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another singular custom, of presenting, from the
steps of St. Sepulchre's Church, a nosegay to
every criminal passing on his way to Tyburn.

In the churchyard of St. Sepulchre's, Sarah
Malcolm, the murderess, was buried in 1733.

We have already mentioned that the first person
who, in the reign of Queen Mary, suffered at the
stake on account of his religious principles, was
the Rev. John Rogers, Vicar of St. Sepulchre's.

Running from Newgate Street into West Smith-

the judgment seat of your Creator, there to give an account of
all things done in this life, and to suffer eternal torments for
your sins committed against Him, unless, upon your hearty and
unfeigned repentance, you find mercy through the merits, death,
and passion of your only Mediator and Advocate Jesus Christ,
who now sits at the right hand of God, to make intercession for
as many of you as penitently return to him."

" Admonition to the Condemned Criminals as they are pasting by
St. Sepulchre's Church-wall, to Execution.

"All good people, pray heartily unto God for these poor
sinners, who are now going to their death, for whom this great
bell doth toll.

"You that are condemned to die, repent with lamentable
tears ; ask mercy of the Lord, for the salvation of your own
souls, through the merits, death, and passion of Jesus Christ,
who now sits at the right hand of God, to make intercession
for as many of you as penitently return unto Him.

" Lord have mercy upon you.

Christ have mercy upon you.
Lord have mercy upon you.
Christ have mercy upon you."



268 LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES.

field is Giltspur Street, anciently called Knight-
rider Street, which derives its names from the
knights with their gilt spurs having been accus-
tomed to ride this way from the Tower, to the
jousts and tournaments which in the olden time
were held in Smithfield. We have already men-
tioned that Knightrider Street, in the neighbour-
hood of Doctors' Commons, derives its name from
a similar circumstance.

In Giltspur Street, at the end of Cock Lane, is
Pie Corner, so called, according to Stow, from the
sign of a well-frequented hostelry which anciently
stood on the spot. Strype speaks of Pie Corner
as " noted chiefly for cooks' shops, and pigs dressed
there during Bartholomew Fair." In our old writ-
ers there are many references to its cooks' stalls
and dressed pork. Shadwell, for instance, in
"The Woman Captain" (1680), speaks of "meat
dressed at Pie Corner by greasy scullions," and
Ben Jonson writes, in the "Alchemist " (1610):

" I shall put you in mind, sir, at Pie Corner,
Taking your meal of steam in, from cooks' stalls."

The principal interest, however, attached to Pie
Corner, is from its having been the spot where the
great fire terminated in 1666. It commenced, as
is well-known, in Pudding Lane, and consequently
that it should have ended at Pie Corner, was cer-
tainly a curious coincidence. At the corner of
Cock Lane may be seen the figure of a fat naked



LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES. 269

boy with his hands across his stomach, to which
the following inscription was formerly attached :
" This boy is in memory put up of the late fire of
London, occasioned by the sin of gluttony, 1666."
An especial interest is attached to Green Arbour
Court, running west of the Old Bailey. Here, on
the site of No. 1 2, in the first-floor rooms, resided,
in 1758, the gifted and warm-hearted Oliver Gold-
smith, and here, if any faith is to be placed in tra-
dition, he composed his " Traveller," and other
works. In this miserable abode he was visited by
Bishop Percy, the collector of the " Reliques of
English Poetry," who was accustomed to relate
an interesting account of their interview. In a
"wretchedly dirty room," in which there was but
one chair, he found the poet engaged in writing
his " Enquiry into Polite Learning." " While they
were engaged in conversation," said the bishop,
" some one gently rapped at the door, and on
being desired to come in, a poor little ragged girl,
of very decent behaviour, entered, who, dropping a
curtsey, said, ' My mamma sends her compliments,
and begs the favour of your lending her a potful
of coals.' " In consequence of its threatening to
fall from age and dilapidation, the miserable abode
of Goldsmith in Green Arbour Court, together
with the adjoining houses, was a few years since
razed to the ground. From Green Arbour Court
Goldsmith removed, in 1760, to Wine-office Court,
Fleet Street.



270 LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES.

In Sea Coal Lane, close by, have at various
times been discovered considerable remains of mas-
sive stone walls, leading to the supposition that
here stood some of the important outworks con-
nected with the ancient fortifications.



CHAPTER XL

FLEET STREET.

St. Bride's Church Persons Interred There Salisbury Court

Richardson, the Novelist Gough Square Anecdote of
Doctor Johnson Johnson's Court and Bolt Court Wine-
office Court Anecdote of Goldsmith Old Conduit in Fleet
Street Bangor House Mitre Court Crane Court Devil
Tavern, and Its Celebrated Frequenters Residences of
Eminent Men in Fleet Street Chancery Lane Shire Lane

Anecdote of Coleridge Kit-Cat Club St. Dunstan's
Church Its Old Dial.

DESCENDING Ludgate Hill, we enter Fleet
Street, one of the most interesting thoroughfares
in London. As we wend our way along this
famous street, let us pause for a few moments to
gaze on the graceful steeple of St. Bride's Church,
which, with the exception of that of Bow Church,
is unquestionably the most beautiful in London.
St. Bride's, moreover, in addition to its architec-
tural merits, recalls many interesting memories of
the past. Here was interred Wynkyn de Worde,
the famous printer in the reign of Henry the
Seventh, whose father kept the Falcon Inn in
Fleet Street. He himself lived in the street, as
appears by his "Fruyte of Tymes," printed in
271



272 LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES.

1515, which purports to be issued from his estab-
lishment at the " sygne of the Sonne," in Fleet
Street. At the west end of St. Bride's Church
was interred the ill-fated poet, Richard Lovelace,
and here, also, rests another bard, whose hopes
were once as ambitious, John Ogilby, the translator
of Homer. Half hidden by one of the pews on
the south side, is the gravestone of Richardson,
the novelist ; and here also lies buried Sir Richard
Baker, author of the " Chronicle of the Kings of
England," the story of whose melancholy end
belongs to our notices of the Fleet Prison.

Nor are Ogilby, Lovelace, and Sir Richard Baker
the only unfortunate authors who are interred in
St. Bride's Church. Here also are buried Francis
Sandford, author of the " Genealogical History,"
who died in the Fleet in 1693, and Robert Lloyd,
the poet, who, in 1764, also died in that prison.
Ogilby, Sandford, Richardson, and Lloyd were
buried in the present edifice ; as were also Thomas
Flatman, the poet, who died in 1688, and Dr.
Charles Davenant, the celebrated political writer
of the reign of Queen Anne. In the churchyard
of St. Bride's lie the remains of Dr. Robert Levet,
the intimate friend of Doctor Johnson.

It may be worth mentioning that in St. Bride's
Church was buried the abandoned Mary Frith,
known as Moll Cutpurse, who, from the days of
James the First to those of the Commonwealth,
carried on the united professions of procuress,



LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES. 273

fortune-teller, pickpocket, thief, and receiver of
stolen goods. Her most famous exploit was rob-
bing General Fairfax upon Hounslow Heath.
Butler has immortalised her in his " Hudibras : "

" He Trulla loved, Trulla more bright,
Than burnished armour of her knight ;
A bold virago, stout and tall,
A Joan of France, or English Mall."

Swift likewise alludes to her in his " Baucis and
Philemon : "

" The ballads pasted on the wall,
Of Joan of France, and English Mall."

Moll Cutpurse died of the dropsy in the 4 seventy-
fifth year of her age, and was buried in St. Bride's
on the loth of August, 1659.

St. Bride's, or rather St. Bridget's Church, is
unquestionably of very ancient foundation. Orig-
inally a structure of moderate dimensions, it was
in the year 1480 considerably enlarged and beau-
tified by William Venor, a pious warden of the
Fleet Prison, who erected a spacious fabric at the
west end, consisting of a middle and two side aisles,
to which the ancient church served as the choir.
The patronage of the living was for centuries
vested in the Abbot and Convent of Westminster,
till, at the dissolution of the monasteries, on West-
minster being elevated into a bishopric, Henry
the Eighth granted the preferment to the new
diocesan. On the reinstatement of the Abbot and



274 LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES.

monks of Westminster in the reign of Queen
Mary, the patronage was restored to them, but it
was afterward again made over to the Dean and
Chapter of Westminster, by whom it is still en-
joyed. The old church having been destroyed by
the great fire of London, the present noble edifice
was erected on its site by Sir Christopher Wren,
at the expense of \ 1,430.

It was in St. Bride's Churchyard that Milton
took up his residence after his return from Italy
in 1642. Here it was that he superintended the
education of his two nephews, John and Edward
Philips, as well as that of a few other youths whose
parents had prevailed upon him to take their chil-
dren under his charge. It was also during the
period of his residence in St. Bride's Churchyard
that he formed his ill-assorted marriage with his
first wife, Mary Powell. " His first wife," writes
Aubrey, " was brought up and lived where there
was a great deal of company, merriment, and
dancing ; and when she came to live with her
husband at Mr. Russell's, in St. Bride's Church-
yard, she found it very solitary ; no company
coming to her, and oftentimes hearing his nephews
beaten and cry. This life was irksome to her
so she went to her parents at Forest Hill. He
sent for her after some time, and I think his ser-
vant was evilly treated ; but, as for wronging his
bed, I never heard the least suspicions, nor had he
of that any jealousy."



LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES. 275

On the same side of Fleet Street as St. Bride's
Church is Salisbury Court, so called from the
London residence of the Bishops of Salisbury,
which anciently stood on its site. Here the great
Lord Clarendon was residing for a short time after
the Restoration. To the literary student the prin-
cipal interest attached to Salisbury Square is from
its having been the residence of Richardson, the
author of " Pamela " and of " Sir Charles Grandi-
son." Here he was visited by the most eminent
literary men of the last century and here he was
constantly surrounded by a bevy of ardent ad-
mirers, to whom he delighted in reading aloud the
last effusions of his pen. " My first recollection
of Richardson," writes a lady who knew him well,
" was in the house in the centre of Salisbury Square,
or Salisbury Court as it was then called ; and of
being admitted as a playful child into his study,
where I have often seen Doctor Young and others,
and where I was generally caressed and rewarded
with biscuits, or bonbons, of some kind or other,
and sometimes with books, for which he, and some
more of my friends, kindly encouraged a taste,
even at that early age, which has adhered to me
all my long life, and continues to be the solace of
many a painful hour. I recollect that he used to
drop in at my father's, for we lived nearly opposite,
late in the evening, to supper ; when, as he would
say, he had worked as long as his eyes and
nerves would let him, and was come to relax with



276 LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES.

a little friendly and domestic chat." Again, the
same lady writes : " Besides those I have already
named, I well remember a Mrs. Donellan, a ven-
erable old lady, with sharp, piercing eyes ; Miss
Mulso, afterward Mrs. Chapone, etc. ; Seeker,
Archbishop of Canterbury ; Sir Thomas Robinson
(Lord Grantham), etc., who were frequent visitors
at his house in town and country. The ladies I
have named were often staying at North End, at
the period of his highest glory and reputation, and
in their company and conversation his genius was
matured. His benevolence was unbounded, as his
manner of diffusing it was delicate and refined."

Richardson, with all his excellent qualities, ap-
pears to have been entirely spoiled by his female
coterie, who pampered him with an amount of ful-
some flattery from which most men would have
turned with disgust. By Doctor Johnson it was
said of him, that he had little "conversation, ex-
cept about his own works ; " while another of his
intimate acquaintances, Sir Joshua Reynolds, ob-
served that he was always willing to talk of his
writings, and "glad to have them introduced."
When Doctor Johnson took Bennet Langton to
introduce him to Richardson, he boasted of his
skill in " drawing out " the novelist in conversa-
tion : "Sir," he said, "I can make him rear." All
that Langton, however, could remember of the in-
terview worth repeating, was the circumstance of
Richardson drawing their attention to the fact



LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES. 277

of his novel, " Clarissa," having had the honour of
being translated into German, of which the German
copy lay in the room.

John Dryden and Thomas Shad well, the dramatic
poet, lived at different periods in Salisbury Court.
Here also, shortly after the Restoration of Charles
the Second, were residing the celebrated actors,
Thomas Betterton and Joseph Harris.

The Salisbury Court Theatre, so often the scene
of Betterton's triumphs, was first established in
1629, in the granary of Salisbury House. In
March, 1649, ^ was destroyed by the Puritan
authorities, but was subsequently rebuilt and re-
opened by William Beeston, an actor, in 1660.
Here the duke's company acted till their removal
to the Lincoln's Inn Theatre, in the spring of
1662, four years after which it was destroyed by
the great fire. This theatre must not be con-
founded with the Dorset Gardens Theatre, which
stood in the immediate neighbourhood, but nearer
to the Thames.

In Dorset Court, the great philosopher, John
Locke, was residing in 1689, and hence he dates
the dedication to his " Essay on Human Under-
standing."

Gough Square, Fleet Street, a small paved
court, or square, consisting of old houses of a
lofty size, was for ten years the residence of
Doctor Johnson. The entrance to it is by a nar-
row passage, called Hind Court, on the north side



278 LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES.

of Fleet Street, opposite to Whitefriars Street.
The residence of Doctor Johnson was No. 4. His
fine poem, the " Vanity of Human Wishes," pub-
lished in 1/49, was written partly in Gough
Square, but principally during his occasional
visits to Hampstead, where Mrs. Johnson had
taken lodgings for the benefit of country air.
In Gough Square he wrote the " Rambler," and
here also he composed a considerable portion of
his dictionary. " While the dictionary was going
forward," writes Boswell, "Johnson lived part of
the time in Holborn, part in Gough Square, Fleet
Street ; and he had an upper room fitted up like a
counting-house for the purpose, in which he gave
to the copyists their several tasks."

Doctor Johnson was residing in Gough Square
at the time when he lost his wife, his beloved
"Tetty." "The dreadful shock of separation,"
writes Boswell, "took place in the night, and he
immediately despatched a letter to his friend, the
Rev. Doctor Taylor, which, as Taylor told me,
expressed grief in the strongest manner he had
ever read ; so that it is much to be regretted it
has not been preserved. The letter was brought
to Doctor Taylor, at his house in the cloisters,
Westminster, about three in the morning, and as
it signified an earnest desire to see him, he got
up, and went to Johnson as soon as he was
dressed, and found him in tears and in extreme
agitation. After being a little while together,



LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES. 279

Johnson requested him to join with him in
prayer. He then prayed extempore, as did Doc-
tor Taylor, and thus by means of that piety which
was ever his primary object, his troubled mind was
in some degree soothed and composed."

The ten years passed by Doctor Johnson in
Gough Square were perhaps the most melan-
choly of his life. Hypochondriacism embittered
his social hours, and want stared him in the face.
Sad, indeed, must have been the distress which
compelled him to address the following appeal to
Richardson, the novelist :

" GOUGH SQUARE, i6th March, 1756.
" SIR : I am obliged to entreat your assistance.
I am now under arrest for five pounds, eighteen
shillings. Mr. Strahan, from whom I should have
received the necessary help in this case, is not at
home, and I am afraid of not finding Mr. Millar.
If you will be so good as to send me this sum, I
will very gratefully repay you, and add it to all
former obligations. I am, sir, your most obedient
and most humble servant,

"SAM. JOHNSON."
" Sent six guineas,

"Witness, William Richardson."

Johnson, speaking of Richardson's invariable
kindness to him, once observed : " I remember
writing to him from a sponging-house ; and was



z8o LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES.

so sure of my deliverance through his kindness
and liberality, that, before his reply was brought, I
knew I could afford to joke with the rascal who
had me in custody, and did so, over a pint of
adulterated wine, for which, at that instant, I had
no money to pay."

In Gough Square, on the 3d of February, 1777,
died Hugh Kelly, the dramatic writer, in his thirty-
eighth year. Doctor Johnson, who ridiculed the
vanity of the " poetical staymaker " in his lifetime,
wrote a prologue for the benefit of his wife and
children when he was no more.

Johnson's Court and Bolt Court, both of them
on the north side of Fleet Street, within a short
distance of Fetter Lane, are severally and equally
interesting to us from their association with Doctor
Johnson. At No. 7 in Johnson's Court, he resided
from 1765 to 1777, and at No. 8 in Bolt Court,
from 1777 till his death on the i$th of December,
1784. Of Johnson's Court Boswell writes: "On
Tuesday, April 27 [1773], Mr. Beauclerk and I
called on him in the morning. As we walked up
Johnson's Court, I said, ' I have a veneration for
this court,' and was glad to find that Beauclerk
had the same reverential enthusiasm." At the
time when Johnson accompanied Boswell into
Scotland, the London residence of the former
was in this court. Alluding to this circumstance,
and also to a local term by which the Scottish
lairds were in the habit of designating them-



LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES. 281

selves, he humourously styled himself "Johnson
of that ilk."

It has occasionally, we believe, been supposed
that Johnson's Court, Fleet Street, derives its
name from the great lexicographer, and Boswell
Court from his biographer, James Boswell. In
neither instance, however, is this the case. As
regards Boswell Court, it was so called from hav-
ing been the site of Boswell House, the residence
of a Mr. Boswell in the reign of Queen Elizabeth.
The charming Lady Fanshawe and her husband
were for some time residents in Boswell Court.

In Bolt Court Doctor Johnson breathed his last.
From the author of the " Pleasures of Memory "
we learn that, having an ardent desire, when a
boy, to behold and converse with one so illustrious
in English literature, he determined on introducing
himself to the great lexicographer in Bolt Court,
in the hope that his youth and inexperience might
plead his excuse. Accordingly, thither he pro-
ceeded, and after much hesitation, had actually
his hand on the knocker, when his heart failed
him, and he went away. The late Mr. D'Israeli
used to relate in conversation a similar anecdote.
Anxious to obtain the acquaintance and the coun-
tenance of so illustrious a name, and smitten with
the literary enthusiasm of youth, he enclosed some
verses of his own composition to Doctor Johnson,
and in a modest appeal solicited the opinion of the
great critic as to their merits. Having waited for



282 LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES.

some time without receiving any acknowledgment
of his communication, he proceeded to Bolt Court,
where he laid his hand upon the knocker of the
doctor's door, with the same feelings of shyness
and hesitation which had influenced his youthful
contemporary, Mr. Rogers. His feelings may be
readily imagined when, on making the necessary
inquiries of the servant who opened the door, he
was informed that, only a few hours before, the
great lexicographer had breathed his last.

These incidents not only throw an additional
interest over Bolt Court, but also prove how extra-
ordinary was the reputation enjoyed by Doctor John-
son in his lifetime. Moreover, they were probably
far from having been the only instances of similar
literary pilgrimages being paid to Bolt Court. For
instance, the late Mrs. Rose, to whose reminiscences
of Doctor Johnson, Cowper, and Hayley, the author
has often listened with delight, supplied Mr. Croker
with the following anecdote to illustrate his edition
of " Boswell's Life of Johnson."

" It was near the close of his life, that two
young ladies, who were warm admirers of his
works, but had never seen himself, went to Bolt
Court, and, asking if he was at home, were shown
up-stairs, where he was writing. He laid down
his pen on their entrance, and as they stood before
him, one of the females repeated a speech of some
length, previously prepared for the occasion. It
was an enthusiastic effusion, to which, when the



LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES. 283

speaker had finished, she panted for her idol's
reply. What was her mortification, when all he
said was, Fiddle-de-dee, my dear ! ' ' The house
in Bolt Court, in which Johnson lived and died, is
unfortunately no longer standing.

In Bolt Court, in November, 1776, died James
Fergusson, the eminent mechanist and astronomer,
and here at one time resided the political writer,
William Cobbett.

Running parallel with Bolt Court, within a short
distance of Shoe Lane, is Wine-office Court, an-
other spot rendered interesting from its connec-
tion with the genius and the misfortunes of Oliver
Goldsmith. Here he appears to have resided from
1760 to 1762, during which period he earned a
precarious livelihood by writing for the booksellers.
It was while he was residing in Wine-office Court
that Goldsmith formed the acquaintance of Doctor
Johnson ; and here, apparently, the famous scene
took place, in which the unfortunate poet, having
sent for Johnson to assist him in his difficulties,
placed the MS. of the " Vicar of Wakefield " in
his hands, as the only hope he had of obtaining
pecuniary relief. " I received," said Johnson, " one
morning, a message from poor Goldsmith that he
was in great distress, and, as it was not in his
power to come to me, begging that I would come
to him as soon as possible. I sent him a guinea,
and promised to come to him directly. I accord-
ingly went as soon as I was dressed, and found



284 LONDON AND ITS CELEBRITIES.

that his landlady had arrested him for his rent, at
which he was in a violent passion. I perceived
that he had already changed my guinea, and had
got a bottle of Madeira and a glass before him. I
put the cork into the bottle, desired he would be
calm, and began to talk to him of the means by
which he might be extricated. He then told me
that he had a novel ready for the press, which he
produced to me. I looked into it, and saw its
merit ; told the landlady I should soon return ; and,
having gone to a bookseller, sold it for sixty
pounds. I brought Goldsmith the money, and he
discharged his rent, not without rating his land-
lady in a high tone for having used him so ill.''
From Wine-office Court, Goldsmith removed to
the house of a Mrs. Elizabeth Fleming, at Isling-
ton, where he continued to reside till 1764.

Opposite to Shoe Lane, which runs from Fleet
Street into Holborn, stood one of those noble
conduits for which the city of London was an-
ciently famous. It appears to have been originally
completed in 1471, but was rebuilt with a larger
cistern in 1589. On the occasion of Queen Anne
Boleyn proceeding in state from the Tower to her
coronation at Westminster, the neighbourhood of
the Conduit in Fleet Street must have presented
a striking scene. Here, we are told, stood a tower
having four turrets, on each of which stood a
child, representing a cardinal virtue, who, on the
procession halting, in turn addressed the royal



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