Victorian London - Directories - Dickens's Dictionary of London, by Charles Dickens, Jr., 1879 - "CHA-CHR"

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Charity Commissioners for England and Wales, Gwydyr House, Whitehall, SW. NEAREST Railway Station, Westminster-bridge; Omnibus Routes, Parliament-street, Victoria-street, Westminster-bridge, and Strand; Cab Rank, Palace-yard.

Charterhouse School— One of the old London foundations, which has been wise enough to remove into the country. The buildings formerly occupied by the school are now in the occupation of Merchant Taylors' School, and Charterhouse itself is located at Godalming.

Cheam. A small and rather commonplace village on the Epsom road, a short distance beyond Carshalton. Rents rather high. From London-bridge and Victoria (50 mm), 1st, 2/-, 2/6; 2nd, 1/6, 2/3 ; 3rd, 1/1, 2/-.

Cheapside. — Cheapside remains now what it was five centuries ago, the greatest thoroughfare in the City of London. Other localities have had their day, have risen, become fashionable, and have sunk into obscurity and neglect, but Cheapside has main- tained its place, and may boast of being the busiest thoroughfare in the world, with the sole exception perhaps of London-bridge. Here the two great arteries of Oxford-street and Holborn and of the Strand and Fleet-street from the west, and of Bishopsgate and Leadenhall from the east, together with a mighty stream of traffic from Moorgate on the north and King William-street on the south, are all united, and the great flow of traffic is constantly blocked and arrested by the cross tide setting its from Southwark-bridge up Queen-street. Much as we should marvel to see the shops of our ancestors, open in front (as they are still in such localities as the New Cut and in the poorer parts of London, with the apprentices standing at the doors, keeping up a fire of chaff with each other, varied by the cry of "What do you lack? what do you lack?" our progenitors would be equally astonished to see Cheapside as it is. In its importance as a place of trade it has decayed. The great wholesale houses are in Cannon-street, or in the narrow lanes—they can hardly be called streets—which run -right and left from Cheapside, and the bright displays made by the Flemish merchants, the great traders of Genoa, and the cunning artificers of Milan, are gone. Milliners and mantua-makers, and the shops of those who sell female apparel, are conspicuous by their absence. Cheapside is almost monopolised by men's shops: hosiers and shirtmakers, tailors and tobacconists, and above all by jewellers. There are few of the bracelets and -brooches which make such a show in the windows of West-end jewellers; watches, albert chains, signet rings, and scarf pins have the places of honour; but the City man, after a successful speculation, would have no difficulty in finding ladies' watches and jewellery to take home as a present to his wife or daughters. Sir John Bennett stands at the head of the watchmakers of Cheapside, and his clock, with movable figures which strike the chimes and hours, is one of the sights of the place. Bow Church, with its projecting clock looking up and down the street, is one of the few relics of the Cheapside of the past.
Until lately the Poultry contained many houses of considerable antiquity, but it was at last felt that the narrow gut of this lane was an intolerable nuisance in the face of the enormously increasing traffic, and the whole of the northern side of Cheapside, from King-street to the corner of Princes-street,has now been thrown back, to the immense convenience of traffic, and to the advantage of Cheapside in general by the open view now given of the Royal Exchange and adjoining buildings. From Cheapside, King-street leads up to the Guildhall, around which centre the traditions of the municipality of the City of London, a body which has from the earliest times been distinguished for its independence and its fearlessness. Cheapside is always crowded, always a wonder to strangers and foreigners, but the best time to see it is either at 9 am., when the great tide of traffic is flowing into the City, or between 5 and 7 p.m., when the offices and warehouses are closing, and the tens of thousands of business men are off again to their homes. The stranger will be particularly struck with the absence of women from the moving crowd in Cheapside1 and indeed generally in the City. In the evening the proportion is larger than it is during the day, for the hands from the great bonnet and mantle warehouses are then pouring out but at other times there is scarcely a woman to be seen to every hundred men. Strangers, and especially ladies, walking in the City should be very careful in keeping their proper side of the footway, for if they get out of the stream they are not unlikely to find themselves very disagreeably jostled.

Chelsea, once a quiet village, three miles from London is now a densely populated locality, and lies between the Brompton-road and the Thames, Sloane-st being its eastern boundary, while its western boundary is indeterminate, as it is still growing. It gives its name to a parliamentary borough, which includes the Kensington and Hammersmith parishes. Chelsea contains a great population of the working class. Chelsea is Radical, while Kensington may be looked upon as Conservative; Hammersmith being a mixed parish. St. Luke's, Chelsea, is one of the finest parish churches in London. It is remarkable also inasmuch that the parish clerk must be a priest in orders, and the post was held for some rime by the Rev. Charles Kingsley, whose father was for many years the rector of St. Luke's. The principal public buildings are the Barracks, Chelsea Hospital, and the Military Asylum. NEAREST Railway Stations, Sloane-square and Chelsea; Omnibus Routes, Sloane-street, King's-road, and Fulham-road

Chelsea Hospital is one of the most interesting sights of London. It was built by Charles II. from the designs of Sir Christopher Wren. The foundation stone was laid in 1632 by the king himself, and the building was completed in 1690. It is generally supposed that it was Nell Gwynne's influence with the king which caused him to establish this splendid hospital for old soldiers. It is built of deep red brick with stone facings, and consists of two quadrangles and a grand central court open on the side facing the river. In the dining hall and chapel are battle flags taken by the British army in all parts of the world. The public are admitted to see these halls, and can also be shown over the wards. The hospital is of great interest from its tradition and history, and still more so from its quiet and old- world appearance. Walking among its silent courts it is difficult to believe that one is in the heart of London. NEAREST Railway Stations, Grosvenor-rd; Omnibus Routes, King's-road and Pimlico-road; Cab Rank, Oakley-street.

Chelsea Suspension Bridge is another work by the designer of Westminster Bridge, and has something of the same appearance. It was made in Edinburgh, and set up in its present position in 1858 at a cost of £80,000.

Chertsey.— An old-fashioned country town—one of the most characteristic still remaining in the immediate neighbourhood of London. The country around is well- wooded, hilly, and exceedingly picturesque, and the town is within easy reach either by road or rail on the one hand of the beautiful Weybridge district, and on the other of Virginia Water and Sunning Dale and Hill, incomparably the two prettiest in the neighbourhood of London. A good deal of building has been going on for the last few years in outskirts of the town, which may be reached by rail either from Weybridge, on the main South-Western line, or from Virginia Water on the Reading branch of the same line. Rents rather high, but not disproportionately so. From Waterloo (48 min.), 1st, 4/-, 5/6; 2nd, 3/-, 4/-; 3rd, 1/10, 3/4.

Chess Clubs.— What may be termed the coffee-house epoch in the history of chess in England ended in the year 1810 with the establishment of the London Chess club, where members met for play in a private room in Cornhill. For some sixteen years afterwards it was the only association of the kind in London, and being supported chiefly by City merchants and members of the Stock Exchange, who played chess in the middle of the day, it was practically closed to amateurs whose occupations or pursuits were not "of the City" or whose only leisure was to be found in the evenings. It had other disadvantages from the amateur's point of view, not the least of which was that the members comprised a host of experts in the science of chess, giants in whose company the tyro of the period was much more likely to be awed than edified. There was no chess club at the west end of the town at this period, but accommodation for players was provided in numerous coffee-houses, where "Monsieur" and "Herr," who since the first French Revolution have been always with us, dispensed instruction at such charges as their modest requirements suggested. In 1823 a West-end chess club was established, with special rooms, &c., at the Perry Coffee-house in Rathbone-place. The members met for play at seven in the evening, sat down to a hot supper at ten—it was fifty years ago—and broke up at half- past eleven. Murphy, a miniature painter of note at that time, became a member of this club soon after its foundation, and introduced to the members the greatest player of the period— William Lewis. Lewis was then a merchants clerk, and, after the death of Sarratt, the strongest chess-player in England. He won the admiration of the Percy Chess Club by beating their best players at the odds of a rook. In 1825 the Percy Chess Club was closed, and Lewis opened subscription rooms in St. Martin's-lane, where he was patronised by nearly all the best players in London: Alexander Macdonnell, subsequently the famous rival of La Bourdonnais; John Cochrane, the most brilliant player that ever appeared in the chess arena; Richard Penn, the author of the quaintest book in the language, "Maxims and Hints for Chess Players and Anglers" (illustrated by Stanfield); Bohn, the bookseller; and Pratt, of Lincoln's-inn, the author of a book on chess, that was described by Professor Allen, of Philadelphia, as a marvellous mixture of 'Schoolmaster's English and Johnsonese.' These rooms were closed in 1827, through the failure of Lewis. The London Chess Club still prospered; and it was not until the year 1832 that a rival association appeared upon the scene. Early in that year the famous Westminster Chess Club was opened in a room upon the first floor of a coffee-house in Bedford-street, Covent-garden, kept by one Huttman. The new club was immediately successful, and under its auspices was played the celebrated match between Westminster and Paris in 1834. The club was temporarily dissolved in 1835, and was reorganised in the same year, the members meeting in Mr. Ries's drawing-room adjoining the Divan in the Strand, of which establishment that gentleman was the proprietor. Here Howard Staunton, for many years the champion chess-player of England, made his first appearance, and here were played the games in his match with Poyert. In 1840 the West- minster Chess Club was again dissolved—the City Club still prospering—but it was once more revived by Staunton, and the meetings were held in Charles-street, off the Haymarket. Its career was brief, however, and it was finally closed in 1843. In the same year a new chess club at the West-end was formed, at Beatties Hotel, George-street, Cavendish-square, and was called after the name of the street in which its first meetings were held, the St. George's Chess Club. Beattie's Hotel was closed in the following year, and the St. George's removed to new quarters at the Polytechnic. Here was played the first International Chess Tournament in 1851, and here the club remained until the end of 1854, when it became associated with the Cavendish, a newly-formed club in Regent- street, and soon afterwards moved to the house formerly Crockford's, in St. James's- street, then called the Wellington. In the year 1857 the St. George's removed to its present quarters, Palace-chambers, King-street, St. James's. Meanwhile, in 1852, a -club was formed in the city, under the title of the City of London Chess Club, by a few amateurs of little note at the time. This association has since been strengthened by the accession of all the foremost English players, and is now, in point of numbers, and the chess force and public repute of its members, the strongest chess club in the world. In 1866 a chess club, reviving the name of the "Westminster," whose history we have recounted, was formed by a number of influential amateurs, but it ceased to exist as a chess club in 1875, when it was dissolved, and reconstituted under the name of the Junior Portland as a whist -club.
ST. GEORGE'S CHESS CLUB, 1, Palace-chambers, King-street, St. James's. —Annual subscription, -town members, £2 2s country members, £1 1s. Hon. Sec., J. I. Minchin. Open daily from 12 noon. Established in 1843. The play is almost entirely limited to the afternoons— 12 noon to 7 p.m.
CITY OF LONDON CHESS CLUB, Mouflet's Hotel, Newgate-street, E.C.—Annual subscription, 10s. 6d. Election by ballot in committee. Open on the evenings of Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in each week throughout the year. Hon. Sec., H. F. Down. The meetings of this club are attended by all the best English chess-players. Established in 1852.
The foregoing are the principal chess clubs in London, but there are, besides, several local (or parochial) associations meeting during the months of the spring and winter. At the Birkbeck Literary and Scientific Institution, Southampton Buildings, Chancery- lane, there is an evening Chess Class. Charges for members 1s., and for the public 3s.
PUBLIC CHESS ROOMS—THE DIVAN, 101, Strand. Open from 12 noon to 11 p.m. Annual subscription, £2 2s. Single admission, including coffee and cigar, 1s.; and free to all persons dining at Simpson's Restaurant. The Divan is a favourite resort of the professional chess-players resident in London, and is visited by every foreign player of eminence whom business or pleasure leads to London.
PURSSELL'S RESTAURANT, Cornhill.— Open from noon to 9 p.m. Admission free. An afternoon resort for professional players, and much patronised by city clerks, warehousemen, &c.
GATTI'S, Adelaide-st, Strand.— Open from noon to midnight. Admission free. Another favourite resort of the professional chess-players.
MEPHISTO'S CHESS ROOM, 9, Strand—Open from 2 to 10 p.m. Admission, 1s. Mephisto is a mechanical or automaton chess-player, so called.
CHESS JOURNALS IN LONDON. - Illustrated London News. A chess column every week. First article on chess appeared June 25, -1842.—The Field. A chess column every week. First article appeared January 1, 1853.— Land and Water. A chess column every week. First article appeared January, 1870. Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News. A chess -column every week. First article appeared January, 1874.
Besides the foregoing, the following periodicals devote some portion of their space to chess: English Mechanic, Brief, Ladies' Treasury, and The Chess Players' Chronicle (Established in 1868).— The Westminster Papers, for upwards of in years the principal chess organ in London, ceased to exist in April of this year.

Cheyne Walk is a bit of old London, with its quaint old fashioned houses and its row of noble trees. The picturesque aspect has been much destroyed by the Thames Embankment, which now runs in front of it. Before the construction of this modern improvement, the old brick facing of the roadway, the boats which lay at the foot of the wooden steps, the quiet river which flowed by in front, were in keeping with the houses half hidden behind the trees and the old parish church at the west end of the row. Cheyne row is still, however, picturesque and quiet, and is the abode of many artists and literary men. East of Cheyne walk are the gardens of the Apothecaries' Company, with their famous cedars, considered as among the oldest and finest in the country.

Chigwell —Close to the picturesque scenery of Epping and Hainault Forests. Chigwell Church is noteworthy as containing a fine brass, of 1631, of Samuel Harmett, Archbishop of York, habited in his cope, and with his pastoral staff in his hand. Rents moderate the village lying a couple of mile from Woodford station. From Fenchurch-street (50 min.) and Liverpool-street, 1st, 2/5, 3/6 2nd, 1/9, 2/4; 3rd, 1/ ½ , 1/9.

Chili.—MINISTRY, none. CONSULATE, Gresham House, Old Broad-street. NEAREST Railway Stations, Bishopsgate and Cannon street (SE.); Omnibus Routes, Old Broad-street, Bishopsgate street, Cheapside, and Moorgate Street; Cab Rank, New Broad street.

Chimney on Fire.—New-comers from the country will do well to bear in mind that it is not safe in London to clean a kitchen chimney by "burning out." Apart from all question of danger and damage, maximum penalty for a "C on fire" in London is 20s.

China.—(See BRICABRAC.)

Chiselhurst.—One of prettiest and most favourite of London suburbs, especially since the occupation of Camden House by the exiled Imperial family of France. The common lies high and on gravel, and is both picturesque and healthy. It should however be borne in mind that "Chiselhurst" is not Chiselhurst common. The majority of the new houses lie low, in the deep, thickly wooded hollow on the road towards Bromley. The rents are all high. There is a remarkably pretty church, which has, practically, been rebuilt within the last few years, and the ritual of which is of a rather advanced description. Napoleon III. is buried its Roman Catholic chapel of St. Mary, about 300 yards down the lane, directly opposite the church. Orders of admission on week days to obtained, by letter only, from Rev. J. Goddard, Chiselhurst. From Charing-cross (37 min.), Cannon-st, and London- bridge, set 2/-, 2/6; 2nd, 1/6, 2/-; 3rd, 1/-, 2/7.

Chiswick.—A waterside suburb about smiles west of Hyde-park-corner, rapidly being swallowed up by the advancing tide of buildings, but with still some rural elements about it. Hogarth died here, and is buried in the churchyard. Rousseau also lived here, boarding at a little grocer's shop. The gardens of the Horticultural Society lie on the Turnham- green side. Rents about the average. From Waterloo (23 min.), 1st, -/11, 1/4; 2nd, -/9, 1/-; 3rd, -/7, -/10. Ludgate-hill (50 min.), 1st, 1/3, 1/10; 2nd, 1/-, 1/6; 3rd, -/10, 1/2.

Chops and Steaks.—It is only recently that a great superstition as to chops and steaks has been exploded. It was for very many years a popular delusion that west of Fleet-street chops and steak could not be had—or, at all events, could only be had in a very inferior style. The West-end chop or steak, it is true, was for a long time difficult to come at, and, as a rule, exceedingly bad when you got it, although the grill-loving Londoner was even then able to go to Stone's in Panton-street with a tolerable certainty of finding what he wanted. This house, which dates from the beginning of the century, and has been well known to literary London, still holds its own, although grills have of late year grown up round it in all directions. The Inns of Court Hotel, the Criterion, the Gaiety, the Royal Aquarium, the St. James's Hall, the "Holborn," and the "Horseshoe" restaurants, and many of Spiers and Pond's railway refreshment rooms make a specialty of their grills, and the foreign reader of the DICTIONARY who wishes to try this peculiar English form of meal can be recommended to any of these places. The City itself absolutely swarm with chop-houses, and it is only possible here to say that anywhere about Finch-lane and Cornhill the grill business is thoroughly well understood and well done. Between the City proper and the West-end is the "Cheshire Cheese", Wine Office-court, Fleet-street, one of the old fashioned chop houses, specially famous for rump-steak pudding on Saturday afternoons.

Christ's Hospital. Newgate-street. Presentations to Christ Hospital can only be obtained from governors under certain regulations. It is generally understood that the principal requirements are, briefly, that children must be presented when between eight and ten years of age, and must be free from active disease, as well as from any physical defect which would render them unable to take care of themselves that their parents (if one or both be living) have not adequate means of educating and maintaining them; and that the children have not such means of their own. A written statement, showing the amount, or average amount, of the parental income with particulars of its source or sources, the total number of children in the family, and how man of these are still young and dependent, and any other relevant circumstances, is in each case required to be made in the petition on the form of presentation for the consideration of the court or committee of governors, who have the power to reject any case which they may not deem a proper one for admission to the charitable advantages of the institution. The form of presentation is to be obtained from the individual governor presenting; and the child's name in full is to be inscribed therein in the handwriting of such governor, with a statement of his conscien- tious belief that the child so presented is a proper object for admission into this hospital. It is particularly requested that persons who are in no real need of assistance from a charitable foundation like this hospital will refrain from importuning the governors for presentations, or seeking the admission of their children into the hospital. It is to be regretted that the laxity of the governors themselves is responsible for the habitual violation of this most admirable rule. There can be no doubt that the benefits of Christ's Hospital, in common with those of many other well-intentioned charities, have been diverted from their legitimate objects. A printed list of the governors, and all necessary information in regard to the school, may be obtained on application to the clerk, at the Counting House, Christ's Hospital.

Christy Collection of antiquities and ethnography, 103, Victoria-street, Westminster. — Open to the public on Fridays between 10 and 4; tickets can be obtained at the British Museum, of an attendant in the Grand Entrance Hall. NEAREST Railway Station, Victoria~ Omnibus Routes, Victoria-street and Grosvenor-place; Cab Rank, Opposite.