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chased the manor of Chelsea, and his name is still perpetuated in many of the streets and squares, as Hans-town, Sloane Street, &c. The late Lord Cadogan inherited a moiety of the manor through his father's marriage with a daughter of Sir Hans.
Chelsea now gives a title to the eldest son of Earl Cadogan.
Among other eminent persons buried at Chelsea, we may enumerate Thomas Shadwell, poet laureate, whose misfortune it was to have engaged in an unequal contest with Dryden, who held him up to ridicule under the name of Mac Flecknoe, in one of the severest satires ever penned; Dr. Martyn, translator of the Bucolics and Georgics of Virgil ; Mossop, the actor ; Kenrick, the annotator of Shakspeare, and dramatist; Sir John Fielding, brother of the well-known Henry, and his successor as magistrate at Bow Street; Cipriani, the painter, many of whose works were engraved by Bartolozzi; Boyer, author of the Dictionary of the French Language bearing his name, and translator of Racine. Boyer was a native of France, leaving his country through religious persecution, and became tutor of Mr. Bathurst's son, the future Lord Bathurst. Boyer engaged in various literary adventures; had the management of a newspaper called the Postboy; published a work entitled The Political State of Britain, and wrote a Life of Queen Anne in folio. Woodfall, the printer, and editor of the General Advertiser for thirtythree years, during which time his paper was enriched by the pens of Junius, Garrick, Colman, Goldsmith, Smollett, Hawkesworth, and other wits of the day, with whom he lived on terms of intimacy; Philip Miller, the botanist, and others, are interred here. In a cemetery, adjoining the King's Road, given to the parish by Sir Hans Sloane, was buried Mr. Andrew Millar, the eminent bookseller, founder of the long-celebrated house of Cadell and Co. in the Strand.
The Physic Garden, belonging to the Apothecaries' Company, is spicuous object from the river. Two cedars of large growth and singular form, overhanging the river, were planted one hundred and sixty years ago, being then about three feet high. The centre of the garden is occupied by a statue in marble, by Rysbrack, of Sir Hans Sloane, who presented the Company with the freehold of the premises.
Admission to these gardens may be obtained by tickets, procurable at the hall of the Apothecaries' Company, or of Dr. Lindley, Professor of Botany.
Eastward of the Royal Hospital, once stood the famous RANELAGH, so
called from an earl of that title, who had here a house and extensive pleasuregrounds; the estate was, after his lordship’s death, disposed of to an association, for the purpose of opening to the public an entertainment, of a kind till then unattempted in this country.
The Rotunda, in which concerts were performed, and which answered the purpose to which some of our theatres have been of late years applied, that of promenade concerts, was a spacious building, tastefully decorated, lit up with coloured lamps, and furnished with numerous boxes where the company took refreshment. The concerts commenced about seven o'clock, and were ended about ten ; morning concerts were also given, consisting chiefly of selections from oratorios. Masquerades were also attempted; but this amusement, unsuitable alike to the genius, taste, and feeling of the English, was not attended with any lasting success. The principal amusement of the frequenters of this place, next to hearing the music, would appear to have consisted in walking round and round the circle, conversing and animadverting upon the appearance of each other. There was a fashion in Ranelagh, as in everything else; and, while it lasts, fashion is pleasure. The amusements of fashionable life are not pursued for enjoyment, but for fashion's sake; it is not what there is to be there, but who is to be there, that determines the popularity of such places : if a certain amount of exclusiveness be attained, the pleasure, that is, the fashion, is complete. Ranelagh, however, has long since been deserted by the capricious goddess, and no trace of its former splendour remains.
built in 1772 at an expense of 20,0001., is directed to the village of that name on the left bank of the river. Battersea Church, a conspicuous object, abutting upon the Thames, is a clumsy but commodious structure, rebuilt about twenty years ago. In the east end is a window, in which are three portraits. The first, that of Margaret Beauchamp, ancestress (by her first husband, Sir Oliver St. John,) of the St. Johns, and by her second husband, John Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, grandmother to Henry VIII.; the second a portrait of that monarch; the third that of Queen Elizabeth, placed here by her grandfather Thomas Boleyne, Earl of Wiltshire, father of Queen Anne Boleyne, being great-grandfather of Anne, daughter of Sir Thomas Leighton, and wife of Sir John St. John, the first baronet of the family.
The village of Battersea will always be remembered in connexion with the name of Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke, the friend of Swift, Pope, and Gay, author of many political and metaphysical works, and Secretary of State in the reign of Queen Anne; he was born here, and here died in 1751, aged 79. His history may be read in his epitaph, which is as follows:“Here lies HENRY St. John, in the reign of Queen Anne, Secretary of War, Secretary of State, and Viscount Bolingbroke; in the days of King George I. and King George II. something more and better. His attachment to Queen Anne exposed him to a long and severe persecution ; he bore it with firmness of mind. He passed the latter part of his life at home, the enemy of no national party, the friend of no faction ; distinguished under the cloud of proscription, which had not been entirely taken off, by zeal to maintain the liberty, and to restore the ancient prosperity of Great Britain.”
“In this manner,” says Dr. Goldsmith, in his elegant Life of this distinguished person, "lived and died Lord Bolingbrcke; ever active, never depressed, ever pursuing Fortune, and as constantly disappointed by her. In whatever light we view his character, we shall find him an object rather more proper for our wonder than our imitation ; more to be feared than
esteemed, and gaining our admiration without our love. His ambition ever aimed at the summit of power, and nothing seemed capable of satisfying his immoderate desires, but the liberty of governing all things without a rival.”
Of Lord Bolingbroke's genius as a philosopher, the same author observes, that “his aims were equally great and extensive. Unwilling to submit to any authority, he entered the fields of science with a thorough contempt of all that had been established before him, and seemed willing to think everything wrong, that he might show his faculty in the reformation. It might have been better for his quiet as a man, if he had been content to act a subordinate character in the state ; and it had certainly been better for his memory as a writer, if he had aimed at doing less than he attempted. As a moralist, therefore, Lord Bolingbroke, by having endeavoured at too much, seems to have done nothing; but, as a political writer few can equal, and none can exceed him."
Lord Chesterfield confesses, that until he read Bolingbroke's letters on Patriotism, and his idea of a Patriot King, he did not know all the extent and powers of the English language. Whatever subject,” continues his lordship, “Lord Bolingbroke speaks or writes upon, he adorns with the most splendid eloquence; not a studied or laboured eloquence, but such a flowing happiness of diction, which (from care perhaps at first) is become so familiar to him, that even his most familiar conversations, if taken down in writing, would bear the press, without the least correction either as to method or style.”
Tindal the historian confesses St. John to have been, occasionally, perhaps the best political writer that ever appeared in England.
Unfortunately for him, all that he gained by his talent, or we might say genius, he lost by want of fixed principles of action. Alternately rejected by the advisers of King George I. and of the Pretender, his support seemed dangerous to all parties, and all parties concluded him an unsafe man to meddle with ; nor is there perhaps a more lamentable position in which a man of high intellect and spirit can find himself, than when thus neglected, not because of his want of talent, but because of possessing too much. When deprived of power, and persecuted unrelentingly by Walpole, who pursued him with the petty vindictiveness of a little mind, he flattered himself with the hope of finding that pleasure in retirement which ambition could not give; and retired to Dawley, near Uxbridge, where Pope, in a
well-known letter to Swift, playfully describes his mode of passing away
his time. Whenever men fly from business in disgust, and take refuge in a solitude ill adapted to their ideas, habits, and modes of life, we may always conclude a defect in the judgment or the will. A good and wise man, when he finds the paths of ambition closed against him, will content himself with the discharge of his duties in an humbler sphere ; spoiled children only refuse food altogether, because they may have once suffered from a surfeit.
The monument to the memory of Lord Bolingbroke in Battersea Church, is from the chisel of Roubilliac.
The manor of Battersea belonged to King Harold, and being exchanged by him with the monks of Westminster for Windsor, came into possession of the St. Johns in the reign of James I., and is now the property of Earl Spencer. By custom of this manor, lands descend to the youngest son, and in default of sons, are divided among the daughters equally. At Battersea was a palace, called York House, of the Archbishops of York. This has been confounded with York House, Whitehall, where Cardinal Wolsey entertained Queen Anne Boleyne. The greater part of Bolingbroke House was pulled down in 1775; but a few of the rooms remained, one wainscotted with cedar, said to have been Lord Bolingbroke's favourite apartment, which were incorporated into the dwelling of a maltster, who built mills upon the site of the ancient dwelling-house. Williams the actor, Astle the antiquary, and Curtis the botanist, were buried in the church-yard. The northern extremity of Clapham Common is called BATTERSEA-RISE, and is a favourite site for suburban villas.
WANDSWORTH, at some distance from the brink of the river, on the left, so called from its situation on the banks of the river Vandal or Wandle, immortalised by Pope, who calls it
“ The blue, transparent Vandalis," next demands our attention. Many French refugees, after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, settled in Wandsworth ; where, as in other places, they pursued manufactures with spirit and success. The first Presbyterian congregation in England was established at Wandsworth.
GARRAT is a hamlet close to Wandsworth, where took place a mock election after the meeting of every new parliament, when some well-known characters of low life appeared as candidates, and much merriment was the