Skip to main content

Full text of "Microcosm of London; or, London in miniature"

See other formats



VOL. Ill 





\ f\c\-e*"m&K^ ^ IxVotalrok 






v. 3 


T^HIS Issue is founded on the original Edition 
published by Rudolph Ackermann. 



27io*Tpmkinr Scrip 


ON presenting the first number of the third volume of the 
MICROCOSM OF LONDON to the public, it would be in- 
excusable in the proprietor, were he not to avail himself 
of the opportunity, to express the extreme satisfaction which he 
has derived from the increasing approbation that accompanies 
the progress of his work. 

That he has spared no expence in the execution of it, must, he 
presumes, be evident to the slightest glance over its contents ; 
and when the price is compared with the work itself, he flatters 
himself it will appear, that he has been influenced by other 
motives besides those of gain, in the prosecution of it. 

A new mode of displaying objects already known, has, in some 
degree, the merit of discovery ; especially when they are not 
generally accessible. At all events, a previous acquaintance with 
them, by means of the pencil and the pen, will at once direct the 
attention of the visiter, to their beauties, their defects, and their 
utilities, and enable him to form an immediate, as well as accurate 
judgment of them all. He will possess the advantages of the 
traveller, who is prepared with the language of the country which 
he is about to visit. 


The same labour, the same attention, the same correctness of 
delineation, and an equal fidelity of description, will be found in 
this volume, as in those which have preceded it ; while the lover 
of the fine arts, the historical and antiquarian enquirer, and the 
curious stranger, will find, it is presumed, a progressive increase 
of pleasure, as they proceed in the continuation of the work 
which is now presented to them. 


OF VOL. Ill 






WELL - 45 










SYNAGOGUE - - 167 




WATCH-HOUSE - - 217 
WHITEHALL - - 239 

CHELSEA - 257 


THEATRE - 263 






THAMES - - 279 

N.B. The binder is requested to note the above, as furnishing him with directions 
for the arrangement of the plates. 

THE patronage which this work has received from the public, is a 
proud boast of the proprietor at the close of it. Indeed, without that 
distinguished and increasing support with which he has been honoured 
m its progress, he could not have given it the character, it is thought 
to deserve. Ever anxious to make the best returns in his power, for 
that public favour, which is at once his pride and his reward, he has 
spared no pains, and shrunk from no cost, that might continue it to 
him. THE MICROCOSM, he trusts, will do credit to his exertions, and 
be considered as an admissible addition to British literature. 







IT is the professed object of this work to give views of some 
principal interior part of the buildings which it describes, and 
we have seldom deviated from it. But as this Palace, though 
replete with sumptuous domestic accommodation, contains no 
individual apartment which admits of a representation suited to 
our purpose, we have given its external appearance ; which, when 
combined with the accessory circumstances, forms so pleasing a 
picture, that no apology, we presume, will be considered as 
necessary, for this accidental deviation. 

This Palace, formerly known, and not yet altogether forgotten, 
as Buckingham- House, is finely situated at the west end of St. 
James's Park. The edifice is of brick, enriched with stone, and is 
of that beautiful kind of brick- work which, at the period when it 
was erected, was considered as a mark of taste and distinction. 
Parts of Hampton-Court Palace are of this kind. The principal 
front, which is towards the mall and the grand canal, is approached 



through a spacious court, inclosed with an iron railing. The 
entrance is gained by a broad flight of steps, from which rise four 
lofty fluted pilasters, of the Corinthian order, to the height of the 
second story, with an entablature that traverses the whole of the 
elevation ; each end of which is decorated with a pilaster similar 
to those that distinguish the center. Within this compass are two 
series of very large and lofty windows. The entablature is 
surmounted by an attic story, crowned with a balustrade ; and 
the wings are elegantly connected with the house by bending 
colonnades of the Ionic order, which, since their Majesties have 
made this Palace their town residence, have been inclosed with 
brick -work, to render the communication more commodious. 
Turrets rise from the center of the wings ; one of them containing 
a clock, and the other a wind-dial. The weathercock of the 
latter is answered only by the dials on the north and south sides ; 
while a false dial presents itself towards the mall, and, being more 
generally observed, is continually deceiving the beholder, as the 
hand never varies from the point where it was first placed. 

The original site of this stately edifice was that of Arlington- 
House, the residence of Bennet, Earl of Arlington, one of the 
famous Cabal. It was afterwards purchased by John Sheffield, 
Duke of Buckingham, who having obtained an additional grant 
of land from the crown, rebuilt it, in the year 1 703, in that style 
of magnificence, which it retained, without alteration, except the 
demolition of its expensive water - works, till it became the 
property of his present Majesty. 

It may, perhaps, gratify curiosity in various ways, to have a 
correct description of this superb edifice at the sera of its com- 
pletion ; and this can be done on no less authority than that of 


the nobleman himself who caused it to be erected for his 
residence. A letter of the Duke of Buckingham to his friend 
the Duke of Shrewsbury, which gives a very particular detail 
of his splendid mansion, has been preserved, and must be 
considered as a curious document, not merely from the object 
it describes, but the distinguished character of the writer. 

From the Duke of BUCKINGHAM to the Duke of SHREWSBURY. 

" You accuse me of singularity in resigning the privy seal, with 
a good pension added to it, and yet afterwards staying in town at 
a season when every body else leaves it, which you say is at once 
despising both court and country. You desire me, therefore, to 
defend myself, if I can, by describing very particularly in what 
manner I spend so many hours, that appear long to you, who 
know nothing of the matter, and yet, methinks, are but too short 
for me. 

" No part of the task which you impose is uneasy, except the 
necessity of using the singular number so often. That one letter 
(I) is a most dangerous monosyllable, and gives an air of vanity 
to the modestest discourse whatsoever. But you will remember, I 
write this only by way of apology ; and that, under accusation, it 
is allowable to plead any thing for defence, though a little tending 
to our commendation. , 

" To begin then without more preamble. I rise now in summer 
about seven o'clock, from a very large bedchamber, entirely quiet, 
high, and free from the early sun, to walk in the garden ; or, if 
rainy, in a saloon filled with pictures, some good, but none 
disagreeable : there also, in a row above them, I have so many 


portraits of famous persons, in several kinds, as are enough to 
excite ambition in any man less lazy, or less at ease, than myself. 

" Instead of a little closet, according to the unwholesome 
custom of most people, I chuse this spacious room for all my 
small affairs, reading books, or writing letters ; where I am never 
in the least tired, by the help of stretching my legs sometimes 
in so large a room, and of looking into the pleasantest park in the 
world just underneath it. 

" Visits, after a certain hour, are not to be avoided, some of 
which I own to be a little fatiguing (though, thanks to the town's 
laziness, they come pretty late), if the garden were not so near, 
as to give a seasonable refreshment between those ceremonious 
interruptions ; and I am more Sorry than my coachman himself, 
if I am forced to go abroad any part of the morning : for though 
my garden is such, as by not pretending to rarities or curiosities, 
has nothing in it to inveigle one's thoughts, yet, by the advantage 
of situation and prospect, it is able to suggest the noblest that 
can be, in presenting at once to view, a vast town, a palace, and 
a magnificent cathedral. I confess, the last, with all its splendour, 
has less share in exciting my devotion, than the most common 
shrub in my garden : for though I am apt to be sincerely devout 
in any sort of religious assemblies, from the very best (that of 
our own church), even to those of Jews, Turks, and Indians ; 
yet the works of nature appear to me the better sort of sermons, 
and every flower contains in it the most edifying rhetoric, to fill 
us with admiration of its omnipotent Creator. 

" After I have dined, either agreeably with friends, or, at worst, 
with better company than your country neighbours, I drive away 
to a place of air and exercise, which some constitutions are 


absolutely in need of; agitation of the body, and diversion of 
the mind, being a composition of health above all the skill of 

" The small distance of this place from London, is just enough 
for recovering my weariness, and recruiting my spirits, so as to 
make me better than before I set out, for either business or 
pleasure. At the mentioning the last of these, methinks I see 
you smile ; but I confess myself so changed, which you 
maliciously, I know, will call decayed, as to my former en- 
chanting delights, that the company I commonly find at home, 
is agreeable enough to make me conclude the evening on a 
delightful terrace, or in a place free from late visits, except of 
familiar acquaintance. 

" By this account you will see, that my time is conjugally spent 
at home ; and consequently you will blame my laziness more than 
ever, for not employing it in a way which your partiality is wont 
to think me capable of : I am therefore obliged to go on with this 
trifling description, as some excuse for my idleness. But how 
such a description is itself excusable, is what I should be very 
much in pain about, if I thought any body could see it besides 
yourself, who are too good a judge in all things, to mistake a 
friend's compliance in a private letter, for the least touch of 

" The avenues to this house are along St. James's Park, through 
rows of goodly elms on one hand, and gay flourishing limes on 
the other ; that for coaches, this for walking, with the mall lying 
between them. This reaches to my iron palisade that encom- 
passes a square court, which has in the midst a great basin with 
statues and water-works ; and, from its entrance, rises all the way 


imperceptibly, till we mount to a terrace in the front of a large 
hall, paved with square white stones, mixed with a dark-coloured 
marble ; the walls of it covered with a set of pictures done in the 
school of Raphael. Out of this, on the right hand, we go into a 
parlour, thirty-three feet by thirty-nine, with a niche fifteen feet 
broad for a beaufette, paved with white marble, and placed within 
an arch with pilasters of divers colours ; the upper part of which, 
as high as the ceiling, is painted by Ricci. 

" From hence we pass, through a suite of large rooms, into a 
bedchamber of thirty-four feet by twenty-seven ; within it a large 
closet, that opens into a green-house. On the left hand of the 
hall are three stone arches, supported by Corinthian pillars, under 
one of which we go up eight and forty steps, ten feet broad, each 
step of one entire Portland stone. These stairs, by the help of 
two resting-places, are so very easy, there is no need of leaning 
on the iron baluster. The walls are painted with the story of 
Dido ; whom, though the poet was obliged to dispatch away 
mournfully, in order to make room for Lavinia, the better-natured 
painter has brought no farther than to that fatal cave where the 
lovers appear just entering and languishing with desire. The 
roof of this staircase, which is fifty-five feet from the ground, is 
forty feet by thirty-six, and filled with the figures of gods and 
goddesses. In the midst is Juno, condescending to beg assistance 
from Venus, to bring about a marriage which the fates intended 
should be the ruin of her own darling queen and people. By 
which that sublime poet intimates, that we should be never over 
eager for any thing, either in our pursuits or our prayers, lest 
what we endeavour or ask too violently for our interests, should 
be granted by Providence only in order to our ruin. 


" The bass-reliefs, and all the little squares above, are episodical 
paintings of the same story : and the largeness of the whole has 
admitted of a sure remedy against any decay of the colours from 
salt-petre in the wall, by making another of oak laths four inches 
within it, and so primed over like a picture. 

" From a wide landing-place on the stairs'-head, a great double 
door opens into an apartment of the same dimensions with that 
below, only three feet higher ; notwithstanding which it would 
appear too low, if the higher saloon had not been divided from it. 
The first room of this floor has within it a closet of original 
pictures, which are yet not so entertaining as the delightful 
prospect from the windows. Out of the second room, a pair of 
great doors gives entrance into the saloon, which is thirty-five 
feet high, thirty-six broad, and forty-five long. In the midst of 
its roof, a round picture of Gentileschi, eighteen feet in diameter, 
represents the Muses playing in concert to Apollo, lying along on 
a cloud to hear them. The rest of the room is adorned with 
paintings relating to arts and sciences ; and underneath, divers 
original pictures hang all in good lights by the help of an upper 
row of windows, which drown the glaring. 

" Much of this seems appertaining to parade, and, therefore, I 
am glad to leave it to describe the rest, which is all for con- 
veniency. As first, a covered passage from the kitchen without 
doors, and another down to the cellars and all the offices within. 
Near this, a large and lightsome back stairs leads up to such an 
entry above, as secures our private bedchambers both from noise 
and cold. Here we have necessary dressing-rooms, servants' 
rooms, and closets, from which are the pleasantest views of all the 


house, with a little door of communication betwixt this private 
apartment and the great one. 

" These stairs, and those of the same kind at the other end of 
the house, carry us up to the highest story, fitted for the women 
and children, with the floors so contrived as to prevent all noise 
over my wife's head during the mysteries of Lucina. 

"In mentioning the court at first, I forgot the two wings 
in it, built on stone arches, which join the house by corridores, 
supported by Ionic pillars. In one of these wings is a large 
kitchen thirty feet high, with an open cupola on the top : near it, 
are a larder, brewhouse, and laundry, with rooms over them for 
servants : the upper sort of servants are lodged in the other wing, 
which has also two wardrobes and a store-room for fruit. On the 
top of all, a leaden cistern, holding fifty tons of water, driven up by 
an engine from the Thames, supplies all the water- works in the 
courts and gardens, which lie quite round the house ; and through 
one of which a grass walk conducts to the stables, built round a 
court, with six coach-houses and forty stalls. I will add but one 
thing before I carry you into the garden, and that is about 
walking too, but it is on the top of all the house ; which, being 
covered with smooth milled lead, and defended by a parapet of 
balusters from all apprehension as well as danger, entertains the 
eye with a far-distant prospect of hills and dales, and a near one 
of parks and gardens. To these gardens we go down from the 
house by seven steps, into a gravel walk that reaches cross the 
garden, with a covered arbour at each end of it. Another, of 
thirty feet broad, leads from the front of the house, and lies 
between two groves of tall lime-trees, planted in several equal 
ranks, upon a carpet of grass : the outsides of these groves are 


bordered with tubs of bays and orange trees. At the end of this 
broad walk, you go up to a terrace four hundred paces long, with 
a large semicircle in the middle, from whence are beheld the 
queen's two parks, and a great part of Surrey : then going down 
a few steps, you walk on the bank of a canal six hundred yards 
long and seventeen broad with two rows of limes on each side 
of it. 

" On one side of this terrace, a wall, covered jwith roses and 
jessamines, is made low, to admit the view of a meadow, full of 
cattle, just under it (no disagreeable object in the midst of a great 
city) ; and at each end a descent into parterres, with fountains and 
water- works. From the biggest of these parterres we pass into a 
little square garden, that has a fountain in the middle, and two 
green-houses on the sides, with a convenient bathing apartment in 
one of them, and near another part of it lies a flower-garden. 
Below all this, a kitchen garden, full of the best sorts of fruits, has 
several walks in it fit for the coldest weather. 

" Thus I have done with a tedious description : only one thing 
I forgot, though of more satisfaction to me than^alljthe rest, which 
I fancy you guess already ; and it is a little closet of books, at the 
end of that green-house which joins the best apartment, which, 
besides their being so very near, are ranked in such a method, 
that, by its mark, a very Irish footman may fetch any book I 
want. Under the windows of this closet and green-house is a 
little wilderness, full of blackbirds, and nightingales. The trees, 
though planted by myself, require lopping already, to prevent 
their hindering the view of that fine canal in the park. 

''After all this, to a friend I'll expose my weakness, as an 
instance of the mind's unquietness under the most pleasing enjoy- 


ments. I am oftener missing a pretty gallery in the old house I 
pulled down, than pleased with a saloon which I built in its stead, 
though a thousand times better in all manner of respects." 

This house, on the decease of the Duke of Buckingham, came 
into the possession of the duchess, his widow, a woman of an 
extraordinary mind. Her character has been drawn at great 
length by Mr. Pope, and is to be seen in his works. On the 
premature death of the young duke, the magnificence of whose 
funeral was long a subject of traditionary narrative among the 
good old folks of the last century, the title became extinct, and a 
large portion of the family estates devolved upon the dowager 
duchess. These she left to her grandson, Constantine Phipps, 
afterwards created Lord Mulgrave, and the father of the present 
noble lord of that title. He was her grandson by her first 
marriage. Mr. Phipps consequently became possessor of Bucking- 
ham-House, and resided in it, till it was recovered from him by 
law, by Sir Charles Sheffield, Baronet (a collateral relative of the 
Duke of Buckingham), of whom it was purchased, in the year 
1762, by his present Majesty. At that time it had undergone no 
alterations ; the gardens were such as the Duke of Buckingham 
had described them, and the mottos, which it is rather surprising 
that he omitted in the minutiae of his description, still embellished 
the center parts of the entablature of the several fronts, in large 
projecting and gilded letters. They were as follows : 

Towards the mall, "sic SITI L^TANTUR LARES." 

On the garden front, " RUS IN URBE." 

On the northern side, "BIS DAT, QUI CITO DAT." 


The southern front was, without doubt, embellished also with 
its device, but we have not been able to recover it. Among the 
earliest alterations, these mottos appear to have been removed. 

Soon after his Majesty took possession of this purchase, he 
began to enlarge and improve it. A considerable portion of the 
Green Park was added to the garden, and the proposed altera- 
tions entrusted to the taste of Mr. Brown, the celebrated land- 
scape-gardener of that period, who destroyed all the sumptuous 
formality which appears in the Duke of Buckingham's narrative ; 
and, by a judicious arrangement of plantations, rendered rich by 
the variety of trees which compose them, has given a character of 
rural elegance to the inclosure, and, at the same time, formed a 
screen, to preserve its privacy from the intrusive view of the 
buildings which have since risen up beyond it. 

When it was determined to pull down Somerset- House, which 
had been settled upon her Majesty as a royal dowager residence, 
in order to erect the superb corps of public offices which now 
occupy that situation, it became necessary to find or build a suitable 
edifice to supply its place, and his Majesty consented to dispose of 
Buckingham- House for that purpose : accordingly, in the year 
1775, it was settled on the Queen. The vote which was passed 
in Parliament on this occasion, was rendered remarkable by Mr. 
Burke's peculiar attention to the national character, and the respect 
due to that of the sovereign ; and which, though in itself of little 
intrinsic value, should not, from its connection with the immediate 
subject of our consideration, be passed by unnoticed. When it 
was moved, in the House of Commons, to vote the sum of money 
which Buckingham- House had actually cost his Majesty for its 
original purchase and subsequent improvements, and which 


amounted, we believe, to between seventy and eighty thousand 
pounds, Mr. Burke observed, that, in a transaction of this nature 
between Parliament and the Sovereign, it would be disgraceful to 
confine itself to the fractions of pounds, shillings, and pence ; and 
therefore moved, as an amendment to the original motion, that the 
integral sum of one hundred thousand pounds should be voted on 
the occasion ; and which was accordingly granted. In con- 
sequence of this settlement, Buckingham- House has been since 
denominated the Queen's Palace, by which title it is officially 

The additions which have been made to this Palace, have been 
so contrived as to render it a convenient residence for their 
Majesties and the Princesses ; as well as to form a suite of rooms 
for the royal collection of books, drawings, maps, plans, &c. 
Thirteen apartments are occupied by the King, twelve by the 
Queen, and ten by the Princesses. The library, which has for 
some time been removing to Windsor, is of the first order ; and, 
whether we consider the comprehension or the scarcity of its 
volumes, exceeds any that has been collected by one man. The 
drawings are very numerous and of high estimation ; while the 
assemblage of geographical and ichnographical works, is unrivalled. 
Among the models is one of Gibraltar, on a very large scale. The 
pictures are by the first masters. Among them are the produc- 
tions of Annibal and Ludovico Caracci, Guido, Dominichino, 
Rubens, N. Poussin, Vandyke, Teniers, Canaletti, &c. The 
cartoons of Raffaelo occupied for some time an apartment in this 
Palace : they were afterwards removed to Windsor Castle, and 
have since been returned to their orginal situation at Hampton 


This Palace is now the scene of all official state business 
connected with the personal acts of the King. Here the councils 
are held; here his Majesty receives the officers of state, the attend- 
ance on his levees, and the occasional addresses to his person on 
the throne. As the apartments are not sufficiently capacious for 
the Queen's drawing-rooms, they continue to be held at the 
Palace of St. James. 


THE Royal Circus is situated on the west side of the road 
leading from Blackfriars-bridge to the obelisk in St. 
George's-fields, and almost adjoining to the circular area 
whose center is marked by that object. 

Equestrian exercises and exhibitions are among the latest 
novelties which the inventive genius, that lives by giving variety 
to public amusements, has produced, and have been brought to an 
astonishing point of excellence. 

About forty years ago, a man excited the curiosity and called 
forth the wonder of the metroplis, by riding a single horse, on 
full gallop, while standing upright on the saddle. This person 
first exhibited in a field near Bancroft's almshouses at Mile-End ; 
the place was inclosed with boards, to prevent any gratuitous view 
of the exercise, and the price of admittance was one shilling. 
The next year, he exhibited himself and his horse in a spacious 
inclosure near the Five Fields, Chelsea ; and such were the 


wondering crowds who daily attended the performance, that he 
acquired a sufficient property to enable him to retire, and establish 
himself in the principal inn at Derby. His exhibition consisted 
of little or no variety, but such as arose from the greater or less 
speed of the horse which he rode, and occasionally, in its course, 
vaulting over the back of the animal. 

Tumbling, rope-dancing, and feats on the wire, had long been 
the entertainment of the British populace. Sadler's- Wells, on its 
first establishment, was the scene of these exhibitions, and they 
formed its principal attractions. Bartholomew and South wark 
fairs, before the magistrates thought it their duty to suppress the 
one and contract the other, were enlivened by these performances. 
Even the itinerant empiric, known by the title of mountebank, a 
character and a profession which the present enlightened age 
seems in a great measure to have extinguished, made the circuit 
of the market towns with some of these agile exhibitors in his 
company, to attract the country crowds, by whose credulity he 
was to live. 

But though these performers were so common, they were not 
of English origin, but supplied by the Continent, where they 
abound, and where children are regularly brought up to these 
extraordinary and hazardous professions. The equestrian ex- 
hibitions, however, appear to be of British growth, and are 
confined to the country which gave them birth : for while the 
exotic skill of the rope-dancer has been equalled at least, if not 
excelled, by English professors, we have not heard that the 
occasional visits of our equestrians to the Continent, have inspired 
a rival spirit to aim at, much more to acquire, an equal degree of 


As might be naturally expected, the success of the person who 
had astonished the public by his exhibition on the back of one 
horse, encouraged others to attract a proportionable degree of 
wonder, by employing two and even three horses in the same 
manner. Female equestrians afterwards appeared ; and as increas- 
ing success produced an increase of exertions, it was naturally 
suggested to erect buildings for the more secure, certain, and 
commodious display of these exercises ; which have since attained 
a degree of perfection, incredible almost to the eye that beholds 
them. Other entertainments have since been blended with them. 
Among the first, and certainly the most costly Theatre of this 
description, is that which forms the immediate subject of our con- 

The late elegant, capacious, and convenient structure was built 
by subscription : it was begun the latter end of February 1782 ; 
and was opened, but in an unlicensed state, though with consider- 
able dclat, on the fourth of the following November. The opposi- 
tion of the magistrates, however, obliged it to close in the 
Christmas holidays ; and in this inactive state it remained till the 
1 5th of March, 1783, when it re-opened with the fairest prospect 
of success, and was licensed, pursuant to act of Parliament, at the 
next general quarter sessions for the county of Surrey. It was 
not completely finished till the spring of 1783, when it appeared 
to have cost near fifteen thousand pounds. It was opened, under 
the direction of Mr. Hughes, a celebrated horseman, and Mr. 
Dibdin, so well known for the admirable variety of his talents, 
with equestrian performances, ballets of action, burlettas, dances, 
and pantomime. In the course of a few years, Mr. Dibdin with- 
drew himself from the concern ; and, under different proprietors, 


as well as successive managers, but a good deal troubled with 
internal divisions and domestic feuds, it continued, with various 
success, till the year 1798; when Mr. James Jones, and Mr. Cross, 
the author of so many excellent ballets, spectacles, and melo- 
drames, became proprietors, undertook the management, and 
gave stability to the proceedings of the Theatre. Their united 
endeavours were for several years favoured with the encourage- 
ment and liberal patronage of the public, when a catastrophe 
took place, which for a time annihilated this scene of pleasing 

On the 1 2th of August, 1805, this elegant structure, with its 
extensive scenery, a capital wardrobe, and ample collection of 
valuable music, was consumed by fire. The conflagation was 
discovered about half past one in the morning, and, so rapid were 
the flames, that in the course of a few hours nought remained but 
a smoaking heap of ruins. 

It may be interesting to mention, that on this soil the following, 
among other theatrical performers, first blossomed ; and from 
hence they were transplanted to the larger and more highly 
cultured field of the London theatres : Mrs. Mountain, when 
Miss Wilkinson; Mrs. C. Kemble, when Miss Decamp; Mrs. 
Bland, when Miss Romanzini ; the late Miss Searle, and the 
Misses Adams ; Mrs. H. Johnson, when Miss Parker ; and Mrs. 
Wybrow : Mr. Russel and Messrs. Gibbons and Smith, of the 
late Drury Theatre, and the younger Bologna. 

The present superior and extensive edifice soon rose, like a 
phoenix, from the ashes of the former Theatre ; and, though the 
building was not commenced till late in November, from designs 
of Mr. Cabanell, junior, and under his direction, it was com- 


pleted, and opened on the Easter Monday following, to a 
numerous and fashionable audience, under the joint controul of 
five respectable gentlemen as trustees, assisted by the stage 
management of Mr. Cross. They continued their exertions 
to render it worthy of the public patronage, till it was, previous 
to the commencement of the present season, let for a term of 
years to Mr. Elliston, of the late Theatre Royal in Drury-lane. 

The Royal Circus, in its present renewed and improved state, 
is a very handsome Theatre. The stage is judiciously adapted to 
the various kinds of amusement which it exhibits, the scenery is 
various and beautiful, and the audience part offers a very pleasing 
coup d'ceil of taste and elegance. 


THE Royal Exchange may be considered as the emporium 
of the world ; and, rising in all the majesty of commerce, 
presents an object which must fill the mind of every 
Englishman with delight and pride, as a principal support of that 
greatness which is unrivalled among the nations of the earth. 

This magnificent edifice arose from the munificent spirit of a 
private citizen, Sir Thomas Gresham. His foreign correspondent 
and agent, Richard Clough, who had originally been his servant, 
and was afterwards knighted, having reproached the English 
merchants with transacting their business more like pedlars than 



men of their commercial consequence, and that no foreign trading 
city was without a commodious place for the public transaction 
of business, Sir Thomas Gresham, stimulated by this sarcasm, 
proposed to the corporation of London to erect, at his own 
expence, a convenient building for merchants to meet in, provided 
they would procure him a convenient spot for that purpose; which 
they accordingly did, at the expence of 35 3 2/. Sir Thomas 
accordingly laid the first stone on the 7th of June, 1566; and 
in the month of November in the following year, it was com- 
pleted, under the name of The Bourse. 

In the year 1570, Queen Elizabeth went in great state from 
her palace of Somerset- House, to make Sir Thomas Gresham 
a visit at his house in Bishopsgate-street, afterwards called 
Gresham College, and on the site of which the excise-office has 
been erected. After dinner her majesty was pleased to proceed 
to the Bourse, visited every part of it, and caused it to be solemnly 
proclaimed by the heralds, and with the sound of trumpets, THE 
ROYAL EXCHANGE. The whole of the upper part of this building 
was then occupied by shops, and, on this solemn occasion, they 
were filled with the various and most costly productions of the 
different parts of the globe, in order to display to the sovereign 
the great prosperity and extensive foreign intercourse of the 
trading part of her subjects. So late as the beginning of the 
last century, the galleries were appropriated to shopkeepers ; 
and, about the middle of it, after the great fire in Cornhill, the 
unfortunate sufferers were allowed to occupy them, for the purpose 
of carrying on their respective trades, till their habitations could 
be rebuilt. 

By his last will and testament, dated the 26th of November, 


1579, Sir Thomas Gresham devised this stately fabric to his lady, 
and after her death to the mayor and citizens of London, and the 
company of mercers, to be equally enjoyed and possessed by them, 
with all its appurtenances, and the profits arising thereby ; on 
the condition, that the citizens, out of their moiety, should pay 
a salary of fifty pounds per annum each to four lecturers, to read 
lectures in divinity, astronomy, music, and geometry, in his 
mansion-house ; and to pay six pounds thirteen shillings and 
four-pence per annum each to certain almshouses in Broad-street; 
and ten pounds yearly to each of the prisons of Newgate, Ludgate, 
King's Bench, Marshalsea, and Wood-street compter : while the 
mercers, out of their moiety, were to pay fifty pounds per annum 
each to three lecturers, to read lectures in law, physic, and rhetoric, 
in his mansion-house ; and one hundred pounds per annum, for 
four quarterly dinners, at their own hall, for the entertainment 
of the whole company ; and ten pounds yearly each, to Christ's, 
St. Bartholomew's, Bethlehem, and St. Thomas's hospitals, to 
the Spital, and to the Poultry compter. There does not appear 
to be any record which states the expence of this noble edifice ; 
but it appears, from authentic documents, that the annual rents 
paid to Lady Gresham, his widow, amounted to seven hundred 
and fifty-one pounds. 

Hollar has left us some fine views of the original building, 
which was destroyed by the great fire in 1666. It soon arose, 
however, like a phoenix, in its present magnificent form, from the 
ashes of the former edifice, by the united efforts of the corporation 
of London and the company of mercers, at the expence of eighty 
thousand pounds ; an enormous sum at that period. The model 
of the present structure was first shewn to his Majesty Charles II. 


who approved the design, and honoured the superb undertaking 
by laying the first stone, in 1667. The building must have 
proceeded with an uncommon rapidity of execution ; for we find 
that, on the 28th of September, 1669, it was opened by the lord 
mayor, Sir William Turner, who congratulated the merchants 
in a speech appropriate to the occasion. The following inscription 
recorded the interesting event in terms expressive of the honour 
due to the original founder : 

Hoc Greshamii Peristyllmm, 

Gentium commerciis sacrum, 

Flammis extinctum 1666, 
Augustius e cinere resurrexit 1669, 
Whilhelmo Turnero milite, prsetore. 

During the first century after its erection, the appearance of 
the people of different nations, on their respective walks and 
in their various habits, formed a most attractive and striking 
spectacle ; but that beautiful effect has long since been lost in 
the present undistinguishing uniformity of dress among the 
European nations. 

The Royal Exchange is situated on the north side of Cornhill. 
It has two principal fronts, one in Cornhill, and the other in 
Threadneedle-street : each of them has a piazza, which gives a 
stately air to the respective elevations ; and in the center are 
the grand entrances into the area beneath lofty arches, producing 
a very noble effect. The architecture of this edifice is of a mixed 
kind, and consequently in a bad taste, and where, in the multiplicity 
of parts, it is in vain to look for that simplicity, without which 
beauty is not to be produced. At the same time it must be 
allowed, that the principal outlines are not without pretensions 


to elegance, and some of the parts may be separately considered 
with pleasure. 

The ground-plot, which is quadrangular, is two hundred and 
three feet in length, and one hundred and seventy-one feet in 
breadth. The area contains sixty-one square perches, and is 
surrounded with a substantial and regular stone building, wrought 
in rustic, with a spacious piazza, which serves as an ambulatory, 
as well as a protection from the inclemency of the weather. 

The principal front is to the south, and, on each side of the 
entrance, are Corinthian columns, supporting a compass pediment; 
and in the intercolumniations, in niches, are the statues of 
Charles I. and Charles II. in Roman habits, in a good style of 
sculpture. Over the aperture on the cornice between the two 
pediments, are the royal arms in alto-relievo. On each side of 
this "entrance is a range of windows placed between demi-columns 
and pilasters of the composite order, above which the building 
finishes in a balustrade. From the center in this front (which, 
with the rest of the main building, is fifty-six feet high) rises 
a lantern and turret, one hundred and seventy-eight feet in height, 
on the top of which is a fane in the form of a grasshopper, that 
insect being the crest of Sir Thomas Gresham's arms. It is 
made of brass very highly polished, and is esteemed a well- 
wrought piece of workmanship. The north front, in Thread- 
needle-street, is adorned with pilasters of the composite order, 
but has not the decoration either of columns or statues. 

Over the arches of the piazza surrounding the inner area, is 
an entablature, decorated with pilasters, standing round the 
whole, and a pediment in the center of the cornice on each of 
the four sides. Under that of the north side are the king's arms; 


on the south are those of the city ; on the east the arms of Sir 
Thomas Gresham, and on the west those of the mercers' company, 
with their respective enrichments. In the intercolumniations 
there are twenty-four niches ; twenty of which are filled with the 
statues of the kings and queens in their royal robes ; the other 
four are in the Roman costume. 

The statues on the south side are those of Edward I. 
Edward III. Henry V. and Henry VI. ; on the west side those 
of Edward IV. Edward V. with the crown suspended over his 
head, Henry VII. and Henry VIII.; on the north side are 
Edward VI. Mary, Elizabeth, James I. Charles I. Charles II. 
and James II.; and on the east side are William and Mary in 
one niche, Queen Anne, George I. George II. and George III. 

In the center of the area is placed, on a marble pedestal, another 
statue of Charles II. in a Roman habit, and guarded by an iron 
railing. On the south side of the pedestal, surmounted by various 
appropriate decorations, is the following inscription : 

Carolo II. Csesari Britannico, 

Patriae patri, 

Regum Optimo, clementissimo, augustissimo, 

Generis human! deliciis, 

Utriusque fortunae victori, 

Pacis Europae arbitro, 

Marium domino ac vindici, 

Societas mercatorum adventur. Angliae 

Quae per CCCC. jam prope annos 

Regia benignitate floret, 
Fidei intemeratae et gratitudinis aeternae, 

Hoc testimonium 

Venerabunda posuit, 

Anno Salutis Humanae MDCLXXXIV. 


On the west side of the pedestal is cut, in relievo, a Cupid, 
resting his right hand on a shield, containing the arms of France 
and England quartered, and holding a rose in his left. 

On the north side, a Cupid supports a shield with the arms 
of Ireland. 

On the south side is the following inscription on the base of 
the pedestal : 

This statue was repaired and beautified by the company of merchant 
adventurers of England, anno 1730. John Hanbury, Esq. governor. 

On the east side are the arms of Scotland, supported by a 
Cupid holding a thistle. 

The statues of the kings, as far as Charles, were chiefly 
executed by Gabriel Cibber : that of Charles II. in the center, 
was undertaken by Gibbons, but executed by Quillin of Antwerp. 
The statue of our excellent and beloved sovereign was produced 
by the chisel of Wilton, and does little credit to the artist : it 
is in a Roman habit, and the baton of command appears in the 
left hand ; an egregious violation of classical propriety. 

Under the interior range of piazzas are twenty-eight niches, 
which are all vacant except two ; one in the north-west angle, 
which contains the statue of Sir Thomas Gresham, in the habit 
of the times, and is the workmanship of Cibber ; while that 
of Sir John Barnard, Knight, alderman of London, who repre- 
sented the city in five successive Parliaments, with distinguished 
zeal, ability, and integrity graces the niche in the south-west 
angle : it appears in the civic robes, and tradition describes it 
as bearing a very striking resemblance to the distinguished citizen 
whom it represents. It was not the spirit of party, it was not any 


sudden popular emotion, or a corporation cabal, that placed this 
statue in its honourable and respected situation ; but the unanimous 
gratitude of the merchants of London, who paid their tribute of 
veneration to the living merit of this illustrious citizen, for his 
eminent services to the commerce of his country. It is well 
known, that, after this high distinction had been conferred on 
him, he never more appeared on the Royal Exchange. Nor will 
it surely be thought superfluous to mention, that, while the 
merchants of London gave this public and rare testimony of 
regard to Sir John Barnard, Lord Cobham added his bust to 
those of the illustrious men and distinguished patriots, to perpetuate 
whose pre-eminent characters and memorable virtues, he erected 
the temple of British worthies in his magnificent gardens at 
Stow, in the county of Buckingham. 

Under the north and south fronts of this extensive area are 
spacious staircases, which lead to a gallery that extends through 
the four sides of the building, and which formerly afforded space 
for two hundred shops (as has been already observed), for 
milliners, haberdashers, and other retail dealers ; but they are 
now occupied by the Lord Mayor's court-office, the Royal 
Exchange assurance-office, the merchants seamen's office, Lloyd's 
subscription coffee-houses, the rooms appropriated for the Gresham 
lectures, and counting-houses for merchants and underwriters. 
The shops in the lower part of the building are employed by 
stock-brokers, lottery-office-keepers, and various retail traders. 
Under the whole are vaults, which have been employed by the 
East India Company as magazines for pepper. 

In the area, and under the surrounding piazza, the merchants 
daily assemble ; but the time of the greatest resort is from three 


to four, when the visiter may view an assembly which is not to be 
seen in any country, and may be considered as a principal support 
of the grandeur of his own. 

It would be affectation, if not presumption, to offer those senti- 
ments which suggest themselves on the splendour, the dignity, 
and character of British commerce, arising from this review of 
the stately edifice which may be considered as the throne of it, 
when they have been so admirably prepared for us by the com- 
prehensive mind, the descriptive powers, and elegant pen of 
Mr. Addison. In the sixty-fourth number of the Spectator he 
thus expresses himself: 

" There is no place in town which I so much love to frequent 
as the Royal Exchange. It gives me a secret satisfaction, and, 
in some measure, gratifies my vanity, as I am an Englishman, to 
see so rich an assembly of countrymen and foreigners consulting 
together upon the private business of mankind, and making this 
metropolis a kind of emporium for the whole earth. I look upon 
High Change to be a great council, in which all considerable 
nations have their representatives. Factors in the trading world 
are what ambassadors are in the politic world. They negociate 
affairs, conclude treaties, and maintain a good correspondence 
between those wealthy societies that are divided from one another 
by seas and oceans, and live at the different extremities of a 

"There are not more useful members of a commonwealth than 
merchants. They knit mankind together in a mutual intercourse 
of good offices, distribute the gifts of nature, find work for the 
poor, add wealth to the rich, and magnificence to the great. Our 
English merchant converts the tin of his own country into gold, 


and exchanges his wool for rubies. The Mahometans are clothed 
in our British manufacture, and the inhabitants of the frozen zone 
are warmed with the fleeces of our sheep. 

" When I have been upon the Change, I have often fancied 
one of our kings standing in person, where he is represented in 
effigy, and looking down upon the wealthy concourse of people 
with which that place is every day filled. In this case, how would 
he be surprised to hear all the languages of Europe spoken in 
this little spot of his former dominions ; and to see so many 
private men, who, in his time, would have been the vassals of 
some powerful baron, negociating like princes for greater sums of 
money than were formerly to be met in the royal treasury ! 
Trade, without enlarging the British territories, has given us a 
kind of additional empire : it has mutiplied the number of the 
rich, made our landed estates infinitely more valuable than they 
were formerly, and added to them a succession of other estates 
as valuable as the lands themselves." 

2 7 


THE Royal Institution of Great Britain is an establish- 
ment, whose objects are so extensive, and whose utility 
is of such general application, that it could not wait for 
the slow progress from infancy to manhood : its first appearance 
required the distinctions of maturity ; and, like the Minerva of 
the pagan mythology, who may indeed be considered as its 
symbol, displayed itself at once, with all the attributes belonging 
to its character. 

It was indebted for its origin to the noblemen and gentlemen 
composing the society for bettering the condition of the poor, at 
whose meetings the plan of its foundations was first formed : 
while the organization of the whole, and the adapting it to the 
purposes for which it was designed, must be attributed to the 
talents and exertions of Count Rumford. 

The objects which this splendid establishment professes to have 
in view, are, the advancement and diffusion of useful knowledge, 
and the application of experimental science to the purposes of 
life ; while, by the felicity of its arrangements, it is made, as it 
were, a school for the higher decorations, as well as the scientific 
instruction of the human mind. At the same time, its dispensa- 
tions are so shaped and communicated, and so blended also with 
the accomplishments of superior education, as to improve and 


consolidate the mass of knowledge in those ranks of society where 
it administers to the honour, the ornament, and the usefulness 
of life, without being necessary to its support. Thus to its 
scientific advantages may be added its important moral tendency. 
But this is not all. 

The beneficial consequences resulting to national character from 
a diffusion of knowledge, are demonstrably evident ; but how 
are they heightened and enlarged when they involve the sex, 
whose influence is so great on general manners, and who add so 
much to the decoration, the delight, and the consolations of life. 
How much, therefore, will society be indebted to a system of 
instruction, which, by its elegant accommodations and tasteful 
exterior, may predispose the mind of female youth of rank and 
fortune to receive it ; and it need not surely be added, how the 
understanding will be strengthened, improved, and enlarged by 
the reception. In such a path of pleasure a rose will be found 
without a thorn, and the Syren will be heard to sing the song of 

The Royal Institution is under the government and direction 
of a committee of managers, consisting of the president, fifteen 
managers, and the secretary, who are chosen by and from among 
the proprietors, one third of whom annually vacate their office, 
when they are either re-elected, or others are chosen in their 
place. There is also a committee of visiters, consisting of the 
president, fifteen visiters, and the treasurer, whose duty it is to 
examine the state of the Institution at least once in three months. 

The property of the premises in Albemarle-street, is vested by 
INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN. These premises are very 


extensive, the ground covered by the principal edifice having 
been allotted for four houses for private families : nor are they 
less convenient, having been admirably fitted up, and adapted to 
all the purposes of the establishment. 

On entering the hall of the Institution, the visiter passes, on 
the right, to the first reading-room, which is appropriated to the 
foreign papers. It is lighted up every evening, and on the table 
are found seven foreign gazettes, from different parts of the 
Continent, in the French and German languages, which are 
regularly taken in, and arrive by the earliest conveyance. This 
communicates with the second or principal reading-room, which 
is twenty-six feet long by twenty-four feet wide ; has been fitted 
up in a very complete and elegant manner, and furnished with 
bookcases on three sides of the room, capable of containing three 
thousand eight hundred volumes. The accommodations for 
those who frequent this room have been greatly augmented. 
There are two mahogany tables of considerable length, covered 
with green cloth, which are placed parallel to each other, on 
opposite sides of the room, and lighted every evening by three 
Grecian lamps, of one light each, suspended from the ceiling. On 
these tables are found fifty-four foreign and domestic periodical 
publications in science and literature, which are regularly supplied. 
In this room is the busto of his Majesty, who is the patron of the 
Institution, and those of Bacon and Newton. 

Behind the hall is the room containing the collection of minerals 
and fossils, the arrangement of which has been completed under 
the direction of Mr. Davy, the chemical professor. 

On the left of the hall is the clerk's office, and beyond that is 
the room appropriated to the reading of the domestic newspapers, 


twelve of which are regularly taken in. It has also been furnished 
with a collection of the best geographical maps and charts that 
were to be procured ; and which were selected by the advice and 
with the assistance of that able geographer, Major Rennell. The 
maps are fitted up in a novel and most convenient manner, which 
contributes much to the economy of space and the preservation of 

On this floor, also, is the room called the repository, which is 
forty-four feet long and thirty-five feet wide. The ceiling and the 
floor of the theatre, which is above it, are supported by two 
rows of handsome columns. In this apartment is contained the 
apparatus belonging to the Institution, and which is used at 
the different lectures delivered by the professors. There are also 
models of curious and useful machines, and a considerable number 
of specimens of newly invented mechanical contrivances. 

On ascending a most elegant staircase, there is a room on the 
right, which has been lately appropriated to the reception of the 
apparatus to be employed in the lectures as they are respectively 
delivered. This apartment necessarily communicates with the 
lecture-room, which is acknowledged to be one of the most beau- 
tiful and commodious scientific theatres in Europe. It is so 
favourable to the propagation of sound, that though it is 
sufficiently capacious to contain one thousand persons, a whisper 
may be distinctly heard from one extremity of it to the other, 
and not the slightest echo is distinguishable on any occasion. 
It is, besides, so contrived that daylight may be entirely excluded 
in a moment, by lowering the movable ceiling of the lantern 
which communicates the light from above, and allowing it to rest 
on the cornice which forms the finishing decoration of the lower 


part of the lantern, just above the level of the flat part of the 
ceiling of the room. 

The form of this theatre is semicircular, with an addition of a 
parallelogram, equal in length to the diameter of the circular part, 
which is sixty feet, and fifteen feet in breadth. There are eleven 
rows of seats, rising above each other, below, and three in the 
gallery. A covered circular passage of eight feet wide is formed 
round the room without, under the higher rows of seats, and 
four convenient openings or vomitories, with eight doors of two 
wings, which shut of themselves without noise, forming so many 
communications between the lower part of the theatre and the 
arched gallery or passage without. 

The floors and seats are painted of a dark green, and the latter 
are covered with green moreen cushions. The floor of the 
circular passage, and the stairs belonging to the vomitories, are 
covered with green cloth, to prevent the footsteps of those who 
come in or go out of the theatre, from being heard during the 
delivery of the lecture. 

This theatre is warmed in cold weather by steam, which, 
coming in by covered and concealed tubes from the lower part 
of the house, circulates in a large semicircular copper tube, eight 
inches in diameter, and upwards of sixty feet in length, which 
passes beneath the rising seats. 

During the session of the Institution several courses of lectures, 
connected with the objects of that establishment, are delivered 
in the theatre. Humphry Davy, Esq. F.R.S. is professor of 
chemistry, and delivers a course on that science to crowded 
audiences. His manner is very attractive, and his delivery grace- 
ful. He has the happy art of blending with profound science 


a popular mode of treating his subject ; and, in the progress of 
his experiments, he has made several important discoveries in 
the science which he undertakes to illustrate. There are also 
on the establishment professors of natural philosophy, moral 
philosophy, of belles lettres, and of poetry. Besides the lectures 
on each of these classes of science and literature, there are various 
other courses delivered every session by gentlemen of acknow- 
ledged merit and popular character. 

On the second floor are apartments for the professors and those 
officers belonging to the establishment, to whom the managers 
have thought proper to allot rooms for their more convenient 
attendance on the business of the Institution. 

On the basement story is the kitchen, which was fitted up with 
stoves, roasters, and boilers, according to the plans of Count 
Rumford, as published in his Essays ; but a part of these have 
been lately removed. It also contains a variety of new and 
useful utensils and implements of cookery, which are exposed to 
view, so as to be easily understood, and their merit appreciated. 

On the same floor is the chemical laboratory, which has lately 
been fitted up, according to a plan of one of the managers, on a 
scale of magnitude hitherto unattempted in this country, with 
suitable accommodations for the proprietors and subscribers who 
may attend the experimental lectures delivered here by the 
professor of chemistry. In this laboratory there is a provision 
made for placing and using sixteen furnaces of different kinds at 
the same time ; and it has been furnished, under the direction 
of the committee of chemistry, with a very complete chemical 
apparatus, and also with a considerable provision of materials 
necessary in making chemical experiments. 

P S 

2 S 
S * 

M ^ 



The library and collection of books of reference (of which the 
print that accompanies this page is a correct representation), 
though intimately connected with the objects of the Royal 
Institution, form a distinct department of the establishment. The 
original managers, in their prospectus, pledged themselves to the 
public for the formation of a library, comprehending "the best 
treatises on the subjects for which the Institution is established, 
as well as those publications of academies and journals of repute, 
which exhibit the transactions of ingenious men in every part of 
the world." 

The collection formed in the principal reading-room, compre- 
hending the most approved periodical works in science and 
literature, foreign and domestic, demonstrates, that the managers 
were not inattentive to this interesting part of their engagements, 
notwithstanding the heavy expenditure which they were obliged 
to incur, for the necessary accommodation of the proprietors and 
subscribers in general, both in the extensive buildings which have 
been erected, the purchase of an expensive scientific apparatus, 
and other contingencies connected with the first establishment of 
the Institution. To have carried more fully into effect the 
formation of a library, though strictly limited to the objects of 
its original establishment, would have pressed on the funds of the 
Institution to a greater extent than prudence could warrant. 

In consideration of these circumstances, a proposal was sub- 
mitted to a committee of the managers and visiters of the 
Institution, comprehending the outlines of a plan for the comple- 
tion of the library below stairs, with the addition of another 
collection of books of reference, on an extended plan, without 
lessening the funds of the establishment ; and several of the 



proprietors who had already largely contributed to the library 
in its infant state, again testified their zeal by subscribing upwards 
of five thousand pounds for this purpose, reserving to each 
subscriber of fifty pounds and upwards, the privilege of intro- 
ducing or recommending some one scientific or literary person 
to have access to the collection of reference only for a limited 
time. This proposal was unanimously approved by the committee, 
and soon after carried into effect ; and the small lecture-room on 
the first floor, which is forty-eight feet long, twenty-six feet wide, 
and fourteen feet high, was fitted up to receive the collection of 
reference, with a gallery at the height of seven feet from the 
floor, so that every book may be within reach, either from the 
floor of the room, or from that of the gallery. The print which 
accompanies this page correctly represents it. 

An opportunity immediately presented itself by the death of 
Thomas Astle, Esq. F.R.S. and S.A. and keeper of the records 
in the Tower of London, of laying the foundation of the proposed 
collection, by the purchase of his inestimable library, consisting of 
all the most valuable books relating to the topography, antiquities, 
parliamentary, numismatic, and general history of Great Britain : 
and since that period no opportunity has been omitted to increase 
the collection, by the purchase of scarce and valuable books in 
the various branches of science and literature. 

The library and collection of books of reference are vested in 
the corporation, and are under the same direction and government 
as the other parts of the Institution ; subject only to certain 
privileges enjoyed by those proprietors who qualify themselves 
as patrons of this branch of it. Proprietors subscribing one 


hundred pounds or upwards to the library, are hereditary patrons, 
and those subscribing fifty pounds or upwards, and not amounting 
to one hundred pounds, are patrons for life. The library is open 
every day on which the Institution is open, except Monday, from 
twelve to four o'clock, for the proprietors and subscribers, as well 
as for those scientific or literary persons who may be introduced or 
recommended by the patrons. 

The funds of the Institution arise from the payments made by 
the proprietors and subscribers, the latter of whom are divided 
into two classes, those for life, and those paying an annual sum. 
The proprietors originally paid the sum of fifty guineas, which 
has been increased at various times : it has now reached one 
hundred guineas, and the number of subscribers limited to three 
hundred and seventy-four, which is completed. The life sub- 
scribers originally paid the sum of ten guineas on their election, 
which has been increased at different times to thirty guineas. 
The annual subscribers pay four guineas. 

The yearly subscription to the lectures for ladies is two guineas ; 
but the annual payment of the wives and unmarried daughters of 
proprietors is settled at one guinea. The managers have re- 
quested a number of ladies of the highest respectability, to hold 
books for the purpose of recommending ladies who wish to 
subscribe to the lectures ; and no lady can be admitted but on 
the recommendation of one of those distinguished patronesses. 

The proprietors, together with the subscribers and honorary 
members, have the right of admission to all the public lectures 
and experiments, as well as to the repository, laboratory, and 
workshops ; and have, in short, the sole and exclusive use of the 
establishment. The proprietors, also, have each one transferable 


ticket, which is renewed annually, and admits the bearer to the 
lectures and public experiments, as well as to the repository, but 
not to the rooms of the subscribers. 

The managers have the privilege to admit to the lectures and 
to the repository, as well as to the subscribers' rooms, the 
ambassadors, envoys, and ministers of foreign princes and states, 
resident at the court of London ; as well as other foreigners of 
high rank, or of distinguished scientific character, who may 
occasionally visit this country. 

The house of the Institution is open from nine in the morning 
till half past eleven o'clock at night, every day in the year except 
Sundays, Christmas-day, Good Friday, and days appointed for 
public fasts and thanksgivings. 

The fabric of the Royal Institution is completed upon a scale 
of magnitude, and with a degree of excellence, that have not 
been equalled by the efforts of any individuals in any other 
country or period of the world. To preserve, enlarge, and 
extend such an admirable establishment, and to render it gener- 
ally and unexceptionably beneficial, zeal, attention, and co- 
operation will be required. The attempt has been as arduous 
as the object has been important ; no less than that of giving 
fashion to science, and of forming in the metropolis of the empire, 
a center of philosophical and literary attraction, for supplying 
instruction to the young, and rational amusement to mature life : 
promising, at the same time, essential advantages to the public, 
and an increase of resources to the country, by new discoveries and 
improvements in arts and manufactures, as well as in the use and 
application of the [mines and other subterraneous treasures of 
the various parts of the .British dominions ; and by the applica- 


tion of science and chemical investigation to the cultivation of the 
soil, and in aid of the practical experience of agriculture. 

The following arrangement of the lectures has been made for 
the present year, 1809: 

Lectures on experimental chemistry, electro-chemical science, 
and geology, by H. Davy, Esq. sec. R.S. 

On mechanical philosophy, by William Allen, Esq. F.R.S. 

On astronomy, by John Pond, Esq. F.R.S. 

On botany, by James Edward Smith, M.D. pres. Lin. Soc. 
and F.R.S. 

On history and poetry, by the Rev. W. Crowe, public orator in 
the university of Oxford. 

On music, by Mr. Samuel Wesley. 

On perspective, by Mr. John George Ward. 


A[ONG the minor Theatres which offer their various enter- 
tainments to the public during the summer season, this 
place has the claim of long seniority, and the oldest 
person now living may remember it, as affording them delight 
when they were children. 

It appears to have originated in a well, which belonged to the 
monks of the priory of St. John, Clerkenwell. Its waters, which 
were chalybeate, had the character of possessing very salubrious 
qualities ; and, from the cures which were performed, or supposed 


to be performed, by the use of them, the religious brotherhood 
derived a very considerable revenue ; as they had taught the 
people to believe that their prayers were essential to the efficacy 
of the spring. It was accordingly named the holy or sacred well ; 
and the popular superstition having given it sufficient importance 
to attract the attention of those who had the conduct of carrying 
the objects of the Reformation into effect, on account of the 
impositions it occasioned, it was ordered to be closed, and a 
termination put to its pretended miraculous powers. 

During the period of its sanctity and its celebrity, the concourse 
of visiters had been so great, as to induce those to whom the 
immediate care of it was entrusted, to enliven the scene with 
music, and a band of musicians constantly attended for that 
purpose : but as the arm of secular power had withdrawn the 
principal cause of attraction to the place, it immediately declined ; 
the music ceased, and the waters, with all their healing properties, 
were thought of no more. Some kind of traditionary character 
seems, nevertheless, to have attached itself to the place ; for a 
Mr. Sadler, who was a surveyor of the highways, afterwards 
rebuilt the music-house, which he opened for musical and dancing 
recreation; and in the year 1683, the once celebrated well was 
discovered by one of his labourers while he was digging in the 
garden. The character which it had acquired seemed to have 
been regarded, and superstition had been allowed to respect the 
closing of it, as it appeared to have been carefully arched over 
with stone, to protect it from any profane intrusion ; but there is 
no authority to determine that it was again resorted to for 
medicinal purposes : though, as it has given a name to the place, 
it is most probable that Mr. Sadler derived some advantage from 


its former reputation. The chalybeate spring now runs to waste 
under the present Theatre. 

At his death, he was succeeded by Francis Forcer, a musician 
and composer, who may be presumed, from his professional 
qualifications, to have improved the amusements of the place. 
At his decease it became the property of his son, who was a 
barrister at law. He enlarged the premises, gave them somewhat 
of a theatrical form, and added to the circle of its entertainments, 
by the introduction of tumbling, rope-dancing, and other perform- 
ances of dexterity and deception. Mr. Forcer, junior, continued 
in the possession and management of Sadler's Wells, till the year 
1 730, when he died at a very advanced age. 

Mr. Rosoman, a celebrated harlequin, and a rival of Mr. Rich, 
now became the purchaser of these premises, which he rebuilt in 
a new form, with a pit, boxes, galleries, and regular orchestra, and 
greatly improved the circle of its entertainments. As might be 
naturally expected, and for the display of his own particular 
talents, he appropriately introduced the pantomime and har- 
lequinade ; to which he added the simple burletta, consisting of 
little more than some of the old English ballads, converted into 
dialogue, and sung, with a trifling variation, to their original tunes. 
He even ventured on what would now be denominated a ballet of 
action. In the summer of the year 1746, the battle of Culloden, 
which had been fought and gained in the preceding April, by 
William, Duke of Cumberland, formed a most popular representa- 
tion, and was displayed in all its costume at this Theatre. While 
two hostile parties of cavalry contested for the possession of a 
bridge at the end of the stage, the infantry contended on the front 
of it ; and the whole terminated in triumphant songs and dances 


suited to the occasion, and a proud exhibition of this important 
and exhilarating victory. Hogarth's prints of the Harlot's 
Progress were dramatized, and completely represented in all their 
parts, about this time, on this stage, with appropriate songs and 
recitative. The duet between the heroine of the piece and the 
Jew, which forms such a beautiful and characteristic picture, never 
failed to be loudly encored. The music, which we believe to 
have been composed by Lampe, no ordinary musician, was very 
pretty ; and the songs were as great favourites among the 
middling classes, as those of the Beggar s Opera had been among 
the higher orders of society. 

Mr. Rosoman, who appears to have understood his business, 
continued to invite all the most distinguished performers in his 
line of amusements, to his assistance. The first dancing on the 
wire, by a Mr. Maddox, with his wonderful skill in balancing, was 
seen at this place ; and the similar exhibitions of Miss Wilkinson 
excited the wonder, and consequently attracted the attendance of 
the public. At this time, the sides of the Theatre were occupied 
by two tiers of galleries, which, it may be supposed, were of 
equal price, as there were communications between them by trap- 
doors, through which there was easy ascent or descent, as fancy 
might suggest. These galleries were flat, with one long seat 
attached to the wall : the others were movable forms ; so that 
the company, between the acts, might enjoy the variety of a 
promenade. Drinking was also allowed and very generally 
practised in the Theatre ; as all persons, on paying for admit- 
tance, received a ticket for a proportionate quantity of wine, and 
if they pleased, might call for more. This custom, which is more 
honoured in the breach than in the observance, has been wholly 


laid aside. Mr. Rosoman, it is said, rendered it an advantageous 
undertaking ; and a considerable row of houses, which he built in 
Clerkenwell, still continues to bear his name. 

The succeeding possessors of Sadler's Wells were, that eminent 
comedian, Mr. King, and a Mr. Serjeant, who held, we believe, 
some respectable office in Covent-Garden Theatre. The building 
now underwent great alterations, and was improved into a regular 
Theatre, in all its parts. Mr. Wroughton, of Drury-lane Theatre, 
and others, succeeded Mr. King ; and after some time, the late 
Mr. Siddons joined the theatric firm. 

In the year 1802, the whole concern was purchased by the 
present proprietors, who consist of Messrs. C. and T. Dibdin, 
Mr. Reeve the composer, Mr. Andrews the scene-painter, and 
some other persons associated with them ; and the Theatre has 
received, from the taste and judgment of its latter and immediate 
proprietors, a succession of elegant and commodious improvements. 

The principal alterations which have taken place under the 
present administration of its amusements, are, the total omission 
of rope-dancing and tumbling, and the admirable addition of 
aquatic representations, which its vicinity to the New River 
enables it to produce to very great advantage. The novelty 
of these exhibitions, with the variety of circumstance which may 
be brought to render them interesting, and the beautiful addition 
to scenery which may be derived from such a plenitude of water, 
cannot fail to increase the attractions of this long established 
place of public amusement. 

The print which illustrates this description, displays the stage 
in a state of aquatic representation. 


W r H ETHER architecture may be considered as an art or 
a science, or partaking of both, necessity has made it 
universal. Every structure is raised for some par- 
ticular end ; nor can it be denied, that the most obvious and 
simple means are the best to obtain it. When a consistent and 
uniform plan is prepared, when all its uses may be comprehended 
at a single glance, and they appear to be reasonable and perfect, 
then the architect is at liberty to add grandeur and elegance to 
strength and propriety, and to finish the whole with the full 
splendour of grace and beauty. 

When Lord Chesterfield was reproached for giving his fine 
house in Stanhope-street, so plain an exterior, he replied, that he 
did not live on the outside of it. Such a smart saying as this 
may be applied to private habitations ; but public buildings of 
every denomination require a certain degree of characteristic 
effect and decoration. They may be said to belong to the 
nation ; and all national works, without engaging in frivolous 
or superabundant expence, should possess a certain degree of 
magnificence and beauty, suited to their respective characters and 
offices, as well as to the dignity of the nation which erects them. 
We have a very pleasing example of this opinion in the edifice 
which we are about to describe. 

In the year 1612, Sir Baptist Hicks, who had been an eminent 
mercer in Cheapside, and afterwards retired to Kensington, being 


one of the justices of the peace for the county of Middlesex, 
erected a building, at his own private expence, in St. John's- 
street, Clerkenwell, about an hundred yards north of West 
Smithfield, for the accommodation of the magistrates, who, 
before that time, used to transact their business at the Castle Inn. 
In this edifice the sessions were afterwards held, and the public 
affairs of the county transacted ; and, in honour of its founder, it 
was thenceforward denominated Hicks's Hall. It appears also, 
from an ancient inscription in the committee-room of the present 
Sessions- House to commemorate the gift, that, in the year 1618, 
being eleven years before his death, which happened in the year 
1629, Sir Baptist Hicks, with the same public spirit which first 
suggested the erection of this useful building, presented it to his 
brethren, the magistrates of the county of Middlesex, and their 
successors for ever. 

It was a plain brick edifice, with a portico at the entrance ; and 
its publicity was increased by the remarkable circumstance, that 
the miles on the great northern road were computed, for a con- 
siderable distance, from Hicks's Hall, and were thus engraved on 
the mile-stones. Even since its demolition, the spot on which it 
stood continues to retain its original distinction as a point of 

In the course of time, however, this Sessions- House was found 
to be in such a ruinous condition, as to require a very general 
repair ; while, from the vast accession of county business, it was 
become extremely inconvenient, from its inadequate dimensions 
and proportionate want of accommodation. The magistrates, 
therefore, in the year 1778, made an application to Parliament, 
for an act to enable them to sell this antiquated building, and to 


erect another upon a more enlarged plan and in a more com- 
modious situation. Such an act was consequently obtained ; and, 
being thus empowered, they purchased a piece of ground on 
Clerkenwell Green, to carry their desirable object into execution ; 
and accordingly the first stone of the new Court- House was laid, 
on the 20th August, 1779, by his Grace the late Duke of 
Northumberland, the lord lieutenant, accompanied by Sir John 
Hawkins, Knight, the chairman, and a considerable body of the 
magistrates of the county of Middlesex. 

On the ist of July, 1782, the new Sessions-House was opened 
by Mr. Mainwaring, chairman of the bench of justices, who 
delivered a very comprehensive and appropriate charge to the 
grand jury on the occasion. 

This structure, which was built from the architectural design of 
Mr. Rogers, possesses a considerable degree of merit, both as to 
exterior appearance and interior arrangements. It may be said 
indeed to rival, if not excel, any court-house in the kingdom, 
combining an elegance of design with every appropriate accom- 
modation. The principal front is of stone, whose basement story 
is rustic, with arched windows. The central parts have a slight 
projection, and are ornamented with four Ionic columns, which 
support an angular pediment, and at each extremity of the eleva- 
tion is a pilaster of the same order. The central intercolumniation 
has a large arched window, as have the two lateral intercolumnia- 
tions, over which are the fasces and the sword dependant, in 
relief ; the insignia of authority and punishment. The others, on 
each side of the center, contain windows which are not arched, 
the upper spaces being occupied by two upright ovals, enriched 
with the figures of Justice and Mercy, with their attributes, in 



relief. In the one Justice is represented as holding the scales and 
the sword, and in the other Mercy grasps a pointless sword and a 
sceptre, on the top of which is the British crown ; whereon, as 
emblematic of the British laws, there appears a dove, with an 
olive-branch in its mouth. The center between these ovals is 
decorated with a medallion of his present Majesty, in profile, 
enlivened with festoons of laurel and oak leaves, the emblems of 
strength and valour. The space within the pediment displays the 
arms of the county, with suitable ornaments. 

The dimensions of the building are one hundred and ten feet 
from east to west, and seventy-eight feet from north to south. 

The hall, which forms the entrance, is a very handsome room ; 
it is a square of thirty-four feet, and is crowned with a circular 
dome, enlightened by six circular windows, whose diameter is 
four feet eleven inches. The dome is panelled in stucco, and the 
spandrils beneath it are decorated with oak-leaves and shields. 
The sides of the hall are finished with pilasters, the frieze of 
whose entablature is ornamented with foliage and medallions, 
representing the caduceus of Mercury and the Roman fasces. 

From the hall, of which the design that accompanies this page 
gives a very accurate representation, a double flight of steps leads 
up to the court, through a separation formed by a screen of glass, 
producing a very light and beautiful effect. The court is in the 
form of a Roman D, and is thirty-four feet by thirty, and twenty- 
six feet in height, with spacious galleries on either side, for the 
accommodation of those whom business, instruction, or curiosity 
may lead to attend the proceedings of it. 

On the right of the entrance is a large room appropriated for 
the grand juries ; and on the left is an apartment of equal size, 


which is employed as a committee- room for the magistrates, where 
the public accounts are audited, and other business, connected 
with the county, is transacted. Above these rooms, and occupy- 
ing the whole length of the building, is a large saloon, in which 
the magistrates dine in session, after the business of the day is 
concluded. In one of these rooms is the original portrait of 
Sir Baptist Hicks, which was brought from the old Sessions- 
House, with the arms and ornaments that decorated the 
chimneypiece of the dining-room there ; and in another is a 
good copy of the same picture. 

On one side of the building are the housekeeper's apartments, 
and on the other, different necessary offices attached to the 
building. In the back part of it, on the ground floor, is the 
dock, where prisoners who are brought from Newgate, the House 
of Correction, or New Prison, are kept till trial. 

In the record-room are preserved the proceedings of the courts 
of sessions, and the records of the county for several centuries. 

To defray the expences of this Court- House, the magistrates 
were empowered, by the act of Parliament, to borrow money out 
of the orphans' fund of the city of London, which, with the 
accruing interest, was secured by a county rate. 

Eight times in the year a session is held here, under a com- 
mission of the peace and a commission of oyer and terminer, 
for the trial of prisoners indicted for perjury, misdemeanours, 
assaults, and nuisances committed in the county of Middlesex. 
The chairman of the session, who presides as judge, is elected 
twice a year by the magistrates at large, and the bench is 
composed of such justices as chuse to attend. 

This elegant structure would have appeared with a very superior 


effect, if it had been placed on the upper, instead of the lower, 
end of Clerkenwell Green. But, we presume, there were pre- 
dominant reasons, with whose influence we are unacquainted, 
which rendered such an obvious advantage impracticable. 



THE institution of this excellent Society is a striking 
proof of the great advantages which an active mind 
can produce ; and the consideration of what one man 
has here effected, will necessarily give a stimulus to the faculties 
of others, in prosecuting grand objects. 

In the year 1754, Mr. Wm. Shipley, a person of small fortune, 
but of a strong mind, first formed the idea of an establishment 
upon this principle ; and, encouraged by Lord Folkstone and 
Lord Romney, on the 22d of March, in the abovementioned 
year, the first meeting was held at Rathmill's coffee-house, in 
Henrietta-street, Covent-Garden, at which eleven persons only 
were present, and the outlines of the establishment formed. The 
idea of such an institution was so well received by the public, 
that few societies ever increased so rapidly ; and probably the 
nation at large never received more real benefit and advantage, 


than has resulted from the exertions of the members, who have 
given their time and attention to the promotion of the great views 
of this institution. This will be apparent to every one who 
will attend to the state of the arts and manufactures, whether 
mechanical or chemical, in this country at that period, and 
compare them with their present state ; when it will be found, 
that the foundations of innumerable advantages have been laid 
by the premiums bestowed, and the hints which have been 
suggested from this Society. 

In the dawn of this establishment, Mr. Shipley gratuitously 
filled the offices of secretary, register, and collector ; and on the 
first gold medal of the Society being struck, he was complimented 
with it, and this memorable inscription " Whose public spirit gave 
rise to this Society." This worthy man has lately paid the great 
debt to nature, after witnessing the flourishing state of the Society 
for about fifty years. A tribute of respect is also due to the 
memory of the two noble peers, Lord Folkstone and Lord 
Romney, who were successively, during their lives, presidents of 
the Society, and greatly promoted its interests. Their portraits, 
and that of Mr. Shipley, the founder, now decorate the great 
room of the Society. 

From the institution in the year 1754, to the year 1787, it was 
the practice of the Society to distribute the rewards adjudged to 
the successful candidates as soon as possible after they were 
voted ; but, in the year last mentioned, it was determined that all 
the rewards of that session should be publicly distributed to the 
respective candidates on the last Tuesday in May, being near the 
close of the session ; at which time it is considered as a part of 
the duty of the secretary, to explain the nature and intent of the 


institution, and to describe the several articles for which rewards 
have been bestowed during that session ; whilst the president of 
the Society distributes the rewards in person. His Grace the 
Duke of Norfolk, the present noble president, usually performs 
this office with a dignity and manner which adds considerable 
value to the gift. The mode in which the whole ceremony is 
conducted, displays one of the most interesting scenes which the 
metropolis affords. In the classes of agriculture are frequently 
seen some of the first nobility of the kingdom, receiving rewards 
for the planting of those oaks which are to be the future bulwarks 
of the British empire. In the classes of chemistry and mechanics, 
men of abilities receiving premiums for numerous improvements 
in each. In the class of colonies and trade, the rewards of the 
Society are sent to distant climes, for introducing the products 
those countries afford. In manufactures, a display of that in- 
genuity which no other country can rival. In the class of polite 
arts will be observed the genius of youth advancing to future 
fame. Can words express the feelings of a mother whilst she 
observes her daughter receiving the reward due to her merit ? can 
the satisfaction of a father be delineated whilst he witnesses the 
bounties conferred on a promising son ? or can the mind of any 
spectator remain inanimate who regards the lovely diffidence of 
blooming beauty, tremblingly alive to the distinction, approaching 
to receive the honours which await her ? Such are the pleasing 
scenes disclosed on these occasions. 

The name which this Society has thought proper to adopt is so 
expressive, that no comment upon it will be necessary. In a very 
few years after the foundation of it, the business became so ex- 
tensive as to render it proper to appoint committees to superintend 



the different objects of the Society's attention, which committees 
are nine in number, and are arranged as follows : 

1. Accounts whose province it is to audit monthly the receipts 
and disbursements of the Society. 

2. Correspondence and papers who superintend the publication 
of the volume annually published by the Society, and other matters 
of literature. 

3. Agriculture who inspect the claims for planting, for horti- 
culture, agricultural implements, and farming. 

4. Chemistry who consider the various matters relative to this 
art, and the various branches of dying and mineralogy. 

5. Polite and liberal arts who examine the respective claims 
in drawing, painting, sculpture, architecture, and other similar 

6. Manufactures whose principal object is, to inspect, en- 
courage, and bring forward new materials for clothing, and to 
direct such articles as depend upon a combination of chemistry 
and mechanics. 

7. Mechanics extending to all the combinations and applica- 
tions of mechanical powers. 

8. Colonies and trade not only having in view navigation, and 
the encouragement of British commerce, but introducing improve- 
ments in all the colonies attached to the united empire, and 
connecting the interests of both. 

9. Miscellaneous matters regulating the election of the officers 
of the Society, the management of the house department, and the 
inspection of the models, machines, and paintings. 

Every matter submitted to the Society is referred to the con- 
sideration of one or other of the committees above-mentioned ; 


and where any difficulty arises in judging of the merits of such 
matters, the attendance of professional men assists their decision. 

The subjects for consideration are publicly stated in writing 
several days previous to their discussion, so that all the members 
may know what business is in agitation. No secret committees 
are allowed : every member is alike entitled to be present, and 
debate and vote, in the same manner as if he had been summoned 
to, or nominated on, that committee which he pleases to attend. 

After the opinions of a committee have been formed, and 
recommended to the Society, they are twice read, at two successive 
weekly meetings, before the decision respecting any premium or 
bounty becomes valid, and every possible precaution is taken to 
prevent the funds of the Society from being improperly employed. 

Every member has full liberty to deliver his sentiments openly 
upon the subjects under consideration ; and the regular routine 
in which the business of the Society is conducted, prevents any 
measure from being carried precipitately by claimants of high 
rank, or hinders modest merit from receiving a due reward. The 
humblest claimant meets a fair competition with the first nobleman 
of the land. This candid mode of conducting the business of the 
Society, and the impartiality with which the rewards are adjudged, 
have not only established the credit of the Society throughout the 
united empire, but have impressed so high a degree of respect 
for it amongst foreign nations, that the great Catherine, empress 
of Russia, pleased with an account of it, attempted to form upon 
its model a similar establishment at St. Petersburgh. 

The Society consists of about fifteen hundred members, both 
ladies and gentlemen : the election of each takes place by ballot, 
on the recommendation of three members of the Society. Every 


person so elected, upon payment of not less than two guineas 
annually, or of twenty guineas at one time, as a life subscriber, 
has a right to attend all the meetings and committees of the 
Society, to receive an annual volume of Transactions, to have the 
use of an extensive library, and the liberty of introducing his 
friends to see the models and paintings, besides the enjoyment of 
many other valuable privileges. 

From the whole list of members are annually elected, by ballot, 
the president, sixteen vice-presidents, and eighteen chairmen of 
committees. It is the particular duty of these officers to preserve 
that dignity and order so essential to the examination of the 
subjects which are to be considered in their several departments ; 
but the power of any such officer, except in cases of interpreting 
the rules and orders of the Society, and preserving order in the 
debate, does not extend beyond that of a casting vote, when the 
numbers are equal upon any question which arises at the meeting 
where he presides. 

The officers who are not members are, the secretary, who attends 
the meetings and committees of the Society, prepares the reports 
for their decision, receives the letters, and conducts the corre- 
spondence of the Society, and the publication of their annual 
volume ; the assistant secretary, who summonses the members 
who are desirous to be nominated on the committees, and tran- 
scribes such papers or letters as are necessary ; the housekeeper, 
who superintends the concerns of the house, the library, the in- 
spection of the paintings and models, and attends the strangers 
who visit them ; and the collector, who receives the subscriptions 
from the members, and pays the disbursements under the direction 
of the committee of accounts. It has been before observed, that 


no less an annual subscription than two guineas was admitted from 
any member, but it is usual for the vice-presidents to pay a higher 
subscription ; and frequent instances occur where vice-presidents, 
who have been life subscribers when members, have, on their 
election to that honour, handsomely complimented the Society 
with a regular annual subscription of five guineas. 

The premiums offered by the Society are usually published in 
the month of June, and gratuitously dispersed to every part of 
Great Britain and Ireland ; every inhabitant of the united empire 
being allowed the benefit of claiming them. The premiums are 
usually arranged under the classes of agriculture, chemistry, polite 
arts, manufactures, mechanics, commerce, and colonies ; upon each 
of which classes we shall offer some observations. 

The premiums usually proposed under the class of agriculture, 
extend to the raising of oaks, chestnut, elm, larch, ash, and other 
forest trees, and to the securing of them from damage; to the 
comparative culture of wheat, the raising of early beans, parsnips, 
buck wheat, and grass seeds ; the preservation of turnips, cabbages, 
carrots, parsnips, beets, and potatoes, as winter food for cattle ; the 
securing of hay and corn in wet weather ; the gaining of land from 
the sea ; the improvement of land lying waste ; the comparative 
advantages of different manures ; the raising of water for the 
irrigation of land ; the invention of paring ploughs ; machines for 
dibbling wheat, reaping, or mowing corn; thrashing machines, and 
all kinds of agricultural implements ; destroying grubs, worms, 
and flies ; protecting sheep, and curing their diseases ; the stall 
feeding of cattle ; the culture of hemp, and all other matters which 
tend to agricultural improvement. This Society may with pro- 
priety be deemed the source from whence all the provincial and 


other agricultural institutions have had their rise ; the advantages 
resulting from this having been the reason for their establishment. 

On the first formation of this Society, most of the manufactures 
of the kingdom, which depended upon chemical knowledge, were 
at a very low ebb in comparison with their present state ; and the 
first attention of the Society was directed to the improvement of 
the porcelain and earthen manufacture ; to the manufacturing of 
crucibles, particularly of those called black lead, or blue pots, 
which had heretofore only been procured from Hasner Zell, in 
Bohemia ; to the tanning of leather, and the invention of sub- 
stitutes for oak bark in this process ; to the preparation of Morocco 
leather of different colours ; to the improvement of varnishes ; 
the fabrication of sal ammoniac ; the preparation of enamel of 
various colours and kinds ; the tinning of large vessels with pure 
grain tin ; to the establishment of permanent dyes on woollen, 
silk, and cotton ; and to the preservation of the health of workmen 
employed in gilding metals, preparing white lead, and other noxious 
minerals : all of which have been greatly benefited by this Society. 

The attentions of the Society in this class have been lately 
directed to the preservation of the seeds of vegetables imported 
or exported ; to prevent the dry rot in timber ; to the best method 
of preventing salted provisions from becoming rancid or rusty ; to 
the refining of fish oils ; to improve the manufactory of tallow 
candles ; to prepare candles from rosin, or similar substances ; to 
separate sugar in a solid form from treacle ; to find a substitute for 
tar ; to introduce, from foreign countries, substitutes for oak bark 
in tanning ; to make indelible ink ; to print topical red and green 
colours on cotton cloth ; to render muslin less combustible ; to 
make a white paint less noxious than white lead ; to make ultra- 


marine, and red and blue pigments, for painters ; to prevent the 
destructive effects of moths on woollen goods ; to the introduction 
of marble of all kinds, from British quarries, into general use ; to 
preparations of sulphuric and nitric acids ; to improvements in the 
smelting of iron, and preserving it from rust ; to refining of block 
tin ; to glazing earthen ware without lead ; to refining copper 
from the ore ; and to improvements in the natural history and 

mineralogy of Great Britain and Ireland. 


Under the class of polite arts, it may be necessary to observe, 
that to promote in this kingdom a well-founded, true, and just 
taste for drawing, painting, sculpture, architecture, and engraving, 
or such matters as are usually styled the polite and liberal arts, 
was an object which early attracted the notice of the Society. 
These branches, for many years, received great rewards, as will 
appear from the large sums mentioned in the Society's books, as 
having been expended in this class. Many of the artists who now 
make conspicuous figures in this country, were first stimulated to 
those exertions by the rewards and honours which in their younger 
days they received in this Society ; among which may be mentioned, 
Nollekens, Bacon, and many others. 

It is an established fact, that public exhibitions of the works of 
artists are the best means of introducing them to the world, and 
leading them to emolument and fame. To this Society is most 
certainly due the introduction of the merits of the ingenious, by 
allowing them to make public exhibitions of their works in the 
apartments of the Society ; a proceeding which never took place 
in this country till the year 1760, when a letter was addressed 
to the Society, signed by Mr. Francis Hayman, at that time 
chairman of a committee of artists, whose meetings were held 


in St. Martin's-lane, desiring the Society to grant the use of their 
great room for the purpose of exhibiting paintings and other works 
of art. This request being gratuitously complied with, clearly 
establishes the right of the Society to the title of being the first 
promoters of public exhibitions in this country. After such 
exhibitions had been so continued for several years, the various 
branches of the polite arts had arrived at such an improved state, 
as to obtain them the favour and patronage of his majesty ; and 
the Royal Academy was then instituted, and their subsequent 
annual exhibitions made at Somerset-place. 

The arts and artists having thus gained a high share of pro- 
tection and support, many of the premiums formerly given in this 
line by the Society have been discontinued ; and the rewards now 
annually offered are principally intended to encourage such young 
artists as may hereafter make the arts their profession, or stimulate 
other young persons in the higher sphere of life, who may at a 
future period become patrons of the arts, after having acquired 
sufficient knowledge, and given such proofs of their taste and 
abilities as to make them competent judges of the merit of artists. 

Among the valuable paintings which do honour to this country, 
perhaps none are more deserving of attention than those which 
decorate and dignify the great room of the Society, by the late 
James Barry, Esq. His ardent mind prompted him voluntarily 
to undertake the rescue of the British nation from reflections 
thrown out by foreigners, of our want of genius for the superior 
works of art. The idea and execution do great honour to his 
genius. His purpose was not only to please the eye, but to 
improve the heart. The progress of the human mind is here 
traced from its early dawn of thought, through the varied scenes 


of rural happiness, the triumphs of heroism, the extent and 
luxuries of commerce, the pleasures of rewarding merit personi- 
fied in the members of the Society, and the idea is extended to 
the realms of everlasting glory, and the association of men of 
abilities in a future permanent state of happiness. He has con- 
trasted this scene with the dreadful punishments which await the 
wicked, and has drawn the following inference from the whole : 
That the attainment of mans true rank in the creation, and his 
present and future happiness, individual as well as public, depend 
on the cultivation and proper direction of the human faculties* 

* This eminent artist was very eccentric in his manners and character, which pre- 
vented him from accumulating riches, or from completing various historical paintings, in 
which Boydell, Macklin, and others wished to employ him. On one day he would 
appear pleasant, animated, interesting in conversation, and replete with judicious 
observations on men and things ; the next day close, suspicious, and desirous of shun- 
ning the world. He kept no servant whatever in his house, and it was a great favour for 
even his friends to get admittance there. At one time he was so indisposed, that he 
remained for several days helpless and without assistance, and with difficulty collected 
strength to reach a friend's house and procure necessaries. At the latter part of his life, 
many of his friends were desirous to make him comfortable, and a subscription of one 
thousand pounds was raised for him from them, in order to purchase him an annuity. 
Sir Robert Peel, Bart, handsomely offered to allow more for Mr. Barry's life for that sum 
than could be obtained in the public offices, and an engagement was made with him for 
the purpose ; but before the term of one year had expired, Mr. Barry died, on the 
26th February, 1805, in the sixty-fifth year of his age, without receiving any emolument 
from the good intentions of his friends. It was immediately and unanimously ordered, 
by a vote of the Society, " That permission should be given to the persons conducting the 
"funeral of the late Mr. Barry, to place his body in the great room of the Society the 
" night previous to his interment, as the last tribute in the power of the Society to offer 
" to the remains of the illustrious artist, to whose labours it is indebted for the series of 
" classical paintings which adorn its walls." In consequence of this order the corpse was 
placed, in the evening of the 7th of March, in the great room, with appropriate solemnity ; 
and the following morning conveyed to St. Paul's cathedral, attended by several of the 
vice-presidents and many other members of the Society, and there deposited, between 


To the great honour of this Society, it should be observed, that 
these excellent paintings, and an infinite variety of models and 
machines, which have been rewarded by the Society, are 
gratuitously exhibited by the housekeeper every day from eleven 
till two (Sundays and Wednesdays excepted), to all persons who 
produce an order for the purpose from any member of the 
Society, addressed to her. These paintings will thus remain a 
monument to perpetuate Mr. Barry's memory, honourable to 
himself and valuable to the Society. 

In a country like Great Britain, whose chief dependance is on 
commerce, a very principal object of consideration must be the 
improvement of its manufactures ; and this has always been 
apparent in the proceedings of this Society, as well as by their 
rewards, which have a tendency to promote the trade and 
manufactures, and thereby to increase the riches and glory of the 
kingdom. Many of their premiums have been given for improve- 
ments in particular manufactures, such as bleaching linen, making 
various kinds of carpets, machinery for the woollen, cotton, and 
linen manufactures ; milled caps ; paper of different kinds, as 
marbled paper, embossed paper, and paper for taking impressions 
from copper-plates ; simplifying and improving spinning-wheels, 
looms, and stocking-frames, and many other articles. It may be 
proper to remark, that two very important branches owe their 
success to hints thrown out, and rewards given, by this Society : 

the remains of Sir Christopher Wren and Sir Joshua Reynolds. Sir Robert Peel paid a 
compliment to Mr. Barry's memory, by returning two hundred pounds to his executors, 
to be applied for funeral expences, or such other purposes as they might think proper ; 
and we understand it is in contemplation to erect a marble bust over his remains. For a 
particular description of the paintings, the reader is referred to a note at the conclusion 
of this article. 


ist, a mode of spinning many threads at one time by one 
person, a matter which, when first proposed, was treated by 
many persons as visionary and impossible, and which has since 
been brought to so great a degree of perfection, that a single 
pound of cotton has been thus spun so fine, as togextend in length 
one hundred miles ; 2dly, the weaving in imitation of Marseilles 
quilting, which was entirely introduced by rewards held out by 
this Society. Many works of ingenuity, industry, and art, have 
met with encouragement at an early period from hence ; as in the 
case of Miss Linwood, whose works are at present so universally 
admired ; and in specimens of lace and needle-work, which have 
received bounties from the Society. 

The premiums lately offered by the Society, under their class 
of manufactures, are, for separating the fibres of many plants 
hitherto supposed of little value, and making coarse cloth there- 
from, like that from hemp ; for the manufacture of paper from 
articles heretofore regarded as useless ; for a better taste in 
designs for printed calicoes, and many other articles. 

An object lately rewarded by the Society should not pass 
unnoticed, at a time when the war with Russia has prevented our 
importation of hemp from thence, and the exportation of cloths 
manufactured from our coarsest wool. It is the application made 
by Mr. George Whitworth, of Coxwold, near Castor, in Lincoln- 
shire, of that coarse wool, which lay useless upon the hands of the 
farmers, into the manufacture of corn-sacks, hammocks for sailors, 
sacking bottoms, ropes, and various other articles, which has 
superseded the use of hemp in many cases, allowed a greater 
supply of hemp for naval purposes, and will probably save a 
considerable sum of money to this country. 


From a full conviction, that by improving and perfecting those 
machines which would shorten labour, and expedite business, the 
commercial interest of Great Britain would be most essentially 
promoted, the Society have constantly and invariably turned their 
attention to the encouragement of all such mechanical contrivances 
as were most likely to conduce to those ends ; and the rewards 
which they have given under their class of rewards, are innumer- 
able, comprehending carriages of various kinds, engines for 
cutting, grinding, and polishing glass and marble, steam-engines, 
jacks for house and ship carpenters and masons, various kinds of 
wind-mills, saw-mills, and tide-mills, pumps, cranes, improvements 
in building ships and boats, mangles, life-boats, ice-boats, drags 
for raising the bodies of persons who have sunk under water, gun- 
harpoons, county telegraphs, curious clocks and watches, all kinds 
of agricultural implements, and an infinite variety of other 
articles, which we shall not mention, as the means for strangers 
to get access to view them in the repositories of the Society where 
they are preserved, is so easy, and as engravings and descriptions 
are published of most of those which have been rewarded since 
the year 1783, in twenty-six octavo volumes of the Society's 
Transactions, and others previous to that date in two folio 
volumes, with numerous plates. 

No patent invention is allowed a place in the Society's 
repository. They permit workmen to make machines from the 
models they have rewarded ; and it is one of the express 
conditions on which their premiums and bounties are bestowed, 
that the public in general shall have free leave and full liberty to 
make and use all the articles which the Society have rewarded. 
From such noble and generous conduct, great advantages have 


arisen, as well to ingenious workmen, as to the curious and 
scientific observers of every denomination. 

The Society have paid very particular attention to the en- 
couragement of naval improvements of every denomination, 
sensible of the great importance it is to the security, the interest, 
and the glory of this country. We shall notice two of those 
rewarded during the last session of the Society, amongst others 
in the naval line ; one of which, invented by Captain Bolton, R.N. 
is to enable a ship which has lost its main-mast by accident or 
engagement, to erect a jury-mast from the spare materials which 
are on board all ships properly found, on such a plan as to enable 
her to carry as great a press of sail as with a regular mast, and 
thus enable her to pursue her regular voyage without danger, or 
being obliged to go into port. 

The other, an invention of Lieutenant James Spratt, R.N. 
which, simply and by means of a common white handkerchief 
held in different angles and positions, enables a conversation to be 
maintained by persons on land, or on board ships, at considerable 
distances from each other. Lieutenant Spratt is the gallant 
young officer who, in the glorious action of Trafalgar, was on 
board the ship Defiance at the time she was engaged with a 
French So-gun ship, called L'Aigle, within pistol-shot, when, 
eager to board her, he plunged into the sea, swam to the enemy's 
stern, and entered the gun-room port alone, made his way 
courageously through the different decks, and at length mounting 
the enemy's poop, and placing his hat on the point of his cutlass, 
he hailed his men to join him. In attempting to haul down the 
French colours, he was attacked by several Frenchmen, whom he 
repulsed with success. He was soon followed by several of our 


tars, and in the act of saving the life of a French officer, who 
cried out for mercy, a musket was levelled at his own breast, 
which he fortunately struck downwards, but his leg was fractured 
by the shot. He afterwards fought two of the enemy on his 
knees, who were quickly dispatched by his companions, and the 
French ship taken. This brave young man has recovered the 
use of his leg, and his station is now at the signal-house near 
Teignmouth, in Devonshire, anxiously wishing for a more active 
employment on the ocean, against the enemies of his country. 

The premiums at present offered by the Society under the class 
of mechanics, are directed to prevent gunpowder-mills from ex- 
plosion, to improve mathematical instruments, family mills for 
grinding corn, machines for raising coals from mines and for 
raising water from wells, cranes for unloading goods, methods of 
preventing horses from falling with carriages, improved methods 
of conveying water in pipes, taking whales by the gun-harpoon, 
heating and ventilating rooms, extinguishing fires, working mines, 
improving turnpike and other roads, and many other articles. 

Under the class of colonies and trade, the Society have laid it 
down as a rule for their conduct, that it is sound policy in every 
government, to procure within its own dominions every article 
necessary for its subsistence, its protection, and its strength, as far 
as human reason can suggest : and in conformity to this maxim 
the Society have acted, and by their endeavours greatly contri- 
buted to the benefit of their country. If habit has rendered it 
necessary that tea or coffee should be our daily beverage, if wine 
is wanted to exhilarate our spirits, if silk or cotton is required for 
our habiliments, and if hemp is necessary for the equipment of our 
navy, it is the object of a Society formed for the promotion of 


arts and commerce, to consider first, whether Great Britain and 
Ireland can furnish any, or what part, of these articles advan- 
tageously ; and next, to procure from the colonies of the united 
empire such as this country cannot produce. To provide hemp 
for the use of that navy which renders this united empire so 
respectable to our friends, and so formidable to our enemies, is an 
object of primary consequence, which the Society foresaw at an 
early period, and the necessity there was to render us independent 
of Russia for this article. With this view the Society have, for 
several years, encouraged the growth of hemp in Canada, by the 
premiums they have offered there ; and, at the same time, en- 
deavoured to procure from the East and West India colonies, 
accounts of such articles produced there as would be useful substi- 
tutes for it. In all these points they have materially succeeded, 
and have the pleasing prospect of preserving our specie in our 
own dominions, and rendering ineffectual the menaces of our 

The herring fishery on the coasts of Scotland has been the 
source of immense wealth to our Dutch neighbours. This fishery 
has been emphatically termed by them in their placart, the 
principal mine and chief support of those countries; and they have 
supplied almost every foreign market with the fish caught on our 
coasts. To rouse the inactivity of our countrymen, and to make 
them competitors with the Dutch in this lucrative branch of com- 
merce, this Society has been induced to encourage the British 
herring fishery, by offering premiums for curing white herrings 
equal to the Dutch ; and have had the satisfaction to find our 
countrymen improving in this art every year, and that British 
herrings are already cured superior to the Swedish, and nearly 


equal to the Dutch. The correspondence maintained by the 
Society in every part of the world with men of abilities, is a 
continual source of useful knowledge ; and new products, animal, 
vegetable, and mineral, are constantly sent for their inspection, as 
well as opinion of their utility and application : and during the 
administration of the late Mr. Pitt, the secretary of the Society 
was known to be frequently consulted by him, on points of very 
material consequence to the commercial interests of the united 
empire. Besides a continuance of their endeavours for promoting 
the objects above-mentioned, their present premiums in this class 
extend to the preparation and improvement of fish oils, the growth 
of kali for barilla, the production of cochineal, annotta, and that 
species of cotton wool from which nankeens are manufactured of 
the natural colour of the cotton, the growth of nutmegs and 
foreign spices, and the destruction of such noxious insects as 
injure the crops in warm climates. 

The limits of our publication will not permit us to enter into a 
longer detail of particulars ; we shall only therefore make this 
general observation, that to every improvement or invention by 
which the happiness of mankind can be promoted, the views of the 
Society are extended, and its rewards reach the remotest climes. 

The meetings of the Society are held every Wednesday, at 
seven o'clock in the evening from the fourth Wednesday in 
October, to the first Wednesday in June inclusive. The several 
committees meet on other evenings or mornings during the 
sessions. Every member has the privilege of recommending two 
persons as auditors at the meetings of the Society, besides the use 
of a valuable library, annually increasing by purchases and from 


The following is a list of the present officers : 

Charles, Duke of Norfolk, F.R. and A.S. 


John, Duke of Bedford. Sir William Dolben, Bart. LL.D. 

Wm. Henry, Duke of Portland, F.R. and Sir Robert Peel, Bart. M.P. 

A.S. Sir Watkin Lewes, Knt. 

Hugh, Duke of Northumberland, F.R. Thomas Pitt, Esq. F.A.S. 

and A.S. Caleb Whitefoord, Esq. F.R. and A.S. 

George, Earl of Dartmouth, K.G. and Richard Clark, Esq. chamberlain. 

F.R.S. Nathaniel Conant, Esq. 

Jacob, Earl of Radnor, F.R. and A.S. Richard Powell, M.D. 

Charles, Earl of Romney, F.R.S. John Christian Curwen, M.P. 
Hon. Robert Clifford, F.R. and A.S. 

Secretary, Charles Taylor, M.D. Housekeeper, Miss A. B. Cockings. 

Assistant Secretary, Mr. Thos. Woodfall. Collector, Mr. Robert Elwin. 

The collector, Mr. Elwin, was elected on the 5th of April, 
1808, in the place of Mr. Stephen Theodore Borman, deceased. 

The housekeeper, Miss Cockings, was appointed, on the death 
of her father, Mr. George Cockings, in the year 1802, who for 
many years had discharged the office of register to the Society 
with honesty, diligence, and attention. 

The assistant secretary, Mr. Woodfall, is the son of the late 
Mr. Woodfall, well remembered for his mental powers and 
accuracy in recording parliamentary debates. He was elected on 
March 4, 1807, in place of Mr. Thomas Taylor, the translator 
of Plato and Aristotle, who resigned in consequence of a paralytic 
affection of his right hand. 

The secretary, Ur. C. Taylor, is a native of Manchester, and 



was intended for the church ; but an early attachment to chemical 
studies superseded with him all other objects, induced him to visit 
various parts of Europe, and led him to a personal acquaintance 
with many of the most eminent chemists and philosophers both 
in Great Britain and on the Continent. He was elected on 
Feb. 5, 1800, in the place of Mr. Samuel More, who had for 
many years honourably filled the situation, and who was so 
respected by his Grace the Duke of Norfolk, the president, that, 
on the first anniversary dinner of the Society following his death, 
his grace rose up, and proposed to the members to drink a silent 
glass to the memory of the late Mr. More, who had so long and 
ably filled a situation difficult to execute from the various objects 
it embraced, and on exertions in which the success of the Society 
so much depended ; expressing his fears that no person could 
maintain so important an office with equal propriety and judgment. 
We have the satisfaction, however, to add, that, on the last 
anniversary of the Society, his grace reverted to what he had said 
on the occasion above-mentioned, and, in a very handsome 
manner, acknowledged that he had been mistaken in that 
supposition. He paid very high compliments to the abilities of 
Dr. C. Taylor, the present secretary, and declared the Society to 
be in a more flourishing state than he had ever known it since he 
had the honour to be its president. 

The print which accompanies this account of the Society of 
Arts, &c. represents its great room, with the annual ceremony 
of distributing the premiums, and the president in the act of pre- 
senting a successful candidate with the merited reward. 

It would be deviating from the character of our undertaking, 
if we were to pass by such a distinguished effort of British art 


as has been displayed by Mr. Barry in those paintings which 
adorn and dignify the great room of the Society of Arts, &c. 
whose history is a proud subject of this work, without adding 
as detailed an account of them as the limit of our publication 
will allow. 

These pictures may be considered as a fine collection and a 
gallery of themselves, and are intended to illustrate the progress 
of society, from the savage condition of man to a final state 
of retribution. 

The first in order is the picture of Orpheus, who is philosophi- 
cally represented, not as realizing a poetical fable, but as 
uniting in the same character the legislator, the divine, and the 
philosopher, as well as the poet and musician ; and, instead of 
fabulously employing his music to influence the brute creation and 
inanimate nature, he is represented as exerting the moral and 
social influence on intellectual man in an uncultivated state. The 
hearers of Orpheus are armed with clubs, clothed with skins, and 
accompanied with those circumstances which denote the want of 
mental culture, and the preparation to receive it. By the action 
of Orpheus, the song appears to be the principal, and the lyre 
only an accessory, as it should ever be where utility and instruction 
are intended. As he is said to have taught the use of letters, the 
theogony or generation of the gods, and the worship due to them, 
there is placed near him a mythological scroll, a fire kindled, 
a lamb bound, and other preparations for sacrifice. The whole of 
this picture is intended to demonstrate the effect of those benefits 
which result to mankind from religion, philosophy, and social 

The second picture is A Grecian Harvest Home. In the fore- 


ground are young men and women dancing round a double ter- 
minal figure of Sylvanus and Pan, with all the attributes of the 
season which it represents. The distant view contains a pleasing 
delineation of rural life, consisting of persons employed in binding 
corn, tending bees, and other rural occupations, with groupes that 
denote domestic happiness, and children as the fruits of it. These 
are blended with manly, athletic exercises ; while Ceres, Bacchus, 
and Pan are looking down on the innocent festivity of their happy 

The third picture represents The Victors at Olympia. The 
artist has taken that point of time when the victors in the several 
games are passing in procession before the judges, in order to be 
crowned with olive in the presence of all the Grecians. At the 
extremity of the picture to the right, the judges, which are three 
in number, are seated on a throne decorated with medallions 
of Solon, Lycurgus, and other legislators, together with trophies 
of the victories of Salamis, Marathon, and Thermopylae. As the 
Greek chronology was regulated by those games, one of the judges, 
with his hand stretched out, is declaring the Olympiad, and the 
name, family, and country of the conqueror ; while, at the foot of 
the throne, and beside a table on which the olive chaplets and 
palm-branches are placed, a scribe is recording the declaration in 
a register of the Olympiads. Near him is the figure of a foot- 
racer, who ran armed with an helmet, a spear, and a shield. Then 
follows a group of two young athletic figures, the one representing 
a pancratiast or boxer, the other a victor at the cestus, bearing on 
their shoulders their aged father. The old man is Diagoras of 
Rhodes, who, having in his youth been celebrated for his victories 
in the games, is represented as enjoying the fruit of the virtuous 


education which he had given his sons, who are represented as 
carrying him in triumph round the Stadium, amidst the acclama- 
tions of the Grecian people. The spectators consist of those 
celebrated characters of Greece who may be supposed to have 
been present on the occasion. Among others, appear Socrates, 
Anaxagoras, Euripides, and Pericles : to the latter the painter 
has given the likeness of the late Earl of Chatham. In the front 
of the picture appears a horse-racer, who is followed by a chariot 
drawn by four horses, in which is seated Hiero of Syracuse. The 
basso-relievo which decorates it, represents the contest between 
Minerva and Neptune for the naming and patronage of Athens ; 
and is accompanied by a chorus of youths, preceded by Pindar, 
singing to his lyre. Behind the Stadium, at a distance, is a view 
of the Grecian temple of Jupiter Olympus in the Altis, the town 
of Elis, and the river Alpheus. The procession which is approach- 
ing the temple with a sacrifice, leads the mind to contemplate the 
numberless blessings which society derives from the exercise 
of religious worship. 

The Triumph of the Thames is the subject of the fourth picture. 
The artist has here adopted the ancient practice of personifying 
rivers, and has accordingly given to father Thames a venerable, 
majestic, and gracious aspect, and sitting in a triumphal car on 
the waters : he steers himself with one hand, and holds in the 
other the mariner's compass, from the use of which modern 
navigation has arrived at a certainty, importance, and magnitude, 
unknown to the ancient world, and by which the productions of the 
four quarters of the globe are poured into the bosom of the 
Thames. This idea is very happily expressed by Sir John 
Denham, in his well-known eulogium of this river : 


Nor are his blessings to his banks confined, 
But free and common as the sea or wind : 
When he, to boast or to disperse his stores, 
Full of the tribute of his grateful shores, 
Visits the world, and, in his flying towers, 
Brings home to us, and makes both Indies ours ; 
Finds wealth where 'tis, bestows it where it wants ; 
Cities in deserts, woods in cities plants : 
So that to us, no thing, no place is strange, 
While his fair bosom is the world's exchange. 

The car is borne along by several of our great navigators, in 
the characters of Tritons : above, is Mercury, as representing 
Commerce ; and, attending upon the car, are Nereids, bearing 
various articles of British manufactory. With a view to exhilarate 
the scene, he has added music, but in a way which has thrown a 
ridicule upon the picture that cannot be withstood : he has placed 
his friend, Dr. Burney, the musical professor, in a court-dress, 
playing upon an harpsichord in the middle of the water, and with 
sea-nymphs swimming around him ; a whim equally absurd and 
incomprehensible, which no raillery or good counsel could induce 
him to dismiss from the canvass. In the distance, is a view of the 
chalky cliffs of the English coast, with ships sailing, as charac- 
teristic of that commerce which it is the object of this painting to 
illustrate. In the part of the picture next the chimney, there is a 
naval pillar, mausoleum, observatory, and light-house, all compre- 
hended in the same structure, and which the Tritons appear to 
have erected in honour of the first naval power. 

The fifth picture displays The Distribution of Premiums in the 
Society of Arts, in which are given the portraits of distinguished 
persons who were instrumental in forming this Society, and 


advancing it to its present state of extensive utility. Many noble- 
men of the first rank, and gentlemen of acknowledged learning 
and taste, who have been its protectors, supporters, and active 
members, together with ladies whose names were in the list of its 
members, are formed into groupes, to aid the general effect of the 
interesting scene, and to heighten the dignity of the subject. 
Among them are, his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, the 
late Lord Romney, then president of the Society, Mr. More, 
the late secretary, the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, 
the Duke of Richmond, the Earl of Radnor, Hurd Bishop of 
Worcester, Soame Jennings, Edmund Burke, Doctor Hunter, Sir 
George Saville, Doctor Johnson, the Duchesses of Rutland and 
Devonshire, and Mrs. Montague ; who, by their various positions, 
are associated with the subject and design of the pictures. It 
must also be particularly mentioned, that Mr. William Shipley is 
represented with the instrument of the institution in his hand, 
as it was the public spirit of that worthy man which gave rise 
to this Society : he may indeed, with great truth, be styled the 
father of it. 

The sixth of this series of paintings represents Elysium, or the 
State of final Retribution. In this concluding picture, which 
occupies the whole side of the room, and is of the same length 
with that of the Victors at Olympia, viz. forty-two feet each, it 
seems to have been the object of the painter to bring together in 
Elysium, those great and good men, of all ages and nations, who 
have been the cultivators and benefactors of mankind ; and to form, 
as it were, a beatification of those useful qualities which have been 
represented in the progress of this unexampled work. This he 
seems to have effected by classing, in characteristic groupes, the 


chief of those distinguished persons who have dedicated their time 
and their talents to the service of mankind, according to their in- 
tellectual denominations, and with the most judicious appropria- 
tions of individual character. The divines, the philosophers, the 
legislators, the poets, the painters, and the patrons of science, are 
correctly classified. A corner of the picture is also given to 
Tartarus, where the vices and their doom are admirably allegor- 
ised. The mysterious parts of the picture are most happily con- 
ceived and sublimely represented. Near the top of it, on the side 
towards that of the Society distributing its Rewards, are indis- 
tinctly seen, as immersed and lost in the great blaze of light, 
cherubims veiled with their wings, in the act of adoration and 
offering incense to that invisible and incomprehensible power 
which is above them, and out of the picture, and from whence 
the light and glory proceed which are diffused over the whole 
piece. In the uppermost extremity of another part of the canvass, 
the painter has happily glanced at what is called by astronomers 
the system of systems, where the fixed stars, considered as so many 
suns, each with its several planets, are revolving round the great 
cause of all things ; and, representing every thing as effected by in- 
telligence, has shewn each system carried along in its revolution 
by an angel. Though only a small portion of this circle can be 
seen, enough is, nevertheless, displayed to manifest the grandeur 
of the idea. Thus Mr. Barry concluded a series of pictures, 
which, considered as a whole, bear away the palm from all 
others in the British school of painting. 



THIS establishment, which has already produced, is pro- 
ducing, and promises hereafter to produce, so many 
important advantages to the united empire, is indebted 
for its origin to the patriotic zeal, the indefatigable perseverance, 
and appropriate knowledge, as well as personal character, of Sir 
John Sinclair. 

On the 1 5th of May, 1793, the honourable baronet brought 
forward a motion in the House of Commons, to address the 
crown, recommending such an institution. He was supported on 
the occasion by the influence and talents of Mr. Pitt, then 
chancellor of the Exchequer ; and, after an adjourned debate on 
the i ;th of the same month, the motion was carried. It was 
expressed in the following terms : 

" That an humble address be presented to his Majesty, entreat- 
" ing that his Majesty would be graciously pleased to take into 
"his royal consideration, the advantages which might be derived 
" by the public from the establishment of a Board of Agriculture 
"and internal Improvement. 

" Humbly representing to his Majesty, that though in some 
"particular districts improved methods of cultivating the soil are 
"practised, yet that, in the greatest part of these kingdoms, the 
"principles of agriculture are not yet sufficiently understood, nor 


"are the implements of husbandry, or the stock of the farmer, 
"brought to that perfection of which they are capable. 

" That his faithful Commons are persuaded, if such an institu- 
tion were to take place, that such enquiries might be made into 
" the internal state of the country, and a spirit of improvement 
"so effectually encouraged, as must naturally tend to produce 
"many important national benefits, the attainment of which his 
" Majesty has ever shewn a most gracious disposition to promote ; 
"and, in particular, that such a measure might be the means of 
"uniting a judicious system of husbandry, to the advantages of 
"domestic manufacturing industry, and the benefits of foreign 
" commerce ; and consequently of establishing, on the surest and 
"best foundations, the prosperity of his kingdoms. 

"And, if his Majesty shall be pleased to direct the institution 
" of such a Board for a limited time, to assure his Majesty, that 
" his faithful Commons will cheerfully defray any expence attend- 
" ing the same, to the amount of a sum not exceeding three 
"thousand pounds." 

In consequence of this motion, on the 23d of August following, 
this institution was established by charter from the crown, under 
the name of " The Board or Society for the Encouragement of 
Agriculture and internal Improvement ; " in which his Majesty 
was pleased to declare himself the patron, to appoint Sir John 
Sinclair, Baronet, to be the first president, and to nominate the 
following persons to be the first members of it : 






The Archbishop of Canterbury. 
The Lord Chancellor. 
The Archbishop of York. 
The Lord President of the Council. 
The Lord Privy Seal. 
The First Lord of the Treasury. 
The First Lord of the Admiralty. 
The Bishop of London. 
The Bishop of Durham. 
The Secretary of State for the Foreign 

The Secretary of State for the Home 


The Master General of the Ordnance. 
The Speaker of the House of Commons. 
The President of the Royal Society. 
The Surveyor General of Woods and 

The Surveyor General of the Crown 


Duke of Grafton. 
Duke of Bedford. 
Duke of Buccleugh. 
Marquis of Bath. 
Earl of Winchelsea. 
Earl of Hopetoun. 
Earl Fitzwilliam. 
Earl of Egremont. 
Earl of Lonsdale. 
Earl of Moira. 
Earl of Carysfort. 
Bishop of Llandaff. 
Lord Hawke. 
Lord Clive. 
Lord Sheffield. 


Right Hon. W. Windham. 
Hon. Charles Marsham. 
Sir Charles Morgan, Bart. 
Wm. Pulteney, Esq. 
Thos. Wm. Coke, Esq. 
Thomas Powys, Esq. 
Henry Duncombe, Esq. 
Edw. Loveden Loveden, Esq. 
J. Southey Somerville, Esq. 
Robert Barclay, Esq. 

Robert Smith, Esq. 
George Sumner, Esq. 
John Conyers, Esq. 
Christopher Willoughby, Esq. 
William Geary, Esq. 

Sir John Call, Bart. Treasurer. 
Arthur Young, Esq. Secretary. 

We cannot pass by the name of the latter gentleman without 
representing it as a most fortunate circumstance for the Board, 
that it found a person so peculiarly qualified to fill the important 
situation to which he was nominated. Mr. Young, by his pro- 


vincial tours, some of which were made and published forty years 
ago, appears, in no small degree, to have awakened the general 
attention of the higher orders of the public to agricultural im- 
provements; which he has still continued to promote by his 
scientific publications in the form of agricultural annals. Indeed, 
through a long and useful life, he has been continually instructing 
his countrymen on the important and interesting subject of his 
favourite pursuit. 

On the 4th of September in the same year, 1793, the first 
Board was assembled ; when Sir John Sinclair pronounced an 
address, in which the measures recommended to the new in- 
stitution, and since pursued, are 'very ably delineated. He also 
stated, that the Board was already regarded by foreign nations 
as promising to become the general magazine of knowledge on 
agricultural subjects ; and expressed his hopes, that when the 
superior fund of solid ability and useful information, and great 
extent of actual and efficient capital, in these kingdoms, were 
directed to increase internal wealth and cultivation, supported as 
they will ever be by the great mass of public spirit in the nation 
at large, this island would become the garden of Europe. The 
regular sittings, however, did not commence till the 22d of 
January in the following year. 

To concentrate the knowledge, abilities, and experience of 
those who pursue agriculture, whether as a profession or an 
amusement, in every part of the kingdom, in one point ; from 
thence to diverge wherever a want or a desire of improvement 
should attract them, was a leading object of this institution ; by 
which it might become a kind of office of intelligence for the use 
of individuals, who may be desirous of information on any subject 


of rural economy. As a board of reference, also, to which 
government, or either house of Parliament, may have recourse for 
authenticated facts or statements on questions resulting from the 
consideration of subjects connected with public economy, great 
advantages may be derived from it : and in both these cases 
the most sanguine expectations appear to have been proportion- 
ably gratified, so that the principles on which it has been 
established are fully justified. 

In such a work as this, wherein nothing more is professed than 
to give a correct sketch of the subjects which we offer to the 
attention of the public, we must content ourselves with delineat- 
ing the outlines and prominent effects of any establishment which 
we have undertaken to consider, and leave the detail to more 
enlarged and elaborate descriptions. The general advantages 
which have already resulted from the Board of Agriculture, is all 
we shall pretend to state, and as much as can be reasonably 
expected from us. 

Immediately after the establishment of this institution, the 
kingdom was afflicted by a very severe scarcity, to which the 
Board gave its immediate attention ; nor did it hesitate a moment 
to direct its enquiries to the interesting question of substitutes for 
wheat in the manufacture of bread. Fourscore kinds of bread 
were accordingly exhibited to the public, and the experiments 
made in producing them were registered and printed, and remain 
for future application. 

The next object which occupied the attention of the Board, 
and to which it applied its utmost energies, was the cultivation of 
the immense wastes of this kingdom, by an Act of General 
Inclosure. This tract of almost desert land amounts to twenty- 


two millions of acres. Nor can it be forgotten by those who 
give their attention to the proceedings of Parliament, with what 
unremitted diligence Sir John Sinclair endeavoured to fulfil the 
anxious wishes of the Board respecting this important object. 
But his efforts were of no avail ; and it is a melancholy reflection, 
that private interests should have worked up such powerful 
obstacles to a measure which promised immense and certain 
advantages to the country. In a subsequent session, however, 
this bill was revived on a reduced plan, when it passed the House 
of Commons ; but was thrown out by the Lords, on the strange, 
unaccountable, and fallacious notion, that it trenched on the 
interests of the church. But these endeavours, unsuccessful as 
they were with respect to their principal object, were not unpro- 
ductive of considerable benefits : for there arose out of them 
certain standing resolutions, which passed in a succeeding session, 
to lessen the difficulties and expences of private acts, by which 
large sums have been saved to persons applying for inclosures ; 
the very great increase of which since the establishment of the 
Society of Agriculture, may be attributed to the spirit of improve- 
ment which it excited : nor are the legislative facilities less 
indebted to its active exertions. 

Its next effort was crowned with a most efficacious success. It 
had directed its enquiries to the deficiency of the law respecting 
weights and measures, by which the poor, particularly in villages, 
were most grievously defrauded. It accordingly requested one of 
its members to bring a bill into Parliament to remedy this op- 
pressive evil : and an act consequently passed, which has brought 
all the weights and measures of the kingdom under the summary 
jurisdiction of the magistrate. 


The act, also, to remove a discouraging, and almost pro- 
hibiting, duty on the import of oil-cakes from America, an 
article which fattens cattle and fertilizes the earth, had its origin 
in the zealous endeavours of this Board. It recommended, 
likewise, the exemption of draining tiles from excise, a tax 
which operated as a prohibition in this branch of a very 
leading improvement of land ; and the legislature adopted the 

In consequence of the uncommon success of Mr. Elkington's 
practice in draining, on principles known only to himself, the 
Board recommended him to the munificence of Parliament, who 
accordingly voted one thousand pounds, as a reward for his dis- 
covery. But as this person, with all his practical ingenuity, was 
so astonishingly confused and obscure in explaining his ideas, that 
it was really apprehended his most useful improvement might die 
with him ; the Board took all the necessary precautions to prevent 
the possibility of so great a loss to the public ; and the whole 
process has been preserved in a treatise composed and pub- 
lished on this very important subject. 

If this Society had performed no other service to the country, 
than has been effected by its attention to the cottage management 
of landed estates, it would have amply merited the whole of that 
pecuniary aid which Parliament has voted for its support. It 
consists in annexing lands to cottages ; a system which has been 
productive of the most acknowledged blessings. On its various 
advantages we have not the opportunity to dilate ; but we shall 
mention as a circumstance of great public interest and private 
satisfaction, and many others might be enumerated, that, by its 
adoption, a gentleman in Gloucestershire reduced the poor's rates 


of his parish from two hundred to twelve pounds a year, to the 
general gratification of the poor themselves. 

Nor can the exertions of the Board during the scarcity of the 
year 1800, though not attended with the expected or merited 
success, be considered without due acknowledgments to the 
patriotic and humane spirit which suggested them. After much 
enquiry and consideration on the subject, no remedy occurred to 
the Board, so certain, safe, and economical for supplying the 
expected deficiency, as the importation of a sufficient quantity of 
rice from India ; and had the plan proposed by the Board been 
duly adopted by government and the East India company, it 
appears from the account of the president for that year, that not 
only a very great relief would have been afforded and felt ; but, 
from a saving in bounties on corn imported, and in the cost and 
charges of rice which arrived from India when it was no longer 
wanted, two millions and a half would have been saved to the 

On the first establishment of this institution, its attention was 
immediately directed to the agricultural state of the country ; a 
knowledge of which would form the most solid basis of future 
improvement. This undertaking, which involves the survey of 
fourscore provinces, including every spot from the Land's- End to 
the Orkneys, when compared with the means allowed for its 
support, must fill the mind of every man who contemplates it, 
with astonishment and admiration. These statistical histories of 
the counties, which are printed separately, surpass any thing 
hitherto suggested for accumulating that information, on the 
knowledge of which the general happiness of the human species 
must depend. The account of these publications is of a most 


interesting nature, and displays such a prominent feature of the 
Society which is under our consideration, that we shall give it in 
the words of Mr. Arthur Young, to whom it is so much indebted, 
in his printed lecture, which he read to the institution on the 26th 
of May in the present year. 

" These works detail many particulars relating to the extent, 
soil, and climate of each county ; the rivers, navigations, roads, 
and whatever contributes to internal communication ; the tenures 
by which landed property is possessed and occupied, including the 
effect of long and short leases : they describe those circumstances 
which demand attention in the buildings necessary to the occupa- 
tion of land ; they note the payments to which it is subjected, in 
rent, tythe, and parochial taxes : they give the size of farms, and 
the consequences of both large and small occupations ; they 
present a detail of inclosures, whether by private exertion or by 
public authority; and the consequences which have flowed from 
them : they describe the implements of husbandry, and mark such 
as merit removal from a confined district to a more general appli- 
cation : they enter into all the minutiae of the cultivation of arable 
land, and are equally attentive to the pasturage and meadows of 
the kingdom : they give the particulars of woods and plantations : 
they enter largely into the detail of the waste lands of the king- 
dom, their soil, value, and climate ; the improvements which have 
been made upon them, and others of which they are susceptible : 
they report upon the means used for the melioration of all the 
various soils, whether by draining, irrigation, paring and burning, 
manuring or embanking : they describe the live stock of the 
kingdom, and the great improvements which have been made 
in that important department : they note the price and various 



other circumstances respecting rural labour, the state of the 
poor, and the several efforts which have been made for amelio- 
rating their condition ; and they give such particulars relating 
to manufactures and commerce, as connect them with rural 

From this detail, which does not, however, include the whole of 
the enquiries directed by the Board, it must be sufficiently obvious, 
that these works will necessarily lay such a foundation for scientific 
knowledge, in every branch of agriculture, as cannot fail of diffusing 
a spirit of improvement through every part of the realm. This is 
their direct tendency ; and if they should fail of effecting that 
object, it is not so much the fault of the works themselves, as of 
the neglect of those who do not sufficiently examine them. It 
may be asserted with equal safety, that no enquirer into those 
facts on which the science of political economy ought to be 
founded, can neglect to consult these works without manifesting 
a proportionate degree of ignorance ; for they may be as useful to 
a member of the legislature, as they ought to be to a practical 
farmer. What a depot of information, therefore, relative to the 
internal improvement of the country this Society must have 
formed ! It is, indeed, observed by Doctor James Anderson, a 
distinguished writer on agricultural and rural affairs, that, in the 
course of little more than one year, the Board of Agriculture had 
printed a body of authentic facts respecting the agricultural and 
internal economy of this kingdom, greater than was ever obtained 
in any other nation since the beginning of time. And Doctor 
Coventry, professor of agriculture to the university of Edinburgh, 
declares, that in the corrected reports and publications therewith 
connected, there is detailed more useful and distinct information 


on various branches of agriculture, and on rural concerns in 
general, than was in print before these were drawn up. Hence it 
is that government and both houses of Parliament have applied 
to it for that authentic instruction, which could not have been 
obtained, with so much certainty, readiness, and without expence, 
from any other source. 

Such, with many others that might be detailed, are among the 
advantages which have been derived from the Board and Society 
of Agriculture ; and they will be sufficient to enable any one to 
form a judgment of the great and increasing national benefits 
which may hereafter result from it. Its attention is directed to 
whatever may administer to the internal improvement of the 
kingdom ; and no object that tends to produce so desirable an effect, 
escapes the active vigilance and indefatigable spirit of enquiry which 
distinguishes its proceedings. Nor is this all. The agriculture of 
the East and West Indies has felt its improving influence. We 
shall also observe, that it derives no other advantage from the 
public than the income of three thousand pounds voted to it by 
Parliament ; whose insufficiency is supplied by the contributions 
of its own members.* When then we reflect on the vast variety 
of objects which it embraces, the activity with which they are 
pursued, the knowledge it communicates, the comprehensive 
character of its intelligence, and the gratuitous labour of its 
directors, we cannot but consider it as an establishment which 
promises the most solid and extensive advantages, not only to the 

* A statement of the manner in which the parliamentary grants received by the 
Board of Agriculture, prior to the 4th of September, 1796, that is, during the three first 


country which can boast the honour of giving it birth, but to 
every part of the civilized world. 

During the first years of its institution, the Society held its 
meetings, and transacted its affairs, by the liberal favour of 
Sir John Sinclair, at his house in Parliament-street. Since 
that period a mansion has been especially procured for it in 
Sackville-street, Piccadilly. The great room in that office, with 
an assembled meeting of the members, forms the subject of 
the engraving which appears as the frontispiece to this interest- 
ing chapter. 

years of its establishment, have been expended, will not, we presume, be considered as 
an uninteresting addition to this interesting article. 

* * 

Fees on the letters patent, constituting the Board . . 712 i o 

Fees on receipt of the grant . ... 477 1 1 2 

Expence for the surveys of the different counties . . 2171 3 6 

Printing the surveys and engravings, &c. . . 3411 2 6 

Postage and other incidental charges . . . 255 6 n 

Office furniture and articles for the Museum . . . 118 19 6 

Stationery . . . ... 106 14 i 

Salaries to officers . . ... 1660 o o 

Advertisements . . . . . . 77 12 4 

German translations . . . . . 990 

^9000 o o 

For so great an undertaking as the survey of a whole kingdom, without adverting to 
the other objects of the Board, so small a grant as ^3000 per annum, particularly when 
so large a sum as ^1189 12 2 is deducted for fees of office, would not have made an 
adequate progress, had not about one hundred members of the Board subscribed ten 
guineas each in aid of its other funds ; and had not the president, Sir John Sinclair, 
supplied the Board during the whole of this period, and at a very considerable expence 
to himself, with every accommodation for carrying on its business ; and had not a 
number of individuals either gratuitously assisted the Board in drawing up the country 
reports, &c. or executed the tasks entrusted to them on the most moderate terms. 



The ordinary members of the Society of Agriculture for the 

present year, 1809, are, 

Sir John Sinclair, Bart. M.P. President. 

Earl Manvers, V.P. D. Giles, Esq. M.P. 

Lord Viscount Wentworth. Lord Beauchamp. 

Sir Vavasour, Bart. V.P. Duke of Bedford. 

Sir R. W. Vaughan, Bart. M.P. T. Tyrwhitt, Esq. 

Sir G. O. Paul, Bart. C. C. Western, Esq. M.P. 

Rev. H. B. Dudley. Earl of Egremont. 

E. L. Loveden, Esq. M.P., V.P. Earl of Macclesfield. 

T. W. Coke, Esq. M.P. W. S. Stanhope, Esq. M.P. 

Earl of Suffolk. R. Hobhouse, Esq. M.P. 

Right Hon. J. Foster, V.P. Lord Dundas. 

C. Duncombe, Esq. Right Hon. Isaac Corry. 

Montagu Burgoyne, Esq. D. Giddy, Esq. M.P. 

Earl of Galloway. Sir J. T. Stanley, Bart. 

Colonel Beaumont, M.P. Admiral Bentinck. 

There are five hundred honorary members. 
Lecturer on chemistry -, H. Davy, Esq. 
Lecturer on agriculture^ A. Young, Esq. 



THIS magnificent building is situate on the south side of 
the Strand, on the site of a palace, whose name it con- 
tinues to bear, and of which some history must be given. 

The commencement of the original palace was in the year 1549, 
by the Duke of Somerset, uncle to Edward the Sixth, and pro- 
tector of England. Its architect is supposed to have been John 
of Padua, who is stated by Mr. Horace Walpole, in his Anecdotes 
of Painting, to have enjoyed a salary in the reign of Henry VIII. 
which was continued in that of his son, under the title of devizor 
of his majesty's buildings. 

The palaces of the Bishops of Chester and Worcester, with 
the Strand inn, an inn of Chancery belonging to the Temple, 
and the church of St. Mary le Strand, were all unceremoniously 
demolished, to afford a situation for this princely structure ; and 
without any compensation being made to the owners of them. 
Nor did the rapacious pride of this ambitious man, respecting the 
erection of his projected residence, terminate in these acts of 
tyranny and injustice. They were followed by others still more 
enormous : for part of the church of St. John of Jerusalem and 
the Tower were blown up, to furnish materials for the building. 
The cloisters on the north side of St. Paul's, together with the 
charnel-house and chapel, underwent the same fate. The tombs 


were also destroyed ; and the bones of the sacred dead were 
impiously removed, and scattered about Finsbury-fields. It may be 
reasonably supposed, however, that the vanity of Somerset was not 
gratified by residing in his splendid palace ; as, within three years 
after it was begun, he suffered on the scaffold. It might appear 
extraordinary, that sacrilege is not to be found among the numer- 
ous articles brought against him ; but, as it is properly observed 
by Mr. Pennant, every great man in those days, whether 
Protestant or Papist, discovered an equal spirit of rapacity after 
the possessions of the church. 

On the death of Somerset his palace devolved to the crown. 
Queen Elizabeth made it the occasional place of her residence, 
and not improbably, according to her usual policy, at the expence 
of her kinsman, Lord Hunsdon, to whom she had given the use 
of it. Anne of Denmark, the queen of James I. kept her court 
here, " which," as Wilson relates, " was a continual mascarado, 
where she and the ladies her attendants, like so many sea-nymphs 
or Nereids, appeared in various dresses, to the ravishment of 
the beholders." During her residence it acquired the name of 
Denmark- House ; but it afterwards resumed and retained its 
former title, which has been transferred to the stately structure 
that has succeeded it. 

This palace, however, appears to have been neglected and 
fallen into decay, as it received considerable alterations and im- 
provements from the queen dowager, Henrietta Maria, in 1662, at 
a time when she indulged the pleasing hope of passing her latter 
years in England. Those distinguished poets, Cowley and 
Waller, considered her majesty's attention to Somerset- House, as 
worthy of that praise which the muse can so well bestow. There 


is a peculiar degree of tenderness and elegance in the lines which 
Waller composed on the occasion : 

Constant to England in your love, 
As birds are to their wonted grove ; 
Tho' by rude hands their nests are spoil'd, 
There the next year again they build. 

Catharine, queen of Charles II. found it an asylum from the 
profligate court of her faithless husband. As it was not compatible 
with his gallantries for her to remain at Whitehall, this palace was 
assigned for her residence. Nor did she quit it after his demise, 
till she withdrew to her native country. 

While this queen was an inmate of Somerset- House, it became 
the haunt of the Catholics ; and possibly, during the popular 
frenzy which prevailed at that time against the professors of the 
Roman Catholic religion, in which she had been born, and to 
whose faith she was attached ; that circumstance might have 
occasioned it to have been made the pretended scene of the 
murder of Sir Edmonbury Godfrey, in the year 1678. The in- 
famous witnesses against his supposed murderers, declared that he 
was inveigled into the palace, under pretence of keeping the peace 
between two servants who were fighting in the yard ; that he was 
there strangled, his neck broken, and his own sword run through 
his body ; that he was kept four days before they ventured to 
remove him, when at length his corpse was first carried in a sedan- 
chair to Soho, and then on a horse to Primrose-hill, between 
Kilburn and Hampstead. There it was certainly found transfixed 
with a sword, his money in his pocket, and his rings on his fingers. 
The murder was evidently not caused by robbers, but the effect of 
private revenge : nor is it probable that it was committed within 


the walls of Somerset-House; for the assassins would never 
have risked a discovery by carrying the dead body several miles, 
when they could have so safely and easily deposited it in the 
river Thames, which was close by the supposed scene of their 
crime. The abandoned characters of the witnesses, Prance and 
Bedloe, the former of whom had been actually tortured to make 
him confess what he declared to be false, together with the absurd 
and irreconcilable testimony which they gave on the trial, have 
induced more enlightened and unprejudiced times to doubt the 
whole of the story, and to consider it as a fabrication of that 
fanatic and furious zeal which prevailed against the Popish religion. 
That he was murdered there can be no doubt : he had been a most 
active magistrate, and had consequently made many enemies. The 
marks of his having been strangled, which appeared on his throat, 
as well as his broken neck, plainly prove the impossibility of his 
having put an end to his own existence, which some have in- 
sinuated. But so strong did the torrent of prejudice run against 
the unhappy persons who were convicted of the crime, that no 
consideration could avail in their favour ; and they were all 
executed, asserting their innocence in the moment of death. One 
was a Protestant, the other two were Roman Catholics, and 
belonging to the chapel, who were probably selected by the in- 
stigators of the prosecution, in order to involve the queen in the 
uncharitable suspicion. 

This tragic event, as may be seen in Evelyn's Medallic History, 
was, at the time, the subject of many medals. On one of them 
is the bust of Sir Edmonbury Godfrey, and two hands in the 
act of strangling him. The reverse represents the Pope giving 
his benediction to a man who is strangling another on the ground. 


A second, with the same bust, displays the carrying the magistrate 
on horseback to Primrose-hill. A third describes him walking 
with his broken neck, and the sword buried in his body ; and on 
the reverse St. Dennis appears with his head in his hand, with 
the following inscription : 

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

The architecture of old Somerset- House consisted of that 
mixture of the Grecian and the Gothic, which a very false taste 
had introduced into England in the reign of Henry VIII. and 
which was employed in all the considerable structures of that 
period. Burleigh- House, the noble seat of the Marquis of 
Exeter, near Stamford, in Lincolnshire, and which was built 
by the minister of Queen Elizabeth, whose name it bears, still 
continues a very stately example of this motley style of building. 

The front towards the Strand was adorned with columns and 
their appropriate ornaments ; but it was become blackened by 
smoke, as well as defaced by time, and much of its decoration 
had mouldered away. In the center of the front a handsome 
gate opened into a spacious quadrangle, on whose southern side 
was an elegant piazza., stretching along before the great hall or 
guard-room, and the whole had a considerable air of grandeur. 
The front towards the garden possessed much architectural 
beauty: it was added to the building by Charles II. after a 
design of Inigo Jones, and was worthy of the master ; but the 
design was not completed, and some of the old building still 
remained when the whole was pulled down to erect the present 
edifice. It was placed on an elevation, with a central arcade, 
and formed the suite of royal apartments, which commanded a 


charming view of the river Thames and the Surrey hills. The 
garden, which was spacious, was decorated according to the style 
of the period : it contained an intermixture of gravel walks and 
verdure, skirted with shady trees, refreshed by fountains, and 
adorned with statues. It was separated from the river by a 
parapet wall, which was divided by a very handsome water-gate 
and landing-place, by Inigo Jones, which communicated with the 
principal walk that led up to the palace. A chapel had also been 
built by the same great architect. It was intended for the use 
of the Infanta of Spain, the intended bride of Charles I. when 
Prince of Wales ; but on the failure of that romantic match, it was 
allowed to be employed in the worship of the Catholic religion. 

Queen Catharine, the consort of Charles II. was the last royal 
personage who inhabited this palace ; and its apartments have 
since been occasionally occupied by officers of the court, and 
others who have had sufficient interest to obtain such a privilege. 
It continued also to retain the palace character, was regularly 
attended by a military guard who did duty there, and had an 
established housekeeper, chaplain, and subordinate officers. By an 
act passed in the second year of his present Majesty's reign, it was 
settled on the Queen for her life ; but was afterwards exchanged, 
to suit the convenience of government, for Buckingham- House. 
The gardens were open to the public, and formed a very agree- 
able promenade for the inhabitants of that part of the metropolis. 

The inconvenience arising from the distance that prevailed 
between the public offices connected with each other, and the 
remoteness of many of them from the directing points of govern- 
ment, had long been felt and acknowledged ; till at length, in the 
year 1774, the site of Somerset- House, as well for the space 


it occupied, as its commodious situation, was considered to be 
perfectly adapted to answer the purpose of concentrating certain 
branches of the national business, which had been for some time 
in the contemplation of government. An act of Parliament was 
therefore obtained, for embanking the river Thames near the 
spot, for pulling down the old building, and erecting on the ground 
certain public offices, which were therein specified, together with 
such others as his Majesty should be pleased to direct. 

This noble and magnificent edifice, which is erected after a 
design of Sir William Chambers, occupies a space of five hundred 
feet in depth and nearly eight hundred feet in breadth ; and forms 
a large quadrangular court, three hundred and forty feet long and 
two hundred and ten wide ; with a street on each side, to extend 
in parallel lines with the court, four hundred feet in length and 
sixty in breadth, to a spacious terrace on the banks of the 
Thames. The terrace is fifty feet in breadth, rises fifty feet 
above the bed of the river, and stretches along the whole length 
of the building. The streets on the sides, and the front towards 
the river, have not, however, been yet completed. 

The elevation of the building towards the Strand, is composed 
of a rustic basement, supporting Corinthian columns, crowned in 
the center with an attic, and at the extremities with a balustrade. 
The basement consists of nine large arches, of which the three 
central ones are open, and form the entrance to the quadrangle ; 
the three on each side are filled with windows of the Doric order, 
enriched with pilasters, entablatures, and pediments. The key- 
stones of the arches are carved, in alto-relievo, with nine colossal 
masks, representing Ocean and the eight principal rivers of 
Great Britain. On the right of the center are the Thames, the 


H umber, the Mersey, and the Dee ; and to the left are the 
Medway, the Tweed, the Tyne, and the Severn. From the 
basement spring ten columns of the Corinthian order, on pedestals, 
with regular entablatures. This order comprehends two floors, 
a principal and a mezzonine. The windows of the former have 
a balustrade before them, and are ornamented with Ionic pilasters, 
entablatures, and pediments, while the latter are surrounded only 
with simple architraves. The three central windows have like- 
wise large tablets, covering part of the architrave and frieze, 
on which are represented, in basso-relievo, medallions of the 
King, Queen, and Prince of Wales, supported by lions, and 
adorned respectively with garlands of laurel, of myrtle, and 
of oak. The attic, which extends over three intercolumniations, 
and distinguishes the center of the front, is divided into three 
parts by four colossal statues placed over the columns, the center 
division being reserved for an inscription ; the two lateral ones 
have oval windows, adorned with festoons of oak and laurel. 
The four statues represent venerable characters in senatorial 
habits, and wearing the cap of liberty. In one hand they have 
the Roman fasces, the emblem of strength derived from unanimity ; 
while the other sustains the scales, the mirror, the sword, and the 
bridle, as symbols of justice, of truth, of valour, and moderation. 
The whole is crowned with a group, comprehending the arms 
of the British empire, supported on one side by the genius of 
England, and on the other by Fame sounding her trumpet. 

The length of this front is one hundred and thirty-five feet. 
The three open arches in its center, form the principal entrance 
to the whole structure : it consists of a spacious vestibule, 
decorated with columns of the Doric order, whose entablatures 


support the vaults, which are enriched with ornaments taken 
from the antique, fancifully as well as appropriately blended with 
the cyphers of their Majesties and the Prince of Wales. From 
this entrance there is a particular and covered access to the Royal 
Academy, and to the Royal and Antiquarian Societies. Over 
the door which leads to the former is a bust of Michael Angelo 
Buonarotti ; and over that through which the passage is to the 
latter, is one of Sir Isaac Newton. They are of Portland stone, 
and were executed by Wilton. 

The back front of this part of the building, which faces the 
quadrangle, and consequently forms the north side of it, is 
considerably larger than that towards the Strand, being near 
two hundred feet in extent, and consists of a grand center, with 
two projecting wings. It has, however, the same style of 
decoration, excepting some variation in the forms of the doors 
and windows, and in the application of pilasters instead of 
columns. The wings indeed retain the columns, each of them 
having four, with a terminating antique altar, supported by 
sphinxes, which is tastefully introduced as a screen to the 
chimnies. The masks on the key-stones of the arches, are 
intended to represent the Lares, or tutelar deities of the place. 
The attic is enriched with statues of the four quarters of the 
globe: America appears armed, as breathing defiance, while the 
others are loaded with tributary fruits and treasure. In the same 
manner as in the front towards the Strand, the termination of 
the attic is composed of the arms of Great Britain, surrounded 
with sedges and sea -weeds, and supported by the marine 
divinities, armed with tridents, and holding a festoon of nets filled 
with fish and other marine productions. 


The other three sides of the quadrangle consist of very hand- 
some ranges of buildings in rustic work, corresponding with the 
interior of the principal front. In the center of the elevation 
on the south side, is a projecting loggio of four columns of the 
Composite order, whose entablature is surmounted by a balus- 
trade decorated with vases : there are pilasters on either side, 
with windows in the recess. Above it, but on a line with the 
main building, appears an attic, supporting a triangular pediment, 
whose tympanum is enriched with a basso-relievo, representing the 
naval symbols of Great Britain, supported by a sea-nymph, borne 
on sea-horses, and conducted by Tritons, blowing their conchs ; a 
subject peculiarly appropriate to a part of the building, which 
contains a principal office of the navy department. The corners 
of the pediment are decorated with naval trophies ; and a dome 
crowns the whole. Throughout the quadrangle there is a subter- 
raneous story, with an area guarded by a balustrade, which contains 
offices subordinate to those of the upper and basement stories. 

In the court, and opposite to the entrance into it, is a statue 
in bronze of his present Majesty. It is by Bacon, and by no 
means a reputable work of that sculptor. At his feet is a 
recumbent figure of the Thames, with a cornucopia pouring forth 
wealth and plenty. The position of this statue is such as to 
excite the wonder, if not the ridicule, of the spectator, as it is 
placed behind a deep area, and on the very brink of it. 

The front towards the Thames is designed to be the most 
splendid part of this vast structure, and it possesses more variety 
than is to be seen in any other of its elevations. It has a pro- 
jecting center, with a loggio and lateral pilasters, and is crowned 
with a dome. The buildings to the right and left of it are in 


the style of the northern part of the quadrangle ; while the 
projecting extremities, which are enriched with pilasters, are 
varied by central loggios, supporting triangular pediments. This 
superstructure is seated on an immense sub-basement, with a 
spacious terrace, which commands a superb view of the river, 
with Westminster and Blackfriars bridges, and the splendid and 
various objects that rise on its shores. The terrace, which is 
designed to extend, from east to west, eleven hundred feet, is 
supported by a lofty arcade, relieved by projections, which are 
ornamented with rusticated columns of the Doric order. The 
arches are twenty-two in number, besides a central one, or water- 
gate ; and the key-stone bears a colossal mask of father Thames, 
whose tide flows before it. The eighth arch from either side of 
the center is more lofty than the others, and serves as a landing- 
place to the warehouses under the terrace. Above these landing- 
places, upon the balustrade which runs along the terrace, are figures 
of lions couchant, larger than life, and admirably sculptured. 

The principal offices held in Somerset- House are, those of 
the privy seal and signet ; the navy, the navy pay, the victualling, 
and sick and wounded seamen ; the stamp, tax, and lottery ; the 
hackney-coach, and hawkers and pedlars ; the surveyor general 
of crown lands ; the duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster ; the 
pipe, the comptroller of the pipe, &c. &c. &c. When the streets 
on each side of the building are finished, there will be dwelling- 
houses for the paymaster and six commissioners of the navy, 
as well as for commissioners, &c. of the victualling and other 
boards, some of whom already reside here. There are also 
commodious apartments in each office for a secretary and other 
subordinate officers. The north side is appropriated to the use 


of the Royal Academy, and the Royal and Antiquarian Societies. 
These offices, for the accommodations, variety, and elegance, 
must be viewed with astonishment and admiration by the stranger 
who visits them. 

The facade of this building towards the Strand, is chaste and 
elegant ; though the basement exceeds the proportions required 
by the superstructure. The arches also are too small, and lessen 
the pretensions of the front to magnificence. The Doric arcade 
is very handsome, though perhaps too much enriched for that 
order ; but, on entering the quadrangle, the impression of the 
coup d'ceil is acknowledged by every one. Its general design and 
proportion defy all challenge; and, taken altogether, it may be 
said to rival the finest buildings in Europe. It is by far the 
proudest part of this edifice ; and we presume, that the print 
which accompanies this chapter, conveys a very correct repre- 
sentation of it. We cannot, however, but express our surprise, 
that the dome which surmounts the Navy-Office, with the pedi- 
ment beneath it, and the two cupolas on the eastern and western 
bides, should have proceeded from the same mind which con- 
ceived the rest of this superb court. 

The elevation towards the Thames consists of several pretty 
parts, but they do not combine to form a magnificent whole ; and 
this defect becomes more evident when viewed from the water, 
or the opposite shore, with the ponderous surbasement that 
supports the building. Nor can we pass by the vast arches 
which appear beneath the loggios, without lamenting such a 
deformity. They may have their utility, but that it was not 
produced by a more pleasing arrangement, betrays an evident 
barrenness of invention. It is the faculty of genius to surmount 



difficulties ; and if it should be said, that when the various pur- 
poses for which the new Somerset- House is built, are taken into 
consideration, a more perfect exterior is scarcely to be expected : 
we shall only observe, in answer to such an opinion, that Inigo 
Jones, or Sir Christopher Wren, would have produced it. At 
the same time we most willingly acknowledge, that there are 
many parts of this edifice which mark the classical taste and 
professional superiority of Sir William Chambers. 

Throughout the whole of this stately building, the compact and 
chaste proportion of parts is sufficiently evident to inform us of 
the architect's acquirements in his art. The columns are elegantly 
designed, as well as correctly proportioned and arranged : each 
has its mouldings, entablatures, &c. in that due regularity and 
symmetry which antiquity has established. In the general design 
parts are correspondent with parts, and in many, beauty with 
usefulness : there is not, perhaps, an improper moulding to be 
found throughout the whole. The ornaments are in general 
correct. To the Navy-Office, on each side the portal, are Tritons, 
in alto-relievo, with fishing tackle and marine symbols ; and, in 
basso-relievo, appropriate medallions above the former. On the 
west side are also medallions to the Victualling- Office, displaying 
Tritons with axes, and the heads of the boar and the bull. On 
the eastern range is the portal of the Office of the Duchy of 
Cornwall, which is decorated with relievos of the deities of the 
woods, with sheaves of corn and rustic emblems. In short, the 
whole forms a very splendid edifice, and is worthy of the nation 
for whose service it was erected. 



IT was said by the Right Honourable George Grenville, in 
Parliament, when he was first lord of the Treasury, that the 
most important word to him, as an Englishman, next to 
that of liberty, was revenue. In his day it had increased, and 
he directed his attention with the most particular solicitude to 
its advancement : but it is more than probable, that his most 
sanguine expectations could never have reached the enormous 
income which government derives, at this time, from the country, 
to meet its vast annual and growing demands. 

Among the abundant sources of this revenue, the duty arising 
from stamps is not the least, though, from the still, silent nature 
of its operation, it impresses the minds of individuals less than 
any other. No exciseman enters our houses to demand it; no 
collector knocks at our doors to require it ; no menace accom- 
panies a delay in its payment ; no seizure or personal arrest 
follows from an inability to discharge it. The tax is only paid 
when it is our interest to purchase the article which has already 
been charged with it. These observations, however, must be 
considered as to its effects on the individual consumer ; because, 
it is well known, that, for mutual convenience, they, whose 
business regularly requires large quantities of stamps, such, for 
example, as the printers of newspapers, &c. settle accounts with 
the office at short and stated periods; and may be required to 
give security for the payment. 


The Stamp-Office, also, appears to be proportionably less 
expensive to government in its establishment and collection, as 
well as less capable of evasion, than several of the other principal 
branches of revenue. Throughout its arrangements, compre- 
hensive as they are, it appears to possess the advantage of being 
more simplified than the business of many other offices ; though, 
perhaps, from its nature, that is, from the facility of its distribu- 
tions, and the regularity of its returns, it is more susceptible of 

Stamp duties were first imposed in England, viz. on paper, 
vellum, and parchment, in the fifth year of William and Mary, 
1694. How they have been increased, the vast variety of 
articles to which they are now applied, and the immense acces- 
sion of revenue which is derived from them, must be evident 
to the common observation and experience of every one who may 
direct his attention, in the most general manner, to the subject. 

The office appointed for the superintendence and mechanical 
operation of this branch of the public duties, now occupies a large 
portion of the south side of the quadrangle of Somerset- H ouse ; 
and the scene of its operative purposes is correctly given in the 
preceding plate. Before the removal of it to its present superior 
position, the seat of its business was on the west side of Lincoln's- 
Inn New-square, and extended from the passage leading to 
Lincoln's- Inn-fields, to near the south corner. 

The Stamp-Office is subject to the government of seven com- 
missioners, a receiver general, a secretary, a comptroller, a 
deputy comptroller, &c. and many inferior officers. On the old 
establishment there were forty-six stampers ; but the vast increase 
of business has occasioned a necessary addition of thirty-four,. 

Rowlandson Of Pugin, delt. et scttlpt. 



forming a total of fourscore of these mechanical assistants. The 
gentlemen who at present occupy the principal offices are as 
follows : 


Gilbert Neville Neyle, Esq. E. Finch Hatton, Esq. 

J. Bindley, Esq. Henry Hallam, Esq. 

W. R. Spencer, Esq. Henry Bouverie, Esq. 

W. Lake, Esq. 

Secretary, C. Edwards Beresford, Esq. Comptroller, P. Brydone, Esq. 
Receiver, Joseph Smith, Esq. Deputy Comptroller, Charles Stedman, Esq. 


SUCH is the national credit of Great Britain, says a certain 
able, but anonymous writer of the Continent, that she can 
raise more money in one month, than the rest of Europe 
can furnish in twelve. This opinion must be supposed to have 
been delivered at a time when the comparison might be fairly 
made, and previous to the period when the demon of revolution 
had bestrode so large a portion of Europe, dispersed and politi- 
cally annihilated so many of its countries and states, and had left 
this nation almost alone to proceed on the unaltered principles 
and practice of its original laws and constitution. When Europe 
was free to act according to its legitimate divisions, and under the 
respective governments which had so long composed it; when every 
power possessed its own unimpeded energies, the credit of this 


country manifested its decided superiority, not only over that of 
every country in Europe, but of Europe itself. Indeed, it has 
been a kind of standing political miracle among foreigners, that 
ten or twelve, or not so many, merchants of London, should be 
able to engage in a loan to government of twenty or thirty 
millions sterling, which would be five hundred millions, and 
upwards, of livres Tournois ; and that the credit of these mer- 
cantile gentlemen was of such entire dependance, that, on the 
bare subscribing of their names, and making a small deposit, the 
administration should with confidence engage in the most expen- 
sive operations of war, and send forth fleets and armies, with the 
same alacrity and expedition, as if the whole immense sum were 
actually deposited in specie in the Exchequer. 

Public credit, as it respects the system of finance and the 
funded wealth of the country, is no more than a mutual con- 
fidence between the government and the people, which disposes 
the latter to contribute very large portions of their personal pro- 
perty to support the exigencies of the state, whatever they may 
be, on the strength of obligations contracted and promised to 
be punctually performed on the part of the government, and 
strengthened by the sanction and authority of an act of Parlia- 
ment. Such is the nature of the public funds, which are, though 
improperly, called the stocks. They owe their foundation to the 
various loans borrowed by the government of this country from 
the public, through the medium of incorporated companies or 
private bodies of individuals, between the close of the seven- 
teenth century and the present time. 

From the transferable character of the funds, they are as 
saleable a commodity as any other ; and are, consequently, in 


a continual state of fluctuation, as the wants of the proprietors of 
stock lead them to sell, or the desire of investing money in it, 
induces others to purchase. This traffic is undoubtedly very 
great ; but there is another which appears to be of incalculable 
extent, and of which no accurate notion can be entertained : that 
is, the continual speculation on the adventurous principles of 
commercial risk ; or, rather, a most active and decided spirit of 
gambling, which is called stock-jobbing. A certain market, 
therefore, was necessary, to which the buyers and sellers could 
resort for their respective purposes, and in the vicinity of the 
Bank, the great depot, if it may be so called, of this fluctuating 
property ; and where the brokers, who are the great agents in 
these transactions, might assemble, to perform their delegated 

At a very early, if not at the earliest, period of the funds, this 
business was carried on at a coffee-house in Change-alley, called 
Jonathans, as the rendezvous of the stock-brokers ; and hence all 
the dealings of the stocks were at that time denominated dealings 
in the Alley, or at Jonathan's : and those terms were then as 
familiar, in speaking of the state and operations of the funds, as 
that of Stock Exchange is in our day. Mrs. Centlivre has intro- 
duced this coffee-house into a scene of her play of the " Bold 
Stroke for a Wife," which first made its appearance in the year 
1717; a circumstance which proves it to have been an established 
mart connected with the funds at that period. She introduces a 
stock-broker on the occasion ; who, upon seeing two gentlemen 
enter Jonathan's coffee-house, says to his brethren, " I would fain 
bite that spark in the brown coat : he comes very often into the 
Alley, and never employs a broker." Garra way's coffee-house 


was also, for a certain period, a place of resort to the stock- 
jobbing adventurers. At length, however, the brokers built a 
room by subscription, opposite the Bank, in the year 1773, and 
called it the Stock Exchange. Since that period, a new and more 
commodious building, suited to the still increasing state of the 
national funded property, was provided at the upper end of Capel- 
court, Bartholomew-lane, opposite to the east end of the Bank. 
It is a plain building, with a stone front, except the attic, which 
is of brick. It was erected in the year 1801, for the exclusive 
use of the subscribers. It is an handsome, commodious, well- 
appropriated room, of whose interior appearance, the plate, 
which precedes this account, will be found to give an accurate 
and characteristic representation. 

It may not be considered as an uninteresting addition to this 
article, to give an historical memorandum of each of the stocks 
and funds, &c. which form the immense transactions of the Stock 
Exchange, in their usual order. 

Five per cents, or navy annuities. This fund was established 
in the year 1784: its capital on October ioth, 1784, was 
^28,125,582 193. ;d. 

Three per cent, consolidated annuities. This fund originated 
in 1731. It owes its name to the consolidating act, passed in 
that year. Its capital, on October ioth, 1784, was ^333,645,183 
43. 5id 

Bank stock. This stock originated in 1 694 ; the charter of 
incorporation bearing date July 27th in the same year. Its 
capital, on October ioth, 1804, was ;i 1,686,800. The interest 
is 7 per cent. 

Five per cent. 1797. This fund originated in 1796, by a 


voluntary subscription, but was raised for the service of the year 
1797, and is distinguished by the name of the loyalty loan. Its 
capital, on October loth, 1804, was ,22,352,456 53. 

Four per cent, consolidated annuities. This capital originated 
in 1777, by a loan of ,5,000,000; which capital, by sundry 
augmentations, amounted, on October loth, 1804, to "49,725,084 
175. 2d. 

Three per cent, reduced annuities. If this fund is dated from 
the time when the sums, forming the first part of its capital, were 
reduced to three per cent, it will be found to commence in the 
year 1757. Its capital amounted, on October roth, 1804, t 
,115,096,561 6s. 4d. 

Long annuities. They will terminate in January, 1860. They 
amounted, on October loth, 1804, to 1 > O2 5, 2 O 2 125. ojd. per 

The short annuities, which amounted to "418,333 os. lid. per 
annum, expired in 1808. 

Three per cent, imperial annuities. This fund was established 
by a convention between his imperial majesty of Austria and this 
government, signed in May, 1795. Its capital, on October loth, 
1804, was ;?> 502,633 6s. 8d. 

Imperial annuities for twenty-five years. These annuities com- 
menced the ist of May, 1794. They are for ,200,000 per 
annum, and will expire April 3Oth, 1819. 

Five per cent. Irish annuities. They originate in part of two 
loans borrowed for the use of the Irish government in the years 
1794 and 1795. That part of the capital which is transferable 
at the Bank of England, amounted, on October loth, 1804, to 


Irish annuities for fifteen years. They amounted to ,34,704 
33. 4<1 per annum. Part of them, 8,400 per annum, terminated 
on the 24th of March of the present year, 1809 1 ar| d the other part, 
of 26,304 35. 4d. will terminate on the 24th of March, 1810. 

South Sea stock. The capital of the South Sea Company, 
established in the year 1711, after several reductions, now amounts 
to 3,662,784 8s. 6d. Its interest is 3^ per cent. 

Three per cent, new South Sea annuities. This fund was part 
of the South Sea capital stock, but in 1757 was reduced to three 
per cent. It now amounts to 8,494,830 2s. lod. 

Three per cent. 1751. This fund commenced at that date. Its 
capital is 1,919,600. 

Three per cent, old South Sea annuities. This fund also 
formed a part of the capital stock of the South Sea Company, 
and was reduced to three per cent, in 1757. Its capital is 
"11,907,470 2s. 7d. 

India stock. This is the capital or trading stock of the India 
Company. Its capital, on October loth, 1804, was 6,000,000. 
The interest is io|- per cent. 

Navy bills. These are issued by the Navy Board in payment 
for stores, &c. for the use of government. They are negotiated 
like bills of exchange, at ninety days after date, and bear an 
interest of three-pence halfpenny per cent, per day. 

Victualling bills. These are issued by the Victualling Board, 
and are, in every respect, the same as the navy bills. 

Exchequer bills. Government issues these bills annually, to 
obtain part of the cash for the expenditure of the current year. 
The interest varies from three-pence to three-pence halfpenny per 
cent, per day. 


India bonds. They are issued by the India Company, as their 
security for a debt due to the public, who hold the said bonds. 
They bear interest at five per cent, and are a very proper invest- 
ment for cash that is liable to be called for at an uncertain time, 
there being a daily market for them. 


THIS royal residence, it must be acknowledged, does not 
wear an appearance suited to the character of the 
sovereign who there holds his court ; or to the power, 
wealth, and extent of that empire which he governs. Foreigners, 
accustomed to view the magnificence of the continental palaces, 
never fail to express their astonishment at its unappropriate 
exterior : and some of their travelling writers have almost doubted 
the affection of the English people for their kings, by permitting 
them to inhabit a structure so inferior in its figure to the proud 
character of the metropolis in which it is situated, and to the high 
claims of the monarch of the most opulent nation of the world. 
Nay, it is observed by a French writer, in a description which 
he has published of his visit to London, that the royal stables 
have the air of a palace, and that the royal palace has the 
appearance of a stable. 

It was certainly the design of his Majesty, who has a taste for, 
and a scientific knowledge of, architecture, on his coming to the 
throne, to build a palace worthy of himself and of the nation ; and 


he had actually projected an edifice, which would fully have 
answered those purposes. The model of it, which was con- 
structed under his immediate direction, is to be seen in one of the 
apartments at Hampton Court ; and is a fine union of simple 
elegance, classic character, and edificial grandeur. It was in- 
tended, we believe, to have been erected in Hyde park ; a spot 
combining all those circumstances which render it the finest 
situation for a royal metropolitan residence in Europe. Why 
this design was not carried into execution, it is not for us to 
determine : but the cause, we think, may be discovered in the 
political events of a reign, which, however honourable to the 
British crown, and glorious to the British name, has not enjoyed 
that perfect state of composure, in which the cares of government 
would allow the paternal mind of the sovereign, the leisure to 
attend to such a display of domestic magnificence, or the loyalty 
of the people that freedom from agitation, in which, it may be 
presumed, they would have called for the adoption of it. 

Windsor has, for some years, become the favourite residence 
of his Majesty, and with the improvements of its stately, superb, 
and splendid Cctstle, and its surrounding beauties, he has been 
pleased to content himself. The Palace which we are about to 
describe, has, for many years, been employed merely as the scene 
of the royal drawing-rooms on court days ; but, with all its dis- 
advantages as to exterior appearance, the number, succession, and 
proportions of its apartments are such, for every display of regal 
state and ceremonial connected with a court, that it may be said, 
we believe, to rival the most admired palaces of foreign princes. 

It stands on the site of an hospital dedicated to St. James, 
which was originally founded by certain pious citizens of London, 


before the conquest, for fourteen women afflicted with the leprosy, 
who were appointed to live in a state of celibacy and devotion : 
but being enriched by an accession of charitable donations, it was 
very much enlarged ; and eight brethren were added, to ad- 
minister divine service. A manuscript in the Cottonian library, 
mentions it as an establishment which had long been devoted to 
the purposes of charity and religion, at so early a period as 
the year of our Lord noo, in which William Rufus died, and 
Henry I. commenced his reign. It was rebuilt by Henry III.; and 
it appears that Henry VI. in the twenty-eighth year of his reign, 
granted the custody of this hospital to his new, pious, and royal 
establishment of Eton college. In the year 1531, the college 
surrendered it to Henry VIII. in exchange for the living of 
Chattisham, in Suffolk ; when that monarch caused the whole to 
be dilapidated, except the chapel, and erected the present Palace, 
which Stowe calls a goodly manor, on the spot ; permitting it to 
retain the name of the patron saint to whom the ancient hospital 
had been dedicated. At that time its revenue was valued at one 
hundred pounds per annum. On the quarrel between the great 
Earl of Warwick and Lord Cromwell, respecting the first battle 
of St. Alban's ; the latter, alarmed at the menacing resentment of 
that violent peer, was, at his own earnest desire, lodged here, as a 
place of security, by John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, then lord 
treasurer of England. 

In this edifice, the kings of Great Britain have kept their court, 
since the palace at Whitehall was destroyed by fire, in 1697 : but 
it does not appear to have been inhabited by any of our monarchs 
till after that accident. James I. presented it to his son Henry, 
Prince of Wales, who resided here till his lamented death, in 


1612. Whitelock mentions, in his memoirs, that Charles I. was 
brought here on January the I5th, 1649, by the power of the army, 
who had determined on his death. During his trial, he passed the 
nights in the house of Sir Robert Cotton, near Westminster Hall. 
On the 27th he was taken back to St. James's, where he passed 
his three last days in a solemn and religious preparation for his end. 
On the 3Oth, a day that should ever be accursed in the calendar, 
he was conducted through the park on foot to the scaffold. 

James II. when the Prince of Orange approached the capital in 
force, sent him an invitation, which his humiliating situation 
extorted, to make this Palace the place of his residence. The 
prince accepted it ; but at the same time gave his royal father-in- 
law to understand, that he must withdraw himself from Whitehall. 
It was usual to mount guard at both the palaces ; and the old heroic 
Lord Craven was on duty when the Dutch guards were marching 
through the park to relieve him, by order of their master. With 
the honour and the spirit of a soldier, he had resolved not to quit 
his station, and was preparing to maintain his post, when he re- 
ceived the command of his intimidated sovereign to withdraw his 
party. But he obeyed the order with reluctance, says Dalrymple, 
and marched away with sullen dignity. 

During the reign of King William, this Palace was fitted up for 
the residence of the Princess, afterwards Queen Anne, and her 
husband, Prince George of Denmark. From that time it has 
been the court of our monarchs. 

It is an irregular, heavy, brick building, but of considerable 
extent, and is not relieved by any ornaments. In the front which 
presents itself to St. James's-street, is a Gothic arched gate- way, 
with embattled towers, which leads into a square court, where the 


company of guards on duty is daily relieved, and where it parades 
in form on state days : the colours are fixed in the center of it. 
On the south and west sides are handsome colonnades, forming a 
covered passage to the great staircase, which is at the south-west 
corner of it. There are two other courts beyond it, besides an 
inhabited open space, called the Stable-yard, but they do not 
deviate from the ordinary appearance of the rest of the structure ; 
though some of their apartments have an agreeable view over the 
garden, as well as St. James's and the Green parks. 

On the west side of the first and principal court is the chapel 
royal, which is the same as belonged to the ancient hospital ; and, 
ever since the demolition of that building, has been converted to 
the use of the royal family. It is a royal peculiar, and conse- 
quently exempt from all episcopal jurisdiction. The cathedral 
service is performed there in great perfection. The ecclesiastical 
and other officers attached to it are, a lord high almoner, 
which always accompanies the archbishopric of York ; a sub- 
almoner, who is Dean of Westminster ; an hereditary grand 
almoner, who is the Marquis of Exeter ; a dean, who is the 
Bishop of London ; a sub-dean ; a confessor of the household ; a 
clerk of the king's closet, who is always a bishop ; three deputy 
clerks ; forty-eight chaplains, who preach in turn throughout the 
year ; ten priests in ordinary ; sixteen gentlemen of the chapel, 
with an organist, composer, choristers, &c. Before the King 
made Windsor the principal place of his residence, he always went, 
attended by the royal family, in great state, to the chapel on Sun- 
days, and after divine service there was a regular drawing-room. 

The state apartments are of handsome proportions, and range 
in commodious succession ; but they do not contain those superb 


decorations or splendid furniture, which might be expected to 
adorn the residence of George the Third. 

The entrance to these rooms is by the staircase that opens into 
the principal court next Pall- Mall. The guard-rooms are at the 
top of it : that to the left is called the Queen's, that to the right is 
the King's, which leads to the apartments, and is occupied by the 
yeomen of the guard. Immediately beyond the latter is the 
King's presence-chamber, where the band of pensioners range 
themselves on court-days. That is a mere passage-room to the 
principal apartments, of which there are five, opening into each 
other, and fronting the park. The center room is called the privy- 
chamber, with a canopy of state, which is used on one peculiar 
occasion that very seldom occurs ; when his Majesty receives an 
address from the people called Quakers. On the right are two 
drawing-rooms en suite : the first serves as an antichamber to the 
latter, which is called the grand council-chamber, and where the 
councils of state were held when this Palace was inhabited by 
the royal family. At the upper end is a canopy, beneath which 
the King receives addresses delivered in form to the throne. 
In the center of the room is suspended a large chandelier of 
silver gilt. The canopy of the throne was put up on account 
of the union of the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland, and 
was displayed on the first drawing-room after that event, which 
happened to be the Queen's birth-day. It is of crimson velvet, 
bordered with a broad gold lace, and enriched with embroidered 
crowns, set with fine pearls. The shamrock, the badge of the 
Irish nation, forms one of the decorations of the crown, and is 
accurately executed. It is the apartment in which their Majesties 
hold their drawing-rooms, of which the plate that accompanies 


this section will be found to give a very correct idea, with the 
accessory circumstances of those splendid scenes. 

To the left of the center room, are two levee-rooms ; the first 
serving as an antichamber to the other. They retained their old 
and worn-out furniture, till the marriage of the Prince of Wales, 
when they were fitted up in their present state. The walls are 
now covered with very beautiful tapestry, whose colours are quite 
fresh, though it was fabricated for Charles II. It had never been 
put up, but had lain forgotten, during the long interval of so many 
years, among the useless lumber of the Palace, till it was accident- 
ally discovered in an old chest, some time previous to the occasion 
which suggested the appropriate use that has been made of it. 
In the grand levee-room a very superb bed was put up at the 
same time. The furniture is of crimson velvet, manufactured 
in Spitalfields. 

The ball-room is in that part of the Palace which stretches 
on to the Stable-yard. It is of considerable dimensions, with 
ranges of seats above each other for the court : there is a gallery 
at one end for the musicians, and two side galleries for the 
spectators. The area is for the dancers and the royal circle. 
It used to be employed for the court balls on birth-nights and 
other royal festivities, when the assembled company formed a 
magnificent and splendid spectacle ; but it does not in itself 
possess the least decoration. It is painted of one colour ; nor 
does it appear to have been refreshed by the brush for many 
a year. But these festal scenes have been omitted for many 
seasons ; and indeed the Palace itself is only used for purposes 
of state. Some of the branches of the royal family occupy 

different parts of it, which are especially fitted up for their suit- 
in. i 


able residence. The rest are inhabited by certain officers of the 
royal household, &c. 

The apartments contain several curious portraits of personages 
who were remarkable in their day. 

In one of the chambers near the levee-rooms, is a small whole- 
length of Henry, Prince of Wales, the son of James I. He is 
dressed in green, and is represented as standing by a dead stag, 
in the act of drawing a sword, as may be supposed, to sever the 
head from the body of the animal, according to the custom of the 
chase. A youth, Robert, Earl of Essex, afterwards the Parlia- 
ment general, appears in the attitude of kneeling before him. 
They both have hunting horns ; and behind the prince is a horse. 
The arms of England are suspended from the bough of a tree ; 
and near the young lord on the ground, are his own. 

There is another small portrait of Arthur, elder brother of 
Henry VIII. painted when very young, with a bonnet on his 
head. Henry stands by him, and his sister Margaret, when they 
were children. The picture is by Mabuse, who visited England 
in the reign of their father. 

There are also two whole-lengths of Henry VII. and Henry 
VIII. and each of them with a queen before an altar. The 
fortunate Jane Seymour, who died in her bed, is represented as 
the queen of the latter. This is a diminished copy from Holbein, 
made by Van Lemput, in 1667, by order of Charles II. The 
original was painted on the wall in the privy-chamber of 
Whitehall, and was consumed in the fire of 1697. To these 
may be added two half-lengths of the Duchess of York and her 
sister, by Sir Peter Lely. 

Curiosity is very naturally attracted by the portrait of a child 


in the robes of the Garter. He was the second son of James II. 
while Duke of York, by Anne Hyde, his duchess. He was 
elected into the order on the 3d of December, 1666, at the age of 
three years and five months. The sovereign put the George 
round his neck, and Prince Rupert decorated his little leg with 
the Garter. He was, we believe, the youngest knight who had 
ever been admitted into that noble institution : but death sternly 
denied him the honour of an installation, as he died in the course 
of the following year. The diminutive stature of the dwarf 
Geoffrey Hudson is represented in another picture. 

In the lords' old waiting-room is the portrait of Henry Darnley, 
who appears as a tall and elegant figure. His hand rests on his 
brother, Charles Stuart, Earl of Lenox, dressed in a black gown. 
In another room is Charles II. King of Spain, when four 
years of age. He is habited in black, with a sceptre in his hand, 
and appears to be strutting and playing the monarch ; a character 
which he afterwards filled with little honour to himself, or 
advantage to his country. 

Here is also the celebrated picture of Adam and Eve, by 
Mabuse. The critics have justly censured him for having painted 
them with navels, and placing a fountain, rich with sculpture, in 
the wild scenery of Paradise. Raphael and Michael Angelo, if 
that circumstance may soften criticism, committed the same error. 

Mr. Pennant mentions, that in the Queen's library, as it is 
called, in the Green park, a room built by Queen Caroline, and 
decorated by Kent, but now used as a lumber-room, he saw the 
picture of a beautiful scene in Greenwich park, with Charles I. 
his queen, and several of his courtiers, forming a walking party ; 
and two others of the same king and queen dining in public. 


There was also another very curious picture, of the Elector 
Palatine, with his intended bride, at a public table, with a carver 
in a most ridiculous situation ; a monkey having risen from the 
table and seized him by the beard. This banquet was probably 
at Guildhall, where he was entertained with magnificent hospi- 
tality, in 1612, previous to his marriage with the daughter of 
James I. which terminated so unhappily to both parties. 

When Henry VIII. built this Palace it was surrounded by 
a marshy field, which he inclosed, laid it out in walks, and, 
collecting the waters into an ornamental form, rendered it a 
pleasurable appendage to the edifice. It then received the more 
important name of St. James's park. It was afterwards much 
improved by Charles II. who greatly enlarged it, planted it with 
lime-trees, and formed the mall, which is a vista half a mile in 
length. At that time it was scooped into an hollow, smooth walk, 
inclosed by a border of wood on each side, with a hoop at the 
west end, for the purpose of playing at a game with a ball, called 
mall t that gave the name to this promenade, which it still retains. 
It preserved its original form, and the hoop remained, till his 
Majesty was pleased to give the park its present state of improve- 
ment. This hoop consisted of a round, slender iron rod, bent 
over in the middle, and being fixed in the ground, formed an arch 
of two feet in height and about two inches wide. The dexterity 
of the game, with which the king used occasionally to amuse 
himself, and was consequently a fashionable recreation, consisted 
in striking a ball through the hoop. 

He also formed the water into a canal of one hundred feet 
broad, and two thousand eight hundred feet long, with a decoy 
and other ponds for water fowl. One of the avenues formed 


by him acquired the name of the Birdcage-walk, which it still 
retains, from the royal aviary beside it, and the number of cages 
which hung in its branches. " Charles," says Gibber in his 
Apology, " was often seen here, amidst crowds of spectators, 
feeding his ducks, playing with his dogs, and passing his idle 
moments in affability even with the meanest of his subjects, 
which caused him to be adored by the common people." 

At the upper end of this walk, near Buckingham-gate, there was 
a small piece of water, with a rail round it, known by the name of 
Rosamond's pond ; which, having been occasionally resorted to by 
unfortunate persons, who could no longer bear the sorrows of life, 
had a particular idea attached to it, of being a last resource of 
despairing lovers. It was applied proverbially in conversation ; 
and, in the lighter works and comedies of the period, it is referred 
to as the bourne to which desponding love was used to make its 
last appeal. It is mentioned in the Spectator under that character. 

An island of willows, which formed a part of the decoy, and 
was called Duck Island, was whimsically erected into a govern- 
ment, with a salary annexed to it, by the king, in favour of 
Monsieur St. Evremond. He was, it may be supposed, the only 
person who ever enjoyed this singular office, which was most 
probably contrived, by the fanciful generosity of Charles, to afford 
a comfortable and easy support to a man of great merit, superior 
wit, and an enlightened mind, who had sheltered himself from the 
resentment of Louis XIV. whose displeasure he had incurred, 
in this country. Here his social qualities, literary attainments, 
and elegant manners, gained him the regard of persons of the 
first rank in it. He died at the age of ninety, retaining his 
fascinating vivacity and agreeable manners to the last, and was 


interred in Westminster abbey, where a monument was erected 
to his memory. 

This island continued, to the beginning of his present Majesty's 
reign, with a house upon it, which one of the park-keepers was 
allowed to open as a place of entertainment ; it was much 
frequented, particularly on Sundays, in the summer season, by the 
inferior classes of the people. A bridge from the Birdcage- walk, 
nearly opposite the cock-pit, communicated with it : but this scene 
of pleasure, and the neighbouring too frequent scene of despair, 
have long been lost in the admirable improvements made in this 
park, under the direction of the late Mr. Brown, a man of real 
genius, who gave a new character to the improvement of rural 
beauty ; and who may be truly said, in the way of his profession, 
to have adorned his country. 

The Green park, which must also be considered as an append- 
age to St. James's Palace, fills up the space between St. James's 
park and Piccadilly, with a fine expanse of swelling and undulat- 
ing verdure. A delightful walk traces its eastern and northern 
boundaries ; and on the southern side is the road leading to Hyde 
park, called Constitution Hill. From this ascent the view forms 
a very fine picture. The eye, after glancing over the bowery 
verge of the Queen's grounds, and the fine range of buildings 
on the east side, with their open gardens, looks forward to the 
towers of Westminster abbey, rising, as it were, from the leafy 
masses of St. James's park, and the more distant dome of St 
Paul's. It then stretches onwards, over a rich country, to the 
near and more remote hills of Kent and Surrey, which appear 
in the horizon : the whole combining a metropolitan and rural 
landscape of equal grandeur and beauty. 


IT was said of Tyre and Sidon of old, those great commercial 
cities, that their merchants were princes. According to 
the genuine acceptation of that expression, the merchants 
of the metropolis of the British empire may certainly be dis- 

tino-uished with the same honourable denomination. But, in a 

greater or less degree, this title may be claimed by eminent 
commercial men in every great trading city in any part of the 
globe. London, however, possesses an exclusive circumstance 
in her description, which belongs to no other city in the world ; 
and it is % this that her Hospitals are Palaces. In different parts 
of it, what stately edifices arise for the relief of every evil, 
corporeal, moral, and intellectual, that afflicts the human species : 
diseases of every name, accidents of every kind, helpless infancy, 
friendless youth, decrepid age, moral infirmity, and mental 
derangement, find alleviation, restoration, reception, instruction, 
support, improvement, and renovation, according to their 
respective conditions, within these splendid receptacles, which 
the piety of kings, the beneficence of individuals, and the 
charitable associations of the people at large, have erected for 
the most benign offices of humanity. Such noble establishments 
may surely be considered as among the brightest distinctions 
of the British character and nation. But of all the ills which our 
flesh is heir to, there is no one so mortifying to our pride, so 
afflicting to our sensibility, as that state of the human mind when 


the lamp of reason is extinguished in it : nor is it less deplorable 
from the unconscious sense of those who suffer the lamentable 
privation ; while the charity which is exerted towards them 
derives a more elevated character from the decided disinterested- 
ness of a benevolence which cannot flatter our vanity or gratify 
our passions, and from which we cannot receive any return but 
the approbation of our own hearts. Of an establishment formed 
to support those of our unfortunate fellow-creatures who come 
within the foregoing description, we shall proceed to give a very 
particular account. 

Saint Luke's Hospital for lunatics is situate in Old-street, on 
the western side of the City-road. It was first established in 
1751, on a comparatively small scale, on the north side of Moor- 
fields, and derived its name from that of the parish in which 
it stood ; but the utility of the institution became so evident, 
and benefactors increased with such rapidity, that the governors, 
encouraged by the augmentation of their funds, determined to 
extend its benefits to a much greater number of patients ; and, 
accordingly, erected the present noble edifice, at an expence 
of forty thousand pounds. The first stone was laid on the 
2Oth of July, 1782. 

This Hospital is four hundred and ninety-three feet in length, 
and of proportionable breadth. It possesses an air of simple 
grandeur suited to its character, receiving little aid from architec- 
tural decoration. 

The building is of brick and stone, and the north and south 
fronts are exactly the same. The center and the ends, which are 
distinguished by a small degree of projection, are carried higher 
than the intermediate parts : the former is crowned by a triangular 


pediment, under which is inscribed the title of the Hospital ; and 
the latter are surmounted with a balustrade, which conceals the roof. 
In the front is a broad space, separated from the street by a wall, 
in the center of which is the entrance by a flight of steps beneath 
a kind of projecting portico, supported by Tuscan columns. 

The building consists of three stones, exclusive of the base- 
ment story, and of an attic in the center and at each end. The 
center, on the floor level with the entrance, is occupied by an hall, 
apartments for some of the officers of the institution, and the 
staircase. It is filled upward with the staircase, having a lobby 
at the end of each landing, the committee-room, the respective 
apartments of the master and the matron, and the rooms of the 
several attendants. On each side, in each story, is a spacious 
gallery, of which the females occupy the western part, and the 
men the eastern. It is a view of the former of these which the 
plate represents to the reader. The hall at the bottom, and the 
lobby at each landing, separate the galleries, the entrance to 
which is from the lobby, by an open iron gate. The rooms of 
the patients are ranged along the south side of the gallery ; the 
greater part of the north side being open to the air, by wide and 
lofty sash windows, secured within by iron gratings. In each 
gallery are sitting-rooms, of two different descriptions : one is 
spacious, with tables and benches, and a large fire-place, inclosed 
with iron rails to the top of the chimney-piece, sufficiently wide to 
admit the heat into the room, and prevent accidents by fire. In 
this room the patients who are sufficiently composed, eat their meals 
together, and assemble for society as they think proper. The other 
room is smaller, with a similar fire-place, in which patients in a less 
composed state, are permitted to take their meals and sit together. 


Every patient has a square room to sleep in, with a good mattress 
and warm bed-covering. Except a few, who are in the most 
offensive state of insanity, the patients sleep in sheets. The doors 
of the rooms are kept open all day, unless any one is confined by 
sickness. Not only the principal apartments of the Hospital are 
kept clean, but as much attention is paid to cleanliness in the 
cells and galleries, as in the apartments of a private house. 

There is no part of this edifice under-ground : the floor that 
may be termed the ground floor, as being level with the entrance, 
is supported by arches that form the roof of the basement story, 
which is on the ground. On the eastern side of the basement 
story is a gallery for the most dangerous of the patients. There 
are, however, but few inhabitants of this quarter, the greater part 
of those who are deemed incurable, being intermixed with those 
of the upper galleries. 

In the western part of the basement floor, are the kitchen, 
wash-house, laundry, and other offices. The whole of the base- 
ment story is perfectly dry, the floor being laid on piers of brick. 

Behind the building are two gardens, separated from each other 
by a broad area, before the center of the building, in which the 
patients walk and take recreation. One, of course, is for the 
men, and the other for the women. 

But this is not all. Attention is paid to the due management 
of the unfortunate inhabitants in the most minute circumstances, 
that may tend to their comfort and restoration ; and the regula- 
tions to that effect, are the result of deliberating experience, and 
anxious humanity. 

The construction and arrangement of this edifice are too 
honourable to the talents of the architect, for us to pass unmen- 


tioned the name of George Dance, Esq. clerk of the works to 
the city of London. 

Experience had long shewn, that the Hospital of Bethlem was 
incapable of receiving and providing for the relief of all the 
unhappy objects who made application for it. Besides, the ex- 
pence and difficulty, attending the admission of a patient into that 
hospital, had discouraged many applications for the benefit of that 
charity ; in consequence of which unavoidable exclusion or delay, 
many useful members have been lost to society, either by the 
disorder gaining strength beyond the reach of physic, or by the 
patients falling into the hands of persons utterly unskilled in the 
treatment of the disorder. The most fatal acts of violence on 
themselves, attendants, and relations, have been consequent on 
the smallest delay of placing those who are afflicted with insanity, 
under the care of persons experienced in the treatment of them. 
The law also has not made any provision for lunatics ; while the 
common parish workhouses are by no means suited to their recep- 
tion, either in point of accommodation, attendance, or physical 

To have joined this to any other hospital, not particularly 
adapted for the reception of lunatics, would have been highly 
improper and dangerous ; while the connecting it with Bethlem 
would have deprived it of two of its principal advantages, the 
being under the immediate inspection and government of its own 
patrons and supporters, and of introducing more gentlemen of 
the faculty to the study and practice of a most important branch 
of physic. 

Such were the rational and humane motives of the first pro- 
moters of this design ; while the support it has received, and is 


continually receiving, leaves no room to doubt, that it will con- 
tinue to flourish for the relief of those who of all others most 
want it, and to the honour of the British character. 

From the foundation of this Hospital, in 1751, to the present 
time, near four thousand persons have been cured, and con- 
sequently restored to themselves and society, by means of this 

His Grace the Duke of Leeds. 


Edward Darell, Esq. Charles Shaw Lefevre, Esq. M.P. 

Samuel Whitbread, Esq. M.P. John Weyland, Esq. 

Treasurer, David Powell, Esq. 

Physician, Dr. Samuel Fourt Simmons, F.R.S. 

Surgeon, George Vaux, Esq. 


THIS Church is situated about thirty feet to the north of 
Westminster Abbey, and claims Edward the Confessor 
for its original founder. That monarch, having deter- 
mined to rebuild the conventual church of St. Peter in great 
splendour, thought it would add to its sacred character, were he 
to confine it solely to the use of the monks, and, consequently, 
excluded the inhabitants of the neighbourhood from partaking of 
its religious worship. He, therefore, to accommodate the latter, 
about the year 1064, caused a Church to be erected on the north 


side of the abbey of St. Peter, and dedicated it to St. Margaret, 
the virgin and martyr of Antioch. 

In the reign of Edward I. the Church was rebuilt by the 
parishioners and the merchants of the staple. The latter had 
been probably compelled by the king, for some actual or promised 
privilege, to contribute on the occasion. The chancel, however, 
was erected at the expence of the Abbot of Westminster. It 
was again rebuilt in the reign of Edward IV. 

In the year 1735, it was not only repaired, but its tower was 
cased, at the expence of three thousand five hundred pounds 
granted by Parliament, in consideration of its being the Church 
where the House of Commons attend divine service on stated 

It is a plain, neat, and not inelegant Gothic structure, en- 
lightened by a series of large windows, and with a flat roof. It 
has been lately repaired, and the inside refitted throughout, at a 
very great expence, and in a very beautiful style of Gothic decora- 
tion. The seat of the speaker of the House of Commons, which 
used to be in the body of the Church, is now transferred to the 
front of the gallery at the west end. A new porch has been also 
added to the west entrance. The tower rises to a considerable 
height, and is crowned with a turret at each corner, and a small 
lantern, ornamented with carved work, in the center ; where a 
staff rises, and, from its being a parliamentary Church, a flag 
distinguishes the days of public joy and festivity. 

At the east end of the Church is a very beautiful window of 
painted glass. It was made by order of the magistrates of Dort, 
in Holland, and designed by them as a present to King Henry 
VII. for his new chapel in Westminster Abbey ; but that monarch 


dying before it was finished, it was set up in the private chapel 
of the Abbot of Waltham, at Copt Hall, near Epping, in Essex. 
There it remained till the dissolution, when it was removed to 
New Hall, in the same county ; which place coming afterwards 
into the possession of General Monk, he preserved the window 
from demolition. In 1758, when this Church underwent a 
thorough repair, it was purchased by the inhabitants of the parish 
for four hundred guineas, and placed in its present situation. The 
subject is the crucifixion, with many subordinate figures, which 
are of admirable execution. On one side is Henry VII. and on 
the other his queen, both kneeling. Their portraits were taken 
from original pictures, sent to Dort for that purpose. Over the 
king is the figure of St. George, his patron saint, and above that 
a white rose and a red one. Over the queen is the figure of St. 
Catharine of Alexandria, with the instruments of her martyrdom ; 
and, above the saint, are the arms of the kingdom of Grenada. 

This window, however, occasioned a considerable degree of 
uneasiness in the parish, and some religious controversy out of it, 
at the time of its being placed in the situation which it now 

Among its accessory parts, there is a representation of a devil 
carrying off the soul of the impenitent thief, and an angel per- 
forming the same office to that of the penitent one. This was 
determined by some pious Protestants to be downright Popery, if 
not blasphemy, and that such superstitious allegories were not 
proper to be admitted into a church of the reformed worship. 
Even some of the chapter of Westminster Abbey, in whose gift 
the living is, expressed their discontents on the subject. The Rev. 
Dr. Wilson was rector of the parish at the time this ornament 

H<,ii'l,i>i,l<r,n 4 1'ilflin, ill 



was introduced, and had been a principal promoter of the pur- 
chase of it. He possessed a considerable private fortune, as well 
as large ecclesiastical preferment : he was also a man of learning, 
and throughout his life displayed an high, independent spirit : and 
had it not been for the resolution with which he maintained his 
right of placing the window in his Church, and the ability with 
which he defended its introduction there, it would certainly have 
been taken down, and probably lost to the public. The circum- 
stance produced a treatise on the antiquity and propriety of 
ornamenting places of public worship, which was written with 
great acuteness by Dr. Wilson, and contained a great deal of 
curious information connected with the subject. The window, 
accordingly, remained untouched, and the view of the Church, 
which illustrates this historic narrative, particularly displays it. 
The Society of Antiquaries have caused a fine engraving to be 
made of this valuable piece of art, at their sole expence. 

This Church contains the dust of that illustrious character, Sir 
Walter Raleigh, who was interred here on the same day on which 
he was beheaded in Old Palace-yard. 

On the tomb of Skelton, the merry poet laureat to Henry VII. 
and Henry VIII. is the following whimsical inscription. He died 
2 ist June, 1529. 

Come, Alecto, and lend me thy torch, 
To find a churchyard in a church-porch. 
Poverty and poetry this tomb doth inclose ; 
Therefore, gentlemen, be merry in prose. 

The Church of St. Margaret is a rectory, in the gift of the 
dean and chapter of Westminster. It is one hundred and thirty 
feet in length, sixty-five in breadth, and forty-five in height. The 
altitude of the tower is eighty-five feet. 



THE origin of this Church defies antiquarian enquiry. It 
is evident, however, that it must have been at a very 
remote period, as there are authentic records of a dispute 
so far back as in the year 1222, between the Bishop of London 
and the Abbot of Westminster, respecting the exemption of the 
Church of St. Martin in the Fields from the jurisdiction of that 
see. How long previous to this period a structure for the public 
service of religion was erected here, there are no means of form- 
ing a correct opinion. It has been supposed, and with some 
degree of probability, that it was a chapel for the monks of 
Westminster, when they visited their Convent garden, which 
extended to it. There is, however, sufficient proof, that, in the 
year 1363, which was during the reign of Edward III. the vicar 
of this Church, Thomas Skyn, resigned his benefice. But what- 
ever doubts may accompany the research into its original establish- 
ment, it is certain, that, in the reign of Henry VIII. a small 
Church was built here at the expence of that monarch, on account 
of the poverty of the parishioners ; who, it may be reasonably 
supposed, were, at that time, very few. At length, as the in- 
habitants increased, it became necessary to enlarge it : a spacious 
chancel was accordingly added, in the year 1607, which was 
erected at the expence of Prince Henry and several of the 
nobility. Many successive and expensive reparations followed ; 
but, in 1721, the building was taken down; and, soon after, the 


first stone of the present splendid structure was laid. In five 
years the whole was completed; and, in 1726, it received the 
ceremony of consecration. 

On the commencement of the building, his Majesty, George I. 
gave one hundred guineas to the workmen, it being his parochial 
Church ; and some time after he was graciously pleased to present 
fifteen hundred pounds for the purchase of an organ. The whole 
expence amounted to near thirty-seven thousand pounds. Of 
this sum thirty-three thousand pounds were granted by Parlia- 
ment, and the rest was raised by voluntary subscription and the 
sale of the seats. Gibbs was the architect, whose professional 
reputation would have been established, if this had been his only 
work ; but the New Church and St. Clement Danes, in the 
Strand, with the Radcliffe library, in the university of Oxford, 
were also designed by him. 

This Church is of stone, and among the most stately buildings 
of this metropolis. In the west front is an ascent by a long flight 
of steps to a very noble portico, the design of which was taken 
from the ancient temple at Nismes, in France. It is composed of 
six Corinthian columns, and the royal arms, in alto-relievo, enrich 
the pediment. The iron rails, however, between the columns, 
have been thought to lessen its effect ; but, besides the absolute 
necessity of inclosing the area before the doors, there is no spot, 
where, from its confined situation, this splendid object can produce 
an effect at all equal to its capacity. The Corinthian order is 
continued in pilasters round the building, and the intercolumnia- 
tions contain two series of windows, surrounded with rustic. The 
doors on the sides are near the corners, with their appropriate 
accompaniments. An handsome balustrade conceals the roof; 



and the spire, though it does not vie with those of Sir Christopher 
Wren, possesses a secondary degree of excellence. 

The interior decorations have great merit. The roof is en- 
riched with a beautiful fret-work ; while the roof and galleries are 
supported by a double range of Corinthian columns, with their 
distinct entablatures. The east end is very much enriched, and 
over the altar is a window of painted glass. The interior view 
of this Church will, we presume, be much more correctly con- 
ceived by the annexed view of it, than by the most minute and 
elaborate description. 

It were, indeed, much to be wished, that an opening could be 
formed in the front of St. Martin's Church, as there is no 
structure in the metropolis that more particularly requires such an 
advantage. It has, we believe, been sometimes in contemplation 
to remove the royal stables, to convert the site of them into a 
square, and to contrive a street, which might serve as a vista, 
from the Haymarket to the portico which has just been described. 
It is to be hoped, indeed, that the time will come when such a 
desirable plan may be carried into complete execution. The 
portico possesses both elegance and grandeur ; and if the steps 
which rise from the street to the front, had been regular, and on 
a line from end to end, a very awkward appearance would have 
been avoided. This circumstance, it is true, was occasioned by 
the shape of the ground ; but Sir Christopher Wren would have 
contrived the means to prevent the defect. The columns, at 
each angle of the edifice, are happily imagined, and produce a 
very fine effect in the profile of it. The east end is very elegant ; 
but it must be observed, that the whole figure of the building 
would have been improved by an additional elevation. It is one 


hundred and forty feet in length, sixty feet in breadth, and forty- 
five in height. 

Foreigners, previously to their naturalization, must take the 
sacrament at this Church. 

The parish, which is supposed to have been originally taken out 
of that of St. Margaret, Westminster, has so increased in houses 
and inhabitants, that it is become one of the most populous within 
the bills of mortality ; and though the parishes of St. Paul, 
Covent-Garden, St. Anne, Soho, St. James, and St. George, 
Hanover-square, have been taken from it, upwards of five 
thousand houses are contained in it. 

The Church is a vicarage, and its patronage is vested in the 
Bishop of London. 


THIS magnificent, august, and beautiful cathedral Church 
stands in the center of the metropolis, on an eminence be- 
tween Cheapside on the east, and Ludgate on the west. 
The best authority for its origin, is Sir Christopher Wren, the 
great restorer of it. He explodes the notion of its having been 
preceded by a temple of Diana. In digging for the foundations 
of the present structure, he did not discover any thing that could 
justify such a conjecture. It was his opinion, as appears by the 
Parentalia, published by his son, that a Christian church had 
been built on this spot in the time of the Romans ; as, in forming 
the foundations of his own design, he discovered those of a semi- 


circular chancel of the old church. They consisted only of Kentish 
rubble stone, artfully worked, and consolidated with very hard 
mortar, in the Roman manner. 

The first Cathedral of the episcopal see of London, was 
supposed to have been built in the area of a Roman pretorian 
camp, and all the succeeding fabrics have been placed in the same 
situation. This structure is believed to have been destroyed in 
the Dioclesian persecution, and to have been rebuilt in the reign 
of Constantine. It was, however, afterwards dilapidated by the 
pagan Saxons ; and restored, in 603, by Sebert, a petty prince 
who ruled in these parts, under Ethelbert, King of Kent, the first 
royal personage of the Saxon race who embraced Christianity. 
He is said, on the recommendation of St. Augustin, to have 
appointed Melitus first bishop of London. In 675, we find 
Erkernwald, the fourth bishop of London in succession from 
Melitus, improving the Cathedral, not only by his constant 
attention to its decorations and enrichments, but the augmentation 
of its revenues. For these works he was canonized as a saint ; 
and the shrine which contained his remains, continued to be an 
object of superstitious veneration, till the destruction of the church 
by fire in 901. It was soon after rebuilt; and, during the Saxon 
heptarchy, was the peculiar object of royal favour, and greatly 
enriched by royal donations. 

This example was not followed by William the Conqueror on 
his invasion, as he then seized on some of its revenues ; though he 
afterwards made restitution of them. In that reign, and the year 
1086, the conflagration which destroyed the greatest part of the city 
of London, once more consumed its principal religious structure. 
The Bishop Mauritius, however, began to rebuild it, but left it 


unfinished. His successor, Bishop Beaumes, applied his whole 
revenues to it ; and Henry I. encouraged the work by many 
important privileges. When it was actually completed, cannot be 
exactly ascertained. The steeple is supposed to have been 
erected in 1221; and the church itself appears to have been re- 
consecrated by Niger, Bishop of London, with great pomp, 
in 1 240. 

The subterraneous church of St. Faith, ecclesia Sanctce Fidei in 
cryptis, was begun in 1207. It contained several chantries and 
monuments; and, according to Dugdale, extended under part of 
the choir and the structure eastward, and was supported by three 
rows of large and massive pillars. 

The dimensions of the Cathedral were as follows : The length 
of the body of the church was six hundred and ninety feet, the 
breadth one hundred and thirty, the height of the roof of the west 
part within, one hundred and two feet, that of the east eighty- 
eight, and that of the body one hundred and fifty. The height of 
the tower from the ground, was two hundred and sixty feet; from 
whence rose a wooden spire, covered with lead, two hundred and 
seventy-four feet in length; on the top of which was a ball, nine 
feet one inch in circumference. This was surmounted by a cross, 
which was fifteen feet in length, and its traverse six feet. Though, 
by this account, the tower and spire appear to have been five 
hundred and thirty-four feet in height; yet, in fact, they were 
only five hundred and twenty feet. The difference of fourteen 
feet was owing to the wooden base of the spire being let into the 
stone tower so much below the battlements. 

According to Dugdale, the style of this spacious and magnifi- 
cent Cathedral was a most beautiful Gothic. The nave was 


supported by clustered pillars and round arches ; the style pre- 
served by the Normans, after the conquered Saxons. The 
galleries and windows of the transepts were also finished with 
rounded arches. The screen to the choir was replete with elegance, 
and ornamented with statues on each side of the door. Over the 
east end was a beautiful circular window. To the industry of Hollar 
we are indebted for preserving the account of its ancient state. 
Its ornaments and riches transcended those of every other church 
in the kingdom. The high altar is represented as dazzling with 
gems and gold. The space which this immense building occupied 
was three acres and an half, one rood and an half, and six perches. 

Among the numerous and superb monuments which it contained, 
there were very few which consecrated the dust of sovereigns, and 
they were confined to the Saxon race. Old John of Gaunt, 
indeed, who was the brother, the father, and the uncle of kings, 
slept there. He died in 1399, and a most magnificent tomb was 
erected over him, which was destroyed by the fanatical soldiery 
of the civil war. 

The shrines of St. Erkernwald and Niger, Bishops of London, 
were very splendid in gold, silver, and precious stones. The 
former, in particular, had three goldsmiths to work upon it for a 
whole year. 

Henry Lacie, the great Earl of Lincoln, an eminent commander 
under Edward I. ; Sir John Beauchamp, a younger son of Guy, 
Earl of Warwick, a distinguished soldier, and one of the first 
knights of the order of the Garter ; the accomplished, but ill-fated 
Sir Simon de Burley ; Margaret, Countess of Shrewsbury ; 
William, Earl of Pembroke, an active character in the reigns of 
Henry VIII. Edward VI. Mary, and Elizabeth; John Colet, the 


learned Dean of St. Paul's, the intimate friend of Erasmus, and 
the founder of St. Paul's school ; and that great and honest man, 
Sir Nicholas Bacon, are among those who names were an honour, 
as their monuments were an ornament, to the place of their 

We cannot but at the same time observe, that Sir Philip Sidney, 
the delight of the age, and the most heroic and virtuous character 
of his time, had nothing more than a board, with a miserable 
inscription of eight lines, to record a fame which will live for ever. 
His remains were brought to this Cathedral, on January 16, 1586, 
with the utmost magnificence. There was a general mourning for 
him, and it was considered as indecent, for many months, for any 
gentleman to appear at court, or in the city, in gay apparel. The 
partiality of an individual, as it has been well observed, may 
mistake the qualities of a friend, but the testimony of a whole 
nation establishes his merits beyond all challenge. The great 
Walsingham, also, was buried here ; but so far from obtaining a 
monument, he died so poor that he could scarce obtain a grave. 

In 1109, St. Paul's Church was encompassed with a wall, which 
had six gates commodiously placed for admission to it. In the 
middle of the churchyard, on the north side of this inclosure, was 
Paul's Cross ; a place that is connected, more or less, with all 
public acts, from a very early period of our history to the civil 
war, when it was destroyed. Nay, it still continues to be proverb- 
ially used, when notoriety is intended to be particularly expressed. 
It was a pulpit formed of wood, raised upon steps of stone, and 
covered with lead, in which the most eminent divines were ap- 
pointed to preach every Sunday in the forenoon. In this act of 
devotion the court, the mayor and aldermen, and principal citizens, 


used to participate. It was probably at first a common cross, and 
coeval with the church ; but when it was converted into a pulpit is 
not known : there are records, however, of its being in use as early 
as the year 1259. " It was used," says Mr. Pennant, "not only 
for the instruction of mankind, by the doctrine of the preacher, 
but for every purpose, political or ecclesiastical : for giving force 
to oaths ; for the promulgation of laws, or the royal pleasure ; for 
the publishing papal bulls, for anathematizing sinners, for bestow- 
ing benedictions, for exposing penitents under censure of the 
church, for reading recantations ; for the private views of ambition, 
and for defaming those who had incurred the royal displeasure." 

To relieve the dulness of antiquarian narrative, we shall men- 
tion, that before this cross, in 1483, was brought, disrobed of all 
her splendour, Jane Shore, the beneficent and lamented concubine 
of Edward IV. She fell a victim to the malice of the ambi- 
tious Glocester, who, disappointed, by her admirable defence, of 
convincing her of witchcraft, and confederating with Hastings to 
destroy him, charged her with that frailty which was too easily 
proved. She was, therefore, consigned to the rigours of the 
church; and, in pursuance of the ecclesiastical sentence, clothed in 
a white sheet, and with a taper in her hand, was conducted to the 
cross, before which she made confession of her only fault, that 
of being unable to resist the solicitations of a youthful and hand- 
some monarch. On his death she was reduced to necessity, 
scorned by the world, and cast off by her husband, to whom she 
had been married in her childish years. 

"'In hir penance she went," says Hollinshed, "in countenance 
"and pase demure, so womanlie, that, albeit she were out of all 
"araie, save hir kirtle onlie, yet went she so faire and lovelie, 


"namelie, while the woondering of the people cast a comelie rud 
" in her cheeks (of which she before had most misse), that hir 
" great shame wan her much praise among those that were more 
"amorous of her bodie, than curious of hir soule. And manie 
"good folkes that hated hir living (and glad were to see sin 
" corrected), yet pitied they more hir penance, than rejoiced 
"therein, when they considered that the protector procured it 
"more of a corrupt intent, than anie virtuous affection." She 
lived to a great age, but in distress and poverty; deserted by 
those to whom she had, during her prosperity, done the most 
essential services. " Proper she was and faire," continues Hollin- 
shed, " nothing in hir bodie that you would have changed ; but 
"you would have wished hir somewhat higher. Thus saie they 
"who knew hir in hir youth. Now she is old, leane, withered, 
" and dried up ; nothing left but ri veiled skin and hard bone ; and 
"yet being even such, who so well advise hir visage, might gesse 
"and devise, which parts how filled would make it a faire face." 

Her tyrannic and bloody prosecutor caused this pulpit-cross 
to be the seat of prostituted eloquence ; and from thence Dr. 
Shaw and Friar Pinke were commanded to address the people, 
and infer the bastardy of Edward's children. 

Among many curious circumstances connected with Paul's 
Cross, we shall just mention, that from thence, Holbetch, Bishop 
of Rochester, proclaimed to the people the death-bed remorse 
of Henry VIII. From this pulpit, also, it is stated, in Wooton's 
Remains, that Elizabeth ordered a sermon to be preached, in 
order to blacken the memory of the Earl of Essex, whom she 
once so fondly loved. 

The last sermon which was preached at this place, was before 


James I. who came in great state, on horseback, from Whitehall. 
After attending divine service in the church, he proceeded to hear 
a sermon at the cross, preached by John King, Bishop of London. 
The object of the sermon was, the repairing of the Cathedral. 

Opposite to this cross stood a chapel, called the charnel-house, 
in which the bones of the dead were deposited with pious care ; 
and of which a thousand cart-loads are said to have been buried 
in Finsbury-fields, in the reign of Edward VI. when the Pro- 
tector Somerset dilapidated the building, in order to furnish 
materials for the erection of his palace, afterwards known by the 
name of Somerset- House. 

This sumptuous cathedral Church remained upwards of two 
hundred years without suffering any diminution of its magnifi- 
cence, till, in 1444, its lofty spire was fired by lightning. The 
damage, which was considerable, was not fully repaired till the 
year 1462, when the spire was completely renewed, and a beautiful 
vane of gilded copper, in the form of an eagle, was placed upon 
it. In 1561, another accident of the same kind befel it, which was 
attended with far more injurious consequences ; as the flames 
communicated to the upper roof of the building, as well as that 
of the aisles, and not only consumed all the rafters, but whatever 
was combustible : and though very considerable repairs were 
made, in consequence of the munificent contributions of the queen, 
the principal nobility, and officers of state, it was found necessary, 
after all, to engage in a general repair of the whole edifice. 
At length, after various delays, Inigo Jones was appointed, 
in the year 1620, by James I. to undertake the work. It was 
not, however, till 1633 that the undertaking commenced; and 
in the course of nine years the whole was finished, except the 


steeple. That great architect appears to have committed a most 
extraordinary impropriety, in placing, at the west end, a portico 
of the Corinthian order, which, beautiful as it was, could never 
harmonize with all the Gothic parts about it. Nothing now 
remained but to complete the spire, which was about to be erected 
in a style of magnificent altitude, when the flames of civil war, 
more destructive than those of the lightning, obstructed this 
grand design ; and the scaffolding, erected for the purpose, was 
assigned by Parliament for the payment of arrears due to the 
army. But this was not all the mischief which this church 
sustained at that fanatical period. Its revenues were seized, the 
pulpit-cross was pulled down, the body of the church was con- 
verted into saw-pits ; part of the south cross was suffered to fall 
in ruins ; the west part of the church was converted into a stable, 
and the stately portico was turned into a nest of shops for 
milliners, and trades of that description, with lodging-rooms over 
them ; for the erection of which, Dr. Heylin observes, the 
magnificent columns were grievously mutilated, in order to furnish 
supports for the ends of beams, which penetrated their shafts. 

At the restoration, a new commission was formed, for the 
immediate repair of this injured structure ; but while this pious 
design was in contemplation, the great fire of London reduced 
the whole edifice to little more than an heap of ashes. 

In the reigns of James I. and Charles I. the body of this 
church was the common resort of the politicians, newsmongers, 
and loungers of all denominations. It was called Paul's-walk, 
and the frequenters of it Paul's -walkers. It is mentioned in the 
old plays and other books of the times. 

This dreadful conflagration led, however, to the splendid 


restoration of the metropolitan church, by Sir Christopher Wren. 
He first formed a model in wood, according to the best style 
of Greece and Rome, which was highly approved by persons 
of superior taste and judgment ; but the bishops thought proper 
to reject it, as not being sufficiently adapted to the usual form of 
Christian churches. He accordingly made a second, which he is 
said, also, to have considered with partial regard. This too was 
rejected. The third, however, was approved, and executed. 
Nor would it be doing justice to the powerful mind and com- 
prehensive genius of this great architect, to omit the observation, 
which so forcibly suggests itself, that the present beautiful and 
magnificent structure was the inferior design of the three which he 
successively offered for adoption. He is known to have preferred 
the first, which was altogether of the Corinthian order, and he 
would have put it in execution with more pleasure than that 
which has been since erected. The model is preserved in the 
church, and may be seen among the curiosities of the place. 

In the year 1675, he began to prosecute the great work. 
Many and very great difficulties presented themselves, but his 
superior genius surmounted them all. In clearing the foundation, 
he discovered that the north side had been anciently a spacious 
burying-place ; for, under the graves of the latter ages, he found, 
in a row, the graves of the Saxons, who cased their dead in 
chalk-stones ; though persons of great eminence were buried 
in stone coffins. Below these were the last abodes of the ancient 
Britons, as was manifest from the great number of ivory and 
wooden pins found among the mouldered dust ; it being a custom 
with them to do no more than pin the dead body in a woollen 
shroud, and consign it to the ground ; and though the covering 


might soon be consumed, the ivory and wooden pins remained 
entire. At a still greater depth, he discovered a considerable 
number of Roman potsherds, urns, and dishes, which were sound, 
and of a beautiful red, like our sealing wax. On the bottoms 
of some of them were inscriptions, which denoted their having 
been drinking- vessels ; and on others, which resembled our 
modern sallad-dishes, beautifully made and curiously wrought, 
was the inscription, DZ. PRIMANI. and on others those of PATRICI. 
QUINTIMANI. VICTOR. IANUS. RECiNio. &c. The pots, and several 
glass vessels, were of a murrey or dark red colour ; and others, 
resembling urns, were beautifully embellished on the outsides 
with raised work, representing greyhounds, stags, hares, and 
rose-trees. Others were of a cinnamon colour, in the form of an 
urn, and though a little faded, appeared as if they had been gilt. 
Some, resembling jugs, were of an hexagonal form, curiously 
indented, and adorned with a variety of figures in basso-relievo. 
The red vessels appeared to have been the most honourable, 
as they were inscribed with the names of deities, heroes, and 
judges ; and the matter of which these vessels were made was 
of such an excellent composition as to vie with polished metal in 
beauty. Several brass coins were also discovered, which, by their 
long continuance in the earth, were in a corroded state : some 
few, indeed, had so far resisted the power of time, as to discover 
the reign in which they were coined. On one of them was per- 
ceptible the head of Adrian, with a galley, under oars, on the 
reverse ; and on others, the heads of Romulus, Remus, Claudius, 
and Constantine. At a smaller depth were discovered a number 
of lapilli, or tesselce, of various sorts of marble, Egyptian, 
porphyry, jasper, &c. in the form of dice, which were used by the 
Romans in paving \hzprcetorium, or general's tent. 


In forming his foundations, the architect met with fresh 
difficulties ; which, however, his persevering mind contrived to 
conquer. Many reasons induced him to prefer Portland stone 
for the superstructure, but chiefly as the largest scantlings were 
to be procured from those quarries ; but as these could not be 
depended upon for columns exceeding four feet in diameter, 
he determined to introduce two orders instead of one, and an 
attic story, as in St. Peter's at Rome, in order to preserve the 
just proportions of his cornice ; or the edifice must have fallen 
short of its intended height. Bramante, in building St. Peter's, 
though the quarries of Tivoli would have furnished blocks of 
sufficient size for his columns of nine feet in diameter, yet not 
being able to procure stones of suitable dimensions, was obliged 
to diminish the proportions of the proper members of his cornice ; 
a fault which Sir Christopher Wren was determined to avoid. 
On these principles he proceeded to raise one of the noblest struc- 
tures of modern times. The first stone was laid by Mr. Strong, 
the chief mason, on the 2ist day of June, 1675. 

The general form of St. Paul's Cathedral is a long cross ; the 
walls are wrought in rustic, and strengthened, as well as orna- 
mented, by two rows of coupled pilasters ; the lower is Corinthian, 
and the upper composite. The spaces between the arches of the 
windows and the architrave of the lower order, as well as those 
above, are filled with a great variety of curious enrichments. 

The west front is graced with a most superb portico, a noble 
pediment, and two stately turrets ; and in the approach to the 
church through Ludgate-street, the elegant construction of this 
front, the fine turrets over each corner, and the vast dome behind, 
combine to form an object of the most impressive grandeur. 


At this end a vast flight of steps, of black marble, extends the 
whole length of the portico, which consists of twelve lofty 
Corinthian columns below, and eight of the composite order 
above : these are all coupled and fluted. The upper series 
supports a noble pediment, crowned with its acroteria. The 
tympanum is distinguished by the representation of St. Paul's 
conversion, boldly sculptured in basso-relievo. Bird was the artist, 
and his name should not be forgotten in this description. The 
grand figure of St. Paul on the apex, with St. Peter on his right, 
and St. James on his left, add to the general effect. The four 
evangelists are also disposed with great judgment on the front 
of the towers. St. Mathew is distinguished by an angel, St. Mark 
by a lion, St. Luke by an ox, and St. John by an eagle.* Hill 
was the sculptor of these figures. 

To the north portico there is an ascent by twelve circular steps 
of black marble, and its dome is supported by six lofty Corinthian 
columns. The dome is crowned by a large urn, of due propor- 
tion, and ornamented with festoons. Above is a pediment, 
supported by pilasters, in the face of which are the royal arms, 
with their regalia, supported by angels. The statues of five 
of the apostles are placed on the top, at proper distances. 

The south portico answers to the north, and consists also of a 
dome, with Corinthian columns ; but as the ground is considerably 
lower on this side of the church, the ascent is by a flight of 
twenty-five steps. This portico has also a pediment above it, in 
which appears a phoenix, rising out of flames, with the emphatical 
word Resurgam beneath it. A singular accident produced this 
emblematical device. While the great architect was setting out the 
dimensions of the dome, he ordered a common labourer to bring 


him a flat stone, to be laid as a direction to the masons, when the 
man brought him the fragment of a grave-stone, on which was the 
word Resurgam. This circumstance was seized as a propitious omen 
by Sir Christopher, immediately suggested the idea of a phoenix, 
and produced the decorative emblem which has been just described. 

At the east end of the church is a sweep or circular projection 
for the altar, finely ornamented with the orders, and enriched with 
sculptured decorations. 

The dome, which rises in the center of the whole, is an object 
of superior grandeur. Twenty feet above the roof of the church 
is a circular range of thirty-two columns, with niches placed 
exactly against others within. These are terminated by their 
entablature, which supports a gallery encompassed with a balus- 
trade. Above these columns is a range of pilasters, with windows 
between : from their entablature, there is a considerable decrease 
of the diameter, and two feet above, it is again contracted. From 
this part the external sweep of the dome begins, and the arches 
meet at fifty-two feet upwards. On the summit of the dome 
is a circular balcony ; and from its center rises the lantern, 
adorned with Corinthian columns. The whole is terminated 
by a ball, surmounted by a cross, both of which are gilt. 

This vast and splendid fabric, which is two thousand two 
hundred and ninety-two feet in circumference, is surrounded, 
at a proper distance, by a dwarf stone wall, on which is placed 
the most magnificent balustrade, perhaps, in the world, of about 
five feet six inches in height from the wall. In this stately 
inclosure are seven beautiful iron gates, which, together with the 
balusters, in number about two thousand five hundred, weigh two 
hundred tons and eighty-one pounds, which having cost sixpence 



per pound, the whole, with other charges, amounted to eleven 
thousand two hundred and two pounds and sixpence. 

In the area of the grand west front, on a pedestal of excellent 
workmanship, appears the statue of Queen Anne. It is of white 
marble, with the figures of Britain, France, Ireland, and America, 
distinguished by their respective emblems and insignia, at the 
base. Lord Orford, in his Anecdotes of Painting, mentions it to 
be the work of Francis Bird. The north-east part of the church- 
yard belongs to the inhabitants of St. Faith's parish, which is 
united to that of St. Austin's, in Watling-street. 

The entrance at the west end is by three doors, with basso- 
relievos over them, executed by Bird : the one in the center, 
which is much larger than the others, is cased with white marble ; 
and the sculpture over it, represents St. Paul preaching to the 
Bereans. At this entrance the vista has a very impressive effect. 
In the aisle, on one side, is the consistory court, and on the other 
the chapel for early morning prayer. Each of these has a screen 
of carved wainscot, of great beauty ; formed by twelve columns, 
arched pediments, and the royal arms, with appropriate enrich- 
ments. The large cross aisle connects the north and south 
porticos, and over the center of it is the dome. This aisle forms 
the subject of the plate that illustrates this architectural descrip- 
tion. The organ gallery is supported by eight Corinthian columns 
of blue and white marble ; and the organ itself is enriched with a 
profusion of carved work, in suitable ornaments and stately figures. 
Beneath it is the entrance into the choir, which has thirty stalls on 
each side, the bishop's throne on the south side, and the corre- 
sponding seat of the lord mayor on the north. There is a range 
of closets above them ; and the carved ornaments of the whole 
are of superior workmanship. The altar-piece is adorned with 



four fluted pilasters, painted and veined in imitation of lapis lazuli, 
with double gilt capitals. The floor of the choir, and indeed of 
the whole church, is paved with marble ; but, within the rails of 
the altar, with polished porphyry, and laid in geometrical figures. 

The vault of the church is hemispherical, consisting of twenty- 
four cupolas, cut off semicircular, with segments to join the great 
arches one way, and the other way they are cut across with 
eliptical cylinders, to let in the upper lights of the nave ; but in 
the aisles the lesser cupolas are cut both ways in semicircular 
sections, and altogether produce a graceful geometrical form, 
distinguished with circular wreaths, which is the horizontal section 
of the cupola. The arches and wreaths are of stone, carved ; the 
spandrels between are of sound brick, invested with stucco of 
cockle-shell lime, which becomes as hard as Portland stone ; and 
which, having large planes between the stone ribs, are capable 
of additional ornaments in painting, if they should be required. 
Besides these twenty-four cupolas, there is an half cupola at the 
east, and the great cupola, of an hundred and eight feet in 
diameter, in the middle of the crossing of the great aisles. In 
this the architect imitated the Pantheon at Rome, except that the 
upper order is there only umbratile, and distinguished by different 
coloured marbles ; in St. Paul's it is extant out of the walls. The 
Pantheon is no higher within than its diameter ; St. Peter's is two 
diameters : the one is consequently too high, the other too low. 
St. Paul's is a mean between both, which shews its concave every 
way, and is very lightsome by the windows of the upper order, 
which strike down the light through the great colonnade, that 
encircles the dome without, and serves for the abutment of the 
dome, which is brick, and of two bricks in thickness ; but as it 
rises every way five feet high, has a course of excellent brick, 


of eighteen inches long, banding through the whole thickness ; 
and to make it still more secure, it is surrounded with a vast chain 
of iron, strongly linked together at every ten feet : this chain is 
let into a channel cut into the bandage of Portland stone, and 
defended from the weather by filling the groove with lead. Over 
the first cupola is raised another structure of a cone of bricks, so 
built as to support a stone lantern of an elegant form, and termina- 
ting in ornaments of copper gilt. As the whole church above the 
vaulting is covered with a substantial oaken roof and lead, the 
brick cone was kept out of sight with another cupola of timber 
and lead ; and between this and the cone are easy stairs, that 
ascend to the lantern. Here is a display of contrivances which 
are calculated to excite the utmost astonishment. 

Sir Christopher well knew that paintings are liable to decay, 
and it is evident to every beholder, that those which decorate 
the cupola are already decaying. It was his intention to have 
beautified the inside of it with mosaic work, which, both in colour 
and material, would have been as durable as the building itself; 
but in this, as in many other of his grand designs, he was over- 
ruled, though he had undertaken to engage several of the most 
ingenious artists from Italy in that profession. This part, how- 
ever, is painted and decorated by Sir James Thornhill, the most 
eminent artist of his day ; who, in eight compartments, has repre- 
sented the principal passages in the life of St. Paul, viz. his 
conversion ; the punishment of Elymas, the sorcerer, with blind- 
ness ; his preaching at Athens ; the cure of the cripple at Lystra ; 
his preaching at Ephesus ; his trial before Agrippa ; and his 
shipwreck on the island of Melita. 

The highest or last stone on the top of the lantern was laid by 
Mr. Christopher Wren, the son of the great architect, in 1710, 


though the decorations were not completed till the year 1723. It 
may be considered as a very extraordinary circumstance, that this 
magnificent fabric, though it was thirty-five years in building, was 
begun and finished by one architect, Sir Christopher Wren, one 
principal mason, Mr. Strong, and under one prelate, Henry 
Compton, Bishop of London ; while St. Peter's at Rome, the 
only structure that can come in competition with it, employed an 
hundred and thirty-five years, the reigns of nineteen popes, and 
twelve successive architects, assisted by the power of the Roman 
see, attended by the first artists, of this long period, in sculpture, 
statuary, painting, and mosaic, and facilitated by the ready acqui- 
sition of marble from the neighbouring quarries of Tivoli. It has 
often been erroneously represented, that our superb metropolitan 
Cathedral was built after the model of that famous temple : on the 
contrary, it is the entire conception of our great English architect ; 
and has even been preferred, in some respects, by eminent judges, 
to the Roman Basilica. 

The old Cathedral, as it has been already mentioned, contained 
many splendid monuments, to perpetuate the memory of the 
brave, the good, and the great ; but it was not till Westminster 
Abbey could hold no more, that the modern St. Paul's was 
allowed to receive them. Dr. Johnson and Mr. Howard were 
first honoured with monuments in the metropolitan church. The 
Captains Burges and Faulkner were the next to whom public 
memorials appeared ; and they have been followed by monuments 
of costly sculpture, to record the gratitude of the nation to Sir 
Ralph Abercrombie, Major-General Thomas Dundas, the Captains 
Westcot, Moss, Riou, and Willet Miller, who bravely died in 
fighting its battles. The statue of Sir William Jones has also 
been erected by the East India Company, to commemorate the 


upright and able discharge of public duty, the rare learning, and 
private virtues, which distinguished his valuable life. In the 
vault beneath, and under the center of the dome, are deposited 
the remains of Earl Nelson, which, in gratitude for the splendid 
services he had performed for his country, were honoured with 
a magnificent funeral, at the expence of the nation. 

The trophies of British valour, also, appear in the various flags 
which hang beneath the dome. They mark the signal victories 
obtained by Lord Howe, Lord Duncan, and Lord Nelson, over 
the French, the Dutch, and the Spanish navies. 

The principal British painters, with Sir Joshua Reynolds at 
their head, proposed to add to the splendour of this Cathedral, by 
painting a series of pictures, to adorn it ; but Dr. Terrick, who 
was at that time Bishop of London, refused to admit decorations, 
which he did not think consistent with the character of a Protes- 
tant church. The offer was repeated to that learned divine and 
distinguished scholar, Dr. Lowth, who succeeded him : he also 
chose to decline it, as it was supposed, from a sense of delicacy 
to his more scrupulous predecessor. 

The curiosities of St. Paul's are 

i. The library. It is an handsome room, about fifty feet by 
forty, having shelves of books to the top, with a gallery running 
along the sides. The floor is of oak, consisting of 2376 small 
square pieces, and is very curiously inlaid, without a nail or peg to 
fasten the parts. The collection of books is neither large nor very 
valuable : it contains, however, some Latin manuscripts, beauti- 
fully written by the monks upwards of eight hundred years ago ; 
and an English illuminated manuscript, written about five hundred 
years since : they are both in fine preservation. Over the fire- 
place is the portrait of Dr. Henry Compton, who filled the see of 


London during the whole time in which the Cathedral was 
building, and who fitted up this library at his own expence. 

2. The model^ the first design of the Cathedral ; a most interest- 
ing object, both from its intrinsic beauty, uniting at once both sim- 
plicity and variety, and its being the favourite design of the great 
architect. It is to be lamented, that so little care is taken to preserve 
it. Here is also the model of an altar-piece, which the architect 
intended for the Cathedral, had his original design been adopted. 

3. The clockwork, which is very curious, as well for the magni- 
tude of its machinery, as for the correctness of its workmanship. 

4. The great bell in the southern tower weighs 11,470 pounds. 
The hammer of the clock strikes the hours on this bell. It is 
never tolled but on the death of some one of the royal family, the 
bishop of London, or the dean of the church. 

5. The whispering gallery. Sounds are here magnified to an 
astonishing degree, the least whisper being heard round the whole 
circumference. A person speaking softly against the wall on the 
one side is distinctly heard on the other, though the intervening 
space is an hundred and forty feet. Here the paintings of the 
dome, by Sir James Thornhill, are seen to the greatest advantage. 

6. The ball is remarkable for its height and size. The ascent 
is attended with some difficulty, and few attempt it. Its interior 
diameter is six feet two inches, and it will contain twelve persons. 
It weighs 5600 pounds, and the cross above it, 3360 pounds. 

The prospect from the ascent to the top is progressively 
curious. The extent and variety of the surrounding country, the 
bird's-eye view of London, with all its spires and towers, the 
broad line of water formed by the Thames, and the diminished 
state of all living and moving objects, combine a very extra- 
ordinary view of pigmy minuteness and geographical grandeur. 



Length and 

The whole length of the church 

and porch . . .500 

The breadth within the doors of 

the porticos 
The breadth of the front, with the 

turrets . ... 

The breadth of the front, without 

the turrets 
The breadth of the church and 

three naves 
The breadth of the church and 

widest chapels 

The length of the porch within . 
The breadth of the porch within . 
The length of the platea at the 

upper steps 

The breadth of the nave at the door 
The breadth of the nave at the 

third pillar and tribune 









The breadth of the side aisles 

The distance between the pillars 
of the nave 

Breadth of the sides of the cupola 

The distance between those pilas- 
ters . ... 

The outward diameter of the cup- 
ola . . 

The inward diameter of the same 

The length from the door within 
the cupola 

From the cupola to the end of 
the tribune 

The breadth of the turrets . 

The outward diameter of the 
lantern . 




J 45 





From the ground without to the 

top of the cross . 
Of the turrets 
To the top of the highest statues 

on the front 
The first pillars of the Corinthian 

order . ... 

The breadth of the same 
Their bases and pedestals . 
Their capital 

The architrave, frieze, and cornice 
The composite pillars 
The ornaments above and below . 

The Height. 

The triangle of the mezzo-relievo, 
340 with its cornice . 
222 Wide . . 

The basis of the cupola to the 
135 pedestals of the pillars 

The pillars of the cupola 
33 Their bases and pedestals . 

4 Their capitals, architrave, frieze, 
13 and cornice. 

5 From the cornice, to the outward 
10 slope of the cupola 

25 The lantern from the cupola to 
1 6 the ball 










Feet. Feet. 

The ball in diameter . . 6 Outward slope of the cupola . 50 

The cross, with its ornaments The height of the niches in the 

below . ... 6 front . . 14 

The statues on the front, with Wide . ... 5 

their pedestals . '-15 The first windows in the front . 13 

Cupola and lantern, from the Wide . ... 7 

cornice of the front, to the top 

of the cross . . .240 

The extent of the ground-plot on which this church stands, is 
two acres, sixteen perches, twenty-three yards, and one foot ; and 
the whole expence of erecting this edifice, amounted to seven 
hundred and thirty-six thousand seven hundred and fifty-two 
pounds, two shillings, and three pence. 

That the Cathedral of St. Paul is without defects, no one will 
assert ; but that its beauties so greatly predominate, as in a great 
measure to obscure them, no one will deny. Nor can there be a 
doubt that the former would have been less, and the latter more, 
if the sublime and cultivated imagination of the architect had not 
been controuled by the refusal of his original design, and in many 
leading points of that which was adopted. It must be acknow- 
ledged, that its interior appearance by no means corresponds with 
its exterior splendour ; but the chilling nakedness, of which there 
is too much reason to complain, arose from necessity, and not 
from choice ; it being evident that the whole is arranged for the 
reception of ornaments, if a more enlightened administration of the 
structure should hereafter allow of their admission. Gwynne, in 
his section of the church, so finely engraved by Rooker, has intro- 
duced fancied decorations in a way to prove, that, had the superior 
and refined taste of the architect been allowed to operate, his 
work would have baffled the objection. He wished to have 


enriched the dome by covering it with copper double gilt ; but 
that was denied him. The opening to the Thames, for which he 
so strongly contended, was also refused. It is indeed astonishing, 
when the opposition which he met with at all points is considered, 
that he could produce such a fabric as that which now dignifies 
and adorns the metropolis. There is, in fact, no view in which 
the sublime imagination and vast intellect of the great architect 
can be regarded with an higher degree of wonder and venerating 
admiration, than, on the compulsory departure from his original 
design, his contriving such a master-piece of art as that which 
has supplied its place. It should be, also, observed, that its 
picturesque effect cannot be exceeded. Wherever London is 
visible, there it predominates in all the pride of magnificent 
beauty. Take it in all its parts, and under all its circumstances, 
it is one of the proudest efforts of human genius now existing. 

Sir Christopher Wren survived the completion of his great 
work thirteen years, and died February 25, 1723, in the ninety- 
first year of his most useful and distinguished life. His remains 
were interred in the great vault of his own church : a common 
stone covers his grave, and on the wall above it is the following- 
inscription, dictated by filial piety and veneration. It was written 
by his son. 

Subtus conditur, 

Hujus ecclesiae et urbis conditor, 

Qui vixit annos ultra nonaginta, 
Non sibi, sed bono publico. 

Lector, si monumentum requiris, 



WHEN men fed on the spontaneous produce of the 
earth, and had no other shelter than caves from the 
inclemency of the seasons, their wants were few and 
easily supplied. But when the human species had multiplied, 
and societies were formed ; when necessity had produced inven- 
tion, when habitations were erected, and ships were built, however 
imperfect their original construction might be ; new wants were 
created, and the means of gratifying them discovered : the human 
mind then became enlarged ; while the sanctions of religion, and 
the restraints of law, were employed to secure the happiness of 
social man. 

At such a period of society the acquisition and diffusion of 
knowledge must have been the natural, and indeed the necessary 
objects of general attention and individual research. To gratify 
the numerous and increasing wants which a more extended and 
civilized state of society creates, the powers of the understanding 
must be exerted ; and they never will be exerted in vain. Thus 
it is, that the arts have acquired their present state of excellence ; 
hence it is that they are advancing with rapid strides towards 
perfection. The boldest philosopher of ancient times would have 
trembled at the thought of defying the thunder of the clouds, of 
navigating distant oceans, or of diving to the bottom of the sea. 


The art of printing, the power of the steam-engine, the discoveries 
in electricity and chemistry, &c. have changed, as it were, the 
face of society ; and what their improved effects may hereafter 
produce, is not within the reach of human calculation. It is our 
duty, however, to advance as far as depends on us, by the exertion 
of our own powers, or the encouragement of them in others, to 
accelerate the progress of knowledge ; it being an incontrovertible 
truth, that the civilization of man's condition, from a state of 
ignorance and barbarism, to that of the highest cultivation and 
refinement, has ever been effected by encouraging the arts, and 
promoting science ; while the pre-eminence of any people must 
proportionably attach to the attainment of them. 

To point out the causes which tend to impede the progress of 
knowledge, and to invite the public to join in effectually removing 
them, is a noble exertion of the understanding, as it is a prime 
patriotic duty : and such is the leading object of the Surrey 

If, as Dr. Johnson has asserted, the chief glory of every people 
arises from its authors, public establishments, which are formed 
for the advancement of literature, are the highest ornaments of 
a nation in every state of refinement. When instituted by govern- 
ment, and supported by the nation, they afford distinction to the 
most enlightened members of the community, and furnish the 
means of circulating knowledge over every part of the globe. 
When formed by individuals, they prove a center of general 
communication, an incentive to mutual improvement, the means 
of qualifying the young for the important duties of life, and of 
furnishing more mature age with an easy source of rational 


It has been well observed, that commerce is the handmaid to 
the arts : but though the facility of intercourse, and the general 
diffusion of wealth, produced by commerce, are sources of in- 
tellectual improvement ; yet it must be admitted, that the com- 
mercial and literary characters are oftentimes too much separated. 
By the frequent intercourse of men of different ages and various 
pursuits, and by ready access to well-selected libraries, knowledge 
becomes more correct, taste more refined, and sentiments more 

The Institution already established, a description of which has 
been given at large in a former part of this volume, had proved 
the active disposition of the public to patronize such undertakings ; 
and the extent of the metropolis was a sufficient reason for the 
formation of another, in a populous and central situation. The 
vicinity of Blackfriars bridge suggested the advantage of fixing 
on the south side of the river, in order to connect that district of 
increasing population with the southern part of London. The 
great encouragement expected from the county of Surrey, and the 
opportunity of engaging a convenient building already erected, 
and capable of being immediately accommodated to the purpose, 
induced the proprietors to denominate this establishment The 
Surrey Institution. 

Their object comprises a series of lectures, an extensive library, 
and reading-rooms ; a chemical laboratory and philosophical 
apparatus ; together with a supplementary library, the books of 
which, under certain restrictions, may be perused at the houses of 
the subscribers. It may be also reasonably expected, that, as 
some of the principal manufactories about London are on the 
south side of the river, the laboratory and its appendages will be 


rendered experimentally subsidiary to the knowledge of the 
artisan ; and may be further improved by the suggestions of men 
of science, whose time is at their own command, and whose zeal 
is equal to their talents. 

The entrance to this academic mansion is in Blackfriars-road, 
beneath an elegant portico of the Ionic order, which is crowned 
with the appropriate statue of Contemplation, and forms a very 
pleasing object. In the hall there are communications with the 
dwelling-house of the secretary and his office. A vestibule then 
opens into a spacious anti-room, which is intended for the reception 
of the larger kind of philosophical apparatus ; and from thence, 
through folding doors, is the entrance to a very elegant apartment, 
fitted up in the style of a Grecian temple ; whose dome and en- 
tablature are apparently supported by eight Corinthian columns, 
between which are placed bronze statues of the different fathers of 
science and literature, such as Homer, Bacon, Locke, Newton, 
Franklin, &c. Beneath the intercolumniation are four large 
niches, which contain the philosophical apparatus employed by 
the professor of that department in his lectures. On the right 
and left are the reading and pamphlet-rooms, which are of hand- 
some proportions, and most commodiously adapted to their 
respective purposes : they are lighted by skylights. Contiguous 
to these apartments are the conversation-rooms, one of which 
opens into the theatre where the public lectures are delivered. 
It may be said, with a strict adherence to truth, that this theatre 
is one of the most elegant rooms in the metropolis. It contains 
two galleries ; one, which is the uppermost, is supported by eight 
Doric columns, of Derbyshire marble, whose entablature is 
crowned by a balustrade of the same materials. The gallery 


beneath is curiously constructed, being sustained by iron columns 
and their projecting cantalivers or trusses. The diameter of the 
theatre is thirty-six feet ; and the parterre, or ground part, contains 
nine rows of seats, which rise above each other in commodious 
gradation. The first gallery contains two, and that above it three 
rows of seats. The light is received from the dome, and warmth 
is administered in the winter season by flues containing heated air, 
which are concealed in the wall. Great attention has also been 
paid to its necessary ventilation. In this noble apartment, which 
is calculated to contain upwards of five hundred persons, the 
lectures are delivered. A very adequate idea, we trust, may be 
conceived of it, on such an interesting occasion, from the repre- 
sentation given in the annexed print. Nor when we mention 
Mr. Frederic Accum as the professor of chemistry and mineralogy, 
shall we be accused of any undue preference, if we represent him 
as affording great delight, as well as instruction, to the numerous 
auditories which attend his lectures. There are also very highly 
qualified professors in natural and moral philosophy, as well as in 

other branches of literature and the arts, who deliver their lectures 

annually in this theatre. 

Adjoining the theatre and near the inclosed part appropriated to 
the lecturer, is the chemical laboratory, in which convenience, 
compactness, and elegance are united. Contiguous to it is the 
committee-room. On the other side of the theatre is the library, 
which is sixty feet in length, with a gallery on three sides, and an 
easy access to it by a flight of steps. This room is rendered 
peculiarly pleasant by the garden in its front, which is calculated 
to convey an idea of rural retirement. 

The first organization of this admirable establishment, as 



well as the completion of the system of laws by which it is 
governed, must be attributed to the following gentlemen, who 
formed its first committee : 

The Right Hon. John Ansley, lord mayor. 

Sir Walter Stirling, Bart. M.R, F.A.S. 

Henry Thornton, Esq. M.P. 

Robert Thornton, Esq. M.P., F.A.S. 

James Brogden, Esq. M.P. 

Josiah Boydell, Esq. alderman. 

Thomas Rowcroft, Esq. alderman. 

George Scholey, Esq. alderman. 

William Domville, Esq. alderman. 

Richard Phillips, Esq. sheriff. 

Joseph Adams, M.D. 

Dudley Adams, Esq. 

Nathaniel Atcheson, Esq. F.A.S. 

Robert Barclay, Esq. 

Joseph Benwell, Esq. 

John Rutlin, Esq. 

James Gibson, Esq. 

Thomas Hardy, Esq. 

John Herdman, M.D. 

Richard Herron, Esq. 

Henry Hinckley, Esq. 

John Hinckley, Esq. F.A.S. 

William Janson, Esq. 

Henry Laing, Esq. 

John Coakly Lettsom, M.D., F.R. 

and A.S. 

Lewis Lloyd, Esq. 
John James Mackrill, Esq. 
William Preston, Esq. 
Richard Saumarez, Esq. 
Knight Spencer, Esq. 
Joseph Blakey Spencer, Esq. 
Thomas Skinner Surr, Esq. 
Henry Waymouth, Esq. 
Florence Young, Esq. 

The subscription was closed on the 28th December, 1807. 

The reading-rooms were opened for the proprietors on the 
ist of May, 1808. Lectures on chemistry, mineralogy, natural 
philosophy, and other subjects, were commenced by Mr. Accum 
and Mr. Jackson in the November following. 

Dr. A. Clarke is appointed honorary librarian, and Knight 
Spencer, Esq. is secretary to this establishment. 

The funds of the Institution arose from the payments made by 
the proprietors and subscribers. We shall add a slight sketch of 
the plan by which it is regulated. 


All its affairs and concerns are directed and administered by a 
committee of managers ; consisting of a president, six vice- 
presidents, and twenty-four managers, elected by, and from 
among, the proprietors, of which one third annually vacate their 
office, and are ineligible to the same for the space of one year. 
A committee, consisting of the president and twelve visitors, not 
being managers, are elected by the proprietors, of which one 
third annually vacate their office. The visitors inspect every 
department of the Institution, and make reports either to the 
managers or court of proprietors, at their option. Any five of 
them have the power to convene a general court. Five auditors 
are also elected annually from among the proprietors, to examine 
the accounts of the Institution. The managers have the power to 
admit to the lectures, library, and other rooms of the Institution, 
foreigners of high rank, or of distinguished scientific attainments, 
during their temporary residence in the metropolis. Persons of 
distinguished rank or qualifications, literary and scientific, whether 
natives or foreigners, may be elected honorary members of the 

In short, the SURREY INSTITUTION is an establishment which 
does great honour to those who "projected, arranged, and at present 
preside over and conduct it. 


THE history of the Jews, the peculiarities of that extra- 
ordinary people, and their dispersion over the whole 
face of the earth, may be said to form the standing 
miracle of the world. 

Amidst the revolutions and ruins of successive empires ; whilst 
every other branch of the human race has given way to, or been 
involved in, the changes and chances of time ; while all other 
nations have blended with each other, continually varying their 
customs and characters ; the Jews still retain their laws, institu- 
tions, and, as far as local circumstances will permit, many of the 
habits of their patriarchal ancestors. Notwithstanding the frequent 
bloody and destructive persecutions which they have successively 
suffered, some of which were so unsparing, as to threaten them 
with annihilation ; though they have continually had to encounter 
the outrage and extreme hatred, as it were, of all human kind, 
they have still continued to exist ; and, more or less, even in their 
outcast state, to prosper and to flourish. 

To give the slightest sketch of this wonderful people, with 
those historical deductions necessary to its illustration, is not 
within the capacity of those pages which are allotted to this 
subject ; we shall therefore confine ourselves to such notices as 
are connected with their establishment in England, and their 
present state and condition in other countries. 



We know little of the Jews in England until the reign of King 
John, who confiscated all their effects, and ordered them to leave 
the kingdom. They were accused of cruelties, which, if true, very 
fully justified the severity exercised against them. The ancient 
records seem to confirm the justice of their banishment. It 
appears that in London, as well as at Norwich and Lincoln, many 
of them were tried and condemned upon these accusations, and 
punished accordingly. Some of them, however, allured by the 
prospect of gain, ventured to remain in England ; but, in the year 
1291, they were all expelled the kingdom. 

Cromwell, with his usual policy, very naturally endeavoured to 
regain some of the industry and wealth of the Jews : when he saw 
the advantages which were derived from these active and com- 
mercial people in other countries, he was anxious to recal them to 
his own ; but the spirit of the nation at large, quickened, as it may 
be supposed to have been at that time, by the puritanical prejudice 
which prevailed, manifested such a violent antipathy to them, 
that he relinquished his intentions. 

During the reign of Charles II. the Jews began to resettle in 
England ; and the spirit of toleration has from that time gradually 
disclosed itself towards this persecuted race, so that there is no 
longer any invidious distinctions made by the liberal spirit which 
now prevails, between the moral character of a Jew and those of 
any other religious denomination. Nor indeed is it suited to the 
policy of a country which owes its prosperity, in a great measure, 
to commerce, that the Jews should be refused tranquillity and 
protection. They were our original bankers and principal 
merchants ; almost every kind of commercial negociation was, 
more or less, conducted by them : they were the remitters of 
money, and bills of exchange were of their invention. 


The British islands, during the last century, have afforded the 
Jews an hospitable reception. They are allowed the free exercise 
of their religion, the uncontrouled pursuit of their respective trades 
and occupations, and the peaceable enjoyment of their properties. 
The British laws extend their protection to them in common with 
every British subject ; and they are only required, in return, to 
conform to the public duties and civil relations of that character. 
They are divided into two sects, and have each their respective 
synagogues, schools, chiefs, &c. &c. 

Whether the ten tribes of Israel, who remained in the Persian 
empire after the emancipation of those of Judah and Benjamin 
under Ezra, are still existing in any distinct state, or so blended 
together as not to be distinguished from them, is a matter of great 
doubt and uncertainty. Some authors affirm, that they are in 
America; others that they are in China or the East Indies : but 
this is certain, that wherever property is to be obtained by com- 
mercial speculation, there the Jews are to be? found. In China 
they are very numerous, are allowed synagogues in all the 
principal cities, and have assumed the denomination of Israelites. 
But there, as in every part of the world where they sojourn, they 
possess a character distinct from the native inhabitants, and live 
in a state of inferior subjection to the respective governments. 

It certainly redounds to the honour of Great Britain, that the 
first step which had ever been taken towards ameliorating the con- 
dition of this people, and admitting them to a participation of the 
civil rights of those countries with whom they are domesticated, 
originated in the British Parliament, in the year 1753. This 
measure consisted of the Jews' Naturalization Bill, which provided 
that all persons professing the Jewish religion, who had resided 


in Great Britain or Ireland three years, might, upon application to 
Parliament for that purpose, be naturalized, without receiving the 
sacrament of the Lord's supper. This bill passed through both 
houses, and received the royal assent ; but the public clamour 
against this enlightened measure, was so great throughout the 
country, that the ministers of that period, who were not remark- 
able for firmness or vigour, yielded to the outcry, and in the 
following session the act was repealed. The genial influence, 
however, of the British constitution, has, since that time, ame- 
liorated their situation beyond all precedent ; and the large 
capitals which they employ in commerce, enable them to procure 
and enjoy a very large proportion of the advantages which would 
have been legally secured to them if the act for their naturalization 
had continued to be a part of our statute law. The Rev. Solomon 
Herschell, their high priest, has acknowledged, that " Britannia 
now cherishes and protects the Jews as her own children." 

In considering the present state and condition of them in this 
country, we cannot with propriety pass over a new aera in the 
history of this remarkable people, which has been produced by 
the French revolution. 

It has been observed by a late writer, that, during ages of un- 
relenting persecution, the Jews had lost many of those virtues 
which adorned their ancient character. Oppression had imprinted 
an air of meanness and servile timidity upon their demeanour. 
The undistinguishing contempt of men, who ought to treat them 
as their equals, had lessened their importance, as well as the fre- 
quency of respectable character amongst them. This degradation 
of character occasioned their being employed in usurious and other 
illegal transactions; and those practices kept alive the prejudices 


of the magistrate. Thus they contracted the habits, as so many 
of them found it necessary to adopt the lives, of itinerant pedlars, 
who, never expecting to see the same customer twice, have 
nothing to apprehend from making an exorbitant gain on each 
single transaction. Synagogues, schools, &c. were so unwillingly 
allotted them, and their appearauce in Christian seminaries so 
shamefully resisted, that they were sunk into a degree of 
ignorance which increased, both to themselves and others, the 
difficulty of improving their condition. 

This moral degeneracy has, however, been gradually decreasing 
for several years; and the decree of the French government in 
1806, has already produced a considerable change in their 
manners and habits on the Continent, by placing them on an 
equality, with respect to civil rights, with people who profess the 
Catholic or any other religion. This measure may be naturally 
supposed to have originated in the interested policy of the govern- 
ment, but its beneficial effects on those oppressed people will be 
felt as long as that government exists in its present form. The 
professed object of this decree was, to suppress the prevalent 
disposition to usurious practices amongst the Jews, and to reani- 
mate them with a desire to engage in the useful and creditable 
professions of life, so as to render them more beneficial to the 
state which protected them. An assembly was accordingly con- 
vened in the same year, consisting of seventy-four persons of the 
Jewish religion, residing in different parts of France, who were 
most particularly distinguished for their probity and mental 
endowments. Many questions were proposed to them respecting 
their moral habits and interpretations of the laws of Moses, as they 
differed from the policy and manners of modern times ; and they 


were generally answered in a way to favour the French govern- 
ment. In return, the Jewish deputies were promised the enjoy- 
ment of all the privileges of French citizens. But in order to 
render this decision more solemn and impressive, a grand 
Sanhedrim was convened with much pomp and ostentation, whose 
first meeting was held on the Qth of February, 1807. It consisted 
of the most respectable and eminent literary characters amongst 
the Jews from the greatest part of Europe ; and on the 2ist of the 
same month, a circumstance occurred which is unprecedented in 
former ages, and marks the tolerant spirit of modern times. The 
Archbishop of Paris, the President of the Protestant Consistory, 
and the President of the Jewish Sanhedrim, all dined together at 
the house of one of the French ministers, and exchanged civilities 
of peace and amity. 

The deliberations and decisions of the Sanhedrim were devoted 
to the following subjects : marriage, polygamy, divorce, useful 
professions, together with loans and usury; and the moral, civil, 
and political relations of man. In these respects the Mosaic law 
materially differs from the modern French code; and the object of 
Bonaparte was to assimilate the customs and ceremonies of the 
Jews to those of the Christians, in order that he might obtain that 
controul over them, mentally as well as politically, which would 
enable him to render them efficient members of society in the 
different departments of life. In return for the privileges which 
they received, the Sanhedrim recommended the Jews to conform 
in all respects to the French civil code, except that of acknow- 
ledging Jesus Christ to be the Messiah. But the most extra- 
ordinary and almost incredible part of this transaction, is the 
immediate effect of it ; which was nothing less than a very 


prevalent opinion among the Jews residing beneath Bonaparte's 
sovereignty, that he is the promised Messiah. Nor is this strange 
notion confined either to the enthusiastic or ignorant among them; 
their learned men have encouraged it in their writings. They 
have laboured to prove, that their promised restoration is accom- 
plished, and that the repossession of Judea is a fallacious hope. 
They now assert, that the restoration of the Jews, means the 
restoration of their rights and privileges in society, in common 
with the rest of the human race. 

This opinion, as it may be supposed, is industriously propagated 
through France and its dependencies; but whether it originated 
with a parasitical Israelite, or was commanded by the Jesuitical 
Talleyrand, is at present unknown. It is not believed, however, 
that the English Jews will readily accord to such a preposterous 
notion. " Their lot has fallen in pleasant places" and they are 

The Jews have six Synagogues in London, the principal of 
which is that belonging to the German Jews in Duke's-place. It 
is a very handsome modern building, of the Ionic order, after a 
design of Mr. John Spitler, architect, of Guilford-street. The 
print which is annexed to this narrative, gives a very exact re- 
presentation of it. It was first erected in the year 1722, at the 
expence of Mr. Moses Hart ; but, in consequence of the increase 
of its congregation, was enlarged in the year 1765, at the expence 
of the community. Thus it remained to the year 1788, when it 
was thought advisable to pull it down, and supply its place with 
the present elegant and commodious structure. The expence was 
sustained by voluntary contributions, to which Mrs. Levy, the 
daughter of the original founder, Mr. Moses Hart, with that 


bounteous piety which distinguished her character, subscribed the 
sum of four thousand pounds. It was completed, and consecrated 
with great ceremony, in the year 1790. The lord mayor and 
court of aldermen were specially invited to be present on the 
occasion, and many of that respectable body attended on a 
solemnity in honour of the common Father of all mankind, by 
whatever faith, name, or character they may be distinguished. 
On the exterior wall of this structure, is the following inscription : 

On this spot of ground, 

A. M. 5482, 

Moses Hart, 

late of Isleworth, in 

the county of Middlesex, Esquire, 

did, in his life-time, and 

at his sole expence, 

erect a Synagogue ; 

which was afterwards taken down 

and rebuilt, A. M. 5550; 

towards which 
his only surviving daughter, 

Mrs. Judy Levy, 

of Albemarle-street, 

widow of Elias Levy, Esquire, 

voluntarily subscribed 
the sum of four thousand pounds. 

This Synagogue is governed by three wardens, a treasurer, an 
overseer for the poor, and a community of seven gentlemen, 
annually chosen, together with the elders. The religious establish- 
ment consists of one chief rabbi, or high priest, and certain readers. 
The person who now fills that dignified office is the Rev. Solomon 
Herschell : nor would it be doing justice to his character, were we 


not to mention him in the manner he so well deserves; as very 
much distinguished for talents and learning, for an enlarged mind 
and social virtues. This sanctuary is open twice every day for 
public service, and three times on the Sabbath and appointed 
festivals. There are two places of sepulture attached to it ; the 
one is at Mile-end, and the other is in Ducking- pond -lane, 

Of the other five Synagogues, one is in Church-row, Fenchurch- 
street, and is called the Hamburgh Synagogue. Another is in 
Leadenhall-street, and is denominated the New Synagogue ; and 
a third is in Denmark-court, in the Strand, and is distinguished by 
the name of the Westminster Synagogue. These are appropriated 
to the service of the German and Dutch Jews, and have various 
charitable institutions attached to them. There is one more in 
Camomile-street, which is called the Spanish and Portuguese 
Synagogue. This is the most ancient place of Jewish worship in 
the metropolis, having been erected in the reign of Charles II. 
This has also its charitable foundations. The Jews have likewise 
their places of religious worship in every principal commercial 
town in Great Britain. 

We cannot quit this subject without taking particular notice of 
the Jews' hospital at Mile-end, which, for its objects, and the mode 
of its government, may claim a very respectable rank among the 
charitable institutions of a country which abounds in them. It 
was opened in the year 1807, f r tne reception of aged persons, 
and the education as well as industrious employment of youth, of 
both sexes. The humane policy which first suggested this founda- 
tion has been followed by the most liberal encouragement ; and 
when we see in the list of those who subscribed to the original 


and permanent fund for its first establishment, as well as in that 
of its numerous annual contributors, so many persons of the 
Christian religion, we feel an inexpressible satisfaction in con- 
templating this proof of the active prevalence of its genuine spirit, 
which teaches us to consider all mankind, however distinguished 
by their modes of faith, as our brethren as the children of one 
universal Father. 


THIS place, so well known, and so generally frequented, is 
situated near Hyde Park-corner. It was established, in 
the year 1773, by Mr. Richard Tattersall, the father of the 
present proprietor, for the reception, and sale by auction, of horses, 
carriages, coach-harness, hounds, &c. It is the grand mart for 
every thing connected with the sports of the field, the business of 
the turf, and equestrian recreations. The days of sale are every 
Monday and Thursday during the winter season, and on Mondays 
only in the summer. On the mornings when there is no sale, this 
Repository is a fashionable lounge for sporting gentlemen. The 
horses, &c. are then examined, their merits or defects considered, 
and sporting intelligence from all parts of the country detailed and 

These spacious premises contain accommodation for one hundred 
and twenty horses, a large number of carriages and coach-harness, 


as well as a commodious kennel for hounds. During the time 
that horses and dogs remain here for sale, which is usually but a 
few days, a moderate compensation is charged for their maintenance, 
and when sold, a small per centage ad valorem. 

A room on the premises is appropriated for the use of sub- 
scribers, who pay one guinea per annum each. Here the generality 
of bets which relate to the turf are settled, at whatever place they 
may originate ; as it is not the custom, among these noblemen and 
gentlemen, to pay on the spot where the bets have been lost, but, 
on the return of the respective parties to town, at Tattersall's : so 
that this Repository is become a kind of exchange for gentlemen 
of the turf. Debts of this kind are settled here to an incredible 

A fashionable house of entertainment, well known by the name 
of the Turf Tavern, once formed a part of these premises ; but 
has been discontinued during the last fifteen years. The dining- 
room, though not large, is uncommonly elegant, and was fitted up 
at a very great expence ; the ceiling alone, which is adorned with 
allegorical paintings, cost eight hundred guineas. The sides of 
the room are enriched also with paintings and sculpture, with the 
addition of many detached pictures of horses, which were famous 
in their day for their exploits on the turf. 

The aggregate annual value of the horses and other property, 
which are sold by auction at this Repository, is very considerable. 
The average number of horses which pass under the hammer 
weekly throughout the year, being about one hundred. They 
consist chiefly of saddle-horses, coach-horses, hunters, and race- 
horses. The value of saddle-horses, warranted sound, without 
fault or blemish, extends from forty to two hundred guineas ; a 


good pair of coach-horses, from one hundred and fifty to four 
hundred guineas ; excellent hunters average about three hundred 
and fifty pounds, and race-horses about fifteen hundred. One of 
the most celebrated horses on the turf in his time, well known by 
the name of High-flyer, was purchased by Mr. Richard Tattersall, 
the founder of this establishment, for two thousand five hundred 

Cart and agricultural horses are seldom offered for sale at this 
place, as the purchasers who attend here, are devoted rather to the 
pursuit of pleasure than of business. 

This Repository has ever possessed an acknowledged pre- 
eminence over every establishment of a similar character, and 
may be justly considered as of much public utility. It greatly 
facilitates the business of buying and selling horses, &c. and 
attracts both parties to meet each other in the market ; while the 
liberal dealings of the late and present proprietors have entitled 
them to receive that patronage which they have so long 

The plate represents, as we trust, to the life, the appearance of 
the Repository at the time of sale. 


THIS place, with its various ranges of buildings, occupies a 
very extensive situation, that stretches, north and south, 
from Fleet-street to the Thames ; and, east and west, from 
Lombard-street, Whitefriars, to Essex-street, in the Strand. 

The name it bears originates in its having been the residence of 
an order of men called the Knights Templars, who settled here in 
the reign of King Stephen. They may be truly said to have been 
members of the Christian church militant, as, in their profession, 
devotion and military heroism were united. Several of the 
Crusaders having settled at Jerusalem about the year 1115, 
formed themselves into a regular militia, under the name of 
Templars, or Knights of the Temple, which they assumed from 
being appointed to the guardianship of a church, erected on the 
spot which was believed to have been the original site of Solomon's 
temple. Pope Honorius II. appointed them to wear a particular 
dress, which consisted of a white habit, with crosses of red cloth 
on the upper garment. 

The profession of the Templars became at length so respectable, 
that men of the first families, in all parts of Europe, entered into 
it, as brethren of the order. They were afterwards so enriched 
by the favour of princes and other great men, that, at the time of 
their dissolution, they were possessed of incredible wealth. In 


consequence of their vast riches, they became so infected with 
pride and luxury, as to become objects of general detestation. 
They were accordingly dissolved by Pope Clement V. at the 
instigation of Philip le Bel, of France. Many accusations were 
brought against them, but their enormous possessions appear to 
have formed their greatest crime. 

When the Knights Templars settled in England, their first 
residence was in Holborn, which was called the Old Temple. In 
the year 1185, they founded the New Temple, where they con- 
tinued till the suppression of their order in 1310. Edward II. 
granted this house, and all their other possessions in London, to 
Thomas, Earl of Lancaster ; and, after his rebellion and forfeiture, 
to Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke. On the death of that 
nobleman they reverted to the crown, and were given to the 
Knights Hospitallers of the order of St. John of Jerusalem, who 
granted the Temple to the students of the common law in the 
reign of Edward III. ; and to their use it has, from that time, been 
uniformly applied. 

It is now divided into two societies, called the Inner and Middle 
Temple, which bear the name, in common with the other law 
societies in London, of inns of court. These societies consist of 
benchers, treasurers, barristers, students, and members, with their 
inferior officers. The government is invested in the benchers, 
who are chosen for life from the senior barristers. During the 
term they dine in the respective halls, which is called keeping 
commons; and every student must have attended the commons 
during twelve terms before he can be called to the bar, and be 
thereby qualified to plead in the courts of law. 

The church, which is represented in the plate, was founded by 



the Templars in the reign of Henry II. upon the model of that of 
the Holy Sepulchre, and was consecrated in 1185 by Heraclius, 
Patriarch of Jerusalem. The entrance is through a door with a 
Norman arch. Within, the form is circular, supported by six 
round arches, each resting on four pillars, bound together by a 
facia. Above each arch is a window with a rounded top, a gallery, 
and rich Saxon arches intersecting each other. On the outside of 
the pillars is a considerable space, which preserves the circular 
form. On the lower part of the wall are small pilasters, meeting 
in pointed arches at the top, with a grotesque head over each 
pillar. This structure is forty-eight feet in height, its diameter on 
the floor fifty-one feet, and its circumference one hundred and 
sixty feet. 

On the floor are two groupes of knights, represented in stone. 
In the first are four figures, all cross-legged ; three of them are in 
complete mail, with plain helmets flatted at top, and with very long 
shields. One of these figures has a very singular appearance, 
being bare-headed and bald ; his legs armed, his hands mailed, 
his mantle long, and with a cowl round his neck ; as if, according 
to a common superstition in former times, he had requested to be 
buried in the dress of a monk, as a preservative of the body 
against evil spirits. On his shield are three fleurs de lis. In this 
group is a stone coffin, of a ridged shape, which, according to 
antiquarian conjecture, was the tomb of William Plantagenet, 
fifth son of Henry III. 

In the second group are other figures, but none of them cross- 
legged, except the outermost. They are all armed in mail, and 
their helmets much resemble the former. One of these figures is 
in the attitude of drawing a broad dagger : one leg rests on the 


tail of a cockatrice, while the other is in the action of being drawn 
up, with the head of the monster beneath. One of the effigies 
represents Geoffrey de Magnaville ; but none of the others are 
ascertained, though Camden conjectures that they are intended to 
commemorate three successive earls of Pembroke. To these 
ancient monuments may be added that of a bishop, which is well 
executed in stone. The figure is represented in episcopal vest- 
ments, with the usual accompaniments of the mitre and the 

Among the monuments of eminent persons of later days, is 
that of Plowden, a lawyer of most distinguished learning, superior 
talents, and renowned integrity. It is a recumbent figure, and in 
the professional habit. He was treasurer of the Middle Temple 
in the year 1572. Here also are interred the remains of the 
learned Selden, who was more profoundly skilled in the constitu- 
tion of his country, and the various branches of antiquity, than 
any one of the period in which he lived. 

To this church is annexed a large choir, evidently built at a 
subsequent period, and is the part now appropriated to public 
worship. It is lighted by narrow Gothic windows, and is divided 
from the more ancient structure by a screen of wainscot, with 
decorations borrowed, in a very false taste, from Grecian architec- 
ture. The gallery, which rises above it, is supported by Corinthian 
columns, and contains an organ which is said to be one of the 
finest instruments in the world. This part of the structure is 
eighty-three feet in length, sixty feet in breadth, and thirty-four 
feet in height. It serves for both societies of the Temple, and is 
fitted up for their distinct reception. Since the reign of Henry VIII. 
the superior clergyman of this church is called the Master of the 


Temple, and is constituted such by the king's letters patent, without 
institution or induction. 

The Inner Temple hall is a spacious room, decorated with 
emblematical paintings by Sir James Thornhill. It contains also 
two full-length portraits of those pillars of law, Lyttleton, and his 
able commentator, Coke. The former died in 1481, and the latter 
in 1634. The Origines Judiciales afford some very curious and 
entertaining descriptions of the revels and hospitable christmassings 
of former times, which were given in this hall. 

In the Parliament chamber are painted the arms of the 
successive treasurers, from the first who possessed that office. 
This apartment is also adorned with some fine carving by 
Gibbons. The adjoining library is well furnished with books, 
but particularly in the science professed by those who have 
access to it. 

The Inner Temple garden is spacious, and forms an handsome 
lawn, agreeably planted with trees. The view from its terrace, 
both up and down the river, possesses an unrivalled variety 
of beautiful and magnificent objects. Shakspeare, but whether 
from tradition or history, is not clearly ascertained, represents 
this garden as the place where the badges of the red and white 
rose originated, under which the partizans of the houses of York 
and Lancaster ranged themselves, in that fatal quarrel which 
caused such torrents of English blood to flow. 

" The brawl to-day, 

" Grown to this faction in the Temple garden, 
" Shall send, between the red rose and the white, 
" A thousand souls to death and deadly night." 

The Middle Temple hall is a very noble room, and of a most 



venerable appearance. Along its sides are painted the coats 
of arms of the readers from the year 1597 to 1790. It was 
originally built in the reign of Edward III.; but the present 
edifice was erected in that of Queen Elizabeth, and while Plowden 
was treasurer of the society. 

In the Treasury chamber of the Middle Temple is preserved 
several specimens of armour, which belonged to the Knights 
Templars. They consist of helmets, breast and back pieces, 
an halbert, and two very beautiful shields, with iron spikes in 
their centers, of six inches in length : the weight of each is about 
twenty pounds. They are curiously engraved ; and one of them 
is richly inlaid with gold ; they are lined with stuffed leather, and 
the edges are ornamented with silk fringe : broad leathern belts 
are also fixed to them, for the bearers to sling them on their 

In Garden-court, and overlooking a small shady garden which 
falls down to the river, is the Middle Temple library. It was 
bequeathed to the society by the will of Robert Astley, Esq. one 
of its benchers, in the year 1641. It consists of about nine 
thousand volumes. The catalogue was published in 1734, and 
was continued from that date to 1 766. 

There are two entrances from Fleet-street, one to the Inner, 
and the other to the Middle Temple. The latter is an handsome 
gateway, in the style of Inigo Jones, erected in the year 1684. 
It is of brick, enriched by four pilasters of the Ionic order, sup- 
porting a pediment. 



THIS fortress forms a very conspicuous object in the 
domestic history of England, for many centuries after 
the Norman conquest. That part of it called the 
white tower was begun by William the Conqueror in the year 
1070, as a place of security, while he was settling the government 
of his new kingdom. That this was its object may reasonably 
be conjectured from its particular position, communicating with 
the river Thames, by which it might be supplied, in case of need, 
with military stores, provisions, and every necessary succour. 
That monarch, however, did not live to complete this design ; 
which was undertaken by his son and successor, William Rufus, 
who surrounded it with walls, and strengthened it with a deep 
and broad ditch. Such appears to be the real origin of the 
Tower of London. The notion that it was built by Julius Caesar 
proceeds from an idle and ridiculous tradition. It is supposed 
to have been built, or at least completed, under the direction 
of Gundolph, Bishop of Rochester, the architect of that superb 
castle, whose ruins, at this great distance of time, may be said 
to dignify that ancient city. 

In the year 1092, this structure received such material injury 
from the violence of a resistless storm, that it required very 
extensive reparations, which were begun by William Rufus, and 


completed by Henry I. New walls were then built around it, 
and bastions were raised on the shore of the Thames, with the 
Traitor's or Bloody gate, through which state prisoners were 
conveyed to their confinement, when this place was appointed 
to be their prison. Baker, in his Chronicle, states that, in the 
reign of Richard I. the chancellor, William Longchamp, Bishop 
of Ely, surrounded the Tower with a wall of stone, and formed 
the ditch. Mathew Paris mentions, that Henry III. added the 
gate and bulwark, with other buildings, to the west entrance. 
He also extended the outworks, by a mud wall on the west part 
of Tower-hill towards the city ; to the great dissatisfaction of the 
citizens, who claimed a right to that spot. The same monarch 
also repaired and whitened the large square tower ; and it was 
probably on this occasion that it first assumed the name of the 
white tower. In the same reign, the royal menagerie was 
established. In the ninth year of Edward II. the mayor and 
commonalty of London were compelled to pay a mulct for 
throwing down the wall of earth which Henry III. had caused 
to be erected. Edward IV. however, to curb all similar insults, 
built a wall of brick, and considerably strengthened the fortress, 
encroaching still further on the territory of the city. Richard III. 
with that despotic activity which marked his character, ordered 
the surveyor of the royal works to seize as many masons, brick- 
layers, and other workmen, as were necessary for the king's works 
in the Tower. The subsequent alterations by Henry VIII. 
Edward VI. Elizabeth, and their successors, do not merit 
particular notice ; except the rebuilding of the wharf with brick 
and stone, and the forming sluices for admitting and retaining 
the water of the Thames, as occasion might require, in the ditch. 


The new armory was also begun in the reign of James II. and 
was finished by William III. 

The Tower was occasionally occupied as a royal palace, from 
its original foundation, to the reign of Elizabeth. During the 
protracted period of the civil wars, and in the reigns of the more 
feeble princes, it was considered as a place of security and 
defence for the person of the monarch. From this consideration 
we may suppose, that, in the treaty of Runnemede, the barons 
insisted on the resignation of this fortress into their hands. On 
some occasions the Aula Regia was established here ; and the 
court of the Tower was as hostile to the citizens, from its 
arbitrary proceedings, as the arms of its garrison. 

If we were to attempt an history of those unfortunate persons 
who found a prison here, who suffered death within its walls, 
or were conducted to the scaffold without them, we should find 
ourselves called upon to describe the virtues and the vices which 
embellished or stained the English annals during the reigns 
of thirty-two of our sovereigns. A very brief account of them 
is all we can pretend to offer. 

The first person who suffered by the axe in this fortress, was 
Sir Simon de Burley, Knight of the Garter, and the tutor of 
Richard II. In 1383, this accomplished gentleman fell a victim 
to a powerful faction, who had usurped the regal authority, and 
exercised it with that tyranny which too often waits upon 

Richard Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel, fell a sacrifice to his dis- 
tinguished qualities and popular virtues, in 1397. 

In 1483, the accomplished Lord Hastings was suddenly beheaded 
on the green before the chapel, by the impetuous order of the 


brutal and ambitious protector, the Duke of Gloucester, for his 
avowed fidelity to the children of his late royal master, 
Edward IV. 

Anna Bullein here fell a victim to the beastly lusts of the 
tyrant, Henry VIII. who to gratify them had raised her to the 
throne, and to indulge them with a new object, condemned her 
to the scaffold. When this lovely and accomplished woman 
reached the Tower, she wrote that affecting letter, which all who 
have read, have felt and admired, to her royal husband : but she 
wrote in vain, for she addressed an heart that was equally 
a stranger to justice and to mercy. After insisting on her 
innocence with an angelic confidence, she tells him, " You raised 
me from a private station to be a lady ; from a lady you made 
me a countess ; from a countess you raised me to be a queen ; 
and from a queen I shall shortly become a saint." Kingston, the 
keeper of the Tower, whose account of her confinement and 
execution is recorded, declared, that he had seen many men and 
women executed, but never did he behold any one suffer whose 
fortitude was equal to hers. She was beheaded on the iQth 
of May, 1536. Many crowned heads had been put to death 
in England, but this was the first royal execution accompanied 
with the forms of a regular proceeding. 

That most excellent prelate, Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, was the 
next object of Henry's revenge. He fell a victim to his opinion in 
favour of the pope's supremacy. He suffered June 22, 1535 : and 
was soon followed by that great and good man, Sir Thomas More. 
On the 6th of July, in the same year, he was led to execution, in the 
same place and for the same offence, and died with that mild dignity 
and complacent spirit which had distinguished his venerable life. 


Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, who, from the lowest origin, 
had become a royal favourite, was attainted of high treason by 
act of Parliament, without being suffered to speak in his defence, 
and was beheaded on Tower-hill, July 28, 1540. 

Margaret, Countess of Salisbury, the grand-daughter of George, 
Duke of Clarence, brother of Edward IV. and the last of the 
Plantagenets, was attainted of high treason on the most frivolous 
pretences ; and, after two years confinement, was sentenced 
to die. She refused to lay her head on the block : " So should 
traitors do," she said, " but I am none ; and if you must have my 
head, you may get it as you can." In this state of actual 
resistance, she was massacred, May 27, 1541. 

Henry next ordered to the scaffold his fifth wife, Catharine 
Howard, niece of the Duke of Norfolk. She was charged with 
incontinence previous to her marriage, for no attempt was made 
to prove her infidelity to the king ; and that being too easily 
proved, she suffered February 13, 1542. 

The turbulent Thomas Seymour, Baron Sudley and Lord 
High Admiral, was beheaded on Tower-hill, March 20, 1549, 
by a warrant from his own brother, the Protector Somerset. 
On January 24, 1552, the protector himself mounted the scaffold 
in the same place : and there, in the following year, his ambitious 
rival, John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, lost his head. 

Lady Jane Grey, and her husband, Lord Guilford Dudley, 
the son of the Duke of Northumberland, by whose ambition 
they were both brought to their fatal and unmerited end, must 
be added to the sanguinary list of cruel executions. She was the 
most accomplished woman of her own age, and would have 
received the same title in any age. She was mistress of the 


Greek and Latin tongues, spoke familiarly the French and 
Italian languages, and was versed in the Hebrew, Chaldee, and 
Arabic. She was also skilled in music ; and the toilettes worked 
with her own hand, and which are reverentially preserved at 
Zurich, prove the excellence of her needle- work. Her letters 
to Bullinger, the learned Swiss theologian, which are preserved 
in the library of that city, are exquisitely written. Her attain- 
ments are almost incredible ; for, at the age of seventeen years, 
after having occupied the same apartment in the Tower as Anna 
Bullein, she suffered on the same spot, with an invincible fortitude, 
January 12, 1553. As she was conducted to her end, she met 
the headless, bleeding body of her beloved husband, who had 
been just beheaded. She consoled herself, on the trying occasion, 
by repeating a line in Greek, to the following purport : " That 
if his lifeless body should give testimony against her before men, 
his blessed spirit would be an eternal witness of her innocence 
before God." 

Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, was also given up to the 
block by his reluctant mistress, Queen Elizabeth, and suffered 
February 25, 1561. Here also, July 16, 1685, the Duke of 
Monmouth paid the forfeit of his misguided ambition. 

The latest executions on Tower-hill, were those of the un- 
daunted Lord Balmerino, who vaunted the justice of his cause 
to the last moment of his life ; and the repentant Lord 
Kilmarnock, who were beheaded on the same scaffold, August 
1 6, 1746. On the gih of the same month, in the following year, 
Simon, Lord Lovat, received the stroke of the axe, and closed 
the career of executions in this place. 

The Tower of London, however, has not only been the 


theatre of the public executioner, but the fatal scene of private 

Henry VI. died within these walls by the assassinating sword 
of the Duke of Gloucester. Here, also, the life of the Duke of 
Clarence was closed by the hands of hired ruffians ; and here 
Edward V. and his brother, the Duke of York, completed, by 
their deaths, the catalogue of those foul and deadly deeds, which 
paved the way for the gratification of their cruel uncle's ambition. 
The death of Sir Thomas Overbury, by poison, closes the 
account of these murders, which, in the language of the poet, have 
brought a lasting shame on this fortress. 

The Tower is situated on the north bank of the river Thames, 
at the eastern extremity of London. It contains within its walls 
twelve acres and five roods. The exterior circuit of the surround- 
ing ditch, is three thousand one hundred and thirty-six feet. On 
the Tower-hill side the ditch has considerable breadth and depth ; 
and here the view was taken which illustrates this description. A 
spacious wharf extends along the bank of the river, and contains 
a platform of sixty-one pieces of ordnance, nine-pounders, which 
are fired on all state holidays, as well as to announce to the metro- 
polis those events which signalize the glory and prosperity of the 

The principal entrance is by three gates to the west. The first 
of them opens to a court, on the right side of which is the lions' 
tower, where the wild beasts are kept. The second gate opens to 
a stone bridge, which crosses the ditch. The third then succeeds, 
which has a portcullis : here there is a regular guard. Within the 
latter is a drawbridge, communicating with the wharf. 

The fortress contains various buildings, the principal of which 


are, the church, the white tower, the ordnance, jewel and record 
offices, the mint, the grand storehouse, the horse and other 
armories, houses belonging to officers in the different departments, 
barracks, &c. &c. 

The church is a plain Gothic building, remarkable for having 
been the burial-place of many illustrious and noble persons, who 
suffered within these walls or on the adjacent hill. A small stone 
also distinguishes the grave of Talbot Edwards, who was keeper 
of the regalia when the notorious Blood made the daring attempt 
to steal the crown and other regal ornaments. He died 
September 10, 1674. 

The white tower is a large, square, irregular building, in a 
central position of the space contained within the walls, It has 
watch-turrets at each corner, but they are not of the same size ; 
nor is it, as it at first sight appears to be, an equilateral structure. 
It consists of three very lofty stories, whose chambers serve as 
depositories for arms and military implements. There is also 
an ancient chapel, which served as a place of devotion to many 
of our more early princes ; but is now employed for the purposes 
of the record-office. Beneath are large vaults, used as store- 
cellars for saltpetre. 

To the south of the white tower is the modelling-room ; in 
which is contained a very^beautiful model of the rock of Gibraltar, 
its fortifications, &c. 

The office of ordnance, after its destruction by fire in 1789, 
was rebuilt on a plan of superior strength and accommodation. 
At the west end of this office, a new wing has been lately added. 
Adjoining it is an extensive brick building, on a large scale, 
appropriated to hold oils, cartridge paper, rope, pickaxes, and all 


war supplies of that denomination. At the west end of Tower- 
wharf, inclosed by a brick wall, is a complete factory, with a proof- 
house, for making small arms. It employs a sufficient number of 
workmen to complete a thousand stand per week. 

The mint is a separate division, which comprehends near one 
third of the Tower, and contains houses for the different officers 
belonging to the coinage. This important manufactory is about 
to be removed to a spacious edifice now erecting for that purpose 
in the vicinity of the Tower. 

The record-office is distinguished by a sculptured stone door- 
case at its entrance. All the rolls from King John to the begin- 
ning of the reign of Richard III. are deposited in fifty-six presses 
in this office: since the latter period they have been kept at 
the Rolls in Chancery-lane. The privilege of examining these 
ancient papers is to be obtained on payment of half-a-guinea, and 
may be continued on any distinct subject for one year. 

The grand storehouse is a magnificent building, to the north of 
the white tower. It is three hundred and forty-five feet in length, 
and sixty in breadth. It was begun by James II. and finished by 
King William. The center of the north front is decorated with 
columns, supporting a triangular pediment, beneath which are the 
royal arms, with enrichments of trophy work, by Gibbons : they 
display all the spirit of his sculpture. The upper story, which 
occupies the whole length of the building, is called the small 
armory, and contains arms for upwards of one hundred thousand 
men, disposed in a great variety of curious forms and devices, 
which produce a very striking effect, and display a very pleasing 
show. The ground floor is of equal dimensions, and forms a 
depot for the royal train of artillery. It contains, also, many 


pieces of ordnance, which, for their singular invention, their 
powerful effects, or historical circumstance, are no common objects 
of curiosity or interest. 

The jewel-office is a dark, strong stone room, within a few 
yards to the east of the grand storehouse. This place is the 
repository of the imperial crown and the regalia of the sovereign. 

In the Spanish armory are preserved the trophies of the ever 
memorable victory obtained over the Spanish armada, which 
added so bright a ray of glory to the splendid reign of Queen 

The horse-armory contains, among other appropriate articles of 
curiosity, the effigies of the kings of England, clad in armour and 
on horseback, inclusively from William the Conqueror to his late 
Majesty George II. They are as large as life, and some of them 
appear in the suits of armour which those sovereigns actually 
wore. This room presents a very striking spectacle ; and the 
plate which accompanies this page, displays, we presume, a very 
picturesque, as well as correct representation of it. 

The king's menagerie is kept in the lions' tower, which has 
been already mentioned. It consists of a range of dens in the 
form of a crescent. They are twelve feet in height, and are 
divided into three parts ; the larger one above, and two smaller 
ones below. The beast occupies the uppermost in the day, and a 
lower one at night. The animals are viewed through large iron 
grates, so that they may be seen with perfect security. 

The government and care of the Tower is committed to an 
officer who bears the title of constable. It is a post of high dis- 
tinction, and generally bestowed on persons of the first rank. At 
coronations and all other state ceremonies, the crown and the 


other regalia are entrusted to his custody. He also swears the 
lord mayor into his office, in great formality, whenever a chief 
magistrate is elected, on the death of his predecessor, during the 
law vacations, when the court of Exchequer is not sitting. This 
ceremony has not been performed since the year 1754, when 
Thomas Rawlinson, Esq. and Alderman, was invested with the 
first civic dignity by Earl Cornwallis, father of the late marquis, 
then constable of the Tower. 

The other officers are, a lieutenant-governor, a deputy-lieu- 
tenant, commonly called governor, a Tower major, a gentleman 
porter, yeoman porter, gentleman gaoler, four quarter-gunners, 
and forty warders, &c. The latter wear the same uniform as 
the king's yeomen of the guard. There is generally a battalion 
of the guards on duty in the Tower, which is quartered in the 
barracks, and is annually relieved. 

The present officers of this fortress are, 

General Earl of Moira, constable and chief governor. 
General Charles Vernon, lieutenant-governor. 
Colonel John Yorke, deputy-lieutenant. 
Colonel Mathew Smith, major. 
Rev. William Coxe, M.A. chaplain. 

Vernon, Esq. gentleman porter. 

Mr. Joseph Turtle, gentleman gaoler. 
&c. c. &c. 



THE commerce of the British empire has attained an 
height unknown in the history of nations, and London 
may be considered as the emporium of the world. 

It was during the reign of Edward III. that the sun of 
commerce began to enlighten the British horizon. Numerous 
parliamentary regulations were then adopted concerning artificers 
and labourers : ingenious foreigners were invited to England, for 
the purpose of instructing the natives in the useful arts : statutes 
were enacted, to regulate the woollen trade : whilst the tumults of 
the manufacturers in Flanders compelled them to seek protection 
in this country ; and it need not be added, that they brought their 
skill, ingenuity, and industry along with them. " From this 
epocha," says Mr. Chalmers, in his valuable work on the strength 
of Great Britain, " manufactures frequently became the objects of 
legislation ; while the spirit of industry advanced the state of 
population, and considerably augmented the opulence of all ranks 
of people." 

The principle of our boasted act of Navigation was also intro- 
duced into the legislation of this country, as early as the year 1381, 
by a law which declared, " that none of the king's subjects shall 
carry forth, or bring in, merchandizes, but only in ships of the king's 
allegiance." The fisheries began to be encouraged, and agricul- 


ture to be promoted : but we believe it was not till the reign 
of Henry VIII. that a statute passed for the inclosure of land ; 
and, previous to that period, England did not produce potatoes, 
cabbages, carrots, turnips, or many of the fruits which now abound 
in our gardens, and add to the luxury of our tables. 

A new impulse was given to the growing commercial spirit 
of the English nation, by the well-weighed and active policy 
of Elizabeth and her ministers. With this view she chartered 
several trading companies, and granted them those privileges 
which encouraged them to engage in traffic with the more 
distant parts of the world. Thus were our commercial energies 
strengthened ; new wants were created, a taste for superfluities 
excited, consumption augmented, industry and ingenuity en- 
couraged, and an active spirit of competition excited. Thus, by 
the enlightened views of this wise princess, the superstructure was 
raised of that temple of British commerce, where the four quarters 
of the globe may be now said to make their constant offerings. 

The pacific reign of James I. gave additional vigour to the 
industry of the people ; and laws were enacted, which produced 
the most beneficial effects on the national commerce, both at home 
and abroad. Some of the monopolies were wisely suppressed ; 
the spirit of competition was thereby enlarged : ship-building 
was particularly encouraged, and various regulations were framed 
for the protection and encouragement of trade. 

The several manufactures and new productions of husbandry 
which were introduced from foreign countries previous to the 
Revolution, not only formed a new epoch, but proved a vigorous 
application of the useful arts in the intermediate period. The 
improvement of the public roads and of internal navigation, was 


attended by very beneficial effects. Foreign trade was, at the 
same time, increased, by opening new markets, as well as by with- 
drawing the alien laws, which had ever obstructed the sale 
of native manufactures. The higher and middle ranks of life 
were now frequently united by marriage, while the younger sons 
of the nobility and gentry were occasionally bound apprentices to 
merchants ; and thus, as it were, ennobled commerce. 

During the hostilities which prevailed for the period of 
eight years subsequent to the Revolution, the advantages of our 
foreign commerce considerably abated; and in the year 1697, we 
first observe the effects of a Board of Trade, which made a report 
to the House of Commons in the month of December of that 
year, of which we give the following appropriate extract: " We 
" have made enquiry into the state of trade in general, from the 
"year 1670 to the present time; and, from the best calculations 
" we could make, by the duties paid at the customhouse, we are 
"of opinion that trade in general did considerably increase from 
"the end of the Dutch war in 1675 to 1689, when the late war 
"began." But, by way of counterbalance to this temporary 
depression of our foreign trade, the internal manufactures were 
greatly improved. In 1689, those of copper and brass began to 
make themselves known. Ingenious foreigners improved many 
of our articles in cutlery, particularly sword-blades. The French 
refugees, also, who were driven from their country by the revoca- 
tion of the edict of Nantes, meliorated the fabrics of paper and 
silk. And, lastly, the establishment of the Bank of England, in 
1 694, by facilitating public and private circulation, produced all the 
salutary effects which might be expected from such a grand, 
national institution. 


But the diminution of our foreign trade during this period 
was neither very great nor very lasting. " The commerce of 
England," as Mr. Chalmers most happily expresses himself, 
" which is sustained by immense capitals, suggested by a compre- 
hensive sagacity, and conducted with skill and activity, may be 
aptly compared to a spring of mighty powers, which always exerts 
its force in proportion to the weight of its compression, and never 
fails to rebound with augmented energy when the pressure is 
removed, from whatever cause it may have proceeded." 

The union with Scotland gave fresh vigour to our commercial 
system. Admitted to all the advantages possessed by the 
English, the North Britons did not long delay to start in the 
field of competition. 

The annual amount of exports during the reign of Queen 
Anne, increased from about five to seven millions ; a considerable 
augmentation during the short period of twelve years, and amidst 
an almost incessant warfare. 

The reign of George I. was not distinguished by any consider- 
able increase in our foreign trade : but domestic improvement was 
very visible in our manufactures ; and several very useful laws 
were added to the commercial code. 

During the first ten years of the reign of George II. our ex- 
ports had increased from about eight to nearly ten millions. The 
nine years war which succeeded this period, and terminated in 
1748, seems to have had but little effect, either one way or the 
other, on our commercial interests. During the few years of 
peace which followed, both foreign and domestic trade continued 
to increase. The annual exports advanced to twelve millions 
and an half. The war of 1756 certainly caused a temporary 



depression of the commercial system ; but it soon recovered with 
augmented energy, and rose to an higher degree in the scale of 
public benefit, than it had ever attained. 

The peace which followed the accession of his present Majesty, 
when the arms of Great Britain had been crowned with success 
in every part of the globe, produced commercial failures on the 
Continent of immense magnitude ; and had not the British 
merchants interposed with their large capitals and extensive 
credit, the whole mercantile Continent would have been bankrupt. 
Thus the commercial capital of Great Britain may be said to have 
supported and invigorated the whole world. Nor were the 
British merchants sufferers by the magnanimity of their conduct. 
The additional credit which they gave to their correspondents, 
enabled the latter to withstand the momentary shock, and in the 
end to discharge all their debts to the utmost ; while the money 
advanced with so much liberality, returned, in some channel or 
other, to the hands from which it proceeded. Such is the prin- 
ciple of, and such the advantages derived from, circulation, which 
is the soul of commerce. When circulation is impeded, scarcity 
of money, unfavourable discounts, unpurchased manufactures, 
unemployed artisans, unpaid rents, and unperformed contracts, 
are the mischiefs which naturally and necessarily follow ; while, 
from a free and copious circulation, the public revenue increases 
in a rapid ratio, and the comforts and conveniencies of life 
advance with an equal pace. 

The public expenditure continually distributes an immense 
revenue among the creditors or servants of the state, who return 
it to the original contributors, either for the necessaries or the 
luxuries of life. The Exchequer, which constantly receives and 


dispenses this immense income, has been happily compared to the 
human heart, which necessarily carries on the vital circulation, so 
invigorating while it flows, so fatal when it stops. Hence it is, 
that taxes, though the subject of universal complaint, possess 
somewhat of a remedial nature, even in their profusion : for, as 
they are never hoarded, but always expended as soon as they are 
received, they tend to promote the employment and industry, as 
well as to reward the ingenuity, of a great part of those who 
pay them. Thus, by the invigorating effects of an augmented 
circulation, our agriculture and manufactures, our commerce and 
navigation, have gradually increased to their present magnitude, 
notwithstanding our frequent wars, additional taxes, and ac- 
cumulating debts. 

The advanced state of the trade of Great Britain cannot be 
more clearly proved, than by giving a comparative view of the 
commercial state of England in the years 1700 and 1800. 

1700. 1800. 

The population of England and Wales . 6,000,000 9,000,000 

Tonnage of shipping .... 300,000 2,000,000 

Value of exports ^6,000,000 ^44,000,000 

Balance of trade ..... ^1,400,000 ^14,000,000 

Revenue ;5>5oo,ooo ^"33,000,000 

The whole quantity of gold and silver coined during the reign of 

his present Majesty, is about ^65,000,000 

The average annual quantity coined, about ;i, 600,000 

The whole coinage of Queen Anne's reign did not amount to . ^2,700,000 

The Board of Trade was originally projected in the year 1668, 
but did not last more than three or four years ; as it appears to 
have been suppressed in 1673. It was, however, renewed in 
1696, and continued to the year 1782, when it was abolished by 


an act of Parliament, commonly distinguished by the name of 
Mr. Burke, who brought it into Parliament. The commissioners 
of this Board, who were called the Lords of Trade, were paid 
salaries of one thousand pounds per annum, and all the public 
business relative to trade and our colonial plantations, was sub- 
mitted to them. Parliament, however, was convinced, at the 
time, by Mr. Burke's arguments, that the services of this Board 
were of little utility, and that the business transacted by it might 
be distributed among other public offices : it was accordingly 
dissolved. Experience, however, proved the necessity of such 
an establishment ; the public service appeared evidently to require 
it; and the Board of Trade and Plantations was revived in 1786. 
It is similar in every respect to that which preceded it, except 
that the members of it perform all the duties without salary or 
emolument. The clerks and inferior officers are alone remuner- 
ated for their services. 

The Board consists of a committee of the privy council, com- 
posed of all the great officers of state ; but, unless extraordinary 
occasions require an extraordinary attendance, the business is 
principally conducted by the president, deputy-president, and the 
chief clerks. It is, properly speaking, a board of reference, to 
which all difficult or doubtful cases relative to trade or our 
colonial possessions, exclusive of the East Indies, are referred. 
Memorials, which have been presented to the king in council, 
or to the lords of the Treasury, or other public boards, are usually 
laid before the Board of Trade, for a report thereon. When any 
ecclesiastical interests are concerned, the Bishop of London, 
whose diocese extends to all our colonial possessions, is requested 
to attend and deliver his opinion. Such is the case, also, when 



the experience of any other of the great officers of state is re- 
quired ; but they seldom attend at other times. 

The apartments which are occupied by this Board, are in the 
northern part of the old building called the Treasury, in Whitehall. 
The room where they hold their sittings, and of which the plate 
gives a distinct representation, was formerly occupied as a bed- 
chamber by the ambitious and unfortunate Duke of Monmouth, 
and is part of the original palace which escaped the fire. 

The Board of Council for Trade and Colonial Plantations, 
consists of the following officers of state and privy counsellors : 

President, Earl Bathurst. 
Deputy-President, the Right Hon. George Rose. 

The Lord Chancellor. 
The Archbishop of Canterbury. 
The First Lord of the Treasury. 
The First Lord of the Admiralty. 
The Principal Secretaries of State. 
The Chancellor of the Exchequer. 
The Speaker of the House of Commons. 
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lan- 

The Paymaster of the Forces. 
The Treasurer of the Navy. 

The Master of the Mint. 

The Master of the Rolls. 

The Bishop of London. 

Such Officers of State in Ireland as are 

Privy Counsellors in England. 
Lord Glastonbury. 
Lord Whitworth. 
Earl of Clancarty. 
Lord Redesdale. 

The Right Hon. Sir William Wynne. 
Sir William Scott. 

Sir Stephen Cotterel. 

Law Clerk, John Reeves, Esq. 

John Porter, 
William Lock, 

John Sowerby, 
John Barton, 


William Faulkener, Esq. 

Chief Clerk, George Chalmers, Esq. 


Richard Penny, Robert Francis Suft, and 
John Sowerby, jun. Charles Noyes, Esquires. 



THE society of the Trinity-House was founded in the year 
1515, a period when the English navy had assumed a 
regular and systematic character, by Sir Thomas Spert, 
Knight, commander of the great ship Henry Grace de Dieu, and 
comptroller of the navy to Henry VIII. for the regulation of 
seamen, and the convenience of ships and mariners on our coast. 
They were afterwards incorporated by that monarch, who con- 
firmed to them, not only the ancient rights and privileges of the 
Company of Mariners of England, but their several possessions 
at Deptford ; which, together with the grants of Queen Elizabeth 
and King Charles II. were also confirmed by letters patent of the 
first James II. in the year 1685, by the name of The Master, 
Wardens, and Assistants of the Guild or Fraternity of the most 
glorious and undivided Trinity, and of Saint Clement, in the 
Parish of Deptford Strond, in the County of Kent. 

This corporation is governed by a master, four wardens, eight 
assistants, and eighteen elder brethren ; but the inferior members 
of the fraternity, named younger brethren, are unlimited as to 
their number ; for every master or mate, expert in navigation, may 
be admitted as such ; and they serve as a continual nursery to 
supply the vacancies among the elder brethren, when removed by 
death or otherwise. 


The master, wardens, assistants, and elder brethren, are in- 
vested, by charter, with the following powers. 

The examination of the mathematical scholars of Christ Hospital, 
and the masters of his Majesty's ships of war. They appoint pilots 
to conduct ships in and out of the river Thames ; and have the 
power to amerce all such as shall presume to act as master or pilot 
of a ship of war without their permission. They settle the several 
rates of pilotage, and of erecting lighthouses, and other sea-marks, 
on the several coasts of the kingdom, for the security of naviga- 
tion. They can grant licences to poor seamen, not free of the 
city, to row on the river Thames for their support, in the intervals 
of sea service, or when rendered unfit to go to sea. They prevent 
foreigners from serving on board English ships, and can amerce 
them in a fine of five pounds for each offence. They have the 
power to punish seamen in the merchants' service for mutiny or 
desertion. They hear and determine the complaints of officers 
and seamen in the merchants' service, but subject to an appeal to 
the judge of the court of Admiralty. They have the sole manage- 
ment of clearing away the obstructions of the river Thames ; for 
which purpose they employ near three hundred men, with a pro- 
portionate number of lighters, in raising shingle ballast from the 
shoals and obstructed parts of the bed of the river, which is sold 
for the purpose of ballasting shipping. They are the proprietors, 
and have the charge and management, of all the lighthouses, 
floating lights, buoys, and beacons, and their appendages, on the 
coast of the Channel, from Berwick-upon-Tweed to their last 
erected lighthouse on the Stack Rock, near Holyhead, for the 
safety of navigation ; which extensive apparatus is maintained at 
a great expence, and paid by a Light duty. 


Their opinion is referred to in all maritime disputes ; and in 
trials at law which relate to shipping, two of the wardens are 
generally required to attend the judge on the bench, to instruct 
him in such matters as may be necessary for elucidating the 
circumstances connected with the matter in issue before him. 
They afford also the same assistance to the judge of the High 
Court of Admiralty, in prize causes which are brought for deter- 
mination in that tribunal. 

Such are the comprehensive powers possessed by this most 
useful, honourable, and ancient corporation. They have also 
another privilege, productive of very extensive benefits ; and that 
is, to purchase lands, and receive charitable donations : by which 
means they are enabled to relieve annually some thousands of 
poor seamen, their widows and orphans. 

There are two hospitals at Deptford and one at Mile-end, which 
belong to the Trinity- House. They form very comfortable habita- 
tions, where the reduced or worn-out captains in the merchants' 
service may be safe moored for life, with a liberal provision 
attached to them. 

They have also an out-door charity for superannuated and 
disabled seamen in the merchants' service, which is paid the first 
Monday in every other month, according to the following 
regulation : 

Younger brethren, captains, and pilots, six shillings per month. 

Mates, four shillings and sixpence. 

Boatswains, gunners, and carpenters, four shillings. 

Petty officers, three shillings and sixpence. 

Seamen, three shillings. 

The Mother- House, as it is called, is at Deptford, and by that 


the corporation is designated ; but the house where they transacted 
business was in Water-lane, near the customhouse. Maitland 
mentions, that among the curiosities preserved in the hall of that 
building, was a flag taken from the Spaniards by Sir Francis 
Drake ; and, among other portraits, that of Sir John Leake, 
the greatest naval commander of his day, and engaged in the most 
important actions during the reigns of King William and Queen 
Anne. This house was by no means adequate to the character 
and consequence of the corporation to whose use it was appro- 
priated ; a new building has accordingly been erected on the upper 
part of Great Tower-hill, for their service. The first stone was 
laid on the I2th day of September, 1793, by the Right Hon. 
William Pitt, then master, attended by the architect, Samuel 
Wyatt, Esq. 

The new Trinity- House is a very handsome edifice, fronted 
with stone. It is enriched with columns and pilasters of the 
Ionic order, and its appropriate decorations : to these are added 
various suitable ornaments and devices, the whole forming an 
elegant and attractive elevation. The court-room is a noble 
apartment ; and contains portraits of their present Majesties, 
James II. the Earls of Sandwich and Howe, and Mr. Pitt. 
The upper end is filled by a large picture, containing the 
portraits of the elder brethren, the gift of the merchant brethren 
in 1794- This fine room is represented with all possible 
accuracy in the plate which accompanies this account of it. 
The large space before the house is converted into a very 
pleasing square and garden, which afford an agreeable promenade 
to the neighbourhood. 



Master, vacant by the death of the Duke of Portland. 
Deputy, Captain Joseph Cotton. 


Duke of Marlborough, K.G. 
Captain John Travers. 
Captain George Burton. 
Captain Anthony Calvert. 
Captain Thomas Brown. 
Captain Sir Robert Preston, Bart. 
Lord Barham. 
Captain Francis Easterby. 
Captain Giff. Lawson Reed. 
Captain Henry Hinde Pelly. 
Captain Thomas King. 
Captain James Strachan. 
Captain Joseph Huddart, F.R.S. 
Earl of Chatham, K.G. 
Lord Grenville. 


Viscount Melville. 

Viscount Hood. 

Earl Spencer, K.G. 

Captain Abel Chapman. 

Captain John Sealy. 

Captain Sir A. Snape Hammond, Bart. 

Captain Sir W. Fraser, Bart. F.R.S. 

Captain George Curtis. 

Captain John Woolmore. 

Earl of Camden, K.G. 

Captain Richard Lewin. 

Earl of St. Vincent, K.B. 

Captain Jonathan Wilson. 

Captain William Raven. 

James Court, Esq. 


THE precise time when this place was first opened as a 
scene of public amusement, has baffled the enquiries of 
those who have made it a subject of investigation. The 
earliest account which we have seen of Vauxhall, is in an old book, 
entitled The Humours of London, and published, to the best of 
our recollection, about the year 1690. This work abounds with 
low and obscene, but, at the same time, with comical and 


humorous ribaldry. The place which we suppose to be Vauxhall, 
from the circumstances of the relation, for no name is annexed to 
it, is mentioned principally to introduce the scene of a jovial party 
there, of which I remember little more than that it cannot, with 
decency, be repeated. It is described, however, as possessing a 
rural character, and shaded with lofty trees. Malt liquor and 
ordinary eatables, with pipes and tobacco, seemed to be the regale 
of the place ; while the seats consisted of the bodies of old 
coaches, some of which were entire, and others deprived of their 
roofs and pannels, to suit the fancy of the company, or the varying 
state of the weather. The Spectator also furnishes some informa- 
tion respecting this place, in number 383 of its admirable papers, 
which bears the date of May 20, 1712. It describes the writer's 
visit to Vauxhall, in company with his friend, Sir Roger de 
Coverley. It may be proper to observe here, that, as there was 
no bridge at Westminster, Vauxhall was not attainable to the in- 
habitants of the western end of the metropolis but by water. 
Those who preferred going thither in carriages, had no alternative 
but London-bridge and Lambeth-ferry. After a pleasant and 
humorous account of their passage from the Temple-stairs to 
Vauxhall, the Spectator adds, "We were now arrived at Spring- 
garden, which is exquisitely pleasant at this time of the year. 
When I considered the fragrancy of the walks and bowers, with 
the choirs of birds which sung upon the trees, and the loose tribe 
of people that walked under their shades, I could not but look 
upon the place as a kind of terrestrial paradise." In another part 
he informs the reader, that they concluded their walk with a glass 
of Burton ale and a slice of hung beef. The traditionary account 
is, that the great number of nightingales and other singing birds 


which frequented this shady spot, was the original cause of attrac- 
tion to the inhabitants of the metropolis ; and when the improve- 
ments which were afterwards made in it, had driven the nocturnal 
warblers to more sequestered groves, Mr. Tyers is well known to 
have hired persons to sit among the thick branches of the trees, 
who possessed the means of imitating the song of those birds : 
and we have heard it asserted, on very good authority, that some 
seasons actually passed away before the agreeable deception was 

About the year 1730, Mr. Jonathan Tyers, the ancestor of the 
present proprietor, Mr. Barret, purchased this place, and opened 
it with an entertainment which he called a Ridotto al Fresco, which 
attracted a very numerous company. Some of the tickets of 
admission to this entertainment are in the possession of collectors, 
and represent a view of the grand walk in the gardens at that 
time. The orchestra was then an ordinary building, just sufficient 
to elevate the performers above the audience. The present 
singular, but very handsome structure, was first exhibited to the 
public on the 2d of June, 1735. It was built by an ingenious 
mechanic, named Maidman, a common carpenter employed in the 
gardens, from a design of his own. The composition with which 
it is ornamented, was also his own discovery. This elegant 
orchestra is calculated to contain fifty performers, with an organ, 
&c. It is illuminated with about four thousand lamps, and presents 
an object of unparalleled brilliance. In this appearance it is repre- 
sented in the plate. The same ingenious artisan erected the 
rotunda, which is seventy feet in diameter, and represents a 
magnificent pavilion. Within it is placed another orchestra, where 
the musical part of the entertainment is performed in unfavourable 



weather. Opposite to the orchestra is a splendid saloon, enriched 
with scaliogla columns, and adorned with two whole-length 
portraits of their Majesties, and four large pictures, by Hayman, 
representing public events, redounding to the honour of the 
British nation, during the early part of the present reign, and 
while the immortal Chatham held the reins of government. The 
allegorical picture, in honour of the naval character of Great 
Britain, is one of the best productions of Hayman's pencil. The 
subject is poetically conceived, the whole well composed, and the 
engagement, in the back ground, intended to represent the then 
recent and last victory obtained by Sir Edward, afterwards Lord 
Hawke, over the French, is happily introduced, and painted with 
great spirit. Adjoining the rotunda is a supper-room, one hundred 
feet long and forty feet wide, with a double row of columns, that 
form the center of it. On the wall are represented paintings of 
rural scenery, which answer to the intercolumniations. At the end 
of this room was the statue of the immortal Handel, in white 
marble, and in the character of Orpheus singing to his lyre ; but 
is now removed behind the orchestra in the garden. This fine 
specimen of sculpture first introduced the abilities of Roubiliac to 
the notice of the public. It was begun and completed in the place 
of which it is the ornament, while the noble subject and the 
superior artist were enjoying the friendly and protecting hospitality 
of Mr. Jonathan Tyers. It is said to bear a strong resemblance 
to the great musician. 

The grove, principal entrance, and other parts of the gardens, 
are furnished with a great number of small pavilions, ornamented 
with paintings, chiefly by Hogarth and Hayman ; each containing 
a table and seats, to which the company retire, at the conclusion 


of the concert, to enjoy the refreshments prepared for them. 
Some of these pavilions are very elegant. That which is opposite 
the orchestra, and is called the Prince's pavilion, having been 
erected for the accommodation of Frederic, Prince of Wales, his 
present Majesty's father, is a very beautiful example of Palladian 
architecture. During the remainder of the evening, bands of 
wind-instruments, of different kinds, are placed in different parts 
of the gardens, which contribute to enliven the scene and invite 
the dance. 

These gardens are opened for the season about the latter end 
of May, and continue their amusements for about three months. 
Company is admitted three nights in the week, Mondays, 
Wednesdays, and Fridays. The price of admission is three 
shillings and sixpence. 

The concert commences about eight o'clock. The band is 
respectable and well selected ; many of the performers, both vocal 
and instrumental, being of the first professional reputation. The 
music also is chosen with great taste and judgment, and in 
various, well-contrasted styles of composition. 

At the end of the first act of the grand concert, which is usually 
about ten o'clock, a bell is rung by way of signal for the exhibition 
of a beautifully illuminated scene, called the cascade. A dark 
curtain is then drawn up, which discloses a very natural view of a 
bridge, a water-mill, and a cascade : a noise similar to the roaring 
of water, is also well imitated ; while coaches, waggons, soldiers, 
and other figures, are exhibited crossing the bridge with the 
greatest regularity. This agreeable piece of scenery continues 
about ten minutes. 

When the grand concert is concluded, there is a brilliant 


display of fire-works, which is exhibited at the end of one of the 
grand walks. 

Vauxhall is a very fascinating place of amusement ; but its 
principal feature is the illumination. Thirty-seven thousand 
lamps, of various colours, sometimes lighted in these gardens, in 
the most tasteful forms and brilliant devices, with their associated 
transparencies, produce a splendour of decoration, unrivalled in 
any place of amusement in Europe. It is a curious circumstance, 
and proves the extraordinary change in our manners and habits, 
that, in a description of these gardens in 1760, the illumination at 
that time, proceeding only from fifteen hundred comparatively 
dim lamps, of the same kind, but of a smaller size, as those which 
now light our streets, is mentioned in as glowing terms as would 
suit the present extraordinary and accumulated brilliance of the 
gardens. Sixteen thousand persons have been admitted into 
them in the course of one evening. 

Tradition has ascribed the name of this place to Guy Faux, 
who lived in a large mansion, called Faux Hall ; and as Dr. 
Ducarel, who wrote the history of Lambeth, imagines, was lord 
of the manor of the same name. The site is now occupied by 
Cumberland-gardens and the adjoining buildings. The opinion, 
however, seems to have arisen merely from the coincidence of 
names, as this manor is mentioned, in a record of the twentieth 
year of Edward I. under the denomination of Fawkes Hall. 
When the manor-house was pulled down, the name appears to 
have been transferred to one which stood nearly opposite ; for, in 
the survey taken by order of Parliament after the death of 
Charles I. the latter is called Vauxhall. 



THIS exquisite piece of architecture stands at a small 
distance from the south end of the Mansion- House, and 
on the east side of the street from which it receives its 
distinctive name. It appears, from ancient records, that a church, 
dedicated to the first Christian martyr, was situated near this 
spot, prior to the year 1135, when it was given to the monastery 
of St. John, in Colchester, by Eudo, sewer to Henry I. How long 
the patronage was possessed by this fraternity, and for what con- 
sideration they relinquished it, there is no satisfactory account. It 
appears, however, in 1428, to have belonged to John, Duke of 
Bedford ; in which year Robert Chicheley, mayor, gave a plot of 
ground on the east side of the water-course, which then flowed 
through that part of the city, being two hundred and eight feet 
and an half in length, and sixty-six in breadth, to the parish of 
St. Stephen, to build a new church thereon, as well as a church- 
yard for the burial of the dead. In the following year, that chief 
magistrate laid the first stone of the building for himself, and the 
second for William Stondon, a former mayor, deceased, who left 
money for the purchase of the ground, and to defray the expences 
of the building ; Robert Chicheley supplying the deficiency by his 
own pious generosity. 

Robert Whittington, a draper of London, and afterwards 


honoured with the order of the Bath, purchased the advowson of 
this rectory from the Duke of Bedford, in the year 1432. From 
him it passed into a family of the name of Lee ; two of whom, 
who are both named Richard, and consequently supposed to be 
father and son, the former being a knight and the latter an 
esquire, served the office of mayor in the years 1460 and 1469. 
The latter of these respectable citizens presented to this Church 
in the year 1474, and afterwards gave it to the company of 
grocers, in whom the patronage still remains. 

The old Church being destroyed by the fire of London, the 
present structure was erected by Sir Christopher Wren ; and has 
been considered as among the first works of that illustrious archi- 
tect, in point of taste, harmony, proportion, elegance, and beauty. 

It is built of stone, but its exterior form is enveloped by the 
surrounding houses, except the steeple, which rises above them. 
It is square to a considerable height, and is then surrounded by a 
balustrade, within which rises a very light and elegant tower, in 
two stages ; the first adorned with Corinthian, and the second 
with Composite columns : the termination is a dome, with a vane 
springing from it. 

It is rather a small Church, being only seventy-five feet in 
length, and thirty-six feet broad, thirty-four feet in height to the 
roof, and fifty-eight to the lantern ; but its interior is unrivalled 
for elegance and graceful variety. Over the center rises a dome, 
which is divided into small compartments, tastefully enriched. 
The roof, which is also divided by similar decorations, is supported 
by Corinthian columns, raised on their pedestals, and so disposed 
as to possess an appearance of grandeur, which the confined 
dimensions of the structure do not promise. On the sides, under 

in. P 


the lower roof, are circular windows ; but those which enlighten 
the upper roof are small arched ones. The general effect of this 
building is pleasing beyond expression; which, as a very judicious 
writer observes, is known and admired on the Continent as a 
masterpiece of art. The plate alone, to which the reader may 
turn, will justify the opinion. The baptismal font is of white 
marble, and curiously sculptured. 

Above the altar, at the east end, is a large painting of the 
martyrdom of St. Stephen. This picture was presented to the 
Church by its rector, the Rev. Dr. Wilson, and put up in the 
month of September, 1776. An handsome organ was also placed 
at the west end, by the bounty of the same dignified person. 
And here we wish that his zeal for the decoration of his Church 
had paused for ever : but he afterwards added the statue of 
Mrs. Macaulay, the historian ; not as a sepulchral monument, to 
commemorate the dead, for to that no reasonable objection could 
have been made, but as a compliment to the living virtues which 
he believed her to possess ; for long before that lady quitted life, 
a marble representation of her found a conspicuous position in 
this Church. Dr. Wilson's doting attachment to this well-known 
character, was a subject of much curiosity and ridicule, and we 
believe of some pity, at the time, and formed an item in the 
bustling politics of that period. The reverend dignitary was a 
zealous, and as he possessed a considerable private fortune, as 
well as large church preferment, a very useful, partizan of Mr. 
John Wilkes, at the time when that gentleman had raised himself 
into importance, from the indecisive temper of the administration 
which he opposed. The political divine was also a most devoted 
admirer of Mrs. Macaulay 's literary talents and virtues : but as 


her writings were composed to defend republicanism, and conse- 
quently to decry kingly government, and as her private principles 
savoured rather of a latitudinarian philosophy, the impropriety of 
placing her statue in a church of the establishment, was, among 
other sufficient objections, strongly urged by many of Dr. 
Wilson's personal friends : but his enthusiasm prevailed, and the 
statue was placed, as an object of his political devotion, in the 
sanctuary of religion. Nor was this all : for it will be scarcely 
believed, but the fact was, that the figure was made to lean on a 
pedestal, which was decorated with the volumes of authors, some 
of whom had written expressly against the government of kings 
and established hierarchies, and whose philosophy, if it did not 
openly oppose, did not avowedly support the Christian religion. 
The Bishop of London, we believe, interfered, on the remon- 
strances of some of the parishioners ; which shortly occasioned 
the statue to be boarded up into concealment, and was afterwards 
removed from a place into which it ought never to have been 
received. The doctor, however, lived long enough to repent of 
his infatuated friendship and misplaced bounty to the extra- 
ordinary, but artful woman, who, for several years, had contrived 
to make him the dupe of her plausible character and consummate 

We shall not conclude this chapter without mentioning a cir- 
cumstance connected with this Church, which we consider of 
indubitable authority. 

The Earl of Burlington is well known to have possessed a 
scientific taste in architecture ; and he will continue to receive 
the celebrity due to his genius while the buildings which he 
erected, or their surviving representations, shall exist to testify 


it. But, extraordinary as it may appear, he certainly left Eng- 
land to complete his education by foreign travel, without having 
seen the Church of St. Stephen Walbrook, and consequently 
without having heard of it. On his lordship's arrival at Rome, 
he happened to take possession of an apartment which was deco- 
rated with prints, representing, in general, the edifices of that 
city. On examining them, he distinguished the inside of a 
church, which struck him as possessing such a beautiful display 
of his darling science, that, supposing it to be a proud ornament 
of Rome, he determined to make it the object of his earliest visit. 
Accordingly, on the following morning, when his cicerone arrived, 
he pointed to the print, and desired to be immediately conducted 
to the original. The cicerone stared with astonishment ; nor did 
Lord Burlington feel an inferior emotion of surprise, as well as 
mortification, when he was informed, that it was a church in the 
city of London, the work of Sir Christopher Wren, the architect 
of St. Paul's cathedral. He, at a subsequent period, however, 
made the most ample amends for his former negligence ; for, the 
instant he arrived in London from abroad, he ordered his people 
to take him, without stopping at any other place, to the Church of 
St. Stephen Walbrook, though it was late in the evening, when 
he viewed it by torchlight with the most enthusiastic pleasure ; 
exulting, at the same time, that he beheld a structure which 
rivalled the finest architectural works of the countries he had 
visited, in the metropolis of his own, and that it had been de- 
signed and completed by a native of it. 


THE security of person and property must ever be among 
the first cares of civil society, which cannot exist without 
it. We shall not be surprised, therefore, when we trace 
such a principle to the mind of Alfred, who established a power, 
by law, for the protection of individuals from violence and rob- 
bery. The institutions of that wise prince, for this desirable 
purpose, were found, from experience, to be of so great utility, 
that they continued till the time of Edward I. who finding them 
unequal to the increased population, wealth, and advanced state 
of the country, gave them new force and vigour, by " the grand 
and orderly method of watch and ward," for preserving the peace 
and preventing robberies, as established by the statute of Win- 
chester, in the thirteenth year of his reign. Ward is there under- 
stood to apply to the day ; while watch is applicable to the night, 
and is stated to begin at sunsetting and end at sunrising, in order 
to apprehend all rogues, vagabonds, and night-walkers. A great 
improvement in the watch of London had taken place in the pre- 
ceding reign, when, in consequence of the contentions between 
Henry the Third and his barons, in which the city took a decided 
part, the magistrates were induced, in the year 1263, to appoint a 
more sufficient guard, under the name of the city watch, which 
was appointed in every ward, to prevent night robberies, house- 
breaking, and other breaches of the peace. It was formed, with 
great ceremony and parade, twice in the year ; on the eve of 
St. John the Baptist, and on that of St. Peter and St. Paul ; and 


formed one of the most splendid shows of that period. Some of 
our historians relate, that Henry VIII. in the year 1510, went in 
disguise to see this nocturnal parade ; and, from some accidental 
circumstance, was taken into custody ; when, refusing to give an 
account of himself, he was confined in the watch-house through 
the night : but, so far was the king from shewing any resentment, 
that he rewarded the officers for their diligence, and returned, on 
St. Peter's eve, with his royal consort, and attended by the prin- 
cipal nobility, when he stood in Cheapside, and saw the stately 
march ; which was usually conducted in the following manner. 

The city music led the way, followed by the lord mayor's 
officers in parti-coloured liveries. The sword-bearer, on horse- 
back and clad in beautiful armour, preceded the lord mayor, 
mounted on a stately horse, richly decorated, attended by a 
giant and two pages on horseback, three pageants, morrice- 
dancers, and footmen. Next followed the sheriffs, with their 
officers in proper liveries, and attended by their giants, pages, 
&c. Then came a considerable body of demi-lancers, in bright 
armour, on horses finely caparisoned : these were followed by a 
great number of carabiniers, in fustian coats, with the city arms 
on their backs and breasts : then marched a division of archers, 
with their bows bent, and by their side shafts of arrows : after 
these a great number of halberdiers, preceded by a party of pike- 
men, with corslets and helmets : the rear was brought up by a 
body of billmen, with aprons and helmets of mail. The whole 
consisted of about two thousand men, in different divisions, each 
of which was attended by musicians, drums, standards, and 
ensigns. The march began at the conduit which stood opposite 
the end of Wood-street, in Cheapside, and passed along the 


latter, the Poultry, Cornhill, and Leadenhall-street, to Aldgate ; 
from whence it returned through Fenchurch-street, Gracechurch- 
street, and Cornhill, to the conduit where it set out. The pro- 
cession was illuminated by nine hundred and forty-nine large 
lanterns, fixed at the ends of poles, and carried on men's 
shoulders. A great number of lamps were also placed on the 
fronts of the houses, which were decorated with garlands and 
evergreens. This solemnity, however, having been suspended, in 
consequence of the sweating-sickness as it was called, in the year 
1528, was afterwards prohibited by the king, on account of its 
great expence, and discontinued till the second year of Edward 
VI. ; when it was revived by the magnificent spirit of Sir John 
Gresham, then lord mayor. The procession on this occasion 
received an additional figure from three hundred light horsemen, 
who had been raised by the citizens for the service of the king. 
It sunk, nevertheless, into disuse, from the plague and other 
circumstances; but was partially renewed in the year 1563, on 
the petition of the armourers' company, whose interests were 
connected with such exhibitions. In this reduced, but still ex- 
pensive state, it continued for a very few years ; when, for the 
relief of the city, which at this time swarmed with vagrants, 
sturdy beggars, and maimed soldiers, the court of common 
council ordered the beadles of the different hospitals to take all 
vagabonds and mendicants to Bridewell ; the sick, lame, blind, 
and aged, to St. Bartholomew's and St. Thomas's hospitals ; and 
all vagabond children under sixteen, to Christ's hospital. In 
order to give effect to this necessary regulation, the two city 
marshals were first appointed, with horses and attendants properly 
accoutred ; and to alleviate this extraordinary expence, it was 
thought advisable to abolish the pomp and parade of the city 


watch : when, in the place of it, a nightly watch was appointed, 
nearly similar to that which exists in our own day. 

Of the nature of this watch, and of its similarity to our present 
establishments of the same nature, we have an admirable example 
in the third scene of the third act, and the second scene of the fourth 
act, of Shakspeare's fine comedy of Much Ado about Nothing ; 
which was written within forty years after this period, and of the 
strict resemblance to nature, little doubt, we believe, will be enter- 
tained by any one. Such a display of official authority, of official 
ignorance, and official indolence, may now, we fear, be occasionally 
represented in the watch-house of any parish in the metropolis. 
The race of the Dogberrys and the Vergesesjwz. believe, is not yet 

Foote, in one of his pieces, named The Orators, made the 
guard of the night an object of his ridicule. The scene is that 
of a debating society, in which he continually varied his subjects 
for the public amusement. The question to which I allude, 
related to the best mode of preventing watchmen from sleeping 
in their boxes at night. When the arch comedian, in a speech in 
which he mimicked the eloquence, and, as it was said, adopted 
the serious opinion, of a certain alderman of that time, proposed 
a law to compel all watchmen, under a very severe penalty, to 
sleep a certain number of hours in the day, that the public might 
be sure of their being awake during the same number of hours 
in the night. To heighten the ridicule of the proposition, a gouty 
magistrate was also represented as having desired to be included 
in the compulsory clause of this sleeping act, as he frequently, for 
many successive days and nights, was not able to close his eyes. 

The watch is a parochial establishment, supported by a paro- 
chial rate, and subject to the jurisdiction of the magistrates : it is 



necessary to the peace and security of the metropolis, and is of 
considerable utility ; but that it might be rendered much more 
useful, cannot be denied. That the watch should consist of able- 
bodied men, is, we presume, essential to the complete design 
of its institution, as it forms a part of its legal description : but 
that the watchmen are persons of this character, experience will 
not vouch ; and why they are so frequently chosen from among 
the aged and the incapable, must be answered by those who make 
the choice. In the early part of the last century, an halbert was 
their weapon ; it was then changed into a long staff : but the 
great-coat and the lantern are now accompanied with more ad- 
vantageous implements of duty ; a bludgeon and a rattle. It is 
almost superfluous to add, that the Watch-house is a place where 
the appointed watchmen assemble to be accoutred for their noc- 
turnal rounds ; under the direction of a constable, whose duty 
being taken by 'rotation, enjoys the title of constable of the night. 
It is also the receptacle for such unfortunate persons as are appre- 
hended by the watch, and where they remain in custody till they 
can be conducted to the tribunal of a police-office, for the neces- 
sary examination of the magistrate. The engraving offers a very 
characteristic picture of the place which suggested the preceding 


SUCH is the immense opulence of the commercial class of 
British subjects ; such are the treasures of the Royal 
Exchange of London, that any plan for the accommoda- 
tion or extension of trade, will want no aid that money can give. 


Such is the enterprising spirit, the commercial knowledge, and 
liberal conduct of British merchants, that their ships are welcome 
visitants to every part of the globe where winds can waft and 
waves can bear them. The circumstances of the world are such, 
that this country has naturally attracted the commerce of it, in a 
great measure, to itself. The Thames may be said to have 
groaned beneath the accumulated burthen of the ships which 
entered it ; so that it has been found essential to its navigation, 
that new inlets of accommodation should be provided for it. 
Among these, and indeed the principal feature of them, are the 
Docks erected on the Isle of Dogs, which are appropriated solely 
to the use of the West India trade ; and are represented in the 
plate which accompanies this page. 

At the close of the last century, in consequence of the vast 
increase of shipping in the river Thames, so great and injurious 
delays were occasioned in the discharge of cargoes, from the want 
of adequate accommodation, both in unloading and storing the 
respective merchandise, as well as securing it from spoil and 
plunder, that it became a matter of the most serious consideration 
to the great body of merchants, to provide a remedy for the 
increasing evil. Nor was it long in contemplation, before the 
plan for the London Docks was projected, which is now become a 
concern of great magnitude. In the course of its formation, 
however, another undertaking, of still greater consequence, arose, 
which is the interesting subject of our consideration. 

That valuable man, the late Mr. Robert Milligan, and Mr. 
George Hibbert, a most respectable and eminent West India 
merchant, not coinciding altogether with the projectors of the 
London Docks, were the original movers of the plan which ended 


in the establishment of the West India Dock Company. The 
first meetings were held at the Merchants Seamen-office in the 
Royal Exchange, when the sum of half a million was subscribed, 
in a very short time, by the West India merchants ; and on 
July the 1 2th, 1799, an act of Parliament was passed, to in- 
corporate this company, nearly twelve months previous to the 
legislative establishment of the London Docks, though the latter 
were the first projected, in consequence of the superior importance 
of the property of the West India planters. 

These Docks consist of two parts. The northern one, which is 
appointed to receive loaded vessels inwards, is two thousand six 
hundred feet in length, and five hundred and ten feet in breadth, 
covering a surface of thirty acres, and is sufficiently capacious to 
hold from two to three hundred such ships as are used in the 
West India trade. The southern division, which is appropriated 
to the loading of vessels outward, is also two thousand six hundred 
feet long, and one hundred feet broad, covering a space of twenty- 
four acres. The openings into these Docks are at Limehouse and 
Blackwall ; and there is a range of spacious warehouses around 
them, for storing the West India produce, each of which is capable 
of containing eighty thousand hogsheads of sugar. All the West 
India ships must load and unload here, under a penalty of one 
hundred pounds. The expence of entering the Docks is settled 
at a certain rate, and amply repays the proprietors of the cargoes 
by the security it obtains. 

The Customhouse, also, has been greatly relieved by this 
establishment, as the collectors attend there, and have their 
regular offices. The loading and unloading is accomplished with 
the greatest ease and expedition. The cranes are of iron, and 


constructed on a new principle : they occupy a very small space ; 
and a single man, by the aid of one of them, moves one ton 
weight in or out of a ship, without any difficulty. This stupen- 
dous apparatus of commerce does not excite more astonishment 
from the ready and effectual application to .its uses, than it does 
approbation from the regularity with which it is governed, and 
the great benefits resulting from it. 

The company is under the direction of a chairman, deputy 
chairman, and nineteen directors ; eight of whom, being four 
aldermen and four common-council-men, are appointed by the 
city; the other thirteen are chosen by the company. The 
qualification for a director is the actual possession, in his own 
right, of two thousand pounds stock. Five directors go out 
annually in rotation. 

The company is invested with the usual power of corporations ; 
but with this exception, that their bye-laws are to be approved by 
the lord chancellor, the two chief justices, and the chief baron of 
the Exchequer, or one of them, before they can be carried into 

The natural expectation which must spring from contemplating 
an undertaking thus established and thus conducted, is, that it 
must prosper ; and it has prospered. The original capital of five 
hundred thousand pounds, has been increased to one million two 
hundred thousand pounds, and gives ten per cent, to the first 
proprietors. The shares of an hundred pounds each at the 
commencement of this admirable design, now sell in the public 
market at one hundred and eighty-three pounds. 

The first stone of this magnificent, national undertaking, sacred 
to the commerce of our country, was laid July 12, 1800, as will 


appear by the following inscription, written on two rolls of vellum, 
the one in English and the other in Latin. They were inclosed 
in two square flint-glass bottles, with all the current English coins, 
and deposited in the first stone. 

Of this range of BUILDINGS, 

constructed, together with the adjacent DOCKS, 

at the expence of public-spirited individuals, 

under the sanction of a provident legislature, 

and with the liberal co-operation of the corporate body of the city of London, 

for the distinct purposes 
of complete SECURITY and ample ACCOMMODATION 

(hitherto not afforded) 
to the SHIPPING and PRODUCE of the WEST INDIES at this wealthy PORT, 

the FIRST STONE was laid 
on Saturday, the twelfth day of July, A.D. 1800, 

by the concurring hands of 

the Right Honourable Lord LOUGHBOROUGH, 

Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain ; 

the Right Honourable WILLIAM PITT, 

First Lord Commissioner of his Majesty's Treasury, and Chancellor of his Majesty's 

Exchequer ; 
GEORGE HIBBERT, Esq. the chairman, 

ROBERT MILLIGAN, Esq. the deputy chairman, 


the two former conspicuous in the band of 

those illustrious statesmen 

who in either House of Parliament have been zealous to promote, 
the two latter distinguished among those chosen to direct, 


which, under the favour of God, shall contribute 




Over the bottles was placed a copper-plate, on which were 
engraved the names of the FIRST DIRECTORS of the WEST INDIA 

George Hibbert, Esq. chairman. 
Robert Milligan, Esq. deputy chairman. 

Sir John William Anderson, Bart. William Lushington, Esq. 
Robert Bulcock, Esq. David Lyon, Esq. 

Sir John Earner, Knight. Nevil Malcolm, Esq. 

William Chrisholme, Esq. Thomas Plummer, Esq. 

William Curtis, Esq. Thomas Simmonds, Esq. 

Henry Davidson, Esq. Joseph Timperon, Esq. 

John Deffel, Esq. John Wedderburn, Esq. 

Thomas Gowland, Esq. Joseph Welch, Esq. 

James Johnston, Esq. Henry Wildman, Esq. 

Edward Kemble, Esq. 

Mr. George Gwilt, the architect. 
Messrs. Walker and Rennie, the engineers. 



UR historians differ as to the period of the first building 
of this church : by some of them it is said, that, in the 
year 610, Sebert, King of the East Saxons, built a 
church or monastery in the Island of Thorney, situated to the 
west of London, which, at the desire of Mellitus, the bishop of 
the see, was dedicated to St. Peter. Stow is of opinion, that it 
was not erected till the year 614, and that the bishop himself was 
its founder, with the assistance of King Ethelbert. It was soon 
after destroyed by the Danes, and restored by King Edgar, in the 
year 958. It was afterwards rebuilt by Edward the Confessor, as 
a commutation with the pope for absolving him from a vow he 
had made to visit the holy sepulchre at Jerusalem. It was begun 
in 1049, an d finished in 1066. This pious king not only re-edified 
it in a style of great magnificence, but enriched it with royal 
endowments, and the monks, who were of the Benedictine order, 
with extensive and peculiar privileges. They possessed the 
power to try causes within themselves, were exempt from episcopal 
authority, had their house converted into a sanctuary, and no 
jurisdiction, ecclesiastical or civil, was allowed to intrude upon 
them. The dedication of this church was solemnized with great 
splendour, the king having summoned a general assembly of the 
clergy and nobility to attend him on the occasion : but the 


devotion of this prince outran his discretion ; for he assisted at 
the solemnity though in a state of fever, which being increased by 
the coldness of the season, it being Christmas, he died in the 
following month. By his particular command, his remains were 
interred in the new church. Spelman says, that this sacred 
structure transmitted to posterity the plan, so generally adopted 
in the Christian world, for building places of public worship in the 
form of a cross. 

Henry III. but from what particular motive does not appear, 
pulled down the Saxon pile, and began to rebuild it, in the year 
1245, after the design in which we now contemplate it. He did 
not live to see its completion : it was carried on, however, by his 
successor, and tardily continued by succeeding princes. From 
the portcullis on the roof of the last arches, it appears that Henry 
VII. or VIII. prosecuted the design, as that was the device of 
those monarchs. Indeed, it cannot be said to be yet finished : 
the tower in the center is still wanting ; and those at the west end 
are of so modern a date, as to have been the work of our great 
architect, Sir Christopher Wren. Henry III. who was a lover of 
the arts, decorated with paintings the part of this church which 
was finished by him ; but they have long since been defaced. 
The late Lord Orford, in his Anecdotes of Painting', among the 
precepts of this period, which he has preserved, for decorating the 
church, mentions one, which directs the painting of duos cheru- 
binos, cum hilari vultu et jocoso. This prince also caused the 
shrine to be made in honour of Edward the Confessor, which is 
placed in a chapel that bears his name. This beautiful mosaic 
work was the performance of Peter Cavalini, inventor *of that 
species of ornament. It is supposed that he was brought into 


England by the Abbot Ware, who visited Rome in 1256. 
Weever, in his Funeral Monuments, expressly says, " He brought 
from thence certain workmen, and rich porphyry stones, whereof 
he made that curious, singular, rare pavement before the high 
altar ; and with these stones and workmen, he also framed the 
shrine of Edward the Confessor." Round the chapel are twelve 
others, built by Henry III. Along the screen of it are fourteen 
legendary sculptures respecting the Confessor, which mark the 
rude state of the arts at that period. In this chapel is an altar- 
tomb of Henry himself, supposed also to be the work of Cavalini, 
or one of his pupils. The figure of this prince, who died in the 
year 1272, is of brass, and in a recumbent posture. It is the first 
brazen image known to have been cast in this kingdom. 

About the year 1502, Henry VII. began that beautiful structure 
which bears his name. It was built in consequence of the chapel 
of the Confessor being so crowded with princes, that there was 
not room for any accession of royal remains. The expence of its 
erection amounted to fourteen thousand pounds. By the last will 
and testament of this monarch, it appears that he intended this 
chapel to be the mausoleum of himself and his house, and that no 
one but of the blood royal should be interred in this splendid 
sepulchre. In the body of it is his tomb, the work of Pietro 
Torresiano, a Florentine sculptor, who was paid one thousand 
pounds for the work. 

On the dissolution of the religious houses, this great monastery, 
the second mitred abbey in the kingdom, shared the common fate. 
In 1539, the abbot, William Benson, surrendered it to the king; 
and was, in return, made the first dean, with an association of 
twelve prebendaries. ' He also erected it into a bishopric ; but its 



only bishop was Thomas Thirlby ; and, on his removal to the 
see of Norwich, it was restored by Edward VI. to its last character. 
The Protector Somerset actually indulged the sacrilegious design 
of pulling down the Abbey Church, to furnish the materials for his 
palace, since known by the name of Somerset House ; nor could he 
be diverted from his design by a less bribe than fourteen manors. 

In the year 1557, Queen Mary restored it to its ancient con- 
ventual state ; but Queen Elizabeth again ejected the monks, and, 
in 1560, erected Westminster Abbey into a college, under the 
government of a dean and twelve secular canons or prebendaries. 
She also founded a school for forty scholars, denominated the 
Queen's, as they are now called the King's scholars, to be prepared 
by their education for the university. 

This church underwent no material alterations after the death 
of Henry VII. till the reign of William and Mary, when it became 
the object of parliamentary consideration, and was repaired 
throughout at the expence of the nation. Though it suffered 
within from the rapacity of Henry VIII. and though its exterior 
beauty was greatly defaced, during the civil commotions, by 
republican fanaticism ; yet, by the superior skill of Sir Christopher 
Wren it was repaired and decorated with such taste and judgment, 
as to give it a degree of perfection which it had never before 

In viewing the exterior of this fine structure, it is impossible to 
pass the magnificent portico of the north cross, without stopping to 
admire it. The arms of Richard II. were formerly over the gate, 
carved in stone ; and therefore it is supposed to have been built by 
him. It is Gothic, and very beautiful ; and over it is a very 
elegant window, of modern date. On the south side a very hand- 


some window was set up in 1 705. But the interior of the church 
displays its principal beauties. 

The inside presents, indeed, a superlative example of Gothic 
architecture, and strikes the eye, at the entrance, with a most 
solemn and beautiful perspective. The length of the building 
from east to west, is three hundred and seventy-five feet, 
measuring from the steps which lead to Henry the Seventh's 
chapel. The whole length of the cross from north to south, is 
one hundred and ninety-five feet, and the breadth of the nave and 
side aisles is seventy-two feet. The height from the pavement of 
the nave to the inner roof, is one hundred feet, and from the choir 
pavement to the roof of the lantern, is one hundred and forty feet. 
The nature of this work will not admit of a minute description of 
the interior architecture and decorations of this church, or its 
monumental splendour. A very general account of them both 
is all the reader can expect from us. 

The choir possesses great beauty. It is divided from the 
western part of the great aisle by a pair of noble iron gates, and 
is terminated by a very fine altar of white marble, which formerly 
stood in a chapel at Whitehall. It was removed from the stores 
at Hampton-Court, in the year 1707, by order of Queen Anne, 
who presented it to this church. It is a fine example of Grecian 
architecture, and therefore exhibits a striking impropriety as the 
ornament of a Gothic structure. It is surrounded with a curious 
balustrade ; within which is a pavement of mosaic work, said to be 
the most beautiful of its kind in the world. It was laid in the 
year 1272. It sustained, however, a very lamentable injury from 
a fire, occasioned by the negligence of some plumbers who were 
repairing the roof, on the 9th of July, 1803. Before any effectual 


assistance could be given, the roof of the lantern fell in, and did 
considerable damage to the choir. On the north and south it is 
inclosed with very handsome stalls, suited to the general character 
of the building. The floor is paved with marble ; and the roof, 
which is ornamented with small white tiles, is divided into com- 
partments, bordered with carved work, and enriched with gilding. 
In this choir is performed the ceremony of crowning the 
sovereigns of Great Britain ; and in Edward the Confessor's 
chapel are the chairs which are used on the occasion. 

The monumental decorations of Westminster Abbey are very 
copious ; and though among them may be found examples of the 
finest sculpture, they obscure altogether the beauty of the structure. 
The monuments of our naval and military heroes, of divines and 
statesmen, and others who were distinguished by their talents or 
their name, crowd on each other in successive confusion. The 
south cross is denominated the Poets'-corner, as it contains the 
memorials of those favourites of the Muses who have enriched 
English literature with the fruits of their genius. Here we read 
the names of Chaucer, Spenser, Johnson, Davenant, Drayton, 
Butler, Cowley, Dryden, Prior, Rowe, Gay, Thomson, and 
Goldsmith : here we behold the marble sacred to the divine 
Milton : here also is the monument of the immortal Shakspeare, 
with Garrick buried beneath it ; who, having, by powers 
unequalled, extended the fame of the first dramatic bard, became 
a partaker of it. Here are also sepulchral tablets to the honour of 
Gray, our last great poet ; and his friend Mason, who sung in no 
common strain. The genius of Handel may also claim the place 
which is allotted to that sublime musician. Here, too, repose the 
ashes of Dr. Johnson, whose name will only die with the language 



and learning of his country. A plain stone, with his name inscribed 
on it, marks his grave: it was reserved for the cathedral of 
St. Paul to possess the honour of his monument. 

The north cross forms that part of the Abbey which is repre- 
sented in the plate ; and how beautiful it is, that representation 
will display. It contains several superb monuments, and the 
remains of some highly distinguished men. Here repose the 
renowned Chatham, and William Pitt, his son, who, in talents 
and in eloquence, rivalled his father. Within a short space of the 
latter statesman, is the last abode of his great political opponent, 
Charles Fox. Here their contests ended ; and here, removed 
from the turmoils of state, and insensible to the goadings of 
ambition, they sleep together. 

Henry the Seventh's chapel, whose history we have already 
given, and which Leland denominates the miracle of the world, 
adjoins the east end of the Abbey, and appears, on a superficial 
view, to be a part of the original building. It is supported with- 
out by fourteen Gothic buttresses, all beautifully ornamented, and 
is enlightened by a double range of windows. The entrance to it 
from the Abbey, is by a flight of steps of black marble, beneath a 
grand archway that leads into the body of the chapel. The gates 
at the entrance are of brass frame-work, curiously wrought, and 
decorated alternately with the rose and the portcullis. The roof 
is supported by twelve pillars and arches, adorned with various 
enrichments. At the east end is a stately window of painted glass, 
besides thirteen other windows above, and as many below, on the 
north and south sides. Under each of the upper range are five 
figures of angels, &c. placed in niches ; and under them the same 
number of angels, supporting imperial crowns, resting on fleurs de 


lis, roses, and portcullises. The roof, which is of stone, is 
admirably divided into sixteen large circles, of rare workmanship ; 
and the pavement is of black and white marble. The length of 
this chapel is ninety-nine feet, the breadth sixty-six, and the 
height fifty-four feet. 

The nave of this chapel is used for the ceremony of installing 
the Knights of the Bath. In their stalls, which are ranged on each 
side of the nave, are brass plates of their arms, &c. ; and over 
them hang their banners, swords, and helmets. These circum- 
stances certainly injure the architectural effect of the building, 
though they, at the same time, give it a considerable, and not 
unappropriate air of dignity. 

The original design of this structure for a royal sepulchre, has 
been fulfilled, as the remains of royal personages, or of those 
whose descent may be generally traced to some of our kings, have 
alone been interred in it. 

The tomb of the royal founder and his queen, with their effigies 
in brass, and at full length, has been already mentioned. At the 
head of the tomb lie the remains of Edward VI. The monument 
which was erected by his sister and successor, Mary, was after- 
wards destroyed as a relic of Popish superstition. At the end of 
the north side repose the relics of Edward V. and his brother, 
Richard, Duke of York. Their bones, after remaining two hundred 
and one years among the rubbish of the stairs lately leading to the 
chapel of the White Tower, were discovered, and ordered by 
Charles II. to be interred with the remains of their predecessors. 
At the east end of the same aisle is a vault, in which are deposited 
King James I. and his queen. In this chapel also repose, beneath 
superb monuments, the prosperous Elizabeth, and the unfortunate 


Mary, Queen of Scots. The latter was interred in Peterborough 
cathedral, after her unmerited death on the scaffold ; but, on the 
accession of her son to the throne of England, her remains were 
removed from thence to the sepulchre of her ancestors. At the 
east end of the south aisle is the last abode of Charles II. 
William III. and Mary his consort, and Queen Anne. Under- 
neath the body of the chapel is the vault prepared, on the death of 
Queen Caroline, for the reception of the present royal family. 
Here a large marble sarcophagus contains the coffins of George II. 
and his queen ; the side boards of which were, by the express 
command of the king, constructed in such a manner as to be 
removed, in order that they might moulder together in one 
common heap of dust. 

I shall close the account of this magnificent repository of the 
dead with the beautiful observations which Mr. Addison has 
written on it. " When I look upon the tombs of the great, every 
emotion of envy dies in me : when I read the epitaphs of the 
beautiful, every inordinate desire goes out : when I meet with the 
grief of a parent on a tombstone, my heart melts with compassion : 
when I see the tombs of the parents themselves, I consider the 
vanity of grieving for those whom we must quickly follow : when 
I see kings lying by those who deposed them ; when I consider 
rival wits placed side by side, or the holy men that divided the 
world with their contests and disputes, I reflect with sorrow and 
astonishment on the little competitions, factions, and debates of 
mankind : when I read the several dates of the tombs, of some 
that died yesterday, and some six hundred years ago, I consider 
that great day when we shall be contemporaries, and make our 
appearance together." 


From the south aisle of the Abbey there are two entrances into 
the cloisters : they are entire, and have their walls almost covered 
with monuments. The entrance into the chapter-house, which was 
built in 1250, is on the east side, through a rich and magnificent 
Gothic portal, and by a descent of several steps. Its form is 
octagonal, each side of which had noble and lofty windows, now 
filled up, and lighted by less ones. The immediate entrance into 
this room possesses a grandeur equal to that from the cloisters. 
The original roof is destroyed, but the central pillar remains, sur- 
rounded by eight others, which terminate in capitals of a beautiful 
simplicity. In the year 1377, the Commons of Great Britain first 
held their Parliaments in this place; and here they sat till 1547, 
when Edward VI. granted the chapel of St. Stephen for that pur- 
pose. It is at present filled with public records : among them is the 
original Doomsday-book, which though above seven hundred years 
old, is in as fine preservation as if it had been the work of yesterday. 

Near the Abbey stood the Sanctuary, a place of refuge in former 
times to a certain denomination of criminals ; and to the west of 
the Sanctuary was the Eleemosynary, or Almory, where the alms 
of the Abbey used to be distributed. It is, however, still more 
interesting from having been the place where the first printing- 
press was erected in England. It was in the year 1474, when 
William Caxton, probably encouraged by the learned Thomas 
Milling, then abbot, produced The Game and Play of the Ckesse, 
the first book which was printed in these kingdoms. " The 
monks," observes Mr. Pennant, "would not have permitted this, 
could they have foreseen how certainly the art would conduce to 
their overthrow, by the extension of knowledge, and the long- 
concealed truths of Christianity." 



THIS magnificent room was part of the royal palace of 
Westminster, founded by Edward the Confessor, and 
which he made the place of his residence. The stairs 
still retaining the name of the Palace-stairs, led to it from the 
river Thames, and the two Palace-yards were courts in this 
spacious edifice. 

The New Palace-yard is the area before the Hall. At a former 
period it was decorated with an handsome fountain, and a lofty 
square tower, which contained a clock, and was appropriately 
called the Clock Tower. A view of the spot, with these circum- 
stances, has been left us by Hollar. 

Many parts of the ancient palace exist at the present moment, 
and are converted to various uses. The great Hall was built, or 
more properly rebuilt, by William Rufus, as it is not to be sup- 
posed, that the palace of a sovereign should have been constructed 
without an apartment of this nature, which was equally demanded 
by the magnificence and the manners of that age. It is related, 
that on his return from Normandy, he celebrated the high festival 
of Christmas in this Hall with great magnificence ; and it appears 
to have been used for several reigns on similar occasions, when 
our kings gave their splendid entertainments to their nobles and 
clergy. It is particularly recorded of Henry III. that on new- 


year's day, 1236, he gave a public feast to six thousand poor 
men, women, and children, in this Hall and the other rooms of 
the palace. 

In the reign of Richard II. the old building had become so 
ruinous, that he ordered the whole to be taken down ; when the 
present Hall was erected, and, being completed in the year 1397, 
was called the New Palace, to distinguish it from the Old Palace, 
which contains the Houses of Lords and Commons. 

In the year 1399, the same king held his Christmas here; 
during which festival he entertained ten thousand guests in this 
Hall and the adjoining chambers of the palace. On this occasion 
eighty oxen, three hundred sheep, and an innumerable quantity 
of poultry, were daily killed. It may not be amiss in this place 
to observe, that this monarch appears to have paid more attention 
to the enjoyments of the table, than any of our kings. Of this 
there is a remarkable document remaining, which we consider as 
the most curious piece of culinary antiquity now existing. It is 
a book entitled The Forme of Cury, compiled, about the year 
1390, by the master cooks of this luxurious monarch; in which 
are preserved receipts for the most exquisite dishes of the time. 
It was printed by the late Gustavus Brander, Esq. with a preface 
by that learned antiquary, the Rev. Dr. Pegge. 

This ancient structure is of stone, whose front is ornamented 
with two towers, enriched with carved work, and has been lately 
relieved from the low buildings which were attached to, and 
obscured, it. The Hall exceeds in dimensions any room in 
Europe which is not supported by columns, being two hundred 
and seventy feet in length, and seventy-four in breadth. The 
pavement is of stone, and the roof, which has generally been 


supposed to be of oak, though Mr. Pennant states it to be chiefly 
of chesnut, is of a most curious construction, and a fine example 
of the ornamental- Gothic. Its contrivance and workmanship have 
never failed to receive the admiration they deserve. The canta- 
livers which support the roof, are decorated with angels, each 
bearing a shield, with the arms of Richard II. or those of Edward 
the Confessor. It was formerly covered with lead, but that being 
found too weighty, it has for some years been relieved by the 
substitution of slate. The plate, we presume, will illustrate, in 
the most satisfactory manner, the description which has been 

Parliaments frequently sat in this Hall ; and Stow mentions, 
that, in the year 1397, during the reign of Richard II. when it 
was in a very ruinous state, he built a temporary room for his 
Parliament, formed with wood, and covered with tiles. He repre- 
sents it as being open on all sides, that the constituents might 
hear and see every thing that was said and done. 

Courts of justice, also, in the very early periods of our history, 
appear to have sat in this Hall, where the king presided in 
person ; for which reason it was called Curia Domini Regis ; and 
hence is derived the title of one of our present principal courts, 
which is called the Court of King's Bench. 

The most ancient of the courts held beneath this venerable 
roof is the Court of Chancery, Cancellaria, so called from the 
judge who presides here, the lord chancellor, or cancellarius, who, 
according to Sir Edward Coke, is so termed a cancellando, from 
cancelling the king's letters patent when granted contrary to law, 
which is the highest point of his jurisdiction. It is held on the 
right-hand side of the stairs leading up to the Court of Requests. 


On the opposite side is the Court of King's Bench. About the 
middle of the Hall, on the west side, is the Court of Common 
Pleas, Communia Placita. It used to follow the king wherever 
he chanced to reside, but on account of the great inconveniences 
resulting from that circumstance, it was appointed by Magna 
Charta to be permanent in Westminster Hall, as being within 
the walls of the principal royal palace of our kings. On the 
entrance of the Hall from Palace-yard, there are stairs on each 
side ; those on the right hand lead to the Court of Exchequer, 
and those on the left to the office which is called the Receipt of 
Exchequer. The Court of Exchequer was established by William 
the Conqueror, as a part of the Aula Regia, though regulated 
and reduced to its present order by Edward I. and intended 
principally to regulate the revenues of the crown, and to recover 
the king's debts and duties. It is called Exchequer, Scaccarium, 
from the chequered cloth, resembling a chess-board, which covers 
the table there ; whereon, when certain of the king's accounts are 
made up, the sums are marked and scored with counters. 

This Hall is generally used for the trial of peers, accused of 
treason or any other high crimes; as well as for that of all 
persons impeached by the House of Commons. Here Charles I. 
was tried by his self-constituted judges, and condemned to die. 

In this Hall the kings of England have, for many ages, held 
their coronation feasts. 



OF the old palace of Whitehall, to which this building was 
added, as part of a very extensive plan of re-edification, 
there are very early accounts. It became, at length, the 
London residence of the archbishops of York, and was called 
York- House. Under this character, consisting of a mansion, 
with two gardens, three acres of land, and the appurtenances, it 
was seized by Henry VIII. in the twenty-first year of his reign, 
in consequence of Cardinal Wolsey having incurred the pre- 
munire, by which all his goods and possessions were forfeited to 
the crown ; and when the king afterwards restored to him the 
appurtenances of the archbishopric of York, his majesty was 
pleased to make a reservation of this place to himself. He then 
inclosed a park for the use of this palace and that of St. James, 
and ordered a tennis-court, a cockpit, and bowling-greens, to be 
formed, with other places, for different kinds of diversion. 

From this time, Whitehall became the residence of the kings of 
England, till the year 1697, when the whole was destroyed by 
fire, except the present edifice, which was fortunately preserved. 

This beautiful and magnificent structure is built entirely of 
stone, and is divided into three stories. The lowest, or basement 
story, consists of a rustic wall, with small square windows. From 
this springs the Ionic order in a range of columns and pilasters ; 


and between the columns are well-proportioned windows, with 
alternate arched and triangular pediments : over these is placed 
the proper entablature, on which is raised a second series, of the 
Corinthian order, consisting also of columns and pilasters, the 
capitals of which are connected with festoons of flowers, with 
masks and other ornaments in the center. From the entablature 
of this series rises a balustrade, with attic pedestals, in their 
places, which crowns the whole. 

This building has been called the Banqueting- House, from its 
having been placed on the site of the apartments erected by 
Elizabeth, which were distinguished by that name. It is only 
a small part of the plan of James I. for rebuilding the royal 
palace, which was begun in 1619, from a design of Inigo Jones, 
in his purest manner. It was finished in two years, and cost 
seventeen thousand pounds. The remuneration of the architect 
seems to have been disproportionate to his genius and professional 
merit ; as, according to the late Lord Orford, he received only 
eight shillings and four-pence per day as surveyor of the works, 
and forty-six pounds per annum for house-rent, a clerk, and other 
incidental expences. The vast plan was left unexecuted, on 
account of the unhappy times which succeeded. It was to have 
consisted of four fronts, each having an entrance between two 
square towers. The interior was to have contained five courts ; 
a large one in the center, and two smaller ones at the ends ; and, 
between two of the latter, a beautiful circus, with an arcade 
below, the pillars of which were to be in the form of Cariatides. 
This palace was to have been 1152 feet in length, and 874 in 

The banqueting-room has been converted into a chapel, and is 


one of the chapels royal ; which, besides the necessary establish- 
ment, has twenty-four preachers, selected equally from both the 
universities, with a salary of thirty pounds per annum : they 
officiate in succession, and were appointed by George the First. 
This Chapel has been lately repaired and fitted up for the use of 
the regiments of guards. The plate represents it in its canonical 
character. The ceiling of this noble room has received universal 
admiration, and well deserves it. The subject is the Apotheosis 
of James the First, treated in nine compartments ; in which, 
among other allegories, that monarch is represented on his 
throne, turning with horror from War and other discordant 
deities ; and resigning himself to Peace, and her natural atten- 
dants, commerce and the fine arts. This splendid and beautiful 
composition is painted on canvas, and is in fine preservation. 
The artist received three thousand guineas for this great work. 
About thirty years since, it was taken down and repaired by 
Cipriani. The present altar-piece, which escaped the fire of 
Whitehall, was the gift of Queen Anne. Near the entrance is 
the bust of the royal founder. 

This place was chosen by the regicides as the last scene of the 
unfortunate Charles I. He was brought, on the morning of his 
execution, from St. James's to Whitehall, where, ascending the 
great staircase, he was conducted to his bedchamber, which was 
allotted for the last act of pious preparation ; and from thence, 
through a breach made in the wall, to the scaffold. 

In the court behind the Banqueting- House is a very fine 
statue, in brass, of James II. by Grinling Gibbons. 



THE poor of this country derived their sole subsistence 
from private benevolence and monastic institutions till 
the time of Henry VIII. ; at least, no compulsory mode 
of provision for them appears before the statute of the twenty- 
sixth year of that monarch's reign. This was followed by other 
laws to the same effect, in consequence of the total dissolution of 
the religious houses, which had been a principal resource to the 
poor, by the daily distribution of alms at their gates. These 
statutes distinguish the two classes of the poor which are the 
objects of their regulating power : the sick and impotent, who 
were unable to work ; and the idle and sturdy, who were able, 
but unwilling to engage in honest employment. In order to 
provide for them both, in and about the metropolis, Edward VI. 
founded the royal hospitals, Christ's and St. Thomas's, for the 
relief of infancy and sickness ; and Bridewell, for the punishment 
and employment of the vigorous and idle. But as these wise and 
humane institutions could not comprehend the distant poor, a law 
was passed in the forty-third year of Elizabeth, by which over- 
seers of the poor were appointed in every parish throughout the 
kingdom, who are empowered to raise competent sums for the 
necessary relief of the poor, impotent, old, blind, and such other 
paupers as are not able to work ; and to provide work for such as 


are able, and cannot otherwise get employment. Such was this 
admirable law ; and the farther the subsequent plans have deviated 
from it, the more impracticable and inefficient they have proved. 

The wise principle of the law of Elizabeth, we presume, first 
suggested the use of workhouses ; and that of the city of London 
appears to have been the first of these establishments, as an act 
was passed for the government of it in the year 1662. That of 
St. James's parish, Westminster, and which is the immediate 
subject of our consideration, was first instituted in the year 1716, 
when a silk-manufactory, situate between Poland-street and 
Carnaby market, was purchased by the parish, and suitably 
distributed for the purpose to which it has been since applied. 
By an act of the first year of his present Majesty, it was subjected 
to the administration of twenty-one parishioners, denominated 
governors and directors, to be annually chosen by the select 
vestry ; who, with the churchwardens and overseers, are charged 
with its government, and are invested with the power to make 
such orders, rules, and regulations, as they think necessary for 
promoting the design of this parochial establishment. Having 
examined its regulations, we find that they involve every thing 
that relates to the admission, employment, clothes, work, educa- 
tion, food, health, and particular condition of the several classes of 
its inhabitants. 

The average number of persons maintained in this asylum 
amounts to seven hundred and fifty. In the school of industry 
there are three hundred children, and two hundred are at nurse at 
Wimbledon ; who, when they have attained the age of seven 
years, are transferred to the establishment in London. Those 
who are able to work, are employed in needle-work, slop-work, 



pulling and winding cotton for tallow-chandlers, spinning mop and 
carpet yarn, picking horse-hair for upholsterers, making hat- 
boxes, &c. They are supplied with clothes made of very good 
second cloths ; but are not distinguished by any particular livery, 
or compelled to wear a parochial badge. For their food, they are 
allowed the best ox beef, legs, shoulders, and necks of mutton, 
four days in the week ; on the other days, soup and puddings. 

The officers of the house consist of a master, to superintend 
the men, and a matron, to overlook the women ; a schoolmaster 
and schoolmistress, with the necessary attendants. There are 
also a surgeon, an apothecary, and a chaplain. 

The men and women are separated from each other ; and the 
common room, used by the latter, forms the subject of the plate. 

Each parish in London has a similar institution. 


THIS superb edifice stands on the spot which had been 
occupied by the palace of several of our monarchs ; a 
print of which has been published from an ancient 
drawing by the Antiquarian Society. Edward I. Henry VI. and 
Henry VII. occasionally resided in it; Henry VIII. and his 
daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, were born there ; and within its 
walls Edward VI. terminated the short reign which had presaged 
so much good to his people. Queen Elizabeth, according to the 
account of her progresses published by Mr. J. Nichols, frequently 


visited this pleasant place. James I. and his son, Charles I. 
sometimes favoured it with their presence ; but little attention 
appears to have been paid to the building till the succeeding reign, 
when it was pulled down by order of Charles II. with the design 
of rebuilding it in a style of the utmost magnificence. Of this 
he left a distinguished part, consisting of the first wing, which 
was completed under his auspices, at the expence of thirty 
thousand pounds. The architect was Webb, the son-in-law and 
disciple of Inigo Jones. It was intended to be a splendid palace 
for the sovereign who ruled the kingdom, but is become a no less 
splendid asylum for the age and infirmities of the brave men who 
have fought for it. 

When the patriotic plan was first contemplated for the repose 
and solace of seamen, disabled by age, or maimed in the service 
of their country, Sir Christopher Wren proposed that the un- 
finished palace should be completed for that noble purpose ; and 
trustees were accordingly nominated for realising the proposition. 
In the year 1695, King William, his royal consort, Mary, being 
dead, granted a charter for its establishment; and on the 3d of 
June, in the following year, the first stone of the additional 
building was laid by our great architect, who, highly to his honour, 
offered to superintend this national work, and which he did, with 
assiduous care and consummate skill, without any emolument. 

In its present state it consists of four distinct piles of building, 
distinguished by the names of King Charles, Queen Anne, King 
William, and Queen Mary. The two former are nearest the river, 
and in their front is a terrace eight hundred and sixty-five feet in 
length. The interval between them forms an area of two 
hundred and seventy feet in breadth. The two latter display an 


exterior conformity to each other, though they differ in their parts 
and ornaments. To the inner side of each range of building is 
attached a fine colonnade of Portland stone, consisting of 
numerous duplicated Doric columns and pilasters, with their 
entablature crowned by a balustrade, and extending a length of 
three hundred and forty-seven feet ; with a return pavilion at the 
end, of seventy feet. Above the southern extremity of each 
colonnade, is a dome of an elegant form and pleasing proportions. 
The space between the colonnades is in breadth one hundred and 
fifteen feet. The part of King William's building which contains 
the hall, was designed and erected by Sir Christopher Wren. 
The north and south fronts are of stone ; the west front, which 
was finished by Sir John Vanbrugh, is of brick. 

Over the doors in the vestibule are compartments, in chiaro 
oscuro, recording the names of benefactors to the Hospital. Here 
is also the model of an antique ship, given by Lord Anson. In 
the cupola is a compass, with its points duly bearing. In the 
covings are the four winds, in alto relievo. From the vestibule, 
an high flight of steps leads into the great hall or saloon, which is 
one hundred and six feet in length, fifty-six feet wide, and fifty 
feet high. In the surrounding frieze is the following inscription : 
Pietas augusta ut habitent secure et publice alantur qui publicce 
securitati invigilarunt regia Grenovici Maria auspiciis sublevandis, 
nautis destinata regnantibus Gulielmo et Maria, 1694. This hall 
was painted by Sir James Thornhill, a native artist, of great merit. 
He possessed a fertile and fine invention, and sketched his 
thoughts with great ease, freedom, spirit, and taste. If he had 
been allowed the opportunity of visiting Italy, to have given more 
correctness to his drawing, and to have acquired a superior know- 


ledge of colouring, no modern artist would have excelled him. 
He was six years in completing this work, for which he was paid 
;668 5, being after the rate of three pounds for the ceiling and 
one pound for the sides, per square yard. The ceiling displays 
a very large and deep oval frame, in the center of which King 
William and Queen Mary are represented, seated on a throne, 
under a rich canopy, and surrounded by personifications of the 
cardinal virtues, the seasons, the four elements, the signs of the 
zodiac, and various other emblematical and symbolical devices. 
At each end of the oval, the ceiling is raised in perspective, and 
exhibits a gallery with an elliptic arch, supported by groupes of 
stone-coloured figures. These galleries display various appro- 
priate naval embellishments, with the English rivers, and the 
arts and sciences relating to navigation. In one of them are 
introduced the portraits of Flamstead, the astronomer royal, and 
Mr. Thomas Weston, his pupil, accompanied by Copernicus and 
Tycho Brahe. The sides of the hall are adorned with fluted 
pilasters, trophies, &c. ; and, in recesses on the north side, which 
correspond with a double row of windows on the south, are 
allegorical figures, in chiaro oscuro, of the more liberal virtues, 
as Hospitality, Generosity, Benignity, &c. From the saloon, a 
second flight of steps leads to the upper hall ; the ceiling of which 
represents Queen Anne, with her consort, Prince George of 
Denmark, accompanied by various figures, and round them the 
four quarters of the globe ; with the arms of England, Scotland, 
France, and Ireland. The side walls represent the landing of the 
Prince of Orange at Harwich, and of George I. at Greenwich. 
The upper end is decorated with a large painting of George I. 
and his family, with various emblematical figures. Here Sir 


James Thornhill has taken an opportunity to introduce a portrait 
of himself. 

In this part of the hall is placed the funeral car which bore the 
remains of the immortal Nelson to repose beneath the dome of 
St. Paul's cathedral. It was presented by the Lord Chamberlain, 
the Earl of Dartmouth, to Greenwich Hospital, as a memorial of 
the gratitude of the British nation to its naval heroes. The hall, 
with its late impressive addition to its decorations, is not, we 
presume, unsuccessfully represented in the plate which illustrates 
the foregoing description. 

In Queen Mary's building is the chapel : the interior part, with 
the roof, having been destroyed by fire on the 26. of January, 
1779, has been restored from the designs of Stuart, generally 
called Athenian Stuart, from his travels in Greece, and his 
celebrated work on the antiquities of Athens. 

The vestibule which forms the entrance to the chapel, is an 
octagon, adorned with appropriate statues ; from whence is an 
ascent of fourteen steps to the chapel, through a portal, whose 
decorations, enrichments, and proportions, render it a masterpiece 
of taste. The chapel, which is one hundred and eleven feet long 
and fifty-two in breadth, displays an example of enriched Grecian 
architecture, which almost defies competition in any part of 
Europe. Throughout the whole there appears superior taste, the 
happiest appropriation, and the most judicious disposition. The 
most subordinate parts are regulated by characteristic propriety : 
the very pavement is made to represent the anchor, the compass, 
and other naval emblems. This superb room has a double range 
of windows on each side, between which are the galleries 
supported on cantalivers, decorated with antique ornaments and 



= 5j 

g fi 


foliage ; beneath which are ranges of fluted pilasters, with an 
enriched entablature, and connected by festoons. Above the 
lower ranges of windows are small oval paintings, in chiaro 
oscuro, representing the principal events in the life of our Saviour, 
by De Bruyn, Catton, Milburne, and Rebecca. Above the 
galleries, and springing from an enriched stone fascia, are ranges 
of pilasters of the Composite order, with scagliola shafts, corre- 
sponding with those of eight grand Corinthian columns that 
support the roof, whose bases and capitals are of statuary marble. 
The ceiling is curved and divided into compartments, with antique 
ornaments. The epistylium which goes round the chapel, is 
enriched by angels bearing festoons of oak leaves and marine 
decorations. The spaces between the upper window and over 
the doors of the galleries, are adorned with the figures of the 
prophets, evangelists, and apostles, in chiaro oscuro, by Rebecca. 
The organ gallery is supported by six fluted Ionic columns, with 
their entablature, and crowned by a balustrade. In the front of 
the gallery is a small basso-relievo of angels sounding the harp. 
The altar-piece is painted by West, and consists of a very large 
picture, twenty-five feet high and fourteen wide, representing the 
preservation of St. Paul from shipwreck on the Island of Melita ; 
a subject admirably calculated to impress the minds of seamen 
with a due sense of their past preservation, and their present com- 
fortable situation and support in the noble asylum which the 
bounty and gratitude of their country have prepared for them. 
The communion - table, the pulpit, and the reading-desk, are 
designed and decorated in the same superior taste which dis- 
tinguishes the whole of this admirable structure. 

In King Charles's building are the governor's apartments ; 


foliage ; beneath which are ranges of fluted pilasters, with an 
enriched entablature, and connected by festoons. Above the 
lower ranges of windows are small oval paintings, in chiaro 
osciiro, representing the principal events in the life of our Saviour, 
by De Bruyn, Catton, Milburne, and Rebecca. Above the 
galleries, and springing from an enriched stone fascia, are ranges 
of pilasters of the Composite order, with scagliola shafts, corre- 
sponding with those of eight grand Corinthian columns that 
support the roof, whose bases and capitals are of statuary marble. 
The ceiling is curved and divided into compartments, with antique 
ornaments. The epistylium which goes round the chapel, is 
enriched by angels bearing festoons of oak leaves and marine 
decorations. The spaces between the upper window and over 
the doors of the galleries, are adorned with the figures of the 
prophets, evangelists, and apostles, in chiaro oscuro, by Rebecca. 
The organ gallery is supported by six fluted Ionic columns, with 
their entablature, and crowned by a balustrade. In the front of 
the gallery is a small basso-relievo of angels sounding the harp. 
The altar-piece is painted by West, and consists of a very large 
picture, twenty-five feet high and fourteen wide, representing the 
preservation of St. Paul from shipwreck on the Island of Melita ; 
a subject admirably calculated to impress the minds of seamen 
with a due sense of their past preservation, and their present com- 
fortable situation and support in the noble asylum which the 
bounty and gratitude of their country have prepared for them. 
The communion - table, the pulpit, and the reading-desk, are 
designed and decorated in the same superior taste which dis- 
tinguishes the whole of this admirable structure. 

In King Charles's building are the governor's apartments ; 


adjoining to which is the council-room, containing the following 
portraits: George II. by Shackleton ; King William and Queen 
Mary, by Kneller ; the late Earl of Sandwich, by Gainsborough ; 
Edward, first Earl of Sandwich, by Lely ; Viscount Torrington, an 
half-length and a whole-length, by Davison; Robert Ostelston, Esq. 
by Dugard ; Admiral Sir John Jennings, by Richardson ; Captain 
Clements, by Lely ; and the head of James Worley, a venerable 
old man, the first pensioner admitted into the Hospital. 

This magnificent institution was opened in January, 1705, when 
only fifty-two men were admitted. The number has continued 
gradually to increase to two thousand four hundred and ten. 
Sailors in the merchants' service, wounded in taking or defending 
a ship, are also received. The pensioners are provided with 
clothes, diet, and lodging ; and have an allowance, called tobacco- 
money, which to the boatswains is two shillings and sixpence, to 
the boatswains-mates one shilling and sixpence, and to the seamen 
one shilling, per week. There are also one hundred and fifty 
nurses belonging to the Hospital, who are widows of seamen. 

The school-house, for the education of the children of seamen 
for the sea-service, was erected in 1783, after a design by Stuart. 
It is a plain, handsome building, with large school-room, 
dormitories, &c. : for the enlargement of which, and to complete it 
as a naval asylum, the ranger's house has been lately added, with 
an augmented establishment. 

The revenues of the Hospital arise from a duty of sixpence per 
month upon every mariner, whether in the king's or merchants' 
service ; the profits of the North and South Foreland lighthouses ; 
,6000 pounds out of the duty on coals ; the forfeited estates of 
the Earl of Derwentwater, and other inferior resources. 


The commissioners of Greenwich Hospital appointed by 
charter, are, the great officers of state, the lords of the privy- 
council, the judges, the lord mayor, the governor, and twenty- 
four directors. The principal officers are, a governor, a lieutenant- 
governor, four captains, eight lieutenants, a treasurer, secretary, 
auditor, surveyor, clerk of the cheque, two chaplains, a physician, 
surgeon, steward, and various assistant and inferior servants. 
The present principal officers are, 

Lord Viscount Hood, governor. John Dyer, Esq. secretary. 

John Bouchier, Esq. lieutenant-governor. Lord Auckland, auditor. 

Admiral Sir John Colpoys, K.B. treasurer. 

Rev. J. Cooke, M.A. and Rev. J. Maule, M.A. chaplains. 


THIS royal Hospital for invalids in the land service is a 
very noble edifice, erected for a most noble purpose, and 
was built after the design, and under the direction, of 
our great architect, Sir Christopher Wren. 1 1 stands on the site 
of a college, founded for secular priests, by Dr. Sutcliffe, dean of 
Exeter, in the reign of James I. and was patronised by that 
monarch. It was distinguished by the title of King James's 
College, and was intended for the study of polemical divinity, 
which may be considered as the rage of that period. An act 
of Parliament was obtained for its establishment, and a consider- 
able part of it was built. It was designed in a very bad taste, as 


may be seen in a print of it in Grose's Military Antiquities. 
The first provost and fellows were men of eminent learning in 
their day : nevertheless, with all this promise of prosperity, it 
failed of success. On the death of King James it lost a power- 
ful patron ; the troubles of the succeeding reign were not favour- 
able to its continuance ; and a nursery of religious controversy 
was not likely to be encouraged by Charles II. The building, 
therefore, fell into decay ; and the ground on which it stood 
reverting to the crown, Charles II. ordered the former college to 
be pulled down, to give place to the erection of the present 
Hospital; and on the i2th day of March, 1682, he laid the first 
stone of this magnificent fabric. 

Tradition assigns the origin of this institution to the humane 
and persevering suggestions of Nell Gwyn, the well-known mis- 
tress of Charles II. This opinion is not without its corroborating 
circumstances. The active benevolence of her character is on 
record. Mr. Lysons mentions a paragraph in a newspaper of the 
day, which gives some plausibility to the supposition ; and a 
public-house still exists in the vicinity of the Hospital, which has 
her portrait for its sign, with an inscription that ascribes to her 
the merit of the foundation. 

The anonymous author of the life of Eleanor Gwyn gives the 
following account of the concern she took in the promotion of this 
establishment: " Another act of generosity which raised the 
character of this lady above every other courtezan of these or 
any other times, was her solicitude to effect the institution of 
Chelsea Hospital. One day, when she was rolling about town in 
her coach, a poor man came to the coach-door, who told her that 
he had been wounded in the civil wars in defence of the royal 


cause. This circumstance greatly affected her benevolent heart ; 
and in the overflow of pity, she hurried to the king, and repre- 
sented the misery in which she had found an old servant ; and 
entreated that some scheme might be proposed to his majesty 
towards supporting those unfortunate sons of valour, whose old 
age, wounds, or infirmities rendered them unfit for service. This 
observation she communicated to personages of distinction, who 
were public-spirited enough to encourage it ; and to Nell Gwyn is 
now owing the comfortable provision which was made for decayed 
soldiers, and that pleasant retreat they find at Chelsea." 

The edifice was not completed till the year 1690; the whole 
expence of the building amounting to one hundred and fifty-three 
thousand pounds. The commissioners appointed for the conduct 
of the Hospital, were, Richard, Earl of Ranelagh, paymaster- 
general ; Sir Stephen Fox, Knight, lord-commissioner of the 
Treasury ; and Sir Christopher Wren, Knight, surveyor-general 
of the works. 

The exterior of the structure is plain, but not without a stately 
appearance. The object of the architect was to give it a suitable 
character, and to save expence. It is of better brick- work than 
is seen in modern buildings ; and the coins, cornices, pediments, 
and columns, are of free-stone. The different wards for the 
pensioners are light and airy ; the chapel and the hall are well 
disposed ; and the house allotted to the governor contains some 
very elegant and spacious apartments : the colonnade and portico 
towards the river are handsome and well-proportioned, and afford 
a comfortable, sheltered walk and communication between the 
wings for the old soldiers in wet weather. The whole building, 
with the gardens, occupies a space of about thirty-six acres. 


The Hospital consists of three courts, the principal of which is 
open to the south side : in the center of it is a bronze statue of 
Charles II. The eastern and western wings of this court are 
each three hundred and sixty-five feet in length and forty feet in 
breadth, and are chiefly occupied by the pensioners' wards. At 
the extremity of the eastern wing is the governor's house, which 
is large and commodious. The state-room is thirty-seven feet in 
length, twenty-seven in breadth, and twenty-six feet in height. 
The ceiling is divided into oval compartments, richly ornamented 
with the initials of Charles II. James II. and William and Mary, 
the royal arms, and military trophies. This room contains 
portraits of Charles I. his queen, and his two sons, Charles, 
Prince of Wales, and James, Duke of York ; as well as those 
of Charles II. William III. and their present Majesties. In the 
western wing are the apartments of the lieutenant-governor. 
In the other two courts are those of the other officers, with the 
kitchen, infirmary, &c. 

The north side of the principal court is occupied by the chapel 
and the hall, with a large vestibule between them, terminated 
by a cupola. The chapel is one hundred and ten feet in length 
and thirty in breadth : it is paved with black and white marble, 
and wainscotted with Dutch oak. The altar-piece was painted by 
Sebastian Ricci, and represents the resurrection of our Saviour. 
The hall is on the opposite side of the vestibule, and of the same 
dimensions. At the upper end is a large portrait of Charles II. 
on horseback ; and in the background is a view of the Hospital. 
Its accessory parts are allegorical ; and the figures of Hercules, 
Minerva, Peace, and Father Thames, are introduced with their 
several attributes. It was designed by Verrio, and finished by 


Henry Cook. This hall, with its appropriate accompaniments, 
forms the subject of the plate, as a decorative illustration of the 

The north front, which is very extensive, is composed of small 
parts ; but they are so disposed and proportioned, as to produce a 
very grand effect. Before it is an inclosure of fourteen acres, 
planted with avenues of limes and horse-chesnuts. The ground 
towards the south is laid out in a garden, which extends to the 
Thames ; with a kitchen, for the use of the establishment. 

The Hospital being considered as a military station, a certain 
number of the pensioners daily mount guard, and perform other 
garrison duties. 

The interior affairs of the Hospital are regulated by com- 
missioners appointed by the crown, which consist of the governor, 
lieutenant-governor, and some of the principal officers of state, 
who hold a board as the occasion may require. 

The Hospital and out-pensioners are supported by an annual 
grant from Parliament, voted with the army estimates. In the 
last session of Parliament an act was passed, to oblige all army 
prize-agents to pay the amount of unclaimed prize-money in their 
hands, to the treasurer of Chelsea Hospital, to be vested in the 
funds, and the interest to be applied in aid of the expenditure of 
the establishment. The whole annual expence of in and out- 
pensioners, officers' salaries, &c. amounts to about ,420,000. 

The in-pensioners are divided into sixteen wards, and consist of 

* General courts martial, which were formerly held at the Horse-Guards, are now- 
held at Chelsea Hospital. That upon General Whitelock in 1808, as also the court of 
enquiry upon the convention of Cintra in 1809, were held in this great hall. 


26 Captains, one of whom acts as serjeant-major. 

32 Serjeants. 

48 Corporals and drummers. 

336 Privates. 
34 Light-horsemen. 

The number of out-pensioners now amounts to upwards of 
twenty-three thousand, who are paid at different rates, according 
to their length of service or particular disability, from five-pence 
to three shillings and sixpence per day. 

The daily and individual allowance of the in-pensioners is one 
pound of meat, one loaf of bread, weighing twelve ounces, a 
quarter of a pound of cheese, and two quarts of beer, of the 
quality of brewers' twenty-shilling beer. 

On Wednesdays and Fridays, instead of meat, they have one 
pint of peas-soup, half a pound of cheese, and two ounces of 
butter. They have mutton on Sundays and Tuesdays, and beef 
on the other three days. 

They are all annually clothed. Fires are kept in each ward, 
and they have every attendance that can administer to their 
comfort. They are also allowed the following weekly pay : 
captains, three shillings and sixpence ; Serjeants, two shillings ; 
corporals and drummers, ten-pence ; privates, eight-pence ; and 
the light-horse, two shillings. 


The President of the Council. The Secretary at War. 

The First Lord of the Treasury. The Comptroller of Army Accounts. 

The Secretaries of State. The Governor. 

The Paymaster-General of the Forces. The Lieutenant-Governor. 



Governor, the Right Hon. Sir David Dundas, K.B. 

Lieutenant-Governor, General Samuel Clerk of the works, John Soane, Esq. 

Hulse. Deputy-treasurer, Lieut.-Colonel Wilson. 

Major, Lieutenant-Colonel Matthews. Senior chaplain, Rev. Wm. Haggitt, M.A. 

Adjutant, Captain Acklom. Junior ditto, Rev. Richard Yates, M.A. 

Assistant-adjutant, Captain Duke. Physician, Dr. Benjamin Moseley. 

Secretary, George Aust, Esq. Housekeeper, Mrs. Dalrymple. 

Surgeon, Thomas Keate, Esq. Master cook, Mr. J. Cock. 

Apothecary, R. R. Graham, Esq. Master butler, Mr. Lairne. 

Comptroller, Loftus Nunn, Esq. Organist, Dr. Burney. 
Steward, Val. Fowler, Esq. 

Such is this magnificent asylum, which has been erected, for 
the comfort and repose of the veteran soldier, by the gratitude of 
his country. 


'""" "^HIS establishment is a foundation of justice, humanity, 
and national policy. The children of the soldier who is 
actually in the service, who has fought the battles of his 
country, has been maimed and rendered helpless by the accidents 
of war, or has fallen in the field, are here received, nurtured, and 
educated, and, finally, furnished with the means of comfortable 
provision, and becoming useful to society in the vocation which 
may be appointed for them. 

For this Christian and patriotic purpose, a spacious edifice has 


been erected by the wisdom of government ; which, while it 
abounds in every kind of appropriate accommodation and com- 
fort, presents an appearance of simple grandeur ; which, while it 
displays its character as a charitable institution, discovers, at the 
same time, that it has been produced by the charity of a great 
nation. The first stone was laid by his Royal Highness the 
Duke of York, who first suggested this institution, June 19, 1801. 

This noble structure is surrounded with high walls, except in 
the part opposite the grand front, which is relieved by a range of 
iron railing. The intervening ground is of considerable extent, 
and agreeably diversified with lawn and gravel-walks, shaded 
with trees. 

It is built of brick, forms three sides of a quadrangle, and is 
crowned with a balustrade of stone. The center of the western 
front is distinguished by a portico, consisting of four large Doric 
columns, with their entablature, from whence rises a triangular 
pediment. On the frieze is the following inscription : 


Above this inscription are the imperial arms. 

The north and south wings are connected with the principal 
front by an elegant colonnade, which extends the whole length of 
the building, and forms a commodious shelter for the children 
during their hours of recreation in wet weather. 

The vestibule is in the center of the principal front of the 
edifice ; on the north of which are two dining-halls, eighty feet 
in length and thirty feet in breadth* Near them is a stone 
chamber, where the boys wash every morning. It is also 


furnished with a cold bath. Over these halls are two school- 
rooms of the same dimensions, one of which is fitted up as a 
chapel. One of these rooms, with its living scenery, is the 
subject of the plate. 

The boys are taught reading, writing, and arithmetic. The 
school hours in the morning are from half past nine till twelve, and 
from half past two till five in the afternoon. Two trades are 
already established, with their respective work-shops, viz. shoe- 
makers and tailors, in which the boys are instructed. 

On the south side of the vestibule are the girls' dining-halls, 
which are of the same dimensions as those of the boys. Adjoining 
to them is the washing-place for the girls, with a cold bath, &c. 

The serjeant-major and quarter-master-serjeant have apartments 
over the bathing-room of the boys; while the schoolmistress and 
cook have their apartments over that of the girls. 

The committee-room is over the vestibule, where the board 
meet to transact the business of the establishment. 

The north wing is divided into three wards, which are named 
the King's, the Prince of Wales's, and the Duke of York's wards. 
It contains the apartments of the commandant and surgeon, with 
the dormitories for the boys. 

The south wing is divided into three wards, which are also 
named from the royal family, being distinguished as the Queen's, 
the Princess of Wales's, and the Duchess of York's wards. It 
comprehends the apartments of the chaplain, quarter-master, 
matron, and assistant-matron, with the dormitories for the girls. 

The clothing of the boys consists of red jackets, blue breeches 
and stockings, and black leather caps. 

The girls wear red gowns, blue petticoats, white aprons, and 



straw bonnets. They are taught reading, writing, and arithmetic ; 
knitting and needle-work of different kinds : they are also 
constantly employed in the different branches of household 

The parents are permitted to take back their children whenever 
they have an opportunity of providing for them : the rest are 
disposed of in the army. The complement of the children is seven 
hundred boys and three hundred girls. 

This national establishment is supported by the nation, a sum 
of money being annually voted for that purpose with the army 

The commissioners for the Asylum are, 

The Duke of York, Adjutant-General, 

The Duke of Kent, Paymaster-General, 

The Duke of Cumberland, Bishop of London, 

The Duke of Cambridge, Bishop of Winchester, 

The Duke of Gloucester, Right Hon. W. Windham, 

Lieutenant-General Hewitt, Right Hon. Charles Yorke, 

Lieutenant-General Burrard, Mathew Lewis, Esq. 

Lieutenant-General De Lancey, Governor of Chelsea Hospital, 

Secretary at War, Lieutenant-Governor, 

Commander-in-Chief, Judge-Advocate, 

Master-General of the Ordnance, Commissary-General, 

Commander-in-Chief in Scotland, Deputy Secretary at War, 

Commander-in-Chief in Ireland, Chaplain-General. 



IN a former part of this work, we have given a very correct 
picture of the interior of the old Covent-Garden Theatre : 
and it is this view alone, we believe, which will recal its 
remembrance to those who were acquainted with it, and afford an 
accurate notion of what it was, to those who never beheld it. The 
building was discovered to be on fire, after midnight, on the iQth 
of September, 1808 ; and so irresistible were the flames, that 
before five o'clock on the following morning, nothing remained 
but an heap of smoking ruins. The real cause of this fatal 
catastrophe has never been discovered, nor has even a probable 
conjecture been formed as to the origin of the conflagration. 

This Theatre was soon destined to rise, like the phcenix, from 
its own ashes, with additional splendour ; and almost before the 
ruins had ceased to smoke, the renovation was not only projected 
and planned, but ready for commencement. In less than three 
months after this scene of destruction, the first stone of the new 
structure was laid by his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. 
On the 3ist of December, he was most graciously pleased to 
perform this ceremonial, which was accompanied with every 
preparation suited to the occasion, and attended by the Grand 
Lodge of Free Masons, in honour of their Illustrious Grand 
Master, who presided at it. 


The foundation-stone, which was placed at the north-east 
angle of the building, was an oblong block, of near three 
tons in weight, with all the machinery necessary to suspend it. 
Military bands of music were stationed around the spot ; the 
numerous workmen to be employed in the building appeared on 
scaffolds, and naval and military ensigns were unfurled at each 
angle of it. Within the area a covered gallery was erected for 
the company to be admitted on the occasion ; another was 
prepared for the Masonic body, and a spacious marquee was 
appropriated to the Prince. 

The Grand Lodge of Free Masons, with deputations from the 
other lodges in the metropolis, proceeded from Free Masons'- Hall, 
with all due formality, to the scene of the ceremony, at which they 

At one o'clock his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, 
attended by the Duke of Sussex, General Hulse, and some of 
the officers of his household, arrived at the Bow-street entrance, 
where he was received by the Earl of Moira, as deputy grand 
master, and the proprietors of the Theatre. His arrival was 
announced by a royal salute of cannon ; the royal standard of 
England was hoisted, and the patriotic air of " God save the King" 
was given by the united bands. When the Prince had reached the 
marquee, Mr. Smirke, the architect, presented a plan of the 
building, and the ceremonial began. 

The stone being raised several feet, his Royal Highness 
deposited, in a cavity in the basement stone, a brass box, con- 
taining a large bronze medal, which had the portrait of his Royal 
Highness on one side, with the following inscription on the 
reverse : 


Princeps Walliarum, 


Regis instaurandi auspiciis, 
in Hortis Benedictinis, 

sua manu locavit. 

Another copper medal of the same size, was engraved with the 
following inscription : 

Under the auspices of 

his most sacred Majesty, GEORGE III. 

King of the United Kingdoms of Great Britain 

and Ireland, 
the foundation-stone of the Theatre, 


was laid by his Royal Highness 
George, Prince of Wales. 

The box contained also a series of all the gold, silver, and 
copper coins of the present reign. Six Masons then proceeded to 
spread the cement, which was completed by the Grand Master, 
with a gilt silver trowel. The stone was now lowered, and his 
Royal Highness laid it by giving it three strokes of a mallet. He 
then poured upon it corn, wine, and oil from three silver goblets. 
The ceremony was accompanied with another discharge of cannon, 
the united power of the musical bands, and the acclamations of 
the spectators. The Prince, after having expressed, in the most 
gracious manner, his wishes for the prosperity of the undertaking, 
retired with the formalities which attended his arrival. 

The present Theatre is very superior to that whose place it 


supplies. The principal front is in Bow-street. The center is 
distinguished by a portico supported by four Doric columns of 
large dimensions, in the style of those which form a part of the 
temple of Minerva in the Acropolis of Athens. The windows of 
this front do not extend along the whole of it, but leave sufficient 
space for projections at either end. In these projections are 
niches, which give variety and relief to them. Above the windows, 
in the spaces between the portico and the projections, is a line of 
basso-relievos ', which diversify the surface. Those in the northern 
space describe the ancient drama. In the center, are represented 
three Greek poets, Aristophanes, Menander, and ^schylus. 
Connected with the former, are Thalia, Polyhymnia, Euterpe, 
Clio, and Terpsichore : to these are added three Nymphs and 
Pegasus. Connected with ^schylus, are Bacchus, Minerva, 
Melpomene, two Furies, Orestes, and Apollo in his chariot. The 
south space represents the modern drama, the center of which is 
occupied by Shakspeare and Milton. From the former extend the 
characters of Caliban, Ferdinand, Miranda, Prospero, with Ariel, 
Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, and Duncan, all of which are repre- 
sented in characteristic positions : to these is added Hecate in a 
car. Attached to Milton, are Urania, Sampson Agonistes, the 
two Brothers, Bacchanals, Comus, the enchanted Lady, and two 
tigers. Tragedy occupies the niche in the southern extremity of 
the building; that to the north possesses the statue of Comedy. 
All the figures are marked by their classical attributes, or their 
dramatic distinctions. 

The interior of the Theatre is rather larger than that of the 
late structure ; and differs from those hitherto constructed, by 
approaching nearer to a circle. There are three circles of boxes, 


with a row of side-boxes above them, on a level with the two- 
shilling gallery. These upper side-boxes are without roof or 
canopy. Immediately behind them rise the slips, their fronts 
forming a perpendicular line with the back of the upper side- 
boxes. The one-shilling gallery in the center ranges with the 
fronts of the slips, the whole assuming the circular form, and 
upholding a range of arches, which support the circular ceiling : 
the latter is painted to imitate a cupola, in square compartments, 
in a light relief. The pannels are of a grey colour, with wreaths 
of honeysuckles, &c. in gold. The box fronts are perpendicular, 
and their ornaments are painted on canvas, and fixed on the 
fronts. Each circle is supported by slender reeded pillars, in 
burnished gold. The covering of the seats is of a light blue. 

The stage, in height, breadth, and especially in depth, is of 
admirable proportions. No boxes, except those over the side- 
doors, are suffered to intrude upon the proscenium ; on each side 
of which are two lofty pilasters in scaliogla, with light gilt capitals : 
between them are the stage-doors and managers' boxes. They 
support an arch, the segment of a circle, whose sofit, from which 
the crimson drapery over the curtain is suspended, is painted in 
light relief. Above is a simple entablature, with the royal arms in 
the center ; and in each spandrel of the arch is an emblematical, 
antique, celestial figure, executed in relief. The whole of the 
frontispiece is finished in the same manner as the cupola. The 
drop scene represents a temple dedicated to Shakspeare, of 
admirable design and execution. The Theatre is lighted by 
patent lamps and elegant chandeliers. 

Such is the interior of what may be called the scenic part of 
Covent-Garden Theatre ; and when our description is compared 
with the engraved representation which accompanies it, a very 


accurate picture of it will be formed in the mind of the reader 
who has never seen it. 

The principal entrance to the boxes is under the portico in Bow- 
street. On the left side of the vestibule is the grand staircase, 
which, with its landing, forms the central third part of an hall, 
divided longitudinally by two rows of insulated columns, coloured 
after porphyry. This leads to the anti-room, with porphyry 
pilasters, and a statue of Shakspeare on a pedestal. The doors 
on the right open into the box-lobby, which is decorated in a 
similar manner. There is another entrance from Covent-Garden, 
by a staircase with a double flight. 

The third circle of boxes under the two-shilling gallery were con- 
trived and elegantly accommodated for private subscribers ; they 
are twenty-eight in number : but that design has been abandoned. 

The royal entrance is by the open court from Hart-street, which 
will admit the royal carriages to the door of the private staircase 
that leads to the apartments provided for their Majesties. 

The expence attending the erection of this magnificent 
structure, is stated by the proprietors to have amounted to 
; 1 50,000. It was opened for public performance on Monday, 
the 1 8th of September, 1809. 


THE South-Sea Company, for whose accommodation this 
structure was erected, originated in the following man- 
ner : During the glorious war with France in the reign 
of Queen Anne, there arose a very large arrear of navy, army, 


victualling, and transport debentures, &c. to the amount of nine 
million four hundred and seventy-one thousand three hundred 
and twenty-five pounds, without any established fund for bringing 
them into a course of regular payment : the consequence was, that 
they were at a discount of forty, and even fifty per cent. In 
order, therefore, to create a fund for the regular payment of this 
large arrear, an act of Parliament was passed, in the year 1711, 
for making good deficiencies, satisfying the public debts, and 
erecting a corporation to carry on a trade to the South Seas, &c. 
By this act, her majesty was empowered to incorporate all the 
holders of these debentures ; and they were accordingly incorpor- 
ated by a charter, dated the 8th day of September, 1711, under 
the title of " The Governor and Company of Merchants of Great 
Britain, trading to the South Seas and other parts of America, 
and for encouraging the Fishery." In the year 1715, the capital 
stock of the company was advanced to ten millions ; and two 
years after, the interest was reduced from six to five per cent, and 
the company made a further loan of two millions to government. 

In the year 1720, the South-Sea scheme, which has rendered 
that period so remarkable, originated. The pretence was, to 
raise a fund for carrying on a trade to the South Seas, &c. The 
sum necessary for carrying it on, together with the profits that 
were to arise from it, were divided into shares, for the accommoda- 
tion of those who chose to become adventurers : and to heighten 
the allurements of this fallacious and visionary project, the 
directors engaged to make very large dividends. To such an 
height did the delirium rise on this delusive prospect of golden 
advantage, that, between the I4th of April, when the first sub- 
scription was opened, and the 2d of June following, shares of one 


hundred pounds continued increasing in value, till they attained 
the price of eight hundred and ninety pounds. From this time to 
the end of August, the variations were trifling ; but in September 
the bubble burst, shares sunk to one hundred and fifty pounds, 
and numbers of all ranks were involved in ruin. Nobles, clergy, 
merchants, bankers, lawyers, and tradesmen, were involved in this 
tremendous disaster. The consequences were too shocking to 
repeat. Parliament, however, interfered, investigated the whole 
of these nefarious transactions, and passed an act, which com- 
pelled a considerable number of the directors to disgorge their 
ill-gotten treasures, for the relief of those whom they had ruined 
by their avaricious and fraudulent enterprise. 

The capital stock, after many reductions, before the year 1733, 
was then settled, and has continued, without variation, three 
millions six hundred and sixty-two thousand seven hundred and 
eighty-four pounds, eight shillings, and sixpence, bearing an 
interest of three and an half per cent. 

The management of this company is vested in a governor, sub- 
governor, deputy-governor, and twenty- one directors, annually 
chosen ; but no one is qualified to be governor, his Majesty 
excepted, unless he is possessed, in his own name and right, of 
five thousand pounds stock : the sub-governor must have five 
thousand pounds, the deputy-governor four thousand pounds, and 
each director two thousand pounds, in these funds. 

Every person possessed of five hundred pounds stock, who has 
been in the actual possession of it six months, is thereby entitled 
to give one vote at all elections for governors and directors of the 
company ; two thousand pounds stock entitles them to two votes, 
three thousand pounds to three votes, and five thousand pounds 
to four votes. 





The South-Sea House, in which the company transact their 
affairs, is situate at the north-west corner of Threadneedle-street, 
at a short distance from the Royal Exchange. It is a large, plain, 
handsome brick structure, decorated with stone copings, rustic 
quoins, and window-cases. The entrance is through an enriched 
gateway, which leads into a piazza, formed of Doric columns. The 
interior is very commodious ; and the hall, in which the dividends 
are paid, is a spacious room, and finished in a style of no common 
elegance, as may be seen in the//<2/ which represents it. 


THE KING, governor. 

Charles Bosanquet, Esq. sub-governor. 

Benjamin Harrison, Esq. deputy-governor. 


Robert Baker, Esq. 

Joseph Berens, Esq. 

Edward Boehm, Esq. 

Edward Coxe, Esq. 

Sir Claude Champion de Crespigny, 


Francis Freeling, Esq. 
Samuel Robert Gaussen, Esq. 
Robert Holford, Esq. 
Charles Thomas Hudson, Esq. 
John Anthony Noguier, Esq. 

Joseph Pace, Esq. 
Nicholas Pearse, Esq. 
Henry Peters, Esq. 
Abraham Pole, Esq. 
Thomas Vigne, Esq. 
Charles Raymond Barker, Esq. 
John Beauclerk, Esq. 
William Dent, Esq. 
Job Matthew Raikes, Esq. 
Stephen Teissier, Esq. 
William Whitmore, Esq. 



THE original establishment of this mode of taxation was in 
the year 1643, Dv the Parliament, after its rupture with 
the crown. It appears from the journals of the House of 
Commons, that on the 28th day of March, in that year, on the 
motion of Mr. Pymme, a zealous anti-royalist, a tax was laid on 
many of the necessaries of life, under the new-invented term of 
excise. The Parliament at Westminster soon after imposed it on 
such a number of other commodities, that it might be almost 
denominated general. Afterwards, when the nation had been 
accustomed to it for a series of years, the succeeding champions of 
liberty boldly asserted, "the impost of excise to be the most easy 
and indifferent levy that could be laid upon the people ; " and 
accordingly continued it, in direct violation of their most solemn 
promise, that it should be practised only during the war, through 
the whole course of the usurpation. On the restoration of King 
Charles II. a part of it was given to the crown, in the twelfth year 
of that sovereign, by way of purchase for the feudal tenures and 
other oppressive parts of the hereditary revenue. The excise laws 
were considerably extended in the reign of William III. and have 
continued to increase in that of every succeeding prince. Though 
the rigorous and summary proceedings necessary for the execution 
of the excise laws, are not altogether compatible with the temper 


of a free nation, it must be acknowledged, that they form the most 
economical way of taxing the subject ; the charges of levying, 
collecting, and managing the excise duties, being considerably less, 
in proportion, than in other branches of the revenue. It also 
renders the commodity cheaper to the consumer, than charging it 
with customs, because it is paid in a later stage, and frequently in 
that which immediately precedes consumption. 

The important business of the Excise-Office was originally 
carried on in a spacious brick building, which had been the 
mansion-house of Sir John Frederick, on the south side of the 
church in the Old Jewry. But, as the increasing concerns of this 
branch of the revenue required more capacious premises, for the 
commodious transaction of them, government, in the year 1767, 
purchased Gresham College of the corporation of London, on the 
site of which was erected the present Excise-Office, in Old Broad- 
street, near the Royal Exchange. It is a large stone edifice, and 
pleases, from the air of strength and propriety which it possesses. 
The interior is arranged with the utmost attention to the purposes 
for which it was erected. The apartment which is most worthy of 
attention, is that which we have selected as the subject of the 
plate. It is called the Judicial Court ; and here commissioners 
sit in their judicial capacity, to determine on such cases as are 
brought before them. 

The business of this office is conducted by nine commissioners, 
under whom are a great number of officers, both within and with- 
out the house. These receive the duties on beer, ale, and spirituous 
liquors ; on tea, coffee, and chocolate ; on malt, hops, soap, starch, 
candles, paper, vellum, parchment, and other exciseable com- 
modities ; for the surveying and collecting of which duties a great 


number of out-door officers are employed in different districts, or 
divisions, throughout the kingdom, to prevent frauds and losses. 
Before these commissioners all cases of seizure for frauds com- 
mitted on the several branches of the revenue under their direction, 
are tried ; and from their determination there is no appeal, except 
to the commissioners of appeal, who are a part of themselves, for 
a rehearing. 

The increase of the revenue arising from the excise within the 
last twenty-two years is immense, and requires all the authority of 
official accounts to render it credible. The payment into this 
office, from the 5th of January, 1786, to the 5th of January, 1787, 
was five millions five hundred and thirty-one thousand one 
hundred and fourteen pounds, six shillings, and ten-pence half- 
penny. The payment of the year ending in 1809, including what 
are called the war duties, amounted to twenty-five millions nine 
hundred and forty-one thousand six hundred and thirty pounds, 
thirteen shillings, and eight-pence. 


Martin Whish, Esq. and Robert Lord George Seymour. 

Nicholas, Esq. LL.D. chairmen, George Watson, Esq. 

William Lowndes, Esq. LL.D. Alexander Campbell, Esq. 

Hon. I. L. Olmius. Thomas Burton, Esq. secretary. 

Hon. Augustus Phipps. John Vivian, Esq. and Thomas 
William Jackson, Esq. William Carr, Esq. solicitors. 


THE river that washes the city, whose edificial taste and 
splendour form the contents of these volumes, is con- 
sidered as a proper subject to conclude them. The 
Thames may be inferior, both in its channel and length of course, 
to many of the continental rivers ; but, in the highly cultivated 
beauty of its banks, the utility which it confers, and the navigation 
it bears, surpasses them all. 

It takes its rise in a small verdant bottom among the Cotes- 
would hills, near Cirencester, in the county of Gloucester, bearing 
the name of the village of Kemble, beneath which it winds its 
scanty stream, and whose lofty spire enlivens the landscape : 
it then proceeds an humble rivulet, overshadowed by willows, till 
it reaches the town of Cricklade, in Wiltshire, where, by the 
influx of other streams, it is considerably enlarged, and becomes 
navigable for boats of a very small burthen. At Fairford, in 
Gloucestershire, a place remarkable for the beautiful painted glass 
of which the windows of the church are composed, it receives the 
accession of the Coin ; and at a small distance, with the added 
contribution of the Lech, at Lechlade, in the same county, it 
becomes navigable for barges of seventy or eighty tons. In this 
important character, it still continues in a retired, meandering 
course, through a country possessing all the variety of wooded 


inclosures, fertile meads, and splendid cultivation ; when, after 
passing beneath the gentle acclivities of Farringdon, in Berks, 
and enlivening the scenery of the elegant mansion of Sir Robert 
Throckmorton, at Buckland, in that county, it reaches Stanton- 
Harcourt, in Oxfordshire, a place which has been rendered 
classical, by having been the studious residence of Pope, and 
where he finished a part of his noble translation of the Iliad. The 
room remains, in an old house belonging to Earl Harcourt, in 
which he pursued his immortal labours ; while the church, the 
burying-place of that noble family, is enriched with the monu- 
mental poetry of Congreve and of Gay. 

The Thames, after making a bold and expansive curve, and 
reflecting the small remains of Godstow nunnery, the burial-place 
of the fair, but unfortunate Rosamond, approaches Oxford, where 
ignorance has long since given it a name, which fancy has adopted. 
It is there generally called the his ; a denomination fancifully 
sanctioned by several of our distinguished poets. 

Its source is universally known to all the country around it, 
by the appellation of the Thames Head. It is not only the 
traditionary, but the geographical and legal title of the spot, as 
well as of the infant river. In all the ancient deeds, registers, and 
historical documents connected with this part of Gloucestershire, 
it is described under no other name. In the old maps laid down 
by the monks, in which the titles of places are given in the Latin 
tongue, the course of the river is marked with the term Tamesis 
fluvius. To these notices it may be added, that the most ancient 
street in Oxford is called Thames-street. That a river, after a 
course of some extent, should lose the appellation of the parent 
spring, and, at a considerable distance onwards, should resume and 


retain it to the sea, is an absurdity which could alone prevail from 
the beautiful poetry which has adopted it. The oozy low ground 
on one side of Oxford, which is occasionally overflowed by the 
river, was, in the monkish Latin, called Isis, and was probably 
transferred to this part of the river itself; and, possessing a more 
harmonious and classical accent, was patronised by poets, to the 
exclusion of the original name ; while Prior's pretty derivation, in 
his charming poem of Henry and Emma, sanctified the notion by 
the fiction of poetry. 

Oxford, with its picturesque magnificence, and interesting 
beyond what words can convey, from its scientific character, 
dignifies the Thames, whose silver waves adorn it. The river 
then winds between the uplands of Oxfordshire and the rich level 
of Berkshire, till it reflects the overhanging woods and wavy 
slopes of Nuneham-Courteney, the seat of Earl Harcourt, where 
the combined taste of Mason, Browne, and the late noble 
possessor, to whose transcendent virtues and admirable character 
let this page bear the merited testimony, improved and created so 
many beauties. 

The stream now offers from its bosom a rich, expansive view of 
the vale of White Horse, to the distant hills which form the 
boundary of it ; and having approached the town of Abingdon, 
whose spire is a distinguished and pleasing object in the level 
country, it makes an abrupt turn towards Shillingford, with its 
picturesque scenery, which it reflects and enlivens. On its 
approach to Wallingford, it receives the Tame, which the poet 
has assigned to be its bride, and to improve its name. The latter 
is among the inferior rivulets which offer their tributary waters to 
the Thames, and is very ill suited to such an alliance. Having 



passed through the ancient bridge of Wallingford, it winds 
through a country abounding in a rich variety of wild, cultivated, 
and highly improved nature. Pretty villages, fine seats, and 
ornamented grounds, divided by meadow, arable culture, and 
woody declivities, alternately succeed, till it approaches Reading ; 
where, at a short distance from that town, it receives the waters 
of the Kennet ; and continues with an accumulated flow, but 
without any striking variety of circumstance, till it passes before 
Park Place, so well known for the variety of its scenery, and the 
taste with which that amiable and excellent man, the late Marshal 
Conway, displayed, improved, and adorned it. 

At a small distance, the beautiful bridge of Henley, decorated 
with the sculpture of the Honourable Mrs. Damer, stretches 
across the river ; which, after presenting itself to the view of 
Fawley Court, the seat of Mr. Strickland Freeman, glides on to 
contribute its beauty to a range of country on either side, where 
nature, in her most pleasing humour, has lavished all her softer 
charms in an abundant variety ; and where art, which could not 
increase, has only taken the occasional opportunity to unfold 

Here, the Thames, as if lingering with delight in its enchanting 
course, proceeds in a long succession of meanders, till, after 
passing by Medmenham abbey, the former and celebrated retreat 
of dissipating conviviality, and Bisham abbey, the scene of other 
and better comforts, strikes off, in one bold, undeviating line, to 
Mario w. It now passes between less interesting boundaries, till 
it gives the nearing view of Hedsor, the seat of Lord Boston, 
with its fine, undulating domain and sylvan scenery. In three 
branches, forming spacious islands, it approaches Clifden ; when, 


collecting its scattered parts again into one stream, it flows on 
beneath the wood-clad heights ; and, after reflecting the lesser, 
but charming acclivities of Taplow, it reaches the ancient town of 
Maidenhead. It continues to divide the counties of Buckingham 
and Berks ; and, after washing the low banks of the village of 
Bray, renowned by a fanciful tradition of a versatile vicar, who 
never existed there, it reaches Windsor, with its royal castle 
rising in stately magnificence on one side ; while the lofty spires 
and antique towers of Eton college appear, amidst academic 
groves, on the other. 

From Windsor bridge the Thames makes a bold curve round 
the castle to Datchet, and hastens to lave the banks of Runne- 
mede, the interesting spot where our armed ancestors obtained 
the charter of that liberty, which their descendants now enjoy in 
uninterrupted peace and security. 

Cooper's Hill, which is here a distinguished and interesting 
feature of the prospect, is the well-known subject of Sir John 
Denham's pleasing poem, where the Thames is celebrated with so 
much descriptive truth, and such beauty of expression. 

O could I flow like thee, and make thy stream 
My great example, as it is my theme ! 
Tho' deep, yet clear ; tho' gentle, yet not dull ; 
Strong without rage ; without o'erflowing, full : 
Heaven her Eridanus no more shall boast, 
Whose fame in thine, like lesser currents, lost. 

Near Chertsey the scenery is without particular attraction ; but 
beyond the bridge, Woburn Farm, the seat of Mr. Petre, and 
Ham Farm, the residence of the Earl of Portmore, present their 
respective beauties. The former was the first example of the 


ferme ornte, which has since been so generally and so successfully 
followed. Onward is the little village of Shepperton, a favourite 
resort of the tranquil angler ; and is contrasted by the noble, 
finely wooded brow of Oatlands, the seat of the Duke of York, 
on the Surrey side of the stream. 

The banks now become more inhabited, and beyond Walton, 
the Middlesex side of the river is covered with mansions, that 
display the opulence and taste of their inhabitants. Sunbury 
succeeds : Hampton then stretches along the Middlesex shore ; 
and the villa of Garrick, with its garden and temple of the poet 
of whose immortality he will partake, is the pride of this part of 
the river. The Surrey side affords little interest or inviting 
circumstance. Clermont alone distinguishes the distance. 

The Thames soon beholds the splendid, but neglected palace of 
Hampton Court ; and, gliding by the park which forms its 
domain, and the ornamental gardens and villas of Thames Ditton, 
it reaches Kingston, in Surrey, one of the most ancient towns 
seated beside it. At Teddington, an adjacent village, in Mid- 
dlesex, the stream meets the tide, and forms its alliance with the 
sea. The river soon reflects the range of beautiful villas and 
gardens that enrich the banks of Twickenham. Strawberry Hill, 
the curious villa of the late Earl of Oxford, holds the first place 
among them ; while Pope's house has been sacrificed to the love 
of gain, and the willows planted by the poet's hand, which were a 
commanding decoration of this part of the river, being decayed 
by time, yielded to the blast, and are seen no more. It will not 
be thought necessary, we presume, to make any apology for 
adding the following verses, addressed to Pope's weeping willow, 
at Twickenham, in 1792 : 


Weep, verdant Willow, ever weep, 

And spread thy pendent branches round : 
Oh ! may no gaudy flow'ret creep 

Along the consecrated ground ! 
Thou art the Muses' fav'rite tree ; 
They lov'd the bard who planted thee. 

The wintry blast assails in vain ; 

The forked lightning passes by, 
To stretch the oak upon the plain, 

Whose tow'ring branches brav'd the sky : 
The Muses guard their fav'rite tree ; 
They lov'd the bard who planted thee. 

And oft, 'tis said, at evening hour, 

To Fancy's eye bright forms appear 
To glide beneath the leafy bower, 

While music steals on Fancy's ear : 
The Muses haunt their fav'rite tree ; 
They lov'd the bard who planted thee. 

But all the Muses' tender care 

Cannot prolong the final date : 
Rude time will strip thy branches bare, 

And thou must feel the stroke of Fate ; 
E'en thou, the Muses' fav'rite tree, 
Must fall like him who planted thee.* 

But still the Muse shall hover near ; 

And, planted there by hands unseen, 
Another willow shall appear, 

Of pensive form, upon the green ; 
To grace the spot, when thou no more 
Shalt overarch the hallow'd shore. 

* The event here foretold has since happened, and the tree is no more. A small 
branch of it, however, has been planted on the spot, and flourishes. 


Here the stream, stretching onwards in a silver serpentine, 
flows before the umbrageous walks of Ham, and beneath the en- 
chanting brow of Richmond, amid the combined beauties of art 
and nature. In a short distance it divides the splendid and royal 
gardens of Richmond, which form a scene of sylvan glory, from 
the wide-spreading lawns of Sion House ; and having reflected the 
towers of the palace at Kew, and flowed through the arches of 
the bridge of the same name, it seems at once to lose its rural 
character. The shores are not, indeed, without their elegant 
houses and decorated gardens, but they are intermingled with the 
various forms of trade and manufacture, and the stream is 
whitened with the sails which commerce spreads. The song of 
the bird, the whispering of the reeds, and the carrol of the 
peasant, are exchanged for the noise of hammers, the roar of 
mills, and the busy hum of men. The villages are now crowded 
with the inhabitants of mercantile opulence or active industry ; 
and between such scenes it continues to flow, with rare intervals 
of rural life, till it combines with the magnificence of the 
metropolis. Mortlake, Barnes, Chiswick, Putney, Fulham, 
Hammersmith, Wandsworth, Battersea, and Chelsea, may be 
almost considered as so many suburbs of the capital, of whose 
character they partake. At the latter place, the Thames expands 
into a larger breadth, and flows with an accelerated current. 
There the noble edifice of the military hospital dignifies, as it 
were, its approach to the metropolis ; the first view of which, as it 
is seen near Lambeth, is represented in the plate which accom- 
panies this page. It presents a beautiful and superb metropolitan 
landscape. The river is of a sufficient expanse to be a grand 
object of itself: Westminster bridge, with its fine arches, 


! * 

o I 

"3 I 


stretching across the water in splendid simplicity ; and the edificial 
group of Westminster Hall, with the abbey and its stately towers 
rising beyond it, form an union of the picturesque and the magnifi- 
cent ; and, heightened by the diminutive character of intervening 
objects, compose a picture, that cannot fail of producing a most 
impressive effect on the mind, as well as the eye of the beholder. 

The scene which is represented in the annexed engraving, is a 
view of the same nature, but with a different and more extended 
combination of its parts. The point of view is from the river 
near Cuper's-stairs. Here Blackfriars bridge, which is seen at a 
considerable distance, displays its beautiful outline to the greatest 
advantage, and heightens the effect of the grove of spires and 
towers which rise beyond it. St. Paul's proudly predominates in 
the center, while the spire of St. Bride's church agreeably breaks 
the range of buildings between the cathedral and the grand archi- 
tectural mass of Somerset-buildings. The tower of the patent 
shot-manufactory gives a pleasing relief to the Surrey side of the 
river, and completes the picture. 

Westminster bridge is among the finest structures of its kind 
in the world. It possesses a simple grandeur, that renders it a 
majestic feature of the Thames. The first stone was laid on the 
29th of January 1738-9, by the Earl of Pembroke, who, to the 
purest taste, added a scientific acquaintance with architecture. It 
was built after a design of Mr. Labelye, a native of Switzerland, 
and completed in November, 1747. Its length is 1223 feet, the 
number of its arches thirteen, and that which forms the center 
is seventy-six feet wide. The whole cost of it amounted to 
,389,500. Of this sum, .197,500 was raised by a lottery; the 
remainder was granted by Parliament. 


Blackfriars bridge is barely second to that of Westminster, and 
it merits all the admiration it receives, for the lightness and 
elegance of its construction. It was built after the design of 
Mr. Robert Mylne ; and consists of nine arches, the center of 
which is an hundred feet wide. Its length is nine hundred and 
ninety-five feet. The first stone was laid on the 3Oth of October, 
1760, by Sir Thomas Chitty, Knight, lord mayor of London, and 
was completed in 1769. Its cost amounted to ,152,840 35. lod. 
which, in less than twenty years, was defrayed by a general toll, 
granted by act of Parliament for that purpose. 

The river between Blackfriars and London bridge does not 
afford the opportunity to give a pleasing picture. The range of 
wharfs, warehouses, and manufactures, with the crowd of churches 
behind, some rising high, and others only peeping above the 
unequal roofs, defy the pencil to convert them into an agreeable 
whole ; while St. Paul's cathedral is too near to admit of any 
merit in its representation, but that of similitude. The same 
observations may, in a great measure, be applied to the scenery 
of the lower part of the river. 

Such is the river Thames, which we have traced from its 
source till it reaches the metropolis, to whose beauty, health, 
accommodation, and opulence, it so largely contributes. 



Vol. Page I 

ACADEMY, Royal, description of 

the . . i. 3 

Objects of the institution . 9 

Its annual exhibition . . 10 

Admiral, Lord High, some ac- 
count of his office . . 1 1 

Admiralty, description of the . 16 

Acts of Parliament termed the 

gagging bills, their effect . ii. 3 

Albion Mills consumed by fire . 36 

Amphitheatre, Astley's, descrip- 
tion of the . . . i. 19 

Anecdote, an Oxford one . 21 

of a mayor of Coventry . 24 

Architecture, an account of the 

early state of it . . ii. 81 

Arts in England during the 

middle ages . . 27 

Astley, Mr. Philip, a curious 

letter of his . . . i. 20 

Asylum, the institution, objects 

and establishment of the . 25 

Royal Military, at Chelsea, 

its description, design, and 
establishment . . iii. 249 

Auction-room, description of 

Christie's . . . i. 32 


Vol. Page 

Bank of England, description 

of the . . . i. 40 

Its history and establishment 41 
Bankrupts, laws relating to them, 

&c. . . . ii. 124 
Bar, the eloquence of it in Eng- 
land . ... 8 
Barry, James, historical painter, 

some account of . . iii. 57 

Bartholomew Fair, description of i. 52 

Circumstances relating to it . 59 
Bilingsgate, history and descrip- 
tion of 63 

Bill of fare of the dinner given 
to his present Majesty at 
Guildhall . . . ii. 107 

Bland, Sir John, a gaming anec- 
dote of him . . . 102 

Blue-coat School, or Christ's 

Hospital, history of . . i. 69 

Board of Trade, an account of 

the . . . iii. 190 

Bow-street Police-Office, descrip- 
tion of the . . i. 82 

Boydell, Alderman, description 
of the pictures placed by 
him in the Common-Coun- 
cil-Chamber, Guildhall . ii. 115 

A sketch of his life 1 2 1 



Vol. Page 

Bridewell, history and descrip- 
tion of . . . i. 92 
Bridge, Westminster . . Hi. 278 

Blackfriars . . . 279 
British Forum, circumstances re- 
lating to it . . . ii. 4 

Regulations of it . 5 
Brookes's Subscription -House, 

an account of it . . 94 

Buchan, Dr., an impromptu of 

his . . . . i. 14 

Buckingham, Duke of, letter of 

the . . . iii. 3 

Burke, Edmund, character of 

his eloquence . . ii. 10 

Observation of . 3 

His parliamentary compli- 

ment to the king . . iii. 12 
Burlington, Earl of, anecdote of 

him . . . . 2ii 

Butcher's company, its great 


11. 179 

Calais, the burghers of, their 

conduct to Edward III. . i. 168 
Cards, curious account of them ii. 96 
Carlton-House, description of . i. 107 
Cattle, a table of the number 
killed in the year 1807, in 
London, &c. . . ii. 179 

Chancellor, Lord High, his office i. 199 
Chancellors, Lord High, succes- 
sion of them . . 197 
Chapel, Roman Catholic, Lin- 
coln's -Inn Fields, descrip- 
tion of . ii. 114 

Vol. Page 

Charles II. curious origin of his 

statue in Stocks-market . ii. 181 

Excellent laws passed in his 

reign . 183 

Charters, an account of those 

granted to the city . . 114 
Chelsea Hospital, history and 

description of . . iii. 249 

Particulars of its establish- 

ment . . . 253 

Chesterfield, Earl of, a bon mot of i. 1 8 
Christ's Hospital, description of 

it, &c. . 74 

Churches, Saxon, when built in 

England . . ii. 88 

City of London, an account of 

its municipal government . 114 
City watch, ancient ceremonial 

of the . iii. 213 

Coal trade, some account of the i. 121 
Cockpit, Royal, account of the . 123 
Coinage of Great Britain, state- 
ment of the . . . iii. 195 
Coinage of money, its process . ii. 204 
Coldbath-Fields Prison, its state 

and regulations . . i. 126 
College of Physicians, history 

of the . . . 131 

Interesting portraits in it . 135 

Its successive charters . 136 
Commons, House of, its history 

and description . . 183 

Eminent speakers in it . ii. 12 
Concert at Amsterdam, curious 

account of one . . i. 125 
Constitution, English, brief his- 
tory of it . . 154 



Vol. Pag 

Cooke, observations on his acting ii. 7 

Coram, Mr. Thomas, founder of 
the Foundling Hospital, 

some account of him . 62 

Corn Exchange, an account of . 13 

Its origin . . . 24 

Corn, account of its weekly sale, 

&c. for one year . . 16 

Act of Parliament for register- 

ing the prices, &c. . . 18 

Exported from England, table 

of . . 14 

from England and Scot- 
land . . . . 19 

Covent-Garden market, account 

of . . . i. 209 

Theatre, description and re- 

gulations of it . . 212 

New Theatre . . . iii. 259 
Court of Chancery, history of it i. 193 

Common Pleas . . 203 

King's Bench . . . 205 

Exchequer . . . 207 
Customhouse, description of . 217 
Customs, table of . . 221 
Cutler, Sir John, anecdote of . 132 


Debating Society, account of one 223 
Demosthenes, anecdote of . ii. 9 

Doctors' Commons, its history 

and jurisdiction . . i. 224 

Drury-Lane Theatre, description 

of 228 

Vol. Page 

East-India Company, sketch of 

its history . . . ii. 141 

Various proceedings in Par- 
liament relative to its con- 
cerns and government . 143 
Edward VI. his charitable 

foundations . . . i. 71 

Egyptian Hall, Mansion-House ii. 181 
Elliston, his merits as an actor . 7 

Eloquence, British, brief account 

of it . . . 7 

Erskine, Lord, character of his 

eloquence . . 12 

Exchange, Coal, account of the i. 119 
Excise-Office, history of, &c. . iii. 268 

Fairs, some account of their 

origin, &c. . . i. 54 

Fielding, Henry, some account 
of his character as a magis- 
trate . . 82 

Fires, a list of them during the 

year 1807 . . ii. 41 

Different modes proposed for 

preventing and extinguish- 
ing them . 41 

Fire-Offices, table of their rates 

of insurance . 38 

Fish, price of, in the reign of 

Edward I. . . . i. 66 

Fleet-Ditch, circumstances rela- 
tive to it . . ii. 46 

Fleet Prison, an account of it, &c. 44 

Rules for its regulation . 49 

Foundation of it . . 47 

Fees, a rate of . 55 



Vol. Page 

Fleet Prison, discovery of an 

ancient gateway . . ii. 59 

The office of warden formerly 

of great consequence . 60 

Fox, Charles, Right Hon. char- 
acter of his eloquence . 9 
Fox, George, the founder of the 
sect of Quakers, some ac- 
count of . . 236 
Free Masons' Hall, its origin, &c. 7 9 
Free Masons, some account of 

them . 80 

Questions, &c. of Henry VI. 

respecting them . . 91 
Foundling Hospital, its origin 

and history . . . 61 

Pictures presented to it . 66 

Manner of admission . . 74 

Treatment of the children . 75 
Funds, public, historical sketch 

of them . . . iii. 104 

Gaming, foreign, edicts against it ii. 99 

English laws respecting it . 100 
Gesner, letter from him to his 

son at Rome . . 26 

Germans, ancient, attached to 

gaming . 101 

Grain, table of its prices for 

fifteen years . . 15 

Greenwich Hospital, its history 

and description . . iii. 242 

Hall, description of . . 244 

Chapel, ditto . . 246 
Grenville, Lord, character of his 

eloquence . . . ii. 12 

Vol. Page 

Greyl, Zachary, his project for 

extinguishing fires . . ii. 41 

Guildhall, history and descrip- 

tion of . 103 

Royal feasts given in it . 106 
Gwyn, Nell, anecdote of . . iii. 250 


Hales, the Rev. Dr., his method 

to check the progress of fire ii. 42 
Handel, his legacy to the Found- 

ling Hospital . . 67 

Hartley, Mr. David, his invention 

for securing buildings from 

taking fire . . 43 

Henry VI. his questions, &c. 

respecting Masonry . . 91 

Heralds' College, history and 

description of it . . 125 
Heralds, their office and descrip- 

tions . . 126 

Their power and jurisdiction 130 
Hogarth, his pictures in the 

Foundling Hospital . . 66 
Holbein, a picture by him in 

Bridewell Hospital . . i. 96 

Horse-Guards, description of the ii. 206 

Hospitals, list of those in London 138 

House of Lords, character of . 188 

Description of . . . 189 

Account of an ancient draw- 

ing of . . 190 

Jane Shore, an account of her 

public penance . . iii. 136 

Jews, their settlement in Eng- 

land 161 



Vol. Page 

Jews, historical sketch of that 

people . . . iii. 163 

Decree of the French govern- 
ment respecting them . 165 

India, East, history of its com- 
merce with Europe . . ii. 139 

Inigo Jones, his principal works 89 

Insurance-offices, an account of 

them . 37 

Institution, British, account of 

the . . . i. 98 


Kemble, criticisms on his acting ii. 6 
King, the, his political attributes 189 
King's Bench Prison, an ac- 
count of . 161 

Lambeth Palace, historical and 

descriptive account of it . 163 

Hospitalities of several of the 

archbishops of Canterbury 168 

Endangered by the riots in 

1780 . . . 172 

A daring robbery committed 

there . . . 172 

Lavoisier, the French chemist, 

circumstance of his death . i. 145 
Leadenhall market, its ancient 

and present state . . ii. 176 
Leather, its great value as a 

staple commodity . . 180 
Letters, remarkable ones from 

naval officers . . i. 15 

Lincoln's-Inn Hall,descriptionof 1 93 
Long room, Customhouse, de- 
scription of . . . 218 

Vol. Page 

Lords, House of, eminent 

speakers in it . . ii. 12 

Lotteries, history of . . 193 

Statutes relating to them . 194 
Lloyd's coffee-house, account of 174 


Macaulay, Mrs., the historian, 
her statue placed in St. 
Stephen's, Walbrook . iii. 210 

Magdalen-House, history and 

description of the . . ii. 196 

Mansion-House of the lord 

mayor . . . 181 

Meal-weighers, their office in 

the city of London . . 18 

Market, new seed and corn, an 

account of it . . 24 

Medicine, observations on the 

practice of . . . i. 139 

Mews, the King's, an account of ii. 162 

Middlesex Hospital, the descrip- 
tion of . 133 

The first that received lying- 

in women . . . 134 

Its regulations . 136 
Mint, history of the . . 202 
More, Sir Thomas, anecdote of i. 197 
Museum, British, history and 

description of . . 101 


Newgate, history and description 

of . . . ii. 208 


Old Bailey, account of the . 211 
Opera-House, Haymarket . 213 



Vol. Paft 

Painters in water colours, society 

of, its constitution . . ii. 32 
Palmer, Mr., his improvements 

in the Post-Orifice . . 229 
Pantheon, Oxford-street . . 215 
Parliament, British, eloquence 

of it . . 9 

Paving of London, anecdote 

respecting it . . i. 151 

Philanthropic Society, account 

of the . . . ii. 217 

Picture-dealers, observation on . i. 33 

maker, the curious bill of one 35 
Pillory, account of that punish- 
ment . . ii. 226 

Pitt, William, Right Hon. char- 
acter of his eloquence . 9 

Police of London, proposed im- 
provements in it . . i. 85 

of Paris, an extraordinary 

proof of its vigilance . 89 

Poor laws, brief statement of 

them . . . iii. 240 

Portrait -painting, encourage- 
ment given to it in England ii. 28 
Post-Office, General, history and 

description of the . . 227 
Post-Office, Two-penny . . 235 
Pulpit, the eloquence of it in 

England . . 8 

Quakers, account of the sect so 

called . . . 236 

Queen's Palace, description of 

the . . . iii. i 

Vol, Page 

Religion, the Catholic, favour- 
able to the arts . . ii. 28 

Reynolds, Sir Joshua, his excel- 
lence as a painter con- 
sidered . . . i. 6 

Riots in 1780, brief account of 

the . . . . 115 

Royal Circus, description of the iii. 13 

Account of principal theat- 

rical performers produced 
by it. . . 16 

Royal Exchange, foundation of 

the . . 17 

Visited by Queen Elizabeth 18 

Description of . . 20 
Royal Institution, origin and 

description of the . . 27 

Its professors . . 37 

Sadler's Wells, description of . 37 
St. James's Palace, history and 

description of . . 107 

Park, ditto . . . 116 
St. Luke's Hospital for Lunatics, 

history and description of . 119 
St. Margaret's Church, West- 
minster . . . 124 
St. Martin's in the Fields . 128 
St. Paul's Cathedral, its ancient 

history . . . 131 
History and description of 

the present structure . 139 

Its dimensions . . 151 
St. Stephen Walbrook . . 208 
Selwyn, George, a bon mot of . i. 17 



Vol. Page 

Sessions -House, in the Old 

Bailey, description of the ii. 211 

Clerkenwell, history and de- 

scription of the . . iii. 42 
Sheridan, R. B., character of 

his eloquence . . ii. n 

Siddons, Mrs., her eulogium . 7 

Smithfield, ancient account of . i. 55 

Tournaments held there . 56 
Society of Agriculture, the insti- 
tution of the . . iii. 73 

National advantages derived 

from it . . . 77 

Society of Arts, Manufactures, 
and Commerce, origin of 
the . 47 

Distribution of its premiums 48 

Regulations for its govern- 

ment . 49 

Subjects for its premiums . 53 

The national advantages de- 

rived from it . . 58 

Description of the paintings 

which decorate the great 
room . 67 

Somerset-House, history of . 86 

Royal personages who re- 

sided in it . . . 87 
- Description of its present state 92 
South-Sea House, history of, &c. 264 
Stanhope, Earl, his method for 
securing buildings from tak- 
ing fire . ii. 43 
Stamp-Office, account of the . iii. 99 
Stock-Exchange, origin of the . 101 
Stocks-market, curious anecdote 

of it . ii. 181 

Student at law, of Poitiers, in 

France, anecdote of . 
Synagogue in Duke's-place 
Surrey Institution, the design, 
regulations, and description 
of the 

Tattersall's Repository 

Temple, the ancient history and 
present constitution of the 

Thames, River, its course de- 

Tower of London, antiquity of 
the . . . 

Its executions and murders . 

Description of it 

Trade of Great Britain, brief 

history of the 

Trinity-House, institution of the 
Truschessian Gallery, the fate of 

the . 

Vol. Page 

ii. i 
iii. 161 






Vauxhall, the origin and descrip- 
tion of . . iii. 202 

Verrio, a picture by him in 

Christ's Hospital . . i. 76 

Vyner, Sir Robert, anecdote of ii. 230 


Wagers, account of some very 

curious ones . 95 

Warwick-lane, the origin of its 

name . . . i. 131 

Watch-house of St. James's 

parish . . . iii. 213 



Vol. Page 

Water Colours, paintings in, cir- 
cumstances respecting them ii. 29 
- Exhibition of . . 30 

Associated artists in . 35 

Their constitution . . ib. 

Westminster Abbey, the founda- 
tion and description of . iii. 223 

Westminster Hall, its history 

and uses . . 233 

West India Docks, the establish- 
ment and great utility of the 217 

Vol. Pa 

Whitehall Chapel, history and 

description of . . iii. 237 

Wilson, his pictures in the 

Foundling Hospital . . ii. 67 

Winkelman, Abbe, his observa- 

tions on the English genius 25 

Workhouse of St. James's parish, 
its establishment and regu- 
lations . . . iii. 241 

Wren, Sir Christopher, his 

epitaph . . . 153 







Methuen and Co. , London 

DA Microcosm of London