready in Feb- 
ruary, 1851, the London Tavern could not accommodate 
all the company, because there were seven hundred and 
odd ; and the Hall of Commerce was taken for the dinner. 
The merchants and brokers were transacting business there 
at four o'clock ; and in two hours, seats, tables, platforms, 
dinner, wine, gas, and company, were all in. By a quarter 
before six everything was ready, and a chair placed before 
each plate. Exactly at six, everything was placed upon the 
table, and most of the guests were seated. 

For effecting these wonderful evolutions, it will be no 
matter of surprise that we are told that an army of servants, 
sixty or seventy strong, is retained on the establishment ; 
taking on auxiliary legions during the dining season. 

The business of this gigantic establishment is of such 
extent as to be only carried on by this systematic means. 



502 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Among the more prominent displays of its resources which 
take place here are the annual Banquets of the officers of 
some twenty-eight different regiments, in the month of May, 
There are likewise given here a very large number of the 
annual entertainments of the different charities of London. 
Twenty-four of the City Companies hold their Banquets 
here, and transact official business. Several Balls take place 
here annually. Masonic I^odges are held here ; and almost 
innumerable Meetings, Sales, and Elections for Charities 
alternate with the more directly festive business of the 
London Tavern. Each of the departments of so vast an 
establishment has its special interest. We have glanced at 
its dining-halls, and its turtle and wine cellars.* To detail 
its kitchens and the management of its stores and supplies, 
and consumption, would extend beyond our limit, so that 
we shajl end by remarking that upon no portion of our 
metropolis is more largely enjoyed the luxury of doing good, 
and the observance of the rights and duties of goodfellow- 
ship, than at the London Tavern. 

The Clarendon Hotel. 

This sumptuous hotel, the reader need scarcely be in- 
formed, takes its name from its being built upon a portion 
of the gardens of Clarendon House, between Albemarle 
and Bond-streets, in each of which the hotel has a frontage. 



* The usual allowance at what is called a Turtle-Dinner is 6 lb. live 
weight per head. At the Spanish-Dinner, at the City of London 
Tavern, in 1808, four hundred guests attended, and 2500 lb. of turtle 
were consumed. 

For the Banquet at Guildhall, on Lord Mayor's Day, 250 tureens of 
turtle are provided. 

Turtle may be enjoyed in steaks, cutlets, or fins, and as soup, clear 
and/«r&, at the Albion,- London, and Freemasons', and other large 
taverns. "The Ship and Turtle Tavern," Nos. 129 and 130, Leaden, 
hall-street, is especially famous for. its turtle ; and from this establish- 
ment several of the West-end Club-houses are supplied. 



THE CLARENDON HOTEL. 503 

The house was, for a short term, let to the Earl of Chatham, 
for his town residence. 

The Clarendon contains series of apartments, fitted for the 
reception of princes and their suites, and for nobility. Here 
are likewise given official banquets on the most costly scale. 

^ Among the records of the house is the menu of the dinner 
given to Lord Chesterfield, on his quitting the office of 
Master of the Buckhounds, at the Clarendon. The party 
consisted of thirty ; the price was six guineas a head ; and 
the dinner was ordered by Count D'Orsay, who stood 
almost without a rival amongst connoisseurs in this depart- 
ment of art : — 

Premier Saince. 

Potages. — Printanier : a la reiiie : turtle. 

Poissons. — Turbot (lobster and Dutch sauces) : saumon k la Taitare : 
rougets a la cardinal : friture de raorue : whitebait. 

Releves. — Filet de boeuf k la Napolitaine : dindon i la chipolata : 
timballe de macaroni : haunch of venison. 

Entries. — Croquettes de volaille : petits pates aux huJtres : cotelettes 
d'agneau : puree de champignons : c&telettes d'agneau aux points 
d'asperge : fricandeau de veau i Toseille : ris de veau pique aux tomates : 
cotelettes de pigeons \ la Dusselle : chartreuse de l^giljnes aux faisans : 
filets de caimetons a la Bigarrade : boudins ^ la Richelieu : " saute de 
volaille aux truffes : pSt^ de mouton monte. ' ' 

C6tL — Boeuf r6ti : jambon : salade. 

Second Service. 

R6ts. — Chapons, quails, turkey poults, green goose. . 

Entremets. — Asperges : haricot a la Fran5aise : mayonnaise de 
homard : gelee Macedoine : aspics d'oeufs de phivier : Charlotte Russe ; 
gelee au Marasquin : creme marbre : corbeille de patisserie : vol-au- 
vent de rhubarb : tourte d'abricots : corbeille des meringues : dressed 
crab : salade au gelantine. — Champignons aux fines herbes. 

Relevis. — Souffle, a la vanille : Nesselrode pudding : Adelaide sand- 
wiches : foudus. Pieces montes," etc. 

The reader will not fail to observe how well the English 
dishes, — turtle, whitebait, and venison, — ^relieve the French 
in this dinner : and what a breadth, depth, solidity, and 
dignity they add to it. Green goose, also, may rank as 



504 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

English, the goose being held in little honour, with the 
exception of its liver, by the French ; but we think Comte 
P'Orsay did quite right in inserting it. The execution is 
said to have been pretty nearly on a pax with the conception, 
and the whole entertainment was crowned with the most 
inspiriting success. The price was not unusually large.* 

Freemasons' Tavern, Great Queen-street. 

This well-appointed tavern, built by William Tyler, in 
1786, and since considerably enlarged, in addition to the 
usual appointments, possesses the great advantage of Free- 
masons' Hall, wherein take place some of our leading public 
festivals and anniversary dinners, the latter mostly in May 
and June. Here was given the farewell dinner to John 
Philip Kemble, upon his retirement from the stage, in 181 7 ; 
the public dinner, on his birthday, to James Hogg, the 
Ettrick Shepherd, in 1832. Mollard, who has published an 
excellent " Art of Cookery,'' was many years Maitre cPITdtel, 
and proprietor of the Freemasons' Tavern. 

In the Hall meet the Madrigal Society, the Melodists' 
and other musical clubs : and the annual dinners of the 
Theatrical Fund, Artists' Societies, and other public institu- 
tions, are given here. 

Freemasons' Hall has obtained some notoriety as the 
arena in which were delivered and acted the Addresses at 
the Anniversary Dinners of the Literary Fund, upon whose 
eccentricities we find the following amusing note in the latest 
edition of the " Rejected Addresses :" — 

" The annotator's first personal knowledge of William 
Thomas Fitzgerald, was at Harry Greville's Pic-Nic Theatre, 
in Tottenham-street, where he personated Zanga in a wig 
too small for his head. The second time of seeing him was 
at the table of old Lord Dudley, who familiarly called him 



* "The Art ofDiDiDg." Murray, 1852 



FREEMASONS TAVERN. 505 

Fitz, but forgot to name him in his will. The Viscount's 
son, however, liberally supplied the omission by a donation 
of five thousand pounds. The third and last time of en- 
countering him was at an anniversary dinner of the Literary 
Fund, at the Freemasons' Tavern. Both parties, as two of 
the stewards, met their brethren in a small room about half- 
an-hour before dinner. The lampooner, out of delicacy, 
kept aloof from the poet. The latter, however, made up to 
him, when the following dialogue took place : 

" Fitzgerald (with good humour). ' Mr. , I mean to 

recite after dinner.' 

«Mr. . '^Doyou?' 

" Fitzgerald. ' Yes : you'll have more of God bless the 
Regent and the Duke of York 1' 

" The whole of this imitation, (one of the Rejected Ad- 
dresses,) after a lapse of twenty years, appears to the authors 
too personal and sarcastic ; but they may shelter themselves 
under a very broad mantle : — 

Let hoarse Fitzgerald bawl 
His creaking couplets in a tavem-hall. — Byron. 

" Fitzgerald actually sent in an address to the Committee 
on the 31st of August, 1812. It was published among the 
other "Genuine Rejected Addresses," in one volume, in 
that year. The following is an extract : — 

The troubled shade of Garrick, hovering near, 
Dropt on the burning pile a pitying tear. 

*' What a pity that, like Sterne's recording angel, it did 
not succeed in blotting the fire out for ever ! That failing, 
why not adopt Gulliver's remedy ?" 

Upon the " Rejected," the Edinburgh Review notes :— 
" The first piece, under the name of the loyal Mr. Fitz- 
gerald, though as good we suppose as the original, is not 
very interesting. Whether it be very like Mr. Fitzgerald or 
not, however, it must be allowed that the vulgarity, servility, 



5o6 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

and gross absurdity of the newspaper scribblers is well 
rendered." 

The Albion, Aldersgate Street. 

This extensive establishment has long been famed for its 
good dinners, and its excellent wines. Here take place the 
majority of the banquets of the Corporation of London^ the' 
Sheriffs' Inauguration Dinners, as well' as those of' Civic 
Companies and Committees, and such festivals, public and 
private, as are usually held at taverns of the highest class. 

The farewell Dinners given by the East India Company 
to the Governors-General of India, usually take place at the 
Albion. " Here likewise (after dinner) the annual trade sales 
of the principal London publishers take place," revivifying 
the olden printing and book glories of Aldersgate and Little 
Britain. 

The cuisine of the Albion has long been celebrated for its 
rechercM character. Among the traditions of the tavern it is 
told that a dinner was once given here under the auspices 
of the gourmand Alderman Sir William Curtis, which cost 
the party between thirty and forty pounds apiece. It might 
well have cost twice as much, for amongst other acts of 
extravagance, they dispatched a special messenger to West- 
phalia to choose a ham. There is likewise told a bet as to 
the comparative merits of the Albion and York House 
(Bath) dinners, which was to have been formally decided by 
a dinner of unparalleled munificence, and nearly equal cost 
at each ; but it became a drawn bet, the Albion beating in 
the first course, and the York House in' the second. Still, 
these are reminiscences on which, we frankly own, no great 
reliance is to be. placed. 

Lord Southampton once gave a dinner at the Albion, at 
ten guineas a head; aiid the ordinary price for the best 
dinner at this house (including wine) is three guineas.* 

* "The Alt of Dining." Murray, 1852. 



507 



St. James's Hall. 

This new building whicli is externally concealed by houses, 
except the fronts in Piccadilly and Regent-street, consists of 
a greater Hall and two minor Halls, which are let for 
Concerts, Lectures, etc., and also form part of the Tavern 
estabhshment, two of the Halls being used as public dining- 
rooms. The principal Hall, larger than St. Martin's, but 
smaller than Exeter Hall, is 140 feet long, 60 feet wide, and 
60 feet high. At one end is a semicircular recess in which 
stands the large organ. The noble room has been decorated 
by Mr. Owen Jones with singularly light, rich, and festive 
effect : the grand feature being the roof, which is blue and 
white, red and gold, in Alhambresque patterns. The lighting 
is quite novel, and consists of gas-stars, depending from the 
roof, which thus appears spangled. 

The superb decoration and effective lighting, render this 
a truly festive Hall, with abundant space to set ofif the 
banquet displays. The first PubUc Dinner was given here 
on June 2, 1858, when Mr. Robert Stephenson, the eminent 
engineer, presided, and a silver salver and claret-jug, with a 
sum of money — altogether in value 2678/. — ^were presented 
to Mr. F. Petit Smith, in recognition of his bringing into 
general use the system of Screw Propulsion ; the testimonial 
being purchased by 138 subscribers, chiefly eminent naval 
officers, ship-builders, ship-owners, and men of science. 

In the following month, (20th of July,) a banquet was 
given here to Mr. Charles Kean, F.S.A., in testimony of his 
having exalted the English theatre — of his public merits and 
private virtues. The Duke of Newcastle presided : there 
was a brilliant presence of guests, and nearly four hundred 
ladies were in the galleries. Subsequently, in the Hall was 
presented to Mr. Kean the magnificent service of plate, 
purchased by public subscription. 



So8 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

The success of these intellectual banquets proved a most 
auspicuous inauguration of St. James's Hall for — 

The feast of reason and the flow of soul. 



Theatrical Taverns. 

Among these establishments, the Eagle, in the City-roadj 
deserves mention. It occupies the site of the Shepherd and 
Shepherdess, a tavern and tea-garden of some seventy-five 
years since. To the Eagle is annexed a large theatre. 

Sadler's Wells was, at one period, a tavern theatre, where 
the audience took their wine while they sat and witnessed 
the performances. 




APPENDIX. 

Almack's 

(Page 71.) 

Captain Gronow, writing in 18 14, says : "At the present 
time, one can hardly conceive the importance which was 
attached to getting admission to Almack's, the seventh 
heaven of the fashionable world." Of the three hundred 
officers of the Foot Guards, not more than half-a-dozen were 
honoured with vouchers of admission to this exclusive 
temple of the beau monde; the gates of which are guarded by 
lady patronesses, whose smiles or frowns consigned men and 
women to happiness or despair. These lady patronesses were 
the Ladies Castlereagh, Jersey, Cowper, and Sefton ; Mrs. 
Drummond Burrell, now Lady Willoughby; the Princess 
Esterhazy, and the Countess Lieven. 

"The most popular amongst these grandes dames were 
unquestionably Lady Cowper, now Lady Palmerston. Lady 
Jersey's bearing, on the contrary, was that of a theatrical 
tragedy queen : and whilst attempting the sublime, she fre- 
quently made herself simply ridiculous, being inconceivably 
rude, and in her manner often illbred. Lady Sefton was 
kind and amiable; Madame de Lieven haughty and exclu- 
sive : Princess Esterhazy was a hon enfant ; Lady Castle- 
reagh and Miss Burrell, de iris grandes dames. 

" Many diplomatic arts, much finesse, and a host of in- 
trigues, were set in motion to get an invitation to Almack's. 
Very often persons, whose rank and fortunes entitled them to 
the enirSe anywhere, were excluded by the cliqueism of the 
Lady patronesses; for the female government of Almack's was 



Sio CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

a pure despotism, and subject to all the caprices of despotic 
rule : it it is needless to add that, like every other despotism, 
it was not innocent of abuses. The fair ladies who ruled 
supreme over this little dancing and gossiping world, issued 
a solemn proclamation, that no gentleman should appear at 
the assemblies without being dressed in knee-breeches, 
white cravat, and chapeau bras. On one occasion, the 
Duke of Wellington was about to ascend the staircase of the 
ball-room, dressed in black trousers, when the vigilant Mr. 
WUlis, the guardian of the establishment, stepped forward 
and said, 'Your Grace cannot be admitted in trousers/ 
whereupon the Duke, who had a great respect for orders and 
regulations, quietly walked away. 

"In 1814, the dances at Almack's were Scotch reels, and 
the old English country-dance ; the orchestra, being from 
Edinburgh, was conducted by the then celebrated Neil Gow. 
In 1815, Lady Jersey introduced from Paris the favourite 
quadrille. The persons who formed the very first quadrille 
that was ever danced at Almack's were Lady Jersey, Lady 
Harriet Butler, Lady Susan Rider, and Miss Montgomery ; 
the men being the Count St. Aldegonde, Mr. Montgomery, 
Mr. Montague, and Charles Standish. The mazy waltz was 
also brought to us about this time ; but there were compara- 
tively few who at first ventured to whirl round the salons of 
Almack's; in course of time Lord Palmerston might, however, 
have been seen describing an infinite number of circles with 
Madame de Lieven. Baron de Neumann was frequently 
seen perpetually turning with the Princess Esterhazy; and in 
course of time, the waltzing mania, having turned the heads 
of society generally, descended to their feet, and the waltz 
was practised in the morning in certain noble mansions in 
London with unparalleled s.%%\&sx\\.y."^— Abridged from the 
Reminiscences of Captain Gronow, 1862. 



S" 



Clubs at the Thatched House. 

(Page 450.) 
Mr. Willis took this tavern from Mr. Freere, about 1755 ; 
and, as a relative of Mr. Almack, afterwards succeeded to 
the celebrated assembly-rooms which bore his name. " If 
the old saw, that ' practice makes perfect,' writes Admiral 
Smyth, be correct, the cuisinerie of the Thatched House 
ought to suipass that of all others ; for besides accidental 
parties and visitors, the Messrs. Willis ably entertain the 
following Societies and Clubs : [this was written in i860.] 

Actuaries, Institute of. 
Catch Club. 
Club, Johnson's. 
Cornish Club. 
Dilettanti Society. 
Farmers' Club. 
Geographical Club. 
Geological Club. 
Linnsean Club. 
Literary Society. 
Navy Club. 
Philosophical Club. 
Physicians, College of. Club. 
Political Economy Club. 

And they moreover accommodate the following Masonic 
Lodges : — 



Royal Academy Club. 
Royal Astronomical Club. 
Royal Institution Club. 
Royal London Yacht Club. 
Royal Naval Club (1765). 
Royal Society Club. 
St. Albans Medical Club. 
St. Bartholomevir's Contempo- 
raries. 
Star Club. 
Statistical Club. 
Sussex Club. 
Union Society, St. James's. 



Friendship. 

Prince of Wales's. 

Middlesex, 

Chapter, of Friendship. 

Chapter of Prince of Wales's. 



Mount Mosiah Chapter. 
Castle Lodge of Harmony. 
The Knights Templars. 
Britannic Lodge, 



The Kit-Kat Club. 

(Page 47.) 

Charles Dartiquenane, better known by the al^' 
name of Dartinfeirf, was the intimate friend anv 



512 CLVB LIFE OF LONDON. 

Swift, Steele, and Addison, and a member of the Kit-Kat 
Club. He was not only famous as an epicure, but as a 
punster. He is said to have been a contributor to the 
Tatkr, though his papers cannot now be ascertained. Pope, 
in his " Epistles," has : 

Each mortal has his pleasure, none deny — 
Scarsdale his bottle, Darty his Ham Pie. 

Hard task to suit the palate of such guests, 
When Oldfield loves what Dartineuf detests. 

Lord Lyttelton has a Dialogue in the Shades between 
Dartineuf and Apicius, on good eating, in which ham pie is 
stated to have been the favourite dainty of the foimer. 
Darty died in 1737, and is stated to have left the receipt for 
his favourite pie with an old lady, who transferred it to Dr. 
Kitchiner. (See his " Housekeepers' Oracle," 1829, p. 249.) 



Watier's Club. 

(Page 143.) 

Captain Gronow also relates the following account of the 
origin of this noted but short-lived Club : — 

" Upon one occasion, some gentlemen of both Wliite's and 
Brookes's had the honour to dine with the Prince Regent, 
and during the conversation, the Prince inquired what sort 
of dinners they got at their Clubs ; upon which Sir Thomas 
Stepney, one of the guests, observed, "that their dinners 
were always the same, the eternal joints or beef-steaks, the 
boiled fowl with oyster sauce, and an apple-tart ; this is what 
we have at our Clubs, and very monotonous fare it is." The 
Prince, without further remark, rang the bell for his cook 
Watier, and in the presence of those who dined at the Royal 
table, asked him whether he would take a house, and 
organize a dinner-club. Watier assented, and named 
Madison, the Prince's page, manager; and Labourie, the- 



CLUBS OF 1814. 513 

cook, from the Royal kitchen. The Club flourished only a 
few years, Owing to the night-play that was carried on thpre, 
The Duke of York patronized it, and was a member. The 
dinners were exquisite : the best Parisian cooks could not 
beat Labourie. The favourite game played there was 
Macao. Upon one occasion. Jack Bouverie, brother of 
Lord Heytesbury, was losing large sums, and became very 
irritable. Raikes, with bad taste, laughed at Bouverie, and 
attempted to amuse the company with some of his stale 
jokes, upon which Bouverie threw his play-bowl, with the 
few counters it contained, at Raikes' head ; unfortunately, it 
struck him, and made the City dandy angry, but no serious 
results followed this open insult. 

Clubs of 1 8 14, 

Captain Gronow, in his very entertaining " Anecdotes and 
Reminiscences," gives these details of the Clubs of the 
above period : — 

" The members of the Clubs in London, many years 
since, were persons, almost without exception, belonging 
■exclusively to the aristocratic world. ' My tradesmen,' as 
King Allen used to call the bankers and the merchants, had 
not then invaded White's, Boodle's, Brookes's ; or Watier's, 
in Bolton-street, Piccadilly; which, with the Guards, 
-Arthur's, and Graham's,, were the only Clubs at the West 
End of the town. White's was decidedly the most difficult 
of entry ; its list of members comprised nearly all the noble 
names of Great Britain. 

"The politics of White's Club were then decidedly 
Tory. It was here that play was carried on to such an 
extent that made many ravages in large fortunes, the traces 
of which have not disappeared at the present day. General 
Scott, the father-in-law of George Canning and the Duke of 
"Portland, was known to have won, at White's 200,000/. ; 
tOanks to Ms notorious sobriety and knowledge of the game 

L L 



Si4 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

of whist. The General possessed a great advantage over his 
companions by avoiding those indulgences at the tabli? 
which used to Muddle other men's brains. Jie confined 
himself to dining off something like a boiled chicken, with 
toast-and-water : by sucb a regimen he came to the whist- 
table with a clear head ; ' and, possessing, as : he did, a 
remarkable memory, with great coolness and judgment, he 
was able honestly to win the enormous sum of 200,000/. , 

" At Brookes's, for nearly half a century, the play was of 
a more gambling character than at White's. . . . On one 
occasion Lord Robert Spencer contrived to lose the last 
shilling of his considerable fortune given him by his brother, 
tihie Duke of Marlborough. General Fitzpatrick being much 
in the same condition, they agreed to raise a sum of money, 
in order that they might , keep a faro-bank. The members 
of the Club made no objection, and ere long they carried 
out their design. As is generally the case, the bank was a 
winner, and Lord Robert bagged, aa his- share of the 
proceeds, 100,000/. He retired, strange to. say, from the 
foetid atmospherfe'of play, with the money in his pocket, and 
never again gariibled. George Harley Drummond, of the 
famous banking-house. Charing Cross, only played once in 
his whole life at White's Club at whist, on which bccasiota 
he lost 20,000/. to Brummell. This even caused -him to 
retire from the banking-house, of which he was a partner. ' 

" Arthur's and Graham's were less aristotfatic than those 
Cliibs I have mentioned. It was at the latterplace in 1832, 
that a most painful circumstance took place; A noblenlaa 
of th« highest position and influence in society, was detected 
in cheating at carcls, and after a trial, which did not tettni- 
nate in his favour, he died of a broken heart." .( ' 

Gaming- Houses kept by Ladies. 

The following curious piece of evidence,, probably an 
extract from the Journals of the House of Lords, although 



GAMING-HOUSES KEPT BY LADIES. 5m 

there is no reference to the subject in the published, 
" Parliamentary Debates," was found not long since by 
the Editor of the Athenceum amongst a mass of contem- 
porary MSS. : — 

"Die Lunae, 29° Aprilis, 1745. — Gaming. — A Bill fpr 
preventing, the excessive and deceitful use of it having been 
brought from the Commons, and . proceeded on so far as to 
be agreed to in a Committee of the whole House with 
amendments, — information was given to the House that Mr. 
Burdus, Chairman of the Quarter Session for the city and 
liberty of Westminster, Sir Thomas de Veil, and Mr. Lane, 
Chairman of the Quarter Sessions for the county of Middle- 
sex, were at the door j ' they were called in, .and at the Bar 
severally gave an account that claims of privilege of Peerage 
were made and insisted on by the Ladies Morduigton and 
Cassillis, in order to intimidate; the peace .officers frpm, doing 
their duty in suppressing the public gaming-houses kept by 
the said ladies. And the said, Burdus thereupon delivered 
in an ins^memt in writing under, the hand of the said Lady 
Mordington, containing, thp claim she made of privilege for 
her officers and servants , ernployai by her, in her said 
gamingrhousc-^And then they, were directe4 to ,, withdraw. 
—And the said instrument was read as follows :'— *I, Dame 
Mary, Baroness of Mordington, do hold a house in the 
Great piazza, Cpvent: Garden, for and as an Assembly, 
where all persons of credit are at liberty to frequent and pl^^y 
at such diversions as are .used at; other Assemblys. And I 
have hired Joseph Dewberry, William Horsely, Ham 
Cropper, and George Sanders as my servants' oy nianagers 
(under me) thereof. I have given them orders to direct the 
management of the other inferior servants (namely); John 
Bright, 'Richard Davids, John Hill, John Vandenvoren, as box- 
keepers,-^Gilbert Richatdson, housekeeper,. John Chaplain, 
regulator, WilUam Stanley and Henry Huggins,, servants that 
wait on the company at the said Assembly, William Penny 
and Joseph Penny, as porters thereof.— And all the above- 

L L 2 



Si6 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

mentioned persons I claim as my domestick servants, and 
demand all those privileges that belong to me as a peeress 
of Great Britain appertaining to my said Assembly. — M. 
MoRDiNGTON. — Dated 8th Jan. 1744.' — ^Resolved and 
declared that no person is entitled to privilege of Peerage 
against any prosecution or proceeding for keeping any public 
or common gaming-house,- or any house, room, or place for 
playing at any game or games prohibited by any law now in 
force." 

Beefsteak Society. 

(Page 135.) 

We find in Smith's "Book for a Rainy Day" the following 
record respectmg the Beefsteak Society, or, as he calls it, in 
an unorthodox way, Club : — 

" Mr. John Nixon, of Basinghall-street, gave me the fol- 
lowing information : — Mr. Nixon, as Secretary, had posses- 
sion of the original book. Lambert's Club was first held in 
Covent Garden theatre [other accounts state, in the Lincoln's- 
inn-Fields theatre], in the upper room called the ' Thunder 
and Lightning ;' then in- one even with the two-shilling 
gallery; next in an apartment even with the boxes ; and 
afterwards in a lower room, where they remained until the 
fire. After that time, Mr. Harris insisted upon it, as the 
playhouse was a new building, that the Club should not be 
held there. They then went to the Bedford Gofiee-house, 
next-door. Upon the ceiling of the dining-room they placed 
Lambert's original gridiron, which had been saved from the 
fire. They had a kitchen, a cook, a wine-cellar, etc., 
entirely independent of the Bedford Hotel. 

" There was also a Society held at Robins's room, called 
' The Ad Libiturri,' of which Mr. Nixon had the books ; but 
it was a totally different Society, quite unconnected with the 
Beefsteak Club." 



517 

White's Club. 

(Page 92.) 

The following humorous Address was supposed to have 
been written by Colonel Lyttelton,, brother to Sir .George 
Lyttelton, in 1752, on His Majesty's return from Hanover, 
when numberless Addresses, were presented. White's was 
then a Chocolate-house, near St. James's Palace, and was 
the famous gaming-house, where wost of the nobility had 
meetings and a Society : — 

t 
The Gamester^ Address to the King. " '■ 

" Most Righteous Sovereign, 

" May it please your Majesty, we, the Lords, Knights, 
etc., of the Society of White's, beg leave to throw ourselves 
at your Majesty's feet (our honours arid consciences lying 
under the falr/e, and our fortunes being ever at stake), and- 
congratulate your Majesty's happy return to these kingdoms- 
which assemble us together, to the great advantage of some,- 
the ruin of others, and the unspeakable satisfaction of all, 
both us, our wives, and children. We beg leave to acknow- 
ledge your Majesty's great goodness and lenity, in allowing, 
us to break those laws, which we ourselves have made, and 
you have sanctified and confirmed,: while your Majesty 
alone religiously observes and regards them. And we beg; 
leave to assure your Majesty of our most Unfeigned loyalty 
and attachment to your sacred person ; and that next to the 
Kings of Diamonds, Clubs, Spades, and Hearts, we love, 
honour, and adore you." 

To which His Majesty was pleased to return this most 
gracious answer : — 

" My Lords and Gentlemen, 

" I return you my thanks for your loyal address ; but while 
I have such rivals in your affection, as you tell me of, I can 



Si8 CLUB LIFE OF LONDON. 

neither think it worth preserving.or r^arding. I look upon 
you yourselves as a pack of cards, and shall deal with you 
accordingly." — Colis MSS.vo\. xxxi. p. 171, — in the British 
Museum. 

In " Richardsoniana " we read : " Very often the taste of 
running perpetually after diversions is not a mark of any 
pleasure taken in them, but of none taken in ourselves. This 
sallying abroad is only- from uneasiness at home, which is in 
every one's self. Like a gentleman who overlooking them 
at White's at piquet, till three or four in the morning : on a 
dispute they referred to him ; when he protested he knew 
nothing of the" game; 'Zounds,' say they, 'and sit here till 
this time ?' — ' Gentlemen, I'm married !'— ' Oh ! Sir, we beg 
pardon.'" 

The Royal Academy Club. 

This Club consisted exclusively of Members of the Royal 
Academy. Nollekens, the sculptor, for many years, made 
one at the. table ; and so strongly was he bent upon saving 
all he could privately conceal, that he did not mind paying 
two guineas a year for his admission-ticket, in order to indulge 
himself with a few nutmegs, which he contrived to pocket 
privately, for as red-wine negus was the principal beverage, 
nutmegs were used. Now, it generally happened, if another 
bowl was wanted, that the nutmegs were missing. Nolle- 
kens, who had frequently been seen to pocket them, was 
one day requested by Rossi, the sculptor, to see if they had 
not fallen under the table, upon which Nollekens actually 
went crawling beneath, upon his hands and knees, pretend- 
ing to look for them, thongh at that very time they were in 
his waistcoat-pocket. He was so old a stager at this mono- 
poly of nutmegs that he would sometimes engage the maker 
of the negus in conversation, looking him full in the face 
whilst he, slyly and unobserved, as he thought,' conveyed 
away the spice ; like the fellow who is stealing '■ the bank- 



DESTRUCTION OF. TA VERNS BY FIRE. 519 

note from the blind man, in Hogsnth's admirable print of 
the Royal Cofckpit. — Smith's Nolkkens and his xTinus^ vol. L 
P- 225- 

Destruction of Taverns by Fire. 

On the morning of the 25th of March, 1748, a most 
calamitous and destructive fire commenced at a peruke- 
maker's, riamed Eldridge, in Exchange Alley,. Comhill, and 
within twelve hours totally destroyed between 90 and 100 
houses, besides damaging many others. The flames spread 
in three directions at once, and exteiiding into Comhill, 
consumed about twenty houses there, including the London 
Assurance office ; the Fleece and the Three Tuns Taverns ; 
and Tom's and the Rainbow Coffee-houses. In Exchange 
Alley, the Swan Tavern, with Garraway's, Jonathan's, and 
the Jerusalem Coffee-houses, were burnt dow;n ; and in the 
contiguous avenues and Birchin-lane, the George and Vulture 
Tavern, with several other coffee-houses, underwent a like 
fate. Mr. Eldridge, with his wife, children, arid servants, all 
perished in the flames. The value of the effects and mer- 
chandise destroyedwas computed at 200,000/., exclusive of 
that of the numerous buildings. 

In the above fire was consumed the house in which was 
bom the poet Gray ; and the injury wTiich his property sus- 
tained on the occasion induced him to sink .'a great part of 
the remainder in purchasing an annuity: his father had 
been an Exchange broker. The house was within a few 
doors of Birchin-lane. 

The Tzar of Muscovy's Head, Tower-street. 

Close to Tower-hill, and not far from the site of the Ros? 
tavern, is a small tavern, or public-house, which received its 
sign in commemoration of the convivial eccentricities of an 
Emperor, one of the most extraordinary characters that ever 



S20 Cl^VB J.IJ'S~01- J.UX^JDON. 

appeared on the greaftheatre of the world — "who gave a 
polish to his nation and was himself a savage." 

Such was Peter the Great, who, with his suite, consisting 
of MenzikofF, and some others, came to London on the 
twenty-first of January, 1698, principally with the view of 
acquiring information on matters connected with naval 
architecture. We have little evidence that during his resi- 
dence here Peter ever worked as a shipwright in Deptford 
Dockyard, as is generally believed. He was, however, very 
fond of sailing and managing boats and a yacht on the 
Thames j and his great delight was to get a small decked- 
boat, belonging to the Dockyard, and taking only MenzikofT, 
and three or four others of his suite, to work the vessel with 
them, he being the helmsman. Now, the great failing of Peter 
was his love of strong liquors. He and his' companions 
having finished their day's work, used to resort to a public- 
house in Great Tower-street, close to Tower-hill, to smoke 
their pipes, and drink beer and brandy. The landlord, in 
gratitude for the imperial custom, had the Tzar of Muscovy's 
head painted, and put up for his sign, which continued till 
i8o8, when a person of the name of Waxel took a fancy to 
the old sign, and offered the then occupier of the house to 
paint him a new one for it. A copy was accordingly made 
from the original, as the sign of " The Tzar of Muscovy," 
looking like a Tartar. The house has, however, been re- 
built, and the sign removed, l)ut the name remains. 

Rose Tavern, Tower-street. 

In Tower-street, before the Great Fire, was the Rose 
tavern, which, upon the 4th of January, 1649, was the scene 
of a memorable explosion of gunpowder, and- miraculous 
preservation. It appears that over-against the wall of All- 
hallows Barking churchyard, was the house of a ship- 
chandler, who, about seven o'clock at night, being busy in 
his shop, barrelling up gunpowder, it took fire, and in the 



ROSE tavern; TOWER STREET. 521 

twinkling of an eye, blew up not only that, but all the houses 
thereabout, to the number (towards the street and in back 
alleys) of fifty or sixty. The number of persons destroyed 
by this blow could never be known, for the next house but 
one was the Rose tavern, a house never (at that time of 
night) but full of company; and that day the parish-dinner 
was at the house. And in three or four days, after digging, 
they continually found heads, arms, legs, and half bodies, 
miserably torn and scorched ; besides many whole bodies, 
not so much as their clothes singed. 

In the course of this accident, says the narrator (Mr. 
Leyboume, in Strype), "I will instance two; the onea dead, 
the other a living monument. In the digging (strange to 
relate) they found the mistress of the Rose tavern, sitting in 
her bar, and one of the drawers standing by the bar's side, 
with a pot in his hand, only stifled with dust and smoke ; 
their bodies being preserved whole by means of great timbers 
falling across one another. This is one. Another is this : — 
The next morning there was found upon the upper leads of 
Barking church, a young child lying in a cradle, as newly 
laid in bed, neither the child nor the cradle having the least 
sign of any fire or other hurt. It was never known whose 
child it was, so that one of the parish kept it as a memorial; 
for in the year 1666 I saw the child, grown to be then a 
proper maiden, and came to the man that kept her at that 
time, where he was drinking at a tavern with some other 
company then present. And he told us she was the child so 
found in the cradle upon the church leads as aforesaid." 

According to a tablet which hangs beneath the organ 
gallery of the church, the quantity of gunpowder exploded 
in this catastrophe was twenty-seven barrels. Tower-street 
was wholly destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. 



532 



The Nag's Head Tavern, Cheapside, 

As you pass through Cheapside, you may observe upon 
the front of the old house, No. 39, the sign-stone of a 
" Nag's Head :" this is presumed to have been the sign of 
the Nag's Head Tavern, which is described as at the Cheap- 
side corner of Friday-street. This house obtained some 
notoriety from its having been the pretended scene of the 
consecration of Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury, 
in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, at that critical period when 
the English Protestant or Reformed Church was in its in- 
fancy. Pennant thus relates the scandalous story. " It wis 
pretended by the adversaries of our religion, that a certain 
number of ecclesiastics, in their hurry tO|take possession of 
the vacant see, assembled here, where they were to undergo 
the ceremony from Anthony Kitchen, alias Dunstan, Bishop 
of .Landaff, a sort of occasional conformist who had taken 
the oaths of supremacy to Elizabeth. Bonner, Bishop of 
London, (then confined in the Tower,) hearing of it, sent 
his chaplain to Kitchen, threatening him with excommunica- 
tion, in case he p