London in 1731
Don Manoel Gonzales
Part 1 out of 3
This etext was prepared by David Price, email firstname.lastname@example.org,
from the 1888 Cassell & Co. edition.
LONDON IN 1731
by Don Manoel Gonzales
Don Manoel Gonzales is the assumed name of the writer of a "Voyage
to Great Britain, containing an Account of England and Scotland,"
which was first printed in the first of the two folio volumes of "A
Collection of Voyages and Travels, compiled from the Library of the
Earl of Oxford" (Robert Harley, who died in 1724, but whose industry
in collection was continued by his son Edward, the second Earl),
"interspersed and illustrated with Notes." These volumes, known as
the "Harleian Collection," were published in 1745 and 1746. The
narrative was reproduced early in the present century in the second
of the seventeen quartos of John Pinkerton's "General Collection of
the best and the most interesting Voyages and Travels of the World"
(1808-1814), from which this account of London is taken. The writer
does here, no doubt, keep up his character of Portuguese by a light
allusion to "our extensive city of Lisbon," but he forgets to show
his nationality when speaking of Portugal among the countries with
which London has trade, and he writes of London altogether like one
to the City born, when he describes its inner life together with its
institutions and its buildings.
The book is one of those that have been attributed to Defoe, who
died in 1731, and the London it describes was dated by Pinkerton in
the last year of Defoe's life. This is also the latest date to be
found in the narrative. On page 93 of this volume, old buildings at
St. Bartholomew's are said to have been pulled down in the year
1731, "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." That passage was written, therefore, after
1731, and could not possibly have been written by Defoe. But if the
book was in Robert Harley's collection, and not one of the additions
made by his son the second earl, the main body of the account of
London must be of a date earlier than the first earl's death in
1724. Note, for instance, the references on pages 27, 28, to "the
late Queen Mary," and to "her Majesty" Queen Anne, as if Anne were
living. It would afterwards have been brought to date of
publication by additions made in or before 1745. The writer,
whoever he may have been, was an able man, who joined to the detail
of a guide-book the clear observation of one who writes like an
educated and not untravelled London merchant, giving a description
of his native town as it was in the reign of George the First, with
addition of a later touch or two from the beginning of the reign of
George the Second.
His London is London of the time when Pope published his translation
of the "Iliad," and was nettled at the report that Addison, at
Button's Coffee House, had given to Tickell's little venture in the
same direction the praise of having more in it of Homer's fire.
Button's Coffee House was of Addison's foundation, for the benefit
of Daniel Button, an old steward of the Countess of Warwick's, whom
he had settled there in 1812. It was in Russell Street, Covent
Garden, and Addison brought the wits to it by using it himself.
"Don Manoel Gonzales" describes very clearly in the latter part of
this account of London, the manner of using taverns and coffee-
houses by the Londoners of his days, and other ways of life with
high and low. It is noticeable, however, that his glance does not
include the ways of men of letters. His four orders of society are,
the noblemen and gentlemen, whose wives breakfast at twelve; the
merchants and richer tradesmen; after whom he places the lawyers and
doctors; whose professional class is followed by that of the small
tradesmen, costermongers, and other people of the lower orders.
This, and the clearness of detail upon London commerce, may
strengthen the general impression that the description comes rather
from a shrewd, clear-headed, and successful merchant than from a man
The London described is that of Addison who died in 1719, of Steele
who died in 1729, of Pope who died in 1744. It is the London into
which Samuel Johnson came in 1738, at the age of twenty-nine--seven
years before the manuscript of "Manoel de Gonzales" appeared in
print. "How different a place," said Johnson, "London is to
different people; but the intellectual man is struck with it as
comprehending the whole of human life in all its variety, the
contemplation of which is inexhaustible." Its hard features were
shown in the poem entitled London--an imitation of the third satire
of Juvenal--with which Johnson began his career in the great city,
pressed by poverty, but not to be subdued:-
"By numbers here from shame or censure free,
All crimes are safe but hated poverty.
This, only this, the rigid law pursues,
This, only this, provokes the snarling Muse.
The sober trader, at a tattered cloak,
Wakes from his dream and labours for a joke;
With brisker air the silken courtiers gaze,
And turn the varied taunt a thousand ways.
Of all the griefs that harass the distressed,
Sure the most bitter is a scornful jest;
Fate never wounds more deep the generous heart
Than when a blockhead's insult points the dart."
When Don Manoel's account of London was written the fashionable
world was only beginning to migrate from Covent Garden--once a
garden belonging to the Convent of Westminster, and the first London
square inhabited by persons of rank and fashion--to Grosvenor
Square, of which Don Manoel describes the new glories. They
included a gilt equestrian statue of King George I. in the middle of
its garden, to say nothing of kitchen areas to its houses, then
unusual enough to need special description: "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." Altogether, we are told, Grosvenor 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."
But Covent Garden is named by "Don Manoel Gonzales," with St.
James's Park, as a gathering-place of the London world of fashion.
The neighbouring streets, it may be added, had many coffee-houses,
wine-cellars, fruit and jelly shops; fruit, flowers, and herbs were
sold in its central space; and one large woman thoughtfully
considering the fashion of the place, sat at her stall in a lace
dress of which the lowest estimate was that it must have cost a
LONDON IN 1731.
CONTAINING A DESCRIPTION OF THE CITY OF LONDON; BOTH IN REGARD TO
ITS EXTENT, BUILDINGS, GOVERNMENT, TRADE, ETC.
London, the capital of the kingdom of England, taken in its largest
extent, comprehends the cities of London and Westminster, with their
respective suburbs, and the borough of Southwark, with the buildings
contiguous thereto on the south side of the river, both on the east
and west sides of the bridge.
The length thereof, if we measure in a direct line from Hyde Park
gate, on the west side of Grosvenor Square, to the farthest
buildings that are contiguous in Limehouse, that is, from west to
east, is very near five miles in a direct line; but if we take in
the turnings and windings of the streets, it cannot be less than six
miles. The breadth in many places from north to south is about two
miles and a half, but in others not above a mile and a half; the
circumference of the whole being about sixteen miles.
The situation next the river is hilly, and in some places very
steep; but the streets are for the most part upon a level, and the
principal of them nowhere to be paralleled for their length,
breadth, beauty, and regularity of the buildings, any more than the
spacious and magnificent squares with which this city abounds.
As to the dimensions of the city within the walls, I find that the
late wall on the land side from the Tower in the east, to the mouth
of Fleet Ditch in the west, was two miles wanting ten poles; and the
line along the Thames, where there has been no walls for many
hundred years, if ever, contains from the Tower in the east, to the
mouth of the same ditch in the west, a mile and forty poles; which
added to the circuit of the wall, on the land side, makes in the
whole three miles thirty poles; and as it is of an irregular figure,
narrow at each end, and the broadest part not half the length of it,
the content of the ground within the walls, upon the most accurate
survey, does not contain more than three hundred and eighty acres;
which is not a third part of the contents of our extensive city of
Lisbon: but then this must be remembered, Lisbon contains a great
quantity of arable and waste ground within its walls, whereas London
is one continued pile of buildings. The city gates are at this day
eight, besides posterns, viz.: 1, Aldgate; 2, Bishopsgate; 3,
Moorgate; 4, Cripplegate; 5, Aldersgate; 6, Newgate; 7, Ludgate;
and, 8, The Bridgegate.
1. Aldgate, or Ealdgate, in the east, is of great antiquity, even
as old as the days of King Edgar, who mentions it in a charter to
the knights of Knighton-Guild. Upon the top of it, to the eastward,
is placed a golden sphere; and on the upper battlements, the figures
of two soldiers as sentinels: beneath, in a large square, King
James I. is represented standing in gilt armour, at whose feet are a
lion and unicorn, both couchant, the first the supporter of England,
and the other for Scotland. On the west side of the gate is the
figure of Fortune, finely gilded and carved, with a prosperous sail
over her head, standing on a globe, overlooking the city. Beneath
it is the King's arms, with the usual motto, Dieu et mon droit, and
under it, Vivat rex. A little lower, on one side, is the figure of
a woman, being the emblem of peace, with a dove in one hand, and a
gilded wreath or garland in the other; and on the other side is the
figure of charity, with a child at her breast, and another in her
hand; and over the arch of the gate is this inscription, viz.,
Senatus populusque Londinensis fecit, 1609, and under it, Humphrey
Weld, Mayor, in whose mayoralty it was finished.
2. Bishopsgate, which stands north-west of Aldgate, is supposed to
have been built by some bishop about the year 1200. It was
afterwards several times repaired by the merchants of the Hanse
Towns, on account of the confirmation of their privileges in this
city. The figures of the two bishops on the north side are pretty
much defaced, as are the city arms engraven on the south side of it.
3. Aldersgate, the ancient north gate of the city, stands to the
westward of Bishopsgate. On the north, or outside of it, is the
figure of King James I. on horseback, who entered the city at this
gate when he came from Scotland, on his accession to the throne of
England. Over the head of this figure are the arms of England,
Scotland, and Ireland; and on one side the image of the prophet
Jeremy, with this text engraved, "Then shall enter into the gates of
this city, kings and princes sitting on the throne of David, riding
on chariots and on horses, they and their princes, the men of Judah,
and the inhabitants of Jerusalem." And on the other side, the
figure of the prophet Samuel, with the following passage, "And
Samuel said unto all Israel, Behold, I have hearkened unto your
voice in all that you have said unto me, and have made a king over
you." On the south, or inside of the gate, is the effigy of King
James I. sitting on his throne in his robes.
4. Newgate, so called from its being built later than the other
principal gates, is situated on the north-west corner of the city,
said to be erected in the reign of Henry I. or King Stephen, when
the way through Ludgate was interrupted by enlarging the cathedral
of St. Paul's and the churchyard about it. This gate hath been the
county jail for Middlesex at least five hundred years. The west, or
outside of the gate is adorned with three ranges of pilasters and
their entablements of the Tuscan order. Over the lowest is a
circular pediment, and above it the King's arms. The inter columns
are four niches, and as many figures in them, well carved, and large
as the life. The east, or inside of the gate, is adorned with a
range of pilasters with entablements as the other, and in three
niches are the figures of justice, mercy, and truth, with this
inscription, viz., "This part of Newgate was begun to be repaired in
the mayoralty of Sir James Campel, Knight, anno 1630, and finished
in the mayoralty of Sir Robert Ducie, Bart., anno 1631; and being
damnified by the fire in 1666, it was repaired in the mayoralty of
Sir George Waterman, anno 1672."
5. Ludgate, the ancient western gate of the city, stands between
Newgate and the Thames, built by King Lud about threescore years
before the birth of our Saviour. It was repaired in the reign of
King John, anno 1215, and afterwards in the year 1260, when it was
adorned with the figures of King Lud and his two sons, Androgeus and
Theomantius; but at the Reformation, in the reign of Edward VI.,
some zealous people struck off all their heads, looking upon images
of all kinds to be Popish and idolatrous. In the reign of Queen
Mary, new heads were placed on the bodies of these kings, and so
remained till the 28th of Queen Elizabeth, anno 1586, when the gate,
being very ruinous, was pulled down, and beautifully rebuilt: the
east or inside whereof was adorned with four pilasters and
entablature of the Doric order, and in the intercolumns were placed
the figures of King Lud and his two sons (who are supposed to have
succeeded him) in their British habits again; and above them the
queen's arms, viz., those of France and England quarterly, the
supporters a lion and a dragon. It was afterwards repaired and
beautified, anno 1699, Sir Francis Child lord mayor. The west or
outside of the gate is adorned with two pilasters and entablature of
the Ionic order; also two columns and a pediment adorning a niche,
wherein is placed a good statue of Queen Elizabeth in her robes and
the regalia; and over it the queen's arms between the city
supporters, placed at some distance. This gate was made a prison
for debtors who were free of the city, anno 1 Richard II., 1378,
Nicholas Brember then mayor, and confirmed such by the mayor and
common council, anno 1382, John Northampton mayor.
The Tower of London is situated at the south-east end of the city,
on the river Thames, and consists in reality of a great number of
towers or forts, built at several times, which still retain their
several names, though at present most of them, together with a
little town and church, are enclosed within one wall and ditch, and
compose but one entire fortress.
It was the vulgar opinion that the Tower was built by Julius Caesar;
but, as I have before shown, history informs us that Caesar made no
stay in England, that he erected no town or fortress, unless that
with which he enclosed his ships on the coast of Kent, nor left a
single garrison or soldier in the island on his departure.
This Tower, as now encompassed, stands upon twelve acres of ground,
and something more, being of an irregular form, but approaching near
to that of an oblong, one of the longest sides lying next the river,
from whence it rises gradually towards the north, by a pretty deep
ascent, to the armoury, which stands upon the highest ground in the
Tower, overlooking the White Tower built by William the Conqueror,
and the remains of the castle below it on the Thames side, said to
be built by William Rufus.
As to the strength of the place, the works being all antique, would
not be able to hold out four-and-twenty hours against an army
prepared for a siege: the ditch indeed is of a great depth, and
upwards of a hundred feet broad, into which the water of the Thames
may be introduced at pleasure; but I question whether the walls on
the inside would bear the firing of their own guns: certain it is,
two or three battering-pieces would soon lay them even with the
ground, though, after all, the ditch alone is sufficient to defend
it against a sudden assault. There are several small towers upon
the walls; those of the largest dimensions, and which appear the
most formidable, are the Divelin Tower, on the north-west; and the
Martin Tower on the north-east; and St. Thomas's Tower on the river
by Traitor's Bridge; which I take to be part of the castle said to
be built by William Rufus. There is also a large tower on the
outside the ditch, called the Lions' Tower, on the south-west
corner, near which is the principal gate and bridge by which coaches
and carriages enter the Tower; and there are two posterns with
bridges over the ditch to the wharf on the Thames side, one whereof
is called Traitor's Bridge, under which state prisoners used to
enter the Tower.
The principal places and buildings within the Tower, are (1) The
parochial church of St. Peter (for the Tower is a parish of itself,
in which are fifty houses and upwards, inhabited by the governor,
deputy-governor, warders, and other officers belonging to the
(2) To the eastward of the church stands a noble pile of building,
usually called the armoury, begun by King James II. and finished by
King William III., being three hundred and ninety feet in length,
and sixty in breadth: the stately door-case on the south side is
adorned with four columns, entablature and triangular pediment, of
the Doric order. Under the pediment are the king's arms, with
enrichments of trophy-work, very ornamental. It consists of two
lofty rooms, reaching the whole length of the building: in the
lower room is a complete train of artillery, consisting of brass
cannon and mortars fit to attend an army of a hundred-thousand men;
but none of the cannon I observe there were above four-and-twenty
pounders; the large battering-pieces, which carry balls of thirty-
two and forty-eight pounds weight, I perceive, are in the king's
store-houses at Deptford, Woolwich, Chatham, and Portsmouth. In the
armoury also we find a great many of the little cohorn mortars, so
called from the Dutch engineer Cohorn, who invented them for firing
a great number of hand-grenades from them at once; with other
extraordinary pieces cast at home, or taken from the enemy.
In the room over the artillery is the armoury of small arms, of
equal dimensions with that underneath, in which are placed, in
admirable order, muskets and other small arms for fourscore thousand
men, most of them of the newest make, having the best locks,
barrels, and stocks, that can be contrived for service; neither the
locks or barrels indeed are wrought, but I look upon them to be the
more durable and serviceable, and much easier cleaned. There are
abundance of hands always employed in keeping them bright, and they
are so artfully laid up, that any one piece may be taken down
without moving another. Besides these, which with pilasters of
pikes furnish all the middle of the room from top to bottom, leaving
only a walk through the middle, and another on each side, the north
and south walls of the armoury are each of them adorned with eight
pilasters of pikes and pistols of the Corinthian order, whose
intercolumns are chequer-work of carbines and pistols; waves of the
sea in cutlasses, swords, and bayonets; half moons, semicircles, and
a target of bayonets; the form of a battery in swords and pistols;
suns, with circles of pistols; a pair of gates in halberts and
pistols; the Witch of Endor, as it is called, within three ellipses
of pistols; the backbone of a whale in carbines; a fiery serpent,
Jupiter and the Hydra, in bayonets, &c. But nothing looks more
beautiful and magnificent than the four lofty wreathed columns
formed with pistols in the middle of the room, which seem to support
it. They show us also some other arms, which are only remarkable
for the use they have been put to; as the two swords of state,
carried before the Pretender when he invaded Scotland in the year
1715; and the arms taken from the Spaniards who landed in Scotland
in the year 1719, &c.
The small arms were placed in this beautiful order by one Mr.
Harris, originally a blacksmith, who was properly the forger of his
own fortune, having raised himself by his merit: he had a place or
pension granted him by the government for this piece of service in
particular, which he richly deserved, no nation in Europe being able
to show a magazine of small arms so good in their kind, and so
ingeniously disposed. In the place where the armoury now stands was
formerly a bowling-green, a garden, and some buildings, which were
demolished to make room for the grand arsenal I have been
In the horse-armoury the most remarkable things are some of the
English kings on horseback in complete armour, among which the chief
are Edward III., Henrys V. and VII., King Charles I. and II., and
King William, and a suit of silver armour, said to belong to John of
Gaunt, seven feet and a half high. Here also they show us the
armour of the Lord Kingsale, with the sword he took from the French
general, which gained him the privilege of being covered in the
king's presence, which his posterity enjoy to this day.
The office of ordnance is in the Tower, with the several apartments
of the officers that belong to it, who have the direction of all the
arms, ammunition, artillery, magazines, and stores of war in the
The White Tower is a lofty, square stone building, with a turret at
each angle, standing on the declivity of the hill, a little below
the armoury, and disengaged from the other buildings, where some
thousand barrels of powder were formerly kept; but great part of the
public magazine of powder is now distributed in the several yards
and storehouses belonging to the government, as at Woolwich,
Chatham, Portsmouth, Plymouth, &c., to prevent accidents, I presume;
for should such a prodigious quantity of powder take fire, it must
be of fatal consequence to the city, as well as the Tower. The main
guard of the Tower, with the lodgings of the officers, are on the
east side of this building.
In the chapel of the White Tower, usually called Caesar's Chapel,
and in a large room adjoining on the east side thereof, sixty-four
feet long, and thirty-one broad, are kept many ancient records, such
as privy-seals in several reigns, bills, answers, and depositions in
chancery, in the reigns of Queen Elizabeth, King James I., and King
Charles I., writs of distringas, supersedeas, de excommunicato
capiendo, and other writs relating to the courts of law; but the
records of the greatest importance are lodged in the Tower called
Wakefield Tower, consisting of statute rolls from the 6th of Edward
I. to the 8th of Edward III.
Parliament rolls beginning anno 5 of Edward II. and ending with the
reign of Edward IV.
Patent rolls beginning anno 3 of John, and ending with the reign of
Edward IV. In these are contained grants of offices, hands,
tenements, temporalities, &c., passing under the great seal.
Charter rolls, from the 1st of King John to the end of Edward IV. in
which are enrolments of grants, and confirmations of liberties and
privileges to cities and towns corporate, and to private persons, as
markets, fairs, free warren, common of pasture, waifs, strays,
felons' goods, &c.
The foundations of abbeys and priories, of colleges and schools,
together with lands and privileges granted to them.
The patents of creation of noblemen.
Close rolls, from the 6th of King John, to the end of Edward IV., in
which are writs of various kinds, but more especially on the back of
the roll are entered the writs of summons to parliament, both to the
lords and commons, and of the bishops and inferior clergy to
convocations. There are also proclamations, and enrolments of deeds
between party and party.
French rolls, beginning anno 1 of Edward II. and ending with Edward
IV., in which are leagues and treaties with the kings of France, and
other matters relating to that kingdom.
Scotch rolls, containing transactions with that kingdom.
Rome, touching the affairs of that see.
Vascon rolls, relating to Gascoign.
There are also other rolls and records of different natures.
In this tower are also kept the inquisitions post mortem, from the
first year of King Henry III., to the third year of Richard III.
The inquisitions ad quod damnum, from the first of Edward II. to the
end of Henry V.
Writs of summons, and returns to Parliament, from the reign of
Edward I. to the 17th of Edward IV.
Popes' bulls, and original letters from foreign princes.
All which were put into order, and secured in excellent wainscot
presses, by order of the house of peers, in the year 1719 and 1720.
Attendance is given at this office, and searches may be made from
seven o'clock in the morning to eleven, and from one to five in the
afternoon, unless in December, January, and February, when the
office is open only from eight to eleven in the morning, and from
one to four, except holidays.
The next office I shall mention is the Mint, where, at present, all
the money in the kingdom is coined. This makes a considerable
street in the Tower, wherein are apartments for the officers
belonging to it. The principal officers are:- l. The warden, who
receives the gold and silver bullion, and pays the full value for
it, the charge being defrayed by a small duty on wines. 2. The
master and worker, who takes the bullion from the warden, causes it
to be melted, delivers it to the moneyers, and when it is minted
receives it from them again. 3. The comptroller, who sees that the
money be made according to the just assize, overlooks the officers
and controls them. 4. The assay-master, who sees that the money be
according to the standard of fineness. 5. The auditor, who takes
the accounts, and makes them up. 6. The surveyor-general, who
takes care that the fineness be not altered in the melting. And, 7,
the weigher and teller.
The Jewel-office, where the regalia are reposited, stands near the
east end of the Armoury. A list is usually given to those who come
daily to see these curiosities in the Jewel-house, a copy whereof
A list of his Majesty's regalia, besides plate, and other rich
things, at the Jewel-house in the Tower of London.
1. The imperial crown, which all the kings of England have been
crowned with, ever since Edward the Confessor's time.
2. The orb, or globe, held in the king's left hand at the
coronation; on the top of which is a jewel near an inch and half in
3. The royal sceptre with the cross, which has another jewel of
great value under it.
4. The sceptre with the dove, being the emblem of peace.
5. St. Edward's staff, all beaten gold, carried before the king at
6. A rich salt-cellar of state, the figure of the Tower, used on
the king's table at the coronation.
7. Curtana, or the sword of mercy, borne between the two swords of
justice, the spiritual and temporal, at the coronation.
8. A noble silver font, double gilt, that the kings and royal
family were christened in.
9. A large silver fountain, presented to King Charles II. by the
town of Plymouth.
10. Queen Anne's diadem, or circlet which her majesty wore in
proceeding to her coronation.
11. The coronation crown made for the late Queen Mary.
12. The rich crown of state that his majesty wears on his throne in
parliament, in which is a large emerald seven inches round, a pearl
the finest in the world, and a ruby of inestimable value.
13. A globe and sceptre made for the late Queen Mary.
14. An ivory sceptre with a dove, made for the late King James's
15. The golden spurs and the armillas that are worn at the
There is also an apartment in the Tower where noble prisoners used
to be confined, but of late years some of less quality have been
The Tower where the lions and other savage animals are kept is on
the right hand, on the outside the ditch, as we enter the fortress.
These consist of lions, leopards, tigers, eagles, vultures, and such
other wild creatures as foreign princes or sea-officers have
presented to the British kings and queens.
Not far from the Tower stands London Bridge. This bridge has
nineteen arches besides the drawbridge, and is built with hewn
stone, being one thousand two hundred feet in length, and seventy-
four in breadth, whereof the houses built on each side take up
twenty-seven feet, and the street between the houses twenty feet;
there being only three vacancies about the middle of the bridge
where there are no houses, but a low stone wall, with an iron
palisade, through which is a fine view of the shipping and vessels
in the river. This street over the bridge is as much thronged, and
has as brisk a trade as any street in the city; and the perpetual
passage of coaches and carriages makes it troublesome walking on it,
there being no posts to keep off carriages as in other streets. The
middle vacancy was left for a drawbridge, which used formerly to be
drawn up when shipping passed that way; but no vessels come above
the bridge at this day but such as can strike their masts, and pass
under the arches. Four of the arches on the north side of the
bridge are now taken up with mills and engines, that raise the water
to a great height, for the supply of the city; this brings in a
large revenue which, with the rents of the houses on the bridge, and
other houses and lands that belong to it, are applied as far as is
necessary to the repair of it by the officers appointed for that
service, who are, a comptroller and two bridge-masters, with their
subordinate officers; and in some years, it is said, not less than
three thousand pounds are laid out in repairing and supporting this
mighty fabric, though it be never suffered to run much to decay.
I come next to describe that circuit of ground which lies without
the walls, but within the freedom and jurisdiction of the City of
London. And this is bounded by a line which begins at Temple Bar,
and extends itself by many turnings and windings through part of
Shear Lane, Bell Yard, Chancery Lane, by the Rolls Liberty, &c.,
into Holborn, almost against Gray's-Inn Lane, where there is a bar
(consisting of posts, rails, and a chain) usually called Holborn
Bars; from whence it passes with many turnings and windings by the
south end of Brook Street, Furnival's Inn, Leather Lane, the south
end of Hatton Garden, Ely House, Field Lane, and Chick Lane, to the
common sewer; then to Cow Cross, and so to Smithfield Bars; from
whence it runs with several windings between Long Lane and
Charterhouse Lane to Goswell Street, and so up that street northward
to the Bars.
From these Bars in Goswell Street, where the manor of Finsbury
begins, the line extends by Golden Lane to the posts and chain in
Whitecross Street, and from thence to the posts and chain in Grub
Street; and then runs through Ropemakers Alley to the posts and
chain in the highway from Moorgate, and from thence by the north
side of Moorfields; after which it runs northwards to Nortonfalgate,
meeting with the bars in Bishopsgate Street, and from thence runs
eastward into Spittlefields, abutting all along upon Nortonfalgate.
From Nortonfalgate it returns southwards by Spittlefields, and then
south-east by Wentworth Street, to the bars in Whitechapel. From
hence it inclines more southerly to the Little Minories and
Goodman's Fields: from whence it returns westward to the posts and
chain in the Minories, and so on more westerly till it comes to
London Wall, abutting on the Tower Liberty, and there it ends. The
ground comprehended betwixt this line and the city wall contains
about three hundred acres.
There is no wall or fence, as has been hinted already, to separate
the freedom of the City from that part of the town which lies in the
county of Middlesex, only posts and chains at certain places, and
one gate at the west end of Fleet Street which goes by the name of
This gate resembles a triumphal arch; it is built of hewn stone,
each side being adorned with four pilasters, their entablature, and
an arched pediment of the Corinthian order. The intercolumns are
niches replenished; those within the Bar towards the east, with the
figures of King James I. and his queen; and those without the Bar,
with the figures of King Charles I. and King Charles II. It is
encircled also with cornucopias, and has two large cartouches by way
of supporters to the whole; and on the inside of the gate is the
following inscription, viz., "Erected in the year 1671, Sir Samuel
Starling, Mayor: continued in the year 1670, Sir Richard Ford, Lord
Mayor: and finished in the year 1672, Sir George Waterman, Lord
The city is divided into twenty-six wards or governments, each
having its peculiar officers, as alderman, common council, &c. But
all are subject to the lord mayor, the supreme magistrate of this
great metropolis. Of each of these wards take the following
1. Portsoken ward is situate without Aldgate, the most easterly
ward belonging to the City; and extends from Aldgate eastward to the
bars. The chief streets and places comprehended in it, are part of
Whitechapel Street, the Minories, Houndsditch, and the west side of
Whitechapel is a handsome broad street, by which we enter the town
from the east. The south side, or great part of it, is taken up by
butchers who deal in the wholesale way, selling whole carcases of
veal, mutton, and lamb (which come chiefly out of Essex) to the town
butchers. On the north side are a great many good inns, and several
considerable tradesmen's houses, who serve the east part of England
with such goods and merchandise as London affords. On the south
side is a great market for hay three times a week.
Tower ward extends along the Thames from the Tower on the east
almost to Billingsgate on the west, and that part of the Tower
itself which lies to the westward of the White Tower is held by some
to be within this ward. The principal streets and places contained
in it are Great Tower Street, part of Little Tower Street and Tower
Hill, part of Thames Street, Mark Lane, Mincing Lane, Seething Lane,
St. Olave Hart Street, Idle Lane, St. Dunstan's Hill, Harp Lane,
Water Lane, and Bear Lane, with the courts and alleys that fall into
Great Tower Hill lies on the outside of the Tower Ditch towards the
Upon this hill is a scaffold erected, at the charge of the City, for
the execution of noble offenders imprisoned in the Tower (after
sentence passed upon them).
The names of the quays or wharves lying on the Thames side in this
ward between the Tower and Billingsgate, are Brewer's Quay, Chester
Quay, Galley Quay, Wool Quay, Porter's Quay, Custom-House Quay,
Great Bear Quay, Little Bear Quay, Wigging's Quay, Ralph's Quay,
Little Dice Quay, Great Dice Quay, and Smart's Quay, of which, next
to the Custom-House Quay, Bear Quays are the most considerable,
there being one of the greatest markets in England for wheat and
other kinds of grain, brought hither by coasting vessels.
The public buildings in this ward (besides the western part of the
Tower above-mentioned to be within the City) are the Custom House,
Cloth-workers' Hall, Bakers' Hall, and the three parish churches of
Allhallows Barking, St. Olave Hart Street, and St. Dunstan's in the
The Custom House is situated on the north side of the Thames,
between the Tower and Billingsgate, consisting of two floors, in the
uppermost of which, in a wainscoted magnificent room, almost the
whole length of the building, and fifteen feet in height, sit the
commissioners of the customs, with their under officers and clerks.
The length of this edifice is a hundred and eighty-nine feet, and
the general breadth twenty-seven, but at the west end it is sixty
feet broad. It is built of brick and stone, and covered with lead,
being adorned with the upper and lower orders of architecture.
3. Aldgate, or Ealdgate Ward. The principal streets and places in
it are Aldgate Street, Berry Street, part of St. Mary Axe, part of
Leadenhall Street, part of Lime Street, Billiter Lane and Square,
part of Mark Lane, Fenchurch Street, and Crutchedfriars.
The public buildings in this ward are the African House, the Navy
Office, Bricklayers' Hall, the churches of St. Catherine Creechurch,
St. James's, Duke's Place, St. Andrew Undershaft, St. Catherine
Coleman, and the Jews' Synagogues.
The Royal African House is situated on the south side of Leadenhall
Street, near the east end of it. Here the affairs of the company
are transacted; but the house has nothing in it that merits a
The Navy Office is situated on the south side of Crutchedfriars,
near Tower Hill, being a large, well-built pile of buildings, and
the offices for every branch of business relating to the navy
admirably well disposed.
The Jews' synagogues are in Duke's Place, where, and in that
neighbourhood, many of that religion inhabit. The synagogue stands
east and West, as Christian churches usually do: the great door is
on the west, within which is a long desk upon an ascent, raised
above the floor, from whence the law is read. The east part of the
synagogue also is railed in, and the places where the women sit
enclosed with lattices; the men sit on benches with backs to them,
running east and west; and there are abundance of fine branches for
candles, besides lamps, especially in that belonging to the
4. Lime Street Ward. The principal streets and places in it are
part of Leadenhall Street, and Leadenhall Market, part of Lime
Street, and part of St. Mary Axe.
Leadenhall Market, the finest shambles in Europe, lies between
Leadenhall Street and Fenchurch Street. Of the three courts or
yards which it consists of, the first is that at the north-east
corner of Gracechurch Street, and opens into Leadenhall Street.
This court or yard contains in length from north to south 164 feet,
and in breadth from east to west eighty feet: within this court or
yard, round about the same, are about 100 standing stalls for
butchers, for the selling of beef only, and therefore this court is
called the beef market. These stalls are either under warehouses,
or sheltered from the weather by roofs over them. This yard is on
Tuesdays a market for leather, to which the tanners resort; on
Thursdays the waggons from Colchester, and other parts, come with
baize, &c., and the fellmongers with their wool; and on Fridays it
is a market for raw hides; on Saturdays, for beef and other
The second market yard is called the Greenyard, as being once a
green plot of ground; afterwards it was the City's storeyard for
materials for building and the like; but now a market only for veal,
mutton, lamb, &c. This yard is 170 feet in length from east to
west, and ninety feet broad from north to south; it hath in it 140
stalls for the butchers, all covered over. In the middle of this
Greenyard market from north to south is a row of shops, with rooms
over them, for fishmongers: and on the south side and west end are
houses and shops also for fishmongers. Towards the east end of this
yard is erected a fair market-house, standing upon columns, with
vaults underneath, and rooms above, with a bell tower, and a clock,
and under it are butchers' stalls. The tenements round about this
yard are for the most part inhabited by cooks and victuallers; and
in the passages leading out of the streets into this market are
fishmongers, poulterers, cheesemongers, and other traders in
The third market belonging to Leadenhall is called the Herb Market,
for that herbs, roots, fruits, &c., are only there sold. This
market is about 140 feet square; the west, east, and north sides had
walks round them, covered over for shelter, and standing upon
columns; in which walks there were twenty-eight stalls for
gardeners, with cellars under them.
The public buildings in this ward are Leadenhall, the East India
House, Pewterers' Hall, and Fletchers' Hall.
Leadenhall is situated on the south side of Leadenhall Street. It
is a large stone fabric, consisting of three large courts or yards,
as has been observed already; part of it is at present a warehouse,
in the occupation of the East India Company, where the finest
calicoes, and other curiosities of the Eastern part of the world,
are reposited; another part of it is for Colchester baize, and is
open every Thursday and Friday. Here was also anciently a chapel,
and a fraternity of sixty priests constituted to celebrate Divine
Service every day to the market people; but was dissolved with other
religious societies at the Reformation.
On the south side of Leadenhall Street also, and a little to the
eastward of Leadenhall, stands the East India House, lately
magnificently built, with a stone front to the street; but the front
being very narrow, does not make an appearance answerable to the
grandeur of the house within, which stands upon a great deal of
ground, the offices and storehouses admirably well contrived, and
the public hall and the committee room scarce inferior to anything
of the like nature in the City.
There is not one church in this ward at present. The officers of
the ward are, an alderman, his deputy, four common-council men, four
constables, two scavengers, sixteen for the wardmote inquest, and a
5. Bishopsgate Ward is divided into two parts, one within
Bishopsgate, and the other without.
The streets and places in this ward, within the gate, are, all
Bishopsgate Street, part of Gracechurch Street, all Great and Little
St. Helen's, all Crosby Square, all Camomile Street, and a small
part of Wormwood Street, with several courts and alleys that fall
That part of this ward that lies without Bishopsgate extends
northwards as far as the bars, being the bounds of the City freedom
on this side.
The principal streets and places in this ward, without the gate,
are, Bishopsgate Street, Petty France, Bethlem Court and Lane, and
Devonshire Square; besides which, there are little courts and alleys
without number between Bishopsgate Street and Moorfields.
The public buildings in this ward are Leather-sellers' Hall, Gresham
College, the churches of St. Botolph, Bishopsgate, St. Ethelburga,
and St. Helen.
London Workhouse, for the poor of the City of London, also stands in
this ward, just without Bishopsgate, being a long brick edifice four
hundred feet in length, consisting of several work-rooms and lodging
rooms for the vagrants and parish children brought thither, who are
employed in spinning wool and flax, in sewing, knitting, or winding
silk, or making their clothes or shoes, and are taught to write,
read, and cast accounts. The grown vagrants brought here for a time
only are employed in washing, beating hemp, and picking oakum, and
have no more to keep them than they earn, unless they are sick; and
the boys are put out apprentices to seafaring men or artificers, at
a certain age, and in the meantime have their diet, clothes, physic,
and other necessaries provided for them by the house, which is
supported by private charities, by sums raised annually by the City,
or by the labour of the children, which last article produces seven
or eight hundred pounds per annum.
6. Broad Street Ward contains part of Threadneedle Street,
Bartholomew Lane, part of Prince's Street, part of Lothbury, part of
Throgmorton Street, great part of Broad Street, Winchester Street,
Austinfriars, part of Wormwood Street, and part of London Wall
Street, with the courts and lanes running into them.
The public buildings in this ward are Carpenters' Hall, Drapers'
Hall, Merchant Taylors' Hall, the South Sea House, the Pay Office,
Allhallows on the Wall, St. Peter's Poor, the Dutch Church, St.
Martin's, St. Bennet's, St. Bartholomew's, St. Christopher's, and
the French Church.
The most magnificent and beautiful edifice of the kind in this ward,
and indeed in the City of London, is the South Sea House, lately
erected at the north-east corner of Threadneedle Street, near
Bishopsgate Street, and over against the church of St. Martin
Outwich. It is built of stone and brick.
The several offices for transacting the business of this great
company are admirably well disposed; and the great hall for sales is
nowhere to be paralleled, either in its dimensions or ornaments, any
more than the dining-room, galleries, and chambers above.
7. Cornhill Ward comprehends little more than the street of the
same name, and some little lanes and alleys that fall into it, as
Castle Alley, Sweeting's or Swithin's Alley, Freeman's Yard, part of
Finch Lane, Weigh House Yard, Star Court, the north end of Birching
Lane, St. Michael's Alley, Pope's Head Alley, and Exchange Alley.
Cornhill Street may, in many respects, be looked upon as the
principal street of the City of London; for here almost all affairs
relating to navigation and commerce are transacted; and here all the
business relating to the great companies and the Bank are
negotiated. This street also is situated near the centre of the
City, and some say, upon the highest ground in it. It is spacious,
and well built with lofty houses, four or five storeys high,
inhabited by linendrapers and other considerable tradesmen, who deal
by wholesale as well as retail, and adorned with the principal gate
and front of the Royal Exchange. Here also it is said the
metropolitan church was situated, when London was an archbishopric.
Exchange Alley, so denominated from its being situated on the south
side of this street, over against the Royal Exchange, has long been
famous for the great concourse of merchants and commanders of ships,
and the bargains and contracts made there and in the two celebrated
coffee-houses in it, which go under the respective names of
"Jonathan's" and "Garraway's," where land, stocks, debentures, and
merchandise, and everything that has an existence in Nature, is
bought, sold, and transferred from one to another; and many things
contracted for, that subsists only in the imagination of the
The public buildings in this ward are, the Royal Exchange, and the
churches of St. Peter and St. Michael.
The Royal Exchange is situated on the north side of Cornhill, about
the middle of the street, forming an oblong open square, the inside
whereof is a hundred and forty-four feet in length from east to
west, and a hundred and seventeen in breadth from north to south;
the area sixty-one square poles, on every side whereof is a noble
piazza or cloister, consisting of twenty-eight columns and arches
that support the galleries above.
The length of the building on the outside is two hundred and three
feet, the breadth a hundred and seventy-one, and the height fifty-
six. On the front towards Cornhill also is a noble piazza,
consisting of ten pillars; and another on the opposite side next
Threadneedle Street, of as many; and in the middle of each a
magnificent gate. Over the Cornhill gate is a beautiful tower, a
hundred and seventy-eight feet high, furnished with twelve small
bells for chimes; and underneath the piazzas are capacious cellars,
which serve for warehouses.
The whole building is of Portland stone, rustic work; above the
arches the inward piazza is an entablament, with fine enrichments;
and on the cornice a range of pilasters, within entablature, and a
spacious compass pediment in the middle of the corners of each of
the four sides. Under the pediment on the north side are the king's
arms; on the south those of the City; and on the east the arms of
Sir Thomas Gresham. And under the pediment on the west side the
arms of the Company of Mercers, with their respective enrichments.
The intercolumns of the upper range are twenty-four niches, nineteen
of which are filled with the statues of the kings and queens regent
of England, standing erect with their robes and regalia, except that
of King James II. and King George II., which are habited like the
On the south side are seven niches, of which four are filled, viz.:-
1. The most easterly figure, which has this inscription in gold
letters, Edvardus Primus Rex, Anno Dom. 1272. 2. Westward,
Edvardus III. Rex, Anno Dom. 1329. 3. Henricus V. Rex, Anno Domini
1412. 4. Henricus VI. Rex, Anno Domini 1422.
On the west side five niches, four of which are filled, viz.:-
1. Under the most southerly figures is subscribed in gold letters,
Edvardus IV. Rex, Anno Domini 1460. 2. Northward (the crown pendent
over his head) Edvardus V. Rex, Anno Domini 1483. 3. Henricus VII.
Rex, Anno Domini 1487. 4. Henricus VIII. Rex, Anno Domini 1508.
On the north side seven niches are filled, viz.:-
1. The most westerly, subscribed in golden characters, Edvardus VI.
Rex, Anno Domini 1547. 2. Maria Regina, Anno Domini 1553. 3.
Elizabetha Regina, Anno Domini 1558. 4. Is subscribed Serenissim &
Potentissim' Princip' Jacobo Primo, Mag. Brit' Fran' & Hibern' Reg.
Fid. Defensori, Societas Pannitonsorum posuit, A.D. 1684. 5. [Greek
text which cannot be reproduced] Serenissimi & Religiosissimi
Principis Caroli Primi, Angliae, Scotiae, Franciae Hiberniae Regis,
Fidei Defensoris; Bis Martyris (in Corpore Effigie) Impiis Rebellium
Manibus, ex hoc loco deturbata confracta, Anno Dom. 1647. Restituta
hic demum collocata, Anno Dom. 1683. Gloria Martyrii qui te fregere
Rebelles non potuere ipsum quem voluere Deum. 6. Carolus Secundus
Rex, Anno Domini 1648. 7. Jacobus II. Rex, Anno Domini 1685.
On the east side five niches, one of which is vacant, the other
1. The most northerly contains two statues, viz., of King William
and Queen Mary, subscribed Gulielmus III. Rex, & Maria II. Regina,
A.D. 1688. S. P. Q. Londin' Optim Principibus, P. C. 1695. 2.
Anna Regina Dei Gratia Mag. Britan' Franciae & Hiberniae, 1701. 3.
George I. inscribed Georgius D. G. Magnae Britan' Franciae &
Hiberniae Rex, Anno Dom. 1714. S.P.Q.L. 4. Southerly the statue
of King George II. in the habiliment of a Caesar, wreathed on the
head, and a battoon or truncheon in his hand, little differing from
that of Charles II. in the centre of the area, only in looking
northward; inscribed Georgius II. D. G. Mag. Brit. Fra. & Hib. Rex,
Anno Dom. 1727. S.P.Q.L.
On the four sides of the piazza within the Exchange are twenty-eight
niches, which are all vacant yet, except one near the north-west
angle, where is the figure of Sir Thomas Gresham. The piazza itself
is paved with black and white marble, and the court, or area,
pitched with pebbles; in the middle whereof is the statue of King
Charles II. in a Roman habit, with a battoon in his hand, erected on
a marble pedestal, about eight feet high and looking southward; on
which side of the pedestal, under an imperial crown, wings, trumpet
of fame, sceptre and sword, palm branches, &c., are these words
Carolo II. Caesari Britannico, Patriae Patri, Regum Optimo
Clementissimo Augustissimo, Generis Humani Deliciis, Utriusq;
Fortunae Victori, Pacis Europae Arbitro, Marium Domino, ac Vindici
Societatis Mercatorum Adventur' Angliae, quae per CCCC jam prope
Annos Regia benignitate floret, Fidei Intemeratae & Gratitudinis
aeternae hoc Testimonium venerabunda posuit, Anno Salutis Humanae
On the west side of the pedestal is neatly cut in relievo the figure
of a Cupid reposing his right hand on a shield containing the arms
of England and France quartered, and in his left hand a rose.
On the north side are the arms of Ireland on a shield, supported by
On the east side the arms of Scotland, with a Cupid holding a
thistle all in relievo.
The inner piazza and court are divided into several stations, or
walks, where the merchants of the respective nations, and those who
have business with them, assemble distinctly; so that any merchant
or commander of a vessel is readily found, if it be known to what
country he trades. The several walks are described in the following
ground-plot of the Exchange:-
| 1 2 | | 3 4 |
| +----------------+ +-------------------+ |
| | 7 8 9 10 | |
| 5 | 6 | 11 |
| | | |
| | | |
| | | |
| | | |
West| | +--------+ | | East
12 | | 13 14 | | 15 16 | | 17
| | | | | |
| | +--------+ | |
| | | |
| | | |
|18 | 19 | 20 |
| | | |
| | | |
| | | |
| | 21 22 | |
| +-----------------+ +------------------+ |
| 23 24 | | 25 26 |
0. Threadneedle Street
1. East Country Walk
2. Irish Walk
3. Scotch Walk
4. Dutch and Jewellers
5. Norway Walk
6. Silkmens Walk
7. Clothiers Walk
8. Hamburgh Walk
9. Salters Walk
11. American Walk
12. Castle Alley
13. Turkey Walk
14. Grocers and Druggists Walk
15. Brokers, &c of Stocks Walk
16. Italian Walk
17. Swithin's Alley
18. East India Walk
19. Canary Walk
20. Portugal Walk
21. Barbadoes Walk.
22. French Walk
23. Virginia Walk
24. Jamaica Walk.
25. Spanish Walk
26. Jews Walk
Near the south gate is a spacious staircase, and near the north gate
another, that lead up to the galleries, on each side whereof are
shops for milliners and other trades, to the number of near two
hundred, which brought in a good revenue at first, nothing being
thought fashionable that was not purchased there; but the milliners
are now dispersed all over the town, and the shops in the Exchange
8. Langbourn Ward, so called of a bourne, or brook, that had its
source in it, and run down Fenchurch Street, contains these
principal streets: part of Lombard Street, part of Fenchurch
Street, part of Lime Street, and part of Gracechurch Street, with
part of the courts, lanes, and alleys in them, particularly White
Hart Court, Exchange Alley, Sherbourne Lane, Abchurch Lane, St.
Nicholas Lane, Mark Lane, Mincing Lane, Rood Lane, Cullum Court,
Philpot Lane, and Braben Court.
The public buildings in this ward are, the Post Office, Ironmongers'
Hall, Pewterers' Hall; the churches of Allhallows, Lombard Street,
St. Edmund's, Lombard Street, St. Mary Woolnoth, St. Dionis
Backchurch, and St. Allhallows Staining.
The Post Office is situated on the south side of Lombard Street,
near Stocks Market. It was the dwelling-house of Sir Robert Vyner,
in the reign of King Charles II. The principal entrance is out of
Lombard Street, through a great gate and passage that leads into a
handsome paved court, about which are the several offices for
receiving and distributing letters, extremely well contrived.
Letters and packets are despatched from hence every Monday to
France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Flanders, Germany, Sweden, Denmark,
Kent, and the Downs.
Every Tuesday to the United Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Denmark,
and to all parts of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
Every Wednesday to Kent only, and the Downs.
Every Thursday to France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and all parts of
England and Scotland.
Every Friday to the Austrian and United Netherlands, Germany,
Sweden, Denmark, and to Kent and the Downs.
Every Saturday to all parts of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
The post goes also every day to those places where the Court
resides, as also to the usual stations and rendezvous of His
Majesty's fleet, as the Downs, Spithead, and to Tunbridge during the
season for drinking waters, &c.
Letters and packets are received from all parts of England and
Scotland, except Wales, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; from
Wales every Monday and Friday; and from Kent and the Downs every
His Majesty keeps constantly, for the transport of the said letters
and packets, in times of peace,
Between England and France, three packet-boats; Spain, one in a
fortnight; Portugal, one ditto; Flanders, two packet-boats; Holland,
three packet-boats; Ireland, three packet-boats.
And at Deal, two packet-boats for the Downs.
Not to mention the extraordinary packet-boats, in time of war with
France and Spain, to the Leeward Islands, &c.
A letter containing a whole sheet of paper is conveyed eighty miles
for 3d., and two sheets 6d. and an ounce of letters but 1s. And
above eighty miles a single letter is 4d., a double letter 8d., and
an ounce 1s. 4d.
9. Billingsgate Ward is bounded by Langbourn Ward towards the
north, by Tower Street Ward on the east, by the River Thames on the
south, and by Bridge Ward Within on the west. The principal streets
and places in this ward are, Thames Street, Little East Cheap,
Pudding Lane, Botolph Lane, Love Lane, St. Mary Hill, and Rood Lane.
The wharves, or quays, as they lie on the Thames side from east to
west, are, Smart's Quay, Billings gate, Little Somer's Quay, Great
Somer's Quay, Botolph Wharf, Cox's Quay, and Fresh Wharf which last
is the next quay to the bridge; of which Billingsgate is much the
most resorted to. It is a kind of square dock, or inlet, having
quays on three sides of it, to which the vessels lie close while
they are unloading. By a statute of the 10th and 11th of William
III. it was enacted, "That Billingsgate should be a free market for
fish every day in the week, except Sundays." That a fishing-vessel
should pay no other toll or duty than the Act prescribes, viz.,
every salt-fish vessel, for groundage, 8d. per day, and 20d. per
voyage; a lobster boat 2d. per day groundage, and 13d. the voyage;
every dogger boat, or smack with sea-fish, 2d. per day groundage,
and 13d. the voyage; every oyster vessel, 2d. per day groundage, and
a halfpenny per bushel metage. And that it should be lawful for any
person who should buy fish in the said market to sell the same in
any other market or place in London, or elsewhere, by retail." And
because the fishmongers used to buy up great part of the fish at
Billingsgate, and then divide the same among themselves, in order to
set an extravagant price upon them, it was enacted, "That no person
should buy, or cause to be bought, in the said market of
Billingsgate, any quantity of fish, to be divided by lot among the
fishmongers, or other persons, with an intent to sell them
afterwards by retail; and that no fishmonger should buy any more
than for his own use, on pain of 20 pounds." And by the 6th Annae
it was enacted, "That no person should buy fish at Billingsgate to
sell again in the same market; and that none but fishermen, their
wives, or servants, should sell fish by retail at Billingsgate; and
that none should buy or sell fish there before the ringing of the
The public buildings in this ward are Butchers' Hall, and the
churches of St. Mary Hill, St. Margaret Pattens, and St. George, in
10. Bridge Ward Within contains London Bridge, New Fish Street,
Gracechurch Street as far as Fenchurch Street, Thames Street from
Fish Street to the Old Swan, part of St. Martin's Lane, part of St.
Michael's Lane, and part of Crooked Lane.
The public buildings in this ward are London Bridge, the Monument,
Fishmongers' Hall, and the churches of St. Magnus and St Bennet,
The Monument stands on the west side of Fish Street Hill, a little
to the northward of the bridge, and was erected by the legislative
authority, in memory of the Fire, anno 1666, and was designed by Sir
Christopher Wren. It has a fluted column, 202 feet high from the
ground; the greatest diameter of the shaft 15 feet, and the plinth,
or lowest part of the pedestal, 28 feet square, and 40 feet high;
the whole being of Portland stone, except the staircase within,
which is of black marble, containing 345 steps, ten inches and a
half broad, and six inches deep; and a balcony on the outside 32
feet from the top, on which is a gilded flame. The front of the
pedestal, towards the west, contains a representation of the Fire,
and the resurrection of the present city out of the ruins of the
11. Candlewick or Cannon Street Ward contains part of Great East
Cheap, part of Candlewick, now called Cannon Street, part of
Abchurch Lane, St. Nicholas Lane, St. Clement's Lane, St. Michael's
Lane, Crooked Lane, St. Martin's Lane, St. Lawrence Poultney Lane,
with the courts and alleys that fall into them.
In Cannon Street is that remarkable stone called London Stone, which
has remained fixed in the ground many hundred years, but for what
end is uncertain, though supposed by some to be the place from
whence the Romans began to compute the number of miles anciently to
any part of the kingdom.
12. Walbrook Ward contains the best part of Walbrook, part of
Bucklersbury, the east end of Budge Row, the north end of Dowgate,
part of Cannon Street, most of Swithin's Lane, most of Bearbinder
Lane, part of Bush Lane, part of Suffolk Lane, part of Green Lattice
Lane, and part of Abchurch Lane, with several courts and lanes that
fall into them.
Stocks Market consists of a pretty large square, having Cornhill and
Lombard Street on the north-east, the Poultry on the north-west, and
Walbrook on the south-east. Before the Fire it was a market chiefly
for fish and flesh, and afterwards for fruit and garden stuff.
In this market Sir Robert Vyner, Bart. and Alderman, erected a
marble equestrian statue of King Charles II., standing on a pedestal
eighteen feet high, and trampling on his enemies.
The public buildings in this ward are Salters' Hall, the churches of
St. Swithin and St. Stephen, Walbrook.
13. Dowgate, or Dowgate Ward, so called from the principal street,
which has a steep descent or fall into the Thames, contains part of
Thames Street, part of St. Lawrence-Poultney Hill, part of Duxford
Lane, part of Suffolk Lane, part of Bush Lane, part of Dowgate Hill,
Checquer Yard, Elbow Lane, and Cloak Lane; and the southward of
Thames Street, Old Swan Lane, Cole Harbour, Allhallows Lane, Campion
Lane, Friars Lane, Cozens Lane, Dowgate Dock, and the Steel Yard.
The public buildings in this ward are Tallow-chandlers' Hall,
Skinners' Hall, Innholders' Hall, Plumbers' Hall, Joiners' Hall,
Watermen's Hall, and the church of Allhallows the Great.
14. Vintry Ward (which was so called from the wine merchants who
landed and sold their wines here) contains part of Thames Street,
New Queen Street, Garlick Hill, College Hill, and St. Thomas
The public buildings in this ward are Vintners' Hall, Cutlers' Hall,
the churches of St. Michael Royal and St. James, Garlick Hill.
Vintners' Hall is situated on the south side of Thames Street,
between Queen Street and Garlick Hill, being built on three sides of
a quadrangle fronting the street. The rooms are large, finely
wainscoted and carved, particularly the magnificent screen at the
east end of the great hall, which is adorned with two columns, their
entablature and pediment; and on acroters are placed the figure of
Bacchus between several Fames, with other embellishments; and they
have a garden backwards towards the Thames.
15. Cordwainers' Street Ward, so called from the cordwainers
(shoemakers), curriers, and other dealers in leather, that inhabited
that part of the town anciently, includes Bow Lane, New Queen
Street, Budge Row, Tower Royal Street, Little St. Thomas Apostle's,
Pancras Lane, a small part of Watling Street, a little part of
Basing Lane, and St. Sythe's Lane.
The public buildings in this ward are the church of St. Anthony, St.
Mary Aldermary, and St. Mary-le-Bow.
16. Cheap Ward. The principal streets and places in this ward are
Cheapside, the Poultry, part of Honey Lane Market, part of the Old
Jewry, part of Bucklersbury, part of Pancras Lane, part of Queen
Street, all Ironmonger Lane, King Street, and St. Lawrence Lane, and
part of Cateaton Street, part of Bow Lane, and all Guildhall.
The public buildings in this ward are, Guildhall, Mercers' Chapel
and Hall, Grocers' Hall, the Poultry Compter, the churches of St.
Mildred, Poultry, and St. Lawrence Jewry.
Guildhall, the town house of this great City, stands at the north
end of King Street, and is a large handsome structure, built with
stone, anno 1666, the old hall having been destroyed by the Fire in
1666. By a large portico on the south side we enter the principal
room, properly called the hall, being 153 feet in length, 48 in
breadth, and 55 in height. On the right hand, at the upper end, is
the ancient court of the hustings; at the other end of the hall
opposite to it are the Sheriff's Courts. The roof of the inside is
flat, divided into panels; the walls on the north and south sides
adorned with four demy pillars of the Gothic order, painted white,
and veined with blue, the capitals gilt with gold, and the arms
finely depicted in their proper colour, viz., at the east the arms
of St. Edward the Confessor, and of the Kings of England the shield
and cross of St. George. At the west end the arms of the Confessor,
those of England and France quarterly, and the arms of England. On
the fourteen demy pillars (above the capital) are the king's arms,
the arms of London, and the arms of the twelve companies. At the
east end are the King's arms carved between the portraits of the
late Queen, at the foot of an arabathram, under a rich canopy
northward, and those of King William and Queen Mary southward,
painted at full length. The inter-columns are painted in imitation
of porphyry, and embellished with the portraitures, painted in full
proportion, of eighteen judges, which were there put up by the City,
in gratitude for their signal service done in determining
differences between landlord and tenant (without the expense of
lawsuits) in rebuilding this City, pursuant to an Act of Parliament,
after the Fire, in 1666.
Those on the south side are, Sir Heneage Finch, Sir Orlando
Bridgeman, Sir Matthew Hale, Sir Richard Rainsford, Sir Edward
Turner, Sir Thomas Tyrrel, Sir John Archer, Sir William Morton.
On the north side are, Sir Robert Atkins, Sir John Vaughan, Sir
Francis North, Sir Thomas Twisden, Sir Christopher Turner, Sir
William Wild, Sir Hugh Windham.
At the west end, Sir William Ellis, Sir Edward Thurland, Sir Timothy
And in the Lord Mayor's Court (which is adorned with fleak stone and
other painting and gilding, and also the figures of the four
cardinal virtues) are the portraits of Sir Samuel Brown, Sir John
Kelynge, Sir Edward Atkins, and Sir William Windham, all (as those
above) painted in full proportion in their scarlet robes as judges.
The late Queen Anne, in December, 1706, gave the City 26 standards,
and 63 colours, to be put up in this hall, that were taken from the
French and Bavarians at the battle of Ramillies the preceding
summer; but there was found room only for 46 colours, 19 standards,
and the trophy of a kettle-drum of the Elector of Bavaria's. The
colours over the Queen's picture are most esteemed, on account of
their being taken from the first battalion of French guards.
From the hall we ascend by nine stone steps to the Mayor's Court,
Council Chamber, and the rest of the apartments of the house, which,
notwithstanding it may not be equal to the grandeur of the City, is
very well adapted to the ends it was designed for, namely, for
holding the City courts, for the election of sheriffs and other
officers, and for the entertainment of princes, ministers of State,
and foreign ambassadors, on their grand festivals.
17. Coleman Street Ward. The principal streets in this ward are
the Old Jewry, part of Lothbury, Coleman Street, part of London
Wall, and all the lower part of Moorfields without the walls.
The public buildings are Bethlem or Bedlam Hospital, Founders' Hall,
Armourers' Hall, the churches of St. Olave Jewry, St. Margaret,
Lothbury, and St. Stephen, Coleman Street.
New Bethlem, or Bedlam, is situated at the south end of Moorfields,
just without the wall, the ground being formerly part of the town
ditch, and granted by the City to the governors of the hospital of
Old Bethlem, which had been appropriated for the reception of
lunatics, but was found too strait to contain the people brought
thither, and the building in a decaying condition.
The present edifice, called New Bedlam, was begun to be erected anno
1675, and finished the following year. It is built of brick and
stone; the wings at each end, and the portico, being each of them
adorned with four pilasters, entablature and circular pediment of
the Corinthian order. Under the pediment are the King's arms,
enriched with festoons; and between the portico and each of the said
wings is a triangular pediment, with the arms of the City; and on a
pediment over the gate the figures of two lunatics, exquisitely
carved. The front of this magnificent hospital is reported to
represent the Escurial in Spain, and in some respects exceeds every
palace in or about London, being 528 feet in length, and regularly
built. The inside, it is true, is not answerable to the grand
appearance it makes without, being but 30 feet broad, and consisting
chiefly of a long gallery in each of the two storeys that runs from
one end of the house to the other; on the south side whereof are
little cells, wherein the patients have their lodgings, and on the
north the windows that give light to the galleries, which are
divided in the middle by a handsome iron gate, to keep the men and
In order to procure a person to be admitted into the hospital, a
petition must be preferred to a committee of the governors, who sit
at Bedlam seven at a time weekly, which must be signed by the
churchwardens, or other reputable persons of the parish the lunatic
belongs to, and also recommended to the said committee by one of the
governors; and this being approved by the president and governors,
and entered in a book, upon a vacancy (in their turn) an order is
granted for their being received into the house, where the said
lunatic is accommodated with a room, proper physic and diet, gratis.
The diet is very good and wholesome, being commonly boiled beef,
mutton, or veal, and broth, with bread, for dinners on Sundays,
Tuesdays, and Thursdays, the other days bread, cheese, and butter,
or on Saturdays pease-pottage, rice-milk, furmity, or other pottage,
and for supper they have usually broth or milk pottage, always with
bread. And there is farther care taken, that some of the committee
go on a Saturday weekly to the said hospital to see the provisions
weighed, and that the same be good and rightly expended.
18. Basinghall, or Bassishaw Ward, consisteth only of Basinghall
Street, and a small part of the street along London Wall.
The public buildings of this ward are Blackwell Hall, Masons' Hall,
Weavers' Hall, Coopers' Hall, Girdlers' Hall, and St. Michael
Blackwell Hall is situated between Basinghall Street on the east,
and Guildhall Yard on the west, being formerly called Bakewell Hall,
from the family of the Bakewells, whose mansion-house stood here
anno 1315, which falling to the Crown, was purchased by the City of
King Richard II., and converted into a warehouse and market for
woollen manufactures; and by an act of common council anno 1516, it
was appointed to be the only market for woollen manufactures sold in
the City, except baize, the profits being settled on Christ's
Hospital, which arise from the lodging and pitching of the cloth in
the respective warehouses, there being one assigned for the
Devonshire cloths, and others for the Gloucester, Worcester,
Kentish, Medley, Spanish cloths, and blankets. The profits also of
the baize brought to Leadenhall are settled on the same hospital.
These cloths pay a penny a week each for pitching, and a halfpenny a
week resting; stockings and blankets pay by the pack, all which
bring in a considerable revenue, being under the direction of the
governors of Christ's Hospital. This hall was destroyed by the
Fire, and rebuilt by Christ's Hospital, anno 1672. The doorcase on
the front towards Guildhall is of stone, adorned with two columns,
entablature, and pediment of the Doric order. In the pediment are
the King's arms, and the arms of London under them, enriched with
19. Cripplegate Ward is usually divided into two parts, viz.,
Cripplegate within the walls and Cripplegate without.
The principal streets and places in Cripplegate Ward within the
walls are Milk Street, great part of Honey Lane Market, part of
Cateaton Street, Lad Lane, Aldermanbury, Love Lane, Addle Street,
London Wall Street, from Little Wood Street to the postern, Philip
Lane, most of Great Wood Street, Little Wood Street, part of Hart
Street, Mugwell Street, part of Fell Street, part of Silver Street,
the east part of Maiden Lane, and some few houses in Cheapside to
the eastward of Wood Street.
The principal streets and places in Cripplegate Ward Without are
Fore Street, and the Postern Street heading to Moorfields, Back
Street in Little Moorfields, Moor Lane, Grub Street, the south part
to the posts and chain, the fourth part of Whitecross Street as far
as the posts and chain, part of Redcross Street, Beach Lane, the
south part of Golden Lane as far as the posts and chain, the east
part of Golden Lane, the east part of Jewin Street, Bridgewater
Square, Brackley Street, Bridgewater Street, Silver Street, and
The public buildings in this ward are Sion College, Barber-Surgeons'
Hall, Plasterers' Hall, Brewers' Hall, Curriers' Hall, the churches
of St. Mary Aldermanbury, St. Alphege, St. Alban, Wood Street, and
St. Giles, Cripplegate.
Sion College is situated against London Wall, a little to the
eastward of Cripplegate, where anciently stood a nunnery, and
afterwards a hospital founded for a hundred blind men, anno 1320, by
W. Elsing, mercer, and called Elsing's Spittal: he afterwards
founded here a priory for canons regular, which being surrendered to
King Henry VIII. anno 1530, it was purchased by Dr. Thomas White,
residentiary of St. Paul's, and vicar of St. Dunstan's in the West,
for the use of the London clergy, who were incorporated by King
Charles I., anno 1631, by the name of the president and fellows of
Sion College, for the glory of God, the good of His Church, redress
of inconveniences, and maintaining of truth in doctrine, and love in
conversation with one another, pursuant to the donor's will; which
college is governed by the president, two deans and four assistants,
who are yearly elected out of the London clergy, on the third
Tuesday after Easter; but none of them reside there, the whole being
left to the care of the librarian. The great gate against London
Wall is adorned with two columns, their entablature and pitched
pediment of the Tuscan order, whereon is this inscription in gold
Collegium Sionis a Thoma White, S. T. P. Fundatum Anno Christi 1631,
in Usum Clerici Lond. Bibliotheca a Johanne Simpson, S. T. B.
Extracta, a diversis Benefactor, Libris locupletata, & in posterum
locupletanda. Vade & fac similiter.
The college consists of a handsome hall, the president's lodgings,
chambers for students, and a well-disposed library, one hundred and
twenty feet in length, and thirty in breadth, which is at this day
very well replenished with books, notwithstanding both library and
college were burnt down anno 1666. It was rebuilt and furnished by
contributions from the London clergy and their friends. The library
is kept in exact order, and there are all imaginable conveniences
for those who desire to consult their books.
20. Aldersgate Ward. The principal streets and places in this ward
are, Foster Lane, Maiden Lane, Noble Street, St. Martin's-le-Grand,
Dean's Court, Round Court, Angel Street, Bull-and-Mouth Street, St.
Anne's Lane, Aldersgate Street, Goswell Street, Barbican, Long Lane,
and Little Britain.
St. Martin's-le-Grand was anciently a magnificent college, founded
by Jugelricus and Edwardus his brother, anno 1056, and confirmed by
William the Conqueror, by his charter, dated anno 1068, in the
second year of his reign, who also gave all the moorlands without
Cripplegate to this college, exempting the dean and canons from the
jurisdiction of the bishop, and from all legal services, granting
them soc and sac, toll and theam, with all liberties and franchises
that any church in the kingdom enjoyed.
This college was surrendered to King Edward VI. in the second year
of his reign, anno 1548, and the same year the church pulled down,
and the ground leased out to persons to build upon, being highly
valued on account of the privileges annexed to it, for it still
remains a separate jurisdiction. The sheriffs and magistrates of
London have no authority in this liberty, but it is esteemed part of
Westminster, and subject only to the dean and chapter of that abbey.
The public buildings in this ward are, Goldsmiths' Hall,
Coachmakers' Hall, London House, Thanet House, Cooks' Hall, the
church of St. Anne within Aldersgate, St. Leonard, Foster Lane, and
St. Botolph, Aldersgate.
21. Farringdon Ward within the walls, so called to distinguish it
from Farringdon Ward without, was anciently but one ward, and
governed by one alderman, receiving its name of William Farendon,
goldsmith, alderman thereof, and one of the sheriffs of London who
purchased the aldermanry of John le Feure, 7 Edward I., anno 1279.
It afterwards descended to Nicholas Farendon, son of the said
William, who was four times mayor (and his heirs), from whence some
infer that the aldermanries of London were formerly hereditary.
Farringdon Ward Within contains St. Paul's Churchyard, Ludgate
Street, Blackfriars, the east side of Fleet Ditch, from Ludgate
Street to the Thames, Creed Lane, Ave Mary Lane, Amen Corner,
Paternoster Row, Newgate Street and Market, Greyfriars, part of
Warwick Lane, Ivy Lane, part of Cheapside, part of Foster Lane, part
of Wood Street, part of Friday Street, and part of the Old Change,
with several courts and alleys falling into them.
The public buildings in this ward are, the Cathedral of St. Paul,
St. Paul's School, the King's Printing House, the Scotch Hall,
Apothecaries' Hall, Stationers' Hall, the College of Physicians,
Butchers' Hall, Saddlers' Hall, Embroiderers' Hall, the church of
St. Martin Ludgate, Christ's Church and Hospital, the church of St.
Matthew, Friday Street, St. Austin's Church, the church of St
Vedast, and the Chapter House.
Austin the monk was sent to England by Pope Gregory the Great, to
endeavour the conversion of the Saxons, about the year 596, and
being favourably received by Ethelbert, then King of Kent, who soon
after became his proselyte, was by the authority of the Roman see
constituted Archbishop of Canterbury, the capital of King
Ethelbert's dominions. The archbishop being thus established in
Kent, sent his missionaries into other parts of England, making
Melitus, one of his assistants, Bishop of London; and King
Ethelbert, to encourage that city to embrace Christianity, it is
said, founded the Cathedral of St. Paul about the year 604.
This Cathedral stands upon an eminence in the middle of the town,
disengaged from all other buildings, so that its beauties may be
viewed on every side; whereas we see only one front of St. Peter's
at Rome, the palace of the Vatican, and other buildings contiguous
to it, rendering the rest invisible; and though the riches and
furniture of the several chapels in St. Peter's are the admiration
of all that view them, yet they spoil the prospect of the fabric.
If we regard only the building, divested of the rich materials and
furniture which hide the beauties of the structure, St. Paul's, in
the opinion of many travellers, makes a better appearance than St.
Peter's: nor does the white Portland stone, of which St. Paul's is
built, at all give place to the marble St. Peter's is lined or
incrusted with; for the numerous lamps and candles that are burnt
before the altars at St. Peter's so blacken and tarnish the marble,
that it is not easy to distinguish it from common stone.
As to the outside of St. Paul's, it is adorned by two ranges of
pilasters, one above the other; the lower consist of 120 pilasters
at least, with their entablature of the Corinthian order, and the
upper of as many with entablament of the Composite order, besides
twenty columns at the west and four at the east end, and those of
the porticoes and spaces between the arches of the windows; and the
architrave of the lower order, &c., are filled with great variety of
curious enrichments, consisting of cherubims, festoons, volutas,
fruit, leaves, car-touches, ensigns of fame, as swords and trumpets
in saltier crosses, with chaplets of laurel, also books displayed,
bishops' caps, the dean's arms, and, at the east end, the cypher of
W.R. within a garter, on which are the words Honi soit qui mal y
pense, and this within a fine compartment of palm-branches, and
placed under an imperial crown, &c., all finely carved in stone.
The intercolumns of the lower range of pilasters are thirty-three
ornamental windows and six niches, and of the upper range thirty-
seven windows and about thirty niches, many whereof are adorned with
columns, entablature, and pediments; and at the east end is a sweep,
or circular space, adorned with columns and pilasters, and enriched
with festoons, fruit, incense-pots, &c., and at the upper part is a
window between four pieddroits and a single cornice, and those
between two large cartouches.
The ascent to the north portico is by twelve steps of black marble;
the dome of the portico is supported and adorned with six very
spacious columns (forty-eight inches diameter) of the Corinthian
order. Above the doorcase is a large urn, with festoons, &c. Over
this (belonging to the upper range of pilasters) is a spacious
pediment, where are the king's arms with the regalia, supported by
two angels, with each a palm-branch in their hands, under whose feet
appear the figures of the lion and unicorn.
You ascend to the fourth portico (the ground here being low) by
twenty-five steps. It is in all other respects like the north, and
above this a pediment, as the other, belonging to the upper order,
where is a proper emblem of this incomparable structure, raised, as
it were, out of the ruins of the old church, viz., a phoenix, with
her wings expanded, in flames, under which is the word RESURGAM
insculped in capital characters.
The west portico is adorned and supported with twelve columns below
and eight above, fluted, of the respective orders as the two ranges,
the twelve lower adorned with architrave, marble frieze, and a
cornice, and the eight upper with an entablature and a spacious
triangular pediment, where the history of St. Paul's conversion is
represented, with the rays of a glory and the figures of several men
and horses boldly carved in relievo by Mr. Bird. The doorcase is
white marble, and over the entrance is cut in relieve the history of
St. Paul's preaching to the Bereans (as in Acts xvii. 2). It
consists of a group of nine figures, besides that of St. Paul, with
books, &c., lively represented by the same hand as "The Conversion."
On the south side of the church, near the west end, is a forum or
portal, the doorcase being enriched with cartouches, volutas, and
fruit, very excellently carved under a pediment, and opposite to
this on the north side is the like doorcase. And, in brief, all the
apertures are not only judiciously disposed for commodiousness,
illumination of the fabric, &c., but are very ornamental.
At the west end is an acroteria of the figures of the twelve
apostles, each about eleven feet high, with that of St. Paul on the
angle of the pediment, and those of the four evangelists, two of
each cumbent between as many angles on a circular pediment. Over
the dials of the clock on the fronts of the two towers, also an
entablature and circles of enrichment, where twelve stones compose
the aperture, answering to the twelve hours.
The said towers are adorned with circular ranges of columns of the
Corinthian order, with domes upon the upper part, and at the vertex
of each a curious pineapple.
The choir has its roof supported with six spacious pillars, and the
church with six more, besides which there are eight that support the
cupola and two very spacious ones at the west end. All which
pillars are adorned with pilasters of the Corinthian and Composite
orders, and also with columns fronting the cross-aisle, or
ambulatory, between the consistory and morning prayer chapel, which
have each a very beautiful screen of curious wainscot, and adorned
each with twelve columns, their entablatures arched pediments, and
the king's arms, enriched with cherubims, and each pediment between
four vases, all curiously carved. These screens are fenced with
ironwork, as is also the cornice at the west end of the church, and
so eastward beyond the first arch.
The pillars of the church that support the roof are two ranges, with
their entablature and beautiful arches, whereby the body of the
church and choir are divided into three parts or aisles. The roof
of each is adorned with arches and spacious peripheries of
enrichments, as shields, leaves, chaplets, &c. (the spaces included
being somewhat concave), admirably carved in stone; and there is a
large cross aisle between the north and south porticoes, and two
ambulatories, the one a little eastward, the other westward from the
said cross-aisle, and running parallel therewith. The floor of the
whole is paved with marble, but under the cupola and within the rail
of the altar with fine porphyry, polished and laid in several
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
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
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
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
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
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
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