Louis Houck.

Collectanea, fourth series ; online

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the rancid oil, grease, and smothered-in smoke and steam on a
railway trip.

p. 28 Folly Bridge, Old and New.

Old Mr. John Bayzand was the last that drove a coach over the old
bridge, and the first to drive over the new one, built 1826.

Tailors v. Coachmen.
One Saturday night, as Bayzand and Stacey were walking home,
they had crossed Beaumont Street, and at the corner of St. John
Street stood three retired tailors, Mr. Speakman, ]\Ir. Dry, and
Mr. Banting, when Mr. B. addressed* Bayzand and Stacey with ' Well,
gentlemen, done your daily toil ?' ' Yes, sir.' ' We have had a con-
sultation, and will) )-our permission we are going to change the name
of your street.' Bayzand : ' Certainly, by all means. What name

> [MS. their.l 2 ["MS. worked.]

5 [MS. throuj^h.] « [MS. addressing.]


are you going to give us ? ' * Oh, Whipcord Terrace.' Bayzand :
' Well, that is strange ; we were going to alter the name of your street,
with your sanction.' ' Oh, with pleasure ; 'tis granted. What is it to
be, Stacey ? ' ' Thread-needle Street.' The conference broke up
immediately. I must tell you, at that time, [in] St. John's Street and
Beaumont Buildings resided twelve or fourteen coachmen, and the
three great tailors [lived] in Beaumont Street.

A Rich Irish Gentleman and a Lot of Poor Irish Tramps. p. 29

On the road, while changing horses at Northleach \ there came by
an Irish lot of tramps, and one great,' raw-boned, heavy fellow
solicited alms, saying, ' Oh, your honour, kind gentleman, I have not
broken my fast to-day.' An Irish gentleman, outside passenger, said
' Guard, what does he say ? ' ' He has not broke his fast to-day.'
' Then tell him I will give him a sovereign for his appetite.' However,
he threw poor Pat a five-shilling piece. Had you been there to
witness the sight, you would never [have] forgotten it. He jumped,
he danced, he raved, and gave his companions in distress the signal of
his good luck, and they all thanked the gentleman, in their Irish
brogue, with ' God Almighty bless your honour 1 May God bless the
kind gentleman I ]\Iay you have good luck till you are tired I May
the Holy Virgin look down on you,' and many more thanks, &c., &c.

The Landlord of the Golden Cross and [the] Shepherd Boy.

B. H,'' In paying a visit to an old friend at Stockbridge in Hamp-
shire, the landlord lost his way. Meeting a country boy, he said,
' Jack, which is the way to Stockbridge ? ' ' Ou ded thee no my nam
wer Jack ? ' ' Oh, I guessed it.' ' Ten gas yor rod to Stockbridge.'

The Learned Divine and the Shepherd Boy. P- 30

Dr. E n, to oblige a friend that was unwell, [undertook] to do

his duty at Horsepath. The doctor had never been to Horsepath,
and [he] started early, thinking to enjoy the walk. Over Bullingdon
Green the Doctor lost his way. Meeting a shepherd boy, he asked
him, in [a] rather haughty manner, the way to Horsepath. The boy
looked at him with a smile, but not a word. Enraged, the Doctor :
' Do you know who I am ? ' The boy : ' No.' Loudly, * I am one of
those lights sent to teach you the road to Heaven.' ' Wat a nice un
tee must be an don't know te rod to Hosputh.'

1 [MS. Northleigh.] » [? Bill Holland. See p. 14 of the MS.]


Tantivy at the Star Hotel.

The Tantivy coach from Birmingham, on its road to London,
stopped at the Star Hotel, Oxford, for dinner — twenty minutes
allowed. When the guard blew his horn to announce that they were
ready to start, two sailors, running out, one with a loaf of bread, the
other with a roast fowl, jumped on the coach. When the waiter
followed and wanted to know what they were going to do with what
they had taken from the table : ' Eat it, mate.' ' But you are not
allowed to take things away. Eat as much as you like, and pocket
none.' ' Then, mate, you should give us time. We have got it, we
have paid for it, mate, and we mean to eat it, mate ! ! 1 '

p- 31 Old Mr. John Bayzand, Oxford and Southampton.

I will give you, to the best of my recollection, the journey from
Oxford to Southampton by the coach called the Oxonian, from the
Angel Hotel, Oxford, at 8 o'clock every morning (except Sunday),
driven by Mr. John Bayzand for thirty-six years, without the slightest
accident of any kind worth mentioning ; for, on the contrary, [during]
the journey with Bayzand, in the summer season, or [at] any time,
when a great number of our citizens visited the Isle of Wight,
Bayzand was very civil and obliging to everybody he by chance met
with. He would make his jokes, as he drove along, or say something
quaint to his horses, and at all times endeavour to keep his passengers
in a merry mood, as they journeyed on the road. He never would, if
possible, let his passengers get down in the dumps ; and I don't think
they ever did. On leaving the Angel, call at the Mitre booking-office,
down St. Toll's, up Hincksey Hill. If a full load, Bayzand would
very politely ask some of the passengers if they would kindly ease the
horses up the hill by walking. The hill mounted, put on the skid
down Sir G. Bower's pitch, on to Abingdon, six miles ; pull up at the
Lamb Inn ; on to Steventon ; another walk up INIilton Hill to Chilton
Pond, and to Gore Hill, to the Swan Inn, Ilsley, 19 miles — a long
P- 32 stage for the four jet-black horses to do, as they did, without the least
symptoms of distress. Horses changed, up the steep hill out of Ilsley,
where the great Sheep Fair was held. At the Fair time it was a
great nuisance : I have known as many as 80,000 sheep penned. On
to Newbury, 9 miles, to the Pelican Plotel; Mrs. Botham. Change, on
to Whitway, the Chequers, — Mr. Perkins, — half-way between Oxford
and Southampton, so Bayzand called it. ' We pull up here, gentlemen.
Would you like a glass of pure malt and hops brewed by the landlord ?


Now['s] your time.' You must excuse me for a moment. I forgot,
when passing Newtown, in passing the funny httle church at Newtown,
passengers would ask Bayzand the name of it. ' Newtown. Yes, a
singular thing, they ring all for a funeral and only one for a wedding.'
'Oh, indeed; how is that, Bayzand?' 'Because there's only one
bell.' On up the Beacon ^ Hill, — a rasper, — so steep [that] Bayzand
puts on his winning smile : ' May I venture to kindly ask once more
if you would ease the horses just a little by a walk, after our refresher,
gentlemen?' To Whitchurch, 13 miles. White Hart, — Mr. Hayter, —
in time for all the down West of England coaches. Change ; up
Tetbury Ring Hill, very steep, very sharp and narrow; over the
Downs to Winchester, 13 miles. Black Swan. At the name of
Winchester, allow me a moment to think how many boys has Bayzand
driven to the collegiate town as boys, brought them back to New
College as men, and from college to W^inchester as Wardens of p. 33
Winchester and Wardens of New College, Oxford ; and, for aught
I know, men of much greater weight now serving their country.
Change of horses for the last time ; on through Otterbourne to
Southampton. The road for the last two or three miles is magnificent
in the extreme. You drive through a richly wooded, open park,
called Southampton Common, with delightful drives and walks ; then
pass through an avenue of old elms into a large, well-built, beautiful
suburb, to the Coach-and-Horses-above-Bar, 12 miles, 3 o'clock;
performing the distance, including stoppages, 66 miles, in 7 hours, —
very good work considering the unevenness of the road, — a great
contrast [to the time] when Bayzand first drove the coach. They
[then] started from Oxford at 5 o'clock, arriving in Southampton at
5 o'clock, making 1 2 hours ; and at the finish performed the same
journey in 7 hours.

I was one day standing on the platform at Leamington, when an
old gentleman came running up the hill and asked one of the porters
if the express train had gone. ' Oh, yes, sir, some time.' Two
young collegiate gentlemen from Oxford [stood by], when one said,
' Old gentleman, you did not run fast enough.' ' Oh, yes, I did, my
young friend, but I did not begin soon enough.'

I recollect coming with Bayzand from Southampton. The coach p. 34
usually stopped [for] dinner at the Pelican Hotel, Newbury, kept by
Mrs. Botham. She was a tall, fine, good-looking lady, beautifully

1 [MS. Bacon.]


dressed in black silk, with her great mob-cap. One of the passengers,
a rector of a college, asked Bayzand if he would grant them one hour,
instead of the half-hour allowed. ' With your sanction, I will make it
all right with Mr. Costar, your proprietor at Oxford.' Bayzand said,
• Do as you think proper, sir.' The wished-for time granted, they sat
down to a sumptuous spread ; washed it down with half-[a]-dozen of
nice, dry sherry; cloth cleared, choice dessert, and the table replenished
with half-a-dozen fine old port. The party of ten looked pleased and
delighted with their good fare. They did ample justice to it. We
then proceeded on our journey to Oxford, arriving there a little before
seven o'clock.

Blewe was one of Mr. Richard Costar['s] horse-keepers, and a very
good one, rather a favourite ; but one day Blewe got so-and-so and
incapable, neglected his business, and was suspended. When Blewe
was told that they should not want him, he said to his fellow servants,
they would soon send for him ; they could not do without him. When
Mr. Costar heard of it, he said to Mr. Jacob, the book-keeper,
' Suppose he was to die.'

35 With your permission, I will accompany you from London to
Hereford, through Acton, Hanwell, Uxbridge, Gerards Cross, Beacons-
field, Wycombe, West Wycombe, Stokenchurch, Tetsworth, Wheatley,
to Oxford, Eynsham, Witney, Burford, Northleach, Frog Mill [i"] \
Dowdeswell, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Huntley, Dutley Cross, Lea,
Ross, Wilton, Peterstow, Harewood Bridge '^, Callow, to Hereford, by
the well-appointed in every respect the Mazeppa coach, from the
BuU-and-Mouth, St. Martin's-le-Grand, and Bolt-in-Tun, Fleet Street,
to Oxford, every morning (except Sunday), 6 o'clock; coachman.
Jack Bramble ; guard. Bill Bayzand ; route, Bayswater, Shepherd's
Bush, Acton, Hanwell, Southall, 10 miles. Change horses ; on to
Hayes, Hillingdon, Uxbridge, Gerards Cross, 18 miles. Change;
Beaconsfield, Loudwater, High Wycombe, 31 miles. Red Lion Hotel,
where a substantial breakfast was provided for the passengers by the
landlord, Mr. Westbrook ; twenty minutes allowed. I followed the
coachman and guard into the kitchen, — I must remind you it was
a bitter[ly] cold morning, and [I] fancy they had both good appetites,
— when Mr. William Williams, who horsed the coach, and the cook
looked over the screen, and said cook, ' I think they will make a finish
of it,' and [she] was right. It was part of a cold breast and hand of

1 [MS. Frogmell.] " [MS. Brich.]


pickled pork. The time allowed nearly up, Bayzand sounded his
horn, — signal given, 'Right,' — on we go to West Wycombe, when
a blast or two from the horn, and out came our jolly horse and Long p. 36
Jack to give us a pull up a tremendously steep pitch to Stokenchurch,
36 miles. Change; put the skid on down Stokenchurch Hill, very
long, steep, narrow, and winding, to the Lambert Arms ; take the
skid off and pull up for a glass of that excellent Marlow beer ; to
Postcombe and Tetsworth, 42^ miles. Change; Wheatley Bridge to
Wheatley, Shotover Hill; the skid on down Headington Hill, short
and very steep, to the Roebuck Hotel, Oxford, 54 miles. Half-hour
granted for an excellent spread, prepared by the landlord, Mr. Richard
Gurden, a fine old English gentleman, with his hair powdered,
breeches, and Hessian boots. Change ; to Cheltenham, Henry
Charlton, with his four dark browns, took charge of the ribbons —
a fine old whip, quite one of the old school ; he lost an eye by the
upset with the opposition coach running against him at Henley-on-
Thames. On through Botley, Eynsham, to Staple Hall, Joseph
Masters, Witney, 65 miles. Change; Minster Lovell, Burford, 72
miles. Change ; by Sherborne, King's Arms, Isaac Day, Northleach,
81 miles. Change; Andoversford, Dowdeswell, to the Royal Hotel,
Haines, Cheltenham, 94 miles. From Cheltenham to Hereford, left
to Edward Fowles to perform the rest of the journey ; he was alloAved
to be one of the finest light-handed coachmen that ever took four horses
in hand. On to Gloucester, 104 miles. Bell and White Hart Hotels.
Change; on over the river, [through] Over to Huntley, 112 miles.
Change ; through Dutley Cross to a hill called the Lea Line ; skid on p. 37
down a frightful[ly] twisting, dangerous descent, to the Lea, to Royal
Hotel, Mr. Barrett, Ross, 121 miles. Change; cross the river Wye
to Wilton, Peterstow, over Pitchers Common to Harewood End,
Llandinabo, 127 miles. Last change; on to the Callow, skid and
safe chain on down a very long incline, steep in places, and [with a]
natural unevenness that made it exceedingly unpleasant ; over the
bridge into Hereford, to ]\Ir. Bosley['s] Hotel, 145 miles; 10 o'clock
precisely — not bad work for the hilly country [on the] greatest part
of the journey, particularly the last 30 miles : narrow roads, greatly
overgrown with large, spreading trees, that made it very dark and
damp at all times. Including all stoppages, the journey was
accomplished in 15 hours.

I once travelled from Hereford to London, on ^ a pouring wet day,

» [MS. in.]


in the short space of 12 hours. My passengers consisted of four
Members of Parliament, [who] took the whole of the coach expressly
to reach London in time for the opening of the House of Commons.

p. 38 Jim HowelP drove the Day Birmingham coach, and was very fond
of joking on the road ; but one day, near Enstone, a farm boy stopped
the coach, and asked Howell in a very deliberate, countrified,
drawling manner, ' ef he'd a rome for tre insid passengers.' ' Yes,
my dear boy, plenty of room.' ' Fur tre inside ? ' ' Yes, yes, make
haste.' ' Ded ye understan, sur ? ' ' Oh, yes, three inside passengers.'
' Tree.' ' Oh, yes, yes, do be quick, my good boy.' ' He be sure he
ha got rume.-*' 'Why, how many more times am I to tell you?'
' Wal, ef I dos here o' anybody do wunt to go, I lit ye know.'

John Spooner drove the Gloucester Mail from Oxford to Henley-
on-Thames. He was a well-disposed man, but rather short-tempered.
A gentleman wrote to the proprietor, complaining of Spooner's
incivility; consequently, he was suspended. Some time after, as
Spooner stood at the Angel Hotel, Mr. Costar said to him, ' You can
resume your duties again, and take my advice, keep your tongue still.'
In driving up the first night, a gentleman on the box asked Spooner
several questions. He kept quiet ; so the gentleman lent over to the
guard: 'Is our coachman deaf?' 'A little, sir.' So when it got
daylight, he said, * Coachman, whose residence is that ? ' No answer.
He spoke louder, repeating the question. No answer. Reiterating,
much louder. At last, not paying the slightest attention to the advice
given by his master, Spooner answered, in a great rage and very loud,
' It's not mine or yours, or you would not ask such foolish questions.
Perhaps, you will try and say I am not civil.'

p. 39 The Reform Bill, the Times Newspaper, Mazeppa Coach and

I must tell you that Bayzand had the privilege of getting, at that
time, copies of the Times newspaper [at] 6 o'clock in the morning.
Bear in mind, there were no telegrams or railways, therefore the coach
was the telegraph, and the Mazeppa being the first coach down, of
course had the first news. Well, as a matter of fact, the Reform
Bill caused great excitement all the way down the road. 'Has the
Bill passed ? ' ' Yes.' So, as we travelled down the road, the interest

* [There is a long account of Jim Howell in Capt. Malet's Annals of the
Road, p. 252.]


became greater. At Shottenham, a gentleman put a sovereign in my
hand, and took the Times. At Ross, the excitement ran much higher,
for there I parted with another paper, for which I received two
sovereigns. I assure you, I put no price ; the money was voluntarily
given me, and they seemed to be quite delighted. We got near to
Hereford, when a friend of mine met the coach and asked me, ' Has
the Bill passed ? Have you got the Times newspaper with the news
in ? ' I said, ' Yes, I have.' ' Then don't be surprised at anything that
takes place, for the moment the Hereford people knows, they will carry
you, paper and all, off the coach to the inn at Hereford, where politics
runs very high.' And, sure enough they did, as my friend said they
would. For, before the coach had well stopped, I was on the
shoulders of four men, carried to the Inn, and the price of the paper
still kept rising. They gave me [a] £5 Hereford Old Bank note.
The Times newspaper, when read by the chairman, was framed,
glazed, and hung up in the Club Room for many years.

On our road to Hereford with the IMazeppa coach, one night at p. 40
Gloucester, close to the Booth Hall booking-office, stood the Champion
coach, loaded for London, with two sailors on the outside, when one
fell from the top of the coach into the Sadler's shop, through the
window, [and] hurt himself so bad[ly] that he could not proceed on
his journey that night. They had both paid their fares to London.
The one would not go without his shipmate, therefore they forfeited
their fares; but not so, for Mr. R., our proprietor, generous man,
the next morning forwarded them on by Mr. Bayzand with the
Mazeppa coach. Mr. R. knew they had to join their ship at a certain
time, and without grub or bub or a shot in the locker, [on] a bitter[ly]
cold morning, and as they told me, all they had got they were robbed
[of] by a lot of bad women in a spree in Gloucester. So at Cheltenham
I got a large loaf of bread [and] a quart of nice fresh shrimps. In
going up Dowdeswell Hill I gave them the fish and bread. If you had
seen them devour it you would never [have] forgotten the sight. At
Northleach, I gave them some rum ; at Oxford they fell in with kind
friends, who gave them a dinner and something to wash it down ;
and when we reached High Wycombe, we went on to London with
only the two Jack tars. The weather got colder, and at Uxbridge
they curled on the top of the roof under the tarpaulin. When we got
to Hayes, I^ and the coachman stopped for our usual cup of tea.

1 [MS. me.]


When we came out, we could see nothing of our sailor friends.

41 I felt rather anxious and upset, when I said to Bramble, 'They are
never in the boot ! ' I looked in, and, to my great delight, the two
jolly tars were curled up like two cats. Arrived in London, I got
them a cab, paid for it, gave them two-and-sixpence each, and sent
them off to the London Docks to join their ship, with many hearty,
sailors' thanks for my kindness. ' We will never forget you, mate.'
I thought no more of my sailor friends, when, one night, our porter
at Gloucester said, ' Did I ever ask you to look at a parcel that has
been lying in our office for a long time? I can't make out the
direction.' I looked at it up and down ; could make nothing of it,
so I said, ' Let me have a look to-morrow morning. I shall have
more time.' I looked, and thought [of] the sailors' promise that they
would think of me. I could make out, written very badly, ' Ga — d,
M — pha C — h.' Mr. R. was so satisfied with my surmise [that] he
said, ' Bayzand, I think you['re] right ; 'tis for you.' It was a parcel
16 inches long, 8 inches broad, 8 inches high, wrapped up in
tarpaulin and greasy brown paper, — contents, [a] thousand cigars, the
roughest, and, for flavour, the very best I ever smoked, — and a small
piece of dirty paper, for my kindness ' to us chaps. Hope to see ye
soon.' From that day to this, I never have heard of the sailors.

42 When the general conversation respecting railways was the topic,
they said, ' Mr. Bayzand, if your head never aches till the railways
come, it will be a long time.' The second, *Yes, too expensive.'
The third, ' Never will do.' The fourth, ' Besides, no country in the
world has such travelling [as] we have.' Fifth, ' What do we want
of railways?' 'Whether you want them or not, you will be obliged
to have them, sooner or later,' said old Mr. Bayzand, ' I can tell you.'
The sixth, ' What do you know about it ? ' '1 [will] tell you IVom
positive facts, witnessed myself. Hearing so much of railways, I
made up my mind to go and see and judge. Accordingly, I took
coach to Manchester, arrived next morning at 11 o'clock, took
second-class ticket for Liverpool, — distance 34 miles, in one hour and
five minutes, without the slightest trouble, — and so satisfied was I
[that] coaching in the course of [a] few years would be dispensed

At the Roebuck Hotel, Oxford, I had unloaded and was reloading,
when the luggage-strap broke, [and] pitched me on my head —
fortunately into a case of hats. 1 played the deuce with the contents,
but, thanks to providence, it saved my head. It shook me for a


minute or two. The surprise over, I was myself again, and pro-
ceeded on my journey. Ever after, if I saw the slightest fault in a
strap, I cut it in two.

The Oxford coach Alert [was] driven by William Bowers, by some p. 43
called ' Black Will.' Term was about to commence ; the coach was
full of young collegians returning to their different colleges. The
morning was very cold, w^et, and disagreeable, w'hen the well-known
Oxford Alert pulled up at the White Horse Cellar, Piccadilly. ' Have
you room inside ? ' asked a lovely young girl. * What a beauty 1 '
said one. ' Quite lovely,' said the second. ' Heavenly I ' raved a
third. ' Quite full, miss, inside and out,' said the coachman. ' Try
and make room for one,' pursued the fair applicant. ' Impossible,
unless the gentlemen gives their permission.' ' Lots of room,' cried
the insides ; ' we are not very big ; we can make room for one more.'
'If the gentlemen agrees,' replied the coachman, 'I can have no
objection.' * We consent,' said they all. ' Quite correct,' said the
coachman. The fare paid, the guard opened the door. ' Now, miss,
if you please, we are losing time.' ' Come along, grandma,' cried the
young lady, addressing a well-dressed, respectable, nice-looking, stout,
elderly lady. The fare paid, 'Get in, and take care you thank the
young gentlemen,' suiting the action to the word with helping her
beloved grandmother into the coach. ' There's a mistake ; you will
crush us to death,' screeched the astonished swells. ' Sorry to put
you about,' said the old lady. ' I hope you will have no objection
to have both windows up. I have a dreadful[ly] bad cough.' ' Right ! '
cried out Bowers, and the Alert trotted along at a good pace,
smothering the cry of the astonished collegians. The young lady
tittered. Bowers' grin ^ proclaimed the knowing ones were taken in.

I shall never forget one piercing, bitter[ly] cold, wet, and windy p. 44
morning, coming over Winchester Downs, we overtook a soldier
tramping along, with a bundle at his back, badly clad, and [with]
scarcely a shoe to his feet, when one of the passengers said, ' Oh,
Bayzand, give the poor fellow a lift.' ' With all my heart.' He got
up in front, was barely seated, when one lent him a coat, another
a shawl, and made him in a very few minutes quite comfortable. ' And
now, if you please, tell us where you have come from, and where you
have been.' ' India, greatest part of my time, and yesterday I was
paid off; got my discharge from Portsmouth, after being from

' [MS. Bowers grined.]


England upwards of 25 years. I was a substitute for one Mr. John
Bayzand, of Aston-under-Hill, Gloucestershire.' Poor Bayzand,
hearing his name mentioned, and looking at the soldier, was quite
overcome. A lucky thing Bayzand's son was with us ! He drove
the rest of the journey. The box-passenger was a tall, fine,
gentleman[ly]-looking man, [who] had the appearance of a military
or naval officer. [He] asked the soldier, in a commanding voice,
several questions, which he answered him, to all appearance, satis-
factorily. At Newbury, the poor fellow was treated to his dinner,
and before we reached Oxford the passengers collected, paid his
fare, and gave him a sovereign. Arrived as the Angel Hotel, Oxford,
the box-passenger asked the soldier several more questions, and took
his address. Bayzand and his substitute walked home together.
Bayzand treated him hospitably, clothed [him], paid his fare home,

Online LibraryLouis HouckCollectanea, fourth series ; → online text (page 26 of 34)