The altar-piece is adorned with four noble fluted pilasters, finely painted and veined with gold, in imitation of lapis lazuli, with their entablature, where the enrichments, and also the capitals of the pilasters, are double gilt with gold. These intercolumns are twenty-one panels of figured crimson velvet, and above them six windows, viz., in each intercolumniation seven panels and two windows, one above the other; at the greatest altitude above all which is a glory finely done. The aperture north and south into the choir are (ascending up three steps of black marble) by two iron folding-doors, being, as that under the organ-gallery, &c., exquisitely wrought into divers figures, spiral branches, and other flourishes. There are two others at the west end of the choir, the one opening into the south aisle, the other in the north, done by the celebrated artist in this way, M. Tijan.
And what contributes to the beauty of this choir are the galleries, the bishop's throne, Lord Mayor's seat, with the stalls, all which being contiguous, compose one vast body of carved work of the finest wainscot, constituting three sides of a quadrangle.
The cupola (within the church) appears erected and elevated on eight pillars of a large magnitude, adorned with pilasters, entablature, circular pediments, and arches of the Corinthian order, and each pillar enriched with a spacious festoon. Here are also as many alcoves fronted with curious ironwork, and over the arches, at a great height from the ground, is an entablature, and on the cornice an ambulatory, fronted or fenced in with handsome ironwork, extending round the inside of the cupola, above which is a range of thirty-two pilasters of the Corinthian order, where every fourth intercolumn is adorned with a niche and some enrichments; and it said that in every foot of altitude the diameter of this decreaseth one inch.
On the outside of the dome, about twenty feet above the outer roof of the church, is a range of thirty-two columns, with niches of the same altitude, and directly counter to those aforesaid within the cupola. To these columns there is entablament, and above that a gallery with acroteria, where are placed very spacious and ornamental vases all round the cupola. At twelve feet above the tops of these vases (which space is adorned with pilasters and entablament, and the intercolumns are windows) the diameter is taken in (as appears outwardly) five feet, and two feet higher it decreases five feet, and a foot above that it is still five feet less, where the dome outwardly begins to arch, which arches meet about fifty-two feet higher in perpendicular altitude, on the vertex of which dome is a neat balcony, and above this a large and beautiful lantern, adorned with columns of the Corinthian order, with a ball and cross at the top.
Christ's Hospital is situated between Newgate Street and St. Bartholomew's Hospital in Smithfield. Here, as has been observed already, was anciently a monastery of grey friars, founded about the year 1325, which, upon the dissolution of monasteries, was surrendered to King Henry VIII., anno 1538, who, in the last year of his reign, transferred it to the City of London for the use of the poor. King Edward VI. endowed this hospital—together with those of Bridewell and St. Thomas's Hospital in Southwark—with large revenues, of which the City were made trustees, and incorporated by the name of the mayor, commonalty, and citizens of the City of London, governors of the possessions, revenues, and goods of the hospitals of Christ, Bridewell, and St. Thomas the Apostle, to whom the king granted 3,266 pounds 13s. 4d. per annum.
It was opened in the year 1552, in the month of November, and a good writing-school was added to this foundation in the year 1694 by Sir John More, Kt., and alderman.
The children admitted into this hospital are presented every year by the Lord Mayor and aldermen and the other governors in their turns, a list of whom is printed yearly and set up at the counting-house, and a letter is sent to each of the said governors, some days before the admission, reminding him of the day of choosing, and how those he presents should be qualified, wherein is enclosed a blank certificate from the minister and churchwardens, a blank petition to the president and governors, and a paper of the rules and qualifications of the child to be presented. Upon this the governor, having made choice of a child to present, the friends of the said child come to the counting-house on the admission-day, bringing the said petition and certificates, rules, and letter along with him, and on the back side of the said petition the governor who presents endorseth words to this effect.
"I present the child mentioned in the certificate on the other side, and believe the same to be a true certificate.
"Witness my hand . . . the day . . . of 17." Which the said governor signeth, and the child is admitted.
The said rules and qualifications are as follows:
1. That no child be taken in but such as are the children of freemen of London.
2. That none be taken in under seven years old.
3. That none be taken in but orphans, wanting either father or mother, or both.
4. That no foundlings, or that are maintained at the parish charge, be taken in.
5. That none who are lame, crooked, or deformed, or that have the evil, rupture, or any infectious disease, be taken in.
6. That none be admitted but such as are without any probable means of being provided for otherways; nor without a due certificate from the minister, churchwardens, and three or four of the principal inhabitants of the parish whence any children come, certifying the poverty and inability of the parent to maintain such children, and the true age of the said child, and engaging to discharge the hospital of them before or after the age of fifteen years if a boy, or fourteen years if a girl, which shall be left to the governor's pleasure to do; so that it shall be wholly in the power of the hospital to dispose of such child, or return them to the parent or parish, as to the hospital shall seem good.
7. That no child be admitted that hath a brother or sister in the hospital already.
8. To the end that no children be admitted contrary to the rules abovesaid, when the general court shall direct the taking in of any children, they shall (before taken in) be presented to a committee, consisting of the president, treasurer, or the almoners, renters, scrutineers, and auditors, and all other governors to be summoned at the first time, and so to adjourn from time to time: and that they, or any thirteen or more of them, whereof the president or treasurer for the time being to be one, shall strictly examine touching the age, birth, and quality of such children, and of the truth of the said certificates; and when such committee shall find cause, they shall forbid or suspend the taking in of any child, until they receive full satisfaction that such child or children are duly qualified according to the rules abovesaid.
And that such children as may be presented to be admitted in pursuance of the will of any benefactor, shall be examined by the said committee, who are to take care that such children be qualified according to the wills of the donors or benefactors (as near as may consist with such wills) agreeing to the qualifications above.
The Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen present each their child yearly, but the rest of the governors only in their turns, which may happen once in three or four years.
No child is continued in after fifteen years of age, except the mathematical scholars, who are sometimes in till they are eighteen, and who, at the beginning of the seventh year of their service as mariners are at His Majesty's disposal; and of these children there is an account printed yearly, and presented to the king the 1st of January, setting forth, (1) each boy's name; (2) the month and year when they were bound out; (3) their age; (4) the names of their masters; (5) the names of the ships whereof they are commanders; (6) what country trade they are in; (7) the month and year when they will be at His Majesty's disposal. Also an account of the forty children annually enjoying the benefit of this mathematical foundation, &c., setting forth their names and age.
The governors, besides the Lord Mayor and aldermen, are many, and commonly persons that have been masters or wardens of their companies, or men of estates, from whom there is some expectation of additional charities. Out of these one is made president, who is usually some ancient alderman that hath passed the chair; another is appointed treasurer, to whom the care of the house and of the revenues are committed, who is therefore usually resident, and has a good house within the limits of the hospital. There are two governors also, who are called almoners, whose business it is to buy provisions for the house and send them in, who are attended by the steward.
The children are dieted in the following manner: They have every morning for their breakfast bread and beer, at half an hour past six in the morning in the summer time, and at half an hour past seven in the winter. On Sundays they have boiled beef and broth for their dinners, and for their suppers legs and shoulders of mutton. On Tuesdays and Thursdays they have the same dinners as on Sundays, that is, boiled beef and broth; on the other days no flesh meat, but on Mondays milk-porridge, on Wednesdays furmity, on Fridays old pease and pottage, on Saturdays water-gruel. They have roast beef about twelve days in the year by the kindness of several benefactors, who have left, some 3 pounds, some 50s. per annum, for that end. Their supper is bread and cheese, or butter for those who cannot eat cheese; only Wednesdays and Fridays they heave pudding- pies for supper.
The diet of these children seems to be exceeding mean and sparing; and I have heard some of their friends say that it would not be easy for them to subsist upon it without their assistance. However, it is observed they are very healthful; that out of eleven or twelve hundred there are scarce ever found twelve in the sick ward; and that in one year, when there were upwards of eleven hundred in this hospital, there were not more than fifteen of them died. Besides, their living in this thrifty parsimonious manner, makes them better capable of shifting for themselves when they come out into the world.
As to the education of these orphans, here is a grammar-school, a writing-school, a mathematical-school, and a drawing-school.
As to grammar and writing, they have all of them the benefit of these schools without distinction; but the others are for such lads as are intended for the sea-service.
The first mathematical school was founded by King Charles II., anno domini 1673. His Majesty gave 7,000 pounds towards building and furnishing this school, and settled a revenue of 370 pounds per annum upon it for ever; and there has been since another mathematical school erected here, which is maintained out of the revenues of the hospital, as is likewise the drawing-school.
This hospital is built about a large quadrangle, with a cloister or piazza on the inside of it, which is said to be part of the monastery of the Grey Friars; but most part of the house has been rebuilt since the Fire, and consists of a large hall, and the several schools and dormitories for the children; besides which there is a fine house at Hertford, and another at Ware, twenty miles from London, whither the youngest orphans are usually sent, and taught to read, before they are fixed at London.
The College of Physicians is situated on the west side of Warwick Lane. It is a beautiful and magnificent edifice, built by the society anno 1682, their former college in Amen Corner having been destroyed by the Fire. It is built of brick and stone, having a fine frontispiece, with a handsome doorcase, within which is a lofty cupola erected on strong pillars, on the top whereof is a large pyramid, and on its vertex a crown and gilded ball. Passing under the cupola we come into a quadrangular court, the opposite side whereof is adorned with eight pilasters below and eight above, with their entablature and a triangular pediment; over the doorcase is the figure of King Charles II. placed in a niche and between the door and the lower architrave the following inscription, viz.:-
VTRIVSQVE FORTVNAE EXEMPLAR INGENS ADVERSIS REBVS DEVM PROBAVIT PROSPERIS SEIPSVM COLLEGIJ HVJUSCE, 1682.
The apartments within consist of a hall, where advice is given to the poor gratis; a committee-room, a library, another great hall, where the doctors meet once a quarter, which is beautifully wainscoted, carved, and adorned with fretwork. Here are the pictures of Dr. Harvey, who first discovered the circulation of the blood, and other benefactors, and northward from this, over the library, is the censor's room.
The theatre under the cupola at the entrance is furnished with six degrees of circular wainscot seats, one above the other, and in the pit is a table and three seats, one for the president, a second for the operator, and a third for the lecturer; and here the anatomy lectures are performed. In the preparing room are thirteen tables of the muscles in a human body, each muscle in its proper position.
This society is a body-corporate for the practice of physic within London, and several miles about it. The president and censors are chosen annually at Michaelmas. None can practise physic, though they have taken their degrees, without their license, within the limits aforesaid; and they have a power to search all apothecaries' shops, and to destroy unwholesome medicines.
By the charter of King Charles II. this college was to consist of a president, four censors, ten elects, and twenty-six fellows; the censors to be chosen out of the fellows, and the president out of the elects.
By the charter granted by King James II., the number of fellows was enlarged, but not to exceed eighty, and none but those who had taken the degree of doctors in the British or foreign universities were qualified to be admitted members of this college.
The fellows meet four times every year, viz., on the Monday after every quarter-day, and two of them meet twice a week, to give advice to the poor gratis. Here are also prepared medicines for the poor at moderate rates.
The president and four censors meet the first Friday in every month. The Lord Chancellor, chief justices, and chief baron, are constituted visitors of this corporation, whose privileges are established by several Acts of Parliament.
22. Bread Street Ward contains Bread Street, Friday Street, Distaff Lane, Basing Lane, part of the Old Change, part of Watling Street, part of Old Fish Street, and Trinity Lane, and part of Cheapside.
The only public buildings in this ward are the churches of Allhallows, Bread Street, and St. Mildred, Bread Street.
23. Queenhithe Ward includes part of Thames Street, Queenhithe, with the several lanes running southward to the Thames, Lambeth Hill, Fish Street Hill, Five Foot Lane, Little Trinity Lane, Bread Street Hill, Huggin Lane, with the south side of Great Trinity Lane, and part of Old Fish Streets.
Queenhithe lies to the westward of the Three Cranes, and is a harbour for barges, lighters, and other vessels, that bring meal, malt, and other provisions down the Thames; being a square inlet, with wharves on three sides of it, where the greatest market in England for meal, malt, &c., is held every day in the week, but chiefly on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. It received the name of Queenhithe, or harbour, from the duties anciently paid here to the Queens of England.
24. Baynard's Castle Ward contains Peter's Hill, Bennet's Hill, part of Thames Street, Paul's Wharf, Puddle Dock, Addle Hill, Knightrider Street, Carter Lane, Wardrobe Court, Paul's Chain, part of St. Paul's Churchyard, Dean's Court, part of Creed Lane, and part of Warwick Lane.
The public buildings in this ward are Doctors' Commons, the Heralds' Office, the churches of St. Bennet, Paul's Wharf, St. Andrew, Wardrobe, and St. Mary Magdalen, Old Fish Street.
Doctors' Commons, so called from the doctors of the civil law commoning together here as in a college, is situated on the west side of Bennet's Hill, and consists chiefly of one handsome square court. And here are held the Court of Admiralty, Court of Arches, and the Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Near the Commons are the Prerogative Office and Faculty Office.
The Heralds' College or office is situated on the east side of Bennet's Hill, almost against Doctors' Commons. It is a spacious building, with a square court in the middle of it, on the north side whereof is the Court-room, where the Earl Marshal sits to hear causes lying in the court of honour concerning arms, achievements, titles of honour, &c.
25. The Ward of Farringdon Without includes Ludgate Hill, Fleet Street and Fleet Ditch, Sheer Lane, Bell Yard, Chancery Lane, Fetter Lane, Dean Street, New Street, Plough Yard, East and West Harding Street, Fleur-de-Lis Court, Crane Court, Red Lion Court, Johnson's Court, Dunstan's Court, Bolt Court, Hind Court, Wine Office Court, Shoe Lane, Racquet Court, Whitefriars, the Temples, Dorset or Salisbury Court, Dorset Street, Bridewell, the Old Bailey, Harp Alley, Holborn Hill, Castle Street or Yard, Cursitor Alley, Bartlett's Buildings, Holborn Bridge, Snow Hill, Pye Corner, Giltspur Street, Cow Lane, Cock Lane, Hosier Lane, Chick Lane, Smithfield, Long Lane, Bartholomew Close, Cloth Fair, and Duck Lane.
West Smithfield—or, rather, Smoothfield, according to Stow—is an open place, containing little more than three acres of ground at present, of an irregular figure, surrounded with buildings of various kinds. Here is held one of the greatest markets of oxen and sheep in Europe, as may easily be imagined when it appears to be the only market for live cattle in this great city, which is held on Mondays and Fridays. There is also a market for horses on Fridays; nor is there anywhere better riding-horses to be purchased, if the buyer has skill, though it must be confessed there is a great deal of jockeying and sharping used by the dealers in horseflesh. As for coach-horses, and those fit for troopers, they are usually purchased in the counties to the northward of the town. The famous fair on the feast of St. Bartholomew also is held in this place, which lasts three days, and, by the indulgence of the City magistrates, sometimes a fortnight. The first three days were heretofore assigned for business, as the sale of cattle, leather, &c., but now only for diversion, the players filling the area of the field with their booths, whither the young citizens resort in crowds.
The public buildings in this ward are Bridewell, Serjeants' Inn in Fleet Street, the Temple, the Six Clerks' Office, the Rolls, Serjeants' Inn in Chancery Lane, Clifford's Inn, the House of the Royal Society, Staple's Inn, Bernards' Inn, and Thavie's Inn, Justice Hall in the Old Bailey, and the Fleet Prison, with the churches of St. Bartholomew, and the hospital adjoining, the churches of St. Sepulchre, St. Andrew, Holborn, St. Bride's, and St. Dunstan's-in-the-West.
Bridewell is situated on the west side of Fleet Ditch, a little to the southward of Fleet Street, having two fronts, one to the east, and the other to the north, with a handsome great gate in each of them. It consists chiefly of two courts, the innermost being the largest and best built, four or five storeys high, on the south side whereof is a noble hall, adorned with the pictures of King Edward VI. and his Privy Council, King Charles, and King James II., Sir William Turner, Sir William Jeffreys, and other benefactors.
It was one of the palaces of the Kings of England till the reign of King Edward VI., who gave it to the City of London for the use of their poor, with lands of the value of 700 marks per annum, and bedding and furniture out of the Hospital of the Savoy, then suppressed.
Here are lodgings and several privileges for certain tradesmen, such as flax-dressers, tailors, shoemakers, &c., called art masters, who are allowed to take servants and apprentices to the number of about 140, who are clothed in blue vests at the charge of the house, their masters having the profit of their labour. These boys having served their times, have their freedom, and ten pound each given them towards carrying on their trades; and some of them have arrived to the honour of being governors of the house where they served.
This Hospital is at present under the direction of a president, and some hundreds of the most eminent and substantial citizens, with their inferior officers; and a court is held every Friday, where such vagrants and lewd people are ordered to receive correction in the sight of the Court, as are adjudged to deserve it.
Among the public buildings of this ward, that belonging to the Royal Society, situate at the north end of Two Crane Court, in Fleet Street, must not be omitted, though it be much more considerable on account of the learned members who assemble there, and the great advances that have been made by them of late years in natural philosophy, &c., than for the elegancy of the building.
During the grand rebellion, when the estates of the prime nobility and gentry were sequestered, and there was no court for them to resort to, the then powers encouraging only the maddest enthusiast, or the basest of the people, whom they looked upon as the fittest instruments to support their tyranny; some ingenious gentlemen, who had applied themselves chiefly to their studies, and abhorred the usurpation, proposed the erecting a society for the improvement of natural knowledge, which might be an innocent and inoffensive exercise to themselves in those troublesome times, and of lasting benefit to the nation. Their first meeting, it is said, were at the chambers of Mr. Wilkins (afterwards Bishop of Chester) in Wadham College, in Oxford, about the year 1650, and the members consisted of the Honourable Robert Boyle, Esq., Dr. Ward (afterwards Bishop of Salisbury), Sir Christopher Wren, Sir William Petty, Dr. Wallis, Dr. Goddard, and Dr. Hook (late Professor of Geometry), the above-named Bishop Wilkins, and others. In the year 1658 we find them assembling in Gresham College, in London, when were added to their number the Lord Brounker (their first president), Sir Robert Murray, John Evelyng, Esq., Sir George Ent, Dr. Croon, Henry Shingsby, Esq., and many others. And after the Restoration, his Majesty King Charles II. appeared so well pleased with the design, that he granted them a charter of incorporation, bearing date the 22nd of April, 15 Charles II., anno 1663, wherein he styled himself their founder, patron, and companion; and the society was from thenceforward to consist of a president, a council of twenty, and as many fellows as should be thought worthy of admission, with a treasurer, secretary, curators, and other officers.
When a gentleman desires to be admitted to the society, he procures one of the Corporation to recommend him as a person duly qualified, whereupon his name is entered in a book, and proper inquiries made concerning his merit and abilities; and if the gentleman is approved of, he appears in some following assembly, and subscribes a paper, wherein he promises that he will endeavour to promote the welfare of the society: and the president formally admits him by saying, "I do, by the authority and in the name of the Royal Society of London for improving of natural knowledge, admit you a member thereof." Whereupon the new fellow pays forty shillings to the treasurer, and two-and-fifty shillings per annum afterwards by quarterly payments, towards the charges of the experiments, the salaries of the officers of the house, &c.
Behind the house they have a repository, containing a collection of the productions of nature and art. They have also a well-chosen library, consisting of many thousand volumes, most of them relating to natural philosophy; and they publish from time to time the experiments made by them, of which there are a great number of volumes, called "Philosophical Transactions."
The Hospital of St. Bartholomew, on the south side of Smithfield, is contiguous to the church of Little St. Bartholomew. It was at first governed by a master, eight brethren, and four sisters, who had the care of the sick and infirm that were brought thither. King Henry VIII. endowed it with a yearly revenue of five hundred more yearly for the relief of one hundred infirm people. And since that time the hospital is so increased and enlarged, by the benefactions given to it, that it receives infirm people at present from all parts of England. In the year 1702 a beautiful frontispiece was erected towards Smithfield, adorned with pilasters, entablature, and pediment of the Ionic order, with the figure of the founder, King Henry VIII., in a niche, standing in full proportion; and the figures of two cripples on the pediment: but the most considerable improvements to the building were made in the year 1731, of the old buildings being pulled down, and a magnificent pile erected in the room of them about 150 feet in length, faced with a pure white stone, besides other additions now building.
There are two houses belonging to this hospital, the one in Kent Street, called the Lock, and the other at Kingsland, whither such unfortunate people as are afflicted with the French disease are sent and taken care of, that they may not prove offensive to the rest; for surely more miserable objects never were beheld, many of them having their noses and great part of their faces eaten off, and become so noisome frequently, that their stench cannot be borne, their very bones rotting while they remain alive.
This hospital is governed by the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, with about three hundred other substantial citizens and gentlemen of quality, who generally become benefactors; and from these and their friends the hospital has been able to subsist such numbers of infirm people, and to perform the surprising cures they have done; for the patients are duly attended by the best physicians and surgeons in London, and so well supplied with lodging and diet proper to their respective cases, that much fewer miscarry here, in proportion, than in the great hospital of invalids, and others the French so much boast of in Paris.
Those that have the immediate care of the hospital are, the president, the treasurer, the auditors of accounts, viewers of their revenues, overseers of the goods and utensils of the hospital, and the almoners, who buy in provisions and necessaries for the patients.
A committee, consisting of the treasurer, almoners, and some other of the governors, meet twice a week to inspect the government of the house, to discharge such persons as are cured, and to admit others.
26. Bridge Ward Without contains in chief the Borough, or Long Southwark, St. Margaret's Hill, Blackman Street, Stony Street, St. Thomas's Street, Counter Street, the Mint Street, Maiden Lane, the Bankside, Bandy-leg Walk, Bennet's Rents, George Street, Suffolk Street, Redcross Street, Whitecross Street, Worcester Street, Castle Street, Clink Street, Deadman's Place, New Rents, Gravel Lane, Dirty Lane, St. Olave's Street, Horselydown, Crucifix Lane, Five-foot Lane, Barnaby Street, Long Lane and Street.
The Bankside consists of certain houses so called from their lying on the south bank of the Thames to the westward of the bridge.
The public buildings in this ward are, St. Thomas's Church and Hospital, Guy's Hospital for Incurables, the church of St. Saviour, the church of St. Olave, and that of St. George, the Bridge House, the King's Bench Prison, the Marshalsea, and the Clink Prison, the Sessions House, Compter, and New Prison.
The Hospital of St. Thomas consists of four spacious courts, in the first of which are six wards for women. In the second stands the church, and another chapel, for the use of the hospital. Here also are the houses of the treasurer, hospitaller, steward, cook, and butler. In the third court are seven wards for men, with an apothecary's shop, store-rooms and laboratory. In the fourth court are two wards for women, with a surgery, hot and cold baths, &c. And in the year 1718 another magnificent building was erected by the governors, containing lodgings and conveniences for a hundred infirm persons. So that this hospital is capable of containing five hundred patients and upwards at one time; and there are between four and five thousand people annually cured and discharged out of it, many of them being allowed money to bear their charges to their respective dwellings.
But one of the greatest charities ever attempted by a private citizen was that of Thomas Guy, Esq., originally a bookseller of London, and afterwards a Member of Parliament for Tamworth, who, having acquired an immense fortune, founded a hospital for incurables, on a spot of ground adjoining to St. Thomas's Hospital, and saw the noble fabric in a good forwardness in his lifetime, assigning about two hundred thousand pounds towards the building, and endowing it, insomuch that it is computed there may be an ample provision for four hundred unhappy people, who shall be given over by physicians and surgeons as incurable. This gentleman died in December, 1724, having first made his will, and appointed trustees to see his pious design duly executed. He gave also several thousand pounds to Christ's Hospital, and a thousand pounds a piece to fifty of his poor relations; but the will being in print, I refer the reader to it for a more particular account of this noble charity.
The first church and hospital, dedicated to St. Thomas a Becket, was erected by the Prior of Bermondsey, so long since as the year 1013; but the hospital was refounded, and the revenues increased, anno 1215, by Peter de Rupibus, Bishop of Winchester, in whose diocese it was situated, continuing, however, to be held of the priors of Bermondsey till the year 1428, when the Abbot of Bermondsey relinquished his interest to the master of the hospital for a valuable consideration. In the year 1538 this hospital was surrendered to King Henry VIII., being then valued at 266 pounds 17s. 6d. per annum. And in the following reign, the City of London having purchased the buildings of the Crown, continued them a hospital for sick and wounded people; and King Edward VI. granted them some of the revenues of the dissolved hospitals and monasteries towards maintaining it: but these were inconsiderable in comparison of the large and numerous benefactions that have since been bestowed upon it by the Lord Mayor, aldermen, and other wealthy citizens and men of quality, governors of it, who are seldom fewer than two or three hundred, every one of them looking upon themselves to be under some obligation of making an addition to the revenues of the hospital they have the direction of. A committee of the governors sit every Thursday, to consider what patients are fit to be discharged, and to admit others.
The government of the City of London, it is observed, resembles that of the kingdom in general; the Lord Mayor is compared to the king, the aldermen to the nobility or upper house, and the common councilmen to the commons of England.
This assembly, consisting of the Lord Mayor, aldermen, and common councilmen, has obtained the name of The Common Council, and has a power, by their charters, of making such bye-laws and statutes as are obligatory to the citizens. It is called and adjourned by the Lord Mayor at pleasure, and out of it are formed several committees, viz.—1. A committee of six aldermen and twelve commoners for letting the City lands, which usually meets every Wednesday at Guildhall for that end. 2. A committee of four aldermen and eight commoners for letting the lands and tenements given by Sir Thomas Gresham, who meets at Mercers' Hall on a summons from the Lord Mayor. 3. Commissioners of Sewers and Pavements, elected annually. And, 4. A governor, deputy-governor and assistants, for the management of City lands in the province of Ulster in Ireland.
The other principal courts in the City are, 1. The Court of Aldermen. 2. The Court of Hustings. 3. The Lord Mayor's Court. 4. The Sheriff's Court. 5. The Chamberlain's Court. 6. The Court of the City Orphans. 7. The Court of Conscience. 8. The Courts of Wardmote. And, 9. The Courts of Hallmote.
Besides which, there is a Court of Oyer and Terminer and Jail Delivery, held eight times a year at Justice Hall in the Old Bailey, for the trial of criminals.
1. In the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen is lodged the executive power in a great measure, and by these most of the city officers are appointed, viz., the recorder, four common pleaders, the comptroller of the chamber, the two secondaries, the remembrancer, the city solicitor, the sword-bearer, the common hunt, the water bailiff, four attorneys of the Lord Mayor's Court, the clerk of the chamber, three sergeant carvers, three sergeants of the chamber, the sergeant of the chanel, the two marshals, the hall-keeper, the yeomen of the chamber, four yeomen of the waterside, the yeoman of the chanel, the under water-bailiff, two meal weighers, two fruit-meters, the foreign taker, the clerk of the City works, six young men, two clerks of the papers, eight attorneys of the Sheriff's Court, eight clerks fitters, two prothonotaries, the clerk of the Bridge House, the clerk of the Court of Requests, the beadle of the Court of Requests, thirty-six sergeants at mace, thirty-six yeomen, the gauger, the sealers and searchers of leather, the keeper of the Greenyard, two keepers of the two compters, the keeper of Newgate, the keeper of Ludgate, the measurer, the steward of Southwark (but the bailiff of Southwark is appointed by the Common Council) the bailiff of the hundred of Ossulston, the City artificers, and rent- gatherer, who hath been put in by Mr. Chamberlain.
In this court all leases and instruments that pass under the City Seal are executed; the assize of bread is settled by them; all differences relating to water-courses, lights, and party-walls, are determined, and officers are suspended or punished; and the aldermen, or a majority of them, have a negative in whatever is propounded in the Common Council.
2. The Court of Hustings is esteemed the most ancient tribunal in the City, and was established for the preservation of the laws, franchises, and customs of it. It is held at Guildhall before the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs, and in civil causes the Recorder sits as judge. Here deeds are enrolled, recoveries passed, writs of right, waste, partition, dower, and replevins determined.
3. The Lord Mayor's Court, a court of record, held in the chamber of Guildhall every Tuesday, where the Recorder also sits as judge, and the Lord Mayor and Aldermen may sit with him if they see fit. Actions of debt, trespass, arising within the City and liberties, of any value, may be tried in this court, and an action may be removed hither from the Sheriff's Court before the jury is sworn.
The juries for trying causes in this and the Sheriff's Courts, are returned by the several wards at their wardmote inquests at Christmas, when each ward appoints the persons to serve on juries for every month in the year ensuing.
This court is also a court of equity, and gives relief where judgment is obtained in the Sheriff's Court for more than the just debt.
4. The Sheriff's Courts are also courts of record, where may be tried actions of debt, trespass, covenant, &c. They are held on Wednesdays and Fridays for actions entered in Wood Street Compter, and every Thursday and Saturday for actions entered in the Poultry Compter. Here the testimony of an absent witness in writing is allowed to be good evidence.
5. The Chamberlain's Court or office is held at the chamber in Guildhall. He receives and pays the City cash and orphans' money, and keeps the securities taken by the Court of Aldermen for the same, and annually accounts to the auditors appointed for that purpose. He attends every morning at Guildhall, to enroll or turn over apprentices, or to make them free; and hears and determines differences between masters and their apprentices.
6. The Court of City Orphans is held by the Lord Mayor and Aldermen as often as occasion requires; the Common Sergeant being entrusted by them to take all inventories and accounts of freeman's estates, and the youngest attorney in the Mayor's Court is clerk of the orphans, and appointed to take security for their portions; for when any freeman dies, leaving children under the age of twenty-one years, the clerks of the respective parishes give in their names to the common crier, who thereupon summons the widow or executor to appear before the Court of Aldermen, to bring in an inventory, and give security for the testator's estate, for which they commonly allow two months' time, and in case of non-appearance, or refusal of security, the Lord Mayor may commit the executor to Newgate.
7. The Court of Conscience was established for recovering small debts under forty shillings at an easy expense, the creditor's oath of the debt being sufficient without further testimony to ascertain the debt. This court sits at the hustings in Guildhall every Wednesday and Saturday, where the Common Council of each ward are judges in their turns. They proceed first by summons, which costs but sixpence, and if the defendant appears there is no further charge; the debt is ordered to be paid at such times and in such proportion as the court in their consciences think the debtor able to discharge it; but if the defendant neglect to appear, or obey the order of the court, an attachment or execution follows with as much expedition and as small an expense as can be supposed. All persons within the freedom of the City, whether freemen or not, may prosecute and be prosecuted in this court, and freemen may be summoned who live out of the liberty.
8. The courts of wardmote are held by the aldermen of each ward, for choosing ward-officers, and settling the affairs of the ward, the Lord Mayor annually issuing his precept to the aldermen to hold his wardmote on St. Thomas's Day for the election of common councilmen and other officers; they also present such offences and nuisances at certain times to the Lord Mayor and common councilmen as require redress.
9. Small offences are punished by the justices in or out of sessions, by whom the offender is sentenced to be whipped, imprisoned, or kept to hard labour; but for the trial of capital offences, a commission of Oyer and Terminer and jail delivery issues eight times every year, i.e., before and after every term, directed to the Lord Mayor, Recorder, some of the twelve judges, and others whom the Crown is pleased to assign. These commissioners sit at Justice Hall in the Old Bailey, and bills of indictment having been found by the grand juries of London or Middlesex, containing the prisoner's accusation, a petty jury, consisting of twelve substantial citizens is empanelled for the trial of each of them; for, as to the grand jury, they only consider whether there is such a probability of the prisoner's guilt as to put him upon making his defence, and this is determined by a majority of the grand jury: but the petty jury, who pass upon the prisoner's life and death, must all agree in their verdict, or he cannot be convicted. But though the petty jury judge of the fact, i.e., what the crime is, or whether it was committed by the prisoner or not, the commissioners or judges declare what are the punishments appropriated to the several species of crimes, and pronounce judgment accordingly on the offender. In high treason they sentence the criminal to be drawn upon a hurdle to the place of execution, there to be hanged and quartered. In murder, robbery, and other felonies, which are excluded the benefit of the clergy, the criminal is sentenced to be hanged till he is dead. And for crimes within the benefit of the clergy, the offender is burnt in the hand or transported, at the discretion of the court. And for petty larceny, i.e., where the offender is found guilty of theft under the value of twelve pence, he is sentenced to be whipped. But a report being made to His Majesty by the Recorder, of the circumstances with which the several capital offences were attended, and what may be urged either in aggravation or mitigation of them, the respective criminals are either pardoned or executed according to His Majesty's pleasure. But I should have remembered, that the sentence against a woman, either for high or petty treason, is to be burnt alive. I shall now give some account of the election of the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs, &c., who are chosen by a majority of the liverymen.
The Lord Mayor is elected on Michaelmas Day (from among the aldermen, by the liverymen of the City, who return two aldermen that have served sheriffs to the Court of Aldermen for their acceptance, who generally declare the first upon the liverymen's roll to be Lord-Mayor) sworn at Guildhall on Simon and Jude, and before the barons of the Exchequer at Westminster the day following.
The Lord Mayor appears abroad in very great state at all times, being clothed in scarlet robes, or purple richly furred, according to the season of the year, with a hood of black velvet, and a golden chain or collar of S.S. about his neck, and a rich jewel pendant thereon, his officers walking before and on both sides, his train held up, and the City sword and mace borne before him. He keeps open house during his mayoralty, and the sword-bearer is allowed 1,000 pounds for his table. The Lord Mayor usually goes to St. Paul's, attended by the aldermen in their gowns, and his officers, every Sunday morning; but especially the first Sunday in term-time, where he meets the twelve judges and invites them to dinner after divine service is ended.
The sheriffs are chosen into their office on Midsummer day annually by the liverymen also; to which end the Lord Mayor, aldermen, and sheriffs meet in the council-chamber at Guildhall, about eight in the morning, and coming down afterwards into the Court of Hustings, the recorder declares to the livery men assembled in the hall that this is the day prescribed for the election of these magistrates for the year ensuing: then the Court of Aldermen go up to the Lord Mayor's Court till the sheriffs are chosen; the old sheriffs, the chamberlain, common serjeant, town clerk, and other City officers remaining in the Court of Hustings, to attend the election. After the sheriffs are chosen, the commons proceed to elect a chamberlain, bridge-masters, auditors of the city and bridge-house accounts, and the surveyors of beer and ale, according to custom. The old sheriffs are judges of these elections, and declare by the common serjeant who are duly chosen. The sheriffs thus elected take the usual oaths in this court on Michaelmas eve, and the day after Michaelmas day are presented to the Barons of the Exchequer, where they take the oath of office, the oaths of allegiance, &c. The chamberlains and bridge-masters are sworn in the court of aldermen.
Where a Lord Mayor elect refuses to serve, he is liable to be fined; and if a person chosen sheriff refuses to serve, he is fined 413 pounds 6s. 8d., unless he makes oath he is not worth 10,000 pounds.
When the alderman of any ward dies, another is within a few days elected in his room, at a wardmote held for that purpose, at which the Lord Mayor usually presides. Every alderman has his deputy, who supplies his place in his absence. These deputies are always taken from among the Common Council. The aldermen above the chair, and the three eldest aldermen beneath it, are justices of peace in the City by the charter.
The Lord-Mayor's jurisdiction in some cases extends a great way beyond the City, upon the river Thames eastward as far as the conflux of the two rivers Thames and Medway, and up the river Lea as far as Temple Mills, being about three miles; and westward as far as Colney Ditch above Staine Bridge: he names a deputy called the water-bailiff, whose business is to prevent any encroachments, nuisances, and frauds used by fishermen or others, destructive to the fishery, or hurtful to the navigation of the said waters; and yearly keeps courts for the conservation of the river in the counties it borders upon within the said limits.
The sheriffs also are sheriffs of the county of Middlesex as well as of London. And here I shall take an opportunity to observe, that the number of aldermen are twenty-six; the number of Common-Council men two hundred and thirty-four; the number of companies eighty- four; and the number of citizens on the livery, who have a voice in their elections, are computed to be between seven and eight thousand. The twelve principal companies are:- 1. The Mercers; 2. Grocers; 3. Drapers; 4. Fishmongers; 5. Goldsmiths; 6. Skinners; 7. Merchant-Tailors; 8. Haberdashers; 9. Salters; 10. Ironmongers; 11. Vintners; 12. Clothworkers. The others:- are 13. The Dyers; 14. Brewers; 15. Leather-Sellers; 16. Pewterers; 17. Barber-Surgeons; 18. Cutlers; 19. Bakers; 20. Wax-Chandlers; 21. Tallow-Chandlers; 22. Armourers; 23. Girdlers; 24. Butchers; 25. Saddlers; 26. Carpenters; 27. Cord-wainers; 28. Painter-stainers; 29. Curriers; 30. Masons; 31. Plumbers; 32. Innholders; 33. Founders; 34. Poulterers; 35. Cooks; 36. Coopers; 37. Tilers and Bricklayers; 38. Bowyers; 39. Fletchers; 40. Blacksmiths; 41. Joiners; 42. Weavers; 43. Woolmen; 44. Scriveners; 45. Fruiterers; 46. Plasterers; 47. Stationers; 48. Embroiderers; 49. Upholders; 50. Musicians; 51. Turners; 52. *Basket-makers; 53. Glaziers; 54. *Horners; 55. Farriers; 56. *Paviours; 57. Lorimers; 58. Apothecaries; 59. Shipwrights; 60. *Spectacle-makers; 61. *Clock-makers; 62. *Glovers; 63. *Comb-makers; 64. *Felt-makers; 65. Frame-work Knitters; 66. *Silk throwers; 67. Carmen; 68. *Pin-makers; 69. Needle-makers; 70. Gardeners; 71. Soap-makers; 72. Tin-plate Workers; 73. Wheelwrights; 74. Distillers; 75. Hatband-makers; 76. Patten-makers; 77. Glasssellers; 78. Tobacco-pipe makers; 79. Coach and Coach-harness makers; 80. Gun-makers; 81. Gold and Silver Wire-Drawers; 82. Long Bow-string makers; 83. Card-makers; 84. Fan-makers.
The companies marked with an * before them have no liverymen, and all the freemen of the rest are not upon the livery, that is, entitled to wear the gowns belonging to the respective companies, and vote in elections, but a select number of freemen only. Every company is a distinct corporation, being incorporated by grants from the crown, or acts of parliament, and having certain rules, liberties, and privileges, for the better support and government of their several trades and mysteries: many of them are endowed with lands to a great value, and have their masters, wardens, assistants, clerks, and other officers, to direct and regulate their affairs, and to restrain and punish abuses incident to their several trades; and when any disputes arise concerning the due execution of these charters, the Lord Mayor has a supreme power to determine the case and to punish the offenders.
The military government of the City of London is lodged in the lieutenancy, consisting of the Lord Mayor, aldermen, and other principal citizens, who receive their authority from his majesty's commission, which he revokes and alters as often as he sees fit. These have under their command six regiments of foot, viz.:- 1, The White; 2, the Orange; 3, the Yellow; 4, the Blue; 5, the Green; and 6, the Red Regiment—in every one of which are eight companies, consisting of one hundred and fifty men each; in all, seven thousand two hundred men: besides which there is a kind of independent company, called the artillery company, consisting of seven or eight hundred volunteers, whose skill in military discipline is much admired by their fellow-citizens. These exercise frequently in the artillery ground, engage in mock fights and sieges, and storm the dunghills with great address.
The Tower Hamlets, it has been observed already, are commanded by the lieutenant of the Tower, and consist of two regiments of foot, eight hundred each: so that the whole militia of London, exclusive of Westminster and Southwark, amount to near ten thousand men.
London, like other cities of the kingdom, is, or ought to be, governed by its bishop in spirituals, though his authority is very little regarded at present. The justices of peace at their sessions may empower any man to preach and administer the sacraments, let his occupation or qualifications be never so mean; nor do they ever refuse it to a person who is able to raise the small sum of — pence being less a great deal than is paid for licensing a common alehouse. A clergyman indeed cannot be entitled to a benefice without being, in some measure, subject to his diocesan; but he may throw off his gown, and assemble a congregation that shall be much more beneficial to him, and propagate what doctrines he sees fit (as is evident in the case of orator Henley): but to proceed.
The diocese of London is in the province of Canterbury, and comprehends the counties of Middlesex and Essex, and part of Hertfordshire; the British plantations in America are also subject to this bishop. To the cathedral of St. Paul belongs a dean, three residentiaries, a treasurer, chancellor, precentor, and thirty prebendaries. The Bishop of London takes place next to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, but his revenues are not equal to those of Durham or Winchester. The deanery of St. Paul's is said to be worth a thousand pounds per annum, and each of the residentiaries about three hundred pounds per annum.
The parishes within the walls of London are ninety-seven; but several of them having been united since the Fire, there are at present but sixty-two parish churches, and consequently the same number of parish priests: the revenues of these gentlemen are seldom less than 100 pounds per annum, and none more than 200 pounds per annum. They appear to be most of them about 150 pounds per annum, besides their several parsonage houses and surplice fees; and most of them have lectureships in town, or livings in the country, or some other spiritual preferment of equal value.
The city of Westminster, the western part of the town, comes next under consideration which received its name from the abbey or minster situated to the westward of London. This city, if we comprehend the district or liberties belonging to it, lies along the banks of the Thames in the form of a bow or crescent, extending from Temple Bar in the east to Millbank in the south-west; the inside of this bow being about a mile and a half in length, and the outside two miles and a half at least; the breadth, one place with another, from the Thames to the fields on the north-west side of the town, about a mile; and I am apt to think a square of two miles in length and one in breadth would contain all the buildings within the liberty of Westminster. That part of the town which is properly called the city of Westminster contains no more than St. Margaret's and St. John's parishes, which form a triangle, one side whereof extends from Whitehall to Peterborough House on Millbank; another side reaches from Peterborough House to Stafford House, or Tart Hall, at the west end of the park; and the third side extends from Stafford house to Whitehall; the circumference of the whole being about two miles. This spot of ground, it is said, was anciently an island, a branch of the Thames running through the park from west to east, and falling into the main river again about Whitehall, which island was originally called Thorney Island, from the woods and bushes that covered it; the abbey or minster also was at first called Thorney Abbey or minster, from the island on which it stood.
St. James's Park is something more than a mile in circumference, and the form pretty near oval; about the middle of it runs a canal 2,800 feet in length and 100 in breadth, and near it are several other waters, which form an island that has good cover for the breeding and harbouring wild ducks and other water-fowl; on the island also is a pretty house and garden, scarce visible to the company in the park. On the north side are several fine walks of elms and limes half a mile in length, of which the Mall is one. The palace of St. James's, Marlborough House, and the fine buildings in the street called Pall Mall, adorn this side of the park. At the east end is a view of the Admiralty, a magnificent edifice, lately built with brick and stone; the Horse Guards, the Banqueting House, the most elegant fabric in the kingdom, with the Treasury and the fine buildings about the Cockpit; and between these and the end of the grand canal is a spacious parade, where the horse and foot guards rendezvous every morning before they mount their respective guards.
On the south side of the park run shady walks of trees from east to west, parallel almost to the canal, and walks on the north; adjoining to which are the sumptuous houses in Queen Street, Queen Square, &c., inhabited by people of quality: and the west end of the park is adorned with the Duke of Buckingham's beautiful seat. But what renders St. James's Park one of the most delightful scenes in Nature is the variety of living objects which is met with here; for besides the deer and wild fowl, common to other parks, besides the water, fine walks, and the elegant buildings that surround it, hither the politest part of the British nation of both sexes frequently resort in the spring to take the benefit of the evening air, and enjoy the most agreeable conversation imaginable; and those who have a taste for martial music, and the shining equipage of the soldiery, will find their eyes and ears agreeably entertained by the horse and foot guards every morning.
The Sanctuary, or the abbey-yard, is a large open square, between King Street and the Gate-house, north-west of the abbey, and was called the Sanctuary, because any person who came within these limits was entitled to the privilege of sanctuary—that is, he was not liable to be apprehended by any officers of justice.
This privilege, it is said, was first granted to the abbey by Sebert, king of the East Saxons, increased by King Edgar, and confirmed by Edward the Confessor, by the following charter:-
"Edward, by the grace of God, king of Englishmen; I make it to be known to all generations of the world after me, that, by special commandment of our holy father Pope Leo, I have renewed and honoured the holy church of the blessed apostle St. Peter of Westminster; and I order and establish for ever, that what person, of what condition or estate soever he be, from whencesoever he come, or for what offence or cause it be, either for his refuge in the said holy place, he is assured of his life, liberty, and limbs: and over this, I forbid, under pain of everlasting damnation, that no minister of mine, or any of my successors, intermeddle with any of the goods, lands, and possessions of the said persons taking the said sanctuary: for I have taken their goods and livelode into my special protection. And therefore I grant to every, each of them, in as much as my terrestrial power may suffice, all manner of freedom of joyous liberty. And whosoever presumes, or doth contrary to this my grant, I will he lose his name, worship, dignity, and power; and that with the great traitor Judas that betrayed our Saviour, he be in the everlasting fire of hell. And I will and ordain, that this my grant endure as long as there remaineth in England either love or dread of Christian name."
This privilege of sanctuary, as far as it related to traitors, murderers, and felons, was in a great measure abolished by a statute of the 32nd Henry VIII.: and in the beginning of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, every debtor who fled to sanctuary, to shelter himself from his creditors, was obliged to take an oath of the following tenor, viz.:- That he did not claim the privilege of sanctuary to defraud any one of his goods, debts, or money, but only for the security of his person until he should be able to pay his creditors.
That he would give in a true particular of his debts and credits.
That he would endeavour to pay his debts as soon as possible.
That he would be present at the abbey at morning and evening prayer.
That he would demean himself honestly and quietly, avoid suspected houses, unlawful games, banqueting, and riotous company.
That he would wear no weapon, or be out of his lodging before sunrise or after sunset, nor depart out of the precinct of the sanctuary without the leave of the dean, or archdeacon in his absence.
That he would be obedient to the dean and the officers of the house.
And lastly, that if he should break his oath in any particular, he should not claim the privilege of sanctuary.
And if any creditor could make it appear that he had any money, goods, or chattels that were not contained in the particular given in to the dean and the church, the sanctuary man was to be imprisoned till he came to an agreement with his creditors.
The Abbey-Church of St. Peter at Westminster appears to be very ancient, though far from being so ancient as is vulgarly reported.
Some relate, without any authority to support the conjecture, that it was founded in the days of the Apostles by St. Peter himself; others that it was erected by King Lucius about the year 170. And by some it is said to have been built by King Sebert, the first Christian king of the East-Saxons (Essex and Middlesex), anno 611. But I take it for granted the church was not built before the convent or abbey it belonged to. People did not use to build churches at a distance from town, unless for the service of convents or religious houses. But neither in the times of the Apostles, nor in the supposed reign of King Lucius, in the second century, was there any such thing as a convent in England, or perhaps in any part of Christendom. During the dominion of the Saxons in this island, monasteries indeed were erected here, and in many other kingdoms, in great abundance; and as the monks generally chose thick woods or other solitary places for their residence, where could they meet with a spot of ground fitter for their purpose than this woody island called Thorney, then destitute of inhabitants? But I am inclined to think that neither this or any other monastery was erected in South Britain till the seventh century, after Austin the monk came into England. As to the tradition of its having been built upon the ruins of the temple of Apollo, destroyed by an earthquake, I do not doubt but the monks were very ready to propagate a fable of this kind, who formed so many others to show the triumphs of Christianity over paganism, and to induce their proselytes to believe that heaven miraculously interposed in their favour by earthquakes, storms, and other prodigies. But to proceed. When the convent was erected, I make no doubt that there was a church or chapel built as usual for the service of the monks; but it is evident from history that the dimensions of the first or second church that stood here were not comparable to those of the present church.
We may rely upon it that about the year 850 there was a church and convent in the island of Thorney, because about that time, London being in the possession of the Danes, the convent was destroyed by them (not in the year 659, as some writers have affirmed, because the Danes did not invade England till nearly 200 years afterwards). The abbey lay in ruins about a hundred years, when King Edgar, at the instance of Dunstan, Abbot of Glastonbury (and afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury), rebuilt this and several other monasteries, about the year 960. Edward the Confessor, a devout prince, enlarged this church and monastery, in which he placed the Benedictine monks, ordered the regalia to be kept by the fathers of the convent, and succeeding kings to be crowned here, as William the Conqueror and several other English monarchs afterwards were, most of them enriching this abbey with large revenues; but King Henry III. ordered the church built by Edward the Confessor to be pulled down, and erected the present magnificent fabric in the room of it, of which he laid the first stone about the year 1245.
That admired piece of architecture at the east end, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, was built by Henry VII., anno 1502, and from the founder is usually called Henry the VII.'s Chapel. Here most of the English monarchs since that time have been interred.
The dimensions of the abbey-church, according to the new survey, are as follows, viz.:- The length of the church, from the west end of it to the east end of St. Edward's Chapel, is 354 feet; the breadth of the west end, 66 feet; the breadth of the cross aisle, from north to south, 189 feet; the height of the middle roof, 92 feet; the distance from the west end of the church to the choir, 162 feet; and from the west end to the cross aisle, 220 feet; the distance from the east end of St. Edward's Chapel to the west end of Henry VII.'s Chapel, 36 feet; and the length of Henry VII.'s Chapel, 99 feet: so that the length of the whole building is 489 feet; the breadth of Henry VII.'s Chapel, 66 feet; and the height, 54 feet. The nave and cross aisles of the abbey-church are supported by fifty slender pillars, of Sussex marble, besides forty-five demi-pillars or pilasters. There are an upper and lower range of windows, being ninety-four in number, those at the four ends of the cross very spacious. All which, with the arches, roofs, doors, &c., are of the ancient Gothic order. Above the chapiters the pillars spread into several semi-cylindrical branches, forming and adorning the arches of the pillars, and those of the roofs of the aisles, which are three in number, running from east to west, and a cross aisle running from north to south. The choir is paved with black and white marble, in which are twenty-eight stalls on the north side, as many on the fourth, and eight at the west end; from the choir we ascend by several steps to a most magnificent marble altarpiece, which would be esteemed a beauty in an Italian church.
Beyond the altar is King Edward the Confessor's Chapel, surrounded with eleven or twelve other chapels replenished with monuments of the British nobility, for a particular whereof I refer the reader to the "Antiquities of St. Peter, or the Abbey-Church of Westminster," by J. Crull, M.D. Lond. 1711, 8vo, and the several supplements printed since; and shall only take notice of those of the kings and queens in the chapel of St. Edward the Confessor, which are as follows, viz., Edward I., King of England; Henry III.; Matilda, wife of Henry I.; Queen Eleanor, wife of Edward I.; St. Edward the Confessor, and Queen Editha, his wife; Henry V., and Queen Catherine of Valois, his wife; Edward III., and Queen Philippa, his wife; Richard II., and Queen Anne, his wife. And on the south side of the choir, King Sebert, and Queen Anne of Cheve, wife to Henry VIII. East of St. Edward's Chapel is that of Henry VII., dedicated to the blessed Virgin Mary, to which we ascend by twelve stone steps. At the west end whereof are three brazen doors finely wrought, which give an entrance into it. The stalls on the north and south sides are exquisitely carved. The roof is supported by twelve pillars and arches of the Gothic order, abounding with enrichments of carved figures, fruit, &c. At the east end is a spacious window with stained glass, besides which there are thirteen other windows above, and as many below on the north and south sides. Under each of the thirteen uppermost windows are five figures placed in niches, representing kings, queens, bishops, &c., and under them the figures of as many angels supporting imperial crowns. The roof, which is all stone, is divided into sixteen circles, curiously wrought, and is the admiration of all that see it.
The outside of this chapel was adorned with fourteen towers, three figures being placed in niches on each of them, which were formerly much admired; but the stone decaying and mouldering away, they make but an odd appearance at present.
In this chapel have been interred most of the English kings since Richard III., whose tombs are no small ornament to it, particularly that of Henry VII., the founder, which stands in the middle of the area towards the east end.
The tomb is composed of a curious pedestal whose sides are adorned with various figures, as the north with those of six men, the east with those of two cupids supporting the king's arms and an imperial crown; on the south side, also, six figures, circumscribed—as those on the north side—with circles of curious workmanship, the most easterly of which contains the figure of an angel treading on a dragon. Here is also a woman and a child, seeming to allude to Rev. xii.; and on the west end the figure of a rose and an imperial crown, supported with those of a dragon and a greyhound: on the tomb are the figures of the king and queen, lying at full length, with four angels, one at each angle of the tomb, all very finely done in brass.
The screen or fence is also of solid brass, very strong and spacious, being in length 19 feet, in breadth 11, and the altitude 11, adorned with forty-two pillars and their arches; also, twenty smaller hollow columns and their arches in the front of the former, and joined at the cornice, on which cornice is a kind of acroteria, enriched with roses and portcullises interchanged in the upper part, and with the small figures of dragons and greyhounds (the supporters aforesaid) in the lower part; and at each of the four angles is a strong pillar made open, or hollow, composed in imitation of diaper and Gothic archwork; the four sides have been adorned with thirty- two figures of men, about a cubit high, placed in niches, of which there are only seven left, the rest being stolen away (one Raymond, about the 11th of Queen Elizabeth, having been twice indicted for the same); and about the middle of the upper part of each of the four sides is a spacious branch adorned with the figure of a rose, where might on occasion be placed lamps. This admirable piece of art is open at top, and has two portals, one on the north, the other on the south side, all of fine brass.
This Royal founder's epitaph:
Septimus Henricus tumulo requiescit in isto, Qui regum splendor, lumen et orbis erat. Rex vigil et sapiens, comes virtutis, amatur, Egregius forma, strenuus atque potens. Qui peperit pacem regno, qui bella peregit Plurima, qui victor semper ab hoste redit, Qui natas binis conjunxit regibus ambas, Regibus et cunctis faedere junctus erat.
Qui sacrum hoc struxit templum, statuitque; sepulchrum Pro se, proque sua conjuge, proque domo. Lustra decem atque; annos tres plus compleverit annos,
Nam tribus octenis regia sceptra tulit; Quindecies Domini centenus fluxerat annus, Currebat nonus, cum venit atra dies; Septima ter mensis lux tunc fulgebat Aprilis, Cum clausit summum tanta corona diem. Nulla dedere prius tantum sibi saecula regem Anglia, vix similem posteriora dabunt.
Septimus hic situs est Henricus gloria regum Cunctorum, ipsius qui tempestate fuerunt; Ingenio atque; opibus gestarum et nomine rerum, Accessere quibus naturae dona benignae: Frontis honos facies augusta heroica forma, Junctaque ei suavis conjux per pulchra pudica, Et faecunda fuit; felices prole parentes, Henricum quibus octavum terra Anglia debet.
Under the figure of the king.
Hic jacet Henricus ejus nominis septimus, Anglicae quondam rex, Edmundi Richmondiae comitis filius, qui die 22 Aug. Rex creatus, statim post apud Westmonasterium die 30 Octob. coronatur 1485. Moritur deinde 21 die Aprilis anno aetat. 53, regnavit annos 23, menses 8, minus uno die.
Under the queen's figure.
Hic jacet regina Elizabetha, Edvardi quarti quondam regis filia, Edvardi quinti regis quondam nominatur soror: Henrici septimi olim regis conjux, atque; Henrici octavi regis mater inclyta; obiit autem suum diem in turri Londoniarum die secund. Feb. anno Domini 1502, 37 annorum aetate functa.
The modern tombs in the abbey, best worth the viewing, are those of the duke of Newcastle, on the left hand as we enter the north door, of Sir Isaac Newton, at the west end of the choir, of Sir Godfrey Kneller, and Mr. Secretary Craggs at the west end of the abbey, of Mr. Prior among the poets at the door which faces the Old Palace Yard, of the Duke of Buckingham in Henry VII.th's chapel, and that of Doctor Chamberlain on the North side of the choir: most of these are admirable pieces of sculpture, and show that the statuary's art is not entirely lost in this country; though it must be confessed the English fall short of the Italians in this science.
Westminster Hall is one of the largest rooms in Europe, being two hundred and twenty-eight feet in length, fifty-six feet broad, and ninety feet high. The walls are of stone, the windows of the Gothic form, the floor stone, and the roof of timber covered with lead; and having not one pillar in it, is supported by buttresses. It is usually observed that there are no cobwebs ever seen in this hall, and the reason given for this is, that the timber of which the roof is composed is Irish oak, in which spiders will not harbour; but I am inclined to believe that this is a fact not to be depended on, for I find the timber for rebuilding and repairing the Palace of Westminster in the reign of Richard III. was brought from the forests in Essex; and as there is no colour from history to surmise that the timber of this hall was Irish oak, so is there no imaginable reason why timber should be fetched from another kingdom for the repair of the hall, when the counties of Middlesex and Essex were great part of them forest, and afforded timber enough to have built twenty such places; and we find that the timber of the Essex forests was in fact applied to the repairs of this palace; for it cannot be pretended that the present roof is the same that was erected by William Rufus when it was first built, it appearing that Richard II., about the year 1397, caused the old roof to be taken down and a new one made (as has been observed already) and this is probably the same we now see. Here are hung up as trophies, 138 colours, and 34 standards, taken from the French and Bavarians at Hochstadt, anno 1704.
The House of Lords, or chamber where the peers assemble in Parliament, is situated between the Old Palace Yard and the Thames. It is a spacious room, of an oblong form, at the south end whereof is the King's throne, to which he ascends by several steps: on the right hand of the throne is a seat for the Prince of Wales, and on the left another for the princes of the blood, and behind the throne the seats of the peers under age.
On the east side of the house, to the right of the throne, sit the archbishops and bishops; on the opposite side of the house sit the dukes, marquises, earls, and viscounts; and on forms crossing the area, the barons under the degree of viscounts.
Before the throne are three wool-sacks, or broad seats stuffed with wool, to put the Legislature in mind, it is said, that the right management of this trade is of the last importance to the kingdom. On the first of these wool-sacks, next to the throne, sits the Lord Chancellor, or Keeper, who is Speaker of the House of Peers; and on the other two, the Lord Chief Justices and the rest of the judges, with the Master of the Rolls, and the other Masters in Chancery: about the middle of the house, on the east side, is a chimney, where a fire is usually kept in the winter; and towards the north, or lower end of the house, is a bar that runs across it, to which the commons advance when they bring up bills or impeachments, or when the King sends for them, and without this bar the council and witnesses stand at trials before the peers. The house is at present hung with tapestry, containing the history of the defeat of the Spanish Armada, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, anno 1588.
The house or chamber where the commons assemble is to the northward of the House of Lords, and stands east and west, as the other does north and south. The room is pretty near square, and towards the upper end is the Speaker's armed chair, to which he ascends by a step or two; before it is a table where the clerks sit, on which the mace lies when the Speaker is in the chair, and at other times the mace is laid under the table. On the north and south sides, and at the west end, are seats gradually ascending as in a theatre, and between the seats at the west end is the entrance by a pair of folding-doors. There are galleries also on the north, south, and west, where strangers are frequently admitted to hear the debates.
This room was anciently a chapel, founded by King Stephen about the year 1141, and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin; however, it obtained the name of St. Stephen's Chapel. It was rebuilt by King Edward III., anno 1347, who placed in it a dean, twelve secular canons, thirteen vicars, four clerks, five choristers, a verger, and a keeper of the chapel, and built them a convent, which extended along the Thames, endowing it with large revenues, which at the dissolution of monasteries in the reign of Edward VI. amounted to near eleven thousand pounds per annum. Almost ever since the dissolution, this chapel has been converted to the use we find it at present, viz., for the session of the Lower House of Parliament, who, before that time, usually assembled in the chapter-house belonging to the Abbey, when the Parliament met at Westminster. The Painted Chamber lies between the House of Lords and the House of Commons, and here the committees of both houses usually meet at a conference; but neither this nor the other remaining apartments of this Palace of Westminster have anything in them that merit a particular description.
The open place usually called Charing Cross, from a fine cross which stood there before the grand rebellion, is of a triangular form, having the Pall Mall and the Haymarket on the north-west, the Strand on the east, and the street before Whitehall on the south. In the middle of this space is erected a brazen equestrian statue of King Charles I., looking towards the place where that prince was murdered by the rebels, who had erected a scaffold for that purpose before the gates of his own palace. This statue is erected on a stone pedestal seventeen feet high, enriched with his Majesty's arms, trophy-work, palm-branches, &c., enclosed with an iron palisade, and was erected by King Charles II. after his restoration. The brick buildings south-east of Charing Cross are mostly beautiful and uniform, and the King's stables in the Mews, which lie north of it, and are now magnificently rebuilding of hewn stone, will probably make Charing Cross as fine a place as any we have in town; especially as it stands upon an eminence overlooking Whitehall.
The Banqueting-house stands on the east side of the street adjoining to the great gate of Whitehall on the south. This edifice is built of hewn stone, and consists of one stately room, of an oblong form, upwards of forty feet in height, the length and breadth proportionable, having galleries round it on the inside, the ceiling beautifully painted by that celebrated history-painter, Sir Peter Paul Rubens: it is adorned on the outside with a lower and upper range of columns of the Ionic and Composite orders, their capitals enriched with fruit, foliage, &c., the intercolumns of the upper and lower range being handsome sashed windows. It is surrounded on the top with stone rails or banisters, and covered with lead.
St. James's Palace, where the Royal Family now resides in the winter season, stands pleasantly upon the north side of the Park, and has several noble rooms in it, but is an irregular building, by no means suitable to the grandeur of the British monarch its master. In the front next St. James's Street there appears little more than an old gate-house, by which we enter a little square court, with a piazza on the west side of it leading to the grand staircase; and there are two other courts beyond, which have not much the air of a prince's palace. This palace was a hospital, suppressed by Henry VIII., who built this edifice in the room of it.
But the house most admired for its situation is that of the Duke of Buckingham at the west end of the Park; in the front of which, towards the Mall and the grand canal, is a spacious court, the offices on each side having a communication with the house by two little bending piazzas and galleries that form the wings. This front is adorned with two ranges of pilasters of the Corinthian and Tuscan orders, and over them is an acroteria of figures, representing Mercury, Secrecy, Equity, and Liberty, and under them this inscription in large golden characters, viz., SIC SITI LAETANTVR LARES (Thus situated, may the household gods rejoice).
Behind the house is a fine garden and terrace, from whence there is prospect adjacent on the house on that side, viz., RVS IN VRBE, intimating that it has the advantages both of city and country; above which are figures representing the four seasons: The hall is paved with marble, and adorned with pilasters, the intercolumns exquisite paintings in great variety; and on a pedestal, near the foot of the grand staircase, is a marble figure of Cain killing his brother Abel; the whole structure exceeding magnificent, rich, and beautiful, but especially in the finishing and furniture.
Grosvenor or Gravenor Square is bounded on the north by Oxford Road, on the east by Hanover Square, by Mayfair on the south, and by Hyde Park on the west; the area whereof contains about five acres of ground, in which is a large garden laid out into walks, and adorned with an equestrian statue of King George I. gilded with gold, and standing on a pedestal, in the centre of the garden, the whole surrounded with palisades placed upon a dwarf wall. The buildings generally are the most magnificent we meet with in this great town; though the fronts of the houses are not all alike, for some of them are entirely of stone, others of brick and stone, and others of rubbed brick, with only their quoins, fascias, windows, and door- cases of stone; some of them are adorned with stone columns of the several orders, while others have only plain fronts; but they are so far uniform as to be all sashed, and of pretty near an equal height. To the kitchens and offices, which have little paved yards with vaults before them, they descend by twelve or fifteen steps, and these yards are defended by a high palisade of iron. Every house has a garden behind it, and many of them coach-houses and stables adjoining; and others have stables near the square, in a place that has obtained the name of Grosvenor Mews. The finishing of the houses within is equal to the figure they make without; the staircases of some of them I saw were inlaid, and perfect cabinet- work, and the paintings on the roof and sides by the best hands. The apartments usually consist of a long range of fine rooms, equally commodious and beautiful; none of the houses are without two or three staircases for the convenience of the family. The grand staircase is generally in the hall or saloon at the entrance. In short, this square may well be looked upon as the beauty of the town, and those who have not seen it cannot have an adequate idea of the place.
The city of Westminster at this day consists of the parishes of St. Margaret and St. John the Evangelist, and the liberties of Westminster, viz., St. Martin's-in-the-Fields; St. Mary le Savoy; St. Mary le Strand; St. Clement's Danes; St. Paul's, Covent Garden; St. James's, Westminster; St. George's, Hanover Square; and St. Anne's, Westminster; all under the government of the dean and chapter of Westminster, and their subordinate officers; or rather, of a high steward, and such other officers as are appointed by them; for since the Reformation, the dean and chapter seem to have delegated their civil power to such officers as they elect for life, who are not accountable to, or liable to be displaced by them, nor are they liable to forfeit their offices, but for such offences as a private man may lose his estate, namely, for high treason, felony, &c., as happened in the case of their high steward, the Duke of Ormond, upon whose attainder the dean and chapter proceeded to a new election.
The next officer to the high steward is the deputy steward, appointed by the high steward, and confirmed by the dean and chapter, who is usually a gentleman learned in the law, being judge of their court for trial of civil actions between party and party, which is held usually on Wednesday every week. They have also a court-leet, held annually on St. Thomas's Day, for the choice of officers, and removal of nuisances. The deputy-steward supplies the place of sheriff of Westminster, except in the return of members of Parliament, which is done by the high bailiff, an officer nominated by the dean and chapter, and confirmed by the high steward. The high-bailiff also is entitled to all fines, forfeitures, waifs and strays in Westminster, which makes it a very profitable post.
The high constable, chosen by the burgesses at their court-leet, and approved by the steward or his deputy, is an officer of some consideration in this city also, to whom all the rest of the constables are subject.
The burgesses are sixteen in number, seven for the city and nine for the liberties of Westminster, appointed by the high steward or his deputy, every one of whom has his assistant, and has particular wards or districts: out of these burgesses are chosen two chief burgesses, one for the city, the other for the liberties. The dean, high steward, or his deputy, the bailiffs and burgesses, or a quorum of them, are empowered to make bye-laws, and take cognisance of small offences, within the city and liberties of Westminster. But I look upon it that the justices of peace for Westminster have in a great measure superseded the authority of the burgesses (except as to weights, measures, and nuisances), by virtue of whose warrants all petty offenders almost are apprehended and sent to Tothill Fields Bridewell; and for higher offences, the same justices commit criminals to Newgate, or the Gatehouse, who receive their trials before commissioners of oyer and terminer at the Old Bailey, as notorious criminals in the City of London do; and so far the two united cities may be said to be under the same government.
The precinct of St. Martin's-le-Grand, in London, is deemed a part of the city of Westminster, and the inhabitants vote in the elections of members of Parliament for Westminster.
The ecclesiastical government of the city of Westminster is in the dean, and chapter, whose commissary has the jurisdiction in all ecclesiastical causes, and the probate of wills; from whom there lies no appeal to the Archbishop of Canterbury or other spiritual judge, but to the King in Chancery alone, who upon such appeal issues a commission under the Great Seal of England, constituting a court of delegates to determine the cause finally.
I next proceed to survey the out-parishes in the Counties of Middlesex and Surrey which are comprehended within the bills of mortality, and esteemed part of this great town. And first, St. Giles's in the Fields contains these chief streets and places: Great Lincoln's Inn Fields, part of Lincoln's Inn Garden, Turnstile, Whetstone Park, part of High Holborn, part of Duke Street, Old and New Wild Street, Princes Street, Queen Street, part of Drury Lane, Brownlow Street, Bolton Street, Castle Street, King Street, the Seven Dials, or seven streets comprehending Earl Street, Queen Street, White Lion Street, and St. Andrew's Street, Monmouth Street, the east side of Hog Lane, Stedwell Street, and Staig Street.
Great Lincoln's Inn Fields or Square contains about ten acres of ground, and is something longer than it is broad, the longest sides extending from east to west. The buildings on the west and south generally make a grand figure.
In the parish of St. Sepulchre, which is without the liberties of the City of London, we meet with Hicks's Hall and the Charter House.
Hicks's Hall is situated in the middle of St. John's Street, towards the south end, and is the sessions house for the justices of peace of the County of Middlesex, having been erected for this end, anno 1612, by Sir Baptist Hicks, a mercer in Cheapside, then a justice of the peace. The justices before holding their sessions at the Castle Inn, near Smithfield Bars.
To the eastward of Hicks's Hall stood the late dissolved monastery of the Charter House, founded by Sir Walter Manny, a native of the Low Countries, knighted by King Edward III. for services done to this crown, probably in the wars against France.
Sir Walter Manny at first erected only a chapel, and assigned it to be the burial-place of all strangers; but in the year 1371 Sir Walter founded a monastery of Carthusian monks here, transferring to these fathers thirteen acres and a rood of land with the said chapel: the revenues of which convent, on the dissolution of monasteries, 30 Henry VIII., amounted to 642 pounds 4d. 1ob. per annum.
Sir Thomas Audley soon after obtained a grant of this Carthusian monastery, together with Duke's Place, and gave the former in marriage with his daughter Margaret to Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, from whom it descended to the Earl of Suffolk, and was called Howard House, the surname of that noble family. By which name Thomas Sutton, Esq., purchased it of the Earl of Suffolk for 13,000 pounds, anno 1611, and converted it into a hospital by virtue of letters patent obtained from King James I., which were afterwards confirmed by Act of Parliament, 3 Charles I.
Pounds s. d. The manors, lands, tenements, and hereditaments which the founder settled upon this hospital amounted to, per annum 4493 19 10 The revenues purchased by his executors, &c., after his death, to per annum 897 13 9 Total of the charity per annum 5391 13 7
But the revenues now amount to upwards of 6,000 pounds per annum by the improvement of the rents. This charity was given for the maintenance of fourscore old men, who were to be either gentlemen by descent reduced to poverty, soldiers by sea or land, merchants who had suffered by piracy or shipwreck, or servants of the King's household, and were to be fifty years of age and upwards at their admission, except maimed soldiers, who are capable of being admitted at forty years of age. Nor are any to be admitted who are afflicted with leprosy, or any unclean or infectious disease, or who shall be possessed of the value of 200 pounds, or 14 pounds per annum for life, or who are married men. No poor brother to go beyond sea without the licence of six of the governors, nor to go into the country for above two months without the master's leave, and during such absence shall be allowed but two-thirds of his commons in money besides his salary; and if a brother go out and is arrested he shall have no allowance during his absence, but his place to be reserved till the governors' pleasure be known.
No brother to pass the gates of the hospital in his livery gown, or to lie out of the house, or solicit causes, or molest any of the King's subjects, under a certain pecuniary pain; and all other duties, such as frequenting chapel, decent clothing and behaviour, to be regulated by the governors.
This munificent benefactor also founded a grammar school in the Charter House, to consist of a master, usher, and forty scholars.
No scholars to be admitted at above fourteen or under ten years of age.
The scholars are habited in black gowns, and when any of them are fit for the university, and are elected, each of them receives 20 pounds per annum for eight years out of the revenues of the house. And such boys who are found more fit for trades are bound out, and a considerable sum of money given with them.
When any of the forty boys are disposed of, or any of the old men die, others are placed in their rooms by the governors in their turns.
The master is to be an unmarried man, aged about forty; one that hath no preferment in Church or State which may draw him from his residence and care of the hospital.
The preacher must be a Master of Arts, of seven years' standing in one of the universities of England, and one who has preached four years.
The governors meet in December, to take the year's accounts, view the state of the hospital, and to determine other affairs; and again in June or July, to dispose of the scholars to the university or trades, make elections, &c. And a committee of five at the least is appointed at the assembly in December yearly, to visit the school between Easter and Midsummer, &c.
The buildings of the Charter House take up a great deal of ground, and are commodious enough, but have no great share of beauty. This house has pretty much the air of a college or monastery, of which the principal rooms are the chapel and the hall; and the old men who are members of the society have their several cells, as the monks have in Portugal.
The chapel is built of brick and boulder, and is about sixty-three feet in length, thirty-eight in breadth, and twenty-four in height. Here Sir William Manny, founder of the Carthusian monastery, was buried; and here was interred Mr. Sutton, the founder of the hospital, whose monument is at the north-east angle of the chapel, being of black and white marble, adorned with four columns, with pedestals and entablature of the Corinthian order, between which lies his effigy at length in a fur gown, his face upwards and the palms of his hands joined over his breast; and on the tomb is the following inscription:-
"Sacred to the glory of God, in grateful memory of Thomas Sutton, Esq. Here lieth buried the body of Thomas Sutton, late of Castle Camps, in the County of Cambridge, Esq., at whose only cost and charges this Hospital was founded and endowed with large possessions, for the relief of poor men and children. He was a gentleman born at Knayth, in the County of Lincoln, of worthy and honest parentage. He lived to the age of seventy-nine years, and deceased the 12th day of December, 1611."
The Charter House gardens are exceeding pleasant, and of a very great extent, considering they stand so far within this great town.
I shall, in the next place, survey the free schools and charity schools.
Anciently I have read that there were three principal churches in London that had each of them a famous school belonging to it; and these three churches are supposed to be—(1) The Cathedral Church of St. Paul, because, at a general council holden at Rome, anno 1176, it was decreed, "That every cathedral church should have its schoolmaster, to teach poor scholars and others as had been accustomed, and that no man should take any reward for licence to teach." (2) The Abbey Church of St Peter at Westminster; for of the school here Ingulphus, Abbot of Croyland, in the reign of William the Conqueror, writes as follows: "I, Ingulphus, a humble servant of God, born of English parents, in the most beautiful city of London, for attaining to learning was first put to Westminster, and after to study at Oxford," &c. (3) The Abbey Church of St. Saviour, at Bermondsey, in Southwark; for this is supposed to be the most ancient and most considerable monastery about the city at that time, next to that of St. Peter at Westminster, though there is no doubt but the convents of St. John by Clerkenwell, St. Bartholomew in Smithfield, St. Mary Overy in Southwark, that of the Holy Trinity by Aldgate, and other monasteries about the city, had their respective schools, though not in such reputation as the three first. Of these none are now existing but St. Paul's and Westminster, though perhaps on different and later foundations. Yet other schools have been erected in this metropolis from time to time, amongst which I find that called Merchant Taylors' to be the most considerable.
St. Paul's School is situated on the east side of St. Paul's Churchyard, being a handsome fabric built with brick and stone, founded by John Collet, D.D. and Dean of St. Paul's, anno 1512, who appointed a high-master, sur-master, a chaplain or under-master, and 153 scholars, to be taught by them gratis, of any nation or country. He also left some exhibitions to such scholars as are sent to the universities and have continued at this school three years. The masters are elected by the wardens and assistants of the Mercers' Company, and the scholars are admitted by the master upon a warrant directed to him by the surveyor. The elections for the university are in March, before Lady Day, and they are allowed their exhibitions for seven years. To this school belongs a library, consisting chiefly of classic authors. The frontispiece is adorned with busts, entablature, pediments, festoons, shields, vases, and the Mercers' arms cut in stone, with this inscription over the door: INGREDERE UT PROFICIAS. Upon every window of the school was written, by the founder's direction: AUT DOCE, AUT DISCE, AUT DISCEDE—i.e., Either teach, learn, or begone.
The founder, in the ordinances to be observed in this school, says he founded it to the honour of the Child Jesus, and of His blessed mother Mary; and directs that the master be of a healthful constitution, honest, virtuous, and learned in Greek and Latin; that he be a married or single man, or a priest that hath no cure; that his wages should be a mark a week, and a livery gown of four nobles, with a house in town, and another at Stebonheath (Stepney); that there should be no play-days granted but to the King, or some bishop in person: that the scholars every Childermas Day should go to St. Paul's Church, and hear the child-bishop sermon, and afterwards at high mass each of them offer a penny to the child-bishop: and committed the care of the school to the Company of Mercers; the stipends to the masters, the officers' salaries, &c., belonging to the school, amounting at first to 118 pounds 14s. 7d. 1ob. per annum; but the rents and revenues of the school being of late years considerably advanced, the salaries of the masters have been more than doubled, and many exhibitions granted to those who go to the university, of 10 pounds and 6 pounds odd money per annum. The second master hath a handsome house near the school, as well as the first master.
The school at Mercers' Chapel, in Cheapside, hath the same patrons and governors as that of St. Paul's, viz., the Mercers, who allow the master a salary of 40 pounds per annum, and a house, for teaching twenty-five scholars gratis.
Merchant Taylors' School is situated near Cannon Street, on St. Lawrence Poultney (or Pountney) Hill. This school, I am told, consists of six forms, in which are three hundred lads, one hundred of whom are taught gratis, another hundred pay two shillings and sixpence per quarter, and the third hundred five shillings a quarter; for instructing of whom there is a master and three ushers: and out of these scholars some are annually, on St. Barnabas' Day, the 11th of June, elected to St. John's College, in Oxford, where there are forty-six fellowships belonging to the school.
As to the charity schools: there are in all 131, some for boys, others for girls; where the children are taught, if boys, to read, write, and account; if girls, to read, sew, and knit; who are all clothed and fitted for service or trades gratis.
I proceed in the next place to show how well London is supplied with water, firing, bread-corn, flesh, fish, beer, wine, and other provisions.
And as to water, no city was ever better furnished with it, for every man has a pipe or fountain of good fresh water brought into his house, for less than twenty shillings a year, unless brewhouses, and some other great houses and places that require more water than an ordinary family consumes, and these pay in proportion to the quantity they spend; many houses have several pipes laid in, and may have one in every room, if they think fit, which is a much greater convenience than two or three fountains in a street, for which some towns in other countries are so much admired.
These pipes of water are chiefly supplied from the waterworks at London Bridge, Westminster, Chelsea, and the New River.
Besides the water brought from the Thames and the New River, there are a great many good springs, pumps, and conduits about the town, which afford excellent water for drinking. There are also mineral waters on the side of Islington and Pancras.
This capital also is well supplied with firing, particularly coals from Newcastle, and pit-coals from Scotland, and other parts; but wood is excessively dear, and used by nobody for firing, unless bakers, and some few persons of quality in their chambers and drawing-rooms.