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their education at St. Paul's School. Among
these may be mentioned John Leland, the anti-
quary, and Sir Anthony Denny, the well-known
statesman in the reign of Henry the Eighth, both
of whom were among its first scholars. Here also
were educated the great antiquary, William Cam-
den ; John Milton ; the gossiping secretary of the
admiralty, Samuel Pepys ; the learned Richard
Cumberland, Bishop of Peterborough ; John Strype,
the antiquary ; the great Duke of Marlborough ;
the pious Robert Nelson, author of " Fasts and
Festivals ; " Edmund Halley, the astronomer and
mathematician ; and the munificent Alured Clarke,
Dean of Exeter. St. Paul's School having been



200 LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES.

burnt down in the great fire of London, it was
shortly afterward rebuilt by the Mercers' Com-
pany, in whom, by the decree of the founder, is
perpetually vested the care of the funds, as well
as the government of the school. Doctor Colet
was once asked his reasons for having selected a
company of merchants and shopkeepers to be the
custodians of his noble charity. " There is no
absolute certainty," he replied, "in human affairs ;
but for my part I have found less corruption in
such a body of citizens than in any other order
or body of mankind." The present building was
erected in 1823.

On the south side of St. Paul's Cathedral is a
narrow street, called Paul's Chain, deriving its
name from a chain which was formerly drawn
across the road to prevent carriages from passing
and repassing during the performance of divine
service in the cathedral.

Paul's Chain leads us into Knightrider Street,
so called, it is said, from the knights usually riding
this way from the Tower Royal to the tourna-
ments at Smithfield. On the site of No. 5 in this
street lived Thomas Linacre, the celebrated phil-
ologist, and physician to Henry the Seventh, who
died in 1524, and was buried in St. Paul's Cathe-
dral. In Little Knightrider Street lived Ralph
Thoresby, the antiquary.

Close by, on the east side of St. Benet's Hill,
is the Heralds' College, a venerable foundation,



LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES. 201

first formed into a corporate body by Richard the
Third, who conferred upon it the stately mansion
in Cold Harbour, of which we have already given
a notice. Having been arbitrarily driven from
this mansion by Henry the Seventh, the heralds
remained for some time without a fixed abode, till
Queen Mary established them on the site of their
present college; "to the end," says the grant,
"that the said kings-at-arms, heralds, and pursui-
vants-at-arms, and their successors, might at their
liking dwell together, and at meet times congre-
gate, speak, confer, and agree among themselves,
for the good government of their faculty, and that
their records may be more safely kept."

The mansion bestowed upon them by Queen
Mary had long been the London residence of the
Stanleys, Earls of Derby. Here its founder
Thomas, the first earl, who married the mother of
King Henry the Seventh lived and died; and
here, according to the charming old ballad, "The
Song of Lady Bessy," the Princess Elizabeth of
York was for some time the earl's guest, during
the usurpation of her uncle, Richard, Duke of
Gloucester :

" She sojourned in the citie of London
That time with the Earl of Derbye."

Here Edward, the third earl, kept up that famous
magnificence which has been chronicled by Stow
and Holinshed, and which led Camden to remark



202 LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES.

that "with Edward, Earl of Derby's, death the
glory of hospitality seemed to fall asleep." In
1552 Derby House was exchanged by this noble-
man with Edward the Sixth for certain lands
adjoining his park at Knowsley, in Lancashire ;
Queen Mary, on the i8th July, 1555, conferring it
on the heralds. The old mansion having been
burnt down in 1666, the present sombre and
venerable-looking edifice was shortly afterward
erected, principally at the expense of the officers
of the college. The armorial bearings of the
Stanleys were, till very recently, to be seen on
the south side of the quadrangle.

Close to Heralds' College is Doctors' Commons,
so called from its having been originally a college
where the law was propounded or taught ; the
word Commons having been added from its mem-
bers living in community together as in other
collegiate establishments.

Close to Doctors' Commons stands the church
of St. Bennet, or rather St. Benedict, another of
the numerous churches rebuilt by Sir Christopher
Wren after the great fire in 1666. The only in-
terest which attaches itself to this church is the
circumstance of the great architect, Inigo Jones,
having been interred in the chancel of the old
church, in which, upon the north wall, there was a
monument to his memory, which was destroyed
by the fire. Here also lies interred William
Oldys, the author of " The British Librarian."



LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES. 203

Retracing our steps to St. Paul's Churchyard,
we find ourselves on Ludgate Hill, the site of Lud
Gate, one of the ancient entrances into the city of
London. Twice it was rebuilt, once by the victo-
rious barons, in the reign of King John, and again
in 1586. "It was, in my memory," writes Pen-
nant, "a wretched prison for debtors. It com-
menced what was called a free prison, in 1373,
but soon lost that privilege. It was enlarged,
and had the addition of a chapel, by Sir Stephen
Forster, on a very romantic occasion. He him-
self had been confined there, and while begging at
the grate was accosted by a rich widow, who asked
him what sum would purchase his liberty. She
paid it down, took him into her service, and after-
ward married him. In the chapel was an inscrip-
tion, in honour of him and Agnes, his wife, dated
1454, the year in which he enjoyed the honour of
being lord mayor of the city. Anciently there
was to be seen, affixed to the wall of Lud Gate
Prison, a copper plate, on which were engraved
the following doggerel lines :

" Devout souls, that pass this way,

For Stephen Forster, late Mayor, heartily pray,

And Dame Agnes, his spouse, to God consecrate,

That of pity this house made for Londoners in Ludgate ;

So that, for lodging and water, prisoners here nought pay,

As their keepers shall answer at dreadful doom's-day."

It was at Lud Gate that Sir Thomas Wyatt
encountered the opposition which gave the final



204 LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES.

check to his ill-advised insurrection. Finding the
gates closed against him, he fell back with the
few followers who still remained true to him, and
was shortly afterward arrested near the Temple
Gate.

Not many years have elapsed since the sign of
the Belle Sauvage representing a large bell with
a wild man standing beside it was a conspicu-
ous object on Ludgate Hill. The old hostelry,
apparently one of the oldest in London, having
been burnt down in the great fire, was rebuilt,
and, till its final demolition, retained its ancient
name. It was on a bench opposite to this tavern
that Sir Thomas Wyatt, on finding the city gates
shut against him, is said to have sat and meditated
in great despondency on his altered fortunes. By
Stow it is conjectured that the name of the Belle
Sauvage was derived from one Isabella Savage,
a former possessor of the house ; whereas the
definition suggested by Addison, in the Spectator,
would seem to be the more correct one. " As
for the Bell Savage," he writes, " I was formerly
much puzzled upon the conceit of it, till I acci-
dentally fell into the reading of an old romance
translated out of the French, which gives an ac-
count of a very beautiful woman who was found
in a wilderness, and is called in the French ' La
belle Sauvage,' and is everywhere translated by
our countrymen the Bell Savage."

In the days of his obscurity, the celebrated



LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES. 205

artist, Grinling Gibbons, resided in Belle Savage
Court, Ludgate Hill. Among other works which
he executed at this period is said to have been a
vase of flowers of such delicate workmanship that
they shook with the motion of the vehicles which
passed through the street.

Before the establishment of regular theatres in
England, the courtyards of the larger inns sur-
rounded, as they generally were, on three sides by
galleries formed not incommodious arenas in
which the strolling companies erected their tempo-
rary stage. "The form of these temporary play-
houses," writes Malone, "seems to be preserved
in our modern theatre. The galleries in both are
ranged over each other on three sides of the build-
ing. The small rooms under the lowest of these
galleries answer to our present boxes, and it is
observable that these even in theatres which
were built in a subsequent period expressly for
dramatic exhibitions still retained their old name,
and were frequently called rooms by our ancient
writers. The yard bears a sufficient resemblance
to the pit, as at present in use." It was in the
yard of the Belle Sauvage, in the reign of Queen
Elizabeth, that Richard Tarleton, the Grimaldi of
that famous age, delighted our forefathers by his
unrivalled antics and extempore wit.

Ludgate reminds us of a creditable anecdote
related of Nell Gwynn, of whose kindness of heart
we have nearly as many proofs as we have of her



206 LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES.

frailty. She was one day ascending Ludgate Hill
in her coach, when her attention was attracted to
some bailiffs, who were in the act of hurrying off
an unfortunate clergyman to prison. Having or-
dered her coachman to stop, and made some inquir-
ies into the case, she sent for the persons whom
the poor debtor named as attestators to his char-
acter, and finding him a proper object of charity,
not only discharged his debt, but afterward suc-
cessfully exerted herself in obtaining preferment
for the worthy clergyman.

According to some writers, Lud Gate owed its
name to King Lud, who is said to have originally
erected the gate, while others, apparently with
much more reason, consider its ancient appellation
to have been Fludgate, or rather Flodgate, a name
derived from the river Fleet, or Flod, which flowed
in its immediate vicinity. It may be mentioned
that the old gate was sold by order of the commis-
sioners of city lands on the 3Oth of July, 1760,
and in the following November it was razed to the
ground.

On the north side of Ludgate Street, opposite
to the entrance into Blackfriars, stands the church
of St. Martin Ludgate, possessing little interest
beyond its antiquity. According to Robert of
Gloucester, it was originally built at so remote
a period as the seventh century, by the British
prince, Cadwallo ; speaking of whom, in connec-
tion with Ludgate, he writes :



LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES. 207

" A chirch of Sent Martyn liuyng he let rere,
In whych yat men shold goddys seruyse do,
And sing for his soule and al Christene also."

All, however, that we know for a certainty, is
the fact that a church was standing here in 1322,
when Robert de Sancto Albano was rector. At
this period the presentation to St. Martin's was
vested in the Abbot and Convent of Westminster,
who continued to enjoy it till the dissolution of
the monasteries, when, Westminster having been
erected into a bishopric, Henry the Eighth con-
ferred the presentation upon the new prelate.
That see having been dissolved in the following
reign, Queen Mary, in 1553, conferred it on the
Bishop of London and his successors, with whom
the patronage still continues. The old church
having been burnt down in the great fire of Lon-
don, the present uninteresting edifice was built
after designs of Sir Christopher Wren. From
the circumstance of several sepulchral stones hav-
ing been discovered in the immediate neighbour-
hood, as well as from its vicinity to Watling
Street, the great highway of the Romans, the
church is believed to stand nearly on the site of
a Roman cemetery. One of the rectors of this
church in the seventeenth century was Samuel
Purchas, the author of the "Pilgrimages."



CHAPTER IX.

ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL.

Wren's Discoveries when Digging the Foundation of St. Paul's

Supposed to Have Been Built on the Site of a Roman
Temple History of the Old Structures Church of St.
Faith Bishop of London's Palace Lollards' Tower
Wickliff e in St. Paul's " Paul's Walkers " or " Paul's Men "

Tombs in Old St. Paul's Paul's Cross Remarkable
Events There Present St. Paul's Sir Christopher Wren.

How interesting is the account bequeathed to
us by Sir Christopher Wren, of the laying the
foundations of his great work, St. Paul's Cathe-
dral ! At the greatest depth to which he exca-
vated, he found a substratum of hard clay, the
natural soil of the locality, above which, nearly
at the level of low-water mark, he discovered
water and sand, mixed with sea-shells ; thus not
only rendering it evident that the sea had once
flowed over the high ground on which St. Paul's now
stands, but also giving probability to the supposi-
tion of the great architect, that the whole country,
between Camberwell Hill and the hills of Essex,
was once a branch of the sea, forming at low
water a sandy bay. Above the sand, on the north

208



.>f St.



i emark.i:
h^r \Vrer



5/. PJ///'S dihedral.

Photo-etching from an old print.



LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES. 209

side, Wren found a variety of Roman urns, lamps,
and lachrymatories, showing that this had once
been a cemetery of that great people. Above
these again, affording unquestionable evidence of
its having also been a burial-place of the ancient
British, he discovered numerous pins of wood and
ivory, which had formerly fastened the garments
of the dead ; and lastly, still nearer to the surface
of the earth, he found, stone coffins and graves
lined with chalk-stones, the peculiar characteristics
of a Saxon cemetery.

Whether there be any truth in the surmise that
a temple of Diana anciently stood on the site of
the present St. Paul's Cathedral will in all human
probability never be satisfactorily settled. As far
as the opinion of Sir Christopher Wren is con-
cerned, he decidedly explodes the notion of a
pagan temple having ever stood on the spot. He
could discover, he says, neither the slightest re-
mains of Roman ornamental architecture, nor the
horns of any animal which it was the custom to
sacrifice to the Goddess of Chastity. That, after
a lapse of upward of twelve centuries, and after
the ground had been so repeatedly disturbed by
the erection and destruction of successive edifices,
no trace was to be found of the graceful cornices
and capitals of the Romans is, perhaps, not much
to be wondered at. But when we find Sir Chris-
topher himself speaking of the discovery of some
ancient foundations, consisting of " Kentish rub-



210 LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES.

ble-stone, artfully worked and consolidated with
exceeding hard mortar, in the Roman manner,"
moreover, when we find a Roman burial-place
existing in the immediate neighbourhood ; when
we remember how common it was for the early
Christians to convert pagan temples into places
of Christian worship ; and lastly, when we find it
an established fact that the horns of animals used
in the sacrifices to Diana have been actually dis-
covered near the spot, though none happened to be
found by Wren, we feel ourselves almost justi-
fied in clinging to an ancient tradition which serves
to throw so much additional interest over St. Paul's.
" Some," writes Bishop Gibson, in his edition of
Camden's "Britannia," "have fancied that the
temple of Diana formerly stood here, and there
are circumstances that strengthen the conjecture;
as the old adjacent buildings being called in their
records Diana Camera, the chamber of Diana ;
the digging up in the churchyard, in Edward the
First's reign, as we find by our annals, an incred-
ible number of ox-heads, which the common people
at that time, not without great admiration, looked
upon to have been Gentile sacrifices, and the learned
know that the Tauropolia were celebrated in hon-
our of Diana. But much rather I should found this
opinion of a temple of Diana upon the witty con-
ceit of Mr. Selden, who, upon occasion of some ox-
heads, sacred also to Diana, that were discovered
in digging the foundations of a new chapel on the



LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES. 211

south side of St. Paul's (1316), would insinuate
that the name of London imported no more than
Llan Dien t i. e., Templum Diana, And against
the foregoing conjecture it is urged, that as for
the tenements called Camera Diana, they stood
not so near the church as some would have us
think, but on St. Paul's Wharf Hill, near Doctors'
Commons ; and they seem to have taken their
denomination from a spacious building, full of in-
tricate turnings, wherein King Henry the Second,
as he did at Woodstock, kept his heart's delight,
whom he there called Fair Rosamond, and here
Diana." Some remains of these "intricate turn-
ings " existed as late as the reign of Elizabeth, as
also of an underground passage leading from Bay-
nard's Castle, by which communication it has been
presumed that the king was accustomed to find his
way to his Camera Diana, or secret apartment of
his beloved mistress.

It has been conjectured that a place of Christian
worship existed on the* site of the present cathe-
dral as early as the end of the second century,
about which time (185) Faganus and Damianus
were sent by Pope Eleutherius to convert the na-
tives of Britain to Christianity. This early church,
it has been supposed, was destroyed during the
famous persecution of the Christians in the reign
of Diocletian ; it having been the great object of
that emperor to efface, throughout the Roman
dominions, the name and worship of Christ, and



212 LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES.

to restore the religion of the heathen gods. It
was then, according to some authorities, that a
temple dedicated to Diana was erected on this
spot. In the words of an old monkish chronicler,
Fleta, "the old abomination was restored where-
ever the Britons were expelled their place. Lon-
don worshipped Diana, and the suburbs of Thorney
offered incense to Apollo." '

After the death of the Emperor Diocletian
there again arose a place of Christian worship on
the site of St. Paul's, which in its turn was des-
troyed by the pagan Saxons. When, however,
early in the seventh century, that people embraced
Christianity, it was rebuilt by Ethelbert, King of
Kent (610), on its ancient foundations; Melitus,
at the instance of St. Augustine, being conse-
crated first Bishop of London. In 675 we find
Erkenwald, son of King Offa, fourth Bishop of
London from Melitus, expending large sums of
money in repairing and beautifying the ancient
edifice, as well as obtaining for it considerable
privileges both from the Pope and the Saxon
princes of England. For these good deeds,
Erkenwald was canonised at his death, and his
body placed in a shrine above the high altar,



1 It is needless to remind the reader that by Thorney is meant
Westminster Abbey, on the site of which is said to have stood a
temple of Apollo ; Thorney Island being so called from its hav-
ing been insulated by a branch of the Thames, and covered with
thorns and briars.



LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES. 213

where it continued to be an object of adoration
till the destruction of the edifice by fire in 1086.
William the Conqueror not only secured to St.
Paul's its ancient privileges, but appears also to
have regarded it with peculiar reverence.

After the destruction of the old church by fire,
in 1086, Mauritius, or Maurice, then Bishop of
London, commenced rebuilding it on a most exten-
sive and magnificent scale. Interested in his pious
work, William Rufus granted him the stones of
the old Palatine Tower on the banks of the
Thames ; while in the following reign we find
Henry the First exempting from toll or custom
all vessels entering the river Fleet with stones and
other materials for the new cathedral. Such, how-
ever, was the vastness of the undertaking, that
although Bishop Maurice lived twenty years after
the commencement of his pious labours, and al-
though his successor, Bishop Beauvages, enjoyed
the see twenty succeeding years, and appropriated
nearly the whole of his ecclesiastical revenue in
advancing this great work, its completion was left
to succeeding generations. It was not till 1221
that the steeple was in a finished state, nor the
choir till 1240. When completed, this magnifi-
cent structure, with the buildings attached to it,
covered upward of three acres and a half of
ground. Its length was 690 feet ; its breadth
130, and its extreme height, to the summit of
the spire, 534 feet. The interior of old St.



214 LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES.

Paul's corresponded in splendour with the gran-
deur of its external appearance. The immense
length of the vista, the double line of graceful
Gothic arches, the gorgeous decorations of the
high altar, the sublime effect of the vaulted roof,
exquisitely groined and gilt, as well as the beauti-
ful colouring of the painted windows, are said to
have presented a spectacle which, in beauty and
magnificence, far excelled that of every other
religious edifice in England. The high altar,
which stood between two columns, under a can-
opy of wood elaborately carved and painted, was
adorned with precious stones and surrounded with
images exquisitely wrought. Above the altar was
the shrine of St. Erkenwald, which, being inlaid
and adorned with gold, silver, and precious stones,
made such a splendid and dazzling appearance,
that princes and nobles, we are told, came from
all parts to visit it, and to offer up their adora-
tions to the Saxon saint. In a wooden taber-
nacle, on the right side of the high altar, was a
picture of St. Paul, said to have been of great
excellence ; while against a pillar in the body of
the church was a beautiful image of the Virgin,
before which a lamp was kept constantly burning.
In the centre of the cathedral stood a large
cross ; and if to these we add the splendour of
the numerous shrines and altars, and the mag-
nificence of the sepulchral monuments, we shall
be able to form some slight notion of old St.



LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES. 215

Paul's as it existed in the fourteenth and fifteenth
centuries.

Another striking feature in the old cathedral
was the beautiful subterranean parish church of
St. Faith in the Crypts, commenced in 1356,
which, besides several chantries and monuments,
had two chapels, severally dedicated to Our Lady
and St. Dunstan. Its cemetery was on the south
side of the cathedral. . Here, on the 29th of De-
cember, 1 648, " against the door that leadeth into
St. Faith's Church," was shot for his loyalty Maj.
William Pitcher, a gallant adherent of Charles the
First. It was also in St. Faith's cemetery that
the remains of Col. Edward Marcus Despard, who
was hanged for high treason in February, 1803,
were allowed burial. After the fire of London,
the parish of St. Faith was united with that of St.
Augustine.

The chapter house of the old cathedral, as well
as the cloisters, are also said to have been of
elaborate workmanship and of great beauty. The
latter, with the fine monuments which they con-
tained, were destroyed by the Protector Somerset,
in order to furnish materials for constructing his
new palace in the Strand.

At the northwest corner of St. Paul's stood the
stately inn, or palace, of the Bishops of London,
the hospitalities of which appear to have been fre-
quently enjoyed by our earlier sovereigns. Here,
for instance, we find Edward the Third and his



216 LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES.

queen entertained and lodged on the occasion of
a magnificent tournament at Smithfield. " There
was goodly dancing," writes Froissart, "in the
queen's lodging, in presence of the king and his
uncles, and other barons of England, and ladies
demoiselles, till it was day, which was time for
every person to draw to their lodgings, except
the king and queen, who lay there in the bishop's
palace, for there they lay during all the feasts and
jousts." The Bishop of London's palace at St.
Paul's was for a short time the residence of the
unfortunate Edward the Fifth, previous to his
being immured in the Tower. Under its roof,
too, it was that the ill-fated Catherine of Aragon,
after her marriage to Prince Arthur in the neigh-
bouring cathedral, was conducted to a magnifi-
cent banquet, and afterward to her nuptial couch.
Here, on the 24th of November, 1588, after hav-
ing returned tnanks in St. Paul's Cathedral for
the dispersion of the Spanish Armada, Queen


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