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and abruptly. His mind was uncommonly active; it was naturally formed for investigation, and so attached to truth and fact, that he despised all unfounded speculation, proceeding always with caution upon the solid ground of experiment.
At the same time, his acuteness in observing the result of these experiments, his ingenuity in contriving and his adroitness in conducting them, enabled him to deduce from them advantages which others would not have derived. Unaccustomed in early life to that routine of education which employs youth in collecting and retaining the ideas of others, and in flooding the mind with error in the pursuit of knowledge, John Hunter, awed by no names, and careless of antiquity, came to the task of physiological and surgical inquiry, and of comparative anatomy, with the determination of looking for truth, where he could alone be sure truth was to be found—in nature, and of testing all his hypotheses in the severest manner by experiment.
Unlike many others who have earned a spurious fame, Hunter was no systematist; he did not devote his life to any theory, and laughed at the empirical doctrines with which his predecessors in the sciences to which he devoted himself were wont to veil their ignorance of the laws of nature, or their indifference to her operations. John Hunter read little, but observed much; in this way only do men become great. Knowledge, with mean minds, is a stream of water descending from one generation to another, through successive strata, taking a tinge of mud from one, of dirt from another, as it may happen. With a mind truly great, knowledge bubbles up, pure and undefiled, from its original fount, coming fresh from the heart of earth, and flung out upon the surface, without admixture, without adulteration.
After the decease of this great man, the premises he had occupied at Earl's Court were converted to the purposes of a gaming-house; or, as the newspapers of the day chose humorously to express it, for the dissection of pigeons, and preparation of flat-fish.
From Kensington our traveller makes his way, by a choice of routes (for which we refer him to the map in our preceding number), to the classic village, or rather town, of Richmond.
Richmond received its present name by royal command in the reign of Henry VII., who was Earl of Richmond in Yorkshire. “In Domesday Book it is not mentioned. A record of nearly the same antiquity calls it Syenes, the name was afterwards spelt Schene and Sheen: some writers, founding their conjectures upon the latter word, which signifies bright or splendid, have supposed it to be expressive of the magnificence of the ancient palace.”
This classic spot, which is to London what Frascati may be supposed to have been in the palmy days of Imperial Rome, is one of those places of which we are in the habit of forming preconceived notions and ideal pictures; and we are therefore delighted or disappointed in proportion to the harmony of the real Richmond with the Richmond of our imagination.
Our preconceived idea of Richmond was that of a retired village, consisting of a few humble cottages nestling at the foot of a hill, or rather mountain, difficult of access, capped with barren rocks or purple heath, and commanding, as it were a time-worn fortress, the subjacent country. Finding our village, as we had always heard it termed, a large modern well-built town, we were somewhat disappointed; but this feeling soon gave way to more pleasurable emotions, when we began to reflect upon the historical associations connected with this, the most richly-associated spot of English ground.
For the historical account subjoined, we are indebted to the painstaking and accurate Mr. Lysons.
" It is not certain when the manor house at Sheen first became a royal palace; a MS. record in the British Museum mentions it as having been the house of Henry I., who granted it with the manor to the Belets. Fron. that time till towards the close of the reign of Edward I., it was the property of subjects. Edward I. and II. are known to have resided there; Edward III. closed a long and victorious reign at his palace at Sheen, June 21st, 1377. Queen Anne, his successor's consort, died there in the year 1394. The
king was so much affected at her death, that he abandoned the palace, and suffered it to fall to ruin-or, as others assert, pulled it down. Holinshed says, that he caused it to be thrown down and defaced; whereas the former kings of this land being weary of the Citie, used customarily thither to resorte, as to a place of pleasure, and serving highly to their recreation.' Henry V. restored the palace to its former magnificence. Henry VII. held a grand tournament at his manor at Richmond, in 1492, when Sir James Parker, in a controversy with Hugh Vaughan for right of coat-armour, was killed at the first course. In the year 1499, the king being then at his palace, it was set on fire by accident; most of the old buildings were consumed. His Majesty immediately caused it to be rebuilt, and gave it the name of Richmond.
“The picture of Henry V. and his family, the Marriage of Henry VI. and that of Henry VII., in the Earl of Orford's collection at Strawberry Hill, are supposed to have been painted for this monarch, and intended for his palace here. It had been finished but a short time when a second fire broke out, which did considerable damage. The same year a new gallery fell down, in which the king, and the prince his son, had been walking only a few minutes before. Philip I., king of Spain, having been driven upon the coast of England by a storm, was entertained in this palace with great magnificence, in the year 1506. Henry VII. died there, April 21, 1509; his successor kept his Christmas at Richmond the year after he came to the throne. A tournament was held there on the 12th January, when the king, for the first time, took a part in those exercises. Charles V. emperor of Germany, was lodged at Richmond, anno 1523. When Cardinal Wolsey gave the lease of Hampton Court to the King, his Majesty permitted him to reside in Richmond Palace, a privilege of which he frequently availed himself. Hall says, that when the common people, and especially such as had been servants to Henry VII., saw the Cardinal keep house in the Manor Royal of Richmond, which that monarch so highly esteemed, it was a marvel to hear how they grudged, saying, So a butcher's dogge doth lie in the manor of Richmond.' They were still more disgusted at the Cardinal's keeping his Christmas there openly, with great state, when the King himself observed that feast with the utmost privacy at Eltham, on account of the plague.
“Queen Elizabeth was a prisoner at Richmond for a short time, during the reign of her sister Mary. After she ascended the throne, this palace became