THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
LONDON IN MINIATURE
THE MICROCOSM OF
LONDON IN MINIATURE
\ f\c\-e*"m&K^ ^ IxVotalrok
WITH FORTY ILLUSTRATIONS BY PUGIK AND ROWLANDSON
METHUEN & CO.
T^HIS Issue is founded on the original Edition
published by Rudolph Ackermann.
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
QUEEN'S PALACE i
ROYAL CIRCUS - 13
ROYAL EXCHANGE - 17
ROYAL INSTITUTION - - 33
SADLER'S WELLS - 4 1
SESSIONS - HOUSE, CLERKEN-
WELL - 45
SOCIETY FOR THE ENCOUR-
AGEMENT OF ARTS - - 66
DITTO OF AGRICULTURE - 73
SOMERSET-HOUSE - 86
STAMP-OFFICE - - 99
STOCK-EXCHANGE - IOI
ST. JAMES'S PALACE - - 113
ST. LUKE'S HOSPITAL - 121
ST. MARGARET'S CHURCH - 127
ST. MARTIN'S IN THE FIELDS 130
ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL - 145
SURREY INSTITUTION - - 158
SYNAGOGUE - - 167
TATTERSALL'S REPOSITORY - 172
TOWER OF LONDON, EXTERIOR 185
TOWER OF LONDON, HORSE-
ARMORY, INTERIOR - - 1 88
BOARD OF TRADE - 197
TRINITY-HOUSE - 2OI
VAUXHALL - 2O4
ST. STEPHEN WALBROOK - 2O8
WATCH-HOUSE - - 217
WEST INDIA DOCKS - - 2l8
WESTMINSTER ABBEY - - 22Q
WESTMINSTER HALL - - 235
WHITEHALL - - 239
WORKHOUSE - 242
GREENWICH HOSPITAL - 246
CHELSEA HOSPITAL - - 253
ROYAL MILITARY ASYLUM AT
CHELSEA - 257
COVENT - GARDEN NEW
THEATRE - 263
SOUTH-SEA HOUSE - 267
EXCISE-OFFICE - - 269
VIEW OF THE THAMES AND
FROM LAMBETH - 278
VIEW OF LONDON, FROM THE
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.
MICROCOSM OF LONDON
LONDON IN MINIATURE
THE QUEEN'S PALACE
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
2 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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 QUEEN'S PALACE 3
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
" 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
4 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
THE QUEEN'S PALACE 5
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
" 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
6 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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 QUEEN'S PALACE 7
" 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
8 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
THE QUEEN'S PALACE 9
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
" 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-
io THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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 QUEENS PALACE n
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
12 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
THE ROYAL CIRCUS 13
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 KOYAL CIECUS
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
i 4 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
THE ROYAL CIRCUS 15
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,
16 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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-
THE ROYAL EXCHANGE 17
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
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
1 8 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
By his last will and testament, dated the 26th of November,
THE ROYAL EXCHANGE 19
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.
20 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
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
THE ROYAL EXCHANGE 21
to elegance, and some of the parts may be separately considered
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;
22 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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,
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,
Anno Salutis Humanae MDCLXXXIV.
THE ROYAL EXCHANGE 23
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
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
24 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
THE ROYAL EXCHANGE 25
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,
26 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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."
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
28 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
charter in the CORPORATION OF PROPRIETORS OF THE ROYAL
INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN. These premises are very
ROYAL INSTITUTION 29
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,
30 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
ROYAL INSTITUTION 31
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
32 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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.
ROYAL INSTITUTION 33
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 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
34 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
ROYAL INSTITUTION 35
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
36 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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-
SADLER'S WELLS 3 7
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.
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
38 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
SADLER'S WELLS 39
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
40 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
SADLER'S WELLS 41
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
SESSIONS-HOUSE, CLERKENWELL 43
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
44 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
SESSIONS-HOUSE, CLERKENWELL 45
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,
46 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
SOCIETY OF ARTS 47
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.
INSTITUTED IN LONDON FOR THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF
ARTS, MANUFACTURES, AND COMMERCE
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,
48 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
SOCIETY OF ARTS 49
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
50 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
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
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 ;
SOCIETY OF ARTS 51
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
52 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
SOCIETY OF ARTS 53
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
54 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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-
SOCIETY OF ARTS 55
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
56 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
SOCIETY OF ARTS 57
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
58 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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.
SOCIETY OF ARTS 59
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.
60 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
SOCIETY OF ARTS 61
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
62 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
SOCIETY OF ARTS 63
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
64 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
SOCIETY OF ARTS 65
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
66 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
SOCIETY OF ARTS 67
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
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
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-
68 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
SOCIETY OF ARTS 69
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 :
70 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
SOCIETY OF ARTS 71
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
72 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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.
SOCIETY OF AGBICULTUBE
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
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
74 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
"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
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 :
SIR JOHN SINCLAIR, BART.
SOCIETY OF AGRICULTURE
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 of Egremont.
Earl of Lonsdale.
Earl of Moira.
Earl of Carysfort.
Bishop of Llandaff.
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-
76 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
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
SOCIETY OF AGRICULTURE 77
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-
78 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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.
SOCIETY OF AGRICULTURE 79
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
8o THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
SOCIETY OF AGRICULTURE 81
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
82 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
SOCIETY OF AGRICULTURE 83
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
84 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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-
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.
SOCIETY OF AGRICULTURE 85
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
88 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
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.
90 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
SOMERSET-HOUSE 9 1
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
92 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
94 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
96 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
98 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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.
ioo THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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.
THE STOCK EXCHANGE 101
forming a total of fourscore of these mechanical assistants. The
gentlemen who at present occupy the principal offices are as
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.
THE STOCK EXCHANGE
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
102 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
THE STOCK EXCHANGE 103
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
io 4 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
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
THE STOCK EXCHANGE 105
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
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
io6 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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.
ST. JAMES'S PALACE 107
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.
ST. JAMES'S PALACE
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
io8 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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,
ST. JAMES'S PALACE 109
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
no THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
ST. JAMES'S PALACE m
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
ii2 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
ST. JAMES'S PALACE 113
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
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-
ii 4 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
ST. JAMES'S PALACE 115
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.
n6 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
ST. JAMES'S PALACE 117
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
n8 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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.
ST. LUKE'S HOSPITAL
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 MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
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-
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
ST. LUKE'S HOSPITAL 121
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.
i2 2 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
The construction and arrangement of this edifice are too
honourable to the talents of the architect, for us to pass unmen-
ST. LUKE'S HOSPITAL 123
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
Such were the rational and humane motives of the first pro-
moters of this design ; while the support it has received, and is
i2 4 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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.
ST. MAEGAKET'S CHURCH,
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
ST. MARGARET'S, WESTMINSTER 125
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
126 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
ST. MARGARET'S, WESTMINSTER 127
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.
ST.MAETIN'S IN THE FIELDS
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
ST. MARTIN'S IN THE FIELDS 129
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;
1 3 o THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
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
ST. PAULS CATHEDRAL 131
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.
ST. PAUL'S CATHEDEAL
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-
THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL 133
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
134 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
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
ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL 135
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,
136 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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,
ST. PAULS CATHEDRAL 137
"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
138 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL 139
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
THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL 141
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.
142 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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.
ST. PAUL\S CATHEDRAL 143
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
H4 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
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
ST PAUL'S CATHEDMAIL.
ST. PAULS CATHEDRAL 145
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
146 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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,
ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL 147
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,
1 48 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL 149
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
i5o THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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.
ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL
THE DIMENSIONS OF THE CHURCH.
The whole length of the church
and porch . . .500
The breadth within the doors of
The breadth of the front, with the
turrets . ...
The breadth of the front, without
The breadth of the church and
The breadth of the church and
The length of the porch within .
The breadth of the porch within .
The length of the platea at the
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
From the cupola to the end of
The breadth of the turrets .
The outward diameter of the
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 .
The architrave, frieze, and cornice
The composite pillars
The ornaments above and below .
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
152 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL 153
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.
Hujus ecclesiae et urbis conditor,
CHRISTOPHERUS WREN ;
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
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.
SURREY INSTITUTION 155
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
156 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
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
SURREY INSTITUTION 157
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
158 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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.
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.
1 60 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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.
1 62 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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 SYNAGOGUE 163
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
1 64 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
THE SYNAGOGUE 165
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
166 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
THE SYNAGOGUE 167
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
168 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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,
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;
his only surviving daughter,
Mrs. Judy Levy,
widow of Elias Levy, Esquire,
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
THE SYNAGOGUE 169
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
1 70 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
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,
TATTERSALL'S REPOSITORY 171
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
1 72 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
174 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
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 TEMPLE 175
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
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
1 76 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
THE TEMPLE 177
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
178 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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.
THE TOWEK OF LONDON
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
i8o THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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 TOWER OF LONDON 181
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
1 82 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
brutal and ambitious protector, the Duke of Gloucester, for his
avowed fidelity to the children of his late royal master,
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.
THE TOWER OF LONDON 183
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
1 84 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
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
THE TOWER OF LONDON 185
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
1 86 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
THE TOWER OF LONDON 187
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
1 88 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
THE TOWER OF LONDON 1*9
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 BOAKD OF TKADE
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
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-
THE BOARD OF TRADE 19'
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
192 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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,
THE BOARD OF TRADE 193
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
i 9 4 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
THE BOARD OF TRADE 195
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-
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.
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
1 96 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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 BOARD OF TRADE
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.
Earl of Clancarty.
The Right Hon. Sir William Wynne.
Sir William Scott.
Sir Stephen Cotterel.
Law Clerk, John Reeves, Esq.
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.
200 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
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
TBINIT Y-HOUSE 20 1
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
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.
THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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.
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.
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
204 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
206 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
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
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.
ST. STEPHEN WALBKOOK
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
ST. STEPHEN WALBROOK 209
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
210 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
ST. STEPHEN WALBROOK 211
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
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
212 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
2i 4 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
216 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
THE WEST INDIA DOCKS 217
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
THE WEST INDIA DOCKS
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.
2i8 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
THE WEST INDIA DOCKS 219
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
THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
THE WEST INDIA DOCKS 221
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
GEORGE HIBBERT, Esq. the chairman,
ROBERT MILLIGAN, Esq. the deputy chairman,
THE WEST INDIA DOCK COMPANY :
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
STABILITY, INCREASE, and ORNAMENT
222 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
224 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
WESTMINSTER ABBEY 225
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
226 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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-
WESTMINSTER ABBEY 227
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
228 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
WESTMINSTER ABBEY 229
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
2 3 o THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
WESTMINSTER ABBEY 231
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
232 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
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-
234 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
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
WESTMINSTER HALL 235
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.
236 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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 ;
238 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
WHITEHALL CHAPEL 239
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
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,
242 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
GREENWICH HOSPITAL 243
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
244 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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-
GREENWICH HOSPITAL 245
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
246 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
James Thornhill has taken an opportunity to introduce a portrait
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
GREENWICH HOSPITAL 247
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 ;
GREENWICH HOSPITAL 247
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 ;
248 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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.
CHELSEA HOSPITAL 249
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
2 50 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
CHELSEA HOSPITAL 251
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.
252 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
CHELSEA HOSPITAL 253
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
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.
254 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
26 Captains, one of whom acts as serjeant-major.
48 Corporals and drummers.
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 COMMISSIONERS APPOINTED BY PATENT.
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.
ROYAL MILITARY ASYLUM, CHELSEA 255
THE OFFICIAL ESTABLISHMENT.
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
THE EOYAL MILITARY ASYLUM
'""" "^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
256 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
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 :
THE ROYAL MILITARY ASYLUM FOR THE CHILDREN OF THE
SOLDIERS OF THE REGULAR ARMY.
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
ROYAL MILITARY ASYLUM, CHELSEA 257
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
258 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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,
Master-General of the Ordnance, Commissary-General,
Commander-in-Chief in Scotland, Deputy Secretary at War,
Commander-in-Chief in Ireland, Chaplain-General.
COVENT-GAKDEN NEW THEATKE
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.
260 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
COVENT-GARDEN NEW THEATRE 261
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
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
262 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
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,
COVENT-GARDEN NEW THEATRE 263
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
264 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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,
SOUTH-SEA HOUSE 265
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
266 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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 PRESENT DIRECTION.
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
THE EXCISE-OFFICE 269
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
2 7 o THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
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
272 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
THE THAMES 273
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
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
274 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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,
THE THAMES 275
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
276 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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 :
THE THAMES 277
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.
278 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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,
THE THAMES 279
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.
280 THE MICROCOSM OF LONDON
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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-
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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