INNS OF OLD LONDON.
OF Olden inns, up gateways, and consisting of rooms for
refection below, and long projecting balustraded galleries above, leading to the
chambers-time and change have spared a few interesting specimens.
Angel, Islington (actually in St. James's, Clerkenwell), once a busy resort of travellers on the Great North Road; is reputed to have been established upwards of 200 years: it was rebuilt in 1819. The old inn-yard was nearly quadrangular, with double galleries, supported by plain columns, and pilasters carved with caryatid and other figures. (See Pugin's Views in Islington and Pentonville, 1819.) A coloured drawing of this old inn-yard is preserved here. The Peacock, another inn hard by, was of equal if not greater antiquity.
Angel, St. Clement's, Strand, retained to the last its gables and portions of covered galleries, with an old lattice-fronted attic passage. Data of three centuries since also attest its antiquity: Bishop Hooper, the venerated martyr of the Reformation, upon his second committal to the Fleet Prison in 1553, refusing to recant his opinions, was condemned to be burnt, in January, 1555. it was expected that he would have accompanied Rogers, a prebendary of St. Paul's, to the stake; but Hooper was led back to his cell, to be carried down to Gloucester, to suffer among his own people. Next morning he was roused at four o'clock, and being committed to the care of six of Queen Mary's Guard, they took him, before it was light, to the Angel Inn, St. Clement's, then standing in the fields; and thence he was taken to Gloucester, and there burnt with dreadful torments on the 9th of February.
In the Public Advertiser, March 28, 1769, is the following advertisement:-
"To be sold, a Black Girl, the property of J. B-, eleven years of age, who is extremely handy, works at her needle tolerably, and speaks English perfectly well; is of an excellent temper and willing disposition. Inquire of Mr. Owen, at the Angel Inn, behind St. Clement's Church, in the Strand."
The Angel inn has been taken down; and upon its site is built
the cul-de-sac of Chambers called "Danes' Inn."
Ape, Philip-lane, London Wall: here were formerly two galleried inns, the Ape and the Cock, of great antiquity: the sign of the former is preserved on the house No. 14.
Baptist's Head public-house, east side of St. John's-lane, Clerkenwell, just without the Priory-gate, is a fragment of an Elizabethan mansion, and until its renovation had an overhanging front grotesquely carved, and lit by large bay windows, with painted glass : some of the interior scroll-panelling remains. This house was the residence of Sir Thomas Forster, Knt., one of the judges of the Court of Common Pleas; he died in 1612, and his arms sculptured upon the chimney-piece of the present tap-room, have been collated in Cromwell's Clerkenwell. The sign may have been chosen in compliment to Sir Baptist Hicks; and the public-house is said to have been frequented by Samuel Johnson and Oliver Goldsmith in connexion with their transactions at Cave's printing-office over St. John's Gate.
Bell, Great Carter-lane, Doctors' Commons: hence, Oct. 25, 1598, Richard Quiney addressed to his "loveing good ffrend and countryman, Mr. Wm. Schackespere" (then living in Southwark, near the Bear-garden), for a loan of thirty pounds; which letter we have seen in the possession of Mr. R.. Bell Wheler, at Stratford-upon-Avon : it is believed to be the only existing letter addressed to Shakspeare. The Bell inn has disappeared, but has given name to Bell-yard.
Bell, Warwick-lane, Newgate-street: here Archbishop Leighton, the steady advocate of peace and forbearance, died 1684; little of the old inn remains.
"He often used to say, that if he were to choose a place to die in, it should bean inn; it looking like a pilgrim's going home, to whom this world was all an inn, and who was weary of the noise and confusion in it And he obtained what he desired" -Burnet's Own Times.
Bell Savage, or Belle Sauvage, Ludgate-hill, is a specimen of the players' inn-yard before our regular theatres were built. The landlord's token, issued between 1648 and 1672, bears an Indian woman holding a bow and arrow. The sign is thus traced:
"As for the Bell Savage, which is the sign of a savage man standing by a bell, I was formerly very much puzzled upon the conceit of it, till I accidentally fell into the reading of an old romance translated out of the French, which gives an account 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." -Spectator-, No. 28.
The sign, however, was originally a bell hung within a hoop, as proved by a grant temp. Henry VI., wherein John French gives to Joan French, widow, his mother,-, "all that tenement or inn called Savage's Inn, otherwise called the Bell on the Hoop." In the London Gazette, 1676, it is termed "an antient inn." Stow affirms it to have been given to the Cutlers' Company by one Isabella Savage: but their records state by Mrs. Craythorne. (See CUTLERS' HALL, p. 414.) Here Sir Thomas Wyat's rebellion was stopped.
"And he (Wyet) himself came in at Te(mple Bar, and) soo down alle Flet-strete, and soo un-to the Belle Savage. And then was his trayne (attacked at) the commandment of the erle of Pembroke, and sartayne of hys men slayne. And whan (he saw) that Ludgatte was shutt agayne hym, he departed saynge, 'I have kepte towche,' and soo went (back) agayne; and by the Tempulle barre he was tane, and soo brought by watter unto the (Tower) of London." -Chronicle of the Grey Friars of London.
Fuller, in his Church History, states that after Wyat's adherents had forsaken him, he flung himself on a bench opposite the Bell Savage, and began to repent the rashness of his enterprise, and lament his folly. He was summoned by an herald to submit, which ho agreed to do, but would yield only to a gentleman ;-and afterwards surrendered to Sir Maurice Berkeley.
In Bell Savage-yard lived Grinling Gibbons, "where he carved a pot of flowers which shook surprisingly with the motion of the coaches that passed by." - Walpole.
This was one of the inns at which Bankes exhibited his wonderful horse, Marocco, whose accomplishment was dancing. One of his exploits was going up to the top of St. Paul's Church. The horse is first mentioned about 1590. He was exhibited not only in England but abroad, where it became suspected that the horse was a demon, and his exhibitor was a sorcerer; and both were burnt at Rome by the Inquisition. There is an extremely rare tract, Maroccus Extaticus: or, Bankes's Bay Horse in a Trance, 1595, a fine copy of which at Mr. Daniel's Canonbury sale, in 1864, fetched 81l.
The old inn has been taken down, and upon its site and that of the inn-yard have been erected the extensive printing works of Cassell, Petter, and Galpin. An old house, bearing the crest of the Cutlers' Company, cut in stone, remains.
Blossoms, Lawrence-lane, Cheapside,
"corruptly Bosoms Inn, hath to sign ' St. Laurence the Deacon,' in a border
of blossoms or flowers," which, says time legend, sprung up "on the
spot of his cruel martyrdom." This was one of the inns hired for the
retinue of Charles V. on his visit to London in 1522, when "xx. beddes and
a stable for ix. horses" were ordered here.
Bolt -in-Tun, Fleet-street, No. 64, in a grant to the White Friars in 1443, is termed "Hospitium vocatum Le Boltenton." In Whitefriars-street, No. 10 is the Black Lion, a small inn-yard with exterior wooden balustraded gallery, &c. Among the lands and tenements in St. Dunstan's occur the Bore's Hede, rented at 4l.; le Bolte and Tonne, 4l.; and le Blake Swanne, 4l. all in Fleet-street.
Bull, Bishopsgate, in its galleried yard, accommodated audiences for our early actors, before the building of licensed theatres. Richard Tarlton frequently played here.
Bull and Mouth, St. Martin's-le-Grand, and the Bull and Gate, Holborn, had probably the same origin, the Bullogne Gate, one of the Gates of Bullogne, designed, perhaps, as a compliment to Henry VIII., who took that place in 1544. This G. A. Steevens learned from the title-page of an old play. Tom Jones, it will be recollected, alighted at the Bull and Gate, Holborn, when he first came to London. Strype tells us that the Bull and Mouth was the great resort of those who bring bone-lace for sale; and the house was much frequented by the Quakers before the Great Fire. This continued to be a great coach-office to all parts of England and Scotland, until the railways rose up. About this time the house was rebuilt in handsome style by Mr. Sherman: in the centre between the second-floor windows is a sculptured group of great absurdity: a Bull, and beneath it, a gigantic open mouth;* [ * This is referred by some to the story of Milo, who, after killing a bullock with a blow of his fist, ate it up in a meal!] above is a bust of Edward VI., the founder of Christ's Hospital, to which foundation the site belongs.
Clerkenwell. In St. John-street is the Cross Keys, where the carrier of Daintree lodged in 1637; Hatton mentions the Three Cups, near Hicks's Hall. Here also are the Golden Lion and the Windmill; and in Woodbridge-street was the Red Bull inn, the yard once the pit of the Red Bull Theatre. (See CLERKENWELL, p. 236.)
Coach and Horses, at the entrance to Bartholomew Close, is a portion of the ancient priory, probably the hospitium, at the end of the north cloister: the first floor has an arched roof and l6th-century cornice; the tap-room has an Early-English window: and the beer-cellar, a crypt, has a 12th-century clustered column. Of St. Bartholomew's, also, exist the prior's house, and the hall, with an ancient timbered roof, now used as a tobacco-manufactory. Close by is the monastery kitchen, from which a subterranean passage, in our time, communicated with the church: it has two panelled rooms, one with a vaulted roof and carved mantel-piece. (See Archer's Vestiges of Old London, part v.)
Cock, in Tothill-street, was probably the most ancient domestic edifice in Westminster: it was built entirely of timber, and at the back was a long inn-yard, with heavy timber sheds. The upper part of the house consisted of one story, in which were several rooms on different levels, one of which remained in its orig inal state, a curious specimen of an early timbered room, being entirely of chestnut-wood. The exterior was very picturesque, although plastered and painted. The house was entered by a descent of three steps: in the parlour was a massive oak carving of the Adoration of the Magi, of Flemish work, well executed and painted to the life. Another piece of carved work, more in the High German manner, an alto-relievo of Abraham offering up Isaac, was preserved in an adjoining room. The Cock is said to have been frequented by the builders of Henry VII.'s Chapel; and there is a further tradition that here was the pay-table of the workmen at the building of the Abbey, temp. Henry III. In 1845, Mr. Archer found in the kitchen the old sign of the Royal Arms, which, with the Flemish carving and ancient bedchamber, are engraved in the Vestiges of Old London, part vi. From this house started the first Oxford coach; and a portrait of its original driver was shown here. The old house has some time disappeared.
Cross Keys, Gracechurch-street, was one of the old galleried inns at which Bankes exhibited the extraordinary feats of his horse Marocco; the better class of spectators being in the galleries. Richard Tarlton, the clown, kept a tavern here. He was chosen scavenger, "and often the ward complained of his slacknesse in keeping the streets cleane." The first stage-coach travelling between Clapham and Gracechurch-street once daily, was established in the year 1690, by John Day and John Bundy. The Cross Keys, Wood-street, Cheapside, was taken down in 1865: this sign, and that in Gracechurch-street, taken down in 1866, were derived from adjoining churches being dedicated to St. Peter, whose emblem is two keys crossed.
Elephant and Castle, Newington Butts, was a noted stage-coach house until the railway times; and was originally a low-built roadside inn, with outer gallery, a drawing of which hangs in the present tavern. Adjoining was a large sectarian chapel, inscribed in gigantic capitals "THE HOUSE OF GOD!" held by the dupes of Joanna Southcott, whose dreams and visions were painted upon the walls. There is an odd notion that this Elephant and Castle sign was founded upon the finding of elephant bones near the inn site; but an elephant and castle is the crest of the Cutlers' Company.
Four Swans, Bishopsgate-street Without, is perhaps the most perfect old London inn, its galleries being entire. Hobson, the noted Cambridge carrier, put up here.
"This memorable man stands drawn in fresco at an inn (which he used) in Bishopsgate-street, within an hundred-pound bag under his arm, with this inscription upon the said bag:
'The fruitful mother of a hundred more.'" - - Spectator, No. 509.
George and Blue Boar, Holborn, was associated with a great event in our history: here is said to have been intercepted Charles I.'s letter, by which Ireton discovered it to be the King's intention to destroy him and Cromwell, which discovery brought about Charles's execution; but the story is disbelieved. Nearly opposite the George and Blue Boar was the Red Lion, the largest inn in Holborn; and where the bodies of Cromwell, Ireton, and Bradshawe were carried from Westminster Abbey, and next day dragged on sledges to Tyburn - a retributive coincidence worthy of note. In old St. Giles's Church was "a red lyon painted in glasse, given by the inneholder of time Red Lyon." (Aubrey.)
George, Snowhill, is a relic of the time when this hill was the only highway from Holborn-bridge eastward; the house appears to have been an extensive inn for carriers a t a very early date, and
"St. George that swing'd the dragon,
And sits on his horseback at mine hoste's door,"
though much dilapidated, is a good specimen of a carved sign-stone.
Gerard's Hall, Basing-lane and Bread-street, Cheapside, replaced the ancient Hall of the Gisors, the fine Norman crypt of which remained for a wine-cellar; but, with the superstructure, was removed in 1852, in forming New Cannon-street.
Giles's, St., was formerly noted for its large inns. (See ST. GILES'S, pp. 376-377.)
Green Man, on the site of the commencement of the present Osnaburg-street, was originally the Farthing Pye-house, kept by Price, the noted rolling-pin and saltbox player; here were sold bits of mutton, put into a crust, and shaped like a pie, for a farthing!
Half-way House, Kensington-road, opposite the site of the building for the Great Exhibition of 1851, and near the Prince of Wales's Gate, Hyde Park, was removed in 1846 at an expense of 3050l., in addition to the purchase of the fee.
Holborn Hill. The Rose has disappeared within our recollection: from this inn Taylor the Water-poet started in the Southampton coach for the Isle of Wight, 19th October, 1647, while Charles I. was there:
"We took one coach, two coachmen, and four horses,
And merrily from London made our courses,
We wheel'd the top of the heavy hill call'd Holborn,
(Up which hath been full many a sinful soul borne,)
And so along we jolted past St. Giles's,
Which place from Brentford six or seven miles is."
Taylor's Travels from London to the Isle of Wight, 1647.
The Old Bell, Holborn, bears the arms of Fowler, of Islington, viz., azure, on a chevron, argent, between three herons, as many crosses formée, gules. These arms also occur on a building supposed to have been the lodge of Fowler's house in Islington.
King's Arms, Leadenhall-street, No. 122: in the reign of William III., Sir John Fenwick and others met here to plan the restoration of James II.
Oxford Arms, situate at the end of narrow street out of the west side of Warwick-lane, and southward of Warwick-square and the old College of Physicians, has a red brick pedimented façade of the period of Charles II. surmounting a gateway leading into the inn-yard, which has on three of its sides two rows of wooden galleries, with exterior staircases leading to the chambers on each floor, the fourth side being occupied by stabling built against part of old London-wall. This house, known as the Oxford Arms before the Great Fire, must have been then consumed, but was rebuilt on the plan of the former inn. Time Oxford Arms was met, as supposed, part of the Earl of Warwick's house; as it belongs, and has belonged of old time, to the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's. The houses of the Canons Residentiary of St. Paul's adjoin the Oxford Arms on the south, and part of London Wall is still remaining in the court-yard of those houses. There is a door from the old inn leading into one of the back yards of the residentiary houses, which is said to have been found useful during the Riots of 1780, for facilitating the escape of Roman Catholics, who then frequented the Oxford Arms, from the fury of the mob, by enabling them to pass into the residentiary houses; for which reason, as is said, by a clause always inserted in the leases of the inn, that door is forbidden to be closed up. (Communication to the Builder.) The London Gazette, 1762-3, No. 762. has this advertisement:
"These are to give notice that Edward Bartlet, Oxford Carrier, hath removed his inn in London from the Swan at Holborn Bridge to the Oxford Arms in Warwick Lane, where he did Inn before the Fire. His coaches arid waggons going forth on their usual days, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. He hath also a Hearse with all things convenient to carry a corps to any part of England."
At the Oxford Arms, in Warwick-lane, lived John Roberts, the bookseller, from whose shop issued the majority of the squibs and libels on Pope.
Paul Pindar's Head, corner of Half-moon-alley, No. 160, Bishopsgate-street Without, was the mansion of Sir Paul Pindar, the wealthy merchant, contemporary with Sir Thomas Gresham. The house was built towards the end of the 16th century, with a wood-framed front and caryatid brackets, the principal window's bayed, and their lower fronts enriched with panels of carved work. In the first-floor front room is a fine original ceiling in stucco, in which are the arms of Sir Paul Pindar. In the rear of these premises, within a garden, was formerly a lodge, of corresponding date, decorated with four medallions of figures in Italian taste.
Piccadilly Inns. At time east end were formerly the Black Bear and White Bear (originally the Fleece), nearly opposite each other. The Black Bear was taken down in 1820. The White Bear occurs in St. Martin's parish-books in 1685: here Chatelain and Sullivan, the engravers, died; and Benjamin West, the painter, lodged the first night after his arrival from America. Strype mentions the White Horse Cellar in 1720; and the booking office of the New White Horse Cellar is to this day in "the cellar." The Three Kings stables' gateway, No. 75, had two Corinthian pilasters, stated by D'Israeli to have belonged to Clarendon House: "the stable-yard at the back presents the features of an old galleried inn-yard, and it is noted as the place from which General Palmer started the first Bath mail coach." (J. W. Archer: Vestiges, part vi.) The Hercules' Pillars (a sign which meant that no habitation was to be found beyond it) stood a few yards west of Hamilton-place, and is mentioned as one extremity of London by Wycherley, in 1676. Here Squire Western "placed his horses" when he arrived in London with the fair Sophia (see Tom Jones); here "the horses of many of the quality stood;" and it became the scene of fashionable dinner- parties of the officers of the army, often headed by the Marquis of Granby. The Hercules' Pillars, and another roadside inn, the Triumphant Car, were standing about 1797, and were mostly frequented by soldiers. Two other Piccadilly inns, the White Horse and Half-moon, have given names to streets.
Pied Bull, Church-row, Islington, traditionally the residence of Sir Walter Raleigh, and in the Elizabethan style, was taken down in 1826-7. The late front was modern; but the parlour (the original dining-room) had an elaborately-carved chimney-piece, with figures of Faith, Hope, and Charity; and a stuccoed ceiling, with personifications of the Five Senses. In a window were painted the arms of Sir John Miller, who lived there in 1634; and a bunch of green leaves above the shield was popularly regarded as the tobacco-plant introduced by Raleigh.
Queen's Head, Lower-street, Islington, was a still more perfect Elizabethan house than the above. The walls were strong timber framework, filled in within lath and plaster; the three stories projected, and the windows were supported by carved brackets; the entrance porch being ornamented by caryatides and Ionic scrolls. The interior had panelled wainscot, and stuccoed ceilings of rich design. The house has been rebuilt, and portions of the old woodwork are preserved.
Pindar of Wakefield, Gray's-inn-road, was a roadside inn in Aubrey's time, 1685, who mentions the yellow-flowered Neapolitan bank-cresses, the London rocket, growing there, as well as on the ruins of London, after the Great Fire.
Rose of Normandy, on the east side of High-street, Marylebone, built in the 17th century, was the oldest house in the parish, and had the original exterior, staircase, and balusters. In the rear was a bowling-green, enclosed with walls set with fruit-trees and quickset hedges, "indented like town-walls."
Saracen's Head, Snow-hill (actually in Skinner-street), and of old "without New gate," was in Stow's time "a fair and large inn for the receipt of travellers."
Saracen's Head, Friday-street, Cheapside, adjoined St. Matthew's Church, and No. 5, said to have been the dwelling-house of Sir Christopher Wren. The inn consisted of three floors with open galleried fronts, besides the ground-floor: it was taken down in 1844; and upon its site, extending nearly to Old Change, large Manchester warehouses were erected. There was also a Saracen's Head, No. 5, Aldgate: it was once a common London sign, which Selden thins illustrates:-
"When our countrymen came home from fighting with the Saracens, and were beaten by them, they pictured them with large, big, terrible faces (as you still see the sign of the Saracen's head is), when in truth they were like other men. But this they did to save their own credit." -Table Talk.
SOUTHWARK INNS. - Stow enumerates here "many fair inns for receipt of travellers, by these signs: the Spurr, Christopher, Bull, Queens's Head, Tabard, George, Hart, King's Head," &c. Of these the most ancient is the Tabard (now Talbot), No. 75, High- street, opposite the Town-hall site. Time tabard is a jacket or sleeveless coat, worn in times past by noblemen, with their arms embroidered on it, but now only by heralds, as their coat of arms in service. "This was the hostelry where Chaucer and the other pilgrims met together, and with Henry Bailly, their hoste, accorded about the manner of their journey to Canterbury." (Speght, 1598.)
"Befell that in that season, on a day
At Southwark at the Tabard as I lay,
Readie to wander on my Pilgrimage
To Canterburie with devout courage,
At night was come into that hostelrie
Well nine-and-twenty in a companie
Of sundrie folke, by adventure yfall
In fellowship, and pilgrimes were they all,
That toward Canterburie wouden ride:
The chambers and the stables weren wide,
And well we weren eased at the best," &c. Chaucer.
The Register of Hyde Abbey, and the Escheat Rolls of King Edward I., show the acquisition by the Abbey of Hyde of the Tabard and the Abbot's House, in Southwark, by purchase from William de Lategareshall, in 1304. Henry Bailly, Chaucer's host of the Tabard, is identified as one of the representatives of the borough of Southwark in Parliament, in the 50th of Edward III. and 2nd of Richard II.; and in the 4th of Richard II. "Henry Bayliff, ostyler, and Christian his wife, were assessed to the subsidy (in Southwark) at 2s." After the Dissolution of the monasteries, the Tabard and the Abbot's House were sold by King Henry VIII. to John Master and Thomas Master; and the particulars for the grant in the Augmentation Office afford descriptions of the hostelry called the Tabard, parcel of the possessions of the monastery of Hyde, and the Abbot's Place, with the stable and garden belonging thereto. The Tabard is mentioned to have been late in the occupation of one Robert Patty, but the Abbot's Place, with the garden and stable were reserved to the late Bishop Commendator, John Saltcote, alias Capon, who had been last abbot of Hyde, and who surrendered it to King Henry VIII.; and after being made Bishop of Bangor, in commendam with the Abbey of Hyde, subsequent to the Surrender of the abbey he was preferred to the see of Salisbury, in 1539, which he retained till his death in 1557. Upon time brestsummer beam of tine gateway facing the street was formerly inscribed: "This is the inne where Sir Jeffry Chaucer and the nine-and-twenty pilgrims lay in their journey to Canterbury, anno 1383." This was painted out in 1831: this was origin ally inscribed upon a beam across the road, whence swung the sign, removed in 1763, when the inscription was transferred to the gateway. The sign was changed about 1676, when, says Aubrey, "the ignorant landlord or tenant, instead of the ancient sign of the Tabard, put up the Talbot, or dog!" The buildings of Chaucer's time have disappeared, but were standing in 1602 : the oldest remaining is of the age of Elizabeth; and the most interesting portion is a stone-coloured wooden gallery, in front of which is a picture of the Canterbury Pilgrimage, said to have been painted by Blake: immediately behind is the Pilg rims' Room of tradition, but only a portion of the ancient hall. The gallery formerly extended throughout the inn buildings. The inn facing the street was burnt in the Great Fire of Southward: "this house," says Aubrey, "remaining before the fire of 1676, was an old timber house, probably coeval with Chaucer's time;" it is shown in the oldest view of the Tabard extant, in Urry's Chaucer, 1720, reproduced in The Mirror, vol. xxii. 1833. Mr. G. H. Corner, F.S.A., who has left us the fullest and best account of the ancient Inns of Southwark (see Collections of the Surrey Archaeological Society, vol. ii. part. ii.), was of opinion, from personal examination of the premises (at some risk), that there was nothing in the existing remains of the Tabard earlier than the Fire of 1676, after which was built the supposed "Pilgrims' Hall," the fireplaces in which are of this date. [The date of the Canterbury Pilgrimage is generally supposed to have been the year 1383. The MS., almost perfect, well written, and richly illuminated, was exhibited to the British Association, in 1865, by Archdeacon Moore, at Lichfield Cathedral.] Taylor the Water-poet mentions another Tabard inn, "neere the Conduit," in Gracechurch-street.
The George is described by Stow as existing in his time; and it is mentioned at an earlier period, viz., in 1554, 35th Henry VIII., by the name of the St. George, as being situate on the north side of the Tabard. In the seventeenth century, two tokens were issued from The George, which are in the Beaufoy collection at Guildhall, and described in Mr. Burn's ably compiled Catalogue. The first is a token of "Anthony Blake, Tapster, ye George in Southwarke;" and on the reverse are three tobacco-pipes; above them, four beer-measures. The other token is inscribed, "James Gunter 16 . . " ? - St. George and Dragon, in field. Reverse, "In Southwarke:" in the field, "L.A.G." Mr. Burn quotes some lines from the Musarum Deliciae, 1656, upon a surfeit by drinking bad sack at The George tavern in Southwark:
"Oh, would I might turne poet for an houre,
To satirize with a vindictive power
Against the drawer! or I could desire
Old Jonson's head had scalded in this fire:
how would he rage and bring Apollo down
To scold with Bacchus, and depose the clown
For his ill-government, and so confute
Our poet-apes, that do so much impute
Unto the grape's inspirement!"
In the year 1670 The George was, in great part, burnt and demolished by fire; and it was totally burnt down in the Great Fire of Southwark, in 1676. The following is from the Diary of the Rev. John Ward, written a few years later:-
"Gover and his Irish ruffians burnt Southwark, and had 1000 pounds for their pains, said the Narrative of Bedloe. Gifford, a Jesuit, had the management of the fire. The 26th of May, 1676, was the dismal fire of Southwark. The fire begunne at one Mr. Welsh, an oilman, near St. Margaret's Hill, betwixt the ' George' and 'Talbot' innes, as Bedloe in his Narration relates." -Diary of the Rev. John Ward, p. 155.
The Fire was stopped by the substantial building of St. Thomas's Hospital, then recently erected; and, in commemoration of the event, there was a tablet placed on the staircase, over the door of the hall or court-room, with an inscription. Although the present building of The George Inn is not older than the end of the seventeenth century, it seems to have been rebuilt, after the Fire, upon the old plan; and it still preserves the character of the ancient English inns, having open wooden galleries leading to the chambers on each side of the inn-yard.
The White Hart, the head-quarters of Jack Cade and his rebel rout in 1450 (and a dozen doors nearer London Bridge than the Tabard), has been demolished. The back part of this inn was burnt in 1699, and the remainder was destroyed in the great Fire in Southwark in 1676; it was rebuilt upon the plan of the older edifice, and is well engraved from a drawing by Mr. Fairholt, in the Archaeological Collections just quoted. Slnakspeare makes Cade say, "Hath my sword therefore broke through London gates, that you should leave me at the White Hart in Southwark". At the Hart lodged Jack Cade on his arrival in Southwark, July 1, 1450; "for," says Fabyan, "he might not be suffered to enter the Citie." Again, of Cade's rebels, " at the Wyht Harte in Southwarke one Hawaydine of Sent Martyns was beheddyd." (Chronicles of the Grey Friars of London.) Hatton (1708) describes the White Hart as "the largest size about London, except the Castle Tavern, in Fleet-street." Mr. Corner brought together some curious notices of this inn from the Paston Letters, vol. i. p. 61. The White Hart of our time is well described in the Pickwick Papers, by Charles Dickens.
Tine other Southwark inns named by Stow remain, except the Christopher; but they have mostly lost their galleries and other olden features. The King's Head sign was within our recollection a well-painted half-length of Henry VIII. The Catherine Wheel remains; but we miss the Dog and Bear, which sign, as well as Maypole-alley, hard by, points to olden sport and pastime.
The White Lion, formerly a prison for the county of Surrey, as well as an inn, i s mentioned in records in the reign of King Henry VIII., having belonged to the Priory of St. Mary Overey. It is also mentioned by Stow, and it continued to be the county prison till 1695. The rabble apprentices of the year 1640, as Laud relates in his Troubles, released the whole of the prisoners in The White Lion. It has been supposed that the White Lion was the same house that, before the building of New London Bridge, was called Baxter's Chophouse, No, 19, High-street; and in old deeds, The Crown, or The Crown and Chequers, an old plaster-fronted house. The house which stood in the court beside it, and was formerly called The Three Brushes, or "Holy Water Sprinklers," was of the time of Elizabeth; and some drawings exist of the interior, as a panelled room, with an ornamental plaster ceiling, having in the centre the arms of Queen Elizabeth, with E.R. in support of this opinion. This room is supposed to have been the court or justice-room in which her Majesty's justices sat and held their sessions. The house was pulled down about 1832, for making the new street to London Bridge.
Bear at the Bridge-foot was a noted house during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and it remained until the houses on the old bridge were pulled down, in or about the year 1760. This house was situate in the parish of St. Olave, on the west side of High-street, between Pepper-alley and the foot of London Bridge. It is mentioned in a deed of conveyance (dated Dec. 12, 1554, in the first and second years of Philip and Mary); and in the parish-books, of the same date, there is still earlier mention of this house, for among the entries of the disbursements of Sir John Howard, in his steward's accounts, are recorded :- "March 6th, 1463-4. Item payd for the red wyn at the Bere in Southewerke, iiiid." And again, "March 14th (same year). Item payd at dinner at the Bere in Southnewerke, in Costys, iiis. iiid. Item, that my mastyr lost at shotynge, xxd."
Cornelius Cooke, mentioned in the parish accounts of St. Olave's as overseer of the land side as early as 1630, became a soldier, and ultimately was made captain of the Trained Bands. He rose to the rank of colonel in Cromwell's time, and was appointed one of the Commissioners for the sale of the king's lands. After this Restoration, he settled down as landlord of this inn. Gerrard, in a letter to lord Strafford, dated January, 1633, intimates that all back doors to taverns on the Thames were commanded to be shut up, excepting only the Bear at the Bridge-foot, exempted by reason of the passage to Greenwich. The "Cavaliers' Ballad" on the magnificent funeral honours rendered to Admiral Dean (killed June 2, 1653) has the following allusion:-
"From Greenwich towards the Bear at Bridge foot,
He was wafted with wind that had water to't;
But I think they brought the devil to boot,
Which nobody can deny."
There is also another allusion in the following lines from a ballad "On Vanishing the Ladies out of Town":-
"Farewell Bridge foot and Bear thereby,
And those bald pates that stand so high;
We wish it from our very souls
That other heads were on those poles,
Pepys, on the 24th February, 1666-7, mentions the mistress of the Bear drowning herself, and again alludes to the inn on the 3rd of April following.
In the year 1761 the Bear was pulled down, on the bridge being widened. In the Public Advertiser, of Saturday, Dec. 26, 1761, is the following announcement:- "Thursday last, the workmen employed in pulling down the Bear tavern, at the foot of London Bridge, found several pieces of gold and silver coin of Queen Elizabeth, and other monies to a considerable extent."
Boar's Head .- Southwark had its Boar's Head, as well as the City of London its Boar's Head in East Cheap, immortalized by Shakspeare; and while the one is celebrated as the resort of Jack Falstaff, the other was the property of another of Shakspere's characters, who has often been erroneously confounded with lean Jack. Sir John Fastolf, of Caistor, Norfolk, and of Southwark, where (in Stoney-lane) he had his town house, was a man of military renown, having been in the French wars of Henry VI.; and was governor of Normandy: he was also a man of letters and learning, and the Boar's Head formed part of the endowment of Magdalen College, Oxford, founded by his friend, William Waynfleet, Bishop of Winchester, at whose instance Sir John Fastolf gave large possessions in Southwark and elsewhere towards the foundation. In the Reliquiae Hearnianae, edited by Dr. Bliss, is the following entry relative to this bequest:-
1721. June 2.-The reason why they cannot give so good an account of the benefaction of Sir John Fastolf to Magd. Coll, is, because he gave it to the founder, and left it to his management so that 'tis suppos'd twas swallow'd up in his own estate that he settled upon the college. However, this college knows this, that the Boar's Head, in Southwark, which was then an inn, and still retains the name, tho' divided into several tenements (which brings the college 150l. per annunn), was part of Sir John's gift.
The property above-mentioned was, for many years, leased to the father of the author of the present work, and was by him principally sub-let to weekly tenants. The premises were named "Boar's Head-court," and consisted of two rows of tenements, vis-a-vis, and two houses at the east-end, with a gallery outside the first floors: the tenements were fronted with strong weather-board, and the balusters of the staircases were of great age. The Court entrance was between the houses Nos. 25 and 26, east side of High-street, and that number of houses from old London Bridge; and beneath the whole extent of the Court was a finely-vaulted cellar, doubtless the wine-cellar of the Boar's Head. The property was cleared away in making the approach to the new bridge. (See Notes and Queries, 2nd s., No. 109.) In the Beaufoy Collection, at Guildhall, is a token of the Boar's Head (a boar's head, lemon in mouth, 1649). There were at St. Margaret's-hill, a Boar's Head-alley, and Boar's Head Livery Stables.
Spread Eagle, Gracechurch-street, was rebuilt after the Great Fire. Of this inn we find Taylor, the Water-poet, in his Carrier's Cosmographie, 4to, 1637, mentioning "The Tabard near the Conduit," and "the Spread Eagle," both in "Gracious-street." The latter was taken down in 1865, but remained to the last nearly entire, within its outer galleries to the two floors. The plot of ground which it occupied contained in all 12,600 feet, 5600 feet of which were leasehold for a long term, and the rest freehold. It was sold for 95,000l, The ground is surrounded on three sides by Leadenhall Market. There is a good view of the old inn in the Illustrated London News, Dec. 23, 1865.
The Spread Eagle besides being an early carriers' inn, became famous as a coaching-house; the mails and principal stage-coaches for Kent and other southern counties arriving until departing from here. It was long the property of John Chaplin, cousin of William Chaplin (Chaplin and Horne), who began life as a coachman at Rochester, served as Sheriff of London and Middlesex, and sat in Parliament for Salisbury. He died chairman of the London and South-Western Railway, and worth a quarter of a million of money. He was occupier, at one period, of five inn-yards in London, possessed 2400 horses, and his receipts for booking parcels amounted to 8000l. a year.
The Grasse-street of old was a memorable place. To this market for grass or herbs, in the reign of Edward III, it was customary for every cart (not belonging to a citizen) laden with corn or malt going there to be sold, to pay one halfpenny; if laden with chaese, twopence. The cart of the franchise of the Temple and St. Martin's-le-Grand paid a farthing; the cart of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem paid nothing for their proper goods. In Aggas's plan is shown an open place upon which White Hart-court was built after the Great Fire. Ben Jonson, in one of his masques, alludes to the poulterer's wife in Grace's-street. Pepys calls the street "Gracious-street." Nov. 28, 1662, he records the death of "a poulterer in Gracious-street, which was thought rich ;" and, on the 24th of the same month, Pepys speaks of the conduit in the quarre four at the end of Gracious-street; "the spouts whereof running very near me upon all the people that were under it. And on Sept, 14, 1665 (the time of the Plague), he was horrified "to see a person sick of the sores carried close by me by Gracechurch, in a hackney-coach. He afterwards calls the street "Gracious-street;" for he says, Nov. 25, 1668, "So home, buying a barrel of oysters, at my old oysterwoman's in Gracious-street, but over the way to where she kept her shop before (the Fire)." Sir John Fielding, in his Descr iption of London and Westminster, 1776, calls the street "Grasschurch-street, Cornhill."
Swan with Two Necks, Lad-lane, now Gresham-street, was long the head coach-inn and booking-office for the North. The sign has been referred to a corruption of two nicks, or the Vintners' Company's swan-marks on the bill; but this popular notion is discountenanced by Mr. Kempe, F.S.A.: are the two necks an heraldic monstrosity?
"The carriers of Manchester doe lodge at the Two-Neck'd Swan in Lad-lane" (Taylor's Carrier's Cosmographie, 1637), originally Lady's-lane.
Three Cups, Aldersgate-street, is mentioned by Hutton; with the same sign in St. John-street, near Hicks's HaLl; and in Bread-street, near tHe middle. Beaumont and Fletcher have "the Three Cups in St. GiLe's;" and Winstanley mentions Richard Head at the same sign in Holborn, making verses over a glass of Rhenish.
White Hart, Bishopsgate-street, taken down in 1829, bore on the front the date 1480: it was three-storied, with overhanging upper floor, and occupied the site of "a faire inne for receipt of travellours, next unto the parish church of St. Buttolph," thus described by Stow.
White Hart, Covent-garden, gave name to Hart-street, and is mentioned in a lease to Sir William Cecil (Lord Burghley) of Sept. 7th, 1570. Weever has preserved this epitaph in the Savoy Church on an old vintner of the White Hart, who died 1586:-
"Here lieth Humphrey Gosling, of London vintner,
Of the Whyt Hart of this parish a neghbor,
Of vertuous behaviour, a very good archer,
And of honest mirth, a very good company keeper.
So well inclyned to peers and rich,
God send more Goslings to be sich."
White Hart, corner of Welbeck-street, was long a detached public-house, where travellers customarily stopped for refreshment, and to examine their fire-arms, before crossing the fields to Lisson-green. The land westward of the bourn (whence the parish, now Marylebone, was named) was a deep marshy valley: here was Fenning's Folly, upon the top of which was built a fishmonger's; the shop, level with the street, having been the Folly upper story.
White Horse, Fetter-lane, was formerly the great Oxford house, as already mentioned under FETTER-LANE, p. 336.
Yorkshire Stingo, New-road, was celebrated for a century and a quarter, and appears in a plan dated 1757: here was held annually, on May 1, a Fair, until suppressed as a nuisance.
John Timbs, Curiosities of London, 1867