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244 THE LETTERS OF

Ward the present Lord Mayor of London is the
Alderman.

But this is anticipating. Let us give the original
document confirming the union : —

Henrie, King of England, to Richard, Bishop of
London, to the sheriffs and Provost, and to all his
Barons and faithful people, French and English, of
London and Middlesex greeting. Know ye that we
have granted and confirmed to the Church and
Canons of the Holy Trinitie of London, the Soke of
the English Cnichten Guilde, and the land which
pertaineth thereto ; and the Church of St. Buttolph,
as the men of the same guilde have given and granted
unto them.

But the charter was not relished by the authorities
of the Tower of London, and there was a good deal
of bitterness before the arrangement was acquiesced
in. It was, however, accepted in the long run, and
the " Cnichten Guild " was swallowed up in the Priory
of Holy Trinity. The latter was destroyed by fire in
1 1 32, but was immediately rebuilt. The records are
very curious, as, for instance, the evident collusion
between the religious and the secular aspects of
the Ward of Portsoken.

" The prior," says Stow, " sat and rode with the
other Aldermen of London, in living like unto these,
save that his habit was in shape, like as of a spiritual



PETER LOMBARD 245

person." All through the middle ages the Priory
flourished. Then came the downfall under Henry
VIII. The rich Priory, at the dissolution, became
part of the Parish of St. Botolph, Aldgate. The
material part was given by the King to Sir Thomas
Audley, afterwards Lord Chancellor. It kindles one's
disgust and horror to read how the great church was
pulled down, the workmen throwing it down stone by
stone, beginning at the top ; whereby the most part
of them were broken, and few remained whole ; and
then were sold very cheap for all the buildings then
made about the city were of brick and timber.
Any man, the record goes on to say, could have a
cartload of stone for sixpence, or brought to his own
door for sevenpence, carriage included. Many a
noble monument perished, including some with royal
names, and that of Fitz Alwine, Lord Mayor in 12 13.

Blanche, Queen of Navarre, wife of Edward, Earl
of Lancaster, founded the nunnery of St. Clare in
1293. The nuns were known as the " Sorores Minores."
And from them the thoroughfare known as the
Minories takes its name. In 1515, twenty-seven of
these nuns died of the plague. At the dissolution
Henry granted the nunnery to John Clark, Bishop of
Bath and Wells, and sent him to the Duke of Cleves



246 THE LETTERS OF PETER LOMBARD

to arrange the divorce from Anne of Cleves comfort-
ably. The Bishop, it is said, was poisoned. Whether
or not, he came back to the Minories and died. The
church is still there, " Holy Trinity, Minories." But
it is doomed, and will eventually be incorporated with
St. Botolph's.



1902

May i^rd.

The Coronation. — I fear every reader's heart will
sink within him at the heading, for " Coronation "
meets one at every turn, and I have nothing new to
say about it, but take the route by which their
Majesties will go to the Abbey. They will start from
Buckingham Palace, so let me do likewise. In the
days of the early Stuarts, there was a great
movement to settle the silk manufacture in
England, as the Huguenot workers in it had been
expelled from France. I well remember a great grove
of mulberry trees in the Fulham Road, where Elm
Park is now ; they had been planted for the cultivation
of silk worms. And it was with this object in view
that King James I. in 1609 "embanked a piece of
ground for planting of mulberry trees near his Palace
of Westminster." It was about the same time, let us
note, that Shakespeare planted his mulberry tree at
Stratford-on-Avon. King James's trees flourished,



248 THE LETTERS OF

and Charles I. gave the custody of them, and of the
house attached to them, to his friend Lord Aston for
two lives. The place was then known as the
" Mulberry Garden." In the time of the Common-
wealth, Speaker Lenthall lived in the house, and the
garden became a place of public entertainment.

Cromwell was at this time living at Spring
Gardens, and giving rather jolly parties, according to
Carlyle ; and whereas the London Upper Ten had
previously used this last for their fashionable resort,
they went off now to Mulberry Gardens, of which
Evelyn speaks in a tone half piqued and half amused.
Pepys says, " it is a very silly place."

After the Restoration it reverted to the Crown, and
was conferred on Bennett, Earl of Arlington, at a rent
of £i a year. Evelyn says that the house was ill-
built, but capable of being made very pretty. In 1674,
it was burnt down while Arlington was at Bath, and
the Mulberry Garden was closed. John Dryden had
been fond of going there to eat tarts, and it was a
favourite place with the dramatists of those days.

Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham, whose sumptuous
monument is on the north side of Henry Vllth's
chapel in the Abbey took a lease, in 1703, of the
place to expire in seventy-two years.



PETER LOMBARD 249

He gave £13,000 for it, and employed a Captain
Wynne to build him a new house, and this was called
after him Buckingham House. Here is his own
account of it. " The Avenues to this house are along
St James's Park, through rows of goodly elms on one
hand, and gay flourishing limes on the other ; that
for coaches, this for walking ; with the Mall lying
between them.

"This reaches to my iron pallisade, that encom-
passes a square court, which has in the midst a great
basin, with statues and water works, and from its en-
trance rises, all the way imperceptibly, till we mount
to a terrace in front of a large hall, paved with square
white stones mixed with a dark coloured marble.
Out of this we go into a parlour 33 ft. by 39 ft, with
a niche 15 ft. broad for a buffet, placed within an arch.
. . . Under the windows is a little wilderness, full of
blackbirds, and nightingales."

The Duke of Buckingham died in 1721, leaving his
house to his widow, " upon the express condition that
she does not marry again." She was the illegitimate
daughter of James II. and Catherine Sedley. In 1723
the Prince of Wales (afterwards George II) wanted
to buy it of her, but she asked too much money for it,
£60,000, and the purchase did not come off. On her



250 THE LETTERS OF

death, it went to the Duke's natural son, Sir Charles
Sheffield, and he sold it to George III., who settled it
on Queen Charlotte. Here it was, in the Library, that
the King had his interview with Dr. Johnson, which all
readers of the old philosopher's life will remember.
Here all his children were born, except George IV.,
who was born at St. James's. Such was old
Buckingham House ; under George IV. it became
Buckingham Palace. He employed John Nash to
enlarge it, but did not live to see it finished. It was
completed in the reign of William IV., but he disliked
the place, and never lived there. Queen Victoria
entered into possession of it on July 13, 1837.

Then Blore built the present East Front, and
the Marble Arch, which George IV. had placed before
it in utterly unmeaning fashion, was carried up to its
present site on the top of Hyde Park in 1850.
Another curious change was made by the late Queen
and Prince Albert. The grounds of the old Mulberry
Gardens were very pretty, and in their early days the
royal pair were very fond of them, and there were
pleasant nooks and trees and a richly ornamented
summer-house by the lakeside. But the owners of the
houses in Buckingham Palace Road raised their
houses to a prodigious height, which gave the upper
windows command of a view of the Royal Gardens.



PETER LOMBARD 251

Thereupon an immense mound of earth was run
up by the royal occupants, and planted with trees,
as may be seen by anybody who passes along the
road.

George III.'s Library was presented by George IV.
to the nation, and is known to all visitors to the
British Museum as the King's Library. During the
Great Exhibition of 1 851 the public were admitted
to see the Palace by tickets ; I went through it then ;
there are some very fine pictures there, but I don't
remember much about them.

Starting then from this Palace, the Royal Procession
will emerge into the Mall, which I postpone for the
present, and on the left, will pass St. James's Palace.
This was one of the religious houses suppressed by
Henry VIII. It had been a hospital dedicated to St.
James for the maintenance and nursing of poor leprous
women. The King took it for a royal residence, closed
the neighbourhood round with a brick wall, and
called it St. James's Park. A story is told, but I can-
not vouch for it, that Queen Charlotte viewing it from
Buckingham Palace, wished to reclaim it for exclusive
royal use, and asked her prime minister what it would
cost to do so. " Only a crown, madam," was the reply.

Of King Henry's work, the royal gateway still



252 THE LETTERS OF

remains. In this palace, the first Queen Mary died on
the 17th of November, 1558. So did Henry, Prince
of Wales, elder brother of Charles I., November
6th, 161 2, " taken from the evil to come." It was here
that Charles I., received his Communion, from the
hands of Bishop Juxon, Jan. 30th, 1649, previous to
his walk to his death at Whitehall. It is said that as
he walked along, guarded by the soldiery, he pointed
to a tree and said to the Bishop by his side, " My
brother Henry planted that tree." Here, too, Charles
II. was born, scwas the son of James II., James "the
old Pretender " as he was called. The story that he
was conveyed into the bedroom in a warming pan is
perfectly well known to be a lie, but it was a lie which
had vitality enough to fix the name Pretender on the
King's lawful son. Poor little fellow, who does not
remember the pathetic story of his mother, Mary of
Modena, screening him from the cold, under the arch-
way of Morton's tower, at Lambeth, on that wet
November night in 1688?

It is very sad to have to note that Queen Anne,
when a princess, encouraged the foul slander about
her little brother. William III. took up his residence
here after the Revolution. But he hated London, and
declared that owing to his asthma he could not live in
it, and so insisted on Parliament buying Kensington



PETER LOMBARD 253

as a royal residence. As for the first two Georges,
and the vile lives they led, we may drop the veil.
There is, however, a dash of comedy in one instance.
George I. kept two mistresses at St. James's at the
same time, one German, one English. Whilst he
was away at Hanover, the English creature ordered a
wall to be broken out of her room into the Palace
Garden. The King's grand-daughter, who was
dwelling there, resented this order as a liberty, and
commanded the broken wall to be restored. The
breaker reversed this command, and so they went on
day after day, and puzzling work it must have been
for the bricklayers.

It was settled by the news that the King had died
suddenly, and the dominion of the parvenue was at an
end.

I have an old map of St. James's Park, as it was
early in the 18th century. It comprises nearly sixty
acres, and, as I have said, was enclosed by Henry VIII.
It was Charles II. who gave it much of its present
beauty, and he was constantly seen there playing
with his dogs. I once, when the park was almost
empty, met Disraeli there, evidently deeply in
thought, and unconscious of everything about him,
but accompanied by an enormous mastiff. George IV.



254 THE LETTERS OF

did much in the way of ornament. Milton's old house
on the south side, which I remember well fifty years
ago (it was afterwards inhabited by Jeremy Bentham)'
has quite gone, and the great buildings round Queen
Anne's Mansions occupy the site. Judge Jeffreys
lived close to where the S.P.G. House now is, and in
the days of his unpopularity, in order to avoid the
crowd, he used to slip down a flight of stone steps
into the Park.

The steps are there still. He lies buried in the
city, in the Church of St. Mary Aldermanbury.
On the upper side of the parade ground, towards
the Duke of York's steps, Cromwell walked
with Whitlocke and asked his advice whether he
should take upon him the title of King, and got,
according to Whitlocke's account, a most discourag-
ing answer.

June 13///.

Let us resume our walk over the ground of the
Coronation procession. We started last time from
Buckingham Palace, and got as far as St James's
Palace. We next go by Marlborough House. The
name at once carries us back to the days of Queen
Anne, her famous General, and his hardly less famous
wife. John Churchill's sister was the mistress of



PETER LOMBARD 255

James, Duke of York, afterwards king. That con-
nexion and his handsome presence gave him a start
which he would not otherwise have got. But having
got it, he knew how to use it, and turned his splendid
military genius into account. He married a pretty
girl, Sarah Jennings, who was attached to the suite
of Mary of Modena, because he was passionately
enamoured of her, though he knew that his prospects
were thereby endangered. And passionately he
loved her all his life. The only objects he seems ever
to have cared for in his heart were his wife and riches.
He defended King James's cause at Sedgemoor, but
failed to win his confidence because he would not
turn Papist, and then in disgust joined in the plot
against him. Then he plotted against King William
in favour of Anne, and had to leave England, until
the dying King, recognising his great ability, fetched
him back. So he once more came to the front under
Queen Anne, and the poor foolish Queen was
completely dominated by Marlborough through his
wife, who was " Mrs. Freeman " in her intimacy with
the Queen, the latter being " Mrs. Morley." There
are few chapters of English history to me more tire-
some than all that feminine domination, and the
intrigues of Harley against Marlborough, carried on
through a new feminine favourite, whom he managed



256 THE LETTERS OF

to thrust in, Abigail Hill. If I mistake not, the rude
designation of old ladies as " Old Tabbies " is derived
from the popular dislike in those days of Abigail Hill,
just as a hangman is still called " Jack Ketch,"
because that was the name of the fellow who hanged
such a multitude of poor wretches in the " Bloody
Assize " after the battle of Sedgemoor.

Well, " Mrs. Freeman," alias Sarah, Duchess of
Marlborough, coaxed Queen Anne, after the death of
Queen Catharine, widow of Charles II., to make over
to her the house in which that Queen had lived. The
old Duchess afterwards declared bitterly that she had
had to pay too much for it, no less than ;£ 10,000.
The Duke then employed Wren to design a new
house for him, and so arose Marlborough House.
The walls were decorated by the French artist
Laguerre with pictures of the Duke's victories. They
covered 500 square yards. The Duke died at the
Lodge in Windsor Great Park in 1722, but lay in
state at Marlborough House before he was tempo-
rarily buried in the Abbey. His bones now lie at
Blenheim. The old Duchess spent the rest of her life
in a series of furious quarrels, and published her auto-
biography in 1742. There is plenty of romance about
it all, but it leaves a most disagreeable impression
when you have finished it. Congreve, the clever but



PETER LOMBARD 257

licentious playvvriter, left her his money, and she in
acknowledgment set up the monument to him in the
south aisle of Westminster Abbey. He died of the
gout, and the old Duchess after his death had an
image of him made, and used to foment its legs with
warm water.

Marlborough House reverted to the Crown in 1817,
and was allotted to the Princess Charlotte and Prince
Leopold. But the hapless Princess never inhabited
it. She died at Claremont on the 6th of November
that year, but her widowed husband lived here for a
long time. The next tenant was Queen Adelaide,
and on her death in 1849 it was lent to the Govern-
ment School of Design, the forerunner of the South
Kensington Museum. The Vernon and Turner pic-
tures were placed in it, and it remained open to the
public till 1859. Then it was put in order for the
Prince of Wales, and he inhabited it until his
accession to the throne.

We pass on down the Mall, and a little care is
needed to make certain distinctions clear. Pall Mall,
as all Londoners know, runs parallel with the Mall,
and is a street with handsome clubs and fine houses,
whereas the Mall is a broad gravel walk among trees

S



258 THE LETTERS OF

along the north side of St. James's Park. In the
days of James I. there was a game introduced into
England, something like croquet. " A paille malle,"
says a writer of 1621, "is a wooden hammer set
to the end of a long staff to strike a bowl with."
And it had to be knocked through an iron arch
at each end of an alley, the winner being he who
could do it in fewest strokes. This game was played
on ground among some apple-trees where now is St.
James's-square. This ground seems to have been
leased by the Crown, to which it belonged, to a specu-
lator, and the game became very fashionable among
the courtiers. After the Restoration Charles II. had a
ground made for himself in what we call the Mall, in
St. James's Park, and thus the two names are
accounted for. An attempt was made to supersede
the name, Pall Mall, for the first spot, and to call the
street Catharine-street, in honour of Charles II.'s
Queen, but it came to nothing. The street which
had now grown up was, and still remains, Pall Mall.
It sounds like a pun to speak of the clubs in Pall Mall
in connexion with the wooden mallets. But it is a
curious coincidence that perhaps the earliest use of
the word in its present signification is in Pepys's Diary,
who writes that " Wood's House in Pall Mall is our
house for clubbing." Perhaps I had better not



PETER LOMBARD 259

anticipate our return through Pall Mall now, but
pass on.

The " Duke of York's steps " lead up to the site of
Carlton House, a place well enough known a century
ago. It was built by Henry Boyle, Baron Carleton,
in 1709 on ground leased to him for 31 years by
Queen Anne. This explains the name. The house
stood between the site of the York Column and the
foot of Regent-street, and had one front to the street
and another to the Park. The remainder of the
lease was sold to Frederick, Prince of Wales, father
of George III. He used it only for purposes of cere-
mony, balls, and receptions. His usual dwelling
place, it will be remembered, was in Leicester-square.
His widow, however, dwelt in Carlton House until
her death in 1772. The Prince of Wales, afterwards
George IV., began to reside in it in 1783, and here he
began his wretched, most wretched, married life. A
very clever account of the royal doings on the un-
objectionable side will be found in Lever's novel
Charles (JMalley. Here the Princess Charlotte was
born in 1796, and was married "in the Great Crimson
room, Carlton House," May 2, 18 16. It was pulled
down in 1826, and portions of it are now built into
the National Gallery.

S 2



260 THE LETTERS OF

It will be seen that all this row of houses and build-
ings, which will be on the King's left as he goes to the
Coronation along the Mall, were Crown property.
There is one other locality which claims mention — to
wit, Spring Gardens. They once were gardens,
reaching from Carlton House to Whitehall, and
contained a bowling green, archery butts, and a
bathing pond. The spring was a jet of water, which,
when you trod on it inadvertently, sprang up and
squirted all over you. There was also an aviary,
chiefly stocked with pheasants, and a gallery from
which spectators beheld the tilting which went on
down in the great enclosure. These surprise jets were
not uncommon in gentlemen's parks in olden times.
There used to be a " tree " at Chatsworth made of
leaden pipes, and if you inadvertently went under it,
every bough was capable of dropping water on you.
It may, for aught I know, be there still. After the
Restoration, the land, being much sought after, was
built upon, and the entertainments, being thus
curtailed, were removed to Vauxhall, which at first was
known as "the New Spring Gardens." The new
houses which were built on the spot became favourite
residences of literary men and artists. It has now
been almost swallowed up in Government offices.
When the Royal Academy was established in 1768,



PETER LOMBARD 261

the " Society of Artists " set up something of a rival
in Spring Gardens. I once, fifty years ago this very
year in which I write, went into a curious old public-
house with a Westminster man well known in his time,
who knew more of the local history than any man in
England, Edward Draper of Vincent-square. He took
me into the room where the Society of Artists held its
first exhibition, and showed me a picture still preserved
there, which he assured me was by Hogarth. I went
one day, not long ago, to try to find the old house,
but did not succeed. I think it must have been
pulled down. Certainly the change between what I
remember it, and what it is to-day, is more than can
be imagined. But I must leave off now. Whitehall
calls for a number to itself.

June 20th.
Now I must go back to my Coronation Procession.
Whitehall, there is no need to say, is a place of vast
historical interest. I have before me, my friend Mr.
Edgar Sheppard's history, just published, and if the
reader can get an opportunity he should read it right
through. The place as far as can be traced back,
belonged to the famous Hubert de Burgh, Earl of
Kent, who built a fine mansion here in the reign of
Henry III. Then it became the property of the Black
Friars (Dominican), but whether he gave it or sold it



262 THE LETTERS OF

to them is uncertain. He died in 1242; in 1248 the
Friars sold it to the Archbishop of York, and for nearly
three centuries it was the London residence of the
northern Primate, and was called York House. It
was such a noble residence, that Royalty not unfre-
quently resided in it, and sometimes it was the meeting
place of Parliament.

When Cardinal Wolsey added the Archbishopric of
York to the great number of preferments which he had
secured to himself, he greatly enlarged and beautified
the house ; so much so that Charles Knight says, " it
was distingushed by a sumptuous magnificence that
most probably has never been equalled in the house of
any other English subject, or surpassed in the palaces
of many of its kings."

However, Wolsey, as we know, fell in 1529; and
Henry VIII. seized York House, and it was annexed to
the ancient Palace of Westminster. This was a con-
venient arrangement, for the old Palace, on the site of
the present Houses of Parliament which had been the
Royal abode from Anglo-Saxon times, was now fallen
into utter decay. A few years passed, and King
Henry took up his residence at Whitehall and it
continued to be a Royal residence until a great fire
destroyed it 160 years later.



PETER LOMBARD 263

Now it requires a very strong effort of the imagina-
tion to realise what Whitehall was like in those days.
And first let the reader remember that the fine
building in Parliament Street which we call Whitehall
had no existence then. The old palace fronted the
river, all the way from Scotland Yard, to the present
house of the Duke of Buccleuch. Needless to add, there
was no Thames Embankment ; the river came up to
the front of the Palace.

Just the same ground is now covered by the
handsome pile which we call Whitehall Court. In the
very middle, facing the river, were the King's private
apartments.

On the east side was the chapel, the altar being
exactly at the north corner of the present police
headquarters.

On the other side was the private garden, reaching
right away half across what is now Parliament Street.

It was laid out in fine squares, with a sun-dial in
the middle. Every bit of the House of the Charity
Commission lies within the area of that garden.
South of the private garden was the bowling green,
taking in the present Richmond Terrace.

Opposite, across the road, was another group of
buildings reaching from our Downing Street to the
Horse Guards. That block contained houses of



264 THE LETTERS OF

several courtiers, as well as the Tennis Court and the
Cockpit. It will thus be understood that between
these buildings and the Privy Garden, there ran as
now a street, but it was not half the width of the
present Parliament Street ; on the garden side was a
wall, like that between Buckingham Palace-Gardens


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